Friday, February 29, 2008

Baby you can drive my car

Check out this awesome BAO car that Harry's Grandma and Grandpa J got him. It's so cool. I think I talked abut how cool it was a couple of months ago because they have one at their house, too. We were so excited when they showed up with one for Harry to play with at home.

Also check out my ginormous belly.

I have actually reached a new pregnancy low-- I am wearing sweatpants to the office. To be fair, I am not teaching or anything today. I just came here to write because I thought I would eat less here than at Panera, and that's true so far.

So, back to the old dissertation. Enjoy the Harry man. And notice that he says his name now! Also, sorry about my silly laugh.

Absent-Minded Professor Wannabe

In my "oh my god I must finish this dissertation before my students' papers come in and I am drowning in com theory and also I am pregnant and tired and achey and also there's this giant toddler hanging on my legs all day and I'd really like to pee in peace" stupor, I totally effed up and hit publish on three posts at once.

So below this mess are 3 new entries. Sorry-- maybe if I spaced this crap out, I wouldn't go so long between entries.

Also, I know it's not Friday, but what are you gonna do?

No Thank You

This is Harry's new thing. He says "No thank you" when he's pissed off and when he's tantruming. Polite, huh? It's also kind of pathetic, especially when combined with his other new tantrum trick, which is to scream "Help, Help!" whenever he's freaking out in public and we're trying to remove him from the situation. Makes us look real good.

Here he is building a tower. He got really really annoyed when he could n't fit this block directly in the freaking middle.

Shortly after this picture (taken while he was waving his hands at me and saying "no thank you," he pointed imperiously toward my bedroom and commanded "In," my cue to go the hell away and take my camera with me.

Point taken

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pastoral with Yoga Ball

Harry on his farm.

And working on his core.

Hi. Busy. Sorry. So Busy.

Okay. I have a ton of pictures to share. Harry's grandparents were in town last weekend, and we had SO MUCH FUN.

Those pictures are all on my camera, though.

Here are a couple of me and Harry fter I gave a talk last week. And the talk went well. But now I am so busy finsihing my LAST CHAPTER before I get 80-ish undergraduate papers to grade (happy spring break to me, and can can it really be spring break when it is so friggin' cold and snowy. I mean we have a couple of weeks left until break, but there is a pile of snow out my window that's bigger than a tree). Tights, by the way, blow Harry's mind. I mena, are they socks? Skin? What the hell?

And here Harry is at the coffee shop on our weekly library/coffee/Little Gym date. Yes a chocolate chip cookie is a perfectly acceptable 10 am snack-- why the hell wouldn't it be? Also, after eating this cookie, Harry spent the first 20 minutes of Little Gym running in circles around the Big! Red! Mat! and screaming at the top of his lungs, which is funny because I just read an article about how sugar rush is a myth.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Nakey Hello

I really love coming home from campus on the day I teach. I usually arrive right around bath time, which means that dinner is over, and I don't have to scrape macaroni off of a plastic tray or mop the floor around Harry's chair, or try to fill those last crabby 45 minutes before the nighttime routine begins. Instead, all I have to do is say hello and maybe read a bedtime story or two, unless I am too hungry and absolutely must warm up whatever Ben and Harry ate for dinner and inhale it while perusing US Weekly, in which case Ben tells Harry that mommy needs to eat, and he finishes the nighty night for me. Heaven.

What's really amazing, though, is how happy Harry is to see me.

He couldn't even let me take off my coat off before he needed a hug, even though he was, as he says, nakey.

Sometimes, I just feel so lucky. Can't wait to have more of these guys running around. And luckily, it looks like I don't have to wit too much longer, as my belly button has already popped out, and I am starting to wonder if avoiding stretch marks the second time around will be impossible because seriously, I could not possibly get any bigger. Except I can. And I will. Freaky.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Make Over: A Dream?

We are going crazy from all the snow and slush.

Proof of my madness?

This disturbingly realistic hallucination I had the other day, completely unaided by drugs.

