Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Random Thoughts - Aaah and Ack Edition

Aaaaahhhh! - Last Friday was my day off.  It was also the first time I was able to take advantage of paying for a full week of daycare in combination with my day off.  It was heavenly.  I got my hair cut.  I worked out.  I watched the first episode of the Biggest Loser.  I vacuumed the living room.  I sorted through all the baby clothes and put away what didn't fit or was too summery.  I missed my baby goat but I got so much done that I was able to really enjoy my time with him later.

Aaaaackkk! - Saturday I was playing trumpet at a wedding and had been unable to meet with the accompanist before the day of.  So an hour before we finally met only to realize that for the song I was supposed to play for the recessional was in the same key as the accompaniment.  For those who don't know the trumpet is in Bb while the piano is in C so the notes need to be altered for one of us to sound the same.  I had to relearn the piece quickly and transpose on the spot.  (I can transpose on sight but I am a bit rusty and it is harder when I've already practiced the piece in one key).  I'll be sure to double check that for any future weddings. (Don't worry it turned out fine).

Aaaaahhhh! - Baby goat accompanyed Mr. Goat and I on a date Friday night to Red Lobster.  He was an angel and it was so nice to be out and about!

Aaaaackkk! - Today I have been in meetings almost all day.  Literally.  Meeting from 10-12, lunch, Meeting from 1-5, small break and now I have to go to a meeting at 6:30 (with the baby since it is Mr. Goat's choir night) til who knows when.  I know that there will be days like this but it is a hard day.

Aaaaahhhh! - But one of the meetings had cupcakes! :)

Aaaaackkk! - I lost two of my three fantasy football games.

Aaaaahhhh! - I am highly amused for my husband's new found love of Brett Favre.  Minnesota is singing a different tune when he's on their side.  Here's hoping the Pack prevail next Monday night!

Aaaaackkk! - I'm all for fall but the current change in weather was sudden and brutal to me.  Also, what exactly do you do with all the necessary baby-warming stuff when heading places...hats, coats, mittens, etc, but you can't put him in the car seat with the coat so you need a blanket or car sheet cozy cover?  So many details that they stress me out.

Aaaaahhhh! - My mom and dad are coming up to play with baby goat (and us) on Thurs-Sat. Then baby goat is headed to his first Twins game with Grandpa and Grandma Goat and Sister Goat.  Yay!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

7 months

Baby Goat,

I have a hard time believing that you turned 7 months old yesterday!  It seems like yesterday we were in the midst of the stress and anxiety of a pregnancy going wrong and a baby coming early.

For all intents and purposes, you'd never know that you were early and spent 6 weeks in the NICU.  Yes, there are parts of your development that are more like the 5 month old you should have been but you grow and thrive right on schedule.

Food continues to be a joy for you - which is good since you started life off the "chart."  Last month you were at 40% and by 9 months who knows.  But you love your bottle of breastmilk and are starting to love solid foods just as much.  Granted you've only had cereal and bananas but you seem to like the concept! 

All your skills are on the cusp of major expansion.  You have rolled over but routinely forget that you know how and have to figure it out again.  I've only seen the back to front once but on the other hand, given how much you prefer being on your back to your tummy you may do that on purpose.

Beyond rolling over though is a huge jump in sitting and reaching and grabbing and getting into everything.  No longer can mom and dad hold you and a can of diet coke because diet coke looks far too interesting.

You love to figure out how to grab things and get them to your mouth.  If you had to say a goal in life I think it might be to gum everything you see!

Everyone always comments what a happy baby you are, and it is true.  You find delight in everything you see and with the exceptions of hunger, illness and tiredness you rarely make a fuss about anything.  Everyone deserves a smile in your eyes and your smile is contagious.  It gives me so much joy to know that a simple smile from you can make someone's day.  I know it makes mine every day.  No matter how hard a day I had, when I get home and see you I feel better.

You've gotten quite used to heading to daycare too and though mom and dad still struggle with mornings you are awake and smiling from the moment we come in to get you up.  And you are starting to notice the other friends at daycare as well.  We got a note home that you were "exploring" the other baby at daycare while she was talking to you.  It looks like you are well on your way to making friends.
I wish I could express the joy you bring into our lives baby goat.  Your father and I never fail to smile along with you everyday.  I love to watch your forhead crinkle as you work to figure out something, or the large grin you'll give any woman in sight.  Clearly you are already a flirt, but with eyelashes like yours how could you not be.

