dusting off the ol' keyboard

I have moved twice since the last time I posted a blog. I have an alert on my phone from October 31st telling me to write a blog, and that was already after a 3-month gap. I guess I dropped the ball a little bit. There are many things that I could talk about, but I will just stick to one topic for this blog, in the hopes that I can start posting more frequently. In this post, I give the primary reason for my lack of posting: my new job.

I heard a funny (or so I thought) saying about teaching sometime in the last year or so. It was something along these lines: "Being a teacher is great because you have a very flexible schedule: I can work whichever 60 hours per week that I want!" Man, I really thought that was a joke. I chuckled to myself a little bit. It was not going to be that bad for me.

Well, I didn't keep track of hours exactly, but for my first semester teaching at MBU teaching took a huge amount of time. Planning lectures for 3 different courses that I had never taught from textbooks I had never read kept me busy pretty much every day. It ate every bit of what could have been free time after Lucas went to sleep. Most weeks, I found the time to take one evening off. Sure, I could have worked while Lucas was awake, but I already missed so much time with him while I was at work. Every day when I got home (or sometimes through text while I was still at work) I'd hear from Sharayah all the hilarious things he did, or the new things he learned, or the new things he could do. It was really hard missing so much, so once I got home each day I spent as much time with Lucas as possible. That was the choice I made.

I am truly thankful for my flexible schedule. If I had been offered a job with conventional hours and no work to do in the evenings but no time with Lucas in the morning and being away from home until 5:30 or 6 each day, I would have refused. I got to be with my happy little family in our happy little apartment by 3:30 or 4 every day, and many mornings I didn't have to leave for work until 10. For that I traded my evenings. It was worth it. Of course, in the coming semesters I plan to get the best of both worlds. Eventually, as I start teaching more and more classes that I've already taught before, I will be able to do my lecture planning much more quickly.

(Rereading those paragraphs, I feel like it might come off as though I only miss Lucas while I'm at work. Of course, I miss Sharayah as well, but she doesn't go to bed at 7. I get to spend time with her even while I work at night.)

Hopefully this doesn't come off sounding like I'm complaining. I've really enjoyed teaching this semester, and I know that time-wise it will only get better. As always I had to battle against the strange apathy of many students (why would you pay to go to college and then make no effort to learn anything?), but I also had students who put in huge amounts of effort, in particular in an upper-level pure math class that I taught. For most of them, it was their first theory and proof-based math class (as opposed to a computational math class), which is always a very difficult step. I think most universities start proof earlier on in easier classes, but these students had really had no experience with proof. Many of them coped with it impressively. However, I am still proposing a few classes to be added to the math program to better prepare students for this and other upper-level proof-based courses. I have some pretty big plans for the math program here. Hopefully I'll be here for a long while.


wish come true

Dear Lucas,

I wished for you upon a shooting star. You're my little star baby come true. You're my answered prayer. You're my tiny miraculous wonder.
It was a chilly, wet evening. Your dad, Uncle Shawn, and I were making a few laps around a darkened walking track. I had underestimated how cold it would be that night and was regretting not bringing along a hoodie, but I found the chill in the air exciting, invigorating, a whisper of a reminder that winter was right around the corner. The thought of winter made me feel hoppy, giddy with the images of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and snow dancing around my head.
And then, right in the middle of my hopping and skipping, I saw it. For the first time ever, I saw a star go streaking across the sky. I couldn't believe it. I had always wanted to see a shooting star. It was on my bucket list of things to experience. And here it was! My shooting star!
Your dad and uncle hadn't seemed to notice that they had left me behind and were just plodding on ahead, probably still in the middle of an engaging conversation about some Atari game featuring Captain Picard playing baseball against Chewbacca. Or something like that. I nearly took off running after them to share my star excitement and I nearly forgot to make a wish. Nearly. But not quite.
I made my wish upon that shooting star, just for fun, just because that was a thing I had always wanted to do, just so I could have that one moment of childlike anticipation. I squinched my eyes closed as tight as they would go, and I wished. I wished, wished, wished for you, Lucas. I wished for you to come into this world. I wished for God to choose me to be your mommy. I wished for you to be my special little boy, my little hug buddy, my chubby partner in crime. I wished to know you, to hold you, to love you. I squinched my eyes and wished, wished, wished.
You are my fantastic star wish come true, lovebug.

I never knew how much love I could give until I met you. Watching you grow up this past year has been one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. You smile and frustrations melt. You laugh and everything makes sense. You hug me and time loses all meaning. You squeal and hop and wave your arms around and I'm pretty sure flowers just up and grow. Seriously. Getting to know you and getting to love you has made the last 365 days a true joy, memorable and fulfilling beyond words. I cannot wait to see the man you grow up to be.
Oh but please, please, please don't grow up too fast. Gnaw on the broom. Smoosh your nose on the screen door. Belly laugh until you're out of breath over me pretending to be a Rockette. Be my little boy for a little while longer. You're only one year old; there are so many more things just waiting to be drooled on.
Oh, Lucas, how I love you so. You are a gift from God, adorably wrapped in the squishiest of packages.

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him."
- 1 Samuel 1:27

PS. Choosing just one picture from each week of your life was ridiculously hard. God gave you two extra doses of cute.

Happy first birthday, my little munchkin.


