Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sleep in the Bunky Bed

This morning, Mac and I visited my school. I had to fill out some paperwork and just basically give a shout-out to my bosses, like, "Hey! I'm alive! And remember I'm still entitled to a full-time teaching job in this fine institution!"

It was pretty weird to be toting Mac through the halls there. He was completely overwhelmed by the experience. Some of my students were overwhelmed, too. A common tendency seemed to be pretending they'd never seen me before in their entire lives. And then, when they realized that was awkward, saying something about the baby, like, "Oh! Is that a baby?"

One girl said, "Ms. W., oh my gosh, you look exactly the same. You haven't changed a bit! I'm SERIOUS!"

It was like she expected me to look eighty or something. She wasn't even talking about my weight, which, thank goodness, is NOT exactly the same as it was during week 38 of my pregnancy when she saw me last. She was simply remarking that my face had not disintegrated since May.

"Tara," I said, "it hasn't been that long."

"No!" she protested. "It's been like three years."

"Um," I looked at her a little sadly, "it's been eight months."

"OH!" she said. "Oh, yeah!"

All of my colleagues, on the other hand, remembered me and seemed glad to see me and weren't surprised that I still look about 30 years-old.

And so, Regular Adult Interaction - that's a big PRO on the going-back-to-work decision log, right? What are the other PROs on there?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

See That Girl; Watch That Scene

It's wicked cold here today. Dan is still in New Orleans. I have a vast expanse of nothingness spread before me until bedtime, save one two-hour outing to some obstacle courses for preschoolers put on by the Minneapolis Parks. That had better be fun.

This morning, the brothers entertained themselves for about four minutes with a basket of clean laundry. Instead of savoring those four free minutes, I tried to capture the magic on video.

Untitled from Savvy Mom on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blue Since the Day We Parted

Dan had the house looking totally spotless for me when I heaved the kids across the doorstep. He didn't get to go to Florida with us because of his job - he had to go to New Orleans instead. So, it was awesome that things were totally picked up, and I felt so relieved.

He's still not back, so he wasn't here when I dumped the contents of both suitcases in the foyer and scattered chew toys all over Mac's room. He also hasn't seen the four spatulas and two dishtowels on the kitchen floor - things I threw at the baby to keep him busy while I made some dinner for Shef and me.

And he hasn't seen the particles of food on our new brown area rug.

Part of the problem is that Mac has suddenly become such a tricky baby. He's teething hard, he pulls up on everything, he won't be put down for even two minutes (I'm holding him right this second, and thank God - THANK GOD - he's asleep).

Another problem is that Shef was a little exhausted after the trip, and after I told him I couldn't play Uno with him last night due to the circumstances described above, he came downstairs and promptly crossed out my contributions to the works in his sketchbook.

"I'm crossing out all your drawings," he told me matter-of-factly.

Then, when I failed to freak out about that, he told me our new area rug was ugly.


It's totally not ugly. That's the bright side.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Throw a Rubber Ball Against the Window; That Means You Come to Me

At high noon tomorrow, Obama will become the president. That's pretty incredible, right? After these terrible Bush years and that long, long campaign?

After all, I'm absolutely sure Barack is the right man for the job. I want him to be very successful. He has my full support.

I just got a text from my pal Erin, who's in D.C. working like crazy. "It's an exhilarating endurance test," she says.

And so, who knew inaugural weeks and parenting the birth-to-five set had so much in common? Mac will be Shef's age at the end of Obama's first term. I'm pretty sure things will be better then than they are now.

Let's go, Obama! We're all behind you.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ginger, Get the Popcorn

I admiit to feeling a little whiny about the temperatures here in Fort Myers hovering in the 50s and 60s so far on our trip, but I do know, and my mother keeps reminding me, that we've beaten Minnesota by 45 to 77 degrees each day. So I'm grateful for that, of course.

Yesterday we discovered that the beach is actually very pleasant at 60 and sunny, so we're headed there again today to rent a cabana and make a complete replica of Cair Paravel, the castle from Narnia.