It seems strange to me that you are now difinitvely in the "closer to a year than birth" portion of your first year.  7 months is about how long you stayed in utero (a bit longer) but it seems like that time was slow while these 7 months have flown by.  I wonder everyday who you will become but I hope you keep the ease with which you smile and the sense of wonder to examine everything in front of you.  You are my baby goat and I couldn't be more proud.

Mama Goat

From the mouth of Baby Goat:

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baby Goat goes to the zoo

On Saturday we took advantage of the warm weather to take Baby Goat on his first trip to the zoo. Baby goat enjoyed himself and the walk but seemed perplexed by all of the kids and animals. He was fascinated with the tiger though. I think that the tiger might have preferred there not to be the glass between them however!

We also "played" in our first fountain and watched a lot of fun animals and kids run around.  The zoo was very busy but I think it will be a regular part of our baby-fun rotation, particularly next spring with farm babies and such.  I do feel bad that we didn't have time to run out to the zoo farm and introduce baby goat to a real goat!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A life lesson in today's train of thought!

Today Liz's brain will be replaced by the fountain of snot from her head cold. Observe:

Liz's Brain: I feel a bit sick today what with this impossible head cold. Nothing tastes right and I need a lot of Kleenex. As a result I know the perfect spot for lunch: The Indian buffet! Vegetarian options, healthy and with a strong enough spice to cut through the cold. Plus unlimited napkins and a place to read my book. Bonus!

So out I go to the Indian buffet. The thing about the buffet is while cheap and relatively healthy you ultimately end up eating too much and the spice quotient is dependent on the cook each day. Today's levels - on the high side of spicy. But not enough to stop me from getting seconds. I finish up and pay and I'm still feeling the spice.

Liz's Brain: Man that spice sure does linger. I could use some dairy to cut it down so I can focus on work. Oh wait, isn't there a Coldstone just next door? It might help my cold too after all. Ice cream (particularly with chocolate) does have medicinal qualities (at least according to me).

So I tromp over to Coldstone and before I am really aware of even getting there I am digging into a big bowl of mint ice cream with chocolate sauce and Oreos (the Cookie Mint-ster) and back into my book. It does take the spice away, but also gives me a tummy ache from eating to much.

Now I'm back at work full, having spent more than I wanted, blowing a diet that is still in the "I'll start tomorrow" mindset and still sick. The irony - my book is a sarcastic memoir of diet and weight loss struggles.

I blame the snot. I think it blocked out all sense of self control. (For the last 30 years?)

In related news: Diet coke and sugar free menthol cough drops do not mix.

In other related news: The Walgreen's pharmacist implied I should just "suck it up" and not take anything because of breastfeeding. He is not my friend right now.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Liz's Top Ten Childhood Clues to her Geek Lifestyle

Its ok. I laugh too. I give you permission :) Come to think of this, it also outs my whole family as having Geek tendencies. I'm sure no one is surprised!

10. I hated running the mile but loved timed muliplication tests.

9. I used to sing into a hairbrush, in school, during music thinking no one was watching. (They were.)

8. I hung around my parents Bridge group past my bedtime in an attempt to pick up Bridge. I argued my way onto the family Sheepshead table as a kid and won. Often.

7. Favorite Toys: Legos (ok also Breyer Horses and Barbies, but I can't always bat 1000 can I?)

6. Mom wrote code for our first little Mac computer we had to give me a random number generator math game.

5. I read the Hobbit in 6th grade for the first time on a trip to France. This is not remarkable in and of itself but during the 3 week trip I read it 5 times. (Yes, I had two other books with me.) (Yes, I read those too.) (You think that is bad my Dad figured out the Runes).

4. I was a bit jealous of my sister's glasses. Also her grades.

3. Watched Star Trek: TNG every week with my Mom. Had a crush on Wil Weaton.
Watched Seaquest DSV every week with my Mom. Had a crush on Jonathan Brandis.
Watched Deep Space Nine ever week with my Mom. Had a crush on Alexander Siddig.

2. Favorite TV shows growing up: Reading Rainbow and 3-2-1 Contact. Reading and Math. Fun stuff.

1. Had a major argument with her 6th grade crush about which one of them would reach Mars first. (Hint: The CORRECT answer was me! Booyah!) (Yeah, still working on that one. Do you think they need theologians on Mars?)

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I am tired today. Deeply tired. I've worked for 10 days straight and while they weren't all 8 hour days it is enough to influence the whole days plans. I'm tempted to bitch about it and wonder how people do it: jobs, kids, housework, and still sleep. I haven't done any housework for like 2 weeks and I'm not really looking forward to finding time to do it. Tomorrow is some more work, a flu shot, two vet appointments, and some work errands for Sunday. I might throw a nap in there too since it is my day "off" at least officially.

