Monday, September 9, 2013

Summery Summary

It's been a busy few months and I've not kept up with the blog very well, so what follows is my attempt to remedy that by summarizing the summer's activities and how the Little Man developed over the course of it.
Little Man's 1 year checkup went as expected. He is perfectly healthy. Height and weight proportionate with a head somewhat larger than is proportionate but still well within normal range. This is good news because he's in the 40th percentile for height and weight -- and a bigger head means at some point he will gain height and weight to better match his head size. Either that or he's going to be Megamind. Still no sign of his superpower -- unless you count d20 Charisma/charm. As of June he had three words: mama, dada, and kitty. 

M's family visited from Canada in late May / early June and a good time was had by all. He got to see his father's sister, his great-grandmother, his father's father, his great-aunt, and his father's cousin. They spoiled him with birthday gifts of clothes and toys, and he bestowed upon them lots of smiles and coos. When he's happiest he makes wonderful cooing and babbling sounds that make people smile.

Shortly after Father's Day, in mid to late June, I took the Little Man to Oregon. We visited with many of my friends in Portland and on the Oregon Coast. The weather was beautiful and it was good to see everyone. A friend of mind hosted a gathering at her house for about 10 people and then about 20 people showed up for dim sum. I even took him to ecstatic dance on Sunday. He really seemed to enjoy running around on the ballroom floor and watching people twirl and dip and spin to the music.

It's hard to believe that I moved away from there 5 years ago. It only seems like a couple of years. Little Man did pretty well -- there weren't very many mishaps or broken items, thankfully. I was pretty tired when I got home though... I was trying to keep him from waking people up so I was getting him out of the house and to parks and whatnot pretty early in the morning, and trying to stay on top of a toddler in an unfamiliar environment stretches the nerves more than a bit.

No sooner did I get home then we started work on the roof. We wanted solar panels, but in order to install them we needed to put in a new roof. Since our roof was asphalt tile on tome of shingle, with no underlayment, they hard to pull off the two kind of roof and lay plywood before the new composite tile could go on. It was supposed to take just 4 days, but there was a problem in that they brought all the materials over the garage roof and stored the pallets on the cross beam such that the whole roof of the garage sagged/warped very noticeably. I made them stop work and take up all the plywood and re-build the roof.  It ended up taking two weeks, running over into the July 4th weekend, and it was hard on him and me both. Lots of banging and whatnot overhead, very little time outside playing because of risk of injury, and 10 days without satellite TV reception.

For July 4th weekend we drove down to see my friend Annette in Santa Barbara. It was our first real road trip in the Tesla Model S and it went swimmingly.  We drove down the Peninsula to Gilroy, plugged in and grabbed a drink while we added 100 miles of charge, then drove a few hours to Atascadero, where we stopped for lunch and charged another 225 miles in an hour. It is true that stopping to charge did add an hour or so to our travel time, but that's because we normally would just stop once for gas and drive straight through. The Little Man did pretty well, overall, given the length of time he spent strapped into the car seat. 

Once home again, the installation of the solar panels began. It took 3 or 4 days and at the end of it we are producing more electricity than we are using, so PGE pays us every month.

July was a month to enjoy the fruits of my gardening efforts. The tomatoes started coming ripe. The corn grew up into the eaves. The sunflowers and dahlias bloomed. And the peaches started to pink up. I started taking the Little Man to an indoor play land a few blocks from our house, as well. He enjoys playing with the other children and climbing through the structures that are changed to a different arrangement every week. We also learned that there is a water fountain for kids to play at in one of our favorite parks. He had lots of fun and I have lots of photos.

In the months of July and August he learned to suck liquids through a straw, how to take off his pants, how to take off his pants and bring me a diaper so I could change him, and how to say "mean mama." He learned that he could climb up on a chair to get to things that were out of his reach. 

We took him to Roaring Camp in Felton for the Thomas the Train Days, too. The train ride was mostly for me, seeing as I'd spent my childhood summers in Felton. We had a good time, despite the fact that all three of us were under the weather due to a cold.

The first part of August was spent getting ready for our big peach party. We have one every year, inviting all of our friends in the area to come by and take their pick of peaches. Our tree was especially prolific this year... in fact, the whole garden area grew like mad this summer, and since I was doing all the garden and lawn care, I had some serious trimming to do before we had a gang of adults and kids over. I trimmed my two rosemary bushes back to 2.5 feet tall and wide, and shaped my lavenders as well, half filling the compost bin. I converted the back lawn into a kid's play area, with a tent and tunnels and their own table with toys and food and drinks. Set up a canopy on the patio to make sure there was plenty of shade, and added another table and chairs for extra seating. Then I started parboiling and peeling peaches.

I made ginger syrup for the peach-blueberry fruit salad, broccoli-carrot-dried-blueberry slaw with parmesan ranch dressing, peach-mango-papaya salsa, peaches&cream jello shots, tabouli, Zatarain's beans&rice, peach mascarpone for dipping, and sweet tea with fresh mint, along withfruit and veggie plates for adults and kids, and some deviled eggs and veggie burgers for the ovo-lacto vegetarians.The party went well -- not quite as many people as I thought would show, but life happens to all of us. The Little Man has a good time playing with little friends and that's the best part :)

I started physical therapy for impinged nerves in my cervical area -- I've got numbness and tingling in my arm and fingers due to carrying the little guy around so much. I'm not 40 anymore ;)

The week after the peach party I got the news that my uncle had collapsed in his home and was on life support and unresponsive. I spent the following week trying to locate documents expressing his wishes and looking for a will, as well. after nearly a week on life support his doc called me in to the hospital and basically told me that they were keeping him alive until I was ready to let him go. I knew he wouldn't want to be on life support indefinitely, so I arranged to have him taken off the following day, after his priest administered Last Rights. My uncle was a very devout man, and I knew that he would want Last Rights. He passed two hours afterwards. I'd left the hospital to put the Little Man down for the night and no sooner did I leave than my uncle passed. Fortunately, a dear friend who has known him her whole life was there with him. We didn't want him to die alone.

I'm back home now, for a couple of weeks. I'll have my uncle's memorial service and ty to make more headway on resolving his estate. He died without a will, which complicates things, but I'm basically his only relative left that isn't a distant cousin, so... It's on me. The Little Man has been great about the change in routines and locations. He's a very adaptable little guy. It's his daddy who gets to missing us something awful, but it can't be helped. He's gotten very proficient (and fast) going up and down stairs, and he's learning to play with other kids rather than just in parallel. He had fun playing with a little girl named Scarlett in the kiddie pool, and he's learning to pet doggies instead of smacking at them. As always, he's got a sunny disposition, and his smile never fails to make others smile as well. Little Man is my sunshine on a foggy day ;)

The big political news of the summer is that my son will grow up in a country in which homosexual couples will have the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples with regards to marriage and family benefits. Yay! 

So that's the summery summary.

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