Monday, January 29, 2007

I will now need a young lamb to take to the temple. Or am I in the two doves bracket?

An email I just received:

From: Dr. Advisor

Sent: Mon 1/29/2007 11:09 AMTo: Me; K; B

Subject: Meeting Cancelled Today

The research meeting this afternoon is cancelled.We will start back next week.Sorry for the late notice.


A little background. My advisor started this weekly research meeting thing last semester and today it was my turn to make a presentation detailing my research progress.
"Presentation" and "progress" are two things that had not been completed as of 11:30 last night when I finally gave up and tearfully explained to Ryan how much I loved him and Charlie but that I was going to have to skip the country for a little while to avoid being murdered by my advisor because I'm such a huge slacker. And also when I come back I will have had plastic surgery and you will have to call me "Jane".

So you can imagine the shocked joy I felt when I received that email. I know my advisor takes his job of shaming graduate students into working very seriously and I know it was hard for him to cancel the meeting. He couldn't have made me happier if he had kicked me out of the program!

Like a pardoned death row inmate, I realize I should use this opportunity to turn things around and then really blow them away next week. So I will try. First, I am going to take a shower and get dressed and then I will get some lunch. And then I am going to sit down and make progress. On my dissertation (not on enhancing my cloth diapering knowledge base or catching up on The Apprentice LA). And then I will watch Oprah. Alright? Alright. Enough screwing around. There will be plenty of time for that in August when I have graduated and don't have to do a damn thing if I don't want to. But I probably will. Want to do something that is.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

So Damn Lucky

Of all the wonderful pictures of Charlie I have, I chose this one to post today:

B-A-D dog (but an easy way to pick up spilled grated cheese)

I had a little mishap getting all the shredded cheese back into its bag after dinner. Rossby is always ready to help out around the house. Counter's really clean now though. I mean because I sprayed it down with 409 after he was finished picking up the cheese. Our friends have asked us if we feel like real adults now that we have a baby. I don't know, do real adults almost wake the baby up with riotous laughter as their dog licks fancy shredded cheddar of the kitchen counter (and maybe even chanting "Go Rossby! Go Rossby!" and dancing around in the kitchen as if Ross was some frosted hair frat boy doing a beer bong?)?

Poor Charlie had a pretty crummy day today. By normal-baby standards, it might have been a normal day. But by Charlie standards it was an unrelenting shriekfest. It started this morning when we were unable to get him to go down for a nap despite how obviously exhausted he was. After about an hour one of us finally thought to check his diaper (which was soaked) and by then he was so out of sorts sleeping in his crib wasn't an option. SLEEPING wasn't an option. So I fed him early. A lot early. The poor kid also seemed to be starving. He was a sad baby. Another growth spurt? Bring it on. Interesting fact: growth spurts are triggered by houseguests and they are particularly intense if you've been telling those guests for weeks what a great sweet perfect baby he is.

He was a good boy at lunch, sleeping in my arms for about twenty minutes and smiling and cooing the rest of the time (adorable enough to score two Oreos from the waiter. which I ate). Incidentally the really cool thing about taking a baby to a rib joint is that when you snuggle up with him later and nuzzle your face down into his soft, sweet baby hair it smells like smoked meat. Anyway he had some great playtime with Nana after I fed him when we got home. Then he got tired again and would. not. go. down. for. a. nap. No Mama, no way, no how. Unless you hold me, bounce me, and sway, all while holding the pacifier in my mouth. And no you CANNOT sit down and don't you DARE put me in my crib. I got him to sleep again for a few minutes after another (early) feeding. I handed him off to Poppa so I could start making dinner, where he promptly woke up and refused to go to sleep again. By this point he looked absolutely miserable... face squished up and turning red (the "I am the saddest baby in the whole world" face), rubbing his eyes with his hands, flailing his arms and legs, whimpering. I stuck him in the sling where he quickly settled down. Another quick handoff to Poppa (this time the entire sling and baby) and he was fast asleep and I was cooking dinner.

