Monday, March 31, 2008

Up WAY before daylight

Ethan woke me up at 4:45 this morning, and, rather than going back to bed for 30 minutes after I finished feeding him, I just stayed up. Mostly because I have a cold, so getting to sleep is a major accomplishment, between the coughing and sniffing, and my husband probably deserves a bit more uninterrupted sleep without me and my sound effects. I was pretty much totally awake anyway. Nursing the baby while coughing is kind of funny. Ethan's VERY particular about his environment while he's eating, and I seem to be deeply offending him when I cough. He comes off, stares at me, as if to say "Are you done? I'm trying to eat here?", then turns back to eating, while watching me out of the corner of his eye. Too funny.

By Friday night my husband was still set on the vacation idea, but we'd decided to stick close to home and not attempt an airline flight. We tossed around ideas- Bainbridge Island, Port Townsend, Yakima (for the wineries), then decided to just go with the old stand-by trip, Victoria. We really like Victoria and it's pretty cheap this time of year. We actually are even going to be able to stay at the Fairmont Empress, which should be a fun experience. So, now we just have to get through a few days of work, then it's off on our two day mini-break. Hurray!

Friday, March 28, 2008

You just can't avoid these things

Today is my birthday. I'm 31. I was completely freaked out about turning 31 when I thought about it a few weeks ago. But today I'm too worn out from a week of dealing with the cranky baby, so I dont care. I think being 31 makes me a grown-up or something though. I'll have to look into that.

The mini-vacation planning continues. We've gone from looking at Mexico and San Diego to San Francisco or staying local and going to Bainbridge Island or one of the San Juans. The only problem with the local areas is that they are designed for 1) relaxing and 2) enjoying nature. I dont really relax, and the thought of nature makes me itch. I told Daniel that I was going to break out in hives from reading the list of activities at some of the inns "hiking, walking, bird watching..." I'm really just cut out for city life. Hopefully he'll figure out something today.

Off to Starbucks to buy myself a birthday latte!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Apparently we're going on a mini-vacation

Daniel and I had the news on this morning in separate rooms. I was in Ethan's room, doing his morning feeding, and Daniel was wandering around the living room, getting ready for another fun day of trying to work with wife and baby underfoot. The news had a lovely story about last minute vacations to places with actual sunshine. By the time I emerged from Ethan's room, Daniel had Expedia up and running and was hunting for a fairly affordable trip for next weekend. But then he had to start working, so I inherited the searching.

People, I'm about to gouge my eyeballs out from the stress of it all. There are SO many websites and travel search engines. And where should we go and should we rent a car or use a shuttle or.... And to top it all off, Ethan's sick, and I'm really not that excited about the idea of going anywhere with a cranky baby. And I keep trying to hint to Daniel that traveling with Ethan is not particularly relaxing under the best of circumstances. But Daniel really wants a mini-break before he starts his new job. This is important to him. He deserves a vacation. I need to suck it up and just hope for the best.

Thankfully he had to go to a meeting this afternoon, so I have a few hours to work on my attitude. I think I need more chocolate.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Good aspects of having a husband for whom English is a second language

1) He is sitting next to me, with my arm on top of his while I type a post about him, and, if I type fast enough, he will not notice that I am talking about him.
2) I always, ALWAYS win at scrabble, boggle, and any other game involving English words.
3) In theory, our baby should learn foreign languages easier since he hears them (on occasion) from his dad and one set of grandparents.

I'm out of reasons. But #1 still holds. Seriously, he doesn't even look up from his computer to see if I'm writing about him. I would be so totally looking over his shoulder if I was him. He apparently "trusts me" or something. Actually, he's trying to import his Outlook contact list to hotmail so that we can hunt down all his friends on Facebook. I win! I got him hooked on Facebook! He's feeling sad that his only friends are me and my relatives, so he's trying to find his own friends. But his friends are in their 40s, and there aren't as many of them. Hopefully he'll find some though.

