September 24, 2010

time for something new

So all I really want to do is blog about baby G, so here’s my new blog. Check it. 🙂

gray baby productions

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September 5, 2010

a zoo day

Yesterday we took Grayson for his second zoo visit on his three month birthday.

He was wide awake for the first part, so we walked up to the large grassy area and spread out our picnic blanket for some airy time. It was a beautiful day with the first hints of approaching fall. My little boy is so big!

It was a little difficult to get good pictures of him because he was fascinated with the blanket and kept wanting to stare at it. We managed to get a few by letting the camera follow his gaze – ha.

He loves to stand. He’d stand during all playtime if we had the arm strength.

It’s been too hot this summer to take him outside much, so he’s not very familiar with bright sun and wind. He seemed to really enjoy the breeze, however.

I love our little family of three. Happy three month, my babycake. My cuddlebug.

September 2, 2010

things that thrill

I have an awesome baby (who is sleeping in his bouncy right now). He never ceases to amaze me with his own quirks and moods. Every little thing he does fascinates me. There hasn’t been a baby in the family since my last first cousin was born, and I think she’s 13 or something. So there has been a severe lack of babies in the family for a long time. I think I babysat my cousin once.

I was woefully inexperienced in the matter of pregnancy and babies.

When G was born, the first thing I said was, “He looks like an alien!” Because he did. He was slimy and had dark almond-shaped eyes with no eyelashes (now he still has dark almond-shaped eyes but with eyelashes that are black, thich, and a half inch long). He looked at me all squinty like and gave the pout that today he still gives. Then he cried and I tired to hold him, which got me all slimy too.

Luckily, I’d read up enough that I kinda knew what to do for breastfeeding and such. I never the basics of baby-rearing. But I hadn’t held a baby in oh-so long for more than a few minutes, and I certainly hadn’t been around one for 24/7. Alone. (The alone came later, of course, once my mom left and Dave went back to work.)

G’s personality has been evident from the beginning. I love to talk about his little personality quirks because they show me that my little baby was his own self right from the start. And that’s just awesome.

What He Loves

1. To have you notice him. He’d much rather stare at a face than a toy. And if you return his eye contact, his face lights up, he opens up a giant grin, his arms and legs start to flail, and he’ll literally squeal at you with happiness. You noticed me!

2. The boob. He’s loved to stay on the boob for long periods of time and he’d probably stay on longer if that pesky milk didn’t keep coming out. He’s a champion eater. Introducing a paci was pretty much prescribed by our pediatrician to give me a break when he was 2 weeks old. He took to a bottle with ease as well.

3. To stand. We’ve been letting him stand with assistance since his two-month appointment when the pedi showed us that he could. He loves this more than anything. His face simply glows. Really.

4. To sleep on his stomach, kinda sideways, with his head thrown back across our arm. It looks so uncomfortable but this is how he maneuvers himself for naptime when he sleeps on us. But he’ll take long naps this way, so who knows.

5. To chat. When he turned 6 weeks to the day, my babycake woke up, gave me a biiig smile, and started to coo at me on the changing table. He hasn’t shut up since. We had a really long conversation today about my lunch.

6. The TV. We have to be careful if it’s on while he’s in the room because he will stay glued to it if he’s turned toward the monster. It doesn’t matter what you’re watching either. He loves it.

What He Hates

1. Diaper. must. be. changed. He hates having his diaper wet or dirty. He’s getting better about this as he gets older, but for a while we were going through at least 25 diapers a day. As soon as he would pee, he’d scream. Nowadays, he’s okay with the pee but not with the poop. I feel awesome if I only change one diaper an hour.

2. To be left alone for too long. He’s getting better about this, but I’m much more likely to get to finish eating lunch if I sit next to him while he’s on his play mat. He loves to watch me eat.

3. Being strapped into the car seat. But he falls asleep almost every time in less than a minute. Hahaha.

4. Having his clothes changed. Something about the shirt going over his head freaks him out. He can go from a good mood to howling in a matter of seconds. If he’s in a really good mood, he might just pout about it. Poor baby.

5. Taking a nap sometimes. Other times he’ll settle and go right to sleep in a few minutes. But sometimes he fights it with all he’s got, even if it’s been four hours since he slept. He did that just now, but the bouncy seat won.

6. Tummy time. It pissed him off so much when he tries to roll and can’t. And if he has a bit of a wet diaper, forget about it. No way is he going to lay on top of a soggy diape. He’ll raise up his head and give you the unhappiest face ever.

I could go on and on, but maybe I should be a little productive while he’s actually passed out on something other than me.

He is so amused by me, yes?

August 17, 2010

this is what happens when I wake up at 5am

…I actually blog!

So I had a baby. June 4th. Am working on a post about that, but I certainly have been distracted for the past, er, eight months. I love my little babycake, especially when he gives me smiles like this:

He’s only two months old, but he smiles and coos like crazy. He’s so cute!

