Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Baby's Gotta Do What a Baby's Gotta Do

I saw this picture on one of my mommy bulletin boards.

It is too damn funny. (If you click on the picture, you'll get more details about what that baby is doing!)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Help on Creating a Map

OK, this is a request for help.

I volunteered to do some work for an upcoming conference and they asked me if I could come up with some sort of "herding/coordinating people" to go to dinner after our division's cocktail hour. The chair sent me a list of restaurants and their addresses. I thought a great way to do this would be to provide folks with a map with the restaurants starred (noted? Highlighted?) on the map.

This would seem to be a simple thing to do. Yet, it is not.

Do you all have any suggestions on how to do this?

Thanks much!

Just My Luck

So when I went out of town for my professional conference, we had two houseguests living here to help him with Conor including, of course, Conor’s godfather.

Now that it’s Dave’s turn to go on a conference, not only have our friends moved into their own house, they’ve left the city to go on vacation. And so have our other close friends in the neighborhood. So I’m all alone single mom-ing it for 4 days. No prob, really. That’s what a lot of women have to do, especially SAHMs.

And then I get a stomach virus.

I woke up Saturday night about 3:36 am and thought, hmmmmmmm, that doesn’t feel very good. Dave was still sleeping soundly (I could tell by his snores) and Conor hadn’t woken up either so I figured it couldn’t be food poisoning (unless I had carelessly licked my fingers while working on the raw chicken livers we grilled out that night, which I’m pretty sure I didn’t).

But just to make sure, I poke Dave. He didn’t wake up. I poked him harder. He rolled over. Honestly, that’s my sign for him to roll over when I can’t sleep and he’s snoring. Finally, I grabbed his shoulder and gently (!) yanked it a few times.

“Are you awake?” I asked.

“Ummmm, yeah,” he incredulously replied.

It was stereotypical, the forcibly waking and then the “are you awake” question. Nonetheless, I couldn’t think of another way to start the conversation.

Well, he was not nauseous and I really don’t think it could have been food poisoning since we ate almost the same exact things on Saturday. And it’s entirely too early to be morning sickness (if that’s even a possibility this month). So it must be some bug I picked up somewhere that no one else picked up.

I was able to stave of yakking until after I had driven him to the airport. I felt nauseated the rest of the day, but I didn’t yak again. And I couldn’t really eat much yesterday (or today, for that matter).

As you might expect, that didn’t really stop me yesterday from googling my fingers off yesterday just checking against checking that it was possible that this yakking was possibly morning sickness. But, it’s not. It’s just too soon. (Unless YOU have personal experience with early morning sickness and would like to share. Feel free!)

The day turned out quite nicely. Conor and I napped together in the afternoon and played for most of the rest of the time. Nighttime was a bit rough because we didn’t have the Daddy parts available, but overall we had a good time.

My one real fear was that he would see me throwing up and it would scare him. He hasn’t thrown up since he was 5 months old so he doesn’t know what it is. I can only imagine that Mommy with food coming out of her mouth would be a little bit more than my empathetic toddler could take.

And on that pleasant note, back to work.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

So Cute, I Could Explode

This picture is about more than I can bear. He is so adorable!! I fall in love with him every time I look at this picture!!

Look how they have him posed! Look how our 22-month old child folded his hands and sat in a chair like a big boy!! It is all I can do not to take real, physical bites out of him I think he is so cute here!! (look at all the exclamation points I'm using!!!)

I honestly did not know I could fall in love with someone so hard after growing up and becoming an adult. Yes, yes, you know those high school and college infatuations were so heady and heart break-y and shallow breath inducing, but a little rarer after umpteen broken hearts and a more mature ahem, cynical, view of life. And yes, I do looooove my husband. And I was all shallow breathy when we first met, too. But I never knew I could fall this hard for a 3 foot, curly haired, bundle of huggy child glory. ((((sigh))))))

And as for Southern speak, I scored 92% on the southern speak. But clearly, I have won with the Straight Drive. I drive straight, people. I've done it since college and I have no intention of stopping now. ((Although one friend wondered if that meant that I didn't drive under the influence. I plead the 5th on that))

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Speaking Southern

I realized after taking yesterday's quiz on speaking Southern or Northern that I have become bilingual, and as such, have lost my ability to know what I would "normally" say.

