Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Name my kid. Please.

This baby still does not have a name.

Mr. C and I can not agree on a first name for this poor little baby. And never mind coming up with a middle name, that might drive us to divorce court. Or at the very least drive me to the funny farm. Mmm, padded walls sound pretty good right about now.

We've had 9 months to come to a decision on a name for this child, 9 fecking MONTHS, and we had, for awhile, come up with a name that we could live with. Truthfully, Mr. C had come up with a name and since I couldn't come up with anything better, I caved. I threw up my hands and said, Fine, you name her. And he did. Just like that he had at least a first name and was beginning to throw around middle names.

Show off.

But I never fell in love with the name. It was nice enough, we even passed it by family and friends and all seemed to like it. Not a sideways glance, a down turned gaze or an uncomfortable pause. No throat clearing. Not one, Really? You're going to name her that? It was a moniker everyone could live with. Except me.

Something was just not right.

It didn't sit with me as nicely as Chicky's name did. So I changed it this past weekend.

Well, not really. I didn't come up with a definitive name. I just came up with two or three other options that we are now considering. You know, just to make things interesting why not go from deciding on one name to choosing between four?

This sucks donkey balls. Seriously.

It shouldn't be this hard but it is. If left up to my husband the child would be named something very conservative, probably something biblical, and she'll be one of three or four little girls with the same name. She'll have to use her last initial for the rest of her life to set her apart from the other girls.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Ahem.

I want my kid to have a name that will set her slightly apart from other kids. Something strong that will grow with her. Something beautiful and poetic. Something that people will be able to spell without needing to ask, unlike mine.

(Not that I'm bitter, Mom. No, not me. Not bitter at all about being referred to by at least three other names all my life, none of which are right. Nope. Not bitter.)

There is one name we like but the pronunciation is something we're struggling with. And if you're wondering what it is, watch a recap of tonight's American Idol.

Although, after hearing that boy butcher the song I'm reconsidering. Oy.

I'm tempted to let my readers name my kid. Someone has got to intervene. Someone not hopped up on hormones and carrying extra water weight and totally irrational because they can't get their hands ON SOME TWINKIES NOW. And you can't do any worse than me right about now.

How's that for a vote of confidence?

So go ahead, name my kid. If you come up with something we love you win absolutely nothing except my undying love and devotion. Maybe a link every week from my blog. Possibly the role of God Mother. Hell, we could name you in our will.

Or maybe I'm just getting carried away.

Someone please save me from myself. And while you're at it, get me a Twinkie okay?

(And wasn't I right way back when, when I said this baby was a girl. Uh huh. I'm psychic.)

(Or psycho. I'm still working out which one is closer to the truth.)

Monday, April 28, 2008

And why did you do this again?

That's the question I've gotten asked a lot this pregnancy. Much more than you would think or even more than what would be considered polite to bring up in mixed company. But thankfully my friends and family skirt the line of polite and instead say what they're thinking. And that's why I like them.

Why are you going through this again, this pregnancy, when it was so horrible the first time?

That, my friends, is the $64,000 question. Why would I go through another pregnancy when I knew what I was getting myself into (More or less. People do love to tell me that every one of their pregnancies were SO different. Yeah, mine? Not so much.)? Why did I go ahead and get knocked up again when I was adamant that we were "One and done"?

Why, indeed.

The short answer? My grandmother died.

I know, I know... Totally bizarro reason. But hear me out. There's a process here.

Mr. C and I had been talking about the possibility of having another kid. Time had passed, memory had dulled. We gave ourselves three months of not really trying but not really not trying to get pregnant and then we'd give up and be happy with what we had.

So I decided to throw caution to the wind and I packed my birth control pills in my checked luggage for my trip to Blogher '07, instead of in my carry-on. And wouldn't you know, my bag got lost? OF COURSE it did.

(Students of Freud, feel free to jump in anytime.)

Two days without pills and I just decided to stop taking them. Such a hassle anyway. And Mr. C and I could always use protection if we wanted to.

