Wednesday, December 20, 2006

You Spin Me Right Round Baby

Old Skool'

Kirk loves bling. He'll carry around Mr. b's Halloween Barry Gibb chain and put it on and take it off. And put it on and take it off. Even better is a string of blue Mardi Gras style beads, probably from Pride. They're just a bit longer so easier to pull over his head on his own.

He's also gotten really into dancing. He's always been a very aurally aware baby. Now he's totally into "real" music, and not his little kid stuff. He'll hold his daddy's phone and jam out to whatever songs he manages to put on (oddly enough, it's usually Merc Rage's "Devil Girl"). If we're hanging out downstairs then Kirk wants a record on the turntable. We've been listening to a lot of 70s stuff, from Pink Floyd to Andy Gibb. Kirk's got some hilarious moves including turning around with one hand in the air and lifting his right leg and pointing it repeatedly. Awesome.

We think we need to get him some kind of mp3 player for Christmas but it's just ridiculous to even consider buying him an iPod or an iTunes phone. Not gonna happen! But so far I haven't discovered anything that exists that is handheld and doesn't come preloaded with nursery rhymes. We have one of those kitschy jukebox style mini plastic radios that I think will have to do for now. At least then he can have fun spinning the dial through the stations--until he breaks off the antenna. I wonder where I put it?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Keep Out

I’ve finally figured out why parents pretty much universally keep their bedroom's door shut at all times. And it’s not for the reasons I would have assumed. It’s not because of sex. It’s not because of...the Poltergeist parents’ activities. It’s to keep your stuff safe. As the rest of the house slowly becomes child-proofed, our bedroom becomes a repository for all the things that Kirk shouldn’t get into, like jewelry and guitar picks and library books and power supplies. Kirk has long enjoyed playing at the Mommy Fun Zone—the clock radio and cordless phone on my bedside table. But he recently discovered that my bedside table has a drawer. That he can open. And now my security key to remotely work from home is missing. Hooray.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Neverending Story

Kirk never doesn’t want us to read him a story. He is constantly handing us books to read to him. We are going out of our heads! We took him to Baby Storytime at the library twice and that definitely coincides with the start of his book obsession. Coincidence or cause? Who knows.

He won’t sit still long enough for full-length Dr. Seuss books yet. But we know the abridged board book versions by heart! Mr. b actually had to hide the Curious George board books because Kirk digs ‘em the most and we just couldn’t bear to look at them again. At least for a while. We decided that for Christmas, since lord knows he doesn’t need any more toys, we’re just going to get him books. So that we can have something new to look at. At least for a while.

Thankfully, it hasn’t turned me off my own reading for pleasure. I wish I had more time for it. I finished Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I enjoyed it, but it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting. I figured that it would be a Regency comedy of manners in the Austen style. It was a bit darker than that! Jane, for all her modern, independent woman trappings, really was emotionally damaged. Of course that’s largely due to her anti-Eight Cousins style orphanhood! Once she moved to Thornfield and encountered Mr. Rochester, it felt a bit like Rebecca, especially with the Mrs. Poole mystery. (I wonder if Daphne du Maurier was a fan?) Regardless, I was very pleased by the eventual happy ending. But boy did Jane have to go down a long road to finally get there!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I've finally made the switch to keeping the baby monitor off at night. It's weird; I'm very used to the sound of it as background noise. And it definitely takes longer for me to hear Kirk when he wakes up. But eventually my brain realizes that "Mama! Mih!" isn't part of a dream and I get up.

It took me a while to notice that "mih" is milk. Kirk's gotten quite good at the few signs we've really worked on and can clearly differentiate between ones like milk and drink and eat. So I just didn't pay attention to the sounds that went with the signs. Plus, for quite a while all his words were either H or B words. Hat. Head. Hi! Hot. Ball. Bye. Book. That kind of thing.

Even though they are actual words, used in the correct context, he's not always pronouncing all of them fully. I really understand the Mom Ear that is an integral component of Baby Talk. If I don't translate his syllables, people think he's just babbling, riffing on a consonant sound. He's not up to multiple syllables yet either. But it's really fun watching his language skills develop. It seems like he's got a new word almost everyday. And the ones that he's already got down are obtaining multiple meanings. Like "hot", which started out to mean cooking and now means food and the kitchen and fire and the oven. (Kirk loves the oven. I turn the light on when I'm baking and he stands peering in, mezmerized.)

Mostly though, it's just really effin' adorable watching Kirk say hi to random people, like at the grocery store.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Lighten Up

Dammit. My sister has me all paranoid about keeping a light on in Kirk's room. Since he was born I've kept a small lamp on the lowest setting on in his room at night. He pulls nightlights out of the socket and I need to be able to see when I go in there at night. She peeked in there on Friday night and was amazed at how bright it was. I didn't think it was that bright! Then she went on about how she's read that keeping a light on in your kid's room hurts their eye development (I don't buy that at all) and can instigate fear of the dark (this I can buy). So now I'm wondering if Kirk's going to get all phobic about the dark just because I personally like to have a light on. And I've always slept with a nightlight. I like to be able to see at least a little bit if I wake up. I don't need much; the light from the clock or an LED or something else small is plenty after my eyes have adjusted. So now I'm freaking myself out for probably no reason but mostly I'm just pissed that I let her get to me like this. You'd think I was the younger sister and not the oldest.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Information Overload

I’m convinced that Kirk has insomnia. It’s ridiculous! If he wakes up in the middle of the night it’s getting harder and harder to get him back to sleep. We offer him milk or juice or cuddles and rocking and he just stares blankly at the ceiling, screaming when he’s put back in his bed. I can listen to him cry himself to sleep at the beginning of the night when I’m watching TV or cleaning. But at 3 in the morning when I’m trying to fall back to sleep after having spent a half hour ministering to his needs? I cave. He gets brought into our bed. But I hate just bringing him in without at least trying. I don’t want him to think he can sleep with Mommy and Daddy whenever he wants simply by being a pain.

I finally got my hair cut off. I’ve been bitching about it for weeks. I was so over that hair. I used to change my hair all the time. Well, not with Diablo-frequency (who is currently sporting a fantastic fuchsia color!) but still a lot for the average person!! I love it. It’s kind of Edie Sedgwick, but messier and asymmetrical and more modern. I feel like I should always wear eyeliner and dress mod! Kirk still looks at me out of the corner of my eye. He wasn’t scared or anything, but definitely wary of the change.

Kirk broke a spoon. I stupidly gave him a plastic slotted spoon yesterday and he banged it against his tray so hard it shattered. A piece landed on my head and I shrieked, thinking it was a bug. I really need to get him a new wooden spoon.

It’s weird trading nights out. I feel like I’ve been going to so many shows. It’s like the old days! But really, it’s just because we had a sitter last weekend for Mr. b’s gig and then I went out this Saturday with Diablo after Mr. b had been out on Friday. (Attention Minneapolis: Go see First Communion After Party. They are 60's California psychedelic and amazing.) It’s taking some getting used to. After so many years of going to shows with my husband, it’s a bit odd to not have him there. It’s not like we even hang out while at the bar or club or party. But we arrive together and leave together and it’s weird not seeing him across the room. However, I’m glad to be getting the chance to get out of the house. It’s definitely important to see more people than just my family and co-workers. I've been planning girl's dinner with Auntie G every couple of months, too. Don't want to fall into any martyr-mother traps if I can help it.

Kirk loves hiding. He ducks around the corner of the counter or the couch or the hall and peeks out and squeals in delight when you "find" him. It is frakkin’ adorable.

Book Round-Up

ReVISIONS Edited by Julie E. Czerneda & Isaac Szpindel
I love alternative histories and I love short stories so this collection was simply ideal for me. It was so much fun starting a story and trying to guess what the change was before it became obvious. And the changes ran the gamut from modern (like the internet) to ancient (like the domestication of the dog). It was very satisfying. I was inspired to come up with my own alt. What if Polk had never been President, there had been no Mexican war, there had been no annexation of California, the movie industry had never moved from the East to Hollywood? I considered signing up for NaNoWriMo for 0.68 seconds, which, of course, is an eternity for an android. But I realized that I barely have time to read, much less write.

Mercy Jody Picoult
I had no idea what this book was about; I hadn’t even read the dust jacket. It was fascinating finding out what I was in for. "Hey, these guys are seriously Scottish!" It was such a thought-provoking read. I was compelled to review my own relationship constantly throughout the course of the action. The idea of such varieties of love was really amazing. I kept picturing Elia from Top Chef as Mia for some reason.

The Wizard, the Witch, & Two Girls from Jersey Lisa Papademetriou
My aunt picked this out for me and said, "It’s every fantasy book ever written." She wasn’t kidding! But it was lovingly satirical, not just derivative, so it was a fun game of spot-the-reference. She even named several books outright! I was proud of myself that I’ve read all but two of those.

The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
I love Conrad and am regularly amazed by his command of the English language. He’s so vivid and intuitive. His character internal-workings are revelatory. I remembered almost nothing about this book, other than the fact that I loved it. It’s definitely different than his other books—the setting, there’s no story-within-a-story book-ending, there are more characters. This tale could be allegorical to our modern times if it wasn’t written a century ago.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I'm home with feverish Kirk. Again. It's just way too similar to what happened two weeks ago. He was hot all night and tossed and turned and we administered Tylenol every 6 hours. When we got up this morning he was burning. He had an ancillary (armpit) temp of 102.2 so I decided to keep him at home. Of course once the latest dose of Tylenol kicked in he was close to normal.

I feel like he's been to the doctor 80 million times in the last month or so. I decided to just call the Nurse Line. I feel much better about being able to simply keep him under observation instead of rushing him in to a clinic now.

