Sunday, January 24, 2021

Night night

 It's hard because I wanted to write more frequently, but I also wanted to write better posts, and so far, I just have the frequency thing going for me.


In news no one asked about, I am suddenly OBSESSED with my French press, and it is the only thing I use to make coffee first thing in the morning. But! It takes FOREVER. Like, I kind of need a Keurig cup to have my shit together enough to make coffee. You know? Also, Ben's parents got us this coffee pot for Christmas, and it is amazing. Automated pour-over. WHAT COULD BE BETTER?

I get to Zoom with Isabel Wilkerson tomorrow at work and am pretty excited about it. If you haven't read Caste you really should.

Min Min had carrots and really like them-- fave food so far. Green beans are up for tomorrow. Or maybe Tuesday. I will make them tomorrow, though.

That's all I got past bedtime on Sunday...

Saturday, January 23, 2021

So big

She sits! 

And today? SHE ROLLED FROM BACK TO TUMMY, meaning she can roll both ways.

She's had sweet potatoes, bananas, and carrots, and how is she getting so big so fast?

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Read Madison Mom-- just pics here

 Here are some pictures, and here is my latest Madison Mom post.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Crush the Patriarchy

 TODAY! A woman Vice President TODAY! I mean don't get me wrong, it would be terrific if the last four years happened a totally different way and we were like too jaded to appreciate a woman Veep, but I AM SO EXCITED.

A friend shared these awesome coloring pages for kids, and we are set to watch. Harry has no school all week because he has no grades to work on between now and report cards, and the end of the quarter means that everyone else's asynchronous day is more ow key. My class doesn't meet until next week, so I am also feeling less frantic than usual. In other words, we are ready to snuggle up and watch a peaceful transition of power. I mean I hope this part is peaceful since I guess you can't argue that the whole thing has been peaceful.

I heard Cooper on a Zoom explaining white privilege to his third grade class, which was pretty awesome. He said he is white and that means he doesn't have to worry about traveling. He could go anywhere in the country whenever he wanted to and would never have to worry about his safety. It was a pretty spot-ion observation spurred by neighbors of our canceling as trip south because they didn't want to be traveling through the south right now. His teacher called it white privilege after he gave the example and then the class talked together about other areas of life that might be always affected by race. It was fantastic.

Crushing patriarchy and her sweet potatoes

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Minnie is not impressed

 After a year of keeping the Instant Pot in the basement in its box because I am scared of it, we are USING IT and starting to love it. I am still working on timing because it takes forever to heat up and then to release steam, and sometimes the meal prep is a pain, but so far YES. 

We have made butter chicken, mac and cheese, and tomato soup and loved them all. Right now it is slow-cooking some chicken for tacos tonight.

Can I just tell you that my NYR to eat seven servings of fruits and veggies has changed the way I eat? Like, I must eat 2 fruits with breakfast, which crowds out other bullshit, and I aim for 3 at lunch, which means I do salads or veggies and hummus, not sandwiches. I usually have 2 at dinner, which, again, crowds out other bullshit. I still eat a TON and much of it is carbs, but, also now so many veggies.

I am having a hormone-related milk drop this week, so I made a batch of these perfect cookies, and I am covered up in milk again. Magic!

Also, read about our thousand hours outside challenge right here.

She is never impressed, and I love that about her.

See? NOT IMPRESSED with her librarian outfit. But I was.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Quick pics

Minnie's best angle:
Such a big girl:


Thursday, January 14, 2021

5 months old and first food encounter!

 Our pediatrician told us the recommendations have changed re: food introduction. When H and J were babies, it was 4 months, rice cereal first. ForkDorothy and Cooper, it was 6 months, veggies and fruit. Now it's 4-6 months fruit and veggies. 

So, we picked the middle of the road-- 5 months, sweet potatoes. Minnie is cautiously interested and a little judgmental.

Of course we took a bunch of pictures with her stickers, and even though I posted 5 on FB and IG, here is a huge dump of all my faves:

The picture with the doll is my favorite because her sweet little smile! Oh my gosh this baby. We love her so much.

We got an email from the chancellor telling us we should all be vaccinated by the end of the summer and to plan fall like a normal semester. I have... feelings about this. I planned to offer my large lecture online in the fall because I am worried about Harry's heart inflammation virus reaction and really want him to be vaccinated before our family ventures out into the world. But! Standing on a stage in real clothes talking about the things I love? YES PLEASE. I am teaching my feminist movements class in spring 2022 and I am already excited about that. Two mornings and an afternoon working on campus? SOUNDS LIKE A DREAM COME TRUE if I am being honest.