And then my Gram passed away shortly after I arrived home.

There I was at the funeral and the graveside service that followed, watching siblings console siblings and cousins consoling cousins. And when my sister and I stood arm and arm at the grave where my mother is also buried I knew... I just knew...

I couldn't let Chicky grow up without someone to stand arm and arm with during life's difficult moments.

Of course, we couldn't have known that we would get pregnant so quickly upon not-trying-but-not-really-not-trying. I mean, it took us TWO WHOLE TRIES to get pregnant with Chicky.


To be perfectly clear, I'm not having another child for the first one. Chicky didn't ask for this. She might have one day. She might have begged until she was blue in the face for a brother or sister. But I did not do this just for her.

I did this for me.

My reasons for getting pregnant and going through hyperemesis and all the joys that accompany it again were purely selfish. That's right, I wanted to throw up my guts for months and months. Okay, not really. I wanted the peace of mind that my children would at least have another person in this world to help deal with my old, wrinkly self when the time came. Or deal with Mr. C's wrinkly self.

I didn't want the possibility of nursing homes, hospice care, medical proxy's, or funeral arrangements to fall squarely on just one person. I know me. I'm a worrier. Who needs that kind of stress when you're old or sick?

It wasn't totally doom and gloom that made me want to get pregnant again. I mean, how depressing, right? I wanted to make sure Chicky had someone in her life that she could turn to and bitch about her parents to.

"Mom and Dad are totally nuts! They won't let me stay out all night so I can go to this major kegger at Bobby's house! It's not like I'm going to do anything WRONG. I'm FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. They're being SOOO UNFAIR."

Can't you just imagine that? Chicky dramatically bursting through a closed bedroom door and throwing herself down on her sister's bed? Lamenting her fate of having the world's worst parents ever? I can. And it makes me happy.

It also pleases me that she'll have someone to watch over. Someone to take care of and be somewhat responsible for. I can't wait to watch Chicky and the little one walking hand in hand. Okay, not so much hand in hand but rather I'll drag you by the hand and you will follow me because you're smaller.

So you see, it's all about my happiness, my peace of mind. I got pregnant because I am a selfish woman. Mr. C is still trying to figure it out.

"Don't bitch to me because you feel fat. I still have the box of condoms in my bedside drawer."

Yes siree, it's all about me. And yes, I threw something at him after he said that. I can't chase him down and beat him but my aim is still good.

My selfishness only goes so far, however. After this one we are done. I like the world to revolve around me but multiple pregnancies tend to result in multiple kids, you know?

Now, if the birth and all that yucky stuff had nothing to do with me I would be a sublimely happy.

Friday, April 25, 2008

What do memories taste like?

I remember my Mom making chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. Always the same, chocolate cake and vanilla frosting in a sheet pan - the kind with the matching locking plastic see-through lid - never vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. Chocolate sheet cake with vanilla frosting.

She was not a baker, my Mom. The cake was probably from a box and the frosting pre-made. She didn't even care for baking, she probably had a new pan and wanted to get good use out of it, and the cakes were rare and always unexpected. But I remember that cake being the tastiest confection ever to cross my young lips. Even better than birthday cake.

Chocolate single layer sheet cake with vanilla frosting.

I've been playing that memory in my head a lot lately. I have no idea why. My Mom probably did a million and one other thoughtful things for us and I can't for the life of me remember any of those. Just the sheet cake, chocolate with vanilla frosting.

I've also been remembering how she never seemed to have time to help me use my Easy Bake Oven. Though I would beg her constantly to let me play with it, she never had the time to help me take it out of its box, assemble it and then supervise me mixing up the brownie batter and placing it under the hot light of the "oven". And she required that she be present when I was using it. So the toy was hardly used. I really resented her for that. I guess I still do.

Two memories, similar in theme but not having really anything to do with each other. And yet, they've stuck with me all these years, especially these past few weeks. If I think really hard I can remember other things about her as I was growing up but those memories don't come as easily. I have no idea why.

Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and Easy Bake ovens.

