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July 19, 2001
two years ago

Spoiled Milk, Spilled Milk, and Heavy Milk

10:13 pm: I am really tired of smelling like spoiled milk. Jet spit up on me today so many times I lost track of how many. I even changed my shirt today when one of them just smelled too much for me to take. Bah.

For some reason, today and yesterday, he's just started spitting up a whole lot more. It has, however, coincided with him only getting up once per night, so I can't complain too voraciously. Then again, it might all be coincidence anyway, so it may not make any difference at all in how any of this turns out.

Nice thing, also, is that as soon as he burps up, Jet's pretty happy and content, as the pressure goes away, so he was a very happy baby when he went to Joan's this morning. I was pretty happy too, at that particular moment, because as soon as John took Jet, I started myself a bath. I used the milk foam bath that Carl gave me, and it smelled the way a milk bath should, sweet, almost creamy, and very lightly perfumed. The bubble bath really helped out a bunch of muscles and joints that have been hurting for quite some time.

For some reason, all last week and most of this, my knees have just been really giving me trouble, above and beyond the trouble they were giving me at CeLena's. The bath just helped everything relax that had been really, really tight, and a good going over the sore spots with lotion, afterwards, seemed to help in a general way as well. The massage really helped get things to stop vibrating with pain.

I nearly fell asleep in the bath. Nearly wanted to just nap there until the water got too cold, or something; but I dragged myself out, into a cooler shower, and cleaned myself up and got myself upstairs and in front of the computer. By then I felt much better, and a mug of chai with regular milk helped some in getting me a bit more alert.

I'd bought Third Street Chai from Whole Foods over the weekend, and the stuff is *really* good. Very little sugar/honey/sweeteners, and a whole lot of taste, complex and rich with a variety of spices. It didn't really need the sweeteners and I really felt like I wasn't overloading myself with sugar. That was nice. Yes, sugar is a very good way to get me going, nearly vibrating, but not particularly conducive to thoughtful approaches of anything.

I thoughtfully approached my work, all the way through until 10, which was when my systems meeting happened. I got to listen in, ask some relevant questions, and felt okay about all that. Then I went back to work for a while.

Eventually, I'd gotten where I wanted to go on a number of things, so I peered a bit more closely at www.livejournal.com. I wanted to give them money, and the easiest way to do it is to either give gift accounts or to have an account that I can pay for. Since I have a couple of friends that have journals on the site, I decided that I might as well sign up for an account, send in some money to pay for it, and poke gently at the way they do things to see if I could massage it into something that more approximates what I would want of it.

I think that I've come to the conclusion that I'd write very differently if I were writing on that site rather than here. It's very, very good for short, sharp shots of 'what am I thinking/doing right now?' versus trying to make a whole day into something cohesive. It could be quite good at marking all the points of a day, or only commenting on one key element of a day or moment or time slice. I think hegemony does that very well, commenting on less of the shopping list of 'here's all the ten thousand tiny things that I did today" and more on what's important to her for the day.

I do a bit too much shopping list stuff, sometimes, I think. I can change that, but I also like having a kind of flow from the beginning to the end of the day, including the daily updates on What Jet Has Done today...

Speaking of which...

In the afternoon, Jet started doing something new while I was changing him. For the last couple of days, he's been grabbing his feet when I change him. It really helps get his butt up to make some of the changing aspects quite a bit easier. Thing is that today he started to, for no good reason, chew on his toes while he was grabbing his foot.

Yes, babies are astonishingly flexible.

Yes. Babies put everything into their mouths, especially at 5-7 months. Jet was just watching me as I changed him and stuffing his foot in his mouth with no real change of expression. Yeesh. To be that flexible again. Of course, he spent about nine months in pretty much that position anyway...

It's still mildly sobering to realize that Jet spent more time *in* me than he's spent out in the world, yet. I'm going to have to see what he's like a nine months just to put it all into perspective. In the same time it took for him simply to exist, how far has he gotten in becoming a full-fledged person?

