25 July 2011

Dog days of summer.

I really had been in denial.  I coasted through last week, despite listening to the news reports, and of course the keeper of all knowledge when it comes to this topic, thinking someone would surely sweep in and save the bookstore at the 11th hour. It didn't happen.  
 I wasn't prepared for the onslaught of emotion I felt when G and I went down yesterday to get T after his few hours of work before we gallivanted around Portland.  I mean, I KNEW it was happening. I listened to T tell me how customers had taken on a vulture-like mentality, trying to get the discounts even deeper, despite the fact that Borders doesn't even exist anymore.  (I've been affectionately referring to it as "Liquidators" since Friday).  Yet pulling into the parking lot as I've done so many times...it just really hit me. Every window was decorated with either a Going Out of Business Sign or a Store Closing sign.  Far cry from the signs I'd grown used to seeing, promoting the latest book release or author event.  Then to walk in and see the near empty shelves, the computers dismantled, the cafe MIA.  Borders has turned into, as my dad would say, "a shadow of its former self". 

A friend had prepared me for the yellow 'crime scene' tape that was strewn around the cafe, warning people that it no longer existed. What a crime indeed. And yet, the employees were still bustling around, still trying to help as many people as they could, still maintaining the warm, friendly demeanor that has become a staple to a Borders shopping experience.  I asked T if he noticed the regulars coming in throughout this first liquidation weekend, and while some, he said most were people who may never have stepped foot in the building before, but who were just looking for a deal.   One of his employees even caught a shoplifter, who, when confronted, nonchalantly shrugged and said "You're going out of business anyway."  Classy.

Needless to say, we didn't stay long.  We had a gorgeous day ahead of us and hadn't spent it in Portland for so long.  First stop?  Lunch at Five Guys, which opened on Fore Street not long ago.  Five Guys was a place we had acquainted ourselves with in Arlington, VA.  Unlike the clean, corporate look this one has taken on, we remember the Arlington store to be a dive, with peanut shells littering the floor (they're famous for giving you peanuts while you wait for their most amazing burgers and fries).  But the burgers and fries were just as we remembered.  Ah-mazing.  G quite enjoyed his grilled cheese.  

King for a day
From there we meandered our way through the cobbled streets, stopping here and there, marveling at all that has changed in the city where we spent the first few years of our Maine lives.  Final stop? Tree House Toys on Exchange Street.  We must have spent a good hour in there.  Now that G is vertically mobile, he has great fun exploring all the little nooks and crannies that are just perfectly at his height.  Finally, we could sense that alter ego Major Crankypants was likely to make an appearance very soon. Home we went. Despite barely sleeping in the car, he did not want to nap once at home.  Next best thing? Playing in the pool! 

Suffice to say, he had a blast.

I want to drink out of this red bowl!
Frolicking in the pool definitely made him sleepy. As soon as we got him dried off, changed and up to his room, out like a light.  Love these active summer days.
Where did I put my keys and wallet?

To back track, the earlier part of the weekend was brutally hot.  Well, the whole week had been pretty miserable.  I was used to these days in DC, but Maine? Where were the coastal breezes? Where were the cool nights?  Nowhere to be found.  Saturday was super busy.  We had a dual party to go to--celebrating a 2 year old and a 1 year old. Fortunately it was at the same spot, so while it was terribly hot at the 3pm start, it was fun to see the birthday guy and gal enjoy their guests, games and food!  G and I hung out under a tent in an enclosed space with another friend and her two kiddoes. 

The party was in Harpswell. I'd made a plan with my pal to meet me and head down to Stover's Cove to let the dogs swim, Gabby and her bff Buckley, and let the boys enjoy a cool dip.  Imagine our surprise when we arrive to find a car, Prius no less, stuck in the sand at the very entrance, being heaved out by some Good Samaritans.  After they cleared, and two other cars zoomed their way through, leaving a trail of dusty sand in their wake, my pal started to inch her van through the sandy entrance.  I saw brake lights.  She too was stuck.  Well, this bummed us out, as we now had two very cranky toddlers, two hot panting dogs, and two irritated mama's.  We turned around and instead headed to the old standby fields in our town.  Ah well. The dogs got a quick swim in the river, and the boys got to explore the field. Good times had by all.

