Posts filed under 'Alex the Grace'

Thank You For Being a Friend

Remember how I complained about January? Well! February is equally sucktastic, if not worse. I always forget this, even when people tell me. “Oh, January isn’t bad, it’s FEBRUARY.” And I nod and smile and I’m like, mmhm, sure, but no, they are right. February blows. Look, on a relative scale of suck, it’s not terrible. We’re healthy and happy and warm and nothing truly awful is happening, it’s just you get up every day and OH LOOK, SNOW, and the sun doesn’t come out and errrrrrrrghhhh. Sunrise, sunset, school, routine, BLOODY DINNERTIME, because suddenly everyone expects to eat every day or something, and then we go to bed, read a bad book (MORE ON THAT IN A MINUTE) and get up to do it all over again.

I’ve already signed up for the pool next summer, that’s how desperate I am to imagine sunshine and brighter days and, let us all hope, a child who doesn’t collapse face first down the pool stairs like she did LAST summer — AT A POOL PARTY — leaving me to leap after her fully dressed, then take my dress OFF, as it was soaking wet. Yes, I was wearing my bathing suit. This wouldn’t be a big deal except that I was literally six weeks postpartum to the DAY, and I don’t know about you or really anyone, but unless you’re Gisele Bundchen, being in a SWIMSUIT six weeks after evacuating a watermelon from your midsection is not all that appealing. But since then, we have discovered the Puddle Jumper, and life has new meaning and hope.

Wah wah wah, you’d think I wasn’t terribly overprivileged or something, GOD. SHUT UP.

The funny thing is that I LIKE winter. I LIKE the seasons. Florida depressed me with its never-ending sunshine and bright days and sometimes I stepped outside and was completely blinded like a flipping newborn calf, because it was so sunny! All the time! Except when it was pouring, but usually, really, always with the sunny, and then you take it for granted and the sunshine, it just disappears into the background.

Four paragraphs on weather! NEW LOW!

Hey, did I tell you guys that Allie never really did take a bottle? Yeah. She didn’t. And I thought it would be as angsty and fraught and haaaard as it was with Sam, and believe me, I have moments, but for the most part it isn’t a big deal. She’s pretty reliable with when/how she needs to eat and sleep, so I just build my social life around that. I like how I just said social life as though I have a rich one, but hey, a girl can dream. But really! Not terrible. Ask me again in five months, when I just want to escape to the spa for an entire afternoon, but frankly, I think finances will be more of a roadblock to that endeavor than my boobs.

It does make me realize, however, that I think that I really am truly happy with stopping at two kids. I love every phase — I LOVE having a baby in the house, and in a lot of ways, this is my dream job, this stage of caring for two little kids. It is sort of embarrassing to say that, but I do enjoy being with them so, so much.

But. I think of starting it all over again, and continuing this period of adjustment AGAIN and having another summer of shoving an infant in the shade and missing NINE WHOLE MONTHS of my children’s lives because I’m too sick to do anything, and I just . . . no. I think I want more out of life with the two I have, and their little childhoods are going SO FAST, and I want to be here for every second of it. Not that I wouldn’t be with a third, I just think I’m ready to accept — happily — that it’s time to move on. I want to focus on them, not focus my energy on adding someone who, if I’m honest, doesn’t quite seem like they belong. Allie and Sam. They are supposed to be here, and I knew they were missing. I honestly don’t feel like someone is missing. This is who we are, and I feel really peaceful about it, no matter how many times I poke at it these days. Any thoughts to the contrary were — are — hormonally driven. Thanks, biology, for the mindfuck! Perhaps there is some truth to the idea that men cheat to spread their seed, because I really did feel an urge to have ALLLLL the babies, even though that’s not what I want.

(Let’s hope Kate Upton doesn’t show up at our door asking for a nooner with Adam anytime soon, hmmm?)

I’m surprised how many feelings that gives me in the mortality department, however. Do you guys remember that Golden Girls episode (I know you do), when Blanche thought she was pregnant, but it turned out to be menopause and she just FLIPPED HER SHIT? Like, I get that. I don’t even know WHY I get that, because it’s not like my fertility is so robust, or that I am of the mind that parenthood can only be achieved biologically, but it’s oddly bizarre to say, well, that time of my life is over and it’s never coming back! Next babies to hit our family will be grandchildren.

This is why I have a flipping GOBLET of Trader Joe’s white zin on my night table right now, because even though I have a no-shit infant in the next room, and I am HAPPY with my decision to leave my family exactly as it is, I am suddenly feeling like I have one foot in the grave, and should just throw in the towel now. (I’m only 37!) (Haaa, only, fuck.) ¬†Also, side note: Blanche took a pregnancy test and ended up with some weird test tube that changed color to PUCE. Puce. It wasn’t even that long ago, but God, they were one step removed from killing a rabbit, right? No ClearBlue Easy up in the 1980s, I guess. They had test tubes! Which . . . now that I think about it, were we supposed to ignore that Blanche was showing everyone a tiny vial of her urine? Oh gross. (I feel this way about people who display/show actual pee sticks live and in person, which happens more often than you’d think. No, I don’t want to hold it. You peed on it. I’m okay.)

Two things about the Golden Girls: Once, I called my mom a slut in the YMCA pool. I legit thought it was a term of endearment, because they called Blanche that all the time! Haa! My mom did not think so! That was a good time, and I believe it earned me a shocked crack across the face. And second, Blanche used to talk about housing whipped cream in her bedroom, and I VERY DISTINCTLY REMEMBER asking my mom what that meant. Her reply? “I don’t know.” I know now that OH SHE KNEW ALRIGHT. But I guess there really is no appropriate answer for a nine-year-old in that context, and suddenly I feel very dirty and awkward for watching the Golden Girls at nine, but I assure you, the sexytime jokes went right over my head.

Ugh, my poor mom.

Anyway, February! It breeds discontent and deep mortal thoughts of puce. I mean, the Golden Girls ARE ALL DEAD EXCEPT FOR ROSE, who is ninety-two, FFS. The retirement home is calling my name. Also, Blanche thought she was pregnant at fucking what, 55? Dear shit.

And finally, in amusing news, I made a few changes on my site (not a redesign, although Jesus God, I did this in 2005. HAAA, MODERN), and when I checked to see if they worked, I noticed that my ads weren’t loading. I give about thismuch thought to ads except when I get a (very tiny) check in the mail once in a while, and not really with any regularity. So! I did what any industrious blogger would do, and emailed my ad network to see if it was me or them.

You guys, they stopped serving ads in November. HAHAHA. I JUST NOW NOTICED, and ONLY BECAUSE I DID AN UPGRADE AND WAS LOOKING FOR PROBLEMS. Monetization: a high priority for the jonniker empire! Next up: MUGS.

Have a great Thursday! Valentine’s Day! We’re making baby pies. Or buying them. Or just maybe thinking about pie. We’ll see.

*I don’t even need to, right?

48 comments February 13th, 2013

Cold

EFFING JANUARY, AM I RIGHT? I don’t know about you guys, but for the first few weeks after the holidays, I am relieved they’re over and I’m relaxed! Ho de ho, the winter is upon us, but there are no more holidays and we can just relax into our comfy routine!

