sal_amanda: (Default)
2017-08-29 05:12 pm

Nope, selling a house is the worst

I really want to vent about the house selling process and how stressed out it's making me and all the extra things we've had to do (including replacing ALL of the carpeting) and still getting nowhere with a sale, but then apparently August is the slowest month in real estate so I'm trying to remain zen, except that it's not working because that's just not how I operate.  

And I'm really not in the mood to get into the details, even though I actually do want to get it all out. 

Maybe I didn't bury that St. Joseph statue correctly, but I found so much conflicting information on the internet about that. I've found multiple placements, burying methodology, and prayers. Come on, Catholics. Can't we unify on something important like this?

Probably doesn't help that I'm not a particularly good Catholic, but then if I wasn't already questioning it, I might have to question a religion that believes that burying a statue of someone upside down in the ground will make him want to help sell your house faster because he's uncomfortable being upside down in the ground and is hoping you'll dig him back out. No really. 

*sigh*

Supposedly, the market picks back up in September and it is supposedly still a seller's market normally (when it's not August). It's a nice house and I know we're very fair on the price, especially now with all new carpeting, damn it. Just didn't want to drag out this two mortgages thing any longer than we have to. 

*sigh*

sal_amanda: (Default)
2017-07-25 12:57 pm

Moving is the worst

We're in the midst of a somewhat slow move. Moving is terrible. I have moved several times (not even including back and forth to college) in my adult life and it is always terrible. But the more people you are moving with, the more terrible it is. And children really do accumulate stuff, though I'm also not excusing the amount of stuff John and I own. 

We truly could not figure out how we could possibly sell a house while living in it. We would have had to put a ton of stuff in storage, not allowed the kids to touch anything in the house lest they dirty it, and the dog would just have had to move out. Can't emphasize enough how much my crazy dog messes everything up. He's sweet, but nuts. So we took the risky move of buying first.

I stand by this decision as it did probably make this an ever so slightly less terrible move. Slightly.

The new house is only about 8 miles from the old house, in the same town, but a different school district. The schools are a little more diverse and the taxes are a little lower, both of which were strong considerations. The kids like the house, but are understandably nervous about being in a new school district. They worry about missing their friends, though I have pointed out numerous times that we are in the same town so they can still see them outside of the school day. 

Well, we closed on the new house July 5th. By then we'd already loaded up a Pod with whatever we could. And believe me when I tell you that John filled every last square inch of that thing. He and my dad put all the big stuff in and then John packed the rest of it with small and/or soft stuff. I'm not doing justice to his ability to make things fit. I see this whenever we take a road trip, too. He's got skills. 

Everything else that didn't fit in the Pod has been moved over through multiple trips back and forth. Even now, there are still things we haven't brought over yet. Certain big things, like the kayaks, don't need to get over quickly. The house doesn't need to be empty for us to list it, but it can't be the mess of crap laying around that it has been during this packing extravaganza. It's pretty much the basement and garage that are the messy problems.

And there were a list of things we knew we wanted to fix up before listing. I think we've done more to that house in the past few months than we did in 14 years. But it's been a challenge because we're trying to set up the new house at the same time that we're also trying to quickly get the old one sale ready. There are only so many hours in a day and we still have kids and a dog to take care of.

One thing that was helpful was the timing. We were going to crash my parents' vacation. They got a cottage in Maine with my sister and we were going to camp out in the living room for a few days before having to come home so John could work orientation. We were going to leave the 7th. With the closing being on the 5th, it made sense to scrap that and use that vacation time off for more productivity. 

That was a hell of a week. Half of it was spent painting before moving the big stuff in. One day was spent with my friend's boyfriend helping us unload the Pod. I also had to get a mover for the piano, sign the kids up for school, and have the carpets at the old house cleaned. I did take one day to have a fun day with Henry. Nora went with my parents to Maine, but Henry isn't quite ready for that so he stayed with us and helped paint some, but mostly just watched a lot of movies and did surprisingly well, though there were fits of boredom here and there. 

I wound up sleeping that week at my parents' house with my dog and their dog. It was easier keeping the dogs there out of the way and in a less stressful environment and I actually had a bed to sleep on, but it also meant that I was bouncing among three different house every day. The goal was to be minimally functional by the time they came home from Maine. Mission barely accomplished. 

