Monday, December 29, 2008

My imac is dead. Again.

Enough said. This means that posting is more difficult because when John comes home, he's on his laptop. My warranty expired as well. This is only the, what, third time my imac has crashed? And it crashes each and every time I try and install new security updates. Quality with a capital "K." [sigh]

Monday, December 22, 2008

"Trumpets?! Standing on chairs?! Waffles?!"

Do you ever get tired of seeing commercials about women feeding their family? Then you need to see this video.

John tipped me off to these. Sarah Hawkins (the ... well ... "host" for lack of a better word) parodies the sexist commercials that target women. These shorts are great! :-)

If you want to see more, head here.

Troubles with Heat

I wanted to take a picture so people could see exactly what our heating unit looks like. Keep in mind we've had no snow or ice here. Our neighbors haven't had problems like this with their unit. Of course, if we had ours placed in an area where it could actually receive sunlight. [sigh]

Our landlord seemed a little pissed off at the company for not bringing someone out to the house today. John and I were told to run emergency heat non-stop or it could cause damage to the unit (if it's not damaged already). Hopefully someone should come out tomorrow morning to take a look at (and fix) our contemporary and classy ice sculpture. ;-)

Our mortgage paperwork is finally on its way to our lender! We finished signing everything on Saturday, but had to wait until today to drop it off at a UPS place. I was hoping to do this with Eric this morning. I needed to pick up a prescription, and I was hoping to drive to the nearest UPS store and find a drop box outside and be done with it. But nothing is ever that simple. I drove to the store and found no drop box. I parked my car right in front of the store because it had just warmed up. It's freezing here; we're under a wind advisory with gusts up to 40 mph. It's miserable. And with Eric being sick, I didn't want to park the car a mile away and have to walk with a baby all the way to the store.

When I didn't see a drop box outside, I quickly went in (bad mommy, I know, leaving my kid in the car but the alternative sucked as well) to see if there was a drop box inside. I didn't see one. I did see a long line of people waiting to mail their last minute Christmas gifts, however. So, I got back in the car, threw a minor fit, and decided to call UPS to come and pick up the stupid thing. Honestly, no drop box??!! It's like going to the post office and seeing no bloody mailbox! I actually saw a UPS truck on the Reston parkway while heading to the pharmacy. I should have driven it off the road and thrown the package in the back of the truck.

From the world of "Eric's Gone Mad-" Eric slept in until... 9:45am today! Holy crap. He has never slept so long before. When John and I got back from dinner last night, Mariko told us that Eric went down at 9:15pm which is late but not unreasonable considering his crazy nap schedule as of late. Imagine my surprise to actually wake up before the baby! It's now just after 5pm, and I think Eric may FINALLY be going down for a nap. He didn't nap much, if at all, this morning. Good grief, kid- NAP for heaven's sake!

I'm currently doing laundry. Tomorrow I hope to finish packing. We leave sometime tomorrow evening for my parents house in Charlottesville. I'm excited to be spending Christmas with my family, especially since they love to watch Eric. Maybe John and I can get some one-on-one time together, for which we will be in serious deficit once number 2 arrives.

Speaking of which... I tried to redo the poll with the baby names because I forgot to put in a dark horse option: Katherine. No middle name. We thought it was kind of long, and I like this name better than John. John hates Kate. I like Kate. But anyway... I didn't want to delete the poll yet again only to put that name on there, but let me know if you like it. Sadly, we had this much trouble coming up with Eric's name, too. It's a good thing we're not having a third. :-)

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Today my best friend Mariko came over with her boyfriend John Lewis to open gifts and celebrate the holidays. She just flew in from Bolivia last night. And today I am deeply in her debt.

This morning, right after we put a feverish Eric down for his morning nap, my cell rang. It was Laurie, a friend of ours who was going to babysit tonight for my FIL's birthday dinner. My in-laws had changed the reservation day once already in order to accommodate our getting a sitter. Laurie was in tears because she had sprained her ankle and couldn't come. Plus, she didn't know how she was going to drive home for the holidays. Poor thing...

So we started making calls and everyone was busy. God bless Mariko and Lewis! They volunteered to babysit for us. I'm grateful to them and grateful that Eric was no longer sick by the time we left. I wouldn't wish last night's Eric trauma on my worst enemy.

At dinner tonight, we talked about baby names with my in-laws. They liked Erin, but had the same reservations that most people have- namely (no pun intended) that "Eric" and "Erin" are just so close. We discussed names, and a few names came back up that John and I had previously rejected. So after a discussion with John, I redid the poll with our top picks, including middle names we're considering. If anyone has any other suggestions, feel free to leave a comment. We are truly stumped.

Mariko and I had a few hours to catch up. I loved being able to see her. I know I'll see her again soon, but it just sucks to have someone you love so far away... It seems like all my good friends leave far from me.

P.S.- I won't see Mariko again until August. M- stay safe and we miss you!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

O What a Night...

...Late December in 2008
This day started out so great,
then turned to CRAP, O what a night...

As per usual, our day started out fine. Better than fine. We finally got our updated mortgage papers (and they're mostly correct- hey they got John's name right this time) which we finished filling out today to mail in on Monday. Then John needed to do Christmas shopping, while I needed to clean bathrooms, so he volunteers to take Eric out with him. (!!) Oh, happiness and joy! I was even able to dust a little and go grocery shopping for some essentials. It's amazing the things you once hated or took for granted before you have kids that you now find priceless. [sigh] Note: Do not go grocery shopping on the weekend before Christmas if you can avoid it.

Eric took a late nap because of his shopping adventure with dad. Our good friends Todd and Leah came over this evening, and we all went out dinner and then got ice cream. We gave Eric a bath as usual, at which point he did something he has never done before- he pooped in the tub!

Gross. So after John cleans the tub, we put Eric down after his bath, but Eric just wouldn't sleep. Sometimes when we have guests over this happens- our little extrovert would rather be downstairs socializing. But after repeated attempts by John and I to get him to sleep, Eric would continue to wake up and cry. After Todd and Leah left, Eric did it again. John and I both went up to check his diaper, maybe give him a bottle (he didn't eat much at dinner), but... BAM. Projectile vomit. You gotta hand it to the kid- he can vomit further than I can throw.

My God.. it's now, what, almost midnight and Eric still hasn't gone to sleep! John and I just spent the last 30 minutes cleaning up Eric's puke (ok, John cleaned it up because pregnant chick here took one whiff almost puked herself). We thought it might be teething, but it's not teething. Just an upset stomach. I hate it when Eric screams as he's crying. It makes me think he's in terrible pain or something. But after puking for about five minutes, and then cuddling him, Eric seemed just fine. Tired, but fine. No fever, all smiles... I have to remind myself (and John) that nights like this are few and far between with our son. Eric has never actually been sick: never had a fever, never had a cold. I know it's strange. I attibute this to the fact that Eric inherited my crazy, overactive immune system.

So, anyway, that was an adventure. John cleaned the carpet while I cuddled Eric. And after putting him yet again, Eric started to cry yet again so John went up to try and put him down again. I put the vomity clothes, burping clothes, etc. in the wash and went outside to dump some dirty diapers in our garbage can. It's then that I notice our air conditioner (is that what those things are called? I think it's just an a.c. unit, not a heating unit as well) that sits outside is covered in ice and snow. This is not good. The entire outside and even the inside is covered in frost. We have no idea why. No one else's is. So now it's an early morning call to the landlord (and here we count our blessings that it's not technically our house and we can get free maintance) to hope he can fix whatever the problem is. We can't find anything on google about this. Anyone out there have any advice?

We Train Them Young

HA! Found it! (See my last post for an explaination). Bloody iphoto...

Even though Eric may have my light coloring and personality (sorry, John), he takes after his dad in all of his interests. When Eric was about six months old, he claimed John's cell and really got upset if Jogn tried to use it. We jokingly refer to Eric's baby philosophy as "What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine."

