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There feels so much to do in a short time. I've somehow pushed things that I should have done 6 months ago into this week. Those things and everything else. Feels a bit stressful but I've done it to myself. :-/ However that fact doesn't make it suck any less.
I've just got to stop stressing and be awesome. That's what I usually do. True story.
I'm really happy that we're both home looking after our daughter. The word "lucky" doesn't seem to describe the opportunity that we have. If I was working it wouldn't be "bad", but it would different. Now I can see Alice in a good mood (usually later mornings) rather than just coming home during the "witching hour" where nothing makes her happy. Aside: how is the witching hour is from 4pm to 9pm?
Is every day a good day? Of course not. It wasn't before we had a baby either. But the days are pretty awesome. I now know exactly what I'd do if we ever won the lottery. In a way I feel that we already have. (yes, I realize that last part was incredibly cheesy)
It's surreal to know when someone is going to die. This is not something that I've experienced before. A relative of Laura's in Holland where apparently they have euthanasia is going to die tomorrow surrounded my loving family.
In my experience people avoid saying final goodbyes. I have. It's difficult to do and easy to make excused like "I'll go over next weekend". Quite often next weekend never comes and you're left saying your one sided goodbye at the funeral. It's hard to describe how much this sucks. Things that never get said aren't just unsaid, they remain with you as a wound that may scar up, but never disappear.
This death is not like that. This is where you can make sure you say goodbye. Where you can talk about all the awesome stuff you shared. Where you can send pictures today where you might not have gotten around to it until next month.
All things must end. We can all hope that our own end will be a good one, surrounded by love.
One of the (many) problems with learning how to be a parent using books is that the books offer conflicting advice. It's frustrating to say the least, but it also means that no matter what you do, you're doing it wrong (according to the books). I guess it's like religion in that way.
Parenting books seem to be of 2 classes: "woman" books (directed toward women) and "men" books. Woman books have titles like "what to expect when you're expecting" that are 4 inches thick and have advice that's either hippy-esque like "your body will know the path. Trust in that" or "___ is the ONLY way that you can do ____. Any deviation means you have failed as a parent". Men books have titles like "Be Prepared" (aside: that's a really good book) and are usually funny, short, to the point, and along the lines of "this is the problem you will see. Here are your options. Good luck." and helpful chapter titles like "The grossest chapter of this book".
Now, no matter what the books tell you, they may or may not actually work for your kid (based on my 7 weeks of fatherhood). They don't usually tell you that on the dust cover. And when you throw out all the other stuff that you have read and try to conform to the latest book (some of which may be working), that's not fun. It just adds to the stress which makes everybody crazy.
It's like having a scale. We borrowed one from a friend and were weighing Alice, often. This drives you mental. We were even talking to Laura's 90 year old grandmother and she said mention that she had one and it drive her mental. After over 65 years, she still remembers how crazy this made her.
One good thing about reading a bunch of parenting books: because everything that I do is wrong, then there's no way that I screw up worse. Yay for setting the bar at floor height. ;-)
It has been a while since I've used my 1st gen iPod nano. I was so excited to get it, and I think that Laura was so excited to get it for me. ;-) Nothing says special like a 25th birthday present. The laser inscription read:
When words leave off, music begins. - H. Heine
It felt like such an extravagant gift. I felt very spoiled to have such a cool toy. I think that this was the first ever product that I got the first generation. There were other iPods before, but this made me feel like an early adopter.
They recently announced a recall for this line due to a battery issue. We had the nano all ready to go for the babies room, but I guess it's a good idea to keep things that might overheat and explode away from the crib. It still feels weird to return the old, scratched product because I've got so many memories associated with it. I guess I'll just have to keep in mind that all electronic products will eventually stop being used.
Pretty soon we're going to do something that's either our awesomest idea, worst idea, or somewhere in the middle. We're taking our two month old child to Australia for a trip. I think that it's going to be one of our more, if not most, challenging trips ever. I think that we keep on alternating between "are we out of our minds??!?" and "I'm so EXCITED!".
We're trying to prepare as best as we can. We've been reading Travels with Baby and absorbing as much as we can. A Baby B'Air Flight Vest has been ordered on the chance that they'll actually let us use it in-flight. We even got (as far as I can tell) the last Naya Water Gear Baby PFD's in Canada. Not to mention the KidCo PeaPod. Let's not even talk about the stroller gear. Now we just have to find a tiny little backpack so that Alice can carry her own stuff. :-/
We've had some helpful people point out things like "the baby won't remember any of this" and "you're not doing this for the child". Well, yes and no. We'll be more sane (hopefully), so she'll have better adjusted parents to deal with. She'll be able to watch and fall asleep under the leaves of the trees, listen to the sea, and get more fresh air than we can provide at home in the winter. Are we doing this for experiences that she'll remember? Of course not.
Most of the travel posts are just "where have I been" posts, devoid of details and, for the most part, emotion. I've not even posted about our last trip. I thought that it's be good to document how I feel about this today because tomorrow or 4 months from now can be completely different. To quote Shelly Rivoli, the most important thing that I'm planning on packing for this trip is my sense of humour.
Hey Ryan: Happy 34th Birthday. I'm sad that you're not around to share a beer to celebrate this day.
Lots has happened since we last talked. More traveling for us of course, and recently our first child Alice was born. The world is pretty much how you left it: wars, love, conflict, some things are getting better, others are getting worse.
I miss our talks.
I think about you when ever some "Ryan music" comes on. You know, all that stuff like Death Cab For Cutie or Ambulance LTD or even the weird stuff like Spiral Beach. If you were still here I'm sure that you'd be finding more great music that won't make it to mainstream radio for another 5 years, if ever.
Do you still believe that I'm using beernut.ca ? I think that when you set me up on it, it was "just until I get my own domain". When I offered to move later, you always poo-pooed the idea. It's funny how some things that you think are short term become long term, and how others that you figure are long end up being far too short. The years that you are gone feel like stolen time. Like a robbery. It sucks, but that's... life.
I miss you buddy.
Since of September of 1999 I've used my MEC Adventurer Daypack for everything from school, hikes, traveling, photography, work, just about everything. When I say "traveling", I don't just mean using as a carry on and then checking into a resort. I mean hiking for days with it as my day bag in the Andes in Peru. I love this bag. And once upon a time the bag was red, too.
After many years of abuse, the rubber coating inside has flaked off and sticks to any cloth things that are put inside. It was time to look for a replacement. After much evaluation based on carry on size restrictions, comfort, size capability, shape of the bag, cost, etc, I eventually just bought another "adventurer daypack". Unfortunately it doesn't come in my preferred colours (red or blue), but that's an easy thing to overlook for such a great bag.
After over 12 years and more km than I can count, 'ol red doesn't owe me anything. I hope that it'll be able to enjoy a nice retirement at the back of the closet.
Well, we're done with twenty eleven. This year (and every year after...) is going to be dominated I think by Alice's achievements. Right now we're looking at things like "holding head up" and "shit blowout of all 3 holes of a diaper (legs and waist)". You know, the important milestones. Hopefully 2012 will include things like first steps and coming up with a grand unified theory - no pressure.
The idea that we are caring for a new person that depends totally on us seems surreal, but somehow natural. It doesn't feel too scary while we're "in it". It's only when I start to think about it that I freak out inside. Hopefully most people can't tell. It's reassuring that people have been able to raise kids since forever and not do too badly a job. It sets that bar nice and low.
Having said that, I'm aiming for the stars.