This reminds me of an old man with a top hat and cane.

19 July 2011

Homage to the Bookstore

This week marked the end of yet another era--the announcement that all Borders Bookstores will be closing thus leaving yet another void in our techno-driven lives.  So for a few minutes, let's put down the smartphones (unless of course you're reading this blog ON a smartphone, and yes I realize the irony), the Kindle, the Nook, or whatever latest gadget has created a frenzied craze, and pay homage to the art that was a bookstore, much like a handwritten letter---classic yet now antiquated, as it slowly falls by the wayside.
There are many reasons for me to feel sentimental about the closing of this particular store. For one, and probably most obvious, it is where Terry has worked tirelessly for the past 6 years, in so many different roles, but most recently as head honcho, General Manager (long overdue but that's just my humble opinion).  And when I say worked, I mean devoted, dedicated, contributed, and slaved over thousands upon thousands of hours to make sure that this store was always running at peak performance even in the most dismal of times. So many times our plans have been postponed, canceled, changed, or simply nonexistent because of his need to fill in for someone, or make sure that things were on track with the store.  So many times our schedules were opposite and we'd become like two passing ships in the night, barely able to see each other or spend any quality time together until we got our one day off together.  And so many times he'd have to stay late, because no one else would, and SOMEONE needed to run the building.  But that's just what he does. And that's what makes him so good at it, while also garnering the respect from his peers and subordinates.  I could write an entire page about his work ethic, which is unlike anyone else I've ever seen, except perhaps my own father.  But I digress.

The very first time I brought Terry to Maine, nearly 8 years ago, to 'check things out',  we stopped at the South Portland Borders because, quite simply, we love a good bookstore.  Many, of course, know our story of how we met at the rival Barnes and Noble, back in Arlington, VA in 2002 where he was Assistant Manager, and I was a lowly bookseller, working there as a second job because the nonprofit life in nearby DC is completely unaffordable when you want to actually live there as well.  But again, I digress.

One thing that stands out to me from that trip to Borders back then was the fact that for some reason, I remember this one particular girl who worked there. I'm not sure why I remember her (except I have a penchant for remembering the most minute of details) except that when Terry started working at Borders in 2005, she was still there.  And I believe she is still there now.  And who knows how long she was there prior to my seeing her that first time.  The bottom line? Longevity.  I also remember thinking to myself, upon that first visit, 'it'd be really cool if T ended up working here', and of course, after a brief stint at someplace that rhymes with P.J. Saxx, there he was...embedded back into the bookstore culture.  For those who have never worked in a bookstore, let me just say those books don't magically appear on the shelves. 
I have had a love affair with bookstores since I was old enough to read.  It didn't matter WHAT store it was--whether a Borders or B&N, Walden's, a good used book store (like Powell's in Portland, Oregon), or now defunct stores like Brentano's...I have always loved the art of browsing. And against the advice of the old adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover", that is *exactly* what I do.  I judge the cover, the length, how good the description of the story is on the back.  All of it is part of my decision-making process in whether or not I'm going to fork over my cash to invest my time into reading that story.  I love book sales.  I adore picking up books that have been well-loved and previously owned by some other avid reader, with dog-eared creases still evident on the page.  I love the smell.  I remember going into Powell's for the first (and only) time, taking a deep breath and thinking, "there's a story for each one of these stories."   Meaning, each book had lived its life somewhere else--maybe it was an exotic beach in Fiji or in someone's backpack adventure around Europe.  Whatever the case, there's an enchanting intrigue about where a book has traveled before it lands in your hands.  The bookstore also had become a meeting place--for book clubs, coffee drinkers, gatherings of all kinds. And while there is no shortage of coffee shops that achieve that same meeting place feel, it's a shame not to be able to browse the stacks for a hot best seller at the same time.

