Alex is a Weirdo

Alex is such a weird baby. He spent about 15 minutes yesterday attacking our couch. It’s leather, so I really try to stop him when he scratches it and licks it, but I just couldn’t stop watching him attack it. He was standing up facing the back of the couch, being cute and reaching for the window shade cord when all of the sudden he lunged in for the couch, making these grunting sounds, and started biting it ferociously! To top all of that off, he was gyrating into the couch, too. And smacking it. If he wasn’t, well, a human, and an 8-month old human at that, I’d say he was in heat or something.

Naturally, I took a ton of pictures and a video. It was one of the weirdest things I have ever seen him do. And he’s done a lot of weird things. This may top them all. He looked like he was trying to make out with couch (as Zach points out in the video) and he was having a great time doing it.

This poor kid has video and photographic evidence of everything he’s ever done. He’s going to be so embarrassed when he gets older. Until then, I’ll enjoy posting them here. Maybe one day he’ll appreciate it:

It was hard not to laugh hysterically throughout all of that.

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Graduation, Part Two.

I can’t help but feel a little down on myself as graduation time has come and gone. May 18th should have been My Commencement. The week leading up to it should have been senior week for me: a week of no classes, performances by every group on campus, many visits to local coffee shops, and spending as much time as possible with your senior friends. I should have had to find an all white dress, which I would have had to wear with black shoes. I should have worn my cap and gown that was given to me by a friend who graduated last year. I should have had to walk in “a diploma circle,” holding some random diploma given to me during commencement that I would give to the proper person, and receiving in return from another my own diploma. I should have been there for all of the amazingly quirky traditions at Smith.

I should be able to proudly say that I have a Smith College Bachelor’s Degree!

Instead, I can say that I will have a Smith College Bachelor’s Degree, but that it took me one semester longer than originally planned. Instead, I can say that while I did not graduate on the same date as originally planned, I had the most beautiful baby in the world. Instead, I can say that I became a mother.

That is pretty great.

Graduation!

Zach is officially a college graduate! I couldn’t be prouder. Not many people can say that they graduated with such an amazing degree (computer science at the number 1 computer science school in the country, tied with MIT!) while supporting a family. Even fewer can say that they did it well. Not only did he do well academically in his last year, but also he was an amazing partner and father.

Congratulations, Zach!

On Saturday night, in a pre-celebratory evening, Zach’s parents, uncle, Zach and I went to a bar on Grandview Avenue, where there is an amazing view of downtown Pittsburgh. Zach’s father took this fantastic shot of the city:

CityofPittsburgh

And here we all are, minus Zach’s father because, again, he was taking the picture. From left to right there is Zach’s mother, Zach, Zach’s uncle Mark, and me:

Enjoying some drinks

Graduation was amazing. We went to a “breakfast” for the computer science students. I use that word very loosely, as the food that was served consisted of stuffed mushrooms, cheese, meat, and crackers, fried chicken, and latkes. It was raining and raining all morning long, so we were not really looking forward to sitting in the rain for over an hour during the main ceremony. As we laid down our trash bags on the bleacher seats, and put on the CMU labelled ponchos that we were given, the sun peaked through the sky.

The key note speaker was Al Gore. In my opinion, it couldn’t have been much better than that. He discussed global warming, of course, but also told a few hilarious stories, including one where he did an uncanny impression of Bill Clinton.

Al Gore processing

That’s Al Gore!

The School of Computer Science had their diploma ceremony at the Carnegie Music Hall, a beautiful setting in which to graduate. We got to see Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon.com, and Randy Pausch! Jeff Bezos was hilarious, with highly geeky jokes, which is appropriate for a computer science graduation. Randy Pausch spoke at the main ceremony as well, but as a former computer science professor he also spoke at the computer science diploma ceremony:

Jeff Bezos speaking

Randy Pausch speaking

Jeff Bezos told us a story of how someone explained in an interview that the reason he, Jeff, was so good at his job was because he didn’t have sex. Apparently, Jeff said, this person did not think about his “gaggle” of children. Randy Pausch told everyone to find their passion and pursue it. Don’t hesitate. That it’s not the things you did that you’ll regret, it’s the things that you didn’t do that you’ll regret.

All in all, graduation was highly successful. There are many more pictures here and here!