He is in bed now fast asleep after a bath and a longish nursing session. And once again I can marvel at how perfect he is and how lucky I am. I mean I am so lucky. I don't think about that often enough. I sure did when he came home from the hospital. I couldn't stop myself from singing and smiling and crying with joy and continuously thanking God for him. I still feel grateful and love him more than I can put into words but maybe I'm used to it somehow or something? Like feedings (which I love. I will never get over how amazing it is that I can feed him with my body) and diaper changes and spit-up and baths are just part of my life now and I just don't stop to think about what he really means to me. Anyway I read this heartbreaking blog tonight that has put everything into perspective. The author's wife was diagnosed with cancer during her fifth month of pregnancy and from what I could tell they had to make a decision between terminating the pregnancy or risk losing both mother and baby. It's just too awful to think about. After I read it I went into Charlie's room and watched him sleep, felt him breathe, touched his hair. My heart told him that no matter how many cranky days he has or how much he cries, no matter the career I may not get to have or the perfect body I will never have, no matter how many hateful things he says in anger as a teenager, no matter what, I will always count myself lucky to have him in my life.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A quick good morning

Nothing really interesting is going on today but I know A is bored at work and would like something new to read. I am working at home (or at least I will be once I finish this post and the caffeine kicks in) and we now have Charlie in two different church Parents Day Out programs for a total of five days of part time childcare. He went to the new place at our church yesterday and they said he had a really good time. He was asleep in a swing all wrapped up in a cozy blanket when I got there. I had to wake him up to feed him and change him so that we could go to the grocery store on the way home without a lot of drama and he cried a little and then went back to sleep before I could get the bottle warmed up. His report card for the day indicated that he participated in all of the baby activities they have like tummy time, leg runs (which they said he loves!), time on the texture mat, and practicing following objects, making eye contact, and cooing. They LOVE him there.

His teacher was warming up his bottle for me and said "Are you breastfeeding?" I said I was and she looked at the bottle (8 oz of breastmilk) and looked at me wide eyed and said "Oh my gosh this is the best breastmilk I've ever seen!" which must top the list of strange compliments I've received. She told me she has seen breastmilk that is almost water and that most babies only drink a few ounces a day, not eight. So now we know why Charlie outweighs most of the four and five month olds we meet. And we also know that caffeine and occasional alcohol are not hurting anything. (so STUFF IT LC nurse at the hospital!! OK now I feel bad. She was actually very nice and helpful, just a little dictatorial on the caffeine issue and after that I wasn't brave enough to bring up beer).

I'm trying to eat better to develop good habits to model for Charlie and to get some practice making fresh food and preparing vegetables so Charlie doesn't grow up eating Tombstone Pizzas for dinner three times a week. It has been going well. I can make turkey chili and potato soup, and last night I made meatloaf, sweet potatoes, and greenbeans and banana pudding for dessert (did you like that comma splice? Neat, huh?). AND I made all that while Charlie was home! Part of the time he was in the sling happily sucking on his fist (yeah whatever judgy pacifier lady at LLL I HAVE GOOD LOOKING BREASTMILK!). It was easy and it was nice to have a nice dinner to eat. Last night though I had a dream that I went to Starbucks (gaaa!) and drank a Grande Frappachino with whipped cream and felt very guilty (in the dream and when I woke up). So now I am going to go there and get an ICED TEA and nothing else. Except maybe a scone. Probably. See you later.

OH! I almost forgot to tell you. Yesterday morning I called the university I applied to in Austin to check on my application. I kept asking for human resources and finally got someone's voice mail so I left a message (it must be a really small place if human resources has only one employee). When she called back I was feeding Charlie and watching Dr. Phil and my phone was almost out of power so I got up, walked across the house, got the charger, carried it into the kitchen, plugged it in, and plugged my phone into the charger all while nursing Charlie and saying in a cool professional way "Yes, I submitted my application in October for the position of Professor of Physical Science. Yes, I am very interested in the job. Yes, that would be great. Mmm hmm thank you! You have a nice evening!" They're having a meeting this morning to discuss all the applications and she is going to call me back today. They haven't offered anyone an interview yet. Like I said before, they're going to take one look at my Methodist with no teaching experience butt and say "no thanks!" but at least until later today there is hope. But! Am super lactating goddess of multitasking!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Corn Dogs?

