Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Son

It's amazing that we have had Enzo for 12 months.  Tami and I were talking on our way to her sister's house for Enzo's birthday party; reminiscing about the day Enzo got out of the womb.  Well, we've been reminiscing for a couple of days with "remember what we were doing a year ago?"  Three days of contractions and 15 hours in the hospital gives a lot of "one year ago right now" reminiscing range to work with.  And then, 12:03 pm happened and  Enzo was peacefully asleep for a nap.  I remember the nap we got after Enzo was settled in, after he was born.  Tami and I were exhausted.  Surely, Tami was more exhausted than I, and I was super exhausted.  What an amazing event Enzo's birth was.  What a powerful and significant experience that was.  And now, this beautiful kid walks around, has 6 teeth, smiles a lot, likes to make noises, likes to play with Maggie (cat) and Monte (dog).  He gets happy to see his mom and dad and likes to be held by us.  He laughs like crazy sometimes, especially with loud kisses to his belly.  He has the sweetest baby cheeks to kiss.  This year with him has been spectacular.  He is happy and beautiful and we are so lucky to be a family.

One year old.  His first lap around the sun.

Here are a few pictures from Enzo's birthday party.

Calmly Gliding Through Space

Today the earth traveled through a place in our solar system worthy of note.  Having already passed through this spot just 12 months ago, at 12:03pm on December 30th, loudly declaring his existence to the world and to anyone in the vicinity, Enzo marked this significant moment in his time, this time around, by calmly and quietly gliding through space.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Enzo, baby girl, and a dash of OCD

(Looking for our Christmas tree.)

So much has been going on and big days are ahead.  Enzo's first Christmas is nearly here as is his first birthday.  So, I better post a bit of recent events before these big days happen.  Enzo will be 1 year old in just one week!

(First haircut.)

Updates on Enzo first.  It took two Sundays but we found the perfect tree.  My dad wanted to take us to cut down Enzo's first Christmas tree.  The rain was heavy on the first day so we avoided the mountains but didn't find what we were looking for.  We did the next week in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Our perfect tree.   Since then, Enzo's 5th tooth has broken through and it looks like the other teeth adjacent to his currently exposed center teeth are ready to join in.  Also, Enzo got his first haircut from Cousin Jo.  It's been a big month for The Kid.  It is amazing to think he will be one year old in just a few days!

(At the Academy of Sciences Museum in San Francisco)

And for baby girl?  She is doing well.  The big news is that I felt her moving for the first time two Tuesday's ago.  Awesome!  Tami says she is moving a lot and, apparently, she is like her brother in that she likes to play on Tami's left side and kick around.

As for me, I started going to see a therapist regularly.  I mentioned this in a previous blog.  It was my preemptive strike to make sure that panic attacks are not an issue as we approach the birth of our second child.  I was told that I have made plenty of progress with panic attacks having learned to deal with the anxiety and having not had a full panic attack in over a year.  My therapist said that I am, however, experiencing general anxiety and so I've been working on that.  Then, she mentioned that she would like me to see a psychiatrist.  So, I did, last week.  That's when I was told that I have OCD.  That's the big news in my personal psychological epic.  The psychiatrist tells me that all of the various anxiety ailments are connected and people who experience one issue often experience more than one.  He told me that while he could be wrong, he thinks that OCD is the main issue for me and has been for a while.  The general anxiety and other anxiety related issues I experience are the results of frustration and stress as I'm dealing with OCD.  Interesting.

I really did not see that coming.  I have always referred to certain things I do as "OCD tendencies" but never thought of myself as having OCD.  I live a pretty normal and successful life and nothing I deal with seems to get much in the way.  I've got my own methods for dealing with my "tendencies."  Now, as I learn more that OCD is not just odd actions, but includes thoughts, I understand that my tendencies have been around for a long time and really do have a major affect on my life, thoughts, decisions, and time.  The O, obsessive part of OCD, are the intrusive thoughts.  The C, compulsive part of OCD, are the methods and rituals to deal with the stress of the obsessive thoughts.  And the compulsive part can be thoughts to alleviate the stress caused by the obsessive thoughts, not necessarily physical actions. I use both thoughts and actions to deal with my obsessive thoughts.  Okay, I can see that I have OCD.  I've been diagnosed for all of two days but everything looks a little different as I try to analyze my experiences through a new analytic frame.

