Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Vanity Run Amok

I don't really think I'm a vain person. I think I have a fairly healthy self-image. There are parts of me that I'd rather not see or talk about that are normally under clothing. But doesn't everyone have those areas?


There's this thing called my brontosaurus neck. And to have full range of movement of my neck, there has to be chin-flesh. This chin-flab can very easily go from being an asset (namely in looking up) to a detriment (namely in how I look while looking down).

And I've figured out how to modify pictures on my computer! Teehee!!! This is the cheapest chin-lift you've ever seen! And I've saved them to the Walgreens site so these improved pictures will be the ones that people will see!!

I feel so very smug at this moment...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Highlights of Myrtle Beach

We spent a glorious week at a resort in Myrtle Beach with Hubby's mom, step-dad, their 2 friends, one cousin, Hubby's sister and her family of 5. A really great week of sit-on-your-butt type vacation. This is opposed to an adventure type vacation where we visit a foreign country. Sit-on-your-butt vacations do have goals, they're just less defined. Goals for this vacation were as follows: lower my blood pressure, gain weight on yummy food, sleep lots, visit with family, introduce Quint to family, pools, and ocean. I'm happy to say that all were accomplished!! Of course, an increase in my blood pressure medicine just before we left might have been a contributing factor.

Quint got to meet for the first time 3 uncles, 3 aunts, 3 cousins, one step-grandfather, and a partridge in a pear tree. Those of you who know me, know that Quint is not Quint's name, but is my nick-name for him because he is the Fifth. Let's say his first name is Sam. While on this trip, he got to meet Sam the 3rd and Sam the 4th. Incidentally, his step-grandfather is a Sam as well, so in the course of 48 hours, he met 3 Sams.

Quint got to swim in a big pool for the first time. His grandma bought him the blue speedo type suit with built in flotation. It is by no means a flotation device and says so in enormous print on every conceivable tag on the thing, which I quickly ripped off. Those things are murder to get your child into, but incredibly worth it. We determined that it takes at least 2 people to put him in it, and 3 people working together have an easier time getting him out of it than 2. And it really makes his buns look sooooo cute! The suit will hold him up, and mostly upright, but his face can still get in the water pretty easy. And it will not roll him over to get his face out of the water. But it made this Mama lots less panicky in the pool.

Each day, he loved the water more and more. The first day, he was pretty nervous and clung on to my swimsuit like a burr. Because of some slightly inappropriate flashings, I wore a shirt the next day, and every day afterward in the pool. Whenever he did let go for a second, he would pat his hand on the water and slash gleefully. In the baby pool, his suit kept him floating one inch above the bottom of the pool, so he couldn't even sit there.

His cousins were drawn to him like magnets. Whenever we were in the pool, I was quickly going to have 2 small girls 6 inches from my face, talking to Quint. Gwen, the youngest, was completely enamored with Quint. The others, not being the youngest, had been around babies before. Eh. No big deal. They still played with him, but he wasn't the only fascinating thing present.

At one point, I said to my sister-in-law, "your mother is in heaven over there. She's got all 4 grandkids, and her 2 kids in the same pool at the same time." She was sitting there with her (probably alcoholic) drink swinging one foot, watching the splashing and grinning hugely.

One day, Hubby, Quint, and "Sam the Fourth" went on a drive. We found a great stretch of beach and took Quint to meet the ocean. This was a very peaceful experience. The men went and played in the waves. I sat with Quint in the shallows and let the ocean come to us. He did not react badly at all! He was a nervous when the water came up to his armpits once, and turned his face away, clutching at my neck for dear life. But he didn't cry.

We played in the sand some, too. And of course, he ate some sand. He'd put some in his mouth, sputter and spit it out, then 60 seconds later, do it again. Huh, it still tastes bad! Then he started to rub his eye with a sandy fist. This could be Soooooo bad! I waved my skirt in the air to signal the men, "I NEED HELP!!!" and together we started getting him cleaned up. The guys were happy and exhausted from wave jumping and were ready to go anyway.

Hubby held Quint while I got rinsed off in the surf a bit. Quint thought that was extremely fun, watching me swim a bit and rinse things off. There were no foot baths at the edge of the beach in this remote place, so we were on our own for sand clean-up. Why on earth did I have Quint's first beach experience be 45 minutes from cleaning facilities?! What was I thinking!? Exactly how grumpy will he be with sand in his Little Swimmers diaper?

Back at the car, with lots of help, we stripped him out of his onesie and diaper and laid him on the closed trunk. We had bought some bottled water and dedicated one whole bottle to baby rinsing, mostly the diaper area. You can get a whole lot of sand off a baby's bum when two people are holding his legs still! Regular diaper affixed, chose not to re-onesie him, and we were soon off. The only problem with the drive home is that we were cutting it close on being late for dinner and little man got exceptionally hungry on the way. Lots of shrieking on that drive. When we finally pulled into a parking space, (on time I might add!) I jerked him out of his carseat and he fell on my breast as if starving! I had on my bikini top and then my nursing bra/tank on top. I let the flap down on my nursing bra and he got a mouthful of swimsuit. Oh the look of betrayal!! I had to laugh. Soon he was greedily nursing.

