Monday, November 30, 2009

If you can imagine an infuriated French sheep at top volume

Nick sped down the stairs this morning, bursting into our room.

"Did you just suction his nose again?"

Because when I did it last night, between breastfeeding boobs and in the dark, thinking it would be easier for him that way, he'd had a howling fit.

I thought I was doing him a favor, rather than stealth assaulting him. I don't know why I assumed he wouldn't notice the end of a rubber bulb stuck in his nostril.

HYSteria. Our normally sweet little boy was beside himself.

And he has started making this particular crying noise just recently. It starts deep in his throat, like the French "R." From there, he transitions to something like the very loud "Baa" of a sheep. He gets so worked up he chokes himself.


You get the idea.

It is loud and it is angry. And sometimes, when you've calmed him down, he still keeps up this low growl. Rrrrrrrr. Rrrrrrrr. Rrrrrr.

Just so you know he is Still Displeased.

On the heels of him beginning to produce this particular noise, he got a cold in New Effing Jersey. As did Betty. They're both quite sick and miserable.

Actually, I can't blame the entire state. I blame Nick's snotgobbler neice and nephews. I blame the niece most - mainly because I like her least.

And yes, I know that's neither rational nor fair.


So my little bunny has this cold, and he's all snotty and snuffly and miserable. Which makes him not sleep more than a couple hours at a time. Consequently, nor do we.

But this morning's outburst had nothing to do with nose suctioning. Rather, I'd enraged him by trying, oh so gently, to put him down. In his crib.

The nerve.


So Nick burst into the room to make sure I was neither stealth nose-suctioning nor gnawing off the limbs of our sweet little progeny.

I was not.

I will admit, though, to having taken advantage of his enfeebled state. First time it's been easy to clip his nails.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Digging in the Nick family photo files

People keep saying Jordan looks so much like Nick, but it's hard for me to tell. I will say that he does make the same "The Hell?" face that Nick is making here.He also has this "Holy crap!" (no pun intended) look on his face in new situations.
And I'm pretty sure that if I ever dress him like this, he'll give me the same, "You have got to be fucking kidding me." expression.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thank you

I just want to take a moment to thank all of you.

You know it's been a hell of a year, and still, I feel lucky for so many things. And all of you are high up on the list.

You make me laugh, you make me think, you pull at my heart.

Thank you for reading, for commenting, for emailing kind notes. Thank you for thoughts and prayers. Thank you for baby and mama gifts. Thank you for food. We ate a lot of casseroles in those first weeks after Jordan arrived. And they were delicious.

And most of all, thank you for caring about us. I feel lucky to have you all in my little world.

Odds of posting tomorrow are low, so let me say Happy Thanksgiving to all the Thanksgivingers, and happy Thursday to everyone else.

Big hug,


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where my heart lives

I don't know if you've ever spent much time with a baby.

I certainly had avoided them like the plague before I had one. I couldn't imagine what could be fun about them.

And now, now I have this three-month old boy in his crib, staring up at his mobile. There's an orange giraffe, a blue bird, and a raspberry colored monkey. They spin around in circles to Bach and Mozart.

He sees them every day.

And still, every time, he's all, "Holy shit! Would you look at this! Yippee! And there goes the monkey...wait, no, he's coming back again...and the bird! Wow!"

He laughs, he squeals, he wiggles in delight. He gets so excited he kicks his socks off.

He can't imagine it getting any better than this. And honestly, neither can I.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Everyone gets fed

We had dinner last night with lovely Laura and her new husband! last night.

We went to Dino in Cleveland Park. I've only been a couple times, but I love the place. The food is delicious and they have wine specials on Sundays and the owners are so pleasant and really interesting. And they like kids.

And if you are breastfeeding, I highly recommend the place. But I will get to that.

I'd forgotten to make a reservation, so we arrived a little early and asked if they had space for all and a baby. They juggled things around and gave us a table very quickly, even though they were busy.

While sitting down, we got dirty looks from the two women dining at the table next to us. Or rather, our boy did.

Which puts you on my bad list. Don't you stinkeye my baby!

I thought about assuring them that he's a good baby, but then thought, ah, fuck it. I also wanted to taste the one woman's Brussels sprouts, but decided to order my own. Yum.

