Monday, October 29, 2007


I've been tagged by D, so here goes!

1. Who eats more? It depends. While pregnant and nursing I have definitely been eating more. We'll see what happens when I'm not either of those things.
2. Who said “I love you” first? Jay did, and I actually remember the moment very vividly.
3. Who is the morning person? Jay. He likes to say that he's solar powered. He gets up with Joshua at the crack of dawn every day.
4. Who sings better? That's tough. Jay had a few solos in the church choir when we lived in Joliet and I'd venture to guess that his voice is prettier, but I am better at matching pitch and staying in the right key.
5. Who’s older? Jay is, by three months.
6. Who’s smarter? Jay is far more book smart than I am (as in "perfect score on math portion of the GRE" smart), but I have higher Emotional Intelligence.
7. Whose temper is worse? Definitely mine. Jay rarely loses it.
8. Who does the laundry? I do it all, but sometimes Jay will put his clothes away.
9. Who does the dishes? I usually do them unless I'm tied up with Clare for a long time.
10. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I do, if you're facing the bed from the foot.
11. Whose feet are bigger? Jay's are.
12. Whose hair is longer? Mine is.
13. Who’s better with the computer? Jay, definitely.

14. Do you have pets? We have sixteen chickens, although I don't really classify them as pets since they will one day become dinner.
15. Who pays the bills? Jay does, although I keep the budget.
16. Who cooks dinner? I make dinner about four nights a week, Jay grills out about two nights, and we eat out about one night, usually at church.
17. Who drives when you are together? Jay does. He hates my driving.
18. Who pays when you go out to dinner? Whoever isn't wrestling the babies. Although if we're going out alone for one of our birthdays, the other makes a big show about paying for it, hence allowing the birthday-person to feel that they are being "taken out"
19. Who’s the most stubborn? That's tough. I think Jay is, but we've gotten so good at compromising I don't think it much matters anymore.
20. Who is the first one to admit when they’re wrong? It depends on the situation and who's being the most defensive.
21. Whose family do you see more? Mine. My folks live two hours away. One of my cousins lives less than two hours away, and my mom's extended family lives five hours away.
22. Who named your pet? We name them as we go along. Roaster, Dinner, B#$%^#@ (the one that pecks all the others)...
23. Who kissed who first? Jay kissed me.
24. Who asked who out? Jay asked me out via a sorority sister.
25. What did you do on your first date? We went to Marvin's for dinner, watched Tombstone at the sorority house, and went to a party at Delt.

26. Who’s more sensitive? Me by a long shot.
27. Who’s taller? I am by 2-3 inches.
28. Who has more friends? That's tough. I guess I do. At least more that I see regularly.
29. Who has more siblings? Jay has one. I have none.
30. Who wears the pants in the relationship? They're big enough for each of us to have one leg.

I'm tagging Montana Dave, Kat E, Mercedes, Anna, and Martha

Monday, October 22, 2007

SAHMs Have Mondays, Too

Things started out well, although I was a bit sleepy since Clare was up for two hours in the middle of the night (Jay took the last half hour and finally got her to go back to sleep). I got up, showered, had breakfast, and loved on Joshua, all before Clare woke up at 7:45. I gave her about an hour of playtime and then it was time to try to get her to nap. Several tries produced only crying. Joshua was spun up because he wasn't getting any attention from me, and I was just downright frustrated. So I decided it was time to get everyone dressed and go to the grocery store. That was my first mistake.

I should have known things were going to be bad when I took a wrong turn on the way to the store--a trip I've made a million times. When I pulled into the parking lot Clare started to cry, a stark reminder that, yes, I had forgotten to feed her before we left the house. I put her in the front seat with me and fed her while Joshua waited patiently in his carseat.

It was pouring rain by the time we were ready to go in. I put Joshua in the grocery cart with a blanket over his head (which he thought was funny, thank goodness) and got Clare semi-situated in her sling. But by the time we got into the store she was exhausted and cranky and crying loudly. When we were halfway done she had finally stopped crying, but I had been so distracted up until that time that I was sure I had forgotten something--or many somethings.