The thing is, I'm 90% sure it's teething, possibly with a small cold thrown in for good measure. But there seems to be a major rift regarding teething: is fever a symptom or not? Doctors, parents, and daycare providers all line up on one side or the other. Kirk has other symptoms that are acknowledged as teething signs--he didn't eat much last night, he's got an excess of drool/snot, he's grinding his teeth, he's occasionally tugging on his ear. Then again, those can also indicate other issues, which is why we took him in last time. But he got a clean bill of health from Doc just last week so I'd be shocked if he's got another ear infection again already.

Molars are supposed to be a major bitch. Last weekend while pushing Kirk in the swing at the park, he leaned back and laughed and I saw that one of his molars had cut through. Interesting timing. So I'm inclined to think that he's working on another molar. I don't remember fever being involved for the front teeth. He was extra bitey, but that's about it. I'm not ready to pick a side but I'm definitely leaning towards fever=teething.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Spoonie Love


Kirk's favorite thing in the world is a spoon. I gave him a shitty old wooden spoon that had a chunk out of it so I obviously couldn't use it for cooking anymore. He didn't let go of it for weeks. He'd bring it in the bathtub. He'd carry it out to the car. It traveled everywhere. It went missing earlier this week. I haven't got a clue where it might be.

But the spoon fetish continues. It doesn't really seem to matter the type, size, shape, materials, anything. He's just as happy with a metal serving spoon as he is with a plastic soup spoon. My mom told me tonight that my sister went through a major spoon phase when she was little, too. Is that kind of weirdness hereditary?!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Devil

We wanted Kirk to be a skeleton for Halloween but couldn't find an outfit in his size. Demon was an excellent back-up plan.

Nope, no candy yet
Kirk was quite enamoured of his Jack-o-Lantern bucket even before we went Trick-or-Treating. We only went to a handful of houses, maybe 8 in all. He didn't quite get how it worked, and Mr. b had to hold him the whole time, but it was still fun. He got so cold by the end though that Mr. b gave him a bath while I passed out candy.

On Saturday we attended Suctionprint's annual costume party.

Barry Gibb, Kaylee Frye, and the Devil

Kirk spent most of his time playing near, but not necessarily with, the only other little guy that attended.

Let's see how loud I can be!

Kitchen implements were the favorite toy. Naturally.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sick and Tired of Sickness

It’s annual benefits enrollment time at work. I need to finally really research my options. I haven’t paid attention since I first started. I need to make sure that I've got the right insurance now that there's more than just me and won't-go-to-the-doctor-even-though-he-totally-broke-his-hands-falling-off-his-bike Mr. b.

This new-fangled health care spending account thing is pretty cool. Same with the daycare spending account. I like the idea of paying for necessities like baby Tylenol pre-tax. Sure, it’s complicated, but I think it’s going to be worth it. And lord knows that at times like this, I can use a way to avoid the myriad clinic co-pays coming directly out of our checking account.

We took Kirk off his antibiotics on Sunday. His ass was worse than I’ve ever seen. It was _thisclose_ to blistering with diaper rash. We had been trying to just muscle through but then he got a mysterious rash all over his back and front, too. It didn’t seem to be itchy, just red and slightly bumpy. Sunday night was awful. We brought Kirk into bed because of his frequent awakening. But even that didn’t really help. He wasn’t feverish like last week. But he was whimpering and crying most of the night. Clearly, something is the matter. His batted at his infected ear a couple of times but both Mr. b and I got the feeling that it was teething and/or growth spurt.

Last night Kirk only woke up once and he went back to sleep after some cuddles and a couple of ounces of milk. Thursday I get my stitches removed and so Doc had me schedule Kirk at the same time for an ear check. It’ll be interesting to hear what she has to say about this whole saga. I’m guessing she’ll have him get the ear infection shot that the other doctor mentioned when we brought him in last week. I sure hope the poor boy gets over this blasted thing soon.

At least it’s Samhain. So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bad Timing

Why does everything inevitably happen at once?

Tuesday morning I went in to have 3 moles removed. They were big, the one on my back huge, and weird, and I'd had them my whole life. I watched the one on my chest change and get bigger during pregnancy, yet another fun side-effect, and knew the others were doing the same. I figured since I've given birth, I ought to be able to handle a little minor out-patient surgery. 'Sides, Doc fancies herself an amateur plastic surgeon, so I didn't even have to get referred to a dermatologist.

The problem was that the Novocain knocked me on my ass. And when it wore off, I was in pain. And then Kirk got sick.

Tuesday night Kirk just didn't seem right but I couldn't put my finger on it. He woke up in the middle of the night with a high fever and was just burning up in bed with us the rest of the night. I managed to get him a doctor appointment in the morning. There was blood on my jammie shirt from the mole holes. I was so worried about him. I just felt like Kirk has had something pretty much constantly for the last several months. Is that a sign of something more serious? I know babies don't have much of an immune system. This is what he's working on building. But I still couldn't keep the paranoia completely at bay.

The doctor said that his ear was infected. The same ear that Doc discovered was infected at his 15 month appointment. Basically the ear infection fluid can sit around in the ear, not causing any troubles, until one day it suddenly decides to get all germy again and then bam! Sigh. Doc had put Kirk on a different antibiotic since he had just come off Amoxicillin for the pink eye. So that means that Kirk is now on a third antibiotic to try to clear up the lingering infection.

I, of course, had to stay home with the poor sick boy yesterday. And my mole holes still hurt. And Kirk was still quite fevery. Then at dinner, he threw up. He gagged from trying to stick too many peanuts in his mouth at once and then spewed. Sure, it was mainly liquid; he really hadn't eaten much. But that's still not a good sign. And then the splattery farting started. Thank gods for diapers!

Mr. b managed to switch shifts so he could stay home with the boy today. And he got a hold of the pharmacist who said that the main side effect of this particular medication is an upset stomach and diarrhea. Yay.

Unfortunately that means that Mr. b is at work right now and Kirk keeps waking up. He woke up while I was in the shower. He woke up while I was contorting to try and change my mole dressings. He woke up when Mr. b called to find out how he was doing. I think he'll be able to go to daycare tomorrow, he really is doing much better, but I don't think he'll make it through the whole night in his crib.

The upside to all this is that I think I finally found the magazine I've been looking for. My mom always gets me a subscription to something for Christmas. For years it was Newsweek. I don't have time for another weekly magazine these days; I can barely keep up with Entertainment Weekly! So last year I requested that she get me Jane instead. I used to love Jane. Who doesn't? I was a Sassy girl and it was the perfect transition. But it had been several years since I actually opened an issue of Jane. I'm just _thismuch_ too old and/or mature for it. I really don't need tips for hooking up with emo guys at the rock show, hangover remedies for the next morning, or instructions on how to change my outfit so my coworkers can't tell I'm wearing the same thing the next day. I like the fashion but the rest is mostly useless. But where do I turn? I love the recipes in your Good Housekeeping/Ladies Home Journal/Redbook type mags but there's nothing else interesting. Parents is too "I'm my kid's mom". Vogue/Elle/Cosmo is too one-note. Where's the happy medium? Why can't moms care about stylish clothes, fun meals, child care tips, and human interest stories all at once? Why must I segregate all aspects of my life just because I've had a kid? That doesn't make sense. While waiting to go in for my mole removal, I discovered that I'm not the only one that thinks so. Cookie caught my eye. I need to request that my mom gets me that. I think it's my Grail.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Life of the Party

For probably my whole life I’ve noticed that all the kids at a wedding reception naturally gravitate together into the Kid Brigade. I’m sure I was part of it when I was little. But it’s entirely different when it’s your own son that’s trying to join up.

Sitting in the ultra swank theater on Saturday evening, trying to keep Kirk from falling off the intricately leveled platforms containing becandled tables, I realized that he was always aiming in the same direction. I helped him down to the main floor and he was off—-directly towards the other kids. It was so cute watching them all. Some were dancing like Kirk by bending their knees and bouncing up and down. The slightly older little girls were doing more interpretive moves, spinning, holding their arms out, and the like. They were bumping against each other in their little stumbling routes, just like a mini-mosh pit. Frackin’ adorable.

Chatting with several of the moms, I discovered that although a couple also had 15-month-olds, they didn’t think they’d be able to handle the wedding and so left them with sitters. There were lots of younger babies around being passed between aunties and cousins. And there were plenty of kids in the 18-24 month range. So what it is about 15 months that makes them bad wedding attendees? I thought Kirk did great! Mr. b and his buddy had great fun tagging along after him as he wandered around the floor, weaving in and around legs, pausing to explore under the stage or pet a patent leather shoe.

The only time Kirk had a fit was when I took away his rock candy coffee stirrer. Pure sugar. He did not need that. Especially not after sharing my piece of cake. He was pissed. It was pretty funny.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Baa Baa Black Sheep Shut Up!

Kirk has undergone a pretty major developmental leap. He gets stuff. Things that before were trial and error he now does intentionally. He remembers things previously shown to him. He reacts to things.

It's making playing with him so much fun. He is starting to put the shapes in the shape sorter now and not just shaking the pieces out as violently as possible. He likes putting anything that fits--or doesn't fit--into the Pound-a-Ball and watching it travel through. He high-fives. He puts his brush to his head to try to do his hair.

I was reading books to him last night. I always like to try to connect real examples of things that we see on the page. So if we see a piggie, then I'll spin the See 'n Say to the piggie. We were reading Hop on Pop and I gave him a red ball for Ball Ball We All Play Ball. I pointed to the kitty when Pat Sat on the Cat. No Pat No! Don't Sit on That! (A cactus.) Kirk gasped! It was so adorable.

