Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What I Wish for Henry

Henry is close to turning a year old, and a year ago I couldn't have imagined how he would change my life Lately, I have occasionally lamented that the C-section Henry's birth turned into started my worst medical year. Two additional surgeries followed it, as well as two more Emergency Room visits and a lot of time at the dentist. However, I would take the pain and fear over not having Henry.

But now it's time to look ahead. There are many things I want for Henry over the next year of his life.

At the top of the list is his continued good health. We have been blessed in that he only had one cold and a few minor teething aches and pains this last year. However, while I wish it for him, I do not expect it to work, because hopefully, he will begin daycare. Those places are notorious for passing around colds, flu, pink eye, and all sorts of other diseases that are not very fun to have.

The second hope for Henry I have is that he learns to swim. We wanted to start him on infant swimming this summer, but I could not fit it in. Hopefully next summer we can begin water survival training for babies. We did get him into a pool this summer and he enjoyed it every time. The same is still true of baths. He tries to climb into the bathtub while I am doing laundry. The main floor laundry room is also the main floor bathroom.

The third hope I have is that he would get some friends who are about his age. Daycare would surely help this happen, and hopefully, we could make play dates. However, ideally, I would love for him to meet his cousins. These are second cousins, some with removes, but two are only a couple months older than him, and one is a year older them that, of the first two, one even lives relatively close to us.

My final hope is that rather than band aids the world's problems begin to heal. This one I doubt so heavily that even the wish of "Don't fall anymore apart" seems like a glimmer of a pipe dream.

We shall see what comes to pass.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Review: Home from Nowhere

Home from Nowhere by James Howard Kunstler is a non-fiction book that I picked up to read through for some ideas about building communities for my role playing games and novel writing.

There is a lot of good stuff at the beginning of the book. He explains why urban sprawl feels off even if we try to believe that we think it's beautiful. He also explains how things should be put together. He refers to pre-World War II city planning and zoning rules a lot.

There is one chapter of the book that didn't seem to fit with the rest of the book. Kunstler has a section about small farming, in which he follows a farmer through a summer of growing and how it's different from the current ways of farming. It almost feels like this should be the jumping off point for another book about the evils of Corporate agriculture and what good farming looks like.

I did like reading about some of the attempts to return to the more traditional designs that would revitalize downtowns. However, they were by people that were in positions to push for and ask for the type of development they wanted. This position was either with money, in a development firm, or in the government. It did not talk about what the average citizen could or should do to help create these changes in their community. In fact, it more often looked like mobs of the ordinary citizens were blocking the better styles of development.

He also didn't talk about how we could start moving toward the type of city-planning that would build communities. The biggest point, that he repeatedly touted was about throwing out zoning plans that exist in most towns and adopting TND (Traditional Neighborhood Development) programs. He did provide access for examples of real TND projects if you went looking for them.

That's a single large step, rather than a bunch of smaller ones. So that is where Kunstler failed to share what I wanted to know. Obviously, every community would take different paths to get to their TND, but there would be some common steps that thriving communities take to get there.

A good book, with some good information, Return from Nowhere is a great starter book. It just doesn't go far enough, but it does provide resources for people who wish to delve deeper. I hope that a sequel appears that does give the individual steps.

It did give me some ideas for some essays to write. For one thing, I can think of a couple of steps that communities can work on. That's an essay in itself right there and should appear sometime soon. There's also how TND development can be utilized to create science fiction societies or fantasy cultures. That's another essay, perhaps two in and of itself right there.

It will be going on my bibliography for my current NaNoWriMo novel.

What books on neighborhood design would you recommend?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Tooth Update

This week I had two separate visits to the dentist, and I have one coming up next week. This week I had my last two fillings filled, one on the bottom right and one on the bottom left. My whole lower jaw was numb. They went quick and smooth. However, I had not been cleared to have the gas, so I was on valium for this procedure. Over the past few months I've been to the dentist several times. Once I had the gas. Twice I took valium. I prefer the gas.

Two days later, I had the first half of my cleaning. They cleaned the right half of my teeth. They numbed me up on that side of my mouth and went to work. That little water thing is high-pitched and whiny. The dental hygienist did have to put an extra needle or two into me. She used more anesthetic, because it went from pressure to pain at one point. But I didn't have to suffer through it on valium. I don't think that I would have been able to get through it with just the pill. My neurologist cleared me for the gas, so I used that.

After my cleaning, my teeth felt better. I wish hey had done the left half at the same time as the right. Then I'd be doing even better than now.

I have had a root canal and one filling, wisdom teeth extraction, four more fillings, and a cleaning. After next week I'll finally finish getting my mouth back to a healthy place. I've learned my lesson. Brushing and flossing are necessary. The other thing is that I am looking for dental insurance for the four of us. I'd rather have the insurance and be able to get the basics done when they should be. It is far more cost effective than leaving it until I have to go back and back and back again.

I'll keep you updated on what's going on with that, but other things are coming up as well. I have a WIC appointment and my final tooth appointment this week. I'll post about that later. I'm also looking into going back to school to get my teaching certificate; I'll keep you updated on that.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Henry's New Schedule

Henry finishing his breakfast bottle
Since Henry's One Year Well Baby appointment is coming up, I have to write out his schedule so that if the doctor asks about sleeping amounts or times, or eating amounts or times I can offer her the answers easily. I thought I'd share it since I have to write it out anyway.

