Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 22, 2010

Dear Calvin,

Happy half-birthday! Today is also my birthday. I am a lot older than you are. And that means you should always do what I say, because I am your mommy and I know what is best for you.

You sat up earlier. I fully expected it to be like every other time I've sat you up recently, where you sit and wobble until you fall over in exactly the same way that a Weeble doesn't. But I walked into the kitchen to find lunch, and I realized I hadn't heard the familiar thud that accompanies your loss of balance. Sure enough, you were still upright, and I had time to take two blurry photos and one good one before you toppled. I'm terrified of this new development, but also really excited, and I've been sitting you back up for the last hour or so and seeing how long you can keep it up.

You also have a lot more hair than you used to, but that isn't hard, because you used to didn't have any. The grammar of that statement is questionable, but I won't fault you if you talk like that. But not yet, because talking is too advanced for you at this point in your life. Also, can we talk about your aversion to clothes? I love keeping you in a diaper all day. Less laundry for me. But you need to wear socks when we go outside. It is cold. It has snowed. And I love your toes too much to let them freeze.

Tomorrow we are flying down to see your daddy's family in Texas. You were so good on the plane last month that I'm hoping we can repeat that performance. It will be a longer flight at a different time of day, but I believe in you!

Love, Mama

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Party at Chuck E. Cheese

I've really never been big on birthday celebrations because my birthday is so close to Christmas. It's never really bothered me that the birth of Our Lord and Savior overshadowed my own. Most of the time my friends were out of town for the holidays so if I had a party, it would have to be either early or late. Usually I opted for late and just had a New Year's party where we ordered pizza and watched the ball drop and drank Welch's sparkling grape juice. Good lord, that stuff is fantastic.


Anyway, this would also give me the opportunity to let OTHER people buy gifts for EACH OTHER, rather than just me! We could have a white elephant exchange! (Or whatever you call it.) So a lot of times we'd have the New Year's party and trade presents and it was fun and far less awkward than going "Hey everyone, watch me open all this stuff, but you don't get anything." I've always hated that about birthdays and showers.

Also most years, we have the family get-together on or around my birthday, so we go down to my grandma's house in the mountains of South Carolina and the whole Duncan clan gets together and eats food and talks and gets the hell out by 9:00. That's how we roll. Except this year, no one wanted to cook, so they had the get-together at Ryan's Steakhouse instead. This year is the first time, I think ever, that I didn't go. Not because it was at Ryan's, but because I live in Massachusetts now.

The point is, tomorrow is my birthday and I don't really want anything. Or to do anything. It's cool when you turn a certain age and can do stuff ("Hey, I'm 16! Let's go get my driver's license AS SOON AS THE DMV REOPENS AFTER CHRISTMAS." "I'm 18! Dad, I'm going to go buy you some cigarettes and a lottery ticket!" "I'm 21! Now I don't have to feel guilty about drinking!") And I mean, next year I can rent a car, or something, but 24 just isn't that special.

Although if someone wants to get me a cake, or tell me to go buy my own damn cake...

(I totally know where I can find one. For cheap.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Valiant Effort

It takes me a very long time to write one blog post because often in the middle of it, the baby wakes up or cries or otherwise needs attention. He's in the ExerSaucer right now so I'm hoping I can bang this out pretty quickly, but we'll see.

We're heading to Texas in three days. I am kind of excited because it's been four months since we saw Brandon's family, and Calvin is enormous now, so it will be a big surprise for them. Also, kid went through a growth spurt and can STAND in the ExerSaucer now, and he's also got this white bump on his bottom gums that looks like it's going to pop...soon.

Brandon's computer broke this week; he thinks it's the charger, so he ordered a new one, and I hope it is because I am sick of sharing my computer. And I'm well aware that sharing is caring (except when it comes to STDs) but it's annoying to check my facebook feed and go "Who are these people?" before realizing that it's not MY feed, Brandon left himself logged in. Perhaps we need to create different internet profiles. Or I need to start using Chrome again.

It's been over an hour again, mostly because I started making Calvin dance to Arctic Monkeys and Motion City Soundtrack...and then fed him...and then put him down for a nap. But I think I had already written everything I wanted to.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


This post is going to be weird because I'm going to describe things that really don't go together, but I don't want to do multiple posts in one day so I'll just go with it. You know the word dichotomy? It's a good word; it makes me think of linguistic surgery. This is the mutually exclusive kind. I put Calvin in his rocker to play with the toy bar while I write this because I've gotten slack about posting again.

We found a church, and I'm kind of happy that we did. There's a certain relief that goes along with it, because as I've mentioned before, I have a guilt complex and feel like I OUGHT to go to church, but I've had some bad experiences with organized religion. This place is comfortable and hasn't freaked me out in the two weeks we've been going--in fact, just the opposite. I don't feel pressured into being super-religious, I feel like who I am is OK in the church context, the people are friendly, and the service is fairly informal. But not with contemporary music because we don't go for that. It's not that I have a problem with contemporary music as a ministry tool, I just don't like it. I don't think it's good. Anyway. Now we have to figure out whether to get Calvin baptized. I kind of see that as insurance for your soul, but that's probably blasphemy. (Nothing new there!) If we join, I'll probably do it. Because I promised to raise my children in a Christian household/church and it's a show of good faith, as it were.

So, now that the church talk is out of the way...

Sorry, I just looked out the window and it's snowing. Not real snow, not even anything to be excited about, but there are SNOWFLAKES swirling around.

Back to what I was going to say.

There's this song called "Horse Outside" that Vivek posted on Brandon's facebook wall that has been stuck in my head for DAYS. It's not even a good song; the chorus is (I'll censor for those readers of a delicate disposition): "F--- your (type of car), I've a horse outside." The three types of cars mentioned are a Honda Civic, a Subaru, and a Mitsubishi. That's it! That's the whole chorus! And the rest of the song is about how awesome it is to own a horse and using it to pick up chicks. IT IS SO WEIRD. And the band members wear grocery bags on their heads and dance like Michael Jackson.

Also, there's a new (unofficial) King's Quest game and it's AWESOME.

I'm still sick, which is a giant bummer, especially because I need to clean before Thursday, but maybe the chemicals will burn out the congestion. I'm really scared I gave it to Calvin; he's coughing and sneezing. Calvin doesn't suck his thumb. He eats his fingers--whichever he can get in his mouth--with a loud, hilarious sucking sound. I love it.

Tomorrow, perhaps, I will explain why it took me an hour to write this post.

Monday, December 13, 2010

La vie c'est épatant

There are so many moments in my days that I stop and look at this child that I'm responsible for bringing into the world and I feel so overwhelmed with love that I just want to cry.

Calvin puked on my new couch today and then had a poop-splosion out of his diaper. (Those were not the moments I'm referring to.) I gave him a bath and put on the lavender lotion that he seems to like so much, and then put him in his rocket ship pajamas. They're my new favorites, even if they are 6-9 months and are too big. No, the moment came after Brandon got home appallingly late, and had popped him into the ExerSaucer. I was scratching Brandon's head and trading sympathy (with him for his terrible day at work, and me for the fact that I have a nasty cold) and Calvin was pushing the duck and turtle up and down. They're on a seesaw that clicks, and he was pushing on it like it was the coolest thing ever. It was beautiful.

He has really started going for things over his head, which is cool, and speaking of his head IT IS SO MUCH LESS FLAT AND LOPSIDED. Thank God. He has his six month appointment on Wednesday and I really hope they tell me he doesn't need the helmet after all. I don't know if our insurance covers it, so I want to avoid it if I can. Also, new shots. Not going to be fun.

Our friends Ken and Amna and their adorable two-year-old are coming to visit us this week. Maya used to be my absolute favorite kid before I had one of my own (but I still love you Maya baby!) and she's such a real little person that it blows my mind. One day, Calvin will be dancing and talking and running around and it will be surreal. Maya will also have a baby sister sometime soon, which is EXCITING! This will be our first visit from NC friends, so it should be a lot of fun. It's a reason to go into Boston, and maybe the children's museum.

Oh, yeah, and I mentioned this earlier: I got a new couch. It was my Christmas gift. It is fabulous. We got rid of the old green one and got this fabulously soft, light blue-green suede couch with a chaise. Oh, I could lie on it all day. And it is so pretty.

Also, why is NC getting snow and we're not? I moved to Massachusetts with the understanding that I would be getting snow! NATURE, COME ON.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Strange Dreams

Last night Todd and Molly came over and we played Last Night on Earth, the best zombie board game in the history of zombie board games. (I also watched part of Shawn of the Dead earlier in the day, and that might be relevant later.) During the game, or possibly after, we were discussing a bunch of random things, including drugs, and the fact that neither Molly nor I have ever smoked weed.

That night I had a dream, which I feel it is necessary to recount.

I was walking around somewhere (I didn't recognize the place) with a bunch of my friends, and we ended up at a swim club. The pool was in use for a kids' swim meet, so we couldn't go swimming in there, but there was a big well nearby--I call it a well; it was just a large, probably 12'diameter hole lined with stone and filled with water...and now that I think about it, it looked kind of like this:

In that game, you drain the water and walk down into the well, and it has steps and you find something you need. Whatever, that's what it looked like.

Anyway, we decided to go swimming in this well, and we all jumped in. I went first, but something I was wearing prevented me from swimming back up to the top, so I sank to the bottom. Fortunately, Jessee McClelland helped me get back to the surface. Thanks, man.

