Friday, June 30, 2006

In the Hood:

I live in Dutch's least favorite neighborhood. And over in our hood, within a few block radius, there are few eateries I enjoy. Sure, there are lots of dive burrito and torta places, but I'm a slightly trepidatious restaruanteer. I like venturing out, but cleanliness, or lack thereof, makes me a little nervous. So there are lots of places in the hood that I don't go. One that I do enjoy, however, is San Francisco's oldest ice cream parlor. It might be a bit of a misnomer, because it was bought out by some young hipsters a few years ago, and while they have all the original decor, they also serve things like tofu scrambles. Which I actually really enjoy.

There has been much speculation of late about the soon-to-be-reopened Roosevelt's Tamale Factory- another old-school San Francisco landmark, just a few doors down from St. Francis. I walked by yesterday and noticed that they had finally reopened and was curious to check out the goods. I had not heard that it was bought out or anything, just that it was reopening. It is a place I had enjoyed on occasion in its previous life. We met up with some friends there last night and immediately it was clear that things had changed. The decor was polished, there were young, white faces behind the counter, and there were no Mexicans eating inside. I surveyed the menu and asked the young hipster about one intriguing item- stone-ground organic corn tostaditos. In case you ever run into the same thing on a menu, let me translate for you: chips.

I'm torn. Part of me likes stone-ground organic corn tostaditos and veggie burgers available to me within two blocks of my house. But some days it really feels like it's gone too far. Yesterday, I leaned toward the latter.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Baby Einstein:

Like most first-time parents, the posthip household began an earnest endeavor at obtaining appropriate apparatuses (apparati? I'm not sure the plural) for our child. We were not overly concerned with the house being overrun with large, colorful plastic, and happily took whatever our friends threw at us. Swing? Sure! Bouncy chair? Of course! Exersaucer that is as large as our couch? Why not? Let me be the first to state that all of these (actually, I can't yet speak to the Exersaucer as we are not "there" yet) are great placaters of The Olive. Every day, she sits in her bouncy chair while I take a shower. I call the lights her "friends" (as in, "Do you want to go see your friends?"), and she never questions me (a great trait in a baby, really). In the past two days, I have actually seen her smile at both the bouncy chair AND the playmat. Now maybe if you have an older child, or you are not a parent (in which case I feel terrible for boring you with this total crap, sorry!) this is not that exciting, but to see her smile at an inantimate object is such a total trip. Who is this developing person who moved in with us, anyway?

Anyway, all of this is to say that the real reason for all of this junk is obvious- ANOTHER PLACE TO THROW YOUR CLOTHES! Also, please note yoga ball #3 in this photo (The Olive really likes being bounced on this ball. Yoga ball #1 burst, we assume from overuse. Yoga ball #2 was pushed into the space heater by some of our younger visitors.)

Also, The Olive being all posthip and shit:

And yes, I am shamelessly using my child to advertise my blog. Is that a problem?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Dog Days:

Living with me these days is like living with a hairy dog in Spring. I sweep the floors and there are piles of my hair everywhere. There is hair on the Brita, hair in my shoes, and I swear to you, as I type this, I found a hair in the cookies I made last night. I knew my hair would fall out after childbirth, but I just didn't know it would happen ALL AT ONCE.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Two Years and Two Months:

Two Years

And Two Months

(I had a whole blog post in my head, and have been trying to type it all day, but now it is 11:00 at night and I am just too tired.)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Clearly I'm Old:

While the car has been broken into twice, neither time did they choose to take any of my CD's. Too bad, a little lesbian folk might do them good.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Fun with PhotoBooth:

I believe this is how The Olive views us.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My neurotic husband can totally kick your neurotic husband's ass:

The water department came today to check something with our water. I wasn't here, but when I returned, the toilet water was blue. I assumed they do that to do some sort of check (technological language not included in this blog entry). When The Lovely Beausband returned home from work tonight, I informed him of this development (I know, it's a thrilling life we lead here). "Well, that's fine," he said, "but I hope it doesn't stay that way." "Why?" I asked, "You have something against blue toilet water?" "Well," he said seriously, "that is the only potable water in the house." This comment got a blank stare from yours truly. "In case there's an earthquake, that's what we can drink."

