October 31, 2005

Holy Shit. Two Weeks ALREADY?

Two Weeks and TONS of Tricks of My Sleeves Already

Good grief. I can’t believe Arun is two weeks old. I can’t believe he will finally wear his little Halloween outfit that I purchased back in AUGUST, in a fit of prenatal excitement. I can’t believe that nursing him is not agonizing anymore. I can’t believe that he gained 13 freakin’ ounces when I had him weighed last Thursday. In short, I still can'tbelieve the little dude is HERE. Wandering around in a delusional haze of sleep deprivation will do that to a person, I suppose.

I had someone comment that I seemed pretty relaxed about the whole affair, and I would say that for the most part, I AM pretty comfortable with most of what's been going on. I am still shaking my head at how much easier this has been than I thought*. Frankly, the hardest times with Arun so far pale in comparison with some of my past jobs. Furthermore, Arun comes with some obvious perks that my prior gigs never ponied up - at least Arun is not a lazy, negative, ladder-climbing, backstabber, right? (although I can't seem to shake the whole "On-call 24/7" part. DAMMIT.) Anyway, Arun is so damned snuggly and sweet right now that a poopy diaper here and a squalling fit there are worth the price of admission. He also frequently rewards us with what I have been calling “accidental smiles”. Of COURSE, he is way too young to actually be doing REAL smiles, but often, after he has eaten and is lying in a drunken, milk-induced stupor, his little mouth will purse left and right into little smiles. He has even laughed twice, which actually, was a tad creepy since newborns don’t show much emotion. It will certainly be adorable when he does all this shit for real, though.

As comfortable as I feel in this new role, I still have had my Freak Out moments. I am still not comfortable bathing him, for example. Thank goodness, the kid doesn’t have stinky sweat yet as his mama has been quite neglectful in the bathing area since I am still scared to do it. The umbilical cord stump didn’t help - which brings us to my other Freak Out moment. No one warns you how gross it is when the stump falls off. I thought something was WRONG and frantically called the Birth Center at the hospital to speak to a nurse. I had imagined the stump falling off and my precious baby’s perfect little belly button would magically appear. SO NOT THE CASE. My other freak out moment? The 1st time his little head hunched over in his car seat.** I drove home the whole way in Niagara Falls-worthy Tears Fest after having stopped to try and prop his noggin back up to no avail. I was only 5 minutes from home, but they were the longest 5 minutes of my life, with my accelerating slower than my Grandma at every stop light, people honking and zooming to get around me. OH MY - how far I had come since I was that very asshole driver myself a scant 2 weeks ago. Paybacks are a bitch, they say.

So again, everything is still going well thus far. He nurses like a champ and for the most part, sleeps so well. With one exception. We have what I have been calling the Witching Hour. From the late evening - say around 9-10 pm to about 12-1am, he is very fussy. He doesn’t actually launch into real crying or screaming, as long as we hold him. THANK GOD for the book The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp AND for my very sensible doctor. Why? Both have sanctioned that a little co-sleeping is not harmful to a child as long as 1) the parents are not obese and 2) the parents aren’t drunk . As my doctor observed, the majority of the world co-sleeps and it could be argued that we Westerners are the weird ones. NO, I don’t plan on having a family bed and certainly, Arun is going to be sleeping in his own damned bed for the most part. I did not get married to X so that we could live like mere roommates. If you know what I mean cough....cough..... Anyway, pulling Arun into bed with us for a few hours each night until he gets over his fussiness works like a charm. We suspect the fussiness is due to gas, judging by the all the Party Noise going on his relatively empty diaper. Furthermore, he sleeps in his bassinet or his crib (during the day at least) the majority of the time, so it’s not like that is a problem. Finally, X himself was a co-sleeper and he still managed to go Ivy League, so I seriously doubt we will ruin our son’s future by having him sleep with us for a few hours a night.

