Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Miles: 4.04 Rolls: 2

I walked four miles today, some of them at the gym. Otherwise I was sitting on my butt in my studio destroying things. It's hard being patient -- I spent some serious time learning these skills I'm using and then took serious time off. But you know what? At least I'm used to being patient with that...the gym and the extra work I have to do there is far newer for me. Oh well, I'm showing up for it all, right? I'm always doing one thing instead of another, and I made good choices. Maybe I chose a litte too much eating out while pregnant, but I'm doing a lot less of it now. What I missed while choosing to work today is that Lyra rolled from back to front today...twice. She's got places to go, this kid, I'm telllin' ya.

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Miles (2.36) and Years (38)

We took Lyra lots of miles this week. But this weekend we were in a lakeside cabin and most of my motion involved floating.
Yesterday: 2.36 walking about Cambridge -- don't forget to join me and post yours. I'll post today's later.

Lyra got dipped in the lake up to her waist. She began with a serious dumbstruck look with her eyes on mine to see if this wacky feeling was okay. By the time I bounced her feet on the sand in the shallow cove, she was yelping happily. It was really fun. She also got to meet my oldest friend, who grew up going to the cabin next door. That means Merey met me And Lyra before we could talk. Pretty cool. I guess that is probably the most constant place I've had in my life.

I also realized that Lyra was the fourth generation of my family to go to the camp. That kind of blew my mind. I mean, it still seems like a place we visited my grandmother and now here I am with a kid and her grandmother and mine are both gone and I'm telling Lyra that the braided rug was made by her great-great grandmother and that seems just ancient somehow. And like we should probably clean it.

I was thinking again about how people always tell men if they're a good dad but not women if they're a good mom, probably because the bar is put much higher. I was talking to a friend yesterday and he said he really wanted to be a "family man," and I realized I couldn't think of an equivalent female term. This whole "mom" stuff is pretty interesting. I must say I am enjoying Being a mother though. I feel pretty happy lately. Especially since I feel like I've been reclaiming my life more and more, and she's a pretty enjoyable sidekick to have.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007


Okay, so I already lost the pedometer. I think it is at the Taste of Cambridge somewhere, probably clocking in at about 1.5 miles only today, since it was so hot and I was in the house a lot of the day. The good news? My insurance company sent me one for free recently, so I'll use that one tomorrow. It has a safety clip on it.

By tomorrow Lyra will have been in Maine, Cape Cod, and NH, seen two movies, and been to two big public events all in one week. Whew.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Miles: 3.86

A couple of years ago my brother gave me a pedometer. I was amazed to see that I could walk half a mile just in my small house sometimes. Then we started e-mailing each other how far we walked each day and it was pretty interesting since he roams about in the woods all the time and I walk around in the city a lot of the time. It was also quite informative when I took it on vacation and realized that I had walked 18 miles one day in Tokyo!

Anyway, I could use the incentive to be walking more and to remember to wear the pedometer now. So, I'll try to post my daily mileage and I think it would be cool and good for all involved if you join me and post yours and where you're walking (and if you're running).

For today:
Cambridge/Boston normal walking about -- all with Lyra. 3.86 miles.


Baby Lap Shit

So I’m trying to do the mom things that might help me and might help Lyra. This means I get out of the house when glenn is here and do things by myself, we’ve gotten his parents to watch Lyra while we went on a date, and I try to do activities as much as possible with the wee beastie when she’s awake and kicking.

This week Lyra and I found out what the hell “Baby Lap Sit” means. It is listed on the library website…I have a lap, she’s a baby. She sits there a lot. So we went to see. It was in a room hung with decorations from the sleepover the 9-12 year olds had the night before as they read Harry Potter.

Everyone stopped and looked at me when I came in slightly late. They were sitting in a circle, babies indeed on their laps. I introduced us and sat down. There were two bumbling leaders looking up lyrics as they played patty cake and different songs that involved the parents bobbling the bald babies in different ways.

I bounced Lyra around some and tried really hard to suppress the un-PC nine year-old inside me from yelling, “Oh my god, this is SO GAY.” Lyra just stared fascinated at the concept of multiple people chanting and singing together. A couple people stared at me with her. She was too young, she has way more hair, and I was supposed to have removed my shoes. I slipped off my shoes and then I got several looks when I sang “kum ba ya, Lyra, kum ba ya.” (instead of “Lord”) I don’t think we’ll go back real soon. We make up better games at home.

Speaking of my Blasphemy Ericson experiences, I didn't know until one of these mom groups that people who get baptized are supposed to have the names of saints. A woman told me she had to go to a different church to do it or because hers would not baptize her kid and that she had been told "What kind of a name is Piper?!" She nodded as I raised my eyebrows to ask, "That’s right. They'd be FINE if I'd named her "Peter Piper!”