The problem is that he also figured out how to get Baby Tad to actually play songs on purpose and not just because he accidentally hit the right button. And he was doing this for over an hour last night starting at about 1:45am. As soon as it would get quiet, and I'd get my hopes up that he fell back to sleep, "Hickory, Dickory, Dock" would start up again. Yet I was also overcome with pride at one point when I could hear him clapping along to "If You're Happy and You Know It". All this was alternating with crying. I gave up at about 3 and brought him into bed with us.

Mr. b says that he knew Kirk was going to be up in the middle of the night before we went to bed. Both of us are in the habit of peeking in on the boy before we go to sleep. Normally he's in complete disarray in his crib. Last night he was still in virtually the same position as when I put him down. His blanket was even mostly on him. Mr. b has noticed that when he's not restless right away, it comes in the middle of the night. I'm not sure how the knowledge of this pattern is going to help us. I suppose just so we're prepared for a shitty night's sleep.

Monday, October 16, 2006

What's the sign for "naughty"?

At his last check-up, Doc asked if Kirk was having tantrums yet. We didn't really know how to react to that question. Is he supposed to be? Are we just lucky that he isn't? Is that what our near future holds? It just seemed so soon to be worrying about tantrums. He's too young for that, right? The sign language is supposed to help mitigate that, right?

Kirk's a very mild mannered young man. But he's crossed the line now into true toddler. Because he was indeed throwing tantrums yesterday. I was baking cookies for my office potluck lunch. Kirk has never liked it when either of us are busy in the kitchen and not paying attention to him. But Mr. b was home so I figured he'd just be hanging with Daddy. Nope. He was underfoot the whole time I was mixing and baking. If I'd been wearing an apron, the cliché would have been true. It was unbelievable. When he's older I'll let him help me but 15 months is still too little. I picked him up in between ingredients and showed him the bowl. I let him play with the measuring spoons and cups when I was done with them. But none of it really helped. He was mad. And he started screaming.

It was sort of fascinating/hilarious to watch him get so bent. He was crying but there were no tears. He'd sort of bounce while whining. Putting him in his chair to supervise the action was only a temporary solution. I actually yelled at him at one point, which cracked Mr. b up. I even put him in his crib as a time-out. The tantrums didn't stop until I finished the last batch.

And I don't think that the lack of communication had anything to do with it. I knew exactly what he wanted: Mommy. A few weeks ago he came up with his own sign for "up" which is cupping his hands together at the wrist (similar to the Ferengi posture of penance). I know what that means. I just couldn't make good on his request. I needed both hands.

But I do find it interesting that he's come up with his own sign. We never used anything for "up". I keep trying to integrate more and more signs into my regular speaking. I'm a language junkie anyway so it's a good excuse for me to learn. Sometimes I feel like Kirk thinks that the signs are his own private language with me because I use them so much more. I know that K does some at daycare and Mr. b certainly does some. But I also see subtle distinctions in Kirk's signing--like his difference between "milk" and the catch-all that he does, basically "want" or "gimme"--that don't seem to be apparent to anyone else. Maybe that's due to my inate language talent and maybe it's just wishful thinking.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Eddi and the Fey

Back in January I described two kinds of familiarity felt while encountering pop culture with which I was more personally acquainted with the subject matter than the average bear. I just encountered a third. I read the novel War for the Oaks, by Emma Bull, on the repeated recommendation of my aunt and the coincedental recommendation of morrigan. It was astounding. The basic plot revolves around a Faerie War and their need for a mortal to be involved. Said mortal is Eddi McCandry, a guitar chick in a go-nowhere cover band. That right there would be enough to suck me in! Oh but this Faerie War is being fought in and around Minneapolis.

Every conflict between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts takes place in a location I know. Peavey Plaza? Among other things, Mr. b asked me to marry him there. Minnehaha Falls? Among other things, ahem, Mr. b threw a surprise birthday picnic for me there. Como Conservatory? Among other things, site of Jon's first wedding. And it wasn't just the major places either. The basic geography is perfectly accurate. When Eddi ran down Nicollet, I could envision every single block. When neighborhoods were mentioned, I knew exactly where they were and how they were laid out. It was fascinating and slightly distracting. I would find myself taken outside of the very exciting and engrossing story until I could mentally picture the setting, and then go back in.

On top of the visceral familiarity with the locale, this book was written in the late 80s. That meant that I was sometimes revising. The New Riverside Cafe has been closed for several years--but Mr. b just played a show at the 400 Bar so I was down that street mere weekends ago! Seven-Elevens no longer exist. Run-down warehouses have been replaced by gentrifying condos. But that kind of mental exercise was actually quite fun!

The 80s setting also meant that there was some removal from the Minneapolis music scene--when dealing with bands as opposed to the Fey Folk that is!--that I'm getting to know again currently and was so ensconced in the 90s. And yet, some things never change. The decor at First Ave being one! And who hasn't met Curtiss A?

I intend to demand that everyone I know in town that is in some way involved with bands read this book. If they're a fan of fantasy, too, so much the better. But the setting itself is trippy enough! The great story is just the icing.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Reasons Why I’m a Bad Mom

I scratched Kirk’s nose this morning. Of course, he didn’t notice at all, but every time I looked over at him I felt sick about it. I’m so glad that his medicine is nearly at an end so I won’t have to struggle with him about it anymore (until the next time). I’ve nicked his nose before; my nails just grow long! I don’t do it on purpose! Well, as K reminded me this morning when I dropped the boy off, if that’s the worst that I do to him, it’s really no big deal.

I am still just not prepared for winter. We’ve been slowly collecting some long-sleeved shirts for Kirk thanks to Mr. b picking up cute ones when he finds them on clearance. But I don’t have any warm jammies or long-sleeved onesies or a new hat or gloves. I went to put Kirk’s little hipster suit jacket on him this morning and realized it was far too light-weight for the premature dose of cold we’re having. Thank the Lords of Kobol for Diablo and Jon! They got him a bunch of size 2T clothes for his birthday and apologized for them being too big. But the lined Fall jacket is just what I put on the boy this morning! Sure the sleeves are rolled up and yeah it’s big but hey, he looks like Oasis in the 90s (minus the faux-fur on his hood) and that’s fine by me.

I hate balancing the checkbook. Despise it. I’ve been the money manager for well over 13 years now and I want to quit. I store up receipts for two weeks before I enter them into the register. I rarely even get receipts from Mr. b. I get so frustrated by the mess when I do get around to the accounting that I don’t do it for another two weeks. I just can’t break that cycle. I let us spend too much between paychecks. I don’t follow a budget. I hardly ever put money into savings. I let myself get behind on utilities so that actual creditors get paid on time. The utilities portion caught up to me this month. I let too many rolling lates pile up and now I had to make payment arrangements to avoid disconnection. Disconnection notices! What am I, 23? That’s ridiculous. We are not poor. Sure, we are usually very strapped. But we can eliminate excess. We are just so lazy and undisciplined. Netflix is not "a necessity". I could draft an official weekly meal menu before grocery shopping and only buy sale items. I could demand that Mr. b only use tip money for his smokes and booze. I could refuse to be talked in to going out to eat more than once a week. And yet I don’t do any of it. How is that a good example for the boy? Disconnection! Gah!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Catch up

Kirk had his 15th month check up last week. He's awesome. He flatlined in the weight percentage--due to the walking thing burning calories--but continues to be in the 70%-75% for height. Doc also discovered that what we thought was remnants of a cold and teething was in fact an ear infection. Yeah. I rule. So we're finishing up the drugs he got for that. He has now had a throat infection, a nose infection, pink eye, and an ear infection. I think it's time for a break!

Kirk's discovered that he can crouch down to pick things up and then stand back up without using something to pull up on. However, he has not transferred that skill to standing up in the middle of the floor from a sitting position.

I made curtains for Kirk's room. Naturally his is "that room", the one that is always colder than the rest of the house. Curtains instead of blinds should provide some insulation. We're also going to get a larger area rug for his floor. And Mr. b is going to toss some insulation along the ceiling in the laundry room below since that's the only basement room without a finished ceiling. Hopefully the rest of this project won't take as long as the curtain portion. I've been meaning to make then for well over a year. Last winter Kirk was fine since he was still little enough to put in a sleep sack. Now he just kicks off his blankies. We're back to putting a onesie under his jammies for an extra layer.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Yep, he's a toddler.

Kirk is walking. It's been about 2 weeks now. At first, he was just doing 5 or 6 steps and then realizing he was walking and sitting down promptly. Mr. b and I admitted to ourselves that it was "real" walking and that there was never going to be that storybook moment of a First Step. Does that ever actually happen? Then Kirk would take several steps and very consciously reach for something to grab hold of and not sit down. Then he started turning around during his short perambulations. Then he walked clear across the living room and the kitchen. There's no mistaking it anymore. It's been truly fascinating to watch his exponential improvement. He still can't stand up without pulling himself up on something. I get the feeling that will be a separate development. But once he's up, then it's all over. It's so cute watching the small drunk person stumble about the house!

By any other name...

I quite simply adored Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott! I haven't read Little Women in years, and while I liked it, I never went as crazy over it as other girls (or Rachel on Friends). It was good but I didn't feel any pull to read any of her other stuff. Now, I cannot possibly get my hands on Rose in Bloom fast enough. I have to find out which cousin Rose is going to marry! Because you just know that it's going to be one of them. And oooh, what's Phebe going to do? And will Uncle Doctor Alec bring Rose onboard ship? And will Prince Charlie come out of the closet? (Not bloody likely, heh.) What of the Chief and Mac and the younger boys and wee Jamie? Oh this book was marvelous. It was completely unrealistic, but it was charming and heartwarming and nothing bad was permanent. It was like the Cosby Show! I cried tears of joy and amazement on the frickin bus fer chissakes! As the Doctor would say to his Rose, "Fantastic!"

