Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

I can't believe it's been a whole year.

This time last year I decided to blog because we were officially starting the adoption process. Our lives had finally taken a positive turn, and there was hope for a family on the horizon. We were still undergoing infertility treatments, but somehow in our hearts we knew adoption was how we would finally realize our dream. Boy did we ever hit the jackpot. Seamonkey is all we dreamed of and more.

Jill was the first person to comment on my brand spanking new blog. She said: "congrats - we are also in the beginning steps - just did my I600A last week... looking forward to going on our journeys together!" And I'm happy to say we did just that - both of us did eventually get the elusive I600A, are now home with our beautiful new baby boys. We still keep in touch and I suppose we'll need each other's support more than ever now!. Perhaps some day we'll be able to do a play date, girl. You know, the kind where you and me go have a drink downtown and leave the kids with their dads? Yeah, that kind!

Blogging has been such a wonderful outlet for me. As I know it is with many of you, it is a way for me to process my thoughts...to vent to people who really understand me. It is amazing to get support from people who you've never met. Sometimes just getting a response or two telling me I'm not nuts was enough to get me through a particularly bad day. I thank you all for that...from those of you who have read this blog from the beginning, to the occaisonal commenters who chimed in when they had something useful to say, to the diehard lurkers - who even though I could never coerce them to comment, kept my stats up which encouraged me to keep posting.

So in honor of my blogiversary and of the support of cyber strangers everywhere, let's try a little something different, kay? Wanna?

Go right now and find another adoption or infertility blog out there that you've never read before (and preferably not one already on my blogroll). Easy enough to do, just do a little link hopping...click on a blog from my blogroll (over there on the sidebar ---- >) then click on a blog from their blogroll, then a blog from their blogroll, and so on and so on...keep going until you get at least six degrees of separation or so (I'm channeling Kevin Bacon here). Post the link in my comments and I'll update this entry with a list of some new blogs for us all to check out. Try to choose a blog you wouldn't normally gravitate to (like a different country/program) so we get some good diversity in the list.

If you'd like to have an alcoholic beverage to celebrate, I'll leave that up to you. But if you really want to honor me, make it cold and put alot of vodka in it

So leave a link, say hello, and if you want to say something nice about me and my blog, well that would be just fine too. Make me feel good and let's see how long we can make this list. And you lurkers - let's hear from you too, huh?

Here's what we've got so far! Give these bloggers a visit, and spread the support and bloggy love!!

Worth the Wait
The Chambers Adoption Process
Building a Family
Waiting for Sprout
A Dad’s Journey through International Adoption
Born in our hearts
Voice of the Voiceless
Karen Road Chronicles
Waiting for Brody

Mei Mei Journal
My Diary of Triplet Fatherhood
Waiting for Sophie
Anti-racist Parent
Olive You
Perky’s Perspective
Guatemalan Sisters
Two Moms Adopting

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Monthly Update - Five months old

Dear Seamonkey:

Holy cow how time flies! We can't believe how quickly you are growing from a baby into a little boy. Thankfully you still have your good natured personality. You still start every day with a smile. I took this picture of you this morning, after I heard you talking to yourself in your crib:

It seems that at first you babble on to yourself for your own entertainment, then it gets louder and louder, signaling to us that you've had enough and are ready to get up. Bath time continues to be hilarious, and I'm secretly hoping that maybe there's a swimming scholarship in there somewhere for you. You are on solid foods now, and there really isn't anything you won't eat. You even like peas! You do seem partial to sweet potatoes and pears though. We found a new treat you love - mangoes! We put it in the little net thingie for you to hold and you mash that sucker flat in no time! Of course afterwards you need a hose down.You are getting very fussy with your bottle, and seem to want it less and less now. We know you've had enough when you start babbling and playing with your tongue and getting milk everywhere. So, we decided to see how you would like a cup:
You love it! Now you pull at the glass anytime we are drinking something. Of course, you do get quite soaked but you thoroughly enjoy it. We are working on your sippy cup skills so that you can hold it and drink yourself. You do better each time...you get better control of your hands every day. Getting control of your legs is a different story. You kick your legs around all the time. If we put a motor on you, you'd be off like a flash. We try tummy time with you, but you're not a big fan. We keep trying anyway! You are almost ready to turn over:
You get most of the way over, but then decide it's too much trouble and roll back. Any day now you'll make that last little push!

