Back to Life, Back to Reality

No, it's not 90's flashback day here at WuKids; it's the day Nate goes back to work and our good friends head back to their home in Kentucky after a week-long visit. It's the first day of my normal life after having had Theo and making the move to Bloomington. I'm finally on my own with these two boys, this time for good, not just for a day or two at a time. It's real and it's a long-term deal.
I've had a lot of help up until now... people going to the grocery store for me, people bringing me water while I nurse. I'm going to miss the special treatment, but I'm looking forward to establishing some sort of routine.
Simon begins preschool one week from tomorrow. I'm exited about my two hour break, but trying to keep a realistic view of what I can get done in that time. Maybe I'll just use it to nap for a while. Hmmm.

I tried to post some cute pictures to make up for the boring nature of this post, but Blogger isn't cooperating. I'll try again tomorrow. Until then.


On Being Your Own Expert

I ran across this post, and it really expresses how I feel about certain baby books, and about relying too heavily on the "experts." Right after I had Theo, I was so frustrated and confused about which expert to listen to. Now, two months out, I feel much more confident about listening to myself. At first, I was obsessed with having a schedule. I felt like that was the only way I would survive. Now I feel like listening to my baby's cues is the best, easiest, and most manageable way. Moxie's post pretty much sums up my thoughts. And I'm going to subscribe to her blog now. A sleep-deprived mother can benefit greatly from the thoughts of a sensible, well-rested mother. Help me Moxie-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.


Baby Feo* Forever.

*This is how my firstborn always refers to his little brother.


Bob Dylan: Good Songwriter, Bad Music Critic

"You listen to these modern records, they're atrocious, they have sound all over them."
-Bob Dylan

P.S. I wonder what John Cage would think about this complaint.


This kid definately has my DNA

In the car today, on our way to Wal Mart, a transcript of my convo w/Simon:

(turn on the car, radio is tuned in to WESN [which is not bad by the way])

Simon: What kind of music is this?

Me: Rock music. (Simon has been learning about the different genres of music lately)

Simon: What's this rock music about?

Me: It's about how this guy likes a girl.

Simon: I want to hear rap music.

Me: Me too.


Public Service Announcement

I've been meaning to post about this for a long time. I'm wondering if all you blog readers out there know about Bloglines. Nate and I are the only ones who subscribe to our blog, so I am guessing that our regular readers may not know about this awesome site.

Bloglines allows you to "subscribe" to your favorite blogs. Then, instead of going to each individual blog, you just log into your Bloglines and it tells you who has a new post. That way you don't have to come over here all the time only to discover that we haven't written anything new. It's so easy... I subscribe to 56 blogs. Since Bloglines tells me when they have a new post, I don't waste my time looking at old stuff. It's brilliant. You should try it. If you regularly read more than one blog, it's totally worth your time to go over there and create an account. You can thank me later.


It's Me Again, Finally.

Hi, Everybody.

Just a few free minutes to give you a quick update on the move and the state of my fragile little heart.

As much as I wanted to hate Bloomington, it's turning out to be a pretty okay place. Here is a reader's digest version of what I love and what I could live without.

Let's do the dislikes first:
1. Next door is a lady who runs a daycare out of her home. Simon, social butterfly that he is, always wants to go outside and play with her charges as they ride trikes around the driveway. This wouldn't bother me, except that I'm not crazy about how this lady interacts with the kids. Plenty of yelling, a dash of sarcasm, and blatant stereo-typing (the first time we went over there, she pointed out to me the trouble-maker, the cute one, the smart one, and the dud). I want Simon to play with other kids, but I don't enjoy hanging out with our neighbor. Maybe she'll retire soon?
2. As Nate mentioned, another of our neighbors has a demolition derby car. He can frequently be seen (but mostly heard) wailing on it with, I kid you not, a huge sledgehammer. It's loud, but also amusing. I can usually chuckle about it, except when it happens while somebody is trying to nap. Then it's downright annoying.
3. Our only bathroom is upstairs. At first this was really irritating. But I guess I'm getting used to it.
4. It's not Chicago. So that stinks.

