Friday, March 28, 2008

Oh, Come On

After our last potential house buying experience--which ended up with us not buying a house and what I consider to be more than my fair share of tension and anxiety--we're going to take a little break from house hunting. Just a few weeks, then we'll get right back out there and have our hopes and dreams dashed to pieces weekly, again.

One week until we leave for Chicago and Minneapolis! One week until Samson's first airplane trip! One week to figure out how the hell I'm actually going to get through this! More anxiety! Yay! Exclamation points!

Tonight, the Sharks could clinch the Pacific Division title. All we have to do is beat the defending Stanley Cup champions. Hey, no problem! Historically, the Sharks do really well against Anaheim when I have sushi for dinner. Happy to oblige.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

Yaaaay! I mean, booo! No wait, I mean, yaaaay!

We are constantly living the roller coaster ride that is real estate. Home buying-induced heart attacks and ulcers have to be somewhere in the top 5 list of causes of dementia. Or something.

We put an offer in on a cute little corner house in Bernal Heights yesterday, and we're still waiting to hear from the seller whether or not they are accepting our offer. So we get approximately 48 hours to get very excited, then terrified, then hopeful, then worried, then hungry, then nervous, then motivated, then sleepy, and repeat. Fun!

No more rolling over since Thursday, and that's fine by me. The sooner the baby can move around, the sooner he can run from me when I try to dress him in sailor suits.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Screw you, back! It's tummy time!

Momentous occasion! Life as we know it is over!

He mastered step one a few weeks ago...

...and he can now officially roll from his back (boring!) to his tummy (exciting!).

Which is awesome. I wonder how long until he remembers that he hates being on his tummy?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What a difference a night makes

So never mind about that whole house thing. It's going to cost way too much for us to fix that house up, and we are not house fixing up type people. Too much, too much. It's not for us. Some other handy couple with nothing but time can have it, and they can turn it into the 3 bedroom 2 bath with a hammock that it deserves to be. As for us, we'll take a little break then dive back into the choppy churning sea that is house hunting, blindfolded and with cement blocks tied to our feet.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Make a house a home

For the second week in a row, we found a place during our weekly Sunday house hunting appointment with our realtor that we were nearly able to squeeze into our very narrow and potentially unreasonable idea of what a house should be, where it should be located, and how much it should cost. On both occasions, we put offers in on Sunday evening, received counter offers on Monday, and lost out to higher offers on Tuesday. That's a lot of stress and anxiety to experience in less than 48 hours. Especially for someone as emotionally attached to houses as I am. None of these houses were love at first sight, and they're all far from perfect, so it already took some emotional convincing on my part to even out the offer in. And even though we're slowly establishing reputation as The Lowball Couple in San Francisco real estate and the chances that our offers will even be countered let alone accepted is like one in a million, I'm very good at playing out the whole process in my mind: the offer acceptance, getting the keys, moving in and sprucing up various kitchens, yards or bathrooms, and of course having 5 or 6 more little babies to run around the place while bake cookies and Max smokes a pipe and reads the Evening Post. So by the time we receive the seller's outrageously priced counter offers, I've already watched Samson put his first lost tooth under his pillow in the kid's room (all 7 or 8 kids will have to share a room because we can't afford anything over 2 bedrooms). It's devastating, repeatedly devastating.

So this week, one of our Sunday offers was accepted. Whaaa? The offer we put on an old, poorly maintained little house in Bernal Heights was accepted, and we are officially in escrow. I repeat, whaaa? This all happened very quickly, and it's totally blowing my mind. Unfortunately, being in escrow isn't nearly as fun as it sounds, and we have to get all kinds of inspections done now so that we don't accidentally buy a house that's falling apart or was built on some sort of Vampire infested landfill. As good as I am at playing make believe about the future of our new home in the 24-ish hours between making an offer and not being able to match the higher offer waiting right behind us, I am surprisingly bad at trusting that this particular house will pass inspection and that we'll actually be handing anyone a check on Friday

I foresee many more Sundays with our realtor as she drives around the city in her monstrous Acura SUV, blocking driveways as she ushers us into our fifth open house of the day, explaining once again how certain parts of Western Addition really aren't that bad, and mispronouncing Junipero Serra. And we'll make more offers. And we lose out to higher offers. And eventually, the right combination of house and offer will come together. Has that happened this week? I doubt it. But you never can tell.