(Note to Laura: just because you call them Brussies doesn't mean you are actually more familiar with them than I.)

So Big J needed to eat NOWNOWNOW almost as soon as we sat down, and I was wondering how the whipping out of the boob would go over. And then I noticed the large triptychs we had for menus.


So Nick held up the unfolded menu, J glommed on, and for a good chunk of time it just looked like I was seriously absorbed in deciding what I might want for dinner.

We passed him around as we were waiting for our meal, so everyone could get a sweet baby squeeze. He just watched and watched.

The previously pilly women next door were all charmed. Such a good baby!


And then he got tired, and when this happens, Nick is just the best person to lull him to sleep. It's like reclining on a big pillowy mattress.

And by pillowy of course I mean big firm pecs of steel and abs of titanium but still very comfortable mattress.

So we put the napkin over his head to reduce the excitement of lights! and people! and wow! I just feel I ought to explain this, in case you are all, "Lis, a napkin clearly fell on his head and you are such bad parents you don't even notice." No. We are deliberate napkin-on-the-head kinds of parents.

And yes, we understand you can't substitute a plastic bag for a napkin.

So when you have a butt hand and a pat hand, you have no more hands with which to eat your lasagna.

Which is when your adoring wife steps in.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dear Dad, month six

Dear Dad,

It's been just over six months since you quietly and carefully slipped out of our lives.

I unwittingly resorted my emails by date this morning, and an email from you appeared at the top of my inbox. It made my stomach jump.

We've been so busy with the baby, and I have to say, that's been really helpful. Nick said the other day that he was worried about how crushingly sad I was after you died. Jordan has made the most extraordinary difference in all our lives.

Jordan is so big and so much fun now. I wish you were here to see him. You would love him so much. He's nothing but joy, really.

He's got Nick's temperament, I think. Very even, very upbeat. I feel relieved about that. I worry about the depression genes.

I'm not sure who he looks like. A lot of Nick, but not totally. He has your and my blue eyes. I hope that as he grows, he has more things that remind me of you.

Sometimes I have dreams with you in them. Somehow, you're just out of reach. In retrospect, maybe you always were.

It's a beautiful, sunny fall day. Last winter and spring were tough, and honestly, I think if the weather hadn't been so relentlessly grim, if the sun had bothered to shine, you might still be with us.

I still have the what-ifs, although I now have more distance and am in a better place, so they don't hurt quite as much.

I miss you, though. I really do.



Thursday, November 19, 2009

Recent additions to the fear list

I wish that in high school they'd made it clear that they were teaching you shit you might like to know later in life.

Like, I wish they'd presented the information as useful instead of just Stuff You Needed to Know for the Exam. In biology class, for example, I just wasn't that interested in genus and species and dominant genes and fruit flies and such.

I blame Mr. Robbins - although he was hot hot hot - for me announcing, over dinner last night, "And I was surprised to learn that sharks are mammals."

See, I was explaning these shark octuplets in New Zealand. This one shark bit another on the stomach and four little babies swam out. Doesn't live birth a mammal make?

No. Turns out they're fish.

We were having dinner with our friends the investigator and his fiancee - who turns out to be full of the kind of information I love. She and I have been emailing links back and forth this morning.

But back on topic: So then I had to confirm that dolphins are mammals. And what makes a mammal?

Live birth. Nursing. Among other things. Which then led us to wonder how they nurse. And! And where are their nipples? Who knew dolphins had nipples?

Apparently they nurse sideways on top of the water. Impressive.

But you know what's not so great?

Dolphins are gang rapists. And murders. Yes. Seriously. There was a National Geographic show on the evils dolphins perpetrate.

Which led our dining companions to bring up the raccoons in their neighborhood, which is close to Rock Creek. Which has the highest density raccoon population in the US, apparently.

And it turns out that rabies is not the only thing you need to worry about with them. Although of course it's definitely a concern.

Raccoons are big, and mean, and, according to the article our dining companion sent us, "known to rape small pets and get drunk on fermented fruit juice. To top it off, they have maybe the best nonprimate hands in the animal kingdom, five delicate fingers with which they can turn a doorknob, unlatch a gate, or remove a shoelace from a shoe."

