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Month: September, 2009

Because mom’s such a feminist.

We’re clearly all about gender neutral ensembles. Like this one, for example. There’s plenty of ambiguity.

Pink

Um, or not.

My course titled Sex and Gender may have something to say about the ways in which I am socializing my child to adhere to stereotypically feminine characteristics.

Pink, pink, pink, pink.

So much for gender neutral.

I am a terrible feminist.

The Lord of the babies is smiling upon us.

Apparently, James and I have been slipping sedatives in the Bug’s vitamin doing something right, as the past two night’s the Bug has slept 10+ hours STRAIGHT! As in, IN A ROW! CONSECUTIVELY! WITHOUT INTERRUPTION! NO CRYING! NO FEEDING! NO MIDNIGHT POOP SESSIONS!

Holy hell, I could weep with joy but I am far too well rested to lose such emotional control. I don’t know what to do with myself. Seriously. I keep starring at James all, Is this the dawning of a new era? Am I in a sleep-deprived induced haze and blacking out the hourly wake ritual to which I’ve become so accustomed? He swears I’m not.

He’s clearly wasted from sleep deprivation, but I’ll play along.

Unfortunately, because I’m so accustomed to waking up with some frequency during the night, my body still brings me to consciousness despite the dearth of baby cries. At which point, I am CONVINCED that the baby is dead, because why the hell else would the house be so quiet at 2:30 in the morning?! I demand that James get up and check on her, because I’m in no emotional condition to find her lifeless little body. I kick him out of bed, and he repeatedly shuffles back into our room after rounds in the nursery and mumbles, She’s still asleep, like I should be. And sometimes I hear, Stop being so damn crazy muttered under his breath as he doses back off before I force the same routine in another hour.

I am so totally awesome to live with. No seriously, who wants to trade places with James? LUCKIEST MAN ALIVE, I tell ya.

He has probably posted an ad on craigslist: Desperate, exhausted man seeks individual with a few screws loose to tolerate crazy, irrational woman  during the evening hours. Email if interested.

The greatest thing about this new routine is that she is the happiest baby on earth when she awakes. She doesn’t cry or fuss. We find her in her crib, wide-eyed, happy, rainbows shooting out of her ass. She’s that freaking happy.

So THIS is what being well-rested feels like?! AMAZING!

rested

Just wait, tonight I will regret EVER putting this post out into the world of the Internets. Bracing myself for ZERO hours of sleep.

A post all about me. If you want to see the baby, I suggest you check back another day. Thanks. Mkay. Bye bye.

So I mentioned that my hair has slowly (okay, RAPIDLY) been falling out. This process began about two weeks ago, and while I’ve been in denial, this week has forced me to face the hard truth- I am a postpartum woman, going bald. GOD THESE HORMONES ARE AWESOME! And so I present…

You know it’s time to shave your head when:

1. You realize that the tumble weeds of hair strewn about the house are YOURS not the dog’s; the dog that sheds as though it were summer 365 days a year.

2. You have to pull a three foot strand of hair out of your infant’s mouth as though you were a magician- WHOA WHOA WHOA! Look what she’s got stored in her folks!– because it is so long that she face plants into it whenever she’s on your shoulder, and then tugs it out with her ninja death grip, and promptly shoves it into her mouth as though it were a nipple or something equally delectable. But it’s hair. So it’s gross. And stringy. And causes much gagging. Baby gagging. The most pathetic kind. Having a strand of hair, or spaghetti, or melted cheese stuck down the food pipe is the WORST! Ewww. I’m getting the chills just thinking about it. My poor child has had to contend with that awful sensation at such an early age. Fucking hair. Corrupting my child.

3. After combing your hair, your brush looks like it’s been in a fight with a hair ball. Or like a bird might want to make a lovely nest among its bristles. In fact, I could house an entire nation of birds thanks to this shedding and the piles of hair now in the trash. I’ll donate it to the bird homeless. Because I’m just THAT kind of humanitarian, er aviatarian? Question mark?

