I got sunglasses today from the mall. Its the first time I've ever bought a pair that cost more than $10. These are polarized, sleek looking Ralph Laurens that will be very handy after my LASIK next week. I almost bought a cheap pair at Target but decided I could do better than $10.

While sunglass shopping, I stopped by Carter's to look at baby clothes. Joshua has outgrown almost all of his baby clothes. Most of his onesies are tight and only a couple of rompers fit, tightly. I had a coupon for $5 pajamas with the purchase of $35. Today would have been an excellent day to use that because everything is half to 80% off. BUT they did not have a single pajama for 9 month-olds. I asked a store clerk to help me find one and she said they skipped that size. Skipped!? Sizes jumped from 6M to 12M. He's abut to outgrow his 6M pajamas so that did me no good. In my frustration that the sole purpose of going there to use a coupon was futile, I left without buying anything. I suppose though I should go by Osh Kosh and check there before giving up entirely. Maybe this afternoon...

Thanksgiving at the in-laws was a typical affair: everyone sat at the "good" table, traditional dinner supplied by the local grocer, Rusty's parents inhaled their meals while I was last to finish, we bickered about who should relax and who clean (we won the argument and cleaned up... but now that I typed that, maybe we didn't win after all), followed by football and time spent in the computer room. The only change was Josh sitting at the corner of the table banging on his food tray and getting fussy. By the end of our visit, the little guy was so fussy and exhausted he fell asleep on my should within minutes after nursing him. I should expand here- Josh was fussy and clearly in need of a nap. I tried a couple times to get him to sleep with no success. Ann offered to try, she gave up and decided maybe strolling him around the block would make him less fussy. That did not work. He was screaming and tears welling up in his eyes by the time they returned. By then, it was a piece of cake getting him to sleep. Next year we'll do dinner at our house.

I have a loose theory that Catholicism and Communism are similar. Let's review history real quick: Communism fails because it dictates a way of life that goes against human nature. Common ownership as a means of production denies the natural urge to have ownership from one's work. Catholicism fails because the church also dictates a way of life that goes against human nature. People will inevitably go against the church's doctrines.

Case in point: An unmarried Catholic school teacher gets pregnant. The school fires her on the grounds that "each teacher must convey the teachings of the Catholic faith by his or her words and actions" as conveyed in the school's personnel handbook. Being a private institution, it has the right to make this rule and enforce it. (I won't go into the blatant fact that this rule is flawed.)

But is this really setting a Christian example? Deeper, is this really serving any good to anyone? For a single mother to lose her job at the onset of pregnancy, when she is least employable and needs the work to support her maternity leave, is the lowest blow. It gives no regard whatsoever to the unborn child. This situation could lead to a miserable childhood because of the lack of support the mother received when she needed it most. Punishment is not the answer. Not in this case. If she had gotten a divorce, molested a student, murdered someone, sold drugs, was a prostitute on the weekends- if she had done something where punishment would only effect her, then fine, no one would care. But you should not punish someone (the baby) who had nothing to do with the situation.

Where does "the church" get off on punishing anyway? Isn't that supposed to be left up to God when they die? Teaching, helping, supporting, caring, loving are supposed to be what one gets from their church. Not ostracism and punishing. Mary herself was unwed when she conceived Jesus. I'm not saying this woman by any stretch of the imagination is a "blessed virgin". Today, would Jesus have fired this woman and sent her away as a lesson to learn of her mistake? No! He'd give her bread and help her in some way while telling her she's stupid for getting herself in this mess. Today's Catholic church does not follow what it teaches. "To err is human nature; to forgive is divine."

Oh sweet potatoes. I made a week's worth of sweet potatoes for Josh last night. What a huge mess. I got the sticky stuff everywhere! But in the end, we have 8 days worth of baby food. Not including my time spent baking and mashing the potatoes, it cost about $2.50. His next food adventure will be apples or pears. I bought those yesterday at the store not realizing how much sweet potato I would have. I'll have to wait until Wednesday to make the apples or pears- which ever I decide to do first.

Have you ever Googled your name? You know, typed your name in a few variations to see what's out there on the web? I did this morning for the fun of it. I hadn't done that in years. Last time I had two results that were me and the rest were someone else with the same name. This time I took up the first several links. All decent stuff too: profile of this blog, a mention on a gmane thread, my Barcelona site, Skydive Dallas, a friend's laments of Thanksgiving three years ago...