Joan had him for four hours, making up for the day she was sick and yesterday's two hours, so that was really nice. In effect, I'm getting two four hour days for the same price as my usual week. That's useful. I actually got to concentrate really well, and when I went to get Jet, he was sitting in the walker, intent on his toys. He didn't even look up when I walked into the house, and just kept at his toys while I talked with Joan for a while. I'm very glad he doesn't have separation anxiety, whatsoever, and it's kind of nice to have my coming and going be very low key. It'll make a lot of future stuff a whole lot easier.

He's done quite well the whole time and had had a two hour nap, which was surprising to me, a little, as he'd actually slept in until fairly late this morning. I was impressed.

I'd put all the windows down in the Baby Buggy when we did the short drive back and forth between Joan's and our house. On the way back, though, the front windows wouldn't roll up. The back ones did, but the front ones wouldn't. That puzzled me.

We went home and I mostly spent the afternoon playing with him, feeding him, and getting burped up on. As I watched, Jet got more and more tired, even exhausted, but even when he fell asleep while nursing, the moment I stopped nursing him, he'd wake up and fight me putting him back to sleep. He'd just refuse to go to sleep, even as he looked more and more tired.

Our CEO was going to give a speech to the whole company at 4:30. John wanted to stay to see it and said that it'd be fine with him if I wanted to watch it with him in his cubicle as it was being broadcast over the network. So I had to leave by 4 to get there. Rain started falling about then, and Jet was so tired that even if I just put him in his car seat, he'd start to wail. That nearly decided me on not going, but I finally decided to just be brave.

I first got the Baby Buggy into the Passat's garage space. Then I made sure Jet was fed, dry, and had a toy in front of him if he wanted it, and then put him in the seat again. After crying for a minute or two, he got quiet, and watched me as I put him into the backseat and buckled him in. I also put the baby watching mirror into place, and we started driving into Boulder.

He fussed. He'd fuss for a few minutes every couple minutes, and then quiet, and then fuss again. The whole way in, he was just going on and off, until near the end, when he just got very quiet and watched everything that went by the car. He was still fighting sleep, I guess, and unlike most babies, riding around in the car does not put him to sleep all the time. Finally, as we were pulling into the parking lot, I saw him fall asleep. Yeesh.

The rain, of course, started to fall even harder right then and there. So I pulled a blanket over him, and then pulled the car seat, whole, into the building. I pretty much took him, his diaper bag, and my badge and that was pretty much it. The blanket kept the rain from falling on him. When I reached John's cube, there was a sign saying that the broadcast was hosed, so he was watching it in the company gathering place. So I lugged Jet's seat over there. Jet's foot was sticking out from under the blanket, and it was perfectly still as I put the car seat into a corner and stood to just watch the presentation from the back.

About ten minutes into it, the foot started wiggling and then I heard a very soft, experimental "Eeuhh?" I opened up the blanket and Jet looked back at me, quite calmly. So I picked him up and snuggled him while Wim talked and talked and talked. Eventually, I handed him to John for a while, as my arms were getting tired.

The presentation was basically about what the company was going to do to prevent layoffs. Both the CEO and the board were convinced that layoffs are a bad idea, that two or even three years afterwards, the loss of IP from people's heads would bite the company's profitability and their ability to work. The company would lose out big if it had to do layoffs. What he presented was a proposal to cut costs. Since salaries are a huge chunk of operating costs, the proposal had two different ways of salary cutting, one with stock options as a reward for taking the reduction, the other mostly involved either using vacation or taking time off without pay.

Both of which were a lot better than, "Okay we're cutting everyone's salaries again! Just take it."

It also included a lot of good information about what we're going to do long-term to meet the needs of the company and profitability. We're in the black, still, if we do all this, and that can only help the stock prices. It'll also make it so that we can do the work needed to get the next release and next products out without the huge hit on morale that layoffs usually are. It's going to be an interesting two quarters.

The nice thing was seeing upper management actually *manage* the situation. Rather than just lopping the head of the company off in the name of 'cost cutting measures', they're actually pruning where it's prudent to prune. And instead of crying over the spilled milk of the economy they're doing what they can with what they have. Since we're mostly software or hardware *design* without manufacturing, nearly all the stuff the company is good at is all intellectual property, i.e. the people. This is a really great way to involve the employees in doing what needs doing and involving them in how it's done. So I think it's all a really great thing, because the reality of the recession is something that can't be denied. And they're doing a really creative approach to dealing with it in the spirit of the values they signed on to maintain for the company.

