Monday, May 31, 2010


As silly as it feels to shoot a video of my kid doing something as mundane as lying on his playmat making funny noises, I'm glad that I got his dolphin squeals on video last week, because he has suddenly dropped that skill completely from his repertoire. He's changing so fast, a point underscored yesterday when I ran into a friend and her six-week-old daughter who just now is about the size Nico was when he was born. I was actually a bit nervous to hold her baby, even though I hold mine every day. At 4 1/2 months, Nico is solid, heavy, almost always wiggling. In comparison, this sleeping newborn felt impossibly light and fragile. How can it be that my giant vibrant boy was not too long ago tiny and calm?

We've come to another highly symbolic milestone for Nico this week. Since strapping him into his carseat always makes him cranky and since he does such a good job holding his head steady, I decided to let him try riding in his stroller on his own last Wednesday when we took Indy for a walk, instead of making him ride in the carseat snapped into the stroller. It was such a success that we've been doing it ever since, despite the pangs I feel seeing him look like such a toddler. It's a small and stupid thing to get nostalgic over, but that's what mothering a baby seems to be -- a constant reminder of how fleeting each stage is before they're moving on to bigger and better things.

Exhibit A:  baby

Exhibit B:  big boy

On Thursday Nico and I went out to lunch with my friend Evilducky and we went thrift shopping for the first time since Nico was born. I have a problem now where jeans that fit my thighs are baggy in the butt and jeans that fit in the butt are too tight in the thighs. For decency's sake, I always choose the ones that fit in the thigh, but I only have one pair that looks nice enough to wear to work. I cling to the hope that I won't carry this last seven pounds of pregnancy weight on my thighs forever, so I am unwilling to pay full price for jeans. After attempting to try on about a dozen pairs at several thrift stores, it has been made clear that I am officially stuck in thunder thigh / saggy butt territory for a while. But I did find a reasonably cute pair of Old Navy jeans for $5 that I found passable at the store, almost regretted buying, and then ended up loving once I got home and put them on. I'm sure they feel more attractive than they look, but I'm just going to roll with it.

Another wardrobe problem I'm having is beyond the power of thrift stores to heal, unfortunately. Before I got pregnant my boobs were already hovering around a size 34F. Well, sagging around. Nothing hovers when you're an F cup. No, it's not awesome. No, you don't wish you had this problem, no matter how petite your bosoms are, believe me. I have disliked the way I look for years, and only the knowledge that I wanted to try to breastfeed my kids kept me from seeking a reduction ages ago. Since Nico's birth, the hated "girls" (let's be honest, these things are full-on babushka grandmothers) have grown regrettably larger. I'm actually not even sure what bra size I should be wearing. There's no way I'm going to get fitted right now, either. They're too grotesque and besides, the one time i did get fitted, back when I was probably still a DD, the "bra fit specialist" told me I was a 36C. I haven't been a C since high school. I finally sucked it up and ordered a pretty and expensive nursing bra about a month ago in the largest size I could imagine needing, a 34 H/I. As in hell, no. I'm horrified to tell you that it didn't fit and I had to return it in the hope of finding a site that carries the same bra in a J/K. As in I wish I was kidding. It probably goes without saying that I'll be doing everything in my power to get downsized as soon as I wean Hugo 2, whenever that may be. I will never be glad that I had giant boobs, but at least I can send them off one day with a slightly fond farewell just for these months I've been able to exclusively breastfeed Nico. We'll always have that, my dear frenemies!

In his inexplicably petite pack and play


Friday, May 28, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A little Wednesday morning happy

(OHMYGOD, you guys. MY HEART.)

Saturday, May 22, 2010


It seems like almost everyone I follow on Twitter or my blogroll has recently started running and is signing up to do 5Ks and half marathons. I'm reminded of a dream that I had when I was pregnant with Nico. For as long as I can remember, running is the one thing I can never do in dreams. I can walk, but as soon as I start to try to run, it's like I'm moving through Jello. Lots of times in my dreams I will end up crawling along on hands and knees because it's faster than trying to run. I don't know if this is some screwed up aspect of my psyche manifesting or if it's sleep paralysis or something else entirely, but it's weird and sort of frustrating. But one night during my pregnancy, I dreamed that I was running, I was free, my body was carrying me along and it was exhiliarating. I woke up and I thought, that's why people run. And also, I want to do that. Maybe someday I will, though I don't think they've invented a sports bra that could allow it right now.