It's not the case for all words: I do not say nor have I ever said aunt so that it rhymes with ain't although I have relatives who do. Seriously. But I do have an issue with pajamas--I always pronounced in so it rhymes with "job" until we bought one of the Sandra Boynton books Pajama Time, which riffs on dancing in one's pajamas to a musical jam. It's the first time I've made myself mispronounce that word and I've been confused ever since. Do I normally say pa-JAAAAH-ma or pa-JAAAM-a.

I like to think that I can pass for Northern on occassion, as long as that occassion does not involve pronouncing umbrella or cement or talking about driving straight or wearing a tobggan on my head because all of those words have outed me as Southern at one time or another.

I like being Southern and I like my Southern roots, but I don't like that when people listening to me speak get whiplash when they turn to gape at me with slack jaws when I say some odd word or another.

And pronouncing words weird always make me wonder whether my weirdness comes from being Southern or from my family: was my particular mispronunciation a Southern one (pa-JAAAH-ma) or a family one (like jergle--a great word for when you shiver unexplainably). When I first moved away, I spent a lot of my family trips back in the south asking people "If I said to you that I had a straight drive, what would you think I meant?"

Fortunately, it reassured me that my family is not (unusually) nutty; it was a Southern thing.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Car Crap

Yesterday, both Dave and I were home in the afternoon. (And horrible parents, Conor was still at daycare) But we did pick him up early.

I got in the Jetta to go get Conor and I wasn't even out of the driveway before the Glow Plug related to the Deisel Engine was blinking. That can't be good, I thought. And no, it wasn't. The brake lights were out, accordig to the forums Dave found online.

Well, lucky us, I thought, both cars are here, so I'll take the Subaru. Which refused to start, to even turn over, to even click in frustrated trying. Dead battery. Oh, joy!!!

We ended up going with the Jetta because I didn't want to get stuck at daycare with the subaru and I could use hand signals* with the Jetta. It wasn't necessary because apparently, this problem is intermittent, and cleared up when we started up the Jetta again.

We can't afford new cars. These crappy-ass cars are going to have to last for a weeeeeee bit longer in order because new cars (even new-to-us cars) don't go with daycare.

Today's update is that we jumped the Subaru last night, it was dead again this morning, but I drove it around a bit, so hopefully it's fine. The Jetta's light started blinking again, so Dave dropped it off at the dealership.


In better news, Conor slept completely through the night with only a few coughs.

And for your entertainment, as heard on NPR this morning, do you talk like a Yankee or a Rebel? I'm definitely from the south.

*The hand signal I'd most like to use involves only one finger, but I would have used the stop signal.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Some Nights are Better than Others

We've had a little cold around here.

And when I say "we" I mean Conor and when I say "little" I mean he is not as big as we are.

He really has not been acting sick at all except when he tries to go to sleep and subsequently tries to nurse with about as much success as sucking mud through a straw. (I use that expression because that's what his nose sounds like) And we've unfortunately trained him to get excited and jump up and down when we mention "medicine" in the form of Robitussin Infant cough and cold. I don't think it's the "medicine" as much as it is the fact that it's one of the sweetest things we let him eat.

So the sleep, it is not good. He takes forever to go to sleep. Wakes up around 11:30 (which I swear to God(dess) feels like 6 am to me) and quickly goes back to sleep but then wakes up again between 4:30 and 5:30.

I'm tiiiiiiiiiired.

We keep thinking we've passsed over the hump. Really, we only think that because I'm pathetically optimistic and I always think things are going to get better.

But last night was sort of better: Conor woke up at4:30 because of a nightmare and not because of a cough.

So, yeah, that's not objectively better and actually quite worse for him. It was so sad--he was grabbing onto my neck and sobbing on my shoulder and it took me a while to calm him down enough to even nurse. Fortunately, he went right back to sleep (and slept until 7:15!), but he was right pitiful, as we'd say down here.

And somewhere in this process (with either him or Simba between us in the early morning), I have tweaked my back and it feels like someone is stabbing my shoulder with a rusty serving fork. I don't like that one bit either.