It's been a killer week here. I've not seen my baby with any expression on his face other than sleep or screaming. Those are apparently our only two options. I really hope that there is another tooth looming and that peace is in our future. I miss my nice, happy, cute Ethan. More than I ever imagined. I nursed him at 4 AM, then left for work at 6 before he woke up. By the time I picked him up at 3 PM at daycare, he was grouchy again. I want a nice snuggle with my baby. Or a hug. Anything. Hoping for a good day tomorrow.

That's all from here. I need to get some rest, as tomorrow is the second day of Daniel working from home while Ethan screams. We're all having so much fun!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Where to begin

The weekend was as busy as promised. Beginning with the UNBELIEVABLY stupid outing to Walmart. The day before Easter. I was practically hyperventilating by the time we got out of there, due to the crowds and the pushing and the insanity of it all. I dont do crowds or touching, so it was hell on earth for me. This is why I only go to Walmart once or twice a year. Easter itself was nice, even though it was pouring down rain. The church service was good, and I got to eat lots of candy. I'm still coming down off my candy-high. The family birthday party on Sunday night was also a success. My cousin turned 2 and was so excited to have presents and people singing to him.

Then on Monday, we got some great news- my husband got a new job! He actually ended up with two offers last week, and on Monday finalized things with one of the companies. It's going to be a fairly significant paycut since he's changing directions in the type of work he'll be doing, but it's still in downtown Seattle, and he really likes the people and the attitude of the company. Last night he gave notice at his old company, while I danced around with joy. His current company has been a good one for most of the 8 years that he's been there, but lately things have been pretty awful and incredibly stressful. So the combination of a stressful job and looking for a new job for hours every evening has been a strain on our family and our marriage. I'm so glad that we're done with that.

Now we just have to figure out how to deal with a baby who will not sleep. He screams whenever we attempt to make him nap or go to bed at night. Yesterday he napped for 39 minutes. Total. All day. And that was after being up until 2:30 AM the night before. He actually goes down pretty well at 6:30 or 7 at night, then wakes up at 10 or 11 and is up for hours. And is grouchy. I want my nice, sweet baby back.

Easter pictures!






Friday, March 21, 2008

Naptime, how I love thee!

Ethan's in the middle of one of his once-weekly, longer than 20 minutes naps. Thank goodness, as this nap actually allowed me to get a few things done! I didn't work today, so we had a lazy morning, then I dropped Ethan off at daycare and went downtown to go the gym. It was great to work out at the fancy executive gym again. I've missed it while working out at the scary local version of the same club. Then I went to give blood, but my blood pressure was too high, so I was sent away from that. Which was fine, because it meant I actually had time to go have lunch with my husband. It was so great to be downtown with him, holding hands as we walked to our lunch location. I've missed that!

It's going to be another busy weekend here, running errands tomorrow, then church on Easter and a family birthday party in the evening. Never a dull moment. Have a great weekend and a blessed Easter!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Our new phone number

No, I'm not posting with my new phone number. Mostly because I dont know what it is.

My husband is going to be working from home soon, since the Seattle branch of his company is shutting down. So we got a Vonage phone number for him to use for business. And boy have we been getting some interesting phone messages! Apparently the person who had this number before us is ill with something and hasnt paid any bills in a long time. We've been getting phone calls from bill collectors and hospitals and all sorts of scary sounding people. It's actually pretty entertaining!

Thursday

I've decided that it must be Thursday, since the building's recycling bin is not in the garage, but is outside. :) It's been such a crazy week that I've lost all other sense of time and space.

Ethan seems to be feeling better. We had a quiet morning at home, still filling him up with as much liquids as he'll take. Fortunately, he loved the pedialyte, so getting him to drink that wasn't an issue.

In other baby news, he's decided that he loves me after all. I've been getting lots of big smiles, and I think he's actually trying to kiss my cheek when I put my face near him. Too cute. And did I mention that he has two teeth now? Tooth number 2 snuck in on us and I just randomly found it while doing a tooth check yesterday. I cannot believe how fast he's growing up. Unbelievable.

