Brain, semi-located

September 26, 2007 at 12:07 am | Posted in Bringing Home the Bacon, Home, Sweet Home?, M'ijo, The Sweet Life | 35 Comments
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Most of the boxes are unpacked. And glory glory hallelujah, we finally have both internet and a landline.

Both Pepito and his mommies have been enjoying the new house.

Looking out at his new backyard

Looking out at his new backyard.

I love being upright

Proudly walking (not independently, thank g-d) amidst the boxes.

I can fit through here

Peering through the “chubby kat” cat door.


The house has a semi-finished basement room, which we call the playroom. Here’s the “adult” side. I got this on Saturday at a yard sale for $60 – delivered.

P'ito's Side of the Playroom

And while the mommies play pool, the boy can play with his toys… A lot of these were left for us by the previous owner.

My friend MC is right: move is a four letter word. Go give her some lurve, she has been through hell lately. I hate it when things don’t work out for my friends.

I started my new job on Monday.  So far… so good.  I am a little nervous about the expectations people have of me – after waiting a year for someone to start, it’s easy for that person (um, me) to become supergirl, the imaginary solution to all problems.  On the other hand, the position has been vacant for a long time, and I’m basically starting from scratch (well, from scratch with an office full of files going back to 1973), so anything I do will be better than the nothing that was happening before, right?

I have to choose an insurance plan, or negotiate a pay raise (already, I know: I am supergirl) that would enable me to stay on Pili’s excellent insurance and spare new employer the expense of covering me.   Amazingly, for a very small, rather financially challenged organization, they are paying my whole premium. This may change once they discover what I will do to their insurance costs…

Last year, Pili paid $3800 dollars for the privilege of having me on her insurance.  If Employer paid me $4000 extra, I would happily stay on her coverage.  Of course, Pili’s employer’s contributions to my health care are not tax-deductible – in fact, they are counted as additional income and she is taxed on them!   

I am usually pretty good at figuring these things out, but for some reason, my eyes have been glazing over on this decision.  Tomorrow I will find a detailed current benefits & costs list for Pili’s insurance and post the new options and the current plan here and let you all tell me what to do.  I also have to find out how diabetes and pump supplies are covered under the different plans… most of them have a 50% co-pay for non-generic perscriptions.   I am terrible at swallowing pills, and the generic version of my anti-depressent pill is not coated, so it always gets stuck in the back of my throat and tastes nasty.  In order to avoid tasting battery acid in the back of my mouth all day, I have my doctor write that one DAW and pay extra for the name brand.  But I may get depressed all over again thinking about how much that stuff will cost me with a 50% copay. 

Finally – I swear this isn’t strictly a mommy blog…  although I know it sure looks that way at the moment.

But our boy has started doing some really incredibly cute things.  He’s cruising all over the furniture, and he loves to push his little walkie thing around.  He has also started kissing.  Last night, we were reading Whose Knees are These and when we got to the last page with the picture of the baby, he kissed it over and over again.

This morning, he was occupying himself with his second favorite passtime – pull-all-the-books-off-the-shelf – (his first favorite is pull-all-the-shoes-off-the-rack) and he pulled out The Happiest Toddler on the Block.  After studying it for a while, he started kissing the little girl on the cover.  By the time I got the camera out though, he was trying to eat the dust jacket.  I hope it’s true… you are what you eat!

You Are What You Eat

This post is already reeedicuklously long, so I will not get into the Great Sleep Wars of 2007 that have been waged around here.  Except to say, please tell me about how you and your partner fought bitterly disagreed entirely had very difficult times deciding what to do with a child who Does Not Like to Go to Bed.  Even when he is Very Very Tired. 


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  1. yay! So glad you guys are settling in. & super glad that you are back on line. The photos are adorable.

  2. Nice to see you’re settling in.

    For the bedtime thing, only Number One Son was tough getting to sleep. I think it’s really important to get a bedtime “ritual”. Follow it all the time and eventually he will realize there isn’t going to be anything different…

    Ended up that we set up a set time to go upstairs, would attempt to bore him to sleep by naming every object in his Richard Scarry books for half an hour (my husband usually did this as I would fall asleep and let #1Son escape). Then we would leave the room, returning every ten minutes (gradually longer) for a quick cuddle, putting him back down in the bad, giving him his favorite toy again and leaving.

    It took a few weeks (ok more like 10) to settle him in to that but I was later glad we didn’t have a kid who required us to hold him every night until he was asleep (I could tell you horror stories of my sisters kids who are 8 and still wont go to sleep without parents in the room…)

    Wow, my comment is almost as long as your post. Feel free to email or call if you want…

  3. Hello, my mirror self. Sleep wars? Way overtired? Didn’t mean to write just a mommy blog? Oy. Pequita’s new bedtime is about 10pm, and only after much um, negotiations. Monito has finally managed to hit the growth spurt that drains me dry & keeps me up at night.

    Must go – Pequita is making a snot painting on my arm.

    House looks great!

  4. Wow–good to hear you are getting settled. That $60 pool table is a major score, and great that you have so much space. Your little one is so adorable! What a love!!!

    My eyes were glazing over just trying to think about picking an insurance plan and all the decisions that go into it. I hope you find the best plan for your health, and your pocketbook!

  5. That first picture, as he’s gazing out into his new backyard with his fantastic polka-dotted pants, is excellent. Completely made my day.

    So glad to hear you guys have settled in and are getting comfortable! 😀

  6. We “bicker” about 2 main things, or did before I had a complete freakout, thereby getting my way.

    1) What to do with a screaming older baby/toddler in the middle of the night. My original answer was to go in to him and cuddle/nurse in the dark without being any more interesting than possible. Unfortunately, midnight snacks turn out to be very interesting.

    My partner’s answer was to get up and take Noah downstairs to play with his blocks, read books, and watch tv. Also interesting.

    Also, it was mostly my job to deal with these middle-of-the-night screamfests. Which is why when I finally hit the end of my rope and declared that we were going to do the comfort at 3,5,7,10,15… minute intervals but otherwise let him cry and NOT get him up at all, I got my way. The good news is that it’s been months since either at weekend naptime or during the middle of the night, we’ve had to go in after the 7 minute interval.

    2) Routine at bedtime. It’s boring. BOR-ING. And it takes a long time. Again as the nursing mama, there are parts we can’t take turns doing. But we haven’t gotten a good routine that both of us can live with yet. So we still bicker.

  7. Sleep wars – I only have myself to argue with and that’s bad enough. I can’t imagine having to figure it out between 2 adults. Good luck – sleep problems are so tough to deal with.
    Glad you’re settling in at home and at work.

    Kerri and Ruby

  8. good to hear from you! you all have been VERY busy, but the house looks great. Congrats on starting the new job, and good luck figuring it all out. Good luck with bedtime, too – I wish I had some advice!

  9. I waited until he went out of town for a few days, then instituted sleep training, which worked like a charm (18 minutes of whimpering followed by 7 hours of sleep). By the time he came back she was a crib-sleeping baby. For the next 2.5 years he still went in every time she cried at night and for the first while I berated him for it as destroying all my efforts (it really did), but he paid no attention and kept doing it anyway, so eventually I gave up and decided that if he were committed to getting up every time she cried for 25 seconds he could handle all hte bloody nightwakings himself.

    Then again (ahem) I am separated, so you may not want to follow this advice to the letter, per se.

    You got the job after all! Last I heard itw as still up in the air. Yay!

  10. […] post by Artificially Sweetened Related ArticlesBest Way To See Damage In Knee Osteoarthritis Is To Measure Joint Space […]

  11. Great that you are settling in well! Looks like the new place is wonderful! Good luck with the new job!

  12. El muchacho esta haciendo muy hermoso.

  13. whatever you DO do – it’s simply about consistency and routine.

    Ping me if you want the details of what we did. It mostly involved me going to spend the night at a friend’s house.

    But now? CHAMPION SLEEPER, B”H….

  14. That picture of him with the purple jacket is just adorable. What cute cuddly cheeks.

    As for sleep wars, decide who’s going to be in charge and do your best to stick with that decision. Being consistent really helps.

    But we saw lots of sleep challenges with our youngest after he first came home. In the end we discovered that singing him to sleep worked well and I did that for maybe a year. Now he’s happy to listen to a CD at bedtime and that works most of the time.

  15. Pepito is gorgeous. GORGEOUS! It looks like he’s really enjoying his new digs. Congrats to the 3 of you for making it throught the move and best of luck to you on Monday.

  16. We used the baby whisperer when he was 6 months old, so I don’t know if that will help you.

    Can I just say…. CUTE BABY TUSHIE! CUUUUUTE.

    Good luck with sleeping and pay raise.

  17. i *love, love* those polkadot pants!

  18. So glad you finally got to start the job!

    Congrats on getting the boxes tamed…and the little one is darling.

  19. Of course, Pili’s employer’s contributions to my health care are not tax-deductible – in fact, they are counted as additional income and she is taxed on them!

    Ah, the Queer Tax. fostermama and I are HUGE fans…um…not. I reduced my hours recently, so have to increase the amount I pay for insurance. So with that and the queer tax, I’m barely taking anything home. Now if NY would get on the freakin’ gay marriage bandwagon already…

  20. Glad you’re settling in.

  21. And I just noticed that Squeak’s sneakers are now world-famous!!

  22. Love your new place. And those cute pants!

  23. As I sit here bleary-eyed, I have no advice on the sleep. Other than when you figure it out, let us know. 🙂

    Glad to see you’re all settled in, and I LOVE the pants in the first picture.

    Good luck with the insurance decision-

  24. Your son is absolutely adorable! I am glad you are getting settled in and that the play room is set up and ready.

    We battled the sleep wars too. Guapo’s foster mother held him until he was waaaaay asleep. For this we were very grateful because of the love he received and also frustrated because this is what he required. But, alas we broke him of this after Steph and I pulled our hair out and became alcoholics. Nawww, just joking.

    The routine is bath, lullabies on the cd, a sound machine and book reading. We put him in bed, and left the room. As the crying continued, we checked on him every 10,15, 20, 25 minutes. The key is to not talk or make eye contact, just lay him down and pat him for about 1 minute and leave the room. Eventually he fell asleep. Now he sleeps at least 10 hours every night. The key is routine.

