Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Three Years Ago,

The friday before Christmas was the 22nd. It was unseasonably warm, which was great for Chicago, but not so much for lots of other cities, which ended up veiled in thick, soupy fog. The attending on call decided to be charitable and sent me home just a few hours after I got to work. I decided to stop at the grocery store on the way home, and texted Stephen at work to see if he needed anything.

...Except he wasn't at work. He was sitting in the lobby of our building, sweating his ass off, because the engagement ring he'd had made by a jeweler in Alabama was supposed to get FedEx'd to him that day so he could propose before Christmas. But, remember, fog? Ring was not showing up. And now I was on my way home, and he was supposed to be at work. He quickly came up with an excuse for why he was home, and I quickly came up with all kinds of ideas for how to spend our awesome bonus day! We were both home! Woo-hoo! Did I mention he had to sign for the ring in person and show photo ID, due to the value of the package?

He did agree to go for a walk, maybe we went out to lunch? I think we did. He made up some other story about needing to be home to accept a package that included his mom's Christmas present. I was TOTALLY ANNOYED because we had a dry cleaners in our building that also served as our package receiving, and since when did he have to sign for a book from

He spent half the day fighting w/FedEx on the phone. I was totally frustrated that we were losing our awesome bonus day when he could just tell me the name of the stupid book he'd bought and I'd buy it the next day while he was at work.

When we postponed dinner plans to drive to the FedEx hub in the 'burbs, I started to wonder if maybe something else was up...but dismissed the thought and went along for the ride. I dropped him off to an overflowing hub office, filled with people who hadn't received their last-minute Christmas gifts due to the fog and had shown up, hoping to pick them up in person. Stephen's package was not in the office. It was locked in a truck, parked behind the hub. While I went bra-shopping at Target (heh), he was begging to have the truck opened.

...and they did (is this starting to sound like a tiresome sitcom to everyone but me? it is? Eh. Tough.) He threw the package in the backseat of the car and we drove to dinner in Chinatown. He had to leave the ring in the car, because he couldn't explain why he had the package on the dinner table. Once we sat down, he made up a story about needing his cell phone from the car (further frustrating me- first our lost bonus day, now he needs HIS PHONE?!?!) and ran back to retrieve the ring before someone stole our car and the ring was gone forever. We ate dinner and took the scenic route home. While we cut through downtown, I commented that Millennium Park looked pretty, and he actually asked if I wanted to go walk around. Shocked, I said yes! yes yes yes!

After walking all around the park, stopping at the Bean (where he wanted to propose but some stupid family wouldn't stop taking pictures, curse them for thinking they had the right to be there!), we walked out onto the bridge, and the rest is history.

Three years, one baby, and one very old house later, it all feels like a different lifetime. But every time I see that bridge, I sigh a little bit, and every Christmas since then, I've thought back to the cool, foggy night when the life we have now started to come together.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


If I were a more eloquent person, I would write the entry that perfectly captures how I feel as the mom of a one year old. I'm really not very eloquent at all, though, so if I tried that, I would just frustrate myself and sound stupid in the process. I'll leave that to the writers, I think, and instead, I've spent the last few days thinking about the things I've learned over the last year.

1- Parenting a colicky baby is like dropping a knife. You don't try to change anything, you just go with what works. Screw the stupid books that insist you need to establish behaviors and prevent bad habits.

2- The world becomes much, much scarier after you have a baby. Car accidents, cancer, and plane crashes go from minor distractions to majorly terrifying, if you let them take up too much space in your brain.

2a- It does not pay to let car accidents, cancer, or plane crashes take up too much space in your brain, unless you're making decisions about carseat usage.

3- There is no greater luxury in the world than sleep (I kind of knew that one before. I really know it now.)

4- Today's colicky baby is tomorrow's angel baby. No matter how many times I heard that, I never believed it, until it happened for us. Then again, I also never believed I'd actually have a colicky baby, so maybe I'm more skeptical than most people.

5- There is nothing better in the world than being a parent, and no matter how much I looked forward to it before, I still had no idea how much I would love it.

BONUS: in the words of Wise Donna, the days are long, but the years are short.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The End of an Era

This whole breastfeeding thing, it didn't come to us easily. As I might have mentioned. From the world's clumsiest latch to hatred of one side to full-fledged strikes, the only things in our favor were a ridiculous supply and my single-minded, bordering-on-pathological determination to make it work. We were going to be successful. WE WERE. (did I say bordering on? ....anyway)

But when it clicked, it clicked. It took probably five months, but when we got there, it was just the easiest, most natural thing in the world. For Grace, it went from the worst torture to the greatest comfort. And for me, I went from counting the days until I could quit with a clear conscience to panicking when I realized we were almost done.

And we're there. I didn't want to nurse her past a year, and I still know it's the right choice to stop now. But ohhhhhhh. I'm sad. I'm sad about the whole weaning process, and I'm sad about being done and never having that same relationship again. I am absolutely dreading the first time she makes it clear that is what she wants, and I have to tell her no. I know that it will hardly be the last time I have to tell her no, but there's something about THIS. I remember once watching a patient grabbing for his father's hand, and his father backed away and put his hand in his pocket. When I think about weaning, that's how I feel. She's looking for physical comfort from me, and I'm telling her no.

I look back on all my insanity, the ridiculous lengths I went to, getting her back in the groove with this, the time I've spent with the dreaded pump, the frustration and the stress, and now the thought of taking it all away, and I still don't regret a second of it. I wouldn't change a thing. Except maybe I'd have her wake up tomorrow and hate nursing. That would be pretty freaking awesome.

Friday, November 13, 2009


We moved into our house a year ago today. It was a rough day- I had my 36 week appt the same day, and I couldn't reschedule it because I was the only person working the next day. We had no food in the house, so I didn't have breakfast until we were driving to the new house and I stopped at Dunkin' Donuts. I went straight from there, to the appt where my doctor told me I was not at all dilated, but high and closed and started explaining how they schedule inductions. Then I went home and helped my poor one-armed husband unpack.

I definitely don't recommend moving when you're nine months pregnant and your husband is two-weeks postop from significant shoulder surgery. Just saying, in case you were considering it.

It feels so weird to look back on the last year, because obviously life is so, so, so different now. I think about how I felt and what I expected and hasn't been at all what I expected. And since we moved in right before she was born, I think of our time in the house the same way I think about our time as parents, and it's just...weird. I'm not explaining this well. If I were a better writer, I could say exactly what I'm thinking, how I remember trudging up the back steps every day after work, still hugely pregnant, still not in labor, and the day when Grace was less than a month old, and we had to go to my parents' house because they were replacing the windows in the house, or how a few weeks before that, we had to keep spending the day there because they were rewiring the house (didn't expect that one!), or how my parents had to sit at OUR house, because they were replacing the basement windows, but we were in the hospital having a baby, and it makes me feel SOMETHING, I just can't put it into words or explain exactly what I mean. It's frustrating.

I guess maybe my only point is that I usually don't pay attention to something like a houseiversary, but I do here, because it's all tied up with so many other intense memories, and I feel the need to commemorate it somehow. Like I should go home and watch The Money Pit.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Yikes. My baby is only one month away from being a whole year old.

I remember this day like it was yesterday:

There was nothing really special or outstanding about that day, it was just a really nice day, a little cool, nice breeze, and Gracie was happy to play in the yard. Well, no. There was sort of something special about that day- it was the first time I realized Gracie wasn't difficult anymore. She was playing on the blanket, without crying or arching or getting mad, and I realized she hadn't done any of that for awhile. You know how people talk about losing a lot of weight, but still thinking of themselves as heavy? It was kind of like that. It made the day that much sweeter.

I didn't really have any major epiphanies or anything today, we just had similarly nice weather, and a lot of fun playing outside again. It was the perfect way to spend the day, and get ready for her to go from being a baby to being a toddler (even if she'll always be my baby). (ew, Kathy, when did you get so cheesey?) (December 8, 2008, at 8:38am.)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Of course, that was then...

