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



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the portable baby


recent posts
12 month stats

Baby free! what?

Letter to Julian on his 1st birthday

If it beeps, fuhgeddaboutit

They are?

Funk extraction mode

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February 28, 2005

12 month stats

Quick update, because I *really* want to use my baby-free time to take a good long shower today. Hey, I might even go for a run first. Maybe.

Julian had a little reaction to his MMR vaccine...feverish on and off for the past few days and a measle-y rash around his neck today. Either that or it's a feverish-on-and-off-and-measle-y-rash *virus* that's going around, says his pediatrician. Hmmm. I'm definitely not a vaccine alarmist, I think the benefits definitely outweigh the risks, but I'd like for the doctor to at least admit that it could be a reaction. I don't really care if it is, I's better than getting either measles, mumps or rubella. But the fact that they brush it off completely annoys me.

By the way, announcing JULIAN'S LATEST STATS from his 12-month checkup!

  • Weight: 21 pounds, 14 ounces (40th percentile)

  • Height: 29.5 inches (40th percentile)

  • Head circumference: 48 centimeters (75th percentile)

Ugh, I had a milion things fascinating new to write about and now I can't remember what they are. Dammit! I need to make little notes to myself or something.

I'm going to try going diaper-free full-time with Julian pretty soon. We'll see how it goes. Oh, and he has THREE teeth coming in. His first-year molar, and both his canines. "What are these?", you ask? The link will show you. He's pretty far ahead of the curve as far as getting teeth. Time to start brushing more often. He likes to use my Sonicare toothbrush.

Julian continutes to amaze me with his rapid development. The other day he was crawling around in the garage while I cleaned and organized. There were little scraps of styrofoam packing peanuts on the floor, which Julian likes to put in his mouth and roll around. Not what I wanted him to do, so I started picking them up. He started grabbing pieces and putting them in his mouth, but then I showed him that I was collecting them and putting them in my hand, and would he help me out? Sure enough, he started picking up the styrofoam and putting it very purposefully into my outstretched hand. He's really such a good helper.

Other developments...he can now throw and retrieve a tennis ball, and loves to play with a willing partner. He does the cutest throw...kind of an exaggerated limp-wristed girl-throw (a term I HATE to use, but effective) and then he does a chimpanzee pant-hoot thing afterwards each and frantically makes the hand sign for "MILK", which is a grasping motion like milking a cow. I have no idea why he makes the milk sign after throwing a ball. That's one of the Mysteries of Julian. But it's very amusing. I'll have to try to catch it on film before it disappears.

We had a really fun day on February 16th. Julian's baby friends came over with their moms and everyone played outside with Julian's new Sand and Water Kingdom and his other water toys. It was cloudy but warm and balmy. All the boys ended up soaking wet and running around naked in their diapers within the first 30 minutes, it was too funny. Strangely enough, the girls were timid and hung back, watching the boys play with the water and sand and run around like lunatics while the girls hung around and clung to their moms. It was lame. I felt like telling them, "Get up there and have some FUN, girls! Why are you hanging back? That's no way to start life!" Aren't girls supposed to be more advanced than boys at this age? So what the hell?

Julian had *so* much fun as host that he passed out right after his bath and only briefly stirred a few times during the night before finally waking up at the incredibly late hour of 8:30am! This was a shared phenomenon for the boys at the party, I found out later. Their moms promised to bring them around every single day from then on. ;-)

I have cute pics from the outdoor party, but don't feel like posting them right now. Bah, I'm not in the mood to write either. I really want to go outside. It's the first day in weeks that it hasn't been raining, cold or cloudy.

February 15, 2005

Baby free! what?

Last night was our first baby-free evening since Julian was born. It was good, but we literally didn't know what to do with ourselves. I mean, we had dinner with Lisa and Ray at a nice California-style Vietnamese place called Anise Cafe, and that was tasty. Then afterwards we were all kind of tired, but hey...I'll be godddamned if I go home at 9:00pm on my first baby-free evening that ALSO happens to be Valentine's Day, OK? So we wracked our brains for someplace to go, because I don't even know what babyless people do in the evenings anymore, and anything past 7:00pm feels kind of late.

