Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Because Everyone's Doing It

I had to too:

Online Dating

Apparently because of the frequent references to "breast" and "lesbian" and "gay".

Who knew that feeding one's kid made one R rated?

As for the lesbians...


Thursday, June 21, 2007

On and On, On and On, On and On.

I'm so sick of cleaning this house. Another showing tomorrow. I hope these people like it. Half our furniture is at the Showcase house so our own home looks alternately really empty and really big. After we moved out the TV armoire, the two club chairs, and the side table from the family room, I looked at Partner and said, "Wow, this is a really big room." People have commented that the room is too small. It looks big again. At least with the reduced furniture, it's easier to clean. Not as much dusting. And vacuuming can happen without having to move pesky chairs and such.

There's no dining room table here anymore either. It's also doing double duty across the street. Along with all Cricket's furniture, and the guest room.

The house looks like one of those big houses that people move into and then can't furnish. I want to post a note:

NB: We do own furniture. Go across street to Showcase house to
see it. Or don't go across. Just stay here, imagine your own furnishings, and buy this house.

In the interest of selling, my monthly burying of Saint Joseph on the blog:

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

If We Can Just...

Our house has been for sale for nearly or over a year now. I can't really think about it too much. People keep coming through it, which is great since it means it still generates interest, and there have been several "second" showings, but no bites. One person has even looked at it three times. Three times, lady? You like it already! Buy it! We're selling it for under appraised value, significantly under value, mind you.

I've found myself thinking, "If we can just sell our house, I'll be happy."

How often do we set ourselves up by thinking like that? I'll just be happy if: we sell the house, we find the house, I lose X pounds, I get the job, I get into that school, I obtain that degree, I have a baby...

Let's take that last one for example-- the baby. I know that I thought I'd have everything I wanted if I just had the baby. That I'd be happy. And then after Cricket was born and in the NICU and I spent so much time crying, and even after that when he came home and it was freezing cold and I felt like a prisoner in my home, I didn't have that "happy" I had envisioned. I had to realign my expectations, but the fact of the matter is that we do this to ourselves. Set ourselves up in some fairy land where one thing is the answer to everything. And really, has it ever worked that way? The odds are pretty low.

There's no magic pebble, Sylvester.

I won't be any more or less happy on the whole if we sell this house or not. If we do get an offer (soon), I'll be really happy for a few hours, and then the realization that we'll have to pack up our house will set in. And then as much as I think we'll be happier living in a smaller house in a city neighborhood, I'm pretty damn sure there will be pitfalls associated with that too. In reality, I'm a pretty happy person, but as much as that's true, I still find I need to remind myself of that fact every once in awhile. Like when our house has been on the market for over a year.
I don't mean to suggest that there aren't situations where getting out of them or into them might really change one's general happiness level. After I graduated from college, I went to live in the UK for a boyfriend and it was disastrous. I really was much happier after I left him. But it was so much more immediate then. I didn't find myself saying, "I'll be happier if I can just break up and leave M," instead I just knew I had to get out. When I did, I realized how much improved my life was.

I just think it's dangerous to assume that there will this one thing that will change and make you a happy person. I think the happiness we feel is inside and comes from our general outlook on the world, and so often we all fall inside the "I'll just be happy when..." trap. I'm trying to avoid going there again, but at the same time, I still think I'll just be damn overjoyed when this house finally sells.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

All Nighters of a New Kind

We have some good friends and family. I'm all welly with tears right now. I'm at home, but at the house we have in the Showcase tour of homes this year is one of my brothers, Partner, a good friend's husband, two more good friends, and their child and they are all pitching in to get this damn house ready for thousands of people to troop through it starting tomorrow. I honestly thought at point it was never going to get done, but it is. And it's all done to the really really great friends we have.

Now if they could just find someone to buy it too!


