Monday, June 30, 2008


The first thing Dr. Advisor said during the meeting he called "very casual" was "Now, this is not a defense, but I think it will be most productive if we are pretty critical." Crap. It went downhill from there. I was terrible at understanding and answering questions from one of my committee members and I had made a big mistake on one of my slides that confused us all and left me discouraged and flustered for the rest of the presentation. I was pretty sure that this would be a painful meeting but when I left I felt awful. I don't know how many times while I was there I thought "Or I could just quit and never have to deal with this crap again." I kept reminding myself that they were both there to help me and that none of it was personal but I just wanted to get out of there NOW because regardless of how I was supposed to feel I felt stupid and totally blindsided.

When I walked out of the front of the building I felt immediately better when I saw the building across the street where Ryan's old lab was. I was so disappointed when I remembered that he wasn't there. I called a friend who worked on campus and made plans to have lunch with her and her husband then stopped by to arrange a meeting with the math professor who had written the Matlab code that was causing me so much trouble.

Lunch was lots of fun and afterwards I stopped by my old department where everyone had lots of nice questions about Charlie and Bravo. An old professor even asked to see more pictures and more pictures and then watched the two videos of Charlie dancing at the committment ceremony and gushed over how cute and big he was. We swapped stories about Charlie and his grandson. He offered his spare bedroom and babysitting services if I ended up having to defend after Bravo is born. Needless to say I was feeling much better.

The math professor, Dr. G, took one look at the data I showed her and said "Right" like she expected it to look that way. I explained what I thought was wrong and she said "No, that's how it's supposed to be" and showed me why and it was so obvious and I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it. DUDE, if this is actually correct? The hardest part of my dissertation that my committee had basically said was COMPLETELY WRONG just three hours earlier? Would be RIGHT. And? When I thought it was completely right last month I went ahead and did almost all the graph making and started on the interpretation and writing and I thought I was going to have to throw all that out. It would be so cool if I didn't have to do that. Then she helped me with another problem I was having and we had a long talk about work-family balance and my decision to have kids while in school, which she wholeheartedly supported and encouraged (even said "Maybe you'll want a girl one day!" and made sure I was getting enough time in with Charlie during this dissertation process).

So yeah. Dr. Math Professor? AWESOME. I wish I'd gotten to know her sooner. She is now on my committee instead of another professor who lives in another hemisphere now. I don't even know his email address so I can let him know. Not good.

The plan for now is to really go for it in July with my mom picking up some non-daycare days (Tuesdays and Thursdays) with Charlie. My desk will be moved into the guest room so I can close the door and not be tempted to have fun or clean anything (my two biggest temptations). We will see where things stand near the end of the month, to see if I could finish before my air travel deadline (seems awfully unlikely) and if not then I will keep working until Bravo is born and we will see if I feel up to defending before the October 23 deadline. If not I will defend in November and graduate in May which will just give me six months to find a job.

Also, has anyone seen my ankle bones? I'm sure they are still there but I haven't seen any sign of them since around lunch time after walking all the way across campus in HEELS (TWICE) because I am a little short sighted, as it turns out.

Friday, June 27, 2008

This is me breathing into a paper bag

I've been working towards Monday's meeting with Dr. Advisor all morning thinking "Wow, this is great, I'm pretty much done with the analysis, I have 60 pages written, I think I might just finish this some day! December graduation here I come!" Sure I'm a little freaked out by the amount of information I have to convey in a 60-minute presentation since I haven't seen him in person since like February, but I figured it would all work out fine. Ryan and Charlie leave for his parents' tomorrow morning and I will have an entire day and a half or so to work on it with no interruptions (except possibly an undenyable urge to decorate the nursery or repaint the dining room... no telling when those are going to strike these days). So yeah, things going good.

And then. Because I have ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE I decided to look up the calendar for fall graduation.

Deadline for final defense? OCTOBER FREAKING TWENTY-THIRD.


Odds of me drowning my committee in a spray of breastmilk sometime during my defense? EXTREMELY HIGH.

Probability of my committee just having to deal with me nursing Bravo during the Q&A (and given Dr. Advisor's reaction the one time I had to do that with Charlie during a meeting, this is NOT something I want to do in front of my committee: Dr. Advisor and a cowboy type who was so freaked out by my giant pregnant belly during my qualifying exam that I swear he had a pot of water boiling in the office kitchen, and my third committee member who might actually be OK with it considering he tried to make small talk with me standing there in his SPEEDO during the times I ran into him at the university pool)? REALLY FREAKING HIGH.

