Thursday, July 31, 2008

Today I taught Graham how to open his mouth REEEEAAAALLY WIDE

 He'll forever know exactly what to do when the cheesy DJ says: "now SCRRRREAM!" Life lessons, people.
video

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Am so so so tired. Must leave post with photos of charming young men.

Because cannot manage actual sentences with actual pronouns.                                                               




Tuesday, July 29, 2008

By the power of Grayskull, the boy is finally napping

Can I get a hooo-what!?! He has been down for near to 2 hours. Which is not surprising, given that he slept for 6 minutes last night. Perhaps I am exaggerating, but that's what it felt like.

So, anyway, this gives me ample opportunity (and by ample, I mean the 30 seconds before he wakes up) to talk about the nightmare that has been this crib saga.  About a month ago, we got an email from Babies 'R Us saying that our crib could have been recalled. Ack! Okay. So, go to the website, and we need a number and a date. The number we could get from our registry. This date thing? Huh. Didn't know cribs had expiration dates. Apparently this date is to be found on a sticker on the crib. It will not surprise you that this sticker was in the backmost-underthecrib corner. Okay. Got it. Fill out form on internet, get money back, right? No no. Get UPS package in 1-2 weeks containing forms to fill out and on which to put SAME HARD-TO-REACH sticker, and also containing one (1) allen wrench for dismantling of crib. Dismantle crib, stick sticker, fill out forms, put crib bolts in pre-paid envelope, and then please to send back to crib manufacturer. Then in 1-2 weeks we will receive said bolts and forms. Then in 1-2 weeks from that receipt we will send you a voucher that may ONLY be used for the highest amount that the crib was sold for, that may ONLY be used at Babies 'R Us, and that may ONLY be used at a physical Babies 'R Us store. What's that, you say? Babies 'R Us is currently carrying only one (1) crib that cost approximately the same as your crib and is in the same finish? Zinger!

I got real mad. I got real mad, and I searched the internet for ladies who were even madder than me. (Which was not hard to do. Gosh, in my absence from the world, the internet has been populated with angry women.) Luckily, the angry women told me that they had gotten angry and called the various BRU/crib manufacturer people, and that they were allowed to buy a crib online through BRU (which had a larger selection than the physical stores) and that they were then allowed to bring their voucher and online receipt into their local BRU and receive reimbursement. When I called my local BRU, I was told that this was utter nonsense and that the angry women were BIG FAT LIARS. I was incensed on behalf of angry women internet users everyone, and so I in turn LIED and said that I had called the BRU headquarters my very own self and that they told me that this was in fact true, plus, reimburse me for shipping or I'll go straight to the top!

Clearly, I am an angry woman of great power, because they agreed to my terms (you should hear the one about how I convinced them to let me exchange all my death-cancer-plastic Dr. Brown's bottles). Of course, once I got online, all the other angry/smart women had snapped up the cribs (this was a 250,000+ crib recall) so there were 2 options: one for $50 more than our original crib, and one for $30 less. We chose the cheaper one. 

And it finally arrived yesterday. And, sigh, I am not in love. I should have rechecked my Baby Bargains book, but I am a stoop and did not. The crib just feels so much more flimsy than our old one. And the parts all go together with plastic lock-nuts, rather than the solid wood pieces that were just bolted together on the old crib. And the mattress moves around too much for my sanity (I actually have to measure and see if the gap is just a gap, or an illegal gap). And it only has two heights for the mattress. And...well, I could go on. But the point is now we have to decide if we don't like it enough to 1) take it apart, 2) figure out how to return it, 3) order another crib, and 4) still get our reimbursement. And that, my friends, makes me ill to consider. I only have so much anger inside, and honestly, the bottle issue really took it out of me. We'll see how things progress.

Monday, July 28, 2008

What a long day


Oye. First all the commotion over the website, then Graham's new crib came, then he decided that he...well...wasn't in the mood for napping. 

I will have to remind myself to post about the flipping crib situation another night - it has been just an enormous pain, and I am wholly unsatisfied with the new crib we've got. I am crossing my fingers it doesn't maim him overnight. Anyway, I am a little too exhausted to do a full-on post tonight, but I will be back tomorrow with more Graham cuteness. Thanks to everyone for finding us again. 

oh thank goodness, you found us!

