I'm talking about last weekend actually. This week was so crazy/busy, I never got a chance to post this until now...
Last weekend J took off for San Francisco, leaving me home alone with Squeakles. Any other weekend and I would have looked forward to it completely, with visions of taking Squeakles to the playground and lazing around with him during naps. But this weekend I had a lot of work to do (which is why I didn't plan to go to SF with J) and I worried about how I would manage to do it and take care of Squeakles at the same time. So I arranged for a babysitter to come over on Saturday and figured I could also sacrifice some sleep at night. Well, Squeakles one-upped me. I don't know if he was sick or teething or both, but he pretty much abandoned his naps over the weekend, couldn't go to sleep at night, and woke up every hour when he did finally go to sleep.
Still, he was otherwise the charmer he usually is and although I didn't get as much work done as I wanted (needed to), I did enjoy my weekend with him. Here are some of the pictures I sent to J from my iPhone throughout the weekend.
First, here is Squeakles asleep in his own bed!! I have been meaning to write about this, but just haven't had time. Previously he was sleeping in bed with us, but then J worried that he might roll over on him so he moved to the couch. Squeakles and I slept much better with more space in the bed, but it wasn't exactly a solution to have J sleeping on the couch. Thing is that Squeakles often wakes several times throughout the night and if I'm right there, a quick touch or replacing his pacifier or (re)turning him onto his side can help him go right back to sleep. But if he's by himself in the crib he wakes up much more quickly and is so much harder to settle. I didn't want J sleeping on the couch, but at the same time, we weren't getting up several times a night and that was amazing. So we decided to try a possible sleep solution that would be something halfway between our bed and the crib - we put the crib mattress on the floor next to our bed. It has worked out wonderfully. We've only been doing it about a week but he goes to sleep there without much trouble and stays there all night. I only have to roll over on my side and I can shush him, put a hand on him, replace his pacifier, or even turn him over onto his side. And then I can roll back over and sleep comfortably on my back or snuggle with J! Perfect.
Now for the caveat, which is that Squeakles' sleeping was not so perfect over the weekend. On Friday night, our first night home alone without J, Squeakles slept wonderfully, only waking up once during the night. But the next two nights he slept horribly, both at night and for naps. On Sunday night it took me three hours to get him to sleep and ended with me on the phone crying to J out of frustration. Or rather, just minutes after I finally broke down, this is how it ended.
You win little boy. You win.
In spite of not sleeping well at night, Squeakles woke up in a fantastic mood. This is Saturday morning.
But when nap time rolled around, Squeakles knew what I was up to and made a break for it.
I caught him and hoped he would chill out in the exersaucer for a bit. Clearly not.
Because something was clearly up with him, I took him into bed with me on Saturday and Sunday nights. He woke up several times, but since he was next to me, he was easier to soothe and so we both got more sleep. On Monday morning I emailed our doctor because I was concerned that maybe Squeakles was sick - perhaps an ear infection? She said she didn't think so and that it was more likely to be teething, but that I could try Tylenol as a way of making him feel better and that I should bring him in the next day if things weren't better. Well, all it took was one dose of Tylenol on Monday afternoon (from the babysitter) to get him down for a restorative nap and ever since then he's been back to normal and sleeping on his own mattress at night.
Doesn't he look recovered? (And also, in that shirt, about a year older?!)
Now that he has recently discovered that he can crawl out of the living room, he has been exploring other parts of the apartment. This weekend he discovered the magnets on the refrigerator and now spends hours pulling them off and then sticking them back on. I think it's time to get some alphabet magnets for him.
And finally, one last picture of our little model. (Strike a pose babe.)
J came home on Wednesday morning after a red-eye flight from San Francisco, I slept in (like a whole extra hour) and then rushed into the office to give the presentation that was not at all in the state I wanted it to be in. By afternoon I was just beat, so I came home and crawled into bed with Squeakles and we took a three hour nap together. Since then I've been sick (gee, wonder how that happened) and yesterday (my birthday) I was really not feeling well at all. :(
But I've slept and slept and sucked on Ricola throat drops and self-medicated with hot and sour soup and now today I am feeling pretty close to recovered. Good thing because I have less than a week to finish this presentation and head out to Denver for a conference.
Unfortunately, now J says his throat is feeling sore...
I was about to post this to Facebook, but I see that 45 minutes ago my husband beat me to it...
Last night we went to Melograno with Chiaroscuro and the artist formerly known as Visual Field. (Actually, they are both active photographers, but VF hasn't posted to his photoblog in nearly four years!) But this post isn't actually about them.
It's about our adventurous food-loving world-loving baby. Although we brought some baby food (chicken and carrots with alphabet pasta) along to the restaurant, and started him off with Cheerios the second we sat him down (because he expects food the minute he's placed in a high chair), he was ultimately much more interested in what was on our plates. We started him off on some tastes of sour dough bread, which he loved, loved, loved. Then our appetizer arrived, so we gave him tiny bites of grilled octopus and potatoes. Then for dinner he shared our baked cod with artichoke sauce and pasta with wild boar tomato sauce. Loved it all.
He spent the second half of the meal turning around his his high chair to watch the open kitchen and to try to catch the eye of various waitstaff and customers - basically anyone who would smile back at him.
