Saturday, January 29, 2011

California, the good and the bad

First the fun stuff.

Liam crawls so fast now! He pulls up to stand and today he even stood on his own for a few seconds. He is starting to learn how to cruise along. Using the couch, or the edge of the bathtub to hold him up as he figures out how to move his feet.

Seeing him sitting in the hallway at my grandma's house was fun. He was wiggling his toes and realizing that he had control of them!

We went down to CA for a few days early this week. It was fun to see my family and watch Liam interact with his Great Grandma Delight and his Great Aunt Jeannie.

We also took him to the beach for the first time. Until I saw him eat sand and sort of had the OH NO MY BABY IS GETTING DIRTY! moment. I am sure I will be more ok with dirty later on, just that first time was hard for me. 

Ugh... all bent over like that I look terrible!

But moving away from that....

We also went and saw some of my old highschool friends while we were there. It was so nice to see them all.

While driving to the airport to come home I got a call from my friend... One of my friends from highschool just had his little brother die in a drug use related accident the day before we left. He was using nitrous by putting a plastic bag over his head and he asphyxiated on the bag.
This really shook me up. I am sad for my friend and his family, and sad because the last time I talked to that little brother he was maybe 11 or 12. He was all full of smiles and just wanted to be included like any little brother.

I kept seeing him pop up on the suggested friends list on Facebook but I never thought he would remember me so I never even took the time to send him a Hello and a friend request. I wish I had. Apparently, despite his drug use, he was a pretty interesting guy as an adult. He was into the rave scene and did a lot of light show dancing to go with that. Only after his death did I take the time to look through the pictures on his profile and learn a little bit about him and that makes me sad. I wish I had taken the time before, taken the time to talk to him and learn who he was as an adult.

While part of me is sad for his loss of life, sad for his family and the roommate who found him.... I find that I am also angry with him. Angry that he would do something so stupid just to get high for a little bit. Angry at him for making his family have to plan his funeral and deal with the loss of their son, the loss of their brother.

And I wonder... how will I tell my son not to do drugs? Not to even do the things that seem harmless. I don't remember getting a drug talk from my mom and dad until I had already been exposed to them. Yea, I took some risks and did some dumb things. I shudder to think about them now, how stupid I was to risk my life for a few hours of feeling good. And I am not even talking about enjoying the vicodin I had after my ankle surgery, at least those were from a pharmacy and probably would not kill me as long as I didn't overdose on them and I never lied to get them, or stole, or bought them from someone else. I took them for pain and happened to enjoy the side effects. Which just tells me that I should be careful with those pills now. That it MIGHT become easy to use them when I needed a blur between me and the world. If I know that I MIGHT do that, I can at least watch out for those thoughts in my head.

Maybe I start when he is young. Tell him how dumb people look when they do drugs. Tell him how stupid it is. Tell him that only losers do drugs. All those messages you see in highschool, but I can start when he is 3, 4, 5 years old. I can teach him from the beginning that drugs are terrible things that can make you very sick, if not outright kill you.

I knew it was dumb to do drugs, but I did them anyways. Maybe there is nothing to say anymore except to tell the kids to be careful. To do the research about drugs. Maybe we can do the research together and he can see all the scary things that drugs can do. I can show him that you use the grossest things to even MAKE drugs. And we can start before you have friends who know what Meth is, who know what Acid is. And even the so called natural ones, the plant ones... well, cocain comes from a plant too.

How do I plan for that talk that will come in the future. You know, some schools are starting drug education in lower grades. I don't think we talked about drugs in health class until highschool, and now some schools have a class for even those kids still in elementary school.

I don't want the don't do drugs subject to be a laughing matter like it is right now. (South Park having a phrase of "Drugs are bad, mm'kay?" that is a joke to people. ) I want my son to be the unique one, the child who says "no". All too often, it isn't even peer pressure, it is simple curiosity, or a desire to try something new.

A mother should never have to bury her child. My heart goes out to my friend and his family. I hope they can find some peace one day. And I hope that somehow I can raise my son to never take the risk of using drugs.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Culinary Adventures

Liam has reached the age when we get to play with some new foods.

We have found that while he likes scrambled egg yolk, he does not care for normal scrambled egg.

He finally decided to like green beans, he eats the pre-cheerio's these little puffs that get mushy a bit faster, and he has gotten to chew on a ripe banana. He has had all kinds of new things and seems to like most of them.

I make his food in advance and freeze it in icecube trays. Apples, bananas, beans, peas, carrots... anything he eats. I pop them out of the tray when they are frozen and store them in a plastic bag. It certainly makes dinners simple. I can just add apples to his oatmeal, or to rice.

