Thursday, January 22, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Polonius-like Post

I quoted this poem below, not an obscure one by any means. My mom and dad both loved it when they were young. When I was ten, my mom typed it up and sent it to me at summer camp. I still have that copy and treasure it. When I get the time I plan to frame it and put it up in HG's room. Here's hoping it can prove useful to him.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story. 

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. 

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism. 

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass. 

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself. 

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. 

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. 

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy. 

- Max Ehrmann, 1952

Document Dump (PHOTOS)

Six Months

Thursday was Henry's six month birthday and I neglected to commemorate it with a post. Needless to say, life has been full of other commitments that take precedence over this blog. That said, here's the latest:

HG is now sleeping through the night more or less regularly. He gets up early sometimes, occasionally wakes up in the middle of the night and cries a touch, but on the balance we've been very lucky that his sleep training has gone so well.

In the couple of weeks since he's been sleeping through the night, I feel as if I have slowly returned to something resembling normal, as it were. It was not really until I began getting a little sleep again that I realized how much its lack had affected me. As little by little my proficiency in all things returns, I can see how much I'd simply been treading water for a good, long time.

Now, for the first time since the baby was born, I am involved in a theatre production. In March, the theatre company I help run is premiering an original work for the first time in years, and as of yesterday, we began holding auditions. For those of you who don't know, this is the kind of work that really makes me happy.  

Doing this while caring for a little baby carries with it unique challenges as you might imagine. Prior to this, I've forgone any work that would demand too much from me. I didn't have the time and the resources. I suppose you could say that HG's sleep training took place just in the nick of time. 

I'm tutoring a ton right now. The late winter and spring months are usually very busy times at what I consider my workity-work job. It's time consuming, of course, but I'm lucky to have a good job that pays well and doesn't completely suck my soul, especially these days with the economy hurting as it is. As Max Ehrmann says in his poem Desiderada:

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a eal posession in the changing fortunes of time.

On the domestic front, the whole family is sick; mom, daddy and baby. I've heard about this sort of thing a lot from other parents but it's the first time I've experienced it myself. But you know who has had the stiffest upper lip throughout? HG, of course. KG and I have been pretty good but he's been better. Lucky us.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Sleep Training, Day 2:

Last night HG fell asleep a touch after 7:00 with almost no fuss - he cried for maybe 5 or 6 minutes. After that he slept through the night, other than when KG woke him up to nurse him a little after midnight. We just got him up a few minutes ago to acclimate him to what will be his schedule when we go back to work.

In case there's any question, let me just make this clear: 

Henry slept through the night.
We had to wake him up.

Everything I want to write about this makes me fearful I'll jinx it.


Lest you forget who I'm writing about:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Live Sleep Training Blogging #11

Catching up here: 

KG took over at 5:30 am. Apparently the baby was fine, going down for his nap fairly easily at around 7:00. He woke up a half hour later and I took over and played with him until 8:30. I was an exhausted wreck but Henry seemed fine, albeit a little needy. KG then spelled me and I crashed hard into an absolute black hole of sleep. I had one dream only and the only thing I remember about it is that, honest to God, my name was Captain Diaper.

I just woke up to find KG putting him down again. This time he cried for almost a half hour before falling asleep. It's a strangled, tortured sound now, very, very sad. I think his throat must be sore, poor guy. I can't imagine it wouldn't be. Still, I don't doubt that this is the best thing for him as well as us.

Live Sleep Training Blogging #10

Gratuitous sympathy grab:  I got just over 2 hours of sleep last night.

Live Sleep Training Blogging #9

He woke up at 3:30 this morning, making noise but not crying. Listening to the monitor, at first we couldn't figure out what was going on. We could hear some kind of strange, unidentifiable sound we'd never heard before. I went in and checked on him and he was fine. The noise we were hearing came from the springs in his bed creaking when he kicked his legs up and down. By the way, he was completely sideways in the crib. I straightened him out.

At 4:30 we got him up. KG went back to bed and I changed his diaper then played with him for an hour. Some guilt-ridden corner of my mind kept looking for signs of trauma, though truth-be-told I had no idea at all what to look for. He seemed the same to me, really.

KG's awake again in his room nursing him now. I'm going back to bed.

Live Sleep Training Blogging #8

KG just fed him. The plan all along had been to, assuming he was asleep, wake him up sometime during the 12:00 hour for his one meal of the night. Tonight she went in there at 12:15.

It went great. KG said when she went in to get him, he was more deeply asleep than she'd seen him in months. He woke up a little during his feeding but when she finished and put him down, he whimpered a little, didn't cry at all, and fell fast asleep.

This is scary good. For a long time now HG's been an alarmingly poor sleeper. Many a time KG and I have worried about its affect on him, both in the immediate and in in terms of his long term health. If in the end HG can begin sleeping deeply on a regular basis, it'll make everybody's sweat and torment worthwhile.

Still and all, I told KG we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves. Our luck has certainly been stellar so far but tomorrow, of course, could be different. One good night, as grateful as I am to have it, is no guarantee that we're in the clear. I think we owe it to ourselves not to start counting our chickens.

I'm off to bed. Despite all my cautiousness, you have no idea how good it feels to write that sentence.

Live Sleep Training Blogging #7

12:00 am - Silence!