Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 in the books

2007 is coming to a close. Just hours remain as I write this. I have no intention of making any resolutions. I sort of constantly make resolutions throughout the year, so no reason to set myself up for failure early.

In retrospect, 2007 was one of my better years. We bought a new house, signed new contracts, took some nice trips, became pregnant with our second son, and ended the year with a new puppy. I don't have too much to complain about from the last year. Next year brings the promise of a new addition to our family, new challenges, sleepless nights, stress at work and home, and another round of first smiles, steps, and words. This time next year, we will be putting two little boys to bed long before midnight, as we bid goodbye to 2008.

And that day will come faster than imaginable. The years seem to slip by more quickly with each one that passes you by.

As evidenced in my musings here, I seem to get bogged down in the minuscule everyday frustrations that seem like such a BIG DEAL at the time, but are a distant memory only a week later. Someday, I will long for the neediness of a new baby or the tug on my hand of a toddler. The chaos of my life these days seems never-ending and insurmountable at times, but I know someday when my life is quiet and uncluttered, I will miss these hurried moments.

Maybe I should resolve in 2008 to appreciate all that I have and not wish it away.

--MM

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Micro-manager

We have a person at work who is driving me batty. She is a year younger than me, has less experience, and in my personal opinion is less qualified, yet she has a title and abuses it. She keeps saying she is going to leave for some other job, but she JUST WON'T LEAVE. PLEASE JUST GO! Whew. I feel better.

I am feeling large and round and uncomfortable today. I feel and look like I swallowed a soccer ball. How can I still have 15 weeks of this to go? It seems so much worse when I am up at 8 or 9 and moving around all day till midnight. I need to lay down some of these days and rest my roundness.

Last night, Ruby peed in our bed. It was not pleasant. Then she lay down next to me and kept sniffing and tickling me with her tiny whiskers. I banished her and T to the guest room for the night. This puppy ownership is tough. Puppy class starts this weekend. I hope Ruby excels.

--MM

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bad babies


Raising a puppy is not easy. I have forgotten how challenging it was to take care of our first cat as a kitten. She would suck on my hair and purr in my ear all night. That might sound enticing, but it really wasn't.

We are trying fruitlessly to crate train Ruby. She is a skinny, tiny thing and shivers in the crate and hates it. We stuck her in there for two nights, and she created such a racket whining and howling, she woke up Q. There was quite a chorus of mad babies in the house. For the last two nights, she has slept in our bed. Training is going great.

I am afraid we are going to roll over and squish her. I never wanted to sleep with Q in the bed for that reason. Last night there were two tall humans (one pregnant), a cat, and a puppy in our double bed. It was quite crowded.

She also hates going outside in the cold and strains on her leash and shivers. So far she has just been peeing and pooping on the ground. Again, training is going great. I like the ease of cat training. Can a dachshund be litter box-trained?

She and Q are buds though. She is right at his side biting on his toys as he plays with them. They may a pretty cute pair.

She begins puppy school this weekend. I think maybe T wishes I had gotten a receipt for his Christmas present.

--MM

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Many posts

This was a busy weekend, and I broke it up into many posts. Please scroll down to "The doctor's verdict" to start from the beginning.

--MM

The Christmas puppy

T grew up a dog person, and I grew up a cat person. Somehow, we have made the marriage work, and T has come to know and love cats. We have accumulated two, and they are easy, sweet pets. They will always be my preference.

Something over the last year though has been changing my mind. T and I have always thought dachshunds were a riot. They are just such funny looking little things! Q's first word was "doggie," and he gets extremely excited every time he sees one. I finally decided I would make the leap and get our family a doggie.

I picked one out almost a month ago. I wanted a little short-hair dachshund with the classic reddish brown fur. I found a delightful little girl at a breeder in our town. I put half down and told them I would return on Christmas Eve.

When we got back from our crazy, long night away, I told T I had to go pick up one more gift at the mall. I put the cat carrier in and went to pick up our new puppy. When I arrived home, I had T put on a sleep mask to cover his eyes and went out to the car to retrieve the puppy. To my dismay, she had pooped in the carrier and was covered in it. Oh well, I thought as T sat inside blindfolded. I scooped her up and went in and put her in T's hands.

He felt something wet and furry. When he took off his blindfold, he was a little stunned and in disbelief to see a tiny, poopy dachshund shivering on his lap. After washing off the little four-and-a-half pound thing and putting T's sweater in the washer, we started to get to know her.

She is quite different from cats. She is skinny for one thing and follows us around everywhere. The cats have been surprisingly good with her. They are much bigger and always will be, so that's an advantage. She has chased them a bit and elicited a few hisses, but other than that, it is mostly harmony. Our house feels a little crazy now with a baby, two adults, and three animals, and it will just get crazier next April, but that's what makes things interesting, right? I hope.

We decided to name her "Ruby." She loves Q because he is right at her level. He is convinced she is a cat and doesn't like all the licking, but they are fun to watch playing together.

On Christmas morning, Q enjoyed his new toys. and I got a wonderful and surprising present. T got me Kate Spade diaper bag that I had been eying. It is ridiculously expensive but quite fabulous. We had a nice dinner and now will be ending the night with something sweet.

It was an interesting but unforgettable Christmas.

--MM

The Long Night Part Two: The Crime

I had taken two naps that day, and was wide-awake long after Q and T drifted off. I was finishing my book The Innocent Man, by John Grisham just before 2:00 a.m., when I heard someone fiddling with our door and apparently trying to get in.

I poked T and whispered, "Someone is trying to get in our room!" He was a bit groggy, but heard the clattering of the knob.

He called out, "Hello?" and the person hurried down the stairs.

After that we could hear a lot of clattering and clinking from downstairs. We figured at first it was just a drunk, confused guest, but something didn't feel right.

I convinced T to go down and take a look. This is probably not the smartest idea, but curiosity was getting the best of us. He went down and saw a figure hunched behind the bar putting wine and liquor bottles in a bag. "Can I help you?" T said.

"Yeah, you can," the guy said as he stood and started walking toward T with his hands behind his back. Then he took off and ran out the kitchen.

T hustled back upstairs and called the police. The burglar had left his shopping bag full of bottles on the bar. When we saw the cop pull in, we heard more noise downstairs and figured the cop was already inside. It turned out it was the little crook returning for his bottles! Pretty brazen.

The police and deputies talked to us and got a description. They brought in a police dog to sniff around for the guy. We returned to bed but were wide awake for quite awhile. What would we have done if he got in our room?

The next morning we enjoyed French toast and scones. The inn workers were very apologetic, but we of course didn't hold anything against them. They gave us the night free and a certificate for a two-night stay. Sometimes crime does pay!

--MM

The Long Night Part One: The Sleepless Baby

We made the mistake of not bringing a crib for Q. We will never make that mistake again. Q usually goes to be around 8 or 8:30. Sometimes as early as 7:30 or as late as 9:30. This night, he would not fall asleep. He kept walking around the room pulling things out, destroying magazines, throwing his balls, and babbling.

Around 10:00, we finally started to seriously try to get him to sleep. T boxed him in behind a love seat and trunk in the corner. Q screamed and tried to wedge himself out. T rocked him for twenty minutes and then I took over. I rocked him until my back hurt and my left arm ached. His eyes finally closed, and I laid him on T's coat. His eyes popped open, he got up and started walking around. It was almost like a horror movie. We just couldn't beat him.

I don't even remember how it finally happened, but he blissfully drifted off to sleep just before midnight. It was crazy. We figured he would sleep forever as he is generally used to 12 hours of sleep a night, but no. He was up at 7:00. Before that though, the long night continued.

--MM

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Weekend away

T and I had Christmas Eve and Christmas day off. We weren't planning to go anywhere and no one was coming to see us. It would just be our mini-family during Christmas, so we planned a mini-getaway. We booked a room at a bed-and-breakfast in a resort town 15 minutes away. We have done this a few other times. It is a great way to get out of town, but it is easy and convenient.

We arrived and checked in. Our room was beautiful and had a big jacuzzi with natural mineral water that flows at the site. I quickly got ready for my prenatal massage. As I mentioned before, it was my first time with a male massage therapist. Though I am pretty sure he was not interested in my gender, it was still a bit more awkward at first than with a woman for some reason. Maybe that was just my imagination. The massage was at another cottage at the inn. A couple big cushions were on the massage table, and I could position them so my round belly could fit in. It was blissful to lay on my belly again. You don't realize you miss it until you can't do it. The massage was very good. One of the better ones I have had. It was nice to just be able to go back to my room instead of driving home.

Afterward T and I and later Q got in the tub. The mineral water was interesting. It smelled a bit like sulfur but made your skin feel soft. Q has been battling some ferocious diaper rash. After his wash, we let him walk around pants-less for awhile. It made me laugh every time passed by with his little bare bum and other parts hanging out.

