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