Make your bets now Re: "Will flashing a little nipple at your defense affect the outcome?"

And I haven't even let myself think about the interesting ways the sleep deprivation required for most people to get through their defense and the sleep deprivation that comes with having a newborn could commingle. I mean, maybe they'd let me stay at Guantanamo for a few days to recuperate.

Also, how early can newborns go on planes? Am I going to have to spend seven hours in the car with a newborn, a toddler, and a rocking episiotomy?

Holy Hell.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thoughts I had during the wonderful spa pedicure Ryan gave me for Mother's Day (that I finally got around to)

-Ahhhhh, this is great. I have coffee, I have magazines, my chair is vibrating, and this foot water is nice and warm and bubbly.

-Hmm, I didn't realize baby powder got sand off of sticky kids' legs, I'll have to try that next time I go to the beach.

-Wow, I've never even thought about rinsing off my sand chairs so they don't rust in the--GAH!!!!! "Good Housekeeping" is NOT A RELAXING MAGAZINE!!

-(shuffle shuffle shuffle) "People". MUCH better.

-SHE'S dating HIM??

-OWWW that is SHARP!!

-OW OW OW OW--ooh pretty cuticles!

-Sheesh the girl in the next chair is kind of a princess.

-I need to clean Charlie's bathroom. And do some laundry. And redo those spreadsheets I made on Monday. I wonder if the 10-minute averaging versus 15-minute averaging is important. Should I redo them or are they fine like they are? What should I include in my presentation to Dr. Advisor on Monday? I need to make a good impression so he'll hire me after graduation. What should I make for dinner tonight. We've had chicken twice this week already. Meatloaf? No, it's too hot. Hmmm. We are out of milk. And toilet cleaner. How much is left in the grocery budget this month? Don't forget to buy baby Motrin. I hope Charlie's mouth doesn't hurt right now. Poor poor Charlie.


-Hee that tickles. Don't reflexively kick pedicurist.

-Don't kick don't kick don't kick don't kick. Phew.

-Yeah, thanks, got it, I promise to use a base coat next time so I don't dye my toes purple permanantly. Why on earth did I just tell her I usually paint my toes with my shoes on five seconds before I leave the house?

-This is a NICE PLACE! Stop trying to be funny!

-Is she SANDING my feet? Did not know feet required sanding.

-Yay foot massage time! Ahh.

-Eww, I wish I had shaved my legs this morning. Oh eff it I have a toddler she's lucky I took a shower this week.


-Huh, it takes nail polish forty-five minutes to dry? That explains a LOT.

-OOH! Pretty toes!

-Must find a way to finance weekly trips here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday Science Corner

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle Applied to Living with Toddlers:

It is impossible to clean one room of your house without negatively affecting the cleanliness of another room (Figures 1 and 2).

Figure 1. Master bathroom after thorough cleaning.

Figure 2. Master bedroom, Charlie helps unpack.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Please don't divorce me but I think we just missed our exit

Ryan, Charlie, and I are back in the land of ninety-five degree afternoons, work, and tempermental U-Scan checkout stations at the grocery store. Ryan walked all the way from somewhere over Virginia to western Arkansas with a very tired but for some reason not sleepy-tired Charlie who, infant style, would only conk out if he was being held by someone who was standing up. The poor guy who was sharing our row with us was trying to study for the bar exam (I recognized his books from this blog friend's site) and I'm sure it wasn't easy with my ever present monologue "Do you want to color? Oooh look! Here are your crayons! What about your book? Do you want to read a book? What do you see out the window? Do you see trucks? Trucks! Do you see airplanes? Airplanes!" Also awkward, that five minute stretch near the end when Charlie stared at him intensely while he tried to read his book.