But I'm not in too cranky of a mood. It's one of the outcomes of being perpetually optimistic. Tonight's sleep will be great and my back will be all fine tomorrow.

heh. I'm not stupid though. Let the snot be gone!!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Things I like

So, it's Saturday night and I'm about to be on call to put Conor to sleep.

Nonetheless, I blog and point you to this video spoof on the song "I'm a Barbie Girl". The best one by far is the second one by the Turkish dude which is hysterical. Seriously, watch whatever commercial you need to and then look at that second video. You will laugh out loud.

Then take our your charge card and join's premium membership. I don't push much on this blog. But Salon rocks. And when you join, you get all these freebies, particularly magazines.

We've joined all we had the free options to. But the one that we think is the best bargain is the journal called The Week. It's an AMAZING weekly that provides left, right and center, American and Foreign takes on all the important issues including politics, the arts, culture and society. It is mainly reports from an amazing variety of perspectives---I can't tell which side these folks are on. I just know I learn a lot quickly from them. (you can read the entire magazine in an hour and know what the Poles think of our foreign policy along with the best houses on the market are in Utah). best of all, it's FREE with a salon membership, and when it's not free any more, we're going to pay for it.

Until then, watch the Turks in that video. I swear to you that you'll laugh out loud. And then come back here and let me know if you did!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Breast-Feed or Else

In case you’ve missed the brouhaha on guilting women into breastfeeding, you can read the article in the NY Times here. As you know, I’m a big advocate of breastfeeding, even extended breastfeeding---we’re closing in on 2 years now, although there are absolutely no signs that the milk bar is going to be “closing” any time soon.

That said, I’m not a fan of the new government policy of telling women that not breastfeeding is as risky as smoking during pregnancy or that “you don’t risk a baby’s health while you’re pregnant, why risk it afterwards.” It’s not that I’m concerned that the campaign hurts women who couldn’t breastfeed due to low supply or nipple pain. It’s because the problem is not the women (Blame the Mothers once again!). The problem is that our low breastfeeding rates are a systemic problem not an individual one.

In talking with women who have had problems, here is an incomplete list of where lack of support plays a crucial role: husbands/fathers, grandparents and friends don’t support bfing; nursing in public (NIP) is a problem, companies don’t provide women with enough paid time off to help establish and continue breastfeeding and the government doesn’t mandate it, companies don’t provide private spaces to pump, pediatricians and OB/GYNS hand out formula like candy and don’t adequately support women in those first few weeks where if the woman stops breastfeeding she can never start again. And don’t even get me started on the formula industry sponsoring research that co-sleeping is evil, because that’s the only way most women can breastfeed and maintain their sanity. (And did anyone else hear the NPR story this week about the astronaut dealing with zero-gravity and coming back to earth and on his first night back sleeping with his wife and 8 year-old son? Yeah, Right. The family bed is so freaky, astronauts do it and share it on national radio.)

But, noooooo! Let’s not address the problem in societal terms! Let’s blame those poor women and make them feel like even more shitty-ass mothers than we already do. SO if the government wants to help women breastfeed, then why doesn’t the government do something truly meaningful and mandate paid maternity/paternity leave.

More Government Crankiness

And on that note, I need to confess. I have spent the last 3 to 6 years saying that my beliefs will be vindicated when in 30 years, modern historians look back at what this administration has done in Iraq and to our civil rights and call this President the idiot that he really is.

And then I thought, what am I going to say to my children and grandchildren who ask me what I did to stop it? And I’m going to say, I did nothing but wait for vindication. But that’s not enough.

So, no matter what your beliefs, whether you agree with this administration or not, I encourage you to write your Senators and tell them how you feel.

Be a little active and make this world better.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Stop Raining, Dammit

We had a drought this spring. Bad, bad drought.

It's not official, but surely we're pulling out of it, right!? My rain gauge (the handy dandy mother's day present that I asked for!) registered 1 3/4 inches of rain since Sunday afternoon. (And in full disclosure, I originally thought it was 4.5 INCHES of rain when I mistaken read the metric side of the gauge. "How did you ever survive?" Dave questioned when I realized my mistake.)