I've been short with Chicky these past few weeks. Losing my patience quickly. My temper flaring for no reason. She begs me to play with her until I need to speak firmly that, no, Mama can't play in the sandbox with her and, no, Mama can't get on the floor and play with the doll house. And she looks hurt. Will she remember those times? Will she remember all the times I made her peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, with cut up strawberries and pea pods, just because she loved them so or the pink cupcakes I made for her birthday? Will she remember anything from this time at all?

Will she remember the chocolate cake with vanilla frosting or the Easy Bake oven? I wish I knew. I guess we won't know until a long time, 20 or 30 years from now, and by then I'll have forgotten to ask.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Nap Nazi

I am a Nap Nazi.

To put a finer point on it, actually I'm a Sleep Nazi. I am insane about making sure my kid gets her sleep. It is as important to me as making sure Chicky has a balanced diet to eat and lots of milk and water to drink. It is as important to me as making sure she knows how much I love her. In my house Love = Sleep. If you're tired and cranky, you're more difficult to like. Simple as that.

After four and a half long months of fighting with a colicky infant who Just. Would. Not. Sleep. Already. For the love of all that is good and holy, please sleep. Just sleep. Mommy really needs you to SLEEP. PLEASE....


...we broke down, threw out the No Cry Sleep Solution book and others of its ilk, picked up the Weissbluth Bible (as I refer to it) and sleep trained Chicky.

My lawd, I need a nap. Can someone help me out with that? Where's that boob thing that makes me sleepy?

It wasn't that easy, of course. I cried. Mr. C paced. I would call him at work in the middle of the day while I was trying to get Chicky to nap just to have him talk me off the ledge, so to speak. And in about a week, Chicky was out of our bedroom, where she had slept, when she slept, mainly on my chest for most of those 120-plus days, having decided the co-sleeper was just not good enough for her, and in her own crib. In her own room. With her own door shut.

Praise Jesus and pass the wine.

She slept there, finally, for every nap and every night. It didn't matter to me how it happened. The important thing was that she slept. And I didn't care if she woke up once or twice during the night for a quick feeding and I had to leave the comfort of my bed to go to her. She went back to sleep on her own and I got more than a fifteen minute stretch of uninterrupted sleep as well.

Now, some consider CIO cruel and I will freely admit it's not for every child. But I, looking back on it with a clearer head (from all those Zz's I've been getting), think the way she was living in those early days to be far worse. Chicky just did not know how to sleep. She stimulated easily. The stars and moon and all the planets, not to mention the wind direction, position of the sun, light blocking shades, and just the right amount of white noise, all had to be aligned perfectly for her to fall into a peaceful sleep. To this day, whenever Mr. C and I see an infant spontaneously fall asleep we still can't believe his or her parents didn't slip a mickey into the baby bottle. Babies sleep? All on their own? No freaking way! Who knew?

It only took about a week for Chicky to learn that sleep was a good thing. A very good thing. And almost immediately, her whole demeanor changed. She was happy and rested and she didn't have bags under her eyes anymore. She ate better. She was finally an all around pleasant being to be around. Which was in sharp contrast to her first few months of life when, if you looked at her cross-eyed, she'd scream like you were poking her with needles.

See?? Bags! Under my baby's eyes! They're as big as mine! Almost.

Now she sleeps like a dream. We have our battles, but I can deal with those. I like to think it's because we've been so consistent about her sleep habits. She's only spent one night in our room, in our bed, since she turned five months, and that was a total disaster. If she is ill, Mr. C or I will gladly get up and go check on her. We have a video monitor in her room so we can gauge how much she really needs us to go to her before we mistakenly interrupt her slumber, confusing sleep sounds with distress. And I make sure her bedtimes are relatively consistent and naps are enforced. The girl needs her sleep, and as her mom I make sure she gets plenty of it.

It's worked out really well so far.


