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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Updates

It has been a crazy week for us, so I'll attempt a summary. My sore throat persisted for a full seven days before my second trip to the doctor. At the end of those 7 days, it was still completely raw. I had trouble swallowing and I was losing my voice, although not nearly to the extent of Ben, who sounded like a scary ax murderer every time he talked because his voice was so raspy. On Friday night, there was very little sleep to be had at our house, since all three of us were up with these horrible juicy coughs for most of the night. On Saturday morning, Ben gave in and agreed to see a doctor for the first time in six years. Luckily we were able to get in with the good doctor (I think I would willingly have just curled up and died if my only other option was to see the bad doctor again), so we went in for a full family visit. By this point, Bryn was by far the healthiest of the three of us. Her sore throat was basically gone, and some Pediacare provided an easy fix for her cough. Ben was prescribed something that he describes as "codeine in a bottle" due to how quickly it knocks him out. Due to the fact that I had been sick for an entire week, the doctor even wrote a prescripton for me, in spite of the fact that I am still nursing. Unfortunately, she didn't have all that many choices as to what to prescribe to still make it safe for Bryn, so I ended up on these gigantic pills that make me incredibly nauseous every time I take them. However, they do seem to be clearing up the infection, so we are all on the road to recovery.

On Sunday, Brynie and I loaded up the car and met up with the ZCHS Student Council for our annual retreat to Camp Tecumseh. Highlight: getting to work with some really great kids and staff. Lowlight: boys who seemed to feel that their status as upperclassmen gave them the right to be terribly mean to our sweet, hardworking female officers. It was a very full weekend, and it was great to get to see all the kids after most of a summer off. However, it seems that Bryn might not have the same love of camping that her mom and dad do, since she absolutely refused to sleep at night. She and I were in a private cabin, and she seeemed to be thinking, "I know there are big kids out partying somewhere!" She was up past 1:00 and woke up repeatedly during the night, largely due to her newest trick: sitting up by herself.

Bryn is getting to be very mobile, although still no crawling, largely due to the fact that she can get pretty much anywhere she wants to by her patented "scoot and roll" method. She is now sitting up by herself. Unfortunately, she does not seem to understand how to lie back down once she gets into the sitting position. So when she sits up in the night, she can't figure out how to get back down, so she has to scream for Mama to come put her back into a sleeping position. This was cute for the first night but is now causing some severe sleep deprivation for Ben and me. We had to take the bumper out of her crib because she kept trying to pull up ever further on that once she sat up (I'm thinking, "Oh, so this is how children suffocate.") Her chief amusement these days is trying to follow the dog around the house--I really don't know what she did for fun before Tela came back.

Our week was capped off this morning, when I got a call at 9:00 (I was still in my pajamas due to a long sleepless night with Bryn) to let me know that we were having a house showing at 10:30. Our house was covered with mess, since all we wanted to do during our full-family illness was sit on the couches and watch kiddie videos. In addition to this, we had also not unpacked from our weekend at Camp T. So I essentially became a human whirlwind for an hour and a half, somehow managing to tidy, dust, and vacuum our entire house, in addition to both showering and cleaning the bathroom, before the realtor showed up. Ben drove home from work to help and managed to get all the weeds pulled from the front walk approximately 2 minutes before the realtor pulled up. So hopefully the showing went well and we can get out of this house! Since we've only had 8 showings in the 3 months our house has been on the market, each of them seems pretty monumental. This was the first one on a weekday, so we were pretty unprepared for it, but I think we made it through okay.