I could see Nick cringing last night as she was talking about raccoons and rabies. He knew it was going to get me all paranoid all over again.

Which, yes! For good reason!

I mean, after last night I certainly think less of dolphins.

But raccoons! They're now up there on my evil list with Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Bin Laden...

Those bastards will pick your locks and sneak in, drink your wine, rape your dog, saunter up your stairs, give your kid brain parasites, and leave you with rabies.

The raccoons, I mean. I don't know about the rest of them.

I think this merits a little paranoia, don't you?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You'd much rather be married to Nick

So last Friday, Nick and I had the following email exchange:

From: Lemon Gloria
To: Nick
Sent: Fri, November 13, 2009 11:53:57 AM
Subject: tremendous poo

Mine, not his. It rivals yours. I took pictures.


From: Nick
To: Lemon Gloria
Sent: Fri, November 13, 2009 11:55:09 AM
Subject: Re: tremendous poo

Call me to discuss.


So I did. And then the doorbell rang.

A dozen roses, and a happy anniversary card.

I've told you before - there's something very wrong with me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Tabard lobby

We were hoping to sit on the same couch as when we met, but this time, with Jordan.

The lovely couchy fireplace room, however, was packed.

I was so disappointed as we retreated to the lobby to figure out where else to go. And then Nick asked the woman at reception if we could have drinks on one of the couches out there. He explained about the anniversary.

It turned out to be a perfect place to sit. Excellent for people-watching, which provided Big J with a ton of entertainment.

And we kind of sat there all elbowing each other going, "We're married! To each other! And we have a kid! Can you believe it?!"

This picture was taken by a very attractive, well dressed woman sitting on a neighboring couch. She even made raspberries to get Jordan to smile, but nothing doing.

While we were chatting with her about the pictures, Nick asked if she was waiting for a blind date. , She was. Nick told her about our meeting two years prior, and our annual return for our anniversary.

"In fact," he said, motioning to Jordan, "our son might've been conceived last year on this very night!"

(Note: I'm quite sure he wasn't. And, really Nick? Announcing that we came here for our anniversary and then totally went home and DID IT?)

Nick turned back to the woman. "And last year, we met a woman who was waiting for her date. He stood her up."

I could've kicked him. I quickly added, "You're not being stood up."

She said she might be - it had been almost 20 minutes. Didn't we think that was long enough?

I did, but didn't say so. Don't you?

Nick said traffic had been horrendous, and to give him 30.

I voiced my own annoyance: "How hard would it be for him to call or text?"

Seriously. On a first date? My experience with late to a first date guys was that they were either disorganized, lazy, arrogant, and/or extraordinarily self-absorbed.

And then, in walked this tall, broad shouldered, good looking guy. He had on jeans, a t-shirt, and a black leather jacket. Casual but very attractive.

He spied our new couch friend, and introduced himself. No apology for tardiness.

I immediately assumed arrogance. I bet he gets away with a lot with his looks.

Nick told him he'd made it there in just under the time window.

He then apologized. And his excuse? He had been outside on a phone call. So he couldn't call to say he'd be late.

I wanted to be all, "Really? That's your excuse? Asshole."

But it wasn't my place, and she just smiled. And they headed in to the bar.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fun for kids and adults. But not adult adults.

We don't have theme for Jordan's room, although we've unintentionally amassed a number of animal things. I suppose I keep gravitating to them.

I'd thought that boy stuff wouldn't be fun, but it is, oh, it is.

Since we haven't gotten to the point of painting anything in our house, and I really wanted some decorations in my boy's room, my friend Kay suggested wall decals. I found the funnest ones at blik.

As you can see, I put the jungle over his crib. I wish the vines hung down further, and I'd like some more monkeys. And I want some elephants. In fact, I might order another set to add to this. But I love it.

And the safari was the perfect size to give him a little window out to the African plain while having his little butt wiped, pasted and changed.He loves looking up at them.

And they're restickable, so when we do paint, we can put them up again. And blik has all kinds of cool decals, and not just for kids. I was telling a friend that I'm going to order some of their adult designs for other rooms.

And then of course realized how that might sound. "I mean, not adult adult."