Later we attempted dinner, which has been getting more and more difficult. We went to one of my favorite places that combines Latin and Asian food. Q was loud and difficult so we were forced to eat quickly and ignore annoyed glares of nearby diners. It was still delicious though.

On the way home we got a lemon meringue tart and cappuccinos.

Then the long night began.

--MM

Day care decisions

T and I have been going back and forth over daycare. Our provider clearly wanted us to pay her for the two weeks she is taking off. We made the mistake of not getting all of that in writing when we started with her. For the most part, she is very good and sweet with Q. The drawbacks are she is on the other side of town and wants us to pay her for her vacations.

We ended up asking her if we could pay a little less since we will have to be paying a few other people to watch Q during her vacation. It doesn't seem fair that we would have to pay double during this time. She works out of her home, so doesn't that mean who know you forgo benefits and paid vacation? Isn't that a choice you make? We will still be paying extra for these two weeks because of the other babysitters we have had to find.

We have started to think about looking for a different provider. It's a very awkward decision to make. He has been there since he was ten weeks old, and we have never had a major problem. When the new baby is born, it will be even more challenging to pile everyone in the car to get to the other side of town and pay twice as much. The thought of paying hundreds of dollars during her vacation this time next year is not pleasant. We are looking into getting childcare in our home. The whole issue is all more expensive and difficult then I ever imagined! We are looking at Craig's List ads and are just starting to think about it. We'll see what happens.

--MM

The doctor's verdict

It has been a very eventful few days, so rather than cram it into one post, I am going to do chapters. Beginning last Friday and working to Christmas.

Q had his appointment with some specialists Friday. He has seen all the local people, but our doctor still wanted us to see the developmental pediatrician, occupational and physical therapists, who come down once a month to see children in this area.

It was fascinating to watch them work with Q. They had various toys laid out on a blue mat. He basically thought he was playing as they asked him to do certain things and observed him. They showed him out to stand on a stool to get his toys on a bench. He played with a drum and a ball and walked all around. The doctor then moved his legs and arms around and observed him. Finally, they told us they were very happy with where he is. They said he is walking wonderfully and just seems to be a tad delayed. They didn't see any reason for an MRI or any further study. It was such a wonderful relief.

Afterward, we went to the occupational therapist. They had him stack blocks (he did seven), shake little balls out of a bottle (he tried to eat them), and throw a ball (he excelled at this). He also had to put pegs in certain holes and push a square through an opening and all sorts of other things. All the while, the OT and a student took notes and scored him. They also said he seemed to be doing well, and the only area they thought he could improve upon was his speech. He babbles constantly, but rarely includes actual words. I still think he is doing fine in that area. I know other children who seemed much further behind then Q. We are going to just keep meeting with our Early Intervention Specialist and see how it goes. It felt great to hear their positive verdict though after a few months of negatives prognoses. And these are the real experts!

--MM

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Looking up

Things are looking up today after my crappy day yesterday. That is often the case though isn't it? You just have to wait the bad ones out. I have several snippets today.

First, I went to my final Lasik follow-up appointment today. You may remember you are not supposed to get Lasik while pregnant, but I went ahead with it at 10 weeks pregnant because I didn't want to wait another two years. Anyway, I wore a baggy sweatshirt today to hide my round belly, but as soon as I walked in, I saw a girl I know from the gym. She asked me when I was due and said I didn't even look pregnant in that sweatshirt. Ack! Caught! The nurse didn't seem to blink an eye though. On a positive note, my vision is now 20/15! It is just amazing stuff. I had to wait in the exam room for about 30 minutes with Q squirming and whining and reaching for delicate medical equipment. I hate the waiting! Why do they do that?

Second, I found two people to take Q during the days our daycare provider is closed. Now the next dilemma, do we have to pay our daycare provider for those days and then also pay the people who will actually be taking care of Q? That doesn't seem fair. I am going to ask if we can pay her half, so that we will still break even. What do other people do in this circumstance? If Q is sick, we still pay her because it is not her fault he is not there, but if she takes two weeks of vacation, we shouldn't have to pay, right? It's a very tricky situation. I feel a lot of relief to have those days covered though.

Third, I stumbled upon a great story while setting up my project for work. I was annoyed and frustrated that I had to work on this project, but when I finally just dove in, I found this wonderful story. It's funny how things turn around like that.

I find that when I am confronted with stressful situations I get easily frustrated and angry, but after I let that pass, I am pretty good about jumping in and taking care of it. I just have to cut down on the quick frustration.

Other random thoughts:

-I ran into a coffee shop this afternoon, and when I put Q down for a split second he crawled behind the counter with the baristas. Embarrassing.

-"The Biggest Loser" finale last night was amazing. Some of those people were very inspiring!

-Q is walking all over the place right now. He is actually doing it more than crawling. He has an appointment with these specialists this Friday that come into town once a month, but I really think he is catching up now.

-I ordered this belly-cincher thing from Brooke Burke's company that you wear after giving birth to help your body reshape itself. Hey, if it works for her!

-I love Giada de Laurentiis. I made her Italian Quesadillas tonight and her Spinach Ravioli with tomato-cream sauce last night. Yum.

Whew! Good night.

--MM

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Complaining

This post will likely be annoying, but I can't help it. I am having an annoying day. My throat hurts, and I am coughing again. I barely slept last night and then Q was in a grumpy mood this morning. I didn't work out as intended, and I feel like a fat, round blob. Our daycare provider is taking vacation the next two weeks, and we have nowhere to put Q for several of those days. I am supposed to be working on this special project for work but am not sure when they expect me to do it exactly. I am just having one of those annoying, frustrating days. I hate those.

--MM

Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekend of parties

We had three Christmas parties on the schedule this weekend, but only made it to two. One was a party for the gym where I teach classes, and it required working out. What kind of a party is that? Three instructors taught 15 minutes each of their format. One was a hip-hop aerobics class. I think I found my calling. No, not really. It was hard. Not aerobically, but just following all the steps. I felt like an ass, and I'm pretty sure I looked like one too. Afterward, we went to a burger place that has bottomless french fries. They were spiced to perfection and when dipped in ranch tasted like heaven. Kind of pointless to do all that working out, but sometimes you just need a bowl o'fries.

Sunday was my work party. We had a sitter lined up for Q, but she called us hours before and said she was sick. So, the whole family went to the party. He was the only child there but was a pretty good boy. People enjoyed seeing him, and he enjoyed playing peek-a-boo with the cloth napkins. The party consisted of a buffet at a steak house. That did not leave much for my vegetarian self to eat, but I made do. Our general manager's wife held Q, but he fussed and pointed at us and wriggled to get away. Thanks a lot Q! It would have been nice if he at least kissed up a little to the boss's wife.

Our daycare provider has told us she is taking a week and a half off over Christmas. Yikes. That is not good for us, considering we have three days total off. Maybe the cats could watch Q?

--MM

Friday, December 14, 2007

Krazy kiosks

The mall is madness right now. I had to go tonight to pick up a little present for a Christmas party. Not only is the mall packed with a million determined shoppers, it is also wall-to-wall with those annoying kiosks. They are hocking everything from hair products to tiny flying helicopters and every single salesperson wants you to stop and check out their products. I try pointedly to look away or engage myself in conversation with T. Still, the same persistent salespeople stop you time and time again no matter how often you walk by them.

I wonder how any of those kiosks make money. But then, T and I did just make our first kiosk purchase. We were enthralled by a portable steamer. Neither of us is big on ironing, though we wear clothes that need it almost every day. We have actually been quite happy with our purchase. It is not as effective as the iron, but it is also not as annoying and difficult as going downstairs and pulling out the board and waiting for it to heat up. So, I guess I can't knock all kiosks.

Two Q notes; he is walking quite famously right now. He has really just snapped it up in the last few days. He toddles all across the room and pops right back up each time he loses his balance. I am so proud of him! Also, he continued his fascination with his new yellow battery-operated toothbrush today. He was pointing at it and grunting, so I turned it on and handed it over. He kept that thing in his mouth for a good ten minutes, until I finally took it away and turned it off to conserve the batteries for at least a few more days.

This weekend we are supposed to go to three Christmas parties. Madness.

--MM

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Near miss

When I take a shower, I usually lock Q out of the bathroom. He doesn't like it and generally pounds on the door the entire time I am in there. I don't want him falling in the toilet or getting into something while I am unaware in the shower, so this arrangement usually works best.

Today, I closed the door and stepped under the hot water. Q whined and pounded for a minute, but then silence. After I finished I came out to look for him. He wasn't outside the door, or in my room, or in his room. I stepped into the hall and panicked when I saw that I had forgotten to close the gate at the top of the stairs. I rushed over, sure I was going to see Q's crumpled form at the bottom of the stairs. But the stairs and front entrance were empty. I called to him a few times. Then finally, he came crawling around the corner to the bottom of the stairs, pushing his yellow ball. "Hi!" he said, with a proud grin on his face.

