Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Oh yes we did. Dress the kid up that is. In a mass produced tiger outfit straight off the sale rack at Target. Was that my DIY Hip Indie Parent Cred I just heard being flushed down the crapper? Well, so be it: we dressed him up for Halloween for my Mom and she loved it so it was $9.99 well spent.

Mom's birthday was October 25 (Old Lady Scorpios Rule!). She's either 83 or 84, I forget which. Anyhow, when we first had the kid, Mike and I agreed to try to got to Elyria at least once a month so my family could see the boy as he grew, even if it meant a sort of live version stop action photography. Last month, tho, I had to go to a conference in Chicago and this month almost got away from us as well. We thus decided to make a one day trip--in in the morning out in the evening.

Did I mention I don't drive? That means I have the Best. Husband. EVAH.

We packed up Donny's various bird cages and steamer trunks and hit the road an hour later than we were hoping to: 9am. In our defense, we did'nt put him in his outfit until one rest stop outside of Elyria. We got to my folk's house at around 11 and, really, after that it was all about Baby, Baby, Baby. As it should be. And, besides, the more my folks talk about Donovan, the less complaining I have to hear about the new highschool the mayor wants to build and the fewer times my Mom is going to ask me about getting a flu shot.

As if the kid was'nt enough, we brought an Almond Creme Torte from Whole Foods and invited my Aunts over. All of them. Usually when I use the phrase "Aunts" it refers collectively to my Mom's family. This should not, however, take away from the power and the glory that is my 82 year old Dad's older sister, Aunt Ann. She did not want her picture taken but she could'nt get up fast enought to deter me:

We had'nt seen her in months which means she had'nt seen Donovan since he was a 4 pound squawker.

My Mom's sisters came over as well and gave my Mom something she has been wanting for years:

...that being a saw that her father had made her oldest brother when her oldest brother was a 5 year old pipsqueak about, oh, 85 years ago. You know. Back when people would make saws from scratch. For their kids.

ANYhow, long story short, the kid was on good behavior, my family all looked great, everyone got to fuss over the baby and that made for a very good day.

Following are a few more photos. Because I obviously have not included enough:

The Aunts, Dad and Donny.

A sweet one of my Aunt Carolyn and "That Poor Little Baby," as she used to call him.

The Two Donovans

Dang. Cute kid--if I do say so myself...

Friday, October 26, 2007


Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a sucker. I love the Elyria Memorial Day Parade, I try not to miss the Bloomfield Halloween Parade and, speaking of Bloomfield, there's something about a good, old fashioned Catholic church carnival that gets me all misty. It should come as no surprise then that I was pretty darn excited for the Eastminster Daycare Fall Festival. All 60 minutes of it.

I got to take off of work early enough to get there right at the start. I was'nt sure if I was supposed to get the boy or if he would be brought down to the assembly room where it took place but, after watching all the other kids come in, I went and woke him up and brought him down. The older kids all sat on the floor to start with and sang a couple of rousing choruses of "Jesus Loves Me" and "I'm a Little Tea Pot." It took me a while to figure out that each of the tables in the first room was a different station: cookie decorating at one, paper pumpkins and rubber stamps at another, etc. Over in the far corner was about half a dozen high chairs set up for the "Infant Texture" station. This is where the young kids like Donny could crumple tissue paper, feel a bumpy gourd and commune with an ear of dried Indian corn:

As promised, he also got to feel the inside of a pumpkin--something I was much more excited about than he was. And as far as the hayride, can I call 'em or can I call 'em?:

I also liked the mini pumpkin patch:

I think I should set one up in our front room.

There were lots of things I liked about this event--first, there was no weirdness about sugar: the kids who were old enough got a little bag of candy that was just the right size. Second, there were alot of older kids running around being excitable but no one was being "bad." There were no scoldings, no tantrums and lots of hugs and encouragement from parents and staff members alike. When I think how green we were in looking for daycare and how lucky we are that Donny ended up where he is--with people who really care about him and take good care of him--dang. Remember: I choose Eastminster because the other place we looked at did'nt have windows.

Color me lucky.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Touch the Pumpkin!

Tomorrow is the Fall Festival at daycare. Miss Tekeela has a way of insinuating an eyeroll without ever doing one and she invoked that power a couple times in explaining the Festival. First, all the parents were asked to donate a bag of wrapped candy ("Even tho these babies are too young" *Insinuated Eyeroll*). The Festival will take place in the basement ("So they get sometime outside of their room" *IER*). There will be a hayride (Partial *IER*) and the babies will get to touch the inside of scraped out pumpkin. I'm actually a little geeked about it. First of all, the idea of a daycare hayride conjures images of straw and Radioflyer red wagons. Also, who wouldn't want to touch the inside of a scraped pumpkin? I spent too much time yesterday trying to figure out what the "cool" candy would be. Being old I'm already behind the 8 Ball--don't want to embarrass the kid by bringing in bridge mix or Butter Rum Lifesavers. I finally settled on RADBERRY! Now and Later Suckers. Anything that turns your tongue a different color can be considered cool.