I don't quite know how we transitioned to the next part, except that there was a house near the swim club, and there were zombies on the loose. Our group got separated somehow, and a lot of people had crowded into the entryway of this house and locked all of the doors. We were desperately trying to figure out how to fend off these zombies, and Justin Timberlake broke out his supply of weed, which he happened to have on hand. One of us in the room had this great revelation that the zombies, being reanimated corpses, have systems that function at a much slower level than regular humans; so, if we were able to slow them down even more by getting them high, we'd be able to take them out, no problem. So Justin Timberlake gave Molly and me his stash of weed, and we ran around smoking it and blowing the smoke into the faces of the zombies, who then fell down and other people could kill them.

I say that's a damn good reason to smoke weed, and if that situation ever arises for real, I will totally volunteer.


Friday, December 3, 2010

In which I discover that my son is capable of giving hugs

Molly and I took the babies to IKEA today. It was actually a really nice trip and we drove around half of Metro West Massachusetts looking at things. There are some unbelievable houses in Dover and Westwood. They are also unbelievably expensive.

I bought a couple of things at IKEA: a star bed tent for Calvin that I've wanted to get him since before he was born, a set of stacking cups, and a new thermos for his formula water. I also got some picture frames for $1. I will probably get others at Target or HomeGoods (I haven't even looked there yet). Also tomorrow Children's Orchard is having a bag sale: all you can stuff into a bag for $5. I am going to rock that sale.

Anyway, while we were out shopping I took Calvin out of the stroller a few times and carried him. There were two guys shopping in the kitchen section who thought he was adorable (because he is) and joked "Do they sell those at IKEA?" This was especially funny because there were two elevators down to the Marketplace: one shows a man, woman, and child icons, and the other shows two men and a child. Guess which one Molly and I took to the Marketplace?

At one point while I was carrying him, Calvin positioned himself in such a way that he was hugging my neck. It seriously almost made my cry because he hasn't ever hugged me before and it seemed like a conscious thing. Like he was holding on to me because he loves me, not just that it was a coincidental placement of his arms. I even moved his arms to see if he'd do it again and he did. It was so sweet, you guys. Then he pulled my hair.

I cut my thumb on something but I don't know what. It stings.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I went to bed at 11:30 last night. Calvin woke up at 12:30 and made noise until about 2. During that hour and a half period, I fed him, fixed his blankets, rubbed his head, and finally just went back to bed to listen to the weird little sounds he made on the baby monitor. He woke up at 6:30. Most mornings he'll go back to sleep after I feed and change him, but not today. Not in his crib, not in our bed, nothing. He was ready to go. I dragged both of us out of bed at 8:15. He has taken one half-hour nap today. I am exhausted.

He's been sleepy for the last hour or so, but he wouldn't fall asleep in his swing, so I took him in our room and got in bed with him, and he fussed the whole time. Finally, after about 15 minutes, I thought maybe he was hungry so I got up to make him another bottle. I walked into the kitchen and he went silent. When I looked back in our room, he was asleep.


Now I'm so keyed up from listening to him cry for the last hour and a half that I can't fall asleep and I SO DESPERATELY NEED A NAP. But I can't take one because now I have to go clean the apartment for playgroup tomorrow. And figure out what to make for snacks. And I have a holiday party planning meeting in the morning so I can't clean tomorrow.

I'm so tired.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving II: Electric Boogaloo

We spent Thanksgiving at my parents' house, which was crazy. First of all, it's about 20 degrees warmer in North Carolina, and second, they still have most of the leaves on the trees. Thanksgiving itself was spent with my parents; my brother; my dad's parents; my dad's sister and her two kids; my dad's other sister, her husband, her daughter, and her daughter's boyfriend; my mom's sister and her two girls; and, briefly, Brandon's grandmother. We were all in my mom's house for the first time in about 7 years (I think that's the last time we hosted) and it was a CHORE. I made Paula Deen green bean casserole that I hear was pretty good, but I don't actually like green bean casserole so I didn't eat any. We also had sweet potatoes, cranberry casserole, four different kinds of stuffing, turkey, ham, rice, rolls, gravy, I don't even know, plus pies and cookies and cake. I eated too much :(

I also may have eaten at Bojangles' three times in four days.

On Black Friday I got a nifty pair of snow boots, a football for Calvin, and an NCSU shirt that I was sort of embarrassed to wear after the atrocity that was Saturday's game. We should have played better, but the spot at the end was so off it was disgusting. People have said it's nice to be able to blame the refs for making such a poor call, but we should never have been in that situation, so the blame is shared. Still, we should have had a chance.

Anyway, since it's Thanksgiving (or just after) here is the list of what I am thankful for:

-My son, who is noisily falling asleep in his swing behind me while I type, and the fact that he is paid in full by the hospital that took care of him for two weeks. I can't tell you how thankful I am for that.
-My husband, who keeps me sane.
-My friends back home, whom I can click with immediately upon returning from months away and who are great about keeping in touch.
-My new friends here, who make this place a lot more enjoyable.
-My family, who love me and help out however I need it.

Brandon and I are going to try going back on South Beach to counteract the damage done over the last several months since we stopped doing it. I have to make a grocery list and go to the store today, so hopefully we can stick with it again and make things happen. I hate admitting this, but I weigh more now than I did at my heaviest point during pregnancy. Eek.

Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22, 2010

Dear Calvin,

Well, we've made it through the last month (of five) with lots of smiles and giggles and these ridiculous laughs that your father elicits from you that sound like you're going to choke with happiness. And we've also had runny noses, scratched faces, achy teeth bumps, inexplicable crying jags, and remarkably few late-night wake-up calls. On the whole, I give this relationship an A+, but I'm biased.

You rolled over the other day. You were so mad about being on your belly and you started squirming and twitching and attempting to fling yourself around, and you got onto your side. Your daddy got on the floor with you and we cheered you on, and then with one big heave, you flopped onto your back. The next day, you did it like six times, like it was no big thing. But then you forgot which way you knew how to roll, so you haven't done it since. I don't mind. I know you can do it, and you'll get the hang of it and start doing it a lot soon. I've decided not to rush you, and to be happy with what you're doing and when you're doing it. Before I'm ready for it, you'll be sitting and crawling and walking and then I won't know how to keep up.

You have made friends this month--or, rather, I have made friends for you. We go to playgroup every week to see Hunter, Christopher, Tyler, and Jack, and you sit in my lap and watch them play. They all move so much, and I know you want to. But you don't get mad, not even when one of the older babies reaches out and pokes you. They're just curious about you. I'm sure soon you'll return the favor. Making friends has meant a lot more to me than it does to you right now. I needed it, and I just happened to get lucky enough to find someone in that group that I like a whole bunch. We don't have to be shut-ins anymore!

It's getting colder outside and the trees are pretty much bare. Soon it will snow and we'll get to experience our first New England winter together. You'll be taking your first plane trip tomorrow, back to North Carolina for Thanksgiving. Please be good, OK? I will find you something to chew on to help with the pressure change and I will give you bananas for dinner.

Love, Mama

Friday, November 19, 2010

Short Baby Update

Calvin did a great job rolling over for a couple of days. I'd set him on his tummy and he'd immediately roll over. Unfortunately, sometime between then and now he forgot which direction he was able to roll and tried to go left instead of right. He hasn't got that figured out yet, so then he gets frustrated and spins himself instead.

My little Derek Zoolander.

I've also discovered that he LOVES watching the Food Network, and (in one of many bad mommy moments this week) we were watching the South Park episode where Stan's dad is obsessed with Food Network, and he was sitting in his Bumbo LAUGHING AT THE TV. My kid is going to be so warped, y'all.

Thursday, November 18, 2010



Wait a minute.

No one even reads this blog right now. I'm writing it almost exclusively for my own entertainment. I never get comments. I never have people tell me "oh, hey, I liked that blog post you did." It's a great big internet, and not everyone cares about my life and my baby, even if he is the best baby in the world.

(Which he totally is, Meredith Babb.)

That realization is important, but I have not yet figured out why, because there are two paths I could take from this point:

1. Sink into a deep despair and stop writing.
2. Give the internet the ol' middle finger and enjoy what I write about.

I CHOOSE B! I mean 2!

There have been times in the past when people haven't read or commented, or at least haven't commented because Brandon USED to read my blog all the time, and I've quit or switched sites or...something. I don't know.

I hate the internet.

Anyway, given that I no longer care what any of you think about what I'm writing, here are some observations about my soup:

-Target's potato soup has disappointingly thin potato pieces in it. It's like, I go to make the soup and it smells like cheese, not potato. Nothing will ever compare to Chili's potato soup, and if this stuff is gross, I MIGHT GO GET SOME.

-I am eating lunch at 11AM. This is like being back at school my first year when we started at 7:20. That sucked.

-Oh God, this soup is not good. It is far too watery. The bacon I added is the best part.

-A soupçon means "a small amount." This soup could use a soupçon of awesomeness, which it is lacking. Why am I still eating it again?

-This stuff is going down the drain.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ooh, boy.

Here's today NaBloPoMo topic:

Are you spiritual, religious, agnostic, or atheist? Do you think there is one path to God, or many?

It's really hard for me to label myself as any of the above. I think I'm somewhere in the middle, but it takes a bit of explanation to make my beliefs make sense. I also think that I'm in the same place spiritually speaking as a lot of people, and that I'm part of a group that is not well represented by organized religion. I don't even know if we COULD be.