Spread the word -- things were just gettin', gettin', gettin' kinda hectic and I just up and changed it. I've been trying to send out emails and post comments, but let the people know where all the graham goodness is to be found, eh? LOVE!

good holy moly

This is so freaking complicated. Blogspot doesn't let you check the availability of a URL until you change it. So grahamcentralstation is not available. Apologies, Graham Family! Thank you, anonymous, for letting us know! Goodness. The other problem is that there's no page that lets to tell people where to go once it's changed, like a forwarding address message or whatnot. Cripes. I will figure this out, I promise.

psych! (or is it: syke!)

Joe decided that he liked grahamcentralstation best, and formerly not-very-well-known funk band be darned. So, tonight at about, oh, when is Jon and Kate on? 9 pm? EST? I will be changing the URL over. Be warned that tomorrow, the link you've previously used won't work! Be ready! I don't want to lose you guys! No child left behind! We don't want to lose any good men! Come on board, the train is about to leave grahamcentralstation! (Gak.)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

wish joe luck


He's playing a solo show tonight, and this guy is his only backup.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I feel icky

I am double-posting this here and on the other blog, because I am really antsy about something. Specifically, talking about a part of my life in which I worked a certain job, which I am NOT ashamed of in any way, but that lots of people in this world take EXTREME offense to. And I would like to talk about this job, because it was meaningful to me, and important in my decision to become a health-care provider, and because it figures largely in my decision about what to pursue as a residency (although perhaps not in the way that one might think). But now I have this personal blog that has the full name of my son on it, and while I have blocked my profile and taken most references to my full name out of the blog, I am not hard to find. And while I do not for one second believe that I am All That and that this will be front page on the NYTimes or anything, I don't want someone with ill intent to google "this thing that sarah is not ashamed of" and "blog" or whatnot, and then, you know, show up on my door. Or, years down the line, at Graham's school. So I am debating renaming the personal blog, and taking names out. Which could be a smart thing to do anyway, but the blogging mom world seems kind of split down the middle on the issue of photos/real names of your kids. Anyway, I am stressing about it, and wanted to discuss. With myself, I guess. I'll let you know what we decide.

things i want

1) To make the leap into cloth diapering (it would be a lot easier if I won that contest! but no! you should enter too! except, don't hurt my chances of winning!). Shhhh. Don't tell Joe.
2) To finish our backyard. Okay, to start our backyard.
3) New flooring and cabinets for the kitchen. I have given up on the dream of a dishwasher. This dream, it has defeated me. I just want to replace the nasty nasty linoleum. With new linoleum. I dream small these days.

4) This, and this, and this, and this last one for the day when G really really has to finish the book he is reading right nooooooowwwww out on the lawn, or what have you. He is my son, after all. (God this makes me long for the days when what I really coveted was stuff like this or this. Hold the phone, I STILL covet those things. Dang it all.)
5) Lots more money for books, specifically to outfit Graham with the greatest library of children's literature KNOWN TO MAN.

6, 7, 8, 9, 10, ad infinitum/nauseum/and forever to the stars and back)
This guy? To go back to sleeping through the night.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

various and sundry

Graham continues at his constant, low-level whininess, although he has added a new trick to his bag. He has developed a whine that is a little bit guttural, and often accompanies a "I'm not happy" grimace so that all. day. long I spent my time saying "Are you pooping? Are you pooping?" And then - NO POOP. Whammy, mama! Gotcha!

*********

Oh! So, today I had my chance to personally stick it to Target and I messed it up. I have been searching high and low for silicone ice cube trays (for freezing Graham's food without fear of bad plastic) (also, seriously, why are these impossible to find? back when I was a swinging bachelorette with Maura we had, like, FOUR of them. our cocktails had star-shaped and heart-shaped cubes! it was awesome! where did they go?) and finally just bought mini-muffin trays. The trays didn't have a bar code or wrapping or anything on them, so when I got to the check-out, I just told the girl that they were marked $9.99. She just rang it in and then said "Okay, your total is $3.01." And BEFORE I COULD SHUT MY MOUTH, I said "No no! Nine ninety-nine." And then Joe spirited himself psychically from work and smacked me one. She did thank me for being honest. See? I am such a Good Girl!

