Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Out with it

After much thought, I've decided that I'm going to take a break from blogging. Not that this is a big change from the norm given the blistering pace of my posting as of late. I don't have enough to say, really. I'm pretty boring these days. And I'm finding that I'm a lot less comfortable writing about my family than I thought I would be. Mommy blogger I am not. This is my fifth year of blogging and I feel like blogging for me (or at least this blog in particular) may be winding down. I don't know yet. But I hate it when people just vanish off their blogs, so while I may be posting photos sporadically, otherwise it's going to be pretty quiet here. And if you're still reading this, thank you for reading. Seriously.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Is it that obvious?

Lunchtime conversation with a cashier at Au Bon Pain:

Me: (silently places food items on counter)

Cashier: (looks at me penetratingly) Hungry? Exhausted?

Me: How did you know?

Cashier: Your eyes have that look. Go eat. Get some rest.

Me: (having read/watched too much True Blood, wondering if cashier can read thoughts) Thanks--I'll try.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Monkey mind

A few of the completely random things that run through my head at bedtime, in savasana, walking home from the T, whathaveyou:

1. What I'd use my three wishes for if I ever happen to run into a genie. It changes on a daily basis. All the garbage out of the ocean? An end to animal cruelty? An environmentally sustainable society? The ability to eat fondue every day? How can I knit these things together to maximize each wish?

2. Zombie mitigation. I've watched 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later a few too many times. We have a lot of big windows in our house. Where could I hide myself and the baby (or just the baby) if the zombies came? What would it take to hole up and wait it out? Could I get badass with a machete? Would the water supply be contaminated?

3. The location of my imaginary future summer home. Maine? Nantucket (hello, shack)? Where is the place that speaks to us? Where is the place that my daughter will be able to say, "I've been going there since I was a baby"? How can I help create great memories for her?

4. What it will take to fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I gained 49 pounds with Margot and have lost 37. The last 10-12 are hanging on so tenaciously that I am starting to understand why so many women choose to go the cosmetic surgery route. It's only been 6 months and I'm still nursing, so I try to be patient and not obsess too much, but Lunchboy would say that I obsess constantly, with expectations that are unrealistic. Still, lots of long runs? A return to 2-hour hot yoga classes? I have time for none of that. But in my imagination I can run marathons and sweat it out on the stairs. Oh, the stairs. How I long for thee.

5. Milk. How much did I pump? How much is in the freezer? How long until we reach the time of Necessary Formula Supplementation? It's a constant mental calculation.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

They got the mustard out

I keep waiting for life to slow down again and be less crazy. Of course, it never does. I think I need to come to terms with the fact that having a baby increased the chaos factor to way above what it had been previously, and stop expecting that anything will ever be the same again. Which is funny because before I got pregnant all we heard from our parent friends was "your life will change in every way." Since Lunchboy and I are both introverts and we were never all that into going out and being, like, social, the need to stay home with a teeny infant wasn't that big of an adjustment. But the craziness? That is an adjustment.

Not all of the crazy is baby-related. As babies go, Margot is pretty calm and low key. She had nothing to do with the fact that our central AC died in the middle of the recent heat wave. But my desperate need to make sure she stayed cool and comfortable in our progressively more humid and unpleasant house amped up what would have been a moderately stressful situation (you try getting an HVAC repairman to visit in the middle of a heat wave) and made it INCREDIBLY stressful. She also had nothing to do with our stove breaking right after the AC was fixed. Or with the stupid red tape at the dentist's office that involved one dentist saying I needed some expensive repair work and another one saying that I was fine, but many records and faxes had to go back and forth in the meantime. Or with me leaving the house without my laptop today, having to go home for said laptop, hoof it to the T in the heat, ride an un-air conditioned T to work, and arrive a sweaty mess. Or with me putting Lunchboy's cell phone through the wash accidentally, thereby sparking a huge iPhone-related undertaking that resulted in all of us being grumpy at the Apple store in the Cambridgeside Galleria for almost three hours. Such is life.

We have taken Margot swimming a few more times recently and she continues to love being in the water. I'm considering signing her up for infant swim classes so that she'll continue to get more comfortable in the water. Classes feel a little silly for a 6-month old (this is why I haven't been able to bring myself to go near Itsy Bitsy Yoga) but they would also mean that mommy gets to go swimming and I love to swim.

I am reading the Buffy graphic novels co-created by Joss Whedon and am starting to find myself thinking in Whedon-speak again.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Bottle fed

I never see this. Seriously. Lunchboy has to take pictures of himself (or, in this case, my sister in law) feeding Margot because if I am anywhere in the house she will not so much as look at a bottle. He has taken some very sweet videos of Margot holding her bottle all by herself as she sucks down every last drop of milk and those videos make my heart explode because, after pumping twice a day every day at work, it makes me feel good to see my baby get her food. Usually I see the bottles go off to daycare and I see them empty again in the evening but never the actual consumption itself. So thank you, my awesome husband, for giving me a glimpse of the meals.

It's sort of a miracle that the milk thing is still a success. We've started solid food (apples, bad; pears, good) but it will be a little while before fruit replaces breast. Fruit or breast? That'll be fun to watch. Anyhoo, do you remember that anti-drug commercial from the mid-1980s, the one where a man holds up a frying pan and says "This is your brain," then breaks an egg into the pan and, as it fries, says "This is your brain on drugs?" Well, he should really say "This is your brain when you don't get any sleep." No sleep = no memory. Here are a few of the stupid nursing/pumping mistakes I've made in the past few months:

1. Forgot the horn attachments for my pump at home, resulting in extreme engorgement and an emergency trip to Isis at lunch to get a new set so I wouldn't be the first person ever to expire from excess milk.

2. Hooked up all pump parts, sat down to pump, and spent a good 5 minutes wondering why my lap was wet--I looked down to find that I'd forgotten to attach THE BOTTLES to the horns and I was pumping all over my lap.

3. Pumped a record 18 ounces on a Friday. Proudly carried my cooler home, knowing I wouldn't have to dip into the freezer stash over the weekend. Sat bolt upright in bed at 3am to the knowledge that I'd forgotten to take the cooler out of my work bag and that day's milk had gone unrefrigerated for almost 12 hours. Luckily the ice pack had taken one for the team and everything was still cool. Otherwise preparations for hari kari were imminent.

I'm a little torn about the transition from nursing to solid food, but the thought of not having to keep track of so many pump and bottle parts is kind of alluring.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Brain 2.0

I've been having lots of crazy dreams lately, a development I attribute to the fact that I'm actually sleeping at night and possibly also that I'm reading "The Monster of Florence," which is probably not the best bedtime book choice I could make. At least Lunchboy is home now--I started the book when he was traveling last week and managed to scare the crap out of myself. Who reads about serial killers on the loose when they are home alone at night?? Me, apparently. Smrt.