I was raised Christian. Originally we went to a Methodist church; when I was in high school I started going to youth group with my friends at an Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP) church and we eventually joined. Those two churches are nothing alike, and I will admit that my reasons for changing churches were purely social. And then I became completely disillusioned with the social structure of churches in general. At the Methodist church, my brother and I never really made friends. We weren't originally from Gastonia, and that kept us on the outside even though we'd lived there and gone to that church from the time I was 3. At the ARP church, it wasn't about WHERE you were from, but WHOM: there were several established families whose parents and great-grandparents had been church folk, and they ran it. Apart from that hierarchy, there was a lot of catty gossiping and alliances made and broken and so on that created a social structure that would rival that of any school. I may have just been at the wrong churches, but that was my experience.

I stopped going to church when I came home and went to, I think it was an Easter service at the ARP church. The pastor actually used the morning prayer to ask God to guide the hearts of Congress to strike down a gay marriage bill. I disagree with that mentality and I disagree with using public prayer as an avenue for political opinion. My parents had never been that into the ARP church anyway, and my brother had started going to church with his girlfriend when he went. I never found a church in college or when we lived in Raleigh because I knew that my situation was temporary in both places. Now that we're kind of settled and have a child, I want to find a church, not least because I promised my grandfather before he married us that I would raise our children in a Christian household. Can I do that if I don't go to church? I don't know.

I am definitely not an atheist. I can't possibly discount a higher power, because there are things I can't explain and that kind of give weight to the argument. It's also a comfort to believe in something bigger than yourself, and it seems really narcissistic to think that we're all there is. But at the same time, I've become extremely distrustful of organized religion and what it stands for. Religious zealotry scares the crap out of me. As much as I believe that there is a God, I believe that it's insane to use him/her/it to justify whatever you want to do. That's not how it should work.

That said, I believe there are many paths to God. That goes against the traditional Christian teaching that Jesus is the only way to heaven, but I never could buy that. God shouldn't be exclusionary. Exclusion leads to hate, and that leads to all kinds of horrible actions. The things that result from exclusionary religion are things that I can't believe that God would condone, because if he/she/it would, that's not a God I could get behind.

I hope I can find a church that fits me well enough to make me happy, or at least comfortable. I really want Calvin to grow up with some kind of religion because I think it can be really helpful in a lot of ways. We're going to start looking soon, and probably check a few out in the coming weeks. It's just one more day of the week that Brandon will have to suck it up and wear long pants.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I skipped writing yesterday because I was far too busy watching Avatar and giving Calvin tummy kisses and taking a nap and going to baby playgroup and coming home to find that my wonderful husband had done all the dishes. And then I repaid him by not cooking dinner, which means we went to Five Guys and ruined our semi-decent eating habits for the week.

Before I get myself back on track with these writing prompts, which I really do enjoy, I thought it would be good to take a day here and there to write about things that are happening NOW and are important to me.

Last night Todd, Molly, and Jack came over to watch Youth in Revolt with us. They're our NEW FRIENDS! and that makes Massachusetts suck a whole lot less. Jack is two months older than Calvin and let me just say, I have seen the future, and it ROLLS. I tried putting Calvin to bed at his normal time and he was not having it (couldn't I see that there were people in the house? People who were not normally in the house? How could I put him to bed when there were new people here?) I put him, instead, on the blanket where Jack was chilling on his back. At which point Jack rolled onto his side and flopped one leg over Calvin and started poking at his face and arms as if to say, "Hi, what are you?" Molly pulled him back across the blanket so he wouldn't pinch Calvin, and he rolled over...once...twice...three times, and did the exact same thing as before. After we removed the obstacle of the four-month-old, he managed to roll himself all the way over to the swing, which is fully half of our living room floor space covered. At that moment all four parents in the room began envisioning mobility in their children--we were seeing something new and terrifying, and we knew that the next several years would be spent chasing down these mobile boys and taking away things that definitely should not be stuck in their mouths, or possibly saving them from making their own ramps to jump bikes off of in the driveway (true story: my brother did this).

Eventually Calvin went to bed, but then this morning he decided that hey! 4AM is a great time to wake up! He ate two ounces of a bottle and went back to sleep until right around 8, which was great because I don't think I would have functioned any earlier. Unfortunately, the diaper I changed around 8:15 contained a seriously offensive present created by our foray into solid foods, which so far include sweet potato and mango, neither of which seem to be particularly interesting to the boy child. I'll probably try peas or carrots or green beans next, but the more I feed him the packaged baby food the more I really want to make my own. It's just so much work, so I doubt I will, but I keep thinking of things I want to feed him and not finding them at the store. Target, however, has a better selection than most, so we'll see what we can scrounge up this afternoon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hazy Shade of Winter


What do you like most about cold weather? What do you like the least?

Did I mention that apropos is one of my favorite words? I'll have to actually sit down and make a list one day, but it would be pretty long.

In North Carolina we didn't ever have REALLY cold weather, but we got enough to satisfy me, because I don't care for it too much. I don't think it ever got below 20, and if it was 20 (or, God forbid, in the teens) it never lasted long. We rarely got snow, usually sleet or wintry mix a couple of times a winter, and if we did get snow it would ice over and make it impossible to drive. Now, I have yet to experience the famous New England winter, so I will have to go with my experiences to date.

I like cold weather because it makes me more fashionable. No one has a problem with you wearing multiple layers when it's 30 degrees outside. There's no need to worry about, say, shaving your legs, or having a tan, or looking fat, because everyone is totally hidden under all those clothes. And since I'm pale and super-body-conscious, I like that. I also like being able to see your breath when you exhale, and I like snow in moderation. I like running the heat in my car and keeping it nice and cozy, and I like building a fire, except now we don't have a fireplace.

Autumn is probably my favorite season. I like when the leaves change; it gets cool, but not cold; it's football season...but then when you get into winter, there are some drawbacks. First, daylight savings time kicks in, and it gets dark really early. Up here, it gets dark at 5:00. Also, a lot of snow and/or ice make it difficult (and unpleasant) to go places, and to be perfectly honest I don't like being cold. I could hibernate through the winter and be fine, provided I was stocked up on food and stayed someplace warm. Bears have the right idea.

In short, I'm not looking forward to the winters up here because it is going to be COLD. On the bright side, I have an awesome fuzzy hat and the baby has an adorable snowsuit. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Song That Goes Like This

What was your favorite song this year? Five years ago? Ten years ago? Twenty?

What? Seriously? I have a hard time narrowing it down to five songs I like at a time, let alone a favorite. But let's give this a shot, because it's fun to reminisce.

The Beatles - Ticket to Ride
I'll start at the beginning, because that's simpler. I was very small twenty years ago, and a big fan of the Beatles. I remember watching Help! multiple times, and my favorite song was "Ticket to Ride," because I loved the skiing scene and it's a good song. There's a lot to be said for this movie: A cult is after Ringo because he is in possession of a ring traditionally worn by a person who is to be sacrificed to the goddess Kali. They're trying to get the ring off of his finger and escape the cult and it's just completely ridiculous. The early Beatles films, Help! and A Hard Day's Night, are excellent examples of farce. I think that my love for them is why I'm such a big fan of farce and the comedy that goes with it, especially that dry British humor.

Hanson - "This Time Around"
Ten years ago was 2000. I honestly have no idea what my favorite song was at the time, but it was probably something like this. I was a major Hanson fan in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and I still like them but I'm not as hardcore into it as I was then. Obviously, I'm a bit older now. So this song, "This Time Around," was the lead single for their album of the same name. It was released three years after Middle of Nowhere and was the last anyone heard from them for something like five years. Following its release, Hanson left their record label and started an independent label because of some kind of creative dispute, I don't know the whole story. I'm always still a little excited to meet people who like Hanson, because it was such a big part of my middle school and high school years.

Jack's Mannequin - "La La Lie"
Five years ago, I was in college. That would have been 2005, right before I went abroad, so my sophomore year. Right around that time I got into Jack's Mannequin, and "La La Lie" was one of my favorite songs from the album. I think I've seen Jack's Mannequin live more than any other band, which is weird, but they played Elon and opened for Panic at the Disco, so that's cool. I've also met Andrew McMahon twice, and both times he was really drunk. - "What I Am"
And so we come to this year. I don't have a clue what my favorite song is this year, but I've been listening to a lot of different stuff lately. It's easier to look back and say "This WAS my favorite," or "I liked this the most," but when you're in the middle of it, it's tougher. I've decided on this one because it's representative of where I am in my life: I have a new kid, and he has his choices in music, and I can like that music, too. I've started looking at songs to see what the message is and what Calvin can get from it, and "What I Am" by is one of the first songs for children that I really like. Calvin likes it, too.

If I take these four songs and look at where I've been and where I'm going, I think it's a pretty accurate depiction of myself. As a child, I listened to what my parents listened to; as a teenager, I found my own music made by people my own age and threw myself behind it 100%; in college I branched out of the mainstream and found music that I could relate to; and now, I've come full circle and listen to music for my own children. Funny how things work out that way.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Barbie Dream House

So there is this thing called National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo for short. It's abbreviated in the same way as National Novel Writers' Month (which I considered doing, but decided against) but I hadn't heard of it before. Also, I'm not sure if there's a specific month or what, since prompts go back to June. But I LOVE writing prompts! So, without further ado:

What would your dream home/apartment/condo/yurt look like? Where would it be? Who'd live in it with you?