But all in all, that was a really fun day trip!

I made two treks into the ocean to play in the waves. The first time was great! The waves were big enough to be fun and small enough to not knock me over. Really a fun time! The second time, the waves were stronger and it was not so fun. I finally accused my husband of just enjoying a situation where I cussed a lot and clung to him for dear life. He continued to laugh hysterically. At least I was entertaining!

One afternoon, I got to sit and swing on the resort porch swings, listen to the ocean, people watch and play with my baby. It was wonderful. We were mostly shaded, Quint and I both had on our hats, and I had snacks. Very peaceful.

Nursing at the beach: My sister-in-law made the point that public nursing is less noticeable when there is no nursing drape. It just looks like I'm snuggling him because his head covers up everything. The times that I nursed Quint with no drape, no really took any notice. Once or twice, a look would linger on us for a second, and when they noticed why my swimsuit was off my shoulder, they would then notice the nursing and calmly look away. When I tried to nurse with a drape, Quint would try to get the drape off his head in a flailing octopus fashion which would draw attention to the fact that we were nursing.

When we were swinging on the porch swing, a woman came up and said that we were just too picture perfect. She offered to take our picture with my camera. While I was digging out my camera, she noticed that I was nursing. She hadn't noticed until then!

New foods for the baby: Quint had lots of foods for the first time that week. We joked that if he had some terrible reaction to something, we'd have a list for the ER. Let's see if I can remember them all. Baked beans, black beans, lemon, pickle, lasagna goo, avocado, salmon, mint ice cream and Spanish rice. He only seemed to react badly to the lasagna goo, but tomatoes are very harsh on the belly. He spit up several times that night. Friday evening, he completely threw up everything, but I really think he was just coughing too hard and the vomit reflex was triggered. He didn't seem to feel bad, and was really hungry an hour later. He threw up carrots and peas with 14 saltine crackers - very regular foods for him. Perhaps it was one cracker too many...

Baby facilities: The evening he threw up, he was in the car. Oh, the mighty mess that made. We pulled over and cleaned up some. We went on to the restaurant which did not, from the outside, look like it would have a baby-changing station. I went to the Burger King next door. They didn't either.

You ever have one of those days where you just are NOT coordinated? You're more likely to dribble food, stub your toe, and drop your keys six times. Well, this day I was having the WORST baby luck. Baby threw up in the carseat. I managed to have 3 baby wipes for this emergency. First restaurant didn't have a changing station in the bathroom. Second restaurant didn't have a changing station or even counter space. Hubby has the keys to the locked car where I could maybe change the baby. Separate trip inside to fetch them. I did manage to find another package of crappy baby wipes in the car. Quint DID manage to not roll off the plastic box in the trunk I was changing him on. Once inside the restaurant again with clean baby in clean outfit, the high chair they had brought us was, I am not effing kiding you, held together with duct tape. I find another high chair and strap Quint in. His chin is like 3 inches below the table top which makes it hard see the crackers there for him. I notice our table is not level. Maybe the table height will be better for him on the other side. I move the high chair over there. The floor isn't level and now the high chair rocks. Really?!

Through all of this, Hubby came out to the car and commend me for actually managing to clean up the horrific mess. He also fetched me whatever I wanted from the yummy Chinese buffet.

Back at the room, I took apart the carseat and washed the cloth liner in the bathtub. Those thick carseat liners WILL DRY over night if you place them directly on the air conditioning blower in your hotel room.

Our son is a speed crawler now. Upon arriving at home (yes, we are completely skipping the drive back!)we plunked him down in front of the fireplace with his toys like usual. He whimpered for about 30 seconds and then remembered that he could CRAWL!! There are corners to be explored!!! Next thing we know, he's underfoot in the kitchen - 20 feet from the fireplace. Sitting with his back to the fridge, he's looking around with a look of triumph on his face. I'VE NEVER BEEN HERE BEFORE! And while I've spent a good bit of time baby-proofing various rooms of our house, suddenly, I realize how much we still have on the floor that is not baby-proof. All paper things should be picked up. Anything with strings, laces, or cords. The cat's hair-band toys. Random twist ties. Things that had been raised off the floor, but only to the height of a chair are still accessible.

We put up the baby gate in the upstairs hallway and closed (AND LATCHED) our bedroom door. Quint's room and my office are pretty safe for him, as long as I'm still there to jerk things out of his hand like the rubber band, twist tie, marble(?), and penny. Yes, Mom, I know, I should store them together in an easter egg for safekeeping. Toys are really not interesting right now. Slamming the office door open is fun because of the metal towel rack vibrating against the wall. Kneeling in front of the bi-fold washer/dryer doors and smacking them with your hand is fun. Similarly beating the metal TEXAS tub we use for baby laundry is fun. Shaking the baby gate for all it's worth is fun. Banging a glass mug on the metal leg of the futon is fun.

