Bleah cold

I am full of coughing and sneezing and congestion.

I always seem to get sick when I go to LA. I think that the dryness + travel dehydration weakens my resistance to the usual bugs or something.

But anyhow, we went to LA for Kevin’s birthday. Robin got to spend a lot of time with his Grandma, and cause all sorts of trouble. We went to the Kidsplace Children’s Museum in Pasadena, which was pretty awesome, although the giant set of bug exhibits was a little more than I could get excited for. Cathy took tons of pictures of Robin crawling through a stream, which I’ll link to when she posts them.

We also went to sushi with Kevin’s brother Patrick. We had to stand in line to get in the door but the sushi was seriously the best sushi I’ve ever had. Eating at the bar means it’s too easy to ask for more!

We also went to an exotic sausage place in downtown LA with Justin and Patrick, and then visited Patrick’s dreamhost office and watched youtube videos. I was getting sick by that point but it was still a lot of fun.

Cathy babysat Robin during those two meals but we went out with them on Kevin’s birthday for Indian food and Robin loved the food and was once again back to his ‘a bit troublesome and messy but good’ usual restaurant self. Yay!

The plane flights made me nervous, since Robin was flying as a lap infant. But on the trip down our row-mate was a deaf guy, and we got the row to ourselves on the flight back. Mind, he slept most of both ways, and didn’t scream or even cry during takeoff or landing. He was a bit restless and whiny because he wanted to get down and play, but that’s it.

While we were at Cathy’s, Robin wanted to play the walking game again, and even took 3 whole steps on his own. But it’s still just a game to him. Poor kid. He’s so much faster and safer crawling. We’ve got to do more practice with him.

I bought more yarn and Kevin bought more Warham while we were down there. I also did a bit of research for my novel.

Oh. It was rainy and overcast about half the time we were in LA. Meanwhile, it snowed up here again. I think this summer is going to suck 🙁 I wonder if we can manage to grow some sunflowers.

Now off to cough some more.

My immune system is rebelling

Near total collapse the last couple of days: achiness, exhaustion, lack of focus. And weird, disturbing dreams about violations of the natural order.

And this puppy is so much work. He’s losing some of his housetraining, probably inspired by our crappy housekeeping and our inability to read his cues. The cats are in total exile during the day, all the doors are kept shut, and he’s put to bed in his inescapable crib at night (and the cats freed from exile). He destroys things. He cries. He whines. He attempts to assert his independence. He begs. He gets into everything he can see. He puts the most astonishing things into his mouth. He has accidents. He gets ridiculously carsick. He can’t control his bladder very well or very long, and I have to get up at the crack of dawn to take care of him. Anytime I can’t hear or see him, I assume he’s doing something bad and half the time I’m right. The way I feel responsible for him, all solitary ‘the buck stops here’ish, is why I never want to have kids unless Kevin is also completely enthusiastic about them. I don’t ever want to feel guilty about a kid of mine waking up his father the way I feel bad about Dante climbing all over Kevin when I take him out of his crib for the last hour of the night.

Kevin and Raymond both find the loud, mobile, bumpy growl-filled dog games that fill our hall a bit overwhelming in our small space, but I never mind because I always know exactly what Dante is up to when I hear those sounds and there’s a chance he’ll take a nap afterwards.

On the bright side, he’s a practically indestructible BiteMeez for Hannah, he plays sit-and-fetch even better than she does, and he’s a surprising master of the Baby Mammal Defense System (which invokes the Cuddle the Untaught Tolerance Engine).

But oh, he’s exhausting. Switching between providing limits, guidance and discipline for a rambunctious stubborn unruly hellion to providing affection and comfort for a young animal to providing positive reinforcement for good manners is so tiring. The constant sense of need-to-monitor is tiring. It’s stuff I recall from babysitting Nathan when he was young, but at that point in my life I had a lot less going on.

The frustration is tempered some by knowing he’s supposed to grow out of much of this. I know I could lock him up a lot more than I do and minimize some of that sense of exhaustion, but I sort of think that will make some of the problems into ones that extend into adulthood– that if I don’t teach him about chewing and destroying now, and redirect that energy, it’ll be a bigger problem when he’s an adult and weighs 75 lbs instead of 20. Same with toliet training.

He has temper tantrums. I don’t know how else to describe them. Not the tears and yelling part of a child’s tantrums, but when he wants to do something he simply isn’t allowed to do, that he knows he isn’t allowed to do, and I have to physically restrain him as he squirms and whines and wriggles and tries desperately to get away and do it anyhow because dammit, who am I to say what he can and can’t do? That sure feels like a temper tantrum. And, somewhat like what I did with kids, some of the ‘who are you’ is answered by ‘somebody a lot bigger and stronger than you who is patient enough to sit through your kicking and screaming’.
I don’t know if that’s entirely the ‘right’ thing to do with a dog. But it seems better than, uh, overwhelming negative reinforcement and of course there’s no appeal to reason. I guess we’ll find out.

Heavy posting day…

I’ve been playing WoW a lot. I haven’t been working on my novel much. I’m going to have to rebuild my schedule but I hope to still have a finished readable edited first draft by the end of the year, if not sooner.

The reason I’m playing WoW so much is that it’s my current anti-brooding device. I’ve been doing a lot of brooding lately when I’m not involved by an anti-brooding device. A lot of things are going on and most of them are good, but it doesn’t change my circumstances at present.

In some ways, a long descent that I predicted many years ago is reaching its conclusion. As with a diving airplane in a movie, we wonder, Will the plane pull up in time? Will it crash and burn?

We’re getting awfully close to the ground. And it shows. Many things are going well, so since I can’t obssess about my personal life (much), I get irritated by… almost everything. I spend a lot of time hating the state of the world. I develop and nurture new pet peeves. For example, one of my pet peeves is poor reading comprehension. Another pet peeve is the national tendency to prioritize risk-mitigation over… almost everything else. Sometimes, taking a risk is the right thing to do.

Anyhow, I don’t like hating the world, I don’t enjoy being irritated, these are not my preferred states of mind. So I seek constant immersive distraction. It has short-term negative consequences, but, I believe, future positive consequences. Because brooding is bad for me. I pick at scabs and create wounds where once none were. And I have to hold myself together for a while longer yet.