Saturday, February 28, 2009

Who needs a stimulus package???

Caleb and I have been visiting David at the hospital on nights when he has to sleep there. David meets us in the parking lot and escorts us in so we don't get mugged and then the three of us enjoy a luxurious dinner in the hospital cafeteria (that was where we ate on the eve of Valentine's, no joke). Anyway, the first time we went I noticed that after "checking out" the receipt showed a balance and it reminded me that we've been sitting on a gold mine.

Every month, the hospital deducts $20 from David's paycheck and he, in turn, gets $250 to spend in the cafeteria. Talk about a great return on an investment! Of course, that's only if you exclude the future medical expenses we are certain to incur as a result of our clogged arteries since the hospital only serves food that starts with "fried" (e.g. fried chicken, fried okra, fried frenchies...I mean, french fries).

So, David's assignment every month is to zero out his $250 balance by the last day of the month. This can be accomplished by bringing home any number of items: yogurt cups, Cobb salad, cookies, chips, or best of all, my favorite beverage: mini-cartons of chocolate milk.

So, with all this hoopla about how the country is spiraling into a financial black hole, it's nice to know we have one investment that yields an excellent return. Hey, maybe I can stop posting Google Ads on my blog now...nah:)

David bringing home his spoils on February 28
And here's what Caleb has to say a bout that:
(Yes, he is in PJ's...AGAIN)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Eva since Katrina..."

Let me preface my remarks by saying that I am aware Hurricane Katrina was a disastrous storm that affected many people's lives in a negative way and I have great sympathy for them. Having said that, I am amazed by how frequently Katrina is used to explain away/justify ineffective practices here in the great state of Louisiana.

The latest encounter was with the Records Department at the LSU hospital. After Caleb was born we were told it would be at least 6 months before we could get a social security number for him and 10 months before we could get a birth certificate! When I asked why it takes so long, the lady launched in to a lengthy explanation of how "Eva since Katrina, we caint git stuff done so quick," and proceeded to tell me that my son's paperwork would likely sit in a room where no one works for months before it was ever touched.

When I asked what we're supposed to do about filing taxes without his social security # I was told, "We been tellin' folks they gotta file an amendment once they get they numba." Great! I would like to think that Katrina threw a wrench in the well-oiled machine that is the Pelican state, but I have a hard time believing they were much better before the storm (despite the fact that Gov. Bobby Jindal painted a luxurious picture of the beloved state during the Republican response to the presidential address last night).

I called the Records office yesterday just to see if there was any way of getting the social security # before April and was given the Katrina speech yet again.

So, does this mean I'm at liberty to use the same excuse for my own ineptitudes?

"I'm sorry It took me three months to return your phone call, but ever since Hurricane Katrina, I find it difficult to return phone calls."

"I know our Christmas email was sent late, but ever since Hurricane Katrina, it's impossible to send emails on time."

"I would've posted Caleb's birth story by now, but ever since Hurricane Katrina, it's been hard to post birth stories."

I could get used to this.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thumbs up

Thank you, dear readers, for your patience. Here is an update on our little squirt.

*At 6 weeks his social smile emerged, although he's being stingy with the laugh despite my best efforts at identifying his most ticklish spots. His best smiles are still when he's dozing off as depicted here:

*At 7 weeks he decided to sleep through the night, a feat for which I can take NO credit. I, of course, didn't sleep a wink because I was sure something was terribly wrong with him when he didn't wake up screaming 2 hours after falling asleep. Somehow he was undisturbed by my compulsive checking which consisted of opening the door in a most stealth-like manner, tiptoeing into the room and hovering over his bed trying to detect the rise and fall of his chest. As it turns out, it's hard to detect such minute motion when it's pitch black! Night vision goggles would've been useful. Needless to say, he woke up refreshed and rested the next morning...I was a wreck.

*At 8 weeks he discovered that his fingers are more fun to suck than some lousy pacifier. I know mom, I've been warned and your words, "it's a heck of a lot easier to take away a pacifier than an appendage" resonate in my head each time I hear him chomping away at his fingers. You have every right to say, "I told you so" when he's 16, still sucking his thumb, and nicknamed "buck" (and we're broke from the orthodontia expenses).

Here he is trying to figure things out:

Ah, the sweet taste of success:

*At 10 weeks, his parents made one final attempt at taming his luscious locks. As you can see from the following picture, our efforts were futile and will not be attempted again in the near future.

*Believe it or not, I have actually dressed him in something other than pj's once or twice in his two months of life. I just don't have any pictures to prove it.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Good" mothers

As a first-time mom, I don't have a point of comparison for many things related to mothering. Sure, I've read the books and been around a lot of babies and kids, but I've never been the one primarily responsible for taking care of the little tike. As such, all of our "firsts" feel really monumental and with each one I realize how much I still have to learn. Last Sunday I took Caleb to church for the first time (he was seven weeks old) and spent all week mentally preparing for the outing.

Our church boundary lines changed the week Caleb was born, so I've never been to church with this group of people. It turns out there were six baby boys born in this ward (our church group) in the month of December and they're all within a couple weeks of each other.

While in the mother's lounge, which is actually a classroom with a big window in the door (referenced later), I learned several valuable lessons about what "good" mothers do...well, maybe it's not so much a "good/bad" thing as an "experienced/inexperienced" thing so here goes.

An "experienced" mom:
  • brings her baby to church before he's 7 weeks old thus avoiding the numerous greetings accompanied by the word "finally" (e.g. It's nice to FINALLY see you here; So glad you FINALLY decided to join us).
  • knows to be early to all of the meetings so she can sit somewhere with immediate access to an exit and not end up sandwiched in between poor, unsuspecting bystanders with the infant carrier wedged half-way under her chair making it very difficult to get her baby out of the carrier when he starts screaming a few minutes into the lesson.
  • knows to check the before-you-leave-the-house diaper to make sure it's secured snugly around her baby's legs thus avoiding leakage of the bowel movement occurring in the first ten minutes of church resulting in mustard-colored poop seeping all down his legs and soaking through his onesie and outfit.
  • knows to pack a spare outfit in her diaper bag (which I actually did), but also knows that the spare outfit will most likely be NEEDED so she doesn't pack the ugliest, thread-bare, hand-me-down outfit as the spare so her child actually looks presentable after the wardrobe change (which I DIDN'T do).
  • notices that there is a large trash can filled with poopy diapers just to the side of the changing station and knows better than to position the wipes container at her baby's feet thus avoiding having her baby kick the wipes container into the trashcan mid-diaper change and having to dig through the trash can to find the container while keeping one hand on her squirming baby to make sure he doesn't roll off the changing station onto the floor, or worse yet, into the trash can himself!
  • knows how to nurse discreetly even when sitting in a small room with a large window in the door thereby preventing indecent exposure to every man, woman, and child who happens to walk past the door.
  • combs her baby's hair before leaving the house.
So, I've chalked the drama of last Sunday up to inexperience and am looking forward to the many experiences which await me in this adventure we call motherhood.