When I was a staff nurse, the absolute worst thing that could happen was having to work a night shift when we turned the clocks back. We did get paid for that extra hour, but I didn't care. I'd give back the money to not have to work a 13-hour shift. Yech. I didn't think it was possible to hate the time change more than I did then.

Gracie woke up at 3:08 today. On a normal day, 4:08 would be an unacceptable wake-up time. This morning, it was downright perverse.

Proving once again, you should NEVER say "well, at least it can't get any worse..."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Here, breathe into this paper bag

In six short weeks, my baby will be a full year old.

I will not have a baby anymore. I will have a toddler. Well, I mean, I'm not sure she'll be walking, which makes the title seem wrong somehow, but she'll definitely be cruising, and anyway, the other day I didn't have to carry her into the kitchen because she crawled there herself and also besides that YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

I am not sure how this happened.

Yesterday, Stephen and I were watching her sleep on our spy-cam, and he asked if my dad had fed her some mysterious potion that made her grow a foot in one day. Because, seriously, she's a big kid now. I looked through all our old pictures, trying to see if I could tell when it happened. Even looking at all of them in one fell swoop, I can't tell you. It's not like one day she was a baby and the next day she wasn't, but you look at the beginning, and you see a baby, and you look at her now, and you don't exactly see a big kid, but she's definitely not a baby.

It's more than just the milestone of being a year old, though. For all our drama in the beginning, we have settled into such a sweet, perfect little nursing routine. I am not nursing her past a year. There are many different reasons for this, some good and some dubious, but the bottom line is, this is the right decision for us. In spite of that, the other day I realized that I had just six short weeks left in this relationship, and my hands went clammy. It makes me so sad to think of that being gone forever. Also, in true Gracie fashion, she's become quite the fan of this activity herself, just in time for us to be getting ready to quit. I'm not sure what I'm more anxious about, how much I'll miss it, or how she'll react. There's also the minor fact that she refuses to sleep past 4:30 in the morning, but I can at least get her to hang out in bed with me for awhile if she's nursing. When that's gone, I am good and hosed.

I'm trying to just stay in the moment. It would be typical of me to spend the next six weeks freaking out over her first birthday, and then wonder just what the heck happened during those six weeks, when I was busy obsessing over what was coming. I'm also reminding myself how looong her first six weeks were, but then, if the next weeks weeks are that hard, then we've got bigger problems.

Just gonna do my best to enjoy the ride.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Marathon Thoughts

The similarities between running a marathon and having a baby don't seem to end, I'm noticing. First there are the months of training (pregnancy). Then the big day comes, and you're scared and nervous and don't really know what to expect. And even though you knew it would hurt, not like this OH MY GOD ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! Then the crushing nausea and the random chills. Also the subtle fear, through the whole thing, that you really might die. I mean, people DO die doing this! Then it's over and you can't stop processing the whole thing.

I've been reading more about post-marathon recovery, and the physiologic impact of running 26.2 miles. I had learned a lot of it before, but I didn't really KNOW it until now. First and foremost, running a marathon isn't a show of strength and fitness. It's a stunt. It's not as foolhardy as climbing Everest, and it takes a good degree more dedication and hard work than bungee jumping, but it's still a stunt. Aside from the risk of sudden cardiac death, it is not good for your body. Cardiac function takes over a week to return to normal, and in that time, people are still at increased risk of dying- DYING!! wtf?! You're pretty much guaranteed to get sick within a week of race day. And let's not even talk about the weird aches and pains that crop up. All week long, I've felt like I had the flu. Just, achey and tired (soooo tired...) and foggy.

Oh yeah, and the other way that running a marathon is just like having a baby? You spend the whole process swearing you'll never do it again, but then the days (or weeks or months) pass, and you totally forget how much it sucks (suuuucks!), and wonder not if you'll do it again, but when.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I always say my friend Katie convinced me to run the marathon. That's mostly true, but not 100%. I was out running when I was about four or five months pregnant, and as motivation, thinking about running the marathon. I thought it would be so, so cool to bring my daughter (and at that point, I was sure she was a girl) down to the marathon to watch her mommy run.

I want her to know that when you work hard, you can do things you never thought you were capable of doing. I want her to know that, just when you think you're done, you can dig deep instead of giving up. Most of all, I want her to know that hard and sometimes unpleasant things are really, really worth doing.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ten months?! Whaaa...?

As I know I've already covered, ad infinitum, Gracie's early months were, um, less than easy. Every month that passed, every milestone she reached, she got a little easier. I was never sad that she was a month older.

...until now. I have a ten-month-old?! WTF?? She's almost a year old! When the hell did that happen?

She's really changed a lot this month. I've been waiting, with serious apprehension, for her to hit That Age. You know, the one where you can't look away from them for three seconds or they'll pull the chandelier out of the ceiling and onto their heads, eat the broken glass, then lick their fingers and grab the exposed wires in the ceiling? I was starting to think we might skip it, because I'm used to it coming around eight or nine months. Maybe since she's a girl, it wouldn't be like that? Um. NO. That Age has arrived.

Her favorite food is Science Diet. Her favorite toy is anything with a cord. Her favorite activity is pulling herself up on the tub while I'm in the shower. Oh, and if I open a drawer in her presence, all of the clothes are immediately on the floor.

Her sleep is totally unpredictable. She still sometimes wakes up at 3:30, and it usually takes her at least an hour to get back to sleep. The other day she never really went back to sleep, so my day started at 3:30. The next night, she went to bed at 7:30 and slept straight through until 6:30 (a work day, obviously, so I couldn't enjoy the sleep). She's acting like she's trying to get down to one nap, but she hasn't figured out quite how to do that, so she's been taking late afternoon naps and going to bed a bit later, too. Sleep is just this kid's Achilles' heel.

She's still an eater, though. And honestly, I'm starting to think it might be easier to have an eater than a sleeper. She's also very good about sharing.

The biggest change this month, though, is the way I feel about her being a month older. I'm kinda sad. I mean, no. She has more personality every single second, and it's so exciting to think about all the new things she's doing, and the things we can start doing now that she's such a big girl. It's just bittersweet. (but omigosh who would've ever thought I'd be sad about my baby getting bigger awwww look at how things have chaaaaaaangggedddd...)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thank Heaven

One of my friends found out today that she's having a baby girl in March. I am so excited for her, I can hardly contain myself.

I unequivocally, unapologetically wanted a girl when I was pregnant with Grace. I also knew she was a girl from the minute the second line turned pink. No, before that. I knew that if I was pregnant, I was going to have a girl. Then I started carrying her like a basketball stuffed into my shirt, and I thought, eeep, this might be a boy! And the whole world told me I was surely having a boy. And, I mean, I wouldn't have been disappointed, but...ohhh, I wanted a girl.

And let me just tell you, it is every bit as awesome as I knew it would be. I know lots of people want boys because of that whole adolescence thing. And probably, if I'm blogging in fifteen years, I will be writing about how very, very stupid I was to sing the praises of little girls, in light of the surly, tempestuous changeling charging her way through the house. (I will also be listening to her say, "I seriously cannot believe you still BLOG, you are such a loser, why don't you get out your TiVo and your iPod while you're at it, GOD.")

But you know what? The teenage years are just a blip on the radar. We lived through colic, we can live through hormones and mom-hating.

And, in case you were wondering, no, this really doesn't help with the baby fever. At ALL.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Math is Hard!

I bought Grace a new toy this week, the vtech Learn and Discover Driver (I think that's what it's called. I'm too lazy to get up and look). I chose it very scientifically, by holding out a few different options and watching to see which one she seemed to like the most.

I guess I should've chosen another way, because I accidentally bought her a boy's toy! I guess little girls don't like to play with steering wheel toys, because when you push the police car button, it plays a siren and says, "slow down little fella!!"

Little. FELLA.

Look. I try not to overthink these things. Really. When people would tell us not to worry, that surely our next child would be a boy, it irritated me, but I thought, well, maybe they mean we'll have one of each (no, that's not what they meant, but whatever). But "fella"??? There's nothing remotely gender-neutral about that. They could've said kiddo. They could've said buddy. They didn't. They said fella. They assume only little boys will play with their stupidass toy.

