Thursday, November 30, 2006

"Where Nigh-Nigh go?"

While I was out of town, Spouse did something strange. He took away WB's crib. We'd talked about how at this age, DQ was already sleeping in a big-girl bed, but (I thought...) we'd figured that WB just wasn't there yet.

Turns out, he is. Spouse removed the crib, set up the big boy bed with a bed rail and lots of cozy blankets and a couple of toys, and took him in for goodnight last weekend. WB looks around and asks, "Where Nigh-Nigh go?" Evidently, he assumed that the crib was named Nigh-Nigh. Cuteness.

Spouse explained to him that he would now sleep in a big boy bed. "Nigh-Nigh Bi Boy Bed?" Yes.

So far, so good, I guess. He's more of a wanderer than his sister was. He will get up and play, and the first night, he got up and came to greet Spouse with a cheerful, "Hi, Daddy!" at four in the morning. Last night, when I got back into town after a long flight delay, I peaked in at the kids, and WB was very contentedly sleeping on the floor in the center of his room.

  • We don't have to travel with the dreaded Pack'n'Play (this was clearly Spouse's motivation).
  • He doesn't fit all that well into his Pack'n'Play.
  • He seems to like it, proudly showing me his bed this morning.
  • We beat him to the punch of climbing out of the crib, which was going to happen any day now.
  • A wandering child may not sleep as well.
  • If we have overnight diaper leakage, it will be on larger bedding and/or carpet.
  • Is Mommy ready for her (most likely last) child to be a big boy? Hmm...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


"It's Doctor Evil. I didn't go through six years of evil [graduate] school to be called Mister."

Yesterday, I defended. My committee was kind of enough to tell me right off that the conversation would be about where to go next, not a debate over whether I would pass. Whew! It was pleasant. I was terrified at first, but after the first few minutes, I calmed down and it turned into a very nice discussion. Everybody had great ideas about changes to make for publication. They said two chapters were practically ready for journal submission, and, to quote the senior member of my committee, "You've got three books in here." Of course, all three of those books will require a LOT of work to dig out of the dissertation, but it is nice to know that they're in there. I also had the rare opportunity to coin a new word, "Epilogy" (or epiloguey?)* in reference to my conclusion that still needs a little more, um, conclusion. One committee member later said, "I had written a couple of paragraphs about the conclusion in my comments, but your word just sums it all up."

Today, I dropped off the dissertation at the dean's office, and picked up my regalia at the bookstore. Tomorrow, I go home to see the kids, who are apparently very cute and very confused about how mommy could be a doctor.

In conclusion, whoo-hoo!

*If Stephen Colbert can do it, so can I!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Heading back to the balmy breezes of the Southland. The defense is Monday. Blogging could be sporadic (or it could be copious... who knows?) Either way, wish me relaxing thoughts, eh?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Get a clue!!!

For those who think that nursing in public is not an issue anymore, read this (ooh, just realized, registration required). The gist: a woman nursing her child in a Delta commuter plane was told she was offending the flight attendant, and was forced off the plane. This is in complete violation of Delta's policy toward nursing mothers, but it happened anyway.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but the first thing my pediatrician told me when we said we were going to fly with the baby, was "Nurse on the way up, nurse on the way down." This is not just to feed the child, but is to relieve earaches from the changing pressure, and of course to calm them so that they don't scream the entire time.

What kills me, though, is that the story has a survey asking whether the protesters have a point. And FORTY ONE PERCENT of respondents say no. You've got to be kidding me. Get out there, folks, and change those numbers.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Perchance to dream

I woke up at 4am today, planning out changes I'd like to make in my winter term class, and going over the finer points of the conference call for my dissertation defense (7 days and counting). Why? 'Cause I can't turn my frickin' brain off.

Halfway through the final edits. I need a nap now. Bye.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Best Child-Centered Shopping Trip Ever.

I was solo-parenting most of this weekend, and because it's raining and I'm a heathen, I needed to come up with some activity that is outside of the house but inside some other building, and open before noon on a Sunday. Answer: go to Target and buy WB some new shoes.

