Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Without the Wife, But Keeping Up the Game: No Rest Around He-ah

Mmmmm…okay: a bit of catch-up. Not ketchup. Or catsup. Both acceptable spellings, but not what I’m after—I need to catch up.

Labor day saw me awake with Liam at 4:00am, Angie too, but me not really sleeping again until about 10 minutes before Angie’s alarm went off on her phone…which didn’t need to be set…and was in the kitchen…and she didn’t hear. So I got up at 6:50. That’s fine, ‘cause I wasn’t really baggin’ the Zs anyway, so why fight it? I made some garden rounds solo-style, probably watered although I don’t much remember, then started water to boil for coffee and steel-cut oats.

~~I tried to find my favorite song off my favorite sleepy-time album, this Francis/Dreyer album, and it’s not on youtube. I didn’t know there was anything that wasn’t on youtube. Elena is the name of the song. Pete Francis and Craig Dreyer. Album: Everything Is One. It probably isn’t for everyone. Pete Francis was one of Dispatch. Craig Dreyer…I don’t know who he is, although he has done other things and he has this real rough voice and it’s almost hard to like, his voice, and maybe that’s why I like it. I really love that album.~~

I was pretty much out of the Mexican so I mixed it with a bit of a light-roasted Sumatran. I think it’s Sumatran. Whole Foods spoils me with their fresh-roasted coffees. Liam woke up but Angie stayed in bed and I drank my coffee and we both ate oatmeal, mine with brown sugar and his mixed with a bit of apple sauce and cinnamon, and Angie woke up as I was finishing my oats and I’d made enough for her so she ate some, too. I went out to the garden to get a bit more done. Then I did water. Now I remember. The first time was a bug check. The second time I watered.

Time was short, odd since it was Labor Day, but Angie had to leave town for work, which meant leaving home at 2:00, so we did another family run. It was about 3.5 miles: the Sutter-Landis loop. We finished that, and I can’t remember if it was before or after that, but I spent a bit more time in the garden playing Search and Destroy with the caterpillars. I had a generic picture a couple of days ago, which was my last post. Yesterday, though, I found the biggest one I’ve found yet. Most I’ve uncovered are about ¼- to ½-inch long, and they’re real thin, but this one: this one was about an inch long and 4 times as thick. This is what I’m dealing with, in close-up, at the end of some tweezers:

Gross, right? This is what it looked like after I SKISHED THAT FUCKER:

Therapy. (Also gross, I understand.)

So since Angie was leaving town, we decided to go out for lunch. Sometimes all you need is an excuse. My lunch filled me all up: PF Chang’s, crispy honey chicken, brown rice, garlic snap peas, and some New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which was all really good. STUFFED. Home. Not wanting Angie to leave.

~~Angie and I don’t spend much time apart, and never spend nights apart, and she’s gone for three nights. This puts me in full command of everything around the house, including those things I might not typically do, like putting Liam down for bed (which cuts into my blogging time, apparently), but I’m not scared. I take these things in stride. I just hate not having my best friend around. I miss my wife. And I know she misses our boy, and probably me a bit, too.~~

We just kinda doddled around the house after we got home from lunch. Liam would normally have been napping then, but he slept on the fairly short ride to Chang’s and then didn’t sleep again…for a while. Angie left. Liam and I hung out and played. Liam got sleepy. He crawled in my lap and went to sleep, and that was around 3:45—not good to have late naps if you’re hoping for a reasonable bedtime, but also: what can you do? Well, you can work. Or that’s what I did, ‘cause I have too much to do right now.

So I worked for about an hour, maybe a bit more, while Liam napped on the big bag. He started stirring just before 5:00 so I pushed it: I picked him up…I tried to feed him…I tried to keep him awake…I walked him outside…he started waking up more…so I loaded him in his stroller and pushed him toward the tots’ playground at Carmichael Park while chattin’ with my mom on the phone.

He got real excited when he saw the playground: feet kicking and squeals squealing, and I unstrapped him and let him run. I let my mom go so I wasn’t the guy on the phone not really paying attention to my kid (even though no one else was there) and Liam and I played. Slides. Climbing. Trying to jump. Running. Squealing (him more than me, honest). And then we walked out of there and I just pushed the stroller while he walked and we strolled through the park…and the ball diamonds…and over by the dog park, and he had a hard time walking away from the dog park.

Liam loves animals, and he loves dogs. This was no surprise, this struggle to walk away. He’d start to, then turn around and go back. We watched some kids ollying and trying kick-flips off a ledge, and even saw one kid land one, and then back to the dogs. We spent a couple of hours out there walking and such but it was getting time for Liam to eat and although I wasn’t really hungry, I put him back in the stroller and we went home.

Given my lack of hunger, I warmed some refried black beans for Liam, sprinkled cheese on, and let him go to town. It looked like this:

When he finished his beans we split a white peach. I’ll admit it wasn’t as sweet as they were last week, but it was still good and Liam was into it so we ate it, ‘cause he’s not always into it. And it’s a new thing for me to be into, but this is an advantage of having a kid: I make myself eat things I might normally avoid so I can set an example, and sometimes I like those things.

He was a tuckered boy, but we tried a video call with momma which didn’t work for reasons presently unknown, so we just had a chat over the cam/speakers with no video and it was good enough. We said our goodbyes and spent some time in the garden, spraying for the caterpillars. Spinosad. Maybe my order if off there. I’m not quite sure when the call happened, but it did.

I bathed with Liam, which NEVER happens. I never bathe—I shower. But I thought it’d be fun, and it was, and brushing his teeth by myself was not. He has a new tooth coming in, but that’s irrelevant.

