Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How Much Can One Couple Accomplish in Nine Weeks

For the past several weeks, it's been weighing on me how much we have to do and how little time we have in which to do it, both on a daily basis and on a more global oh-my-word-this-child-is-due-in-nine-weeks basis. (Speaking of which, the reality of having a second child hasn't sunk in at all. At all. I can recognize that I'm pregnant, but that there will be a baby at the end? Lost on me.)

I sat down this weekend to put together a to-do list. By the time I was done, it was three pages long. Three damn pages. I think seeing its length, plus having it broken into discrete tasks (with the validating feeling one gets from checking items off a list) has spurred us both into action.

The list includes, but is not limited to:
  • Finish painting trim of Harry's big boy room (BBR)*
  • Clean walls and floors of BBR
  • Remove all tools, etc., from BBR**
  • Paint furniture (dresser, bed, trunk, bookcase, desk, chair) for BBR***
  • Buy a second crib
  • Buy a second crib mattress
  • Assemble crib
  • Buy bedding/decor for BBR and decorate room
  • Clean out closet of BBR
  • Put foam tiles back on floor of playroom (we took them up when the basement flooded two weeks ago)
  • Acquire double stroller
  • Get all of Harry's clothes and cloth diapers out of the nursery and into his BBR
  • Get all 0-3 clothes from attic and make sure they're clean, then put away anything neutral enough to use regardless of what we have
  • Get all newborn cloth diapers from attic and make sure they're clean, then put them away
  • Get bouncy seat and swing out and find a place for them
  • Wash playmat and set it up in playroom
  • Reinstall carseat base for infant seat
  • At least pretend to have some sort of conversation about names for this child
  • Pack hospital bag
  • Come up with a firmer plan for Harry for when we go to the hospital (plan is currently "call MIL")
  • Get a second carseat for MIL's car (which will move to our second car when we're all home from the hospital)
  • Clean out freezer
  • Make freezer meals

And then there are the things that need to get done and would ideally get done before we become a family of four, but which are not 100% critical:

  • Finish patio (yes, this was on the pre-Harry list too)
  • Get estimates and hire electrician (also on pre-Harry list)
  • Put up fence
  • Purge crap from entire house
  • Organize house once less cluttered
  • Hire a new cleaner
  • Organize our finances
  • Develop some kind of estate plan
  • Find and meet with a financial planner

Possible? Maybe. But not likely (way to be optimistic, huh?). There just aren't enough hours in the day/week/month to work full time, take care of Harry (and Buddy, who really needs his nails trimmed and needs a vet tech appointment for one shot or another), sleep, and do everything on the list, while also not getting burned out. I am burned out just thinking about it.

* Harry will be moving into a big boy room (but staying in a crib) before the new baby arrives so that the new baby can move into the nursery. The nursery is just too small for Harry to stay in once long-term, so we're going to try to make the transition now.

** The BBR was the guest room and needed its ceiling replaced, which P and his mother's husband did at Christmas time. Yet the tools remained, and the painting (while mostly done) wasn't finished).

*** Harry is inheriting all of my childhood furniture. It's in decent shape, but is ugly -- thankfully in ways that can be fixed by paint, we hope.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Yet Another Reason I'm Not A Fan of My Job

Warning: This is long and filled with TMI, most of which involves vomit. And some swearing.

Last Tuesday, I was stuck at work late, as I had been Monday. P called to say that Harry was throwing up at dinner. A lot. More than once. And kept throwing up while P tried to get him cleaned up, including on P, and kept throwing up once they were both stripped down, and kept throwing up in the tub. Once he fell asleep, though, he was fine. He threw up again when P was giving him breakfast on Wednesday (I had to be at work early, so I missed breakfast), so they both stayed home, as it was obvious at that point that it wasn't something he had eaten the day before. After breakfast, he seemed fine, though.

I got home from work at midnight or so on Wednesday and went to bed. I woke up at 3:30 with bad stomach pain. I convinced myself it was stress, but by 4:15 or so, it was obvious that I had caught Harry's stomach bug. By 5 or so, it was obvious P had too. We dropped Harry off at daycare (he hadn't thrown up in more than 24 hours and seemed fine), then P dropped me off at my 30 week OB appointment and went home to go back to bed. The midwife was concerned about dehydration leading to preterm labor and told me I had to come back the following morning for an IV evaluation if I still couldn't keep anything down. She also said to focus on liquids and not try to eat.

