current mood: happy
Before I had Griffin I had grand plans for posting. I would do it often! I would start a stepmama blog! Eventually maybe I could even sell an ad for beer money!
And then Griffin was born, and I realized that I was only born with two hands and both of those were needed to hold my snuggly little baby. I had legs true, and I became adept at holding him with my legs so I could feed him a bottle with one hand and drink a glass of water with the other. And then there was pumping, because SOMEONE DIDN'T DO SO WELL AT SUCKING. And then there were dishes and cleaning, and then baby was no longer content to just chill all day long, and then school let out and there was another cat to herd (sometimes more, with friends). And now I have a very grabby little baby who cannot see the computer without wanting to BANG ON IT or EAT IT NOM NOM or SCREAMING WHY WON'T YOU LET ME BANG ON IT/EAT IT YOU HORRIBLE WRETCHED MOTHER YOU.
So yeah! Blog's never happening. But I want to get a few observations down somewhere, just to have them. Feel free to skip reading this if you like, or take the opportunity to update me on your lives. I miss you all, you know.
The other day I was holding Griffin while looking for a book at Barnes and Noble. Griffin was getting fussy and so I decided to wrap things up. On the way up to the register he let out this enormous, body-wrenching sigh and absolutely passed out on my shoulder. He was like the dead--didn't even stir when I fastened him in his car seat. It was adorable.
Griffin already idolizes his big brother. He thinks he hung the moon. I can swing Griffin up into the air and elicit smiles, but if I hand him to stickybear and stickybear does the exact same thing, the smiles turn into enormous laughs.
Griffin is absolutely fascinated by Matilda--if "stickybear" or "baba" aren't his first words, "doggie" surely will be. She's incredibly gentle and patient with him, and will give him kisses and let him "pet" her. So far he's fairly gentle, though I'm sure it won't last.
Griffin has already started anticipating things. This afternoon ishaa was giving him raspberries, and he'd pause and look expectantly at Griffin right before doing it--and Griffin would start giggling in preparation. The excitement ! It was too much!
Sometimes when Griffin and I snuggle in bed in the morning he'll lie nested in between me and the pillows and tell me all the secrets of the universe.
Griffin has lately started doing this gasping thing when he gets excited--often when he sees stickybear or gets to pet Matilda. He suddenly opens his mouth and emits this gaspy "Heh! Heh! Heh! Heh! Heh!" as though he was too excited for normal breathing habits. Often this will be accompanied by wild wiggling and stomping, a little seizure of happiness.
Several months ago now, when Griffin was still very little, he was lying next to Matilda on the couch. He was waving his arm around, and every time it would get in range she would lick it. This startled him, making him wave it around more frantically, which made her follow it even closer and try to get in more licks. Adorable and hilarious.
Griffin has this hoarse laugh, and it is the most delightful thing in the universe. I know it'll change as he grows up--already it's less creaky than it was--but part of me never wants it to.
Tummy time became bearable when Griffin realized that holding up his head meant that his head, it was UP. Now he'll sometimes roll onto his belly when he's tired and fight tooth and nail to keep his head up. He'll have it up, but then his eyelids will flutter and he's eyes roll back in his headand FWOOMP! He'll be down. But the impact of his head on the mattress wakes him up just enough to realize that his head! It is down! MUST RAISE HEAD. Then flutter, roll, FWOOMP--the cycle repeats. It's amazing he ever gets sleep.
Standing has been achieved! He can't raise himself up yet, but by god he can stand. The first time he actually put full weight on his legs successfully his whole face broke in half he grinned so hard. He gained leg strength unbelieveably quickly, almost instantly doubling and tripling the time he could support himself. Now if you try to put him in a sitting position and he wants to stand he locks his knees and makes it virtually impossible to make him sit.
Also, as of the past few days (July 16), Griffin is reliably sitting up by himself. Crashing still happens so he has to be on a soft surface or surrounded by pillows or us, but he can sit up and play with toys for extended periods now.Of course, when he does fall he doesn't fall limply, but rather crashes to the floor (and then stays there!) without changing his position one iota. TIIIIIIMMMMBEEERRRRRRR!
Griffin doesn't just smile, a cavernous grin erupts on his face. I've never seen lips stretched so wide, so happily.