Monday, March 17, 2008

So apparently I gave birth to a crab

Samson's newest extra super fantastic fun thing to do? Pinch mommy! Not like how an evil toddler pinches people, but like a tiny little baby who clings to his mommy and is really just figuring out how to really use his fingers for important things, like grabbing the cat or grabbing the steak knife from the table or grabbing the chicken apple sausage from your plate. Or accidentally pinching mommy over and over again in the general upper arm area. Ow. But it always reminds me of this commercial, so it's not all bad.

No pinch, no pinch.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The only instance in which it is ever OK to refer to a 4 month old as sexy

The cold is continuing on its course and the baby now sounds like Kathleen Turner. Part of the hoarseness is probably from the massive amounts of crying he did Friday and Saturday--you know, when I was pinching him and putting all of his binkies in the Cuisinart? But he's developed a husky voice so it just sounds hilarious when he laughs (when I'm not pinching him and destroying his binkies) and he's also got this demure, princess-sounding cough that seems as if its going to stay for a while.

I'm really done with house hunting. No more condos, tandem parking, storage lockers or shared gardens. But also no more teeny tiny shoe box sized single family homes with lots of termite damage and dry rot in questionable--at best--neighborhoods. Just no more. This is one of those times when I really wish I hadn't gotten my hopes up so high.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It was over before it even began

I got fitted for new contacts today, Third time's a charm is what I'm hoping. The disposable store brand that I tried in 2005 just made my eyes feel tired. The Irish store brand dailies that I tried in 2007 literally make my eyeballs hurt. And since I can't take a hint, even when nature might as well have spray painted on my wall in 12 foot tall letters YOUR EYES WERE NOT MADE FOR CONTACT LENSES, attempt number three was today. This time, I asked for the most premium, top of the line, moisture filled lenses they make, and we'll see what happens. So far, so good.

So after I got fitted, I of course had to go to the Walgreens next door for the obligatory cheapo sunglasses that I love to buy and can only wear with contacts and are actually 99% of the reason I keep trying contacts. I found a great pair of huge glamor frames, and as I walked by the brightly colored aisle of Easter candy, I said to myself, "Self, this is going to be the first year I can remember where I go through the whole season without eating any Cadbury Creme Eggs." After all, I've been attending boot camp more or less regularly, I've been more or less sticking to the points diet, and I'm making some headway on the small elephant sized amount of weight I'd like to loose this year. But getting through an entire Easter season without eating ANY Cadbury Creme Eggs is tantamount to going to Disneyland and not riding Space Mountain. And not because it's closed for renovations, but because you choose not to do the most fun thing in the world ever.

And I didn't get a Creme Egg, and I didn't get any Mini Eggs. But my brain was not entirely convinced that this was a good idea because as I walked by the Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs, I reached out and grabbed one.

And I ate it in the car on the way home. And it was delicious.

And I will still get through Easter Season 2008 without eating any Cadbury Creme Eggs.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's all about the accessories

In order to make up for the totally adequate yet mediocre all purpose stroller that I chose for Samson all those months ago, today I purchased an extra fancy jogging stroller. Because that's how I roll.

Funny thing about strollers and baby gear in general, you can get, again, totally adequate yet mediocre stuff that does the job but leaves you feeling decidedly un-fabulous, or you can shell out anywhere from a ridiculous amount of money to an obscene amount of money for increasingly upscale strollers, cribs, high chairs and what have you.

Once you filter out all the safety-wise unsuitable brands and models, you can spend anywhere from $100 to $1,000 (and more, I'm sure) on a stroller. And depending on your stroller-related activities, you could easily end up with four different models to suit different purposes. For example, we have the Graco Metrolite that fits nicely with our car seat, has abundant room for holding purchases, and the all important 2 cup holders. Not great for off-roading, but terrific for shopping, running errands, doctor's visits, restaurants, and--we're hoping--air travel. It's got pretty decent maneuverability, and it folds up fairly compactly to fit in a rental car trunk.

Then we have the umbrella stroller that lives at Grandma's house. It's not car seat friendly, but it doesn't need to be because it's primarily used to keep Samson entertained (he's a big fan of being upright) and it's just right for the occasional stroll around the block.

