Thursday, September 27, 2012

The first best day of my life

Four years ago, I made my best move ever and married Nick. It was a short walk down an aisle that had been a long time coming.


Our wedding was glorious; I wanted it to last forever. At that point, it was the best day of my life - the first of now several. By our wedding day, I'd only known Nick for about 10 months, and we've since agreed that it could all have ended very quickly and badly.

But sometimes fortune smiles down on you, and look where we are now.

This morning, after an awakey-snuffly-baby-with-a-cold kind of dreadful night, as we were scrambling to get everyone ready for work, work, school, and daycare, India was screaming her head off in her crib (DON'T PUT ME DOOOOWN, WOMAN!) upstairs, and Jordan was throwing a fit downstairs (I WANT TO WATCH A VIDEO! I DON'T WANT TO EAT BREAKFAST!).

We looked at each other, clinked our mugs of tea, and said, "Happy anniversary!"

Somehow I got so lucky. I wouldn't change a thing. Except more sleep and less infant and toddler screaming.


Profuse thanks for the video go to one of Nick's oldest and dearest friends, Matt Curran. Lucky for us, one day he had both a shiny new MacBookPro and time on his hands and decided to play with photos; this video is the delightful result!

The only way I could like this more is if it were set to a recording of him singing. Matt's a professional opera singer with this deliciously deep voice and fantastic and random sense of humor. Which explains some of the captions.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Twinkle, twinkle, little, uh...

At Target the other day, I passed a shelf of Always Radiant Maxi Pads.

Which gave me pause. Radiant. Maxi pads. Radiant.

Radiant is a word I would use for makeup. Radiant eye shadow! Radiant nail polish! Shampoo! Toothpaste! Radiance is sparkle, glow; it is light projected.

Radiant! works nicely for cosmetics in general, I think.

"You look radiant!" This is something people say to beaming brides. To their faces. Not their vaginas.

Because radiance in your pants?

I imagine radiant maxi pads being covered with glitter. Which sounds itchy. And sketchy.

I mean, you know how when you wear glitter, it gets everywhere, into weird little nooks and crannies, and never goes away? For years and years you find little glitter bits in upholstery, carpets, clothing you've washed repeatedly. Seriously, for years.

So Radiant Maxi Pads. Here's what I picture:

When wearing them, you'd walk down the hall at work, leaving a discreet trail of glitter.

Every time you sat down, you'd leave your sparkly mark.

Your butt would be very subtly shiny. Dare I say radiant?

The gynecologist, at your annual exam, would notice something odd, and then be all, "I've never actually seen glitter on someone's cervix before. I don't want to pry, but..."

Monday, September 24, 2012

The food-to-condiment ratio

Incidentally, when I typed the title, I first spelled it "condomint" - and then I was all, that's odd! I'm basically a 12-year old boy; how did I never realize that the word condom is in condomint?

I immediately began trying to think of clever things to say, using buns and beef and condomint...And then, uh, drat. It's condiment.

So. How do you feel about condiments? I'd never given them much thought until I felt drowned in them. Turns out, I'm fairly indifferent to most of them.

Except sometimes, when there are so many I can't cram anything else in. Then I feel some serious condiment hostility welling up.

I don't know how many condiments the average person has. But we surely have more than normal. I mean, we're not condiment hoarders. It's not like we have so many condiments that there's no room for a table and chairs. But they do occupy significant space in our fridge and cupboards.

I live with two other adults: Betty and Nick. With the exception of spices, of which she has many, my mother tends to focus on sweet things like jams, honey, syrup. She also buys mustard. Pardon us. I'm certain we have a stockpile of some Grey Poupon.

Nick, on the other hand, goes for the savories: BBQ sauce, hot sauce, dressings, Worcestershire, ketchup, pickle relish, marinades. The man has been know to put smoky Tabasco sauce on just about everything you can imagine. He also buys mustard. We have mustard a-plenty.

