Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy B-Day, Sam





Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sam's recent obsession with Mariology


We have a problem. Sam doesn't like Jesus. I mean, he really doesn't like Jesus.

Someone gave us a plush nativity set which is currently one of Sam's favorite toys. Whenever I hand him the baby Jesus, however, he holds it for a split second and then throws it across the room. This action is quickly followed by him scooping up Mary and Joseph--one in each hand--and nuzzling them. He kisses Mary and Joseph. He waves them around. He loves Mary and Joseph. But Jesus? No thank you.

This wasn't just a one time, "Oh look, Sam threw the baby Jesus." It's every single time he plays with this toy. Today Jesus was thrown across our living room four times. Four times.

I don't know about this kid. I just don't know.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Milk kills me every time

I've been off of dairy products since April due to Sam's allergies. As I've tried to find dairy-free options at restaurants I've had some interesting conversations with waiters.

Me: I don't suppose you have any dairy-free desserts, do you?
Waiter: Let me check with the chef. I do know for sure that you can have the ice cream.
Me: Um, okay.

For the most part, I've found people are so eager for me to eat their food that they often say the food is fine whether or not they truly know the ingredients. Seven months into this diet I've finally found a way to ensure my food at restaurants is dairy-free--my friend Katie gave me this idea. It works 100% of the time.

Me: Do you know if this bread has dairy in it?
Waiter: Let me see.
(Waiter picks it up and stares at it as if trying to see specks of milk.)
Waiter: Nope. There's not any dairy in it.
Me: Are you sure? I have a dairy allergy.
Waiter: Definitely. It's fine
Me: Good, because dairy is like poison to me.

And then I start to take a big bite which is ALWAYS interrupted by the waiter saying, "WAIT! Let me run to the kitchen just to double check."

And then they come back with iceberg lettuce and Worcestershire sauce since those are the only truly dairy-free items in the kitchen.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

When you wish upon a star

My father-in-law thinks that God answers all my prayers. And while that's a complete exaggeration, score one for team Keith.

Last summer we had a number of empty apartments near our building. I kept telling John that I wanted a teenage, homeschooler to move in so that we could take advantage of her babysitting abilities night and day.

Soon after a homeschooling family with eight kids moved in. Eight. And I haven't been in want of a babysitter since.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I fought the 5%....and I won

A FEW DAYS AGO:

Me: I think I'm a five percent kind of person.
John: What do you mean?
Me: Only 5% of women give birth on their due date. Only 5% of people who have an ERCP get pancreatitis....(I listed off a number of other areas in which I fall in the fifth percentile. Areas that I am much to humble to talk about here)....I guess I'm just a part of the five percent club.
John: I guess so.

THE NEXT DAY:
Me: John, I don't want to be a part of the 5% club.
John: Why not?
Me: Because pancreatitis has a 5% mortality rate.
John: Really?
Me: Yup.
John: Well, it's not 5% of people who contracted it the way you did--post-surgical?
Me: I don't know, but--
John: Wouldn't that 5% be more likely to happen to people with alcohol problems or something like that? YOU probably didn't have a 5% mortality rate.

At this point I allowed for a long pause to interrupt the conversation, thereby alerting John that he was in need of a mulligan.

John: Uh, wow. Five percent, huh?
Me: Yeah, five percent of people who get this DIE! Aren't you glad I didn't die?
John: Yup.

I kind of wish I had known this statistic earlier. I think I could have milked this situation a bit more. I mean, yeah, I had a week off of school and got to watch movies all doped up and everything, BUT I COULD HAVE DIED!!!! Which makes me think I deserve more than flowers and balloons (and yes, perhaps even more than an Irish whistle). I don't know, maybe I should make a t-shirt ("I Survived Pancreatitis"). Or petition Stephen Colbert to wear a bracelet in my honor.

It has given me a bit of leverage, I suppose. Like when John asks if I'd be willing to get him a drink of water or take over some extra Sam duties I say, "John, remember when I almost died?"

And then he remembers how very lucky he is to still have me and gives me a back rub.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

At the height of my anesthesia buzz

(Post-surgery getting wheeled back to my room to my waiting husband)

Me: John, I had a great idea for Christmas.
John: What's that.
Me: Let's have a belt Christmas.
John: A what?
Me: A belt Christmas. Where we only give each other belts.
John: Okay (trying not to laugh).
Me: I want one with sequins.
John: Okay.
Me: And I had an idea of two different belts that I could get for you, but I don't remember what they are anymore.
John: That's okay.

This story may beat the time I had my wisdom teeth out and started crying because I couldn't find my pockets. And the time I had an endoscopy and afterwards began shouting,"Hey! Who put my shoes on my feet?"

Monday, November 10, 2008

Setting the record straight

Sometimes the line between fact and fiction gets a little blurry. I've been known to refer to a recently committed heinous crime only to have John respond with, "Um, actually, Mandy, that was on 'Law and Order' last night."

That happens when my brain is running on all cylinders. So it's only natural that if I'm hopped up on morphine for a week that pesky fact/fiction line might get even fuzzier.

That said, I feel the need to qualify last weeks posts.

At one point I referred to a nurse who in the middle of the night told me to call her "Loud Beth." I saw her the next morning and said, "Hi Beth." To which she responded, "It's Carol."

Other than that, I think everything else I wrote was true. I do know that Wilson really did exist. I didn't make her up--John can testify to that. And we really did become friends. When I left she smiled, bowed her head, and murmured something in Mandarin which I believe could be roughly translated as, "Goodbye, beautiful fairy princess. Thank you for being a beacon of light in this dreary place."

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Sam's new tricks

While I was away Sam learned three new tricks:

1. How to shrug
2. How to point
3. How to scoot

All useful tools in hunting down his missing mother (which I'm sure is what he was aiming for). I believe had I stayed away a day or two longer he would have learned how to stick out his thumb to hitch a ride.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Home again, home again

I'm back home! Thanks for all the prayers, books, DVD's, magazines, jello, soup, water colors, flowers, balloons, visits, and of course, Irish whistles.

