Monday, September 29, 2008

Four Months Old

Check out that mug. And those toes. Don't you just want to pluck her right out of that picture and smother her in kisses? Jelly had her 4-month photo shoot this weekend, in a totally ridiculous dress that her Tata FORCED me to buy. She loved it. And, why not? Soft velour-y arms, a nice fuzzy absorbent collar to catch drool, and a sparkly, silk-and-net skirt. Some day she is going to force me to let her wear stuff like this to the grocery store, and I'm going to totally give in BECAUSE IT'S JUST SO DAMN CUTE!!! Really, it makes me weak. Don't look directly at it!!!
We had a nice, non-flat-tire weekend. There was a yard sale at Mariposa School, which was kinda neat because that's the name of the school my dad taught at for like a billion years, and my sister and I attended for a few. We got there late, but there were still some good bargains (like Baby's First Dishwasher, so I can get her trained good and early). We did the Farmer's Market yesterday, and there was a nice breeze so Jellybean was very happy. I bought persimmons, and promptly threw them out when we got home because they smelled so funky I couldn't even begin to cope with how I was going to eat them or cook them in something. So much for my brave new buy.
It's hard to believe it's almost October. JJ has to go for her shots tomorrow and it makes me sick to my stomach to think how unhappy she's going to be. I'm going to ask the doctor about starting her on solids (gave her a teensy bit of applesauce last night and I thought she was going to get up and walk into the kitchen to find her own spoon) and about her sleeping pattern. I've dropped the 11pm feeding so that she goes into her crib at 9p (unhappily - we play 'rock the baby til she falls asleep, put her in her crib, she sleeps for 10-15 minutes then wakes up SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER because she's so ticked off she's not being held, so pick up the baby and rock her some more, repeat 10 times') and sleeps til 5a - but I think I need to let her fall back asleep instead of rushing in to get her. She's still tired and obviously isn't starving. Gawd, that would be so awesome, if I could sleep from like 10:30 til 6:30. Mmmmm... delicious elusive sleep.

I am still totally in awe of her, I realized yesterday. I was watching her sleep, and despite the calendar (and the c-section scar), still cannot believe she's here, and she's mine, and she's becoming a little person. Her new trick this weekend was to 'fake cough'. There are more clothes that she's outgrown that have to be packed away. I have to start looking for a new car seat. She's just plain awesome.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Countdown Starts

Don't you want to just squeeze this?!
It’s a cold, rainy day. It’s glorious. It is the opposite of a scalding hot, can’t-think-because-it-will-make-me-sweat, summer day. And I am loving it. I snuggled in the wee hours of the dark morning with a baby-in-a-bag, whispering lovies in her tiny shell-pink ears and snuffling her soft almost-gone hair. Then we got dressed quickly in the chilly nursery, giggling nonsense to ‘hurry, hurry, it’s COLD!’ that was very funny to Jelly. Wrapped in fuzzy pink fleece, she kicked and babbled in the kitchen while I made a nice hot cup of Lady Grey, and together we woke up Suki (my laptop), to watch online videos of Princess Chunks. She laughs every time the funny baby in the video laughs, it’s the best entertainment around.

For lunch I made steamy hot creamy tomato-basil soup and perfect OCD grilled cheese for me and Nanny. Yes, you read that right – grilled cheese is another victim to my arbitrary rules. The bread must be pre-treated in warm melty butter before it is cooked, and you have to use AT LEAST 1 ½ Kraft Singles (no other cheese, EVER, I don’t go in for those hippie foccacia-and-gruyere bastardizations), and, of course, the sandwich must be sliced into gooey triangles. It totally hit the spot washed down with a tall cool glass of grape Kool-Aid.

I’m wearing fuzzy pink socks from Aunt Bev. And a fuzzy pink hoodie sweatshirt. And I did more work in the first 2 hours of the day than I have all week. It’s weird, because I remember the cold weather seasons as being the times that were hardest to get out of bed, most difficult to stay awake for. Not so. I slept a little better, and have energy to think about cooking Grandma’s stew or Cincinnati chili for dinner, and am eagerly anticipating getting my hands on that soft warm baby again for some evening TV and hot chocolate. Last night we rocked on the porch for a bottle feeding and heard the geese pass overhead, and I told her, ‘Listen, they’re Canadians, like you!’

I just may be a Northerner.