By dessert time he was starting to get tired, but not so much that we felt we had to rush home right away. So we stopped by my favorite place for ice cream, Capogiro. He definitely perked up as I tried to eat my ice cream while holding him in the sling. Watching lovely spoonfuls of ice cream pass within inches of his face was too tempting so he spit out his pacifier (onto the floor) and opened his mouth like the little baby bird that he is. And he eagerly ate as much of our ice cream as we were willing to share. He tried and liked all four flavors: Guinness, some Irish flavor I can't remember, Cioccolato with Spice Rum, and Tangerine.
He was quite full and happy by the end of the night and went straight to bed when we got home.
I just got an email about an upcoming panel discussion regarding female scientists in academia. My first thought was, great, I could use this! And the topics it will cover - various paths to an academic career, the "two body" problem, interviewing tips, job negotiation, and balancing family and work life - are definitely relevant to me, right?
But there's something about this panel being targeted to women that just feels incomplete to me. These things aren't only relevant to me; all of them are also relevant to J. (To be fair, the email (but not the attached flyer) says that the discussion will be "from a female perspective (but not to the exclusion of males!)".)
I assume that the point of the panel is to help women in academia deal with issues that continue to affect women more negatively than men. But I can't help but think that these issues would be shared more fairly between women and men if they were treated more like problems that both sexes have to deal with.
My reaction to this isn't coming from any concerns/issues I have with J. I do think he is just as concerned about these things as I am and he is just willing to consider alternative paths, continually attempt to balance work and family, etc. We talk openly about what we want for ourselves career-wise, what our individual goals are, what we are (or may be) willing to sacrifice for parenting and for dealing with the two-body problem, etc. The extent that I single-handedly take on certain parenting responsibilties (e.g., I make all of Squeakles' food myself) is coming from within myself - there are things I want for Squeakles, things I am willing to take time to do, and things I personally enjoy doing. But otherwise, J and I split the things that I don't take on as personal missives but yet which need to be done, and we are constantly negotiating the balance of time we spend with Squeakles versus work.
So my reaction is not about how J and I personally handle these issues, but about how these issues are perceived in academia (as well as more broadly). The fact that this panel is being targeted toward women (and not just this panel in particular of course, but panels like this) make me nervous about my academic future (or I guess, the immediate future academia itself), that these issues tend to be considered of particular concern to women but, what, not to men? It makes me worry about how men are regarded who want to consider alternative paths to an academic career (and thus whether they are as likely to consider them). And about whether similar assumptions are made about women and men needing to balance family and work life, and what accommodations may or may not be available. Or about the assumptions made when sacrifices have to be made because of the two body problem. Don't these issues become more relevant to only women's lives the less they are considered problems equally relevant to men's lives?
Last night J made burgers for dinner. When they were ready, he placed mine down on the coffee table next to where I was sitting. Squeakles took one look at the burger, then looked up at me and tentatively signed "eat".
He'd imitated the sign on Monday, and done it once or twice since then while eating and after we'd done the sign a few times ourselves, but this was totally unsolicited and definitely in the right context. In that moment, I felt both proud of him and also like he'd just significantly grown up right then and there. Usually if he whines or cries, I don't know what exactly he wants or even if he knows what he wants. Of course, food does usually work as a response. But in this moment, it was clear that he knew what he wanted and he knew how to communicate that with me.
Now that he's using two signs (he also signs "more" while saying "muuuuuuh"), and three if you count "bye-bye", I get the feeling that he wants to do more signs. I actually think he might be babbling a little with his hands, though this only occurred to me today and I'll have to watch him more closely. But I have noticed him doing things with his hands that look like they might be signs (except they aren't ones that I know!), like using the hand shape for "eat"/"more", but touching his hand to his head.
If only I knew more signs! I'd like to do a sign for nursing, but I don't like the ASL sign because it looks like milking a cow. And I'd like him to learn the sign for either "tired" or "bed" because, well, that just seems useful. That could be wishful thinking, of course, on the part of his parents who were up with him until 11:30 last night because he just wouldn't go to sleep! He finally fell asleep on my lap, clutching the volume remote, while J and I watched an old episode of Lost.
Although we used to call Squeakles exactly that - Squeakles - we really don't call him that anymore. There's his name, of course. :) Other things I call him include: Crazy, Crazy Boy, and Little Boy. Not exactly creative I suppose, but it's always clear who I'm talking about.
If you think that Crazy is a bit unfair, I invite you to check out this video. You will think we are the crazy ones, but if you watch the end I hope you'll be convinced that we are crazy only because Squeakles is.
He's not always crazy, of course. Sometimes he's downright serious and thoughtful. Here he is immersed in "research". He selectively pulled out some of the books from his toy bin and then proceeded to look through them all at once. He turns the pages with an outstretched index finger, points at the faces, and laughs at the funny pictures.
I'm so tired this morning, after being up with Squeakles last night for an hour between 3 and 4 am. Fortunately, I can work at home again today, so I can take a bit of a slow start. Drink my coffee, get to work at my desk, and deal with showering later. Meanwhile, Squeakles is still sleeping and if he continues sleeping for a while, I'll have this time to myself. If not, we'll nurse and soon enough the babysitter will arrive.
... Game over! Babysitter is here and Squeakles is awake. Time to get to work!
I really wish I had more time to write lately. I've been really busy at work, and at home it's all I can do to keep the apartment reasonably swept, laundry done, and Squeakles fed. So here is just a list of the latest new things: