Advantages, all of the sudden

January 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

Working part-ish time has its advantages. I say “part-ish” because I was hired part time, but cleared to work up to 40 hours a week, and let’s face it, you can’t get any science done only doing 20 hours a week. It just doesn’t happen. In fact, the two full-time techs that they have started as part time and within a month got sucked in to full time status. Which has happened to me, sort of. I’ve been working about 7 hours a day since I started. Not to hard to bump up to 8. Except I’m not doing that.

Today was the first day I “took the morning off” as in, didn’t go in until 10:30.

What a revelation. I woke up with Lena, got her dressed, watched her eat breakfast, and sent her off with Nana and Pops. I wasn’t really hungry yet so I snuggled upstairs and watched DVRed House and last night’s Daily Show. Then I took a leisurely shower, then made myself an egg and cheese sandwich, and ate it (leisurely, needless to say) while reading the book that I bought this weekend, Committed. Delicious.

I realize that this is not what the real world is like, and I have it easy as pie. (Pie…delicious cherry pie…) But I’m taking advantage of this one for a while. Come on, I deserve that much, don’t I?

In other news, Lena.

All of the sudden she can say her abc’s, count to ten. She knows that she has 2 legs, 2 arms, 2 eyes, 2 ears, and 1 nose. (She thinks she has 2 bellies, and with the way she eats i’m not convinced otherwise.) Things are changing every day. “Dada” is now “Daisy”. Soap used to be dope and is now soap. The one I’ll miss the most is octopus. Gone is her cute little “ahh-ooooh-pus” now to be replaced with “Awk-pus”.

The thing we need to work on is pronouns.


The long and the short of it

January 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Sorry to my dear and loyal readers, I have been out of it.

Busy, to say the least, running around with a newly 2 year old. Busy planning parties, cooking, working. all of these things.

A two year update will come soon, a magnum opus which I have been working on covertly during seminars.

A work update will come shortly as well, being that I LOVE MY JOB it is so cool and people Like Me. Someone asked me today whether I was always this happy (no they were not being facetious…i hope.) And it’s really cool I’m doing some cutting edge technologies, as well as wading through many unlistened-to albums on my iPod. Can you say “exome sequencing” and “Jenifa oh Jenny”? I can.

There is one thing that is getting out of control. And that’s my doppelganger.  She used to work at Elmo’s. She may have been spotted at Panera. A complete stranger waved to me enthusiastically at Brixx one night, and now, Snoop dogg technician waves to me and says high whenever he sees me in the coffee shop. And he doesn’t do this to everyone.

Beware. I am not who you think I am.

Where to begin…

December 22, 2009 § Leave a comment

I don’t know where to begin. Really, I don’t. Let me just say that I have a really cute kid. This is sort of a new thing for me. I’ve never been the turning-heads kind of girl, I’m not used to unwanted attention from strangers, and now suddenly, I have that must-have accessory, that great item that causes men and women alike to turn around and clutch their hearts and wonder how they could have been blessed with seeing such a great accoutrement.

That, by the way, is Lena. Because she’s really cute. And things got a little out of hand. To the point where I had to glare at a very metrosexual (albeit harmless) European man after he STOPPED in the middle of the SIDEWALK to bend down and KISS my kid.

He must have not heard about the Hand, Foot and Mouth disease outbreak in day care. (Seriously, more on that later.)

And the women at the Cracker Barrel, seriously, I was beating them off with a stick. I got like 8 offers to babysit and at least one to assume complete responsibility for Lena.

D.C. was a complete and utter disaster. You know, Blizzard of the Century and whatnot. Lena was all excited to build a snow man, even enthusiastic about wearing boots and mittens and a hat, until we actually got out in the snow, and it was all, “No snow! No boots! No hat! No mittens!” And for the rest of the weekend if you even MENTIONED snow, she would immediately get into a tither about “No boots! No boots! No snowman!” As if we spend all the day threatening her with boots and snow. Jeez. Needless to say I will not be buying her a sled this winter because on the small chance that North Carolina gets any snow, Lena will not be participating in any snow-filled activities. Or any activities involving boots for that matter.

So we get back home, and there are three kids in Lena’s class today. All the rest are on vacation, you might ask? No, there has been an outbreak of HAND FOOT AND MOUTH disease. Which let me just sum up for you, means that you get painful blisters on your hands feet and mouth, and can’t eat for like 3 days.