The new guy, now we're talking fancy. I got it to use at boot camp and for our longer walks by the bay, and this particular brand--Phil & Ted--has the extra bonus feature: it comes with an extra seat so that when Samson has a little sister, the two of them can ride inline in this sucker, in a variety of configurations. And who doesn't like multiple configurations? It's only a matter of time before I end up with one of those tetris-inspired minivans.

The extra super fantastic bonus: it's bright red.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

No such thing as TMI in Baby Country

I'm cleaning the study tonight (no I'm not, I'm blogging. OK, I'm supposed to be cleaning the study tonight.) and I came across a nice pile of papers from Samson's first 8 weeks--with every bottle, every nursing session, every diaper change listed including time, measurement of intake, consistency of output...obviously, I need to save this for Samson's scrap book. Because someday this will help him understand just how neurotic his mother truly is. And he will know that on Monday November 26, 2007, he pooped 4 times, peed 7 times, and was fed a total of 11 times (5 bottles of formula--19 ounces total--and 6 nursing sessions followed by 3.75 ounces of expressed milk). The REALLY impressive part is that I'm able to even read the handwriting of a sleep deprived new mother at 4 am--or Max's handwriting at all--and that 4 months later, I can decipher all of the little codes I came up with to record these mass quantities of information.

Wait, what? 11 feedings?? Holy crap, I seem to have forgotten just how many times you have to feed a newborn and what that means about sleep. Sorry Dedi, I know you're reading this and all the color just drained from your face. Take comfort in the fact that when your little girl is 4 and half months old, sleeping soundly upstairs (or breathing like some little pig-baby hybrid if she has a cold), you can spend the evening cleaning your study and come across your crazy neurotic list of newborn bodily function stats.

Monday, March 10, 2008

My Little Mouthbreather

Samson has come down with his first cold. It's all at the same time heartbreaking and adorable. He seems friendlier in general, less likely to break into the fussing-whiny-screamy for no apparent reason mode throughout the day. But his audibly labored breathing is just so pitiful, and he's taken to sticking his fingers in his mouth while he eats so as to make it easier to breath through his mouth (WHAT a smart baby!) but a bunch of the milk runs down his neck. After two days of this, he doesn't smell so great.

So we bundled him up today and Max took the day off so we could give our visiting friend a tour of San Francisco. You could totally tell that we miss living in the city so so much; it was basically the Deb and Max heritage history tour. We drove past our old apartments, the restaurant where we had our first date (8 years ago this month!), our favorite parks, cafes and bars, even had a beer at our old neighborhood French cafe while Max got a hair cut at his old neighborhood barbershop. Sigh. We really miss the neighborhoodiness of San Francisco and the urban hum that accompanies living there. We appreciate the living space that renting on the peninsula affords us, and the amenities like backyards and 2 car garages. But we're just not whole without the corner store and terrible lack of parking. The outing really cemented the decision we made months ago, to move back to the city as soon as our lease is up this summer.

Soon after we initially made this decision, we decided it would be best to finally bid our rental apartment days goodbye and to buy our own place. 10 weeks and four trillion open houses later, we finally put an offer on a 2 bedroom condo in Northern Panhandle (I think that's a made up name for the neighborhood just east of Stanyan, south of Grove, north of Fell and west of Masonic) and were outbid in approximately 6.8 seconds. It was a learning experience and a relatively painless initiation into the cruel and messed up world of Bay Area real estate. Hopefully, the next time I blog about this, it will be to announce that I'm finally buying that hammock I've always wanted for the backyard or deck I've always wanted. In the house that I've always wanted.

Now I'm going upstairs to suck the mucus out of my baby's nose with a rubber bulb syringe. Which is almost as fun as hammock shopping.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Maybe you had to be there

But it sure was funny when it was spoken in my backyard yesterday afternoon. By someone who shall remain nameless. (Hint: it was Dana.)

"What's the name of that website that lets you rate your boss? Oh,"

Also, this just in: Be Kind, Rewind is kind of crap.

