Wednesday, September 30, 2009

His wallet pukes pictures

We ran into some friend of my husband’s when out to dinner a few months ago. It was one of our few dinners out without the munchkin, but, of course, we had our hands on our wallets ready to show ALL her updates the second they asked (or well before)! My husband has the things on a spring ready to assault anyone who comes near. His friend summarized this when we saw him again last week. ‘Yeah, I told people you were one proud papa. You come near him and his wallet pukes pictures.’ Then he teased my husband that he’d thrown him under the bus with his wife by saying he “highly recommends” parenthood.

Way to build the male ego, baby

We went to lunch with one of my husband’s friends last week who had not met our munchkin yet. When he arrived, he was excited to meet her and my husband immediately handed her off. Not a good idea… She started crying right away! The poor guy – every time he’d try to take her or even smile at her for the rest of lunch, she’d start crying! A totally unusual reaction for her – though I didn’t tell him that! I told him it was her age and that she was starting to notice strangers (stranger danger!). He said, it was OK – 6 months or 30 years, he had the same effect on women – distress, crying and hiding. Then he got really worried about how his date was going to go that night…

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

She looked at me like I invented comfort.

My mother in law was watching the baby the other day and was suffering through a teething day. She was trying everything to get her to calm down / be happy – putting her in her exersaucer (I like to call it her office. My husband calls it the babysitter.), giving her a bottle, picking her up, putting her down, etc. Eventually she gave her a book with a teething piece in it and, according to my mother in law, “she looked at me like I invented comfort” and was finally settled.

You don’t understand how hard it is

I’ve commented a few times about Moms who say “you don’t understand how hard it is” as a refrain on their stories of raising children. And I realize that I’ve probably sounded overly harsh and should amend a little. The thing is – I didn’t understand how hard it could be to be a Mom. I probably still don’t understand how hard it can sometimes be, as I’m extremely lucky to have great balance in my life by working part time and a great support system / wonderful husband. I was thinking about it the other day and realized that I really wasn’t sure how I’d manage to handle any other version of my life – be it working full time and having to spend so much time away from my baby (watching her be raised by her grandmother – though she’s a wonderful woman, I think I’d always envy (maybe resent?) that) or be it staying at home all the time and never getting a day “off” – every day looking exactly the same. Into eternity. (Keep in mind that I’m the girl who refused to add extra pages in my day planner (yes, it was actually paper, not electronic) for anything after college graduation because I didn’t have a job yet and I therefore had no plans. Nothing. What exactly was I doing with my life? Yeah, I’m a little type A to exist without a schedule.) So all I can say is that I understand that I don’t understand.

That said… I have to share the most recent “you don’t understand how hard it is.” This one came from – my husband! Because of his shift work schedule (24 hours on, 48 hours off) and my part time schedule, we share child care responsibility. On days he works, I watch the baby and vice versa with his Mom watching her 1 or 2 days as well. There are many advantages to this, but one of the great ones is – never once has my husband come home from work to see that the laundry isn’t done, the house is mess and nothing has changed and asked me – what do you do all day? (Note – just to be clear, he has come home to undone laundry, a messy house and no progress made! He just doesn’t ask that question. Because he KNOWS what I do all day.) The sad reality is that I do sometimes ask a question something like that… (Holy 1950’s role reversal, Batman!) Ok, so before you are ready to string me up, let me give context! Some days he gets through EVERYTHING wonderfully – errands have been run, the baby is fed and possibly even bathed and dinner is made. Those days are pretty darn impressive! But some days, the baby has only been given a bottle all day – no cereal, no veggies (which I’m trying to get in consistently every day because we’re trying new ones and watching for allergies). And I admit it – those days I start to head down a path of 1950’s husband (I stop short of asking why my martini isn’t made – though, as an aside, wouldn’t that be awesome? I don’t know how many people referenced the pregnant women drinking martinis in Mad Men when I was tee totaling during my pregnancy…). This may not be entirely fair – as I know some days she can be nearly impossible (have I mentioned the teething recently?). But there is a little more to it…

What he’s actually said isn’t just “you don’t understand” – as that wouldn’t make sense. I’ve spent days home alone with this very child and therefore should actually understand reasonably well. He’s said – “you don’t understand how hard it is for me, as a Dad. You’re a Mom. It comes naturally to you.” I’ve tried to argue that it doesn’t actually come naturally to me (I’m not sure I believe in “it comes naturally” for anyone anymore.), but he’s not buying it (I must just make it look so easy – ha!).

At first I was a little annoyed by the argument – ‘it’s easier for you’ sounded like an excuse. But then… well, then I started to think about it and realized, maybe it is easier for me – NOW. It wasn’t easier for me or more natural. But maybe the fear and frustration he’s feeling now are akin to what I felt in April – those first days and weeks doing it on my own when my Mom had left and he was back at work and I had no idea what to do / what I was doing / how to do anything. There were days then that I cried a lot. I’m not sure he knew how much I cried – and I guess truly internally I was saying quite a lot of ‘you don’t understand’s to him, even if I wasn’t vocalizing. We were having a lot of discussions about whether I’d go back to work those days and I was gripped with fear from every angle – going back seemed awful and scary and staying home seemed really pretty darn scary too – those long days of my uncertainly stretching into infinity…

There are still days where I feel amazing frustration or fear or, let’s face it, boredom, now. But because I was at home everyday on my own for weeks on end in the spring, a single day here or there doesn’t bother me as much. I can usually make up some vague errand that “needs” to be done or something to get me through the day (to actually leave the house and see other adult humans!). What’s kind of funny to me is my husband can usually make up a lot of excuses to leave the house too – they’ve gone to museums, they meet me for lunch, they run errands. Maybe he’s actually TOO good at making up those errands – explaining why other stuff doesn’t get done!

So now that I’ve let that all out… where was I going with that? Basically, I guess there are lots of things I wanted to say – first to apologize for where I’ve been overly critical of others’ complaints (though I know I’ll probably do it again!), but second to come to some understanding of my husband’s complaints and his side of the argument – and hope that he’ll understand mine.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Five Things I can't survive without

So today's question is 5 things I can't live without (I'm going with 'on a desert island.' I can't choose 'in the car' - I've been living without my sanity there too long to suggest I need anything - well, except snacks. I'm nursing. I always need snacks...). Supahmommy shows a survivor logo, but I like her take on it - this is more an island resort. Hubby and I have been talking about taking a vacation - which has made me dream of a "real" vacation, so I'm going to put that dream into words. So without further ado, here's what I want to "survive" at my island resort.

1. Room service. I mentioned the part where I'm nursing, right? So lots of food is a must!

2. Room service will also deliver drinks - like champagne and good red wine. Yes, I know I'm nursing, but this is my fantasy, so why not?

3. A well loved and trusted nanny - so the munchkin in nearby, but also cared for while I'm... hmm... swimming with the dolphins. And drinking all that champagne!

4. My husband - He's not #4 in order of importance! But lest you think he's not there for all this, I thought I should be clear.

5. Some good books to enjoy while relaxing in the sun.

Would it be wrong to put "my pre-baby body" on the list?

How about you?

To be fair, I'll got with the "other" view - just the things I can't live without. It reminds me of a question some of my friends were jokingly asking a few years ago - if there was a superhero action figure of you, what would your accessories be? The dvr featured heavily among the answers... I've realized my responses will really just point out my uberdorkiness (I'm just shy of adding a retainer / head gear to the list...), but then again - that's me!

1. Zyrtec. See, I told you. Just shy of head gear, here are my allergy meds.
2. Books - I love to read! It's one of my favorite "have time" passtimes.
3. A hairband - I'm stealing this idea from Carrie Alexander ( as I realized she's totally right on what I always have with me.
4. Food - ha! So be it my fantasy or my reality, there are snacks to be had!
5. My cell phone - I left the house without it a couple of months ago and a friend of mine suggested it was akin to leaving the baby at home alone. I don't know what I ever did before I had one.

If only I could get the baby monitor to sleep through the night now…

So last night my daughter fell asleep while nursing when we were watching tv around 8:30. This is a little early for her, but not exceptionally early, so I was pretty excited. Well, more to the point, I was exhausted after several bad nights of sleep (she was waking up more, but the move was also stressing me out and making it hard to sleep. Oh, and there was the part the night before where my husband jolted awake around midnight because he felt something funny and it turned out a bug had flown up his boxers and was… as my friend puts it, trying to have “adult fun” with him. He ran down the hall bottomless (at his parents’ house!) to check things out in the light of bathroom and then came back to find new shorts. But I digress.). Anyway, I was excited that this might be an early night! Until the baby woke up around 10 – ready to party. Turned out that was NOT down for the night, but just her last nap of the day. So now the “edge” was off and she was awake and ready to play!

I tried nursing her and rocking her, but to no avail. I handed her off to my husband to rock her – who began playing rocket with her till I explained that that was not calming her down and giving her the sense that this nighttime, not playtime. Nothing worked. We tried laying her on the bed with us – nope, not what I wanted, dear parentals. I’m just going to cry till you pick me up. We tried laying her in her crib while we laid on the bed in that room. Nope, don’t think so. Only time would work. So sometime around 11, she decided to give us a break. After much begging and pleading and, “I love you and think you are very sweet, but I just need you to shut up now.”

We collapsed into bed.

I don’t know what time it was that the baby monitor started it’s “out of range” beeping. All I know is NOTHING MOVED. The monitor in the baby’s bedroom is not close enough to her bed that she could have moved it and this receiver was not near our bed. How did it get out of range when NOTHING MOVED!? I got up to look at it – and it found its way back in range. OK, good. Don’t know what that was. We fell back asleep – but not for long. It started beeping again! I tried to figure it out – every time I’d sit up to look at it – it’d find its damn way back into range! I finally decided to move it a little (I knew my husband had moved it – maybe 4 inches – before we’d gone to bed so that the bright light on it would be blocked by the tv and not bother him. So I moved it the 4 inches back and told him to roll over so the light wouldn’t bother him.). I do NOT know why but that worked.