About three weeks ago, John was lucky enough to get his hands on the new Blackberry Storm so Eric has "inherited" John's old phone. This is a picture of Eric trying to delete John's contact list. Notice the Java book in the foreground. The only toy of John's that Eric is not allowed to play with is John's pc. I personally believe Eric is plotting on how to get his little pudgies* on that whenever we turn our backs.

*I call his hands, his "pudgies." I don't know why. I probably didn't even spell it correctly. It's a good thing I have an English teacher as a best friend = free editor. :-)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Why Can't We Be More Like...

I wanted to blog about a cute picture I took of Eric using John's cell phone with a book in the foreground on writing Java. I thought I'd entitle it "We Train Them Young" for all our fellow geeks out there. But for some reason known only to my demon-possessed imac, iphoto is claiming that the photo isn't there when I can SEE the stupid thing. Grrr... (And WHY the heck does mac insist on putting an "i" in front of everything. It's not quaint, people. It's annoying. And redundant).

So for this brief yet bitchy post, I thought I would take a minute to justify (to myself) why I haven't done the whole family Christmas rituals that everyone else seems to do once they spawn. Now, this is not a criticism of people who do this. Frankly, I envy you because there's a part of me that really wants to, but a greater part of me that is, well, lazy.

I'm talking about the annual jaunt to JCPenney or Sears for the family Christmas photo, usually made into a lovely Christmas card that can then to sent to family and friends with the extras stored for scrapbooks (which I probably won't have time to start making until the kids are both in school; I find this profoundly depressing). The feminine part of me loves the thought of getting this photo for our family. I really wanted to do this when I was pregnant with Eric. I envisioned John and I taking an excited little Eric into the mall, waiting for only about five minutes, and sitting prettily with a warm, Christmas scene in the background as a professional photographer is able to cox us all to smile happily. We would collect our photo (which was instantly made into a gorgeous Christmas card) and go home to send them to everyone on our list.

The dominant masculine part of me knows how unrealistic that is. First of all, I used to work in the children's section of Sears. I used to watch the poor saps dragging their kids to the photo section kicking and screaming (you would think that might have been enough birth control for me- like going to Disneyworld during Christmas, but oh no). This is why I don't do the whole family Christmas photo thing. For one thing, just getting Eric dressed in something that looks nice is a hassle. Packing up the diaper bag complete with a bottle and now finger foods is a time-consuming task. Then there's John. God bless him, but I think he would hate this more than Eric. Put everything together and I think to myself 'Those Christmas cards from last year will go to waste if I don't use them.' So for those of you who got the same card last year and wonder why... now you know. And, no, I don't feel at all bad about it.

Then there's the whole Santa thing. I can't tell you how many people have asked me if I've taken Eric to see Santa. I nicely tell them 'no' but here's what I'm thinking: 'wtf?' First of all, Eric has trouble recognizing his own grandfather. "Santa" is something so foreign to my 12 month old that I don't think he'll have any later childhood trauma from missing the adventure of sitting on the mall drunk's lap while I pay at least $20 for the priviledge of watching him look bewildered. Yes, it's a nice photo, but seriously... I read post after post from my mom's group about how they can't get their kids to go happily (or barring that, quietly) to see Santa and sit still for a photo. What a hassle. I figure that if Eric and "Erin" want to go see Santa in the future while we're out and about around Christmas, I'll be more than happy to get the photo. Until then, why put them (and more importantly, myself) through that kind of grief? The holidays are stressful enough.

I say this now, of course. But one year when I have some free time [hysterical laughter inserted here] I may have a change of heart and drag the little rug rats to the mall, bribing them with McDonald's to sit on Santa's lap. Then again... ;-)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ever had one of those days...?

Wednesday was one of the crappiest days on record for me. Have you ever had one of those days that from start to finish just, well, sucked? First some background, then a sampling:

Eric, who has been a great eater of baby food for these past 6 or so months, has now gone into baby revolt. He absolutely will not eat anything that pureed or served to him with a spoon. This is driving poor mom batty, especially in the mornings, as Eric used to love eating oatmeal (and the oatmeal would be the most solid food he would eat all day).

Eric will, however, eat finger foods. I read all the books on what to feed your baby, and I got ripe avocados (which he loves), ripe bananas, steamed carrots... all the things that are healthy and that he once ate heartily when it was served to him in a bowl.

But he has now become the pickiest eater on the planet. He hates bananas (not that I don't keep trying, but after awhile you get tired of cleaning mushed bananas off of everything- trust me). He can't seem to chew the avocado and keeps spitting it out. And carrots? Carrots are right out.

He will, however, eat toast. And toasted bagels. And cheese. He loves cheese. The cheese thing is genetic, so we're not surprised. Unfortunately, so is the picky eating (from John- but as I'm always the one feeding him I feel I've been gypped).

So now that I've caught everyone up, my Wednesday went something like this...

1- Eric won't eat. And then he barely napped (of course!)

2- During the time that Eric actually IS napping (for all of 20 minutes) in the afternoon, I try to get a load of laundry in the dryer. But when I turn on the dryer, I notice that something isn't right. Sure enough, the dryer vent has separated from the back of the dryer. I can't squeeze my pregnant belly back into the wedge to fix it, and I sure as heck wasn't moving it, so I figure John can simply reattach it when he gets home.

3- When I realize that Eric won't go back to sleep, I think that a walk might do us good (ok, the truth is I couldn't bear to be pinned down in a tiny townhouse with a cranky baby for the next 3 hours waiting desperately for a reprieve from my spouse). The weather was really mild and warm. Foggy, as it had been raining all morning, and a little eerie but nice. I get the stroller from the trunk of my car. I can push it only to the edge of the steps leading to the front door. I get my keys, my cell, and put Eric in the stroller. This is where I'm starting to feel positive about how my day might turn out. This was a mistake.

As we start walking, I notice that I have stepped in mud that was lying on the sidewalk (you know where this is going, don't you?). Yeah. Not mud. Keep in mind that there are leash laws in effect in Fairfax County that can fine someone $2,500 for not picking up dog poop. But some a** hole still managed to leave it on the sidewalk for anyone to step in. The good news is that the rain made it easier to wipe off of my shoe. The bad news is I STILL managed to get it on my hand, had to go inside and wash furiously while my child was in a stroller outside (I still feel bad about that). And then after the walk I knew I would have to clean it up, or I could get blamed for it and/or John would probably step in it, too. I'd like to say that I did the Christian thing on my walk with Eric and wished the dog walker happy thoughts and a Merry Christmas, but the truth is I imagined a ring of hell where people like this drown in dog poop for all eternity. Or at least get caught and have to pay the fine.

At least I'm not bitter. ;-)

4) I had another 2 hours to kill before John came home, and Eric was just a pill. A very tired little pill. I knew from experience he wouldn't nap again. I tried to make the best of the tantrums he threw when I wouldn't let him pull a lamp on himself or eat paper. I couldn't wait for John to get home...

5) But when John gets home, he looks miserable. Turns out they were painting in a part of the lab where he was working and didn't tell anyone. John had a migraine and goes upstairs to lay down in the dark. No chance of moving the dryer. We decide I should call the landlord who asks if it can wait until Friday. I convince him it would be best to do it that evening.

6) I play a game of "get the crawling baby" and climb behind Eric upstairs to the bedroom. Eric happily begins playing with one of his toys. Then... everything turns black. Power outage. John calls the Virginia Power who says that something is blown at the station, that the outage is widespread, and it will take awhile to fix.

We call the landlord and tell him about the outage. John watches Eric as I go to pick up some dinner. The power company had us convinced that it was widespread, but as I drove down the road I noticed that everyone had electricity but our neighborhood. I'd like to say that this is a rare occurrence, but we've lived here for over a year and our power has gone off about six or seven times during perfectly normal weather and for no reason.

