Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Mistress Who Stole My Husband

Good Lord, will it EVER stop snowing???

Folks, if you haven't looked at the weather forecast for eastern Iowa this weekend, I am here to tell you that more snow is coming.

Yes, more snow. On a weekend. Which, basically, is the story of my life since Thanksgiving. This will make the SIXTH STRAIGHT WEEKEND OF FLIPPIN' SNOW.

The good news is, I know my husband is telling the truth when he tells me he has to work on the weekend again. That he has to steal out of my warm bed at 4 a.m., yet another morning, because of his damned job and not because of another woman.

But COME ON already. I would like to have one weekend this winter when I don't have to play the role of a single parent... when I can relax a little and enjoy my children instead of feeling trapped and overworked.

And Ted would like to have one forty-hour week, for a change. These fifty- and sixty-hour weeks are killing us.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hot Political Issues

I just have to say that even if I didn't want to vote for John Edwards for President, I would definitely vote for him as Presidential Candidate Most Likely to Turn Me On.

I suppose this confession tips my hand and gives away which candidate I was referring to at the end of this post from a couple of weeks back, and shows that I totally agree with writermom's comment on said post.

The current edition of Newsweek (Ted's subscription) arrived a few days ago, and I was reluctant to hand it over--though Ted always reserves "first-read" rights on the Newsweeks that come to our house. I definitely claimed "first-drool" priveleges on this one, and I requested that he return it to me when he's done with it.

So I can put it under my pillow and sleep with John every night.
Oh, and Johnny? You are *so* laminated.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Baby did a bad, bad thing...

...or at least that's what Ted would say. At first. But I think he will come to understand that I ordered these boots because I need them. And I deserve them. And ohmigodtheyresoawesome!

I found these little beauties--on sale--at J. Jill (, and not a moment too soon. My old pair of "dress boots" for work are really looking pretty shabby, and to tell you the truth, I never really loved the old boots the way that boots (because they're expensive) should be loved.

See, I bought them (my old ones) at the Bass outlet when Arlo was just about as old as Mae is now (3 months). He was with me in the store, and crying, so I felt pressured to make a decision and get it over with, because I really needed boots at the time. I made a decision to settle for a style that was not exactly what I wanted, and have regretted it mildly ever since.

But these? These are me. I hope they fit! It will break my heart to have to send them back in exchange for the right size instead of putting them on immediately and wearing them for the next several weeks without a break.

The best thing (besides the boots themselves) is that I also got $25 off for signing up for the J. Jill e-mail list, which means I saved $45 off the normal price. I rarely even spend $45 on a whole pair of shoes!

(Ladies, if you follow my link to J. Jill and you find that you also need and deserve something from their website, sign up for their mailing list and e-mail me for the code if they don't send it to you. I found the code in a roundabout way, so it's possible that it doesn't happen automatically for everyone who signs up.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wicked Callous

Originally uploaded by knights_writes

Finally, we got a decent close-up shot of one of the wicked callouses on Arlo's beloved suckin' fingers. He has been sucking on these fingers since he was old enough to hold them in his mouth (4 months?), and they are as much a comfort as (and completely in cahoots with) Clean Turtle when it's time for a nap, or when he needs a little down time.

They'll go away when he outgrows the finger-sucking habit--and, in fact, they've probably already faded a bit as the habit has waned in recent months. But this is something I want to always remember about my little Arlo--something I want to stop and appreciate before I wake up one day and find out that he's all grown up, with callouses on his hands from yard work and such.

Thank goodness.

Big brother helps
Originally uploaded by knights_writes

Here's a photo from this weekend, when Mae got some bottle practice. This was Arlo's first time helping to feed the baby, and he felt very proud and grown up indeed.

I thought it seemed like a pretty good photo to accompany the news that Mae is now letting Tata feed her at day care! Yesterday Mae took a bottle from Tata for the first time, with only minimal hesitation reportedly, and by the end of the day she had consumed 13 ounces of expressed milk, all told.


Monday, December 10, 2007


Quick: what do you use to mop up a hot tea spill when you're locked in a small room with your shirt pulled up, breast pump attached and on duty, and not a paper towel or napkin in sight?

A nursing bra pad, that's what.

If you don't know, these little beauties are filled with the same uber-absorbent material that's in diapers and maxi pads. They absord something like twenty times their weight in liquid.

Come to think of it, these things would make kick-ass cubicle coasters if they weren't so expensive!

Bottles, Bullets

  • Mae drank expressed breast milk from a bottle multiple times over the weekend--mostly from Ted but also a couple of times from me. All day on Saturday, I pumped instead of nursing, and she willingly (with some initial coaxing) bottle-fed until I offered her the breast again at 5:00. We figured this approach would mimic what she needs to be doing at day care, while not completely robbing us both of our precious mom-n-baby nursing time. I hope that our success with bottle feeding bodes well for her return to day care tomorrow.
  • Tomorrow? Why tomorrow, you ask? Macy had a temperature of 100.5 degrees at 4:30 this morning. We dosed her with Tylenol, and her fever was completely gone at 9:00 (the reading was 98.2 by then), but now we have to wait out the required 24 hours fever-free before she can return to Tata's.
  • On Saturday night (perhaps worn out from a full day of remedial bottle feeding, or perhaps finally satiated by a full day of regular feedings after a five-day hunger strike), Macy slept "through the night." By which I mean that she slept for almost eight hours straight, going down for the night around 9 p.m. and not awaking to feed again until nearly 5 a.m.!
  • Another milestone: this morning, just after Ted got home to relieve me from baby duty and send me off to work, Macy rolled from her back to her side. She may have pushed off Ted's legs with her feet (he was sitting on the floor at her feet), but she did not have any active assistance to accomplish this feat.
  • Today I'm wearing pants that fit me before my pregnancy, and they are not Fat Pants. They do fit a little more snugly than they did last year, but I am pulling it off and feeling very encouraged about the baby pooch that still juts out over the pants. As I told Ted, "my ass is back!"

