Friday, September 29, 2006

All I talk about anymore is sleep:

When you become a parent, suddenly the topic of sleep becomes the beginning of almost every conversation you have. How did you sleep? How many times does she get up? Where does she sleep? It goes on and on. But considering babies sleep almost 16 hours per day, it seems appropriate that sleep is in the forefront of everyone's mind.

I always cringe when this conversation comes up, because it seems everyone else's five-month olds are sleeping in nice large chunks of time (four to even eight hours), and they just lie down and go to sleep. And The Olive still sleeps like a newborn. She's either bounced or nursed to sleep and we're lucky if we get two hours of sleep in a row. Of course, everyone has advice. Out of the bed! Cry it out! And I know. I really do. But we've tried out of the bed and it means she sleeps even less. And I am totally unable to let her cry it out, because it's too painful for me to imagine her needing me and me not being there. So I just don't talk about it much, because it's easier than hearing the judgment or seething with envy that other people seem to sleep so much better.

But The Olive started with the nanny this week (Oh, the glorious nanny!), and the first day, Nanny seemed very surprised that it took 30 minutes of bouncing for The Olive to go to sleep. Now for us, 30 minutes is an easy run. But I didn't want to scare her too much. Our lives revolve around that fucking yoga ball and we sweat, sweat, sweat it out as you bounce, bounce, bounce that baby- literally for hours every day.

Apparently the nanny is not as in need of exercise and Zen-time as we are, and this did not seem like a reasonable way to spend her days. So yesterday? She put The Olive down for a nap? AND THE BABY WENT TO SLEEP! No crying. A little fussing, a little patting. IN NINE MINUTES! What the fuck, people? I have TRIED this, I am telling you. I have let her cry for up to 15 minutes. It only works her up more.

And then? The last few days? She's taking like two hour naps! Up from 45 minutes! And last night? She slept for FIVE HOURS IN A ROW! What a beautiful thing five hours of sleep is. I cannot even tell you what that amount of sleep can do to a person's spirit.

This morning, at 9:00 a.m. (after she went to sleep at 8:00 p.m.), I woke up to her lying beside me, grabbing my nose repeatedly, and smiling and gasping in joy when I opened my eyes. There are certain moments of being a parent where you realize that this is the best decision you ever made, and every sacrifice you have to make is worth it because this person is the best thing you could have ever done. 9 a.m. this morning was one of those moments for me, and that is one hell of a way to start your day.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I am alone in the house right now.

As in, The Olive is with her nanny at our nanny share's house and I am "working" (aka lying in bed, ALONE, blogging).

Nobody is kvetching about their current state. I am not trying to email while also playing peek-a-boo. I can just do the damn dishes already because no one is sleeping. Also? If I want to go to the bathroom, I can just get up and go. No prior arrangements need to be made.

The only way I can begin to explain how having a child has altered my life is this: I was almost 31 years old. I was not all about going out. I rarely went to parties. Friday nights were spent watching NUM3ERS and eating take-out. But I could just throw a load of laundry in the washer and not worry about the noise. I had the time to whip up dinner. I was not always doing ten things at once, and none of them well.

Did I cry leaving The Olive with the nanny? No. Am I dying for 4:00 to come so I can rush back to her? Nope.

But did I call once to see how she is in our big 4-hour separation? I did. And she was fine. The nanny was bouncing her on the yoga ball. That, I don't miss.

Edited to add: It looks as though the feeling is mutual. I got there and she couldn't be torn away from her gumming of Brown Bear, Brown Bear to even give me a sideways glance. No, seriously. I called her name and tapped her shoulder, and still nothing. She was really into the book.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Mud-wrestling, without the mud:

Although I wouldn't be surprised if mud got involved one of these days.

Getting the baby to sleep is now a physical endeavor that often leaves me sweaty and out of breath. Nobody mentioned that five-month olds (Five months! Already! That reminds me- we went to the doctor on Friday and there was a woman there with her newborn (4-day old) baby and I seriously thought he was like three months premature because he was soooooo little. But no. I've just already forgotten how tiny newborns are. The mind is a crazy thing.) are squirmy little things.

