30 March 2006

thinking about walking

Oliver's standing has been getting better and it's clear he'd really like to walk. I think his status as a champion crawler who needs a speed limit may be impeding his walking. He can get where he wants to go, quickly, by crawling, so who needs to do all that wobbly walking stuff?

I don't think he will walk before his birthday but it won't be much longer.

growing hair

Though Oliver hasn't gained any weight in the last month but he has been growing hair. It won't be long before he has the longest hair in the house (if you don't count the feathering on the Clumbers).

Click the photo to go to Flickr, where there's an extra bonus hair shot.

tagged, for the very first time

Melissa at BoobyJuice tagged everyone on her sidebar to list seven songs they are into right now. This is pretty hard for me. I only listen to NPR on the radio. The last time I paid attention to current music was when I was in college.

I'm gonna take the lazy person's way out and look at my iTunes library to see what songs have been played most frequently over the last month or so. Unfortunately, all the kid music is in there so we could play it on our road trip to Indiana.

1. Accidents Will Happen - Elvis Costello
2. Baby Beluga - Raffi (Oliver loves it. I want to gag every time I hear it.)
3. Four Little Duckies - Ralph's World (I learned to count to four in German!)
4. And She Was - Talking Heads (always makes me think of warmer weather)
5. Fly Me to the Moon - Frank Sinatra (best. tune. ever.)
6. Victor Vito - Laurie Berkner (narrowly beating out The Goldfish - wait a minute, we're FISH!!!!)
7. Moondance - Van Morrison (second best tune ever)

That's gotta be the strangest collection of tunes ever. If I extended the list out to 15 or 20 it would only get wierder.

Thanks Melissa! And we are eagerly awaiting news of Spuds' arrival!! I'm sending you good thoughts for a pitocin-free birth.

Now I have to tag 7 people. Of course, since there aren't 7 people who regularly read my blog, and one of them is Melissa, this could be a challenge. If you are a regular reader, consider yourself tagged.

28 March 2006

twelve hours, forty-five minutes

That's how long we went between nursing today. It wasn't nearly as painful as I expected. June was in fact busting out all over but it wasn't too bad.

Oliver enjoyed his "half and half" blend of the "domestic white" at lunch time and didn't seem bothered at all that we weren't nursing. Tomorrow I'll skip my noon visit to his school. I doubt he will notice.

In my perfect world his tummy is so full tonight that he sleeps until morning (remember, this is my fantasy) and we are suddenly down to nursing twice a day. I expect Oliver has other ideas. Small steps....

Update: I hate it when my predictions are right. Oliver went to sleep around 7:30pm last night, up at 11:15pm (nursed), 1am (daddy), 2am (nursed) and 5am (ignored - he went back to sleep). He got up for the day at 6:30am.

27 March 2006

my man. he's extra special stinky.

That's CD, second from the left. He was one of the tracklayers at the CSCA national specialty tracking test at Camp Atterbury in Indiana and the only Clumber to earn a title was on HIS track. May not sound like a big deal but in the world of tracking, a stinky tracklayer is a wonder to be treasured. And he didn't even rub hot dogs on his boots.

Quite a change from last year when he put down both of the VST tracks and neither dog passed.

cleared for takeoff

The doc gave me some really great news today. He's totally cool with Oliver trying some cow's milk a couple of weeks early. It's no secret weaning has been on my mind. Today Oliver was barely interested in his noon-time nursing. And he hasn't gained more than an ounce in the last four weeks.

I decided to be brave and call the doc. Love Love Love that man (and hope every day that he doesn't start thinking about retirement). We've got some frozen breastmilk that ought to be used so tomorrow Oliver gets to try our own special version of half-and-half instead of nursing at mid-day. Woo HOO!!!

It will be interesting to see how this all goes. I hope I'm not in horrible pain by mid-afternoon, especially since I returned the hospital-grade pump and the Pump In Style now lives at home. It doesn't seem to me like Oliver will miss it much. He's doing great with a cup. As with most things, he will probably find a way to prove me wrong.

we're back, honest

Really, we are back from the Clumber national specialty in Indiana. I know it doesn't look like it, from the lack of blog posts, but we really did get home, safe and relatively sound. Last year the dogs were sick after the show (not mine so much, but some others). This year the humans ended up with something akin to what we call "dog show crud". I had a mild case, compared to some others. The aftermath for me is just a little sinus infection.