Best shopping trip ever.

We wisely began our voyage by stopping at the grandparents' house to visit. They quickly turned on Max and Ruby and asked if DQ wanted to stay with them while I took the boy shopping. She happily assented. So did I.

So off I went to Target with just one child (so much easier!) We headed straight for the shoe aisle. No "I want to look at toys." No "I want a hot dog." Just straight for the shoes. When we got there, WB sat down cooperatively and took off his shoes. He tried two pair. On the second one, I asked him if he liked them, and he replied, "Tankoo, Mommy!" and immediately got up to walk around. Sold.

He spent the rest of the trip telling me "Tankoo, Mommy" while I paid for the shoes, walked to the parking lot, and loaded him back in his car seat. When we got back to the grandparents' house, he walked in, kicking his feet proudly to show off his new shoes.

Wow. That couldn't have gone any better.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Good Times...

Things that make me happy today:
  1. My dissertation defense is 10 days away.
  2. I finished my job application and just found out that another FT job (a one-year appointment) is opening up at another nearby school. Really nearby. Like, I could bike there in good weather.
  3. My college roommate and all-around fabulous amiga is visiting at the beginning of December.
  4. TBS is showing reruns of Newsradio. Donkey Donkey Donkey Donkey Donkey!

  5. Two unrelated announcements of pregnancy from friends in one day! Woot!

My Own Little Ferris Bueller

Ok, internets, I need some parenting advice. My daughter is entering into a new and lovely phase in which she claims to be sick. Everyday. I think this is stemming from last week, when the Wild Boy was throwing up and it suddenly dawned on DQ that he was staying home with Mommy while she had to go to school. And of course in her mind, we were probably playing hide and seek and eating candy all day long, right?

Anyway, she's told me the last few mornings that she's sick. No discernible symptoms. And then when she realizes it's gymnastics day, of course she's instantly better. I don't want to be insensitive if she truly needs attention (either for health reasons or if she's upset with school and needs a little extra home-time), but at the same time, I can't just drop everything I'm doing (since I have to do that when either of them are genuinely sick.) Reminds me of the Simpsons when Bart feigned sickness to get out of school:

Grampa: "Have you ever read 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf?'"
Bart: "I glanced at it. Boy cries wolf, has a few laughs. I forget how it ends."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

One Word Meme

Found this over at Sex Ed in Higher Ed.

You can only type one word. No explanations. (I did this fairly word-association-esque, so there's really no deep meaning in these...)

Yourself: Exhausted
Your partner: Absent
Your hair: Thick
Your Mother: Society
Your Father: Golfer
Your Favorite Item: Book
Your dream last night: Absent
Your Favorite Drink: Pepsi
Your Dream Car: None
Your Dream Home: Here
The Room You Are In: Bedroom
Your Ex: Stalker
Your fear: Loss
Where you Want to be in Ten Years? Professing
Who you hung out with last night: Spouse
What You're Not: Phinished
Muffins: Mmmmm...
One of Your Wish List Items: Silk
Time: Quick
The Last Thing You Did: Wrote
What You Are Wearing: Sweats
Your favorite weather: Crisp
Your Favorite Book: Lots
Last thing you ate: Risotto
Your Life: Flying
Your mood: Anxious
Your Best Friends: Comforting
What are you thinking about right now: Diss
Your car: Blue
What are you doing at the moment: Procrastinating
Your summer: Chaotic
Relationship status: Soulmates
What is on your tv: Colbert
What is the weather like: Windy
When is the last time you laughed: Colbert (can I repeat words?)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A nice moment

My mom and I had a girls' day yesterday. We did a little shopping, then went to see "The Queen." Pretty good movie, very well acted. But this is not about the movie. It's about our conversation after.

Since my mom knows everyone in the world, we of course ran into a man she knew at the movies. She introduced me, and said it was nice to see the film with her daughter, because neither of our husbands would want to see it. "It's more of a girl movie."

The man says, "Well, I enjoyed it. But then, I was a history major."