*********

G seems to be in a bit of a sleep regression. Which, I've heard of the 4 month sleep regression, and the nine month, but not the six and a half month. He's so innovative, our boy. He just won't go to sleep as deeply as he was previously, and is waking up 3-5 times during the night. And he will go back to sleep til 6 if I feed him (finally), but it's not a growth spurt because he's not acting any hungrier during the day. And he doesn't have any teeth popping through yet, although I guess it's possible that they are very close and he is just uncomfortable. Today I wondered to myself if maybe this is a delayed 4 month sleep regression (as he is just now 4 and a half months corrected). But in general, all his other growth spurts and whatnot have happened on schedule with his actual age, not corrected. Sigh. It also occurred to me that if I was trying to learn how to sit, stand and crawl for the first time ever and do it all at the same time, I might well too be tired/cranky.

graham would like to eat your face. also, a small stuffed pig.



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

finally: the end of the story

I've just been kind of finishing parts as it felt natural to do so, and also stopping when G happened to be getting up from naps...hopefully, this is the last installation.

Joe finally made it to the hospital around 9 am, and good lord, I have never been happier to see anyone in my entire entire live-long life. We cried, and held hands, and talked. And we decided that since he was coming soon, we should probably tell the grandparents his name (it was the one thing we had been keeping secret). I don't know what I thought was going to happen when we said his name out loud - the g'rents were certainly suitably excited - but there must have been some fantasy in my head in which the heavens parted and down from above boomed "THAT IS THE BEST BABY NAME EVER IN THE HIIISSSSTORRRRY OF TIIIIIIIIIIMMME!" Eh. We thought it was awesome (and still do, although Joe is insisting on his secret original choice for the next baby, if applicable).

And then, it was really just waiting. And waiting. And waiting. The mag went on, the mag came off (thank you, pritty pritty nurse, thank you so much). The monitors beeped. Joe slept in a chair. We tried to communicate with our respective bosses that this was a CODE UBER-FIERY-RED no work situation. I became, after 3 days, "steroid complete." Which meant that they had done all they could for Graham's development, and while it would be best to not have to deliver until 34 weeks, if labor started it wasn't getting stopped. On about day 4
(and during those four days I continued to leak fluid), Graham started rolling over on his cord. This? Was Not Fun. It required teams of nurses running in at all hours urging me to "roll over, sweetie, we gotta move the little guy" as his heart rate fell precipitously. Monitors were readjusted, Graham's heart happily started bip-bopping away again, and then? I couldn't move. Hours on end, I would be in one position as Joe and I both bolted awake whenever our subconsciouses (subconscii?) registered the slowing of those bleeps. I began to get a little cranky.

I think, if I may give myself a little credit, I only seriously lashed out at Joe once. I think it
was towards the end of the day, and Joe was getting ready to try to sleep in his hospital chair for the fourth night in a row. And I loudly blathered something to the effect of how it wasn't fair, and that I couldn't sleep, and that I was in pain, and couldn't move, and he was just going to go to sleep and leave me ALL ALONE. Whoops-a-daisy! Sorry, sweetheart! I loooove you!

And then, on the fifth day, they gave me drugs. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. I think I was
beginning to complain about not being able to sleep (much like the above, but in more kind and dulcet tones than reserved for my husband, because, you know, it's important to be polite) and I think that my contractions were starting, although it just felt like a backache. Which was difficult to differentiate from the backache of being in a hospital bed, not moving, for 4 days. Ooh! Did I say they let me have bathroom privileges on day 4? It was AWESOME.

Anyway, late that Thursday night, they gave me...something. I don't even know what it was, horrible medstudent that I am. All I know is that literally 30 seconds after it went in my IV,
I turned my head, said "I feel dizzzzzzy and sleeeeeepy," and conked out for five blessed hours. The next morning, we had a decision to make. Joe was scheduled to go with the band into the Fox News station to play the morning show. The band was playing the Hot Stove Cool Music show at the Paradise that weekend, and because the drummer is the (NBA CHAMPIONS) Boston Celtics owner, Wyc Grousbeck, the media thought it would be cute to have them on. What to do? It seemed like labor was starting, but none of the contractions were registering on the monitors (they were all in my back). But they also weren't going to start doing manual exams unless absolutely necessary given the risk for infection with ruptured membranes. So we talked, and decided that of course, he should go. Joe stayed by my side almost every single moment of those five days, and had even attempted to work a full forty hours from the hospital room. We thought he deserved a little break. (So, now, Graham, you can tell people that on the day you were born, Mommy said "I'm going into labor" and Daddy said "I'm going to play a rock and roll show." How cool is THAT?!)