And then, God, it’s just dark and dreary and cold and everyone is sick, so you don’t see friends as much as you usually do, and did I mention it’s DARK and it’s never SUNNY and you get the stomach virus, and then your friends get the stomach virus and then everyone has the FLU and it’s just depressing. I have been in a low-grade foul mood going on a week now, with absolutely no reasoning behind it, and then I remember: January. That’s really all I need to know.

January, man. It is a dark time. And February is more of the same. But March! Hey, uh, that’s coming soonish, and things start to warm up a bit and bonus! It stays light past 5 p.m. then.

Something to look forward to! Mud season!

Barrel of glee, I am.

Let us move on to some quick takes, because at this point, I am just putting things down on paper to get them out, just to, I don’t know, KEEP SWIMMING in this bleak, bleak era of deep winter. (Irony: I LIKE winter. But the lack of snow and/or sunshine is SAPPING MY WILL TO LIIIIIVE.)

— I’ve been cloth diapering and this is not new if you follow me on Twitter, because I went through a phase where I talked about it all the time, and I became one of Them, and here’s the thing: Cloth diapering is fun. No, I don’t know why. Yes, it’s creepy. Yes, the acronyms are awful and stupid and make it seem like some kind of SCIENCE, when really, it isn’t, it’s quite simple. I feel silly, in fact, that I didn’t do it with Sam, but then again, YOU try figuring out how to squeeze extra laundry into a time when your child screams 24/7 and eating anything less convenient than a Pop Tart is just too much to ask. Occasionally, I think back on the state of our house during Sam’s infancy, and honestly, it was as close to true squalor as I have ever lived. I don’t think I cleaned ANYTHING for a solid six months, and while Adam is a neat picker-upper, he’s not really going to dig in there with a toilet brush or anything.

Jesus, talk about a dark time.

I digress! So I’m cloth diapering, and it started like this: Allie blew out every diaper under the sun except for Seventh Generation, which for some reason is the ONLY disposable diaper I could readily find with elastic on the back. This is stupid, right? Stupid. Anyway, those diapers are not only expensive, but horribly crinkly and uncomfortable, and on a whim, I bought some gDiapers with the cloth inserts. I liked them, actually, and suddenly, I was no longer cutting onesies off of my kid on a regular basis (seriously, with the cutting). But oh ho HO, I could not get them clean with Charlie’s Soap and my inserts smelled like poop and I just GAVE UP and ordered a bunch of prefold diapers from Green Mountain Diapers and threw them into Flip covers, voila.

THEN, Kelly told me that basically, it turned out the reason my diapers still stunk is that THEY WERE NOT CLEAN because Charlie’s was not cleaning them, and HEAVENS, we bought some powdered Tide and God shone on us, and I could use microfiber again, so I got some bumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers and a couple of Elementals and now, that is what we use. Flips + prefolds, BG pocket diapers and for nighttime, bumGenius Elementals, which are awesome. I only have five Elementals, honestly, and that’s plenty.

So! Pocket diapers, prefolds + covers and an organic all-in-one, all from bumGenius, save for the prefolds. That’s it. I have two dozen prefolds, eight Flip covers, and maybe 12 pocket dipes? Anyway, I do laundry every three days, I spent less than $400 on the whole shebang thanks to seconds and used diapers and done. It’s way easier than I thought it would be, even with Alex eating solids. And cheap! Less than $400!

We won’t talk about the water bill from the month I tried to make my gDiapers stink less using Charlie’s. Yes, that was . . . expensive. But atypical! ATYPICAL!

Now you know. You should do it! It’s easy! And did I mention cheap?

— Speaking of cheap, oh holy hannah, y’all, after my budget post I told myself I could only go to Target if I ABSOLUTELY needed something, and I haven’t been since and . . . my bank account is noticeably, ah, larger. I even went so far as to price out staples like deodorant online and thus, have a six-pack of Dove winging its way to my house as we speak so that I do not even need to get out for THAT. And THEN I realized that while I am saving boatloads of money by exercising supreme restraint in avoiding my beloved red-signed paramour, I am also one one-click away from becoming an agoraphobic hermit who may raise the next Unibomber if we don’t get out. It never dawned on me how much I relied on SHOPPING to get us out of the house, particularly when we’re seeing friends less due to illness.

I see, ah, lots of trips to the public library in our future. Also, begging my friends to come over even if people are puking, because JUST GIVE THEM A BUCKET, WE CANNOT GO TO TARGET, WHO CARES ABOUT NOROVIRUS WE NEED SOCIAL INTERACTION.

Well, maybe not norovirus. But strep, flu? I’ll risk it. Just get me out, man, GET ME OUT. Otherwise I’m about to drive over to the red mecca and throw myself into the dollar bins.

(We have friends coming over tomorrow. Please don’t worry about us. Saved for another day.) (If they cancel, I will weep.)

— Target avoidance aside, I suddenly realized another reason why we haven’t been getting out as much, and that is the two-nap trap. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a twice-daily napping infant, and it is, ah, limiting, is it not? You get up, two hours later, BOOM! A nap. Three hours after that, BOOM! Another nap, but the thing is, you don’t want to do much in those three hours because WHO WANTS TO RISK THE NAP? No one. So you BOLT as soon as the kid wakes up from nap one, because a car nap could make the rest of the day AWFUL, or you wait until after the second nap, at which point, who feels like going anywhere, really. NOT I SAID THE FLY.

— I’m on a crapper of a reading streak, lemme tell you. Megan McCaffety’s “Bumped”? Unreadable. Abandoned. I’m currently reading Kate Morton’s The House at Riverton, and given that her Forgotten Garden is an all-time favorite, I had high hopes. It is . . . just okay. Even my smut choices have been lacking (Naked/All In/Blackstone Affair is . . . just okay for me.) The last book that really sucked me in was Gone Girl. What say you? Do YOU have any good books? Trashy and smutty choices are welcomed.

I blame you, January. I BLAME YOU.

Happy Thursday.

 

*Lucy Schwartz/Aqualung

54 comments January 30th, 2013

Spiraling

I had a rough couple of weeks there where I was positively WEEPY about Allie being the Last Baby, after all of the Done declarations and sadness and I can’t even go into it anymore, because oddly, it passed. I think it was hormonal, seriously, because I remember going through a Dark Time right around the same age when Sam was an infant. Six to seven months, man. It’s like the silent postpartum killer that I really don’t remember hearing about. Is this a thing you’ve heard about? I mentioned it to a few people and there were many nods of agreement that oh yes, six months is a time when everything goes to shit, hormone-wise, particularly women who are breastfeeding.

For me, I think it coincided with a dip in night nursing — Allie started sleeping longer stretches at night (sometimes all the way through, please don’t tell anyone I said that), which meant that I was no longer a milk machine all night long, with the oxytocin and other happy hormones coursing through my veins and . . . yeah. Sam was similar, although there was no sleeping through the night to be had. More like, ah, sleeping through more than two hours. Which was awesome, don’t get me wrong, and shockingly provided similar results.