8:30am - Wake up at or before this time. We get dressed in day time clothes and go down to breakfast. Henry inhales an 8 ounce bottle and often eats a few ounces of cereal or fruit. I usually stop him at 12 ounces if he doesn't tell me he is full.

After breakfast we play together for a bit, and then he goes into his walker or his play pen while I do some work.

10:30am to 11:00am - Nap time starts. I change his diaper and put him down when he begins to get fussy and sleepy.

12:00pm to 1:30pm - He usually wakes up on his own after one and a half or two hours. I let him play for a few minutes in his crib before going to get him. If he isn't up after three hours I go to wake him up and usually find him playing so quietly it isn't setting off the monitor.

For lunch he has another eight ounce bottle. In addition he has a four ounce package of baby food. If he didn't have fruits earlier he gets those now. If he did have some fruit with breakfast then he gets vegetables. Sometimes he drinks some of his bottle while eating his food, and some days he doesn't even finish his bottle now.

3:00pm to 4:00pm - He is usually awake for a little bit less time for this wake up period, and wants to go to sleep about now. I put him down again for another one to two hours. He rarely sleeps all the way to three hours when I would go to get him.

5:00pm - 6:00pm - This is his dinner time. He eats a full solid meal. He gets a five ounce baby meal and a fruit or a vegetable. I try to balance it out. If he didn't finish his milk earlier he is offered the milk again, and usually finishes it. If he has finished it, then he gets offered some water in a sippy cup. Afterward he is given one baby cookie for the day.

He usually plays through until bedtime.

7:00pm - I try to offer him another bottle. This is especially true if he starts to get fussy. He usually drinks it down very quickly, but often leaves an ounce or so in the bottle.

7:30pm - We start the bedtime routine. We watch two sections of baby signs, and do them together. We say the words and do the signs, and use the words in sentences. Then we watch one story of Rugrats, which is about ten minutes, and he usually plays through the episode.

8:30pm - By this time he is usually in bed for the night. He generally sleeps through the night. However, lately he has been waking up once a night. I resettle him and he sleeps through until 8 or 8:30 the next morning.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Saturday's Feast

Saturday was Winter Nights, and we had a first fit for the holiday. Even Granny made something for the meal. We had a bottle of mead that we opened for the occasion, none of these who tried it thought it tasted that good. The apple cider was a whole lot better. It had more flavor than the mead.

We had a beef roast. For once the roast held together enough that we had to slice it. I cooked it with some of the tomatoes from Granny's garden, as well as tomato sauce and mushrooms.

Robert made his Scandinavian Peas. This dish is always delicious. This time, he made them from half frozen and half canned peas. Will made stuffing; simple, but tasty. Granny's contributed deviled eggs. For dessert I made brownies.

Henry tried a little bit of everything. He loved the peas and carrots, but the stuffing and the meat baffled him He adored the egg. It created a huge mess, but most of it did go into his mouth.

The next feast day will be Thanksgiving. That will be delicious as well. I hope I have a chance to print.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Very Full Football

Robert made both the Junior Varsity and the Varsity teams for football this year. This meant that he was going to two games a week. It wore him out, but he's only got one game left. Unfortunately, we cannot attend it because of distance.

The bad things about football this year were two fold. Even though he made the roster for varsity football, he didn't get to play in any game until the one Friday night. Secondly, because of all my health issues we were not able to attend many of the games. Plus, as the weather got cold we missed some because Henry wasn't ready to be out in the cold yet.

However, I do have some pictures of the games. This is one of the few pictures I got of his varsity game. He is number 28. Yes, he is in the picture in blue.

For more pictures, mostly of JV games, please see the whole Football 2016 album.

Please don't ask about their record, just be happy that Robert enjoyed playing.

One more year of football pictures next year. Hopefully, we'll have a better time of getting pictures.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Henry's Wishlist

Henry's birthday is coming up. There are several things that Will and I have put on his wish list, or even that he has put there himself by looking at them repeatedly in the stores.

Bath toys are at the top of the list. He only has a single rubber ducky, a Viking one.* He's too young for the stick to the wall toys. The lowest age I've seen on those is 2 years old. However, I would love some stacking toys for the bath and some more animals or ducks to play with in the bath. The floating octopus says that it is for eighteen months and over, but he would be supervised. If he is too young for it, we will hold it until he does hit an appropriate level for it.

He is also at the stage where he can hang on and walk around, but he would love to be able to take off. He's just not quite confident of himself yet. So a push walker would help him feel more confident, and let us eventually get rid of the sit-and-stand walker we have now. If winter was not setting in, then I'd want to get him something like a convertible trike. If he had a little more language skills and was a slightly stronger walker then I'd think about getting him a shopping cart to push around at the grocery store. However, those often list as 2 years and up.

He also really likes books. One of the ones that I really like is Day Dreamers by Emily Winfield Martin. He's not ready for fancy books, even the ones with flaps get torn up. However, board books and soft books are great fun for him. Halloween books, dinosaurs, and robots seem to draw his attention right now.

Of course, Henry also needs some new toy-toys to play with as well. Lego Duplos are still a little bit old for him. I remember some of the doors and windows have small chokable pieces. My First Builders would be good though. He could start learning to put things together instead of just taking them apart. The Fisher Price Little People sets are, in my opinion, better than the VTech Go! Go! sets for two reasons. The first is the price, and the second is the batteries required.

We will be having his birthday party at the end of the month, and I'll share what we got for him then.

*Will received it for working at an SCA event in the Stronghold of Hellsgate. Thank you, again, to that unknown helpful soul. It is one of Henry's favorite toys.