The reason P dropped me off and left? I *had* to work that day, as I had a brief that had to be filed. So I kept my trash can close to my desk (I feel really bad for the cleaning person -- I told her not to empty it, that I'd do it myself, but she came by when I was away from my desk for a minute and emptied it -- yuck) and kept my door closed all day, occasionally lying on the floor and moaning in agony and crying for much of the day. Meanwhile, both partners on the case hopped on a plane midafternoon to DC, asking me to fax them drafts to review in their hotels (not the same hotel, of course, because that would be too easy). And the only other associate on the case, a first year, blew me off all day, starting at 5 the task I asked her to have done by close of business. You know, by 5. Note that each of these people knew I was sick. I tried to spare them the details, but I think I was clear enough to indicate how sick I was. In the end, though, I didn't get home until almost midnight. It was honestly one of the least pleasant work days I've ever had. I cried *a lot*.

Thankfully, because the brief had been filed, I decided I would stay home on Friday and try to recuperate. Maybe nap. Catch up on a few things that desperately needed to be done around the house but never get done because there's never a time when we aren't watching Harry or at work or when Harry isn't sleeping and these things are too loud to do then. Start doing some of the Hypnobabies home study course that I told myself I'd start six weeks ago as I hope and prepare for a better birth experience this time around. Maybe watch a little TV.

Sadly, that was not to be. At 6-something on Friday morning, I heard Harry crying on the monitor, which pretty much never happens. P, of course, didn't move. So I got up and went to check on him. When I opened the door, it was like the last scene of season 4 of Dexter, but with vomit instead of blood. It covered every inch of his crib sheet. It was matted into his hair. And he was just sitting in it in his sleep sack, clutching his vomit-covered blankie, sobbing. Poor thing. So we all stayed home. And I didn't get a day of rest or productivity. Instead, I spent yet another hour crying from exhaustion and frustration and a sense of futility and just being *done* (after which I did pass out for an hour in a crumpled heap on the couch while P entertained Harry). Oh, and I got bitchy messages all day from work people wondering where I was (all of which I ignored), plus some nice ones from people who were worried (some of which I inadvertently ignored as well in my effort to ignore the others).

I hate being sick. I hate my job. I hate being sick and having a stressful week at the same time. And I hate it even more when pregnant and tired. And I hate that I received no thanks, no acknowledgment that I spent my day finalizing a brief while vomiting into my trash can, and that I did so while pregnant. Fuck you, job. FUCK YOU.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers

Leftover time!
  • Harry's 18 month appointment was yesterday. I think their scale was off (does it affect the scale reading if the child just doesn't feel like sitting on the scale and therefore sits on the very edge?), as there's no way he gained 4 pounds in the months since he was there for his ear infection. Our home scale suggested he had gained more like 1.5 pounds, which seems more reasonable.
  • In preparation for being asked follow-up questions regarding his language development, we made a list of the words he knows. It turns out, he knows (and uses with some regularity) 52 words (I thought it was 51 but forgot blocks)
  • So that I don't forget, those words are: mama, dada, dog, book, kitty cat ("kee-ca") (we call that animal "cat", so I have no idea where that came from), sea star, bubble, phone ("pone" -- he has moved past "bau"), car, truck ("kuck"), cow, moo ("boo"), quack, duck, baa (sheep sound), maa (goat sound), frog, outside ("a-side"), cup, ball, apple (refers to a variety of fruits), broccoli ("brocs" or "brocca"), hot dog, keys, cheese ("kees," though he thinks it means camera), eye, ear, hat, boots, black beans ("blacks"), uh-oh, no, cracker ("crack"), cookie (but usually refers to a cereal bar), hi, bye, more ("moe"), bird, spoon ("poon"), bus, owl, moon, bath, boat, up, down, clock ("cock" -- awesome, refers to analog clocks and watches), blocks, and five proper names -- Elmo and BooBoo, plus the names of three kids from daycare. He seemed to add nose yesterday as well.
  • If you ask him to show you your ear/eye/nose, he is quite adept as showing it. He can also name it if you point to it and ask what it is. Ask him to show you his ear/eye/nose, though, and he points to his ear. Every. Time. The doctor thought it was pretty funny.
  • Heartburn is coming back with a vengeance. I am starting to dread the late afternoon/early evening, as the heartburn comes on hard and fast and does not seem in any way connected to anything I eat or drink.
  • I am very much mentally done with work. I just don't want to be here anymore, both in the I'm-ready-for-leave-to-begin way and in the I-don't-want-to-come-back-post-leave way. I know I need to start planning for what I will do next, but am intimidated by the prospect.
  • P and I try always to be watching one TV show on Netflix, in addition to movie selections. We are now fully caught up on Dexter and are not sure what to watch next. We have a ton of shows (and movies) in our queue (are we the only people to have discovered that there's a maximum number of items you can have in your queue at once?), but we haven't picked anything definitive yet. Any suggestions? It needs to be something that would appeal to both of us (and that I can get him to at least try -- his tastes are more diverse than he gives himself credit for). Past winners have included: The Wire, Dexter, Alias and the Sopranos. We liked the first couple seasons of Nip/Tuck, then slogged through the rest. Neither one of us really got into Rescue Me, though we did abandon after only a few episodes. For a small sampler of current shows, we both love Lost, the Office and How I Met Your Mother and enjoy CSI (Las Vegas and New York, but NOT Miami), Numb3rs and NCIS. Possibilities (i.e. items in our queue) include: Flight of the Conchords, The Shield, Friday Night Lights (though P has voted no on that one in the past) and Weeds (we watched the first season when it was on and liked it but would need to start over since it's been a while). I would like to watch Brothers and Sisters, but P says no. Suggestions? Clearly this could have been a post :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers

  1. When I go places (e.g., the office cafeteria) where employees are forced to wear nametags, I feel as though calling them by their first name assumes a strange degree of familiarity with which I am not wholly comfortable, especially since I know it's not their choice to have me know their name. But then I feel like ignoring their nametag is rude, like I don't care that they have a name.
  2. After having no separation issues as an infant, Harry has cried each of the last two days when dropped at daycare. He's fine by the time we get outside (we can see him in the window), but it breaks my heart anyway.
  3. My degree of forgetfulness/absentmindedness is astonishing. If I was really busy at work, I could excuse it, but I'm not. I made my secretary scan the same document three times -- each time she sent me the scan, I saw some other section I'd forgotten to sign, signed it, and had her rescan. She must think I'm an idiot.
  4. Someone bought our friends their highchairs. Not the highest priority items, but it shows that people are in fact still shopping and using the registry when doing so.
  5. Bob Duallie v. Bumbleride Indie Twin? Because of the huge hills and crappy sidewalks in our neighborhood, we need the air tires, which limits our options when it comes to double strollers. And the reviews I've read of the Baby Jogger carseat attachment are very discouraging. Leaving us with those two options, for the most part. We're still hoping to find one or the other used, but may otherwise be hoping for sales and/or coupons.
  6. GD screen coming up on Tuesday. I really hope I don't have the beetus. I enjoy ice cream and frozen yogurt too much.
  7. On the subject of leftovers, we didn't do a real grocery trip this week, instead only buying what we needed for Harry, figuring we'd eat the leftover baked ziti, chicken noodle casserole, and Chinese food we had in the fridge this week. Except now we're low on leftovers. What the heck are we going to have for dinner?

Go visit Danifred to sample some more leftovers.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


When attending a shower for a friend, do you generally shop on or off the registry?

I ask because I am a registry person, especially so for babies (in contrast with bridal showers, where I will occasionally go off-registry). My feeling is that the person best knows what they need when it comes to baby items, and I want to be sure they have those things. And I'll go off registry occasionally with a bridal shower because, unless you're just graduating from college, one or both of you probably has pots and pans and dishes and utensils, and you can probably get by a little longer without a gravy boat to match your china pattern, but, when it comes to a baby shower, you probably don't have a spare infant seat. And they won't let you leave the hospital without one. I will sometimes also get a cute clothing item or a blankie or a toy or a book, but I tend to have my main gift(s) be from the baby registry.

This is on my mind because our friends who are expecting twins in June have their shower coming up this weekend. They don't have a ton of cash lying around and are expecting to have two additional people join their household in a few months, so they need a lot of stuff. They kept their registry fairly minimalist in order to ensure people gave them the things they really needed -- carseats, stroller, monitor, etc. I was worried there wouldn't be enough on it, that it would be cleaned out by a week or two before the shower.