Anyway, I'm off to Seattle Center to show of my cutie to my friends from work. He'll be thrilled, since my friends are both married women, and that's his preferred demographic for flirting. :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Weather

As I've mentioned, my co-workers from the Boston office have been out here for the conference this week. And they've all been surprised by the weather. They were expecting warm and rainy, but we delivered cold and sunny. By today they were all saying things like "it's so nice here!" and "why are you guys always complaining about the rain and grey skies, it's so sunny!". And they almost escaped with their little delusions intact. But now we're in the middle of what looks like some sort of monsoon. All the rain that people have been predicting for all week is falling right now. Whoops.

I made it through the three days of the conference- saw all my current and former coworkers and bosses, listened to some interesting talks, got lots of free pens, etc. And learned that it's really hard for 70-year old male scientists to take women in their 20s and 30s seriously as colleagues. They are trying, I'm sure. But I got talked down to more times this week than in the past decade. I can't really blame them, as I'm probably the same age as some of their grandkids. But it's hard to adjust to, when you get used to life as a semi-liberated female.

I joyfully picked Ethan up this afternoon at daycare and went home, rejoicing in the fact that I don't work again until next Monday and get to actually see my baby in the next few days. We walked in the door, and I left everything on the counter and floor and went to sit with him on the couch. He looked at me, smiled, and then projectile vomited all over me and himself and the couch. 4 times. I just sat and dripped and waited for it to be over. Then I cleaned up and called the doctor, since I realized that he's also had really runny diapers lately (which I've chalked up to teething, but in combination with the vomiting is a little worrisome). So now we're doing Pedialyte and lots of nursing and lots of sleep, and hoping for a quick recovery. Poor little guy. He looked so confused by the vomiting. I felt so bad for him. Nauseated by the smell of the vomit, but bad for him still.

And things in my husband's life are still complicated. We have decisions to make. I don't want to make decisions. Who has that kid of energy! More details will be posted here eventually. But it's not my stuff to talk about right now, so I have to wait.

Okey doke. I need to go cook dinner and be a good wife, since I've been off being a toxicologist for the past 4 days and have neglected the wife/mother end of things.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Someone please explain this to me

Please explain to me exactly how the human race has not died out, given the inherent stupidity that comes along with parenthood? Seriously.

Today was day one of the 4 day Toxicology conference. Turns out there were actually 7000 of us very cool, not at all nerdy people that descended upon downtown Seattle. I spent the day listening to science talks, reading poster and catching up with co-workers, old and current. This is the first time that I really felt like I was hanging out with my "peeps". Yes, I just referred to a bunch of scientists as "peeps", thereby cementing my status as "sadly not at all cool". So far it's actually been a lot of fun. Going back to our office (which is fortunately only a 10 minute walk from the convention center) to pump every 3.5 hours is definitely making things more complicated though. I could do without that.

Back to the stupidity. In the afternoon, I ran across my grad school advisor and a former co-worker. And they let me know that someone involved with my thesis research was requesting some of our air sampling data. From 6 years ago. I just stared at them. I barely remember yesterday. People asked me why I wasn't wearing green today and I informed them that it's a miracle if I know what month it is, knowing the actual day and what holiday it is is a lost cause. All that to say, there is no way in hell that I remember anything about air sampling data from 6 years ago. Just don't even bother.

We actually did go to a St. Patrick's Day party tonight, thrown by the father of a friend of Daniel's. We ate well. And drank well. I should probably go to bed to sleep both off, since tomorrow is going to start very early and end very very late.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The long week begins

This week, 6000 scientists from my field descend upon Seattle. For me, this is a good/weird/exhausting thing. The activities began tonight with going out for dinner with my boss and my group manager, who are in town from Cambridge, Mass. for the conference. We went to Tilth, a great Seattle restaurant that just got a good review in the New York Times. It was definitely well-deserved. I'm not a foodie, but I was still very impressed. We had great food, nice wine and good conversation. Weird conversation at times, especially when we were discussing my breast pump, but I'm getting used to discussions like that. Fortunately, my coworkers are mostly women, and the one guy who was with us also has a newborn and a wife who works, so no one was traumatized by discussing pumping.