Still it is all details. The big picture is much brighter. It is funny in a way: We are broke, crazy busy and there is plenty to worry about. But honestly? I've never been happier. I love being a mother. I love being a wife. I love working with kids. I love having a creative outlet.

Sure the mess is maddening, the lack of exercising frustrating and the schedule tiring, but I wouldn't trade it. I look forward to a time in our lives when we could (maybe) afford a housecleaner or even a gym membership again, but I'm pretty glad where I am at.

It is funny. I can come home tired and irrateable and an hour later with baby goat and Mr. Goat and maybe a little bad/good TV and I'm willing to do it all over.

What is it that resets your emotional clock and gives you the ability to pick up and keep going?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Baby Goat's *sort of* 5 month birthday

If baby goat had been born on his due date he would have been 5 months old today. Now, I know that most babies aren't born on their due dates, but most are at least closer to it than baby goat was. It is strange to me that the fact that he was 7 weeks early is both highly irreleavant and still very much a reality.

It is irreleavant in so much that baby goat is healthy and growing and thriving. It is releavant in watching baby goat grow and develop. SOmetimes when I say he is 6.5 months old I am given questions that indicate his early arrival. As a mom it occasionally makes me a bit anxious.

For example:

Stranger: Is he sitting up?

Liz's brain: shit, should he be sitting up already? Is he behind? Should I be asking the doctor about this? If there are issues I want to catch them early...Oh, wait, right, that whole 7 weeks early thing, whew.

Liz: He's getting close but since he was a bit early he's still catching up.

Liz's brain: well, if you sit him up and sort of lean him on his hands like a tripod then he sort of sits up until he tips over sideways, does that count?

But then you put him on his back and suddenly he's on his stomach and you wonder how that happened and when he learned that. Or he studies everything around him and starts grabbing everything in sight (early trends indicate an obession with diet coke equal to his mother...thankfully it just seems to be the shiny can so far). He is growing and thriving and the worry so far seems to be all in my head, as most of my worries end up being.

But 5 months, or 6.5 months baby goat is just where he should be: himself. It is remarkable to see him grow and change everyday. Already it is hard to imagine what life was like without him. I think I'll keep him. Happy *sort of* birthday baby goat.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday updates!

*Daycare week two went much better than week one. Baby goat seemed to do so much better this week. He was happy to be there and I could leave him a little more easily. I still long to be home with him but I trust his provider. Afterall, it isn't a bad thing to have so many people who love the baby goat.

*We've hit a growth spurt I think. Every day seems to bring something new and he looks at stuff with a sparkle in his eyes as he tries to figure things out.

* In addition to the growth spurt we also have the rice cereal thing going on. It is messy but a hit! You would never have known he once had eating problems.

* Thanks to a friend we have an exersaucer now which baby goat loves! I think he could hang out in that thing all day if we let him.

* Work has been crazy with Rally Day being tomorrow. But I feel like we are in good shape and am excited to get the new year going!

* Last weekend we spent at Grandma and Grandpa Goat's. We made 10 apple pies and grilled out twice. It was a lovely domestic weekend and fun for the whole Goat family. Plus there was pie, homemade apple pie from backyard apple trees. Yum.

*In other news, Mr. Goat, attorney-at-law, is open for business for all your legal needs! This is baby goat, and he approves this message!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Random Thoughts on healthcare

* Could we please just remember this: Good and bad people get sick. Hard working employed people can be denied coverage. And it could just as easily be you.

* I don't get the argument that people make that they are "happy" with their insurance coverage. Has anyone who has really had a need for their insurance ever been fully happy with it? Or do the really mean that because they are "healthy" they are "happy" with their insurance coverage.

* It takes a lot of balls to yell "You lie" to the President of the United States in an address to Congress. Ironically, they are cowardly, attention-whoring, disrespectful balls, but balls nonetheless.

* I was putting the baby to bed during much of the speech so I didn't hear the details as much, but I have to say this, I admire Obama for standing up and saying what he feels should be done and why.

* Uninsured the process of having baby goat would have cost me over $250,000 since he spent so much time in the NICU. It could have happened to any mother-to-be. They don't know why pre-eclampsia happens. What if it were your wife, daughter, mother, you?