I whisked him back upstairs and secured the gate. He is getting pretty good at going up and down the stairs, but sometimes he attempts to go down the stairs head first. It never works very well. We liked to watch him closely as he descends so he doesn't go crashing down to the linoleum on the first floor.

It scared me a little and will definitely make me remember to close that gate when I am in the shower. It also made me realize how just a moment of forgetfulness can be a devastating mistake. I will be lucky if Q makes it to adulthood unscathed.

--MM

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hidden bumps

I saw an acquaintance today who is 29 weeks pregnant or about seven months or so along. You could not tell at all that she is expecting. She is fairly obese and you would absolutely never guess she was pregnant. I think that would be sad. I like looking pregnant. I think it is attractive and womanly. She might not look pregnant till her ninth month and maybe not even then. Just crazy I think.

Some women hate how they look pregnant and wish they could skip the process and jump right to the cooing baby. I don't love every single aspect of pregnancy, but for the most part I really enjoy it. I actually missed some things about being pregnant after Q was born. I love feeling the movement of the baby and feeling like you are carrying out this special mission. I think pregnant bodies are cute and for the most part feel confident and attractive when I am pregnant. I have many moments when I am anxious to be post-pregnancy and working out so I can fit in my jeans and wear tight shirts. But, generally it is a part of my life that I love.



I spend probably far too much money on maternity clothes. I have read books that recommend wearing your husband's jeans or wearing T-shirt two sizes too big. No thanks. I am all about buying cute clothes to celebrate my figure for the next few months. I am not investing in designer maternity jeans by any means, but I definitely have created a maternity wardrobe of shirts, pants, skirts, and cute dresses. I just got the dress pictured above and wore it for the first time today. Very cute. Might as well embrace your body whatever stage of life you are in, right?

--MM

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dancing naked boys

I will get to the title subject later, but first a different topic. T and I are planning an overnight trip to a nearby town right before Christmas, just to get away and pretend we are on a mini-vacation. We reserved a room at a bed and breakfast with natural hot spring water tubs.

Today, I booked a prenatal massage with a therapist coming to our room. It will be my first time with a male masseuse. I told them it was not a problem, and I don't think it will be, but I will definitely be a little uncomfortable for the first few minutes.

I generally prefer having a female doctor as well, but after my last experience giving birth where it seemed everyone and their mother was coming in to examine me, I don't know if I feel as strongly.

It is interesting because after discussing this with T, I find that men strongly prefer a female masseuse but a male doctor. What's the difference? Men seem to be in constant fear that they will become uncontrollably turned on. I guess that is not as much of a risk at the doctor's office. I just can not relate to how the male brain works, but that reasoning just seems backward.

Onto dancing naked boys on a seemingly similar but unrelated note. Last night when T picked up Q, he was ridiculously tired. He slumped on T's shoulder and could not be roused. T said he stayed like that all the way till he put him his crib, still completely dressed.

Tonight, it was a different story. Q was full of life. His hair was glued with remnants of his dinner into a pointy sculpture. He was singing in the car and talking to himself and us. At work he begged for bits of our dinner and climbed up onto the table. After a vigorous crawl around the newsroom and a small breakdown over a balloon, T took him into the bathroom to get changed into his pajamas.

When I heard screeches and squeals, I went in to check on them. I found Q buck-naked dancing with his hands up to the mirror. It was quite a sight. T tried to maneuver the diaper on to Q as he was sliding side to side. After a long wrestling session, Q was dressed and ready to go home. Whew. Crazy boys.

--MM

Monday, December 10, 2007

Drowning in appointments

I am overwhelmed with appointments. From Q's doctor appointments to his screenings and his lessons to my prenatal appointments and work and volunteer activities and the odd actual social interaction, I am swamped. My brand new bright red planner is already covered in scrawled notes for weeks to come.

Today I had a prenatal appointment at 9:00 a.m. Of course, they left me in the waiting room for 15 minutes and then in the exam room for another 15, so I didn't get home till after 10:00. I jumped on the treadmill and tossed Q down for a nap. After a shower and lunch for us both, Q's early childhood specialist came over. When she wrapped up, we were off to daycare and work, and I will not be home till midnight tonight. I wish I could somehow arrange an extra hour in there to take a nap.

The rest of the week is more of the same with appointments and meetings. In truth, much of it is self-imposed like a two-hour manicure-pedicure appointment Friday, but I don't want to cut out the fun stuff to make room for more non-fun stuff.

Though I complain about the packed-full schedule, I know deep down I really prefer it. I crave those days when I have nothing to do but take naps and lay around in my pajamas. But, at the end of the hours of sloth and gluttony, I feel pretty gross and unhappy actually. I think I am made for a frenetic pace. I get more done and just feel better about myself when it all over. Though a nap here and there wouldn't hurt.

--MM

Multi-cultural weekend

I think I am finally starting to kick my cough. I felt bad this morning, but the sickness seems to be waning as the day goes on.

T wrapped up his first semester of his MBA program on Saturday with finals. Afterward, the administrators of the program had a party for the students. I was a little overdressed as it was in a classroom with red plastic table cloths, but it was still nice. One man made a doggie out of a balloon for Q. Q popped half of it, and it ended up looking sort of phallic, so T quickly took it away and deflated it.

After that, we went over to the house of a friend and a co-worker who is half-Jewish. She is embracing her heritage this year and invited people over every night to celebrate Hanukkah. She told us the story and fed us latkes, and we played with the dreidel. She also has a small bearded dragon. Q yelled "doggie!" excitedly on first sight of the reptile, but was a little wary. At one point when he found himself alone near the glass case and eye to eye with the lizard, he started screaming.


That lizard must have felt pretty good about himself.

Sunday brought errands of shopping and working on Christmas cards. We are trying to stay on top of the madness this year and are so far doing pretty well.

We also recently joined another wine club at a local winery. We accidentally signed up for a higher level than we're used to and just paid a lot of money for eleven bottles of wine. Oops. We have quite a little wine collection going now, since our wine-drinking is stymied by my pregnancy. We'll have to do a lot of celebrating once the baby is born!

--MM

Friday, December 7, 2007

Shiny new planner

I got a fabulous new planner today! I spent a lot of time researching which one to get and finally settled on the "Domino" from Filofax. It is quite fabulous. I got red which is generally my go to color. It starts in mid-2007, so I wasted no time in transferring all the information over for the rest of the month and breaking it in. It's the simple things isn't it? A simple new red planner makes me feel much more in control.

Interestingly, you can buy a Filofax alligator planner for $2,300. For the luxury without the high price you could also opt for the ostrich for $700 or the lizard for the bargain price of $400. Mine is vinyl and $25. Works for me.

--MM

Mom fight

I coughed all night again and then went down to lay on the couch. For some reason being horizontal makes the coughs much worse. I was supposed to go to a play date and then leave Q with that mom because our day care provider took the day off. I went back and forth about what to do. To stay home or to go in? I finally decided to just suck it up and go. I actually felt better staying busy and not concentrating on my coughing.

The play date was at a children's center with all sorts of toys and activities. It was very crowded because Santa was arriving that day. It wasn't a very convincing-looking Santa, so we skipped it, since we had already seen him at the mall.

Kids were crawling all over each other throwing balls and dancing around. Q nearly got run over by a few burly four year olds more than once. At one point, several boys were pounding on each other inside a little playhouse. It sounded like they were all guilty parties, but one of the moms stormed in, grabbed her son and stomped out. The other moms said, "Maybe that's why we should all be watching our kids." There was a little more grumbling and cattiness. High school never really leaves us does it?

--MM

Cookies make everything better

I made a batch of cookies last night and have eaten many, many of them. My self-control is not the best. The cookies are absolutely amazing though. I have included the recipe below. You won't regret making them. Unless you eat seven in one day like I did. Seven is better than 17, I guess.

I was up all night coughing again. My stomach muscles and throat are sore from all the effort. I figure I must have coughed thousands of times. I assume I have bronchitis or something. This is clearly more than a cold. I have a prenatal appointment Monday, and I figure I can just get checked out then.

I didn't feel so bad about calling in sick today. I was kind of a gross mess. I was also supposed to walk in a parade in a town an hour and a half away. The parade is at night, and today it was in the 20s and 30s there and snowing. It seemed pretty ridiculous to do that in my condition. So, after a short deliberation, I stayed home and laid on the couch.

T took Q to daycare so I could nap for awhile during the day. I get so bored at home alone though watching Dr. Phil and reading. I am never home without Q, so I kept thinking he was around somewhere. I did finish a book and got all of my Christmas cards addressed, so that's progress.

