Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Writing for sport

l confess, I have been feeling uninspired lately.  This here blog has started to feel like another chore.  On top of the myriad chores that having a wee-one necessitates (bottles! bath time! reading!), which aren't all bad, but still must all be done, as well as the ones I've placed on myself (cloth diapers!) feeling like I had to keep up the blog felt like... too much.  Especially now that it's getting nice outside, so there's yardwork and grilling to be done.

But today I looked at my traffic feed, and saw how many of you are still visiting me here, and felt like I owe you something.  And NOT in a chore kind of way, but in a you've-all-been-so-kind-to-me-it-makes-me-happy-to-do-something-in-return sort of way.

Much of my lack of inspiration has been fatigue.  MJ is doing better with the sleep thing (fantastic, really) but I've had a cough for, going on 2 months now, which has gotten so bad that it keeps me up at night.  I'm running through the wickets to fix it, and today got put on a course of antibiotics.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  And toes.  And itty-bitty-nose-hairs.

MJ had her 6 month appointment last friday.  Proud mama that I am, I'm already boring you with mundane details.  But I don't care.

15% for length.  Tiny peanut!

20% for weight.  We consciously tried to bring her weight up a bit, and it looks like we succeeded.  She's starting to look like a little chubster!  Very pinchable cheeks.

 Which puts her right where she should be, weight for length.  Just a scoche (spelling?) over 50%.

And my favorite.  80% for head!  Girl has a monster noggin, but she wears the bobble head look well.

The pediatrician said she was very strong; it's no wonder, with a head like that she has to be.  She also called her anomalously fearless for a 6 month old.  I've been thinking a lot about that one. Anomalously fearless....

I saw what she meant on Saturday at our first swim lesson.  There were big water jets at the pool, shooting water into the air.  I marched her right up to them, never even thinking that would be a bad idea.  And she loved them.  Then I notice that all the other babies around me are terrified of them.  The moms are slowly trying to convince them that it's fun, they should try it, and some of them eventually did.  Some never did.

So I guess our pediatrician's right.  Anomalously fearless.  On the one hand, kinda cool.  It makes me proud to think that my child can take on the world, nothing can keep her down, bla, bla, bla.  But on the other hand.... a healthy dose of fear in a child is a good thing.  I want her to be somewhat afraid of things... like hotty-hot stoves and meany-mean strangers. 

After our last appointment we made a concerted effort to get her to eat more, and we succeeded.  This time around we need to put the fear in her...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cheap entertainment

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Monday, March 22, 2010

This is why I love this man.

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The great return...

...from vacation. We took a lovely vacay to Key West last week. Thus the pool pic. I read somewhere I'm not supposed to announce on my blog that I'm leaving town because some crazy stalker types will track down my address and rob my house. So I didn't tell you I was leaving (though you minnesotan's may have figured it out from the outdoor swimming). And I hid my laptop in my bra so that no one could find it. Not that those things can hide much more than an iphone (if that) since the end of breast feeding. I did enjoy the larger cup size, I'll admit it.

It was glorious. A week away. With husband and baby, and no one else. While the weather was wonderful, the days relaxing and the pina colada's tasty, my favorite part was getting non-stop baby time. She is in constant motion these days. If she's not sleeping then she's into something, or busy trying to catch the eye of everyone we walk by. I had her in the Moby most days, facing out, and the non-stop "look at the cute baby!" "Oh, what a doll!" etc. put a permagrin on my face; at first I tried to respond to all the comments, but by the end of the week I couldn't keep up. With all the pirates-with-parrots and snake-tamers busking on street corners, we thought about standing next to them with MJ in her Moby and a can for tips, all proceeds going to her college fund. We could have paid for a years worth of tuition from last week alone.

I admit it, I love having a cute baby. I love it particularly now because I know there's no risk of all the attention going to her head. I hope she gets a little less cute as she gets older, because I firmly believe brains are better than beauty (or at least that's how I justify my experience.) The ideal is brains, beauty and modesty, I suppose, but I wouldn't know how to raise a child that has all three.

Anyway, back to the vacay (what an obnoxious word... I love it...) MJ, it turns out, loves sand. Who knew? A baby that loves sand, what a rarity. Furthermore, she loves splashing in the water. And? She loves us. What a wonderful, wonderful week. I will be posting pics soon...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


A very, very big tub.

Friday, March 12, 2010

6 months

It's been one of those crazy days.  Where you woke up at 1:30, which sort of starts everything off on a tired note.  Where I run around trying to cram 7 days worth of lab work into my tiny-little-friday, inevitably screwing some of that up, spilling nitric acid all over the place because it turns out even teflon can melt if subjected to high enough temperatures for long enough. 