I've also run outside a couple of times in shorts and t-shirts, which is very nice. I mean, the outfits are nice. As I'm lacking completely in muscle mass and tone, the runs themselves have been sort of a struggle. But, a few months ago, I decided I would do the Earth Day Half Marathon this year. It's only thirteen weeks away now, which is just enought time to build responsibly to the distance. I'm going to have to buckle down.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bring Me the Finest Muffins and Bagels in All the Land

Here's our cherub at seven months.

He's waving at the camera. Isn't that cute? If you look closely, you can see that his tongue has a little mother-of-pearl quality to it, which means the thrush is still with us. The doctor said it would take a long time to get rid it, so I'm trying to be patient.


The biggest change in the baby this month is how much he now likes to play with Shef. Before he was born, when people would tell me that their kids played together, especially when the kids were more than four years apart, I totally didn't get it.

But now I see how Mac and Shef make each other laugh and sort of push the boundaries a bit. Right now it's just Shef who gets in trouble when something goes wrong, but before long, you can just tell it'll be both of them.

So that's pretty cool. Less cool is how obsessed Mac is with electrical cords and little pieces of garbage on the floor. As a bonus, he is suddenly totally mobile, crawling at the speed of light toward any piece of flotsam and pulling up on every vertical that lacks holds for his pudgy little fingers. I'll admit there's been some head-banging. I swear I'm trying my best to keep it to a minimum.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Erase. Replace. Embrace.

We had dinner at D'Amico (bottomless wine!) with our friends Liz and Tom and their three kids tonight. Their Sam and our Mac are just three days apart.

Liz used to be on a dairy-free diet just like me, but now Sam is fine with milk proteins. I'm happy for her, of course, but I'm also insanely jealous.

"How is it being able to eat that?" I asked her, as she leaned over to take a bite of her daughter's cookie. "Does that taste good?" She downplayed it, but let's face it, we all know it tasted GREAT.

Yesterday, when I was having dinner with Jordan, the server brought me a fork "just in case I wanted a bite" of her flourless chocolate cake with mocha whipped cream and caramel drizzle.

I'm sure that tasted pretty great, as well.

It wouldn't be so bad not being able to eat delicious things if I could just get full, but I find that pretty hard to do on a dairy-free diet.

Tonight, shortly after I wolfed down my cheeseless pasta dish, I popped a bag of popcorn. Then twenty minutes later, I scarfed a peanut butter sandwich on toast.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Dan asked, staring at the peanut butter dripping off my chin. "You just keep eating and eating."

"I'm just so hungry," I told him. So, so hungry. For butter and cheese and lattes and soups with cream bases.

"Well, you only have five months to go," Dan said, laughing.

I tell you, I'm counting the days.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fester, Fester, Fester; Rot, Rot, Rot

Shef finally went back to school yesterday, which was a welcome event for all.

"Mom?" he asked on one of the last days of the break, "Does everyone have to be off from school for two weeks?"

"Yes," I said.

He sighed. "And does everyone just miss school SO MUCH?"

Well, I know I did. At least for that second week, during which I played Twenty Questions no fewer than 400 times.

Anyway, it's good he's back at school, because it gives me more time to deal with Mac's thrush. It turns out that besides being icky, this yeast infection is also labor intensive. Vinegar rinses, anti-fungal creams, live cultures mixed with water, q-tips, doctor's visits, pharmacies... the components are overwhelming, and the stakes are high.

"I don't want to scare you," my lactation consultant told me when I called for advice, "but you need to be very aggressive with this."

So what should I do?

She recommended that, in addition to adhering to the above-mentioned treatments, I air-dry after each feeding and expose my breasts to sunlight.

I'm so sure.

Mac's pediatrician, an experienced grandfatherly type, was less explicit about toplessness, but he did demonstrate, on himself, the technique he suggested I use to rub Lotrimin into my nipples.

And yes, he did say nipples. Many, many times.