Friday, March 30, 2007


I don't consider myself a car person. Other than the convertible mini or new bug, there aren't many cars I drool over. I didn't own my first car until I was 25 - a little red Honda CRX dubbed the "vrt-vrt" (long story, don't ask). I totalled that car at five miles an hour in the rain and replaced it with a Honda prelude. It had no character to it, therefor it had no name. I've had other cars since, but none with names.

I currently drive a Hyundi Tucson, which I enjoy driving. It's up off the ground so I can see, but it still handles like a car. It's getting a little snug packing three kids into it, so last week when we got an offer from the dealership to buy the car back with a good trade-in allowance and cash back, I briefly considered getting a minivan. I pulled up the minivan on the dealer's Web site and just cringed. I can't help it, I don't like them. I don't like the look of them; I don't like the feel of them. I just can't do it. I told my neighbor I'd be depressed about the car every time I got in it. If Hyundai comes up with a car similar to the Honda Pilot, I'll consider a change. But for now I'll keep cramming everyone in.

I did have a treat last night, though. B's X5 (which I don't like driving as much as I do my car) is in the shop, so the BMW dealership gave him a two-seater convertible as a loaner. Oh my god! I now understand the allure of expensive sports cars. I drove it last night when Lisa R. and I went downtown for a reading of Spalding Gray's works (more on that in another post), and it was so much fun to drive. If we had $60,000 to blow on a car, I would seriously consider it.

I do come by my love of convertibles honestly. My parents have pretty much always had a convertible of some kind or another. When we lived in Sarasota my mom drove an MGB around town. She used to seatbelt me and my sister together into the front seat - a lapbelt, no less. How things have changed. When they moved to Atlanta, my parents got rid of the MGB and got a Miata instead. Every time I go to Atlanta I find an excuse to drive it.

Poor Brandon hasn't been able to drive the BMW with the top down yet. It's been raining for the past two days - except for the few hours when I had the car last night. He's hoping his car isn't ready until Monday so that he has the whole weekend to enjoy the roadster.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


So I did it, I jinxed myself with my last post. Last night Campbell went to bed, as usual, but it didn't last. He woke up at 12:30, crying, so I fed him. He then played in his crib, singing and jabbering away, for about an hour before starting to cry again. I fed him again, and we both finally went back to sleep. I hoped he'd sleep late this morning, but no such luck. He woke up at 6:00, ate and refused to go back to sleep.

It just goes to show you, it's always something.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sleep, glorious sleep

I may be jinxing myself by writing this, but Campbell is finally sleeping at night. Most evenings I put him to bed around 6:00, and he falls asleep without a problem. He then sleeps through until 4:30 or 5:00, eats and goes right back to sleep until about 7:30. This means that I'm getting about 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep and going back to bed for at least another hour after I feed him. I'm starting to feel human again - almost.

I keep thinking back to our sleep struggles with Ella and wondering whether we created the problems or if they were a result of Ella's basic temperament. I nursed her to sleep until she was about 8 months old. Then we resorted to the Ferber method, which really isn't as horrible as everyone thinks. Even after we got her used to going to sleep on her own, she still woke up at least once in the middle of the night until she was about 1. It was awful. We had to do the Ferber thing in the middle of the night finally.

Lily was much easier, all the way around. She fell asleep on her own without a problem and slept through the night at about 4 months. But then she stopped at 6 months. I kept feeding her in the middle of the night, thinking it was just a phase. Then I tried waking her up to eat at 10:00 so that she'd sleep through, but that didn't work. Finally, when she was 9 months old, I did the Ferber thing, and after three nights she went back to sleeping all the way through. I felt like an idiot for not having tried it sooner.

So now Campbell has suddenly started sleeping 10 to 11 hours straight at night. And as much as I'd like him to sleep an hour longer in the morning, I'm not willing to meddle with things. He goes to bed before the girls, which means Brandon and I can do our bath and story routine with Ella and Lily and not have to worry about Campbell. And he goes right back to sleep in the early morning - I don't have to entertain him or try to get him to go back to sleep. I'll take the one early wake-up call in exchange for the other benefits.