I ask you, Internet. Who THINKS about this sort of thing?
I believe the following conversation actually proves my hipness:

Phc: Blah, blah Brittney Spears pregnant blah, blah.
Mom: Blah, blah white trash blah, blah.
Phc: Blah, blah awful gross husband blah.
Mom: Blah dirty looking blah.
Phc: Blah, blah "we're country" blah.
Mom: What is she famous for anyway? Is she a singer?
Phc: (long pause) I honestly don't know.
What a difference a day makes:

One Benadryl (safe for nursing moms!), a different room, and nine hours have made me a better person.

Thank you all for your advice.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I have to warn you, I might be going crazy.

When The Olive was first born, I made many comments to people about how I was totally doing ok with the sleep deprivation. I was fine! This is not so bad! I can live! Now, I want to wring my past selves neck. And then beg her for answers, because how did she do it?

Now, every night, I lie in bed for hours, completely unable to sleep. It is horrible. A type of horror I have never actually known. The Olive falls asleep and I am exhausted beyond any reasonable state and I know I only have a certain amount of time before she will wake up. And I lie there. And lie there. And then start to drift off. And then wake up, in a panic. Then the adrenaline starts and I can't fall back to sleep.

Ditto the experience every time I try to nap during the day.

It doesn't matter if she is next to me or in the other room. I don't think it would matter if she were in China.

To compound this already lovely situation, the sleep deprivation is causing panic attacks. When I don't sleep, the next day is like a slow-motion horror film. I am angry and panicked and totally traumatized. I don't think I can make it through the day. All I want is to fall asleep. But when I go to nap, I just lie there and lie there and lie there.

I honestly don't know what to do. I cannot continue to exist like this; it is a completely unreasonable way to live. I am a total mess.

The doctor said, if necessary, I could take some ativan. There are no known studies of ativan and breastfeeding, so it makes me nervous.

But I don't know what else to do.

Monday, June 19, 2006


It would be nice if someday I made as much money as I did when I was 23 and didn't have a college degree.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Dads, Redux:

It's been many years since I've had occasion to celebrate Father's Day. The last one I remember was the year I turned 18, just a few weeks before graduating high school. My own father gave me nothing for either event, but a few weeks later, right before Father's Day, called to tell me which watch he wanted. And I got it for him. The guilt, it runneth deep.

I'm not sure if The Lovely Beausband has ever celebrated Father's Day. My dad is crazy; his was an alcoholic who left when he was young and drank himself to death fifteen years ago. They were not, shall we say, in touch. I don't think I've ever heard him say a complimentary word about his dad.

Being a new mom is hard- harder than I thought in many ways. But at least I have models to work with. The Lovely Beausband has to go completely on instinct, and the knowledge of what not to do. There's no dad around to tell him he's doing a good job, or commiserate with him about what it means to be a father. We've got nothing here but estrogen to keep him company.

But somehow, even without that guidance, he knows exactly what to do. And when he doesn't, he's willing to learn, which is probably worth a lot more. It is hard at this age with The Olive- she has eyes for the one who feeds her. Biology is funny like that. But I see how hard her dad is working to get to know her, and to make sure she knows he is willing to do anything for her. Sometimes I am even a little jealous that he gets to know her in a way that isn't so physical or need-based. He just gets to love her, without her taking so much from him. Their relationship is set up to be so different.

I don't know what the future holds for any of us in our little family. But the past has a long history of men who leave (seriously- we both have divorced GRANDPARENTS. who else has divorced grandparents?). I know one thing for sure- The Olive is never going to have a story to tell with a disappearing dad. A dad who embarrasses her? Sure. A dad who has high expectations? Absolutely. But a dad who leaves? Never.

I wish I had a better dad. I wish The Lovely Beausband had a better dad. But I cannot imagine The Olive having a better dad. And that? That is healing.

Happy Father's Day.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Doctor's Orders:

I'd like to go ahead and quote my doctor here when I asked her about post-partum sex: "I suggest you inebriate and lubricate."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Are we at the fair?