October is almost here, and that means the Fair, and the Harvest Festival, and Halloween. It means 9 million varieties of apples at the Farmer’s Market, all available for tasting for people like me who have to have their apples crispy and sweet-sharp, perfect for frying with onions and bratwurst or slicing into golden pies or nibbling with mild cheddar. October means Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and family and turkey. And putting up The Christmas Tree.

Just 3 months from today. Happy September 25!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How Could She Have Changed This Much Already?

Wednesday’s Child is Full of Whoa! and Woe is Me

Jellybean is awesome. Awesome, awesome, awesome. She is an easy laugher (the word ‘goober’ sends her into stitches), is ticklish on every square inch of her chubby little body (especially her neck cleavage), and thinks ‘The Momma Show’ (where I sing to her but insert her name instead of key words, and pretend my hands are puppets) is high entertainment. The Best Baby in the World is officially sleeping through the night (it’s been a week so I can cautiously say that), from around 10p to 5:30 or 6:30. She recently discovered she can make a farty noise by blowing on my arm, so is officially as skilled as a 14-year old boy. And she’s almost bald, it’s hilarious. I look at her and think, ‘Yes, this is EXACTLY what I had hoped having a baby would be like, but never thought I’d get’.

Me, I’m not doing so hot. I was glad I had a phlebitis follow-up appointment yesterday, because Sunday morning I went to pick up Jenny in the carseat to go to the Farmer’s Market and almost passed out. I wisely decided to go lay down for a few hours with her instead. Despite the fact that the littlest angel has done so well with sleeping, I am waking up more than when she was a newborn. With headaches, in the middle of the night. And it’s going on three weeks that I’ve, uh, had some stomach flu-ish issues. So I’m weak and rundown and of course not eating properly and my leg aches etc. etc. I’m a big baby, yes, I know. So the doctor advised me to stop taking the anti-inflammatories for a week (despite the fact he also PRESCRIBED me some), and stop taking the Seasonique, and did some blood work, and we’ll see what happens. I’m also on a nice bland diet and a regimen of vitamins and Pedialyte (the most disgusting beverage in the world – I add Kool Aid singles to it like the grown-up I am). I am going to go ahead and move Jelly into the nursery in the hopes that will help with the sleep, because I really think that’s a big part of it.

Oh, and I got the flu shot for the first time ever. Dr. Jones (isn’t that great?! That’s my new local doctor!) guilted me into it with all the ‘baby this’ and ‘baby that’ talk. I would be very unhappy if I gave Jellybean the flu, so I gave in.

In more ‘I’ve Given Up’ news, I have started making meals that have the word ‘Easy’ or ‘Kid-Friendly’ preceding them, and call for ingredients like Velveeta and frozen hash browns. Dude, seriously, my window for making AND eating dinner is like 30 minutes, tops. I totally feel like a quitter though – I made the Parents Magazine Easy Southwestern Frittata (yes, the opposite of bland, I know, I’m not doing so well with the diet) and it took like 15 minutes and was damn tasty. Don’t judge me. You know you’d love a bite of tasty frittata with hash browns and turkey sausage and egg beaters. And leftovers made a great breakfast sandwich. *sob* My book is going to be called ‘Going from Ouzo Chicken With Orzo to Spam Meatloaf in One Pregnancy’.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Two Kinds of Exciting

It's Wednesday - do you know where your post is?

Things That Irritate Me This Week

Sarah Palin
Casey Anthony
The Vineyard’s Tuesday dinner hours

Things That Are Awesome This Week

The weather in Boston
A new season of ‘House’
Starbucks in the morning
21 hours of sleep so far!
Tomorrow I see Lex/Princess Chunks/Pudge/Jellybean
If you count Sunday as the first day of the week, which some crazy people do, I would also include ‘Lake Jordan’ in things that were totally awesome this week. It was very much a ‘glass-in-the-eye’/’rollercoaster’ type of week, starting with spending time in the Wake Med ER because I apparently have stupid phlebitis (but, thankfully, not a blood clot that is going to rip free and go traveling and kill me on an American Airlines flight) and continuing with a terrific day at Jordan Lake with SPOT (Single Parents of the Triangle). Then I had to go to Boston, which kinda sucks, but is kinda totally awesome because I’ve caught up on my sleep and had some great meals and the weather is GORGEOUS and Monday is the First Day of Autumn! And I think that brings us up-to-date.

