First Tooth!

On Sunday morning EH woke up cranky.  He's normally at his happiest first thing in the morning so this was definitely out of the ordinary.  We didn't think much of it at first, but 6 hours later when he was still pretty cranky, I put my finger on his gums to feel for teeth and was shocked when I actually felt one!!!

Our baby got his first tooth!

EH bit down on my finger, and wow, that little sucker was sharp!

For historical purposes, let it be known that we first became aware of this first tooth on Sunday, May 27, 2012.  Put it in the baby book!!!

I've been holding off on posting this news because I kept thinking that I would take a picture of it and post, but it's hard to get a picture of a tooth on the bottom row when EH has his tongue sticking out all the time.

So no picture. Yet at least.  But a tooth is a tooth, right?  And I'm sure (confident, really) that there will be maaaany more teeth in the near future!

First Swim

Memorial Day weekend was filled with a lot of "firsts" for EH.  Among those first, "first time swimming" and "first time in a lake!"

We drove to Moraine State Park and went to their beach area.

On Saturday morning EH and I went to Target so that DH could do some loud hammering and drilling in the laundry room.  While there we decided to get him a summer toy - an infant swim tube!

I chose this particular tube over the other option that they had available because it seemed like a more substantial and sturdy tube, and we didn't want EH leaning over and falling out, or getting water in his face and then getting scared.  We want water to a fun thing for him before we start doing things like putting his face underwater.  The other infant tube that they had at Target had a much better sun shade than the one we got, but the tube itself was just a thin little tub on the outside with mesh between that and the baby.  It's great for introducing your baby to water but it didn't hold the baby out of the water as much as this one did and his hands would be in the water.  Since I know that most of the use this tube is going to get is in rivers and lakes (as opposed to chlorinated pools) I wanted to keep him slightly more out of the water than usual.

As expected, EH cried when we first put his feet in the water (it was pretty cold) but within minutes he was used to it and having a blast!  The entire time he was in the water he kicked his feet ferociously like he thought he was running!  It was so cute.  At times he would kick so hard that his little body would be rocking back and forth, but he was still smiling and screaming with delight, so we knew that he was just having fun.  A little girl swam up to him and starting going underwater.  Every time she popped her head back to the surface EH screamed in excitement!  (Really the whole day involved a ton of screaming, but the good, excited screaming.)

We had fun, but I'm not sure if we'll make that trip on any sort of regular basis.  It's about 45 minutes away, which is quite a hike for swimming. The place was really crowded and the water seemed so dirty.  That might not be a big deal once EH is a little older, but he kept trying to lean over the tube to try to put it in his mouth, and that water seemed so dirty that I really didn't want him ingesting any of that!  The other weird thing is that there were a TON of people smoking there.  We don't really go to many places anymore where smoking is really prevalent so we were shocked by the amount of people smoking at Moraine and I was frustrated by the fact that we were breathing in smoke with every single breath. 

But I don't regret going one bit.  EH definitely enjoyed it and we are looking forward to taking him swimming in many other places this summer!

Starting Over

For the past few weeks DH and I have been working hard to find EH a new babysitter come June.  We've met with no fewer than a half dozen families, probably more.  Most we decided against because they were too far from our home - one was 25 minutes out of the way from our house and then back, which would mean adding nearly a full hour each way for us morning and night to drop off and pick up EH.  One home was so cluttered that we feared that EH wouldn't even have room on the floor to play, and after being there for only minutes, he somehow ended up with a large clump of animal and human hair in his hand.  (So gross.)

One woman that we met with seemed super nice, and the distance wasn't unreasonable (although still not ideal) but she already had 3 other kids, and her home was so chaotic that we just couldn't see our calm little baby fitting in there without getting trampled on.  Another woman super close to our house wanted $10 an hour, so we cut her out before we even met with her.  One woman said that they watch "a couple hours of TV" each day, and that's something that we really wanted to avoid.

We finally found a woman (girl, really) within a reasonable distance from our home who seemed really nice.  She was really young - only around 22, we think - and had gotten pregnant unexpectedly in college.  She was now staying at home with her 13 month old son - a huge bonus for us because EH would have a playmate close to his own age!  We spent over an hour with them at the first meeting and it seemed great.  We then set up a trial day so that she could spend a few hours with EH and her son together to determine if it was manageable.  She said that the afternoon was great and that EH had a great time (although she didn't get him to nap, which we were somewhat concerned about.)  But we left that trial day with a contract for care signed by all of us and we were happy that we finally had found a caretaker.

