Wednesday, October 24, 2018

October Minutes

Greetings faithful blog readers,

October has been a full month as we've been grading tons, traveling for work, seeing family, and loving a busy 6 month-old; since I haven't had much time for blogging lately, I figured I can write a condensed version of all the craziness. Here we go:

Work Highlights:

I'm on the performing arts committee at the college, (along with one other faculty member), and we get to select the performers that come. It was so cool to see the first performer that I had a say in, Emmy Lou Harris, live on stage this month. Brendan was home with Willa while I went to the concert and after party, but he went to the lecture series solo last month to see David Petraeus.

Another highlight was attending a faculty-student appreciation dinner. I went with three of my students early this month while Brendan kept Willa. Brendan will be joining our English honor students at laser tag later this month while I stay home. This system of trading off on who stays home when work events coincide with bedtime has been working well.

SCMLA Highlights: 

This year's SCMLA was held in San Antonio. We left on a Wednesday after teaching and drove five hours. We only stopped once and Willa slept most of the way, which was great. My parents met us there Thursday morning, so they could babysit while we did our conference thing. We were both presenting on the regional fiction writer's panel. As always, it was a delight; this year, I even sold a few books! This was my 9th SCMLA, Brendan's 7th, and Willa's 1st. The best part was introducing Willa to friends from McNeese. 

My parents kept Willa Thursday night, so we could go out with our friends. We ate at Ocho, and we loved their all night happy hour on Thursday. Other San Antonio Favorites were Castabels and Schilos for brunches. 

It felt downright weird to be out and about without the baby, but we had a blast.

That Friday (10/12), we celebrated 8 years to the day of dating! My parents kept Willa while we went to panels during the day and also while we went out to dinner at Bliss. I can't say enough good things about Bliss: the food was delicious and the atmosphere was delightful; it was just what we were looking for to celebrate a special occasion. 

Apparently, that's the original space needle
We drove home on Saturday morning after brunch with friends. Willa slept almost the entire way! 

Family Highlights: 

We got a quick visit from Annie and Josh this month! The two stopped to see us while on a road trip, and we got to eat Thai food, play with the baby, and watch the Red Sox make it to the World Series together (yes, Brendan is so excited). 

Willa had a healthy six month check up and weighed in at 15 pounds, 7.5 ounces (31st percentile) and is 27 inches long (82nd percentile). She got her 6 month vaccines and her first flu shot. She was also given the green light to start on solids. So far, we've tried baby oatmeal mixed with breastmilk and pureed banana and apple. She is an absolute mess when she eats, but she seems to love it (though it's a bit difficult since she doesn't sit up without assistance yet). 

My mom friend Liz sent me a "medal" for "Valour in Breastfeeding," and I thought it was the sweetest idea ever. It's nice to have friends going through the same thing at the same time, and this made me smile, laugh, and feel loved. Thank you, Liz; we got this. 

We took Willa to her first pumpkin patch last weekend, but it wasn't a very exciting display at Fiddlestick Farms like the one we remembered from two years ago. Apparently, our big mistake was coming on a Sunday when the pumpkins had been picked over. We still got a couple of shots with our little pumpkin anyway, which was all we wanted. 

Writing Highlights: 

My story, "Sugar Mountain," was published in Philadelphia Stories. The story won 2nd place (and $750!) in their contest, and Brendan's story was a top ten finalist in the same contest. Brendan was also just named as a finalist in the Fairy Tale Review contest. We were just interviewed for the local paper about how our creative writing influences our teaching. 

Not-So-High Lights: 

We're getting very little sleep around here as miss Willa is in some kind of sleep regression. Also, our doctor encouraged us to start getting her acclimated to falling asleep on her own and in her crib, so we've started that process with naps. It's going well so far. At night, we're both in the "we'll give her her way if she gets really upset" parenting camp. Honestly, sometimes the path of least resistance is also the only path that involves us sleeping at all! 

I've had very little time for working out this month. It's the 24th, and I've only gone to four classes. Yikes! Fingers crossed we can make it to Mommy & Me tomorrow. 

I currently have a cold, a sore neck from sleeping weird, and a very bruised toe from a can of diet coke falling out of the mini-fridge and landing on my toe. 

My grading stack for the week is 22 papers down...31 to go (plus a discussion and journals. Send teaching assistants!) 

It has been cold, wet, and rainy most of the month! Where is our normal gorgeous October weather? 

How We Hope October Ends: 

With a Red Sox win & good weather for our babe's first Halloween, of course! This weekend=scary movie, pumpkin carving, and pumpkin seed roasting. 

How do you plan to spend the end of the month? Enjoy this last week! 


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