Archive for June, 2009

I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish

So! Celebrity deaths! You know, I have no real strong feelings on any of those who died, except that I liked Billy Mays, dammit, and could almost always be relied upon to buy whatever it was he was hawking. He stole my heart with OxyClean, and never gave it back. While I was vaguely moved by Michael Jackson’s passing, I have to say it was … well, it was mostly inevitable, right? I’m no Nostradamus, but that dude was not long for this world.

I’ve told you about my affinity for products that are as seen on TV, most notably the awful, awful sugaring wax kit debacle that I’m not even going to LINK to, that’s how awful it was. But if you were wondering, it involves getting sugar wax stuck inside … areas where Farrah Fawcett had cancer, and while yes, you probably saw a similar story tooting around the Internet as one of those jokey e-mails, as I did later, let me assure you, it actually happened to me, and probably happens every day to someone. The allure of an at-home bikini wax is like a siren song, especially after spending a good half-hour at 2 a.m. watching them show you how EASY it is!

Not unlike the infamous Epilady incident, wherein I was using it to … epilate? … my legs and the daughter of a family friend had her doll nearby, and was all, “Look, Baby Bubbles! Auntie Jonna’s shaving!” and gave Baby Bubbles a closer look at the whirring coils.

Baby Bubbles lost her life that day to the Epilady. May she rest in peace.

Also, if you didn’t know, the Epilady fucking HURTS. Or at least it did in the old style, which was basically exposed coils gyrating around and ripping your hair out at the roots, along with Baby Bubbles’ hair and ultimately, head. Yes, SURE, your leg hair doesn’t grow back for AGES, but you’d get the same result pouring flesh-eating acid directly onto your skin, and it would probably hurt quite a bit less.

By the by, to close the loop on something approximately no one was wondering about, I haven’t gone back to work yet, and have no plans to in the immediate future. This is … surprising to me, she of the hand-wringy-ness for years about how my whole IDENTITY was my JOB and no baby was going to TAKE THAT AWAY FROM MEEEEEEEE. Well well well, surprise surprise. You can plan absolutely nothing when it comes to having a baby, and since it works for us right now, it works for me, and yes, I’m aware of how lucky I am to get to make that choice.

Speaking of choices, one thing that is both fortunate and unfortunate is that I had my first baby a little later in life than some, at 33. In some ways, I deeply regret waiting so long, for had I known how much I was going to enjoy it, I could have saved myself years of preemptive identity crises and hand-wringing and annoying, introspective posts about how hard it was to decide whether to have children, because hell, what about that summer in Paris I’d always planned on? WHAT ABOUT FRANCE?

On the other hand, folks, let’s be glad I waited so long — or at least, Adam should be glad I waited so long — because if I’d started earlier, I guarantee you that I’d have five children by now, begging Adam to get going on the sixth and seventh and maybe EIGHTH. Jonna & Adam Plus 8! Take THAT Jon & Kate! Or Kate! And, uh, Jon! Alone! Whatever! At this rate, and at my age, it’s likely we’ll cap out at two. Uh, maybe three. (Adam is shitting himself in the corner somewhere, but I am allowing for twins, okay?) (Or maybe I just want three. I don’t know.) Not that having more is bad — au contraire — but really, two is fine, and all I really wanted before I started this whole journey, and eight would have been a creepy biological urge beyond my comprehension, rather than something I approached with logic and the intimate knowledge of our financial situation.

Then again, if you’d told me before Sam was here that I’d have a baby who screams all the time, has colic AND reflux and that I would be co-sleeping and exclusively breastfeeding, I’d probably have laughed directly in your face. Ah, life plans. The most useless pieces of shit imaginable, but not in a bad way.

And with that, I’ll leave you with a photo of my girl out for a walk with her daddy. The whole walk, Adam kept sending me photos of her in funny poses with captions like, ‘Getting a passport’ (in front of the post office), ‘Saw Up. Loved it.’ (in front of the movie theater). This one, alas, was simply titled, ‘Miss you!’