The crazy dreams, though--they feel like my brain is catching up on all the processing it didn't get a chance to do over the past six months. There's a lot of swirling, intense imagery that strikes me as the dream-visual equivalent of backing up a hard drive. And airplanes. what's up with the airplanes? Last night, though, I dreamed about B in SF (remember him?). Nothing naughty, I just sat him down and asked him why he'd been so weird. Kind of cathartic, actually, even if it was completely random.

And, of course, as soon as I opened my big mouth about Margot sleeping through the night, she woke up three times last night and then decided it was time to start the day at 5:30am. Then she managed to grab one of the animals on her crib mobile, thereby demonstrating that the mobile's useful life has ended for the time being. Sigh. We kind of liked it when she'd kick the mobile on at 6am and we'd wake up to Mozart in the mornings.

Not what she was expecting

The journey of the solid foods, it has begun. Baby: 1, Rice cereal: 0.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Smile like you mean it

Last week, knowing that the weekend was going to be crazy busy with lots of visitors and at least one morning away from the house, I decided that I really needed more time with Margot. So I took Monday off to have some baby time and we had the best day! First, I have to share a piece of information that I've held back because I'm afraid of jinxing it, which is that Margot has been sleeping through the night now for almost a week. We put her down at 7pm and she generally goes through until 4:30am without waking up. So, for the first time in almost six months, we are all getting some sleep. This is key.

We went to the coffee shop for a little while in the morning, an experience that is getting more adventurous now that Margot is at the stage where she wants to grab everything (EVERYTHING) and put it in her mouth. She is also sitting up by herself (!!) and standing by herself when holding onto a table or something. This means she's now big enough for high chairs, though not necessarily that she is patient enough for high chairs. What, a child of mine who's impatient? How on earth could that possible have happened? It's a mystery. Anyway, so at the coffee shop she now grabs things, puts them in her mouth, then throws them to the floor so vehemently that it looks like the object in question has done something to mortally offend her. She likes the throwing.

After her morning nap, we packed up and headed out to Walden Pond for a baby beach day. The weather was spectacular--clear, sunny, hot but not brutal or overly humid. We met my friend S and her son, who is exactly one week younger than Margot. These two babies like each other a lot, which makes play dates a ton of fun. Miraculously, we found a good patch of dirt to plunk our towels on (the water level at Walden this year is astronomically high because of all the rain so the last stretches of actual beach are a hard-won commodity as we found). Then we changed the small fry into swimsuits and hit the water.

Margot wasn't feeling very confident about the whole thing at first, so we spent a good amount of time sitting in the sandy shallows, patting the water and discovering that sand was fun to grab and try to eat. Eventually she decided she wanted to go further out (indicated by the lurching in the general direction of the deeper water), so we went out a little more. Lo and behold, she did not freak out when her feet didn't touch the bottom. In fact, she really liked floating! This was important to me--I feel strongly about helping her have a safe, positive experience with swimming and I tried hard to be extra careful so she wouldn't associate water with being scared. But by the end of the swim, we out far enough that the water was up to my waist and she was having a ball being swished around with no pond bottom in sight. We may have a water baby on our hands! Yay!

Then we put the kids in our Ergos and walked around the pond. S's son fell fast asleep but Margot stayed stubbornly awake. She fights her naps SO HARD. God forbid she might miss seeing something interesting if she let herself sleep. I didn't care, really. It was just so great to have her close to me for a whole day with no errands to be run or work projects to stress about. She passed out cold in the car on the way home. Anyone want to pay me to stay home and hang out with my baby? Srsly.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Punk rock girl

Because, you know, she's got that stripe of hair down the middle of her head that kind of looks like a mohawk. Don't you wish you had a theme song at 6 months old? I do.

We are in the midst of some impromptu sleep training and I'm a little zombie-like at the moment, so you'll pardon me if I can't put more than a few words together today. More soon!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Even Stephen

This is Margot watching a (DVRed) Daily Show segment with Kristen Schaal. No, we are not evil for allowing our baby to acknowledge the existence of the television. We almost never have the TV on when she's awake or in the room, but on the few occasions when she's seen the TV she thinks it's the most amazing thing ever. Particularly if the Colbert Report is on. Stephen Colbert is her secret TV boyfriend.

Speaking of television, I have recently become addicted to baby and birth-related shows, especially the ones on Discovery Health. Deliver Me is actually a good show. It's neat to see the different pregnancy and birth experiences that women go through, and the doctors seem so connected to and invested in their patients. They do appear to do a lot of c-sections and call me weird but I find watching what they show of the surgery to be very illuminating in a deeply personal way. I am extremely pro-Western medicine when it comes to having babies and while I have zero regrets about my birth experience with Margot (though, you know, fewer hours of labor would have been nice), one of the few things I felt frustrated with at the time was that I never saw how my daughter entered the world. I felt her leave my body, a sensation I will never forget, but I never saw how it happened. Watching women give birth via c-section on Deliver Me is kind of gross but also beautiful in an "Oh, that's how it went" kind of way.

"I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant," on the other hand? That's just me sitting on the couch shrieking "HOW COULD THEY NOT KNOW THEY WERE PREGNANT???" over and over again.

It's all an adventure

While we were on vacation, we introduced Margot to the toddler pool at our hotel. It was a big hit. At first she was completely nonplussed but then she proceeded to watch the water and explore how it felt in her own quiet, observant way. Though to be honest I couldn't tell how much of it was her being fascinated with the water and how much of it was her wanting to get the water in her mouth. Either way, she had a good time in the pool and seemed completely into the swimming/wading thing. I can't wait until she's old enough for swimming lessons!

For my part, I've been a little too well acquainted with getting drenched these days. I think nursing is a challenge for every mom in their own way, but I'm finding that pumping and sleep deprivation make for an adventurous combination. The generation and transportation of milk from work to home is a learning process. I'm gradually figuring out what my version of best practices is, but it hasn't been without some trial and error.

On the innocuous end of the spectrum, there was the day that my little milk cooler somehow got upended in my bag on the commute home and I ended up with a few ounces of spilled milk pooled in my bag and a big, embarrassing stain on my pants. Now I am militant about making sure the cooler stays upright, not only because I'm mess-averse but because every ounce counts. Trite but true.

Then there was the day that I forgot to put on nursing pads before I went to work. The error went unnoticed until I made the mistake of looking at the small forest of baby pictures that has sprouted next to my desk and suddenly WHOOSH, my milk came in. Still clueless, I reached for my water bottle and my arm brushed something wet. Did I spill something without realizing it? I look down and realize that what was wet was my ENTIRE SHIRT. The telltale circular pattern wasn't very subtle. I had no backup shirt, no backup bra, and no ability to go buy either until things dried out. So I slunk off my to my lactation closet, stuffed my shirt with paper towels, and spent two hours hunched at my desk, arms crossed over my chest, praying that no one would come by my cube. Thankfully, no one did and I got through until lunch with my office sweater wrapped around me.

I'll save the rest of the stupidity for tomorrow. Oh yes, there's more.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy baby!

This could be the best excuse EVER for getting a fake bearskin rug.

