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Month: July, 2009

The voice that roared.

While growing up, my family came to refer to me as “the voice that roared.” They even had hand signals they’d use (still use) when in public to help modulate my volume. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had a complete stranger ask me to speak more softly so as not to disturb their inner peace, all the while I’m blithely thinking I’m conversing at a pleasant decibel. I admit, I have an appallingly, naturally loud voice. Like fiercely, painfully loud. The kind of loud that hurts shakes your inner soul. When I was little, I sounded like Fran Drescher on speed. Fortunately, I’ve grown out of the nasal element, but I still don’t know how my parental units survived those formative years.

I often see people withdraw while in conversation with me. I’d like to believe it’s my voice, and not my bodily aroma which has been questionable of late, that causes this reaction. I don’t take offense. Just the other week I saw an old high school friend who has fostered a voice such as mine (why one would make such an adaptation during their adult years, I cannot comprehend) and I finally understood what it was like to have a conversation with myself. Grating. Uncomfortable. And I did not like it one bit. I’m not loud on purpose. It just, well, carries. It carries really damn well. If only I’d grown up during the Hellenistic period, I would be the shining star of the Greek Theater. Just plop me in the center of Epidaurus and my whisper would be heard by the entire country, nay, all of the Mediterranean region. On the upside, it makes public speaking a breeze.

In this vein, my daughter has been cultivating her own little voice. It is the most fantastically humorous and joy-inducing of developments. She has this sweet baby coo that I interrupt as “I love you” (because obviously my child is so emotionally developed that she is in tune with such a complex human feeling). A squawk that is uttered when mommy and daddy have dropped the ball and forgottten to pull the string on her flying cow mobile, aptly named “Clickity-Clacks.” And a very conversational babble that she exchanges with her array of black and white stuffed animals on her changing table: Mortimor the Sheep, Zach the Zebra, and Gertrude the Cow.

Yesterday, while on the phone with a friend, Addison was lying on her play mat gazing blissfully at the spread of bug stuffed animals dangling above her. As I was speaking, her sweet conversational babble turned into loud, pointed barking/squawking noises. It sounded like a gaggle of geese were being tortured by a hound dog in my living room. So loud, in fact, that my friend asked quizzically, “Is that the baby in the background? Good Lord she’s loud.”

And that’s when it struck me. My daughter has already picked up on her mommy’s most distinctive of traits. Her exceedingly elevated volume. And not only has she noticed it, she is now competing for the prize of being the most obnoxious sound in the room. That squawk/bark was her mocking mimicking her dear mother. And all this time I’d naively thought that since she had grown in my belly, constantly surrounded by the roar hum of my voice, she would be the one person on earth that would find me soothing, peaceful and relaxing to the ear. My family and friends and poor poor James have all just had to adapt and learn the damn hand signals, but my daughter would be different. My voice would be like the seductive, pleasant song of the Sirens to her.

Alas, it looks like the war of the opinionated, vocal, first born women has already commenced. Bring it on, Little Bug.

Our little T-Rex

t rex

Yesterday, mommy and baby shared bath time. This precious photo was snapped just moments before she pooped in her bath bag. (I blame myself, I should have known better than to leave the bazooka uncovered for even a mere five minutes). I’m just grateful this event didn’t occur while sharing communal bath water.

She looks a bit like a baby T Rex here since her monster hands can’t fit through the wrist holes. I find it all quite fitting as I’ve taken to calling her my baby dinosaur, particularly in the morning, when she’s ravenously hungry and cooing at my boob like a velociraptor. Trust me, her morning feed feels just as pleasant as it sounds.


I guess tummy time isn’t so bad when there is this delicious cow for me to nibble on.


Food for thought.

Should never makes claims such as “I’ve never experienced a blow out in cloth diapers” and post it on the Internet because inevitably the next day, will experience such an occurrence, in my lap, on the baby’s cutest of cute WHITE outfits and will find myself up to my elbows in yellow poo.

Lesson learned.


Now I’m someone who proudly rocks some junk in my trunk, but the Bug has taken it to all new levels.


You see, while I was pregnant I made the decision that I would be a cloth diapering Mama (remember how I run this little eco-biz with my sis?! The COOLEST reusable bag on the block?! And how if you don’t own one already, you’re missing out on the fun and should get on that!? And, BYOB while you’re at it.)

Enough with the shameless plug. What I’m getting at is that babies are highly UNsustainable critters, and disposable diapers are one of the leading reasons for their monsterous carbon footprint. In thinking about ways to have my child only imprint on the world like Uzebekistan rather than oh say, the United Arab Emirates, (so much waste for such a teeny weeny country) cloth diapering seemed like a brilliant option. I mean poop is poop, right? Whether it’s shit that festers in a landfill or shit that gets thrown in a washing machine. (Man, I seem to be constantly talking about bowel movements. Telling of motherhood, but I’ll try to switch it up in future posts).

