Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Photo Ops

I find that when I'm taking pictures of Kirk, I tend to focus on what he's wearing. I realized we didn't have any pictures of him in his robot and space ship jammies so that was my only reason for that one. Sure, sometimes there is just something that's really cute that I'll have to capture. But more often than not, it's just his outfit. 'Sides, by the time I get the camera out, the cuteness is usually over. Or else I'll be so wrapped up in actively cultivating the cute that I won't even think about snapping a pic. It'll be interesting to see if I find it easier to pass along clothes since I'll have a record of pretty much all of them.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Hipsters and Strippers

Watching the movie DiG! and reading the book Candy Girl both produced extreme feelings of familiarity. The specifics of each were different, of course, as were the causes. But I found it interesting to have intimate knowledge of the subject matter for entirely disparate reasons.

The music documentary DiG! parallels the fortunes of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols during the mid-nineties. Though the movie was released in 2004, I only saw it for the first time a few months ago. It was hard to watch because I knew, felt really, that plot. I have not officially met any of the members of either band, though my husband has opened for them or other permutations involving former members. (And apparently we startled some BRMC guys in the basement of the Entry one night. Long story.) So, while both bands enjoyed more fame and success than local peers, the basic elements of the 90s music scene were the same. And, having lived that scene here in Minneapolis, seeing it before me was startling. I knew the Twin Cities versions of all those character archetypes. I’d counseled friends through Midwest versions of the same interpersonal dramas. I’d witnessed the infighting and backstabbing and adoration and jealousy and assistance and luck that had swirled around all the bands of my friends and acquaintances. Consequently, viewing the movie was just a bit…too close to home.

On the other hand, I do personally know the narrator of Candy Girl, and her husband and step-daughter. But the familiarity I felt in this situation was not due to the subject matter, though I did read the Pussy Ranch when it was still up. Rather, I knew what was happening at the edge of the action described in the pages of her memoir. The apartment building Diablo and Jonny lived in? We lived one floor below. The road trip they took Out West? We cat sat George (R.I.P.) and Larry. The Vegas wedding? We attended. The house they bought? I gave them the name of a loan officer. All the mundane details of everyday life when you live and work near your friends. As well as the feelings of concern I had for Jonny while reading the Ranch during The Year. I didn’t know Diablo well yet, though it was obvious she was a vast improvement on the previous wife. I did know very well what Jonny had gone through getting out of that last marriage—hell, he lived with us for a while afterwards!—and I didn’t want him getting hurt. Now I can see my worries were unfounded, but then I had no idea if she was going to start “making movies” or just how far it would all go. It was very interesting being reminded of those overprotective feelings towards Jonny’s well-being.

I am curious to know how I will react to someday seeing the possible film version of Candy Girl onscreen. Will it be the same ephemeral familiarity, of seeing myself just around the corner, at the edge of my peripheral vision, that I had while reading the book? Or will it be the visceral, gut level, absolute, life style, personal familiarity I had while watching DiG!? I sure hope I get to find out.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Auntie Daycare

I have another real, solid item, besides pain-in-the-ass to get to, in the “con” column for Auntie Daycare. My sister is sick. She has strep. She called last night when she got back from Urgent Care to let me know. With regular daycare, if a staff member is sick, they stay home for the day. With Auntie Daycare, I have to keep Kirk at home. And like last week when A1 had strep, with regular daycare, she just would have been kept at home. But with Auntie Daycare, she was at home. So I had to keep Kirk.

I really didn’t want to have to just stay home from work today. Besides simply not wanting to use up ¼ of my vacation time before the end of January, I’m busy! So I called my mom to see if she’d be willing and able to come down. Thankfully, she was. So Mom arrived about 9:30 and stayed with Kirk until Mr. b was able to get home. If she hadn’t been able to, Plan B was to call Diablo and see if she’d be willing!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Food & Toys

We learned an important lesson this weekend: do not take valuable keepsake toys into Target. One of Mr. b's employees brought back a cute little stuffed Snowy with her from France. Kirk likes to chew on it. So we went to Target and brought it along for Kirk to play with in the car. Didn't think about it. We got to Target and brought Snowy along for Kirk to play with him in the store. Didn't think about it. Got back to the car, where's Snowy? Mr. b went running back inside and, with the help of a redshirt, managed to actually recover the missing Snowy. And he's never leaving the house again!