"Oh! So is she [pointing at me]. In fact, she's just about to finish her doctoral degree." This was said with a definite tone of pride.

My mom is proud of me. I'm getting all verklempt.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tales of Gender-Free Parenting

When we first found out we were pregnant, Spouse was insistent that we not find out the sex of the baby. I asked why. "The kid has got the rest of its life to be gendered. Why start now?" That spouse, he's a smart one.

  • Making lunch, DQ asks what Daddy is having.
    Spouse: "I'm having a grilled cheese sandwich, just like you."
    DQ: "You can't have that. It's only for girls." Now, this is a phrase we hear a lot these days, and we work very hard to convince her that no, there is really very little that has to be gender-specific in this world.
    Spouse: "Why not?"
    DQ: "Because it's a girl cheese sandwich."

  • At daycare one day, the toddler class had been playing with ponytails, so when I picked him up, Wild Boy had a fantastic spike of hair in the center of his forehead. He thought this was great, so we left it in (and 3 other toddlers, all with at least one ponytail, waved goodbye to us.) That night, at dinner, a 10 year old boy came up to me and asked, "Is that a boy or a girl?"
    Quinn: "He's a boy."
    Boy: "Then why does he have a ponytail?"
    Quinn: "Because he likes it." Convinced that we were weird, the boy left.
    It was only then that I realized the boy had an earring.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Morning in America

No more vomit! And no more Republican-controlled House! I'm feeling downright chipper today.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Will Hold On

I'm holding my breath tonight... hoping that things continue the way they are looking in the election, and that WB does not vomit again tonight.

Peace, everyone. Best wishes.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Early November To-Do List:

1. Work on application materials for tenure-track job.
2. Finish syllabus for Winter term course.
3. Get thinking about syllabus for Spring term course (which is so much more attractive than #2 that I shouldn't even put it on the list)
4. Another read-through of dissertation in advance of the defense date.
4a. Check bibliography against style manual. Ugh.
4b. Finish my preliminaries (abstract, acknowldgements, etc.)
5. Get a head start on election-night anxiety attack.

ETA: I don't have the wherewithal to get political on your asses right now, but others are doing an excellent job doing just that.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Misty watercolor memories

The rain let up slightly yesterday, so we took the kids to a local marching band competition.

Now, granted, I was a big band geek. I remember band competition days as being among the best in high school. From negotiating our way onto the Cool Bus to the joy of performing to the fun of a road trip with 160 of your best friends. And we usually won, which made it even better. Yesterday's outing reminded me of all that.

I got to see my alma mater perform. They still have the same band director, and I recognized at least one of the staffers as former alums from my time. (Hi, Dave!) The band is significantly smaller than it was back in the day. It seems like none of the bands fielded over 100 students, whereas my sophomore year, we have over 170, and were never below 140. I wonder if this is a trickle-up effect of the major cuts in elementary music programs in the state. To plug VH1 once again, Save the Music!

It was windy as hell, so I felt bad for the flaglines and any band that used a lot of props (scratch that: you get what you deserve when you use excessive props!)Despite the weather, we had a good time. The kids were fascinated at first by the sounds and the uniforms and the flags, and especially the drumlines. (Yay Jade!) Eventually, however, they tired of the pageantry and turned their attention to running ramshackle all over the stadium. They got sick of it about the time the heavy rain arrived. We didn't get to see the later bands perform, including Rival High School, which is under the direction of a friend and massive crush from high school.

DQ came home saying she wants to play the flute. Over trumpet-playing Daddy's dead body, honey. (Sorry, N!)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dead people that I didn't know were dead

In between numerous small chores, I'm halfheartedly watching VH1's countdown of the 100 Best Songs of the 80s. Not that interesting a list, but what is interesting is how they tell you what the artists are doing (or not doing) these days. For instance, the following people are dead and I didn't know they died:

1. Robert Palmer. Heart attack, age 54.
2. Falco. Car accident, age 40.
3. Rick James, bitch. How did I miss this pop culture headline???

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