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Last night we went out for fancy dinner for our anniversary. Below is the note that Mr. b wrote out for Kirk's babysitters--Godfather and his wife. They said it was precisely what happened.

He'll be fed by 6:30
Let him run around
Watch him Pound his balls
He thinks it's funny to crash his car

At about 7:30 take his clothes off and let him run around in his diaper.
Put on a fresh diaper.

Around 8 you'll notice he gets all crazy and acts like a drunken crackhead, that's how you'll know he's tired.
Put his Jammies on and clear a path to his crib.
Good time for reading
Give him his bottle
He may fall asleep in your arms or he might try to stagger around for a little longer.
Try to get him in his crib between 8:30 & 9.
He may get up in his crib & start crying
Let him, he'll calm down in a couple minutes.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Ballad of belsum and Mr. b

We met in mid-May, 1993. I was still a week shy of my 18th birthday, though I was finishing my first year of college. We both worked at a burger & shake parlour near campus. I was still living in the dorm, Mr. b was couch surfing and sleeping in his car after just moving back to Minneapolis. We hit it off instantly. The fact that I liked the Beach Boys helped. Our first kiss was upside down; I was leaning backwards on a swing set.

But I was leaving for a month in Mexico in two weeks and didn't want things to be too serious. I drove my travel partner nuts with worry that he found someone else while I was gone. He drove his friends nuts that I found someone else and wasn't coming back. My train was late and I had no way to reach him.

After a couple of months of "just staying with" each other, we moved in together officially. We got a cat. We bought plates and towels and bedding and a car. We got a joint checking account.

Deep Shag had band practice in that first apartment.

We moved a couple more times. There were trials involving drugs and alcohol. Long separations while I was abroad. It was the 90s. Most of our friends could be found at The Hippie House. Brainforest. We adopted another cat. We had fun. We went to shows. Everyone played in bands and cooked like mad.

Mr. b proposed to me outside of Orchestra Hall. I said, "Sure!" He still hassles me for that response.

We got married on the Autumnal Equinox, September 20, 1997. The sumac was in bloom, it was cool, crisp weather, the sky was blue. We were Up North, on my grandmother's land. People camped out. We had bands play, a pinata to break, bonfires, grills, whiskey, kegs, it was a party.

Mr. b had to spend a month living at my parents house while I was in the field. He very quickly found us a new apartment! We loved living on the West Side and stayed there for 7 years. It was Hobbiton and we rode our bikes through the Shire and Bree and Moria and Lothlorien. Lunar 9. Our first cat died. We bought a Jetta. Medication.

We closed on our first house September 17, 2004. It was our 7th anniversary present to ourselves. I found out I was pregnant far sooner than either of us could have ever anticipated. Tron died. Our darling son was born July 2, 2005. Mercurial Rage.

And now we celebrate 9. One year short of a decade of marriage. 13 and a half years of being together. Love, laughs, fights, sex, drugs, rock n roll, fun, sleep, games, growth, life.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bathroom Tales Vol. II

Kirk continues to love to stand up while taking a bath. It's not constant anymore, thankfully, but he still at least stands during the "cleaning" phase and then sits and plays with toys and shampoo bottles until Mommy gets bored. He also loves to play with the lever in the spout that directs the water to the shower head. He actually pulls it out of its housing every single time. Mr. b finally showed me how to fix it. Previously I had to rely on him to put it back every single time.

The toilet continues to be an extra fun play zone. The plunger and cleaning brush had to be removed from the bathroom altogether. But now Kirk pulls off the protective coverings over the bolts that hold the stool onto the floor. He also enjoys busting in to the bathroom when Mommy is sitting down to play with my hip tattoo.

I am desperate to find some kind of diaper that is either somehow rigged for boys specifically or is extra absorbent for overnights. Most mornings I pull Kirk out of his crib to find that he's totally Leakypedia. The back half of the diaper will still be dry but the front will be beyond soaked; the excess pee drains out the waistband since he sleeps on his stomach more often than not. I swear I remember ads for diapers from several years ago, talking up the front absorbency for boys, middle for girls. Do they still exist? My poor man can't wear a pair of jammies more than once because of the MC Pee Pants action!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Wooster and Jeeves

Mr. b: Kirk treats me like a butler when we're at home. He doesn't want me to play but he wants me to always be close by to attend to his every need.

Apparently Kirk gets mad when Mr. Angelmamma leaves daycare after dropping off their son. That's so cute! Mr. b says it's because Kirk can sense "bass-playing daddy" on him.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Daycare Blues

Kirk had an angry morning at daycare according to K. I'm not surprised. This was only the 6th time he's gone there, even though he's been at new daycare for two weeks. He just had so much Mommy and Daddy time last week from being sick. And Labor Day. And we kept him home one day the first week due to his cold.

It's weird because I can't tell if his new developments are circumstantial or actual new developments. He's been taking only one nap per day. He was previously still on the two-per-day baby schedule. But is that just because he's been able to sleep later in the morning?

He's been actually playing with the cats, too. The Squirrel hides most of the time (she's not doing well with the new arrival) but when Kirk can get at her, he "pets" her and screams in delight when she bats his hand away with her paw. Chloe, the little attention whore, lets him totally molest her. He chases Chloe around the house, wags her tail, "pets" her head, nuzzles her with his head, sits on her feet, lays right next to her. It's adorable! But again, is that just because he's been home more so he's had more time to interact with the other inhabitants?

It'll be interesting to see if anything reverts now that he's back to daycare and the schedule that requires. I feel bad but we can't afford a nanny and we can't afford to have one parent stay at home. He's just going to have to learn to deal with that.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Pink Eye

We had our first trip to the Urgent Care last night. Apparently Kirk has pink eye. Hooray.

I was feeling like a Bad Mommy because Mr. b was concerned about Kirk and I blew it off as a Tylenol situation. I tried to talk to a nurse but the wait on the line was ridiculous and hung up. After a little internet research I determined that Kirk at least had a sinus infection (green snot, eye boogers) and needed to go in. Of course in the waiting room he was fine. Beyond fine. He was walking! Like taking 4 or 5 steps and freestanding for really long periods of time. It was crazy!

When we finally saw a doctor he took one look at Kirk and declared pink eye. Mr. b and I have never had it before so we're obviously a bit freaked out. I mean, I know it's common and not that big of a deal in the long run. But it's messy and gross and I have to put eye drops in the little man's eyes and give him antibiotics and he's just a poor sick little guy. All this on top of the remnants of his cold from last week!

I don't even know how he got it. It's not like any of the kids at his daycare have it. (Yet.) Maybe from the old ladies at great-grandma's apartment building? Who knows. Time for more medicine and a nap.

Friday, September 01, 2006


I kept Kirk at home yesterday. His cold wasn't that severe or anything. I mean, he's certainly been sicker. But I just thought that it wasn't fair to him to deal with feeling like crap at a brand new place. And it wasn't fair to daycare lady K to have to deal with the new kid feeling crappy. At first, despite the constant stream of snot, I thought Kirk had just played us. But then he wouldn't nap. After fighting with him for two hours I figured it out: he wouldn't nap in his bed, only in Mommy's arms. That's a sure sign that he's sick. I told that to K this morning when I dropped him off and she appreciated the decision. Of course he wasn't happy at all to be back at daycare. He misses Auntie.

We finally have our sink-side counter space back! I've been slowly sorting through bottles and sippy cups and calculating what Kirk still uses or doesn't. All but two bottles have been retired completely. He still takes his final milk of the day in a bottle so I needed to have a couple out. Then I rearranged the cupboards to fit all his sippies and built-in-straw cups and other plastic cups on one shelf. And then Mr. b threw away all remaining elements to the bottle washing station. It's pretty amazing. Been a long time. I have no idea what we're going to do with the space now!

I've noticed that Kirk's stuff has been slowly getting integrated with our own stuff for a while now. Just little things, like the baby nail clippers. Well, now they're in the medicine cabinet with the grup nail clippers. Same with his thermometer. Junk like that. All his gear had previously been stricly segregated to his room and changing station. Now there are little coats in the closet and little shoes in the shoe pile. I'll even occasionally find his clothes in our laundry basket or Mr. b's in Kirk's!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Busy as a Baby Boy

Kirk's halfway through his first week at new daycare. So far it's going as well as can be expected. He cries when he's dropped off and isn't taking the best possible naps. But he's happy with the kids and other than his continuing toy stealing habit, he's being a good boy. I felt like I was the bad guy since I dropped him off the first two days and Mr. b "rescued" him by picking him up. But today Mr. b dropped him off, too, so he got to witness firsthand how much Kirk cries.

It's just been a helluva week for the boy. Friday was his last day with Auntie and since it was also Mr. b's birthday, he slept over there so we could have a party. Saturday evening we all attended a wedding reception. Sunday we went to the zoo in the afternoon and our new kitty arrived that evening. Monday he started a new daycare. And last night Mr. b had previously arranged for a babysitter so we could go out. We decided to skip a movie and just do dinner; the poor little man needed to see his Mommy and Daddy at bedtime.

And on top of all that? I think he's got a small cold. I had a throat thing earlier this week but it never turned into anything. Kirk's got a runny nose and went to bed an hour early tonight. Well, he clearly needed it. He'll adjust. And humans have to learn to deal with change.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Nocturnal Musings

Kirk has found a new method to assist himself in his quest to fight sleep. He pulls on his eyelids. It's both cute and painful to watch. He really yanks his eyelids out far! He grabs ahold of his lashes and yoink!

