Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanks for Thanksgiving...

1. What is the title of a beautiful children's book (author Julie Markes, illustrator Doris Barrette)?

2. What is appreciation for a brief day in the year on which we are encouraged--nay, obligated--to consider for what we are truly thankful, in the manner of a sitcom episode?

Here goes (please feel free to mentally make bulleted statements parallel; I haven't quite the energy.):

  • a healthy baby (well, not at this particular moment, what with the ear infection and oozing nose and eyes and antibiotics...but, you get the big picture)

  • a wonderful husband, who's a fantastic father, even if he can't (won't?) wash the diapers, do the non-stanky laundry, cook meals, bathe the baby, do the grocery shopping...but he does earn points for dealing so well with the whole vegetarian thing

  • a loving family

  • that Speck has healthy grandparents

  • that Speck has a healthy great-grandfather!

  • my own health (well, again, not at this particular moment, what with the horrendous colds that husband and I have gotten from baby and daycare, apparently)

  • a good job that I enjoy

  • affordable, reputable childcare, even if we aren't thrilled to need childcare

  • sufficient health insurance

  • a house, even if it isn't paid off quite yet (check back in a few decades)

  • a reliable, fuel-efficient car that is paid off

  • money enough for food, for utilities, for necessities, for some luxuries (eating out a mite too often, someone's unbreakable comic book habit, another someone's insistence that Baby only eat organic foods and be cleansed and anointed with only natural, expensive toiletries)

I suppose that's enough for this year. We hope for more, and not less, in the coming years...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gah! Counters!

Although I should be in bed at present, I stopped by my own blog to check on things...yep, still here...and noticed that a baby counter is still lingering at the very bottom of the page. Speck's ETA is -222 days. Yikes. And "impending parenthood"? Parenthood has indeed impeded.

Further proof that I take as good care of my virtual spaces as my physical spaces.

I need a housekeeper.

Friday, September 26, 2008


After weeks of having too little of it (both Baby and Mama), I checked out a dozen or so library books on getting the wee one to sleep for longer stretches at night. (All gentle, no-cry, very loving, of course.) Strangely, I haven't had to implement a single strategy, as Ben, for the last five nights, has fallen out fairly early for him, though still in his charmingly unscheduled way--between 8:30 and 10:00 p.m.--and awoken only once--around 2 a.m. or maybe 3:22 a.m. or perhaps 5:14 a.m.--before crashing again until 8:00ish a.m. At other times, he has napped IN HIS CRIB. My mother and her friend claim it's because of the solids, but he's had solids for the past four weeks or so and only just started this week with the whole sleeping-for-more-than-three-hours-at-a-time business. But babies can go through sleeping/night-waking phases. And breastfed babies need to awaken more frequently anyhow. It's true--Dr. Sears and his many publications tell me so! Why would a book like to a person?

Whatever the cause, it's bliss. But also like waiting for the inevitable storm. And, yes, he's still in the itty-bitty bassinet each night. We did, however, retire the swaddler this week in favor of a sleep sack. In recent weeks, Speck had been wearing the much-adored, much-too-small swaddler in the manner of a toga, then of a tube dress (sassy!), then of a bellydancing skirt.

The next great concern and debate: where to drop Boy at night now that he's beefy (tofu-y?) enough to drag his bassinet around on a string like a pull-toy? His crib, you say? Ha.

Big fish in a little sea.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


6 months, 11 days, nearly completed, and STILL nary a word. Oh, the shame! We now pin our (unreasonable?) hopes on Dot, our as-yet-unconceived second...

As one can see, I am quite immune to
the unbearable cuteness of being...Ben.

Monday, September 22, 2008

On the occasion of a weekday off...

I wonder, "Is it wrong to daydream about being laid off, so I could be a stay-at-home parent, if only for a few months?" It's been a good day, of feeding Speck, holding him as he napped, reading to him, singing, taking a walk to the grocery store, attempting to get him to cooperate for his first studio photos (he didn't), et cetera...all without rushing or stressing about being late for work.