You are fascinated with our cats. You squeal with delight anytime either one comes into sight. Lucy pretty much ignores you, but Willow is just as fascinated with you as you are of her. She sits right next to you and lets you touch her. When you are playing, she comes right over to see what all the fuss is about. Of course, we're very watchful when they are near, although we are very confident that they will not hurt you.

The family continues to adore you. You visit your dad's parents every Monday and they love you to death. Although Grandpa G is a complete baby hog. He likes to hold you in his rocking chair and doesn't like to give him up to anyone else. You are very relaxed with him and sometimes fall asleep on his lap. Uncle M is chomping at the bit to buy you tons of sports equipment. For now he's bought you your first Mets hat:

My mom is a typical grandma to you. She sneaks you treats when she thinks I'm not looking. She gave you a lollipop for Valentine's Day which you loved. You held it yourself in front of your mouth and kept sticking out your tonuge and lapping at it like a dog. We only let you have a few licks - we know grandma is crazy. You have a fascination with my dad. Grandpa N can get you to smile when no one else can. He's like your own personal clown. You get so excited when he's around you start jumping up and down. Speaking of jumping up and down, you love your jumperoo! You can be in that thing for hours and sometimes you exhaust yourself so much you fall asleep standing in it! It is hilarious to watch you jump and shriek and squeal. You seem to really like music. For some reason, anytime SpongeBob comes on, you stop dead in your tracks and stare at the tv, loving the theme song. Sometimes, if you are crying, we can get you to stop by singing "oooooohhhhh, who lives in a pineapple under the sea..." We also put children's music on for you and you listen very intently. You are partial to the Little Bunny Foo Foo song, especially when I do the hand movements for you.

You are definitely getting more fussy as your personality develops. Sometimes you'll start crying for what seems like no reason, and it is difficult to calm you down. It only lasts a short while, so we're not sure if you're starting to teethe, or are just releasing some pent up energy or what. It's okay though, we know it's part of growing up.

I have gone back to work and you are doing well being home with daddy. Dad can't wait for the weather to get warm so he can start taking walks with you and doing manly things. I can't wait to get home each day so I can squeeze you. When I first get home, you stare at me for a good long while as if to say "Hey, I know you...where've you been all day?" But thankfully you remember me pretty quickly, you let me feed you, play with you and put you to bed. Weekends are spent running around town, mostly to Target to buy you more diapers and more formula. You don't mind being in the stroller, but you are very quiet the whole time. Taking it all in I suppose. Oh but you definitely don't like putting your coat and hat on or off. That's always fun.

We can't believe that you will soon be six months old. We can't wait to see what you learn to do next. You continue to be the joy of our lives..we love you very much.

A little follow up

Thanks for all your comments about my Breadwinner post. I want to make something clear though - I (we) are totally comfortable in our choice to have BT stay home. We don't really care what other people think, because we know this makes the most sense for our situation and for seamonkey's well being. You're right, it doesn't matter which parent gets to stay home.

The "issue" if there is one, is really about how he and I are settling into this new routine. What I am learning, is that there is some truth to the fact that there is never really a complete role reversal. Women, being women, just naturally do a little more than their share. Somteimes that pisses me off, and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, after coming home from a long day, I am disheartened to see the house a mess. This morning, I know I will have to spend a few hours getting things cleaned up or I'll go mad. Again, I don't think he's lazy or doing it intentionally...I think he just has to realize that this is part of the job.

