Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Birth announcements, the battle of the cold pants, and various and sundry updates

Birth Announcements: 
I'm inordinately proud of myself for getting a birth announcement put together. I didn't manage it for Jordan, and though I had good intentions and a nice family photo, I never made the damn Christmas cards. So I was determined to make India cards.

I know for many people this is perhaps not a feat...but I come from a long line of no-card-sender-outers. And I did it!

Cold Pants:
It is 90+ degrees in DC right now. It is hot as balls. And my son insists on wearing his cold pants.

And if you haven't read the cold pants post, then let me tell you that by cold pants I do of course mean lined nylon track pants. The kind that do not breathe. There's nothing cold about them in this heat. And still, he will. not. wear. shorts.

Or even nice cool cotton pants. No no no. To the point of sobbing hysteria.

We still only have two acceptable pairs. Because the kind we bought on eBay weren't exaaaaaactly the same. Like a socialite spotting an excellent fake Hermes bag, he turned up his nose at the would-be cold pants.

Actually, he didn't turn up his nose. He kicked and screamed. We would not be donning those imposters!

He and Nick had a huge drama-trauma scene the other morning because both pairs of cold pants were dirty. Like, too dirty to just put on him and pretend they were clean. He finally deigned to wear a pair of brown sweatpants with an orange stripe up the side. Even though he has myriad more comfortable (as in, less sweltering) options.

Little Miss Piggle Wiggle:
At India's one-month checkup she'd gained almost three pounds! Apparently they want babies to gain an ounce a day. She thus wildly exceeded expectations.

I wasn't exaggerating when I said she eats all the time. She wakes up and she wants to eat!  Nownownow! And the girl has lungs on her! She is not to be ignored!

Places we have nursed so far: The Diner, Target display couch, display chaise longue at Costco, standing in a corner at a different Costco, 16th Street bus stop, consult room at endocrinologist, waiting room of GW's blood lab...

I really wish breasts weren't so sexualized in the US. I would like to be able to whip out my boob and nurse without having to squeeze it through random flaps in these confusing nursing shirts and staying all covered with a blanket.

Working Out
Or, uh, not.

Since India's birth, I've gone out walking a few times, but nothing more strenuous than that. There re many, many days where I just sit. All day long.

And here's what I find disturbing: it's appallingly easy for me to just not exercise.

There are moments where I think I'd like to go for a nice run...And then it's about time to nurse again, or it will be shortly, so I walk to the kitchen and pour a glass of water and make myself a nice cup of tea and pair it with a bowlful of M&Ms and/or Cheez-Its and settle into the big red chair.

And another day goes by. It's that easy. Usually I get all twitchy when I don't exercise for a few days. I'm not a great sitter-arounder. So I find it rather disturbing that it bothers me not one bit, except mentally.

What, I wonder, if I just never have the urge to work out again? Eventually, I'm going to have to stop wearing maternity clothes...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Jordan got so infuriated the other night he took off his pants. And his diaper.

This is what happens when he gets mad. He's all, "I'll show you! I'll just take off my pants right now! See if I don't!"

I'd seen it during the daytime with the pants, but not at night. Not diaper and all.

He was, ostensibly, angry because we wouldn't let him take a sippy cup of milk to bed. Even though he never goes to bed with milk.

He lay in bed yelling, "Milk time! Miiiiilk time!"

Now, if he'd been yelling, "Milk! Milk! Milk for the morning cake!" I'd have been amused. As it was, I was not.

We ignored it.

I went in later because he was sobbing. I walked in and he said, "I took off my diaper! Put my diaper on!"

And there it was, lying in a corner of his crib. So I picked him up (no small feat t this point) and hugged him and got him a clean diaper.

He didn't actually want his pants and diaper off. The diaper is the final straw. It's his grand gesture. Less effective when you're alone, you know?

It's never occurred to me to take off a piece of clothing in anger. Drunkenness, sure. Anger? Never. In anger I throw mean, hateful words. And stomp and slam. But not things, certainly not clothing.

I have to assume he gets it from Nick.