So, I weighed myself and I SHIT YOU NOT - I am at my pre-pregnancy weight. Good news, right? ! Bad news??? I am STILL overweight and have no baby to blame now. Again, I must emphasize that I was not PROUD of my 22 lb weight gain, but was RELIEVED. With my height, if I had gained anymore weight than the 22 lbs, I would not have been able to walk and would have been miserable. So there you have it ---- Relief vs. Pride ---- Big difference if you stop and think about it. However, I have noticed that I am getting very anxious to get back to the gym. Odd urges for me, because I had NO desire whatsoever to exercise during the pregnancy - in hindsight, I guess that exercising while pregnant made me nervous. When I work out, I like to push myself hard - for the adrenaline rush - you can't do that while toting around a bambino in your belly. So, now that there is nothing to worry about, I can't wait to get back on the elliptical machine and feel the burn. I must still wait 4 more weeks, though. Sigh

Anyway, I present for you some more pictures of the little guy. Soon, I must post a picture of him with X, so everyone can see where Arun got all of his looks. There was no chance we were going to make millions from a “switched at birth” scenario because it was pretty obvious which kid was OURS - or at a minimum, X's . There is nary a gene of mine that showed up in the little guy - except for his personal thermometer - he is just as sweaty and hot as his mama. Poor kid.

*NOTE: I said EASIER, not EASY - see the difference? Of course, there are hard times! I had always said that I was more scared of the first 6 weeks than that actual labor, so I am relieved that it has not been worse.

**And YES - the car seat was inspected by the highway patrol. That was not the problem. I was the problem!

The Hair. Oh my God, the HAIR.
Because this hair requires a daily wash/wetting down, Arun is already used to having warm water poured over his head AND receiving a good combing AND getting a good brush through as well (the brushing is ESSENTIAL - if I leave it just as a comb-through, you can see the comb tracks - much like a little old man's bad combover). He actually falls asleep during what has become his daily head massage.

Good night. And Good Luck
My mantra for every evening as I carefully place him in the bassinet.

I LURVE my Auntie J.
I have to say, I am SO grateful for my sister right now. She has held my hand through every new trauma these past weeks. I may even have to upgrade the minutes on my cell phone plan. I also realize I was the biggest hypocrite because I was not that supportive of her when she was breastfeeding and didn’t help her that much. She is having Baby #3 (Only Niece) in December and fortunately, I will have one last chance to help her - at a time when she will need it most since Older and Younger Nephew are a handful as it is. So, I have already apologized and as usual, she has forgiven me for being such an ass. Therefore, if I am indeed all that relaxed, she deserves much of the credit.

Thanks little sis. I lurve you, too!

October 27, 2005

What do I miss most from my former life?

Hands down - I miss being online.

So far, my TV viewing has not been interrupted too much - I quickly realized I won’t have time for the stupid shows I used to watch, so I pared down the recording list on the DVR. The first to go - Desperate Housewives. I’d much rather watch my baby’s eyelashes grow than sit and watch a show that had so much potential its 1st season enter such a sophmoric decline as it has this 2nd season. Also, I still am able to read, albeit not nearly as much before the Monkey arrived - as long as I can read a little bit, that is enough to keep me going. I had a friend confess that she read ONE SINGLE book during the first year of her daughter’s life. I would go INSANE if I didn’t read.

Anyway.......so, yes - I miss email, news, and blogs. I have tried to keep up on the news via TV, but it isn’t the same. I hate TV news - I feel as if I am being force fed the stupid shit that someone else has decided FOR ME is so very important. I much prefer to read news feeds via Yahoo! and Google, thank you very much. I am such a news junkie, that for the 1st week of Arun’s life, I would quiz X on the daily news - what was going on? What are the headlines? Unfortunately, X could give a crap less about celebrities, so while he apprised me of the major news, I totally missed the fact that Britney was already whoring out her new child for photos.

I miss email! That is my link to so many of my friends and I feel a bit out of touch and lost. This is compounded by the fact that I have so many things to say to my friends and it is frustrating to not be able to pound out emails like I used to.

And finally - I miss blogs! I am glad that I have been able to keep up on posting a bit on my own blog, but I miss reading my blogroll. It’s amazing how so very connected you can feel to people that you have never met. Last night, I finally was able to get some time to start the long process of catching up and it felt good.

We are getting a sort of schedule down, but of course, time will tell whether we can keep it. Overall, things are going so great that I hesitate to even TYPE THAT for fear I will jinx myself! I still have to wake the little monkey up for night feedings - I am getting him weighed today and if he has hit his birth weight, I will start letting him sleep as long as he wants during the night. I will say that sleep deprivation hasn't seemed to hit too hard because as long as I can get 2.5-3 hours at a stretch, that seems to be enough to get me through a complete sleep cycle. I will admit that I am a little paranoid because breastfeeding aside, this has been much easier than I had anticipated. I was more scared of the first 6 weeks than I was of actual labor. So far, when Arun cries, it usually easily remedied by feeding, swinging, pacifier, swaddling, or holding him close while swaying back and forth. I WISH he would also cry for diaper changes - it would help me monitor that situation better if he would help out a bit. Finally, breastfeeding is going MUCH better - the little guy is a greedy gut and latches right on these days.