Speaking of plurals, what is the singular of galoshes? Galosh? Please pass me my galosh? This is a relevant question because as we were reading an alphabet book and were on the G page, Lena said, “boot?” and I was like, “Yes, but seeing as we’re on the G page I would hazard a guess that that is a galosh.” I mean there was just one. Galosh? I don’t think Lena believed me. Oh well, what can you do.

I also started my job today. Which was, well, to be completely honest, awesome. It’s exactly what I wanted. I’ve already learned a ton of things. I have papers to read. I can apparently “work from home” and log hours that I read these papers as hours that I am working/watching Jersey Shore. I’m not actually going to do this. I’m not ethically okay with that. But it is cool, I’m learning about new technologies and I have a project that is all my own that I’m going to get started on…… week. Or the week after that.

Finally, I’ve been posting this picture all over everywhere, I can’t help it, because I didn’t notice it until I uploaded it on my computer. I made Alex take a picture with me using the self-timer the other day, because it was like 65 degrees outside and we were sort of matching so I thought it would be cute, and it was, and then I put it on the computer and I notice that we are matching down to our toes. So I thought I would leave you all with a picture of…our toes. Because it’s so cute, and Alex is gone for a while and I only miss him a little bit (mostly because this weekend was such a disaster I’m really happy that he wasn’t anywhere near the east coast to experience the absolute horribleness of this weekend.)

The last few days

December 15, 2009 § Leave a comment

The last few days have been this whirlwind of stress, excitement, paralyzing fear and immense happiness. Between graduating, getting a job, finishing final exams, on top of that thinking unnecessarily about the future…well, let’s just say I’ve been quite a mess. Just ask anyone who’s been in close contact with me the past week. Lena’s new favorite phrase is, “mama crying?” I’M NOT PROUD.

Although it is just really amazing how smart she is. I’ll say the word “sad” even if I’m not, even if it’s in some whole other context, and L will immediately say, “mama crying?” Mmmm but really she has a hard time with the hard ‘cr’ sound, so it’s really more like, “mama dying?”

It’s just a really stressful time. The last of exams even though they don’t matter that much I can’t stop myself from stressing over them. Because of this stress I haven’t been sleeping well, and for some reason Lena doesn’t sleep through the night any more ever. In other news, Lena is growing! She is almost the horizontal length of a full size bed! How do I know this? Because I was constantly kicked off the bed by her all night long.

Hannukkah has been a real joy these past 4 nights. Lena says “More Hannukkah?” when we light candles, and absolutely loves the gifts that great-grandma sent her. “Hannukkah puzzle! Hannukkah puzzle!”

I can’t wait till the week is up and we’ll be in DC. even though it will be cold I can’t wait to run around the mall with Lena, she’s going to love the merry-go-round and the zoo. And I will love Anthropoligie and H&M.

Please just let me get through these next few days.

Bright young things

December 8, 2009 § Leave a comment

My parents, homebodies that they are, rarely went out when I was little. They also rarely left me with other people overnight. Maybe just due to the lack of family around, I remember a few times where I had babysitters overnight when they went to meetings and such, but those times I can count on, oh, three fingers in 15 years. So year one of The Rachael and Lena Saga saw me not going out that much, not wanting to leave Lena with my parents, simply because I thought that’s not what parents do. Kids are self centered like that. We tend to think that everyone else is like our families until proven otherwise. Oh, oh, oh, the joys of discovery.  (Here I thought everyone’s parents polished off a bottle of wine a night. ;))

I’ve started to realize that this isn’t the norm, this is in fact an aberration! What parent can sanely spend 24/7/365 days with their kid? SAINTLY parents. That’s who. I started reading in lots of mommy blogs that I read “Oh thankgoodness grandma has the little ones tonight” or “really looking forward to getaway weekend with the hubby”. And I thought, WHAT? These must be HORRIBLE HORRIBLE parents for leaving their kids with STRANGERS aka grandparents. And then I realized, hey, maybe these people are on to something, maybe I could try something like this…

And sure enough, at the prospect of being bereft of ME for a weekend, my parents could barely contain their enthusiasm. And I had to double check, “Just to make sure we’re on the same page, I’m leaving, and Lena is staying.” Here my mom nods vigorously, already mentally planning out fun shopping plans and stroller rides.