It's easy to spout off about values when things are good. It's how they follow those values when things are tough that make a great company, I think. And they obviously value their employees.

Another cool option was the ability to take an unpaid sabbatical for as long as you like, have your options continue vesting during that time; but require that when you come back, you work at least as long as your sabbatical was. It's pretty self-evident that it's good sense to prevent someone from going on a two year sabbatical, come back with everything vested, and then just leave immediately with all the vested options.

So a lot of thought was put into all this.

I approve.

After the meeting, folks broke up into knots to discuss what was going on. Also to talk over plans on how to deal with it all and possibilities on what would be viable alternatives. That was pretty cool.

Then home again home again, with a still fairly content Jet. He looked really tired, but he was still going strong when we headed home. He didn't fall asleep on the way home, either. Then again, he was in the passenger seat of the Stoat, open to the wind and the rain, with his silk blanket, from Regis, tucked all around him, and flying a bit in the breeze. He played with his blanket the whole way home, and then fell on me ravenously and when done promptly spit up on me again. Sigh.

We had our dinner after that. Mae had made garlic chive pockets with the boiled water dough. The pockets are pan fried, and she'd made them for us Tuesday night, but Bob forgot them on Wednesday, so he brought them in today and handed them over for a little time to hold Jet. Jet liked that, too. We had the pockets for dinner, and they were really good. They had the garlic chives, clear bean thread, dried tofu, eggs, and some light cabbage in them, and they were cooked very lightly, so I browned them well in a hot skillet. I also sliced one of the tomatoes from the market, and drizzled them with olive oil and basalmic vinegar. Yum.

A light, good dinner.

I wanted ice cream afterwards, so John proposed a trip to Dairy Queen. He fed Jet first, three quarters of a jar of bananas, and then we were off. I tried a pecan mud slide, and it was yummy with hot caramel, hot fudge and a bunch of pecans over ice cream. John had the peanut buster parfait. He liked that a lot. Jet just watched us benignly, still not asleep.

Since he was so good, we did the more extended shopping trip, including more of my vitamins, and a bunch of small things I thought of as we were there. We skipped on the diapers, though. We do use the disposables, but only at night, now, and we have a ton of coupons for them because every weekend there are more diaper coupons. They're on sale, too, at Safeway, but it's even better with a coupon.

We did weigh him. On the scale he was 17 lbs. and 4 ounces, with his clothing and a 2 oz diaper for a blanket. So he probably weighs around 16 lbs. and 10-12 ounces. So maybe half a pound's gain in two or three weeks. That's a good thing. He's getting closer and closer to the pound to half a pound a month probability for average babies. Yay! Slowing down! I still giggle whenever Bob says I've been giving Jet 'heavy milk' so that he'd grow faster.

I've been feeling like Jet's been slowing down on the eating end of things. He does protest about every two hours, but sometimes he gets on and just doesn't really eat. Other times he'll now go three and even sometimes four hours if intereting things are happening, so I really do believe he's finally slowing down.

When we got out, the sky was on fire. All across the western sky it was rippled with red amid purple storm clouds over black mountains. It was just gorgeous going home under that immense, on fire, sky.

Jet lasted thorough to getting home at his usual last feeding time. He latched on and after being on me, he only drank a single ounce of breast milk from the bottle before passing out completely. Whew.

I was so tired, I just got ready for bed the moment he got off of me, and I pumped after getting ready for bed so I'd last as long as he would, if not longer. I got barely an ounce, and with the rest of the breast milk he didn't drink that was nearly two ounces for tonight's feeding. I hope that he continues the trend of the last couple of nights, and only gets up once.

With empirical evidence, it's clearly *NOT* the heat, as it's been hotter these last few evenings than it was when we were having him get up three or four times a night. It's also not specifically the food, as he's had breast milk at the end of the day in a bottle before, too. I'm pretty convinced that it's just how he's doing right now, that his body's stopped growing as hard.

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