Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I'm so proud of all my friends who have written 50,000 word novels this month as part of NaNoWriMo. And while I didn't even set myself to that kind of challenge this year, I do have a few accomplishments I'm proud of this month that I would like to share with you now.

1. I managed to not miss one afternoon nap, thanks to the PBS Kids afternoon line-up and a handful of DVDs from the library. Bonus: Charlie learned to operate the DVD player, which is on a shelf above the TV, about five feet off the ground. Those kids sure are resourceful.

2. I have let my poor, hardworking husband get up with the kids every single morning this month (I think. I may have slipped a couple of times during the really intense wall-building times), if only to allow myself an extra fifteen minutes to heft myself out of bed without the chorus of "Mama mama mama mama mama!"

3. Against doctor's orders I have picked up and held both of my enormous children when they've needed it, pretty much every day in November. I figure every one of those booboos and perceived injustices is good for at least an eighth of a centimeter of dilation, amIright?

4. I didn't go one day in November without complaining about part of my body hurting.

5. I have thought really hard about finishing up slash starting the three papers summarizing my dissertation work every single day this month. Not surprisingly, I have not followed through.

6. Ditto the NSF proposal.

7. I have wondered every day this month whether I'm doing the right thing by teaching next semester.

7a. I have thought "I should really get around to applying for some full-time jobs" around four o'clock every day.

8. I ate at least 6000 calories every day in the month of November. I couldn't have done it without you, Starbucks drive-through and Ryan, who made three delicious Thanksgiving pies this year.

I'd say all-in-all it's been a very productive month. And that I am an absolute joy to live with, clearly. Now, I've got some very important procrastinating and complaining to do. And eating. Let's not forget the pumpkin pie calling my name in the fridge.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Moving Day

Yesterday I took the kids out for breakfast tacos and a holiday parade and lunch just to get them out of the house so Ryan could FINISH the WALL. When we came back it was ready for moving in. Charlie was beside himself. There was jumping and shrieking. And then he sat on his bed and directed us where to hang all of his flags and pictures.

Our former junk storage/baby changing/ironing area...


...has come a long, LONG way.

Charlie's New Room!

Here's part of the actual wall, constructed by Ryan, my husband who BUILDS FREAKING WALLS. He's so cool.

Charlie's New Room!

Charlie is so proud. This morning I was haranguing him about coming downstairs and putting on his shoes because we were late for church and when I went upstairs to see what was keeping him I found him painstakingly making his bed because he wanted his "new room to look beautiful." That kid kills me.

Ryan is also very proud--as he should be. He did a beautiful job and it matches perfectly with the existing walls. Expect to be dragged upstairs to admire it yourself if you visit us anytime in the next year.

Charlie's old room now features a crib (now with clean sheets!), a changing table, and a bag of the teeniest little diapers I've ever seen.

Friday, November 26, 2010

This doesn't mean I'm going to start wearing a visor

Ryan has been secretly jonesing for a minivan ever since I called him at work from our half-bathroom and shakily explained to him that we would, maybe, possibly, definitely be having another baby. You might remember that we bought a car not too long after Wes was born to replace my little Neon, which was fast becoming totally inadequate to carry around two kids and all of their accessories.

That would have been a great time to buy a minivan. And I kind of wanted to, but someone reasoned that we didn't need the third row because there was no way in hell we'd be adding anyone to our family, like ever. Not if there was any chance he'd nurse every two hours around the clock for six straight months like Wes. But then Wes got really cute and I finished my dissertation and, well, plans change.

I joked nervously to Ryan that we should have gone for the minivan instead of the perfect and cute little SUV. He laughed and said he "thought this might happen." I was slightly incredulous, since HE was the one who had talked me out of a minivan in the first place. No matter, I thought. My mom fit two kids in a Pinto, I can fit three in a RAV4. And I'll look really cool doing it. We don't need a minivan! I will not conform! And look! We had my niece for the weekend and it totally worked!


That was the plan. Then Charlie grew past the LATCH-able forty pounds, meaning he would have to be next to one of the doors and Wes would have to be in the middle. And then Wes started doing stiff-baby every time I tried to put him in the car and he and Charlie learned to kick each other while strapped into their seats and every trip out of the house no matter how short turned into an exercise in LOSING MY MIND.

