Thursday, December 31, 2009

Closings and openings

To say I hated 2009 would be unfair and untrue, because in August the best little human being in my entire life arrived.

2009 will always be the year my baby was born. And 2009 will always be the year my dad stepped off this good earth forever.I am so damn glad to close the door on an exhausting, heartbreaking year.

This closing I envision as the pulling, the physical pulling, of a heavy old storage door. You reach up as high as you can, and you pull with all your strength. And secure it with a big metal padlock.

Slam. Click. Locked.

Thank God.

Most of you know it's the year that my dad quietly, deliberately, shuffled off this mortal coil.

I envision this closing as the firm shutting of one of those grand old dark wood palace doors, like the kind you find on maharajah's fortresses in India. Solid wood and metal. Beautifully ornamented with large brass studs so that elephants can't batter them down.

You imagine beauty behind them, but you can't see, for there are now windows. No getting around them. No getting through them. Not this time.

Solid. Shut. Locked.

At the time, it was so hard being pregnant and dealing with all of it. I wanted to drink myself into a stupor. To dip into the Valium bowl to get some distance, some rest.

But Jordan's arrival so soon after saved us. I won't be so dramatic as to say he saved our lives...but something like that.

Chronologically, though, let me tip toe through my year, before shutting it firmly.

We found out I was pregnant last December, and January, February, and March were full of excitement, nausea, hysteria, fretting about not-dead-dwarf babies, fatness, selling Nick's place, and probably a number of other things.

In retrospect, in comparison, they seems so small and silly, you know?

Then in April, my dad had heart problems, and wound up in the hospital. And got out several days later, took all that new heart medication that they'd given him, and wound up back in the hospital almost dead.

I could say he was lucky that he didn't die - but he didn't feel that way.

I look back now and know that he was just waiting to have enough strength to leave. Why didn't I see it then? Why wasn't I more vigilant?

You know that expression "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger?" I hate that fucking expression.

Because it doesn't, not always. What almost kills you can make you shockingly feeble. Feeble enough that you know you cannot go forward this frail.

And so he waited until he got his strength back. And then he walked out one final time. That was May 15.

The end of May we moved out of Nick's place. I think that's also when we learned that Nick's mom might have lung cancer.

In June Nick and I moved into our ancient new house, opening the 100-year old front door that, even when closed, lets wind whistle through.

July. July Nick's mother had a lung operation.

In August, I got bigger and bigger and a week overdue, and then, via C-secion, our Jordan arrived. Nick says that the moment his head appeared through the cut in my abdomen, he was yelling.

I now imagine it to be a, "Hello, world! I'm here!"

Right about that time, Nick's mom had her hip replaced. And his father had a long-scheduled heart operation. I kid you not.

The end of August and early September were, for me, mostly lost to PPD. October and November were hard but increasingly better.

I giggle when I type that, only because I refuse to try to imagine how they might've been worse.

December, December was probably our best month since April.

And I look toward 2010 with hope for goodness and happiness and joy. For us, for everyone.

Happy New Year, happy new beginnings, everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another low action flick

I've been told by my husband that I make the boringest movies ever. Ev. Ver.

And as he pointed out, he's the father of this child.

I must admit, I whip out my camera at every opportunity. I have many little clips of not very much going on.

But this one? While low on action, there's hope, fortitude, victory, rejoicing, and a wee bit of hysteria.

So if you've got 42 seconds and want to see a tiny little triumph, I'm sharing one with you.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Penis tattoos

A friend of mine mentioned yesterday that she'd dated a guy who had a tattoo on his penis.

I don't remember how this came up. It was somehow germane to something.


A tattoo. The kind you make with a sharp pointy little needle thing. On. His. Penis.


So after I got over the initial shock and accompanying twitchy little squeamy dance, I had so many questions.

First, how? How do they do this? Do you have to have an erection for them to tattoo your penis? And if so, how the hell would you maintain it?

Also, would there be a different picture flaccid and erect? That would be kind of interesting.

Like, maybe it would look like a sink when flaccid and then you realize it's actually a picture of a the Washington Monument.

Not that you would necessarily want a sink or a monument on your private bits for all eternity.

And what would you want on your wing-wang for all eternity? I forgot to ask her about the actual tattoo.

Also, was he into pain? Was that why?

