Friday, September 21, 2012

Parenting Challenge #323

Curb your instinct to burst into guffaws when the adorable 3.5 year old girl serenades you with a mini-opera with a single lyric: shit.
Foul-mouth'd cherub.

Shit! Shitshit! Shit shit shit shit shit shiiiiiiiiiiiit!


1 Million, Billion Bonus Points for accomplishing this before you have finished your morning coffee.

(Who else is glad it's Friday?)

xoxo, A

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


The baby has been out as long as she was in, 9 months old on Sunday the 2nd. The baby is trying very hard to not be a baby for much longer, what with all the pulling up and climbing stairs and trying to walk and babble-conversing and being almost a year old. The baby needs to STOP because she is my last baby and she is really just the sweetest, silliest, easiest baby ever.

I haven't yet told you her birth story, partly because it was so devoid of drama. The baby has been so agreeable from the moment she was conceived (excepting the 8 days she hung out past her due date, that was kind of a dick move) that I was able to deliver her without any pain medication whatsoever. So, we can do this real quick and move on:

Overdue. Boo.

After trying sex and pineapple and long walks and yoga and spicy foods and pizza and swept membranes and everything that is supposed to get the damn baby out, one Thursday night, a full week past my due date, I felt a contraction. A real, true contraction that made me go oof. But it was only one. And so we put our big girl to bed and went to bed ourselves. I had decided that I would try laboring through a *very* unstudied version of the Bradley method, and somehow lulled myself into such a state of relaxation that I was able to sleep for a few hours at a time between the somewhat more intense contractions, until the next morning. Friday, December 2nd. We woke rested and ready to get the show on the road.

The baby is so considerate that she waited until her big sister was breakfasted and whisked away by my parents for a weekend of ice cream and movies. The in-laws were put on alert to begin their drive up from Connecticut. Tim and I arrived at the hospital in time for a second breakfast*, around 10 am, and so began the long waiting time. Contractions were coming every five minutes or so, and for every one I closed my eyes and breathed slowly and deliberately and went hmmmmmm and was probably pretty weird-looking but it fucking worked. We walked the halls, we did the stupid slow-dance shuffle you see on every birthing video, I used the birthing ball, I draped my upper body over the edge of the bed and watched Food Network (that shit is soothing) while Tim rubbed my back. I had my Pandora station set to Super 70s Soul. It was awesome. We had a break for lunch*.  I went to the bathroom several times. See how boring is this? It was kind of boring, except for the growing realization that we were ABOUT TO HAVE A (NOTHER) BABY HOLY SHIT. But I was trying to keep that voice quiet, because that panicked voice had served me ill at Little A's birth. So with the Giada and the Contessa and the Aretha and the hmmmmm I kept the panic at bay.

My lovely midwife, Jerri, popped in at intervals to check my stats and sit on the couch and just hang out. My even nicer nurse came by more frequently to chat about whatever, our kids, the current show on TV, oh and also monitor my contractions and give me the crazy strong antibiotics I needed for the Group B strep I somehow picked up between pregnancies. At one point the nurse gave me the best shoulder rub I have ever had in my entire life, seriously, I would have paid a hundred dollars for that outside of the hospital, and there I was getting it for free just because I was pushing a baby out. Lucky me! Also, oxytocin is for real. Because:

After said shoulder rub, all of a sudden I got really, really tired. I wanted to lie down on the bed, so I did. And then even more suddenly shit got super real. My contractions became much more intense and frequent. I felt something like a water balloon popping inside my ladyparts and OH IT WAS MY WATER BREAKING SHIT IS GETTING REAL. The thought hey! an epidural would be really nice right about now floated into my mind space, but it was way too late. I was fully dilated and stripped out of my civilian clothes (cause, duh, I never changed until my water broke and ew gross like nearly everything birth-related) and the nurse was put on hurry-up to set up the birthing tray because all of a sudden I wanted to push. I never got that overwhelming sensation with Little A., but here it was: I wanted to push and push and please don't make me stop pushing because I am gonna be a pushing machine. The nurse said I could do little tiny pushes until Jerri came back from another patient. That kind of made me laugh. *Tiny* pushes? Hee. Hee. See how tiny?

And then Jerri came back. Jerri said, do whatever you need to do. Apparently, what I needed to do was grab those bars on the top of the bed (the next day my arms were SO sore, like I did 100 pullups) and go RAAAWWWWRRRR like a crazy thing. And maybe 4 crazy Sheela-na-Gig pushes later, Baby G shot out. Seriously. My nurse said she'd never seen a baby come out that fast. This is not bragging; I literally couldn't have helped myself. Unlike the first birth, I just let my body do its thing. And my body, I guess, can be efficient when my head is not in the way.
9 minutes old. Total. Bliss.

But then there was the problem. Baby G had the umbilical cord around her neck, and because my body wanted to shoot the baby out, Jerri didn't have time to gracefully unwrap the cord. So oh, oh, oh. The grey little baby they put on my chest that day at 3:40 pm. I cried and begged her to start crying, too. They took her away to give her oxygen and I cried and begged them to bring her back. Two of the longest minutes of my life passed and finally, finally, I heard her little cry and they brought her back to me and we looked into each other's eyes and good lord you guys. I fell in love so completely. We sat, happily cuddling and nursing and dreamily smelling her head and admiring her fingers and etc., for hours. The oxytocin and other feel-good chemicals didn't leave my system for two weeks.

9 months old. Total. Goof.

Natural childbirth, yo. Thumbs WAY up.

And so, my last baby was born. And it was so amazing, and so banal. And so, we became a family of four.

The end.

The beginning.

xoxo, A

*If you have a baby, do yourself a favor and find a midwife practice. So empowering! I got to decide things! I didn't get poked and prodded against my will every 15 minutes! I got to EAT! YAY MIDWIVES.

Gratutious babytoe photo serves no purpose.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Goin' Round this Roundabout

Well, in case you were wondering, I have found the cure for my recent, ridiculous overabundance of nostalgia: my 20-year high school reunion.

Every day I drive 40 minutes to sit in an office in the basement of the house where I spent all but the earliest of my school years. The house where I woke up at 5 am so I could do my homework and eat breakfast alone and have plenty of time to put a shit ton of mousse in my hair (no big bangs, though. More like a skater boy cut. Yikes). Where I got in a shit ton of trouble because I got caught spending the night at my boyfriend's house instead of at Ingrid's. Where I cheated on said boyfriend and then broke up with him and then got back together and then finally broke up with him for good after my freshman year in college. Where I opened my acceptance (and one most painful rejection) letters from college. Where I sat in a cheap, low fabric chair on the deck, reading Orlando and longing to be grown up and make important decisions for myself.