Margot is all smiles these days and it makes life SO GOOD. She still isn't sleeping through the night but I don't care--her smiles, which start first thing in the morning when I go in to get her from her crib and go until we put her down for the night and she thinks bedtime is a big joke, are better than sleep. Though, to be fair, last night I passed out in the glider while nursing her at 1am and had a crazy dream about buying orange and sky blue crib bedding. Still totally comfortable (but completely confused), I opened my eyes and found Margot sleeping happily in my arms. I debated staying put but decided she'd do better in her crib, though I was so tempted to just hold her all night. When she is awake and not smiling, she is starting to blow raspberries left and right. We go back and forth with the "pphhhttt!" and we both think it's the funniest thing ever.

Could I be more in love with this kid?

Today I finally bit the bullet and brought my engagement and wedding rings in to be resized. Pregnancy didn't do anything to my shoe size but my fingers have settled about 1-1.5 ring sizes larger than they used to be, and I'm tired of not being able to wear my rings without chafing my knuckles and making my fingers look like they're being choked.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Margot is at the stage where she wants to put the entire world in her mouth. If she sees it, it goes into the mouth. This includes our faces, arms, and hands, whatever we happen to be holding or wearing at any particular moment, and--drumroll please--the cats. If there is one thing that Margot could put into her mouth that might make her little head explode with joy, it would be Cringer. She is less fascinated with Griffin, but when she sees Cring, she throws herself toward the cat in a way that never fails to surprise us. Cringer has been grabbed often enough now that she sees it coming and flees, but we find it endlessly amusing (and somewhat alarming) how Margot lurches toward the cats with everything she's got. The cats are aware of the impending change in mobility and are starting to understand that their grace period is almost over. The days of sitting quietly while the baby plays on her activity mat, when there is no threat of tiny hands yanking out fistfuls of fur, grabbing and eating ears, pulling on tails? Those times are quickly coming to a close.

I've never seen a child want to crawl so badly before she's got the necessary motor skills and muscle tone. Margot pushes herself up when she's on her belly and squiggles her legs around but can't quite get the movement right. Her frustration and determination are palpable. The look on her face speaks very clearly and it is saying "Come on!! I've got places to go! There are things to check out!! I want to eat that cat!! Let's GO already!" In addition to crawling, she is working on sitting up and is very close, though there is frequently more leaning than technical sitting going on. We'll prop her up in the Boppy and when she's tired, she'll sprawl backwards, drape herself over the cushion, stick her thumb in her mouth and chill out, looking for all the world like the only thing she needs is a beer and a foot massage.

Our pediatrician is encouraging us to start Margot on rice cereal to see if it will help the aforementioned diaper issues, but I am very torn about this. She's got 3 weeks until she hits 6 months and I know she'll be fine no matter what, but I had that 6-month mark stuck in my head and all our books are adamant about it, as if feeding her rice cereal before the 6-month mark might turn her insides to cement or something. But hey--cement might not be a bad thing at the moment. Does it help them sleep better, too? If so, I might be persuaded. I love love love nursing her but I could go for a few nights of one wakeup versus three or four.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I can't think of a good title for this post

I am not sure where all my motivation to blog went. Maybe out with the dirty diapers? Who knows. This working mother thing is a challenge and lots of little things that I used to prioritize are now falling to the wayside. So there you have it. I will try to do better but I can't make any promises.

We went on vacation to Cape Cod last week. The sun shone for most of it--huzzah! Lunchboy worked his charm and got us upgraded from a hotel room to a cottage, which was probably best for everyone involved because I'm sure any people lucky enough to stay on either side of a crying baby at 3am would probably prefer a different arrangement, so hooray for everyone that we had our own space. It was lovely to get out of the city, to get away from chores and all the innumerable things that must be done around the house immediately if not sooner, or so it often feels to little old OCD me.

We did, however, miss our laundry facilities very much because Margot spent the entire week pooing nonstop (and there goes my determination not to be a poo-talker). After not pooing for 10 days straight, during which time I stuffed myself with dairy in an attempt to end her poo strike and we plied her with diluted prune juice per the pediatrician, she finally let loose. While I often feel guilt over our decision to stick with disposable diapers, this past week I was nothing but glad that we were not reliant on piles of cotton that we'd have to lug back home because our child went through an entire large-size package of diapers in the space of 5 days. She also went through every outfit we brought for her. I'd change her, clean her, wash my hands, and turn around to find another stain working its way up her back. Not only did I finally cry uncle, I actually cried and begged her to stop.

On the plus side, the hotel we were staying at did something amazing--they had couches in all the places where they served food. Because Margot is not highchair-ready yet, this meant that we could take her to meals, lie her between us on the couch, and tickle her while we ate our meal together (usually we are tagging off so that one of us is eating while the other is holding the baby). This made meals a lot of fun. Margot is totally fascinated with food and drink. She watches us eat and tries to grab our hands so that she can eat what we're eating. I'm told this is a good sign for when we start her on solid foods. It's particularly amusing when Lunchboy gets his morning coffee because there is nothing in the world that she wants more. He holds it out of her reach and she looks like a greyhound chasing a mechanical bunny on a track.

What with work being crazy, me getting sick multiple times, and the crazy weather, I haven't been to yoga in almost a month. My back is yelling at me quite loudly.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A first

When I was on maternity leave, many were the days on which I didn't shower or brush my teeth. It happened. I also lived in yoga pants and zip-up hoodies, so it wasn't like I was advertising myself as a sharp dresser. Thank god for deodorant and mouthwash, that's all I can say.

This morning, however, it went one step further. After waking up with a still-coughing Margot at 1am, 2:30am, and 5:30am, I took one look at my clock after Griffin woke me up at 7:15 and found myself weighing the pros and cons of showering vs. 30 more minutes of sleep. Sleep won. Off to work I went, uncleansed and unapologetic. It was totally worth it.

On a tangent


I have developed two obsessions this summer. First, Band of Brothers. I rewatched the entire miniseries over Memorial Day weekend and am now reading the book. This is not what I'd call peaceful (or dystopian for that matter). But it feels compelling right now and I can't explain why. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are apparently doing an HBO movie called The Pacific. I am kind of excited. ????

Obsession #2: equally perplexing, not unlike battle -- nursery school yard sales. We have about 15 small, nonprofit (though they will happily take $10-15K of your money per year) nursery schools within a 5-mile radius of our house and they are all throwing their annual rummage fundraisers. We live, as they say, in a target-rich environment. It is insanely fun to buy high-end baby clothes that other people splashed out on for $1-3 apiece. It is also kind of fun to see the extent to which other parents will go to get their favorite items first. It can get violent and/or argumentative. Other moms: I am not afraid to scrum over Tea Collection. The gauntlet is down.

It's very clear, however, that the ratio of boy to girl babies in the greater Somerville/Cambridge area is even more skewed than I'd thought based on the fact that ALL our friends have boys. The yard sales are chock full of boy baby clothes and the girl clothes are usually relegated to a box here and there (versus giant pool-tubs full of boy things). We so need to move out of the city before Margot hits dating age. Otherwise she will have a harem of boyfriends.