We finally finished and as I stood in line and took out my credit card--oh, wait, my credit card is sitting at home on the shelf. I used the Customer Service phone to see if I could get hold of Jay in his office before he left for his 11:00 class, but of course he was already gone. So they held my basket for me until I could get my card and come back.

I had a choice--drive one mile to Jay's school and interrupt his class to get his card, or drive 10 miles each way to go home and get mine. I drove to Jay's school and just happened to see an administrator in the hall whom I know (her grandson and Joshua are in Kindermusik together). She found out where Jay's class was (I had stopped by the Engineering Department but all of the other professors were teaching, too) and gave me directions. It was in another building, but there was a covered walkway leading there so we didn't have to get wet again, although at that point we were all so soaked it didn't matter. I interrupted Jay's class to get his card. Thankfully, I knew three of the four students in the class, so I didn't feel like a total moron showing up there with two kids and a pile of hair matted to my face. I got the card and headed back to the Engineering suite to pick up Clare's carseat. I decided to feed her again, just in case, and then realized that it was only a few more minutes until Jay's class was over (There was a lot of walking involved here, compounded by the very short legs of a two-year-old who also thinks that every rug and doorjamb are strategically placed for him to "jump" off of). When Jay returned to the suite I asked if he could go with me to the store so I could run in and get the groceries while he sat in the car. He did, because he's a good person.

We dropped him off back at school and headed to Chik-Fil-A, which had been our plan from the beginning since I had my Free Chicken and Coke coupons. It was past naptime at this point, so I did what I have probably sworn I would never do...I handed Joshua's nuggets to him so that he could eat on the way home. Ahhhh!

He finished his lunch at home and napped without incident, despite the fact that his nap started over an hour late. Clare and I caught some Zzzzz's. And only now that I'm writing this am I seeing the points of grace that were so much a part of my hellish morning. A sympathetic and helpful grocery store employee, a kind and gracious university employee, and husband that doesn't mind being interrupted in the middle of the workday, his colleagues who treated my family like their own when we needed a moment to regroup, and a church friend who insisted that "It'll get better, girl" when I saw her in line during my second trip to the store.

Maybe Monday isn't so bad after all.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Chicken Stupid

We've now lost three more chickens, but these were the ones already living outdoors.

Last night we came home to find all the chickens but one piled into one dark corner of the chicken house. The one that wasn't piled up with the others was standing in the opposite corner, minus a head. It appeared that it had stuck it's head through the chicken wire (how does that happen, BTW?) and something had snapped it's little chicken head right off.

Today the same thing happened to two more, sometime between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. This evening when we went out a hawk was perched on the fence, eyeing the chicken house. It seems we had found our predator.

Jay has since put up a second wall of chicken wire.

The moral of the story is, if you're a chicken, don't try to get through the chicken wire, even if the weeds on the other side look irresistible.

I don't feel too sad about these guys. I think it was natural selection at work.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Chicken Little

We lost our first chicken today.

We got a new batch last week that had been living at the home of a friend, so they were two weeks old when they arrived at our house. Everything seemed to be going well until Jay noticed today that one was missing. It seems that it had been trampled by the others and was laying under a pile of wood chips. Jay put him in his own tub by himself and helped him eat and drink, but things didn't look good. He was a lot smaller than the others and obviously weaker, almost like he suffered from the chicken version of Failure to Thrive.

By this evening he had died. I'm surprised that I feel so sad, but I kept thinking that his mother would know what to do. That's what you get for having mommy hormones racing around like crazy.

On the other hand, the first batch is now living outside and getting gnarlier by the day. That should make it a little easier when harvest day comes around.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Gross Motor Skills and Breastfeeding

Joshua is fascinated with my manual breast pump. In his sweet little almost-two-year-old-brain, he is an indispensable part of the pumping process. If he is not there to inspect the pump, operate the pump, and ensure that the correct contents are making their way into the bottle, then we might as well just pack up the whole operation. I've never seen him so intent and focused on anything. This is serious work.

