Monday, March 31, 2008

The Baby speaks!

Well, he’s finally done it. He’s uttered a word that I feel comfortable enough to write down as his first in the baby book.

For a month or so The Baby has been saying “uh, oh,” here and there. But he never really applied it to anything and we weren’t quite sure if he was really even trying to say it, or if it was just a coincidence that some of the monosyllables in his repertoire came together in such a way as to make sense.

He also will say “mamamamama” or “dadadadada” but it doesn’t seem to mean anything to him, nor does he mimic the sound if you say it first. As far as we can tell, he doesn’t associate those sounds with us at all. If you ask The Baby where his sock is, he knows. He knows his shoes, he can find his spoon or even point to my nose. Heck, if you tell him to put his sock on the table, he’ll do it! But if you say, “Show me Dada. Where is Dada?” he just looks blankly at you. If I ask him to “Show me Mama’s nose,” he’ll cheerfully point to my nose. But ask him “Where’s Mama?” and you’ll be greeted by the sound of silence, or, better yet, he will divert the entire question by pointing at something else and making a noise. Oh, he’s smart.

He obviously has a vocabulary. For about two weeks he’s regularly been saying “ats,” sometimes he’s quite vehement. It means something to him, we just don’t know what. During the Easter service, he repeated the word several times causing much anxiety between me and my husband. To the untrained ear “ats” sounds a lot like “ass” and I’m sure the people in a four-pew radius think we are unfit parents.

Anyway, so Saturday I was playing with The Baby and I tickled him and said “tickle, tickle, tickle,” which, by the way, I never do. Wouldn’t you know it, the little bugger said, “dickle, dickle, dickle!” I thought, no way. Certainly he’ll say “Mama,” or at least “Cat” before he bursts into three-word phrases (I know it's the same word repeated three times, but please don't take this away from me). So I repeated it and sure enough, so did he! I’m not sure that he knows what it means, but he repeats it on cue, so we’re going with it!

In the realm of possibilities, he went with the fun, awwwwwwww-inspiring phrase. There are phrases he hears a lot more often, “Eww, stinky baby” or “Get away from the cord,” for example. While I guess I’m bummed that “Dada” or “Mama” means nothing to our little cherub, I’m secretly relieved to be able to write “tickle” as his first word. I was starting to think it was going to be “ass.”

Friday, March 28, 2008

Haiku Friday: Spring Things

March Madness
I hate basketball.
Squeaky sneakers, dumb brackets.
Will March never end?

Pretty Purple
Crocuses peek out
from the cold Earth and shiver
in the pale sunshine.

Winter Coat

Goodbye, oppressor.
I don't care if I get cold,
I'll wear you no more.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Caught in the act

Here is The Baby attempting to shove the remote control into the speaker:

Other things I've dug out of or caught him putting into the speaker include Legos, a spoon, several balls and my husband's keys. Had I not caught The Baby putting those keys into the speaker, who knows when we would have found them? I mean, that is the last place you'd look.

On a somewhat related note, we (by we I mean my husband) took out our surround-sound speakers. The wires ran the length of the room on either side and up the back wall to where the speakers were perched. The Baby couldn't keep his hands off those wires. Generally, he listens well when you tell him not to pull cords or touch lamps, etc. But the wires were just too much for him. Previously they were tucked neatly and inconspicuously by the quarter-round trim. In the last three months they've been ripped out of their hiding place and, what with the toys all over the place, our living room was starting to look like the before shot in "Clean Sweep."

Meh... we never used the surround sound anyway.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A very unsexy vent

On behalf of Larry King and Sarah Jessica Parker, could we just stop already? Do we really NEED to be giving people the title of the least sexy?

As adults, what would we do or say if our daughter or son came home upset because he or she had been voted the most unsexy person by their classmates in some lame poll? We’d be pissed. We’d throw around words like “immature” and phrases like “beauty is on the inside.” Then, apparently, some of us would log on to Maxim’s Web site or AOL Television and cast our own votes on the matter. AOL’s poll had 1.35 million voters. Granted, voters answered a lot of other questions and may have been blindsided by the least sexy question. Maxim should just be ashamed of itself. If you want to put someone on a pedestal for beauty and sexuality and hopefully talent, fine. If you want to pick on a celeb’s clothes or hair, fine, but do we have to put our heads together and single out the person that we feel is the least appealing? And broadcast it? Just because a person has a lot of money and fame doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to have their feelings respected. If I was their mother, I’d be pissed. :-0