Because now that I think about it, several years ago, Nick and I had that terrible fight on the corner of 17th Street about where to put the washer and dryer, which wasn't actually about the washer and dryer. And he took off his jacket and threw it on the ground. And then his tie. Slammed them onto the sidewalk.

While it's not my choice of behavior, it's a pretty effective expression of frustration and rage.

Whereas pants removal, as an adult, not so much. Can you imagine?

You're at the office, and you get into a disagreement with a colleague who makes you insanely angry. Or you get into a car accident where the other person is at fault and belligerent. You both get out.

Tempers flare. And then you get to the point where you have nothing more to say, you're just that mad.

You are fuming. You've hit your point. That is it: YOU'LL SHOW THEM. YOU'LL JUST TAKE. YOUR. PANTS. OFF!




Sunday, May 20, 2012

One big month old!

Last week was difficult, and yesterday was a hard, hard day, and it's fortunate that I'm writing this today, after getting SIX STRAIGHT HOURS of sleep last night! Because yesterday, I hit my limit, and went to a very bad place.

But that's not for this post, because I want this to be about you.

You've grown a ton, and tomorrow we find out how much. You've sped through the newborn clothes, though, and are even too long for some of the 0-3 clothes we have. You've gotten that adorable baby chub chub on your thighs and arm, and even your wrists have little folds! I love it!
Yesterday, my sweet baby India, you turned a month old.

When you're awake, you think you should be eating. You're willing to take a pacifier for about 3-5 minutes, and then you're done.

Today you hung out in the musical swing for about 15 minutes, which is the longest you've tolerated it while awake. Like the six-hour sleeping, I'm of course hoping it's the beginning of a trend.

But I'm not so foolish that I'm not knocking wood as I type.

You've gone from being a totally confused little newborn to being a seasoned nurser. You see the nipple up close and you get what I think of as a Kamikaze attack face. Jordan did it as well - maybe every baby does? Eyes totally focused on target, swooping forward.

I took you to the office this week, and you pooped on my friend Gloria's pants. It was pretty impressive, really, because you had this explosive poop that shot up the back of your diaper, missed your pants entirely, and decorated hers. Oh, and the floor outside my cube.

I'd joked about hoping my water broke at work; this is the next best thing.

Speaking of explosive, you have man-farts. It's incredible. Even big lumberjack Jordan didn't have those. They're as big as you are. Very impressive, but I do hope you grow out of them.

You are a huge snuggly love, you really are. I'm so glad you're here, and I am so excited to get to know you better and better.

Just please, please sleep a little bit more.

Love love love,


Friday, May 18, 2012

You say there's always gonna be this thing; Between us days are filled with dreams

I don't know how you've spent the last three days, but here's how I have: holding, nursing, and walking a baby who does not want to be put down.

Basically, she will nurse and then fall asleep on you and you will think that she is safely asleep, and you'll carefully put her down and gently back away...and three scant minutes later she'll wake up all "WHO THE FUCK SAID YOU COULD PUT ME DOWN? PICK ME UP RIGHT NOW, WOMAN! AND I'LL NEED A BOOB, STAT!"

Seriously. As soon as she's awake, she thinks she needs to eat. We walked to my office yesterday because I'd somehow missed one of the FMLA forms and it's coming up on the deadline. Plus, of course, I wanted to introduce India to my friends.

Before we left I nursed her, and she fell asleep, and I thought we'd be safe till we got home...and then, not 20 minutes later, as we were walking, she was rudely awakened by a car horn. She started wailing hysterically.

And thus I found myself sitting on a church wall on 16th Street breastfeeding my child. We had a big muslin blanket over us, so neither of us were exposed. But I still felt like it was either a new high (I can breastfeed anywhere! Next, a trapeze!) or a new low (Seriously? Whipping out the boobs right behind a bus stop on 16th Street?).

Not sure.

Mainly I've spent a lot lot lot of time in Nick's big red chair, which I now call Command Center.

I try to have my iPhone, my Kindle, a glass of water, and a cup of tea within arm's reach at all times. I have the Boppy right next to the chair, when it's not in my lap.

The nice thing about being confined to a chair for days on end is that I've done a great deal of guilt-free reading. You can't do laundry or dishes while stuck in a chair. But you can read!

