Sunday, November 30, 2008

And the Party Continues

First off... Happy Birthday Aunt Abi!!!  Yep, my friend Abi has her birthday today.  She too is old.  She's exactly 1 year, 51 weeks older than I am.  If you remember how old I just turned, then you can figure out her age.  I won't tell you directly, because that's not nice. *grin*.
Anyhow, last night was a good night.  We got to Kat's right about on time.  Unfortunately, Uncle Andy was running a little late, so that made us a little late.  So, dinner was a bit hurried.  That's OK, I was more interested in the show anyhow.
Did I mention that there was an earlier TSO show and a Tina Turner show at 8 as well?  Did I mention that traffic around the sports complex sucks when there's only one event going on?  I'm glad I wasn't driving.  (I always seem to get turned around and not where I want to go down there... even following the hordes...)  I do feel for Kat though.  She was driving.  A stick-shift old Jeep.  In heels.  Nope, not fun.  So, we end up getting into the Wachovia Center right at 8:30.  The show was supposed to start at 8, but they held it until 8:30.  This means we missed the intro and the first two songs by the time we made a really quick pit stop and found our seats.
All the way up in nosebleed territory.  We were about as far to stage left as you could go and still be in front of the stage.  Our seats would have been great, about 3 sections to our right.  Oh well.  That's what I get for waiting until the last moment to buy them and not be able to afford "good" tickets.  Kat was expecting to sit up in the rafters with us.  But she was lucky enough to actually win tickets from WMGK.  So, she and Scott got to sit 3rd row, almost center.
Yes, I thought about calling her all kinds of nasty names.
Then I realized that if anyone deserves something cool like that this year, it's her.  She's gone through a pile of it the last year or two, so this was nice for her.
I'm still jealous though.
Anyhow, the show went until just about 11.  No, I don't have any pictures because I left my camera in Boo's room.  Not that any of them would have turned out.  (Kat did get some great ones though....)  It was even more rocking than the last time I got to see them.  They had lots and lots of pyro this year.  I mean, we could feel the heat from them at times all the way up where we were!  At one point Gak leaned over to me and said "I gave up counting lighting cues..." in a very awed tone of voice.  That's what I get for marrying a theater tech.  I wish we lived closer or could afford a second car or something so he could actually get a job doing things like that.  He'd love to be doing that again.  And he's good at it.  *Sigh*
We got home and crawled into bed at just about 1:30.  Mom was all but conked out on the sofa and Boo opened his eyes to look at me as I walked through his room, but went back to sleep right away.  I'd love to say I slept like a log, but as always after a late night, I slept like crap.  Oh well.  Hopefully Boo will be a happy little boy today and I won't have to have too stressful a day.
I finally got the pictures from the weekend uploaded to Flickr.  Enjoy!  As I'm sure you'll see, we had a good time.
Well, I'm off to find something quiet to do while my boys sleep for a bit.
Peace to all and may your holidays be fun and family filled!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Yesterday was bittersweet for me.
The bitter is the fact that one year ago yesterday, my Gram left us.  I still feel the pain of that to one degree or another most days.  As funny as it sounds, especially when I look at Boo.  Maybe it's because of how much I know she was looking forward to being a great-grandma.  Maybe it's just me remembering all the wonderful times I had with her growing up.  Maybe it's because I used to call her and talk to her about anything and everything that was going on in my life and I so want to share all of his growth and milestones and even crankiness with her.  So, yes, yesterday was a bit bitter in that respect.
But it was sweet as well.  It was sweet because it was my friend Ed's birthday.  He's old.  Well, maybe not old, but he is 3 years older than me... so, yes, old.  
It was also very sweet because we got to have second Thanksgiving at Kat's house.  She didn't do Thanksgiving Thursday because Wednesday she'd had tests done to see if they can finally pin down the reasons for the migraines and felt like crapola Thursday.   That and everyone could have "family" Thanksgiving on Thursday and then have "friends" Thanksgiving on Friday.  And, really, in many ways these friends are my family.  At least my extended family.
The house was packed, as usual.  There were a few people who weren't there, but we wish they were.  Of course, they were traveling to family, so that's understandable or had to work.  Boo did very well with so many people in the house.  Our house is usually so quiet and calm most of the time.  Even when he's at day care, it's not so noisy most of the time.  But he did well and only got fussy near when he normally goes to bed.  So, we put him down on Grammy's bed and he slept until we were ready to go.  Which was only about an hour later, as I was beginning to fall asleep myself and began to feel overwhelmed by all the people myself.  Don't get me wrong, I love all my friends and getting them all together in one place.  It's a rowdy, happy, noisy, fun time.  It's just that after a while, I need some quiet.
So, yes, yesterday was sweet as well.
Tonight should be fun.   Tonight Gak and I are going out.  Without Boo.  We're going to go see Trans Siberean Orchestra in Philly tonight with about 6 other people (I think).  We all got our own tickets since no one could afford to get all 8 or so at one time.   We're meeting up for dinner before the show, and maybe drinks after the show and sitting by ourselves for the show.  I think that's actually a great way to do this.  Then it's like both a group outing and a "date" all in one night!  Uncle Andy will be watching Boo for about an hour or so while we're at dinner and then GrammaSue will pick him up at Aunt Kat's house and bring him home to ours.  She told us to stay out as long as we wanted to and not worry.  Well, of course I'll worry, I'm the Momma!  But, I won't worry about getting back late.  Like she said, if it's late enough and she's tired enough, she'll crash on the sofa and decide when we get home if she's going to drive home or sleep here.  I'm just glad she was able to watch him since Grammy (Kat's mom) has to work and couldn't switch.  Uncle Andy loves Boo, but it's been 8 years since he's had one that little, so isn't comfortable having to take care of him long.  If we time it right, he won't even have to give him a bottle.  GrammaSue will, but she's used to that.
Anyhow, Boo is asleep and I'd better make the most of it.  He'll probably wake up soon.  Look for pictures later today or tomorrow.  I've got so many I'm having trouble sorting through them and getting them ready to post.

Peace to all and may your days be good and you have fun things to do.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  I'm sure we've all got plenty to be thankful for this year.  I know I do.  I have a happy, healthy, thriving baby boy.  I've got a husband who loves me.  My family and friends are all in good health, although there are some health problems in the families of those I know.  We may not have much money to spare, but we're getting by.  Both Gak and I are gainfully employed, even if we don't always like our jobs or coworkers.  The election is over and come January, a new chapter will be begun for good or ill.
So, yes, there is a lot to be thankful for, even in these crazy, chaotic, messed up times.
Today we went down to GrammaSue and PopPop's house for the day.  We left here about 9:30 because that's when it was nap time now.  We waited until Boo was ready for a nap so that he'd sleep most, if not all, of the way down there and not mess up his schedule too badly.
We had a good day.  GrammaSue made homemade mac 'n' cheese for lunch.  (We have thanksgiving dinner, or supper... not lunch...)  Boo got to spend a lot of time with his PopPop today and was a very good boy.  He took two little naps in his pack-n-play (that thing is a life saver at times!).  We even got to meet the little boy Henry who lives next door.  Henry is just shy of 11 months old.  The boys played for a good 30 minutes or so until Boo suddenly decided he was hungry and tired.
Boo ate a lot today.  He had apple sauce and cereal for early lunch and then nursed some.  Cereal with milk was the order for late lunch.  For dinner he had a good bit of baked sweet potato and a couple of bites of GrammaSue's homemade apple sauce.  He wasn't quite sure of what to make of the added spices, but he still ate it.  You should have seen him go to town on the piece of sweet potato that he had in his mesh bag feeder.  I think there was maybe a baby spoon full of mush left when all was said and done, and that he ate off the spoon.  Of course, he nursed several times over the course of the day.
Right now, I'm listening to Boo talk to himself in his bed.  We left at about 7:15 when he was getting very cranky and sleepy.  He was asleep by the time we got onto the Turnpike, but sure enough, as soon as we stopped when we got home, his eyes popped open.  I was lucky Tuesday that he was asleep enough to barely wake up when we got home.  He'll talk himself to sleep shortly I'm guessing.
Yes, I have lots of pictures from today, but they're still on the camera and I'm being lazy.  I just wanted to say happy thanksgiving and say what a nice day we had today.  I hope to post a lot of pictures in the next few days.  We're doing Thanksgiving again tomorrow night at Aunt Kat's house and Saturday Gak and I are going to see Trans Siberian Orchestra with a bunch of people.  It will be fun.
Anyhow, I'm off to read a few pages before I go thud.
Peace to all and may we remember the little things in life and have good family moments.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holiday Ramblings

Well, I had lots to post about yesterday, but I have no idea what it was.  I'm sure it was something interesting and pertinent to the rest of the world, but it's gone now.
Oh, that's right.  I was supposed to be working on Boo's holiday lists.
Yes, I said holiday.
I'm allowed to.
You see, coming from a mixed up crazy family, Boo will celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.  (Which I can never spell right on the first five tries...)  So, yes, Boo has holiday lists, not Christmas, not Hanukkah, but holiday.
So there.
And , no, I don't really have anything put together.  I can tell you what he needs though.  He could use more long-sleeved onsies.  3-6 month size fits nicely and 6-9 are a tad big, but since winter will be long here... either size works.  Socks are always a good thing for baby toes.  The washer and dryer are good at absconding with one now and again.  If you really want to, I won't stop you from buying diapers.  He's currently in Pampers Swaddlers size 2, but 2-3 would probably fit too.  (Those of you with littles of your own understand what I mean by 2-3... it's the in between size between 2 and 3, so more like 2.5....)
So, that's what he needs.  What he wants, well, I don't have that list together yet.  He's got more books than other toys, but that's not a problem.  He could use some more "interactive" toys since he's getting to that age where he's trying to figure everything out and manipulate things.  Just please, go easy on the noisy toys.  And those of you with littles will remember that I'm the aunt that gives books, craft stuff and non-battery operated toys.  Yes, the craft stuff tends to be messy, but I try and go for age appropriate messy at any rate.  And you can't tell me they weren't fun.  So, go, wander over to Fat Brain Toys and see if anything strikes your fancy.  (You can even exclude toys made in China from your search... yes, I say that a lot, but with all the news lately are you really sure what you're getting even with new safety checks in place on this end?  Besides, should we be rewarding them with our business in general when they treat their own people like dog doo-doo?)

Ok, plug for people to buy my son things over.

I must say, sometimes the ladies at the day care confuse me.  On Thursday they send home that note about me not feeding him enough.  So, we started sending cereal for the afternoon.  Now, when Gak dropped Boo off yesterday (but not when he dropped him off Monday) he was asked why we're feeding him so much cereal.  I'd upped his afternoon cereal to 3 Tb on Monday.  Well, the long and the short of it is... Dr. C wants him to be getting around 6 Tb a day.  So, he gets about 2 Tb in the morning when Gak feeds him, about another 2-3 in the afternoon and maybe 1 or 2 in the evening.  This would be 6 Tb approximately right?  So, what's the problem?  He lets us know when he's done.  He lets you know when you're not shoveling it in fast enough.  We use fruit or veggies and a splash of water to mix it up in the morning, 2 oz milk in the afternoon and either milk or fruit in the evenings depending on what's available.  He's still getting 20+ oz of milk a day.  (4 4oz bottles = 16, plus 2 oz with cereal = 18 and two or three nursings = at least 22-26 oz)  I know they mean the best, but could they stick to "complaining" we either feed him too much or not enough?  Other than that, they take very good care of him and he's happy and healthy when I go to pick him up in the evenings.  (I actually think the one lady is nice, but just doesn't always deal well with the fact that kiddos will do things their own way... but she's good to my boy...)  He doesn't seem to not want to go or unhappy when we drop him off.  Boo just marches to his own drummer when it comes to doing things, and well, the apple didn't fall far from the tree now did it?

Anyhow, enough of that.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and that's a good thing.  Although, I did get a worrisome email from Abi.  Her mom is going into surgery today because of an infection that isn't going away.  It's pretty bad.  I hope everything goes well and that her mom heals quickly.
Well, I'd best be getting my butt into gear so I can make it out the door for one last day of work this week.

Peace to all and may you not have frustrating things to deal with.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday.  In March I will be 1/3 of a century old.
Yes, this means that I turned 33 today.
No, that's not old compared to some, but older than others.
It's been a good birthday over all.  On Friday I got my gifts from my dear husband and son.  They got me the 3-disk Peanuts holiday movie set.  So, I now own the Great Pumpkin, the Thanksgiving and the Christmas shows.  They are my favorite holiday shows.  They also came with 10 or 12 free music tracks, which is great, as I love the music from Peanuts.  They also got me a set of bamboo crochet hooks in sizes G through N.  I used the H earlier today and am using the G now.  They're very nice.  They're light weight, smooth and have the head shape that I like.  (The Susan Bates "notch" style as opposed to the Boye rounded style.)  They seem to be working well with good old worsted weight acrylic.  (I'm using up some of my stash yarn on holiday gifts for some of the kids.)
Last night we all went out to dinner.  Originally Kat's mom was going to watch Boo, but she had to work and Andy was watching Zoe and he's just not comfortable watching such a little guy any more.  That's OK, I understand.  We weren't going anywere too fancy anyhow, so Boo got to come along.  Remember a while back I mentioned that I got some rewards from work for making customers happy.  Well, I used one of my gift certificates last night.  Our bill came to $52 before tip, so it only cost us $10 to have a nice dinner out.  Boo was good through most of it, but we didn't time it quite right and he was getting fussy and a bit hungry at the end and I didn't bring a bottle.  (If I'd brought a bottle, he wouldn't have wanted it... but since I didn't....)  He got quiet once we got into the car, so we stopped at the book store.  I bought two books for Boo for the holidays and Gak one as well.
Today was mostly a low-key day.  Boo let me sleep in by about 45 minutes.  We had a good and semi-lazy morning.  I then ran some errands around noon.  I had to go pick up brake parts (I need breaks soon on the truck and Andy is going to do them for me...) and a little bit of grocery shopping.  After Boo's next nap, we headed over to Aunt Kat's to hang out a bit and maybe get the breaks done today.  Well, it turns out that we'll be getting the breaks done Tuesday, as Andy's car needed a little more work than he thought.  That's OK.  I don't need the breaks right this second, but definitely before it's inspected.  And since I already have the parts, it'll be a pretty quick job Tuesday.  I also got a great call from my brother.  It is always good when I get the chance to catch up with him.  He was agonizing over the bad Eagles game and was lamenting the fact that he introduced Becca to being a Philadelphia sports fan.  The Phillies this year are an exception to the rule.  We're very good at "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory".
I really don't want to go to work tomorrow.  But, that's just because I don't want to go to work and would rather be on a weekend.  Boo is going to go to daycare tomorrow afternoon because GrammaSue isn't feeling well.  I totally understand her not wanting to take care of a busy almost 6-month-old (eek!) when she's not feeling well.  This just means Boo will actually hae 3 days instead of 2 at day care this week.  That's still one less than normal.  (I think Christmas week, he'll only be in one day since I have Christmas Eve and Christmas off, and I'm taking the day after off as well.)
Anyhow, we introduced Boo to apples.  We gave him some applesauce the other day and today as well.  I tried it.  My word is it sweet!  The ingredients are "Apples and water needed for processing" but wow!  can we say sugary sweet?  Boo wasn't so sure about it.  I wasn't either.  I think I'm going to make some homemade apple sauce up and make sure it's pretty smushed up.  We also introduced him to solid apples.  Thursday I ran down to BabiesRUs on my lunch break and picked up the mesh bag thingies I liked (the mesh bag is white, not technicolor) as well as a couple of sweatshirts and a pair of khakis for the boy.  He attacked the mesh bag like no tomorrow, but wouldn't hold it himself.  He'd hold my hand, but wouldn't grab it.  He didn't get very much out of it, but that's OK.  He did a great job chewing and I'm sure he'll get it sooner or later.  We'll see how he does Thursday with baked sweet potato.  (Properly cooled down to almost room temperature of course!)  Today while we were at Aunt Kat's he ate 3 Tb of cereal with 2.5 oz of milk and almost half a container of sweet potatoes!  He thought about nursing for a minute, but then decided he was full and didn't want a drink.  That boy is going to eat me out of house and home before he turns one!  Oh well.  it just means he's growing and is healthy.  He's not putting on too much weight and is keeping pace both in height and weight.  I'm just glad he's taking to eating well.  I know he'll be getting mostly milk for at least another 6 to 8 months, but it is nice to have him be able to get some extra here and there from other sources.

Anyhow, it is just about 9:00 and I'd better get going to bed.  Oh, I almost forgot.  The picture at the top of the post is Boo's very first fridge art!  One of the ladies at the center spent a couple of days tracing the babies' hands and creating these adorable little turkeys!  I almost cried when I picked his up.  I didn't know they were doing it and it's just amazing.  I'm amazed at both how big and how little his hand is.  It is defiantly his hand.  It is so cute.  I love it.

Anyhow, I've got to get going.
Peace to all and may you have good days and wonderful family days.

Friday, November 21, 2008


This has been a frustrating week.
Frustrating because I didn't get anywhere near as much done as I could or should have at work.
Frustrating because Boo has been in day care all day this week because Gak has to open all week.
Doubly frustrating because Gak's boss was supposed to be back in town last night, but got stuck.  This means Gak has to open and Boo will have to be at day care all day one more day.
Triply frustrating because of the note that was sent home last night.

Apparently I am not feeding my boy enough according to the nice ladies.  According to them "most babies his age don't eat every 2 hours but every 3-4 hours"  "he is very restless"... amongst other things.  (The note is in the bedroom, and I'm not...)

Can I tell you how much of a bad momma this made me feel like?  Like I don't even know how much my son wants to eat?  That it implies I don't ever have to deal with him being fussy or cranky or anything like that?  I know they mean well.... but.... they're not with him the rest of the time, and only a few hours a day most days.

Yes, he eats every 2 hours still.  Yes, he sometimes fusses these days when the bottle is all gone.  Yes, I deal with this too!  Even when nursing.  Frequently these days when he's done he'll pull away and scream.  I know it's not because he's still hungry because he's nursed longer than he used to.  I'm pretty sure it's not a supply issue, even though I've come up short a few days at work.
Also, my boy sleeps through the night.  I don't mean he goes to bed at 10 after a feeding and wakes up at 6 for an 8-hour night.  No, he goes to bed by 8 by his choice! (demand really) and doesn't wake up until 7, later if I let him sleep in on the weekends.  This gives him 12-13 hours to eat 25-30 oz of milk.  Add in at least two 2 Tb servings of cereal and some fruit or veggies as well....  Take into account that a baby his age still only can comfortably hold 4-5 oz in his stomach.  This means that he has to nurse 6 times or more in a day.  He nurses at 7 am and 8pm.  This leaves 4, or maybe 5 other times he'll want to be fed.  Like clockwork he demands to be fed around 9 and 11 when Gak has him in the mornings.  He gets fed between 2 and 2:30 and 4 and 4:30 at day care.  I'll often feed him at 6 or 6:30 if possible while waiting for Gak to be done work.  (Although, not the last week or two since Bill's working there instead of the chicky... but that's another story...)

They also didn't "complain" that he doesn't nap much in the day, other than 4 30-minute naps between 8 am and 5 pm.  He falls asleep when he wants and wakes when he wants, at fairly predictable times.  Gak has learned the signals of when he's getting fussy and sleepy as opposed to fussy and hungry.

Anyhow, here's the note I wrote back to the ladies:**

Thank you for your concern.  I know most babies his age eat every 3-4 hours.  He will do this on occasion himself.  Boo sleeps through the night, usually from about 8pm until 7am.  Therefore, he has 13 hours to eat 25-30 oz milk and some cereal.  His stomach only comfortably holds 405 oz at this point.  He fusses quite a bit these days when he is done nursing as well, and I don't make him stop after a set time, but wait for a signal he's done.  (Often these days rearing back yowling.)  It may be teeth we can't see yet.  It may be supply (although I know he gets at least 20-24 oz between 2 nursings and 4 bottles.)
I have sent 5 bottles and 2 bowls cereal.  Use the 5th bottle to mix the cereal @ 11 and either 2 or 4.  Also, if he'll eat half the jar of sweet potatoes at either or both meals, feel free.  I also suspect the change in schedule this week has added to the fussiness.

(As a side note, I'd been having both Gak and the day care mix 2 oz of milk with 2 Tb of cereal at 11 and give the other 2 oz of the bottle after.  Gak hasn't told me of any problems with this, and neither did GrammaSue on Monday...)

Well, it is almost 6:45 after this long winded rant.  I'd better hop into the shower and finish getting everything together so we can get out the door yet again.  Unfortunately, we weren't able to leave a message for the day care that Boo will be in all day today, as we didn't find out until about 8pm and they didn't have an answering machine.  That's OK.  We get to talk to the Girl Scout leader in the morning and she understands these things.  I hope I didn't sound too bitchy in my note to the ladies.  I figure Boo is doing just fine as his doctor last week didn't say anything about him not growing enough or asking how much milk he's getting.  He just wants us to make sure we get about 6 Tb of cereal into him so he knows Boo is getting enough iron.  I can understand that.

Well, I'm off.
Peace to all and may you never feel like a bad parent when you're doing everything you can and know is right for your kiddo(s).

**Edit:  I didn't actually give this note to the ladies today.  I got a chance to actually talk with one of them this morning when dropping Boo off.  It was a good conversation and covered what I'd put in the note, so didn't figure it was necessary.  She was hoping she didn't offend me or sound like she was being pushy (which she wasn't to my rational side, but my emotional momma side wasn't happy...).  Anyhow, we'll see how it goes with 2 cereal feedings with "extra" milk instead of from the bottle he's about to get.  Maybe, hopefully, it's just a growth spurt or something...

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Well, I finally did it.  Yep.  Yesterday I finally left my "kit" at work.  And didn't realize it until we got home.
This meant that after I got Boo put down to bed and he was asleep, I had to run all the way down to work and back.  It's not that far really compared to some people's trip.  But, it's still just shy of 16 miles each way.  This meant that my entire "evening" was used up.  Ugh.
I really had wanted to spend some time playing with yarn last night.  Or reading.  Or even blowing things up on the computer.  *sigh*  Such is life.

Work was a totally unproductive day.  We had a "Safety Stand Down", which was supposed to be mandatory.  A lot of people didn't show.  Some, I can understand because they truly were working on customer critical issues.  Some, well... I'm just going to hold my tongue.  Or would that be fingers, since I'm typing?
Anyhow, it was a good thing over all.  I mean, there were a couple of hours that they could have condensed a bit, but whatever.  I'm sure a lot more people in the front office will be taking safety more seriously.  Not that we work in an overly dangerous job, even the guys who go on site.  But there are things that we do, or don't do, that aren't exactly bright.  I hope more of the people don't realize this is a joke.  I mean, I'm no safety queen or anything, but I follow the procedures about safety.  I can at least make sure my own head doesn't get smashed by some random something or crap in my eyes or anything like that.  I may not like some of the safety rules I've run into over the years or like the fact that I have to sit through a poorly done video at almost every site I go to, even if I'm just going to be in the office, but it's done for a reason.  If I don't keep myself safe, who will?

Anyhow, enough of that.  Today will be another wasted day for me at work.  Well, I wouldn't call it wasted because I'll be in training (instead of giving training) on some regulatory things that are coming up.  I need the information.  Unfortunately, with 2 days of meetings this week and 2 holiday days next week, I'm falling even further behind on what needs to get done.  Something's got to give.  I refuse to let it be time with my son and husband.

And speaking of holidays... what do you mean it's already Thanksgiving???  I mean, just last week it was 4th of July and we were having Boo's welcome party.  It can't be the end of November already.  I'm still not finished reporting issues from last month!  I've still got all kinds of things to put together for the week-long seminar I'll be doing at the beginning of next month!  I still have to come up with lists of things that it would be nice if someone got for Boo!  AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Ok, major panic averted, only minorly panicked.  Anyhow, if I want to get anything done this morning before waking my son and bundling him off to day care (this is his last full day this week), I'd better run this through spell check and get going.  I think Boo is trying to wake.  I hope he stays asleep for another little bit so I can shower and things like that....

Monday, November 17, 2008


This weekend was both good and cranky.  Saturday started off with everyone sleeping in a little.  That's nice.  Boys waking up cranky, not so nice.
Boo had slept a lot on Friday.  I'm guessing the vaccine left him a little drained.  Saturday, however, he was a fuss-bucket.  He did just fine through laundry and even fell asleep at the end.  The rest of the afternoon however, he was tired and cranky and didn't want to eat or sleep.  No fever, but I wasn't expecting one.  That evening he woke up crying and screaming and didn't stop.  For over an hour.
Nothing was working.  I ended up giving him a dose of Tylenol (which I'm not sure did much...) and then plopped him in the bath for a bit.  He's really beginning to like bath time.  He wasn't happy boy, but he did sit there and kick and splash and not scream.  Therefore, I counted it as a win.  I eventually had to pull him out of the tub because my hands were getting wrinkled.  It was then PJs, nursing and bed for the boy.  He did sleep well through the night though.
I even remembered to call my dad on Saturday!  (It was his 70th birthday.  He's not happy about it, so I'll just let it go...)

Yesterday was a bit better.  We had more boy smile, which is always a good thing.  We didn't do a whole lot other than eat breakfast at the dinner, go grocery shopping and to the Q-mart.  Our landlady finally got the toilet fixed, so no more constantly running water.  It's nice having a quiet bathroom again!  (I know, the small things in life...)
Gak is working full days through Thursday this week.  Gramma Sue is currently asleep on my sofa so she can watch Boo all day today.  This is going to be a long week for all of us I think....

Anyhow, anyone who doesn't want to listen to me rant about something that's probably TMI for most people, stop reading here.

OK.  Here's my rant.  As much as I love nursing my son, where I have to pump at work sucks! 
Here's the numbers:
Over 60: number of people in my building.
12: number of women in my building.
3: number of women of possible child-bearing age and stage in my building.
1: number of women who is married (not a pre-requisite these days...), has an infant and is nursing.

So, the numbers are against me however you look at it.  Yes, the corp who owns my business has received many honors as being both "family friendly" and "mother friendly".  I say, that may be true if you work in one of the big corp offices, but it's just not the case here.  I mean, sure I can get the time I need to take Boo to the doctor or whatever, but other than that, forget it.  Of course, the numbers aren't in my favor to begin with in this industry.  Oh well.

If you remember, when I first went back to work I said I'd been using the office of my former boss to pump.  Well, the new guy running the department has moved in several weeks ago now.  This means I had to change venues.
I work in a cubicle, so that's really not an option.  I mean, I'm not shy, but please.  This isn't something that the entire office needs or wants to be a part of.
I could use a conference room that doesn't have locks on the door and has at least one window in the door, if not the entire wall of windows.  Again, a little too out in the open for comfort.
There is always the option of my car.  While this does provide at least more privacy as I'd be the only one there, it's not exactly the most comfortable or easiest place to pump.  I don't exactly have anywhere to set anything or running water.  That and it's getting cold.  I don't want to have to run the car and waste precious gas for 20 minutes at a time at least twice a day.
This leaves the bathroom.  Or, more specifically, it leaves the "unisex" closet of a bathroom(yes, it literally was a closet when I started working here...) instead of the ladies room.  The ladies room has two stalls, nowhere to set anything and I'm just not comfortable pumping in a place where people can come and go.  Like I said, I'm not really shy but....
So, here is where I go spend at least 20 minutes twice a day.  (I just can't seem to get my schedule or work load to let me pump 3 times like I probably should....)

This is the door that I must remember to lock.  There have been two occasions where I forgot to do this for some reason.  For being an "alternate" bathroom, this place is busy.  The door gets rattled at least once a session, often quite a bit more.

This is the lovely seat I get to sit on.  It's not comfortable.  It's cold and hard and it creaks.  Not to mention, I can't help but think of it as less than clean.

This is the view I get to stare at while pumping.  You can't see it, but there is a cobweb that's reflected in the mirror.  It's been there for weeks.  You can also see my kit all zipped up on the sink.  I love the fact that my entire kit fits into a two compartment lunch bag.  I've got 3 ice packs in the top to keep everything cool and it works quite well.

This is the lovely space I get to try and set things on.  There isn't much room, it's hard to reach and I'm never sure about how clean it really is.

And here, here is my wonderful little pump.  See how nicely it all fits in the bottom section of the bag.
Anyhow, I just thought I'd vent a little at how miserable a place I've got to pump.  I love being able to provide for my son this way, but I'm really beginning to hate this part of it.  And there isn't much I can do.  There are no open offices for me to steal.  I mean, I could steal the one for the reg specialist, since he works from his home in OK over half the time, but that's just rude.  I'd be invading someone else's spot.  (It was different before, that guy didn't use the office any more, so it was "free for the taking" in my eyes.)  So, for at least the next 6 months or so, I'll be staring at the cobweb in the mirror two to three times a day.  *sigh*

Ok, it's safe to read again

Well, I must go hop into the shower so I can get ready.  It's just about 6 now and I've got to put the pictures into the post yet.

Peace to all and may your days not be cranky and you have what you need.

Friday, November 14, 2008

5.5 Month Checkup

Today was Boo's 5.5 month checkup.  It went very well.
He's up to 16 lb 5 oz, almost a .5 lb gain from last month.  He's a whopping 26.5 inches, which is a .75 inch growth spurt from last month.  He's doing just fine; he's right at the 75% for height and just above 50% for weight.  He only got one shot this time, the second Polio dose.  He wasn't sure if he should cry or not with this one, as it is such a quick little shot.  Developmentally he's doing just fine.  He hasn't rolled over yet, but he does try.  He doesn't try all the time, but he does when he feels like it.  He can sit fairly well without assistance for short bits of time.  Mind you, his posture stinks as he has a hard time holding his trunk totally upright at the moment.  He'll get there.  He does try and "talk", even though he's quiet quite often.  He's just mellow and laid back and is engrossed in watching everything.  I'm not worried about him.  He's growing strong and well.  We can introduce him to fruits and veggies if we want, but he doesn't need them.  We can up the cereal to about 6 tablespoons a day.  He's currently eating a little less than 2 at a shot.  He'll eventually get there.  We'll start introducing him to fruits and veggies, just to start him learning about different tastes.  I don't care how much of these he eats at this point, I just want him to try.
Of course, I had to wake him from his nap to go to the doctor this morning.  He woke up about a half hour late, so he took his nap about a half hour late and didn't wake until I picked him up to put him in his car seat.  He also didn't want anything to do with eating or nursing when we got home.  He just wanted his nap.  He went down at just about 10:00 and Gak had to wake him at 11:30 to get ready for school.  He may or may not nap at school today, but that's OK.  We'll deal.  Tonight is bath night though, so that is usually fun.  We'll also try and get some cereal into him this evening.  Even if he doesn't need it, I'd like him to get at least a little practice each day eating solids.  I also have to remember to pick up one of those mesh feeder bag thingies.  They have them at Target, but I'm not sure I'm going to get them there... they're brightly colored, which is nice to look at, but I don't want Boo learning even this early that food needs to be technicolor.  What's wrong with naturally colored foods?  I mean, just look at sweet potatoes or the greens and reds of apple peels or berries or all the other wonderful foods out there.
Anyhow, I've got a meeting to get to.  I'm working on a post for this weekend, which will probably be TMI for many of you, but that's OK.  It's something that's been on my mind and I just need to share, or at least get it off my chest.
Peace to all and may your checkups go well.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Sorry for the lack of posting this week.  I either just haven't gotten to it or just haven't felt like it.  I still don't feel like it, but can't let an entire week pass with only one post.
I went to bed grumpy last night and woke up even more so this morning.  You're just not going to get your normal Happy Addey post.  Sorry about that, but that's the way the world stands at the moment.
Anyhow, Monday was about as good as a Monday can be.  No major drama.  Just work, work and more work.  And the promise of having Tuesday off.  Boo was good for Gramma Sue, but has started crying every time he's done either nursing or having a bottle.
Tuesday was a good day.  A very good day.  I had off and got to play with Boo all day.  The morning was pretty laid back, other than Boo being both hungry and not wanting to nurse or take a bottle.  This really makes me think he's getting teeth, even if I'm not 100% sure I can see or feel them.  (Of course, if I stick my finger in his mouth I immediately get licked, so therefore, I have to wait until he's screaming to get a good look...)  His middle finger on his right hand is getting very red and sore looking from all the biting he's been doing on it.  Of course, I can't get him to chew on anything else that wouldn't hurt.  Oh well.  (I really did feel that yesterday's For Better or For Worse really was talking about Boo, not Farley.)
Anyhow, Tuesday afternoon we had a bit of an adventure.  We went down to the Nature Center!  Yep, I finally got my boy down to the center.  We got to say hi to several people I've known for ages and worked with.  It was great to see them all.  It was a little chilly and by the time we got finished talking with people, Boo was too tired to go on a walk.  (That, and knowing me, I'd choose the hardest trail to take his stroller down.... although, it would have been nice to go over to the pond, which is easy.)
After the Nature Center we stopped by at GrammaSue and PopPop's framing gallery.  I wasn't planning on stopping there long.  Long enough to say hi, give Boo a snack and then be on our way again. (I didn't have a bottle with me because I wasn't planning on going down... but he fell asleep after dropping Gak off at work... so....)   Well, instead, Boo spent a good hour or so hanging with his PopPop.  He did eventually get that snack he was wanting and we did eventually leave when he started crying because it was nap time.   But it was a good day and a wonderful visit.  I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Boo is doing very well with the solids thing.  He's gradually eaten more over the last few days.  He seems to like the rice cereal, and it's not bad, mostly just flavorless until you add milk.  (Of course, I had a better version for breakfast yesterday... home made rice pudding!)  Probably tomorrow after his doctor's appointment (5.5 months already!) we'll try giving him some applesauce or sweet potatoes and see how he likes that.  In my last post Aunt Flauta gave me some interesting links.  I've got to think about it a bit.  I know people are of mixed minds of those mesh bag feeder things, but I think they're OK.  I mean, it will help him understand the concept of biting (or gumming) off pieces, but won't let him get too big a piece.  Hopefully I'll remember to pick one up by Thanksgiving and then he can try real sweet potatoes.  Or at least gnaw on a baked one himself, cooled down of course.

Anyhow, since things at home are going swimmingly, I can only guess that it's work that's put me into this foul mood.  And, I know at least part of that is right.
Here it is, almost 2 weeks after the reporting period ended and we're still up to our eyeballs in work.  Here's the raw numbers, or as close as I have them.  There are 11 people in the department.  One of them is our manager, two of them have been here only 4 months or so, one of them is more of an administrative person than a tech and one works remotely and is transitioning to a project engineer anyhow.  So, that's the composition of the work force.  A few days before the reporting month started, there were 180-190 work orders spread out amongst us.  I had about 15 or so, which was a low number but I've also got the training to manage.  My friend Bill had a majority of about 50, but some of those he was to spread to us who have regulatory knowledge.  He gets assigned them all and then is supposed to "share the wealth", which he often doesn't do.  As of yesterday, we were at well over 300 work orders.  I'm up to about 30 myself, which is about right if you evenly divide things.  Bill, on the other hand, has over 90!  About 1/5 to 2/3 of mine are regulatory related.  I'm working my tail off (admittedly, not very well some days) trying to keep my head above water with the training things that I'd been putting off for a month and getting the regulatory crap out the door and done correctly without bothering Bill as much as possible.  Then, one of the guys who's been here 3 years now, an been doing some of this regulatory work for over 2 is asking Bill stupid questions about something from a site that isn't in the position of having to resubmit their reports to the EPA.  And it's not like they're questions that he couldn't have answered himself by reading the stupid error report he was sent.  I mean, it says right there, one hour with missing or bad X with the first (and in this case only) occurrence at mm/dd/yy hh.  I mean, how much clearer do you want it buddy??  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that you go to the data for that hour and see what's going on.  And it isn't like the report failed, it was an informational error!  Meanwhile, I've got at least 2 sites and at least 4 units that have to resubmit their reports because of things that are yelling at me and aren't so straight forward.  (One had a test saved for the wrong unit and a typo in the test itself, two have records that look to be entered right but aren't flying and one that I'm still trying to figure out...)  And I've got people yelling at me about stuff for training.
Which do I do first?  Do I make the people who have to make sure the reports are in by Friday so their numbers match for some data the EPA is pulling wait?  Do I push off the people who are wanting training and wanting to pay for training wait?  When do I get to revise the book I need for the December training?
And don't get me started on the two new guys.  I'm about ready to drop kick both of them.

Anyhow, it is now almost 6:15 and I haven't showered yet.  I'm still not any less grumpy, but at least you've seen a glimpse into my little world this week.  If I didn't enjoy parts of this job so much and if the job market wasn't looking so scary, I'd seriously have to consider moving on.  I'd hate doing it to the loyal customers who I've been able to truly help over the years, but for my own sanity... Oh well.  The weekend is coming and I get to spend more time with Boo.  And Gak.

Peace to all and may your good things be great and your troubles few.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Subtitle:  Boo Gets Messy
Well, today we did it.  We introduced Boo to cereal.  His doctor had given us the green light at his last appointment a few weeks ago.  I wasn't quite ready for it.  I was tempted to wait until the Thanksgiving weekend so we'd have 4 days at home to try this.  But, I decided that maybe it would be nice if he could have some sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving with the rest of us.  (They were my favorite as a baby after all....)
No, Aunt Flauta, we didn't wait until 6 months.  I figure 5 months and a week is close enough; besides, the AAP says any time between 4 and 6 months, and this is just about in the middle of that window .  He seems happy enough with just nursing, but might as well get him (and us) used to the idea that life is going to get a whole lot messier... and tastier.
For all of the pictorial goodness, head over to my Flickr.  There were a couple of priceless ones.  He willingly opened up his mouth and even took the slush off the spoon.  (I think I mixed a little too much milk with the rice cereal... it was definitely not much thicker than normal milk.)  He just wasn't very sure what to do with it once it was in his mouth.  He didn't turn away.  He didn't scream.  He looked quite confused, and even a little worried.  Overall, it wasn't a bad experience.  We'll see how the next couple of days go.  Before you know it, he'll be eating us out of house and home!
The rest of the weekend hasn't been all that exciting.
Well, I take that back.  We had a bit of an adventure with getting new tires for the back wheels of the truck, but I'm not sure I really want to go into the details.  Suffice to say, it was a more expensive endeavour that we were planning.  Oh well, so much in life is these days isn't it?
Today was a pretty mellow day over all.  Boo slept a lot today.  Gak got a nap in too.  (I didn't... I spent the quiet time working on some holiday presents.  Can you believe it's November already?!?!)  Boo was also quite cranky every time he nursed.  He would eat for a few minutes on a side, then howl and be almost inconsolable.  I'm wondering if that doesn't mean teeth.  I think I read somewhere that biting makes teeth feel better, but the sucking of nursing makes things hurt worse.  Although, he did take a bottle for Daddy this afternoon.  (I knew he hadn't had enough the rest of the day and wanted to make sure he got one "good" feeding in... even with the handful of extra calories from the cereal....)

Well, at any rate, I've got work tomorrow, but have Tuesday off for Veterans Day.  I appreciate the day off, but I'm confused as to why we couldn't "celebrate" a day earlier on Monday?  Anyhow, it's a worthwhile day.  We really do owe everything to the Vets.  I mean, if they didn't stand up for us, who would?  (And no, I don't just say that because my husband, father-in-law, and at least 4 of my friends willingly served our country...)  So, I get a short week and Boo gets a really short week at day care, only 3 days this week.  That'll be nice since next week he'll be there full days for four days as Gak's working open to close while the boss is on vacation.

Well, I'm off to read a few pages before I go to sleep.  Here's hoping I do sleep.  I've had a very rough several nights recently.  I think Friday night I woke up about a dozen or more times in the course of 8 hours.  So, yesterday I was working with a sleep deficit.  Luckily last night I slept better, but then again, I did spend most of it on the couch so my tossing and turning wouldn't keep Gak awake.  (He said Saturday morning that he'd almost throttled me at at least one point in time the night before.... I didn't want to push my luck a second night *grin*.)

Peace to all and may you sleep well and have some messy goodness in your life.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Shoes! (And Other Things)

My boy now has his first pair of Chucks.  Yes, they make Converse Chuck Taylors in infant sizes.  I love them.  They're super cute, super soft and look like they should hold up well.  (I do need to get longer laces so I can double-knot them.  This picture was taken off the web site.)
No, he can't wear them quite yet.  I could only find them in a size 3 at BabiesRUs yesterday.  I did, however, find a very cute pair of brown "sneakers" in size 2 that do fit.  Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me when we went to pick up Gak from work and I first put them on him and by the time we got home, he was too tired and cranky for good picture taking.  I hope to get pictures soon.  (Although, he was super cute in his outfit yesterday, his brown pants, matching raccoon T-shirt and the brown sneaks... He really is too adorable for words.)
I'd been thinking for a couple of weeks that Boo needs some kind of shoe, or at least something more than just socks.  We're heading into cold weather and well, socks just won't cut it.  He also doesn't get any traction at all with just his socks when he's in his bouncer or I try and "stand" him on the counter or table or whatever.  I did not want anything hard or stiff.  I would have liked something with Velcro.  Actually, I was looking at these from Zapos or these from Target.
Let me tell you, shoe shopping for an infant is even harder than for me!  I had ducked into WalMart last week *shudder* because it's right near work and I needed tissues and cough drops.  I checked and they had almost nothing as far as shoes and booties went, and well, I didn't like what they did have.  I looked at my Target last weekend when I was there to pick up some other things, and they had shoes similar to the ones I linked, but all in pinks and purples, or some sneakers similar to the ones I bought (not the Chucks), but only had them in size 3 or 4, which I knew was going to be too big.  Yesterday at lunch I went and ran quickly down to BabiesRUs.  Their shoe selection in the spring and summer had been great.  It was neat and well kept.  Yesterday, that was a different story.  It was very messy and hard to find anything.  They had some really cute ones in size zero that I would have loved, but Boo outgrew that size months ago.  I eventually found the two pair I got.  I figured if the 2's were too small, they could go back, but I'd hold on to the Chucks even if they were too big, because he'll grow into them.
Now, the trick will be getting Gak to put them on him.  Of course, the second trick will be keeping Boo from untieing them and then taking them off.  He got one untied yesterday, but didn't know what to do from there.  He really didn't seem to mind them.  That's good.  If he's anything like me, he'll refuse to wear them when he gets bigger.  Most of the time you'll either find me in bare feet, lightweight sandals or hiking boots.  Well, sneakers these days, but I'd rather have my boots.  Yes, that's opposite ends of the spectrum, either nothing or something heavy.  It's me, what do you expect?

Anyhow, the world continues to turn even as I was on my quest for baby shoes.  I can't begin to say how many shades of ticked I am about Prop 8 passing in California.  Not just because my cousin and her wife now have no idea where things stand for them legally.  (They'd had a domestic partnership but aren't sure if that got nullified with their marriage back in August or what happens now.)  I mean, what if something happens to Rae, what are Kami's legal rights as her partner?  It's so not fair that other people get to decide if Rae and Kami are allowed to marry.  It makes me livid.  Who am I to say if you love someone enough to be their life-long partner?  I've found mine.  They've found each other.  I've seen few loves as true as theirs.
Ok, I'm going to step off my soap box before I just totally tick myself off for the day.

We shall see how the world turns over the next several years.  These are exciting times we live in.  So many possibilities, so many chances for things to go wonderfully right or horribly wrong.  I just hope we're somewhere in the middle on that.  I'll take some downs if there are some ups to go with them.
When I think back over the first 5 months of my son's life, it's been an amazing world.  The Olympics were held in China, the Phillies won the World Series, we elected a black man to be President of the United States.... what other earth changing things will happen in his life time?  It's a scary thing to think about.

Anyhow, it's just about 6:30 and I need to hop in the shower and get dressed.  Here's to Fridays and weekends!

Peace to all and may you have shoes that fit and lives that are interesting.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I voted!

Have you?
Today Gak and I introduced Boo to something very important.  We took him to his first election.  That's right.  Gak and I managed to get out of the house at just about 7 and after a short 45 minute wait, cast our votes.
Boo woke up at just about 6, happy and content.  Therefore, we decided to make this a family affair and all go at once, instead of Gak going later on his way to work.  Boo did very well waiting in line once we picked him up out of his stroller.
The line wasn't all that long.  One of the two machines wasn't working right though.  And if you listened to the lady a few people back, this whole thing was such an inconvenience.  Well fooey on her.
On my way into the office I had the radio on.  Mayor Nutter of Philly called in to encourage everyone to vote.  He did say "you know I'm a Democrat and I support Obama, but just get out and vote."  Well, that's an almost direct quote.  He's right, I don't care who you're going to vote for, just go vote.  Of course, I'd like it if  you voted my way, but I know some of you won't.  I'm fine with that.  I  voted so now I have the ultimate American privilege.
I get to bitch about it.
That's right, by voting I have ensured that I can bitch and complain about the state of things all I want.  I made my voice heard in the official way, so now I can complain and know that I did my best to get things to go my way.  In my opinion if you don't care enough to vote, you shouldn't complain about the way things turn out.  If you did vote and you don't like the results, then complain away!

Anyhow, back off my soap box.
Go, vote... you'll feel better about it.

Oh, were you expecting me to tell you who I voted for?
Guess again.  My vote is my business...
Now go make your own decision!

Peace to all and may the lines move quickly.

Monday, November 03, 2008

5 Months and a Few Days Late...

Saturday Boo turned 5 months old!  Can you believe how fast time has just flown past?  I can't.  I do know Boo is getting cuter by the minute.  And much more active.
Let's see... what can he do now?  He can grab his feet and try and pull off his socks.  (We need to get some booties or "shoes" or something... it's getting too cold for just socks....)  He can roll about halfway over from his back getting just about to his side.  He just can't quite get past that final push.  That's OK.  I'm sure this time next month I'll be complaining he won't stop rolling around!  He talks a lot.  He raspberries all the time.  He's got this adorable little giggle that makes me laugh and smile when I hear it.  (It's one of the best cures for "work blues" ever!)
We haven't started solids yet, but we probably will within the next few weeks.  He doesn't seem any more hungry than usual for me, but GrammaSue's been feeding him more on Mondays.  We don't have any teeth yet and it doesn't look like any are due soon.  Yes, he's drooling more and more each day, but that's the only indication.  I just think it is normal baby drool.
He did have a bit of a cold this weekend.  He was quite snotty and had a bit of a cough.  And he slept.  A lot.
We don't like time changes either.  He "slept in" yesterday, but it was really only about a half hour past his normal wake up time.  He just couldn't get into the rhythm of the day yesterday.  He was a bit cranky, a bit snuffy and just not his normal happy self.  I hope that'll pass soon.  I like my happy baby.

We did do "Trick or Treat" on Friday evening.  We went over to Kat's house and we all went to about 5 or 6 houses.  Zoe was a cheerleader this year and very cute.  She was also a bit trying.  I think it was just a little late for her and a little more chaotic than usual.  Boo did very well.  He stayed up quite a bit passed his bed time with no fussiness and was just plain cute.  (It did help that he was in the stroller with his blankie and it was a fairly warm night...)

Anyhow, I'm off to get dressed for work.  Enjoy the 5-month dragon photo shoot.  Is he getting big or what??  (Just for comparison... here's one of the first dragon photos...)

Peace to all and may time not pass you by.