Thursday, August 31, 2006


Becoming a parent has made me keenly aware, for the first time in my life, that I am an animal. I have mentioned before that my love for The Olive feels like more than love; it feels like the greatest love plus a biological need to protect and nurture, plus a total sweeping away of my heart from the tremendous cuteness of a naked, chubby baby whose cheeks I want to suck all day long.

But beyond that, I also feel like an animal when I am leaning over the baby to do something and she grabs my swinging nipple in her mouth and it suddenly becomes clear: I am a cow, and these are my udders.

So when she cries at night and doesn't want to fall asleep, I feel the need to go to her. I am Mama and my young is sad. I must care for young. And then go shake out my loincloths or something. I am not philosophically opposed to crying it out, for other people's children. But for my own? It just feels wrong. I don't mean to imply that sleeping for two-hour increments feels "right" or anything, but I think I choose to sleep in two-hour increments rather than listen to my baby cry. The sound cuts me to the very core of my being and I feel like I might turn into liquid and melt, like The Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.

Also? I don't think it's quite fair to expect that I should be able to set the baby down and have her drift into a lovely dreamy place when it takes me a Benadryl and an hour of reading to fall asleep, on a good night. Maybe we could blame my mom for that, though, since she never let me cry it out.

I actually think she may be periodically sleeping in longer increments now, although my entire nights are so blurry that I can't really keep track. All I know is that today I feel fairly well-rested, and that is enough to keep me going for now.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Not the news you wanted:


Monday, August 28, 2006

Making me feel like Mother of the Year:

Don't you just hate it when you and the baby start the night looking for crack, but just can't find it? The baby gets so cranky and is all "Waa, waa! Where's my crack, Dad?" And then you're like, "Hey, baby, don't worry. We'll cruise down the street and stop and get some smokes and then all will be well. Yeah, they take the edge off." And then? You stop at the store- I mean, let's be honest, it's FOR the baby- to just "run out" and get those cigarettes and then somebody takes your baby. I mean, what the fuck? You were only gone for like three minutes. And how could this have happened to you? I mean, things were going to well for your night! This is like, totally, going to ruin it.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Four Months:

Making two-hour sleep increments seem worth it


Friday, August 25, 2006

Angle of Repose, or A Night in the Life of a 4-Month Old:

10:00 p.m.: Bounced to sleep on yoga ball by Dad.
10:05 p.m.: Attempted to put down in bed.
10:06 p.m.: Attempt Aborted.
10:07 p.m.: Asleep on Dad's chest, while he works.
10:45 p.m.: Picked up by Mom, brought to bed, nursed while sleeping. Asleep.
11:50 p.m.: Mom falls asleep.
12:00 a.m.: Awake. Nursed back to sleep.
1:00 a.m.: Awake again! Mom attempts to cuddle back to sleep.
1:03 a.m.: Nursed back to sleep.
1:05 a.m.: Dad falls asleep.
2:05 a.m.: Awake! Mom doesn't even bother anything but a nurse.
2:07 a.m.: Back to sleep.
4:30 a.m.: Awake. Refuses nursing. Whining like a mad woman.
4:31 a.m: Dad takes her out to bounce on yoga ball.
5:00 a.m.: Asleep! Attempt to put her down in bed.
5:01 a.m.: Awake. More bouncing.
5:10 a.m.: Asleep on bed.
6:00 a.m.: Awake, good lord. Mom begins to cry.
6:01 a.m.: Dad takes her out to bounce on yoga ball.
6:40 a.m.: Asleep.
7:30 a.m.: Awake. Nurse.
9:00 a.m.: It's morning! Hooray! So happy!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


"So, maybe you could post about that thread going on in the neighborhood email list about raising kids in the city versus the suburbs."

"What about all the new things The Olive is doing? Like rolling over and spending hours at a time propped up on her elbows, trying to solve the problem of world peace. And how she tries to crawl, but just drags her face along the ground."

"Or! What about how much better your life got when The Lovely Beausband went on paternity leave? You could totally talk about how paternity leave should be mandated by the state and then we would have fewer divorces."

"Wait. What about the fact that you have five friends who are due within three weeks of each other?"

But nothing comes.

So I will pose this question for you: What should The Olive be for Halloween?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

An Ode To Wood:

Wood just called to tell me they are leaving the city. I am finding this a little hard to actually believe. Like, maybe they are leaving for the weekend or something and I will walk around a little lost, like Juniper, but then she will come back and it will be ok. They cannot actually be gone, for good, because then I would have to start crying and I don't know when that would stop.

