Category Archives: simply informative

Leaps & Bounds

Quick & dirty because I am supposed to be at work:

1) Somebody has TEETH. No, not me. Lady Jr’s naps were shittier than usual last week and Sunday morning Dr Lady noticed that what she’d thought were those little white cysts had grown and were unusually sharp. As of the last time I was able to peer into Lady Jr’s mouth, two bottom teeth had broken through her gums, forming a little ridge like mountains. And she is NOT happy.

Thank goodness she can have ibuprofen now, because the tylenol is no longer cutting it. Of course, teething coupled with several days of very late night and very loud fireworks (wtf is wrong with you, Michigan??) have made us all crotchety as fuck. Poor baby was up for 2 hours sobbing and pulling at her ear last night, and after we finally got her down it was just loud booming firework after firework until 12.30. I officially hate this holiday.

2) But in less cranky news: Lady Jr has consonants! As of Saturday she’s started going “mwa mwa mwa” and “dadada” and, occasionally and to Dr Lady’s absolute delight, “BWAH!” It’s kind of really freaking adorable.

3) Lady Jr is very haphazardly army crawling. She would reach with one arm and push herself up on her toes and kind of topple forward, but now she’s coordinating that into two, even three topples and is making movement forward. She fixates on computers and phones, probably because, aside from her, that’s what her mommies pay the most attention to. ^^()

4) We’re up to three meals a day and she demolishes pretty much anything and everything. She’s now eating a meal at daycare and I am pleased as punch at how impressed the daycare ladies are with her and her eating. She may be behind on everything else (or at least it feels like it sometimes), but at least she eats. One daycare worker tried to cut up her chicken for her, but Lady Jr grabbed it and shoved it into her mouth before she could and then it was gone.

5) Probably because of all the solid food, she has chunked up and definitely gone through a growth spurt. Yet she’s still the runt at daycare. Her 9 month appt is next week and I am super curious to see how big she is now.

Have some baby pics:

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I cut & dyed my hair last week, so figured it was time for some updated author photos. Of course, what do you do with a baby during pics? I held her through all of them, although not always as prominently as here. This was just one of my favorites:
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17 Weeks

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Lady Jr will be officially Four Months Old this coming Saturday. I both can’t even and can even. It is a strange feeling

Let’s see… what’s new this week:

1. She is increasingly fighting any and all sleep. We were able to hold her until her eyes started to flutter, then put her down and leave. Now, if we do that, she immediately starts fussing. I have to hold her for 20min before I can put her down without any crying, but then she’s up again 10min later and we have to do it again.

While I don’t mind holding her for the occasional nap during the day, this has begun happening at night, too. We have had several nights where she wakes, I feed her, I put her down – and then, even with her eyes closed, she starts crying. Pick her up, hold her, quiet her, put her down – same thing. It’s not gas, it’s not hunger, it’s not a diaper, there are no symptoms of teething. If we let her fuss, it just gets worse. So we soothe and settle and cry and repeat until she finally stays down without a peep. Only for her to wake again 20, 30min later.

But it’s sporadic, too. Sometimes she’ll go 3 hours just fine, which is the only reason I haven’t gone mad with sleep dep yet. I can’t figure out what’s different. She gets her naps during the day, we avoid letting her stay awake too long, we have a bedtime routine and time we follow religiously. But her sleep has been shit for over three weeks and now it’s getting worse instead of better.

We’re trying to be stubborn about putting her down drowsy, even when it means constantly having to go in and soothe her, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. Everything I read is contradictory, too. She doesn’t seem ready for CIO, and neither am I, so it looks like we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing until one of us breaks. As long as I get the occasional 3 hour chunk of sleep, I can function. And coffee. Lots of coffee.

 

2) She’s gotten so good at grasping things! She now grabs and pulls things to her when they’re within reach, which means we gotta start being more careful about what’s in reach. This includes hair, hats, toys, diapers – anything.

 

3) Tummy time is slowly becoming less excruciating for everyone involved. They must be working on it at daycare because early last week I got her to lay on her tummy for 2min without fussing, but not really lifting her head, but on Friday I put her on her tummy and she immediately pushed to her elbows and lifted her head. She still doesn’t particularly care for it, but there’s progress.

 

4) She’s getting more and more responsive to facial expressions. She has started smiling when we smile at her, which is one of the best feelings.

 

All in all, she’s getting stronger and becoming more and more of her own, tiny person. I love her and her cuddles and her smiles and sometimes it’s still really hard (see: when she won’t sleep more than 20min at a time) but I know this, too, shall pass.

 

As for me, I really need to figure out a way to exercise while exhausted and taking care of a baby. My diet has steadily improved now that my parents are gone (no more pumpkin pie on the counter or daily KFC makes a big difference). I can run or lift weights on Wed/Thurs/Fri when baby is at daycare, but I really need to be doing something every day. I know my body will never be what it was, but I’ll feel better about myself if I’m at least a little stronger, a little healthier, and – yes – able to fit into most of my skirts come summer.

