Thursday, December 31, 2009

The next time she'll find herself in a laundry basket will probably be college. And there will be vodka involved.

Calling this the daily cuteness is a false promise, but it's something to strive for.  When the laundry's gotta go downstairs and she doesn't want to be left alone, this is her only option.  She doesn't seem to mind.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The breast pump excuse.

Sometimes I pump just so I can surf the internet.  So that, if my husband stumbles out of the bedroom to pee (he works odd hours, and thus sleeps odd hours) he sees that I am pumping, not that I am playing on the internet.  So that, when he gets home, the whir of the breastpump can distract him from the fact that the house is still messy.  He's a good man, I'm not sure that he cares either way, but it makes me feel better.

It's ironic, then, how much of an inconvenience pumping is when I actually need to get work done.  I return to work in about 3 weeks and I am/not looking forward to it.  I miss adults.  But I know I will miss my baby.  I have yet to figure out my pumping strategy.  I think it may my happen in the bathroom (gross, you say).  But there's probably only about 5 women who use our restroom, and there's a little couch in there on which ladies chat on their cell phones, so that I get to hear about their cat while a take a crap.  I plan to strike up a conversation with everyone who comes in to use the restroom while I'm pumping. 

Which  reminds me of a story.  (I try to keep these posts short, but this is a good one.)  When I was a sophomore in high school I attended the homecoming dance with a guy I wasn't very into.  I had agreed to go with him weeks before the dance, and was very disappointed when the guy I actually liked asked me a week before the dance and I had to say no.

So while I was at dinner with guy-I-wasn't-into, guy-I-was-into walked in with his (very hot) date.  I felt a little woozy and got up to go to the restroom. 

I grew up in a weird town, where hippies go to retire (which often happens at age 19).  In the restroom was a woman standing, buck naked, staring at the door.  I was already too shaken up by the date incident to know what to say, so I went directly into the stall.  And she struck a conversation with me, as though it was the most normal thing in the world that she was there.  It wasn't until I left the bathroom that I realized I didn't see a pile of clothes anywhere in the bathroom.  I still wonder about that.

Anyway, I aim to be that creepy woman.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Standing Guard.

The end of pregnancy hair.*

Why is it that the hair is lost so easily but not the pounds? I won't be showing a picture of the pounds, thank you very much.  And you can't click the picture, because a hairball that fills the computer screen is too much for a Sunday morning.

* What does it say about me that I had to tidy up a bit to take a picture of a hairball?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I wouldn't change a thing.

Christmas day, cont.

... but he is there to greet you with fuzzy slippers, which in my world is even better.  I was a bit grumpy yesterday, despite my attempts to enjoy my beautiful, snow covered, baby filled Christmas morn.  That is, I was grumpy until I got a nap yesterday afternoon.  We had a very quiet Christmas.  I thought it would be a bit sad, but it was actually wonderful.  After traveling and visiting for the last couple weeks, it was superb to stay in my pajamas all day and not have to drive in the storm. 

We opened presents in the morning, then DH went to work and I got to take a lovely nap while MJ slept and the wrapping paper littered the floor.  Our dear friends came over in the evening, we cooked dinner and watched a movie until DH got home. 

As anyone with a 3 month and 2 week old baby can tell you, it's amazing how much has changed in a year.  Last year at this time we were baby free, and the idea still seemed like a remote possibility.  We got our positive pregnancy test on December 30th, followed by several more positives as I tried to recover from the shock.  She is the best Christmas present ever.  And I know she will continue to be the best present.  I still can't wrap my head around the fact that we created her from scratch, and yet she is wholly indendent.  She has her own little personality that we have, as yet, played very little role in.  I never tire of watching her discover her world.    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas day

The Jared commercial is inaccurate. When your baby wakes up at 4 am on christmas morn, your husband is not there to greet you with diamonds.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snow storm


The plumber will not be charging us more, but the drip is still not fixed.  Apparently we have some super-special faucet that they cannot find anywhere.  By super special, I just mean our bathroom has not been updated since about 1950.  I like bright yellow tile, y'all.  And since nobody at any warehouse is answering the phone (thank you, snow) it will not get fixed until next week.  The bitch switch is turned off for the holiday, thankfully.

On a sidenote, I just looked over a cover letter that I recently sent out for a job I applied to.  I misspelled the name of the person I sent the letter to.  Doh.  How do you recover from that?  "Yes, I know I can't even spell your name correctly, but I swear in all other aspects I'm very attentive."  Or how about a nice fruit basket?  Do fruit baskets send the message "I swear I can spel"?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The plumber is back.

