The Superbowl is coming up, which means it's time to link my all-time favorite commercial:
And a runner-up:
Equal pay for equal work. It's not a hard concept. You have a right to sue your employer if you're being denied payment and benefits or if you're making less for the same work as others. Unfortunately, in the past you were forced to psychically know that you happened to be making less within 180 days of that first paycheck, in companies that by and large forbid emplyees from sharing salary information. Until now--now you can sue within 180 days of any paycheck if you find out you've been discriminated against. A hardship for employers? Not if they're following the law to begin with. Enter the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, signed into law today. All I have to say is:
Click on the picture to see more of Theo's first month!!
Ever wanted to see a video where, instead of the words to the song, the singer just described what's going on in the video? Well now you can!
Words cannot express my joy whenever I hear the words "President Obama." We thoroughly enjoyed the inauguration (evidence in the extended entry), and I think many other bloggers have covered the ground I would cover in describing my happiness.
So instead I'll talk about the inaugural poem.
There seems to be a nearly universal dislike of Elizabeth Alexander's poem, which I think is too bad, because I thought it was a very good poem. What was not so good, however, was the delivery. Alexander spoke as. if. every. word. had. a. period. after. it. The effect was something similar to how you'd speak to someone who had only heard the English language just recently and had taken one beginner's class in an attempt to learn it. Who was also hard of hearing. And standing there with a dictionary looking up every word. In the dark. Sadly, the emphasis on every word as a separate entity sounded more like a vocabulary list or a spelling test rather than words connected into a sentence expressing a coherent thought.
Which was really too bad, since I thought it was a very good poem.
Therefore, I have re-produced the text of the poem below. Go ahead and read it in your head (or out loud) the way a normal, fluent English-speaker would, and I think if you didn't like it during the auguration, you may like it much more now.
Praise song for the day.
Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.
Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.
A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."
We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.
We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."
We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.
Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.
Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen tables.
Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self."
Others by first do no harm, or take no more than you need.
What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.
In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.
There--doesn't that sound better?
Dear President-Elect Obama;
It is with great anticipation, excitement, and hope that I prepare to watch your inauguration. For the first time in my life, I feel that we are on the verge of something magnificent--something that will change the world. I feel blessed to be a part of it.
Mr. Obama, 3 weeks ago I gave birth to my first child, a baby boy. Looking at him, I have been doing a lot of thinking about the future, my hopes and dreams, and the world my son will inherit. I think, "What do I want for him?" I don't care if he becomes a doctor or a lawyer or a ditch digger. What I want for him is much bigger than that.
I want him to be a strong man; I want him to know that strength doesn't mean always getting your way.
I want him to show kindness to others; I want him to remember always the kindness shown to him.
I want him to feel pride; I want him to know humility.
I want him to be healthy; I want him to never take his health for granted.
I want him to be prosperous; I want him to share what he has with those who have not.
I want him to be talented and smart; I want him to work hard to develop his talents and foster his intelligence.
I want him to be successful; I want him never to forget that success is only possible with the help of others.
I want him to find true love; I want him to recognize that love comes in many forms.
I want him to be treated fairly; I want him to stand up against injustice.
I want him to know how to defend himself; I want him to always work for peace.
And when his time is done, I want him to know that he has made the world a better place.
And I realize that these are the very things I want for this country. These are the things I want for you, Mr. Obama. Yes, I want the economy to be fixed, the skies to be cleared, the hungry to be fed, the disenfranchised and marginalized to be empowered, the children to be educated, and for diplomacy to come before war. My son is so tiny, it's hard to believe he will ever become a full-grown man--but I know and have faith that he will. So too, do I have faith in you, Mr. Obama. For the first time since I was small myself, I truly believe that all these things are possible. And to quote John Lennon, you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
Well the little mouse is sleeping in his crib right now. I hope he's able to get back there after Kevin takes over for the night shift. He made a little trip to the doctor on Friday--he had a small rash on his chest which turned out to be a normal baby rash and will clear up on his own, but because he's so young the doctor likes to see him in person just to be sure. In the meantime, while we were gone, Scout had to go to the vet. Thursday night I noticed that she seemed to be struggling a little to get up the ramp in the back yard. I did a short back examination and thought I got a slight reaction at one spot. I asked Kevin to take a look at her and watch her, and he agreed that she seemed to be a little off-balance, so in she went. Sure enough, it's a flare-up of her back problem. She ended up on IV steroids and spent the night at the vet's, but is luckily back home now. Apparently her back seems to slowly be getting worse, as we expected. She has some calcifications between some vertebrae, and the spaces between other vertebrae are getting smaller. There's not really anything we can do except try to limit her jumping and running and just treat flare-ups as they occur. It's been so windy here, the gate across the stairs has blown open a couple of times. We think she cheats and takes the stairs when the gate is open (the gate covers half the stairs and the other half are covered by the ramp, so when the gate is closed she's forced to take the ramp--but she'd much rather take the stairs and does so every chance she gets). So a little more vigilance with the gate is in order as well. Still, she's going to be just fine. It's nice to have our little Scouter home, although she doesn't really like the crate rest she's being forced to take. It's just for a few days though.
