Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Dylan

Sorry I don't have any pictures of you not looking goofy, but that's something you're going to have to work out with the camera.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More party, in words

Yes, the Cupcakes of Irony were indeed the result of instructions from the magazine swiped from the lab. I did not eat a single one, or even a piece of one, including the many constituent parts. Extra components now litter our kitchen, including bags of marshmallows (panda snouts, penguin bibs), thin chocolate cookies (penguin flippers), and mini oreos (panda ears). I have to say, the cupcakes were worth every minute of labor that I, as foreman, squeezed out of my entirely voluntary work force.

The party went really well. So well, in fact, that guests remained in my home for pushing four hours. I had not envisioned quite that measure of success, and next year may take steps to make things slightly less fun, for purposes of getting my (post-party) dinner into my cake hole a little more promptly.

Dylan was absolutely perfect during the party and had the best time. We paid for it in other ways, with 1.5 days of anxious excitement-->irritability beforehand and 2 days of exhaustion-->irritability afterwards, but we've all recovered now. Except for Aaron, who has logged about 6 evening hours this week setting up a new play kitchen for dylan and is still a little twitchy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Party, in pictures

Part I: The Sweatshop

Part II: The Anticipation

Part III: Activities!

(Not pictured: clothing-optional tie-dying)

Part IV: Sinister Cupcake Armies

Part V: Culling of the Herd

Friday, August 21, 2009

in treatment

I have been on my psychiatry rotation for the last week, at the state mental hospital. For some reason the way it is set up is that the work room where all the doctors and social workers and other staff putter around all day is at the end of a long hallway. Not too weird, right? Yet, this long hallway is the one where the patients hang out all day long, and they're sort of bored because all the funding got cut for extra programs, so in order to get from the work station to anywhere else you have to walk the entire length of the hallway with all the patients who are mostly in various degrees of recovery from debilitating schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and have nothing better to do than try to engage you, whatever that means to each of them. It can make one...consolidate one's trips. If only because it doesn't seem very nice to be totally engaged with people during their therapy and then have to blow them off because you're getting between me and my lunch.

As part of this rotation I am required to go to an AA meeting. I did the waddling in part, then promptly scuttled on down the hall to the Al-Anon meeting after the three 50-something men looked me up and down and cheerfully suggested that that was perhaps where I ought to be headed. So family, you can be assured that I am now getting the support I need to deal with your excesses.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

sugar, revisited

Ahem. About buying myself a ticket to the three-hour version of the gestational diabetes test. I seem to have managed that even without adding an extra meal mid-test, which is how over the weekend I ended up at a far-flung lab, not allowed to leave the building for three hours, during a 15-hour fast interrupted only by another sugar drink, now with double the sugar! Plus four blood draws. Rather than studying for my test during my confinement, I took the opportunity to familiarize myself with the dazzling array of magazines in the waiting room. One issue of LHJ (Ladies Home Journal, for you newbies who have not recently read the June, July, and August 2008 issues; all marriages were saved) had instructions for animal cupcakes, and since I am coincidentally planning a party for a rather short crowd that might appreciate such a treat this weekend, I was forced to abscond with that issue.

And...I managed to almost escape without consequences. Due to bad karma from my immoral actions, one of the four blood draws came back high, which is not enough for a diagnosis of gestational diabetes, but it's enough to switch to being pretty careful about what I'm eating. Which means I probably won't get to partake in the luscious cupcakes, which is just as well because they should be too pretty to eat anyway. I am also now getting up at 6am to exercise, which works for Snuffy because it gets too hot for him to exist by about 7:30 each morning.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

BONUS: bunny update

Mochi came over to play with Snuffy yesterday, so we thought we would remove the rabbit carcass from the yard before they commenced to frolic. And...it was gone. I don't know who decided that taunting us with the body for 24 hours was necessary, but at least we didn't have to deal with it. Although I wonder about whether calling the health department or animal control might not have been a good idea, in case they're interested in such things. If it wasn't some dread disease, I was trying to figure how who would have done such a thing, but all I could think of was squirrels (Aaron: "You mean, like three squirrels?) or other rabbits (Aaron: "Cat. It was a cat.").

oh daycare, how i've missed our daily struggles

It's been a while since I've written about problems with daycare, first because I was worried someone from there would find it, then more recently because we really have had a good experience there. For the past year or so Dylan has loved her teachers and had a lot of good friends in her room. I don't know that she eats or sleeps there any more than she did as an infant, but that's more her decision now and I don't worry about her while she's there. She comes home happy and chattering about her day for the 10 minutes before the Evening Evils hit.