The other part of this is communication. Trying to get my thoughts and feelings across without making him feel inferior, which displays itself as anger. I don't think he realized he would feel this way sometimes, but I know he does. And no offense to you stay at home moms out there, but it is a very different situation. I thought it would be similar, but I realize it isn't at all. I would guess that many of your working husbands don't complain much about cleaning because 1) they don't care so much 2) you would never leave such a mess. This is my biggest challenge so far. I've been able to say things like "Can you do me a favor and clean the bathroom today" and refrain from saying "or else things will start growing out of the toilet". And I know I have to realize, as Del aptly put it, "sometimes men don't see the same piles/messes we see" and girl, ain't it the truth! So I'll let you know how it goes as we progress here.

Anyway...I got another great little giftie from my secret pal:

It is a hilarious card and book. The front of the card says "Stuff that gets on my nerves more than it should: Slow people at the salad bar. The inside shows a the same slow woman with the beejezus scared out of her because someone shouted HOLY CRAP IT'S NOT A DECORATING CONTEST! I tell ya SBP, I laughed at loud at that one, and maybe because I may have on some occasion uttered those exact words. The book is entitled "Women of Substance - A Collection of Estrogen-Rich Cartoons by Revilo. Hilarious cartoons about being a woman. I've cut a few out already! Whoever you are, you get me! Thanks very much!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

White or Whole Wheat?

I’m not really surprised that I’m the breadwinner. If you told me that I’d end up this way back when I was in college, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash. I've always been the ambitious sort. It's my creative mind and inquisitive nature that makes figuring things out and solving problems a welcome challenge. So with any job I've had, I get very passionate about doing things accurately and efficiently. My type A personality gets people to listen to me and take me seriously, so I am able to lead projects and people pretty well. And all that naturally makes bosses happy. And we all know what happens when you do a good job - you get more work. No good deed goes unpunished as it were. So I've been able to make my way up the corporate ladder kind of by default. Before I knew it, I was on a pretty high rung and lo and behold what started out as a job has become a career.

BT on the other hand, has never really been interested in a career. He had a very good job before Seamonkey came along, but he was never looking to build any empires. He was satisfied to never have to manage anyone, and was never interested in climbing up the corporate ladder even if it meant more prestige or more money. One might think I would be turned off by his lack of ambition, but weirdly enough he is a nice ying to my yang. He keeps me grounded and makes sure I do fun stuff too. He is also more of a nurturer than I am. He loves to cook big elaborate meals, preferably something he’s never tried before, and serve them to family and friends. He likes things clean and orderly (and may have an unnatural addiction to cleaning products and organizer bins). He is kind and extremely sensitive, and genuinely the most considerate person I know (how on earth he ever married me will always be a mystery (even he doesn’t know) but that’s fodder for another post). In any case, he clearly makes the better stay at home parent, and I am clearly more suited to working. That, and my paycheck was (much) bigger. So here we are.

I’ve been back to work for three weeks now. So far, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything at home. Seamonkey pretty much eats and sleeps all day, with a little play time thrown in. He hasn’t done anything monumental in my absence. I don’t totally resent BT being home at this point. He is often up and awake before I am. He warms up my car and makes my lunch, and reminds me of anything important I need to know for the day. Other than maybe some mismatched outfits, he does a purty darned good job of taking care of the boy. He also makes sure I get plenty of bonding time with the boy when I get home.

It’s always interesting when people ask me who is taking care of the baby while I’m at work. Depending upon the gender and age of the person, I get a whole range of reactions. Interestingly enough, the Fish just returned from maternity leave. She has a decently prominent position here, and I would guess that her salary is relatively close to mine (I hope not too close, but whatever). I haven’t met her husband but from what I hear he is also at a similar level. She has hired a nanny so that both of them can return to work. She asked me if I’d hired someone yet. Laughing, I said, “Yes, my husband”. Instead of calling me crazy in her snide back handed condescending way as I expected, she was actually trying to justify herself to me. I thought that was funny. So I just sat there and smirked at her and watched her squirm. (there I go, being all nasty and RUDE again – bring it, trolls). Truthfully, I could care less about her choices. Though I may not agree with her situation (I’m pretty sure they both don’t HAVE to work and her back peddling kind of confirms that), it’s her business, not mine.