The Olive goes to sleep either by being nursed or being bounced on the yoga ball. Bounce, bounce, bounce. It used to be so easy. But now she's twisting herself around as you bounce her to try to see what else is going on. She ends up horizontal in my arms. Then it's the grabbing. My glasses. My hair. My lips. Last night she was squirming around so much and I was trying to stay in a Zen-mode, bounce, bounce, bounce, and she pushed herself off my chest, looked me right in the eye, and stuck my entire nose in her mouth and sucked. How can I help but crack up at that, therefore losing my Zen? And then she's cracking up as well, wide awake. No, baby, it is way past your bedtime.

I swear I am working muscles I didn't even know I had. At the end of the day, I am so physically drained, I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep for days. All the lifting and pushing and pulling and carrying. It's no wonder I've lost all the baby weight and then some.

Friday, September 22, 2006


One of the women in my mom's group is a sign-language interpreter.

This was brought up yesterday at the group and someone else said "I had a friend who was so paranoid she was going to go blind when we were young that she taught herself Braille." Everyone giggled a little and someone asked why she thought that. The woman said it was because of some book she read.

Oh, I know that book. I cannot remember the name of it, but I think the main character's name was Laura. Or Denise. I can picture the cover- a teenage girl with feathered hair and dark sunglasses on being walked by a German Shepherd dog. While I, too, was convinced I would go blind one day after reading that book (and, of course, get a wonderful Guide Dog and boyfriend who was a guide dog trainer), I didn't go so far as to teach myself Braille.

I was clearly too busy for such nonsense, as I spent those formative years trying to bend forks with my mind.

I don't know why I felt the need to share this with the mom's group yesterday, who will certainly hold their children a little tighter when they see me coming in the future, I'm sure, but it's true. For a few years in there, I thought I had some mad ESP skillz that were "developing" and I would sit in the kitchen, staring at the silverware drawer, trying to bend forks with my mind. Or I would stare at a door, trying to open it with my mind. This was when I was not busy reading the messages my home planet was sending me due to my misplacement on Planet Earth.

So, in stunning awkwardness, I told this to a group of Mom's yesterday, who all sort of politely laughed, until one of them said "Your mom must have wondered where all the silverware went", and we moved on. I didn't bother correcting her- obviously people with ESP don't need to get the silverware out of the drawer to bend it. I mean, duh.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I wish I had health problems:

Last night at 10:00 p.m. a man came to our house and assigned The Lovely Beausband one task: To sleep. Now how he got this lucky is a longer story, but let's think about this for a minute- he had no other priority but to sleep. Doesn't it just sound lovely? I seethed with jealousy, even if it does mean he has some little "health problem". Whatever. You get to sleep a full night through.

But really.

The Lovely Beausband has always been a bit of a snorer. But since I'm an early bedder, we haven't really had issues. I would go to sleep at around 9:00 and he would come to bed at an adult hour. If he snored, whatever. I was a deep sleeper.

Enter pushing out a child.

I am no longer a deep sleeper. Well, maybe I am, but it's hard to say given that I sleep in 2-3 hour increments. And when I wake up and hear the lawnmower beside me, and that is what causes me to stay awake, I want to kick someone. And I do. Repeatedly. Let's just say this isn't the best way to spend a night. Or five months of nights.

So last night they came and hooked him up to a bunch of electrodes and a machine (I don't know why, but he won't let me blog the pictures! Eleven electrodes on his face alone!), and told him to sleep. Which he did, lucky bastard.

The technician that came out told us all the side effects of sleep apnea, and wow! I think we both now believe that the problems of the world could be solved if everyone just had a CPAP machine on every night. Depression, heart disease, diabetes, heart problems, insomnia. You name it and sleep apnea can cause it. So anyway, The Lovely Beausband slept with his "buddy" and we will see in a few weeks what his "buddy" reports about his sleep apnea.


Sunday, September 17, 2006


The Olive enjoyed her first swing experience this weekend. I don't have the words to express the joy on her face, so let the picture speak for itself.

Friday, September 15, 2006

She was not as into the cookie as I was into giving it to her:

Thursday, September 14, 2006

That girl:

Male blog readers (are there any, besides The Lovely Beausband?), you will want to skip this post entirely. There will be talk of blood, and the moon, and all the other stuff you're not really interested in.


I have always been one of those girls with the debilitating periods. You know the type- they call in sick to work because of "cramps" and you're like "The hell? Who can't handle their cramps?" That would be me, doubled over in pain that no pain medicine helps, heat pack on my stomach, moaning. Every 25 days. For seven days. Even on the pill. Fun, no?