My mother likes Miracle Whip. Nick likes mayonnaise. Each will eat the other type in a pinch, but typically, we have to have both.

Not being a math person, I can't tell you the precise food-to-condiment ratio in our fridge. Maybe 1:3? Whatever, it's ridiculous.

Lately, however, we've all been really busy. We haven't done much shopping. And so, this weekend, when my mother, Nick, and Jordan were all gone, I decided to take advantage of the emptiest our fridge has been since we moved in.

I pulled out the shelves one by one and scrubbed them with soap and hot hot water. I dumped old food. I scoured containers.

It felt great.

I'm in the minority, I think, but I hate a full fridge. When the fridge is packed, it totally deters me from looking for anything. When it's sparsely filled, I love it.

I realize this is short-lived. They're going to get all twitchy when they realize we only have three kinds of each jam, sauce, what-have-you.

Nick is back, and Betty returns from Vermont on Friday. I know she's bringing maple syrup. Oh, and not a condiment, but rather, a staple: four pounds of cheddar. (Lucky for me, Nick has never broken up with anyone for eating too much cheese.)

Friday, September 21, 2012


I went to Tryst this morning with a friend of mine and our babies.

Random note: there were a shocking number of attractive men there today.

Anyway, as pretty much always happens when I go anywhere, India wanted to nurse. So I did. Our server gave me a dirty look, but I think she was in a bad mood or didn't particularly like us or something. Nobody else batted an eye.

And I realized that a year ago I was freshly back from Paris and heading to the doctor to see if I was still pregnant (pleasegodpleasegod...).  And I was!  And here we are!

I ordered a chaippuccino, a word that still makes me cringe whenever I say it, and which I've been ordering there since back in my single days. And I said to my friend, "You know, five years ago if you'd told me I'd be sitting here nursing my baby, I wouldn't have believed you."

Because five years ago, I hadn't yet met Nick. I was dating like a fiend, and had recently gone out with a completely critical asshole who inspired this post.

Four years ago, I wasn't yet married, but was counting down to next week.

Three years ago, I had a new baby and was completely losing my shit.

Two years ago, I was trying very hard to get pregnant. I was terrified of being too old. And I wasn't talking about it. When I finally did let it out, it was such a relief.

And here I am, a married mother of two.

Five years and a million chaipuccinos ago, I would never have believed it.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Methought I heard a voice cry "Sleep no more! MacIndia does murder sleep!"

Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand? 

Uh, no. It's an iPhone. Pretty cool, huh?

Also, if you've ever done any internet dating, is this picture not reminiscent of those in a number of men's profiles? I was always like, why, why are they taking their own picture and not smiling? It makes me think they don't have any friends. And they don't, in fact, love to laugh. No matter what their profile might say.

So anyway.

In sooth, the only difference between a zombie and me today is that I'm not out to eat anyone's brains. Well, that and I can talk and type. I don't think they can do either. Although I can't say for certain, because honestly, I avoid zombie shows. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. Truly.

But if you were a zombie and you nursed your kid, would you turn your baby into a zombie, I wonder?

So my non-zombie baby, she is not happy about this sleep-training bullshit. Her cries are not, "Help me, help me!" 


It pisses her off, and she is not shy with expressing her ragey rage at top volume. I must say she comes by this honestly.

With Jordan, it only took a couple nights. Not with this one. I met a friend for lunch today and she said that it had been a long, hard slog with her daughter. 

"The problem," she said, "is that she's stubborn. I think the real issue is that our girls are just like us."

Which makes me think, oh, man. I am in for it.

When I was in high school, we were at my North Dakota grandmother's for a few weeks in the summer, and I found a letter Betty had written to her mom when my brother was a baby. She said she'd thought I was a good baby, but only because I was her first. Because my brother, he was actually a good baby. He was easygoing. He slept. He was wonderful.

She had written something like: Lisa, on the other hand, never slept. Never napped. Never wanted to be put down. The minute you put her down, she opened her eyes and screamed. 

It wasn't until my brother came along that she realized how exhausting I actually was.