 A little over a week later and it's gotten a wee bit better. Every night, John has been going to the old house while I try to get some unpacking done in between taking care of the kids and dog. 

The new goal is to get the old house ready to list by the end of this weekend, especially since John is leaving with the kids for NH on Monday to see his family. The weather needs to start cooperating so we can get the deck painted, though. 

And I'm reading up on burying a St. Joseph statue in the yard to help sell the house. Don't judge my selective Catholicism. Our former dog dug one up from the yard years ago and I feel he goes with the house. John located him yesterday and he's going back in this weekend, and there are novenas that need to be said apparently. 

Once we're not dealing with mortgages and utilities from two houses, we've got short and long term plans for the new house. We're already thinking about this one differently. We never viewed the old one as a house we were going to stay in forever so we just maintained and never did much more than paint as an upgrade. We have more plans for this new one, particularly someday redoing the hideous pink master bath. Though really, I'm just happy to have a master bath. 

I have so much more I could say about all of it, including the weird DIY stuff we keep finding that the previous owners did, but I'm at work and have, you know, work to do. Plus it's all mentally exhausting even when it's not physically exhausting. 

The moral is that moving is terrible, and the next time I do so better involve some serious downsizing or me moving to my grave (or the crematorium, technically, but grave sounds more poetic). 


sal_amanda: (Default)
2017-01-27 02:18 pm

Unintentionally Hilarious

Since moving my archives over here, I've been slowly going through my archives at LJ, reading and deleting them one at a time. I cannot believe how stupid I was when I first started this in 2004. 

I always thought of myself as more mature than my same aged peers for the most part, and I would have thought of myself as a steady adult at the ripe old age of 28 when I started the journal, but holy cow there are some things I read that had me laughing hysterically at myself. 

If I, at 40, think my 28-year-old self was that dumb, I wonder what I'll be thinking of my present self when I'm in my 50s and beyond. 

sal_amanda: (Default)
2017-01-22 06:18 pm

On Feminism

Due to some transfer credits from the semester I spent at UVM, I had some room in my first semester of my MSW program at UB to take an elective. I took a class called Gender Issues, and the instructor really did a lot to challenge what my ideas of feminism were at that time. If you had asked me prior to that class if I was a feminist, I would have easily agreed that I was. I just had a more narrow view of what that was. 

See, the feminist perspective in social work is not just about equal rights for women. It's about equal rights for everyone. So yes that obviously includes gender, including the rights of men to not have to fit in with a toxic masculinity narrative, but it also includes race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, ability, mental health status, socioeconomic status, and any group that is marginalized. Any group that is not being supported and allowed to reach its fullest potential. And understanding that people fit in more than one category. Intersectionality, but no one was using that word at that time. 

And it's not just about giving everyone something equally, it's about reaching a level of equality, and understanding that people need different things to get to that point of equality. You might need more support than I need, but I might need more than that other person. It's also about changing the systems, because maybe we shouldn't be trying to fit ourselves into an outdated system that doesn't work for all of us. 

I was elated to see all the pictures and videos of the Women's Marches happening all over the country, and the world. Yes, it was a march for women's rights, but I was also pleased to see signs addressing other issues. Because the true feminist perspective is concerned with all of it. 
sal_amanda: (Default)
2017-01-04 01:05 pm

Moving In

So here I am at the new blog. Will I post much? Probably not, but I like to read my old stuff and laugh at myself from time to time. 

Anyhoo. Welcome and maybe I'll surprise you with an occasional rant that I don't want to share on Facebook. 

sal_amanda: (Default)
2012-02-07 09:45 pm

(no subject)

I suppose I'm not really using this journal anymore, eh?  I still check my friend list daily, which mostly consists of [livejournal.com profile] rockinlibrarian and a handful of enjoyable communities.  My last few entries don't have any comments at all so I'm guessing not too many folks are reading this anymore in lieu of Facebook.  And that's fair since most of everything I'd post here, I generally post there.  The one thing I could see myself keeping up here are the locked entries where I need to vent in a less than public venue.  If you're an anonymous reader who wants in on those, get a login and a friend request.  

