Wednesday, April 28

Happy Thoughts

I can't help it. That Six Flags old guy just makes me giddy! I'd play the ad on a loop all day if I could.

Blog Silences

The problem with posting just once a week on Wednesdays is that I know folks check up on me on Thursdays. I can imagine the panicked phone call from my father making sure everything is okay if he went to work on Thursday and there was no post. But a few times we've had Web problems and it's been questionable whether or not I'd be able to publish. My first thought is always, "Well, that's okay. I'll just publish that there are Web problems and I'll publish later." And then it always hits me, "Oh, wait, duh, if I could publish that, I could just publish my blog." I've thought of publishing more than once a week because I certainly write more than once a week. But then there are the weeks (like this one) where I'm struggling on Wednesday night, with The Bachelor playing in the background, to figure out what the heck of interest I have to say (and you may be saying, "Hey, you have nothing of interest to say." But it's my blog and if I want to say nothing of interest, I will! The benefits of blog ownership). If I didn't have the self-imposed Wednesday deadline, it would be too easy to let the blog slip away. So once a week shall continue. And if I ever miss a Wednesday, know that it's probably a Web site malfunction.

Speaking of Web sites that go away, every now and then a blog I follow stops. Abruptly. One day it's "blah blah blah," and the next day, it's silence. At first you figure they're taking a little break, but then the break drags on, and you start to wonder what's happened to them. It's odd, because you get to know people a bit through their blogs, but they're blog friends, they're not actually friends in the traditional sense. I mean, I correspond with a few other bloggers that I would consider myself friendly with, but let's face it, if we were standing next to each other in a bar (oh, okay, at a playgroup), I'd never recognize them enough to say, "Oh, it's you!"

But my point is, when the blogging stops, my mind goes wild. Should I e-mail them and find out what's up? But what if something bad has happened in their lives that makes them stop blogging? Do they really want a stranger e-mailing them and prying into things? Or is it rude to not inquire? I tend to take the easy way out and just let them go on their way in silence.

Don't worry. I'll never just go away. I've never done anything in silence in my life.

This One Is for Peter

Ba ba ba ba ba. Five is the only prime that is provably a member of two pairs of twin primes. Ba ba ba ba ba.

Guest Blogger

I always said I'd never sink to the lows of putting words into my child's mouth. Well, I lied. Introducing my first guest blogger (I'm pretty sure this is crossing a line, but that's just where I am this week):

"Never Eat More Than You Can Lift." --Miss Piggy

The television remote? Oh, it's so tasty! The bar on a dirty shopping cart? The perfect teething tool! The pole on the bus! Just...lean...a...little...closer...Mom! My tongue almost reaches! Keys, the umbrella handle, Dad's watch, the string on Mom's hoodie--all fabulous things to put in my mouth. But this past week, Mom has been trying to put in these, these... these unholy objects! She offered me this strange cold yellow-orange thing in a weird mesh bag. She kept saying something like, "It'll feel so good on your gums; just try it! You'll like it. C'mon, just stick it in your mouth a little bit" although really all I heard was "ba ba ba ba ba." Then she offered me these strange o-shaped pieces. I put a couple of pieces in my mouth but I made that scrunchy face that clearly indicates that I will accept no more of that! And then she tried to put these slivers of orange gunk in my mouth. Ewwwww! Luckily, a few minutes of red-faced screaming brought on my favorite food. I think Mom learned her lesson. Now can we go back on the bus? I never did get to lick that pretty, shiny pole.

Teeter Totter

Once upon a time, I worked in an office that required my looking professional. It wasn't a job that lasted for very long. I've mostly worked in jobs that required little more than jeans and a flannel shirt. But for this one job I actually wore skirts and I occasionally wore shoes that had a smidgen of heel (and before you think, "Hey! She said she wasn't a shoe person!" I didn't pick them out myself; before Adam left his job at Nordstrom.com, I met with a personal shopper and took advantage of Adam's employee discount). My recollection is I did just fine both in the job and in my heels.

One week ago, Adam and I celebrated our two-year wedding anniversary by going to Chez Henri. For the occasion (which included a yummy martini), I put on some of those previously mentioned work clothes, including a cute pair of heels.

Now, when Doodles is feeling feisty, he likes me to hold his hands so he can stand. Standing for him is a precarious act, and he wobbles this way, he wobbles that way. Doodles is just like a Weeble except he does fall down.