Then comes today.... When she emailed to say that she decided to back out of our contract because another family that she had met with previously and that had contracted her to watch their son every other Thursday decided to change their hours and  so she didn't think she could "give EH the attention he deserved."  My guess? It's one of two things.

1. They're paying her a ton of money for a lot fewer hours and she saw an easier way to make a few quick bucks.
2. She's totally unreliable and a liar and wasn't tough enough to tell us up front that she realized she couldn't handle it.

I think that both possibilities are equally likely.

In some respects, we should have seen this coming.  She's never had a job in her life.  She told us how she got a job at a fitness center child room and she quit after the first night.  That should have been our first red flag.  She is used to sleeping in late into the mornings with her son and our 7:30 drop-off time was probably going to be harder for her than she was willing to admit (although she claims that she thought it would be a good thing.)  There was just something about her that I didn't quite trust, but I was ready to give her the benefit of the doubt.  So much for that... I hate being the pessimist who always feels vindicated when things go poorly.  For once I'd just like things to go perfectly and I could proven wrong.

So now we're starting over with our search, with only 3 weeks to go before we need someone to start watching EH full time.  I am worried.  Right now it seems like the we're going to end up having to put him back into a traditional day care setting.  I have a lot of concerns about this place though, first and foremost being that even in the infant room they only take one nap a day, scheduled from 12:30 to 2:30, and that definitely does NOT jive with EH's schedule.  He needs at least two naps a day, sometimes three, or else he's a fussy, miserable baby.  And that's not even factoring in the fact that he will probably get tons of ear infections again until we decide after only a few weeks to pull him out again.  But what else can we do?  Short of one of us quitting our jobs - which is seeming more and more like the most reasonable option - a day care seems to be only place reliable enough, clean enough, and close enough to our home to work out.

To say that we're extremely disappointed would be an understatement. I am sick to my stomach over this.  I hardly slept on Monday night because my mind was racing, working through our options, trying to figure out if any of them were feasible and coming to the conclusion that none of them are ideal.  All of them will feel like "settling" at this point, and we'll most likely have to enter into an agreement knowing full well that we're going to break it sooner rather than later, which I hate doing. But what else can I do? 

Do you know of anyone in the Pittsburgh area who is looking to watch a cute nearly 10-month old full-time? If so, please let me know!

9 Months

EH turned 9 months old on the 11th.  Three quarters of a year have passed since he came into our lives.  It seems like that was sooo long ago, it's crazy.  But even crazier is that he's going to be one before we even know it.


Here are his 9 month stats:
Height - 2 feet 4 inches (49th percentile)
Weight - 20 pounds 2 ounces (44th percentile)
Head Circumference - 46 centimeters (70th percentile)

He's finally starting to even out a little bit - instead of being a skinny baby with an enormous head, he's coming closer to being an average sized baby with a slightly larger than average head. 

Month 9 was a big month for EH.  He started embracing tummy time and finally made some progress in what will surely lead to crawling.  In the meantime though he gets around by rolling, an art form that he has truly mastered.  He uses the roll to get from one side of the room to the other, and it's truly hilarious to watch.

He started pulling himself up on his crib, and started moving his legs when he was standing and holding on to something.  Not quite walking, yet, but really darn close. 

Month 9 marked the first month that he started sleeping on his stomach, which terrified me at first, when I would go into his room and see him face planted into the mattress.  But he was always breathing, always fine. 

During month 9 he continued to love mealtimes, happily gobbling down anything that we put in his mouth, except for banana and the Gerber "rice with fruit" cereal, which he absolutely hated.  He mastered his "pincher" fingers and started consuming puffs by the handful.  He's still not interested in eating other solid foods and seems to happily prefer his purees that I make for him. His pediatrician wants us to start giving more solid foods, but for now we're introducing those things slowly.

He's plumping up before our eyes.  Our previously 8th percentile baby is now quite the little chunker.  His wrists and legs have creases and the rolls in his neck have his own rolls.  We've had to start making a habit of cleaning out these crevices, something we never needed to worry about when he was a skinny beanpole.

During month 9 EH decided that it was time to transition from 3 naps a day down to 2.  Neither he nor his parents particularly love this schedule, but at the very least it does give us more time with him.  He'll still take 3 naps on occasion though and it definitely makes everyone's day a little more enjoyable when he does.

He perfected his laugh, and his smile.  He gets so excited when he sees us and he seems to recognize my voice when DH puts him on the phone with me on my drives home from work.  He sticks his tongue out for all important activities - smiling, laughing, thinking, eating, and talking.

