Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Oh, Doctor:

A few weeks ago I scheduled a doctor's appointment for today. I know I scheduled it for today because the receptionist asked "Are you sure it's ok for you to come in on Halloween?", and I know I'm losing marbles at a rate quicker than most drug users, but I'm pretty sure that all the people walking around in Hulk Hogan costumes and devil horns indicate something.

Anyway. I showed up at my doctor's door at our 1:30 scheduled time. My doctor, who I love, love, love, is ALWAYS running late. But you know- I'm a mom without much free time on my hands so the chance to sit in a quiet room and read magazines? Take an extra hour, doc. But I showed up and went to open the door and it was locked. And on it was a post-it from UPS, dated the day before. Which means nobody had been here since.... yesterday? How perplexing.

I waited about 10 minutes, so totally confused about 1) why the doctor's office would be closed for two days and 2) why no other patients were waiting with me. I called and left a message, and then headed downstairs, about to give up. I stopped by the pharmacy and asked if they knew anything (if someone doesn't show up, I, of course, assume they have died, which seems an important thing to note about ones' doctor), and they called some super-secret-doctor-phone and lo and behold! She would be there in five minutes.

So I went BACK upstairs and waited for another 15 minutes and she finally showed up, looking frazzled. Apparently the receptionist was supposed to have canceled all her appointments for today, which explains both the tardiness and the lack of patients. She just happened to be coming in in the afternoon to do paperwork. So we went on with the appointment, after chatting for quite some time, during which I was informed that answering services charge around $1,000 PER MONTH and I decided I am SO starting a side business as an answering service because that is some serious bank.

The bottom line to the appointment is this: I do not have insomnia, I have a baby who wakes me up. And she really recommends that if your knee hurts, you shouldn't have sex on a hard floor. I want you to remember that.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

October's List Of Things They Don't Tell You:

1. You will never leave the house past 7 p.m. again. Seriously, we tried to go to a friend's for dinner on Friday night and it was a total disaster. And they HAD a yoga ball and a Pack & Play. But that's not enough for our girl, who was kvetching the whole time and wouldn't fall asleep. I remember when I was pregnant with The Olive, Dutch and Wood asked if we wanted to meet them for dinner at a local burrito place at 5 p.m. I thought they were crazy. 5 p.m.? Seems totally reasonable now.

2. That babies are happier outside. You, too, will find yourself aimlessly strolling the city streets as a way of getting the kvetching to end, please, oh please, make it end.

3. Babies love laptops. I mean, who knew that would be her favorite toy ever? I'm sure it's in no small part due to the fact that her parents are always hiding behind them, but look! Lights! And clicky buttons! That make things move! It's the perfect toy!

4. Babies don't always sleep more as they get older. In fact, The Olive's sleep gets progressively WORSE the older she gets. I didn't know I could survive six months on no more than three consecutive hours of sleep, but you know. You get by.

5. Babies don't like food right away. Even though they've been grabbing at yours with their grabby little paws for months, it turns out they are not so into it themselves. Even sweet potatoes. Even Jamba Juice, for the love of god. What is wrong with these creatures?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Dear Olive,

Yesterday you were six months old. That's half a year. Half a year in which I haven't slept more than three hours in a row, but we?ll get back to that.

One year ago today
, you weighed about 4 ozs. and were approximately four inches long. You made me throw up a lot. I was certain you were a boy, and would constantly poke at you and call you ?Dude". As in ?Dude, please stop kicking me.?

Six months ago
, they placed you in my arms and you felt huge at 7 lbs., 8 ozs.

Now you weigh in at around 15.8 lbs., and are 26 1/2 inches. You are long and lean, not the chubby baby I expected. I blame this on the fact that you never stop moving. Yesterday at the mom's group, I noticed that the other moms hold their babies on their laps and the babies sit quietly, sucking on mom's finger or staring at a toy. Oh my god, that is so not you. I feel like I spend all day, every day, wrestling a monkey. You are not content to sit quietly on my lap for more than a minute, if that. You want to twist around to see what is behind you, and then twist around again, because god forbid you miss something. Oh sweet girl, how did you end up so much like me?

All day yesterday, I kept thinking about the day you were born. I think it will stick in my memory forever as the best day of my life. I kept thinking "Six months ago right now, I had just had the epidural and was feeling great" or "Six months ago right now was when the pain started again" or whatever it was. Quite honestly, I don't think I have the sequence of time quite right in my head, but I'm ok with that. What I don't forget, and what I think I won't ever forget is the hours immediately after you came out. First of all, I could never quite wrap my head around the fact that a real, live baby was inside of me. I don't know why. I thought maybe you were a cat or something. So I had the house prepared- kitty litter, a little feeding dish, and then you turned out to be a baby. Who knew? I remember seeing you as they wisked you across the room, and I was finally able to open my eyes a bit because all the pain was suddenly gone. And I kept asking what you were, even though I was so sure you were a boy. "You have a daughter", they told me, and at once I was knocked back down again. I was so, so sure that you were a boy that the news sent me reeling. I was unprepared for a girl. And Boo-Boo? I am secretly so happy that you are a girl. I'm sure I would have been just as pleased with a boy, but it fills my heart no end to know that I get a daughter in this life. It is an indescribable feeling to know that we will get to share all those things that women share.