Myrtle Beach in pictures

Ok, so today you get a post, but pictures only! And while I spent the most time with my little niece Gwen, I managed to not have a good picture of her adorable smiling face all week. Sorry Gwen!

It was also adorable that she kept calling my son Baby Gwen. After correction, she would call him Baby Gwent instead of Quint. Eh, she's 3. Close enough.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Ok, so we're taking our first car vacation since our baby boy was born. As a result, we've got our car packed to the brim with an ocean of baby paraphernalia. The beautiful part is that last week, when I did a trial run on the car packing, I figured out the jigsaw puzzle which is our stuff. AND it actually turned out to fit the way I planned!!

So we'll be gone for over a week. And but in the packing, we decided to not take the computers. Or the step stool which is a favorite toy of my son. Or the diet cola we found on sale. Or several of my skirts that, let's face it, I probably wasn't going to wear anyway. The point of which is that there will be no blogs while we're gone. So sorry. You'll just have to be updated once we get back home.

So tomorrow, before the ass crack of dawn, we will load our groggy little guy into the car and haul ourselves over some mountains.

So take care!!!! All three of you who read this!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Earaches and Mama Bear Cussing

Yesterday, my little guy had his 9 month checkup. He's in the 70th percentile for his head circumference, and 30th percentile for his weight. The doctor isn't concerned because that's typical at 9 months for a boy. She said he's just burning up those calories with movement.

The big news from this appointment was that he has two ear infections right now! That could be why he has hated to go to bed lately - laying down makes those hurt worse. And my baby boy went on his first two plane rides, very likely with ear infections! And he STILL didn't cry much. I'm trying to stop berating myself for not knowing that he had 2 ear infections. I'm trying very hard. The doctor said absolutely nothing to make me feel guilty. My sister the nurse was around him this past weekend and didn't notice. My mother was around him even more and she didn't notice. We all noticed his enormous snot problem, but we thought it was just allergies.

So I get the terrible mother of the week award for that one.

As my mother would say "DING" meaning "subject change".

While we were all together this past weekend, the subject of my traumatic swimming lesson experience came up. I still can't swim very well at all and have inherited from my daddy the ability to sink like a stone. He still can't swim well. Whenever we're out on the boat, he wears a life jacket the entire time because none of us are big enough to save him if he gets in trouble. Also inherited from him is a small nasal defect that when underwater, no matter what we do, water will go up our nose and choke us unless we are holding our nose with our hand. I can be blowing water out my nose as fast as I can and still pool water trickles down my throat. Weird.

When I was little, some of my first swimming lessons were given by a woman and her adult son. The son didn't believe me about my nose problem (who really would at age 3 or 4) and decided the best way for me to overcome my fear of having my head underwater was to systematically dunk me until I liked it. He would put me on his hip, walk to deeper water and take us both underwater. We'd come back up with me coughing and sputtering and screaming at the top of my lungs and we'd go back down again, sometimes with my mouth still open from screaming. Loads of fun, right?

My sister was nearby and remembers asking him what on earth he thought he was doing. He said, "I'm teaching her to swim." She remembers thinking at age 7 or 8, "what does dunking have to do with swimming? And should she really be screaming like that?" I also remember from these lessons that they would put toys on the bottom of the pool and we were supposed to fetch them with our teeth. I didn't understand why THAT was supposed to be fun either. Can't I just fetch them with my hand? I'm still having to travel underwater and that way, I can hold my nose! Not allowed. I still get violent pretty quick if someone tries to dunk me for fun.

Anyway, I do remember the watery image of my Mama showing up at the edge of the pool at the end of one of these dunking sessions. I remember her leaning over to yell at him while she jerked me out of the pool by one arm. My sister remembers my mom cussing him up one side and down the other - her first memory of Mom cussing! She remembers staring, gap-mouthed, during the tirade. We promptly all left and never returned.

My mother hardly ever cusses even now!

This story reminded Sis of another time that Mama's cussing shocked her. My sister broke her arm twice in her childhood. The second time, in junior high, she knew what to do, and what to expect. As soon as she broke it, she was in the car with Mom and I. She just said, "I think I just broke my arm." Mom said, "so do we need to go to..." "YES!" Off we went to the hospital. Sis put her language arts book under her arm to stabilize it.

In the X-ray room, Sis was still standing there with her textbook holding her arm up. She had stopped crying and no longer looked green in the face. As a result, the X-ray tech didn't believe that the arm was broken. She jerked the textbook out from under the arm and my sister promptly passed out from the pain. When she came to, Mama was still cussing at the stupid X-ray tech.

