Friday, March 30, 2007

Real Moms Take Hand-Me-Downs!

This is the Real Moms meme for which I have not been tagged but I really wanted to do it anyway. It was originated by Kristen at The Mom Trap and she made a whole new page for everyone's answers who participates.

Here's how it works:
Put up a post "Real Moms [insert what you do here]", followed by an explanation, a picture, and a "Real Moms. Making ....". Then tag five people.

I've been getting periodic bags of hand-me-downs for Little Guy from my sister-in-law pretty much since he was born. At first, I was like, hmm, do I really want stuff my nephew wore and that other people picked out? Maybe I don't like these clothes. I want to buy all my son's clothes myself. But I sorted through the clothes, picked out the cute ones, and went shopping for a few more little updates here and there. After all, I still had plenty of 0-3 month and 3-6 month outfits to choose from that were gifts when Little Guy was born. But then those gifts started dwindling and I realized that with the change of the seasons and the growth of the boy, I'd have to start outfitting him all on my own. And although I usually shop at places like Kohl's and Target instead of Baby Gap and Gymboree, it still adds up. So I started feeling the way I should about the hand-me-downs. Thankful. Geez, here were perfectly good clothes, cute ones at that, to put on my baby, then 12-month old, then 18-month old, then 2 yr. old boy. Obviously he still gets new clothes, too, but the hand-me-downs are fun to go through and really fill in the gaps.

Well, now I have two to clothe. And today I hit the mother lode. My best friend just gave me all of her daughter's baby clothes from 0-3 months through some 18 months. It took me most of today to sort them into piles, 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 12, 18, and shoes, socks, and hats. And if she ever has another kid, she gets either all of these clothes back plus my daughter's, or all of Little Guy's clothes, plus all of our combined maternity clothes, which I have yet to put away. Hey, it's been almost 4 weeks--I still need them!

Real Moms. Making yesterday's fashions work for today's playdates.

So now I tag BettyBetty, Heather, Suzanne, and Liesl, and, of course, anyone who sees this and wants to do it.

Funny. . . my big huge firstborn never had this problem!

Hey, when you don't have time to post a proper thought, post a picture, I always say.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Me and My Brood

Friday, March 23, 2007


That's what my mom used to call my brother when he was a baby and did that woodpecker-like movement on her shoulder. But that's what I'm calling myself today because all day I've been doing that slow falling nod and neck snap you used to see people do in warm college classrooms with a fan droning in spring during a long lecture. I used to look at my notes later and see how the words I wrote got all tiny and slanted up at a diagonal to the lines on the paper. Needless to say, Baby did not sleep last night and Little Guy was up THREE times. I think I slept a total of an hour and a half. And I had been so happy and rested the night before as she had slept 6 hours in a row and M. had done the 3 am feeding so I had slept 7 hours. (I do still feel guilty about not breastfeeding and putting in all the time and work that I did for Little Guy, but. . . all that sleep.) Well, that catch-up on rest got shot to hell anyway. So today I'm loaded up on coffee and chocolate-covered espresso beans. How unhealthy does that sound? Especially since the discharge instructions from the hospital say to avoid excessive caffeine intake. As it is, Little Guy was playing in the sandbox in the 80° sun we had here today and I couldn't stay awake. Finally I woke up enough to put a deck chair in front of him to make a sun shade.

Anyway, I'm too tired to read but I'm having book withdrawals. I sit and stare at the pictures of book stacks that book bloggers post all the time. They're so pretty. I do have two saving graces, though, Brain, Child and Wondertime. The latter isn't nearly as good as the former, but it's better than the magazines it spun off from, Parenting and Family Fun, I think. (I do like Family Fun well enough, though.) But books are out of my league right now. Totally taking a break from Annals of the Former World. I actually brought that huge thing to the hospital with me thinking I'd read it. I did read a paragraph there, now that I think of it, but it was hard to see because the nurse had turned my light off and it was too dark. Anyway, after Baby was asleep (early in the night) last night, I picked up Inkheart and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I held them both for a little while. Looked at their covers. Put them in the bed with me. And went to sleep.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Nod to the Vernal Equinox

Happy Spring--especially to all of you who had serious winters out there. Here, not so much.

These crocuses are already gone.