Our alarms went off around 6:30, the baby having slept through the night. But we dragged our zombie butts out, night of the living dead, because the stupid monitor didn’t sleep through the night. Are you kidding me?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

More teething

I remember when my cousin’s oldest was teething. She mentioned that the little girl had 4 teeth at the time. I’d responded with ‘wow, 4 teeth!’ To which she’d said – yup, 4 down, 16 more to go. Though I sort of knew that teething could be difficult, I really couldn’t understand what she meant. Now I’m beginning to.

The munchkin has 2 teeth so far. The first seems to have poked through when we went to a wedding two or three weeks ago and she was being watched by a friend of my Mom’s. I’d called to check in on her and she’d told me – oh, she’s fine. She cried and howled inconsolably for 45 minutes earlier, but I knew it was just gas and teething, so I didn’t bother to call you. Oh jeez. The next day she mentioned to my Mom that the baby’s teeth had come through / were already showing. I looked and sure enough the first one had poked through – and we’d just missed the worst of it. Awesome. Maybe they can all come in when I’m not looking…

The next one seemed to have poked through about a week later – this one seemed to have only been accompanied by 20 minutes of wailing (for my mother in law) – so clearly we’re making progress! If the next one is less than 10, than under 5, but the 5th or 6th tooth, we’ll hardly have time to respond before she feels better. Riiiiiiiiight…..

We’ve only seen the two so far, but the crying seems to indicate more on their way. I mentioned the unhappiness yesterday morning (this morning felt fairly similar), but there was another long period of it last night. She just didn’t want to be put down all evening – and really wanted to be held by me – usually to nurse. Of course I was trying to work this around packing and her bath time and maybe getting some dinner myself. She actually wasn’t too bad for the early part of the evening and I did get some packing done. Getting some eating done was not nearly so smooth a process. She finally fell asleep sometime after 9:30 (I think close to 10, but I was starting to lose count).

So on that note I say – 2 down, 18 to go.

If that's moving up, then I'm moving out

Just to finish out the moving out / moving in with my in laws saga… I believe I left us at fixing the ceiling leak on Friday evening. We finally made it to bed sometime after 11 – after the baby’s last (unexpected) wake up. That crashing noise you may have heard around the universe was me hitting the bed (well, air mattress, the bed was long gone by then!). I know that this noise is very loud because it is clearly one of the most annoying noises in the world to my daughter – one of the few noises that was guaranteed to wake her up from a long nap in the early days (you know, the long naps you worry are going to prevent them from sleeping well at night, except, haha the joke is on you because they’re not going to sleep at night anyway? Yeah, those.).

I was dead to the world. For just over 3 hours – till the baby woke up crying at 2:30. I listened to her for a little bit thinking – oh man, I’m so tired, please stop. God I want to just go in there because then she’ll stop in a few minutes, but she’s at an age where I probably shouldn’t do that anymore because she has to learn and… I was midway through these mind boggling (certainly boggling to my mind at 2:30 in the freaking morning!) thoughts when my husband asked if we should do something. I said no. And then… wait, I need more of a drumroll for this comment – AND THEN HE SAID lazy. WHAT?! What?! WHAT?!?!?!?!? I don’t have words. Not at 2:30 I don’t. He has not lived down this comment yet – and likely won’t for some time. I could try explaining to him that it’s actually in a way lazy to go feed her because we have to suffer through the long lesson of tonight to teach her to sleep on her own. Or I could comment on the fact that as soon as I left, he rolled back over to go to sleep while I fed her for half an hour! Yes HALF AN HOUR! No short feed and go back tonight! Of course not. You know we’re moving and sleep deprived and have lots to do tomorrow… Well, maybe I also sort of half fell asleep in the glider so more time may have passed than was strictly necessary. But that was because when I tried to delatch her after the normal amount of time, she was having none of it and cried to be put back! Which is not normal… so maybe she did need me… But whatever, I need to go back to bed and yell at my husband for calling me lazy!

I got her back down about 3:15 and she woke up again around 4. Oh. Well, that’s not normal. Hmm – I wonder if that whole teething thing could be a problem… We gave her some Tylenol and I fed her again and she managed to get back to sleep for a few hours. Not enough hours! But a few hours. Till our day began again.

It started with more cleaning and packing and loading stuff to the car on my part while my father in law came over to help my husband with some electrical issues – you know, plugs that don’t work. Plugs that haven’t worked in the 4 years we’ve lived here… Well, that’s not strictly true. They worked when we got here. But about 3 years ago, my husband tried to fix some and possibly electrocuted himself (just a little bit!) and they haven’t worked since then.

Eventually we hit a wall with what I could do, as my husband needed to do some touch up painting and finally seal the kitchen floor and I didn’t want the baby in the house for the fumes. So I took my Mom and the baby out to see our “maybe” house (if we ever manage to settle on it) and explore a little while he finished up. Baby Sweetness and I came back around 7 and he’d done a ton of little projects in his perfectionist way – finally painted the trim in the bathroom, installed smoke detectors in every room (why does he like the renters so much better than he liked us?), add a new fire extinguisher, etc. – but the floor remained to be sealed. We got some dinner (aside – I’d fed the baby while trying to eat while he ate. I was almost done with mine when he mentioned we really needed to get going – ok, fair, lots to be finished. I took the baby back and got the bill – and he picked up my fork and started to eat the stuff he told me there wasn’t time to finish! I managed to steal my fork back and he said, ok, so we really have to go. Boys!) and got back to condo around 9. The munchkin was not at all happy about being out so much past her bedtime (the drive was mostly screaming and sobbing, but it finally stopped as we got close – so that it was only those sad, pathetic little sobs. You know the ones – I’m so tired from crying, I’m going to stop. There’s no point because no one ever listens to me cry and no one will help me. Yeah, those.). So I left him at the condo and headed over to his parents house to get the baby to bed.

I finally got her to bed, but in a show of solidarity, I tried to stay up to wait for my husband to get home (lazy, my ass!). He got home sometime after midnight. I could barely keep my eyes open. But then he got into bed and – I COULDN’T SLEEP! Ugh. I guess it’s for the best – the baby was up twice in the night.

We got up early so he could finish getting his tools out of the condo and we could do the walk through with the tenants at noon. I was allowed to be there as long as I didn’t volunteer information because, and I quote, I’m too honest. (Great – we’re slumlords.)

And then that was it. Suddenly I realized our home was not ours anymore. And suddenly we both started to feel emotional about that. It wasn’t just the – huh, we have a lot more storage here than I realized that we’d felt in moving (as there was constantly more stuff). Or, huh, this is a nice place – esp. since you did all those last repairs. It was – huh, this is the place where we lived when we first got married. The place we brought our baby home to. And we’re leaving it. And I don’t like that – it’s a bad feeling. It’s like whenever my Mom says she’s going to sell her house and I ask her – my room too? That bad feeling.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The downside of naptime

Just a few weeks ago the munchkin finally established something of a naptime routine. I know all the purists will insist that I should have been establishing this routing for her long before, but … well, I didn’t. She just didn’t like to sleep much during the day. And, as she was sleeping reasonably well at night, I didn’t want to push my luck. She’d sometimes fall asleep during the day if I were holding her, but the second I’d try to put her down, she’d be done and that would be it. But then two or three weeks ago, she slept in her crib for an hour and half one afternoon. She did the same thing for the next several days! I dared to hope for a routine – and shockingly, one seems to have formed. I think I mentioned when this first happened, I was pretty excited. I joked that I felt like I got a whole extra day in my week and really it’s true! I could clean (or pack, as of recently!) or organize or make a phone call / surf the net / read a book / EAT!

It was pretty exciting – and in many ways still is. But I’ve now learned the downside of this regular naptime. The thing is – not only do I know about this time and look forward to it, so does she. She feels like it’s part of her routine – and she’d like it to be “routine.” She’d like to be in her crib in a nice reasonably dark room and lay undisturbed for that time. She may accept a nap in the car seat – as long as we’re driving somewhere and, most importantly!, do NOT stop the car. What she is not cool with is this idea that her crazy mommy sometimes has that given warm arms to hold her and/or a comfy stroller, she should be able to fall asleep regardless of location and be cool with that. No, no, her thought process goes, I can’t just doze off in a restaurant at lunch! How rude! Would I lay there snoring in front of all those people? I think not! Instead I’d prefer for you to hold me while I grab at your food and any sharp utensils nearby while pulling my hair and explaining to you in no uncertain (but definitely fussy and whiny) tones why it is YOUR fault that I am tired now. She then continues to “explain” to me the rest of the afternoon that she is still tired because she missed her nap, but no, she can’t go to sleep now. The window is passed.


I’ve blamed my absentmindedness / screw ups on pregnancy brain / mommy brain / baby brain and whatever else, but I’ve just realized – I gave up caffeine (for the most part – be reasonable!) shortly before I got pregnant. And then all these brain lapses started… I don’t know that it’s the baby at all! I am just missing that sweet elixir of the gods! Someone get me a diet coke!

Yes, the baby was up last night. Why do you ask?

Monday, September 21, 2009

All about ME Monday

Thought I'd try this one out as this seemed like a fun idea! I can't seem to get the link in right, so I'll have to direct you to Mommy Brain ( for the link, but here are the 5 things about me Monday TV for me shows to watch.

1. The Office - I love this one! It's the one show I absolutely feel the need to watch each week and will watch online if I miss it. I considered turning it on at the hospital when my daughter was born (4 hours old is NOT too young to introduce her to it!), but decided her visitors wouldn't approve.

2. House - I got hooked on this one during maternity leave. I honestly think it was on SOME channel at every time of day for the 3 months I was off.

