msLaura: Modern Mama Laura Hamilton + Dan Baker = Julian Hamilton Baker & Adrian Hamilton Baker "When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her."
- Adrienne Rich



These are some of the most recent photos from my photostream on Flickr. Click one of them!
the portable baby


recent posts
9 months old - mama/baby loneliness

Laid off, those bastards!

Black post-election depression

archive index

October 2009

September 2009

May 2009

March 2009

January 2009

December 2008

November 2008

October 2008

September 2008

August 2008

July 2008

June 2008

May 2008

April 2008

March 2008

February 2008

January 2008

December 2007

November 2007

October 2007

September 2007

August 2007

July 2007

June 2007

May 2007

April 2007

March 2007

February 2007

January 2007

December 2006

November 2006

October 2006

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005

January 2005

December 2004

November 2004

October 2004

September 2004

August 2004

July 2004

June 2004

May 2004

April 2004

March 2004

February 2004

January 2004

December 2003

November 2003

October 2003

September 2003

August 2003

July 2003

June 2003

August 2001

« October 2004 | Main | December 2004 »

November 17, 2004

9 months old - mama/baby loneliness

Julian's latest stats from his 9-month checkup:

  • Weight: 19 pounds, 11 ounces (40th percentile)

  • Height: 28.5 inches (50th percentile)

  • Head circumference: 46.25 centimeters (60th percentile)

So he has grown 2 inches taller, 1 lb. 8 oz. heavier and his head has grown by 1.25cm in the last three months. He used to be a very big baby for his age (95th percentile), now not as much. But not to worry, these figures are fairly arbitrary.

I am trying to make sure he eats more, mostly because in daycare he ate *sooooo* much and with me he doesn't seem interested. In the course of a single day at daycare with Madi he would eat two 4oz. jars of baby food, a whole banana, 10-20 organic Cheerios-type cereal O's, eight ounces of pumped breastmilk, and then I would come and nurse him at lunch, so add another 4-5 ounces of milk on top of that.

With me he will eat the cereal O's and maybe half a jar of food, a few bites of banana, maybe some avocado. He's just not interested. I'm trying to nurse him more, but he's not so interested in that during the day. I think I just have to do it more frequently. He's so busy lately that he just wants to eat on the go and then get back to his job, which is learning to crawl and pull up and explore as fast as possible. Oh, and he also makes up for it by nursing all freakin' night long. Which is OK. It makes sense. Just sometimes my back or hips hurt and I'd love to be able to stretch out and sleep in different positions besides the old side-nursing standby...curled up on my side with one arm outstretched above his head.

Still, this stage certainly won't last forever...someday he'll be independent and I'll be wishing that he still wanted to snuggle with me like this. It is incredible waking up to his sweet smiling little face first thing every morning. He's so full of love, and so happy to see me. He pats me and smiles like crazy, and talks to me until I wake up. When I open my eyes he acts like it's the greatest thing in the world. His mama is awake! Hooray! We go potty, and then we play in bed for a while, then it's time to go downstairs for breakfast and playtime and maybe a little Sesame Street every now and then.

The last week has been incredible. A week ago Julian did very slow, hesitant crawling (with lots of forward/backward rocking) and could *barely* pull himself up. This week he crawls quite fast, he sees an object and makes a beeline for it, leaving me to eat his dust. He can crawl while holding a toy in his hand. He can pull himself up on just about anything, and he stands with just one arm holding on. He can also sit back down by himself, which I think is great.

I wrote last week about how Julian holds onto the headboard of the bed while I crawl up to him and nibble his thigh, which makes him *squeeeeeeeal* with excitement, especially if I announce beforehand that I am coming over to eat him. Well, last night I was laying down watching him pull himself up on the headboard, sit down, pull up, sit down, pull up...and then as he was standing there he looked at me with a big grin on his face and reached down with one hand to pat his knee. Then he looked at me again, grinning, and patted his knee one more time. I couldn't figure out what he was doing, so *I* patted his knee the same way he had, and he squealed a little bit.

Aha! This funny baby wanted me to come and nibble his leg while he was standing up holding the headboard. "OK Mama...I'll stand up here and then YOU pretend to come and eat me and I'LL pretend to be really really scared!" Sure enough, I moved back a little bit and then came towards him saying, "I'm coming to eat up this delicious little standing-up baby! Grrrrrr! Give me a piece of that cute chubby thigh! Mmmmmmm!", and before I even got within a foot of him he was laughing and squealing like crazy, pretending to be scared. It was SOOOOOOO funny, we were both in hysterics. Not only is he a very funny baby, but also a very effective communicator!

He can also get out of his bouncy chair by himself. He leans forward, puts his feet down, holds on to the chair, and then plops himself down on the floor into a crawling position and takes off. We don't use the bouncy chair too much anymore, but when he is too tired to play, but not tired enough to sleep, it still works just great. He still loves to bounce himself, especially if a Baby Einstein video is playing.

I'm worried about TV. He doesn't watch TV every single day, but most days he watches half an hour of Sesame Street or a half-hour Baby Einstein video. He's really not supposed to watch any TV at all, but it gives me some breathing room, and when he is tired and crabby but not sleeping it relaxes him. I'm much more worried about him watching TV commercials than I am about him watching Baby Einstein or Sesame Street. He doesn't see too many of those, mostly just if the TV is on during the weekend, if Dan is watching football or something like that. But commercials....they have psychologists working to figure out how to best manipulate people into buying products, or thinking they need X to be socially accepted. Children's' commercials are even worse. How are little baby and kid brains supposed to compete with adult psychologists who are trying frantically to manipulate them? I think Tivo is a great product anyway, but if I can eliminate all the commercials when watching TV, then Tivo is definitely worth every penny. Something to look into.

In the latest work news, I got my job back. Yes, for the second time I managed to talk my way out of getting laid off. Not because I have a silver tongue or anything, but because in both cases I have been wrongfully let go, and management is apparently smoking crack instead of making logical decisions. When I was told the news face-to-face I launched into a diatribe about how our customers were going to sue Resumix when they found out they couldn't make changes to their job boards anymore. Big-time breach of contract. Not like they haven't been told that before, but I guess they just weren't listening.

Anyway, there were a lot more lies and BS flying around, so I contacted HR and told them what was up, how Yahoo! was risking a mass of customer lawsuits when all they had to do was keep me around for a while to take care of change requests. I mean, I only work part-time for cryin' out loud...I'm cheap! Our fabulous HR rep managed to get me my job back for at least the next six months, so I'm officially employed again. Well, I'm waiting for the reinstatement letter, but it's supposedly forthcoming. The best part is that there's almost no one in the office anymore, so no reason for me to ever show up. I'll just check my email every day, and if there's work to be done, I'll do it from home. I don't need to pay for daycare anymore, so I might actually have a little bit of spending money to get my hair colored and cut.

It's a bit weird not going to work anymore, I have to admit. I love being home with Julian, especially right now when he is changing and growing so unbelievably fast. But sometimes I don't talk to an adult all day. Even if Dan is home, he is very busy working. Julian only takes one nap now, so all the rest of the day I am playing with him, watching him, bathing him, feeding him, cooking/cleaning while trying to keep him entertained, or taking him and the dog for a walk. It is great, but at the same time it gets lonely. And it is so nonstop...I feel like I get nothing done. I do get a lot done when I think about it, I mean, we eat home-cooked meals most of the time, wear clean clothes, and the kitchen is usually clean, plus Julian is happy and healthy and not festering in his own waste or anything. It's just that I wish I could have something to show for myself at the end of the day besides a clean, tired, healthy baby, a walked dog and a mostly clean house. Look, I wove this basket today! You know, something tangible like that.

I feel like what I do is so unrecognized and so abstract, plus when people ask how I'm doing or what I'm up to, it just doesn't sound impressive to give the very long list of chores I did that day. It makes me sound like some kind of scullery maid. I'm pretty sure that I'm just looking at this the wrong way, but that's what it feels like. I could say, "I did these 125 chores today, and I also nurse the baby all night long, wake up several times a night to make sure he's warm and covered, and get up with him at 6:15am and start it all over again", but that doesn't get me any respect at all. If I wove a basket though, people would think that's an achievement. "Wow, cool! How long have you been basket-weaving?"