4. One of your favorite bloggers makes the decision to chop her hair 5-months post-childbirth and in addition to learning from her near-infant-toe-lopping-mishap that hair is dangerous for babies, comparable to light sockets, scissors and fluffy crib bedding ALL IN ONE!, your first thought is, That woman is a fucking genius. Seriously, the Einstein of our time! BRILLIANT! Why didn’t I think of that!?

5. Your child sends chunky, projectile spit up directly into your pony tail, COATING your coiffe in a consistency comparable to bird shit. And when your husband walks into the room because he hears you wailing, OH JESUS! I’M GOING TO PUKE ON THE BABY! GET HER OFF ME! and finds you drowning in her vomit, he says, Yeah, it’s time.

And so, today, I marched down the street and walked into a salon and stated, CHOP IT! with much gusto. It was a little awk since I hadn’t made an appointment, and I stood there brazenly like a queen making a declaration to her public all the while wreaking of sour milk. You see, I had merely rinsed the spit up from my locks the night previously because I just did NOT have the energy to actually wash my entire head. Just the thought pains me, it is so exhausting. The hair stylist seemed to take it in stride, probably sensing my sleep-deprived desperation (or because she was terrified of what the crazy, smelly lady might do) and saw me immediately.

I may have pulled a Madame Defrage and menacingly rubbed my palms together while chanting, Guillotine, guillotine, guillotine, as the hairdresser took her scissors to my locks. Maybe. Perhaps.

DON’T JUDGE ME! Tale of Two Cities is James’ favorite book. I’m not the Dickens nut, he is. I’m just a nut.

Clearly.

And now I can’t stop bouncing around with my fresh, new do. Such relief! Literally, the weight differential is astonishing. I can’t wait to step on the scale tomorrow. Easiest diet move, E-V-E-R.

I am re-energized. Like, I might even be able to brave the shower today. Astounding, I know.

Presenting the new-do, and my bathroom glamor shot because I am one classy bitch.

hair

Darwin had it all wrong.

Last week I would describe as a “good” week. Generally speaking, the Bug was a happy little babe, decent nap schedule, nursing from the natural nips like a champ, playing contentedly solo. I was finally developing a rhythm with school and mommydom. Nights were rough, but they’re always rough. I give last week five stars.

This week? Not. So. Much.

It all started this weekend when I managed to acquire a tan (okay, burn) on my person that perpetually reminds me of my failed attempts at exercise. You see, James entertains the wee one on the weekends so I can tackle my school work, free from the stress of the week when I’m a slave to her unpredictable nap schedule. I had about 400 pages of reading to accomplish for the week, and rather than hole up in the library, I decided to lounge bikini-style in the privacy of my fenced-in backyard. Why else do we pay the 8.75% sales tax if not to enjoy this land of sun? (JESUS CHRIST WE PAY SO MUCH MONEY ALL IN THE NAME OF A FUTURE LIFE WITH SKIN CANCER!)

ANYWAY! Hours later, after remaining essentially stationery with my tummy facing the sun, in a rather relaxed, lounge pose (I could just hear my mother, Sit up straight. Stop slouching!), I ventured into the house for a potty break. I  came face-to-face with my mirror image, and lo and behold, my stomach looked like a cracked out zebra. Cherry red lines flanked by stripes of pale, pale, sunless skin. These pasty lines were a result of  where my post-preggo belly fat had folded over and hidden the skin beneath from the fate of cancery-cancer (and yes, I did sport SPF 50, but clearly should have re-applied). Seriously?! SERIOUSLY?! Yeah, I know that I have yet to exercise and tighten the pouch- I DIDN’T REQUIRE FURTHER REMINDER. Ball sack. Or rather, saggy tummy sack.

To top it off, the Bug has become a total fuss-bucket on the boob. Apparently let-down is now far too slow for her impatient little mind. She’s got a whole world to explore, y’all. She can’t be bothered with aimlessly sucking on the tit for no juice. So she squirms, and stiffens her body, and arches her back, and turns bright red with fury. It’s just a barrel of monkeys.

But because she throws in the towel, she’s consistently ornery from being consistently dissatisfied. And this dissatisfaction causes her to use that baby squawk with such force that I want to gauge out my ears with dull, rusty scissors or remove my inner ear with an ice cream scoop. These options would be less abrasive than the  squeal. Promise. Would it be wrong if I ball-gagged my baby? Yes? Really? Okay then. NOTED!