Next chance I get, I promise I'm going back out to Target and getting her a more gender-appropriate toy, like a vacuum cleaner. I can't have Grace thinking she can do bold, nonconformist things like, you know, driving.

Mixed Emotions

I really, really did not want Chicago to get the Olympics, for a wide variety of reasons.

Sooo, I'm glad we won't be getting them. But? Eliminated in the FIRST ROUND?

I didn't want that. I don't want all those other cities thinking they're better than us. Because they're NOT.

So y'all can have your Olympics, but don't be jealous, cause Chicago is still awesomer than you, CityThatWinsThisBid.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rosie Posie

She was a really nice kitty.

(also have to say that Stephen is a very nice boy. I mean, duh, but she was my cat and he took care of her, as I was freaking the fuck out and could not do it myself. The End.)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sewer Cap of HATE

Picture it:

You had a baby three days ago. Said baby has slept for maybe five minutes since the minute she entered the world. I mean, roughly. Said baby is also kind of mean. I mean, I'm just being honest here.

It is December. In Chicago. There are 42 feet of snow on the ground, and it is colder than the summit of Mt. Everest (again, I mean, roughly).

You and your husband are taking your mean little baby to her first pediatrician visit. You walk your bleary-eyed, miserable self across the frozen tundra of the parking lot, when you encounter THIS:

It may not look like much, but the parking lot is dark (because there's covered parking there, not that you found a spot in that area, and anyway, the sun shines for all of three seconds each day in December, so it's dark to begin with), you can't really see it. And anyway, your feet are barely leaving the ground, because you're so tired you could vomit.

What will happen is, you'll catch your toe on the pure evil of that sewer cap, and you will stumble forward. Lunging. HARD.

Did I mention you had a baby three days earlier? Think of the stress that lunging puts on, well, your body, shall we say.

Oh. And by the way? All of this happens on your birthday.

Every single time I take Gracie back to the pediatrician, I stomp up and down on that sewer cap and tell it to go to hell. And if you know me at all, you know I'm not kidding.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Nine Months

What's longer, the nine months you're pregnant, or the first nine months of your baby's life? (TOTALLY the nine months of pregnancy. Except the first three months of G's life. Those were, um, special.)

I keep thinking nine months should be a bigger milestone, I guess because it's the same amount of time you spend pregnant? And up until today, it didn't really seem like it, but then we hit two big milestones.

The first one I miraculously caught on camera, because she happened to do it while we were already taking pictures. Look at this big girl!

This is especially surprising because Grace prefers to hold off on meeting milestones until juuuust before it becomes a red flag that she's not doing something.

The other milestone is not exactly voluntary on her part. I've kept up her habit of waking at 4am to snack and cuddle, because it used to mean she'd sleep til 6am. Ever since saturday, she has woken between 5:15 and 5:30. Hate that. With the heat of a thousand suns. But? If she's gonna wake up that early anyway, we are soooo done with that 4am feeding. Breaking that habit is gonna be a total bear, but if it's not getting mommy any more sleep than she'd get otherwise, then Gracie isn't getting any 4am visits from mommy. Because I'm mean like that.

Other than that, Gracie had her first dinner out, which was a great success, started feeding herself almost exclusively (and has such a good pincer grasp, she can grab stuff that I'm holding in a pincer grasp), and spent some time visiting my Loyola with my best friend from college and her son:

The part I'm sad about is her new status as a cart-rider. *sniff* She sure does love it, though:

(is there a new mom on earth who doesn't spend half her days at Target? Between all the stuff you need, and the times when you just want to get OUT OF THE HOUSE...)

It's been another great month. Can't wait to see what next month brings.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I Have A Question.

For all you moms of kids older than mine (and there aren't THAT many of you, but I know there are some who never comment and I'd really like it if you jumped in right now. You probably still won't. That's fine. whatever. sniff.).

The first time your precious, lovely child walked over to another child, or group of children, and attempted to join in the fun, and was thwarted, what on earth did you do? How did you handle it?

Because although that day is off in the distant future, the mere thought makes me want to vomit. Let's not even start talking about the first time another little girl is mean to her.

I work with a woman whose son doesn't go to the same preschool as most of the kids in the neighborhood, so when they go to the park, he's a bit of an outcast. Once, he actually walked back to her with his hands up and said, "Mommy, they won't let me play. Nobody wants to play with me?"

Could you die? I would DIE.

What on earth do you do???

Also, what kind of budding sociopath would look at this face and say, "Go away, I don't want to play with you!"?

(ok. no more gratuitous pictures, promise.)

Sunday, August 30, 2009


We were out and about today and I remembered I needed something from Target (although I have banned myself from shopping there, we really did need a new shower curtain and bathmat, so I made an exception, and I was VERY well-behaved while I was there, for the record). I didn't have the front carrier with me, so I decided it was time to just let her be a big girl and ride in the cart.

Oh my.

She was in HEAVEN. She kept looking up at me with total surprise and grinning from ear to ear. I almost ran over, um, every single person in Target, because I coudln't stop staring at her happy face. Everyone who walked past us commented on how happy she was.

Don't get me wrong, it was so cute and so much fun, but...I guess this means she's done with the front carrier:( For someone who reeeally didn't think baby-wearing would be for her, I was AWFULLY attached to it. Back when she hated the world, it was sometimes the only thing that would calm her down. It was so cozy! But lately, she's been a bit antsier in the carrier, scooting around and just not so happy. I knew we were getting to the end of the line with it, but I was kind of ignoring that fact. Can't really ignore it anymore. She was way too happy. (although, for the record, she's still too little to ride in the cart at Costco, so, you know, we can wean slowly.)

At one point, she gave me a big, fat, smile, and spontaneously threw her hands in the air. It was adorable, but also? OK KID, I get it. You are so big.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Yeah, She's Always Been Like That.

I went out to dinner last night with Anne and our two kids. It was right around bedtime, and I was nervous, but of course, ma petite gourmande was easily fed into submission. She dined on bread dipped in garlic dressing, penne with meat sauce, and the veggies from my fettucine primavera- broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms, and roasted red peppers. This kid, I am telling you.

The best part of the meal, though, was when a woman approached our table and said, "I cannot believe how GOOD she is! They're both so good!"

She said that! About my baby! MY BABY!

This baby:

She's come so far, I'm so proud of her:)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Real Mom of Genius

My friend Anne is visiting this weekend with her 16 month old son. While we were out, Gracie fell asleep in the stroller. She barely woke up when I moved her to the car. Sigh, I said, now she won't nap when I move her to the crib for SURE, she's been sleeping too long. Anne said, "Well. Um. If it were me? It's a gorgeous day. Sit in the car with her and read a book until she wakes up."

Why had this never occurred to me before? Why did I just sigh heavily and assume the rest of the afternoon would be filled with fussing and overtiredness and nap refusal?

Because I am smrt.

I sat in the front seat and read the sunday paper while G took a nice, long, motionless nap. All told, she probably slept two hours. That is an amazing afternoon nap for her. This has totally solved our afternoon nap problem!

It ALSO solves my ridiculous backlog of the New Yorker problem. Two birds, one stone. Awesome.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fringe Benefits

So, there are the obvious benefits from marathon training- it gets me back in shape (kind of. sigh.), it's healthy, sense of accomplishment, cross something off the life list, etc, etc. There are a few other benefits, too.

Benefit the First:
It actually forces me to run. This isn't really a surprising benefit, it's more surprising that it works. When I was training for half marathons before, I always had days when I didn't want to run, and so I just...didn't. This time, it's actually working as motivation. Score!