The blizzard of ought seven has begun as an unimpressive mix of freezing rain, sleet, and regular rain. Ryan took Charlie to daycare and I went to the grocery store to pick up some items like deodorant that we don't want to be without while we are all trapped in the house together. I was curious to see if the residents of MyTown had heeded the advice of the local news last night when they said to stock up on non-perishable, high-protein food items in case the snow made the power go out for a few days. The bread display was fully stocked, so was water. I didn't pass by peanut butter but I'm sure it was fully stocked as well. The only thing unusual that I noticed was that a freezer case that normally contains frozen corn dogs, according to the signs, was totally empty. Apparently most residents of MyTown are followers of the Ray Nagin School of Disaster Preparedness. Of course I am preparing for the storm by downloading iTunes 7 so I can put the video of "Guy Love" from the Scrubs Musical on my iPod so I really shouldn't be making judgements.

I did discover a silver lining to this whole winter thing, however. You can buy milk and eggs at the grocery store and then leave them in your car while you walk down to the coffee shop (ok ok it was Starbucks, dirty corporate coffee, I'm ashamed. I'll blame it on the weather) and nothing will spoil. It's like I live in a big refrigerator!! Isn't that fun?

Now it's time to whine about things that annoy me but don't effect me in any way at all. In anticipation of the big blizzard the local public schools have all closed, as well as most daycares and parents-day-out programs (Charlie's closes at noon). MyUniversity, however, is on the regular schedule. So the largest employer in MyTown is requiring all it's employees and students to come to work and school but there is no place for all of their kids to go. So, either a lot of people at MyUniversity will be forced to use a sick day or miss class or bring their kids with them or it's gonna get all Lord of the Flies around here in a hurry. Genius. This adds to my already considerable annoyance with MyUniversity for repeatedly failing to cancel school for bad weather until at least two-hundred wrecks (and this time I'm not exagerating believe it or not) have occured in and around the city. Usually they do something awesome like closing early after the snow has all melted and it's sixty degrees outside or delaying opening the day after the bad weather when the roads are clear. Their argument goes along the lines of "well if you lived on campus you wouldn't have to drive to class." To which I want to reply "Build family housing and we'll talk!!" It's a stupid argument anyway because they don't house faculty and staff on campus and the dorms only hold about 20% of the undergraduate population. I gotta get out of this place.OK, that's all for now. If you don't see me over the weekend it'll be because the power is out and I'm trying to figure out how to prepare frozen corn dogs on my grill.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Effing Winter

You can learn more about the unfolding meteorological nightmare here. A(G)J and SW? I know you're from the Arctic Circle and you think all of this is really neat? But it's not. Hottest winter on record? Good. Most snow accumulation in a twenty-four hour period ever recorded in MyTown? Not good. Scraping off the car with a hotel key for the trillionth time this month because mysteriously, a car that spent its first 70000 miles in NEW HAMPSHIRE is not equipped with AN ICE SCRAPER?! Bad bad bad. A, I know you're with me on this one even though I know you enjoy watching cars sliding out of control through the intersection outside your office window.
I have to go to the grocery store. And thanks to all the fear-mongering done by the local media weathermen it's going to take eleventy-thousand hours to pick up my prescription and a few disaster readiness supplies (cookie dough, a Cosmopolitan, Bisquick, maple syrup, cheese). Oh super, the flurries have started!

Charlie says "Bring on the snow!"