They're trying to charge me again, claiming this is a separate issue.  They have just flipped the bitch switch.

Trying to make her comfortable... usually a losing battle. Or my concept of what comfortable looks like is just very off.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stuck in traffic

But sitting next to this, it's not so bad.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas, hope you like your pipes.

I am watching my daughter nap serenely on the baby cam while listening to the plumber bang the pipes in the bathroom. I think he is making as much noise as possible to justify the $700 he is charging us for his workmanship. Merry Christmas, sweetie, hope you like your new waste water overflow.
Despite the horrid plumbing bill (thank you, Bonfe, but next time I will call Stillwater) it is wonderful to be back home.  I spent the last two weeks in Oregon and San Francisco, first visiting family, then attending a conference.  This was a geology conference, which is really just a codename for "drink fest".  Has anyone else heard of a conferece where kegs are wheeled out so that you can drink beer while discussing science at the poster session?

Needless to say, attending said conference with baybee in tow is much different than it has been in past years. I was very lucky to have my Mom attend and play babysitter for a week (thank you, Mom), and felt sympathy for other mothers toting their babies to sessions with them.  It's great that women do this, because it is a visual reminder that we need to deal with the issue of women in academia having babies (i.e., it shouldn't be reserved for women that have tenure, because by that point most women's ovaries are more like raisins.)  But I was glad I didn't have to be one of them.  It also wasn't the 7 day party it has been in the past.  I think my liver thanked me for that, though. 

On the last afternoon of the conference I gave a talk.  I was hoping that my time slot would cause low attendance, but it was actually one of the best attended sessions of the week.  I don't think I have ever been so nervous in my life, unless my labor-amnesia has spilled over into my personal life.  It went well, but I think it will be a while before I have the ovaries to give another talk at said conference.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I learn by going where I have to go.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how different this whole baby thing has been from what I expected.  Mostly different-good.  A short list of my surprises:

Co-sleeping:  I was really excited about this.  Something about snuggling with my baby all night sounded glorious.  And everyone I had talked to said that their baby refused to be put down, or separated, for an instant.  She lasted in our room for one night.  Then I put her in her crib.  She sleeps gloriously there (10 hours or more, thank you very much).  I sleep gloriously.  We smile and coo at each other in the morning. 

Baby wearing:  Again, the idea of snuggling with my baby all the time made me warm and fuzzy inside.  I expected her to never want to be put down, and this seemed like a great way to get things done.  Turns out, she's only mildly tolerant of this.  Starting at about 4 weeks she refused to be worn facing inwards, she had to see what was going on.  She prefers to be put in her Bumbo in the middle of the kitchen while I clean.  She is way too independent for her own good.  She's going to expect a private entrance by the time she's 10 and her own 401 K by the time she's 15. 

A difficult child/my own incompetence:  I thought early motherhood would be hell.  I thought I'd have a screaming child and no clue what to do for at least the first 7 years.  For the next 7 she would be self sufficient enough to make her own peanut butter sandwiches, and after that she would be making peanut butter sandwiches for me.  I was excited about having an older child, but babies just never appealed to me much.  They're so helpless!  They just sit there!  But, it turns out, my baby is different (yah, right, you say.)  She is all knowing, you can see it in here eyes.  She does fascinating things, like puke on herself, and coo during diaper changes.  The voracious reading I did during pregnancy definitely helped.  Once I had her, I felt like I was pretty well prepared despite never having been around babies.  I could name all the growth spurts.  What is the 4 month wakeful, you say?  Just ask the bump.

Marital strife:  Everyone said how having a baby made them feel distant from their husband.  I feel extremely lucky to say that I think it has only brought us closer.  We always seem to get along best when we have a difficult task that we are facing together.  This time, that difficult task is MJ.  Maybe this means we'll have 18 years of marital bliss, and that we better find something hella-difficult to focus on when she leaves the house.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Home Sweet Home

By Oregon standards, it has been bitter cold this week. Even by Minnesota standards 12 degrees is pretty cold. But it turns out 12 degrees without wind is warm by Minnesota standards; I don't think I've ever experienced that combination before. It's been great to be back home; it's great to have Grandma there as a (very willing) babysitter and launderess, and enjoy the sunny cold weather (a rarity by Oregon standards).
MJ has been so alert I'm not sure what to do with her.  She can't sleep because she gets so excited by everything.  Unless she is totally isolated she cannot sleep.  Even in a completely quiet room, she still finds the items around her fascinating.  Everyone tells me this is a sign of a very intelligent baby, which, of course, makes me beam with pride; they probably say that to everyone, but I'm happy to think my baby is the smartest.  It's just that it's already hard to keep up with her.  And I know this is only the beginning.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Here's something I do not recommend:
Planning a major cross-country trip that coincides with the 3 month growth spurt.