So that's the basic summary of why I have dropped off the face of the earth lately: a week of illness, losing my voice, a weekend out of town, and craziness when we got back, not to mention the fever-pitch job search for something, anything, that can bring in a paycheck. I know I owe many of you phonecalls and/or emails, and I promise I'll get on that in the next few days. Hope you're all doing well!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Carnivorous

Tonight Ben was cooking dinner and I was sitting with him in the kitchen (I am afraid to touch raw meat, so he does most of the cooking). After feeding Bryn some fruits and vegetables out of small expensive plastic containers, my primary function consisted of providing her with a steady stream of vegetable puffs. Tonight's flavor was the sweet potato puffs. She loves them and gobbles them down as fast as I can hand them to her and then hollers for more when she runs out. Bearing this in mind, our conversation ran as follows:

Bryn: ahlalalala (translation: More puffs, Mama!)
Amy (handing the baby more puffs): Do you think it's possible that there's some kind of addictive substance in these puffs?
Ben: Nah, I think she just really likes self-feeding.
Amy: Too bad she won't self-feed fruit. That would be a lot cheaper.
Ben: She liked that watermelon last week.
Amy: True. And she did like the tortillas and rice last weekend.
Ben (opening the refrigerator): We can't just keep giving her puffs. Let's see what else we've got. (pulls out a package of bologna) How about this?
Amy: Well, it's not like we're going to eat it....

So we sliced up the processed meat-food into tiny little cubes and put some down in front of the baby. She LOVED them, gobbling them down and hollering for more. At one point during a highly scientific test run by Ben, she actually selected a meat cube over her beloved vegetable puffs (although we think that may have been because it was on her right side). So apparently our baby is now a carnivore. Must come with the teeth.

On a far, far, far less positive note, for those of you who were holding your breath for me regarding the church job I was interviewing for, you may now exhale. I heard from them today, and I did not get the job. To say that I am "pretty disappointed" would be a vast understatement. Not to mention the fact that I rejected 3 other job offers in favor of waiting for this one, and I am now both unemployed and somewhat financially desperate. So if any of you know of career opportunities for an unmarketable former English teacher who does not want to put her daughter in daycare but still needs to pay the bills..... well, I'm all ears.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Three Sickies

(or four, if you count Elaina, who Bryn infected last week)
Ben never gets sick. I mean NEVER, as in, he has not been to a regular doctor in the six years that I have known him. But as luck would have it, he, too, is now down with this icky sore throat that Bryn and I have been dealing with since last week. As far as I can tell, Bryn is on the mend. Her eye infection is almost cleared up, and she doesn't seem to be fussing about her throat. At least, she's eating everything we put in front of her, whereas Ben and I are pretty much limited to weak broth and popsicles. My throat felt worse every day until today, and now it feels a miniscule bit better, so I'm hoping that I'm on the mend.

As for Ben, he came down with the sore throat yesterday, so all three of us spent the whole day at home, mostly in our pjs, parked on the couches, sipping Dairy Queen products. Ben tried to call the doctor to get a prescription (which I cannot have, since I am still nursing Bryn), but since they don't have a medical chart for him (since he hasn't been to the doctor in 6+ years), they were unable to prescribe one over the phone (go figure).

In addition to the sore throats, I think we are all a little out of it. I, for example, ran my head directly into the car door when trying to reach in for my sunglasses. So I now have a large painful lump in addition to the sore throat and possible start to an eye infection. Ben wins the "out of it" prize though, as he forgot to put a clean diaper on Bryn when he changed her yesterday. We all went on a walk up and down our street last night, thinking that some fresh air would do us good, and just as soon as we got back into our garage, we noticed that a small puddle was forming under Bryn's stroller. We couldn't figure out what on earth it could be, because, as Ben said, "I just changed her!" But when we lifted her out of the puddle of her own pee, we discovered that her onesie was a little flatter than usual, due to there being nothing underneath....

On the up side, for those of you who also read Melissa's blog, at least I am not traipsing through the jungle in search of monkeys while being sick....