Friday, December 07, 2007

Re-Blogging: "Man Cold"

Is re-blogging the same as re-gifting? Well, 'tis the season! Thanks to for giving me a laugh that I really needed this morning.

Blogging by way of e-mail

The bottle-refusal saga continues...

I sent the following e-mail to writermom this morning, in response to her inquiry about Macy's progress. After rereading it, I realized that it makes a perfectly suitable blog post, so here it is. Consider yourself in the loop.

Ugh. Still not a drop!

However, I did talk to the doc last night, and she was completely cool about it. She said that as long as Mae is still making wet and dirty diapers (Definitely so—you would not BELIEVE the bomb she dropped in her diaper last night! Level 3 Code Brown.) and as long as she continues to grow and act normally, we should, in her words, “leave her alone.”

She’ll start eating when she needs to, Sarah says, and even then she might only take a bottle from Tata once a day. As long as she’s getting what she needs during the other hours of the day, she’ll be just fine.

All of which is supremely comforting, but also exasperating because it does not provide me with a plan of action.

I also talked to the lactation consultant yesterday afternoon, and she gave me some ideas and tricks to try out next week, including things like trying a syringe or cup like you suggested. In the mean time, we are going to offer her the bottle as much as possible this weekend, though it will be a challenge since Ted will probably be out in the snow for at least half of the weekend. Phooey.

Hmmmm. I think I’ll just take this e-mail and copy it into my blog as today’s update! You’re the first to know!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Hunger Strike

Well, Mae has now gone three full days without taking a drop of milk from the bottle offered to her at day care. I'm trying not to freak out.

She has taken expressed breast milk from a bottle for Ted on a few occasions, without much of a fuss, so we didn't think she'd need training. Now I wish we had given her more practice!

Tata says she's offering the bottle about every hour, and we have tried a number of different bottle and nipple combinations. This morning I even brought a burp cloth soaked with my breast milk, in hopes that the scent will stimulate Mae's hunger and desire to suck.

Now I also have calls in to the doctor and a lactation consultant (waiting for return calls) and am feeling my anxiety mount, even as I endeavor to stay calm.

Advice, anyone?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Who do you *really* want to be the President?

A coworker forwarded this link to me. It's a questionnaire that asks your opinion on a variety of hot political issues, then ranks the presidential candidates in order, from which one agrees with you on the most issues, all the way down to the evil bastards on the other side.

What I like about this (if the results are accurate) is that it allows me to get rid of all the marketing and image hooey that turns my head one way or another, and gets down to the nitty gritty about which candidate will actually run this country the way I would like to see it run. I think this country would be a much better place to live, and a much greater good in the world, if more people would vote this way instead of based on which yahoo they like the best, or which one looks the best on camera. Or, for that matter, which one has the most signs up in their neighborhood.

I'm not sure if I'm ready to divulge publicly which candidates ranked at the top for me (it was a tie between two), but I will say two things about my results. First, that I was mildly surprised, and second, that I know which of the two top matches I would vote for today--based solely on the fact that the winning candidate recently visited me in my dreams, in a really special and naughty way.

Air Guitar

Originally uploaded by knights_writes

My baby is a rock star.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Get Behind the Mule

As Tom Waits says, "You gotta get behind the mule in the mornin' and plow." That's just what I did this morning, re-entering the workforce with as much grace and dignity as I could muster.

The drop-off was relatively painless. I tried to be quick about it, to rip the band-aid off, so to speak. When I left Tata's house, I left behind two happy little humans, which is about as good a situation as I could hope for. Well, truth be told, I actually left behind four happy little humans, if you count the Boelk twins (Carver and Kinnick, the matching bookends flanking Arlo in the photo above). Tata and Tato (her hubby, Pat) had the foresight to have a bunch of new toys on hand for the boys this morning, so Arlo was happy and distracted during the drop-off period, which gave me a few minutes to talk with Tata about Mae and her first big day--without him needing my attention.

As you can see, Mae's First Day at Tata's was a festive and happy affair, and I only shed a few crocodile tears before taking a deep breath and heading to the office. Amazingly enough, I made it to my desk by about 8:15, for which I gave myself a sound pat on the back.

Mae had a pretty good day, I suppose. She was happy as long as Tata was holding her (hmmm, sound familiar?) and pretty relaxed--but she wouldn't take milk from a bottle yet today. Ted has given her small amounts of expressed milk from a bottle, so we know she knows how to do it... guess she just has to get a little hungrier before she'll take it from a new person. Part of me feels good about that, actually. Arlo took to his bottle feedings so quickly as an infant (also with Tata, beginning at 8 weeks old) that as a new mom, I felt kind of slighted and insignificant. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't want Macy's hunger strike to last more than a day or two, but it does make me feel important and special to have my baby (poor thing, though!) go all day without an ounce of milk because she'd just as soon wait for her mommy, thank you very much.

I hope I'm not tempting fate by saying so. I've had my moment, and now I hope that she will eat for Tata tomorrow. As for tonight, I'm thinking I'll be awake every two hours (or less) feeding her through the night. Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Caucusing in College?

Over the past few days, our local media has been giving a lot of coverage to the poor college students who will have trouble participating in the January caucuses because they take place over the UI's winter break. Some students say it's not fair that they'll miss the caucuses because they're spending a month at home, out of state.

Is it just me, or is this stupid? If the kids go to live with their parents whenever school is not in session, then I would say that their parents' home is their permanent residence. If their permanent residence is out of state, then why in the world should they be participating in the Iowa caucus?