Plus, as I said, it gets lonely. I'm choring nonstop all day, and sometimes I just wish I could have a mom friend living next door, you have tea with, blow off some steam, watch the babies play. I do go to playgroup once a week, but lately it's all about the babies and the moms don't talk that much. What talking there is, I can't relate to. It's all about weaning, letting your baby cry it out at night, the struggle of changing poopy diapers. I'm not planning on weaning Julian anytime soon, I don't let him cry it out, and I don't change poopy diapers because he does 99% of his pooping in the toilet. Which just outlines how different my style is...the World Health Organization recommends 2 years minimum of breastfeeding, Julian sleeps with me in bed (not in a crib by himself) and then there's the whole potty training thing...which I feel like I'm slacking on lately, but then I realize that we almost never *have* any poopy diapers, and listening to everyone else we're WAY ahead of the game.

Oh well, big ups and downs. If I just had a bit more companionship on a regular basis, I think everything would be ducky. When I think about it, my life is pretty great, I just feel a bit isolated, that's all. I know plenty of like-minded moms online, but in the real world I don't know very many. Maybe I'll put an ad on Craig's List or something. There are a lot of things that I want to do with Julian, I just wish that we had another mom and baby pair to do them *with*.

OK, on that note I'm going to spend some time with Dan before going to bed.

November 10, 2004

Laid off, those bastards!

Well, apparently I was laid off yesterday, but no one bothered to inform me. Nice. I only found out when I tried to check my work email and my username/password was denied. Then John came over with news about some fellow employees who were *at* their desks when they came by with the pink slips. I called Peter and we dished about it for a while. Thank goodness he has another job lined up at Yahoo, now he just needs to get the OK to start.

So no more daycare for Julian. I have to go in and tell Madi today. She'll be sad. I get a few months severance pay, plus I have about four weeks of vacation accrued, and then it's unemployment after that. I'll use the money to buy groceries while I work on my PhotoJournal idea. Yahoo! dropped the ball on it after initially showing great interest. Well, screw Yahoo! My friend John Chang and I are going to see if we can pull it off on our own. At least we can build out the product enough to sell it to someone. I still think it's a fantastic idea. I already have the domain name... But don't click yet, it's not set up.

So today I'm just going to bring Julian into the office with me. He can crawl around while I pack up my boxes. If my cute baby helps add a little bit of guilt factor, that's fine. Not that I expect any guilt from these cold-blooded fools, but I might as well try. I'm also going to ask what will happen to all the customers who will be left in the lurch. I tend to think they might be a little inclined to sue, having spent a large amount of money on a good product that is now no longer supported by anyone.

It's heartbreaking. Just as we got a fantastic product out the door and started to turn things around, management just utterly failed. All the hours and days and nights of work put in tirelessly over the last two years by the engineers, the support people, ME...all for naught. It just feels horrible.

But I'm optimistic about my future. I'm smart and ambitious, and I'm excited about working on my own projects for a while. I'm just worried that with Julian out of daycare, I won't have time to get anything done. That boy had better be taking some long naps, that's all I have to say! ;-) No, but seriously, I just need to be more disciplined and not spend his naps emailing or surfing or cleaning house, and not watch movies with Dan at night when Julian is sleeping. There IS time available, but I just need to be careful how I use it, that's all.

Well, today is going to be a very busy day, so I had better get to it. More soon...

November 08, 2004

Black post-election depression

Time to snap out of my black post-election depression and get on with things. There's work to be done. Things are what they are. Doesn't help to sit around crying about oh, say...the possibility of 3 Bush-selected Supreme Court Justices. You just have to buck up and start fighting.

This kind of fight is a hard slog uphill. It's on the same scale as the battles in The Lord of the Rings. Basically, it's Good vs. Evil. Very heavy odds stacked against Good. But the good LOTR guys did win in the end, despite heavy losses and widespread devastation of the environment. I just hope there's a fairy-tale ending for Good in real life. It sure feels like Evil has the upper hand right now.

Cute babies work well to lighten the mood. Julian is such a crackup lately. He can crawl forwards and backwards now. Not very fast, but he can certainly get around. He is having a big mobility burst...crawling, scooting, pulling himself up on things. It's so much fun to watch him monkey around and explore things that he couldn't get to before.

He is fascinated by the cabinets underneath the TV. He makes a beeline for each cabinet, opens it up and starts taking out the videos that we keep inside. He examines each one carefully, then puts it aside and takes out the next.

