Archive for July, 2009

Sam’s Town

You know, despite the fact that my kid doesn’t sleep (STILL OMG), one of the things I’ve come to finally realize is that all of my fears that I would turn into a different person once I had a baby were completely unfounded. I am still ME, and even though I have less time to do the things that make me … uh, me … I am finding that as I get the hang of this, I get a little more of myself back every day. It’s true. It all gets harder, in some ways, but it also gets easier. Or maybe I’m just comfortably numb to it all. Not sure, truthfully. It could go either way.

But it is not easy, by any stretch. But by saying that, I’m not saying it’s not awesome, because weirdly, it is — the most awesome thing ever, in fact — but holy hell, is it hard. And it’s hard in ways that can’t really be articulated, for even all the things that SOUND hard — staying up all night, dealing with a child who screams for no reason at all, pushing a stroller around and around in circles while wearing an afghan until the kid finally falls asleep — aren’t really THAT hard. No, really. What’s hard is that it’s all so RELENTLESS.

You can live through anything if you know there’s an end. A sleepless night here or there is no big deal if you know you can catch up on the weekend, or look forward to some much-needed downtime on a slow afternoon. But in parenthood, there is no definite end. Whatever challenge you’re enduring could end tomorrow, or it could go on for three more years, with absolutely zero downtime. You just don’t know, and my God, that is hard.

Hey, do you guys read -R-? If not, you should, for she is friggin’ hilarious, and one of the most real, honest people I’ve ever “met.” This reminds me of a post of hers I caught up on after vacation that absolutely slayed me. We all know those women/moms/bloggers, and she articulated all of it SO WELL.

“I really do not get it if you think your baby is so wonderful that his pee smells like Chanel No. 5.”

HA HA HA. HA HAAAAAAAAAA. I mean, I love my daughter more than life itself, but: yes. It’s hard. I don’t care who you are. It’s HARD. I’ll bet even Jennifer Lopez, who never admits anything bad in the universe, including the fact that she married a dead man’s skeleton, will tell you that it’s EFFING HARD SOMETIMES, even if she hands her baby off to the manny when shit goes down. To pretend otherwise is such a load of shit.

Onward! A few things:

— Dude, Maryann’s minotaur head was not what I pictured. I pictured her as a full-bore shapeshifter, not some person/thing who threw on a HELMET. WTF. (Right, that would be True Blood. What the hell I’m going to talk about when this season’s over is friggin’ beyond me.)

–I am going to admit right here and now that I am a full 30 pounds overweight. THIRTY! It’s a frightening number, but it is the God’s honest truth, and the most I have ever weighed, excluding pregnancy. Ever. And boy howdy, I would like to get rid of it, because not only am I fitting into exactly none of my clothes, but y’all, MY KNEES. They are dead. I should not be carrying this amount weight around, and my knees are politely informing me in the only way they know how.

— Relatedly, one of the unfortunate side effects of my ever-changing postpartum body — particularly, my large ass — is that all of my pants fit funny in the back. All of them, no matter what size I try. They all … well, there’s no other way to say this, but they all end up baring my ASS CRACK when I bend over, squat or sit on the floor. Which, if you have ever been around the mother of a five-month-old, you fully realize is something I do approximately 9,568,345 times a day. Adam has taken to simply announcing, “I SEE FRANCE” to give me a heads up that things have, uh, gone south. And when he’s not around, I just hope that no one’s behind me. Awesome.

— Finally, bringing it back to babies and their, uh, challenges, I have to say I would like to publicly thank everyone who didn’t scream at me that I was a total idiot whilst in the throes of my honeymoon stage with Sam. I thought, based on her newborn-ness, that I had birthed an EASY BABY OMG. And I CROWED ABOUT IT on this here blog. And everywhere else. The old, “She’s so easily placated!” “She only cries when hungry/wet/whatever!” “This is SO AWESOME, I don’t know WHAT people complain about!”

Dear God, people. You are all saints for not warning me. And I love you all for later admitting that yes, you did this, too, even if it was only to make me feel less stupid about it.

I say this, because it has recently come to my attention that this is a UNIVERSAL THING that most new moms do. Three times, in the last month, I have watched three of my real life friends have babies, and without fail, they have announced that they “seem to have a really easy baby,” and then crow that they have NO IDEA WHY PEOPLE COMPLAIN ABOUT IT.


And it has taken EVERY OUNCE OF WILLPOWER not to laugh at them, shake my head ruefully and announce, “Oh darling. We all did. Everyone does. This is not your baby. Your baby will emerge at the four to five week mark, give or take. And then that baby will turn into a DIFFERENT baby and you … well, I’m sorry, you’ll never REALLY know what kind of baby your baby is. Sorry.”

