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.


Saturday, December 29, 2007


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007


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.


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?


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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!


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.


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?


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!


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.


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.


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?


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!