Let me start by saying that I kind of found my dream home. It isn't 100% perfect--nothing that you don't build yourself ever is--but it's pretty damn close. Here is some of the description from the real estate posting:

"For the buyer seeking privacy and serenity, this location has it all. A long driveway winds through the woods, into a large open lawn with the house sited atop a gentle hill. A separate driveway leads to the two barns, located on the lower part of the property. The large farmer's porch across the front is the perfect spot for relaxing and enjoying the view."

It would be difficult to improve on this setup. And there's more: 5" maple plank flooring! A mudroom! A kitchen with an island, a pot rack, AND a pastry counter! A whirlpool tub! A craft room with built-in shelves! And to top it all off, an in-ground pool! So what's not to love?

Well, for starters, the price tag. This home will set you back $999,900 (why not just say a million? I hate tricksy pricing like that) and, for a place with only 4 bedrooms/2.5 baths, that seems excessive, even if it is 4.628 square feet on 8.51 acres. OK, well, maybe it doesn't seem THAT excessive for all you get, but did you notice that last bit? 8.51 acres of grass, trees, and driveway that you have to take care of yourself--also, a pool. It requires a lot of maintenance. And, the most important thing in real estate? Location, location, location.

This house is located in Berlin, MA. It's a solid half-hour from Brandon's work, and lest I forget, purchasing a house in Massachusetts gives us a little bit stronger tie to Massachusetts. And I want to go back to North Carolina someday. So let's take this house, move it to North Carolina--and really, there are a few places I could take it--give me a lot of money, including enough to hire a landscaper; and make some minor changes, like to the color of dining room, which is currently red. Then Brandon, Calvin, and I can move in, get a dog for me and an ATV for Brandon, and get to living happily ever after.

Of course, since this house is for sale now and we do not have anything LIKE the means to purchase at this time, it won't happen. How do we overcome this problem? Copy all the photos from the real estate listing, copy all the descriptions, and build it ourselves several years down the road when it's actually a possibility.

Also, just so you know, Calvin was leaning over the Boppy and managed to pull himself forward and faceplant on the floor so that now his feet are up on it. He is eating his hand and making happy noises, so I left him.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rain is a catalyst for long naps

So Adele over at Mila's Daydreams wrote a lullaby for her daughter. I kind of love it. I'm also extremely jealous of her talent and wish I could come up with something awesome for Calvin, who is currently asleep in his swing with the blanket over his face. I worry sometimes that he might not be able to breathe under it but he never has trouble, and the fact that he's napping now for a long time means that he should be alert for playgroup!

Apparently Baz Luhrmann is remaking The Great Gatsby. I am a big fan of Gatsby despite my students' inherent dislike of the novel, which I don't blame them for. The language is admittedly stilted, which comes from Fitzgerald's own sense of superiority and that of the narrator, Nick Carraway, so it's at least justified. But they don't get into the story, and besides, it's a bunch of white people in the 1920s. They don't relate. Anyway, Luhrmann has allegedly cast Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, which I have no qualms with. I love Leo and think he's a phenomenal actor. There's speculation about who will play Daisy, though, and the two frontrunners are allegedly Scarlett Johansson and Blake Lively, neither of whom I approve. I saw somewhere a list of people in consideration and I'm throwing my vote in for Zooey Deschanel, because she can do vapid with hints of substance (and I mean that as a compliment; I'm thinking of her small role as Anita in Almost Famous). And also because I firmly believe that Daisy Buchanan is a brunette.

I need to feed the baby (and myself) before playgroup and I have a couple of errands to run, so I'm cutting this short, but if I think of more interesting things to share I'll post them at some point.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Someone has a birthday coming up in a month and a half, and I'm not talking about Jesus

YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT: ME. I've always felt awkward about sitting amongst friends and opening gifts. It's why I felt awkward about bridal and baby showers (although in those cases, I really needed the stuff). There isn't even much that I'd like, but I did find these two items on etsy:

This will set you back a mere $26.50!

These are only $14.50!


As you can see, I am a very reasonable gift recipient.

HOLY CRAP THANKSGIVING IS IN THREE WEEKS. And that means...Calvin's first plane trip. WHOA. As thrilled as I am to be going back to North Carolina for a few days, I'm a little nervous about how he'll travel. So far he's been good in most situations--at seven weeks, he made the drive up here without incident. But he's a little older now, and a little more vocal. He learned how to yell over the weekend. We got him laughing and he started just yelling happily, which he's never done. He also learned to make kissy noises, which was fun. He sat in the car seat all the way to Hopkinton smacking his tongue and lips.

Calvin's also learning to sit up, which is BANANAS. He can hold himself up for a few seconds before tilting over, but he's very much on his way. Wednesday we're getting his Christmas photos taken. WHY IS EVERYTHING HAPPENING SO FAST.

EDIT: I also want these:

Friday, October 22, 2010

October 22, 2010

Dear Calvin,

Congratulations, baby! You are one third of one year old today. That's right: it's been four whole months since I went to the hospital and we welcomed you into the world. You seem to like it so far. I have never seen so many gummy smiles as I have watching you these last few weeks. You are becoming pretty opinionated, too, and I'm having to learn what you want and how you express that. You like being held over my shoulder, but not your daddy's; you love being in the car, but only when it's moving; you still like your swing and your froggy seat; you LOVE the Bumbo and learning to sit up on your own.

You're probably a little behind where you should be as far as pushing up and rolling over, but I kind of expected that. It's all the upper-body strength developmental milestones that give you trouble, and your arms were the least developed part of your little preemie body. But you make up for it in other ways: by drooling more than any human should be able, by making adorable noises and faces that make me smile, and by having the leg strength of a small rhinoceros. Good lord, can you kick! The bathtub, the changing table, the crib, the swing, my belly--nothing is safe from the pounding of your legs. You never sit still, and once you're able to move yourself I'm going to have to chase you all over the place to keep you out of trouble.

You've developed something of a routine that you've attempted to destroy the last couple of days. You usually wake up at 7 (although this week it's been around 6, and last night at 3--what was that about?) and take a short nap at 10:30, then a long nap from around 1-4. Bedtime is usually between 9 and 10, and you play around a little before falling asleep. I'm so thankful that you're sleeping through the night. I wish you would sleep a little later, but I'm counting my blessings and not asking any more of you than you're already doing.

I see so many signs that you recognize me, and that you are exploring your world and learning what's in it. I hope you like what you find and that you stay happy.

Love, Mama

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just because

Fun Fact: I learned a lot of English from watching Sesame Street, and for a while when I was very small I spoke with a Brooklyn accent.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Learning to Speak Baby

I've started to notice things Calvin does, repetitive behaviors that mean he wants something specific. For example: if I'm holding him in an upright seated position and he strains to lean forward further, it means he wants to lie on his tummy. There are cries that mean he's hungry, cries that mean he's got a wet diaper, cries that mean he wants attention, and the consuming wail that means "I hurt." He expresses all of these discomforts in slightly different ways, and the one I'm getting REALLY good at is the "I'm sleepy" cry.

We went to Supercuts today so I could get my hair trimmed (really, it was out of control) and for $20 it was not bad at all. I really just wanted some of the weight taken off the top, and she attacked it with some thinning shears, and the result is surprisingly cute and feels nine million times better. But I digress! The point of this story is not to praise my hair, but my abilities to understand my child. And he started fussing when we were in Supercuts--first, because I was not giving him 100% full attention. We then went to Market Basket for food, and I carried him in the front pack, which he loves. He likes to see things and move around a lot. But when we got home, he started to fuss in a different way. He wanted to be rocked, so I put him in his swing. He lay there for a little while looking up at the mirror, and then BAM, naptime for Calvin.

I was so proud.

Also, Brandon's mom gave us a pair of Nike Air Force Ones that I haven't been able to get on him until today. He looks so stinkin' cute in those shoes. But I did take them off so he could nap. Once he outgrows them, he has baby Chuck Taylors to wear, and then once he starts walking, NC state sneakers. Before this he had some NC State crib shoes with bells on them, but he only wore them once. He's not a big fan of things on his feet. But I must say, baby shoes: still adorable.

I'm happy that I'm learning how to understand Calvin's wants and needs, and it makes dealing with him a lot easier. I'm learning to let him cry sometimes when he just needs to let it out, and when I need to take care of him and how to do it with the minimum amount of tries. He's not a bad baby at all, and I'm thankful for that.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Well, the last week or so has been a bit trying. Calvin is attempting to sprout teeth. There is one pronounced bump on his lower gums, and one on the upper gums as well. Typically babies grow their two middle teeth first, but my baby is not typical and has therefore decided to get started a little to the left. I bought a couple of teethers today for him to chew on in hopes that it will help with the fussing; baby Tylenol (Walgreens brand, since the real stuff was recalled) is sort of helpful but he has a lot of bad moments. He's asleep right now, since we ran a few errands and he's still chilling in the car seat, but it's been tough dealing with him recently. I hope they sprout soon and stop bothering him.

On top of that, last week was four-month immunizations, which meant two days of elevated temperature. Nothing too serious, and again with the knockoff Tylenol; he took it like a champ and slept a whole lot. He's doing really well sleeping through the night, but when he went in for the checkup his doctor said that his plagiocephaly (one side of his head is flatter than the other) is pronounced enough that he might need a helmet. We're hoping we can correct it by giving him lots of time on his tummy and his left side. If not, it's six weeks, 23 hours a day, in a helmet. I'm not a fan of this suggestion, but Brandon seems to think it would be adorable. I can't really argue that it would be cute, but I don't trust that it would be comfortable for him.