So now you all know, folks. The baby you bring home from the hospital is not really your baby. It will seem like the world’s easiest baby, or the world’s hardest baby, depending on your experience, but trust me: that baby is not your baby. Even if he turns out to be easy, he’ll still have a personality that is probably different than the newborn one. You just have to wait and see.


*The Killers. Chosen not only for the obvious, but because of the lyric, “I seeeee London … I see Sam’s Town …” or you know, France. AND THEN MY ASS.

27 comments July 29th, 2009

Fat-Bottomed Girls

Aaaand, we’re back from vacation, and y’all, it was surprisingly lovely. Really. With Adam freed from the shackles of full-time employment, he was able to help so much that despite my primary baby-wrangling responsibilities, I was able to relax during her downtime. I took long showers! I stared into space! I read my first post- baby-yet-non-baby-related BOOK*! Yes, fine, it was only ONE, whereas on pre-kid vacations I read approximately twenty, but whatever. It was seriously great, is what I’m saying.

*By the way, the book I read was The Girls, a choice I later regretted, as I threw it into my bag as an afterthought, thinking I’d NEVER have time to read. It was … well, it was middle-aged women’s fiction, is what it was. I’m shocked it hasn’t been an Oprah selection. I mean, it was good, it was well written, it was fine, but it was just one of THOSE books, you know what I’m saying? Like The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, it was TRYING to be what it was. This is possibly why I love Elizabeth Berg so much — her stories are beautifully written and though they are sometimes implausible, they are usually written about simple people and simple events. Not, you know, conjoined twins. Gah.

Anyway. Onto daily dashes, because literally nothing on my mind is remotely contiguous or related!

— The people of Carbondale, Pennsylvania, are among the most downtrodden-looking I have ever seen. Seriously, people of Carbondale? Are you beaten with sticks nightly? Is that a hairshirt you’re wearing? Do you have a celice belt underneath your pants? Yes, I REALIZE your local economy isn’t doing well, and uh, hasn’t been since the 1970s (hello, Billy Joel’s Allentown), but I left your Weis market feeling downright DEPRESSED. All of your eyes were DEAD. DEAD. Oh, Lackawanna County. You have left some people BEHIND, yo. Maybe you should reinvent yourself? Is the anthracite museum REALLY that big of a draw?

— My family’s ski-slash-lake house is easily my favorite place in the world, and I wish I could bring you all there with me. Yes, yes, it’s in Deliverance-like land (near the gleaming four-street metropolis of Forest City, PA), but oh, it’s so beautiful. Seriously, there’s nothing like falling asleep to the sound of bullfrogs and crickets. And I mean that sincerely. I can’t wait for my kid(s) to be old enough that I can take them swimming in the lake and raspberry picking on the old railroad tracks-turned-hiking trails. Even if there is no goddamn cable or WiFi. (Seriously, Dad? WHYYYYY?)

— Despite having grown up going to this house for virtually my entire life, I was downright PETRIFIED sleeping there at night this trip. To maximize sleep for everyone, and because Sam sleeps with me, Adam and I took advantage of the empty four-bedroom house and slept in separate rooms which, while seemingly unromantic, was sort of, uh, blissful. No one woke anyone up snoring, and I could spread my ass OUT next to Sam.

This is all lovely, except that I was in the room that stays cool best by having the windows open — it’s where the crib is — and y’all, I had NIGHTMARES that True Blood’s Maryann and her bacteria-laden porcine (bovine?) claws and ram-like head were going to scale the walls and COME IN AND SCRATCH ME and then RIP OUT MY HEART. I’m not kidding. I had to talk myself off of the ledge every night, and made Adam check on me during the night to make sure I wasn’t disemboweled and leaving my child motherless. I am utterly sincere about this.

— My kid slept like a champion for almost the entire vacation, which contributed greatly to the whole relaxation thing. Long stretches at night! MULTIPLE-HOUR naps, typically early to late in the morning, which gave me the ILLUSION of sleeping in, and allowed me to let my HUSBAND sleep in with zero bitterness! And then, Wednesday night, it all went to shit, with a slight rebound on Thursday, only to go to such shit again on Friday night that I started angrily Tweeting (yes, TWEETING, for some reason) my husband that he claims to be an insomniac, but WHO’S NOT UP AT 3 A.M. NOW, SUCKAH?

I maintain that it’s the worst to be lulled into complacency, only to be slammed out of nowhere with a shitty, shitty night. It’s easier when it’s your constantly sleep deprived, in a way. But to be under the illusion that rest is YOURS FOR THE TAKING, then have the rug yanked out from under you is cruelty indeed.

Also, teething, you suck.

— Pennsylvania’s food is a delight not to be missed. It is possible I feel this way because I grew up there and it is the food of my childhood, but I’m not clear how one could argue against deep-fried perogies, the judicious application of cabbage to meals that don’t necessarily NEED cabbage, although really, no one should argue with a halupki, hoagies to die for and, though true Philadelphians would argue, you can get a decent cheesesteak almost anywhere.

