Thursday, December 14, 2006

It's been real, or Index, Harper's Style:

Years since beginning this blog: 3 5/6
Jobs held in said four years: 3 (U*S*A Rugby's office manager, Teacher and now the illustrious Program Manager)
Marriages: 1
Pregnancies: 1
Births: 1
Places lived: 3
Cities lived: 2
Degrees Obtained: 1, and a credential
Blog Posts: 1,193
Times I have faked innocence about this blog: 3
Times I have been in a class and somebody has mentioned this blog without knowing who I was: 1
Friends made through the blog that I have actually met in real life: 10
Friends made through the blog that I have not met in real life but still oddly feel like friends because we email often: 4
Friends that I met in real life and then solidified the friendship with through the blog: 6
Times I have thought it was a better idea to shut the hell up and enjoy my life, quiet and boring as it is, than spend so much damn time on the Internet: 1, but it's enough

Thanks all, for everything these past four years. It's hard to imagine what my life will be like without the blog, but I look forward to finding out.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Not Angry Enough:

Babble launches tonight without me.

That’s right, I was fired before actually beginning. That really has to be some sort of record. Apparently my voice is too “mommy-bloggish” and “not the right fit”.

Babble is touting itself as irreverent and edgy, which I’m sure it will be. Alas, I am neither of those things.

I think it boils down to me not being angry enough. I tried to pull out my creds- Hey! I listen to Ani Difranco and Rage Against the Machine! I am angry, too! I swear!

But in all honesty, I am not. Before being fired (this is my first firing, ever), I was having serious doubts. The approach they are taking seemed to be one that is constructed around being exclusive and hip for the sake of being hip. Different for the sake of being different. Which is great for them. They can wear the skinny jeans and leg warmers, but I’ll be over here in boot-cuts with clogs. For me, becoming a parent has been the great equalizer. Whether I talk to people who breastfeed or formula-feed, who co-sleep or have their babies in a crib in another room, who stay at home or send their children to daycare, we are all doing the best we can and love our children more than we thought humanly possible. Why do we need to divide ourselves up into categories and talk shit about the others? Won't we do better standing together?

In all honesty, this brings up two things that I have been thinking about for awhile.

The first is that I have never considered myself a writer. In fact, I hate writing. And yet I’ve kept this blog for almost four years, so there’s that. I write. But I think the difference between a writer and a good writer is that a good writer can take banal things and make them funny and poignant. Whereas I have had funny or poignant things happen and I write them down. There is a difference.

The second thing this brings up is the ever-increasing exclusivity of the blog world. Maybe it has always been there and I just haven’t noticed, but these days it feels like it taints things more and more for me. Since Blogher, I have had a bad taste in my mouth about blogging but have just sort of plugged along. I thought that I was going to quit altogether but then decided to just take a month off and see how I felt. Something in me decided to give it one more shot, but I am still feeling like it might be time to pull the plug on Posthipchick.

Anyway, go read Babble and find out how to be edgy and irreverent. God knows you aren’t going to find out here.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Small World:

Don't you love when someone answers your craigslist posting about selling your couch and they show up and it turns out to be someone you went to college with and totally enjoyed and now they are going to buy your couch and also you guys can hang out sometime? Yeah, I love that too.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I have spent the last few days alternating between obsessively refreshing my sfgate page, looking for news about the Kims, emailing and IM'ing with friends about possible scenarios, and caring for a sick baby while becoming sick myself.

When I was up last night at 1 with a sobbing baby who just vomited all over me, I checked the page. At 3, when she was wrecked by not being able to nurse, I checked the page. I was holding out hope that James would be found alive and I am devastated to know that he isn't.

Through all of this, I began to question why exactly I cared so much. But the fact is, this story hits incredibly close to home. I know people who know each of them. They live on the same street as my MIL, not a mile from us. Their youngest daughter is exactly the same age as The Olive.

You begin to play out the scenario- this could have been us. We could have taken a wrong turn. We could have been terrified in a car for nine days, keeping our children alive by breastfeeding them. Our husbands could have set out for help and died saving our family.

It is sad but true, I think, that the more you feel connected to something, the more you pay attention to it. They are certainly not the only family to be suffering a devastating loss right now, but they are the only ones within my line of vision.

I want to do something to commemorate their bravery and loss, but even with someone so close, I fear there is nothing I can do. So I will hug by sickly little daughter and wonderful husband a little tighter tonight and remember how amazingly lucky I am. May the Kim family have some peace.