So Joe went and played the show, and because of course by this point he had charmed all the nurses in South Shore Hospital, there was quite a little crew in my room watching him play. Then he zoomed back, and none too soon, because this thing was on like the proverbial
Donkey Kong. They did my first manual exam around noon, and I think I was 3 or 4 cm dilated. They came back a few hours later, and blammo! I was 9 cm and fully effaced. Epidural, I love you, how wonderful you are, especially since it had to go higher up because of my tattoo. Mr Dr Anaesthesiologist, you are my BFF4evah.

This is the point at which Joe and I looked at each other and realized that we had not THOUGHT FOR ONE HOT SECOND ABOUT THE ACTUAL BIRTH. We were due to start birthing classes that next Monday! We were still months away from the due date! We knew nothing. Crap! Push here? Breathe when? Ha-ho-ho? Hee-hee-hee? Legs up, legs down, swing 'em all
around? I don't knooooooooooow!!!! Luckily the nurse stepped in, noted that she actually did this for a living, multiple times every day, and proceeded to basically deliver Graham herself. I think the attending came in for the last five minutes...maybe. Our nurse was amazing. But apparently? The secret to labor is pushing through your butt. Sorry you had to watch me poop on the table, darling! The romance lives on, right?

I ended up pushing for about an hour and a half. Graham was face up, and so his (enormous) head took forever to pass. But the moment where I could reach down and feel the tip-top of his little skull was only surpassed by the moment when he slipped free. I have never cried so hard, so deeply. And when I grabbed out at Joe, he was shaking and tears were crashing down his crumbled face. And Graham, he cried with us.
fin

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

the story, continued

When we last left off, I was nicely being scoffed at by emergency and OB personnel. It's okay; I deserved it. But where was Joe during all this, you might ask yourself? And you may ask yourself, how did he get there? Behind the wheel of our small economy automobile, of course.

So, not only had Joe settled in for the night with The Wire and pizza, he had also taken an Ambien. Lovely. So when I called at midnight to say that "everything is fine, ho-ho! just going to the hospital because I can't stop peeing! will call you shortly so you can go back to snoozing!" the poor man was drugged and soundly asleep. (Now that I am thinking about all this, it occurs to me that I had to call his cell about ten times before he picked up. Thanks, Ambien!) Of course, once I had my oh-crap-poops-this-is-actually-happening realization, I had to call again. And say, "Sorry, dude. Looks like you have to come back." I did not say it nearly that calmly, however.

At this point, Joe tells me he leapt into panic mode. Had there been a LARGE RED PANIC BUTTON, I am sure he would have pounded the crap out of it. He called the airlines; nothing until 11 am the next day. He looked up train schedules; would take 12 hours at least to get there. He looked up bus schedules; same deal and nothing leaving til morning. He called our friends Danielle and Evan and left frantic messages: "Ha ha! Just have to drive back to Boston right right now oh my god seriously! You don't want to come with me, do you? Just checking!" Poor Danielle and Evan didn't get the messages until the next morning, and of course, freaked out because Joe had already left, drugged out on Ambien, to drive seven hours back to Boston, and yes, indeed, I am not even making this up, in the middle of a blizzard. I believe he drank copious amounts of coffee and Diet Coke. He did not tell me about the blizzard until he got to the hospital.

Meanwhile, back at the hospital, the very nice OB on call had come in and done a pelvic and the swab o' doom. Of course at this point they don't know that I am a medical student, but I think they might have picked up on it when the nurse said to the doc: "Yep, it's blue" and my face bleached out. I might also have started blathering about pooling and ferning and ay-yi-yi-yi-yi...I don't really remember. So, confirmation that no, it wasn't pee, and yes, my water had broken. I was just 31 weeks at the turn of midnight.

The plan was outlined for me. Three days of steroid injections for lung maturity, magnesium sulfate to stop labor (just for a few days, as the balance of tocolytic benefit v. potential side effects for the baby have to be considered), antibiotics for the duration. To hopefully not deliver until 34 weeks, and then induce if I hadn't delivered by then. Me: "So, I'll be on bedrest for three weeks??" Doc: "No, sweetheart. You'll be here."