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Silent Fireworks

The backyard in dusk, and my chair in the window. The fan blowing across the room. Clair de Lune, just as I imagined it always would be. His legs curled around my body, eyes just closed, breastfeeding to sleep. And fireflies, everywhere, lighting up the backyard with brilliant moments of peace.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

How to NOT watch the Soprano Finale

On Sunday night, your kid who normally goes to sleep without a hitch will suddenly freak out. You will feed him normally on your right breast and when it's time to switch, he will not take the left breast for the world. He will clamp his lips shut, arch away from the breast as if it were the worst thing he ever smelled and promptly begin screaming/crying. You will woefully look at the clock. Ten to nine. You will squeeze said breast to see if any milk comes out. It does. You smell it. It's fine. You worry it was that glass of wine you had with dinner. Did it effect one breast and not the other? Screaming/crying continues, so you stand up and begin walking him around. Standing on the balcony outside your bedroom calms him down, but he's waking up even more, looking intently at the dusky backyard.

At some point, you woefully realize that even though all day you have been excited to watch the Sopranos, as it happens and not delayed, it's going to be a TiVo experience. That's okay. Maybe you'll just be a little behind.

But oh-no! Your child will fuss and cry for so long that you are sure he's got intussusception because there were a few poops with blood in them over the last week and he has only had one big and one small poop on that day, less than usual. You will begin to freak yourself out about it. Your partner will try and calm you down. It barely works, but eventually you get the Cricket to sleep by standing in the totally dark closet singing old church hymns like "On this Day, Oh Beautiful Mother" and "Salve Regina" while all the while you are feverishly praying to Our Lady to help make you a calm mother who doesn't freak out at everything and please, please, please help your overtired baby go to sleep. It works. Baby falls asleep and goes down in cosleeper, finally. It's 10:30 pm.

You join your partner downstairs, where you find that she put out some profiteroles, what she thought was going to be a Sopranos treat. You ignore the profiteroles (for a minute) and gulp the rest of the (one) glass of wine you tried to eat with dinner. You then promptly eat the profiteroles, but not as a Soprano snack. Instead you watch two episodes of the British soap you have been helplessly addicted to for the past thirteen (yes, I said thirteen) years. You are so upset by one of the current story lines that you don't feel you can go sleep, even at 11:30, a time you haven't willingly stayed awake to for a goodly while.

As you and your partner go to upstairs, you comment that neither of you will be able to watch anything or listen to anything until you have watched the Sopranos. And then you fall asleep, actually, relatively easy.

In the morning as you breastfeed your baby, you watch Good Morning America and promptly fast forward the portion where they talk about The Sopranos. You aren't proud that the nipple fell out of the baby's mouth as you lunged for the remote, but you do feel pleased that you've avoided any spoilers.

When the baby goes for his morning nap, you prep your lab for the next day. And then after that, before you start studying for test two, you decide you'll check Google news, forgetting that there is a big "Entertainment" news section. And then you will see a headline about the show. And you will not be able to get what you read out of your head. And you might think, "Why bother even watching now?" But you will still watch, but probably not until tomorrow after you are done with your Organic Biochem test. And you will have to put yourself into a little bubble until then so you don't find out anything more than you already did.


Don't tell me anything about the show. Don't even hint. I'm going to study now, but the only thing that will stick in my pathetic brain is not going to be anything about fatty acids, sphingosphines, or carbohydrate hydrolysis, it's going to be all (vaffancullo!) Tony and Paulie.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Cricket Food

I'm not saying it's going to start soon. In fact I'd rather it didn't start for awhile, but I believe the time is near.

Cricket may want to eat food soon. He got a very very cool spoon from his Grandma P and transferred it from hand to hand quite adeptly, if I do say so myself, and then put it into his mouth. Repeatedly.

I am not going to feed him anything other that the breast for a bit to come. I think he should be a confident sitter before feeding him. (I can come up with a thousand reasons to not give him anything other than the breast, and really, I'm not planning on feeding him "food" next week or anything...)

But it is going to happen, and when it does, I want to be prepared. I plan on making the food myself. And as a cookbook aficionado, I want to know good baby food making sources.

Now comment! Please!