No, she said. It was more that he worked somewhere that everyone had tattoos. It was more a macho thing.

But honestly. If you want to look like you can tolerate a lot of pain, get your elbow tattooed. Everyone knows that hurts like all hell.

But your penis? Who would know you were manly enough to withstand the pain?

Unless, of course, you wore chaps, and nothing else. And then I'm pretty sure your pain tolerance is not where people's minds would jump first.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Nice save, Betty

Now, as background, I need to mention that Betty is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.

She doesn't say mean things about people, she doesn't get her digs in. She's just genuinely kind, pretty much all the time. No snark, no catty remarks, nothing.

It probably goes without saying that I take much more after my father.

So we were all sitting at the table having breakfast this weekend. Well, Nick, Betty and I were. And Big J was watching us intently.

We were talking about how Jordan does new things every day, and my mom was telling us how he now puts his feet straight up in the air to examine them.

She said, "He's got good strong stomach muscles like his mama. Don't you, Jordan? A nice strong stomach, just like your mama!"

And then she paused. And looked at Nick.

And added, " your dad? Do you have strong stomach muscles, Nick?"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Though I must admit that the plot is rather thin

Taken furtively with my camera in the waiting room of the doctor's office.

Someone has learned to make raspberries.

While not deep, and lacking in character development, and also slightly cattywompus (cattywhompers?), I hope it delights you as much as it delights me.

Tomorrow is an unlikely posting day, so I wish you happy, healthy holidays, warmth, love, and all kinds of schmoopy good things.

Big hug,


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Preparation for the Iditarod. Plus, the kindness of strangers.

Yesterday, snowy, slushy, icy yesterday, Big J had his four-month checkup.

Which went really well. And confirmed that he is ginormous.

My office was closed due to snow. Which was lucky, because Betty was snowed in at her house. And Jordan can't yet fix himself lunch.

It took us forevvvvver to get to the appointment.

Quite frankly, I generally hate snow, in the same way that I hate all inclement weather. I try to keep it to myself, because everyone is always, oh, so beautiful! Lalalala! Snowmen! Unicorns! Happiness!

And I am all grrr, fuck, cold, wet, grr.

The only way I like snow is when I can look at it through the windows. And can poke my nose outside, enjoy it for a few moments, and then come back in and get all toasty.

So yesterday. My car was firmly stuck in a snow bank. So I hauled my big boy in his stroller a mile and a half over way too many unshoveled sidewalks.

I don't know if you have any idea how hard it is to get a stroller down iced-over sidewalks and through half-frozen half-slushy piles of snow.

I certainly didn't.

The answer is: Very.

I wound up pulling the stroller much of the way, rather than pushing. Also, when the sidewalk was pure ice, it slid and I slid and it was all very terrible.

It was incredibly bumpy, and initially Jordan had this alarmed look on his face, and at a couple points he was trying unsuccessfully to hold on for dear life. If only he had more arm and hand control! If only!

But then remarkably enough, he just went ahead and went to sleep, despite my string of profanity, despite the occasional perilous angling of the stroller.

So, on the bright side, this experience was such a good reminder that people are kind.

At least 10 different people helped me when I was stuck trying to get over a particularly huge pile at a curb. I was incredibly grateful.

They were all men, except one.

This surprised me, if only because I would assume women would be more sympathetic.

At one point, I was struggling to get over a big snow hump and cross a street, and just at the crest of the snow pile, a woman stopped me to ask me for directions to the metro.

I was thinking, seriously, me? The woman gasping for breath, hair in face, tugging a load of baby on pointless wheels through a mound of snow? Are you fucking kidding me?

So, huffing and puffing and pulling and sweating, I pointed her and her male companion in the right direction, while breathlessly giving them instructions.

She thanked me and turned to go. At which point the guy she was with asked if I needed help, took the other end of the stroller, and helped me carry it across the street.

I could've kissed him. I kind of wanted to, just to be spiteful. But then I remembered I'm married and that kind of thing is Not OK.

So instead I beamed at him, thanked him profusely, and trundled off to the next Curb of Death, stroller firmly in hand.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Canadians, boots, bear suits. And snow!

Here is what I learned from my boot solicitations: I like your taste.

I liked all the suggestions. I know one might think, oh, how hard is it to pick basic black boots?

But it's like finding the perfect little black dress. Very difficult.