Yesterday we had a picnic at Borderland State Park, which is lovely. I took a few photos and Brandon played a couple of holes of disc golf. I think he really misses having friends to play with, since it's just not as exciting by yourself. That's the case with almost any sport. We also have plans for around Halloween, and Calvin has an adorable tiger costume that I'm planning to spin as transmogrified Calvin:

We're still working on a resolution to the hospital thing, and both our cars need repairs (Brandon's more so than mine). But things are looking good. Thanksgiving is coming up, then Christmas, and oh my God it's going to be a ridiculous couple of months. This is my favorite time of year. I can't wait until Calvin's first snow (and probably my first REAL snow--I hear it gets pretty crazy). There's so much to look forward to! It's absolutely terrifying.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Oh, dear.

Calvin would NOT SHUT UP for a long time, and finally I just put him on the blanket on his tummy. Within five minutes he was asleep. I had tried everything: I picked him up, I put him down, I changed his diaper, I fed him, I played with him, I moved him to my shoulder and my arm and my lap, and all he wanted was to flop facedown on the floor and go to sleep. This is strange. Usually anytime I put him on his tummy he squirms and makes noise and attempts to crawl, which is adorable; however, this time he barely even tried. He just smushed his face down onto the floor and crashed. It's been a nice hour or so, even though now he's trying to wake up, and in that time I've hung a picture, straightened up the living room, washed dishes, cleaned the counters and the stove, and taken two photos of him in that position for proof.

(15 minutes later)

So I change him and feed him and, again, he's fussy. He's sitting semi-contentedly in his swing but he's giving me that look that says "Mommy, you're on the internet instead of HOLDING ME, WOMAN, WHAT IS YOUR DAMAGE." I predict a wail will ensue...right about now. It's so weird how sometimes writing about having a baby is interrupted by actually having that baby.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Brandon and I have a king-size bed, which makes sense because he is very, very tall. A king-size bed (and I'm going to interject here that I'm not sure whether "king-size" or "king-sized" is appropriate, but I have made my choice and am sticking with it) is the size of two twin beds, which means that theoretically two people sleeping in it have the equivalent of their own bed. This would be the case if you split it 50-50, but usually the split is closer to 60-40 or possibly, on occasion, 70-30. If it gets much beyond that, I shove.

I tend to sleep on my side, a habit I cemented when I was pregnant and couldn't sleep any other way. When you reach a certain size in your pregnancy, sleeping on your back is painful because it crushes your organs and sleeping on your stomach is physically impossible, unless you're a Weeble. (I'm just kidding. Weebles aren't real.) Brandon sleeps on his stomach, mostly, which takes up more space, but he also tends to start in the middle of the bed while I stay close to the side. If I ever fell out of bed I would probably damage my skull on the bedside table, but this has not happened yet.

I'm sure that if I wanted to move closer to the middle, it wouldn't be a problem. I'm just not comfortable with so much bed around me. Think of it like swimming: swimming in a pool is great. That's a twin bed. Swimming in a lake isn't so bad either. That's a full or queen bed. Swimming in the want to stay a little closer to the shore, or in this case, the edge of the bed. I don't know why I feel safer at the edge, but I do. It's one of those weird neurotic habits that I see no reason to kick.

Calvin, on the third hand for you mutants who are keeping track, sleeps in the center of his crib, arms out to the sides like a little baby Jesus, or over his head (TOUCHDOWN!), and he kicks around a lot so that by the time I go to get him at 4am he's turned himself about 60 degrees from his starting position. This is what I mean when I mention watching him spin. He does the same thing on the floor when he plays. He makes noises and moves a lot, especially on the way to sleep but even when he's out; I've wondered before if he has nightmares, since he sometimes cries in his sleep, but he calms down pretty quickly if I check on him.

If I bring him into our room and put him in bed anywhere near me, he flails around and punches me in the face. So I've started putting him on Brandon's side and letting him take up all the room he wants, and I go back to my little 40% side. It seems that I'm destined to split the bed unevenly, but I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September 22, 2010

Dear Calvin,

I can hear you behind me in your swing making adorable baby coos and giggles while I'm typing this. I love that you have started smiling and laughing this month, because it's the most precious thing I've ever seen in my life. I hope you keep on being a happy baby.

Today you are three months old, and you have gained SEVEN POUNDS since you were born. You are almost too long for your swing, you are up a size in clothes and diapers, you can hold up your head relatively well, and you actually have a wee bit of hair! Not enough to count, really, but I didn't feel totally stupid breaking out the hairbrush after your bath the other night.

Which reminds me: you love the bathtub! You've learned what happens when you kick in the water, and when I splash your chest you grin. You're still not too keen on grabbing things like your bath toys, so we're keeping them to the side for now, but you're learning to grab soft things like the pacifier holder (which is a stuffed bunny), towels, and clothes. You're swinging your arms and kicking a lot more and I know you'll be moving around soon, rolling or crawling or whatever you choose, and then I'll have to baby-proof the house and keep an eye on what you get hold of.

I took you to a MOMS club meeting where there were lots of other babies, or rather small children. You are not yet a small child, and you cannot appreciate how thankful I was that you were not stealing toys from other children or yelling and running in circles until you fell down. You were actually quite well-behaved and cute.

Also, I apologize for scaring you with my giant hiccups.

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Things I Didn't Consider #242

I never imagined that one day there would come a time when I would be holding my baby on my shoulder, thinking how cute he was, and suddenly feel something warm trickling down into my bra, causing me to lift him up and note his milk-smeared face, and see this look on his face that very plainly said: "Now Mommy, I may have just spit up all over you, but I want you to know that in just a minute Daddy is going to congratulate me for doing so; so when you consider who to be mad at, remember that he has the capacity to reason, and I am adorable."

Friday, September 10, 2010


When I read a book, it's very rare that I use a bookmark. I'll usually lay the book down on the nearest available surface, pages down and open to wherever I left off. Often I'll read a book start to finish in one sitting, which negates the need for a bookmark, or I'll be re-reading something and not care where I pick up. If I know the story, and am not wholly invested in getting every detail, I start on random pages and just go for awhile. This may be strange, but it's just how I roll.

I always see bookmarks for sale at Barnes and Noble or Borders, but I know very few people who actually use them. My father has always marked his pages with a golf scorecard. My mother started doing this as well, but sometimes will use a receipt or other handy piece of paper. You can learn something about a person based on how they mark their books. For example, my father plays golf and my mother buys things. Those are mundane observations, but actually look at the scorecard or the receipt and you'll see what my mother buys or how well my father golfs (though he does have a tendency to use the best scorecards as his bookmarks, so his talent may be a bit exaggerated). People who dog-ear pages have no respect for the integrity of the book. I hate dog-earing, although I'm not averse to highlighting a book if the mood strikes me. This makes no sense to me.

I checked out a couple of David Sedaris books from the library and when I cracked open the second one, I found two folded pages from a SkyMall magazine. I unfolded them and started looking at the items on those two pages. First of all, I adore SkyMall and love perusing it whenever I'm flying. It contains the most useless shit that anyone could ever possibly purchase. These pages advertise personalized maps and puzzles, three different pieces of Mobius jewelry, a bear in a suitcase, a "personal fireplace," and an alarm clock that "wakes you first with the sound of gentle birdsong, then a discreet cough and the comforting" voice of a butler. That last one gets me, primarily because the voice of the butler is provided by Stephen Fry.

This got me thinking about celebrity endorsements and the depths to which famous people sink. I'm not judging; if someone paid me to put my voice on an alarm clock I'd say whatever they wanted me to say, provided the price was right. But Stephen Fry! Hugh Laurie blew up in America as the star of House, and poor Stephen Fry was left looking for work in the butler alarm clock voice business, which I wasn't even aware existed until now. And then I thought about the people I went to school with, and worked with in my few jobs up until now, and wondered whatever became of them. Their paths and mine were radically different, so why shouldn't Hugh Laurie star in a massively successful television medical drama and his former co-star record a voice for an alarm clock? Maybe he's happy with it. Maybe they gave him a free clock, or a few to give to friends and family. Although I don't think I'd want to wake up to my brother's voice in the morning, so maybe that's not the best perk.

In wondering what the person who previously checked out this book was shopping for in SkyMall, I was trying to paint a picture of the type of person who would also read this book. But why can't I do that with the book itself? I know who likes reading David Sedaris: members of the NPR set. Smart people. I consider myself a smart person. I'm trying to decipher the book's previous reader, but I'm also looking for clues about myself--things that we have in common, this anonymous person who read the same book and I. That's when I realize what the bookmark is trying to tell me: I sure as hell wouldn't buy something from a SkyMall catalog, but I have to show this to someone else, I have to tear it out to prove that this object exists, and some part of me will be disappointed when I realize I left it in a library book.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Calvin slept TEN HOURS IN A ROW last night. Admittedly it was from 6:30pm to 4:30am, but still...this is a major milestone!

The people on Password are really stupid.

Today we spent the day in Mystic, CT. Last weekend we went to Newport, RI. The thing about New England is there are tons of places across multiple states to visit for the day. Mystic is a historic seaport, and we walked around the site and climbed around a restored whaling ship. There was also a neat planetarium show about the sky over Connecticut. We could easily do one of these trips each weekend, at least until we make friends to spend time with. Brandon was saying today that if Jon comes up they can go gamble at Foxwoods Casino (Monica, take note).