I am well aware that this method, at that particular time in her life, worked well for Chicky. I am aware that I'm lucky that at three years of age she still naps fairly regularly. And though I am tied to my house for at least three hours every afternoon, I am not willing to postpone naps for more than a day at a time, for fear she might start thinking she doesn't need them as much as before. She does need them. She's a bear without a nap. Hell, I need them. I'm a bear without her nap.

Hence the Nap Nazi title I have no problem embracing.

With Baby #2 on the way, I'm terrified it won't work out this way again. Maybe next time I'll get a newborn that will easily nod off but will resist all sleep training entirely as an infant. Like my Sister in Law's oldest son who would scream for hours if left in his crib to try to CIO. Sleep training did not one bit of good for him. There was not much sleep to be had in that house for the first couple of years of his life.

That scares the bejeebus out of me.

It's moments like this, when Chicky is sleeping soundly in her new big girl bed, having made the easy transition from her crib, and I have a few quiet moments to myself that I wonder what I've gotten myself into. We've got it pretty good now and I decided to get pregnant again and throw a monkey wrench into the works. True, a cute monkey wrench that smells of newborn baby head (because if the first one is any indication, Mr. C and I make some damn cute babies. Good smelling ones, too.), but our whole life will go back to what it once was. Hopefully for just a short time, but still...

Trust me when I say it wasn't the hat that made her scream like that. We threw it on her after the screaming had begun for our own sleep deprived amusement.

It makes me twitch just thinking about it. The same reoccurring twitch I had whenever Chicky screamed as an infant.

Old fears die hard. With the next one I'll know better what to expect but I don't think that will make it any easier. Just less of a shock. Hopefully, when it's all said and done I'll have an extra set of stripes to add to my Nap Nazi uniform and a second child who sleeps like the first one does. I'll probably have a few more wrinkles. And a few more gray hairs. And a few extra centimeters added to the bags under my eyes...

Ugh. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

"Rockabye" baby!

I've been lucky enough to get an early copy of Rebecca Woolf's, otherwise known in the blog world as Girl's Gone Child, new book "Rockabye - From Wild to Child".

Hot damn. I haven't been this excited about a book in a long time.

And, hot damn again, she did not disappoint. I have a stack of "momoirs" and other assorted compilations of parenting stories on my bookshelf all half read, partially read or barely glanced through. But I read Rockabye from beginning to end in just a couple of days, that's how enthralled I was by Rebecca's very personal story of going from a party girl to a young mom.

I'm not surprised by how much I enjoyed "Rockabye". I've been a faithful reader of Rebecca's blog since I started my own over two years ago. If you're a fan of her blog you'll love her book even more. Rebecca has a way with a sentence that at first glance seems simple. But the word "simple" doesn't do her work justice. She has an ease with a sentence just as she seems to be at ease with herself. She says what she means and she doesn't mince words. So if you are squeamish about the nasty bits of parenting then stay away from this book. If, however, you've been in the trenches or about to enlist, I recommend you pick up "Rockabye" immediately.

The basic gist of the book is this: Woolf, a young twenty-something living in L.A. and enjoying the party scene, suddenly finds herself pregnant. She's only been with her boyfriend for a short time and has to make the decision whether or not to keep the baby. Not to give the plot away, but you can guess what choice she made. What happens next is the account of a non-traditional, non-baby book reading woman's pregnancy and her first few years as a new mom and a new wife. She cuts right to the bone with her stories of her sexuality, transforming from a Southern California girl to a young mother living in the shadow of the Hollywood sign and all the way to dealing with her son Archer's developmental delay, all the while maintaining that part of herself that we mothers seem to misplace while we're busy changing diapers and boiling baby bottles.

Last summer I had the pleasure of meeting Rebecca at Blogher. I was as taken with her at that first meeting as I was when I first read her blog and now even more so after reading "Rockabye". I respect her decisions as a woman and a mother as much as I do her writing. As a matter of fact, I don't feel like I'm doing her book any justice in this review since I don't write even a fraction as well as she does, so I'm just going to stop here. Trust me, just read the book. It's really good.

