Cause and effect

Baby Leo just hasn’t learned cause and effect yet. Like whenever he pees in his eye when getting his diaper changed he starts screeching like a banshee. We keep telling him, just don’t pee in your eye and it wont hurt. But he just keeps on doing it. He has the same problem with his new trick, turning over. We lay him on his back. But now he almost compulsively turns to his tummy. Then he’ll get there and realize he’s uncomfortable and start crying. We’re like, dude, don’t turn over then. Or better yet, roll back, we know you can. But our wise advice just isn’t sinking in. I guess as parents we’re gonna have to get used to not being listened to.

My unhappy pee-headed boy:

From toys

Yesterday my mothering skills were called into question. Leo was crying and fussing so I tried all the tricks to calm him down — pacifier, walking around the house, changing his diaper … then, exasperated, I handed him to Caleb and the second he was in his father’s arms he stopped crying. This happened not once, but twice yesterday. Was our baby already developing a preference for one parent? One that wasn’t me? Well, rather than be sad, I just figured I’d put hand over to Daddy into my bag of tricks. So then again today, he got into this fussy state that I couldn’t calm, so I gave him to Caleb and he kept fussing. And to that, I say, phew! I ain’t so bad after all.

Much of today was spent taking care of final important business before returning to work. For example, deciding which picture(s) to put on my desk. Now this was quite hard. One old smiley one is sooooo cute, but it was taken three weeks ago and Leo is so much older now. I think I’ve settled on the plan to frame the cute smile, but tape a few more recent pics to my monitor.

Another important piece of business was washing my “new” truck. Yes, I’ll be driving a pickup truck now that Caleb has the baby. Caleb seems to have some weirdo pride in the fact his truck is so dirty. I don’t mind the outside dirt so much. But the empty cigarette boxes inside the truck were just gross. I’m not so sure I’m ready to take over the truck. When Kate was here I suggested that I’d paint it pink. She accused me of being obsessed with gender roles, wasn’t I the only girl on my little league team, what’s wrong with me now? Well I don’t think I’ll be painting the truck pink, but I did buy a nice new pink phone yesterday.

And I bet you are now wondering, wait, how does Johanna’s breast pump fit into today’s story? Well I can assure you it does. Today Michelle, my classmate from Barnard, who it’s probably been ten years since I’ve talked to, called to see if I’d help with reunion planning. (10 years! Holy crap!) She has a one year old and is also back at work. So now I hear it from two authoritative sources, Michelle and Hilary, don’t even try to wash the breast pump parts at work. It takes too much time. Just buy lots of parts and wash ‘em at night. So I went and bought extra parts. This Medela company must be making bank. But when I got home my extra parts were just ever so slightly different from the first set and didn’t fit into my homemade hands-free nursing bra. I had to do a bit more inventing. My inventor’s apprentice, Caleb, suggested adding an additional material, safety pins. So another old bra was transformed into a breast pumping accessory. What do these Medela folks think, that I just have 100 old bras hanging around the house to cut up?

And now the big question … will this be it for the blog? Will Caleb take over? We’ll just have to wait and see.

A new boy

Yesterday morning I put Leo lying on his back on the floor and went to rinse my breast pump parts. (Yes, the breast pump seems to make it into all stories these days. It’ll get old soon enough). Anyway I came back and Leo was on his tummy! Later, Caleb experienced the same thing. He looked away for a second and Leo was again turned to his tummy. Were we making it up or was Leo really turning?

Well now he is doing it all the time and we’ve totally seen it. He’s rolling across the floor as I write this. Here is the video of him turning over:

He is just doing so much more these days. He also can turn 360 degrees as well as roll. He seems to know what his toys are. He’s gurgling. He used to grab our hands. Now he grabs them and puts them in his mouth. He just doesn’t seem fragile anymore.

As he gets big it’s hard to remember what he was like earlier. Soon enough it’ll be hard to remember this phase. We take a lot of snap shots but there are some cute expressions that we see as parents but are hard to photograph and I’m sure will be gone from memory soon enough. Caleb’s favorite is looking up at the baby in bench press position. When I bench press the boy his ears seem so big. But I can’t look for too long because the drool will fall. I particularly like the way the baby looks when we put him in bed with us at night. He just looks so angelic, like a porcelain doll when his face is close to mine and the room is dark.

