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.