Kirk's food is very bland. His favorites seem to be the more exciting of the options. He loves sweet potatoes (Maybe that's the reason for my current obsession with them?) and prunes most. I just made him some broccoli and he was reasonably fine with it. I've only been making baby foods that aren't available pre-packaged. I figure that's a good way to give him more variety. So far he's not too sure about peas, which I suspect may be a texture issue, but he loved them when mixed with vanilla yogurt. In fact, just about anything mixed with vanilla yogurt is a hit. Again, I think it's because it's tangy and so is more interesting than boring ol' formula and cereal. I wonder if there are any rules against feeding a baby bell peppers? Because I could roast some and that would give him a new flavor for sure! Here's the weird thing though, Kirk doesn't like bananas. I've tried Gerber's bananas. I've tried smashing up a fresh banana. I've tried the rice cereal that's got dried banana flakes in it. He just doesn't like bananas at all. In fact, the only way I've been able to use up that cereal is by mixing it with apple sauce. But seriously, who doesn't like bananas?!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Which is worse?

When your baby wakes up an hour before you would normally have to get up for work so you are not mentally prepared for that wake up time?

Or when your baby wakes up in the middle of the night but then you get a chance to go back to sleep before the alarm goes off?

I can't decide.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Working Mom

I attempted working from home yesterday. Since Kirk couldn't be around his cousin until she had been on drugs for 24 hours, I was going to be home with him anyway. I can't actually telecommute because of bogus access rules, but I brought 2 boxes of files home to go through. I didn't even get through one whole box. Granted Kirk was having a cranky day, but still, I don't know if I would have been more productive if he'd been in a better mood. He just requires so much hands on attention still. And besides keeping him entertained, there's pants changes and eating times and shorter naps than when he was an infant. So until he's older and I can put him in front of Hard Day's Night or something for a while, I don't think working from home one day a week will be a good option for me.

I'm going to test out non-standard hours next. I'm thinking four 10-hour days, taking Fridays off. But this might suck because I would have so much less time with Kirk during each day. I don't know if the 3 day weekends with him will be worth it. So another option might be four 9-hour days and a half-day on Friday. When I worked in the field, we did 10 days on, 4 days off. It was great but I think that would be too radical for an office job. Besides, the first and last of those 10 days was always a travel day to get to the dig site. I would probably go batty spending 10 days in a row in a cube farm.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Sick Days

It’s weird to consider that the majority of my vacation days from now on will be for sick baby, baby doctor’s appointments, day care conflicts, etc. I’ve always been a fan of taking a Mental Health Day here or there; I wonder if I’ll feel free to do that anymore? Or if I’ll be too paranoid that I’ll run out of vacation time? Having no vacation time left when I came back from maternity leave really sucked ass.

My sister apparently called last night. I heard the phone ring while I was on the bike but Mr. b didn’t say anything so I figured it was just his work. But when I got to my sister’s place to drop off Kirk this morning, she asked if I got her message. The oldest, A1, isn’t feeling well. She was going to still go to school, but Sis wanted me warned, in case A1 was sent home. Then I get a call from Sis saying that A1 was complaining about a sore throat, so she didn’t go to school after all. So now Kirk is definitely exposed to whatever his cousin has that may or may not be strep. (They’re still waiting to hear back from the doctor. Both A1 and A2 were there for unrelated issues yesterday and he did take a look at her throat. Thankfully, A2’s ear infection isn’t contagious.)