From toys

Waiting in lines

My Dad is in the hospital again. This time for cellulitis in his foot. This is an infection that needs to be treated with IV antibiotics. My Dad called the doctor because he was having trouble walking.

As you may have guessed my shtick on this blog is making fun of people. My dad is probably the easiest person I know to make fun of, but he isn’t here, so he doesn’t show up in the blog too much. And I think when he visited I hadn’t yet caught the blogging bug.

My dad’s current fantasy is that he is going to come build me a house. I think he is pretty disappointed that I’m the only kid he hasn’t helped to get a house. Caleb and I also want a house. Thinking about this logically, it looks like house buying will require Google’s stock price to stay really high and simultaneously for housing prices in Silicon Valley to drop. We’re optimistic.

Really we are. My dad has an uncanny way of making things happen for his kids. Caleb suggested I write about getting the 1986 Red Sox (Bill Buckner flashbacks) autographs. After the World Series the Red Sox were at a car dealership giving autographs. Dad took me and Sammy. The line was such that it made a Disney World line look small and I guess standing in it talking to an 11 and 13 year old seemed a bit boring to my dad so he wandered off to find someone more interesting to talk to. A couple hours later Sammy and I were still in line and it was pretty clear that most of the people there were not going to get autographs and my dad wanders back. “Come on, let’s go” he says, “I’ve been chit-chattin’ with one of the security guards and sharing my peanuts with him and he’s gonna let you kids in”. So we went in and got our autographs.

This is basically how things work with my dad. He befriends someone and then some miracle happens. I don’t think it is because he strategically trying to meet the people who will best work to his advantage. He basically just likes people and will talk to just about anybody. This method is pretty much how my sister got her house. My dad befriended an elderly neighbor, sometimes drove him to see his wife in the hospital, and then one day the guy wants to move so who else should he sell the house to?

But back to standing in line.

My dad is also very good at being proud of his kids, I would say to a fault, but it’d be more accurate to say that he loves us so much that he is able to find unusual things to be proud of. That same year (1986) we went to Disney World for the first time. Here again we were faced with some horrible lines. Sammy and I being kids decided we should try to cut to the front of the lines. We did this by simply walking past people, though sometimes they yelled at us. My dad stood on the sidelines and cheered. He was very proud that we were able to make it through Disneyland so easily.

Hmm, maybe that second story makes my dad seem like the kind of person that can’t teach his kids right from wrong. But that isn’t true. He’s just a friendly guy who doesn’t like to wait in lines. We know he is very impatient to get out of the hospital.

Get better Dad! Leo is getting so big.

The mommies room

Check that out! 4+ ounces of milk. And …

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all from only one boob using my amazing breastfeeding invention. This was pretty exciting for me. I just felt so productive. It does seem like I am able to get a lot more milk when Leo is eating on one side. On the one hand, this is very exciting as I am trying to generate a milk surplus. But on the other hand, it makes me a bit nervous, because Leo won’t be around when I’m at work and I’ll need to produce enough milk for him to eat.

Basically, I’m unbelievably stressed out about returning to work. It’s not quite clear what my worries are. Caleb’s a great dad. So far I seem to know how to do my job. But I have definitely been on edge the past few days in anticipation of the big event.

One clear worry is the pumping schedule. To calm my fears today I headed in to Google to check out the “mother’s rooms” (or is it “mothers’ room”? The grammar is too hard for me). These are the rooms where mommies go to pump or as the law puts it “milk in private”:

Cal. Lab. Code § 1030, 1031, 1032, 1033 (2001) Employers need to allow a break and a provide a room for a mother who desires to milk in private.