And holy cow are there a lot of cute black boot options, and really, I do best when faced with, oh, three choices. Not five hundred gajillion.

And so, thanks to you, I spent my online time this weekend on various sites - all your ideas - but mainly Zappos because seriously, they have 80 katrillion boots! Who knew?

I am torn between two pairs. These boots are going to be my Christmas present. And also, the only boots I buy this year. So they are worth some agonizing.

I will let you know.

And thanks to an Anonymous (it's always the Anonymousers, isn't it?) I am a little in love with this La Canadienne brand, which of course is much spendier than any shoes I ever buy. But I have never met a Canadian I didn't like. Which means probably I would love the shoes, no?

Also? Waterproof! Warm!

Those two words are pretty seductive when you are a person with nothing practical in which to ensconce your feet and then it SNOWS! And SNOWS AND SNOWS!

And you really want to take your kid out in it, because is there anything cuter than a baby in a bear suit pretending to sled?

In my unbiased opinion, no.
Also, do I want a bear suit for myself?

Hell, yeah.

Friday, December 18, 2009


I know, utter frivolity. It's Friday.

OK, so here's the thing. I have very deliberately not been buying stuff for myself.

After the boy was born, I bought a bunch of nursing tops and bras, and recently I've gotten a couple cute and nursing-friendly sweaters and tops.

But other than that, I've abstained from purchasing clothing or shoes. And random stuff, like lip gloss. Do you know how much lip gloss I own? Because it's such a small expense, and an easy way to perk up your day.

Small expense until you average one a week. Ridiculous.

So I have not been buying anything. Except for cutiecute irresistible outfits for Jordan. But those don't count.

But I find myself with an actual NEED. I need some flat black boots that I can wear with skirts.

They have to be comfortable and easy to walk in - and you know me, I mean walk quickquick - but also cute and nice enough for the office.

I have muscular calves, and as such, a lot of boots just won't fit. So they have to zip, and they have to have decent calf room. I don't know who all these skinny-winny calved people are that most boot makers cater to, but my friends and I do not seem to be among them.

However, they don't have to fit over jeans, because I will not be wearing them that way. As my old boss said, if you were around for the trend the first time, best not to repeat it.

So if any of you have seen or gotten any cute boots lately, I'd love suggestions.

And happy Friday!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Not only is my husband significantly bigger and stronger than I am, but he's also much harder working, and more serious of purpose.

For starters, he can do things like carry an entire couch up the stairs all by himself. While I struggle with half a bureau.

So there's that.

Plus, he's better at seeing things through. I'll start a project all kinds of enthusiastic. And then I'll get bored, and move on to something newer and more interesting. Until that gets tedious.

He starts, sweats through, and finishes.

So I want to make it clear: I'm very impressed with my husband for his strength, his abilities, his character, and about a zillion other things. Very.

But he's one hell of a slow walker.

The problem, as far as I can tell, is that he's an ambler. He's one of those amblish people I wind up stuck behind and want to stab on my walk to work.

Because when I walk, I walk fast. I mean fastfast. I want the exercise. I hate the stroll. And I am short, and so my legs have to move extra to walk that fast.

Strangers on the street have expressed surprise at my speed.

But now, now Nick and I are walking to work together. I agreed to when he agreed to speed up.

And he has, but still in my head I am all, Christ, man, your legs are twice as long as mine! How am I faster than you?

At first I thought maybe it was his sheer bulk that slowed him down. But then I thought, you know, hippos are huge, and yet really fast and can turn on a dime.

Not, I assure you, that I have ever compared you to a hippo, sweetheart.

But what I've realized is it's more of a personality thing than a size thing.

Nick notices all these architectural details on buildings we walk by. He pays attention to what's around him. He likes to enjoy the sunshine.

I haven't actually seen him stop and smell the roses, but he's a stop and smell the roser.

Whereas I am all, yes, yes, nice building, pretty sunshine. Hurry it up! Fuck the roses!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Miss Truvy, I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair.

I feel like I repeatedly thank you for the kindness, lovely thoughts, advice. But I don't think that you can over-appreciate people. So thank you again.


I don't know if you've ever worn a cute warm magenta sweater dress to work? One that you wore once out to a party and it was super cute, but once you washed it you weren't sure if maybe it was just a wee bit too short? Or stuck to your tights too much?

And you thought both of these were maybe true? But your husband said it was fine, and you really wanted to wear it?