He also started really experiencing "stranger danger," and is definitely wary of people that are not us.  He's a charming until someone else tries to hold him, and then he screams, even if we're right there.  We're working on helping him realize that it's ok if someone other than us holds him, but I'm not sure he's convinced. 

Dressed like daddy!
He's our life.  Our pride and joy.  He's the reason we look forward to coming from work every day, and the reason that we don't really want to go to work in the mornings.  He is so much fun and so interactive.  He loves playing with us but will also happily play by himself.  He's really starting to notice Murphy, and Murphy is thus starting to notice him more as well.  He lights up our lives, and our home, with chatter and giggling and smiles.  I honestly can't imagine life without him at this point.

"Call Me Maybe" OBX Video

My sister just got back from a week at the Outer Banks, and during their week there, they made a music video to the song "Call Me Maybe."  She asked me to share, and it's a pretty cute/fun video.  She's the one with the long dark hair.

Enjoy watching her music video debut!
Direct link in case the embedded video isn't working!

Life with a 9 month old

Some morning things so pretty smoothly for me, and others are a total and utter disaster.  Now that EH is more mobile, I find myself having to check on him more when I am getting ready in the morning, because he's often getting into trouble.  This means that I am often running later than I should be.  I should probably wake up earlier but it is so hard to wake up any earlier than I already do, especially after a night when EH woke up no less than 5 times. 

I'm not sure if more things could have gone wrong this morning, but what a mess.  I was putting EH in his car seat around 7:20 when I thought I smelled pooped.  I was right on time so far - leaving at 7:20 means I get him to A-Care at 7:30 and that usually works out perfectly for my drive into work as long as there isn't construction or an accident.  But I didn't want to leave him in a poopy diaper, so I checked his diaper and sure enough, he needed to be changed. 

I cleaned him up and was putting some Desitin on him when he started peeing.  Everywhere.  Everywhere.  Oh the joy of having a little boy. 

For some reason my first thought/reaction was to try to catch the pee with my hand, which resulted in him sitting in a puddle of urine and me with a pee soaked hand.  Ugh.  Socks, shirt, everything was wet except his pants which were off by the diaper holder.  So I start undressing him, but I realize that he's still sitting in a pool of pee so I pick him up (with my pee covered hand) and pull the changing table pad off.  

Well, while I was holding him and doing all of that, he grabbed a hold of the necklace I was wearing - a black beaded one that I wear all the time - with both hands and when I went to lay him down he pulled with all of his might. 

The necklace snapped. Beads flew everywhere, and EH had two handfuls full of beads which he promptly tried to put in his mouth.  He is still totally naked - a huge liability in terms of getting peed or pooped on again - and still sort of damp because I hadn't finished drying him off from the pee disaster, so the smaller beads are sticking to his skin.  There I am - still with a pee soaked hand which I finally remedied but pulling one of his bath towels out of the closet - trying to pry beads out of his hands before he chokes on one, chasing down beads that were rolling down the dresser, which is apparently uneven, and then picking small beads off of his skin while trying to keep him from getting any more in his hands/mouth. 

My god, what a mess.  I finally get him cleaned up, dressed, and into his carseat.  It's now 7:36.  I am officially late.

So I head to A-Care on my normal route, and what do I encounter?


They apparently picked today to repave a four way intersection, and for some reason they only had one flag guy trying to control all 4 lanes and directions of traffic.  And for some other reason unknown to me, he was letting the traffic in the three other directions go, but not the lane that I was in (I think because they were doing the majority of work on my side of the intersection. 

We waiting for at least 10 minutes.  EH was getting annoyed and fussy.  I was twitching with irritation, trying to remember if I washed my hands or not. 

Just when I was starting to debate turning around and finding a different route they let us through.  Except I wasn't allowed to turn right like I wanted to.  I had to go straight, into a maze-like development that I'd never been in before.  I followed all of the other cars, hoping that one of them knew where they were going but it was definitely a round-about way, and finally came out on the road I wanted, a mile or two further up. 

We finally get to A-Care and I get EH dropped off.  That takes longer than normal because we've been tweaking his eating and napping schedule, which was recommended by the pediatrician. 

I finally left A-Care at 7:57. I'm supposed to start work at 8:15 and it usually takes me 45 minutes to get there (from my house, so 35 minutes from A-Care.)

So I arrived at work at 8:35, which isn't too bad, considering everything else that went wrong today.  But that's what life with a 9 month old is like, right?  It certainly isn't boring, I'll give you that!  Let's hope that the rest of the day is a major improvement.... 

