In place of actual content

on 28 August 2008

We have a whole ton of people coming in to town this weekend to see the Boy so I'm a bit overwhelmed...therefore, in lieu of actual content I give you pictures of the aforementioned Boy.

Look at those eyelashes...he gets them from his father. Between the two of them, I'm doomed.

He's 6 weeks old and hit a growth spurt...hence, no posts. It's all eating all the time around here.

I may be biased here, but tell me, how adorable is this child?

Big Foot

on 24 August 2008

Hypothetically speaking, if you lived in Burnstopia, and you had a son whose claw like finger nails had gouged his face, not once, not twice, but THRICE in a week would you:

a) patiently wait until he is asleep and then neatly file his nails down as instructed in the hospital.

b) bemoan the length and dagger like qualities of said finger nails while doing nothing.

c) finally lose all patience with the constant gouging and attempt to trim the aforementioned fingernails with appropriate clippers but BEFORE feeding him and while he was EXTRA wiggly from the hunger and then accidentally take a small chunk out of his thumb?

If you guessed C--you would fit right in, here in Burnstopia.

But seriously, look, LOOK at these gouges!

2 by his left eye, 1 on the left side of his nose and 1 on the left end of his chin! It cannot be born! It's unconscionable, especially the week before people come in to town to meet him and marvel that such a beautiful child could be born to such adults as the Husband and I!

He and I were not having such a good day together anyway.

First he puked all over me while I was getting ready for church. Which necessitated a second outfit for me.

Then he puked all over me again DURING church which then necessitated going home because seriously--smelling like spit up all day, not so much.

But then the day seemed to improve upon us both. We came home, I changed the offending clothes, the Boy put on the coziest pajamas from the Beautiful Whimsy and we both took a nap. Then came the aforementioned thumb cutting but up to that point the day was getting so much better! Incidentally, the jammies are labeled 3 months. The Boy is 6 weeks old but the jammies? He's wearing them because THEY FIT HIM IN THE FEET!!! My kid. I have bequeathed to him my ginormous feet.

He's sitting next to me and fussing, which, how could you fuss if you looked this cute?

Thank you for the jammies, Alice! And the COOL onesie! AND the toy! And the taggie blanket! You're the best!

The Proof is in the Pudding

on 20 August 2008

Since I know how hard it must be to imagine a baby swaddled lovingly in FLAMES, I have visual proof for all you Doubters out there...also, it's just so darn cute.

Behold! Our little Burrito of FIRE. He is his mama's son.

Oh, come on. It's FUNNY. It's Comedy! He lives in BURNStopia and he's swaddled in FLAMES. Surely you all see the twisted humor in that?

Oh the illogicality of our lives...

on 19 August 2008

I'm sitting in our front room floor writing this out, it's more updating for updating's sake than anything else. Agnes is having the hardest time adjusting to life now that she doesn't get her On-top-of-one-of-us-all-the-time lifestyle anymore and she jumped up in the rocking chair to comfort herself in proud silence when the Husband rousted her down...the conversation went something like this:

The Husband: Get DOWN.
The Wife: Why? You don't sit up there and she's not bothering anyone.
The Husband: I know, but that's the Boy's spot.
The Wife: The Boy doesn't sit up there either.
The Husband: I know.
The Wife: Then why?...
The Husband: I don't know, I just don't want her up there...

Ahhhh. I love the smell of illogical neuroses in the morning...smells like...HOME.

You realize, of course, that I can easily match the Husband neurotic tendency for neurotic tendency so I'm allowed to make fun a bit.

Since my thinking is either in bullet points or long rambling digressions, I thought that I would update you all with bullet points since I can appreciate how busy you all are what with spouses and children and THE OLYMPICS.

Here are some totally random thoughts from Burnstopia:

  • The Chinese are total cheaters in gymnastics, if those girls are 16 then I will eat my own foot and I'm a vegetarian.
  • Yesterday was my last official "day" at the workplace...RIP funny, sarcastic stories of professional types. Maybe I will resurrect you for a collection of short stories.
  • Last night the Boy slept from 9:30-4am straight! I actually got up to check if he was still breathing...he was. He was just tired, I guess.
  • Today was the Husband's first day of class, I was a little jealous but mostly just excited for him. He came home less than excited to be back in classes. C'est la vie.
  • I've plowed through 2 quarts of strawberries and a huge quantity of grapes. Never underestimate the power of fruit to brighten up your day.
  • Agnes tried to lay on the Boy for the first time today. I was nursing him in bed and she stepped over his head to attempt to lay down on top of him. I looked at her and said, "No." And she decided to just cuddle him instead. When people ask us why we aren't co-sleeping, this is what I tell them. Agnes doesn't quite understand the line between cuddling and SUFFOCATION. She means well, she just overestimates his ability to free himself from her loving WALLOW.
  • I'm waiting on 2 books from amazon. 1 for a book club that I'm contemplating picking up with and the other one is just for ME. For FUN. AKA: Not to learn ANYTHING AT ALL. I know. I am a REBEL.
  • My days are bizarrely unstructured right now...some days we nap, some days we don't, some days we get stuff done and some days we sit and cuddle and read all. day. long. I feel guilty. GUILTY. Terrible. Like some unproductive, uncooperative member of society. I know. Am crazy. Send help. Also, ice cream.
  • I am so ready for Fall. Very very done with summer. Send cool weather. Soon.
I'm going to stop now since the list is degenerating to circles of random that are neither sensible nor funny nor interesting. Instead, I'm going to go wrap my son up in a flannel blanket with FLAMES on it!

Promised Smiles

on 15 August 2008

As promised, here are the first smiles...and oh, they are blinding me with the cuteness! Of course he's also napped today and he's unusually happy and relaxed. Most of these are pictures of a game the the Husband plays with him which I affectionately refer to as WEEEE! Because that's the sound the Husband makes as he lifts him up in the air and brings him back to us.

How are your eyes? Still seeing ok? Try this one:


And just for good measure--it's Friday after all, I don't want y'all doing too much work on a Friday afternoon and being blinded by cuteness is a sure way to be excused...

I swear, he just woke up that way! He was all squirmy and I went to check on him and that was the face he was making! Also, he had just pooped. Behold, the power of a good poop.

Updating...and also, I am dumb

No, I haven't forgotten that I keep a blog...I've just been busy.

Busy with what?!? You ask.

Well, give me a minute and I'll show you:

You take 5 boxes of tomatoes, 4 bags of bell peppers, 40+ jalapeno peppers, 5 heads of garlic and 4 bags of onions. Peel and chop and dice and crush and try not to cry from all the onion and garlic in the air and then you add these fine people:

The Husband is off to the right, you just can't see him in this picture, but that's my Mom, my Dad and my 92 year old Grandma peeling and chopping tomatoes as if it's their life's ambition to make salsa for their lactating daughter/ granddaughter. Me? I was plugged into a hungry baby all. day. long. More on the hungry baby later.

So after all the peeling, chopping, dicing, spicing and stewing, here's what you end up with!

That right there is 40 quarts and 6 pints of pure Salsariffic bliss. The last time we made salsa we made 4 batches and it only lasted us through May. This time around we made 7 batches in the hopes that it will last us until next August when we will make it all over again.

And yes, it's that good.

And for those of you who are counting, one quart is in the fridge and already half gone, and one pint went to work with the Husband so he could "share" with his coworkers.

And just to prove to you all that excellent education does not always equal a smart person, I offer you this story of my latest inadequacies as a parent.

We are breastfeeding. And let's all just remember the Burnstopia rule of Live and Let Live, I know it's not for everyone, but it's what the Husband and I wanted to do...we've made more radical decisions than this and I'm sure they'll creep out into the blog eventually...reserve your righteous indignation for those moments--the ones where we truly deserve it for being pants-on-head CRAZY rather than only moderately idealistic here with the breastfeeding thing.

Anyway, everyone told me to listen to the lactation consultants in the hospital which I did. They're great about helping you get a good latch and finding good positions and, in our case, keeping the Boy AWAKE to eat enough. What they weren't so much helpful with is telling me what I have to do to MAKE ENOUGH MILK FOR THE CHILD.

See. I might walk around like your average academic but inside I have very little concept of how to take good care of myself. It's why I'm a twin. I was never meant to survive this world on my own. It's also why I ended up with a great husband--God knew that I was not to be trusted to take care of myself so He gives me lots of help. Anyway. Since no one in the hospital mentioned anything about diet or fluids I just assumed that I could just eat normally and the Miracle of the Human Body would continue to make enough breast milk.

Not so much with the miracle thing you Big Dumb Wife.