Ahem, anyway, I’m returning to work in a week, hence why I’m up at 5am today. My hubby and I are doing a trial run of our mornings today to see how it goes. It went well even though Grayson decided to get up at 3 and not go back to sleep until 7. Ouch. So I’m existing on about 5 hours of sleep right now. In any case, it does mean I have some free time, so here I am.

And, some lists!

Reasons I Look Forward to Work

1. It’s only two days a week for four hours, so it’s not like I’ll be separated from my little bugger for very long. But it’ll be enough time that I feel like I’m getting out of the house for a bit.

2. The chance to talk to adults in a normal voice. I don’t baby-talk Grayson, but he does respond to tones. I think my students wouldn’t appreciate a high-pitched and way too excited “Who’s a good student? Yes, you are!”

3. Man to man bonding time. I’m so happy that Dave can take care of Grayson while I’m at work.

4. Things to do other than take care of a baby. It is sad that I’m looking forward to having things to grade?

5. Money! I haven’t had a paycheck in a while, and having that money to help pay for the 20 diapers a day that Grayson goes through will be helpful. (He has a very sensitive tushy.)

Reasons I’m Not Looking Forward to Work

1. Waking up at 5am. Grayson still doesn’t have the whole sleeping through the night thing down yet. He normally sleeps from 8:30-3, if we’re lucky, but it can be difficult to get him to go back to sleep for a while after that. We’re used to getting out of bed at 6-7:30, which usually gives a bit more time for sleep.

2. Pumping. I hate hate hate pumping. I’m not very good at it so I don’t get many ounces, which means I have to do it often. But we don’t want to supplement with formula, so there you go. I really love breastfeeding. Even with all the problems, it’s been easier than I thought it’d be. In any case, I’m happy to be able to feed my child even while I’m away, but don’t enjoy the process.

3. Teaching long classes. This means I don’t get to eat much but a snack between them if I’m lucky. I also won’t get to eat lunch until near noon. I’m breastfeeding and pumping, which means I’m thirsty and hungry all of the time. And I do mean all of the time.

4. Wearing work clothes. I’ve existed in pjs for two months now. It’s a transition!

5. Being away from Grayson. I get so exhausted taking care of him sometimes, but I miss him terribly when I’m gone even for an hour. He’s my babycake, my cuddle-bug. He makes the best faces and loves to be held and talked to.

I’ve gotta head off to campus to run some errands. I’ll post more again soon about the baby, but for now, here’s a naked baby pic.

January 2, 2010

reading, writing, and, uh, baby stuff

It’s 2010 now. My first wedding anniversary was technically yesterday, but I’ll just call it today, since it’s early in the morning and I can’t sleep anyway. This time last year I was in the airport, boarding a plane to Maui. This year I’m sitting at the computer with a baby in my belly, wishing I could take some decongestant. Alas.

1. Read a few books over the break.

The Twelve Kingdoms: The Vast Spread of the Sea
Fuyumi Ono

12K is a (unfinished) series of Japanese fantasy novels upon which a fantastic anime by the same name is based.  This one is the third.  They’ve all three been grand, and perhaps the first was my favorite, but this one gives some glimpses into two of my favorite characters.  The books are very mythological in the way the story is told.  Sometimes the author takes you out of the story too much to explain yet another specific world-building aspect.  If I hadn’t seen the anime many times, I’d probably get confused more often than now.  Still, the books created one of my favorite anime ever, so I do appreciate them on that level.  Plus, the anime follows the books almost to the letter, which is a rare finding.

Odd and the Frost Giants
Neil Gaiman

I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman on multiple levels.  This is one of those books I can’t wait to read to my kid when he/she gets to be a bit older.  It’s a bit mature for too young of readers – issues of kidnapping, drinking, etc – but it reads similar to a fairy tale.  Not a book that will stand out in my mind when I think of Gaiman, but I believe it was a book written quickly in any case.

2. Writing

I’ve been itching to write again as I settle a bit more into this pregnancy thing.  I’m still waiting for the nausea to ease, but it doesn’t seem to be just yet.  (I just gagged while typing that.)  I’ve been so tired that I hardly even want to think.  But teaching starts up again in a week, and I’ll have to think to teach, so perhaps that will give me a nice jump start.

3.  Baby stuff

16 weeks as of yesterday (today).  Time is just flying by.  We have our 20ish-week ultrasound on the 25th of January, and that’s when we ought to find out if we’re having a boy or a girl.  I feel bad having to call the baby “it” and I’d like to start thinking about names!

As you can see, things got shorter and shorter.  I think my body can sleep again.  Ciao.

December 24, 2009

End of the Year Meme

I don’t do many of these anymore, but I’ve done this meme for many years. So here goes.

