Snow Day!!!

It keeps snowing here!
We are being buried under layers of gray, crusty snow.

Some downsides to snow: carved out paths on sidewalks narrow the passable area and make for uncomfortable interchanges with elderly people, people with lame legs, people who like to walk two deep and chat, and yes, people with strollers; also, icy patches are plentiful and dangerous.

Some upsides: SNOW DAYS!!! Also, things look pretty and glittery and white before they look gross and become rife with dangerous icy patches.

Last Thursday was our second snow day in a month. I got to spend time with Susan, who is the natural go-to person when one hears that only people involved in essential services should report for work.

I remember well back in 2003 being at the Zombie Hut with Susan and our friend Rich the day after the black-out. Rich proclaimed, "Here's to being non-essential!" and we all toasted. Ah. Memories. I'm aging far too rapidly.

On Thursday at 5:50 in the morning I received a text message stating that Max's daycare would be closed due to snow conditions. Then, 20 minutes later I received another text message stating that my office would be closed for that same reason. Whoopee! Because this is the future, all vital information is dispatched via text message.

Susan was home, too. I told her that people kept asking me if Max liked the snow, and I had to admit that he really hadn't spent any time in it. I was never sure what was supposed to happen. He can barely sit up. It seemed far too cruel to lay him down and let him flail around. Still, I was determined to take him to the park ... any park.

We met in her neighborhood — not far from the Zombie Hut — and ate lunch, then took Max to nearby Carroll Park. We meandered into the park by the narrow walkway that had been cut into the snow. And then we stood there. I realized my boots weren't very warm. When my feet were good and cold, I said, "Well, what should we do now?"

Susan said, "I was hoping there would be some more babies here so we could see what other people were doing with them."

We walked over to the swings. We asked a woman pushing a boy if she thought our baby was old enough for the swing. She asked his age, and we told her eight months. She said, "Sure. Just so long as you don't push too hard. Because then he'll go flying out." She made a motion with her arm of a baby sailing through the air. Then she chuckled.

We gave it a try, and Max seemed mostly okay with the cold and the snow and the swing. Though he would occasionally grunt and make little fists, which led us to believe his thoughts were elsewhere. Here are some pictures from our snow/swing/park adventure:

I'll be at AWP in DC this Thursday and Friday. So if you if you're around, please stop by the Smartish Pace table and say hi. I'll be the woman with the baby and the giant scary bags under her eyes.

On the 9th Anniversary of Our Wedding (12:41 am)

Dear Brian,

Thank you for marrying me.

I'm sorry whenever you buy me presents, I always find fault with them. Even though they are often very clearly things I would never use or wear, or in colors I have railed against, or maybe you thought it was an adult hooded towel when it was clearly meant for infants — I have no idea how you missed that one. Still, you are a really great guy. Even though I had an epiphany this evening that you probably never liked the Beatles as much as you said you did back in 1997.

I want you to know that I have finally learned to love the apple-corer you gave me three years ago.

I know it makes me sound like country folk, but I am happy we were able to find each other so young. Somewhat because I really hated dating. But mostly because I am still in love with you.

I look forward to growing old with you. And I want you to know ... no matter what happens ... I will refuse to grant you a divorce. So don't even try it. Not that you ever would. Because you are really one of the kindest, gentlest, most thoughtful people I have ever known. Except maybe when you accidentally drop fried rice in my shoes. Or drink my diet coke instead of yours "by mistake." Or repeatedly try tossing your dirty socks into the hamper and miss, even though I told you not to.

I assume that this is what love is: Bickering. And those who appear not to bicker are clearly lying, of course. In contrast, we are often proclaiming the truth of our love to one another loudly and publicly and with much gusto.

This is not coming out as nice as I had wanted. Maybe because you are snoring away in the bedroom with the baby, so I am planning to sleep on the couch. Still, you are one of the swellest people I know. Like a fine wine, you too are aging considerably. So it's good that we got the whole marriage and kid thing over with and out of the way. Now all we have to worry about is the rest of our lives.

Here's to nine years of marriage. For better or for worse. Mostly, better, I think.

Sleep tight.

Your,
Debbilina

Gray

We have two teeth!
Brian calls them nubbins.

Two weeks ago was really the worst of the worst. He didn't want to eat, he freaked out when you put him in the bath, and hardly ever laughed. One of the daycare ladies said, "Max isn't Max anymore. He has a different face." I think I know what she meant.

I had been checking the upper gum, where the doctor said his gums were swollen. Two Saturdays ago I was nursing him and felt super uncomfortable. I pulled away and stuck my finger to check the top gum again and he bit down hard. OUCH! A bottom nubbin had sneaked in.

He was happier for a time, then got grouchy again, and then BAM! this past Saturday, another tooth. This one also on the bottom. Who knew?

We are all dirty slush here in New York City. What a bummer. I don't really mind the cold so much as the lack of daylight. Gray, gray, gray. I don't even mind the gray so much, but would prefer if the colors would mix it up from time to time.