I met with my therapist yesterday to go over the results of that meeting and to talk.  I was reminded not to think of myself as having a bunch of issues but as dealing with anxiety that has expressed itself in a few ways.  I feel pretty good.  I wish I would have gone to a therapist a long time ago.  A year ago I would be satisfied to not have panic attacks as a regular part of my life.  Now, I find that so many of the thoughts I have are not necessary, that there is a way to learn to deal with them just like I did with panic attacks, and the associated stress that I have taken for granted as a part of being a thinking human being are not requirements for that status at all.  Knowing that has made feel hopeful and good.  To sum up with a simile; it's like not knowing I had a piece of glass in my foot and dealing with what I thought was the normal pain of using both feet to walk.  And then, feeling optimistic when someone says: "Hey, you have a piece of glass in your foot.  The pain you feel there, it's not normal, but don't worry.  You don't have to accept it.  I can help you get it out and you will feel better.  It happens to plenty of people and we're really quite good at removing glass from people's feet.  In fact, here's a book to get you started."  That's where I am at.  Hopeful, with a book, and a beautiful kid, and another on the way, with a great family, and two weeks off from work to contemplate and enjoy it all.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Entropy and Construction

 (Enzo the Helper.)

In the last couple of weeks, some of Enzo’s new skills have become increasingly obvious.  Tami tells me that this week she watched him take notice a toy on the ground, squat down low without sitting, pick up the toy, stand up and continue walking with the toy.  Also, he’s learning how to get off of our bed, with us watching but not always helping him, by turning so that he is feet first getting off.  Tami has been showing him how to this for a while but I didn’t expect him to learn how to do this already and to remember to do this most of the time.  It’s really neat watching him do things that require planning.  And, there is another trend that has been building.  One that showed itself very clearly last night. 

Enzo’s general play, as is to be expected, is entropic in nature.  He is an agent of chaos in his actions even as his body builds him with the force of order into a larger human.  In keeping with his entropic nature, Enzo likes to see stacked blocks and then wave his arms through them until they fall.  My task is stacking them quickly and watching him knock them down again.  It’s fun.  Besides blocks, Captain Entropy likes to wave his arms about towards pillows or his mom or his dad when he is excited.  Enzo especially loves helping mom and dad by finding any box, or clothes hamper, and pulling everything out for us.  Adorable.  Messy, but adorable.    Lacking the dexterity and practice to manipulate, it makes sense that children first learn how to use their power to break apart and create disorder.

Eating has been the exception for some time.  Enzo can use two fingers to pick up small pieces of food and move them to his mouth.  I like watching that, too.  Recently, however, and this is the new trend that I alluded to above, I have seen Enzo place toys or clothes back into a container.  Yesterday, I watched him empty and refill a toy box (meaning a small box he likes to play with as a toy) with several wooden blocks.  It was like watching him practice putting blocks away.  He would place them in and get them to be relatively neat.  Then, empty them to do it again.  But the next time, he might try to throw them in from a couple of inches away.  Some would go straight in.  Some would bounce.  In one case, he kept throwing the same block at the area where it would bounce out, several times, making only the slightest adjustments to his throw.  The “throw” here was less than four inches.  He would throw other blocks in to the middle of the box.  But the one that bounced off the edge he pursued until it just barely cleared enough of the edge to go in.  It looked as if he was testing the situation to be sure of consistent results and then testing to see how to change the results. All of this took place while he was calmly sitting and focused.  I sat behind just watching.  There was no doubt that he was finding pleasure in organizing his blocks this time.  He was an agent of organization and construction, not only an agent of entropy and chaos.  When he does interesting things I often remind myself to be still, watch and appreciate; fighting the desire to get involved and distract him with my excitement.  When he was finally done with his little box and big blocks, that’s when I went back to kissing him, making noise, and playing with him.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Baby Girl!

We are having a girl! The Progeny is a Girl! I am excited. I would be excited if we were having a girl or a boy. I guess I'm excited just to know more about our precious baby.  She is beautiful in that fuzzy ultrasound way that 19 week fetuses are.  Plus a little more because she is mine to love and care for on Earth.

 (Her first foot print, recorded in sound waves.)

I should qualify this just in case there is a surprise later. The ultrasound technician could not get that perfect angled shot, the definitive boy or girl shot.  So, she said things like "you're having a girl", "I'm leaning towards girl", "I'm 80% you are having a girl." So, a little mystery for us.  But, it looks to be that The Progeny is a girl.  While the technician couldn't get the shot she wanted she did get a shot of our baby's bottom and was pretty sure she was looking where the avocados would be for a boy and she saw no produce from the angle she had.  So, to sum up, we are having a healthy and beautiful baby girl...... we're 80% sure.  And I love her!!!!!!!  I'm going with a definite girl and if I'm surprised then that's cool too.  I can be right or wrong. I'm not the biggest fan of most gender roles and I don't think our baby is learning them just yet any how.

So, the name search begins for me.  Tami is not as anxious as I for the name.  In fact, I was under the impression that we knew at least the first name if we were having a girl.  Tami told me a name she wanted for a girl a while back and I love it so I assumed we were set.  I was referring to her as this name in my mind as soon as we learned her gender.  But Tami made a good point.  What if we see her and that's just not her name?  Valid point indeed.  So, we need some more names to consider and then there is the middle name.

We have lots of time for names.  The Progeny, our baby girl, arrives sometime around April 27th.  And that's pretty exciting.