I came home and our kitchen sink pipe was so excited to see me that it burst. Sigh.

Hospital: Day 4 More about Wilson

They decided not to release Wilson. I was a bit relieved. Mostly because Wilson looked really sick. Really, really sick. And the fact that they were willing to release Wilson before me made me think that maybe I was really, really, really sick.

But here she is. Nice, quiet Wilson. We became quite close yesterday. It all started when one of the nurses came to her bed:

Nurse: Are you hungry, Mrs. X?
Silence.
Nurse: ARE YOU HUNGRY, MRS.X?
Silence.
Nurse: YOU WANT FOOD?

Finally I filled in the silence from across the curtain. "She doesn't speak English." Thus began my friendship with Wilson. I took it upon myself to look after my helpless little roommate. I informed orderlies about her inability to speak English. I closed her curtain when she started gesturing towards it. I turned off the hall light at 10 pm so the light wouldn't shine in her eyes. I asked "Loud Beth" to be a little bit quieter when she was out in the hallway at 11:30 pm (seriously, that's what we're supposed to call her). I even convinced the nurse to turn off my IV in the middle of the night because it kept waking us up with its strange noises. I was beginning to think we were best friends.

At 3:30 am, however, I finally understood the term "frenemy." My new friend decided that she wanted to have the lights on...all of the lights on, which I didn't think was very neighborly.

So here I am on day four with Wilson. Hoping that I'll get to be released before her...not that I'm competitive or anything.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hospital: Day 3

My roommate is going home today. I feel like I'm losing my Wilson (Wilson as in what the volleyball was to Tom Hanks, not as in what Wilson was to Tim the Toolman Taylor). By comparing her to a volleyball, I realize I may be objectifying her a smidge. But she's been a lovely companion. I will miss her talking...and mostly not talking, as well as all of the conversations that have revolved around her bowel movements.

My nurses have been very kind. One nurse, however, has been getting under my skin. She's the one who brings me my food. My lovely, liquid food. Each meal she walks into my room waving the menu with items like "smoked turkey breast" and "whipped potatoes" and "julienne carrots" and says, "Don't you wanna eat, Honey? Don't you know you have to keep sipping liquids until you feel better? You need to get better so I can bring you real food. Don't you want real food, Baby Doll? Wouldn't you like a hamburger?" I'd like to have a snappy comeback, but I haven't been able to come up with one yet. Plus, she brings me orange jell-o and I don't want to do anything that might jeopardize that.

I've had some lovely visitors so far. My friend Katie just came with a huge bag of goodies: Mad Libs, The Velveteen Rabbit, Elf, watercolors and paper, cards, a Barbie pen, and many many other things that only Katie would bring. You would have to know Katie to get the full effect. She also brought me an Irish Whistle that she said I could use to summon a nurse or communicate with my roommate.


By far the best thing I brought with me to the hospital has been the noise-reducing headphones I bought for John when Sam was born. I actually sleep here! I put on my eye mask, plug the earphones into my computer, and listen to 18 minutes of falling rain put on "repeat" all through the night. Ah!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

From my hospital bed

So I've been in the hospital since Tuesday with a lovely bout of pancreatitis (and no, it was not brought on by the sit-ups). I'll probably be here until Friday. Sigh. If you think I meet strange people on the streets, you should see the gang I hang out with at the hospital. I've learned a few things since I began my stay here:

1. I finally realized that the nurses do not offer prizes for patients who politely decline pain medication all day long. I've already got the IV in, so I finally agreed to let them add some fun stuff to it.

2. By far,the most dangerous thing in this hospital that I've been exposed to is The Home Shopping Network. For those of you that haven't bought me my Christmas present yet, I need the Mighty Mendit. I NEED it. (And for those of you who are familiar with the Princeton Medical Center, yes, I finally did break down and pay those misers $4 a day for television access. I wouldn't have needed it had they allowed me to access Hulu).

3. My roommate is a sweet, little, elderly Asian woman who doesn't speak a lick of English. This poor woman has had to put up with some interesting nurses. Here's a conversation I was privy to earlier today:

Nurse: You can use this when you need the bathroom, Mrs. X.
Silence.
Nurse: YOU CAN USE THIS WHEN YOU NEED THE BATHROOM, MRS. X!
Silence.
Nurse: USE THIS FOR POTTY.

I wanted to tell her, "She does not understand English. She doesn't understand loud English, and she doesn't certainly doesn't understand loud, baby English.

HA! What perfect timing! As I'm writing this, the nurse just walked into the room and said, "SO YOU JUST POO-POOED?"

Ah, life with a testy pancreas...

Monday, November 03, 2008

A surefire way to make Sam laugh

Apparently I don't exercise enough. This was made clear to me when I began doing sit-ups on the living room floor. Sam watched in utter fascination before breaking out into giggles as in, "What does this woman think she's doing?"

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Eating my words--they taste like plastic


Before Sam was born, I remember telling my mother-in-law how much I liked wooden toys. Perhaps it wasn't that I was overly in love with wooden toys, it was more that I didn't like plastic toys.

This began to change, however, when Sam turned three months and the beautiful wooden rattle which I adored became a Grade A weapon, administering bumps and bruises on Sam's forehead.

I reluctantly pulled out some plastic toys we had received from some experienced moms. Not only did they leave Sam bruise free, but the kid could actually pick them up by himself.

