Monday, August 29, 2011

Because after a day like today, why would you elect to spend another minute without cable, internet, lights, and AIR CONDITIONING?!?

So, the hurricane hit us pretty hard. Maybe not as hard as they were predicting, but it did tear down a tree outside our home, which tore down a power line, which is still across our road. Also, we have no power. Or internet. We DID have some power, for a bit. The bedroom and nursery and half the kitchen was out, but we had power in other parts of the apartment, so we rigged up some extension cords and went about our business. But today the fire department came to check out the live wire and thought it would be a good idea to cut the rest of the power. Awesome. I mean, yeah, that makes sense and all, but it also kind of sucked. Especially since my nanny was home with Milo at the time. She took it in stride, which is a good sign.

Speaking of which, today was the nanny's first day. She's fantastic. At least, so far. It took a bit of time to show her the ropes, which wasn't good in the sense that I have a huge project to finish this week and I was counting on doing the bulk of it today. But it was a totally worthwhile investment. She took the whole "Milo might or might not take a bottle and might scream as if he is in great pain" situation really well. She also did well with trying to feed him the first time with me there. (no pressure or anything, huh?) I worked in the dorm room next door so I was easily accessible, other than a couple of meetings on campus. The only questions she asked were very thoughtful ones, like is it okay to use the exercise ball for play or only for calming him to sleep? Speaking of sleep, she got him to nap in his bassinet (which I have never gotten him to do.) AND THEN SHE SORTED HIS CLOTHES! hahahahaha. I think I'm in love.


I'm already so sad that she is applying to grad schools for next year and won't likely be a long-term nanny for Milo. Fingers crossed that this isn't a honeymoon phase. I've heard horror stories about nannies, but she seems really, really wonderful. And super flexible and accommodating too.

By the time I came back from my second meeting, the power was out and it was time for the nanny to go home. Which was sad. Because I have to be honest...having her there was strangely liberating. Maybe not so strange to moms who have been through this before, I guess. But for the hour or so I got to sit at a desk in a quiet room, in a breeze from the open window, getting work done...I felt so GREAT. I also felt like I wanted to use the time to get stuff for my own life done rather than work, but hey.

I also missed Milo more than I expected to, given he was next door and it was only a five hour separation. And I saw him two or three times during that time. But I really did miss him.

After the nanny left, I fed Milo and laid down with him, intending to have a cozy nap. About five minutes in, he was asleep and I got a text explaining that the power might be out for up to three days.



So I began some frantic texting on my dying phone (the laptop and kindle were already dead) trying to come up with a plan for the night. I didn't want to move because Milo hasn't been sleeping well during the day OR during the night lately, and he was fast asleep. So I tried to plan without moving.

Our friend was coming to watch Milo while we were supposed to attend a 4 hour meeting. Which meant she'd be in the dark with nothing to do for four hours. oops.

Then I realized everything in our fridge and freezer was going to spoil. So I called around to other dorms until I found one with an empty dorm fridge, and then I packed up the most important and/or expensive items in two coolers.

Then I was stuck. Milo was sleeping--in a bed, no less--and it seemed like a lot of work to carry the two coolers down to the car, then get Milo in a car seat and down, only to do it all in reverse at the dorm, then again to get back to the dorm...and I only had 20 minutes till our friend would arrive to babysit Milo and I had to head to the meeting.

Thank goodness for good friends. One of our campus friends was kind enough to cart my two coolers over to the other dorm and unpack them in the fridge and freezer. We'll probably have to chuck the stuff that wouldn't  fit, but I think I saved the important stuff. Or Matt did anyway. Thanks, Matt.

Stuff like that really restores my faith in humanity.

Along the journey today I got TWO different phone calls with TWO bits of fairly serious bad news that I can't really write about now...but it just sort of added to the tension of the day.

So during the four hour dorm parent meeting, Michael and I booked a hotel for tonight.

Because after a day like today, why would you elect to spend another minute without cable, internet, lights, and AIR CONDITIONING?!?

You want to know the best thing to come of today though? Milo slept a bunch with the nanny...then slept two hours for me...then slept most of the four hours our friend was babysitting him...and HE'S STILL ASLEEP as we speak.

I'm not sure if it was the dark house, or the stimulation of having all these different caretakers, or general exhaustion from the last few nights of interrupted sleep...but maybe...dare I say...we've turned a leaf?

I think I'll get ready for bed and dream feed him and hope we all get more sleep tonight, because boy do we need it.

Meanwhile, tomorrow is the big photo shoot. I'm super excited, although we didn't get to prepare for it tonight as I had planned. So tomorrow I'll have to pack outfits for Michael, me and Milo. I had to prepare Michael for what to expect, because he pretty much hates this kind of stuff, thinks I'm a crazy picture lady (which is true) and also thinks I tend to torture our son with all the posing and picture taking (I respectfully disagree.)  So the fact that he's leaving work early, driving an hour away, and going through with this means he really, really loves me.

Which helps after a day like today and a week like this one.

Keep your fingers crossed for deep, long sleep and restored power!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fuck it. I'm going to sleep.

Well. Today was up and down. Another night of sleep deprivation. Milo woke on the early side last night and I was SO exhausted that I poked Michael to do the bottle feeding. Michael decided to try an experiment and try to feed Milo in bed. Which meant I was awake and calming Milo for the 10 minutes it took to get the bottle ready, and then awake listening to him cry and refuse the bottle. I got up and went to sleep on the couch. Then Michael came out to the living room, so I went back to the bedroom. I'd been up for a half hour at that point, which means I would have been sleeping again already if I had just fed Milo myself.

This is so not working out for me.

When Milo woke next, it was 2 hours later and he was hungry enough to take the bottle. From me. When he started whimpering, I took him out of the room so as not to wake Michael. I'm pretty sure I should be up for wife of the year, at least, if not mother of the year. It took a good 45 minutes before I could go back to bed, which meant there was no way I was going to be ready to start work at 8 am.

Milo woke again at 8:15 and after feeding him, I pumped and showered and dressed. I got him dressed and grabbed a quick bite to eat while topping him off before I went to get my laptop set up so I can actually work. I get down to the tech office and am met by the IT guy's dog.

Why do people think it's okay to bring their dogs to work??

I'm allergic to dogs. For all I know, my son is too. I'm pretty sure I offended the IT guys with my obvious jitterbug to avoid the dog touching me or my son. sigh.