neither here nor there

The air, the hair.
All I ever want to do is talk about the Boy. We packed up our Delaware apartment, traveled 900 miles cross country, and settled into a grand new place, and Jason has just finished his first official week of professor-ing, and yet all I want to write about is Lucas and the minutiae of his days. Everything about him is notable and wonderful and hilarious and worthy of being yammered about. In my opinion. Pre-Lucas, I was a bit of a bore when it came to conversations and socializing. Post-Lucas, I am most likely an even bigger bore when it comes to conversations and socializing, unless the topic is Lucas and then I will jabber until the cow comes home [and yes, I mean Lucas's stuffed cow that resembles a giant soccer ball and moos pitifully if you step on his left hoof]. Yes, I am one of those parents. Unashamed. My kid is that awesome. But, I suppose I should touch on a few non-Lucas things before I get pulled into the never ending whirlpool of life with munchkin. Cue the bullet points!
  • Due to rather unprofessional dealings on the part of the moving truck company we used, our moving day was unexpectedly moved up a day. This led to an abrupt end to our packing procrastination and Jason became Super[packing]man for 24 hours. It was a sight to behold. I did my part which mostly consisted of telling Lucas, "No, don't eat that dust blob." We're a great team. Due to Jason's heroic efforts, we were completely moved out of our apartment with seven minutes to spare. Our last night there was spent pretty similarly to the very first night we moved in five years ago: Sleeping on the floor of an empty living room with an open-weave blanket. It was perfect. 
  • We planned our cross-country trek to perfectly coincide with Lucas's daily schedule, which led to a pretty stress free [read: cry free] road trip. However, while our stops in Ohio and Indiana were timed well to ensure getting to the hotel in time for dinner and Lucas's bedtime, we did not put much consideration into the town the hotel was located in. And because of this, we ended up staying the first night in some Ohio town [if you could call it that?] that had no easily accessible grocery stores or dinner options other than a gas station Quiznos and whose hotel requested that you use their boot covers and boot scrapers before entering the building. [Note: Boot scrapers are not effective on flip flops.] Also, if you didn't own a pickup truck and/or a hard hat, you stuck out like a sore thumb. So, we were just three sore thumbs who were tired and hungry and lacking boots, dirty or otherwise.
  • Missouri greeted us with humidity you could slice through and swarms of weirdly tiny mosquitoes. I would have preferred a bucket of cherries and maybe an ice cream cake or two. Hear me, Missouri? Are you listening? CHERRIES.
  • Our new apartment suits us. It has many a perk, only a handful of "Hm, I wouldn't mind that being different," and ceiling fans. Perks are as follows:
    • Mail slot in front door. I, for whatever reason, have always wanted this. [Come to think about it, there are more items on my bucket list having to do with mail delivery than one would expect from someone who receives 6.4 pieces of personal mail a month (and yes, my USAA policy update counts as personal mail)...] I want to place our bin for recyclables underneath the slot so those annoying weekly coupon flyers are just immediately recycled. I want to figure out the mailman's schedule so Lucas and I can peer out the mail slot forlornly four days a week when he doesn't have any mail for us. I want to sit on our front steps, collect the mail from the mailman in person, and then turn around and schloop it through the mail slot piece by piece myself. So many plans.
    • Kitchen cabinets and drawers for days. No longer do I have to reach into a dark, overcrowded cabinet stuffed with our seasonings and spices and hope, hope, hope I pull out the cinnamon and not the cumin. Because, face it, people, cumin oatmeal is just not the best part of waking up. I now have two drawers filled with all of our seasonings! It's excellent. As for cabinet space, my Pyrex and other baking dishes are now on a shelf that I can reach without Jason's help or climbing on top of the counters. Fantastic.
    • Mario and Luigi survived [fingers still a little crossed] the trip in the moving truck and are now placed outside our front door. They look happy and get a lot more sun than they did on our patio in Delaware. Plus, they can now squirrel watch to their little leaves' content.
    • Ceiling fans. Ceiling fans. Ceiling fans.
  • Have you ever packed up all of your belongings inside a truck and wondered, "What if something happens and all of those things somehow disappear?" Well, we got to momentarily experience such a situation. The big truck pulled up in front of our new home to unload, opened its giant door, and... it was absolutely and completely empty. In case you were wondering, it's not the best feeling. Thankfully it was just another case of this moving truck company's incompetency and not because our stuff had mysteriously been stolen by a herd of moose somewhere between Delaware and Missouri. Whew.
  • Jason has finished his first week as Dr. Jason Vermette at MBU. Syllabi and lesson plans and calendar-ing have filled his days. Finally teaching something other than Calc 1 and 2 is pleasing to him, I think.
  • We are already frequenting the library. Kudos to their nifty self-checkout system. I needed this technology back when I was 12 and too shy to talk to the librarians. Seventeen years too late, library world! *shakes fist*
  • Sometime between unpacking our wall clock and finally getting around to hanging it up on the wall, the battery died. And we don't know where our extra batteries are. And we are particularly opposed to buying new batteries ever. So, in case you wanted to know, it is always exactly 3:44 in our living room. 
Ok, surely that's enough non-Lucas stuff to balance out this post, right? Now, if any of our five readers are of the "parents who talk about their kids all the time are annoying" opinion, this is your opportunity to stop reading. Go on, no offense will be taken. Go, shoo. Quickly now as I am about to Lucas-ify this whole thing.


Ok. Here goes. 

Lucas is incredible. I am pretty sure if the world were filled with Lucases, the world would be much funnier, healthier, and more drool-filled. My days literally consist of playing with Lucas, feeding Lucas, napping while Lucas naps, and saving the cat from Lucas. A few loads of dishes and laundry are sometimes thrown in there. It's a pretty nice gig. 

Sigh, I just became overwhelmed with everything that I wanted to say about the Boy and am fighting the urge to just overload this post with pictures of Lucas instead of words about Lucas.

The boy with the beat.
Lucas loves to eat. He is one of those human garbage disposal eaters. I had no idea this was a phase that could start even before his first birthday. He just eats and eats and eats. The kid still nurses every 2-3 hours during the day [no complaints here]. He shovels in yellow squash and broccoli like it's syrup-covered pancakes. He skillfully downs tofu cube after tofu cube, even when I offer them to him via chopsticks [he is an a-DOR-able chopstick-feeder Asian. seriously, it's ridiculous]. If you hand him a cheerio, he will deliberately place it between his front chompers and crunch down, every single time. That tiny little crunch is magnificent, every single time. We have reached the point where we cannot eat a meal without him waddling over, his tiny feet smack-smack-smacking against the floor, and asking for food. And don't even mention the word milk unless you're ready to fend off a very handsy 11-month-old. To round off his well-rounded diet and to further solidify his status as Human Garbage Disposal, Lucas loves to eat garbage. It can be cardboard, cat fur, strands of my hair he scrapes off the carpet, shoes, anything delectable he can lick off the stroller wheels, paint chips, grass, anything he can salvage from the bathroom trash can, tiny flecks of unrecognizable something from underneath the couch... You name it - if it is dirty, inedible, or not fit for a rodent, Lucas wants it in his mouth.

Story time: Lucas [luckily] has a very distinctive movement of his mouth whenever he's busy mulling over something he shouldn't be eating. It is one of those special safeguards God installed in young children so you know immediately that a prompt finger swipe of their mouth is needed. Oh so many finger swipes are needed... Anyway, upon seeing his little lips clamped tightly shut and his jaw methodically working back and forth, I swooped in for a swipe. In went my finger and out came... a stalk of broccoli? He had eaten lunch about an hour earlier and did indeed have broccoli, but he had definitely just been exhibiting his I Have Delicious Inedibles face, not his broccoli face. I asked Jason to finger swipe him and Lo and Behold! out comes some styrofoam. Little sneak. He thought he could fool us by relinquishing his broccoli stalk so he could keep his styrofoam. But we're too smart for him. And our fingers are too invasive. Better luck next time, little champ.