Christmas present from Aunt Andrea

Effing Winter

You can learn more about the unfolding meteorological nightmare here. A(G)J and SW? I know you're from the Arctic Circle and you think all of this is really neat? But it's not. Hottest winter on record? Good. Most snow accumulation in a twenty-four hour period ever recorded in MyTown? Not good. Scraping off the car with a hotel key for the trillionth time this month because mysteriously, a car that spent its first 70000 miles in NEW HAMPSHIRE is not equipped with AN ICE SCRAPER?! Bad bad bad. A, I know you're with me on this one even though I know you enjoy watching cars sliding out of control through the intersection outside your office window.
I have to go to the grocery store. And thanks to all the fear-mongering done by the local media weathermen it's going to take eleventy-thousand hours to pick up my prescription and a few disaster readiness supplies (cookie dough, a Cosmopolitan, Bisquick, maple syrup, cheese). Oh super, the flurries have started!

Charlie says "Bring on the snow!"

Christmas present from Aunt Andrea

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

La Leche Meeting Two

I love La Leche League. Today there were lots more people than there were at the last meeting. There were lots of babies under one year and a few who were close in age (although not size) to Charlie. There were a few pregnant women there too. One leaned over to me and said "Do all the women here nurse their children until they are four years old?!" I said "I'm planning on doing it for a year, but I think a lot of these women breastfeed longer, yes." I thought she would be my friend so I said "I have a pacifier. Hee hee hee. But I'm afraid to bring it out here. Hee hee hee." She looked alarmed and said "Pacifiers are terrible for babies! They do blahblahblah to their teeth!" I said "He doesn't have any teeth" and smiled politely. Funny funny lady. I'm gonna sneak a look in her purse in a few months when she brings her newborn back to the meetings. I bet there will be about four of those terrible things in there. And maybe a couple more in the cup holder of her car. I did see pacifiers stashed in the carseats of two other young babies there (pacifiers?! infant carriers?!). To one mom I repeated my pacifier comment and she said that she was also afraid to use it during the meeting. I told her she was brave for bringing the carseat in. She laughed really hard and said "I was afraid to but it is so cold outside and I didn't want to have to strap him in out there." She's going to be my friend I can already tell. I knew it when her older boy laid on the floor scratching his butt with his hand down his pants and she just looked at me and said "He has a skin allergy" and laughed. It might be harder to be friends with the mom whose daughter was EATING A SWEET POTATO LIKE AN APPLE. But she seemed really nice so who knows (also she is the wife of a professor at school who is on Ryan's dissertation committee so being friends with her would be good. But Charlie will only be eating cooked sweet potatoes thankyouverymuch we are NOT that crunchy).

I really can't wait for the next meeting. I joke around a lot about it, but I like the other La Leche people a lot. I even think I'll join the parent organization (haha get it?) so I can get the magazine and the book and support breastfeeding education. Because formula is pushed so hard onto new moms (I received a gift bag at the hospital with "breastfeeding mom" stamped on the outside. Inside was an ice pack for sore breasts [that was the breastfeeding part] and a whole bunch of formula samples and brochures and some sugar water bottles) and it can be hard to learn to breastfeed but it is so good for the baby and the mother and it is so much less expensive. Nothing is wrong with formula, but if you could save $25 a week AND burn an extra 500 calories a day, reduce your risk of certain cancers, and build your baby's immunity wouldn't you want to know how?Here is your cute baby picture for the day:

Friday, January 12, 2007

Please don't call PETA

There is nothing I can say to add to the hilariousness of this:

"Y'all are a couple of assholes you know that?"

Oh, and the new BumGenius diapers arrived today... they're super cool.

A conversation with a potential daycare provider

Me: We prefer to use cloth diapers. (Hold up all-in-one cloth diaper and undo velcro) See they're really easy to use and go on just like regular diapers. We would provide a bag for you to put the dirty ones in.

Daycare Lady: Haha we've never heard that one before! (laughs loudly, shoots look at infant room monitors who also laugh) Where are you from?

Me: I'm from AustinDL: OhhhhMe: nervous laugh

DL: I knew it had to be either Austin or Colorado

Me: I've actually lived here for eight years

DL: Well you can't get that Austin out of you!