So I guess we'll see.  I do like blogging because I could generally talk about myself without any problem.  ;)  But I don't want to keep getting mad at myself for not doing so very often and I don't really want to switch to a different blog host, especially since it won't resolve the issue of me not getting around to posting and I like having all my stuff here where it is already.  My point?  Yeah, I have no idea what my point is.

sal_amanda: (Default)
2011-10-22 04:43 pm

(no subject)

One year ago, I was finishing up my work day.  It was a Friday which meant we closed up at 4, but as per usual, I was still wrapping stuff up and was the last to leave.  I was about to head out the door to get some groceries.  I had just put the code in on our office security system and was struggling to carry all my stuff, including an Edible Arrangement that one of my students had brought me as a thank you gift, when my cell phone rang.  Seeing that it was Adoption STAR, I pretty much literally dropped everything and answered the call.  

The worker on the other end asked me if I was ready for some info on a baby.  Nope, I absolutely was not.  Par for the course, all writing utensils had been absconded with from the front desk, the downside of working within a college tutoring center.  I had to grab a key from the key box to unlock one door and then unlock my office door before I could hear what she had to say.

I was treating this like it was just another profiling because that's what I believed it to be.  At that point, we'd been profiled so many times that it was just very anticlimactic.  She was giving me all the info and then a few minutes into the conversation, she finally informs me that we've actually already been picked for this case.  

Um, what?  I had to ask her to clarify that a couple times to make sure I wasn't hearing it incorrectly.  This baby was ours if we wanted him.  And I wanted him, but they won't take an answer from just one parent, no matter how sure I was that John would agree.  So I called John, filled him in, and then I believe he called there to tell them we're good.  I honestly can't remember how exactly that part went.  But we agreed to it.

Ohio's laws require a waiting period so the baby was not going to be released to us from the hospital until Tuesday.  This worked out because John was actually supposed to work Saturday and we clearly had some affairs to get in order.  There was also some confusion with the agency for a while about whether we'd have to take care of paperwork here in Buffalo or if we could do it with the worker in Ohio.  Turns out we could take care of it in Ohio, which meant we could head out first thing Monday morning.

Good thing, too, because all of Pennsylvania was under construction, I swear.  We finally got to our hotel in Cincinnati and raced to the hospital to visit with our baby.  Before we had even left, we were told we needed to pick his name and let them know ASAP.  Now we know that the birth mom had picked out a name for him.  We didn't know this at the time and it was disappointing.  We didn't know much of anything about her or her family at that point.  We wanted Henry to be his first name, but we had wanted his middle name to represent where he came from.  Not knowing anything about his birth family, we tried to figure out a good option.  One of my co-worker's husband pointed out that there's an Xavier University in Cinci.  Xavier is a name that we both were fond of and it was actually very close to the hospital where Henry was born.  And that's how he came to be named Henry Xavier.

But back to meeting him.  What a sweet baby he was from right off the bat.  And he was wide awake.  I swear Nora slept for the first three weeks of her life so I wasn't expecting this at all.  We stayed for about an hour before deciding we had better go and get to bed.

We were a bundle of nerves the next morning.  And then there was Nora's struggle with having her world shaken up.  When we got the hospital, she insisted on riding in the stroller.  We finally agreed, but made it clear that she wasn't coming out in it.  There was a lot of waiting and watching.  Some girls were looking in the nursery window next to us while they were waiting for someone.  Some info about our situation was shared and they asked which baby was ours.  When they saw him, they declared that we had the prettiest baby there.  True that.

Lots of stuff happened that morning, some of which are Henry's story to tell should he ever choose to do so, but the time finally came that we could take him with us.  And we completely forgot how the infant carrier worked.  Oh yeah.  We forgot to refresh ourselves on those details.  Oops.  

But we figured it out and took off for my friend Jackie's house near Dayton.  I don't know what we would have done without Jackie and her husband letting us stay at their house.  We were there for a week.  They saved us money on a hotel, fed us (fabulously, I might add), and gave us a place to let Nora go trick or treating since we got stuck there through Halloween.  We finally got leave to cross state lines with Henry late in the afternoon the following Tuesday and despite the late hour, we loaded up and drove straight through home.  For future reference, we are not the type of people who ever want to do that again.  Especially sleep deprived with a newborn.  But we finally got home.

And that is the story of how Henry came to be our little man.  Happy birthday, Henry!
sal_amanda: (Default)
2011-08-31 10:05 pm

Kid updates

Moving on from locked whining.  