Little did I know I was making important decisions for myself, and casting my character, if not in stone, than at least in something it would be very, very difficult to modify. I graduated from high school on a hot day in June of 1992 and surprised myself by sobbing at the very lame Project Graduation party afterwards. The summer after we graduated I saw virtually no one but my boyfriend. My best girl friend found alcohol and lost her virginity and hung out with other girls I had known for years but who never quite were my friends. 

The roads leading to this house are all full of nostalgia-bombs too: the road upon which my boyfriend drove us, too fast and blasting Dinosaur Jr., to school every day. The road from the boyfriend's house I drove way too fast so I could beat a ridiculously early curfew. The road that twists up to the old grange hall where I was in my first "professional" theatrical production. The traffic light at the turn I took to my since-Jr-High crush's house on the day when I finally told him how I pined for him all those years I was his friend and confidante about all the other girls he dated (and how much was my life like a John Hughes movie?).

See? Everywhere I go around here, there is always something there to remind me. I have been spending the past year in the near-constant dull ache of nostalgia for days of old. For what was. I guess for what might have been.

And damned if there isn't a more bracing tonic for what might have been than confronting what is right now.

I did not keep in touch with anyone from my class but intermittently with said ex-boyfriend and one other girl who inexplicably asked me to be her bridesmaid. At our 10 year reunion I was newly transplanted to Brooklyn, super shiny and happy and in love with my life. So I went, and drank, and mingled with the barely-changed faces (the bride had gained weight but still looked and seemed essentially the same). Then ten more years somehow flew by and I moved back to Maine and bought a house with a boy and had two babies and wait how the fuck did ten MORE years go by?

And although I knew I would not know anyone, not really, at the reunion, I sure did have to go. My parents were lined up to babysit and I got my biennial haircut then nervously and uncharacteristically tried on several different outfits.

And thus coiffed and dressed we arrived at this ugly little cheap hotel event space. And BOOM went my nostalgia. All those familiar faces, grown rounder and softer. Everyone's voice sounds different than I remember. There were husbands and wives and pictures of children. No one is especially fabulous or especially grotesque. Stephanie was still a bitch, Melissa still smart and competitive, Marcy still bubbly and sweet, Laura still pretty and vapid, Dan still ruggedly handsome and vague. My old best friend Angela and I just sort of picked up where we left off and talked about life with new babies in our same old half-joking can you believe my LIFE way that we used to talk about our teachers or our crushes. The old cliques from high school formed again at the reunion, but with alcohol. We were just a collection of almost 40-year olds gathered 'round to celebrate the mere fact that we can still gather 'round. And then one classmate's band started to play and people started to dance and I am sure that is where things got more interesting but of course, I had to bail to meet curfew.

So. I still drive to my old house every day, and feel twinges of the past, ghosts of my decisions. But the ache is gone. We all just got older, but are not that old, and we wandered around living, but still have plenty left to do, and that is all. 

xoxo, A

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I've Got My Own Hell to Raise (as long as it's before 11 pm)

You guys! I went out! To a show! With a girlfriend! A nighttime ladydate! With cocktails! It was amazing!  Nighttime! And a regular bra!! FREEDOM!!!

(Yep, until the SUPER WILD HOUR of 11 pm. And then boy was I hurtin' in the morning, cause babies don't care how late you were up or how many Citron and Sodas you had (2.5, for the record) or about you stupid post-pregnancy feet not used to heels anymore ouch.)

All that aside, how long have we loved Fiona Apple? A long time. It was so long ago that I first heard Tidal and was struck by its exotic familiarity. For a very long time I have been trying to perfect the ascending notes of Slow Like Honey during my shower-singing sessions (much to the chagrin of many of my former roommates, I am sure). For a very long time I have been amazed that someone could string together lyrics like "you've no reverence to my concern" in a goddamn hit single. Fiona, man. Carrying forth the solemn torch of confessional poets like Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, combined with the badass self-preservation of Patti Smith. She keeps on making albums, surviving, and (perhaps unwillingly) serving as an inspiration to hordes of overly-sensitive young women who get all poetically mad at their boyfriends. Or the world. Whichever.  Not that we know anything about women like that. Not at all.

So, anyway. I had been silently moping over my presumption that the show -- because it was a social event happening in the evening and I just don't do that shit anymore -- was not going to happen for me. But one serendipitous conversation later (Tim mentioned to his friend that I had wanted to go and his friend said his wife, who is the sweetest person ever, also wanted to go but neither of us thought we would go because no one else had asked us to go wah wah waaah this is why you should just ask people if they want to do things, SELF) and I booked a lady-date to see an awesome lady-singer. I was thrilled to be out and happy to shell out the dough to see how Ms. Apple has grown up.

What I found out is that she barely has. Her voice was ferocious, ragged in some songs, on purpose. She danced like a feral yoga instructor or plopped herself down cross-legged and swayed like a little girl listening to records during musical breaks. She chastised the audience for talking during songs (people who talk during songs are bad in bed, she said. And so, um, I stopped talking). The whites of her huge eyes were visible in every part of the auditorium.  It was a tiny bit scary and fairly enthralling and the opposite of the shiny shiny polished pop star thing that a lot of music has become.

She played all the "hits" and several songs I had never heard before, including one batshit crazy song off her new album that is all circus bloops and jangles and was awesome and this description is why I am not a famous music critic. I liked it, and I want to buy the album and play it at high volumes in my car. There you go. 

And the show, the mere act of sitting in front of someone who has gone for the elusive it that is making a living sharing stories about yourself, nudged that part of me that identifies with writers, singers, artists, soul-barers. Not that I have DONE anything about it -- mama hasn't got the mental energy yet, but soon -- I was reminded she is there. The girl who used to carry a tiny notebook and dash off poems at cigarette breaks. The girl who felt too much and slept too little and thought that misery was the only true path to art. My greatest form of self-expression is through my kids, these days, and that is fine and good. But my former self, cut-off army shorts with Camels in the pockets, no money, bad boyfriends, sparking with creative energy self, yearns for another sort of outlet. Soon, I promise her. Soon.

xoxo, A

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I Was Born, 6-gun in My Hand

Hey, have we talked about 3.5-year-olds? They are mystifying, awesome, terrible creatures. One minute, cuddly, hilarious, helpful, and sweet. The next, swinging at you with fists of fury and SPITTING because of some unintended slight. Woe betide the mama who BUCKLES THE TOP BUCKLES!!! Unless, of course, she wants me to buckle her top buckle.

Two things have helped shore up my stores of patience: treating her like a slightly deranged person [ie: never rushing her, asking about preferences before doing (cf: "do you want to snap your top buckles?"), and never ever ever rushing her, again] and re-framing tantrums as "emotion storms," which makes me feel a bit like a hippy-woo-touchy-feely-parent but also forces me to remember that we are, in fact, dealing with a creature who knows not, not always, how to modulate her reactions and emotions. Who will make a mountain out of a you-didn't-get-me-the-kind-of-popsicle-I-wanted-molehill. Sort of like me before all of my years of therapy and yoga, but my emotion storms were all internal. Except for that one time in Boston I had to pull over my car and kick things. But that's a story for another time!