Friday, March 07, 2008

An Open Letter to My Four Month Old Son

Dear Samson,

I'm pretty sure you can't read yet, so you haven't been keeping up-to-date on my blog. Let me just tell you, you have been just a little bit difficult to deal with this week. Like other 4 month olds, you demand constant interaction, never-ending entertainment. In the two hour periods between naps, I dance, sing, make nonsense sounds, funny faces, parade an endless stream of toys 8 to 12 inches above your head then do it all again within grasping distance. We go for walks, drives, trips to the dog park, baby boot camp, playgroups and Gymboree. We play on the special baby-only carpet on the living floor, on your changing table, in your crib, on my bed, and on the sofa.


Sometimes you reward me with a barrage of humongous smiles, or you'll do something new and exciting like try to eat my nose. Seriously, just the other day you acted as though you were trying to soak my nose in venomous juices so that you could LITERALLY DEVOUR MY NOSE. Now that you're starting to reach for toys and other things we're achieving a level of more or less constant cuteness. There's nothing like trying to watch a baby stuff a toy in his mouth when the toy is easily the side of his head. But usually, if I stop for even a second, you just sort of make this dying frog noise, which isn't so bad, but it more often not develops into a loud, screechy, whine. Which is annoying times 1,000. I know it's your way of telling me that you're bored or frustrated, but holy crap, kid, you're killing me here.

The noise you make is like one part amphibian, one part reptile and one part alien. I wonder if this is what baby dinosaurs sounded like? That would explain why they are extinct, their mothers probably got sick of that horrible noise and stepped on all of them.

The incessant whining really came to a head this week, and with your father out of town on business, it was just a little bit harder to deal with (thank goodness for naps and grandparents). So I thought about it, and somewhere my brain put 2 and 2 together: your obvious state of fairly regular discomfort or anxiety, your over the top love of your hands and stuffing them (and anything else you can get your sticky little hands on) in your mouth, and the buckets o' drool you produce hourly--could you possibly be teething? Your grandma had mentioned how much you liked chewing on the handle of her spoon the other night..sure, why not? So I went to the fridge, got out a carrot, scrubbed it clean and gave it to you. It's cold and hard, and the right size for your little hand to hold.


As you gummed the bejesus out of the carrot, I smiled smugly and patted myself on the back. It took me a little while, but I solved All That Whining. I was already planning my shopping trip to Target to buy carts full of refrigerated teething toys when you looked at me, realized I wasn't actively playing with you or entertaining you, and the noise making started right back up again. Pride goeth before a fall.

Between your high-energy needs and the constant nerve rattling noises you make, it's clear that I'm going to have to take up afternoon drinking.

Your Mom

Thursday, March 06, 2008

True Love

Oh, did I show you the Valentine that Max made?

Lucky for Samson

There were no baby sized lederhosen purchased in Germany. Ah, well. Such is life.

Samson is VERY happy to have his dad back home. Not as happy as he'd be if had actually pooped this week, but pretty close. Honestly, how can somebody go for 5 days without pooping? On a regular basis? I'm surprised he doesn't cry or scream or grimace more than he does. Which is a lot.

Thursday March 6th shall forever be known as the day that Samson mastered screeching. He's been letting out a few ear-piercing shrieks here and there for a month or so now, and it's really hard to tell the difference between the "This is great!" shriek and the "I hate life and I'm going to kill you!" shriek. But today was his first marathon stretch of screeching baby noises, over and over and over for an hour or more. Sure, my ears are still ringing a little, but it's just like everything else that baby does: so damn cute. Can you please shriek and chirp and screech a little bit more? Because someday you're not going to do that anymore, someday you're going to hide things from me and have friends with fast cars who only use monosyllabic words and you'll want to stay out late after the prom and we won't be lying side by side on the floor together, screeching at the dog while you grab my lower lip in your tiny slobbery fist and GRAB it with your sharp little fingernails and TWIST it so hard that it brings tears to my eyes.

I'm going to go upstairs now and watch you sleep for a little while.


Max gets home from Germany tonight, and I hope I hope I HOPE he was able to find the baby-size lederhosen I requested.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

This is not OK

Ugh, no energy to post today. Samson was in one of his moods today, and complained when I was doing--or trying to do--anything but dote on him. I couldn't even LOOK at something else without eliciting the Escalating Whimper Cry. Even when we went to Gymboree, he cried. The. Whole. Time. Perhaps this is a reaction to yesterday's immunizations? Either way, he's fast asleep now, the kitchen is clean, the laundry is folded, and it's time to crochet.