While I've come around to see the benefits of plastic toys, I still had my heart set on buying Sam a wooden barn for Christmas. That is until I saw how expensive they were. After spending days scouring ebay for cheap wooden barns, it suddenly occurred to me that while I wanted a wooden barn, Sam could probably care less

So I just bought Sam a barn for Christmas. A plastic barn. A plastic barn that requires batteries. A plastic barn that requires batteries and plays obnoxious songs. And while I know he's going to love it, I still feel a bit like a sell-out. So I'm eating my words. My bpa-free, plasticky words.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Mom is Doctor Quinn

For the past week I've been routinely succombed to violent fits of coughing in what I hope is the final stage of a nasty, nasty sinus infection. John can gauge how sick I am by whether or not I'm willing to take cough syrup. I hate the stuff. I absolutely hate it. And while my mother raised me to not use the "h" word because it's a very, very strong word, strong feelings call for strong words. I'm using the word quite appropriately.

My hatred could stem back to the time I was five. I had a stubborn ear infection and my mom picked up some antibiotics for me--the label of which read, "Take 5 teaspoons 3x daily." So I did. And I cried at every dosage. Three days into this routine I took my fifth teaspoon and threw up, prompting my mom to call the pharmacy where it was revealed the label had a typo. I was to take ONE teaspoon three times a day. A total of three teaspoons a day as opposed to the fifteen I had been taking.

I hate the stuff. I try to avoid it. Which is why when my coughing kept me awake a few nights ago I tried the teaspoon of honey trick...didn't work. Out of desperation I tried one of my mom's newest remedies: slather Vicks ointment on the soles of your feet, put on thick socks and go to bed. Seriously, that's it.

It worked. It totally worked. I did it in the midst of a coughing spell and found instant relief that lasted for thirty minutes. If at any point I was awoken in the middle of the night, I pulled out the Vicks and again found instant relief. Apparently, this is especially helpful for kids. Meanwhile, John feels like he's sleeping in a jungle of menthol and eucalyptus.

(For the record, I did find that the cough suppressant Delsym tastes a little less like death than all the others. I was presenting a paper in Atlanta and after realizing the thick socks and wafting menthol were the not the look I was going for, I took the stuff. That's just some info for all of you other cough syrup haters out there.)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sam Stats

Here's the latest scoop on Sam, Mom.

Sam's new favorite place to play is at the fridge with his magnets. Yeah, there's a blanket behind him because he occasionally bites it.




Sam has developed what I call a jack-o-lantern grin. He randomly gives this face throughout the day--including when he finishes his last bottle at 7 pm and is half asleep.




Sam has political preferences. I asked if he was going to vote for McCain. He gave his jack-o-lantern grin. When I asked about Obama he shook his head no. We've got a young Republican on our hands. No more Fox News for Sam.



Sam is a fan of pumpkins.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Those Trixy Doctors

I came away from Sam's 9-month check-up feeling tricked. During the visit I had the following conversation with his pediatrician:

Doctor: How does Sam sleep at night.
Me: Great. He does really well.
Doctor: Good. What's he doing?
Me: He goes to bed at 7 pm and wakes up at 7 am. I normally feed him sometime between 2-3 am.
Doctor: You know Sam doesn't have to eat anymore in the middle of the night.
Pause.
Me: What?
Doctor: At six months babies are capable of sleeping through the night without a feeding. You can let him cry it out.

I suppose that's good information to receive...I just wish I had received it, oh, I don't know, three months ago? I felt a bit tricked when I learned I could have been getting some extra sleep. Almost as tricked as I felt after Sam was born and I learned there was a little button I could have pressed to increase the epidural...but that's a story for another day.

Anyway, just when I was getting up the nerve to let Sam cry it out, he surprised me and slept all night. All night. 7 pm to 7 am without a peep. And yes, I was convinced he had stopped breathing. So far it doesn't seem to be a fluke. He's been sleeping through the night for the past week. It's a new era in the Drury household.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Apparently I have a secret life, too. Or so says Starbucks lady.

Okay, so maybe I have a secret life as a part-time model as well. A life that's SO secret I didn't even know about it myself. The following conversation took place a few days ago with the Starbucks kiosk lady from Mexico:
Her: I see your picture on the bulletin board.
Me: You did? Where?
Her: Over here. Come.
Me: Oh. That’s not me.
Her: Yes it is.
Me: Not it’s not.
Her: That girl is you.
Me: No, it’s not me.
Her: Doesn’t she look like you?
Me: Yes, but it’s not me.
Her: Do you have a shirt like that?
Me: I do, but that’s not me.
(Pause)
Her: I think that’s you.
Me: That’s not me. She just looks like me.
(Stranger walks by)
Her: Does this look like her?
Me: It’s not me.
Stranger: Huh. It looks like you.
Me: It’s not.
Stranger: Okay.
(Stranger walks away)

I've actually had many, many conversations along these lines since this poster is plastered all over campus.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

For the Record...

Apparently a mini-feud broke out amongst my family members, so I need to let the records indicate that was not a picture of Sam. Sorry, Abby. You lose.

How Not to Comfort My Son

Being sleepy and crabby, I brought Sam into his room, sat on the rocker, and offered him his beloved blankie. Upon receipt of the blankie, Sam pulled it up to his face, rubbed his cheek...and threw it on the floor. This was unusual as Sam loves his little 1/4 of a diaper cloth and enjoys rubbing it all over his face. When I bent down to pick up the offending article I discovered I had not given Sam his blankie. In fact, I had given him an old dirty sock. Sorry Sam.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sam's Secret Life Part 3

Over the past year I've reported on Sam's various secret activities as they have been made known to me. Early on I found he was part of a fight club. Not long ago I figured out he was a spy. And just this past week I learned he was a part-time model. I believe this is the result of my watching "Zoolander" every other week while he was gestating.

Numerous friends have approached me saying they saw Sam's picture in the paper. So I picked up a paper and sure enough, there he was on page 13 of the West Windsor-Plainsboro MarketPlace.

I just hope he had the smarts to open up a good 401K.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Maybe Sam isn't at the root of our sleep deprivation

Sam is sleeping better--almost through the night but not quite. Despite his strides in sleeping, John and I are still finding ourselves a bit sleep deprived. And I think I finally know why. Last night around 11 pm we found ourselves in the midst of a moral quandary.