Oh and my hair is falling out. One of the many joys of postpartum life. Like in clumps. Cat hair ball like clumps that roll around my house like tumble weeds. At least when I get cancer I’ll be totally used to life bald.

And it’s supposed to be in the triple digits again tomorrow, so while the baby will be miserable, my bare head will keep me cool. Snaps!

But my god, is she not the cutest little dumpling? When she snuggles up like this, all the chaos and frustration just melts away. It’s not survival of the fittest, it’s survival of the cutest. I almost forget how crazy loud she is. Almost.

mommy sunny

P.m.S. Those are the final remnants of my fair, flowing locks. It’s going away by the handful. I see a date with my hairdresser in the future. Or a wig. That too.

4 months.

Oh my Squawky-McSquawkerton,

This month has been filled with momentous occasion after momentous occasion. Namely, the following two events:

A. The loss of the damn nipple shield, the revival of my fair-lady-nips, and the hosing of your face with my bodily fluids (far more frequently than you will ever care to know about).

and B. The discovery of your voice in a truly powerful and relentless capacity. Just yesterday, at the grocery store, you were snuggled in the Sleepy Wrap chirping away, and I could see faces darting out from behind the aisles, Brady Bunch style, to catch a glance of whatever creature was causing such a racket. Just my musical (I use that term loosely) babe. No geese torture. Promise.

This budding voice is just one piece of your ever-developing personality and independence. Each day, you are more and more comfortable playing and being a part of the world all on your own. You sit contentedly in your BUMBO chair, or do tummy time on your surfboard mat, or lie on your back gazing at your mobile without needing Mommy or Daddy right at your side. You now ride silently in your car seat, absorbing the world flashing by your window. Walks in the stroller ease you into a delirious, dazed state of quiet. And just the other morning, we crept into the nursery to check on you because it was far later than your usual waking hour, and there you were, wide-eyed, awake, and smiling. Happily enjoying the morning hour in your princess crib, without making a peep to disturb your sleepy parents.

And my god that smile, you could light up the city of Los Angeles with that joyous expression. You beam at any human face that meets your eye, and Ursa, your crazy, wonderful puppy, brings you unmatched delight. You’ve finally begun to register her presence, and whenever she approaches, you’re entire person lights up and begins quaking with excitement. Ursa meets you with equal enthusiasm (read: slobbery dog kisses) but it doesn’t seem to phase you in the least.

You shove, everything, literally, EVERYTHING, you can get those bitty hands on, into that wee mouth of yours, making cleanliness a challenging task. Rattles, blankies, daddy’s shoulder, Ursa’s tail, mommy’s iPhone, your stuffed animals, the kitchen sink during bathtime- nothing is off limits.

And oh boy, bath time is more of a party than I could have ever imagined for such a tiny person. You do your epic stomp, and splash oceans of water all over the kitchen tiles, which Ursa proceeds to joyfully walk through, leaving muddy pawprints in her wake. You place your hands under the flowing faucet, and slurp happily on your soapy mitts as Daddy suds you up. You become relaxed to such a degree that it is not unusual to see bubbles rise to the surface thanks to your erupting bum. Yeah, you’re a tub tooter.

Your hair is as wild as ever. Like Christian from Project Runway. Flipped up in the most random and ridiculous of states- every 20-something year old hipster on the USC campus has expressed their jealousy. You’re blonder by the day- and sweat buckets if the house ever gets too stuffy- I’m just waiting for your face to turn an epic shade of red- you are your Daddy’s girl.

You are days away from rolling over with purpose, and for now just keel yourself onto your side to gaze at your latest tacky toy, THE BABBLER (thank you Momar, the French teacher, for bringing yet another creepy, albeit educational, addition to the nursery), or to stretch for a fuzzy rattle out of reach. It’s especially amusing when you sleep and are wrapped up as our tight little burrito (limbless when it comes to being able to support yourself), and you still choose to balance precariously on your side. Sometimes you falter, and wind up falling flat on your face, which causes a great ruckus of discontent. Other times, my little glow worm, you squirm and wiggle around the periphery of your crib with such determination despite your constrained appendages, and wind up pressed against the crib bumpers. I’ve seen you snuggle with them contentedly, but also wail and scream with fury when they impede further mobility.

