Wednesday, February 28, 2007
I had a long talk with Dr. Advisor Monday evening after our usual meeting. I had Charlie with me. I brought him to work and paid a friend in Sonic gift cards to watch him for an hour during our regular meeting. The friend had to leave and Dr. Advisor still wanted to talk to me some more so I held Charlie and he fell asleep and everything was fine. Then the meeting was still going on when Charlie woke up hungry. I felt like the meeting was really important because we were finally talking about the elephant in the room (me not getting anything accomplished so far this semester), so I just fed Charlie right there in the meeting. Not weird at all! Nope. No sirreee bob. Dr. Advisor was super nice to me and I admitted that I really don't want a prestigious job because it would take too much time away from my family and all that. He agreed and said I was doing the right thing. I also told him that I still wanted to finish my degree and that that is my goal and I am committed and he said that's good and aknowledged what a difficult position I am in because I have all these things (Ryan, Charlie) that are more important than my dissertation that take time and that I'm not the kind of person who could just walk away from all the work I've put into my degree so far (oh but you are wrong there!). He told me he couldn't push me too hard because he really believes that I am doing the right thing by supporting my family at the expense of my dissertation. I said "that's very nice of you to say but at this rate I will never finish" and he said "that's true what can we do." Anyway it all boils down to him being way way way too nice to me and me feeling really guilty and that might be just the motivation I need because yesterday I got a ton more done than normal. I cried all the way home and most of that evening because I certainly don't deserve such an understanding advisor and I am so lucky and all I have been doing is bitching about how I hate everything and I don't really have anything to hate.
That was Monday. Yesterday like I said went really well, I was able to focus and work and not get distracted. And then last night I found a good looking job at a small university and sent in an application online. Because I have learned nothing and apparently someone else was talking when they said "I don't want a full time job." Oh well, I think this one has summers off and it is teaching only so it would not be as intense as a regular faculty job in some ways. Plus I am barely qualified and I don't think anything will come of it and it only took an hour to do the application so really I have nothing to lose.
Five minutes is up, see you later!
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Is there anything cuter than a baby in a miniature striped oxford cloth buttondown shirt? The answer is no; unless you count a baby in a miniature striped oxford cloth buttondown shirt and KHAKI PANTS!
(I was making Charlie do the Twist as I bounced him on my knees and sang. He thinks it's hysterical and I have no idea how I figured that out. I mean who thinks "I should bounce this baby on my knees and sing like Chubby Checker"? He also likes it when you sing his name over and over again to the tune of Havah Nagilah. I don't know.)
In the picture you can see the skirt of my new red dress. It's a magic dress that hides my funny tummy and giant boobs so that I look normal. Worth it's weight in gold and it was only $25!
The shower was a good time. The couple was very grateful for all the gifts and there was yummy food and fun games. In particular I liked the one where the guys had to eat babyfood and guess what it was. Ryan won me a pretty candle by being the champion babyfood flavor guesser even though I teased him so much about his first guess, turkey, that he changed it to carrots and it ended up being turkey after all. It's the same game we played at my baby shower that inspired me to learn to make Charlie's babyfood myself because if something could really be either turkey OR carrots? Ew. A's husband K guessed "Denture Adhesive" when it was actually prunes but I think it was because he had a cold and couldn't taste well.
We gave the baby two tiny outfits (because their baby will be a dainty little thing and not grow out of size 0-3 months by the end of week five), burp cloths (don't leave home without em), and some Babylegs, because they are the coolest.
The dad-to-be held Charlie for a while and Charlie fell asleep. Mostly because Charlie is the perfect baby and rarely fusses for more than a minute or two but also because I had given him a stern warning about only being cute and not scaring the new parents by projectile spitting up or blowing poop out the back of his diaper. Looks like it worked.
Charlie: "I like Puerto Ricans."
Saturday, February 24, 2007
The news is going nuts with stories about the wind. They showed two pictures of overturned eighteen-wheelers on the highway. Eventually many of the rural highways were closed because there were so many wrecks. The peak wind speed in the area was recorded here-- 70 mph.