John: Ugh, I’ve got a mosquito bite on my leg. Right on my….what do you call it again?
Me: Call what?
John: That fleshy part on the back of the bottom of your leg?
Me: Your calf?
John: Yeah, my calf. I’ve got mosquito bites on my calf. I’ll bet that part tastes good. If I ever had to eat myself I would start with my calf. It’s a good mixture of muscle and fat.
Me: Yeah, start with your calf first before eating other parts of your body. Start low and work your way up—
John: No, I’m not going to eat myself, I meant if someone else ever had to eat me they should start with my calves.
Me: So like, I should start with your calf?
John: If I was you and you was me.
Me: You can eat me, too.
John: I don’t think I would want to eat you.
Me: Well, if you had to. If I was already dead and you had to eat me to survive, you could.
John: I don’t want to.
Me: I want you to eat me if it means you’ll survive.
John: But I don’t think I could bring myself to eat you. I wouldn’t feel right about it.
Me: Okay, how about if it was in order for Sam to survive. Would you let Sam eat me?
John: I can’t let Sam eat his mother.
Me: He already does.
John: That’s totally different. You drink milk, you don't drink cow.
Me: I’m just saying, if I’m already dead and you need to eat something in order to survive, eat me.
John: Oh. Like hufu.

And, getting this important bit of dialogue out of our systems, we finally fell asleep.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Advice Needed

Being as Sam breaks out in hives if his skin touches anything that is not 100% cotton, I'm on a quest to find a cotton snowsuit/baby bunting for the upcoming winter. I've tried ebay, Gap, Old Navy, Gymboree, The Children's Place, Land's End, and LL Bean in search of cotton snowsuits. Any have any bright ideas on where I might look next?

My Kid is a Spy

Yesterday Sam got a hold of John's cell phone and frantically began pushing buttons. I realized he placed a call, so I took the phone away and hit the "speaker" button just in time to hear, "...the New Jersey Homeland Security Office. Please choose from one..."

Sam called Homeland Security. He's a spy. I just know it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

An Awkward Position

The past few weeks have been filled with lots of travel. Sam's a decent traveler--actually taking a flight from Los Angeles to Philadelphia without crying. The lack of crying, however, did not exempt him from being a bit of a pistol.

At one point he took his pacifier and threw it into the crotch of the man sleeping next to me. The weight of the pacifier was just enough to wake the man up. He looked at the pacifier and moved his hand to pick it up before hesitating. I could tell he was wondering whether or not he should touch a germ-filled baby popper.

He withdrew his hand from the pacifier and thrust his pelvis in my direction. So I gingerly picked it up and popped it back in Sam's mouth. It was one of our finer moments.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Picture to go with the Last Post


This is the picture I've been trying to take to go along with the last post.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kind of like Soap-on-a-Rope


Sam is sick. Sick. Sick. Sick. I took him to the doctor on Friday and called John with the verdict.

Me: Hey John, it's me. Well, Sam's got croup.
John: Poop?
Me: No, croup.
John: I know he's got poop.
Me: Croup. C-R-O-U-P.
John: Oh. What's that?

Sam's back to his normal self during the day, but he still hacks it up at night. He wakes himself up coughing, poor guy. Last night in my delirium I contemplated whether or not I could tie a cough drop to a slot in his crib for him to suck on. Kind of like soap-on-a-robe...only with a Halls lozenge.

He's not sleeping well at night which makes him sleepier during the day. Every time he eats solids he takes a break and lays his little head on his highchair tray...his covered in sweet potato highchair tray. I keep trying to get a picture, but each time I pull out the camera he pops up and grins. The little ham.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Weddings, Football and Cinderella

Yesterday I officiated a wedding that occurred in the midst of a turmultous thunder storm. The storm reached its apex with a clap of thunder at the exact moment I mentioned the difficulties that emerge in genuine relationships. It was a beautiful wedding with a beautiful bride and beautiful guests at a beautiful inn. An inn which happened to be a haven for some very strange people.

If you think I'm innundated by strange people when I'm wearing streets clothes, you should see me when I'm in clerical garb. Put me in a clerical robe and slap on a collar and they'll come out in droves. There are always a few people who stop dead in their tracks and stare at me with panic in their eyes. I suppose a six-foot-tall woman in a flowing white robe in the middle of a thunder storm does give off an angel-of-death feel.

I always feel bad for people who seem to think they have to say something religious when they are around a pastor. Such was the case with poor Harry.

Harry: "You a preacher?"
Me: "Yes."
Harry: "I'm a sinner."
Me: "Then we've got a lot in common." (My feeble attempt to say something witty.)
(Long pause)
Harry: "I go to church on Christmas and Easter and pray every Friday."
Me: "What's on Friday?"
Harry: "Football. We bring out the nuns and they pray the Lord's prayer for us every Friday."
Me: "Oh. That's nice."
Harry: "Yup we pray."

On another note, during the reception I got to sit next to the bride's sister who works at Disney World. She designs and creates the costumes for various characters. At the end of the meal, this woman leaned over to me and said, "Anytime you're in Orlando look me up and I'll get you into the parks." Personally, I would have been happy with the logic behind giving Cinderella a poofy tush, but I'll take free tickets to Disney.

I was really touched by this offer and wanted to respond in kind. All I could come up with, however, was a lame, "Thanks! Well, if you ever need a minister...uh...you can call me and...I'll...do...whatever...you...need."

Nice. Real nice.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Oh Sam...

There's been a little too much I-CUP around my house if you catch my drift.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

What I Have in Common With Jephthah



I try not to barter with God, but sometimes it just slips out. Like when I was in labor with Sam and told God about fifty times that he could have my smallest toe if he would just make it all go away.

"God, you can cut off my toe, just make this stop."
"Seriously, God, you can have my toe."
"Just take my toe!"

It seems crazy to think about now, but at the time it seemed like a very logical trade--a small toe for a baby.

