Monday, April 28, 2008


10:06 PM
Scott: so, this is our first 'internet' chat big step for us
me: Is it appropriate to talk about poop? Because Charlotte took a HUGE crap in her diaper tonight.
Scott: in our family? It is a necessity
me: And we were on a walk and I didn't have an extra.
Scott: how huge?
me: Small grapefruit.
Scott: like that round? ??? Like a grapefruit?
me: Once it was compressed in her little diap, it was rotund. Globular.
Scott: dear lord
me: I had to scoop it out with paper towels and then bathe her buns in the bathroom sink. Then while I was washing my hands, she peed on the floor.
Scott: awesome
me: Then a student walked in (this was in the student center in town).
Scott: that is just awesome
me: There was a dirty diaper on the counter, a puddle of urine on the floor, and a half-clothed baby running around. Not to mention a fog of fecal smell in the bathroom so thick you could cut it with a knife.
me: Speaking of which, did I tell you about how I put her in a tree to take her picture and then she fell while I was snapping away?
Scott: how could you?!?!?!
me: I managed to scoop her up and evade child protective services that time. They've been tracking me. The branch was only about a foot and a half off the ground, but seriously
Scott: that girl needs balance
me: what kind of idiotic person puts a baby in a tree and walks away? I kind of leaned her back against the trunk, and thought, "That should do it!" Next thing I know, baby on the ground.
Scott: did you tell her to sit still?
me: Yep. She's disobedient.
Scott: and did she cry?
me: Yeah, a lot. She was unscathed, but scared.
Scott: thats what she gets for disobeying. and did you give her chocolate?
me: We had no chocolate, only hot dogs.
Scott: chocolate hot dogs?
me: Now when she tells the story, she's like, "Mama and Dada eat hot dogs by the river! Charlotte fell outta da tree, BOOM!" It makes it sound like we were having a private picnic while we left our baby in the tree, precariously perched and starving for some hot dogs.
Scott: You didn't?
me: Well, I gave her a chunk of hot dog to eat while in the tree. So not exactly.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The picture above is from this past weekend, which we spent with Papa and Nana Tig. We had a great weekend, with beautiful weather despite the rain forecasted. Let's hope the same will happen during our visit to Iowa this coming week.
I hope to post more about our weekend soon, but as I have 40 student essays to grade, you might have to wait. For now, this photo of Charlotte blowing "fuzzy dandelions" with Nana will have to suffice.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Karma Chameleon
We went to an eighties party this Saturday night. At first I was worried. Where would I find a crinoline and bustle at this late hour? Then I realized they meant the 1980s, not the 1880s. No problem.
First, we got Charlotte ready.

As you can see, her ensemble is an homage to Rainbow Brite. I started off with just the hot pink leggings (barely visible here) and the tank top. But then I just started adding more and more. "Legwarmers on the arms? WHY NOT!" I bellowed. I was clearly drunk off the power of eighties fashion. What you can't see in this picture is her side ponytail. She didn't have quite enough hair to pull it off, so it's more like an off-center pony.

Then it was time for me to get ready. I pulled my cut-off jean skirt out of the bucket of bleach in which it had been soaking all day, donned my legwarmers, and then got out the most powerful weapon in my arsenal: my aerosol hairspray:

That's me on the left, with my friend Heather. What you can't see are Heather's totally awesome Bon Jovi and Warrant pins. And I'm proud to say that's all my own hair. I also do my own stunts, like dancing to HammerTime (not pictured).

Things were going really well at the party until this really creepy Astros fan showed up. We were all uncomfortable and just tried to avoid looking at him:

What's a little scary is that I had to buy things for my costume. Jeff already owned everything he's wearing above. Other parts of the wardrobe required slight modification:

That's right: Jeff has lines shaved into his hair. I'm the luckiest woman alive.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ph.D. Fight Recap

Four doctoral programs and two alternates showed up to the ring this season. The contenders were varied, ranging from the slightly strange Salukis to the decidedly un-picturable Cornhuskers (huh?). What began as an almost certain victory for Sam, the breeches-clad Minuteman, turned into a brutal battle between the jaunty Jayhawk and bowlegged Bulldog.

Round 1: Salukis vs. Jayhawks

The first contenders in the ring were the bizzare, greyhound-like canine from Southern Illinois and the brightly hued avian fighter from Kansas. While early reports favored the Saluki for obvious reasons (he has teeth, for one), in the end the Jayhawk won out, stomping on the pooch's permed ear before finishing him off with a series of well-aimed pecks. But it was the audience's amused hooting that finally sent the bedraggled mutt from the ring in shame. Who can blame them? That's one weird-looking dog. Result: Kansas Jayhawk

Round 2: Minutemen vs. Bulldogs

While Sam the Minuteman was widely believed to be the top contender in the doctoral division, it became obvious early in the second round that the Massachusetts patriot would have more of a fight on his hands than he had anticipated. The first blow to the buckle-shoed biped was the removal of his weaponry--no guns in the ring, house rules. Without his trusty musket, Sam was left with only his fists to protect him, and those puny defenses proved less than worthy against the snarling, salivating "Dawg" from Georgia. Result: Georgia Bulldog

On the Sidelines: Cornhuskers vs. Boilermakers

It's worth mentioning our two alternates before moving on to the final round. Though neither fighter made it into actual competition due to lack of funding, both the Nebraska seedcorn farmer and the Purdue mixed drink/steel craftsman warranted serious attention. Though many would likely weigh the match in favor of the steel-wielding, muscle-bound worker from Indiana, analysts felt the strapping, corn-fed Husker would prove a difficult opponent. Sadly, we'll never know the result of this match-up. Result: Unknown

Round 3: Bulldogs vs. Jayhawks

Not many foresaw these two fighters facing off in the final round here at Tig Arena. Certainly the stocky southern Dawg, a late addition to the tournament, and the cartoonish Hawk weren't favored early on, but their constant efforts to train for the match demonstrated their commitment to the cause. The fight was down to the wire, the Dawg occasionally gaining ground before being bested once again by the blue bird's brilliant beak. At times it was difficult to see what was going on, let alone predict an outcome: the ring was a mess of blue and red feathers, scraps of crimson t-shirt and bits of buff fur. But as the air cleared, the Dawg lay exhausted, panting and henpecked. The Kansas Jayhawk was lightly chewed but victorious. Result: Kansas Jayhawk
April 15

April 15 is not just tax day--it's also decision day for Ph.D. applicants.

So, wondering where I'll be going to grad school? Click here to find out.

More later.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Some recent Charlotte-isms:

While running around in her bedroom before bed:
"Charlotte is busy."
"Kitty lives in the office."
"Charlotte has a diaper...cover her business."
"Mama did a turtle yesterday...big, big turtle.*"
"Remember Meisha ate the cups? No, no, Meisha."

The recent trend for Charlotte is to add her favorite words to a sentence: anymore, already, all by myself (all by-self), tomorrow/pretty soon, yesterday. Sometimes these modifications won't make sense, as in "Tomorrow Charlotte saw a kitty already!" But other times she's right on, as in: "Charlotte go up-a stairs all by-self."

She has an amazing memory for certain things that have made a strong impression upon her (see the quote above re: Meisha and the cups). She'll bring up things from months ago (lately she's been asking to go see the dolphins at the aquarium, from our Chicago trip in early February), recalling a surprising amount of detail.

She knows our family members and friends by name from meetings with them, but also from another of her favorite activities: watching the slideshow screensaver on my computer. It can keep her occupied for several minutes, and she'll often run a commentary whilst watching. "Oh, there's baby Charlotte! There's Uncle Awesome! Papa read a book to Charlotte! There's mama and Charlotte! Ooh, funny Nana! Uncle Mark and Aunt Katie (whose engagement photos are among Charlotte's favorites)! Charlotte and Aunt Mindi watching dolphins! Uncle Steve and Charlotte in-a swing!"

She makes up little songs to describe her current or anticipated activities, as though living in a musical. In a little sing-songy voice, she'll sing "mama gett-a Charlotte in-a morning...go breakfast." It's rather sweet.

Every night before bed we say a little prayer, and then I say "Now we'll cuddle and Mama will sing to you, and then Charlotte will fall asleep and sleep all night in her own bed, until the morning when mama comes to get you." This is as much a prayer (a hopeful, wishful prayer), but it's also become a kind of litany that she repeats to herself in a content little whisper.

Pictures coming soon. Spring has sprung and we were out enjoying it yesterday and today, with photographic evidence.

*Not true. It was a moderately sized turtle.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Dear New Neighbor,

Welcome! When our long-time neighbor moved out, a nice single man in his 60s, we wondered who would take his place. So when your UHaul showed up last week, backed up onto our lawn (oops! I'm sure that was an accident!) and you and your friends began unloading, I started spying. I did so under the premise that my baby wanted to look at the "huge truck," but in reality I was scoping you out. Hope you don't mind! Anyway, you have some nice stuff. I also noticed you have a kid, or at least the trappings of a child, maybe even two. Siderail for a kid's bed, various children's toys, etc. "How nice!" I thought. "Perhaps a new friend for Charlotte!"

So, anyway, welcome to the neighborhood. I just have a couple of questions:

1. Why so stompy? Are you sending us some sort of coded message? Are you spelling out "I need a babysitter" in morse code as you clomp up and down your stairs in what seems like an endless cycle of climb and descent? Or maybe, "Send me takeout?" Because I can tell you are frustrated with cooking, which leads me to

2. Why so slammy? I have a secret for you: the cabinet doors and drawers will stay closed even if you don't slam them shut. I KNOW! It takes some people years to find this out, but because I care about you, new neighbor, I wanted you to know right away. Also, pans will stay on the stove even if you don't bang them down onto the burners. It's called gravity!

3. Why is your child still up so late at night? I hear him, shrieking and carrying on at all hours. Perhaps, new neighbor, he's acting out because he's tired because he never sleeps! I especially enjoy hearing him clatter about in his bedroom as I'm trying to put our own daughter to bed at the relatively normal baby-sleeping time of 8 p.m. Fun, fun times! Thanks, new neighbor!

Well, just wanted to welcome you, and let you know how happy I am we're moving out this summer...I mean, how happy I am to have you next door! Really, really happy! WELCOME!

Hugs and kisses,

Your friend next door

Thursday, April 03, 2008

This morning, when I went to get Charlotte out of her bed, she was repeating to herself, "No more mama in Columbus. No more mama on a plane anymore. No more mama in Columbus, etc." I think she's glad I'm home.

Me, too.