He sets me up and says it will take a half an hour so I tell him I'll go to admissions while he's doing it. I get some dorm stuff done while there and then finally head home with my computer a good two hours after I left the house. Though I'm counting this as "work"...I still haven't gotten any work done and it's 12:45 already. So I have a quick lunch, feed peanut, and go about testing and setting up files on my computer.

It turns out I can't access the two folders on the server that are most critical to the work that needs to be done soonest.

But now IT guy isn't responding to emails.

It's time for a webinar on social networking, but peanut starts whimpering because he's tired and can't fall asleep. So I snuggle him up on me and set up the webinar.

I've so got this.

In fact, this is the life...working from home, listening to my webinar with my baby all cozy on me.

I listen with interest for about 40 minutes, and the next thing I hear is "this webinar is closed."


Crap. I fell asleep. sigh.
And Milo did too. Which is awesome, except for that every time I move the slightest bit, he wakes up crying.

After some VERY slow maneuvering, I have one arm free in order to work one-handed with an awkward reach around Milo.

Then I get an email from our baby's photographer saying that she can't do Tuesday for Milo's 3 month shoot after all. Which pretty much makes me want to quit EVERYthing for some irrational reason. Originally we had booked for this Sunday, but then the photographer asked to switch to Saturday. Then she discovered the hurricane weather and suggested we try a back up date, only we couldn't find a weekend date for a good six weeks thanks to dorm parenting and her schedule. So I asked her about Tuesday afternoon, which is the ONLY free time we have next week, and then begged Michael to leave work early that day because this is so important to me. And, bless him, he said he'd work it out even though I know he thinks I'm beyond crazy with this whole picture thing.

And then she tells me she just booked someone else for that time slot because she thought I couldn't do it.

I'm seriously going to cry, because there is NO OTHER time I can do it before Milo is, like, walking. And I was so looking forward to this. And I am already really regretting that I didn't get belly or newborn pictures done.

So I reply back with a copy of my last email to her which clearly states that we are holding Tuesday for us and cross my fingers that she finds a way to make it work.

I try to go back to work, but Milo wakes up. At least he slept 2.5 hours this time. He really hasn't been sleeping during the day lately. Michael texts to tell me he's leaving the office and can I have Milo fed and ready to go to the last daddy/baby class. I finish just as Michael gets home and promise to order dinner by the time he comes back, because then he has to turn around and pick up our neighbors from the airport.  I won't even tell you how much money we've spent on take-out food this week. Suffice it to say Milo isn't going to have much of a college fund at this rate.

They leave and I FINALLY get two solid hours of work done. AWESOME. I feel on top of things again, because I've mocked up some really good postcards for my boss, which energizes me. I send them off to her just as the food gets here. Too bad I still owe the office another 2 hours.

After we finish eating, Michael heads to the airport and I put Milo to bed so I can finish some more work and/or clean the kitchen which resembles the town dump. Only messier.

But their flight is delayed (but not reported as such online. fuckers.) And Milo wakes up again. So I get a few emails done but then need to feed him.

Now it's 11:00. The kitchen is still a mess. The poop-soaked laundry never got done. I didn't get a chance to take Milo's 12 week photo. I still owe the office two hours of work. I'm supposed to be at a stroller strides exercise class at 9:45 am, which means waking up by 8:15.

Oh and did I mention that I have no pants that fit? My preggo jeans are falling off but my pre-preggo pants are too tight. Which should make this photo shoot on Tuesday interesting. Is it too much to hope that I might make it to TJ Maxx tomorrow?

Fuck it. I'm going to sleep. Hey, maybe tonight will be the night Milo sleeps for 9 hours straight.

Holy shit. Did you hear that thunder?

Let's hope we're not underwater by tomorrow morning.

And that Milo isn't afraid of thunder.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This is such a set up for failure.

Thank god for nannies. Mine wasn't available this week, which was unfortunate since it's my first week back at "work." I get to work from "home" this year, since I live in the dorm on campus and they needed my office space for someone else. Here's the thing about working from home when you have a baby and no nanny: It takes at least two hours to do one hour worth of work. Which means it takes at least 14 hours to do 7 hours worth of work.

I've gotten approximately 7 hours total of sleep over the past two nights combined.

By the time Michael gets home, I've been working for ten hours yet still owe the school another three for the day.

Today, I got up at 7:30 after getting about four hours of sleep scattered throughout the night. I fed Milo, showered, and dressed. I started trying to work. He got fussy. Then hungry. I fed him. He immediately had a blowout all over the boppy pillow. I had just replaced the cover after laundering it from the last blowout.

I ran hot water through the poop on the boppy cover, the onesie, and the receiving blanket I used to pick him up and left it all to dry.

I went back to feeding him, then lulled him to sleep and got back to work.

He woke himself up 15 minutes later. I found a streaming kids music station online and tried to keep working. Only I couldn't access the server, which has everything I need to do work. I contacted tech support, who said I could stop by later this afternoon. I emailed them a time and tried to do some other prep work. Milo fell asleep moments before my 11:00 meeting at the office.

I have to move my car because they're doing tree work, so I put Milo in the car seat and figure I can drive to the office (and thus don't need the stroller). I get halfway there before remembering the appraisal people are coming today and expect to find the car in the lot outside the dorm. So then I get peanut out of the car and walk all the way to the office with the heavy carseat. I get there right on time but a previous meeting runs 30 minutes late and Milo is awake by the time my meeting starts.

Luckily, he is happy to lay on my shoulder and stare around and stays mostly quiet throughout the meeting. He's a good baby.

THAT meeting runs 30 minutes over, so I then have a half hour to go home, feed Milo, feed me, get my laptop, drop it off at tech and get to the office for a meeting with my boss. I decide to carry Milo home since he's fallen asleep on me and the car seat will be heavy to carry that far.

I'm running late and haven't heard from IT, so I send them an email telling them the laptop will be at my office for them to pick up or update there. I had left the car seat at the office, so this time I brought the stroller with my laptop and notes and diaper bag. I have a long meeting with my boss, during which I try to keep Milo quiet and wind up having to feed him. I hadn't brought the hooter hider since I had just fed him, and he keeps fidgeting, so I wind up fumbling with my boob a lot. My boss took it all in stride, bless her. We go through the projects I'm supposed to do in the first month or two and find I have approximately 12 that need to be done in the first three weeks. Which also contain two days of meetings. So I have 7 days (49 hours) to complete them, and I have child care for 35 of those hours.