I bartered again last night. Sam was having a rough night--I think his teeth were bothering him.. Six out of his eight teeth are emerging through his gums simultaneously. Yes, eight teeth. (Personally, I think kids should only be allowed to get a tooth for every month they have under their belt. And at seven months I think Sam is a little over quota). Anyway, I was rocking him around 3 am when a barter burst forth:

"God, if you just let Sam sleep through the night, I promise I won't do any dishes tomorrow."

Seriously. That was my offer. I don't know where it came from or how I was able to justify that as a legitimate trade, but there you have it. The late night logic of my mind.

For the record, Sam did drift back to sleep, and I'm committed to not doing dishes today, so I guess it worked.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

White Stationary Offends Me

As mentioned in earlier posts, John often says that I attract strange people. I remind him that he married me. But it's happened again.

The other day I was walking through a gift store when a woman approached me holding brown stationary with blue dots.

Woman: Excuse me, do you think the rip in the cellophane is very noticeable?
Me: Not at all. You can barely see it.
Woman: It's for a gift, do you think it would be okay?
Me: Yeah, I think that would be fine.
Woman: Well, it's marked down 50% and you can't really beat that.
Me: No, you can't. I think that's a good gift.
Woman: You do? Even though it has that tiny rip?
Me: Yes, you can barely even see it.

And here's where the conversation started to go off course.

Woman: It's for my son's teacher. You think it would make a good teacher gift?
Me: I think it would make a good teacher gift.
Woman: But his teacher is African American.
Me: (Long pause) Okaaaay?
Woman: And the stationary is brown.
Me: (Even longer pause) Okaaaaaaaaay?
Woman: Well, I wouldn't want to offend an African American by giving them brown stationary.
Me: I think you'll be fine.
Woman: I don't want to offend her.
Me: (Another long pause) I. Think. You're. Going. To. Be. Okay.
Woman: You really think so? I just want to make sure--I'm very sensitive about these matters.

Yes. Very sensitive indeed.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Kung Fu Sam


The other day, Sam gently grabbed my hair and pulled me within inches of his face. My heart melted a little. Then he kicked me in the head.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Flying is so much better in business class


On our return flight from Singapore to Tokyo an announcement was made asking for three of us from Princeton to meet someone at the gate upon our arrival. Assuming someone had died we rushed off the plane and were met by an attendant who said, "I'm sorry, but your next flight is overbooked. Would you be willing to take another flight? You would arrive three hours earlier and we would give you seats in business class."

Um, okay. After twelve hours hours in business class on an international flight I've been spoiled. I can never again fly overseas among the proletariat. I've grown accustomed to padded pods that fully recline, a large selection of movies for my personal television, and multi-coursed meals. Our plane landed in Detroit and I was reluctant to leave--there were at least two other movies I had wanted to enjoy. If the airlines really wanted to secure my business class loyalty they should have installed a two-way mirror between business class and coach. That way I could look back and see the other passengers in their misery while I sipped my Shirley Temple.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Should I Cut Sam's Hair?


Should I cut his hair? Seriously, this kid has patches of four inch spikes. Originally I was keeping it long to make it look like he had more hair, but just today I realized that was the comb-over argument...I don't think he's fooling anyone.

A Bit of Advice

If you ever have to go off of dairy and you have a craving for chocolate, beware of items advertised as "chocolatey". They really should read, "chocolate-like". Or perhaps more accurate, "doesn't taste a thing like chocolate, but hey, it's brown".

This Little Piggy Went Home

It was 8 pm when I returned home from my eleven day trip. Sam had already been asleep for an hour. He woke up at 10:30 pm and I ducked in to see him. Normally he blearily eyed gulps some milk and goes back to sleep. That night however, as soon as his eyes focused on my face he smiled. His smile grew and grew until he broke out into a series of giggles. He continued to laugh as I teared up, grateful to be home.

I returned home to a happy husband, happy son and an immaculate house (thanks, John). Sam was bigger when I returned...a few more ounces, fuzzier hair and five, count them, FIVE teeth.

It's good to be back. More later...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Flying is So Much Better With Your Pants Off

I will never travel internationally without a change of clothes in my carry-on again. About an hour into our flight from Detroit to Japan I managed to spill an entire cup of apple juice on my pants. All over my pants. Lovely. I was hoping the attendants would upgrade me to first class. No such luck. And now that I think about it, why would they want a twenty-something with a bad case of the dropies next to the aviating elite?

So...after much laughter and many napkins, I went to the bathroom, washed my pants in the sink, and emerged in a sarong fashioned out of a blue airplane blanket. I returned to my seat in my flimsy blue blanket and realized it was time for me to pump. Needless to say I was feeling a bit vulnerable.

My pants, by the way, were draped across the emergency exit lever on the door which I can't imagine is exactly legal.

Thankfully, they were dry by the time we reached Tokyo...that says something about how long the flight was--that a pair of soaking wet pants could entirely dry in the course of a flight.

Singapore: Day 3



So I'm in Singapore. I've been away from Sam for 64 hours...I think...I'm still a bit confused with the time change.

I've been thankful for the busy schedule because it keeps me from dwelling on the baby that I'm not holding. Every time I walk by a mother and child, however, my heart skips a beat and I catch my breath (seeing triplets about made me hyperventilate). I miss his head resting on my shoulder and his forehead pressing against my neck.

But Singapore is where I am, so Singapore is where I'm trying to be.

Highlights so far:
*Chinatown
*Listening to Kenda preach...listening to an interpreter deliver Kenda's sermon in Chinese...listening to Dr. Seow from PTS snicker and re-interpret what was said in Chinese (so "Ministry can be wacky" became, "Minister is awful". And "In over our heads" became, "Your head is split.")
*Dr. Seow share his life story as we ate coconut ice in his home country.
* Lots and lots of laughing with my colleagues. Lots of laughing.