It was a dream come true for me to work a second, fun job at the B&N in VA.  Books and music? My two favorite things?  Who wouldn't love it.  To this day, some of my greatest friendships were formed after working that three nights a week, all day Saturday shift.  (Here's my opportunity to give a shout-out to pals Mike H., Greg H., K. Graham J., Natalie H., Melvin C., and so many others. More irony as a vehicle like Facebook is how we all manage to still stay in touch, but we'll always have that bookstore camaraderie to share)  The point?  Working in a bookstore is like being with family. A strange, dysfunctional, often drama-filled family, but a family nonetheless.  I remember I used to think at B&N that the bookstore itself was just a facade for all the crazy that went on behind break-room doors.  So I can only imagine how the folks at SoPo Borders (and all the others in Maine and across the country) must be feeling knowing that soon they will be locking the doors and turning off the lights for the final time. 

A month before G was born, Borders threw us an amazing baby shower.  Held in the Cafe, it was overwhelming for me to see just how much Terry is loved by his coworkers.  Keep in mind too that he works with a lot of women--women who have had their fair share of babies, toddlers, teenagers, grandchildren, etc, and so dote on Terry like one of their own.  It was very sweet for me to be told that when G was born, he'd have several Aunties who would dote on him and love him like a real family.  Again, there's that family tie.  Since he was born, he's had several hats knitted for him, some slippers, books given to him, and a really cool pirate ship (I admit, before he knew what to do with it, I had more fun playing with it then he did). Whenever I've walked in there with him, the employees dote on him, and don't take offense that he usually maintains his stoic, serious face.  They love him just the same. What a joy it always is to see someone else delight in your child.  Thank you, Borders family, for delighting in ours.  

I think about the mini library we have going on now for G---how I hope our love of books translates to him as he grows up.  Where will we shop now? While I love the convenience of online shopping, and admit to succumbing to many a web purchase, I cannot convince myself that buying a book online, without touching it, feeling it's weight in my hands, will do justice to how I'd feel when I'd browse the new fiction table at Borders.  Not to mention, I always relied on T to tell me when some of my favorite authors were getting ready to do a new release, or have him tell me that he'd think my book club would really enjoy this one particular read.  And I will never ever curl up with a cold piece of electronics that is an e-reader on a snowy winters day, or during one of the many lovely Maine beach days.  

So to those who appreciate the art of a bookstore--the loyal employees, the faithful customers, the moms who enjoy a morning story time with their kids, the authors who rely on promoting through a talk, and the regulars who just stop by for their daily cup of coffee and newspaper...it's time to find a new place to gather.

To T and the SoPo Borders family...in these final days, think not of the uncertainty which may lie ahead, but the memories created, the passion you had for your work (rare in so many of our own daily jobs) and your customers, and the foundation from which it all came from---a love for books.  

Happy reading...

18 July 2011

YCF...Clamtastic? Not so much.

This past weekend is a popular one for the seaside village of Yarmouth, ME.  It's the annual Yarmouth Clam Festival, where potentially 100,000 people from all over the country flock to the quaint Main Street, to sample what should be some of Maine's finest.  In the seven years we've lived in Maine, we've somehow managed to avoid it.  We talk about it every year, but in the end, always say, eh, not this year.  Until yesterday.  With Terry having to work an unusual Sunday shift, G and I decided to brave the 90 degree day and get our taste on for those Maine mollusks.

I had really wanted to enter G into their annual Diaper Derby, but a long morning nap prevented us from registering and getting there on time. Yeah, you heard me. Diaper Derby.  Can you imagine?  Babies and toddlers crawling, walking, toddling, their way through the set course, while competitive parents yell "This way, Sally!" "Jack, over HERE!"  Perhaps it's just as well we missed it. 

So we arrived just before noon, snagging parking down the road in a $5 lot, which wasn't bad considering I had passed a couple of $10 lots that weren't any closer than this one was. We made the trek to where all the activity was, passing vendors of fried clams, sausage rolls, fried dough, basically your typical carny food, but mostly revolving around the star of the show---the clam. It wasn't long before I shelled (no pun intended) out my $9 for a little cup of the crumbly clams.  G, at first content to snack on some fresh honeydew, was instantly intrigued by what I had going on in that cup and held out his hand for a taste.  He definitely enjoyed the batter.  The clam itself? Well, even though he's already got a mouthful of teeth, it seemed like a lot of work for him to get through that little strip. But he seemed to enjoy it, and considering fried clams are some of Mama's AND Grampie's favorite Maine things, I have no doubt as he gets older, he'll learn to appreciate them more.  Just maybe not at this festival.  After coming to Maine for 30 some odd years, and clams being one of the very first seafood's I probably was introduced to, I feel like I'm a good judge of their quality.  These were, well, for $9, let's just say a bit sub-par.  I can think of at least two places where I can honestly say I've had the best clams ever. But again, it was one of those things where you say you've been and you don't need to go again. 
Taking that first chewy bite
I think I'll have a little more of this.