Here is some other randomness on my shit-list: Joe Francis: Ok, you were an opportunist and you made your gazillion dollars, could you move on from trying to get 16-21 year olds drunk so they do lewd things on tape that they will forever regret? A frat guy with a camera and a boner is one thing, but what your company continues to do is wrong on so many levels. The Mattress Industry: I just bought the only Vera Wang I will probably ever own (except maybe Simply Vera – thank you Kohl’s), a mattress. But shopping was tough. The stupid mattress industry names their mattresses different names at different stores in each market to make comparison shopping next to impossible. Could you imagine shopping for a car if the auto industry did the same? My achy back: I got a new mattress, what more do you want? My itchy skin: I’ve been having periods of uncontrollable insane itching with no rash – wtf?? My doctors: Call me back. I’m itching over here and need an appointment – STAT! Google reader: I’m new and I love using reader, but load already. Hillary Clinton: You “misspoke.” How do mess up a memory like that? You let me down.

SJP: Sexy in a million ways, none of which are plastic (that we know of!)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Retail Therapy and Biking

I’ve been a career gal for a long time. In fact, this month I’m wondering where the time went celebrating 10 years at my company. That’s a friggin’ decade!

In all those years, I have never gone shopping during lunch. Can you believe it? Oh, I’ve run errands for stuff like Draino or diapers, but I never went shopping for clothes, until today. I was bored. It was nice. My boss was off. My friend Julie turned me down for lunch (so, Julie, I partially blame you). Springtime always makes me feel like overhauling my wardrobe.

This is how it went down. First I went to New York & Company and bought some light-weight casual black pants, jeans and a sweater. If you are a member of AAA, did you know that you get a discount at NY&C? Yep, 15% off regularly-priced merchandise. Then I went next door to Starbucks and got a grande mocha frappacino. On the way back to the office I stopped at Burger King for a burger and fries. Right now I have a nice caffeine buzz and a really cool new sweater.

I *love* shopping lunches. I can't believe I waited this long.

Springtime also makes me want to go outdoors and I’m not the outdoorsy type (unless sidewalk dining with cocktails and lots of people watching counts). I was bursting with baby last spring (plus, it stayed cold for well into April) and then had an infant, so I didn’t ride my bike once last season. We are lucky to live about two blocks from the start of a riverside bike path. My parents in-law bought us this for Christmas:

I’m excited. The Baby is really going to enjoy riding with us. (Hopefully I didn’t just jinx anything.) One thing has me concerned. I’m not a secure bike rider. I stick to the path and am constantly paranoid that I’m going to hit something or someone and go crashing into the river. I’m not a good candidate to haul The Baby. On the hand, there is something about wheels that reverts my husband to a thrill-seeking 8-year-old. He hops curbs, pops wheelies and does the whole riding with no hands thing. Clearly he’s more comfortable on his bike, but what if he is seduced momentarily by the sight of jump-worthy curb and forgets about The Baby? What if we don’t attach the trailer correctly? What if someone makes fun of our little boy for wearing his cousin’s perfectly good, probably-never-worn Barbie helmet? What if I keep making up stupid scenarios?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Haiku Friday: One year ago...

Went into labor
on Easter evening last year.
It was my due date.

Contractions started
9 p.m. No sleep for me,
too busy timing.

Five minutes apart,
but it's not really painful.
Is it false labor?

Three minutes apart.
8 a.m., call off work and
go to hospital.

Four centimeters.
We are having a baby.
I'm so excited!

Ten hours later,
from my body to my arms,
our baby is born.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday 13: Things in my medicine cabinet

People always want to know what's in other people's medicine cabinets. Well, it's your lucky day, here is a look into mine. Admittedly, it's not real exciting. I wish I had some eyebrow raising prescriptions or something that would make you gasp. Sorry!

I have pretty bad skin. I've had moderate adult acne for the past 10 years, so I'm very specific about my skin-care regimen. Here are some products that I always have on hand that help my skin, or otherwise make me feel oh, so pretty.

1. Rare Minerals Blemish Therapy. This is my newest purchase. It's a new acne treatment by Bare Minerals. It's a loose mineral powder that you dust on at night and in the morning. I've been using it for about two weeks and have had one pimple in that time. I usually have at least one new pimple per day. I'm stoked, but my face has a tendency to build up a tolerance to effective products and medications.