The thing is, there will always be a Last Baby, whether it’s this baby or another baby, and all the babies turn into children before you know it. It’s not like a third baby makes babyhood last longer — it still goes just as quickly, and it still doesn’t last. Babies become toddlers who become kids, and honestly, I can’t say I have any issue with the advancing of time so far, at least in terms of the results on my children. Yes, it’s sad to not have a baby anymore, but Sam is so awesome and fun and funny that I don’t even think I would go back if given the opportunity. I am hopeful, at least, that the same will be true for Allie, and that Sam will continue along a trail of awesomeness that makes me happier and happier each day. I keep remembering that we don’t even know who Allie IS yet. She’s just starting to tell us, and that’s pretty exciting.

(Ask me again when they’re 13.)

I have also come to the conclusion that kids are kind of like raw cookie dough. It’s impossible to stop, and it’s impossible to know that you’ve had too many until you’re nauseated and sweaty and wondering how things suddenly got this way. Not that it happens that way for everyone! I’m not saying everyone overdoes kids! I’m saying I think that’s what it would be like for me. I wouldn’t KNOW it was too much until I was weeping from . . . chaos, I guess. And I don’t REALLY feel like anyone is missing. I feel like everyone who is supposed to be here is here. When it was just us and Sam, I knew someone was missing. I KNEW it. I looked in the future and I saw the three of us and a blank space where, if I’m totally honest, another little girl was supposed to be.

And now she’s here. It IS right, even if I get a sad, biology-driven urge to have All The Babies, I can’t, and deep down, in my logical brain, I don’t actually want to.

ANYWAY, so then, instead of focusing on having another baby, or the Last Baby or any of that crap, I have REDIRECTED my anxiety on The Future, which involves budgets! And FUTURE JOB PROSPECTS! And just . . . EVERYTHING. I keep tweeting about line item after line item that I’m slashing. I am going WHOLE SLASH on everything, and honestly, I think it’s a good thing, even if my efforts are from a slightly insane place. I think. Although how I would know is beyond me.

I have spent a lot of time fretting about my house in Florida, too, which is also a good thing, as I declared this the year that we would finally come to some sort of closure on how to handle it without wanting to kill ourselves softly. I’ve also a lot of things that have always existed, but have somehow reached Paramount Importance and now that we’re not having any more children, it is time to FACE EVERYTHING and get our lives in order, and while some of this is healthy, I believe I am taking it all to a new level.

Basically, I am still working through this postpartum hormonal dip from hell, is what I’m saying. But have I ever mentioned that I am a HUGE fan of cognitive behavioral therapy? Well, I am. And what I like about it is that it focuses on stopping the wild spiral and focusing on what you can control, usually in the very immediate future and what would make you feel more in control RIGHT THIS MINUTE. Or you know, in the next few weeks. Baby steps, really.

It also helps that I have been through this anxiety spiral before, and I know what it is, and that it isn’t normal me, and that while yes, some stressors are real, they are likely FIXABLE and the world isn’t going to hell in a handbasket, and hey, Jonna, what can you do TODAY that will help you achieve peace on these issues? Besides staying medicated, which I am. And also realizing that this will pass.

I highly recommend CBT if you’re an anxiety-prone person. Truly. Coping mechanisms are important.

I’m making it sound like my life is a miserable death spiral. It isn’t. It’s just that this is THERE, lurking in the shadows, coming out to play at the least opportune moment, like, you know, when you want to go to sleep.

On the positive front, the one thing that did come out of this is that I want to take on a few freelance clients again. I miss it. I miss that small part of me doing something thinky and non-child-related to keep perspective on you know, being a human outside of a mom. It was a nice seven months, but it’s time. And I think I can say that comes from a relatively sane place, because I’ve been thinking about it for a while.

Well! It’s, ah, time to try to go to sleep. Thanks for listening. Writing it out always helps.

*Erasure

39 comments January 22nd, 2013

Slip Slidin’ Away

I know, it’s been seven months. Seven months! I have a no-shit infant who sleeps and all that, but you know, she was also born, and I don’t want to forget how. So here, seven months later, Allie’s birth story. It’s long. It’s more for me than you. Sorry about that.

God, you guys, I was so uncomfortable. I was big, I was sad and weeping all the time (thanks, antenatal depression!), I was still flipping puking every day, and I had a dairy intolerance so sensitive that if I so much as ate one bite of boxed oatmeal with a little milk powder, I would spend the remainder of the day and into the evening in the bathroom wondering, why? WHY? WHY ME? I had perfected the art of puking while also . . . doing other things, because things were just flying out of everywhere. I threw away multiple garbage cans because I just kept sullying them and it was . . . it was a dark time. I actually keep forgetting that, you know? It wasn’t that long ago, but here I am, looking back on that time with a GOLDEN GLOW.

Haaaa, unless I shat out gold dust, nothing about that time was golden.

“Your body is changing,” my midwife said knowledgeably, as I dutifully reported my bathroom habits. “Those prostaglandins! It’s coming soon!”

I almost punched her, because shut up, I still had three weeks to go.

Sam was a day early, so I was fully expecting Allie to be even earlier and then came my due date — June 4 — and then came the next day and the next, and by Wednesday the 6th, I promised Sam that we’d go to a picnic the next day to celebrate her last day of school, because why not? This baby was coming never. Might as well plan fun things.

The waiting is the worst, am I right? I’d never gone into labor with Sam — my water broke, and contractions never followed, at least not without Pitocin — so I didn’t even know what was going to happen. Frankly, I assumed that the same would happen with Allie, so I just sort of waited and hung about for the inevitable POP! from my unmentionable bits. Labors, as I understand them, are generally protracted affairs. To be clear: I had never experienced a contraction outside of Pitocin, which is ah, painful. You know. Or you don’t. But you might!

And that’s the only explanation I can come up with for the following events. Is my pain threshold that high? Probably. But more likely, I was just used to really painful contractions that did nothing, so I didn’t realize how far along I was until . . . well, you’ll see.

In addition to the myriad gastrointestinal issues, I also had relatively mild symphysis pubis dysfunction, which was basically a lot of pain in the, ah, pubic bone. Honestly, it was fine. Everything else was so crappy that it barely registered. So naturally, when I woke up at 5 a.m. on June 7 with pubic pain, I was just … well, it was pubic pain, you know? Except that I’d been having a dream wherein I was explaining to my high school friend Michele all about childbirth! And while I was explaining this to her, I kept pausing because my crotch was KILLING me, and she finally said, well, maybe you’re in labor and boom, I woke up.

This is a step up from the dream I was having involving Cheech Marin and a kayak when my water broke with Sam.

But you know, contractions. Hooray! They were pretty regular and kind of painful? Maybe? I didn’t know! I didn’t know! I mean, I’d endured eight or nine hours of Pit contractions, which were CRAZY painful, and I’d progressed exactly nowhere, so I just . . . didn’t think it was that big of a deal. A call to the midwife said that I should call back when I was either bleeding or unable to talk through contractions. Sure, I’d lost my mucus plug, but was that . . . bleeding? I didn’t know!

