Sharing an office space.

I'm sitting in my little hovel of an office space this morning, trying to work on lesson plans, trying not to listen to my officemate's student conferences, when her student becomes increasingly agitated, his voice rising, and rising, and rising, as he exclaims "I don't understand! This is YOUR point of view! How can you argue this?!"
And she's replying, with something like okay, you need to calm down and then suddenly your writing is BAD! and I'm the one grading your paper, so you better listen to me! Yikes.
I'm over here, hunkering down behind my desk, gnawing on my chocolate bunny. His head is entirely gone and I'm working on the basketfull of eggs he was carrying.
Can I REALLY be expected to grade papers under these conditions? Methinks not.


Oh! the horror.

First your ears, next your perky little bunny face.
It may be wrong, but it's oh so delicious.


Cranes - Shining Road

Okay, here's the video. I figured it out! The amount of time I waste online when I should be grading papers is absolutely ridiculous.

Shining road.

Eliot has caught on to the basket dragging and it doesn't work to put him to sleep anymore. What does work, strangely enough, is listening to a band called the Cranes, and their album "Loved," which I used to listen to as a freshman in college. One day he crawled up to the stereo and by pushing random buttons, began to play their CD (and I still have no idea why it was in the stereo in the first place, as I swear I haven't listened to this album since 1998-ish). As the first track played, he crawled into my lap and burrowed his head against me. I started rocking him back and forth and he was asleep by track 3.

The next time he was grouchy and nothing would convince him to nap, I put on the album again and held him on my hip, bouncing. Halfway through the first song, he leaned his head down on my shoulder, and once again, by the third song or so, he was out.

He really likes this album; even when he isn't sleepy, he'll listen to it and start doing his head bobbing dance moves. But if he's close to ready for a nap, boom! Can't resist those Cranes. Their rhythmic tones lull him into slumberland every time.

And, thanks to this wondrous medium I lovingly call "Internet," I am able to bring you, dear readers, a sampling of said Cranes. Here's a video:

Don't fall asleep!

Actually, I was going to embed it, but for some reason I can't get the whole code to copy and paste. Argh. Whatever.

So the point I'm so long in getting at is that it's crazy incongruous for me, rocking him to sleep along to this music. Music can be such a memory trigger, and this particular album evokes a whole other world for me. Sometimes it seems like my memories from those days aren't mine at all, but rather the actions and thoughts of some character in a movie I saw once that I can't quite remember fully. I never dreamt, the first time I fell in love with the Cranes, that one day I'd be rocking my son to sleep with their music. I wonder whether the person I was then would recognize the me I've become. So strange.

Okay, reading that back it sounds really cracked out. Perhaps someone just smoked a bit too much back in the day, huh?! That movie I was talking about must have been a bad after-school ABC special. Ew.


Hmm...this doesn’t look familiar.

Eli went to Walgreens on Saturday morning to pick up my prescription, only to find that the insurance company refuses to pay for it because they don’t approve of this particular medication or it wasn’t the first drug they would prescribe in my situation or some other such nonsense. Because, you know, my insurance company knows more about my illness and the proper method of treatment than my doctor. Duh.

Eli returns home with this explanation, “I didn’t get your medicine, and if your car smells like old lady, that’s because when I came back out, there was an old lady in the driver’s seat trying to fit her key in the ignition and take off.”

Say what?

Yeah. Some confused person was in my car, thinking it was hers. Eli tapped on the window and said, “Excuse me. You’re in my car.”


“You’re. In. My. Car.”

She replied that she thought it looked different. And she couldn’t figure out what “all this stuff” was. Meaning the stick shift? Because her car is an automatic. Riiiiiiight…

So this doesn’t bother me right now, because I’m still medicated and all, but when my drugs wear off and Monday rolls around, and I’m able to get good and pissed off, I’m so going back up to Walgreens and kicking someone’s ass. I’ll try to remember to lock my car doors while I’m in there.


In the waiting room.

In the hospital waiting room this morning, we were seated next to a very large, very unkempt man wearing a dirty t-shirt that read (and I swear I'm not making this up) "Boobies make me happy."

And that's really all I've got to say about that.


"Gain Up to 8+ grill darpa"

I don't know what to make of this. I'm not sure whether I want more than eight grill darpa. It seems like eight might be sufficient grill darpa for anyone. But who am I to judge?


Strollers have wheels, and other amazing discoveries.