Me, in those heels? I made Doodles look like Baryshnikov. I think we can officially consider all my heels "retired."

Wednesday, April 21

Snap Happy No More

What? You want to see pictures from Patriot's Day? Yeah, I would, too. Only I broke our camera. Pure stupidity on my part that entailed a stroller bag, my camera, and a full sippy cup. So I'm posting this month's pics on our photo page a bit early as there won't be any more in the next few days (I tried taking photos with the video camera, but as you can see from the pics, they come out horribly). However to make up for it, I did take a bit of video footage there, which I've also posted. We'll be buying a new camera ASAP. (And if you would like to see the pics but don't have the password, just drop me an e-mail. You can even use my new e-mail address.)

Driving Miss Jenny

When Doodles was a wee lad (as opposed to his big honking self now), I rode in the back seat of the car with him, because his little head would loll about in the great big car seat. That and I was just plain nervous about him back there all by himself. He hated riding in the car and he would scream and scream and the only thing that would pacify him was a pinky in the mouth. At about two months (okay, three months), I developed the confidence to ride in the front seat once again and Doodles did fine on his own in the back. At first, he'd fall asleep as soon as the car started moving, but eventually he'd remain awake and quiet, checking out the passing world.

Last week we went to the Cambridge Police as they very kindly install car seats. Since, as I mentioned, we have a big honking child, we got ourselves a big honking car seat, the Britax Marathon. The consensus on the Britax Marathon is that it may be super expensive, but it's one fine car seat and it will hold our child for many, many years. For the next four months (I explain, for the non-parents out there or for those parents who are old enough that they weren't required to use a car seat for their child), the car seat needs to be rear facing. When Doodles is both twenty pounds (which will be any moment now) and one year old, the car seat can be turned around to forward facing. (Before one year, a baby's neck muscles aren't strong enough to withstand an impact in the forward position).

I should mention that Adam originally installed the seat. I said, "Are you sure it's right?" Adam said, "We have LATCH. It's a cinch. You can have it checked if you want, but this baby's in great." Any guesses on what happened? Five cops swarm our car to put in the car seat. The first thing they say is, "This thing is anchored in here in reverse! This car can't have the seat in the middle." They pull the seat out and reinstall it on the rear passenger side. They did quite a number including pulling out some floor molding (which they promised to replace when they switch the car to forward facing in four months) in order to bolt the seat to the ground (anything for the safety of my Doodles). Of course, in the process, they had to move the front passenger seat up so far that it is unusable. "You'll need to sit in the back with your baby, which is what you should be doing anyway. But if you sit in the front seat and get into a crash, you'll be so close to the air bag that it'll kill you when it deploys." Never mind the cramped leg room. So, once again, I'm back to the back and Adam is our chauffeur. I feel kind of dumb sitting back there, but come August (which is really not so far away) when we turn the seat around, I'll have my front seat back again. Funny thing is, we bought the station wagon because it seemed like such a bigger car! I know now why folks with two or more kids end up with a minivan! Any of you with kids and carseats, I highly recommend calling your local police department and seeing if they'll inspect your seat. Especially if you're absolutely sure you got the seat in right.

I Married a Girl

Let's count how many things are wrong with the following sentence that Adam uttered on Monday night (I'm not making this up, I swear): "When I was looking at the book What Not to Wear [that's one], it said that a person shaped liked you [that's two] shouldn't wear a shirt like that [that's three]. Because you have, you know, bigger arms [four]. Not that your arms are big. They aren't. They're just bigger [and that would be five]."

Patriot's Day

Before we moved to Boston, Adam tried to explain Patriot's Day to me. "It's this day off and they run the Boston Marathon and the Red Sox always play. And there's copious amounts of beer! It's awesome!" It didn't make any sense to me. But now that we live out here, I'm hooked. It was a Patriot-packed weekend.

Saturday: On my long run today I headed up to Lexington Center, where the reenactors were practicing their techniques for Monday. The weather was gorgeous, the run was smooth, and the Redcoats were blooming.

Sunday: Adam had papers to write, so Doodles and I went on a long walk with a couple of other moms in the 'hood. On the way to Carberry's, we just so happened to run into the bloodiest battle of the beginning of the Revolution. We stopped to watch and the babies seemed undisturbed, but us moms were freaked at how loud the muskets sounded (I could picture my poor Doodles little ear drums popping, although if I had thought about it, I would have realized that all that lovely wax in there makes a nice buffer for him) and we made a hasty retreat. But Doodles witnessed his first battle. What a true Bostonian.