Monday, August 21, 2006

Two Sickies

I thought it was a little odd when, on Thursday morning, Bryn cried for about an hour and then fell into a deep sleep around 10:30. She has NEVER taken a nap before lunch before, but on this day, she was out for an hour and a half, which is a huge nap for her under any circumstances. I assumed that she was just cranky because of the TWO teeth that have broken through on her bottom gum in the last week, but on Friday morning, she woke up with gross crusties all over her right eye. Ever since then, her right eye has been discharging some gross stuff, and this morning, her left eye started as well. To top this all off, I woke up on Saturday with what I thought was a ridiculously sore throat, and what I have learned since then was a mild case compared to how I'm feeling now. So this morning Bryn and I went to the doctor, and for all of those of you who have been following our medical sagas, you will be pleased to know that we have switched to another doctor in Zionsville, who I absolutely loved today. She was great with Bryn and very friendly and helpful with me. Ahh, satisfactory medical attention, what a relief! Anyway, she prescribed some eyedrops for Bryn, which I have not actually given her yet, since I'm waiting for Ben because I pretty strongly suspect that one of us will need to hold her down while the other inserts the drops (I have slated him for the "hold her down" role). She said, much as I suspected, that since I am still nursing Bryn, there is nothing she can do for me medication-wise. She did suggest lots of water and popsicles, which I was doing as my own personal home remedy (and sugar fix) anyway. My big fear was that my sore throat some some variety of contagious and that Bryn would get it. Turns out that my fears were completely backwards. She checked Bryn's throat and said that it was really red and swollen and that Bryn probably had the sore throat first and I caught it from her. That made me feel like a pretty terrible mother, not even realizing that my daughter was in pain with a really sore throat, although I guess it's pretty understandable, since she can't talk and we've been treating her for teething pain all week anyway. So far from me infecting Bryn, apparently she gave me this delightful sore throat, and the doctor said that I am extremely likely to come down with eye gook in the next few days as well. Ewww. So Bryn and I spent the majority of the afternoon chilling with our wonderful friend Libby, who kept Bryn amused while I caught a short nap and then went to Dairy Queen to get me some un-medicated pain relief for my throat. So the Muffin and I are pretty much lying low this week until at least one of us feels better!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Bryn-Bear Makes Friends


I'm always reading about "play dates" and how good they are for babies, but I must admit that Bryn is pretty much still mystified by other children. She loves adults, and she thinks that teenagers exist solely for her amusement, but babies are foreign creatures to her. This week, though, we gave Bryn-Bear multiple opportunities to make some friends. On Wednesday, we went to Babies 'R' Us and out to lunch with my friend Andrea and her baby Hannah. It was fun for the grownups, but I was overwhelmed by the amount of winter clothes that were out. Andrea says, "It's too baby babies don't just change sizes with the seasons, " and I have to agree. Hannah snoozed through the majority of the "date," although Bryn did appear to be somewhat interested in her. Later that same night, our neighbor Kelly came by with her daughter Maggy to tell us that that they, too, will be moving out of this neighborhood. That pretty much confirms our decision to get out of here, as they are the only other people around with a young child. The conclusion of Bryn's big play-week was this Friday, pictured above. That day, the Bryn-Bear and I babysat for the Lainey-Bug while her mom Caroline recovered from surgery. Bryn was pretty mad in this picture; she couldn't believe that I would have the audacity to lie her down on her back and then not allow her to roll over. Bryn was extremely interested in Elaina, but in much the same way that she is interested in Tela, which is to pull and occassionally chew on her extremities while trying to figure out what exactly she is. Elaina was extremely patient with this, but I still don't view that as effective playtime. Part of the problem is that all 3 of these girls are younger than Bryn (Maggy being the closest in age, 4 months to Bryn's 9), so none are very mobile yet. Bryn kind of views them as big stuffed animals. I wish I knew some people with kids Bryn's age. The age difference with these girls won't seem like much by 2 or 3 years from now, and will basically seem nonexistant by the time they get into school, but for right now, they're not really at the same stages (which I fear can be harmful to them, if Bryn continues to view smaller children as teething toys!). Anyway, it was a fun week of mom play dates for me, even if Bryn didn't seem to fully appreciate it.
And oh, P.S., Ben says to tell you all to click on the ads on our page so we can make money. :)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Welcome Back, Tela