After they learned to kick each other I fessed up to Ryan that I was having doubts about our car situation. He was delighted! He had been doing research and thought the Toyota Sienna was the car for us! He told me all about how the seats fold flat into the floor, it gets reasonable fuel economy for a car its size, and you can fit like six pieces of sheetrock in it WITH THE TAILGATE CLOSED OMG.

I was still dubious. In my family, you do not replace a car until you have to sell it for $200 cash and arrange to have it towed to the new owner's house. The red car is still so new and pretty!

But Ryan's enthusiasm and the promise of side-curtain airbags swayed me and today we went out to look at some minivans. The first one we looked at had ninety-five thousand miles on it and no iPod port and still I thought Ryan was going to have to physically drag me from the car to take me home. Charlie clambored in and ran to the third row where he bounced on the seat on his knees and shrieked "I'M SITTING IN THE WAY BACK!!" Wes took the seat behind me next to the door, just like in our current car. I sat in the driver's seat and asked Ryan to go get the carseats. We would be test-driving this puppy. All of us.

It was awesome. So awesome. The carseats went in easily and it drove so nicely you'd never know you were hauling an extra half-car around behind you. Charlie seemed very far away, but no one was fighting or complaining. I was dizzy with the prospect of all those potential seating configurations. I mentally laid out the trunk--stroller goes here, groceries go here, emergency diaper stash goes here, work bag goes here. Dream car. Truly.

Charlie complained cheerfully but loudly about the next three cars we looked at because they did not have power doors. "I want to go back to the silver MINIVAN with the automatic door!! The door with the BUTTON, Mama! I want to be in the SILVER CAR." Those cars also did not have carseat tether hooks behind the third row, so they were out anyway, but he will not be present for the final negotiations. Neither will I. Nothing about pulling up to a car dealership in a RAV4 with two kids and practically ready to deliver a third puts you in a good bargaining position.

After a hot chocolate and potty stop we went to another dealership to test drive an Odyssey, the King of the Suburbs around here, and a reasonably sized and priced Mazda MPV. The only Odyssey they had was the thirty-three thousand dollar Mafia Cruiser, complete with a sunroof, fake wood detailing, a DVD system, and a black leather interior (and a generous cargo area suitable for transporting dead people, I noted). I was turned off immediately, but drove it anyway to confirm what I already knew. Charlie's silver MINIVAN (!!!) was the car for us. The MPV was too small, the Odyssey was too big, and the Sienna was just right.

I'm enjoying my last few weeks of small-car smugness, but I sure am going to enjoy those sliding doors when we have them.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The good news is Ryan has drywall experience!

Like three weeks ago I had some friends over for dinner. One of them offered to get something out of the pantry/laundry room off of our kitchen and I almost threw my body into her path to keep her from going in there. Our laundry room STINKS. And at the time, I had no idea why. I'd washed everything, so it wasn't my original suspicion, which was a moldy, yogurt-covered dishtowel waiting to be washed. It was totally gross. And with my heightened gag reflex, I avoided going in there when possible, which wasn't very often considering we do a LOT of laundry and all of our food is stored in there.

I finally got sick of it and decided to find the smell. I emptied the trash can and found a very old stinky diaper wrapped up in a Target bag. AHA!! I carried it triumphantly out to the outside trash and threw it away. The laundry room smelled better! I was the queen of home maintenance. Nevermind that it took me two weeks to find a dirty diaper in an open trashcan in our laundry room.

The laundry room smelled better for about five days. A couple of days ago it started to stink again. It smells BAD, you guys. I keep the door closed and the fan on and carry all the laundry out to the dining room to fold it because it is GROSS.

Today, I am out of clean clothes. Mostly because I have about two shirts and one pair of pants I like to wear. So I gathered some things and was preparing to wash them when I decided to peek behind the washer and see if a dirty diaper had managed to fall behind the washing machine. I had no idea why a diaper might have been in a position to do that, but it worked before, I figured it would work again.

There was no diaper. There was water. Standing water and a bunch of partially decomposed Cheerios, lint balls, and a moldy sock.


Also, NOOOOOOO. I cannot think of a worse possible time to have a washing machine malfunction. I really can't.