Things got longer, stronger and closer together, sure. But hey, no blood! I could talk just fine! They were 10 minutes apart, sometimes 13, sometimes three! Who the hell knew? I ate a sandwich, figuring a long day of labor would mean that I wouldn’t eat for quite some time. It was 8 a.m., and my sister was on the way just in case she had to pick Sam up from school. Preschool was at 9, and I fully expected to drop Sam off and maaaybe take a leisurely drive to the hospital if I was ready. Adam came home, slightly panicked, but I assured him it was fine! Let’s take Sam to school! No big!

So we did! And my contractions were five minutes apart and the ladies at school were like, heeey, uh, maybe you should go to the hospital? And I talked through the contractions, la la la, and I still wasn’t bleeding, so hey! Long day of labor ahead! But fine, everyone, if you insist, we’ll go to the hospital, but after I pick up a prescription at CVS and grab my paperwork! La la la!

(SERIOUSLY)

So we drove! To the hospital! La la la! And I responded to an email from TwoBusy at 10:03 a.m. all LA LA LA! We’re fine! Thank you for your offer of help! La la la! En route to the hospital! Stuck behind a truck, no big deal!

And after that, things started to get a little painful? Maybe? But I was stil fine! La la la! And then we pulled into the parking lot at 10:39. This is important, y’all. 10:39 we PARKED THE CAR. I know this because I’d recorded it on my stupid contraction app.

A quick walk to the maternity ward and we had to wait to be checked in after a bunch of rather leisurely-looking pregnant ladies had filled up the one (1) desk to check people in oh my hell. And then I had to pee! La la la! And I hit the restroom and wait, suddenly I didn’t have to pee anymore, I had to poop! SO BAD! Suddenly! Oh, I knew that sandwich was a bad idea! I didn’t want to poop NOW. I was going to have a baby soon! Who wants that area pre-sullied?

It was in that restroom, friends, that things got Very Bad. Because it turns out I did NOT have to poop, I had to push out a baby. And I started wailing, as I was stuck on the toilet, but I didn’t want to have the baby on the toilet, but I’d locked the door, and GOD, it was awful! Suddenly! So much pain! And the urge to push! RIGHT THEN. RIGHT THEN. I HAD TO PUSH RIGHT THEN. On the toilet on the maternity floor in the REGISTRATION BATHROOM. And I started to! As I was making my way off the toilet and to the door, I kept pushing and panicking and holding my crotch (yes, because holding one’s CROTCH keeps the babies in). I opened the door to find Adam looking slightly frantic and I was basically yelling I could NOT wait to be registered and I was going to have the baby! Right then! In the bathroom!

To which his response was basically no shit, I have ears.

You guys, it was 10:44. I’d been there FIVE MINUTES.

The rest is kind of a blur. I was given a rolling bed in a little triage room in the HALLWAY, checked for dilation (HAHAHAHAHA) and it was at this point that I asked for my epidural! “I’m ready for the epidural now!” I announced. The entire room just looked at me, splayed out in my black maxi maternity dress, FitFlops securely on my feet, a full ten centimeters dilated, baby’s head crowning like a mo’ fo’ and the pity was so thick you could spread it on a cracker.

“It’s too late, honey,” my midwife crooned. “By the time they get here, the baby will be out. Do you feel that?” She took my hand and guided it down. “That’s her HEAD. She’s HERE.”

“No! No! I want an epidural! It was my birth plan!” I SAID THAT.

“It’s too late! I’m so sorry.”

[Edited to add that I just remembered that I followed THAT with, “Fentanyl?” HAHAHA. I KEPT ASKING FOR DRUGS. ANY DRUG WOULD DO]

Y’all, I was fucking PISSED. I was also pushing. So, ah, you know, this triage table wasn’t cutting it anymore and you guys, they just WHEELED ME INTO A BIRTHING SUITE and four people picked me up — FULLY DRESSED — and moved me to a different bed while I pushed through each contraction, of which there was a total of maaaaybe three, four? I think it was during the second big one that I flat-out refused to proceed without an epidural. “I’m not doing it!” I pouted. “Well, it’s too late, you ARE doing it,” replied my midwife. It is then that she tells me I grabbed her by the collar, pulled her toward me and spat in her face, “I AM SO PISSED.”

And I guess I was. But it was quickly forgotten, because suddenly, there was little Alexandra, grayish and eerily silent. I got a brief look at her and then, boom, she was gone. Oddly, it wasn’t until after she came out that I ripped off my clothes and I don’t even KNOW WHY, I just did, it was all too much. I was like some weird feral beast.

I also most definitely did that awful guttural scream through each push, all cavewoman-like. Ugh. Retroactive embarrassment. Nice birth, cave lady.

Allie was born at 10:51 a.m. Twelve minutes after we arrived INTO THE PARKING LOT OF THE HOSPITAL. The walk to the maternity ward took up at least three of those minutes, and oh my hell, you guys, I had a baby TWELVE MINUTES after I arrived. TWELVE.

Things got kind of awful after that. As I lay on the table naked and bloody (holy shit, BLOODY), Allie was whisked away to the warming table to be examined and everyone was basically panicked, but trying not to ACT panicked, because she never cried. Oh sure, she appeared to be breathing, but crying? Nope. Apparently her cord was wrapped around her neck multiple times, so they were afraid she had some hypoxia.

Also, there was Surprise Meconium, which is apparently not a good thing, especially when the quiet baby is not crying, and quiet baby has had cord issues AND meconium, AND a super-fast birth AND AND AND. So there I was, bloody and miserable and also NAKED and nurses were pushing on my stomach to deliver the placenta (WHICH I NEVER WANT TO SEE AGAIN THANK YOU) and getting out clots and then stitching me up without an epidural (the worst part) and I WENT THROUGH ALL THAT (FIVE MINUTES OF) SHIT AND I DON’T EVEN GET TO HOLD MY BABY COME ON GIMME BABY.

I think I felt worst for Adam, who was torn between his naked and bloodied wife and his newborn daughter, and both were, frankly, pretty dissatisfied at the moment. But he stayed with Allie and I’m glad he did, because she was alone over there, while nurses poked and prodded and waited for the neonatologists to come down, and there was NICU talk and blaaah, I know, really, that it’s no big deal in the scheme of things, but it sucked in that moment, being naked and bloody and not holding your baby and hearing they might take her away even further was just . . . not what I wanted to hear, and maybe that makes me bratty, but I wanted my baby NOW. Finally, after declaring all of her vital signs beyond excellent, she was declared fine, just disinterested in crying.

And I got to hold my baby.

I can now report that she is still totally disinterested in crying. Turns out that’s just who she is, at least so far.

Man, I love this kid. She’s easy and magical and beautiful and cheerful all the time, I mean ALWAYS with the cheerful, you guys. Always.

Perhaps it’s that she was born in a maxi dress? PERHAPS.