First, I dreamed that a toddler-sized duck rode into my room in a little red wagon full of balls.

Next, we waddled over to my makeup case, flung its contents on the floor, harming several items in the process, and commanded me to sit cross-legged on the linoleum, which I did.

First, he ripped the lid off my blush and applied it very firmly to my cheeks, neck, and most of my forehead.

Then he smeared himself with mascara and took a moment to admire his work.

I took a moment to admire his pudgy little duck hands.

He thought some mascara smears would help my cheekbones stand out, and he used his thumb to jab my moles for good measure.

He took advantage of the crayon-like appearance of my beat up old Neutrogena concealer stick and drew beige lines all over my nose, eyes, and upper lip.

In the end, he pronounced me passable, but said my skin looked dry, to which I replied, "Stop eating my moisturizer."

He said, "Quack, quack," and departed as quickly as he materialized.

Creepy, huh?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Scary stuff

Holy crap, toddlers are dangerous. The other day when I was taking a shower, Harry ate some of my Lancome Renergie cream-- not much judging from the amount smeared on the walls and the counter top. What really freaked me out was the open tube of toothpaste on the counter next to my violated face cream because that stuff will kill you, you know. I nervously smelled his breath, but it wasn't minty fresh, just really expensive and wrinkle free.

So now we have to re-babyproof everything, this time from the point of view of a much smarter creature who can climb well (to get my moisturizer, he dumped out a basket of bath toys and pushed it into the master bedroom, where he turned it over and used it as a stool) instead of from the point of view of a shuffling, drooling zombie.

Or I can just stop taking a shower. And blinking,

Here's Harry climbing on the toilet, which may be his favorite thing to scale. He likes nothing more than to throw tissues one by one onto the floor and then yell uh-oh and scramble down to pick them up, so he can climb back up and try to put them back, screaming in, in. He usually falls off and hits his head a few times in the process.

Notice he brought his own beverage. Yummy. Nothing more appetizing than milk in the bathroom. Unless it's a plate of freaking chicken wings (Harry's Uncle Ben, you know who you are).

Here he is grabbing his face in Macaulay Culkin like consternation because he cannot manage to squeeze them all back in the box

I'm going gray here, and I'm not even 30 (although, yes, I will be very soon).

On a side note, we voted today (Go Hillary! And how cool was it to vote for a woman for president? Super cool, and I hope I can do it again in November) and Harry was so bummed because he thought we said we were going to boat. He was totally pissed when we got to our polling place (an elementary school with a black history month display that prominently featured Obama and was RIGHT NEXT TO the voter registration table) and discovered there wasn't even any water, let alone a boat.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

V-Day and Excuses

Hi, how's it going? KInd of crappy here, actually. We've been snowed/slushed/ iced in all day, and it's supposed to get even worse tonight, which is awesome news for a nice morning drive to campus. Even the presidential candidates cancelled their campaign stops today, the wussies. (On a totally random sidenote, anyone ever read Richard Russo's The Risk Pool because I am pretty sure that Wussy might be my favorite fictional sidekick-- excpet for maybe Teddy and June in Russo's The Straight Man, which, if you are an academic, you should read because you will find it hilarious. Oh my god-- I totally remember when I used to read books that weren't about abortion--ahhh, memories.)

Anywho, we're just so freaking busy this semester that this blog has fallen by the wayside a bit. Ben is teaching a couple of adjunct classes at a local university (you know-- in his spare time, when he's not working 40 hours week and coaching the speech team), and I am preparing a presentation I have to make later this week, prepping a new class, (and, you know-- trying to finish my dissertation before I give birth to this baby, my god). In our free time, we enjoy such relaxing pursuits as cooking, cleaning, and moving the couch to vacuum under it, which seems to go under the heading of cleaning, but is actually more intense, especially since when we moved out of our old place, the movers lifted up the couch to find an ENTIRE, IN-TACT piece of pizza underneath it, and we do not ever want to be "those people" again.