    Sorry for the looong comment.

  25. I love Pepito’s circle pants!

  26. happy housewarming!

    i have a wordpress questions… how did you customize your sidebar, like adding those links. you’re not coding CSS, are you?

  27. I want to kiss those dumpling cheeks!!!

    As has been said above, for bedtime it’s best to stick to a routine. A cd of soothing music to keep him company is also good. Lights low. You might want to put a VERY heavy curtain over the window to block passing car lights.

  28. This is a tough one for us, too. E has decided that getting up in the night to play is FUN and has now become a routine. Sadly, my routine prefers sleeping/dreaming through the night.
    The especially hard part is the whole adoptedkidaddedunknownstressor. Even if a kid is well attached, which I think E is, I can’t go for the crying it out bit – couldn’t that bring up feelings of abandonment and freak out pretty easily? It’s a toughie.
    I concur about the consistency of whatever you do and a predictable little routine helps… otherwise, call me if you get any great ideas.
    I’m reading the adoption parenting book (by EMK Press)now, Ok planning to read it this weekend. It has a few chapters on sleep. I’ll let you know if anything amazing jumps out at me.

  29. 1) Congrats on unpacking. When I was doing all the work around the house in prep for the little ones I think I finally unpacked all our boxes from the move 2 years ago.

    2) Pepito is way cute!

    3) A pool table rocks. I’m jealous.

    4) I don’t know if “Happiest Toddler on the Block” is as good as the “Happiest Baby on the Block”, but if it is, it’s worth its weight in gold. Seriously, we’d be dead in the water with out this. I recommend it to any expecting parent (and even better is the DVD).

  30. He just keeps getting cuter! I am glad you are finally to the emptying boxes stage. Happy Home Making!

  31. Adorable pics!!! I can’t believe how he’s growing! I’d give you advice on sleep, except that it’s our number one problem these days. So instead I’ll just incoherently mumble some and drift off in a sleep-deprived daze.

  32. He’s adorable! I’d say the sleep thing is caused by excitement over all the new things in his life – new house, new toys, new everything. He doesn’t want to go to sleep and miss anything.
    We got our son to sleep by having a routine and keeping bedtime very low-key and soothing. No running around, peek-a-boo games, chasing the cat or whatever got him all jacked up. It would be bath, low lighting in the room and a story.
    Whoever was putting him to bed would remark that we were very, very tired and we were going to sleep too (big yawns.)
    This will work but you have to resist the temptation to go in to him when he cries. It’s not like he’s suffering, no matter how it sounds.

  33. First off, I hate that you love your new house and job….because we miss you terribly! LOL! And we miss Peptio too!

    Seriously, you all just moved and Pepito has to have some time to adjust to the new house. Could the sleep stuff be because of that? I think finding a middle ground between you and Pili works best. I know that Cheryl and I have disagreed from time to time on bedtime issues. Our little one doesn’t like going to sleep and can vocalize now “Why do they even have a thing called sleep?” LOL. Thankfully for me, Cheryl capitulates to me and then the problem is solved. KIDDING! Cause I know she reads this blog. So much about parenting is working together, figuring it out together. You both came from different parenting styles and both have your own opinions. It will work out. I promise.

  34. As a wise person (that would be you) said to me before my first visit trip…Cut yourself some slack!
    Seriously, you’ve all gone through some major changes lately. I believe change of job, moving and having a baby are all in the top 5 major life stressors list.
    I have no sleep advice as I still have no baby at my house. But I’m thinking I might take a nibble out of that Happiest Toddler on the Block book.

  35. Pili speaks!

    I just wanted to give an update on the sleep issues, because so many good people left funny, reassuring, and helpful advice. We backed off on the “cry it out” approach after some miserable nights then we moved to the Dr. Sears’ “parenting to sleep” method which involved exhausting hours of shushing, singing, rocking, etc. till he fell asleep in our arms. Actually, I learned a lot from Art-Sweet because I think while I was successful in getting Pepito to sleep in my arms with minimal crying, he would pop back up again after 30 minutes or so. Argh! Art-Sweet’s method, which involved more crying on Pepito’s part, got him to sleep and stay asleep. When I acknowledged that her method was actually working better in the long run, it allowed me to switch over to a New System (my love of systems, I confess, occasionally tries the patience of my sweetpea), recommended by some wise person on this blog: The Baby Whisperer method. Wow! What a God-send. Besides establishing a calm routine (which all methods advocate), it involves almost constant shushing, and a lot of picking him up when he cries, comforting him briefly, then laying him right back down in the crib. It’s not for people with bad backs. I think this is actually working. He’s much calmer at nap and bedtime, and learning to comfort himself to sleep.

    There’s so much conflicting advice out there: Attachment Parents say “Crying it out is abuse! You’ll lose the trust of your child FOREVER!!!!” while Baby Whisperers refer to comforting a child to sleep as “accidental parenting.”

    Why does this sleep business arouse such venomous talk? Compared to the way these authors talk to each other, Art-sweet and I were paragons of civility!

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