And, uh, I missed them, too. It’s been a rough road in more ways than I can even go into, but after all of it, man, it’s way better than I ever could have anticipated.

Walking near the falls with Daddy

Happy Monday!

*The Smiths

34 comments June 28th, 2009

My Baby Blue

Adam and I were remembering earlier in the evening how bad The Screaming was, thanks to the photo below. I mean, part of me has no business complaining about how shitty Sam’s sleep is, when we have The Screaming in our history. You guys, our evenings were RIDICULOUS. She’d finish a feeding at 6:30 p.m. and we’d put her face down on my chest, too afraid to put her on her back, lest The Screaming be worse than it had to be. If I had to pee, I handed her off to Adam for the briefest of moments, and then resumed the position, pausing only for feedings and brief, uh, playtime. Or whatever.

Lather, rinse, repeat. She would start screaming sometime between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m., and would go for HOURS, calmed only by Adam rocking her in the bathroom, the sink on full throttle, while I would rush to get my pajamas on — usually at least three layers, as I couldn’t use even a sheet and our room was FAH-REEZING, because I was on SIDS patrol and refused to put the thermostat above 62, as I figured she was getting so much BODY HEAT* — and lie down in bed, a cascade of pillows propping me to the perfect angle. Eventually, she would come in, swaddled, and I would have to UN-swaddle her — VERY GENTLY — and place her on my chest. Peeing, for the evening, had to be complete unless I wanted to do it at 3 a.m., with her attached to my boob.

There was a two-week period where I had to be pinned under her for NAPS. GAH.

My God. We are in a totally different place now. If that’s not perspective, I don’t know what is.

*Ahem. I may have been a bit crazy here with the fear of overheating and now realize I’m lucky I didn’t freeze my daughter to death instead. I now allow the thermostat to climb to a respectable 68 or even — gasp! — 69!

P.S., this is what I wore somewhat regularly. Honestly. That’s three T-shirts, two pairs of pants and a heavy-duty pair of socks. No kidding.

Bad outfits all around.

I’ve got to go to bed, but a few miscellaneous observations, some television-related:

— What the hell was up with the Real Housewives being the SHORTEST SEASON EVER? No, seriously. WTF?

— Lack of sleep caused my husband to use the word “bubbies” in total un-ironic fashion in conversation today. We met for lunch mid-day, and he recounted the conversation word for word and frankly, I died laughing on the spot. “I said BUBBIES,” he helplessly recalled. “I actually said BUBBIES.” HA HA HA. He had to later explain to the recipient that I’d subjected him to too much RHoNJ and really wow, that was wildly inappropriate. BUT HILARIOUS.

— True Blood is meh for me this season. I think it’s because I can’t savor it, and instead have to desperately sandwich it in chunks between naptimes, after that one time realizing that Sam has eyes that work beyond a few inches now and maybe — just maybe — she could be, you know, scarred for life watching (hot, weirdly sexy) Eric Northman devour some dude in the basement of Fangtasia in the most graphic of fashions. I think this is going to be something I struggle with in parenthood, figuring out what’s appropriate and what isn’t. I forget that kids have, you know, nightmares and shit. Gawd.

— Not television related, but just once, I would like to know what it’s like to nurse my child without a heavy breathing pug trying to horn in on the action. JUST ONCE.

— NYC Prep: Don’t think I can handle it, and y’all KNOW what kind of a whore I am for Bravo. But honestly, a bunch of snotty rich kids acting above the law in every way smacks of a mix of Gossip Girl, Less Than Zero and American Psycho. I’m not sure why.

— After our washer died, our freezer also decided to go haywire. This resulted in me depositing approximately 9,876 ounces of frozen breastmilk in my friend’s freezer. I mean, dude, that is a good friend. Am I right?