Still with me?

And so to mitigate the possible shortness or possible stick-to-your-assness you decided to wear these nude spandex suck in your everything shorts kinds of things. You know, so that the dress would just hang smoother, the spandex between your dress and tights would encourage gliding rather than clinging.

It seems like a good solution. No?

Until you walk into the bathroom and catch a glimpse of yourself in the full-length mirror.

Only to discover that there has been more clinging that gliding, and in fact you have two rings of nude-colored spandex peeping below your dress. A little like a parfait, from top to bottom: pink dress, layer of nude spandex, black tights, and knee-high black boots.

Cute. I assure you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Inadequacy revisited

So in the beginning, when I wasn't producing enough milk, I felt totally inadequate.

I couldn't feed my baby. He'd dropped a pound in the hospital. As soon as we got out, the pediatrician made us return three times in a week for weigh-ins.

And every time he nursed, I'd get all clenchy. Sometimes I'd cry. Or just think hateful thoughts.

As you may imagine, this helped a great deal. And was super fun.

But a couple things were going on. One, with the PPD, I felt so trapped. And then I'd be physically stuck in the chair or bed. I felt like I was suffocating every time.

And then, then he'd nurse and still be hungry. Which made me feel like a huge loser. And made me so resentful. I'm doing my best. You're sucking the life out of me. And it's still not enough.

I dreaded feeding him. I dreaded everything, really.

I just wanted to walk out the door, lock it behind me, get in my car and just keep driving. After I had a huge nap. And a stiff drink or five.

Yes, I realize I'd have gotten pulled over for drunk driving. I didn't really think it through - particularly since I'd have been drinking and driving on top of Vicodin.

But I didn't flee, drink, or drive.

And then Mr. Zoloft made things better, fast.

So things got better, and then they even got good. More than good. Wonderful.

But at the point where they were wonderful, and he was entirely on breast milk, and I was really liking having him nurse, I went back to work.

And no matter how much I visualize while pumping, I just can't make enough. I sit there all, "I make huge glasses of milk!" I imagine a tall, cool glass of milk overflowing.

This helps. But not enough.

I also read blogs during the pumping. And sometimes a totally random post will make my milk just gush. Weird, I know. I can't explain it.

So he is back on formula. Which is fine.


Except that whenever I read anything about breastfeeding, I feel like crap. My kid should be exclusively breastfed. Exclusively. For the first six months. You're practically poisoning your kid, plus being a bad mom, if you supplement.

The more I read, the worse I feel.

I know this is stupid. He's well fed, he's healthy, and he's happy. But I still feel inadequate.

I'm doing my best, and it's not enough. I can't feed my kid.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Your kid, my kid

So when Big J is all smiley and happy and wonderful, or doing fun new stuff - sitting (propped up)! using hands! babbling! - which is a good percentage of the time, he's my kid.

As in, "Who's my baby? You are! Oh, I love my boy!"

And when he does things like wake up a lot. like, say. . . Every. Two. Hours. All. Night. Long - for no apparent reason - he's Nick's baby.

As in, "WHY is your kid waking up so much? Doesn't your son know it's 4 am and tomorrow is Monday and more importantly, Mama needs sleep?"

It's kind of like when I was 10 and my brother was 7 and we really wanted a dog.

We promised and promised and promised our parents we'd take care of it. They finally relented. And of course, Betty wound up doing most of the work.

At those ages, I was still bigger than my brother. And he still believed everything I said.

And so when I told him that the front half of the dog was mine, and he got the back half, it made him pretty upset.

As you may imagine.

Friday, December 11, 2009

My trail of heart crumbs

A little piece of my heart breaks off every time I leave in the morning.

There could be a trail of heart crumbs between my home and my office.

The last couple mornings, instead of falling right back to sleep after eating, he's been all chit-chatty. Nick doesn't usually see much of him at night, so he gets his baby fix before work.

And he is hilarious. He talks and beams, shoves his fist in his mouth, pulls it out, and chats some more. My face regularly gets sore from smiling so much.

Somehow, I never expected going back to work to be this hard. Not just in terms of the pumping, or the getting milk organized, or the readjusting to an outside schedule, although all of those things have me spinning.

But not being with my baby, after such intense time together? Oh, this tramples me.