I suppose it's been rather long since I updated about the kids so it will be difficult to decide where to begin.  Henry's had two teeth for a while.  He seems to be getting a third on the bottom before any top ones, but those seem to be making some progress, too.  He's not a happy teether, but I don't think he's quite as miserable as Nora was.  Well, maybe he is.  These things aren't always easy to remember.  

He's a crawling machine.  He totally could have won the Diaper Derby at Canal Fest if he'd felt compelled to, well, move at all.  But he gets like that outside.  He just takes it all in and enjoys the sights.  Plus it was 95 degrees out and he looked pissed that we were making him be outside at all.  It says something about how much I enjoy the Diaper Derby that I was willing to be outside in that weather, quite frankly.

But back to the crawling.  Henry will walk around a little with Nora's toy shopping cart or other things he can push at home or at daycare, but for the most part, he can get where he's going much faster by crawling so it's his preferred mode of transportation.  I've really never seen a baby crawl this fast before in my life.  Especially when he's heading for something that he knows we'll whisk him away from.  For example, he loves the stairs lately and we've been lax in digging up the baby gates because it will make life a pain for Nora.  So we just keep an eye on him.  When he heads in that direction, as soon as he gets within a certain distance, he puts on this burst of speed with a gleeful giggle.  It's quite hilarious, but then we need to chase after him, of course.  

I'm looking forward to the end of baby formula in less than two months.  I think the bedtime bottle is going to be a tricky habit to break for him.  I'm planning on doing the method of gradually decreasing the amount he gets at bedtime.  We've been giving him a sippy cup of water with snacks and dinner.  The past couple of days, he's taken to sipping some and then spitting it right back out.  I don't get it, but it's annoying.  Maybe he's protesting water.  You can also figure out when he's done with whatever is on his tray because it starts making its way to the floor, much to the delight of the dog.  

Henry has a much greater love for Beezley than Nora does, I think.  Don't get me wrong.  Nora loves Beezley, but she gets mad when he gets in her space.  He's a black lab.  He's in your space whenever possible.  Henry doesn't mind it and actually seems to enjoy it.  But of course Henry most enjoys Nora.  And she enjoys him.  They play together a lot and it's adorable.  It also comes in handy when we need her to keep him entertained for a few minutes while we get something done.  I try not to make her do that too much because I know what it's like to be the built in babysitter, albeit at a much higher level given the 11 year age difference between me and my brother.  

Nora will be officially doing pre-K next week.  She'd be doing the same curriculum at daycare anyway, but they got the pre-K through the school district this year and we got a spot in that classroom after being on their waitlist.  Which means we pay about $10 less per day for those 180 days a year that the district pays for.  I'll take it!

Pre-K sounds very official even though not much really changes in the routine.  She'll be in two different classes, but we already know both the teachers she'll be working with.  What scares me the most is that this the pre-cursor to me having to put that child on a school bus next year.  I'm terrified of that.  I'm terrified of me not having that daily interaction with her teachers.  I'm terrified that she's not a very good advocate for herself and she needs to develop some assertiveness skills in the next year.  And isn't that hilarious?  MY kid isn't very assertive (well, with people she doesn't know anyway).  Though I suppose I might not have been very assertive in kindergarten.  And I do feel like she's gotten a little less shy in the past year so there's hope.  I'm not sure if we'll want to make lunches or have her buy them.  Do they really send 5 year olds to school with money and expect them to be responsible enough to not lose it before lunch?  That sounds crazy to me.  

So I have a year to panic about all this and hopefully the school is expecting crazy moms like me and have plans in place for these kinds of things.  *sigh*

The other topic I've been meaning to write about is curly hair care.  There are numerous blogs devoted to such and perhaps I'd really be more into writing one myself if I had a girl and/or a child with a coarser texture that could do more styles, but then again I still wouldn't have any time.  But I've done tons of research and have spoken my mind to the adoption agency about what bothered me about the hair care class we attended of theirs while we were still waiting, so the agency has now asked me to write a blog post about it for their site.  I told them I'd have to do it a little later since work has been insane lately, but I'll get around to it eventually.  In the meanwhile, they sort of did already post one about me and the links I'd recommend, so now that I think about it, I'm not sure I'd say much different from what they already said about me.  Hmmm.  I'll have to think about that.  But that is a post for the future here, at the very least.  Someday...
sal_amanda: (Default)
2011-08-01 10:57 pm

(no subject)

I really need to write some updates on here someday...
sal_amanda: (Default)
2011-06-12 11:09 pm

(no subject)

Well, here's a quick rundown of events.