— Relatedly, we do not own a full-length mirror at our current home. Oddly, over the last five years or so, we’ve had them built in somewhere in our place of residence, rendering the need to own a standalone non-existent. Ergo, the first time, I shit you not, that I caught my current postpartum body in all its glory was in the reflection of the entrance to Boscov’s at the Steamtown Mall in Scranton. While on vacation. (It was raining, and we were bored.) It was … enlightening. I made a halfhearted attempt to go back on Weight Watchers a few weeks ago, but let me tell you, the size of my ass — no seriously, the SIZE of my ASS — has me going back tomorrow in earnest. Oh gluttony, I hardly knew ye. Except that I did, all too closely. Haluski (not to be confused with a halupki) for everyone!

I have many more thoughts on this, which are not all hand-wringy and “Oh I am so FAT,” but about how little I actually give a rip about these things except when it greatly inconveniences me — i.e., I would like to wear the entire closet of clothes without having to buy new ones, and also how MIXED my feelings are on the topic because I have a daughter.

But alas, I am all done and then some, and have to get my tired, sorry ass to bed, where my daughter will hopefully sleep like she did last week. The good nights, that is. THE GOOD NIGHTS. Hear me, Sam? SLEEP LIKE YOU DID ON THE GOOD NIGHTS.

Happy Monday!


24 comments July 26th, 2009

People Are People

Yo yo yo. So it seems I upset at least one of you, but more likely many more, given the one comment, two brief e-mails and a couple of unsubscribes, which I take that there are plenty more who didn’t say anything who are upset, because of that whole two percent thing. Look, I KNOW my words were harsh, and I don’t mean to be a dick, but I just … I think this is one of those things we’re going to look back on and think, wow, that was a mistake, and I can’t believe it was ever like that at all. Kind of like how we wouldn’t let interracial marriages fly in our (very recent) history, for reasons that sound very similar to the arguments made against gay marriage today.

And really, would it have been cool to say that interracial couples can JOIN UP in some sort of nondescript, totally separate way from the rest of the world, but they can’t be MARRIED? Yeah, um, no. Not to me.

Random aside: my name is Jonna, not Jennifer. At least one of you is confused about that, and it’s not the first time, so there you go. Jonna.

I rarely really make THAT strong of a stand on anything here, and can tolerate almost anything. Really! Almost anything! I even COMPLETELY understand why people are pro-life, and I’m as pro-choice as they come! And I have some weird opinions that I expect other people to tolerate, like my ridiculously conservative views on gun ownership (me and Charlton Heston are LIKETHIS on this issue, and probably would have been BFFs, back when he was a donkey or, you know, um, alive) I know! How WEIRD, right? I wouldn’t have guessed it of me either! And I know people think I’m CRAZYPANTS for that viewpoint, and I get that, too. Although no, we don’t keep guns in our home, mom friends who read this.

(Edited to add: you guys, I said this in comments, but I TOTALLY EXPECTED everyone to disagree about guns. And I’m TOTALLY COOL with it, as I would hope you would be of my views. This is one thing I absolutely see both sides of, and I don’t think anyone who chose the other is nuts, BY ANY STRETCH. I just have a different take on it. Again, totally cool. Like I said, guns aren’t people.)

(Unless you prefer Bill over Eric on True Blood, in which case, we will never see eye to eye. Sorry.)

But, I think that the gay marriage vs. civil union thing is equivalent to “separate but equal.” However, and seemingly incongruously, I am all for churches being able to opt out, if it’s against their teachings, and I liked that New Hampshire put that into their law. No, I don’t think the Catholic church needs to be sued because they won’t marry two men — they’re not REMOTELY there yet — and the NH law protects them from that. Besides, churches have always had the right to decide who they want to marry, to some extent, and there are many churches that wouldn’t marry Adam and me, for a variety of reasons, most of which are probably valid in their eyes. I mean, we’re not Catholic and we do all kinds of things that violate their rules, so why should they? And I’m fine with that.

Beyond that, though, for me equal rights for everyone are one of those things that transcend politics or religion and, well, right is right. Or in this case, usually leaning to the left. Or whatever. But it’s just right, and I believe that to believe otherwise is wrong.

Because look, no matter what your religion, the situation is this: as long as the GOVERNMENT is going to recognize marriage as its own institution — which is outside of religion, what with that whole separation of church and state thing, ahem — then everyone should be allowed to marry, especially given that the primary objections to such a thing are religious. If you want to exclude that in your particular religion or church, that is your right. See also: church and state. I’m not going to think you’re the coolest person in the world about this particular issue, and yes, I’m going to think you have more than a little a bit of prejudice bubbling JUUUUUUST beneath the surface, no matter what you say. (And this is why I do not belong to a church, although I like many churches.) (And yes, I think it counts as bigotry, and I think some religious institutions are totally guilty of it all the time, and not just on this issue.)