N was very interested in what G's tray had to offer
G likes to find my wallet and steal it. He's a masterful pickpocket.
G's buddy N and his family were also there, and so the boys toddled around a bit before G let me know that he was ready to roll.  Off we go, him in the stroller, sucking down his juice/water cocktail while I pushed him, thinking to myself, what madness made me schlep here by myself on a 90 degree day, with my toddler, and thousands of hot, dusty, cranky people to contend with??  Oh yeah, overpriced so-so clams.  Needless to say, we didn't last long.  I got us a dish of strawberry ice cream to share, which we inhaled quickly for fear of it becoming strawberry soup, and after being there just over an hour, called it a day.  The walk back to the car was even excruciating.  There is something about a really hot day and walking on really hot black top that feels like it reflects the heat back two fold.  By the time we reached the car, all I wanted was to blast the a/c as high as it could go. 
Post ice cream.

Luckily, Yarmouth is only a 15 min or so drive from home, so soon enough we were back, G down for his second nap and me in the recliner to join him.  It's this type of weather that I also feel for our animals.  Winston is a particularly fuzzy furry cat, and when I find them flaked out on the cool linoleum of the bathroom floor, I know they must be struggling. 

 On Saturday, G and I had a much better time visiting Grammie and Grampie, who we hadn't seen since Father's Day.  Naturally, G had to show off his newly masterful walking skills, to which now their house was a whole new fun place to explore.  He was a rascal that's for sure, but delighted the grand 'rents in his ability to steadily make his way across the hard wood floors to receive a hug or a cuddle.

Per my request, my dad grilled his amazing burgers for lunch.  I don't know if it's how he seasons them or just the fact that they're done on the grill, but his burgs are delish and I couldn't wait to smell those meaty waftings as soon as he started cooking.  They did not disappoint.  One of the sure signs of summer for me is having a dad-burger.  Yum. 

I loooove watermelon.

On a mission with Giraffe
The rest of the afternoon idled by with G's entertaining antics.  As much as I sometimes miss his little baby self, this age is much more fun and interactive.  He absolutely loved playing peekaboo with us, roaring with laughter as we'd peek around the corner gasping BOO! His giggles are so infectious.  He made friends with Grammie's dishtowels.  I'm pretty sure he is mimicking Gabby when he shoves a toy or in this case a towel, in his mouth and walks around.  He also delighted himself in a mirrored case that Grammie keeps her nice teacup collection in.  I think he found the 'other' little boy enchanting as whenever he laughed, the mirror laughed. 
Love this cutie.

Grampie and Boo: staredown!
By late afternoon, it was time to think about hitting the road.  We made a pit stop at Borders to see Daddy, and catch up with his coworkers who hadn't seen him yet be vertical. He managed to coerce a bookseller out of half her banana, simply by holding out that little chubby arm and probably batting his baby blues.  He's such a charmer.

And now it's the beginning of a full week again.  Summer is all of a sudden flying by. The temps are hot. The tourists are here in full force.  T is home this week because, as he likes to say, G's 'school' is on vacation. I wish I could be home with them.  But alas, no vacation for me until October.  Instead, I'll just look forward to my evenings with the boys and wait for another glorious weekend to be upon us.


12 July 2011

Summer Fun, it's finally happening at our household.

What a difference a week makes.  Last weekend, the holiday weekend, I was holed up inside with a feverish, lethargic child, and my own spotted, itchy self, thinking we'd never get back to normal again and that summer was doomed.  However, recovery is an amazing tool, and we made up for it this weekend in spades.

