The promise of bananas and motor vehicles

I was at home with Lyra today, since it’s Friday and that’s what I do on Fridays. Just after lunchtime I was cleaning up the kitchen and rambling away at her while she played with blocks around the corner. I ramble at her regularly. I explained my plans to her about how we were going to go out and do some laundry, and maybe go pick up some fruit for her at the grocery store, like a banana or something. From around the corner I heard her squeal with delight, drop the blocks she was playing with, and sprint crawl towards me in the kitchen, excited about the prospect of a banana, apparently.

I have realized that I can’t offer bananas right now unless I actually HAVE one to give her. I wouldn’t say she was disappointed, but she certainly looked for it, and I felt a bit guilty to lead her on and not produce the fruit in question.

She is definitely beginning to understand language. Who knows what other words she recognizes but isn’t excited about, and thus doesn’t express any reaction to them… Time to make sure the boys watch their tongues around her, I guess. Even if it would be amusing to hear her swear like a sailor…

Tomorrow we are going to Ikea for Lyra bedroom things, and then stopping in at my mom’s to drop Lyra off for a bit while we contemplate car ownership. We’ve been without a car for nearly two years now, and we were doing all right with it, but the inability to go biking without depending on other people has just reached a point of making us crazy, and it’s affecting our activity level. It’s just sad that I’ve only been out riding three or four times this summer – not because I was tied up with Lyra, but because I had no way to get to the trails with my bike in the allotted time. It sucked. We’re also finding that we are spending a lot on the car co-op these days – nearly as much as a car payment, to be honest – and we can barely get cars anymore without booking far in advance because there are only six near us, one of which won’t hold a baby seat and three of which require transiting to (which is really hard with a single person, baby, and baby car seat, let me tell you.)

And so we are going to look at cars and see what we can figure out. The environmentalist in me is feeling guilty about it. The mountain biker in me is crazy excited to be able to get out to trails again. The road tripper/camper in me is crazy excited to go on road trips and camping. The mother in me is happy to have the option of driving to things like swimming lessons when time is short and buses are few and far between. And while it’s been satisfying to not have a car, it’s just not practical for us anymore. Again, this makes the environmentalist in me sad, but I’m trying to assuage the guilt by making sure that fuel efficiency is a top priority, within the limits of what our needs are. No point in getting a tiny fuel efficient car that can’t carry bikes.

The environmentalist in me has settled for internally raging that Canada is designed for people with cars.

We shall see how it goes. I’m excited and nervous, and I know it’s unlikely that we’ll buy anything tomorrow on sight, but part of me kind of wishes that’s how it’ll happen. Now that I’m committed to car ownership, I’m ready to have the car RIGHT NOW. When I make up my mind about something, it’s hard to be patient.

Lyra at one and beyond

Lyra is over thirteen months old now. Her first birthday came and went so quickly, I barely had time to think about what it really meant. And then She got sick, and Adam got sick, and I got sick, and we all got better, then all got sick again. Many weeks passed with varying degrees of sickness in the house, and I was too tired or sick to really think about anything.

We’re finally all better now, which is nice. It won’t last, but it’s nice. Daycare is full of babysick germs that apparently attack us grown-ups worse than the babies.

So Lyra turned one, and within a few weeks so many developmental changes started kicking in that I could barely keep track anymore. She started cruising around furniture with a vengeance. She began standing up unassisted from the floor – although every time she noticed she was doing so she would sit back down because she’s pretty sure she can’t actually do that. She started eating regular foods in earnest and with great joy – especially fruit like blueberries, bananas, and cut up grapes. Just last night she discovered that the tube-shaped wooden block fits into the hole of the donut-shaped wooden block perfectly, and apparently spent two hours just doing that over and over with a huge grin on her face.

The best part of it has probably been the emergence of preferences. Not just ‘she likes food A more than food B’ but actual choices. She will pull every book off the shelf until she finds the one she wants you to read her, then bring it over to you and crawl into your lap. Right now her favourite books are Oh the thinks you can think by Dr. Seuss and The Awesome Book by Dallas Clayton. She also now points at foods she specifically wants, and even sort of says Banana if that’s what she’s looking for. It comes out as ‘ba’ – which is the same word she uses for baby, ball, and book – but accompanied by energetic pointing and a certain inflection that I can’t describe in words, you know which one it is she means each time.