But no, the government shouldn’t put limits on it, as it violates ye olde church and state separation thing that is, in my mind, the most important piece of our government in so many ways.

And I think, for the record, that a lot of politicians, Mr. Obama included, say they are against gay marriage in favor of civil unions for political reasons. No one likes to admit it, but everyone knows it would be political suicide to say otherwise. Sad.

So there you have it. The cleaner, nicer version of my particular position that isn’t asking anyone to fuck themselves unless they want to.

So! *claps hands* More dashes! Of the benign, non-political sort!

— We are in teething hell. My God, you guys, it’s unbelievable. One minute, she’s laughing and smiling while I, um, gently slap her little tushie between diaper changes (she LOVES it) and two seconds later, she’s screaming like someone is stabbing her directly in the face. Awesome. My shower was abruptly aborted by her ear-piercing screams and I was forced to face the fear that Emily and I have discussed, which is that I had to tend to my child while completely naked. And, you know, wet. And though I regularly feed her with my boobs, it was shockingly awkward.

— Relatedly, washing your hair and frantically rinsing off the important bits does not count as a shower. In fact, it’s worse than not showering at all. I feel just clean enough to know exactly which parts of me are still dirty. GEE-ROSS.

— A few weeks ago, we had our first taste of how having a baby sort of limits you. We led remarkably boring lives pre-Sam, and thus, she really doesn’t cramp our style all that much. But dude, the Roots were playing in Burlington a couple of weeks ago, and though there were tickets available, we didn’t find out until that morning and … well. You know. Baby doesn’t need to be jammin’ out to Essaywhuman?!!!??! at midnight, and a babysitter wasn’t happening. (Am not remotely there yet. REMOTELY.) And it was WEIRD. Like it was the first time it occurred to us that we really were tethered to our house. We were fine with it, but it was still … odd.

— So! Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo broke up. Which, you know, no one cares, but it’s HILARIOUS that People has a photographic RETROSPECTIVE on the couple, as though they were Charles and Diana. Really, People. Really?

— I have a Butter Thing. Butter butter butter. Butter is my favorite thing in the entire world, and I’m not kidding. I can resist almost anything but butter. BUTTER. OH MY GOD BUTTER. Ergo, I am a bit of a butter snob and further, I recently took it upon myself to go on a bit of a world butter tour, trying every high-end butter I could get my hands on. And, as I recently Tweeted, the world’s best butter is Vermont Butter & Cheese cultured butter. Creamy and silky, with just the right amount of salt. Go forth and spread. Um, the butter, that is.

— We’re preparing for an upcoming vacation, part of which will be with my parents, and part of which will be us alone in my parents’ cabin on the lake. And you know, as Diane recently noted, vacations for moms are … the same as being at home, but with more obstacles. Adam keeps making reference to relaxation and really, I don’t even know what to say. In fairness, hanging with Sam and me IS relaxation to him, but you know, it’s not like I’m going to have all this FREE TIME with which to explore the collected works of Voltaire. I’m also thinking that a rustic-type get-away-from-it-all lakeside cabin is going to lose a shitton of its luster with my kid in tow. For chrissake, there isn’t even any CABLE.

Happy Thursday!

*Depeche Mode. HOW TRITE OF ME RIGHT? I couldn’t resist.

74 comments July 15th, 2009

Perfect Symmetry

Because I can’t come up with a coherent thought, we have bullets again! Or dashes, because I still cannot do bullets! At all! Also, as it turns out, I am one opinionated motherf*cker.

– For a season that started out as meh, I gotta tell you, True Blood has hit its stride. First off, who DOESN’T want to have an inappropriate vampire-human relationship with Eric? Screw Bill. ERIC. And Maryann. How I love Maryann, creepy-ass meathooks and all. The series has even managed to make me not hate Anna Paquin. A feat indeed.

– We’re rolling over constantly these days, from back to belly, and since we (what is this ‘we’? I MEAN SAM) cannot figure out to get BACK to our backs from the belly position, not to mention the wee problem of our arms being pinned beneath ourselves, it is time to wean from the swaddle, lest we get ourselves stuck with no way out. Oh my hell you guys, I don’t want to do this. However, the Peke Moe people responded to a Tweet I made about it, and lo, the marketing trick worked. I ordered one, and I will let you know how it goes. GAH GAH GAH.