And, yes, I think of it now, even as Boy, sitting (writhing) in my lap, slams the keyboard and flings toys and squishes everything in reach with curious, pudgy little fingers...

23 hours, 59 minutes...

...until I officially declare Ben sorely lacking in verbal skills. (And the time is ticking away!) After celebrating Grandma's birthday (60!) with dinner and cake Sunday evening, we dragged out the old photos to determine if Speck really looks like his mother did as a wee tot (he totally does--sorry, Rob & your family). In so doing, we discovered that I spoke my first "official" word (though not my first word--long [or rather, just kinda weird] story) at the ripe old age of 6 months, 10 days...the age that Speck is this very day (it's just after midnight. Shouldn't I be in bed?).

Please, please, dear heart, don't disappoint your mother. We want a "Mama" or a "Da" or a "kitty" or a something distingishable from random babbling or squealing before your (fluid, ever-shifting, negotiable) bedtime. So get crackin', kid.

P.S. You WILL disappoint your mother anyhow if your first word/phrase is not some variation of "mother" or "Jamie." "Ma," "mommy," "yo mama," "Jay," "Mimi," "hey you," and "lunchwagon" are all acceptable. "Ayayay-yiyiyiAHHH!!!" is not. You can beat me at the talking game, as my first word was "daddy."

Kisses, sweet baby!!!

Speck practices his tongue exercises,
in preparation for The First Word.

Friday, September 12, 2008

6 months...

since Benjamin roared into our lives. And I felt utterly compelled, after much neglect, to post--as I began this blog halfway through my pregnancy (at 20 weeks, oh so very long ago), I thought I'd continue the tradition with a post halfway through Speck's first year--and as with my first post, I do so on the momentous occasion with moments to spare. I now make a solemn vow and promise to post more often. Hopefully, my next won't be halfway to Ben's legal voting age. In the meantime, a photograph of our Lord and Master:

Saturday, August 9, 2008

long time, no see... I thought I'd stop by before this darn blog thing is deleted or suspended or whatever. Not even sure if that happens. Tomorrow is Ben's baptism, and the following day is our anniversary. (7 years!), so I'm sure I'll have something to blog about, but will I have the time to blog about anything?

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Hey, there are buds and leaves on trees and bushes! When did *that* happen?

Something that had not escaped my attention: I have an adorable
(1.) husband and
(2.) baby (though with an unfortunate case of the camera red-eye).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A weighty issue...

I had my 6-week follow-up OB visit today, and I'm only 28 pounds above my first prenatal OB visit weight! Of course, most women only gain 25 to 35 pounds during their entire pregnancy (or so say the majority of the 3,497 books I consulted), and I gained a (very) generous 50. Nevertheless, as I was only 7 pounds lighter two days after delivery, though Ben weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces (yeah, I know--against the laws of physics and everything else), I'll take what poundage loss I can get...

[P.S. That up there's a lotta numbers.]

Monday, April 21, 2008

Oh, heck's no...

This morning, as I dozed on the sofa holding Speck, who apparently did not wish to remain in his mini crib past 3:42ish a.m. (alas, he protested too much), I had a bit of a nightmare: in it, I was pregnant. And, yes, I did wake up in a cold sweat, gasping for breath.

Ben, however, found the idea amusing.

Or possibly distasteful.

He can be quite enigmatic, this little mystery man of ours, but I don't think he's ready to give up the spotlight just yet.

Sorry, Rob...

...but I euthanized the little "Speck's EDA" widget that formerly resided on the sidebar. It's gone to a better place, I promise. And who needs a Speck widget when we have a Speck?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

4 weeks...

...since Speck's arrival.

Benjamin Robert
March 12, 2008 ~ 3:26 p.m.
8 lbs., 6 oz. ~ 21.5 inches

Further photographic evidence can be found at

Slow to post, but more to come about the birth of Ben...formerly, presently, and (most likely) futurely known as Speck.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


And probably not until tomorrow, when the OB plans to induce.