Cat and Boy are Friends-ish.
Lucas loves to look at books. I love to read him books. We make a good team. We order dozens of books online, pick them up from the library, and then it's like Christmas for the both of us. I am not ashamed to admit that on more than one occasion I found myself wanting to skip ahead to the end of the 16-page book to see what happens. But I resist. Most of the time. He loves books about cats, books that have flaps, books that mention Tweedle Beetles, and books about bears losing their hats [I do not think I can say enough good things about Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat. Absolutely hilarious books.]. Is it weird or terrible or inappropriate to have my list of favorite books slowly but surely coming to include a good number of picture books? Really though, I could read some of these books over and over and over again, even if I didn't have my captive audience of one rocking back and forth, toe-monsching, page-turning little boy. 

Lucas loves to play with a whole assortment of different things. Some favorites are:
  • Puma.
  • Me.
  • Jason.
  • His stuffed animals. Quietly opening his bedroom door and watching him play with his moose, elephant, fox, and hedgepig friends when he wakes up from his naps is priceless. Usually they all seem to get along grandly, but the other day I witnessed Little Critter being threateningly dangled by his mess of hair over the edge of the crib right above an already cast aside Eddie the Elephant. It was Lucas's first time to throw one of his friends outside the crib. I am afraid it will not be the last.
  • Things with moving parts.
  • Things with wheels.
  • Jason's keyboard. He especially likes to spin the dials so that the keys sound like explosions. Out of almost 500 sounds to choose from, I have no idea how he so often ends on explosions.
  • Uno cards. The blue 3 and the yellow 6 have been retired from duty. RIP.
  • Anything we don't want him to play with, like phones and wires and the television remote.
Lucas loves to climb on a whole assortment of different things. Some favorites are:
  • Puma.
  • Me.
  • Jason.
  • His stuffed animals.
  • Things with moving parts.
  • Really anything that will make him even a centimeter taller. Once, he put Jason's checkbook on the floor and then stepped on it in the hopes of reaching something previously out of his reach. He was sorely disappointed. 
Lucas is learning so many things these days. One of my constant struggles is deciding whether Lucas is a baby or a toddler, especially when it comes to knowing how to address various behavioral things. Is he a baby who is just acting like a baby or is he a toddler who needs to know there are boundaries he is expected to learn? Is he being stubborn or does he just not understand what is being asked of him? Being eleven months is a tricky age. He shows so much awareness and intelligence and understanding, but then he still can't make heads or tails out of how to make a food-filled spoon land in his mouth.

However, in the midst of all the whining for things he can't have and the fussing about things he doesn't want, there are so many more moments of sheer joy. They far, far outweigh the fussiness [though those 10 minutes of trying to get him into his pajamas every night make it awfully easy to forget his shrieks of laughter about you pretending to burp just moments ago]. He is truly becoming a tiny little individual. With each new skill he learns, whether it's how to wave or how to walk or how to gently pet the cat [ok, so he's still working on that one...], he seems more and more grown up.

Story time Part 2: Lucas has an obsession with tissues and toilet paper. He loves the stuff. He loves to unroll it, pull it from the box, rip it in pieces, and, of course, eat it. I think if you just set him in a room with rolls of toilet paper, open boxes of tissue, and maybe a thing or two of paper towels just to keep things interesting, he would be set for a full hour. Or three. However, as you might guess, this destruction of paper goods isn't the most pleasing pastime for the parents. Cute as it is, watching him rip and slobber on the last three sheets of toilet paper that you were just going to use [forcing you to awkwardly sit there wondering whether any of his scraps are salvageable] is a bit problematic, not to mention potentially costly.

So what's a mom to do? How do you manage to wrangle from him all of the tissues and toilet paper that he is trying to eat? The idiom "like taking candy from a baby" most definitely does not apply in this situation; in fact, I would like to make a motion that the phrase "like taking toilet paper from a baby" should be officially instituted as the direct phrasal opposite. If I try to take the tissue from him, he either cries like his cat died or immediately starts stuffing it in his mouth as fast as he can. Neither situation is acceptable. So, the following is what we now do:

I hold out my hand: "Lucas, may I have that please?"
Lucas holds up his fistful of paper, looks at it, looks at me, looks back at it, continues playing.
Still holding out my hand: "Lucas, may I have that please?"
Lucas holds up his fistful of paper, looks at it, looks at me, looks at it, and then rips the tissue into two and places the bigger piece [which is always in his right hand] in my palm. Continues playing.
I quickly hide the piece he gave me and offer him my other hand: "Aw, thank you. Lucas, may I have that please?"
He considers the request, takes his remaining [now much smaller] piece of tissue in both hands, rips it in half, and hands me the bigger piece.
This continues four or five times until he has just the tiniest scrap of tissue left.
I hold my hand out once more: "Lucas, may I have that please?"
Lucas looks at his fist, the last remaining bit of tissue just barely visible between his fingers, looks at me, looks at his fist, and then promptly shoves it as far into his mouth as he can.
And then it's finger swipe time.

The finger-swiped remnant was too gross to be included.
This is a regular occurrence. It's awesome and hilarious and oddly pleasing. Even though the paper is never usable by the time our "game" is over, I always feel like such a successful parent by the time we get down to that last tiny scrap. Maybe I have low standards, I don't know. I just immensely enjoy feeling like I made some kind of intelligent/behavioral connection with this tiny person. He's the best.

So, that's that. I believe I have covered a little of everything. It just barely scratches the surface, but it will have to do for now. I should blog more often. Perhaps then my posts wouldn't be such a spewed out explosion of words and thoughts. Ha. Good luck, me.

Oh, one last mentionable... I wasn't sure if this belonged in the non-Lucas section or the Lucas section, so I am going to put it here. At the end. So, before leaving Delaware, Jason and I had our first outing together without Lucas. Longwood Gardens was having a new light exhibit and it would our last time at Longwood for a long time so... We left the munchkin asleep at the grandparents' house and headed off into the night. Just the two of us. Like the good ol' days, back when we were just kids together, before we had a kid together. It was nice. It was fun. It felt adventurous being out past 10 pm. But it was also weird. And I think we both felt a bit anxious. We semi-rushed through the sights and quickly headed back to our little sleeping fellow. On the way home, I asked Jason what he thought of our venture, and I think he summed it all up pretty accurately: "I had fun. I didn't worry too much... I worried the right amount. I do want ice cream though, to calm my nerves." Amen.

