Friday, May 28, 2010

We won't be homeless.

It's pretty official. We're getting the keys and signing the lease on our new place this afternoon. Which means, we can start moving in tonight! The only thing that might be in the way is the carpet might be a little damp - they're cleaning it this morning.

What a relief. It is nice to know that we'll have the whole weekend to move, not just one day. We've run out of boxes, so that means we're going to drive all our clothes over, hang them in the closets, and take back our empty boxes for more.

The amount of stuff we have is unreal. It never looked like we had that much stuff because I can do a pretty good job of squirreling things out of sight. I've been giving things away and selling things left and right, and we still have a lot left. I posted a bag of baby clothes for give away yesterday and the woman who came to get them was floored. By the time she got here, I had accrued 3 bags of stuff: bibs, car seat cover, snowsuits, a front pack baby carrier, some sleepsacks, burp cloths, etc. I was originally just going to give her the mismatched clothes that wouldn't sell for much on Craigslist anyway, but after I talked to her I just felt like I should give her more. I'm so glad I did. She was so grateful she cried. That made my day feel good enough that I won't miss the $30 or whatever I would have made anyway.

Oliver is going to my parents' this afternoon and spending the night. I talked to him this morning to tell him what is going to happen, but really.. I have no idea how much he understands. "They" say that he understands more than we think, but how much more? This morning I was a little worried that he might think we've abandoned him at Grandma & Grandpa's.  Does he understand when I say I'll see him in a couple days? Does he know what days are?

I can't help but compare him to the dogs I've had... You leave them at the kennel to go on vacation, and they think they're being dropped off at the pound forever. When you come back, they're so happy to see you because they thought you were gone for good. Do you think that's what it's like for him? I know he likes it at my parents... he likes that they have tons of toys. He gets all the attention in the world there, but I still wonder if he misses me and worries that I might not come back.

If he doesn't understand what we say to him, the world must be totally weird to him. Imagine riding in an elevator: You step into a box, you get a weird feeling (You don't know what gravity or anything is like that!) and then the doors open and the magic box has transported you someplace new. How weird! We're going to send him away for a couple of days, but then when we pick him up we'll be going home to a completely new place. He'll have all of his stuff, but everything will be different. What will he think? I wish I could know how much he understands.

P.S. If you want our new address, email me. I sent out a blanket generic message to most people, but if I left you off of the list... My apologies. It was hot and I was tired when I wrote it. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A word to the wise.

Diapers only work when gravity is working with them. For instance, if you're holding your baby upside down, and he decides to poop... Poop may splatter at your feet. And a little bit of urine might just trickle down on top of that. Just maybe.

While we were packing, Oliver found a book mark that contains a piece of the Berlin wall. He will crawl towards it no matter where it is. He just loves history, I guess. What a cultured young lad.


I just wanted to mention that it was 97 degrees here today, otherwise known as ridiculously hot. Oliver and I took a cool bath together. Accidentally dunked him. He survived. Did not cry. What a good boy.

After the bath, I thought it would be best to just let him crawl around with only a diaper on. Was a good idea in theory, until he tried to crawl on the hardwood floor and couldn't budge an inch.

All I could hear was the SCREEECH of his sweaty belly dragging across the floors.

Free Ranging It.

I read an article today about Lenore Skenazy's Free Range childrearing ideas. She's kinda out there, but for the most part I agree with her. She kinda has me scared that people are going to call CPS on us.

A couple of weeks ago I answered the door for a neighbor. She had locked herself out, so she buzzed me to let her in. I did. She asked, where's the baby?

Playing in the living room.

I'm pretty sure I heard her jaw bone shattering when it hit floor. I was out there for what... 2 minutes, tops? I didn't say that he was in his playpen, which he was. At that time, he couldn't even move. But.. still. I do admit to leaving him alone for a few minutes at a time, either on the floor or in a playpen.

Now, don't get me wrong. I want him to be safe. I look around for anything he could topple over onto himself or put into his mouth and choke on. BUT. If he tries to pull up on the couch arm, and I hear a big thunk.. Well, I'm not too alarmed. I'll glance at him, see that he's fine, and go back to whatever I was doing. For the most part his falls don't bother him one bit, and he's yet to sustain any visible damage.