After I get back, we bathe Eric in the dark using flashlights. We put him down without his usual white noise, and he thankfully goes to sleep. We eat in the dark, and as soon as we're finished, the power comes back. The rest of the story has a happy ending- the landlord comes and not only fixes the dryer but helps John install a second car seat into the Prius. Everything ends on a happy note. But my God... what a day!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Not final decision yet, but...

John and I have started calling Number 2 "Erin." I think we just really like the name. I hope when I screaming "Eric" and "Erin" at the top of my lungs, that they can hear the difference. :-) But no final decision yet. That's up to John. Not that I nag him about it every day or anything... ;-)

He had better nap...

Do any other moms out there just want to strangle their children when you KNOW they're tired and yet they refuse to nap??? God, I have one bloody hour a day to get stuff done. And I'd like to say that when Eric naps I sit back on the couch with some hot cocoa resting on my pregnant belly while watching Dr. Phil. But the truth is that hour of Eric's afternoon nap is the ONLY time during the day when I can get anything done. I can no longer vacuum- it wakes him up and he starts to cry. I can barely do laundry- he gets into everything so I have to use the dreaded playpen. I hate wasting my precious time doing chores, but when else will they get done?? And God, to think that it will get WORSE when number 2 arrives! I hate being a woman. I think every woman on earth goes straight to heaven. And all men get reincarnated as women.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

John's Guest Blog: "Yes, Virginia(*), Girls CAN Throw the Football"

(*) Or, in this case, Gary Danielson (color commentator for college football on CBS).

So, I'm home alone this weekend because Jen and Eric are soaking up the Christmas spirit at her parents' place. What does this mean? I can watch college football all day. Now, I want to set the matter straight: before I got married and before Eric arrived on the scene, I did NOT watch college football all Saturday long. I would watch the UVA game on Saturday and the Washington Redskins game on Sunday. I might tune into other games, but usually I was watching something else and I would flip to the games during commercials.

However, now, if I have the option, I'll jump on it. Jen, I am doing other things as well (mainly finances). This is all irrelevant. What I want to talk about is the halftime entertainment in the SEC Championship game.

For those of you who don't watch college football, Dr. Pepper sponsors the ACC, SEC, and Big 12 championship games (all of which play on the same Saturday). During halftime, each game features the Dr. Pepper "Throw for Cash/A Scholarship" game. It's a simple game. You have two contestants (one fan for each team, I believe) who stand five yards away and throw 10 footballs at large Dr. Pepper can with a hole in the side. The person who throws the most balls through the hole wins a $100,000 scholarship (the loser gets a $5,000 scholarship (yes, 1/20th of the winner)).

In the SEC Championship game, there are two women competing (in the ACC there were two guys ... the Big 12 championship hasn't happened yet at the time of this writing): Erica Davis (representing Alabama) and Tima Hamsher (representing Florida, and yes, her name is Tima). So, here's my transcription of the event:

Verne Lundquist: Back at the Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta, the Florida Gators with a seven point lead, halftime at the SEC Championship presented by Dr. Pepper and inside, we are set for the Dr. Pepper ... [call lost due to a TV signal problem] .. throw 10 balls from the 5-yard line. The contestant with the most successful throws will win a $100,000 scholarship. A significant difference ... [laughs] ... the runner-up gets a $5000 scholarship. Let's go down to Tracy Wolfson.
Tracy Wolfson: Well, thanks a lot, and I'm hear with our contestants, Tima Hamsher and Erica Davis. And Erica, let me ask you first, how did you prepare for this one?
Erica Davis: I had a barrel in my backyard and I just threw it.
Tracy Wolfson: Alright. Well, Tima, you struggled in the throw-off a little bit yesterday. So, anything going through your mind? Did you make any adjustments?
Tima Hamshar: We practiced a lot more, and I'm kind of more focused, so I feel pretty ready. So ...
Tracy Wolfson: Alright, you both ready? Alright, get in position. Here we go! 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... GO!
Verne Lundquist: [Erica throws her first pass off to the right to start] Oh!
Gary Danielson: You know, from five yards out, you don't have to spi-spiral it at all, you can just chuck it up there.
Verne Lundquist: [Erica makes her first pass] There's one. [Erica makes her second pass] There's two. Ohhh.
Gary Danielson: That's nice. That might be an insurmountable lead. [Tima has missed her first three (or four?) passes]


First off, "You don't have to spiral it, you can just chuck it?" WTF?! Did you expect the women to just underhand the throws? Shot put them? Do you think that women don't know how to throw a football? I did not listen to the patter during the ACC's version, so I don't know if they were commenting on how the guys threw, but I'll assume they didn't.

Secondly, as a (long-suffering) UVA fan, I know you never, ever, EVER say "insurmountable lead." I strongly believe in the "Football Gods." These entities (or forces, if you prefer) represent a karmic rebalancing. They do not suffer taunting, cockiness, and poor sportsmanship gladly. "Insurmountable lead" is like spitting in their face. They'll make you look bad (I'll explain the "Fresno State" incident if you want, Jen :) ).

Indeed, the final score was 6-5 for Erica, when she made her last scoring pass as time expired (Tima had started out slow but put the pressure on in the end).

BTW, the ACC Championship version of this contest? The final was 7-4. So, Gary, these two ladies outperformed one of the two male contestants in Tampa, and Erica was one throw short of tying the other.

I realize that watching football is thought of a primarily male pursuit, but women do watch these games (I suppose you can see a woman or two in the stands ... but only a couple ... and they are all sitting around knitting and gossiping ... riiiight :rolls eyes: ). There are semi-professional women's football leagues that I'm sure would kill me if I stepped on to a gridiron with. Hell, if nothing else, women do have brothers, and they play together as kids.

You would think the commentators would be smarter about this. You'd be wrong. I suspect that's simply because they think they can get away with it, or, even worse, they don't notice they are being condescending and misogynistic.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

OK, seriously...

WHO keeps voting for Julia???

(We're starting to get closer to picking a name! But PLEASE not Julia!)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

In Response to Not Having a Christmas Tree

I really liked Kelly's suggestion of moving things around in our townhouse in order to accommodate having a Christmas tree. John and I talked last night and found a way to actually put up our tree in the living room. But today two things happened that changed my mind-

1- I realized how much time and effort it would take to put up the tree
2- (And this is the most important) I realized our tree had been sitting outside in the shed for a year with lots of little critters, and I didn't want to invite those things into our house with Beastling. This became very real to me when I woke up this morning and was greeted by a spider sitting on top of the banister to our stairs. Probably from my getting our Christmas decorations down the night before.

So last night I put up our ceramic tree on top of an end table. It looks nice, even if that side of the room looks plain.

And Eric saw it lit up tonight and squealed with delight. He then tried to find a way to it. Probably in order to put the tiny lights into his mouth. I had to take a picture...

In Honor of Eric FINALLY Eating Solids

Keep in mind, our little Beastling hasn't taken well to solids. Apparently he likes spaghetti. Of course, most of it doesn't actually get into his mouth. And OMG... the clean-up! [sigh]

A New Box

Right before Thanksgiving, I opened my front door to see a note taped up that read: "Your mailbox is being changed on Tuesday, November 25th." Now, honestly, what kind of sick individual decides to do this right before a major holiday? It went on to say "Please continue to use the old mailbox. Your HOA president will have the keys to the new mailbox as soon as they are released from the post office."

Now all of that sounds good until you realize that John and I are renting and technically can't collect the new mailbox keys. But getting a hold of our landlords Mr. and Mrs. F is difficult at best. So I've been calling the number on the note to try and get more information on how we can get the keys. Especially after John came home last night and checked the old mailbox only to find we had no mail (with all the junk magazines out for the holidays we knew that meant the new box had taken affect).

I called the number and got an answering machine every time. Then tonight before John got home there was a frantic knock and several rings on our doorbell. Eric was in his high chair, and while I hated leaving him, I dropped a couple of munchies on his tray and headed to the door.