My voice is back too. Sorry to all of you who have to listen to it.

So more about the trip and the show soon. I'm still dealing with the aftermath, the crap that inevitably rears its ugly head when too many people who take this stuff far too seriously and decide to behave like small children get together. I'd rather change poopy diapers for hours on end, frankly.

16 March 2006

you know you're too damn tired when....

you put your nursing camisole on backwards, go to work, and don't discover the problem until you try to nurse your child

15 March 2006

six teeth and counting

Oliver's grin is becoming a bit more toothful. He has a new lower tooth this morning, after an extremely fussy night. He's been drooling even more than usual for a couple of weeks now, and an upper tooth has looked like it was ready to show itself any day now for at least as long. Still, the new tooth is on the bottom, so today the drooling hasn't subsided and we have a new issue...not wanting to eat.

Oliver's school has a board for indicating how well the children eat snacks and lunch. They get a rating of 1 to 3, with 1 meaning they didn't eat much, 2 meaning they ate an average amount, and 3 meaning they ate very well. Oliver is always a 3. He will devour 4 bowls of soup and be looking for more. Not today. He got a 1 for morning snack. Another 1 for lunch. Somehow, blueberry cake was to his liking and he got a 3 for afternoon snack. I'd give him a 1 for dinner. He's nursing well and eating his fruit and cereal in the morning so I'm not worried about him starving. He didn't gain any weight last week so I think we are just in a period of slower growth. That, and teeth.

14 March 2006

it's supposed to be a vacation

As mentioned previously, we leave on Friday for the Clumber Spaniel national specialty. On paper, it looks like a lot of fun. Almost a week of events for Clumbers and their people, including tracking, hunting, obedience, agility and conformation, should be fun, right? Unfortunately, the week also includes a day-long board meeting, an annual membership meeting, and a whole lot of backstabbing, politics, egos and gossip. As the club secretary, I try to hide in my room. I typically get off the hotel property no more than once (except for attending the tracking and hunt tests). Every time I leave my room is a leap of faith that I will not be bombarded by club members bitching about something ridiculous.

Last year the show was in Pittsburgh in late May. Oliver was six weeks old and I was coordinating the week's events. What was I thinking???? I committed to doing the show long before we decided to have a baby. It takes longer to plan a national specialty than it does to make a baby. I could not have survived without CD, my sister and good friend Tara. There were lots of other people working on the show but I would have curled up in a little ball and tried to disappear without them. Wait, I did try to do that a couple of times, but it could have been much worse.

This year we are in Columbus, Indiana. I have been to Columbus, Indiana exactly twice in my life. Both times there have been tornadoes on the ground during my visit. I offered more than once to do everyone a public service and stay home but no dice. To make things more interesting, CD is driving out with me and helping with the tracking test, but will be leaving for IETF in Dallas on Sunday. I'll be on my own the rest of the week, which is why Chewy and Penguin are staying home with a house sitter. If all goes well, I'll have an adjoining room with Jenni, another loyal Clumber buddy. Otherwise I will be spending evenings holed up in the bathroom with my laptop, with Oliver asleep in the main part of the hotel room.

At least there is one bright spot to focus on. This will be my last specialty as club secretary. After six years I'm hanging up my fax machine as of August 1. I just have to find some other fool to take on the job. Those with the right experience know better than to agree to it. Those who are interested have never served on the board and have no clue what they would be in for.

As a consolation prize, I'm stopping at Trader Joe's in Columbus on the way home. After a week in hell, that's my reward. Pathetic....

update on sear's repair...they still don't

I talked to Sear's again today. They still can't tell me why no one showed up to fix my oven on Saturday. I told them I would be home Friday morning, until 10 am. They said, "Okay, we'll schedule you for Friday morning but we can't promise the technician will be there before 10. It all depends on routing." I continue to be astounded at the depths of their poor customer service. If they really gave a damn, they would have called me first thing Monday morning with an explanation and a guarantee. It's amazing to me they are still in business.

