Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Birthday month

My friend Megan sent a birthday message a few weeks ago and commented that I "look generally unplagued by the more pedestrian parental miseries". I guess that's because when in such a state, I'm not prone to take photos of myself nor blog much about it. Let me amend that practice right now. Valen started teething again the first of the month. Her molars are coming in and have been for 4 weeks now. What does this mean? It means she chews her fingers and anything else she can get her hands on during the day and has what Babycenter.com politely refers to as "wakeful irritability" at night. She wakes up two to three times a night and has for nearly a month, every night. Every night. Sometimes she just needs to be held and rocked. Sometimes she'll go back to sleep with a bottle. It's like having a newborn again and I am deep in the abyss of severe sleep deprivation. I'm cross and downright vile in the morning. (The photo is of my great great great grandmother Sarah Anne McNanny - we bear a striking resemblance pre-caffine jolt) Hugh and I have had some douzy exchanges on the occasion that there is no milk (my peeve) or sugar (his) for the coffee. I know it can't last forever but today all I see is a blur of fatigue. Other delightful teething related miseries include daily diarrhea explosions and earaches....yea!

Valen's molar debut also coincided with a significant ramp up in my teaching schedule. I started teaching 8 classes a week (two group and six private lessons) and now know first hand what it feels like to be a busy harried sleep deprived commuting working mom. I love the yoga but miss my baby and no longer find public transportation a quaint opportunity to peoplewatch. September I'll reduce my schedule back to 4 or 5 classes a week.

My birthday came and went with little fanfare. Another August 12th - this time I'm yikes 37 and I honest to god wanted a nap - just one long nap as my gift (I didn't get it - but I'll start Indian cooking lessons next month). I did manage a dinner out with girlfriends Judith and Gaby who are living la vida loca. Judith just got back from a month long trip to Europe where she had several affairs including a threesome. Gaby is dating three different younger men right now and in no rush to settle down. I started nodding off at the table around 11:30pm - frightfully early for this town. Talk about pedestrian....

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dia de los Ninos

Today was Dia de los Ninos - an Argentine invented holiday almost as important (for kids) as their birthdays or Christmas. It's a gift giving occasion so we made like good Portenos and headed to "Cebra" aka ToyrUS yesterday to pick out a gift for our little one. We came home with this car like thingy that Valen can sit in and eventually mosey around the house.

Our friends Carolina/Pablo/baby Isabela and their mother Ana invited us to a special lunch at their apartment. It was hectic with both babies crawling around, fighting over who gets to hold the old Kleenex box and screeching while us adults attempted to converse and eat a delicious meal of Peceto a la Crema (sliced steak in cream sauce), french fries, homemade bread and flan for dessert. It was not a light meal but it hit the spot. After a quick hour and a half, we raced home to put Valen down for her nap. When she woke up we got the mate, thermos and Utta and went across the street to the park to join thousands of other families watch the sun set.

Monday, August 3, 2009

She stands

Within a few days of crawling, she started pulling herself up to standing. She spends most of the day now zooming from one low piece of furniture to the next doing baby squats and developing her bi and triceps. Even bathtime has become just another opportunity to stand and try to climb around.

Our friend Rodrigo has two boys - Alvaro and Estanislau (very traditional Argentine names). Alvaro is 3 1/2 years old and "gifted". He is a voracious reader (especially when something is upside down!) and insists on adult explanations when told "no". To the passerby, he's a novelty and a delight. To his parents, he's a handful and they are already stressed about how to raise him and "cultivate his potential". The experts they've talked to want to put him into 2nd grade already. As for Valen, I am thrilled she is just a normal 9 month old. That I can look in my What to Expect The First Year book and generally see what's coming or what she's already up to.

Utta and the big C

Like an attentive mamma gorilla, Hugh constantly inspects Utta, noticing a rash on the belly, a flea behind her ear, grime under the fold of her nose flap. A few months ago his investigations unearthed a marble like growth on the inside of her cheek. The vet said to keep an eye on it and let her know if it increased in size. Well, it did and another marble appeared on her right leg. About three weeks ago they told us it might be cancer and that she needed to have the both removed. Hugh took her on a myriad of vet visits, consulted with the bulldogger community back in SF and interviewed anesthesiologists. Apparently the protocol for delivering anesthesia to bulldogs has changed (in the US) and Argentina had yet to catch up.

Today at 1:30pm she went under and thank god came back to us. She is resting albeit uncomfortably with a plastic cone around her neck to keep the cheek stitches intact. There is a bandage around her leg but she can walk on it slowly. The surgeon said it went well and they got all the cancer. We can breathe again.