Friday, December 16, 2005

I absolutely love this time of the year. I love the family time, the food, the decorations, the music, the feeling. I'm not especially religious, and waffle on my beliefs. (I blame that partially on my upbringing in a liberal protestant church mixed with conservative parochial school. Got some mixed messages at a young age.) But during the advent season, I find myself drawn to the church, although this year the draw hasn't been enough to actually get me into one. Maybe Christmas Eve or Day or both. I love the advent wreath and candles and the readings leading up to Christmas. Now that I have a child, the whole birth of Jesus is especially poignant. As a child, I always romanticized the birth in a stable...nice clean hay, a cozy little stable, a few fluffy sheep hanging about. As an adult, I realize what it truly would have been like...smelly, dirty, cold at night, hot during the day. And there was the birthplace of a child, to a young woman, probably scared out of her wits. Did she have anyone else in attendance? Would a local midwife or relative of her husband's have been there? I doubt Joseph would have been. Even today, it's not common for middle-eastern husbands to attend births. (Although an Egyptian student I know did stay in the delivery room for his daughter's birth last year and was so happy he did. He told all his male friends and relatives about it and encouraged them to do the same. Way cool.)

I especially love traditional Christmas hymns. My preference: those written or arranged by Rutter. I have a Rutter CD that I play nearly nonstop during the holidays. My favorite on it is "In the Bleak Midwinter". The lines "Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay; Enough for Him, Whom angels fall before" always hits me. There was the holy child, the Creator in human form, and all he had and all he needed needed were milk and a place to lie. Humble needs indeed. Needs no different from any other newborn.

Another favorite is "'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime". The images it presents are beautiful, although I have issues with its origins (a Jesuit missionary in Canada who converted Native Americans to Christianity wrote the lyrics.) The history of the hymn is interesting, though. Most of the Hurons were wiped out, yet the song was preserved and now is considered a treasure.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Yayyyyyyyy!!! Hubby comes home tonight. He's been in Myjammy (Miami) all week for a forensic investigations class. Sounds like he's had a week of very depressing case studies. And he and his classmate stayed at a hotel right at the airport, so poor Hubby had gotten very little sleep. The flight pattern goes over their hotel from roughly 4:30 am - 11 pm. Hubby said he could look out his window and wave at the people on the plane looking out their windows.

Anyhoo, Peanut and I survived quite well. Sunday night was rough and he ended up in bed with me by 1 am. All the other nights he STAYED IN HIS CRIB! WOO HOO!! He did have a few little wakeups each night, but those were remedied either by himself, by me sticking the binky back in his mouth, or a combo of binky and butt-patting. And on all but one morning after his 5 am bottle, HE WENT BACK TO SLEEP IN HIS CRIB. He has never done that. Never ever. After the am bottle, he always wants to snuggle up to Daddy. I've got all my fingers and toes crossed that we can keep this up even after Hubby gets home. I also moved his last bottle up to 10 pm, 60-90 minutes earlier than usual, and that worked without affecting his morning wakeup. I hope we can continue moving it up until we phase it out. He's definetly old enough to sleep the whole night without it. I'll be out of town 2 nights next week, so Daddy will be tested.

And yesterday, he had a check-up. So after his 5 am bottle, I pumped and showered, like on a regular work day, then got back into bed at 6 and was able to sleep from 6-8!! Peanut woke up at 8 and was even happy. He didn't realize I was still in bed, so he kept peeking out of the crib toward the door and making little "oooooh? ooooh!" sounds. I think he was asking where everyone was. So I brought him into bed with me for a few minutes of snuggle time.

I can't believe how well he did with sleeping on his own. Each night I laid him in the crib awake at 8:30 pm and within 15-30 minutes he'd be asleep. He still fusses and cries and I have to go in a few times and pat his butt, but he's falling asleep by himself without a full-on freakout.

Now all we need to do is phase out that late-night bottle and get him to self-soothe back to sleep in the night and we'll be all set.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I'm going out to dinner tonight with a friend. She's actually a coworker of Hubby's and he's been trying to get me to hang out with her for a while. We've been out a few times with her and her girls and I decided to make the effort to do a girls' dinner out. I'm such a lazy-ass when it comes to girlfriends. Best Friend and I rarely hang out, although that's a different story (all the times she's bailed on me, the continuous whining about money...) A have a couple of good friends at work, but we live 30-60 minutes away and after commuting every day during the week, it's hard to be motivated to go visit them. So this is a big step for me.

Anyway, Hubby's friend from work, I'll call her Karen, is having a shit time. Her husband is stationed in Afghanistan and has been there for at least a year. They've had rocky times in the past due to him cheating, which led to him being temporarily kicked out, and some issues with his daughter from a previous marriage. They have a daughter each from their first marriages and a daughter together. Both of Karen's girls live with them. The husband's daughter lives with her mom. She stayed with them for a while and caused a bunch of trouble, so Karen laid down the law and told her to go back to her mom. The daughter made up a bunch of crap about being abused, so DCF came and took away Karen's 2 biological daughters. They eventually got things straightened out, and the girls were returned. If I was in the same situation, I probably would've done the same. You don't mess with my kid and you don't do shit to get him taken away from me. Period. And from what I've gathered, her husband is fairly useless at home, in everything from dealing with his daughter to doing any housework, so he didn't step in and help with the situation. So she did what she could to preserve her family.

Her husband was recently giving her stress about wanting the daughter to move back in. She said absolutely not, given the history there, and the fact that he's still overseas. So he threatens to divorce her. They patch things up. Then she starts getting e-mails confirming his membership to an online singles service (the dumbass used their home e-mail to set up the account.) She confronts him, he gets pissy and changes the e-mail password. Then he starts accusing her of cheating on him. Apparently someone in his unit is married to another cop from work (both Karen and her husband are cops) who was spreading a rumor about Karen and a cop known for getting around. She isn't cheating and finally convinces him she's not. Then he comes back with some crap that she may hear a rumor that he's cheating, but he's not, he's only good friends with the woman, yadda, yadda. Well apparently they're so friendly, their commanding officer separated them so they no longer work the same shifts (sounds fishy to me, but whatever). They get things calmed down.

Then this weekend he tells her that after being away from her for a year, he realizes he can live alone and wants a divorce. She wants to keep the family together, although it sounds like mostly for the girls' sake. She's afraid he'll try to get custody of the younger (his) daughter, but the two girls would be devastated if separated. If you ask them, they're not half-sisters, they're sisters.
So dumbass husband then e-mails the girls and tells them he has a new girlfriend and is going to divorce their mom. Classy. And a hell of an emotional load to dump on your 5 year-old daughter and 12-year old step-daughter who considers you her daddy.

The next day he and Karen talk and work things out. No divorce (for now, anyways). I can only imagine what she and those 2 little girls are feeling right now. My opinion is that she should dump the guy, fight tooth and nail for custody of her younger daughter, and use his philandering and the closeness of the girls to her benefit. But that's just my opinion. And like they say, opinions are like assholes...