Last week was especially challenging on the toddler-care front; I am not sure why. Perhaps we are both tired. Perhaps she is having a growth spurt. Perhaps I am not eating enough or drinking enough water. Perhaps we are both just having a week where we are both assholes. There has been too much shouting and too many tears. Too much purposeful ignoring. Too much threatening and stomping and goddamnit-I-JUST-NEED-SOME-SPACE-ing.

It's both of us, but I guess it is really mostly me. I need to shift my attitude, I need to get more sleep, I need to remember that she is just small, and figuring everything out, and also? That she is my hilarious, sweet, goofball, first baby.


One afternoon, she told me, in the blandest conversational tone, I told Cooper, "Penis Company."  I paused. You said what? I asked. I told Cooper, "Penis Company," she said again. I boggled for a moment, then asked, well what did you MEAN by that? Use those words in a sentence. She sighed, gave me the slightest hint of an eye-roll, and just said again, PENIS COMPANY. As if this was something everyone knew.  Her friend Cooper knows now, I guess.

However, the adults in our house still haven't figured this one out, and since we haven't had a note from her preschool teacher, we're leaving it alone. Though. Sometimes I will nudge Tim in the middle of the night and say PENIS COMPANY and start laughing, because I am a big jerk.


We have started Little A. in swim lessons, because she is hard-core loving the pool this year, and I am equal parts happy and terrified about that. Happy: I love to swim and it is one of the few sport-type things I feel like I do well, so we can share this. Terrified: Water. Toddlers. I need not say more.

So anyway, to the local pool/Red Cross Swim lessons she goes, and every week she is excited to show off what she has learned. This week, during our post-dinner post-lesson swim, she tucked her pool noodle under her arms, leaned slightly to the side, and did an enthusiastic scissor kick. And yelled BOOTY CHANT! BOOTY CHANCE! BOOTY SHANK! 

Again I stopped agog. Did you learn that at your swim lesson? I asked. No, it is my own special swim, she said back. And then swam and shouted BOOTY CHAMP BOOTY SHANK over and over until I declared swim time was over and wrestled her out of the pool and into the shower and into bed whereupon she alternately shrieked and kicked and shouted she was not tired and snuggled and sighed and said I love you bigger than all the moons and stars Mama.

Because that is a 3.5 year old. I am so lucky to have one. 

xoxo, A

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

They Will Say It's Elementary

As I might have mentioned, Little A. is FULL of questions lately. Figuring out the world, she is. Most of the questions are easy to answer. Even things like "Why is Easter?" and "What is GAY?" can be broken down into toddler-ese, with relative ease. I don't want to shy away from telling her about life and all the complicated and amazing things people do.

(Por example -- Easter: A long time ago, there was a man named Jesus. A lot of people liked him a lot. He told people to be nice to each other and helped people. But some people didn't like him, and they got so mad at him, they decided to kill him. But lots of people think Jesus was magic (yep, thank you, Sarah Silverman) and came back to life on the Sunday after he was killed, and they made a holiday called Easter to celebrate that magic. And gay? Well, that's just like how Mommy and Daddy like each other a lot; we are a girl and a boy. But sometimes a girl likes another girl a lot, or a boy likes another boy a lot, and that is called being gay. These answers worked, people! Nary a why afterwards!) 

But. The other morning, before we had even finished breakfast, as I was running around packing snacks and lunches and pump parts and extra clothes and diapers and does-everyone-have-pants-on? checks I heard her voice pipe up, asking Tim: Are you and Mommy married?
I continued out of the room. And said, under my breath: Good luck with that one, Tim! 

Because, while the answer is simple: we just aren't. But. It is also adultly-complicated: Mommy is a serial monogamist who is terrified of commitment, and while she considers it a triumph of emotional maturity and years of therapy that she does not blame Nana and Grampa for her issues, she sure can point the finger squarely at their perpetually, obviously unhappy marriage for THAT one. Also, Daddy was married before and it was pretty terrible. And his parents got divorced and it was even worse than terrible. And marriage is forever and the thought of being legally bound to someone forever makes Mommy feel like someone put a plastic bag over her head. And also, Mommy likes to claim you guys as single head of household. Shall we get into tax code this early in the day?

No. No no no. So, I ran away. And waited to hear what he would say. It was this:

No, we are not married. But we love each other very much, and we love you and baby G very much, and together we make a family.  

And that, my friends, was as much of an answer as she needed. And as much of an answer as *I* need. Here's hoping we'll get a few years of mileage out of that, so Mama can work out some of those commitment issues before her friends with married gay parents (c'mon, Maine!) start teasing her on the playground.

xoxo, A

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

DWITYTD* -- Pump up the Jams

*Do What I Tell You to Do: a series of totally-unsolicited-proffered-expertise-conferred-solely-by-virtue-of-birthing-two-babies...

One of the many delightful parts of the WOHM-itude is everyone's favorite: pumping. The frequent breaks are nice (though definitely cut into my productivity, and since I share an office with my boss/dad I am SO NOT doing the hands-free pump at my desk thang). And I am super glad to express enough that Baby G has her mama-milks when we can't be together (though for a while I couldn't keep up and she was getting one bottle of formula, no shame in that game). I was using a little manual pump at first but soon graduated myself to the mighty Pump-in-Style. A few months of missteps and being super annoyed with the constant washing and clutter of pump parts and bottles and etc... I have finally hit on a system that works for me, thanks to loads of research, ignoring said research, and alternatively following and ignoring the unsolicited advice of other moms. As you do.

Anyway, let's share, shall we?

First, I remember reading somewhere that milk supply tends to be highest in the morning, shortly after your first nursing session of the day. Ah yes, here it is. For me, that was so very not true. If I don't put a good three hours between nursing and pumping at any point during the day, my output is sad. Nothing like dusty, dry boob to make you feel like a failure as a mother. So I wait until I feel ever so slightly uncomfortable for that first session, and then pump every 2 hrs after that. And then once more before bed. All for -- at best -- 16 oz of milk total for the day. It helped to decrease my expectations per this article. I also drink the Mother's Milk tea sometimes and eat a ton of oatmeal.

[PRO TIP: don't be an idiot like me and assume that turning the pump way up is best. Stupid goddamn OW. I start at a high-ish speed and then turn it down as much as possible during the expression phase.]

Too cute! Ow! My boobs!
Lie back and think of England your baby during your session for best results. Seriously, I have loads of video of Baby G being adorable and 1200 other photos to scroll through. Works like a charm, also is good for distracting boss/dad when he wonders why I must take 1.5 hours of breaks every day.