While DH holds down the homefront (and takes full advantage of bachelorhood, I am sure) I have taken Munchkin out west to visit her relatives, followed by a week at a conference next week.  I attributed her extreme fussiness yesterday to the 4 am wake-up.  And to her newfound alertness, wherein she is no longer the darling infant that simply falls asleep when things get too overwhelming to her.  Now she tries to take it all in, does a good job for a while, but then can't fall asleep for fear she'll miss something.  

Anyway, yesterday sucked.  The first time her uncle held her, as I crammed the stroller in the car, she squeezed out her first real tears.  I hate having to tell all her relatives "I swear, she's not usually like this.  She's a really mellow, happy baby" while they just shake their head in pity.  They probably won't meet her again for a year or more, and this will be the image they all have of her until then.  Lord, please make this a short growth spurt. 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Perhaps I am getting old

Because I just can't get on board with Twitter. Up until now, I have loved everything the internet has dished out. BBSes? Yes! (And if you don't know what BBSes are then perhaps you are the old one.  Or young one.) The world wide web, back when there were internet phone books? Bring it on. Search engines? Napster? Of course. Friendster, Myspace, Facebook? More, more, more. Blogging? Need I say more.

But twitter? Really? Why would I want to know your every inane thought and action? With the exception of a few people that I can count on one hand, I just don't care. Those few people can tweet and I would read, but no one else. Obama. My dog. Robert Downey Jr. That's all I can think of.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


The man I married didn't believe in dating when we first met.  When we first married, his friends confessed to me he had been voted most likely to never get married.  The man I married never looked at babies fondly. 
But today, me and the man I married took our new stroller for a wheel around the block.  And it was SWEET!  Great supension.  Smoothe ride.  Straight tracking.  Full rain cover.  This is something I never thought the man I married would be excited about, and yet there we were.  The Joovy Zoom.  I wish I had to here disclose that I have been given this as a promotion, but no, we bought it.  It is the most expensive vehicle we will probably ever buy her, as I think she should have to buy her own car. 

BTW, how does one get to be one of those bloggers who gives stuff away?  And gets to try things out then blog about it?  This is one of my goals in life. This is how I'll know I've made it as a blogger. 

Anyway, I've got to go for a run tomorrow.  We won't have many more days that are warm enough for a run (not that it's warm now.)  I'm a little bummed that I no longer have an excuse to not run, though soon it will be cold enough I'll have far too many excuses.  The only issue now is that our house is so tiny we're not sure where to put this massive stroller.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First Day

The fam left a few days ago.  And I then went into heavy duty work mode as I prepare for an (informal) presentation this Thursday, which is practice for a (formal) presentation at a conference in San Fran in a few weeks.  I also called our day care location yesterday to touch base, and it dawned on me that they might be able to watch MJ for a couple days while I get some work done.  It probably took more time to get everything together (bottle for every feeding!  bin for the diapers!  diaper cover for every diaper change(?)!) than she was actually there for, but it was amazing to have several hours of uninterrupted concentration.

When I got to the day care I was struck by how good this is going to be for her.  She constantly craves stimulation, and I know she will get it there.  More so than at home with me, when I'm doing work on my laptop and she stares at me like I'm the most boring person ever.  I really thought I would be able to leave her there with nothing but happy thoughts, but as I was leaving, I saw her sitting there, and she just looked so tiny.  Way too tiny to be entering this great big world on her own.  And I confess, there were tears.  But she was nothing but happy to see me 5 hours later, and I felt so much better having gotten some work done.  I know this is only the beginning.  I know this is the right decision for her; it's my job to give her as many experiences as I can.  It's my job to help fill her life with people who love her.  I am so thankful for all the crazy experiences I had as a child  (international travel at 5!  independent international travel at 15!) which I know were hard for my Mom (there were tears!) but which gave me so much strength and independence.  I want the same thing for my daughter, but I know it will never be easy.