Lowlights:

*I managed the get the ant-infested room. In the past hour I've counted 8 ants that have crawled out of my computer...not ON to my computer, OUT of my computer. Does that warrant a trip to the Apple Store when I return to the States?
*It's hot. Really, really hot. No air-conditioning in the room. The condensation has condensation.

Anyway, tomorrow marks day one of the conference. My first session is at 3:05 pm which is 3:05 am your time...if you're awake, feel free to say a prayer or two.

Friday, July 04, 2008

I'm Leaving the Country by Myself

I really am. I'm going to Singapore for eleven days. I'm going to Singapore without John and without Sam. I've avoided posting on this topic up until recently out of fear of anonymous comments concerning infant attachment theories (which I've gone out of my way to avoid...if I don't acknowledge them they won't exist, right?).

I leave for Singapore on Sunday. I'm speaking at a conference for youth pastors and I'm preaching at a church. I'm really looking forward to this trip, but the closer I get the more I realize just how terribly I'm gonna miss my boys.

I've gone a bit overboard in terms of preparations for this trip: colored index cards posted on the wall all throughout the house providing instructions for babysitters, taking videos of myself singing to Sam for him to watch while I'm away (and as keepsakes in case my plane plummets into the ocean), and I have a freezer full of expressed milk. 342 ounces to be exact.




Sam is still on strike, by the way. My theory is that he's sensed my impending departure and he's gone into self-care mode ala I'm-going-to-reject-you-before-you-
can-reject-me.

I must confess, eating dairy and soy again will be a treat. And it will be kind of nice to not feed a baby at 3:30 am. But, oh! I'm gonna miss him!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Little Musical Genius


There comes a time in every mother's life when she has to choose between infant music classes and diapers. After receiving an e-mail that the local music courses were $33.00 a session (yes, $33.00 for each individual session--materials not included), I decided to continue contributing non-biodegradable, hazardous waste to landfills.

Not wanting my son to miss out on such an enriching experience, we had our own little music class this afternoon. And now I'm convinced he's a musical genius.

He cooed at Beethoven, he (literally) covered his ears at Mozart, and he occasionally matched me tone for tone when I played "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

This kid is going places.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Carnivorous Vegan

Okay, I think a clarification is needed. A number of you have called or written expressing concern that I was only eating jello and celery because of Sam's allergies. That was a bit of an exaggeration. I can eat more than jello and celery. I can also eat hummus and pixie stix.

Actually, there are a lot of things I can eat. As you can see by the title of this post, I'm pretty much a carnivorous vegan. I can eat the cow...just not the stuff that comes from the cow.

This has made for some interesting interactions at the grocery store. I go to WholeFoods and get smug smiles from people with dreadlocks and birkenstocks as they watch my vegan cookies, rice milk and organic cherries go across the conveyor belt. They smile as if we have a secret alliance against the world. "Ha! No animal products in this reusable grocery bag."

And then the porterhouse comes out and their smiles fade.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Unapologetically Personal

Not long ago I was involved in a think tank for youth ministry. As the host was gathering biographical information he asked us to write down the addresses to our websites/blogs. I started to write down my blog address before I realized that this probably wasn't the kind of site he was looking for. Talking about Sam's nursing strikes does not a professional blog make.

I started this blog out of a desire to have an academic outlet while I was pastoring in a local church. Now that I'm back in school, that need is met and I'm looking for non-academic outlets (hence my tendency towards allergies, yard clippers and gobs of chocolate on my face).

Perhaps if I graduate and get a job flipping burgers I'll once again be posting on the filioque or The Nicomachean Ethic. For now, you're stuck with random thoughts and pics of the kid. Like this one...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Culinary Star-Crossed Lovers


Apparently a mother with allergies + a father with allergies often = baby with allergies.

Poor Sam. Two months ago we made a layman's attempt to diagnose him with a dairy allergy. Multiple doctor's visits later we've gotten positive results on dairy, egg, peanut, and possibly soy.

Since I'm nursing (or at least, trying to), that means I'm off of these products. I figure I had it coming--I had a dairy allergy as a baby and my mother had to do the same. Believe it or not, the dairy/egg/peanut is nothing...it's the soy that's the killer. It's in everything. So I'm pretty much eating jello and celery.

Maybe I'll go on strike.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Down on the Farm

Today I took Sam to Cherry Grove Farm.
Good mom.

I forgot the sunscreen.
Bad mom.

So I kept him covered.
Good mom.

All of the pollen and dust bothered his allergies.
Bad mom.

I verbally pointed out all of the different vegetables to Sam even though I was surrounded by people who were wondering why I was talking to someone who couldn't talk back.
Good mom.

At one point I looked down and he had a sharp pair of clippers in his hand. Seriously--I don't know how he got them.
Very bad mom.

I got peas to turn into baby food.
Good mom.

They were organic.
Very good mom.

(For those of you who are curious, Sam is still on strike. This kid is tough. He's got standards.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Brief Hiatus: Sam's on Strike Day 3


At 1:07 am Samuel James Drury took a brief hiatus from his strike. The poor little guy was tired and disoriented and momentarily forgot about his lofty principles.

Once fully awake, Sam must have been horrified by his weak will because the strike was resurrected...either that or his union leader got on his case...they've been in contact...I think Sam has bluetooth.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sam's on Strike--Day 2



For the past 36 hours Sam has absolutely refused to nurse. He'll take a bottle, but nursing makes him arch his back and growl.I called my lactation consultant who nonchalantly said, "Oh yes, Sam's on a nursing strike."

So...my son's on strike. Apparently this happens to babies. Supposedly Sam could keep this up for a week or so.

I don't know why he's striking. I've been trying to figure out what his demands could possibly be. Later bedtime? Less tummy time? He probably wants a pony. Sigh.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I'm a bad, bad mom


For the past week Sam has been making a high-pitched, hyena-like squeal. The squeal is always followed by a big smile. We had friends over the other day and made them listen to this new noise. We all had a good laugh. It's pretty funny...at least, it was pretty funny.