I do wonder if the fact that my past few jobs were SO STRESSFUL, that having such a cute bundle to take care of pales in comparison?? Even when he does scream bloody murder or poops more than such a tiny body should be allowed to, it is so worth the little grimaces and smiles that he offers up as a reward.

Rancid Rant: SO, this week, X had to travel back to Virginia. As usual, a few people had comments that were critical of that which as usual, pissed me off. People don’t realize that X and I make these decisions TOGETHER. This is not just X's job, it is his company in which he is a partner with 2 other people - other families besides our own little threesome rely on this company. If I had asked X to stay home this week, he would have. As it was, I knew it was important that he be there this week. Besides, my mom has been clamoring to come over. When I first told my mom that X was traveling this week, before she could stop herself she blurted out “Oh good!”. She quickly apologized and we had a good laugh over it. Am I happy that X travels so much? Nope - but neither is HE. He was pretty upset that he had to leave on Sunday - he has so many stresses on him now and I see it as my job to help support him. Isn't marriage supposed to be a partnership?? So yes, I get a little defensive when people act like my husband just abandoned me. sigh

Anyway, I realize this blog has turned into the Monkey News Network 24/7. Right now, there isn’t much else to post about. I am completely and utterly obsessed with his nursing cycles now, so just be glad I am not endlessly posting about THAT.

At least I didn't offer up an update on the Status of My Nipples. Do I get credit for that?

October 26, 2005

Care for a quickie?

Very quickly - the kid is temporarily distracted by the Ocean Wonders Aquarium in his crib. We are starting naps this week in the crib so he can get used to the digs that he will be shuttled to in a few months.

I have SO many things to post about, but as you can imagine NO TIME. We survived our first doctor’s visit which was followed by a frantic visit to the hospital (early Friday evening) for a bilirubin test since the little guy was still a bit jaundiced. Through a miscommunication with the lab and the doctor, we didn’t receive the results right away, so I was a weepy mess the whole weekend. Every new mom says it, but seriously - you REALLY don’t know how much you will love your new little person until you hold him/her in your arms. X is pretty laid back, but even he was on edge. The plus side is that I got a crash course in nursing in public while waiting for test - after that, I definitely felt more comfortable with the whole nursing thing.

Jaundice aside, everything is going swimmingly. Since Arun is such a deep sleeper, I still have to set an alarm for the early morning feedings or else we will BOTH sleep right through them. Please, OH PLEASE let this be a trend - once he hits 2 weeks, I will be letting him sleep as long as he wants. Nursing is getting better with each day - he is a GREAT eater and the pain is now akin to sharp pinching as opposed to a gaping gunshot wound in my chest.

I am wondering whether I can buy a hip holster for my camera. I am constantly up and down the stairs after the thing. Arun doesn’t even think twice about the flashing lights in his face now and I fear he will probably grow up thinking “paparazzi” and “mama” are synonyms.

Finally, all hail the Fisher Price Take Along Swing , the patron saint of Peaceful Babies and Productive Mamas everywhere.

OH SHIT. Must go NOW - I haven't figured out the repeat option on the Aquarium yet. MUST READ THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL SOON.

Coming soon to a Blog near you!!!
Next Week: Cagey tackles Assvice (Definition: Unsolicited Child Rearing Advice).

October 21, 2005

Isn't he lovely?

originally uploaded by Cagey333.

Okay - Nipple Munch 2005 (This year's Theme: "Gnaw 'em til they're raw") is getting better and better. I am just so grateful is he a hungry little monkey so far.

I have to admit - it is a bit disconcerting to have a child that looks NOTHING LIKE ME WHATSOEVER. No need for a paternity test on THIS kid, that's for sure.

Anyway, so far the newest client in my Purveyor of Food business is a good customer. The pay sucks, but the bennies are worth it.

Better than Big Al, damn straight.

October 19, 2005

How in the hell does Pamela Anderson sleep at night?

Warning: Ick Free Blog Factor has been temporarily suspended for this post.