Like we'd be ordering their "Hot Naked Girls Have Fun at the Pool" decal set for our room.

Really. That's all we need.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mama lacks judgment

Also, I always want to put an "e" in judgment. Judge + ment. No? But spell check says I can't.

So anyway. Ohh, we did it up last night.

There was much much wine consumed. I did the pump and dump.

Not only is my tolerance shockingly low at this point, but I once I've had a drink or two, my judgment, it is for shit. I mean, I no longer get naked in public, although I can't promise that I never will again.

But still. More wine? Sure! Great idea!

And now I feel like Ass. And Death.

Ass Death.

Yes, I think that covers it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What if I had been born fifty years before you in a house on a street where you lived?

Two years ago tonight, luck slid, in sly silver rivulets, under my door.

It had been so long, I didn't recognize it immediately.

I arrived in a hurry, warm and um, glowing, five minutes late. Nick was already there, seated on a couch, beer in hand.

I entered pulling off hat and scarf, smoothing hair, scanning the room. He saw me first, and began standing, just as my sweep fell on him. I started at couch height, and then tilted my head up and up as he stood.

I've told this story before.

But what I don't think I've explained is that I almost closed the curtain on my luck as it pitter pattered on my window panes.

Because, you see, I canceled our first first date, which was to be several days prior.

It was dark and chilly and rainy and I felt like I was coming down with a cold. It was a grim night for a first date.

And really, I thought, if he doesn't bore the tar out of me, I'm going to loathe him. He won't be as cute as his pictures. He'll be humorless in person. Or I'll hate his teeth. Or his voice. Or we'll scrape for conversation, turning, in desperation, to reptiles.

Or, best and worst case scenario, I'll really really like him, which means he'll be irreparably damaged, and wind up hurting me whether he means to or not.

And once again, that will be that.

Really, those seemed the only options.

But we rescheduled, and on another rainy night, I headed out for my last first date.

I saw him and he stood and smiled and held out his hand. And I smiled back, and put my hand in his.

And with that small motion, I unlocked the door and threw it wide for my luck to pour in.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What makes your Target visit complete?

I don't know about you, but every time I go to Target, no matter what I've gone there for, I also wind up buying two things: something completely random and unnecessary, and something snacky in enticing packaging.

It's like my trip is not complete if I don't purchase and immediately use or consume something shiny and something fattening.

Or rather, this is how it used to be. I fear I now have a new standard.

Now, it's not a trip to Target if there's no poo and public display of mammaries.

Betty and I checked out the Target on 14th Street. With the exception of the bathrooms, it is large and very nice. They have this cool ramp between escalators that will take your cart up for you as you ascend the escalator.

As a child, I'd definitely have climbed in for the ride. Hell, I was tempted. But it seemed very imprudent with an infant.

So we were browsing, and Betty was pushing Big J and chatting with him and then suddenly she said, "Ohhh we need a bathroom. This is a big one."

And so we headed to what turned out to be a fairly small, gross women's bathroom. With a dirty changing table, located about two feet inside the bathroom door.

So everyone who comes in or out has to squeeze by you, your soiled baby, and the poo-cloths you are flailing around with.

I recently lost the changing mat that came with my super cute and stripey diaper bag. And so I've been carrying around large trash bags. I'm typically kind of embarrassed to change my kid on a trash bag, but in this instance, I felt lucky.

There we were, baby on a trash bag, removing his massive, poo-sodden diaper, his socks, which somehow got poo on them, and his poo-laden onesie. Trying to keep him calm. Which was kind of impossible, because of the fucking hand dryers.

These hand dryers! They are those mega-dry ones - but not as nice as the kind at Founding Farmers that I would to put my penis in if I had one. They rippled your hand skin, they were so strong. They sounded goddamn jets taking off.

So we'd be all, wipe, wipe, "It's OK, sweetie!"

And then someone would stick their hands under. WHOOOOOOOOOSH!!!!

And he would flinch, all, "HOLY FUCK! WAAAAAAAAH!"

They scared the shit out of him - ha - every time one went off.

So we finally, finally got him unpooified, into a new diaper, new clothes, and off the trash bag and into the stroller.

He was traumatized. He was hungry. And really, he needed some Comfort Boob.