I took Sam into the doctor two days ago because he was a bit congested. He made the squeal and I started to laugh. The nurse-practitioner looked me in the eye and said, "That noise is your son trying to breathe."

Contributions for Sam's psychotherapy fund can be mailed directly to our apartment.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Laugh it up, Fuzzball

Anyone who has a baby and a blog always seems to post a video of their kid laughing. So here's mine...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Whole Foods: A Safe Haven for the Criminally Minded


I spent the past two weeks writing final papers--hence the blogging hiatus. I spent a good chunk of my time typing away at Whole Foods. Initially this seemed like a great place to work--I can walk there, they offer free wi-fi, and they keep a lovely jug of filtered water in their naturally lit seating area.

Sounds good, huh? Well after two weeks of typing away in this organic oasis I've come to the conclusion that Whole Foods is in fact harboring criminals.

In the course of those two weeks I heard:

**A man tell a woman he was going to issue a restraining order against her.
**A man and woman arguing over who was the bigger liar.
**a well-dressed, middle aged woman brag to her friend how she stole a dress from a fancy fashion boutique. She had all kinds of justifications on why what she did wasn't actually illegal. In fact, I was THIS close to interupting her to tell her she was only fooling herself but I was too busy writing a paper on John Dewey and the moral impulse.
**and a 20-something graduate student who was eavesdropping on other's conversations.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sleep, Shots, and Psychotherapy


Last night the youngest Drury amazed us all and stayed in his crib for 10 hours. We rewarded him by taking him to the doctor for four shots. I'm terrified that the little guy is going to associate long stretches of sleep with getting stabbed with needles.

He's in the 76% height and 34% in weight. The doctor declared him healthy, tall, skinny, and fair. I wonder where he gets that from...

I finally caught his pout on camera. He keeps this pout for about 5-10 seconds before a whimper comes out. It seems like he's trying so hard to be brave. John and I can't help but laugh when we see that little lip come out.

So I guess that means he's got two new things to talk to his therapist about: he's terrified of long stretches of sleep and his parents laugh at him when he cries. Sorry, Sam.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sam's Secret Activities


The past few days I've walked into Sam's room bright and early in the morning to discover him covered in scratch marks. I'm currently counting seven tiny scratch marks on his face alone. He goes to bed scratch free and wakes up with multiple markings. This leads me to the only possible logical conclusion: my son is a part of a late night fight club.

Sometime between his 1 am feeding and 3:30 am call for his pacifier, Sam is sneaking out of the house (I'm betting on the bathroom window), and meeting up with his cronies (I'm guessing the Whole Foods parking lot). I'm pretty sure our neighbor Timmy is involved. He's five days younger than Sam, and Sam still has a few ounces on him, but I get the feeling he's tough as nails. And someone has gotta be playing dirty because this morning I found four scratch marks above Sam's heels...the little ankle biters.

Anyway, I don't want to ground him because I'm afraid that will make me seem out of touch with his generation. Hopefully this is just a phase that will soon pass.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Son the Hoodlem

Don't let that innocent face fool you. He was a pistol today. Full of vim and vinegar. And I know some of these pictures are sideways, but I just don't have the energy to fix them...so just turn your head.





Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Gig is Up



Okay, Sam. The gig is up.** We now know that you are not the poor little baby who has to wake up every 2-3 to get the sustenance he needs for proper nourishment. You are capable of sleeping for six hour straight without an ounce of food.

Sam slept from 8-2 and then from 2:30-7. Ah. Apparently I'm the one who can't go for long stretches of time without food. I woke up a little before Sam absolutely ravishing. Now I have to break myself of midnight snacking.

Sam slept for six hours in a row.
It's 70 degrees outside.
Can life get any better?

** The gig is up AND the jig is up. Apparently there is a difference. Both apply in this situation. http://www.cbc.ca/news/indepth/words/gigjig.html

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Throwing me a bone


Daytime = Great
Night time = Not so great

The little guy was hollaring around 4:15 this morning. I went in to see him and there he was, lying in his crib, with a big goofy grin on his face. I picked him up to change his diaper and then began to rock him, hoping he'd get drowsy. Nope. He kept his eyes fixed on mine and smiled, smiled, smiled.

Someone told us that when you have a baby you go through a certain cycle...you get to the point where you think you've exhausted all of your resources and have nothing left to give and then...BAM! The little one does something new that totally captures your heart and replenishes your energy supply. In other words, they throw you a bone.

Sam did that earlier this week when he picked up the habit of giggling. Yesterday I was changing him into outfit number 3 when both of his arms got stuck in an awkward position in the trunk of his onesie. He couldn't move. I figured he'd start wailing at the frustrating position. Nope. He laughed...and he couldn't stop laughing. There he was, wriggling furiously, laughing his head off. He did the same thing when I changed him into outfit #4. I love that laugh.

In addition to laughing, he's also discovered that he has faces other than happy and sad (as you can see from the above pic). I'm not quite sure what to call this face...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I spoke too soon...



Just when we thought we were getting into a pattern the little guy decided to wake us up every hour and a half. We were told to only feed him if he was hungry. But how do you know if a 3.5 month old is hungry? I haven't figured that out yet.

To be perfectly honest, I can't even remember if we followed the Ferber rules. Last night was a bit of a blur. I know during two of the wake up times I offered him his pacifier and after fussing for 5 minutes he fell asleep again.

I'm hoping tonight will be better. Especially because John will be in Washington D.C. so I'll be by myself ...and I have a seminar tomorrow morning...that I'm supposed to lead. We'll see.

On the bright side, Sam was happy as a clam today and went down easily for his naps.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Sleep Deprivation Part 2


I haven't been deprived of sleep for the past few days now, but I thought I would post a few more instances that occurred in the recent past. So here you go.