I have always maintained that hot tears shed in a hot shower makes for an easier cleanup. I tested that theory at about 4:00 am this morning as I desperately took a shower to relieve the freakin' cantoloupes that have appeared OUT OF NOWHERE on my chest yesterday. OH MY GOD - THE AGONY. No one warns you this happens when your milk comes in!!!!!! In all the handy-dandy books, there is mention of "relief for engorgement" or some other bullshit to that effect. Anyway, my sister's milk always comes in really soon like this and she said it should get easier in a day or two. I think the hardest part is that I am a side sleeper/stomach sleeper. When you have rock hard breasts, there is no choice but to sleep on your back WHICH I CANNOT DO. Long, long night........

Also, take it from me because I learned it the hard way - if you are going to breastfeed and are going to pump. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS for the damned breast pump and STERILIZE it BEFORE the kid comes. I thought I had a couple of weeks to figure out the breast pump thing! It does not work out very well when you are already engorged, it is 2:00 am, and you are in severe pain. I am kind of laughing - kind of not.

Overall, everything else is going great - I couldn't ask for it to be going any better - at this point (Note: Subject to Change) the monkey is very easy to calm down and is easily sleeping in 3-4 hour shifts. Just like his mother, he is a heavy sleeper and is a pain in the ass to wake up.

Oh and where WAS the the little monkey during all the drama last night? He slept like a baby, while I cried like one.

Who says sideburns are out of style these days?

My baby needs a haircut. And he’s 3 days old. Basically, this kid puts new meaning to the saying “Gee, look at the rug on that guy!” Even the nurses couldn’t get over his hair. I am going to have to learn how to cut hair or we will be spending this kid’s college fund on barbers.

Anyway - before I go to bed to collapse, here are some highlights. As usual, in my commitment to an Ick Free blog, I will keep the gross stuff to a minimum......

I Scream, You Scream: Labor is fucking painful. Especially when you dilate so quickly to an 8 before anyone realizes it, you almost miss that “window of opportunity” for an epidural. THANK GOD FOR DRUGS. Oh, and all that “quiet birth” shit that the Scientologists believe in? One more reason to mark Tom Cruise off as CRAZY.

Birth WITH AN EPIDURAL is Fucking Awesome: The birth itself was actually very, very cool. Because I was high on drugs and adrenline, of course.

Watch Your Mouth: I didn't curse AT ALL. I was amazed - I usually have such a pot mouth and I don't think I dropped a single f-bomb!

Dolly Parton Ain't Got Nothin' on these Cannons: Breastfeeding is equally frustrating and amazing ALL AT ONCE. However, every feeding is getting easier, my milk is already coming in and the kid is a hungry little monkey -- so I think it will work out.

Cagey Can Cave: My mom AND sister were both in the delivery room. Which actually made it more fun, oddly enough.

Go Ahead, Quit Your Daytime Job: Not to brag......but X was so incredible. There was a period of time where we feared I wasn't getting that epidural - I just can't imagine what it would been like without him there supporting me. I am so glad we didn't waste money on a doula, when he was all I needed the whole time. Maybe he should reconsider that software gig he has going on right now.... Is it creepy that I sorta feel like I fell in love with him all over again?

October 16, 2005

Can I really call him the little Freeloader to his face?

The little guy has arrived!

Arun was born Sunday 10/16/05 at 4:41pm -- he weighed in at 7.7 lbs and was 20.5 inches long. Surprise, surprise, he looks just like his daddy. :-)

I did learn that Friday and Saturday WAS NOT LABOR. I learned what that was TODAY. In short, I was dilated to an 8 before I GOT AN EPIDURAL. Good grief.

Anyway, things are great, the baby* is PERFECT and I feel awesome (for right now). I think even a few angels on high could be heard singing in the distance.

*There. I used the oft-loathed term "the baby". So sue me. That's what good drugs will do to a person.

October 15, 2005

How about some Southern Comfort instead?

40 weeks!!!

We have moved on to what my doctor terms "comfort measures" --- drinking water, Tylenol PM, and warm bath. Contractions are freaking painful, but only 10 minutes apart. At least I am HOME in my own bed. Normal Olathe Grandma keeps calling and insisting I go to the hospital. THIS, coming from a woman who gave birth to her children in her own mother's home. I don't WANT to go to the hospital - I'd much rather be HERE. At home. In my own bed.

X is the best husband EVER. He is an awesome labor coach, as a bonus. Very grateful I snagged him.....

Still, this is as bad as expected, but certainly not worse. Having dry sockets after my wisdom teeth were taken out still ranks as #1 in the Worst Pain Ever.

October 14, 2005

Are we there yet?

1:50 am: Off to the hospital.
4:05 am: Back home again.