Days with a baby are long and exhausting. There are a lot of tedious moments. But boy, is there so much fun and sweetness. I don't think I've ever had such a sense of purpose.

And Wednesday evening I got home after my first day at work, and Jordan was sitting on my mom's lap. He looked at me very coolly, then turned his head away. I got his attention, and he gave me the same, oh, you, kind of look. And turned his head the other way.

My mom was all, "That's your pretty mama! Your mama's home!"

He ignored me. He looked up at Betty and beamed.

You wouldn't think a four-month old could hurt your feelings, would you?

It took him a while to warm up to me. And then he got hungry and we were all tight again.

If it weren't Betty, I think it would just kill me. Although it aches me not to be there, I love that they have such a good time together. She loves him like crazy, and wow, does he love her right back.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Big pumpin', spendin' cheese...

So now I am doing the whole pumping at work business.

Like there aren't enough worky things to do. On top of that, I skulk off to a private room to hook up to a milking machine every few hours.

I sit in a cube. So it's not like I can just close my office door. I have to assemble all my stuff and haul it off to a locked room. I emerge with milk to go in the fridge, milky pump to wash, and the work I've hauled in there so I am using my time productively.

I've considered just staying in my cube, so I can be at my computer.

I sit against a window, so you have to come around a wall and past another cube to get to mine. I briefly considered just putting up a big sign, so people just wouldn't walk back here.

The Quad
has disbanded, what with people quitting and moving around. Jenny, thankfully, is still here. And in the Quangle, we have Kay and Maricel, and Fabulous Cake Lady. None of whom would be the least bit bothered.

However. There are people who would.

And I'm pretty sure it falls under Things You Shouldn't Do In Your Cube. Like farting loudly and deliberately or masturbating or playing show tunes at top volume. To name a few off the top of my head.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

You're lucky to be drinkin' here for free cause I'm a sucker for your lucky pretty eyes

You know how I was having all those production problems with the milk before?

We're all good now. (And tomorrow I go back to work and figure out how to maintain.)

It increased - with the help of daily oatmeal and an herbal tea we like to call Boob Tea. So Big J has been an only boob man for quite some time now.

It is a weird thing, though, the milk-making. One of the more bizarre things I've ever experienced is milk squirting straight out into the air from my body. It's not like peeing, where you can clench and stop it. I tried.

Because sometimes Jordan will squawk, and all of a sudden my boobs will be like, "Hi! Here! Have some milk! Nownownow!"

Kind of like if you sat down at a restaurant to order and the server immediately flung an appetizer in your direction.

But now I really like the nursing. It is such an amazing connection. And it just makes my heart so warm to have my sweet boy all snuggled around me. He settles in and he pats me with his chubby little hand. He's just so incredibly comfortable.

Sometimes I am sitting there all beaming, thinking about how much I love him, and how comfy and happy he seems. He'll close his eyes and make these "Mmmmm! Delicious!" noises.

I'm all, oh, he knows I'm his mother, and he's feeling so nurtured. He's so delighted to be all cozied up next to Mama. We're sharing a moment.

And then suddenly he'll finish eating and open his eyes. He'll pull his head back, his brow will furrow, and his eyes will get very wide in surprise.

And then, then he'll get this huge smile on his face all, "Hey! You're here too! This is great!"

Monday, December 07, 2009

What makes a good feminist?

I just got this comment on a post I wrote a couple years ago on splitting the check.

"I need an opinion from someone who knows what they're talking about because I'm new to this whole feminist thing. I have always offered to split the check but I have never had a guy accept it until now. I have been seeing a guy I really like for a few weeks now and he lets me split the check. I'm almost tempted to say that he expects me to split it. I'm not sure why but this has really been bothering me. I guess because it seems like he doesn't think I'm worth him impressing me. Does that make me a bad feminist?"

I'm flattered that the commenter thinks I'm someone who knows what they're talking about, but alas, I don't actually feel like I am.

I mean, I consider myself a feminist, and I believe in equality of pay, of rights, of, well, everything. By the same token, if a guy asks me out, I want him to treat me for the first date. (Not anymore, I mean, with the whole married thing and all.) It's fine to split subsequent ones, although I think much more charming to alternate. But that is me.

In the scenario above, I'd be bothered as well, although I wouldn't wonder if he wasn't trying to impress me. I'd look at other things, like how he behaved toward me (calling regularly, being on time, keeping commitments, listening to me, etc) for that.