Everything started going into overdrive at that point, and I have to give mad props to the staff of South Shore Hospital. They were efficient, careful and considerate of both me and my parents. The mag got started and one of my nurses warned me how gross I was going to feel. Man, she was for total serious. Everything but my face was cold and clammy, but my face, it was on fire. They wrapped me up with monitors strapped to my belly and an IV for fluids. I got my first steriod injection...in the butt. It reminded me of happier times when I was just getting a shot in the butt because I might have been exposed to hepatitis from a non-glove wearin' Papa Gino's employee back at Brown. Sigh. Those were the good old days, no?

And then, everybody left. My dad fell asleep in the chair by my feet. My mom was sitting to my left, cradling my hand. The monitors glowed orange and we could hear Graham's heartbeat thudding away...161, 159, 172, 153...and everything was quiet. I said, to myself as much as my mom: "But, I'm not ready. I'm really, really, not ready." And finally, started crying.

And the end is here...

I'll get back to the story shortly...

...but for today I am sick and miserable, Joe is home and trying to work and miserable, and Graham is overtired, under-stimulated and miserable.

So ponder this: is it parenting karma that after 6 months of the easiest baby known to man (no colic, sleeps through the night, big huge smiles and giggles) that we now have entered a seemingly never-ending zone of constant low level crankitude? Sigh.

Monday, July 21, 2008

When our little Graham-and-cheese-on-rye came into the world


I realized over the weekend that I have never actually told the story of Graham's birth here. I think there's part of me that didn't feel justified in having a birth story, as if in some way I didn't really experience giving birth, just like I didn't really experience pregnancy. So I have no right, in some wacko smacko way, to talk about it like I have anything to say. Which, I guess, is to a certain extent true -- I have very little to say about the third trimester of pregnancy. I was just starting to get uncomfortably large when Graham came along. And I have no idea what it is like to birth a full-term baby. I imagine it is somewhat harder. But I have to quit making myself feel like I am not a real mom in that sense -- sometimes I need to remind myself that while yes, he was small, and yes, he was early, I DID PUSH A HUMAN BEING OUT OF MY BODY. So, lo, Graham's birth story.

Most of you know the beginning part to this, but a short recap all the same. We were home in Massachusetts for the holidays, and I was happily huge. It was the first time I had seen my family since early September and it was just beatific (I know that's not the right usage of that word, but it's the right word in the wrong way, so, deal) to sit around and bask in my pregnant, Christmassy glow. Christmas is a big deal in my house (how 4 people manage to make gift-giving last >5 hours is a mystery Joe has never solved) and the feeling of being there on Christmas morning, feeling Graham kick away, was as happy and safe as I have ever felt in my life, I think.

My mother-in-law and mom had set up a baby shower for us the weekend of January 5-6th, but Joe had to work during that interim week. So the plan was (as awful as it would be for Joe to do all that driving) that he would head back home just before New Year's, and then come back that weekend to 1) play a show with his fancy-pants cover band, and 2) pick up me and all our shower loot and drive back home, where upon we would begin the 2 month countdown to D-day (including childbirth classes that were scheduled to start January 7th). So Joe set off for home the morning of December...errrr, checking calendar...30th. He had an uneventful ride, and called to tell me he was settling in with The Wire and a pizza. Lovely - that meant I didn't have to sit around and wait for him to get through 5 episodes in a row like I had been since my parents had gotten him hooked on it earlier in the week. I know, I know - it's LIFE-CHANGING TELEVISION, I get it. But cripes, there are so many less depressing things to watch. Bring on my twentieth viewing of Love Actually, thanks very much and pass the hot cocoa.

Anyway, we had a pretty relaxing day as well. It was so nice and slow and comfortable to be home with my parents. We ate dinner, we watched some tv (NOT The Wire, although I am sure my mom tried to make me), and I went to bed all early-squirly-vacationy-like.

And all was fine and well until I woke up at about 11 pm with, honestly, a start, because I was soaking wet. And my first coherent though, truly truly, was: "Did I seriously just WET THE BED, at my PARENT'S HOUSE? Because I am THIRTY-ONE YEARS OLD." I went to the bathroom, and I peed like I could never pee again. And the pee just kept coming. I tried Kegel after Kegel, and it just wouldn't stop. So I went downstairs (still peeing, mind you), and just like the thirty-one year-old that I am, got my mommy out of bed because by this time, I was terrified. (I would say I was peeing my pants I was so scared, but, you know, I was.) So Mom found me one of my grandmother's incontinence pads (this was getting better and better) and we went off to call my OB. The lovely doc on call called me back, and suggested that I go to our local hospital, just to be sure. Of course, my mom and I were both convinced that I was just peeing like a maniac (there was some ebb and flow by this point). Maybe the baby's head was just pressing on my bladder! Maybe I had a UTI or something! O-ho! Regardless, we got my dad up and out the door we went.