It's nice that he's starting to amuse himself in his crib instead of just screaming bloody murder. Oh, it doesn't happen every time. But we definitely hear him playing with his mounted crib toy (which is actually an ancient nursery rhyme themed thing that was handed down for my crib) about half the time that he doesn't want to fall asleep. For the last couple of nights we've also heard his Baby Tad singing away. Hee!

The only problem with having something like Baby Tad in the crib is when it comes on in the middle of the night. Having "Itsy, Bitsy Spider" blasting over the monitor tends to startle you awake. I already had to remove a duck that repeatedly played its song whenever it was bumped. At least Tad needs more than just a passing jolt to start in.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Kirk has been oddly clingy/cranky the last couple of days. He'll be perfectly happy playing by himself. Then suddenly he's screaming for our attention. And only holding him on your hip while standing is good enough. It's really weird but sitting with him on your lap or playing with him on the floor won't do the trick. I have to wonder what's up. Is he sensing the impending daycare change? Is he going through a reversion signalling a new development? (He's definitely free-standing for longer and longer and even taking an accidental step on occasion.) Is he exercising a new sense of individuality? Is he just "being a butt"?

It's so much fun watching his play developments though. He's figured out that he can place a ball on the top of the Pound a Ball and then smack it with his hand to send it through. No hammer use yet but that'll come with time. He drives his various trucks and trains, including a totally kickass F-150 that plays "We Will Rock You", and he makes vroom noises while pushing them along. He climbs up his little transforming step/chair and is so very proud of himself for sitting on the top of the two little steps. It's just beyond adorable and I love watching his experimentation and discovery.


I've made jokes that the real title of Eragon is "Harry Skywalker and the Dragonrider of the Rings". Eldest is even more blatantly Tolkienian than its predecessor. And yet I was totally sucked in.

It's strange reading--and enjoying--a book that you can objectively tell just isn't quality writing. I could *sense* the over-thought put into the turns of phrase, the word-a-day calendar vocabulary, the alliteration, and hyper descriptive language. But I didn't notice that at all times; I did in fact get absorbed into the story. I predicted all the "twists" but that didn't make them less enjoyable. I preferred the chapters focusing on Eragon's cousin Roran to the chapters focusing on Eragon himself. Roran was on the more interesting and unique Hero's Journey in my opinion. Eragon was just going through Yoda training on Dagobah.

Another mildly annoying thing was the Silmarillion, ahem, influences. The dwarve's mythology was lifted almost directly from Tolkien's Ainur and Valar stories. Not to mention the Beren and Luthien parallels. Plus the contant borrowing of proper names. I'd end up saying the Middle-Earth names in my head because Paolini's versions were so close. There would be an inversion of some letters from a mountain's name and then, presto! A sword's name!

However, by the end of the book I found myself totally excited for both the upcoming movie version of the first one and the (hopefully soon to be published) promised third book. There are some very original ideas and some extremely fun uses of real history, like the economic power of lace. I look forward to finding out what happens next.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Enough already!

Does she seriously not get that shit like springing a last minute doctor's appointment in the afternoon that will require us to rearrange our pick-up schedule on us is a major factor in us leaving? Counting the days.... I am so ready for a break from my sister.

Monday, August 14, 2006


I finally returned Kirk’s duplicate toys from his birthday. Oddly enough, I then turned right around and bought a duplicate blanket! It’s the blanket he’s settled on for his "transitional object". Meaning, that’s the thing that calms him, that he snuggles into, that makes him smile no matter what/where/when. So we wanted to have a second one to leave at the new daycare. Hopefully that’ll help his transition.

We broke the news to my sister on Thursday. She cried but took it well I thought. She grabbed on to "high gas prices" as the leading reason for our defection. But she’s obviously still dwelling on it. Just this morning she asked if there wasn’t another reason, something she did or could change. I reiterated that it was the drive, that all three of us are sick of the drive. And it’s true. Kirk starts crabbing about 2 or 3 miles from the finish line either direction. She did mention that she’d noticed that he doesn’t seem as thrilled with riding in the car as he used to.

But that’s just another thing. She takes him on errands. All. The. Time. She schedules her own life with no regard for business hours. We have to alter our own work schedules because of simple doctor’s appointments. But this Fall she’ll begin coaching soccer again. And then it’ll get even worse. I know she’s getting pressure from her husband. He apparently both predicted that we were going to leave soon and has also been telling her that she’s "too nice" which I have to interpret as "not charging enough money". But seriously Vlad, she’s not frickin’ licensed! The casual family daycare concept goes both ways.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Ooh, looks like people are playing this game again. Even though lis and laddical didn't, and I'm sure it's the height of lameness, I'm still going to tag myself and do it again. Not sure if I should tag anyone else though since I'm playing solitaire.

1. Grab the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence (grab next nearest book if fewer than seven sentences found).
4. Post the text of the next three sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.
6. Tag three people.

Eldest by Christopher Paolini

At the gate to each tier, a guard waved them through without comment. They soon left the buildings and found themselves crossing the barren fields at Tarnag's base. Beyond those, they reached the stone quay that edged the still, gray water.

Ah, what the hell. If you're out there, I'm tagging Anabanana, LA, and Diablo.

Daycare Update

We met with our new daycare provider last night! The lovely and talented angelmamma recommended her to us. She knew that there would be an opening since her own kids go there and her daughter is starting pre-school shortly. Perfect timing! I felt very comfortable with the house, the caregiver, her own two kids. Heck, her husband even gave us some spare cukes from his garden! And it’ll be nice for Kirk to be around kids closer to his own age and some boys. As my mom put it, A1 is going back to school, A2 is starting all-day pre-school--it’s Kirk’s turn to move on.

Of course now I’m totally dragging my feet about telling my sister. I just can’t predict how she’s going to react. Mom thinks I’m preparing for the worst. So what if I am? If she doesn’t freak out then so much the better. But I’m not going to assume it’s going to go smoothly. Mr. b and I have been rehearsing what to say and we’re focusing strictly on the drive. Maybe with a dash of my-promotion-means-I’m-less-flexible-with-my-hours (which isn’t strictly true but still) tossed in for good measure. And we’re going to ask if she’s willing to be our "back-up" should we need it. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Party Animal

Mr. b's second band is playing out tonight with a friend's band. So one of their girlfriends had a genius idea: a Before Party. Why hasn't someone come up with this before?! I love it. Sure, as some folks there remarked, it means we're all getting old that we're not having an After Party. But come on, that doesn't negate the brilliance of the idea! And it's perfect for parents. If you've got a sitter, you can go straight home after the gig and not have to stay out til a million o'clock. Or, like I did tonight, you can just bring your kid with you to the Before! Unfortunately, Kirk didn't last long. We had jammies with and his blankie and a bottle and figured I'd get to stay there until 9, maybe 10. I managed to stay out that long a month or so ago at the Mexifest. Alas, tonight I had to leave shortly after 8. Sigh. So now it's bad TV and junk food for Mommy.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Teeth and Toilets

I love watching Kirk experiment with his teeth. He takes bites out of Cheerios! I've started making him sandwiches for meals, like grilled cheese or peanut butter and cheese on toast. Even though I'm only using one slice of bread, I still then cut that into three or four smaller pieces. It's so cute seeing him work on a little wedge of sammich!

I think we have a solution to his current insistence upon standing during bath time. At first I tried various techniques such as going pantless and sitting on the edge with my feet in the tub so he could hold on to me knees. Still flooded the floor. Mr. b hit upon the best idea though: showering with the boy. I hadn't tried it myself before tonight. We were both filthy from weeding the hostas. I just used Johnson's Baby Shampoo on my own hair so the run-off wouldn't sting his eyes down below me. I think it worked pretty well. He only tried to grab my pubes once and he ended up clean!

We need to keep the door to the bathroom closed at all times now though. Kirk loves playing with the toilet. If the door's open and the lid and/or seat is left up, he'll start splashing around in the toilet bowl. If they're down then he plays with the flusher. Or the plunger. At least he hasn't start spinning out the toilet paper yet.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The end of a very beautiful daycare?

This morning I finally admitted to Mr. b that I’m starting to stress out about Auntie Daycare. I knew this day would eventually come and it’s finally here. And he’s ready to start looking elsewhere, too. For him, it’s largely the inconvenience of driving across town. If we’re carpooling, in the morning we take Kirk to my sister’s, then he drops me off, then he goes to work. After a full day of work, he returns to pick me up, then we go over to my sister’s for the boy, then we head home. It’s about an hour and a half each way. So that’s three hours everyday. We can find something closer. We’d gotten used to all the driving. But it’s too much. Mr. b figures it’s worth $10 a day in increased daycare costs for the simple convenience of not having to drive that distance anymore--even adding on another $5 per day in gas savings.

I don’t know how we’re going to afford real daycare. We’ve got four new bills to deal with right now: new furniture, Sears portraits, and each of our student loans that just came back from maternity leave forbearances. Mr. b says not to worry about that, that we should first find a new place and then we’ll figure out the money. But my brain doesn’t work that way.

I just can’t handle leaving Kirk with my sister everyday anymore. Sure, she’ll pick him up or drop him off on occasion and we won’t have that flexibility anymore. But the last time she picked him up was because she had a morning doctor’s appointment that she neglected to tell me about until the day before. So I had to stay home with him until she was done. Last week he was only over there for two days. Monday she was out of town, Thursday Kirk was having his shot reactions, and Friday A2 was sick. I still had to pay her for the full week. I know I’ll have to do that at real daycare but it’s a business so it’ll feel less like I’m getting ripped off. She’s family! Why won’t she give me a break? Besides, with real daycare I won’t have to keep Kirk home because one of the other kids is sick. They won’t be there in the first place.