So I admit to having a tinge of excitement when I got pregnant that I wouldn't be dealing with this for, what? A year and a half or so.

I don't know why I'm surprised that I got my period when my baby is only 4 1/2 months old, when you're supposed to get six months to a year. I shouldn't be. Of course this would happen to me. I heard it usually happened around when you introduced solids, and I have slipped The Olive little tiny pieces of avocado and banana the last few days. And when I say "little, tiny", I mean pieces about the size of an 'o' once or twice. Sometimes it happens when your baby starts sleeping more. I guess her four-hour stretches gave my period all the room it needed to come back to me.

So now, on top of all the fun breastfeeding hormones, there's this. At least it explains the two huge zits I got last week.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

If Only I Were An Octopus:

I concede that being a WAHM (that's Work At Home Mom for those of you acronymically-challenged) is ideal. You get to spend more time with your baby, you get to work in your pajamas, there is no commute time, and you still get paid. But just because it's ideal doesn't mean it's easy. Let's take a peek into my morning, as The Lovely Beausband was gone at a meeting.

8:00 a.m. Wake up. Have not slept anywhere near enough. Try to fall back asleep, but thoughts of Things I Could Do While The Baby Is Still Sleeping creep into my brain. Try to deny thoughts and drift back into dreamland.

8:40 a.m. Sleep will not come. Mind racing. Shit, I just wasted 40 minutes of Time I Could Have Gotten Stuff Done While Baby Is Sleeping. Resign self to getting up.

8:45 a.m. Will look good if I send out email as early as possible. Want to give the impression that I am diligent worker-bee, because no one ever sees me. Log on and see there are fifteen new messages. The hell? I logged out at 11:00 last night, after being at a school board meeting until 9:30.

9:00 a.m. First cup of coffee. Praise Jesus. Send out emails at breakneck speed, as do not know when free hands will happen again.

9:30 a.m. Open door to sneak past baby to bathroom and see she is awake. Baby monitor not turned on in bedroom. Berate self for being a bad mother by not greeting baby when she wakes up.

10:00 a.m. Cobble together breakfast of yogurt and berries. Put baby in Exersaucer and try to respond to emails.

10:10 a.m. Baby does not seem to be enjoying Exersaucer. Place blanket on floor so she can roll around. Throw laundry in dryer.

10:15 a.m. Coo at rolling baby while replying to emails. Glance up and see bowl of yogurt. Right, must eat. Baby kvetches. Roll her back to her back, and she rolls back to her stomach. And continues to kvetch. Forget, yet again, about breakfast.

10:30 a.m. CANNOT BEAR THE KVETCHING OF BABY ANY LONGER. Try to explain that if she doesn't like being on her stomach, she really shouldn't roll herself there. Watch her roll over again. Throw up hands.

10:45 a.m. Scarf yogurt, as body is beginning to cannibalize itself.

11:00 a.m. Try the Johnny Jumper. Put baby in and in few minutes of quiet, speed-type out emails and start a letter for work.

11:15 a.m. Baby seems tired. Get in bed, nurse to sleep. Sneak out of room at 11:30, thankful for 45 minutes of peace.

12:00 p.m. Why did the baby only sleep for 30 minutes? Have just barely had time to check blogs and reply to emails.

12:15 p.m. Work phone rings in the middle of diaper changing. Strap baby down, pray there are no accidents and run to phone. Trip over the activity mat, which is set to motion music, and listen to faux-classical music as I answer the phone.

12:20 p.m. Shit. Important call. Go outside with baby, as this is the only way to guarantee quiet. Sit on back stairs as two neighbor cats come up, meowing. Baby is finally quiet and now cats that aren't even mine are disturbing my work call? One cat runs by me into house. Pray cat is not a sprayer because there is no way to deal with it now. Person on phone talks on and on.

1:00 p.m. Get cat out of house. Baby discovers she enjoys yelling. Put her in exersaucer, where she yells and yells as I type and type. Yells turn to cries. Pick her up.

1:15 p.m. Turn on TV to jazz music station, hold baby on lap, and try to eat lunch. Baby grabs at plate, water glass and napkin. Find that baby enjoys tearing up napkin. Fine, as long as she's quiet.