Life continues to fly by, and we are just trying to soak it in and make the most of it. Hooplah!

ps. My baby is not about to turn 1. Seriously. It's not happening.



Here I am again. This blog still has two authors!

We are getting very close to moving time. The summer has been extremely busy, but I think we're doing ok on packing. As with most things, we figured that packing with Lucas would take at least one and a half times as long as it's supposed to (we regularly [and with surprising accuracy] use this method to estimate travel times). That may have been an underestimate, but fortunately we started packing very early. Now our little place is lined with boxes and one of the hardest parts of packing a new box is figuring out where to put it when it's done. I think we've finally reached the stage where it's hard to know what to pack next because all that's left are things we'll need until only a few days are left and things that end up in a box labeled "misc." How many boxes are you allowed to label as miscellaneous before you get to the point where you should have sorted it all first and labeled more specifically? We will find out and let you know.

I just finished teaching my last class at UD. It was enjoyable and frustrating. I had some very bright students, but I've never taught a class that, as a whole, was as seemingly disinterested as this one was. Half the class seemed to be trying, but the other half was checked out. Attendance was terrible and many students were clearly coming to class unprepared. They didn't do their homework. They didn't study the problems I told them to study. Still, I enjoyed teaching. I enjoyed the students who did put in the time and effort to understand the material. I enjoyed planning a class so that everything fit together into a cohesive, logical structure that built on itself as it went. I'm excited to move on to MBU where I will no longer have to use chalk (seriously, it's 2015) and where I'll be able to teach upper-level classes. It's also been fun being "Dr. Vermette."

In my last post I said that Lucas could almost crawl. He was army crawling all over, just dragging himself around, but he couldn't hands-and-knees crawl. I can't believe that was only 3 months ago. That kid can move. He gets up bright and early sometime between 5 (ouch) and 7. He doesn't stop moving (except briefly for nap time) until he goes to bed. He can crawl like a fiend, but he prefers standing up against the furniture, trying to climb onto it (or up our legs), and cruising like crazy (a quick search on the google turns this up for those who haven't heard of cruising in this context). This kid loves to cruise. I'll just say it: he's on the verge of walking. Of course, I know babies can be on the verge of walking for a long time before they actually walk. If I had to guess, though, I'd say he'll be walking very soon. He wants it. You can see it in his eyes. He wants to move. Oh! He also loves to dance. He has this swaying wiggle that he does while sitting, while standing, while laying on the changing pad, pretty much all the time. And, of course, we can't forget the booty-wiggling mini-squats. The world may not be ready for these dance moves. Everyone knows that little kids have tons of energy. I never knew it started so soon, and I never knew just how much energy people mean when they say that. A day with Lucas is fun, fulfilling, and exhausting.

Recently he's started hugging us. Sometimes he's just holding on while we carry him, but other times he's really hugging! It turns out if you hug someone for 9 months, they will start to figure out what it means and do it back. Loving (and being loved!) by this miniature fellow is beyond anything I ever imagined. The adventure continues!



Being a mom is everything I have ever imagined.

I love carrying a tiny person on my hip and dancing around the room.

I love doing the dishes and feeling a warm, sturdy little body sitting up against the back of my legs. 

I love folding the laundry and having to sort the tiny clothes out from the normal-sized clothes.

I love reaching the end of the day, when Lucas has been sleeping for several hours and I have already started to miss him, and putting on my glasses only to find a perfect little fingerprint on one lens and a slobber smear on the other.

I love seeing the colorful assortment of plastic bowls and spoons drying on the kitchen counter.

I love how packing is a three steps forward, one step back kind of event now - three books in, one book out courtesy of Lucas.

I love the clutter of toys strewn about our living room.

Being a mom is satisfying beyond words.

Even when a goodnight kiss ends up being a curry-scented milk burp on your cheek.

So satisfying.

May I never take my little boy or this life for granted.


Even though I do not personally know the Swindals, I have been following the heartbreaking story of Baby Ollie. My  heart has been so heavy for them these past few weeks. When I heard about Oliver's passing last night, all I wanted to do was hold Lucas and never let him go, never stop thanking God for the health and beauty of my baby boy, never take a moment that I've been given with him for granted. So many prayers for peace and comfort for the family. I pray God is able to fill their hearts and minds with the images and sounds of little Baby Ollie dancing in the fields of heaven.

Even in the midst of pain and sorrow, God is a good God. 

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.


The apple of my eye.


the cat shirt

Lucas has recently decided that cats, and everything related to cats, are awesome. He has a little animal book that has a picture of a cute kitten playing with yarn and he'll open it to that page and chuckle, he breaks into a fit of giggles if you meow at him, and he really digs when Old MacDonald has a cat on his farm.

And, of course, there is Puma. To Lucas, Puma is the best toy/pillow/playmate that ever walked on four legs. Those gray fluffy pantaloons are a constant temptation for Lucas's hands and, ickily enough, face. Sometimes Puma is in a good mood and sometimes not, but Lucas doesn't even care. The moment Lucas comes into the living room in the morning and sees the cat he lets out the most adorable breathy squeal and tries to lunge out of our arms. Anytime Puma tries to lie on the ottoman, Lucas makes a beeline for him, up on all fours and chortling the whole way. If Puma dares to enter the Realm of Lucas [otherwise known as the closed in section of our living room that is pleasantly cluttered with everything fun and colorful], he has an 85% chance of literally being tackled to the ground in a potentially life-threatening takedown. Lucas has improved his "petting" technique but hasn't quite grasped the meaning of gentle in all other aspects of cat handling. We will often find our 22-pound baby sprawled flat out on top of the cat, face buried in belly fur and chubby arms wrapped tightly around twitching ears and whiskers. Poor Puma. [Please don't report us to PETA.]

With this awesome cat obsession, coupled with his ever-developing ability to recognize things [it's so incredible to watch his little mind whirring!], we had a funny experience today while out shopping. I have a shirt with a very large picture of a cat smack dab on the front of it. I put it on today not thinking anything but "sweet, that doesn't have drool on it." Lucas, however, had other thoughts. Between the grins and giggles and groping hands, we quickly realized what was going on: Lucas had found another cat.

All through the store, anytime he got a glimpse of the cat on my shirt, he would happily paw at the kitty and gurgle excitedly. If he got particularly feisty, he would attempt to bring the cat/shirt/me close enough to bury his face in it. It was adorable... and not at all awkward. Walking through the grocery store while a tiny person gets a little handsy is what parenthood is all about, right? Boy, I love everything about this awesome little kid.