I've reread all the Harry Potters and the Twilights. I didn't want anything new; I just wanted brain candy.

They were all delicious. And maybe because I'm so tired and fuzzy-brained, I wasn't even bothered by the exclusive use of, what, five adjectives? in the vampire books. Also, I'm still Team Jacob.

But now, alas, they are done. If you have any recommendations along those lines, I would love to hear them.

Also, I was scrolling and typing on the iPhone so much that my right thumb got sore. So I'm knocking off the reading and writing on the iPhone business for a bit. If you've emailed me lately and haven't heard back - it's not personal.

Which is not to say that I haven't spent an extraordinary amount of time just staring down at India. Because I find her captivating.

Of course, sometimes I'm held a little more captive than I'd like. Yesterday Betty took India-holding duty for an hour and a half so I could nap.

But when I get antsy I try to remind myself that I need to enjoy her while she's all itty bitty and snugglicious. And she is. Ohhh, she is.

It's spectacular and sunny and supposed to stay that way! Happy weekend, all!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Five feet high and rising

I've been looking for baby pictures of myself to compare to India, and in the process, I came across these photos - the first taken when I was nine months old; in the second, I'm almost three. I thought you might get a kick out of Betty's 70s outfits and hair.
She had some fabulous dresses, jumpsuits, and shoes. Things I would have quite enjoyed wearing over the last decade, had she kept them through all the moves.

So it kind of struck me this weekend that now I really feel like a mother.

Is this weird?

I mean, I've been a mom for almost three years at this point. And it's not that I haven't felt like Jordan's mother.  It's more that I also felt like I had my own separate identity.

And with India, something shifted. I don't know if it's because now I have two. Or because this birth experience was so positive, and I don't have PPD, and I'm able to nurse without supplementing. I have this immense satisfaction that comes from being able to meet all her needs right now.

With Jordan I was mostly resentful. Doesn't that sound terrible? I feel so guilty when I say it, but it's true.

Everything was so hard, and I felt so stuck, and nursing took forever, and then I'd still have to make him a bottle. Day after day, night after night, I would just sit in the chair and feel like I was suffocating.

The PPD was evil. I wanted to escape from my life so badly. I loathed my husband at least 17 times a day. I mentally divided up the furniture at night. I reveled in my time at the DC DMV. Whenever I left the house alone, I never wanted to go home.

Now I and nurse and look down at my baby and think about how time goes so fast. She's already bigger than she was last week. Pretty soon she'll be heading to college.

I mean, it's not that I don't think of sleep deprivation as torture. It's not that I haven't thought of her as a bamboo shoot. It's more that this time I have perspective. This will pass, and fast. This is not all there is.

And she's my second and my last and I know the time goes.

But back to feeling like a mother. I think that now it's probably the biggest part of what defines me. First and foremost, I'm a mom.

On the one hand, this is who I am and who I have worked very hard to be. I'm so happy to have children. I have my own family, and they're the most important thing in my world. I'd give up anything but my family.

I guess it's caught me off guard, though, to feel like a mom is all of who I am. Which is how I feel right now.

Like, from my current perspective, I cannot imagine ever feeling attractive again. I feel like I have this huge cloud of momishness surrounding me.

Seriously. I feel like I have this big sign above my head that says things like: Here, let me cut your dinner into little tiny pieces for you, to make sure you don't choke. Do you want your milk in a big boy cup or a sippy cup? Uh, oh. Time for a diaper change.

And I'm shlumping around in my maternity pants. I'm wearing a bra night and day. I have two perpetual round milk stains on my shirts. In fact, I smell like milk all the time.

I know this will pass.

But! Now that I have two kids! I have visions of a future filled with sturdy mom jeans, comfortable shoes, practical tops, and judicious behavior.

It's not that I think being a mother means you're unattractive. I know myriad beautiful women who are mothers. Their kids mean the world to them, but they aren't their entire worlds.

So I think that maybe it's that I feel MATRONLY. Matronly! A word that for me conjures up aprons and washtubs and baked puddings and no nonsense.

I think you'll agree that in a Venn diagram, the Attractive circle, the Fun circle, the International Woman of Mystery circle...they have no overlap with the Matronly circle.

