July 18, 2001
Outside Contact

Today's Pic
The only difference from day to day is the book on the end of the couch. Today's read: "The Messies Manual."
One year ago (or thereabouts): If you happen to stumble across a collection of pages that have been created by color-blind billionaire tycoon supermodel Pokemon-enthusiasts from Brazil, those will be my kids, God bless 'em.

I actually have some non-Sam-related news today!

Not, of course, that I don't relish every precious (non-scream-filled) moment of every day with him, but I've lately been feeling a bit disconnected with the rest of the world. This problem is partly worsened by the fact that we have yet to install the carseat in my car. When Eric is home, we can travel out of the house all we like, but during the day I am effectively housebound. Walks around the block don't really cut it, especially when one of us can only handle about ten minutes in the stroller before beginning to complain, and loudly.

Where was I? Oh, yes, my news. I received a phone call from the sister of one of my mother's friends; she's writing a book and as invited me to be involved. The book will be a compilation of about fifty "Day Diaries" written by "a diverse group of American women on a single day." On July 31, we'll all chronicle everything we do, as well as add thoughts and perceptions - like a, well, journal. She asked me to participate as a new mother living in the Midwest; she has no idea that I have this for a hobby.

"Lots of women find they really enjoy keeping a diary," she told me over the phone.

"Yes, I know. I actually keep a pretty regular journal already," I responded.

"Really? That's great!"

I was just about to tell this unknown writer about my journal when I suddenly found myself making mental connections and not liking the possible end results. Writer woman tells her sister, who tells my mother...Nope, better safe than sorry.

I happily agreed to be a part of the project. My diary may not actually appear in the book, of course; she'll be talking to hundreds of women in the hopes of getting fifty great day diaries, and the rest of us may see only a sentence or two of our own creation, or may only see ourselves in the "collective glimpses" section, where the whole group of women will be sorted in various ways to illuminate our similarities and differences. Still, it should be great fun, and there's always the chance that my diary will be picked; a diarist profile and a portrait will accompany the ones that are. My fifteen minutes of fame? A definite possibility.

Actually, I can't wait to read the book, regardless of my involvement. Sounds intriguing.


Grandma and SamMom was here this weekend. I was so, so glad to see her! She walked into the living room and plucked sleeping Sam from my chest before even saying hello, and the only feeling that rushed through my mind was one of overwhelming satisfaction. She should be here with her daughter and her grandson; it simply seemed right.

If his current level of fussiness is any indication, then Sam enjoyed her visit as much as I did. He was thoroughly stimulated the entire time - tons of singing, dancing, googling, and toy rattling. Sam was cuddled more this weekend than any baby in history, it felt. I don't think he was ever put down at any time except for the night, and then he slept like a very small, warm, exhausted rock. Mom is a "baby woman"; even on vacations, surrounded by strangers, babies will stare at her and smile. Once, at a DixieStampede in Myrtle Beach, the mother sitting next to Mom couldn't get her little one to stop crying - until, in desperation, she handed her off to my mom. Total bliss. This weekend, Sam was the fortunate recipient of all my mother's baby-settling powers.

Looking like Buddha in his sleepAs I mentioned, though, Sam is now quite the fuss monster. Actually, today's been much better, so perhaps he's beginning to settle again. The past two days, though, have been terrible; Sam's demanded constant attention and activity during his waking moments, and he's not allowed us to remove him from our arms during his sleeping moments. That's been true of today, too, but at least he's smiled most of the time while awake.

My life has been greatly improved by her visit. While Mom was here, she tutored me on my diaper pinning technique. I was having tremendous difficulty getting the diapers to contain Sam's "activities," so Mom worked with me to improve the fit. As it was before, the covers were needing changed with every single bowel movement; now they only need changed about half the time. Hurray! My washer is much happier. She also revealed the reason behind Sam's "now you see it, now you don't" case of baby acne: whenever he nurses, the cheek pressed against my arm sweats terribly and comes away covered with heat rash. The solution seems to be a blanket or diaper draped over my arm. The added wait for his dinner disturbs Sam minimally, but not as much as his reddened face seemed to bother him.

I think I handled her departure much better this time. I only cried a little, though Sam was noticeably confused by my tears. We're planning a visit next month, so the thought that I'll be seeing her again so soon helps to alleviate the pain.


Whoops, I have to run! Sam will allow me only brief periods of computing, and this one just ended. Perhaps I'll be able to deal with the mounting pile of email later tonight after Eric gets home.

My little man
How serious and grown-up he looks in this picture;
I didn't notice it when I took it. Kind of scary,

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