Henry had his hernia surgery and was a real trooper.  Hardly bothered him at all.  In fact, I think teething is bothering more.  He even started crawling two days after.  So now he's mobile and Nora is finally getting a taste of what it's like to have a little brother who gets into all her stuff.  I'm trying to use this as motivation for her to keep her toys fairly picked up.  

He gets his wound dressings removed on Wednesday.  It's been a long couple of weeks for two reasons.  One, he hasn't been able to use an exersaucer or jumperoo.  Two, we haven't been able to submerge him in a bath.  He's got way too much hair for a sponge bath.  They told us he could take a shower, which at first I thought was a ridiculous thing to say about a 7 month old, but that's kind of what we've been doing.  We take down the shower head, John holds him, and I spray him down.  To try to minimize his dressings getting wet, we've been using a swim diaper.  It's been all right, but pretty much a pain.

Back to the teething.  He's got a big lump on his gums so it's ready to burst through, making him uber crabby.  Yay for pacifiers and vibrating teethers.

In other news, my grandfather died over the weekend.  I'd say it was unexpected, but I'm not sure how unexpected it is when you're 93.  In any case, I've been trying to give Nora some information about what to expect from this whole funeral thing, making me realize how weird our cultural traditions really are.  Let's just say that some of the conversations have been mighty interesting.  We'll see how it goes on Tuesday...
sal_amanda: (Default)
2011-05-09 10:53 am

Finalization

The adoption is officially finalized.  We survived an extra long car ride to Cincinnati.  Oh, the joys of travelling with two small children.  We got to the courthouse a little early and Nora was wired.  When we finally got into the courtroom with our lawyer and the magistrate, Nora was just off the wall.  She didn't want to sit with us and she didn't want to sit at all, really.  She kept switching seats and running up to the witness stand and the judge's bench.  At one point, the magistrate mentioned that she had read in the home study that Nora was shy and cautious in new situations, but that she wasn't seeing that.  It was both funny and horrifying.  Henry, on the other hand, fell asleep.  But we made it through the formality just fine and he is 100% ours now.  

This is the closest we'll get to an actual vacation this year so we stuck around.  Had my birthday at the Newport Aquarium just over the river in Kentucky and went up to my friend Jackie's place, where we had stayed at placement, for dinner and amazing homemade cupcakes.  Then another lengthy trek home.  

I suppose now I have to figure out how to get him a social security number and birth certificate.  Woohoo.
sal_amanda: (Default)
2011-04-27 09:53 pm

(no subject)

Back when Henry had RSV, John noticed that the poor babe's pelvis was bulging out a bit.  I instantly figured it must be an inguinal hernia.  Who knew that knowledge related to an ex-boyfriend's past ailment would come in so handy?  The simplest way to explain an inguinal hernia is that something that should have sealed up in the development process didn't quite.  So his intestines can poke through and create this bulge or fluid can do the same thing.  It doesn't bother him at all.  The danger is that it could choke off his intestines and create a blockage and a major emergency situation.  In any case, it's a fairly common occurrence with a pretty routine fix.  That fix, though, does involve surgery, but they at least do it on an outpatient basis.  And I'm happy we're getting this fixed so early, before he gets mobile and won't want to rest.  Well, he probably still won't want to rest, but he can't get up and run around on his own.  

You know what will probably be the worst part?  He can't have anything but clear liquids past midnight the night before and absolutely nothing at all for two hours before.  This is a baby who likes to eat.  He is not going to be happy that he's not getting fed first thing in the morning.  
sal_amanda: (Default)
2011-04-20 02:46 pm

(no subject)

Ah, second child syndrome.  We didn't fall into that pattern where we don't take as many pictures of Henry.  John especially has been taking as many pictures, but then he never really tapered off with Nora anyway.  Plus I always like to keep in mind that I'm taking pictures for Henry's birth mom, too.  However, I've been really rotten about keeping track of his milestones.  And not just on here.  I've dropped down on livejournal overall since I post most things on Facebook anymore, but even my own records aren't up to date.  