The coolest thing I saw was a large bay door at a carwash that had been punched out of its track and into the building by the wind. That I saw when I was on my way to shop for some new clothes. I found some great deals at a sale and bought a dress, skirt, sweater, and a tshirt for like $61. I was there for nearly two hours because I HAD to find a striped shirt. I don't know why. For some reason I have wanted a striped shirt for months. Found one! Yay! Also found some cute onezies for a friend's baby girl. The shower was today, hence the new dress.
Also, if you are going to a baby shower and you find you don't have any wrapping paper? A receiving blanket works nicely. :)
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Also it's good because I don't want to have to deal with all the "Saved by faith alone!" graffiti that would certainly be painted on my car by my zealous Lutheran coworkers.
And Ryan interviewed for a job today that would be nowhere near Austin. I won't say where it is, but the town looks very much like Stars Hollow of Gilmore Girls fame. Time to start knitting my reindeer sweater!
Now on to the real topic of this post.
Saturday morning I woke up to two IMs on my computer directing me to check out the local news. Apparently the police raided a Chippendale Dancers show at a local sports bar. The dancers were wearing pants, but no shirts, and all the hooplah went down after they got off the stage and went into the audience and danced in "a sexually suggestive manner." All the dancers were arrested, as were the owner of the bar and a couple of other employees. Everyone spent the night in jail and were released the next day without having to pay bond. No one has been formally charged with a crime yet.
It gets better. Monday at a public townhall meeting that was advertised as a place for citizens to ask any questions they wanted of the City Council a man stood up to ask the City Council about improper and excessive enforcement of the city's sexually oriented business ordinance. Here's a quote:
"Last Friday night, they set this town back 25 years; who else woke up Saturday morning thinking I'm embarrassed to live in MyTown?"
The City Council told him to sit down and be quiet and when he didn't the Mayor and City Council of MyTown walked off the stage and left.
I've complained about the overconservative nature of this town before, but it's not the town this time. Most citizens view this incident for what it is, an abuse of power on behalf of the City Council and a too liberal interpretation of the sexually oriented business ordinance.
In what universe is it illegal for consenting adults in a club to watch men dance with clothes on? What kind of "democracy" is it when the City Council acts as some kind of "morality tribunal" and shut down any activity they personally disagree with. Why do legal adults have to drive to the county line to buy alcohol like it's some kind of covert shameful activity. And there are some real problems (like rampant teenage std and pregnancy rates despite zealous "abstinence only" education and a high level of violent crime for a city of this size) that are not getting addressed at all!
This is the kind of junk that makes Ryan and me want to get Charlie the heck out of here before he's old enough to realize what's going on.
Monday, February 19, 2007
30 seconds later: "MOUTH STILL HURTS! FIX IT!" I said "Ryan, will you puhlease go get Charlie. Please please please." After about five minutes I heard Ryan get back into bed. I stared at the back of his head with jealous scorn that he was able to get Charlie back to sleep so fast and then all of the sudden "sniff... sniff... cough... WAAAAAA!"
My turn. This time I got out the big guns-- Infant Tylenol. I have no idea what you do for teething but it at least makes him sleepy. Twenty minutes of holding, patting, and pacifiering and he was down for the count. Thought "Am parenting genius!" as I eased him into his crib apparently a little too quickly because as soon as his head touched the mattress his arms shot out to the jazz-hands position and he started squeaking and wimpering again. I held the pacifier in his mouth for a few more minutes and he was out.
Five minutes after I fell asleep he was up again. By this time it was time to eat again so Ryan brought him in to me and I fed him in my bed. He fell asleep curled up in my arms and again I (foolishly) attempted a transfer. Finally Ryan went in and slept on the floor next to the crib so he could be there to address every whimper before it turned into wide-eyed awakeness and screaming. He takes good care of us.
I tried to inspect his gums this morning but he thought I was trying to feed him and tried to latch onto my fingers so I couldn't really see anything (I tried just pulling his lips up like you can on Rossby when you need to see his teeth but that didn't work. You have to acually open his mouth. And he gnaws on anything that gets near his mouth these days so that didn't work). So I guess for now we will follow him around with a ready supply of cloth diapers (to wipe up drool and dry soaking wet hands) and Infant Tylenol. He doesn't seem to understand the cold teething chew toy thing I gave him this morning, but I have another one waiting for him when he gets home.