As usual, my solution was to call Ryan, who had been at work for all of fifteen minutes, to complain. Like he can do anything about it. He did not like my solution of just sliding the thing out from the wall so I could dry up the water. I suggested maybe if I just kick the crap out of it and yell a lot, that might fix it, but he was dubious. He said "The good news is you can't do laundry today!" Like YAY, doing laundry is so much more of a hassle than taking two kids to Target to buy underpants for the whole family. I have never wanted to do laundry more in my life. Had I known I would be stranded with no washer today I don't think I would have used my last load to wash tablecloths and sheets.

I have a feeling this project won't be nearly as upbeat and fun as The Wall, which should be done by the weekend and, for Ryan at least, is becoming less upbeat and fun by the minute.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Perfect Saturday Morning

A jammies breakfast picnic...

A recipe mistake and three weeks worth of gingerbread pancakes.... Bananas... Coffee...

All you can eat gingerbread pancakes, really...

Lazy cartoon time...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

And now I will go change my shirt

As most of you readers with babies are familiar, the first step to every prenatal appointment is a little test of skill in which you have to provide a urine sample. At your first visit, it is not a complicated task. But by the time you're hauling around eight pounds of placenta, fifteen pounds of "maternal fat stores", and five pounds of precious miracle, trying to reach down there with the little cup, let alone aim a notoriously unreliable urine stream into that cup, is a task on par with the midair refueling of a Joint Strike Fighter.

And so it was today when I showed up to leave my offering at the altar of protein and glucose screening. I carefully spelled out my last name and first initial on the side of the cup, sat down, got the cup as in place as it could possibly be given my limited range of motion and inability to see around very, very large, round corners, and prepared to whiz all over my hand, my weekly contribution to "the humiliating things we do for our children."

After I'd gotten what seemed to be an adequate amount of fluid in the cup, and maybe a little more since Ryan was home this morning and I actually got to finish my entire cup of coffee, I was preparing to put the lid on when it started dripping. All the hell over the place. Figuring I had just gotten a little on the sides, as is wont to happen, I held it for a moment, waiting for the dripping to subside until I could put the top on and wipe everything up with toilet paper.

Except the dripping didn't stop. Quantities of urine which surely violated the law of conservation of mass were dribbling all over the floor in front of the toilet.

It didn't stop because it was coming from a GIANT CRACK IN THE BOTTOM OF THE CUP.

Naturally my reaction to finding myself holding a leaking cup of my own urine was to fling the whole thing into the nearby trash can and in the process slosh pee far and wide all over the tiny bathroom AND MY SHIRT.

This did not phase me as much as it should have.

Feeling more inconvenienced than grossed out, I sighed, got another cup, CHECKED IT CAREFULLY FOR INTEGRITY, wrote my name AGAIN, got as much of a sample as I could, put it in the little cabinet, mopped up as best I could with toilet paper and paper towels, washed the everloving heck out of my hands with the yellow institutional hand soap, zipped my coat up over the wet spots on my shirt, and headed back out to the waiting room to mentally mock all the advice in the new baby magazines.

Five weeks till the due date. I'm hoping for three.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A world of your imagination

The boys and I were on our way home from a birthday party last night when I heard a POP followed by the sound of chocolate candy rain exploding all over the car. Then Charlie laughing so hard he could barely breathe.

And then, oh no, crunching. Nothing but crunching.

Oh jeepers.

"Charlie?" I asked tentatively "What was that noise?"

"Wes's bag got a HOLE!" more hysterical laughing.

They had been possessively clutching their goodie bags when we left the party and I was too exhausted to insist the candy ride in the front seat with me. I foolishly let them ride the twenty minutes home with only a thin piece of plastic between their hot little hands and approximately twelve servings of M&Ms.

Crunch crunch crunch.

I evaluated my options. We were flying down the highway at sixty miles per hour in twilight. Not a great time to pull over. I blindly reached one arm behind me and felt around until I hit paydirt. When I jammed my hand between Wes's leg and the side of his carseat and came up with an entire handful of candy. The crunching continued, so I did it again, filling my cup holder with enough sugar to propel Wes into the magnetosphere half an hour before bedtime.

Charlie was hooting hysterically and I heard the distinctive ping ping ping of M&Ms popping out of a goodie bag.

"NOW MY BAG HAS A HOLE TOO!!!" Charlie was alive with nervous excitement.

I peeked over my shoulder as I slowed to turn onto another road. It was like Willy Wonka's magical factory in my back seat.