Between sessions I just stick the bottles with the flange and all attached in a plastic freezer bag and put the whole kit in the fridge. With a nice note: "ANYBODY TOUCHES MY STUFF...YOU FUCKING DIE."

Then! My best hack ever! At the end of the day, I cap off the bottles of milk and take apart the pump parts and put them into the baggie to travel home. When I am cleaning up after dinner, I squirt some dishsoap into the bag, fill it with the hottest water I can stand, seal up and swish it around for a bit, poke at the weird tiny crevices with my little brush from my bottles (which also fit right onto the pump, win/win), rinse the parts with hot water and put them on this awesome little drying rack. Every couple of days/when the dishwasher is full, I put everything into this wonderful amazing thing, just to get everything all hot and sanitized.

(Why, yes, in fact, getting excited over plastic bits from Target does give me an identity crisis. Domesticity FTWTF.)

So, there you have it, folks. Much ado for about pumpin'. Any other mamas have any advice to add?

Con muchos besos, A

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Than It is to Rust

I am having a hard time starting this post. Figuring out the tone. Finding a way to convey that I am well aware that he was just a cat, and that if he had to go, at least it was quick, and he was healthy until the moment he died, and knew he was loved (Do cats care about that? He at least knew all his needs would be met with great haste, and isn't that what cats demand of us?).

But, you guys. My cat got run over, and I am sad.

You never know how pervasive these creatures are, the pets we choose to share our lives, until they are gone. I keep seeing him disappear around corners out of the corner of my eye. I catch myself waiting to hear him tap-tap-tapping into the den to sit next to me and purr too goddamn loudly before I start my nightly episode of Mad Men. My heart seized last night when I thought I heard a rustle in the corner where he liked to sleep (on a pile of my maternity clothes that was meant to be bagged and sent to Goodwill but I kept because he liked to sleep on it). Every morning I push the container holding his steroid pills (the stupid guy had asthma, have you ever heard of such a thing) further into our vitamin cupboard. I can't throw them out, yet. His bag of treats is still sitting on the counter, though my father-in-law picked up his food bowl and hid it away in the pantry.

He was the cat we worried about most when we first brought Little A. home from the hospital. Worried, like, would he scratch the baby? Would he scratch up the couch because he is mad about the baby? Our worries were completely unfounded. He was the most awesome cat after all. He would let the baby pull his tail, or a handful of fur, and never once raised a paw. He would give me a oh god please help meeeee look, and I would accordingly unclench the fat fist from whatever body part. But never once, not once, did he even threaten to hurt anyone. Not even when Little A. squished his most-amazingly-soft underbelly, or tried to pick him up by the front paws, or when Baby G poked him in the eye and pulled his whiskers and put his tail in her mouth.

Grey kitty photobomb
Every morning, he would meow his way up the stairs, thump into our bedroom, jump onto my nightstand, meow some more and then grumble around trying to find a place to cuddle in the middle of the family wake-up routine. This Sunday, I woke up to find him already cuddled next to the baby, who was having her post-super-early-nursing-session snooze next to me. I said hey you're not allowed at this end of the bed, and he gave me a very cat you talkin' to me about rules, mama? Psssht. look. And Little G rolled over, delighted to see Kitty! Pull fur! Fur in mouth! YAY! 

A couple of hours later, while we were packing up for a trip to Gramma's house at the lake, and doing the last minute locate-and-lock-down-the-pets routine, Tim discovered his body in the middle of the road. No one stopped, we didn't hear any brakes.

Mama is very sad, Little A., because Grey Kitty got killed by a car, and we are never going to see him again.

Don't worry, Mama. We can get another one, she said, soothingly, and patted my arm. Don't be sad.

But I am going to be sad, for a little while longer, because while it is most likely we will get another cat, we will never find such a good-natured, fat, incredibly soft cat, who I will imagine is gay, into furries, and has a British accent (c'mon, you don't over-anthropomorphize too?)

No, this one is irreplaceable, and now he is buried in his most favorite sun-dappled spot in the yard, from whence he would survey his territory, and protect the chickens, and come dashing when I called for him. For even though Tim brought him home from the shelter years before I met him, the Grey Kitty was truly mine. And I miss him so.

Con muchos besos, A

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Rainy Dampish Soggy Squishy Wet-Everything Blues

Rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain. Rain. Rain. Rain drizzle rain.

You get the idea. It has rained a shitload recently, and all of the rain went into my motherpluckin' basement.

Home ownership. It is lovely for about...3 months out of the year. When the grass in the backyard is lush green, and one can sit on the deck with a glass of wine listening to birdsong, or the entire landscape is curvy white with snow and the air smells new. When the leaves are all burnt sienna and a deer tiptoes across the treeline. Before we have to turn on the heat in the fall or the air conditioners ('cause Mama don't sleep in a hot bedroom) in the summer. When we have a houseful of friends because we can. When the chickens are pecking through the bugs and the kids are on the back porch and I can open the kitchen window and breathe in the fresh Maine air. And smell a little chlorine from the pool.

And then there are the other times. When the boiler craps out because someone *ahem* forgot to call the oil company like she said she would. When staring at a pile of laundry that the dog peed on that can't be washed because the machine decided to be a bitch. And, I found out, when waking up on a Sunday morning to discover the kitty litter box floating on top of 6 inches of water in the basement. Dudes, this was seriously gross. I mean, at least the water wasn't IN the box, but. That is a small comfort. The dank water was actually high enough to snuff the flame to our oil burner, which meant no hot water.

And the cat was so mad about having a swimming pool around his box that he barfed on our bed. 

They're smiling because they can't smell themselves.
I dunno about you, but for me, with two small kids and a dog and a cat and smelly butts all around everywhere, hot water is a necessity. I was not in the mood to go all Little House (which we did several times this winter when said boiler crapped) and put a pot of water to simmer on the stove, so decamp we did to my parents' house, my childhood home. We brought pizzas and grandkids so my folks were not put out. Little A. got to play with my mother's ancient dollies and have ice cream. Baby G greeted my dad with outstretched arms and didn't want to leave his lap the rest of the night (which might have been the cutest thing I have ever seen).

And I had a glass of wine and read O Magazine after the girls went to bed and Tim went home and sump-pumped out the basement because if you're going to have a crappy old house it is very handy to obtain a partner who knows how to fix all kinds of things so take my advice and get one of those. And also a sump pump, and a fire extinguisher, and a good homeowner's insurance policy. By Monday morning, the oil burner was back on, and by that evening, the cellar floor was basically dry.

So we all lived happily ever after, except for all the piles of sodden disgusting crap (some literal, some figurative) in the basement. When you next visit, please ignore the dumpster in the driveway. We're trying to keep it classy around here.

Con muchos besos, A

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Can Do Yoga with a Yak all Year in my Yard

EXT: Grey station wagon pulling out of suburban driveway onto a busy road.

Cut to slightly frazzled looking MOM in the front seat, adorable 3-year-old LITTLE A in the backseat, looking out the window. BABY G is sitting in her car seat next to LITTLE A., only barely visible. All is quiet, except for the radio and the little jingles of the baby's toy. But then....

LITTLE A: Why do we go this way every day Mama? Why do we wait our turn? Why did Daddy leave before us? Why did you put on your blinker? Why is baby G chewing on her hands all the time? Why do you drink coffee? Why did Brad go to the train station last night?

MOM: Well, A., that's because --

LITTLE A: Why do we go frew the toeboof? Why we give that guy a dollar? Why does that guy have tattoos? Why isn't the lady working today? Why does Daddy work on cars? Why do some people get lasers after? Why are they fixing the bridge? Why did you pack me a snack for my Sunny Days? Why are we going on the highway?

MOM: We have to give them a --

LITTLE A: Why we stopping now? Why we waiting our turns? Why is it bad to have an axtident? Why do we have to wear buckles? Why is Baby G looking at me? Why is it starting to rain? Why is that truck red? Why does it have wheels under? Why is it not good for me to poop in my underpants? Why is Nat-Nat in Florida?

MOM: If the car gets --

LITTLE A: Why is that squirrel died? Why did our black cat die? Why is grey kitty not died? Why does Miss Missy have a blue shirt? Why does Baby Jacob sleep in his swing? Why do we have to feed Fifi-fishie two times? Why does Floyd pee on the rug?

MOM: Sometimes people and things just --

LITTLE A: Why you go to work after 5 minutes? Why you pick me up? Why does Baby G go in her car seat that way? Why she have fweet potatoes for breakfast? Why is it so stinky when I poop in the potty? Why did you stop now? Why are we waiting our turns? Why did Daddy go in the different car today? Why are we having fish cakes for supper? Why do you have your hair in a bun?

MOM: (unintelligible mumbling)


She sits back again, content. Looks out the window at the passing scenery. Just as she begins to open her mouth again, the screen goes black. 


Con muchos besos,  A

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I See You

Little A. wants to go higher, higher, higher all the time. Can you do an underdogs? she pleads. I want to go SOOOPER HIGH! I'll only do the coveted underdog move when she is in the toddler swings, but it still makes me nervous. When did she learn about underdogs, and when did she start loving to swing so high? Just weeks ago, she would panic over anything more than a 15-degree arc. 


I never chose my girlfriends wisely, or was an inadequate friend; I was never certain, but I never could hold on. Once I reached middle school, I gradually dropped my sweet, loyal elementary school friends because I wanted to talk about boys and wear OP and do theatre and listen to the Beastie Boys and they weren't quite there yet. This was, I hope, painless for all involved: we simply grew apart, but were always friendly.

Just once, I was the mean girl: renouncing Julie, my best friend the previous year at camp to hang with the cooler girls in the shack. We teased her and made her cry. The power was intoxicating: just like I would feel later when I smoked or drank too much, giddy and sick at the same time. Admittance to the cool crowd was tenuous for everyone but one or two founding members. You never knew when it was your turn to be the chum. Nerve-wracking, to say the least.

Of course I never would have mentioned this to my mother. She never seemed to notice (or perhaps just didn't mention fearing my hormonal wrath) when my best friends at home, the ones I talked to for hours on the phone, wrote notes to each period, and hung out with every weekend -- first Reshanna, then Michelle, then Ingrid -- suddenly stopped calling or coming over after some disagreement that never, to me, seemed like grounds for ultimate dismissal. I'm not sure it would have made me feel any better to talk to her about it. So I never did, and eventually just presumed that best friends for life were not something that actually happened. Or that if it did, it would be a boy.  So I put all my eggs in the boyfriend basket, and hung out with HIS friends, who stopped being friends with me when I (thank the gods) realized that I was not meant to be Mrs. Todd Murphy, class of 1992, after one semester at college. My mother did notice that, and told me several times that we were too serious. How was she to know that I considered him my only friend?


A group of tween girls is wrestling with the gate to the playground. Either they are pretending to not know how to open it, so no one will look too eager to get inside, or they are just purposefully too skinny and malnourished to get it open. Little A. is shouting instructions to them, and to me: PUSH HARDER! NO, PULL! COME ON IN BIG GIRLS! COME ON THE SWINGS! HELP THEM MAMA! When they finally figure it out and tumble in, gangly puppies outfitted by Justice, Little A. jumps off her swing, tell me I want to play with the big girls and proceeds to follow them around. For the most part, they ignore her and move to other parts of the space when she approaches. I don't think there is any malice; they seem more awkward than cruel. They are just supremely uninterested in the advances of a toddler girl. But after they leave Little A. runs back to me with a huge smile on her face. Those big girls were so nice! she exclaims. One of them said "Hi" to me! I fwinged next to them! Do you have any more space fishies for snack?


After several years of therapy, yoga, and realizing that my first impression can be as welcoming as a hedgehog, I have somehow made a handful of wonderful, loyal, amazing women friends. After years of trying to crack through the veneers and speak the language of aloof trendsters, I lucked out and found a tribe (albeit a small one, and mostly too far away) of gorgeous, goofy, perfectly imperfect ladies who love me back. Dear Lord and Almighty parenting books, how will I teach my daughter to be a good friend, a kind and loyal friend? How will I encourage her to stay sweet, not put up walls and pretend at cool, like her mama did and maybe still does? How will I teach her to discern the ones to keep, the ones for the moment, the ones forever?


She makes a game of running away, but not too far, and never in parking lots. I catch her, call her my gingerbread girl and and kiss her curls and tickle her still chubby, perfect belly. As we sit reading before bed, she turns to me and says Mama, we are best, best friends! My other best best friend is Nat Nat and Launa. And Phoebe. And Max. And Baby Warren. But not Pop, he teases me.

I will always be your best, best  friend, my silly bean, I tell her back. And say a little prayer: may she always, always have so many best bests, and always, always, talk to me.

Con muchos besos, A

Friday, April 20, 2012


Or, the conclusion of the saga. TL;DR takeaway: DON'T BE LIKE ME, PLAN AHEAD.

When will I learn? I guess, never. Other mamas carefully, prenatally, research options, go for visits, send deposits. I must subconsciously ENJOY the extra pressure and stress that comes with my lack of preparation and forethought. Because now I have done it TWICE.

But also: Somehow, we've hit upon a happy ending. So, so fortunately.