I hear the mosquitos are going to be OOC

So it seems that New England has decided to relocate itself to the Pacific Northwest because it has rained almost every day for a month. The rain was funny for a week or so and now it's no longer even vaguely amusing. I feel like we are living in a Ray Bradbury story. And once I started thinking about "All Summer In A Day"--the little girl's name is Margot?!?!?-- I got this incredible jones to reread all of Bradbury's short stories. Then I wanted to rewatch Amazing Stories (remember Amazing Stories??) Lunchboy wanted to know what was up with my sudden interest in dystopian fiction and I didn't have a good answer. But early last week I went on a news hiatus because the rain coupled with all the horrible things that are happening in the world was beginning to make life feel very overwhelming. Boycotting the news has helped, more than I thought it would, so perhaps the urge to revisit alternate realities via books and TV is another escape mechanism. Want to be freaked out, though? Read "The Veldt" and then get a Roomba.

Obligatory Margot picture:

Anything is peaceful from one thousand, three hundred and fifty-three feet

Sixteen Candles has been on TV every night but all I can think of is that line from Ferris Bueller: "Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

It has been one of those months where it feels like life is moving at 100mph and I don't feel like I am slowing down with any grace. We rush to get ready in the morning, get Margot to daycare, get to work. I rush to get home in the evenings so I can have 15-30 minutes with her before it's bedtime. She is sleeping better but I actually relish the times when she wakes up in the middle of the night to nurse because that is extra time I get with her.

And so I have entered into that perennial state occupied by so many other working moms in which I feel like I am trying to do too much and not doing any of it particularly well. Right when I hit a point when I felt like I couldn't handle the fulltime work thing another second, Margot got sick and I needed to stay home with her for a few days. I HATED that she was sick--no one tells you how hard it is to see your baby be sick--but I loved having whole days with her that weren't punctuated by trips to Target or visits from family. I even loved the part where I got puked/pooped/peed/snotted on. There are moments when I feel completely obliterated by how much I love this child, how much I adore spending time with her, soothing her, playing with her, reading to her, just looking at her.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Tired girl

This was taken while Margot was out on a walk with her aunt on a warm, sunny day. She needed a nap. That makes two of us! I was bitter to be stuck at work while Margot was home from daycare, though I love that she gets to spend time with her aunt, who dotes on her with the best of them.

We are busy these days spending as much time outside as possible. Our street is lush with gardens and flowering shrubs so there is much to explore and discover. Though I don't have a picture of it, I helped Margot smell a rose the other evening. I guess I expected her to enjoy the scent (cabbage roses--yum!) but instead she pulled away with a "ewwww!" expression on her face. Maybe it was just too intense for little noses.

We are on Day 10 of the 30-Day Shred. Both of us are noticing that our clothes fit differently--for me it means that things are looser than they were 10 days ago. But the scale remains my enemy. I am looking forward to/slightly nervous about moving on to Workout 2.

The other night we watched Taken, one of the Netflix movies that have been sitting neglected on the coffee table for a week or six. It wasn't a spectacular movie but I am hereby appointing Liam Neeson to the position of celebrity dad. If Jason Bourne ever has kids, he and Liam are going to have to battle it out.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Itsy bitsy pieces

I am trying to think of something interesting to share but Margot is in the middle of another growth spurt and has been waking up every two hours at night again, so I am in a total fog. Her hungry cry is piercing and totally belies her usual happy baby self. I would appreciate the Darwinian necessity of that scream more if it didn't squeeze my heart into my throat every time, usually at 2am. Last night, however, I exercised the beauty of the bottle and got Lunchboy into the action when we hit wakeup #3.

Though most of our pictures are taken in the living room (aka baby central), we do actually leave the house, particularly now that the weather is getting so nice. Every weekend I mean to take the camera with us when we go on walks with Margot in the Bjorn. She has discovered trees and is completely mesmerized by them. Trees are for her what ceiling fans seem to be for lots of other babies--head thrown back, attention completely focused. It's amazing to watch her discover the world.

This is a photo of Margot wearing a very cute outfit that her aunt, a world-class shopper, picked up for her. She wore this outfit for approximately 3 hours and then, abiding by third rule of babies, which dictates that cute outfits be baptized by fire, proceeded to destroy it with an epic blowout. I've tried not to be one of those parents that talks about their kid's potty habits but this may be my one exception. Before I went off dairy, Margot was a on a two-a-day blowout schedule that was like clockwork. Every 12 hours, KERBLOOEY. After I cut out dairy, she dammed up like Holland and started pooing 1-2 times a week. When those 1-2 times roll around, the result is...considerable. Our daycare provider gives us a lovely rundown of Margot's day when we pick her up and today the note included the following notation: "Explosion! Then a tubby because the mess was so bad it got in her hair. She loved her bath--so cute!" So there you have it.

On a totally unrelated note, Lunchboy and I are doing the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred. We are on Day 4. There is a lot of pain involved. But I have suddenly developed muscle tone, so I feel like there is actually payoff.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


When Lunchboy and I first met a little over four years ago, we were both working for the same company. He was a consultant and I was an editor. Basically, my job was to make all the management-speak that he and the other consultants wrote sound more like regular English. The job was fun in part because it introduced me to whole new ways to shape and twist language. For instance, Lunchboy once used "whiteboard" as a verb in a meeting (there was also the whole "efficient frontier" argument). He is a man who loves his whiteboard--it was one of the very first things he bought to set up his home office when he switched jobs--and even though he mostly uses those giant, poster-sized Post-It sheets, the whiteboard is still there, just waiting for some consultant brainstorming to occur. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that a consultant came up with this so that children of consultants can also learn to whiteboard their ideas. Since we are renting our current place and are not allowed to paint anything, it will be a while before we could introduce Margot to whiteboard paint. But I have a feeling she'll love it--it's in her genes.

Genes--jeans! It's totally unrelated but I wish Tea Collection made clothes for grownups. Seriously. I heart them.

You and me, baby

When you're pregnant, there are a million books and websites out there that will tell you exactly what's happening to your body and your baby at any given point in time. Hormone changes, neural tube development, hair and fingernails--you name it, the information is there. But when you HAVE the baby and suddenly you're home with this tiny person who is no longer connected to you physically and you feel like you're flying by the seat of your sweatpants, I often felt like I couldn't find out what I needed to know. What I did find was often loaded with condescension. Part of this was that I didn't have the nerve to ask about some things and didn't know to ask about others. Then, because I am late to the game on pretty much anything cool, about a week ago I discovered AlphaMom. I wish I'd known to look for them back when I was on maternity leave. Specifically, this column could have made my head stop exploding on multiple occasions. I can't tell you how many times I sat on the couch looking at Margot, frantically wondering what to do next. Was there something I was supposed to be doing with her that I didn't know about? Was she going to be scarred for life and left behind in school because I was clueless?