Captain Obvious shrieked "IT SMELLS LIKE CHOCOLATE IN HERE!!"

Wes crunch crunch crunched. Charlie laughed maniacally.

We were now driving down a four lane highway with no median in near darkness. There was no place to pull over. I was tired. The situation WAS kind of funny. Especially since I had no idea if we had anything at home for dinner. Why not M&Ms?

I gave up.

All three of us crunched our way home. Wes from his car seat, Charlie from his goodie bag, and me from my cupholder. We were giggling like a trio of potheads when Ryan came out to greet us in the driveway.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy News for Wes

You are not going to BELIEVE what Ryan found this morning.

In the foreground, Wes has "Bride of Smelly" or "Smelly II" or simply, "Blanket."

Over his other shoulder? FREAKING SMELLY.

Ryan was looking for one of Charlie's beloved bouncy balls and found Smelly UNDER THE OVEN. Of course. It's always in the last place you look.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Taco will be teaching from now on

This morning I had a crazy anxiety dream that I was supposed to go to this concert with a friend and I was really looking forward to it, but couldn't find anything to wear. Not in a "I have nothing to wear!" pouty kind of way, but in a "There are no clothes to cover my massive abdomen kind of way. Everyone was in the closet with me, making suggestions and talking over each other and I was so frustrated and stressed I just wanted to cry. In the dream I finally found some ill-fitting floral dress in a bag of hand-me-down maternity clothes and threw it on even though it wasn't clean or my taste and still made us forty-five minutes late to the concert. Then I woke up coughing uncontrollably from the lingering cold and acutely aware of the mountain of work I had to do before my lab started at two-twenty (that didn't get done earlier because of the croupy kid in the well-child waiting room). Just how I like to ease into the day.

Combining this last trimester of pregnancy with caring for the kids and teaching my two labs has been harder than I ever expected it to be. I thought since lab will be over right before Thanksgiving Break that I wouldn't have any pregnancy issues to deal with during the semester. I waved off many offers of help after I announced the pregnancy because I really thought it would be FIIIINE. I would still have a good three or four weeks to go by that point! No problem! You'll never even know!

I was not expecting the sciatic nerve pain to be this bad. Or the way my whole pelvis hurts so bad that I have to stand up for a minute or two before attempting to walk. I somehow forgot how hard it is to bend and reach for things once you get huge. And somehow I also overlooked how physical my job really is. Just the long walk from my car to the building is enough to make me really grouchy, especially the other day when the Homecoming "courtesy" golf cart passed RIGHT BY ME picking my way along and then drove straight to my building, completely empty. WTH?

And then there's the whole issue of clothing myself appropriately. Dresses are better because there's no risk of what my friend A calls "low belly exposure". But the only place to sit down during lab where I can still see everyone is on one of the lab benches. And since I can't cross my legs, sitting on a lab bench with my knees approximately eye level with the students is a recipe for disaster. This isn't often a problem because I spend most labs walking in slow circles around the room like a prison warden, my shoes clack clack clacking on the tile. But lab is usually two hours long and that starts to hurt after about thirty minutes. Like HURT hurt. It will be coming up at my next OB visit because obviously I'm not going to be able to avoid walking for the next month.

These are minor, temporary problems that are all part of getting something great (a baby, not an epidural, but that too). I am lucky to have such a supportive family, supportive coworkers, not to mention great students who fling themselves to the floor to pick up a dropped pencil if they see me starting to go after it. But man am I ready for next week to be over so I can spend work time sitting in a soft chair planning lectures (Preferably with easily accessible food and drinks. Taco is a snacker!) instead of pacing around the lab room for two hours (or sitting on a lab table fantasizing about getting put on bedrest). My missing ankle bones wish the same thing.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And now I know that we need three humidifiers

Last week at Charlie's well check there was this croupy, snotty kid in the waiting room with us. In the "Well Child" waiting room. The one clearly marked with a happy face and a sign indicating children with ANY SYMPTOMS AT ALL in all caps belong twelve virus-killing feet away, across the hall in the sick child waiting room, the one with the sad face and the thermometer my kids think is a medicine dropper because they have never seen a mercury thermometer.

I glanced over (discretely, of course) at his mother every time he let out one of his lung-rattling cough-barks, but she seemed totally oblivious of the fact that she had brought a dirty bomb into the Lysol scented sanctuary known as the Well Child waiting room. My whole plan was foiled. First appointment of the day? Check. Two healthy kids to ensure admittance into the Well Child waiting room? Check. FOLLOWING OF THE RULES BY OTHER PEOPLE? NO CHECK.