After a week or so of hemming and hawing and bringing the baby to work with me and generally flipping my wig, I pulled on my big-girl panties and called a couple of centers. Begged, pleaded, for infant openings. Went on a couple of visits, dragging the girls with me. Endured awkward visits with weird ladies whose centers smelled of pee and sadness. But then. We walked into the appropriately named Sunny Days and lo, the clouds were chased away. Of course we would love to take both girls, the director said. You are an angel straight from heaven, I said back.

And so both of my girls are ensconced at the same daycare as their beloved cousins. Halfway between our house and my office. It's a Christian center, which gave us pause, but, in the end. Seriously. They are really little. We can just deprogram them later, if we need to. But that discussion is for another post.

And! I am seeing, already, positive changes in my big Little A. She is NAPPING during the day, and greeting me with a smile on her face and no wet pants in her bag. She has given me a couple of moments of drama about missing her friends at her old place, but otherwise seems to be handling the transition like a champ.

Baby G is not napping but that's because she is so excited! About other babies! Doing stuff! And looking at them! And growing two teeth! And there is a noise over there what is happening!!! But that is a 4 month old for you. And she greets me with a smile every day, opens her arms wide to grab my face and pull my hair.

I miss them both so much during the day, but this is how it has to be for now. Today I took them both out to a bagel shop for breakfast, to celebrate a great first week of our new routine. All of the regulars cooed over the girls. Then we drove off to the daycare and walked in to see the latest of Little A's witticisms* displayed right at the front of the center for all the grownups to see. My heart grew 3 sizes, and I cried happy tears on the way back to the car.

I mean, now I have to pump 4 times a day at the office, nothing new for any working BFin'  mom. At least I can watch Food Network at the same time. My life. Is not terrible.

Con muchos besos,

*Her teacher asked her "Is it hard work, being so cute?" To which Little A. replied, very seriously, "Well, I don't have to do it on weekends at home, and I take Mondays off too. So it's not THAT hard." OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES PEOPLE.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Magic Number

Cinderella before her ball.
And we would be seriously remiss if we did not mention that someone had a birthday this week. Someone turned THREE in this house. This fact? Blows my mother-scratchin' MIND.

It was a whirlwind week, filled with cleaning and cleaning and baking and cooking and cleaning and other sorts of prep (for two sets of houseguests and 3 guestdogs and a brunch party for 20) including talking up the party for Little A. (she was iffy on it until we got the balloons); by the time the party came around I was almost too tired to enjoy it.

Almost. But I would have had to be the stupidest, most oblivious mama in the world if I didn't catch some of the THRILL my first daughter had with every guest that walked through the door. All her favorite people in the world (well, minus a couple of too-far-away types), all in one spot, to celebrate! It was JUMPING UP AND DOWN TIME!!!

Milestone: first manicure
She showed everyone her fancy painted fingernails from our girly-date at the salon the day before (pink and sparkly blue, of course). She shared her toys with her cousins and her best friend/brother from another mother. She showed off the chickens and her little sister and my god SHE IS THREE IT IS BLOWING MY MIND.

This year has been been a lot: a new sister, a favorite teacher suddenly fired from her daycare, potty training, etc. etc. And this kid has handled it amazingly well. She got out of diapers just in time for baby to arrive. She is the most gentle and loving big sister (though clumsy, her hugs are often more like wrestling moves). She is a patient friend to both her cousin and her best friend who sometimes get overwhelmed and don't remember how to take turns and maybe grab her toys. Of course, she has moments where the devil himself grabs her and uses his voice to shriek NO NO NOOOOO but most of the time I can honestly say: she is effing amazing.

She was still a baby last year. And sometimes she asks to sit in my lap or for a 'baby carry' or for her crib to be put back together. But make no mistake, Little A. is a kid. She can dress herself. She will order for herself at restaurants and compliment the waitress on a good meal (chicken nuggets or mac n cheese, please, for sooth, she is that kid). She makes jokes, she notices everything, she loves and hates and enjoys and despises. She is...awesome. I look at her sometimes and can hardly believe she is mine.

THREE. How can it be? Days are long, years are short, indeed.

Birfday twirl!

Con muchos besos, A

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Daddy Daycare

Or, the ongoing chronicles of what-the-hell-will-I-do-with-my-BABY???

A few weeks ago I had a bad week. Which was followed by a bad weekend. A really rotten weekend, which included me melting down into a rage volcano, and spewing frustration lava all over my nearest and dearest, which nearly saw me transform into a single mother, which also ended up with one member of the family in GODDANG JAIL (not me). But one good thing came out of that rotten weekend:

Daddy Daycare opened for business. Yep. In a moment of clarity I realized: if Tim was not working, he can damn well watch the baby all day. And we made it so. And it was good.

Of course it is so, so different with the second baby. Baby G is much easier-going, but who can say whether her chillaxedness is just her nature, or perhaps because she is not living under the weight of the ANXIETY DEATHRAY I projected on her older sister: Is she breathing? Am I holding her right? Is she hungry? Did she have a poop? Was that a fart or is she choking to death? IS SHE BREATHING AAAH THE BABY IS GOING TO DIE IF I PUT HER DOWN OR LET ANYONE ELSE TAKE CARE OF HER.

Oh yea, I am 100% more relaxed: howdy, friendly-looking acquaintance, would you like to hold my baby? Give her back when she seems hungry. But for Tim, because I forced him into a primary caregiver role, it's like night and day. He is involved, he shows affection, he takes initiative. He has been having FUN with Baby G. I don't think he really had fun with Little A. until she could talk. I mean, he loved her, but you know, I am not sure he really enjoyed her babyhood. He even took the baby to work yesterday, to show her off to his new boss, and get her opinion on the new website he is building for the company!

Because of course as soon as we figured out this beautiful solution, did the man get a job. Yes he did. And while I am pleased for that, we are back at square zero. To add a dash of complexity to the whole stinking situation, Little A's daycare is not accepting infants, AND is under investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services! So we might have to find a new place for her too! I am not using exclamation points because I am happy about this! Seriously!!


Does anyone have an awesome spare nanny we could borrow? Maybe one who speaks Spanish? That would be awesome. Or maybe someone would like to go to work for me so I can hang with my adorable little baby, who smells like fresh-mown-hay, and laughs and coos and is so amazing and I want to be with her all the time but boohooo sniffle I have to go to wooooork boooo.

Having babies is awesome, until you have no earthly idea what to do with them for 8 hours of the day. SIGH.

Con muchos besos,

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Fresh-person 15

A couple of weeks ago my sister-in-law invited me to her birthday happy hour. It was the first time I had been out, since Baby G's birth, without baby and diaper bag and stroller and etc etc. Super exciting. I put on my super-low rise fancy jeans (those I could zip, because of said low-rise) and a huge sweater my dear friend (and new mama!) S. gave me. And earrings! And make-up! It was certainly too much effort for a small post-work happy hour at a cruddy sports bar. But damned if it didn't feel good to put some effort into my appearance. Every once in a while you just need to decide what to wear because it looks nice, rather than just choosing based upon whether or not the crusty spot will be REALLY noticeable, or just kindof noticeable.