Today I was tending to Clare when I noticed that Joshua was very quiet. I looked over to find this (only a little less posed):
He carried it around with him for quite a bit of the afternoon, sticking the phalange on anything that remotely resembled a breast, most notably doorknobs with twisting locks on them. He was quite proud of himself and I couldn't help but laugh. As he was walking around seriously doing his experiments I asked, "Do you have your pump?"

At this point I have to back up and say that Joshua is working really hard on his gross motor skills. He climbs anything that isn't moving quickly and he's trying his darndest to jump...only he hasn't mastered it yet. When he tries to jump he keeps one foot planted firmly on the ground while flinging the rest of his body up into the air. And he's so proud of his efforts. He's probably going to poop in his pants the day he gets that second foot off the ground. But anyway...

As he was walking around seriously doing his experiments I asked, "Do you have your pump?"

At which point he begins to jump, flinging everything in the air, including the pump, except his firmly planted foot.

I almost pooped my pants from laughing so hard.

And to believe that some days I think I'm missing something by not going back to work. This is the good stuff, people.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Today Joshua, Clare, and I went to see the doctor for Clare's two-month checkup. As I am explaining to the doctor that Clare is a beast when she's sleepy, she's laying in my lap and cooing and gurgling, and flashing gummy grins at me. The doctor and I chatted about sleep habits, nursing, vaccinations, and the rest of the items on the infant checkup checklist. Then the doctor started her physical exam, checked her over and proclaimed that she is one big and healthy baby. Before she left the room she said to me, "I wouldn't change anything you're doing. You're good at this."

Did you hear that! "You're good at this!"

Those words that every career-woman-turned-stay-at-home-mom aches, longs, screams to hear!

You're good at this!

That's enough affirmation to last me--well--to Clare's four-month appointment, at which point I will gladly slip the doc a $20 if she'll just say it again.

But for now I'll believe that, hey, I'm good at this!

Just for fun: Clare now weighs 14 lbs., 7 oz. (off the charts), she is 24" long (95th percentile), and her head is 42cm in circumference (also off the charts).

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Last Saturday we packed up the family and headed to Nashville for my dad's retirement party. It was a fun evening at the marina with good food and a lot of people who are really special to my dad. I hadn't seen some of his co-workers since our wedding almost eight years ago, so dad and I played some stealth games of, "Who's that again?" and no one was the wiser.

I was surprised by how much the prospect of his retirement affected me. He's been working for the same company since I was two, so I don't remember him ever working anywhere else. I think his office may have changed locations a few times, but he's always been on the same floor of the same building for as long as I can remember. There has, of course, been a lot of turnover in his 30 years there, but many of his coworkers have watched me grow up (or have at least heard stories about me growing up). They are people that I don't see but once in a blue moon, but they are also people who make up a kind of invisible network that encircles me. It has happened before that I have forgotten that my dad is going out of town and I haven't been able to get hold of him. I needed only to call up one of his longtime coworkers, identify myself by first name only and ask, "Do you know where my dad is?" This elicits a chuckle and a quick explanation, usually followed by a lightbulb appearing over my head as I recall. I have rarely needed them, but I always knew they would be there for me.

It will be strange not to dial that phone number when I need to find him during the day. It will be strange not to meet him for lunch at that same downtown building I've been driving to by myself since I was sixteen. It will be strange not to say, "My dad's an engineer for the XXXXX."

He will be starting a new job soon because he can't stand to not be working. But those people won't be my nearly-invisible-and-hardly-needed-but-always-on-call support . They might think it's weird if I call up one day and say, "Do you know where my dad is?"

On the other hand, it's a real privilege, I think, for an adult child to be able to celebrate something joyful with a parent. It often happens that the milestones adult children are around for are deaths and moves out of family homes. So it was great to be able to celebrate with him, to tell him that I'm proud of him, and to see him so happy and surrounded by so many people who care about him.

And I guess it's up to me now to remember when he's gone out of town.