Does this mean that he's never done anything he shouldn't? No. Frequently he manages to get a dirty nasty shoe in his mouth or he ends up stuck underneath the armchair. Yesterday morning he was trying to eat a dead ladybug. Big deal. I take away the offending object, distract him with a new soup ladle or some other equally fascinating thing and finish my sandwich.

I realize this isn't how all parents are. Jared worries way more than I do. Jared is the first one to rush over when Oliver takes a bit of a dive on the carpet.  He is the last one to let Oliver play in the grass, touch any dirt, lick the shopping cart, etc. Don't get me wrong, he is a great dad but he worries a lot. I know he worries because he cares. I get that, really I do. But.

What I don't get is how people can sustain that mentality of worry and constant vigilance. How do people watch their kids 24/7? Even What to Expect: The First Years states that a baby should never be left out of sight unless he is sleeping in his crib. What the hell!? I would go crazy. Sometimes, I just need to pee and I'm not going to try and hold it until he goes down for a nap. Sometimes, I would like to make myself lunch. And, let's face it, sometimes I don't want to play with animal train anymore and I just want to check my email. I am crazy enough already without having to worry about whether or not Oliver is going to develop some rare disease from licking the couch cushions.

And besides my own sanity, what about Oliver's? He's already been affected by our worries. If Jared is around, Oliver cries when he falls over and looks to Jared to pick him up. He knows Jared worries when he falls down and responds accordingly. When we first started taking real baths, I used to brace myself for rinsing his hair. I would get out the rinsing cup and sort of clench my teeth for the task at hand. I know I don't like water in my face, so I assumed he wouldn't like it too. I was wrong. As it turns out, what he doesn't like is me making a big deal out of it. The water itself is no problem. If I just dump a cup of water over his head while he's playing, he shivers and laughs about it. We both have to be careful about how we react and what we do, because whether we realize it or not, Oliver picks up on wayy more than we give him credit for.

SO. I don't want to teach Oliver to worry about everything. I don't want him thinking the world is an evil place. Most people out there are good. Most things aren't dangerous, if you keep your head about you. Eating food that has fallen on the floor, while it may not be proper etiquette, does not invite hosts of flesh-eating germs into your body. Taking risks means having more fun and enjoying your life more.  I want him to know that.

There is a reason you don't read articles about a big-deal CEO whose life motto is to "Play it safe." They don't write movies about The Man That Didn't Risk It All For Love. Storylines never say anything like, "One time, a little boy lived near a big scary forest. He lived near that big scary forest for his whole life. He never went in there.  Because. Could've been bears or something scary, who knows."

Monday, May 24, 2010


Today is the day we find out if we get our awesome apartment. I'm totally excited. There is no reason that we shouldn't get it. We've got the money, we aren't criminal thugs, and in general we rock. HOWEVER. That doesn't stop my brain from thinking that maybe they'll find out about that time when I didn't return my library books for 2 weeks or that they'll somehow KNOW about the detentions I got in middle school. Like they would even matter.

Irrational, but I am kinda excited and nervous for it. I even found a swimsuit to use in their swimming pool! It isn't so glamorous - I mean, really. It isn't that attractive at all. But I'm not going to fall out of it anywhere and it is a step better than anything else I've found. I would actually like the suit in a smaller size - It is almost a piece of retro throwback awesome. In fact, I tried it on in a smaller size and liked the body of it, but couldn't fit into the boobs of it. Hence, I bumped up a size(s), and then the boobs at least fit in it even if the rest of my body is swallowed up. I'm hoping people will just pay attention to my arms and legs. Somehow they manage to look pretty good. Considering it was only a $25 suit, it isn't like I can't buy another one should The Dream Suit come along someday. (As a side note... if somebody could figure out how to Frankenstein the bottom of the smaller suit to the top of the bigger suit, you know... I'd love you for just about forever.)