Years later, by the side of the lake, with my son, my nephew, Sis, and Mom splashing in the water, we all laugh about both events. Mama says, "and that's the mark of a good Mama. Willing to cuss out whoever does her baby wrong, no matter the audience."

I have to agree completely!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Photo synopsis - June in Texas 2010 - 9 months old!

A nearly complete family photo. Only my brother-in-law was missing. It's a pretty darn good shot of all of us!

Quint's second plane ride included learning what to do in the unlikely event of a water landing.

He studied the card for a good 15 seconds before...

it became a fairly durable plaything!

My best friend ~M from High School got to visit and hug on the boy.

A goofy time was had by hubby at the lake.

My Daddy in boat gear

My mom and aforementioned best friend ~M

Your where's waldo question for the day: can you find the baby in this picture? No wonder he was not impressed with his first boat trip. He spent a lot of time during our boat trip out of a life jacket and playing on the floor of the boat. When the engine was on, the life jacket was on.

But he had consistent fun in the pool on the front porch.

Quint is 9 months old today! He is now crawling, slowly, can go from laying to sitting to standing. Even in his crib. We've lowered the mattress height tonight as a result. He now says Mama a lot and we're not sure if he's attaching meaning to saying papapa as his daddy. He weighs about 19 pounds, and is shifting into 9-12 month clothes this week - right on schedule! He eats about 2/3 to 3/4 a cup of veggies once a day, has 3 bottles and some cereal at daycare and nurses several times in the evening. He's up by 7:30 on weekdays, naps mid-morning for a half hour, naps at 1pm for an hour to 90 minutes, might cat-nap around 5pm for a few minutes, and naps for about a half hour at 7pm. At 9pm, we start trying to put him down for the night. This procedure has changed and lengthened since he learned to sit up and keep himself awake. Once he's down, he will frequently sleep through until morning. About half the time, he wants to eat between 2 and 4, but goes right back to sleep.

OK, I've edited this post about 95 times and I am going to stop fiddling with it NOW!

Weekend and memories continued

Continued from yesterday:

Quint took his first dip in the lake with his lifejacket on Friday. And like all children everywhere, he didn't like it. According to Mom, he cried less than most children. Life jackets are horribly uncomfortable, let's just face it. But since I can't swim, I certainly wasn't going to get in the water with him without one. I had one on too, for the first time in years. He liked the lake much better when we took off the jacket, sat him in the shallows and held a death grip on the back of his onesie. Then he splashed and played in the mud and liked it.

Saturday, he met my Nannie, from whom he gets his cheeks.

Here's my Nannie:

See those cheeks?

Here's the cutest picture from that meeting.

I have to download more pictures before I finish up this milestone account.

So once again, to be continued...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Weekend and Milestones

We took our first plane trip with Quint this weekend and the travel part went pretty well! The weekend was great! We hung around my parents house eating and playing and eating and swimming and eating and porch sitting and eating and visiting and.... you get the picture. We gained some weight, didn't get sunburned, and I only had a stomach ache one night due to too much junk food.

An extraordinary number of firsts happened for little Quint in the last 7 days.
Here's the short list which I will expound upon:
Tuesday, June 8th, Quint started crawling - backward only. So he'd run into furniture or walls and be really ticked off that he was not where he wanted to be and couldn't go further.
Wednesday, June 9th, Quint learned how to go from laying to sitting.

Thursday, June 10th, Quint took his first plane trip.

Friday, June 11th, Quint learned how to crawl forward. He also first met an uncle and a cousin. Who shall remain nameless for the privacy of everyone of the whole planet. (Ahem - Hubby!)

Friday, June 11th, Quint took his first dip in the lake - with lifejacket. He also learned that he could keep himself awake at night by sitting up in his pack and play at night.

Saturday, June 12th, Quint met his great-grandmother, from whom he gets plump cheeks. We also learned that swaddling doesn't keep Quint from sitting up in his pack and play at night and keeping himself awake.

Sunday, June 13th, Quint had his first trip to the lake, on the boat, with a lifejacket. We learned to do our best not to feel guilty for letting him take a really long time to fall asleep because he's sitting up and whimpering.

Monday, June 14th, Quint not only was sitting up in his crib when I went to check on him after 15 minutes. He was standing in his crib. And we haven't lowered the mattress yet. Scary!

Expansion of milestones:
Laying to sitting: Quint has, for some time, been able to go from sitting to standing, and even from standing to sitting (as long as I say "sit"). He has even been going from sitting to leaning, to walking out with his arms and then belly flopping and then being ticked off that he doesn't know what to do from there. I would call from across the room, "Quint, roll over" and his brows would un-furrow, and he'd roll over and be content to play on his back. He has now figured out how to reverse that process. He goes from on his back, to belly, to tucking one foot under him, walking his hands back, and he's sitting!