This is such a set up for failure.

The meeting ends and it turns out tech never came by, so I walk down to their office only to find they aren't there. I walk all the way back home to find an email asking if I can do it tomorrow instead. Which means I still don't have access to do the work I need to do. Milo is hungry again by this point.

I feel like I've just run a marathon. And yet accomplished nearly nothing.

On the bright side, my baby sat through about 4 hours of meetings and was a model baby the whole time. And I was prepared for everything...he spit up and I had it cleaned off before he even knew what was happening. Unfortunately, he never slept for more than 20 minutes at a time all day so he probably won't sleep well tonight.

And, crap. Now I have a meeting of the dorm parents to get ready for opening the dorm. Which happens in a week. I am so not ready for that.

But I am ready for my nanny. In fact, I'm seriously regretting not just biting the bullet and booking her for 8 hrs/day instead of 5. I don't know why I thought I could do the other three hours of work with Milo. While dorm parenting. hahahaha.

I hope we all sleep deeply tonight. I have a lot to catch up on tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Catch Up Post

  • We paid a ridiculous amount of money to stay in a hotel near my sister.  It reminded us of the shining, which was creepy. However, it was roomy and 3 miles from her, so very convenient. Unfortunately, the bed sucked, we had to park in a parking garage with poles, there was no wireless internet, and no free breakfast. Ridiculous for the price.
  • Peanut took a bottle from Michael--no problem--the night before we left. Just like he did the night before we left for Burlington. This time I didn't fall for it and didn't pack the pump and a million bottles. However, I did bring two bottles of pre-pumped milk, hoping we could feed him on the way without stopping. He only woke up when we stopped at dinner, so I just nursed him at the table, thinking I'd save the bottles for later. Only when we got to the hotel, I discovered they had pretty much all leaked out, leaving a total of 2 ounces. sigh. On the bright side, when he woke up in the middle of the night, he took it no problem.
  • The next time Michael tried to give him a bottle, he took about half an ounce. The time after that when I tried to give him a bottle, he wouldn't take it at all. He's toying with us. Not cool peanut, not cool.
  • It was great to see family and meet our newest nephew, Oakley. He was so tiny, it made me nostalgic for when Milo was that tiny. It's hard to even remember. Good thing I have 342 pictures from his first week! (yet I still regret not having professional photos done during the newborn stage.)
  • Unfortunately, we didn't get to NJ until 2 am, which meant we slept late on Saturday and were still tired. Thus, though we had a great time with my sister, we weren't at all helpful to her. =(
  • But we got to celebrate my nephew's fourth birthday and see my parents and uncle, which was really nice.
  • But then it took us 5.5 hours to get home, which was exhausting. Mostly for Michael. But Milo slept the whole way except for a brief waking at our dinner stop to eat. 
  • Milo didn't sleep much during the day while we were in NJ. Maybe too much stimulation? Anyway, this also meant he didn't sleep much Sunday night. Which meant I didn't sleep much Sunday night. Which meant we slept-fed-stayed-in-bed until 1 pm on Monday. 
  • Which meant that when my doorbell rang at 2 pm, I was sitting on the couch in a bathrobe, feeding Milo. Very exposed. I had a flash of serious anger. Who drops by unannounced?!
  • I sighed, paused my DVR, pulled Milo off, put the boobs away, pulled my robe closed and answered the door. With my glasses on and my hair unwashed. And my apartment looking like a grenade had been thrown under my door.
  • A colleague from another department was waiting outside. Awesome.
  • She made small talk for ten minutes before getting around to the fact that she needed keys to a dorm room. All that small talk made it seem very rude that I didn't invite her in. 
  • Meanwhile, I was just hoping my apartment didn't smell. sigh.
  • After that, I got motivated and showered. After Michael got home, I did laundry, dishes, and cleaned the kitchen and living room. And emptied our suitcases! (quickest ever!)
  • But we're leaving again on Thursday so it won't last.
  • I felt really accomplished by the time I went to bed last night, but also kind of wired so I couldn't fall asleep for a while.
  • Which left me really tired this morning. 
  • Oh, and peanut wouldn't fall asleep for hours last night again. Not like him at all. He'd fall asleep and then wake up crying  screeching.
  • I was PASSED OUT this morning when my alarm went off at 9 and snoozed until 9:30. Which meant I didn't have time to pump.
  • I fed peanut, then hopped in the shower with him in the bouncer. He seemed happy, so then I got dressed. Then I went to get him dressed. Only when I started to unswaddle him, I noticed poop. Everywhere. Hard not to notice really. I picked his ankles up in one hand and lifted his bottom half off the table to check out the damage underneath. Which is when I saw poop dribbling out of the top of his diaper down his back.
  • eewwwwwww. Why, oh why, does this NEVER happen when Michael is home?!
  • And why, oh why, had my son not made a single PEEP to let me know he was sitting in shit?
  • In fact, he was in a great mood.
  • I think he was laughing at me.
  • Which was kinda cute, actually.
  • Of course, that meant we were ten minutes late to our mommy group last lunch today. I tried to keep perspective and not speed on the way there as a result.
  • Interestingly, Peanut didn't need to eat again until 2:00. (after eating at 9:15 this morning.) He slept through the whole lunch, which was awesome. Except I had brought the remains of the bottle to try to feed him at the restaurant.
  • By the time we got to the mom's group, most of it had leaked out. sigh.
  • He wouldn't take it anyway, so it didn't really matter. double sigh.
  • Mom's group was awesome. We sang songs and played with a parachute and took tons of cute baby pics. It was so great it made me kind of devastated that it was our last class. I really LIKE these moms. How crazy is that? I feel so close to them, after all we've shared with each other. Yet I wonder if we'll really keep in touch. We're all going to have really different schedules, with most of us going back to work. And we haven't known each other that long. 
  • Thank god for facebook.
  • I may have peer-pressured one of the moms to get a facebook account just so we could keep in touch more conveniently. wow.
  • Luckily, about 5 of us are taking the next steps moms class group together, starting in two weeks. YAY. I really hope to stay in touch with the others though.
  • I was in such a good mood after the group that I didn't even mind that Milo wanted to eat every two hours afterward. In fact, I latched him on and then started making phone calls...paying bills, fixing fraud charges, dealing with car stuff and health insurance stuff, and then finding and booking an inn on the cape for Thursday and Friday night...our last little getaway before the girls get back.
  • It took a really long time, but we're booked at a cute place with a private beach (with HAMMOCKS!) and walking distance to town. Which is awesome because Michael can take the car fishing and I can make myself do something fun. Gotta be careful of peanut in the sun though. Which means trying to get out early and come back for the middle of the day high sun hours.
  • Oh! And I was proactive this time and asked Michael for some Milo-free time to get a massage at a spa near the hotel. YAY. Hopefully they have availability.
  • I agreed to this plan so that we can come home Saturday night so Michael can fish in a tournament on Sunday. But I forgot he has his daddy class Thursday night and already missed one week. Which means we can't leave for the cape until after 7:30. Which means we have to pack the car tomorrow night. Even though we have a dorm parent BBQ. That we're co-hosting. And it means I can't have ladies night drinks on Thursday, which I suggested. oops.
  • Michael came home tonight after stopping at the grocery store. He made delicious dinner and spent time calming Milo down before making Danish aebleskiver for our International Theme dorm parent bbq we are co-hosting tomorrow. It takes a long time to make them, but they are delicious little round funnel cake tasting bundles of goodness. 
  • Tomorrow he'll make Thai pineapple fried rice which will also be awesome. He rocks.
  • I have to get up early tomorrow but it's for a good reason. A good friend from high school is suddenly in town. I get to meet his partner and he gets to meet Milo. And we all get to eat at my favorite french toast restaurant IN A PICKLE! woohoo. (they should probably pay me for marketing.)
  • After that, I need to tour a family for admissions. Even though I'm still on maternity leave, I had recruited this family and they wanted to meet me. I hope Milo behaves on the tour. I hope I'm not late. 
  • THEN I have to get ready for the BBQ. And hopefully have energy for a round of drinks with the girls afterward. Then packing for Thursday!
  • whoa.
  • I better go to bed.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I am going to run over their feet with the stroller. Even if I have to go waaaay out of my way to do it.