I am definitely in Early Labor, but am not dilated, so I was sent home - WHICH WAS FINE BY ME. I would MUCH rather do this at HOME than in the hospital. I see now why the whole "home birth" thing is so popular. By 3:30 am, I was begging to be sent home because I knew the little Freeloader wasn't coming anytime soon (although, I suspect he will arrive today or tomorrow). Anyway, I'd much rather lie around in my own bed, thank you very much.

Of course, this means I can't sit on my brand new living room furniture for the time being!

October 13, 2005

Does it get better?

39 weeks, 5 days

I still feel like SHIT. However, I AM still amazed at how this just “works out”. Seriously, until Sunday, life was a peach! I was active, having fun, and that entire day I was SO productive. Now? I can’t even sit upright for too long because it is so painful -- laying on my side is best at this point. I have a “reading station” set up near my bed so I can prop books up easily and am extremely grateful I forked over the money for the Sharper Image body pillow early on in this pregnancy. The purchase has paid for itself several times over since the one thing I can NOT complain about is a lack of sleep. I am a “side sleeper” anyway, but this pillow made all the difference.

So yesterday, I had a doctor’s appointment and learned the good news is that I am holding steady with my 22 lbs weight gain (Krispy Kreme here I come!!!!!). The bad news is that the Freeloader has made no progress whatsoever. If he isn’t here by the 19th, we will be making plans for my inducement on the 21st.

Anyway, I finished the day off with a lovely lunch thrown by X’s company and then I went home and BACK TO BED. I slept the rest of the day, got up for dinner, watched some TV, then went BACK TO BED.

The scariest part? At this rate, I am sleeping as much as our cats.

October 11, 2005

How DO I feel?


The human body is a beautiful, wonderful, miraculous thing. Last week, I was NOT anxious for this kid to come and WHY ON EARTH WOULD I BE? I felt great and was having fun - knitting, reading, watching TV, doing artsy stuff, watching movies - in general, BEING PRODUCTIVE. Now? Um, not so much. I can watch TV, sure, but all that other stuff doesn't sound so appealing now. I was going to see a movie yesterday, but couldn't drag my weary ass out the door.

So, in short, this is biology at its finest - if I still felt great, I wouldn't be ready for this kid to come, right?


October 10, 2005

Am I Anxious?

Tick..Tock.......Tick..Tock...... 39 weeks, 2 days

The time has flown! Am I anxious? No. Am I ready? Yes, certainly, but I am definitely not anxious. I am still having fun and getting a TON o’ things done around the house - I finished the nursery, (BAD Mommy!), helped X sort out over $13,000 and 4 months worth of business receipts so he can get REIMBURSED FOR THEM FINALLY (BAD Daddy!) installed our replacement ice maker (all by MYSELF. Hearing the clunk of ice cubes going into the tray was a balm to my soul, I was so nervous installing the damned thing ), I knit 6 more rows on the Freeloader’s baby blanket (estimated completion date? Kindergarten), started felting a recently finished knitting project, watched 7 more episodes of Veronica Mars Season 1, finally imported Pink Floyd’s UmmaGumma Studio Album into the iPod and finished a book (Jhumpa Lahiri’s “The Namesake” - a LOVELY, wonderful book that I simply did not want to end) and nearly finished Dr. Ferber's book on sleeping habits for children (The man is a genious and NO, he does not advocate just cruelly letting your kid scream in his room until he pukes. Anyone that makes that claim has clearly not read his book.). Oh, and I also saw 2 movies over the weekend and am hoping to catch another one today.

Rancid Review: I mentioned that I had seen 2 movies this weekend - X and I saw “The 40 Year Old Virgin” - since that movie has been out for so long, it will be enough to say that the movie was great and met all comedic expectations, although I was a little shocked at the vulgarity of the language used. I have a potty mouth myself and I will still shocked at some of things said in the course of the movie. The other movie I saw was “Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”. I arrived very early for the first showing available on Friday armed with sugar and nitrates. I was not disappointed! This movie was GREAT - truly a stellar piece of stop-motion animation at its very best (Note: If you see this movie, keep an eye out for the FINGERPRINTS on the models, which lend an air of authenticity and grit to the hard work involved in these productions - you don't get THAT in a Disney movie!). I am hoping to catch it once more before the Freeloader makes his arrival, but there are several other movies I’d like to catch first, so the prospects are grim. Thank goodness for the RidiculousTV as this is a DVD I will definitely be buying. For the Freeloader, of course.