End of Year Survey!

— What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Got married, went to Maui, got pregnant. I think that’s about it, but I would say those are pretty significant!

— Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I never really make any resolutions. Next year, though, I just want to survive this pregnancy and see our baby born healthy!

— Did anyone close to you give birth?
Many people I know gave birth this year (I’m at that age), but no one I’m super close to.

— Did anyone close to you die?
Nope.

— What countries did you visit?
None. 😦

— What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A baby? Okay, I guess I have a baby right now, but one outside my womb would be great.

— What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 1: day I got married. September 11: day of my last period, which is the day we start counting how old baby is.

— What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting knocked up. We were told, like most couples, it could take up to a year to conceive, but we did it in only a month. I’m rather proud of that.

— What was your biggest failure?
Nothing all that dire. I could definitely have more patience while pregnant.

— Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not really. I wasn’t sick all that often. Go me!

— What was the best thing you bought?
A PS3 for our first-year anniversary this holiday season. It’s a to the we to the some!

— Whose behavior merited celebration?
My husband is fantastic. I wouldn’t have been able to make it through the first trimester without him. He has stepped up to the plate in so many ways, from handling cleaning the house, to feeding the cats 24/7, to bringing me food and water when I’m feeling nauseous. He’s my hero.

— Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
No one depressed me, per say. But there are certainly people I’d be happy not to hang with again.

— Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage and saving up for medical bills.

— What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting married. Finding out we were pregnant when I secretly already instinctively knew. I’m kind of a broken record here, right?

— What song will always remind you of 2009?
Something from our wedding, perhaps. There are songs that stick out to me from that night.

— Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Happier!
b) thinner or fatter?
Totally fatter with baby.
c) richer or poorer?
About the same, but instead of saving for a wedding, we’re now saving for a baby.

— What do you wish you’d done more of?
Traveling. I’m hoping to go to Miami next year.

— What do you wish you’d done less of?
Throwing up.

— How will you be spending Christmas?
In Florence Christmas Eve and Christmas with my family, then the day after Christmas with Dave’s family.

— Did you fall in love in 2009?
I’m totally in love with this baby inside me. I can’t wait to find out if it’s a boy or a girl!

— What was your favorite TV program?
LOST happened this year, right? Glee was something refreshing to see, too.

— Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate is such a strong word. But if there are any people I disliked last year, I still dislike them this year. Don’t believe there are any new dislikes to be had.

— What was the best book you read?
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, hands down.

— What was your greatest musical discovery?
This was a year of little music for me. I’m not a big music person to begin with, but there just wasn’t any one artist that I latched onto.

— What did you want and get?
A baby.

— What did you want and not get?
A new house. That’s always my long-standing wish, but it shall have to wait a while!

— What was your favorite film of this year?
Iron Man. Was that this year?

— What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28 a few weeks ago. My mum surprised me by coming in from out of town and spending the day with me. Had lunch with my parents and husband. I had to work all that evening, but the night with my hubby was nice.

— What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Getting a full time job. It’s kind of a long-term goal. I really don’t want to have to buy private health insurance for the rest of my life.

— How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Maternity shirts can be so cute. I’m glad I have a reason to go a bit bulky.

— What kept you sane?
My husband.

— Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Johnny Depp, as always.

— What political issue stirred you the most?
Health care. Dave and I will be directly affected by this thing.

— Who did you miss?
Friends I don’t see nearly often enough. Peeps from grad school.

— Who was the best new person you met?
Hmm, no new friends!

— Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
If you want something, you have to make an effort to get it.

November 24, 2009

let’s talk about food

So, I’m pregnant.  Beyond the tons of other symptoms I’m having, there’s also a constant want for food.  I’m usually somewhere between starving and not hungry, and never full.  Tomorrow, my hubby and I journey to my parents’ house to partake in the usual Thanksgiving feast.  For weeks now I’ve really not thought of much else besides eating turkey.  The craving is so strong it’s almost painful.

My family is a very food-oriented family.  I’m not particularly fond of cooking myself, but I certainly love to eat when the food is good.  My family has super strong holiday tranditions, specifically those dealing with food.

My Thanksgiving feast will look like this:

1. Turkey, of course.  There will be a traditional herb-roasted turkey, and the past few years they’ve also done a smoked turkey outside.  The smoked turkey is delicious, but smoking doesn’t go well with my stomach, so I’ll focus my attentions to the herbed turkey.

2. Yellow squash and chicken stuffing.  My grandmother makes this every year.  I get my own individual stuffing because I hate onions, so she makes me a dish without onions.  I love my granny!

3. Green beans.  Nothing fancy, usually with tomatoes.

4. Egg gravy.  This sounds so gross, and I’m really not sure how my grandmother makes it.  It’s so unbelievably delicious and goes perfectly with turkey and stuffing.

