This Rules
In Valerie's room, we still have the giant computer desk/hutch thingie because really, we haven't quite 'finished' her room. That works out fine for now since she's still sleeping with us.

But she does get her diaper changed in the room. From where the changing table is, she can see some of the pictures we have on top of the hutch. Including a couple of Alice.

And Every Single Time, she points at Alice and squeals. And every time, I say, yep, that's Alice. She was my first baby girl.


Notes From Myself, Part Too
I think this is a series..

Dear Liz of 1997ish,

While you and Andrea are deep within your year-long love of the now-defunct Kim's Pho in Mountain View, if you see a woman who looks like this, go introduce yourself. I know you won't have the confidence that you do later (yes, you really gain that shit later, after you discover a sport. And yes, you find a sport that you come to love, that really does change your life.) but go anyway.

That nice woman will become a very important part of your life. You may as well meet her now because she's going to be your daughter's godmother.

2007 Liz

Notes From Myself
Dear Liz of 1994,
Moving to the west coast will be the stupidest and smartest thing you've ever done. Stop second-guessing yourself. M will dump you for a nurse and you'll move on. It will take you some time to find out where you're really supposed to be but once you get there, I assure you what you'll find is so worth the heartache and the wait.

When a well-meaning hairdresser offers to 'do something' to your hair to cheer you up after M dumps you the second time, say no and walk away.

Don't bother fixing that awful van, it will never run right again and you'll only need to add water to the radiator in the parking lot next to the car dealer so your radiator doesn't look overheated when you trade it in for your first new car.

Don't buy that new car the same week M buys her new car, she'll only give you shit about it.

Most importantly, Grandma will be around until 2005, you'll have plenty of chances to visit her. Take advantage of every single one, no matter the consequences. You won't regret a single minute you spend with her.

2007 Liz


Well, That Was A Long Nite
Since Val's sleep got all screwed up and then later, she started biting the shit out of me when I tried to breastfeed her before going to bed, we've changed up her sleep routine. Some might argue that we actually created a routine in the first place, but really, there was a routine before. It's different now.

We play a CD for her, yes the same one. We dim the lights. There's a lot of holding and shusshing and pacifier useage and most nights, this results in a not-so little baby who goes to sleep without too much hassle.*

Since The Biting began this also means that I leave the room, going out to the living room to watch bad tv while I pump. Last night, I headed out there to do my thing (and not watch Next, thank god I managed to avoid it because it really is bad, and not just guilty pleasure bad. It ain't no Lifetime Original Movie, I tell you what). I was SOO tired, griping about everything, wanting nothing more than to go to bed but unable to since Val was going through her routine in our room.

Finally, after an hour (and no Next, thankyouverymuch) Andrea IMs me to say she's giving up for now, that Val is resisting all o' Andrea's Sleep Sherpa skillz. So I go in. At least I can be in my bed, even if I do have to share it with a cranky baby.

But. Val was finally ready to make the big trip to the land of nod so I was able to repeat the routine and finally her little body went slack and the pacifier was spat out.

And then. I turned off the light and went to bed.

And then Val slept ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE NIGHT. There was no 5 am feeding, no 7 am feeding, just my alarm going off at 8:15 like it does every day and unlike every other day since I went back to work, I actually got up. With the alarm.

It's just awesome.

*By not too much hassle, I mean less than an hour most of the time, and like 15 minutes most of the time.

There's Something Not Quite Right
About having no fucking parking at your workplace. This isn't the mall at Christmas, it's an office building, ffs.

But big thanks to the landscaper guy who moved his cone so I could have a parking space after lunch today.


Psst, Did You Know You Said That Outloud?
So here at work I've enjoyed having a crummy little pumping room all to myself ever since I moved away from the over-crowded one in my old building. The room sucks, seriously sucks (it's a fridge. And a chair. And a phone, in case I want to make any calls while the whirr of the pump is going in the background) but it's been all mine. So I've made peace with my need to pump for the next six weeks or so (and then, I WILL BE DONE DONE DONE!!!!!).

Until last week, when I was startled as hell to find another little discreet black bag in there and a note saying 'hey, I'm new here. Let's try not to run into each other, can we chat?'

Fine. I headed right back to my desk and sent her an email. Because direct contact beats the shit out of the cold-hearted scheduling and rules of the Room That Almost Made Me Wean Val.

She writes back, we work out our schedules and today she drops by to say hi. Um, hi! You whip your boobies out several times a day, too? That's fantastic, let's be BFF!