Out Damned Squirrel! All the squirrels are gone - there were 5 total. While I am still a little sick over #4's long, traumatic death, I am also pretty faint at the price tag. The math on the whole thing quickly adds to well over $600, without considering the HVAC and electrical work to be done. I just hope the saga is over and done. That's all I can say.

Nesting Schmesting: When I spoke to my aunt yesterday and she heard of all my accomplishments this weekend, she declared emphatically that “I was nesting”. WHATEVER. I know people must attach a cutesy, stupid name for whatever reason, but I call this good old-fashioned common sense. Why wouldn’t I bustle around getting things done? Besides, I had sat on that replacement ice maker for TEN MONTHS - it was getting to be a “Do or Die” situation. Hell, I may just drag out that damned sweater as well. I can see why I wasn’t enthusiastic about seaming the pieces together during the SUMMER, but now that chilly weather is upon us AND I will be able to wear normal clothes in a few months, there is incentive to finally seam the pieces of a sweater that I knit back in February. The Freeloader has little to do with THAT.

Jalapenos And Curry For Babies?

At the baby shower thrown by my family, I kept cracking about feeding the Freeloader fish curry. They thought I was joking......... NOT

October 6, 2005

O Squirrel #5, Where Art Thou?

Dear Squirrel #5,

I understand that last night must have been upsetting to you - putting it mildly, of course. I, myself, shed a tear or two as your sister thrashed, squealed and cried in her final death throes. I even had a nightmare about it while sleeping last night. While I hate PETA, I do love animals and have realized that this is no longer funny. Long, painful deaths are just not my cup of tea. In retrospect, I also realize that my cackling and celebratory Dance o’ Death conducted in my front yard after your mother, brother and other sister had met their grisly ends may have appeared a bit unseemly as well and for this, I apologize. It’s just that your little teeth are so sharp. They chew holes in my roof, my HVAC ductwork and most distressingly, my electrical wiring.

So, please - Squirrel #5, I beg of you - just stick your little snout in the trap and accept the destiny that is yours. Thank you.

The Management

Who says that being nice doesn’t pay?

My first job was at McDonald’s - I was 16 and flush with excitement at the prospect of a paycheck. I only worked there a year and half, but was promoted to crew trainer in that time period. When I left, they were disappointed and tried to convince me to stay through college with “tantalizing” offers of “manager” positions available. No thanks! However, I did learn quickly at McD’s that the job went by much more quickly if I was polite to the customers. Yes - you read that correctly. I can’t tell you how many times I coaxed a smile or a simple acknowledgement that I existed just by being friendly. Was I friendly all the time? Probably not - we all have our bad days. After the McDonald’s experience, I moved on to telemarketing for a year, then to bill collection/customer service at Sallie Mae, then to the financial aid office at the University of Kansas. As a customer service representative (CSR) in various capacities, I learned the crucial point to good customer service is to BE NICE. I am the first to admit that someone on the phone yelling and calling me a “bitch” got the very minimum of help that I was required to give. Why, oh why, would I ruin my own call statistics to help someone who was so uncouth towards me? Exactly.

Over the years, I have had some really great CSR experiences and I know they are due to the fact I always try to keep my voice calm and polite while on the phone with the CSR. A small comment as to “Wow, it sounds really busy there!” has elicited MANY relieved comments from CSRs over the years. When a CSR mentions how slow their computer is moving, I always respond with “Oh, I hear you - I face the same myself.” While waiting for the computer to crank to the next screen, I may even ask which town they are in. Just these simple things (empathy, patience and controlling of anger) have gone a long, long way.

So, last night as I am paying my bills, I noticed that my Sprint wireless bill went from it’s usual $85 to over $300 a month. I had a Braxton-Hicks contraction - no kidding. I called Sprint thinking there must be some mistake. At first, the CSR was a typical Sprint CSR - very tired of customers calling and griping about the same old thing. I held my tongue and had him guide me through the process of looking at my bill. At one point in the call, I realized that the mistake was MINE - I had gone way over my minutes (a first for me, I should note and I have been been a customer since 1997). At this point, I have to admit I lost it a little - I ended up telling this poor guy about the squirrel squealing at that very moment in his death throes, my kitchen faucet coming apart, etc etc and that this phone bill was the last straw. However, I admitted that I would just need to be better at monitoring my minutes and I did apologize for getting emotional . He was very polite and we ended the call.

