Monday, November 29, 2004

The United State of Babyland.

Bite me, I can't think of a wittier title.

So, the Thanksgiving weekend has come and gone, and a long weekend it was. First I had to work a ton of days in order to make up for the 4 day weekend, and then the weekend itself was a little taxing because we had to drive down to see Grandma and Uncle and Auntie. Which was fine, actually. Both babies ended up sleeping most of the way, which is something of a miracle. Especially the trip back from Puyallup, which is a two hour drive, we ended up with a relatively quiet car. Zoe, unlike Alex, is very much the kind of baby who is soothed by a moving car. And Alex was just worn out during the weekend because he was just so busy.

My wife claims that its been like this for a while, but this weekend I started noticing that Alex has grown so much. He's still very shy most of the time, but he is a showman at heart. He'll perform his little tricks and ham it up for the family, and he knows it gets him tons of affection and positive reaction. This kid was going to the kitchen every other second to get a reaction out of whoever was cooking at the time, and would just run around like a crazy boy, laughing at nothing in particular. He also gravitated more to Mommy and Daddy, which just made me feel special. There is no other feeling in the world when you squat down, open your arms, and have a giggling little boy run to you and crash into your body, laughing all the while. It is the greatest feeling in the world to get that hug. There are a lot of times when I don't know why I'm doing all this - I just have to remember that hug and the smiles. Cheesy, but goddamnit, I'll take what I can get.

My wife and I are trying desperately to keep our heads above water, both financially, but more importantly, mentally. Apart from the normal everyday worries, insurance is continually to screw us where it hurts. Not only is Zoe not insured for the rest of this year due to some stupid policy (the company blames Group Health, and vice versa.), now the company is saying that we didn't enroll for next year's insurance, and will not be insured unless we take action now. This is after we enrolled early November, rechecked mid-November, and again last week. This morning I got on the phone with my hard-assed attitude, and using my most adult voice reconfirmed that we were indeed enrolled. Then I had my wife call again. Then I called again. That's the state we're in now. We don't trust a lot of things working in our favor anymore, and often expect nothing to work.

And on Saturday, my wife and I got into a huge fight, whereby we didn't talk, and then we screamed at each other and I had to drive off and leave her with the kids. I sat at some parking space overlooking the bay and blasted my ears with music, in order to flood my head so that I'd eventually even forget what the hell we were fighting about. Of course, we made up rather quickly afterwards because we can't have sex with ourselves forever. The ironically sad fact is that we were fighting because she was suggesting that she worked Wednesdays for the extra money, and I was being stubborn about giving up the only day we had together without working.

Anyway, onto flakier, dumber news. I got into the Day After Thanksgiving spending spirit by getting myself a bigger memory card for my camera, so that I could take photos without worrying about the capacity. That's right, I can now officially take 305 pictures on my new card, and then use my older card and take 155 more. And yes, on a good, baby-free inspired day, I got through 155 easy. On vacation, I would go nuts with it. But I'm glad we fought the crowds at 6am (though we got there at 6, but didn't wait in line like the other weirdos who were probably there at 5am.) and got the card.

The other big purchase, an unexpected one, was a coffeemaker. Originally my wife was going to get it for Christmas after I got GTA: San Andreas for myself, but I got one the other day. But you can't argue with the price of my little cheapie coffeemaker - $4.50. Yes, for less than the price of a Value Meal at McDonalds, and 450 pennies, I got me a little coffeemaker. Hell, the coffee grinder was twice that. But I'm trying to get into the habit of drinking coffee to aid with my chronic fatigue. I know it's bad, and everyone's talking about how caffine will ruin your teeth and rot your insides and make you thirsty, but damnit to hell, I'm awake and somewhat alert at work. Who says you can't buy spunky? On the downside, coffee purists will be frowning to hear me announce that I'm drinking flavored coffee, like Irish Cream and Vanilla Hazelnut. I do drink it Black with sugar, if that helps bolster my manliness.

Oh yeah, I have to comment on this, even though my mum might read it. My Mom and my family back in Singapore and Malaysia got Alex and Zoe some toys, and I thank them tremendously for them. It's very nice that they're thinking of the little ones, even though they haven't even met them before. But I have to say this: Asian toys sure are dangerous. Alex managed to break the electric lantern in the first few hours, demobilizing the helicopter from any motion whatsoever, and then he plucked the wings off the wind-up duck and the tire treads of the train have already begun to come off. There are small parts waiting to come off these toys at any moment, but that's okay. I still think it's sweet and thoughtful that we got so many gifts and such from my family in Singapore and Malaysia, and I have to remember to email them thanks. Maybe get the kids to pose with the toys or something.

Well, parts of the toys anyway.

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