There's something utterly delightful when I pick up G from dc on Friday afternoons, knowing that for the next two days, the world is ours to explore.  This is made even more precious by the fact that he is officially a walking maniac.  While he was a very proficient and speedy crawler, he has discovered that those adorable little legs can also move pretty darn quickly when vertical.  Of course, he still has the wide-legged stance, and arms flailed out to each side for balance, but in a short time, he has definitely become the master.  Boundless energy.  He has also realized that walking is MUCH more fun than bedtime, no matter how exhausted he is. I can always tell when he's running out of steam, because he starts to teeter and get very silly. 


This week felt like he was reintroducing and reacquainting himself with all his toys. Like he understood that while he was sick, he wanted nothing to do with then, but on Thursday and Friday nights, he insisted on touching, literally, every single one of them. Taking them off the shelves, out of the toy box, strewn all over the floor. We affectionately refer to this behavior as "Destruction Junction". 

Saturday came and he was up early.  Which means Mama was up early. He has not yet discovered the wonder of sleeping in on a weekend, though maybe he's just more like me and is strictly a morning person.  Downstairs we go, giving Gabby our good morning pets, and then it's play play play! Daddy got up early too and we decide its off to breakfast we go.  There are few things I enjoy more than weekend breakfasts out with my guys.  We got a local jaunt, The Boot and Buckle Cafe, and order G his little "Buckaroo" breakfast. Unfortunately,  T was off to work shortly after, which left me wondering how to spend the rest of this gorgeous day with G?  No shortage of ideas, so much to explore. In the end, we did one of my favorite, simple, don't-have-to-drive-too-far activities, which is to stroll around the Bowdoin College campus.  We are so fortunate to live in a town that has not only a delightful Main Street area, but one with such a lush, gorgeous campus as Bowdoin.   It's the perfect size; the walkways are dotted with healthy vibrant trees, and the grass is picture-perfect green.  First stop, Cote's ice cream shack and off we go to stake out the perfect grassy spot.

G got his first taste of the creamy chocolate confection, which naturally dribbled onto his chin.  Then it was off to explore! Prickly blades of grass, crunchy leaves, smooth stones, crumbly dirt...the quiet serenity of a vacant campus in the summer makes for, quite simply, the perfect afternoon get-away.  Soon enough, we're heading back to the car, through the bustling Main Street, weaving between the crowded lines at the variety of food vendors lining the sidewalks.  

On Sunday, with all of us home, and another gorgeous day on tap, we decide to breakfast out again (twice in the same weekend!), this time heading to our other favorite spot, The Fairgound Cafe.  Boo was in a, as Grampie would say, 'rascalia' type of mood.  Perched in the high-chair like a king on this throne, he delighted nearby patrons with his grins and giggles, expertly shoving plump blueberries in his mouth, while swiveling around to check out the folks behind him.  Sly devil that he is, he managed to get frisky with the waitress.  She didn't mind, and told him he was the cutest thing to come into the restaurant that day. I swear if he knew what winking was, I think he would have done so.

After breakfast, it was off to Bradbury Mountain State Park in nearby Pownal.  Love this place because not only does it have a lovely area for kids to play, but the easy trails are great for  short hike.  We settled on the lawn, brought G to the swings, then let him romp around with Gabby in the grass.  He loves that crazy red ball and has mastered lifting it over his head while walking his wobbly gait.

After the hike, we headed into Freeport.  A new toy store caught our eye, and up we went to explore.  Island Treasure Toys is a visual feast for kids and adults alike.  They had everything! Boo liked trying his hand at pushing a grocery cart all over the store, before discovering a fun train set that was tucked away in the back.  This store will be awesome as he grows up and gains interests in all different kinds of things.  After the toy shop, it was off to LL Bean since T had a gift card he wanted to use. It was pushing early to mid afternoon, and we had gone the entire day still without a nap. It was time to head home. I think G was asleep before T even put him in his crib, and then of course what better way to while away an afternoon while the babe sleeps then take a nap ourselves?  I managed to snag the recliner (two weeks later, this recliner is still the best thing ever), stretched out, and delighted in a two hour snooze.  That's what summer and Sunday afternoons are for, right?  

Soon enough, it was time to think about dinner, then prep ourselves for the week ahead.  Why do the best weekends always go by so fast?  I guess if they didn't, then we wouldn't have as much to look forward to.  That said, I'm already counting down the days until the next one.