This morning proved a fitting ending to a trip punctuated by getting hopelessly lost in unfamiliar cities (Briefly, arrived 2.5 hours later than expected at rehersal dinner because of scenic driving tour of the wrong WRONG side of Philadelphia, missed really fun blogger meetup near Boston because of Google Map mix-up which led to me sarcastically calling Ryan "Magellan" as I thrust the email at him after he said "This IS the exit for 128" and I said "We need T-W-E-N-T-Y E-I-G-H-T" and he replied, exasperated, "This IS Exit 28!! Tell me where you want me to go!!", purchase of marriage-saving road atlas, subsequent driving tour of Boston suburbs, promises to God, Allah, Yahweh, whoever was listening, to become a nun if He would please just get. me. out. of. this. freaking. car. already., and then two u-turns this morning when important directional signs mysteriously sprang out from behind trees after it was too late to follow them). Interestingly, the Thrifty Car Rental place "at" Logan Airport is actually about three miles away in the ghetto. And no amount of driving around in circles at the airport will get you there. You have to stop, call, ask for directions, then spend another ten minutes driving around praying that you see a sign for the road that you need. Which we did, thank goodness, and then had no trouble finding the place.

I am also grateful that despite a thorough flashlight inspection of my driver's license, the TSA agent didn't notice that it had expired on June 1st (I also didn't notice until I was almost detained at the Philadelphia airport). I really hope I didn't just get someone in trouble.

Charlie was so very good for our entire trip. He sat nicely at the table during meals and asked nicely for more when he ran out of food. He willingly ate whatever he was given even though a lot of it was unfamiliar. He drank out of regular cups and sat in regular chairs the whole time and didn't spill or throw anything. Even this morning when I got him up at 3:45 so we could make it back to Boston in time for our flight he was calm and happy and even blew kisses at my grandma on the way out the door. I am so proud of him. It was so much fun to have him there and to take him to some of the places that are special to me.

Here are a few pictures.

Clown Family at Reception
At the reception after the commitment ceremony. The clown noses were one of the gags we did after the hora. Ironically, this was also the best looking family picture from the trip. Anyone good with Photoshop? Also, all week I kept thinking "This would make a great Christmas card picture!" totally forgetting that one family member is not represented. Oops! No one tell Bravo.

Off to the water
Ryan and Charlie walking down to the water at the beach on Cape Cod. He loved the beach this year, but still didn't like the water because of the waves. Maybe next year he'll be ready for a boogie board and then we'll have to tear him away (kidding, I think, what are 2.5 year olds like?).

Duck Watching
My grandpa feeds the ducks and seagulls every morning and evening. Here Charlie is watching in his jammies. He already loved ducks and seeing almost fifty of them fighting over corn right in front of the house was almost more than he could bear.

Make Way for Ducklings
Charlie with Mrs. Mallard in the Boston Public Garden. Like I said before, he was entranced by these ducks. The ducks were magical for him.

I wish we could have spent a week more in each place because watching Charlie thrive as part of his extended family was a really neat experience. And there were many traditions we didn't get to because of time limitations. I kept trying to work out a way to stay longer but I have a hard travel deadline of August 1st and a dissertation to finish (maybe? hopefully?) and it just wasn't in the cards this year. That is my only regret from this trip (other than missing Dr. Maureen and Jack of course... oh and not buying the road atlas before we even left South). Tons of thanks to all of the M family and all of the grandparents who made us feel so loved and welcomed and showed us such a great time.

Friday, June 20, 2008

When Nerds Go on Vacation

This morning Ryan and I are in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, home of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Laboratory eating breakfast in a little coffee shop which overlooks the ferry terminal. Guess what, they have a computer that anyone can use! And also, chocolate croissants and iced tea! Whee! This is my kind of place.

Our plan was to go to the aquarium later but it doesn't open for nearly two hours and someone who wakes up with the extremely early rising east coast sun (like 5:15 here) may not make it that long. We did have some concerns about Charlie and the touch tank anyway ("Honey, that needs water to breathe, put it back please").

Our planned meetup with blog friend Dr. Maureen (can't do hyperlinks on this computer) did not happen as planned because we got lost. Again. And we would have been more than an hour late. It was so disappointing because she seems like a ton of fun and I was really looking forward to meeting her and eating ice cream and letting Charlie and her little Jack (both 19 months old) play together. After driving the entire circumference of Boston before learning of our mistake I bought us a road atlas (we like to call it "the book that saved our marriage") and we spent the next half hour driving through the suburb of Milton looking for a commuter train station to get into the city (based on bad directions from a guy at a gas station) before bagging that plan, finally finding the interstate again, taking a short trip through a sketchy neighborhood called Roxbury, and parking near Northeastern University. We breathed a huge sigh of relief when we finally got on the T and were on our way to see the Make Way for Ducklings ducks.