Harry's really busy, too. He just discovered the wonder of "Little Bear" on Noggin. I think that show is mega boring and just randomly turned it on today because we checked out a Little Bear book from the library last week, and I thought Harry might like to experience Little Bear across media. He LAUGHED at the parts of the show that were supposed to be funny (and they weren't funny-- I mean whiney, pain-in-my-ass Caillou is way funnier-- Barney looks like Dane Cook compared to Little Bear), and he said "Yeah!" when something worked out well for Little Bear (he found some eggs to bring home to his mother or something dreadfully boring like that). It was weird. He was like Ben watching MSNBC coverage of the election (which is the only coverage Ben likes because they are so pro-Obama it is ridiculous.)

So, before these pictures are totally irrelevant, let me show you Harry's Valentine's Day.

He started out with a few presents, which sort of disappointed him because we told him he had presents downstairs, and he was all "Ho, ho, ho," but V-day is nothing compared to Christmas.

I made cupcakes (and yes, he did actually eat one or two with breakfast) the night before,

and we thought Harry might have fun decorating a few of them in the morning.

And this is how I know that Harry is my kid even though he looks nothing like me (although, yes, I did actually, you know, birth him) because this is how much frosting actually made it onto the cupcakes. The rest (including the mini candy covered Hershey's kisses)? Safely ensconced in Harry's belly.

We met Ben at Build-A-Bear at lunch, where Harry had about sixteen tempter tantrums and built this guy,

whom he named Monkey and dressed in these jammies. Normally, I would have protested them, since the apostrophe in Dino's Rock is so not grammatical, but Ben was all too happy to buy them because it was either these or a lavender pair that said "Glamour Girl" that Harry was originally drawn to.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Hello, little boy. What's your name?"

"I don't say my name, Snowman, even though I say things like shampoo, plenty, and cupcake."

"Oh. That's kind of weird. And don't be so presumptuous. I am not a snowman. I am a pointy mound of snow with a hat and scarf."

"And buttons, Snow Mound. Don't forget your buttons."
"Yes. And buttons. Do you have thumbs? I thought your kind had thumbs."

"I have thumbs but the big lady who puts my clothes on can't figure out how to get them in the thumb holes. Now I know how monkeys feel. You're short, by the way."

"You are!
"Hey, you want some more snow? I could give you more snow. Make you taller maybe, more man, less mound"
"Keep your snow hands off me!"

"Dude, chill. Come on, let's shake hands."

"Oh rub it in why don't you. I DON'T HAVE HANDS!"

"Sorry. Uh, this is getting awkward. I'm going to ask the big lady to pull me in my sled. It was nice to meet you, Snow Mound."
"Wait Plenty Shampoo Cupcake or whatever you said your name was--"
"I didn't say my name."
"Okay, whatever, just... don't go. I'm lonely out here, kid, and I could really use a little companionship. Maybe we could snuggle a little."

"What the hell kid? I'm not a freaking snow cone!!"

Cricket cricket.

"Hey, Big Lady! I think I have frostbite. Can we go in and uncover my thumbs?"

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Care (Work) Bear: A Bit Ranty

My second year in PhD school (not to be confused with MA school), I took a class in the sociology department that was cross listed with my minor, women's studies. The class was labeled something very general and engaging like "Gender and Social Institutions" or something of that nature. On the first day, we found out the special topic of the course was Care Work. I had never heard of such an area of study, and I was very intrigued.

It turned out to be a great class-- all about mothering, nursing, elder care, and the idea that the work of care often falls to women, is usually privatized and is almost always devalued, emotionally, fiscally, socially-- anyway it can be, actually. I got turned onto a great body of literature I had never encountered, finally read the kinds of philosophers I wanted to be tested on for prelims (Tronto, Nussbaum, and others whose names escape me because it has been years since I took my prelims- specifically 2 years), and was finally able to articulate the links between mothering and abortion, between the language of reproductive rights and hegemonic discourses of sexuality and marriage, and between Planned Parenthood and family values that drew me to study the organization in the first place.