Last night, we received an addition to our household. Actually, a re-addition. Our dog Tela has come back to live with us. She has spent the last two months with Ben's co-worker Ji, as part of our "let's sell our house" efforts. However, Ji will be moving in a couple of weeks, and she needed to get rid of the dog to get packed up. (Wouldn't that be nice--to just decide to move and then be able to do it without all this waiting?!?!) We figure that since we have had all of 7 showings in 2 1/2 months (2 of which were actually at the open house we forced our realtor to set up, and 1 of which was unscheduled), we can probably handle getting Tela out of the house three times a month for showings. Or at least that's what we tell ourselves, since we have nothing else that we can do with her. That being said, we will be in a world of hurt if our house actually sells and we have to move to the apartment, since Tela can't go there, but we figure we've got at least a couple of weeks to feel out our options before farming Tela out to someone else.

At any rate, the point is that Bryn adores Tela. We're not sure if she remembers her from before or not, but even if she does, she was really too little to "play" when Tela moved out. Now, Tela is seriously challenging my status as Bryn's BFF. Bryn delights in grabbing Tela's ears and tail, and for what it's worth, Tela doesn't seem to mind at all, as long as she can retaliate by giving Bryn a good head-to-toe spit bath every five minutes or so. All day today, whenever I have separated "the girls," Tela has whined and Bryn has cried. I am extremely paranoid about Tela licking Bryn's face, but both of them seem to think that it's a really fun game. Hmm. Crissy, aren't dogs' mouths supposed to be cleaner than humans'? Of course, I don't lick Bryn. Nevermind; I think I'm better off not knowing!!

In addition to all the fun of having Tela back (by "fun" I mean really good cuddles at night and lots of affection, balanced by shedding all over the house and waking us up to go out at 4:00 in the morning), we have been especially pleased to see that she has continued turning white, even in our absence. Believe it or not, 10 months ago, this dog was completely black, not a single white hair on her. Shortly after Bryn was born, though, her face started turning white. We assumed that this was because the baby was stressing her out, thus turning her prematurely old. However, there was absolutely nothing stressful about living with Ji--well, nothing stressful for Tela, anyway. It was, however, stressful for Ji, if you classify as "stressful": sleeping on the couch for 2 1/2 months so the dog could sleep with her and not whine, having to take Benadryl daily because of a dog allergy she didn't realize she had, and having to barricade her kitchen every morning before work to keep Tela away from the fresh fruits and vegetables. In our defense, we knew nothing about any of these difficulties until Ji brought Tela back last night, because she always told Ben that everything was "fine," and even now, she says she would gladly do it all again (I think she must be suffering from sleep deprivation). Anyway, Tela is far more white now than when she departed from our house last May. Her face is almost completely white, and she has big white spots on her legs and back. I think the cutest part of all is that each of her ears has a white tip. She has made herself right at home with us again, taking up residence on the couch in front of the window to harrass the children walking home from the bus stop, and even treating herself to half a container of plum-banana-grape baby food while I was putting Bryn down for a nap. Speaking of, it's time for another meal for the Muffin, so I'm off to do that. On the up side, Tela makes an excellent vacuum cleaner for all of those little bits of food that Bryn drops!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Waiting (Is The Hardest Part)

I believe Tom Petty has a song by this name, and the chorus has been stuck in my head all day. For all of you who are waiting anxiously to hear whether I got the job or not, the answer is..... I don't know. The head of the search committee called me and said that the elder on the committee had gone out of town, so they didn't even meet last night. Moreover, they will not be meeting until next Wednesday. That leaves me with EIGHT LONG DAYS to hold my breath until I find out if I got the job or not. I'm not sure if I can make it!!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Groundbreaking


Yesterday Ben decided to drive by our lot on his lunch break. We figured there probably wouldn't really be anything to see, since we'd been there less than a week before and hadn't heard anything from our builders since then. But lo and behold, we had a big hole in the ground! So our house, or at least our basement, is now officially underway. We were so excited that we decided to go back in the evening to take pictures, but by the time we got there, it was pouring down rain. Luckily, our very nice new neighbors, Adarryl and Jennifer, saw our car and came running out into the rain to welcome us into their house and give us an entire cd full of pictures they had taken of the digging of the basement for us. They told us all about how their neighbor on the other side had done this for them when their house was being built. Before we left, they gave us all of their contact information and asked for all of ours so we could be in touch. They are SO nice. He's a pastor and she stays at home with the kids, a 3-year-old boy and a 3-month-old daughter, who I'm sure will be Brynie's playmate by next summer. So it was a red-letter day for us, first to learn that our house is FINALLY under construction, and secondly to re-discover what great neighbors we will have. (They were actually one of the large selling points of this particular lot for us--we met them when we were out looking at lots and liked them right away.) So it looks like things are finally looking up!

After gazing at our muddy hole, we went over to our friends Ryan (Ben's high school friend) and Kathy's apartment, ate pizza, and played an incredibly high-stress game of Shadows Over Camelot. Normally I'm not into the "gamer" games that Ben and Ryan like, but this one was great. So great, in fact, that when we got home, I suggested to Ben that we play it with more friends tonight!!! I think I'm hooked.

Today the Muffin and I went to the zoo, which was still surprisingly crowded for this close to the start of the school year. She was so much more alert this time than she has been during our last few trips, and I think she really enjoyed it. I kept lifting her out of her stroller so she could see everything. She got particularly excited about the brown bear, the meer kats, and the dolphins. (Melissa--the monkey exhibit was very weak.) Unfortunately, her favorite part, the waters pavillion, was closed for renovations--thus making me very glad that 9 month olds can't really anticipate things, because I would have had a very fussy baby on my hands otherwise! We then met up with Ben for lunch, and Bryn was very excited to see him when she woke up from her carseat snooze!

The only downside to the day occurred when I tried to take Bryn for her blood draw on the way home. The pediatrician that we went to last night (since our good one moved away) ordered the blood draw, although he did not tell me what it was for. Standard procedure, I'm hoping!?!? Anyway, we went to the lab he had recommended. This experience was pretty much a comedy of errors, except that I'm afraid of needles anyway, especially when it comes to someone sticking needles in Bryn, so I was horrified by the whole thing. We were the only ones there, and there was only one girl working, serving as both receptionist and nurse. When I handed her the paperwork, which clearly stated it was for a 9 month test, she said, "So this is for you then?" When I said, "No, it's for her," she got a look of true horror on her face and said, "Oh, okay...." in a quavery tone of voice. I was pretty scared, but I didn't realize she was the only one there, so I figured she'd get someone else to do it. After I filled out all the paperwork, she said that she would be "right with me," and then I read the majority of People magazine and watched Bryn play in the waiting room until this girl finally emerged again, a full half an hour later. She took me into a lab and told me that I had to hold Bryn on my lap while she did the draw. Then she started exploring Bryn's arm for veins. Okay, maybe that was right, I don't know. But every time Bryn has had shots before, she's been lying down, and they've done it in her leg. Maybe blood draws are different, but this chick was not inspiring me with a lot of confidence. Then she told me that she thought there was some way that I should be able to pull up my leg and wrap it around Bryn to restrain her....... I'm envisioning myself as a human pretzel when she says, "Yeah, it's been a really long time since I've done a child....." She continued to poke and prod Bryn, attempting to find a vein, while I repeated, "We can just come back some other time...." She was like, "No, it's fine, I think I can do it." At the last minute, thank goodness, she panicked and said, "I can't do this!!" So Bryn and I made a speedy getaway. I don't know what it is with the medical professionals in Zionsville, but I'm thinking I'd be safer to perform the procedures myself than to trust her to these people!!! Yikes. I'm thinking that the sooner we move to Brownsburg, the better!

Friday, August 11, 2006

It's All A Blur

All summer long, I have been anticipating this week, and not necessarily in a good way. It has been incredibly busy, but I'm starting to believe I'll actually make it through successfully. I have spent a ridiculous amount of time at school, finishing up my grand finale of my days at ZCHS (or so I would like to believe).