Mostly, you are happy. A happy, sweet, LOUD little baby who makes your parents hearts filled with more joy than even your 1,000 watt smile can emit. Your new, gloriously responsible, babysitter agrees. Which may be a brilliant ploy to win the favor of her new employers, but it works. And we love her for loving you.

Just today, you fell asleep in my arms and rather than scoop you up and place you in your swing (a daily effort to salvage a few moments to myself), I decided to just stay. And sit. And rock. And I savored every second of that hour that you slept. Every beautiful speck of you. Slurping like a sucker fish mid-dream, sighing peacefully, smiling blissfully, cheek pressed against my skin. All the while your anemone fingers clinging to my thumb with such purpose. Just a typical Friday afternoon was utterly transformed by your slumber.

Sitting there in your pajamas & all the time in the world & if I could keep any moment it would be this: watching you & holding my breath with the wonder of it all.

-Story People

Happy Four Months, little one.

143 Mama

Grown Ass Adults Throwing Tomatoes

Once upon a time, on the property of a hunting and fishing club nestled in the woods of the Pocono Mountains, a group of adults ventured out into this land to engage in an epic battle. They were divided into two armies. One troop donned the color Red and the other Black. They crawled, trekked, and marched through the acres of this property to meet in ultimate combat. Their weapon? Tomatoes.

This tradition has continued for over 75 years.

I married into this.

I kid you not.

This was the first year since I started dating James that I have not fought in the Labor Day Tomato War at his family’s Hunting and Fishing Club. That’s right, I have five years of Red Army battle under my belt. I’m what some might call a tomato-throwing machine. Okay, actually, the first three years I hid in the bushes and wept quietly into their leafy embrace. My fourth year, I finally “killed” someone with my madd tomato throwing skillz (a relatively prominent fighter for the Black Army, I might add) and then last year, my fifth war, exactly six days prior to my wedding day, because Karma’s a bitch, I was beaned IN THE FACE with a less than ripe tomato. That’s right. Black eye for the wedding! Amazing stuff really. And nothing a keg of beer in the common grave couldn’t fix. (Yes, that also exists. Nothing like a cold beer at 10am on Labor Day morn while you lick your tomatoey wounds).

 

 

 

The tradition is ridiculous and wonderful and like Christmas-come-early. Granted, it is yet another example of the strange, bizarre traditions embedded in many an East Coast private club. Literally, grown-ass adults HURLING tomatoes at one another. Strategizing. Planning. Hunting. And then throwing with inappropriate might- at small children- big ol’ tomatoes. Hundreds of preppy white people chanting “KILL THE BLACKS.” Questionable. James’ fam has hosted a token black friend of ours for three wars, and obviously, he fights for the Red Army. Imagine the discomfort of some of the stuffy white folk as he joins in this chant. Or runs around the battle field yelling in the face of the entirely Caucasian legion, Hit me and it’s a hate crime.

Priceless.

When you become a member of the club you are put on either the Red or Black army, and then that is where your family forever stays. Now, as I’ve mentioned, James’ family is on the Red Army, and this goes back to his great-grandfather. Unfortunately for us, the Red Army is made up of women and children (save James and his three brothers) and the Black Army is compiled of big, angry, 20-40 year old men. This means, the Red Army loses. Every. Single. Year. Since the dawn of time. We’re still waiting for the day that all those little girls on the Red Army have big strapping boyfriends to help the cause.

And now the Bug has been born into this losing legacy. I’m sure that the Red Army is thrilled by our contribution of yet another woman and child for their ranks.

Your welcome fellow compatriots.

While we missed this year’s battle (yes, the Red Army lost. Again.), we proudly (and safely) wore our Red Army colors in LA (because we were 3,000 miles away from 40-year-old-tomato-armed-black-army-men).

The Bug, however, did get her first taste of a Black Army assault.

Get used to it kid.

red army ba attack

property of red army

 

Why I married this man.