Q has been walking all over the place though not consistently and not actually to get from place to place. He seems to see it as a novelty, but if he actually needs to get across the room he drops down into a crawl. Tonight he discovered the water dispenser in the refrigerator. After this experiment he was soaked, water was dripping down the fridge, and a puddle formed on the floor. He screamed when we took him away from his watery mess. Is there a way to child-proof those things? This could be a dangerous precedent.

I am hoping to be well enough to get back into the swing of things tomorrow. I am tried of coughing!

--MM

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Giada De Laurentiis

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces English toffee candy, finely chopped (recommended: Heath or Skor)
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and chopped
1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Line 2 heavy baking sheets with parchment paper. Finely chop the oats in a food processor. Transfer the oats to a medium bowl. Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in the toffee, hazelnuts, and chocolate chips.

For each cookie, drop 1 rounded tablespoonful of dough onto sheet, spacing 1 inch apart (do not flatten dough). Bake until the cookies are golden (cookies will flatten slightly), about 15 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. (The cookies can be prepared 1 day ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sick and guilty

I was up most of the night coughing. It seems to have moved down in to my lungs because my coughs are really deep and more painful. I was actually in bed for five hours but slept much less than that. I managed to nap a bit later.

I am always conflicted over whether to call in sick. I am the type of person who was really pissed at myself when I got an A-. It is not a good way to live, let me tell you.

So, I was coughing like a madwoman, but I didn't really feel terrible though my voice sounds crappy. I always worry other people will think I am being a wuss, or that I am being lazy and should just suck it up. Do other people have these stupid internal conflicts? It doesn't seem like it, because some people call in sick after sneezing once. I also want to preserve some sick days so I can get paid for part of my maternity leave.

I ended up going in for a half-day. That way everyone is satisfied.


--MM

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Poop blasts and Santa visits


Today Q met the man who has terrified and delighted children for decades. Santa. Q was briefly afraid as I handed him over, but a barking stuffed dog kept his attention. He did quite well for his first time, and the Santa was very authentic.

There were two wild birds from a rehabilitation center there. We gave Q an up-close look at the hawk and owl. He very incorrectly identified them as "doggies." Not even close.

I was up most of last night coughing and getting frustrated, but for some reason I felt very awake and energized today. Not sure why exactly, but I am not complaining. I am so sick of coughing. It is really starting to irritate me. I want this flem and ickiness out of my body! I still have my husky voice, which isn't such a bad thing. I always wish my voice were lower.

Q had another session with his therapist today. She said he had no physical reason for not walking. He just appears to be "unmotivated." So, basically we have a lazy baby. Great. She also said he is easily frustrated. I guess that is genetic, because so am I. She showed me a few signs to use with him and worked on his walking. I feel a little self-conscious when she is there, like my parenting is under the microscope. She is very, very nice though, and I have gotten some good ideas from her. She gave me a packet to use with Q and told me to make copies to give to our daycare provider. I'm not sure if that will go over well, but it is worth a try.

When T and I were picking up Q from daycare tonight, Q was dressed only his back-up onesie, and his original clothes were in a plastic bag. Never a good sign. I will spare you the details.

--MM

Monday, December 3, 2007

Coughing and ickiness

I feel like poo today. It is just a cold I think, which makes it even more annoying. I feel like if I am sick, I should be sick so I can call in. I guess I could anyway. So many people at my place of work abuse their sick days, but I feel far too guilty to do that. I have been coughing constantly, and my voice has taken on a nice huskiness. It could be gone by tomorrow though.

I was having little patient for Q as well. He was fussing all the way to daycare. I just turned up the radio.

Also, my Starbucks that T brought me tonight tastes horrible, and he didn't get me the cranberry bliss bar I requested.

Why must I face such difficulties in life?

--MM

Christmas Rush


The tree is up and the lights are strung outside.


The stockings are hung by the chimney with care. Our decorating is pretty much finished, and I couldn't be happier. I love Christmas and all the things that come with it, but it certainly is stressful. It seems to get worse every year as you add people to your gift and card lists. I am trying to get an early start though. I started on my cards and am buying gifts here and there. I am doing most all my shopping online. That means less wrapping and shipping. I got a big part of T's present this weekend. I can't reveal it yet obviously because of his prying little eyes, but I am excited about it.

I went to a Civil War party this weekend to watch Oregon play Oregon State. I was there with a bunch of OSU fans, though I was kind of rooting for the Ducks. It was a great game though. The people were very friendly. I just love nice people. They make life so much easier. Mizzou did not fare so well that night. An appearance in the Cotton Bowl is nothing to sneeze at though.

Q was quite a bundle of energy this weekend. He is just constantly on the move. I had all my piles of laundry out ready to be washed, and Q jumped right in. He emerged proudly with a purple bra. At first he had it on his head, and then pulled it down his body. He crawled around with it attached to him for quite awhile. We took a few pictures to embarrass him when he is a teenager.

We started thinking about the new baby's nursery this weekend and bought our bedding. We are going with a safari/jungle theme and green and beige colors. Should be cute.

I have been feeling fairly crappy lately. I am coughing and feel congested and gross overall. My medication possibilities are pretty limited while pregnant, but last night I decided Tylenol PM was okay. Hopefully it is.

Onto another week!

--MM

Friday, November 30, 2007

Interesting day

My rear end is a little sore tonight, but I will get to that later.

The day started off with a manicure which is always a wonderful beginning. I then had to go get a few more ultrasound pictures because the technician forgot them for some reason. While she was rolling the tool around my gunked up belly, the neatest thing happened. We saw the little guy in a giant yawn. His little mouth opened up wide. It was pretty precious. It made my heart drop. Sweet little guy. He was probably thinking, 'Hey lady, why are you prodding at me and disturbing my nap?'


When I got home, I was absolutely exhausted. I drifted in and out of sleep on the couch while Q toddled around on the floor. Awhile later, I reached down and patted his little bum, and realized it was bare underneath his pajamas. I thought for a split second T had completely forgotten to put a diaper on him, until I realized the soiled diaper was somehow wedged down around his ankle. Poop was smeared all over his legs, and he peed through his pj's. He smelled just wonderful, as you can imagine. He did not enjoy the clean-up process.

Later he sought revenge by trying to kill me. I was running on the treadmill while he was playing. He started rolling my big exercise ball around and somehow wedged it under the end of the treadmill. The machine was stuck, but I was still moving. I slammed down onto the treadmill. Q was scared and started crying as I yanked the ball out. My rear and back have been hurting all day. Q may also have been trying to target his little brother in my belly. Perhaps he doesn't want someone else stealing his spotlight. I will have to watch my back.

Tonight we got a family picture taken at Sears to send out in our Christmas cards. We all dressed in shades of blue with Q in a new striped shirt and blue corduroy vest. He looked adorable but spent much of the time squealing, twisting, writhing, and attempting to escape. We pinned him as we plastered grins on our faces and tried to squeeze one little smile out of him. We finally got a single good picture, but that's all we needed. So it was a success.

I hope tomorrow is a little less interesting.

--MM

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Baby school

Q had his first day of baby school today. An educator from the Early Childhood Services came to our house. She came ten minutes early, which I hate. What can't people have the decency to be late? Q was in the shower with T, so I whisked Q out and got him ready while the woman sat in his nursery. T almost came out into the hall in only his socks. Oops! That would have been awkward. But amusing.

She watched Q and asked me questions and wrote up a report. She gave me advice about how to encourage him to walk and to increase his language skills. It was all a lot to take in, but I think I will be able to start to use little bits and pieces. I don't think most parents have to work this hard at it. I think most kids just kind of figure it out on their own. Maybe I'm wrong. This is my first time around, so I am always just guessing. We'll see how Q does. The teacher will come to our house every week or two and work with him. It certainly can't hurt.

I was realizing today, that I really like working. It seems like most moms I know either stay at home with their kids or wish they did. I really don't feel that way. Granted, if I had all the money in the world, I probably wouldn't work and would lay on a beach somewhere being fanned. But, despite all the annoyances, frustrations, and sleep deprivation, I genuinely like work.

A friend and her two sons came over yesterday, and I made lunch. The boys tore the house apart. We had a nice morning, but I was completely ready to take Q to daycare and go on to work. My friend would just go home for more of the same. That would just not make me happy. I even started to get a little restless and down on my maternity leave. I know myself, and I know that is just not my strength. Some women are born to be mothers and that is their gift. I am not one of them. I think I make a good mom, but I just need more to feel fulfilled. I almost feel guilty sometimes when I talk about that to people. It seems like I should say I have no choice but to work. That I wish I could stay home full time. It certainly supports the lifestyle we want to lead by having two incomes, but I mostly work because I choose to. And I think I am lucky to know that.

--MM

Monday, November 26, 2007

A little brother


Q is going to have a baby brother. We found out the news today during our 20-week ultrasound. This will be the sixth grandson in my family, without a granddaughter to be found.