 

photo-3

 

70 comments January 16th, 2013

Big Time

So hey, since moving Allie to her own room she, ah, sleeps. Quite a bit. Gets up once, maybe twice, to eat IF THAT, and once again, I’m like, well, shit. Turns out she just wanted her own damned space, but also, ah, she wanted to sleep on her belly. This makes me VERY FRETFUL and I keep thinking it’s terribly foolish, even though EVERYONE DOES IT JUST FINE and she’s even getting there on her own, and I couldn’t stop her if I tried, but please, remember, I am a person who kept the house at 55 to stave off SIDS with Samantha.

So the thing is, with everyone in bed by 8 at the latest, I suddenly have my evenings free, and by “evenings” I mean two hours before I SHOULD be in bed. And you guys, this feels really, really luxurious. I suddenly feel like I should be taking up a hobby. Knitting has crossed my mind. Quilting! I could quilt! By 2017, I could have half a square completed, right?

Then I realized that perhaps it’s time to get back to basics — writing here, as I mentioned is a priority, as is, ah, personal hygiene. So before I whip out the Featherweight (AND I WILL), perhaps I should work on showering every day and keeping those legs silky smooth, HMMMMM?

I sort of lost my mind earlier about sponsored posts, and I’m STILL kind of losing it. Blogs– no, PEOPLE! — I used to read and love have become shill factories — caricatures of themselves talking about THE cutest purse insert (fo’ real) and heeeey, they just happened to pay me and here! I have some to give away! And this is fine — great, even! — if it’s a one off thing, but by the FIFTEENTH sponsored post in, say, seventeen days, I kind of think they’re full of shit, and I become five years old and want to BOYCOTT every last one of the products on their list.

(Truth: I did a campaign with Huggies a few years ago, and it paid very well, and I GET IT. I also already used Huggies — swear! — and like their stuff quite a bit, even though they are no longer paying me to say so. But if they approached me now? Nope. I don’t use it anymore, because Allie has super-special buttocks that will only work in cloth or Seventh Generation, and look, I don’t want to knock Seventh Gen, but I HATE THEM. They feel like paper! So please don’t contact me, Seventh Gen. I hate your products. I USE THEM OUT OF NECESSITY.)

(If you are reading this, please go Schooner Tuna on us and lower your damned prices. That’s why I switched to cloth, you know.)

(I will never do another sponsored campaign again, is my guess. Even though I used the product, IT FELT SLIMY.)

I digress! So! All that being said, I had a funny conversation with longtime reader-turned-friend, Suki (this is where I wonder if Suki is aware that we’re friends. I think of you all — people who’ve commented here for years and years — as friends. Do you know this? Carla Hinkle! Heidi! Christine! So many others! We’re FRIENDS.) (Suki gets special status because she introduced me to my real-life friend Kate, who is her sister-in-law even though Suki and I have never met. Kate and I HAVE met, obviously.)

ANYWAY, Suki mentioned the number of products she bought that bloggers mentioned and then uncomfortably added that she totally now gets why companies try to harness that shit. And it’s TRUE. But isn’t it also true that the second you sell out once (or maybe more than once, O God?), your faith in their ACTUAL recommendations is completely gone? I don’t know. It’s an interesting to me, only because I don’t believe a damned thing a sponsored post says, pretty much ever, but at the same time, I get why people do them, because y’all, trust, it pays pretty damned well if you’ve got any kind of traffic.

THIS IS ALL A VERY LONG WAY OF GETTING TO THIS PLACE. Which is, here, a few totally not-sponsored product-related thoughts:

1) So look, I’m not going to dwell on this, but I tried to cloth diaper Allie last night and HAHAHAHA NO. NO. NO. I am stuck buying one pack of Seventh Gen diapers for nighttime, because, oh dear shit, I used a fitted (GMD Cloth-Eez Workhorse) with a bunch of inserts (cotton, hemp and a fleece stay-dry) and a wool cover (Kissas Wool Lovers). And not only did she sleep like hell, but I went in there at 1:30 and the room. THE ROOM. It smelled like a literal, no-shit SHEEP PEN. It smelled like WET, HOT, MOIST ANIMAL. It was all I could do not to barf, and I had to go in there TWICE MORE. TWICE MORE TO THE SHEEP DEN. And y’all. Unlike most of America, I’ve worked on actual farms and sheared sheep with my own two hands, so I KNOW WHAT WET SHEEP SMELL LIKE.

2) Living Proof Prime. I have screeched about the wonders of this product all over Twitter, and it’s true, I love it. I LOVE IT. It holds my hair style through a second day and it stops it from getting too . . . oily, giving me a second day without washing and ANYTHING that saves me from having to take a ten-minute shower and cutting into my sleep time is THE BOMB. Because I am just that lazy. So it’s awesome, and you should get some and no one paid me to say that, promise.

Incidentally, I found this product when my friend Dara showed up at my house and I ASKED HER IF SHE HAD JUST COME FROM THE SALON. It’s a cliche! Salon hair at home! But seriously, it’s awesome stuff.

3) However! And this is a giant however, for those of you who have purchased this miracle product: It builds up on your hair pretty freakin’ fast. Within a few weeks of use, your hair feels kind of coated and waxy and it just sort of stops working. So! You have to give your hair a break, not use it for a few days, and in the interim, use a good clarifying shampoo. And thanks to Liz, I bought LUSH Big, and I love it, although the price tag made me want to gouge my eyes out and the sample of conditioner (a bar!) confounded me. And that shit STRIPS your hair of any and all gunk. I mean, it’s SEA SALT, and it really does work. My hair was DEEPLY CLEANSED to the point of feeling like hay after just one wash, but it got all the crap out.

I have hair down. Now someone needs to help me figure out how to apply eyeshadow.

Note: none of those links are affiliates, so buy with impunity.

Happy weekend!

*Peter Gabriel.

56 comments December 13th, 2012

Somebody’s Watching Me

After years of feeling decidedly ambivalent about the holidays — wait, not ambivalent, STRESSED — I have come to love them. There’s something about a childhood spent shuffling back and forth to TWO Christmas dinners and TWO Christmas Eves and being stuffed like a Christmas goose with food because you don’t want anyone to be offended that you already ate that can be a bit on the yucky side. Growing up with divorce is hard, because no matter how hard my parents tried to make it NOT stressful, being a people-pleaser (I WAS BACK THEN, OKAY?) made it impossible. It wasn’t until I moved to Boston and started going to my sister’s instead — a tradition that has continued for at least ten years — that it became fun again. Kids! No traveling! ONE Christmas dinner, that I can actually contribute to!

This year is the MOST fun so far, because Sam actually gets it, and spends a lot of time screaming, “I LOVE CHRISTMAS I CANNOT WAIT!” along with naming EVERY item she sees to her list for Santa, including a package of scrub sponges at Target, at which point I had to say that no, really, not everything you throw out into the ether appears under the tree, and especially nothing made from Scotch Brite, mmkay?