After those two, we start getting into the ones I CAN miss, but want to check out (there used to be a lot more "must sees" for me, but just don't feel like there's a lot great on right now).

3. Community - the previews for this looked cute and it's on after the Office, so why not?

4. Glee - a friend highly recommended this, so I checked out the premier online and thought I'd like to check it out again.

5. Cougar Town - I like Courtney Cox and it looks funny.

If I'm not busy, I'll also check out Scrubs, as it's kind of fun. Other than that, I think I must watch a lot of reruns and movies... I mean if not that - I'd have to READ or something! ;)

Emergency Shoes

This weekend was filled with the joy of moving. Oh, you know that joy. Unless you are still living at your birth home in your little kid bed (like we are at my in-laws now…), you have at some point moved (Heck, they didn’t buy this house till he was 8, so even he has not fully regressed!). And you are aware of the general bliss that this is… not. So you can imagine what a fun weekend we had sending all our furniture to storage, packing up everything, finally fixing all those annoying little things we’d been meaning to fix for years and now only fix for the tenants (man, it could have been so nice for us there…) and then trying to find space for everything in storage / at my in-laws between taking phone calls from the realtor that no, she has NOT heard back from the listing agent / selling bank / title company yet and she doesn’t think this looks good. I thought the tenants might have to pry the keys from my cold dead hands…

But we somehow did it. On Friday when my husband looked in my closet at all that STILL needed to make it over to his parents b/c I’d forgotten to pack my shoes and starting referring to me as Imelda Marcos and asked me what else I was hiding, we still managed to stay married. I looked at him and said – you’ve been married to me for 3 years – why are you surprised I have so many shoes? He told me he wasn’t surprised I had so many shoes – it was that I had so many emergency shoes. He understood that I would certainly have several pairs – just not double digits! Now I have to note – I am definitely pleased that my husband is not only embracing the concept of ‘emergency shoes,’ but that he also fully realizes that there would be multiple pairs of them. But this mess was not entirely my fault. You see I’d realized earlier in the week that I’d held out too many clothes. This was due to a combination of stress / pushing forward / doing multiple things, but mostly because I was trying to sort through and donate/throw out a lot of clothes rather than just store them. So storing them was like one step up from donating – an admission that I didn’t really need them and possible should be throwing them out. Well that and the fact that I have no idea how long we’ll be at our “temporary” residence. I should hang on to my summer clothes as it’s still warm and we would like to take a vacation sometime. Then I definitely need my fall clothes as it’s getting to be fall soon. Do I need winter clothes too? And is this sweater really winter or fall…? You see how this goes? Anyway, I’d wound up with a lot of clothes left. So earlier in the week, I’d mentioned I could sort out more for storage and my husband had said – NO! We have no more room in storage. Nothing more can go to storage! So I’d left them. Which brings us to Friday and the emergency shoes situation.

Luckily my emergency shoes were overshadowed by a different ‘emergency.’ Just for old times sake, our condo decided to have one last water based gaffe for us before we left. Water was leaking through a fixture in our front hall. My husband had noticed it early in the week and contacted management, but they didn’t send someone over till Thursday. By this point, we were getting our backs to the wall – the tenants were moving in next week. They needed to come fix this right away! So my husband offered to go buy the supplies at Home Depot for them (to be reimbursed) so they could fix it. He was at the store when they called to say the insulation he was buying wouldn’t work, but they’d take care of it all tomorrow morning. Friday afternoon, we still hadn’t seen anyone. So my very ticked off spouse headed over to the office around 3 where the building manager said – well, I was off, so I didn’t know about it till yesterday. Oooh… bad move, building manager. My husband is a reasonable man, but what ticks him off more than anything is someone who wimps out and won’t take responsibility for their stuff. He looked at the guy (not in the eye, as the manager was now refusing to meet his eyes) and said – look, it’s not my fault you were off gallivanting (yeah, I think he might have really said gallivanting – like 1943) and having fun this week, but the rest of us were working and this needs to be done! To be fair, the building manager deserves a vacation as much as anyone else, so he’s allowed to go off and ‘gallivant’ all he wants. But he is supposed to leave someone in charge and things aren’t supposed to come to a standstill. The interchange did NOT go well, but he called my husband a little while later to say someone will be there and it will get fixed today.

Well, 5:30 comes and it’s not fixed yet. As we know the office closes at 5, this is not good. Not for anyone – not for my husband’s blood pressure, not for the building manager come Tuesday morning (my husband’s next weekday off), not for anyone… He’s totally steamed now – when there’s a knock on the door and the repairman is there to fix it. My appeased husband sits down and looks at me and says – you know, you just let yourself get too upset about these things, honey. You’re going to give yourself a stroke getting upset when clearly it’s getting done now. He looks at my mother who is there and says – I don’t know why she lets herself get so riled up. Ha! Why am I not allowed to drink?

Wedding #2

The second wedding story isn’t nearly as long (I think!), but I thought I’d separate it out anyway. A couple of weeks ago my cousins’ son got married. To explain, no he’s not a kid – well, he is and always will be in my mind, but he’s really 25. Her mother and mine are sisters, but my Mom is quite a bit younger than all her siblings as she wasn’t born until after her oldest brother died from childhood illness. My Mom’s other siblings both married very young – her sister at 19 and I think her brother was 20 – and had children right away. My Mom also married fairly young, though after college, at 22 and waited sometime to have children – of which I’m her youngest. So there’s nearly a 20 year age gap between my oldest cousins and me (the youngest of our generation). The 2 oldest cousins both got married at 22 and had children in their 20s, so I’m generally much closer in age to their children than to them. But their children are still several years younger than me and I’ve always been aware of that generation gap – making the idea of one of them getting married seem scary!

Anyway when I saw my cousin, mother of the groom, walking down the aisle, I nearly cried at the look on her face – all the pride and joy coupled with the melancholy of “losing” her son. She’d told me recently that she’d been invited to a wedding when he was just a month old. She was nursing and not ready to leave him so long, so she’d only gone to the church, but she’d cried during the wedding at the thought that he’d one day get married and leave her. I related only too well as I watched her face and looked at the bride and groom (seeming so young and tiny that they could stand on their own wedding cake). Luckily, I was not held back down by the same hormones she would have been a month out or I would have bawled! I couldn’t help but think that that moment must have seemed only a moment ago to her and now here that vision was coming true. It would probably seem like only moments had passed when my own little one was growing up and going away and maybe even getting married.

The ceremony was beautiful and then we moved on to the party! My cousin was affiliated with the place where the reception was so she oversaw quite a lot of the preparations and was able to keep things going as long as they wanted (we left at midnight with things in full swing. I hear the festivities finally broke up around 3:30.). The bride (and to some extent the groom) was a vegetarian, so she’d decided to have a vegetarian (well, with fish) wedding. My favorite example of this was the “figs” in a blanket (my husband was so disappointed he’d misheard and thought hot dogs!). Overall the vegetarian option didn’t bother me (though I’m not a huge fish fan), but it clearly bothered some of the others at our table. The comments were so funny as many noted – you know, I don’t even eat meat every day, but now knowing I CAN’T have it! We were clearly seated with the carnivores!

The party was a lot of fun, though there was one interesting twist. My husband and I had joked at the Indian wedding that our culture was so “boring” as we had no cool traditions – clearly this bride and groom wanted to prove that wrong. Both had taken Irish step dance lessons as children as had their siblings (and some other cousins), so they got up to show off their moves – with an Irish folk band (another cousin) to accompany them! My husband watched and finally looked at me and said – you know, this is the ultimate white person dance – you don’t move your upper body at all!

Oh we are so culturally diverse and accepting…

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married!

We’ve been to a couple of weddings this summer and seem to be running the gamut of cultural experiences – and attempting to run through babysitters as fast as we can! The first wedding was in May. It was a traditional Indian / Hindu wedding, which was a new experience for us, but very cool. We started with the parade / dancing in the street. Well, we didn’t dance too much. We look like idiots dancing when surrounded by other bad dancers – it’s awful to be among those with style! We could only get away with dancing at all as the groom is well known for being a really bad dancer, so we could just try to stand near him to deflect! Unfortunately, he doesn’t dance during the parade! So we did our best (tried to “screw in light bulbs,” as my friend puts it in describing the typical Indian dance hand motion) and then hid!

The groom’s parade finally rounded the corner and met the bride’s parade and the two were brought to each other to throw garlands around the neck of the other. Each is supposed to try to evade being caught in the string of flowers so they are lifted up by friends to be as tall as they can. As my husband is more than 6’3, he was pressed into service. He was also told that he would have to “protect the groom’s shoes.” For anyone who doesn’t know about this (like we didn’t!), apparently the bride’s family tries to steal the groom’s shoes during the wedding and then will ransom them (apparently they can demand quite a price – in the thousands! The groom has to pay it, as it is bad luck to lose them.). At first we thought this was a cool / interesting tradition. That was until after the garlands were tossed to catch bride and groom (my competitive husband made sure the groom got his on easily from his height) and the first scuffle for the shoes began. This consisted of someone kidney punching my husband in an attempt to make him drop the groom so that they could grab his shoes! This one was quickly broken up – as apparently you’re not really supposed to steal the shoes until the ceremony. I watched my once groom come out of it though and he was PISSED! He was totally controlling it, but apparently that hadn’t been a love tap on his back – he knew that they meant business!

He was therefore called into active duty again to guard the shoes during the ceremony – and apparently he’d gained some fame among the families at this point. People were congratulating him on the good job he’d done by name – oddly in the bathroom… I think they were expecting him to go into his full old football mode – possibly tackle the bride’s mother or body block her grandma. After the ceremony, everyone was on alert when the groom’s side realized that the bride’s side likely thought the backpack I was carrying held the shoes. It didn’t. It held my breast pump. They were happy for the decoy, though I began to wonder whether I’d be sacrificing a $300 pump for a $25 pair of shoes…

But amazingly the crowds retreated and it had all been a joke on the bride’s side. They had no real intention of stealing the shoes and instead presented the groom with a generous gift. On the one hand we were psyched that all had ended so peacefully, on the other – man, how anti-climactic!