I don't know if we'll use that place. The hours are great and so far they are the only ones who would let us use cloth diapers but it's expensive and their infant to staff ratio is awful (5-1!!) and Charlie won't get nearly as much attention as he does now. There were a ton of babies in there and all the little ones were in swings or bouncers or high chairs and only one was being held. Plus now they think I'm some kind of gypsy earth mother (from Austin of all places, the horror!) I don't know what we're going to do.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Fact 1: Drinking beer while watching ER results in a slight blurring of the lines which normally separate my life from the lives of the characters.

Fact 2: I am going to have nightmares about that episode until next Thursday when they KILL OFF ALL OF THE GOOD CHARACTERS oh my gosh.

Fact 3: It is fun to watch ER with someone who, like me, sorta believes all the characters on ER are their friends (Friends who are all now in grave danger. Thanks for NOTHING NBC!!). Thanks A, I hope you don't mind other people knowing that.

Fact 4: A is a fun friend. Last night it was cookies and criticizing the Victoria's Secret models in the catalog (because yeah you have impossibly huge boobs and tiny hips but can you tell me whether that low pressure system will bring rain to MyTown? OK me neither but I bet I can integrate by parts faster than you!) and tonight it was beer and brownies and Thursday Night TV.

Fact 5: Brownies are yummy.Fact 5a: Brownies make your ass big.Fact 5b: Need to learn some self control already and STOP BUYING BROWNIE MIX!

Fact 6: The dead-thing funk remains, but was greatly improved by leaving the windows and back door open all day (because it was in the sixties).

Fact 7: The forecast HIGH temperature for Saturday is 23 degrees FAH-REN-HEIT. This means you should cover your plants, bring in your pets, and pile all your furniture in the middle of your biggest room because you will need to burn it for warmth. Remind me about Saturday when I say idiotic things like "Wouldn't it be kinda fun to live in Boston or Chicago and not have a car?" Yeah moron that would be just super. You would have to choose between going outside where you would certainly freeze to death or starving to death in your apartment because there is not a coat big enough to make it safe to go to the grocery store!

Fact 8: If this is the best I can do then it is time for me to go to bed! (And it's still de-lurking week, see last post) Night!!

Time to sing for your suppers friendly friends!

According to Lakeline this week is "de-lurking" week. Which means leave me comments because I'd love to know who reads my blog. I really appreciate all the kind comments I've gotten from you in person. I am really surprised that there are so many readers. As an incentive, here are some cute baby pictures. Charlie is TEN WEEKS OLD today!!


Charlie says: "Yeah I'm cute! And my hair is still crazy!"


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Am spineless and pathologically afraid of perceived authority

After yelling at anyone who would listen last night about how mad it makes me that our daycare feeds Charlie every one and a half hours instead of three hours and only feeds him three ounces at a time instead of six and how he's cranky when he gets home because his system is all out of whack and Googling "MyTown Childcare" and sobbing to Ryan that I "haaaatttteeee taking him there I just can't do it anymore I don't know why I just don't like it I'll quit school and start selling breastmilk on Ebay or something I don't care just pleeeeeaaaaassseeee don't make me take him back" I took Charlie in there this morning ready to be firm and confident and tell them what he needs because I AM THE MOMMA I PAY YOUR SALARY LADY!! Instead I said "Ummm, we're really trying to stick to a three hour schedule, so please try to get him to take a whole bottle at 9:30. Please. If it's convenient. Ma'am." before prostrating myself on the floor and appologizing to the nineteen year old childcare provider for my insolence. Because? THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME. We'll see what my stunning display of assertiveness does for Charlie's day.

In the mean time I will play grad student while simultaneously washing baby clothes and diapers and frantically trying to locate the source of the dead-thing smell that has permeated our entire house before Charlie's first playdate arrives on Saturday. So far I have thrown out all the old produce, run the disposal, run the dishwasher, removed MY FAVORITE CHAIR from the family room because it kinda smelled funky because that's where I breastfeed and we all know how messy that can be, and cleaned the carpet with Resolve. No change. Except that I nearly killed myself tripping over the giant upside-down chair that now blocks access to the washing machine.