The past six months have both dragged on in ways I never knew a day could drag, and simultaneously sped by so fast that sometimes I think that I'm on a train going 200 m.p.h. and that I can't get off. Where does the time go? It is so cliche, and yet so true. It's like I entered into a different zone when you came out, and now things are set differently. I cannot believe that the person that six months ago couldn't do anything beyond nurse and poop is the same person who slurps on a spoon, or sits up and plays or spins around in her Exersaucer, picking things up and throwing them to the ground. I can't imagine the changes that are going to happen in the next six months. It is almost too much to bear.

Sometimes, on good days, your father and I talk about the next child we will have. Don't get your hopes up, little one. We need some sleep before you get a sibling. But we talk about it and we can't imagine that we will love another person as much as we love you. How can it be possible? YOU are clearly the most wonderful and amazing baby to ever live; how could another person compete? How could the experience of having a second ever be as special as having you?

Yesterday, I was in the store, and I came across a mother and her young son. We got to talking and were immediately swapping sleeping tips and neighborhood news, then quickly devolved into postpartum body issues and marital relationships. How quickly and easily moms can talk. You no longer have the time to get to know someone slowly and build a friendship. Instead, it's five minutes in Target while the baby is pacified by their new toy. There is no bullshit involved. Leaving, I marveled at the way motherhood has done the wonderful trick of connecting me to all the other mothers in the world, all trying to do the best they can. It has changed me in ways I couldn't have imagined, and is the most defining thing to have happened to me in this life. For that, Olive, I will be eternally grateful to you.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Six Months (almost):

My mom is famous for being the World's Worst Photographer. Seriously. Every single picture of me growing up is blurry. She would take prom photos that cut out your date EVERY SINGLE TIME. We have given her endless shit for her complete lack of skills, but it is becoming clear that I am following in her footsteps. Thank God the subject is cute.

Note the sitting up(!). Yeah, that happened.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Teacher, leave those kids alone:

I had a dream last night that I returned to my old school and all my students were there. They were so happy to see me. Or happy in the way that teenagers show happiness about any sort of emotion. They joked with me and asked me shyly when I was coming back. And gave me shit, as teenagers are want to do.

In the dream, I kept thinking, "I cannot believe I ever left teaching. I miss it so much."

In real life, I miss it, too, when I have two seconds to even think about it. In theory, it sounds nice. In reality, I maintain that I have the best compromise for a mother ever. I cannot imagine having to get up at 6 a.m. every day (we roll out of bed around nine here), or grading papers after being away from The Olive all day. Being away from The Olive all day. Every day. Being needed so much all day and so much all night. I have no doubt that I would be back on meds at this point if I was back to teaching. If I hadn't died of exhaustion already.

But there are still parts I miss. And I realize The Olive will not need me the way she does now forever. And there will be a point when I don't want to lounge in my pajamas all day, and I want to get back to feeling like I'm making a difference in the world beyond my little family. There will come a day when it feels right to go back to the classroom, I am sure of it.

But last night I wrote out a 'Sleep Plan' for our house, and at the end I included a part about assessments. The teacher in me lives on.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Insomniac Foodie:

So, I am still suffering from post-partum insomnia here. It is awful, terrible, etc. I will not bore you with the details because I could complain about sleep from here to eternity and I fear it is getting a touch boring. I'm a new mom, I don't sleep. End of story.

So, when the insomnia hits, I like to play some games to try to push myself into sleep. Counting sheep, counting backwards from 100 in 3's, listing the states in alphabetical order. Fun stuff. My newest game is a version of "I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing something beginning with (A, B, C, etc.)". But not one to stick to standards, I shake it up a bit. I'm not going on a trip, I'm going on a dessert island, forever. And I'm not bringing things, but rather food items that will be the only food available to me, forever. I must choose wisely. Here goes.

I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing an avocado
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing bread
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing coffee (this is the hardest one for me. how does one choose between coffee, cheese (oh, beautiful cheese! i manage this one later with a touch of creativity), crab? it is tough, but the final decision is that I cannot live without coffee.)
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing d (there is something wrong with me that I cannot think of a food that starts with d. Neither can The Lovely Beausband. Please help us.)
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing eggs
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing flour
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing goat cheese (See? I get a cheese!)
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing half & half (for the coffee, and any cream-based cooking, since cream is another dreaded c-word)
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing icing, cream cheese
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing jack cheese
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing kosher salt
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing lemons
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing mozzarella, fresh
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing nuts
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing onions
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing potatoes
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing quinoa (I couldn't care less, but between this and quince, quinoa seems more versatile)
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing rice
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing sugar
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing tuna, ahi
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing unsalted butter
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing vanilla beans
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing wheat
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing x (there are simply no x food words, so I forgo an x)
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing yogurt
I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing ziti

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Thank god she doesn't speak English yet:

I hit my all-time low as a parent today. I was desperately trying to get out of the house for a meeting this morning. I got up on time, but then it was just one thing after another. Urgent work emails. The need to make more coffee. And to shower. And put on clothes. And to pump. The apartment felt particularly messy and crowded, and I kept tripping over shit. All the while, The Olive would not let me put her down. Not for one second. Not in the bouncy chair or the Exersaucer or the Hop-N-Pop or her special chair or on a blanket on the floor or on the bed. I would set her down, just to put on my pants, for Christ's sake, and she would cry. And wouldn't stop. I tried to let her work through it, but the only time she was happy was in my arms. And maybe you are a better mom than me, but I simply cannot get my make-up on while holding a baby. This went on and on all morning, with me running terribly late and trying to get everything packed up and I snapped. I told her to shut the fuck up, loudly, and then she cried and so did I.

I do not want to be a mom who snaps at her children because of frustration. I know, in my head, that she was having some particularly bad morning- maybe she is teething or maybe she had a bad dream- who can tell? Her bad morning just wasn't working with my schedule, the schedule I have altered my life to adhere to. I know it's not her fault, but oh my god, was I frustrated this morning.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


The Blue Angels are roaring overhead. The bluegrass festival is in full swing at the park. It is a beautiful autumn day in the city- the kind you fantasize about during the fog of summer and rain of winter and moist cool of spring.

I got halfway to the bluegrass festival- literally, drove halfway there with The Lovely Beasuband and friends, after showering and getting dressed and packing the baby's bag and my bag and getting water and the Bjorn and the proper attire on everyone for the possible weather at the park, now and as the day wears on. And then realizing by the time we got there and parked and walked the half mile to the festival, it would be time for me to turn around and leave to get back for the baby's nap, of which I really need to sleep for. So we moved people around cars and I took the baby to the local park to swing on the swings as a big "activity" for the day, to erase any guilt about spending the rest of the beautiful day inside, lying around on the bed.

This is all because I went out last night- back to the mall, even though I hate malls and I am having some serious knee problem that is making walking generally unpleasant. But the night involved me getting some delicious cream puffs, and then randomly ending up getting a totally delicious dinner at a swanky restaurant, with me in my jeans and clogs and hair in a total mom bun, but damn if it wasn't good. But I think that when a switch-up in the routine happens- like we are out or even I am out, the baby does not sleep well, so regardless of the fact that she was put down at 7:00, she didn't really go to sleep until 11:30, and then was up early, and all of this is to say that I am very, very tired.

I am going to rename this blog www.thetiredblog.blogspot.com.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bad Ideas I Had Yesterday:

1. To go to the store (across town) to get the needed piece for my breast pump without calling first. Because obviously they would be closed for an hour and a half staff meeting exactly when I showed up. And no other stores in this major metropolitan area seem to carry this piece.

2. To kill time while waiting for store to reopen by spending an hour at a bookstore carefully deciding which book to get and finally choosing one. Only to get home and realize, hmmmm, I've already read this book.

3. And now I have to go back across town to return that fucker. Grrrr.

4. To try to eat dinner while holding the baby, who grabbed at every single thing, leaving a trail of pasta sauce all over the carpet. At one point, I just gave up and let all of the pasta and sauce form a pile on the carpet, because a girl's gotta eat.

5. To try to "streamline" our nighttime routine by taking a shower with the baby. The experience made the car seat look like a good time. Horrible, slippery, not clean. Never doing that again.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Things We Do For The Children:

I'm going to be up front here. I hate malls. Hate, hate, hate. The crowds of people, the bad, blaring music, the stale air, the same shit in every store. I concede, however, to enjoying a pretzel now and again.

But anyway.

Why, then, was I so excited to visit the brand new mall in downtown San Francisco (a place I usually avoid like the plague)? Why did I feel the need to rush down there with the masses of tourists and locals alike to see yet another fucking Bebe Sport store?

And WITH the baby? Jesus God. The driving down there (singing 'You are my Sunshine' over and over and over and over the entire time because I got the baby model that HATES the car). The parking (a massive lot, where when you drive in it shows you electronically how many spots are available on each of the eight levels). The elevators (so many that go to all these different places, none of which we wanted to go to. would it be so hard to label them 'MALL'?). The loud music in every store that made the baby so fussy? The dressing room nursing and diaper-changing? The negotiating of the stroller in tiny little aisles? The fact that we had to use an inconveniently-located elevator to get to each of the five hundred levels? Why, in the name of God, did I think this was a worthwhile trip?

It was the hat.

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com