Two older women were standing outside. "We have your new mailbox keys."
"Great!" I answer. I'm actually relieved that I don't have to go track these people down.
"Can we come in?" one of the women asks. "You know, you really should have your outside light on."

I bite my tongue as I was taught not to be rude to the elderly. I mean, taking care of a toddler every freaking day I'm lucky if I can shower, let alone remember to turn the damn porch light on. The women sit down, drop their heavy duty flashlights on our coffee table, and bring out a pouch of golden mailbox keys, three keys on each cheap silver keyring.

"Mr. and Mrs F?" one of the women asks.

NOW, here is where Jen fudges a little. I was afraid to mention that John and I are not Mr. and Mrs. F, that we are in fact renting, because I was afraid these over-important, elderly versions of Selma and Patty would deny us our keys until after we contacted our landlord. So I repeated the last name of our landlord back to them, pronounced correctly, never actually mentioning that I wasn't Mrs. F. Sneaky, I know.

Then the women present me with the golden keys. I had to initial for them (I initialed very quickly... as Mrs. F's first name begins with an "R" and I didn't want the "JL" to look like a "JL."

As the women were closing up their documents, one of them asks me for an email address. And because I'm an idiot, I say 'yes.' Anyone who knows me understands how predictable I am- right down to my email addresses at yahoo, gmail, and hotmail. It's my first and last name combined. So I spell out "j-e-n-l-o-i-z-e-a-u-x."

The woman writing this down gives me a look.

I shrug and say "It cuts down on spam."
She smiles. "I can appreciate that."

And they finally left.

God, can you BELIEVE that?

Anyway, after John comes home, I show him the new keys and put one on my keychain. Since I need to make a grocery store run (doesn't everyone spend way too much money on groceries? It's one of my pet peeves... and I use coupons and buy most stuff on sale!), I decide to be the first one to check the mail.

I head out to the new mailbox. It's cold, windy, and 9pm at night. The first thing I notice about the new mailbox is that we now have an "outgoing mail" slot. This means I don't have to walk to the mailbox up the street to mail a letter. This is a good thing.

The second thing I notice is that the numbers are completely different, and I have no idea which mailbox is ours. So I use my key on every number. I go through all 16 before I realize that I'm not putting the stupid key in all the way. So now I start putting my key in starting with number 16, jiggling it when it gets stuck, and working my way to number 1. And you can probably guess which mailbox was ours. No, not number 1. It's Number 2. So after hauling out about 20 magazines and various pieces of junk mail from our number 2 box, I trek back to the house.

I put the mail on the coffee table and tell John about how the boxes are now labeled differently, and that it took me awhile to figure out which mailbox was ours.

John picks up the remaining set of mailbox keys from the table and, with a smirk, points to a sticker on one of the keys that says "#2" in plain English.

This is where I do what any good wife would do: I give my husband the finger (he laughed, at least I think he did). :-)

Then I promptly head to the grocery store where I can enjoy an hour of shopping without a baby in tow, even if it is for groceries.

(I know this was a long and drawn-out story, but honestly, my life is so dull... I figure if I don't mention the highlights of my day, I'll have nothing to write about.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What kind of Christmas?

I have always loved Christmas- the festive lights, the holiday shopping (I know; I'm odd that way), putting up the tree and decorating the inside and outside of the house... However, this year due to Beastling and lack of funds due to the new house, we are cutting back. I don't mind cutting back on presents. That's a no-brainer. But we don't have the room in our tiny townhouse for our artificial tree this year, mostly due to the fact that our downstairs looks like Babies R Us vomited up their entire toy section. With no tree, I just don't feel very Christmasy. And even though John got paid yesterday(?) over half of the check is gone due to the home inspection and rent. I am just wondering how the next few months are going to be with all of these financial constraints to deal with. I know I have to leave everything in God's hands... I just feel depressed right now thinking of all the things I would love to do but can't.

(And it would also help if Beastling would have napped for more than 45 minutes this afternoon. He's been awake for awhile now. I know I should go get him. Knowing another baby will completely obliterate any "me" time I could have on a daily basis for checking email or doing a quick cleaning is also depressing.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tips for Taking Your Baby to a Resort

Every year my in-laws have a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition- they pay for all of us to come to a beautiful resort in southwest Virginia called the Homestead. I have told a couple of close friends about this resort, but I have never taken the time to really describe the experience to everyone in detail.

The Homestead was established in 1766 and has been a hot spot for politicians like President Taft (there's a "Taft" room. Yes, I know... Lincoln would have been more impressive) and Virginia Senator John Warner just to name a couple. Celebrities have also frequented the resort, if the pictures on the wall haven't been photo-shopped (and considering the lack of technical savvy here at the hotel, I'm doubting it). The rooms can be large or small depending on the amount of fortune you want to pay. There is a famous hot springs on site, golf courses, bowling ally, ice skating, spa, falconry lessons (yes, falconry), shopping... you get the idea. And since John and I were engaged in 2005, I have come to the Homestead with his family and had an incredible time, even if it does feel a little awkward walking among the wealthy and privileged as if I were one of them.

But this year is different due to the Beastling. Eric, sweet little guy that he is, does not react well to change and has always had difficulty adjusting to a new environment. Couple that with the fact that he's an easily distracted social butterfly who doesn't eat or nap in a place he's unfamiliar with and we have ourselves the makings of one hell of a Thanksgiving. Even though it's our second day here and tomorrow will be our last full day, Eric has already set up a predictable pattern of behavior. And most of it isn't pretty.

Which brings me to my tips for taking a baby to a resort.
(Keep in mind that these tips are more for older babies. Babies younger than 3 months can be taken to a Monster Truck Rally for a weekend and sleep through it happily)

Rule #1- Do not bring a baby to a resort in the first place if you can avoid it, no matter how much the in-laws want to show me off because, inevitably, the people they want to show him off to won't come to the resort that year (and, yes, that is what happened).

Rule #2- Make sure there are at least 2 adults with the baby at all times so that someone can have the illusion of rest while the other takes over the more dominant role of feedings, naps, etc.

Rule #3- If the baby won't nap, try not to raid the liquor cabinet for the $15 mini bottle of Chivas Regal. Because, with your luck, he'll get drunk and vomit all over the crib and then won't sleep at night.

Rule #4- Bring items that are familiar to your baby: a lovey or blanket and maybe even crib sheets and a bumper pad from your house so that your baby can smell home and hopefully rest better. Then ask the resort what size the cribs are so you don't end up carting all of this bedding 5 hours in a crowded Prius for no reason.

Rule #5- You will be tempted to bring lots of toys to amuse your baby while in the hotel room. Don't. Not only is it a waste of space during packing but your baby will enjoy playing with the t.v. remote, the room's refrigerator, table and chairs far more than his own toys. If all else fails and your baby is crawling, take him to a common room with long carpeted hallways and "walk" the baby until he is so exhausted from the exercise that he wants to nap (See Rule #3).

Rule #6- Remember when your baby vomits up every meal in the fancy dining hall, refuses to finish a bottle, won't nap, can't sleep at night, and has a screaming tantrum when you won't let him swallow the key to the mini-bar, that this too shall pass....
... And soon you'll be home where things may go more smoothly, but there won't be the free liquor. :-(

Monday, November 24, 2008

Karen or Erin?

John had decided on naming our daughter Erin. Before I get blasted for marrying a male chauvinist, let me explain: when I was pregnant with Eric I told John that I always had a strong preference for boys' names but not girls'. Similarly, John felt that way about girls' names but not boys.' So we decided that if Eric was a boy, I would pick his name. John would have veto rights over the first name if he hated it, and he would also pick the middle name. So this time around it's reversed.