Speaking of dreams, I must be reaching the saturation point with all the episodes of The Wire that I've watched. I've got season five on DVD from the library after watching the previous four seasons in succession, and the other night I dreamed that I offered Marlo Stanfield shelter in the (nonexistent) apartment in my garage. When I told MB about it, he said, "That's crazy. You'd offer it to Omar first." Damn straight I would. If Omar dies before the end of the show, don't tell me. I need to believe he rides off into the sunset in the finale. It's a goddamn marvel, this show, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't sometimes make me wish I was a drinker so I could drink myself to sleep after watching a few episodes. It's so fundamentally sad, especially season four.


I just finished reading Olive Kitteridge for the Book Lushes, and I really liked it. It seems to be a love it or hate it kind of book, and the most remarkable thing about it for me is that it made me want to write again. The tone and pacing and voices of the characters tripped something in my brain and I spent a few days after I finished it walking around composing passages in my head, something I haven't done in at least a year. One of my old college writing classmates contacted me on facebook a few weeks ago and has set up a get-together for a writing group in June, and I am really looking forward to it. Could I write fiction again? I feel a glimmer of hope that I could.


Overall he doesn't do a type of music that appeals to me, but the photographer who took Nico's picture a few weeks back has this song on her website, and I could listen to it over and over:

I'm the same way about Rihanna's "Umbrella," to be honest. I sometimes look it up on YouTube when MB's not around and hit replay about forty times. Does anyone else do that? If so, what songs catch you in their web?


Are you sick of hearing about my kid? I hope not, because I need to tell you that I bought him a package of SIZE THREE DIAPERS yesterday. SIIIIIZE THREEEEEE. OMFG. He seems to have blown right past his 3 - 6 month clothes, and I can't figure out how that happened. How did he go from still fitting into his 0-3s (albeit just barely) and now not even a full month later he's busting out of the 3-6s? Crazy talk, that's what that is. I'm suddenly extra glad for the handful of 6-9 rompers that were in the box of hand-me-downs my cousin gave me. Somehow we ended up with a quarter of a zillion 0-3 clothes, a billion 3-6s, a few dozen 6-9s, and barely any 9-12s. Then he's got an entire plastic tote each jammed full of 12-18s and 18-24s. Apparently I'm prejudiced against 9-12 month clothes for some reason. I guess it's a good thing he'll probably be in that size at the end of the summer, because apparently he's going to be mostly naked.

His new things: 1. Screech-squealing at top volume and way up in dolphin-speak octaves. The dog is not a fan. 2. Locating and grabbing his feet. Makes it hard to get diapers on him, but it's so damn cute. One of the girls at breastfeeding group last time said she found her daughter in her crib one day with both big toes in her mouth, so I'm waiting for that and fully expect to keel over dead from the adorability. 3. Actually putting toys into his mouth. He's still a bit hit-or-miss on the hand / mouth coordination, but he's getting much better. He has this rattle that looks like a weird lumpy caterpillar with a mohawk, and so far it's his favorite to nom. I live in constant fear that the dog is going to find and eat it. I suppose it's inevitable that the dog will one day eat one of his stuffed toys, so maybe it's better that he do it now before Nico knows the difference. But man I'd be bummed if that weirdass little caterpillar bit it.

Oh, and 4. Rolling over. He's become a champion of rolling onto his front and then getting stuck there. I keep telling him he needs to stay on his belly and practice rolling back to his back, but he's not convinced. Here he is demonstrating #1 and #4 while dressed in the most adorable owl pajamas ever made:


Don't forget to enter my giveaway! US & Canada, $40 shopping spree, blah-de-blah, go leave a comment!

Happy baby overlo...;flakweja;iwe[oai *KABOOM*

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Because everyone loves free stuff

I started a review blog, and to kick it off I'm giving away a $40 online shopping spree (open to residents of the US and Canada!). Check it out! (bonus baby photos included)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What's your name?

I discovered a small stash of 6 month size T-shirts in Nico's dresser, and since that's the size he's just barely still fitting into right now, I've been putting the T-shirts on him one after another so he at least gets to wear each one once. It wasn't so long ago that all these shirts looked comically large when I held them up to his chest. I snapped a photo of him this morning in his T-shirt of the day, and you guys...he looks like some kind of grown ass BOY all of a sudden instead of a pudgy little baby.

I'm not entirely sure I can handle this.

Oh, and his no-clothes dry-diaper weight this week (at two days shy of four months old) was 17 lbs 7 oz. Have mercy.

