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."

Friday, October 16, 2009

I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then.

I have a lot of Alice moments.

Nick and I went out to check on his boat last weekend to make sure it was still afloat. And it was. With the new engine and whatever else, it doesn't take on water like it used to.

While we were there, he looked around, and said that he'd bought it almost exactly two years ago. Scant weeks before we met. Two years ago he was single, buying a boat prior to turning 40, and contemplating eternal bachelorhood.

And now there he was sitting on his boat with his wife and son.

So I was thinking about where I was two years ago in contrast to now. And now is worlds better. And so vastly different.

Then yesterday I realized that Monday was the three-year anniversary of Lemon Gloria. Three solid years!

And I forgot! Sorry, LG.

I started the blog heartbroken, as so many people do. I wrote and I cried daily. And of course, threw myself into dating. Because that's the best thing to do when you're heartbroken and not ready.

I began to chronicle my dating frustrations. And I wrote about my family ups and downs, and ultimately the death of my father. And I wrote about Nick. His proposal. Our wedding. My pregnancy. Our Jordan.

It's been a varied ride.

But currently I feel like I've taken on this new identity - one in relation to Jordan, and to Nick - and in the process, lost some (much?) of myself.

I mean, I think it's necessary when you have a new baby to be all about the baby. His needs are so great, and so immediate. And you can meet them. And honestly, when he looks at you and smiles, it just squeezes your heart so tenderly and so hard at the same time.

I've never felt anything like it.

But at some point Refugee (who, I should add, is a friend of mine, and included this in a compliment to me) referred to me as a mommy blogger - albeit an interesting one - and this caught me up short. Because since the arrival of the kid, that's pretty much all I talk about. And think about. And subsequently write about.

I'm a mommy blogger.

And I've started to wonder who I am anymore. My life has become so narrow. I love this window to the outside. But does the world really need another mommy blog?

And am I am boring the tar out of you all?

I'm still on maternity leave. I spend the bulk of my time with Jordan. I don't have random encounters on the street. In fact, I often don't leave the house. I don't even change my clothes daily.

Mostly, I write about one topic: my baby.

Which, now that I think about it, is probably preferable to writing about my vagina. I'm not sure.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The early struggle for only childhood

Turns out, I had a cold when my brother was born.

This was one of the pictures I scanned for my dad's slide show. I quite like how my mom looks a little stunned, my dad has clearly had his attention caught by something to the side of the camera, and I am staring down the photographer.

We moved from India to Bangladesh a couple months before my mother's due date. Bangladesh had just gained independence, and medical care was better in India. Plus, all my mom's doctors were there.

So she decided to deliver in Delhi.

While Betty and I we were on the plane from Dacca (now Dhaka) to New Delhi, I apparently asked the following:

"Mama, when the baby gets to New Delhi, can we not go get him?"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sleep and suspect lullabyes

Doesn't he look like he should have a can of Bud in one hand and the remote control falling out of the other?

You kind of expect to see a bag of potato chips on the floor and hear the game blaring out of the television. I mean, except for the fact that he's asleep in the arms of lovely Jenny. But if he were on a couch...

So lately, we've begun fighting sleep. By WE I mean the sleep pirate.

His eyes will get all tired and pink and puffy and he'll yawn and not, but still insist that he IS NOT TIRED! NO! What he really wants is to EAT! Or LOOK AROUND! Or CRY!

But sleep? No! Nonononono!

Apparently this is exactly how I was as a baby. I am lucky Betty didn't feed me to the wild dogs. Which is what I wanted to do with my brother. But that is a whole nother story.

What I have learned, though, is that he doesn't actually know what he needs. What he needs is more naps. This leads to not melting down at night, thoroughly exhausted.

And so I have begun forcing naps upon him. Which makes him a much happier baby.

Just not in the pre-nap moment.

Most of the time, leading up to the nap is a struggle. He'll fall asleep after nursing, and I'll think I can ease him into blanket and bed like I used to. And suddenly he's wide awake. And not happy.