1:30 p.m. Really, really need to shower, as must do work errand as soon as Lovely Beausband returns. Put baby in bouncy seat outside door.

1:45 p.m. Baby is hollering hysterically. Keep poking head out of shower to tell her it will just be one more minute. Forget to wash conditioner out of hair. Whatever, isn't that just like leave-in conditioner?

2:00 p.m. Try to nurse baby to sleep. Baby wide awake. And yelling, just because she likes the sound of her own voice. Sing song to baby while rubbing belly. Baby not sleeping.

2:15 p.m. Hear Lovely Beausband's key in door and think there is no better sound in the world. Heap on loving comments while jumping into real clothes as he puts baby to bed and run out the door for errand.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Being A Mom, Every Single Day:

I ran into someone from the neighborhood mom's group today at Trader Joe's. I greeted her and said "I thought you were back to work today. Oh, I guess that's Wednesday, right?", and she burst into tears. "I just left her with the nanny for the first time and it's so hard." I cried along with her, right there in Trader Joe's. Because I know how hard it is. It is so hard. She went on to say "I never wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I have a Phd, I have a great career, I keep getting promoted. But I can't stand to leave her, knowing that when she's upset, I could make it better in one second, but I won't be there."

Five years ago, I cried for the children who lost their parents that day.

Today, I cry for the parents who knew that they would never see their children again.

I cannot imagine anything worse, ANYTHING, than knowing I would never be able to hold The Olive again. I cannot imagine knowing that I would never be able to make her better. I cannot fathom what it felt like, in those moments when people knew they were going to die, and the thoughts that ran through their head. I can only imagine that it would kill you right there and then knowing that you couldn't be there to console your babies.

Becoming a parent changes you in ways you cannot imagine. Everyone tells you that it will, you know it will, but you cannot quite imagine how. I still do not have a way to put into words how much more joy I have since The Olive, or how much more sadness. Or how much my perspective of the entire world changed.

But today I cry for the parents.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

At Least I Have The First Two Verses Down:

Hush, little baby, don't say a word
Mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird
If that mockingbird don't sing
Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring
If that diamond ring don't shine
Mama's gonna buy you a ball of twine (Unsafe for children; Posthipchick does not endorse giving your child twine, or string of any kind)
If that ball of twine is brown
Mama's gonna buy you a princess crown (Because the diamond wasn't enough? Am I suddenly made of money here?)
If that princess crown is broke
Mama's gonna buy you a lovely bloke (You know, our British background and all)
If that lovely bloke is bad
Mama's gonna buy you another cad (Not even really a word, but she doesn't speak English, so whatever)
If that lovely cad is yellow (Of course cad's are yellow. What other color would they be?)
Mama's gonna buy you another fellow (Mama is big on the purchasing of males)
If that lovely fellow goes wrong
Mama's gonna buy you a fancy thong (Because I love the image of a 4-month old in a thong. Shit everywhere.)
If that fancy thong is red
Mama's gonna buy you a piece of thread (Even though no one in our family has ever had a knack for crafts of any kind, Mama is somehow obsessed with getting you all the accoutrements for a career in sewing)

This is usually where I stop, having given up the hope that this song will calm the child in any real way, as she is kicking her legs around and staring at her hands. This is when I hand her over to her father, who works his magical narcotic yoga ball bouncing that could lull even the most awake child to sleep. Like I just did.

Friday, September 08, 2006


You're always saying, "Oh god, I wish the baby would sleep longer". Always. Every time she gets up from her 45-minute nap, every time she wakes up after only two hours of sleep in the night. You always wish she'd sleep just a little longer.

Until, of course, the day you are trying to get out of the house by 2:00 to miss traffic on your drive to your parents, in which case it doesn't matter that the door to her room is open and you're packing your suitcase right next to her head or you're talking in regular voices. No, today she has decided that an hour and a half seems like a reasonable nap, maybe even longer.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sometimes I think there is really no purpose in my continuing to write, when so many can put it so much more perfectly:

"I had been unprepared for how slowly the time would creep along, how interminable a day would feel. I'd been unprepared for how lonely and bored I would be.

