Thursday, November 30, 2006

Turkey, Family, and Baby Diphthongs

Tomorrow e-baby and I are flying home from Austin. SNG, e and I flew in on Thanksgiving day, SNG flew home Tuesday, and I taught a class Tue-Thur (it just ended). Flying cross country alone with a baby (and a ton of luggage) sounds like a recipe for Big Fun.

The visit here has been so much fun, and really busy. E-baby has aged before our eyes in the past 6 days. She loves to look at EVERYTHING. The flight here was really easy, except that it's not easy to do anything onboard an airplane with a baby attached to you. She didn't mind the up and down business, but once we got onto terra firma, she was MAD. I think her ears must've been popping or something, because the whole evening she screamed and cried.

My niece, my brother and sister-in-law, and one of my aunts were at mom and dad's house for Thanksgiving dinner, and the next day, another aunt and uncle came to town with 5 of my little cousins (cousins' kids). The youngest of these is 8, the oldest 18. All were entertaining to, and entertained by, the little fuzzy-top baby. My cousin Twinkie #2 came to town on Sunday morning and spent Sunday and Monday with us, which was so much fun.

We also got to spend some time Friday, Saturday and Sunday with two of our best friends here, T&E, and their little guy Big Al, and the soon-to-be-baby-in-belly. Whew!! They are going to be TIRED starting in mid-March!

SPEAKING OF BABIES, I've been keeping mum about this, but she's 12 weeks along now so I can tell you that my high school BFF Lizard IS HAVING A BABY! Yay! So between PIC, E, Lizard and me, we'll have a little army of teeny babies, ready to take over the world. I can't wait!! I think e-baby's excited about it, too, but all she says is "LA!"

Actually, that isn't true. Last night she said her firstdipthong. It was a long "I" sound, pronounced like "Ah-ee." She's sosmart!! I was singing a little song to her that says "IIIII LOOOOVE YOUUUUU" and after the 3rd of 4th time, she said "IIII" (or, more accurately, "ahee") So I sang to her again, and again after 2 or 3 more, she said "IIII" ("ahee") She did it 3 times, so I know it wasn't a fluke. Not quite a first word, but more than a simple phoneme.

What other stuff did we do?... we watched people ice skate on the roof of the Whole Foods world headquarters on a beautiful 80 degree afternoon, walked to Mozart's for tea and the view of Lake Austin, and went jogging several times while others watched the baby. Who knows what else we'll do, since it's still almost a whole day until my plane leaves....

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Monday and Tuesday were my first 1/2 days back at work, and e-baby's first days at daycare. SNG and I devised a morning ritual, which starts with my shower at 6am, moves to SNG changing the diaper, yada yada and ends with feeding the baby one last time at the daycare at about 8:45. It's a complicated little dance, but it'll work well once SNG and I practice our moves a few times. It worked so brilliantly, in fact, that even when e-baby poopinated her fancy new-kid-at-school outfit at 7:40am yesterday, we still had her changed and at school roughly on time (9:05, but who's counting?).

It was surprisingly easy. Knowing that I could call or drop in any time eased my nerves, and feeding her as I dropped her off in her room made the transition easy for her. The only side effect so far is that she cllliiiinnngggsss when I nurse her now, dozing with her "head in the fridge," as it were, for about 30 minutes after all the food is gone. I can't say I mind the extra cuddling. It's comforting to both of us.

In my office, the 2 half-days were just about as wasted as they could be. Most of my time was spent trudging through 8 weeks of email and telling people that, yes, I'm back ALREADY and yes, it sure seems SOON and the baby is beautiful and motherhood is magical etc. I expected it to be this way. But to tell you the truth, it felt beautiful and magical to be back to my old routines and coworkers who, I think I've mentioned before, I adore. But, I was so unproductive that instead of working a half day, I stayed for 6 hours. In the middle of that I fed e-baby and took a 20-minute jog on campus. Hooray for daycare!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Hi folks, this is Alphagal's cousin, PartnerInCrime. I'm working on fixing a few things in her blog template, so the site may be experiencing some technical difficulties.

If the whole thing goes kerflooey, don't fret, I'll have it back up and running in no time. Promise.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


We had our orientation at the day care center today. Monday will be my first day back at work (but part time until the end of the year).


Of course, I will be only 2 buildings away since day care is on campus, and they're giving me a pager so I can run over there everytime she's hungry to feed her throughout the day, and the place is cleaner than my house and better equipped, and there are three teachers per class, and a max of 6 babies in a class, and right now there are only four. But still. It makes me sad to leave her at all.