Bedtime went pretty smoothly, me drinking wine and reading to him a bit, then rocking him off to sleep and leaving him to his dreams. I think I left him around 9:20, which means he’d probably been asleep since 9:05 or so, and then I spent a bit of time reading and fell asleep.

You get a double day today!

So Liam woke up at 3:15am and I spent about 20 minutes rocking him back to sleep, but when I stood to put him back in his crib his body went rigid (not a good sign) and he wasn’t going to sleep in his crib without a much greater time commitment on my part and I was sleepy so I took him to bed with me and we slept together, which was nice, really.

I’d hoped he’d wake me up kind early—not so. I woke up before him. In truth, I didn’t sleep great, but I woke up before him and tried to prompt him awake and we finally got up about 10 ‘til 7:00. First full day of full responsibility.

I started water to boil to feed Liam instant oats and ignored the garden. There’s only so much a person can do, you know? I set his dirty diapers out for the diaper service. I got all his things packed for daycare and my things packed for work. I slugged a Blue Machine and some water and we left and I dropped Liam at daycare. I was at work just after 8:00, which felt like some weird victory. I made myself my oatmeal: two packs of the instant oats and flax. I also made my mocha because I remembered to buy chocolate.

Then I worked. I got things done. It was a good morning. Nothing special. I ate almonds, a banana, and an apple. I left a bit late and picked up Liam and, as usual, he fell asleep on the way home. I got him in his crib, made myself a turkey sammich on double fiber bread with red-leaf lettuce, red onion, mustard, and swiss cheese, and sidled some pretzels up next to that. I washed it all down with water. I took a few minutes to play Search and Destroy, but only found one little fucker and killed it, accordingly. Maybe I found two. Maybe the spinosad is working. I dunno.

I worked a lot more. Liam napped a LONG time. I like to keep him to 3 hours max, so at 3 hours I turned up the music…stomped down the hall…talked loudly to the dogs outside his room…opened his door…touched his back…he didn’t flinch through any of that, so what could I do but wait? I went back to work. He slept a good 20 minutes more.

He woke up around 4:30 and I got him some milk and he snacked on a banana while I worked more. It got past 5:00 and I needed exercise so I pushed him in his stroller through the River Loop, in reverse for some scenic variety for him, and I have the Forerunner data but I haven’t uploaded it. I ran a bit over 3.5 miles with a 7:05/mile pace. It was 96 degrees. It felt good.

I took time to stop sweating and got to chat with Angie a bit, but I needed a shower and dinner needed to be made so I let Angie go ‘cause she had work things to do and I had home things to do. Don’t think I’m slacking just because I’m doing the single parent thing. Oh no.

I had a quick shower, then Liam and I went outside. I started charcoals for the grill, then sprayed some spinosad on some other plants I hadn’t gotten to yet. I pulled three ears of corn off the stalks, wrapped 3 small Yukon gold ‘taters in foil, and threw those things on the grill. We came inside and I did dishes and otherwise cleaned the kitchen. Well, I loaded the dishwasher and washed some things by hand and Liam played.

I smashed out a boneless skinless chicken breast, rubbed it in olive oil mixed with soy sauce, then sprinkled garlic granules, paprika, and ground pepper on it. I put that on the grill. I blackened it, essentially, but don't think that was all tough and overdone. It was perfect. All completed, dinner looked like this for the boy and I:

I don’t mess around, even if it IS just me and my toddler. And the corn made me feel like I really AM from Indiana. Especially that one big ear on my plate. 

Liam ate well. I ate well and ate what he didn’t eat, and I was surprised how much corn he’ll eat right off the cob. It’s cute, too, ‘cause he mimics me in that regard. I got him to eat it by eating mine. He was amused. He was least impressed by the baked potato. 

It’s getting late, but Liam had napped late so I figured he wouldn’t be tired all too early. We finished dinner after 8:00 and had watched an episode of Bob’s Burger’s we’d already seen. Liam doesn’t see much TV, but when he does, it’s quality. HA!

We did the dishes—Liam helped me unload the dishwasher and I loaded some more dirties in, and then I loaded his dirty self into the tub for a bath. I sat out this time. He had a good long bath and then a short, terrible tooth-brushing, and then the naked rumpus started and it was already after 9:00. Angie called and we spoke a bit but her reception was terrible at the top of the Mandalay Bay and that all ended too quickly. Liam peed all over one of his toys, and I cleaned that up. Things like this can be expected.

I got him diapered and dressed and he ran around a bit more, then we started settling him for the night. He was in his crib and I was reading him—SURPRISE!—Shel Silverstein. I was drinking wine. I have been. First it was a zin and now it’s Penfold’s shiraz-cab blend. I turned off the light, grabbed him up, and rocked him to sleep. Then I came out here and started typing this. It has been a full day. I’m sleepy. I hope Liam sleeps through the night, but I don’t expect it. I expect he’ll end up in my bed at some point in the wee hours of the morning, and I won’t complain too much, although I’ll probably try to get him to settle back in his crib first. I know that’s the ideal. I do.

I do.

So good night, my not-present wife. I sure do miss you. We sure do miss you. Our house is full with me and Liam and two dogs and two cats (who I fed and even took the time to clean the nasty litter box for [cats…cats…caterpillars…cats…cats…why cats?]), but it still feels empty. So I say good night to the emptiness and I’ll go try to stretch across the bed and enjoy the vacancy, but I’ll still end up on my side. There’s only so much space a body can take up, and I don’t sleep like starfish, all sprawled out. Angie…that’s a different story.

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