I also came across an old journal I started in 2002 from Live Journal. My last entry was in April 2003, when I was depressed about the prospect that I might never have children. It's kinda funny how things seem like such a major deal when you're in the thick of it then seem so petty later down the road, especially after several life events. By 2004, Rusty and I had written off baby making as "nice if it happens, but we won't sweat it if it doesn't". Then BAM, out comes Joshua less than a year later. I wonder what I'll laugh about in these blog years from now when I start feeling nostalgic. In the slightly annoying yet very true words that Rusty often says to me when I'm upset: "This too shall pass." In some cosmic sense, eveything shall pass at some point and my life (perhaps your life too) will go virtually unnoticed in the larger scheme of history.

I made an appointment to get LASIK in two weeks. I am completely thrilled to finally drop my glasses. Now that Josh is grabbing everything, this is good timing. He's grabbed my glasses a number of times bending them slightly so that they slide down my nose.

Josh learned to roll from his tummy to his back on Monday this week. Now he rolls across the living room if I give him enough time. The rolling has made diaper changes a little challenging too. He still inch worms backwards sometimes, but no other signs of crawling yet. His next trick hould be sitting up. He still hunches forward and rolls to the side. As soon as he starts sitting up, I can feed him solid foods in public and he'll be better at entertaining himself. Until then, he still relies on us to provide all the fun in playtime.

I went to Mommy's Night Out last night. Ther were 15 of us around a block of tables in a reserved room at Patrizio's. I had a good time but it was a little difficult hearing some people. I think my hearing is less than fine tuned. Maybe too many concerts or clubs when I was 20-something. Who knows.

Josh is awake from his short nap. I guess that cuts this blog short-

Today was a decently good day despite being up several times last night. After dragging my butt out of bed at 7:30am to care for Josh who was w-i-d-e awake, I decided to join a few moms at a park to work out. I almost didn't go preferring to lounge in my p.j.'s and take a nap the moment Josh took his. But I opted to get out. I am so pathetically out of shape. I got my heart rate going and started a sweat before I ever got to the middle of the park. The trail I took, half being dirt trails, is probably a half mile to the middle of the park where a look-out pavilion intersects several jogging paths. Two other moms were there to work out with me. I didn't do anything extensive. I curled Josh, did lunges with Josh, sit ups with Josh, butt lifts with Josh, and strolled back afterwards. My legs are sore and I coughed up moisture out of my lungs all morning from all the heavy breathing. My body is in a sad shape.

After we got home, Josh & I took an hour and a half long nap together in my bed. That was so nice! Not only did the sleep feel awesome, but sleeping next to Josh who was curled up next to me was reminiscent of when he was just a few weeks old and he'd sleep on or near me all the time.

We spent our afternoon visiting parks in Plano. A few may make good locations for Lee & Barb's reception, if they decide to do it outside. If nothing else, I know of a few good places to take when he's ready to play outside. :)

I made an entry months ago about how I loved breastfeeding Josh. Those were the good days. Feeding him was simple: he would be hungry, I would put him to the breast for ten minutes, he’d barf all over the place- it was great! I even remember a time when he would fall asleep laying on the Boppy after feeding him. I was trapped, unable to get up or move around because I didn’t want to wake him up. And that didn’t bother me. I’d sit in the rocker staring at his tiny body and face and watch a movie. At one time I didn’t want to give Josh a bottle of anything, especially if it wasn’t homemade. We had timing and a routine. I looked forward to feeding him in the morning when he was hungry and at night when he’d fall asleep after feeding. (He still does that. The last meal of the evening, if he’s breastfeeding, he’ll fall sleep on my shoulder softly letting out a wee burp. He slumps over my shoulder surrendering to sleep before we ever get off the sofa. I take that short moment to enjoy the last of the closeness we have. It reminds me that he’s a good little guy and he loves his parents no matter what kind of a day we’ve had.)

Now things are all different. He’s popped a second tooth on the bottom which makes breastfeeding not fun anymore. Increasingly, I feel like I’m about to place my nipple in a bear trap when nursing him. Occasionally he does nip me (like last night) which results in a yelp from me, maybe a curse word- he cries because all he wants is to be fed and doesn’t understand why I get all upset and look angry. It takes me a moment to calm him down, calm myself down, then get back the courage to try it again. Breastfeeding puts me on edge more than ever. I’ve been pushing solid foods more and more these days preparing to wean him from chewing on my breasts. On the weekends I alternate with a bottle of formula, which I detest. Aside from the teething woes, I have a “bad mommy” secret behind my motivation to get him on solids and a bottle sooner: LASIK.