Friday, March 23, 2007

10 years and counting

Yesterday Brandon and I celebrated 10 years of wedded bliss - ok, maybe not all of it has been blissful, but it's been close. I still can't believe it's been ten years. It seems like just yesterday that we got married, but at the same time I don't really remember life without Brandon. We've been dating, engaged or married for 12 years, which is most of my adult life. He's still my best friend and favorite person to hang out and do nothing with. I guess it's a good thing I still feel that way about him.

To celebrate, we went to dinner at Green Pastures, the restaurant where we got married. The staff there was so excited that we'd come back for our anniversary. Our waiter said everyone there loves when couples do that. I had made the reservations, but Brandon had called earlier in the day and arranged to have champagne and flowers waiting at the table for us, which was a nice touch. We had an amazing dinner, and for dessert I had the same kind of cake we chose for Brandon's groom's cake. It was even better this time, mostly because my slice wasn't filled with birdseed. I hadn't gotten to eat any of the cake during the reception, but had taken a box with me when we left the reception. The box got filled with bird seed when everyone threw it on us, and there was so much we couldn't pick it out of the cake. It's funny what little details you remember . . .

To mark the event I also put on my wedding dress, just to prove I could. It was a tight squeeze in the bust area, but I fit. The girls thought I looked bee-yew-ti-ful, Lily especially. She wanted me to twirl for her and kept asking where my "wedding slippers" were. She was disappointed to hear that I didn't have any fancy, sparkly shoes to go with the dress. Brandon and I also showed the girls our wedding pictures, which was fun. I need to dig out the video and show them that, too.

So here's to a good first ten years and to many more.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Scariest night ever

Well, maybe not the scariest night ever - the night Brandon ended up in the hospital in Louisianna, or the night a tornado hit our street in Sarasota might take that prize. But it was the scariest night I've had since becoming a mom. There's been a bunch of viruses going around lately according to our pediatrician. Lily was sick Monday and Tuesday, but she's recovered with a vengeance. But now Ella has something.

They called from school yesterday afternoon to tell me she'd thrown up in her class and was running a fever. I went to school right away and found her asleep in the nurses' office. She looked so little and pitiful. She dozed on the sofa for most of the rest of the day, throwing up one more time.

I put her to bed in my bed last night, and I woke up at 2am to find her boiling hot. I took her temperature, and it was 104.7. Yes, you read that right. So I dosed her up with advil and put her in a tub of lukewarm water, which she did not like at all. I left her in there for as long as I could bear seeing her cry and then tucked her back in my bed. I decided that if her fever hadn't dropped drastically within 30 minutes, we were headed to the hospital. At 2:30 it had gone down to 102. I never thought a fever of 102 would seem low.

I should add here that Ella has run a fever almost this high before. I called the on-call pediatrician, and she told me to do the advil and lukewarm bath. I decided to try it again this time before bolting off to the hospital. I didn't just make up the treatment on my own.

I tossed and turned the rest of the night, checking her temperature every half hour to make sure it didn't go back up, ready to put her in the car if necessary. It was a long, long night. When I told Brandon about it, he got upset that I hadn't woken him up so that he could worry with me. I said I had decided not to so that one of us could get a full night's sleep.

Ella is still puny, but her fever has only been 101 at the highest today. She's asleep in our bed again. I hope the worst of it is over.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Stepping on my soapbox

I'm going to step up on my soapbox for only the second time ever on this blog. I don't usually do it because there's already enough shouting going on in the bloggosphere, but my patience with the idiots running our country (both the elected officials and those who voted for them) is running low. So here goes, in no particular order:

  • Alberto Gonzales - I heard somone refer to his wonderful example of a passive voice statements "mistakes were made" as being in the past-exonerative tense. It's a joke only a grammar geek would love, but it is so accurate. He stood up, said he took responsibility for what happened at Justice, but not in this case because he knew nothing about the firings, never mind the e-mail trail that says otherwise. And now the president is standing up defending him, depsite the fact that the Republicans, while not calling for a firing, aren't offering their support. The president has so much going wrong for him right now (yay!), that you really have to wonder if this is the hill he wants to die defending. Is he that incapable of admitting that "mistakes were made" and getting rid of people?
  • Iraq/Walter Reed/wounded vets - I watched Bob Woodward's special about his injuries in Iraq and his recovery, and I cried through the whole thing. He did an amazing job telling not only his story, but the story of other young men who are suffering from TBI. I also listened to an interview with him and his wife on Fresh Air and cried while running. I think every politician who thinks this war is going well and who thinks escalation is the answer should be required to watch and listen to these programs. The loss of life and waste of potential in the soldiers we are sending there for this fiasco is overwhelming and tragic. Woodward is one of the lucky ones; he received the best care the military hospitals and private facilities could offer. The soldiers he interviews aren't so lucky. It's not that the local VA facilities don't care about the soldiers they're treating, it's that in many cases the docs there have no idea HOW to treat them, and the soldiers are suffering. It's a stupid, pointless war, and I want to scream every time I hear the president talking about sending more troops over.
  • HPV vaccine - in Texas, our erstwhile governor has signed an executive order mandating that all girls have the vaccine in 6th grade. The idea is that by giving them the vaccine before they're sexually active, they'll be protected from HPV and therefore most forms of cervical cancer. Of course, everyone here is up in arms about the mandate, for a number of different reasons. There are those who don't want the government telling us what to do with our lives. Nevermind that kids are required to have vaccines for polio, diptheria, tetanus, etc, already and many of those diseases have been effectively erradicated from our country. Then there are those who are upset because it appears Perry is too closely connected to the vaccine's manufacturer. And I have to agree that the timing is fishy. But overall, the biggest group yelling is the Christian right. Their claim is that by vaccinating girls against an STD, we're telling them it's ok to have sex. I am so tired of the argument that we encourage teenage sex by giving kids information on how to have safe sex. Kids who choose to have sex at a young age are going to do it regardless of what information they've been offered. The goal should be to get them to safely. Studies now show that abstinence-only programs have abysmal track records in terms of preventing teenagers from having sex. And the programs where kids wear "promise" rings fare even worse. The kids decide to have sex but are too ashamed to admit it, so they don't use protection and end up with STDs or pregnant. So now we have a chance to protect my daughters' generation from a terrible form of cancer, and these idiots want to prevent it. Brandon and I were talking about the issue, and he asked if I'd have the girls vaccinated. My answer was yes, of course, law or no law. One of my best friends had cervical cancer, and if I can prevent Ella and Lily from having to go through what Marion did, then I'm going to do it.
  • 2008 Election - I can't believe we're already discussing the election, almost a year before the first primary. I thought the last campaign season went on too long, but this one is shaping up to be ridiculous. I've already gotten campaign calls from Obama's group. I hung up on the recording and started swearing. It's just too early to have my dinners interrupted by these calls.

I think that's all for today, unless I watch the news and start yelling at the TV again.

Monday, March 19, 2007

"Hi, the baby needs his diptep!" - Holly Hunter, Raising Arizona

Campbell went for his six-month check-up today, which just doesn't seem possible. He weighs 18 pounds, 6 ounces and is in the 75th percentile for weight. As a comparison, Ella weighed 18 pounds at her one-year check-up. I remember this because Brandon and I went out and bought her a forward-facing car seat that we couldn't put her in because she didn't weigh 20 pounds. She had to ride around in the baby bucket for another month.

Campbell also had to have his shots, which were horrible; he cried, I cried. But we both recovered quickly. Unlike his last two rounds of shots, he's done ok this time. After his two-month and four-months immunizations he cried for hours on end. After his two-month ones, he spiked a fever at 2 in the morning and I had to call the on-call pediatrician. Today, however, he's been a little sleepier than usual, but that's it. I'm hoping he'll do well through the night, too.

The doctor says Campbell is thriving, which I knew. But it's still nice to hear someone else say it. He's a happy, healthy, flirty little guy.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Twirling Girls

I truly believe that every person has his or her calling in life, maybe more than one. Mine have been swimming and running. My mom wanted me to be a tennis player, but I just never loved it the way I did being in the water or running at dawn.

We tried gymnastics with Lily since Ella loves it, but it just wasn't her thing. I didn't realize it until parent watching day when I saw that Lily cried between each station. I felt terrible I had made her go to something she so obviously didn't like. The same thing happened with swim lessons last summer. When she was waiting on the steps for her turn, Lily would sob hysterically with her hands in her mouth. But I made her keep going because I firmly believe everyone should know how to swim.

