Monday, December 08, 2008

a letter to my new maids

Dear New Cleaning People,

While I am glad to have you as replacements for the former cleaning guy, who stopped showing up after being arrested for robbery (and then subsequently, according to The Advocate's "Dumb Criminals" section, stole a SHORT BUS and used it to lift a flat-screen TV and a bunch of booze from someone's home), I am not completely satisfied with the way you clean my house.

Obviously, I am appreciative of your willingness not to mention the stains on my mattress cover when you change my sheets, or the Playboy magazine in the bathroom, or the many, many, piles of clutter created by my husband that you must navigate around while attempting to dust.

However, it does not appear that you vacuumed my living room rug today. Do you realize that I have a 9 month old whose favorite game is "lick the rug when Mommy isn't looking"? Also, I specifically left the cat vomit stain on the floor next to the couch for you to tackle (because really, I may as well get the most for my money) but you seem to have overlooked it. And, how could you not have noticed that the couch is absolutely covered in cat hair? If you mistakenly thought it was part of the design, I do apologize.

If you'll allow me to get really anal retentive, I will say that despite being a crooked thief, my former cleaner always ensured that my tea kettle was shiny and spotless. I can only hope that you will begin to pay a little more attention to detail on future visits.

Sincerely,
The Woman Who Has No Idea How Much She Is Supposed to Tip You, But Thinks That Maybe You'd Get More If You Moved The Ottoman Once in a While

Thursday, November 27, 2008

gobble gobble!

Let's be blunt, things really suck right now for a whole lot of people. People in the US losing their homes, struggling to feed their kids, wondering how they will afford their medicine. People in Mumbai being held hostage by terrorists. Kids in Africa, hungry and orphaned because of AIDS.

It's easy to get caught up in our own insignificant problems, but today especially, I have nothing but gratitude in my heart for the many blessings I have in my life.

A beautiful, happy, healthy baby who brings me boundless joy.

A loving husband who is madly in love with his little girl.

Secure jobs that allow us to keep a roof over our head, food on our table, and more.

Loving, caring family.

Wonderful friends: new and old, near and far.

A home that I love in a safe area.

The fact that I lost all the baby weight, even if I'm still up 20 pounds (ok...30) from my wedding weight...

Hoping you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Dr. Atkins spins in his grave

Our evenings are usually pretty hectic. I pick Maia up from daycare at 5 (around the same time J gets home). Maia gets dinner around 5:30 and the bedtime routine starts about an hour later. You can see why J and I don't normally eat dinner until about 8. J is pretty good about asking if he can help get dinner started while I put Maia to bed. He's no Cordon Bleu chef but, unlike his brother, he does know that you need to boil water *before* adding the pasta to the pot.

So, the other night J asks if he can get something started for dinner, and I told him there was an open box of pasta in the cupboard. So, he looks at the box, which was only half full, since I had previously used half the pasta for another dinner. He complained, "this is all there is?", and, too tired to argue that half a box of pasta really was plenty for 2 people, I told him he could find more pasta in the pantry. He proceeded to cook a full box of penne--serving each of us half the box.

A few minutes later, I hear him turning on the oven. He comes back from the freezer with a frozen pizza. "What are you doing? You must be pretty hungry, huh?," I asked. "This is the bread dish," was the reply. And here I thought it was important to have a *vegetable* dish with dinner. Silly me.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

catching up

I've really been absent around here...not that anyone probably even bothers to check anymore! Somehow I just can't let this blog totally go.

With last night's Obama victory, I was finally able to put a lot of pent-up anxiety to rest. Listening to him speaking last night, I will admit that I got teary-eyed from the realization that we finally have an intelligent, eloquent leader, and that this election meant so very much to so many people. Watching the crowd at Grant park was amazing. I went to sleep last night knowing that in the morning I would kiss my baby and have great hope for a better future for her and others of her generation.

Now, on to some things I've been wanting to say to some people who shall remain nameless.

To person #1: I will post whatever I want there, and I don't care if it embarrasses you in front of your little Republican club. In fact, I'm quite convinced that the only reason you're so involved with that group is because you like being clique-y. I don't think you have a clue about the actual issues, and I certainly don't think you have any interest in learning.

To person #2: You and your family really disgust me. I can't believe you had the nerve to accuse Democrats of having no class or dignity after all of the vile smears you've been spreading on your page. I didn't think it was possible to be both openly gay and an ultra-right wing nutjob (closeted gay, of course, we see that all the time). Go suck a fat dick. Or should I say a skinny dick? Whichever is the least enjoyable for you.

To HR: Excuse me, but I don't want to just "assume a 9 or 10 hour work day". I have a baby at home, and a husband. I left academia (which I am seriously starting to regret) so that I could work nice, normal, 9-5 hours. This is bullshit. I'm working twice as hard as I used to and I better get a fucking raise or at least a bonus to show for it.

To my co-worker: You are a goody-two-shoes and you are fucking everything up at work. Have you ever heard of saying "no"?? You're making it harder for the rest of us who really don't feel like working 60-hour weeks. I don't want to compete with you but you're making me look bad. You talk too much and you never return my emails when I need you to. Bite me.

