November 30, 2005

Thanksgiving Aftermath

Well, we survived the first major road trip.

We spent a weekend in KC seeing friends, then headed south to NW Arkansas to spend Thanksgiving with my in-laws. Nathan had 12 people who were more than willing to pick him up if he so much as whimpered. People competed over who got to feed him and complained if they didn't get enough time with him. I'm glad to get my son back, honestly.

Overall, Nathan was a peach - smiled at all comers, didn't fuss over unfamiliar faces, and was cheerful most of the time. What I didn't like was that he didn't get the down time I know he needs. He slept for most of the 9-10 hour car ride home, but I was apprehensive about payback this week. Sunday he was pretty good, and then... Monday. Oy.

Looking back at yesterday, I don't think it was fallout from Thanksgiving as much as it was a product of him coming down with a cold. He woke up at 4 a.m., again at 4:45 a.m.; I was up again around 5:30, again ~7, then finally got up with him about 8 a.m. From then until 9:30 p.m., he didn't sleep more than 30-45 minutes at a stretch; and much of that awake time was spent wailing.

He finally slept the sleep of the drugged last night: 9:30 p.m. until 7:45 a.m. He's stuffed up and coughing this morning, but at least I know why he's irritable... I was going to head over to a girlfriend's place today to do some scrapbooking, but I don't want to take Nathan out when he's sick. Mom offered to keep him for me, but I'd like to be here with him. I'm trying to avoid Nathan's therapy sessions years from now about resurrected memories of his mom abandoning him when he was sick. : )

Nathan's still active even though he's sick; he was so fidgety yesterday that I actually got out the johnny-jump-up. He's still small enough that I had to wedge an entire fleece blanket around his little bod to keep him upright, but he seemed to enjoy it. Is it normal to put a not-yet-3-month-old in one of these things?

(yawn) I'm off to shower and try to do a few things while the boy is snoozing in his baby papasan. More later...

November 16, 2005


It snowed yesterday, and it was bad enough to provoke some schools into calling off classes today. When upper Midwest education is sidelined due to weather, you know it's cold. Our two lab-mix dogs stay in a shed in my parents' backyard. There's a convection heater and electricity in the barn (as we call it), but the dogs' water was frozen this morning.

Even with all this, it's not the freezing climes that are keeping me home. I, born and raised in the upper Midwest, snowbound? Ha. I laugh in your face. I fart in your general direction.

No, no... I'm kidbound. I think Nathan could survive being outside, but when my mom expresses caution (a woman who's raised four children successfully in such winters), I'm learning to listen. I tend to charge into things with overwhelming confidence - and have something get destroyed or injured beyond repair in the process, after which I shamefacedly agree I shouldn't have done that.

I still remember a confrontation with my dad when I was in Jr. High/high school. After our heated conversation, I stalked down the hall to my bathroom, got in the shower, angrily tugged the showerhead down - and punched a hole right through the drywall. My dad was, of course, the only other person home; I had to abase myself and confess I'd broken his house not five minutes after our "discussion".

I don't want Nathan to get broken because of my stupidity or strong will. I'll wait 'til my mom gets home so she can watch Nathan, then go run my errands sans offspring.

November 15, 2005


Lessons I'm learning from Nathan: how to smile at someone who wakes you up, dumps you on a chilly flat surface, then strips all clothing from your nether regions before dragging a cold wet wipe across your genitals. If I was him, I'd want to stick me in the eye with a fingernail...

-He'd slept for >10 hours, but still.

Good behavior must be rewarded, right? I couldn't resist these... they're way too big for him right now, but he'll be able to wear them for a single week of his life sometime in the future.

Maybe someday he'll be a shoe fanatic like his Uncle Brian is. : )


I had a classmate in Jr. High who nicknamed me She-Ra. Must have been my shy, retiring personality that never got anything accomplished due to timidity.

Anyway... yesterday was a She-Ra, Princess of Power day. HOO-rah!
I washed and folded three loads of laundry, changed the sheets on our bed, reorganized our bathroom, finished writing thank-you notes, did my devotions ("spent time at the feet of our Lord," for those of you who speak a more exclusive Christianese dialect), bathed Nathan, went to aerobics, and took a shower myself - in addition to eating three meals myself and feeding Nathan 3-4 times.

You have no idea how big a deal that is, managing to eat all three meals myself. I've reverted back to my collegiate mentality, which was waiting until my hunger outweighed my lack of desire to expend energy in actually preparing the food. Not laziness, per se, since I was doing things like walking everywhere on campus, studying, reading, etc. Eating just wasn't that important to me. Well, same deal here. I look up at the clock and realize it's 1 p.m. and lo, I have consumed nothing. When I want to eat, I'm in the middle of something; when I have the time, I don't have the desire.

No worries I'll skip supper tonight: in honor of my birthday (which is this weekend) we're having steak and mashed potatoes. My dad does a wonderful job with a gas grill. OK, my salivary glands kicked into gear just typing that sentence. Pavlovian response.

It's snowing today... we should have 2-4" by the time this ends - Nathan's first REAL snowfall. Speaking of the boy, it's time to go wake him up - he's been asleep (or close to it) for 9 1/2 hours now.

November 13, 2005

The Unexpected

Another line I never knew I'd hear from my spouse:

"I have just witnessed green goo exiting my son's anus."

November 11, 2005

Two Months Old

Nathan, this week you turned two months old. I knew my life would change, but had no idea how much my focus would shift. When I was pregnant with you, there wasn't an aspect of my life - from eating to sleeping to sitting to standing to walking - that hadn't changed. That's continued since you were born, but now I get to interact with you.