Sarah Palin = Book-burner
Casey Anthony = Sociopath
Phlebitis = Ouchy
The Vineyard = Closed on Tuesdays
Work = Just not into it

Weather = 69 degrees, my ideal temperature
'House' = Poor, poor Wilson
Starbucks = Perfect breakfast - Pumpkin Spice Latte and a slice of Pumpkin Loaf
Sleep = Needed it SO bad, so glorious
Jelly = MISS HER, want to squeeze

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mostly Sound Mind

It’s 9/11, and where did I find myself this morning? On top of Mr. Shaky (insert funny sex joke here), my least favorite rickety ladder in the world, trying to bludgeon the smoke detector in my bedroom with a pair of kitchen tongs. An hour before my appointment with the young easily intimidated lawyer to sign my will.

I guess you do get smarter with age, because I wisely gave up swinging at the 5-am-beeping-alarm and climbed down off the radically tilting ladder, called up Tata, and went and borrowed her much more stable aluminum (or ‘aluminium’ if you’re Loud) ladder. Stupid vaulted ceilings. Stupid Mr. Shaky. I NEED TO GET RID OF IT. Before it sneaks into the house in the middle of the night and falls over on me.

The legal appointment went well, although thank god young Heyward (his real name, seriously) wasn’t in the room when I started reviewing the documents, because I tittered when I saw myself described as the ‘testatrix’. So awesome. The Testatrix. It’s like the perfect mix of dirty words and actions. Yes, I am a 14-year old boy and an idiot. I definitely need to get a fireproof safe that I can instantly lose the combination to.

I ended up taking Jilly to the doctor’s yesterday, despite the fact I could have written down word for word everything he said in advance of the visit. Yes, I’m doing everything I can. No, she’s quite obviously not wasting away from malnutrition and lack of love. Yes, she is the cutest baby in the whole wide world.

The gloomy weather continues, which is not very conducive to staying awake at my desk. I am spending my days propped up by a tonic of Red Bull, Pepsi, and Sweet Tea (no, not mixed together, that’s just gross). The Bean did a little better in her crib last night but is still totally pissed off at being ejected from the nice cozy bassinette. I got to see real tears last night, which ripped a little hole in my grotesquely sappy new-mother heart. It’s apparently much, much easier when it’s not your kid, who knew?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


There are times when it’s easy to lose sight of what you’ve got. We always want more free time, more sleep, a bigger paycheck, a bigger house, a nicer car, a doting partner, a thinner waist. We know that we should be glad to have our health, our friends, our families, but it’s easy to take them for granted.

My dental hygienist, D., who is about the sweetest person I know and has a perfect smile (duh), has been trying to get pregnant for several years now with her equally precious husband. She and my dentist, a single mom, were shocked and amazed when they heard the details of Jenny’s conception, and jumped on the supportive bandwagon immediately. The past few months D. has been going through IVF and fertility treatments, and it’s been agonizing to watch. She’s younger than me (early 30’s) and in otherwise perfect health. At my August visit she was excited because they had 5 viable eggs that looked good, and I was hopeful right along with her. Yesterday she popped in to the exam room to tell me the attempt had failed, and that they’d try again in October. I told her the story of Jellybean barfing on me, and as soon as it was out of my mouth realized how stupid I was.

I’ve become one of those people.

Worse than a Smug Married, I’m a Smug Mother. Despite being single and despite the statistics, I was able to conceive in the quiet and comfort of my own house, free of charge. There were no doctors or shots co-pays. And I got Jelly. D. should have slapped me. I knew the mistake I’d made as soon as I saw her face. Despite her sympathetic laugh, I knew that look all too well. That look said, ‘Don’t you know I would love to have a baby throw up on me? Don’t you understand that I would cherish those missed hours of sleep, delight in those diaper changes? Don’t you see me, going through pain and hope and disappointment and anger and despair, and preparing to do it all over again, and again, to have that burden you bear?’

And there’s no guarantee it will work. She has no way of knowing if months or years of trying will give her the baby she so desperately wants. What if I had not been successful when I was? What if the house situation had fallen apart earlier and faster and I’d moved out and lost my chance? Yes, I’d have my savings account back, but so what? True, I would be caught up on the new movie releases, but who cares?

I need to be grateful every single day. When she’s sick, when I’m sick, when I’m broke, when I’m tired, when I have to leave her to go to Boston, when I’m missing out on ‘firsts’ because she’s with Nanny. Big deal. I HAVE her.