But she's nice enough and we talk about our kids. Normal shit, parts of the very same conversation I'd had not 10 minutes before with another mom of young kids (weaning, table foods, car seats, in case you were wondering).

And then she goes 'well, you know. You could always just feed your daughter formula. Because breastfeeding, it's so hard.'

Blink. Whaaaaa???

This I had expected to hear from formula-feeding families or from random strangers at the store or that ill-informed TSA guy in San Diego but not from another breastfeeding mom. Seriously.

I told her no. We're not doing that. There's no way I'm going this far only to crap out and buy formula for Val to drink for 6 weeks until she can have leche de cow. At this point, it's totally a pride thing for me.

Don't mess with it.

Also, We Saw Some Kickass Hockey

Rooting for Assabet
Originally uploaded by liz2d2.
The Women's Nationals were here so we headed over to see Assabet Valley play. Their program is one that came up time and time again when I was doing my (yes, still unfinished) thesis and I'd wanted to see that level of play.

They did not dissapoint.

They had 8 people on the bench, and I watched them win 6-1. Amazing. Apparently this morning they played SEVEN OVERTIMES in a semi final game. They lost. But at that point I don't think it matters.

Val had a good old time too, crawling all over the benches and clapping when other people cheered. She enjoyed some string cheese and peas while we were there. And yes, she looked cute.

Normally, I Don't Really Blog About Hockey
At least not all that much. And I don't generally put any kinds of details because some of my friends have really been burned by doing that. That, and most of hockey's minor dramas, I'd rather forget. It's easier to do that if I don't blog the details.

Anyhoo, it's been an interesting weekend as far as hockey and related hockey dramas go. Friday night, we had the draft (which hey, if you spell it wrong it looks like dfart) and man, it totally did not go how I'd hoped. With 5 teams instead of 4, I had to wait longer to pick the next person and by the time it was my turn again, if I didn't get who I'd hoped to, they were gone. And I was sitting there saying, 'durrrr, I dunno!!!'

In the end, I got a really talented group of folks. Just not the usual crowd I pick. I bet it'll work out great, but it threw me for a loop. I think it threw a lot of us for a loop.

So, tonight, my co-ed team had our playoff game. We were ready, we played well, held our own until there were about 3 minutes left in the 3rd period when one of our defenseman went to clear it out. And put it into our own net.

We lost 2-1. Season over. Sigh.

But I'm still happy as hell to be playing again.


Dear Friday,
I love you. You are the gateway to the weekend, to those 2 days where I am unencumbered by work. Thank you for arriving right on time today.


Not a lot of note is going on here at Chez LizSpeaks, I'll try to make this as interesting as possible....

Val is more fabulouser every day. Standing for LOOOONG periods (she really really enjoyed AmFam's montage, standing, pointing and squealing while it played), pivoting, doing the baby squat where she grabs things from the floor to hold while standing. Every time we ask her to come here while she's standing, she sits down and crawls. So walking, though it's the next thing on the list, doesn't seem to interest her all that much right now.

She's discovered a fierce love of plums. Her love of mac-n-cheese remains supreme. I think she'd eat that at every meal if we served it to her.

Her laugh. God, her laugh is just amazing.

What else? I had a really nice birthday. We had a mellow lunch with Bill, Susan and the girls then we went home and Val took a longass nap. While she slept I was able to sort through all of her clothes, weeding out the stuff that's too small and bringing in the next size up (12 months! how the hell did we get here???). After the bigass nap, we went out for a yummay dinner at the steakhouse formerly known as Kingswood. So good, so good.

To continue the eating trend, we went up to Susan's for dessert. She wowed us by making not one but 2 desserts: creme brule and cupcakes. MMMMMM, sugary goodness, it is the gift that keeps on giving.

It all combined to be a Really Nice Birthday. Thanks, kids. I needed a day like that.

I've realized that I hate Duran Duran.


It's just that kind of day, I'm in that kind of mood. No witty posts for you today.


And So Grown Up

All of a sudden, Val's turned from a baby into something just short of a toddler. It seems so unreal but yet, so goddamn fun.


Just Awesome
Yesterday, the Project From Hell went live. Phew, because it was awful. The only saving grace about it is that because it's for my new group, at least the timeline was short.