I read the letter out loud to her. She felt terrible about what she'd written, and being a teenager, I teased her about it mercilessly. It didn't hurt my feelings, even then. And now, now all I can do is sympathize with her.

Pretty sure we all owe our mothers big-time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

India: Month five

Dear India, my sweet, sweet girl,

Today you are five big months old. Sometimes I can't believe you've gotten so big, and sometimes when I look at pictures from even a couple months ago, I can't believe you were ever so small.

You are relentlessly smiley and happy and charming. When I nibble on your neck, which I try to do at every opportunity, you giggle. Sometimes you shriek in delight, just out of the blue. Like, wheeeee the breeze! Hello, world!

I love how you're not afraid to mix your prints. And it turns out, to my delight, that you too view animal prints as a neutral.  I also covet this shirt. I hope that I'm stylish enough that you will want to raid my closet when you're older.

Hopefully I won't have taken to wearing Mrs. Roper muumuus or something equally unfortunate. If I have, the future you needs to give me a good talking-to, okay?

Last week, at your slightly late four-month appointment, we learned you had exactly doubled your birth weight. You have these deliciously plump cheeks and chubby arms and scrumptious dimpled legs.
You've recently discovered your feet, and when I picked you up from day care the other day, you were in a new pair of socks. Because you'd gotten your socks thoroughly soaked with the chewing.

You actually quite like your stroller, but in this moment, it looked so much like prison that I had to document it. You shot a man in Memphis just to watch him die.

I love this picture of you, because it looks like you have a devil horn, which is perhaps unfair. But I'm pretty sure that you are going to have a gleefully wicked side. I'm not so much on bows on babies, but your aunt Jenny gave this to you and I couldn't resist the whole ensemble.
You are clearly delighted by your older brother, and it so clearly makes him feel good. He's proud of you. He refers to you as HIS baby. As in, "Is my baby upstairs?" "Are you going to put my baby to bed now?"

I love this age, I truly do. The smiles, the giggles, the feet, the new noises. I find it kind of exhausting, however, in that you and Jordan both NEED so much at the same time. Some nights I get you bathed and into bed and then I turn my attention to Jordan and once he's in bed I take a hot hot shower and tuck myself in, too. And we're all asleep by nine pm.

Because you, my little friend, have been a terrible sleeper. There is no reason, I have told you repeatedly, to be up four times in a night, as is your current preference.

With our pediatrician's blessing, we've started sleep training. It's going slowly and painfully, but we seem to be progressing. You fall asleep on your own fine, but when you wake up in the night YOU WANT ATTENTION! AND BOOB! NONE OF THIS BACK-PATTING BULLSHIT, YOU ASSHOLES. Is generally how it's been.

Just because I am delighted when you and your brother are both asleep, sometimes so much so that I giggle with glee and then pour myself a giant glass of wine, does not mean that I don't love you both so much more than I could ever have imagined. Because I do.

Sometimes I see you and catch my breath, I love you so immensely.

I'd just like a little more goddamn sleep.

Love love love,


Monday, September 17, 2012

Proud moments in parenting

You know how when you have a repeatedly negative situation, and you act and react the same way every time, you barely need a trigger to become irrationally enraged the next time the situation occurs?

That Vizzini, he can fuss.

I don't know how you are with parallel parking, and with helping other people park. It's not my strength.

By not my strength I mean I generally suck at it. I learned to parallel park with some ability on an episode of Car Talk. Hand to God, they helped me immensely.

Prior to that, I would just take a million guesses. People would regularly stop to help me. There were a couple instances where guys even offered to do it for me.

And yes, I let them.

So whenever Nick, love of my life, light of my days, asks me to help him parallel park, I know things are going to go straight to hell. Typically, we communicate extremely well. But not with directions. It's like we don't speak the same language. Seriously. We've had enough dreadful experiences that my stomach clenches when we pull up to a space that looks like it might be tight.