Well. Last night was pretty torturous. For one thing, I couldn't fall asleep even though I felt bone tired. I think I fell asleep sometime after 2:00 am. At 3:00, the baby woke up, making hungry sucking and whimpering noises. But yesterday when we were at the pediatrician, I had asked the doctor for tips to get Milo to take a bottle, and she was seriously unconcerned, saying that there really weren't tips that she could offer that would work...when Milo gets hungry enough, he will take it. She also said no baby has ever willingly starved themself. Which is basically what I've been saying all along. So Michael and I had talked about soothing Milo back to sleep the first time he woke and trying a bottle the next time, when he was really hungry.

So at 3:00, I placed my warm hand on his chest and tummy, with a little weight, and I giraffed his ass.

(Michael has coined this phrase for when we use our trusty sleep giraffe on the white noise setting to calm Milo or lull him to sleep. As a side note, it actually isn't very effective to place the giraffe near baby's ass, as it needs to be quite loud to work. Putting the giraffe's ass near the baby's head works quite a lot better. But it's so much fun to turn nouns into verbs with phrases like "I'm gonna GIRAFFE your ass, little buddy.")

It worked, and he fell back asleep until 5:30, at which point, I woke Michael up and told him it was time for Milo's bottle. To which he mumbled something incoherent. I think he said he wanted to wait and see if the baby was serious or just fussing.

The baby was serious, as it turned out. So Michael went to warm the bottle. During that time, Milo got ravenous and was crying hard, which broke my heart since I was trying NOT to be the one to comfort him since I have read he can smell me and my milk which would not bode well for the bottle feeding. But it's kind of hard not to comfort your crying infant when they can see you a foot away from them. sigh.

I have to say that Michael has one parenting skill that I do not: seemingly endless patience. Even when he's really tired and really doesn't want to be awake and gearing up for another bottle fight, Michael is patient, chatting Milo up with calm, kind, sweet mutterings.  I wish I could be like that. Mostly I am silent. On that one occasion, I told Milo he was annoying. I'm going to have to work on this. After Michael came and grabbed peanut, the crying stopped, so I snuck out to the living room to see what was going on. It looked like Milo was eating! YAY! I snuck back to bed. About 20 minutes later, Michael came in with a sleepy, whiny peanut saying that Milo hadn't really eaten anything after all. Dammit.

Michael then attempted continued bottle feeding in the bed for the next 20 minutes. Right next to me. Where Milo could smell me and my leaking milk and I could see the pleading look in his eyes while his crying broke my heart a little bit. I wanted to hold firm, since I'd rather do this just once until he takes the bottle and gets used to it than continue this every night.  Michael seemed frustrated--at me. Eventually, I couldn't take it and offered to nurse the baby but Michael said it didn't make a difference at that point since there wasn't time to go back to bed.  I took the baby anyway and spent 45 minutes coaxing him to take one measly ounce from the bottle. He did. He took just enough to let him fall back asleep and not a drop more.

Willful little fucker we have on our hands.

Michael left for work tired. All three of us were in a bad mood, and Milo and I went back to sleep for a bit since I had had only three hours of sleep. But we couldn't sleep long since we had plans to meet one of the ladies from the moms group at the movies. And I had to pump, since I was all bursting at the seams. I got 4 ounces from each side and still had enough left to feed him. sheesh.

Of course we were late to the movies, but I found our friend (whose son was born on the same day as Milo) who had saved us seats. We saw the Change Up which had more bathroom humor than I like but was still very funny and entertaining, especially as it related to parenting babies and all the hassle, sleep deprivation, and joy that comes with. It was a baby-friendly showing, so the volume was lower and there was a changing table set up in the theater so you didn't have to miss the movie. Which was a really good thing, since soon after getting there, Milo needed a diaper change. And then, five minutes after getting back to our seats, he did it AGAIN. Sheesh. Only one diaper left in the bag--very risky! But after that, he fell asleep on me, in full turtle mode and it was so sweet that I kept staring at him instead of the movie. For a while, I leaned my cheek down on his soft cheek and stayed like that, think about how this was probably the highlight of my week, curled up all cozy with my cute sleeping baby while watching a great movie with a new friend.

Afterward, we went for lunch at the Yard House, which is very  baby friendly. They even opened the door for us. Don't get me started on that. Dude. If one more person stands NEXT to a door and watches me struggle with a stroller without offering to hold the door open I am going to run over their feet with the stroller. Even if I have to go waaaay out of my way to do it. Seriously. Anyway, they set up a table where we could fit the strollers and we had a really nice lunch. Milo was sleeping, so I decided to take care of returns at two different stores, which was awesome. Then it was time to head home to hand off Milo to Michael for the daddy-baby class.

Michael was exhausted and cranky and not really in the mood to go, but off they went. Without even saying goodbye. I felt...listless. I had planned an active day and actually was in a good mood...the first in days. But now I wasn't any more. I felt vaguely at odds with Michael for no explicit reason.  In an effort to cheer myself up, I called Alexis and went down to collect the mail and packages...which were supposed to include Greyson's birthday present but didn't. uhoh. Hope it gets here tomorrow since we leave tomorrow night to go meet our new nephew, Oakley, and celebrate Grey's birthday. On the way back up, I encountered some of our friends/neighbors out on the patio and since my phone had just died, I sat down to join them for a glass of wine they offered up.

I don't even drink wine, that's the crankypants mood I was in.

And then it turned out that Michael's daddy class was canceled, which he didn't know, because he had missed the last class because we were on vacation. (note to self--must write them a nasty letter. that's really obnoxious.)

So he came home, not in any better of a mood, and with a crying peanut. Which is weird, because Milo ALWAYS falls asleep in the car. Our neighbors were going to eat outside and offered to pick up food for us too, so we wound up having a spontaneous block party dinner with all of our favorite people. After a couple of hours in their company, I felt totally better. They are both very supportive and a good distraction. I love this place. Well, these people in particular. Please remind me to make plans with them often during the school year. It's worth the money for a babysitter to save our sanity.

Oh, and one other bright note from today--I called our insurance to file a claim on the Nissan, and was so impressed with our insurance, once again. They are super easy to deal with, they filed the claim in minutes, and it turns out there's a Nissan dealer on their preferred list. So apparently someone from Nissan will call tomorrow to arrange a good time for them to come pick up the car! So I don't even have to worry about getting it there and then getting home with the peanut. And then I guess enterprise will come drop off a car for me. If it all works as the guy said, I will be super impressed.and relieved.

Alright, I still need to go write that nasty letter to the daddy class place, write a nice one to our new nanny, and book our hotel. For tomorrow night. Which means deciding on one!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sometimes, it feels like my little peanut is the only thing right in the world.

Today was not a good day. It was a horrible, very bad, no good day.

First off, Milo teased me by taking an ounce of milk from the new breast-shaped bottle I was so excited about. He latched right on for Michael but only drank an ounce. He would NOT take the rest from me at his next feeding time, despite 45 minutes of trying various tactics.

I had had high hopes for that bottle.

Anyway, Milo is still eating frequently and my nipples are still in mutiny over it. Somehow, between trying to catch just a few more zzzzs and feeding Milo again and again, it was 1:45 PM before we actually got out of bed. Which is sort of alarming, in a way.

We were both in a pretty good mood, though. I heated up my last frozen meal (hmmm, time to go grocery shopping I guess) and jumped in the shower. I thought I'd have time to top Milo off again but wound up rushing off to his 2 month pediatrician appointment. This always seems to happen...Milo is always hungry when we go and I'm afraid she is going to think we don't feed him. Anyway, we got there just in time and Milo got two thumbs up on all the little baby benchmarks. He's in the 78% for height (whoa!) and the 56% for weight. His head is small though...he's only in the 26%. Crazy. His head doesn't look small to me. He held his head up really well and then turned over, which prompted the pediatrician to tell him he wasn't supposed to do that for at least another month. Guess he missed the memo. She warned me not to leave him alone on counters or anything (who does that anyway?). The good news is that he's now 12 lbs 7 oz, which means (according to mothering urban legend) he can now SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT.

Guess he missed that memo too.

Well, then it was time for his THREE shots and some kind of oral thingamajig. I honestly don't even know what that one was. The nurse was surprised Milo didn't seem to like the oral medicine because it's sweet and she said most babies love it. But not Milo. He was all cranky pants about it. Guess he didn't inherit mommy's sweet tooth. We can only hope.

Then they made me hold him down for the shots. I felt like such a traitor. The nurse did the first one so fast I wasn't even sure it had happened. And neither was Milo, at first. But then when he realized it, man did he scream his head off. He wailed a heartbreaking wail, all the while pleading with me with his eyes, wondering why I would help this mean lady hurt him.


Finally, the nurse said I could pick him up and as soon as I did, he stopped crying. The nurse was astounded, saying that most babies cry a lot longer. My baby is super tough and brave.

More so than his mommy, anyway, since I felt surprisingly undone afterward. This hormone crap is ridiculous.

We made our next appointment and then headed off. Since Milo was now sleepy, I figured I'd cheer myself up with a trip to TJ Maxx, since we all need a few things, and then the grocery store. We got back into the car, and I carefully backed out of the spot, avoiding the pole I was forced to park dangerously close to. I hate parking garages. Once clear of the pole, I turned around to look out the back, making sure to avoid any small children or expensive cars.

At which point I heard a slightly sickening, yet quiet, scraping noise.

Which is when I realized there was a second pole, which had been lurking in my blind spot.

I sat there for a moment, shell shocked, hoping maybe it hadn't really happened. But then I thought, well, it was so quiet, maybe there really isn't any damage.

I was wrong.

Dammit. You know, if Michael had done this, I wouldn't even be upset about it. It's only a car after all. A new car, true, but still just a car. A thing. The first "new car" I've ever owned (or owned one third of) but still. Shit happens. But somehow, since it was me, it felt like a proclamation of my inability to handle pretty much anything these days.

Ironic and sad, because now I will have a whole lot more to handle, what with the insurance and paperwork and phone calls and getting the car in and then not having a car and feeling totally trapped.

Plus, I had to tell Michael. Who doesn't even snack in the car because he wants to take such good care of it.

He was a good sport about it, but I still feel irrationally despondent.

I decided to forgo shopping and just head home. At which point I drew the curtains closed, fed my crankypants peanut, and crawled into bed with him.

He cried softly. His leg hurt, I could tell. I cried less softly. We stared into each other's eyes and I patted his back until his lids got heavy and he made the sleepy turtle face and curled in closer to me.

