I hate to leave the house in the morning for work. Sometimes knowing I’ll be gone and away from Isadora all day just makes me so deeply sad that I fight back tears while I’m riding the bus downtown. I’ve been going in to work just a little bit later every day it seems because I want just a few more minutes of play time with her. I know Mitch doesn’t have it easy staying home with her during the week, and I’m not sure I’d be better off if we switched places. There are days where she refuses to eat, refuses to sleep and generally exercises independence in any way she can causing him so much frustration that he calls me with tears in his voice. Those are tough days.
I know I can’t do anything to jeopardize my job security, especially in these times. I need to make sure that I get to the office on time. So I’m trying to change my attitude by Monday and not focus on how I have to leave her. Instead, I’m going to focus on how I get to come home to her. This is what she’s like when I walk in the door:
She’s so cute and silly and happy when I get home. I need to become a morning person and get out the door even earlier than usual so I can leave work earlier and more time with Izzy before she has to go to bed.
We took Izzy to the JCC for some family swim time today. We weren’t paying attention to the time when we left the house. By the time we got to the JCC, Izzy was sound asleep. It was prime nap time.
She woke up when we got out of the car, and we seized the opportunity to take her for a swim. She was so groggy, she fell back to sleep in my arms as I carried her into the gym. She woke up slightly again, so I striped her down and squeezed her into her swim diaper.
The pool was really crowded today, and she didn’t mind. In fact, she was the Queen of Mellow as evidenced in the video below:
There were a few other babies that looked like they were much younger than Izzy. We waded over to say hello. Turns out they, were a year old. Very runty little critters. One looked like a malnourished alien with her toe head and HUGE blue eyes.
While we were cooing over the babies, a little boy of about five years old came over to me and said, “what is this? Some kind of baby meeting or something?” I cracked up and replied, “yeah, I think so.” Then he said, “did you know babies have their own special way of communicating with each other?” and I nodded my head and laughed. He smiled at me, then snapped his red swim goggles over his big brown eyes and disappeared under the water.
Izzy had about enough of swim time, so we got out of the pool to head home. While Izzy was waiting her turn to get dried off and changed back into her clothes, she was laughing and giggling and having a great time. I grabbed the camera in time to catch the tail end.
I just remembered that when I was about five or six months pregnant with Izzy (aka Peanut), I had a dream that Mitch and I were playing with her in the pool and we were having so much fun. Well, that dream has come true.
Izzy has the best daddy, and Murky has the best owner*. I was watching them play on IzzyCam today and grabbed a couple of screenshots:
I had to step away from my desk for a few minutes, and when I came back to check in and see what they were up to, I found this:
Mitch, you are the the sweetest, most awesomest person in the world! I love you too!
* We were out of wet food, but we still had plenty of dry food. Mitch left the house early this morning to pick up a few cans of wet food so Murky and Kirby could have their special morning treat.
We heard about Family Swim Time at the North Beach Park & Rec pool a while back. We’ve been meaning to take Izzy, but with the holidays, we never got around to it. Plus, we had to buy a special swim diaper. That’s an added complication we weren’t prepared to deal with.
This being the new year, and the time for new beginnings, we finally got off our lazy duffs and bought her a swim diaper, and we planned to go to the pool on Saturday. On Thursday, I got online to double check the Family Swim Time schedule. I found out that the pool was closed indefinitely due to a mysterious leak. Bummer!
That did not deter me. I looked for other Park & Rec pools, but they all had Family Swim Time scheduled during my work hours. Double bummer!
I had been thinking about the Jewish Community Center (JCC) lately. They have a really good preschool and I heard that we might have a better chance to get in if we were already members (among other criteria). I hopped online to check out their facilities and found that they have Family Swim Time seven days a week! They also have a good gym for Mitch and me, as well as parking, child care, art classes for adults and kids and so much more! All of these great features were enticing. To top it all off, the family membership cost the same as my individual membership at Sports Club LA.
We signed up on the spot. I had a feeling we might, so I came prepared–I packed a bag with all of our swim gear. We took Izzy for her first swim right then and there. (Well, after we stopped at the cafe for a snack of bagel/cream cheese, hard boiled egg and juice.)
They have family changing rooms so we can all go in one room at the same time. It was a little awkward because I didn’t want to set Izzy on the damp ground, but we managed. (It will be easier in a few months when she’s walking.) we got suited up and headed to the family pool.
The pool is a nice size, and the temperature seems to be kept at around 85, maybe even 90 degrees. It is also littered with toys for a variety of age groups.
I thought Izzy might be overwhelmed by the size of the pool, but it wasn’t a problem. She squealed with delight when we stepped down into the pool and began splashing right away. We had so much fun swishing her around and passing her back and forth. We handed her toys to play with and she immediately put them in her mouth. (I’m assuming the chlorine killed any germs.) At one point we got a ball to play with. I pushed it towards her, and she pushed it back at me.
There were clusters of parents and children playing and splashing through out the pool. We exchanged pleasantries with a few people, but didn’t go much beyond that. It was really all about interacting with your kid(s) and the family time. You could see the joy on everyone’s face and feel the love between each parent/child set. It was a very moving experience.
After about a half hour of playing, we decided to get out. As we walked from the “deep” end to the shallow end, Izzy reached out and grabbed every floating toy we walked by. She looked so proud of herself hugging all of her new found prizes.
I’m so happy we joined the JCC. After hanging out that first day, Mitch remembered how much fun he used to have at the JCC when he was a kid. I’m happy that we’ll be able to expose Izzy to her cultural heritage during these visits as well as activities and other kids. I’m really looking forward working out again, playing with Izzy and Mitch in the pool every Saturday, meeting other members, and building a new community for ourselves.
