Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Someone is eleven months old today.

The little Dickens.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Life

There are some things about Life with a Baby that are totally predictable, and you can make plans based on them. Then there are the other things.

Finn generally goes to bed between 8:30 and 10:00, which means, so do I. And he generally wakes up between 6:00 and 7:00. Which means, so do I. In between, there are the nursings and sometimes, like last night, the screamings, but those times are a general rule. It's really better when I am out of bed at 6:00 because then I have time to do dishes, make coffee, pump, get things ready for Dad, and get myself together. Any later, and mornings are a mad rush.

You don't really think about having to make time for pooping until you find yourself trying to, excuse me, squeeze it in. Like this morning.

Did I ever mention the toilet auger?

We have one. Have had, in fact, since late February, when I made Pete go and buy one when the toilet actually overflowed. It's sitting on the floor by the bathtub. I had done some quick internet research on what to do with a clogged toilet because "Call a plumber" is not the first thing that comes up in my mind. There have to be steps leading up to "call a plumber." Steps that have not caused "call a plumber."

My intention was that Pete take care of the problem that day. He's convinced that we need to replace the entire stack. I am convinced that we have a clog, and that we need to auger it. This morning, as I plunged, twice, I mentally cursed the pristine toilet auger, vowing that I would be taking care of this situation at the first hands-and-baby-free moment.

I don't have time for this.

When Finn was in the hospital, and we were out in public, I felt like we had a thought bubble floating behind us, tethered to our subconscious. It told our story, the one that no one could see. It screamed "Our baby is in the hospital, and he's wee, and he is not with us!" It did not make me feel alone or separate from everyone else on the street. It made me realize that I had no idea what was in their story bubble; that everyone has something going on in their lives that no one can see; we were not alone.

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's 9:28, and we're in bed

A baby sigh is still a sigh. He has less exasperation and fewer joys,
but it's all relative.

And I am not so sure about the fewer joys.

Or less exasperation, come to think of it.

"Things do not change; we change."
-- Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, April 26, 2009


hmmm... we have a daycare, first pub, first bar, first thunderstorm... I am sure there is more, but after an exciting pass at the extremely messy catboxes, I just want to finish my Guinness and get to bed.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

oh dear

I have never watched this new-fangled Curious George television show, but it appears that they are showing duckbill dinosaur tracks with a tail trail between them.

No. Just no.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A thought

Sometimes, there is nothing more irritating than a placidly sleeping baby.

One of those times is when that baby kept you awake from 2:00 a.m. until 5:45 a.m., when you finally gave up and got up, at which time, baby slept on.

This is why they are cute.

On the bright side, I love my new pants; the weather is beautiful; work is going well; and the boy is generally awesome.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I went to bed frustrated last night. Been doing that a lot lately. I worked and worked all weekend, when time allowed, on house stuff, and when I went to bed last night, you could not even tell. I swept, did dishes, vaccuumed, baked, cooked, cleaned out the refrigerator, defrosted the freezer, plus other random things like doing the money and running errands, and when I went to bed, the kitchen still looked like a disaster zone.

It's been like this for a few days. I feel fine, and then I hit my head coming up from the basement, I trip on a cat, or I drop something, and it's all shot to hell. I suck, the universe is coming to an end, I'm stupid and worthless, and my life is hell.

Then I remember to check my girl calendar.

Oh yeah, that's it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

morning music

more morning music

We're having morning mama breakfast on the couch while a male woodpecker drums, hoping he's found a spot sweet enough to make the ladies' hearts flutter. The city is quiet, it being Saturday morning, just the occasional car passing by. Though it's all relative. Occasional on our street is two a minute. In some places, that would be cause for alarm. I have a hymn in my head. I hate it when that happens. Years of church and a head for lyrics will do that to you. Today, I am going to carry my desire for a spotless kitchen floor straight to the lord in prayer. Maybe while he's at it, he could finish up the laundry and clean the cat boxes. What a privilege.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Stay at home day

The first time I looked into the mirror today, it was 8:50 a.m. I had been out of bed for over two hours, and I realized that, not for the first time, I had went to bed without washing my face. As yesterday was a work day, this meant that I had a nice ring of mascara around both eyes and black goop in each corner. Pete never says anything; he acts like it's not there and loves me anyway, even kissing me goodbye. Now that I think about it, though, that little look he gives me sometimes, the one where he shrugs with his mouth; the one that says "Oh, I hope you are OK"; the one that is sympathetic and concerned; the one that often makes me feel resentful because it says that I am not holding it together--that look?

That look could actually be "My goodness, you look like crap."

Today is a not-at-work day. Yesterday was an at-work day. Last night was Pete Rehearsal, tonight it Pete Gig, tomorrow is Pete Gig. So I went to bed last night a little miffed, feeling like I have three jobs, and I woke up mad and vented by swearing at one of the cats--Hazel, or "Chunky Miss" as I now call her.

"What's she doing?" asked Pete?