Not surprisingly, Wes started honking sometime in the night between Saturday and Sunday. He also woke up about ninety seven times and required one of us to be in the room to even consider dropping off to sleep again. Magical.

He seemed A-OK when he got up on Sunday so we went about our usual routine, but then Charlie started sounding stuffy about midway through the day. And then *I* woke up Monday morning around 3:00 with a sore throat and stuffed up nose. Oh, no no no no no no. Monday Wes was full-on miserable, I sneezed so many times in a row I was afraid I would have to pull the car over for safety, and Charlie was definitely sick.

We did the most natural thing when faced with the rhinovirus trifecta, we drove forty-five minutes into downtown because we needed The Good Cinnamon Rolls. And I needed a giant, cold glass of iced tea with tons of ice to scrape the layer of yuck off the inside of my throat. We really had a lovely time.

Then we came home and watched TV for fourteen hours straight. I may never stop hearing the Caillou theme music in my head, but at least everyone was relatively content.

Last night was when things really took a turn for the disgusting. It all came to a head this morning when I picked a sobbing, miserable Charlie up at 5:30 and he spit up phlegm all over my shoulder. You are welcome for that. Several hours of TV, donuts, and unlimited bananas later Charlie had a fever and winced in pain when I gently wiped yogurt off his cheekbones and nose. So, since we didn't have preschool to worry about, we headed back to the doctor's office to rule out a sinus infection.

He doesn't have one. Yet. Then I got in trouble for giving him the six-month old prescription decongestant we had from the last cold. I did not tell Pediatrician Man that he's lucky I'm not selling that stuff on the street because do you even KNOW what kind of reactions I get when I tell people Charlie and Wes have their very own, under five approved, decongestant?

The BEST PART was when Pediatrician Man told me that, given the fact that Wes has not yet had a fever and has some symptoms that Charlie doesn't have (A diaper so disgusting I had to open all the windows after changing him this morning, for example), that they *might* have DIFFERENT VIRUSES and if I'm not careful, they could recover from their original virus, then SWITCH and be sick for another week to ten days. OH BOY.

I let Charlie pick out dinner because they were both so pitiful. He chose ham, mac and cheese, and cinnamon rolls. So that's what we're having. And I will continue my regimen of compulsive handwashing until everyone is in the clear. Which will probably be in April sometime.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oh dear

Charlie was milling around the downstairs today during Wes's nap, not doing anything in particular, when he started to ask me for some oddly specific items. First he brought the toilet paper out of the bathroom and said "I need this tube." So I found him an empty toilet paper tube. Then it was "I need a piece of white paper and no crayons." Interesting. Then he wanted a glass of water. I started to get him a plastic cup and he corrected me. "No, I want a GLASS of water. In a glass cup!" So I got him a GLASS of water.

By now I was getting curious, so I followed him. He led me to the kitchen table where he had set up this refraction experiment all by himself. "I want to make a rainbow," he explained.


He said he'd seen it done on Curious George. Unfortunately, the LED flashlight we had didn't work as well as an incandescent would have, so we tried to find Ryan's Mag Light with no luck.

If this is where he is at four I may need to rethink some of my "first science fair" ideas.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

For nerds only

Ryan and I are watching our beloved Red Raiders tonight, even though they have completely fallen apart at the seams this year (Yes, I'm still angry about the change in leadership). After a particularly mystifying long pass into an empty area of the field several yards from the closest receiver the announcer said "Looks like Sheffield and the receiver weren't on the same page there, heh heh heh."

Ryan and I responded at the exact same moment. I said "They're not even in the same book!" and Ryan shouted "It's like Sheffield was in the 340's and the receiver was in the 580s!!"

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Veni Veni Adventus

I have a secret.

No, I do not come home from preschool dropoff, strip down to nothing and clean my house like that lady on Oprah we talked about at Girls' Game Night last week. She's crazy. Or maybe she just lives in Texas and can't stand sweating in her own house. Trust me, I've been known to sit on the couch with my shirt pulled up so my belly could get some freaking air from time to time, but fortunately our overnight lows have been in the forties and I think we're done with that for a little while.