Part of it is just being busy.  Two kids means being waaaaaaaaaaaaay busier.  And I'm working full-time, which I wasn't doing when Nora was this age.  The moral of the story is that I have no time for pretty much anything.  I'm lucky I can keep up with the bare minimum of house keeping.  Well, almost the bare minimum.  The house is rather gross right now since we've entered clumpy dog shedding season, but that's another story.

So here's where we're at.  Healthwise, we're generally all better.  Nora might be battling some seasonal allergies so I have children's Claritin on our next grocery list and god bless those damn Boogie Wipes.  Henry is now the proud owner of a nubulizer as it appears he has a mild case of asthma.  He also may have an inguinal hernia so we'll get that checked out after we finalize in a couple of weeks.  He'll need surgery for that if that's the case, so better to get it over with before he gets too mobile.  I'm still dreading it, though.  

Henry is rolling every way imaginable.  He's sitting up fairly well, though he still flops over from time to time, usually at the exact moment I turn away.  He's an eating machine and I should probably bump him up to two meals of solids a day, but I might hold off a couple more weeks.  I'm trying not to do too much new stuff in our routine until after we take that trip back to Ohio.  I'm working on the jarred stuff for now while we make sure he has no allergies, but then I'm kind of a fan of baby led weaning.  That I'm looking forward to, but I'll probably have to keep some level of mush going at daycare for a couple more months just because of their own comfort level.  

And back to having no time, it has now taken me over an hour to get this done, so I should just call it quits for this round.
sal_amanda: (Default)
2011-04-03 09:24 pm

(no subject)

We've all been suffering with some ailment or another.  I had one of my usual viral things that turns into some weird super-infection (the doctor's choice of words, no joke) with a bacteria jumping on top of it.  John had strep, which is his usual thing.  

Nora had a nasal thing that was compounded by the fact that she refuses to let anyone wipe her nose.  We invested in Boogie Wipes, which I would generally have scoffed at due to silliness and price ($4 for a pack of 30 wipes!), but her nose had reached epic proportions and I needed to find something she would at least allow near her nose.  They were successful.

Henry, for his part, freaked me out Thursday night with what I know suspect was a bit of an asthma attack.  We don't have an official diagnosis, but they keep suspecting he might have asthma.  And since croup doesn't come and go overnight, that's what I think it was.  I wound up having him sleep on my shoulder that entire night, making me one tired mama the next morning.  We've been giving him nebulizer treatments all weekend and John's taking him back to the doctor tomorrow morning, but he's really been fine other than Thursday night.  

Compounding the fun, I think he might be cutting a tooth.  Nora took until 10 months so this is a surprise for me.  I mean, I suspected he was teething a bit, but Nora teethed for six months before something finally cut.  I think I can feel something, but then again, I could be wrong.  I perpetually thought Nora was on the verge of a tooth.  

And he's rolling both ways now.  Keeping him on a play mat is pointless so we just throw out an entire comforter.  Saves us from having to clean spit up off the carpet.  
sal_amanda: (Default)
2011-03-09 09:58 am

(no subject)

Those of you on Facebook with us probably already know that Henry has had RSV.  Don't ask me what that stands for.  I looked it up and it was something scientific that I don't remember.  But basically it's a respiratory virus.  It's very common and anyone can get it, but it's a little scarier in babies because inflamed tiny airways don't leave a lot of room for actual air.  

They put up a notice about one of the other babies having it on Wednesday.  Henry's still on his ongoing series of colds, but I was being a little more aware of his breathing.  Sure enough, they called me at work Thursday to say he was wheezing.  Got him to the doctor and he did indeed have RSV.  It was at its worst Friday night and then turned around from there.  He's back at daycare today, though he's still got his perpetual nasal congestion.  But his lungs are good.  He never did get a fever and barely has a cough.

One of the joys of Facebook is that when you post something about your baby having something like RSV, there are plenty of people ready to tell you about the worst case scenarios they know about.  I got all sorts of stories about hospitalizations and months long illnesses.  No one said, "Oh yeah, my kid had that and it was a sucky week, but then was fine."  No, no.  We must only freak people out.  I appreciate the message I got from the friend who is an immunologist reassuring me that those horror stories were probably involving kids with compromised immune systems.  It's what I was thinking, but I like having scientific back up beyond just what the internet has to say.

Nora has the sniffles and whatnot, as do I, but nothing major otherwise.