In all honesty, I had a twinge of disappointment when I found out Q was a little boy. I thought of boys as dirty and stinky and didn't know much about them at all. The dirty and stinky part did turn out to be true, but there is much more to them. This time I was excited to hear another boy is in our future. I picture Q and the little one being best buds and discovering lots of badness to get into together. Although the new baby looks quite alien-like, it was wonderful to see his face today and know a little more about him.

Q came six weeks early, so this time my pregnancy will be monitored for any signs of premature labor. That began today with a cervical ultrasound. If you have never had one of these, just keep your fingers crossed you never will. It consisted of a long, large curling iron type device being prodded where you would rather it not go. Everything was the right length thankfully, so far so good. I can look forward to more of that unpleasantness over the next 20 weeks.

It was a day of appointments, and today we also met with the people who will be working with Q because of his delayed walking. A therapist will visit our house on Wednesday to begin the first session. She also wants to get Q's hearing checked in case there is a problem there. Q has been taking several steps lately, so I am convinced he is just marching (slowly) along to the beat of his own drummer, but all this free extra help can't hurt, I suppose.

--MM

Sunday, November 25, 2007

We're number one!

My alma mater the University of Missouri is ranked number one in the country! Amazing. They play next week for the Big 12 championship and have a chance to play for the national championship. So exciting. It was very fun to watch them beat rivals Kansas yesterday. I wish they were that good when I went to school there seven years ago! Go Mizzou!

--MM

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Stuffing is good

I am working this Thanksgiving Day, but I don't mind it terribly. We finally convinced our bosses to not make T and I work on the same day, since obviously we don't have child care, and it just makes it miserable when you don't even have a few hours together to celebrate the holiday. I have tomorrow off, which is lovely. Today will still be a long day though because I am doing all shows by myself and producing the late show.

As I type, my belly is stuffed tight and full. Swimming around in there are piles of stuffing, faux meat, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls, cheese and crackers, and a baby who is probably also full.

T and I watched a little Green Bay Packers football this morning and then I went for a run. It was the perfect day for it with the sun shining but the air crisp and cold. It made me feel much better for our afternoon indulgence. T had his little turkey breast to himself, and we enjoyed cranberry juice and champagne. It is quite a nice little mix. Q nibbled at his small dish of Thanksgiving food and then fussed and rolled around on the ground.

Some people feel sorry for us that we have these tiny little holiday gatherings, but I really think I prefer them. I am just not a big raucous crowd kind of person. I like a few loved ones nearby, and that's good for me.

I will not be shopping tomorrow. I will be napping and laying around with my cats and my baby. A few things I am most thankful for. Oh yeah. And T.

Happy Thanksgiving!

--MM

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Apathetic mama

I wasn't exactly a gold star mama today. Q woke up crying very early this morning, and T got up with him. I went downstairs after a few minutes, and we both worked on soothing him. Q is still not quite himself but much better than the last few days.

After awhile, I went back upstairs and climbed into bed with two warm cats. My favorite place to be. I rested a little while longer but could not drag myself out of bed when T was ready to go to work. I drifted in and out of sleep while Q trashed the room. He pulled down T's clock radio and turned it on, knocked over the lamp, tossed toys around, and pulled T's bookmark out of his book. At least most of his destruction was aimed at T's stuff.

I must admit, it felt pretty nice to get a little extra rest, but I did not exactly feel like mom of the year when I finally dragged myself out of bed and witnessed Q sitting amidst his destruction. Some days I am a supermom, taking Q to play dates, making him a wonderful nutritious lunch, and playing educational games. Other days, like today, I am a pretty apathetic mama. Yet, it doesn't seem like other moms have these lapses.

I feel guilty about it, but then I don't know how to get around it when I am so tired early in the morning, and I know I have to keep going till midnight. I know it is only going to get worse when the second child arrives. Maybe I won't let him come out. He can just stay inside my belly and live and give me an excuse to eat ice cream and not lift heavy things. That could work!

--MM

Monday, November 19, 2007

SURPISE!!

I can finally talk about what I have been planning for months, because it is all over. This summer I started thinking about what I could for T's big 30th birthday. I wanted something memorable, so I decided to plan a surprise party. I enlisted a friend from work to help and then began the super secret planning process.

It was quite a challenge considering we work in the same place. I put together these invitations using a baby picture and a current picture. It was quite a source of frustration for me, since I am far from a computer genius. Usually I would ask T for help. When I finally finished, I felt like the smartest person to ever touch a keyboard. I had Kinko's print them up for me and then surreptitiously passed them out.

I asked T's mom to provide me with many embarrassing pictures from his last 30 years and then put them in little frames to be displayed throughout the party. I ordered a cake with a grim reaper on it. I planned my appetizers and organized with my partner-in-crime. Everything was going smoothly.

Then, my perfectly-hatched plan ran into some problems. Usually T goes to his MBA classes all day Saturday. I thought I would have several hours to get things ready. However, his classes were cancelled. He was going to be home all day. I created an aerobics meeting I had to go to, and sent T to a play date with Q. Then in my hour and a half window I tore around getting decorations, snacks, and picking up the cake. It was pouring and ten balloons were swaying back and forth in the backseat of my little Sunfire. I dumped all the paraphernalia at my cohort's home, and then called T. He had been out of his play date for half an hour and was wondering where I was.

I covered with a story about craving cheese curds (which was partly true), and we met at home. Fairly quickly we realized Q was not feeling good. He spent the rest of the day alternately crying and screaming. He kept touching his mouth and drooled through three shirts and six bibs. T said he had fallen and hit his teeth on the coffee table earlier in the day. We took Q in to the doctor, who said nothing was wrong with him. We spent the day trying to convince him to eat, rocking him, and administering Tylenol.

The three of us went to get ice cream that evening at precisely 8 p.m. with a quick stop for Orajel at Rite-Aid. I text messaged my friend as we left and made sure to keep the door unlocked. I nervously slurped at my ice cream. I was surprised how nerve-wracking it all was. Then a quick text message from the bathroom informed the assembled party-goers we would return in ten minutes.

In the garage, I said, "I'll get Q," and T went in first. He seemed genuinely shocked as "Surprise!!" rang out. He said he didn't expect a thing. I was so happy to pull it all off. We had a great crowd and a very good time. T did a few shots, which he doesn't often do, and felt a little queasy by the end of the night. Despite that, he was touched and happy, and that made it all worth it.

--MM

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Looking up

Things are looking up as they always do. After my crappy Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were better. Yesterday was a little weird though. There were a bunch of schedule changes at work, and some people were just not very happy about it. It was an awkward place to be to be honest. I like the schedule changes, because they make my life a lot easier. But it is uncomfortable when you are around people who are not so happy with their new hours.

I have gained about ten pounds so far in this pregnancy. I don't think I am nearly as paranoid about it this time around. Last time I was probably a little too concerned with gaining weight. When you are not used to it, it is a challenge to just watch that scale sneak up. I started to get a little obsessive about it, so I finally stuck the scale in the closet. This time, I started ten pounds heavier than last time, but I just feel a lot more comfortable with the fact that you have to gain weight, and it will come off afterward.

One week from Monday we find out what the little peanut is!

--MM

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Crappy day

I can not kick a glum mood today. I hate days like that. I am just waiting it out.

I didn't get much sleep yesterday, so today I was just wiped out. I took a nap while Q did, but that just seemed to make me more sluggish. As I was changing him, I realized he had not been bathed in awhile and was actually stinky. So, I put him in the bathtub. Usually he loves his bath, but today he was flipping out. He was standing up, clinging on to me, soaking my dress, with poop smeared all over his bum. Bath time was quick but fussy, as you can imagine.

Lunch time was slow though. Q picked through his food and looked longingly at the bowl of cold cereal I was eating. You just never know how long it is going to take to get you and a squirmy baby ready. I always end up flying around frantically five minutes late.

I had some interviews to do this afternoon and was just not in the mood to do them. I was trying my hardest to be sunny and extra polite, but I'm not entirely sure I was successful.

I think days like this you just have to wait to end. It seems to take forever though.

--MM

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Flu shots and fussy kids

I got a flu shot at my prenatal appointment yesterday. I relaxed my arm and readied myself for the stick. It wasn't so bad. It never really is, but as the nurse was doing it she says, "Oh sorry! Ouch!"

"Why are you saying 'Ouch'?" I said.

"I don't know. I can't help it. It's just a reaction," she said. Not the best reflex to have as a nurse is it?

Shots have never bothered me very much. I have had a tattoo, a belly button piercing, and a total of eight ear piercings in my misguided youth. Several of them I did myself. All have since been removed except for one modest piercing in each ear. But all of that was much more painful than a simple shot. Not to mention child birth and four marathons. I still am not a fan of dental exams of any sort or pap smears. They just never become fun. Ever.