My mom and I could not have been more committed to this "it's just pee" story. The whole way to the hospital, we were talking about how crazy it was that the baby could force this much liquid out of my bladder. "So much pee!" "I know!" "Crazy!" "Totally crazy!" "Ha ha ha ha! Pee!" And then we walked into the ED.

Me: "Hello, ED triage person! I know this is soooo not a big deal, but I am 30 weeks pregnant and I just started peeing like crazy! And it won't stop! So, my doctor said I should just come in to make absolutely sure everything's fine. But I know you're very busy! And obviously this is not a big deal! So is there just a chair I should wait in for someone to come tell me that I can go home? Won't take up too much of your time, promise!"

ED triage person (rolling her eyes, but very nicely): "I'm sending you up to the OB floor, right now."

And my mom and I kept this up, the whole way up the elevators, through the intake process, while waiting for the nurses, and right up until the very nice nurse said: "Here's your room, take off all your clothes and get into a gown, and here's a pad, and your clothes go in this bag and the doc on call will be in shortly." And that's honestly when it hit me. I wasn't just going home. This wasn't a go-to-the-hospital-just-to-be-extra-extra-careful-but-we're-sure-nothing-is-wrong kind of thing. This was a your-water-just-broke-two-and-a-half-months-early kind of thing. And, cue the me-losing-my-resolve-and-cool-completely kind of thing.

The story continues here and here...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

as if i didn't spend enough time on the internet

I keep having ideas for posts that really don't fit here - wanting to talk about my research work, or things with curse words in them, or the like. So I am expanding my vast blogging empire and have started to write at:


This is definitely going to be NSFGOMEM/D (Not Safe For Grandparents Or Maybe Even Moms/Dads) what with the aforementioned bad language, so there's the warning. But no nudie pictures or anything (that's what the Durden is for, anyway). Smell ya laters!

Friday, July 18, 2008

these are the things i think about


I have been putting off posting because, god, I bore MYSELF these days. I really only think about the following things:

1) Sleep (his, mine)


2) Food (his, mine maybe maybe maybe if the stars align I will eat healthfully again on a regular basis)


3) Developmental milestones (sitting, scooting, crawling)


Aaaaannnnd....that's it. I mean, I trawl the internet constantly during his naps, but really, it's only to get more information about those three things. Bo-ring.
Perhaps this post will help put me to sleep tonight (see #1, above).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

i have a giant crush on my baby


Sometime during the week we were on vacation, my mom and I were watching Graham sleep. And she said: "I just love it when babies nurse in their sleep. It's the sweetest thing." Which, I agree - totally cute. But I was just sitting here watching him, again, and realized that when he is dreaming about nursing, he is dreaming about me. And I got all sorts of joy joy joy shivers. I love him.

Monday, July 14, 2008

graham HATES being six months old


This guy, albeit very sweet looking, is ANGRY. He is angry that he can't crawl, in specific. He whumps his head on the floor and throws his knees up underneath him. Then the knees go out, he lifts his head up, and he has gone NOWHERE. Not one stinkin' CENTIMETER closer to the Very Important Toy that bad mama has put a few feet away. Commence whining and complaining. Rinse, repeat. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Which is not to say that he is happy if he actually does get to the toy. Then he is just so exhausted from all the effort that it is easier to just keep complaining. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

He has remembered how to roll the other way, which is good. But now he only rolls in one direction, so a few times today he started at one end of his play mat and just rolled over and over in a straight line, ending up at my legs looking up at me. And I laughed and laughed and he gave me a look like this kid (wait for the indignation to start at about 0:40):




Which, you know, I am glad he is progressing and obviously going through a little developmental spurt. But I am tired. And so much of his brain is taken up by working so hard at things that are so hard that he doesn't even know how to practice because he's never even SEEN anybody crawl before, that he hasn't really talked to us and told us his little stories since we got home. And that makes me sad and of course, worried, even though I know this is just a phase and he will go back to being our own sweetest, happiest, calmest little boy soon enough. But, cripes, could soon enough come a little sooner?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

more vacation photos; also, highlight of the weekend




And, this weekend was like:

Joe, walking upstairs to pee or something, Graham and me sitting on the couch. Joe stops halfway up, goes "Graham! Graham!" and moons him. Graham is...not reacting at all. Joe sighs, pulls his pants back up, and says "Oh well. In a couple years, you'll think that's HILARIOUS." Our weekend was basically like that.