Tonight we are going to Target to find a noninvasive costume for the boy. Just a hat or something. I had dreams of dressing him up as Napoleon or Nick Cave but I don't have time to make a Napoleon Hat and the little suits with the red shirts were all gone last time I was at Burlington. The things we do to amuse his Ohio grandparents...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Best Man and Best Baby

This weekend we went to Foglesburg for a wedding. Our friends, Liz and Michael, were married on Saturday in a really lovely outside service. We had to get there on Friday for the Rehersal Dinner as Mike was the best man.

I was'nt really sure how all this was going to play out. The wedding inviation specifically said "No Children" but special dispensation was given to Donovan and a few other babies. My main concern, however, is that Donovan's favorite thing to do for the past week or so has been to shriek. Its hard to get mad at him as he is usually shrieking for joy but shrieking gets old very quickly. It's also bad form to shriek during a church wedding, even if you are happy. My worry intensified when, from the time we got to our fully-paid-for pimped out lodge suite with jacuzzi and fireplace, Donny was in full shriek mode.

Its funny how, when you prepare for the worst, the Fates love to prove you wrong. For the Rehersal Dinner, Donny wore the powderblue velour overall suit that Ceil gave him at my shower and he looked really spiffy.

He did get a little fussy there but everyone else seemed to think it was nothing. As far as the actual wedding, he got to wear his new blue suit, complete with dress shoes, and he did look excellent. He slept thru the first part of the ceremony and only made noise during the mass recitation of The Lord's Prayer. Three months ago, the question strangers would ask me about him was, "Is he a preemie?" Now its, "Is he always this good?" No, he was never a preemie and yes, he is always this good. Honest. I can't tell you the number of people who complimented him on his good behavior, including the bride, groom, parents of the bride and groom, bridal party and the pastor. That's about everyone who matters, my friends.

Staying at the lodge was a minivacation for Mike and I that we did'nt realize we needed. We got to spend time together without worrying about running to the store, cleaning the litterboxes, or not doing yardwork. There was, indeed, a huge bathtub (with a sign next to it that said there would be a $25 fee for cleaning any candlewax off the rim of the tub) <and, when you looked out the window, you saw rolling hills and cows. The drive down was also a little revelation. Going east into the state we got the full on Autumn colorshow. Coming back with the sun setting was particularly wonderful.

Plus, we got to take alot of photos of the boy somewhere besides our own house. Much as I hate beige, the carpet made him look especailly good, colorwise:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Upbeat Belated Update

Apparently, the photo of my son in the hospital crib, as well as the story of his recent surgery, upset a number of people. In the interest of assauging soft hearts, I include this photo of Donovan looking superhappy in his hospital issue pajamas, presurgery:

See? Everything was and is fine. Many thanks, tho, for caring about my boy. It's nice to know that he's in a few hearts and on alot of radars.

Workin' the Concept

Crazy Socks, my friend. Crazy, crazy socks...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Retire now to your tents and to your dreams. Tomorrow is Crazy Sock Day at daycare--I want to be ready...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Note To Self: Read this in 2012

This was brought to my attention by my friend and sister "Methusela Mother," Angie:


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Can't Sleep--Urologist Will Get Me

I am typing ever so quietly--as of 2 days ago, Donny decided that he doesn't like to sleep. I suppose I would be wary as well if I went to sleep and woke up without a foreskin, but he really spoiled us prior to this with about 4 solid months of sleeping thru the night. We've tried drugging him with Enfamil, which used to work but now, not so much. Also, the idea of having to feed him to get him to sleep--let's just say there are lots of food issues from my side of the family that I'd like to avoid with the boy. Last night when Mike was taking his turn at walking Donny around, I Googled, "When Can You Spoil" with "Baby" and the two coherent advice column type pages I found both said, "You can't spoil a baby! That is until he's 6 months old." Thanks, pal. Tonight I ended up rocking him in his stroller for about an hour an a half. The first half of that he was so happy to be up and playing with his feet that he just sat there with this wild grin on his face. Crazy kid.