My First Mother's Day

Tips For Finding Good In-Home Day Cares

Our contract with A-Care is over on June 8th, and we are now desperately trying to find new care for EH starting this summer.  We knew this was coming, but didn't think it would be hard to find another person. A-Care was very upfront with us early on that she takes her kids to the pool every single day in the summer, for hours and hours, and she didn't feel comfortable taking a baby with her.  She also usually takes a trip to her hometown for a full month during the summer, and obviously that doesn't work when you're caring for someone elses kid full-time either.

We confirmed with A-Care recently that she still hopes to return to work in the fall and is definitely not interested in resuming care for EH come mid-August. So, back to Craigslist for day care leads.

Here's the thing about Craigslist - the people who are posting there are all over the board.  Whether it's us responding to an ad or us posting something and weeding through the responses, the work is the same.  It's absolutely essential for us to know exactly what we are looking for.

So, with that in mind, here are some things to keep in mind when looking for some one to care for your child from Craigslist ads (or any other random source of connecting people.)

1. What are the days and hours and that you need care?  For us it's Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

2. What is the most that you are willing to pay? 
For us, our max is $250 per week.  We've found that most ads list their rates at about $10 an hour (which is $450 a week), but when we tell them what we are willing to pay, they are usually ok with that.

3. Where will your child sleep?
  Will they be sharing a room with another child or have a space in a separate room? Is the room dark and quiet?  Is there already a place to sleep, or do you need to provide a pack and play to leave there?

4. How many other kids will the person be watching? What are their ages?
  While we would prefer that the caretaker only have one other child, we are ok with EH being 1 of 3, at most.  We know from our daycare experience that 4 kids per caretaker is just too many when you're dealing with infants.

5. What do you need to provide? What are you willing to provide?
  With A-Care, she didn't have anything and we need to provide it all.  For this search, we know that we can provide, if needed:
- Pack and play with changing table and mobile
- Exersaucer
- Diapers, wipes, and diaper cream
- Extra sets of clothing
- Linens for the pack and play, burp clothes, bibs, etc.
- Toys
- Bottles, formula and food on a daily basis
- Stroller
- Car seat and car seat base

6. What are your expectations of a caretaker?  We include the following things in our expectations:
-  No television
-  Keep a log of the time of all naps, bottles, and diaper changes - this helps us to plan our evening once we pick EH up
- A reasonable effort is made at getting EH to nap

7. How will days off work?  It might seem premature to discuss this early on, but it's definitely something to consider, and for us it's essential to have someone who is reliable.  For our situation, we agreed that we would pay A-Care the full weekly week if we kept EH home for a day or number of days on short notice.  If we gave plenty of advanced notice of a week where we would not need her to watch him, we would not be expected to pay.  Likewise, if she notifies us of a day that she cannot watch EH, we would not be required to pay for that day. She agreed up front that she would still take him when he was sick, or when she was sick.  In our communications with caretakers now, we are very clear that while summers are flexible for us, we cannot handle many unplanned days off or week long times when the person can't care for EH, outside of holidays.

Additionally, here are a few things we discussed in advance:

- We would provide clean, empty bottles as well as pre-measured formula each and every day.  We transport this in a small black bag.  In this bag we also include any other foods we want her to give him, as well as extra clothing, diapers, wipes or anything else that we're sending that morning.  The bag comes home with EH each evening with the rinsed out bottles and anything that needs to be washed.

-We agreed that EH could accompany A-Care wherever she might need to go, which on an almost daily basis includes picking her 5 year old up from school around noon and walking to and from the bus stop for the older child.  But EH has also gone with them to appointments and to birthday parties and whatever else she's needed to do, and we're ok with that.  It's important to decide how you feel about this one, because not everyone wants someone else driving their kid around.  For us, we decided that she is usually also transporting her own kids, she isn't going to be reckless, and we also recognized that if we held her hostage with EH in her own home and made it so that she would resent watching him. 

There's a lot to think about when trying to find in-home child care, and really, this list is just a start.  With day cares it's usually a this-is-how-it-goes sort of set-up and the people in charge there have thought of everything already, but when you're just dealing with one other person, and just one or two other kids, it's important that you think of everything that's important to you, because in many cases this is the person's first time providing child care in her (or his, but usually her) home. 

On the flip side though, it's so much easier to make sure that your requests are being met and DH and I feel so much better during the work days knowing that EH is getting the attention that he needs and deserves.