But I'm going to be leaving here shortly, to pick you up and spend a whole weekend together.  And I can't wait.  I can't wait to soak in more of your neverending love.  Your never ending, no strings attached love.  I guess there really are strings (funny how you expect to be fed and changed.  one or the other is simply not enough.) and someday the love might be misplaced for a while.  But right now you have nothing but love for us, in your little 6-month-the-world-revolves-around-me way. 

I had lunch with a friend today, who has a 2 month old and has not yet returned to work full time.  I talked about how hard it is to be away from you so much, but how I love what I'm doing and I hope in the end, that's enough.  I'd love to be able to do both jobs full time, but there simply aren't enough hours in the day.  So know that I love you.  And more than a small part of the reason I'm still working is that someday I want you to be able to have it all.  I want you to be able to be a smarty-pants successful woman who is also a great mother.  How can I ask that of you if I can't do it myself?

I hope you look back on your childhood and don't remember how much I missed but how much I was there for.  Because I might miss some things.  But I hope I don't miss too much, and I hope that in the end what's most important is what we share.  You're the best thing that has ever happened to me.  While it's amazing that 6 months has gone by already, I think I'm even more amazed that it's only been 6 months.  That you have achieved all this in 6 short months.  Think how much you can do in a lifetime?  I have no doubt, little one, that you will do it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


When my boss rants for 10 minutes about how there's something wrong with my generation, at least in this country, I want to ask how he'd survive if his wife had a job.  And remind him that the parable of hard work that he holds up to me has moved half-a-country away while his wife postpones her PhD to look after their 4-month-old.  When he tells me he will no longer accept american students, because the foreigners that visit here work so much harder, I wanted to mention that when I was a visiting student in another lab I worked 20-hour-days and slept on the floor of the lab.  By those standards, your foregin students are slackers.

I also want to mention that every day my husband comes home telling me about the 30-year-old that died today.  Unexpectedly, or perhaps expectantly, though only expected for the last 6 months.  Yes, sir, you're lucky you didn't die at 30.  Or 40.  I'm lucky I didn't die at 20.  Neither of us, yet.  But it could happen any day, and I don't want to miss the opportunity to kiss my child good night for a few extra data points in the lab.

But instead I smiled and nodded empathetically.  And secretly wanted to stay late to collect a few more data points.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Vacation from what?

This weekend took a lot out of me.  It was a good weekend, MJ was her adorable self, but she's becoming more of a tornado.  She's still only a small dust-devil, but she is slowly working her way towards tornado status.  I think I had my first real glimpse of what toddlerhood has in store for us and I'm more than a little scared.

This morning was the first time I was excited to drop her off at daycare.  So I could take it easy during the week.  What happened to weekends being a break?  I think I need a vacation, but I'm not sure what I need a vacation from.  Do I need a vacation from motherhood (which is not an option)?  Or do I need a vacation with my family, wherein I spend lots of quality time with MJ?  If watching MJ was my full time job I probably wouldn't feel so overwhelmed by her.  But being as she is my vacation, and the rest of the week is a full time job, it seems more daunting.

I am tired this morning, even though DH woke up with her at 2 am.  The words are arriving through a fog.  Last night we went to the local family bar.  It's a pub, and truly feels like one, until you see the scads of children running around.  There was even a children's birthday party, complete with little pink and orange cone-shaped party hats.  We met a lovely couple who commented on how adorable MJ is, so I automatically liked them.  They mentioned that by the time their youngest was 2 she had been to more bars in St. Paul than most adults, but that they had to stop taking her to dive bars when she started eating popcorn off the barroom floor.  I am proud to say that DH and I figured this out before reaching the popcorn-off-the-barroom-floor status.  Maybe we're more intuitive parents than I thought.

Though MJ did dive for the french fry basket every chance she got, and got a couple of them all the way to her mouth before we could pry them free. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

::my toes are blushing::

A bit late to the party here.  I have just not had the energy/time to keep up with this here blog.  Rather than post partum depression (ppd), perhaps I am experiencing post partum blog absence.  I'm guessing that's incredibly insensitive to anyone suffering from ppd.  But I don't think anyone has ever accused me of being sensitive, so let's run with it.

Several weeks ago, Metta1313 over at 365daysofbeing30andmommy kindly nominated me for the Sunshine Award.  I'm not gonna lie, I love awards.  I particularly love awards I don't have to dust, so *curtsy*, thank you Metta.   

The rules for accepting the Sunshine Award are as follows:

1. Put the logo in my post or within my blog.
2. Pass the award onto 12 fellow bloggers.
3. Link the nominees within my post.
4. Let the nominees know they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blogs.
5. Share the love and link to the person who gave you the award!