Moral of the story: Be aware of the placement of cats on your shirts and don't let your cat-loving boy ever learn about YouTube.

With the arrival of summer, Jason will be teaching his last class ever at UD. Five weeks of calculus and then it's on to Missouri. The next couple of months are a bit overwhelming to think about but also rather exciting. Life is plowing on full steam ahead and it's quite the adventure dreaming big dreams and watching everything unfold. I love our family of three so much.

To life! Love! And baby-proof cabinets!




Dear Lucas,

As I watch your daddy slowly sway you to sleep, my heart overflows. As I watch the two of you giggle at each other and exchange goodnight kisses, the stresses of the day seem insignificant. You insist on dancing and bebopping back and forth while he struggles to keep you in his arms and a straight face at the same time. It is an epic battle. It is often one of my very favorite parts of the day.

You eventually give in to a giant yawn [which is always the moment that gives us both a glimmer of hope that you actually plan on falling asleep sometime in the next ten minutes] and your wiggles die down. The room gradually becomes quiet as you settle into the crook of his arm and start to give in to the inevitable sleepies. A mere moment later, your daddy beckons for me to come look at you lying in your crib with your hands either behind your head or your arms flung out at funny angles. Your eyes flicker open and then slowly close again, your tiny fingers twitching one at a time.

Carefully, we creep out of your now darkened room, making sure to dodge all of your rattle-y and crinkle-y toys, and leave you to your peaceful dreams. I can't resist the urge to look back at you before closing the door, just to make sure you're still there, still peaceful, still safe, still ours. I love you so incredibly much. Goodnight, little one. I wish only the sweetest of dreams to you.

With all of my bursting heart,


clickbait [or "9 Baby-Related Things That Just Might Gross You Out - Number 6 Will Blow Your Mind!"]

I don't think I've ever mentioned here how much I ridicule/mock [on a good day] or despise/abhor [on a bad day] those ridiculous clickbait article/video headlines ["It's been nearly a DECADE since we've seen THIS!"] and never-ending lists of completely inane yet overly specific topics ["24 Times Britney Spears Was the Coolest Mom Ever"]. So I think it's time I just get it all out of my system. 

No, I will not click that picture to go to a list of pictures of people posting pictures of people doing weird things in pictures.
No, weather.com, I only want to know what the forecast is [just for amusement, of course, as I am already aware that your predictions are based solely on three shakes of an eight ball] and I do not care for you to auto-play "New Rule the DMV Doesn't Want You to Know."
No, if sharing the article on Facebook first is the only way for me to read the article, then I am just going to have to do without knowing whatever it is you think will make my jaw hit the floor.
No, I do not want to know about how a celebrity I don't know has accomplished something that I don't care to ever accomplish.
No, I do not want to read a list that promises to tell me 23 distinct facts but that is really just a narrative of 23 sentences that only loosely pertain to the original topic.
No, simply claiming that I will only believe it once I see it is not enough of a reason for me to click your video/picture/ebay auction item.
No, a 47-item list is too long. Especially since I know those last 29 items will be either redundant, weak, or stupid.

Okay, Whew. I'm feeling a little bit better now. I think the last thing to do, to fully rid myself of the despicable feelings that this topic broils in my belly, is to create my own horrid clickbait list thingimabob. Just completely desensitize myself to it. And then be done with it. 

Without further adieu...

9 Baby-Related Things That Might Gross You Out - Number 6 Will Blow Your Mind!

  1. Once your baby's arms grow long enough, he will insist on picking your nose while he munches away at the Milk Bar. You are no longer able to move your head far enough away. You are no longer skilled enough to manhandle his roaming extremity while maintaining a satisfactory feeding position. You will turn your head away to protect your nose and he will contentedly start clearing your now exposed ear of all of your unwanted and wanted earwax. You will not win this battle.
  2. The answer to "Is this too much avocado on my son's pants for the pants to be wearable?" is always, always, always "It's not so bad. You can barely see it if you scrape at it a little."
  3. A related question is, "Can you see the giant drool spots on my shirt or can I just cover it with the baby carrier when I go out?" The answer is basically the same as #2.
  4. Pop quiz: When presented with a poopy diaper, where do you have to clean up the most? If you said the tush, you would be... incorrect. Studies have shown* that the baby's bottom is often the cleanest part of the baby inside the diaper. At the top of the messy list is Everything But the Butt. That's all. 
  5. If you have ever wondered what would happen if your baby sneezes with a mouthful of sweet potato, wonder no more. What happens is exactly what you would expect. You will never stop finding sweet potato splatter. Ever.
  6. While on the topic of food, let's discuss peas and their uncanny resemblance to lentils once they have... resurfaced. It is a fascinating process. You watch perfectly tasty green peas being gobbled up by your baby, and the next morning you are greeted with a diaper-ful of what appear to be perfect specimens of lentils. Which brings to mind the kopi luwak and its rather questionable process of harvesting coffee beans. With these two prime examples, I rather think we have an untapped world of possibilities in the culinary world.
  7. One last note on diapers: Opening that 7 a.m. diaper is akin to an archaeologist's search for the Holy Grail - you never know what you're going to find, but you know it's going to be epic.
  8. Bathwater desecration. Need I say more?
  9. Drool. There is no end to it. But, really, everyone already knows this. What everyone does not know is how difficult it is to lean over your baby making those classic phbbttttt sounds while keeping your own drool in check. Some days you succeed. Other days... Well, let's just say it's good to have an understanding with your child about the two-way street that is drooling.

Life is grand. There is no question about it.

Tomorrow marks my first official Mamamomombabomb Day [known to most as Mother's Day, but I'll take what I can get] and 7th anniversary of being Jason's lady. Those are some pretty stellar things to celebrate. We may pop open a fizzy drink, read a little Pooh Bear, or even break out the vacuum and go a little crazy [clean carpet, whaaat!]. While we aren't really ones to make Grand Plans, I know the day will include tons of time with my two fellas. I'm looking forward to it. <3 Here's to many, many, many more!

Family pictures are tricky.

*based on a sample group of one 7.5-month old male of South Korean and Caucasian descent residing at a latitude of 39 degrees north


almost seven

I apparently haven't written a blog post since the one I wrote the week Lucas was born. Sharayah's been holding down the fort, but it looks like it's time for me to pull my weight. So here we go.