I wish I could claim I was one of those HARDCORE households that launders all the dirty diapers myself, but alas, hardcore I am not. We use a local diaper service, and even so, it is STILL less expensive than if I had to buy the standard Kilimanjaro-sized stack of ‘sposes that my wee one would require over her diaper wearing years. James is proud that we’ll now only go into marginal rather than astronomical debt.

Sunny Tush

Thus far I HEART cloth diapering. My girl’s bum looks just delectable in those cute cute covers and, and I’ve never EVER experienced a blow out while she’s in cloth. Amen! (This post references experiences in disposables when mommy wasn’t on top of the laundry. Karma’s a bitch).

Unfortunately, I woke up swimming in a Lake Eerie sized pool of urine the other morning because apparently the Bug’s bladder is now capable of holding liquid in her system for more than a mere ten minutes at a time. So now she floods her diapers, and the piss leaks onto the edges of the cover, which then pools on her clothes and anything else in its path. The solution? To fill the cover with a stack, literally a mountain, of cloth diapers (Have I mentioned my theories on the baby/diaper industry conspiracy?) Like I said, Karma’s a bitch. I had to rock a pad the size of Texas after she had me squeeze her out of my vag, and now she must do likewise. Her rump is so round and fluffy. It’s a good thing she can’t stand yet because she’d certainly fall over from the weight of her tush. It does come in handy as a shelf for her rattles and other baby necessities.

I think Sir Mix-a-lot would be proud.

Badonkadonk baby

Not again.

Seriously, mom? More of this nonsense?

Daily dose 2

I couldn’t resist. The hair is fairly epic today thanks to falling asleep on her side in a pool of breast milk. It’s like styling product a la Something About Mary.

P.m.S. I shall be providing a Daily Dose of Sunshine thanks to my Sunny Bug as it will ensure I take enough photos of her to fill a small submarine or crash my hard drive. Both brilliant goals to which to aspire. Given that we live in LA with our daily dose of Vitamin D, I figured I should share the Sun with all of you. Although, Sunny may not do as many wonders for your bones, she will put a smile on your face, and that’s gotta count for something.

Proud owner of a Bazooka.

My husband likes to shoot guns. Not at a shooting range, rather out in the open field, directed at small, woodland critters. Yes, as in things die at the mercy of his hand. (I know, you’re thinking, how on earth can I love such a monster!?) He grew up doing this. I begrudgingly accept this as a part of our marriage. The first time James placed a shot gun in my hands, however, I had my first and only panic attack to date. Never again will he attempt such a foolish thing. I’ve come to understand that a dead bear or two will appear on the porch during our Thanksgiving holidays with his family, just as he’s come to accept that madras, seersucker, and popped collars will be present at any and all of my family’s gatherings. This is what marriage is all about. Putting up with the other person’s bullshit.

My one stipulation regarding the whole likes-to-shoot-guns-thing has been that guns shall never be housed in our home. At his family’s lodge at their Hunting and Fishing Club? Fine. That seems appropriate. But NOT under the roof where our sweet  baby girl sleeps.

Little did we know that said baby girl would in fact be her own weapon. Our very own poop-shooting little Bazooka. The first night we brought her home from the hospital we had yet to experience the magic of her canon-esque buttocks. Up until then, I’d felt like Br’er Rabbit swimming in black-tar-filled diapers (otherwise known as meconium), but nothing was catapulting out of that area until we were left to fend for ourselves outside the hospital walls. My clearest memory from that hazy first week home was one morning at 4 o’clock, James was standing at the changing table dealing with yet another dirty diaper (I swear babies must own stock in the diaper industry), when I hear a “HOLY HELL!” as my daughter rockets poop across the changing table and clears the diaper pail.

That was just the beginning. We’ve learned to race to cover her rump with a fresh diaper during each changing, for if left hanging in the breeze, we have a bazooka on our hands. Fully locked and loaded. Her favorite time to let loose is while she’s eating. In one end, out the other. It’s ever so flattering to be providing my child with her life’s sustenance, FROM MY BOOB, to have her pause, hold her breath, bear down, turn bright red, and FIRE IN THE HOLE right on my lap. She even manages to squeeze out a grunt, as though she’s dropping a major dooce like a dirty, old man. It’s even better when she blows out the diaper. Especially when we’re breastfeeding by the side of the road in a very public neighborhood of Ocean Beach in San Diego. I love being covered head-to-toe in drippy, yellow baby poop with my bare boob leaking breast milk while surrounded by tanned, chiseled, gorgeous surfers. Love.

There are times when I’ll turn to my husband accusingly after hearing an audible ass explosion, only to have him redirect my gaze towards our cherubic 10 lb infant.

