Friday, September 12, 2008

And a few shots of our new apartment

Oooh, oooh, see that? That's real carpet.
and the funny shaped walk in closet that we couldn't keep the boys out of .
and our counter space you could land a 747 on.
and this obscenely huge desk, which we love for it's space, but we don't love for its magnetic ability to attract clutter. The bookshelves were especially nice though, and now they're full of all our books.

Mr. Baseball adjusted seamlessly to the new apartment. On our first or second night I put the stools out on the back porch and he found a quick use for them. Along with doggy, and without any prompting from us, he climbed up on the stool and sat looking out over the complex for nearly ten minutes.

What's that, up in the sky? It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...Kindergarten Boy!

So Mr.Baseball has taken lately to striking these very funny poses in photographs, and the first two days of kindergarten weren't any different. This is one of four shots I took of him outside our back door just before we went to his school for orientation. This was the closest one to normal that I could get (of course, with Mr. Baseball, the other pictures were actually the "normal" pictures. The calm photos are the rare ones).

The maintenance man at the complex taught Mr.Baseball how to make this funny face using masking tape.

It was unseasonably cool on Mr. Baseball's first real day of school. He's going for about three hours every morning and is only one of a few kids in his class of 20+ students that's going half-day.

We're two weeks into the school schedule and its working out pretty well. We get up at 7am, get dressed, eat breakfast, half morning devotional, and I leave at 7:50am on my bike. Meanwhile Mr. Baseball brushes his teeth and then gets a little free time before the QB and the monkey walk him out to the corner to catch the bus with some other friends who live in the complex. The Monkey is enjoying the QB's undivided attention in the mornings, and all-in-all it's working out nicely.


As I said earlier, we recovered a gross arm chair...

a few weeks ago I paid 5 dollars for an an antique armchair upholstered in a fabric reminiscent of something from an interior room in a Charlotte Perkins Gilman short story. At the time the QB was still pregnant, and spending quite a bit of time on the couch in the living room. I brought the chair home from the thrift store, vacuumed it out on the back patio and brought it in the house, setting it down across the room from her. "If you start seeing shadows in the pattern," I told her, "just don't start circling the room."1

I hadn't told her I was planning on buying a chair, and with all the other things that needed to be unpacked and organized in the house, I felt kind of foolish bringing in this seemingly nonessential project. However, I bought the chair to replace the rocking chair which I'd moved up into the boys' room to use as a 'get-the-monkey-to-sleep' aide because I didn't think I could move the rocking chair without replacing it with something else. So with the Mr. Baseball off to his first day of kindergarten and the QB not feeling very well, the Monkey and I got to work. First I went to Walmart and bought 5 yards of upholstery fabric. Then I went to Lowe's and bought some upholstery nails and some staples for the heavy-duty stapler. At home I didn't really know where to start. The QB wasn't in much shape to spend hours at the sewing machine, and I had no idea how to use the sewing machine. After holding the fabric up to the chair several times I decided that I'd just cut panels to fit each part of the chair, and then staple and nail it in place.I used an old sheet to cut out patterns and the QB gave me occasional tips.
Once the pattern was done, the Monkey helped me cut the fabric into the eight separate pieces of fabric that we would use to recover the chair.
He was very helpful.

We pinned on the front panels first, and then making up things as we went, we managed to cover the entire chair. The only part we decided to sew was the cushion itself, which wouldn't take a staple or a nail.
I had to take a break from the project in the evening to help with dinner and bed time, but when everyone was asleep I went back to work, finishing the chair at about 2:30 in the morning.

and now, with just a touch of Old English furniture polish for the legs, the chair was done. No more faded yellow and green upholstery, no more dingy smell, no more unsettling reminders of creepy modern American short stories about bed-ridden women and their unfeeling, misguided husbands. We've still got to finish sewing the cushion, but that's on the list for tomorrow.

1 "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a short story about the slow mental destabilization of a woman experiences a the hands of her (?)well meaning(?) but misguided husband. She spends most days in bed, in a room lined in elaborate yellow wallpaper and eventually starts seeing shadows in the patterns that driver her mad. Not that I was worried about the QB going mad--maybe just stir crazy. I can't imagine feeling the way she felt all those weeks she was morning sick. And any attempt on my part to understand, seemed patronizing or just plain silly. All I could do was wash the dishes, vacuum, and bring her another Popsicle from the freezer.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Yes, it was true...

It's kind of sad that we have to write this post now, after nearly two weeks of being too busy to post much of anything, especially since so much good has happened in the past two weeks. Mr. Baseball started Kindergarten, the Monkey's finally saying quite a few (all be them mushy) words, we reupholstered a gross arm chair, we watched BYU go 2-0 in the first two weeks of the season, and we've enjoyed the relative relaxation of the last few weeks of summer (school starts up for me tomorrow with a vengeance--three classes, plus teaching, plus a new computer lab job). 

On the other hand, its been a rough couple of weeks.  Between the QB, the Monkey, and me, we made six trips to the doctor in the last two weeks.  The monkey had an ear infection and a WIC check up, I sprained my knee playing basketball at the church, and perhaps the most difficult part of the past two weeks, the news that many of our friends and relatives already know, the QB had a miscarriage.

At 9 weeks pregnant, with a little bleeding, very little morning sickness, and an intuitive hunch that she described as "not feeling pregnant," we went to the doctor last week fearing the worst. Except fear isn't the right word.  Yes, we are definitely disappointed, and if either of us think about it too long, we get sad, but even when she told me last Wednesday that she thought she ought to go see a doctor, we weren't scared.  We decided together that the human body is pretty smart at figuring itself out, and if whatever was going on inside the QB over the past few weeks wasn't going to add up to healthy baby, then we're glad the body was set up to handle things like that.  

Wednesday we were cautiously optimistic--we had thought she'd miscarried with the Monkey as well, and he came along okay...

Thursday we were cautiously pessimistic--according to the blood test, her hormone levels were just barely above "inviable"...

Friday we were resigned and at peace--the ultrasound and another bloodtest confirmed our suspicions, which relieved us from having to either make a potentially premature decision, or to wait the weekend to see what would happen. 

She had a D and C on Friday morning and came home and rested most of Friday afternoon. I think I was more nervous about the operation than she was--she kept holding my hand and smiling at me, as if to say, "You know, this is going to be alright." 

I can't even identify what I was nervous about--just a generalized anxiety about seeing my wife in a hospital gown and hair net, hooked up to monitors and tubes of chemicals, lying on her back, smiling at me, moving her lips and flexing her eyebrows, as if she were gearing up for a dental exam, or trying on lipstick, and then the anesthesiologist injecting something into her IV line and the nurse showing me the door and telling me she'll call me in about twenty minutes and then I'm alone in the waiting room with Rachael Ray on the television and Golf Digest on the table and warm creams and browns and soft repeating patterns in the carpet and the upholstery and on the wall and I'm curling my toes in my shoes and feeling quite helpless, so I step out into the clinic lobby and buy myself a Milky Way out of the vending machine. Then I'm back in the waiting room, eating my chocolate bar, and turning down the volume on Rachael Ray's school lunch tips so I can sit and wait for my wife in silence.

The QB appreciates your thoughts and prayers, as do I, and we are absolutely thankful for our two wonderful boys who have kept things light and happy around here when they could be dark and heavy. We are thankful too for God, and His infinite wisdom, and we both appreciate this opportunity to be still, and know that He is.  
"Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright." --Psalms 20:7-8