And there will be defined rules about what the daycare provides and what I provide. My sister recently asked for a $10 per week raise since she feeds Kirk lunch everyday now. That's great. I don't have to make sure she's stocked up with snacks and junk. But apparently diapers weren't included in her request. So I still have to bring those, and wipes. I know for a fact that day care decreases once the child reaches a certain age so she's definitely working contrary to convention there.

Plus, frankly, my sister is kinda bitchy with her kids. She always been the difficult kid, the challenging family member, so it's nothing new and it's not surprising. Oh, she’s a good mom and I trust her and all. But Kirk’s getting bigger and he’ll start noticing things like A1 getting scolded for something that’s not a scoldable offense. That bothers me and I don’t want him to have to deal with it. It also bothers me how she tries to parent him during family gatherings. After Kirk’s naming ceremony on Sunday she was all about trying to feed him and change him and just do everything. I know in her mind she thinks she was "helping" since we were also hosting the reception in our house. But dammit, he’s our son, not hers. We’re the ones raising him, not her. I guess it goes hand-in-hand with the hurt I felt when my dad called her with questions and not me. But I also don’t think it’s unreasonable.

I don’t know how long it’s going to take to get our budget figured out. I don’t know how long it’s going to take to find a new daycare provider. I really don’t know how my sister is going to react to "getting fired". Because even though her offer of doing daycare was always supposed to be only temporary, and last only as long as we wanted it to, I know she’s going to view it as getting canned. That’s just how she is. And it’s going to be a big messy family fight with my mom trying not to take sides and my brother and his wife saying "I told you she sucks" and my dad secretly kinda agreeing with my brother but also not wanting to take sides and it’s just going to bite and be even more stress. But I think it’s for the best in the end. I have to at least keep telling myself that.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A for Bee

I really enjoyed Bee Season by Myla Goldberg. It was written in the first person, even when the action was in the past. That drove my aunt nuts but I thought it was fascinating. It must have been so hard to keep all the verbs straight! This story was really so much more than just the tale of an unremarkable young girl with a talent for spelling that gains confidence as she is recognized for her ability. Each member of her family was also a main character. And each of them--speller, older brother, dad, mom--was on their own spiritual journey. Truly amazing. I often found myself wondering if reading about the brother's path (if this book had existed then) would have affected my own when I was at my searchingest in college. Everything was just so rich and real (and very Jewish), even when descending into insanity.

1 Year Pics

Look at this cuteness!

More Sears copywrited photos can be viewed here.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Can I get paid for this post?

I have found that having one of those Tide fresh-food-and-beverage-stain treater pens with me at all times is indispensable as a mother of a small child.

Friday, July 21, 2006


I had to stay at home with Kirk yesterday. He woke up at 5:30am with a fever. Doc said that for one of the three shots he had gotten, the measles/mumps/rubella, any reactions wouldn't happen for 1 to 2 weeks, instead of the standard 48 hours. So sure enough, 9 days later, he's hit. I knew it wasn't a peanut allergy because Mr. b had given the boy peanut butter for the first time last weekend and it was fine. So we had that out of the way. No food allergies to be found. Phew!

But my sister called later on to let me know that A2 was stricken with a very high fever, 104 to Kirk's 101, and had both strep and an ear infection. I don't want Kirk anywhere near that kind of contagion! But I couldn't exactly miss another day of work. So my mom was kind enough to drive down and spend the day with him today. Hopefully it really is just the delayed immunization. It has to be! Kirk just doesn't seem sick. He seems like he's shot-y. But my damn sister has me second guessing myself now.

At least Kirk was still feeling well on Wednesday evening for his first ever photo shoot! We took him to Sears for his 1 year pictures and totally let them sucker us into the big package and everything. But it was so much fun! And I think the grandparents will be glad to have the fancy collages that we got for them.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Maybe Some Reservations

I finally finished reading A Cook's Tour, after a mighty long and unexpected delay due to my airplane idiocy. I quite enjoyed it but it was sort of odd reading it after having seen so many No Reservations episodes. Several chapters, especially the Vietnamese ones towards the end, seemed like redos. Although since Cook's Tour the show came first, I guess it's technically the other way round. Still, Tony Bourdain is a funny, funny man. He's strangely snarky while being serious.

And he's trapped in Lebanon. How scary. He's definitely making light of the situation. (There's a list of all his first person commentary links in the TWoP No Reservations thread.) Is there anyone else better equipped to ride out an unexpected war zone than Tony? Probably not many. Synchonicity that I had just come back to his book and now he's in the news.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Healthy and Happy

Yesterday was Kirk's one year check up and the latest round of immunizations. He's doing great, remains in the 70th percentile for height and 50th for weight. Even though we all, Doc included, thought for sure he seemed much taller. She did have to pull his weiner head out a bit of its circ. He did not like that. Poor baby. I've got to try harder to keep that back. I can't imagine how much more difficult it would be if he wasn't circumcised! We ended up waiting for nearly an hour and a half because Doc was running so far behind. She apologized profusely and made a nurse give us free Tylenol. On a tip from the nurse we dosed the boy before his shots. They definitely seemed to burn more than the previous ones. And the trauma didn't end there. He had to have a finger prick in the lab for a blood sample for whatever tests.

It's a good thing that we didn't have to go to swimming lessons afterwards. Originally the appointment was last week (Doc was out sick that day) and we would've then gone to the pool. As it was, we managed to go out to eat. It's likely our last restaurant visit for quite some time. Kirk is just too unruly these days. He screams and is desperate to climb out of his chair and move about. So we're take-out people for a while.

Swimming lessons ended on Monday. They were so much fun though. Kirk's younger cousin was in the class with us (his mom had gotten us the lessons for a birthday present) and it was just adorable watching the boys interact in the water. And kind of nostalgic for me to be in the pool with my little brother since we spent so much time in our own pool while kids. The lessons were mainly just water familiarity and playtime for the small babies. It's not like they were going to master the skills expected of their 3 year old classmates! Mr. b and I learned what kind of stuff to practice whenever we have Kirk in the water--blowing bubbles/face in the water, front and back float, kicking. He did get to wear a life jacket and "jump" off the diving board, too. Adorable!

I decided it's a good idea to keep a Little Swimmers in the diaper bag at all times over the summer. You never know when you'll decide to go to the lake. Or drop by a friend's house with a kiddie pool.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Last night, for the first time ever, Kirk fell asleep by his own damn self. I had instituted a 9pm bedtime rule. If he hadn't fallen asleep in our arms prior, well, then it was crib time whether he liked it or not. Generally this then starts off several rounds of 5 minutes of crying by himself, 5 minutes of holding and singing. Last night he cried a little, but never for the full 5 minutes. He played. He stood. He sat. He crawled around. He cried. He played. He cried. He played. He cried. He fell asleep. !!!

He's so cute to peek in on now because of the strange positions he sleeps in. When it was finally quiet enough, at about 9:40, that I felt confident I could open the door, he was facing the wrong direction, curled up half on his belly, half on his side, with his blankets and stuffed animals strewn all about. I have to keep resisting the urge to take pictures of his sleeping cuteness for fear that the flash will disturb him.

He's been falling back to sleep after cranking in the middle of the night for a week or so now. But my relexes are so automatic that with the first cry, I'm up and in the kitchen, making a bottle. Twice now I've had to abort the mission. The first time I got the bottle completed and didn't notice he had gone back to sleep until I was walking into his room to administer it! The second time I had the whole milk poured and warmed and was about to add the formula half when I realized it was quiet again. So now I need to try to resist the urge to get up right away and give him a minute or two to possibly go back to sleep. I'm sure he'll still need a bottle now and again but I do like this new era of sleep for Mommy.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bikini Season

I wore my preggo bikini last night. In public. Kirk started swim lessons, which my brother's wife had gotten him as a birthday present. But in the madness of out-of-town visitors and party planning, I never got to the store to buy myself a new swimsuit. So I figured I'd see if my 8-months-pregnant bikini fit and it did. And, to my everlasting shock, I didn't look that horrible in it. I had also retrieved the top to a maternity tankini from my 'ternity bin in the basement. That looked horrible with my bikini bottoms. So I just figured what the fuck. I honestly don't care. Sure, I don't have a flat stomach and my thighs are bumpy. Whatever. I'm married, I have a young baby, my husband thinks I'm sexy, I look good in most clothes. And after seeing all the Mom Suits in class last night? I'm even happier that my laziness prevented me from buying one myself. Oh, I bet I'll end up getting a one-piece later this summer anyway. But it sure as heck isn't going to be cut like that. I'd rather have my little muffin top exposed than wear something that unflattering.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

My Big Boy is Still Little

We're trucking along with the one-year-old changes. Mr. b flipped Kirk's carseat around right away. And we're now doing half whole milk/half formula for his bottles. Kirk's check-up is tomorrow and we'll ask about the dreaded peanuts. Right now his diet is pretty much ABP--Anything But Peanuts. I guess I haven't given him fresh strawberries yet but I'm not worried.

Kirk is starting to sleep in other positions than just flat on his back with his arms up. Which should be great for his flat head! He rolls onto his left side almost everytime now when I lay him in his crib. Last night he was so over-tired that he crawled around all loony with the top of his head on his mattress and finally collapsed in a heap with his face planted in a mound of stuffed animals at the foot of his bed. Adorable!

But there are definitely some things he's still too little for. Like movies. He's too old to just pass out in his car seat in the theater. But too little to pay attention for a whole movie. Besides my birthday, when we had a babysitter, the last movie I saw in the theater was Harry Potter. We've been threatening to go to the drive-in again for quite some time and actually did it on Monday. Double feature with Click (I loved it; I cried and prayed for the reset button and it came and I rejoiced and I really loved it) and Nacho Libre (not as good as I was expecting, considering how much I loved Napoleon Dynamite; I liked it well enough but, I don't know, maybe it'll grow on me). Kirk had fun watching all the kids playing before the show started, and climbing around in the car during the previews. But he couldn't fall asleep in my arms. Mr. b strapped him into his seat and he fell asleep pretty much immediately.