I'm slowly learning to work steadily and with concentration again but it is taking a long time. The bad news is that I will never get my degree and will be forced to get a nose ring and work at Starbucks as a milk frother for the rest of my life. The good news is that Charlie's dinosaur pajamas are clean so I can spend another night marvelling at his unbearable cuteness. Because class? SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH ME.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

When your mom said "always finish what you start"...

...she obviously didn't have an infant. Which is why my lunch consists of a cold Lean Cuisine pizza and warm orange juice... and maybe I'll have a nice cold cup of coffee to wash it all down. Charlie is taking a nap in his crib now (a new trick he learned at freaking day care). We just got back from a trip to Target for no particular reason except to go to Target, visit the little Starbucks there, and browse the store with Charlie in the stroller.

Our trip this weekend went very well. On the way there Charlie slept the entire way which included two planes and one short layover at DFW. Since we flew the second leg standby we had to wait a couple of hours for our luggage at the Pittsburgh airport, so Ryan and I had lunch at Friday's in the airport. Charlie slept through that too, except for when he was hungry and then I just fed him right at the table and everything was fine again. One neat thing we learned is to ask for a seat to be blocked for Charlie. So then even though we didn't buy him a ticket, he had his own seat and could sit in his carseat leaving our hands free (really great during the 3.5 hour flight). Plus you can cram all your carry-on stuff (which reaches a never before seen volume with all the baby stuff) under the seat in front of HIM and not in front of YOU. Security had the potential to be a little rough given the amount of crap we had with us and the fact that we had fluids and gels packed in nearly every pocket of the diaper bag that had to be located, removed, and shown to the security guy who then insisted on asking me six times if I had any formula or water for formula with me. Thank goodness they didn't enforce that rule about everything being in a one quart bag because then I would have had to lie. Because NO ONE wants a newly vaccinated two month old on a plane for the first time without the baby Tylenol. NO ONE.

Here's a list of everything we put through the scanner (and everything had to be seperate): One backpack (containing Charlie's clothes and blankets), my carry-on (books, camera, phone, wallet, etc), the diaper bag, the car seat, the stroller, one tube of Balmex, one bottle of baby Tylenol, one tube of Neosporin, one tube of lip gloss, one tube of Burt's Beeswax chapstick, and Ryan's belt, keys, change, phone, and wallet. Oh don't forget two pairs of shoes and a coat for each of us. So the drill went like this. I would line up as much stuff as I could on the table in front of the scanner. Then, holding the boarding passes in my mouth, I picked up Charlie and carried him through the metal detector. Ryan would supervise the shoving of the crap into the scanner and then went through the metal detector. Then, I would stand there impatiently holding Charlie while Ryan gathered together the above list and hauled it all over to a place where we could reassemble which usually went something like this: unfold stroller, install infant seat, put Charlie in infant seat, Ryan puts pocket stuff back in pockets, belt back on, shoes back on, I put shoes back on, pick up assorted bags and coats, start to walk away, come back to retrieve liquids and gels, put in obscure pocket of diaper bag where they will never be seen again (except for by some TSA employee when you have to do all of this again in two days), walk several gates into the airport, realize you have no idea where the boarding passes are, lie down on the floor in despair and beg to die.

Our hotel turned out to be just as nice as I expected. The bed was very cozy and Charlie's crib was nice too. It had a blue sheet with clouds on it and came with a cozy woven cotton blanket (which we accidentally stole in a last minute flurry of packing and miscommunication). There was a very nice bathrobe in the bathroom (which Ryan said he knew better than to fight me for) and the coolest showerhead I have ever seen. It had two separate heads and sprayed your head and back at the same time.Charlie's up... more later!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Andrea and Steve's Wedding

The wedding was just wonderful. We all had a great time. And Charlie did very well on the plane ride(s). I'll post more later but here are some pictures in the mean time.