So this time around when we found out we were having a girl, John had the task of coming up with a name. He liked the name Erin and would have named Eric that if he had been a girl. But now with a boy named Eric, it is tough to name a girl who's born a mere 15 months later "Erin." Especially when her mom and dad are "Jen and John." So... maybe too cute? Plus, we like the middle name Elizabeth as this is our moms' middle name. Can't do "Erin Elizabeth;" her initials would be "EEL."

The other name John and I are considering is Karen. This would mean we could use Elizabeth as a middle name and not have the "Eric/Erin" factor. We like the name Erin better; however, another cool thing about Karen is this would mean that our daughter would be named after one of my best friends. And her initials would be "KEL." Two of my closest friends from high school in Germany are named Kelly.

I put up a poll, and I would really appreciate anyone and everyone's opinion. The name Julia is a favorite of John's, which is why that is there. If anyone has their own idea, we would welcome that as a comment. With a last name like "Loizeaux" we are trying to keep things simple. :-)

THE House

I have been getting requests from friends to post about "the house" that John and I currently have a contract on in Herndon. The problem is I've become superstitious about posting a link to the house or being optimistic about it. The contract for the last house ended just a week ago and losing that house sucked.

I do believe that when the Lord closes a door, a window opens. I just didn't think a window would open so quickly. My mom sent me a link of a house with an extra bedroom and bathroom than the house that we lost. AND... the new house was cheaper! So I went to look at it the next day, loved it, and scheduled for John and my in-laws to come with me on Saturday to take a look.

Except for a strange lay-out in the basement and repainting the dining room, the house was perfect. The kitchen is just gorgeous with the granite counter-tops I've been lusting after for years. The backyard is large with a new playground set. The owners are non-smokers without pets (with a hyper-allergic person like me, this is big) and are relocating.

John and I talked to our agent Saturday evening and decided to put a bid in. She called us back while we were at Target and let us know that we were actually the second people to put in a bid. So we needed to put in a higher one, or at least a competitive one, or the seller's agent would go with the first buyers. We put in our bid below the asking but not much lower. To make a long story short, we got the contract.

The strange thing about buying this home is the fact that the house is owned not just by the seller's (who could technically counter our offer) and their relocation company. We have done all the paperwork for the relocation company, but we are still waiting for the sellers. So... you can understand why I'm a bit superstitious. So why am I now posting the link? Let's just call it a social experiment: if we lose this house, I'll never do it again!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Britax Marathon

So today I head out to Target to buy one of the best and safest convertible car seats on the market- the Britax Marathon. This mammoth car seat also has a mammoth price-tag: it retails for about $280. Target only had one pattern, a black and gray seat cover which was fine by me. So I load the thing on top of my cart and try to see over it (as well as stop Eric from pushing it off the cart) as I make my way to the check-out counter.

Chivalry truly is dead by the way. I thought I was going to have a miscarriage just loading that thing into the backseat of my Honda Civic. All the while, I'm thinking to myself 'if it barely fits in there NOW, how is it going to fit when we install it?'

[sigh] Yeah. So tonight after Eric went to sleep (he started screaming to be let out of the warm car when I tried to install it upon arriving home), John and I attempt to install this thing in the rear-facing position using a flashlight and freezing our butts off. The good news is that it fit in the back of my Honda Civic (and the Britax is one of the largest car seats out there). But the bad news is not only will it be a pain in the a** to move it and install it in our other car (A Prius! haha... that'll be a riot), but the seat itself seemed... well... flimsy.

I know we installed it correctly. But I have some issues with this seat, and maybe it's comply because I'm not familiar with convertible car seats and the rest of them are REALLY bad. But the Marathon sits straight up, even when it is "reclined." There is no padding at all. It looks really uncomfortable. I've read reviews of parents saying their kids loved it, slept in it all the time, etc. It'll be interesting to see how Eric fits in this seat and whether or not he likes it. He tries out his new car seat tomorrow.

John wants me to take it back and get another. If WE decide to take it back this weekend (so the 5 month pregnant mom doesn't have to go through that hassle yet again), I'm not looking forward to installing yet another car seat. Keep in mind- we leave for the Homestead in southwest Virginia for Thanksgiving on Wednesday morning. And Eric has grown out of his infant seat, so we need a comfortable and safe car seat. A five-plus hour car ride is no fun with an 11 month old who doesn't fall asleep in cars. I am hoping this seat works out, but if not then I'm looking at the Evenflo Triumph which also got the highest level of safety reviews from Consumer Reports BUT is a hundred dollars cheaper!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I need to buy a new car seat...

I just found out today that Eric has outgrown his infant car seat. Grrrr.... I'm reading a parenting magazine about making sure to check the weight and height requirements on your infant car seat. I thought our weight limit was 25 pounds. Turns out it's 22. And Eric has pretty much outgrown the height limit too. BTW- anyone who's considering buying an infant seat, esp. those "travel systems..." just don't. Get a convertible car seat like the Britax Marathon and spend the extra cash so you can use it for years. Now I have to make a trip to Target tomorrow. I guess John will have to install this when he gets home from work because not giving Eric your undivided attention is just aa bad idea.

Of course I want to talk more about this, but A)I'm tired, and B)John was watching Jimmy Kimmel on youtube and now I have the song "I'm f-ing Matt Damon" going through my head. Bloody youtube. But seriously, if you need a good laugh, you have to watch these in order. It certainly made my day.

Sarah part (NSFW) [Dear Mom, it means "Not safe for work." So... just don't. Seriously.]
Jimmy part (NSFW)

(Where does John get the time to FIND these things???)

I know that most moms probably wouldn't put this on their blog. I blame pregnancy hormones. And I'd like to think that by the time my kids are old enough to see my blog, it will be redone and totally innocent.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hard Ball

John and I didn't get the house. We gave a good offer, but the counter was given with a 2 page eloquent sob story about how they couldn't go lower than their counter offer. This actually wouldn't have been bad, but they started netpicking on the contract and then changed the settlement date to less than a month away! Inbetween 2 major holidays we would have had to get financing, cash in a CD early, order inspections... you get the idea. They had some renters lined up and just didn't seem willing to negotiate.

But there's always a silver lining. My mom found another house that I like even more (I'm fickle, I know. Sue me). It is cheaper, more updated, and larger. The occupants are relocating in two months. So John and my in-laws and I will be looking at that house on Saturday. The only downside is that the school district isn't stellar. John has issues with this. I personally feel that as long as my kids aren't going to school in the ghetto, it'll all work out.

Monday, November 17, 2008 Sucks

Karen gave me some good news yesterday evening as I was driving to Walgreens to buy my poor, sick husband some cold medicine. had the Britax Marathon car seat on sale for $43. For those of you without little tots, the Britax car seat is one of the best car seats you can buy. Unfortunately, they cost about $280. So you can imagine what happened. Karen ordered 14. I ordered one. And then I emailed my mom's group to let others know about this great deal.

Then this evening I got the email I was warned by a mom from my group that I would get- has cancelled my order due to an "error in pricing." I understand their position, but I have to say Target just lost a LOT of money. And they suck.

(P.S. Don't ask about what's happening on the housing front. It's just too depressing. I'll try and write more later)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

We found a house!

Today John and I meet our real estate agent today and make an offer on a home in Chantilly. While not in the "best" school district (something John was more adamant about then I), it's a great house within our price range. It needs no updating and is move-in ready. I liked it the moment I saw it. Now... if we can get all our ducks in a row. I think we're most worried about the interest rate of a loan right now. But you never know... I know the owners want to sell but we don't want to move in until late January at the earliest (we'll still be paying our rent on the townhouse until March). What if they get multiple offers? God this is so stressful!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Today John, Eric, and I looked at houses with our parents. John liked the house that I fell in love with, so now we put in a bid. I'm excited, but we'll see what happens...

In other news, John finally caught my cold. Nothing is more miserable than a sick spouse when you have a teething or sick baby. Eric isn't sleeping well. Even his nights are getting disrupted, and he's always been a great night sleeper. It sucks... No rest for Mom.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's a girl!!!