Benefit the Second:
Squashing of baby fever. I cannot have another baby right now because then I can't run the marathon!! ...yeah. ACTUALLY, I cannot have another baby right now because I would have to be institutionalized. As a family, we have everything on our plates that we can handle right now. We are not ready in ANY sense of the word to add another baby to the mix. And you know, I KNOW THAT. I totally know that. I don't actually have baby fever. I have pregnant fever. I think it's because three different people I know are expecting wee ones right now, and it's making me think, awwww, that's so exciting! I remember that! That was fun! And, because I no longer have any actual memory, I conveniently forget the restless legs, nausea, fatigue, insomnia (what a totally WRONG combination, btw), the back pain, the all-over pain, the "my skin HUUUUURTS don't LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEE" feelings. And, of course, the pesky little fact that when you're done being pregnant, you have a baby. To KEEP. As it happens, though, none of those things are enough to dissuade me. The marathon, though? TOTALLY dissuades me. Can't get pregnant. Gotta run the marathon.

Whatever works.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Gracie's Favorite Number

G was born 12/8/08 at 8:38 weighing exactly 8 lbs. So, it's fitting that she's eight months old on 8/8. She has an 8-month-bday cold, but she's handling it like a champ. This is yet another way she does NOT take after me, because I like to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head whilst coughing dramatically when I'm sick. Or, at least, I used to. Anyway. She doesn't get the tough from me, is my point.

Her sleep is, um, a pyrrhic victory. She sleeps ten hours a night, most of the time without waking. The problem? It's from 6:30-4:30. 4:30 is not morning. 4:30 is late night. It's when you stumble in drunk from Beaumont's (the bar. not the family's house). It's when they close Taco Bell. It's NOT a time to start your day. I've tried everything, earlier bedtime, later bedtime, feeding her and putting her back down, bringing her in our bed, none of it works. And it's not like I can say she doesn't sleep enough, ten hours is great. It's just not timed so well for me, because this is another thing she doesn't get from me, as I am, um, NOT a morning person. Is my DNA in there at ALL???

She is really getting good at feeding herself. She feeds herself, noted for her preference: cheerios < blueberries < dog food < paper < anything chocolate. Yeah, that's right. I've let her have chocolate. Sue me. But guess what? It proves she is, in fact, my kid. My girl has good taste.

She's also really good with the sippy cup.

Alhtough I'm hating the arrival of summer-like weather, it means we were able to bust out the wading pool, which is great because this baby is a total fishie. She loves to flop onto her belly and scoot around with a little help from buoyancy;)

Lest you think she has abandoned all opinions and become a laidback little thing, she has registered dislike of all of the following, some with EXTREME PREJUDICE:

* loud noises
* big crowds
* having her fingernails clipped (hatehatehate, clearly having her fingers amputated)
* wearing shoes (hillbilly)
* diaper changes (some things never change. EVER.)
* having contraband removed from her mouth
* being expected to sleep past 4:30

Overall, though, we're still having fun, and I'm still convinced that every new age is the best age. The worst age is definitely 0-3 months. But let's not talk about that. That was then, this is now.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Today is our block party.


When we were looking at houses, we said over and over, we wanted to find a house in a neighborhood that had kickass block parties. It seemed like we found that. I guess today's party was kickass? I'm...not sure.

Let me preface this by saying:

-I suck at parties. I know this. I hate being with tons of people and trying to fit into conversations and make small talk. I suck at it and I hate it.

-We're really the only new people in our neighborhood. By kind of a lot, as far as I can tell. Everyone else really knows each other.

-Gracie is the only baby on the block. There are TONS of school-age kids in the neighborhood, but no babies and not even any toddlers, as far as I could tell. Of course, the activities were all geared toward school-age kids, plus it's not like I can just set G down in the street and let her play on the asphalt, and she only likes to be held for so long.

But? oh my god it sucked. (um. and continues to suck, since it's still going on and I'm sitting on the couch like the Loser Neighbor Who Doesn't Participate.)

I was really dreading today, mostly because, like I said, I suck at parties. BUT, I didn't want to be the Loser Neighbor Who Doesn't Participate, so I put on my big-girl pants and trucked outside with Grace this morning. One of the neighbors we've met before chatted with me for a minute and went to play w/ his kids. I saw a group of kids playing with bunnies ('s a long story) and it seemed like a safe enough bet. I could pretend G wanted to see the bunnies! The owners of the bunnies struck up a conversation with me, and the mom immediately snatched G and held her and fawned over her and told me all about her kids and asked what we do and told me about what she and her husband do and they seriously could not have been nicer. It started to rain and I needed to go to the store so I could make brownies for dessert (see: not wanting to be LNWDP). We came home, G needed a nap, I put her down and sat on the couch.

When she woke up, I once again took a deep breath and headed out front. And, um, nobody spoke to us. At all. Not even the woman who brought us cookies back in February and also has a daughter named Grace, giving me all kinds of things to talk about with her. Actually, I caught her eye a few times and smiled and started to say hi and she walked away. I stood around like a superfluous nipple for about ten minutes and finally felt so totally awkward and stupid and uncomfortable, G and I went back inside. Where we have stayed ever since. OK, actually, she's in bed, but Stephen and I are on the couch while everyone is eating dinner (right in front of our house and did I mention we didn't close the blinds so THAT'S uncomfortable). Looking like the LNWDP.

Super awesome funness.

At least it doesn't matter that the brownies I made turned out like blocks of drywall or some other dry, flavorless compound, because we didn't go to dinner! I can just throw them in the garbage! FAIL becomes win?

Eh. I'll take what I can get today.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Marathon-y Stuff

Taking a break from my intense mommy-style navel gazing, I wanna do some runner-style navel gazing. It's highly unlikely I'm EVER going to attempt this crap again in my life, so I want to say some of this out loud so I'll be sure to remember.

I thought running was easier in general since Grace was born because my mental game improved. I mean, when you go day after day with no sleep to speak of, and have no choice but to drag your sorry ass out of bed anyway, it sort of toughens you up a little. I needed some toughening up, so it just made sense. I saw a story on the news the other day, though, talking about actual physiologic changes that typically improve running after pregnancy. I knew that getting started again right at six weeks would help me take advantage of the polycythemia left over from pregnancy (basically I still had extra red blood cells hanging out to feed delicious oxygen to my body), but they said it goes beyond that. I can't remember what factors there are, specifically, because I am tired and unspeakably stupid these days. But anyway. I guess choosing to do this right after G's birth was not entirely crazy, and maybe even wise. Yes. I knew I was being wise. It was entirely on purpose.


Last weekend was a twelve mile run, and this weekend is thirteen. After that, we're moving into distances I've never run before.

I'm skurred.

Ten miles felt great a few weeks ago. Really, really good. I even sped up the last two miles, pretty significantly. Twelve miles last weekend felt like hell on toast. I limped into my parents' house (they babysit G while I go on the extra-long runs) so pathetically, my mom said, "And you think you're going to run twenty six?" Then I came home and napped during G's afternoon nap, which was so ridiculously short I woke up disoriented, caked in drool, and feeling positively ill. As I ran up the stairs to get Grace (using the word "run" awfully loosely here...), I thought, not for the first time, that this was probably the stupidest idea I've ever had.

In other words, I'm having reeeally mixed feelings about this decision. I know that, if I'm successful, it will all be worth it on October 11th (and really, forever, because this is mostly about showing myself I can do it. and bragging rights. but really, truly, mostly about showing myself I can do it.), but sometimes I feel like I need to THINK before I sign up for these things.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

No, THIS is the best age!

I remember, sometime around four months, realizing that Grace was at an age/stage that I would miss one day. This was striking for obvious reasons- really, who in their right mind would miss colic? Right. But then one day, right around the time she was old enough to play and entertain herself a little, I realized she was FUN. That's when my friend Anne told me, from that point on, every age would be my favorite. Suuuure, I thought. If you say so.

She was right. (She usually is.)

I realized today, as I was unloading her from the front carrier to get back in the car, I want her to be this age forever. And I've thought that for the last three or four months. Every new trick she learns, every outfit she outgrows, every new food she tastes- they're all so exciting, and just when I think it can't get any better, it does. At the same time, I look back on four-month-old Gracie and think, awww, I miss that! It's crazy.

Semi-related note: Stephen says I'll be carrying her around in the front carrier til she leaves for college. Of course he's wrong, her legs would drag on the ground, but it won't stop me from trying.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Gracie's First Vacation: a Success! (no, really!!)