"Pissing me off," I replied.

It's just that I went to bed yesterday with a head swimming with today's chores, and when I got up (note: I did not say "sleep" or "woke up"), those chores were right there still. Firstly, and most importantly, I needed to pump. I went five days last week, with Finn and not pumping, and my extra supply dropped. When that happens, and the boy starts drinking more when I am away, Milk Paranoia sets in. In order to pump this morning, I needed to wash bottles. In order to wash bottles, the sink needed to be empty. So I did some adult dishes (that adjective no longer connotes anything dirty, but that's another blog), then washed the bottles. By this time, Pete and Finn were in the living room for their morning play. I cleaned out our little stove-top espresso maker and got the coffee going. While that was brewing, I did some more adult dishes. I dressed and distributed the coffee and checked the news, email, and my favorite discussion board (Hi, AAC!), while drinking my coffee.

Pete gave Finn some bananas and millet cereal, I did some more dishes and put on some more coffee. Clean up the pump parts, take the fussy boy, nurse him, say goodbye to Pete, put sleeping boy in basket, look in mirror, and here I am.

I did not type this when I wrote it because sometimes that wakes Finn up. And I had to chant the opening lines of this over and over again in my head while I got the baby laundry started. Even now, I am evaluating my to-do list for what can be done with him, using one hand; what can be done with him in the backpack; and what can only be done while he sleeps in his basket. Writing this cut into chore time, and I should not be doing it, even though it is one thing I can only do when he is napping, but that gets into the concept of "me time," and that, too, is another blog.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ultimate Fighting Baby

You know all about Ultimate Fighting, right? I only know about it because of Season 3, the ones where Monica's boyfriend wanted to become the Ultimate Fighting Champion. I guess there are no holds barred, except for fishhooking and eyegouging.

Again, Friends is my only reference. I don't have time for boxing let alone fighting that sounds like bringing the bar room to the living room. I am just not that interested in aimless violence, I guess. Silly me.

Finn is the Ultimate Fighting Baby, but he cheats. He fishhooks and eyegouges. Ok, maybe not eyegouging, but he nose picks, lip grabs, gum scrapes, pinches, twists, and slaps.

It's fun!

I never knew how much thin skin I had on my body until Finn started picking it up delicately between his thumb and forefinger, pulling it, and rolling it around. My neck, chest, boobs, face, and wrists often have little red marks on them. He likes to reach into mouths, and grab teeth, which feels great when his little nails get purchase on the gums under your tongue. He also likes to get his thumb into the back of my hand or my wrist and move the little bones and tendons around.

Oh, he's also very fond of chewing on my forearm until it's red.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

bucket baby

OK, this cracks me up for many reasons.

First of all, a bunch of babies in buckets is just funny; there's no way around it. Then, officially registering what looks to me like a regular old bucket sounds sort of like Paris Hilton trying to trademark "That's hot."

I think I want one, though.

Menard's, here I come...

Pay at the Pump

I wish I could walk and knit.

I can walk and read, and I frequently do, but I think I would be stretching my multi-tasking skills and putting both my life and my projects in danger were I to attempt bipedal knitting.

I'm at the end of my second week back at work, the end of my second week back in the bunker (which is what I call the "expression room" here at work), and so far, it's going pretty well. I knit on the bus, I knit while I pump, and the house has not crumbled into bits around us. We're still eating real food; I have not collapsed from exhaustion. I'm not weeping in the corner over missing my baby.

I am not as worried about my supply as I was, though the freezer back stock is dwindling. If I go for a few days without pumping, my supply drops, so I really have to keep up with it, which is harder to do when I am home with him. Lefty is also being non-cooperative again, producing very little, but it has done this before, and even if it stops completely, I can run on one fuel cell.

But it's a good thing that it's only 3 days a week.
All those things would be frightfully different were it 5 days a week.

And I can't really complain, as I am in a good situation, with a flexible workplace, a helpful husband, and only one child to care for.

Still wish I could walk and knit, though.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hoppy Bunny Day (Belated)

I know, picture posts are cheating, but too bad.
It's cute.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cute video!

Pete here. I'm just so in love with this little man - it amazes me every single day. Look how awesome he's doing! -P

Monday, April 6, 2009

Baby's First Bowling Alley

One of the things that we missed out on by having a premature baby was the intense feeling of personal gratification one gets when strangers compliment the adorable-ness of your offspring.

I didn't realize it until winter started to lift its dreary prairie skirts from Minnesota's ankles, but it's pretty cool to take your baby out into the world. People smile at you and say nice things, as long as your kid is behaving, of course.

Another thing I have learned is that Yelling For Fun is really, really loud when it happens in a public place.

A few weeks ago, we went to REI, which is a temple for my family, and someone asked us how old he is. Now, this question is interesting for us because when we give the answer to anyone who is familiar with infant development, there is the inevitable look. The look that says "Whoa, that baby is small for its age." Whenever I see that look, I explain that he was born at 25 weeks and blah blah blah. Then I get "Whoa, he looks like he is doing really well." See, now I know how babies progress, but before I had one, someone could have told me just about any age for a kid, and I would have thought "OK, that sounds good. What do I know?" A lot less than most people, apparently.