Charlie found the T a little intimidating but loved riding in the stroller through Boston Common and the Public Garden. He was so completely enchanted by the ducks that another tourist asked if she could take his picture. He patted each duck gently and exclaimed "Duck!" and giggled, occasionally looking back at us and saying "DUCK!" and beaming proudly. It was so much more fun than I had even imagined.

We rode the T back to our car, got dinner at a deli, and set off towards the highway we needed aided by some directions provided by a cab driver we were lucky enough to be stopped next to at a light. Sick of being lost and wasting time I yelled "HOW DO WE GET TO 93 FROM HERE?" out the window. His directions were perfect and we were on our way again finally.

Well, there are some scientist looking types looking like they want to use this computer so I better say goodbye. Tomorrow we are back to South, back to ninety degree weather, and back to dissertations and work and daycare. This has been a great and much needed break.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I appologize to those of you who still use dial-up

But I had to show you these two videos of Charlie partying like it's 1999 at my cousin's commitment ceremony on Sunday.

The ceremony was very meaningful and beautiful with lots of special moments of family participation. The chuppah was a quilt composed of squares made by different people who mean something to the couple and it was beautiful.

And the reception? Let's just say I am DONE with Protestant weddings/comittment ceremonies. This one, which was Jewish, made our wedding look like a wake (and I had a great time at our wedding). When the couple arrived, instead of polite applause and sidelong glances in the direction of the kitchen to see when lunch would be served, the band started playing lively music and the entire crowd joined hands and ran around the room together, then we carried the couple around on chairs, and then we all stood in a circle and clapped while guests performed funny little skits like magic tricks and juggling. It was a true celebration and the joy of the day was shared by everyone in attendance.

There were many special personal touches at the reception, just like the ceremony. A and M (the couple) and a few family members made each guest a beautiful pottery bowl and one was set at each place when we arrived at the reception. We used them to eat our soup. My uncle made cutting boards and one was at each table holding a loaf of challah made by my cousin's partner.

We stayed a night at a big house with all my cousins and their boyfriends/girlfriends and my aunt and uncle and all the exchange students they hosted throughout the years. There were conversations going on in English, Spanish, and Italian at any given moment and you never knew when the switch was going to occur. We were little kids the last time we were all together and I loved getting to know my smart, successful cousins as (extremely accomplished) adults.

Now we are in Maine and my grandma and uncle are out on the porch feeding the seagulls leftovers from last night's dinner. They usually name the regulars and right now I can hear them talking about Bill and Hillary and Obama (the seagulls). Charlie is taking his second long nap of the day after a trip to the train museum and out for ice cream.

Tomorrow we are off to Cape Cod with stops planned to meet a blog friend outside of Boston and a trip to the Public Garden so Charlie can meet his duck friends from Make Way for Ducklings.

Some future post titles may include:

-Ways to get yourself shot: Getting lost in Philadelphia While Driving a Rented Minivan
(alternate titles: Charlie Learns to Swear; Didn't We Already Pass a Block of Burned Out Row Houses?; There IS NO I-76 W and God is Laughing at You)

-Cheaters Always Win: Balancing the needs of your toddler with rules set forth by the flight attendants

-Cold Weather: It's Not Just for Winter Anymore (or Maybe Next Time You Should Pack Some Long Pants and a Coat When You Travel to New England in June ya Moron)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

We're Off... Sort of

This is what going on a week-long vacation with a toddler looks like:

Not pictured: stroller, giant carseat, toddler.

The two carry-ons contain toys, books, food, diapers, and clothes for Charlie and a paperback novel for me (Middlesex).

Charlie is having some quiet time after a very cranky morning (does not bode well for plane behavior) and Ryan is out buying us some breakfast tacos and caffeinated beverages. We dropped Rossby off at camp earlier this morning.