13 March 2006

first big owie

Oliver fell and bumped his head this afternoon, resulting in his first big owie. He wanted no part of his boo bunny but I must have held it on the bump long enough for the "egg" to shrink considerably. It started to look like he was going to have a very large bump within a couple of minutes of the fall, but here, about an hour later, it doesn't look like much at all.

12 March 2006


It's in the mid 60s again today and really feels like spring. We even had thunderstorms overnight. Unfortunately, snow is forecast for mid-week so the flowers probably won't last.

These crocus flowers were not nearly as pretty last year. As I recall, they came up early and got snowed on almost immediately. At least this year we have had a few days to enjoy them.

11 March 2006

11 months

Oliver is 11 months old today, and sporting a very appropriate new t-shirt from HonestBaby. It could be worse. They also sell one that says "I survived nipple confusion."

The wet spot on Oliver's arm is from the copious amounts of drool he is producing. It's been going on for a couple of weeks now. I thought we might have seen a sixth tooth by now but it remains in hiding. Other than the drool, it doesn't seem to be causing him any distress.

The major changes this month are all in the realm of MORE. He's babbling more and seeming to understand more words. He's crawling and cruising more and doing both even faster than before. Sometimes I think we need a speed limit.

Oliver's mum and dad had a night out last night. We finally found a great sitter, only to discover she's moving out of state next month, so we decided to make the most of it as quickly as possible. Dinner and a movie, neither of which were particularly outstanding, was a very welcome break. The movie and the food could have been a lot worse and I still would have been happy. Don't get me wrong, I love Oliver and being his mum, but a break every once in a while is necessary, and we've been pretty horrible at making sure we take those breaks. I hope by the time his birthday rolls around we will have found another great babysitter and will be making date night a more regular event.

sear's repair....no, they don't

I suppose Sear's does fix things but first they have to show up. I went to their website earlier in the week, after discovering our oven wasn't working. It was easy to schedule a service call, too easy it seems. I scheduled them to come between 8am and noon today. We received two confirming phone calls yesterday. What they were confirming remains a mystery. No repair person showed up and my oven still doesn't work.

We got a call around 3pm from the technician saying he was finishing up with a customer and we were next. He asked for directions, which I provided. A little before 5pm I phoned their 800 number to find out what happened to the technician. I worked my way through their stupid maze and got to a human. He put me on hold, saying he had to check with their routing system. I got music for a while, then I was disconnected. I called back, did the maze again and got to another human. She informed me the office was closed. Sorry. No notes in your record. Sorry. Nothing can be done. Sorry. Poof.

Anyone know of an appliance repair service in Pittsburgh that actually repairs things?

09 March 2006

project runaway

I've tried to resist the siren song of reality tv, and I've been extremely successful, until about a month ago, when I was sick. I am always checking Bravo to see if The West Wing is on so it was only a matter of time before I stumbled upon Project Runway. I was a goner.

You can't imagine how little interest I have in fashion (a 10 second glance at my closet and it would all become clear) but it's like watching an accident. You can't NOT look. Santino was the accident on this season of Project Runway. I kept wanting him to get Heidi Klum's boot but it was as if the judges enjoyed watching him teeter on the edge a little bit too much.

It was all good when I was watching the episodes while home sick. Alas, nothing is allowed to get in the way of Law & Order so last night I found myself downloading the Finale, Part 1 from the iTunes Music Store. Yes, we are a family in desperate need of TiVO....but that's a rant for another day.

Fortune smiled upon me, sort of, when Oliver assumed the role of Sir Screams-a-lot a little after 10pm. With CD occupied in attempting to stuff a sock in the little guy, I was able to watch the last half hour of part two, except for the last 10 minutes, when CD gave up. It became clear that a sock was not what Oliver wanted stuffed in his mouth and his father was not up to the challenge. I was forced to find out who won by reading the message boards on Bravo's website. Not surprisingly, I had to wade through screens full of crap before finding what I was looking for. My punishment for being sucked in to reality tv, no doubt.

08 March 2006

road trippin'

We're getting ready for yet another Clumber Spaniel Club of America National Specialty. This means Oliver's longest road trip. Woo hoo! Thanks to Charlene, one of the many the good folks at Blogging Baby, I am getting lots of advice on handling a a six hour road trip with an 11-month old. If you'd like to offer some tips, or read the ones submitted already, click here.

