knits & plants

aah, the simple life. almost.

Monday, April 30, 2007

I'm gonna live forever...

I'm reasonably happy with my life. I have a great family and a happy new baby. I've got wonderful friends. I've been to college and I've been a full-time bartender, both of which impart truckloads of life experiences. I'm never at a loss for what to do with myself.

Still, my life today is rather low key. Gone are the days of going out every night, staying out all night, running off to Montreal for the weekend or deciding to up and move to a different state. And I'm ok with all that. I keep up with a lot of news and what's going on in the world, just from a distance. I know the hottest places to eat in New York...I've just never been to them.

So it's a bit of a shock still when someone you know is famous. Not like Paris Hilton famous, but a real person, only famous. Someone I'm reasonably sure still gets parking tickets and calls his parents of the weekends.

My high school friend Kal got famous. After slogging through high school in a specialized program with the rest of us, he went to college in California, became an actor and disappeared into the L.A. ether. His (well-deserved) fame has built up gradually, so it wasn't so much of a shocker at first.

Kal's been in a lot of movies. You've most likely seen him in National Lampoon's Van Wilder and it's sequel The Rise of Taj (he is Taj). He is ubiquitous as Kumar in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. Right now he's getting a lot of attention for his role in the movie adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake. He starred in a Law & Order episode this spring. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Every once in a while, we'll look through photo albums of high school and we'll come across photos of Kal performing Like a Virgin at my surprise 16th birthday party. I wish I could post these. I really do. They're hilarious and you have no question but this kid is going to be famous someday. But I can't. If I were famous, the last thing I would want is some schmuck posting pictures of me from fifteen years ago on the internet.

So why this long post about fame and friends? Well, because sometimes you come across something that totally makes you reexamine your life and what you do with it. Say, for example when someone you know is featured in an article with a former Vice President of the United States and your (second) favorite author of all time.

Al Gore. Salman Rushdie. And Kal.

He's not just a movie star, he's a college prof too. And what did I do today? Today, I got up, played with a baby, nursed a baby, drove to work, worked on some databases, printed some banners, ate lunch and am preparing to load some new products onto a website. Later, we'll stop at the market, drive home, nurse some more, watch an episode of The Wire and go to bed. These are all good things. They're fine, really. But sometimes I wonder about the way life works out. I'm happy for him. I think he's a really good person. I'm a good person too, but somehow, I just don't think anyone's going to be writing an article about cooking, and decide to feature me, Alton Brown and Anthony Bourdain. Dem's the breaks, I guess!

Friday, April 27, 2007

curse of the irish

I'm no teetotaler...heaven knows. My boss would regularly mockingly invite me over for a martini while I was pregnant. And I, through gritted teeth, would decline. In his baby gift, amongst the bibs and booties was a bottle of Grey Goose.

But perhaps we're starting off a bit young?

oy vey.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


It just, and I mean just got out of the twenties and thirties during the day here. People are still boiling maple syrup, which means night temps below freezing. I have packed up all the scarves, hats, mittens, and full body armor, but haven't yet put the box away. Because in Vermont you never know.

So why the fuck am I killing mosquitoes in the house?

It's seriously enough to make me twitchy. Also, it's quarter to midnight and I am still awake. This used to be par for the course. Now I'm living in mortal dread of the wake-up call that will be coming in the next two hours. I love the nighttime nursing. I worked damn hard for this privilege. However. When you're nodding off over the baby...not so good.

And just because it's my blog, I'm going to make y'all emerge from your dark little lurky corners. You can thank JH and RB. And the super nice people I've never met nor heard from until I went to have a baby and disappeared into the ether for a few weeks, who left me messages welcoming me back.

You're tagged.

If you're reading this post, you've now been compelled to leave a comment acknowledging your presence. Even if you're a strict wallflower. Enquiring minds want to know how many people actually frequent this little blog. We'll consider it a census, shall we? How many people will be here over the next week? Ten? Fifteen? It'll be a small community, but an interesting one. And just for fun, why don't you leave word on how you know me, if you know me. This'll be almost as much fun as Megan's annual surveys!