I know I've said before that he and I are quick to anger, and it is true. It takes about 1.5 seconds for him to get all ragey. Which, of course, flies all over me.

And when he is parking, and I'm directing him, I am always DOING IT WRONG. GODDAMMIT, LISA.


Because I am always standing in the wrong place. Or my arms are too high or too low and he can't see them. HOW IN THE WORLD WOULD HE BE ABLE TO SEE THEM FROM THERE? Or what the fuck kind of motion is that? What does that twirl of the hand even mean?

Which makes me all, I so fucking should have stabbed him in his sleep back when I had the PPD. I surely would've gotten off with temporary insanity. Especially if the judge were a woman who had given birth.


So when you have this kind of situation and you layer it on top of getting very little sleep because you have a wee newborn, and then you put a family of four into a car and try to park near Dupont Circle on a weekend afternoon because you have gently semi-shoved your husband into going to see your acupuncturist for his back, well, let me sum up.

After circling and circling, we saw a semi-convenient space. Nick pulled up and was all, "I'm not sure about this."

So I, knowing I should offer to  help, asked, "Would you like me to get out and help?"  While silently thinking: saynosaynosaynosayno!

My spouse, he said yes.

So I got out, and invariably had my arms too high. Or too low. I can't remember. All I know is, they were in the wrong place to be visible to him. Any imbecile would know that.

He said something I couldn't hear, being on the other side of the car and all, and behind it. Then he leaned out the window to yell, "I CAN'T SEE YOUR ARMS. PUT YOUR ARMS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM."

"I'M TRYING!!!" This statement contained as much venom as the two king cobras my brother bought from the snake-man on the corner near our house in Delhi that one time. He brought them home in a bag and put them in his bathtub because he didn't have a tank. But that's a whole nother story.

Anyway, I must've launched into a diatribe, because Nick got out and shouted, "SHUT THE FUCK UP!"

Now, when Nick is angry, he is scary. He can get down in your face and it's like a mountain ready to avalanche all over you. I have seen him do this a couple times.

Naturally, faced with this, I responded, "NO, YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP!"



The vitriol, it was palpable. If it were physically possible to be angry enough to burst into flames, we both would have.

And then Nick got out of the car, walked over to me, said, "I'm sorry." And gave me a kiss.

I said, "Yeah, I'm sorry too."

And then we got everyone out of the car and walked to Dupont all fine and good.

And because we both get so angry and then so not angry so fast, this immediately left both of our minds. Weeks later, Nick got mad at Jordan, and yelled at him to stop doing something.

Jordan got upset. Nick apologized, saying, "I'm sorry. I was wrong to yell. We don't yell."

"We don't yell, Daddy."

"No, honey, we don't yell."

"And we don't say shut the fuck up, Daddy."

"Ah, no. We don't say that either."

Well, yah.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Big pumping, spendin' Gs redux and yet another reason I love Canada

So. Is it Gs or cheese? I think I wrote cheese last time. But Gs make more sense, no?

You know me, all Big ole Chedo Lino.

My sweetie sweetness and the entire reason I am doing this damn pumping.
And doesn't it look like she has a devil horn?

Anyway. The point of this post is not that I am an inane lyrics understander or misunderstander, although I am. The point is that I'm having a nipple issue and Medela is not helping.

And also that Canada is kind of like a magic place, and it seems to me that the next time I am looking for something, maybe I should just start there. like, why did I waste all that time on Match in my zip code? I should totally have been looking in Canada.

Even though I'm deliriously delighted about how things turned out in the end and thankthegoodlordImeetNickandlivedhappilyeverafter. But maybe if I'd realized the magic of Canada years ago, I wouldn't have had to wait so long before not dying alone, or at least had better experiences along the way, you know?

Recognizing, of course, the difficulty of going on multiple first dates with denizens of Canada rather than the District.

But back to the issue at nipple hand.