We did the dreaded Elf on the Shelf, and though I am weary of all the Facebook pictures of the pithy things the elves are doing (pooping, really?), it is positively hilarious to see Sam wake up in the morning and look for the elf. I tell you, for a kid who is about as high strung as it gets, the relative ease with which she accepts a LIVE ELF* in her house, watching her, is fantastically awesome and out of character. Two thumbs up for the damned elf, and I never saw that one coming. I was a pretty emphatic elf-hater, in fact, but since she has deemed Delf (I know) a female, I am actually considering BUYING A SKIRT. FOR THE FUCKING ELF.

Unfortunately, Sam’s behavior has been quintessentially three-and-a-half, and that, combined with a staggering lack of sleep since the time change (FIVE AY EM sometimes), has made living with her a constant string of double-vodka evenings and, if I could, bloody mary mornings. Ergo, a second elf (we’d already had two due to overgifting last year) made an appearance to monitor her behavior and ALSO, I made a video from Santa on that genius little Portable North Pole, because that’s who I am now. I am the Santa Briber, but it’s either this, or Betty Ford.

Ironically, the Santa video FREAKED HER SHIT RIGHT OUT, because he knew her name and everything, but somehow a LIVE ELF* in her living room — I’m sorry, ELVES PLURAL! — does nothing to her delicate sensibilities. Even after Adam placed an elf on her dresser overnight. She woke up to a TINY ELF hovering over her face and she didn’t even flinch. But a pre-recorded Santa saying her NAME? JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL. Or sleigh. Whichever.

*I am aware that they are not Live Elves from a freshwater tank or anything, but Sam does not. I mean, kid legit believes there are LIVE ELVES (steamer fresh!) in our house, WATCHING HER and she’s fine.

Oh my God, this was a painful exercise in elfdom, and I am so sorry.

Moving on! *clap clap* And this is EQUALLY PAINFUL, but I have switched to cloth diapers after a series of bizarre issues with Allie and her specific tushie (Huggies are a no-go and I LOVED Huggies), and though I will not go into here (UNLESS YOU WANT ME TO HA HA?), I will say that a) it is not a big deal, and b) um, I get why people want to talk about them all the time. You guys, there are FORUMS UPON FORUMS of women who talk about this stuff all the livelong day. FORUMS. BLOGS. Now, color me crazy, but infancy is a finite state of being, right? One hopes that your child will, eventually, NOT be using prefolds with a Snappi under a Flip cover (SEE WHAT I DID THERE), so it seems rather, um, dangerous, to tie up a significant amount of your identity and time into being a “cloth-diapering mama,” because I anticipate that eventually you will be a cloth diapering mama who has no one to diaper but the geriatric bichon.

THAT BEING SAID, it’s stupidly addictive, like some kind of GAME, and even though parts of it have been utter hell (eat shit, microfiber. OH WAIT HA), I will admit to enjoying it immensely, although it is not the DIAPERING that I enjoy, but the folding of the laundry that I find so completely satisfying. Part of me just wants to run off and start a diaper service just for the fluffy folding. This fantasy quickly comes to an abrupt halt, however, when I envision dealing with the feces of a child who is not a member of my immediate family, so no.

A regular fluff and fold, however, is totally my jam. I will wash strangers’ underwear for money, apparently, provided they are also mixed in with non-underwear laundry, and that they let me use Tide. This is sounding terribly fetish-like, and it isn’t, it’s just that I find laundry very soothing. Send me your laundry. I’ll fold it lovingly and nicely, but not in a pervy way.

Well. This turned into something I didn’t intend. Happy Monday to you! Or wait, it’s Tuesday. ALMOST. HEY HO!

*Rockwell

52 comments December 10th, 2012

Forget About What I Said

So I am having all of these unexpected FEELINGS about Allie being my last baby. It’s not that I necessarily want three children, I don’t think, it’s that Allie is my last BABY and after that, there are no more BABY babies. No more babies in the house. No more cribs and birth experiences and pregnancies (well, thank Jesus for that last one) and I just . . . hmph. It’s sad. But at the same time, I’m pretty sure it’s the right thing to do.

The thing is, I am not as zen about it as I thought I was. I keep wanting to say that I am — and I AM, in some ways — but then when I really think about closing the door and doing a permanent birth control solution (Jesus, Essure, oh my God, don’t get me started on THAT Twitter trainwreck), I balk. I don’t even want to get an IUD right now, for God’s sake. What is wrong with me? I was so DEPRESSED and MISERABLE during pregnancy and during Allie’s early newborn phase, I thought I would just DIE from the heartbreak that was Sam’s lack of attention, and a third baby would just . . . no. Trying for a third baby and going through all that again, plus pregnancy, is literally the last thing in the world I want to do.

I want to raise my girls. I want to focus, finally, on RAISING our family, rather than the weird limbo of growing it. I forget, as I did when I was having trouble getting pregnant with Allie, that not getting something new doesn’t mean that I lose what I already have. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it was a recurring thought as I went through those losses — as though each loss meant that I would somehow lose my hold on Sam, too.

I’ll be 37 in a few weeks. I’m done. But still, sometimes, I am sad about it. I love being a mom — truly, it’s what I was meant to do, and I live a remarkably happy, resentment-free existence with my kids — and sometimes I struggle with the idea that If *I* am not supposed to have a passel of kids, who IS?

Sigh. I keep remembering that there will ALWAYS be a last baby; this isn’t a state that could continue in perpetuity, nor is it one I really WANT to continue (and Adam might as well have “WE ARE DONE!” tattooed on his forehead). But it’s sad, I guess, to shut that door on a part of your life. Sadder than I thought it would be.

Allie continues to be the Best Baby Ever, however, and spends most of her days looking like this:

Sorry, I won the cute baby game. Try again later.

Sam is herself, and she is fantastically funny and bright and God, three is absurd, but so fun, and I know I say that every time, but JESUS, you guys, she is just . . . three. “I am NOT three. I am THREE CANDLES YEARS OLD,” she would yell if she heard me say that. “I am NOT FUNNY. I am Sam.”

So you know, I’m lucky, is what I’m saying, and I should be counting my blessings instead of mourning the loss of fake ones. Because the other thing is that I know that once that train is started — once the first positive pregnancy test comes in, followed by the first miscarriage — you can’t stop it. Giving up is not an option, and it becomes an obsession that almost feels like a desire to win a game, but with obscenely higher stakes.

**Side note: the first time I heard the word obscene was when one of my mom’s friends went as a flasher for Halloween and made a fake penis out of panythose. I remember my mom exclaiming with horror, “CAROL! That is OBSCENE!” and having no idea what she was referring to, or what the word obscene meant. Either way, I would not disagree with my mom on that front, though it was also obscenely hilarious in retrospect.

(See what I did there? Such a versatile word!)

Anyway! *clap clap* this is all very depressing, but it’s still on my mind, and I’m still working through it, particularly because time is FLYING. It’s flying. It’s Christmastime already, for God’s sake, and Sam is halfway through the school year. I mean, what the eff? Next year is pre-K and then kindergarten, and it’s all just whizzing by in a blur, and one of these days, I’m going to open my eyes in my Florida trailer park and call my daughters collect, you know?

Oh just kidding about that. I will be living in my Florida HOUSE. The one I still own, and have taken to referring to as my retirement plan.