Monday: Last year Adam and I went to the Lexington reenactment of the Battle on the Green. This year, we decided to do something different (read: something that doesn't start at 5:45 a.m.). Our friend Kevin and his son came over for a waffle breakfast (Kevin was our cohort in battle last year, as well) and then we headed out to Concord to see the re-enactment of the Battle of the Old North Bridge. Doodles loved it. The Redcoats fascinated him (yes, our son is a traitor; he didn't give the Minutemen a second glance).

From Concord we headed straight to Brookline for a barbecue at a friend of Adam's house and to watch the Boston Marathon. First we went outside to see the wheelchair, men's, and women's winners (we were at about mile 23). Then we went in for some yummy ribs, chickens, mashed potatoes, and greens. Back out again to watch "the everyman and woman" (as the oh-so-brilliant newsperson said). Definitely the highlight of the day, although I was with a bunch of downers who didn't understand the concept of cheering. Runners wear their names on their shirts and their arms just so you will cheer them on by name (and they really seemed to appreciate it). Not so you'd stand around saying, "How crazy do you have to be to run twenty-six miles?" (ahem, Adam).

From there we met a bunch of Adam's sectionmates (those with kids or those who are about to have kids) at Full Moon for dinner. I really didn't think Doodles was going to survive a whole day out (from 7:45 a.m. to about 7:45 p.m.) and that we'd have to beat a hasty retreat home at some point, but the kid was a champ. He happily ate on the run (well, watching the run; I had him in the Baby Bjorn at the marathon and I fed him peas as we watched) and napped a couple of times in his stroller. He was smiley and happy and social and overall was a delight. What a change it is from just a few months ago. We need to enjoy this while we can, because I hear once he hits toddlerhood, our social activities will be significantly more difficult.

Unfortunately this may be the last year we enjoy Patriot's Day as a family, as I've just learned that Adam's new company does not have the day off (how unpatriotic!). Perhaps, though, Adam will use one of his floating holidays for it. As Adam said, "Rosh Hashanah or Patriot's Day? Patriot's Day or Rosh Hashanah?" A guy's got to have his priorities, right?

The G-Girl at G-Mail

So presented with a blank slate to start again with e-mail, how can I refuse? I've gotten a gmail account. I know there's some controversy about Google "looking" at my e-mail, but I think it's been overhyped and not a big deal. (Read why it's not a big deal here.) It's cutting edge, it's cool, it's, it's--oh, hell, who are we kidding? When am I ever going to have the chance again to have "jennybrown" as my e-mail address? How easy is that to remember? jennybrown at gmail.com. So go ahead. Help me test out gmail. Send me an e-mail.

Wednesday, April 14

A Docile Doodles

Once upon a time, Doodles would only sleep on me. Sometimes it was nice and sometimes it was inconvenient. Then, one day, we Ferberized. And now Doodles sleeps wonderfully in his crib. Now, don't get me wrong, I would never wish sickness upon my child, but having him sick the past couple of days has been nice because he once again rests his head against my chest, puts his finger in his mouth, and takes a nap. A sick Doodles is a quiet peaceful Doodles and occasionally that's a nice thing. Of course, in the middle of the night, when he's racked with coughs and crying in his sleep, I swear that I will happily give up the sweet naps on me for a healthy Doodles.

More Proof Doodles Isn't Destined for the Ivy Leagues

His new game: Insert rattle into mouth. Insert rattle too far into mouth. Gag on rattle. Cough. Cough. Remove rattle from mouth. Look at rattle. Repeat from "Insert rattle into mouth" until frustrated mommy takes rattle and hides it. Cry. Get rattle back. Repeat entire game.

Doodles First Blog Entry

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One More Thing to Worry About

So I'm sure that everyone's read by now that TV by babies watching causes ADD in children. "For every hour of television watched daily, two groups of children -- ages 1 and 3 -- faced a 10 percent increased risk of having attention problems at age 7." Web sites about kids are proclaiming that allowing your young child to watch television is akin to child abuse. So what's a beleaguered parent to do?

For the record, Doodles does not watch a lot of TV, although he does watch some. I have a few DVDs and videos (Baby Mozart, the colors and animals videos of Baby's First Impressions, and a few Shalom Sesames), and he watches maybe one a week (sometimes not even that much--he hasn't seen most of the Shalom Sesame tapes yet--they're really for older kids, but I love the idea of them; it's an Israeli-style Sesame Street in English). On a few rainy days when we were cooped up and I was losing it (mostly when Doodles has had one of his many colds), I have given up, sat down, and turned on the Teletubbies to watch with him. And honestly, Doodles attention span for kid shows is limited.