Oliver is 8 months old. For his special celebratory event, he was sent to Grandma and Grandpa's place, which has A/C. Jared and I celebrated by moving the heaviest dresser you could ever find down from the 4th floor of an apartment building. It was only $20, though, so it was worthwhile. We also hauled in a new desk and ditched the old one. Jared decided the old desk was too small. He saw the new desk at Ikea, liked it, but I said, "No Jared. Too expensive." (Such is my lot in life.) So then I went on to Craigslist, found the exact desk (my lucky day!) and took her home for 1/3 retail price. Only one visible scratch on it. Am I great or am I great?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Waterbed covered in flannel.

So, I was lying in bed reading my book when I decided cookies were in order.

(Side note: I especially related to this exceprt from the book:

"People kept trying to prepare me for how soft and mushy my stomach would be after I gave birth, but I secretly thought, Not this old Buckerina. I think most people undergoing chemo secretly believe they won't lose their hair. Oh but my stomach, she is like a waterbed covered with flannel now. When I lie on my side in bed, my stomach lies politely beside me, like a puppy."

Picture that, and it is exactly like me. A good read. Purchase it used from Amazon for a shiny copper Lincoln. Literally. Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year)

But anyway, I wanted cookies. And Jared said, "I'll watch The Doob while you go run to the store to get cookie dough."

I responded, "I could just make it myself."

Jared, "You can do that? Isn't that hard?"

"No. Haven't you ever made cookies before?"

"No. Except maybe one time I helped with sugar cookies."

Seriously?! Something must be wrong with him. Note to self: Make sure to make cookie with Oliver.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Is Jell-O a shape?

I've been swimsuit shopping. It's rough. Always has been rough, but now it is rougher. It went from a fine grit sandpaper to the coarsest of the coarse. My stomach dictates a one piece. Almost 8 months after baby, it is still covered in bright purple stretch marks. It also is the shape and texture of ziploc filled with uncooked chitlins. And it moves of its own volition. I fear it is moments away from gaining sentience.

However. The rest of my body dictates a two piece. My torso is long, so most suits ride right up my butt and then some. But what's worse? Well, my top and my bottom don't really belong together. According to the sizing charts, that is. You see... my butt? Well, my butt's about as voluminous as a tough skirt steak sewn onto my hip bones. My boobs? They're channeling a couple of XXL pork butt roasts or something. Prepregnancy, I could hardly contain them. Post pregnancy? I'll need the finest Renaissance era corset, a pair of strong arms, and some heavy working load string to corral them in.

According to the size charts, my butt is a size ten. That, I can handle. I'm a big girl, and a ten is doable for me. But then I scroll down to the bust size and I do a double take - size 20?! What!? How is such a discrepancy possible? You'd think I'd topple over from the top heaviness of it all. It must be a small miracle that I can even walk.

How am I supposed to find a suit that fits all of that? The only swimsuits for people with a chest like mine are made for porn stars, I'm pretty sure. And I think it goes without saying, but that really isn't my style. And since my boobs don't defy gravity with a  certain silicone weightless... well... you get where I'm going.

I ordered a size 18 swimsuit to test it out. It was still too small on top, and way too big on the bottom. I contemplated special ordering a swimsuit, but I can't justify the $200+. Maybe I won't be swimming this summer after all.

My friend and I were talking about all of this: my stretch marks, my nifty stomach pouch, and my paucity of properly fitting clothing. She sent me to Shape of A Mother, and wow what an interesting site. It is pictures of naked ladies. In specific, naked mothers.

They write in to the blog, show some pictures of their sometimes mangled and gnarly post-child bodies, and write a snippet about their lives. Then, other moms write in encouraging words. It is uplifting in a way I normally wouldn't consider.

It might sound kind of perverted, but flipping through all of their pages almost makes my stretch marks seem honourable. It is good to know I'm not the only one. Maybe I should suck it up and go swimming this summer after all.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tell her what she's won, Bob! A NEW CAR!

So I didn't win a new car. I did, however, win a subscription to Canadian Family magazine. I was one of the lucky individuals over at Ironic Mom's blog to be chosen at random.  Best luck I've had all week!