I’m kind of torn about picking him up. I mean, if it turns out to be strep, I’m going. But if it’s just a cold, well, he’s already exposed to it. Going to get him early isn’t really going to lessen his chances of sharing germs. And chances are, I’ll be staying home with him one day later this week. So I should just wait, let him finish off his day, and refrain from using my paid time off. On the other hand, it’s snowing again, so traffic is going to suck going home tonight. Leaving early would avoid that. And who doesn’t like having random afternoons off?! I know Mr. b wants me to pick up Kirk. But that’s just standard Mr. b over-protectiveness. Hmmmm. What to do. What to do. I’ll probably just split the difference and leave early.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Clothes Pony

While at Target this weekend I discovered that everything is on sale right now. So besides picking up a couple of shirts for myself, I picked out tons of new clothes for Kirk. Three pairs of pants, two shirts, a pack of socks, and a pack of jammies. I’ve been pulling all of his 3-6 month clothes out of rotation. I can’t believe I’ve already filled an entire plastic tub of used clothes! And that’s not including the preemie sized stuff I passed on to cousin Lukas.

Baby clothes are sized kinda weird. It took me a while to figure out that size “6 mo” means 3-6 and not 6-9. So all the new clothes I bought are 12 mo, which seems like it would be jumping the gun. But I want him to have stuff last for a while! I realize now I didn’t get a single 9 mo item. Hopefully that won’t matter. Besides, I’m going to have to get summer stuff in a few more months anyway.

So far I’ve only encountered one instance of blatant mislabeling of sizes. Kirk has a cute Cure onesie that Mr. b got as a shower gift and that claims to be size 18-24 months. Thankfully Mr. b didn’t believe that and pulled it out of the bin of yet-to-be-worn clothes in time. Now I’m mildly paranoid and keep checking the other items to make sure there are no other majorly mislabeled surprises in there.

As soon as Kirk starts fitting into the T sizes, I’ll have to figure out a whole new sizing scheme.

Clothes Horse

I did a major closet purge this weekend. I pulled everything that was way too small or just too “young” looking. Maybe I’ve been watching too much What Not to Wear, but I do not want to end up the 40-year-old who shops in the Juniors section and dresses like a teenager. That is tacky and wrong. Hell, I don’t even want to dress like a college student! My personal sense of style has mutated radically over my life, from very Deee-Lite in high school to total 90s hippie in college. But through it all, I’ve always wished for that sense of Banana Republic sophistication. I remember trying to wear pieces from The Limited when I was in junior high, and it totally not working out because they were just too old for me.

The point of it all is, I need to get rid of most of my pre-pregnancy clothes and see what I’m left with. What can I work with? I still have a bit of Xmas money left. What kind of new basics do I need? I’m not going to start wearing Mom Jeans or anything! But I do need to focus on clothes that are more age appropriate as well as careerist. I can still get pieces that are funky and hipster and fine. I want a suit! But it’s also time to stop with the constant baby Ts. I haven’t got a remotely flat stomach anymore. I can’t pull off short shirts with ultra low rise pants. That’s a fact.

I did set aside 4 shirts and 5 pairs of pants into a maybe-I-can-wear-them-again-someday box. We’ll see. I’ve started riding my stationary bike every night after Kirk goes to bed. And I’m trying to keep my eating a bit lighter than it has been. Mainly portion control and no more constant going out to eat. It’s time for me to start actively trying to get back down to pre-baby size/weight.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Solids are fer suckers!

Kirk just went through a very strange food phase this week. He was refusing to eat cereal, fruits, or vegetables. He wouldn't eat any for Auntie, for me, or for Daddy. He would take a bite and then make a horrible face like he was gagging or it was poison or something. It was really awful to see. He was still drinking bottles--formula, juice, and water. But he wouldn't eat solid food. Which he has been doing with astounding proficiency and delight for 2 months now.

I tried doing some internet research on this weirdness and didn't really find anything relevant. I mean, there was stuff about nursing strikes, but he's been fully off the boob for quite some time. And there was tons of stuff about toddlers being fussy eaters, refusing certain things, and the like.