Sometimes, it feels like my little peanut is the only thing right in the world.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

(Mis)adventures on Milo's First Family Vacation

  • Traveling with a baby requires a lot more stuff than I ever imagined. When Michael and I went away for 5 days pre-baby, we brought one medium sized suitcase and two laptops. Maybe a plastic grocery bag of snacks. Post-baby, we filled an entire luggage cart. Milo had his own carry-on sized suitcase. We brought the peapod for him to sleep in and the bouncer for him to chill in when not sleeping. A sling and an ergo and a stroller for walking, depending on the venue. A breast pump, 3 collection bottles and 3 feeding bottles. A box of diapers and a bag of swim diapers. Of course, we could have left the pump and bottles at home, since Milo was just teasing us with that one bottle he took (and finished!) in the wee hours the night before we left for our trip. He wouldn't touch another bottle the whole time. I HATE wasting pumped milk.
  • Since Milo wasn't taking a bottle at night, it felt extra inconvenient to have to keep getting out of bed to get and feed Milo. (At home, I don't have to get out of bed to lift him from the bassinet).  So I did that thing I didn't think I wanted to do: I brought him in the bed with us. At first it was just for a bit when he was fussy and I was tired. But by the third night or so, I couldn't even pretend it was temporary. And you know what? I.Loved.It. Dammit. Who knew? I put him in between us in that lovely king sized bed, with no pillows or blankets around his head. I drew him close to me and shared my satin-edged blanket with him (but not near his head!) and it was the coziest thing there ever was. The only problem was that I couldn't switch sides because it felt weird to be facing out of the bed and have him at my back with no one looking out for him. So it was kind of a lopsided night's sleep, but otherwise oddly satisfying. Our first night back home I whined to Michael that I didn't want to put Milo back in his bassinet after all. uhoh. (I did put him in it though.)
  • We went out to eat approximately 8 times while we were on vacation, proving that we can actually eat out at restaurants with peanut. Only once was he really fussy, and I wound up taking him into the bathroom and topping him off with a little boob action. (The restaurant was just too crowded to do it at the table.) But the bathroom was crowded too. I wound up having to go into a stall and SIT ON A TOILET! eww. But it worked.
  • I'm getting smarter; since Milo usually decides it's time to eat right when we try to eat, I started preemptively feeding him right after ordering and before our food comes. Super smart. But at one lunch, while I was doing this, Milo had a big blowout. And since I had to nurse him, it only seemed fair that Michael had to change him. Which brought up an interesting point: there's no changing table in the mens' restroom at a lot of places. I told Michael to change Milo on the floor--that's what the changing pad is for. But I started thinking about the message behind this thoughtless design flaw. For one, it's perpetuating the idea that women/moms have to be the ones to change the diapers. ew. Second, what about those men out there who are widowed? Or their wives have gone on a girls weekend? Or shoved them out of the house with the kids in a bid for their own sanity? Or even those rare dads who just equally participate in parenting and voluntarily take their infant out of the house on their own? What the hell? Do we need to make it even harder for them by giving them no place to change the baby? Are those stupid changing stations really that expensive?!? I think not.
  • Twice we were too tired to venture out and we ordered in. Once was indian food--delicious. And the second time, I discovered that our favorite wings chain (Wings Over "yourtown") had a Burlington location. WOOHHOOOO. AND they delivered to our hotel. But that's not even the really exciting part. It turns out they are...are you ready for this? OPENING A LOCATION IN WALTHAM!!!! Holy shit, right? That's definitely within delivery distance. Icannotevenwaitforthemtoopen!!
  • Michael might have had a better vacation than me, and I should have been able to anticipate this. We picked a location where he could fish and I could walk to someplace fun while he had the car. Well, he had a great time fishing...sometimes for up to 9 hours. (He got up wicked early). But I only ventured out walking to the cute pedestrian mall once. Because it's a lot of work to get Milo and I ready to leave in the morning. And then to walk around for 5 hours in the heat hardly seemed like a just reward for all of that effort. I had had illusions that I'd be strolling with him in the stroller, stopping to read for an hour at a cafe, and then window shopping. In reality, he was in an every-two-hours eating schedule, and was pretty hot and fussy in between. Managing the stroller in crowds of people makes me hate humanity a little more each time some idiot stands by a non-automatic door and watches me struggle to get into it instead of holding it open for me. Or, worse, the people who would walk in front of me and let the door close on the stroller. Or who would literally push me out of the way to get in front of me because I was maneuvering too slowly in an effort not to run people over. Anyway, this is all to say that most days of our vacation, I sat around in a dark hotel room until Michael got back from fishing at 2 or 3 pm. At which point, he'd be tired from getting up wicked early and take a nap. By the time we'd get our act together, we'd go get a bite to eat, do a little something, and come back for bed. That part was always really nice--spending time together as a family. The thing is, since Milo wasn't taking a bottle, I was doing all the night time (and day time) feedings. And since he was on the two hour schedule, that usually left me 1.5 hour bouts of sleep. So even if Milo and I ate-burped-napped until Michael got home, I was still not well rested. And yet had wasted the entire day. So I was a little disappointed in myself for letting that happen.
  • We did manage to do the Ben and Jerry's factory tour on the way to our hotel that first day, which was pretty fun. I was sad we only got to taste one flavor though. When you go on a brewery tour, you usually get to taste 3-5 kinds of beer! 

  • We also made it to the beach at the lake, which was way better than I had imagined. Imported sand, a cute playground, and a snack bar (though we got there after it was closed and just a half hour before the lifeguard went off duty.) The nice thing was that the sun was less harsh and the beach emptier than during peak hours. You would have laughed if you could have seen us trying to decide how to dress Milo. He was wearing a regular diaper. I had a reusable swim diaper that looked too small and a disposable one that was about four lbs too big. And then a trunks and shirt swim set that was a few months too big. We wound up putting it all on him, which had the effect of making him look like a marsh-milo. (haha, get it? marshmallow...oh never mind.) But it worked. Next time we'd take the regular diaper off though, as it makes little crystals when it gets that wet. Milo seemed to like the water well enough but he wasn't in a very good mood to begin with, as he kept thinking he needed to eat at times when I kept thinking he probably didn't. My chewed-up nipple agreed with me, which meant that with 2 out of 3, he was outvoted. (Again, mother of the year, here I come.)