Also, would you believe that all this stupid introspection was tipped off by Allie SLEEPING IN HER OWN BEDROOM? I mean, honestly. I’m acting like I’ve just shipped her off to Northwestern, FFS. No. She’s eleven feet down the hall, and I still go in there to nurse her at night. Yes, please. Someone get that kid a dorm room.

(OMG)

Anyway, random side thing before I go, and this seems very Swistle-like, I don’t know why: I was paying my Target RedCard bill by phone (GET A REDCARD!) and I was trying to pay off the whole balance, but it wouldn’t let me and I was SO PISSED, because it just kept bouncing me to different parts of the IVR, and then it finally bounced me to an agent, and I was all, “I JUST WANNA PAY OFF THE WHOLE BALANCE!” I mean, I was fired up. Take my goddamned MONEY, Target, this shouldn’t be HARD. And she helpfully explained that it would only let me pay $300 instead of $450 (bullshit numbers because I can’t remember) and I was practically SCREECHING at her that I wanted to pay off the $450, and TAKE MY MONEYS, NOW. But no. I could only pay $300.

I hung up, very dissatisfied that I only paid $300 until I remembered that my statement was $450 but I only OWED $300 because I RETURNED at least $150 worth of items (including a rug!) and this is all well and good and a long story, who cares, but the pont is, I had this BURNING DESIRE to call the woman back and EXPLAIN how I’d figured it out! I figured it out! I had a RETURN! Isn’t that great?

LIKE SHE CARED. But for some reason, I felt like she and I had worked through something TOGETHER and I found the resolution and SHE! She would want closure on this.

Really. As if.

Happy Friday!

*The Killers

51 comments December 6th, 2012

Tenuousness

I don’t even know where to start with this. Sandy? Sucked. She sucked and she still sucks and awww, maaaan, she sucked, what else is there to say? We were relatively unscathed compared to some, but still: it sucked. I hate thinking about what’s still happening out there, and I hope you are all safe and warm.

For some reason, I was unreasonably panicked about the storm, but only about the loss of power. Perhaps I was recalling Snowtober of last year, wherein we lost power for multiple (freezing) days, and I made the grave error of choosing chicken tikka masala for lunch during the tenth week of pregnancy. This choice proved to be more unwise than anyone could have anticipated, for the lack of power led to Sam’s lack of sleep (no sound machine!), which led to an inability to take my evening Unisom, which ultimately led to me barfing up chicken tikka masala out the passenger side of my CRV across from Honeydew Donuts in Framingham. This, of course, resulted in me having to clean up said vomit while my child screamed and my husband sympathy gagged AND I had barfed all over myself, including my hair and heyyyy, no hot water and it was 30 degrees outside, so I couldn’t EVEN.

And everyone at the time wondered why we eventually ended up paying out the ass for a hotel in Cambridge. Yes, YOU try smelling your vomit-covered self for a few days straight and see what you’re willing to part with, cash-wise, to free yourself from the stench. While pregnant.

Well! Obviously I am still grumpy about THAT. And listen, no one likes to overuse the term PTSD, but I do believe I carried a touch of it around when Sandy, who I keep wanting to call Diane, came rolling into town. I fretted at every flicker! I booked a hotel in a neighboring town in advance to stave off the remotest possibility of puke hair! I prayed, I voodooed, I did everything possible to avoid losing power, short of a live sacrifice. (But don’t think I didn’t give my kitchen window spider pal Charlotte the side-eye.)

I . . . didn’t really consider downed trees. Of which there were three, one of which — a 50-foot pine — came crashing down on the roof over my living room WHILE I WAS SITTING UNDERNEATH IT. It blew out the lights! Bits of lights showered down upon me! WHILE I WAS HOLDING MY BABY.

I panicked! I ran! I screamed, “Girls, RUN!” Girls. As if Allie has legs that do anything but pump aimlessly into the ether.

I am not the girl you want in a crisis. I have many fine attributes, but bearing reasonable instincts in heartstopping moments is not one of them. Sam freaked, as you would expect, and firmly planted herself in front of the couch. I grabbed her hand, willing her to move, screaming at her to JUST MOVE. I wandered back and forth, hopelessly confused. I waited for the last remaining pine to fall — another fifty-footer, already leaning quite ominously — and wandered some more while Adam barked orders. And then we all loaded into the car with our pre-packed bags and got on the roads like those idiots you see on newscasts that you wonder what in the HELL they’re doing in the streets of a hurricane. I called the hotel we’d booked and had JUST canceled to see if we could get our reservation back. (We’d canceled as the last hour of the storm was upon us, and HEY! We made it! OH HO!)

They were without power. Of course.

I know this sounds very dramatic for not a lot of action, but you know, it was scary as shit. I’m not saying we were in the Astrodome re-using diapers and picking chicken bones off the floor to survive, but I tell you, hurricanes are scary places to be.

This whole story ends rather anti-climactically, as I called around, found a Residence Inn and we stayed the night without incident. Tree people were able to come bright and early — including a crane, to my utter delight — and the roof is relatively undamaged. We’re now back at home, and Sammy is sick as a flipping DOG. Her face is slimy, she’s coughing like it’s her job, and she’s on day three of a fever with some pretty heavy malaise. She’s normally not one to sit still OR watch extended episodes of television (too busy!), and yet by 3 p.m. every day, she’s planted herself on the couch with a blanket, three mousies and a teddy bear and passed out cold for several hours. This is a kid who hasn’t taken a nap since June, and a voluntary one since . . . oh, that would be never.

My little bear. It kills me.

This never happens.

I should add that during all of this, the kids were positively amazing. Allie was her usual self — that of happy-go-lucky kid, full of gummy grins and laughs, just thrilled to be taken along for the ride. My friend Dara has referred to Alex as a purse, because she really does just go anywhere on a dime, barely registering that there are new circumstances to adjust to. Oh, we’re in a new place? Are there boobs? Fabulous! Let’s roll! She is startling and delightful in her simplicity, and I appreciate her in a way I don’t think I’d have been able to, had Sam not been who she was at that age.

Sam, on the other hand, is/was never like Alex, as we all know. This trip, however, she was different, and it tugged at my heart in a way I will never be able to fully articulate. It was always easy for me to assume that the more demanding/difficult child would be harder to love, but that has not been my experience. There is something about Sam — something about how hard she works just to get through life’s situations, whether it be an area of loud noises, getting a new baby sister or having to sleep in a new place — that tugs on my heart harder than anything in the world. She didn’t want to leave at first; she was nervous about having to “live at the hotel forever” despite assurances to the contrary. She wanted her own bed, her own stuff, her (glass-windowed, oh-hell-no) playroom.

When we got to the hotel, our suite had a gas fireplace.

“Hey, can we make s’mores?” she chirped excitedly. “Mommy. Daddy. We can get marshmallows, and put them in the fire until they get soft, and get some graham crackers and make a sandwich. That is called a S’MORE! And later! When we go camping? We can get our blankets and sit around the campfire and maybe we’ll even make up our own STORYBOOK and sing a SONG! And my bed will be like a SLEEPING BAG.”