Tomorrow I get to go hang out with all my science peeps, including all my bosses from my entire employment history. It's always interesting to see what everyone is up to. And I like to stock up on all the free pens that are given away at these events. Good pens. Nice pens.

I'm tired now. I have to go to bed. Good night.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Teething hell

Oh my goodness. I feel like I've been through a battle of some sort. It is SO nice to be at my peaceful office this morning. Words cannot describe the joy.

Caring for a teething baby could be used as a implement of torture. I think it's even worse when the baby in question has been an incredibly easy baby for 7 months, and the parents have been lulled into a false sense of security. Yesterday, none of the tricks worked, not the usual things that make Ethan happy, and not any of the teething pain remedies I read about online. And it was raining yesterday and we had no car at home to drive anywhere.

Daniel left at 6 AM yesterday and got back at 8 PM. Smart man. Ethan and I rode out the teething storm until around 6 PM, when I finally bundled him into his stroller and walked down to QFC. Where I slowly walked up and down every aisle. Store workers kept asking if I needed help finding anything. I think I looked scary. At one point I saw a pregnant woman and had to restrain myself from saying "I'm so sorry. Your life is over." I didn't say it, which is good, because it's not true. But that's how I was feeling yesterday.

Thankfully Ethan was worn out from his day of crying, so he went down relatively easy. 2 hours late, but still, he didn't put up a fight. And he slept until 5 this morning, which was nice.

Thank goodness it's Friday, that's all I have to say.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The sleep deprivation is getting to me

We almost have a first tooth here! Hurray! Ethan's been pretty grouchy this week, so I yesterday I checked out the tooth situation, and found that his first tooth is lurking just below the surface. I think it's part of the way out this morning. He's growing up so fast!

But this means that we're getting very very little sleep here these days. Last night Daniel and I slept in the baby's room, to cut out the time that we would spend walking from our room to his in the middle of the night. The alarm went off at 5:30 this morning, since Daniel had to drive to his company's main office, and get there by 8. So, at 5:40 he finally got out of bed and went to our room, presumably to take a shower and get dressed. 5 minutes later I went into our room to get my water bottle, and found him sleeping on our bed. Apparently, when he was a kid, his mom would find him sleeping in the bathtub in the mornings, instead of getting ready for school. :)

My sleep deprivation is being manifested in other ways. Apparently I think I have enough free time to host a party. I totally love this site: Mommy Needs a Cocktail and her shirts. And now she's having parties in a box, and I want to host one. Anyone in Seattle interested in coming over? She has lots of "non-alcoholic" shirts too, for you non-drinkers. I need to think this all through...just as soon as my brain starts functioning again.

Did I mention that I have to go to a client dinner on Tuesday night? Which starts at 8:15? I haven't been awake that late in weeks. I already warned my coworkers to not let me sit next to important clients. I need to catch up on world events too, so should I stay awake enough to converse, I can talk about something other than teething and poop.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ah, how I miss the days of packing light

A few years ago, pre-husband and pre-baby, my best friend and I went to Spain for a week. We each took one very small bag. That's it. No backpacks, no large purses, just one small bag with a couple of shirts, underwear and one extra pair of pants.


This past weekend, Daniel, Ethan and I went up to his parents' home in Vancouver. We left Saturday late morning and got home Sunday early afternoon. This is what we had to pack for our 28 hour trip. You'll be glad to see that we did, in fact, remember the baby.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Daylight savings time bites

Here we are again, 6 AM on a Monday morning and I'm sitting at the computer, trying to wake up enough to not screw up the projects I need to be working on. I think this is going to be a 2 cup of coffee day. The darkness this morning is a little more depressing than usual, since I know it's going to be around for a while yet. I'm not a fan of daylight savings time, especially this year, now that my life really runs from 5 AM-8 PM. I get up early, so have to function in darkness for a large part of my morning. Then I'm tired too soon in the evening to actually enjoy/acknowledge the extra hours of daylight then. At least the baby is still sleeping, as he seems to think it's earlier than it is.