First plane trip: Wasn't nearly as bad as we thought it could be (namely crying loudly the duration of the flight) nor was it as wonderful as my wildest dreams could concoct (namely nursing and sleeping the entire time). In reality, it was a bother logistically with two extra wheely things, one of which can never be left alone for a second. We had an umbrella stroller and Quint's rolly bag. We have got to get new luggage. Ours is 14 years old, definitely showing its' wear, and they make those suckers with bigger wheels now. I saw a guy roll by with three graduated suitcases, all strapped together, being wheeled with one hand. When he tipped them all back, they would all reach the ground at the same time. It was beautiful!

Anyway, back to the flight. We had a direct flight which meant not having to change planes, but having to arrive at 11:30, 90 minutes from my parent's house. Quint slept for a great deal of the flight, nursed willingly at take off and landing, and charmed everyone in sight! I even heard someone comment on "what a good baby" after our return flight. We didn't even have to pass out the 12 pairs of earplugs we took for our fellow passengers! Out of the first 2 hour flight, he probably only cried for about 4-6 minutes total! During the second flight, he probably cried for about 10 minutes total. Not bad at all!

Crawling forward: One the floor, mid-morning at his Nannie's house, Quint crawled toward a forbidden object - the dog's slobbery toy! We even caught it the second time on film with Grandpa smiling and cheering too! And here I thought the first crawling would be toward a forbidden buttony item like a phone or a remote control. Shows what I know! At home tonight, I had to keep reminding myself to go make sure he was still in the general area that I left him. Panicky thought at one point tonight - I had left him playing in his ultra-safe bedroom but it occurred to me that he COULD HAVE CRAWLED 30 FEET TO THE TOP OF THE STAIRS!!! I bolted upstairs to find him 18 inches from where I left him...

Wow - I gotta finish the long versions of these stories tomorrow. I gotta hit the hay...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

First Mama

Ok, so you get two posts today. How could I have forgotten to write about the first time Quint said Mama?! And true to my husband's family smartalecky tendencies, it was to prove me wrong. While I was pregnant, in the first two dreams I had where the baby spoke to me, he was being a smartaleck.

Last night hubby was home when I got home. Since he was there, I asked him to feed Quint his vegetable and I would load the dishwasher with the particularly icky, clean out the fridge, dirty dishes. He got the food all fixed up, with a little turkey in it, and started trying to feed it to him.

Quint was crying a lot, but sometimes he cries all the way through a feeding and I don't know why. We tried switching to crackers, oyster crackers, and cheerios, but halfway through his vegetable, he said "Mamama". We kept trying new combinations and he ate a few more bites as long as I was standing right behind Hubby. We had stopped trying to feed him, thinking maybe he was not hungry. He's keeping his mouth shut, shaking his head, and occasionally trying to grab the spoon with his hands. He very clearly said, "Mama". Hubby whipped his head around toward me and said, "he just wants you to feed him."

"Oh, that is NOT it. He's just babbling," I say. "Here, I'll prove it." I hold a spoonful of food out toward him. His little mouth pops right open like a baby bird. Hubby laughs and bounds up to go do the dishes. I say to Quint, "Son, you're not supposed to just prove me wrong instantly like that. It's rude." He continues to hoover down the rest of the vegetable as quickly as I can offer it. All this without a single whimper's worth of crying.

So for the first time last night, my little boy called me Mama. And proved me wrong in the process.

nearly there....neeeeaarly there!

We're nearly there on several aspects of life right now and this week is going oh so slow as a result! Yesterday, I bet I asked folks 3 times, "Is it still just Tuesday?" We're nearly to Texas, nearly to Myrtle Beach, and nearly crawling.

Tomorrow, we're taking our little boy on his first plane ride to Texas. In terms of his bedtime, it's a late night flight, so hopefully he'll sleep at the boob for the whole flight. I've recently found out that turkey makes him sleepy, so he'll be getting a lot of turkey with his supper tomorrow night. We've been soooo looking forward to this Texas and seeing my folks and playing in the lake with Quint. It's gonna be great!

And then a week from Saturday, we're driving to Myrtle Beach for a week, stopping off in North Carolina to visit some family and show them the baby for the first time. For that trip, we have to take one ton of baby gear in the car. For the flying trip, my mom has almost every baby gear item I will need: pack and play, high chair, and carseat. So that makes traveling Soooooo much easier for the flight. I won't have that in Myrtle Beach, but I'll also have a car to haul stuff. So I'm mentally trying to pack the car. Here's the shortened list - yes I knew you wanted to read more lists!!

Ice chest, full size stroller, pack and play, booster seat/high chair thingy, car seat, baby clothes for 9 days with no laundry facilities, various groceries and paper goods which might be easier to just buy there, blender for baby food and margaritas, adult clothes for 9 days, at least one computer, the johnny jump up, mountain of diapers, life jacket, and toys.