There were some medical explanations, mostly talking about it being painful to swallow. Like the little guys already have acid reflux or something. Scary! Or that teething pain could cause spoon feeding to hurt. Yet Kirk seems to like pressure on his gums when his mouth is hurting. Of course I recently read the Newsweek cover story about anorexia striking ever younger kids, down to age 9, and boys more often than ever. I don't want my poor little peepers pie to have an eating disorder!

There were some psychological explanations, mostly about asserting individuality. Kids don't have a lot of power over decisions in their lives but they can decide to eat or not. (And, just to make it worse, that was one of the main arguments in the anorexia article. Gah!) They all said to not show signs of worry or that would make it worse. So Mr. b and I just kept offering solids to Kirk and then would keep a smile on our faces when he wouldn't do it.

Thankfully yesterday it seemed to be over. Kirk was back to sitting in his high chair with his mouth open wide, like a little birdie waiting for a worm. My sister said he ate for her yesterday, too. But he's continuing to wake up multiple times in the night. Drinking 2 bottles in the night is making him overflow his diapers with pee. (Of course it doesn't help that he's sort of in between diaper sizes. Twos are a bit short but we've still got some to use up. And threes are still a bit bulky.) I guess we need to force him to wait for his bottle and change his pants first. Just like back when he was a newborn and we were used to getting up multiple times in the middle of the night. We're so out of that habit. It's amazing how far we've come. Even getting up once is unusual now.

The owners manual I've been using says that developmental leaps are usually preceeded by a reversion. So maybe the eating thing and getting up at night is signalling an imminent, great, big leap. I moved the crib last night just in case it happens to be getting to sitting up position on his own. We still have blinds on his windows and I don't want him reaching the pull cords. Add "make window treatments" to my list of childproofing I've procrastinated on but must be done NOW.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Check-up Recap

Kirk had his 6 month Well Baby appointment on Friday. He weighs 18 pounds, 4 ounces and is 26 inches. Doc asked if he had any new tricks and we told her about his fairly decent sitting up. She was duly impressed upon viewing him balance before toppling over. She said that big babies have a harder time sitting because they have so much mass to balance. Of course my dad thinks Kirk is just the strongest baby ever and this was simply more proof!

Kirk did exceptionally well with his shots. He stopped crying in between each of the 3 of them. And after the last one, he calmed down right away. He even smiled at the nurse that stuck him! He was slightly less crabby during the weekend recovery as well. But he still doesn't just sleep a ton like apparently I and my siblings and my nieces all did.

Now we move from every 2 months to every 3 months. And there are no innoculations at the 9 month visit so Kirk gets a nice 6 month break before his next immunizations! That's his whole life so far!

I just need to decide if I should switch doctors. Doc is moving to the newly built clinic. The clinic we currently visit is less than a mile from our house. Her new office will be more like 10 miles away. Which really isn't that much but is hugely less convenient than the current one. But I don't really want to try a new doctor. I've been with Doc since I got knocked up. She's been Kirk's only doctor since he got out of the hospital. I guess Mr. b and I will have to weigh the pros and cons.

Doc does want us to get Kirk on a 3-meals-a-day plan by 7 months. And he'll be able to start meats then, too. His daddy is exceptionally excited by that prospect. He's a bit dismayed that his son is a vegetarian. I've just been trying to figure out if meal times will have to change to accomodate the new schedule. Of course, Kirk will still get snacks. But maybe I'll have to designate certain foods, like apple sauce, as snack items only. Yep, lots of minutiae to think about.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

For Posterity

As mentioned previously, here’s my earliest book lists. I started keeping track at the end of 2002 but was too anal to just call it 2003. I joined book club in February of 2005 but had coincidentally closed out 2004 year with their January selection, All Creatures.