But I'd also been unprepared for the intensity of my passion for my children, how their lives would consume and subsume my own, just as their bodies had irrevocably altered mine. The physical self that looks back at me from the mirror is the perfect metaphor for how they have altered my entire life. My breasts, about which I used to be so proud, now pointed south, nipples stretched, elongated beyond all recognition by three voracious mouths. My belly, once smooth and firm, rounded, yes, but with unmarked milky skin, now hung, a loose and creepy expanse, striped with shiny silver lines. It requires an elaborate origami just to button my pants, and when I take off my bra, I swear I can polish the tops of my shoes. They've done the same to my life, these three. I used to run from courthouse to jail, from oral argument to crime-scene investigation, my whole focus on my clients, those poor men for whom mine was the only voice. With Peter, I played. We went out to dinner, we saw movies, we spent long languid evenings talking about ourselves, about each other, about the world. But once the babies came, they filled every space. Not just their needs, manifold though those are. It's their breath, their presence. They fill my field of vision from end to end. There's so little recognizable now, either of my physical self or my old life.

It's difficult to figure out how to move them aside, even for just a little, to make a small nook for myself. Even those few hours a day, hours in which I have Sadie with me as often as not, give me something. They give me the chance to look outward, beyond them and me. They broaden my focus just enough to keep me from going out of my mind."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Jobless in the city:

We have been in the process of finding a nanny for the last six weeks now. What would seem an easy process- we are looking to fill a position, others are looking for a position, viola- is surprisingly difficult. It's not the expected 'how will I ever leave my child with this person?' difficulty. Rather, it's the pinning down of a person to even interview. And by 'pinning down', I mean, GETTING A FREAKING PERSON TO SHOW UP FOR THE ARRANGED INTERVIEW.

So it seems to me that if you post an ad on craislist about how you are a nanny who is looking for a job, you should be prepared for people to reply to said ad. And it would also seem to me that you want a job. But I guess I'm wacky like that.

Of the seriously 40 nannies we have contacted, about half have gotten back to us. I don't know what happened to the other people who posted ads THAT DAY but can't be bothered to reply to an email or a voicemail. And then? Why would you arrange for an interview and then not show up? Because over half of the twenty we set up interviews for have simply not showed up. It has gotten to the point where when I arrange for an in-person interview, I specifically say "If you can't make it for any reason, could you please call me to let me know? Because we've had a real problem with people not showing up." Sure, they all tell me. AND THEN THEY DON'T SHOW AND DON'T CALL. Why? If you took another job, I won't be offended. I won't yell at you. But I also won't sit around and waste an hour of my day waiting for you. And these people are expecting to make $20 an hour. For that kind of money, can you show a basic level of professionalism? Am I really expecting too much?

And then? When I'm looking at craigslist again a week later and see that you REPOSTED your ad, what I am I supposed to think? You don't even respond to an email. Why are you reposting? Are you looking for a job or not? Make yourself clear here.

Monday, September 04, 2006

All the kids are doing it:

Ok, so I'm using flickr now. I hope to be diligent in uploading pics.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


I wear the same three outfits every single day, but damn if The Olive isn't the most fun to dress EVER.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Two nights ago, I got it in my head that I needed to make a butterscotch layer cake. Before The Olive came along, these sorts of baking extravaganzas were par for the course, but it's been a little harder to find unoccupied periods of time for baking projects. I only get to make about one dessert per week, and then I'm stuck eating ice cream the other nights. Life is hard, but I'm dealing.

So I had all the ingredients to make my lovely cake, except for cream cheese (for the frosting), which wasn't too hard to come by. I braved the streets after dark and walked to Walgreen's for my missing ingredient. Back, armed with my cream cheese, I got everything together for the cake, got it in the oven, and then realized- SHIT!- the caramel I had intended to use was somehow only half full. So, now covered in flour, braless and ready for bed, I headed out AGAIN- now to Safeway in the car- for the caramel.

I got home, gave The Olive her bath, book and nurse and started to assemble the cake. But somewhere in the process, my stomach started to feel a little funky. So I only had a little slice of the delicious cake and went to bed. Yesterday, my stomach continued to decline, though I did brave one very small slice of the cake that stares at me from the fridge every time I open the door.

I have taken the full allotment of Immodium AD for a 24-hour period in the last four hours. All I can think about is my cake. It is torturing me from afar as I eat dry toast and water. When will I get to eat the deliciousness?
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