2. Clean and Clear face wash with salicylic acid. It's gentle and it's cheap. If there is a store brand available, I buy that. It works just as well.

3. Clinique Dramatically Different Gel. This is the classic yellow gel in the square bottle. Be aware, the gel is great for oily complexions, but the lotion is not. They are packaged alike. The gel feels light on my skin and it absorbs well.

4. Clinique Repair Wear Eye Cream. This stuff feels so good going on. Also, a little of it goes a long way.

5. Equate Collagen Treatment. The Wal-Mart equivalent of Loreal's Wrinkle Decrease works well. It doesn't make lines disappear, but it does soften them. Good enough for me!

6. Yonka Hydratant 60 Gel Mask. If you want to splurge on a spa-quality treatment, this is the one. It leaves your face so soft and supple.

7. Tweezers. Every now and then I have my brows done professionally. I usually save the money and do it myself. My method is simple. Take a white eyeliner and pencil in the areas you want to tweeze. This makes it easy to see the shape of your brows before you start yanking them out. Tweeze the hairs within the pencil marks, wash and you have perfectly shaped brows.

8. White eyeliner. see above. You can also dab near your tear ducts to give a youthful appearance to your eyes. I've read this, though I personally don't notice much of a difference when I do it.

9. Advil PM. That is what's in there now because I had a coupon. I'm not brand specific. These days I need help turning off the chatter in my head at night. This does the trick.

10. VO5 Heat defense. Spray on before blow drying your hair to counteract the damage from the heat of the dryer and an iron. It works as good as more expensive brands that I've tried.

11. Target Breastfeeding Cream. I never packed this away. It's great on really dry patches of skin on your feet and elbows. If you are breastfeeding it keeps your nips in great shape!

12. Mary Kay Satin Lips. You know how your lips get all chapped and you can't wear lipstick because it won't go on smoothly? Well, this totally eliminates the problem.

13. Clinique Happy. It smells happy. I love it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Getting bumped off the food chain

One of the things that I miss the most about not having a child is going out to eat. Once or twice a week my husband and I would go on a date. It was never anywhere super fancy, but it was always fun. Sometimes we met friends, but mostly it was just us. It was something we looked forward to.

After The Baby turned 10 weeks old, we resumed going out. Things change so quickly when you have a kid. What works one week, no longer works the next. We have found over the last year that we’ve been moving ourselves to different types of eateries based solely on The Baby’s needs. Unfortunately, with each passing phase, we seem to sink further down the food chain.

Stage One: Take Out
My husband and I aren’t fans of take-out. We feel that half the price is in the ambiance and the service. If you aren’t giving me a discount to NOT occupy your table and use your dishes and servers and to plate the food and clean up after myself, chances are I’m not going to order take out from you.

Pizza, of course, is the exception. We ordered quite a few pizzas on Friday nights. It’s easy to get burnt out on pizza, especially when your nursling dictates that you can’t eat dairy or he will projectile puke once or five times daily and you have to eat your pizza without cheese. Not the same.

Luckily, we found a good Vietnamese place that has zero ambiance, if-y service and awesome noodle bowls and spring rolls. Taking the food out was not an issue. To this day, I love take-out noodle bowl night!

Stage Two: Open Air = Sleeping Infant
Our first culinary excursions outside the house were short. We went to Rita’s Italian Ice. Typically we’d have gone for ice cream, but I was nursing and couldn’t eat dairy. Sitting outside with a frozen ice for 10 minutes with a newborn was a good stepping stone.

When we resumed eating out, we discovered that if we dined outside, chances were good that The Baby would fall asleep. Yah!… we love this little Italian place with a cute little courtyard. We ate there several times. Lots of places in the city we live in have sidewalk seating, also perfect… we could go downtown with our kid. Woo-hoo, I could drink a beer amongst adults!

Stage Three: Noisy
Next came the noisy restaurant phase. Sleeping through dinner at restaurants was, unfortunately, short lived. We have a pretty fussy baby. BUT, we were determined. We knew that noise soothed him. For whatever reason, it made him focus. According to The Happiest Baby on the Block, it reminded him of the womb. Whatever.