– Only tangentially related, I bought the Peke Moe myself. I don’t even think they knew I was a blogger. Which brings me to a point that I’ve been meaning to mention, and will add to my “About” section when I have the chance: on my personal blog, I will never ever ever do a compensated review, and with a few exceptions/side projects with friends (that are forthcoming!), I won’t ever be going professional in any real capacity, least of all here, and by that, I mean writing a blog or post that is sponsored by a product, even if it’s just a review. I’ve now been offered several opportunities, and twice now I’ve accepted, and — you guessed it — twice now, I’ve ended up declining somewhat unprofessionally because I suck. I have finally learned to just straight-up decline. But really, it just doesn’t fit me, and if I’m honest, it makes me feel a little dirty because I LOOK dirty doing it. Because again, I suck at it.

I’m not a purist, and I don’t begrudge anyone who does it, nor do I think it’s “ruining” blogging. Hell, if you can pull it off, I applaud you, for you are more skilled than I. Seriously. But … it’s not for me. And I think I feel a little how Blythe does about the whole thing, which is decidedly ambivalent. Happy for everyone, but also a little nostalgic.

– So! In totally un-sponsored product news, have I told you guys that I have every baby carrier on the market? No, really. I have it all. The only type I don’t have is a mei tei, and that seemed sort of pointless because again, EVERY OTHER KIND OF CARRIER. Two different types of slings! A Baby Bjorn (the active kind, with the full back support)! The Ergo! The Moby! And the verdict is this: I hate all of them except for the Ergo and the Bjorn.

The Moby is just too damn complicated for me, and though I have used it successfully, the forward-facing carry leaves Sam feeling unmoored, her little limbs dangling in the wind, and if I’m having her face me, the Ergo rocks the house. For facing out, I still love the Bjorn, and the active model saves my back. But really, she never wants to do that anymore, because hot damn, we both love the Ergo. Totally, totally worth the hefty price tag. Totally.

– If one more breastfeeding advocate — a lactivist, if you will — auto-Tweets “supportive” messages to anyone who MENTIONS breastfeeding because they have a search set up, I swear to you, I will hunt them down and shoot milk in their eye. They take Tweets out of context, all in the name of evangelism and advocacy, and on more than one occasion, I’ve seen a new mom feel bullied. I mean who wouldn’t, with six to eight people WHO THEY DO NOT KNOW, hurling out-of-context statistics and extreme information to them. Way to be supportive, asswipes. Way to be.

Plus, there was that really awesome time when they all lobbed on my ass, including e-mailing me through this here site, with “helpful” statistics, all because I made an offhanded comment on Twitter (to Metalia,, I might add, not to the open universe, although yes, yes, my Tweets are public) that I didn’t want to breastfeed Sam when she was in kindergarten. Which, by the way, I still don’t. I like our breastfeeding relationship, but the time to end it for us will be before she turns five, I’ll tell you that right now.

– One of my (girl) friends is married to a lovely woman, and they have two children together (one a month younger than Sam, and oh my God, if he goes missing, it’s because I ate him, he’s that cute) and OH MY LANDS, I am envious of their situation and don’t understand why we can’t engineer biology differently. First off, after their son was born, her partner induced lactation so they could both breastfeed. Which, OH MY GOD, I would give my right arm for that, especially in light of Miss No-Bottle.

Secondly, they mentioned wanting more children, only this time having the one who has NOT been pregnant take a turn carrying the child. At this point, I believe my mouth fell open, because again, BALD ENVY, seeing as I hate being pregnant, as we all know. ENVY. I mean, it all makes SENSE, but, clearly I hadn’t thought it THROUGH and well, color me green, yo.

What I’m saying is that I now believe that it is ridiculous that we’re not all born with male or female leanings so that we may choose who we are attracted to –male-female, male-male, female-female, but with hermaphroditic elements, so that this arrangement can be made for EVERYONE, not to mention the ability for all couples to have children without too much trouble.

(I’m laughing, because somewhere, gay marriage opponents are shitting themselves, thinking that THIS. THIS IS THE KIND OF CRAZY, DANGEROUS THINKING THAT GAY MARRIAGE LEADS TO. HERMAPHRODITE ENGINEERING.)

(If that’s you, you can go fuck yourself, FYI, and I mean that as respectfully as I can possibly muster. I tolerate lots of different opinions, but not so much with this. I suffer no bigots, and that’s what I think it is. And nope, that’s not up for discussion, and if it makes you stop reading me, that’s okay.)

– And finally, on a very somber note, now that time has passed between them, I must tell you that I think of Shana and the Spohrs every day. Every single day.

And while I remain heartbroken and beyond shattered for them, I am forever grateful that they share their stories and experiences with us, if only so that we can keep the memory of their gorgeous kids alive, and remember to not take a single second for granted with our own. I cannot tell you how it has made me appreciate every moment with Sam, even on the most difficult days when doing so feels impossible. I just wish there was something I could do to make things different than they are. Anything.

Have a wonderful Tuesday.