05 July 2011

Fourth of July weekend--not so festive after all.

This was one of those long weekends that I'll have etched in my memory for a long time to come. And definitely not for the joy of a day off from work, or summery days spent at a Maine beach.  Nope, this long weekend will be remembered to me as the one where I had my first official 'new mom' meltdown.  You know, that all-consuming frustration and feeling of desperation of not knowing what to do, what's being done wrong, how to fix it, etc.  I guess maybe I should feel lucky that it took 14 months for this to happen.  It made me realize how vulnerable I am, even at 34 years old, and how sometimes all I want is my own mother to fix it and make it all go away.  And most importantly, how the slightest hint of suffering by our child is enough to make me want to crumble into a puddle of emotion, when instead I forge ahead, needing to be strong for all of us.

So it's been a trying couple of weeks, plagued by ear infections, pink eye (me, not him), intensive allergic reaction to antibiotics (again me, not him) and then the ultimate came on Friday afternoon. I went to pick up G early from daycare with the hope of bringing him back to the office to get a little, as my supervisor says, "goo goo time".  I had gotten a text from daycare that he was a little off but that maybe it was those darn teeth again. Not the case.  He was burning up when I went to retrieve from dc.  Off to the doc we went.  This time, we saw Dr. W, the one male pediatrician of the practice who I've seen before and like.   Temperature was taken.  103.5.   Then he needed to check G's ears, but had to remove some obtrusive wax that was in the way--out came this horrifyingly long, pointy tool, that I thought, surely there is NO way you are sticking that into my son's fragile little ear drum.  I was wrong. I actually had to hold G's arms down, while he screamed, and the doc picked away at whatever it was he was trying to get at.  By the end, G and I were both crying.  I can't really describe in words how traumatic this was, for both of us.  The conclusion?  A virus.  Which of course meant no antibiotic.  Instead, we alternated between baby tylenol and baby ibuprofen. 

Friday afternoon. Snuggling with Mrs. Bear
Saturday, G and I spent the day in a recliner. He slept on and off most of the day.  He was not interested in playing, only slightly interested in eating.  He just wanted to be held.  In the afternoon, he had woken up from his nap, and he just was so out of sorts.  I put another call into the doc.  I know, I've now become *that* mom, but what can I say? His eye was now starting to get goopy.  Another prescription.  It was the only time we left the house in three days.  The doc assured me though that with his temperature, especially in something viral, it WILL last a couple days, and it WILL always get worse as the evening goes on.  

It was sometime during that late afternoon early evening, when he was hot,  groggy and so not his usual self, that I just seemed to lose it.  I was feeling so frustrated that there was literally nothing I could do but hold him in order to appease him.  I was also feeling so down and out about my intensely itchy skin, wondering when it would ever get back to normal. Will I ever wear short sleeves again? It's one thing to deal with a sick child when you're at your 100% best...it's another when you have to put all your discomfort aside, mind over matter, and deal with what is most important at hand--this little being, with his glassy eyes and rose-tinged cheeks, holding his arms up to be held, and then once held, collapses his head against you, seeking some sort of cool relief.  Heartbreaking.

That night, G would not settle into sleep.  I could almost picture the revolving door that was his room as I was bounding out of bed, across the hall, holding him, putting him back. Finally, at midnight, I decided what he needed most was to just be near me.  I made a make-shift bed on his floor, using a clean cool sheet, brought my pillow in, and settled him in next to me.  I made sure he had his favorite giraffe, his favorite knitted blankey per Grammie, and we cuddled into each other, me rubbing his back in slow deliberate circles.  He relaxed. At one point, seeing me through the hazy glow of his nightlight, he giggled at me, as if to say, Mama, what ARE we doing down here?  I woke up at 3:30am, to find him cuddled into his blankey, seemingly cooler to the touch, and gently put him back in his crib, while I attempted a couple more hours of sleep back in bed.  The morning came too quickly.