Monday, July 03, 2006


Kirk is now a big boy 1 year old. His birthday party was on Saturday (thanks for coming LA and fam!) and went off without a hitch. Kirk and his Daddy were sporting matching outfits.

Matching Madras

All of his cousins were there. It may not ever happen again that both sides of the family are gathered together like that. But since my BIL and his family were up from Texas, Mr. b was insistent on getting the group shot. We have like 4 million of them, trying for the perfect expression on each kid. I guess I need Michael Scott's Photoshop skillz to mix-and-match heads!

Six Cousins

After several varieties of hot dogs and chips, it was time for the main show: the cake.

Happy Birthday to you!

I made him his own little star cake. He enjoyed it.

Mmm, frosting

Frosting was a big hit and he really licked his fingers.

Cake Rules!

He definitely favored his left hand while chowing down on cake.

You got a little sumptin right there

Oh but he was a happy birthday boy! (Look close, you can sorta see the bottom of his 3 teeth.)

Birthdays are the best!

Well, he didn't like the getting hosed down part so much.

Hey that's cold!

Kirk got tons of awesome presents--toys and jammies mainly. It was a good day.

Friday, June 30, 2006


I'm a little afraid of cooking right now. Wednesday I was preparing to make one of those boxed potato things with the butter and the cheese packet, just add milk and boiling water. But when I added the boiling water? My Pyrex baking disk exploded. Literally. I was shellshocked. I've poured boiling water into a Pyrex measuring cup. I've poured boiling water into a Pyrex mixing bowl. I swear I've poured boiling water into that particular Pyrex baking dish before. And I know it hasn't exploded before. So. Mr. b was, of course, in the middle of putting together our new TV stand (that matches our new leather furniture) on the kitchen floor. Thankfully Kirk was in his highchair. We were sent away so that Mr. b could finish the project and clean up.

I did a bit of online research to find out if that's a common Pyrex reaction. I found one mention in an Amazon product comment and that's it. Most of the pages dealing with Pyrex and boiling water were instead about heating your glass dildo. Interesting.

So I've been a bit gun shy about cooking. Starting small. Last night's mac n cheese and kielbasa was without incident. Kirk ate it up yum. You can't give him meat first thing if you want him to eat anything else. He was happy with his cheesy noodles and peas until he saw the pieces of sausage that Daddy was cutting up for him. Then that's all he wanted. My sister was complaining of the very same behavior today. He's like his father; meat is dessert.

But at least I'm feeling safe alone in the house again. Two weekends ago I kept hearing unidentifiable noises when I'd be trying to fall back to sleep after giving Kirk a bottle in the middle of the night. Floor boards creaking, rattles, that kind of thing. Not the normal noises my house makes. And then the house on the corner got busted for drugs. Not surprising in the least. But the troubling part is that they had a guy staying with them. An unregistered level 3 sex offender. Lovely. So my brain went *there* and I immediately associated the sounds with rapists. Not condusive for sleeping at night. Especially when Mr. b was scheduled to be gone all last weekend, gigging and recording.

So now we have thick dowels in all the sliding windows. Yeah, it's not going to prevent, but it'll deter. And I've got a cordless phone on my bedside table. Previously, I felt cut off from the phone in the kitchen. I know if something did happen I'd probably go into mother bear mode and the fangs and claws would come out. I'm not a scaredy cat by nature. But I felt comfortable by myself last night when Mr. b slept at the cafe after his gig. So I guess that's all that really matters.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


There's a new factor in the ongoing trial of getting Kirk to go to bed. He stands up in his crib when he's crying. Which is both heartbreakingly adorable and annoying. Because now there's really no way he's going to calm down and "cry himself to sleep". I need to work on being a hardass. Last night I would let him cry for 5 minutes, hold him for 5 minutes, let him cry for 5 minutes. He eventually fell asleep in my arms about 10:30pm. But he really doesn't know how to fall asleep by himself. I just imagine this is going to be a bigger problem as he gets older and bigger and not in a crib anymore.

He's already pretty much too big for me to burp on my shoulder after a bottle. But I keep doing it anyway out of habit.

And he was sick of his walker to we gave that to my brother this weekend along with Kirk's exer-saucer. Oh and his unused boxes of "Gerber's cereal for baby". Maybe as long as two months ago Kirk stopped eating cereal. Any kind be it rice or oatmeal or mixed grain or whatever. Even when I made it with juice. He refused. So now he eats a handful of Cheerios for breakfast or maybe half a banana or something. Yeah, he likes real bananas. I don't get it. He's weird.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Boring Fang

I have to read White Fang for book club this Saturday. And I can't get through it. I just know that I've read it before, but I can't really remember the plot or action. So as I'm rereading, I keep instead remembering how I didn't really care for it. (Which is much different than the sense of deja vu I got when rereading Robinson Crusoe, not having remembered reading it in the first place.) I don't like the dialect that the humans are using. Jack London, you are no Mark Twain. And just because Data told you to go to Alaska, and Sam Clemens told you to write what you know, doesn't mean I have to like it. I guess I'll have to skim it so I can at least keep up with the conversation. Hopefully I'll be able to pay attention while skimming. I skimmed The Invisible Man for a book club gathering earlier this year because I ran out of time to reread it in its entirety. But I kept actually reading passages because I honestly liked that book! It's too bad though. I really enjoyed London's South Sea Tales. Maybe because I just prefer that subject matter? I really am a sucker for seafaring adventure and shipwrecks in any form or sub-genre.


Now that Kirk is big enough, I'm noticing that most of his shorts and pants have real, functioning pockets and real, functioning, zipper fly and snap or button. Why? He's a baby. He doesn't need a place for his wallet. Or even the leftover french fries from McDonalds that Mr. b apparently always had with him as a little kid. He's a baby. He wears a diaper. The actual usage of the fly is not necessary. I mean, it's all cute as hell! But I don't get it.

Speaking of clothes, I find myself missing some of my 'ternity wear. Not missing being pregnant! Just certain of the shirts and one skirt in particular I really quite liked. And I'm a little sad that they're no longer part of my wardrobe.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Walk the plank

Kirk’s upper left tooth is cutting through. We noticed the gum skin looking all jagged yesterday so hopefully it’ll hurry up and give the poor boy a break. Although now he’s going to look totally goofy since the right bottom tooth still hasn’t come in and the upper right is next.

We’ve come to the time of bathing-when-necessary. The instruction manuals all said babies don’t need more than one or two a week during their first year of life. Well, Kirk gets dirty now and twice a week just doesn’t cut it anymore. We’ve tried to switch off the Tuesday & Saturday schedule. I proposed Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday and Mr. b was more into Sunday-Wednesday-Friday. But it doesn’t matter because the boy was filthy on Saturday after crawling around in our friend’s backyard all afternoon. And I swear his knees are permanently dirty now.

It was so much fun watching Kirk playing on Saturday though. Our friend’s son turned 2 and there were lots of other kids just a bit older than Kirk that were there. Hilariously, all the boys kept congregating around the Playskool car with Flintstone’s style open floor. I guess they were talkin’ shop. We need to get Kirk a car!

Kirk wasn’t a bully to the other kids this time. Must be because they were all older than him (except for the not-quite-3-month-old, who mostly just laid on his blanket). And they were all walkers! Even the girl that was only 2 and a half months older. I keep wondering if that’s going to spur Kirk on. He noticeably improved his crawling abilities after my birthday party when the other babies had mastered that mobility technique. And now Kirk is constantly standing. He really isn’t happy just sitting and playing; he wants to be upright.

And he figured out how to open drawers.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Boys Will Be Boys

I'm finding the whole nature versus nurture thing fascinating anew as it unfolds before my very eyes. Kirk is such a boy. It's truly astounding. I mean, he's still got mainly unisex toys. But he gravitates towards the things with wheels/tires and that make lots of noise. His favorite way to play with his toys is to bang items together as loudly as possible. He frickin' loves rolling a ball on the ground. Oh and he is really into girls. Already. And I should say "women" because he adores college girls. He will check out our waitress anywhere we go to the point of ignoring his food. Particularly if she's blonde. Although I suspect that last detail is partly due to the fact that all his aunties are blondes.

Kirk has this steering wheel/dashboard toy that lights up and makes lots of noise. The horn beeps, the radio has different "stations", there's a noise for the shifter and for the turn signal. But it also has a little man in a race car on the top that shakes rapidly after a certain amount of activity. And it terrifies Kirk. Hilariously! But Mr. b, being a good Daddy, "fixed" it. He unscrewed the back and used his bomb disarming skillz to cut the wire to the shaking mechanism. So now it's totally Kirk's favorite toy. It didn't take him long to realize that the scary man on top was rendered immobile.

I think walking is just around the corner. Kirk is starting to free-stand balance for microseconds. He can pull himself up on literally anything. And he no longer likes his walker, despite his awesome wheelie abilities; it's too encumbering. He prefers his push-behind thing.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Dedicated Follower of Fashion

I don’t seem to be taking as many outfit-specific photos of Kirk anymore. I’m not sure what the change is. Maybe it’s because he gets stuff dirty sooner? Or because he’s not growing quite as fast so I see him in things for longer periods of time? Or since most of the gift items are done, the hand-me-downs aren’t that exciting? Whatever the reason, the last pic for fashion purposes was to showcase his Vans, given by Diablo and Jon. I even took a close up!

Ain’t they cute!