This morning was a particular treat. You see, Sunny and I snuggle in bed together each day after James leaves for work. There’s ample space so that I don’t have to lie in panic that one of us is going to roll over and smother her to death. It is usually quite a sweet, Kodak affair, filled with rainbows and puppies and lollipops. So there I am, blissfully curled up next to my precious, sleepy daughter gazing in awe at her every perfect feature, studying each finger, each earlobe, inhaling that delicious baby scent, when BAM! The bed is literally shaken by her eurpting rumpus. She has started yet another California earthquake, and we are now both lying in her baby feces. Good morning to me!

The best part of waking up is with an ass hiccup! <sung to the tune of the Folger’s coffee diddy>

Somebody loves tummy time


tummy time rage

I keep explaining that tummy time does wonderful things for her development, but she’ll have none of it. So irrational, I tell ya. Already my little rebel. I mean, just check out that punk rocker hair!

punk rocker

Say Anything.

The last time I took a leisurely bubble bath complete with candles, face masque and soothing-Enya-esque music was at 7:30 am, Sunday, May 17th, 2009. Why, you ask, do I remember this event so vividly? It is because on that morning I awoke to the lovely, searing pain of labor contractions signaling that this would be my last moment, for quite some time, that I would be able to indulge in such a luxury. So indulge I did (except every 9 minutes for 30-45 seconds when another contraction would strike). I read trashy magazines, shaved my legs, and splashed blissfully in those rosey-scented bubbles as I braced myself for months without such deliciousness.

Fast forward ten weeks later, and here we are, and until yesterday evening I had not in fact taken such a glorious bath since my daughter’s birth. My hubs must have sensed my growing anxiety over my mother’s departure, what with my little blow out claiming that he was an insensitive ass and he was leaving me ALL ALONE, hear me, ALL ALONE, to raise our daughter! Reality check: He is, in fact, one of the most attentive men I’ve ever met and he is neither a donkey nor is he flying the coop. He works a standard 9-5 while I waste away all of our  life savings and drive us into horrendous amounts of debt studying for my Masters degree. And no, not in a practical field that will guarantee I earn back the hundreds of thousands of dollars I’ve spent intellectually masturbating for two years. A degree in ART! PUBLIC ART! Whew! Just had to get that off my chest.

Anyway, where was I? Right, he sensed I was anxious. After dinner, he strapped the baby to his chest and wrangled our bouncing, whining, desperate-for-attention retriever onto a leash and headed to the park so I could have some “me time.” I walked into the bathroom and there, lit by the side of the bath tub, was my favorite cassis scented candle. A simple message left from James: “For the love of God, get in the tub woman and BITCH BE COOL!” And get in the tub I did. And bitch be cool I was. I have never enjoyed a bath more thoroughly.

I don’t think I’ve experienced anything so romantic since I was an EMO nineteen year old and my HMS* boyfriend threw rose petals around my dorm room for our what, two week anniversary? Needless to say, my roommate was less than pleased but I sure did feel like I had Lloyd Dobbler standing outside my window with a boom box blaring “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel. Unfortunately for me and the HMS-BF, we did not work out like Lloyd and Diane Court. He was six inches shorter than me (mind you, I am SIX FEET TALL, a moose if you will), but I should have known it was destined for failure from the start. I can’t compete with a man who weeps as much as I do all while clad in a leather jacket and gel-slicked hair standing just below my chin. Cannot compete.

So James turned out to be my Lloyd, and while I’ve been waiting for it for almost six years, his boom box moment was yesterday, with the simplicity of a lit candle.

I didn’t know I could love someone this much.

*HMS also known as Hispanic Male Syndrome: A condition afflicting Latino males that causes them to overly emote in ways comparable to an angsty, love-sick, sixteen year old female.

Big, beautiful lips.

Everyone, meet Thorny. He has big beautiful lips.


For those of you that are Super Trooper aficionados like my husband, you will understand this inane reference.

Thorny was the first gift I bestowed upon James back when we were first dating and he was a red-faced, frequently-intoxicated, young lad that might find humor in such a present. The red-faced part hasn’t changed much nor the maturity of his humor. Regardless, until today, Thorny had not played much of a role in our lives beyond being a silly, honey-moon-stage present that induced nostalgia and little else. He has been buried in the back of our closet for the majority of his “life.”

For whatever reason, this evening James decided to pull him out of the closet and make kissy noises as he placed those big, beautiful lips on Addison’s bare belly, post-bath time.

The noise that came out of the Bug’s mouth in response to Thorny’s introduction in her life was by far the most beautiful, joyful sound to ever hit my ears. The sound of her laughing. Big bellied, open-mouthed, chuckling.

From henceforth, Thorny shall be my most favorite stuffed animal and his primary colors shall proudly clash against the walls of the pink and pastel clad nursery. There shall forevermore be a special place in my heart for dear Thorny.