29 April 2007

The Most Perfect Weekend...Part II

So I thought that last weekend was about as good as it gets-- perfect weather, a low stress visit with the families, and lots of chocolate black out cake from our favorite local bakery. Then this weekend happened....

Let me start by saying that Friday had me kind of worried. Shots for Little Man, fussy baby, and a mild panic attack from a job search information session I went to. You see, I found out that only 40% of students in my department get a tenure track job the first time out. Oh-- and that number is
elevated because of the writing studies people who apparently always get jobs. And when I heard this--maybe I had heard it before but blocked it out, who knows--I actually got a bit light headed and panicky. It just seems like it should be a higher percentage, considering how "good" this department is supposed to be. The place I did my MA had a higher percentage, and they rank lower....

Anyway, the panic attack isn't really my point. My point is that this was a perfect weekend. Because after one has a mild panic attack, everything starts looking better. Because the weather was perfect. Because we got to do silly little family things that I pictured we'd be doing when we had a baby. What they don't tell you is that you have to wait a whole year to do most of the really fun stuff.

So in the last 48 hours, Little Man went to Shrimp swim class (still terrified of the water), met all the students I'm going to have this summer, saw some horses, cats, owls, dogs and ferrets at something called Petstravaganza (he called all of them "kitty"), rode on the carousel at the mall twice, sat next to the local news anchor in church and didn't act up once in the whole hour, had a picnic, swung on his new swing (courtesy of Uncle D and the Grandads--but mostly Uncle D), and ...here's my favorite part....started really walking. Not just the step step step and then throw yourself into mama's arms walking, but walking with a purpose-- 10 steps or more at a time. He can even change direction.

And did I mention that the weather was perfect?

So it all started with a panic attack on Friday, but there's nothing like first steps to put it all into perspective.

But damn I want a job someday....

26 April 2007

Quick Shout Outs

1. Happy Birthdy Little Man!
2. Congrats on Landing the Cali job to Baby Bro.
3. Fingers are crossed for the Canton Job to Middle Bro.

Ok- now I'm gonna go eat a cupcake.

18 April 2007

How to Install a Kitchen Sink

Save Money-- do your own home improvements!!
Just follow these easy steps and you'll be slurping up the water from a fresh sink in no time.

1. Watch chirpy blonde lady on internet video install a sink in 7 minutes. Have her assure you that it is about a 1 hour project. Figure on double, no, triple the time.
2. Armed with the knowledge that if chirpy blonde lady can do it, you can too, take trip to local home improvement store.
3. Once at the store, marvel at the many selections. Pick out beautiful black granite sink and shiny new chrome faucet, all while trying to entertain bored and squirmy 11 month old.
4. Forget to buy the p-trap, drain hook-ups, plumber's putty, or anythink else you actually need to install said sink.
5. Remove old sink. Be sure to start the project the day before you leave for a weekend trip. You have plenty of time for this small project. Give up trying to remove the disposal. Be mostly grossed out by what has been sitting in your pipes.
6. Drill hole in new sink for the sprayer attachment that came with the faucet. Feel the pride that comes from a job well done. Bask in that pride...it's not gonna last.
7. ** Place new sink into old hole. Smile in approval at how nice it looks in the new counter top. Wrinkle your brow in dismay when you realize that there's no way the pipes are going to fit. Curse chirpy blonde for leading you astray.
8. Call plumber.
9. Call 7 or 8 more plumbers until you find one that can, indeed, come today to put in your sink. Curse chirpy blonde once more.
10. Wait for plumber. When he arrives, he'll tell you that your mid-80s ranch was not plumbed for this particular type of sink. In fact, he'll tell you that the only way this beautiful granite sink with the deep off-set bowls is ever going to work in your kitchen is if he tears out the dishwasher and some cabinets, cuts into the wall, and moves the plumbing down--a job that will run at least $500.
11. Thank plumber for his time. Write him a check for his time.
12. Bang head against wall.
13. Go to different home improvement store to buy yet another sink. Wilt a little when you realize only the stainless steel sinks will work. There will be no black granite in your future.
14. Buy second sink. Also buy a coke, because by now the main water valve in the house has been off all day and you are dying of thirst.
15. Take sink home and vow that you will conquer.
16. **Try to fit sink into old hole. Curse chirpy blonde when it will not fit.
17. Get creative. Pull out the old hammer and bend the part that is just a fraction of a fraction of a millimeter too wide.
18. Shout joyously when you finally force the *%#?@ thing into the hole.
19.** Proceed with plumbing. Attach the drains openings to the bowls. Hook up P-trap # 1. Victory!!
20. ** Open the disposal you just bought and realize that it isn't wired yet. Learn how to wire an appliance fast.
21. Attach disposal. Victory!!
22. Begin to attach final drain. Realize that you are about 1/2 off and need another part.
23. Stop what you are doing. You need to pack. You need to eat. You need to get on a plane in less than 12 hours.
24. Go on trip. Have fabulous time. Worry that your house is filling either with water or sewer gass while you're gone. (tell no one about this worry--especially not the husband/partner/cat)
25. Return from trip and go back to visit your new friends at the hardware store. Ahhh....so good to have friends.
26. Get home and realize part that they gave you won't work.
27. Return to hardware store to buy a different part.
28. See 26
29. Give up.
30. Call nice plumber back again.
31. Wait for plumber to arrive.
32. Watch plumber use the parts you already had to install the rest of the sink.
33. Pay plumber yet again.
34. Enjoy Sink.
35. Have husband return home and ask if it wouldn't be better if the disposal was on the other side.
36. Fight urge to kill him.