To person #3: You seem like a nice enough person, but could you be any more naive? Why don't you just bitch and moan some more about liberals before your next Medicare-funded OB appointment. I'm sure you have no clue that Medicare comes from the government. Maybe you should have gotten your own fucking health insurance before you got pregnant again.

I'm sure there's more, but it feels pretty good getting these out.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday cute attack

Just to prove it's not all about the poop...here is a video of Maia meeting Grandma and Grandpa's dog Harley. She is very much into dogs and cats lately...she will do anything to get her hands (and mouth) on them. Luckily the animals in our life are mostly obliging. I don't think I've ever heard her laugh so much as she did during this meeting with Harley...

video

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

diaper doody

Ever wonder why new parents spend so much time talking about baby poop? Because it's fucking fascinating, that's why!

Babies who are exclusively breast-fed have watery mustard yellow poop that smells a little like popcorn--in the same way that dogs' paws smell like popcorn, I guess. It's a little bit sweet and not really unpleasant at all. Sometimes it turns green, and when that happens it's because of an imbalance in the bacteria of the gut. So for the first 6 months or so you can enjoy not having people run like hell when your baby starts grunting and farting without being the least bit embarrassed about it, and you can even change baby's diaper right there at the airport gate on the floor without offending anyone's sense of smell.

Well, we all know babies can't live on milk forever (though it would be much more convenient for me--what with all the baby food jars and spoons and things that eating non-milk food requires). When they start adding solids to their diets, their poop starts becoming more solid as well. And I suppose I should have been prepared for some other changes, but I will admit that I was utterly surprised to find what appeared to be smashed cooked carrots in Maia's diaper today. It was as if the carrots she had at lunch yesterday had passed through her completely unchanged, like they were just taking a ride on the Chunnel and would be on their way.

But what I was *really* unprepared for was how--in the 2 seconds I stood marveling at the diaper full of pumpkin pie--Maia's little hand managed to make a swift grab at her lady parts, plucking up a chunk of carrot poop on its merry way. This is where the mommy reflexes come into play...at the same time, and as quickly as possible, the poop-infested hand must be grabbed and wiped, while keeping the other hand away from the poop-covered nether regions, not to mention blocking baby's sock-covered, kicking feet from becoming the next to fall victim to fecal staining. Then there's still the matter of actually wiping the poop from baby's bottom and maneuvering a new diaper on before she decides it's a good time to pee. Dads just can't handle this kind of high-stress situation (at least in my house, I think this scenario would have ended up with both Dad and baby covered in orange poop and Dad swearing at me as if it were my fault). Oh wait a second, I'm the only one who changes diapers in this house so, nevermind.

Hmmm, I wonder when it'll be alright to feed Maia blueberries. Maybe that day I'll insist that it's Dad's turn for diapers.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Road to Ridiculousness

Last night I finished reading the very excellent book "The Road", by Cormac McCarthy (seriously, go read it ASAP). The book was a birthday gift from my brother-in-law who I shall refer to as Miguel, as that is his extra-comical alter ego. Here is the actual transcript of a text message conversation I had with Miguel yesterday about the book.

me: OMG that book is SO good! I'm almost finished and i really want to read the rest right now but I have to work :(

Miguel: I told you!!! We will have to see the movie when it comes out!

me: btw, I didn't really enjoy the image of a headless baby charring on a spit. There is some seriously gruesome stuff in that story!

Miguel: Neither did I! But it's the only source of food! I hear it tastes like dolphin!

me: You're never babysitting.

Miguel: My plan worked!

me: I knew you were up to something! :) dolphin is pretty yummy, btw

Miguel: That's why they put it in tuna!

I should mention that Miguel is an artist and he has an online store at Etsy where he sells pretty cool t-shirts. Just sayin'. Click here to check it out...

Friday, August 15, 2008

thanks for ruining it for me

Why, John Edwards? WHY?????

I liked you. I really, really liked you. You had the perfect family, you pulled through tragedies together and stayed strong. You and your wife seem so cute and down-to-earth. You advocate for the poor and seem to genuinely care about the issues you talk about. I would have voted for you in the primaries if you hadn't dropped out before I had the chance.

So you had an affair. You were married 30 years and you did tell your wife long before it became public. I can almost get over that. You're human, and people make mistakes.

But now I hear you may have paid her off with campaign money? Seriously, I didn't think you had this kind of ickiness in you. I am disappointed. Just wanted to let you know.

P.S. I still like you more than the John Edwards who pretends to communicate with the dead and makes millions off of poor unsuspecting grief-stricken people.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

catching up

I have gotten really behind on my blogging. I think part of it has to do with all the BlogHer coverage that I had been following--it led me to discover some really great blogs and then I just got sort of bummed that I can't churn out award-winning writing in each and every post. Silly, I know...

Anyhoo.

I am working on a post about a freak accident that happened here at the house a few weeks back. I've even got pictures. I'll post it, eventually.

Maia is on the verge of turning 6 months old. We just started trying to feed her "solid" food, and she pretty much wants nothing to do with it. When I was in grad school I had this huge Jagermeister poster in the kitchen of my apartment. It was bright orange and said "Jager, So Smooth" and had this bearded guy on it who was making a horrible grimace. Presumably he had just taken a shot. That's the face that Maia makes when rice cereal touches her lips or tongue. Or, I could just show you:
I guess my milk is just *that* good that no other food could possibly compare.