An anonymous commenter asked several weeks ago where we got all Kirk’s groovy duds. If said kind person is still reading, I can certainly answer that. First of all, there’s a lot of DIY gifts. The Enterprise sweater was knitted by a fellow TWoPper. An employee of Mr. b’s added cool iron-ons, like the Ghostbusters and Yoda, to plain white onesies. Another friend ironed on letters spelling out "Captain" and "Hobbit". Then there’s the standard gift store for rockin' babies, Hot Topic. But I highly suggest not paying for those rad designs yourself as they get spendy. For regular clothes I make a habit of checking Target’s clearance racks each and every time I set foot in the store. Just last night I picked up a plain green t-shirt for under 3 bucks. And don’t forget the internets! There are tons of kick-ass sites these days. I got the For Sale by Owner for Kirk (that’s a big hit). A friend got his son the Nixon shirt available here. I recently met a lady brazen enough to have gotten one of these for a friend. So, I hope that helps you in your quest to outfit your impending baby in cool threads. Congratulations and good luck!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

"Kuch dar nahin hai"

I just finished reading The Peshawar Lancers, by S.M. Stirling. I really, really liked it. I mean, it wasn't quite as good as the very best Alt History I've ever read (The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson) and it wasn't quite as awesome as my very favorite Alt History of ever (Celestial Matters by Richard Garfinkle). But those are pretty lofty marks to reach and Peshawar came damn close on both accounts. I seriously loved it. The premise is that in the 1870s, during PM Disraeli's term in office, there was a series of comet/asteroid strikes in the northern hemisphere, causing tsunamis and nuclear winters. And all the collateral damage of rioting and chaos and starvation and cannibalism and destruction that would go along with such an event. Disraeli was foresighted enough to evacuate a large percentage of the British populace, most to India, some to South Africa and Australia. Queen Victoria went to India and so the captial of the British Empire became Delhi. The book then takes place in the early 21st century. Clearly there was a massively different political structure at play in the world, as well as science and technology. But that's the fun of alternate histories. You get to really see how things would come to be with just a small change here or there. And the plot centered around palace intrigue and political conspiracies, so it was just an all around great adventure. Taking place in India, with lots of Hindi tossed in, so of course I adored that.

I came to realize during the course of the book that Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel was kind of like the perfect reference material for writers of alt histories. Christie had loaned me that a couple of years ago and I never dreamed that it would come up so much. Heck, I overheard a couple of guys at work discussing it this week. But Diamond's precise research into just how much impact science and technology has on not just the country of origin is key to planning your future in an alternate timeline. It has to be believable. It has to be real. It has to be logical. You have to learn just as much as you would reading a proper [well-researched] historical novel. And I really appreciate that thoroughness when reading. Otherwise it's just a fantasy novel. Not that I don't love those, too! Especially the ones that come with maps. And appendices.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Some Firsts

For the very first time, Mr. b and I were home alone, without the boy, on Friday afternoon. My sister brought him up to our parent’s house earlier on Friday and we met them all up there for the rehearsal for her wedding on Saturday. It was both weird and familiar to be in the house without him. It was nice to have spontaneous sex again, but it was definitely a bit odd to see all his stuff and not have him crawling about.

Kirk had his first shared bath while at my parent’s house that night. My brother and his son were there and we decided that it would be fun to have the cousins bathe together. Kirk is very active in the bath these days, splashing and kicking and trying to climb out, so it was a pretty funny contrast with 5-months-younger Lukas just calmly sitting there.
Splish, Splash, I was takin’ a bath

Kirk finally cut his first tooth, lower front left, sometime on Monday. My MIL had said that it would look like a bit of cottage cheese was stuck on his gum and sure enough, that’s totally what it looked like. A bit smaller of a bit than what I was expecting but still. It’s really hard to get Kirk to open his mouth in such a way that it can be seen. So far no sign of its mate.

Tuesday night Kirk had his very first sleep over. My parents are staying at my sister’s apartment with A1 and A2 while she’s on her honeymoon so daycare is over there like normal. Mr. b had a big 666 gig and so we just left Kirk there for the night. Well, we stopped over after work and had dinner with everyone and fretted a bit about leaving Kirk and wondered how he would ever survive with “only” his Nana and Papa for a night, but we left him there. Ultimately, it was nice to come home exhausted after dancing and not have to tip toe, and to be able to sleep in a couple of hours in the morning. But I sure missed my little man.

Friday, June 02, 2006


Kirk won't go to bed! It's been a week now I guess. He just won't go to bed. He crabs and complains and even if he's showing all signs of tiredness, he will not go to bed. If we put him down, he'll scream and cry or sit up and play but not sleep. I have to hold him and rock him to sleep every night now. Mr. b took me out for my Golden Birthday on Wednesday (dinner and a movie--and pearls!) and Kirk was totally still up when we got home. As we knew he would be. I just don't know how he's going to be tonight up at Nana and Papa's house and dealing with the chaos of Auntie's wedding tomorrow and everything.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Ahoy Mateys

It's amazing to me just how quickly Kirk's movement abilities are changing. Friday he developed this goofy side crawl where he crawls using one knee and pushes with the other foot. It's very piraty. And he can go fast. But it's also worn a popped blister on his big toe.

Then Saturday was my birthday party and there were tons of kids. Kirk really wasn't interested in the smaller babies or the bigger boys and girls. And then his buddy Henry arrived. It was amazing how quickly Kirk paid attention. They haven't seen each other in several months but it was almost as though they remembered. And Henry knows how to crawl properly. Which Kirk definitely copied. He would take off across the yard for the decomposing stick I had already pulled out of his mouth. Now that he's on his own again, he's mostly back to his pirate crawl, but he'll do it right for short bits. We keep the gate up by the stairs at all times now.

But Kirk didn't get to play with Henry the whole time. He started being a total bully, just like when he was playing with Esther several weeks ago. Maybe it's because they're all so much closer in age? Kirk and Henry were hanging out on the blanket I had set out for all the babies, complete with toys. And Kirk would grab at Henry and try to bite his shoulder. It was hilarious! But then he did it again. And again. And again. Not so hilarious. So I had to take Kirk away. He went over to visit one of the doggies instead and got his entire head licked. Also hilarious.

It was so much fun having so many kids at my party. For several years now, whenever we'd all be together at a party or a barbeque or something, we'd talk about how soon enough we'll be having our kids running around while we're drinking and talking. And as a few of us began to reproduce, the family friendly party never materialized. I'm proud to have made the first for our group finally happen. Hopefully it won't be the last.

It was a little hard on Kirk though. All those people and kids were at his house. He didn't get to just go home and have quiet and calm. And it's taken him a while to recover. And he's being naughty, too. He's started screaming. Not just on occasion to see how loud he can get. That's been going on for a while. No, he's screaming to see if he gets a reaction. Or, as Mr. b would put it, he's fucking with us. Out to breakfast with our out-of-town guest yesterday morning was tough. None of the usual tricks--bottle, holding, toys, food--did any good to stop the screaming. I can ignore him at home but not out in public. I walked over to the deserted side of the joint to scold him. Not like it made any difference.

And after a truly shitty night's sleep last night, where Kirk was up multiple times and wouldn't stay asleep because he wanted to sleep in our bed or while being held in the recliner in his room, he's back to more screaming. Hopefully it's just a breakfast thing. Yeah right.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I'm Not Dead

Wow. It's been a while. Real life got turned to 11 and relief is still several weeks off. So, for the 6 of you that still check here, read at your own risk. It's going to be a rather disjointed attempt at some catch-up.

Georgia was fantastic. Kirk was a great little traveler. We always had someone sitting in the back seat with him so that he had entertainment when he wasn't sleeping. He ate several meals in the minivan, too. And occasionally, like while stuck in traffic in Chattanooga, we'd take him out of his seat to climb around in the back. My dad dutifully pretended that there wasn't an unbelted passenger on his watch. Driver's Ed teacher you know. But it worked out so nicely we plan to do the same thing in December and all drive to Texas for Xmas.

But Kirk did not sleep well the whole time we were gone. I think it was the unfamiliar surroundings. You can only handle so much weirdness at once, and if you're road weary on top of it, well, that's not a good combination. He did better while we were staying at my cousin's house since that was a few days in the same spot. And there was a kitty. She was the best kitten ever. We all wanted to bring her home.

We'd take turns keeping Kirk in bed with us when he wasn't sleeping in his pack n' play in the hotels. I guess the two beds thing comes in handy after all! I had a hard time getting any decent sleep with him laying next to me. So I was pretty wrecked by the time we got home and had to take an extra day off work to recover. (Kirk went to Auntie Daycare that day so I could actually rest.) Then it turned out the episode of House I had recorded while we were gone featured a newborn getting smothered by his mom and dying from complications. Mr. b and I had a hard time with that one.

Thankfully, we're all in good health. Well, Kirk is on antibiotics again. We took him in on Monday because he had been batting his ear all weekend. That's one of his tired tics so it was hard to know if we were being alarmist or not. Turned out, once again, no ear infection. But he has some sort of not-quite-strep throat infection. Apparently his tonsils were disgusting, one worse than the other, and white spots. All pretty classic strep signs, right? But the strep test was negative. The doctor decided to put him on Amoxicillin anyway since it was obviously something.

It's way harder getting Kirk to take his medicine than when he had the nose infection. This time the dispenser is one of those hollow tube spoon things, and not a dropper. He no likey.

He's also continuing his campaign for skipping crawling. Though he inches closer to actual proper crawling as he's doing it. He'll take a couple of crawl steps and then sit. Or roll. Or go up to his feet and gorilla walk. He actually gets around quite well with his series of goofy-ass moves. Especially when you include pulling himself up on furniture and walking along the edge. The Squirrel is not amused. This means she is no longer safe just because she's up high.