Oh, wait, before I do, I should put in a plug for Medela's lanolin nipple cream, which they gave me in the hospital. It's easier to spread than Lansinoh, and doesn't smell sheepy and just nicer all around. Also: I totally recommend using that stuff for chapped lips, dry cuticles, and generally everything except maybe as hair gel or for masturbating. I wouldn't think it lends itself to either.

So anyway, I've returned to work and to pumping and it just sucks in 54 different ways. No pun intended.

Also, let me get off on a side bar here and say that if you have ever squozen milk out of your boobs and then preserved it for future use and then someone like your husband just blithely defrosted something like eight ounces back when your baby wasn't taking a bottle, it might remain a thing for you for quite some time.

Like, sorry I forgot to turn on the stove fan and now the house smells like fried eggs but you wasted eight ounces of my milk without even blinking, you fucker.

Someday I will let it go.

OK, and now I must tell you that THIS is precisely why I haven't been writing. Because even when I have something to say, look how disjointed it is. I walk into the bathroom with a purpose and then I'm all, huh, wonder what I wanted here? I don't need to pee or brush my teeth...maybe I should take a shower?

And then it turns out that actually, that's where I left my shoes.

Now really really back to my point. My point is that I threw away my old pump breast shields because they weren't suctioning well anymore. And I didn't realize that they were like leprochauns and no matter how many places you thought you were about to find one, you couldn't.

You see, they were soft and siliconey and comfy. While it wasn't the boob equivalent of sitting in an easy chair and watching Downton, they were so much better than the alternative. I've recently learned.

Because now all I can find are these hard little sucker thingies. Which make my little cupcakes not quite so happy.

I thought I could get more with a trip to Target, but nay. Then I figured with a few scant clicks on the internet. Surely Amazon? Nay again.

In fact, Medela stopped making them and nobody has them! I've called and emailed a ton of small web stores that look like they have them up for sale, and they've all been like, "Oh, sorry. I shipped the last ones out yesterday."

These little suckers are impossible to find.

So I gnashed my teeth and raised my fist to the sky, cursing Medela and also whoever had bought the last ones at every last place in the U.S. of A.

And then, then I found them in CANADA! Oh, Canada! The land to the north of good people and universal health care and excellent maternity leave. I filled out the little BUY ME RIGHT NOW form. And then they said, oh, but you must have a shipping address in Canada.


Not to be thwarted, I left a Facebook message for my Canadian in Canada friend Sophie asking if I could have these breast shields shipped to her. It turns out she thinks she has the very things I need in her cupboard! She thought they were weird and never used them! And was about to get rid of them!

We conducted the whole conversation on her wall, about which I didn't think twice, until a guy friend said he felt like a voyeur.

But once you've given birth, breast shields are the least of it, you know?

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Plenty of time to develop the moves like Jagger before oh, prom, for example

Last night, I brought Jordan’s little friend Sasha home with me. She’s younger than Jordan, and still in day care, and her mom had asked if I could pick her up and have her hang out with us for a couple hours.

They live down the street, and Sasha and Jordan are good pals. She’s up for pretty much anything he proposes, so they have been known to crawl down the sidewalk together roaring like lions. For example.

Jordan was already home with Betty. He was sitting at the table playing with Play Doh, and although he likes her and they play well together, he did NOT want to share.

So I suggested they go in the back room, which is where his trains and cars are.

He jumped up and said, “OK!” He took her hand, pulled her towards the back, and asked, “Sasha, do you want to pee pee? Let’s go to the bathroom!”

Pee pee? I then realized my mistake. We never call it the back room. We call it the background. And back room does sound very much like bathroom, no?

But by that point they’d reached the bathroom door. He was enthusiastically trying to pull her in.  She’s not potty trained, and was not psyched. “No no no no no!”

“Jordan, don’t pull her. Let go. She doesn’t want to pee. She wants to go play in the background.”

He was about to let go of her hand. When it dawned on him that he had something awesome to offer. A trump card.

He beamed at her. “Do you want to see my poop?”

He was clearly about to pull her hand again. She resisted, looking as stricken as a two-and-a-half-year old can. She wasn’t falling for this bait and switch!