Found out this morning that John and I will be having a baby girl in early April. Our due date hasn't technically changed but she was measuring for a due date on Palm Sunday (1 day before her original due date). More importantly, everything looks normal. So now we're excited, and I'm in the process of pleading with John to buy a Care Bear nursery. He's completely against this. [sigh] I think it's rather cute and one of the few "girlie" bedroom sets I like.

Or we thought about reusing the gender neutral Pooh set for the girl and buying Eric a new boy bedroom set. Any thoughts??

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More cute pics... couldn't resist!

"Mom, this duck head is heavy!"

Eric and Granddad scoping out the competition.

Eric and I pose at home before heading to the Lawn.


I understand it's been two weeks since Halloween, but I can't seem to find my thumb drive in order to download pictures from my cell. And last week my parents' computer died. But NOW I finally have pictures...

Anyway, he's a cutie. he got his picture taken by the staff from the Cavalier Daily, the newspaper for UVA, but he didn't make the cut apparently.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Baby Evie

I'm here in Liberty, Missouri with Karen and little baby Evie. Evie is so aborable (as you can see). ;-)

I am here to "help" Karen. I say "help" because I'm not sure how much of a help I am. I had forgotten how much little ones sleep in the first few months. Evie is 6 weeks and she sleeps like a champ. I thought Eric was a good sleeper, but Evie has him beat. It's so easy to check email, make yourself a cup of tea, and eat when your baby is so young. Funny... I never thought that way when Eric was 6 weeks. I was so overwhelmed with caring for him and doing things around the house that I never felt like it was an easy stage. Now I WISH Eric would be so easy! And I wonder how the new baby will fit into the picture, especially with Eric being 15 months when he/she is born. I hope I have enough time for both babies, my husband, and myself but I know how unrealistic that probably is...

John and I find out the gener of Baby X a week from today!! I'm hoping he/she isn't shy on the ultrasound because having to schedule a separate appointment due to using midwives hasn't been as easy as having a traditional OB/GYN. I hope our insurance covers some of this...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Child-Proofing Tips

In response to Karen's post, I thought I would post some child-proofing tips.

1) Cover all electrical outlets. Don't concern yourself that little Jenny or Johnny won't be able to get their tiny pudgies into the outlet. It's trendy and shows everyone that you are at the top of your child-proofing game.

2) Remove all window treatments, especially window blinds. The cords can cause a choking hazard because tots are drawn to those little ropes as if they were made of baby heroin.

3) Remove all furniture in the house. I know it sounds extreme, but you'll be glad you did. It takes seconds for a little one to traverse the bed and crawl happily over the edge to certain injury. Sofas are made to be climbed, which is also a problem. And all tables, chairs, entertainment centers, etc. are going to draw welts, bruises, and possibly blood no matter how many layers of bubble wrap and bumper pads you place on them (I think we bought out Target). Toddlers find a way to the areas that are uncovered!

4) Put down carpet. Hardwood floors are modern and beautiful. But when little Johnny or Jenny falls down and cries, you will beat yourself up for not spending a few extra bucks for their personal comfort.

5) Dismantle the stairs. Added bonus- if you're worried about the baby weight you've gained, all those pull-ups you will do to get to the second floor will be worth more than a Weight Watchers membership.

6) Two words: "Baby Gates." Why? Because you're going to want to lock your little bugger in. You will be shocked and amazed at how fast they can move in the three seconds it takes you to clean up an ounce of spit-up (and inevitably they will be heading for the stairs. Did you remember to dismantle the stairs??!!).

I sincerely hope that this post helps all moms out there who want to baby-proof effectively. It's a tough job, but I promise my tips will make your life so much easier.

(Side-Note- I hope my readers understand my sense of humor. In all seriousness, no matter how well you baby-proof your house your child will find a way to get into something he/she shouldn't, and you will beat yourself up the moment they bruise or bleed. Eric managed to do BOTH in front of a parent at the pediatricians office, much to the mind-bending guilt and humiliation of mom. As parents, we need to do our best to make sure our kids are safe. But kids will get hurt. That's what kids do, and sometimes (many times) there's nothing you can do. So remember the days when we played on rusted gym equipment built on gravel and lived in rooms with lead paint? Our kids will survive.)

48 Hours

I can't believe that in 48 hours I'll be in Liberty, Missouri visiting Karen. I haven't flown for over a year. I used to live overseas, so it feels a bit odd... I can't wait to meet Evie and see Karen again. My only fear is her two dogs. Not afraid of dogs. Love them, actually. Just highly (very highly) allergic. I know I shouldn't take Sudafed, but I don't know how I can get through the four days without at least one a day. Do you think one a day will hurt an 18 week old fetus?? God, I hope not. I had no problems with allergies when I was pregnant with Eric. I didn't even need to take my daily Zyrtec. But with this pregnancy I have to take a Zyrtec every day. I try and tell myself it's a category B and okay, but I worry...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sleep is for the weak

I want to sleep though. Desperately. It's 12:30am and I've been awake since 8am. Why can't I sleep??!! Ugh.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Something I Thought I'd Never Say

Eric is a clever little guy. Today he figured out how to turn on the t.v. He started using his index finger to press buttons a few days ago, but he's reaching a point where he can cause chaos.

When he found the t.v. remote today, he pressed the "FIOS" button, which lit up the "power" button. He then pressed the power button and Oprah was on that particular channel. Eric happily dropped the remote and crawled over to the t.v. He glanced back at me while standing up and banging away on the t.v. And then he did something that made me laugh out loud. He started licking the t.v. He stood back for a moment, then proceeded to lick Oprah cleavage on the television. This prompted me to say something I never thought I would say. "Honey, please stop licking Oprah's cleavage."

Our telephone is no longer safe. Making or taking calls has become a hassle, as he seems to instinctively know where the "off" button is. I think his favorite toys, in order are as follows-

1. Window-blind cords. There really is a reason why they have those warning labels that say "This is not a toy."

2. The microwave. Fortunately (or unfortunately) this is mounted over our stovetop. So Eric can't reach it, but he can start smiling and wiggling happily when he is walked past the microwave.

3. The air purifier. I just put this on the floor and let him have at it. I figure, it's small and he can't hurt himself.

4. Tissues have become a new toy. He just takes them out of the box one by one. The hyper-allergenic mom with the sinus issues is not pleased.

5. Remotes, but not TOY remotes (those are lame, mom).

6. Telephones.

And because he's a boy, every day is Baby Suicide Day. He goes for the stairs at least 3 times a day. Every time he crawls away from me, panting in anticipation, and heads for the stairs I jokingly refer to it as "Baby Suicide Attempt Number 1" etc. And then when I grab him before he has a chance to get near the top, I imagine Eric saying "Baby Suicide Attempt Number 1 thwarted." I imagine many people reading this will think I'm somehow a bad parent. These people don't have little boys. :-)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I am so tired of throwing up!

There is nothing worse than being sick on a regular basis, knowing that it's coming, and not being able to do a thing about it. Ugh.

There used to be a pattern to my "morning sickness." If I didn't take an antihistamine before going to bed, I would get sick first thing in the morning. Always. Now I am getting sick anytime of day with no warning. I've had no nausea, just vomiting. This pregnancy is really taking a toil on my body. Maybe it's all the stress of being a mom. The really sad part is that every time I throw up, Eric starts crying. Poor thing. And if John's not here, there's nothing I can do about it except hear him cry from his little play-yard and feel guilty. It really sucks.