Nope, just enjoying my new computer (pic taken with photoboth). What, I forgot to mention that? I don't know how, what with the fact that I started my new job, left Olivia alone for the first time, have massive sleep exhaustion, miss my mom, and the car has been broken into again. I mean, I've got nothing but time to play with the latest addition to the family.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

True exhaustion looks like this:

Trying, desperately, to fall asleep for two hours to no avail. It is incomprehensible to me how I can be this fucking tired and not be able to sleep. But something about the presence of The Olive gets me into this state where I cannot sleep (how much do you want to bet that NOBODY has this problem with #2?), so I just lay there, dying of exhaustion. Then she is awake and there is no chance for sleep, even if I put the bouncy vibrating chair on the bed and try to doze. The only way I was going to get to sleep is if she is away from me somehow. So I drove down 40 minutes to the Lovely Beausband's work so he could take her away and I could sleep in the car for 10 minutes. This? This is what my life has come to- driving 40 minutes for a 10-minute nap in the car.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Unbearable Cuteness of Being The Olive:

More here

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Hot Town, Summer In The City:

San Francisco topped out at around 55 degrees today, beginning what is known as "June Gloom" or "The Coldest Winter I Ever Spent", etc. We'll now commence a few months of fog and windshield wipers and scarves and hats and boots. Some people complain about this weather, feeling like they don't get a summer. There are no flip-flops or tank tops or hot summer nights, at least until September. I, for one, am grateful. Sure, I get the appeal of summer. But that's all it is- the package sounds good, but the reality is quite different. I hate sweltering days and sweating and you couldn't pay me enough money to wear shorts. I like the hot summer nights before I'm forced to sleep in them, and, quite frankly, the miserable days simply aren't worth it. It seems I have become a true San Francisco girl, with pale skin and a year-round winter coat to prove it.
Public Schools:

I have started my new job managing the Education Foundation (part-time only for now, folks), and have now had the opportunity to see the other side of public schools. And can I say that dear god, what a difference parental involvement makes. I should start by telling you I have never worked at a school that even had a PTA. Most of the time, parents wouldn't even return my calls. I doubt many of the parents of students knew each other or had a network on which to lean on. The community I'm working in now has a PTA that has "tension" with the Foundation I'm working for because they both want to do more. Huh?

I went into a classroom yesterday that had a floor-to-ceiling Eiffel Tower that the kids built. There was art everywhere. All of the hallways are decorated with artwork done by the students. Walking down the hallways, all of the children would say "Excuse me" when they passed me. The science fair was downright impressive. The libraries were open. With books. And a librarian. Huh?

Now I want to point something out here. You would assume that these are all rich kids, right? Nope. Some are, to be sure. Incredibly rich. But two of the schools I visited yesterday were Title I schools. There is a large amount of diversity in the schools. And still, they are thriving. Parents are involved. Seriously involved. Schools are actually diverse, with children from backgrounds all over the world. High expectations are being held. Resources are there.

It was such a completely different picture of public schools than I am accustomed to. It is public schools doing an amazing job at educating their students. Every child should be so lucky.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I don't know about you, but as a thirty-something, I don't have a lot of need for myspace. Nobody I know is on it, except my brother, and- similar to friendster- I do not understand the point. Thank God that unlike friendster, it actually loads within 24 hours.

But a few days ago, I started thinking about some kids I used to babysit, who lived next door to me. The summers I was 13 and 14, I would babysit them for 40 hours per week. I taught them how to swim. I fed them breakfast and lunch every day. We played for hours. And then they moved, and our families fell out of touch. It has been probably 15 years since I've seen them, though my mom has run into their mom around town now and again. It suddenly occurred to me that they must be pretty old now- no longer the 3 and 5-year old's I remember. Where could I find them? Well, all the kids are on myspace, so I decided to check it out.

They turned out NOTHING like I would have expected. Their little bodies that I used to rub down with sunscreen are now flashing myspace users cleavage and holding up bottles of beer. They apparently "love to PaRTy!!!" Really? You were little chunky babies with bowl cuts like 10 minutes ago. How did this happen?

It's amazing how quickly time flies when you're not looking. Will the same happen with The Olive? Will I really turn around to see 15 years go by and be looking in the face of a girl who wants her driver's license? Who wants to go out with boys? Who slams doors in my face (Note: That WILL get you grounded, Missy.)?