Another Ear Infection

We thought that perhaps after pulling EH out of daycare back in February that we would get away from the vicious cycle of ear infections.  And for 2.5 months, that was true.  But sometime a week or two ago EH got a cold (possible from DH) and after a week of making him suffer through it - and one really bad night when I was up with him for 4 hours straight - we took him to the doctor and he was diagnosed with another ear infection. I think this is ear infection number 7, but honestly I've lost count.

So, he's on antibiotics again.  He's also on steroids this time because he has a vicious cough that keeps him awake all night hacking.  If the steroids don't work, they're going to make us do breathing treatments so let's hope the 'roids work.

I don't think that I ever wrote about it on here, but EH was really close to having to get tubes in his ears.  We had the surgery date set and everything.  And then we told his pediatrician that we were pulling him out of day care and he recommended that we wait to see if the infections stopped or continued.  I really think he believed that they would stop, so we were disappointed to hear that he had one again.  We're not sure what the next step will be - will we still hold off on the tubes? Or is he going to have to get them now? - but we'll find out more on Friday when he goes for his 9 month well visit.  I seriously can not believe that he is nearly three quarters of a year old!

Pittsburgh Marathon 2012

Sunday was a beautiful day, and since we all get up bright and early these days thanks to EH we decided to head into the city to watch the Pittsburgh Marathon.  We had a few friends who were running the race and I always enjoy going to big events such as this.

The race started at 7:30 a.m. but we didn't get there until around 8:30.  My sister lives right on the race course so we were hoping to go to her house to watch the race.  But by the time we got into the North Side the race was already nearly an hour in and it was the section of the race where there were non-stop bodies of runners, and we were stuck on the wrong side of the street.

 Watching his first marathon

So we stood there for a minute or so, trying to figure out which direction to head, when a person started running straight towards us and gave us a sweaty, enthusiastic hug!  It was my college roommate, one of the few people we were really hoping to see, and somehow she spotted us on the side of the road even though we had only been there for about a minute!  It was crazy!!!

 There she is!

And then she was off, as quickly as she appeared

After that encounter we started walking around the course, trying to figure out a way to get through it.  Not even 5 minutes later we saw another person we knew, one of DH's co-workers.  I can't even imagine how many people we would have seen if we had actually been there for the start of the race given that we saw two people that we knew in the first 5 minutes!

We were walking on the sidewalk against the flow of runners, and it didn't take long until we started to see the "walkers" of the marathon.  Only a couple of miles in and there were a LOT of people already walking.  The good part about this for us is that it allowed for some breaks in the sea of people and so we were able to dart across the street and get to the other side, allowing us to head to my sister's house.

Of course, by the time we got there most of the runners were long gone and the walkers were just starting.  The walkers are not very interesting to me (sorry walkers, I know it's still impressive to walk 26.2 miles, but I'm one of those people that think marathons should be left for the runners) so we decided to walk downtown to the finish line area.

The sea of people clustered around the finish line area was incredible.  A lot of people who did the half marathon were just finishing.  I'm not sure what the process is but I think that when people go through the finish line they get their medal and anything else that is given away right there at the end, which means that the finish line area gets somewhat backed up.  If you were a runner and I'm wrong in my understanding, please correct me! But seriously, there were so many people there that I feel like some people had to have trouble getting to the actual finish line.

EH enjoying the fine weather

Allow me to gripe about our stroller for one second.  I love a lot of things about our stroller, but I am so annoyed that the sun shade is attached to the back of the stroller and can't extend any further than what you see right now.  It's basically useless.  However, I'm pretty sure that they fixed that problem in later models because DH's brother just got the same exact stroller but a slightly newer model and I'm fairly certain that the sun shade on his is hinged and not attached to the back.  In any case, the way ours is is stupid.  Anyone know of any good snap on sun shades that we can attach to the front? 

We got some food and sat in the grass in the shade watching all of the runners and spectators milling about.  People watching at these sorts of events is always interesting, and we were surprised at how many babies there were there!  EH was definitely interested in the other babies and I realized that we need to get him playing with more babies soon - he's definitely ready to be social.

An hour or so after arriving we decided to head back.  EH was getting tired and we didn't want to push him too far into overtiredness.  But I'm so glad that we went, so glad that we saw people that we knew, and for at least one whole day I was so motivated to get back into running again.  (That dream was quickly shattered that night though when I was up with EH from 12:30 to 4:30 a.m. and so deliriously tired the next day that I was actually dizzy.)  I do want to return to running some day soon though! Perhaps I'll sign up for a 5k to create an actual reason for me to start up again.  