I, of course, rushed in.

There it was. A little tiny turd in the red potty. He stood over it like a trophy. Nanna let him save it to show Daddy and me. And anyone else important, it seems.

I high-fived him. Told him how proud I was, how impressed. And then suggested we take a picture for Daddy, and then flush it down the toilet.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Imagine you're a deer. You're prancing along, you get thirsty, you spot a little brook, you put your little deer lips down to the cool clear water...

The bulk of Saturday was spent looking for uniform pants for Jordan. Hunter green uniform pants.

Or, as I like to call them, hunter fucking green uniform fucking pants.

I was all ranty. "There's plenty of navy! Plenty of khaki! Who the fuck thinks green is a good idea? Hunter fucking green!"

And so on and so forth.

We went to the recommended uniform store in Silver Spring. They have no changing room, but fortunately, Jordan has no problem dropping his drawers anywhere. He was far more interested in the hanger ("Pinchy thing! Pinchy thing!" than anything else.)

This photo is of Jordan in 4T shorts. They don't seem to make uniforms smaller than 4T, at least not officially uniforms, which seem to be the only kind you can find in HUNTER FUCKING GREEN.

And so we put him in these shorts and discussed the possibility of taking them in...but the fact is that his whole little body can fit through one leg. If we were in Scotland I suppose we could just have him wear a kilt, which would also be helpful in the pee pee department.

We are, however, not, and thus we sallied on, looking for wee hunter green pants in 3T. We went to American Apparel, because it was right there. Then Kohl's. Then Target.

Throughout this adventure, Jordan kept saying he had to pee. So Nick would pick him up bodily and rush him to the nearest bathroom, where Jordan would stand and stand and then be all, "I don't want to pee pee."

There were a couple times while we were driving where we pulled off into a neighborhood and they went and stood in the bushes. If a grown man and a half-naked little boy don't look sketch crouching in the bushes together, I don't know what does.

He was, however, not about to pee just anywhere. That kid held it all day, until we got home. And then he would only pee on the deck.

In any case, at Target we got the one pair of 3T green (but not hunter) pants we could find.

And then, then my dear outing friend and I headed to the Carter's outlet, where they had the same pants, but too small and too large. I asked a guy working there if they had more in the back, in 3T.

He brought out a pair! I asked if they had more, and he said, "Yes, lots." So I asked for SIX MORE! And he brought them out, just like no big deal.

My friend said she almost hugged the young man, but she was afraid of startling him.

There were no green shorts to be had. So my boy, he has to wear pants on the hot days, but at least he blends.

Pretty sure at this point the teacher is more focused on a class filled with sobbing three-year olds (as was the case this morning, which made me feel better; the day prior it was only Jordan) than on which  fucking pants they're wearing.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Nanna's birthday and goodbye summer

Nanna's birthday was on Sunday. Here's Jordan singing Happy Birthday. I absolutely love it.
We took her out for brunch at Mintwood Place, which is both charming and delicious. 

Incidentally, he's wearing the hat I got her as well as his favorite pair of pajamas. The boy loves pink. And orange. And stripes. I myself would wear these jammies if they came in my size.

Which reminds me...I know that nobody thinks this is a good idea, but I did in fact buy myself this pair of stripey pink and purple leggings from Hanna Andersson. Benefit of being short enough for children's clothing.

I may also have gotten these boots, because there is just not enough whimsy in the adult world. And also, I am 12.

I sleep in them and they are ridiculously comfy. I mean the leggings, not the boots. I don't think I'm bold/foolish enough to wear them out of the house, although if I do, it'll be with both my children in stripes as well. Maybe Nick, too, although for him it'll be a conservative striped suit.

Not, however, his seersucker - he's already brought his suit to the cleaners, to be retired till next summer.

Which reminds me...what do you think about this no white after Labor Day and such business? I feel like it stays hotter longer than it used to. The light has shifted to fall, but it's still so warm and muggy.