On the upside:
1. This house is pretty sweet. We have sooooooooooooo much space, it's out of this world. An attic and a basement. Big bedrooms. A porch. I've never had a porch before in my life, so I'm eating it up. After working hard for these last few weeks, this place is finally beginning to come together. And it looks nice.
2. When Sam was here for a visit, he explored the town a bit, something we've been too busy to do. Among his discoveries were a delicious Thai restaurant, a nearby park, and a cute little health food store within walking distance. I was pretty thrilled to know about these places as one of my major complaints about moving down here was that I wouldn't be able to walk anywhere. But I have been proven wrong, happily.
3. After a few days of keeping Simon cooped up and heinously bored in the house while we worked, it became clear that one of my first priorities should be finding a preschool for him. As luck would have it, we found a cooperative preschool right down the street. It's a 5 minute walk, and the teachers exuded love for their students. They quickly won us over. We took a tour in the morning and by day's end we had called to reserve our spot in the 10-child class. Simon will be at school from 9-11:30 every Tuesday and Thursday, starting in a few weeks. I am excited. For one thing, Simon and I could use an occasional break from each other. Also, I know Simon will LOVE school. He'll love the kids. He'll love the play. He'll wow the teachers with his encyclopedic knowledge of animals. All this, only 2 blocks away from our house! Glorious.

I think I'll always pine for Chicago. But life here in Bloomington might not be as bad as I thought. I can be happy here, I think. It's getting better all the time.



Where we stay at. I'm not an expert on Bloomington/Normal (dem twins), having come from this spot right here, but from what I can tell there's 3 basic regions: Illinois State University and the surrounding area, which is populated by college students; the east side of Normal, which seems to be populated by the folks with more cash, with malls and tons of stores, reminds me of Chi suburbs; and downtown Bloomington, which includes Illinois Wesleyan University and the areas to the south of IWU. We live in that last one, which is, of course, the best of them all. It's the oldest part of town and seems to be the most economically diverse. Old-ish lady next door runs a day care for about 7 or 8 kids every week day. Dude hooking up bass in his trunk the other day right outside of our kitchen window. (by the way: Why is my bass better when the trunk is open?) Probably my favorite neighborhood occurance so far has been watching two neighbors prepare their demolition derby cars in their driveways. One of these rituals included banging the sides of the car with a hammer, apparently with the goal of making the car look more badass.

There's a Wal-Mart Supercenter really close to our place. I have unfortunately entered it quite a few times already. Who knew that there would be such a problem with graffiti at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Bloomington? Not I.

Speaking of retail, there's also a Blain's Farm and Fleet nearby. I love Farm and Fleet. It makes me feel like I'm surrounded by my relatives, cause my parents and their siblings are country as fuck and Farm and Fleet is hick through and through. Plus they sell bags of any kind of candy or snack you can imagine, in a huge quantity, for insanely cheap. As a matter of fact, I need to re-up my supply.

Monday I went to ISU's library to use their wi-fi and got yelled at by some frat boys out of their car window. It was really hot out and I had my pant legs rolled up a bit. I think they said something like, "Hey, your pants are rolled up!" It was awesome.

Yesterday we found out what Simon's favorite song is. It's the instrumental to "Poppin' My Collar" by Three 6 Mafia. Since I'm such a rap nerd I have the instrumental version on my mp3 player, it came on yesterday when Simon and I were in the car. After it was over "They Want EFX" came on and I'm thinking about how long it's been since I listened to some Das EFX (it's been a minute, let me tell you), when Simon starts freaking out. "Want to hear that other music!" or something like that. I was surprised but knew exactly what he meant as soon as he said it. Turned it back to "Poppin' My Collar (Instrumental)" and he was happy, but after a few bars said "I want this music to be louder." He kept requesting "louder" until the thang was as turned up as possible. We then proceeded to listen to that instrumental track three more times after that, all the way home, making a total of five times back to back. He was still upset when we got home and had to turn off the car, replacing "Poppin' My Collar (Instrumental)" with the sounds of crickets and whatever other weird things you hear in our neighborhood down here. Then, maybe an hour later at home, we put it on because Laura wanted to see his reaction. He instantly beamed and then danced with Laura as we listened to it another three times or so. If anyone wants to hear it, I can post it up here to download, it really is brilliant.

Today at a stop light some skinny country looking guy wearing an un-ironic trucker cap, sitting in a huge pickup truck was listening to some southern sounding rap that I really liked but had never heard before. The midwest is funny.