Friday, April 18, 2008

To my Chicky on her third birthday


Technically your birthday was yesterday but you'll have to excuse me for the belated letter. We've been running around, you and I, trying to get ready for your birthday party this weekend and soaking up all this glorious springtime weather at the same time. Some things get pushed to the side when there are parks to explore and swings to swing on and rocks to examine.

It always seems fitting to me when your birthday week turns out this beautiful, as it has every year but one. Spring is about new beginnings and throwing off the blanket of winter that keeps us cold and contemplative for months on end. For me, your birthday is the beginning of a happy time where I can shrug off my sadness from losing those close to me and concentrate on celebrating you.

We lost your Grammy this year and I'll be sorely missing her presence at your birthday party. Last year she was only too eager to hold you on her lap as we all sat out in the sun and ate sweet cake. You were the last great grandchild she knew and the one she got to see the most. How she lit up whenever you were around. To say she was proud of you would not do her feelings justice.

It seems funny to say "lost" when what I mean is, well, she died. I know when you finally read this you'll have grasped the concept of death, maybe you'll have experienced the passing of a loved one once or twice as you grow, though I hope not, but for now the idea of death means nothing to you. Though you ask, oh how you ask, about the pictures I show you of my grandparents and my mom.

Where are they, Mama?

I never know what to say. Heaven? I don't know if I believe in such a place. I only know to tell you they're not here with us and before the tears come I change the subject. But you're getting smarter every day, it's amazing how intelligent you're becoming, and I know that soon I won't be able to avoid the subject. You'll push me for an answer, because that's what you do. I'll be glad for that someday.

But with death there needs to be a life, and that life is coming in just a few short weeks. I don't want to dwell on the sadness any longer because we've got even more to celebrate! You're going to be an older sister and life as you know it is going to change dramatically and for the better. It's a wonderful thing, having a younger sister to watch out for and boss around. Your Aunt and I are the best of friends and one of my wishes for you, on your third birthday, is to have such a relationship with your sister. Sisterhood is a wonderful thing, a special club that only girls can join. To be so connected to one person through family and blood and shared experiences will be one of the constants in your life. Make the most of it. Love your sister, help her learn and grow and I guarantee you, she will adore you. Having a sister is pretty cool.

And getting back to just you, my sunshine girl, you've had an amazing year. You've come so far from the baby you were and now you're a little girl. You run and jump and kick a soccer ball with amazing grace and ability. "Why" is, hands down, your favorite word. You're inquisitive almost to a fault. You have to know what everything is and where everyone is going and where they've been and, I have to admit, you exhaust me. I feel completely inadequate of your questions. We've both got a lot of learning to do.

You have the most empathetic soul. You feel so much that I'm almost afraid for you at times. You're sensitive in ways that confound me and tears come to you very, very easily. I want you to see the dog in the veterinary office who lost his eye and feel sympathy for him. I want you to notice another kid crying at the playground and have you comfort her. But I'm afraid you'll get lost in your sympathy for others. I want for you to feel all the care and love you possibly can, but I want that soft exterior to hide a steel spine and an iron will. You've got the will part down pat, we'll work on growing that spine together. Soon you will be able to embrace the world and all its problems with your strong, capable arms. You can do anything.

I couldn't possibly sum up all of your qualities in just one letter. Suffice it to say, I am in awe of you. And as many times as we butt heads, and so far that's been many times (To be frank, that butting heads is a problem lately. For example, you and I haven't exactly liked each other for the past few days, but I think we'll get over it.), we still find something to bring us back to common ground. When I lose my temper with you, or vice versa, you always find a way to calm the waters. You've got my quick temper, kid, and I'm sorry for that but I hope you also inherited your father's calm way of dealing with difficult situations. I've seen that side come out of you so there's hope yet.

This will be a tough year for the three of us, you, me and Dad. But I can't wait to see how much you'll grow and learn and change. It's extraordinary how far you've come so far, from my little Chicky Baby to this amazing girl you are becoming.

