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.