Because at the end of a very very long day, emails such as this drop into my inbox:

bathtub farts

Scuttle.

Remember when I wrote about the Bug’s developing vocal chords and competitive spirit?

Yeah well, the development continues. See, before, she used to sing out like Scuttle in response to me. Babies are all about mimicry.

But now, oh sweet lord, now that child has discovered that she can squeal and squawk and yell to her heart’s content whenever, and I mean WHENEVER, she damn well pleases.

This discovery came to full fruition yesterday when she spent the entire day testing her vocal capabilities and limits. I feared our windows might shatter in kind.

Of course, yesterday also happened to be the day I decided to drag our asses down to the OC to check out the Orange County Museum of Art. Loud, squawking baby and art museums do not mix.

Everyone kept glaring over at our squealing, babbling child and all I could do was shrug and smile- BECAUSE SHE’S NOT EVEN FOUR MONTHS OLD! It’s not like I can tell her to can it or use my mother’s WASPy trick for regulating behavior in public (arm grab, fold behind back, pull close to person and whisper scathingly, You are embarrassing me.) Subtle? Yes. Terrifying? Double yes. It was enough to shut even my loud-mouth up. Those WASPs know how to getter done.

But she’s still an infant. And thus lacks any and all ability to reason, let alone follow her parents’ requests demands. I’m not gonna lie. It is annoying. A-N-N-O-Y-I-N-G. Although, James doesn’t seem to think so. He’s all, Aw look. She’s communicating! She’s going to be so musical. And when I express my annoyance with her orations, he just laughs and says, Welcome to life with you!

F!

Again, Karma’s a bitch.

For your viewing pleasure (maybe grab some ear plugs).

Hosed.

The Bug and I have been reveling in life sans SUPER NIPPLE! Breastfeeding in public is a breeze. Nighttime feedings far smoother. And my sleep-deprived mind has to keep track of one less thing. Generally speaking, life with natural nips rocks.

However, it has had its fair share of surprises as well.

Take today, for example. The little one was nursing while I was on the phone chatting with my mother. The sound of my voice while the Bug is on boob tends to distract her, thus causing her to peel off the nipple and gaze at me wild eyed all, How dare you interrupt my feeding with that abrasive expression.

Per usual, when I opened my mouth to respond, Sunny abruptly broke the latch and I immediately felt a stream of liquid pooling in my lap. Surprised, given that I no longer have to contend with the fill of the nipple shield, I looked down to see in horror that milk was squirting, nay spraying, nay HOSING the Bug IN THE FACE with the force of a Super Soaker. Literally, liquid shooting horizontally out of the nipple into my child’s eyeballs. Who knew that my tits packed so much punch! She was squinting and flinching and desperately trying to avert the path of the liquid expulsion while I starred in horror at yet one more shocking biological capability of my lactating body.

Yet another party trick I’spose. Oh, you can juggle candlesticks? Do a back flip? Well, I can win a squirt gun fight with my BOOBS! Top that, bitches!

The upside of this little event is that my pal, Jo, filled me in on the following:

Jo tweet

How fortuitous! The Bug just so happens to have conjunctivitis, and we’ve been seriously struggling to get the necessary drops in her I-B-O-L-S. Clearly, this is just a stunning example of my maternal instincts kicking into high gear to remedy the problem.

*snort*

Good thing she has her surfboard playmat to keep her afloat in the event of any future milky floods.

Surfboard

And for the rest of you, please obey the law and park at least ten feet from the hydrant. You’ve been warned.

Bazooka redux.

A couple of days ago I tweeted the following:

Tweet

And this evening, while I was still at school, I received the following email from James:

poop email

I must admit, the ground did not quake at USC from this release. However, James described this event with great enthusiasm when I spoke to him on my drive home.

My arm was covered in poop. DRIPPING! And when I opened the diaper. MAN! It was CHOCK FULL OF SHIT! I mean, coated! Completely covered. Do you understand?! Not an inch was without POOP!

Looks like James’ world was rocked. Say, at least, a magnitude 8.

And, looks like the Bazooka has a new attack method in the form of ammunition containment to truly maximize eruptive impact.