Unfortunately, that class was also my least positive foray into women's studies ever. The other women in the class (and the professor) looked at my Ann Taylor wardrobe (that's where I worked the previous summer-- a job that cost me a lot of money, by the way) and my new diamond solitaire and wrote me off as someone who wasn't a serious student. I have run into this attitude before (probably because I only use purple pens and like to twirl my hair) in my own department (like the time in seminar when I made what I thought was a brilliant comparison to the "Greek system" and realized that everyone else thought I must be referring to the polis of ancient Athens, not my days as an undergrad in Chi Omega), but at least my professors waited to read my work before like totally judging me. This class? Not so much. And sure I probably should not have brought my ginormous beribboned wedding planner notebook to class, but I liked to multi-task on breaks. And call me a second wave throw back, but seriously? Isn't women's studies a place where we should just support each other and our choices? And Legally Blonde? Did we learn nothing from Elle Woods?

Anywhoo, clearly I still need some therapy about this topic. My point in considering care work is that one really practical thing I learned from that class is that women are socialized to care more (and not in a creepy Nancy Chodorow essentialist kind of way) than men are, and this starts in the womb practically. I realized that I wanted all my future kids to learn an ethic of care because what's a more important founding principle for our lives together on this planet (and yes, I support universal health care and the Kyoto protocol)? Dismissing the care ethic has made us a nation of freaking assholes (my scholarly assessment) and is why WE DON'T HAVE UNIVERSAL DAYCARE, maternity leave that LETS WOMEN HAVE ENOUGH TIME OFF TO BREASTFEED, and corporate environments THAT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT CHILDREN. That's why most women have patchwork childcare, have to put in a second shift of house work and feeding the family when they come home from their 9-5, or are forced to make some sort of Sophie's choice between marriage and family and career. (I told you this was ranty).

So that's why I bought this for Harry today

Also because he wanted it, I hate public tantrums, and it was one of the least expensive things he could have picked at Build-A-Bear, where he ran when I freed him from his stroller at Gymboree so he could watch Gymboree TV and I could look for this shirt in his size (which I did not find which is too bad because he really does love dirt).

The we came home, and he thought his fire fighter bear might want some bup. He also washed the bear's face, but I was too slow to catch it on film.

I think I am just annoyed because the woman who worked at Build a Bear was all "My husband would never let me get something like that for my son," to me, and she said to Harry, "You better hide that from Daddy," at which Harry looked really confused. I assured him that no Daddy would like the stroller, it was all the crap that Mommy bought herself that Daddy might not be too hapy to see...
Also, I took all the rest of my minor classes (also cross listed with womens studies) in the history of medicine/ bioethics department, and I loved them.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Forty Below

Okay, so that was last Wednesday. And the wind chill, not the *real* temperature. But still. Cold enough that the class I teach was cancelled, and too cold for me and Harry to go anywhere or do anything. Because the local schools were all closed, and when that happens, my gym closes its daycare room, too. I understand their rationale-- they have enough snot nosed preschoolers running around and do not need any snot nosed big kids to add to the mix. But still. it sucks to not be able to leave the house. I know because we are spending another cloistered snow day together right now. Is it nap time yet? Is it? is it? How about now?

Clearly Harry is bored, too. But he may actually have a devious plan for drumming up some excitement. I bet it has something to do with the contents of my cabinets he has flung on the floor behind him.

But he's not so happy to take pictures with me.

He'd way rather sit in this puddle of sunshine and commune with his water bottle (WAWA BABA-- to be screamed repeatedly at the top of your lungs, if you want to know how the locals say it)

Here he is playing with the much-maligned sample jewelry cleaner from his Malloween basket. Hmmm, maybe Helzberg Diamonds knew what they were doing after all.


But I have to tell you, that day is looking pretty damn entertaining compared to today's line up, which consists of trying not to watch TV and maybe picking up enough toys/ sweeping and dusting enough surfaces so our house cannot be described as squalid. The trick is to lower your expectations.