Sunday, August 31, 2008

I know; I know

Neglect, plain and simple. What can I say? Assistant directing a course with 30 TAs and 780 undergrads is harder than it looks. Good thing Welcome Week comes but once a semester.

I came home from work on Monday and told Ben, "I could never work a 9-to-5 job. It's so hard to work all day and then come home and do stuff around the house."

He started at me with his eyes open, in stunned silence. I heard him blink. I thought maybe he didn't understand me, so I pressed on with a simply brilliant, "I mean, can you imagine only seeing the kids for like 3 hours a day?"

His jaw sort of swung open, and if he were a cartoon, the top part of his head would have lifted up, and two puffs of steam would have come out of his ears, and there would have been an "Ah-woo-gah" noise in the background.

I love my husband. He works tirelessly at his job and then comes home to work tirelessly around our house. You should see him vacuum those stairs, and his laundry folding sills are unequaled. He is the one who gets up with Harry if Harry has a bad dream or is just AWAKE at 5 a.m., and his rendition of Green Eggs and Ham is like high art by now, honed carefully during 2 years of the cutest darn bedtime stories you ever heard.

Also, just the other day I was saying I could never be a full time SAHM. Now, I am telling you that a WOHM gig is not for me either.

Like my living saint of a husband, you are probably asking yourself What is it that you could do, princess?

Well, working 2 afternoons a week at a job that largely requires me to sit around and think about stuff suits me just fine. I also enjoy shopping.

{Edited to Add: Since I am sitting here doing this while Ben is making dinner, I feel like I should also mention his culinary prowess. In a word: YUM.}

Sunday, August 24, 2008


On our way to Target for light bulbs and 2% milk, we saw this in the sky and decided to chase it because I have always wanted to see one land, and Ben thought he knew where these things come down around here.

And also, you know, for the sake of poetry to offset the daily prose.

Harry's best hot air balloon chasing face.

It kept getting farther away no matter how many winding country roads we dashed down.

Harry called the balloon gorgeous, and he has been talking about how we chased it but it bisadeered (disappeared) out his window.

This week, no time for even the most prosaic of existences. More like a slapdash haiku. I am working (gasp) full time to train my TAs, and well be using not one but 2 nannies-- one on campus so Jack can eat straight from the tap whenever he wants. Ya'll should see my office (which is buried in textbooks at the moment)-- there's a cute little kid corner with a rug and toys and a chalkboard.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Who knew we had these beautiful gardens right here in our town??

We went to see a butterfly exhibit, but I freaked out when we saw a sign that advised people exiting the indoor garden to do a "butterfly shake" to make sure moths and butterflies didn't try to leave on your person or in your bags. Ew. As if. I thought it would be better if I left than if I stayed in the room and screamed and swatted rare butterflies.

Ben took pity on me (and also, he acts all macho, but he totally hates to push the stroller all by himself) and did a quick walk through of the indoor garden before suggesting we take our pale little children into the harsh daylight to see plants growing outside. Riveting.

I so wish this would have said "Some Pig." Instead, it just made me want to whip out the central vac.

How much more fun is forward facing in the Bjorn??

Pasty, huh?

You would not believe how much crap we carry in this stroller. I'm actually glad the storage basket is so small. I don't know what the hell we'd carry underneath a Graco. A mini fridge and a microwave?

Harry will not leave the house without his snack trap full of fishies. Like, he won't even go outside and get the paper without them.

If you lok really close, you can see Jack's toes peeking around the side.

Oh look. A badger. What a surprise.

This is what whining looks like

I need one of those backpack harnesses.

Ben and I used to be like really good at taking a self portrait because Ben has such freakishly long arms, but lately, it's hard to dqueeze us all into the frame, which may be some sort of metaphor or may just mean we need to depend on the kindness of strangers little more often.

Friday, August 22, 2008

We've been busy

See how busy?

Jack is exhausted from all the busy, in fact.

Okay, so here's our week:

Monday-- hung out with Uncle Jon-- I have pictures, I swear

Tuesday-- I took both boys to the mall in a futile attempt to buy myself fall clothes. We all cried a little in the H&M dressing room-- me because they were so ridiculously ill-behaved, not because of the clothes. I am actually a size I can stomach, so I'll try shopping again tomorrow. By myself. Also, I think I need slightly more grown up clothes, as I am now an old woman. Also, also-- PEGGED JEANS? Really? They're not the thing for little round people, you know.