* Given the choice between compassion and monetary cost I will always choose compassion.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Riddle me this

Ok blogland, I am all ears for some more mommy guidance. The topic - solid foods. We just started rice cereal and while it is still so soupy it is essentially still breastmilk it seems to be a hit so far. The question is how we now proceed. How long did you take to move to other foods? What foods? Did you wait a specific time before trying a new food? How often did you serve solid food to start? Did you give a bottle too or have solid food be their own meal? What products work well? Homemade baby food or store bought? Etc. Etc.

Share oh wise blogland. :)

Monday, September 07, 2009


When did you get so strong
Rolling, bouncing, or up on your hands
Reaching and grabbing quite fast
And refusing to give up whatever gets into your grasp

When did you get so cute
To charm friends and strangers alike
With lashes so long, eyes so bright
And a smile that sets rooms alight.

When did you get so big
Skin folds upon folds
Coming out of diaper size threes
And sleepers that suddenly end at your knees

When did you get so tough
That when you tumble and fall
You cry with the shock then look up and grin
As if to say “let’s do it again”

When did you get so wise
To look at the world
With intent surprise
To show me the world through a new set of eyes

Before and now
Tomorrow and then
You give me the joy
Of wondering when

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Daycare week 1

Well, it has taken me a while to feel like updating this blog about the ups and downs of daycare week one. With the funeral and a long weekend for our provider before the busy school year baby goat only went three days this week. I think this may have been a good way of beginning at least from mommy's end. It may be that throwing him into it full time would help him develop a schedule but by the time Friday rolled around I was a bit desperate for some time with my baby boy.
The first morning was very rough. We'd driven late into the night and getting up at 6:30am to get him to daycare by 7:30 was a challenge that proved too challenging. We made it by 8:30am which I think is pretty good considering. My SIL came with me to drop him off at first and it probably was a help that she was there. At least I didn't cry then.

In fact, though I came close, I didn't cry the entire work day. In part was the exhaustion I think. In part was some heavy meetings at work and a large pile of to-dos. In part was a mental mind game convincing myself that baby goat was just home with Mr. Goat like always. It was a day full of mind games to keep myself occupied and even so thoughts would creep in after 5 or 10 minutes - worry, guilt and sadness. I'm proud of myself that I didn't call though I was told I could. I saw it as a gateway drug of sorts - call once and I'll call again, and again, and then before you know it I'm hovering behind her with purell and pamphlets of baby socialization techniques and diaper rash diagnostics. I know my and my anxiety and I had to just sit with it during the day, which I wasn't happy about but managed.

I did well I think, all things considering. Mr. Goat picked him up so he was home when I got there. It wasn't until I saw him, and he gave me a huge smile in the midst of tired tears that I cried myself. I couldn't believe I could leave him and the guilt was overwhelming. He didn't have a great first day. We didn't have an incline napping place set up yet so he was so tired (and from the trip too). The place was strange, and noisy, he's teething, and he's just getting to an age where he recognizes that he doesn't know people.

Day two was better for him but worse for me. I think I'm realizing just how little I will get to see him right now. One evening meeting and he'll be in bed before I get home and with the fall programming starting it will be a challenge to avoid those meetings. Still, with the exception of a little fussiness at one point he napped better and things seemed ok.

Day three was hard for him again. Lots of fussiness I guess and difficulty napping. It is funny I guess how hard it can be to get into new routines. I took care of him on Friday and he was really easy. Cheerful. Napped well. etc. I'm trying not to assume that it means that he doesn't like daycare. I know that he needs time to adapt to the new plan, but it doesn't stop me from feeling like an awful mother for dropping him off.

When I was crying to Mr. Goat about the first day he didn't quite understand. Afterall not much had changed for me at work. I still left. The next morning it was his turn to drop of baby goat and that night he said he got it. It was/is/was/will be/is hard to leave baby goat with someone else. Even when it is the best someone you've found.

I hope week two is easier.

What helped you get through it? Or what made you realize that you couldn't go through with it?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Lessons in letting go

Last weekend found us packing up the car filled to the brim with baby stuff (and the baby) and heading out on the road to chi-town. I had a few worries about the trip. We were staying in a hotel for the first time with the baby, we had several long drives, we had a bunch of family activities (wake, funeral, burial) that needed baby goat to be at that landed in the middle of baby schedules. But we were going to be with and among our family.

From home to our first stop (Gramma's) it is about a 6 hour drive. I was worried about such a long drive with the baby. We'd done a 4.5 hour drive a few times and while he sleeps well in the car the need to stop and feed him (including his "upright" time for his reflux) made a 4.5 hour drive much longer (6+).

