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pruneduchess wrote in thatyouenter
Oh hai guys whats up
6:40 AM, riding the bus to work for day 4 of a big experiment I'm doing, hoping hoping for a cool result. It was a logistical coup figuring out how to do this - cells have to incubate here for 36-40hours, there for 4, here for 24. I need to be in this day for 5 hours, this day for 30 minutes twice, and so on, fitting it all together like a puzzle in between jay's work schedule, doctor's appointments, picking up and dropping off Finn for his weekly babysitting dates with (thank you, so grateful, couldn't do it without you) grandparents and Helen. Jay and I had both expected to be doing more at home work, but I still have a fair bit of experimental work to finish up, and since Jay's team got decimated by layoffs, it's been more important for him to go in in person. So we run around and around. My boss had warned that transition times - like time between house and work, between work and daycare - are the real killers in making working mamahood work. It's true that if I could instantly teleport to work, I would do it, and there would be more time in the day, but I rarely actually resent the time on the bus. The quiet alone time, playing scrabble on the device, or actually filling in my lab notebook, or reading a letter, or drinking tea, is welcome.
Anyway though, we are both running around town a lot, working really hard at our jobs, giving Finn maximum cuddles, and usually by the end of the week we both feel a little bit like tissue paper butterflies.


Later, and the experiment didn't work. But grad school is all about refining your palate for not working, and this one didn't work in an OK way - more like a didn't work yet than a negative result, an inexplicable inconsistency, or a total catastrophe, the kinds of not working that would have been worse.

But this is a baby blog, not a grad school blog (for that I refer you to whatshouldwecallgradschool.tumblr.com). Little Phineas is really exploding with new skills and personality these last few weeks. He went through a period of being pretty grumpy, when I think a lot of things colluded to make life difficult. Jay and I both started working more often, he started teething in earnest but hadn't learned how to chew on his own hand yet, I tried reintroducing some foods back into my diet, and he had some sort of virus I think so he was not sleeping well (back to every hour and a half wake-ups, ouch) and was having these humongous throw-ups in the middle of the night and was congested and just generally in pain. But then we moved through that! And now it's just delight, pretty much morning to night, and in the night he's mercifully doing 4 hour stretches generally, which is utterly liveable.
He's started giggling and squealing when something awesome happens (like when Jay sneezed in the bath the other day - that was a real hit with the younger set) which is a hilarious sound, all snorty and high pitched. He's getting the hang of having hands - definitely understands now that he moves them around and they can grab things and then those things can be in his mouth. He tries to do this when breastfeeding though - grabbing the boob with both hands - but then he just ends up with a mouthful of fist and is confused and frustrated. He'll get there. He's also in this period where everything everything everything is incredibly interesting and he doesn't want to miss it, so if he's trying to eat in a room where adults are talking or somebody is moving, or really anything is happening at all, he does this one-second-on, five-seconds-off breastfeeding that's cute but not really effective. It is an interesting world, I sympathize. I'd probably be annoyed if I had to be pressed into a flesh wall whenever I ate too.
He's also a lot more mobile - we'll wake up in the night to find that he's a foot closer to me, perpendicular to how we put him down, and headbutting me in the arm with a sober determination, like Sauron's army at the doors of Helm's Deep. Plus he rolled over back to front a couple days ago too, in his growly chompy eagerness to eat. So that's a signal that a lot in our lives is about to change again. Until recently we could just put him on his back on the ottoman, looking up at the ceiling fan, his third parent, and he would contentedly stay in place for like an hour, chirping and purring. Those days are ending....

OK, and now for the pictures...
Finn asleep in the bathtub:
We took an All-Sibling All-Cousin outing to the Ballard locks, which included, of course, kid-tossing. Here Caden is terrifyingly airborne.
The old house got back together for Shauna's graduation - which was SO COOL, I cannot overemphasize. First of all, tremendously proud of Shauna who overcame a ton of obstacles and worked her butt off (she basically wrote a novel as her senior project) to get that paper. Second of all, tremendously grateful for Nova, her high school, which works so hard to honor and accommodate all these creative, unusual kids who don't thrive in regular high schools. I cried so much at the ceremony - a teacher spoke about every student, and every student got to say a few words if they wanted, and it was so moving to hear about all these amazing young people.
The proud, possibly slightly shell-shocked graduate:
Phineas has certain concerns about your plan. Please reconsider.
I made him a sweater! Raglan sleeves like my grandmother used to always knit. It is dashing.
We're so lucky that Jay's brother Charles and his girlfriend Bri come to visit so often. Finn just loves them so much.
Esme and family returned for one last visit. Esme drew some fish. Here they are.
Papa walk! I love those skeptical eyes peering over the carrier.
This last weekend we went on an awesome camping/hotel/music festival trip to Anacortes with our dear friend Kaia - so fun!

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I am the poet of the woman the same as the man,
And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man,
And I say there is nothing greater than the mother of men.

I am the poet of the thunder the same as screaming fighter jets,
And I say it is as great to share fried chicken as to drink cider by starlight,
And I say there is nothing greater than sparkles and dolphins, and Anton Ellis, and Mount Eerie, and Lori Goldston, and meeting new neighbors, and delicious hagelstag,
And I say there is nothing greater than waking to a happy child's laughter,
And I say there is nothing greater than friends.


I love this so much, Kaia! thank you and thank you.


I am still so boggled that I can look at a baby--not even a walking-around kid, but a *baby*--and recognize my friends' faces in his. Seriously. I'm trippin' balls.

Also, as everyone expected, you two make parenting look amazing and rewarding and graceful. You are officially Those Guys.


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