Speaking of milk, we went shopping at Target the other day (don't worry, I'll get there). Taking J to Target is always a mistake because he can't help but find tons of things he didn't know he needed or wanted. This trip he came home with an Axe shower kit, among other things. Yes, that Axe--the one with the commercials showing 18-year-old slightly dorky guys with hot blonde chicks falling all over them in the elevator after they use some Axe cologne or Axe shower gel. Apparently this advertising works on 34-year-old men as well. "But it's only 6 dollars! And it comes with this shower scrubber." Making him put it back would have been risking a tantrum so I let it slide.

I had Maia in a sling and she had started mouthing my neck, so I knew that she was getting hungry. The only thing I had left to buy was a card, so I told J I was going to head over to the card section and to meet me there. I picked out a card while Maia pecked at me like an uncoordinated chicken, and when I was finished there was still no sign of J. I started to wander back through the furniture section, where on display was a particularly attractive Ikea-style black couch, right on the end of the aisle. So, I thought "why not?", took a seat, whipped out a boob and nursed Maia right there. (See, I told you I'd get to the milk). Now, I did cover up...I don't mind nursing in public but when you are an F-cup you really don't need to attract any more gawkers than is really necessary. The only person that even paid any attention to me was an old lady who wanted to know "is that couch comfortable? I saw it in a box over there." I told her that yes, it seemed to be doing the job, at which point she actually noticed that I was nursing and apologized for interrupting. J finally wandered back around and we were able to get out of the store with only a short stop in the electronics department. I'll let you know how the Axe works out for us.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

baby haiku

In an effort to nurture my creative side, I've been working on some poetry--haiku, to be specific. I probably need to expand my choice of subject matter, however.

stars bright, baby stirs
mommy and daddy need sleep
clock reads 3 AM

rain falls warm and sour
drips onto shoulders and floor
please stop spitting up

a snuggling pair
baby suckles at the breast
ouch baby, don't bite!

butterscotch pudding
warm, sticky, smeared on my shirt
oops, I smell poopie


well, what do you think?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another reason to love Feist

I will admit that I haven't bought any albums by Feist. Yet. I really started to like her when I saw her appearance as a guest on The Colbert Report. And then I saw this video. And now I officially love her.

Also, I am counting down the days until I can watch Sesame Street with Maia without the American Academy of Pediatrics accusing me of deliberately trying to rot my child's brain with the evil rays of the tee-vee.



(I am editing this post to add that I am downloading a Feist album from iTunes RIGHT NOW. See what kind of publicity you can get from a little Sesame Street action?)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

bliss

Yesterday I spent the morning sitting out back, entertaining Maia and looking out into the woods. When she napped, I actually got to read a book for a little while. Yes, it sounds nice, but there was one detail that pushed yesterday morning particularly close to ecstasy. No, I wasn't eating an entire carton of Haagen Daaz... While I was outside enjoying the lovely day, inside there were people hard at work cleaning my entire house. I'll confess: I hired cleaners.

I've been thinking of (or rather, daydreaming about) hiring professional cleaners for a while, but now that Maia is here, I realized that I didn't want to spend the little free time I had shoving a dirty brush into my toilets. Even when I would spend an entire Saturday cleaning the house, I would rarely have enough time to clean the floors after vacuuming up all the stray dogs living under my furniture and putting away piles of laundry.

So, I found a nice couple that run their own cleaning business. Their price was totally reasonable, so I took the plunge. I don't think there's any going back now...I mean, they cleaned the inside of my microwave!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Coldplay must have the BEST marketing team ever. In addition to their overly pretentious iTunes commercial, they performed on the Daily Show this week, and right now they are playing on the Today show. What's next, Martha Stewart? Surely she would appreciate the ostensibly homemade jacket Chris Martin has been wearing for every performance. What, Gwyneth can't help you pick out some different outfits? Or do those colored armbands make your songs sound better?

At any rate, my mother in law purchased their song Viva la Vida on iTunes this week, so if that doesn't prove that their marketing strategy has been a success, I don't know what does.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mommy needs her quiet time

Is it wrong...

...that I'm paying someone to watch my kid downstairs while I sit up in my office reading blogs, ahem, I mean, working?

Friday, June 06, 2008

in shock

I turned on VH1 this morning for my bad-reality-TV-in-the-background-while-I-work fix. There was something really weird on, I couldn't figure out what it was. Then, I realized, it was a MUSIC VIDEO. Holy shit, they actually still play those on "Video Hits 1"? Who knew?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

text-message parenting


Today I sent this picture to J via text message. I wrote "her head was on the burp cloth when she started". (The burp cloth is that white cloth on the playmat)

J's reply: "Staple sum swiffer sheets 2 her."

Hmmm...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Weight Watchers and Costco don't mix

At Costco this weekend, J talked me into dropping a 4-pound bag of trail mix into the cart. He likes to eat it at work, driving around in his truck, and I was too hungry and in a hurry to argue.