Congratulations, Zach. You are amazing:

Zach gets his diploma

Graduate

The Sushi Made It All Worth It

After a long day, I was excited to be able to relax, watch Charlie Wilson’s War and eat some leftovers. Alex didn’t like this plan. After not taking an afternoon nap, he finally went down around 5:30. When he woke up at 7, exhausted and needing to go back to sleep, I fed him and attempted to rock him to sleep, hopefully for the night.

He didn’t like that plan, either. Forty-five minutes later, he was no closer to falling asleep and was continually crying. I rocked and rocked, shushed and shushed, and then, much to my surprise, he threw up. All over me. At least he wasn’t crying for no reason.

I have a lot of issues with throw up. Blood, guts, gore, most things that people find immensely gross don’t bother me one bit. Throw up? Makes me want to throw up. I could smell it all night long.

After I successfully cleaned myself (and him) off, I brushed his teeth and started rocking him to sleep again. He was about to fall asleep when the fire alarm started blaring.

Again.

This is the fourth time in two weeks that it has gone off. Each time it has been because someone has burned food and decided the best way to let the kitchen air out is to open the door to their apartment. Great idea! Except that the smoke then causes the building’s fire alarms to go off, not just the single apartment’s. And once that happens, we all have to exit the building.

So, Zach and I stood around for a minute deciding whether or not to go down. It’s like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” only it’s the old lady who burns her food every few days and then swears loudly as she walks down the stairs, yelling at no one in particular. One day, though, there could be a real fire. With Alex, we aren’t willing to risk it. So, I put a sweater over his robot pajamas and we headed out into the immensely loud hallway.

With baby in tow, we climbed down the many, many, flights of stairs. It was raining, it was an hour past Alex’s bedtime, and Zach and I were starving. We knew we had at least thirty minutes until they would get everything straightened away, so we went for a nice long drive.

Our drive took us to Whole Foods, where I bought some delicious sushi to have for our late dinner. In the end, I suppose it was worth the effort.

Unfortunately, I can still smell the throw up.

A Few Things

1. I entered Alex into the Parents Magazine Cover Photo Contest! I put a little blurb in my side bar, so if you have the chance and agree that he is a cutie I would love it if you would take a minute (or less, really!) to check out the photos I uploaded!

2. I overheard an interested conversation yesterday while checking out at Wal-Mart. First, let me just say that I hate Wal-Mart. Probably more than most people. I haven’t stepped inside of a Wal-Mart in a long time, and had even said that I would never go into one again, but I had read that they had Muir Glen organic tomatoes on sale, and with the coupons I had it would have made them almost free. Well, I ventured into the awful place and they didn’t even have them. I bought some cereal that we needed instead, for 50 cents with a coupon.

Anyway, here was the conversation:

Cashier #1: How old is her baby?
Cashier #2: Oh he is only like 2 weeks old. He’s so cute.
Cashier #1: Aw, that’s nice. She must be so happy.
Cashier #2: Yeah. She’s really lucky too. He was breach, so she got to have a C-section.
Cashier #1: ::giggle giggle::
Cashier #2: I’m serious! I would choose to have a C-section. Why go through all that labor when you can just have ’em cut out of you? That is way easier!
Cashier #1: Yeah, that’s true.

I left at the point point, relieved that I was leaving because otherwise I would have said something. Something about how having a C-section is not easier. Something about how saying that having a C-section is easier is a ridiculous and ill-informed thing to say. Something about how the recovery for a C-section is so much longer. Something about how many women feel inadequate if they have to have a C-section and will often feel like they didn’t have a “real birth.” Something about how for the first two weeks after you can’t properly hold your baby, breast feeding is insanely hard because of the huge wound, and you need help to go to the bathroom because you can’t use any abdominal muscles to sit down by yourself. Something about how the pain medications that you will be on for the first two weeks (or more) make you really groggy and how you can’t focus because of it. Something about how you have a huge scar across your lower abdomen that will never go away. Something about the fact that your baby is more likely to have fluid in their lungs after a cesarean birth. Something about the fact that walking is hard for weeks afterwards. Something about how itchy the scar can be for a long, long, time. Something about how having a cesarean sucks. But I left.

3. I’m finally going to CVS tomorrow. I have the trip all planned out, and hopefully they will have the items I want in stock. I’m “splurging” and using most of my Extra Credit Bucks to buy diapers and wipes for Alex and some new mineral foundation for myself. I wont come out on top, but if it all works as planned I’ll come out even (spending almost nothing) and with a lot of needed stuff!

4. And, of course, here is a picture of Alex from earlier today:

Day 10

Toys are so overrated.