Soon after she turns three she will probably be moved into one of the preschool rooms. I think aside from missing her teachers it should be good for her because she could probably use some new activities with some slightly older kids. I imagine they'll make sure she gets to stay with her friends, so I've generally been looking forward to it.

Today they sent home some information with the costs and "curriculum" for next year. The mainstay seems to be that they have three tiers, and they will give your child more (or less) individual attention and teach more (or less) reading and math depending on how much you are willing to pay. They didn't give a lot more detail than that (ie will your child be left to cry in a corner with the lowest level? will they actively teach your child incorrect information if you pay less?), but it again makes me wish there was another option that would work as well for us. Alas, being down the street always seems to win out. I don't really think a lot of formal teaching is necessary in preschool, but I think Dylan would really like it and I'm pretty sure she's ready to learn how to read in the next six months or so. Her reading repertoire so far includes "baby" "no" and of course "dylan, dylan, and dylan," but she's got all the basic ideas about letters and sounds and will sit and yammer on with me for a long time about what letters are in what words.

I think what we'll probably do is go with the cheapest option because I feel like this is a scam and because I'll be home a lot next year and if I feel like she needs some learnin' I can just do it myself. But ugh.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

memo to aaron

You know that cute bunny that's been living in the yard?

The "in the yard" part is still true.

And what with my "condition" as you so like to call it...

Monday, August 10, 2009

sugar do do do do do do, ah honey honey

Saturday I took Dylan with me to a lab to get my gestational diabetes screening done -- the one where you drink 10 ounces of pure sugar, then wait an hour and have your glucose checked. I figured in the interim we could grab muffins or something for breakfast, although for me it would be just a tease because I think eating EXTRA sugar right before the blood draw might be asking for trouble, or at least buying myself a ticket to the three-hour version. It turns out, however, that once you get the sugar drink you cannot leave. Which I found out by drinking the drink, then saying, all casual-like, so we come back in an hour, right?

The lab tech said something along the lines of "no, we wouldn't want you to..." but trailed off before the good stuff. I am still not sure what ill effects might come of partaking of Liquid Sugar, aside from nausea, a sudden need for a nap, or maybe a sugar-fueled baby product-buying rampage, but I decided not to make a run for it. Also, last pregnancy no one seemed concerned about my whereabouts or well being during the same hour. This left me with one (1) child in a small waiting room with zero (0) provision having been made for one (1) hour's worth of entertainment. And here is where I am going to have to take back everything I have mentioned recently about said child's emotional lability and generally irrationality because she was better behaved than I was. I kept looking at my watch every two minutes, while she patiently and thoroughly examined every page of every elderly magazine in the waiting room, carefully tearing out any subscription cards she came across. She did not require a word of attention from me for 50 full minutes, then got nervous as the waiting room filled up and sat quietly on my lap the rest of the time. She was sort of a mess the rest of the morning, as was I, because we didn't get breakfast until we had been up almost three hours, but then we both made up for it with a good long nap. Aaron and Snuffy took one too, out of solidarity.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The future is now

The other day Dylan asked whether she could ask for things for her birthday. We indicated that this would be allowable, so she continued. She would like two things.

One: (some kind of toy or whatever it is the kids are into these days)

Two: When she is older, please can she play video games?

We again indicated that this would be allowable, then scurried off to see what video game options there are for preschoolers. We ended up at Best Buy and both had a moment where we realized we were embarking upon a lifetime of gadgets for her. Works for us. Yet, there aren't any games for the Wii that look like they're good for kids her age, and while there are game systems for little kid games (generally featuring one enormous button, which is about her speed), the idea of hooking up a whole separate system to the tv made us weary and we wandered away.