As for whether it makes you a bad feminist, I would say no.

But in questions of feminism, I'm not the best person to ask. I grew up in such patriarchal societies, in a household where my father was always in charge and always right. I deferred to men, until, well, I am embarrassed to say how old. And men always paid for everything.

In other words, I would have to say that I was rather late to feminism as well.

So I turn to my extremely bright, articulate, analytical readers.

Does wanting to be treated by a man make someone a bad feminist? What makes a good feminist?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Hand and toe lint

I don't know if you've ever been with a man who gets belly button lint?

I blame it on the size of his belly, but Nick contends every man gets it. I don't know.

What I do know is that it's completely astounding. It's like he walks around with his own personal Charybdis.

I bring this up because of the following. Prior to examining my son's little hands and feet, the man belly button lint was the only experience I'd ever had with weird accumulation of body lint.

You see Big J's clenched little fists? He clenches his toes as well.

And it turns out that when you keep your hands and toes all tightly clenched, you accumulate crud in them. And now that he sticks his hands in his mouth, his hand crud is wet crud. He keeps his hands clenched in the bath as well.

Prying them open is very difficult, particularly when you are only using one hand. I only get some of it. Clearly I have not yet learned to laser beam them out. Plus I realized the instructions also indicate you should be teaching your kid the "pull my finger" trick.

It's all too much to manage at once.

So mainly I clean his hand crud while he nurses. He doesn't appreciate it, but he's torn, so torn. Boob? Defend the hand? Boob? Hand?

It makes us a very simian little scenario, I know.

His toe lint, though, is kind of fascinating. It correlates perfectly with the color of his socks that day.

Yesterday's? ORANGE!

Happy weekend, all!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Dressing for women, dressing for men?

Yesterday I met up with Tejal to treat her to belated birthday drinks.

We went to the bar/restaurant in our building. It's nice but totally easy comfortable. We treat it as our living room - most likely because we used to spend way too much time there.

We arrived at the same time, and complimented each other with "You look great!"s.

To which I responded, "I wore my new top and put on makeup and perfume for you!"

And she replied, "I freshened my makeup and put on heels for you!"

Not because either of us would judge the other, but because it was a little occasion. And not because we might impress other patrons. I mean, it was 3:30 in the afternoon, the place was nearly empty, and anyway, I had Big J and a diaper bag with me.

I started thinking about this later, though. If I were single, would I have dressed differently? Would I have given thought to men I might meet while we were out?

And on the whole, do I dress for women or men?

I know this is not an original question.

Women often contend they dress for other women. Men tend to be sceptical of this. I don't know that most men would even consider the question for themselves. If any men are reading, I'd be interested to hear.

I think if I'd given this any thought prior to marriage and baby, I probably would've said that I dress for other women.

I mean, women will notice color and texture and fabulous accessories. Men, on the whole, notice if your ass looks good in those pants. Women compliment you on your shoes. They notice flats just as much as heels.

Have you ever been shoe shopping with a man? And every shoe he suggests has a highhigh heel? No matter what kind of shoe you're looking for? Men are never all, "What cute ballet flats!"

But I don't tend to wear flats. I love the platforms. I love the heels. I contend that this is because I'm short, and I love the height. But do I also like that men like them?


So thinking about it, though, I most likely used to dress for men when I went out. I probably still do, as I tend to wear clothing Nick likes when we're going out.

But I have my own mind and my own taste, and I like wearing funky things - things that women tend to like more than men, and when I'm out and about, I'm not trying to attract men.

In other words, I'm not sure.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I hate rain, people are stupid, and my jeans are tight

Really, except for a mid-afternoon glass of wine with friends - which helped immensely, and shouldn't we do that all the time? - that sums up the bulk of my day.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

How we spend our time

I have a week left of maternity leave.

I get all teary when I think about it. I snuggle him and think, oh, our time is running out!

Yes, I realize it's melodramatic. It's not like I'm never going to see him again.

But these nigh on 16 weeks have flown.

In the beginning, time couldn't pass fast enough. I felt stuckstuckstuck. With the breastfeeding, which was so hard. With the diaper changing. With the responding to mystery cries. With the endless getting up at night.

It felt like torture. I just couldn't see a way out except leaving. And I couldn't imagine it getting better.