And finally, did someone ask for pictures of my kid? I’m sure they did, even though I’ve been whoring them out to everyone in the world, and you’ve probably seen them all. No mind! You shall suffer again! A few of my recent favorites:
Deciding what to have for lunch.
She’ll have the nachos, please. With extra guacamole.

WTF, Mother.
I swear she smiles right up to the point where I click the button. I swear.

Chatting with her friend, Mystery Baby.
She LOVES the baby in the mirror, and hasn’t quite figured out how it all works. She can recognize my face in the mirror and her mind is quite clearly blown when she looks and sees me — TWICE! — in real life AND in the glass. Like, WTF OMG.

OH! Before I forget: We’re coming up on the need for a high chair in the next few months and it is the ONE PIECE of equipment I haven’t researched at all, nor do I really even want to. So someone, please, point me in the direction of your high chair if you like it.

Happy Tuesday!

*Shut up, Dave Matthews off of their new album. SHUT UP. I couldn’t HELP myself. I bought it in a fit of nostalgia, and since Sam and I listen to music ALL DAY LONG, it was time. But of course, I haven’t really listened to it yet to tell you how it is. So there’s that.

43 comments June 22nd, 2009

The Planets Bend Between Us

I know I haven’t updated photos of Sam in like, a month, but I swear it’s not because I haven’t taken them, it’s because a) I can’t find the damn photo uploader thing; and b) at the moment, the camera is in the bedroom, and would YOU go in there and wake her up to get it? I didn’t think so.

It’s a shame, really, because she’s damn cute. I think that’s one of the Unspoken Worries of parents (or, in some cases, spoken, as I’ve totally said it): that our kids won’t be cute, or that we’ll have ugly kids and we won’t know it and people will be mocking us and … oh, God, this sounds so stupid, and let me say that it wasn’t like TOP OF MY LIST OF FEARS or anything, but it did linger there under the litany of things like “healthy” and “has all important parts.”

What’s interesting about this is that for starters, *I* have the most beautiful baby in the world, and no, I cannot be convinced otherwise. Also, she could be hideous, and I wouldn’t know, nor would I care. But I’m pretty sure she IS beautiful, so there’s that.

Besides all the other stuff going on, I think what’s missing is talking about the good, and I just don’t say it enough. At least once a day, although usually along the lines of a thousand times, I scoop her up and cover her with kisses until she laughs so hard she can’t see, because I just can’t believe this little girl is mine. She’s starting to develop a sense of humor about things and figuring out what she finds funny is my favorite thing in the whole world, hands down.

And the situation that led to the co-sleeping, for all its sleepless drawbacks, gives me these unbelievable moments with her in the middle of the night, when I wake up with my face mere inches from hers and watch her little lips gently move up and down as she sucks on her tongue. God, I wouldn’t have missed that for the world, honestly. In the mornings, when she wakes up with her face puffy from sleep, she lets out a grin that will light up your whole life, just before pulling her feet in the air and proudly ripping the loudest farts in the world, right in my face, smiling brighter than the sun the whole time.

It’s not like I couldn’t imagine parental love before, or that I think that people who haven’t had kids don’t know love, blah blah blah, but I AM constantly surprised by how much I love her. Sometimes it’s a physical need so strong that I have to touch her — I have to pick her up and kiss her and hold her just tightly enough to satisfy me, but not as tightly as I want to, which, quite frankly, would probably break her.

Throughout all of this, I am, mercifully, acutely aware of how fast it’s all going, and that one day, she won’t need me so much anymore, and that I’ll look back and be willing to give anything for one more night with her snuggled up against me, and one more morning waking up to her noxious, noxious farts. I know this, and it’s what gets me through every single day. You never know when the last time of anything will be, because they grow so fast and furious, the next stage is here before you can even blink. When I think about it, my whole body aches and I miss her already. I want to freeze time; to tell her to stop growing up already, it’s going too fast. Please, baby girl, don’t leave me.