The first 5 minutes in the store were fairly amusing, as Maia decided to spit up all over the floor, with J quickly deflecting with a "hey, what's in that aisle over there?", allowing us to remove ourselves from the scene. But I can only deal with shopping at Costco for about as much time as Matthew McConaughey can deal with wearing a shirt. I might have been appeased by the free mini-quiche samples but there were never any ready when I walked by. And then there was J, wandering off to look at shorts and glass balls for your garden and strange electronic devices, leaving me to stand with the cart, bouncing the baby and smiling politely at comments like "what aisle did SHE come from?" In the end, as usual, we left having spent well over $100 more than I had wanted us to.

And now that bag, that ridiculously gigantic bag of trail mix, is sitting on top of my refrigerator, taunting me. I recently re-joined Weight Watchers because breastfeeding was not the magic post-partum weight loss trick I was promised, so there's no way I can sit with that bag of trail mix in my lap and eat it by the handful like I really want. People, do you have any idea how excruciating it is to measure 3 tablespoons of trail mix from a 4-pound bag? I'm here to tell you, it HURTS.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Milk Pistols

This one goes out to my girl MB:



If you can't understand the lyrics, go to http://eclectech.co.uk/milkpistols.php and play the video there--it's subtitled!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Count your blessings

When we started thinking about trying to conceive last year, I stumbled across a pregnancy website and found myself reading and posting to messageboards talking to other women trying to conceive. When I got pregnant, I joined my "Due Date Club" messageboard on the site--a place for women due in February 2008 to post questions and concerns and discuss the joys of (and the not-so-fun stuff about!) pregnancy. We have women from all over the country, and many from around the world. Single moms, first-time moms, veteran moms. Everybody had a unique situation, but we were brought together by the unique experience of pregnancy and motherhood

Over the past year the women on the board have gotten to know each other, and have supported each other through difficult pregnancy symptoms, scary prenatal testing, amusing bodily emissions issues, childbirth, and the amazing transformation into mothers of beautiful babies.

The internet is an interesting place. I've perused other messageboards where people get clique-y, nasty, judgemental, and argumentative. But, my messageboard friends always agreed that the Feb '08 board was special in that we didn't see much of the negative. Despite differing backgrounds and views, we found ourselves in an incredibly supportive environment, even if it was filled with people we only knew through keystrokes and photographs.

One of the women on my board found out during her pregnancy that her baby boy, Lincoln, would be born with Down Syndrome. It was her first pregnancy, and she and her husband were beyond excited to meet the little boy they called their "precious gift" before he was even born. She went through a lot of testing during her pregnancy that involved driving to a faraway hospital and spending weeks at a time away from home. When Lincoln was born, she posted pictures of her beautiful baby boy and we all admired her for her strength and joy in the face of difficulty.

Last week, Lincoln got sick and ended up in the hospital. His situation was critical, and the doctors could not figure out what was causing his decline. His mom posted updates to the board regularly and she got an outpouring of support. We all agreed that the problems we were used to posting about on the board--leaky diapers, babies not sleeping through the night, holding on to those extra pregnancy pounds--seemed silly and selfish when we knew of a mom who was by her baby's bedside in the NICU praying for him to get better.

Early yesterday morning, baby Lincoln passed away. He was only a few weeks older than Maia. I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to lose a baby, and my heart breaks for her and her husband.

I am not the most patient Mom in the world, but the next time I get frustrated by a few minutes of crying, I hope to remind myself how lucky I am to have a beautiful, healthy baby, and that there are moms out there who would give anything to hear their babies' cries again but never will.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Mommy Meetups

Being a new mom and also new to our area, I've been thinking how it would be nice to get involved with a mom's group. But for some reason, it seems that 99% of the mom's groups out there are targeted at stay-at-home moms. Even the parent & child classes (like the mom & baby yoga class I've been going to during my maternity leave) all seem to be scheduled on weekdays, and are thereby geared towards SAHMs. Nothing against SAHMs--I'd love to be one if I could--but what about the rest of us? We may work during the week but that doesn't mean we aren't seeking out opportunities to meet other moms or to participate in parent/baby activities.

Today I was checking out the "Holistic Moms Network" (HMN) website. They have a chapter near me, and they meet in the evening. Sounds great! But honestly, I'm not sure I would fit in. I'm slowly trying to live "greener" and eliminate nasty chemicals from the food and products in our home--I mean, jeez, I've been to the newly-opened Whole Foods like 7 times in the past 2 weeks! (Ah, the joys of having a nearby Whole Foods, that's a topic for another day.) But, I have chosen to have my child vaccinated (the horror!), and while I haven't set any firm limits on how long I will breastfeed or co-sleep, I find breastfeeding 3-year olds a little creepy and I'm pretty sure Maia will be sleeping in her own room by the time she's 6 months old. I would also not be able to sit straight-faced through any meetings about optimizing one's aura. I'm not kidding, but the local HMN's next meeting topic is "Alkalize and Ph Balancing". I am not even sure what that's supposed to mean. It conjures up images of zit-cream commercials but I'm pretty sure I'm off-base there. So what do you think, should I check it out?

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Maia was cranky when we tried taking pictures of her with Daddy's tattoos. We're going to try it again sometime.

I heard about this book called "Mommy Has A Tattoo". It's supposed to teach kids that tattoos aren't scary.


I would probably add a page that says "except for tattoos on people's *faces* (unless you're in an exotic country where it's a cultural thing, of course)".

