My scandalous malady

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:48 pm

Hey guys, guess what. I think I have De Quervain’s syndrome. This is much less exciting than it sounds. Really it just means my thumb and wrist hurt from picking up a baby a lot. It sounds exotic to have it be a syndrome, though.

You can have surgery for it, or else you can just wait for it to go away. It has no long-term effect, and there is no problem with ignoring it. If you want, you can wear a wrist brace (which is what I’m doing).

There’s this test described on the wikipedia entry linked to above: you make a fist, tuck your thumb in, and bend your wrist sideways (like, moving your pinkie toward the base of your wrist). If it hurts, you might have De Quervain’s Syndrome.

I should really stop doing it, because…it hurts. I can’t stop.


My morning so far

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:49 am

2:30 a.m.: Wake up, feed the baby. Note that baby has escaped swaddle, but don’t want to wake Denny, so ignore it and hope for the best.

3:30 a.m.: Wake up; baby is making noises and thrashing around in his terrible, terrible freedom. Roll over and hope the problem fixes itself. Problem does not fix itself. Hold baby for a while. Know that it is too soon to feed, but lacking any other ideas that don’t involve waking Denny, give baby a snack.

4:30 a.m.: Wake up; baby is grumping. Again, ignore and hope baby goes back to sleep. Baby makes audible noise that indicates a diaper change is necessary (hint: this noise does not come out of baby’s mouth). Get up, change diaper. While baby is still on changing table, baby makes same noise. Change diaper again. While snapping up baby’s outfit, baby makes same noise for a third time. Laugh a little, cry a little, change diaper again. Remove baby from changing table and out of view of his favorite mobile. Baby shouts actively. Decide the 3:30 snack didn’t count and the baby might be hungry. Feed baby. Baby is still grumpy and flailing. Wake Denny, who swaddles baby and carries him around for a few minutes. Put baby in bed with us.

9:00 a.m.: Wake up to a wiggly (but happy) baby. Rejoice in the fact that four+ hours of sleep have been acquired (minus a couple of non-baby wakeups surrounding Denny’s work preparation). Feed baby. Change baby’s diaper. Grab laptop and try to do some work while baby enjoys mobile/changing table. Hear the noise AGAIN. This time, have the good sense to wait until three such noises have been heard before changing the diaper.

And here we are.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:47 am

I was just thinking about the song MentirosaIn general I enjoy bilingual music (I will even confess some affection for Rico Suave), and I do like this song, but I just realized that it contains perhaps the worst rhyme in the history of hip-hop.

Él quería tu dirección, yeah, just your address
y antes que colgaste I heard you say “I’ll wear a dress.”

What?  He rhymed “address” with “a dress.”  It’s the same sounds.  He is silly.

I still like it, though.  Emborrachada de Bacardi, yo.



Happy(ish) birthday

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:32 pm

Hi.  It’s my birthday.

I woke up this morning snuggled up with my husband and son, which seems like a pretty good way to start a birthday.

Things went rapidly downhill; Denny and I got automated alerts through the Hawk Alert system that a shooter was at large in Iowa City.  Of course what I thought of immediately was the recent campus shootings, like Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois, and the Gang Lu massacre from here at the University of Iowa.  It was very scary at first, because there were no details for what felt like a long time.  Our office got locked down, as did the schools in the area.  Soon the story became public; it wasn’t a lunatic opening fire on campus.  Rather, it was a recently-disgraced local businessman who killed his wife and four kids in their home about a mile from my house.  He then (it seems—none of this is confirmed yet) crashed his van on the interstate and died.

It’s all just horrifying.  A couple of my friends and friend-of-friends knew the family.

Eventually I felt okay enough to send Denny off to work, but it took a while.

It’s hard to imagine how a person could become desperate enough to do something that awful.  Normally I avoid the phrase “there are no words to describe…” because, you know, that’s the purpose of words.  But words like horrifying and awful just seem too weak under the circumstances.  I don’t know what kind of mental illness would lead someone to destroy his family, but in some ways that’s even worse than a random killing spree.  If you can’t trust your daddy, what do you have in life?

Denny reassured me that he would never do such a thing.  I already knew that, but it was good to hear.

Hug your families, and if you ever feel the need to commit a murder/suicide, do the suicide part first.


We survived

Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:05 am

Miles, Denny and I survived the shots.  Denny told me I could wait out in the hall if I wanted, but I was very brave and stayed in the room (with my fingers in my ears).  Miles was none too crazy about it, but he calmed down after some snuggles and nursing.  He was fussy last night, but eventually he got a grip and slept hard.