Ever since G was born and showed us just how strong her opinions on life are (already!), I've been nervous about her first vacation. A family trip to Saugatuck was the perfect starting point- help from the parents, lots of people dying to meet her and hold her and play with her, no airports involved, no "trapped in a metal tube in the sky, surrounded by strangers who are not required by DNA to love her"'s perfect!

Getting ready to hit the road was beyond stressful- it stinks enough when you forget something important of your own, but I got this idea in my head that I would forget the most important thing we needed for her, resulting in travel disaster and an entirely ruined weekend. (apparently I thought we were travelling to a corner of Greenland or something, and wouldn't have any way of finding replacements for whatever we forgot?)

Grace wasn't fond of the trip there. We hit hideous traffic and the drive was nearly twice as long as usual, which she did not enjoy. We stopped about halfway there to get snacks, let her stretch her legs (and, of course, practice her driving skills), and then got back on the road.

Once we got there, we checked into the hotel my parents found, which was the perfect set-up. It was more like a large B&B, so there was a great common area right down the hall from our room and access to a frig, both things that made the trip much easier.

She slept shockingly well while we were there- only woke up once friday night and slept until 6am Chicago time- a minor miracle. Saturday night, she woke up twice, but still slept til 6am. She also took a great nap saturday morning. Since my biggest fear was that she wouldn't sleep, this was huge.

It was so cool to go back to Saugatuck, my favorite place in the whole wide world as a little kid, and bring my own little kid. Going to all the same places, walking down the same streets, lunch at the Butler, and taking her on first boat ride, it was a really great weekend. Well. G didn't agree about the boat ride being really great, but I think she enjoyed the rest.

Of course, last night's sleep was atrocious, but I think it's just because she thought the trip was too short. I just might have an adventurer on my hands.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Know I'll Forget.

One of my favorite bloggers wrote a post full of random things she wants to remember about her daughters. Stuff she knows she'll forget. I am totally going to copy her, not because I lack creativity (although I do), but because oh my GOD, I cannot remember a damn thing these days. Also because, I can remember, with intricate details, some of the most upsettting, difficult, and sad moments of G's early days. Then, there were other moments, sweet ones or happy ones, when I would think to myself, remember this! Commit this to memory, this moment, right here. And while I remember *thinking* that, I can't remember a single damn thing I was trying to remember. Even with all that deliberate effort! Sigh. The brain, she is fried. To a crisp.

And I just HAVE to remember some of these things. Like last thursday, when the counter guys came and made all kinds of noise installing the counters and drilling holes for the faucets, and she napped through all of that. When she finally woke up, we went in the yard while they finished. It was a perfect day with a clear blue sky and lots of sunshine and a gentle breeze and just the right amount of humidity and she sat on my lap and peacefully nursed under a blanket*, and it could not have been more perfect. I want to remember that when she's seventeen and screeching that she hates me and she's NOT GOING TO COLLEGE so who CARES that she's failing remedial PE, GOD mom.

And I want to remember littler things, like the fact that every time she sneezes, she breaks out into the hugest grin you have EVER seen, or the way she smiles with her mouth wide open if you hang her upside down, or the way she eats the tightening strap in her carseat with such dedication every single time she's in the car, and even the fact that playing on a blanket in the backyard is an exercise in insanity because she absolutely INSISTS upon eating grass (which may or may not be covered in dog pee). Um. There's more. But that's what I can think of right now.

*Yes, I nurse under a blanket in my own backyard. Normally, I most certainly would not. However, there's the matter of the giant high school across the alley that looks directly into our backyard, and I have no need to go all National Geographic for a bunch of 15 year old punks.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

You've Come a Long Way, Baby

Overheard in our house:

K: She's seven months old!!
S: Can you believe it?! In five months, she'll be a year old. She'll be WALKING.
K: She's closer to a year than she is to being a newborn.
S: She still lives with US, and not with GYPSIES.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Is that "Taps" I hear?

Ah, swing. I feel a stronger tie to you than any inanimate object since...well, ever. You are the only reason we didn't jump off the roof or sell our daughter to the gypsies. You gave us thirty to ninety minutes of peace every evening. You gave us our very first three hour stretch of sleep after G was born. You were our failsafe- we never had to panic, if worse came to worst, "we can put her in the swing."

It's funny how scared I was to have to break her swing habit, only to find she mostly broke it herself. (I was also worried about using it too much because what if she found herself all swung out and the swing stopped working?! We'd DIE!!!) One day, I came home from work to find her in the swing, toes just at the edge. I looked in the manual, and she was still within the size range, but between those edge-tickling toes and the fact that we had to crank it ALL the way up to the highest setting to make it swing at all, it seemed like a losing battle. Anyway, she was starting to go to bed earlier, eliminating swing time, and was finding the exersaucer, and later the jumper, a lot more fun anyway. Also, the world was maybe not such a hideous place after all. And so she didn't need the swing anymore.

It sat in the living room for two and a half more months. Mostly because we had better things to do than take it apart and put it away. But was sad! Our best friend, our little battery-powered nanny, getting taken apart and stuffed into black plastic bags, shoved into the garage rafters, to be used by the next baby (who please dear god don't let that baby need it as much as she did, please please please). Finally, today, I bit the bullet and took it apart. It was taking up too much room and she's definitely too big to use it anyway. Let us have a moment of silence for our dear, temporarily departed friend.

(G isn't nearly as emotional about this as I am)

PS- Yes, I know her jumper was too low. I took her out and raised it as soon as I took these pictures. Priorities and all.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My dad's take on Internet Message Boards

"Have you ever gone to the GardenWeb? It is a really cool garden forum with scads of topics. If you do good searches you can find really wise old gardeners happy to share info. But, then there are the dupas, lots of them and they really bug me. The worse always shows up like this: Someone asks a question like, "Is it easy to grow plant XYZ here in Greenland?" the dupa answers, "I have never grown plant XYZ but I really love to watch the guppies swim between the vallisneria." I would like to put poison electrons in their computers."

This has been making me smile all day.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Little Foodie

I've said it before, but I'm gonna say it again: my baby, she LOVES to eat. We finally introduced the baby feeder (for the uninitiated, it's this weird mesh sock-thing that you put fod in and the baby can suck on it without getting big chunks they can't handle). So far, we've done a piece of watermelon with a single blackberry. See for yourself how she likes it:

Also, settle the debate for me, are her eyes hazel, or are they hazel?? (I know formatting is wonky here, but I can't figure out how to fix it and I don't have the energy to, either.)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Being Really Vague...

There are people at my job who are severely pissing me off today. And I am fighting tooth and nail to be diplomatic with them. But they are pissing me off nonetheless. And there is no reason for them to be pissing me off. They are being difficult, and I'm beginning to suspect they're being difficult on purpose. Which only pisses me off more.

Also, I would like if certain OTHER people did not operate on "Person X Time", but the time of the real world, because it would help me avoid these other people being difficult.

This has to be the world's stupidest blog post ever. Let's just say I'm feeling really irritated and pissy and wish people didn't insist on being so damn difficult. We all know those days.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Beware the Bars of Target

I kind of love grocery shopping. I love comparing prices and finding deals and using coupons. I LOVE buying generic. I love knowing that Dominick's is insanely, ridiculously overpriced, second only to Whole Foods, and one should only shop there under duress. I love knowing that groceries are cheaper at Target than at Jewel (which is also overpriced but not as egregiously as Dominick's).

I also love Fiber One bars. They're kind of an addiction. They're only 2 WW points per bar, plus you can always find a coupon for the Kelloggs version, and every store has a store version. They're also RIDICULOUSLY overpriced at Jewel, cheapest at Costco, and cheaper at Target. However, while the Jewel-brand fiber bars are a good substitute, I am learning things about Target brand fiber bars.

For example, that they're made of peanut butter chips and HAAAATE.

I don't wanna be disgusting. But I'm a vegetarian, plus, like I said, I'm rockin' a serious fiber bar addiction. This stuff generally doesn't affect me. There is SOMETHING different about the Target version. It's pure evil and my body, she doesn't like the Target version.

Consider yourself warned.