Yesterday at the grocery store I asked Charlie if we were going on a plane and he said "Bye bye!!" blew a kiss and put his arms out and made an engine noise. I wanted to get it on video for you (he does it pretty regularly) but like I said, CRANKY. He didn't want me to get him out of bed this morning and when we finally coaxed him downstairs the fact that I wouldn't let him play with my stapler made him very very angry. Usually when this happens he buries his face in a chair in the living room and cries but since I moved that chair yesterday to another part of the room he was forced to bury his face in the carpet on the stairs instead (there was a lengthy selection process involved during which he wandered around the living room whining pitifully rejecting the two ottomans and a hard wooden chair before finally running to the stairs).

Then I tried to make him take a nap without Phent because I was worried about forgetting Phent if I took him out of the bag. Not one of the other friends in the crib would do (not Joe the dog, Dog the dog, Bunny, or his other blanket that feels and smells exactly like Phent). So now Phent is back in the crib and I swear if we get all the way to the airport and realize that he is not with us I will be driving back up here to get him.

I decided not to take my laptop, you know, just to see if I really would die without it. So I'm not sure when I'll next get to post. Have a great week!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Behold my procrastination skills

My to-do list (for today and to get ready for our trip, which is tomorrow):

  • Take shower
  • Shave legs (will likely require several disposable razors, an hour of my time, and the help of a certified yoga instructor)
  • Eat lunch (have not been to store sooooo a box of frozen spinach and a bowl of cereal with leftover formula on top maybe?) UPDATE: String cheese and salsa omlette. Was delicious.
  • Go to store, buy nutritious yet fun yet not liquid or gel airplane-appropriate toddler food that is not messy yet takes a long time to eat (advice welcome)
  • Finish Matlab code I started on Wednesday, summarize results, email advisor
  • Pack for me and Charlie (SWIMSUITS! Wedding clothes! Camera! Tums! Colace!)
  • Remind Ryan to pack
  • Print assorted itineraries, confirmation emails, and directions
  • Check in for flight online (Southwest bastards and their useless "family boarding" AFTER their business passengers because what executive DOESN'T want to get hit on the head with a Britax Marathon as I pass by him lugging Charlie and all of our crap)
  • Calm the heck down
  • Remind Ryan to pack
  • Charge iPod
  • Laundry (I feel like I'm spelling this wrong)
  • Straighten up the house (so I don't have an anxiety attack when we come home next week)
  • Comlete Superfund-style clean-up of car. Locate and remove source of terrible smell of mystery (suspect leaking sippy)
  • Get Charlie a haircut (would be great if I could get one too but I can pull off the bedhead look better than he can pull off the mullet look so he wins)
  • Remind Ryan to pack
  • Write witty, thoughtful guest post for baby-delivering blog friend

Things I have accomplished so far:

  • Buy breakfast at Dunkin Donuts
  • Attend OB appointment that I forgot about until I was in the drive-thru line at Dunkin Donuts
  • Chastise self for eating breakfast at Dunkin Donuts after learning monthly weight gain at OB appointment
  • Return to Dunkin Donuts to exchange mistake iced coffee for the iced tea I had ordered, pride self in polite assertiveness, realize I just spent twenty minutes correcting a $1.99 mistake
  • Find someone to watch Rossby while we are gone
  • Visit aunt to pick up birthday gift
  • Swing by maternity clothes consignment shop hoping to find something to wear to the wedding that makes me look like Jessica Alba
  • Resign myself to looking frumpy and mom-ish for at least the next year
  • Say a lot of bad words
  • Chastise self for eating breakfast at Dunkin Donuts
  • Rearrange living room furniture
  • Become overwhelmed with magnitude of to-do list, resort to updating blog instead

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Captain O' The High Seas

Just yesterday my friend, who is the mother of a little girl a couple of months younger than Charlie, was describing the shoe battle that takes place between her and her daughter every morning. Charlie has never been picky about what shoes he wears (he just loves shoes, all shoes) and I figured it was a boy-girl difference, or maybe just a personality difference.

Until this morning.

I brought Charlie's blue sneakers to him, ready to put them on and he politely said "No" and shook his head. Surprised, I found his Converse All Stars and held them up. "No" again. It wasn't an angry, defiant "no" either time, just a polite, toddler version of "No thanks" and we weren't in a hurry so I indulged him a little more. Finally I held up his new rain boots. His face lit up and he exclaimed "SHOES!!" I slid them onto his feet and he resumed eating his toast and milk. A few minutes later I took one off and tried to replace it with a sneaker and was met with a less polite "NO!".

So this is how Charlie went to day care this morning.