Less than 5 minutes later, he CALLS ME BACK and says that since I am a very valuable customer and that he can see from my history I have never gone over my minutes before, he is going to give me a $50 credit towards my bill. Furthermore, he noted that I had "accepted responsibility for my mistake and that went a long way with him as a customer service representative." How’s that for being nice?

I am now digging for some stationary - I don’t usually write letters to companies, but Sprint is going to hear from me on this one!!

October 5, 2005

Where the hell are they coming from?

Okay, at first it was kinda nice to have something to blog about besides the Freeloader. But this is ridiculous. The Critter Guy came to collect Carcass #3. Soon after he left, I heard some high-pitched Squirrel Squealing going on and I peeked outside. Not-Yet-A-Carcass#4 was wriggling around in the trap and ANOTHER little buddy (aka #5) was hanging out nearby egging him on. So, #4 has nearly wriggled free and it is quite distressing - where is he going to go? In the attic? To die? Chew more holes? Burn our house down? And what about #5? HOW MANY MORE ARE THERE? I had hoped there would only be four - this is costing us 60 bucks a pop. Our total tally thus far for only FOUR squirrels is $400 - this is BEFORE #5 and BEFORE any of the roof/eaves repairs, electrical repairs, and HVAC repairs.

Also, the carcasses (carci? what's the plural?) don't end at rodents. I also have a dead BIRD on my front porch that must be disposed of. YUCK. I am surrounded by death!

And it’s only 6:34pm. To make things uber-lovely, as I get to the kitchen sink and turn the water on, the handle flies off. Now, I see a plumber in my future. It's dandy to be clairvoyant, eh?

It’s gonna be a long, long night.

Why is that squirrel sleeping?

Squirrel Business: The squirrel carcass is still dangling from the rooftop. It is becoming less and less funny and instead, more and more gross. Bleh. My sister and the Nephews were over this morning and Older Nephew calmly observed “That squirrel up there is stuck in a spider web!”. Um, yes, YES HE IS. What else could we say? "Aunt Cagey is the sworn enemy of rodents with fluffy tails and has a disgusting sense of humor much like your Redneck Tightwad Grandpa?? " Of course not - although, I will admit a call into Critter Control is warranted - the thing needs to be carted away. YUCK.

Cribbage: Well, my marriage has survived yet another milestone! We successfully assembled a crib and we are STILL MARRIED. Nary a curse word was thrown, although there were some extremely tense moments. I was shocked at how stressful the whole venture was. I wasn’t that worried about even having a crib, as evidenced by my sheer laziness in getting around to purchasing one, but did push to assemble it ASAP because we only had 7 days from the date of receipt to report damages. I was shocked at the extremely crappy instructions - I am not normally shocked at furniture instructions this bad, but this is a CRIB, a place where all New Mommies are warned of the 100+ ways their precious progeny can DIE or become INJURED in one. I expected more, at a minimum, from a liability standpoint from the furniture manufacturer. Anyway, we got it together and I managed to keep my paranoia at a minimum.

Baby Pool: The countdown begins - if you would like to gander a guess at the little Freeloader's weight, see details on the sidebar to the left......

Adventures in BabyBuilding: I had my 38 week appointment with the doctor this morning. My total weight gain thus far is 22 lbs. Rock on. I may have to splurge and finally let myself have a Krispy Kreme since I am well on my way to keeping the gain under 25 lbs, my original goal. I don’t really like doughnuts all that much, but I could marry a Krispy Kreme (X, move over!). Anywho - during the appointment, my doctor became concerned that my amniotic fluid was low, so I had an ultrasound this afternoon. Everything looks fine, so it was a minor false alarm. However, I may be in some other sort of trouble. I’ll be damned if during the ultrasound the little Freeloader didn’t take his teensy hands and play with his feet! TOO ADORABLE FOR WORDS. My heart melted right then and there. Seriously - we had to scoop it up in a cup, so I can put it back in the freezer to get it solid again.

Little shit - I was determined to be the disciplinarian, but if he is going to pull cute tricks like that on me, he may get away with more than I had originally planned. DAMN.

October 4, 2005

Exactly how red is my neck?

Just when I think I have successfully gotten used to this whole Suburbia Thing, the squirrels come a callin’ and thus, CALL ME OUT.