My secret is different. But it does involve preschool dropoff.

After I drop my kids off into their world of Pilgrims and Native Americans and turkeys fashioned out of little tiny festively colored hand prints, I get back into my car and crank up my Kings College Christmas CD so loud it's like I'm standing right there in the cathedral with them. Possibly louder than that even, because the English, they are a reserved people.

And then I sing. Loudly. In harmony. In Latin. But since I can't harmonize and don't know Latin it comes out sounding a lot like Wes when he was singing "Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen into a measuring spoon the other day. I don't care, though, because I am alone and the music (coming from the CD player, that is) is so beautiful.

I am eagerly looking forward to the season of Advent this year. More than other years, even, I am looking forward to the season of looking forward. I can't wait to get out our Advent wreath and read through the verses together as a family after dinner on Sundays before we have our special cookies and eggnog. I can't wait for the Hanging of the Greens at church, the Live Nativity and associated dressing of the children like tiny shepherds that we will undoubtedly lose track of during the performance only to find them gleefully feeding the animals in the manger. It's partly because the boys, especially Charlie, are at a new level of understanding, but mostly because through it all, our family will be anticipating the arrival of our fifth little member. The one we never expected, until one day we both just knew someone was missing. Someone who already had a name!

So I guess the early Christmas music is serving a nobler purpose than, say, Target's insistence on blasting Christmas pop music through the store the day after Halloween. Like putting all the little annoyances into perspective. Sure I don't really have any interest in eating something that's not wrapped in a tortilla, but at least I don't have to ride a donkey through the freezing desert day after day. And as painful as it was to watch the election returns on Tuesday, I think we can all agree the Tea Party is probably less scary than King Herod (probably).

Now to drum up some enthusiasm for Thanksgiving. The whole point of Advent is the sweet anticipation of Christmas, after all. I'm pretty sure "sweet anticipation" does not refer to buying eggnog while you still have your pilgrim statues out on the dining room table.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Another tranquil birthday morning at my house

After a lovely night of cool weather and gentle thunderstorms, Charlie's birthday was heralded in much the same way every morning is greeted in this house: a slamming toilet seat, a flush, and Charlie's door snapping shut as he went back to bed "until it's daytime." Little did we know after glancing at our alarm clock, which read "5:50" that it already WAS morning, the birthday boy having changed the clock's time zone unbeknownst to us sometime yesterday. Twenty minutes or so later I padded down the stairs groggily to frost the sugar cookies we would be taking to Charlie's class, so proud of myself for allowing enough time to get everything done. That is, I was proud until I reached the bottom of the stairs and both the clock on the microwave and the clock on the wall read 7:15. OH SHIT.


People started trickling down the stairs around 7:30, demanding licks of icing off my spoon and complaining about being hungry. We were finally all assembled at 7:40, ready to sing Happy Birthday to Charlie and eat some cupcakes and bananas.

We managed a fifteen minute period of calm congeniality while everyone ate his cupcake--even Wes wished Charlie "Happy Day, Chah-weee!"-- but then we were off to the races again. Ryan was only twenty minutes late to work and I managed to slap together a respectable enough outfit in about forty-five seconds then get us all to preschool on time with no trouble, though I did miss out on the usual parking lot chit chat that forms the basis of my social life.

After I dropped the boys off I went to the sanctuary to wait for chapel to start because birthday kids get to go up on the STAGE and get a ribbon. He looked so proud and grown up up there.

He wore his new Charlie Brown shirt, his morning birthday present. He may never take it off.

I stopped at the store on the way home for my forgotten breakfast and caffeine then picked up one of everything in the kiddie sporting goods department at Target, including the bat and ball Ryan requested "covered in foamy stuff so they can't kill each other with it." Wes scored a new mini basketball because I was feeling guilt and sensed that we will need something to distract him when Charlie starts unwrapping the big boy choking hazard Legos.

I just hope he remembers HE asked for a grocery store cookie cake tonight after dinner because after three birthday parties last month, Halloween, and the cookies for his class (which I made at 10:00 last night after meeting with another professor for a crash course in geology for the course I'm teaching in the spring), the bakery is CLOSED.

And also, wasn't this picture taken like, last week? Seriously. We have to stop giving him so much milk!

He seems to like the bouncer
Charlie, fresh from the hospital, when I still knew everything there was to know about raising babies.