Growing a Critter

We’re growing him on the outside now

Happy Birthday, Critter! August 20, 2008

Filed under: birth,holidays — crittermama @ 8:19 am


We made it!


oh eight to the third power! August 7, 2008

Filed under: birth,family,holidays — crittermama @ 9:30 pm
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Oh eight oh eight oh eight, people!!! I’ve been waiting for this day since I learned to count! I’m only slightly less excited than I was on 08/08/88! True confession: I still forget which is the month and which is the day when I write the date as above, since I never had to figure it out for my own birthday. Another true confession: there is a freakish convergence of birth months and birth dates in my family. Among my sisters, we are 08/08, 02/02 and 01/11. SERIOUSLY. My mom is only one digit off, at 05/04. Oh, for want of one day!!

And there’s this HUGE global, ceremonial (state-sponsored) celebration going on, halfway around the world. And it starts at 08:08:08 PM! Hee!

Ok, enough nurd-dom. August is, and always has been, my favorite month. But as I’ve gotten older, more and more things have added to the fun of the month. Dave and I are celebrating BirthAversary this weekend, with A REAL DATE. We’re doing part I of a babysitting swap with our friends & neighbors on Saturday and we’re going to a movie (Bottle Shock) and out to eat (Tabard Inn). SO EXCITED. We’ve only been out on our own – just the two of us – ONCE since the critter was born. WHOO HOO.

And of course we’re looking forward to the critter’s birthday in less than two weeks! It’s so strange to believe that it’s already been a year. He’s amazing and hilarious and growing & changing all the time. We finally had our ENT appointment yesterday, and the doctor doesn’t think he needs tubes at this point – hooray! They did some tests, and he has some negative pressure in his right ear, but his left ear is just fine. We’re going back in October for a check up (when cold season arrives) and we’ll see what happens then. Fingers crossed.

Finally, here’s a picture of our little guy (he inadvertently was playing elephant games):

Baby elephant

For more (including a video of our elephant baby), go to my Flickr page!


4th of July July 4, 2008

Filed under: family,health,holidays — crittermama @ 9:52 pm
Tags: , ,

Happy Independence Day, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a terrific day, full of family and friends. This is just a collection of semi-random thoughts on the holiday – thank you for indulging me.

One of the best ways to start this day is to read to Declaration of Independence. I love it so much that NPR hosts read it out loud on the radio every year. It helps get me in the right frame of mind. I missed much of it this year (including the part about “the merciless Indian savages”) since I had to get some new pants for the critter during that time, but still.

We had a big breakfast this morning, but not quite as big as the 4th of July breakfasts I grew up with at the lake. Lots of extended families would be out there, and we all got together in the meadow for the biggest breakfast you’ve ever seen. HUGE amounts of rich, southern food. And of course this is after the adults had already fortified themselves with bloody mary’s and milk punch (I still cringe, just considering the fact that such a beverage exists. blech.)

We were invited to two parties today, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, and we each made it to one of them. The critter woke up with a fever this morning and hasn’t been doing so well today. The highest the fever got was 102.7, even with Tylenol – kind of scary. He slept a lot and was cranky when he was awake and didn’t eat very much. So I went to the afternoon party and Dave went to the evening party, so the critter could rest and also not infect any other critters.

I did make some deviled eggs for each party. Gotta love some deviled eggs. It turns out that neither Dave nor I actually ate any however. The critter woke up from his nap while I was at party #1 and I had to leave before getting any. When Dave was at party #2, he put the deviled egg plate (yes I have a couple of deviled egg plates now!) down and they were all GONE before he had any. Hee!

Fireworks when I was little were a smallish (but fun!) affair at the lake, usually shot off by whichever adults had had the least amount to drink. Kids shot bottle rockets and sparklers (sometimes at each other, but not many fingers were lost). There was also a fireworks display that the city did from the Rec Center, and our neighbors down the street had the best view from their back porch. It’s a crazy cool house that’s been on the market for years because few people want such a funky house (with an elevator!). The view from our side yard was pretty great, too, but lacked seating other than a blanket on the grass. Tonight’s fireworks were viewed from our couch, due to sick critter and rain. But we did see some of our town fireworks out our bedroom window. We’ll take the critter out to the mall sometime in the years to come.

Now we’re finishing the day off watching the end of Jaws. I need to get Dave to do a write up of the shark fishing expedition that he, Daddy and Brandon enjoyed while we were at the beach. He loved it, unsurprisingly.



wonk wonk wonk wonk wonk February 5, 2008

Filed under: family,holidays,profession — crittermama @ 9:41 am

First of all: Laissez les bon temps roulez!

Second: Happy Super Tuesday! How in the world we get both Mardi Gras and Super Tuesday on the same day is beyond me!

Third: All of my closest blood relatives of voting age get to vote today except me. Georgia, Illinois and even Alaska have their primaries today, and I have to wait until next week’s “Potomac Primary” in which Maryland, DC and Virginia all vote.

Fourth: Don’t you think there’s a strong resemblance between my

and the former Governor of Arkansas?

We’re going to a Super Tuesday party tonight! Wonks of DC unite!


If the baby gets dirty, the baby gets nekkid! January 6, 2008

Filed under: family,holidays,travel — crittermama @ 4:03 pm

We were in Memphis for Christmas – land of Dave’s forbearers (and Graceland, down the street from his grandparents), our alma mater (where we met and started dating), the Blues, Sun Studio and lots of good food. We had a great time seeing family, relaxing, enjoying Huey’s & other favorites, a visit to Rhodes and introducing the Critter to family and friends.