The teething and cold combined made for a tough couple of weeks. Poor Baby J was not feeling good at all, and became correspondingly fussy and sleepless. When Baby's not happy, Mama's not happy. It goes both ways. If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy...but a miserable baby makes for a miserable mama. Poor J wasn't having any fun and he wasn't sleeping either. All he wanted to do was nurse, but his sore teeth also make him want to gnaw a little to relieve the discomfort. That gets old *fast*, believe me.

We all still have runny noses and coughs. This cold really sucks. It fades in and out. Just when you think you're getting better, you wake up the next morning with a sore throat and reach for a tissue. Julian's nose will be dry all day, then the next day it runs like a faucet. Damn cold just keeps hanging on.

Julian loves to pull himself up on the headboard of the bed and stand there. Then he runs his hand up and down the IKEA rattan, which makes an interesting percussive sound, almost like a washboard.

Last night I sat him on the bed over by the headboard so that he could pull himself up. Once he was standing I came slowly towards his leg and kissed and bit it, then pulled back again. Every time I came at him to bite his leg and kiss his belly he squealed his brains out in anticipation. He couldn't let go of the headboard, so he had to let me come and bite his thigh. Then he got more confident of his balance and used one hand to try to fend off the tickle brigade. That threw him off, he started doing a wobbly wiggle of pelvic thrusts while holding onto the headboard with one hand, and the other in the air like he was riding a mechanical bull. It was so funny it made me kiss his belly more until we both were laughing hysterically.

He is a funny little guy. He always gets physical jokes. Songs, peekaboo games, surprises...they crack him up. It's very funny when the teacher at school sings a song to him, it's funny when I toss a little soccer ball into his lap quickly over and over, it's funny when the dog runs into the room squeaking his toy. He also loves to look at other babies and kids. A photo of a smiling baby or small child will send him over the moon, he looks at it and smiles at it and can't get enough of it.

We're having such a good time (and he's changing so fast) that I don't see why I'm bothering to go to work. I don't have anything to do most the time when I'm there, and anything that does come up I can take care of from home on my laptop. Honestly, the only reason I go into the office at all is because I have to pay for daycare a minimum of 2 days/week to keep Julian's spot there. That and my respect for Peter. While he's my manager, I think it looks better for him if I show up on a regular basis. But once he's gone, there's no point. I may just give up Julian's spot in daycare, I don't know yet. I have to think about it. It would save me a lot of money. But it saves me a lot of anguish knowing that I can leave him with a teacher he knows AND where he has a good time playing with his friends. Once he leaves, his spot will be taken, and I don't have any other childcare options. It's a tough decision.

Dan and I bid on an incredible house in the neighborhood and didn't get it. The winners bid $50K over the asking price and offered cash. So we rode a wild roller coaster for a few days, imagining ourselves living in this fantastic house, then it was all over and our hopes were dashed. Kind of like the election.

But it got a fire lit under us to make our dreams happen and find a home for the long-term. Not that our townhouse isn't nice, it is. But there's no yard, and we've taken it as far as we can go. I have my eye on a cottage right in downtown Campbell (which is cute and funky and not overly gentrified yet) on an amazing *half acre* of land. You can walk to shops and restaurants, even Trader Joe's and Safeway! Also parks and trails nearby, and TRAIN TRACKS. I do love to hear a train go by...what a soulful sound. The house is almost abandoned right now and needs a lot of work, but has great historical character and excellent bones. It's small, but we could easily add on to it. There's a barn/garage out back that would make a great office/workshop/playroom and look great fixed up too. And there's a chicken coop! Good school' markets on Saturdays one block away. It potentially has everything we want. We just need to get them down on price so that we have some money to remodel. And we need somewhere to stay while fixing the place up enough to live in it.

Dinner, dinner...what to make for dinner. I am making some crappy dinners lately, that's for sure. I've got little money for groceries with my puny paycheck, but I do get my weekly organic veggie box. Unfortunately the veggie box has all the veggies that Dan hates right now...kale, chard, acorn squash and green beans. I also don't have a lot of time to make meals. We're eating very healthy, but it's very simple fare, and not quite up to our previous standards. Oh well.

Speaking of dinner, I guess I had better get a move on while Julian is sleeping. Ooops, spoke too soon, there he is chirping like a baby bird from the other room....

be notified of updates

subscribe to my RSS feed

short updates

    follow me on Twitter

    recent videos

    Creative Commons License
    This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.