Monday, July 21, 2008

Quiet Now Please

It's a quiet night here at the Mathis house. Chris is at class. Anna is eating something she found in the corner. Ben is tearing around the house with his huge Tonka truck, pausing to come get a kiss for his owwies after he crashes too hard into something. Yes. Quiet.

This is my last week of employment. Bittersweet, but not as bitter as it was leaving the first time. I know what I'm getting into (and out of), and I have a full life without work. I have projects on the back burner (Val's quilt, painting the living room) that I haven't had a moment to work on much this summer. And time away from the kids is rarely happy.

My mother is okay. Thanks for asking. She meets with a couple more doctors in Madison on Wednesday, and we're all expecting a miracle. The surgeon up here was unable to reattach the muscle to her eye, but we have a positive outlook on it. Once this is fixed, we'll have so much to celebrate, because the blessing will be even sweeter because it will be a miracle in our lives.

Anna continues to struggle with daycare. I wish it were like it usually is, where babies scream and cry when the parent leaves, but minutes later is fine. She really did cry the whole afternoon... wouldn't eat, wouldn't sleep. Totally breaks my heart. She'll be there all Wednesday. Positive spin #2. Without my mother having an injury, we wouldn't have this opportunity to get Anna over her stranger anxiety. After Wednesday morning, I have no doubt that she will be cured, and will love playing with other kids even when Mama isn't there. The last time, she was marginally better than before. Though she wouldn't eat, she did sit in the exersaucer and watch the other kids.

This coming weekend, we'll be traveling to the UP of Michigan to visit with my dad's side of the family at a reunion at Twin Lakes Campground, the site of so many of my childhood memories. The rocky beach, the playground, the trees, the boat rides. I'm not looking forward to the hours in the car, but the rest will make it worth it.

Thursday morning, Chris and I are participating in a one-mile fun run at work. I will do it mainly for the possibility of prizes, but the exercise will be nice, and just to prove to myself (and others) that I can do stuff like this now.

I told Ben the other day that life wouldn't be such a struggle if he went potty on the toilet instead of in a diaper. Last night, he asked, in his way, to sit on the potty. So we sat there, and I blew bubbles in his face. This morning, I bought a smaller foam potty insert for him (Bob the Builder), and he's sat on it frequently today. Lord, give me patience to blow so many bubbles. He hasn't produced anything yet, but I'm glad he's interested in it finally. Maybe once I'm done working, we'll do a potty boot camp. I have no idea.

Anna's black eye has followed the usual course of black eyes. What had first presented as a bruise above her eye on her temple has traveled down her brow and now rests on her eyelid with some shadowing underneath her eye as well. I'm so impatient for it to go away. It's rather embarrassing, and it detracts from her sparkle and charm, though she's still the cutest baby I've ever seen.

Did I tell you the tree in the backyard is finally gone? During ChalkFest, Chris and a bunch of guys from work were here with a couple of chainsaws. They didn't hurt anybody, and the tree came down. Unfortunately, now we have a backyard full of brush and logs since they didn't have time to haul anything away to the local yard waste site. I'm hoping that will get taken care of this week. I saved some of the big chunks of trunk for Ben to use as an obstacle course and generally as things to climb on. I've seen shows on TV where they've put huge boulders in the backyard for that purpose, and it seemed like the natural thing to do.

Our little family went for a bike ride together last week. Chris mapped out a 5.5-mile route on the north side of town, and off we went. It was lovely and fine until we found some hills, some gradual (those are killer), some steep and kind of scary. At least now we know that we should drive the new routes first just in case. We had to walk up a couple of the hills, and we were drenched in sweat when we got home, but we were pleased with our accomplishment. We are a family of vim, vigor and vitality, and we are not couch potatoes. We do stuff like ride bikes in the evenings and walk to parks.

How is your week starting out?