I was supposed to have LASIK last year September for my birthday. I went through the orientation, had all the paperwork, money set aside, dates reserved, time off from work authorized- I was ready! Then I found out I was 2 months pregnant. Mere days before my appointment, I had to cancel everything. Josh came and I hoped I could get it done then. Alas, no. The valium they use stays in the body for 6 weeks and a trace of it gets in the breast milk so I wasn’t able to do it over the summer either. But now- now that Josh is eating solids and taking a bottle- now I can return to plans for LASIIK. This comes with the price of guilt though. I feel a little guilty weaning him for the purposes of my own vanity. It’s a selfish reason to wean him early. A “good mommy” would patiently wait until her baby was done breastfeeding on her child’s schedule and then do whatever she felt she needed to do. It’s not like I have major surgery or a medical need to do this. I have lots of other reasons. But getting mad at him chewing on me isn’t healthy, nor is feeling a little afraid to breastfeed healthy.

The current plan is to schedule an appointment, do it soon, force myself to wean him onto a bottle and solids. I have milk in the freezer for him to have on occasion. I’ll “pump and dump” a couple times a day after the procedure in order to keep my milk supply. Then, when the valium is out of system, offer to breastfeed him only twice a day- morning and evening. Maybe by then he’ll be less likely to bite me and I’ll be eager enough to go back to the simple days that my fears of biting will be allayed.

If you ask for my opinion, you'll get it, like it or not. The NTTA sent an email requesting input about their roads and services, etc. I love taking surveys because I know marketers and companies use input to make improvements. It's a democracy of sorts. So I filled out my little survey and ended on a rant about their stupid mascot: "Wally is stupid. Like a kid drew him. And it has no meaning to NTTA drivers. Can't you come up with a better character or icon or something?? How about an orange smiley face with a T nose or a cute car with a smile? And name it Nate so that at least it reinforces the N and T in NTTA. Unlike Wally which makes me think of Wal-Mart or Walt Disney." Too bad I don't get paid to think of better ideas.

Josh is really trying to turn over from his stomach to his back. He flips from his back to his tummy quickly and easily then gets frustrated that he's stuck there. He's so close in figuring it out. I wish I could just help him out, but he has to learn this on his own. In the process he's getting good at lifting his butt in the air with his knees (and sometimes feet!) under him.

We played a new game tonight that made him laugh for nearly 20 minutes off and on. He'd make a sound and I'd imitate it almost exactly. He loved this! Rusty chimed in by saying "Nee!" like from Monty Python. He thought that was hysterical three times in a row. The three of us had a great time for about half an hour. He was happy and entertained, we were cracking up about him laughing- it all around good times. There is no better sound than that of a baby laughing.

The walk this morning was good but I came home all sweaty and exhausted. Josh began fussing in his stroller along the way so I held him with one arm and pushed the stroller with the other. That made me real hot and tired, real fast! I've got to find a way to make him like the front pack. He almost always hates being put in the Snugli. And it's a PITA to put on, take off, put child in, take child out, etc. I also have a Maya Wrap, but I can't seem to get it secure enough to be totally hands free.

Tomorrow is a pediatrician appointment for his 6 month shots. We've decided against giving him a flu shot. I'm interested to see if the doctor balks at this or is cool with our decision.

I'm sneaking a few moments before we're off for a walk. A group of stroller pushing mom are gathering at the Plano Arbor Hill Nature Preserve for a long walk. We decided 8:30am was a good time to do it. But that means I have to pull my sleepy butt up early before I feed Josh. Luckily it's only a few minutes from our house so could leave a little late and still be "on time" with other people arriving.

Ah- Josh is stirring. Better do our thing!

Melissa had her baby early this morning. She called to give me the details. I'll spare you those details and get to the one juicy detail: she was in labor 60 hours!! Holy cow that's a long time! From Thursday evening until the wee hours of Sunday morning. She was able to do it naturally at the hospital and mostly without incident. I think there was something that happened of interest because she said she'd give me all the details later. And when I asked if she regretted going naturally, she reiterated she'd go into detail later. She has this new mom glow in her voice and feels like holding her baby isn't real. It took me a little while for the reality to sink in that I had a baby. I mean, I damn well knew I gave birth but it seemed so surreal at first. Like I'd wake up and be nine and a half months pregnant still. I'm very happy for her and her husband and want to be as supportive to her as I wish some of my friends offered to be for me. I got a lot of promises of services that never actually happened, like lunch or dinner preparation, housework, day time babysitting, etc. that never really happened.