The problem we have is that TV season has officially started in our house. The series that Adam and I watch all come on at night after Doodles's bedtime. No problem. And if they start earlier, well, that's what our Replay is for. But I'm sure all of you know what time of year it is: baseball season. Which has the unfortunate problem of seguing directly into football season. And neither Adam nor I believe in Replaying sports. It's simply wrong. So what's a sports fan to do? Do we not watch our games? Will we be dooming our son to ADD if we have them on while we go about our business? Are we child abusers because we have Pedro on our TV instead of Pavarotti on our radio? Our living room is the center of our house, where we hang out, where we play, where we watch TV. Right now [editor's note: this entry was actually written on Sunday], Adam is watching the end of the Red Sox game, and frankly, Doodles could not care less. He's happily playing with his Roll & Rhyme Melody Block (which he now loves because he can finally get his little arms over it to turn it over) and ignoring the fact that his father is nervously watching Toronto and the Red Sox in overtime (yeah, yeah, "extra innings." Whatever. When is Adam going to learn to love a real sport? Go Dolphins!) (And if Adam is this antsy in the first week of the season, how am I going to deal with him next September/October?) (Just to have one more random aside, did anyone else hear Frank Deford give his NPR commentary on how the Yankee/Red Sox rivalry really isn't because the Red Sox suck? I found the commentary entertaining but Adam just kept stomping around muttering something like, "Stupid, stupid. What a ridiculous report," although the words he used weren't quite that nice. What really amused me, though, was that Deford completely disses the Red Sox and WGBH cuts directly from his commentary into our local pledge drive. Way to increase Boston support, NPR!)

So here are the things I need to worry about other than George Bush: improperly put-in car seats; Kawasaki Disease (I read two articles about it: one in the New Yorker and one in a back issue of Brain, Child); the state of our public schools; kidnapping; falls off the changing table; autism (which, until recently, large heads were thought to be a sign of); accidentally eating something with peanuts because the doctor told me that will make Doodles susceptible to peanut allergies; that my son will be gay and the Constitutional ban on gay marriage will be passed so he can't get married to the person of his choice; did I start solids too early or too late, putting my child at risk of diabetes?; Doodles took antibiotics for an ear infection and for suspected pink eye so we're already helping him on his way to developing drug-resistant infections; Doodles rolls over onto his stomach when he sleeps and what if the doctor is wrong about it being okay at this point?; we circumcised him so we scarred him for life; and vaccinations? Let's not even start on the vaccination debate. And now? Well, now I have to worry that TV is going to seep into my little Doodles brain and make everything a mess.

Of course, this is but the tip o' the iceberg. I worry about many, many more things. It was all on the paper I signed when I agreed to this motherhood thing. But the TV? Do I really need to stress out because we want (okay, Adam wants) the Red Sox on on a Sunday afternoon? Am I the only one out here who's worked up over this?

M.B.A.s in a Nutshell

Am I the only one who hadn't seen the Fed Ex M.B.A. ad? Never has an ad so concisely and precisely said what I feel.

The Power of the Baby

Samson's power was in his hair. Doodles's is in his fingernails. At least that's the only explanation I can come up with for why he hates having them trimmed so much.

Grammar Gods

I don't normally take online quizzes. Life is simply too short. However, I was tempted by Daniella's link to a grammar quiz. While this blog may not accurately represent my love of grammar (if I worried about grammar here, I'd never get anything posted), I do have a fetish for the particulars of the English language. So I took the test. And my title was broadly proclaimed on its site:

You are a GRAMMAR GOD! If your mission in life is not already to preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you! How grammatically sound are you? brought to you by Quizilla

Cool, I'm a Grammar God. I can live with that.