And then I got my PPD treated, and things got so much brighter. And I learned that we could actually leave our bedroom, and even the house, and nothing more calamitous than an enormous poo would happen.

I even got to the point with breastfeeding where I could do it pretty much anywhere. That Target couch? Don't think I haven't been back, and don't think Big J wasn't hungry.

And I'm thankful I stuck it out. I love the closeness, the amazing connection.

Which is not to say that I won't enjoy having my little boobs back when this is done.

And now, now we have such a good time. We go on walks on nice days. We chat. We play. We cuddle. We laugh.

Let me be frank: it's not that it's never dull. There's only so much tummy time encouragement and playing with Miss Ellie the blue elephant who makes pretty tinkling sounds when you shake her that an adult can do. But it is pretty gratifying to see how excited the boy gets.

And when the weather sucks, and we are aching for entertainment (read: mama needs some fun) we take pictures of ourselves.

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?

Friday, October 30, 2009

With eyes of flame, came whiffling through the tulgey wood, and burbled as it came!

And we're off to San Diego.

For the plane ride we have, in no particular order: plenty of diapers and wipes, chocolate, extra clothes, boiled eggs, warm blankets, toys, chicken sandwiches, butt paste, anti-gas drops (for him, although I don't know why I've never tried this sort of thing)...

We have not had a poo in two days. We him, not me.

Wish us luck.

And Happy Halloween, all!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Air Jordan

First and foremost, thank you all for the poo stories and commentary from various countries. I love them, and I adore all of you. You know I do.

And secondly, I got an adorable Halloween outfit for Jordan. I'll try to take pics and post them tonight. He's attending Jane's wedding in costume.

Because tomorrow Jordan takes his first plane trip! He, Betty and I fly to San Diego for Jane's wedding.

Yes, I am terrified.

I've always loathed people with babies on planes. And now I am going to be one of those people.

And I have learned what everyone else knew: you can't just make your baby be quiet.

Months ago, when I was still preg, Jane called to say they were getting married, and could we make it out to San Diego on October 31? If not, as we're essentially family, they'd look at other dates.

We said absolutely we'll be there.

And then Jen, lovely Jen announced that she is getting married in Macedonia! on November 7 - the following weekend! And immediately I said I'd be there. Of course I wouldn't miss her wedding.

I figured, great! We'd fly to California for the weekend, come back Monday, have a few days to pack and get on East coast time and then turn around and head to Macedonia.

Because it would be that easy.

And then I had the kid.

Probably I am less combobulated than other people, but it can take me all day to gear up for and recover from a trip to the pediatrician. It's getting easier, the arriving somewhere on a schedule. But it still frazzles me.

I had to tell Jen that there's no way we can make it to Macedonia, sad as that makes me. I just cannot imagine the trip with Jordan, the flights, the changing planes, the time change, the language difference, the everything. Without Nick.

But San Diego, San Diego, here we come. People on the plane, prepare to hate us.

I am nervous beyond belief.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The two-person poo

I called Nick last night a little or maybe very frantic. It was half an hour after he'd said he'd be home.

"Where are you?"

I was shrill.

"I'm waiting for the bus. Why?"

"He just had a two person poo. I need help."

Nick has experienced the crisis of the two-person poo before. He jumped in a cab.

For those of you unfamiliar with the baby poo business, let me tell you. You start out with what seems like a poo every 15 minutes. This frequency gradually reduces to once a day or once every two days. Apparently even every five is normal.

This, this I cannot imagine.

Because the second day poo is just extraordinary. I've come to dread the magnitude of it.

Last night, I knew he was pooing. He was sitting in his bouncy chair, which he loves, minus the bounce, and I could see it on his face.

So I picked him up to take him downstairs and change him. At which point I noticed the poo seeping through two layers of clothing.

I dangled him straight out in front of me, in an effort to avoid donning the yellow-brown fecal decoration that was fast spreading on his outfit. I figured one of us covered in poo was enough.

It was a poosplosion, up the front and up the back.

I'd dealt with one or the other before, but not both at once. The up the front kind took me very by surprise the first time. You have to clean poo off not only his balls, but all the way up above and around his little wing wang.

This, though, this was a poo of epic proportions.

Up to his belly button. Way up to the middle of his back. All over his clothes. He got his hand in some on the edge of his onesie while I was getting his pants off. And while I tried, it turned out there was no way to get it over his head without smearing some additional poo on him.