Yes, folks, strollers have wheels. Turns out they're not just for parking the kid under the trees while one sits in a lawnchair nearby and reads a book. Who knew?

We used to do this all the time last summer and fall; baby Eliot loved watching the patterns the light made as it fell through the leaves of the trees. No matter how cranky he was, he'd quiet right down the moment we stepped outside. (Needless to say, it's been a rather long winter.)

But this morning, we ventured out to take advantage of the sunshine and warmth, and we trekked up thighmaster hill, around calf-killer curve, and down to the park a few blocks from our house to try out the baby swings for the first time.

As you can see, the trip was a rousing success, and a good time was had by all. Or both, in this case.

I went off without my camera (major scrapbooking sin), so I had to capture the moment with my phone instead. Thus, the crappy quality photos.

I also made the mistake of wearing my bright green mesh water shoes that I bought for our trip to Mexico a couple of years ago (oh times, how you have changed). Because the green makes my feet happy. But the soggy mulch on the playground had absorbed more than its quota of water, and when I stepped in it, it soaked directly into my shoes and drenched my socks, which did not make my feet happy.

Oh well, can't please everyone all the time.

We're definitely getting Eliot a baby swing of his own for his 1st birthday, to hang on the porch.
Shh! Don't tell him. He's going to freaking love it.



Happy to report that there have been no middle of the night laundry basket rides for the last two nights in a row.

Because, seriously, this is only adorable in the light of day, after a good night of sleep.

Umm...okay, I'm lying about that. This is adorable any time.



A hellish timeline of events.

Sunday 6:30 p.m. Eliot falls asleep drinking a bottle, and I put him to bed.

7:00 p.m. I go to bed with a book, thinking I'd better rest all I can before the little man wakes up coughing. I've got a feeling it will be a long night.

9:45 p.m. I wake to Eliot coughing and screaming, and Eli trying to comfort him. He refuses to be calmed. We try EVERYTHING we can think of, but he just can't quit coughing. Finally I relent and let Eli give him cough syrup, although I'm sure he'll overdose and die. He doesn't.

10:30 p.m. - 1:30 a.m. We're STILL trying to get Eliot to go back to sleep. His coughing has slowed, but he is restless. He doesn't want to rock-a-bye. I've made twenty hundred trips pacing back and forth across the living room and dining room with him snuggled in my arms, his head on my shoulder, yet he won't, can't let go and sleep. Every time I sit down in the rocker, he sits up and cries. We repeat this path until my back aches and my arm feels like it's going to drop out of its socket.

Meanwhile, Eli is upstairs googling to find out whether the worn-out latex pacifiers we've been using could be hurting him. We're searching for any reason why his cough could be so horrible even though our home has been turned into an entire pharmacy of bottles of syrup and cylinders of liquids, all sporting labels with "Eliot Heicher" 1/2 tsp. three times daily, 1 tsp. twice daily, 1/2 tsp. every six hours, and so on and so forth. Results inconclusive on the googling.

Monday 1:30 a.m. Eliot falls asleep when confronted with the secret weapon, the one thing he cannot resist. Remember this? He's outgrown the box, but the laundry basket has taken its place, and now the only thing in the universe that will console the child is being pulled across the floor in the laundry basket. So here I am, in the wee hours of the morning, hauling a 20-pound baby around in my laundry basket. Ah, the sheer absurdity of it all.

1:35 a.m. I transfer Eliot back to his crib.

2:30 a.m. Eliot wakes up coughing and crying.

2:32 a.m. We're wearing a path in the carpet upstairs, Eliot riding, me pulling the laundry basket.

2:45 a.m. I deposit the sleeping Eliot into his car seat this time, thinking he'll sleep better sitting upright.

3:00 a.m. Eliot wakes up coughing and crying.

3:03 a.m. Eliot is riding in the laundry basket. I'm pulling. And pulling. And pulling him across the floor.

4:00 a.m. Rinse and repeat.

6:00 a.m. Eliot wakes up coughing and crying. We can assume he's up for the day, as this tends to be his normal wake-up time. He coughes. And coughes. And coughes more. Eli helps me give him his breathing treatment and morning doses of medicines and then is off to work, leaving me with a hacking, coughing, sputtering, crying boy.

6:35 a.m. Coughes rack Eliot's little body so hard that he throws up onto the rug, a nasty pile of foam and snot.

