Thursday, August 05, 2004

Family frequency

There's been a lot going on lately that has kept me from posting with my former frequency. Work is keeping me busy (which I actually prefer) and home is even busier.

Misty's mom had her second chemo treatment this week. She still seems to be doing fairly well, though her hair is dropping rapidly. She's been staying with us for about a month now, and she goes back and forth between being a welcome helping hand and a major source of frustration. On one hand, she's able to watch Emily for us while we're at work — this can get us a half-price rate for daycare if Emily stays home a whole week. She helps cook dinner, washes the dishes, and does a fair amount of work keeping the house in order. On the other hand, having a long-term houseguest is incredibly stressful — no matter how much help they lend with chores. Misty and I never have the house to ourselves, and it's rare to even have a private conversation. I'm not talking about sex, here. In fact, there's nothing specific that Misty and I need time alone for. We just miss time alone together. There's a sense of always having to include a third party no matter what we're doing.

It's hard to complain because Misty's mom needs our help. She needs to be driven to the doctor for chemo and numerous other procedures and checkups. However, as such, Misty and I have to give up most of our weekends and a few vacation days, too. So after we've conceded our time and our privacy, it really pisses us off when she tells us she doesn't want to bother with taking her ear medicine. Or when she sits on the back porch smoking a pack a day. Or when she tries to convince me to keep portions of the doctor's comments from Misty. Or when she needs us to drive her over to her apartment (45 minutes away) to check her mail but won't let us come inside to use the bathroom. Or when she makes one suggestion after another as to why Emily might be crying... It gets to the point where every little thing is annoying, even when it shouldn't be.

We're still looking for an apartment for her. There's a place across the street from Emily's daycare that's perfect, actually — low rent, water and cable included, close proximity to us, good base of employment opportunities nearby — but there's nothing available right now. We're trying to decide how long we want to wait for an opening before we move on to another complex. There are a few other potentials, but they're significantly more expensive. The place we're hoping for has low enough rent so that Misty's mom could afford to live without working.

Jeff, Emily (in new Jeep stoller), and Kim at Vulcan ParkIn other family news, my brother Jeff and his fianceé Kim came to visit last weekend. It was their first time to see Emily. Having heard her screams of colic over the phone, I think they were relieved to see that she's passed that stage (and therefore, won't be screeching through their wedding). They brought Emily a Jeep stroller which is super cool. We all went to Vulcan Park together where we enjoyed seeing the Iron Man's giant, naked ass. I'd actually never been there before.

A couple weeks earlier, my parents and my Aunt Linda visited. I was very glad to get to see Linda since she won't be able to make it to Jeff's wedding this fall. For a year I've been promising my family that Misty and I will fly up to New England to visit, but life has continually gotten in the way of such plans. I'm looking forward to October when we'll all be in Denver together and our daughter can steal the spotlight from her aunt and uncle.

Emily loves her new ExerSaucer

Emily has discovered lots of new noises and has been chattering constantly. Every once in a while she'll even laugh, but it's tough to get her to do it. Last night, though, she let out a giggle that lasted for several seconds. Misty and I were, of course, thrilled. Emily still tends to get fussy each night while we're trying to eat dinner, but it's nothing compared to colic. As horrible as that experience was, at least we can say that it broke us in as parents. Now when Emily cries, it's as if it's no trouble at all. Other parents tell us, "oh, just wait until she's crawling and getting into things — then you'll have your hands full," but we aren't worried. I don't want to discount their advice — I'm sure teething and crawling and the terrible twos will be a big pain — but there is no way anything will be as bad as colic. We will always be able to fall back on that reassurance.

No comments: