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More than just pictures this time
Saturday, November 29, 2008 - 05:24 p.m.

At the risk of making every post nothing but pictures of my spawn, here is photographic proof of The Smile That Saved My Sanity:

Thursday Todd and I hosted our very first Thanksgiving and it was actually FUN. Well, to be fair, we didn't do much of the cooking - my mother did most of it and my sister contributed too - but it was at our house. Our firefighter neighbor was a bit concerned when he spotted our turkey frier out back, but we assured him we wouldn't be burning the house down. And lo, the bird was tasty, and the dogs did not catch on fire.

Friday night the grandparents took Micah so Todd and I could go out to dinner together. It was a strange mix of freedom and a nagging sense of I-think-we-forgot-something. We enjoyed the evening, but I also spent a large part of it resisting the urge to snatch someone's baby up for snuggling. I suppose it was good practice for when I return to work in two weeks.

Speaking of, apparently my coworkers are counting the days until I get back. Last Friday I stopped by for our Thanksgiving lunch, and I wasn't at all sure they were willing to let me leave. I've been worried that with me gone and the economy going in the crapper, I would be the first one up if they needed to let someone go. The last thing I wanted was for people to think they were getting along just fine without me. Thankfully, there's a ton of work waiting. If anything, I'll be totally swamped. My bosses both had a definite note of desperation in their voices when they asked what date I'd be back. So, there's that fear eased.

Now there's just the whole emotional paradox of looking forward to returning to work, but not wating to leave my child behind. I feel like there are two people inhabiting my brain - the engineer who wants to get back to doing engineering, and the mom who just wants to stay home and enjoy her baby. I really want to do BOTH, without sacrificing anything, and that's just not how it works.

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Mocking his pain
Monday, November 24, 2008 - 12:19 p.m.

The key to getting cute photos of Micah is patience and a large memory card. If we lived back in the days of film, you'd be seeing dozens of pictures like these:

And my favorite:

Instead, I give you these:



On the upside, we now have REAL SMILES. The baby is smiling at me on a regular basis, and oh, it is cute. He refuses to perform for the camera, though, so you'll just have to trust me on this one.

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A rare sight
Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 02:25 p.m.

Don't be fooled. This lasted for about five minutes total. He was tired out FROM ALL THE SCREAMING.



Not his usual state of repose

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Down
Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - 03:02 p.m.

I'm sitting here, wolfing down a bowl of leftovers while the child wails in the Swing of Despair in the front hallway. I've got the music turned up on the computer, trying to drown out what's been the seemingly non-stop soundtrack of my life since Todd hopped on an airplane Monday morning. I've not slept longer than an hour and half at a time since Sunday, and the sheer exhaustion is taking its toll on me. I'm trying very very hard not to join in on the crying, because, let's face it, there's just not enough chocolate for this shit.

I wanted to enjoy motherhood, and I do, sometimes. But it is just so overwhelming hard so much of the time, and I feel so...cheated. This is nothing like I expected. The good moments are everything I hoped for, but they're so fleeting. I honestly feel like I've stumbled into a trap, one baited by every parenting magazine cover and diaper commercial ever made, and I'm seriously considering gnawing off my leg here.

I didn't mean for this post to be a whine-fest, but there it is. This is how I'm feeling, this is what life is like right now. In just a minute, I'll go collect the screaming baby from his swing. I'll change him, feed him, rock him, and kiss his head while he cries, claws, and thrashes the entire time. I'll listen to his endless howling and do my best to comfort him. I'll forget that I'd rather be anywhere than here right now. I'll be his mother.

But it is so goddamn hard.

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Baby Torture
Friday, November 14, 2008 - 03:14 p.m.

Micah had his two-month checkup today, and, sadly, he appears to have inherited my tiny bean. He's in the 75th percentile for weight, the 90th percentile for height (surprise, surprise), and...the 25th percentile for head circumference. Todd can't ever find hats big enough, and I have to raid the tween sections of stores to find sunglasses that fit. I was hoping Micah would turn out somewhere in between, but it's not looking like it so far.