All that fussing that the Boy has been doing? That I thought was gas or indigestion or switching his days and nights? Yeah. That was just hunger. Turns out that I wasn't eating or drinking anywhere near enough so my milk supply was dwindling in unbelief and the Boy was just hungry hungry hungry all the time. Hence, the nursing all the time.

And so, after many, many frustrating days and even more frustrating nights the Wife did what all smart women through history do, I talked to my sister (who breast fed 4 babies even with low supply) and she called me and my breasts to repentance and I have since started the all eating, all drinking all the time breastfeeding diet and LO! The Boy eats like a champ and he SLEEPS! At night! For 4 hours at a time! And the true miracle of the human body is that I LIKE my child when he lets me sleep.

She also told me to run and get this book:

Frankly, I think that if any of you are breastfeeding or have breastfed and will continue to do so you ought to run, RUN I say, and buy this book. It's brilliant. And aside from telling me exactly what I should be eating and how much, it's also really encouraging for those of us who chafe at being tied down--we're doing what's best and natural and ready-made for our it's OK to be tied down a bit.

So, we made the salsa, I proved that smart people aren't always smart and now I have no proof for my other great accomplishment of the past week which is that the Boy is starting to smile more. Real smiles. Intentional-look-at-our-faces and SMILE smiles. And they are big and gummy and awesome.

But right now he kind of looks like he's trying to poop so I will NOT take a picture and just ask you to take my word for it until I CAN take a picture at which point it will be posted here for you all to admire my sons big pink gums.


on 06 August 2008


Do you ever have those weeks where you don't seem to do much and then in one day you make a huge decision and ACT on it and then you sort of feel like you need a breather? I'm having one of those. Thank you, and please pass the chocolate I need to self-medicate over here.

I just put in my notice that I'm not returning to the workplace.

Please, excuse while I breathe deeply into this paper bag for a moment.

Ok. Here's the thing. I know that there are a lot of women out there who have kids and work and they love it. There are a lot of women for whom working is an absolute necessity. I don't intend my choice to be in any way, shape or form a judgment on anyone else's choice and I really don't want this post to be one of those which sparks the Great Debate about Working Moms vs. Stay at Home Moms. To each her own, I say. And also live and let live. And while we're at it, why don't we just allow each other to make our own choices and respect each other for those choices without feeling the need to superimpose our own choices on to everyone else.

I got a little defensive there, didn't I? Sorry about that.

In spite of what we've been telling people, we've sort of known that this day was coming. There was a brief moment when I thought that the workplace might change my position to fit my educational background and had that happened I probably would have been tempted to stay, but it didn't so the whole issue is a moot point.

When we started talking about having a child we also started squirreling money away because neither of us knew how it would turn out and I didn't want to be faced with falling head over heels in love with my child only to be forced economically to return to work and put him into the care of strangers. And in spite of having money squirreled away, I'm still sort of freaking out.

It's not that I don't love my child. I do. I love him with a love that is fierce and protective and sometimes sappy. I get snappy and impatient and annoyed at his inability to conform to my schedule (HA! I'm funny and delusional, aren't I?) but it doesn't change how I love him. And from the moment they pulled him out of me and I heard him cry, I knew. I knew that I would never be able to leave him.

And yet. I have been horribly poor. Having been horribly poor, I'm consequently (maybe even irrationally) terrified of poverty.

I should qualify this ramble by saying that the Husband has always seen to it that our needs are always met. We have never been hungry or faced with eviction or had to seek public assistance or anything of the kind. He always manages to make things come together. He is brilliant that way. And he has no fear whatsoever of going to a single income...that, my friends, is all me.

And I know. I KNOW we're making the right decision. Even if I went back to work at this point, just looking at the cold hard numbers my salary would go to pay for child care, health insurance for the Boy and formula (because continuing to breastfeed would be nigh unto impossible) and that would be it. Affectively, I would be an indentured servant to other people while paying them to take care of my child. That's not how I want to live my life.

And so I sit. Stuck in between my abject fear of poverty and cold hard reality and moony love for my boy.

Well, given the actions of today I suppose I'm not so much sitting. I'm leaping. Into a new life or a new version of our life. And yes, those of you who know me well will know that I won't sit still for long. Once the Boy is a bit bigger, a bit stronger, a bit more independent, there are projects to research, things to write, edit and (hopefully) publish.

But for now, I'm reading him the collected works of Robert Frost and smelling his head.