I am listening to Parenting Without Power Struggles on audiobook right now, and I hate the lame nautical metaphor the author uses (parents are CAPTAINS OF THE SHIP). She also says some disturbingly clueless things about children in Africa growing up joyful without being bogged down by the weight of the Western world. AND she credentials herself constantly as a mother of one kid, which makes me sort of not trust her sibling rivalry advice when she says it was forged in the fire of experience. BUT OTHER THAN THAT, I really like it and recommend it if you have a Cooper in your life. 

I usually listen to podcasts on my walk, and I will still tune into my favorite daily ones, plus the first half of Pod Save America twice a week and both Happier and Happier in Hollywood. Other than Girl Next Door, which is twice a month, I don't have any that I love every day, so I end up scrolling IG WHILE I WALK which is dumb. I am hoping that an audiobook for walks and for cleaning the kitchen will help my book total for the year and be engaging enough for me to resist the scroll. My only issue is that I want to spend zero dollars on these books, so I use the library's Libby app (the new Overdrive-- it's way better), and there is quite the wait for new books.  Since I only like to read 2021 books in 2021, this is a challenge. And a fascinating one ** eye roll** Sorry.

Oh! Minnie had a diaper blowout so extreme yesterday that I needed a shower afterward, so don't think having a baby is all sunshine and rainbows. Even though it pretty much is.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Today's post made yesterday's go away??? SO here's yesterday's but today's is dated yesterday?

 Did the post I just write make me stumble into the multiverse? WHAT IS HAPPENING?

And I tried to recreate the other post from Feedly and all my pictures uploaded in backwards order. So here is what was called TINY LITTLE SLICE OF LIFE in another world:

I have made a deliberate choice to read instead of stare at my phone when I put her down, and it is lovely.

Oh yeah! The other kids!

They are still logging tons of outside time. Here's Harry on the ice and the rest of them post-sledding:

SO HAPPY to be my bouncing little helper.

She adores being front facing in the Moby-- it has saved our afternoons. I am more productive between her third and fourth naps (always a touchy time for her), and she is much happier.

SHE'S FIVE MONTHS OLD and such a big girl.

I must say, Beatrix and Minnie are not the fast friends that Dorothy and Beatrix were, probably because Dorothy and Beatrix were puppies together. Still, they contemplate each other warmly, and I think when Minnie can crawl, there will be more connection. Or maybe Beatrix will eat her-- who knows?

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

More swaddle blues

This is the face of a bedtime baby who took a 7pm catnap.  OOPS. Look at those sparkly eyes. They definitely do not say I AM SO TIRED.
Total MOTY, I know, but this toy engages her so completely that I move it from room to room.

 SO you know how I was like oh no biggie-- I took off the bedtime swaddle and she's totally fine? She started WAKING UP like 15 minutes after I put her to bed. 

Here's how bedtime goes right now:

7:30: I take a shower

8:00: Minnie takes a bath, and one kid helps (they have a rotating schedule that they developed-- it's pretty cute)

8:15: Books, jammies, milk for Minnie

8:30: I sneak out of Minnie's room  and go straight to Dorothy's. While I am doing Minnie's routine, Ben is supervising Dorothy and Cooper's showers and reading them Harry Potter. Then Dorothy reads Junie B. Jones to me while Cooper hangs with Harry and Jack until 8:45, which makes him feel like a super big kid.

8:45: THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE TIME WHEN I AM OFF DUTY and Ben and I sit on the couch staring at the glowing talking box until we stumble into bed.

Midnight-ish: Minnie wakes up and comes to bed with me where she sleeps happily until 8 am.

BUT the last few nights, as soon as I leave Dorothy's room Minnie is awake. Because I am 45 minutes into kiddie bedtime by then, I do not have it in me to sit in the rocker in her room any longer, so Ben and I just turn off most of the lights, and she nurses/dozes on the couch with me until we go to bed. I have been putting her in her crib, but she invariably wakes up right as I am drifting off, and the whole thing is kind of tiring.

Last night, I stayed in her room to see what the hell is happening, and it is totally the lack of swaddle. She wakes herself up almost right away and is all bright eyed and cooing (because she had a 15 minute nap in the rocker while she ate). She's probably awake the whole time I am reading with Dorothy and is just getting around to calling for me (she doesn't cry-- just sort of yells like a really loud bird) as I am leaving Dorothy's room. Last night, I swaddled her with a receiving blanket over her sleep sack and fed her the other side, and she went right to sleep and stayed asleep until after we went to bed. So, TL; DR: I guess she still needs to be swaddled?

Velcro sleep sack nap time swaddle:

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Slow and steady

 Who would have believed it with all these kids in the house 24 hours a day and Ben working around the clock, but I AM MAKING PROGRESS ON MY NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS

We have enjoyed fish tacos and a perfect pasta dish and are trying 2 new recipes for favorite foods this week, which means we are at 4/21.