You cuddle. You look cute in shades. You smile at me, and any bad mood seems to melt - particularly when you give me gummy grins at 4 o'clock in the morning. Your screaming may leave me feeling tired some days, but you hear my voice and stop crying. If I sing to you, you smile at me and sing along in your own baby way. I love that you're fascinated with anything bright, pattern-like or moving - brick walls, plaid shirts, ceiling fans, bright lights. I love that your eyes are almost always wide open, as if you're eager to take in every iota you possibly can.

I have fears sometimes that something will happen to you; that I'll screw up somehow, someway - and that my mistake will result in serious injury to you. Like Nichole Nordeman's song Brave says, you make me want to be brave. I may struggle with standing up for myself or my rights, but I would fight tooth and nail for you. I'm not ga-ga over you, but somehow you've entwined chubby fingers into all of my synapses.

I love you, Nathan.

Crack the Week

What a week.

Last Saturday we took a lightning trip 2 1/2 hours south to meet my in-laws for lunch before we turned around and drove back home. Nathan slept most of the way, but he was out-of-sorts by the time we got home.

Monday we decided to throw Nathan's world into chaos. How could I ever know that a hole punched through a man-made rubber substitute would change my life? -Wait, that could be taken the wrong way... I better explain. Nathan's scarfed down food since he was born, inhaling 8-9 oz. in less than 30 minutes. He'd follow these performances with an encore of repeat material - repeated ad nauseum. His nauseum. We hoped increasing the difficulty level of the bottle nipple would slow him down a tad and reduce the amount of regurgitated food.

Now it takes him 25 minutes to get 2 oz. My life this week has been like crack-the-whip or the tail(N.) wagging the dog (me); I'm not sure which. He eats an ounce or so, falls asleep because he's exhausted from working so hard, sleeps an hour or so, wakes up crying, cries while I change him, then attacks the bottle again with a vengeance.

To the problems with feeding were added fallout from his first round of shots (He was 2 months old Tuesday, so immunizations were due). Good news, though: he likes the taste of children's Tylenol. : )

I hope he adjusts OK with eating in the next week; traveling over Thanksgiving will be rough otherwise.

November 07, 2005

When I was in 4th grade, I desperately wanted a Cabbage Patch kid. I even coaxed my older sister into letting me take hers to school - sort of an "Aunt/Fake Niece Day at School" experience.

In high school I would have sawn off my left arm to be in college instead.

In college I wanted a paycheck commensurate with my schooling.

While working, I wanted to have time to savor little things - or jeez, just time to do laundry and eat meals on any sort of regular basis!

Now that I'm a stay-at-home mom (or SAHM, if you prefer, which sounds like a lisped Islamic greeting to me), I have more time. And what do I want now?

Well, this morning I got what I wanted: a shower. My mom fed and bathed Nathan so I could shower. Life is good - and thank the good Lord above for mothers who are willing grandmothers!

I'm returning to childhood - the wants are simpler and more easily satisfied. Must be the proximity to an infant that promotes some sort of osmotic "wants" transfer...

November 02, 2005

Halloween at Age 53

Well, Nathan's had his first Halloween at age fifty-three... fifty-three days, that is. Seven and a half weeks is too young for trick-or-treating, but in a few years I can shamelessly use my child to acquire chocolate for myself.

Funny story: Last year my nephew was asked by a candy-distributing homeowner if he had a little sister. This Spider-man costumed tot said "yes" in hopes of getting more candy. My brother had to intervene and no, there wasn't any little sister at home.

Anyway, you can see I dressed Nathan up as a pilot (I've got to get as many pictures of him in this jacket as I can before he outgrows it). The jacket's so stiff that he can sit upright in it - but he did fall over shortly after I took that first picture.

He's almost two months old, and he's changed so much in just the last few weeks. It used to be that he'd only outgrown two sleepers; now he's on the verge of outgrowing five or six all at once. He's gained somewhere around five pounds since he was born and 2-3 inches in length. He's still sleeping through the night (8 hours last night!) and doesn't waste any time when he's eating. The bigger problem is keeping up with his eating - this child would keep a milk cow busy at times: 30 ounces or more a day.

Along with better sleep patterns, he's more alert during the day. He talks to us on a regular basis now, with gum-revealing grins and happy baby sighs mixed in. He's a charmer, all right... -This Halloween picture looks more pilot-like in attitude to me; it almost looks like he's saying, "You wanna' take me on, sweetheart?" Don't let the picture fool you. He'd bite your arm off if he's hungry enough, and he really doesn't like having his arm or leg motions restricted - no more swaddling for him, thank you very much - but he's still a cuddler and a charmer. He keeps a close eye on all bright colors in his vicinity and shares his thoughts with ceiling fans and stuffed animals placed near him.

[sigh] Yeah, he's cute.

Advertising Will Be in Hell

If ever I wanted proof that advertising/spamming is an evil twisting of communication's intent (true, real interaction between people), spam blog comments would convince me of it.

Case in point:
Hi ________. Can I find any information on here? My friend said to check out [insert recent post title here]... for information on _________ but this does not seem like the most relevant of blogs. I like cruzing through your site but maybe search engines might have more information. Need to come back later though...great blogs!

Nice. A touch of personalized info and reference, informal style, some misspelling and grammar errors, and bingo: some poor blogger is deluded into believing someone reads and likes their blog. If the ad perpetrator is really lucky, the blogger will now post something about topic X in hopes of luring the reader back.

If I choose not to put ads on my blog (not saying they'll never be there, just that I don't want to put any on right now), I definitely don't want someone else putting ads on my site. Grrr.