*snif, snif

It really only bothers me that I will have to travel and be without her for more than the business day. The first trip will be hard, but then maybe I'll get used to it. One of my friends at work says that she's gotten to where she loves going on trips because it's the only time she's certain to get uninterrupted sleep.

The thought of an uninterrupted night of sleep brings a tear to my eye. I haven't had one since August, since that last month of pregnancy had me pretty restless at night. At the time, people told me I was "getting practice for when the baby comes." Um, OK, someone tell me WHY THE HECK DID I NEED PRACTICE FOR THAT? I can do it JUST FINE without the practice. And right about now I'd love to sleep uninterrupted for 10 hours.

I shouldn't complain. E-baby only gets up once in the night, somewhere between 2 and 4am. My neighbor's little 5 1/2 month old girl still won't sleep for more than 3 hours at a stretch. And that's an improvement from a month ago when she was up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

What else? We're going to Austin for Thanksgiving and the week after. Bunches o' family will be coming up to meet miss e, so that'll be fun. I hope they're ready for some noise. That girl has pipes and when she wants to be heard, she is heard. And best of all, Friday we get to watch the UT/aTm game with T&E and Big Al.

Hey, remember this picture? That was our little 3-day-old e-baby.

Here's a similar shot, at 6 weeks:

And here's what e-baby said this morning when I told her she'd be starting "school" next week:

Monday, November 13, 2006

I just switched to the Blogger Beta today, so if the blog acts funny, that's probably why.

Poor little e-baby. She has a cold, and for a couple of days has been screaming in pain and misery, and not sleeping very much. I took her to the doctor today (what does it say about me that I'm still in the habit of saying "to the vet" rather than "to the doctor"? Do we need another dog or what?). They poked and prodded her, and agreed with me that her behavior was not normal for her (they know her really well by now). But, since they couldn't find any obvious reason for the screeching other than having a cold, and since she had a low-grade fever, they sent us over to the pediatric emergency unit at a local hospital. Not the hospital that's walking distance from the house. No, they sent us to the one clear on the other side of town. At rush hour.

So, once we got there, we were checked in pretty quickly, and she was poked and prodded some more. Poor little thing, probably wondering what she did to deserve having her temperature taken, rectally, three times in one day. And to add insult to injury, they wanted a urine sample. Yeah, with a newborn? That requires a catheter. Someday this day will resurface in some repressed memory therapy session and she'll hate me forever.

But the real reason I'm writing this post is to tell you about hospital procedure for an infant. Just like a grown-up, they took her temperature, blood pressure, respiration, weight, and handed me the teeniest, tiniest hospital gown you've ever seen. With puppies on it.

And yes, it ties up the back so that her little bottom sticks out the back when she's walking up and down the hall.

Or, just hanging around the room screeching from the indignity of it all. ;-)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Okay, so it took me a little longer than I had anticipated to sit down and post these. I have 2 sets of little videos. First, recent footage of e-baby in her new "overstimulation gym." Well, actually it's not called that but it should be.
She really loves "rock a bye baby," especially when it is performed by a blue octopus with flashing red eyes.
looking in the overhead mirror (and then looking a little overstimulated)
listening to her tunes
BTW, she's 6 weeks old in those.

For the next set, I thought this was fun. I found videos from 1, 2, 4 and 5 weeks old that show her face really well. It's really neat to see how she looks a little different in each one. She's not just getting bigger: her face is gaining character.
One week old
Two weeks old
Four weeks old
Five weeks old

Thursday, November 9, 2006

I'm back online! Time Warner Cable are a bunch of jive-turkeys.

LONG story less-long: After 8 hours (EIGHT HOURS) on the phone with various tech support people over 2 days, they set an appointment to come fix something at my house between 8 and noon. But they ended up fixing it remotely and never told me so, and so I waited at home until the end of time without knowing the problem was fixed... until I happened to turn on the computer for something else and found "HP updates are available" and I said "How do you know this?" and the computer went online to get the updates-- which is how I learned that TWC had in fact fixed the problem without telling me.

What's most annoying about this? It was a server outage on their end. Which is what I thought it was in the beginning, that is to say, on Tuesday morning!! I told them so, and they kept telling me it was a hardware issue on my end. So I tested: 2 different wireless routers, 2 different cable modems, 3 computers, 2 different cable jacks in the house, a wireless connection, an ethernet connection, and a USB connection, with and without the router in play, enabling and disabling the firewalls, while holding a mouthful of coffee in my mouth, while standing on my head, seated and standing. I also tried playing JS Bach for the modem (good for babies, why not for modems?). They still wanted to tell me it was a hardware issue on my end. I told them that I was almost positive that they had a DHCP server issue, and they ignored me. Then they said it was the cable coming into my house. Which I knew it wasn't. And it wasn't. And I said I'd make this LONG story less-long so I'll just stop talking now.