So, in case any of you have clicked your way through to my page from there... welcome!

Now. Back to your regularly scheduled time slot of my whinging and bellyaching.

It is hot. Hot. Capital H. Hot.  As in, we don't have air conditioning. Hot. As in, the baby wears only a diaper and still is sticky with sweat. As in, Jared is most definitely a nutter. He won't let me open the windows for fear of the menacing allergens waiting to storm in through our screens. I accept this in some ways, but... you know. The thermostat is singing another tune entirely.

Jared: Allergies! Runny nose! I could take a Claritin to fix it, but where would the fun in that be?
Thermostat display: 80F
Jared: But my eyes itch!
Thermostat display: 80F
Jared: But! But!
Thermostat display: 80F.

The thermostat wins.  The ceiling fans are on nonstop. Our one box fan has been working sweat shop hours. The mini desk fan I had coughed her last death rattle some time weeks ago. THE WINDOWS NEED TO BE OPENED.

This may be why I am getting antsy about moving into one of our new apartment options. Air conditioning. CENTRAL air conditioning.  I'm sure my antsiness has nothing to do with, oh... you know. Needing to be out of here in eleven days. Because eleven days is plenty of time to find a new home and move into it, right? Good. I thought so too.

P.S. If the new realtor gets into a car accident or if a piano falls on her head right before our scheduled showing today, I'll just take that as my final bad omen and move on...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

That baby always doing that stuff!

Oliver has started to bite the spoon that feeds him. Then he won't let go. He has done similar things with my nipples. I guess if I had to choose one, I'd rather him bite the spoon. But! I'd really prefer he quit both habits.

Jared took these, so they're a bit blurry. He doesn't know how to work the new camera yet.

Don't you even think of taking my spoon away from me.

You took my spoon away from me. How could you?

AND! On top of that. Jared and I are screwed. We're up the creek. In dire straights. In a pickle. In a fix. Inbetween a rock and a hard place.

Because this baby has figured out he can move now. And all he wants to do is eat our shoes. But sometimes he will instead settle for our set of keys. How generous of him, right?

I tried all day to take a picture of him crawling dragging himself across the room. He wouldn't budge. And then it came to me! Offer him something he isn't supposed to have as a prize. Since an electrical outlet wasn't a safe option, we chose to use the camera as bait instead. It worked.

And again.

P.S. Did I mention that he has learned to whine for what he wants? I love that too. Moving is going to be a blast. He's not going to get into stuff or anything like that. ....Anyone want to babysit?

Oh apartment, wherefore art thou so impossible to view.

Apparently some unseen force is trying to steer us away from our #1 apartment candidate. For our first apartment showing, Jared suddenly remembered he had something to do at school so only Oiver & I went. Then, we were unsure as to whether or not we liked the place, so we had to reschedule a time when Jared could take a look.

Obstacle one.

Then, when I called to schedule a second viewing, the lady was suddenly incredibly busy and couldn't get us in for another week. Well, okay. We had a little bit of time, so we said sure... pencil us in.

That was obstacle two.

When Monday finally rolled around, we showed up on time and waited and waited. No apartment lady. T+ 15 minutes and still no lady, so we decided to give her a call. No answer. We waited for 45 minutes... she didn't show, and she couldn't be reached on her cell. She had already called to confirm teh appointment earlier that afternoon, so we were boggled.

So went obstacle three.

Later that night, the apartment lady called to apologize. Her kid got sick and had to be taken to the hospital. I said okay, I'm pretty easy to assuage with a sick kid story. We set up another viewing appointment fot he next day.

We showed up, on time per usual, and after 5 minutes of waiting received a phone call. She was stuck in traffic, and would be 15-20 minutes. We said okay, and went for a walk while we waited for her. 20 minutes roll by, still no sign of her. Half an hour rolls by, still no sign of her. We waited for an hour and a half - no sign, no phone call, nothing. We went home.

That is how obstacle 4 came to be.

As I was just about to write a letter to the company complaining about htis lady's unprofessional behaviour, we received a phone call from the company. She got into a car accident. She was okay, but unable to drive and hsow up the apartmnet. Could we schedule some time to see the place with another lady?