Luckily, Mubby and Skittergramps and Uncle Tyler came over to give him some extra snuggles.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:19 pm

Miles has his shots tomorrow afternoon. I’m going to have to work very hard not to pass on my debilitating fear of injections. It’s not needles; I don’t mind having blood drawn (much).  Just the intramuscular squirt that makes me swoon. It’s weird, because objectively speaking, it hurts about a million times less than, say, childbirth, and probably even less than a sound toe-stubbing. It’s a psychological hangup and I would really rather Miles didn’t get it from me.

I think this is a case where progress and animal instinct conflict. I know intellectually that getting Miles his shots will help protect from a variety of bad things I don’t want him to get, but speaking from a mama bear perspective, it feels completely wrong to take him into a small room and not only allow but facilitate a person stabbing him with sharp objects. It hasn’t been very long in the human evolutionary process that such a thing could be construed as positive.


Winding down

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:40 pm

This is my last week before I start working again.

I’ll just be working part-time, and from home no less, but still. I’m kind of looking forward to it in a way. It will be nice to have some actual goals that go beyond eating lunch and avoiding poop on my clothes. I only accomplished one of those two today. I’ll let you guess which one.

I got this shot yesterday afternoon. I like it.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:41 pm

Here’s a video of Miles enjoying his Wee Gallery mobile. Warning: it’s pretty much just 3 minutes of a baby being cute. There’s no intrigue.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:06 pm

I am sick. Blargh blargh blargh.

Fortunately, it is just a head/chest cold, and not the übergross gastrointestinal situation that’s been going around within some people with whom I’ve been in contact lately.

Miles seems fine so far. He’s been a little crabby, but nothing out of the ordinary. Denny stayed home from work today to take care of him and give me a reprieve. This is good, because Miles likes to be sung to loudly, and I can only offer very low-volume versions of “Baby, Don’t You Cry” and “Los Pollitos Dicen” at the moment.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:38 pm

Miles was supposed to have his 2-month shots today, but the doctors’ office called and rescheduled for next week.

He’s being very smiley right now.  It’s as if he knows.


Monthly Miles Memo #2

Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:31 am

Monthly Miles Memo #2

Dear Miles,

You are two months old today. Your daddy is going to turn 31 tomorrow, and I’ll do the same later this month, but your accomplishments of the last month seem a lot more exciting than anything we’ve done lately. You’re sleeping right now with your head on my chest, all strapped into your Baby Bjorn. That thing is a freaking godsend (special thanks to honorary Auntie Em for that one). Yesterday I got most of a birthday meal prepared for your dad while you hung out in the Bjorn. I’m not sure if you like the smell of garlic and rosemary, but you were reasonably well-behaved, so it can’t have been too awful.

I’m sorry to say that you haven’t always been terribly well-behaved this month. I know it’s not your fault. I’ve asked you time and again to just tell me what you want–I’d accept English, Spanish, Italian, or very rudimentary American Sign Language (well, pretty much just finger-spelling, and pretty much just the letters in my name that I learned in fifth grade, or possibly anything that came up in the Happy Hands Club scenes in Napoleon Dynamite). Still, wailing is your primary means of communication. Sometimes I cry too. It makes me so sad when you’re obviously desperately unhappy and I can’t figure out what to do to fix it. Is this what it’s going to be like the first time you don’t make a team or don’t get a part in the school play? I wish I could put a giant Band-aid all over you, and that Band-aid would have anesthetic properties that would keep you safe and happy forever.

Your dad has actually mastered something similar: he can swaddle you like compact little eggroll. It doesn’t look comfortable, and you do sort of thrash violently for a while after he wraps you up, but after a couple of moments you visibly relax. He sings songs softly into your ear and rocks you in his arms, and if you’re not asleep by the time he finishes, at least you’re in a good mood.

What I’ll remember most about this second month of your life is your tiny pink tongue. You discovered it a few weeks ago, and you love to stick it out. Sometimes I stick mine back out at you, in an attempt to get some kind of game going, but I think I’m imitating you more than you’re imitating me. There’s a certain beauty in that: two-month-old Miles isn’t trying to be anyone except who he is. You do what feels right: you sticks out his tongue when you wants to, you let giant farts when you want to, and you wail until your face is as red as all those developmental toys that are supposed to be good for your infantile vision.

You really do enjoy looking around now. Over the last month, you’ve become a lot more connected to your environment. During your first month of life, diaper changes and baths (really anything involving nudity) were occasions of great horror for you. And given the giant quantities of crap you can produce, there was a lot of screaming coming out of your bedroom. Really it’s reassuring that you excrete so much. When I feed you, I have no way of knowing whether you’re actually eating anything. As far as I can tell, you just consider my nipple another pacifier. But I take a certain pride in the solid and liquid waste that squirt out of you: my baby poops because I’m doing a good job feeding him.