Monday night was my fifth-round interview with with church that I really want to work for, and that took most of the night. Most of it went well, with the exception of the last part of the night, where I felt like the questions were really hard. Sometimes I wonder if it is harder to get this job than to get into the CIA or something, since I have to go through so many rounds and talk to so many different people! I half expect them to start interviewing my friends and acquantainces of the past 10 years, like I had to do for Damon in college, just to make sure that I'm who I say I am.

On Tuesday, my dad drove over for lunch and to help pack up my brother's stuff, since he is moving up to Notre Dame this weekend for his first year of law school. We met Ben for lunch in Brownsburg and showed my dad our lot--which is still an empty lot, as our stupid realtor (who we absolutely cannot stand--anyone who lives in the Indy area, do NOT hire Dave Allen or the Allen Team through ReMax) neglected to turn in the paperwork which would allow the company to start building. So they will not be breaking ground until the end of this month, and we will obviously not be into our new house in September as they originally promised. Now I just hope we're in for Bryn's first birthday on November 3. But I digress.....

On Wednesday, Baby B and I spent all day long at the high school, training 100 upperclassmen for the freshman mentoring program. It was kind of ridiculous, in that Bryn decided to make really loud baby noises at the most inopportune moments. So then everyone would laugh, and their concentration would totally be broken, and the she would grin really big and make louder noises, etc. During the training, Ben called me and told me that someone bought his car!! I was also rather freaked out to hear that when the people met him to see his car, they were carrying $9000 cash to pay for it. My immediate reaction was, "Was this guy a drug dealer?" Ben said that no, he was about 75 years old and afraid of banks--which was a much more reassuring answer. When I eventually got home from my loooong day of mentor training, I barely had time to breathe before fielding a ridiculous phonecall from an irate mother that started screaming as soon as I answered the phone. The Readers' Digest version of her freak-out was that she wanted to "sue the school" if her freshman son was not given a male mentor instead of the female he had originally been assigned. This was mixed in with a lot of profanity and some of the fiercest insults I have ever been privy to. The kicker to all of this was that her son was not even registered to attend the orientation!! I must have said 30 times, "Ma'am, you have called me at my home number. I cannot handle this from home, but I will be happy to take care of it for you on Friday morning at the Kick-Off." This did not seem to appease her in any way. I was shaking by the time she hung up on me 20 minutes later, and shortly thereafter, I joined Bryn in some heartfelt wails. I just fail to understand--I have been working on this thing since March, and 2 days beforehand, some psycho calls me and yells about some incredibly tiny part, and it makes me feel like I am a huge failure. I HATE that one mean person can negate all those months of good work in my mind. Anyway, once the screaming was over, I hardly had time to wash my face and change my clothes before I had to pass Bryn off to Ben and drive to Carmel for my sixth (and final) interview with the church. This one went really well and I came out of it with a really good feeling. I won't know until next week if I got the job though. I drove home in Iris, while contemplating that my dinner leftovers in my take-home box on the front seat might constitute the first meat that had ever been in Iris, due to her ownership by my vegetarian friends. Melissa, I promise that any meat residue will be long gone by the time you get home from Nicaragua. At any rate, I got home totally ready to crash and ended up needing to wait up for another hour for Ben to get home from picking up friends from the airport with Bryn so that I could feed her and put her to bed. Eventually, I fell into bed exhausted.

Thursday held many hours of work at school on both Kick-Off and Student Council things. We had this huge deluge during that time, and the power went off at the school, which was a little creepy. I waited out the storm, since I had huge amounts of work to do anyway, but even though it wasn't raining anymore when I got home, our power was still flickering, 5 seconds on and 1 second off. It was extremely unsettling. I did get a nap (bless you, Ben, for providing this). Then I had to drive downtown to the Convention Center in rush hour traffic during the biggest convention of the year to pick up Ben and Bryn, who had spent the whole day at GenCon. For the un-indoctrinated and non-geeks out there, GenCon is a huge gamers convention, which Ben has a 4-day pass for, and my daughter spent all day there having people dressed as vampires and wookies exclaiming over how cute she is. After feeding Bryn, I fell into bed at about 8:00, and Ben took off to go rejoin the gamers.