We formed a fantasy football league on CBS Sports, and my team rocked it this weekend. Unfortunately, my tight end--South Carolina's Weslye Saunders--is suspended indefinitely, possibly for the whole season. DAMN YOU, SAUNDERS. He's supposed to be an awesome tight end, but if I have to switch him out, I don't know who I'm going to pick.

I love my baby so much, and he is growing and changing so much. He smiles and coos a lot more than he used to and I had a dream last night that he said his first word and it was "bonjour." I don't know what that means. (I mean, I know what "bonjour" means; I don't know what the dream means.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hello, Baby

Today! Calvin smiled! And I caught it on camera!

He's almost at 11 pounds, which feels HUGE. I know there are some kids who are born weighing about that much, and that scares the crap out of me. We've been trying to give him tummy time every day and he's starting to move. He can spin himself, and has rolled over once, and he kicks like a fiend but doesn't really go anywhere. He gets frustrated by this and starts to whine, then fuss, then outright cry, so there is a limit to how long he can play on his tummy. He's going longer stretches at night, usually 4-6 hours and then three after that. This morning he woke up at 4, 6:30, and 8, but by 8 I wasn't tired. It surprised me. I have a lot of things I need to do today, so now that he's napping I can use this time and make it happen.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Unrequited Love: A Football Story

The Carolina Panthers joined the NFL in 1995. According to Wikipedia, they have a compiled record of 115-121. They narrowly lost Super Bowl XXXVIII to the New England Patriots (and no matter how long I live in Massachusetts, I will never be a Patriots fan, and neither will any child of mine). But I have been a Panthers fan the entire time the team has existed, because they're my hometown team. I remember when they built Bank of America Stadium (formerly Ericsson Stadium) and how it changed the Charlotte skyline, especially when you drove around 277. My dad used to work in the building directly across the street from the stadium, and now he still parks in the deck right there and works about two blocks away. Even though I've only been to one game there--the only time I've been inside--I've been near it enough that it's just familiar.

But the Panthers, as I implied before, are a bit of a letdown. They've had good and bad seasons, especially in 2003-2004 when they went through the whole "Cardiac Cats" phase and then went to the Super Bowl. But what do people remember about that Super Bowl? Not the fact that Adam Vinatieri won it for New England at the last minute with a field goal. Not the fact that Sean "Puffy Puff Daddy P. Diddy" Combs wore a Julius Peppers jersey at halftime, which I thought was cool because we're not the kind of team that famous people represent. (We're not that established.) No, that Super Bowl is memorable for one thing: Janet Jackson's nipple.

Our team has gone through a lot of changes in their fifteen-year history. Dom Capers, the original coach, was fired after a 4-12 season and replaced with George Seifert. He, uh...didn't do so well either. John Fox was brought on in 2001 and has had a good run, but is slowly heading for the end of his Panthers career as well. Since the Super Bowl run, we've had good and bad times, but if this season isn't a really good one, we may be looking for another new coach. I don't know how long other teams keep their coaches, but then, I don't watch the games for the coaches.

We went through a few different quarterbacks, too. Kerry Collins was the original, and I liked him well enough, but he got in trouble for making racial comments, which was stupid on his part. I was kind of happy to see him do really well with the Tennessee Titans recently. I would've liked to see him go to the Super Bowl, but it was not to be. Then we had Steve Beuerlein, whose name I can spell without looking, and Chris Weinke, a former Heisman winner who probably could have done okay if he hadn't been thrown into the position. He was replaced by Jake Delhomme until this season. Delhomme had a lot of strong points in spite of his weaknesses: he worked well with the team, especially Steve Smith, who is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. I will always believe that. Delhomme started falling apart the last couple of years, throwing interceptions like crazy and suffering injuries that knocked him out for long stretches of time. During the last two years we've had a few backup quarterbacks, one of whom was Vinny Testaverde (really, I thought he had retired ages ago).

This season we're looking at a few options for QB. The two I'm familiar with are Jimmy Clausen, our rookie from Notre Dame, and Matt Moore, a backup who I'm really pulling for. He was good last year and with practice should continue to be.

OK, so all of this is boring if you don't care about football or the Panthers, but what's the point? The point is that for fifteen years--or, if you're counting, since I was eight years old--I've poured a lot of time and interest into this team. They've never won a Super Bowl. They've had a lot of bad seasons. They really don't give a good return. But this is standard for me; I also follow NC State athletics, and they're the same way. But I won't go into that whole story. I've probably bored you enough.

Point is, I want the Panthers to do well. I want them to impress me and make me proud to be a fan. I don't want to constantly be let down and disappointed by my team. Because this is a relationship I can't get out of. No matter how badly they treat me, they're my team and I stick by them. Everybody needs someone to be there when they're at their lowest point. You can enjoy victory a lot more if you're coming up from a series of crushing defeats. So maybe they'll surprise me and make it happen. I really do hope so.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Losing Track of Days

I love being a stay at home mom. I really do. I love my baby, and I'm glad I have him here to keep me company and make me smile and give me something to do all day. He's asleep right now so I can finally write. I've accomplished a lot today; I woke up with a migraine and was worried I wasn't going to be functional, but I took one of my 800mg ibuprofen tablets from the hospital and now I'm right as rain, so I made a Caesar salad for lunch and cleaned the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, did some laundry, and started to straighten up. I honestly thought Calvin was about to wake up so I stopped to make a bottle and wait for him, but I've been waiting almost a half hour and he's still passed out in the swing. He's so cute.

I know there are other moms who can vouch for this, but there's this amazing baby smell that he has that I wish I could bottle and sell. It's this sweet, milky, powdery sort of smell that I want to bury my face in and sniff. Yes, that sounds weird, and I'm aware of it, but it's one of the most enjoyable parts of my day--smelling that baby smell. Who'd have known?

Since I'm home all day with nothing to do (except all the aforementioned chores) I decided to look for cupcake shops in Boston, and was surprised to discover that there aren't any really well reviewed exclusively-cupcake shops. Then I got this idea for a cupcake that I want to sell; all I know is I want to call it the Loch Ness Mosnter and price it at "oh bout tree-fiddy." Which is reasonable for a large, delicious cupcake. I fully intend to start practicing my baking in the next few weeks. However, as job prospects go, I'm considering doing copywriting from home. I found a website that specializes in that, so I might give it a shot. I feel like soon, once the apartment is actually clean, I will want something else to do.

Well, I'm hearing little noises that signal to me that I need to pick that baby up and give him some food (RIGHT NOW, WOMAN) so I'm going to go be responsible or something.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

August 22, 2010

Dear Calvin,

Today you are officially two months old, by date. Hooray! Technically I should have written this last Tuesday when you turned eight weeks, but you had just had your immunizations and were in a terrible mood. Not that you're in a good mood right now--your daddy is holding you while you fuss. You aren't interested in bouncing or having tummy time or looking out the window, even though we're trying our best. But since he has you, I'm going to go ahead and write this.

You now weight nine pounds, fifteen ounces. You have doubled your birth weight! You've been growing like a little weed, and you have the most adorable chubby cheeks I've ever seen. You kick like a champ and flail your arms and occasionally punch me in the face, but I don't mind. The other day you rolled over on your own for the first time, and once you got onto your back you just lay there, perfectly happy, because you had a goal and you had achieved it. I had to call your grandma to share right then and there.

We have been in Massachusetts now for a week and a half. The weather up here is much milder than down South, and so much else is different that we're still trying to adjust to. People talk and act different around here, and we aren't used to it. I think we'll like it well enough, and there is a lot to see and do, but I can't see this being a forever relocation. Just for a little while.

Your nursery is put together now, and it is amazing. I hooked up the star light I bought at IKEA, finished assembling the crib and changing table, and stocked your bookshelf (with help from Sarah, who brought us a bunch of books from her publisher). As soon as I finish going through your closet and getting some wall art in place, you are good to go.

You are developing a personality, and I can't wait to see what you become.

Love, Mommy

Sunday, August 8, 2010

You are overencumbered and cannot run!

Calvin has gotten used to being held when he's awake. This is a bit of a hassle for us, but not in a really bad way; I don't mind letting him hang out on me, and at the moment he's asleep on my legs. It makes typing awkward (you should see the position of my left arm) but it's very warm and super-cute.

We're packing the truck tomorrow for the move. It's terrifying, to be honest; I definitely don't feel prepared, and I can't believe that it's time. This means that Calvin has been alive for seven weeks. He's getting old! It's almost time for him to get a job and start pulling his own weight! Better get started on those speech and coordination skills, baby. For what it's worth, I'm really looking forward to everyone coming to help out and whatnot. I'm going to miss all of our friends.

We were driving back from Gastonia the other night and hit a dog on the interstate. It damaged the front end of my car and it may not be repaired by Wednesday. I'm hoping seriously that it will be, but if not, Mom and I will have to wait an extra day or two. It's cramping my style but isn't the end of the world.

Apart from that things are pretty good. Sadly, just before we're leaving, a new frozen yogurt place has opened over in Crossroads. It's amazing and reminds me of Yogurtland. I hope they have something like that near us in Boston or somewhere. We've gone nearly every day since it opened.

I'll probably start writing more regularly once we get settled.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

L'Enfant Terrible

First of all, it is a terrible idea to give me a baby and a camera.

We just got back from a week at the beach, and as far as I can tell with a six-week-old baby, Calvin really enjoyed himself. We took him out on the beach in his little chair one day, and he sat under the umbrella and slept. We also took him for an evening walk along the beach in his front pack. It's an Infantino EasyRider that I picked up at Walmart. Again: slept the whole time. One day we took him to the aquarium at Fort Fisher, and guess what he did? Yup. Slept in his stroller. But we enjoyed the fish.