I have been recently trying to connect with other Breadwinning moms. Other than my new friend Margie P, I haven’t found too many out there. I’ve done some internet research on the whole woman breadwinner thing, but all I find is a lot of crap. There are a lot of useless surveys and studies out there that overthink this concept to death. I wasn’t sure what to make of this article – I think it’s saying that most women who think they are breadwinners really aren’t, because either (1) it’s just temporary so don’t go having any sense of accomplishment, if your husband wasn’t such a failure you wouldn’t be in this position, and once he gets his act together you’ll be back to being inferior (2) good news – your husband thinks you’re his equal – bad news – equal means you have to do your share of housecleaning and child rearing while working full time or (3) you do have the gender role reversal thing going full force, but that not only makes you a radical feminist, the number of you out there are too statistically insignificant to matter to anyone. A better article is this one, and kind of sums up what I’ve been feeling as of late.

We are still finding our way with a routine, and with expectations of each other during this new phase of our lives. I find myself walking on eggshells if something is bothering me about what he’s done (or not done) at home. I would imagine it’s hard enough for a man to be in this situation. Although he is happy with our arrangement, it still isn’t a widely accepted practice, (especially with other men!) and I don’t want to ever insult him or make him feel inferior. It’s something I’ve always had difficulty balancing, now made worse by the necessity of the role reversal. I know he is generally proud of me but sometimes I’m a little too much for him. There have been times when I have expressed a particularly feminist opinion and he retorts “I am woman hear me roar” accompanied by a nice big eye roll. However, I feel like I need to (and should) say something if I’m not happy, otherwise it will just build up and I’ll eventually explode. I would just like to see more things being done over the course of the week so that our weekend time can be focused on family time. It’s stupid little things, like mail piles, and laundry baskets, and closet space and other things that in the scheme of things mean absolutely nothing. I try to ask myself if my expectations are unreasonable, but at this point, with seamonkey being so little and mostly stationary, I don’t think so. I’m thinking now is the time, because he is so little, and the weather is so cold, that more time could be spent getting bigger projects out of the way so when it gets warmer and the baby is more interactive, he can go out and do manly stuff with him all day long. It’s not like I’m totally unwilling to help either. I will gladly work together with him, but every weekend we are off doing something or other so there usually isn’t time. I don’t think BT is lazy or inconsiderate…I just, well, I don’t know what the issue is really. I guess the day can just get away from you. *Sigh* just venting I guess. Not complaining…we have things really good, and we are very lucky that one of us can stay home.

So give me some hope here… I’d be interested in knowing how you other SAH households have adjusted. Did you just naturally fall into a rhythm of who would do what, or was it somewhat difficult to come to agreement on things?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

and the greatest of these is Love

Monday, February 12, 2007

So how is it?

That is the number one question I get asked about being a new mom.

My standard short response is “Awesome”. At this point, the conversation can go one of several ways:

1. The person (woman) says “great” and walks away.
Translation: Screw you my kids were/are nightmares and I don’t want to hear happy stories.

2. The person (man) says “great” and walks away.
Translation: This is woman talk and I will not participate lest it morph into discussions of menstrual cramps and brownie recipes.

3. The person says “Yes, isn’t it?! Do you have pictures?”
Translation: I have no kids so I have no clue but I think other people’s are real cute as long as I don’t have to hold them for too long.

4. The person says “I know! My little Billy is so amazing! He can roll over already and he’s only 3 months old! He can speak two languages and likes to eat mangoes and he just makes the cutest little face when you read him poetry and blah blah yada yada blabber blabber .. Translation: Somebody get me a life.