Friday, April 25, 2008

not smarter than your average bear

Today I walked by a couple of guys fishing in a waterway near my house. Both of them were smoking. As I approached, one of the guys took the butt from his mouth and flicked it into the water. I hope he catches a huge fish and gets a nice big bite of butt. What an ass.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

2 months old

Don't you just want to eat her up?


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

little yogi

I guess all that Mommy & Baby yoga is paying off...look at my little peanut doing Goddess Pose in her sleep!

Monday, April 07, 2008

an awkward teenage moment that wasn't mine

A little over a year ago we moved to our new house, which sits on several wooded acres. Imagine a 50-acre subdivision, where most of the homeowners have 1-to-2 acre plots around the outer edge of the 50 acres...well, we and our neighbors each own about half of the remaining interior portion of the property. We live on a hill, so when we go out back there's a trail that leads down onto our property. We have some walking trails and a lovely stream with a footbridge. Our property is not fenced, and it does butt up against the rear property lines of all the homes that sit on the edges.

What am I getting at here? Well, occasionally we will look out our back windows and see people walking through the woods...which means they're on our property. It's not so much that we care if someone walks through, except that sometimes they bring their dogs (and our dog is fairly territorial) and also if someone were to get hurt (by, say, falling off the footbridge into the rocky stream and splitting their head open), I'm guessing we would be liable.

So, today I was about to take Maia for a walk, and I was planning on taking the stroller out front onto the street. But then I noticed a red-cloaked figure down by the stream. So I popped the baby into my wrap carrier and went down the trail into the woods. From my window it had appeared that the person was near the stream, maybe bending down picking plants? However, I was not quite prepared for what I found when I got down there. I approached the footbridge and saw that the person was IN the stream. SITTING in the stream, facing away from me. Near the bridge was a backpack with some towels. I said "hi, can I help you?" and an awkward-looking, chubby teenage girl turned around looking a little startled. She got up and I took in what she was wearing--a red hooded sweatshirt on top, and on the bottom some very short plaid shorts and sneakers. Did I mention she had been sitting IN the water? It's warming up here but it's not THAT warm!! It was about 55 degrees here today and our stream is in the shade.

I felt bad for her immediately. I had caught her doing something rather strange and I'm sure she was embarrassed. I said "it's a little cold for that, isn't it? I just wanted to let you know that this is private property. It's just that if someone got hurt down here we could get in trouble." By this point she had already stood up and was walking toward her towels. Not wanting to humiliate her any further, I kept walking up the trail. By the time I looped back around she was on her way off the property.

I felt bad, like I should have told her it was OK to stay or something, but what I'm really dying to know is WHAT THE HELL WAS SHE DOING?!?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

strategy for future misbehavior

When I was a kid and was acting up, my dad used to threaten to sell me to the gypsies (no offense to any of my gypsy readers). He would actually go so far as to pretend to call the gypsies on the phone and ask them to come pick me up. Now, having finally seen some real gypsies later in life on the streets of Paris, I know that they don't have phones, but hey, I was young and naive. If only my dad had known that the gypsies in Paris set out their crippled little kids on the streets--and are even known to throw babies at passerby just to get them to drop their purses! Then, maybe then, he would have thought twice about threatening to give them his only child.

J and I were talking about how today's kids don't really know who "the gypsies" are, so we will never be able to use the "sell you to the gypsies" strategy with Maia when she gets older. However, we have a new plan. We will threaten to sell her to "Good Ole Tom" for extra cash. I hear that cute white babies are at a 20-year high.

Monday, March 31, 2008

god forbid I should have to wash a dish

Why is it that every time I have guests over and am feeding them, they always ask why I'm not using paper plates? The last time this happened I said "well, I have these perfectly good plates right here" and the response I got was "but then you have to wash them". And that's why I have a dishwasher? I just don't understand this attitude. Sure, if I'm having a larger gathering paper plates are the way to go...but I didn't register for a set of 12 nice plates so that I could whip out the paper ones anytime I have one extra person at my dinner table.

Just a little something I wanted to vent about...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

the spit-up chronicles

Last night we attempted to put the baby to bed a little earlier than usual. I nursed her in our bedroom, and after an hour she still wasn't asleep but our dinner was ready. Since she seemed to be pretty subdued at that point, we thought we'd try putting her down in her bassinet and seeing what would happen.

We went downstairs and started to eat dinner. No noise from the monitor. After about 15 minutes, we started to hear some fussing, which eventually turned into crying. We gave it a few minutes, then J went up to see what was up. Next thing I hear is J yelling "she puked in her eye!". I went up to investigate and walked in on a scene straight out of "The Exorcist" (minus the head spinning and the demonic possession, that is). Poor girl had blown chunks all over her bassinet. Maybe she wasn't happy with all that Easter chocolate I ate?

This morning she was still having some spit-up issues. Here's where I almost lost it: she'd fallen asleep in my arms so I set her down in her boppy pillow on the couch next to me, and started to "milk myself". (That's how our aunt's boyfriend refers to pumping breast milk. He's real sophisticated, that one). Of course, that's when Maia woke up and started to cry. So, there I am, left boob hanging out and attached to the electric pump, and I pick up the baby with my free hand and try to console her by putting her up to my shoulder and patting her. Next thing I know she's spitting up all over my shirt and on her own face. It took me a minute to find a free hand to clean up the mess. I guess she got angry that the machine was getting her milk. Wonder if she noticed that the machine does not spew the milk back at me?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

on the road again...