Monday, September 8, 2008

WKRPoo from Cincinnati

The exciting thing about having a baby is that everything in your world is re-defined. You suddenly realize you had no idea what true ‘fear’ was until you are in an airport and lean over to get something from under the stroller, and, as you are sitting up, think to yourself, ‘What if someone walked past and lifted her out in that split second, and she won’t be there when I sit up?’ You realize that your capacity to love and be patient with another person is much, much greater than you (or your friends) would’ve thought. A ‘Monday’ in the past just meant the weekend was over, but now a rough Monday means you wake up to an infant blasting diarrhea two inches away from your face, and after you change her and rinse out her jammies and get her dressed she accidentally sticks her fingers too far down her throat and vomits all over you. Before 7:00 am. Hello, Monday.

So Jenny and I are obviously still under the weather, and I didn’t realize how bad I was until I was taking my first rectal temperature (hers, not mine) and got all dizzy and nauseous. Surprise, surprise, I had a fever also. But life must go on, so I still did the requisite 80 loads of laundry and bottle-washing and got unpacked from the evil trip and cleaned the house etc. etc. And that brings us back to Monday, and being exhausted at work. Seriously, I know that people do this all the time and with less help, but really? Again, thank sweet 8-lb little baby Jesus that Beaner is such a good baby. It makes it extra-sad that she has continued to be sunny and good-natured despite the constant poo-splosions and lack of sleep. SUCH A GOOD BABY. Please, someone make a note to remind me of this when she’s two. And twelve. And sixteen. Oh, and I cried when I took her temperature. Yes, I really am that much of a wuss. I found it to be exceedingly traumatic. I guess I just don’t think it’s right to put something in someone else’s bum without their express permission, no matter how hysterical they seem to think it is or that it is for their own good.

And I also have to go to the dentist this afternoon. Icing on the cake, baby.

Hopefully everyone out there in the internets is having a barf-and-poo –free day. Fingers crossed for my Jenny to get better very, very soon.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Internets Keep on Turning

It’s FRIDAY!!!!

I made it. Jenny made it. The majority of the rest of the world made it. Hallelujah.

Jellybean seems to be feeling ok. Not because she got a lot of sleep, because boy howdy, she did NOT want to go to bed last night. From 9p-12a she was wriggly and chatty and kept making faces at me to try and crack me up. I'm so easy. And then she woke up at 5:30a, a time I shall henceforth refer to as 'Praying for the Sweet Release of Death'. But it's Friday, so I can deal.

I am still on a high from setting up my new wireless network yesterday. Easy peasy, lemon cheesy. I feel like I have so much more control since it wasn’t set up by Loud, who does god-knows-what to networks. Plus I could rename it, so it cracks me up when I’m working and I have an excellent connection to ‘Jellybean’. I even got the Tivo server working again, which had decided it was unhappy for no good reason about the Vonage router going away. I emailed my boss to see if I could expense the new router, but didn’t hear back, which is never a good sign. Ah, well, I tried. Next step is to tackle my stupid printer, which I managed to connect to the network but will still not print wirelessly nor network scan. But at least everything went smoothly and I understood what was going on, and it’s very space-agey-looking, which is nice.

Hannah, huh? As if we need a hurricane this weekend. Not that I care, because I can’t go out and spend money like I normally do on Saturdays, and Sunday was already pre-booked as Jammie Jam. Don’t know about Jammie Jam? That is when you spend an extended amount of time in your pajamas, either late into the day or starting very early in the evening, or sometimes all day, and have poor eating habits and become one with the couch and watch an inordinate amount of ‘Law and Order’ (any flavor) while snuggling your favorite baby. And also you pretend there is no such thing as ‘laundry’ or ‘vaccuming’ or 'Monday'.

Dentist next week, Boston the following week, and Jenny's 4-month appointment on the 30th. Exciting times.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Travel Bug Bites Bean

It’s official. We’re never leaving the house again. It hurts me to see my baby unhappy and in pain, and I hate the idea of giving a 3 ½-month-old Pedialyte.

Jenny apparently picked up a bug or virus or something this past weekend, and has had a fever and some eating problems and some disgusting poo-ing issues (I don’t think that ‘mucous’ and ‘poo’ belong in the same sentence together, EVER). And some sleeping issues. She wanted to wake up at 2:30a and 5:30a and I did not, so we had a difference of opinion. Plus then she was awake from 5:30a until EXACTLY 10 minutes before I had to get up. Barf.