7:01 a.m. Eliot cries "momma, momma," and buries his little face in my lap. I want my momma too. I call the house and Libby answers. Just missed Mom. She's at work.

7:30 a.m. I call my mom at work, barely suppressing tears, and beg her to come and help me.

8:00 a.m. Eliot vomits snot again amidst another hard coughing fit. He cries. I cry.

10:10 a.m. Mom pulls up and we meet her at the door. I'm wearing a snot and vomit stained t-shirt and my pajama pants are on backwards. Eliot is wearing cough medicine smears on his pajamas and in his hair, dried snot on his face and a wet diaper.

10:45 a.m. Mom has a roast in the oven, Eliot bathed, and me ushered into the shower while she watches Eliot. She's started laundry, done dishes, and soothed the baby. All is well with the world. *sigh*


Basking in the glow of his constant adoration.

I took Eliot to the pediatrician's office today for a follow-up visit for his pnemonia (he's feeling much better). And the doctor said that he's getting too many yellow vegetables, he's turning orange, too much beta carotene, lay off the baby food and start giving him mostly table food. Except that she said it in a thick Eastern European accent. When she says his name, it sounds like "eel-e-aught," with the stress on the first syllable. And she mentioned that it would be a good idea to keep him out of public places with a lot of germ-infested people, because his lung tissue is still healing and if he gets another cold, there's a good chance that it will settle in the same place.

So the basic message was, feed him real food, but don't go to the grocery store. Hmmm...
This would not be a problem if I were a normal person, with something other than ketchup and beer in her refrigerator.

I had a feeling that neither ketchup nor beer was what the doctor had in mind when she said "table food."

Now, please understand that we DO have other food sources in the house. We have a deep freezer full, and I mean FULL of cow and pig meat. But I have no idea what one does with cow and pig meat. It's all divided up into various sized chunks, wrapped in white butcher's paper, and labelled with words like "chop" and "round." It scares me.

We also nearly always have leftover pizza, and frozen Lean Cuisine meals that I sometimes have for lunch, only it takes about three of them to fill me up.

So still, no real options for a 10.5 month-old-boy.

In the end, I decided on toasted cheese. I can handle toasted cheese, and babies can eat toasted cheese, right? If I cut the crusts off? (Lord, my world was so much easier when the kid just drank milk. Where did those days go?)

The cool thing about taking care of Eliot is, that no matter how totally clueless I am, he really doesn't notice. The kid thinks I am AWESOME. He thinks my *&%! smells like roses and I can do no wrong. He thinks everything I do is absolutely fabulous (unless what I'm doing is trying to get him to go to bed). This boy loves, loves, loves his momma. So when I presented him with a toasted cheese sandwich for lunch, he looked at it, looked at me, popped a bite in his mouth...

and then grinned up at me with such a shining smile, it was as if his face was saying, "You are the best momma in the world for preparing such a delicacy for me! What have I done to deserve such delicious goodness? I LOVE TOASTED CHEESE!!!! I LOVE toasted cheese and I LOVE my MOM!!!!!"

It doesn't get any better than that.

If only I could find a way to store up all this adoration and save it for his teenage years, when I will no doubt cease to be AWESOME and become a dog turd instead...


Spaghetti! Spaghetti!

Eliot has been eating more and more "big people" food and less and less baby food. We all had spaghetti for lunch today, and it was the first food that we let him try to eat on his own that wasn't really meant to be a finger food. He's eaten Cheerios, raisins, craisins, puffy snacks, and these way cool rice cookies, but never anything remotely as messy as spaghetti. And ah, what fun!

We were a little unsure about whether to give him a plate or just load food onto his highchair tray. He really hasn't ever used a plate before. Sure enough, after the novely of squishing the new food through his chubby little fingers wore off, he wanted to see how much fun it would be to pick up the plate, bang it on the tray and watch tiny pieces of spaghetti fly all over the room. This is the carnage left behind:

(Note the vintage Six Flags plate, featuring the Log Flume; it's the only plastic, nonbreakable plate we own.)

And, of course, the cleanup. Yes, I know, the hair is getting WAY long. We'll cut it someday. Soon. Maybe.


Life with a nurse.

He likes to give songs his own little personal twist.
This morning, with Eliot on our bed:

"Three little monkeys, jumpin' on the bed...
One fell off and sustained a subdural hematoma."

Somehow, it just doesn't have quite the same ring to it.