13 August 2006

A Great Weekend

Well, I just got back from the Jersey shore, where I visited with my family. Mike drives in from Pittsburgh every August to run in a ten-mile (yes, mile and not kilometer) race in Sea Isle City. He's probably run the race for the past 6 or 7 years. He finished, I believe, 4th last year (out of over a thousand), being beaten out for third by a friend he'd brought along. I advised him at the time to bring friends who are slower than he is in the future.

He's had a back problem for about a year (two herniated disks courtesy of running...exercise will kill you!) and had to lay off entirely for many months. At Christmas time and when Dad was sick, Mike was never without his back support pillow and was eating Ibuprofen like m&m's! This time he was lifting the baby without any problem and managed to complete the whole ten miles even though he hasn't run over seven miles since his back injury. He hit a wall at seven miles but managed to finish the race in a respectable fashion.

Yes, I said "his baby!" Jen and Brendan came along which was a complete, joyous surprise! Jen looks wonderful and seems to have fallen in love with motherhood. She is, in some ways, a very relaxed mother which makes me happy. I think some women just have a great instinct for motherhood, for how to interact with others in a way that fosters growth rather than stagnation.
I'd like to think I was one and I hope Jen is one. I'm starting to believe she may be.

Brendan is adorable...four months old, fifteen pounds, 26 inches (he was 7-15 and 19 1/4" a
t birth). He's 80th percentile for length. Maybe he's inherited a long, lean frame from his great-grandpop's side of his family. I hope so. He smiles almost non-stop and giggles and coos now. He's learned to roll over in both directions but didn't seem inclined to show off his newfound talent. I hope he hasn't inherited his grandmom's tendency toward laziness. (Can I help it if I'm smart enough to choose the path of least resistance most times?)

He has very strong legs and large thighs. I'm thinking more 'sprinter' than 'distance runner.' He loves to stand and will fight to get up on his feet. He can be stubborn already. (There is justice in life, after all. ; ) He has a lusty cry and sneezes very little. He still has the auburn highlights in his much thinner hair. He's going to try rice cereal next week though Nana doesn't think the boy needs any more nourishment than he's been getting. He starts day care at the end of the month.

He has the biggest eyes I've ever seen and smiles a crooked, little smile at you. He almost
seems coy. He has one dimple, on the right. He loves to open his mouth! He's drooling like a son-of-a-gun and is probably getting set to start teething soon. [More justice meted out. (Mike, if you're reading...whiskey. Really. Jack Daniels...for the baby.)] He has his father's ears, including one lobe that is pushed up a little more than the other. I think Mike's was his right, too. He loves chewing on his hands more than anything else except his mom and dad right now. His parents don't like him chewing on his hand. He doesn't suck a thumb or finger concertedly.

He went in the ocean for the first time yesterday and loved it. 'Atta boy, Bren!

Okay, enough about the baby! I get to keep some of him to myself!

I had a great weekend. I've obviously been putting off going down to the shore. I haven't been down there but once since Dad died, to help Mom open up for the season. Oh, and once just before his service to look for his tool belt. I haven't stayed down there since last fall, when Dad was still alive but ill. He hadn't had the death sentence pronounced yet so we still had hope.

The place looks good. Mom has been going down most weekends and I'm happy to say has developed something of a friendship with the single woman who has a site next door. Marianne is a nice woman and loves the same trashy novels my mom does so they hit it off. I hope she finds someone to let her hair down with a bit. Mom is talking about getting a new park model. That would be nice. There are little things about their current park model which Dad could easily take care of but which could prove problematic for Mom, like the gas hot water heater.

So Mom and I took a drive to a dealership today and looked at some. She's going to check them out online, too. We found one model with a queen bedroom, full-sized bath and two full-sized bunks. She really seemed to like that model and the layout is just what she has now except for the double bunks (she has a full-sized bedroom and two rooms with bunk-sized bunks, which are a real pain). I'd feel better knowing she wouldn't have to worry about high-maintenance siding and leaky roofs and such. She would, too.

The w
eather was about as perfect as you could ask of the Jersey shore in August. Perfect beach weather...highs in the mid-80's, low humidity, down to the high 50's at night with clear skies. It couldn't have been better. Yesterday felt a little cool. Today, I was warmer and out in the sun more. I got an optic migraine after looking at the trailers with Mom but had a Pepsi and a couple of Tylenol and that's completely resolved. I don't know if it was the heat or the sun on my scalp or the sun glare in my eyes that brought it on. Damn, some things about being human really stink!

So I drove home, hot, tired, muscles aching from lifting Brendan above my head and legs and back aching from helping Mom do things around the shore house. I needed bug spray today, and SPF 30 on my left arm for the drive home. A thin film of grey shore dust, fine as talc, settles on your skin down there, especially when you're primed up with lotion and spray. You might think that sounds gross but I love the feeling of c
oming home from the shore like that. I feel deliciously dirty right now, if you know what I mean.

I put things away, readied clothes for the laundry, opened all the windows and revved up the fan. The overheated sensation on my ears has given way to the most blissfully chilled heat in the breeze from the fan. The skin of my face, neck and arms feel just touched with sun. Just a bit warmer than usual, making the cool all the more luscious. All the sweat has cooled (and there was relatively little today) and I am utterly comfortable.

The campground and my apartment complex were alive with sensations of a Jersey (Philly) summer. There were locusts and cicadas buzzing. Butterflies and dragonflies lilted through the air. As evening closed, noticeably earlier than two months ago, the day bugs gave way to the chirping of chickadees and cardinals coming in for their dusk meal. Then the locusts accompanied a few Katiedids brave enough to usher in twilight. Now the crickets have joined in and the locusts are to bed.

There is a cool breeze wafting in the windows, ruffling the curtains so slightly.

I will groom and pamper myself when I'm done here. Clip everything in need of clipping (God, I love my clippers!), shave the shaveable parts, tweeze everything tweezeable, exfoliate and dermabrade. Shampoo and condition and lotion and manicure. Touch up the pedicure if it needs it, which it probably will. Oh, this shower is going to feel so good. I'm glad I'm remembering to take care of me again. I hate when I forget that! Feeling completely smooth and clean after feeling deliciously dirty is every bit as good as a headache when it's gone.

Oh, and I managed to reset my wireless router today without having to call Netgear or RCN or anyone! I'm so proud.

I told Bitch | Lab in a comment today I think I'm really a geek at heart. Truth is, I think I'm really a closet femme.

tags: family / grandchildren / humor / life / parenting / parents / senses / sexual orientation / Revenge of the Nerds (another in my ongoing series of attempts to randomly select Technorati tags, then see if they work) (No, there's not. I'm telling you, geeks have so little creativity sometimes!)

(Addendum...Egad! I forgot the baby pictures! I might be back after my shower to add some links.)

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