I checked on the garden after last evening's monsoon and had to rescue a 7 foot sunflower who was falling over in the wet soil. This morning I found my best tomato plant listing and had to stake it up sticks and *two* tomato stakes--that's just how wet the ground is. Today is completely overcast and cool so there's no chance for anything to dry out.

Now, I hear we've got Alberto coming up for a visit after midnight and through tomorrow morning.

I fear for my herbs which are finally doing well but prefer dry to soggy soil. I've finally got my sage to thrive and it's going to be overwatered again.

Can't we just sort of spread the rain out, hmmmmm? Evenly distribute an inch of rain every week over the summer and a little less in the winter?? Is it that hard, really?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Stinky Feet

Conor has stinky feet. He’s a sweater like my side of the family. And as a result of sweat and the cheap-ish shoes we buy him from Target, the child’s feet regularly have a strong musty odor. I can smell them even when he’s sitting in my lap.

Sadly, that does not stop me at all from nibbling on said stinky feet. When he’s particularly ripe I remember some quote I read of a French woman basically comparing strong cheese to zee feet of angels. Feet of angels, feet of son, what's the difference? So yes, I confess that I am a stinky foot nibbler (and also that I like really strong cheese).

To mix food metaphors, we tell Conor that his toes are sausages. (He gets his sweaty feet from me, but he gets his monkey like long toes from his father; Conor's toes do look like tiny sausages) And when we’re hungry we threaten to eat his toes. There are usually some exaggerating biting motions made and he usually squeals with delight as we get closer to his toes.

Nonetheless, my son’s feet stink.

And I love it. Sometimes I will even just sniff his shoes. ("Anita is a.....Nut!")

Yeah. On that note, let me change the subject to the garden. I’m having the most fun I’ve had in the garden in years. Why, you ask. Let me tell you. I have much less in the way of food produce (more flowers and herbs) and much, much more in the way of mulch on the non-planted sites. It’s so much easier to handle this year. And it’s pretty!

On Sunday, we harvested our first pole beans which are forming a teepee shaped canopy in the middle of the garden. They were so tender and sweet, Dave and I fought over the last beans despite the fact that there should have been enough beans for 4 people instead of two. I finally pulled up the radishes I’ve been let idle in the soil and found one super huge radish bigger than my hand. A RADISH, not a beet! I will get the picture up this week. I also pulled up the dead and dying English peas which I love but seem like a lot of work for very little outcome. I may have missed one harvest before they died, but then I would have had only 4 small servings of peas instead of 3. The input of work to output of food ratio is not compelling.

We also had our first tomato this week. Homegrown tomatoes have this amazing warm deep red taste. And the plants have such a musty smell. I used to hate that smell when I was growing up. It’s definitely not a pleasant smell. But now when I brush by them and release their mustiness, I think of heat and red and fresh ripe tomatoes.

I do not, however, think of my son’s feet.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Afternoon IM with my Dear Husband

Dave: Did you know that People raised their price for this issue?

Anita: really?!

A: Well, i'm so going to buy it anyway!

D: they need a few extra $$$ to pay for the pictures

A: yeah!

A: Everyone is going to buy it

A: We want to see what the most beautiful child on earth looks like!

D: Conor is in People!!!??

A: he is!

A: Angelina wants to adopt him!

D: can she adopt us too? A package deal?

D: then we can all snuggle with her in the morning

Oh, really.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I'm totally still on Team Anison, but I'm warming up to Team Jolie, especailly since it's obvious here that she's wearing a nursing bra. (Fluffier still, I am sooooooo going to buy this week's people magazine)

And, in the same vein of being a fair weather fan, are you following the Stanley Cup and the NORTH CAROLINA Hurricane's whooping of Edmonton thus far?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Walk of Shame

Since I've been married, the only walk of shame I have to suffer is into the university library to pay my fines.

Only, I found out today that they had forgiven them and I had no fines to pay!

I am happy. I feel like Samantha on Sex and the City.

Which is pathetic. It's only the library.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

More Birds

Folks, I realize that it's not the most exciting thing to read about someone's encounter with birds, but I'm starting to feel like I'm in my own Hitchcock film.

If I've got the office door open, there's a bird gonna fly in.

And I hate to be a birdist, I have to tell you that there are differences in intelligence in birds based on species. Bluejays? Yes they are mean (we saw one attacking a cat the other day), but they respond well to a firm if somewhat anxious "Oh, no! No!" They don't even land, but hover, hear and leave.

