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Because, apparently, this is as cerebral as I get these days.

  • M. developed a case of shingles.  Shingles develops when your autoimmune system is out of whack, which can happen when you’re stressed.  M. is very stressed – it was only a matter of time.  Happily (?), it’s only on his leg (so far, knock on wood), so it’s not as painful as it could be, and he hasn’t had much opportunity to spread the joy to, oh, say, the baby.  MM’s had her immunization, but C. won’t be old enough until he’s one.  We’ll see if anything transpires, but he’ll likely miss it this time around.
  • The “m” key on my keyboard is sticking – this is not good.  Right now, this is the only computer I have that works properly.  I’m notoriously hard on keyboards, but I can’t think what might have happened…unless a certain toddler was involved.
  • Potty training has gone…absolutely nowhere.  She’s getting pretty old to be in diapers – she’ll be 3 at the end of May, but no serious interest in potty training yet.  To be fair (to her, that is), I haven’t been pushing it much yet.  Between being painfully pregnant, then recovering from the C-section, then working on breastfeeding, etc., I haven’t really been in a potty training place, either.  And now we have the trip to M.’s parents’ place next month…so I’m thinking of starting in earnest once we get back, if she doesn’t show any real interest before then (if she does, I’ll go with it.  But, so far, all the observations that her cousins go potty, Mommy goes potty, Daddy goes potty, but C. doesn’t because he’s a baby, have failed to impress her).
  • Speaking of C., he had his 4 month checkup today and he’s a little butterball.  A short, fat butterball – came in at the 75th percentile on weight and head size (!!), and 25th percentile on height.  He comes by it naturally enough, but it’s kind of funny anyway.  He’s well recovered from his little Baby Bjorn adventure, and lately he’s been working on lifting his head, babbling, and even reaching out for stuff (perchance to get it into his frothy mouth).  No interest in rolling over, though.  And we’ve regressed on the sleeping front – he spent all of last night in the papasan.  The doctor, happily, did not seem to be bothered by his ad hoc sleeping arrangements – his main concern was that he was still sleeping on his back.
  • I’ve called a general hiatus on all things dissertation until I get my bearings household-wise.  I feel like I’ve been burning the candle on both ends – with the home/children on one end and the dissertation on the other – and it hasn’t been working out at all.  So I’m trying to just get adjusted to the new reality before I try to see how the dissertation fits in to all of it.  I didn’t realize how much I was really stressing about the dissertation, though, until I walked away from it – it’s nice to have the break.
  • There are a couple of unbloggable things that have in/directly contributed to M.’s stress/shingles.  I wish I could write about them, if for no other reason than it would feel good to get some of it off my chest, but suffice it to say that sometimes people suck.  I hope we don’t have to pay for the suckitude of others.

And, on that ambiguous note, I’ll wrap this up.  C. had more shots today and he’s a little out of sorts – not like the last time, but he’s nursing four places on two legs and I think it just plain hurts.

Here’s a question…

What is up with all the “China Doll” stuff?? My parents, who persist in thinking that “Oriental” is the correct term for “(East) Asian,” have never used this term, but I keep hearing it. Once was from a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile, who kept saying that MM looked like “a little China doll” – which, of course, isn’t really how I’d describe my frequently flatulent, invariably independent, rough-and-tumble toddler. But she was – or, at least, seemed to be – talking about how MM looked, and it made me wonder why someone would make a racialized comment on her looks.

I’m not stupid – I know she didn’t ‘mean’ anything by it, but it made me wonder why anyone would think to comment on the cuteness of a child – common enough – by referring to her race. I don’t walk up to pale children and comment on their whiteness (although there is a scene at the beginning of Desmond Nakano’s film White Man’s Burden in which a black woman – a member of the privileged class in the context of the film – makes a comment about cute white babies that’s absolutely classic).

And then last night, while I was trying to get C. to go to sleep, dammit, I was watching “Jon & Kate” on TLC do a Q & A with emailed questions, and one of the questions was about whether Kate was upset (not the right word, but I forget what the actual word was) that her kids looked so Asian. And her response was that she was glad, actually, that they looked like Jon (who is cute as a button and so are the kids, and why not like that they look Asian?), because she now has her own little China dolls. And I’m thinking, you know, WTF???

In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I spent a long time thinking and saying that “half” kids were the best-looking – mainly because where I went to school (Hong Kong), there were a lot and almost all of the biracial kids I knew were stunningly good looking. They did modeling – that kind of good-looking. And I was pasty and fat and white and frizzy-haired, and comparatively speaking they were incredibly attractive. But I didn’t marry M. for his ability to provide me with attractive biracial children, and when I think of their races it tends to be in the context of how they’re going to learn to be biracial.