So I have begun to swaddle him tightly, lay him with his head on my chest, rock, and sing to him.

Although if you know me, you will know that I don't sing. I can't carry a tune to save my life. And I'm self-conscious. Unless you know me really well, you likely will only see me mouthing words. Even to songs like Happy Birthday.

Plus, I don't yet know a lot of lullabyes.

But you know, he's my baby. And also, he doesn't know the real words yet.

So we have this continuously made up version of Lullabye and Goodnight.

I start with all the lines I know. And then continue on, sticking as closely to the tune as I am capable. Which is not very.

It's all done very calmly and sweetly. Even when I use profanity. Which is regularly.

Lullabye and goodnight.
Close your eyes and sleep tight.
I know that you are tired,
And you do not want to sleep.

Lullabye and stop your crying.
It's annoying as all hell.
I'll truss you up like a little turkey.
You sleep better when you can't move.

Lullabye my little sweet pea.
You are cranky and now so am I.
Mama wants to have some breakfast(/lunch/M&Ms/Valium/you name it).
So I wish you would just fall asleep...

Friday, October 09, 2009

A day in the life of an itty-bitty pirate. Arrrr! Gah!

Itty-bitty pirate tries on his outfit.And has a pre-marauding snack.And then snuggles into the car seat. On the way to the high seas, of course.Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fodder for the teen years

I never, ever thought I'd say this, but changing diapers is not really a big deal.

I was absolutely dreading the poo. And then I started changing diapers, and I'll be damned if what every single other parent has said wasn't exactly true.

When it's your own kid, it's fine.

It's a little weird, in that breastfed babies, at least in the beginning, have this yellow poo that looks like Dijon mustard. It even has those little brown grains in it. You could totally picture it on crusty bread with lettuce and ham.

I mean, if it weren't poo, of course.

These little brown grains are remarkably sticky. They get stuck everywhere, and you kind of have to scrape at them, very gently, with baby wipes.

I've realized that this kind of activity could be useful, you know.

Because one day, one day, when Jordan is a belligerent teenager, I am going to be fully prepared with the following.

That I not only wiped poo off his butt and smeared his anus with butt paste. No, not only that. I also scrubbed those little grainy brown mustard poo chunks off his little balls.

Nobody is going to want their prom date to hear about that.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The kind of thing that perhaps merits a picture, but that might be over the top. No pun.

I have worn some ridiculous outfits in my time, but I think that lately, I've outdone myself.

Today I looked in the mirror and realized the following: My white bra-clad boobs were sticking out through the holes in my magenta nursing top.

Turns out, I'd rehooked the bra, but forgotten to tuck the boobs back in. Not a big deal - it's not like we were out in public. This time. I just need to remember.

But frankly, this is mild in the scheme.

In the beginning, I was so dazed and panicked and confused that I could barely manage clothing.

I mean, I had the hospital underwear. And the maxi pad. Those I always had on.

But at that point, I had no nursing bras. And no idea I'd need support round-the-clock.

I did have two tank tops with built-in shelf bras, so I'd wear those. With my white mesh hospital underwear. And maxi pad.

But this isn't the worst of it.

Because, you see, the tank tops weren't built for nursing. You couldn't just unhook one side and then the other.

Plus, my nipples were so sore that it was nice not to have anything rubbing. The air helped.

So eventually, I'd wear it like a tube top. An under-boob tube top. This was comfy enough that I started doing it regularly.

At some point, I just forgot about it. Because I wasn't really ever leaving the bedroom anyway.

One night my mom was sleeping over, and, like most of the time in the beginning, I was upset about something. I was standing, hands on hips, voicing my displeasure to Nick.

He and Betty looked at each other, looked at me, and my mom very gently said, "Sweetheart, it's a little hard to take you seriously in that outfit."

As it would be.

Hands on hips, mad as a wet hen.

In under-boob black tube top, breasts perched atop in full glory. White mesh hospital underwear. Through which maxi pad was fully visible. Grey slippers.

I had to admit she had a point.