I can tell you right now I'm not going to make it to 12.  Who has time to keep up with 12 blogs?  Actually, I do, but I'm mostly a tag-along follower.  You know, I read Dooce and Blair and all the other 1000+ followers blogs.  They don't need a sunshine award.  So this is reserved for the small-time bloggers.

1.  TwoTomatoes.  This is one funny lady, and I can verify this from having met her in person.  Furthermore, I get to work with her.  Was it this blog that got me the gig?  I don't think so, but it's a cool sidenote.

2.  Life with the Lairds.   I'm lucky to say I knew her when.  Her blog is beautiful and inspirational.  Always a reminder of what's important in life.  And her children are scrumptious.

3.  Postcards from parenthood.  I just started reading this blog, but I'm pretty convinced if I met Eliza in person I'd want to drink lots of martinis and talk about boys.

4.  The Battle Book. Another recent addition to the blog roll.  Not only is she writing about exotic adventures in a foreign land, but she's snarky and witty and as thrilling as a dirty romp in the sack. 

I have no idea if these ladies have already been nominated.   But even if they have, they deserved a standing ovation.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How could you not love this face?

MJ LOVES food. It's only rice cereal. Have you ever tasted the stuff? Not very exciting. But I guess, if it's the first texture you've ever experienced, it really is better than sliced bread.
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Can I begin to tell you?

How excited I am about Lauren Graham on TV again?  (and the Parenthood.  Needless to say, DH doesn't understand.  But it doesn't even last on our DVR, so he doesn't even know he doesn't understand).  I think the only time I've ever disagreed with Family Guy was when they made fun of the Gilmore Girls.  Now that I have my own daughter (as in, not just leased, but rent-to-own) I think I need to buy the full series on DVD.  Because Kelly is not around anymore to borrow it from.  And seeing Lauren Graham on TV makes me miss Kelly. And the Gilmore Girls.  And sleep.

Are you raising a douchebag?

I've been working on this post for a week now. By working, I mean I wrote this out and then forgot about it for a week. Until I saw this post over on HeirtoBlair. All of this has been prompted by an article on details.com.  I've worried about it before, although MJ is too young to feel entitled.  Yet.

I am very lucky that my husband has a good job. I'm convinced that raising a child is much easier to do when you have money. It allows me to afford things like good daycare (other than the TV), babysitters above the age of 12, takeout that includes vegetables other than ketchup, and housecleaning (because the 3 dishes I wash a week just don't suffice). This frees up my time to focus on my child. To play "Can Mj projectile vomit into Mama's mouth while flying?", read board books like "US weekly", and go for walks to the coffeeshop for some mocha-almond-goodness. Although I spent many years dating long-haired artists and musicians who read Capote in their free time, I'm awfully glad I fell in love with someone who can support me and the babe.
All that being said, I worry.  I worry that MJ will grow up to be a brat.  And now that we've talked about sending her to private school I worry that she will be out of touch with reality.  How will we avoid this?  I've been developing a plan.

When she's old enough, we'll take her on bike rides through the ghetto. This will teach her to pedal fast, not to rely on others to drive her to safety.

We'll give her a chore list as soon as she can read.  We'll use audio chore lists before that.  You don't need a house cleaner if your daughter does it for you.  So that's a two-fer.

We'll refuse to pay for plastic surgery or botox until she's at least 8.  That will give her time to appreciate her inner beauty, but should be early enough that the scars will heal before her cottillion.

We will buy her a car in a color that makes her complexion looked washed out.  We don't want any of that stoplight flirtation.

Lastly, there's no "I" in "Kmart brand".

Tell me, am I forgetting anything?  I think this sounds like a solid plan.  She will surely grow up empathetic and gracious.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The unsharing mama

In MJ's early days, after her initial I-am-so-tiny-I-could-crumble-from-the-sight-of-a-germ phase, I was always happy to pass her around to any willing baby holders.  It gave me a little bit of a break from a squirming baby, and filled up other women's baby-tank, so it was an all around win-win.  These days, though, I am more begrudging.  I see her so much less that I generally don't want to put her down.  Ever.  And now she wants to be down more than ever; squirming, rolling, pre-crawling all over.  I am becoming more of a baby hoarder.  Her baby days are growing shorter and her days with me are already short.

DH is betting we have one week until MJ starts crawling, and I am hoping he's wrong.  She looked like she was on the verge of rolling for two months before it started, so perhaps this is just a fakeout.  I have been searching the internets for a way to stop time, and a Dr. Hassan Katsina from Nigeria has promised that for $10,000 he will do this for me.