All my love to you,


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I just eat that stuff up

"Oh, you have the perfect little baby bump," said the woman behind the counter of our neighborhood put-yourself-in-debt-to-buy-dog-food store. She was, maybe, 26 years old. The slightly older woman next to her concurred.

"You look so great!"

I thought they were going to reach over the counter and caress my belly. Like the grandparents in the "She's gotten her boobies" scene in Sixteen Candles. But seeing as they worked in a high end pet supply store, I'm sure they knew better than to reach out and touch an irrational animal without asking permission first. Hands get bitten that way.

"When's the baby due?"

"In about five weeks," I replied.

And then I waited for it.

3... 2... 1...

"Five weeks? But you're so small!" she practically screamed.

"I'm not that small now and I'm not pregnant," said the other woman.

I hear this nearly every time I go out of the house. Do I mind perfect strangers telling me how great they think I look?

What do you think?

I freaking LOVE it.

Especially since I feel like I'm smuggling a beach ball under my shirt.

I like my baby bump... for the most part. It's cute, it's round, and it hasn't taken over my thighs or ass too much. It sticks out proudly as if to say I am PREGNANT. Huzzah! Worship me for I am making life.

There are those times late at night when there's no one around except me and Mr. C and I can really be my miserable self when I start cracking tug boat jokes or referring to myself as "the blimp who ate Boston". But overall, I feel I can say with only the slightest bit of pride and vanity that I make pregnancy look good.

(Okay, maybe a little more than just the slightest bit. Sue me.)

In fact, if my pregnancies weren't so heinous I'd be pregnant all the time. Normally I don't get a fraction of the compliments I do when I'm pregnant. Let's get knocked up again! Just so grandmotherly types can stop me at Target and look at my stomach longingly!

Of course, there's the sticky little situation about having lots of screaming babies running around and that ain't happening.

"I hope I look that good when I finally get pregnant," the young woman continued, sighing and looking at my bump hungrily.

And that's when I start to get uncomfortable. As a woman who can't take a compliment to save her life, I'm getting pretty good about accepting them about my pregnant belly. It feels like a separate entity anyway - like it's not really me but something I threw on that day. Maybe something manufactured by 5 year old children in China. Oh this old thing? Aw, go'awn - but when women, and there have been many, say something like "I hope I look as good as you do when I'm pregnant" I'm torn as to whether I should tell them about my struggles with hyperemesis or just keep my big yap shut. The constant morning sickness, the visits to the ER, the 9 month struggle over medication and maintaining that always below the surface but never full blown nausea after month five with the aid of said medication. I don't want to scare the poor girls.

I have mentioned it as a cautionary tale to a few woman - You don't want to be like me, girls. You don't want to be puking your guts up 24/7 for three months and then be a slave to a pill or two every day for the rest of the nine months, living in fear that the insurance company will just decide to stop approving your claims. Even if it does mean that after you have things under control you too can have a steady diet of Twinkies and eat an entire tub of Gouda cheese spread in one sitting because you're playing catch-up with your weight. But then I see their faces fall and then turn into looks of disgust and horror and I realize that maybe I went just a smidge too far.

I don't share my story with strangers very much anymore. The awkwardness is just not worth it.

Besides, does it matter why I'm this size? Maybe I just take really good care of myself and I'm not eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's after each meal. As far as you know.

There's very little to enjoy about the third trimester, between the swelling, the pain, the exhaustion. I may at least enjoy what I can until this baby comes and strangers go from telling me how great I look to looking at my puffy red eyes and spit-up stained clothing with pity.

Yes sir, I'm going to soak up the compliments now. I'm making a baby here, for chrissake. I'll take it where I can get it. With a side of Girl Scout cookies and an entire jar of pickles, please.

Oh, and another tub of cheese spread.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Don't know what you got until it's almost gone. And not in that cheesy 80s hair band kind of way.

Last week, on the first really beautiful and warm spring day we've had this year, Chicky and I had one of those rare mornings where I did very little yelling and lecturing and she did very little acting out.

(Read: No tantrums! When does that ever happen?)