Best of all, I bought you a mobile that hangs above your changing table, and you love it. Sometimes I even linger over diaper changes and let you hang out there for a few extra minutes because you’re so interested in your high-contrast, black and white animal friends. You smile and coo at them, just as much as you do at me, which I would find a little insulting except for one thing: do they make you poop and pee? I didn’t think so. Nobody can make you crap like your mama.

We also found a better way to give you baths, too. You had an infant bathtub that we were using in the kitchen, and holy hell did you hate it. I’m not sure you actually got very clean during any of those baths, because your dad and I were trying to get a little soap and water onto you as fast as we could before our blood pressure got so high from listening to you scream that our head-veins squirted blood all over the kitchen. What’s more, your dad disapproves of the design of the tub. It has a little raised part that goes between your legs to keep you from sliding down, and he thought it was squishing your little genital area too much. I can’t personally imagine what it would be like to be cold, wet, and naked with a squished scrotum, but I guess I understand why you hated baths so much.

Hence the invention of the Snuggle Bath. When we take a Snuggle Bath, I fill up the bathtub with four inches of water or so, get in, put a towel over my legs, and put you on top of the towel. I usually run the shower first with the door closed, so the room is nice and warm, and as you sit on my legs, I baste you frequently with warm tub water. That makes it a thousand times easier to soap you up and rinse you off, and your man-parts are safe. In fact, one time you felt so relaxed and secure that you released a big stream of pee all over my belly. It wasn’t the first time you ever peed on me, though, and at least this time I was in the bathtub where soap and water were abundant.

Everyone keeps telling me that month three is when the magic happens: it’s when you’ll sleep more and cry less (you’re getting better at the sleeping thing, but there’s still room for improvement), and apparently your personality will really blossom around the three month mark. Maybe next month’s letter will be a real doozy. Still, I think two months is pretty great. As I looked down at you just now, I noticed that your little mouth is making sucking motions in your sleep. A two-month-old can’t possibly have much to dream about yet, so I’m glad one of the things on your mind is the way I nourish you. Maybe next you’ll dream about pooping.

Stay little, okay? I love you this way.



A weekend of adventure

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:51 am

This is an exciting day in the AC/DC-MC2 household. Later this morning, Miles gets to meet his cousins Maxwell and Meredith, and in the evening, he’ll see the co-presidents of his fan club, Mubby and Skittergramps. We have two showers in central Iowa at which Miles will be honored this weekend: one in Des Moines on Saturday with the Crall family, and one in Ames on Sunday with Mubby’s friends. Miles shall be passed around mightily, hopefully by people who’ve washed their hands.

Also: if you’re considering the olive oil method of cradle cap treatment, don’t bother. In my experience, it results in a screaming child and a slightly worse-looking scalp. Oh well. It’s harmless and a pretty mild case, and Miles doesn’t mind it at all, so we’ll just deal with it (or put a hat on him).


Leap year

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:42 pm

I was just thinking how awesome it is that Miles was born on a leap year, because it means he gets to be my baby an extra day.

In other news, he enjoys doing the samba.


He cracks me up

Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:19 pm

I’m pessimistic about it.

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:56 am

Challenge of the day:

Remove a fleece jacket without disrupting the baby sleeping in the Baby Bjorn worn on top of said jacket.

Details when I get the nerve to try.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:12 pm

Denny and I were watching Lost last night on Tivo, since it was the first chance we’d gotten since it aired last week.  This post contains spoilers about last week’s episode, so skip it if you need to.

So we were sitting there watching, pausing occasionally to try to chill Miles out of a freakout, and I said to him, “Are you having a flashback like Desmond?  Are you actually living ten years in the future and feeling frustrated because there’s something important you need to tell us, only 2008 Miles can’t talk yet and it’s driving you crazy?  If that’s the case, give one sharp yelp.”

He made a noise that sounded like gaaaaaaah.  Denny and I decided it was noncommittal.

This morning, as the first-Monday-of-the-month emergency siren test went off, it crossed my mind that maybe it wasn’t just a test, and FutureMiles had been trying to warn us last night.  However, 2008 Miles was snoozing so comfortably on my shoulder that I couldn’t bear to go investigate.  I decided if I had to go, cuddled up with my baby was a pretty good way.

It was just a test.

As far as I know.

Maybe there really was some disaster and Miles and I got sent to an alternate universe that is exactly like what the world would have been like if the disaster hadn’t take place.

Powered by WordPress