We proceeded to the cocktail hour where everyone seemed to descend on the food after the long ceremony! Luckily I was a little slower in my tasting than my husband so that I didn’t down a whole fried jalepeno (the heat of this makes those poppers at Fridays look like nothing!)! He slowed after that… Unfortunately most of the food through the evening was a bit spicier than we were used to. It wreaked some havoc on our insides, but not too bad and I didn’t think much of it. Nope, didn’t think a thing of nursing the baby the next day or giving her the bottles I’d pumped that night. Not at all – not until the spitting up began….

She was like a machine. As much as I thought my stomach had suffered, hers was a hundred times worse (how do Indian babies do it?). We had unfortunately had to drive to NJ for a funeral the day after the wedding and were staying at my Mom’s (though she was out of town). So we were not as “stocked” as we normally are. She was managing to soak through every outfit I’d brought! One she puked on the second I’d gotten her into it! I had to hand her off to my husband then as I was starting to lose it. Only by the grace of God one of my Mom’s friends had dropped off a bag of baby clothes that day, so we were able to pull out the new stretchies to put her in. They were far too large, but better than nothing. It was a long night…

Hearing test

When the munchkin was born, they did the typical newborn screening test. This is sort of an interesting concept to us – how do you get a newborn to “respond” to tell you what he/she can hear? Apparently it’s more a test of the “equipment” – they’re able to test if she has all the right parts developed and they’re passing signals, not if she can actually “hear” them. Anyway, she passed, but she’s considered higher risk because her grandmother (my mother in law) is deaf in one ear. The story of her grandmother’s deafness if pretty typical of the time – no one noticed she couldn’t hear and they just assumed she was slow. She taught herself to read lips (and still can – so watch out!) to get by. Eventually, by the time she was 8 or 10, they realized the issue and dealt with the problem (and moved her out of the slow classes). I say this is typical as one of my uncle’s brothers (he’s an uncle by marriage) had my Dad for 10th grade English – also in the slower classes. Dad was the first person to notice (based on specific mispronunciations) that he likely had a hearing problem. He was tested and it turned out – he wasn’t slow either.

Anyway, you hear those sorts of stories and you want to be sure that you don’t let the same thing happen to your kid! So when the doctor suggested that we should consider follow up hearing tests even though her hearing screened fine, we agreed. I still wasn’t sure how they would actually test a 6 month old, but figured maybe they could look for responses now. As it turns out… no, it’s still a mechanical test. But now it’s a mechanical test of someone who moves and squirms and can therefore pull out the tubes, so there are some added complexities. I discovered this when I called to make the appointment and got the laundry list of instructions – no formula for 6 hours before, no nursing for 3 hours, no juice or water for 2 hours, no napping for 4 hours, etc. It sounded like a hellacious day – for a baby who tends to “snack” and likes to eat fairly often on demand when I’m around. Worse – she’s just starting to grasp the concept of napping in her crib – I don’t want to lose this progress! But that was just the start – our real concern came on the next instruction – we needed a prescription from her doctor for a sedative. Now I’m not generally crunchy granola on the meds thing. I don’t believe in a holistic approach overall – if something hurts, I will do something to fix it. But a sedative? For a 6 month old? (now for those times she won’t sleep through the night, sure! Just kidding!)

We discussed it and decided that this wasn’t for us. I called the nurse advice line who said that since she had no symptoms or real issues (she’s responsive to aural stimuli), she really thought we could skip it, but we should talk to the doctor. The doctor said – well, the recommendation is to do it. So I won’t tell you not to – you need to understand the risk and factors if you don’t. She went on to say – but your husband’s an EMT, right? (Yes, EMT or really a paramedic, not an ENT (ear nose and throat doctor).) She understood our concerns on the sedation and told us – well, if she was REALLY fussy and you just had to feed her in the time before the exam, they wouldn’t be able to sedate her and would have to do it without sedation… Hmm… I was still concerned about hooking my little one up to all sorts of stuff for tests (tests my husband describes as “more useful for someone’s PhD study on infant hearing than for any real diagnostic value for my daughter” – but we’re not stubborn or opinionated…). So we’ve decided not to do it – at least for now. But I open it up – has anyone else done this test? What did you think? Does anyone know much about the diagnostic value?

Moving: It’s not so funny anymore…

When we first figured out that the delay in closing meant we’d be putting just about everything into a storage unit and moving in with my in-laws indefinitely, we laughed and joked about it. My husband said that he’d told his Mom that at 32 he was actually COMPLETELY Ok with the idea of curfew and would be happy to have the lights out at 10 – or earlier! – if she wanted. He joked that now that he was moving back home, he might try out for CYO sports. I believe there was talk of “getting the band back together.” Hahaha. Yes, we could laugh. Because this couldn’t be real. It couldn’t really happen.

But alas it could.

And with each box we pack, the reality becomes more… real. So that every few days I will turn to my husband and say – holy shit, we’re moving in with your parents in [fill in diminishing time segment] weeks or days because it has hit me anew then. I’ll go a few days in this reality – I think it starts to wear off though (because, again, this CAN’T be real. I am a responsible adult. Truly. Responsible to a fault. Annoyingly responsible! Arguably not fun at times responsible. A square (you know, if it were 1954).) so that every few days it’s like a newsflash in my brain until coping mechanisms (so sad that drinking copious amounts of alcohol is not currently an option while breastfeeding) soften the edges of it – so it can hit me AGAIN.

My husband has these revelations in different ways. He noted to me the other day how our lives have change to put the baby first and work for her future – so that we do things for her; we’re buying a house for her. Then he looked at her and said – so this is your fault.

I know we’re in a better situation than a lot of people these days. I mean, we’re not being kicked out of her home (except by those damn pushy renters who are all about “getting something” for that rent check they’re giving us!) or in dire financial straits. This is a set back because of a process issue and it will be cleared up.

But until then – have I mentioned we’re moving in with my in-laws?

Teething – My God, My God, Why have you abandoned me?

She's actually not too bad overall with the teething process, but does go through longer periods of fussiness and sometimes cries up this pitiful storm. Example: This morning she was whimpering a little in her crib as I was getting ready. I walked in and she smiled when she saw me but the crying got a little louder as I walked past her (to open the drapes!). I picked her up, which caused the crying to abate somewhat, not fully, but became a full scale offensive when she was put down on the changing table for a diaper check. She screamed through that whole process (picture it as a baby version of "my God, my God, why have you abandoned me?") so that I stopped to feed her as soon as the new diaper was on (no clothes). Oh, I should probably note that the door was open as my husband was loading the truck for moving (so all the neighbors were getting front row seats to this concert. They must have waited a little while to call child protective services, as they didn't arrive before I left.). I fed her for a bit and when she seemed to be slowing eating, I pulled her off to get her dressed and finish getting ready for work, but that was immediately met with full scale wailing, so I put her right back! Through liberal use of the baby bjorn and swing, I was able to finish getting ready / eating and she seemed better - though I passed her off to her Dad with a warning about potential teething.

I was maybe 2 miles from home when I got a call that he felt a lot of teeth buds (and I think the screaming had resumed) so she was getting some Tylenol.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Moms Unite!

The other new Mom came back to work this week. My heart went out to her on Monday - though she seemed so much more put together than I did that first day. Why does EVERYONE seem so much more put together than me? Regardless of how she seemed (did I mention it was way better than me?), I know that first day back had to suck. The whole first week actually… But we’re not actually that close, so I didn’t say much – just sent her an email to welcome her back, tell her I know it’s hard and to let me know if she needs anything.

Anyway, today I had walked over to a meeting (OK, so the building had an ice cream social if you must know!) with her along with some other coworkers and the subject of mommyhood came up. As we were talking, she mentioned that incessant crying those first few days / weeks. The other moms joined in with their stories of the same (and one non-Mom shared how her sister had the same experience). Oh, THANK GOD, this is not just me! But why do we as Moms not tell anyone about this beforehand?

I remember a former coworker of mine mentioned making some complaint about pregnancy to a single friend within earshot of a Mom when she was expecting her first. The Mom took her aside and said – look, you are now a member of a club. Your job as a member of this club is to recruit more members! Do not tell the single / childless girl about the difficulties! The way she told the story… I think her friend was serious… And in many ways, it seems this is true.

While I know that I’ve mentioned that I have a few friends who complain quite a lot about their kids, for the most part, people really don’t tell you the “true” difficulties that come in those first few days. Maybe I did hear that it’s “normal” to feel overwhelmed and unprepared the first few weeks, but I don’t think anything I heard prepared me for what I truly felt – for how scared and alone and a thousand times more than overwhelmed that I really was. And I’m not talking post partum depression here – that’s a whole other, much bigger issue. I’m talking about just normal, run of the mill – holy shit, what the hell have I done!? Get me out of here! You know? That. Sure I’d heard of the baby blues – but really? Are you kidding me? That’s what that feeling is called? That innocuous cute little name is how you describe a totally hormonal, scared, tired beyond belief, questioning of your whole nature / purpose in life / being? Oh yes, that’s just the baby blues. What if we got more realistic on the name? What if we called it the baby emotional apocalypse? Sure, people would still downplay it as no big deal - Oh yes, that’s just the baby emotional apocalypse. But I feel like you might be better forewarned with a name like that!