The walk on the beach was nice. As we were coming back we saw a bunch of people gathered around this walled-off lane in the sand, and one of the men there told us that there was a sea turtle nest and the babies would be hatching soon! We sat out there for about an hour and a half in the dark waiting to see if they'd come out, but they never did. They hadn't by Thursday afternoon, but I imagine they made it safely to the ocean--they had people helping to guide them down the lane into the water. Apparently they'll just head for the brightest light they see, and with artificial lights along the beach that could send them anywhere.

I've learned that Calvin sleeps much better when he wears his pajamas with feet, probably because they keep him warm. He cries pretty much only when he's hungry or wants attention, and if it's not one of those two things it will stop on its own eventually. On the whole, he's a wonderful baby, and so cute that I can't be mad at him for anything. If he doesn't sleep well at night, putting him in our bed generally works, even though we aren't supposed to. He has the most wonderful baby smell, especially after he's had a bath. I adore Johnson's Baby Shampoo and am using it on all six of his hairs. I also finally wised up and bought the giant box of diapers today. He's up to 7lb 10oz, which means the next diapers I buy will probably be size 1 instead of Newborn OH MY GOD MY BABY IS GROWING. I see six-month-old kids in the store and think they're giant, and one day that will be him. It will seriously freak me out when that happens.

Unfortunately, he does have his moments...there have been a couple of nights when he hasn't slept worth a crap, or has been making little noises that keep me awake, and then I'm just tired and cranky. Mostly, I've adapted pretty well to 3 hour shifts, and it's only when he deviates from that schedule that I feel like crap. He has slept for up to 4 hours at a time, and that's almost a luxury. I can't wait til he sleeps through the night.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 22, 2010

Dear Calvin,

Today you are one month old. Congratulations! You've managed to survive your father and me for a whole month. And since we've both been off our heads with packing and trying to cram in as much visiting as we can before the move, that's a pretty big accomplishment.

You have been eating like a champ these last two weeks since you've been home. At the doctor's office today they weighed and measured you and you've gained two pounds and two inches! This is not entirely unexpected, since you've been eating more than your little tummy can tolerate and spitting up all over everything, including your clothes, blankets, bibs, and mommy.

We love putting you in the bed with us at night even though we're not supposed to. You get all warm and cozy and it's so hard to put you back in your bassinet, because there you're squirmy and make strange noises. I don't even mind waking up every three to four hours to feed you; you wave your arms around and make the best faces. You really do make some great faces, and I've gotten some on camera.

We are so happy to have you at home. Those first two weeks when you were in the hospital were really rough on the whole family. I'm so proud of you every time you eat or poop or burp, simply because everything is an accomplishment and the fact that you're here and healthy is a blessing. I hope I continue to marvel at you as much as I have these last few weeks, because you're pretty amazing.

This week we have noticed that you look at things and turn toward sounds. Your grandma noticed that you perked up and listened when she was singing to you, and you've been staring at your mobiles, especially the one with the bears in your Pack 'N Play. I was changing your diaper and you were just watching those bears go around in a circle like it was the most engrossing thing ever. You also held on to your bottle last night when I was feeding you, and held it up all by yourself! That, plus your incredible head control, makes me think that you are destined for greatness.

We love you so much!

Love, Mama

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Well...this is awkward.

Now for the part of the story that has nothing to do with the baby.

The first time I was in the hospital, Brandon had a phone interview with a company in Bellingham, MA. He had a follow-up phone interview a couple of days later, while we were still at the hospital. The day before I went into labor, he finished his PhD thesis defense. Two days after Calvin was born, he flew up for an interview and was offered the job. Which means that the name of my blog will no longer be correct. I'm not going to change it or anything; it isn't worth it. There's also a good chance that we'll come back to Raleigh in the future (or at least to North Carolina). That's what I want, and I think Brandon wants it too. We're agreed on the idea that we don't want our child to have a Yankee accent. But it's really reassuring to know that he has a job, I can stay home with the baby for a little while, and we're not going to have to be dependent on my parents.

Real Housewife of Bellingham doesn't have the same ring to it, does it? But it's going to be my new title, and I guess it's 50% accurate, same as "of Raleigh" was. I was in Raleigh and not a housewife; but now I'll be a housewife outside of Raleigh. I'm just SO EXCITED about getting to decorate a nursery...I think I might swing by Home Depot tomorrow and look at paint chips :) Is it normal to love paint chips? Because I do.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Part Two: My baby! In someone else's house!

As I previously mentioned, Calvin was six weeks early, which I didn't fully understand until he was taken to the special care nursery five minutes after being born. Special care is a step up from the NICU and handles babies who are 30+ weeks. When we moved to the third floor after delivery, we stopped in to check him out. He was receiving IV fluids and on constant monitors, but he was maintaining his body temperature and had not indicated that he needed a feeding tube. His breathing was great and he didn't need antibiotics. All good signs!

I was in the hospital until Thursday. When you have a baby you think you'll leave the hospital with your child in a car seat and go home and get started on the sleep deprivation and breastfeeding and all that immediately. I left the hospital, not pregnant anymore and without a baby. It was extremely weird.

The next two weeks were marked by visits back and forth to the hospital. Thank God that we live so close, or I couldn't have done it, and I think I'd have gone insane. I needed to see that child.

The third day or so that he was in special care, he had developed some jaundice. He was orange. I kind of expected that--my brother and I both had jaundice when we were born--and the light they put him under was like a little baby tanning bed. It was warm and I think he enjoyed it. The only drawbacks were (1) trying to change a diaper through the windows on the incubator and (2) we couldn't keep him out for more than an hour at a time. It's hard to describe how weird it is to go see your child, take him out of a box for an hour, then have to put him back. But again, I didn't mind it too much.

By the end of the first week I was exhausted, and things seemed to be looking up. He got his IV out, finished his phototherapy and was no longer a pumpkin. The only thing remaining was to get him to eat, which he had been doing with varying success. I was having trouble getting him to latch on with breastfeeding, but I was pumping enough that it was pretty much exclusively his diet. Unfortunately, when we came in one night to visit, he had a feeding tube. No one had called to tell me that this was happening; I was already under enough stress recovering from the birth and dealing with his being in the hospital. I may have cried. If I had been prepared for it--if someone had called and said "Calvin isn't eating as much as he needs to, and we need to put in a feeding tube," it would have been fine. But there was no warning. So for the next week I hated that feeding tube. I held it against the hospital as a symbol that they didn't think my baby was capable of eating enough on his own. Not only that, but "eating enough" was defined by the hospital as a certain number of milliliters. The only way of measuring that, in their estimation, was to give him a bottle containing the appropriate amount. Breastfeeding didn't count toward his minimums because "we have no way of knowing how much he gets."

I'm going to take a second to say, this is my first child and my first experience dealing with a premature infant. I have no idea how things "should" go in these situations or what I should have expected. But the way they handled feeding, especially with the emphasis on numbers and my inability to exclusively breastfeed, discouraged me from breastfeeding my child. I am not gung-ho about breastfeeding, and to be honest my main motivation for doing so was that it would be cheap as free. Unfortunately, the circumstances prevented me from being able to do it the way I planned. Throughout that week I began to realize that the only way that I would be able to get him out of the hospital was to ensure that he ate all of his bottles on his own, and if I took the time and energy to attempt to breastfeed him, he wouldn't do that. At this point, I'm doing a combination of breastfeeding and formula, but moving more toward formula because my supply is dwindling. Pumping all the time hurts and often he isn't interested in breastfeeding, so I'm sort of moving toward the easy alternative. I hope that doesn't make me a bad mother.

By the end of week two he was eating everything and he was switched to an on-demand feeding schedule, which was GREAT. He could eat what he wanted when he wanted; the damn feeding tube came out; and best of all, we brought in his car seat to make sure his oxygen levels stayed up while he sat in it. We did that on the 4th of July, and he passed. The next day, he was circumcised and that night we did "room-in" on the pediatrics floor. That means we stayed in a hospital room with the baby--the way we could have if he'd been full term and A-OK from the beginning. It was a rough night, but it got me prepared for what was coming.

On Tuesday, exactly two weeks after he was born, we brought Calvin home.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Part One: Even in labor, there are vuvuzelas

Tuesday morning (June 22) I woke up to an unpleasant sensation that, quite honestly, felt like I had peed myself. Except I haven't wet the bed in years and years, and believe that I have pretty decent bladder control. I called the doctor's office to ask what was going on, and they had me come in, at which point my doctor checked things out and said that my water had broken and I needed to check in to the hospital. Which I did.

We got situated in a labor and delivery room and just kind of sat around for awhile. There wasn't much on TV and I was STARVING. I hadn't eaten anything for breakfast since I thought this would be a quick visit to the doctor and I would just get something after, but THEN they told me I wasn't allowed to eat anything! NOOOOOO. So I got started on my Pitocin drip and turned on Food Network because if I couldn't eat food, I was at least going to look at it. Tyler Florence made some excellent looking Swedish meatballs.

Argentina and Greece were playing in the World Cup, but the only channel showing it that was available in the room was Univision. I had some fun translating the commentary, and Spanish announcers get REALLY excited about soccer. And may I just say one more time: the sound of vuvuzelas in the background of anything is like having a mosquito embedded in your eardrum.