It’s so simple and silly, but I can’t tell you what it was like, seeing her perk up at something so simple and just let crappy circumstances wash over her like a wave. It was just stupidly amazing to me that this kid — this kid who screamed her way through the first year of her life, and struggles so much with new things — was just rolling with it because she got excited about a fireplace. Sick as a dog, displaced and terrified and hey, can we make s’mores? No? Well, someday then. Goodnight!

Something about that moment, this experience, these last few days has made me think so much about how mind-blowing parenting really is. What a privilege it is to see these tiny little chubs of nothing — two! Two GIRLS! — become actual people with their own thoughts and feelings and opinions. I can’t get enough of them. I inhale their heads and bury my nose in their necks and I hug Sam so hard that she — she who is generally made of unlimited wells of affection — says in a strained voice, “Too. Much. Hugs.” Allie, however, cannot protest yet, so she gets kissed and kissed and kissed again, so many times that she no longer smells like herself and instead, smells vaguely of my shampoo and body lotion and her eyebrows bear bits of shimmer from my lip gloss, long worn away from the endless shower of kisses bestowed on two tiny heads.

I’m so stinking lucky, man.

So yes. Perhaps I am a little stressed and emotional and, ah, tweaked — I imagine it’s not uncommon for a lot of people after this week. But I tell you, I’m happy I have those kids. They’re pretty damn great.

I hope you and yours are doing well.

*Andrew Bird

49 comments October 31st, 2012

Promises, Promises

Awwww, shit it’s a blank page and a lot of spam. A LOT. But. Ahem. It’s time.

As goes the old adage, no one wants to hear a person ramble on about blogging, or why they haven’t been blogging, but everyone does it anyway, so. You know.

I’ve been busy. I’ve got two kids (TWO!) and basically the life I’ve always wanted, even when I want to stab someone (MYSELF) in the face and adjusting to that has been easy in a lot of ways, but hard in many others. The slice of personal time that vanished when Alex appeared was a LOSS, man. As much as I wanted and needed her, figuring out how to deal with two kids, making sure they both get what they need from me is . . . well, it’s hard. It’s HARD. Not in an overwhelming in-the-weeds way, but in a way that makes it easy for me to swim in the bottom of a pool of guilt, I guess. I never second-guessed myself much as a parent with Sam, but now I find I’m doing it on a daily basis. Allie needs me! But Sam feels rejected. Sam wants to snuggle! But SHIT! That leaves Allie hollering on the floor for a minute.

It sounds silly and trite and stupid, but I don’t want to screw this up, you know? But at the same time, I’ve been thinking so much about how overwhelmed I DO feel at the end of the day — not with the tasks at hand, or the kids specifically, but with the fact that I didn’t take five minutes to just sit and think about anything that wasn’t immediate, and by “immediate” I also mean Mitt Romney’s stupid assface, but let’s be real, that’s hardly relaxing.

This? This is relaxing. I never considered how much I needed this little space to think through things or just talk about things that are not immediate or DO something for myself, even if it’s a half hour in front of a glowing screen pondering the fall television line-up (Verdict: Homeland continues to be awesome and BOY HOWDY I am excited for Nashville and also, Tami Taylor’s hair). (I know she’s not really Tami Taylor, but … okay, I don’t really know that, actually. Lie to me.)

I could ALSO go on a REALLY NICE TEAR about how blogging has turned into something I sort of hate, and how everyone is trying to sell you something — and jesus, I mean EVERYONE — and how I promise you, I will never try to sell you anything at all, and that includes my brand, which you all know I care deeply about. Nor will I ever turn into a lifestyle blog, unless you want to talk about my fly lifestyle that involves washing DANKY, DARK AND HIDEOUS brown couch slipcovers for the frillionth time because someone pooped, peed, puked, or otherwise sullied their worn surfaces.

So that’s that. I’d like to write Alex’s birth story one of these days, because COME ON, I gave birth to her wearing a maxi-dress, but if I wait until I’m ready for that, I’ll never come back.

I will commit to this, in writing, if only for myself: three times a week here. You and me, kid. You and me.

Have a great Thursday. We’re decorating pumpkins, and it’s already a fight because Sam has declared war on all glitter glue.

*Naked Eyes, whaaaaat?

60 comments October 17th, 2012

Power of Two

Heeeeey, so it turns out when you’re pregnant and exhausted ALL THE TIME, you don’t want to write more than 140 characters at a time, EH?

So I went and had a baby about two weeks ago. And she’s awesome. See?

Alexandra Grace Rubin, y’all. Born June 7, 2012. 7 pounds, 2 ounces. Photo by MeganJane Photography, and if you’re in the Boston area, you’re a fool if you don’t use her, because that photo right there is just her TAKING A PHOTO FOR THE HELL OF IT, all casual-like. Not PLANNED or anything. Alex was just passed out on the couch.

Anyway, my baby is lovely. I have two daughters, and as it turns out, that’s all I ever wanted. It’s hard and I’m tired and she’s a newborn and she eats! all! the! time! and we’ve got a few nursing issues to work out that may or may not involve getting her little frenulum snipped, but YOU GUYS, she’s so cute. And she looks like ME, which is a totally new experience, seeing as Sam is Adam’s clone. She’s perfect, and I thought I couldn’t love another kid as much as I love Sam, but BADOW! there she is, and both of them are suddenly my favorite people in the entire universe. Different, but equal. It doesn’t hurt that Alex is just about the most delicious baby on the planet, really.

Sam. I could write VOLUMES on Sam and how amazing she is, and how HARD she’s trying to adjust to the new normal. I am just so, so proud of her, and one of those crazy side effects of having my heart stretch to accommodate another baby, my heart ALSO stretched a thousand times over to love Sam more than I ever have before. I’m pretty floored by the whole thing, honestly, and by how very much I love my girls.

I’m terrified too, though, of what’s to come, even though I’m trying to take it all day by day. Sam turned into a challenge around week 3 or 4, and thus began one of the hardest times of my life. As much as I’m loving today, I’d be lying if I said a tiny part of me isn’t holding my breath just a little bit to see what happens. PTSD, it seems, will do that to you.

But for now? MAN. Sure, I’m positively dizzy from exhaustion, my eyeballs hurt from lack of sleep, and Sam’s in a time out every other minute because she’s having such a hard time adjusting and her behavior is, at times, atrocious. Earlier today, she tossed a plastic cup full of bouncy balls in frustration right at Alex’s head, and I am struggling because I know she’s struggling and trying SO HARD, but at the same time, Jesus, kid, can you not THROW THINGS at your sister’s head? MUST you throw puzzle pieces? But she’s doing SO WELL most of the time, and she misses her sister when she’s sleeping and disappears into Alex’s room to “warm her up” by putting her hands on her belly and kissing her head while she sleeps and GOD GOD GOD I love her so stinking much it hurts.

So yes, it’s hard and it’s nuts but the truth is, I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so lucky.

Just like that, in a flash, the entire year of hell became worth it and then some. I had no idea. I’d hoped, sure, but this is more than I even dared to hope for.

Lucky me.

346 comments June 20th, 2012


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