Sometimes Theo has trouble keeping his binky in his mouth.
moar funny pictures
I had an extremely productive and extremely unproductive day today. It started out very well. I got several things done that I wanted to do--put the mattress cover on the crib mattress, remove the crib bumper, figure out what to do with the crib bumper (more on that later), put the sheet back on the mattress and the mattress back in the crib, threw some laundry in, put the proper bag in the diaper pail (we have a diaper service and so need the bag with our account information taped to it), and most importantly, gave the baby a bath. Which he loved. Not. Oh, the sorrow and sadness in the world, as expressed by Theo during his bath! I even got him to sleep in his crib for a little while (more on that later) and got the baby monitor working. And we had Tummy Time!
And then we hit the afternoon.
Meet the bouncy chair.
Theo is a Big Fan of the bouncy chair. And by Big Fan I mean Refuses To Sleep Anywhere Else. Yes, I'll admit it. My son has, for a good 2 weeks of his very short life, slept in the bouncy chair nearly all of his sleeping time. If that makes me a bad parent, so be it. Don't worry--his airway is clear. I checked.
Now the bouncy chair has two main features. One is that it has "Calming Vibrations" (battery not included) and the other is that it bounces, either when the baby moves, or if you press on it with your foot or hand. Theo thoroughly enjoys both of these features. So much so that he really can't/won't sleep on a non-moving, non-vibrating flat surface. Like, oh, say, a crib or bassinet. The problem is that in order to keep the bouncy chair bouncing, you have to physically move it yourself. This gets tedious. I mean he does eventually sleep without you having to bounce it, but that can be a challenge. I have had varying degrees of success weaning him off the bouncy chair by stopping the bouncing, then shutting off the Calming Vibrations, and then moving him to his crib, and this would of course be the ultimate goal, but said success is fleeting.
So after my very productive morning, I basically spent the entire afternoon making the bouncy chair bounce. Which is precisely what I'm doing right now.
(We do have a swing, which I pray will remove the necessity of bouncing the bouncy chair yourself, but it was defective and we're waiting on the manufacturer to send us a new motor. Lovely.)
So today was Theo's first
vet pediatrician visit. I was a little concerned we would get an F- in parenting, but luckily we're doing just fine. Theo is growing very well--he's now up to 8lbs, 11oz, a gain of 1lb 3.5oz, and he's also gained an inch and a half in length. He's in the 50th percentile for weight, length, and head circumference. We really liked the pediatrician, who was recommended to us by a family at church. She was very nice and thorough and extremely friendly. All-in-all it was a good experience, if you're not Theo. He cried pretty much the whole time, poor kid. And he didn't even get any shots!
Well, our son--the one with the picture-perfect-doesn't-even-need-to-be-airbrushed--skin has developed a nice case of baby acne. Poor kid. Well he doesn't care, but gone is his beautiful skin! He literally went to bed one night with clear skin and woke up covered in acne. Fortunately this doesn't necessarily portend an acne-prone adolescent face. Yes, we looked that up. We're new parents, okay?
He's also doing an excellent Winston Churchill impression, in the way that so many babies have that Winston Churchill mouth look. He kind of makes little mouth movements that look like he's elderly and chewing on his dentures. It's simultaneously cute and creepy in a Winston Churchill kind of way. My hope for him is that he never loses all his teeth and has to occupy his time gumming himself in his old age.
I am pleased to announce that Theo has survived--nay, thrived!--his first outing into the public sphere (besides visiting the hospital and the grandparents). He slept through our entire trip to Target and visited In-n-Out, where he enjoyed several ketchup-dipped french fries.
Kidding. Just one french fry.
Nope, the little mouse slept through the whole thing. He was so good, and it was SO GOOD to get out of the house for me! Plus we stopped by the great-grandparents on the way over, and great-grandma got to give him a bottle, which she was absolutely tickled about (and was really cute). Great-grandpa even whipped out the camera to chronicle the moment. They're just clearly smitten with Theo. What a lucky little guy to have so many people who love him!
So you get all kinds of advice when you're about to become a parent (and when you are a parent), and I certainly did my share of prepatory reading. And everything--everything I read or heard said that you should never spend money on newborn sized clothes, that you should only buy 0-3 months, that they will outgrow newborn sizes in about 4 minutes, and that they're a waste of money.
This is bad advice.
Theo was 7 lbs 7.5 oz at birth, and 19.5 inches, which places him squarely in the "average" category of newborn sizes. Like, literally--50th percentile. One would assume that having produced an average sized infant, that the above advice that everyone gives would be accurate.
Which is why Theo is absolutely swimming in his 0-3 month clothes???
The only reason Theo had something to wear his first few days before Kevin could make it to Target is because my friend Melinda, whose daughter Veronica was very tiny, sent us a stash of truly newborn-sized newborn onesies. She sent all of Ronni's gender-neutral colors, but by day 3 I was ready to call her and say, "Send the pink ones too!!!"
Kevin did get to Target and get a package of newborn onesies and newborn footies so Theo doesn't look like he's drowning, and like a stylish lad, has some variety in his clothing options. But lesson learned. It may be the case that your baby will instantly outgrow newborn sized clothes and 0-3 months are the perfect investment for you, but if I had to do it over again, I'd buy some truly newborn-sized clothes in addition to those larger sizes. Maybe I would keep them in the package and see what size kid I brought home from the hospital--save the receipts and take them back if they're too small--but I do wish we'd had more.