Reading:  Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, for the Book Lushes

Playing:  the Into the Wild soundtrack by Eddie Vedder

Friday, May 14, 2010

Take it like a mom

So, today. OMFG, this day. After I fed Nico this morning, I put him back in his crib to sleep and then I went to sleep. He learned to roll over this week, but can only go back to front, at which point he gets stuck and pissed off. He woke up on his tummy shouting indignantly, and when I rescued him I found that he'd peed out of his diaper. No biggie, for I follow a friend's advice and always have two sheets on his bed with a waterproof pad in between. I stripped off the top sheet and pad, changed him into a cloth diaper and a T-shirt, and brought him back to our room. I nursed him again and then he pooped. It sounded like a small poo, so I stuck my finger in the leg elastic to peek in and check, and was not a small poo. It was a giant poo, and my finger was in it. But still, I was cheerful!

I took him into the nursery and changed him into another cloth diaper, then took him back and let him finish his second breakfast. He fell asleep and I let him nap on my lap for about twenty minutes, because even though I have tons of stuff to do around the house right now, I don't want to do my work at the expense of enjoying these little moments with him. Finally I decided I had to get some chores done, so I put him back in his crib and went down to start boxing up my stuff in the side porch / office so that we can clean it up and turn it into a playroom. I got two shelves on one bookcase cleared before Nico woke up crying again. I went up and found that he'd peed out a second diaper. Poor guy! Two in one day! Still cheery! Changed, nursed, and once he fell asleep, I put him on the big bed so I could change his crib sheet since he had now peed on the backup sheet.

I like Nico's crib well enough and I try not to complain because it was an incredibly generous gift. But every time I change the sheets, the metal support frame for the crib sags. It has brackets on each corner where you can raise and lower the mattress height, but if I lift the corner of the mattress to mess with the sheets, the opposite corner bracket collapses. I discovered last time the easiest way to do it is to take the mattress out of the crib entirely, put the sheets and pads on, and then carefully put it back in, trying to get the weight to hit the frame exactly evenly, which is nearly impossible with a tight-fitting, double-sheeted mattress. Nico had started to fuss again, having a sixth sense for inconvenient times to refuse to nap, so I put him in his mini-swing on the floor several feet away from the crib and went back to finish. When I got the mattress out, I lifted it too high and I hit the ceiling fan, which was on (of course). One of the blades came loose, bounced off the bed, and nearly beaned the dog, who then bolted from the room. Little clumps of super gross thick dust that were built up on the fan went spiff!, all over the bed and the floor. I realized a few minutes later that the blade could easily have landed on Nico, as he was completely unprotected in his swing. (I still am not entirely okay about this, even though he is.)

I finished re-sheeting his mattress and sure enough, as soon as I put it in the crib, the frame collapsed. I readjusted the frame, put the mattress back in, it collapsed. I got it balanced just right, put the mattress in, and when I tested it by pushing on each end, the fucking thing collapsed. I finally just gave up, moved the frame to the lowered position, and put the mattress in. It's harder to get Nico in and out, but at least I know the frame isn't going to fall while he's in there. If I could have picked up the crib and chucked the whole thing across the room, I would have. And that wasn't even the end of it. When I picked up the fan blade to reattach it, I realized it hadn't simply slipped out of its position. It had snapped completely off. There's no way to fix it and the fan spins all wonky without it. So it's not even noon, I've stuck my finger in poo and changed two peed-out diapers and outfits. The fan is off so it's hot in our room, there are still clumps of dust everywhere, Nico's peed-on sheets are piled on the bed, our sheets now need to be changed, the dog is freaked out, none of my housework has been completed, I'm pissed off at the crib and at myself, and the fucking fan is broken. And I get to email MB and tell him, guess what! I broke the fan in an incredibly stupid fashion! Let's go spend money we need for other things on a new one because your wife is a moron who almost hit your baby in the face with a flying fan blade!

To his credit, MB was very gracious about the whole thing and only teased me a little bit. By the time he got home I was seeing the absurd humor in the morning, especially after working out my rage with a broom on all the errant clumps of dog hair populating our wood floors. I treated him to a litany of complaints when he walked through the door, and when I finally finished, he said, "Suck it up! Take it like a mom!" And I guess I did, poo finger and all.

"Harness your chi, Mama."

Photo Friday

View the entire Photo Friday collection on Flickr.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I totally didn't mean to disappear for a week ten days. Nothing major is going on, but there's lots and lots of small things. And one very important small thing, of course.

(jumparoo = quite possibly the best 20 bucks I've ever spent on Craigslist)

Monday, May 03, 2010

Clearing out the cobwebs

My brain is full of little bits of this and that, and I'm wondering if the best way to deal with it is just to write it all down so it's cleared out. Be warned, what follows is probably kind of boring and is definitely disjointed.


We moved Nico's changing table and clothes up to his room last weekend. I'm not sure why, but it made me really sad to see the changing table leave the dining room. Maybe because it seemed to symbolize the full and final end of my time at home with him, perhaps even the end of his true tinyhood? Not sure. I was bummed, though. But once we got his stuff upstairs, it was nice to get his clothes sorted into his dresser instead of the overfull little plastic cart they'd been stuffed into since he was born. I took the time to pack up all his outgrown newborn and 0-3 month clothes (sob!), which filled up an entire plastic storage bin. I thought I'd be able to keep his 0-3 and 3-6 stuff together, but apparently I underestimated the true vastness of his collection of very small onesies.

Speaking of outgrown clothes, Nico's ginormous feet are now too big for the 12-months-size socks someone gave him for Christmas and I'm on the hunt for a package of 18 or 24 month socks next time I go shopping. For my not quite four-month-old. I'm used to his feet, so they don't look that big to me, but here's Nico's foot (on the left) beside Julia's nine month old son's foot:

Her nine-month-old wears size 18 month clothes, so at least I know he'll be able to hold his own against Nico when they start playing together. Brawny corn-fed boys for the win!


I agreed to brine some steaks and chicken breasts for MB to grill tonight, not really thinking about how that was going to require me to touch giant chunks of meat. I'm pretty certain that if I had to cook my own meaty dinners, I'd become a vegetarian. The cookout ended up being pretty rad. BoMB and MB's friend from work, Mr. Muskrat, came over to eat with us, and we had a ridiculous spread. It was really nice outside, so I took Nico's Exersaucer out to the backyard and set it up in the shade while the guys were minding the grill.

Just this week Nico has started really reaching for toys and trying to get them into his mouth. He hasn't quite mastered the second part with toys (though he's really good at getting blankies in there), so sometimes he'll catch the toy and then look at it like, "Okay, awesome. Now what?" I can see the little wheels turning as he tries to figure out how to get the toy from his hand to his mouth. Pretty soon he's going to ace it and then everything will be in the mouth.


There was a bit of an uproar recently over ugly gardens, which amused me since my garden is about as ugly as they come. I always start with really good intentions and then by mid-July it's super hot and the mosquitoes are the size of 747s and I'm just over it. Everything gets all overgrown and Life After People-y. Last year was particularly bad because I was pregnant through the entire gardening season and thus less tolerant of heat and busy with other things.

I've decided to embrace my ugly garden yet again, though, and after we cleaned up the dinner dishes I went out and planted four little cucumber sprouts that somebody gave me the other day. Before I could plant them, I had to trim back a bunch of whippy branches from the huge-ass overgrown bushes that are right outside the garden area. Then I had to clean out a half-trashcan worth of dead leaves that had blown in and collected in the cucumber corner over the winter. Once I got the scrawny plants in the ground, I set up the gates I used as a cucumber climbing apparatus last year. Pretty garden aficionados would be horrified, I'm sure.

We're planning to add some tomato plants, peppers, and zucchini, and I guess we should probably get on that soon. Maybe this Sunday? We always seem to wait to plant our garden until Mother's Day weekend, so I guess this is about par for the course for us.


So, has there ever been a book that people keep telling you to read, and you never seem to get around to it, but then finally you do, and you're like, Aha! NOW I SEE. For several years now my friend Tamsyn has been reminding me that I should read Watership Down. I had always meant to read it, just kept forgetting, etc. But I finally dug out my copy last week and NOW I SEE. It is SO good. So good. I'm probably 2/3 of the way through, and I love it. I've been warned not to read the end at work, though. Okay, tell me...what are your Aha books?

Saturday, May 01, 2010

one year later

A year ago today, two lines showed up on the stick and our lives changed forever. A long but mostly easy pregnancy followed, and then a blessedly healthy baby. Three months and three weeks after giving birth, I find that motherhood -- while not always easy -- suits me. I feel a bit like I was made for this job, and I'm so incredibly stupidly immensely grateful that I get to be mother to this amazing baby boy. To the Universe I say thank you, thank you, thank you.

(pictures taken on Thursday by a wonderful local photographer who needed baby models for her portfolio)