Duck Boots
On our way to the Deadliest Catch casting call.

I adore those boots by the way. I had secretly kind of hoped he would do this. I left some sneakers in his cubby in case he has trouble walking in them later (they do go almost up to his knees). I wouldn't mind a bit if he wanted to wear them all summer like that kid who is always wearing his froggy boots at church. You're only one and a half once!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

We're sure gonna miss that church

Church Giggles: (n) any kind of inappropriate laughter that occurs during a worship service. The original joke is irrelevant as the Church Giggles morph into their own completely uncontrollable entity. Any attempt to calm down only doubles the power the Church Giggles has over the victim. If the victim is seated with someone who has also been stricken, merely making eye contact with that person will result in a recurrance of symptoms at or above the previous level of hilarity and inappropriateness. Indeed, it is the inappropriate nature of laughing so hard you start crying while in church is what gives The Church Giggles their power.

So you'll never guess what happened to Ryan and me today at church. We had just found our seats. I was perusing the program when I spotted a wisecrack opportunity that I just couldn't pass up (I should have tried harder). Let me preface this by telling you that I know exactly how wrong this was and I am deeply, deeply sorry for the twenty-minute giggling fit it touched off.

The name of the first hymn was "Make me a captive, Lord."

I pointed it out to Ryan and leaned over and whispered "That's what SHE said."

Ryan snickered. I snickered. Then Ryan started laughing harder. Then I started laughing harder. We were both trying to be quiet which made it so much worse. Tears begun streaming down my face. My nose was running.

The service began, someone was praying, I practiced my relaxation breathing, I dug my fingernails into my palms, I pushed the bridge of my foot against the bottom of the pew in front of me so hard I thought I would lift it right off the floor, but I managed to calm down. Then I looked at Ryan who was still smiling and it started up again. Shoulders heaving, nose running, I searched through my purse for kleenex and dabbed at my eyes and nose, trying not to make a scene.

Then we had to SING the hymn. And the first line was "Make me a captive, Lord." Mortified, I buried my face in Ryan's chest completely unable to stop laughing. The second half of the second verse and most of the third went well and I started to think to myself "What was so funny anyway?" and then I remembered and it was BAD. After the hymn we had to pass the peace. I nearly died but managed to shake a few hands while acting like a normal person.

We had almost composed ourselves by the time we got to the Confession of Sins liturgy but when I read the line about "God give me self control" the delicious irony set both of us off again (well, it might have just been me but having learned nothing I jabbed Ryan in the ribs with my elbow when we read that line).

I really thought Ryan and I were going to have to leave, or at least sit in different parts of the church, but thankfully we managed to calm down sometime during THE CHILDREN'S SERMON (how appropriate).

After the benediction, I looked at Ryan and let out a sigh of relief. "We made it!" I said. Then the woman who had been sitting in front of us turned around and took Ryan's hand. She looked him in the eye and said "I hope you two feel better."

Total mortification.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Drama in the Suburbs

Ring ring ring...

Me: "Ryan, holy cow! There's a helicopter circling our house and there are cops all over the frisbee park across the street!"

Ryan: "Ooh, cool! I bet they're looking for HOA violators."

Me: "Oh crap you've repaired the car in the driveway twice this week! And the awning on Charlie's swing set is STRIPED! It's supposed to be solid! I can't go to jail! What about mah baybees?"

Ryan: [stern voice] "Man with the boat in your driveway! You are in violation! Come out! We have you surrounded!"

Me: "Heh heh. Your flower beds are unkempt and your deck is stained a color that was not approved by the architectural committee! You better hire an attorney!"

Ryan: "Heh. What do you think is happening?"

Me: "Well the cop I talked to said I had nothing to worry about. Yeah right. I'm sure they just like to take the helicopter for a spin when things get slow. I'm going to the coffee shop just in case."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

And then some shingles blew off our roof and we all had a good laugh

Um, so, yeah. That little runny nose/extreme crankfest that I've been telling Charlie's day care is "a touch of seasonal allergies and maybe some teeth" for a week? Seems to have been an actual factual, totally crappy, um, cold. That is, unless seasonal allergies and teething are contagious.

In the name of minimal risk to Bravo my cold arsenal has been limited to Sudifed (Now with no pseudoefedrine! Wailing! Rending of garments!), rest (silly, silly nurse), and a humidifier at night (not currently operable pending thorough mold cleaning).