People warned me a lot about these first few months of having a baby. They warned me that it would be hard, and I would be exhausted. They told me foreboding stories about never sleeping and crying and freaking out. I went into this with my expectations pretty low, which seems to be serving me well. While there is the obvious exhaustion and frustration and total fucking tedium of saying "Hiiiiii" to a baby a thousand times a fucking day, I am constantly reminded of how quickly time is passing and have actually been able to enjoy this time. The Olive has already outgrown one of her newborn outfits, and has moved up a diaper size. "Wait", I want to cry out, "Not so fast." But I can't slow down the next fifteen years any more than I can slow down the last. I just hope- against all the odds- that I will remember to enjoy every moment of it.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Six Weeks Tomorrow:

The Olive is weighing in at a hearty 11 lbs., which is wonderful and also makes me stand over her and beg her not to grow anymore, not one more inch or ounce, because she is just perfect the way she is. Last night she slept for five whole hours in a row, so I definitely think we will keep her.

She is going through a very 'I Love Mom' phase right now. I almost expect she is going to bust out those BFF necklaces for us to wear one of these days. When other people hold her, she fusses and cries, but when they put her back on my lap, she smiles and coos and sings "Reunited, and it feels so good". It's a huge emotional rush, obviously, but it also presents a problem. While it's great to be #1 in her life, it also sucks to be #1 in her life. Because she is always, always wanting me and only me and that responsibility is huge. I mean, sometimes I'd just like to check some blogs, make cookies and call it a night. I want her to be comfortable with other people and the only way that is going to happen is if she's uncomfortable with other people for awhile. I wish there was some way around this, but like everything worthwhile, you must feel the pain to get the gain. I hate that.

My job starts today and this month is the one time I will have to be away quite a bit, because I am training with the outgoing person. I have to put in the time now to get the time later. I know there are mothers everywhere who go back to work when their babies are six weeks old- that's all the state actually provides you, so unless you can afford a financial hit, it is often when mothers go back to work. But it is oh-so-early. And I am only going to be gone for four or five hour stretches at a time. I cannot imagine going back full-time right now. So there is going to be some discomfort on everyone's part for the next few weeks, but I'm hoping that through it, she will learn to survive being separated and still letting me be #1. At least for a few more weeks.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Two English Majors In The House:

Phc: What is 15 times 12?
Lovely Beausband: Um, 300.

24 hours later:
Phc: Remember when you said 15 times 12 was 300? You were wrong- it's 150.

I always joke that my nightmare is if The Olive grows up to be a Republican accountant, but maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.

Saturday, June 03, 2006


I would totally wear this outfit.
I need about 100 more baby hoodies, because (gasp!) she's already outgrowing this one.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Jumping Ship:

For three years now, I have been teaching inner-city school children. There is no question for me that this is my professional "calling", and I never, ever thought that I would leave teaching. Ever.

If you've been a teacher, you know how difficult it is to balance your professional life with your personal life. If you haven't, imagine not only working 40 hours per week, but then spending another 20 hours preparing for those 40 hours. And imagine that those 40 hours are the most emotionally, physically and psychologically draining hours you could stand. There's your teaching life. Sure, you get summers off, but that is a far-away call in January, when you feel like you will never sleep again.

Throw in having a baby into this mix- who, incidentally, also needs 100% of your energy- and it's enough to make any sane person need to go breathe into a bag. Because how- HOW?- will you be able to give everyone everything they need?

I have never wanted to be a SAHM. I really didn't think I did before The Olive came, and while it is more and more appealing now that she's here, it's a) not an option and b) not really what I want to do.

Who knew I would find a perfect in-between?

I took a job today managing an Education Foundation. It's not teaching, but it is the field of education, and has a mission I strongly believe in. It will be fun and interesting work. Work that I will do primarily from home. With flexible hours. And with people who all have children, so are completely understanding about the issues that are raised when you are caring for a family and working. They are more than family-friendly, they are actually PRO-family.

After I got off the phone today and accepted the job, I looked down at my beautiful daughter with tears pouring out of my eyes. I never even considered I would get to stay home with her. And make money. And I never even considered the fact that I would want that. But once the opportunity came up, I suddenly wanted it more than anything else.

Earlier today, The Olive was lying on a blanket on the floor and I would put my head in towards hers and say "Hiiiiiii". Every time I did, she would get a big grin on her face. I am so, so thrilled that I don't have to miss more of those moments.

This is a perfect way to bookend my 30th year, which ends today and has been nothing I expected and 1,000 times better than I could have ever imagined.
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