Because there is nothing sadder than a sad baby. Here's a cute picture:
"Loooook at my Cheeeeeks. Kiss them. Pinch them. They're irresistable!"
Sunday, February 18, 2007
After Target he and I went to the coffee shop whose name I won't mention but is definitely not local to try on of their new cupcakes and have some iced tea. Delicious and delicous. Then we went to the grocery store to buy ingredients for "Hors D'Oaeiourvere" Night. Which is just a fancy name for "I want to eat a lot of cheese and tiny hotdogs while I watch TV."
Friday, February 16, 2007
Maybe I'll add to this later, but right now I am going to figure out what is wrong with the program I've been working on so Dr. Advisor doesn't make ME poop in my pants at our meeting on Monday.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Here are some pictures of Ryan and Charlie and me this year:
And WOW WOW WEE WOW:
The meal included two of my favorite food groups, potatoes obscurred by cheese and red meat. And we had chocolate mousse cake for dessert.
Dinner was served in the food court of the grocery store. The tables were set beautifully with white tablecloths and red cloth napkins. There were candles and pink carnations. There was prime rib. And waiters. And it was the only place we felt comfortable taking a three-month old thirty minutes before bedtime. And he did very well. There was only one instance of loud diaper activity ("Would you like the salmon or the prime rib?" ppbbbbffftttt...pbbbt...fffffffttth!!!! "Prime rib? Wonderful choice").
Ryan took Charlie to the men's room to change his diaper and while Ryan was working Charlie tried to strike up a conversation with a man at a urinal. Ryan hasn't had a chance to teach Charlie all the subtleties of being a guy. #1, no speaking in the men's room.
The meat came with this tasty white sauce. It was good on the meat and when I ran out of meat I found that it was also good on asparagus, little pieces of potatoes, the end of my fork, and my finger. Ryan came back from the men's room with Charlie before I got a chance to start licking it out of the bowl. But it was ok because that's when they brought dessert. I ate my whole piece of cake and part of Ryan's. It's lucky the button didn't come flying off my pants--someone could have lost an eye (I was wearing PRE-pregnancy camel colored pinstriped wool pants too thankyouverymuch! And a black sweater with a bow. Not bad considering I spent five minutes getting dressed and three of those were spent burrowing through my pre-pregnancy clothes looking for those pants. The pants that FIT did I mention?).
After dinner we went to the car where I wrapped a tshirt I found in the back seat around my freezing cold head and we drove home to hide from the snow and watch the last two episodes of Big Love, which we rented from the video store. SO sad we're done with those.
Tonight: A 40 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a low around 17. Northeast wind around 10 mph. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
If people were meant to live with this kind of weather we would still have fur.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Yesterday Ryan and I went to Target to buy onezies and pacifiers with a handy-dandy coupon Target mailed us. Looking back I should have realized that those coupons were designed to lure us into what I like to call "The Den of Temptation". And I should not have been surprised when I got to the checkout stand with my handy coupons and twenty-dollar gift card and the total was $68.73. Somehow pacifiers and onezies had turned into bottle brush, nursing pads, milk storage bags, pink burp cloths for upcoming girl-baby shower, tin foil, frozen pizzas (2), new dish scrubbing thingy (as referenced in a previous post), Comet soap scum stuff, and yes, pacifiers and onezies. We got the twelve-month old onezies as a last act of coherent decision making before the retail free-for-all began.
Target could be its own drinking game. Every time someone says "Hey, you know what? I've been wanting to pick up one of those!" you have to take a drink (you could totally do that in Baton Rouge where Target sells its own brand of wine by the way).
Ryan and I felt so dirty when we got home after being so mishandled by the Target marketing machine that we loaded Charlie into the Snuggli and cleaned the house. I tackled the bathtub in the master bathroom. And, happily, our bathroom no longer resembles that of a truck stop. Ryan and Charlie vaccuumed and took out all the trash and washed dishes. I changed the sheets (yipee! no more breastmilk smell), mopped the kitchen floor, and washed diapers. Then all of us went to bed at seven-thirty and slept for thirteen hours.
Here are some pictures of our accomplishments:
Clean Diapers! Yay! Cloth diapers make me happy because I? Am a freak.