I've been feeling so uncreative for so long. Gray, gray, gray. Recently, I've been experiencing small, mild bursts of creativity. But I am still so tired, and then I have to wash the bottles or something drab like that. People will tell me to buck up, they tell me stories about writers who have young children and still write, writers who have actually been inspired to write by those same young children. But they are usually talking about men writers. I think many women writers are far too busy washing bottles.

I apologize for my dullness. At least I blog less often and don't bother you with all the drab minutia of my current existence. Still, as drab as my existence is now, as tired as I am, as dull as I feel, as much as I hate washing bottles all day, one look at that goofy baby and my mind is a warm brie cheese of delight. It melts and oozes slowly out my ears and I am caught up in the silly bliss of cuddly love. I am high as a kite on oxytocin.

Here is a video of Max kind of nubbling an apple. Brian has called it "Forbidden Fruit/Forbidden Foot":

And here are some new pictures:

SOFT, MELTY CHEESE!!!

I have a new dress-up photo as well. It was very difficult to stage, because somebody doesn't like wearing mustaches anymore. I guess it's one of those growing pains. Here is "der »Ubers»augling":

And here is the original on which it was based:

Some people have suggested that it is far from obvious. Fine. But I don't imagine I will do a re-do. Max HATES that mustache. I am taking suggestions for a good new dress-up that doesn't require a mustache. Any thoughts?

Scylla and Charybdis

Brian and I are still sleeping on the futon.
The baby still has the bedroom. Sleep training does not seem to be going very well.

Did I tell you Max is teething? Aren't babies always teething? But the doctor said so. She said that his gums looked swollen and a little toothy nubblet was almost visible. This was over a week ago. But still no teeth. Maybe this is why our sleep training is crashing and burning.

An average night looks like this:
    7:30 - 8:30: Baby falls asleep
    10:30: Baby whimpers for ten minutes, then falls back to sleep
    2:30: Baby wakes up screaming bloody murder (I usually get up and try soothing him back to sleep
    3:30: Baby wakes up screaming bloody murder (I usually am out of my mind tired and feed him until he falls asleep
    5:00: Baby wakes up screaming bloody murder (I usually feed him again and then climb into the big person bed with him, where he falls into a fitful sleep and repeatedly bonks me in the nose with his crazyhands)

One of the reasons I opt to let him sleep in the big person bed is because I have chosen Crying Baby over Snoring Husband. I feel like I am navigating between a domestic Scylla and Charybdis. Crying Baby or Snoring Husband? For the first part of most nights, I choose to sleep on the futon with Snoring Husband. But in the wee hours of the morning, when all seems lost, I give up and crawl into bed with Crying Crazyhands Baby. I can't win.

I was talking with a coworker today about how I would love to make a fashion show using all the weird outfits I see crazy people wearing. I would surly include Mr. Garbage Sweater. But I would also definitely want the man with the garbage bag crown. That's when I realized I never posted my pictures of him!

I saw him again on my way to a doctor appoint in SoHo last month. I snapped some pictures with my crappy camera phone. I think he's magnificent.

Who else will be in the fashion show?

New Year

Okay. I'm back.
Since we last spoke ... we flew down to South Florida for Thanksgiving. On the plane, all three of us got sick.

The first night in Florida, Max slept in one bedroom and we slept in another (usually, he sleeps just inches from our faces). We slept through the night. It was miraculous! We assumed that Max had slept through the night as well ... until we saw my parents, who both looked like they were strung out from a week-long bender. The baby had apparently been hysterical for the better part of the night, but Brian and I (only one room down) didn't hear a thing.

When we got back, we all managed to retain our colds. We all slept poorly for the next month. Max continued to be very cute. I continued to be a basket case.

Before the Jewish day off of Christmas, we began our sleep training regimen, which consisted of Brian and me sleeping on the futon in the living room and letting the baby have the bedroom. My sister-in-law, Jessie, said it sounded like the most passive-aggressive version of sleep training she had ever heard. No, it's okay, tiny baby. You can have the whole big bedroom to yourself. Your father and I will just sleep on the couch.

It has worked okay, except that at first I was being regularly awakened by my own fits of coughing. When my cold finally got better, Brian's seemed to get worse. Then I was regularly awakened by Brian's snoring. Now we are both feeling better. But we think the baby is teething, because he has been in an awful mood and desperately gums everything he can get into his mouth and won't go to sleep, and when he does, wakes up screeching several times a night.

Eventually we will all get it together. For now, We are all exhausted.

I will now link to some pictures and albums.

First, pictures from Thanksgiving:


Max and his cousin, Jake (and Brian) during Thanksgiving


Max tries the pool and doesn't hate it too much

Next, some general Max gets older pictures:


Max being cute and getting clean


Max getting an early start as a tech-savvy young person

Last, some pictures I took during (and right after) the recent snow storm:


Max and Brian being blanketed in snow


The morning after

I also wanted to mention that I saw the cockroach again. Though I am pretty sure it was actually an entirely different cockroach, without that weird sloping back issue. Brian was home, and I ran and got him, and he smashed it with the dustpan and flushed it down the toilet. Then he looked at me in disbelief, because I am usually so bloodthirsty when it comes to roaches, but I was being a big, scaredy pansy.

So one roach is dead. But now we're pretty sure there is a colony of them living behind our oven. Thank goodness we never cook!