1. All Things Bright and Beautiful James Herriot
2. Dragon’s Kin Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey
3. Superfudge Judy Bloom
4. Blanche on the Lam Barbara Neely
5. All Things Wise and Wonderful James Herriot
6. Hellboy: Weird Tales Volume Two Ed. Mike Mignola
7. Babyhood Paul Reiser
8. Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
9. The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World A.J. Jacobs
10. Return of the Dark Knight Frank Miller
11. Art of Mending Elizabeth Berg
12. The More Than Complete Hitchhikers Guide Douglas Adams
13. M*A*S*H Richard Hooker
14. Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Horror Deborah and James Howe
15. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents Terry Pratchett
16. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underground Anthony Bourdain
17. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
18. Green Grass, Running Water Thomas King
19. Being a Green Mother Piers Anthony
20. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince J.K. Rowling
21. Life of Pi Yann Martel
22. Walk Two Moons Sharon Creech
23. Sign With Your Baby Joseph Garcia
24. Rebecca Daphne du Marier
25. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire J.K. Rowling
26. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail Bill Bryson

Not including single comic books, magazines, other periodicals, websites, previously read books scanned for plot, etc.

1. American Gods Neil Gaiman
2. The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
3. Now Dig This Terry Southern
4. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket Edgar Allen Poe
5. Children of Dune Frank Herbert
6. White Teeth Zadie Smith
7. Master and Commander Patrick O’Brian
8. The Goblin Reservation Clifford D. Simak
9. With a Tangled Skein Piers Anthony
10. The Codex Douglas Preston
11. The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde
12. Dry Augusten Burroughs
13. The Tale of the Body Thief Anne Rice
14. The Day of the Triffids John Wyndham
15. The Lives of Dax Ed. Marco Palmieri
16. Hellboy: Weird Tales Volume One Ed. Mike Mignola
17. The Swiss Family Robinson Johann Wyss
18. A Stitch in Time Andrew J. Robinson
19. Eragon Christopher Paolini
20. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban J. K. Rowling
21. Eureka Street Robert McLiam Wilson
22. Hellboy: The Right Hand of Doom Mike Mignola
23. I’m Just Here for the Food Alton Brown
24. Millennium: The Fall of Terok Nor Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
25. Flag in Exile David Weber
26. Hellboy: Conqueror Worm Mike Mignola
27. Ship of the Line Diane Carey
28. Heart of Darkness and Other Tales Joseph Conrad
29. Wielding a Red Sword Piers Anthony
30. Hellboy: Wake the Devil Mike Mignola
31. Millennium: The War of the Prophets Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
32. The Adventures of Tintin: Flight 714 Hergé
33. Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War Tony Horwitz
34. A Princess of Mars Edgar Rice Burroughs
35. Hellboy: Seed of Destruction Mike Mignola
36. God Emperor of Dune Frank Herbert
37. One for the Road: An Outback Adventure Tony Horwitz
38. B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth & Other Stories Mike Mignola
39. Hellboy Junior Bill Wray, Mike Mignola
40. Clear Light of Day Anita Desai
41. Organizing from the Inside Out Julie Morgenstern
42. Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and Others Mike Mignola
43. The Years of Rice and Salt Kim Stanley Robinson
44. Turkish Fairy Tales
45. Star Wars Tales #20
46. All Creatures Great and Small James Herriot
47. Doom Patrol: Crawling from the Wreckage Grant Morrison, Richard Case

Not including single comic books, magazines, other periodicals, websites, previously read books scanned for plot, etc.