Friday, July 11, 2008

two more because they are so darnation cute


see? maudlin self-involvement over

And now, more vacation pictures!

Swimming with mamaGetting ready for camp with dad
The new generation of girls to torment the boys (Graham is reaching out to see if Thea is real, I think...)
Amy and Graham feel the love
Trying out the float

Thursday, July 10, 2008

sidebar

can i talk about myself for a moment here? because i've been thinking about me, rather a lot, lately, and i figure this is as good a place as any to get some narcissism out. and to be frank and warning you 50 or so people who might read this blog, this particular post is mostly for the other (relatively) internet-savvy and (relatively) youngish moms. so, dads and grandparents and greatgrandparents, this probably won't mean diddly-squat to you and you can feel free to just skip it and i promise to have more pictures of the grahaminator up tomorrow.

okay. we all good? and, begin. the deal is that i am, for all intents and purposes, a stay-at-home-mom this year. which is great. really, it is. (although some times i see the longing in joe's eyes when he leaves for work and think that it could quite possibly work the other way at some point.) and what is a good stay-at-home mom to do during naps other than cruise the internet? (i guess i could clean the house, or write thank you notes (which, really and honestly, THANK YOU and i'm getting to it, mom, i promise) but my brain doesn't work that way during naptime.) and in my cruising, i have happened upon the overwhelming number of mommy blogs. and i find myself completely and almost ceaselessly drawn to the mommy blogs where something terrible has happened. the husband who died blogs. the baby who died blogs. the i can't have a baby or i couldn't have a baby and now i am finally pregnant and then the baby died blogs. and i feel, honestly, awful about it.

(and that's why this is completely narcissistic, because i am writing this about feeling terrible about being so drawn to other people's pain so that i can feel less guilty about sneaking around on the internet to continue being drawn to other people's pain. i am a monster.)

i am trying to figure out what this is that i feel the need to read and cry and read some more. today, i was reading amalah's pregnancy blog and she talks about feeling the need to watch the horrible baby tragedy shows on tv as well as read the same-such blogs (this is a longish quote, sorry, except, no, because she says it well):

"Dead baby blogs" is what one of my friends (and the keeper of such a blog herself) called them. "Stop reading us," she ordered me, after she realized I was reading them while still in the first trimester and sobbing at my laptop every day. I didn't listen.

Stillbirths. Placental abruptions. Incompetent cervixes. Terminations for medical reasons. High-risk multiples. Cord accidents. Waters breaking before viability. And the ever-terrifying "we just don't even know what happened, but we are sorry for your loss nonetheless." I can now recite a morbid anecdote for just about any horror story you'd like to discuss. I am like every awful episode of ER that ever involved a pregnant woman rolled into an all-day marathon.

I absolutely cannot explain this compulsion. I have no excuse for what, on the surface, probably seems like a disgusting penchant for emotional tourism. I read other parents' pain, have myself a good heaving snotty sob on their behalf, and then wander off to contemplate my nursery and affectionately poke the wiggling, kicking little boy in my belly.

I just...need to know. I need to see that you can keep breathing after something like that happens.

Just knowing that horrible things can happen in pregnancy will never "prepare" you for them, if they happen to you. It won't make things hurt less or or make you fold your hands quietly in resignation while the doctor delivers bad news. It does, however, remind me to cherish every moment I do get with my baby, even the uncomfortable "is it October yet?" moments. If something were to go wrong and these weeks of pregnancy were all I ever got to experience with this child, that wouldn't make him less real. Less of my ever-so-loved-already son, who has his big brother's mouth and his own name and his own place in our family.

is that it? am I just trying to reflect back on what could have been, with graham? when i was pregnant, i couldn't watch those shows at all, because i was too terrified that somehow even watching it would make it come true, like the god of problem pregnancy would reach through the screen and put the whammy on me. (not that this kind of behavior is particular to pregnancy for me. if i come in and start watching a red sox game, and they start doing poorly, i absolutely have to leave the room because it is clearly my fault. poor joe and brendo had to suffer through much of this insanity during the 2004 season.)