I guess lots of things have happened. Lucas is growing all the time. He's the coolest kid we know. His pictures are all over the face book, so you may have seen them. It seems like every week he learns some new thing. Right now he's on the verge of crawling. He can already make his way around pretty well by dragging himself along on his belly (which some might say is already crawling), but he also gets up on his hands and knees and tries to move forward with comical results. Once he's up on his hands and knees, he just sways forward and back in quick succession as though he's willing himself forward but he just can't seem to go anywhere. Usually he topples pretty quickly as soon as he manages to lift one of his limbs to move it forward. He's also sampling various foods. His facial expressions would imply that he hates everything we've given him, but he always tries to get more of it until we stop feeding him, so he apparently just has his yummy and yucky faces mixed up. He makes all kinds of great noises (his voice is like music) and he's learning more consonants. He started with a really guttural g, moved on to a normal g, and has since added m, b, and sometimes what sounds like h, w, and k. Today he said "mama" pretty clearly (although he also clearly didn't know what it meant). I'm still trying to teach him to make d sounds. He laughs at us all the time. I think he's starting to have his own little personality, and he seems to be happy almost always. We're very blessed with probably the best baby there's ever been. He's so great and we love him like crazy. Being a dad is definitely every bit of life-changing that I thought it would be.

Dissertation writing was brutal. I don't know why I didn't have any posts from October to December, but I know January and February were wholly dedicated to my dissertation. Even though all of the research was already done, and most of it was already written up in one of the papers I've been a part of, compiling it all into one self-contained, cohesive work was an absurd amount of work. We have Lucas on a lovely sleep schedule where he goes to bed around 7 or 7:30 and sleeps at least until midnight, sometimes a couple hours more. For those two months, as soon as he was down I worked on my dissertation until sometime between midnight and 3am. Add to that teaching and being a dad during the day, and you get a very exhausted me. I'm very happy with the result, but it totally beat me down. Still, in the end I persevered, and after a couple weeks I was pretty well recovered from the lack of sleep. I'll defend the dissertation at the end of the month, and then apparently I'll be a doctor, so feel free to message me asking for medical advice. That's how it works, right?

Another thing keeping me busy from November through February was applying to jobs. I don't know if I can really explain how applying for jobs in academia works, but I can tell you (based on things that various people said to me during that time) that probably anyone who hasn't done it has no idea what it's like. It's very different from the regular job market. You can't really pick a given area and have any real hope to get a job there, since most places don't have that many schools, and there are hundreds of people applying to pretty much every school. One school said in their very friendly "we did not choose to interview you" email that they had over 650 applicants. So there were at least 650 other math PhDs looking for jobs this year and way fewer than 650 universities that had openings in math. At any rate, I applied to over a hundred all over the country, eventually ended up with a few interviews, and finally got two job offers, one of which I accepted today. So, I have a job for the indefinite future. I will be the newest math professor (using professor informally, because it's an actual job rank that takes at least 10 years to reach) at Missouri Baptist University just west of St. Louis. I even got them to agree to give me a prime number for my salary (once we agreed on a salary [which, of course, was a boring round number], I asked if we could raise it to the next prime number, which happened to be very close, so they agreed). We'll be moving there sometime this summer. We're very excited to be moving on to this next stage in our lives.

It's been almost seven years since Sharayah and I got married. In that time she has ever-so-patiently waited for me to finish a Masters and now a PhD. She's endured the college life and the apartment living and the "where are we going to live five years from now" uncertainty for far too long. Finally, after almost seven years (I defend my dissertation mere weeks before our anniversary), I'm finishing up and we're putting down roots (although I'll still be at a college...). Here's to ten more sevens!


the hardest thing

Earlier this week we found a tooth bud, the tiniest of chompers, in my baby's mouth. Feeling that sharp little edge took my breath away, and, for a moment, Lucas was suddenly all grown up, moved out, and had a family of his own. And then came that gut-squeezing, throat-tightening, eye-burning sensation of unexpected, unwanted, uncontrollable tears.

I never knew how real of a phenomenon it was, when people would comment about how fast time flies when you have a kid and how you shouldn't blink because it all passes so quickly. I figured it was just something people would say. I didn't think it was actually going to be something I needed to be concerned about or something that would affect me even in the slightest. I guess I just never thought about it. But here I am, 27 weeks and 6 days later, and I realize... I blinked. I blinked and this tiny little person who used to fit inside of me is now 6-1/2 months old and just under 20 pounds hefty. I blinked and the scrawny arms and legs have morphed into chunky thighs, muscular calves, and sunflower-seed-sized biceps. I blinked and I find I am no longer able to place this little human in one place and expect him to stay there for 1.2 seconds. I blinked and suddenly there is awareness and laughter and curiosity and determination and affection and joy. I blinked and now there is a tooth.

What in the world am I supposed to do? This whole growing up thing is so hard to deal with emotionally, and it's seriously doing its best to rip my poor heart in two. I'm not ready. I'm not prepared. I can't take it. Yet I wouldn't have it any other way. It is such a conflict of emotion. It is similar [in idea, not intensity] to when I lay Lucas across my belly: He gets so excited and lunge-y as he tries to launch himself to the other side, but all the while he is leaving massive amounts of drool and slobber everywhere imaginable. The drool is gross and wet and cold and everywhere, but the giggles and fun are unbelievable. While Lucas is busy lunging and drooling and squealing, I am constantly trying to reconcile the warring feelings of intense adoration and "Ugh! Ick! Gross! Sooo wet!" It's weird. And hard. Sure, I could just not let him drool on me by not playing this game with him. Easy enough. But then I would miss out on all of the awesome parts of the game. The slobber and fun always win out.

I think what is making it especially hard is that I absolutely love, love, love this age. Lucas is getting mobile and more independent [though I use this word in its most conservative sense], and his ever increasing awareness and ability to express different emotions is a constant reminder of how he's not just this little baby but that he's a tiny person, an individual, with likes and dislikes and opinions and tolerance levels. And yet, while he is gaining new skills daily and developing into this bona fide miniature person, he is also still very much a baby, my baby. And that is how I want him to stay. I want to enjoy him in this baby-but-also-tiny-person stage forever.

I know it is ridiculous, but I already feel these baby days slipping away as he grows up more and more. Yes, I know it's ridiculous. I just am not sure I know how to handle the emotions that are squashing my heart more and more these days. Feeling that little tooth seemed to make my world start spinning a million miles an hour. I am trying so hard not to be that silly mom who bemoans the days gone by and blah blah blah. But the struggle is real, folks. Mom-hood is emotionally challenging, but oh so incredibly awesome.