Last weekend we had to drive 900 miles each way for a family funeral. The pediatrician advised against flying due to the lots-of-germs-in-an-enclosed-space factor, so we opted to drive.

Maia did really well on the trip, sleeping the majority of the time. We'd stop every few hours and I'd nurse her in the front seat and change her diaper in my lap. Of course we'd squeeze in a few cuddles but then it'd be time to strap her back into the carseat and get going.

On the return trip, we stopped at a rest area just a few hours from home. We strapped Maia into her seat, and she promptly started screaming. After a few good yowls, she finally quieted down, but the look on her face was so pathetic that I had to break out the camera:
I couldn't wait to get home and give her a million hugs and kisses.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

what have I done to deserve this??

By some utter miracle of nature, I have been blessed with a very easy baby. Granted, she is barely 3 weeks old, so she really doesn't do a lot more than eat, sleep, and poop. But, she really doesn't cry much, she doesn't have her days and nights confused, and therefore I am much more well-rested than the typical new mom.

Right now Maia is actually taking a nap in her crib...and I didn't even have to nurse her to sleep. I seriously don't know what I have done in my life to deserve a baby that sleeps long enough for me to get important things done around the house--things like cutting my toenails and blogging.

Monday, March 03, 2008

nervous daddy

J takes the baby upstairs to change her. A few minutes later, he's calling my name with a bit of a frantic tone to his voice. I walk into the nursery. "She peed on me, and then she spit up, and HER BELLY BUTTON IS FALLING OFF!" As he says all of this, he begins to realize he's freaking out *just a little bit*. Granted, the umbilical stump was halfway off and looked really gross...thankfully at least one of us had read the books about these things and knew what to expect.

Today the baby went back to business as usual--greeting daddy with several loud farts in a row. That's one bodily function with which he's familiar enough to handle like a pro. Oh, and the stump finally did fall off on its own today...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Maia's first days

At first she was a little angry about being removed from her nice, comfy dwelling. She was probably also a little embarrassed about being caught with her conehead on.



Luckily, the conehead look disappeared pretty quickly.


Daddy was beaming with pride.


But even he couldn't rescue her from the dreaded first bath!


Ah, naptime at last.


Before we knew it, it was time to go home! Thanks to BBFK for the going-home outfit.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

and.....

IT'S A GIRL!!!!

Miss Maia Ellin joined our family at 11:19 PM on Wednesday, February 20, 2008. She is healthy and we are all doing great. We just got home from the hospital yesterday. Here's what went down:

Tuesday night we went to the hospital for the scheduled induction. They were very busy so we just kind of hung out for a while. I had been having some contractions on and off but nothing too regular, and they were barely noticeable to me. Around 11 PM, they administered Cytotec, which is supposed to soften the cervix and can also possibly start contractions. Never mind that the FDA has never approved it for this use, but I digress... Tried to get some sleep.

Wednesday morning they checked me and found that I'd dilated a bit more--to about 3 cm. I was having contractions that I couldn't really feel. They decided to start pitocin. We called our doula, Julie, to come join us at the hospital. The first few hours on pitocin were pretty uneventful. The contractions were getting closer together and were pretty bearable. The biggest problem we were having was with the fetal heart monitor strapped to my belly: the baby's heart sounded great, but she was moving all over the place so we kept losing it and had to readjust the belt frequently. Not cool when you're trying to cope with contractions by using different positions. I rotated between sitting on the birth ball to getting on hands and knees, to standing up and holding onto J.

As the day went on, I lost track of time in terms of how far I progressed, etc. They didn't check me too often, which was nice. All I know is that things got steadily more painful and that I did start having thoughts along the lines of "why was it that I wanted to do this without pain meds?" But I didn't want to give up, and J was such an awesome partner that I just wanted to keep going. My water broke around 2 PM--while I was on my hands and knees on the bed! J was standing next to me and actually heard an audible "pop"! By late afternoon/early evening I think I had gotten to about 7 cm. Somewhere in there they put in an internal fetal monitor so that I could change positions more freely without worrying about losing track of the heartbeat. At that point I felt like it couldn't be much longer, and that's the thought that helped me keep going. Well, things didn't seem to speed up a whole lot, but by about 7 PM I was checked again and was told that I was at 9, almost there! I kept waiting for the urge to push to arrive, knowing that then we would be in the home stretch. But the only time I felt like my body wanted to push was during the contractions. Apparently that's not quite enough. Around 9 PM the other doctor came and checked me, and I was still at 9, but wasn't completely effaced.

Then came the reality check. The doctors told me that they thought the baby was lying transverse, which would explain why we had trouble keeping track of the heartbeat, and would also explain why I still wasn't 100% effaced despite being at 9 cm. They told me that a c-section was looking very likely. They offered to put in an epidural and give me a little time to see if that might help the baby move into the right position. I decided to go ahead and get the epi then--something I had really wanted to avoid but that was looking inevitable if I was likely to have to have surgery anyway.

Getting an epidural when you're having contractions that are 2 minutes apart is no fun, but the anesthesiologist was awesome and once the meds started working I was able to relax. About 40 minutes later I was checked again and nothing had changed, so we decided to go ahead with the surgery.