The little dude is up to 11 pounds 4 ounces and he shot up in height to 23 inches. And I'm pretty sure he did all that growing this week. As of Wednesday, he's outgrown all his newborn-size footie outfits. He can still wear the newborn onesies, but he's too tall for anything with feet. The bear-foot sleeper you saw last Friday? DONE.

He also got his first round of vaccinations today. The actual shots weren't so bad, but now? He's so incredibly sleepy, but he wakes up every five minutes or so with this pitiful high-pitched wail. He's totally uninterested in eating, shrieks if you touch his legs where they gave the shot, and is just generally miserable. There's nothing I can do for him, and it's kind of breaking my heart.

Oh and did I mention we're going up to Chattanooga tonight to celebrate Todd's dad's birthday? Overnight trip + miserable, freshly-vaccinated two-month-old = PRAY FOR OUR SOULS.

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Progress!
Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 09:04 p.m.

Well, we made a decision on the backsplash. We finished tiling Tuesday and we're happy with the end result. Now all that's left is to seal the tiles, grout, seal the grout, fix all the outlets and switches, patch the wall, and paint. Until then, our kitchen is a wreck.

Here's a picture of the field tile:

And here's a picture of the fancy bit:

Also, the baby is still cute.

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Deadlines
Sunday, November 9, 2008 - 04:25 p.m.

Holy shitpoopballs, were you aware there are only 46 days until Christmas? I know I have a few presents stashed away, but I need to do an inventory STAT. And then I need to get to ordering. I fully intend to do all my shopping online this year because there's no effing way I'm taking my 2-month old to a shopping mall after Thanksgiving. I'm high-strung enough during Christmas shopping as it is - the last thing we need to toss a wailing baby into the mix.

(That said, there are still 18 days until Thanksgiving, so all you people putting up your Christmas decorations this weekend...you all need to just chill the heck out. Seriously.)

Also, I really really need to get the birth announcements mailed. They've been printed and ready to go for a month, and now that I have stamps, the only thing stopping me is laziness. Oh, and Todd's intense desire to finish our backsplash by Tuesday. Yeah, there's that.

Do you know how hard it is to decide on things like tile and patterns and grout color? What if I screw it up? What if our kitchen ends up looking crappy? I can't make a decision because what if it's the wrong one?!?! But since we're (insanely) hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our house, it's suddenly become a priority again. And since my mother-in-law is in town to wrangle the baby for the next two days, now is the time. Decisions will be made, supplies will be purchased, tile will be...uhm...tiled. Will we survive? More importantly, will Todd survive? Stay tuned.

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Prevention
Friday, November 7, 2008 - 12:19 p.m.

My spawn has been crying and/or screaming nonstop all morning. Nothing is working.

It occurs to me that the dear folks over at Carters aren't merely designing baby clothes. They're saving children's lives. If it wasn't for the bear feet, I seriously would have already fed him to the possums.

If he makes it to adulthood, he should send them a fruit basket.

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One small step
Thursday, November 6, 2008 - 09:50 a.m.

Back in early 2007, I read Barack Obama's book The Audacity of Hope, and decided I'd support him. As I learned more about him, and heard more of what he had to say, I was even more convinced. I knew it was a long shot - to be honest, I never thought he'd actually WIN - but I was one of those who found his message incredibly compelling. I might not have liked his chances, but I supported him anyway, because I desperately wanted to believe it was possible for Americans to look beyond his race and age, sort through the lies spewed by his opponents, and actually listen to what the man had to say.

Turns out it was possible after all.

I've never had the experience of supporting the winning candidate before. It's refreshing. The downside is, I've never felt good about where we were headed, so I've never had to worry about being disappointed. Bush certainly lived up to all my expectations - I expected a steaming pile of crap, and hey, that's what we got. Now, I have no idea what exactly the future holds. Electing Barack Obama was only the first step. I expect good things from him, and I can only hope that's what we get.

:::

In other news, I have a seriously cute baby.

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No Reasonable Offer Refused
Sunday, November 2, 2008 - 03:55 p.m.

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