Guess what we found out a few days later? She can do the Wii frisbee, and with some of the automated settings she was beating me pretty reliably. I don't think she, or Aaron, has ever been prouder.

Side note: So far other plans for when she is older include: wearing a seat belt, crossing the street by herself, and drinking coffee. We dream big around here.

Re: facial hair, don't ask. No really, no one knows why. Same goes for why Dylan was wearing a pink t-shirt under the blue one.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

I suppose I should stop calling him ratdog

When I am on one of my core med school rotations Aaron has to take on most of the kid and dog care, along with almost all the household stuff. It's a lot of work for him, but generally works pretty well since he's better than I am at all that stuff anyway, except maybe cooking. He has committed the new car owner's manual to memory, and by the time I ever laid eyes on the car all the radio presets had been set to our favorites, in identical order to the other cars. He could, if he chose to, maintain the bikes, he wrestled our tv converter box into submission just the other day, and he won't let me even so much as look at a beer while pregnant, despite my NEED FOR A DRINK. So, to summarize, a relatively useful man. Perhaps he will forgive me, then, in relieving him of "taking Snuffy to the groomer and issuing instructions" duty.

Local authorities: Please do not cull this dog should you initiate a deer-thinning program

Thursday, August 06, 2009

word of wisdom

My family has been giving Aaron career advice re: plastics since he graduated from college. It looks like he was one step ahead of them.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

25 weeks, 1 day

Dylan would please like to meet her brother now. She declared her intention to hold him the other day, but with me as an intermediary it was not as satisfying as she would have liked. This evening she announced she had a few things she would like to tell him, but got distracted by I'm not sure what, possibly a breeze.

I am advocating for a few more months before we do any introductions. I still feel mostly fine, a little lumpy, and highly irritated at the very long formal sessions in the hospital where you have to stand there looking professional while overheating and slowly dehydrating. I am now some kind of highly trained professional dried fruit (katefruit?). I must be impressing someone with my ability to both serve as a nutritious snack and as a packmule for pens and any other devices that can fit into my coat that might possibly be of some use to the people I am working with, sometime.


The car is a big hit at BleisenHaus. Dylan would sit in the driveway all day gazing out the tinted windows, while Snuffy alternately lounges in the back (it's a transformer! the back seats fold right down into the floor. i assume the next step in the transformation is for the doors to turn into arms, but we haven't found that button yet, despite aaron's diligent and ongoing reading of the owner's manual) and tries to balance on the passenger seat (along the lines of an elephant in a cartoon who has been startled, probably by a mouse, and leaps up with all four legs onto a chair. then the mouse runs in circles around the chair and it wobbles ever more uncontrollably until they both topple into a pile of hilarity on the floor)(should i pitch this to someone?).

The point of the car is that once we have TWO (2!) of the wee ones, we will be able to fit all our selves, car seats, large dogbeast, AND luggage and/or friends into one vehicle. Previously we had maxed out at various configurations that involved either the dog OR the luggage OR the friends, with additional combinations possible if one had ample time to devote to packing (usually luggage, sometimes friends) and one had recently brushed up on one's jenga skills.

This was our first experience buying a car from a haggle-like place, since the subaru was from a no-haggle place where they tell you the price and then you pay that price. If things didn't go well we planned to employ Annie as our spokeswoman, who I have heard learned how to artfully hurl personal insults during the bargaining process in her tenure in the Peace Corps. In fact things did go reasonably well because it seems to be true that at the end of the month the nice salespeople want nothing more than to reach some kind of mythical car sales number and don't much care about the price that they receive for their wares. So the gentleman just gave us a price without any threats or counteroffers or subterfuge, as we had been led to believe would be necessary, and it was like $5 over the invoice price per the internet, and there was a rebate that they don't usually have, plus we drove away quickly before they cashed our check, so it all worked out.

He told us they had sold over 100 cars in July for the cash for clunkers program and had yet to receive any money for them, so the dealership had essentially put up $500,000 that they weren't sure they were going to get back. This was before the government announced extra money for the program, so the dealership was getting really nervous and thinking of stopping it.

Anyway, anyone who's up for a joyride let us know. Be warned though, it's sort of the opposite of a chick magnet though, and cancels out the cute kid and the cute dog in that respect.