I first met Wood when I was seven months pregnant- big and bulbous and totally unsure of what I was getting myself into. I went to her house and she fed me ice cream and I got to see real-life parenting in action. Good parenting. And I realized I might- with luck and prayer and some modeling of her- be able to pull of this parenting thing. She was so at ease with Juniper. So comfortable and relaxed and easy. And cool.

When I got home that night, I told The Lovely Beausband, "I would have been friends with her whenever I met her in my life." She is one of the truest and sane people I have ever met.

I find it is rare, as an adult, to have time to form real friendships. This is probably why the majority of my friends I have known most of my life. It is hard to build that background, and who has the time? There are jobs and family and all the rest of it. But as luck would have it, our maternity leave coincided, and we were actually able to spend time together.

In the following months, we saw each other at least weekly. She walked my 42-week pregnant ass all around the city. Once past due, she was the only person I could tolerate talking to. The emails shot back and forth, all day and night. She was one of the first people I called after giving birth to The Olive, even though we had only known each other a few months. It felt totally natural.

She has helped me so much in the first few months of The Olive's life that I cannot even begin to imagine how I could have done this without her. She has not only given me sage advice, but also brought over food, taught me how to pump, taken me to get pedicures, loaned me books, and given absolutely constant support as I try to navigate this foreign road. I do not believe in guardian angels, but if I did, I would tell you she is mine.

I have dreaded this day for a long time. I have known it was coming, but it always seemed so far off. And now they are driving away, and San Francisco is a little less tonight. And I am left with a gaping hole in my life.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Fading Light:

It is 8:00 p.m. and it is already dark. Autumn is coming quickly, and I have to wonder where summer went. I have spent most of it holed up in the house, caring for the small one, so it's gone by even more quickly than usual. That's ok; fall is my favorite season. Pashaw on anyone who says California does not have seasons. It does. The lighting changes.

If life had gone as expected, I would be preparing to go back to school right now. I would be getting ready to put The Olive in full-time daycare. At the time, four months seemed like plenty of time off to be with the baby. Now I cannot imagine being apart from her for 40 hours or more per week. It would be like leaving my arm at daycare. I actually think it would hurt that much. Every day, almost every hour, I thank god that I got this job. It is exactly the right balance of getting out and feeling productive in society, and still being able to give my baby what she needs. When I think about what other women have to go through, it breaks my heart. I don't know why it is me who got lucky with this. I really don't. But I am eternally grateful.

Motherhood had been amazing, but I am constantly struck at how biological it feels. When the baby cries and you respond, it is out of something much deeper and primal than love. At each success, you breathe a sigh of relief, because somehow you know this increases the chances of survival. We are animals, after all. And no other animal is forced to leave their young before they can even walk. It is cruel and unjust to make women leave their babies before they are ready. We should be able to do this at a pace that is more natural.

And we are the lucky women.

The Lovely Beausband is now on paternity leave, so he has taken the helm of childcare these days. It is a huge relief- I feel like I can breathe for the first time in four months- but it is also a tiny bit painful. Because now The Olive is bonding to someone besides me. Really bonding. And while I've been wanting this relief for months now, it makes me feel a little left-out. It makes me feel like her babyhood is rushing by so fast. Already. I cry a little every time I see her loving her dad, both because it makes me happier than I've ever felt, and also because I feel a little loss.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Another case of me being an asshole:

Before The Olive came onto the scene, I had some pretty harsh thoughts about ol' Dr. Sears. Well, not him per se, but his followers. When you live in San Francisco, everyone is pretty hooked into the attachment parenting guidelines, and I had heard enough stories of women being accosted in public for using bottles, or preached at about using a sling, to think- "Eh. Not for me." These people scared me a little. And the term "Family Bed"? Sorry, that makes my skin crawl in every possible way.

But then The Olive came along and it turns out? I like sleeping with her. Like might not be the right word- for instance, I do not like being woken up by her goat noises. I also do not like being forced onto a tiny slice of the bed. But I do like not having to get up in the middle of the night. And I do like the security I feel knowing she is right by me. Now, I have not quite mastered the sling yet (due to complete and utter clumsiness and paranoia on the part of one loco mama), and the term "co-sleeping" is much preferred, but! But! I breastfeed. And I don't let The Olive cry it out! And I believe in attachment (although it should be duly noted here that the only 'C' I got in college was in the course Attachment & Loss. Meh.), like as an important part of the parent-child relationship! Dr. Sears would probably eat me up with a spoon.