Tonight we met friends at a Moroccan restaurant near our house. It was the first time I have ever tried Moroccan food. Our friend C is going to be working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the next two months, so this dinner with all of her friends was a good-bye of sorts. C has lived in Morocco and is familiar with good Moroccan food the way I can tell the difference between good Japanese cuisine and faux garbage. And this restaurant was awesome. The food was amazing. And the best part was that Eric was incredibly good the entire night. We were there for two hours, and the little guy never cried or fussed. He ate his dinner well, played with the spoons, and only needed to be held towards the end (when it took eight highly intelligent people with graduate degrees from public Ivy League schools fifteen minutes to figure out how to pay the bill!). And the people in the restaurant actually served Eric water (which we had to ration) and a menu (which Eric gnawed on for about an hour, particularly the wine list- he's the son of two UVA pep-banders, so what can I say?) and silverware as if he were a paying customer. It was so sweet, especially for a romantic restaurant to be so family-friendly. I never knew how much I would really appreciate something like that until I had kids.

Friday, October 24, 2008

DH means something different for guys

So John (formerly DH) read my blog posts and wanted to know what "DH" stood for. I explained that women who go to blogs just know that "DH" stands for "darling husband." WHY women use "DH" and not something an adjective that's more modern (or in some cases more accurate) is beyond me. But I just go with it.

So last night John tells me that in baseball (damn the World Series), "DH" stands for "Designated Hitter." He told me that in the American League (?) this person bats for the pitcher and is usually at the end of his career and is good for almost nothing. For some women, the irony of that must be great. But seeing as John is a good husband and dad, and he doesn't care much about anonymity, I'll just use his real name.

Thought it was interesting enough info to post. Does ANY woman know that? I didn't!

Window of Opportunity

The ped recommended we feed Eric solids when he gets hungry (which is every 4 hours) and THEN give him his bottle. The usual way of giving him a bottle when he's starving and then solids about an hour or so later hasn't worked so well. He's gaining weight, but not finishing his solids. I think we would go through MAYBE 2 jars a day if we were lucky. So I began giving him solids first for lunch and dinner along with a 6 ounce bottle.

This worked well yesterday, but today for lunch he freaked out that he wasn't getting his bottle. Like a good, trained ex-teacher I refused to give in and made him finish his solids before he chugged the 6 ounces (and he did chug the 6 ounces). Of course he managed to get pureed beef, corn, and veggie all over himself and me during his tantrum, but I'm proud of not giving in. I just really hope that this doesn't become a daily thing, or I may throw a tantrum myself.

The problem I'm now finding with feeding Eric this way is that by his second nap, usually around 3pm, he is a little hungry. So, do you put him down so that he wakes up hungry and ready to eat solids without a fight? Or do you give him a little bit of a bottle and wait until he's hungry again after he wakes up before giving him solids? I tried the former yesterday. He didn't nap well. So today I tried the second option. He was very tired- he hadn't slept in 3 hours. I gave him 5 ounces. He drained the bottle in less than 3 minutes and started crying for more. [grrr] SO... I caried him downstairs and made another 3 ounces while holding him (The reason being I really thought I might go crazy if I put him in his playpen and had to listen to him scream while I was making the bottle). I have to say that holding Eric at all anymore is starting to hurt my back. I've only gained 10 pounds so far in this pregnancy (almost 17 weeks now), but my God that kid weighs a ton!

Anyway, I digress... So I took the newly made 3 ounces and baby and went back to the nursery. He finished it very quickly. I rocked him and prayed he would go to sleep. But as any parent will tell you (and I'm finding out much to my dismay) there is a window of opportunity for naps. Put a child down too early and they toss and turn, sleeping for only 30 minutes or so. Eric did that yesderday. Put a child down too late, and they get giddy and can't sleep.

After drinking the bottle, Eric started to get a little giddy and wanted to crawl. I let him into my bedroom and read a few books to him. He loves turning the pages. A little too much, unfortunately. I've had to ad-lib a lot of the book because he'll gleefully turn the pages before the first line of the page is out of my mouth. After ten minutes of reading, I got what every tired mother longs to hear from her child- a yawn! I put him back down. He fussed for a few minutes, but now seems to be asleep, thank God! I swear if feeding him solids and a bottle screws with his nap schedule, I'm going back to the old way of feeding. Mommy NEEDS a break!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"baby punching", or The Joys of Google

(Guest entry by "DH")

Tonight, Jen had a book club meeting with some people from her Yahoo mom's group. I was on Eric duty (doody? thankfully no ... he was surprisingly easy tonight, except for some hiccups when he was trying to go to sleep ... "Dad, I'm TIRED, but I can't stop hiccuping ... WAAA!!").

Anyway, after Jen came home, she told me a little about the meeting. One of her fellow attendees apparently has her own blog named "Baby Bunching." The title comes from the fact she has two kids 14 months apart (that doesn't feel familiar at all ... no sir). Anyhow, I figured I would give it a look see (or at least bring it up since Jen would probably scour over it later). So, what do I do but ask the Greater Oracle (aka Google)?

This is what you get:

That DEFINITELY wasn't what I meant!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What IS it with all this vomiting?

I was planning on writing about what a great day I had with Eric today. He learned how to clap for the first time and imitates you when you start clapping. It's very cute. I had to clean the downstairs wood floors today, so I started Swiffering (I wasn't sure how he would take the vacuum). He would chase the Swiffer as I dusted the floor, which was hilarious... until he caught the Swiffer. Don't want him putting yet MORE things in his mouth he shouldn't eat.

But later tonight, everything took a turn for the worst. DH and I fed him solids, which he ate well. But he was so tired. I think he napped for maybe two hours total today. So by 7:30 we figured it was time for his bath. After his bath, we dried him off and gave him his last 8 oz. bottle. After drinking that he started sucking his thumb which usually means he's still hungry. I shouted for DH to make another bottle. And then, it happened. Eric looked right at me and puked all over me. Then he started crying. As I was comforting him, he puked again. This time he did it right in my mouth. This would have been funny after the fact, IF I weren't pregnant and getting sick all the time, and IF it had been DH and not me.

But that made me start vomiting. At least I made it to the bathroom. And poor DH had to clean up Eric, the floor, the rocking chair... what a guy.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Colds suck

DH and I went with friends to the Maryland Renaissance Festival yesterday. As always, it was great fun. We actually dressed up this year. I really should have taken pictures...

But I woke up this morning with a cold. We had to get to our church for Eric's baby dedication, so DH had to take over all morning baby duties. When he does things like this, it just makes me love him so much... Oh, and when we got to the church we met former Redskin Daryl Green who also calls our church home! He is one of Dh's idols from childhood, and it was a great experience.

On a sadder note, Eric has been vomiting every night for two nights in a row. He hasn't been eating many solids, and sometimes skipping lunch. He eats well in the morning though... I'm starting to get worried. If this happens again tomorrow, it's time for a ped visit because he's already lost some weight. Scary.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Amazing Race in La Paz!

I was watching the Amazing Race tonight, one of my favorite shows, and they went to the city of La Paz in Bolivia. Since Mariko just moved to La Paz, I was especially interested in this episode. Mariko had mentioned in her blog about the poverty in Bolivia, the altitude sickness (at 12,000 feet above sea level, it's the highest city in the world), and the hardship of the indigenous people. I wanted to see if the show would use this opportunity to help the indigenous people by using their businesses and highlighting their culture. I wasn't disappointed. It was incredible to watch, and I hope the people in Bolivia who participated in the show were paid well.

Bad night, bad day

I had horrible insomnia last night. DH and I were up until 2am.

So it should come as no surprise that Eric woke us up at 6:30am crying and very upset. We couldn't figure out what was wrong... a nightmare maybe? We changed him and fed him a bottle, and then put him back down. We didn't hear from him again until 9am, which meant we could head to church this morning.

As per usual, he was great at first in the nursery, but at the end of the service our pager went off and Eric was doing his usual gasping sobs. I don't know what sets that off... maybe just too long away from mom and dad. I always have such a great appreciation for nursery workers. I could never baby-sit 5 or so babies.