It’s tough to find a noisy restaurant without a wait. We happened on an old warehouse turned microbrew/restaurant one night because we had a coupon. There is never a wait, the food is good, the beer is better and the acoustics are awful. The place is loud -- perfect!

Stage Four: The End?
Sadly, we are now in the hurry up phase. This means restaurants like Atlanta Bread Company, Panera Bread, Moe’s Southwest Grill. They are a step up from fast food and a step down from, well, just about everything else. Don't get me wrong, I like those places... for lunch.

Since The Baby is eating solid food, we have to bring his food along. We hold out as long as we can before we start to feed him because once he’s done, we have a five-minute window to get him out of the highchair. As The Baby becomes increasingly mobile, I have a feeling that five-minute window is going to shrink. What’s left? McDonald’s? We will be back to square one.

Noodle bowl, anyone?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Baby’s first phone call

Honestly, I thought I’d have written a post titled, “Baby’s first words!” or maybe even “Baby now in middle school!” before I wrote about my son making his first phone call. We’re not sure how he did, but The Baby managed to call one of his favorite peeps, his cousin Jacob, on Saturday.

To say that The Baby is obsessed with cell phones, would be like saying I was obsessed with my milk supply while I was still pumping. The word “Obsessed” is merely sufficient in describing The Baby’s relationship with our cell phones. The brightly lit screen, the buttons, the noises, the antenna for chewing, Fisher-Price couldn’t have created a better toy.

Talking on the phone is becoming more difficult for my husband and me – at least when The Baby is around. Now that he is older, he has no problem climbing on you and grabbing the phone. If you allow him, his smile will brighten the room, if you do not, he will scream like a feral cat alley cat until you (okay, the phone) leave his field of vision.

So anyway, on Saturday afternoon, my husband was allowing The Baby to play with his phone. As we watched HGTV, wondering how it is that other young couples (even younger!) could afford $600,000 homes, my husband heard a distant, “hello?” My son smiled his mega-watt smile and pushed a few more numbers before the phone was taken away.

Oh, weird coincidence. I just cracked open my Diet Snapple and learned this:
Real Fact #76 The average person spends about 2 years on the phone in a lifetime.

Wow… that’s a lot of gabbing.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Haiku Friday: Times gone by

Feel the warm sunshine,
see palm trees and clear water.
Close your eyes and dream.

Oh, such simple times.
Life was like a vacation.
I miss you, husband.

13 GOOD things about having the flu

Just after The Baby got over his poop-jag, Mommy got the flu. I hate having the chills and I doubly hate limiting my interaction with The Baby. But when your body feels like a bruise and your throat is on fire, you might as well look on the bright side. Here are some good things about being sick:

1. Missing work. Okay, I took two half days, rather than full days, but I still missed some work.
2. PJs until 11 a.m.
3. Watching SpongeBob Squarepants in the morning when I’d normally be pulling into work.
4. Falling asleep after SpongeBob and napping on the sofa.
5. Not worrying about housework.
6. Not shaving. And I always shave. I even shaved while in labor.
7. Not cooking or cleaning up after dinner.
8. Getting sympathy hugs and foot massages from hubby.
9. Not being hungry. I usually am planning my next meal or snack one meal or snack in advance.
10. Getting a free ride out of diaper duty. Okay, the price tag is being sick, but it’s nice not to have to change diapers as The Baby is at the point in his life that having his diaper changed = pure torture.
11. Blasting the heat in the car. Mmmmmmmmm… when you are cold all over it feels so good to blast the car heater. It’s like taking a hot bath without the water.
12. Nyquil. It’s a shame, but these last few days my sleep has improved.
13. Cough medicine with Codeine.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

74 diapers later...

The Baby, poor thing, had diarrhea for eight days. Luckily, he didn’t get dehydrated. He continued to eat and drink as if nothing was wrong. That what came out of him in this time period was at least twice what went into him confounds me. Meh… some things just aren’t worth thinking about too much. He seems to be okay now. Still going more than usual, but twice a day instead of four to seven times a day. Thank goodness he was a happy pooper or it would have been a really long week! Also, thank goodness that my parents-in-law were in town, since kids with the back-door trots can’t go to daycare. Since they live nine hours away and don’t get the chance to see him often, poopy diapers weren’t issue!