So around 2 or 3 I started having some serious contractions and pain, and my doctor came by and started telling me how he doesn't believe in epidurals (WHAT NO I WANT MY DRUGS) which was a joke (thank God). The anesthesiologist came by a little while later and shot me up, which was the best thing that happened to me all day because within a matter of minutes I went from moaning into Brandon's shirt from the sheer pain of the contractions to sitting up and talking about how this wasn't so bad! I could totally do this!

My parents came after I got the epidural, which was a small mercy, given that I was an utter mess until I got it.

Sometime around 8:15PM or so they announced that I was ready to start pushing. The nurse got the bed set up and brought in the cart with all the medical supplies, and the doctor came in and just...kind of stood there. Because nothing was happening yet. Once things really did get underway, I pushed until the baby got where he needed to be, and then the doctor set up and started working on getting him out. This was a lot less difficult than I thought it would be. It was a matter of waiting for a contraction, pushing like crazy while Brandon counted to 10, then relaxing. That is, until he started actually coming out, at which point the counting was irrelevant and I just pushed as much as I wanted to.

Calvin was born at 9:03PM and weighed 4 pounds 15 ounces. He was 18 inches long and had a giant bruise on his head where he had been shoved against my pelvic bones for over a week. The first thing he did was open his eyes, and once they got him cleaned up I got to hold him for a few minutes before they whisked him off to special care.

After the hell that has been my pregnancy, labor itself was surprisingly not bad. The worst part was the pain before the epidural kicked in, which was pretty miserable, but even that wasn't too bad. I didn't sustain any major damage from the labor process, and what I did I won't detail here because no one wants to hear about that. I was really happy with the delivery process and how it was handled by the hospital; I don't think it could have been any better. Now the aftermath of the delivery, specifically the ramifications of having a baby six weeks early, was less pleasant.

Part two will detail the two weeks of visiting my own child at the hospital.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

There is a baby, and it is real

So I guess that since I've actually had the baby now, I need to get started on the backlog of posts I should have started making three weeks ago. After the false alarms and bed rest, labor itself was such a non-event that I wasn't too worried about writing about it, and then the two weeks after were spent going back and forth to the special care nursery (where he resided until he was eating enough)...I've been kind of neglecting this. Therefore, I'll break it up into a few posts as I get to them. Right now, my brother is feeding Calvin, who is now eating A LOT. This means I have a few minutes to update, although this one isn't substantial, just a note that I haven't forgotten about this thing and will make my updates as I have the time.

He's the coolest baby ever.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Independence Day

Basically, I'm just going to repost my facebook status:

The doctor told me today that if we can keep the baby in for ten more days, we will be in good shape. So I'm holding out for June 28 or so as an arrival date and hoping that he cooperates, both in waiting and then in getting out!

(I mentioned to Brandon that I wanted the baby to come before July 4, and he thought I was making some comment about the significance of Independence Day, but really it's just because I want to go see fireworks and have a cookout.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What To Do

First of all, if I sit with this laptop anywhere on my belly, the baby kicks it. I think he's drawn to warmth. Either that or he's trying to tell me that he's allergic to it, like a mogwai or something. I don't think I would want a mogwai for a child. They're cute and all, but you couldn't bathe them unless you wanted a quick and painless way of getting more children...which, given my current pregnancy status, might not be a bad thing. Sorry, I have no idea what I'm talking about. That was weird.

I watched "Julie and Julia" at the hospital and was kind of intrigued by Julie Powell's idea that "I can blog about something and it might turn into a career." But I don't see myself as a writer or this blog as anything that I will ever get paid for. In the simplest terms, I started this blog so I could write about stuff and communicate with people that I know. There is no expectation of it going anywhere. But then, she wrote a blog about cooking a lot of stuff, and I know that other people write about...well, nothing really, if you look at Hyperbole and a Half (which I do, all the time, because it's phenomenal) and it got me thinking: how does one get a gig like that? How do you get paid to blog?

I don't write every day because I know people don't expect me to, but if someone were paying me I'd write at least once a day, if not more. Every time Jezebel has posts about internships opening up I wish that I wrote daily or that I lived in New York, since most of their writers are city-dwellers. I've been getting positive feedback about my writing style from people who matter to me, and whose opinion I trust, although I just feel like I write what I think and this is how it comes out. Maybe some of it is my attention to grammar or these ingrained rules that I cling to as an English major. But I'm getting off topic again.

The reason I've been thinking about this is because I'm wondering about my future. I'm not going back to teaching next year, and with a new tiny human to take care of I don't know how much of a break I'll be taking or where I'll be in my life when I get back to the workforce. There's a song in Avenue Q called "What do you do with a BA in English?" I've always liked it because, well, that's my degree. I knew from the time I was in high school that I wanted to be a teacher, and this is the first time I've actually stopped and looked back at it and said "Well, is this what I want to keep doing for the rest of my life?" It's as if I've realized that I have options! I could go to pastry school! I could write! I could go to grad school and become a professor or a lawyer or something that actually pays a decent wage!

I think for now I'm just going to allow myself to focus on being a parent. Or, well, hopefully not being a parent for a few more weeks. The longer we keep the baby in, the better his chances of being a football star when he grows up!

Friday, June 4, 2010

I Am Not Dead Yet

This update contains medical information that is probably boring and/or not that important to most of you, but I'm documenting this pregnancy and therefore it gets included. It is not overly graphic, but it is detailed, so you know.


Sunday I was having some serious stomach issues, hard contractions that I tried to pass off as an ulcer or some unpleasant indigestion, but those were gone the next day so I was in fact able to ignore them. Wednesday night just before Brandon and I left to get some dinner, I noticed that there was blood on my toilet paper. This would not have been cause for concern if I had not had a period for seven months and should not have been starting now, thank you. So I actually called my doctor. There are very few things that will make me call my doctor, especially after hours; unexplained bleeding is one of them.

"I can't really diagnose you over the phone," she says, "You need to come to labor and delivery."
"Is that the same thing as the birth center?" (You can tell I am very prepared to come have this baby.)
"Yeah, right over there."

We got dinner first, because we were hungry, and it was close by. And thank God we did, because here is the exciting saga of What Happened Next:


I was taken up to triage and hooked up to some belly monitors. They checked my heart rate and the baby's heart rate and how my contractions were faring. Apparently I was having contractions--I knew this, but you're supposed to have those Braxton-Hicks things beforehand, so I didn't pay a whole lot of attention. I think I started to get a little concerned when the nurse kept asking if I had a car seat. NO, I DO NOT HAVE A CAR SEAT, I HAVE TWO MORE MONTHS BEFORE I SHOULD NEED IT. (Also I think my coworkers are still going in on my travel system stroller, which comes with a car seat, so I was kind of waiting until after we had the work baby shower.)

After several hours of waiting for the doctor because everybody was having babies on June 2--no joke!--she checked me out, said that there was in fact some bleeding, that I was dilated to 1cm and 50% effaced. In other words: this baby seems to think that it would be a nice time to start trying to bust out of the joint, and we DO NOT want that this early. Hence: two rounds of steroids, observation, magnesium sulfate drip to hold off contractions and control my still-elevated blood pressure, 24-hour urine sampling, and oh yeah, you can't go to work tomorrow.

They also put me on a clear liquid diet to start because the magnesium can make you pretty sick, but they let me eat real food again starting Thursday night.


Got my steroids, got my IV line, confined to a bed (but I still have bathroom privileges! THANK GOD FOR SMALL MERCIES) and hooked up to monitors all day. Kate's mom came to visit me. I had been having about four contractions an hour, but those slowed up as the day went on. They had me on clear liquids only during the day, which was miserable, but let me eat around dinnertime. They also told me that I would probably not be allowed back to work period--given that the school year is over next week--and then told me not to worry about it.

(But I still have to put in grades and clean out my classroom and I have yearbooks to sell and prom pictures that people haven't picked up and that one kid's mom, I still have her $20 in my desk, and I have to get to a network computer to enter my grades in, and also there is supposed to be a baby shower for me, and I have a wedding to attend Thursday and graduation Friday, but yeah I WON'T WORRY ABOUT ANY OF THAT...except that in the end I think I have it all worked out. It just took me some time to come to terms with all of that, and the "you can't do everything.")

We went down for a consult with the high-risk OB office, got another ultrasound. The baby is 4 pounds even, looking good for where he is on the gestational chart, and flexing his arm muscles to prove to his daddy that he can make T-rex arms look good.

Side note: Someone told me the other day that if T-rex had actually had arms the way he was drawn, he could not have been a carnivore, because there was no way he could have controlled or eaten his prey, or something. But they just find dinosaur pieces and make a puzzle out of them, so who knows if what we think they look like is accurate? I thought that was interesting.

That doctor told us that we want to keep him in for a few more weeks and that we were doing exactly what we needed to do to make that happen.


Finished my steroid shots around midnight. If baseball steroids feel like the shots I got, I would be a wimpy batter and make do with it, because those suckers HURT. Today my blood pressure has been much better, my attitude has been much improved, I have accomplished a lot related to work, and things are generally looking up. The magnesium drip ends at midnight, which I am very much looking forward to, and provided I don't resume contractions after they take that off I should be set to take a shower tomorrow (I MISS SHOWERING SO MUCH, Y'ALL) and head home hopefully some time this weekend. Which, thank God, because it is boring here. But my nurses have been fantastic, my doctors have been cool, and friends and family have been checking in periodically. I miss everyone and really appreciate the sentiments.

I told Brandon a few minutes ago that most people come to the hospital to get their babies out, but I came to keep my baby in. That's backwards.