Thursday, February 25, 2010


I get nervous blogging about Max because either I'll sound like I'm complaining (sleep) or I'll say positive things that will jinx things (sleep.) So, I will do what I'm having my students do this semester which is to describe without evaluating. It's very tricky because I love Mr. Max and think he's pretty much the best thing that ever happened since Zoe was born (see all those superlatives?) but I'll give this non-evaluation method a whirl.

Max is seven weeks and one day old. The first two weeks he mostly slept. In the day at least. At night, he slept for one and two hours stretches but he'd kick and grunt for a good hour before he went back to sleep. Now he sleeps for three hour stretches waking at 2, 5, and 8, just like Z did. I don't mind waking up as long as it's predictable (evaluative comments about my state of mind are acceptable). This week he seems to have a day of sleep and a day of wake. Yesterday, he slept but the day before he was up all day. While he's awake, he stares at you with his dark blue eyes and seems to say, what the hell would I sleep for? I have these big eyes for you to look at. To which you agree but also would like to pee and make something to eat for lunch. Whether he is awake or asleep he is doing Tai Chi with his hands. Or he's conducting the swirling birds above his swing. Either way, he's into his hands and the many ways they can stretch and make new shapes. He likes Zoe a lot (his preferences, since he is the main agent of the piece, can be stated even though there probably is quite a bit of projection here) and exercises his cheek muscles into something similar to a smile whenever she jockeys to hold him. Also among his likes appear to be milk, milk and more milk. Also his dad in the crutch of whose arm Max sleeps an hour or two at night.

In that night, He gets cold and his hands are extremely cold. I warm them up with my body but they just get cold again.

Speaking of cold, he has one. His second. Tiny babies whose sister's go to school are tricky (tricky is evaluative, but everyone knows colds suck). Sisters bring home a lot of germs, it seems. Fortunately I like (again, only evaluating my state of mind, not the text (Max) itself) the bulb suctioning project. To like being a mom, you have to like fluids. Fortunately, I find the production of milk and buggers fascinating (less so poop and pee because that's ordinary). Now I hope that the cold stays a cold in his nose and doesn't traverse to his lungs for I have PTSD of Z's RSV. (Also. I like medical abbreviations though not what those abbreviations stand for).

I mentioned before he roots and grunts like a hedgehog (the word like in simile has been approved, not that I really know that's what hedgehogs look like or sound like. Did you know it's illegal to own a hedgehog in Utah?). He still roots and grunts and I imagine hedgehog over pig. Perhaps it's his soft, still-brown hair.

His legs are still rounded up and bowlegged. I blame the diaper; Erik fears pigeon-toed. Either way, I suspect he'll grow out of it.

He has been to dinner and lunch at Cuvee 928, Collins', Fratelli's (thrice and possibly the fourth time tonight), Beaver Street, Salsa Brava, Dara Thai and Buster's. Most of those were when my mom was here but he has acquainted himself with the local dining scene. He has also been to Safeway, New Frontiers, Target and on several short walks in the sling and too-big-for-him stroller. (Alert ye who say all this going out brought on the cold: The doctors approved the outward going. It's the humans who touch him who give him the colds and Z, who washes her hands and then sanitizes them and then coughs into the crutch of her arm still touches him way more than the outer-world does).

Right now he's in his swing, grunting a bit. He has kicked the blanket off. Later, I'll get up to bring him over to where I sit at the table and prop him in the boppy pillow so he can look at me while I write descriptive comments about my student's essays. I'll go to work and Zoe and Erik will give him a bottle of pumped milk. We'll meet at the CSA and pick up our vegetables for the week and go to Fratelli's for pizza to celebrate the end of the week. Max will hang out in his baby bucket car seat and watch Zoe eat pizza and maybe sleep a little and maybe play a little with his hands.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Zoe and the Litter Box

Erik: What do I find if I find the clicky clack shoes (high heels)

Zoe: Give you a sticker.

Erik: I want something more than that. I want you to clean the litter box for the rest of your life.

Zoe: Ew.

Erik: That’s the deal. What do you think about that?

Zoe: It motivates me.

To save herself from a lifetime of litter box scooping, she asked my mom who is in town visiting to help her look and said: Maestra, if you find it, can we pretend I found it? The litter box is gross.

(edited to include the story only once).

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Bulletin from the Advising Center

I meant to blog before I went back to work asking for advice but then I ran out of time. That seems like it will be the theme for the next six to eight years. Tuesday was my first day back and I, for some reason, thought hosting my advising center/office hours Tuesday morning was a good idea but that meant getting Z ready to go by 8:50 as well as feeding Mr. Max twice before I left. Had I slept the night before? Not so much. Max thinks, as if he were some kind of hedgehog, that kicking and grunting is an appropriate way to spend the hours between 2 and 3. And between 5 and 6. But I still made it up and out of the house.
I was late. But not SO late.
I advised.
I went home to eat lunch and finish prepping for class. Then, I taught. Almost the whole time. On the first day. Then we had a friend over for tacos. Tuesday nights have been deemed taco night. It was good to see someone from the outside world even if my eyes were only half open by 7:30. I blame the rooting of hedgehog.
But it was really the rest of the week that tried to kill me.
Tuesday afternoon I was asked to speak at a conference on Thursday because the original guest speakers dropped out. In order to avoid the sort of disaster of last year's conference where the keynote speaker had only 4 audience members, I said I'd come and bring my class. So I had to prepare something to read and to somehow make what I read fit with my grad nonfiction class (not too hard. I read some appropriate nonfiction).
Z was sick with the stomach flu Tuesday night. She hates to throw up. She looks so disappointed after--she thinks her stomach has betrayed her.
So Wednesday, no school for Z and a class to prepare for and a talk to give. Mr. Max slept better the night before so I was a little more on.
Thursday, I taught and spoke at the panel and then stayed for the keynote which had been smartly (though I wasn't aware this had been done) combined with another conference. The audience was full and the attendance of my class wasn't as necessary. The high point? After: pizza.
Friday night, as an extended part of the conference, the lit mag here hosted a reading. Friday afternoon, I came down with Zoe's disease and felt as betrayed as she. I made myself go the reading though. I'm glad I did. It was good and by the end, my stomachache had subsided. It was a short sickness that I think Max only got the slightest hint of.
Now it's a new week and Z probably has another cold and I'll panic again like I did with her last cold and this last stomach bug that Max will get it. I hope the theory about breast milk as an immune-system-enhancer is true.
I'm in the advising center, wrapping up. I'm almost ready to teach. I have a meeting with my chair about summer funding. Rinse. Repeat. 10 more weeks of this.
I think I can do it, hedgehogs, stomach betrayal and tardiness notwithstanding.