Josh wasn't feeling well today. I think he had a tummy ache for some reason. I fed him rice cereal this morning then after an hour nap and short car ride to meet Rachel for lunch (she's fine, we blabbed about language and politics for a bit), Josh threw up twice. He had a sickly look to him after the second time and took a nap for at least 30 minutes. He was better this evening. I didn't offer him any solids after lunch. I'm not sure what caused him to throw up. I felt so awful for him. I gave him a teaspoon of Gripe Water after his nap.

I've managed to keep myself busy the last few days. Here are a few quick updates:

  • I got a new laptop this week
  • I met with a lady and her baby for lunch this week
  • I'm hosting a picnic in the park next week
  • A small group of moms went strolling around a park yesterday
  • We were going to visit a friend this afternoon

Depending on how much time I have (Josh is napping and I should be too, but I can't) I'll expand on these.

Yeah, ok,so the new laptop- it totally rocks! I think Rusty got tired of my complain about the last one. I won't go into the technical details, you can see for yourself on Hypersonic's website, but this is a way better machine than I've ever used or owned. First, it's sexy. No, we didn't get any cool colors (if we had, I would have gotten red or luminous green) but it's quiet, it doesn't produce lots of heat, it's relatively lightweight, has an awesome screen, lots of features and plenty of ports to plug stuff. Second, it was a custom build. We ordered it online specifying everything we wanted and within a week we it was delivered. woot! No more sticky 'n' key or lazy shift & ctrl key. :)

I met with Preethi & her son Vincent on Wednesday for lunch at the nearby park (my inspiration to host a group picnic next week). She and I have a lot of things in common such as we're both only childs, our babies are two days apart, our babies had the same socks on that day, we've both done kung fu in Richardson with our husbands, and we're both getting active with other moms as a means to get out and keep busy without spending money. But the similarities stop there. It was a great day for a picnic and a stroll. We compared labor stories (she had a hospital birth but wants to use a midwife next time), compared our baby's achievements, talked about things to do outside the home during the week, etc. I've invited her to join the moms group I go to on Fridays. I think she plans on going next week.

I spent almost an hour setting up and sending an evite to all the moms I know who have babies around Josh's age. So far I've gotten 6 confirmed yes', which is great. I'm hoping this will be a good experience encouraging me to do it on a semi-regular basis. Or until the weather gets cold.

I met up with three other moms and we strolled around Russell Creek Park yesterday afternoon. That was fun although the wind was fierce. Our babies are all about the same age. We started talking about things to do (hence the picnic next week) and decided to get together to make baby food at one of the moms' house. I'm looking forward to this b/c I'm too cheap to buy a food processor.

Melissa started having contractions last night which effectively cancelled our plans to get together. Like any new mom, she's not sure if she's really going into labor, but I'll bet she is. [Josh is awake now, more later.]

last night was the most anticlimatic halloween I've ever had. it wasn't bad, but definately not exciting. we greeted princesses, skeletons, witches, a cop, a Chicago gangster, a football head, and few other mysterious costumed kids. josh enjoyed seeing new people at the door. oh, this was fun- rusty played Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor (the dracula theme song) on the piano every time kids came to the door.

it rained yesterday (yay!!) and now the temps outside are cool. this is great because i'm meeting a mom for lunch on wednesday at the park nearby. i met a mom and her baby (preethi and vincent) at gymboree last month and started a conversation as we were leaving. i met her again sunday evening when we took josh to a nursing home in his costume. every time we start talking it feels like we could go on for hours but then we're cut short. so i invited her to lunch this week and she suggested a picnic. maybe over lunch and a stroll through the park we can start and finally finish a conversation. :)

josh has been sleeping better for several days. he's only waking up twice a night on average. this is fantastic compared to previous weeks of waking every hour. i attribute this success to the new pacifier i got. it's a Playtex pacifier with a special shaped rubber nipple that is supposed to be easier on teething gums. so far it's helped josh stay asleep all night. i'm also working on teaching him to go back to sleep. last night he woke at 1:10am. i went to his crib to soothe him. i wound up a music box, covered him again, stroked his head and eyebrows (all this while he's wailing and crying) then left. i decided to see if he'd continue to wail or eventually get tired from listening to the music. after about 20 minutes he did get sleepy again and fell asleep. i usually turn off the monitor in our room and close his door when he's crying at night. i must have gotten up to check on him because the monitor was turned on again and the door was cracked.

last update, we tried green beans last night from a jar. he did not like that at all! i'll try again today.



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