5. Mac and cheese.  Made for my husband who’s not a fan of turkey.  Or stuffing.  Poor thing.

6. Rolls.  There are some frozen ones you can buy that are my favorite rolls in the world.

7. Cranberry sauce.  I don’t care for cranberries unless they’re in juice form, but there will be something cranberry-related for everyone else.

8. This year, Dave and I are making a chocolate silk pie.  Here’s hoping it turns out good.

9. Mum might make New York-style cheesecake, which was my preference.  My brother has asked for honey bun cake (which sounds gross, in my opinion).  Let’s see who wins.

That’s our Thanksgiving meal.  I love to eat the leftovers for the next week and a half.  This wait is just driving me crazy.

November 5, 2009

5 things that make me really happy right now

1. I’m pregnant.  It was so quick and amazingly easy and I feel so so so thankful that it was.  Baby is eight weeks old and doing fabulously.  I’m achy and breaking out and nauseous, but that’s ok!

2. The kittens are leaving our home one by one.  I’m not particularly happy that they’re leaving, but I am very happy that they’re healthy and going to the best homes we could find.  We even found a home for mama cat.  So I’m just exciting for them and greatful it’s been easy to accomplish.

3. The weather.  It’s just chilly enough for a jacket, but warm enough with the sun that I don’t feel that cold.  We’ve had so many cloudless skies this week, and with the trees turning colors, the view outside just makes me grin all silly-like.

4. My husband.  He’s already been amazing with this pregnancy, stepping up to take over when I can’t.  I can’t wait to see him holding our son or daughter for the first time.

5. NANOWRIMO is going on right now.  I wish I could’ve participated, but I love seeing others get inspired to put some words down on paper.  Even if the writing industry thinks it evil (and really, I just think they need to loosen up a bit).

October 20, 2009

why you should boycott Walmart

Pimp My Novel put out a blog post about how Walmart is detrimental to the publishing industry.  You can now add books to the list of items Walmart is destroying.  Due to Walmart charging less for books (Amazon and Target are being forced to follow suit), bookstores are slowly going out of business.  It’s tough to sell a book in this economy, and even tougher when a large company is taking a loss when selling books in order to sell other items.  In the end, publishers will be forced to lower the prices of their books, which results in cutting costs by lowering quality.

Walmart tries to bully companies into finding ways to produce their goods cheaper.  Do you really want to buy something that was made cheaply in order to be able to sell it cheaply?  I would rather pay a few bucks extra to buy a toy that won’t poison my child.  And this bloated company is attempting to do the same thing to the publishing industry, where it’s difficult enough for an author to make a living.  Few authors actually make their advance in book sales; what will happen when Walmart picks and chooses which books get sold for $10?  Basically, they’ll have control over what gets sold. Period.

Walmart is a terribly company for many reasons – this is certainly just on top of a heap of crap they have created.  For instance, in my hometown of Florence, AL, Walmart has resulted in many other stores closing.  Luckily, here in Nashville we have plenty of other options, but people in Florence aren’t quite so lucky.  I’ve heard of worse circumstances in even smaller towns.

Really, I urge everyone I know to avoid shopping at Walmart.  Every company has its flaws, but Walmart’s problems affect many aspects of the entire country.  That’s how much of a giant it is.  If you want to keep your options open, support other businesses.

It may cost you 30 cents less for that box of cereal, but ask yourself how exactly Walmart managed to charge you 30 cents less.  What’s the true price of such low cost?

And besides, the publishing industry already has other issues working against it (such as e-readers); don’t add to the problem by supporting Walmart.  Support reading by seeking out other places to spend your money.

September 30, 2009

crazy in this world of mine

I have not been blogging as much as I had promised myself. Not for lack of topics or even for lack of time; rather, for a supreme lack of mental compacity.

I’ve been up to a lot.

1. Work. We’re quickly approaching midterms. I told myself that I wouldn’t wait until the last minute to grade this semester, and while that’s going pretty well, it does mean that I have grading to do every day instead of piles of grading to do over a few days. I guess that’s better, but it does leave me not wanting to do much but read or plop down in front of the TV.

2. Kitties. The kittens are doing great, except for the fact that we discovered Mr Fuzzy Pants is instead a Ms Fuzzy Pants. Whoops. They have their eyes open and they can stand up on all four paws. They are terribly awesome. So instead of sitting in front of a computer for hours on end, I kind of just want to go into the office and sit and watch kittens play around. More pictures upcoming on the Flickr page later this week.

3. Party season. This party season has begun. This time of year always seems to be super busy, doing things with friends and family. I believe we have one free weekend this month. So when I do get some free time, I’m more likely to spend it with my husband than typing on here.

4. Ch-ch-changes. They are upon us. That’s about all I can say right now!

Yes, I have tons of excuses and really none of them are that great. But I’m still here and ready to be back to blogging!