1. The Golden Compass Philip Pullman
2. The Subtle Knife Philip Pullman
3. The Amber Spyglass Philip Pullman
4. King Solomon’s Mines H. Rider Haggard
5. Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before Tony Horwitz
6. Interview with the Vampire Anne Rice
7. Dracula Bram Stoker
8. Best Science Fiction Stories H. G. Wells
9. Tom Sawyer Abroad, Tom Sawyer, Detective, and Other Stories Mark Twain
10. The Short Victorious War David Weber
11. Dune Messiah Frank Herbert
12. On a Pale Horse Piers Anthony
13. Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Jared Diamond
14. Logan’s Run William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson
15. Clipper of the Clouds Jules Verne
16. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix J.K. Rowling
17. One Thousand and One Arabian Nights Geraldine McCaughrean
18. All of an Instant Richard Garfinkle
19. The Agony and the Ecstasy Irving Stone
20. A Touch of Strange Theodore Sturgeon
21. From Hell Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell
22. Unfinished Tales: The Lost Lore of Middle-Earth J.R.R. Tolkien
23. Watchmen Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
24. Mötley Crüe: The Dirt Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, Vince Neil & Nikki Sixx with Neil Strauss
25. Bearing an Hourglass Piers Anthony
26. The Lord of the Rings¬ J.R.R. Tolkien
27. Strip City Lily Burana
28. Red Planet Robert A. Heinlein
29. Field of Dishonor David Weber
30. 13 French Science-Fiction Stories Ed. Damon Knight

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


I've been feeling sort of weak and dizzy the past day or two. And I've been continually hungry for the last couple of weeks. I eat and feel full in my stomach. But my body doesn't feel sated. I tried to explain this to Mr. b and he joked about how my "fingers are hungry." Ha ha. I think I figured it out though; I think I'm low in iron. I ran out of prenatal vitamins in mid-December and didn't even think about starting up my old iron supplements again. When my blood work was done at the start of the pregnancy, my stores were good. The prenatals and not having a period meant that my iron levels stayed up since then. I suppose it's possible that my weird weakness is psychosomatic but I'm disinclined to believe that since I had forgotten about my vitamin needs. I found my old bottle of ferrous sulfate and took one tonight. I guess I'll just have to wait and see if it makes a difference.

My Plan B theory is that my metabolism is changing. My body went through a hell of a thing growing and carrying and feeding a whole other lifeform. And then continuing to feed it after we separated. I know I've heard plenty of anecdotes of women having radical metabolic shifts after having kids. If that's the case, I'll have to seriously reconsider my current grazing eating habits. No matter what, it's time for me to start some sort of regular exercise again. I hate when I feel sluggish due to lack of activity. And yet tonight? I watched Project Runway and ate chips. Yay me.

Monday, January 02, 2006


Today is Kirk's Half Birthday. He is 6 months old. One half. Zero point five. I can't believe he's already half. But I'm not sure if that's because the time has gone slowly or quickly. Probably a combination of the two. Still, it's a pretty awesome milestone.

Kirk decided to celebrate a bit early yesterday by doing his first proto-crawling. He was in the middle of hating on some Tummy Time when he lifted up his butt, got up on his knees, and scooted forward! Then he did it again! The third and final try he went backwards instead of forwards. But Mr. b and I were still dutifully impressed. And a bit freaked out. We need to make damn sure everything is childproofed right now. Mr. b did a major furniture rearrangement when he brought the Saturnalia tree in the house. By default, that removed a lot of non-child-safe action figures and other small items from the vicinity. Now we need to take care of stray cords, cables, and plugs. And keep the floor a helluva lot cleaner than what we've settled on up until now. And change out all the pulls on the kitchen cabinets like we've wanted to do since we bought the house. And reattach the door to the top of the stairs. Who knows what else that we just haven't noticed yet. Yes, Johnson & Johnson, you're right; having a baby does change everything.

Happy New Year!

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Image hosted by Photobucket.com
I finally got my baby tattoo. It's the Sanskrit translation of Kirk's full name: Protector of the Church on the Hill. I've been planning on this tattoo since before I even planned to start trying to get pregnant. I didn't know what my theoretical baby would be called but I knew how I would honor the child's name. I know that people say getting tattoos is addictive but since it's been 9 years since my first, I think I'll be safe! Now I can start considering having a naming ceremony of some sort. I'm very pleased that there haven't been any parental pressures to have a baptism.

The haircut and the tattoo were funded by Mr. b's saved tip money. He wanted to pay for them as his thanks-for-having-my-baby gift. How did that tradition get started anyway? I don't know that I had even heard of it before that Friends episode. It's very sweet though and I am happy to benefit!