Microblog Mondays: for this reason precisely

microblog_mondays Yesterday, Pea anchored all of our bookcases, dressers, and a heavy mirror in preparation for a toddling baby. Spud can’t walk yet, but he’s getting darn close, so we felt it best to prepare. We should have done this before, but at least is it done now. Pea made one trip to the hardware store, and I made one to a different store to find the perfect screws.

Notably, Pea made his trip to the hardware store alone, in the car! He tried to find an option where we could all go together, but the timings really didn’t work, and he was forced to head out on his own. He texted me when he arrived safely at the store, which is a six minute drive away. It was cute, and I was proud of him.

Today, Spud has woken up with a red blistery rash on his mouth, chin, hands, and one leg, and a low-grade fever for extra fun. He’s had a gnarly rash on his bum since Saturday – big ugly blisters. I thought it was yeast, and was about to get a cream to test when the rash migrated elsewhere. I am pretty sure he has hand foot and mouth. I’ve made him an appointment to see his doctor this evening at 5:30.

This evening at 5:30, I am giving a talk to Innovation U’s undergraduate society on how I became a prof and what my research is about. Pea is on pick-up for Spud. Pea is going to have to be the one who takes Spud to the doctor. The doctor’s office requires driving. Pea is going to have to drive, alone, with Spud, in the dark, to the doctors.

He’s going to hate it. I’ve left messages via a few mediums for him, but he hasn’t seen them yet. Any other day this week, I could do it, but I can’t today and it needs to happen. He’s going to be a ball of stress from the minute he hears, but This. Is. Why. He. Has. His. License.


Microblog Mondays: I can haz power?

microblog_mondays After a deeply scattered Monday morning (broken night, late wake-up, forgotten necessary prep for the day), I have arrived at work to discover I brought my laptop charger home and have not brought it back.

Time to make friends with someone in my department with a newer-version Mac… or steal from my students.

Three days

It turns out I can solo parent for three days, and the household will run smoothly. Babies will be fed and washed and hugged and cherished. Dinners will be made. Dishes will be done. Leaves will be raked. Yoga will be stretched and breathed through. Work will be accomplished.

At the three day mark, it seems to have unraveled. I woke up Wednesday night with Spud, but then couldn’t get back to sleep for two hours despite Spud being back in bed snoozing. I needed a warm slumbering Pea beside me to quiet anxieties, and to sneak a cuddle from. Wednesday night Spud started running a fever, which has continued through to today. Tylenol will perk him up for stretches, and he’s sleeping, eating, and creating diapers at normal rates, but he’s been a sad heap of a human for almost two days now. I ordered a burrito for myself and fed Spud a store-bought pouch for dinner last night, because I was tired and he was clingy and miserable. Last night was a rough one, with Spud’s fever breaking at 2:30, and him up frequently between 1:30-4, happiest if allowed to sleep on my shoulder. I’m working from home today, to keep an eye on his fever and to allow a more relaxed day without the commute. I fell down the stairs on my way down to the den to work, skinning a surprising amount of skin off my left thumb in the process. Bandaged, with tea in (right) hand, I’ve made good progress today, and Spud seems to be rallying.

Pea texted to say he’s at the airport, early for his flight. He cannot get home soon enough for me. I can handle the house, but I so much prefer it when he is here.


On Saturday, Pea and I went on a date for our anniversary. We went rock climbing, and then out to lunch at a new restaurant that had opened in our neighbourhood. It was delightful!

Pea and I used to rock climb weekly or at least regularly, for all the years we’ve been dating. I had not climbed since July of 2015. He had climbed a bit last year, as there is a small rock wall at his Golden Company office (of course there is), but he had not climbed since Spud was born.

I had not done anything physically active beyond walking and the very occasional more rigorous hike since April 2016. I have had two yoga passes expire – the one I’d purchased before I got pregnant, and then the one I purchased when I went to prenatal yoga in the hopes that it would goad me into going more than once (fail). I skipped two entire seasons of summer ultimate frisbee, once pregnant and unwilling to risk it, and once buried under the needs of a baby and feeling embarrassed about my state of fitness.

It was really weird to dig out my workout clothes. It was a little bit amazing to be sore and stiff the next day. We both burnt out quickly, but were also both stronger than we expected, possibly thanks to our many daily 23 lb reps for biceps and forearms.

It made me realize just how much I miss being active. Last night, after Spud went to sleep, I raked our side and front lawns, as leaf collection has once again caught us unprepared. I have a blister on one thumb, and am sore through the shoulders today, but it was delightful to be outside, to work up a sweat, and to be properly physically tired at the end of the day rather than just exhausted on several levels. It was also much much easier to rake leaves now than a year ago. Pea wasn’t here to see it, but I doubt he’d have called me slow this time.