The problem, so far, is that whatever free time I have – i.e. when baby’s sleeping – I spend writing. I have a book due July 1st and knowing my writing process, four and a half months, while doable, is also not much time at all. I have to hit word count every. single. day. otherwise I risk missing my deadline. It’s a little stressful. And it also means that instead of using my free time to lift or run or otherwise do self care, I’m working. But what else can I do?

This, too, shall pass.

So I’ll just keep looking forward to spring and warmer weather and being able to take baby out to the garage with me or go for a run with her. In the meantime, the aching solitude of being stuck at home alone with a baby will just have to be, and I’ll just have to deal with it by embracing this time devoid of distractions in which I can just be with my baby.

 

More pics because the world is dark and scary and it needs more cute baby photos:

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Edited to addLady Jr just rolled from belly to back! Twice!! Woo!

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Daycares, Oof

We visited our first daycare yesterday. Yes, at 38+ weeks. I know we’re a little on the late side of things, but it’s just been so hard to think that far ahead, plus settling in after the Move and getting all the things done wot are 100% necessary right now.

We actually started looking at the beginning of September, but when our first choice turned out to have a 1.5 year waitlist, we… got a little discouraged.

But Lady Jr will be here, and soon, and although I’ll be working from home when I return, and part time at that, I know I won’t be able to focus with such a cute infant nearby. Plus, I’m a big proponent of early interaction with other human beings and of getting help raising a kid (I am pro-villages). Depending on waitlists, we might do in-home care for a short while, but I definitely want that socialization by the time she’s six months. Plus, I need socialization and I might be hoping I’ll meet some other moms through the daycare.

Anyway, all that’s to say: wow. Daycare. Walking in, I finally realized that we’ll be the parents. We’ll have to think about pre-school someday and then real school. There will be parent teacher associations and baked goods and homework and omg I’m not ready for that.

Thankfully, we don’t have to be ready for that yet, but wow. I’m only just coming to terms that there’s going to be a major change in our lives in the coming days weeks.

I also realized I don’t know jack about daycare. I did a little bit of research to figure out what I should ask, what I should look for beforehand and still went in feeling like I just radiated newb.

But I came out feeling pretty good about this one. They’re reasonably priced (inasmuch as daycare can be reasonable without subsidies), they have a lot of other part-timers, they seemed clean and in control, they’re very close, they have books about bugs (A++ in Dr Lady’s book), they’re literally across the street from a hospital (woo!), and they had a diverse group of kids and adults.

That said, since I fully admit to knowing nothing about daycare, I want to look at a few more just to be sure. So we have another appointment on Monday and hopefully a third soon. Then we’ll make a decision about who’s gonna take care of Lady Jr for part of the week, which seems like a bigger decision than it feels.

Any advice is welcome, although it seems a large part of it is just seeing who we “click” with and feel good about. Also who we can visit together as an openly same-sex couple and not get any weirdness. And doesn’t cost more than I make in a week, oof.

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3 Hour Glucose Test

tl;dr – it’s awful

Longer version: Even though I’ve cut my caffeine way back, going without my morning cuppa was difficult. Not eating, meh. I used to do intermittent fasts before TTC, so that wasn’t as big a deal.

But oh gosh, 100g of pure sugar on an empty stomach? That was awful. It was like chugging orange syrup. At first I was like, yeah, gross, but I got this, and then the nausea hit and I was no longer 100% sure I had it. I made the mistake of drinking some water, which made it even worse, but my strong stomach won out in the end and I didn’t throw up. Woohoo.

After that first hour, I started feeling more normal again, and then it was just a waiting game. Three hours and four blood draws later and I have two sore hands and an assurance that I will never have to take that test again.

Find out tomorrow morning.

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House Hunting

Well, that was a week.

We saw 21 houses in two days, narrowed it down to three, and finally offered on one yesterday. They accepted our offer late last night, while we were flying home.

Assuming the house inspection goes all right and Murphy’s Law doesn’t take affect, we’ll be closing right around the time we arrive in Michigan.

I’m a little woozy and hungover from it all. I would definitely not advise trying to find and offer on a house in three days, but if that’s your only option, it is doable. And for the third time in our home-hunting lives (well, apartments before this one), our plane tickets have been worth the expense because we picked a house that wasn’t in our top 5.

We also learned a lot from looking at all those houses. I can more confidently pick out a house on Zillow based on photos and description alone than before. But then, it really depends on the area/market/etc. Our experience house hunting in MI was vastly different from experiences I’ve read/heard about house hunting in Denver, Georgia, and even here in Arizona. You just gotta know what’s going on and how that affects prices.