Charlie with the bride and groom, his godparents

Mr. Handsome ready for the wedding

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Hotel luxury and mad Charlie

Tomorrow Ryan and Charlie and I go to Pittsburgh for my friends A and S's wedding. We are staying in an extremely nice hotel because of the surprisingly reasonable rate negotiated by A for the wedding guests. It's a hotel with ROBES. I have never stayed in a robe-level hotel. ROBES trump cinnamon rolls and coffee in the lobby any day I don't care how enticing they look on all the billboards. And? There are special toiletries. And a full-sized heated indoor lap pool. And the best part? There is a special kind of bed with special covers. I am a great appreciator of special beds. I may never leave. Are you ready for the other best part? Charlie is getting a CRIB with THE SAME KIND OF SPECIAL BED only smaller. I only wish it was safe to let him use a down comforter because damn, this is as good as it's gonna get for him bed-wise until he starts buying his own comforters (which I realize won't happen until he gets married so I hope he picks a girl with some sense). I wonder if the tub will be big enough for a family bubble bath so we can all enjoy the special toiletries. OOH if they provide a little tiny robe I will just die. Please try not to make fun of me on Monday when the first forty-nine pictures on my Flickr site were all taken in the hotel room.

Charlie had five vaccinations today. One was oral (very confusing to him) and four were shots. SHOTS! With NEEDLES! Poor. little. guy! He was so happy this morning too. So happy. Even when he had to be weighed naked, which he has always hated, he was calm (By the way, he weighs 15.8 pounds and is 24 inches long oh my Holy Lord). He smiled during the exam and was a sweet, perfect, charming little angel. Then they came at him with the needles. Immediately after the first stick he got this awful confused look on his face ("Et tu Mama?") for a split second and then the screaming began. The nurse was good about doing all four shots pretty quickly and with every new stick came a louder level of crying. He was absolutely miserable. And when I was getting him dressed after the trauma a bandaid came off and I got blood all over my hand. His blood! His sweet little baby blood that should never, ever, ever come out of his sweet little baby veins! He was so worked up he had to go to Starbucks afterwards and have a large iced tea and some banana bread and even then he was so distracted he couldn't do the Sudoku in the paper.

This afternoon was hard for him. He slept a lot but when he woke up he was mad mad mad and he would NOT let me put him in his crib to sleep. I guess he figured since I had betrayed him once today he better keep an eye on me.Tomorrow the reign of terror that started yesterday with day care continues as we are taking him on an airplane. Poor kid is going to be on prescription anti-anxieties and twice-weekly visits with some school counselor named Miss Julie by kindergarten.Imagine a witty and clever post wrap-up here. Wish us luck this weekend!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007


This morning Ryan and I spent a rather stressful hour getting ready to take Charlie to daycare (Note: Get things together the night BEFORE [and set the freaking alarm clock] so that you don't find yourself nursing the baby half asleep at 7:49 wearing nothing but underpants and a t-shirt when you wanted to get to the daycare place by 8:00 thinking "You're SHAVING? Are you kidding me? We have like two minutes and you're SHAVING?" even though it's really not a big deal because who the heck cares when he gets to daycare because no one's boss is in town and you're just taking your nervousness out on your poor husband and you are cranky because you're half asleep and your nipples hurt). When we finally got to the door, ready to leave, we each had a bag packed for Charlie with a blanket, diapers, and pacifiers. My bag also contained an extra outfit in case the daycare workers were more squeamish about Charlie wearing spitup than I am (seriously if I changed his outfit every time he spit up on it we would have to LIVE at KOHLS).

I carried Charlie into the daycare room and everyone oohed and ahhed over him. Ryan put the bottles in the fridge and finished filling out the paper work. I put Charlie in one of the ExerSaucer thingies (instant screaming... "Ooh, I guess you're not ready for that!" I said brightly... see how cool, calm, and collected I am?). I found a bouncer seat just like the one we have at home and strapped him into it so he could look at another baby there named P. Charlie was fascinated by P and they were still staring at eachother when Ryan and I left. P is an adorable, delicate and petite five month old whom Charlie outweighs by at least two pounds.I used my five hours of childcare wisely and got lots of work done.