I've already got one large box of dry goods packed to take with us and I'm starting to wonder if that box will fit anywhere. Oh, and also, we'll be spending the night in a rustic cabin for one night on the way there. So the pack and play, a baby bag, and one change of clothes needs to be fairly near the surface. And nothing can really be packed on top of the stroller. I'm starting to think that the stroller will be in whatever adult seat the non-driver is not sitting in at the time. I still hold out hope that we'll be able to shift some stuff, but be able to either sit in the back with the baby (and nap), or sit in the front seat. And the ice chest needs to be near the surface of the trunk so we can add ice and/or drain it on the way.

I'm already mentally picking things out not to pack. Sure there's a bunch of stuff on our menu that we could take from home (we have a full kitchen at Myrtle Beach), but we may run out of room and they have grocery stores there.

The third nearly there item is Quint's crawling! Hubby said that last night Quint started crawling - backwards. And then he gets all frustrated when he finds his butt against a wall and can't go any further. But using all four limbs to locomotion around is progress! Priscilla said that yesterday he took a few "steps" on his knees. He is very mobile now, but not quite crawling yet. So we're nearly there!

~M, my camera was on the fritz last night so I didn't get any pictures. I've got all the batteries on the charger now and hopefully that will fix it. So I'm sorry, but I don't have any new pictures for you!!

Lap-band update: Hubby has lost 26 pounds. He has lost weight on his calves and his chin/neck along with belly fat. His calves are dead sexy now and are chiseled and muscular and wonderful! His thinner neck makes him look younger. He still forgets to eat slow, and as a result, typically has to go do something in the bathroom during or after each meal. That something is an up-something, not a down-something, by the way. But I asked him the other day if he regretted his surgery in light of the trouble at each meal. He looked astonished that I would ask and said, "No! This is the best thing I've ever done for my health. Ever." And he never uses words like never, ever, or always. I'm glad he's happy with it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Squirrel Story

A couple of years ago, we had a squirrel event. I just realized that I've never posted this story on my blog, so here we go!

Squirrel Rescue

6pm August 17, 2008
Last night, Hubby was sitting in the formal living room and I was puttering in the kitchen. Hubby heard this odd noise out front and went to look. He says, "Oh, Callie's killing something for us and it's squeaking". Ewww, well, let's let her finish it. She sees that we've paid attention and brings the little bugger to the front door rug. Big grin. It's for YOU! Hubby grabs her collar and pulls her back from it.

What on earth is that? Huge squeak from the little guy - obviously boy. Bigger than a mouse, leggy-er than a mole (she's brought home 2 of those). I finally figure out that it's a squirrel! Tiny baby, hairless, amazingly well defined, vicious, feet and claws, very long tail with gray fuzz, and a head that looks squirrel like. It's eyes are still closed! It fell out of its nest and Callie was playing with it. It had tiny little scratches on it, but no obvious damage. No fresh teeth marks.

Now what do we do?! It's like the bunny problem (what do you do with a live baby bunny?). Only louder. I swear this thing whistles. We bring the cat in and carefully place the baby squirrel near the base of a tree without touching it. Maybe the mama will come and haul it back to the nest. It's a stretch and we know it. Maybe nature will otherwise take care of it by morning. You know, owls.

Well, the poor little guy is still there at 10pm, having slid down the non-existent hill a bit. He's shut up and is holding still so as not to attract owl attention. We can't do away with it ourselves when it seems so viable, and vulnerable. If it had had a leg half chewed off or was otherwise damaged, maybe, but no.

Hubby and I go to bed at the same time. About 30 minutes after we've stopped talking and based on our flopping around, I know we're both awake. I say, “you thinking about that stinkin’ squirrel?”

“YES! What on earth would we do with a squirrel? You can't potty train them. They are really wild!” Hubby says.

“We're leaving in 10 days for vacation and who on earth could we convince to bottle feed an infant squirrel that may or may not have its eyes open yet. The kittens didn't start to walk until they were about a month old,” I say.

“And we have a cat who will think we let her keep a toy to torture!” Hubby says.

“If it lasts the night, we'll figure out what to do with it in the morning,” I say.
7:55 am. I'm supposed to leave at 8am. I leave Callie inside and go look in the yard. It's still there and rooting around on the ground for a titty to nurse.

Dang it!!

I go tell Hubby. This is too much for our apparently tender hearts. “Awwwwoh!”

I hold Callie on my lap while I put a posting on Craigslist saying “please adopt my infant squirrel” in the pets section. I put Hubby's phone number on it at about 8am. I put one of Callie's cat blankets in a xerox box and make a little nest. I’m sure the smell of that blanket was terrifying to the poor little bugger. I heat an ounce of milk and find the eye dropper. I go fetch the little guy and put the cat out.