(Uh, never.)

It seems spring fever had affected us both very positively. So to capitalize on it all, we went out to the park and stayed there, basking in the sun and catching a breeze on the swings, for most of the morning. After that, we drove over to the next town to buy some summer shoes for her and then next door to Panera for a soup and sandwich for me.

I had contemplated sitting there with the rest of the lunchtime crowd but the thought of paying five or six bucks for a peanut butter sandwich and a box of milk was not enticing, so we took everything to go. On the way home, however, I started to regret my decision. Chicky, who to this point was being uncharacteristically cooperative and downright charming, probably would have enjoyed sitting there at a table surrounded by people in business wear while she nibbled her PB&J or grilled cheese sandwich. No doubt the table of women dressed in nurses scrubs would have given her a few smiles and Chicky would have beamed right back. It would have been a nice end to an enjoyable morning with my first born.

That's when it hit me. My first born, my baby, my partner in crime, would very soon have to share her special time with me with a sibling. There soon will be very few opportunities when she and I will have a lunch date on the fly. No more just the two of us, our girl duo is going to become a trio. And I got all weepy thinking about it.

(You'd think this would have hit me all a lot sooner but then you'd be giving me way too much credit.)

In the interest of full disclosure, I've been turning on the waterworks pretty hard for the past week or two. Everything, every little freaking thing, makes me reach for the tissues. Because I am Weepy McWeeperson. Watch out or I might cry on your shoes.


So there we were, driving down the picturesque back roads of our town, sunroof open and radio playing music we both could agree on. Passing people out walking their dogs, everyone in a good mood. And I had tears in my eyes.

"Mommy, are you crying?"

"No, hon. A bug flew in my eye."

"Oh. Do you have a boo boo in your eye now? Do you need to go to the doctor?" She's very concerned about the health and well being of my eyes these days.

"No. I'll just use this tissue to get it out," I sniffed.

Of course, she wanted to see the bug I allegedly fished out of my eye, but I convinced her it had flown away. Because that's what good moms do - they lie to their kids to cover their own asses.

For most of this pregnancy I've been in hurry-up-and-get-this-damn-baby-out-of-me mode but now I'd like to slow the time down a bit. I'd like a few more months to show Chicky a good time, without the interference of a needy, crying infant or a pesky younger sibling. But my way back time machine is still out in the garage, half finished. I just need to find where I put that spare flux capacitor.

I know she won't remember a time before her little sister, but I will. And that's another thing good moms do - wish for impossible things for their children for their own selfish reasons.

It's true. Look it up.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I don't think these fences can be mended

I'm a reasonable, considerate person. Hell, I'm no saint but I can be downright nice, okay? But when my neighbors tear down fences, both literally and figuratively, I can be a B-I-T-C-H.

Find out more.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The evolution of Chicky

2006 - Not quite 1 year old

2007 - Almost 2 years old

2008 - Knocking on the door of three

Chicky's birthdays always make me a bit reflective (Can you see me? I'm shiny.). I've got to pull out the old pictures and compare my little baby to the girl she is today. And as many times as I've done this over the past few years I'm constantly surprised at how old she's getting. Which is strange, because I haven't aged in at least a decade.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Obviously he's never been to a decent keg party

Fisher had his surgery yesterday. When we took him home he was completely spaced out and not at all happy about the large cone on his head. As you can probably tell from the picture.

Poor dog. He passed out somewhere and when he woke up there was a large plastic lampshade around his neck and I'm sure it felt like someone had kicked him in his non-existent nuts. I bet he had a wicked headache and a serious case of cotton mouth too. If he could talk, Fisher would call it totally demoralizing. But around here we call that "Sunday morning".

Monday, April 07, 2008

Back off - I'm pregnant, my ankles are swelling, and I have a credit card and I'm not afraid to use it.

