Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Family Fun

Happy Rosh Hashanah! While I'm still not entirely certain what exactly it is, Curtis got the day off for it. Many of his students were grumbling about spending the entire day at Temple, but we took the opportunity to head to the Getty. They were having an exhibition of Bernini's Baroque portrait sculpture. It was a fantastic exhibit. I felt priviliged to have seen sculptures that hadn't been displayed together since the 1600's. Just beautiful. We also saw the exhibit on humor in drawing, which was just ok. We wandered into a building that turned out to house the decorative arts. Somehow I'd never been there in all my visits to the Getty. I just fell in love with all the gorgeous furnishings. There's something about wood and inlay that just speaks to me.

The best part of the whole day was the babies. They were PERFECT. Ruthann fussed a little, then slept through most of it. Thomas waved at people, played with a few toys I brought, and sang happy songs. The docents got a kick out of him. I shoved them around in the double stroller, and they didn't seem to mind the confinement as long as we didn't stop for too long.

It was a fabulous day out.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Momtourage

I just got back from my weekly mom's meeting. The group meets at a nearby church for two hours with childcare provided in the church nursery. It's so great to have time with other women who are also moms. I can get advice and stories from the moms with older kids and give advice to the moms with younger kids. Today was especially great because there were two other women with little babies there. One of them I feel is my alter ego literally my other self because she has two girls who are each two months older than my babies. We even have similar lifestyles. I just love bouncing things off of her and going, "You mean it's not just me."

Thomas was a big boy today and played in the nursery the whole time. I think it helped that there were lots of snacks today. He looked so big walking back in with the group of other kids. When the kids come back, it's adorable to see the women and children interacting. I can tell that I'm not the only one who discovers that even though we were only apart for two hours, I missed him and find myself happy to see him again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Mini-Vacation from Deciding

Last night, we failed to learn from the horrible experience of taking the babies to a restaurant for our anniversary and went to Red Lobster. It was actually wonderful. Ruthann stayed in her seat, looked around, made cute baby noises and smiles, and then went to sleep. Thomas liked looking at the lobsters in the tank during the long wait and played and ate happily at the table. Most people would have hated our table. In fact two different families rejected the other table in the room. It was in a small, echo-y porch where there was a loud birthday party going on at the other end. It was great for me, though, since Thomas's toddlerness just blended into the other noise.

An odd thing about being a housewife is that I live an almost completely unconstrained life. The only things I need to do certain times are for Curtis: provide dinner, and for the babies: feed them and change diapers. Everything else is done or not done by my choice. And it turns out that decision making is actually mentally tiring. It was actually quite refreshing to have my options severely curtailed. To only have to decide between the limited options of the menu rather than the vast possibilities of the items in my kitchen and nearby grocery store. It was also nice to just sit and eat. I didn't have to prepare the food, serve the food, clear the table or wash the dishes. Because of the noise, I didn't even need to carry on much of a conversation. It really felt like a vacation.

I think that this may be part of the reason that many people don't like to cook at home. It's too mentally tiring to make the decisions. Cooking at home from scratch saves huge amounts of money, but it requires a lot of decisions. The hardest part of making dinner every night and the part that takes me the longest is deciding what to make. Actually preparing the food usually takes under an hour. Without "convenience foods", nearly everything we've got at home needs to be combined with at least one other thing to be "dinner." But there are a huge number of possible combinations. If you've got pizza dough, you make pizza; a bread mix, you make bread. But if you've got flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and milk, you could make pizza crust, bread, pancakes, muffins, scones, pasta, crackers, pie crust, cookies, cakes, and the list goes on.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cute Family

I propped Ruthann against Curtis to do something for Thomas. Thomas decided he wanted to crawl up onto the couch and sit down with Gilgamesh (the bear). Curtis fell asleep and Thomas started petting his sister's fuzzy head.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Worst Wake-up EVER!

I was asleep at 4:10 a.m. I was not even consiously aware of the sound that woke me up, but when I opened my eyes in a panic, the cat was THIS close to me and it had that look in its eyes. I jerked my head back and snatched at my pillow, but was too late, as the cat unleashed a hairball that got my pillow and the bottom sheet. Curtis was not amused to have to wake up and move so that I could strip the bed. Oh, and did I mention that they were BRAND NEW sheets? That we were sleeping on for the FIRST TIME EVER! 'Cause what I really needed in my life was more laundry.

Ruthann's First Operation

In my last post, I forgot to mention that Ruthann had a "procedure" on the 3rd. Doctors inserted a catheter from her leg into her heart and used a balloon to open up the pulmonary valve. While scary sounding (she's so tiny!), it was actually an outpatient procedure and we got to take her home that evening. She didn't like coming out of the anesthesia, but after that she was peaceful and smiley. Now, more blood goes to her lungs to be oxygenated. With more oxygen in her system, I can tell that she feels better. She's been much more alert, awake, and smiley this last week and a half. She'll still have to have open-heart repair surgery sometime before her birthday, but now we don't have to rush into it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Growing Up

Last night, for the first time, Ruthann slept in her crib all night out in the living room with her brother. We also, for the first time, managed to get up at 5:15 and get to a 6:30 morning Mass. (A routine we'd like to get in to, but have been failing at the getting up part.) The nice thing about getting the babies up so early is that at 7:30 a.m., they're both ready for a nap (hence this post).

Thomas is up to 15 teeth. The top two canines came in around Aug 7th and the bottom left one came in Labor Day (9/1). Just one more canine (already a noticeable bulge in the gum), then he'll have his full complement until age 2.

Ruthann's getting better at finding her hand and thumb. She was sucking her thumb in her crib this morning. Hopefully soon she'll have enough control of her arms and hands to not need a pacifier any more. Thomas is supremely jealous of the pacifier and wants to take it as soon as he sees it, even if he already has one (or 2 or 3). He never uses a pacifier any other time, so it's just annoying. To quiet her fussing in public, I give her a pacifier, which causes him to start fussing (and he's even louder.)

Curtis is settling into a new school year. He's teaching only 4 of the 8 periods (physics, AP physics B, AP physics C, and freshman biology). I guess the football team is coming along well. They have their first game this coming Saturday. The circus and I will go, which almost guarantees that I won't actually see any of the game.

My birthday is this Friday. Since nearly everyone I know who's over 5 is significantly older than I am, it's fun to complain about how old I'm getting. After all, I'm "looking down the barrel of THIRTY!" I've decided that for my birthday, I'm going to splurge and binge on a huge amount of ice cream. I haven't decided how to ditch Thomas for this operation, since he eats more than I do. I'm proud to say that I now weigh less than I did when I got pregnant with Thomas. Since July 25th, I've lost 15 lbs. Now my jeans fit again, so I'm prepared for when it finally cools off. I'm not sure it's ever going to be fall, though. Yesterday, it was 101 and Saturday was 103.