So, the weekend before exams I get a wonderful wonderful wonderful weekend with just Alex and me where we do grown up things like stay up late and eat pizza and NOT GET WOKEN UP at 6:30 in the morning.

The thing is. (okay so that was the exposition)

Coming home.

Coming home to Lena is the greatest thing in the world. (THIS is why people leave, so they can come home again!) Lena got OLDER in the 48 hours that I was gone. She grew an inch! She said new things! We were watching a nature program about lions last night and there was an airplane, and lena said, wait for it, “Airplane!”

And I said, “what was that?”

And she says again, “Airplane!”

(I tried to get her to say it a third time but she looked at me like I was crazy.)

Remember “airmeme”? Remember when Lena couldn’t say “airplane” and instead said “airmeme”? And that there was only a select few people that knew that? No longer. My child is entering the public sphere of common words and mutual understanding. (Don’t tell me not to be melodramatic, it’s my airmeme and i’ll cry if I want to.)

A moment of silence for Lena’s airmemes.

In other great wonderful insane news, I got a job for after I graduate. Part-time temporary, and it keeps me below the poverty line so Lena can stay on medicaid, but it’s a JOB. Like I am somewhat gainfully employed. Can you imagine how happy my parents are? I even got a whole paragraph devoted to me in the christmas card. Magical I say, just magical.

/rant (the love and the hate and the love and the hate)

December 1, 2009 § Leave a comment

I love day care. I’ll preface this all with that statement. Day care is a million times better than someone looking after my kid during the day and a bajillion times better than me doing it myself. Lena learns so much there. It’s why every time someone even mentioned a turkey over thanksgiving she immediately would say “dobble dobble dobble” (the hard g sound isn’t there yet). It’s why she can make special requests for the wheels on the bus song as well as the itsy bitsy spider. All wonderful wonderful things.

Come December, Lena gets kicked out of day care. Why you might ask? Well, that’s the simple part. I’m graduating and rules say that parent or guardian must be a student, staff, or faculty. Hmm. Simple enough. But what, you might ask, would happen if the mother is a student who is graduating, she is the legal dependent of two faculty members, does not, I repeat, DOES NOT SUPPORT HERSELF IN ANY WAY, besides fork to mouth, step into shower, etc., you might think, OH, this degenerate single mother’s beautiful smart talented daughter will surely still have a place in day care. Nope. No dice. My parents went to the Board, saying, look, this is our situation, we’re both faculty, our daughter does not support herself, can we keep Lena in day care? And they say no. And we stew around a bit, and say, okay, if we give the grandparents power of attorney, THEN can she stay in day care? (This is not enough for Chapel Hill Carrboro City schools either.) Nope. custody or joint custody. Can you say CHAPEL HILL SNOBS? Here, let me help you, CHAPEL HILL SNOBS.

If I didn’t like day care so much, or there was any other viable option not including a church basement, Lena would be out of there. Because it’s just so absurd! What is the board thinking? I face so much ADVERSARY as a single mother (don’t look at me like that. stop your snickering. I am very aware i have it easy as pie okay, but every now and then I need to play the victim card, so SUE ME.) Oh wait, that’s what’s happening, because my parents now have to SUE me for joint custody.

And I am livid with the Board of Directors. If I’m still here in September (please god let me not be please god let me not be) I am joining the board just out of SPITE. The other good thing is that I have completed my resume and just applied to two part time jobs at UNC. TAKE THAT.


Leave no trace

November 16, 2009 § Leave a comment

Last night as I watched Lena transfer rocks from the orchid plant into the Nagy’s colanders in the kitchen cabinet, I made a mental note to put the rocks back after she was done, and be sure to rinse out the colanders. (This was unnecessary, as later she figured out how to take out the colanders, and began to transport rocks around the house. )

I just came from my Chinese literature class, and because of that I want to credit these random acts of leaving shit in the most random places to Lena discovering her agency in the world. Which is what it is, to some extent. Or she just likes moving things around. If only she saw the effects of these actions. This week my parents are in DC, and my dad opened his bag to find a remote control to the radio as well as his bar mitzvah cup.

Some of these discoveries are not so pleasant, however. Alex found a dirty diaper in his closet about a week after we had been there. Oops…


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