(on a less ooky note, why doesn't anyone make store-brand veggie burgers? I'm stuck buying name-brand, and none of the name brands are remotely cheap. Costco only sells vegan Bocas, and I don't like Boca burgers, plus the vegan version of any veggie burger tastes like warm butt.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

In Training

It's official. Marathon training has started.

This is good because distance just builds from here, and it's so gratifying to see my long run get longer every week.

This is bad because it is BEYOND stressful. A bad run is so much more than just a bad run. It throws everything off!! No, obviously it doesn't, but it feels that way.

Overall, though, it's good, because this means I can eat my dad's pancakes every sunday for the next few months. SCORE.

Wish me luck. I'm not entirely sure what I was thinking when I signed up for this.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Half a Year Ago Today...

It was also a sunday. It was also cold (but, um, a LOT colder). And I went to Old Orchard, in hopes of inducing SOMETHING. I was sick of being pregnant, but more than anything else, oh my GOD I could not go back to work the next day. I still think it was a coincidence that I went into labor that night, but whatever, it happened, either way!

I can't believe it's been half a year since Gracie was born. I mean, I CAN- those first months were the longest and hardest of my life. It just didn't matter what we did, she screamed all the time and she never slept. I don't really have very many vivid memories from that time, except that I constantly had two things in my head- that crappy Billy Joel song (oh wait, it's not crappy, it's me who's crappy! haha!) and a line from a Robert Frost poem about colic and paregoric (...Prevacid would have to do for us, sadly). I remember chanting over and over to myself, "This, too, shall pass." I remember feeling envious and resentful of people with easier babies. I remember feeling HORRIBLY guilty for wishing my baby were different, for not being happy with the gorgeous, healthy baby girl I finally had after wanting her for so long- how much did I want?!?! Scared, exhausted, inadequate, all of that.

People kept saying "it gets better". That was totally meaningless. I knew our lives were never going to be the same again, so hearing it would get better was just too...nebulous.

Now, though, it is so different. She smiles and plays and rolls around and reaches for things and has such obvious desires and intentions. She's so, so fun. (well. not today. Today she was a giant dupa, but we're all entitled to those days once in awhile.) She could stay this age forever and I'd be just fine with that.

You know how some quotes just keep recurring in your life, or work really well in different situations? Like the geometry proof or rule or whatever, about a square being a rectangle but not all rectangles being squares? Remember the episode of Friends when Rachel tries to take up smoking to get in good with her boss? And she's complaining about how hideous and disgusting it is, and Chandler tells her, "I know. But hang in there, because it is about to get SOOOOO good." I've used that quote a lot with people. Usually when I'm talking about running. I think if I were to talk to someone with a colicky newborn, someone as overwhelmed and tired and frsutrated and just totally defeated as I was, that is what I'd tell them. That I know it's awful, it's exhausting and scary and frustrating and just generally wretched. But hang in there. It is about to get so good.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cops and Nurses

The cop-nurse pairing is a big cliche.

There's a good reason for it: we both have jobs that work crappy hours, make crappy money, and deal with crap that most people don't even want to think about. However, in spite of this last fact, most people ALSO believe, really and truly believe, they can do our jobs as well as we do.

I'm not really happy about being held prisoner in my house all day today. It was a gorgeous saturday, one that Gracie and I could have spent running, playing in the yard, getting shopping done, and enjoying the fresh air. Instead, we were holed up inside, waiting for resolution that never came (and still hasnt' come, thirteen hours after it started).

I'm also sad for this man, even though I only met him once, back before Gracie was even born. And more importantly, even though it's frustrating that it's taking so long, I also know I'm not trained in hostage negotiation. I don't know how to talk someone off a figurative ledge. I don't know how to keep the rest of the neighborhood safe when an unstable man with a gun is holed up in his house.

So while I have wicked cabin fever and a SERIOUS need for a diet Dr. Pepper, I'm just going to be grateful that we're all okay, pray that our neighbor will be okay too, and let the experts do their job.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


G has clearly elected 6pm as her new bedtime. This has been in the works, but was firmly established this weekend.

On the one hand, yippee. She FINALLY has a bedtime. It's early enough that when Stephen and I both have the day (night) off, we can put her to bed and THEN go out, which will be nice.

On the other hand: pardon my french, but fuck. I work until 7pm, get home around 7:30. Three nights a week, I won't be putting her to bed.

I really, really, really hate that.

Mind you, she kept herself up late on sunday when we were out to dinner, and it's *possible* she'll try to keep herself up on nights when I work, and go straight to bed when I get home, but that's not the best thing for her, either. See, this is just one more reason why she should sleep until 8am. that way, she'd be just fine staying awake until 8pm, and I could put her to bed every night, without any stress.

blaaaah. I have only missed putting her to bed once since was born, the night of Rachel's wedding, and she courteously woke up shortly after we got home.

I need to start buying lottery tickets. This working stuff is for the birds.

Monday, May 25, 2009

double-yoo tee eff???

Friday night: G woke up once, then started the day at 5:15.

Saturday night: G woke up once, started the day at 5:30ish.

Sunday night: G woke up twice, but once was at 4:10 and in her defense, she thought it was morning. Also in her defense, she accepted correction. AND?! She took a two-hour nap this morning!

my GOD. I haven't had this much sleep since I was four months pregnant. I feel like I should paint the living room or something.

Friday, May 22, 2009


My friend Katie's mom, who has five grown kids, believes that all fussy babies grow up to be really smart, and they're fussy because they're bored.

Gracie definitely fusses when she's bored. Also, although there was never a switch-flipping moment, like people talk about with classic colic, it was right around the four month mark, when she could actually play, that Gracie got a lot less fussy. The world just didn't seem to frustrate her as much when she could grab her doll, shake her rattle, bring things to her mouth, etc. Even before I heard Katie's mom's theory, I would joke that Gracie was fussy because she's brilliant and tortured by her thoughts.

Tonight, as I was rocking her and trying (unsuccessfully, natch) to get her drowsy enough for bed, I watched her playing with a burpie. She shook it around, held it up, chewed on it, shook it again. I thought, is that it for you? Are you just too smart for your own good?

Right as I thought that, she stuffed the burpie into her mouth, bit down, and proceeded to get supremely pissed off when she couldn't get it back out of her mouth.

...well. At least she's cute.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


So, I had a whole stupid post in my head about how G acted like she was going to sleep in this morning and then she didn't so I used the crib aquarium and it was just like a snooze button ha ha ha ha.


Then we had a near-death experience and I no longer gave a flying crap about the stupid story I had to tell.

We went to the mall in an attempt to buy a present from a story that no longer exists. Annoyed, I packed her back in the car and headed to the produce market.

Sitting at a light just a few blocks away, I heard the weirdest noise, like construction. I didn't even look in the rearview mirror until something caught my eye- just two or three cars behind us, a pickup truck flipping over, followed by the driver being ejected from the side window. There were no horns honking, no screeching brakes. I guess neither driver saw it coming. I grabbed my phone to call 911, and motioned to the woman ahead of me that I was calling. I couldn't get thru, so I opened the door and asked her to try. I mentioned I had my 5mo in the backseat, and she said she had her 1yo in her car. I saw someone run up and flip the driver over- Jesus Christ, you dipshit, cervical spine alignment, now he's a *&$@ quad, oh no, I need to go help. I can't go help, I have G. Do I ask a stranger to watch G? No, I can't do that. OK, there's a person in scrubs, it's under control. (I couldn't see what was behind the truck, nor did it occur to me to try).

I finally got through to 911 and was informed they already knew about the accident. At that moment, I heard sirens approaching, so I thought, well, I guess I'll get going. I looked around for the first time and realized that traffic in the opposite direction was completely stopped. The woman ahead of me and the woman ahead of her were just sitting there, staring. What is WRONG with people???? SERIOUSLY. Not only are you IN THE WAY, keeping EMS from getting to the accident, you're a horrible person for sitting and drinking in the worst moment of another person's life (and quite possibly the end of that person's life.)