I felt like an imposter, pretending to be a normal person out amongst other normal people who were just getting out of their normal office jobs. But half a beer and some small talk later I remembered a bit of myself that knew how to do more than negotiate toddler demands and do a one-handed diaper change. I didn't even show anyone any pictures of the baby! And I may have innocently flirted just a tad with a tall, boyishly good-looking Irish friend-of-a-friend. He showed me pictures of his dog. All normal...ish.


It was a work-from-home snowday, so no one other than my children and the dog witnessed last week's small triumph: I zipped up my most favorite pre-pregnancy jeans. My old standbys. I wouldn't lift the hem of my sweater at you, lest you shrink away from the computer (Gah! Muffin top of HORROR!!), but damned if it didn't feel good to zip these up this morning. And, no, this is not sponsored by Levi's. Just some old Gap jeans from Goodwill. I would like to thank ZUMBA!,, and pomegranate-blueberry frozen yogurt.


15 lbs left to go before I get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Who knows how long, if ever, it will take to get back to my pre-pregnancy BRAIN.

(Probably never)

con muchos besos,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

(Every Day is) Take Your Daughter to Work Day

Let's talk about this goddamn crappity crap WINTER. This winter, you may have heard once or twice OR EVERY GODDAMN DAY has seemed particularly bad on the germ front. Raging stomach bugs, colds that last for a million years, double ear infrackityfections, etc etc. In my own little circle, we have had the lingering snots and "too many coughs," as my eldest put it, for about a month running. Maybe more.

As such, I do not dare put my precious bundle Baby G into daycare. Her immune system will be exposed to enough creeping crud through her sister's adorable, persistent, and mildly overbearing affection, but I will not put her in the direct line of fire (plus, she is mah preshus baybeeee! Just a wee lil pickle baby! It would kill me to put her into daycare this small. And I need her close as much as she needs me, for my maternal sanity). But financial realities have forced me back to my desk early. As in, I have been bringing the baby to work with me for about 3 weeks now. The baby is 11 weeks old this Friday.

It has been....hard. Verging on really too hard. First, OK, let's acknowledge how grateful I am that I CAN bring the baby with me. Because, you see, my father is my boss. As in, Baby G's grandfather. So he is fairly pleased to have an excuse to get his hands on the baby almost every day. Plus, he doesn't mind when I disappear for nursing breaks, or napwalks, or let's play on the floor breaks. He has this enduring faith that I will get the job done, and cuts me a frickin' boat-load of slack.

Yesterday though. Oh, yesterday. After a 10 am meeting with our software consultant I had X Y and Z to get done and of course, the baby would not nap. It was one of those I am so exhausted and upset and the more upset I get the longer it will take to get me calmed down and IF I maybe even IF I get to sleep if there is a noise of any kind or if you jostle my stroller or think too loudly about whether or not I am sleeping my eyes are going to pop open and I will cry and maybe I am hungry? OMG I AM SO EXHAUSTED MAMA HAAAALP!!! kind of days for the baby.

By the end of it, I wanted my mama (aka a big glass of wine in a silent room, or maybe just an episode of Downton Abbey playing softly in the background). Because also? Not only was I not able to soothe the poor baby, I got the mama-guilt so hard. Because I just wanted to do my WORK, you know? I wanted to be able to do my work and also think of what to make for dinner and pick a craft with Little A. at home and book our trip to Florida in April and IM with my girlfriend and eat my goddamn LUNCH without a tiny tyrant yelling in my face.

And then when I left the office (late) the baby screamed in the car all the way home. And then did these heartbreaking sniffles when she realized I was not going to come rescue her from her carseat prison. I contemplated pulling the car into a 7-11 parking lot and running away fast. But then, I am out of shape and super slow and would get arrested and it would get in the paper and boy would that be embarrassing. So we just drove on. And had leftovers for dinner, and did no crafts, and everyone went to bed early.

And at about 1 am I found myself awake with Baby G.; she was hungry.  So we got into the most comfortable cuddle for nursing and I stroked her perfect fuzzy head. And remembered how a million years ago, I had the exact same day with Little A. I went back to work when she was 5 weeks old. And that tiny needy (so, so needy) baby turned into an amazing chatterbox whirlwind toddler in a blink and she doesn't remember any of those hard early weeks and neither do I, really. Just a blur of how will I get through this. But we did. And we will. And I am so lucky to have these shitty days with these two girls, who will be big and gone from my lap before I even have the time to forget how their newborn fuzzy heads smelled.

And today, wouldn't you know, Baby G napped for almost 4 hours while I worked. And woke up smiling. And tonight during her bath with her big sister, she farted so loudly it made her laugh. Her first real laugh. Now THERE'S a memory for the scrapbook.You can forget all about yesterday.

Con muchos besos, A

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

DO WHAT I TELL YOU TO DO (Preparing for Baby edition)

First in a series of proffered-expertise-conferred-solely-by-virtue-of-birthing-two-babies...

For my dear girlfriends who are soon to give birth: trust me, there is nothing you can do you be TOTALLY prepared. And that is fine, because there is a lot that will happen by instinct or trial and error. But there is a lot you can do to be pretty-well prepared. Having failed at pretty-well with my first baby, and hit the mark with my second, might I offer this list: 


- Have your house cleaned. Professionally. BY SOMEONE WHO IS NOT YOU. Are you getting me? You should have your feet up, first of all. Second of all, when you bring your tiny little precious bundle of joy into your house, after spending a few days at the gloriously clean baby-hotel, you do not need to be freaking out over how filthy and germy everything is.

-Go to the movies, for long slow walks with your dog or your baby-daddy, to lunch, for a drink with friends. All of those things, as much as your tired third-trimester ass will allow. It's gonna be a long time before you can do this without preparing as if for battle.

-Read a book or two that have nothing to do with babies or birth. (But also read a book about birth, and one about babies).

-Pack your bag for the hospital (list forthcoming).

-Pack the baby's bag for the hospital (list forthcoming).

-Do NOT pack the baby's daddy's bag for the hospital - in fact, this would probably be a good time to remind the baby's daddy that he is indeed going to be at a hospital, and having a baby, and maybe packing his own bag would help get that message through in a tangible way.

-Figure out good spots to put the baby down once you are home, whether that means setting up the crib or co-sleeper or a sheepskin on the floor.

-Go to Trader Joe's and get a shitload of frozen meals and snacky things. IF I CATCH YOU NOT EATING AFTER YOU HAVE THAT BABY YOU WILL BE IN HUGE TROUBLE WITH ME.