Later I'm going to post some e-baby videos. E-baby is good for lowering blood pressure, and she can bost your immune system. And I know you want to see the proof. And it's cold& flu season. Consider it my good deed today.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Saturday night was our 2nd annual Guy Fawkes day bonfire, and a good time was had by all. Or, at least, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. Unlike any other party we've ever thrown, the salad was the first thing to be finished off. That's probably because we forgot to show anyone where the hot dogs and s'mores were until after I noticed a couple of people eating their own hands.

We burned a lot of stuff, and I have to say that burninating with the assistance of youthful pre-pyromaniacs is really, really fun.

To see a photo-blog of the fun, go here. There are notes on most of the pictures because that is My New Trick. I should also mention that nearly all the pictures were taken by Dianaverse, which explains why she isn't actually in any of the pictures.
I have pictures from the Guy Fawkes party but I haven't been able to sit and post about it yet because there's this baby, who is all warm and soft and fuzzy on top, who smells so nice, who curls up around my neck and snores a little bit all morning long. She is there now and this took about 10 minutes to write. I should have it posted by this evening?

In the meantime, I put a link to Week 6 pictures on Flickr a couple of posts down from here, if you haven't seen them yet.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Test Post: Flickr Blog and Notes

Walking with mom
Originally uploaded by catandtony318.
I'm testing a feature in Flickr that lets you add notes to a picture. Neat. It also lets you post pictures directly to your blog. You can see the notes of you click on the picture.

Friday, November 3, 2006

e-baby says, "I really made the most of my very first Halloween!"
Isn't it a Bit Early to be Sick of The Christmas Season?

It drives me bonkers that Christmas decorations go up earlier and earlier every year. Case in point: In college I was frustrated when Christmas stuff hit the stores a few weeks before Thanksgiving. In grad school I recall complaining that Christmas stuff was in the stores the day after Halloween. This year, Christmas stuff hit the stores the day after Labor Day. What the??

To make matters worse, most of the Christmas stuff is cleared out the make way for Valentine's stuff on Dec 26. That's right, the "First day of Christmas" is really the First day of Valentine's shopping. Uh, Hello? The Christmas Season lasts until Epiphany. I have a sinking suspicion that the worst culprits of all are the turkeys who boycott stores for having Happy Holidays in their windows. Because for some reason they hate sharing December with anyone else's religious holy days, but they probably take their trees down on the 26th. But I have no proof that this is the case.

I just saw 2 things on the news that made me bristle, and so I thought I'd share them with you.

First: Our local Macy's, which is new, is trying to establish itself in a city where the Old is sacred (kind of like New Orleans, so I can't really knock it). Macy's recently displaced (bought out) a local department store that was something of an institution (think D.H. Holmes or Godchaulk's in NOLA, but Raleigh-flavored). So, to endear themselves to the locals, they're having a "Macy's Holiday Parade." Come on out and join the fun... this Sunday, November 5. They could at least have the decency to wait until the weekend before Thanksgiving or something, but no. The weekend before Election Day is close enough to the holiday season for these guys. I'm already sick of Jingle Bell Rock.

Second: This is totally unrelated to the holidays, and it was a few days ago, but it friggled me so it fits into the current post theme. I was watching some drivel on the cable channels up in the hundreds, something like a biography of Bela Lugosi or a 25-year-old British comedy or a documentary on the city of Jericho or somesuch. Anyway, the Emergency Broadcast System BRAAAP BRAAAP BRAAAP comes over, and a banner across the bottom of the screen tells me that:
"The North Carolina department (of something-or-other) has issued a Child Abduction Warning for the following counties..... until this evening at 20:45"

That was all it said. Not information on who the abductors might be, where they might be, what to do to find more information, why they were interrupting a brilliant interview with a Harvard epidemiologist, nada. There was nothing on any of the local news stations, and no other warnings were issued. So, um, I HAD been thinking about putting e-baby in her stroller out at the corner with her little thumb sticking out and a sign saying "Mexico or Bust" but NOW, with that warning in place, NO WAY. Thank goodness for the NC Dept of something-or-other. Since e-baby wasn't abducted that day, I'm sure it was all because of that excellent implementation of the Emergency Broadcast System. Hmph.

But today is Friday, and tomorrow is the BONFIRE! and so I'm pretty stoked (pun intended). Tonight Peace and Fuzzy will come over with the printout of Parliament and some poster board. Armed with glue sticks, frosting, gumdrops and about 2 gallons of salsa, we will have a craft project to keep us entertained for hours.