In summary: I may blink 15 to 20 times in a minute. In an hour, I may blink 900 times. In a day, over 14,000 blinks probably occur during my awake time. In the span of  6 months, I have probably blinked close to 3 million times. So, in the most conservative of estimates, I have spent well over 100 hours blinking since Lucas was born, and that's not even counting sleep. No wonder time has flown.

I can't stop Lucas from growing up any more than I can stop blinking, so I need to find a way to make the time between every single blink count. It is only logical.

You can't stop the chub.


the art of pantslessness [and other short stories]

I am living the dream. Really.

Lucas is my little boy through and through. Either due to his hot-naturedness [unquestionably inherited from me] or his innate knowledge that pants should not be socially required [I take proud responsibility for this as well], the task of getting Lucas in his pants has become a 10-times-a-day exercise in patience, perseverance, and hilarity. This kid.

A simplified version of this process is as follows:

  1. Introduce the pants. ["Ready to put on your pants? It's pants time!"]
  2. In response to the look of disbelief you receive, admit you are putting on a false show of enthusiasm about the pants-ing. ["I know, I know, no one likes pants, but we have to try to wear them anyway or people won't want to be our friends."] Honesty is the best policy, right? 
  3. Stretch the pants waist a few times to ensure adequate roly-poly-belly-fittage. ["You're not fat. You're just solid."]
  4. Attempt to get both of his legs into the pants at the same time. It rarely works but is always worth a try. 
  5. Share a good laugh at your ridiculous expectations. 
  6. Give in to his adorable giggling face and outstretched arms and lean over him so he can grab at your cheeks and nose. 
  7. Somehow get slobber in your ears, a sharp little finger in your eye, and kicked in the jaw by a pair of ninja feet. ["How in the world do you have a foot in your mouth and my mouth at the same time?!"]
  8. Carefully extract every last strand of your hair from his little bear-trap hands before sitting back up. 
  9. Realize you didn't extract every last strand of hair from his little bear-trap hands before sitting up. Yelp. 
  10. Attempt to entrap the left leg by the pants.
  11. Attempt to entrap the right leg by the pants. ["Wait, where'd your left leg go? How did you get it out of the pants again?!"]
  12. Attempt to re-entrap the left leg by the pants. ["Wait, where'd your right leg go? How did you get it out of the pants again?!"]
  13. Repeat steps 11 and 12 thrice.
  14. Engage Ninja Speed and manage to get both feet into the pants. 
  15. Discover the pants somehow got turned backwards. 
  16. Engage Ninja Speed and manage to get both feet into their appropriate pant legs. 
  17. Be a good sport in a wild game of "Now my feet are in the pants-. Oh wait, now they're not. Oh wait, now they are." Take solace in the fact that at least the pseudo-squats/curls may be toning the baby's squishy one-pack into a two-pack. 
  18. Get a lucky break and happen to pull up on the pants at the same time that the chunky legs are thrust downwards. 
  19. Ignore the fact that the pants are tugged up high enough to give Fred Mertz a run for his money and just revel in your newly pants-ed child.
  20. ..."You're wet again? You've got to be kidding me."

In other news, Lucas is a daylight savings champ, for better or worse. He seamlessly transitioned his sleep schedule after... one day? Daylight savings this year was quite a bittersweet thing. On the one hand, there's the whole losing an hour of sleep thing. On the other hand, we figured if Lucas didn't find out about the time change, we could perhaps enjoy him sleeping until 7:30 instead of 6:30. Alas. No such luck. Somehow he got wind of this silly tradition of a day and retrained his internal clock. Sunday, he woke at 8, and come Monday pre-7:00 wake up was back in full swing. Well, it was nice while it lasted I suppose. Weirdly enough, this week has been filled with some gloriously epic napping. A 2.5-hour nap today? There are no words.

Next week we will be embarking on road trip numero dos with our little fellow. Down to Dayton, Tennessee, for a job interview for Jason. 'Tis an exciting time. I am interested/apprehensive to find out how traveling goes with an "I get bored sitting in one spot for extended periods of time" nearly-6-month-old. He now goes 2.5 hours between naps so I have a feeling this trip will include many, many rounds of Old McDonald Had a Farm and Itsy Bitsy Spider. I think we are up for the task. I think.

Speaking of Jason and jobs and school and all things mathy, a couple of weeks ago... *drum roll* He finished his first final draft of his 155-page dissertation! I could not be more proud of him. He is such an excellent mathman, and an even better man in general. A better role model for Lucas does not exist on this planet. I am 100% positive about this. End of story.

I truly think I love our little munchkin more and more each day. Some days, I don't even know what to do with myself. Watching him scan the room when he hears my voice or seeing his face seem to literally light up when I smile at him... It is indescribable. And as if he just knows how close I am to imploding with almost painful fuzzy feelings, he is starting to reach out his arms towards us, like he wants to be picked up/hugged by his favorite peoples in the world. You guys, I am one of his favorite peoples! I can't take it. I have completely fallen in love and I don't even care if I ever get up.

Life is epic and fulfilling beyond my wildest imaginations.

He's so pretty.


yahoo answers [in real life]

Conversations in the middle of the night can be equal parts of confusing and enlightening. And the enlightening generally only shines a great big spotlight on the fact that Jason and I, despite our combined intelligence levels, seem to have gaping holes in our General All-Purpose Knowledge database.

Case in point:
Me: How do you get the chocolate in a chocolate cake?
Jason: You use baking chocolate chunks.
Me: But then you just have... chocolate chunk cake.
Jason: What? No. You break up the baking chocolate.
Me: You would still just have chunks of chocolate in your cake. Maybe powdered chocolate is used? I want to know how you get a cake that is brown all over.
Jason: You use the chocolate chunks and just wait until everything is homogeneous.
Me: That doesn't make sense. When would the chocolate melt? The batter isn't hot.
Jason: What does batter even look like?

Objective Point Summary:
  • -8 for not knowing how to get the chocolate into a cake
  • +3 for imagining a chocolate chunk cake
  • +2 for suspecting that it has to do with powdered cocoa
  • -4 for describing a food that is "brown all over"
  • +1 for knowing what batter is
Total points in Culinary Arts: -6. 

  • +3 for knowing about baking chocolate
  • -1 for not understanding how tossing in chocolate chunks would not solve the chocolate cake conundrum
  • +3 for doggedly believing in his original idea of chocolate chunks despite my scoffs and mockery
  • +0.5 for using the word homogeneous after midnight
  • -2 for still not understanding how tossing in chocolate chunks would not solve the chocolate cake conundrum
  • -10 for not knowing about batter
  • +4 for skillfully changing the topic to reveal an even more ludicrous knowledge gap
  • -5 for going back to bed still not understanding how tossing in chocolate chunks would not solve the chocolate cake conundrum
Total points in Culinary Arts: -7.5

If you factor in our genders, you could technically argue that our scores come out even-steven. But we all know how sexist that would be, so... I win [if you consider the lesser negative score to be a win].

