Wednesday, March 27, 2013


B has started trying to say "consonant blends" (thanks Bunny!) recently...instead of bue, we've got buh-lue (blue), and cackers are now cuh-rackers, etc... This tiny advance in expressive language just makes him seem so much older all of a sudden. His speech is really close to normal adult English, besides the yewow (yellow) and the occasional "where was you, mommy?".

L is adding slowly but surely adding new words. My favorite is MA-KH (very gutteral KH at the end, means milk), which sounds remarkable like BAW-KH (book) and WA-KH (walk). He is very good at Hiiiii! and Byyyeee! and also MINE! He says daddy, and B, and Doggy, and...wait that's it. No mommy, mama, Ma, mother, madre, etc...

I have caught B & L actually playing together recently. Some ridic game B made up involving taking all the blankets out of their cribs and running with them down the hall (tripping on them along the way) to go to a "pic-uh-nic mommy, but there is NO FOOD, just a party, and oh, we'll take a nap so we need our buh-lankets". B runs down the hall and L chases him, and they come back, and repeat. When L tired and sits down, B grabs him by the hand because "you have to come to the pic-nic too, L! but not mommy, its only for kids".

L still idolizes and imitates everything B does. The cutest is when he tries to copy B counting to ten and playing hide-and-seek. L will lay face down right next to B and count "buh...guh...blah...". L also loves getting into the closet or in the stairwell and peeking out for us to find him. He still finds it necessary to cover his eyes when he hides. In truth, he's a much better hider than B, who simply stands in the middle of the room when its his turn to hide. The concept, he hasn't yet grasped it somehow.

At nearly 18 months old, L is a smiley-squealy-climbing-running-babbling delight. LOVE this age so much.
I feel like I'm really appreciating how simple it really is this time around, because I know things get more complicated soon enough.

At 3.25 years old, B is a mess of contradictions and bursting with emotions of all kinds. I love seeing his imagination develop, his brain start really processing things, for the purpose of both good (great stories & games) and evil (manipulation, lying). The development memory is also a mixed blessing. Its cool that he can relive & anticipate good things, but scary that he will also remember & can anticipate the not-so-good. I feel a bit of pressure to "create memories" now that I never did before.We are thinking seriously about school choices, including switching to pre-school when he's 4.75 so he won't be in the daycare preschool for three years straight.

L's favorite things: pumpernickel pretzel sticks from TJs, OUTSIDE, BAH (ball), strawberries (we've had to buy new packs every 2 days at $5 a pop because its just so cute)
B's favorite things: chewing on his blankie, mommy or daddy's Iphone ( a whole 'nother story), jumping off furniture or from the 4th step to the ground, swimming class (he grins ear to ear the whole 30 minutes and bonus! we don't have to go in the water with him anymore!)

My favorite things? All of it. And then getting a break. And then all of it again.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Thoughts and such.

Don't mistake my radio silence as an indication of a dearth of writing topics on my is in fact the opposite. I have so many things I want to say, so many things I have been reading about & thinking about & wanting to unpack on these pages. Too many competing ideas, I don't even know where to start. I'm going to throw out a few ideas I may or may not expand on in the future.

I've been pondering "happiness" recently. I'm no Gretchen Rubin, but I've discovered some things that contribute to my own happiness, and I'm wondering how to prioritize or maximize those things: purpose, connection, appreciation, attention, anticipation.

I've also been pondering sadness. Since early adolescence, I've had periods of what the Victorians may have called "melancholy". Generally they resolve on their own in a couple of months, and they vary in severity from mildly down to fulfilling the criteria of major depressive disorder. Recognizing that I have these episodes, and that they do resolve over time, is enormously helpful, as I am no longer afraid that I will feel this way forever. I definitely had such an episode recently, but it has thankfully lifted.

I have come around to the stark truth that life is not supposed to be easy. I've definitely written around this idea, but others have recently hit the nail on the head more eloquently. KeAnne's metaphor of swimming in the ocean is so apt; we spend our childhoods learning to swim in the tranquil calm of the poor or the lake, and then we're thrust into the ocean trying to weather the waves and the tides. I also adore Gemini Momma's take on the tried-and-true "seasons of life" idea; these years are our busy season, we have to buckle down & enjoy the ride.

I've been struggling with work lately. I'm taking a course on writing productivity, hoping the accountability will help me back on track. My usual tricks are not working and I waste a lot of time on email, "reviewing the literature", and trying-to-write-but-not-really-writing. I got a borderline score on my K, and afraid the NIH budget cuts mean this previously fundable score will no longer be funded. I can do nothing but wait.  I submitted the grant in NOVEMBER. I got a score in MARCH. Now I wait until JUNE to know if I'll get money. Its a long game this research stuff.

Spring is decidedly NOT here yet in our corner of the world. WTF. I am sick to death of boots and tights not to mention coats and earmuffs and gloves and scarves. WTF. I want to take my kids to the park without wrestling with outerwear. At least its not raining/snowing/hailing. Today, at least.

Aaaannnnddd I've taken to complaining about the weather. Time to end this thing. I'll be back soon this time.

Friday, March 15, 2013


As much as I may say I long for excitement, for moving on to bigger & better, for reaching into the future and grabbing what life has to offer, I've realized that I am actually fundamentally opposed to change in my life. I get woefully, hopelessly attached to phases in my life, more so than locations or people.. My past reflects this: years of schooling, more years of training, then back for further schooling/training. Now I'm still in the same place as colleagues have moved on to private practice, or academics in new institutions for way more money, respect, free time..  I got my own lab space 6 months ago but I hesitate to fully move my operations out of the mentor's lab I've been in for 5 years. I've never actually ended a romantic relationship, because no matter what problems I might see in the union, I'd rather the devil I know than the devil I don't. I don't like change.

I've been thinking about this tendency in myself and wondering how much this actually affects my family-building desires. I'm a mother of young children right now; in a few short years, I won't be---unless I have another. Is my desire to stay in this life stage a part of my wanting of another child? As hard and exhausting as it is, as seductive as the freedoms inherent in NOT having small children can be, I am finding the idea of moving permanently out of that phase hard to accept.

By the way, thanks as always for all your support on those last couple of posts. I feel like I do "hit and run" blogging, throwing out some angst and disappearing for a while. My excuse this time is that I've been sick---3 different overlapping illnesses in 2 weeks. On top of daylight savings time shift. Blech. Hope you all are healthy and that spring is springing where you are. They are calling for snow tomorrow here.

Friday, March 8, 2013


Sometimes you can lie to yourself so well that you really truly believe it. You go about your days giving it nary a thought, which proves to yourself & others that you are "over it" and "OK with things". And then something rips the scar open and you can't breathe and are hiding in your office with the door barred shut, typing away the tears pricking the back of your eyes.

A colleague, a one-time friend, who was having a bit of difficulty trying to conceive around the same time we started and was a great source of comfort at the time...just announced his wife's third pregnancy. Everyone is congratulating & joking & slapping on the back. It only got louder & more jovial when another colleague, belly bursting with her third & fourth children (whose second was born a month before L) joins the group. I just...can't.

I really truly thought I'd moved on from this long-ago dream. But no. Buried, but not dead.