Dan wanted to go for ice cream, but we just *had* ice cream at the restaurant, so that was kind of overkill, although normally I'm up for double helpings of ice cream. Ummm, walk around Santana Row? Lisa just recently hurt her ankle though. OK, how about going for a drink at the V Bar? I don't know if it's cool or not, I just know that people stand in line for it sometimes. And it's a place that I would not take Julian. That last factor fit the criteria, because we needed to go someplace that we would not ordinarily go with a baby. You know, whether we actually WANTED to go there or not.

Well, it kind of sucked. The bartender didn't know how to make any drinks, she was a complete idiot. Lisa and I ordered chocolate martinis and when the drink came it was a glass full of vodka with Hershey's chocolate SYRUP in it! I kid you not. Now there are a few ways to make a chocolate martini, but vodka and Hershey's syrup is not one of them. It wasn't even mixed...the side of my glass was all goopy with the unmixed syrup. It just made me think, I could be at home having a GOOD drink right now.

I couldn't stop talking about Julian either, though I tried not to. Darn cute baby.

Finally it seemed really late and I asked Dan what time it was. He said "10:10" and I almost crapped my pants imagining the now over-tired baby screaming his head off while Grandma Ida gritted her teeth and swore to never watch him again...but thankfully it wasn't so. Dan called to check in and everything was fine, Julian was having a blast going up and down the steps, nothing to worry about. His bad parents have been putting him to bed so late recently, I guess he's kind of used to staying up. By the time we got there, retrieved him, drove home, and I brushed my teeth and washed my face it was 11:30pm though, and that IS really horribly late for a baby to go to bed, even a big one-year-old boy baby. I mean, that's late for ME to go to bed.

Julian slept late this morning though, had a nice two hour nap at midday, slept on Ashley's lap a little bit this afternoon, and then went to bed tonight at 7:30 pm, so he's making up for it and I don't feel so bad. Need to get back on a decent bedtime schedule though. Not just him, but all of us. We've been burning the candle at both ends lately.

Everyone seems to be having tremendous marital strife lately, and Dan and I have had our share too. We were doing well with the diplomatic self-therapy approach, but then we yelled at each other a couple of times. I yelled that he wasn't helping me enough and he treated me like dirt, selfish bastard, and he yelled that I expected him to be perfect and hey, fuck *this*...and he stomped off to walk the dog and then later I stomped off to go to the hardware store. But then we kissed and made up. Because we really do love each other and don't like fighting. But at least we get it over with and out in the open without too much trauma now. I remember when I used to just give the silent treatment for days on end (which is evil) and Dan would just yell and go nuts like a crazy man (which is evil too), and we've come a long, long, way from those bad old days.

On Julian's birthday I congratulated us for surviving the hardest year of marriage, which is supposedly the first year after having a baby. I don't know that it was the hardest, but it definitely brought about the most change in our relationship.

Anyway, today I was thinking that we DO need some baby-free time together, but just going out for dinner and drinks is kinda lame. Going out for dinner and DANCE lessons though...THAT would be cool. Because we definitely can't take the baby to a dance lesson, and we've always wanted to do it, and hey, it involves physical contact with one another, which is always welcome, and it might even keep us from turning into a couple of rigid old fogies who can't keep a beat. And THAT would be a shame now that Julian is turning into Baby John Travolta.

God, what a crackup. I was dancing with Baby J tonight (is he now officially Toddler J?) to some good beats on satellite radio (which is the BOMB, by the way) and he raised one hand in the air and waved it around while he held onto the coffee table and boogied HARD, bouncing up and down and bending and unbending his knees. It was absolutely the funniest ever. He was copying my dance moves and waving his arms around like a maniac. Oh, and he would point at me and jab his index finger around...he was pointing me out on the dance floor! I touched his finger with mine and he laughed like crazy every time I did, and then danced even harder. I really, really love my boy.