Lyra travels well and likes being outside. We had a good time in Maine this weekend and on the Cape yesterday. She jogs with dad in the morning and shouts happily. We went to the movies the other day and she looked upset when we left but when I ran us across the street at a Walk sign she suddenly yelled “Wheee!” rather distinctly.

Lyra is very happy and strong in crawl position, and understands the concept of the combat crawl on her forearms already at 2.5 months. She has managed to put one arm in front of the other and as a result wriggled partway out of her pants, though did not achieve any measurable distance. I did my part and wrote Calvin Klein on the top of her diapers with a Sharpie.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Wack Attack

Lyra is sleeping more and it makes everything So much better. She and I have been keeping busy this past week. We’ve rocked out with rattles and laughed at mobiles and gone for long walks (she likes trees better than anything inside). We’ve been to new parent groups, seen both The Namesake and Sicko at baby-friendly movie showings, attended her second wedding, and examined the jewelry exhibit among others at the Museum of Fine Arts.

Also this week while feeding her I have read The Ha Ha by Dave King and half of The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson, watched several episodes of Man Vs. Wild (I so love that show) and watched and fast-forwarded through 22 hours of Live Earth concert footage and related short films. I’ve had a leisurely lunch out by myself one day, and then of course there was the one dud day, today.

This day started off stupidly, though I did find it pretty amusing. It went like this:

I decide to skip the new parent coffee down the street from my house and go on a walking tour of former factories in the ‘hood that was leaving from the main library branch. It was the first time I’d been to this branch with Lyra.

The tour started at 10AM and we get there at 10:02 and rush up to the door. It’s situated atop two steep stairways, and I have Lyra in the stroller. I know there are a lot of parent activities at this library and assume there is an easier way inside. I follow the handicapped accessibility sign around the entire large building and finally get to the open door in the back. Two signs on it say NO STROLLER ACCESS, which confuses me.

So I walk all the way back around the other side of the building, seeing no other entrances and I then haul the stroller with Lyra up the stairs and inside past a group of teenagers leaving as part of some group. I wait for what seems like an eternity while the one person ahead of me in line talks about computer programming with the guy behind the counter. I ask if the tour left and where they went first. He points me up Broadway toward Harvard Square.

I leave the library and aim the stroller for the Square. I see ahead of me the group of teens I had huffed past and realize that maybe they are my group – I’d been expecting more of a senior set at this and perhaps I had made a stupid generalization. So I rush and catch up. “This the walking tour?” I ask a kid lagging at the back. “Yeah,” he nods.

The group stops and everyone oohs and ahhs over the baby for some time. The kids are super friendly for a tough looking bunch. The sound like they might be Haitian. I tell them not to stop on account of me, “I was just trying to catch up.” The leader is a young white woman with a bag with folders and I quell the urge to ask if I missed anything and just tag along with her hoping she tell me. I chat and try to make eye contact with everyone as we are all on this trip together and I don't want to monopolize the leader just because I'm older and have a cute baby. The leader talks about when she was a nanny for her sister and asks me various questions about Lyra, and I stop and go, staying purposefully in the middle of them for at least five blocks.

I am wondering what the first stop will be as I thought all the factory buildings were concentrated the other direction when they all peel off to the right suddenly…to go into the high school. “Bye!” they all yell. “It was very nice walking with you,” says the leader, “Enjoy your day.”


So yes, wrong group. And yes, I just spent twenty minutes being a friendly neighborhood total friggin’ wack job.

After I got some coffee and recovered a little, I headed back to my neighborhood and attended the New Parent group after all. A mom there told me people routinely leave their strollers on the sidewalk at that library. She doesn’t like that much. I looked at her stroller and realized it’s one that cost at least $700.

From there Lyra and I headed to the movies in Brookline and Lyra would not eat and started getting Very Fussy. Everything I tried failed, but we made it through the movie. At home the fussiness continued and the hunger strike went on and on. Twelve hours after her last good meal she ate again finally and is now asleep. My nerves are shot and I will now do the same.

Today's moral: Be nice to your neighborhood wack jobs. They could be me.

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Idea for You

Lyra got her first inoculations this week and it went rather well. She had an oral vaccine and needles in each thigh muscle early in the morning. She cried briefly then went to sleep sporting two Bugs Bunny bandaids. She needed one dose of Infant Tylenol later that afternoon. Infant Tylenol comes in flavors. Babies don’t eat any solid food until 4-6 months. . . and yet they make sweet grape, cherry, and worst: bubblegum flavors of medicine for them.

So here’s today’s Idea for You. As always, please take this idea and make lots of money. We’ve got artificial everything flavor, including breast milk – but the breast milk flavor seems to be reserved for formula. Why not make baby medicine that flavor? Not all of us want to make our babies like candy when they are two months old.



Friday, July 06, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom

Lyra likes to dance.