Monday, October 05, 2009

On being grown up

When I was a kid, I thought that once I turned 16, I would be grown up. All my freckles would go away. And I would look like Barbie.

This, as you know, is exactly what happened.


So in high school, still befreckled and un-Barbielike, I was sure that once I was in college I'd feel like a grown up. In college, I was so lost. I assumed that once I graduated, adulthood would set in.

My senior year, my boyfriend - the one who worked at the Archives - and I were talking about getting married. You know, when we turned 24 and were real, responsible adults.

Kid you not. And then we broke up, which was really for the best, since marriage and immediate divorce would've just been a scene all around.

And then I was the youngest and smallest in the office in my first job. People were very protective of me, and I felt young. And inexperienced. And really, just, so far from adult.

Another Lisa started not long after I did, and so people initially referred to me as "Little Lisa."

But soon realized they couldn't refer to the other as "Big Lisa" - at which point they used our last initials.

But "Little Lisa" stuck with a number of them.

And in my 20s, I felt as lost and floundery as ever. When I hit 30, I figured, that's when I'd be grown up.

Because certainly I'd be married by then. Because 30, 30 was so unimaginably old.

Ha again.

So 30 came and went, and I hadn't established what I wanted to be when I grew up. And I lived one year after another with continual and increasing responsibility - in my job, in owning a condo, in keeping my father alive.

And still, still other people my age seemed so much more adult than I felt. Particularly the ones who wore suits to work and were in charge of people and made big decisions.

I've never wanted to make big decisions, and while I've supervised people, it's not something I enjoy. One old boyfriend, with regard to my work preferences, said, "Basically, you want to be left alone to screen print in the corner."

Yeah, kind of.

The fact is, I have a job, but not a real career. I could be on a career path, but my hope is not to get to the top of my profession, but rather, get off it one day and just write. Which puts me in a not very career-driven position.

And so all this is leading up to the following: You'd think that when you got married, you'd feel grown up. And if that didn't happen, then certainly when you had a kid.

And yet, there are so many moments when I'm all, "Holy crap! I'm married! I'm not grown up enough to be married!"

I kind of elbow myself and say, "Can you believe it?"

And then I look down at sweet little Jordan and say, "AND, and you have a kid!"

Truthfully, I feel like I've done this without ever attaining the kind of grownupness that I thought I would.

But if it hasn't hit by now, when will it?

Friday, October 02, 2009

The suck: breastfeeding part one of a gazillion, I'm sure

While I've mostly made peace with breastfeeding, I miss the days my breasts were purely ornamental.

I used to have these little vanilla cupcakes that sat in place on the front of my front and rarely bothered anyone.

And now, now I have these hurty milkbags that don't make enough milk for my boy's voracious appetite, but still have to be contained. I went from wearing pretty, mildly supportive little bras when I wanted to to wearing sturdy nursing ones day and night.

Somehow I was totally unprepared for that. Much like all these other things.

Like, towards the end of my pregnancy, I got these brown patches on my nipples.

What for, I wondered?

And then I discovered: so that they could peel off when I started breastfeeding.

Yes. Ow.

I don't know how it is for other people, but for me, the beginning of breastfeeding was horrendously painful.

The closest thing I can liken it to - although I've never actually done this - would be rubbing your nipples against the sidewalk every couple hours. And if they blister, crack, bleed, or scab, you still have to do it. Even though it hurts like bloodyfuckinghell.

Which kind of goes against everything in your nature.

Hi! These really really hurt. Let me go ahead and stick them in your mouth.

And it turns out that my little boy has a very strong suck. So while most of the issues cleared up, I do still get blisters.

Because every once in a while, he goes ahead and gears up to get off the breast in the following manner: sucks really hard, and then pulls back his head. You'd expect to hear a pop, like the cork coming out of a wine bottle.

I try to catch it, but am rarely successful. He sneaks it in.

We're all snuggled up, and I think we're having a beautiful moment, where he's being nourished and soothed and we're bonding.

And then...Pop!

Followed by much profanity.

At least we're both true to our natures.

Happy Friday!