Valentine's cookies that we helped Charlie make for his teachers
More cookies that we helped Charlie make for his teachers. For Valentine's day but mostly because we wanted to eat the dough.
Monday, February 12, 2007
I decided to dress a little nicer than normal because I want to make friends with other moms and I think the little "homeless chic" thing I've been doing lately (read: clothes that are clean and fit correctly do not exist. And also it is cold and I tend to overdo the layers when I am cold) is a turnoff to potential friends. I wore a long skirt and brushed my hair. It was glamorous.
Charlie and I sat between a very well dressed woman (including makeup and earrings! ooh fancy!) with a seven-month-old named H and an exhausted looking cropped sweatpants and sneakers mom with a five-day-old named J who was there for a weight and color check. (J weighed as much as Charlie did during my last ultrasound when they decided to induce me, yikes!) Earrings Mom and I had a nice chat about our respective babies. Charlie and H both had "the cold" and both enjoyed staring at eachother. Sweatpants Mom and I really hit it off too until I asked her twice in less than a minute how old her baby was (because I am a really super listener and also because I am tired. soo tired).
Charlie was eating lunch when the nurse called him back. She weighed him (19 pounds) and measured him (26 inches) and he was such a good boy this time because they let him keep his clothes on on the scale. Dr. Z came in the little room and asked what symptoms he was having and I told her "nasal congestion, coughing, and fussiness (and he's just not himself, I mean he only slept eleven hours last night, it was ROUGH.)" She looked in his ears and listened to him breathe and said "You have a cold, buddy!" in a tone that made me think she thought I was a little dumb for bringing him in. Then she looked at me and said "humidifier at night, saline drops in the nose, let him rest, keep him warm, lalala you are silly he has a cold we can't help him you should have kept him home lalala give me your copay." I stammered "Oh, um, I brought him in because it's been more than a week (and you told me to bring him in if it was more than a week! See! Following directions! Not overreacting.)" She said "I wish I could just wave a magic wand and make it go away" as she walked out of the room and that was that.
I brought Charlie home where he had a wonderful day of sleeping and "developmental play" including rattle grabbing and tummy time and didn't act sick at all. It was one of my favorite days with him so far.
Friday, February 9, 2007
Charlie has been helping me with my dissertation:
I'm starting him out with some simple data entry but it's been going well so I think we'll move him up to some low-level analysis tasks by the end of the month. He's really a huge help.
That's my post for today. I didn't get enough sleep last night because my back was all screwed up. And I think the big progress I made yesterday is wrong. And it snowed again. Whatever.
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Dear little house gnomes,
The next time you see something in our trash that you think might still be useful, like for example a nasty-ass dish scrubbing brush from circa 1985, and you want to keep it, please take it to your little gnome nest and do not put it back INTO MY SINK. Doing so will protect the family from contracting botulism from whatever that brush might have touched during its (too) brief stay in the trash can.
It would also be helpful if you would return all the pacifiers you are hiding.
Thanks so much!
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
For example, if the speed limit was 40 mph, the light should be yellow for? 4 seconds! Good.
(Not that any of this matters by the way because people around here only take traffic signals seriously if they've been red for a few seconds. And then only start moving again once it's been through green and has turned yellow again (or when they can hear me screaming unintelligably from my car behind them).
But anyway, the news report. The reporter was talking about an intersection near my house where the posted speed limit is fifty-five miles per hour. "With a speed limit of fifty-five miles per hour," she said "the light should remain yellow for five-point-five seconds." So far so good. Then the clincher! She said "We timed the yellow light and found that it is only yellow for four-point-four seconds. NEARLY A FULL SECOND less than the national standard." Oh to have Tivo.
Then! Then! (yes it gets better!) She interviewed some city guy in charge of traffic signals. She said "At such and such intersection the posted speed limit is thirty-five miles per hour, so the signal should stay yellow for three-point-five seconds." He CORRECTED HER "Well, we would want that light to stay yellow for three and a half seconds."
Oh my HELL no wonder it takes half an hour to drive eight miles in this town.
Sunday, February 4, 2007
Ryan: So where do you want to live after we graduate?
Me: Oh just apply anywhere you want, we'll make the best of it.