Sort of similarly, I went in for my annual physical yesterday and, in a totally offhand manner that implied I should know this already, my PCP told me that it takes about 6 months for all the pregnancy hormones to get flushed out of your system. "That's why your body is still probably all loosey-goosey," she said. Things that would have been helpful to know about 7 weeks ago, when I went back to yoga and wondered what alien had stolen my body and replaced it with one that was too weak to do much of anything! Frankly, however, all the residual baby hormones are keeping my anxiety at bay and I will happily trade the ability to do full kapotasana in order to continue not worrying about stupid shit.

Speaking of babies, Margot is rolling over! Want to see? Lunchboy has perfected the Cloverfield camera technique (and his superb coaching style) in order to capture the elusive roll from belly to back.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Our little family, on the roof deck.

Who is this guy sucking on my neck, mom??

Feet are so fascinating!

Happy baby!

Conversations with a machine

OH!! So I've been pumping for about three weeks now and all the anxiety I was feeling about the process has completely vanished. I still feel slightly bovine whenever I pump but I think that just comes with the territory. It's kind of fun to see how much I can produce each day. It's like a little contest I have with myself--how much can I get/bottle/freeze?? Not exactly American Idol, I know, but it makes the process more interesting. When I am particularly tired, which is a lot of the time these days, it sounds like the pump is talking to me. No, I am not crazy. Depending on the day, the noise it makes sounds alarmingly like one of the following, uttered with EXTREME robot-like urgency:


and today, "STEVE HOLT!!!"

This is what I get for watching too much Arrested Development.

My company created a lactation room for me in an unused IT closet. It's not nearly as dank as it sounds. I have a soft chair, a door that locks from the inside, and total privacy--when I'm in there no one will bother me or ask questions. The only funny thing is that the light is on a motion detector (yay for saving energy) so if I sit too long without moving the lights go out on me and I have to stand up, pump in full motion, and stick my head in front of the sensor to get the light back on. Hmmm. Dark, private, no windows. Length of time until the lactation room becomes a nap room? T-minus 1 day and counting.

...and I just realized I left my wallet in the diaper bag again. Ah, Monday.

What the what

I've been back at work for a week now (one week today--pregnancy and parenthood have ingrained the whole "count by week" thing in me hardcore) and so far it's not terrible. Margot loves daycare and we think she forgets about us as soon as we drop her off in the morning. She is the only girl in the infant room because, for some reason, everyone else in Somerville seems to only produce boys. If we decide to stick around town for the long haul, our kid is doing to have her pick of boyfriends and I think this realization is driving Lunchboy to consider the suburbs with a renewed zeal. That and the fact that yesterday we went to our old condo for a quick flyby and Margot was positively mesmerized by the mature trees on our old street. More mesmerized than she is by the chandelier in our dining room. So we're thinking it might be nice for her to, you know, be around some trees at some point and Somerville doesn't have a ton of them.

We went to the old place for a bunch of reasons. One, I never really had any closure with that place or the way we left. I'm not sure I'll ever have that, partly because I never went back there after the day our things were moved out--Lunchboy was the one who made about 10 followup trips to clean and get rid of the things we weren't bringing with us. I was too pregnant and too upset, so he let me stay in the new place and nest. Two, when Scully died a few months ago, we decided it would be nice to scatter some of her ashes in our old garden because that was her very favorite place in the entire world. If she had her way, she would have been out there every day regardless of the weather (she particularly loved going out there in the rain--no idea why). We'd been waiting for the right time to do this and yesterday was not only Mother's Day, which felt appropriate, it was one of the most spectacularly beautiful spring days we've had so far--sunny, clear, dry, perfect and gorgeous. It was exactly the kind of day that Scully would have spent sprawled on the patio or taking a dirt nap under the wisteria. So we snuck over and thankfully the new owners had all the shades up and were nowhere to be seen. It didn't take long. I miss her terribly every day. I never thought it would be possible to miss a pet like this.

We also snuck a peek at what SMTT did after we left, which was construct a big new fence all the way around her part of the back patio in what was clearly her best effort to barricade herself from the other people who live in the house. The fence is lovely but the energy and the intent behind the project were so BAD. It screamed "Fuck you, get the hell away from me, who are you people to think that I want anything to do with you!!" With some snotty arrogance thrown in for good measure. I am so infinitely grateful to be away from her, and so relieved to be in our new place, that I do not have the words to articulate the feeling properly.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

First day!

I got through my first day back at work and no one melted down. Supahstah!

Kindercare apparently employs a team of baby whisperers because Margot took a bottle by 1pm on her first day there. It may have been hunger. But given that she also napped a grand total of 90 minutes for the entire day, I think it's clear that her stubbornness is still front and center, so I am giving the credit to her extremely well-paid caregivers. It is very strange to think that we are paying people a lot of money to do what I did while I was home, what my instincts want to continue to do. It may be time to move to Scandinavia, where the governments mandate paid maternity leave for 16 weeks to 2 years depending on the country. Not a bad deal.

No one told me that the hardest part of going back to work is discovering that you only have about two hours with your kid every day. One hour in the morning, when you're barely awake, and another hour in the evening when they're barely awake. It sucks. I feel like one of the things I wrestled with most during my maternity leave was the inability to go do the things I was used to doing when I wanted to do them--working out, using the bathroom, going to sleep, running errands, etc. Now that I'm back at work, I have all day to do my stuff and I miss being with her. I miss her terribly. I want a part-time job as a belated birthday present, thanks.

Lunchboy and I are really blessed for many reasons, one of which is that he primarily works from home, so my maternity leave was a time when the three of us got to be together as a family unit in a very protected way. In my memory, those months are something like an idyll (though they were definitely not idle). Rather than drive each other nuts by being home together for 12 weeks, that time brought us much closer and cemented our status as partners. We are good at giving each other space and safeguarding the other person's right to alone time, work time, nap time, etc. We operate as a team and that has made parenthood even more of a joy because when one of us starts feeling overwhelmed or fried, the other one steps in. So I miss Margot but I also miss Lunchboy. Work is kind of lonely.

At the moment, I am also missing my couch. It's time for the baby's afternoon nap and I am not at all adjusted to getting very little sleep and then not being able to make up for it on the couch the next day. One thing that I hadn't anticipated is that exhaustion makes life a lot simpler. Being bone tired all the time negates the capacity for tolerating BS, for dwelling on things I could have done differently, and for relaxing boundaries. Who would have thought that fatigue could be empowering? I'm reading a really amazing book that talks insightfully about this and other unexpected aspects of motherhood. I want to buy a dozen copies and gift them to all my mom and soon-to-be mom friends.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Another little piece of my heart

I've been meaning to write for days but Commander Bligh and Herr Hendrik were visiting and then I've had to scramble to get everything in order before I go back to work (tomorrow--aieee!). I've also been trying to spend as much time with Margot as possible. And just in case I've forgotten, Cringer is sitting next to me on the couch, purring and reminding me that other folks in the house need love, too. This does not include Griffin, who has woken the baby up twice this week with her bratty antics in the middle of the night. Clearly Griffin does not know the first rule of Fight Club: never wake the baby. Griffin is inches away from being offered for adoption.