-Go to Target and purchase the following: nursing pads (Lansinoh), nursing tanks, Tucks pads, lady-pads, cheap ugly underwear, anesthetic spray, two packages of diapers (one in newborn and one in size 1), and some wipes.

-Load up the netflix queue with funny/unchallenging/comforting things (for example, I have blown through 6 seasons of HIMYM and 1.5 seasons of Felicity). You will find yourself on the couch a lot. Under a hopefully napping, probably nursing wee one. And you are not going to want to move because OMFG BABY IS SLEEPING (now would also be a good time to establish baby-daddy's role as sandwich and beverage-fetcher).

-Pay any bills in advance that you can. Fill the oil tank, get cat food, etc. Or make sure baby-daddy is prepared to take over all of these errands for at least 3 months.

And...that's it! A totally manageable list, right? A friend called it "preparing for a 3-month coma," which is semi-accurate except for the part where a coma sounds sort of restful.

Any other moms care to add to the list?

Con muchos besos, A

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Barfday, Grampa

(Apologies in advance for the gross post. It's gonna get REAL up in this joint.)

My father is, in the fullest sense of the word, a DAD. He is incredibly hard working and self-sacrificing and while he has always been supportive, boy do you know when you have crossed the line. BOY DO YOU KNOW IT. He was probably the most strict of all my friends' parents in high school. Miss a curfew? Never. Drink or do drugs? Hell to the no. Boys? NO FUCKING WAY HE WOULD HAVE KILLED ME AND THE BOYS IN QUESTION. (I had two boyfriends in high school. And I waited until college to do all the other things, much to the detriment of my education). Seriously, I was scared to tell him when I got my first ever C, in college, but somehow I always knew it was because he loved me and thought I could handle the pressure. He says plenty of stupid shit that makes me mad and isn't particularly enamored of my boyfriend, because no one could ever be good enough for me. Cliche? Indeed: meet my DAD. You might as well put his picture next to the definition in the dictionary.

And now, he is a GRANDFATHER. He has a big round belly, which has magical nap-powers. He makes ridiculous goofy faces and noises and ridiculously dotes upon all four of his granddaughters (while not-so-secretly wishing one of them will turn out to be a tomboy, or that I might try to have another just on the off chance we might have a boy).

(Hell to the no, again.)

And so this week we gathered together to celebrate his birthday. All of us at a big ol' table in a cozy family-friendly Italian restaurant. All his progeny in one spot, all the granddaughters behaving beautifully.

AND THEN. My darling elder, without a word, coughed quietly, and threw up all over the table. She was so quiet about it that I had to confirm with Tim. Did she just...?? HOLY CRAP YES, he said. And threw his napkin at the mess, and then as she coughed again he tried to catch it with his hands. But it was not enough. More and more barf silently exited my beautiful kid's mouth and spread out over the table until I snatched her up and flung her into the bathroom, which was blessedly very near. Our sainted waitress appeared with a roll of paper towels, with an alacrity combined with lack of panic that made me think she must have at least three kids of her own.

Poor Little A. was a trooper. After a few tears over her dirty pants, which we changed, (pro tip: never leave home without extra pants, even if they are potty trained), she insisted she felt better! And proceeded to eat spaghetti and chicken nuggets and bread and apple juice and a big bowl of whipped cream with chocolate syrup that the kitchen served to the kids because they were out of ice cream.

And the rest of us enjoyed our dinners, too.Until my brother came back from the bathroom with his elder daughter and described her poo. Fortunately we were just about to get the check. Unfortunately I was in the midst of a losing battle to nurse the baby without showing my boobs.


They were surely glad to see the back of us. As I am sure you are glad to be at the end of this post.

Con muchos besos, A

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Natural Woman

As every good momblogger should does, I shall soon tell you Baby G's birth story. I had the tiniest bit of a swagger on for delivering her sans drugs (not 100% intentionally, I am pro-pain-medication. My birth plans have been something like: I would like to try to not use drugs. BUT IF I ASK YOU BETTER FUCKING GIVE 'EM HUZZAH WESTERN MEDICINE). UNTIL Tim came into the house the other day carrying that giant fucking egg on the far left there.

CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS EGG? I am scared to crack it open for fear it is a triple yolk or something crazy like that. Poor chicken. And you know there ain't no Nubain on tap up in the coop. 

"Natural" births got nothing on, you know, Nature. 

Con muchos besos, A

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Days of the Week Days of the Week

Happy Humpday!* My elder daughter's pre-pre-school teacher (whom I credit for every ounce of knowledge the kid has, and most of her manners) taught the kids some song about the days of the week, which imaginatively begins: "Days of the Week! Days of the Week!" I can count on Little A. singing it approximately 1000 times each Day of the Week. And then we have to play "I am the TEACHER!" during which she commands me to point to a random spot on the wall while naming the Days of the Week. Sometimes this leads to a rousing recitation of Months of the Year, or the Alphabet.

Speaking of which, I have somehow reached a point in my life where I learn about new bands through Sesame Street. Like this: 

Tilly and the Wall! So fun! Who knew? I'll have to have Little A. teach me how to use iTunes so I can buy an album. And maybe get a different song of theirs in my head, though we do look ultra cool walking through the grocery store parking lot shouting "1-2-3 APPLE!" while fake-tap-dancing.

Con muchos besos, A.

*Today I have my 6-week postpartum checkup. And while for the most part I am feeling surprisingly good, there will be NO SORT OF HUMPING today. Or in the near future. No effing way. Sorry, Tim.

Friday, January 13, 2012

She's Fresh

New year, new adventures, new baby, new new new. New virtual home.

After several years of sharing a space with my beloved co-bloggess E., it became clear (through utter dearth of content) that we had outgrown our beloved blog. Too many life changes, too much identity crisis. How could I write about breastfeeding on the same blog where I wrote about the first time I enjoyed...well...let's just leave it that it was something ADULT. 

I loved my old life, my old self. My freedom, my tiny apartment in Brooklyn. My high heels and haircuts and boy-crazy complete self-indulgence. Now I am a certified suburban mom, with two daughters, a station wagon, a mortgage, and a babydaddy boyfriend* whose laundry I refuse to put away because I ALREADY HAVE TWO KIDS YOU ARE A GROWNUP GODDAMMIT TIM.

So, let's pile on to this mommyblogger thing, shall we? If I am not sponsored by Pampers before this quarter is over, THEIR LOSS. Cause you bet I am gonna get all up in your face with baby poop and other fascinating shit.


You betcha.

Con Muchos Besos, A. 

*can someone please invent a better term for a non-married coparent? Boyfriend sounds too frivilous. PARTNER sounds too business-y. Sometimes I just say "husband" and feel like I am getting away with something slightly naughty. So. Any suggestions?