Ryan: Even California?
Me: NOT California!
Ryan: Anything else?
Me: Not Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada... or pretty much any state explored by Louis and Clark. Or that ends in "-ota"
Ryan: What about Illinois?
Me: GOD no!
Ryan: You said you wanted to live in Chicago!
Me: Oh right. Sure.
Ryan: What about New England?
Me: Boston? Yeah!!
Ryan: No, like Vermont or New Hampshire.
Me: Fine whatever, but I'm not wearing motif sweaters at Christmastime.
Ryan: New Orleans?
Me: Cataclysmic flooding.
Ryan: We could just stay here, I bet I could get a postdoc.
Me: [unblinking glare]
Ryan: [long frustrated sigh, leaves the room]
Friday, February 2, 2007
because they didn't. I think we had a 20% chance of flurries or something like that and then all of the sudden we had a Snow Advisory at about 9:00 last night.
And Charlie has a cold. It is so sad. He is very uncomfortable. Even Rossby feels for him. He brought his favorite toy and put it next to Charlie while he was playing. Rossby's toy is the brown gorilla in the corner of the picture. We stole it out of someone's trash can on a trip to Austin. Rossby loves it. He's managed to remove the nose and one of the eyes and now he has loaned it to Charlie because Rossby hates to see anyone sad. Isn't he a sweetheart? I'm really sorry about all the dirty clothes in the background. I promise we aren't raising Charlie in filth.
I called the pediatrician this morning to see if there was anything we could do for Charlie and they suggested rest, fluids, and the humidifier when he's asleep. Duh duh duh duh duh. I was thinking about renting him some movies and getting some popsicles for him and maybe buying him an issue of "Seventeen" like the last time I remember my parents taking care of me when I was sick. The cold pacifier I gave him was a bust so I guess those bumps on his gums are just bumps and he really does have a cold. So, rest, fluids, and humidifer. Sigh. Feel better soon little man!
Thursday, February 1, 2007
Hello internet. No I have not dropped off the face of the earth (although if you knew where I lived you might think otherwise). I have been WORKING. Yes, concentrating and accomplishing and all of that. And I have a little confession to make. I guess it's a coming out of sorts. It's just that, well, ok, I've been to Starbucks about ten times in the last two weeks. I know I know I know! Support local coffee and all. They're just SO CLOSE to my house and I can get there and back in under ten minutes and they have these tiny vanilla scones that are only a dollar and it's just the thing to satisfy my sweet tooth without going totally overboard and feeling guilty all day. Except today when the "barista" said "Would you like three for two dollars?" I said why the hell not and went for it. Because Charlie was a sad baby last night. Which meant I spent a considerable amount of time sitting on a chair in my underwear wrapped up in his blue Winnie the Pooh blanket nursing him while the humidifier humidified his room (because did I mention he was coughing? Coughing?! And sounded all pitiful and congested when I went to pick him up?). Oh, and the icing on the most pitiful coughing baby you've ever seen cake was that his diaper had leaked and his pajamas were soaking wet. See, he was sad. And I eat my feelings, and his.
I changed his diaper (it hadn't actually leaked, the velcro had come undone on one side so every time he went potty he was just going all over his clothes instead of the diaper) and his pajamas and put him back in bed. At 6:30 I was awakened by more pitiful whimpering and coughing and grunting and more wet pajamas. Once he had been fed and changed a second time he was ready to play. I tried to lay him on my chest so he'd go back to sleep but he just said "Tummy time! Fun!" and lifted his head up so he could stare intensely at the display on my alarm clock. When he got tired of that he started making loud cooing noises and smiling at something (the headboard? the alarm clock? funny mama who's trying to get some rest?). It was actually very cute. Thank goodness I went to bed early last night.
Tonight? ER!! ER!! ER!! Who's excited? Oh my gosh I can't wait to see what happens. Crafty NBC, very crafty. If you hadn't left me hanging like that I probably would be too angry about the two weeks of reruns to care. But you've got me hooked and you know it you evil bastards. Make this episode a good one and I might even forget that you tried to induce me to watch Deal or No Deal by putting it on what used to be known as "Must See TV".
Now I must enjoy my scone(s) and caffeine. And work. Must work.