And did I mention that he totally gives a hand sign when he has to poop? Not pee, just poop, but still, that's really cool. It looks like he's doing jazz hands or something, he spreads his palms wide open and then flips them up and down. But it definitely means poop. So far he has mostly done it after or during the deed, but sometimes before.

February 13, 2005

Letter to Julian on his 1st birthday

My Dearest Julian,

Today is your first birthday. I can hardly believe it, the time has absolutely flown by.

Well, in some ways it feels like an eternity. I don't really remember anymore what life was like without you. Before you were born, I couldn't imagine what it would be like to have a baby. Now I can't imagine what it would be like to NOT have a baby, you are so ingrained in my every thought and action.

Wow, a whole year. A year ago at this time I was holding your tiny precious body in the hospital room, and I couldn't put you down. I couldn't stop staring into your alert beautiful eyes, examining your face and your toes and your hands and your smiling rosebud of a mouth. *This* is what has been in my belly for the past 10 months? Remarkable. So glad to finally meet you!

You were such a good nurser from the very beginning. I was freaking out because your birth was so hard and so traumatic. After you came out I couldn't swallow, I couldn't feel anything from my chin on down. I was so looking forward to a peaceful birth, and being able to bond with you right away, and then it just didn't work out that way. I had to look at you on your Daddy's lap until the anesthesia wore off. I cried my eyes out because I couldn't use my arms and I couldn't feel my legs and there was my baby right THERE and I was just a useless lump of flesh.

When I could feel my arms tingling a little bit I called the nurse over...please help me! She put you in my arms, helped guide you to my breast and you just latched on like you had been doing it all along. "He's doing it perfectly," she said, and I was so happy I thought I would die. I held you and held you and held you, all day and all night long. I didn't even put you in the bassinet to sleep, I wanted you right there next to me, skin to skin. That was the way you wanted it too...every time the nurses put you in your bassinet to change your diaper, you cried your eyes out. That little goat cry. Meeehhhhhh!!! I couldn't wait to get you back.

It was hard in the early days, not because you weren't wonderful, but because I wasn't used to taking care of something so small and fragile and helpless. It has been hard to be a mama sometimes since then, but it gets easier every day. I made the decision to try to show you the very best in myself, to be patient and loving with you, to always be there for you day and night. I'll be honest, sometimes I just wanted five minutes to myself. Sometimes my back hurt from holding you. Sometimes I really wanted to sleep by myself. Sometimes I got really tired of nursing you non-stop. But I always thought, this will pass so quickly. And it did!

It's a year later, and you don't need me quite as much as before. You are a strong, happy, secure, confident boy. You play and explore happily on your own. You have an incredible sense of humor and crack us up with your witty ways. You are so smart and so physically agile! You watch Daddy or me do something once and then jump right in and try to do it yourself. You love people and are not afraid of them. You love your dog. You are very strong, but gentle. You never hit your playmates, even when they are not so nice to you. I feel like you were born with the gift of a sweet loving nature, and my job is basically to keep it intact and help guide it along without altering or disturbing it. I'm so proud to be your mama!

The other day I woke up before you did. As I was looking at you, you sleepily opened up one eye, then the other, then a HUGE grin spread across your face and you started clapping with joy. My little love. I can't wait to see what life brings as you get older. But don't grow up too fast. You're so much fun to be with, and I don't want to miss any of it.

Daddy and I love you very much, with all our hearts. Stay sweet, little boy. I promise that we will always be there for you, no matter what.



February 07, 2005

If it beeps, fuhgeddaboutit

OK, so in the last few minutes that Ashley was here, she tried to take Julian potty, bless her heart. I mentioned what I was doing with him as far as potty training, and asked if she would be receptive to helping him go potty at some point, probably this spring/summer when the weather warmed up and he wasn't wearing so many clothes. She thought it was cool (yay!) and said she'd be up for it.