Oh, and in other news, John defended his dissertation proposal yesterday and now it's on to the actual research.  He has a deadline now, which is something he really needs, so hopefully this time next year we'll at least be getting ready for the actual dissertation defense.  In the 11 years we've known each other, there has only been one year that neither of us was in school.  Of course, Nora will then start kindergarten and we'll have to start working on her homework.  Ha!

I went to the defense yesterday and since we were still keeping Henry out and my mom was at work, we got Nora's teacher from last year who isn't working there anymore to come babysit for us.  We paid her $10/hr, which is sadly pretty reasonable from what I've heard.  If we do eventually move away from here like I'd like to someday, we may never go anywhere since we won't have free babysitting anymore.  When I was 16, I made $3 an hour for the three kids next door, one of whom it turns out had undiagnosed Asberger's, and I was expected to do some cleaning, too.  Don't get me wrong, I adored those kids (who are now all grown up, married, and two of them have kids), but either babysitting inflation went way up or I was vastly underpaid.  Seriously, for anyone who complains about how much daycare centers cost, if I got a full-time babysitter, it would cost me twice as much and at least I don't have to worry about what happens if that one person I'm depending on gets sick.  Sheesh.
sal_amanda: (Default)
2011-02-27 04:07 pm

(no subject)

I switched up the time that I gave Henry his cereal.  Did it before his noonish bottle and made sure to mix it with equal parts applesauce.  He's down with it.  I'll mix it with jarred bananas next weekend and see how he feels about that.  

He's moved into an interesting napping pattern that he also tends to do at daycare.  He takes a short morning nap for about a half hour or so.  Then he takes a longer afternoon nap.  This would be fine, really, if it weren't for the fact that he is outrageously cranky between the two because he's clearly still tired, but he refuses to go back to sleep.  Now on daycare days it obviously doesn't affect me.  And really on the weekends, it's not so bad for me personally, either, because he always seems to wake up while I'm in the shower.  Making it John's problem to bounce him endlessly.  

Now Wednesday should be interesting for us.  We're both going to an advising conference, and it's lovely that we get to go to professional stuff together like this, but John is co-chair of the planning committee so he has to be there super early.  That means I have to figure out how in the world to get them both up at the same time in the morning AND get out the door so that I can make it to the conference on time.  Thankfully, the conference is at a hotel nearby so I have less travel time, but I can't really get away with being late since my entire office will also be there as well as other people from our school that we work closely with.  Fun.
sal_amanda: (Default)
2011-02-23 07:51 pm

(no subject)

Henry is four months old and he is large.  Evenings are still prone to crankiness, especially if he doesn't nap well at daycare, which is most days.  He's rolling front to back now.  When he feels like it, that is.  Still haven't gotten it on video, but at least we've all finally seen it in action.  I should post a video on Facebook sometime with him laughing.  It's hilarious.  And he makes these happy noises that sound like a sheep.  Seriously.  You can't help but laugh when you hear it.  The daycare teachers love it.  We figure we'll experiment with food with him on the weekend until he seems to get it before having them do it at daycare.  I gave him some cereal and he was so-so about it.  I then tasted it and I understand why.  I'll go with a heavy mix of applesauce to take of the blandness.  Seriously, why do they think babies need to eat bland food?  I don't get it.

Now Nora.  She'll be four next month.  She's having her birthday party at the zoo because I'm over having it at my house.  She's quit sucking her thumb.  She finally got sick of her thumb always being calloused and cut from it and just up and quit cold turkey.  I'm kind of impressed, although I guess I did the same thing when I was five after the finger I sucked on turned greenish in one spot from the callous it had.  She's very potty trained at this point, though we do have an occasional accident.  Today, for example, was a doozy.  Not only did she not quite make it to the toilet, she attempted to clean up the bathroom floor by herself, didn't tell us about it, and then was walking around in wet pants and socks.  I noticed the trail her wet socks were leaving on the floor and followed the pee scent back to her.  Then had to figure out where else she had been in the previous five minutes.  Oh joy.

I try not to compare the two.  Henry seems to be easier in some aspects, but Nora was not an easy baby and he really is.  The one thing she had over him was a massive night sleeping stretch.  That's not to say that he's not a great sleeper at night.  He is.  He goes down easy and stays down.  But whereas Nora's baby nights were a 12 hour stretch, his is only 10 hours.  Believe me, that's still awesome and I know I shouldn't complain, but that two hours makes a big difference in our life.  