He's still coughing/sneezing. He was doing a little better on Saturday, so we did go to Canada, then by Sunday morning he was worse again, so we just hung out at my in-laws condo and didn't go to their church.

We actually had a really nice weekend at my in-laws. We took our time driving up on Saturday and arrived in the early afternoon. At which point I passed off the baby, and spent the rest of the afternoon watching cable TV and sitting around. The great thing about the language barrier is that I don't even really have to participate in most of the conversations or listen to know what's going on. It's a total brain vacation. Daniel and I went out for dinner in the evening, after Ethan went to bed. As a bonus, their internet was broken, so there was no chance of anyone checking their email or getting distracted by the computer.

So, that's the summary from here. Now it's the beginning of what's going to be a very long couple of weeks. My annual national conference is starting next week, with my coworkers coming in from points afar starting next weekend, so there will be lots to do. I'm looking forward to it, though, it'll be fun to be back in science world for a while.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A mom's survival kit

So, last Thursday was a really rough day. So I went shopping. And my purchases made it a very good evening :) I didn't consume it all at once, but parts of all were enjoyed. I highly recommend it.














Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday night

I had such a fun night tonight! I actually went to a girls' night with my PEPs group, and it was so great to catch up with all of them. As I've blogged about in the past- my insecurities kept me from really bonding with the girls, which I still really regret. But tonight was fun and such a great break- I'm really really glad that I went.

We're heading to Canada in the morning. We're planning to spend the afternoon with my in-laws, then Daniel and I are going to try to go out for dinner alone in the evening. There's nothing like driving 150 miles just for free babysitting!

Dithering

Is that even the appropriate conjugation of "to dither"? I have no idea. I'm going to use it anyway.

So, much dithering this morning. Ethan's had a little cold, nothing serious, no fever, for ages now. And yesterday he started coughing. Again, nothing serious, but it's still a cough. Last night I woke up every time he coughed, wondering if he was okay, and trying to figure out whether or not to send him to daycare today. I changed my mind approximately 1,000,423 times. I had plans for today- I'm actually a little bit ahead on my work hours for the week, so I was going to go work out at the gym. But not just the gym, the fancy downtown branch of my gym that I haven't gone to in 7 months. And I was going to go to the ATM and pick up money instead of making my husband do it. And after all, it's just a little cough, right? There's no reason he can't go to daycare. None.

You get one guess where Ethan is right now. Mommy guilt wins again. I got up and drove in to the office this morning to pick up my pump and the papers I was working on. I'm not spending 3 days with my home pump. It is less than impressive, to say the least. So now I'm working from home and Ethan's napping in his crib. Hopefully he'll wake up with less coughing going on. We're planning to drive up to Vancouver tomorrow to spend the night with Daniel's parents. I don't want to be responsible for infecting Canada with cold germs, so a full recovery must be made swiftly. I'm trying to figure out how to fit a trip to the gym in before we leave, since my eating habits have been less than stellar lately, and I desperately need some exercise.

Life as a mom is rather unpredictable, isn't it? Understatement of the year, I know. :)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thursday

Ethan's sleeping again. He's been sleeping a lot lately. I hope he's not sick. He slept so long yesterday morning that Daniel had to wake him up to take him to daycare. Today he woke up at 7 and nursed (after having gone to bed at 7 the night before), then slept again until almost 9. And now he's been napping for an hour, which is beyond unheard of. He's had a stuffy nose for a while now, but otherwise seems fine. Hopefully his little cold is just tiring him out, and he'll sleep it all off soon.

Had another wonderful meeting with my church new moms' group this morning. Once again I was so convicted about my need to spend time in prayer and reading my Bible. Not out of a sense of obligation, but because I need that filling up and that time of renewal. It's been a struggle lately though, more than before, because I'm so tired from getting up at 5 for work. I need to find a new place in my schedule that I can spend on devotions. And I need to do it soon.