So today I looked in the bathroom and there she was taking J's pants and diaper off and looking kind of stumped. She said that Julian was grabbing for the toilet, so she was going to help him go potty, but wasn't sure how. I showed her how I sit on the toilet backwards and hold him, but I will probably have her sit him on his red Baby Bjorn potty, because the toilet hold is kind of tricky.

He was too excited and kept looking at her, then Dan came in as well too join the fun, so the whole crowd scene was a bit too much for Baby J. He didn't pee and fussed to get off the toilet. We said goodbye to Ashley and went into the bedroom to put on a diaper, and then while J was sitting on my lap waiting for me to get the diaper on, he peed on my leg a little bit. So he DID have to pee!

Oh, so if you're reading this and want to get Julian something for his first birthday next Sunday...he needs size 12-18 month clothes, especially pants and long-sleeved shirts. His pants are all too short. He also needs more board books...he LOVE the ones he has and I'd like to expand his library a little bit. I made a Wish List on Amazon where you can see titles of books that he would like, and even order them directly. Used copies are fine, they don't have to be new.

Please, no plastic electronic toys. He likes them OK, but they drive me nuts and eat up all our batteries.

OK, must make dinner now and spend some time with dear husband while darling baby is sleeping.

They are?

Everything is going just swimmingly. No more funky bad mood for me. Julian is loads of fun and developing like lightning. His birthday is next Sunday the 13th. Dan and I are getting along just fine. The weather has been sunny and beautiful, well...except for today. We are making good progress on getting the house in order, only a few boxes left to unpack. And my bamboo is being installed tomorrow!

Today is the first day for Julian's babysitter Ashley. So far it's great, Julian's attitude seems to be, "Wow, thanks for getting me my very own girl to play with!" He is out there talking up a storm to her, showing her his toys, etc. Ahhh, I finally have time to update my journal, and if I still have time I'm going to take a nice long hot shower and shave my legs. Maybe I'll even get a chance to put moisturizer on my poor dry scaly body! Woohoo!

No more crawling all over at night for our boy. Maybe he has just been extra tired lately, but now once he lays down, he's DOWN. So I suppose that was just a phase. Just when some behavior freaks me out and I think it will last forever, then it goes away.

Julian is just tons of fun right now. I'm having a ball with him and I'm so damn glad to be home with him at this point in time. I think part of it is that I know that I will be getting a little break from 24/7 baby care on a regular basis, so I appreciate the time I have with him much more. The littlest things make such a huge difference. If I know that I can take a long hot shower or compose an email or talk on the phone uninterrupted on Wednesday at 3:00pm when Ashley comes over, then that just makes life wonderful and my patience increases a thousandfold the rest of the time. Wow, that was a good decision. Yes!

Yesterday I was playing with Julian in his room and Bugs came in from outside. He had been out there for a while, so I said, "Puppy, your ears are cold!" and Julian said "They are?" and I said, "Yeah, they are!" Then a major double-take... "Wait, WHAT did you just say?" Of course, there was no repeating it, but I swear he asked me that clear as day and Dan was even there to hear the whole thing. Too funny.

Two other cute and fairly amazing things from yesterday...

Julian woke up late after we had been out at his Uncle Mike's birthday party the night before. He woke up at 6:00am to pee, but fell asleep in my arms as soon as he finished tinkling. That was repeated at 7:30am, he fell right back asleep while still being held over the toilet.

After a little bit of playing we had a third pee in the toilet and a nice big poop. WHILE he was on the toilet, he started making a hand sign that looked VERY much like the sign that I have been using for potty. Then he looked up at me. I was flabbergasted, but I managed to make the hand sign and say "Potty". He looked at my hand, then when I finished making the sign he grabbed it, like he wanted to see it again. I made it again, and then HE made a baby version with his hand. It was so incredible!