We were traumatized. We needed to sit down.

So Betty suggested we head over to Furniture. She'd seen a couch.

Which led us to install ourselves on Trendy Sofa or whatever it was called. To settle in for a good lunch.

Except for the very public nature of it - the sofa is up on a display stand - it was pretty ideal. Which is a very large except.

Because nearly the entire Target-shopping world and every single employee walked by as we hung out. Which in that instance, bothered me not one bit.

Truth be told, I was kind of itching for a fight. I was all angry about the bathroom and ready to give them the stinkeye and be all kinds of salty if anyone told me I couldn't nurse on display furniture.

You'd think I'd feel vulnerable, but somehow, I felt empowered. Like, I am woman, I can feed my child with my very own boobs, right here on this display couch, and just you try to fuck with me.

But nobody said a word.

Well, one man did, but very jovially. He asked if we were going to hold a meeting at the table behind us after our meal.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

When you turn out to be your own problem

As I've talked about a number of times, I avoid getting on scales because it makes me a crazy, number-obsessed person.

So all the way along my pregnancy, I didn't find out what I weighed. And then in the hospital, when they were about to give me the epidural, they asked so that they could figure out the amount.

I had to ask the nurse to look at my chart. My weight from the week prior was a gain of 27 pounds. So let's say by that point it was 28 or 29. Not too terrible.

And I think, at this point, I've lost most of it. I mean, I must've been 10 pounds lighter immediately after the boy was born.

I am almost out of my maternity pants. And by this I mean that I can snausage myself into my regular jeans, and I do fairly regularly just to keep myself in check. But the maternity ones, oh, much more comf!

And the problem, it is as follows.

I might be approaching my old weight and size. But I'm not the same shape. I have a stomach - which I'd never had, not even in my heaviest of college days. And I'm squishier. The butt, well, I don't think I even feel like thinking about it.

A very dear friend sent me The Shred and some hand weights. How awesome a gift is this? And I want to use it and kick my own ass. I do.

But not quite as much as I want to eat the entire leftover Halloween bag of Reese's peanut butter cups. And take a nap.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The wipe warmer. Or, promoting happy bottoms. And other bits.

OK, so a friend of mine was over the other day, and I was changing Big J's butt, and she was all, "Really, Lis? A wipe warmer?"

She is not the first person.

(Also, I have taken to calling him Big J. When I'm not calling him J-Dog. Or Snoochybottom.)

So, yes, we have a wipe warmer.

A number of people have made fun of us for it. For the ridiculous American propensity to come up with a gadget for every possible thing - and for us for falling for it.

Let me tell you, I was fully in the Wipe Warmers are Ridiculous camp.

Until we had another Gas Emergency.

We had this crisis way back when I was still fully in the throes of C-section recovery. Because we needed one more fucking thing to complicate our lives.

It turns out the fucking stove had never been installed properly. I mean from way back years before we bought it. And so the gas leak, it was in the wall. Not the top of the stove where the DC Gas Emergency Man found it. I mean, it was there, too. But we had that fixed.

So in our second Gas Emergency, they shut off the gas to the whole goddamn house. No gas for you!

Which for us means not only no stove, but no dryer, no hot water, no I can't even remember what else.

And if I can just bring it up one more time, this was back in the vagina squarching days. And unlike some people, while it sounds good in theory on a hot day, I learned that I am not one who finds a cold blast of water to the hoo-ha to be remotely refreshing.

Which then made me think about my boy and his little boy bits, and how they were being swiped 54 times a day with what I had previously considered cool, refreshing, moist little wipes.

Eeeeeee! Coldcoldcold! Terrible!

I ordered a wipe warmer that very minute.

And I am very much, laugh if you want, call me a big old American consumer...But just you try a jolt of coldycold on your most private parts and see how you like it.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The person I am or am not. In other words, what?

I realized something that almost knocked me over a couple days ago.

It's nothing I would ever have predicted, and nothing I would've even considered a couple months ago. It's even hard to say aloud without going, really? Are you serious?

In fact, if you know me, you will probably have a hard time believing what I'm about to say.

I have started having regular fantasies of staying home with my kid.

There. I said it.