For years, I used to tell Mitch that I wanted to take a comic drawing class so I could learn how to write/draw the stories in my head. The SF JCC used to teach such a class, but I never got around to it. I still have a couple of story lines that I would like to build out.
The first concept was developed when Joey was still alive called “The Adventures of Walnut and Pea Brain,” and was all about the antics of Joey and Murky. I came up with Walnut for Joey because I heard that is the size of a kitty brain. Murky got Pea Brain because she was still quite young and I figured her brain was the size of a pea.
The other story in the works is “Freddie and Dominique: An Unrequited Love Story.” Freddie and Dominique* are a couple of sea gulls that perch on the building across the street from our apartment building. We recently acquainted ourselves with these delightful birds when we moved in to our new apartment. Freddie is a tough old, one-legged bird, and Dominique is a lovely slender, feminine gal. We’ve been telling each other stories about these birds since we met them. Like how Freddie lost his leg in a fishing accident or how Dominique keeps getting delayed on her way to the roof top and never gets a chance to meet up with Freddie who leaves before she arrives. They are soul mates who never had a chance at true love.
Perched on the other end of Freddie and Dominique’s building is a flock of pigeons. Tons of them. They never mingle on the Sea Gull side of the building–they self-segregate. I wish I knew why–perhaps the reason will reveal itself as I develop the story. We haven’t named any of the pigeons (yet), but they play an important roll of the story of Freddie and Dominique. The story line will be much like a Greek tragedy where there is a speaker (Freddie or Dominique) and a chorus (the pigeons).
Well, I won’t be getting around to take a drawing class any time soon, but I have something that is even better at my finger tips! My wonderful husband gifted the most awesomely thoughtful presents this Christmas, one of which is Comic Life that allows me to create comic strips using my photographs. The software is really simple to use, and I don’t have an excuse to keep me from developing my stories (besides a new baby and a full time job and a husband and family and friends and grocery shopping and a dirty toilet).
I finally sat down tonight and played around with the software. Here’s an idea of what the cover of “The Adventures of Walnut and Pea Brain” might look like. I still need to refine a bit and get comfortable with the editing tools.
I also want to start studying comic book covers so I can get a better feel for layout, but I’m pretty happy with this first draft. I’m looking forward to seeing how far I can go with Walnut and Pea Brain, but I will most likely need to develop a spin off since Joey died and we now have Kirby. It may be entitled “Kirbles of the Wirbles” and feature regular appearances by Murkfatistan.
*We really shouldn’t have named these Sea Gulls because now we are totally attached to them. After we moved in, we didn’t see Freddie for about a week and we were just devastated. Seriously, I’m mean it. We talked about him every day. When I came home from work, I would ask Mitch if Freddie came by. One day he reappeared, and we were just elated. We photograph him often. If he ever disappears completely, we are going to wonder what happened to that tough old bird for the rest of our natural born days.
Izzy spent her first Christmas with us at my parents house in Auburn. I think she had a fabulous time as Grandpa DeeDee and Grandma Judy were fawning over her.
She had fun hanging out and playing with a few toys that we brought with us.
The cat was always nearby during mealtime. Obviously that cat never misses a meal time, whether it is hers or someone else’s.
On Christmas Eve, we dressed Izzy in the adorable outfit Neighbor Shelly’s mom bought for her.
Shortly after this photograph was taken, Izzy took a nose dive and landed head first on the tile. She started to swell and get a large bruise immediately.
Being new parents, we weren’t quite sure what to do. First, I picked her up and consoled her. Then I put some ice on her head. I shined a light into her pupils, and they seemed fine. We questioned whether we should take her to emergency. We decided to go. We didn’t want to take a chance the we ruined her brains. We got bundled up and loaded up in the car.
On the way up to Auburn Faith Hospital, we continued to debate about whether we should go to the emergency room. On one hand, we knew they would tell us to take her home, keep her comfortable and put ice on it. On the other hand, we’re not medical professionals and maybe, just maybe she had a concussion.
We stopped at Radio Shack and continued our debate. After buying some batteries and a soldering gun, we decided to take her to emergency.
I received a phone call about the time that I pulled in to the parking lot of what I thought was the hospital. It was my friend, Deanna, a mother of two and well versed in the bonking of noggins. I told her what happened. She said she hadn’t taken her kids to emergency for bumped heads and offered to loan us some of her Traumeel.
While on the phone, I noticed a police officer type looking person coming to the door and looking out at us over and over. I thought it was strange. What’s he so concerned about, I’m thinking. Mind your own beeswax, Mr. Nosey. As I started up the car and backed up to drive home, I realized we were in the Child Protective Services parking lot. Oops! Can you Freudian slip while driving?
So, Traumeel is amazing stuff. I smeared some on Izzy’s head when we got home, and the bump was nearly gone within an hour. By the next morning, there was a very faint tiny yellow spot that indicated she might have had a bruise at some point.
Whew. We didn’t break the baby.
On Christmas morning, we donned our matching pajamas.
Every year we say we’re going to do less on Christmas, and each year we seem to do more. The presents look like they’re stacked half as high as the tree! A few present highlights…I got an Apple TV. It is totally awesome. My dad got a Lowes Gift Card since he loves to get home supplies and putter around the house and yard. Mitch got a variety of things that blink, flash, beep and fly. My mom got a robot chicken that she needs to love so he stays alive.
Izzy wasn’t quite sure what to do with the presents at first, but it didn’t take her long to get in the spirit of ripping off the wrapping paper.
Next year, we are definitely going smaller. A lot of the things that Izzy got this year are for ages 6 mos to 3 years. I think we’ll just rewrap some of these things and give them to her again–she won’t know the difference.