So to celebrate that being done, done, done! And the nice-ass weather we've had, I took the day off yesterday. Susan, Andrea and I took all 3 girls swimming. It was a little too cold but I think we all had fun anyway. Afterwards, Andrea went home to do some work and the rest of us headed to the mall. Having a day out of the office, to just get out and Do Things was spectacular.

Happy birthday to me!


Hello, playground!

Hello, playground!
Originally uploaded by liz2d2.
Thanks to the miracle of excellent weather and daylight savings time, we were able to head over to the playground yesterday. Val had a blast eating her Cheerios, drinking WATER from a CUP!!! and crawling everywhere I'd let her. She went down the slide BY HERSELF for the first time and man, she thought that was The Best Thing Ever. She laughed with her whole body.

If it's not quite here already, methinks toddlerhood is just around the corner.


The Pat-us
AKA The Pat Status. In short, he's better, for now. The seizures have stopped, the upped doseage is working. The bad news is that it's still making him a little slower than he was before. I feel bad for that but what else can we do? Let him seize all the time and enjoy full brain power? That seems wrong too.

So we're at this impasse where he's not as smart but not having seizures. I hope that this dose will hold for as many years as the old dose did. Sigh.

Ow. And Ow Again.
Last night, I played co-ed and was minding my own business, when this guy I was defending took a shot. Fine, that's his job and it's my job to try to stop those shots from happening. Which I did, stopping the play with the relatively unprotected SIDE O' MY BIG TOE. OW OW OW.

No, he didn't score, but I limped off o' the ice just the same.

On my next shift, the same guy managed to take the same shot at my ankle. At the unprotected part between skate and shin guard. Ow and ow again, indeed.

After the game, I noticed that it was already starting to bruise. I went home and enjoyed the cool dulling effect brought to you by 2 ice packs on my foot and ankle. Today I am extremely grateful that Andrea got me some Crocs for Christmas. Their molded-foamy goodness is very very soft on my poor foot. And my ankle? It's about as swollen as it was last year around this time, when Val was growing big in my belly.

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In Honor Of The Upcoming Holiday
You know, St. Patrick's Day and yes, my birthday (btw there is little more anticlimatic than turning 34. It's so anticlimatic I can't even think of funny ways to describe how uninteresting it is.) I will say o' instead o' of all week.

I live to serve.

What Can I Tell You?
Well, I've had the project from hell at work the last couple of weeks. Just when I thought it was done, ready to go, I'd magically find a new way to screw it up. This resulted in more late nights, more sweat, yes, more BO and more frustration than I care to remember later.

It's allegedly done now and I'll breathe a huge sigh o' relief once it's finally live.

I apparently got into Betty too fast this morning, didn't duck down low enough and managed to bump my head on the doorframe, catching my lone piercing, an ear, in the process. It still hurts now.

I paid almost $50 for a tank of gas. I do not drive an SUV.

I got to skate a few practices this weekend and I'm thrilled thrilled thrilled to annouce that I finally put all the pieces back together for my shot. Now all I need to re-learn is how to aim and perhaps I'm onto something.

It was nice to be on-ice for some of my friends' tryouts to move up and support them, even if I was just there to shoot on the goalies while they did skating-oriented stuff. It was just as nice to be really far removed from having to try out for anything.

Val. Still giving us crap about enforcing a bedtime, still refusing to sleep in her nice crib. I even deck it out with some of the lovely warm receiving blankets Heather made for us before she was born, in the hope that laying down on a warm surface will help her stay asleep as we attempt to put her down. But no. There is, for right now, no laying of downs for our wee girl. So it's in the bed with us for now.

She's also pretty much giving the finger to all but the tastiest jarred baby foods, choosing instead to eat whatever we're eating. I can't argue, it all puts me one step closer to weaning.

Here's the part where you can move on if breastfeeding talk isn't for you.

I must speak the truth here (as if I have ever NOT spoken the truth here): I'm SO SO SO ready to be done with breastfeeding. If we could move her to cow's milk right now, this instant, I would do it. Suffer a few days of wearing cabbage leaves and engorgement to never have those wee little teeth on me again. Yes, I love those teeth but on my sensitive parts, I assure you, they lose their charm.

And that's not when she's biting. That's a whole other story that, like the pain of childbirth, I hope like hell I forget eventually.

We're working through the options but really what it comes down to is that I just need to stick it out for another month or so. Then we'll be close enough that we can use what I've got frozen (and, in the process, freeing up more room for frozen pizzas! Hello, my tasty friends!) and get to a year.

And then, she'll be 1 and everyone in the entire world can feed her just as well as I can.