I've never been a stay at home mom type. Or even a mom type, really.

I like adult interaction. I need a lot of mental stimulation. And honestly, I still don't like children in general.

But I love my kid with every fiber of my being.

He changes so much every day, and he's changed me in a million ways. He's so sweet and loving and just generally the best thing that has ever happened to me. Truly.

I am scheduled to go back to work in five weeks.

And you know, I've made my own money and paid my own bills since college. The idea of not doing that, not to mention stepping out of the workforce, terrifies me. And yet, I waited so long to have a baby. And there are so many Jordan moments that will never return. Do I want to miss them?

I intend to return to work as planned, I do.

But the truth is, I am all angsted up over this.

Bizarro, no?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

But I was totally wearing long sleeves

Many, many people saw my boobs over the four-day trip.

And actually, it's not really showing your boobs as much as showing your nipples, is it? You can have as much cleavage as you want, I think, as long as your nips are covered.

So anyway. For starters, I took everyone's advice and nursed during takeoff and landing and it worked perfectly - no crying. In fact, I nursed for most of both flights. When he wasn't sleeping, he was eating. So I was constantly whipping out one boob or the other.

Actually, I can't limit this to the flights. It started at the gate at Dulles and continued in practically every single venue until we landed back home.

I nursed in the airports. On the planes. In the living room of the place we stayed. On the balcony. In other people's rooms. Out for brunch.

The only places I didn't nurse were the cabs (he was strapped in a car seat) and seated at the actual wedding ceremony, although I'm sure Jane wouldn't have minded.

Initially I was self-conscious in public, but as Maude said, people would rather see your boob than hear a baby scream. And I realized that really, I'd already voluntarily shown my boobs to most of San Diego when I lived there.

Plus I feel like we grew up pretty casual about things like body parts and bodily functions and such.

Jane, who was in my wedding, wore a very short, very boob-revealing dress. She looked great in it. But I believe she recruited one of my friends to help her make sure her boobs stayed tucked in throughout the evening.

Maude's mom was so scandalized she still mentions the dress every once in a while.

And so, when I walked in to Jane's room with Jordan, where she had amassed all her girlfriends to hang out while getting ready, she took him out of my arms, took a look at my chest, and yelled, "Lis! Your boobs are HUGE!"

Not how I would've introduced myself to a room of strangers, but what can you do.

I looked down at my milk jugs. "I know!"

She turned to a woman next to me and said, "Because in normal life, she doesn't have any."

I turned to the woman, introduced myself, shrugged, and said, "It's true."

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

And then I turned into one of those women

We got back late last night. The trip was spectacular and Jordan was amazing, and I have photos to post but not much time right now.

But I must post this little tale, as it is at the top of my mind. And I must write it down so I can refer back to it regularly.

Like in moments of weakness or duplicity.

So on Saturday night at the wedding reception I was talking to Jane's sister. She was asking about pregnancy, how it went for me.

And I, I kid you not, I said, "It was pretty good, actually."

I honestly said this.

"Really? What about nausea?"

"Well, I was kind of nauseous at the beginning, but it didn't last long. And then at the very end I was huge and it was hot, so that was a little difficult. But overall, it wasn't bad."

"Interesting. A lot of my friends had a much harder time."

"It's really just the beginning and end that are hard. Most of it was good."

"So you liked being pregnant?"

And you know how you might be drunk or fading off to sleep or in some slightly altered state, and then one specific thing - a noise, a light, a something - just snaps you back to the cold hard present?

That's what this question did for me.

I clutched her arm. "I can't believe I just completely fucking lied to you! I lied! I've become one of those women!"

"What are you talking about?"

"I hated being pregnant! I hated it, all of it. The nausea sucked. The hugeness sucked. I hated being big and fat and waddly and uncomfortable."

She laughed. "That sounds more normal."

"Yes! But now I've become one of those 'pregnancy is great!' women! The ones I wanted to stab once I was in it and miserable and said it sucked and suddenly they were all, 'yeah, it really does suck'."

I took her by the shoulders. I looked her in the eye. "If you ever hear me saying pregnancy is great, would you just pinch me very hard?"

The Hell? Is THIS what they mean by pregnancy amnesia?