Yet, the shower is this weekend, but the vast majority of registry items remain unpurchased. The vast majority. Including basics (at a range of prices) like the baby monitor, crib sheets, changing pad, bathtub, hooded towels, sleep sacks. (Thankfully, the carseats and stroller have been purchased, as have some less-necessary/easy-to-buy-used items (like an exersaucer) that they can exchange if needed.) When BRU was having its big sale over Presidents Day weekend, I even sent an email out to the email list that the shower hostess had used to send a save the date to let them know about the sale and offer to share some coupons I had, but mainly I sent it to remind people that they are registered there. But only five more items have been purchased in the intervening two weeks.

For some reason, this is really bothering me. I am hoping that a lot of their friends/family are real last minute shoppers who will do their shopping Saturday morning in the hours before the shower, or that some of their relatives will give them cash, but I'm not holding my breath. Do other people not shop off registries? Am I the weird one here?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Morning Odds and Ends :)

I lack the time or energy to post a full post, but have some things I feel I need to put out there so as not to forget them.
  1. Ten years ago today, P and I went on our first date. We were seated in the worst seat in the restaurant -- right next to the door of the kitchen. If nothing else had been, that itself would have been memorable. That said, I don't think either one of us could possibly have anticipated where it would lead. But here we are, ten years later. I love you, P!
  2. When Harry was still coughing last Monday and hadn't eaten more than a couple of real meals in weeks, P took him to the doctor. Despite not having had a fever (except one day the week before) and not having had any disruptions to his sleep, and not acting in pain (aside from the not eating), it turned out he had an ear infection. So he went on antibiotics.
  3. Since then, the cough has gone away.
  4. Yesterday, though, was the first day he really seemed to be back to normal. For breakfast, he ate two bowls of cheerios and a cup of pineapple. For lunch, a grilled cheese and grapes. For snack, graham crackers, a few goldfish, and part of a peppermint patty (yeah, he had candy for a snack -- sue me). And dinner was a veggie dog, kidney beans, more pineapple, and mandarin oranges. For weeks, all he's been willing to eat is goldfish, graham crackers, and fruits and veggies. I made a chicken noodle casserole, and he picked out the mushrooms and broccoli and ate them and left the rest behind. I realize a lot of parents would be thrilled if this were their problem with their kids' eating habits, but it's disconcerting when your child only consumes 100-200 calories a day -- they can only eat so much broccoli. Also, the usual suggestions don't work for combatting this problem, since you can't really hide chicken in a blueberry or grains in a mushroom.
  5. Harry's language has really exploded over the past month or so. He finally says both mama and dada, along with a ton of other new words, many of which are quite weird. For example, he can name the "sea star" on his high chair (and also likes to point out all the "bubbles"). And he's quite fond of "backhoes." He says "cheese!" for the camera. He asks for "books" in general and some by name (or parts thereof). And he knows certain parts of books by sight or by anticipation -- he knows what nine dogs do on a moonlit night, and when the gorilla gets caught in the bed by Mrs. Zookeeper, he says "uh-oh" then he does a funny laugh (a heh-heh) in response to the gorilla's grin on the next page (he also snores when the mouse wishes the gorilla goodnight at the end). He says "bu-bye" and waves even if no one is going anywhere. And he gets very frustrated when he wants to go "ow-sye" but it's cold and he isn't wearing a coat. He decided that one of the cats at my in-laws will be "kitty" and the other "cat." (Also called kitty was the dead possum at the far end of our street -- I hope someone calls animal control. If it's still there tomorrow, I'm calling, whether P thinks it's our responsibility or not (we live at the start of a dead end-- the "kitty" is in the dead end part, in front of someone else's house).) I think we can put to rest the overly-cautious-pedi's concerns regarding speech delay.
  6. I wonder whether the language explosition is purely developmental or whether moving him to a different daycare two days a week played a role. I think the other kids play with/talk to him more at his new place, and I think he engages in more of the group activities there rather than wandering off to play with trucks. That, however, is another post entirely.
  7. Last night during Harry's bath, Harry and P were singing Old MacDonald. Harry was actually singing the E-I-E-I-O part, as well as naming the occasional animal (his choice is pretty much always duck) and saying the sound of most of the animals Old MacDonald had on that farm. Of course, he didn't want to stop singing for bedtime, but it was pretty darn adorable. He has sang before, but it's pretty much been limited to the "quack, quack, quack" part of Six Little Ducks.
  8. Twenty-seven weeks tomorrow. That seems crazy. I can't believe it's March.