And, yes, Anne—"induction" does sound a bit like a senior-year ceremony that we had at our beloved alma mater. Unfortunately, maƱana's induction may be more painful (albeit slightly), but at least I needn't wear a plastered-on smile or a cardboard key around my neck (or much of anything, for that matter), and I won't hear any tedious speeches (or much of anything, for that matter). And if I throw anything or yell during, fewer people will cast aspersions upon my moral character or sanity.

A disturbing thing about Rob's baby counters: some are now counting UP. Now what does THAT mean?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

+ 1

And still no baby. Rob is increasingly impatient. I think he blames me.

And so we continue to wait.


The waiting game sucks. Let's play Hungry Hungry Hippos.*

(*With humblest apologies to The Simpsons and, specifically, Homer.)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Zero Hour.

Thinking: Wouldn’t it be cool for Speck to be born on his anticipated arrival day? We’d better hurry—only a few hours left… (Though would I mind a short labor?)

Also: If my water broke AT THIS VERY MOMENT, we couldn’t possibly leave until I filled the dishwasher, vacuumed the rugs, sent some e-mails to coworkers about stuff that I planned to tackle on Monday or on half-day Tuesday (yes, unless otherwise diverted, I’m planning to work both days next week), washed our bedding, and did something—anything—to tidy that repulsive bathroom. Perhaps I should start now? Maybe after the leftover Thai that Big Daddy is reheating… At least Speck’s room is clean: floor swept and mopped, extraneous articles removed (and resting comfortably in hallway), tags cut off, and diapers and clothing washed, dried, and somewhat organized.

(And additionally: I know we’ve eaten a lot of crap in the last few weeks, but isn’t a pizza or some other celebratory meal in order for marking the occasion of a due date? Particularly if it’s delivered and we needn’t traverse the snowy, blowy terrain?)

We're ready. Bring it on.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Things That I've Heard in the Last Two Weeks from Library Patrons That Would Make Immediate Labor Induction Very Attractive if It Meant That I Would Not Need to Hear or Answer Them Again in the Next Two Days:

  • "Are you still pregnant?" (Uh, my OB said that Monday, actually.)
  • Any variation of "How many babies are you having?" "Are you having twins?" "One or two?" "Oh, you're having twins!"
  • "You're huge!"
  • "You've dropped a lot in the last few days." (This, rather disturbingly, from a male, middle-aged patron, not the same one who gifted the elephant.)
  • "Why are you still working?"
  • "Are you coming back to work?"
  • "When are you coming back to work?"
  • "What babysitting arrangements have you made for when you come back to work?"
  • "What hospital are you delivering at?"
  • "Are you dilated at all?" (This, at least, was from a fellow pregnant gal.)
  • "Is this your first?"
  • "Boy or girl?"
  • "Have you picked out a name?"
  • Labor advice and stories, such as: "Drink tons of water." "Don't get an epidural!" "GET THE EPIDURAL!" "Try the breathing exercises--they really give you focus." "Breathing exercises don't do anything." "I was completely naked during delivery." Etc. Etc, etc. etc.
  • "You're probably sick of answering all these questions!"

GAAAAAAHHHHHHH. In all fairness, people just seem to like the pregnant ladies. (Can you blame them? Especially if they don't live or work with us or otherwise see us for long periods of time? [My poor family and co-workers.])

And there is some stuff--true or otherwise--that I certainly don't mind hearing:

  • "You look good!" (Probably because of the smile glued to my face.)
  • "You're glowing!" (Probably because of the sweat beads oozing from my face.)
  • "You'll have so much fun!"
  • "Enjoy every minute!"
  • "Good luck!"
  • "Best wishes!"
  • "Congratulations!"
  • "I'm so excited for you!"
  • "I hope I don't see you next time I'm in!"
  • "I think Miss Jamie is really pregnant!" (This from the preschool-age sister of a child in my toddler program to her mother.) / "I think that girl is pregnant!" (This from another preschool-age kid to his mother.)