Anyway, I wouldn’t say seeing the rooms made me calm down. First, they don’t have sinks. Although, I have no shame in this blog in real life I am quite shy about this stuff. Carting milky breast pump equipment around the office so I can wash it intimidates me. Second, it seems that these rooms may be quite busy and are for one person at a time. As I recall at work I was also quite busy. To pump, I have to schedule it in my calendar. I’m totally scared I’ll get to the room and someone else will be using it. And finally, I’m scared I’ll keep forgetting pieces of equipment if I don’t just store them at work but there really are no places for overnight storage.

Ok, deep breath. It’s all gonna be ok.

Actually, near one mother’s room is a bathroom that has a private area and lockers. I’m thinking that this will be my ad hoc mommy’s room. I do believe they cut the locks off the lockers at night so there is still no overnight storage. Since the baby’s been born I’ve already lost my drivers license, left my purse in a restaurant, and locked the baby in the car. I definitely need some plan to not be forgetful in this area.

3 months old and pacified

Leo is three months old today. We’re not counting in weeks anymore (13 if you are curious. Wait who’s counting?)

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Today it almost even seems like he is playing with his toys.

But he was also crying so much that we finally popped the pacifier in his mouth. We made it three months with no pacifier but today we just couldn’t handle any more fussing. I can’t even remember why pacifiers are bad. We read about it early on in Leo’s life and decided against pacifiers, but now that we’ve forgotten and he’s pacified there’s probably no going back.

This cute little alien shirt is actually the only piece of clothing we’ve bought for Leo because we have such nice friends.

From 3 months

My Google onesie: poop digest #3

I’m just so tired these past few days. Today I deleted the pictures from the camera instead of copying them to a folder. Caleb worked some magic and recovered them so the blog can go on.

Google has this pregnancy benefit that they give new parents a onesie and a hat that with the Google logo on them. To get this cool stuff you have to go to a meeting which I missed (actually not because I was working which may have been a good excuse, but because I wanted to leave work early that day). But for the first six weeks of maternity leave I was really fixated on getting my Google onesie. The poor HR guy in charge of maternity benefits probably got sick of the numerous voice mails and emails and eventually in early January the onesie came in the mail. Today Leo finally wore it.

From Cheryl's visi…

Oh Katie is in town. She and Leo look quite cute. Katie is a liberal and very against Wal-mart. I don’t have as passionate of feelings towards Wal-mart as I do toward Whole Foods. These are the two busiest stores on the block. I begrudgingly shop at both of them, but usually leave Wal-mart happy and leave Whole Foods hopping mad. Today Whole Foods charged me $14 extra on the pair of shoes I bought. For that $14 I could have bought a pound of turkey breast (or at Safeway 2-3 pounds of Turkey breast). But where am I going with this? Well Katie was telling me today about how she hates Wal-mart and I was reminded of this article I read at the time I was badgering the HR guy about my onesie. That is, Wal-mart is trying to improve employee relations, so now as a benefit, once someone has worked at Wal-mart for 20 years they get a free polo shirt! This sounds like the kind of benefit that would really piss me off. But if I missed the meeting where I got my polo shirt, wow, that’d be rough.

On this trip that involved Whole Foods today Leo, Katie and I were out trying to get some clothes that fit so I can go back to work and Leo starts crying and crying. Finally we stop shopping and head to the car, but Leo hasn’t stopped crying so I need to feed him. Anyway, then Leo starts pooping and pooping and pooping. And I realize I forgot the diaper bag. (Note the tired comment at the beginning of this post). And then I look and see my beautiful Google onesie is covered in poop. And I can’t even take it off because I have no new diaper or new clothes. Now I wasn’t exaggerating about the size of this poop. I think it was the biggest poop Leo has ever done. When we got him home and changed his diaper we realized that his back was covered in dried feces. It was so bad that Caleb and I had to throw Leo in the bath, and if you have been reading the blog you know that this only happens once every two to three weeks.

From Cheryl's visi…

Let’s back up to earlier in this outfit. Here is Katie folding Leo’s pants so he doesn’t trip. My boy is advanced, but I can assure you he’s not advanced enough to trip yet.

From Cheryl's visi…

Vistors

Last night I dreamt I went back to work and forgot my breast pump!