I’m hoping the rock climbing shattered my mental seal on working out. I intend to do an online yoga session tomorrow, once my shoulders have recovered a bit from the raking. What Pea and I both want to figure out is a way to be active without further cutting into our time with Spud. We’re away all day as it is, neither of us want to be later coming home. I still do not reliably get enough sleep, so am unwilling to get up before Spud to run or exercise. Pea may work out at lunch, at work, and then work in the evening once Spud is asleep to balance it. If he’s working for the evening, I might go to a gym that day in the later evening. It’s not perfect, but it would be better than the nothing that we’re both managing at the moment.

Do you have any good strategies for working out with young kiddos and a busy work schedule? I’d love to hear them!

Microblog Mondays: good friends

microblog_mondays  A good friend came into New City to meet me for lunch today. It was a semi-heroic effort on her part, as she has four kids (two toddlers and two medium kids, both sets of twins), and something always always comes up when we have plans. Something came up this morning, once she was an hour away from home, but she put her foot down and demanded her (fully functional but non-default-parent) husband deal with it. His job makes him Very Busy and Important, so it is rare that he has to deal with things like the neighbours encroaching on their property with their impulsive new fence.

I am solo-parenting, and so it wasn’t a great moment to carve out a long lunch with shortened days all this week, but I was delighted to do it for her.

We ate Indian food and talked. We toured my lab and talked. We walked back to her car and talked. She called me once back on the road to apologize for not asking after Pea. We talked while I walked back to my office, and while I pumped. All told, we talked for over two hours, and there was still so much more we wanted to say. Updates about our lives, but also some actual conversations – about gender discrepancies in kids books, about how to navigate family situations, about how to mentor students and galvanize their procrastinating selves.

Good friends in my life are the ones who pick up right where we left off, and this friend is one of the best. We said all the usual things: that we miss each other, we should do this more often, get the kids together. I really hope we’ll do it.


This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.

It’s my party

I’m having a bit of a pity party lately.

The bleb is back.

I’m so tired of not being able to eat chocolate. Or dairy. Or soy.

I keep having to shuffle meetings, or my own basic needs, to fit pumping sessions into my day. Yesterday I had the choice of either completing an urgent, time-sensitive task or pumping, as I had a small window of time before catching the bus that means I’m not late for our nanny. I did the thing, and then pumped once home, with Spud watching in horror and complaining*.

I ran a milk surplus for a few weeks, but this week have been running a deficit again – frozen milk dipped into yesterday and today to satiate a ravenous Spud.

Every day, we finish dinner and bath time, and then I nurse Spud. There is a sense of relaxation in the house once Spud is asleep. And then I scald the day’s milk while washing pump parts. Scalding the milk is delicate, and easily forgotten/ruined, so it really does have to happen last. It doesn’t take long, 5-10 minutes, but it’s the additional-task-ness of it that rankles.

I am very very stubborn. I am, blebs aside, enjoying breast feeding. It is one of the largest sources of stress and inconvenience and pain in my life on a day to day basis though, and this week I’m a bit tired of it all.


* Spud: ooooooh boobs, yay, I’m not specifically hungry, but I could have a nosh or tw… wait, what is that? What is happening? Where are the boobs? Oh hey, I can dance to this neat rhythmic swooshing! Wiggle my butt! Wiggle my butt! Wait, is there milk in those bottles? I like bottles! And milk! Imma just get my mouth in range and this should work out! Why can’t I have some? What do you mean “not for babies”?! Aaaaah! Aaaaaah! AAAAAH! <end pumping session>



Microblog Mondays: Squirrel


A month ago, Pea came home with two chestnuts that he had found in a single pod, nestled together and formed around each other.

“Here”, he said, “you carry one half, and I’ll carry the other!” There was a brief pause. “Actually”, he said, “you can have both if you want, because I have lots in my pockets.”

Pea had already brought home eight chestnuts to make a new sensory bag for Spud, as he passes two trees on his way to and from work. When I pressed him on how many chestnuts he had in his possession, he turned coy and said “some”.

Out for a walk two weeks ago, Pea started shuffle-rattling things in his pockets. He pulled out an even dozen chestnuts, saying he had started with nine, but it wasn’t good to have uneven numbers in the different pockets, and once he was at ten, he’d seen a really good one he had to pick up, so now he was at twelve. His other coat, he said, had fewer, maybe only eight. There are at least two chestnuts on his side table, and three in a pile on his dresser.

“I’m marrying a squirrel”, I laughed.

We were walking past the golf course, and walked by a golf ball in the gutter. I pointed it out. Pea got briefly tense, and then shook his head and relaxed.

Me: Were you about to pick that up?
Pea: Yes! But I decided it wasn’t necessary. And also that you would laugh at me.
Me: laughing You aren’t a squirrel, you are a smooth-round magpie instead of a shiny magpie!

Last week, Pea came home from work after a windstorm had gone through the night before.

Pea: I have good news and medium news.
Me: What’s the medium news?
Pea: I miscounted and I only had six chestnuts in my other coat.
Me: smiling I feel neutral about this news.
Pea: Yes, that’s why it was medium news.
Me: laughing wait, what’s the good news?
Pea: I found three really good chestnuts on the walk home today!
Me: laughing harder but that makes an odd number!
Pea: I know! I will have to fix it…. somehow….