Edited to add: Stefania and I are planning on putting some flowers at their family store tomorrow. If you would like me to add anything from you, leave it in the comments.

Pics are up.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I have become the mom I never thought I'd be:

I am actively trying to get The Olive interested in the Teletubbies. As in I have tivo'd an episode and we turn it on about once a day to distract us from our current frustrations. I have this theory that the more she sees it, the more excited she will be about it. It usually lasts about two minutes, and then she's back to her "frustrated" noise, a sort of grunting like you think she might be pooping, but alas, it's just a special Olive noise used to express frustration at any given situation and is, based on my time with other babies, not a universal noise. It is also the noise I am quite sure will follow me into Hell, because there is nothing worse I have heard, ever, and if you find me in the mental institution one day, it is quite likely that noise that drove me there.

So! The Teletubbies are quite trippy, no? I'm sure many have discussed these alien bears far more eloquently than I can. In fact, I'm sure some Education student somewhere has a fascinating thesis on the subject, so if you are so inclined, go ahead and look that up.

Watching the Teletubbies has, however, confirmed one thing for me. British accents are just so much cuter than American accents. I feel that I am doing The Olive a disservice by not raising her in Ye Olde Country and allowing her to develop that endearing accent. There are simply no immersion schools for American English and British English, and I must say, I think that is a shame. We may have to cozy up a little more to some of our British friends to encourage a little rub-off onto The Olive's vocabulary.

Or just watch more Teletubbies. Good mom, Good mom.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Welcome to the Working Week:

Everyone I "work" with (work in parenthesis because everyone besides me is a volunteer) are parents. So when there is a meeting at their house, they always welcome me to bring The Olive. I always politely decline, because while their school-age kids are content to watch a video in the other room, I don't have confidence The Olive is up to that yet.

But today there was a meeting and the host not only told us children were welcome, but also that their nanny would be there. And the meeting was at a time that our nanny wasn't available and The Lovely Beausband had a work thing, so... I just marveled at how freaking lucky I am once again in having this job.

Of course, there would be a little work "emergency" today, which meant I had to haul The Olive along to two meetings instead of just one. The first, she was great. I plopped her on a blanket on the floor with my keys and the house had an unbelievably friendly cat and I was free to hash out spreadsheet nightmares. She didn't even peep.

Then we got to our next meeting and I foolishly tried to hand The Olive over to the nanny and the other children, who were so excited for her to come that they had "babyproofed" the house and pulled out all their old toys, you know what happened, right? Hint: I have a seven-month old. What do seven-month olds do? C'mon. You know it. Separation Anxiety, in full force.

So after giving her a few minutes of trying to relax and realizing that was so not happening, I went and scooped her up and thought I would try to hold her on my lap during the meeting. I gave her my keys, my sunglasses, all the things that normally work to keep her quiet for whole minutes at a time.

Of course, this is when The Olive decided to learn to talk. Sure, there's been the occasion 'Ga' here or there, but this was T-A-L-K-I-N-G. "Ba-ba-ba-BAAAAAAAA-Daa-DAAAAA-DAAAAA" at the top of her lungs. For the entire meeting. Of course, I was stunned. I have never heard anything like this out of her before. It was so jarring and sudden. Everyone was trying to hold a meeting, for Gods sake, about important websites and software and auctions and there was The Olive, trying to tell us all about how she wants to be a businesswoman when she grows up or how today's reading circle was. I honestly don't know. I do know, however, that nobody could even talk over her babble and I also know that she might not be invited to any more meetings.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hiatus interruptus:

A few months ago, I got a comment on one of my posts and clicked over to the website of the commenter. I do this fairly often, particularly with commenters I am not familiar with.

I clicked over and saw a family who had just delivered their baby at 27 weeks gestation. As in three months before his due date, thirteen weeks early. Early enough that I imagine most babies would not survive.

I have said it before and I will say it again- this thing that happens when you become a mom, where you feel so deeply for other mothers and the pain they go through- it is staggering.

For almost three months, I have followed their son's struggles and accomplishments, and marveled at the fact that they have managed to stay positive and hopeful in the face of such fear.

And it is so worth interrupting my hiatus to tell you that today they took their son home. I find it hard to imagine that they shed more tears than me, but I'm sure they did.

Go Jack.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Aren't you glad November is NaBloPoMo? Everyone posting and all.

So while everyone else posts every day, I'm going to not post every day. I know, how meta.

Have a great Thanksgiving and see you in December.

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
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