But the truth is – we all forget! We don’t even think about it after it happens. If someone else mentions their difficulty, then maybe you remember and say – oh yeah, that was rough. I forgot. But now that you mention it, I did cry for 4 days straight. Or, hmm, funny, it hadn’t occurred to me till you said something, but yes, now that you mention it, I did consider running away from home and changing my name to a Native Indian tribal name – Leaking Milk. Oh is that one taken? Is Wearing Dirty Shirt available? How about Doesn’t Wash Hair?

It’s been only 6 months and anyone who has read recent posts can tell you that I’ve already just about forgotten and am starting to long for the next one. Not just the next baby, but the next pregnancy! Now that’s just crazy. I mean, do I miss the projectile vomiting of the first few months? The headaches that woke me up at night because I thought someone was trying to crack my skull open? The Chinese water torture of when she’d choose to just keep kicking in exactly the same spot – over and over again? The round ligament pain? The Braxton Hicks contractions? Heck – stepping on the scale during the last few weeks of gestation?! Who is this woman I’ve become?

Oh yes, I know. I’ve become a mother. The thoughts of back pain and images of swollen body parts have been forever replaced by that big gummy smile when she sees ME! God knows how crazy I’ll get the first time she calls me Mom…

Moving Day – ch-ch-ch-changes…

The move is coming, the move is coming – I think I feel the same level of anxiety as Paul Revere. Except he had an army awaiting his cry (or at least a militia!) and we… do not.

I should probably start by telling you that I HATE change. You know how some people thrive on it? They love living on the edge and getting that adrenaline rush. These are the same people who procrastinate because they “work better under pressure.” This is NOT me. Not to say I don’t procrastinate – but when I do it’s out of pure laziness, not some idea that I work better under pressure. So even in the best of circumstances, a move is not a happy ideal for me. As much as I complained about our condo (they’re turning off the water AGAIN tomorrow!) and claimed we were living in an overpriced tenement, I will miss it. I would miss it even if we were moving to the greatest house in the greatest location, etc., etc. But we’re not… Due to some title issues, settlement on our house is delayed (no update yet on when it will actually occur), so we are moving in with my in-laws.

Let that one sink in for a moment. Should I say it again? I’d really prefer not to. Now before I say anything else, I should say that they are really nice people (hell, they’re letting us live with them for an indeterminate amount of time on very short notice). I like them and generally find them easy to get along with. But, like most people, I probably find them easier to get along when I don’t live with them… (I realize that could be read either as most people find their in-laws easier to get along with when not living with them or as I find most people easier to get along with when not living with them. Which did I mean? Yes. Both are absolutely true for me!)

So there’s that issue and then there’s the other thing. The – you’re how old and moving in with your family? You’re pathetic! My husband has pointed out that moving in with his parents (bringing his wife and child) makes him feel like a complete loser. I’ve said – you think that’s bad? I’m moving in with my in-laws!

But I’m sure there will be many (many!) more entries on how THAT goes. So let’s go back to the topic at hand – moving. I hate moving. Really. I hate it. I bought my condo in 2005 at the height of the market, knowing it was a risky time but thinking – but if I buy now, I won’t have to move again for a long time. Seriously. That was the thought that went through my head – I know I need to move out of my apartment because they don’t allow dogs and my (then) boyfriend (now husband) has a dog. If I move into another apartment, I’ll just have to move again soon. Why don’t I buy a place we both like so I don’t have to? Ok, there was more to it than that, but that did factor in!

I hate moving and I am super anal retentive about being organized and getting everything done early to make the move as easy as possible. And my husband… is not. Let me walk you through each of our last major moves. Mine was the move to the condo. I settled on the condo on a Friday morning and immediately drove back to the place from the settlement office to start cleaning it. I’d driven around all day with my trunk full of cleaning supplies and the first load of things I wanted to deliver – dishes and glasses. They went in the dishwasher to get cleaned from the move and I went to work scrubbing. I made 2 more runs that afternoon trying to get as many of my breakables and as much other stuff as I could (the stuff that isn’t heavy, but takes up so much room) over and into closets so it wouldn’t get in the way / take up room for the actual move. By about 10, my husband (then boyfriend) suggested I was downright crazy as I had a bunch of people on their way over the next morning to help me and I didn’t need to totally wear myself out this way now. The next day half a dozen friends arrived and we loaded 2 pickups, a jeep and my corolla with my stuff to get everything done in 2 rounds. By about 3, everyone was sprawled in my (furnished!) living room eating pizza and drinking beer.

My husband’s last big move was about 2 months later. He moved out of the house he was renting / sharing to a room in his friend’s townhouse. The weekend of the move, I figured it was my turn to pay him back for his help and he could have me all weekend. But it was his friend’s bachelor party and after doing a little packing on Saturday morning, he actually had other stuff going on. We both went out (separately) on Saturday night with our friends. I got to his house by about 8 on Sunday morning and he was hard at work, but Sunday might have been one of the longest days in my memory. In that one day, we cleaned out all his stuff and got rid of about a truckload of junk, we moved his bedroom and couches to his friend’s place (the living room was before that empty, so they were donated to the cause) and I don’t know how much stuff we moved to his parent’s basement (they’ll attest that it was a lot – it’s still there). I honestly can’t remember how many trips back and forth we made to move everything out (as he didn’t want to ask any friends to help), throw out the rest and then clean the place. What I do remember was that it was July and the AC didn’t work and that I eventually gave up around 10 pm to go home and crash, but he was still going.

I’ve already tried to lay down the law that we’re going to do the move my way and not follow his style. I really have. I’ve even started some serious packing – I’ve got bags of my clothes to donate and several boxes ready to store and have packed up the china closet. But that barely makes a dent in 1200 square feet of space and truth be told, I’m worried…

So our survivor style reality TV program (without the TV) starts this weekend – wife pitted against husband for dominance in the move game. Who will win? Stay tuned…

Monday, September 14, 2009

It’s official – I’m crazy.

It’s official – I’m crazy. I was looking for something on my computer today and found the newborn pics my sister in law had sent out… those amazing smush faced little pics of that tiny person who I can barely remember (seriously – I have no idea who that woman is in those first days pictures, but I’m pretty sure it’s not me. I mean, not only do I have no recollection of that, but seriously – I wash my hair!)

I’m beginning to wonder if I had another child would I be able to process those first few weeks better? Would I remember more? Would I be more aware of what’s going on? I’ve almost forgotten how very slowly those weeks seemed to go at the time as in my memories they are such a blur.

I’m not sure if I’m surprised by my change in opinion / demeanor or just surprised by how quickly it came.

Of Bees and Bee Gees

My husband worked on Sunday and got no sleep and then was on daddy daycare duty all day Monday. She let him nap in the morning (she went down for a nap, the dog woke her up by shaking his collar, my husband threatened to have the dog fixed (again) and removed his collar and then he got her back to sleep) – he slept in what he described as a nest on the floor next to her crib while she slept. From his description, he’s not really sure how long she slept, but she stayed relatively quiet and happy for close to two hours till he woke up to her kicking her feet against the slats of the crib. But two hours was it – then they were going for the day! He did pretty admirably well – he took her out to the museum, went to the grocery store for dinner and even had her fed and bathed with dinner underway by the time I got home.

But then he was DONE! Two hours of sleep hit him like a ton of bricks post dinner. We were sitting on the couch when he said – I’m just going to rest my eyes for a couple of minutes – and was OUT! Under some circumstances, this works out OK for me – it means I get control of the remote! But there was nothing on anyway and I was sort of tired, so I decided to take a page from his book of the morning and lay with her on the floor of her room (I was pretty sure I’d stay awake, so we were both on the floor). We played for an hour or so and then I thought it was a good time for an early attempt at bedtime. She disagreed, but I finally got her to sleep and decided to read my book in the dining room for a little bit with some tea (my husband was still sprawled asleep in the family room).

I was sitting for a little while when I heard a buzzing noise. I looked up to see a HUGE bee flying by the light. Now I admit that bees scare me a little (esp anywhere near my baby!) and this one looked big enough to fight back, so I thought it might really take two of us to take care of this one. So I called out to my husband that I needed his help. He actually woke up admirably fast though his eyes showed he wasn’t really QUITE awake yet. I pointed out the bee and told him I needed his assistance (all the while I was wondering, where on earth did this thing come from? No windows were opened and I hadn’t opened the door since I’d come home.). He looked at it perched on the edge of a frame and pointed out that the frame might die in the process too. I noted that the painting had actually been expensive to frame – but I also wanted that bee GONE! He moved over and swatted it – and then jumped back (he later even laughed about his run from the bee – but who can blame him? The thing was the size of a small plane and he’d probably just pissed it off!). Amazingly, he got it in one fell swoop (my hero!) and we disposed of it and cleaned up the remains (did you know that bees release a pheromone when they are killed or when the sting you that other bees can sense and will be attracted to?), again noting how big the darn thing was.

A few minutes later he called me over to the computer to show me pictures of bees to ask which I thought it looked like.

Did it look like this?

or this?

This made me a little nervous – was there a type of bee I should be worried about? Until I saw his third picture, did it look like this?!

Oh my God, I killed Andy Gibb. (Those are the bee gees in case you were wondering.)

The rest of the night, he’d ask – do you hear that – while pretending to be checking for more bees and then would start singing Staying Alive.

It later occurred to me to ask why he was looking up the pictures of bees in the first place (again worried about some strange strain of them). He said – oh, it was so I could make that joke.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mantracker / Babytracker

My husband and I were flipping channels on the TV the other night and came across this wondrous piece of crap TV – Mantracker (! This truly glorious bit of reality tv was unfortunately not covered by I would have loved to have seen their take! As I can not direct you to their snarky comments, let’s see what I can come up with on my own… In the episode I saw Dan is a former marine and Jared is a martial artist. They’ve never met before and now have to evade “mantracker” in the 26 (I think) mile hike across the wilderness. Dan is super serious as a marine and decked out in the full cover “ghillie suit” (yes, I learned a new word today – it’s one of those camouflage things you put over you so that you look like the landscape – covered in grass, twigs, etc.). Jared holds up 2 tiny branches (little more than leaves) in front of his face and goes – my ghillie suit sucks. They manage to evade mantracker for over a day and even mess with him – put out trip wire to spook his horse or knock his hat off, sneak into his camp at night and hang a flag and “don’t mess with Texas” sign on his horse. But he catches them both in the end – when each is separately injured in one of his evasion moves (in the interviews, each blames the other for the loss).