But it's all good.  Tough at times, but good.
sal_amanda: (Default)
2011-02-08 01:59 pm

Rambling post on my lunch break

Haven't posted in a while.  I would say that things are getting better, though getting out the door in the morning is still a circus and getting the kids out of daycare at the end of the day is always a challenge, depending on Henry's crankiness level and Nora's cooperation level.  Both are subject to change at the drop of a hat.  

We're 9-5 people, but it seems that most of the kids at daycare have parents who are more 8-4.  Thus, are kids are often among the last ones in the place.  I often don't leave right at 5 and since it's the beginning of the semester still, I wind up having to park across a major highway at a park.  Our tiny campus has enough problems with parking, but there's construction in our back lot right now and there's the other issue of how people can't seem to figure out how to park within a normal space when it snows.  But I digress.

Anyhoo.  I often get to daycare as late as 5:45.  It then takes about 15 minutes to get the kids bundled and out the door with whatever they're bringing home so we tend to leave with the last staff person.  There has always been one boy in Nora's class, since they were babies, that is there later than us, but Henry is always the last baby in his room.  Now I know those other babies get there a good hour to hour and a half before Henry does, but I still feel bad about this, for some reason.  Oh well.  

Then we get home and there's the joy of getting everyone fed and god forbid we actually have anything to do around the house.  The days that Henry takes a small snooze in his swing are helpful, but those are getting fewer between as he gets older.  I'm looking forward to some months down the line when he can be in his high chair eating dinner with us.  

Dinner didn't have such high pressure when Nora was a baby.  It was just us two eating so we'd often grab whatever and didn't worry too much about nutritional value until Nora was eating with us.  But now we need to feed Nora, too, and I hate to get in the habit of eating PB&J all the time when I intend to not let that be the norm once things get a little easier.  

We'll probably start Henry on some food by the end of the month.  Not sure when we're squeezing that into our schedule, but I am looking forward to getting him on regular food.  I've been reading the baby led weaning community on here and I ascribe to the philosophy that babies need not just eat bland mush, though I do find that the people on that community are a little more hippie granola organic than I am.  

Got the benefit of an extra dependent on our taxes, which was nice, but I am so looking forward to next year when we can get the adoption tax credit.  Can't get it yet because the adoption isn't finalized, so all the more reason to look forward to that date.  Should be late April, early May.  A lovely little birthday present for me!
sal_amanda: (Default)
2011-01-22 02:12 pm

(no subject)

I had a whopping three days back to work and I'm already overwhelmed.  Work is actually the least stressful part of my day now, which is sad.  But the bundling up, dropping off at daycare, fighting traffic, fighting for a parking spot all in a timely manner mornings kind of suck.  Then there's fighting traffic home, picking up from daycare, more bundling up, attempting to get dinner while dealing with an overtired baby evenings that are also challenging.  

I'm just trying to get through the next few months, honestly.  Winter doesn't usually bother me, but I'm already done with this one.  It's been pretty crappy weather to begin with, even for winter.  Henry isn't feeling the bundling up process and I'm not really either.  What I'm truly looking forward to it when Henry turns 1 and I can turn that damn car seat around.  This rear facing business is a pain to begin with, but in the Element, it's really awful.  

Oh, and after only three days of daycare, Henry already got his first cold.  Woot!
sal_amanda: (Default)
2010-12-19 11:49 am

(no subject)

Nora and I went through her various toy receptacles yesterday to clean out stuff she doesn't want anymore.  I tried really hard not to influence her decisions, but I was sad at some of the stuff she wanted to get rid off.  Mostly stuffed animals.  She's just never been into them at all, except on rare occasions.  But she really has a lot.  Every Sesame Street character we could find, realistic looking animals that John's mom always finds, tons of Kohl's plushes, etc.  

Oh, and I would so buy more of those Kohl's ones if she was into them.  They are all just adorable, but she's only ever been into the Curious George one and she once used to chew on Horton's nose.  But even Horton and some of her lesser favorite Sesame Street characters got tossed into the "give to Henry" pile.  She gave me her Kohl's Boynton rhino, though, because she knows how much I love it.  

We'll see if Henry winds up being interested in stuffed animals because he sure does have an inordinate amount of them now.  But when he gets old enough to clean toys out, it will be hard for me to part with things like the super cute Lorax.