46 comments July 13th, 2009

That Was Your Mother

First of all, I LOVE the name discussion going on down there, so please, keep it up. I also love that no one stuck their foot in their mouth and was all, “What kind of douchebag names their kid MASON?” and then a flame war breaks out, because Mason is about more than just jars, you know. Mason is PEOPLE, kind of like Soylent Green, but not, you know, edible.

(For the record, I love the name Mason, and just pulled it out of my ass for the sake of illustration up there.)

So! Because I have TIME and because oh my God THREE WHOLE POSTS IN ONE WEEK, STOP THE PRESSES, I’m going to list some, uh, random facts/issues that have been swirling around here lately. Some I’ve said elsewhere, some I haven’t.

1) I don’t think Michael Jackson was in any way, shape, or form a child molester. I think he was a fucked up, seriously lonely guy who was basically unable to relate to anyone in the world. Yes, he had some very serious issues and made some highly questionable decisions, but I honestly believe they were undertaken innocently. I mean, dude had NO CHILDHOOD, so yeah, I think he liked to be around kids,and maybe not in the most appropriate way, but … I don’t know, the words “arrested development” come to mind whenever I think of him.

Also, last time I checked, he was acquitted, and it bothers me that some of the same people who praise our justice system were the same people who continue to scream that he’s a dirty, dirty molester. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t planning to send Sam on an overnight trip to Neverland or anything, but … oh I don’t know. I just thought some of the comments were super mean-spirited, and I don’t know why I even care. I know, I said I had no real feelings on the topic, but seeing people react to the whole thing made me angry. Like mental illness is okay in some contexts, but not others and MY MY, we can be vicious about it.

2) I had a very unfortunate Stroller Incident today involving an overly weighted stroller, a door, and a lot of orange soda. Also, some screaming, “OH GOD, OH GOD” as I watched my kid pitch headfirst toward the floor, caught in the nick of time by the clerk at the five and dime. Worst moment of my life so far. And maybe the reason I’m afraid to go back to that store, ever, which is hard to do in a small town.

I mean, she would have obviously survived and been FINE, as the fall was all of like, uh, two feet and not even at that point, but you know, she was all DANGLING THERE and I was POURING ORANGE SODA ALL OVER HER in a desperate attempt to wrangle the whole mess and I forgot to throw the bottle down first, and the whole thing up and … oh God. She was ORANGE. I have never felt like such a bad parent, and I’ve cried about it approximately 9,786 times today. Because really, almost dumping her on the floor is bad enough, but basting her in a nice coating of Diet Sunkist is another, and what kind of idiot doesn’t put the BOTTLE DOWN before tending to her CHILD?

(I don’t even have an answer for this, except that I was apparently flustered and stupid. Not, you know, worried more about my Sunkist than my kid.)

And of course, she has a huge gash on her cheek from her own FINGERNAILS and the lady asked me about it, probably because she had one finger on the phone to call child protective services. (Though really, she was very nice.) Sam’s fine, and yes, I know, there are worse things, but GAH GAH GAH. Clearly, I am not fine, and am stuck having the only beer we had in the house which is … Bud Light. Because we’re classy.

3) We ordered Showtime for Big Brother After Dark. Well, and Dexter, but wouldn’t you believe it’s not starting until SEPTEMBER? Anyway, this is embarrassing on every level possible, not the least of which is that we WATCH Big Brother, but let me say that I don’t know where either one of us thinks we’re going to find the TIME to watch such pathetic shenanigans, but that one of us will have a bit more time than the other, ahem.

4) Once, when Sam was a newborn, I stuck the thermometer in my daughter’s girl parts instead of her hind parts. It was the first time I ever thought that maybe I wouldn’t be a natural parent, because for crying out loud, I couldn’t even put a THERMOMETER in the right place. Oh, and in case you were wondering, it was a degree higher. Vaginas are warmer than butts? We may never know for sure.

5) I think horror movie previews should be regulated, because honest to freakin’ God, if I see the preview for Orphan one more time, I am going to pee myself from bald terror. Just call me Tipper.

I could go on about things like Mrs. Meyer’s products (Love! But why so SCENTED? And I LIKE scent!), artisanal butter (BUTTTTTTEEEER), Top Chef Masters (Kelly Choi YOU SUCK, and I am done with you), but alas, there is no room for additional mundanity. (Look at me! Makin’ up words and shit!)

Happy weekend!

*Paul Simon. Am obviously on Graceland kick and it’s The New Girl‘s fault.

43 comments July 9th, 2009

You Can Call Me Al

First of all, have I mentioned the drunk homeless people living in the tent behind my house? Yes. Awesome. Vermont is fantastic, and by far one of the best places I’ve ever BEEN, much less lived, but it tends to attract the transient sort, which, while fine normally, is one of those elements I am not proud to admit that I don’t want in my backyard. And by that I mean literally. If I walk down to the river, which is technically still on our premises, I can see their tent. And twice now, they have approached me while wasted and been creepily interested in my baby.