You know you're sleep deprived when:

1) You try to squirt the babies bottle into your contact case instead of saline solution (reason #358 why I think I should get Lasik).

2) When preparing to nurse you try to shake up the milk like you would a bottle.

3) When flying on a plane you look out the window, spot a farm, and think you can actually smell the animals before realizing your little bundle of joy just made a deposit down under.

I am getting more sleep. John is too (we alternate feedings). We're starting to get a hang of this ferberizing thing. Sam took a number of naps today without making a peep. And he wakes up like it's Christmas morning. We even got his first giggle today. I'm beginning to think my fussy baby was simply sleep deprived himself.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Ferberization of Samuel James: Day Four


This picture shows Sam doing what Sam loves best...eating his hands. My friend, CJ says when Sam sees me coming he tries to stuff his hands in his mouth so I won't try to clip his fingernails (I might have accidentally clipped his fingers a few times).

Anyway, the ferberizing is going okay (and I should add we're doing a very modified version of this cry-it-out technique). About 70% of the time he puts himself to sleep in about 5 minutes. 15% of the time it takes 10-15 minutes. And then there is the remaining 15% when the poor guy cries for about 30-45 minutes.

He is sleeping better at night (he took a 5 hour stretch last night), and he is extremely happy when he's awake (which makes me think that he is finally getting the sleep that he needs). I try to keep these things in mind when he's crying.

By the way, if you're reading along at home and have advice for getting babies to sleep, I'm all ears. Don't worry about stepping on my toes.

Does anyone know where I could find a website that tracks a baby's sleep/eating? I'm looking for a free website but have not come across anything yet.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I'm bad for the environment

I had every intention of honoring Earth Hour today from 8-9 pm. But I forgot. I completely forgot. During Earth Hour I checked my e-mail, played video games, turned on my baby monitor and used my electric breast pump...all with the lights on. Whoops. I didn't remember it was Earth Hour until 8:55 pm tonight...and then I wrote this blog. I suppose I could have honored the last five minutes of Earth Hour, but that didn't occur to me until just now. Sorry, earth.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Ferberization of Samuel James: Day Two


Okay. We're doing okay.

Nap #1 resulted in 30 minutes of crying. Nap #2 equaled 15 minutes of crying. Naps 3 and 4 had him conked out within 5 minutes of crying. It's starting to look like he can fall asleep on his own better than he can with "help."

I was all geared up for a tough night. Knowing his pattern of waking up every two hours I went to bed with my game face on and was prepared for some crying. However, perhaps in an act of asserting he was still the boss of sorts, Sam slept for 4.5 hours on his own. He woke up 2 hours later and we let him cry for 45 minutes.

Overall we're doing well...although it was a bit sad to see him gulping down his milk at 5:30 this morning. The poor little guy was used to multiple midnight snacks so going down to two feedings was a bit of a shocker. Thanks for the supportive comments!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Ferberization of Samuel James: Day One


Being as:

1) John and I have not slept for more than about two hours at a time over the past few weeks, and

2) There is no question that Sam is getting enough to eat, and

3) Sam is about 3.5 months old, and

4) our next door neighbors are out of town for the next week or so

our doctor recommended we begin some sleep training ala a variation of the Ferber method, or, more commonly known as the "cry it out" method. Multiple friends have warned us that this is a heart-wrenching process and to be prepared to cry right along with him.

We are almost 4 hours into the process, and so far it's been a welcome relief. Instead of rocking Sam for 30 minutes while he's crying in order to get him to sleep, we let him cry in his crib for 15 minutes until he's gotten himself to sleep (we check in on him at various intervals...although his doctor said, "Well, if he's crying you know he's breathing).

I'm sure it will get tougher as we go along (especially tonight), but for now, this seems to be the kindest, most practical thing for Sam.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Good morning, Samuel Drury!




http://youtube.com/watch?v=Y1Vm1tEDcx8

This is probably only interesting if you are related to me...and then only remotely so...nevertheless, here it is! It's a little dark at first.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

My Big Impression on Anne Lamott

I went to hear Anne Lamott give a reading at Barnes and Noble tonight. I’m pretty sure she’ll remember me. Not because I’m that narcissistic, but because I was the six-foot woman in the audience with a huge glob of chocolate resting on her upper lip.

Hmm. Now that I think about it, perhaps I should always go to public functions featuring famous people with a dab of chocolate in hopes of distinguishing myself from the horde.

Okay. Maybe I’m a little narcissistic.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Teching Toward Sleep

I felt a bit sheepish when I read my friend Christin’s beautiful post on putting her daughter to sleep. She eloquently explains how she (Christin) closes her eyes while rocking Noelle because otherwise Noelle will fixate on her eyes as if trying to search her mother’s thoughts.

I’ve also gotten into the habit of closing my eyes while rocking Sam to sleep. I realized, however, that my reason for doing so was less about cutting off my thoughts and more along the lines of avoiding eye contact with a rabid dog….don’t let him see my fear…don’t let him see the whites of my eyes or he’ll shoot.

Putting Sam to sleep has gotten much easier lately. Actually, our lives in general have recently taken a delightful turn as we encountered two celestial beings. One in the form of Jamie Usher, baby whisperer extraordinaire. And the other in the form of the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. John and I realized that the main reason why Sam cried was that he was tired. Less interaction, more sleep. We’ve been laughing at the thought of having to “help” Sam fall asleep. Help him eat, help him get dressed, even helping him let out a burp—all of these things make sense to me. But helping someone fall asleep? “Uh, okay. First you close your eyes, then…well…that’s it.”

But “help” him sleep we do. We swaddle, shush, sway and pacify…all while avoiding eye contact.




** You can find Christin’s post here: http://christintaylor.blogspot.com/2008/02/meditation-and-art-of-putting-baby-to.html

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sam's Bad Day

You know you've had a bad day when you wonder, "Why ISN'T he crying?"

Friday, February 08, 2008