After 12 weeks of holding a baby all the time, I've noticed that I have developed a tendency to sway and bop whenever I am holding...pretty much anything. Things I have noticed myself bopping around with include piles of books, bags of groceries, a houseplant, bags of takeout food, the empty car seat, the cats, and various boxes containing baby products. Because, you know, God forbid the box for the Bumbo seat goes unsoothed.

The past few days have been a whirl. In addition to hunting for work clothes that will fit me until I lose the last of the baby weight (final 10lbs, I'm looking at you), I've been reading lots of books about helping babies sleep and occasionally punishing myself with the Tracy Anderson Post-Pregnancy Workout DVD, which I read about on Mighty Girl and decided to try. Tracy Anderson is the lady who trains Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, two people who have maybe a pound of body fat between them, and all I can say is WOW (and also ouch). I've done the workout 4 times and my abs are visibly stronger and more defined. This hasn't helped me resist the delicious chocolate our Germans friends gifted us with during their visit last week, however.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Scenes from a bottle

As you can see, it's going well.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I want my $2!!

I keep intending to post but as you can tell it keeps not happening. Babies are funny timesucks like that. Until recently, I often intended to take a shower or brush my teeth, but as any new mom knows, these things are often goals that fall by the wayside as the day goes on. Our solution? Margot's lovely new crib mobile, which is like baby crack. Now she will lie on her back and watch the mobile for upwards of 20 minutes, long enough for me to get clean and, now, to post for the first time in forever.

Margot is doing beautifully. She is almost 12.5lbs and is upwards of 24 inches long. At 10 weeks she is already too long for many of her 3-month clothes. She is leggy! She is sleeping in her crib at night and napping reliably during the day, though there is still not much sleep being had by her parents. We are having a lot of fun together these days and so it's bittersweet to be contemplating my return to work right when it feels like the baby and I are finally finding a good rhythm to the day. She is cooing and crowing and making ambitious moves towards rolling over. But she still wants absolutely nothing to do with a bottle, which does not bode well. This weekend we are embarking on the Bottle Introduction Initiative v.1. This involves me actually utilizing the breast pump (now unpacked and sterilized but that's as far as I got--and that was two weeks ago) and then leaving Lunchboy with her highness for 4-5 hours in order to get her nice and hungry/angry, then sticking the bottle in her mouth and seeing if she'll forget about the boob for a few minutes. We aren't optimistic, only because we tried to have a date night last night and got a call from my mother, who was babysitting, after only one hour letting us know that our child was inconsolable and what did we want her to do. I had thought that grandmas knew how to resolve these situations instinctively, but apparently I underestimated Margot.

The weather is edging toward spring and so we have been going for lots of walks lately. I have also started running again in an attempt to fit into my work clothes before I go back to work in two weeks. We'll see--I think there will still need to be a trip to the mall for clothes that will hopefully be too big in another month or two. I could go on and on about weight and body image issues post-baby but I'm tired of hearing myself on the topic so I won't subject anyone else to it. Needless to say, it's hard.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The feed

There is a brown bag on the floor near the front door. It contains the breast pump I bought two weeks ago and have not yet touched. The bag and I are engaged in a staring contest and so far I can't tell who's winning.

I am of two minds about how to do the food thing when Margot goes to daycare in May. On an intellectual level I know that breast milk is the best option and given that I am producing a startling supply and she is feeding like a little raptor (at our last pediatrician's visit we found out that she'd gained 2 pounds in a week and a half), it seems like a waste to cut off the supply of boob. On the other hand, however, breastfeeding is a full-time job in itself. Pumping at work would require a commitment that I am not sure I can fulfill. It's not just the theoretical 15-20 minutes of actual pump time, it's the setup (which requires stripping from the waist up and putting on a corset-type garment that holds the pump horns in place and simultaneously destroys any and all semblance of dignity/self esteem I might have left), pumping, cleaning the pump, and refrigerating the milk. Two to three times a day during work hours. I admit, I am intimidated by the very thought of this endeavor.

Formula seems like it would be much simpler for everyone involved and it would actually allow me to do things like eat lunch, not get fired, exercise, and have my boobs to myself. But there is so much guilt involved in choosing between the two--at a very granular level there is a deep feeling that I would be a terrible mother if I chose to stop breastfeeding for what seem like purely selfish reasons. Of course she would be fine on formula but the politics, the politics. I find feeding Margot very satisfying right now and have not even been able to bring myself to deal with the bottle issue yet. And so the pump remains in the bag and every day I continue to stare at the bag warily as if it contained a giant spider that was waiting to jump out and eat me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Scully went to kitty heaven this morning. We miss her horribly.

I rescued Scully from the MSPCA 10 years ago. During those 10 years, we moved around the country, lived with various roommates, boyfriends, and one amazing husband/cat daddy, and weathered a lot of ups and downs. She was a patient, loyal, wonderful friend who was happy as long as we were together. No matter where we landed, the sound of her purr and the feel of her fur were home to me.

Scully started to decline right after we brought Margot home and at first we thought it was a stress reaction to the baby, until we saw how much weight she'd lost. After running every test the vet could think of and doing two ultrasounds, all we knew was that she probably had cancer and it was untreatable. She stopped eating or drinking and then lost the use of her hind legs, which was unbearable to watch. She made it clear that she intended to keep soldiering on but her limbs were getting weaker. We decided to let her go before things got any worse for her. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. I feel strongly that she may have been sick before but she fought to stay with us until the baby was here. Though the house feels achingly empty without her presence, I have to believe that she is now somewhere warm, eating grass and lying in the sun and watching the birds fly around. There is a furry white hole in our hearts. I miss my sunny girl.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It has begun

The Force is strong with this one...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Working girl

Today I took Margot in to my office for a little show and tell. Happily, she snoozed and smiled and charmed her way into the hearts of my coworkers and it was a good visit. One thing I have realized over the past 3 weeks is that I am feeling good about my decision to go back to work after my leave is up. Who knows, that might change once I actually have to leave Margot at daycare. But right now I feel that it's the right decision for us as a family and for me as a mom, wife, and person. This was a topic I was very torn about before Margot was born and so I am glad to have some clarity, though I still worry that I'm walking too closely in my mother's footsteps. Strangely enough, I learned yesterday that my mom was home with me for almost a year, something I hadn't known before.

Anyway, going back to work, even just for a few hours was really good. Turns out I have missed my friends at the office and missed that aspect of my life. I am glad to be home with Margot and grateful to be able to have this time with her, but also glad that things are the way they are. At least for now :)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

It's all a blur

So all that talk of how new parents don't get any sleep? Turns out it's true. I don't think anyone really buys it until they have a baby and then suddenly you learn the true meaning of sleep deprivation. This is actually the part of parenthood that made me the most nervous. I have always needed my sleep--I never even pulled all-nighters in college--and so the idea of being kept awake by a small, needy person felt intimidating. But c'est la vie. I am now taking the advice of all the other parents we know and trying to nap when the baby naps, which she thankfully does for chunks of the day (on a good day).