I believe it was today that he discovered the toys on his jumper are incidental. The real fun is JUMPING! I believe the jumper will almost instantly outstrip the exersaucer in terms of fun potential.
We had our first swim lesson the other day, with dunking. Griffin's not so sure about it, but I've rarely seen anything as cute as a wet, perplexed baby.
Oh wait, yes, it's a baby in a backwards baseball cap sized for an adult.
Griffin has a line of long hair down the middle of his skull--and no where else. Basically he has a permanent faux hauk. (Taking after his Aunt Beth already?)
Griffin's getting a little better at this, but at first he didn't always understand the concept of bringing something to his mouth. If possible, he'd bring his mouth to the thing instead.
Aaaand it's nearly 12:30 and I promised ishaa I'd go to bed by midnight. I'll try to get more of these out there, perhaps not just about Griffin. Night all! Miss you. :)
What, I haven't posted in months, years, possibly decades? Here, look, a baby.
Got 3-4 hours of sleep last night. Couldn't stop thinking about two professors I let down my senior year of college. Fought with ishaa upon returning from my 6am bathroom trip. Had nightmares about buying food and maternity clothes on some sort of food stamp program. Stabbed ishaa with a previously unknown toe talon at 7:30. (The nail has since been clipped.) Fought with ishaa again at 8:30. Am now at work, where I've been waiting to be laid off for over three weeks now.
Today is not going well.
This article was linked on Fark today: What on earth are escape goats?
My favorite blunder: "Control of infectious diseases is very important in case an academic breaks out."
So Mother's Day started out well. My hair was behaving well, and it was cold enough that I could wear a blazer my mom got me last week. stickybear whined a bit about having to wear nice clothes, but when we explained it was to honor MeMa (his maternal grandmother) he acquiesced. We got him packed off with his mom, and then got everything together and ready to go down to my mom's. While Mom and Grandma love seeing Matilda, the four of us were going to dinner and so she was staying home. (Matilda has enough problems staying home alone; she's much more comfortable doing so at home.) So we took out the pup, got all of our presents and cards together, and opened the door. Most of the time Matilda is fine as we leave--she sits several feet from the door, or otherwise goes about her business. She was super excited today and kept getting up right close to the door, as if she wanted to get out. ishaa corrected her and pushed her back as I slipped out (I went first as my arms were loaded with stuff).
She got past him and me though, somehow, and in a flash was happily prancing on the sidewalk in front of our townhouse. I called to her, hoping she'd go straight to the car to come with us....but instead she saw another dog being walked by his owner about a block down. She was off. (ishaa thought she went straight for the dog and that's why she pushed past in the first place.) I threw everything on the car and went after her faster than I've ever gone before (in high heels too!), ishaa came after me. She was angry and went straight up to the dog, an enormous Chesapeake Bay Retriever I've never seen before, and immediately started attacking him. I was screaming at her and couldn't get there fast enough--she's an incredibly fast dog. Mostly it appeared she was attacking the other dog--he just seemed to be trying to get away. I know most dog fights are a lot of noise and posturing, but I thought I saw her bite his upper back leg. Just as I got there the other owner kicked her away; I dove at her but she slithered out of my grasp and went right back at the other dog. (It is notable that she completely ignored the other owner.) Fortunately Steve got there right then and scooped her up. I apologized over and over and asked if his dog was ok, told him this had never happened before. He seemed ok with it and said his dog was fine, so I went home.
When I got to the door though ishaa was talking to a neighbor (Matilda's best doggie friend's owner, actually) with Matilda still in his arms. There was blood all over his khakis. ishaa brought her inside and I raced back down to catch up with the other dog and his owner. I again apologized profusely, asking him how his dog was and imploring him to check over his dog because of the blood. He assured me that his dog was fine and specifically said, "It's ok, these things happen." I told him where we lived anyway (if his dog *is* injured I consider us responsible for the vet fees), and he seemed appreciative. I met up with ishaa on my way back, and we went to check out Matilda. Horribly, we were both hoping she was the one who'd been injured. She picked the fight, but more importantly we don't want the other dog owner or other neighbors insisting we get rid of her.