I'm quite happy with my little bank of daffodils this year. They make the mailbox look so festive. Let's just hope my clematis (you can kind of see the brown vine behind the daffodils) comes back this summer after my dad backed into the mailbox with his car, knocking the whole thing down. Oops.

Who Needs Sleep? Not me, not me at all

But apparently M. needs lots and lots and lots of sleep. Lots. I forgot how much having a newborn makes me hate all men. Oh, I know that sounds harsh, and M. really is a great dad and very willing to do anything for me and his kids, but there always seems to come a time, a few weeks after the baby is born, when he goes back to work, leaving me in the proverbial trenches, and no longer having the same single-minded focus on the babies anymore, like I still do. It's that lonely feeling that I know other mothers must get, too. And the other thing is daily annoyances. He just makes a mess. He doesn't intend to but he is a bit of a mess-maker by nature. And so, in times like this, when I'm still relatively out of commission, extra mess really gets on my nerves. For instance, he exploded a bowl of refried beans in the microwave last night and said he'd clean it up, but, of course, he didn't. I can wait for tonight and remind him to do it, or, I can just do it myself. I'm sure today I'll just do it myself. Also, I need the huge mountain of dirty clothes brought downstairs but I still can't lift things that heavy. I think this huge mountain is invisible to him and I can't remember to remind him to bring it down for me. And lastly, Little Guy is now having sleep issues (due to new baby being here and our absence for 4 whole days and nights, I guess) and now M. is laying on the futon in his room every night until Little Guy falls asleep. At that point, you would think M. would quietly get up and sneak out to come help me with Miss Newborn or just to come talk to me. But no, he falls sound asleep, can't hear any crying coming from Miss Newborn, washes no bottles, does no feedings, and ends up sleeping soundly most of the night. This was not the plan. But to end on a more positive note, he did make us a lovely burrito dinner last night (hence, the refried bean explosion), and took Little Guy outside to play after work. Pardon the crankiness. I guess I do need sleep despite the huge 8-cup pot of coffee I made just for myself this morning. Anyone want to bring me a venti caramel macchiato or a vanilla latte?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

First Dispatch from the Land of Toddler and Baby

It's the start of the second day alone with Little Guy and Baby. First day went OK. Somehow we made it to 6:15 when reinforcements, supplies, and sustenance were brought in from the Outer Reaches. Baby slept most of the day, and, although Little Guy begged to go outside and ran out of soy milk mid-morning, he still managed to be a trooper and even to help out. But then, Baby slept from 2:30 pm until 7 pm when I woke her up. That was a mistake. Although she was tired when we wanted to go to bed and she'd fall asleep after her bottle, as soon as we put her down, she'd wake up again. This went on until 2:30 am. I had to wait until then for M. to take the steri-strips off my incision (I know, TMI, but C-section veterans out there can feel my pain, right? no pun intended). So today, I'm keeping a log of her waking and sleeping and I'll try not to let her sleep longer than 2 hours at a time.

No one told me how EASY it was having just one little toddler. How much for granted we used to take our little trips gallivanting to the library, playground, storytimes, even lunch together at the cafe in the grocery store. Bedtimes we had a bath, brushed teeth, read books, and off to the crib. Now he wants M. to sleep in his room every night so he can fall asleep.

But you know, today is actually going quite well. Baby has been sleeping in the pack-n-play since 11:30. Now it's 1:30. I won't let her sleep past 2. So Little Guy and I went out on the deck (the pack-n-play's right near the back door) and he played in the sandbox and we ate lunch out there on the picnic table. It's nice and warm today-almost 70. When he started asking to go down and swing, though, I had to distract him with games and puzzles from his closet. (I can't lift him into his swing yet and newborn would have been sleeping in the house.) He has a bunch of games like Memory and big 24-piece puzzles in the closet from Christmas that he was too young for then. So the Dora puzzle was a success and he's saving it on the kitchen table to show Daddy when he comes home.

So despite the fact that I'm still in pajama pants, we are a success. And, AND! Little Guy brushed his teeth and allowed his toenails to be cut this morning without the slightest objection. I call that a good day.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


She was born last week and the C-section went well. She was 9 pounds even. Not as big as her 11 lb. 4 oz. brother. Still going through the hormonal stuff--you know, weepy, sweaty, chilly. But it's all been fabulous and so far, I love having two kids! :)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Countdown to Baby

Not yet, but very soon.