I signed Lily up for "ballelet" classes this fall with her buddy Ava. Our first parent watching day was a few weeks after we started taking the class, and I was thrilled to see Lily. She LOVES her dance class and her teacher. She smiles and laughs the whole time.

We had another parent watching day last week, and it was the same story as the first time - Lily whirled and twirled with obvious delight. Ella may end up being the gymnast or diver in the family, but Lily's going be our dancer, which is just fine with me. Everyone has to have their thing!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

"He'll keep calling, he'll keep calling. . . "

One of my favorite movies is "Ferris Bueller," and one of my favorite scenes is when Cameron is in his car, deciding whether to go get Ferris. He says, "He'll keep calling, he'll keep calling." And then in a beautiful moment of freaking out, he says, "I'll go, I'll go, I'll go." It doesn't look funny in print, but it's hysterical in the movie. As an aside, my favorite character in the movie is Cameron.

Anyway, that was me this morning when the alarm went off at five for running. I wanted to get up and meet the running chicks at the track, but I was SO tired. Campbell had slept through the night, but Lily hadn't. So I was in bed thinking, "I don't want to go, I'll be too tired." Then it was, "ok, I'll go. I'll go. I really will. I'll go." After about five minutes of this, I did get up and head out the door.

And I'm so glad I did. It was a good workout and a fun session with friends. I always feel so virtuous when I run early in the morning. Ever since we moved here, every morning, there's been a group of runners who go down our street; the same guy is always in the lead. I finally tracked them down - they start at a boxing gym about a mile from our house. On mornings when I've gotten up and run, I watch them go by and feel good that I've gotten my run out of the way for the day. On days when I haven't run, I watch them and think about what a slacker I am and how I need to get my butt out the door. I've been feeling that way A LOT lately. So it was nice to see them run past this morning and not feel guilty.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Oh my

Yesterday was a tough day. Campbell seems to be going through his 6-month growth spurt and has gone from waking up once a night to waking up three times. So I was exhausted and frazzled when I took Ella to gymnastics. When we got there, Lily freaked out because she had touched the bottom of her shoes. Lately, every time she touches the bottoms of her crocs, she has to wash her hands; I don't know why. Anyway, I took her to the bathroom and helped her scrub. As I was drying my hands, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and was horrified.

I'm not a particularly vain person; I don't wear make-up, and I don't worry about my hair much. But I do have some pride, and it was wounded yesterday. I looked as rotten as I felt. I looked like the frazzled, overwhelmed, exhausted mother of three that I am. My hair was flat, and I had big dark circles under my eyes. There was spit-up on my shirt, and I had a baby sling, minus the baby, slung over my shoulder. I was a wreck.

When I took Lily back upstairs to the gym and saw Heidi, I felt even worse. She's also an exhausted, overwhelmed, frazzled mother of three, but she always looks so cute and put together - earrings, necklaces, hip outfits. But then I noticed that she had pulled her hair back using a rubber band from the newspaper, and I felt a little bit better.

I now have a haircut scheduled for tomorrow, and I've bought some new clothes that aren't "transition" outfits. I may not go as far as putting on make-up, but I will try to pull myself together a bit.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Lily Dedalus

As it turns out, James Joyce has nothing on Lily in terms of stream of consciousness narrative. Her constant patter makes Stephen Dedalus seem like a dull guy. The funny thing is that as a baby, Lily hardly ever made a peep. She was the quiestest baby and quite a shock compared to Ella who always narrated her life. How things have changed.

Yesterday, I took her on a 30-minute bike ride in the neighborhood. Actually, she rode her bike while I pushed Campbell in the babyjogger. Lily talked nonstop, and not much of it made sense. Here's one example, all said without pause:

Hey, look Mama, it's a leaf. It's a little one. Aren't you surprised I saw it. Wouldn't it be fun if the real Bella Dancerella lived at our house. She could babysit us and dance with us. Look I turned around without falling down. Can you believe we rode this far. Where's the boy playing a guitar. Wasn't it funny I thought he was a girl? Hey I can see our house. We should call Matilda and tell her about the bike ride. Think we'll have a race on our street again? If we do, can I run in it. When's my next birthday?

Phew. It can be exhausting keeping up with her. Ella always talked a lot, but with her I had to answer four million questions. Some days she asked them faster than I could answer. With Lily, I have to pay attention so I know what on earth she's talking about.