As I was driving away, I finally had the actual, clear thought- they weren't doing CPR on the driver. They were huddled around him, but not doing CPR. He was probably perfectly alive. I would've survived that accident. But you know who would most certainly not have survived that and I can't even bring myself to say it.

That is when I got hysterical and almost puked all over the car. I made it to the produce market, smothered G with kisses, bought maybe two of the nine billion things we needed, and went home.

So thank you to my guardian angels, and even though it goes without saying, drive safely.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


We have a newborn with spina bifida on our service right now. She is her mom's first baby. Yesterday, she FINALLY got to breastfeed the baby. When we told her, she was excited, but said she had absolutely no idea what she was doing. "I'll help you!!!" I said. I was so excited to help her! The problem? It was 6:30. I leave at seven. And therein lies the catch-22:

1- Before Gracie was born, I would've happily stayed late to help her, however, I wouldn't have had the first clue what to tell her.
2- Now that G is here, I know exactly what to tell her, but I have zero interest in staying late at work, especially when I'm rushing home to be the one to put her to bed.

I managed to give her some pointers on positioning and I think they were going to be fine, but unfortunately, the baby had eaten an hour earlier and was not remotely interested in eating, so we dind't get any good latching action while I was there. Then I was off today. And I have a meeting tomorrow. I might ditch it, I really want this to go well for them. Looking back at how I felt when G was a week old, well, I can't imagine what I would've been like if she'd had surgery and was still in the hospital with another possible surgery on the horizon, plus all the bajillion other things that crop up in newborns with spina bifida. Yiiiikes. that's all I have to say about that.


So, it's been well-established that Gracie doesn't like to sleep. She also meets her gross-motor milestones at her own, lesiurely pace, and she doesn't vocalize as much as I'd like.


We hit the jackpot on eating. This child will eat anything I put in her mouth. Sweet potatoes, carrots, avocados, peas, and of course oatmeal, it's all gone as soon as it's pulled out of the fridge. She's a CHAMP with the spoon, hardly any tongue-thrusting at all, and if she's really liking what she's eating (avocados, kid has good taste), there's barely any even on her bib.

We got us an eater. Between that and her fine-motor control (which is pretty darn good, too, she's impressively all about her thumbs), maybe she'll be a famous restaurant blogger one day.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The day I have been dreading

I knew this day would come. I knew it was inevitable. Still, I hoped maybe it wouldn't happen. Or that it would happen sooner, rather than later.

But no. The day is here.

Guess who else is sick?

(and can someone PLEASE explain to me why this happened on the SAME &^#@ day she became proficient at flipping back to stomach, while still less-than-proficient at going back to her back, thusly ensuring she would wake EVERY FORTY FIVE MINUTES last night, and was wide-awake from 2 until 3? let's not even get started on how she tried to go on strike again, because I informed her she hasn't been paying her union dues, so she can go on strike if she likes but then she will be FIRED.)


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I am, in fact, sick.

Denial does not seem to be working. I am stuffy and achey and feel like hot butt.

I am definitely sick.

This is bullshit.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I am not sick.

My throat hurts from too much singing. Not because I'm sick. Because I'm NOT sick. I'm not going to spend the next ten days snorting nasal saline, gingerly swallowing, and sucking cold-eeze (which, for the curious, is A-OK for the nursing mother, according to

and let's not even get started on who else in this house is NOT getting sick, because OH MY GOD I WILL JUST DIE.

Similarly, that same person is not screaming her fool head off in protest of a real nap in her crib and waking up her poor father who is trying to sleep before he goes back to work.

Denial: The Other White Meat

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cinco de Gracie

Someone is five months old today! I can't believe it.

Even though I really thought I'd wait until six months to start solids, we started right at 4.5 months. I had two reasons for this- I really thought she was ready, for a variety of reasons, and I was impatient. What? Some reasons are better than others. Anyway, she LOVES her oats and is learning to love sweet potatoes. Actually, she really already loves them, she just still gets weirded out wehn she first tastes them and has to remember she likes them. We're also starting to introduce a cup, which she loves, but spends lots of time dumping in her lap.

Sleep...yeah. She still never, ever sleeps. Ever. Ok, SOMETIMES she sleeps. Just not, you know, through the night, and not at all after, say 5am. Now that she's figured out this trick, she's either going to never sleep again, or I just hit the jackpot with self-soothing. I'm just choosing to believe option B, even though we have yet to hit option B in the last five months...I'm trying to be an optimist.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

In Which I Am Original

So. Susan Boyle. Yeah, sorry. I know I'm like the nine billionth person in the world to have something to say about her, but here's the thing.

People talk about how it shouldn't be shocking that she's talented, and that we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, and why it's wrong to do that, and that's all true.

My thing is, I love her because she's an underdog. That's oversimplifying it. It's like...revenge? Or something. Because, yeah, it sucks to judge people based on their appearance, but in addition to all of us having done it at some point in our lives, we've all felt like it's happened to us, too. Right? I mean, how shitty does that feel? When she says she wants to be a singer, and they cut to the nasty girl rolling her eyes, we've ALL been sitting across from that nasty girl at some point. Well, except people who live on desert islands and manage to avoid going through junior high. The rest of us, though, have so been there, and we KNOW how much that hurts, and haven't we all wished we could show those nasty girls, once and for all? Susan Boyle is totally showing those nasty girls. They may be cuter, they may have more friends, but none of them can even dream of being as talented as her.

Or maybe it's just me and I'm hopelessly immature and grudge-holding. All I know is that the former drama freak in me can't watch that stupid video without getting all teary about it.

If I were a writer instead of a nurse, I would make a really awesome segue into a story about Bea Arthur, and how she was another woman who was not pretty, and was, in fact, awkward as hell, with her deep voice and enormous stature, but how she was also incredibly talented and made us all laugh. Unfortunately, I am a nurse, and so I can't think of a smooth way to get there. Isn't that a shame? That would've been awesome. This is why I'll always be a nurse and I'll never get to be a SAHM-blogger. Damn. Too bad I can't blame it on looking awkward so people will root for me to win America's Next Stay At Home Blogger...EDITED: um, for clarity: I can't blame it on looking awkward because you don't see bloggers. not because I think I'm all perfect-looking. au contraire. just had to, you know, clarify...

Banging on the Drum Optional

I don't wanna go to work tomorrow.

It's supposed to be another gorgeous day, plus Gracie was a horrible beast today (think Gracie v1.0, and don't forget to run away screaming and begging for mercy while you do that), and I think we should get a do-over of this gorgeous day.

No? Damn.

I think G is mad because she didnt' get to go to Rachel's gorgeous wedding. Who can blame her?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Eight Things

Laura tagged me, and since I'm not particularly interested in doing, you know, actual work, I thought I'd give some attention to this.

8 Things I Look Forward To:

-Gracie sleeping thru the night
-Gracie waking at a normal hour
-Fixing my roots tonight after work
-Leaving work tonight
-Rae's wedding this weekend!
-Losing the last of this damn baby weight
-Going to Saugatuck this summer
-Stephen getting off midnights

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

-went shopping
-got a haircut
-had lunch with my mom
-watched the cement guys pour the new sidewalk and patio
-ummm...drove past the old condo on my way home from the haircut
-made dinner
-had a really great run
-went to bed early

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

-sleep thru the night
-sleep late (and by late, I mean 7:30 or 8 am)
-stop dying my hair
-run five days a week
-get my pre-baby arms and abs back
-stay home with G and my future babies
-either buy a different house OR be DONE with all the work our house needs

8 Shows I Watch:

-The Office
-30 Rock
-My Name is Earl
-Reno 911
-The Simpsons
-Family Guy
-American Justice

I tag Donna and Rachel. All my fellow mommas got tagged by Laura:)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Young and Healthy

People don't always understand details. Or subtleties. Or something.

Today I was at the produce market with G-Funk and the woman in the next check out line was loudly railing against the "panic" surrounding swine flu. Thinking she was extremely smart, she started quoting statistics about how many people die each year from the flu.