I carefully try to feed the little guy which is trickier than you'd think. I wrap him loosely in a paper towel and try to get the eye dropper in his mouth. It's nostrils are so very close to its mouth that occasionally it has to stop and snort a bit. Out of three dropper-fulls, I bet one got in his tummy. I'm horribly late for work and leave at 8:25 with the box in the kitchen, squirrel wrapped in fleece.

9:00 am I get to work late with this weird squirrel story. I check my email. Four emails from people who either want the squirrel or know a place that will take it. FOUR! I forward them to Hubby, not knowing he can't find his blackberry. At 10am, he calls me begging me to take the posting down because his phone is ringing off the hook! I do so immediately. HOW WEIRD!!! Hubby has worked on feeding it too and so we're not worried about it being dehydrated, even if it isn't well fed.

Hubby comes to town to meet the new squirrel owner with the box in the car and takes me out to lunch. I check on the little guy before we go to eat. The squirrel had gotten stuck between the side of the box and the fleece and was so cold, it was balled up as tight as it could go. I moved him back to the nest, breathed hot air on him a time or two, and covered him completely over with the fleece blanket. We left all the windows cracked an inch and went to lunch. It’s maybe 85 degrees outside and the car won’t get roasting while we’re gone, but it will get warmer in there. After lunch, he's warm enough to sit in my hand with all his legs spread out. He starts whistling for mama again and we’re guessing it’s lunch time for Mr. Squirrel.

Hubby meets the guy at 12:30. This guy has driven about 30 miles to come get this infant squirrel! Who knew there was a "market" for these things! He shows up in a beat up truck, missing a tooth, and slightly malodorous. The guy wraps it up in a rag he brought and puts it in his shirt, saying it still seemed a little cold to him. He said he knew we probably thought he was really pretty weird. Well, we were weird enough to post it on Craigslist. He asked Hubby what he had fed the squirrel.

“Just what we had, 2% milk that was warmed a little.”

He said, “Awww, cow’s milk isn't that good for squirrels. Dog's milk is better.”

Long pause. Hubby says, “Well, we didn't have a lactating dog to milk.”

Dude says, “Well, I do.” Another long pause. Hubby didn't ask if they actually milk the dog or just attach the squirrel to the dog. The guy says he has 9 kids and even more animals and this will be a nice addition to the family farm. Guy leaves with the squirrel in his shirt and leaves Hubby shaking his head.

So the squirrel is alive and very likely being loved by a small pack of children. So that was our 12 hours living in bizarro world!

Makes your heart smile

Hubby took Quint to daycare today. Something that I apparently hadn't ever told Hubby, but Quint did it for him today. When you get close to the door of the daycare, Quint starts bouncing up and down and waving his arms in anticipation. It's the all over body wiggle I get when I pick him up too.

Hubby said it made him feel good that Quint likes his daycare so much. Very true!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Prepare for Too Much Information

If you're squeemish or just not female, you probably want to stop reading right now.

Due to Quint needing less milk now that he's on goopy foods, I finally let my milk production drop off to match his needs. This instead of freezing an entire bottle's worth of milk per day. Exactly how much milk do you NEED in the freezer. As a result, my body thinks I weened him and I'm having my first period in 17 wonderful months.

Wow I forgot how much this sucks! And how absolutely witchy I can be in my own head. And how easily that pops right out of my mouth! How long has it been since I carried supplies with me everywhere I went? I remember being excited to remove those things from my car, but it never occurred to me to put them back.


And Grrrr!

And lots of loud mental cuss words for no apparent reason!

The upshot is that my worst weening fear hasn't happened. And that would be to get pregnant again before I had a period which would alert me to my pending possible fertility. Nothing like having to answer the question, "When was your last period?" with a date that ends in "08" when they're trying to calculate how pregnant you are.

Oh, yeah, and then deal with the JOY of babies 17 months apart. Yeah! I get to skip that!!!


(I better have some in the car.....)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

polite kitty

Last night I installed a baby gate in the upstairs hallway. It separates the rooms Quint can explore from the bathroom, stairs, and loft, which he should not explore. The bathroom would be fine, but it's easier to stick it mid-hall before the bathroom door. And I wanted to avoid trying to step over a babygate and down a step with a baby on my hip.

Anyway, the kitty encountered the baby gate this morning and meowed piteously from the other side of the gate. I kept calling her, but she wouldn't jump it. This thing is knee height - easily jumpable. I just lifted her over it. As we were all leaving for the day, I encouraged her to jump it. She looked at me like, "didn't you put this up to keep me out?" How sweet of her to think that this was to control her! However, there is no way that a baby gate could control a cat. I started to step over it myself, talking to her but not looking at her, and promptly kicked her in the head. Smooth move x-lax! She darted into my office. I stepped back over, put the baby down and tried to love on her. She popped her head around the corner giving me this fierce look. Then stepped to the baby gate, touched her paws to the top of it, and bounded over it. She then gave me another fierce look and darted down the stairs.