So, yeah, the Cincinnati trip. Well, Beaner was a rockstar. We did all the right things like changing diapers right before boarding and either eating or having a pacifier during takeoff and landing, and otherwise she just slept. It was a lot more work than business travel, however, lugging that stroller etc. through the x-ray machine and juggling a baby. No, no one offered to help. Stupid strangers.
It was nice to see everyone and show off the baby, but it wasn’t oh-it-will-be-a-breeze-because-so-many-people-will-hold-her-for-you like I’d been promised. First of all, she was freaked out and over-tired and a bazillion degrees so she cried at almost everybody. Secondly, people want to hold a happy baby, not change or feed an unhappy baby, and everything was a struggle because we were in a strange place. At one point I was trying to get a bottle ready and people were forming a group around us, watching as she screamed and I sweated, and they kept trying to talk to me (“Wow, looks like you’re having a tough time, bet you didn’t realize you’d have an audience!”) and I just wanted to scream. I finally went upstairs to try to get her to sleep, despite the fact it was even hotter, because at least there wasn’t a parade going by. So, uh, that sucked. Shortly thereafter I realized my throbbing headache was a full-on migraine and things went downhill fast. Relatives started freaking out at me about getting my parents and grandmother home since we were low on designated drivers, and that’s when I unfortunately got a little snippy. I started trying to organize things but the effort of not vomiting was more pressing, so I found my grandmother a ride and then I think I said something to the effect of, “They’re grownups and need to deal with this, Seacrest out”.

The next morning was brunch with the family, which was greasy but fine (the brunch, not the family), and then there was some confusion because my mom and brother and sister went shopping while I sat at my Grandmother’s with The Bean and my father for a few hours. So I didn’t get to spend any time with my youngest sister, who I hadn’t seen in a year. So that blew. Although my dad spent a few minutes with Jelly that were really super-cute, and of course my Grandmother LOVED it.
Dinner that evening was exactly what I didn’t want – more noise and heat and chaos. I was planning to meet my Top 3 favorite cousins for a nice quiet dinner, but everyone ended up deciding to come, so there were 21 of us. Yep, twenty-one. Again, nice to see my family, but I was so maxed out on stress and lack of sleep (did I mention the couch?) and couldn’t drink like everyone else (baby + afraid of triggering another migraine) that it was not a fun evening. I have pledged to be much nicer to teetotalers from now on.
Yes, there were some good things – my cousin’s 10-year old daughter was freaking precious with Jellybean, at my elbow the whole time asking questions and wanting to dress her and give her a bottle. There were some good laughs at dinner, mostly at everyone else’s expense (we’re a cruel people). I got some quiet time with my Grandma. She got to meet Beaner. I got to see my family, albeit briefly. I now appreciate business travel even more. Cousin J held Jelly so I could eat at least one meal on Saturday. I didn’t have to pay for a hotel. Everything went (relatively) smoothly with the flights (I didn’t mention the delay flying out, because it was traumatic).

So now I’m just counting down the hours til the weekend when Jenny and I can get some quality rest and extended jammie time, and I’m going to start worrying about how to cope with Christmas.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

No Place Like Home

The Bean meets Great-Grandma

Rough weekend. Awesome to see everyone, but hot, tired, long, physically exhausting, got a migraine, thanks everyone for your help, Jenny starting to sleep through the night (hurrah!), still got no sleep due to couch (but it was free!), too much travel in such a short time, no one would help me in Security, felt awful for M. plus wanted to scream every time she touched Baby, I was the sober one which wasn't as much fun, felt awful for B. chasing around a very active toddler. Everything was just hard and I'm sure everyone now thinks (if they didn't already) that I am a crazy bitch because I totally started to shut down at about 5 pm on Saturday and am still not back to where I need to be yet. There's not enough Advil in the world for an event like that. And poor Jenny. So hot and loud and scary and exhausting for her. This is one of those times when doing this on my own really, really sucked and made a supposed-to-be-fun weekend miserable. Thank God Beaner is THE BEST BABY IN THE WHOLE WORLD.
More details to follow once I have a little space and perspective on the event happenings so can post less doom-and-gloom-ily. And am more caught up on sleep.