The other activity of the morning was driving around to Safeway stores, trying to find Gerber Organic baby foods. Because Safeway emailed me a coupon for them, but then none of the stores around here carry the Gerber Organics. Annoying. I make a lot of my own baby foods, but for some things it's way easier to just buy the pre-made kind. And life is all about doing what's easiest right now!

Anyway, I need to take advantage of nap time and start thinking about what we're going to have for dinner tonight. The afternoons get away from me, so I have to start on dinner planning VERY early if I have any hope of having actually cooked something by the time dinnertime rolls around.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Scaring the pregnant people

We went back to the hospital where Ethan was born last night to be guest speakers at the Preparing for Parenthood class. Our part of the session started at 8, so by the time we got there, the pregnant women were all about an hour past their bedtime and were looking thoroughly sick of sitting in the not-so-comfortable chairs. I feel your pain ladies, many many hours of my life were spent in the lobby of the clinic at UW.

So, Ethan was in a totally mellow mood when we arrived. He wasn't the scary one. We were. Because having an almost-7 month old baby is a lot of work. Way more work than, say, a 4 month old. They should really have people come to the class then. When they're out of that scary first 6 weeks and sleep is going well and nursing is going well and the baby still isn't mobile and the mom might still be home from work and therefore getting some sleep. We were much more cheerful when Ethan was 4 months old. I think we even thought things like "this is pretty easy!" "maybe we could go through having another baby." But no, they dont ask the delusional, but happy parents of 4 month olds come speak. They have people with 6 month olds come visit. The ones who again are sleep deprived and have given up the fight of trying to actually find a shirt that doesn't have baby spitup on it when they go out in public.

And when they ask you questions like "how did you deal with the issues of your identity and discouragement and tiredness", your only answer is "I haven't." Yeah, that's going to be encouraging. We tried to be positive though, because Ethan is a fun baby. And he cooperated by sitting on my lap and looking cute, then falling asleep in his stroller all by himself with no crying and no help from me. Have I mentioned that I have the easiest baby on the planet? We also tried to lighten the mood by sharing stories of projectile poop. No one warned us about that, so we felt that we should warn future parents.

One couple did ask me a few questions after the class about my return to work and things like that. They seemed to be pretty balanced about things and as prepared as one can be. Another couple came up and talked to Daniel and was asking him questions about the food at the hospital. People, you're having a baby in 3 weeks. The quality of hospital food (poor, by the way) should NOT be your major concern right now. Really.

Okay, and speaking of other parents- I have a bone to pick with some of my fellow bloggers. I read your blogs, follow your stories of life as moms. And I'm always impressed by your maturity in handling situations. And I think "oh, when I get to be so-and-so's age, I'll have developed that kind of maturity and perspective." Then that person later goes and mentions their age, and inevitably, she's younger than me. This has happened multiple times. Which means I actually should be behaving like a mature adult and exhibiting adult perspectives on life. AND I DONT WANT TO. So quit it, please!!! :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tuesday

I have to say, I'm still loving this every-other day work thing. Yesterday I actually got dressed, rode the bus downtown, walked into my downtown high rise building, and sat at my desk in my nice quiet office and worked. And it was wonderful. Pumping in the office was really strange though. Never in my days at work did I imagine ever sitting in my office with my top up and bra down, trying to type emails with one hand while attached to a small version of a cow milking machine. Never.

Today's a home day, so Ethan and I are taking things easy right now. I think we'll probably head to Fred Meyer later to get a new battery in my watch. I havent worn it in ages, because I have no need of a watch at home, but I think it might come in handy at work.

Then, tonight we're headed to be guest speakers at the parenting class at the UW. They have parents who have gone through the class come back 6 months later and answer questions. It's really too bad they didn't get us to come back a few months ago, we were much less overwhelmed then. But hopefully we'll be able to balance answering questions honestly, and also manage to share the joy and fun that Ethan has brought to our lives. Because he is a blessing and a lot of fun, even though he's also a lot of work.

So, I'll close with a fun photo from last night. Our younger cat usually sits on top of our older one, so this seating arrangement was unusual.