5. The person says “Congratulations, I’m so happy for you. What’s his name?”
Translation: I am a normal human being with relatively well-adjusted kids of my own, we don’t need to talk endlessly about our kids, tell me his name and I’ll ask about him from time to time.

Needless to say, I try to surround myself with a lot of #5’s.

I also get asked “Getting any sleep?” accompanied by a smug know-it-all-grin. I hate to break it to y’all, but yes, I am. The boy sleeps all night, every night, pretty faithfully since we’ve had him. And if this discontinues because everyone keeps making me say that out loud thereby pissing off all the Gods of Baby Sleep, then I will very angry. And tired. And very. Very. cranky. Don’t make me go there.

In other ranting, what is up with people and baby gifts? It's not the ugly clothes that get me, or even the cheap stuff. I understand that not everyone has good taste or alot of money, and in general I truly appreciate any acknowledgement of the boy's arrival. It's just that I don't get what some people are thinking when they give gifts. Why don't people always include gift receipts?? I have a ton of stuff that totally doesn't fit him or is well, okay, too ugly for my tastes and now I don't know what to do with them. And people, please consider his general SIZE. I can pretty much guarantee he won't be wearing that adorable fuzzy bear snow outfit with cute little ears on the hood in MAY because you bought a size 9 MONTHS. Of course my SIL pulled this classic move -when we first came home, she told us over and over how she bought an adorable outfit with a snowman on it, but she thinks it's too big because it's size 9 months (he was 4 months at the time). Despite my repeated replies, that YES it's too big and NO he won't be able to wear it, she gave it to us anyway, and so far she hasn't produced a receipt, so it's still sitting in a bag in our living room. Don't even get me started on her...okay wait just one more story...

We told everyone that we did NOT want a packnplay - we didn't think it was necessary given our particular lifestyle - but we registered for a very small one anyway, as people were complaining there weren't enough items on my registry (our families are very big). I was very particular about it, because most of them are too big and have too many unnecessary fancy thingamabobs attached. If I had to have one, I wanted small, simple and plain. I was also thinking that if we didn't get it as a gift we wouldn't buy one at all. So, needless to say, on Christmas SIL gets us a different PNP than the one we registered for (actually it was supposedly from my niece but it was clear who's idea the whole thing was), and while we were very appreciative, we said very nicely that we weren't sure if we were going to even have one at all. No problem she said, you can always use the money at BRU and get something you do want. Because the box is big, we left it at our in-laws house. The next week when we are there, lo and behold the thing is out of the box and all set up. SIL insisted that we just see what it looked like set up, as if the picture on the box weren't enough, or as if I'm too stupid to be able to visualize. She felt that we should keep it at my MILs house for when we are there, or if he stays over. First, seamonkey will NEVER be staying over night there. My in-laws, while they are the most wonderful and loving people ever, they are in their late 70's and are too old to babysit a small child. They both have a variety of ailments that would make it very difficult for them (my FIL is in denial but my MIL knows she couldn't do it and I would never put her under that kind of pressure). Second, my in- laws have a TINY little cape and the thing now takes over half of their living room. But, SIL has forced it upon everyone and now there it sits. So ridiculous.

Okay. That's enough. I'm trying to be nice now that I'm a mom and have to set a good example. Did I mention that the way she talks baby talk to him gets on my nerves too? Please woman, stop with the "blankie" and "ba ba". He's a genius and he's going to Harvard, so let's act accordingly. Okay enough. Really.

Thanks for all the kind words on my last post. I know it was shameless self promotion - but we all need compliments once in a while, even if we have to fish for them ourselves. If I had my way, I would win Megamillions and be able to quit my job and pursue my arts and craftiness full time. However, Pampers and Similac ain't cheap, so I have to settle for having it as a hobby. I do have plans to make some decorative things (picture frames, treasure boxes) and sell them online somehow, so keep an eye out for that at some point. Of course, I do all this stuff free for family and friends, and despite how busy I am, if anyone asks I rarely say no. I'm in it for the craft not the money.