I downloaded songs on iTunes and ate like four cups of M&Ms. Oh and I re-read my (effing) dissertation proposal and made a three line to-do list for when I'm better able to concentrate (probably about eighteen hours before my advisor gets back into town). I also stared at pictures of Charlie and pumped breastmilk (mooo).When I arrived at Charlie's classroom I said "Hi" from the doorway. The teacher was feeding Charlie in a swing and when he heard my voice he stopped eating and turned toward me (weeps). I walked over and sat next to him and he smiled at me (weeps weeps!). When I got him home I fed him the rest of the bottle he had been eating and let him play on the floor some. When he got fussy I picked him up and wrapped us both up in a cozy quilt and sat on the couch. Rossby jumped up on my legs and the three of us slept for about two and a half hours (I woke up after an hour, Charlie and Rossby slept for-EV-er). Charlie was totally wiped out (I guess he had a good time at daycare). It was lovely and warm and cozy and I could have stayed there all evening.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Big Boy Goes to the Nursery

Sunday was Charlie's first trip to the church nursery. Since it was New Year's Eve, all the kids were staying together in one big room instead of being separated by ages like they are normally. Ryan carried Charlie in and handed him to one of the workers and then calmly turned around to leave as I frantically called out instructions to anyone who would listen: "He's just been changed and fed, so he should be good for you! If not try the pacifier! It's attached to his shirt! This is his diaper bag! There are two diapers-- that should be enough! There are also flares and a snakebite kit if you should need those. Does this room have smoke detectors? What you mean you don't know?! What about one for carbon monoxide? How old are you anyway?" I walked towards the sanctuary proud of my cool confidence in the nursery staff. Then I heard Charlie cry and thought "What are those *explitive* doing to my son?!"

It was the looooonnnnnggggeest church service I have ever participated in. We had left our cell phone number on the sign in sheet at the nursery. The number for the phone that ran out of batteries and died sometime between the processional and the Gloria Patri. Ryan tried to revive it but it was not to be. So I spent the rest of the service with my eyes fixed on the door to the hallway that led to the nursery expecting to see one of the nursery workers come bursting through it at any moment holding Charlie out at arms length, naked and screaming, saying "I don't know what happened, some of the older kids wanted to play with him. I thought it would be ok." During the sermon I demonstrated my maturity and patience by tapping my foot incessantly and rolling my eyes at Ryan who was fidgeting with a pen and writing smart-ass comments in the margins of the church bulletin. The last hymn was "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" which is, you may not have realized, the LONGEST Christmas song ever invented. Ever. I changed the words: "Hark the herald angels sing, give me back my freakin' son. if you don't, I swear I'll hurt you, gauge your eyes out with a spoon. This damn song is too damn long, let me leave before I die..." you get the idea. Ryan shot out of the pew before the second syllable of "amen" after the benediction.

When we arrived, Charlie was sleeping peacefully in the arms of one of the nursery workers wearing only his Gerber Onzies "Tall as a Giraffe" undershirt and a pair of socks (we had dropped him off dressed smartly in a navy blue rugby themed romper and a red zippered hoodie). Forgetting that there were other adults in the room (or in the same zip code) I happily exclaimed "Ooh, look at you big boy you lost your clothes!!" in a chirpy sing-songy voice as I ran over and picked him up. One of the workers told me he had gotten so sweaty that his hair was matted to the back of his head. They told me that he was a good baby and stayed calm as long as he had his pacifier. He was the only baby in the room and they all fussed over him and told him how cute he was and it was just wonderful.I am dreading Wednesday when I drop Charlie off at childcare and will then have to LEAVE THE BUILDING for approximately six hours of unmitigated terror (on my part. Charlie will have a blast no doubt). F***ing graduate school.