Deep breath.

Have I mentioned that Max is traveling this week? Really missing him right about now.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Ozzy Report

Ozzy got his nasty tubes removed today, hooray hooray. The vet said that all cancer had been successfully removed, and there was no sign that anything had metastasized. Yay! And now he gets to rock the uber hip shaved patch until his fur grows back in. It's like temporary tattoos for doggies.

In other doctor news, Samson's 4 month checkup was today. 15 1/2 pounds and 26 inches! That's a big meataball!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Ipso Facto

Funny how it works that a woman not being able to clean the cat box during pregnancy translates to pregnancy being the only time a man can change the cat box. Funny how that works.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Samson: Month Four

Hooray for month four! Our blinky, yawny little newborn has become a real live infant. One that smiles and laughs and naps on a fairly predictable schedule...and, dare I say, loves his mother. This was the month where we stopped answering the question of his age with weeks and began to say proudly, "He's three months old." That's right, 15 weeks and counting and we haven't badly damaged him or lost him or sold him for drug money. Parents of the Year award committee, you can reach me on my cell phone.

It's been a pretty terrific month, the weather's been great so there has been lots of going outside and plenty of bare baby legs and feet (shhh, don't tell my mom). February saw Samson perfect the baby trifecta: grab it, bring it towards your face, and cram it in your mouth. He's still a little wobbly with the smaller, more refined items such as dog hair, but he's got it down pat on larger, more readily available items like toys and mommy fingers. If Put It In Your Mouth were an Olympic event, this kid would bring home the gold.

Samson met both of his uncles this month, Israel Uncle and Brooklyn Uncle. (Due to a, er, camera malfunction--photographer malfunction is more like it--I don't have any pictures yet of Israel Uncle's visit yet. Boo.) He also met a couple of cousins from Long Island, who came bearing all kinds of wacky Jewish baby toys (like a plush mezuzah that plays Frere Jaques--who knew?). Ira came to visit, and we got to spend some quality time this month with most of our local friends, all of whom are very understanding and patient when our adorable grinning baby turns into a shrieking red-faced monster.

Thankfully, both the cradle swing and the jumperoo are no longer considered tortuous chambers of evil. Rather, they are now Places Sent by God Where Samson Can Quietly Chill Out For a Few Minutes While Mom Checks Her Email Or Makes Coffee Or What Have You. Most nights, Samson quietly and contentedly hangs in the Bjorn while we cook dinner, and is just barely starting to be able to stay sitting up for a few moments when he's propped up. Then, of course, he face plants into the sofa, and everyone has a hearty laugh.

We had our first go-to-the-park-and-sit-on-the-grass outing, which lasted a whole 7 1/2 minutes before I freaked out about there being too much sun and we had to pack it up and move along. There was also the first thing-with-Samson's-face-on-it made at Shutterfly (the first of many, I'm sure). It was a mug for Max's Valentine's Day gift. There was no shortage of cheese this month.

Then there was Samson's first trip to the eye doctor, a sure sign of things to come.

I think my favorite new thing from month four is how he's starting to associate cause and effect, specifically during his nightly bedtime massage. When I put the lotion in my hands and rub them vigorously together in order to warm it up, his eyes get all huge and he starts kicking his legs frantically. It's freaking adorable.

It's been a lot of fun having a three month old, and a lot of work. Not the chasing a crawler kind of work, or the getting up every 2 hours to feed the baby kind of work, but the kind of work that involves NOT relying on the TV to entertain the baby, no matter how much you may want to and how easy it is (well, not often anyway.). And making a habit of reading to the baby everyday, even if he hardly has the patience to make it through the first half of Nutbrown Hare, because all the experts tell you how important it is to raise a baby who is familiar with books and how it will make him a better person in the long run, and that's all you really want for your son is for him to grow up to be a good person. It's a lot of work to talk to the baby all day, to describe what you're doing and tell him about the cooking and the cleaning and the everything else, because the experts tell you how important it is that a baby hears as many words as possible in these early months and how it will make him a better person in the long run, and have I mentioned how much you want your son to grow up to be a good person?

And it's the kind of fun that means nine nights out of ten, you get to see this before it's time for bed.

Thanks a million, month four. You can come back any time.