Monday, June 04, 2007

Monday Cuteness

Cricket likes to have serious conversations with some of his toys. Here is really getting into it with a frog, probably talking about the politics of cricket consumption by frogs. I mean, this kid really likes a good discussion. He's so our boy.
This face, while slightly cute here, will probably be the face that annoys me when he's fourteen and being defiant. He could also look three sheets to the wind here. Which he is, sorta. On breast milk, you know?
No more needs to be said. Adored, alright.
Not above using the kid to make statements.
Here is relaxed baby. Not a care in the world. He has just been slathered and it is feeling rather content. He's also mesmerized by the red-eye reducer. Last night we were laughing about little baby bodies and how out of proportion they are. His short little arms in relation to his long body-- it's cute when he's five months old.


Friday, June 01, 2007

The Rash Revisited: Car Seat Suspect #1

I've decided that Cricket does not have eczema, an autoimmune disorder, MRSA, poison ivy, impetigo, HSV, or chicken pox, which were all theories about what was happening to him. I've decided he's "allergic" to his car seat.

The very device I researched the most, that I thought of as the most essential safety requirement we'd have for him has ended up being the culprit. Or jackass.

It's impossible for me to relate how guilty Partner and I feel about putting him over and over into the car seat, and now knowing that it was that which was causing the burning rash and blisters.

How did we figure out it was the car seat? Well, it started with Brother K, who called with his speculation that perhaps the seat was treated with flame retardant, and maybe, just maybe, Cricket was having a reaction to it? Sounded plausible, we thought. Since the rash had started on the back of his head, we started putting a burp cloth behind his head, mostly because we thought the fabric of the car seat might irritate the rash. We hadn't though previous to Brother K's suggestions that the seat was the cause.

Yet last week when we had him in the car seat in shorts, the rash bloomed again on the outside of both legs, interestingly enough where his legs were touching the seat. Other places the rash has appeared: the elbow on one side only, the side that he prefers to lean to, along with the cheek on that side, and the back of his hand. Never, not once, has this rash appeared on any part of his body that wasn't touching the seat. He's never had it on his shoulders, trunk, upper thighs. And the rash only appeared on other parts other than his head only after we were in South Carolina, where it was even warmer and he wore shorts and short sleeve shirts for the first time while in the car seat.

Here's what I read: some car seats are treated with bromine, chlorine, and even lead. Often these materials break down in the heat causing, for some babies, serious problems. Among the lead offenders is the Graco SafeSeat (for boosters, but I'm clearly suspicious of the infant seat too.) One of the materials used to treat car seats to make then flame retardant is decabrominated diphenyl ether. This has been linked neurological defects, cancer, low sperm counts, permanent learning and memory impairment, and in some cases, even cancer. I'm beginning to think we got off lucky with a rash.

The healthycar.org people have tested and ranked the car seats according to who is the worst offender and whose seats are better. (Read the report here.) I've called Graco to get try and get the low-down on what was on Cricket's car seat. Two trips to the ER, numerous doctor appointments and finally seeing the chair of the dermatology department at fancy-schmancy university hospital-- *sigh*-- all caused by his car seat.

The whole thing makes me sick. We wash all the Cricket's clothes with Dreft. I think about what I eat all the time since it will pass to him via breast milk. We research almost every damn thing that comes into contact with our little man. I wake up at night and put my hand on his chest to be sure he's still breathing. We love him so much and to think we inadvertently caused his rash is making us feel sick. This is actually a very mild picture of what his head looked like. At first it was much more widespread, with pustules that oozed like a bad blistering burn.

The leg here is not as bad as it got either. It actually felt hot to the touch. The thing is, I think back to the La Leche meeting where I accosted the dermatology resident who say Cricket's head when it looked particularly bad. Her words keep echoing, "That doesn't look like eczema to me." Yeah, me neither, sister.
So I'm in the market for a good car seat cover made from 100% cotton and completely untreated. We're now using a cut up tee shirt, which is protecting the kids skin, but a pain in the ass to get him situated correctly
I'm mad as a hornet about the whole thing. As soon as I find out more, I'll let you know what I hear.

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