“A BABY! Can I touch your baby?”

Yes, um, right. Actually, you can’t, although I give you major props for asking first. But that has less to do with you, and more to do with the fact that I have turned into one of those totally freaky people who gets upset when total strangers start touching my baby’s head and, on more than one occasion, have swooped in to KISS my baby, which: oh my fucking God, no. If you were ever wondering if it’s okay to kiss a stranger’s baby, I can tell you with near 100 percent certainty that it is not. And that goes double if you’re drunk and lurching towards my baby inappropriately.

Gah. I hate who I am saying that, like I’m some sort of unsympathetic ASSHOLE. I’m normally not, truly, it’s just that I don’t particularly enjoy walking Sam in the evenings and being afraid that some drunk person is going to leap out of the woods and ask if they can touch my baby. Which has happened twice now. I would like to HELP YOU, just please, if you don’t mind, step away from my baby. No, no, FARTHER THAN THAT. Thank you. I’d rather she not get wasted off of your fumes.

The whole thing, in all truth, is making me very sad and conflicted. And though I said I was calling the police, I haven’t done it yet, though I did tell the neighborhood busybody and I am SURE she has, which makes me feel like a jerk, though I am not sure why. As my friend Lee said, no one wants drunk homeless people in their backyard, so why does this make me feel GUILTY?

Onward! Can we talk about baby names for a second? I know, I know, Swistle‘s got this covered, it’s just that I have so many FEELINGS on the topic that I cannot be contained. First off, Samantha is named Samantha in large part because it’s the only name Adam and I could agree on after more than ten years of debate. No, seriously. TEN YEARS. Our boy name was Samuel. This means if we have a son next, we are particularly fucked, because while announcing, “Sam! Dinner!” is efficient, it is not exactly kind to do to your children.

Samantha is named, in part, for Samuel Adams, and I’m not kidding there. He was a neat guy — a total rabble rouser, and consistently proved that you don’t have to be the smartest guy in the room, you just have to be the most persuasive and persistent. All good things. Brooke is for Adam’s grandma Bernyce, who I loved loved loved and did I mention loved? Loved.

Aside from that, I was surprised that I was most attracted to names that I wanted to have as a child: Samantha, Amanda, Alexandra, Caroline, Sarah and Sadie all figured prominently in my top choices. I even went through a hardcore Jessica phase. Apparently I am stuck in the ’70s and ’80s. I am a relic.

I’ll also tell you that as a Jonna, it was super-important to me that she have an actual name that people heard of. My primary criteria, lame as it sounds, was that she be able to buy one of those bicycle license plates with her name on it without having to do a custom order. I did NOT want her to be the only [Jonna] anyone had ever heard of.

And look, I KNOW the topic is so personal! So personal! And I remember Sundry once did a post on the topic before Dylan was born and people went fracking NUTS about the names they hated/loved, and I seem to recall a particularly violent reaction against … Keegan? Declan? I don’t even know, but I remember feeling very very sorry for the parents of Keegan.

And while I WANTED to use a classic name, I found that they all seemed too fussy for me, though beautiful for someone else. Juliet, for example, is gorgeous, as is Julia. Eva! Victoria! SO PRETTY. And yet, not remotely something I felt I could pull off. This reminds me, PS, of the time I mentioned to an acquaintance that I loved the name Victoria, and she replied via e-mail that she wasn’t a fan — she preferred more classic names, like Marsha.

Marsha. With an “sh.” Right up there with Elizabeth and Agnes for the ages, right? I mean nothing against Marsha, as it’s a fine name, but it doesn’t exactly scream “TIMELESS,” and … more classic than Victoria? Really? In the context of that conversation, it was so … well, I often wonder if she thought Victoria was a made-up name or something.

I’ve said this before, but I … well, Motherhood Uncensored says it best. I am tired of the abuse of Y. TIRED. And again, I’m not talking about Lyla or Alyson or Evelyn or Carolyn or anywhere that Y makes SENSE. As in once or maybe in very special occasions TWICE. But GAH, different spellings make me all EYE POKEY.

And, if you follow me on Twitter or know me outside of this space, you know that I have come in contact with people named the absolute worst in Y abuse:




And now I have to ask: what are your children’s names, if you’re comfortable saying? And if you don’t have any, or don’t want to say, what are your favorite names? Because I LOVE this shit, and though I am thrilled to have my daughter here, I am sad I don’t have an imminent Naming Project. Although honestly, in many ways, this is easier to discuss when I don’t. Less pressure, I don’t know.

Happy Thursday!

*Paul Simon, off of an album that is squarely in my top three of all-time.