It is fun watching him, and having him fight me for the spoon and try so hard to get his hands on the cup or bowl I am feeding him from.

For dinner, we had green beans, and then a bowl of apple and banana oatmeal.

Tonight, he snuck a hand in. I was trying to get the bowl away from his reach. I am sick, I do not have the energy to give him a bath, I am so tired... but he got it in there. It was too late to stop the mess. Oatmeal was all over his little hand, and like the baby boy he is, that hand went right to his face and missed his mouth and smeared his cheek. And so I let him have the bowl.

Liam is trying to figure out how to eat a bowl of oatmeal... no one told him that you don't need to actually eat the bowl.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Baby Socks, and a Problem

AUUUGH! Liam's socks will not stay up.  Anyone know of socks that WILL?  I don't want to put him in  tight shoes all day, but I am running out of options. It is either a 300.00 electric bill keeping this house warm enough for bare feet, or some socks. Guess what I am opting for....

And the problem.

Who of us who were born when photographs were easy enough to take and get developed that our parents took quite a few pictures of us? And do you have a picture of you as a happy naked baby? Yup, you do. Probably more than one. And I bet no one worried much about those. One of my naked baby pics even made it onto a newsletter being circulated in Santa Cruz CA back in 97 or 98 about fluoridated water and the dangers of it. Yes my mom asked permission to use it, and yes I gave it. I thought nothing of it. No one would know it was me.

But I am worried to take pictures of my son in the nude. Obviously I would NOT post those online in a public album, but I worry that someone would see them and think that I am a bad momma and being filthy and gross for wanting a picture of my boy in the bathtub, or his cute little pudgy baby thighs as he crawls across the floor after a bath.

These days, even if we think an image is private, it may not be to some folks. Or if we share it with family, who knows what they do with it. When images are digital and easy to copy and re-send we lose track of them. We can not keep them safe anymore.

I could take the pictures, and keep them for myself. But what happens if I let someone use my computer, or maybe it breaks and I take it to get fixed and someone finds them. Is a naked picture of my baby going to be considered dirty?

With everyone jumping at shadows these days, people being afraid that everyone out there wants to victimize their children, anyone who sees ANYTHING iffy at all is reporting it.

I do not want to forget those chubby thighs and the funny bit of fuzzy hair on his tailbone. I don't want to NOT take a picture of my son. But I am afraid to. Afraid of what MIGHT happen.

Do I take the pictures I want, and figure that no one will care what one mom in Oregon takes pictures of, or do I take the safe route and not take them at all?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Getting in Trouble

Now that Liam is mobile, Liam has figured out a few things.

How to chase the cats, how to try and use EVERYTHING to try and stand, that a sharp "NO" when reaching for something means he needs to wait to try again later. (*sigh*)

And best of all, he had learned how to get stuck.

Stuck standing up and not knowing how to get down.... This causes a loud cry from him of purest anguish. It is enough to chill your bones and make you run into his room like your butt is on fire only to find him standing in the corner of his crib.

Stuck on the floor. He crawls over toys like they are not there, he crawls over clothes, cats, shoes.... but the one thing that foils him for sure is anything that is stuck in place and will not move.

You see, as Liam crawls, he has not learned to lift his knees yet. He shuffles them along, and while this is nice and speedy for the most part, it means things like the bar on his highchair base get in the way.

He works very hard at trying to get unstuck, but it takes him a while.

The first time he got stuck, I waited. I watched him try to figure it out. He did not cry, he did not fuss, he did not get mad. He just kept trying. Sometimes he tried the same thing over and over again, as if by sheer force of will he would move away from this spot. At times he laid down over the bar and sucked his thumb. It took him 10 minutes to get over the bar.

And then he met the next obstacle. The sliding glass door.

I decided that it would do little good to rescue him from every situation. He would never learn that way.

Liam likes to figure stuff out. He has a way of reaching for things with precision and sort of skipped that random infant hand flailing stage where he just HAPPENS to hit the toy. I think that one lasted about 30 minutes, and then he knew that things happened and he wouldn't reach until he thought about it and how to do it.

He is the same way with getting in trouble. He picks his target and heads for it with a goal in mind and a plan for once he gets there.

Now it is up to me and Daddy to intercept him before he reaches the scarier aspects of mobility. I have already winced at head thunks, dived forward to make his head land on my hand and not the hardwood floors, watched him cry for a little bump and shake off a bump that seemed to shake the whole house. I have a feeling we will be seeing more bruises and bumps in the near future.

Look out world, Here comes Liam!
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