Lastly, a big THANK YOU to my secret pal! Sorry I'm so late with this acknowledgement (I am the worst with timely thank yous) I have no excuse. But a few weeks ago I came home to a little box that was chock full of CHOCOLATE! Hello? Could you have gotten me a better gift? You rock whoever you are!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Jardín de Los Pulpos

So here's what I 've been doing when I haven't been working, or spending time with the Seamonkey. I warn you, if you are one who doesn't like themed baby rooms, look away now, lest your retinas get scorched out of your head. Don't say I didn't warn you.

As you will see, the theme is "Octopus' Garden". All murals done by yours truly. Bedding is the sea creatures stuff from BRU, some of it modified - dust ruffle is now little curtains for the changing table shelves, the tab valences were modified to better fit the windows.

My favorite thing in the room is the Octopus Chair from Babystyle.
I still need to finish the curtain for this window and fix this valence. Notice the top of his dresser has "vintage" toys. These toys, including the Fisher Price corn popper, medical kit, stack rings, xylophone, and phone. All of these were actually mine when I was little. An older cousin, who inherited them for her kids, gave them back to me at my shower. I can't wait for Seamonkey to play with them - and I've promised to hand them down to another family member when he out grows them!
Main mural above his crib. The flag has his name on it.

Fish & seahorse, images from the bedding.
Closet wall, blank space is for a picture frame.
I think the boy likes it!

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Nightmare Express

Hey - long time no post, I know. Thinks are fine here at Chez Starfish, although very busy. I have several thoughtful and witty posts in the making, and I hope to share them with you very soon. In the meantime, I give you the following post, written on my blackberry last Friday evening:

As I write this I am sitting on commuter train. A normal occurrence at this time of day (the 6:07 eastbound that usually arrives at my station at 6:50) except for the fact that we are not moving currently and it doesn't look like we will be any time soon. It seems as though there is a train 5 trains ahead of us that has a downed power line on top of it. We were moving rather slowly for a good while, but now are stopped dead between stations. It is now 7:20.

I've tried to read my book, but I am entirely distracted by the social experiment unfolding before me. Anyone want to guess how long it takes before a group of about 75 confined adults start collectively flipping out? Anyone? Beuller? Answer: about 23 Minutes. Here is a little of what is currently going on around me:

Update 7:26
Each time an announcement is made (of the may-I-have-your-attention-we-have-no-further-information variety) it is preceded by several pleasant tones to alert all the friendly passengers that a Message is coming forthwith. Somehow people can't seem to grasp this concept so each time the tones sound it is followed by a full 30 seconds of SHHHHHing that prevents us from hearing that they don't know anything.

After said announcement everyone immediately gets on their cell phone to tell one or more (usually more) loved ones that no, we haven't moved yet and no we don't know when we will move.

Update 7:42
They are trying to figure out if they can restore third rail power and if so determine which direction we'll move - east toward home or west back to a hub station. Please stand by.

There is a woman to my left who has the most annoying voice on the planet (think Janice from Friends) who doesn't know the appropriate decibel level in which to converse on a cell phone. She is alternately talking to two children and a husband so with every announecement I have to hear the same thing repeated loudly three times. It is apparently also her birthday. While I can sympathize with spending your birthday in a hot stuffy train car on a rainy friday night (did I mention its pouring out?) I wish she would stop telling her family over and over that she has decided to reschedule it for another day. It sucks. We get it. She is also apparently an engineer, because she knows exactly what the railroad folks shjould be doing to rectify the situation (I just sneezed and she said God Bless you - thank you but you're still annoying). Lots of "Why can't they just do X? Or Y? They should just Z and get us out of here already. Why don't they have procedures in place?" THERE IS NO POWER LADY. Let them take all the time they need to make sure I don't get electrocuted when I finally get out of this crazy tin can.