Well, that wasn't quite how I wanted to teach her that, but the lesson got taught anyway.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Before meets After - and weekend update

OK, so here is before. (You're looking at the junk behind the baby.)

And here is after!

This corner of our living room was previously the junkiest spot in the whole downstairs. It had been maybe years since we had vacuumed back there because of all the junk. Over the last few weeks, I had worked at dejunkifying it little at the time in preparation for Quint's mobility and his eagerness to shove anything in his mouth. Here's a short list of what I found back there: 8 kinds of wire or cords, a sub-woofer, CDs, DVDs, twist ties, fake flowers with lots of yummy parts, glass beads, tins of tobacco, a collection of smoking pipes, random bits of hard plastic (?), rubber bands, random photos, a field guide to whiskey (?), bouzukie instructions, a guitar pick, and dust so thick on the carpet that it looked smooth on the top.

I had hoped to wait until June or July to buy an entertainment center because we could pay cash and not use credit for it. Why on earth I thought my child wouldn't be mobile until 10 months old, I have no idea!

Saturday afternoon, Quint ooched over to what we had been calling our entertainment center. In reality, it was a very tippy coffee table with a skirt on it to hide the mountain of junk we keep underneath. He grabbed the table skirt, and tried to pull himself up on it. He wound up just laying on the floor beneath it, sucking on the skirt, but it was only a matter of seconds before he would realize that he could see all this STUFF under there and go completely nuts. Hmm... so that means we need the entertainment center.... NOW!

Sunday, I went and purchased said item at Target and started to assemble it in the fireplace room. It became clear at step 3 that the instructions were wrong. By that time, it was like 8:30, I had a headache, hadn't eaten supper, and little boy needed to go to bed. Hubby made my supper, applied medicine, and handed me the boy who needed to be nursed. Besides, I had to mentally construct the rest of this thing to figure out how that piece SHOULD be attached (debate rotating it 90 degrees clockwise or 90 degrees counterclockwise.)

Monday morning, it all seemed quite clear and I could move ahead with the project after putting the baby in his piano as close to me as possible. This is the piano.

About the time that Quint was thinking this was no longer a cool arrangement, Hubby got up and took control of him, and cooked us an awesome breakfast! Around mid-morning, the entertainment center was complete! I found two other places where the instructions were wrong, and I only messed it up in one place. But the error doesn't show on the outside, so we're good.

It always cracks me up when these things say you only need a phillips screwdriver and a flathead screwdriver to assemble it! Here's everything we used to assemble it, and modify it so our DVD player would fit inside it: Phillips screwdriver, flathead screwdriver, scissors, hammer, power drill, power screwdriver, power jigsaw, pencil, pot holder and rubber mallet.

During Quint's afternoon nap, we moved the entertainment center into the other living room and switched it out. Which took considerably more thought and logistics than you'd think. But we finally got to vacuum back there and oh how terrifying what that Dyson picked up!

Hubby went and averted some minor Republican crisis via 14 phone calls, and then we went on a walk! It was a beautiful day and we took the more athletic route with the stroller. Halfway through the walk, we went into the little convenience store to cool off and refuel. Quint was asleep and I managed to cut his finger-daggers. They had boiled peanuts for sale! So of course Hubby had to get some. We soon realized that it's really hard to walk and eat boiled peanuts when you're trying to push a stroller and drink a rootbeer. So we parked in the shade and munched down.

Our little boy woke up and was interested in what we were eating. Here son, have a hot goober pea. The first three seemed weird to him, but then he wanted MORE!!! Even so far as chasing the ones that got away all the way down his arm so he could eat them. So we sat on the sidewalk in the shade for probably 20 minutes devouring some goober peas. And singing the song, of course: peas, peas, peas, peas, eatin' goober peas. Then he wanted lots and lots of water. I forgot to bring his cup, so he got some more training in drinking from a standard water bottle. It got his entire front wet, but it was hot out and just water. And he had peanut water all over him which was kind of sticky.

So when we got home from our walk, straight into the swimming pool he went! Papa went and put on his swim trunks so he could sit in the pool with him. We sat in the yard for maybe a half hour playing in the pool and rinsing the peanut juice off Quint. Very fun! We got to play with the floaty boats and letters too. I had bubbles to blow everywhere too!

Papa made us some knockwurst on the grill for supper, too. All the laundry got done. Hubby vacuumed the entire house. All the dishes and bottles got washed. We made it to church. A very nice weekend!

Saturday, Hubby officiated a wedding for some friends of ours and he did great!!! No stuttering, stammering, or odd pauses, and he didn't drop the rings either! A beautiful wedding, a wonderful party at the reception, and (most importantly) our out of town friends got to tell us how cute our son is! It's always nice to go to a wedding where you just know the couple is solid. They've been renovating the fix-er-up-er they bought and have even constructed a bunch of furniture together. As in "the couch came in 4 boxes". All this, and they're still crazy about each other. They're going to do great.