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.