Pre-baby goals met:

All laundry in house done (except for one small basket from today)
All dishes washed
All floors washed (Thanks, M.!)
Bathrooms cleaned
Kitchen clean
Little Guy's room straightened up
New baby's room ready to go
Suitcase mostly packed
Food shopping trip yesterday
Trip to Coldstone Creamery last night--really needed ice cream (coffee/french vanilla with caramel, whipped cream, white chocolate chips, and rainbow sprinkles)

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Dabbler is Dabbling

For the moment, I've found a dabbling that is sticking. Opera and classical music would have continued to stick, I think, but I could no longer find the time to do the necessary focused listening. I'll get back to that eventually. (Especially because I want to do the books, Jazz 101 and Ballet 101). So, not surprisingly, I'm still in the middle of Annals of the Former World. John McPhee, of course, did not write it as a textbook. And so you find a lot of terms and jargon undefined. And he does immerse you in terms and jargon. It's like a geology immersion course where you're just inundated with information and material, scenarios and biographies, human characters and ancient landscapes. He finds beauty in the language of geology and is amused by what he calls the "verbal deposits."
Someone developed enough effrontery to call a piece of our earth an epieugeosyncline. There were those who said interfluve when they meant between two streams, and a perfectly good word like mesopotamian would do. A cactolith, according to the American Geological Institute's Glossary of Geology and Related Sciences, was 'a quasi-horizontal chonolith composed of anastomosing ductoliths, whose distal ends curl like a harpolith, thin like a sphenolith, or bulge discordantly like an akmolith or ethmolith.' The same class of people who called one rock serpentine called another jacupirangite. Clinoptilolite, eclogite, migmatite, tincalconite, szaibelyite, pumpelyite. Meyerhofferite. The same class of people who called one rock paracelsian called another despujolsite. Metakirchheimerite, phlogopite, katzenbuckelite, mboziite, noselite, neighborite, samsonite, pigeonite, muskoxite, pabstite, aenigmatite. Joesmithite.

Like I said, you kind of just have to let it wash over you and absorb it. I thought about taking notes and stopping to look up some of the terms, but I decided just to keep enjoyably reading and let sink in what will. Also, since it's a collection of five previously published works, some of the information is repeated from work to work, and that, obviously, helps me learn. For instance, I now know that the Appalachians are deformed and that before them stood other mountain ranges in the same place-the Taconic Orogeny, the Acadian Orogeny, and then the Alleghenian Orogeny. All rose up and fell in turn before the current Appalachians.

What I don't get is how the equator moved around. At different points in time it was in different places. Like at one point it was crossing about where the boundary of Alaska and Canada are. And other times, it crossed through where the U.S. is now. I don't get that.

Anyway, I'm very excited to see the new Discovery Channel series Planet Earth, premiering Sunday March 25 at 8 pm. It's an 11-part series that will play every Sunday night.

And lastly, a visit to Barnes & Noble yielded a copy of The Best American Science and Nature Writing of 2006, edited by Brian Greene. (I always used to buy The Best American Essays.) But B&N just doesn't seem to have the best selection of titles once you go outside the realm of bestseller and popular fiction. I wasn't too impressed with their popular science section. So I ended up at Borders last night and, as I think I've said before, they have a deeper selection of nonfiction. So there I got The Map that Changed the World by Simon Winchester and Teach Yourself Geology. I'm not sure how good that latter book will be, but if it turns out to be accurate and fun to read, I'll probably look into that series more for my future dabblings.

friday's feast

Feast One Hundred & Thirty Three

What does the color pink make you think of?
my new (not born yet) baby girl

Name something you thought you had lost, but later found.
my blue journal

In 3 words, describe this past week.
heavy, lumbering, fatigued; oh, wait, that describes me moving through my week. How about tiring, kind of boring, long

Main Course
What are you obsessed with?
right now, geology

What kind of perfume or cologne do you like to wear?
none whatsoever; I used to wear scented lotions in my younger days like Bath and Body Works Juniper and Aloe and Victoria's Secret Lovespell. Those are so good I would consider maybe the Bath and Body Works one again (if they still make it).