It is no secret that I'm not a big fan of road trips so a bigger travel with the baby seemed daunting. As I am discovering is often the case - I needn't have worried. Baby goat is a trooper and a very easy going baby. He napped mostly in the car and when he was up he played with his duck or hungry caterpiller. He only cried when he got hungry. Our six hour drive was 8 with two leisurely stops for feeding both baby goat and the Goat parents. The weather was good and we made better time that I expected. My first stage of worry proved unfounded. It wasn't as quick and easy as if it had been just Mr. Goat and I but it was relatively painless and baby goat was outstanding. The hardest part? Pumping in a moving car while not flashing the other cars, but I got better at it.

That night we stopped in to see my Gramma quickly before heading to a hotel nearby for the night. We were able to give her just an hour or two notice and she was thrilled to have a surprise trip from her Great Grandson. Baby goat even met his first dog, who Gramma was dog sitting. While friendly, he was a little over enthusiastic and wanted as much attention from Gramma as possible and didn't understand why the baby was more interesting than him. But it was a nice visit and always wonderful to see my Gramma with our son.

The hotel was a challenge. We managed to find one that had both a fridge and microwave which helped us wash all the many bottles necessary for baby travel and pumping stuff. We also needed a crib. It is funny, this is one of the many times where I have to remember that baby goat is not the average baby. I've always heard bad things from hotel cribs and remember being told to go with the pack and play instead. But baby goat sleeps on an incline due to his reflux and the pack and play doesn't allow for the sling set up that he sleeps in. The hotel crib allowed us to rig the sling up and with the clever use of upside down drawers and heavy suitcases we kept it sturdy and immobile. Problem two solved with minor stress. He didn't sleep quite as well as he did at home, but for napping almost all day in the car he was great!

So great in fact that we all made it to church the next morning and saw a pastor classmate of ours from college preach. And here I was worried. We had a short hour drive and then another hotel to prep for the wake. By hotel two we were down to more of a system and things went faster and before we knew it we had met up with his family and were at the wake meeting cousins and relatives I'd never met and Mr. Goat hadn't seen since he was 3 or so. It was so important that we had come and I'm glad that we overcame our fears of this new complicated baby-travel stuff.

That night found us in a great Chicago pizza institution and then back to bed. Baby goat did even better the second night around and we were all up and packed and ready for the funeral the next morning. He and I spent most of the actual funeral listening from the door as he started getting cranky but it was still a nice service. A bottle at the graveside made the burial a breeze though and I think was a little bit of comfort to Grandpa Goat who fed him.

Baby goat was great with all the people. While he's starting to recognize specific people he knows well he was very smiley with the world and happy to charm the pants off the whole extended family. The weekend was a great opportunity to connect with that side of the family and there are pictures of the very oldest and youngest of the Goat family together that are just precious. (But not on my camera!)

The only snafu really came on the drive home but that was more on our end as baby goat once again was brilliant. Driving home (7 hr trip normally) we didn't leave the south side of Chicago until 4pm, meaning we hit the peak of rush hour in chicago on a Monday. Luckily Sister Goat was driving back with us to get home earlier to continue packing for college so baby goat had some back seat entertainment. We were delayed in Chicago and stopped twice but still made the trip in 9.5 hours and got back at 1:30 in the morning.

The highlight of the trip back was our 10:30pm stop. Baby goat needed one more bottle and I had been driving for the last 3 hours needed a break from the dark and the road construction. So we found ourselves pulling into a Perkins at 10:30. It closed at 11pm. We got out and were the only ones there. We had pie and muffins and fed the baby and chatted with the closing staff who were so nice to us. They could have been grouchy about having us come in at the last moment but they were so great and really thought baby goat was adorable. We were all telling stories about babies by the end and having a good old time until baby goat's upright time was over. It was just the mental break we needed from the road and the last 2 hours went quickly.

The next morning was daycare for the first time (7:30am after getting to bed by 2:30am ugh) however that is another post. It was an important weekend for us. It was important to be with our family and all together. It was important to face these new challenges in traveling longer distances with a kid. It was important to know that we could do it with a little help, a little luck and some patience. And it was important to know that while it is ok to worry about things, they almost always end up being far easier than I give them credit for.

Lesson learned.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Many stories of a crazy weekend traveling with the baby to come but today I am...

1. Crying in a corner, trying not to drive to daycare and snatch my baby back.
2. Cursing the fact that it is September and Sunday School starts soon and I've missed 2 days of work.
3. Desperately looking for Diet coke and chocolate to contain the exhaustion and worry.

Be back with a real update soon.