This morning started at 5:00, when I got up to prepare for Freshman Kick-Off. The high school was absolute chaos, with 400 freshmen, 100 mentors, and various parents wandering around, all asking me questions because basically no other staff members were there. Did I mention that I don't actually work there anymore?!?! To top it all off, Ben had to bring Bryn up to the school so that I could lock myself in a bathroom stall to nurse her when she woke up in the morning. The rest of the day followed in much this vein, but it is now over and I seem to have escaped unscathed. Ben and Bryn just walked in from another day at GenCon, so I'm going to go join them for dinner. Then Brynie and I will go back to the high school for tonight's freshman/mentor dance (she's pretty cute on a dance floor!), and Ben will return to Gaming Central. Phew!!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Melissa, Iris, and Nicablogua


On Sunday, Ben and I drove over to Illinois to pick up "Iris," Melissa's beloved Honda Insight. Melissa and Rob left this morning for a year in Nicaragua (on a "remote volcanic island in shark-infested waters"), where Melissa will be studying howler monkeys with a $10,000 piece of equipment in order to earn her anthropology PhD. So Iris is coming to live with us for the year. On the drive home, I was wowed and amazed at the fact that I was getting 60 miles per gallon on the interstate, and even more amazed at the fact that we were getting 120 mpg in town.

At any rate, even though I am an avid reader of Melissa's newest project, Nicablogua, I am desperately going to miss her over the next year. We have been best friends since we were nine years old and playing on the balance beam on the playground at Banner Elementary School. Melissa, Rob, I wish you the best of luck, and I will miss you!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Nurse Jill


Just a quick post here to congratulate Ben's sister Jill for her graduation this Saturday. Ben, Bryn, and I trucked it up to Grand Rapids on Friday night to spend the night with Grandma in preparation for Jill's nursing pinning ceremony on Saturday. (By the by, 6 hours is a LONG way to go with a fussy baby!! :) ) The ceremony was really nice, and we got to see the whole family there and at a party afterwards. So Jill is now officially a nurse and "all grown up," which Ben says makes him feel very old! As usual, the visit was too short--we really need to discover an extra day or so in each week! :) But it was really good to get to see everyone and show off Bryn, and we are incredibly proud of Jill for all her accomplishments. Way to go!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

So Many Thoughts, So Many Distractions

So many things to comment upon, and so very few of them related to each other..... First of all, as the picture shows, I have recently discovered an excellent use for the pounds of junk mail that we receive. Bryn was sitting next to me while I sorted the mail yesterday, and she took great delight in shredding it. To think, some people actually pay for shredding machines! (although I guess Bryn is far more expensive than those machines....) In fact, she enjoyed tearing up the papers so much that she tried to take a nose dive off the couch to reclaim them when I took them away from her. So like any tired mother, I gave in, and set her up on the floor, surrounded by ads, while I ran for my camera. The down side to this little exericse was that when I completed my photographic project, I discovered that she had a large wad of the Victoria's Secret swimsuit ad wedged in her mouth. Oops.


Next topic.... today was Brynie's 9 month check-up. Her regular doctor, who we adored, has moved to Georgia to be with his family, so we were checked out today by another doctor in the practice, who I found to be FAR inferior to our beloved Dr. Eller. Even our nurse was different than Ann, who we've always had before and love. For starters, our nurse told me that Bryn only weighed 14 pounds, which was about 6 pounds different from what the scale showed. Next, she couldn't read the chart to figure out what percentile Bryn was in. When the doctor came in, he did manage to read the chart for us, but then he told us that Bryn was fully healthy for a 3 month old. At this point, I couldn't decide between, "Gosh, time really seems to have been dragging for these last 3 months!" and "Wow, my baby is huge!" As so to point out how ridiculous his statement was, I am posting her a picture of Bryn with her friend Elaina, who is 7 weeks old. Do they look similar in size??? Anyway, when the doctor finally got it figured out, he compensated for his stupidity by giving Bryn a tongue depressor to play with, which seemd to make her feel better for being mistaken for a child 1/3 her age, but did not really alleviate my concerns. In the end, I learned that she is 20 pounds, which puts her in the 50th percentile for her age, which is WAY far down from the 95th that she used to be. She is 28 inches long (75th percentile) and her head is 46 centimeters around (80th percentile).