It's now after 1pm, and he just went down for his first(?) nap. If the morning counts as a nap, then this could be his last one... This wouldn't be an issue except that Eric decided to not eat any solids today. The 9 month hunger strike has officially begun. It sucks, let me tell you. He starts gagging and retching when you feed him ANY solids, even oatmeal which he loves. I just have to keep remembering that babies phase in and phase out of everything and that this, too, shall pass...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Becky's baby shower

DH, Eric, and I had a great time today at Billy and Becky's BBQ shower. We bought her a video monitor, which is the best invention ever for a moms like me who are type A and want to check on their babies whenever they're asleep. I am terrified of SIDS...

I couldn't believe Eric made it through over 2 hours there. He was all smiles, flirting horribly with every female there. He skipped his afternoon nap, so I thought for sure there would be serious issues with us going. Nope. He was great. I don't even think he napped in the car on the way home.

I wish Becky well. She's also doing the Bradley method, which is tough to do in a hospital setting. She's due on December 15th, so like Eric their baby will probably come around Christmas. I wish I had thought to bring my camera and take some pictures while we were there. We ran into friends that live as far away as Pittsburgh, and we may not see them again for awhile...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Drive by Wining

Yesterday I was out at the Target in Reston to grab a couple of things. Taking Eric there is always a crap-shoot. He usually handles himself well, but sometimes he starts fussing and squirming in his stroller as if it's a medieval torture device, and I never know how he's going to act in public. So my solution is simple- I don't go out much.

If anyone out there is familiar with the Target in Reston, Virginia then you already know that the worst drivers in the world congregate there on a daily basis, especially around lunch time. Unfortunately with Eric's current nap schedule, this is precisely when we end up going. Part of the problem is that there are no stop or yield signs for entering/ exiting the parking lot (which also feeds into a gas station). And naturally, everyone is speeding through the lot at 35 mph, no one giving a damn about graciously allowing anyone the right of way. So you watch every window, check every blind spot in your car, and pray that no one hits you.

I parked three rows from the front of the store, far enough away so that hopefully no one would park next to me. Because the car seat with Eric weighs over 30 pounds, and the stroller is huge, I need a lot of door space to get everything in and out of the car (someone always ends up parking next to me though. I could park my car in the middle of Siberia and someone would park next to me). So I kept Eric in his car seat, put him inside the travel stroller, and *CRASH.*

I had been keeping a cautious eye on a black car that had slammed on its brakes near mine, and another black car that had pulled out in front of it. I don't know what happened, but I heard a loud crash and suddenly a Target bag filled with at least one wine bottle flew into the air and landed less than a parking space away from my stroller.

I honestly thought the driver would just keep on going, but in her defense, she got out and made sure Eric and I were ok. She apologized profusely. I reassured her that we were fine, no one was hurt. It turned out she had accidently left the bag on the top of her car and when she sped away, it flew off. Hey, we've all been there.

I asked her if she needed help picking up the glass. Most of it was inside the Target bag, but she said she would tell someone in Target what happened. But then... she drove away. So I, forever the mom now, went inside and directed a poor manager out to the spot where he picked up the glass. Reminded me of when I worked retail in my youth. Such a thankless job, and yet I had a lot of fun, mostly making fun of nutty customers. Back when I was in my late teens- early 20's... Back when I was YOUNG [sob]. But I digress...

Eric grew out of his duck so the main reason for going to Target was to get a liner for the bottom of the tub. Eric's new thing when dad bathes him is to roll out of the duck and attack the water. The faucet is apparently the most fun toy in the world, after window-blind cords. I'm waiting for the night when Eric figure out how to turn on the shower. I can hear DH screaming now as he's hosed down. hehe... Ah, it's the simple joys in life...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Why won't he SLEEP???

There is nothing more frustrating than knowing your baby is tired and yet he/she refuses to nap! I really hate this 9 month sleep-strike, separation anxiety phase. Please God, let it pass soon... Yesterday he had an hour morning nap. [shrug] He usually naps for one to two hours in the morning, so no big deal. But from 11:45am until he went to sleep at 8pm, do you know how long he napped?? [drumroll please] 10 minutes. Ten freakin' minutes??!!! This child is seriously sleep deprived, and I wish I knew how to help. P.S. Nighttime Orajel doesn't work.

So today I had my second appointment at the Birthing Center. DH came with me this time around. I want him to be a part of this, not only for helping with Eric but for moral support. I have to time these appointments around Eric's nap schedule because he almost never sleeps in the car (makes going out ridiculously difficult). Our appointment was at 10am. By 10:30, we still hadn't seen a midwife, which was unusual, and Eric was getting fussy which meant my husband was getting impatient. He did take the morning off to come with me, but the entire time I think he was mentally calculating the hours he would need to work in order to make up his time. I felt guilty even asking him to come. After the appointment was over, he told me he felt left out by the midwife and wanted to know why I hadn't scheduled blood work, and why I scheduled another morning appointment... I know I should have been patient. I know I should have been sympathetic. But I'm pregnant and hormonal and wasn't in the mood to deal with him being cranky. Not with a baby in the back-seat who was cranky too. I flipped. Then the water works started...

Makes me look forward to next month's appointment.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bad Horse

OK... If anyone reading this is a fan of Joss Wheedon, then you are probably familiar with Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog I really, REALLY wanted to find a horse costume for Eric and dress him up as "Bad Horse." I thought this would be hilarious and witty. The problem is, no one would know he was "Bad Horse" unless I had a Dr. Horrible T-shirt or something to signify that's what Eric was dressed as. Otherwise, he just looks like... a horse.

Well, every T-shirt is sold out. I can't find anything on Ebay, that glorious life-saver for procrastinators like me. So, I have given up on the "Bad Horse" idea.

Today I had a "play date" with a woman from my mom's group online. This involves the two of us meeting at Dulles Town Center and chatting as we strolled our infants through the mall. We ended up in the Disney Store. I don't know why, it goes against my cynical nature, but I love the Disney Store. I love Disneyworld. I can't wait to take Eric and Baby X there someday.

But Eric must take after his father because as soon as we entered the store, he starts crying. Then he puked. BUT he did start squealing in delight at the Donald Duck Halloween costume. I thought, 'we have a winner,' bought the fluffy thing, and got the heck out of there before he started projectile vomiting on the Mickey Mouse costumes. I love the Donald Duck, but it has no leggings, no footies... And it'll be cold that night. This is what I get for impulse buying. Now I have to find white tights. For a baby boy. In October.

Babies R Us Craziness

So today I had to go to Babies R Us to buy a shower gift for friends of DH and I. They are having a co-ed BBQ baby shower, which I think is an awesome idea and I hope that Eric's napping patterns work out for that day. I swear he is the only baby in the world who *doesn't* sleep in the car...

I was looking forward to a fun trip because Eric loves Babies R Us. I call it "the baby fun store" and he smiles when I put him in his car seat. He usually has a happy time there. Except today. Because today I decided to put him in the front of the cart while I shopped. I'm now in my second trimester (don't get me started about this surprising second pregnancy so quickly after my first) and couldn't use the gray Baby Bjorn (it KILLS your back). As soon as I put him in the seat, he started squirming. Even though he's 9 months, I couldn't use the baby seat cart because it only goes to 18 pounds and my little piggy weighs over 20. And because he's so thin, he spent the entire time slipping down while I tried fruitlessly to keep pulling him up.

So here I am... juggling my huge diaper bag, pulling my baby up with one hand every few minutes, and trying to read my friend's registry while Eric is trying to eat it (if anyone out there can tell me where to find a goat Halloween outfit for him, let me know). He was as patient as a baby could be, but then he had had enough. Especially since I wouldn't let him eat the registry. Let's just say... I've never read a registry so quickly in my life. And what really irked me was all the stares I got. Granted, most women who shop at Babies R Us are expectant mothers. I think I have seen maybe one mom with a child at the store I go to. It's funny... when you have never had a baby, it's so easy to judge moms. I've been there. But once you have a child, you finally realize children can't be controlled and that there are no guarantees, especially when you're out in public. Maybe this is why I never see moms in Babies R Us... :-)