Today also marked the third day we have been experiencing winds in the 30-35 mph range with gusts as high as forty-freaking-seven miles per hour. In some parts of the country, and if it was also raining, that would be called a tropical storm, given a name, and Ryan wouldn't have to go to work. As it stands I am expected to trudge through my usual activities, blinded by hair permanantly affixed to my lip gloss, sneezing uncontrollably at the very thought of leaving the house. Did you know you can have allergies and a cold at the same time? Did you know that neither Sudifed nor Claritin completely fixes either one? Did you know Claritin costs $1 a dose? Good heavens.

Ultimately I found the uncontrollable sneezing and eye-itching more annoying (and off-putting, sorry friend I had lunch with) than the ringing ears and sinus pressure and went for the Claritin.

So anyway, the wind has made it sound like we live on a ship. Lots of creaking and howling and mysterious thumping noises (if we shared a common wall with our neighbor I'd be jealous). I had assumed our lawyer neighbor (the one with the lawn guys) was just outside playing bongos on his city-issued trash can all night, but it turns out the sound was shingles flapping in the wind near the peak of the roof over our porch. Charlie FOUND A SHINGLE in our side yard today.

We have officially joined the ranks of our clinically crazy neighbor in the old town whose fifty cats and clove cigarette habit prevented her financially from maintaining her house, resulting in a sprinkling of shingles all over our driveway every time the wind blew.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Maybe he'll learn something

Is there anything more delightful than the sound of twenty-four crayons pitter-pattering to the floor after flying through the air, regrettably just out of reach of the one whose job it is to dole out grapes and ensure that no fun is had, ever?

To Charlie, the answer would seem to be no.

Meet my new research assistant.

My new research assistant
Here he is helping me edit a draft of my dissertation. Really should have put some page numbers in that.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mean mean mommy

I knew the afternoon would be rough when I picked Charlie up from day care and noted that he only took a one-hour nap. He did fine at the long, hot wait in the drive-through line at the bank and a long trip to the grocery store (although that might have had more to do with the cheese danish I gave him preemptively). We got home and into the house without incident (no small feat with the eight or so bags of groceries) and then Mr. Hyde came out.

It took me thirty minutes to put the groceries away because I was interrupted twice by disciplinary problems that could not be ignored. For one, he rammed our dog, who was eating and minding his own business, with his Little Tykes push car and then laughed hysterically. I grabbed him, decided now was as good a time as any to give time out a whirl, and spent the next ten minutes repeatedly putting an increasingly goofy toddler into the corner (to think about what he'd done and forgotten about almost immediately most likely). Finally he was laying on the floor laughing and yelling in Charlie-ese. It was so hard not to laugh. Eventually I settled for an apology and his push car went into time out in the pantry for the rest of the day.

After that disaster I confined him to the high chair with some yogurt while I finished putting away the groceries. I had just put away the first refrigerated item when I heard more maniacal laughter and heard a big glob of yogurt land on the floor next to me. Firm hand holding, eye contact, stern voice, we do not throw food, more crazy laughing from Charlie, dinner is OVER, call A, relate story while locked in playroom with angry, hungry Charlie.

I hung up the phone and Dr. Jeckel was back. Oh was I happy to see him. We read some books together, we went out onto the porch to play and wait for Ryan. He brought me little stones and played with the flowers. Then he threw a handful of gravel from the garden onto the patio. "Charlie, if you throw rocks again we're going to go inside." I bet you can guess what happened.

So then we were back in the playroom having a perfectly nice time reading books when Charlie walked up and swatted Rossby on the snout out of nowhere. I had HAD it. Did the whole "We do NOT hit Rossby! Rossby is our FRIEND!" thing and unceremoniously put him in his crib where he was to stay until Ryan got home.

I went back downstairs, expecting Charlie to start crying at any minute, which I kind of wanted, you know? Because I wanted him to get that babies who hit dogs lose their freedom and access to their toys. When Ryan came home about twenty minutes later I filled him in and mentioned that Charlie hadn't made a peep. Ryan went up there to bring him downstairs and found him fast asleep, curled up with Phent.

Funny how in the heat of the moment you forget to look for the bigger problem. Like total exhaustion. Oops.