Friday, February 26, 2010

Well, shit

The Octomom only sleeps two hours a night and SHE'S writing a book.

What the hell am I whining about?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fine Jewelry

Great-grandma's jewelry is both fun and frustrating.
And it makes for an excellent, totally free toy. White, plastic beads plus an old Revlon bath powder container. Who knew? It's like cats playing with cat toy packaging.

Letting go of Lefty

Lactating is kind of like a warm little secret. When you are sitting on a bus, no one around you but you knows you are lactating. The ghost image of your nursing baby is not hanging from your chest like a Christmas ornament when you are shopping. But you know it. You're doing something, even though no one can see it. It's biological multi-tasking. While you work, think, read, bathe, not only are your heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, liver, etc. all working for you (hopefully, and hopefully not against you), you are making milk for your little creature. It binds us to the rest of the mammalian animal community. It reminds us of our biological nature. It ties us to the most fundamental activities of survival.

Ok. Maybe that's just me.

babywhumpus is still nursing, and still enjoying it. Which is good. If he were just doing it for my benefit, that would be both sad and weird, and not a little frightening. It's only about three or four times a day, and I am no longer pumping, but every morning, he points to the livingroom where Pillow awaits. Some mornings, if he is up with daddywhumpus first, he drags the pillow to me. When we get home from day care, he points to couch and Pillow. And before he goes to bed, it's Mama Snack time. When he's not repeatedly slapping me for fun, I enjoy it. These are quiet times that we won't have for much longer (though the slapping will undoubtedly continue), and I know I will miss them when he's done.

Not only am I not pumping, but I am now running on only one boob. Lefty was not the most productive member of the team, but I kept it going, pumping and switching the boy back and forth, but a few weeks ago, I just... let it go. It feels odd to be running on only one cylinder, but even a full-time nursing baby can be fed with one boob, so this should be a piece of cake.

And besides, nobody knows that one of them doesn't work anymore because nobody knows that both of them ever worked.

It's my little secret.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Here in the northland, we grow 'em hale and hardy.

We complain about the cold and the snow only because we are proud of ourselves and we wish to keep outsiders in warmer climes, where they belong. We put on layers, and we tromp around in the snow and cold... on purpose. We sit on wood, plastic, and metal and fling ourselves down hills in the blistering cold... for fun. We are strong. We are tough. We are mildly insane.

In a passive-aggressive way.

Happy Valentine's Day

This pretty much sums it up for me.

For Valentine's Day, Finn gave me two sleepless nights in a row!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This doesn't FEEL true

A new study from Australia claims to have debunked the myth that women get stupid when they get pregnant and subsequently have a baby. They spent 20 years analyzing the mental function of a group of women before and during pregnancy and during early motherhoody times...

See, this is what I mean. It doesn't FEEL true. I just tried to paraphrase from the article, and it's a dead failure. Thank goodness I still have the brains left to be able to edit myself.

Anyway, they couldn't find a difference in cognitive speed and "people [I think she means women] have the tendency to blame the fact that they're pregnant on normal lapses of memory which happen all the time to us anyway." And doesn't she also mean to say "I think that women blame their normal lapse of memory on being pregnant?"

Maybe SHE'S pregnant.

So my experience doesn't make it scientifically true, but I sure feel dumber than I did before I got pregnant, and the boy is 20 months old now. Maybe I was a super hero before, and I just did not know it, and now I am a mere mortal. This would suck.

I think the researchers are trying to make me feel better and give us ammunition so we can say "SEE, mothers are just as smart as all y'all!!" And while that is true, and we may be smarter as a group in some ways, it's not helping me follow conversations, accomplish tasks, or find my keys.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Preferred Music Provider

It's no secret who the musician is in our MicroMcFamily. Pete sings, writes songs, and plays the guitar, harmonica, mandolin, and banjo. It's no secret to Finn, either, who once handed me a guitar then quickly grabbed it from me and gave it back to Pete when it became clear that I have no business handling a guitar unless I am performing roadie functions.

But I played the piano from age 6-18 and the flute from 5th grade through high school, and I can carry a tune. (Finn is fine with letting me sing.) I was no slouch in band and church choir.

Last night, during a piano plonk, Finn reached up and grabbed my flute, which has been assembled and laying behind the music stand for awhile with the idea that I will try to play it now and then. He went to give it to Pete, but we convinced him to give it to me. I played around with it and pulled out some music, treating Finn to a little Twinkle Twinkle among other tunes. When I stopped, he took the flute and gave it to Pete. Pete told him that it was mama who plays it and proved that it was not daddy's bag. Pete gave it back, and I played some more.

This morning, Finn desperately wanted some guitar time, going into our room where the guitars live in winter and grabbing Lily, the smallest guitar, and trying to drag her out of her place. I put it on the bed and explained to him that daddy did not have time right now, and Finn and I sat down at the piano for a little while.

