Thursday, August 27, 2009


Went to the DMV. NO LINE AT ALL. Felt this deserved blog commemoration!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Peoria Nuisance Van in the WSJ

One summer night, Chief Settingsgaard was pulling out of police headquarters when he did a double take. Rusting in a corner of the police parking lot was a hulking Brink's truck. It had been purchased -- for a dollar -- to use in emergencies but had yet to be pressed into service. The chief thought it could be the perfect nuisance-deterrence vehicle, seemingly indestructible and inarguably an eyesore.

Article Link

Monday, August 10, 2009

Nerd Parenting

"Boy, he really likes that lion in the sky." (On the mobile above his swing.)

"Aslan? Is that you?"

"If the lion is Aslan, what does that make the elephant and the monkey?"

"Um ... Ganesha and Hanuman? That's all I got for elephant and monkey Gods ... ."

"Dude ... ."

Monday, August 03, 2009


So, as far as I can tell, the point of the ninth month of pregnancy is to make you SO ready to be done being pregnant that you're willing to go through labor and delivery. And the point of labor and delivery is to take away all your shame so you're willing to breastfeed in front of other people. (And I'm pretty sure the point of breastfeeding is to make you ready to never pee alone for the next six years or so when you have to use a public restroom and your little friend has to come with.) This applies even if you have a C-section; I'm all, "Meh, a whole operating room full of people saw my intestines. WHAT DO I HAVE LEFT TO HIDE????"

For some reason it didn't click for me that feeding a baby every 90 minutes to 3 hours meant that it would eat up hours and hours of my day. I got that I had to do it all the time, just not that every time would take so long! I worked it out and on an average day I spend 7 to 8 hours doing nothing but feeding and burping the baby. (THIS is what they should be telling teenagers in pregnancy-prevention programs!)

None of the books I read adequately explained "cluster feeding," and I'm irate about this, since it is possibly THE WORST THING I'VE EVER GONE THROUGH IN MY LIFE. For the uninitiated, cluster feeding is when the baby is about to have a growth spurt and decides to up your supply of breastmilk by feeding CONSTANTLY for 24 to 48 hours and it's AWFUL. Interrupting your sleep/life every 3 hours for 1 hour (so that's 2 hours you get to sleep or do something like dishes) is one thing; interrupting it every freaking hour for twenty to thirty minutes makes you a zombie from lack of sleep, and a VERY ANGRY ZOMBIE from lack of freedom to follow a thought from one end to the other. This being my first child, I'm accustomed to being able to concentrate on things for a couple hours if necessary (husbandly interruptions notwithstanding), so I was shocked by how short-tempered it makes me to never have the freedom to concentrate. It's not so bad during his (the baby's, not my husband's) normal schedule, now that I know my concentration comes in 2-hour blocks or shorter, but during cluster feeding I become the crankiest person on the planet because I don't ever get to THINK.

Another thing that nobody told me is that breastfeeding is BORING. You can only stare into a baby's eyes so many hours a day. (Bottlefeeding is equally boring and has the disadvantage of taking two hands so you can't read a book, but bottlefeeding you can hand off to the non-dairy parent.) I've been watching a ton of Hulu, so that I can have an interesting show ready on demand, and I've been reading a lot, but the reading is limited to books I can hold and read one-handed, which means basically mass-market paperbacks, ideally with cracked spines so I can hold them open easily with one hand, but not read so many times that the pages are too soft to turn with just a thumb. It also helps if I don't lose the thread of the plot reading it in short bites and constantly being interrupted; I haven't gone through books so slowly in YEARS.

I also wasn't particularly prepared for how HEAVY a baby is when you're trying to hold him up to eat. This is fine at home with my Boppy, but when out running errands or visiting people whose couches have inadequate pillows, I might was well just have someone kick me in the spine and throw my back out all at once instead of slowly by degrees.

Not that it's all cranky-making. It is terribly convenient to carry less stuff in the diaper bag and have the baby's food supply with me at all times while out and about. I'm also a pretty big fan of the 500 extra calories a day that *I* get to eat to be a functioning dairy animal. And formula is NOT CHEAP.

I'd like to say that it's worth all the missed sleep when he smiles his milky smile at me, but the truth is he's pretty indiscriminate about handing out toothless grins, and he usually only grins when eating when he's about to spit up all over me. Oh well; it's still cute!