Look. I'm not telling anyone to panic about swine flu. It has me...nervous. But panicking? Decidedly not. However. The Knowitall in me (IN me? isn't that all of me?!) had a VERY hard time restraining myself. The woman didn't want my opinion. But for GODS' SAKE, if you're gonna go off, know what you're talking about.

Very young, very old, and medically frail people die of the flu every year, with some random freaky deaths. Healthy young adults do NOT die in large numbers. It is most definitely cause for concern.

(since I didn't tell HER that, I had to come here and tell all of you. This makes two stupid blog posts in a row. sigh.)

(for those keeping score at home, my little KGB agent woke at 4:50, stayed awake two hours, and took a 45 minute nap. She was then awake for FOUR hours, but is in the midst of a beautiful nap. if only I could make her morning nap this long. Or, you know, add it to her NIGHTTIME SLEEP!!!)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Nope, still hasn't happened

I thought for sure I would look back fondly on Gracie's newborn days. I was so positive I would remember it all wrong, and be so sad that she's such a big girl now.

oh, HELLS NO!!!!!

Turns out I remember exactly how hideously terrible it was. Maybe because I'm still so tired? I don't know. I mean, she's FUN now. She has a wicked temper, and she knows exactly what she wants and god help you if you stand in her way (or if she changes her mind before she gets it, which happens QUITE frequently!), she needs basically no sleep at all (really. it's not normal.), but she smiles and giggles and gets the most devious glimmer in her eyes, and she is so, so, so cool. Why on EARTH would I wish for her to be a floppy, screaming, impossible-to-please little bundle of raw nerves and unhappiness?

Even *I* remember some things.

(this post is pointless. I'm just too tired to get up and go to bed so I had to fill the time somehow.)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dear Celebrities,


The next time your publicist tells everyone you've been hospitalized for exhaustion? I'm telling everyone the real truth, that you have cocaine poisoning or raging syphilis requiring IV antibiotics, because it turns out NOBODY needs to be hospitalized for exhaustion. (unles you're coming off a coke bender, I guess?) Because if that ever WERE a cause for hospitalization, I would've maxed out my insurance months ago.

Also, sidenote to a certain pediatrician who authored a sleep book that I previously swore by: take your book and shove it. you're a lying liar. I hate you. Your methods suck and they don't work. Or perhaps reading it while I was pregnant was the mistake, as the knowledge crossed the placenta and taught G how to resist all your methods? Perhaps that is the problem.

Sidenote to God: I really, really, REALLY don't know what made you think I could handle a child who never ever ever EVER slept, but let me clear up this misunderstanding: I cannot. I. can. not. I am so fracking tired I am going to start hallucinating. Please. Seriously. Can I get a 6am? Is THAT too much to ask?

Sidenote to ANYONE who is considering offering me advice on this topic: Don't. Really, just...don't. You mean well, but you're not going to help, and in my current state of mind, it will just piss me off. That is immature and unfair, but let's see how rational you are after four and a half months of no sleep. Really, seriously, honestly, whatever you're thinking, we've tried. The child just won't sleep.

Unless you know of a pediatrician who's willing to prescribe pediatric Amb!en. In which case, hit up my comments, yo.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Last night, Gracie did not eat well before she went to sleep. Sometimes she does that, she just gets so tired, I can't get her to eat well before bed and I know she'll wake up shortly after she falls asleep. Sure enough, she woke up ravenous at 9:30. She ate well and went back to sleep.

Then? She slept thru the night. Really!

Then? She woke up at 5:15. For the day.

I was in total denial. First, I stayed in bed, listening to her whine. Then I got up to feed her. When she kept popping off and cooing and smiling at me, I knew I was hosed. I tried putting her back down, which did not work (I mean, really, I don't know why I tried!). I put her crib aquarium on to buy myself ten minutes. That worked, but that was ten minutes. I finally gave in and started my day.

I'll have my revenge, though. She appears to have inherited my hair, and THAT is a gift that keeps on giving.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


My birthday is December 11th, a fact which many people reading this know, does not make me happy. December birthdays suck. When I realized Gracie was going to have a December birthday, I felt terrible. Half of my obsession with getting her OUT OF MY BODY had to do with keeping her birthday as far away from Christmas as possible (the other half had to do with the fact that I was carrying an 8 lb baby that, from the outside, looked like a 5 lb baby, and all that baby had to go somewhere, and that somewhere was my lungs and my sciatic nerve. Run-on sentence, table for one?).

The upshot of this is being a Sagittarius. Admit it. It is the coolest sign of the zodiac. The free-spirited adventurer. It's like the wacky friend that convinces us to go to London on a week's notice without anyplace to stay or any plans, and go skydiving while we're there.

I'm kind of a Sagittarius, but mostly not. I love to travel, I get bored and restless easily, and I love adventures. It's just my idea of adventure that's not quite so Sagittarian. That is because I'm a big fat scaredy-cat.

Gracie, though, oh my LORD is this child a Sagittarius. I can tell already. All the things that make her a bit of a pill right now are the things that will make her the wild, kickass friend everyone wants to be around. She wants constant entertainment. The more we're doing, the better, and the more time we spend out of the house, the better- for SURE. She gets bored within seconds. Sleep is boring. There are no adventures in sleep, so why should she waste ANY time on that?

It's kinda cool. I really hope she's brave and adventurous and pursues all the crazy dreams she has, and that I'm strong enough to support her and not try to stop her. I hope I'm brave enough to tell her the Peace Corps is a great idea, that she SHOULD take a year off before she goes to college to volunteer in Central America or work on a farm in Ireland. I know that'll be the hardest part, being able to take a deep breath and tell her to go, and be the person she's supposed to be.

Of course, knowing this kid, she'll turn five and decide she never wants to leave the house again. Can't have me thinking I know anything about her.

Friday, April 10, 2009

True Story

One of my most memorable patients was 8 or 9 when she was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme. For those of you who don't watch ER, it's a horribly aggressive, horribly fatal brain tumor. She went thru chemo, radiation, and surgery, and did so well, when she said hello to me in the basement of the hospital one day, I didn't even recognize her. It was a miracle.

A few weeks after I was shocked to see how well she was doing, I woke up in the morning, laughing about that incident, and thinking, well, I guess I won't be seeing her anymore.

I got to work that day and she had been admitted to our unit the night before. Later that day, we found out the tumor was back. I have no idea why she popped into my head that morning, she just...did. She started chemo again, but when I saw her just a few months later, she was so ravaged by the tumor, she didn't even realize I was standing there talking to her parents. When she finally noticed someone was talking to her parents, she didn't recognize me at all.

A few weeks after that, I woke up one morning because someone called my name. I lived alone at the time. It wasn't the same as someone talking to you in a dream, it sounded just like someone calling my name. I looked at the clock and it was 6:30. I was supposed to be at work at 7am that day. I had forgotten to set the alarm, and I never would've woken up if I hadn't heard that voice calling my name. I found out a few days later that my patient had died several weeks earlier. I always told myself that she woke me up that morning so I wouldn't be late for work.

I don't blog about work. I don't wanna get Dooce'd, and besides that, it's really hard to talk about work without being melodramatic, which is annoying and turns people off, I know. So, mostly, I complain about the stuff that annoys me to my friends and I keep it off the blog.

Today, though, I'm talking about work because after I signed up to run the Chicago marathon (...apparently I've been smoking crack? I don't remember picking up that habit, but it's the only reasonable explanation for such a decision), I decided to join the Children's Memorial marathon team. The economy sucks balls, and most of the people who read this blog have new babies and have no money to spare. I hate to even mention it. The thing is, it DOES make a difference. Tumors like medulloblastoma used to be almost universally fatal, but thanks to research, some subtypes of this tumor carry an excellent prognosis for long-term survival. Kids with spina bifida were only selectively treated as recently as twenty or thirty years ago, until this guy said, "Um, actually, I think these babies can grow up to be happy, healthy, and productive adults." And he kicked spina bifida square in the 'nads.

If you can spare it, think about .pledging me.

I promise, this is the last shill you'll ever see here. Tomorrow I'll be back to talking about my little squirt ad infinitum and occasionally talking about training for a marathon with a newborn who hates to sleep. Promise