instant gramming

August 30, 2010

Charity Album: Do Fun Stuff (Kids songs)

so this here widget links you to a charity album that just launched from a good blog I frequent, Pacing The Panic Room. In his words "100% of the proceeds from the sale of this album goes to a grant fund I established with PRISMS. The money will be made available to grad students who wish to make SMS their field of choice, the benefit of this is more hard research being done, which leads to more case studies, which leads to more answers for parents and researchers." I'm pumped about having some cool kid songs to enjoy with Ellie.

August 18, 2010

Outdoor work

Today (which marks the third of four consecutive days I will spend spraying herbicide on or cutting invasive cattails) I considered the different perspectives of a person with the archetypal 9-to-5 desk job and someone with an "outdoor" job. I've had conversations with people who have "inside" jobs and I've wooed them with stories of getting paid to hike through nature preserves taking inventory of plants and signs of animals. The sort of work where I even find myself asking "How do I get paid for this?"  But what about the end of the day? when you go home and get to make decisions about what you will do with your time? Well, after 6 hours of wading though knee-deep muck, under full summer sun, carrying a plastic backpack with a gallon of poisonous liquid herbicide, wearing rubber gloves as if they were keeping the chemicals off my arms and face... I could go on and on... what I want to do is sit down and stare at a screen. TV or computer will do. When C asked if I wanted to go on a run last night I laughed at the thought. If work hadn't kicked my ass, what all would I have the energy to do? Granted, I'm oversimplifying this and there are days when I get to do some cool stuff. But some days are just brutal. Someone recently asked if I would trade in the sunburns for a button-up shirt... right now I'm thinking I could handle a button-up shirt if when I got home I had the energy and desire to hang outside and get sunburned on my own terms.

August 11, 2010


I'm writing this in homeward transit from a two-day, out-of-town job. Not sure how I got out of driving on this return trip, but it is affording me some time to finish data entry, chat with C, and catch up on my stories. Two days hanging out in farm fields under a merciless sun, trudging through oppressive heat and humidity, picking up wood ticks along the way (just found another one!); not to mention the goofy work schedule that kept us outside until 9:30 at night and the fact that we weren't able to settle on dinner until around 10:45... and bed by 12:30.
At 5:30 this morning (when I was waking up to start our work day) I found text messages from C about Ellie waking up crying several times and Alden barking and needing to go potty. Sweet. All of this has amounted to an increasing feeling of helplessness and frustration and resentment of my job.
Not sure what to do...

August 4, 2010

La Familia: It takes a town

For the past week-and-a-half, we've called on our family to come help us out by providing daycare while our normal babysitter is off on vacation. My mom, Grandma, and C's dad, Jagee (The phonetic spelling of a version of the Polish word for grandpa, Dziadek) split up the work between them and have come from the corners of the state on different days, agreeing to stay on a futon in our pathetic excuse for a guest bedroom just to help us out and get to know their granddaughter.

It was not unlike a miracle, this act I witnessed, that demonstrated the strength of love between a grandparent and his granddaughter: Ellie was barely drifting off to sleep in her bouncer in the living room while Jagee was FB-ing on the computer when he was overtaken by a series of his sneezes.  "Sneeze" doesn't come close to describing what it is that he does. Technically, yes; but the force that releases from my father-in-law, is unworldly.  C was sitting next to Ellie and it never failed that for 5 times in a row, as soon as Ellie closed her eyes, Jagee sneezed.  And for as long as I've known him, those sneezes are punctuated by the gasps of surprise from anyone in the vicinity; that is to say, not an "excuse me." It's not offensive and I, just like everyone else who knows and loves him, accept it and forget it. But on Monday, when apparently Jagee was sneezing all day long while babysitting Ellie, he made a valiant effort to muffle those sneezes and bring them down to a volume normal for mortal humans. This simple act really underscored how much he loves his grandchildren.

Anyway, their help, and the help from all the rest of our family has been amazing.