Friday, December 31, 2010

Morning light

I woke up this morning to light in my bedroom. As in sunshine. Outside the windows. And although I’m well aware that the sun will, indeed, come out tomorrow, I don’t usually have the opportunity to awaken to it. My Nate, you see, is an early riser. We’re fortunate these days that we’re more often than not seeing a six on the clock instead of a five (or a four!) when we first hear him through the monitor, but he still likes to throw in an extra-early rising now and again, just to keep us on our toes.

But back to this morning. The sun. It was disorienting, and I had a brief and shining moment during which I thought that Nate was still asleep. I often wake before him at 5:45 or 6:00, and then spend a few minutes trying desperately to get myself back to sleep before I hear his little voice. But awakening before the baby when winter sun is already peeking through the window blinds? That, my friends, is something I could handle.

I turned my head toward my nightstand, where David plugs in the baby monitor when he goes to bed, after I’m already asleep. Usually, it’s bright with tiny lights—the power indicator, plus all of the various “noise indicator lights,” which are perpetually lit on Nate’s monitor from the white noise we run in his room. Today, though, it was all dark. Off. As in, not on. As in, holy heck, my kid could be in there crying right now, and could have been crying for an hour, and I wouldn’t hear him over the white noise running in my own room.

[Sidebar: When Nate was first born, we undertook an experiment in discontinuing the white noise in our bedroom so that we could just hear him from his room and not through the baby monitor. The experiment was an epic failure of sleeplessness (on my part), culminating in advice from another mother that, if your husband is a snorer, just use the dang monitor and run the white noise already.]

I threw a little prayer heavenward as I reached for the power button, holding onto the tiniest glimmer of hope that my earlybird would still be asleep at 7:15 a.m. Alas, it wasn’t to be. His image brightened the screen and I saw him pacing the crib in his fleece sleep sack.

[Have you ever seen a toddler walk in a sleep sack? I mean, one without the foot holes? It’s actually pretty cute and hilarious.]

He wasn’t crying, though, and his face wasn’t puffy or tear-stained when I picked him up. I don’t know whether he had been awake for five minutes or forty-five, although I suspect it wasn’t for too long, as he does tend to get agitated after a little while if no one comes to free him from his crib.

He’s been playing happily since we came downstairs, and now he’s scarfing down apple tea bread like breakfast is his job. I’m still a little freaked out by what-ifs, but clearly he’s no worse for the wear.

I suppose I’ll just be grateful for a good night’s sleep. But I’m still going to ask David about the monitor when he gets up.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I know I should stop him, but it's just too cute

Is there anything you let your child do because you find it adorable, even though you know you'll probably regret it later?

We have these beautiful curtains in our great room. I can't take credit for them, except insofar as I thought to include them in our purchase contract for the house. The previous owner had them made, and I loved them when we looked at the house.

An almost identical set of custom-made curtains was actually included in the October issue of Better Homes & Gardens--what a surprise to see a feature on another house in Alexandria with the same drapes in a different color! Same fabric type, same style, same trim; boy was the previous owner annoyed when I showed her the article. I think she had picked out the trim herself, and then her decorator had gone and used it for another client.

I didn't try telling her that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I know how much that adage annoyed me as a kid when my younger sister would copy me.

But today Nate has decided that he loves hiding in the curtains. I feel like I should get him to stop, lest he someday ruin them with sticky hands or a too-enthusiastic tug. I just can't right now, though, because it might be one of the cutest things I've ever seen. So for today, at least, I'm letting him have his fun.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

1. I was in the car last night when the radio DJ told what she apparently thought was a hilarious story about her grandchildren being terrified to get in Santa's lap. Then, a few songs later, I heard a commercial announcing that the same station was holding a contest for the funniest photo of listeners' children scared or crying during a visit with Santa. My immediate reaction was: How is this funny? Kids are scared of a lot of things that we know there's no reason to fear, but that doesn't mean their fear is less real. Seriously, if your child is scared of Santa, why in heaven's name would you force him to sit on Santa's lap, anyway? I just fail to see how this is funny. Am I crazy?

2. I found a charming book for Nate the other day that I couldn't resist. It's a pretty hardcover book with a short story (one page per day) for every day from December first through Christmas. I know he's too young for it this year (although that didn't stop me from trying to read him the first story on Wednesday), but I thought it would be a nice Advent tradition in the coming years. It's something short and simple, and seemed like a nice thing to add to the advent wreath and calendar.

3. My old Yahoo e-mail account got hacked yesterday, which sucks. And somehow the hacking spread to my gmail account, which shut down. Even though I was able to get the gmail account restored, all of my contacts have been erased. It's infuriating.

4. I think we've settled on Nate's Christmas presents. He already has a lot of toys, and he's likely to get more from our parents and siblings for Christmas. (Which I'm in favor of! I think I enjoy his toys as much as he does.) We wanted to get him something "big," but not a big toy, so we've decided to get him one nice toy, plus an Anywhere Chair and a child-sized wooden table and chairs. I think it would be nice as he gets big enough to color and do little projects for him to have his own, small table and chair. For his Saint Nicholas Day present, I got him two sets of these egg-shaped shakers. He loves them in music class, and I can't wait for him to see them on Monday.

5. I got two pots of paperwhites this week for my kitchen windowsill. I've always wanted to force paperwhites during the holidays, but I always think about it too late. But I happened to see them already forced and in pots at Whole Foods on Wednesday, so now I can enjoy them all month! (Incidentally, when I told Arwen that I'd bought paperwhites, she thought I'd said "diaper wipes" and didn't understand what all the fuss was about.)

6. Poor David (and his dad) tried to install magnetic cabinet locks last weekend, and they didn't work. It's a total bummer, because I've been making do with rubber bands on the cabinet handles for months. The cabinet below the TV--where we keep the modem, wireless router, and printer--doesn't even have handles, so I've had to shove a chair against it. (Nate can move the chair, by the way, so it's only a semi-successful deterrent.) I don't know whether the wood is too dense, or whether one of the locks was a dud, but I'm afraid to try to install them if we're not confident they're going to open when we need them to open. So I guess we're going with these simpler ones instead. I'm pretty sure Nate will figure out how to open them eventually, though.

7. I'm looking for a good book to read. I had been reading Endurance, about Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated expedition to cross Antarctica, but I've gotten a bit bogged down. I mean, it's amazing that they all survived and everything, but reading about them eating blubber and having to kill the dogs (sad!) is getting old. I've heard great things about The Help. Any other recommendations?

More quick takes at Conversion Diary.