The baby continues to grow and amuse us to no end. Actually, at both ends. Because her lungs didn't get constricted by the birth canal, she's still a bit congested and so she makes the most hysterically funny honks, snorts, wheezes, whirs, and beeps. I sometimes wonder how I gave birth to a Snork, but she is the most beautiful Snork I know. Also, if projectile pooping were an Olympic event, it turns out that we'd have a future medalist on our hands. Other babies might be better sleepers or faster eaters but can they poop across the room?

So far maternity leave has been something of a surreal blur, a time that I know I need to treasure but cannot seem to hold on to. I wake up and suddenly it's 5pm and then 3am and then 1pm. The days themselves are full but not with anything that I would have classified as accomplishments prior to the baby. Now it takes planning to get up and unload the dishwasher or run the laundry. I have to strategize to get out of the house. Going for a walk is the high point of our day--if it's warm enough to leave the house, that is. Everything seems to have slowed down and speeded up simultaneously.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Some babies love to go for a drive. Our little bear is not one of them:

This was right before our first trip to the pediatrician and we weren't sure whether the screaming had more to do with the bear suit or the car seat. Turns out, it's the car seat. Which is fine. Unfortunately, M picked up a stomach bug from some of the other kids in our building and did some high volume regurgitation all over the car seat yesterday, so now she hates it AND it smells gross. Yay!

Also, in case the whole Cringer-as-cat-nanny thing sounded hyperbolic, here is some photographic evidence:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow

I can't remember a time when my mother wasn't giddily happy to recount how difficult her labor with me was. "Thirty-two hours and then a c-section!" she'd say. Well, now she can't do it anymore because my story is better: 72 hours and then a c-section. Woo!

We are enjoying being home from the hospital very much. Lunchboy's mom is staying with us for a week, which is amazing and for which we are super grateful. Grandmas are beautiful things. So far Margot is an excellent baby. She eats like a champ, sleeps like a log, and is about the cutest thing I have ever seen. For example:


Griffin and Cringer investigate whether the baby's cuteness surpasses their own:

So far the cats' reactions to the baby have been widely divergent. Griffin isn't sure how we could have misunderstood her dislike for children enough to bring home one of our own, but since we're that dumb she'll tolerate the baby as best she can. Scully is curious but isn't a fan of the crying. Cringer has designated herself nanny cat. When Margot cries, she comes running and start talking back to make sure everything is ok and see if there's anything she can do. She observes breastfeeding with intense interest and likes to sniff Margot's head when I'm feeding her at night. She's the only one of the three who's sleeping on the bed again. The other two mostly like to be where the baby is not. I am hoping they'll come around, but who knows.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Heart-shaped glasses

Margot Lauren
Born February 8, 2009 at 6:41am
8lbs 3oz

We are all happy, healthy, and doing great. More pictures soon.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


1. I woke up at 4am with a head cold and am now really, really glad the bean isn't here yet and doesn't appear to be on the way. Just...bleh.

2. My acupuncturist told me to be patient. Actually, what she said was "Patience is a good thing." I love her but she has no kids and I just want to smack her. I'm so tired of being lectured by people right now. This probably has to do with being tired, sick, and 10 MONTHS PREGNANT, so please keep the advice to yourself lady.

3. If one more person (including my mother) tells me that I can't have the kid until XX date, or that I have to have the kid immediately if not sooner because their schedule doesn't work around ambiguity, I am seriously going to scream. LOUDLY. It doesn't work like that. It's not about you. GET OVER IT.

4. The eviction notice has been served: my doctor went ahead and scheduled me for induction in like 2 weeks, so I am really hoping that something happens before then. From what I hear, Pitocin is like taking a hammer and hitting yourself in the face with it really hard for about 15 hours.

And now the venting is done.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Vamped out

Over the last nine months, food has been Lunchboy's way of contributing to my pregnancy. It's been his way of making sure I and and baby are taken care of. He's relished the unpredictable donut cravings, the 11pm PB&J requests, the desperate need for cheeseburgers at completely random moments. He bought and read books about eating for a healthy pregnancy and cooked dinners even when I wasn't hungry just because he wanted to make sure I'd have good food in case I changed my mind.

So as we've started revving up for the baby's imminent arrival (though to be honest, right now I think this kid is happily camped out with no plans of leaving the premises anytime soon), Lunchboy found this meal plan online that is supposed to keep us in frozen dinners for a few weeks after we bring the baby home. Yesterday he embarked on a 9-hour food preparation and cooking spree that involved every dish in the kitchen and what seemed like a metric ton of Ziploc bags. While he cooked, he watched a couple of movies on the DVR that he'd been dying to watch but hadn't had a chance yet. For some reason half of the movies were horror movies and one of them was 30 Days of Night. Thinking that I was a grownup on the verge of becoming a parent (and parents are supposed to scare away the monsters under the bed), I made the gigantic mistake of parking myself on the couch and watching half of the movie.

Other than zombies and aliens, vampires are my great childhood fear. I can't explain it. They terrified me to the point that, when I was 10, I sprinkled garlic powder on the carpet in my bedroom. My parents had the rug cleaned but the smell never really came out and I was totally ok with that because it meant that the vampires would never make it all the way to my bed. Anyway, the problem is that even though I know they're not real, the fear sticks in my head for weeks. So last night, when I woke up at 5am as usual in need of chocolate milk, I started down the stairs and found myself face to face with a vision of the vampires from the movie, and turned right around and went back upstairs to bed. The idea of shrieking, toothy creatures lurking around every dark corner was just too much. Parking downstairs in the garage after yoga tonight? Also not good. Being home alone? I have all the lights and the TV on. I am my 13-year-old self. But at least the kitchen smells like the 40 cloves of garlic that Lunchboy used to cook his phalanx of food. That has to count for something, right?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Last night I dreamed that I was carrying the baby around in her snowsuit and another mom asked me how old she was, but I couldn't answer because I didn't know the baby's birthday. Then I dreamed I was back in college and was trying to figure out how to take classes with the baby in tow. Could I breastfeed in the back of class? It all seemed to make sense in the dream. I think.

The weekly snowstorm is raging outside and I am grateful to be cozy on the couch with no shoveling to be done. The cats are being ridiculously lazy and I cannot blame them. They are also slowly colonizing the nursery--Scully's new snoozing spot is smack in the middle of the glider that Lunchboy's mom got us for Christmas. On the crib blanket no less. After finding Griffin sleeping in the crib one too many times, we have lined the crib with tin foil and that seems to be keeping her out, but she is still stubbornly addicted to the changing table. Most spoiled cats EVER.