05 March 2006

on lockdown

The babyproofer was at the house on Friday, installing all the gates, locks, latches, straps and covers. We still have some work to do, mostly involving removing things that will have to hang out in the basement for a year or five, but we are on our way to having a baby-safe house.

The gates are really impressive, sturdy and solid and not at all like the flimsy ones we have used to ensure the safe co-existence of cat and dogs. I am hoping they will work in our favor when it comes time to sell the house, since we live very near an elementary school, which draws lots of families with kids to our street. Unfortunately, Zillow doesn't have a category for babyproofing gear so we won't know for sure.

The only problem is that at least one of the adults in the house is feeling like we adult-proofed. The toilet lid lock sucks at 3am. I am convinced I'm going to break a couple of the cabinet latches before I get used to everything being on lockdown. I am seeing just how many operations I do on complete auto-pilot. Hire a babyproofer if you really want to rock your world.

This photo is of the kitchen gate. If you look closely you'll see the knob cover on the door to the basement. We are hoping Oliver doesn't try to investigate the cat flap.

04 March 2006

human puppy

human puppy
Originally uploaded by clumberkim.
Before Oliver, I swore we would have puppies before children, so I could find out how helpful CD planned to be. About a week after we found out I was pregnant, but before we spilled the beans, we bred Penguin. The timing would have been great. She would be due just as I started second trimester. The puppies would have been old enough to show at the 2005 National. It was perfect. Except that Penguin didn't get pregnant. Some hypothesize that I used up all the pregnancy karma in the house, or my hormones trumped hers, or any number of other theories. In truth, it was probably an underfunctioning thyroid.

Some members of my family were worried that our dog experience would influence us a little too much once we had a baby. There was speculation that we would throw the kid in a dog crate and head out to a movie. Knowing this, I always planned to strap Oliver in his car seat, back in the days of the SnugRide (aka the baby bucket), and get a picture for posterity. Or just to freak out my mother.

I never managed the picture but Oliver gave me a "close enough" moment on Friday and I couldn't resist. Since then I have found him on at least two of the dog beds, often with one of the dog toys, and at one point he even looked like he was going to curl up for a nap.

Puppies will have to wait. Penguin is over the hill, in dog mom terms. For now, we'll have to be content with Oliver.

03 March 2006

count down to cow's milk

I'm sure this will rile all the lactivists out there but I'm counting the days until Oliver can have his first tastes of cow's milk. After nearly 11 months of breastfeeding I am about ready to call it a day. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the time Oliver and I spend nursing and after our rough start getting to a full year is an achievement I will be proud of, but I'm tired. It all boils down to exhaustion. If we decide to have another child I don't look forward to embarking on a pregnancy with this much of a sleep deficit. I'll be worthless to Oliver, CD, not to mention the player to be named later.

I know we can't go cold turkey on the milk. That wouldn't be good for either of us. Weaning will be gradual, and really started that first day Oliver tried cereal. But he's starting to show a little less interest in nursing. We're down to about four times a day, sometimes three. The mid-day nurse seems to be the one he's willing to skip. It usually takes place at school, where there are lots more interesting things to do. If he ever starts sleeping through the night, we may lose another nursing session.

I can see this will all be a fond memory, eventually. For now, it's nice to know the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight, and it is not an oncoming train.

39 days.....and counting.

02 March 2006

Sick? I'm not sick!

Oliver good. Mum not so much. Keep the tissues coming. Pay no attention to the loud hacking cough.

Who do I have to sleep with to get some sudafed? Oh, wait, it's that weaning thing we're waiting on. Dr O, are you SURE he can't have a little cow's milk? please?

01 March 2006

Halfway House

Originally uploaded by clumberkim.
Oliver is feeling a lot better today, but I thought he could use a quieter day than he would get at school so he is at the Get Well Room, which happens to be at the daycare we used last summer and run by the same person who was in charge of his care there. It's for kids who are a little bit sick. No raging contagious stuff, but their threshold for accepting a kid is a little higher than regular daycare.

Around the time he started feeling better yesterday afternoon he decided to try clapping. As you can see, he's very pleased with his new skill. And he's practicing it often.