I got out of Code Brown using only one sick-day and with only one up-the-back-and-out-the-diaper poop and one tub poop. I feel like a lucky woman.

One thing that I have noticed in the last 11 months (I will have a one-year-old soon!), is that The Baby has impeccably poor timing when it comes to getting sick. For the first five months we dealt with acid reflux, so he was often miserable – and who can blame him? He went from warm days floating on a cloud of amniotic fluid and hooked up to a constant supply of food to a much heavier, colder, quieter place where he gets hungry and has to work for his food. Throw in a sour stomach and projectile puking and who can blame him for being mad? Since then, it seems like every time we go visiting or host guests something happens: allergic reactions, double ear infections, upper respiratory infection, diarrhea. Sometimes I feel like my out-of-town relatives (everyone except my parents) never get to see The Baby in his true light. That’s a bummer. He really is a sweet little guy.

Here's a question, why is that The Baby is perfectly content to munch on a peice of cat kibble that he finds on the floor, but we practically have to sedate him to get that first spoonful of "big-boy" food in his mouth? Certainly meatloaf or Gerbers chicken and carrot sticks are better tasting than Friskies?!?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Haiku Friday: A rabbit and a question

He buries his face
in soft fur, his stuffed rabbit
is tattered with love.

He is sweet like this
always a hug or a kiss
for his furry friends.

I can’t help it, come Saturday and Sunday, I find myself still ticking off syllables on my fingers!

Haiku Friday

Here is a question:
do you too count syllables
after Friday’s gone??

Ummmm… Anyone? Anyone?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Housework = more sex??

The AP released an article by David Crary, “Men who do housework may get more sex.” If you have a minute the article is worth a read.

Let me just take a moment to brag about my husband. He does housework – and I don’t mean he does one load of wash a week, loads the dish washer twice and thinks he’s doing half the work – he really does half the work. Dishes, cooking, vacuuming, childcare, you name it and he does it.

Poor hubby, he’s probably reading this scratching his head wondering where his extra sex is. If sex were a direct result of housework, my husband would be the happiest - or at least the most satisfied - man around. I'll have to work on that!

Honestly, I get mad when I hear about husbands who do no housework, but have time for sports and video games. The sense of entitlement really just gets me. I don't know how people can allow someone that they love to carry such a heavy burden, but I won’t dwell on it here since there is a good possibility that many of you have husbands like that.

I think that you should forward them this article. :-)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The operation continues

I'm at home today with a sick baby (see yesterday's post). We're still operating under a strict code brown at the Pump Room household. I chalked up his loose and frequent stools to teething. He just doesn't seem like his belly is bothering him. I called his pediatrician and they said it was probably a virus and that until he had firm poop, he should stay away from other kids. While he does have some really fussy moments, he is basically a happy pooper, so I've enjoyed spending the day with him.

The Baby, who is sure to start crying now that I am blogging, has been asleep for the past two hours. He woke up at five this morning, as he's been doing regularly for the last two or three weeks (does this stop? Please tell me this isn't his forever wake up time!).

Uh-oh, right on cue... I will try to pop back on later. Have a great day. I'm loving the warmth in the North East, even if it's raining.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Code Brown

On Saturday, my husband and I were watching Diagnosis X and they used the term Code Brown. Turns out that it is code for a diarrhea situation in a patient’s room. Code Brown would have worked well for us this weekend.

The Baby had the trots, poor fella. We think he’s teething. His gums are swollen and he’s a crank. We were told that we could expect tooth number nine at The Baby’s nine-month appointment, so far it’s been a no-show. Since he chews on his finger non-stop, is digging a frozen teether (usually he ignores his teethers) and he has the poops with no apparent stomach issues, we figure he’s getting some teeth.

We felt sort of helpless, among other things. We have constipation down to a “T.” The Baby is almost always constipated (cure = ½ dose of MyraLAX every three days). Loose stools? Totally clueless –– we just tried to give some Pediatlyte to replace fluids. He, of course, hates it and won’t drink the stuff, but we still try. I freeze Pedialyte in 4 oz breast milk storage bags since he uses it so infrequently.

I say we felt helpless “among other things” because I forget how trying it can be to try to comfort an infant or baby who doesn’t feel well. It was a long weekend for everyone. Lots of inconsolable crying and frustration. Can we have a do-over? :-)

The Baby is feeling better today, thank goodness. Hurry up, Friday!