I'm due in 10 days and I am EXCITED. Also impatient, though I don't really have cause to be. I am having lots of contractions but they aren't going anywhere yet, so I am just walking as much as I can, taking lots of baths, eating lightly, and taking things as they come. On Monday the doctor told me that I'm 1cm dilated, which made me giggle because while it means that things are kicking into gear, it's also like passing the one mile marker when running a marathon. This part of the journey is such a lesson in letting go and nonattachment. I just can't wait to see what this little person will be like!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

All in my head

Last night I had a birth dream, the first baby-related dream I've had since getting knocked up. In the dream, I went into labor but could not find the doctor or the hospital or Lunchboy. I was surrounded by chaos but felt completely calm. When it was time, I found a lovely spot in an outdoor garden and gave birth admidst flowers and greenery. It felt very important to be in nature. One push (definitely a dream). She had her eyes open when she emerged and it was so amazing to meet her.

Also yesterday, I hoovered an entire bag of Gummi Savers--on the way to the dentist, no less. Could this have caused the dream? Anything is possible.

I boomerang between feeling safe assuming that I've got 3-5 weeks to go and waking up every day wondering if today will be the day. Every twinge gets me thinking. Signs that make other people think things are afoot turn out to be nothing, so I have stopped putting much stock in anything but patience. This is hard for me, as I have never been a patient person.

It doesn't help that symptoms from the first trimester are re-emerging, probably due to all the hormonal insanity going on. I have a weird taste in my mouth all the time. My appetite is reduced but I only want very specific foods (almost entirely carbs and processed sugar). I FEEL weird but assume that has more to do with the crap I'm eating than any imminent changes. I spent 7 months avoiding sugar like the plague but now cannot resist cookies/gummi bears/chocolate/anything sweet. It's gross and perplexing, but lean protein now tastes awful to me. WTF???

I was sort of hoping for an inauguration baby, but I don't think preference plays into that kind of thing. Hooray Obama!! I never want to see or hear from GWB ever, ever, ever again.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What could possibligh go wrong?

Griffin's new napping spot:

37 weeks (with new kitchen, dining room, part of the living room, and a snacking Scully in the background):

Feeling much better. Not commuting seems to have stopped me from becoming a walking sponge. We hung curtains in the nursery today, and now it's all mostly in place. Griffin agrees--the changing table has actually distracted her from sitting in the crib, which had become her new favorite game. Cat thinks she is a child. What a rude awakening she's going to have...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The big heavy

So last week was a tough week for me. Work was crazy and I felt progressively more and more like I was carrying an anvil around on my back. By Sunday I was on the couch and felt bad enough that I uncurled myself from my nest only long enough to take a long, hot bath at noon instead of right before bed. Lunchboy found me in the tub, lolling like a beached whale, and said "tub time already?" I was like, "I am never getting out, if you need me you know where to find me." And then I cried. Everything hurt. My hands and feet were so swollen and painful that I couldn't open the child-safe cap on the Listerine and my running shoes felt like they were squeezing the life out of me.

At my weekly doctor's appointment the next day, I found out I'd gained 5 pounds in one week. "It's all fluid," the doctor said. REALLY. But then she said the magic words: "Are you ready to be done with work? Because I'd like to get you off your feet so this fluid retention stops." And I said yes, yes I am. So now I am on modified bed rest, an ambiguous term that somehow encompasses working from home and the possibility of short term disability, depending on how the insurance company decides to handle it. All I know is I can lie down for most of the day and this is the greatest, most amazing development I can imagine. Except, you know, giving birth.

It has been very, very difficult for me to come to terms with the level of discomfort that I've felt over the past two weeks. Pregnancy is supposed to be beautiful, right? I'm supposed to be glowing and fulfilled by the creation of life in my womb at every possible moment. No one seems to gripe about the last few weeks. In my prenatal yoga class there are 4 women who are at 41+ weeks and they all talk about how fabulous they feel and how they could go on being pregnant forever. That is not me right now. I am pretty miserable and don't feel sincere about trying to put a happy face on it. Should I be stronger or at least stop whining? I often feel that way. But I am definitely feeling very positive about having this baby and taking care of her *outside*.

Friday, January 09, 2009

It's not about babies!

What this week has been like:

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

They weren't kidding

I thought I wanted to nest a few weeks ago, but what's come over me the last few days takes the concept to a whole new level. I can't stop sweeping the house. The dresser and changing table finally arrived and I'm itching to get everything put away and ready. Even though she probably won't be sleeping in it immediately, the crib bedding is washed and the crib is made up. I can't concentrate on anything other than getting organized and making sure the floor is clean clean clean. I see myself doing it and I know it's insane but I can't stop.

A couple of our friends are now placing bets on when the bean will actually make an appearance. So far we have January 23 and January 25. I'm not due for another month but apparently I am carrying really low (I can't tell). It would be really wonderful if she hung in until she's full term in another week and a half, but after that--fire away. I'm in that weird, lumbering phase where I can't move very well and nothing fits and I'm generally uncomfortable most of the time, but I otherwise feel fine. When she moves, my whole belly moves. Bathtime has turned into a series of scenes from Alien, where my torso goes through these amazing ripples and contortions.

This whole experience has been such a ride. There are moments when I get nervous about giving birth, but right now I'm in a place where I'm just so excited to meet this tiny person and see what she's like. I'm incredibly curious to see how the rest of this journey plays out and what happens when.

More than a rumor

On Sunday we went to a party celebrating Lunchboy's grandparents' 70th wedding anniversary. That's 7-0. I mean, how often do you see that? It's amazing and it was such a great way to start the new year. They got married when his grandfather was 23 and his grandmother was 19, and they are both in their early 90s now. They had nine children, who have created this gigantic family of grandkids, great grandkids, cousins, in-laws, and more children than I've seen at your average daycare center. The room was filled with people laughing, hugging, crying, and watching his grandparents, who held hands the entire time, be interviewed by the evening news. I had this deep feeling of satisfaction watching the reporter ask them questions about what kept them together for so long. Maybe it's just that the news these days is usually so awful that I loved knowing there was something good going on that wouldn't get buried underneath more depressing stories. Later, his grandparents fed each other cake and drank fizzy apple juice. They were amazing to watch. When we went to say hello to them (we had to wait in line--how great is that?), his grandmother put her hand on my belly and said "We're all counting the days!"

Not too many more days to count. I'm due a month from today. The bean will be our first addition to our little family, but it just expanded my heart by a factor of 50 to know that she'll be part of this enormous family that's just waiting to meet her.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Diving in whole hog

Happy new year! I am serious. I am full of hope and faith that 2009 will be all that 2008 wasn't. It feels like everyone is pretty excited to put 2008 behind them. I guess we can only have our asses handed to us so many times in the space of 12 months before we need a fresh start, a clean slate. For me, 2008 was a year of serious ups and downs and I know there will be more of those coming, so my intentions for the year are focused on stability in as much as one can ask for that. Though it sounds naive, I am optimistic about the power of staying open to growth and change, and I feel like there is a lot of that power around at the start of a new year. To me, it's like diving into a pool at the height of summer and instantly feeling cooled and cleansed. But then that may be the hormones talking. Even so, I wish this sense of optimism for all my friends and hope that 2009 will be kickass in the best possible way.