What You Can Do

Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma. Donate here.

Text FOOD to 32333 to donate $10 to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

Feed The Children is taking donations at www.feedthechildren.org/disaster or by phone at by phone at 800-627-4556.

Text STORM to 80888 to donate $10 to the Salvation Army or donate here.

Oklahomans are nothing if not strong and resilient. I may not live there anymore, but I still consider myself proud to be an Okie ex-pat. They will recover from this, but in the meantime, they need your help.

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Things I Want to Remember

Henry is nine months old today. Nine! He’s been out almost as long as he was in (I’m never letting you forget those extra two weeks, kid.), which seems both exactly right and impossible at the same time.

He loooooooves to nurse. LOVES it. I have to wear him at the store instead of putting him in the cart because he likes to lean forward and feel me up with both hands as I walk through Target, just to make sure the milks aren’t going anywhere. He will also latch on to anything even remotely boob-shaped. Just in case, I guess.

He signs for milk, smiles at me, and then starts clapping when I go to unhook my nursing bra. I hope to wean him before he learns to give a thumbs up.

When he’s happy, he grunts and squeals and coos; when he’s mad, he babbles like crazy. And it usually starts with MAMAMAMAMAMAMAMA, so I have a feeling he’s calling out for his real mother, the one who doesn’t do terrible, horrible things like change his diaper or force him to wear clothes (which, let’s be honest, I don’t even do all the time. He spends a lot of time without pants on because, eh. He’s a baby. It doesn’t matter.)

He’s a big fan of throwing things. He’ll happily sign All Done when he’s finished eating something, and then pitches what’s left of it across the room just to punctuate the statement. The dog loves this behavior; I am not a huge fan.

I can no longer eat anything or drink anything with a straw without sharing. And if I try not to share, I’m rewarded with a loud AH AH AH AH AH which I’m pretty sure means “Lady. Food. In Here.”; I think if he knew how to point to his mouth, he would.

He gives kisses now! Only to me, and they are mostly just leaning on my face with an open, drooly mouth, but they are still the best completely inept kisses I’ve ever gotten.

Crawling is, apparently, for babies. He cruises everywhere he can, pushes a walker everywhere else, and this morning he was pushing around a box because he pushed his walker into a wall and couldn’t figure out how to turn it around. He stands around a lot, with a thoughtful look on his face, and I have a feeling he’s trying to figure out this walking thing.

(I am figuring out how not to knock him down once he starts the walking thing. Too soon!)

He will, however, crawl to get away from me before a bath — and then looks back at me and laughs and laughs, like he’s really getting away with something.

I know so many people say after they have kids that they can hardly imagine a life without those children; it seems like they’ve always been there. I get that, but I do still fondly remember my life pre-Henry. Mostly the parts where I got to sleep for more than four hours at a time, occasionally be blessedly alone, and I knew where all of the stains on my shirts came from. Still, I wouldn’t trade him for the world. Everyone thinks they got the best baby, which, of course. That’s how it’s designed, I’m sure. But we really did get the best one of all.

 

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5 things

1. The cat came back! She was skinny (so skinny), flea-ridden (so flea-ridden), and living in the garage of a kind woman in a different neighborhood, half a mile away, and across a busy road. We don’t know how she got there, but we are beyond thrilled to have her back.

(Well, Jeff and I are. The other pets range from indifferent [the dog] to downright pissed [the other cat.])

2. The baby is crawling. And pulling up. On everything. And he’s FAST. Related: I have no time anymore, because it is all spent pulling him down or away from things. I miss the slowly scooting/army crawling stage, but really I miss the 4 days where he was able to get to a seated position but not go anywhere most of all.

At least he still has no teeth.

3. Big things might be afoot in the Welsh household. If we’re very lucky, they’ll include a move to someplace where I’ll be able to use this and my considerable collection of flip-flops will be unusable for much of the year. We could also move back to actual Orlando, not an hour outside of it.

If we’re unlucky, we’ll be stuck here for a while longer, and my new address will be in some sort of asylum because I really miss living in civilization. Good thoughts either way are much, much appreciated. We’ll know more in a couple of weeks. (I can’t believe I am actually hoping to have to pack up our house, a newly mobile baby and three pets to move more than halfway across the country, to a place where there is actual winter but…fingers are crossed.)

4. I finally bought a car! A month ago! (I’m a good blogger, I know.) I wound up buying what the internet told me to — a 2013 Subaru Outback Limited, and it’s fancy (compared to my Accord, at least. I am maybe overly impressed with being able to plug my iPhone right into the car and use voice commands to control it. Like I’m some kind of wizard.), navy blue, and perfect.

Related: I have actually started patronizing car washes in my area. Every time I walk into one, I wonder if it’s just a front for a massive meth money laundering operation. The guys working at the southwest-themed wash closest to my house are not fans of those jokes, let me tell you.

There is so! much! room! And the back has enough room for our beast of a dog, plus a rubber liner not only for the cargo area, but the backs of the rear seats so it really ought to take some considerable effort on her part to destroy them. I even splurged on a gate so she can’t drool all over my back seats. (I’ll let the baby ruin those.)

5. Instead of giving something up for Lent this year, I decided to try going to daily Mass instead. I did it last year and it was really wonderful. This year? With a usually cranky baby? And a passel of old ladies who like to shush him and scold me should he even make the tiniest peep? Let’s just say I’m not getting much out of it, other than happy that the end of Mass usually knocks me out of the grumpy mood I was in after having to get myself and the baby there. Usually. It is not quite the spiritual exercise I thought I was getting myself into, but I am definitely honing my patience and ability to keep my big mouth shut. (That’s a spiritual gift, right?)

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