Dorothy and Cooper and I snuggle up on my bed with books and blanket and read for 21 minutes/a day, and it is wonderful

I have been able to write 3 times this week! I am a little concerned that it is hard to get up because I am sleeping with a bay and also that my adjunct classes start up again on Monday, and I do not want my only consistent time with 2 hands to go to that. My plan is to write in the morning anyway (and I have also done some essential real-job tasks) and then find more work time during the day. I have my real work starting up again at the end of the month, so I will have to figure out the juggle by then. But you guys! If I can finish this book and sell it working from home full time plus with 5 kids and no childcare in the middle of a pandemic, then I can do ANYTHING.

Tracking our spending, we realized that this week was the first time we had days where we bought nothing SINCE AUGSUT. And even though we only bought Target essential (like for realz, not extra crap) and groceries, we still spent WAY TOO MUCH MONEY, but it was so fun to track.

I am still eating snacks at night, but there were at least 4 nights so far this year where I just drank tea. I am going to push this to the top of the list **eye roll**

I love the way she looks at us like she cannot even handle any more of our bullshit.

(Hand-me-downs, yes, but I lost the Gymboree tights for that bubble and also the Tea Collection dress for those leggings, so she;'s putting her own spin on it. Here's baby Dorothy in the bubble and the other outfit

Thursday, January 07, 2021

PANDEMIC BABIES: Excellent distractions

 Last night, I did something crazy-- I DID NOT SWADDLE MINNIE. I just put her to bed in jammies and a sleep sack. And? She slept...fine. It wasn't her best night of sleep, but it absolutely was not her worst either. So, maybe lots of hand-wringing over nothing? STORY OF MY LIFE.

Minnie continues to be the most welcome distraction from reality I can ever imagine. Did you even SEE that stuff yesterday? Can you even BELIEVE it? I am a rhetorician, so words matter, and COUP is NOT THE RIGHT WORD. Insurrection? Insurgency? Coup is too generous and also expands the public imaginary in the wrong way. (For my part, I was more disgusted by the aftermath, especially when Hawley OBJECTED ANYWAY YOU GUYS. Are we looking at our political future?)

Anyway, my point: I am less stressed than I would be without Minnie because I am thinking of when to start solids and how she is sleeping and if it is time to feed her again and how adorable her toes are when the nail is just a teeny bit white on the tip and also then so vaguely oh are we still a democracy. Pandemic baby: better than a puppy.

Also, there is no guarantee I would still be down 15 pounds and wearing size-4 high-waisted jeans without her, you know? We all know I am a stress eater under the best of circumstances, and our world since March? NOT THE BEST OF CIRCUMSTANCES. This thought is really helping me appreciate my body where it is this exact second, not where I imagine it might have been if things were different. Also, if I do not eat all of the carbs and SO MUCH OATMEAL (which I have decided to consume in mostly cookie form), my milk supply instantly tanks. When I eat a lot and lots of carbs? WE ARE DROWNING IN MILK. So, what else can I do but eat a ton of food?

Practicing sitting:

1000 hours outside
Night skate!!
Ben's  mini
Make these!!

Monday, January 04, 2021

Bullets from the first day of school

Minnie and I are not breaking our streak of taking a walk every single day of her life. Clearly she's up for it.
MINNIE IS SO BIG, you guys.
Like, just recently.
Make-your-own pizzas used to be a dinner AND an activity. But lately, I am the only one rolling crusts. What the heck, guys?
1000 Hours Outside. WE ARE DOING THIS. Here we are taking a night walk in the freshly falling snow
Harry and Beatrix matched the other morning:
SHE'S SO BIG! (Also that is a shadow not ring-around-the-tub I swear)
  • UGH. School started this morning, and it was rough to be awake and on the computer bright and early. I have not missed second grade math, it turns out. 
  • I made the most wonderful chocolate chip cookies today (mostly this one but with 2 tsp vanilla and 1 almond extract), and I used an ice cream scoop. AND THE CHILDREN ATE THEM ALL. ALL. (This should be a good thing, of course, but I also wanted them because BEST COOKIES EVER.)
  • Ben is ridiculously busy at work. I was ridiculously busy with the kids, but tomorrow, I hope to also be busy doing real things, even though my semester doesn't start until AFTER MLK Day.
  • I opened my computer 16 times to write a post, but it never happened. So, here I am at the end of a long day with all of my thoughts gone because damn, That day, Those kids. THERE ARE SO MANY OF THEM.
  • As a follow up to my last post, Ben has started going in before bed and unwrapping Minnie sort of like a magician pulling out a table cloth. She usually wakes up shortly thereafter (LOL).