Here I was, all excited that I could even remember fingering after 20 years of not touching the damn thing. I was thinking I could provide Finn with some musical joy as well.

Then he grabbed the flute. And took it to Pete.

This is going to take some work.


babywhumpus had his appointment with the ENT a couple of days ago. I kept thinking in my head that "ENT" must stand for Endondo-neuropathic-televisiologist" or something like that, so I could never remember the letters. Yup, it's Ear-Nose-Throat. Pretty simple. My faux-science brain wanted it to be so much more interesting.

Long story short: he's fine. His hearing is fine; his ears are clear; he couldn't be cuter. He was also really good for the appointment. He's onto these doctor things, and once he goes into a little room like that and the door closes, he starts to wail. I kept telling him that there would be no shots and pointed out the absence of a paper-covered table, and he settled down. He even let the audiologist and the doctor look into his ears without having to be strapped down like Hannibal Lechter.

Pete took him into a little sound-proof room for the hearing test, and he'll have to comment on what happened because, well, it was sound-proof, so I couldn't hear, and I sat out of sight so the boy couldn't see me and get distracted. I heard the word "clown" though, so it's probably best that Pete took him in there.

The ear doctor seemed a little surprised that Finn was even in her office, as he has had one ear infection and everything on all his tests and her exam was normal. We figure our pediatrician is being careful, perhaps due to his prematurity, and that's cool. Better safe than sorry.

Even better: no tubes.

At least not right now.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Civic Duty+Toddler=Epic Fail

I am sure that I did not learn my lesson last night, but the caucus system and a 20-month-old do not mix. At least, not my 20-month-old.

Minnesota has a caucus system, which basically means that you have to go to a place and sit in a room with other members of your precinct to determine resolutions and candidates. In this case, other members of the DFL (Democratic Farmer-Labor) party. This can take anywhere from one hour to several, depending upon the number of people present and the amount of resolutions proposed.

Complaints about the caucus system abound, and as I am judgmental and sanctimonious, I think they all boil down to "it's too much work." True, it takes more time, but many people bring their kids, and you get to meet your neighbors. The complaint about "it's only party insiders" is also just an excuse; at least, I have never felt that way, and I am by no means a party insider. I find it engaging and fun. At least, I used to.

daddywhumpus has rehearsal on Tuesday nights. It has never occurred to me that this would be a problem, unavoidable conflict-wise. I can take babywhumpus with me on primary or general election days, but I totally forgot that last night was caucus night, and Finn might be caucus averse. So I had to take him with me.

It didn't work out. He had a blast, toddling up and down the halls and trying to wander into other rooms. He knew which one was ours and, once free of it, shrieked and went limp and kicky whenever we entered and I tried to pick him up. He got many smiles and "Aws" and "isn't he cutes?"; I missed all the speeches from the candidates, every lick of business, and didn't even get to sign in. I left at 7:30, filled with bitter resentment and aimless frustration.

I wanted to write this when I came home, but it's probably better that I couldn't due to continued toddler duty. It was simmering around in my head with acidic vitriol and would not have been helpful. Interesting and laughable, but not helpful.

It did not help that our neighbors were there with their daughter who is not much older than Finn. She sat there placidly and quietly on her mother's hip like a perfect angel while Thrashy McShriekypants turned me into One Of Those Mothers, visibly exasperated with my lot in life as I bundled all our crap out of the room and down the high school hallways.

I don't always love being a mother, and I don't always like my child. Last night was particularly circus-option-inducing, and I probably need a mothering break. Trouble is, that's going to be pretty hard to come by in the near future.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Children's Museum: Redux

This may come as a shock to you, but sometimes, it gets cold in Minnesota, and though we are a hearty people, it's not as fun to do things outside when there are no degrees outside, especially with a baby. Here's where the Children's Museum comes in. We went back on Sunday because we wanted to check out the infant and toddler room; we missed it the last time.

It is most excellent.

It's a big room, divided up into four sections, each with a seasonal theme, and it includes ramps, slides, caves, nooks, crannies, bridges, and other little surprises kids can find.

There's Finn in part of the winter section. They had igloo blocks for building, and behind him is a little box that has icicles on monofilament that the kids reach in and move around; next to that are jingle bells on strings. Across from the jingle bells were chimes.

And icefishing.

Those sunflowers can be whirled around.

Finn spent more time crawling than he has in weeks; getting used to the terrain.

Those are his new four dollar big boy shoes. Well, sort of big boy. They don't tie, they slip on.

Parents can crawl around with them, and there's a nursing room as well as a little room off to the side with big and little person chairs as well as some story books and a nice view of the street.

Guess which book is ours.