Update 7:55
There are lights on in the train but no air blowing. It is getting pretty stifling in here from all the body heat. The woman to my right just busted out a bag of doritos. At first I was jealous because its late and I am hungry. However after smelling her warm dorito breath for the last 5 minutes I want to gag.

Update 7:57
They just announced that passengers need to stay on the train. Apparently some have managed to escape (I guess from the gap between train cars). They are now walking on the tracks where they are trying to restore power to the THIRD RAIL. Now I don't know if it was just done in our part of the country but I distinctly remember seeing the This-is-what-happens-when-you-mess-with-trains video in school, complete with fried body parts. Why would you be stupid enough to step out on the tracks? And did I mention that it is pouring out? Electricity, water? Hello? We are now waiting for the police to come and get these morons (termed "self evacuees") and hopefully use them to test the successfulness of powering up that rail they know so little about. They will not proceed with attempting to get the power up until the idiots can all be rounded up.

Update 8:06
We are assured the police are on the scene now. We can't see any police out of the fogged up windows but we did just see one of those rogue passengers walk by on a cell phone. Not sure where he thinks he's going. I don't know that there is any outlet on this raised track between our train and the one stuck behind us. I hope he's calling his lawyer.

Update 8:08
Thank God for blackberries, at least it gives me something to do. After having enough of Mrs Annoying and her incessant complaining, I finally said out loud "I don't know what you expect them to do with NO POWER". She's been keeping pretty quiet since then, although she's now talking to her seatmate non-stop and I'm pretty sure her ear is hanging on by a mere thread.

Update 8:10
They may get a diesel train to come along side us and do an evacuation. Unclear what that means. Where will the diesel train evacuate us to? And will the train pick up the passengers from all 6 dead trains? I am starving now. I have resorted to rifling through my bag for bits of breath mints that may be lingering at the bottom. No luck yet.

Update 8:21
They think that all morons have been executed dealt with. They may proceed with "re-electrification". I also have to pee.

Update 8:31
Moron roundup mostly confirmed. They will proceed with "re-energizing". Once it is confirmed that power did come on (and no morons were fried in the process) we will proceed with plans to maybe go back the way we came. My stomach is growling audibly.

Update 8:48
Like Bruce Almighty, we got the power. Air and lights on, at least I can breathe. We should be going back west soon, they think. They may make an interim stop somewhere between here and the hub station. And my dad will try and pick me up. Interim station is located in ghetto-like neighborhood and father has tendecies to get seriously lost so not sure if waiting there for him is the best idea. But I need to get off. This. Train.

Update 8:54
Moving west at a "reduced speed for safety reasons".

Update 9:14
Off the traion at interim station. Standing on the sidewalk on busy urban sreet. I've got the fresh air I craved but now I'm freezing. Its windy and rainy - me and a bunch of about 20 random people are huddled under the train tressel trying to stay dry - both from the rain and from the passing cars going through puddles. I want my mommy. Now I really have to pee. I'm about to start the peepee dance. A phone call to dad indicates he's about 10 minutes away.

Update 9:46
Dad is lost despite navigation system. Fingers frozen. Somebody shoot me.

Update 10:03
Sitting in dads truck thawing. Once fingers thaw I will show him how to use the navigation system....or beat him over the head with it.

Update 10:32
Dad dropped me off to get my car in the station parking lot. Almost home.

Update 10:39
Sitting in my driveway. My house never looked so beautiful. My son's window is dark. Since the day we got him, this is the first time I've not seen him in an entire day.

Update 11:28
Greeted by my husband and presented with an awesome homemade meal. Pulled pork sandwich, roasted string beans, cole slaw and twice baked potato with bacon and cheese. I told him if I wasn't so dang tired I would throw him down on the floor and give him some good loving right there (he took a rain check). He tried to keep the baby up to say goodnight but the little guy couldn't hang in there any more. Took a hot shower and about to go to bed. Turned off the alarm clock. Don't wake me in the morning.