I had lunch today with a friend who has two sons ages 2 1/2 and 1. They are usually pretty good little boys, and Q is the bad one by comparison. Not today. We attempted to go to lunch, and her little guys were throwing fits. She was very calm through it all, even as it was stressing me out. It made me slightly afraid to add another baby to the mix. Too late to rethink it now though! Next week I am making our fussy brood lunch in the privacy of my home.

Speaking of the impending child, I am having a lot of cramping tonight or maybe Braxton-Hicks contractions? I didn't have them last time. Whatever it is, I don't like it. It makes me worry I will go into even more premature labor than I did with Q at 34 weeks.

--MM

Monday, November 12, 2007

No idea what's coming

I had a prenatal appointment this morning, and we listened to the heartbeat. I haven't felt any very distinct movements yet, so I always get a little nervous until we hear that hoof beat sound again. I have heard too many horror stories to not be paranoid. T brought Q to the short appointment. Q perked up when he heard the heartbeat and laughed. Poor little thing has no idea what is headed his way.

He loves all sorts of sounds. One of his absolute favorite things is my blow-dryer. He just thinks that is a riot. He also likes electric toothbrushes and coffee grinders. Funny little guy.

We find out the gender of the little fetus in two weeks. I am so anxious. Then we will know his/her name and have a much more concrete idea about him/her.

T's birthday is tomorrow. He will be the ripe old age of 30. I decided to get him a satellite radio and was immediately overwhelmed by all the choices. I enlisted some help from people who know far more than me and settled on XM and a Pioneer Inno. I am perhaps the most impatient person around, so as soon as I get a present, I just want to give it to the person. I bought it on Saturday and held off all the way till Sunday before I gave it to him. He always gets mad, because it makes his actual birthday anti-climactic, but I have a few more things cooking.

We had a busy weekend filled with work-related things. That is always rough because you feel like you never actually left. We had a ritzy event on Saturday night for which we hired a new babysitter. We found her on Craig's List and were quite happy with her. What the hell do you pay a babysitter these days anyway? We paid her $8.00 an hour, but I think most people pay much less.

I got my hair done for the event, which was a fun diversion. I couldn't find the place so I tore around dialing information with Q hanging on in the back seat. I finally arrived ten minutes late, but thankfully she was running behind herself. I was on edge the whole time wondering how Q would behave, but he was a perfect gentleman, enthralled with the blow dryer and charming the other clients. I loved my sleek little up do that I could never duplicate myself. I even slept in it so I could sport it for awhile the next morning. Eventually it got itchy and disheveled though, so it had to come down.

I had to present one of my projects last night at 11:00 p.m. It just about killed me to get in the shower at 10 and put on all my make-up and do my hair. But, it had to be done, and I actually got great feedback from two of my bosses. That is a rare but very welcome thing. It is so nice when someone actually notices your hours of hard work.

--MM

Friday, November 9, 2007

18-month check-up

Q had his regular doctor's visit today. He of course still isn't walking yet, so it was a bit discouraging. The pediatrician was very vague about everything. He said it could all mean nothing and Q will be a rocket scientist who runs marathons some day. Or it could mean Q didn't get enough oxygen right at birth since he was premature and now is delayed.

It's hard to know how to take it. He referred us to two specialists from a big university hospital who come to town a couple times a year. He said they will examine him and might suggest an MRI or some other course of action. Real comforting, huh? He said he didn't think he had any of the common syndromes, because he was a cute baby and didn't have a distinctive look to him. I guess that was meant to make us feel better, but it didn't.

You never expect you will have anything less than a smart, perfect little baby, so it is a bit alarming when it turns out otherwise. We'll just keep chugging along and see what they say. It is a frustratingly slow process though. Specialists from the school district were supposed to contact us to arrange sessions to work with Q, but we have heard nothing. I guess budgets keep getting cut, and since Q isn't any sort of drastic case, he is at the end of the list.

As we were discussing Q's shortfalls, he was happily smiling away in the corner. Then he got a flu shot and was very unhappy. Later when I was brushing his teeth, I noticed a molar is growing in as well. Poor tough little guy.

I have a busy weekend which I hate. I like to have two days with nothing scheduled except naps and TV watching. We have a work event tomorrow night, and I am getting my hair done for it. I never do that except for my own wedding and prom, so that should be fun. Sunday, I have to help clean up from that event, Q has his 18-month pictures, and I have to present my work project that night at 11. Busy, busy weekend. Hopefully, I will be able to squeeze in a few naps.

--MM

Bouncing back

Q was back to his jolly little self today. He still was a bit tired, but his fever seemed to be gone, and he was much happier.

I had plans to meet a friend for lunch today. We met at the restaurant, and Q was good for the first few minutes. He quickly gets so restless. He repeatedly threw my cup and cell phone on the ground and splashed his milk everywhere. He ripped up a paper napkin into tiny bits and handed half to my friend and threw the rest on the floor.

I ended up letting him crawl around on the ground, which I'm sure my fellow diners hated, but I am just not sure what to do. It is either him squealing or him crawling around underfoot. I decided to forgo the squealing. I hadn't seen this friend in quite awhile and really wanted to catch up with her.

The next time you see parents in a restaurant with unruly children and wonder why they don't control their kids, remember they would if they could.

--MM

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Sick baby slug

Q is sick. He woke up cranky and feeling very hot. As I was changing his diaper, I took his temperature. Our thermometer unfortunately takes a really long time, so as I was waiting for the temp to inch up, he peed a little. Great. His fever was 101.6. Not excessively high for a baby, but not ideal obviously.

We went down for breakfast, but Q didn't have much of an appetite. Afterward he just crumpled up on the ground on top of his favorite stuffed seal like a slug. Poor thing. I put him in his bed, and he napped for three hours. I kept looking in on him and feeling terrible for his sick little self, but I must admit it was nice to have hours of uninterrupted time. I got a lot done and spent 40 minutes on the treadmill.

When he woke up from his nap, he just wanted to be held and still was extremely sluggish. T called the doctor, and they said it was nothing to worry about, and he could still go to daycare. He spent a little more time lying on the ground and sucking his thumb. It's tough to watch! He and the cats were acting very similarly today. We are just giving him water and Tylenol and letting him rest so he can fight off whatever nasty thing has invaded his little body.

In other news, I think I can feel the other baby moving. It is so extremely hard to tell at this stage. There is always so much stuff going on in your belly it is hard to know. But, I think I feel that familiar fluttering. Last time I felt it about a week earlier, but I was also ten pounds thinner. Sigh.

--MM

Success!

Q has graduated from shrimp to kipper in swimming lessons! Finally! He flunked shrimp once before, but now he is moving on up. He still has to conquer kipper, perch, and advanced perch before he can even advance out of the parent-tot classes. So, he's not exactly swimming laps, but he can go underwater without drowning. That's progress! I can't wait until he can take the swimming lessons where I just sit on the side and read while he splashes around. I could do without climbing into a cold pool on these chilly mornings.

I think probably just about everyone in class passed, but I was still so proud for some reason. It is one of his bigger accomplishments in his short life! As I was bragging to another mom in the locker room, Q fell off the bench and bumped his head. Oops.

--MM

Monday, November 5, 2007

Could be worse

Q and I went to a play date this morning with some friends. We met at kids' wonderland that has several rooms of toys for various age groups. As usual, I spent much of the time chasing Q and rescuing him from tight spots or battles with other babies. Then a dad came in with his three-year-old triplets. I quickly stopped feeling stressed. I just don't know how parents of multiples do it. I don't know how the mother carries all those squirmy things in her belly. I don't know how they wash that many clothes, change that many diapers, and wrangle that many car seats.

I have watched a few episodes of John & Kate Plus Eight on Discovery Health Channel, and I just get stressed out watching them. They had a set of twins, and then when they decided to expand their family, they had sextuplets. Yikes. The poor woman's post-pregnancy belly was like a folded up paper bag until she got a tummy tuck. If you have fewer than eight kids and are ever feeling overwhelmed, just catch an episode. Every diaper change and snack time is a grueling endeavor.

Q has taken to squealing and thrashing around whenever I have the nerve to change his diaper. Today as he was throwing a fit in the bathroom, I was thinking, at least I don't have two to do. And then I realized, I will have two in just a few months. Oh well. At least it's not eight.

--MM

RIP Rojito

My sister's cat died this weekend. Such a bummer. He was a ginormous red cat with a lot of character, and he was her buddy.

I hate when pets die. They are such a big part of you, that it is jarring when they leave. You see your pet day and night, much more often than you see most people. They are loyal and loving and keep you warm at night.

We should all appreciate them a little more while they are here.