We are enjoying our last couple weeks with lots of visitors before real life begins. Leo was pretty sad when Cheryl left because she spoiled him with lots of attention. All day Tuesday Leo was like, “who the hell is gonna play with me now? Mommy and daddy stop ignoring me.” The new Leo is very alert during the day and asleep at night. Our nighttime routine is pretty simple, usually I put him in bed with us where he’ll fall right asleep then I’ll just pop him in his cradle and he’ll sleep for the next 6 hrs. On Tuesday night Caleb was really tired and snoring by 9:00. At 10:00 or so when I was lying in bed trying to get Leo to sleep by telling him how much I love him and Caleb mumbles to me in his sleep “shut up honey, I know you love the baby”. I guess the topic is getting a bit boring by now.

Cheryl thinks we should read to Leo more. I guess that is parenting wisdom, read to the kid then they will learn to love reading. We assured Cheryl that we let Leo watch TV so he is at least getting his share of stories. But it’s true, we actually haven’t been reading to Leo. Caleb and I read to ourselves quite a bit so it is hard to imagine having a kid that doesn’t like reading. Recently, though other forms of entertainment have been taking priority over reading. OK the TV we are watching is not appropriate for a young child. The Wire started up again soon after Leo was born and as we watched someone get beaten to death on the TV, even though Leo couldn’t really see yet, it made me a bit uncomfortable, although not uncomfortable enough to change my TV habits. Caleb has also just bought a Nintendo Wii. Here are the four us of bowling in the living room.

From Cheryl's visi…

I have to admit the Wii bowling is quite fun even though I’m not a huge fan of video games. It is clear that the folks at Nintendo paid quite a bit of attention to detail in the game/toy design. They have all these cute little names for parts of the system like you can make a little “mii” (pronounced me) character for yourself. Unfortunately, can’t really play games together except bowling because we only have one remote. So when Cheryl and I were at Wal-mart I asked if they had any “wii-motes” in stock. Turns out that isn’t what it is called so I was just talking baby talk to the sales clerk.

From Cheryl's visi…

Anne from business school also came to visit. Our conversation digressed to gossip about our classmates and how competitive business school students are. It’s hard to say I don’t display any of these competitive tendencies, like when Cheryl, Caleb and I were playing monopoly, the sheer feeling of glee I felt when I had two monopolies and knew it was just a matter of time until I won. But Wii bowling reminded me of the last time I went actual bowling, which was during business school event to spend some time with people in the Special Olympics. I recall spending the time volleying between talking to a pregnant teenager and going up to bowl. It just didn’t occur to me that on such a trip one might not try their hardest at bowling. Somewhere deep into the string I realized that this one Special Olympics dude was getting really competitive with me. I guess he was their best bowler and I was doing surprisingly well and beating him. Then all of a sudden our competition was out in the open. I was conflicted. I mean, I hadn’t been trying to win, but since I was winning, should I now let him win because he was getting upset? Because of the caliber of my classmates, there are so few victories in business school, but I am lucky (embarrassed) to have one of mine be that I beat a bunch of Special Olympiads at bowling.

From Cheryl's visi…

During Cheryl’s visit we also all got manicures. Leo gets scabs on his face from scratching but it doesn’t seem to make a difference when we cut his nails. I think Caleb was actually quite gentle with Leo even though he looks upset. The lady at the nail salon was not so gentle with me — my feelings nor my nails. She started my manicure by saying “boy, you really need it” and then by the end of the cuticle snipping at least two fingers were bleeding.

I guess I should not have expected gentleness from this nail salon. The last time I went there was for a bikini wax before we went to Hawaii. Anyway as you can all probably guess from my external grooming, I don’t frequently head in for bikini waxes. The lady was quite pleased that she was gonna fix me up. During the procedure I could tell that more hair was being removed than I had asked for but the waxing professional did not speak English and I just couldn’t get across my requirements. Lying pregnant on your back, with a small asian lady who doesn’t understand you pouring hot wax on your vagina can be quite intimidating. After the event, she was quite proud. Her parting words, which she repeated multiple times, sounded like more of a threat than a request for repeat business to me: “you remember who did this to you! You remember who did this to you!”