We were mesmerized. It wasn’t as bad a train wreck as your average reality tv (you know the type – I was repulsed, yet I could not turn away!), but we still HAD to watch, despite the fact that it was after 10 and the baby was asleep so we could have been too!

So we went in to check on her after the show – and decided to practice our evasion techniques. Now, truth be told, if she sees us in there, it’s all over and she’ll be up for a bit. But we probably also didn’t have to crawl like a snake across the floor. I admit, this may be my fault. I walked in and did the [stop] hand motion followed by the [I’m going to look in the crib] hand motion. Let me try to recap the rest of the ‘conversation’ for you – done all through increasingly expressive hand motions –

Me: [I’m going to go look at her]
Hubby: [I’ll pick her up and rock her.]
Me: [no]
Him: [ok, I’ll crawl in the crib and cuddle with her]
Me: [no. just look and give her a kiss.]
Him: [ C’mon, how about I rock her and then crawl in with her]
The dog: [screw this, you people are crazy. I’m shaking my collar at you.]
He shakes his collar and the baby starts to stir.
Hubby: [Hit the deck]
We both drop to the ground.

You’d think this would have ended it, but no the ‘conversation’ continued through our ‘sorties’ to check on the baby, more questions or touching and/or moving the baby in any way, the request for my husband who is taller to close the curtains because they are caught on the rod at the top and his suggestion that he’ll lift me over his head to do it – and his subsequent attempt to do so.

We deserved to have the baby wake up on us.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering our heroes

I feel like anything I can say about 9/11 is “too little” and wrong. But I did want to take a moment to remember the heroes of that day and the every day heroes who continue to protect us – esp. my favorite fire fighter / hero, my husband.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


One thing I worry about (whenever I decide to take the time to focus on this…) is that our daughter is not getting the ‘right’ type of stimulation because she’s not in daycare. I know, I know! I’m crazy. It’s counterintuitive. Everyone else on the planet is worried about the type of care their child is getting in daycare and I’m worried that maybe we’re not teaching her the things she should know because we’re not trained (for varying amounts of time) paid (possibly as little as minimum wage) caregivers. So every time we go to the pediatrician I ask – what should we be doing to stimulate her? And every time he/she says, at this age, you really just need to talk to her. So I’ll try to do that incessantly for a few days, till I forget to talk through every step of everything I’m doing and start just doing stuff again. Sometimes it’ll hit me like a ton of bricks. I’ll be cooking dinner and I’ll have the baby in the bassinet (yes, she’s too big for it, but it rolls (!) and can therefore easily be pulled into the kitchen!) behind me and she’ll start to cry. I’ll go over and ask what’s wrong and she’ll stop. Then I’ll go back to what I’m doing and the crying starts again. After a few times, I’ll realize that if I just chatter away while working, she’s happy (she has me so well trained! If only I learned faster…)

Now I think the best way for me not to worry about this is to STOP READING anything on child development. You go through and in the end most of the articles seem to suggest that really just letting kids be kids and letting them play is the way to go. They spend a lot of time talking through studies and your child’s ability to determine probabilities / predict outcomes / learn and I think, but I’m not doing what they just did in their study with my child! She’s behind! And then I get to the last paragraph which says that they learn this all through normal play – and I start breathing again, having probably only lost a few minutes from my life so far.

Some days I shouldn’t be let out of the house.

I’m having one of those days. One of those – where did that car come from? – days. You know – that car. The one in my lane. Or… hmm, I suppose by his honking he’s suggesting that I’m in his lane. Was he there a minute ago? What was I do a minute ago…? Oh, I was thinking about – OH CRAP, HE’S STILL IN MY LANE! Better get moving.

Not sure if I’m just overtired. I actually got a reasonable decent night’s sleep. Only up once with the baby at 5 or so and then actually slept in a little – because my alarm didn’t go off because we lost power yesterday and I didn’t set it correctly. So maybe that’s it. The running late first thing that throws off the whole day.

Maybe it’s just Monday.

I’d say I should stay out of the car the rest of the day, but the thing is – I’m at work… And I don’t want to sleep here. But this is probably a good thing about not doing daycare. The baby is safely home with her Dad and I will only be taking MY life in my own hands later today (totally worth it to get to leave work!).

You think that’s bad?

I know I’ve mentioned before that a few of my friends have tended to complain about their kids. Complain to the point where you wonder why they would choose to procreate – again. Because they complained about the first one – how hard it was, how there was no time, etc. and then went on to have a second and maybe a third.

Once I had the baby, I assumed I was allowed into the club. Except I guess I didn’t complain enough. Now if you’ve been reading here, you know I do my fair share of complaining! Really, seriously, I’m not the earth mother all blissed out on the wonders of baby and mommyhood. The truth is – it’s hard work! But I’ve worked really hard in the past on other “projects” – with varying degrees of respect and gratitude (or disrespect and ingratitude as the case may be) – but I’m pretty sure this is my favorite. It’s not my favorite every moment of every day for every potential second with no room for other thoughts (if anyone says it is, you should seriously ask them what anti-depressants they are taking and ask to get an appointment with their doctor – woo hoo!). But overall, it’s my favorite. So anyway, back to the point – while I have some moments of crazy tired I can’t remember my own name, I do sometimes try to remember that I got myself into this! (Or well, my husband did too and he will reap that havoc some days.) So I don’t spend every moment saying ‘it’s so hard’ to pay back those friends who spent hours telling me that – but that might just be because I don’t want to hear I told you so… (For reference - I do, on occasion, do a “oh my God, it’s so hard” – just not to them! I say it to you instead. Have I mentioned how hard it is yet today?) I’m not sure they know how to react. But the reactions are sort of fun to gauge –

A primary reaction is to say I haven’t hit the worst of it yet. I admit I’m a novice at this, but the worst of it really did seem to be those first 2-3 weeks to me. Now down the line, I bet I’ll disagree. I’ll say the terrible twos are worse because they last so long and those first weeks weren’t so bad because I was so excited and happy to have the baby. And that would be the time when ANY of you should feel free to direct me back to ANY of my blogs on the first few weeks and say ARE YOU KIDDING ME? And then for the truly sadistic among you – to this blog and say IN YOUR FACE! In any case, the general reaction to any complaint I make is – oh that’s nothing compared to… I’ve gotten off the phone with them to go take care of a meltdown apologizing that it needs my attention and they’ve said – oh, that’s nothing. You should see what 5 year olds meltdowns are like.

Now I’ve seen 5 year olds meltdown and it is NOT pretty. I know they are hard to reason with and can just get bratty when overtired, etc. But they are reasonably capable of expressing what it is that they want or what is wrong (or if they aren’t then you know it’s overtired brattiness). Of course it’s embarrassing to you as a parent and loud and frustrating, but you generally know what’s going on and know what caused it. Now when my munchkin (at any point in the 6 months to date) cries, I have to guess at what’s wrong or what’s causing it and the thing is – I sort of know it’s my fault. Ok, fault is wrong. Fault implies some sort of guilt which will have everyone reacting to say – no, it’s ok, babies cry. I know this. What I’m saying is – she incapable of fixing things herself and is crying because she’s hungry, dirty, overtired, hot, cold, sick, etc. – and most of these things could have gone by without a meltdown if I’d tended to them earlier. I don’t feel outrageous guilt about this when I’m at home dealing with it – but when she’s just miserable stuck in the car seat and screaming because she’s hungry and I can’t fix it and still get where we need to go, I do feel a bit guilty. And I wonder if I might be able to tune a 5 year old out better… Or at least hand her some cheerios!

All that said, I can’t believe that complaint wasn’t enough to get me in the club! Although I suppose getting into the club would mean they’d say – see, I told you so! Now you know what it’s like. So who wants to pay that membership fee?

My next favorite reaction came via email today. An old friend asked how mommyhood was going and if it was all still bliss (I’m not sure where she got that notion from) or was I pulling my hair out yet. She said she didn’t start to go truly crazy until her second was a few months old so my first few years may be good yet. Haha! So even though you suggested before your baby was born that having a baby (any baby) was incredibly hard and lonely the first year and that you were overwhelmed, now that I’ve had a baby and haven’t expressed all that (to you! I’m not saying I haven’t felt ALL those things!), you’re thinking maybe you were fine then too. It’s actually the next one that’ll kill me.

Support has been overwhelming.

As an aside - having a baby IS incredibly hard at times and staying home is very lonely and overwhelming! Anyone who says it's not can't remember doing it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

6 months old

Though we haven’t gone for the official weigh in, we have hit the 6 month mark and … wow. My baby sweetness, we have had our rough patches. There were those moments in the first few weeks where I thought I was crazy to ever want to have kids. I didn’t know what I was doing – clearly (whenever your Dad and I would watch those “bringing home baby” shows on tv for the first few weeks, he’d laugh at the parents and say – they don’t know what they’re getting themselves into. Regardless of who they were or their preparation! Heck, regardless of whether they had other children!). There were lots of moments of questioning my sanity – on so many levels.