The Critter Control guy came yesterday to take care of the Squirrel Saga going on in our attic. For whatever reason, I couldn’t help myself, I followed the guy all over the place, asking questions, making observations. In retrospect, I wonder what the guy thought of the crazy pregnant chick who could barely contain her excitement. He immediately trapped one of them and I TOOK A PICTURE. I was laughing so hard and practically dancing in the front yard --- I couldn’t help it! Here we live in this prissy suburb and we have a dead squirrel dangling from our rooftop. LOVE IT. X, on the other hand, was horrified although this was abated a bit when the Critter Guy reported all the damage the squirrels had inflicted that must be repaired. At this point, we are definitely looking at handing over AT LEAST $600 to various folks (HVAC, electrical, Critter Guy) when it is all said and done.

My only regret is that the squirrel wasn’t dangling in full view of our bitchy drunk neighbor - the one who doesn’t like our cat. DAMN......

Squirrel Saga Update: So, the Critter Guy came by early this morning to collect Squirrel #2 dangling from our roof by his flea-infested neck (the squirrel, not the Critter Guy). I just noticed that Squirrel #3 has met his grisly end. This leaves just one more to go. At $60 a pop. Sigh.

All I can say is Die, Squirrel, Die. Fuck PETA. The bastards are a fire hazard and I am unapologetic.

October 3, 2005

Where is that bitch Cinderella when you really need her?

I had a lovely shower thrown for me by my friends on Saturday. TWO pieces of cheesecake later and a few cups of punch later, I managed to drive myself home without floating off into the sky. I am just not used to that much sugar consumption in one day. The whole thing was exacerbated by the fact that I went to my book club in the evening where cheescake was featured AGAIN. This is where it gets dicey. You see- when I say “cheesecake”, I am not talking any old cheesecake. I am talking AVERAGE JANE's cheesecake. Her homemade, entirely-by-scratch cheesecake is worth the price of admission alone to being her friend (dear reader - don’t be fooled by her good-natured blog, she really is a nasty sort. But she bakes! and cooks! and serves martinis!) Anyway, Sunday was a LONG day - all the junk food consumption from the day prior really took it’s toll on me. I am not a health nut, by any means, but I don’t normally eat so much sugar.

Freeloader Status: Not much is going on. He is still doing his Stretching Thing, instead of his Wiggling Thing or Kicking Thing. I can even discern where his foot is when he does this - that little foot is SO TINY which is simultaneously cool AND creepy all at once and brings home that fact that OH MY GOD, THERE IS A TEENY, TINY HUMAN IN THERE. Yesterday, I did notice that things are definitely happening. For the first time in 9 months, I am getting cramps - akin to menstrual ones which leaves me with this incredible urge to take some Ibuprofin. I am not in labor, but I have had a few painful contractions (a first, for me) - enough to give me the final push to finally pack my bag for the hospital, and to get the iPod and camara to charging. Um, speaking of the hospital. I received a voice mail from my doctor’s offce saying that my appointment scheduled for today needed to be moved because my doctor herself is IN THE HOSPITAL. Good gravy.

Critters in the Attic Redux: At first, I had convinced myself that that all the scurrying and scratching were just birds on the ROOF. You see, my bathroom is in this weird “tower-like” arrangement and there is a conical roof atop it, Because the pitch of the roof is so steep there, when birds are on the roof, it is quite loud. I was led to believe there were animals in the attic LAST YEAR, but thankfully, was WRONG. Unfortunately, this year, there are indeed, monsters in the attic. I have the Critter Control folks coming out today (their name actually IS Critter Control, which is why they are getting my business! LOVE the name.) I tried to see if I could get in the attic, but besides being 9 months pregnant, the attic is SCARY. X, being much, much smarter than I am, refuses to go up there. So, Pay Out the Nose we shall go. Yesterday afternoon, I was so freakin’ irritated by all the commotion that I turned on the attic fan and the silence was blissful. This morning, I awoke to no irritating sounds, either. As I let the cat outside this morning, I noticed things being flung to the ground. I quickly went outside and looked towards the roofline. I saw TWO little heads peering at me. Then another. THEN ANOTHER. It was as suspected. SQUIRRELS. The accountant in me quickly produced a potential tally for our Critter Control folks and was dismayed when I stopped at $400. I guess all I can do is hope that when the Critter Control folks trap a varmint or two, the rest of them will run away never to return - it costs $60 PER animal trapped (plus a base inspection fee). YIKES. I have turned the attic fan back on in the meantime. I have to admit that when I saw the little heads peering out at me, I laughed because it was so funny-looking. However, when I did the Potential Tally, I quickly sobered up.

This ain’t no fucking Disney movie.