So, you know, for all of this shit, for all the days I’ve cried because I’m just so goddamn TIRED and would give anything for another five more minutes of sleep, I’m … well, I’m not sure I would do anything differently. I don’t know what, if anything, I would change about right now, because any change — even in her sleep patterns — might have sent us on a slightly different path, and oh, I would have missed so much, even the hardest of hard stuff. Oh, you guys. This baby. This little girl. I love her so.

And with that, I’m going to bed with my girl. Because really, before you know it, I won’t get to do that anymore.

Have a great Thursday, y’all.

*Snow Patrol

32 comments June 17th, 2009

Giving up titles at this point, because, seriously.

OH THAT’S RIGHT I HAVE A BLOG.

God, clearly this writing daily, or even three times weekly thing is not working. Perhaps it’s because I’m not sleeping. PERHAPS. We’ve begun Operation Get Sam Off of Mom’s Chest, and it’s … well, it’s fine, honestly, it just highlighted a problem that was already there, which is that she gets up constantly, and has never slept more than two and a half hours at a time, save for rare, one-off occasions totaling three (3) times. Not in three months. To those of you keeping score, this means that *I* have not slept more than two hours at a time in three months, and it’s about as painful as it sounds. In fact, as I type it out, I am trying not to cry, because it’s CRAZY MAKING. CRAZY MAKING.

We’ve had little success getting Sam to take a bottle, which means it’s all me, all the time and HOO BOY, if you imagined that things were bordering on bleak around these parts for a little while, you sure were dead on the money, my friends. I mean, Adam tries to help where he can, which at this point is literally limited to plucking her from her crib in the middle of the night and helplessly passing her to me. But, you know, at least I don’t have to become vertical for any length of time, although it explains why every time someone says, “It’s [my husband’s] night to get up with the baby!” I AM FILLED WITH IRRATIONAL RAGE, and also tempted to dope Adam up with some lactation-inducing drugs just to see what happens. After all, the guy’s got nipples. I see no reason why we can’t make this work.

[Edited to add: not because he wouldn’t get up with the baby at night — he would, for he’s a night owl and could easily, and I mean EASILY, handle the shifts up to 2 or 3 a.m. It’s just that she doesn’t take a bottle, so what’s the point? HE CAN DO NOTHING.]

ANYWAY. The solution we’ve enacted isn’t really a solution, but rather, I just sleep with her at my side, pretty much attached to my boob all night (IN A SAFE CO-SLEEPING ENVIRONMENT OMG). Because YOU try getting up every hour (no, really. Every hour. You think I’m kidding, but OH I AM NOT) and applying the alternate soothing method, which is to re-swaddle her ass and bring her into the bathroom while running water from the sink at full bore. For now. Beyond that, we’re going to figure it out, but, and I know this isn’t popular, and I don’t mean this in a crazy-ass sanctimonious way, but I don’t have it in me to sleep-train in the, uh, cry-it-out sense, for a variety of personal reasons. So, we’re going with Pantley, but not until four months. Until then … pray for us.

So! That’s where we’re at! We’re not sleeping! And losing our crazy-ass minds! And … well.

OH LOOK. THE BABY’S UP AGAIN. GOTTA RUN. And I had so much more thrilling things to report! A broken washing machine! Locking ourselves out of the condo with the baby! HIJINKS!

44 comments June 14th, 2009

Vacation

I didn’t mean to disappear for a week, but we were on two back to back awaycations, which were … well, they were fun, but you know how I’ve always maintained that nothing about having a baby is as bad as everyone tells you it is? There is one exception to that rule: travel. Travel is as bad, if not worse, as everyone says it is. Actually, now that I’ve written it down, it IS worse. It is. WORRRRRRSE. Please heed my advice. Do not travel in the first three months or so, unless … well, honestly, I can’t even think of an exception here.

The disruption in routine! The total lack of relaxation! The fact that you might as well be at home, because you’re pretty much doing the EXACT SAME THING that you’d be doing at your OWN HOUSE, except with your OWN STUFF, where it is MUCH EASIER. GRAAAAAAAH.