I feel the need to knit...something. The carpal tunnel is gone, and I accidentally (slightly) felted my Knitting Olympics blanket. Any good patterns out there?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

"hard at work" or "fun with photoshop"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Letters to Liam - Month Two

Dear Beanster,

You turned two months old today. Congratulations! You are an exceptionally cute two months, although in size, you are closer to three months. Already, I have begun to put away clothes that you have outgrown. I find this hard to accept, which means I'll be a regular basket case by the time you're needing new shoes every two months.

In the past four weeks, it has become apparent that you will not keep your blue eyes. They've not settled on a color yet, but they're mesmerizing. They change all the time. You've also learned to smile, and you love love love to smile. As your mom, I'm blessed to be on the receiving end of most of these smiles. Even when you wake up crying in the middle of the night, when I come to get you, you immediately stop and smile up at me. You smile at the dog, and your dad a lot too.

I can't figure out if you're going to suck your thumb. Presently, you are trying to stuff your entire fist, or both fists, in your mouth and suck at them loudly. But you refuse to learn how to use a pacifier. I am mystified by this.

This month, Carmelita and I took you on your first shopping expedition. We drove two hours to the nearest Target, in Concord, NH. You did fantastic. You were totally enthralled by the bug toy I hung over your carrier and it kept you quiet and happy all the way through the women's clothes department. C and I learned a few valuable lessons. One is that there is no such thing as a marathon shop with an infant. Another is that having a baby present is great for the finances. I spent waaaaay less than usual. I tried to breastfeed you in a restaurant, which was a complete disaster. You screamed under the apron/coverall thingee I bought. Turned out you were just so tired, all you needed was a nap on my shoulder. Bebe.

Your affection for me has been (temporarily) suspended by your discovery of the crib mobile. I bear you no grudge. It's a very cute mobile. I only wish I was technologically savvy enough to rig it to play longer than 2 minutes. Your follow the creatures, you coo, and you pedal your feet furiously to nowhere.

I have great hopes for your future as a water baby, given your delight at baths. You're totally entertained and content. Much more so than last month when giving you a bath generally resulted in you pooping in the water. We're going to the beach for a week in August, and I can't wait to show you all about waves and the deep end of the pool.

The big news this month is that we went back to work this week. I have been very nervous about this. But, if you can judge from the first three days, I believe we're going to make it work. I have an office with (blessedly) a door I can shut when you whinge and where we can nurse in peace. You seem relatively accepting of our mini-schedule where you will go to sleep in your swing for the majority of the day.

That combined with an excellent bouncy seat and a sling makes the day fly by, with a minimum of fuss from you. I had joked (half in earnest) that I wished you were developed enough to listen to reason. Because I want this to work, and so should you. Because if not, I have to give you up to a stranger's care for nine hours a day. That seems immense to me right now. It will be great when you're a little older, and you need the stimulation. But for right now, I really need to be with you all day long. So PLEASE continue to be a good work baby.

You were born with a spinal birth defect that needs to be corrected, a dermal sinus tract that is tethering your spinal cord. We met with the pediatric neurologist this month who assures us that once you have the surgery next month, you will never even know you had a problem. It presents with no symptoms right now, but I'm still nervous. You're strong and you are vibrant, so I have no reason to think you won't bounce right back from this, but I'm your Mama, and worrying is something I've become very good at. We have to stay at the hospital again for about 4 days. Thankfully, I'm sure my coping skills have dramatically improved since you were born and I was so exhausted. We're going to be just fine. You can even nurse! So I'll try to relax. You, however, are totally relaxed, so just keep it up.

Who loves you like your Mama loves you?


Thursday, April 12, 2007

oh, and

for all those mamas out to get rid of the Belly?

I gained 35 pounds during this pregnancy. 10 was baby and other stuff, and 25 was fluid. The great thing about that was, I had already lost it by the time I left the hospital.


I alrady had a belly pre-baby. Now I have an "I could be five months pregnant" belly. I've hauled my early maternity pants back out of storage. That hurt.

