I was watching House Hunters the other night, and one of the women looking for a house kept complaining that the floorboards were too squeaky, and that they’d wake her daughter. She was talking about a specific floor board here or there, but that was apparently enough to be a deal breaker for her. I scoffed at her pickiness and went to check on G.

Creeeeeeak, went the kitchen floorboard. Creeeeak creak creeeeeeeeak as I tiptoed across the kitchen. Halfway to G’s room I heard, “Mama? Mama?” I froze. I waited a few minutes, hoping he’d go back to sleep, and then tried to back out of the kitchen. Creeeeeak. “Mama?”

It took me about 10 minutes to back out of the kitchen, G asking for me at every step. These 100 year old houses have very creaky floors, and apparently my son has super duper hearing (though this is the same kid that can sleep through an alarm going off IN HIS ROOM with nary a murmur…I guess it depends where he is in his sleep cycle).

Farewell to my pumpkin

On October 31st, 2007, I learned an important lesson: Whole Foods discounts ALL of its pumpkins to $5 on Halloween.

G and I scored a monster pumpkin that weighed at least 25lbs. I wedged it into the footrest of G’s stroller and we slowly bounced our way home.

Suffice it to say that Halloween was a little busy, and that pumpkin never got carved. Instead it sat on our stoop through all of November, with Mr. Fizz constantly asking when I was going to throw it out and me adamantly maintaining that I wanted to roast the seeds before I tossed it.

Sometime in December the pumpkin made it upstairs and into our front study, the first step to getting its seeds roasted. And there it sat. For the next two months. I was fortunate in that it did not turn to mush, or show any visible signs of rot at all. However, today it made its final trip down into the garbage can (seeds still intact).

Next year we’ll go for a 6 month pumpkin.

The next best thing

Hey, three posts in a day!

My next knitting project is a baby sweater for my friend Christine’s impending arrival. It’s going to be based on the pattern on this bag:


She’s having a girl and I’m so excited to finally do girl colors! The background will be purple, with magenta and lavender accents. I’ll replace the purled pattern with a colorwork pattern. Can’t wait! Just have to find a sweater pattern to base it on….

Kauni Complete!

Overall this was a fun sweater to knit. I just wish the yarn was a bit softer. Because it’s wool it’s kind of scratchy so I’m not sure G will be willing to wear it. I was also hoping that blocking would help out some of my misshapen squares, but no dice. I didn’t really block this well – just swished it around in warm water with some conditioner in it then laid it flat and stomped on it for a few minutes. It’s currently drying on a towel.



If I could find a softer version of this yarn I’d be in love.

pros and cons

G kindly gave me the virus he had last week. It has settled into my warm, cozy chest and every time I laugh it rears up its head and makes me cough. That, and it’s given me a stuffy nose.

The good side? I can no longer smell baby poop. I am completely oblivious to G’s dirty diapers, and unless I catch him making his poop face I have to resort to manual checks.

The bad side? I can’t taste anything either. And with Mr. Fizz out of town I was all set to enjoy four solid nights of Framboise Lambic and mint chocolate chip frozen yogurt. At least this way eating all our leftovers won’t be so bad. I’ll just pretend they’re gnocchi with pesto.


I work in what is possibly the least secure building on the MIT campus. While the main biology building requires a building-specific card for after hours entry, our building easily accessible without using a card at all – you can either mosey on in through the medical building, or navigate the basements until you get to our stairwell or elevator.

Theft is a constant problem in our building; my wallet and camera were stolen out of my bag one weekend last year. Laptops and wallets routinely go missing if researchers don’t lock them up when they’re in lab over the weekend.

Researchers have complained for years about the state of our building; in all cases we were told it was too expensive to put card readers on all the doors leading into the building – and besides, our new building will be ready in a few years. I even mentioned the lack of security to one of the members of the building’s advisory board, and she trumped me by telling me that when she was a grad student her lab was next to a hospital; for fear of marauding drug addicts she would simply leave a bucket of needles and syringes outside her lab and then lock the door if she had to work late.

However, it appears that the powers that be have finally heard our requests for more security: this week signs reading “Restricted Access: No Trespassing. Authorized Laboratory Personnel Only.” appeared at two of the building’s entrances. I feel safer already.

Sleep redux

My little angel took fifty minutes and all of my patience to go to sleep tonight.

Because I am a wishy-washy marshmallow puff of a parent, I have never made G adhere to a bedtime routine. Prior to this week, our nights consisted of a struggle to get G fed and changed, followed by either playing or watching a DVD until he had a breakdown. At which point I wrestled him into his room and nursed him until he was asleep. Only when he was fully asleep did I transfer him into his crib.

Turns out this is a bad strategy. Not only was G’s bedtime variable, but he clearly believed that the only way to fall asleep was nursing. Awake at 11? Gotta nurse. No, Aba, your very presence offends me. Awake at 1? Nurse. Awake at 3? 5? Nurse and nurse again. The last couple of weeks we’ve had between 2 and 4 wake ups per night. Three nights ago I threw in the towel and decided to start a nighttime routine in the hopes that G would learn that he, too, can put himself to sleep.

Now, at seven, we get G changed and offer him some food. We brush his teeth and wash his face. We then go into his room and read a few books. Then I nurse, usually for 10 minutes. At that point, G is usually still pretty talkative, so I put him in his crib. The first two nights, he hummed and signed for about 20 minutes, and then fell asleep. Tonight, there was talking, and signing, and repeated re-enactments of everything he’d done today (“Ice cream! Grammie! Grandpa! Ice cream! Bird. Airplane. Bulldozer. Horses say neigh! Grammie booboo.”) On and on and on. G would periodically sit up, and then grudgingly comply when I told him to put his head back down.

Eventually I had to use the worst threat I could think of: if he didn’t go to sleep, then Aba would come in. Aba ended up patting him for a few minutes, and then we let him cry in 5 minute increments until he FINALLY fell asleep.

I don’t know how many more nights of this I can take….