And the stuff. OMFG the stuff. You guys, the STUFF. THE STUFF YOU HAVE TO BRING. It’s like … it’s like … God, I don’t even know. It’s ridiculous, is what it is, and I stepped outside of myself for like, five seconds, in the hotel on Wednesday to see me as I must have appeared to others, and it was not good. Frazzled, hair all sweaty and ooky, pushing a crying, be-snotted baby in a stroller with a co-sleeping wedge balanced precariously on top of it all, while dragging a suitcase crookedly behind me. My shirt was untucked, my stretch-marked belly was half-exposed and all that was missing was a leaky boob, and only because I remembered a damn breast pad. Seriously. The Cool Train passed me by so long ago, I don’t even know if I could catch it with a jet pack.

The difference, at least in our first trip, is that we were with family and that — THAT — is what makes it worth it. Other people to talk to! Other people for Sam to stare at! Other people to wear her ass OUT.

Life after baby is never boring, except when it is. Which is every day.

Onward! Sam met her Gramps — Adam’s dad — for the first time during our second trip, and would you believe, no, really, WOULD YOU BELIEVE, that he gave her a giant pink pony? I mean, what the hell. This thing is … it’s … it’s giant, is all I can say. And pink. The only thing missing is a a giant sign that reads “PRINCESS” on the side of it.

Speaking of, I’m really struggling to find cute, reasonably priced clothes for Sam that aren’t a) pink; b) ruffled; or c) made by Dov Charney, who probably jerked off into the bolt of fabric used for the infant kimono pants before sending it to production. I have ordered a few from Basic Brilliance, but beyond that, we got nothin’. Surely I can’t be the ONLY mother who doesn’t want her daughter dressed like a cupcake and doesn’t care if she’s mistaken for a boy at this age? Right? And WHY WHY WHY do we have to make every girl so … GIRLY?

Obviously I could go on with some sort of totally lame-but-accurate societal observation here, but you’d all be asleep, and besides, I think you get it. I mean, her name is SAM for crying out loud. And that was DELIBERATE.

And finally, bits of randomness that have no relation whatsoever:

– We’re in that awful TV time where NOTHING GOOD IS ON. NOTHING. TrueBlood and other summer goodies aren’t for a few more days/weeks, and I’m left with Make Me a Supermodel and the Housewives. Incidentally, I’m Team Jonathan all the way on the former. I mean, he’s a DAD! And British! And … Sandhurst has funny teeth.

– The one good thing about parenthood I’ve discovered is that just when you are at your lowest — your weepiest, most miserable LOW OF LOWS and you can’t possibly go on ONE MORE SECOND, NO REALLY — things turn around. And then they turn around again, and you’re low again. Sundry summed it up here, but it’s so true. I was all hand-wringy and weepy yesterday about something (Sam’s sleep. In the co-sleeper. Why yes, we’ve spent thousands on sleep solutions and can now house six sleeping babies comfortably), and then of COURSE OF COURSE, she slept fine in it for four whole hours. OF COURSE. Nothing lasts forever. Or even five minutes. It’s like a never-ending ACID TRIP.

– Have I mentioned how much I hate Dave Eggers and his smuggy smugness that is so smug I want to knock his smug ass out? Well, I do. I hate the whole hipster generation he fosters, and … well, that’s enough. History has shown that when I write about someone, they find me, and the next thing you know, Vendela Vida will be at my door with a pitchfork. Did I ever tell you guys that like, five minutes after I wrote a SCATHING review on Goodreads about Chris Bohjalian, I learned that he lives like, TEN WHOLE MINUTES FROM ME? I envisioned him showing up at my door for weeks, I don’t know why.

– My parents arrive tomorrow. This is, officially, the busiest we’ve been in ages. IT NEVER ENDS OMG.

Happy Tuesday!

*The Go-Go’s. And God, NOT A VACATION.

46 comments June 1st, 2009


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