But now here we are – and you’ve charmed us! You’ve charmed us so much that I swear that amnesia has begun to set in! I saw a pregnant woman the other day and envied her! I’d completely forgotten projectile vomiting and headaches that felt like my brain might explode and waddling around 30 lbs heavier- all of it. Then I remembered the first few weeks and thought – yes, I can wait for the next one. But already those start to seem vague and fuzzy at the edges. I just see your warm, puffy little face – your eyes closed and everything peaceful (that must be a photo we have. I’m pretty sure that never happened when I was around to see it – and yet I’m beginning to believe it really did.). Already I start to think I can’t remember those days well - I have to shake myself and know that this is because of extreme sleep deprivation or I want to rush to do it again! Is it because you have finally started napping well in the afternoon? I feel like I’m getting a whole extra day in the week in that hour and a half. It’s actually even better than having whole days to myself before because I used to spend whole days getting NOTHING done. Now, I know I only have a little over an hour so I feel the need to sprint through everything I want to get done! Let’s use ALL this time. I can sit later with the baby. Now I must clean, do laundry, pack up the house for the move – this is the only time I’ll get for it! So I get much more done in that time than I did in whole days and my life has begun to feel organized.

Or is it because I’m starting to see that tooth poke through when you open your mouth wide and I know my days of big gummy smiles are numbered? I see those and I want to run out and buy you a pony – almost as much as I wanted to when I tried to bribe you with one when you wouldn’t sleep. Never quite as much as that, but sometimes almost.

Or is it because you are starting to roll around your crib with force to propel you where you want to go. You may not be crawling yet, but I see that you’re beginning to get the idea of moving on your own. And your legs or so strong! We barely have to hold you up – you’re supporting your own weight and I’m just balancing you. So I know you will soon be running away while we chase you endlessly.

Maybe it’s because you’ve started to recognize me and show a preference for me. You’ll be wailing away with someone else, but stop the second you’re in my arms. Sure you start again very shortly if I haven’t gotten a boob in your mouth in the first 10 seconds, but still. For just a moment I feel powerful and good (Glinda the good witch!) – I have made this baby stop crying and brought joy by my mere embrace! I know my days of this are numbered. Very soon you’ll want Daddy far more than me (almost enough argument to keep breastfeeding longer – like say through high school?). And then you’ll want your friends over both of us. But for now, I hold your attention and I want to grasp that while I can.

Maybe it’s because you have our hearts wrapped so tightly around your little finger, we can barely breathe for the joy of you.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I’m THAT woman again…

I was supposed to meet a friend of mine for brunch this weekend. The plan was to maybe go to church and then hang out for a bit as it’s been forever since I’ve seen her. So I sent her a text on Saturday night checking to see if we were still on. She texted back – I hope you don’t kill me, but I decided to go to the beach. Can we meet up when I get back (5 or so)? I figured it was a bummer, but a last weekend at the beach for the summer was hard to pass up, so no biggie. It’d be a little harder schedule-wise, but we could meet at 5.

She called me the next morning around 11 – on her way to beach! It wasn’t a weekend at the beach; it was a day trip to the Chesapeake – so basically just a better offer. I was a bit “less cool” with that, but if you know this friend, it’s really not worth getting mad at her for, so whatever. Well then 5 o’clock became 6 o’clock. And 6 became, why don’t you leave your house at 5:45 or 6, which meant 6:30. I hadn’t seen her in a long time and wanted to head in, so I did, but starting out at that time is just not wise for my munchkin. I figured I’d hang out for an hour or little longer at the most so I could be headed out of the city (crossing the bridge) by 8 at the latest. As I sat in the restaurant and baby sweetness decided to start full on screaming with her crying, I wondered what I was thinking in even dreaming I could maneuver the schedule at all. See this is one of those friends who works on her own time – really, in her own time zone. 8 pm really means 9, which really means I’m leaving at 9 and will be there at 9:30. She doesn’t have a car or license, so I used to always plan to pick her up to go places, so I wouldn’t be the first one there – by an hour or more. I’d generally wind up sitting around her apartment for 45 minutes to an hour while she finished showering and getting ready (though to her credit, she usually fed me or gave me drinks in that time. There was one particular birthday (mine) where I did sit starving while she got ready for an hour or so, but then again the ‘errand’ she had me run on the way to the restaurant turned out to be my surprise party, so you have to respect the balance!).

The thing is I accepted this fluidity in her timing as one of her quirks. Sure it sometimes bothered me, but mostly I knew that’s how things went and laughed at her. If I REALLY felt like I needed to be someplace, I told her I was picking her up half an hour earlier (and really, only once (that I recall) did I wind up sitting on the steps of her building waiting for her to come from her partying the night before so that we could head out to go whitewater rafting). Anyway, you see the pattern? And you see I was complicit (although she is a force of nature, so I, in no way, believe I could affect change!). But now I’m finding it harder to be complicit. Because I have a baby.

And so I am THAT woman. That woman that says – you have to work around my schedule because I have a baby. That woman. On the one hand, I can pretty easily argue that it’s rude to consistently change plans and run late regardless of one’s procreative status, but it’s especially hard to plan kids’ schedules around that. It turned out that the munchkin wailed most of the way home, only to fall asleep 10 minutes out from our condo. She woke up when we got inside and then cried to be let out of the car seat and screamed while I walked the dog (I’m sure the neighbors loved that as we walked by their places) and it was hard to put her down for the night. On the other hand, though, what I’m saying is suggesting that we need to change the nature and balance of our friendship – because I now have children.

I don’t think I’d feel so bad about suggesting we now need to follow my schedule (well, the baby’s schedule) rather than hers if, as I explained this to my husband, his reaction had not been – well she just doesn’t understand! Oh man! That one cuts through the heart! How many times have I heard mother’s say that about their childless friends? I swear it was a refrain in conversation from one of my friends. I’ve written about her before – you just don’t understand – I have NO time. I can’t ever take a break or take time for myself because I don’t have time. (Note – this is not a single mother and her baby was fine taking a bottle.) You don’t have kids, so you don’t understand. I couldn’t bother to blow dry my hair before showing up for my best friend’s wedding as her matron of honor because I have NO time because I have a 6 month old baby. You just don’t understand . (For the record, I have a 6 month old and I still have to say I just don’t understand that one.)

Truth be told, I didn’t understand. I now see that this is more than a full time job and downtime has vanished. There are days where I feel like I go ALL DAY. When the baby finally goes down, I am washing bottles and folding laundry to prepare for the run tomorrow. I do sometimes envy my husband’s ability to relax with a beer at the end of a rough day because I don’t feel my day is over yet. I envy him the ability to have “one too many” at a wedding because he doesn’t have to worry about nursing at 3 am – or about being “fuzzy” and unable to catch up before her wake up call comes all too early.

But mostly – I don’t care so much about having “one too many” and most days are not the “those days.” Most days I really enjoy her for a good part of the day (no, not all day. Are you nuts? Somewhere in the course of the day, there are dirty diapers or my back aches from picking her up or she wants me at a moment that I want me!). And even some “bad” days, my husband takes over and I head to the bathroom for a bubble bath with a book and maybe even a glass of wine. Because I’m not doing this on my own and “me time” is still an option now. Sure there’s not nearly as much of it as there was before, but now I get this amazing before unknown “baby time.” And it’s wonderful – more so than I could have imagined. I didn’t know how great that could be. I admit it – I didn’t understand.

Office cryogenics

I am ALWAYS cold. It doesn’t matter. I kept waiting for that point in pregnancy where you’re too hot (esp. as I was due in February), but it never came. I just had to keep looking for bigger coats. The only heat change I had was that I couldn’t stand heat in the first trimester. I wasn’t hotter than normal, but if I got hot, it made the nausea worse.

So offices are ALWAYS cold to me. I am always the one sitting in a meeting with a pashmina or scarf wrapped around me or a space heater hidden under my desk. My fingers are always freezing so that I have to switch my engagement band to the other hand to keep it from banging around. A good friend of mine used to use my hands as her personal AC system in the summer – it would take them forever to warm up, so she’d ask me to put my little icicles on the back of her neck to cool her off when it was 90 degrees.

So when I sat freezing my tush off in my office today, I didn’t think anything of it. I figured this was par for the course. As my fingers and toes froze, I figured that was normal – though when my face started to get really cold, I thought it was getting to be a bit much. I IM’d another coworker who told me that she was cold too (but had her space heater on), but OK fine. Then this afternoon one of my coworkers (a guy in this case for those going with the theory that women are always cold) walked in and said – my God, it’s cold in here! I think it’s 10 degrees colder in here than elsewhere – certainly colder than in my office. Apparently he has a little key chain thermometer in his office – showing it was 68. The gradations were very hard to read, but it was definitely below 65. I emailed a friend I used to work with (who always used to make fun of how cold I always was) – he suggested that maybe they were preserving me for future use…

Friday, September 4, 2009

THAT woman

I can’t believe I just became that woman. That woman who says things judgmentally to other moms or questions their decisions. I can’t believe I did. The boob police must be getting to me – their brainwashing is working.

I was having lunch with a friend of mine today whose daughter is 9 ½ months old. She told me she was trying to stop breastfeeding, but ‘couldn’t’ so she guessed she’d continue. And I asked “why?” And not just that inquisitive – oh, why is that? But that truly perplexed look of – why would you do that now? I didn’t mean to! It came out before I even thought about it. Really what I meant was ‘why now particularly?’ Like why at 9 months? I know lots of people go for 6 months (because then they start food) or a year (because then they don’t require the vitamins anymore) or two or three years (because they are crazy. Oh God… I did it again.). I just wondered why at 9 months. I also wondered what she meant that she couldn’t stop…

Her first answer was – well, she’s almost 10 months old! So I knew she’d taken my question as I’d asked it rather than how I’d really meant it. She went on to explain that after pumping for 9 months (her daughter won’t take it “on tap”), she was really tired of it and just wanted to stop. But apparently her body didn’t want to stop, so she had to keep pumping to relieve the pressure.

I’ll work on my table manners for next time.