A serious enough wind is ripping through my neighborhood at the moment and enough sirens are whizzing by that it inspired instant storm preparation instincts in me. I had the sudden urge to hoard food, fill containers with water, and locate all the flashlights and matches. It was oddly strong, this instinct, and it took me a few minutes to realize that I'd just watched a show about the incredible flood of the Connecticut River in 1936, and I was in disaster mode. Instead, I calmly closed the windows and shutters and collected the garbage can from the sidewalk while Lyra slept peacefully on a pillow on the living room floor.

Lyra slept for seven hours last night. Because she is, of course, the best baby Ever. I attended another New Parents' Coffee today at the local toy store. I met some nice people at this one. Sadly, the couple that seemed like people I might know said that they were moving to the west coast after I started talking with them awhile.

The new parent groups I have attended so far have been impressively well-educated groups of people. Last week I was having lunch with a bunch of women in Boston listening to anecdotes about how they have no idea what they are doing and were fretting over the tiniest details of parenting and I suddenly realized every one of us there had at least two college degrees. The woman talking about launching her kid out of the car seat in a supermarket was a director level industrial designer, the woman who couldn't stop nervously talking was an attorney. The young woman who worried about her baby's loud farts was an architect, and so on.

Today there were references to post doc work and medical residencies peppering the discussions of sleep and neck strength. I don't know if it's the area I live in or if there is a particular demographic to who attends such things. Anyway, I will keep trying to get out and meet people. If only they would serve caffeinated coffee!

The most interesting baby name I heard today was Zabelle, which was her great grandmother's name. Her dad calls her Zed. Last week I met a baby named Ripley, which I also liked -- and she'll be too young to have Ripley's Believe-it-or-Not or Aliens (the movie) jokes.

Speaking of too young, today was my late mother's birthday. I don't really feel like she *is* her ashes particularly, but they do symbolize her to me on some level and somehow it seems wrong of me to have not figured out what to do with them yet. It's been a few years now, and I feel bad about it when I think of it. I am struck occasionally by incredibly powerful sad moments when I wish she could meet Lyra and wish that Lyra got to meet all of her grandparents. Sometimes I wish I was younger with Lyra. After all, I knew my great grandmother on my mom's side until I was 13.

A friend visiting from Colorado stopped by today and Lyra smiled and gurgled at him even though she'd then used up her 7 hours of sleep by being awake for 7 hours. Because she is, of course, the Best Baby Ever.

This week's milestones are Lyra appreciating sleeping at night, the swing she previously hated, and all the funny sounds her mouth can make. She'll also be attending her second wedding in two months tomorrow. Oh, and her parents have begun cooking more again, which feels great. We made steak frites for the 4th after a weather-shortened picnic by the ocean, lots of great salads (it's farm share time again!) and last night we had a successful experiment with salmon fillets encrusted with crushed wasabi beans.

The wind has passed and I'm suddenly exhausted. Maybe I'll try that reading thing I seem to remember doing once upon a time. What are those things called? Books?

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Idea for You

It’s time for another idea for you. Please get fabulously rich with the following: A Spam Rock Opera. Here, to get you started, is an example sung to "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen...

Is this the real life-
Is this just fantasy-
Caught in a landslide-
No escape from reality-
Open your e-mail
Look in your Junk folder and see-
He was just a poor boy, from Nigeria-
He was easy come, easy go,
A little high, little low,
Anyway the wind blows, send your account number to me,
To me

My client was killed by a man
Put a gun against his head,
Pulled a trigger, now he’s dead,
My client’s life had just begun,
But now he’s gone and has no family-
Except yooou,
Didn’t mean to make you cry-
If you don’t collect by this time tomorrow-
Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters-

Too late, his time has come,
He just never could really win-
And now you’re his only next of kin,
Goodbye to the money, the account will close-
Gotta transfer it to you by tomorrow-
Paid to yooou- (any way the wind blows)
I don’t want to lie,
For years I didn’t think I’d track you down at all-

I see a stylish replica of a watch,
Faster recoil, faster recoil can you use the vibration ring-
Thunderbolt and lightning-very very frightening pills-
Viagra cialis! Viagra cialis!
Viagra cialis! Viagra cialis!
Discount pharmacy-your loan has been approved-
He was just a poor boy who made it big with spam-
He was just a poor boy from a poor family, man-
Spare him his hard work from going to waste-
Easy come easy go-,will you let it go-
Libido! no-,we will not let it go-let it go-
Libido! we will not let it go-let it go
Libido! we will not let it go-let it go
Will not let it go-let it go
Will not let it go let it go
Mama mia,mama mia,mama mia don’t let it go-
He as an account put aside with low fees, low fees, low feees-

So you think you can call me before it’s confiscated-
So you think you can call me poverty’s over-rated-
Oh baby-don’t miss out on this baby-
Just gotta get it out-just gotta get it right outta here-

Nothing else really matters,
Anyone can see,
Your credit score doesn’t matter -nothing really matters to me,