She was the injured party, it seems. I'm not sure how this happened, exactly, but she ripped the skin of both of her carpal pads (the rearmost pad of the front paws, slightly further up the leg from the rest of the pads) almost completely off--it was literally hanging off of her. We cleaned and bandaged her wounds and called my mom to call off the day, since she'd chew off her bandages if we left her alone. (Also someone needed to stay here in case the other dog owner came by.)
I'm terrified. I don't know what to do. It does take her awhile to make friends with other dogs, but she's never gone after a dog like this before. When she sees another dog on our walks she normally first gets super excited, whining and pulling happily. When we don't immediately go over to the other dog, she then gets angry, leaping and tugging and barking and growling. The angry stage usually continues if the dog comes up to us, or vice versa. If he just keeps going past she goes back to whining, excitedly trying to track him, and acting incredibly sad that she didn't get to play.
We've been working very hard with her on the angry stage, disciplining her verbally and physically putting her into a calming position. Sometimes we'll grab her muzzle too or put her head under our arm, while disciplining her verbally. If we're walking while this happens we haul her back and do our best to keep our body between her and the other dog. If she's going to meet the other dog calming usually works, given long enough. Even at her angriest if we continually force her butt down until she quiets down, sometimes only taking a few steps between sessions, she'll eventually lose her angry and go back to being curious. (However, if the other dog growls at her or, sometimes, starts to play physically, she'll start barking again.)
Watching her, I've sometimes thought that she's come to the conclusion that she's territorial and considers the entire neighborhood is her territory. I've also thought that she views it as her job to protect us from other dogs--one labradoodle in our neighborhood is very physically playful and we've had continued problems with him.She'll finally calm down and they'll sniff butts and be fine, but then he goes down on his front paws and starts to play, and she gets freaked out and starts barking again. She eventually began displaying submissive signs around him (something that she doesn't frequently do), but as soon as he starts playfully barking and bounding around she goes on red alert. Today's incident certainly seemed to be territory guarding...but if that's the case, I haven't got a clue how to solve it!
All of the dogs she's had problems with *have* been dogs that are bigger than or the same size as her. She's always lovely with puppies, gentle and sweet. Furthermore, it's *only* dogs that she reacts like this to. She's never once displayed any similar behavior towards a human. Oh, also, she was never anything but politely curious about the dogs in our training class, regardless of their size. Her best doggie friend is a hilarious 6-12 month old Norwich terrier; she's never had any sort of aggressive reaction towards him, no matter how many times he's jumped at her face and generally behaved like an idiot. We've wanted to take her to a dog park, but we didn't want to take her to an off lease situation like that until we could trust her more off lease. I guess after today's incident...we were right to do so.
I don't know what to do. We're terrified that we're going to lose her, that we'll have to put her down or something. I don't know what our next step should be either (besides emailing the trainer). Should we get a muzzle? A bark collar? (I hate bark collars but our trainer did recommend it if she wouldn't stop going nuts when she saw other dogs.) It's tearing me apart that she might be a truly "aggressive" dog. Does anyone have any advice, at all? I really don't know where to go from here.
Halp! We're having stickybear's mom and her boyfriend over for "Nueve de Mayo" tomorrow night. (I was sick on Cinco de Mayo and dude, it was a Monday.) I need food ideas. Le boyfriend is Puerto Rican, and while none of us particularly cares about being super authentic Mexican, I would like to serve something tasty that's a little more authentically hispanic than Old El Paso taco seasoning. Does anyone any have ideas? It doesn't have to be Mexican--any hispanic flavor will do. Seafood and/or vegetables are somewhat preferable to meats, though so long as there are several dishes or parts involved it doesn't matter. Oh, and, um, to complicate things further it'd be really nice if it's low carb (or if a diner could choose to skip, say, the rice without destroying the dish).
Our guests are bringing dessert, coquito, and tostones. Everything else is up to us. Yipe.
This incredible story reminded ishaa and I that we have been meaning to take stickybear to the Holocaust Museum in DC sometime soon. Read it. Some things should never be forgotten.
(Keep going through the lengthy preamble. It's a third-hand story and should be taken as such. But, after going through the comments it appears that there *is* more reliable historical evidence for both Jewish women in the brothels and male brothels. It's just not internet-based, for the most part. I've ordered a BBC documentary on it that, among other things, reportedly contains an interview with a former Auschwitz guard admitting that they took Jewish women.)
Edit: Link fixed!