I think the real bottom line here is that someone needs to bake a chocolate cake for us. Nay, two chocolate cakes. One with baking chocolate chunks and one with whatever the correct method is. 

Because, no, we never did educate ourselves on the finer points of chocolate cake making. Instead, we went back to sleep. Like any otherwise-intelligent parents of a 19-week-old should.

The important part is not who is right but who has the more ridiculous arguments.


the new normal

I'll be honest. I had absolutely no idea what "normal" was without a baby. I clearly have no idea what "normal" is with a baby. So when it comes to things like, say, naps, I have no idea what I'm doing [and don't even get me started on this whole "sleeping through the night" business]. Ok, that's not true. I do know what I'm doing. I just don't know if any of it is normal and right and best and good.

Thankfully, naps tend to fall into that "do whatever works" category of life decisions, so I try not to put too much thought into it [Should I force more/fewer naps? Should I attempt more/less total sleep time? Should I try earlier/later bedtime? Should I just eat my hat and call it a day?]. Lucas has recently [the last 3 weeks?] developed a routine that is working for us, even if it is not entirely ideal at times. He decided that napping for more than 30 minutes at a time was not for big kids like him. He decided that he only wanted to be awake for 90 minutes at a time. He decided that 7:30 is a good bedtime.

Bedtime cuddles with dad and Gerald.
All in all, there's really not much to complain about. He wakes up between 7 and 8 and then spends the rest of the day in 2-hour cycles of 90 minutes eating and playing and 30 minutes sleeping. If the day is without anything out of the ordinary, he will get in 5 naps. He will go down for his naps in his crib with [generally] minimal effort. He seamlessly differentiates between nap time and bedtime, so once he's put down for the night, he knows not to pop awake after 30 minutes.

However. You would be surprised how fast a 30-minute nap goes by. You think to yourself, "I'm just going to sit down on the couch for a few minutes before tackling the laundry..." and the next thing you know, you hear the waking sounds of your tiny, 4-month-old, 30-minute-timer human and you still haven't moved from the couch. It would feel like magic, except the exciting magical feeling is absent. Instead, you feel the slight tingles of annoyance that you yet again wasted another nap time accomplishing nothing. Ah, but just wait 90 more minutes and you get another go at it!

So, like I said, I have no idea how "normal" this type of cycle is, and it surely isn't as ideal as, say, three 1-hour naps, but it is working for us. We know what to expect [until the little mister decides to change it up for us] and when to expect it. We know when the sleepy fussies are coming and what to do to alleviate them. It's nice. It is almost peaceful having such a predictable routine. Routine was exactly what we had been missing for three months, and it has been lovely regaining a sense of time. Things feel normal. And right. And good.

By far, he is the trendiest thing I wear.
Such a demanding nap schedule does tend to minimize our previously active social life and outings. [Ha! See that joke I just made? Being a mom clearly has not impacted my witty sense of humor.] But seriously, we never got out much pre-Lucas, so nothing much has changed. Our weekly visit to Costco and Target still happens - it just requires a bit more planning than before ["Okay, while he's napping, we need to get dressed and ready to go so we can get out the door when he wakes up. We only have 90 minutes to complete our mission, er, shopping trip! Go, man, go!"]. Have no fears though, we are Costco Pros. We can check off all of the items on our shopping list and hit all of the samples [read: Lunch Round 1] before it's time for the next nap time. And now, one of us gets to wear this seriously adorable fashion accessory wherever we go. Win.

Guys, jean hats are cool. Really.
Today, he discovered his feet. To be more precise, he discovered his right foot. And all the toes of said foot. The look of fascination and deep concentration that came over his face was priceless. His hand would squeeze his foot, and the toes would wiggle. So his tiny, grubby, drool-covered hand would squeeze the foot again. And more wiggles would ensue. I tried to introduce his left hand to his left foot and all of the friendly toes on that side, but he wanted nothing to do with it. The right foot was the interesting foot. It was adorable. Everything he does is adorable. Seriously. I can't even stand it sometimes.

Other Lucas mentionables:

  • He has been giggling for a while. But in the past couple of days, he is discovering his laugh. A-Dough-Bowl. It makes me hop up and down like a crazed person. The funniest things trigger the laugh, and once we find a trigger, we don't stop doing it until it stops working. I now completely understand The One With Ross's Inappropriate Song.
  • The drool is getting out of hand. And by out of hand, I mean all over his hands. And my hands. And every single thing in our apartment. Its presence is only rivaled in quantity by my hairs [due to this whole post-baby thing?], which are thickly strewn about everywhere and can be found in the most unlikely of places. The winning hair so far was found securely twisted into the lid of the apple juice jug. Touché, strand of hair. Touché. 
  • With the advent of learning how to roll onto his side, Lucas's diaper changes have become progressively more challenging. Raising a baby is a lot like playing a video game: As soon as you satisfactorily beat a level [three and a half stars on Semi-stationary Diaper Change with Periodic Kicking About], you get moved onto the next level [Legs Curled Up to Stomach Alternating with Legs Flung Over Side of Changing Pad, difficulty 6.5/10]. Life is one big game for Lucas. He has a good life.

In other news, it is the new year. I expect many top notch things this year. We will see how it all turns out. I am excited. Life is grand, if not busy and sleepy.

With the new normal for this Vermette household allowing for more predictable spurts of baby-less time, perhaps we will soon bring our blogging back up to speed. Jason has been incredibly busy, but hopefully once he finishes up with his dissertation [mid February?], he will be able to greet the non-math world once again and maybe write a post or two. I look forward to that day. Also, something in this paragraph made me desperately want a meal at Olive Garden. Weird.

By the by, Star Trek? Jason and I have come to an agreement: I will watch it with him. He will allow me to mock it in any way I see fit. I see many fit ways. It is a good arrangement. Though, for Pete's sake, build some kind of console that doesn't explode in your face at first fire. And seat belts. Install seat belts. And no, AI, no matter how conversant, is not alive. SO THERE IS NO ETHICAL DILEMMA. That's all.

Welp, sleep calls. And I am sure that typing that statement will somehow magically transmit a message to sleeping Lucas that it is time to wake up for his first feed/change of the night. Wish us luck.

Welcome, 2015.