But what you really want to know, probably, is what happened with his operation. The operation was a success, tho the anesthesiologist had to put the fear of God into us about the fact that Donovan had had croup and thus may have a reaction to the anesthesia and it might be bad but it was our call. After the spinal tap fiasco I was a little more prepared and tossed her, "you're the professional. If he was your son, what would you do? Professionally speaking, of course..." And, of course, she did not give a straight answer. Sigh.

It was same day surgery so we got to take him home--and we were out of the hospital by about 1pm. He was pretty groggy for a little while but then back to his old, smiley self. Mike had taken off of work so I was actually able to take a nap. It was the first nap in over a week without me having to worry about my son being in or going to a hospital. It was very nice.

I have another story related to all of this but I'm going to play it coy. I'm baiting Sheryl, trying to lure her out of her mansion for a coffee klatch and this story is my bait. Well, this story and the kid. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Another Three Parter

I. Baroness Von Munchhausen By Proxy

Donny was coughing a little bit when we picked him up from daycare on Friday. Nothing much but it was something he hasn't done before. Later that night, he felt kind of warm but I took his temperature and it was normal. Mike got home later that night and we decided to call the doctor on call for our doctor's office just to get some advice. The doctor didn't seem too concerned but, saying that we were first time parents, suggested we bring him to the emergency room. I'm thinking, quick exam, prescription and that's it.

Nope. Not by a long shot.

The ER nurse on call listened to Donovan's heart and pretty much put us on the fast track back to the emergency room, which we shared with a gentleman who was having complications from diabetes and his three female relatives, all of whom were certifiably slaphappy. We were in the ER for about 7 hours, during which time they took xrays, blood samples and an actual SPINAL TAP. That, my friends, was horrific. Donny cried so much he basically passed out, which was a small blessing, I suppose. The spinal tap was to rule out meningitis and the results would take 48 hours so that's how long he would have to stay in the hospital.

Did I mention Sunday was Mike's 4oth birthday?

II. Baroness Von Munchhausen Not By Proxy

The room they put us in only had one bed and no fold out couch like before. Mike and I decided that I would stay with the boy and he would go home and take care of the cats and get ready to pick up the rental car (long story). Donny slept really well and I guess I did too but, when I woke up, I had this cough. The Cough of The New Century. The Cough that makes me sound like Marlene Dietrich after she's been punched in the windpipe. But that comes later.

All of the tests came back negative so Donovan got sprung early on good behavior. We were able to go up to Mike's folks so Mike could have a birthday dinner. Donovan was his normal, super smiley self, only when he cried, he didn't make any noise.

III. Today and Tomorrow

My cough really bloomed into madness last night so I took off of work today. I won the Nobel Prize for Obviousness today for my realization that you can take a day off of work but you can't take a day off of motherhood. That meant I had to go fetch the boy from daycare before 6pm. Luckily, there is a bus that leaves the Herron Avenue Station and takes me right to Eastminster. When Miss Tekeela saw me she said, "Obviously your baby isn't here. Obviously, someone came and took him." As we went to look for him she told me, nicely, that I looked terrible. I explained I'd taken today and tomorrow off of work and she said, "That's good because Donovan had diarrhea today and he can't come in tomorrow. That's our policy."

So much for the unadulterated Sick Day sleep. Alas.

We found Donovan with Miss Chantal and, as I was loading him into his stroller, Miss Tekeela said, "We'll miss you tomorrow Donovan! You're our best baby!" I demurred on his behalf, saying "I bet you say that to all the babies." In total seriousness, Miss Tekeela clarified, "Let's get this straight right now: I do NOT say that to all the babies!"

My son The Overachiever.

Tomorrow he has a doctor's appointment to follow up from his hospital stay and then, if all goes well, he has his outpatient surgery for his cordee (sp?). And that's all I'll say about that. I feel like I'm betraying his confidence going online about his boy parts. Suffice it to say its outpatient surgery and everything should be fine.

Prayers and positive energy, however, will be graciously accepted.

Monday, October 1, 2007


I grew up a tomboy and, while I now own well over 40 tubes of lipstick (and I’m still searching for the perfect blue red) emotionally, I remain a tomboy. Nothing too sticky for me, thanks. No babytalk or cutesy shit. Love, yeah, but without the girly squealing.

So imagine my surprise to find that, after a pretty idyllic weekend with son and husband, I’m really disappointed to be back at work. I know that doesn’t qualify as babytalk but so much for being a hardass.

What can I say? Donny and I now officially have a game: he reaches his hand up to me and I “bite” his fingers and growl. This elicits the Donovan laugh, which is a simple “Ha!” and then we do it again. And again. And again.

And now I’m at work. Blah.