Edited to Add:Forgot the second stupidest thing I did all week! I was so stressed from my taxing day of shopping! and going to coffee shops! and signing Jack up for Little Gym! and making deli sandwiches for dinner! that I wasn't paying attention when I pulled the car into the garage, didn't pull it up far enough, and scratched the hell out of the bumper with the garage door. My brand new, only-has-123-miles-on-it car. Boo.

Wednesday-- Okay seriously. Not a good day. The absolute stupidest thing I did all week: On my way out the door to take Jack to his well-baby visit, I put his car seat on the floor between the washer and the dryer so I could take clothes out of the dryer and put wet ones in. A bra fell on Jack, and he started playing with it, and I thought Phew! Good thing he didn't burn himself on the clasp. Then I pulled his little gray hoodie out of the dryer and tossed it on his lap. He let out a horrific scream-- and now he has a huge, blistered burn in the exact shape of a zipper pull. Awesome. Then I had to go to school for a couple of hours, and Ben took Jack to work with him. I had a nasty run-in with the copy machine and some really old 3 hole-punch paper, making me late to take Harry to the zoo to play with Erica, late to meet a TA and give her some textbooks (oh my god-- so many boxes of textbooks in my office and everyday when I get to campus, there's another stack waiting for me in the mail room. It's like I have standing order with the book supplier.), late to pick Harry up from the zoo-- you get the idea. And when I got to the zoo, Erica said, "Is it true that Ben is allergic to cats?" proving that Harry is the weirdest toddler I know. He asked us for a cat 3 weeks ago, and we were like "Ew! No! Uh, I mean sorry, sweetie, Daddy is allergic to cats-- they make his eyes itch." Harry accepted this information sadly, and then he filed it away in his memory lock box and has since trotted it out a couple of odd times. Like the other day at the gym a nice old man said hi to him, and Harry replied, "Harry no get a cat! Daddy's eye itch!" Also, I didn't take a nap for the first time all summer and had a hard time keeping my eyes open past 3:30. Finished my day of A plus parenting with McDonald's for dinner.

Thursday-- Left both the kids with Jamie for practice, and Jack drank a bottle of breast milk-- yay! I decided I could conquer the copy machine and tried to make my own copies because I should be competent like that, right? Wrong. Very wrong. Was again very late. Also very sweaty. But I can now fix a paper jam, which is good because apparently, my very presence causes the paper to get stuck, as if I make the machine as nervous as it makes me.

Today, I am going to go to the gym and am maybe possibly getting dressed.

Tomorrow, I am using that stash of breast milk in the fridge, so I can go the the spa for a mani, pedi, and hair cut (which is good because my bangs totally obscure my eyes). I might also get a massage. Oh! AND I am going shopping for myself by myself. Heaven. I guess pumping is not as bad as I thought! Except, you know, that it totally sucks (ha! sucks!)
And that, Katie, is why I have been slacking on the blog. Blech.

As if the pictures of Harry on the potty weren't enough for this mommy blog, here are some 4 month stats and useless weight trivia: Jack weighed 14 pounds, 6 and 3/4 ounces, and he was 26 inches long. At 4 months, Harry weighed 14 pounds 7 ounces and was only 25.25 inches long. This s the second time they have weighed the exact same amount (both were 11 pounds 6 ounces at 2 months), but Jack is still way taller. Also my fears that Jack is too skinny were poo-pooed by the doctor and his nurse, who both said to hold off on solids until 6 months, which was our plan anyway because solids are a big mess. And I got a nasal spray flu vaccine-- way better than a shot, huh?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Weekend Idyll

Ben took these during our last, lazy student-free walk through campus-- the last one until May, when they'll bolt from the dorms and their shabby chic apartments the second they've filled in the last Scantron bubbles and shoved the last papers under their TAs' office doors.

Don't let these peaceful lake views fool you. It's a mess around here during move-in week. Locals call it Hippie Christmas because of all the crap students leave on the curb-- sofas and loveseats, computer desks, beds, even computers-- because most of these kids are just playing poor, and their mommies and daddies supply them with new stuff each school year. There was an article in the paper yesterday about all the kids who camp out on the street this weekend-- most are without homes for 3 days between the end of one lease and the beginning of the next, so those who can't shack up with significant others or BFFs play like street people and use the power outlets on city lamp posts to plug in their flat screen TVs and Wiis. Ah yes. Now they know how the other half lives.

