You Gotta Grow Up Some Time

And, in a way, this weekend I feel like I passed a milestone in adulthood: I mowed the grass.

Okay, don’t get me wrong. One of my chores as a high-schooler was mowing our yard, and I did it most weekends. But I used a mower where I was the engine, the kind of mower where it’s just wheels and a blade, and you know not to put anything in the blades because they will chop whatever it is to bits. The thing about this type of mower is that if you let the grass get really long, you end up doing a ton of work pushing it through that tall, thick growth. So you’re pretty motivated to keep it under control.

I understood that mower and felt comfortable (albeit exhausted and sweaty) with how it works.

When we bought this house, we had that same kind of mower. But Ian was the guy responsible for mowing, and he didn’t like this push mower. It’s too much work, we had too much grass, and too much time elapsed between mowings so every time was a nightmare.

Long story short, we purchased a mower with an engine. It’s electric, and plugs in, so we got around the whole gasoline engine issue. And it doesn’t drive itself; you still have to provide all the pushing. But the blades are powered, which makes a big difference for the amount of work. With this purchase, Ian took on the basic mowing responsibilities.

I was happy with this, because lawn mowers with engines always made me nervous. Not only are they loud and stinky (although with ours the only stink comes from the person doing the mowing–ha!), but something about the powered blades made me very uneasy. So I let Ian do it, and we were good.

But with my taking on this new job, our days–especially weekends–have filled up, leaving not much time for incidentals like the yard. With the 45″ of rain we’ve gotten so far, plus the occasional burst of sunshine, our grass has grown like gangbusters. It really needed mowing, but Ian’s schedule was full up.

So, today, I ventured into adult-land and used a lawn mower with a motor. Dum da dum!!

My First Lawn Mowing!

It was basically like vacuuming, only nicer weather and heavier machine. I guess this means I don’t have any excuse for not mowing again in the future, because I felt like it turned out decently well.

A Couple Random Pictures

Day’s Verse:
Relish life with the spouse you love
Each and every day of your precarious life.
Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange
For the hard work of staying alive.
Make the most of each one!

Ecclesiastes 9:8-9ish

Birthday Sunset
The sunset on May 23, with only a little digital enhancement. Some compensation, I suppose, for creeping another year closer to the big 3-0. That, and Ian’s

The Top of Cougar Mountain
This is the view from the very tip top of Cougar Mountain, in an as-yet-undeveloped future neighborhood. Pretty spectacular: Even with my lousy camera phone, when you zoom the picture to 100% you can make out (from left to right) the Puget Sound on the far left, Seattle (through trees), Lake Washington, Bellevue, Lake Sammamish, Factoria/Issaquah, and (through more trees, just barely) the Cascade Mountains on the far right. On a clear day, with a good camera, this view would really knock your socks off. The caveat is that it’s at the top of a 1500′ climb, with numerous 15% to 17% pitches and even more 10% to 12% pitches. It’s not trivial to get there by bike, let me tell you, but well worth it when you get to the top.

A baby update:
This week has been a bit rough with Benji; we’ve had no grandparental help, which is rougher on me than on him. He’s working hard on getting his tummy off the ground to crawl for real, but he’s also become a master of the Army crawl and can scoot around alarmingly rapidly when he wants to. One of his top teeth has just started poking through, too, and the other’s nearly there, although we’ve thought that for a couple weeks now, so who knows. But based on the continuous fussing, refusal to nap, and copious drool volumes, I’m guessing it’ll be soon. Can’t be soon enough, if you ask me, although I know that’s only four teeth out of 20. Gah. When those two come in, we’re still only 20% of the way there. But on the bright side, he sits really well unassisted when motivated (spinning the globe is a particular favorite right now, as is reading peek-a-boo books) and spends a lot of time screeching loudly in happy excitement.

At Benji’s 9 month doctor visit, the doctor told us he didn’t need to eat overnight for nutrition; he gets plenty of calories between solids and formula during the day. Right now Benji goes down about 6:00 pm and wakes up between 6:00 and 7:00 am, with one wake-up for food in the night — the exact time varies, but usually between 1:00 and 3:00 am. He sucks four to six ounces of formula down in 10 minutes and usually goes straight back to sleep. Ian and I aren’t sure if we want to change this status quo yet; I’m mostly leaving it to Ian, who does the night feeding (I always still wake up for it, so it’s still disruptive, but at least I don’t have to get out of bed). I’m kind of hoping that Benji will wean himself from that final feeding, but if he doesn’t do it soon, I suppose we’ll have to step in.

Overall, Benji has gotten increasingly challenging as he’s grown older, but commensurately delightful. He babbles, he laughs, he noms on food, he blows raspberries, he crawls and investigates things… In short (I know, too late!) he’s slowly turning into a little person, and that’s truly amazing to watch and participate in.

8.5 Months and Going Strong

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Sometimes just when I start thinking, “Not one more diaper!” Benji does something new or cute that keeps me going. Last night was particularly sleepless and long for us, and waking up at 6:00 am (instead of our usual 6:30 or 7:00) felt exceptionally miserable.

So it’s an especially good thing that Benji started making pffttt noises with his tongue sticking out today, because otherwise I don’t know what would have kept me going today.

On top of that, he’s just started lifting his torso off the ground, clearly a big step (if you will) towards crawling. He’s also started pushing off with his legs more, and the overall forward motion has become much more crawling-like than the earlier swimming-through-air style motion.

This is all lovely, but I’d still love an uninterrupted night of sleep.

Oh: about the library books: I finished the first 900-page volume a few days ago, and am not remotely tempted to keep it, limited edition or not. The waiting and editing qualities were both atrocious, and the story, though entertaining, not worth incurring the wrath of the King County Library System.