Getting here, however, was crazy town nutty nut. It took me several days to recover from that week’s food poisoning episode. We had a mini-Christmas on Wednesday to open presents from my side of the family. Thursday night we started getting ready for the trip by wrapping presents and trying to get everything shipped off to my family. Of course we had serious trouble with the main present that we were giving to everyone: pictures of the Critter. We had a professional photo shoot the previous Sunday, but when we took the photo CD to get everything processed, the pictures kept coming out tinged blue. After three tries, we gave up and we’re going to try again when our photographer friend is back from covering the Iowa caucuses.

Friday morning was for packing, and it was crazy. I couldn’t THINK. There was so much to try to deal with, and I just couldn’t get my head around everything we needed. Long story short, we ended up at National Airport with our flight delayed and I realized that although we had diapers, wipes, blankets, burb cloths, etc., I had managed to leave the house WITHOUT ANY CHANGES OF CLOTHES FOR THE LITTLE GUY. That meant that if the baby got dirty, the baby would have to get nekkid. In the airport. My poor little redneck baby would be nekkid in public. Oh the shame!

I tromped around for a while, looking for a “My Momma went to DC and all I got was this onesie” type of shirt for him, to no avail. I tearfully admitted my blunder to my loving husband and he assured me that I was nuts. True. We couldn’t find anything in the Chicago airport, either, between our running to three different gates in hopes of getting on a plane to Memphis. Ah well. He didn’t get dirty, so he didn’t have to get nekkid. Score!

Our first food stop in Memphis was, of course, Huey’s. We got some great pictures of the Critter enjoying his first trip to this important spot in his parents’ lives. And then, of course, he barfed ALL OVER himself. He was Exorcist baby. He completely soiled his clothes, and had to be changed. Before I knew what was going on, Dave had the Critter nekkid (except for his diaper) and was changing his clothes right there at the table at Huey’s! Oh, my poor little redneck baby! Nekkid at Huey’s!

Somehow I managed to recover from the shame. Dave still doesn’t see what the fuss was all about! Here are a few pictures from the trip…

First trip to Huey’s!
First visit to Huey's

Meeting Dave’s grandmother, “Little Grams”

Dave, Uncle Philip, Little Grams, George, Big Grams and Barry

The Eubanks men

Critter and me with the Christmas tree


Rolling! December 27, 2007

Filed under: development,holidays — crittermama @ 1:58 pm

So much to write about, but so little time. For now, just this: he’s ROLLING.


Merry Christmas! Have food poisoning! December 19, 2007

Filed under: body weirdness,family,health,holidays — crittermama @ 10:59 pm

Several years ago, a friend and colleague gave me a pair of socks for Christmas, and the tag read, “Merry Christmas! Have socks!” And I still say that every time I pull on a pair of Christmas-themed socks. (Yes, I have more than one pair.) And I’ll maintain for a long time that getting a pair of socks for Christmas is sooooo much better than the case of food poisoning that the deli around the corner gave me on Monday.

In my quest to find a lunch place that I could trust not to put unwanted dairy products into my food, I visited a couple of local delis and such around my office. I wanted to read the labels on the bread, since some bread does have dairy added to it. The first place had no labels on the bread (no labels?!? what’s that all about?!?) and the only writing on the tortilla packages was instructions on how to fold a tortilla. So I moved on to the deli in the liquor store behind my building. They let me read labels on the bread and, triumphant, I ordered a turkey club sandwich.

I will NEVER eat there again. Around 5:00 or so, I started to feel a little funny. I cooked dinner, but couldn’t bring myself to eat any of it, and lay down on the couch to rest while Dave took care of the Critter and put him to bed. I started to vomit around 9:00, and it just kept coming. I’ve never barfed so much in my life, even with morning sickness, even with hangovers, even with migranes. It was at least every 45 minutes for the next 12 hours. I had nothing in me and couldn’t keep anything down at all. I could feel the fluid leaving my body as I fed the Critter overnight, and I got really worried about being able to keep up my milk supply.

We called his pediatrician and my primary doctor, and they both told me to go to the ER to get some fluids if I couldn’t keep any fluids down within the next hour. After hanging up with doctor #2, I threw up immediately. Dave took the Critter to day care, and then we went to the ER. I only barfed once in triage, but it was bad: I was seeing bright lights and thought I would pass out. The upside is that I learned about the handy-dandy barf bags that hospitals have. It’s a plastic ring with a baggie attached to it. Portable and easy! Woot!

Another thing I learned: our closest hospital has three separate waiting areas before you actually get into the ER. In waiting room #3, I couldn’t sit any longer and just had to lay down on the floor. Several people passed by, worried about me, but it wasn’t until a very authoritative woman came by, and called the ER to get a place for me to lay down that I cared that I was laying on the floor. Turns out that she was the director of the ER. Nice timing!

Long story short (too late): I got 2.5 bags of saline, my BP was really low for a long time (sounds familiar), my blood tests came out ok, my urine tests came out ok (including the negative result on a pregnancy test, thank GOD), and an abdominal x-ray came out ok. I was released just in time for us to pick up the Critter from day care.

Since then, I’ve had a gallon of gatorade, a bunch of sprite, some chicken broth, and even a few pieces of bread. I got some good rest last night and felt much better today. Of course all of our Christmas prep is now two days behind and I’m worried about getting our gifts to family before Christmas day, but I’m able to walk, so it all works out in the end.

Yay for IV fluids!