  • Unfortunately, looking back at the photos from the lake/beach (which I was so excited to capture) I discovered that I looked rather like a beached whale. Quite literally. At one point, I laid down on my back in the water, with Milo laying on his stomach on top of me. He loved it. I thought it would be the cutest picture ever. Except for the part where my super-pale flesh--and loads of it--are the thing that grabs your attention in the photo rather than my cute baby. Every photo of us is like that. I swear I don't look like that when I look in the mirror before leaving my house, so how does this happen? Now I'm going to be nervous every time I leave the house. Is my mirror lying to me? It is a small consolation that the camera also seems to make Milo look less cute than in real life. I keep seeing these super cute moments with him that I want to capture, only to find that it doesn't look half as cute in the photo I snap. But he really is super cute in real life. So maybe there's hope that I am too? (And no, I can not post a photo of my beached whale self here. Sorry, bucko. No can do.)
  • After the beach, we went to the docks near the hotel where there were cool swinging benches to watch the sun set. But it was a little cloudy and we got there a little late. So mostly we watched the sky go dark.  But that was cool too. 

  • Milo and I also got to see some cool street performers, since it was the Festival of Fools while we were there. But Milo slept through it.
  • We had some pretty great food and some not so great food. In case you're headed to Burlington, we highly recommend Tiny Thai Restaurant (we went to the Essex location) and the Skinny Pancake (creperie). At least, those were my favorites. =)
  • The scariest thing happened one day while Michael was out fishing and Milo and I were chilling at the hotel. Milo started spitting up, which is normal--he's been doing it a lot lately. But then a bit later, he started coughing and then making choking sounds. Then it turned into the silent choking motions. I don't know what he could have been choking on but even though I am infant CPR certified I suddenly completely blanked on how you give a baby the Heimlich. So I banged on his back pretty hard while pretty much panicking, and eventually he threw up everything he had ever eaten. It was terrifying, and I wanted to feed him even less after that. I'm definitely going to sign up for a refresher infant CPR class. The only thing I can think of is that he swallowed some fuzz. All weekend, I kept finding bits of fuzz in his hands, which of course he often sticks in his mouth. I could not figure out where the fuzz was coming from, but eventually I came up with a theory that it was coming from his diapers. He is wearing pampers swaddlers these days, which are soft on the outside. And when he's swaddled, his hands are down by his diaper but grabbing at everything in an effort to get unswaddled. I think he may have pulled fuzzies off of the diaper. I'll never really know, which is pretty unsettling, but it's pretty much my only theory.
  • Speaking of things that will remain a mystery...our credit card number got stolen and used for fraudulent charges. Which Chase apparently caught because--get this--I don't usually shop online that much. HAHAHAHAHA. Well, maybe they can send that memo to Michael. But seriously, major kudos to them for catching it and resolving it so quickly. But it still kinda sucks because I've had that card for years and have the number memorized and linked to lots of online accounts. So that's a big pain. We don't know how it happened, but I suspect it was related to Michael using the hotel business center to buy a fishing license online.
  • We didn't give Milo a bath or read him a book the entire time. I'll be honest--I'm a little surprised at my type-A self and how I've already let go a bunch of the parenting ideals I felt pretty committed to. Like a bedtime routine, regular baths, and lots of books. Oh, and not using technology. Sigh. I was reading a magazine on my kindle and Milo was being fussy, so I put him on my lap and showed him how to use his hand to flip the pages back and forth and he seemed to kind of like it, so we did that for a while before I realized I was already teaching my 9 week old how to use an iPad. Doh.
  • Vacations with babies seem shorter somehow. Pre-baby, five days was a nice long vacation. Post-baby, the time flew in the usual baby time warp and we somehow didn't have time to do almost ANY of the things we had planned to do. It almost didn't seem worth all that packing!
  • On the bright side, Milo did sleep for the ENTIRE car ride least until we got within minutes of our house which was when he realized he was starving. So Michael sent me inside to feed the baby while he parked the boat, etc. Only after carrying the screaming baby upstairs, I realized our apartment was locked (obviously a real shocker) and I couldn't get in. It seemed crazy to carry the screaming baby back down the stairs to get the keys, and equally crazy to leave the screaming baby upstairs while I went and got the keys. So I did the natural thing and sat down on the floor in the hundred degree hallway to nurse Milo. Only after about five minutes he had a HUGE blowout. His outfit was a total goner, but I was trying to save the breast friend pillow cover, which is a pain to remove/wash/replace. Someone had been kind enough to leave us a gift on our door handle, so I pulled out the tissue paper from the gift box and stuffed it under Milo's butt in an effort to save the pillow cover. Satisfied that would help for a while, I let Milo continue nursing, hoping Michael would be in soon. Oddly, he never came back. And I was sweating. So I got up, with Milo still laying sideways on the Breast Friend, and started trying to go downstairs, only to miss the last two stairs and twist my ankle. But I kept Milo steadily on the Breast Friend (and what a good friend it is!) until I made it outside, where I found Michael. Then I asked him to change the baby.  
Well, I think that pretty much wraps up our vacation. It was better than it probably sounds here. But I still kinda wish we had booked something big like Bali and taken advantage of the fact that Milo is portable and sleepy. At least if we had our own villa with a pool, it would have felt liberating to never leave the hotel. But, we did learn a bunch of things for next time. Less baby gear, more burp cloths. More planned family activities, less fishing. One less layer of diapering for swimming would probably suffice. And time for a mommy-only indulgence like a massage or pedicure wouldn't have been a bad idea either.

But taking Milo to the beach was priceless and has me wanting to book a last Cape Cod-ish getaway before we run out of summer and the students return. If only we knew someone with a house down there who would lend it to us...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I'm totally going to throw a blanket over his head to get him to take a bottle...

When Milo was born, he was very good at sucking. He took to the breast, the pacifier, and the bottle easily. The nurses in the hospital exclaimed over his strong suck! A few weeks later, he stopped being able to keep the pacifier in. He seemed to want to, but his tongue would get in the way after a couple of sucks, and out it would pop. Week 7, he stopped taking a bottle as well. Which really sucks. No pun intended. I finally gave in and bought a $20 wubbanub monkey pacifier, in the hopes that the weight of it would help keep the pacifier in Milo's mouth. No suck luck.

Until today.

We were in the car, headed back to the hotel from the beach. Milo started crying, which is SUPER rare in the car because he usually falls quickly asleep. I tried to stick the pacifier in, but no go. It was lined up just right, but he couldn't latch on to really get going.

On a whim, I threw a blanket over his head to make him stop crying. I don't know why, but Milo REALLY likes having blankets over his face. Sometimes he does it to himself. At first I thought he was just confused and that's why he stops crying when it happens, but no, he actually likes it.