For the record, M. and I were talking about their biracialness the other night, and we discovered that I think they look more Caucasian, and he thinks they look more Asian. Which, assuming it translates along racial lines to their grandparents (mine think they look more white), bodes well for being accepted on both sides. After all, M.’s mom did announce that MM got her big eyes from her side of the family*, so I guess there’s not much worry that they’ll find them too white. MM’s temper, though, she attributed not to her Korean side but to my (nonexistent) Irish side. Um…yeah. 😉

*This is actually entirely possible. M. has fairly large eyes and that double-lid thing that people get cosmetic surgery to create.

**Sorry about all the editing – I wasn’t describing the J&K thing to my satisfaction…

So…

I broke the baby. Or, rather, the baby broke my fall.

I managed to get through all of MM’s infancy without actually drawing blood, but not so with C. We were all heading out for a walk yesterday afternoon (after I’d promised and promised MM that we’d definitely, positively go for a walk after her nap), when I slipped, twisted sideways, and fell flat on the ground – with C. facing forward in the Baby Bjorn.

The good news is that, by some miracle for which I’m very grateful, C. only sustained some minor cuts to one patch of skin on his forehead (and there’s not even much of a lump to speak of) and a pretty well-lacerated, but otherwise unharmed, pinkie finger.

But all I remember is the sound of his head hitting the driveway. If I had to recall the whole thing for a court of law, I would insist that I heard his head crack right open – but the material evidence suggests otherwise. He never lost consciousness, his eyes were fine, and after he finished screaming about the pain, he simply continued to scream about what he’d been screaming about all day – gas.

He was fine. I’m recovering. MM was scarred by…the hole in my pants (which, she insisted, was going to make Daddy angry. With her. Because, you know, Daddy beats and berates her on a regular basis*). I don’t know what bugged her so much about the pants – I’m guessing it was just the wrongness of the ragged hole – but she had to drag M. over to have a look when he got home from school, and then apologized for it. His response, as I told her it would be when she expressed worry over his reaction, was just to say “It’s okay; are you alright?”

But she still woke up this morning going on about the damned hole. Not the abrasions on her brother’s forehead (about which he’s also pretty nonchalant – and he’s a much more pleasant person today for having finally passed gas and pooped), but the state of my pants. Because (queue welling toddler tears), “We have to go get new pants.”

Damned straight. Those pants were one of only two pairs I can wear right now. I think it’s time to stop eating for two and get back into the pre-pregnancy clothes once and for all.

*No, he does not. Daddy doesn’t even believe in raising his voice. Daddy’s one questionable disciplinary tactic is to tell MM she’s “being a bad girl,” and this is questionable to me only because I’m a big believer in going after the specific behavior (“you’re not being a good listener”) rather than the character. But I’m the primary disciplinarian, anyway; Daddy is generally the go-to guy for fun and games.

A few changes

Since I’ve come over to WordPress (ie: I’m not hosting my own blog anymore), I can’t use certain widgets that I was using before – namely, the one that allowed me to comment, LJ-style, to comments, and the one that allowed me to crosspost over at Live Journal.

I’m a bad responder to comments on a good day, but I’m working on it, and you’ll be able to see any recent comments from me over in the “recent comments” sidebar.

I mainly moved because the WordPress version available at my webhost is hopelessly outdated, and I don’t know enough about all of this to learn how to manually upgrade it to the current version.  If I’m over here, I get better support; QED.

More later, but for now, enjoy the new digs. 🙂

I have a post about TCKs brewing, but right now C. is trying to engage me from the bouncy seat, and MM is managing to get all her toys everywhere.  So, here’s a couple of recent pictures to amuse and entertain:

(we decided that he’s an earth-tones kinda guy)

and

Daddy and daughter, both looking cute.  I managed to cut her bangs without too much trauma, and she’s just recently started letting me put her hair up in ponytails, so she looks so grown up to me.

Milestone!

Of the quick kind, since C. just woke up from his nanonap.

Today is C.’s 3 month birthday!!  I realize this is mainly a milestone of the babywear kind, but he’s now a quarter of a year old.

Still not showing signs of sleeping in the crib, though.  And he has a cold that’s making him a little cranky, complete with watery eye (just the one) and loud, old-man sneezes (no delicate little “achoo”s for him).

But three months is three months, no matter how you cut it.

Just wondering…

I’m toying around with the idea of creating a password-protected dissertation blog.  It would probably be very light on the “why oh why can’t I get work done???” side, and heavier on the explication-with-images-and-video-where-appropriate side.  With snippets of writing along the way.  The reason I’m playing around with this is simply that I get enthusiastic talking about this stuff, it’s kind of interesting in its own right, and it does kind of constitute ‘drama’ of a benign sort to have a blog whose purpose is to try and see a big project through.

But I don’t think I’ll do it if I can’t get at least three people interested in reading – too depressing.

So, I’m just wondering if any of you would be interested in following along on such a blog?  Having the password would not constitute any kind of contract requiring you to comment regularly (although the occasional comment, when provoked by something I’ve written, would be like gold in my impoverished little hands).  If you’re interested, can you drop me a line by email at xilerui [at] hotmail.com?  There are no worries and no hard feelings towards any/everyone who prefers to pass on this – I’m just wondering if there’s any interest out there.