Sunday.  We woke up, had our usual cheerios and milk appetizer, and played a bit before breakfast.  At 9:30, he was ready to go back down for a nap, and frankly, so was I.  My eyes felt like they were being weighed down with sandbags, and let me tell you, they didn't look too pleasant either.  Are those what bags look like? Ugh.  At 12:15, I went to go check on him.  Fast asleep.  There was no waking this kid up.  At 2:35, I thought, uh oh...we could be in for quite a long night.  I felt like I needed to get him something to eat or at least drink---my fear being that he would get dehydrated, and then we'd have a whole new mess of problems on our hands.  I know, never wake a sleeping baby, but after five hours of napping, I figured, I'd get some food in him, and then put him back to bed if that's what he wanted.  He ended up staying up til about 6:15 and back to bed he went. Not before a little cuddle time with daddy, however.  He woke up sometime in the middle of the night, wide awake, wanting to play.  I thought I could simply recreate what I had done the night before with my little bed sheet and snuggle him to me. Nope, he wanted to play.  He wanted to explore his room.  Not what I had in mind.  I finally got him back to bed. We slept until 8:30.  Thank GOD it was a long weekend.  

Snuggling with Mrs. Bear and Bumpkins the Tiger
Monday, the fourth of July, a day traditionally for bar-b-q's, friends, family, and fireworks, was not quite spent like that for me and Boo.  Instead, while it appeared that the fever was on it's way out, someone was still very needy, very much wanting to be held by mama, and had no interest in playing. So we spent the day, literally, in the recliner.  Now about this recliner.  Terry just bought this thing a week ago and already it's become the best piece of furniture we own right now.  It rocks, it leans back, it stretches out.  In a word, it's Divine.  And that is where G and I stayed.  Him nestled against me, bringing me back to those early weeks of infanthood with him, when he wasn't so busy like he is now.  Around 3:30, we woke up from our nap together, and I was drenched from where his head was.  Could it be?  Had this dang fever finally broken?  Up popped his little cherubic face, giving me that gap-toothed grin, and I think I let out the biggest sigh of relief. My baby was back.  His hair was wet and matted to the side of his face, but he was cool. And chatty.  Finally.  He ate a good dinner, enjoyed a playful bath, and back to bed for the night he went. (Note of interest---do not give baby cool bath when dealing with a fever.  Doc says it just ends up aggravating them. Good to know.) 
Napping with Bumpkins, gripping of course, his tail.
 Today.  We both managed to sleep the entire night--a first for both of us in several days.  While my eyes still felt like they were being dragged down by sandbag weights, I was relieved that we had both caught up on some much needed rest.  Dressed and off we went to dc...until we get there and I notice, why does he have all these red bumps on the side of his face?  Why does he have them on his belly? WHAT IS HAPPENING TO US?????  At 8am, I promptly call the doc, (this number is ingrained in my memory's speed dial), and manage to get in an appointment for 9:15am.  Off we go, and as we're sitting in the waiting room, I'm noticing that he does seem more like himself---he's waving to other babies, he's interested in exploring. Good sign.  In the doc office, Dr. H, again, not our regular pediatrician, but my next favorite doc, assures me that the spots are actually a GOOD sign. Huh?  It means that whatever nasty virus he had is finally gone, and the spots are his body's way of letting me know, just like how I knew when his fever broke. Thank goodness.  However, we weren't done yet.  She checked his ears.  Guess what.  Ear infection back.  And in his diaper area? A yeast infection. Terrific.  Most likely because whatever took over his body this weekend, really exacerbated everything else that could go wrong.  Two more prescriptions to pick up at the Target pharmacy.  Those ladies know us by now.  

We're waiting for the 'scripts to be filled, and G is chatting away, giving sideways glances to the girl behind the counter. Waving, smiling, making his usual strange noises. I know it'll still be 24-48 hours before he'll be completely back to himself, but it was just as gratifying to catch a glimpse of it after having not seen anything resembling himself this past weekend.  Someone wise pointed out to me that this is just one little hill in the many bumps of parenthood that we will no doubt experience.  And while I believe that to be true, it didn't make this one any easier to deal with when you can't see the light at the end of what appears to be a very dark and lonely tunnel.  I'm just happy to have our boy back to his happy self, and look forward to this weekend where we may actually leave the house to enjoy this fresh, summery Maine air.  As for me? I'm wearing short sleeves today.