Upping Pat's doseage of phenobarb yesterday and giving him an extra dose seemed to do the trick and get the seizures back under control. Because he was so doped up, man, he was S-L-O-W, slower than his usual not too bright (but oh so sweet) self. At one point I stepped on his foot and he didn't seem to notice. Psst, Pat. I AM STANDING ON YOUR FOOT.

But. But we were seizure-free. But he slept through the night.

Today, I gave him the still-higher dose of phenobarb. I think we'll keep that up for a day or two just to be sure. Then he'll go back down to the old dose, plus 15 mg since the old dose wasn't quite enough.

Oh Pat. I still hate it that this is your life. We'll keep doing our best to keep the seizures to a minimum for you.

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The results, they are IN! Here we are, Burninating our way through Vegas: THE PAGE WHERE IT EXTOLS OUR VIRTUES AS CHAMPIONS!!!.

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A Long Night With Pat
Our night started with Val deciding that bedtime needed to be a couple of hours later than we wanted it to be. Finally, she got settled down and we all were snoozing away until 5 am. That's when I heard the Patrick distress cry -- this pathetic whining and pacing outside our door. At that time of night, it can pretty much mean one thing, that he's had a seizure.

Hoping that it wasn't too big, I headed out to the kitchen to do our routine -- be near him, ignoring him but doing the sorts of mundane things that he seems to be comforted by until he was back to himself. So I did that. I did dishes. I pumped (why not, I was up anyway?), I watched a little TV and after about an hour I thought, okay, I'll go to bed now.

No sooner did my head hit the pillow when I heard the telltale thumping that meant he was having one for sure, this time in the crate. I went out again, stood in front of the crate and waited until he finished. (I say this as if standing there and watching a seizure happen is so easy. I can assure you that it's really very hard, indeed.). Only he didn't finish, he went right into having another one, his tongue sticking out to the side, drool forming like stalagtites hanging from his lips, the thick stuff rolling off of him while he seized.

Finally, he got up and started his usual wander-around, checking everything in the house to make sure it was still there. Rainie Roo? Check. Zeus? Check? Doggie door? This he checked about 15 times, each at the end of a lap until finally he headed outside. So I waited another minute, got the valium ready for when he was able to take it, then followed him outside.

There in the early dawn, was Patrick, sprawled against the garage looking like he was running in place. Of course he was seizing again on some poop we hadn't yet picked up. I was able to get him to right himself and he ran around the yard, tripping on things. When he stumbled back inside, I gave him his valium, plus a small-dose phenobarbital and hoped for the best.

Eventually I thought he was calm enough and I went to bed. He was still whiny at that point, Andrea got up and gave him another valium. And finally, we all slept.

I spent a good long while on the phone with the vet just now and the plan is to up his dose of phenobarb for the day, watch him and (this is our part of the plan) pray that the seizures stop for now.

I'll admit this, though it's hard to do so and you'll no doubt think less of me for it. Standing there, doing dishes at 5 am to help calm Patrick down as he whined and paced, I thought you know, this isn't how I thought my life with dogs would go.



my two cuties
Originally uploaded by gadgetgrrl.
Was she ever really that small?


This I Don't Quite Get
So, when I was in high school, I had a boyfriend. Perfectly nice guy, I had a perfectly nice run dating him for a good while. (Yes, I had a boyfriend. Let's move on.) We didn't really stay in touch or anything, I mean, what's there to say really? Um. Hi?

So, fine. We ended on what I'm pretty sure are okay terms, not a whole lot of drama, just him saying he didn't want a long-distance relationship when we went to college. All good, despite the initial heartbreak that comes with being a dumped teenager.

So, I haven't seen him since. But I did see his mom just before I moved to Oregon to be with the ill-fated girlfriend who brought me to the west coast. At the time, I mentioned something about moving to be with a woman. That was the last time I saw her. We'd been friends while I dated the son, had many a good laugh together.

But apparently, over the course of all that I did something to offend her. Because she works at a job now where my mom sees her and though she's ridiculously sweet to all other people she comes in contact with at this job, she's been snotty to my mom.

That's just not cool. Feel about me how you like, but leave my mom out of this. Sheesh.

I think for most kids, the first word is a noun, mama, dada, ball, toast, what have you. But we know already that Val is not most kids. She proved this once again late last night with this:


Followed by a long discussion of ohs with Andrea and I. The three of us there, having a little Oh party.

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