And my co-workers? Are in another class altogether. Like family, they pretty much say anything they want, and I don't (can't?) really mind...

Countin' down to the biggest hit in the land...

Mere moments after dropping digital camera and giving Rob a minor heart spasm:

Obviously, camera is fine, but I haven't seen him so upset since he found out I was pregnant. (Ha.)

And the real reason I wanted the camera:

If you can believe it, one of our library patrons--male, middle-aged--made this elephant; he said he wanted to make sure I came back to the library. Isn't it cute? And baby-safe, too--cotton flannel with embroidered eyes. I wish I could sew...sigh.

And a slightly more flattering shot than the last of the enormous baby dwelling:

I just couldn't bear the thought of the slightly-bared-belly shot possibly being the last posted before this impending motherhood thing happens...

Monday, March 3, 2008

39 weeks. And 2 days.

And a maximum of 9 days or so to go. So says OB, as he wants to induce on March 12 if Speck hasn't appeared by then. Yikes. We'll do anything to get this kid out before then, including the potent Indian food we had for dinner. (We're such martyrs, I know. Bring on the Thai.)

In other news, I just accomplished something from my pre-Speck list of hopeful feats: Knitting! Yay! Sort of...I needed a bit over an hour to do this, complete with mistakes and having no idea how to finish it off:

I am rather irrationally proud of my half-coaster/half-Barbie-blanket, as my co-worker alternately termed it (being unsure of its most functional function); she was content with her "knitting needle cozy" of 20-odd cast-on stitches. (Listen to me: Am old pro at something crafty!) Boys and girls, support your local libraries: they offer fun and/or educational programs such as knitting classes, in addition to a wide variety of books and audiovisual materials, among other stuff.

In other news, all is just about ready for Speck's arrival, including the nursery, notwithstanding lack of curtains, leaning of stroller on crib, storage of bathtub in crib, and omnipresence of fat cat in glider:

More photos would be nice, and I'll try to get a few up soon.

In other other news, could this be the last photo of me pregnant with the Speck? Or at least one of the most unflattering? Perhaps.

Indeed, I am "all baby," as I've heard a bit too often in the past few weeks, most recently from the OB's assistant this morning, who "just can't get over it. You're all baby!"

Two weeks ago or so, as we were entering Babies 'R' Us for the 437th time this month, I told Rob that he could divorce me if ever I wandered around like one pregnant chick we saw: she had about five inches of bare belly peeking from between top and bottoms--and this on a 20ish-degree day while she wore a coat. And here I am, posting something similar on the Internet. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

36 weeks. And still kickin' (well, at least Speck is.).

Before I begin, I must state that I planned to update much more frequently, particularly after that last post, as Rob complained that the photos I used were awful. Anyhow.

It's only been, what, two months-ish? A few major holidays, including a new year that's now nearly 6 weeks old? A baby shower? A last ultrasound? An almost-finished nursery? A labor and delivery class? A tour of the birthing center?

Yes, all of these--but also supreme grumpiness, laziness, exhaustion, and a bout of sickness. (Wah.)

Nothing much else new to report (ha), but, as the only three people (my mom, my sister-in-law, Anne) who actually read this blog have asked when I plan to post, I'm doing it now.

In all fairness, I haven't been quite so keen on the profile pics of the belly that Rob was taking weekly for a while. However, here's me from last week, #35, with my patented blank look o' mild surprise in the almost-finished nursery, with Eeyore and Pound Puppy standing guard:


And here are a few that I quite like of the incubator and the responsible party:

And I promise to post--in a day or two!--photos of the baby's beautiful room, which Rob worked on single-handedly (well, he may have used both hands at times), and Speck's last ultrasound, if lethargic Rob ever gets 'round to scanning them...