It's the little ones that are more of a problem. The sparrows are as dumb as the dirt they peck in. I've had more than my fair share of sparrows land in my office, alighting either on my wicker chair or the scruffy welcome mat and I can't get the damn thing to leave. I talk. I wave. I talk and wave. They look at me as if I am just some nonthreatening curiousity. (which is true, but still. That's a dumb response from wildlife)

Nonetheless, I have a serious fear of one flying deeper into the office and then freaking out and somehow either attacking me or getting stuck in my hair.

It's not logical. I know.

But it's freakyass, all these birds coming in here. And I'm not even going to talk about the ones I've heard thunk into the windows.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Klutzy Girl’s Guide to Nature

In addition to having birds fly in my office, I get to see them when they hop on the window unit air conditioner.

Why just a few minutes ago, a beautiful male cardinal/ red bird and btw, the North Carolina state bird was hopping around on the top of the a/c. Since I was reading at the table under to the a/c, I slowly stood up and moved closer to window. He watched me. I watched him. I couldn’t have been more than 3 feet away and he was so beautiful.

Then, for some unknown reason, I decided to move close and in doing so moved my hand, knocking over my full glass of water over all the papers I was going to read, was reading, and had already read. Full glass of water. Wet important papers.

Damn bird.

Friday, June 02, 2006

All this Knowledge and Still no MD

I swear I feel like I ought to be granted a special certification in OB-GYN.

Actually, the problem most likely is that I only know a little, but the little I know expands into the entire space of what I want to know and then feels like “a lot.” Wide and shallow would be the best description. Like my butt.


We’ve had another “event” this month. This one involves another chemical pregnancy.

We got our first faint positive pregnant test with the First Response Early Response on Monday, 10 dpo. Yes, I know that’s early, and honestly I had no intention of testing, but when I woke up and my basal body temperature was 98.6, I was shocked. And curious. The only time my BBT gets that high is when I’m pregnant. I am a classic triphasic fertility TTC charter thingy chick.

So I thought to myself, “Myself, are you pregnant?” I took the test and lo and behold, I was. “Yippee!!!” I thought. There’s only a 13% chance of miscarriage the first 6 weeks if the little guy implants on day 9 or before, so we were pretty psyched to get a positive test at 10 dpo.

I took another test the next day and the line was darker! Yippee again! It was clearly and unambiguously positive!!

I took a test the next day, and it was faint again. Thus I began to worry.

I took another test yesterday and the line was barely there. “This is Not Good,” I thought to myself. Myself sadly agreed.

I called up the doctor and they asked me to come in and take a blood test. That was yesterday afternoon and I’m waiting for them to call with the results this morning. (I’m having a hard time focusing) Oh, and I guess I should mention about how I arrived and their computers were down and they told me I couldn’t get my blood drawn and my head nearly exploded and I informed them through gritted teeth and locked jaw that I was having a miscarriage and they had damn well better take my blood today. (maybe an exaggeration because it’s not a “real” miscarriage. Nonetheless.).

Then the very nice receptionist came over to apologize and I burst out into tears (which I have not done at all during this whole pregnant-not-staying-pregnant dealio). And then the nurse came to get me just as I was gaining composure and I lost it all over again.

Although I’m quick to cry, I really hate doing it in public especially in front of people I don’t know but know something intimate about me.

Pretty much, I felt like a nut.

As an aside, we were playing a game called Catch Phrase this weekend in which you break into teams and try to get your partner to say a particular word or phrase. Dave and my friend Brian were on the other team; it was Brian’s turn and the first clue he gave to Dave was “Anita is….” Dave shouted out “A nut!”

It was the correct answer.

Back to the not being pregnant: So, ummm, yeah! I was. Now I’m not. In the last 6 months we’ve been trying to conceive, I’ve had two chemical pregnancies (that I know of) and one full on miscarriage.

So we can get things started, but we can’t “seal the deal.”

I’ll update at the bottom of this entry after the doctor calls.

Edited to Add: The doctor called. My beta was at 4 and progesterone was low. So I was pregnant, but am not now. The dicussion we had is where do we go next?