You know?

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


Last Friday I introduced India to DC bureaucracy; we took a trip to the car inspection station.

See, I had like two days until my inspection ran out. Nick, he gets things done ahead of time. Me, I wait until it's down to the wire. I was actually going to get it done the week prior; I hadn't counted on having a baby already.

I haven't yet started pumping (dread, dread) so I hauled little India along with me.

It was shockingly painless. I had an appointment. I was 15 minutes late, but they were fine with it, and sent me around back. They inspected my car quickly.

Men held the door for us. People complimented my baby. Nobody commented on the fact that I was driving kind of erratically and looked like a zombie.

The guy at the desk explained why, even though I was ahead of deadline for getting my car inspected, I had gotten charged a $20 late fee when I renewed my registration online.

Wanna hear it? Because I got my car inspected late last time. Last time as in two years ago. They can't collect until you are up for renewal.


He was delighted I was taking his picture to commemorate India's first DC DMV adventure. Even though he doesn't look like it.

And then over the weekend we had a family outing to the Diner. We typically bring a couple cars for Jordan because he quickly gets bored coloring and waiting for food. This time he packed his own bag.

Behold his definition of the bare necessities:

Monday, May 07, 2012

No walls can keep me protected; No sleep, nothing in between me and the rain

I've been thinking of her as my little hurricane drunk, if you're familiar with that song.
I love love love the milk drunk face.
However. The nursing every two hours, night and day? It is killing me. Kih-hih-hilling me.

Beyond that, she mainly likes to sleep being held. Put her down, and she wakes up. And if she's awake, she thinks she should be eating. My mother says I was exactly like this.

Yikes. Sorry, Betty.

And on top of the chaos and exhaustion of new-babyness, Jordan is having regular screaming fits. He alternates between patting India gently and being very sweet to her and turning to me and asking, "Should I kick the baby sister?"

And then something calamitous will happen - like we'll put ketchup on his plate. Or pour milk over the cereal. Or Nana will give him a bath instead of Daddy. This will cause him to scream - that fake cry scream that makes my head melt - at the top of his lungs. He can keep it up at massive volume for a remarkably long time.

Seriously. The other night he yelled for 30 minutes straight while Nana bathed him. They were both exhausted afterwards.

So what I'm saying is, we're all very tired.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Because you don't eat your broccoli. Duh.

Our Jordan is struggling with The Baby Sister.

He likes her - generally - and he's intrigued by her. He just didn't realize, all those months leading up to her arrival, that when she came she was going to stay. Like, for good.

Jordan loves me, and he loves my mom, but when Nick is around, we get kicked to the curb. He is all about his dad. Which is why I was surprised that he was so upset I was gone for a couple days. Nick said he cried easily, and when he was upset, he'd cry, "Mama! Maaaaaama!"

It made me think that since I'm always the one around, he kind of takes me for granted. And then suddenly, the rug was pulled out from under his firmly planted little feet. Although I'm not sure I like being the rug, now that I've put it that way.

I have this sudden image of one of those braided oval rugs. Like the kind you might keep in front of the kitchen sink, because if it gets dirty or greasy or whatever - which it invariably will - it doesn't matter as much.

And I'm not feeling sorry for myself at the moment. I swear.


The first few days, I had no time for just him. Every time he saw me, I had India in my arms. As the days have worn on, I've spent more time just the two of us - picked him up from day care or given him a bath or put him to bed. Eventually, we can go on adventures together.

Nick was lavishing Jordan with attention and adventures, but J was very emotional, clearly bothered. It's improving, slowly.

A couple nights after India and I came home from the hospital, Jordan began sobbing disconsolately at 3 am.

I'd just nursed India and put her down, and was lying down hoping to nap in between feeds...and there was my boy, sounding heartbroken. Since I was already fully awake, I hurried down to his room to see what was wrong.

There he was, in his bed, sobbing and sobbing. I leaned over and reached out my arms for him, and he sat up, thumb in mouth, tears streaking his face.

"What's wrong, my love?"

"Why?" he wailed. "Why did you put my bed in the alley?"