Before we knew it, our baby was delivered and I have to say I was very surprised and excited when they announced that it was a girl! She looked a little like a Klingon when she came out--her forehead was mashed into a cone shape because she was trying to come out forehead-first. We knew then that having the c-section was definitely the right decision since there would have been no easy way for her to make it out the way she was trying to go!

She was 7 lbs, 10 oz, and 21 inches long, and she is absolutely beautiful. Daddy and I are completely in love already.

Pictures to come soon!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Got excited last night when I had a few solid hours of regular contractions, but sadly they disappeared while I slept.

Only 24 hours to get moving on my own--induction is scheduled for 7 PM Tuesday...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I see that I am obligated to post daily lest anyone should get the idea that this baby has finally decided to come out!

Today I thought I should treat myself to a relaxing pedicure. The last time I'd been in the salon was 3 weeks ago, when I told the staff that it would probably be my last pedicure for a while. Needless to say, they were a little surprised when I walked in today. Then, there was the joy of being able to respond "6 days ago" to the question "when are you due?".

I think I made the owners a little nervous--about every 15 minutes they looked over at me and said "Are you OK?!" I told them that while nothing would make me happier than to go into labor right then and there in the massaging pedicure chair, I was pretty sure they had nothing to worry about.

Last night we had pepperoni pizza for dinner and have been trying other "natural induction" methods at a rate that puts our honeymoon to shame. I started to get hopeful this morning when I had about 2 hours worth of regular contractions...but then they petered out and here I sit. I'm hoping it's a start though...

Still considering the castor oil method. Will see how I feel in the morning.

Friday, February 15, 2008

stork of the northeast?

I just spent 20 minutes staring at a gorgeous red-tailed hawk perched high in a tree in my backyard. I think he looked right at me once. I know we don't have storks up here, so, um, maybe this is the northern assistant of the stork? Just sayin'...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

still cookin'...

So, went to the doctor this morning. Baby is doing fine, BUT...to my dismay they have scheduled me to go in Tuesday night for an induction. They were talking Sunday night, Monday night, but I said I wanted to wait as long as possible so they agreed to Tuesday night as long as I was willing to come in Monday for another non-stress test and amniotic fluid check.

So, please keep your fingers crossed that I go into labor on my own before then...I am trying all the tricks that I know of. I am even getting desperate enough that the castor oil may have to come into play over the weekend...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

daily update

Yes, baby is still cooking. Last night I pigged out on a Chili's Awesome Blossom hoping it would stir things up in my abdomen enough to trigger labor. Instead I just ended up feeling nauseous from eating too much grease.

I suppose it was for the best, considering the current weather here in New England...we got a lot of snow last night and now we have freezing rain. Poor J shoveled our entire 400-foot driveway by himself last night just in case we might have to make a quick getaway.

Maybe we'll get a Valentine's baby??

Monday, February 11, 2008

to pass the time...

A few days ago, I was tagged by one of the coolest people I know. Since I have nothing better to do while I wait for this kid to pop, here goes:

1) Link to the person that tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog.
3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4) Tag at least three people at the end of your post and link to their blogs.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6) Let the fun begin!


1) In my lifetime, I have lived on 3 different continents (OK, so one was my semester abroad in Europe but I think that counts).

2) In grade school, a friend and I made a "Hindu Dot Collection" by punching holes in cardstock and coloring the punched-out pieces with markers. We kept them all in an envelope. We're still not sure why we did this.

3) The first presidential election in which I was eligible to vote was in 1992. I voted for Bush Senior. I've learned a lot since then.

4) I have a hard time applying mascara without opening my mouth really wide while I'm doing it.

5) I can't eat a raw tomato without gagging. (Exception: salsa).

6) My husband has a subscription to Playboy and I would be disappointed if he canceled it. They really do have good articles.

And now I'm going to be very naughty and not tag anyone. Consider it one of my final acts of "I'm pregnant, and I can do whatever I want!"

Sunday, February 10, 2008

still waiting...

Reaching the end of the day here on my due date...and still no baby. I did have a pretty strong feeling that this one would be a little late, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

It's freezing out and snowing, so maybe that means tonight's the night? We'll just have to wait and see...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

make room for baby

We have several pets, but our cat Monty is pretty special. He's super affectionate, and due to his love of being held (and the fact that he will cry until you pick him up), we've been referring to him as our "practice baby". Apparently he's taken this moniker to heart, because I've been discovering him "trying out" pretty much every new piece of baby-related gear in the house.

Exhibit A: Monty in the crib


Exhibit B: Monty on the changing table


And, Exhibit C, captured this morning: Monty in the stroller


I hope he doesn't get too upset when baby comes and he finally realizes that we didn't buy all this stuff just to give him more places to curl up and nap!

(excuse the photo quality...took them with my cell phone!)

Monday, February 04, 2008

6 days and counting...

Last night I woke up to roll over (which happens about 6 times a night), and when I grabbed my body pillow to bring it around to the other side, it was soaking wet. I really thought my water had broken until I realized it was just sweat (OK, gross, but such are the joys of being pregnant). Oh well! I'd be pretty upset if my water broke in bed anyway. Our mattress is only a year old and I'm not sure just how waterproof the special mattress protector we got duped into buying really is.