But now The Olive is coming up on four months old. Which is four months in which I have slept about two hours at a time. Which, you know, makes a person a little edgy, shall we say? And The Olive has friends her age. Friends whose Mama's are telling me tales of five hours of sleep, or eight hours of sleep, or ten hours of sleep- IN A ROW! But- and you know this was coming, right?- they are all in their own beds. And everyone I know who has babies who sleep through the night? Are all in different beds.

So? The solution seems obvious, right? BUT! BUT! All those babies who sleep through the night? Wake up at like 6 a.m. And my little co-sleeping babe? Sleeps until 10 a.m. most days. And so I am in an obvious quandary here, because giving up sleeping until 10 a.m., even if it is in two hour increments? IS VERY HARD!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Pardon the dust for today.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

September 18th:

Anyone want to go see Ani with me at the Mountain Winery?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

T Minus Six Hours, or A Last Ditch Attempt At Spending Money Without Guilt:

The Lovely Beausband has begun his drive home, and I have to decide which purse to buy. Oh, the hardships!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Day Four, in which I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends:

First, there was lunch with the blogger ladies. Korean BBQ, yum.

Then there was a delicious dinner fixed by my wonderful friend, Miriam.

And also? This amazing treat.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Day Three, or I Am A Typical Woman:

Today's treat

That would be 'ultra super premium' vanilla ice cream with pomegranate swirl. aka delicious.

It is truly the biggest mind-fuck that I know of to consider that one year ago, The Olive was just a cluster of cells smaller than a blueberry and now she sits on the couch next to me, screaming with joy.

I mean, REALLY.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Day Two, or This Is What Happens When You Leave:

It is 7:30 and the baby has finally fallen asleep after two aborted naps this afternoon. She is not down for the night, oh no. But a few minutes is the respite I need right now.

So what did we do today? Well, first of all we rolled over. Back to front like FIVE TIMES IN A ROW, and then once from stomach to back. Holy shit.

Here I am, just chilling on my activity mat.

But wait! Now I'm like a little bug.

Now I will kvetch because this is like Tummy Time and I hate Tummy Time!

Also, I bought a breast pump. I have pictures of that, too, but Blogger and this bullshit and I have to get some work done. Because, remember? I am full-time employed now? What? You didn't know that? You, too, wonder how I'm getting 40 hours of work done with a baby and no help and no husband this week? Funny, so do I.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Day One, or Hour Three Without The Husband:

Because parting was such sweet sorrow (I actually cried), I decided today I should really get myself something good as a treat. Not just a magazine or cupcake, but something I could really sink my teeth into. Something I could gaze at while The Olive fusses, or think about at 12:30 or 2:30 or 5:00 or 7:00 when she wakes up AGAIN.
So, of course, I got a hoodie. But wait! It's not just another hoodie! It is long! And black! And I do not have a black hoodie (how is this possible?)! It's practically a jacket! Plus, I gave The Olive two choices and she chose this one (the other one was also black, with the little hipster thumb holders in it, and had spider webs all over it, but I smartly decided it was a little young for me).

Friday, August 04, 2006

Running Away From Home:

The Lovely Beausband is going out of town next week for work, leaving The Olive and I to fend for ourselves. Why anyone thinks this is appropriate or they will return home to a house still standing is beyond me, but I guess you've got to do what you've got to do, right? (Ah, fancy the thought of me going away for a week. Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha. Maybe in 2008, if I am still able to form cognizant thoughts at that point, which is really, really hard to imagine.).
So the plan for the week is to fill it with as many social obligations as I can possibly squeeze in, so that I do not go sit within the walls of the house for days on end, quietly pulling out tufts of my own hair (this seems like a good as time as any to mention: Being a SAHM- not for me. Hardest fucking job on the planet, hands down and without question.).
Socialization aside, however, I think that every day will need some sort of 'treat' in it to help get me through. And now, I would like to take suggestions on what 'treats' we could do/ buy for each of the five (five!) days that he will be away. Please don't suggest anything for me alone (like getting a mani/ pedi, or massage, or a nap. because trust me, I've already thought about those), because The Olive and I will be joined at the hip even more than normal.
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