Julian peed in the toilet several more times yesterday, and then when we had friends and family over to watch the Super Bowl later on, he suddenly started making the hand sign. Dan saw it and called me over. I made the sign back to J and he put his arms out to come to me. I took him into the bathroom and held him over the toilet and he sat there very nicely, as though he had to pee. (Normally if he doesn't have to go he will fuss and cry and squirm away from the toilet to let me know.) We sat there for a while, and he didn't pee, but he didn't try to get off either. I was just so happy, I didn't even care. If he signs potty and wants to just sit there very once in a while, that's fine with me. As long as we're communicating. That was so freakin' cool. I hope it wasn't just a fluke. I don't think so. He seems to have all kinds of potty awareness all of a sudden. Right on! It's so fantastic that the potty training AND the signing is paying off. See, I *told* you I'm not crazy!

Oh, another cool thing...when I was about 8 months pregnant with Julian I took Dan to a prenatal yoga class. It was supposed to be a partner class, and it was fun, but Dan twisted his back doing one of the moves. It was bad for him but kind of comedy at the same time. Here were all the pregnant walrus-like women doing yoga, and the strong handsome non-pregnant guy gets a sports injury.

There was a vaguely Scandinavian woman next to me, past her due date. She was taking that one yoga class to try to bring on labor. I really liked her, she was friendly and laid back, and we talked a bit during and after class. She was a doula and also having a home birth. I thought it was kind of sad that I had met someone cool and would probably never see her again, since we didn't exchange numbers or anything, and she was about to have her baby.

Well, fast-forward to yesterday. What a day already, I know! But just wait...

So Dan and I had gone to our local park with Julian and Bugs, played, had a good time. We were walking home and I had a sudden urge to go down a different street from the way that we usually came. Halfway down that street I saw a dog off-leash and coming towards us. His people were out in the street as well, so I called to them that Bugs wasn't too friendly and could they call their dog over? They did, and when we got closer I explained that he had been attacked by an off-leash dog recently and was pretty weird around other dogs.

One thing led to another and we ended up talking to the dog's owners, who were a nice couple playing outside with their two kids, one of whom was only 2 months older than Julian. We were talking and talking, and then when the woman mentioned having a home birth it all came back to me. I said, "Hey, did you take prenatal yoga at X place?" And we cracked up because she remembered Dan twisting his back trying to do the yoga pose. It was her! And that baby was the baby she was waiting for, and Julian was, well, he was Julian, and it was all just too crazy. So we exchanged numbers and we'll probably hang out this Friday with the babes. Isn't that something? A year later I run into her walking in my neighborhood by random chance. What if we hadn't walked down that street? What if they had been inside? What if the dogs hadn't been there to spark a conversation? Fate is really weird. Oh, and she's *Norwegian*!

Damn, it's 4:45 pm already. Guess I had a lot to say. No shower time for me today, boohoo. Those two hours flew by! Well, I spent the first 45 minutes getting Ashley situated. Not like she needed it, but it makes *me* feel better. I guess everything went fine. I hear Julian getting his fuss on a little, but not much. It's the fussy time of day for him, but he and Ashley are reading books right now, so no problem.

Gotta go get dinner planned in the last ten minutes of babysitting. Ciao!

February 01, 2005

Funk extraction mode

I'm working on getting myself out of Desperate Housewife Mode. No, not the TV show, which everyone tells me I need to watch, but my recent funk related to being a full-time wife and mom. I'm making progress. As a matter of fact, I don't think I'm in Desperate Housewife mode anymore. I'd say now I'm in Funk Extraction Mode. FEM, shall we say. Heh.

This week I'm interviewing for a mother's helper. I need someone to watch Julian in the afternoons a few times a week so I can have undisturbed work time. It's just too impossible to try to work on the computer in our un-baby-proofed office while Julian crawls around and turns off the power to all the computers, the DSL modem and the backup server. Then I get mad at him, and mad at Dan that he set up everything on the floor where Julian can get at it, instead of up on the desks, where I *wanted* it to be. And for crying out loud, what do I have to do to get FIVE COTTON PICKIN' MINUTES of work done without interruption?!?! Is that too much to ask? AAAARGHGHH!!!