She also made Adam watch So you think you can dance Canada last week. He was flipping through channels and flipped past it, and she got excited and pointed at the tv until he turned it back. She then sat down and watched it for a while. The girl definitely knows what she likes, and is not at all afraid to tell you in any way she can communicate it.

In addition to saying ba, she also says something that could be ‘hi’ – it comes out as “I!” and is usually to get your attention. It makes sense, since we say hi to her to get her attention.

Some of her new favourite games (and old ones that never get tired) are piano playing (on someone’s lap or from the floor), dancing to music, pulling disks out of the ps3, knocking stacked blocks over, assisted walking (either by holding hands or by pushing her walker thing around), and flinging herself between people who catch her – it’s nearly like trying to walk, but she doesn’t take steps so much as throw her entire body at you and expect you to catch her. Naturally, she’s either grinning or laughing the entire time.

She has favourite songs & music videos too. She loves Twinkle Twinkle little star, and Daft Punk’s Around the World. She will dance and smile to anything she likes, and ignore whatever she doesn’t like.

She’s also enjoying daycare more every day, which is nice. The interaction with other babies has been great – she hasn’t had that much time to play with other babies her own age, so I’m really happy with the amount of socialization she’s getting.

Last night I dreamed she was starting to repeat words we said to her. She’s not quite there yet, but I don’t think it’s that far off. The thought of her being able to say things to us is a little mind-blowing at times, and also very exciting. Then again, every single thing that I get to see her figure out is just amazing.

Babies are little geniuses. I wish I could learn at that rate now.

It’s like juggling feral cats!

There’s a lot going on this week.

On Sunday Adam’s bank card didn’t work at Tim Horton’s for breakfast, so he called the bank. They confirmed that his card had been compromised. When they went over recent transactions and found a $400.00 withdrawal from a bank machine in Quebec, we were not impressed. We were less impressed to learn that, while the bank will refund us the money, it would not be immediate and there would be paperwork, and it would likely take a few weeks. Naturally, this is around rent cheque time, and our rent hadn’t yet been removed from our account – and we were now short.

Fortunately for us I had a cheque for some photography work I had done that I hadn’t yet put into my photography account. I deposited that to cover rent, and promptly started wondering how I was going to pay for Adam’s birthday present next week. Still haven’t figured that one out.

For the moment, we are in limbo with the bank account stuff. Adam’s card doesn’t work, so he needs a new one, which means going in to a branch to pick one up. This was his plan for this morning before work.

He woke up this morning feeling kind of crappy, but then he’s been feeling on and off crappy since Lyra’s birthday or so in early July, so I guess he didn’t think much of it beyond “I feel crappy.” He hopped on a bus to head down to the bank and had to get off two stops later due to extreme nausea. He walked over to our doctor’s office and got in to see her pretty much immediately.

The Doctor expressed some concerns about him having lost weight, and decided that it’s probably been the same thing wrong with him for the past month. She ordered a barrage of blood tests and the like, and sent him off to the lab with instructions to avoid Lyra and stay home from work until they know what he’s got, in case it’s something bad and contagious (Norwalk?) or something along those lines.

Off he went to the lab, which is just upstairs from the doctor’s office. They took a few vials of blood, and then he passed out on the floor. He tells me that he lay there for about fifteen minutes until he felt up to walking home. Our apartment building and the lab have one small building separating them… he was in pretty rough shape.

Since then, he’s been hanging out at home, mostly sleeping and feeling terrible. I left work a bit early to pick up Lyra and bring her home – normally he picks her up after work. She’s doing okay – she doesn’t seem to have whatever it is that he has, right now. Still, we’re playing it safe and he’s not spending much time with her, which really sucks for both of them.

Adam has an unknown illness that might be serious, is hopefully treatable, and may be contagious, but we can’t do a thing until we know what it was. And some asshats stole our bank card information and then stole cash from out of our account the day after was due to come out. We’re just lucky it hadn’t yet, or it would have bounced. Or maybe it did and we just don’t know it yet. I have no idea how it works with this bank, I haven’t bounced a cheque in years.

My stress levels are slightly elevated. Also, I need to eat my dinner before I develop a blood sugar imbalance.