Archive for February, 2009
let’s go for a swim

swimming lessons

New things on the horizon

Tonight I had a brief brush with a clogged milk duct.  After 3 hours of soaking in the tub, pumping, massage, and trying to get Holden to eat from the affected side, I think I finally was able to work the plug out.  It’s really awful when your baby can’t get any milk from one side and you just feel like you are going to burst at the seams!  I am so thankful though that I was able to get it resolved.  I’m tempted to get up every few hours to pump tonight just to make sure that things are still flowing the way they should, but I know I probably won’t.  I’m too lazy.

And now for the good news part of the evening…..I have a phone interview scheduled for next week at my dream academic job!!!!  I am *sooooo* freaked out by this!  I haven’t talked shop with anyone in months, so I feel completely rusty.  My application for this position was submitted 3 months ago, so I need to go back through it and remind myself of what I even said to the search committee about what my research is supposed to be about!  I am utterly floored by this.  When the e-mail came through, I almost didn’t read it because I was certain that it was an outright rejection.  And now the pressure is on to perform well through this first round of interviews…and hope that I get a call to come give a talk.  I can’t even express how shocked I am right now.  And nervous.  I don’t feel nervous about most things as a general rule, but the task of upholding my professional reputation through this dormant period of my career has given me a case of the howling maternal fantods.  We will be in New Hampshire this weekend for a family vacation and then Tuesday I have my interview….details (hopefully positive) are to follow!

Holden loves Tadbit

Tabula Rasa

Upon our return from Baltimore, H and I battled some nasty prokaryotic foes.  I came down with a stomach bug followed by a worsening of my sinus issues.  H came down with his first ever ear infection.  We began antibiotics at the same time, and now, after completing our respective 10 day courses of amoxcillin, we are back in business!   I am feeling better than I have in months.  Holden is doing better as well—when he was sick, he stopped eating solid food entirely for a full week.  After several days of gently re-introducing solids, he is back to where he was before—and can handle chunkier purees now that his cough is entirely gone and he is no longer choking on his food.  

I should also add that the neti pot is the most awesome thing to rock India:

My friend Sally (the dear neti pot goddess that she is), brought this to me as part of a massive and unexpected care package.  This thing has saved me (and my sinus cavities!)

During the time that I was too sick to blog, Holden hit that 7-month mark.  He continues to change by leaps and bounds every day.  He is increasingly mobile, but not in the conventional ways.  He “bottom shuffles” across the floor; by rocking back and forth, he is able to scoot on his butt from one end of the room to the other.  He also rolls across the floor and scoots on his belly to get from one place to another.  He has been rocking up onto his knees from his belly but hasn’t actually crawled yet:

I’m not terribly anxious for that to start happening.  Our house is not baby proofed yet!

Holden has also begun to pull himself up using furniture that is around him:

He can also stand with decent stability while holding on to furniture.  Because he is starting to pull himself up, I finally had to lower his crib mattress.  It’s just crazy to watch his transformation from little baby to little boy right before our eyes!  On a few occasions, Holden has “waved” to other people, although it looks more like a flapping arm than anything else.  He has waved goodbye to Rob in the morning and to his Oma and Great Grammie.  

The best milestone (and something that I have looked forward to even before he was born) included Holden’s introduction to sledding last week:

We took him on a couple of runs down Mt. Philo, the same sledding hill that we went to last year when I was still pregnant.  We only hiked up part way, just in case Holden didn’t like it or was freaked out by the sled.  Holden sat on my lap for his first run down the mountain; he laughed hysterically the whole way down.  Onlookers reported he was grinning from ear to ear despite the cold snow that was flying up into his face.  I mean, I don’t think this kid could be any happier!

He did a second run down the hill with Papa, and then we sat at the bottom to watch other sledders make their way down.  Some folks came down the mountain in jerry-rigged contraptions consisting of bicycle seats that had been attached to skis.  Holden watched all of these people with interest; it was good for him to get another perspective of what sledding is all about. Yesterday we returned to the mountain and hiked about halfway up before the wind picked up too much for Holden’s liking.  He went halfway down with me and halfway down with Rob before we headed home for the day.

Now that we are both feeling better, we have begun attending our weekly yoga/playgroup sessions.  This week we got together with one of the other mom/baby duos after class.  Holden had a lot of fun playing with 13-month-old Maggie, although Maggie clearly didn’t feel the same way about Holden:

Ah, our boy is breaking hearts all over the Northeast already.  (Yes, our 22.5 lb. 7.5 month old is bigger than yet another 13-month old!)

We have more playdates and exercise classes lined up for this week, which is exciting to me after having several months of intermittent sickness and canceled plans.  Things on the job front are still pretty rough.  I am keeping my chin up however.  There is really nothing I can do to change this situation, so I just really need to make the best of a bad situation.  I got another rejection from an academic job, a rejection from another (extremely crappy) teaching job, and I am waiting very impatiently to hear back from one more place.  If that doesn’t pan out, I need to move on and maybe just accept the possibility that I am not cut out for a teaching/research career.  U.S. News and World Report recently cited Professor and Medical Scientist as 2 of the 13 most overrated careers in the U.S., identifying low pay, long hours, and slim chances of landing a job at the end of it all as some of the disadvantages associated with them.  Man, I think I chose the wrong career:(  On top of this, my manuscript that I submitted in the fall came back from the reviewers with some “serious flaws” cited.  The manuscript needs some revisions (“serious flaws” is a bit of an overstatement), and for the first time ever, I actually told a co-author that I would not be doing the major editing work.  I never turn down an opportunity to take a first stab at writing a paper or tackling revisions, but I guess the learned helplessness is starting to take over.  I don’t feel like investing unpaid time into something when I have to keep an eye on Holden—and when there is a very real possibility that all of this work will mean nothing.  It was hard enough to write the paper when H was just a newborn.  And with his increasing mobility and lack of napping, I just don’t think I can sink hours and hours into editing.  If I want to do volunteer work, I’d be better off walking over to the local hospital and actually helping somebody with something important.  So, I guess the bottom line is that I’m taking my first steps toward walking away from a thankless career.  And even though I am disappointed and sad about how things have turned out, I am trying to keep my chin up, as I said before.  I have so much to be thankful for…a beautiful, kind, and humorous son who giggles and explores with me every day.  A partner who is more amazing and supportive and wonderful than I could ever hope for.  I have outstanding friends (here in VT and elsewhere), and I am lucky to live in a beautiful place that brings me joy every day I step outside (especially when it’s warmer than 25 degrees or so!)  And some recent events have made the monetary stress of my unemployment become a virtual non-issue.  So I am breathing easier for now, intent on enjoying my time with Holden, indulging in sledding and hot chocolate, and not allowing the white, blank snow to blind me.

a foodie

what are you lookin' at?To date, young H. has eaten:

  • apple sauce* (home made)
  • banana*
  • barley cereal*
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • guacamole avocado
  • oat cereal*
  • peas
  • pears
  • rice cereal*
  • sweet potatoes

…and in a few more weeks here we’ll be cleared to introduce him to some meat.  A. was thinking purée of chicken.  I was thinking more along the lines of rack of lamb.

UPDATED:  A. points out that I forgot blueberry yoghurt.  My bad.  Also, this just in:  zucchini!

* = Both with and without cinnamon.