Yes. So now we're waiting until 6:30 (I think) tomorrow to go and try to look at it again. I hope it's worth it, because we only have 12 days to be out of here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

On the move.

We're on the move. I've been packing and organizing things a bit, and that's a chore I'm already starting to hate. We have two weeks to get out of this place, but we don't know where we're going yet. Today I'm taking Jared to look at a condo that could be our next potential home, and I've got my hopes up. I mean sure, the place is ugly, but besides that... I guess I can't put a finger on anything that is really that wrong with it. I'm sure I can work it somehow, if Jared decides he likes it. I am queen of Making It Work.

Oliver has also been pretty busy these days. This morning when I went to pick him up from his crib he was sitting up, happy as a clam. Jared said he's seen Oliver sit up by himself before, but today was my first time. It is kind of exciting but also a bit terrifying because I'd like to be able to pack, unpack, & clean up without Oliver's "help" getting in the way.

So far I've been able to entertain him by giving him a box, putting stuff in the box, and letting him take the stuff out. Great fun! He also likes nothing more than to sit in the boxes, which I find especially amusing because there is the plastic sticker on each of the big Rubbermaid totes that says DO NOT PLACE CHILD IN THIS CONTAINER.

It is quite interesting to think though that he went from this cute blob:

to this little baby helping me pack boxes:

All in 7 months' time.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

We're Done.

We're done with finals. Oliver celebrates. Rounds of breast milk on the house.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


This is our favorite part of the day. We sit on the couch and we look out the window, waiting for Daddy to come home.

We watch all of the cars go by and we count every #16 bus, because we know that he is coming.

Some days we wait on the front steps for him, but today is rainy so we wait on the couch. For months I propped Oliver up on the seat back, but now he stands on his own.

And every time when we catch that first glimpse of Daddy, we squeal and do our own special little dance.

We see you, Daddy. Welcome home.

Practically a realtor.

I've been busy. Jared's mother flew in for Mother's Day weekend and we were too busy doing nothing to make a new blog post. :)

On Mother's Day itself I went to go visit my mommy while Jared studied for his final exams. While driving home from a restaurant, we found some baby duckies all by themselves on the side of the road. I rescued them.

All seven of them.

Since then, I've been showing our apartment like crazy. Lots of interest, lots of people asking for applications. I'm 99% sure I could be a real estate agent. The only thing holding me back is my lack of a poofy and/or feathered hairstyle. And maybe some shoulder pads.

SO. While it's great and all that people want to move in to our place, what isn't so great is that we've not got anywhere to move into yet. I've been in and out of so many apartments, and none feel just "right" to me. There are no shortages of shitholes around here. In fact, I would say that the off campus area is rife with them. The problem is that we're looking for something a little more home-like, a little less trenches of WWI-esque.

I can find great places. If Jared had a car and could drive to school, we'd have found a home 10 times over. I've found some true winners - but near campus or on a bus line? None yet. It's no wonder everyone loves our apartment... I think it's the only place within a mile of campus that could pass as a home. (It also doesn't hurt that I am a high quality interior decorator, there is a cute baby showing the apartment, and it smells like wildberry muffins in here.)

I have high hopes for some apartments this afternoon. One has a porch, and FREE IN-UNIT LAUNDRY. I love that feature. The other one is a bit spendy, but close to campus, well kept and spacious. Cross your fingers that one of them can be our home.

Oliver's opinions of the apartments are indecipherable. I don't know if the shrieks mean "Yes, I love it here!" or "Why did you bring me here, Mother? You're wasting my time." For him I'm looking for:

  1. Wood or laminate flooring (He tends to lick/bite carpet.)
  2. A bedroom that would afford him a dresser.
  3. A dishwasher
  4. Free laundry
  5. Parking
  6. Non claw foot death trap tub.
  7. Space for a table for family dinner time.
  8. Yard or nearby park, sidewalks etc for walks.

