Sunday, December 31, 2006

Holiday Update

Sorry for the lack of posts, but we have had a busy holiday. Two weeks ago, Jeff's parents came down for Uncle Wayne's heart surgery. Of course, they also had to see their gorgeous grandson! I am pleased to report that the surgery was a success, and they got to go home well before Christmas.

That weekend, the weekend before the Christmas weekend, we also went to two parties. On Saturday night we went to a friend's 20th birthday party. His mom and dad were really excited to meet Vinny and even us. Then on Sunday evening was the Math group holiday party, hosted by one of my colleagues at his house. His house was really interesting: it's built into the side of a big hill and it's so far up the hill that he had everybody park down at the cul-de-sac of the street, and he shuttled us up and down the hill in his minivan.

While they were here, Granny and Granddad left a carload of Christmas gifts, most of them for Vinny. In addition, Mommy and Daddy bought him some toys. So on Christmas morning Vinny really got the haul.

Unfortunately, he wasn't in top condition to appreciate it. (Well, not that an 11-week-old baby really gets what's going on anyhow...) He got his first cold, probably from a little girl at the party who was coughing everywhere. He started really coming down with it on Saturday night, when we were at the next-door neighbor's for her holiday party. Jeff took him home early while I stayed and socialized. The neighbor's daughter and son-in-law invited us over to their place for Christmas dinner, but we had to decline because Vinny was too sick.

Yes, continuing the family tradition, he was probably at his sickest on Christmas Day. But we called up Jeff's sister, who is a pharmacist, and she told us what we could give him to make him feel better. We had these decongestant nose drops but we weren't sure if we could give them to him, and if so, how much. But Rhonda told us it was okay to give him one drop in each nostril. It really made a difference, once we cleaned his nose out and then applied the decongestant drops. But the next morning I took him to the doctor anyhow. And, it was a good thing I did, because he was also coming down with his first earache. The doctor prescribed amoxicillin, so we are giving him that.

When you were a kid, do you remember taking medicine? Because I do remember taking a few things. I remember liquid actifed, and it was bitter but not too unbearable. Amoxicillin I remember as tasty good. His is this thick, pinkish-orange liquid that has to be refrigerated. It smells very strongly of that fake berry flavoring. I haven't sampled it but he seems to like it.

But I digress. In the afternoon, Dad and Marvis arrived, en route to Florida. Now that they have a stopping point here, they like to take advantage of it. We had some Mediterranean food and opened the presents they brought and the presents we gave them. They seemed pleased by their gifts. Once again, though, it was Vinny who got the biggest haul. In fact, some of the presents for Jeff and me actually turned out to be for Vinny!

On a more serious note, the holidays have long been a hard time of year for me. They remind me of the family that I will never again have, that family with whom you're supposed to share these special days. It was also after Christmas five years ago that my mother moved away, marking the date at which my family was permanently broken. There is never a good time for your parent to move out, but the fact that it occurred during what would become an extremely difficult season (made difficult by the event in question) has made this time of year even worse.

I'm not going to pretend that it was easy this year. After all, any hope I had last year of being able to at least work out some of the old family conflict is gone. But having another person to think about has helped distract me at least a little. I now have a responsibility to make Vinny's holidays happy. I owe it to him to make his holidays memorable not due to mommy's moping, but due to genuine positive family moments. I don't know that I will ever feel comfortable darkening the doorstep of my parent's house on a holiday, but perhaps I can create a comfortable holiday environment in my own home for Vinny.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

What Not to Do

If you want to find a hacker to change your college grades, don't ask at a computer security website. (For some perspective on this story, see this story and its first three links.)

I love how they ask him to take pictures of squirrels, as if this somehow legitimizes his intentions. I expected the hackers' next request would be a shrubbery or something.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Adventures with Blogger

As you may have noticed, I have upgraded to Blogger Beta. Since they have now made it simpler to do so, I have been able to improve the look of my blog by adding pretty math-related pictures. Hopefully I will be able to make it even better as time goes on.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Adventures with Migraines

Until today, I hadn't had a migraine in a long time. I can tell you that I wasn't missing them at all. I don't get the really bad kind that debilitate you for days. What happens is that the migraine is triggered by a flash of light, such as sunlight glinting off a car mirror. I have an aura for 30 minutes, and then I get killer head pain. The aura basically makes it seem like I'm tuned to the wrong channel. The pain lasts until I sleep for a couple of hours.

I can't remember the last time I got a migraine. At one point in my life, I got a migraine every other Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Then I lost a bunch of weight and it seems like that helped reduce the frequency of migraines. (Of course I can't be sure because there aren't two parallel universes, one in which I lost weight and one in which I didn't.)

Today I had a migraine. It was strange because it wasn't triggered by the sunlight; it was dark when I had the migraine. I walked into a store and felt really dizzy, and then I got the aura. Unfortunately, I was all alone, so I had to wait in the store until the aura lifted. Then I got to drive twenty miles home. I made it home without getting into any accidents.

I'm trying to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, slowly but surely. I've started back at Weight Watchers. Hopefully I'll be able to lose the weight again and get rid of the migraines.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Thought from a Sleep-Deprived Mind

It occured to me that the reason it was so easy to pull an all-nighter in college was that the late teens is the age at which, historically speaking, I should have been having babies and consequently been deprived of sleep.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Adventures of a Working Mother

Sorry for the drought in posts. I returned to work beginning with a half-day on Thursday, November 30, and I haven't had much chance to stop since.

People were happy to see me back. I have spent the time trying to remember what the heck I was doing before I left. I still don't remember everything, but I'm starting to get back in the groove of things.

When I get home, I spend all my time with Vinny, because I need to get my baby fix. Then I go to bed early, because it takes longer to get enough sleep since the baby wakes up in the night. So I have very little spare time.