Nextly, as a shout-out to the Dunlap Clan in reference to the gala that was Chuck's 16th birthday surprise, I have to tell you a horrifying story. Lately, Bryn's "separation anxiety" has really seemed to kick in when I have left her to go clean myself. Two days ago, I handled this problem by setting up her little chair in the bathroom, lifting up the novelty curtain on the shower so that just the clear curtain remained, and doing what amounted to a song and dance number to keep her amused while I was in the shower. Since I had no desire to do a repeat performance, yesterday I gave in to the gods of technology and set her up in front of PBS while I showered. When I got in the shower, she was halfheartedly watching a cartoon about a little boy named Caillou and focusing more on her plastic set of keys. By the time I got out, though, she was starting at the TV like she was a slack-jawed yokel. Most horrifyingly, I was greeted by a distinct song from the TV: "I love you, you love me, we're a happy family..." Yes, that's right, my daughter has fallen under the spell of the evil purple dinosaur. I immediately rushed in and turned it off, and she rewarded me by sobbing hysterically for the next half hour. I think the damage has been done. But I stand firm: no matter how desperate things become, I will never stoop to placating her by showing her our homemade version of "The Search for Barney." (And as for you, "Uncle" Derek, let it be said that ANY and ALL of the Hickory Grove Productions are strictly off-limits for Bryn and all future children!)

And on to the news you've actually all been waiting for..... the results of yesterday's job interviews. Both went REALLY well. The part-time job is basically mine if I want it (which I only do if the other one doesn't work out), and I have made it to Final Jeopardy for the dream job. I have mega-interviews on both Monday and Wednesday nights, so please keep me in your thoughts and prayers for that. I'm still withholding details for fear of jinxing myself, but I hope to be able to fill you all in next week!

And a final note..... I have been working on typing this for several hours now and keep needing to stop to go do other things, so it's probably a good thing that my thoughts were so disjointed anyway. One distraction took place when the Muffin scooted herself almost completely under our couch and needed to be rescued. On the up side, I did find an old dog toy under there. At another time, I thought I was Super-Mom because I had finally induced Brynie to eat some slices of cooked carrot, which would have been a major breakthrough, since she currently refuses to eat anything that does not come in a small, expensive, plastic container. I was rejoicing in my genius of cutting up the slices and letting her eat them herself as opposed to the much-hated chunks-on-a-spoon method, but was sorely disappointed when I discovered that she had subtly strewn the slices all over the floor under her high chair. Aren't kids supposed to be a lot older before they start hiding the food they don't want to eat??? And lastly, my sister Kristin and her boyfriend Jared have now arrived for a 2-day visit, and Bryn is busy flirting with Jared and glaring at Kristin in jealousy, so I'd better go break that up. Thereby ending my extremely long post!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

D-Day (maybe)

Today is possibly the D-Day of "What I'm Doing With My Life," which does seem to be a popular question these days. I have two job interviews today. One is the third-round interview for the job I would really like, and the other is the second-round interview for a job that would be fine but only entails 10 hours a week and low pay, which doesn't really solve our financial woes. I am hoping that these interviews will lead to some kind of conclusion, although as I watch Bryn scoot around the floor of the office as I type this, I have to admit that if it weren't for those pesky bills that need to be paid, nothing could induce me to leave her during the day. I'm experiencing some serious angst on the whole "day care" issue... don't even get me started.

Also on the "we're poor" side of things, please note that my beloved blog has been overtaken by ads. This is Ben's doing, since he read an online article by a guy who claims to make a 4-figure salary every month simply from the ads on his website. So please feel free to click through all the ads every time you visit our blog, as so to enhance our financial stability. :)