BUT (and there's always a but isn't there?) Adam put this nifty little program on my computer so that I can see my desktop computer on my laptop. This is helpful because there are plenty of times that Doodles is playing happily in the living room, but I'd like to answer e-mail, which is only on my desktop. This way I can work off my desktop while on my laptop (for you geeky folks, the program is Real VNC). Stick with me, there is relevance here. When Adam set it up, though, he also made it so my laptop could work off of his computer, for those days when he was too lazy to go get his laptop from his office downstairs. This afternoon, Doodles was happily jumping in his Jumperoo and both Adam and I were busy on our laptops (I was finally catching up on the blogs I like to read and Adam, most likely, was commenting on Sons of Sam Horn). I I.M.ed him the quiz link across the whole two feet separating us and he took the quiz. Just because I'm nosey, I decided to spy in on his computer to see how he was doing (with his permission, of course--because my computer will control his computer there's no way for me to do it without his knowing about it). Oh, how gleefully I watched as he mixed up his "which" and his "that." I giggled at his misunderstanding of the possessive with a final "s." I felt superior as he mixed up his "I" and his "me." And I waited for him to get back his final score--would he do well enough for an "average" or was he going to get "You are a complete and utter BASTARDIZATION of the English tongue!" But then it showed: Adam came up with Grammar God as well. I'm not saying I got all the answers right and he got them wrong. But I will say that on at least four out of twenty questions we differed in our answers. One of us is not a Grammar God. And I'm not naming names here, but someone ask Adam what a "misplaced modifier" is. Stupid quiz.

Wednesday, April 7

Quiet Week

I really don't have much to say this week. We had a guest in town from Seattle, which was fun. It's always surprising to me who's good with Doodles and who isn't. I know some people who I would be sure would be fantastic with babies, but then they get near Doodles and they hold him at arm's length, as if he smelled bad. (Okay, so odds are he does smell bad, but real baby people don't mind.) (And for the record, I never say, "Do you want to hold Doodles?" I think that's so rude. I never liked it when people asked me because you always felt like you had to say yes. If anyone asks though, I'm happy to hand the stink bomb over.) I wouldn't have expected this friend to be particularly good with Doodles--really for no other reason than I've never seen him with a baby before--but he was great with him.

I wish I had something more exciting to report this week, but I really don't. Sometimes it's just like that.

No Need for Words

The photo speaks for itself:
Doodles in the park

Mucous Madness

First it was the ears. I had to take Doodles in this week to have the wax cleaned out of his ears. It was not a pleasant trip. We had been putting drops in to help it along and then the doctor flushed the ears out with warm water. Poor Doodles. While there we went ahead and weighed and measured him to see if we can still use the infant seat. Sigh. The seat comes out this weekend. At 18 lbs, 14 oz, he's still in the weight limits, but he's finally hit 26 inches. He's still the shortest guy in the gang, but he's now officially too long for that seat. That means instead of just carrying the entire seat inside when he falls asleep in the car, we now will have to wake him to take him in because the seat doesn't come out of the car.

And then I did it--I jinxed us. As we left the doctor's office, I said to the office manager, "Well, hopefully we won't have to see you until our nine month appointment!" She said, "I hope not!" Which means we can place the blame squarely on me for Doodles current mucous situation. Only one word can describe it: copious. It's coming from his nose, we can hear it in his chest, it's oozing out his eyes. My little wheezing weasel is leaving a trail of slime. I already called the doc's office once and if he's still a fountain of snot, we'll be returning, not just before the nine month appointment, but within days of the last one. If we go in tomorrow, I'll be sure to say, "See you next week," in hopes of tricking the jinxster.

Peepalicious!

My peeps are looking out for me and sending me links to all the newest research. Gotta stay on the cutting edge of peepdom! Speaking of which, the magic that is Wilson Farms has a new offering: chocolate-covered peeps with sprinkles. The peeps are dipped, kind of like a strawberry, so half the peep is visible. It is such a beautiful thing. I can only be grateful that it's Passover and I can't Peeps, otherwise, I'd be one sick puppy right now.

A Well Dressed Doodles

After complaining to Doodles day care teacher about the cost of baby clothes (individually they're not so bad, but the way Doodles spits up, he goes through a lot of outfits. Well, he goes through a lot of outfits at day care. At home, I let him just hang out in spit-up covered clothes). She suggested eBay. Duh! Why hadn't I thought of that? I bought maternity clothes there; why not Doodles' clothes? So I checked it out. I am an eBay machine. I spent $54.84 (that includes all shipping costs) for 49 pieces of clothing (no I did not have 49 auctions going; I bid on lots). And some of them are mighty fine! Of course, with my luck, Doodles will have a growth spurt before this lovely spring-like weather warms up and he'll shoot right past these clothes, but, hey, if he can wear a quarter of them, we've saved a lot of money. I got the first batch today. Sooo cute!!