Sure enough, he stopped crying.

And THEN he started sucking!

Michael, Michael! He's sucking! I threw a blanket over his head and he did it! I'm going to totally throw a blanket over him and get him to take a bottle this way. We can call it the "Blanketwise" parenting approach.

I am so going up for mother of the year.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In which we take on a yard sale and our first night leaving Milo with a babysitter

Whoa the last two days have been busy. Yesterday, we had to get up on the early side to get ready for the big yard sale. I'm starting to get used to the fact that I have to build in an extra hour or so of getting ready time for feeding Milo and getting waylaid by Milo-related incidents. The yard sale was supposed to start at 11 so that meant getting up at 8:30 or so. After not so much sleep, because Milo still wouldn't take a bottle.

It was pretty stressful getting everything ready and out for the sale, especially since we hadn't gone through the stuff in the basement ahead of time. Luckily, Milo slept the whole time we were getting ready and since we have that awesome (priceless!) video monitor, we left him upstairs, sleeping peacefully in air conditioning. The first family that stopped by bought all of the Ikea furniture at once, which was pretty exciting because it meant we wouldn't have to cart it all back inside again! All in all, we made over $200 at the sale which wasn't a bad take for 5 hours. But the real prize is that my friend arranged for someone to come pick up all of the remainders on Wednesday morning, so we get rid of all the stuff we didn't sell too. Yay! So much more room and less clutter in our storage now. It was super hard to box up the books that didn't sell. I don't really want to just give them away but I forced myself. Agh. I love those books and feel such a sense of loss. I'm sort of grieving this dream I have of a future house with a library lined with all of my books...which clearly won't ever happen since a) we're living in a tiny apartment on campus and not house shopping any time soon and b) I will have given away all of my books by then.

Anyway, during a Milo-feeding break, I went to make a reservation at the new restaurant we were going to try for our anniversary dinner but it turned out to be closed on Sundays. And so did the next restaurant we tried. WTF? What kind of business plan is that? So we changed our plans to a local restaurant we know we like that is close to the local movie theatre...that way we'd be gone from Milo less time, since this was our first time leaving him with someone else.

So the yard sale ended at 4, and I finished packing up the remainders by 5, which left a half hour for us both to get showered and ready for the Big Night Out. Our friend Erin was babysitting, and she's the best sort of babysitter for new parents...very nonchalant about the prospect that Milo might not take a bottle and might scream his head off for hours. Very reassuring.

Michael and I had a fantastic dinner (complete with a buzz-garnering mango vanilla drink thingie) and dessert and then headed over to watch Harry Potter. I texted Erin in case we needed to come home and feed Milo but she sent me a little picture of him smiling and said all was well, so off we went. Only when we got there, it turned out we were half an hour early for the movie, thanks to the wrong time being posted online. I figured that might mean we'd have to call off the movie plans, but Erin was unfazed (or at least pretended to be--god bless her).  So we got to watch the whole movie, which was longer than two hours. So it had been about 5 hours since Milo had eaten by the time we came home and we expected to come home to wailing. But no, Milo seemed fine. Erin was bouncing him on the exercise ball and he was pretty subdued and sleepy. Turns out he wouldn't take the bottle from her either, even though he should have been pretty hungry.

But I think he's at a weight/stage where he can suddenly go longer without eating, because we fed him around 11 and put him to bed. I followed at around midnight. I woke up around 6:15 and realized he had never woken up to eat. I was so surprised that I checked to make sure he was still breathing. (He was.) I figured since I was awake, I'd try to pull off a "dream feed" which is when you basically feed the baby while he's sleeping in order to extend his sleep. It totally worked and bought us another 3 hours. Which means I got about 8 hours of sleep last night! WOOO HOOO. I'm PRAYING we've gotten over a hump and this wasn't a one time fluke. I can totally manage one feeding a night.

Today we had to get up early again to call the doctor, because Milo has been having weird tearing and eye issues and we thought he might have pinkeye since someone on campus had it recently. This was my first time calling the nurse line and it took just under two hours for them to call back. I guess that's not too too bad. The nurse reassured me that it was really a clogged tear duct and very common and it didn't need any special treatment. phew.

Then we had to clean the house because I had a college counselee coming for a meeting.  Milo sat in his bouncer and played on his activity gym and had tummy time while I cleaned. And when he fussed, I picked him up and danced with him to my cleaning playlist. So it was pretty fun, for cleaning. And, get this: I stopped at "good enough." I still had to actually work on her college counseling, after all! The meeting went well, and Milo made it until the end before he started to wake up. Then, I fed him again and when he finally started getting sleepy, I debated getting up to clean more because we had friends coming over to dinner. But I decided instead to just stay there with Milo sleeping on me. I don't want to waste cozy time with him. Of course then I got really sleepy and was just falling asleep when my alarm went off. A few minutes later, our doorbell rang.

This friend is one I met when I was studying at Harvard and we really connected. We used to have these long, thought-provoking, genuine talks and we were in several classes together. We didn't keep in touch as well as I had hoped afterward, but she and her husband came to our wedding and I was so glad they did. Then a bunch more time passed before I asked her if she'd go to a Jodi Picoult reading with me and I was so happy she agreed to. Then, a bunch more time passed and I invited her to my baby shower because I missed her and wanted to reconnect.  But it turns out she was really sick and couldn't come. So I was super excited when she emailed me last week and said she and her husband wanted to come meet Milo and bring us Thai dinner. It turns out they are expecting their first child in October, so Michael and I got to have a little bit of fun pretending we knew a little something about the beginning of parenthood. ;-)  Oh! And she made Milo a beautiful baby blanket. He is such a lucky little guy to have so many people spend time making things for him!

So today just FLEW by, but in a nice way. Tomorrow we need to leave the house by 10:30 at the latest in order to meet the moms for lunch before our 4th group meeting. And then we need to get the stuff ready for the donation pick up and then we need to PACK for our vacation! YAY. Well, yay about getting there. Not so yay about packing and driving there. And the fact that I'll probably need to do laundry before I can pack. And the fact that it's hard to know what to bring for Milo. But I'm pretty psyched to have a little vacation with him. It will be hard to not bring work though because I haven't finished the college counseling that I told families I would do before I left. sigh. It's hard to know whether I'd feel better completely ignoring it and having a work free zone or if I'd feel better picking away at it.  Mostly I want to sleep and read and walk around the cute little Church Street Marketplace.