So, ummm, how do I get rid of it??

i heart snow

no really. I do. And I really love it when it keeps me from my last mommy/baby group and a much needed tooth-cleaning appointment.

Snow is supposed to come in November. Maybe even October. Definitely in December. Clearly in January and February. But mid-April?? NON!

Still, it's a fitting end to my time at home with the bebe. And it makes me kind-of, well, ready to go back to work. I have so much to thank my coworkers and my boss for. They're allowing me to take Liam back to work with me. And get this: we've only got four offices in a space that holds eleven people. One of those four just gave me her office (with a door!) while Liam comes to work with me. I mean, wow. She heads an entire department, and she's going to hang out in my space while I encamp in her office. She just made me way, way more certain that I can make this thing work. How cool is that??

I've been preparing my list of things I need to bring back to work with me. It's long. I bought a travel swing, only to find out that Liam will only go to sleep (or zone out) in the full-size cradle swing. The one that weighs 60 pounds. So that has to come. Plus a bouncy seat, a carrier, a sling, backup clothes for me and Liam, a diaper station, and goodness knows what else I can come up with. Ummm, anything else I need? I wish I had a mentor for this kind of arrangement.

In the meantime, have I mentioned how fiercely I love this little creature?

Friday, April 06, 2007

don't know why/there's no sun up in the sky

stormy weather

Once upon a time, Glenn and I lived in sunny South Carolina. Our condo was half a mile from the ocean. (Remember those pictures from vacation a year ago? That's where we lived.)

Sometimes, I can't remember why the hell we left and came back here. This is APRIL. Sheesh.

Yesterday, the day these photos were taken, I got the car stuck in the driveway for over an hour. After a tearful call to Glenn at work, the guy who owns the local general store came and pulled me out. Liam fell asleep in the car, so I didn't want to take him out. I drove for an hour to attend a gathering of mothers and little babies. They meet from 10-12 every Thursday. I got there at 11:30. You might say I'm desperate for company.

While we were still in the hospital, and for the week after we got home, I had the ringer on the phone shut off. It was hard enough to get through each day without completely falling apart. The incredible hormone crash, the lack of sleep, and the worries over Liam's medical condition made me pretty much a mess. And I do not get messy. I'm a Coper (sic?). My mama was pretty much the only person I could bear to talk to, and thank goodness for her helping hand. She's good with babies, and her daughters too.

Once we were home, settled, and chemically stable again, I began to realize like never before how incredible isolated our little patch of turf is. Need to go to the doctor? It's an hour away. Ditto for the hospital. And a gallon of organic milk.

I grew up in suburban New Jersey. And say what you like, there were some definite perks. Like sidewalks. And libraries. And bagels. I don't want my child to grow up ignorant of all these things. I want to be able to say, "go out and play" and he have the opportunity to play with other children, not just pretty scenery.

It's a crisis of the highest magnitude, brought on by an April snowstorm. We don't to live in Corinth anymore; we can't afford to live anyplace much better right now. I'm not talking about moving out of state, just closer to people and amenities that I'm used to. Burlington is a vibrant, totally cool community, and I miss it. It's time to plan our getaway. Get-rich-quick schemes welcome.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

your regularly scheduled programming

...and we're back! Thanks to the installation of high-speed internet at my house and internal adjustments to the lack of sleeping in my life. Thanks especially to everyone who checked in with me over the past weeks. You concern and support meant so much.

I feel I ought to warn you that I'm contemplating changing the title of the blog to the Blog Formerly Known as Knits and Plants, as I see very little of either in my immediate future. You cannot knit when you need a third hard just to attend to a newborn's needs. And gardening? Hah. I've got no seeds started, and I'm not going to start any. I value the remnants of my sanity just that much. I even sold my greenhouse. More on that another time. We'll raise some salad stuff in the raised beds I built right next to the house but the garden itself can take a year off.

Liam is not sleeping as well any more, due to some unspecified tummy troubles. I'm dealing as best I can. I don't look as bad as this anymore:

but it's close.