That's what I'm talking about. It's not working out very well. I don't like to be crabby and frustrated and mad at my son and resentful of my husband for all the uninterrupted time he has to take long showers and go to the gym and sleep late in the morning. He tries to make me feel better by telling me how hard it is to travel on business, and all I can think of is...what I wouldn't GIVE to sit undisturbed on a plane and read books and magazines for several hours straight without small fingers trying to tear them from my grasp. And then enjoy a delicious fancy expense account dinner (with cocktails!) upon arriving at my destination. And get paid, and get respect from my colleagues, instead of being the least respected person on the planet, i.e. the mom/wife with baby-on-hip.

Oh, what about being able to *talk* to your colleagues for more than five minutes without babbling and wails and cries in the background? THAT would be nice. Every time I've talked to people at work, even when I'm just leaving a voice mail, J suddenly decides to throw a fit for no reason at all, so I end up shouting over my squalling infant, then forgetting what I'm supposed to be talking about because I'm now embarrassed that I'm unprofessional enough to have a squalling infant in the background. Sigh.

But then again, I find it hard to be away from Baby J for more than half an hour without missing him terribly, so it's a big fat Catch-22. I don't want to travel on business. I don't want to work full-time at a corporate job and leave my baby. I adore being his mama. But I *would* love to have a few hours in the afternoon to do stuff for ME so that I don't get crabby and resentful and unpleasant to be around, so that's where the mother's helper comes in. It's all a balancing act.

I try to remind myself on a daily basis how incredibly fortunate I am to be able to stay home with Julian and still get paid. THAT was an unbelievable stroke of luck. And I'm so lucky to have a wonderful husband and a wonderful son and a wonderful dog, and a wonderful new house in a great school district. I do know all that. It's just a measure of society I guess, that moms feel so undervalued and disrespected. You know, you're JUST a wife and mom? But what ELSE do you do? How is your career progressing? Why do you still have that spare tire around your waist? Um, that's the third day in a row that you've worn those jeans. Just in case you didn't realize.

Yesterday was a good day, because two things reminded me of how lucky I am. First was a site about the Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. Yes, all you who complain about C-sections (me included) and medical interventions during childbirth...there IS another side to that that we forget about. Women who have no access to skilled medical care, and the lifelong trauma they suffer from a condition that is 100% preventable and treatable. Horrifying. I am trying to scare up some money to donate to these poor women. It puts everything into perspective, big-time. I just have to point out that George M.F. Bush reduced the U.S. funding for treatment of obstetric fistula in poor countries to $0.00.

"UNFPA, Condemned by Bush Administration, Loses Additional $50 Million in U.S. International Family Planning Funds

With a narrow majority, the House of Representatives voted to block $50 million in international family planning funds to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), based on the unsubstantiated argument that the program supports China's coercive population control policy. The Bush administration and some GOP lawmakers disparaged UNFPA—a program which provides millions of dollars to promote contraception, as well as safe birthing and child care practices for poor women in more than 150 countries—saying that it violates U.S. law by supporting China's "one child" policy, which they claim sometimes entails coerced or forced abortions. Yet UNFPA officials assert that the program does not promote abortion, and an investigative panel convened by Bush last year reported that there was no evidence that UNFPA promotes coerced abortions or involuntary sterilizations in China. Despite the panel's findings, the Bush administration withdrew $34 million from the program in 2002 and did not request any funding for the program in Bush's 2004 budget. As a result of the House vote, it appears that UNFPA will not receive any funding this year either.

Source: Washington Post, "House Blocks Family Planning Funds," Juliet Eilperin, July 16, 2003

That's right, remember, even AFGHANISTAN donated $100 to the UNFPA last year. But the USA? World's richest nation? Zip. Atrocious.

Um, back to my point...If I hadn't had any medical resources, I could have easily lost my baby and ended up with a fistula myself. I'm damn lucky to be me, and not a poor African woman.

The second thing that reminded me how lucky I am...I had to go to Julian's former daycare yesterday to get some tax papers signed by the director. She was busy filling in for Julian's former teacher, who was taking her break, so I went into his old classroom. There were seven babies, all squalling their heads off. She had one on her lap, and two crying next to her. They were all pitiful and upset. The teacher's aide was feeding two babies in highchairs, older babies who were Julian's former classmates. They weren't smiling either. Julian was cruising around like a beam of sunshine, playing like mad with all the toys, ultra-wide grin plastered on his face. They DO have all the best toys there at that daycare. All the award-winning, super-expensive toys? They have them. I didn't even know until he was leaving, then I saw some of the toys that he played with there for sale online and WHOA...they are *top* of the line.

Julian was trying to play with and even *kiss* the other babies, happy baby-lover that he is. He gives a gentle head-butt that includes a little bit of nose-to-nose brushing. And meanwhile the other babies are pissed off because they haven't been held and cuddled enough lately. So I picked up two of the babies who were wailing in protest. They quieted down.

It was just a stressed-out place. There aren't enough teachers to keep the ratio less than 1-to-4, and a constant 1-4 ratio is bad, it's just too crazy. Trying to take care of 4 babies at once will drain you of anything but mechanical reactions. Total Robot Caregiver. Change! Sleep! Eat! Next!

I was so glad that *my* baby was home with his mama every day, and didn't have to go to daycare anymore. It was much better when he was there, but obviously things have gone downhill lately. Yikes. Childcare is a really rough business to be in here. Practically a lawsuit around every corner. And it's impossible to find enough skilled/educated childcare workers who will accept such pitifully low wages, lack of benefits, and poor working conditions.

Update: I just interviewed my babysitting candidate. She seems great...just a normal, smart, mellow kind of girl. She's studying business *and* psychology. I like her. She could have been more forward with Julian. She was a bit reserved and I kind of want someone who will just grab him and start *physically* playing with him. But that's hard to do. I don't mind if they get to know one another at their own pace. As long as it works out and everyone's happy.

She also said that she wouldn't mind walking Bugs, so that could kill two birds with one stone. Baby care AND dog walking...NOW we're talking!

Julian was playing with a pen on my lap today and then all of a sudden he just started drawing on the notebook open on the table in front of me. He drew a perfect portrait of Bugs! No, I'm just kidding, but he DID put pen to paper in quite a skilled manner, as though he had already been practicing. He definitely knew what Mama and Daddy did with pens in their hands, and he was going to try to do it too, by golly. So cute and amazing to see. He really soaks up everything around him that he sees and experiences. Baby sponge!

He mimics what he sees Dan and I do, so OK, like *that* doesn't put the pressure on to be a perfect person around him. But it may be a good thing.

Dan and I needed to clear the air recently. I have been at my Crab Station during the past two weeks, if you'll remember, so I've been pretty bitchy down in the dark impenetrable depths of my funk. I admit it. In fact I've been open about it from the beginning. I just couldn't *stop* being bitchy, because I felt so damn bad.

Dan was kind and loving and patient at first, but then my crabbiness got HIM crabby. And he had been out of town a lot, and blah blah blah. We weren't attached. So then HE started being a big asshole to ME. That could have been a really bad situation, but we resolved it peacefully and lovingly through diplomatic discussion, ending with the clink of wineglasses in a toast. We only had to yell at each other a tiny little bit earlier that day to get the ball rolling, only 2-3 minutes, which is practically a world record. It was so great. And I'm so glad, because THAT is what I want Julian to do in HIS relationships, not scream and cry and hurl insults.

Geez. We're the model for all his future relationships. Baby sponge! Gulp.

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