Meanwhile, nobody mentions or even makes eye contact with the real homeless people-- people like the men we saw washing their underwear in the lake and hanging it to dry on benches at the waterside park where we brunched today. Our real homeless population is only paper-worthy in the winter when they're freezing post-Christmas and every one's spirit is all used up.

Well. I'm a little cynical--I think I've really turned into a townie-- and a curmudgeon at that, complaining about the students and their wasteful ways like I lived here all my life.

Look-- here's Ben and Harry playing ancient Egypt. Harry's a Pharaoh.

Jack modeling the latest in newborn sunscreen

Mmmmmm, coffee. Speaking of-- the barista at Starbucks on campus asked Ben on Friday morning if he was up early to go dumpster diving. Time to reevaluate the old wardrobe, huh?

I will miss these ugly little things this winter when putting on shoes is once again a struggle

Jack discovered grass,

and we discovered that Jack would really rather not drink formula, but thanks very much for the offer. He'll put it in his mouth; he'll spit it all over his chin, and he'll even laugh as it wraps around his neck, filling his little rolls and wrinkles. But he won't drink it.

So, it's come to this. Sigh.

Oh! And here's Harry eating my butterscotch pie. And once he stole my dessert, he refused to share.

So I ate Jack. Sweet.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

4 Months

4 months agrees with Jack.

Or not.

It's almost 9:00, and both kids are still awake, and Ben and I are folding a mound of laundry that's as tall as I am (which is just from yesterday and today) and wondering WHY these kids won't sleep. Perhaps they hate us. Ben just went into Harry's room to put him in bed for the seventeenth-ish time, and Harry handed him a diaper and some wipes. Ben was all, "Get back in your fire truck," and Harry started screaming, "I'm poopy, Dada! I'm poopy." Okay then.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ummm... Bullshit?

I don't believe the results of this study, and I really have nothing to go on besides a healthy distrust of the government and my ongoing astonishment at the power of lobby groups. Also years of persuasion rounds that make the FDA an institutional cause (The FDA! The perfect inherent obstacle! Both greedy and stupid! Oh! And a friggin' bureaucratic nightmare! Rock! Blame them!) and one chemistry major nanny who has always refused to microwave plastic...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Many Faces of Jack. Well, One Face. Many Times.

Okay, really, I know I should not put such a ridiculous picture of myself on the internet (I wake up with lunch lady hair and the eyes of a much older woman), but seriously, LOOK AT JACK. He always looks like this in pictures. Cracks me up. He and I had just opened our eyes from a restful night's slumber-- if by restful, I mean waking every 3 hours to eat and pass gas and check on the Olympics.

See? That face again.

And again-- only this time he's showing off his fuzzy orange widow's peak (thanks, Dad, for the Eddie Munster hair gene)

Once more-- this time at swim lessons (where Harry got a very nice certificate with a sticker. On closer inspection, though, the sticker was not a typical reward sticker-- it's for Rusteze Bumper Ointment. Cute, huh? Harry's teacher was a 17 year-old boy.)

Here's a slghtly more pleasant version

And an ugly one

The thing is, if you have met Jack, you know that he has expressions and emotions. I guess his career as a male model is over before it really began. Unless these are all blue steel.

I took the boys to the zoo again after nap, and I called Ben and said something to the effect of hey you've worked long enough, want to come with us? And he was all, okay, and he DID! (But he goes to work at the crack of dawn, so really, he had already worked a full day). This is the shark mask Harry wanted (and we were all too happy to get him because--really.)

These make me laugh

A really nice woman offered to take a picture of all of us.

I really like putting him in the most mismatched jammies I can find. Weird, huh? Also, he's getting so skinny-- only his round cheeks, chubby feet, and fat rolls above his knees to remind me he's a baby (and his diaper, which lately contains man-like poop).

This noise coming out of this gaping hole? It is as loud as you fear it might be.

Look at their cute little fists! I think they were actually playing.

Or maybe Jack was trying feebly to save himself. Either way-- nobody was crying, so I stayed out of it.

Even though Harry has told me fifty thousand times that he wants to be a witch, a goblin, or the Statue of Liberty for Halloween (and one time, he even told me that in a very agitated tone as I was ordering his Halloween costume online), he's going to be a monkey, and Jack is his banana-- cute, huh? Uncle Jon is coming to visit this weekend with some Statue stuff for Harry, so I'll get a picture of him perched on his toy box with his arm held high, but you'll all have to imagine him saying, "Statue of Liberty Harry" and "Statue of Liberty Me," which is much cuter in person. Like Jack.