206 comments July 8th, 2009

My List

So, as it turns out, people weren’t lying to me, and four months was the major turning point when my baby became not just a baby, but pure magic. I’ll admit it, folks, I didn’t believe you. Sorry about that, but it’s hard to, when NO ONE YOU KNOW has had a kid who screamed like yours did, and you end up assuming that exactly how it is RIGHT NOW is how it’s going to be forever, even though logically that makes no sense, no sense at all. I mean, I don’t know many 15-year-olds who wander the halls of high school screaming incoherently, then pass out cold on the floor while swaddled in a Kiddopotamus product.

Anyway, it wasn’t forever, and now, she is so much fun I almost can’t wait for the day to begin. The laughing! The roly-poly thighs that demand to be eaten! The giggling while she’s being kissed! She loves it when her daddy talks business, and there’s nothing funnier than watching her giggle wildly while he recounts a meeting at work in a Very Serious Tone. The second he starts to pay attention to her and talk to her in Baby Voice, she loses interest and gets frustrated. The kid’s going to be a sucker for the Very Long Board Meeting, I can tell.

Of course, all this joy means that I want another baby now now now. Is now good for you? Okay then. NOW. And thank Jesus for things like LOGIC and ADAM and oh yes, BREASTFEEDING IMPEDING MY FERTILITY, because I realize that another baby right, um, now, is pretty much the stupidest idea in the world. This is why I tend to put on weight, my friends. One cupcake is never enough. I need the whole DOZEN in order to be satisfied, and even then, I’ll go on a cupcake BENDER and make cupcakes every day until I never want to see another cupcake again. Something tells me it’s a bad idea to repeat this pattern with children. Not that I’m giving up on more, because oh no, there will be more. Just not, you know, six dozen.

Onward! Things could not be less thrilling over here, what with the constant baby-wrangling and playgroup-attending and I am embarrassed at the mundane nature of my life right now, but boy howdy, am I ever happy. I’ve made comments before about how little of my old life I miss, and that I don’t sit around wistfully thinking of Things I Should Have Appreciated, but there ARE a few things I think about occasionally that I’d almost forgotten about, but will surely recapture some day:

– Reading. I haven’t read more than five pages of a non-baby-related book in months. The last book I read cover to cover was the No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley, and while informative, it wasn’t exactly thrilling, unless you count learning more about your child’s sleep habits to be up there with Sookie Stackhouse.

– Cooking. I’ve made eggs. And re-heated things. Oh, and made tuna salad for sandwiches. Miss miss miss cooking, like a whole lot. Also miss eating non-reheated things desperately.

– Cleaning. No, really. My standards have dropped, and though I still clean the toilets, I cannot believe how FAST I clean them, which leaves me wondering if I’m getting all the important bits, or if we continue to sit on Lingering Pee Molecules. See also: showering. Also, fun fact: my kid likes me less when I’m showered. Apparently I smell more mom-like when I’m at my dirtiest.

– A Caribbean and/or Mediterranean vacation. I’ve had a vacation fund going for a while now, and normally it’s the kind of thing I’d be all excited about, because we could finally get back to turquoise water-lounging, napping and beach reading. Excuse me while I go laugh until I pee myself. Because riiiiight. I’m thinking that’s a more appropriate goal for, say, 2035.

– Writing. God bless you for reading this and/or anything I cobble together, because my skillz are RUSTY. Not to mention I don’t have time to edit for shit, so I’ve sent more illiterate e-mails than not lately. The novel I started? HA HA. So on hold right now.

Oddly, sleep is not on this list. Why? Because, and I don’t even want to say this out loud, but co-sleeping has, for the moment, solved all of my problems. I’m not WELL RESTED, per se, but I am functional enough to be happy, and here’s a dirty little first-kid joy I’ll tell you about: for her morning nap, I have started to simply bring her back to bed with me, where we sleep together for a good two hours and sometimes, as a result, we don’t get up for the day until 10:30. She would NEVER sleep that long on her own, but frankly — and this is where people tell me I’m screwing up — I DO NOT CARE. I’m still in guerrilla mode, where I obtain sleep by any means necessary and besides, it’s SO snuggly and nice.

People warned me not to do a lot of things that have already worked themselves out with a little help from mama, and I know sleeping will, too. Yes, yes, it will be hard, and yes, she’ll probably sleep in our bed longer than most people would like, but you know, in the blink of an eye, she’s going to be sixteen and telling me she hates me just before slamming the door in my face because I wouldn’t buy her the sweatpants that say “Juicy” on the ass. And since I only have one kid and can get away with making such grievous errors, as no one else is clamoring for my attention, I’m going to go ahead and do so with pleasure.

I mean, if this was your kid, wouldn’t you?

Yes, yes, she’s losing her hair. Yes, it’s sad. But also kind of a little bit funny, as she rocks her half-bald look.

Happy Wednesday!

*The Killers.

36 comments July 7th, 2009


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