--MM

Friday, November 2, 2007

The quest for perfect nachos

I have tasted the perfect nacho and now I can never be satisfied again. It happened on our anniversary weekend at Skamania Lodge in Washington. The nachos were crisp and cheesy, piled high with black beans, corn, spices, guacamole and salsa. They were the perfect blend of crunch and spice.

Now that I have tasted the Mexican nectar, I am on a desperate search. Those nachos are hours away, but I have not been able to find a comparable plate in my vicinity. I have searched high and low, stuffed my self with mediocre chips for the cause. Some had icky cheese, others soggy refried beans, or overripe tomatoes.

Tonight, I came close. The nachos had whole pinto beans and a good does of salsa. They had just the right amount of jalapenos and a generous sprinkling of cheese. Something was missing though. So, for now I continue on my nacho quest.

--MM

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Stinky Halloween

Q was a stinky little skunk for Halloween. Last year he was a lobster. We like to do unusual costumes as you can see. Some day he will demand to be a Power Ranger or something, so at least we temporarily have control.

I dressed him up to go to daycare, but he quickly lost his headdress and feet. T and I took him to the mall afterward to trick or treat. The little kids dominate that place. We actually saw three other skunks. Who would have thought?

My first big project for this month is out of the way. It aired last night. I was proud of how it turned out. Just three more to go!

--MM

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Vacation from vacation

I am back home resting after an exhausting vacation, and I don't think that is exactly how it is supposed to work. You can see Q above with his dad and aunts in his formal wear. It made it worth it to see the joy Q brought to T's family, but it sure was a grueling weekend.

In case there was any doubt, babies are not made for cross-country flights or Catholic wedding masses. Q does just about as good as can be expected on planes. He is one and a half and does not understand sitting still quietly in one place for hours on end. He arches his back and screeches and tries to get down on the floor. He bangs on the seat in front of him and pulls everything out of the seat back pocket. Most of the time he is extremely tired, but finds it impossible to sleep with all the distractions. I feel so bad for him because I know he is exhausted, but he just fights it and fights it as people glower at us from surrounding seats. I want to remind them that we all were once babies. It's not like we have a hyena on board or something. It is just a baby human.

Catholic wedding masses are not baby-friendly either. I got a taste of this during the rehearsal. Q did not want to sit still in the pew. He wanted to crawl around and climb on the kneeling platforms and reach for the bibles and bang on the pew.

For the actual wedding, Q donned his tux and some borrowed cowboy boots. He looked quite dapper in his attire. I carried him down the aisle and then attempted to keep him quiet as long as possible. T was a groomsman, so I was alone in this endeavor. I wanted to at least see the vows. So, I tried to entertain Q as much as possible. Wedding masses are long. Thankfully the vows are toward the middle, so as soon as we saw the important stuff, Q and I made our exit.

We strolled around the college campus where the ceremony was held looking for squirrels. I pointed them out, and Q excitedly yelled "Doggie!" I can see the confusion. A lot of tiny, yappy dogs could easily pass for squirrels.

The reception was quite a relief after the formal ceremony. Q was introduced with the wedding party and made his grand entrance pushing his little walker. He at first seemed a little startled by the 200 guests and the blaring speakers by the DJ, but then he got some momentum and made it all the way across the dance floor, onto the carpet and then into the opposite wall. I felt such a surge of pride watching him take his awkward little steps. I got tears in my eyes. Sweet little thing.

He enjoyed crawling around and posing for the photographer for way too many pictures. The guests seemed to get a kick out of him, and it was nice to hand him off so T and I could actually enjoy a dance. He made it to about 9:30 that night, and then we went back to the hotel room while T finished out the night with his friends and family. I read and watched TV for four hours while everyone else partied, danced, and drank. So much changes when a tiny person enters your life.

T and I also got the rare chance to go to a movie this weekend. It gave us a taste of what it would be like to have family around, and man would it be nice. We left Q with his more-than-willing grandparents and went out on our own. We are all on our own where we live now, and it can definitely present its challenges.

Q took a few wobbly steps on his own this weekend as well. I think he is so close to walking he can taste it! Any day now! Any day.

Our way home presented a few more issues. One flight was delayed slightly and when we finally for home around 1 a.m., we discovered our car battery had died. Of course. We piled our luggage, stroller, car seat, and an extremely tired baby into a cab and went home. Then we couldn't find one of our cats. T and I both imagined an escaped cat squished somewhere. Just as he was starting to search the neighborhood, I discovered her holed up under a bed. She probably had been sleeping there since we left. Lucky cat.

Then this morning, I got a call that my old ATM card number is being used in Switzerland. I can't even quite wrap my mind around that one. But, it is all taken care of now.

It certainly has been an interesting few days. I am ready for some boring normalcy.

--MM

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Still not walking

I still have not quite wrapped my mind around the fact that Q is having delays. I feel sort of defensive about it. A guy from work, who I'm sure was trying to be very nice, said his wife could look after him a few days a week if he needed more one-on-one attention. Like his daycare is hurting him or something. Or at least that is what my defensive self reads into it.

Today, Q rose to a wobbly stance on his feet with a big grin on his face. "Good job!" I said, and took his hand trying to drag him along a few steps. He seemed annoyed and plopped back to the ground. I just feel this internal urge for him to walk so we can say, "Oh look. He's fine. No big deal." I am taking it too personally and too seriously. I know that, but I can't help it.

People in public always just assume he is walking or running even. I feel slightly embarrassed when I have to say, "No, not yet, but he is a champion crawler." Poor little guy. I hate to even feel the slightest negative emotion involving him, but parenthood is complicated, and it is not all the rosy bliss you are led to believe before you actually become a parent.

It was an interesting day at work today. We did half the 5 pm show live at the library which just reopened after being closed for six months because of a lack of funding. I still get nervous at big or unusual events like that, but it also gives you a little surge of adrenaline. Anything to mix things up a bit is welcome. I feel like it went pretty well.

Tomorrow we are off to Boston at 6 am. That means we will all get very, very little sleep. I am crossing my fingers that Q allows us a little sleeping on the plane.

--MM

Monday, October 22, 2007

Q taking his time

Q had his appointment with the developmental pediatrician today. When he wasn't walking at 15 months, our regular pediatrician decided to refer him, because he said Q was falling behind the benchmark a bit. We had to wait months to get in to see this special doctor, and today was finally Q's appointment.

T took him alone, because it was a very bad part of my work day. I hated to miss it. I told T to take lots of notes. T said Q was a bit shy at first. They sat at a little table and two women played with him and did little tests while talking to T and writing down notes.

They determined he is behind in his large motor skills and his responsive listening. Meaning, he can't walk, and doesn't listen to us. He is great at yapping all sorts of words, real and imagined. But, he can't identify things and doesn't really follow any sort of instructions. He qualifies for this Early Intervention program through the school district, and apparently these physical therapists or whatever they are will come to our house to help him and help us help him.

It's pretty discouraging news I think. It is not really alarming or cause for great concern, but everyone wants their child to be this smart little over-achiever, and you hate to hear they are falling behind. I worry it is something I did while pregnant, and I will do the same thing with the next one. What if he never catches up? I am probably reading too much into it, but you can't blame me.

--MM

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Frazzled

Life has me frazzled right now. And Q is not helping. The day started off fine with a manicure and pedicure, while T took Q to swimming lessons. I can't complain about that. I am lucky to be pampered.

After a run on the treadmill, I found out I would again be flying solo at work. My co-worker has been gone for three days because a family member is sick, so I have been swamped juggling both of our duties. I also have these four big projects hanging over my head and am going out of town to that wedding next week. I actually complained to my bosses yesterday that I am feeling frustrated. I think I get ridiculous amounts of work dumped on me because I don't complain, so I complained. We'll see if that does any good.

Anyway, as I was trying to get Q and I ready to go, Q decided to flip out on me. I was simply trying to change his diaper and put his pants on, god forbid. He screamed and cried and twisted and would not lay still. This went on for far too long, as I tried to pin him, then hugged him, then moved him down to the ground for more wrestling. I felt very close to crying myself to be honest, because I know I can't just walk away for 10 minutes. The clock is ticking, and I have to get him dressed, and then I have to go finish getting completely ready because I had a shoot to do as soon as I arrive at work. I just wanted to tear both of our hair out. I managed to take a few deep breaths and wrestle his pants on, before running in to slap my makeup on and blow dry and style my hair in about three minutes. Then he was happy as pie, singing to himself and flipping through a book. I just don't get babies. I don't.

I tried to calm myself, as I drove into work by listening to a little classical music. I just hate this frenzied feeling right now, and it seems like it is more common these days. It is hard for me to tell if it is my profession in particular that is making life this way, or if any job would be just as stressful. One day to the weekend.