He Knows....

Murphy's relationship with EH is fascinating and I have a post already started that will go into it in more detail, based on a comment that someone left me a while back.  The dynamic is really interesting and I think it could be helpful to anyone who has animals in the house and is thinking about adding a baby in the future.

This picture (taken with my camera phone, hence the non-standard photo size) actually says a lot.

Murphy knows that EH is his bet chance at getting an unexpected treat.  EH knows that Murphy isn't going to hurt or bother him, and so he ignores him for the most part.  They're not exactly friends yet, but it's going to happen very soon. I know it. 

And why would EH care about that silly dog anyway?  He's got balloons, people! BALLOONS! Coolest things on earth! So exciting that he literally screams and quivers with excitement when I bring them close to him.  It's hilarious.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Monday was my dad's last day of work.  To say that I am jealous is an understatement.  I would be thrilled if I could go home this evening and not return until I was good and ready.  I don't think I'm cut out for full-time employment....

On Saturday evening my sister's family hosted a retirement party at a restaurant for a small group of close friends and family.  It was a great event - food, drinks, and good people.  The only bad thing is that EH did not have a great night at all.  For some reason, shortly before our food was served, he started heaving and  turned bright red/purple and then all of a sudden he starting vomiting everywhere.  It was a mess.  He threw up so much that I don't understand where it all came from.  It even came out of his nose.  It terrified him, and it probably hurt too, and he starting screaming and crying.  It was very hard to console him and clean up all of the vomit as well.  Multiple cloth napkins were covered in a formula/sweet potato slime and EH's clothes were a mess.

DH and I went into "pit crew" mode and quickly changed EH's diaper and put his pajamas on him.  He screamed the whole time.  Then our food came and he was still screaming.  We tried to give him his bedtime bottle, because it was time anyway, but he didn't want it, and honestly, I can't blame him.  (I never want to eat right after I throw up either.)  DH held him and kept trying to give him his bottle, while I cut DH's food and fed it to him.  Every now and then I tried to grab a quick bit myself, but my food quickly got cold, and when you're eating a "medium" cooked steak that has gotten cold, it starts to taste rather raw and I couldn't finish it.

So I took over EH care and finally got him to fall asleep in my arms.  The poor thing was exhausted and sniffling and still crying in his sleep, but at least he was asleep.  We tried to enjoy ourselves for the rest of the night, but EH kept waking up and it was very stressful so we left soon after that.

Since then, EH has not been sleeping well.  On Saturday night he woke up no less than 12 times, and it was probably a lot more than that but I stopped keeping track because it didn't matter.  Sunday night was just as bad.  Monday night he woke up about 6 times and the one time that I ran into his room to see if he needed his pacifier, it was already in his mouth and he appeared to still be asleep but he kept going "Waaah" in this really sad voice, all while making an adorable pouty face.  It was heartbreaking - he was crying in his sleep.  I eventually decided to wake him by picking him up and then I rocked him back to sleep.  After that he slept for 5 straight hours, which was much needed for all of us.

What is causing this???  Is he still traumatized from the vomiting?? Is he having nightmares??? He was definitely still asleep that last time that I checked on him so I don't understand why he was crying in his sleep.  It's destroying our sleep - for all three of us - and after finally getting him to the point of being able to sleep through the night, this is an enormous step backwards.

What does this have to do with retirement?  Well, it struck me as odd that our society is set up in such a way that there are long periods of time in one's life where you have to balance it all - work, kids, no sleep, keeping up a house, and trying to have fun somewhere in between all of that (so, not very often.)  Then, at some point in your 60s, all of that goes away.  You no longer have kids in the house (hopefully) and you no longer have to work (unless you want to.)  All of your time can be dedicated to doing things you enjoy.  It's sad to me that I work during the vast majority of EH's awake time and I hate the constant feeling of having all of things that I have to do when all I really want to do is spend a little time with my kid.  It's too bad that it isn't easier for more parents to stay at home during their kid's early years - there needs to be some sort of "maternity retirement," but given the sorry state of the United State's stance on maternity leave compared to other countries, there's no chance that's ever going to happen. 

So, instead, I'll just be happy for, and jealous of, those who have the option of no longer working.  Maybe some day my circumstances will change....

So, congratulations Dad, I hope you enjoyed your first day off of work, and all of the many that are going to follow.  If you don't have anything better to do, we have a baby down here in Pittsburgh that you're welcome to babysit any time you want!