Like Father, Like Son

on 05 August 2008

Both pictures taken at 5:30 Tuesday evening.
And I am the only one in Burnstopia who is awake.

Is there anyone else out there who wonders why I seem to be the only one upset by the Guantanamo Hours?

Purple Crying

on 03 August 2008

Hi, there.

So, when we had the Boy, everyone warned us about the "period of purple crying" saying that babies just cry sometimes. Sometimes until they turn purple. It's apparently totally natural and we should just accept that he's going to cry and leave it be. So this is what we've been practicing. There was more purple baby this afternoon. Enough that NO ONE in Burnstopia got a nap today. But we did some fine cooking and there was a liberal sprinkling of humor thrown in. And as way of cheap blog fodder, I offer the photo essay.

When the MIL, AIL and G-MaIL were here they left us with this recipe for fruit cobbler which is complicated (more so than I would normally choose to do on my own) and the Husband was in an experimental mood this evening--whilst the Boy was screaming in another effort to rupture his own noggin--so he headed to the kitchen to make up some blueberry cobbler. We thought that blueberry was fitting since our son was beginning to resemble one!

First, he melted a stick of butter in a pyrex dish. While holding a very fussy Boy. Please note the kitchen tool he's using to cut the butter in order to facilitate the melting. We should note, that we aren't BAD parents because he's holding a carving knife and our child--we're INTERESTING parents. There's a difference, see?

Then he mixed up the dough and cooked the berries and asked me to get all messy in order to spread the berries on the dough and then roll it up and cut it into rounds--do you see what I'm saying about complicated? Anyway...this is what it looked like once we got the rounds in the pan:

Also, please noted the beautifully melted stick of butter in the bottom of the pan. Then the Husband poured a sugar syrup all around the rounds of dough and fruit and this is what it looked like going into the oven:

Mmmm. Note the pools of butter in the sugar syrup and the floating berries too. Looks delicious, no?

And this is what it looked like coming out of the oven:

Well, it looks better than it did when it went IN to the oven.

And this is what the Husband looks like eating the very purple "Angry Child" cobbler:

So, to recap. In order to make this dessert, you need to take one VERY angry child:

(HA! See that onesie he's wearing! He's IRONIC baby today.) Mix in parents with eccentric senses of humor. Add liberal quantities of butter and sugar and voila!

You bake for 45 minutes and get Obi Wan Kanobie Baby...who, by the way, is sleeping through the Guantanamo Hours, AGAIN. I was ruthless and woke him up only to change him, dress him for bed and attempt to put him down again. He's currently screaming himself purple again but the Husband is walking the floor with him so I figure, it's ok.

The Wife, The Boy and the Epic Battle of Wills

on 01 August 2008

Once upon a time, there was a Queen. And this Queen and her King lived in a beautiful land we'll call Burnstopia. And one day the Queen and the King decided that they should add a Prince to their beautiful land, so they did.

And oh, he was so beautiful when he was born. And they loved him dearly.

And then, one day--we'll call it 3 Weeks After He Was Born--the Prince decided that he HATED everything.

He hated his Mother.
He hated his pacifier.
He hated being hungry.
He hated to eat.
He hated to sleep.
He hated clothes.
He hated to be naked more.
He hated diapers. Especially when they were dirty.
But he also hated having them changed.
He hated his oh so soft bouncy seat.
He hated his car seat.
He hated the softest of blankets.
He hated being only in a onesie.
He hated to be rocked.
He hated being talked to.
He hated being left alone.
He hated sitting still.
He hated looking out the window.
He hated being sung to.
He hated being inside.
He hated being outside.

In short, he hated everything. And he made his opinions known at top volume and right in the lovely Queen's face. And the Queen was so sad that her beautiful little Prince would only scream at top volume right in her face. Until his head turned purple. And the veins popped out. And his lips curled back. And his gums stood out. And she really thought that his beautiful little head might explode and she would have to explain to CPS why her beautiful little Prince was now decapitated.

And then, The King rode in to save the day! He came home and he took the Little Prince by the hand and he finally managed to soothe him in the way that only an edict from a Royal Personage can, and he put the Queen in to Bed Sweet Bed and stayed with her until she fell asleep. And then the King and the Prince got in to Bed Sweet Bed and they also fell asleep. And as proof of the King's devotion to his Queen, look at how much BED he gave her in which to nap.