--MM

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blessed sleep

The power went out today. T and I rely on Q's daily wake up call at 7 AM. You could generally set a watch by that baby. And often we don't even bother to set an alarm. This morning Q chose to sleep in on the same day the electricity was knocked out. The phone rang waking all of us up. T an I were wondering "Who the hell is calling so early?" when we realized it was actually 9:40! Oops. Damn, it felt good to sleep in though.

T hustled off to work while Q and I made breakfast. I tried to quickly sneak things out of the fridge to conserve coldness. He actually went down for a nap not long after. Poor tired little guy. I laid on the couch, not sure what to do without my treadmill or TV. So, might as well nap myself. Sleeping is so great.

--MM

Heartbeats and headaches

I heard the heartbeat for the first time today. The excitement of that speedy little gallop was sort of swallowed up in the madness of the rest of my day unfortunately. It was very comforting to hear though. At this stage when you aren't really showing and can't feel the baby, it is easy to think that maybe you have been mistaken all along. But this afternoon, there was the evidence of that marvelous, tiny life for all to hear, just thudding right along.

T went out of town around 4 this morning. I planned to work during the day and everything would work out just fine. Then, I found out that my co-worker was not coming in, so I would have to work my regular schedule, do four shows and produce one of them, and find child care at night. Plus, I had my doctor's appointment. I deposited Q at daycare early and zipped in to my appointment all the while thinking about all the work I had to do. It was a bit frenetic, but it all worked out. The more I have to do, it seems the quicker I do it. A very sweet girl from work volunteered to come watch Q. That was very nice of her.

T is on his way back home now after a day that was much longer than mine. I hope he is ingesting a lot of caffeine since he has been up for 19 hours.

Q is fascinated by our two sweet cats. He can say "Gat!" and points at them excitedly and crawls after them. Usually they quickly run away, and one even gave him a few swipes with a clawless paw. But, today, I heard this muffled pounding and looked down to find Q thumping on one of the poor cats. Maddie just took it. She likes every drop of attention she gets, so I guess even negative attention is worth it. Then he grabbed big handfuls of her fur and pulled. After a few painful looking yanks, Maddie finally got up and left. Babies are so rough! Are little girls this brutal?

--MM

Monday, October 15, 2007

Female Frustrations

I absolutely hate getting ready in the morning. Well, I actually generally get ready in the early afternoon since I work evenings, but I hate it. It takes forever. Generally an hour. 45 minutes if I cut out a few things.

I watched my husband today go up to get in the shower at 9:30 and walk out the door 20 minutes later. All he has to do is shower, shave a very small surface area, get dressed, and pull a comb through his hair. My version of getting ready is a long involved process. I treasure the weekends when I only wear powder and mascara and pull my hair into a ponytail. But, my job requires full, perfect makeup and blown-dry and styled hair every.....single....day. I can't just show up in a pony tail and chapstick. I can't tell you how tired I get of pulling out that blow dryer. If I could have two wishes, one would be to have that cool Jetsons machine where you try out different looks and then transform yourself with the click of a button. And the other would be teleportation. I can't stand traffic either.

Anyway, my point is I love being a woman, and most of the time I like getting dressed up and putting on makeup and wearing heels, and I am glad I get to be the one to have the baby, but geez, some mornings I just wish I was a dude. How much of my life has been spent shaving, tweezing, and mascara-applying?

T is going to a special assignment tomorrow to cover this massive anti-terrorism drill about four hours away. I will come in and work during the day while he goes to cover this big, cool story. I have mentioned this before, but I felt a twinge of it again. When we had Q, I lost a lot of the cool, fun parts of our job like going away for stories. T hasn't had to give much of this up. I am certainly willing to make sacrifices for our family, but I was a bit envious today. Sometimes you miss being able to go do something spectacular at the drop of a hat.

--MM

Nearly 30

So now I am 29. It's been a mostly uneventful birthday. T got me Egg McMuffins without ham for breakfast as requested, and a beautiful pair of pink earrings, as well as brownies from some fancy New York bakery and a 2 year subscription to US Weekly. I spent a lot of the day resting and playing around with Q. And then we went shopping this afternoon to spend our clothing allowance. That is a wonderful thing. I absolutely love shopping when you know you will get paid back. Even if it is work clothes.

We had a couple over for dinner last night. T had school all day, so I was pretty much on my own to make everything. Q and I went to the grocery store. It is better to leave him at home for those kind of errands. He was fussing and reaching for me and taking my grocery list and throwing it on the ground. So, the second half of the trip I carried him, until my left bicep was burning.

I made baguettes with goat cheese and ricotta spread, farfalle with tomato sauce and big hunks of melty fresh mozzarella, and salad. For dessert we had apple-raspberry crunch. I was pretty proud of how it all turned out. We had a great time with this couple. The wife is from my mom's group, and this is the first time T met the husband, but they seemed to hit it off. It is always hard to find a couple that you both like a lot. Usually it's a little more one-sided, but we might just have gotten lucky.

They have two sons, ages 2 1/2 and 1. So, along with 1 1/2 year old Q it was kind of a madhouse. It looked like we had been ransacked by the time they left. I hope Q didn't pick up any new naughty ideas.

--MM

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fire in the belly

I have horrific heartburn today. At least that's what I think it is. I have never really had it before and didn't experience it with my first pregnancy. My stomach is just burning. It is pretty painful. I always just assumed heartburn was mildly uncomfortable, but this was pretty debilitating.

T got me some Tums, and I chewed three of them. I still felt pretty crappy and went to lay in the car for 45 minutes. It actually helped to be horizontal. I came back in and worked for a couple hours. I think I might go home for dinner to eat something mild, because I brought pretty spicy pasta. Not belly-friendly.


That is the frustrating thing about pregnancy. You are perfectly healthy and most things you are going through are normal, but a lot of the time you feel pretty sick. I feel unjustified in staying home, yet I feel like crap on days like today and know my performance is pretty half-hearted. At least this is all worth something. Being sick just sucks all around.


My belly is pretty rounded all the sudden. I haven't told our daycare provider yet, but today I think she was looking quizzically at my mid-section. I am afraid to ask her if she has room for another!


--MM

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Waiting for bed

It has been a long day and there are still a few hours left. It started at 8:00 a.m. and won't stop till midnight.

Q had swim lessons this morning. We both got all dressed and ready, and then I was loading him into the car I smelled evidence of a giant baby poop. That's never a good thing in swim diapers. We got to the Y and I slapped him on the changing table. I then had a disgusting flimsy diaper and a bunch of soiled wipes and a squirmy baby on the table. A nice lady coming from water aerobics pinned Q down while I threw away the digustingness. What will I do when there are two of them??

After swim lessons, I had to get ready in record time. T deposited Q at daycare, and we hustled off for a shoot on school bullies. I actually talked to some pretty impressive high schoolers. I tend to assume they are all young and clueless, but met several very eloquent, intelligent students today. After that back to work for a regular work day. I am ridiculously tired tonight and frustrated that my job requires 13 hours some days. I feel like I have too much on my plate, yet I can't bring myself to speak up to the powers that be. I hate having to give up lots of time with Q just to work more. Why can't I work less and earn more? Is there a job like that out there?

--MM

Monday, October 8, 2007

Joy of a balloon

Q has been absolutely enthralled lately with a helium balloon. He got it at an event about a week ago, and it is slowly getting soft and deflated and sinking closer to ground. He just loves it though. He likes to wrap the purple string around his chubby hand and pull it down and watch it bounce. He crawls around with it billowing behind him.

He is also quite intrigued with our Blackberry's. He will press the buttons and then put them backward to his ear. He managed to dial 911 on T's. I guess if you hold down 9 or something it automatically dials? Anyway, now Q holds most anything to his ear. A book, a card, a block. Anything rectangular will suffice.

I think my favorite thing about having a child is just the absolute pure joy they get out of things. I love seeing things through his eyes. A doggie barking at you while on a walk is exciting, and a train blocking your path is not annoying but amazing! A cat walking by is hilarious and cause for a squeal. And even the whir of the coffee maker is pretty thrilling. It kind of makes you look at everything differently and with new appreciation.

Back to the mundane...work is getting quite a bit busier these days. A co-worker went on maternity leave, so schedules are changing, and I will have more work on my plate for at least a few months. For the next month, I am not entirely thrilled because I need time to work on four special projects for November. But, after that, it is fine. I really prefer to be busy. The guy who sits next to me would be content to play ping pong on his computer for three hours a night. But, I prefer to feel productive and occupied. Makes the days go faster.

I turn 29 this Sunday. This birthday has really snuck up on me. It don't particularly mind turning 29. I am content with where I am at this age, but I can't say I am the least bit excited about it. I feel like every birthday since 22 has just flown by. They kind of blend one into another. Sometimes I actually forget how old I am. When did all these years catch up to me, and when did I become a wife and mother? Aren't I still a 20-year-old college sophomore? I think someone is playing a trick on me. Crazy.

--MM