Friday, March 23, 2007

Things Are Never As Bad or As Good As They Seem

I have been listening to Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination in the kitchen as of late and that is one of her rules for living. I have also been watching the series on The Supreme Court on PBS. I had felt my brain slowly turning to mush and decided that I would watch something-educational-damn-it. Lucky me, the series was just starting and I love constitutional law. If my life had gone completely differently I would have become a lawyer specializing on constitutional law. It is such a fabulous blend of abstraction and practicality, psychology, semantics, and history.

As I have watched, I am slowly gaining a perspective I have badly needed. In American history, the end often seems nigh, much more so than even now and we have always managed to muddle through. I have been gnashing my teeth over the current construct of the court and waited with baited breath to see which rights might be revoked; which hard won privileges might be lost. I have made assumptions about current Justices and where the country might be headed. As I watch, I have been awed by where assumption would have led me astray. The story of John Marshal Harlan has been quite inspiring. He was the son of prominent slave holders who came to become an ardent defender of civil rights. I imagine that Oliver Wendell Holmes would drive me to distraction, should he be on the current court, but in the court at the time of The New Deal he seems perfectly acceptable. FDR apparently got quite frustrated with the conservative court at the time and basically blackmailed them into allowing him to govern. This is somewhat concerning seeing as Bush had the same sort of support soon after the 9/11 attacks. Fortunately, he didn't use this to manipulate the court, even if other areas were unduly influenced. In short, it has shown example after example of how society continues to make forward progress in a slow, inexorable fashion, measured in decades and centuries rather than the months and years I would wish. There are setbacks, but also corrections. I apparently just need the patience to weather the storms of democracy and the gumption to spur action when I can.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Serenity Now!

I have developed a deep and abiding love for iSerenity. It's this lovely website that provides various white noise environments that you can stream on your computer. I'm torn between rain and bubbling brook as my favorite. They also have rather interesting choices like library lullaby or purring performance.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ode to Consumerism

So, we're really of the philosophy that less is more when it comes to toys, particularly at this stage in Charlie's life. On our 2 day out and 2 day back trek to my grandparent's house his very favorite, have to make it another 15 miles before we can stop, always smile toy was my empty Sprite bottle. However, I have noticed that Charlie's equipment needs are rather awe inspiring. He has begun to sit up which lead to a death defying fling from his carrier (thank God the only injury was a not too terribly bad black eye) Tuesday morning. After I finished my hysterical screaming fit and he was checked by the doctor, it was clear that we needed some big boy things so a shopping we went...

We got a dandy shopping cart cover, a high chair, and a Musical Motion Activity Center.

Also, note to my MIL, I agree that it is important not to overly sterilize a child's environment. Some germs are good. Please note that we live in a house with hardwood floors and 2 indoor dogs and I have approximately 30 minutes a week to devote to any sort of floor care or dusting (the child better start napping well enough to let me sweep when he starts crawling or I will be forced to put booties on the dogs). The dishes get done, we don't live in filth, our underwear is clean but pristine this house most definitely is not. However, when Charlie has thrush and I have pink eye (a picture of health, our family) I get rather anal. There are some germs that just don't need to be coddled.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

When Good Parents Go Bad

First, how much snot can one cute little nose make?

Second, it has become surprisingly clear that we live way more on the edge as parents than I had ever expected. About 3 weeks ago we decided to start trying to let Charlie sleep on his stomach. We were well aware of the SIDS risks but we also hadn't slept in 5 months. It seemed that finding some way to allow Charlie to get a healthy amount of sleep was increasingly important and we had tried EVERYTHING (save cry it out for a variety of reasons I don't want to go into). It also seemed that the likelyhood of Charlie suddenly managing a the depth of sleep required to cause a SIDS death was astoundingly faint. He has excellent head control and had already demonstrated a firm aversion to anything blocking his airway when he was cruelly attacked by a wayward blanket as a very wee infant when I brushed his cradle. Finally, if he didn't still need to be swaddled to sleep he could actually roll onto his tummy himself. Since we started this tummy sleep, his sleep has somewhat improved. He can now make it past the REM stage most of the time. He still often needs a bit of help to make it between 45 minute complete baby sleep cycles and vast amounts of butt patting are required to get him through the night but the rocker isn't needed very much. My husband and I are quite the rule followers. He thinks I'm living on the edge by driving 9 miles over the speed limit. We own all manner of anti-SIDS products- the breathable bumpers, the swaddle sacks, it's even why I am still supporting the use of a pacifier. I can't believe we finally went over to the tummy sleep side...