Finn was really good, but at one point, in the shoe department, he decided that it would be a good time to scream. You know, for fun.

It was really loud.

Much louder than in my house, where there are no strangers to look around to see where the alarm is coming from.

One gentleman said that he really missed those times, and was looking forward to the arrival of their new baby. When you say something like that to parents who are in the middle of this adorable time, they think: You Are A Lunatic. I have not slept since August, and my house is coated in clutter and grime (I just re-read that in the editing phase and saw "butter and grime," which is something totally different). But it serves to remind me that this goes by really fast, and I will miss this baby one day. Yup. That's me, rocking back and forth in the corner at 4:00 in the morning on a Monday: "This goes by really fast. This goes by really fast. You will miss this baby one day. This goes by really fast. This goes by really fast. You will miss this baby one day."

It's probably an interesting thing for parents who had premature babies: adjusted age versus chronological age. We're having to explain it more now that we are entering the public sphere. I don't think of Finn as a preemie anymore, so it's interesting to be reminded of his early birth. We even drove a good chunk of our hospital route this past weekend, right past Children's. It gives Pete and anxious feeling, but not so much for me. We had a good experience with them; we were fortunate in Finn's condition. So I don't have that reaction. It's a little strange, remembering the 1900 miles we put in going back and forth, but now, driving by with my boy happily snoozing in the car seat, I feel pretty good.

This Is So. Cool.

Super Great Science-y Baby Stuff!

I just ordered one of the baby books.
I know this blog is pretty much his baby book, but this thing is fantastic.
I want everything on her site.

Plus, I am stimulating the economy of a smart, creative person, and that feels goooood.

p.s. Thanks to my extra-super-awesome ravelry friends for pointing this site out.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Why, Dear Parents? Why?

Because we can.


At least I am sleeping enough to dream, so I won't wind up all crazy, like in that Next Generation episode where they were all sleeping, but not dreaming, except for Deanna, so they were all losing their minds.

I made it through my first work week alive. Admittedly, it's only 3 days long, but after seven months, three days in a row of meetings and general social output is rather tiring. I had no idea.

It's not like I sit around here knitting and eating bonbons when I am home. I get a lot done, and I don't nap, but being out and about in the world on three or four hours sleep is different than being at home. You have to be attentive. Listening apparently uses up a lot of calories. As does trying to speak in coherent sentences with big words, subjects, and predicates.

But it could be a long day. Fritz Cat, the 19 year old, is having seizures. Pete took him in this morning, and they think he is probably anemic and having kidney trouble. In any case, well, he's 19. So the most we can hope for is a little more time.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

baby fud

Half of the family had baby food on Tuesday.

When I left for work, I pointed Finn's food out to dad, including the chicken and lentil paste in the glass bowl.

Then I went to work.

I purposely put baby food on my burrito. It was a chicken and avocado paste that had been in the fridge just a touch too long to give to Finn, but just fine for me and my big girl digestive system.

It was pretty good.

When I came home, Dad said that Max Cat was in the basement because he at all the "white stuff" that Dad was defrosting for the boy. "You mean the chicken and lentil? That's why I pointed out the bowl in the fridge, so you could use that first."

"Oh, that was for Finn? I made a sandwich out of it."

Heh. It was a little bland. And smooth. But Dad figured "Karen does things differently. It's probably really healthy."

I do, and it is. Pete and I had the rest of it yesterday with rice, salsa, some spices, and cheese in a tortilla.

Again, it was pretty good.

We've come a long way on the solid food front.
Everyone is eating baby food.

Finn has had carrots, squash, beets, sweet potato, peas, avocado, applesauce, bananas, blueberries, cauliflower & millet, and I feel like I am missing something... oh yeah, the above mentioned chicken dishes.

In any case, he likes it all, though the chicken and avocado may take some getting used to. I am going to toast up some whole grains for cereal on my days off here. We'll start with brown rice.

I've been making everything and storing it. Which is both easier and harder than it sounds. It's easy to steam/mash/put things together, but figuring out a way to do that without plastic and aluminum was not as easy. I wound up ordering little glass jars online, and I just ordered some stainless steel ice cube trays that are newly available.

Why no plastic or aluminum? Possible chemical leaching. Plus, aluminum, while easy to recycle, is costly and damaging to mine and produce. I wind up having to use it for a lot of baking, but for Finn, I try to keep it out of contact with his food.

I freeze it on waxed paper in tablespoon dollops, then transfer it to the little glass jars.

The little glass jars are also taking over from the plastic for breast milk storage. It's really working out great.

I need to put together some meal plans for the boy, so I can make sure he is getting enough protein and iron, also make it easier for him to poop.

The days of the curry diaper are over.