The nesting instinct is hitting me pretty hard right now. As we speak, I have a painter attacking all the trim in my house as well as painting a few rooms from top to bottom and carpet installers finishing up what will soon be the new baby's room. If I was physically able to move furniture you can bet your bippy I'd have that room set up the way I wanted by this evening. The fact that I can't is only heightening my need to get everything finished. Finished like five minutes ago, not a couple of days from now. And the fact that everything isn't done and ready to receive a baby tomorrow is really freaking me out.

And, yes, I know the baby probably isn't coming tomorrow. Details, details. Does that really matter to a pregnant woman?

We were more prepared for Chicky's arrival. By this time in my last pregnancy I had had my baby shower and her room was painted and almost ready to go. It's of little consequence that she never actually slept in that room until four months after she was born. It was finished and that's what mattered to me. Pregnant and postpartum women don't make any sense and I see it as my duty to continue being as irrational as possible this time around. How often in my life will I get a free pass for being bat shit crazy?

This baby is coming in seven weeks, give or take a few days, like it or not. I don't have even one pack of newborn diapers so that puts me firmly in the not liking it column.

When preparing for Chicky, I relied heavily on the advice of family. However, I was not, unfortunately, completely happy with the choices they made for me when it came to baby gear. Baby stuff is so much cooler than it was 30 years ago. More expensive, but way neater. I won't go out and buy a whole new cache of stuff for this kid but I do want to supplement what I have with a few key pieces that will make my last experience with an infant (as a mother) better than my experience with Chicky. When I ran around like my head was on fire, trying to find just the right baby sling to carry my colicky, high needs infant.

I never did find that sling, just a host of crappy ones I forced myself to use. Because running back and forth to baby stores with a colicky newborn? Not my idea of a rollicking good time.

If you were buying a gift for a good friend's baby shower, what would you buy her? What type of sling would you recommend? Was there anything you just could not live without when raising your own babies? Dammit, I'm 8 months pregnant and I have a credit card and my husband knows I'll bite his head off if he even dares look at me sideways for using it. I'm never going to get this chance again, so help me out.

What favorite item of baby gear would you recommend to me?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

I just flew in from New Jersey and, boy, is my pelvis tired

I'm home. I'm tired, I'm in pain, I can barely get up off the couch. But I'm home.

Did you miss me? C'mon. You know you missed my whining and bitching.

Since the event was paid for, I can't blog about my J&J Camp Baby experience here. But I did write about it over at my review site. If you are so inclined, come on over and see what I had to say.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Willing to suffer for free baby powder

I'm packing up and heading for New Jersey tomorrow for Johnson and Johnson's Camp Baby. Yes, that Camp Baby. The one that everyone seems to be chattering about. Regardless of the controversy and all the feelings that were hurt I'm going with an open mind. I'm very interested to see how a major corporation like J&J will be courting us Moms and I am approaching this not only as an opportunity to see some of my lady friends again and meeting some new ones face to face but also as I would have if I were still working for a corporation. It's a business conference, albeit one with baby powder and lots of mommies braiding each other's hair (Oy. No one is touching my hair) instead of macho, testosterone-laden technology salesmen.

I won't, however, be bringing my laptop with me so I won't be live blogging it. You'll just have to wait for a rundown from me. Try sitting on your hands or something.

There's just something about already dragging around all of these extra pregnancy pounds that doesn't make the idea of dragging around a heavy laptop around two airports that attractive.

I am worried about how I'm going to survive two days of activity and two relatively late nights of socializing, not to mention traipsing across busy airports. I am, arguably, in the worst shape of my life right now. I'm quite front heavy (well, duh, I'm eight months pregnant), I need to sit down a lot and I need to sleep with at least five pillows. I'm hoping the beds are soft, the pillows are plentiful, and the friends I'll be meeting there will give me their chairs. And I hope they'll sneak me a sip of wine or two during the opening night wine tasting or I might get cranky.

So, three days with no computer. And no drinking. What the hell am I going to do with myself?


Thanks to Sarah for nominating my Two Pieces post for a Perfect Post Award! If you'd like to read the other nominees visit Suburban Turmoil or Petroville.

Perfect Post Award 03.08