or is it just self-congratulatory, that things with graham could have been so much worse than they were, and i am simply proving to myself, by watching how hard other people have it, that we are okay, we are okay, we are okay? this all is roiling about in my head because yesterday i linked to one of the blogs i read on a regular basis written by an incredibly smart woman i don't know at all: flotsam. then i took the link down. then i put it back up. then i took it down again. because i certainly know how people get to graham's blog (you'd be surprised how many googles of "first spanking" there are. sorry to disappoint!) and i figure she must as well, and if anybody clicked over to her, she'd come back here and in my head, be saying something to the effect of "i can't believe this chick! she links to me as an example of how bad it could be? how ridiculously rude and callous. my life, my children's stories, aren't just fodder for some concept of REALLY BAD or MUCH WORSE THAN YOURS. stick it, lady." and she'd be right, this person i don't know at all.

so, sigh. i guess that's not an answer. and there's two driving forces at work, it seems: one in which i search for belonging (yeah, the NICU! we were there! i felt that! i saw that!), and one in which i search for how we don't belong to that group, for how different we are, because graham is so great, so healthy, and nothing will ever be wrong with him ever ever again. he will never feel the lasting impact of his dad and i leaving him, daily and repeatedly, for the first five weeks of his life. he won't be behind in school. he'll be just as good as any other kid, born on time. because, as long as that's true, i don't have to think about why he was early, and what if it was my fault anymore.

(sorry to end on a crummy note. and...cue email from my mom. i promise! i don't think it was my fault! and thank you notes! they are right here! i'm writing them! right now!)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

preemie schmeemie

When Graham was born in Massachusetts, the hospital we were at (mad props to South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, MA! Woot woot!) asked if we wanted to start getting in contact with Early Intervention services there, since Graham was premature. (Early Intervention is a free, state-run program that evaluates kids and sends out services if they have significant delay in any areas like language, fine/gross motor development, social skills, and so on. While Graham luckily doesn't need any services (whoops! spoiler!), Early Intervention is an amazing program that has helped lots of kids I know, both "officially" developmentally delayed kids and "normal" kids who were just a little behind in one aspect or another. And did I mention it is free?)

Anyway, we decided to hold off and get in touch with the coordinator in Rochester. So we did that when we got back to NY, and they sent us a questionnaire to fill out when he was (corrected age) 4 months old. I filled it out a few weeks ago, and G-man was all solid in terms of motor skills and whatnot. But Joe and I had some concerns about his social interaction. He was really shutting down in strange situations (and it's too early for stranger anxiety), not making a lot of eye contact, and not interacting with us/himself in the mirror.

Then we went home for a week. And my goodness, it must have just been the attention lavished on this boy, because some switch got flipped. He talks, he smiles, he screams with joy. (Seriously. He developed this new scream of happiness that will pierce your skull.) So when the evaluation team came out yesterday, I think they thought I was a bit nuts.

Regardless, they thought Graham was tremendous, for 4 months or for 6 months. There are some aspects where he is still working on catching up, some in which he is totally caught up, and in fact, they though his social and language skills were even above average for 6 months. I just can't believe, sometimes, how lucky we are. There were babies at SSH that were even older than G gestationally, and had a lot more problems. And while I am absolutely a biased, proud parent that thinks her child is perfect and advanced and gifted beyond all compare, I really do just feel grateful. As hard as it was, this all could have been so much harder. We are an extremely lucky little family.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

first round of photos from vacation

Yay camp!
First footsies in the water...

And some more...
Look at me! I'm a riot! Thanks for coming out...I'll be here all the week. Try the rice cereal!
And some more comedic stylings at dinner....
The kid is a ham. Takes after his parents, no?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

home

am home. learned following new parent lessons:
  1. vacation with baby is not your vacation. is baby's vacation.
  2. baby's vacation is entirely devoted to baby. maybe also to baby's grandparents and quality time for baby with grandparents (not that there's anything wrong with that).
  3. next time vacationing with baby, schedule a few days at the beginning for grandparents to take baby all by themselves, and go somewhere without baby.
regardless, we of course had a very very nice time. and we still love graham. we're just totally, well, knackered. pictures to come.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

OMG, can you even stand it??


How cute is this? Graham met some of my very very favorite people last night and steadfastly (with tears) refused to go to bed while they were there. Hooray for Jill and Pedro and Beth and Reena! Hopefully he didn't make all of them swear off having children...