So there you have it. 2 sinks, 2 plumbers 15 (literally) trips to the hardware store, 4 broken nails, 1 sore back, and a whole lot of shot nerves later, you too can save money and feel the pride of doing your own home improvements!

** stop what you are doing. Realize that you are missing a part. Run over to the very very local hardware store. Try not to be too embarrassed when even the next shift who has never met you knows who you are and what you are up to.

17 April 2007

Little Man Travels

We just returned from four days in New York--two in Poughkeepsie to see my baby brother graduate and then two in the city. People thought we were nuts for taking a baby into the city, but Little Man was perfect--even through the dinner at the fancy-shmancy steakhouse that didn't have either high chairs or a booster seat.

We visited some friends that we met here, but left the fair prairie for the city when one of them got a too-good-to-refuse job offer. As we caught up with them, and it was so good to catch up with them, I came to the realization that we are now that couple that brings every conversation back to the topic of Little Man and what it is like to live with him. Yup. We've turned into the couple that starts into a fairly lively discussion about Hilary, Obama, or Edwards and ends with stories about labor. How that happens, I have not a clue.

Luckily, our city friends seemed ok with it. Perhaps they were just being polite. Perhaps they are thinking about maybe taking the old plunge into parenthood themselves and were genuinely interested. Perhaps they were tuning us out and mentally making plans to never procreate in the future.

Who knows. What I do know is that realizing that I am part of that couple makes me feel very ambivalent. On one hand, I don't want to be that couple, but on the other, why wouldn't I want to talk about the most perfect kid in the world?

More NY stories to come...

04 April 2007

One less hole in the head

Last night, as I always do, I crept into Little Man's room to make sure he was sleeping ok before I went to bed byself. I ran my hand over his downy little head, and suddenly I realized that something was different. That space in the middle of an infants skull--the soft spot--was gone. I had just felt the last little indent of it about a week ago, but last night, try as I might, there was no little divit to be found.

This may seem like not a big deal, but for someone who watched eyelashes grow from bald eyelids in his first few months on the outside, these sort of changes are the only way I can track his otherwise mysterious and magical development. Sometime since last Thursday, his little skull miraculously finished itself. And with the disappearance of that spot, he enters a new stage.

Toddlerhood came more quickly than I ever expected.