In a Clark Kentish move, Nick swooped in just in time to give the kid a bath.

Because there are not enough wipes in the world for poos like these.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Intergalactic instructions for bathing your child

Always aim your laser beam directly at your child while you help him cling to the edge. The waves are strong and your laser will keep him safe.
Never aim your laser beam away from your child. If he stops clinging to the edge, the current is likely to wash him away.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The flinch

For the longest time, sirens in my parents' neighborhood gave me the flinch, the quick panic. Because maybe they were going to our house. It wouldn't be the first time.

This hadn't happened in a while.

I went running in my parents' neighborhood earlier today while my mom hung out with the boy.

There I was, running along, all in my head, and suddenly I looked up and noticed a fire truck and ambulance across the street. Someone was being loaded into the ambulance on a stretcher.

Which gave me that cold all-over body feeling. That adrenaline. The throat close. The icy fear.

I lived this too many times.

And when I came down from that, it made me realize the following: I no longer flinch when the phone rings.

Because for years - and I mean nearly a decade - when the phone rang, when it was my parents' number, I would jump.

In January of 2001, after 13 years since my dad's last suicide attempt, my phone rang at 7 am. As soon as my mother said hello, I knew what she was calling about.

And at some point along the years, I realized that starting then, every call evoked the spring-into-action reaction. We started to have a mental checklist, a macabre routine of sorts. Call the police. Call the credit card companies. Call the friends...

It took some months after my father's death for this readiness to wear off.

I couldn't even tell you when it happened. I don't know if it faded slowly, or one day just walked out the door on its own without saying goodbye.

But it did. And I have to say, it's a relief.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Good morning, Mr. Ben. It's about 6:30, Winston-Salem, North Carolina...

Someone asked me recently if I was hugely disappointed that I had a C-section rather than a vaginal birth.

I've been told I shouldn't feel bad about it, just because it didn't go the way I planned. I had a healthy baby, and that's all that matters.

And quite frankly, I believe this.

I didn't get derailed because my birth scenario didn't play out the way I'd wanted. It wasn't that. But I was very upset about it at the time, and maybe I did feel cheated of a birth experience.

I was so immensely upset when they told me. Going into it, there was no way I was having a C-section.

And then, then I had to have one.

But by this point, it's not really about the birth for me, but about the recovery.

I'm not disappointed, and I don't feel cheated, but I do still dearly wish I hadn't had to have one.

Because I don't know about you, but I seem to use my stomach muscles a hell of a lot more than I use my vagina.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Our little pumpkin does a dance

Maude brought this outfit for Jordan to wear for Halloween.I took a bunch of pictures while he had it on, because he looked so cute, but won't be wearing it again.

I tried it on him, and it fit - but barely and not really. And at the rate he's going, I'm quite sure that by the end of the month, he'll be even bigger. He's already at the end of 0-3 month clothes.

He could probably wear it, as long as he didn't mind keeping his toes and legs bent and having his little nutsack squozen.

In other words, I'm looking for a costume.

Monday, October 19, 2009

If he has a blog, you know this was an "overheard at Starbucks" post

When Tori last visited, it was the weekend of my complete and utter meltdown.

It was prior to being diagnosed with PPD, and right after I'd visited the lactation consultant. I was pumping or feeding every two hours to get my milk production up.

Misery and exhaustion. And lots and lots of pumping. Pumping while eating. Pumping while chatting. Pumping, pumping, and more pumping.

Tori, who was here all weekend, had never seen breast pumping in action before. Quite frankly, if it doesn't horrify my friends, it's much nicer to be able to hang out with people while doing it than sequester yourself 54 times a day.

I mean, I don't pump milk at the bus stop or anything. I have to know you well enough to be hanging out with you in my house.

Seeing milk expressed is bizarre and actually kind of interesting. You might assume the milk comes out of one central hole, like a faucet. But really, it's more like a showerhead.

But anyway.

I had the sobbing meltdown and was on the verge of losing my mind completely when Nick stepped in and urged me out the door.

So Tori and I headed out for coffee and shopping.

As we were waiting in line at Starbucks, she said the following:

"You know, I've developed a profound respect for your boobs."

I didn't notice the reaction of the guy in front of us. But Tori did.

So she added, "And of course I respect you as a person as well."