Could everyone agree that no one should be left alone?

I had a dream about my Dad this morning. It was the first dream of my Dad that I remember since he died.

Dad, Mom, Elise, Maly and I were on vacation and having fun on the deck of some unbeknownst-to-me beach house off the Gulf of Mexico; somewhere where Dad had lived before or some place he wished he’d lived in the past.

We all knew that it was our last vacation before Dad was to leave us. We were all having fun despite the eminent. We were all wearing white. It was all too surreal.

I knew these were my last days with Dad. I wanted to take pictures of him so I could capture still images of the man who means the world to me.

My camera wouldn’t take pictures. I would press the shutter button and nothing would happen. I couldn’t take a photo.

I couldn’t take a photo. I wasn’t supposed to take a photo.

Monthly Maly Letter: Month eight

Dear Maly,

You turned eight-months-old today. What happened to seven-months-old?… It seems like just yesterday! You’re such a fun kid and now that I’m back in the working world I’m so jealous of your Mom who gets to be with you all day. I think about you constantly during those hours of the week when I’m not with you. I imagine you absorbing the world around you and smile with such pride when I think about you and your infectious laughter.

This month you’ve become very fascinated with cat food. We set you on the floor to see if there’s any new baby land speed records you can break and, for whatever reasons, you always make a B-line for the cat dish. To the best of my knowledge you have not yet sampled cat food, but you really like hunting it. I can tell you it doesn’t taste very good, but I guess you’ll figure that out on your own soon enough.
Speaking of mobility: you stand up frequently on your own now. You crawl to wherever it is you think you need to be and then you pull yourself up and stand. You’re starting to “walk” with help from whatever inanimate object, cat or my leg hair you use to brace yourself.

This month you figured out how to make “D” sounds. You say, “Dadadada da da daaaaaa da daaaa”. For my own reasons I know you’re saying “Dad” and it makes my heart swell like you can’t imagine.

Since you’re so mobile now you have a tendency to fall. However, when you fall you have a tendency to hit your head on things. This is the course of nature. Thankfully you haven’t had too terrible of a spill, but you keep your Mom and me on pins and needles. I’ve thought about either adorning you or the entire house with Nerf technology.

You had your first Thanksgiving last month. We went to your Grandma’s house and for our Thanksgiving dinner we ate the dove that your Grandpa shot before he left us. A few days prior you came down with a stomach virus that you passed on to your Mom and me during Thanksgiving. That meant we weren’t able to make our trip to Okeene, Oklahoma for the annual Boeckman Thanksgiving weekend. Your Mom and I were both pretty upset because 1) we were fighting over the bathroom and 2) because we weren’t able to show you off to your aunts, uncles, cousins and your Great Grandma B.

I’ve been having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit this year. 2006 has been a very hard year for me. I’ve had my extreme ups, downs and down furthers to the point where I’ve questioned my own sanity. I am so happy to have you to help me maintain that inkling of sanity. Your Mom and I have such a close bond that is so amazing to me and the bond that you and I have is so amazing as well in that you’re a living representation of us. It’s like you’re here to somehow protect and guide us.

You’re really starting to establish your sense of humor. You love to laugh, but now you like to do things to make your Mom and me laugh, which makes you laugh even more. I’m so glad you’re a happy baby. You can be a little moody at times and I’m not going to name names, but you get that trait from someone with a name similar to Dadadada da da daaaaaa da daaaa.

You’re such an amazing and fun child who is a joy to be around. This isn’t the calm before some hellride of a storm, is it? Even if we are in for some screams and tantrums during teething or fits while fighting sleep, I can’t help but love you more and more and press my kisses harder onto your cheeks.

I love you, Maly.



P.S. You can have WHATEVER you want for Christmas.

I be illin’

The Friday before last I came down with a stomach virus. The following Thursday I came down with a head and chest cold/infection. Last Monday and Tuesday I was in St. Louis where the temperatures were in the 20’s and I still haven’t recovered. I’m sick of being sick. Elise, sick herself, is feeling better than me and surprisingly Maly is doing just fine.

This past weekend has pretty much consisted of me falling asleep on the couch at 8 or 9, Elise waking me up to go to bed at midnight and then me waking up at 4 a.m. and sleeping like shit for the rest of the morning because of a hacking cough and headache.

On Saturday we got the majority of our Christmas shopping done. It doesn’t take me much more than a minute after stepping foot into a big box before I’m reminded of how figgy pudding fun it is to be among the Christmas shopping masses.

We took our sleep deprived daughter to “Luminations” at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center to see all of the luminarias on display for the Christmas season.  It was cold outside and Maly was really tired because she didn’t get her afternoon nap so she was really fussy.  She cried as we scurried through the wildflower center long enough to where we could no longer convince ourselves that we were having a fun family outing.

Today we woke up, played with Maly and went for an early lunch at Nuevo Leon at Escarpment Village. So far I’m not impressed with any of the restaurants at Escarpment Village – too plain, cookie cutter and in serious lack of any form of character. Nuevo Leon looks like it was designed by someone who has never been outside of New York and was told to design a “Tex-Mex” restaurant. Mangieri’s Pizza has the same lack of charm. The newest Waterloo Icehouse, an Austin landmark opened its doors in Escarpment Village this weekend. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that when patronize that joint, we don’t feel like we’re in IKEA.

We went to the nursery this afternoon and picked out our Christmas tree. This is Maly’s first Christmas and I want it to be special for her. I know she won’t remember her first Christmas, but I want this time of year to mean something – I want her to have fond memories of being with the people she loves.

It dawned on me tonight that we’re old

It’s 8:06 p.m. as I write this.  We’re both exhausted and almost too tired to eat dinner.

We’re watching the Planning Commission meeting on zoning and city noise ordinances on Austin’s public access television.

And for some reason TiVo is recording this meeting.

I need some fiber.