This weekend was spent cleaning the house (as I mentioned previously I have been terrified that I will have to run to the hospital leaving a messy house behind). Some may classify these activities as "nesting." I think J would call it something else. Something along the lines of "the weekend my wife wouldn't crawl out of my ass until I sorted through the pile of mail I've been accumulating since 1998."

Now that the house is clean and things at work are winding down, I am definitely ready to get this show on the road, so to speak. Send some good labor vibes my way!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

17 days to go

The time is drawing near, and I am NOT ready! I mean, emotionally I am totally ready. Really can't wait to meet this little person and especially to find out if estrogen or testosterone will hold the majority in my household. (Currently, if you count the pets, which I'm not sure is fair seeing as they're all eunuchs, testosterone is winning). However, I have tendencies toward procrastination/perfectionism, which means that I like my deadlines because they're the only way I get things accomplished (usually well done but just under the wire). So I have a recently-painted guest room/office to put back together so my parents have a comfortable place to stay, not to mention a nursery that needs the finishing touches of organization, and I won't even go there when it comes to telling you about the floors that need cleaning and the surfaces that need dusting.

Will the baby care about any of this stuff? Of course not. And I'm sure the baby won't even really be using the nursery for the first few weeks anyway...but in my OCD brain this house needs to be in tip-top shape before I rush off to labor & delivery. So this weekend will probably be filled with enough organizing and cleaning activity to send me right into labor...as long as everything's done, that will be fine by me!

By the way, here's a sneak peek at our little one (taken on 1/23)...courtesy of the modern magic of 3D ultrasound, which my OB's office recently acquired. I've always thought these images were slightly on the creepy side, but hey, who can resist. I was VERY pleased to discover that the baby seems to have inherited daddy's lips, seeing as I have very little to contribute in that department:

As of yesterday, baby's weight was estimated at 6 lbs 7 oz...so there go my hopes for losing 20 pounds by giving birth!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Love, Mommy

Our childbirth instructor asked us a while back to write a letter to the baby. I'm not the sappiest person--it's not typically easy for me to express serious feelings. So since I sat down and did it, I thought I might as well share this with you, so you can see that I am occasionally able to get beyond the bodily function jokes...


To my little Peanut,

It's hard to believe that half a year has gone by since I found out you were on the way to us. At first, it seemed hard to believe that something so amazing was happening inside my body. But sure enough, you made your presence known little by little. Over the past few months, your little fluttery movements have turned into kicks and somersaults. Just yesterday you had your first case of hiccups. I love that you are with me wherever I go, and I still get excited over every movement you make, even if I can't yet tell if it's an arm or a leg poking me in the side.

I suppose this is just a small preview of what's to come. I anticipate that once you're here, I will still be fascinated by your every move, not to mention every sound and every facial expression, and probably every smell, too. I've also begun to realize that the constant worrying is too, here to stay, that I will forever be concerned for your health and happiness. I know that the worry I have felt while carrying you inside me will pale in comparison to the worry I will feel once you are here. I also know that the joys you will bring to your daddy's and my life will be overwhelming compared to the already great joy I have known these past few months.

I suppose there are practical reasons to bring a child into this world: to have a helper for the chores; to have someone small enough around the house who can find out where that strange little door in the back of the upstairs closet actually goes; to make sure there will be someone around to change our Depends when we're old; for the tax credits; to get our parents off our backs and give them some grandkids already. But we didn't think it through like this. We didn't need to.

I can still remember very clearly a night before your daddy and I were engaged. We were standing in his kitchen, arms around each other, and he asked me if I could see myself having children with him. I didn't even have to think about it--the answer was an emphatic yes. Before I met him, I wasn't even sure I'd ever really have a desire to have children. But with him I just knew it would be right. I could picture his arms cradling my babies, could see him running through the yard laughing with them as they grew older. Soon you will be here and I will see all this come to life, and it's going to be amazing.

I am looking forward to seeing the world through your eyes as you grow. Life gets so routine as you get older, and you barely have time for anything but paying the bills and taking care of the house. I can't wait to help you explore all the things that make life wonderful; you will make them all fresh and new again for me. I want to take you to the zoo and to the beach and to the woods. I want to show you flowers bursting up from the ground in the springtime, help you catch fireflies in the summer, and watch you catch snowflakes on your tongue in the winter. I want to hear you laugh and I want to be the one who can dry your tears when you are sad. I am so excited to get to know you, to discover your talents and your quirks. I feel very blessed already to be the one you will call "Mom". I can't wait to meet you.

Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I have an efficient baby

This week, I ate an entire double-decker box of chocolates in addition to a lot of other junk. I even had 2 pieces of cake on Sunday at my baby shower.

Amazingly, I LOST 2 pounds this week. Thanks, kiddo, for processing all that junk for me. I promise to start eating better after you are born.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

a confession

OK, I'll admit it: I'm afraid of toddlers. I have no idea how to relate to children who are barely out of diapers, tend to have snotty noses, and are prone to temper tantrums. They're too old for baby talk yet too young for rational explanations. I feel cold and awkward when I try to engage them.

There is a toddler coming to my house this weekend. Thank god his mother is a very laid-back old friend of mine. She thought my suggestion of tethering him to a tree out back should he become unruly was right on track.