For example, for us it meant:
a) Yes, overall houses are super cheap
b) But there’s a reason some are even cheaper than others, and
c) That market is still in the beginning of recovering from the foreclosure crisis

Meaning lots and lots of empty, abandoned houses. Lots of otherwise good houses in semi-empty neighborhoods. Lots of houses with pretty skin – i.e. new paneling, new paint, new windows – but really bad bones. Since the market is already pretty cheap, it just doesn’t make financial sense for someone to put a lot of money into repairing a house when that won’t translate to much of an increase in value. So you get slap-dash cosmetic repairs that look great in photos but don’t make the place safer.

All that is to say that after the first few really bad houses, we were able to just poke our heads inside and decide pretty quickly. Our priorities shifted from a cool kitchen and good looks to solid structure. And then when we finally found the One, we both knew it.

Yeah, but what about the house??

Well, it’s in our price range, which means it’s not super fancy. It was a rental, so it’s a bit of a blank slate, but it’s in really great shape. Two bedrooms, clean basement, big open kitchen, nice yard, in a great neighborhood, and close to Dr Lady’s new job. Honestly, not as Cool or Exciting as some of the other houses, but we won’t have to do anything to it and it’ll be a lot easier to sell when we move on.

Now comes the fun part of hoping there are no delays and everything comes together right when we get there.

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Desert Appreciation: Sunrise/Sunset

It wasn’t until college that I tried to catch that liminal point when night turned to day or vice versa. Partially because there were just so many trees in the way and sunrise was little more than a lightening of the sky. Our college, however, was situated facing west on a bayfront, the perfect spot to witness the end of a day. That spot became a regular refuge from the stress of papers and exams. We’d sit with our feet inches away from the water, heads back and skin slick with humidity, watching the light fade and the stars come out.

I watched sunsets in Seattle, too, but it wasn’t until we moved to the desert that I began watching sunrises. Since the thermometer starts shooting upwards as soon as the sun crests the horizon, I quickly learned to appreciate the early morning hours. I became an early-riser just to get outside once a day and enjoy the world without all the oppressive heat.

The desert more than rewards the the effort, with its mountains and open horizons. Almost every sunrise is a spectacular event, full of color and bravado. If I could, I’d watch every sunrise, even – especially – the ones at 5am.

 

Four: The Tranquility of Solar Transition

 

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Sunrise from Tumamoc Hill

 

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Ball of Sunset

 

Sunset #43: This time with ponies

 

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Sunset at Gate's Pass

 

Star Gazing at Gate's Pass

 

Star Gazing at Gate's Pass

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Houses & Babies & Cars – Oh my!

Go big or go home, right?

We’re moving across the country at the end of July. Before we even knew the move date (or the location), we knew we wanted to trade out our current not-so-stellar car for something that will definitely last us through baby and snow and the next 10 years.

Then we found out we were going to Michigan and we started researching rentals. The average rent seemed to be about the same as here, which – okay, we can obviously do that. Then I made the mistake of looking at houses for sale.

Holy housing market, batman! You can buy a house in Lansing for less than a new car. And not even a fancy new car. Granted, that house is in dire need of a few repairs, but even the nice, perfectly in shape houses are a 1/3rd what they are here. A third of what we were seriously considering buying a few years back, but ultimately decided not to because we didn’t want to deal with the hassle of moving at that time.

Renting would be 100x easier, especially considering the cross-country move and impending baby. Yet we kept looking at sale prices as we perused rentals and it became increasingly difficult to justify spending so much more each month for the convenience of a rental. Especially when so many rentals looked like they were woefully neglected and so many rental companies had incredibly negative reviews.

I crunched the numbers five different ways (including all relevant taxes and insurance and associated upkeep costs) and we’d still come out ahead of renting even if we sold the house for a loss. It’s insane.

So we decided to look into it. We’re going to contact a realtor and line some houses up for when we visit in July. We’re going to talk to friends who have bought recently and people we know who live in Lansing. I’ll also accept any advice from you guys for a first-time home-looker/buyer. I have the mortgage and title and property part 100% down because I worked in that sector for 6 years, but I have no idea what house buying looks like from the outside.

And of course we still want to buy a car before we move. Because we’re already planning on making one large financial decision. Might as well make another!

I have fallen head over heels in love with Subaru, specifically the Impreza Wagon. It’s kind of a problem. Especially because it’s waaaaay beyond our original price range.

But really, any big sedan/hatchback or teeny SUV would be good. We just need something that will last, will handle snow with grace, and can fit a car seat comfortably. Our plan is to head out and test drive a bunch of different makes and models over the next few weekends and hone in on what we want. Assuming I haven’t already made up my mind 100% about the Subaru.

And then there’s baby. ‘Nuff said there. These things just seem to go together. I’ve watched a handful of other bloggers do the exact same thing before giving birth: find a house, move into a house, and buy a car. So I know it’s possible. I was just kind of… hoping to avoid all that.

Oh well. Better to do it all now, while I still have energy, right?

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