Monday, March 31, 2008

Thanks, Stuart! Thanks, Mom & Dad!

Saturday night, Ted and I had an evening that was a rare treat for both of us: my mom and dad came from Marshalltown to babysit so that Ted and I could have a kid-free night out with friends, so we went to The Mill to catch Stuart Davis. If you were reading my blog last month, you already know that I was planning to go to this show--but it was a great bonus that I got to take Ted along, too.

This show was different from previous ones in that Stu had a full band (guitarist, drummer, and bass player) playing behind him. They sounded great--they really did--but I have to admit, I missed the intimacy of the Stuart-only paradigm, and some of his creative guitar work (such as thumping his hand on the guitar for percussion) was lost in translation. That being said, the band was rocking, and all three musicians were incredibly talented. And did I mention that all three of them were also easy on the eyes? I know, it's shallow, it's irrelevant, and it might be inappropriate for a married mom of two to be drooling over musicians in a (non-smoky, thanks!) bar. But whatever. If you don't like what I write, get your own blog.

Ted proved, once again, to be the best husband EVAR. In the midst of all the drooling, he actually made his way across the crowded room (our seats weren't very good, so I had walked around front to stand and watch the last couple of songs) to deliver the camera to me so that I might get a photo of myself with dear Stu. Hooray!

I also captured a shot of Erika with Stuart--and she made sure to gloat afterwards about the fact that he recognized her (from ten years of seeing him play) and, she claims, hugged her harder and longer. Whatever!

It was a great night, and Ted remarked that it was almost as special to see Kent and Colleen (or, as Arlo says, "Kent and daQueen") out together in a bar (homebodies that they are) as it was for us to be spotted in such environs!

Honk-shu, honk-shu

Originally uploaded by knights_writes

I would like to be doing this right now.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

This face

Originally uploaded by knights_writes

It's why I forgive her, every morning, for the frustrations she creates in the darkest hours of the night.

Nope, still not sleeping.

Last night, she went "down for the night" (ha!) at about 7:30. She was awake again at 9:30 to nurse--and she also thought it would be good to stay awake for, oh, another hour after that. Just for fun!

That was awesome.

We did it again at about 3 a.m.--she is so much FUN!


Snow Falling on Easter Eggs

Originally uploaded by knights_writes

Can you tell we went north for Easter this year?

Muscle Man

Originally uploaded by knights_writes

Something about the composition of this photo just strikes me as sweet. Arlo was playing on Grandma Sharon's exercise bike (much to her chagrin, believe me) on Easter, and Ted took this picture. The light coming in the window is soft and diffuse (um, on account of the fact that it was SNOWING outside, GAH!), and I just love the boy in his muscle shirt, the pointed-toe-in-motion, the expression on his face...

These are good times, people. Even in the midst of a sad and confusing world, we must stop and appreciate the beauty of these simple moments.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'm a moderate

(Don't be alarmed--I still bleed blue, politically speaking.)

I took a "What kind of Mom are you?" quiz over at iVillage, and I guess they summed me up pretty well:
You're a Moderate Mom! Some days you outpace Super Woman, other days you
kick back and just watch your kids play. You're a fantastic mom and just happy
to be in the middle of it all.

For what it's worth, here's the quiz:

While I was at it, I took their "Is your life balanced?" quiz (, and here's my result:
Even Stephen- You are one of those rare adults with a firm grasp on her
priorities. Even though you put others first, you are fluent in the subtle art
of compromise and know exactly when to cut yourself some slack. Since you
already know how important it is to make time for yourself, the only thing left
for you to do is find is the key to actually getting those solitary moments. So
what could we possible suggest for the woman who's got it all under control? A
babysitter, to help you keep everything under control.

Judging from these results (however shallow they are), I'm feeling pretty good about my life as a mom today.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I just returned to my desk from my midday pumping session, wherein I:
  • pumped a very respectable and satisfying 5 ounces of breastmilk

  • then knocked over the bottle and spilled about 4 ounces of it.

Pumping moms and formerly-pumping moms will understand the anguish I experienced at that moment, wishing I could catch the milk somehow as I helplessly watched it spread across the countertop and drip onto the tile floor. The rest of you will just have to imagine how demoralizing it was to mop it up with paper towels and throw it into the trash.

It's hard to explain how precious pumped breastmilk is, and how much heart and soul that pumping moms pour into this job. I'm not asking for a medal. I have chosen to do this for Mae, just like I did it for Arlo--and it's not usually grueling. But it does take energy and commitment, day after day, to keep filling those bottles ... and a bottle lost represents more than just so many ounces of liquid.

Believe me, there were hot tears mixed in with the warm milk as I sopped it up into that wad of paper towels. Mondays are hard enough.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Kid In Boots

Originally uploaded by knights_writes

The witty writer in me wanted to title this "Wuss in Boots"--on account of the rhyming and everything.

But it's clear from his pose (FIERCE!) that this boy is no wuss. Even if he does like to dress up in his mom's fancy high-heeled boots.

Happy Baby Friday!

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The system has been compromised.

I know it's difficult to make out, but this is what I found on my computer screen this morning. It says. "Time to die." Do you think I clicked "OK"? No, I did not.

Methinks the home machine has a bug. This is not the first indication, but I won't drone on about the other glitches that we've noticed in recent weeks. Suffice it to say, the system has been compromised and we are now in the damage control phase. Unfortunately, it's not something that our new Norton anticirus software can find and eradicate, so we're really glad we spent that 70 bucks! Thanks, Norton!

A tech-savvy friend has recommended some free web-based cleanup software, and I'll try running one or two of them this weekend. If anyone else has advice to share, the lines are now open to take your call.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Yoga Dance

Arlo LOVES Wei Lana. We checked out a dorky "Wei Lana's Liitle Yogis" yoga video from the public library last week, and Arlo is completely hooked.

On several occasion while watching the video, he has turned to me and said, "I LIKE her!"

I suppose I could get used to her--especially if it means that Arlo loves yoga. We've been doing the poses from the "Little Yogis" video together all week, and that certainly can't be all bad.

I am pretty sure that he would DIG this "yoga dance" video, but I don't think I want to get him hooked. This thing would annoy the spit out of me if I had to watch it as much as we've watched "Little Yogis." Instead I will see if there's a Wei Lana basic yoga video for grown-ups, and see if Arlo likes it as well.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Subtlety in marketing

I took this picture when we were shopping at Menards this weekend.

How can I put this delicately?

Ummm, does it seem like this particular light fixture might be packaged to appeal to male buyers?

Or perhaps breastfeeding infants?

I'm just sayin.'

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

My Little Bright Spot

I believe I've let that "In Memoriam" post ring long enough. Yes, we're still mourning our loss, but I want to throw open the curtains of this blog, and let the sun shine in. Let's all take a deep, cleansing breath and turn our attention to the little Jennie-Come-Lately who has filled with love yet another chamber of the family heart.

Ah, Mae.

What would you like to know?

The standard question is always, "Is she sleeping through the night?"--and people have a tendency to ask this question as though they already know the answer. You know, because she's five months old now, and everybody knows that babies sleep through the night by about three months. Right? Well, no. I could go into more detail, but this is a post about how great our baby is--not about the ways in which she frustrates us!

Here's what I will miss when she starts sleeping through the night, in her own crib. The warm and hushed twilight nursing sessions, sometimes with Arlo also snoring softly beside me... the soft murmurs of her contentedness as she nurses, my own drowsiness as I drift in and out of sleep... and the sense that I am providing perfectly for her needs, and that I am fulfilling my own womanly/motherly destiny in my own perfect way. I will even miss the times (though they sometimes infuriate me now) when she awakens next to me to coo and babble and blow raspberries at me and stick her tiny little fingers up my nose and entice me to play with her INSTEAD OF SLEEPING AT THE UNGODLY HOUR OF THREE A.M..

Yep, I'll miss that, some day.

Macy also has the busiest feet I have ever seen on an infant. True to her in-the-womb personality, this little gal is constantly on the move. We absolutely must keep her leather Robeez on at all times, or her socks are goners. From the day she was born (nay, the day she grew legs), Mae has been kicking. Her feet (especially when bare, should we let the piggies escape from their cotton prisons) are some of her favorite toys... and without question my favorite thing on earth to kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss. Or maybe it's the center-of-the-universe swirl of hair on the back of her fuzzy little head. Let's call it a draw--but I do love this baby from the top of her head to her chubby pink toes.

If her active legs are an indication that she'll be an early walker (added to the fact that she's already an avid roller, both from front-to-back and now back-to-front), then her vocal prowess may predict that she'll be an early talker, too. In addition to her favorite, well-practiced banshee shriek, Macy also makes use of a wide range of hums, whimpers, whines, howls, hiccups, raspberries, coos, giggles, and sighs to communicate with us her every thought and emotion. In fact, if I leave her playing on the floor or in her exersaucer a room away from me, I feel the need to check on her if she's quiet.

In spite of all this activity, though, I think she's kind of a mellow, sweet gal. True, she is more high-maintenance than Arlo was at her age (thank you, Arlo, for sleeping through the night by 3 months like good babies do!), but she's very social and cuddly and affectionate. Yes, she prefers to have your attention at all times--but when you give it to her, you are rewarded with an easy smile (accented by irresistible dimples, yay!), a wide range of giggles (the most hilarious ones reserved only for Arlo's antics, mind you), and yes, kicks, kicks, kicks.

Mae's six-month medical check-up is just a couple of weeks away. How the time flies. If you haven't seen her lately, please come visit us before she's all grown up!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

In Memoriam

I can't believe it. I really can't.

Just a couple of days ago, Tom was up to his usual tricks, stealing Ted's socks out of the closet and dragging them down the hallway in his mouth.

He'd been insistent these past few weeks that his rightful place was on my pillow during the night, and I was so irritated about that, feeling crowded and having to shoo him--no, drag him him--out of the way when I'd need to prop myself against the pillows to nurse Mae in the middle of the night.

I could've sworn that, just yesterday, his nose and paws and belly (just barely visible under the soft tufted tummy fur) were still a robust bubble-gum pink.

But he refused two meals yesterday, and by this morning he was fighting for his last breaths. How did this happen?

Our vet said it was pneumonia, brought on by a horrible bacterial infection that may or may not have been secondary to something like a tumor. The infection moved with ruthless speed--the emergency vet said she'd not seen an infection kill so swiftly in her 26 years in practice. She said we probably could not have done anything more or better to save him. In spite of the best efforts of the staff at the veterinary hospital, Tom succumbed to the pneumonia around 2:00 this afternoon. He was about 14 years old.

Tom, you were one of the best cats ever. You are sorely missed already.
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