I submitted receipts yesterday to my flexible spending card account for a number of different things associated with my daughter’s birth. Checking today, one was denied. I looked at the receipt – it’s a charge for $147 that covers my portion of nursery / norm newborn, pharmacy, drugs/other, lab/chemistry, lab/hematology and recovery room. All the denial says is – “this product or service does not qualify under this plan.” This HEALTHCARE plan! Look, I know that you can use the FSA card for things you shouldn’t and then you have to pay it back (or your card is suspended) because the thing works like a credit card. But what part of the nursery, labs, drugs and recovery room sounds to them like I went out and bought a pair of pretty shoes with the card?

This denial is reminding me of my early insurance woes which I had not previously told you about – so let me share here. When my daughter was born we decided to put her on my husband’s insurance (as we weren’t entirely sure about my job plans). I was not on his insurance because we were midway through the pregnancy when it came time to change plans for the new year and I didn’t want to worry about what was covered / if my doctor would be included / how much that would confuse them…

So when her initial bills came – we submitted them to his (or her) insurance. They denied them because apparently newborn care is counted under the mother’s maternity care, not the baby insurance. Since we weren’t on the same plan, we needed to submit them to my plan. So we did. Well my plan denied them because she wasn’t added to my plan. My husband called. After a very long discussion, it was determined that yes, in fact, they should pay them. Awhile passed and we received another notice on the bills – still unpaid by my insurance. I called them back. After several calls and a printed copy of the page from their website that showed that maternity care includes the newborn’s first 48 hours in the hospital, they agreed that they should pay them – but explained that they were unable to because she wasn’t on my insurance, so how did they know this was my baby? Really. That was seriously their answer. So despite the fact that they’d covered my OB claims for February 12th, which included a live birth, they couldn’t be sure that this claim on February 12th for a baby girl who shared my last name was really my child. Ok, well easy enough to remedy –
Me: I’ll send you a copy of her birth certificate.
Insurance company: No, that won’t work.
[Take a minute here to factor in the time it took for my jaw to drop at the ridiculousness of that.]
Me: Why not? It’s a legal document
Insurance: We can’t accept that. She has to be on your insurance, so that her name is added to your policy.
Me: But we haven’t added her to my insurance. She’s on my husband’s insurance. And it’s too late to add her (even if that was what I really wanted to do) because it’s more than 60 days since her birth.
Insurance: That’s the only way we can do it.
Me: But how will that help? The bill is coming in as “Baby Girl” under my last name. If we add her, it’ll be her actual name – which shows my husband’s last name. This isn’t going to line up to the patient name.
Insurance: No, that wouldn’t matter. We understand that with newborns.
[So you don’t understand that via a birth certificate, but you do get the name thing…?]
Me: So how do I add her? Do I have to PAY to add her?
Insurance: That can only be done through your benefits coordinator through your job.

I’ll sum up that after SEVERAL calls and emails with the benefits coordinator, my daughter actually had to be added (luckily in name only, no premium) to my insurance for the first month after her birth so that they could pay the bills that were due under MY benefits.

Given all that, you can imagine how much I am looking forward to calling the insurance today to figure out why labs, nursery care and recovery room are not considered eligible medical expenses for my flexible spending. Because keep in mind – this isn’t an issue of what’s now covered by my insurance. This is actually MY money – the money I elected to go into a healthcare account at the beginning of the year so I could use pre-tax money for my healthcare expenses. They just aren’t counting these as healthcare. ARGH. It’s really unfair that you can’t drink while breastfeeding when you have to talk to this many insurance people in the first year…

PS – 25 minutes of hold music later… it was processed under the wrong claim code and will be reprocessed / approved. Ugh.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First day of school pictures

My cousin just sent a note to tell me about taking her daughter to her first day of first grade (yes, in her Catholic school uniform!). She said that they took pictures at the house, but also in front of the school – but she assured me she wasn’t the only one. LOTS of parents were “as crazy as her” taking pictures in front of the school. I must be getting into this parent role as that didn’t seem whatsoever crazy to me! She told me that my munchkin would be there in no time as the years flew, so I should enjoy every moment.

Talk about the years flying – I started thinking back to my own going to school pictures. My Mom would take a few of my brother and me in front of the fireplace and then stand us on the steps – our backpacks on and carrying our little (still metal then!) lunchboxes. (My first grade lunchbox was Holly Hobby. I thought it was the greatest thing! I was so excited to use that in kindergarten (which was half day), I convinced my Mom to pack my lunch in it at the kitchen counter so I could carry it over to the table in the box and open it up to eat it.) I don’t know how much earlier we had to get up that first day to get all the pictures taken! The ritual was then repeated on scout days when I could wear my brownie uniform (and my brother his cub scout one) to school instead of my regular uniform.

Those are great pictures. The oldest include my name tag which my Mom had sewn on a heart shaped piece of felt – it had my name, grade, classroom number and “walker” to indicate I didn’t take a bus or need a ride. (Can you imagine that now – letting your 5 year old walk to school without an adult?) The last ones go through high school - even college move in day (in that case, a wary look on my face as I'm stuffeed into the backseat with the car packed to the gills!)

I know that my own daughter will be posing for these pictures and going off to school before I know it because it seems like just yesterday that I was. I think I’m ready to start sniffling just thinking of it! Man, I’m going to be a mess!

One of my coworkers talked about her daughter’s first day of school. She was worried and her husband said – she’ll probably be nervous and may cry, but then she’ll get on the bus and go to school. Well, he had the symptoms right, just not the patient. He was nervous. She cried. And their daughter got on the bus with no fuss!

Flashback – girls in Catholic school uniforms at Target

I saw the red plaid and it all came back to me like an acid trip gone bad. It’s back to school time and that flapping plaid flying towards me was attached to little legs and little arms carrying back to school lists! Those are uniforms!

Now I never wore a red (or, OK, it was really maroon) uniform. My early uniform was green and blue – little jumpers with yellow or white shirts – the best of which had Peter Pan collars. I would wear a little cardigan over it – blue or white (why white, I have no idea) – possibly just the top button was buttoned. And my hair would be styled – most often in two long braids on either side with green and blue streamered barrettes (do you remember those things?) on the sides.

Then came middle school – the school didn’t change, but the uniform did that year. Not only did we move to the upper grades where you could wear a skirt and vest or sweater instead of the jumper, but the school changed its uniform and the design was now a gray plaid with navy sweater (and UGH uniform saddle shoes!).

High school was a black watch plaid (blue and green again) skirt with a blue sweater in the winter, but a hideous blue and white pin striped skirt with a (reasonably nice) blue logo polo for the warmer months.

But it didn’t matter that I’d never worn THAT uniform or those colors. I looked at the two girls going into Target – the little one in her jumper (with Peter Pan collared shirt!) and the bigger one in her skirt with the white shirt (not a fairy tale character near that collar!) untucked and as messy as she could make it and it all came flying back! It’s funny how things change though. I can remember desperately throwing off the awful vest and untucking my shirt / pushing down my socks as quickly as could upon leaving school grounds! They were horrible / awful! Didn’t I look so much better in my disregard for them? (Amusingly, I often wouldn’t bother changing if I wasn’t doing anything in particular – why bother? The damn thing was Teflon as far as I was concerned. I may as well wear it as I didn’t want to get my REAL clothes dirty!) Now I saw the bigger girl looking all rumpled and disheveled in her half discarded uniform and thought – what a mess. My God I must be getting OLD!

Y’all are good baby makers

We were in Babies R Us the other day and happened to be in line behind a very young couple. (They looked about 17. OK, they were probably in their early 20’s, but the looked about 17!) The wife came over to look at our munchkin and turned to us to say – “Aw, y’all are good baby makers!”

Looking back – swaddling and the newborn hare

I’ve recently been writing some entries about when the baby was first born to fill in some history there – from when I was FAR TOO tired to even think about putting it down on paper. I filled in a lot of gaps, but was remembering some other things from those first days yesterday – things that made me want to laugh (or cry at how tired I was then!) and I just wanted to get them down now.

First I was thinking about swaddling. We had gotten some of the “miracle” blankets and “swaddle me” blankets from friends – but darned if we knew how to use them or why to use them… We were so confused. We’d been told that the baby’s crib needed to be completely bare / devoid of anything that could be a suffocation hazard. And then they’d wrapped her in this blanket in the hospital! Wasn’t that a hazard? But wouldn’t she be cold without it...? What were we supposed to do? We tried swaddling her in the blanket, but were always paranoid about it.

One night in those first long weeks we’d gotten up with her and my husband had gone out of the bedroom. Forty five minutes or an hour had passed while I fed her and burped her and tried to get her to go back to sleep, but he was nowhere to be found. I was half convinced he’d gone to sleep on the couch! I finally went out to the family room to find him on the computer. I thought he was emailing or “goofing off” and was not too happy about it (I don’t know what I was thinking as any sane person would use any “goofing off” time to sleep in those days.). When I looked he was watching Youtube videos on swaddling. He’d been reading every post and watching every video he could find on it (at it must have been 2 in the morning) to be ABSOLUTELY sure he was doing it right and it was safe for the baby. Who needs a push present when you’ve got that?

It was around that same time that we tried to start reading her books on occasion (I still haven’t quite gotten this down at night. She either wants to be eating and is ticked I’m reading rather than feeding her or she wants to grab and rip the book – while eating.). I’d read her Guess how much I love you and left it on the table next to the chair. Later that night, I heard my husband starting to read it to her over the monitor. He read how little “newborn” hare had asked big “newborn” hare to guess how much he loved him. This went on for a few minutes till I finally had to get up and walk into the baby’s room to tell him – you know it’s actually little “nut brown” hare and big “nut brown” hare. The mistake had been obvious to me – as I’d read it to her the same wrong way for the first few pages earlier that night. Between the two of us, we will be SO lucky if this kid ever gets past a 2nd grade reading level.