That shouldn't be so hard, right? Ha. Right.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I know I've told you about his teeth, but I realized I hadn't shown them to you yet. I tried to take some pictures of them today, but he was a little less than cooperative. This was the best I could do...

I tricked him into showing us some more teeth in this video.

Am I the only one that thinks his top teeth make him look a bit like a hippo?


P.S. If You're getting these posts via email, be warned that not all photos and videos get sent through. Be sure to check the blog's actual page every now and again to be certain you've not missed anything. :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

That minivan again...

Driving in that minivan yesterday must have made these ideas pop into my brain. Last night I dreamt that I had about 5 kids, and then when I woke up I was actually panicked that maybe I did have 5 kids. Nope. No way. Not going to happen.

Jared & I have discussed having Twobie after Doobie, but that would more than likely be the end of the line for this train.  Our worst (or maybe best) case scenario would involve a Doobie, a Twobie, and an Oopsie.

However, considering my weird PCOS problems, Doobie could very well be Baby Number Last, and that would be okay for us. We just got our big family photo delivered yesterday, and we make a fine family as it is.

Besides, it would be hard to imagine any other baby being as nice as this here one we've got right now. Even if he won't eat green veggies anymore.

That was the best veggie photo I could find. But here are a couple more:

Falling asleep at the wheel of the bouncer.

A rare moment of cousinly interaction, where Oliver is neither gouging her eyes out nor pulling her hair.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Last night my parents watched Oliver so we could go out and have fun. I drove their new VW Routan home, and I have to admit... I want a minivan now.

 I am willing to trade my social cool factor for convenience. I felt pretty BA cruising down the road... pull out in front of my minivan? I WON'T GO DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT! Step in front of my little Yaris? Um, excuse me, don't mind me while I quietly CRUMPLE LIKE TIN FOIL.

There were so many buttons. The doors! The automatic ease with which they can be opened! The window shade screens, the DVD players, the cupholders! I'm sold. I am willing to look like a soccer mom pulling up to parties just so I can have a passenger seat AND a car seat in the car at the same time! Novel concept for us.

Don't even get me started on the Sirius radio. I'm willing to bet that very little can top the feeling of driving down the interstate with 40's hits playing on the radio, COMMERCIAL FREE. Makes you feel like a whole new woman. Bonus 900 awesome points.

But anyway. I got to drive the new van for the night. I picked up Jared and we eventually wound up at a friend's going away party. Sometimes I wish I were more of a normal college student, but after last night I decided I am okay with my boring life. Less heart attack inducing, I think. Less liver failure, for sure.

The party was only a few blocks away so we could walk. I ended up being the designated hair-holder-backer for a couple of people, which isn't fun but is sometimes necessary on the college scene.  Definitely made me realize that I'm not missing that much staying home with Oliver. When it comes down to it, I'd rather risk the occasional diaper seepage than have to deal with full grown people's vomit. Helping people stumble safely to his or her own bed makes for interesting stories, but it really is something I'd rather avoid. Let's just pause for an imaginary pat on the back for me potentially saving people's lives.

Now, after that I think I am done with any parties for quite some time.

BUT! Anyway. None of that really has anything to do with what I wanted to say in this post.

Tomorrow evening, Jared has to go to a strange dinner for doing well in his lab class. Besides some sort of lame certificate & a free meal, we don't know what he gets. Neither of us is thrilled at the prospect of him going. Boo that he has to go, but yay that he did well. ("Well" in this case is a relative term. Everyone else in the class sucked a lot. He only sucked a little bit, so that means he did "well.")

Tomorrow afternoon is another apartment showing, so I've got my fingers crossed that it will be the perfect next home for us. It's in a great location, so it's potential is high.

Tuesday I'm going to work on artful arrangement of our apartment so we can list it for rent.

I'm going to try to squeeze in some time to visit some condos my parents are looking at buying. Probably on Wednesday or something like that. 

Thursday night Jared's mom flies in for a weekend visit.

Saturday is Jared's first final, so he'll be busy all week as well. At least this year is almost over with.

I may or may not be too busy to post for a little bit here. If so, accept my apologies. I'll make sure to upload videos so you'll forgive me.