Monday, July 28, 2008

Six Months

My baby girl is six months old. She is no longer a blob. She has a personality (oh well she always had personality but now it is more like Personality). She has things to tell you. Sometimes she tells you in Dolphin Shriek but she gets her point across.
She has three teeth which she will not show you willingly but pop out when she grins. Her eyes are still crystal blue. Her hair is blond and red and black. All of them at once. Her cheeks are so rosy it looks like I make her up with blush. Her cheeks hang low like a hound dog. I find it impossible to not to much them like popcorn. Impossible to walk past her without breathing in that baby smell and kissing the top of her head.
She can sit up by herself, for minutes at a time, before toppling over like a tower of blocks. She likes to fling her rings around. She can pull herself forward on her belly like a centipede. She sits in her excersaucer (which I call the office) doing very Important Work. It is like she is a tiny executive making deals, ruling the economies of small countries, the usual. And every once in a while she will cackle and flash a look like "this shit doesn't happen on it's OWN Mama." Some one has to press the music buttons on that fucker over and over until my eyeballs pop out I guess.
She loves to eat. Anything. She will slam back her bottle in a technique I am sure will serve her well in college though I hope she will be able to hold it on her own more gracefully by them. She eats fruits, veggies, rice cereal and oatmeal with gusto. She will grin while eating and let it spill out all over. She will howl with outrage if you do not shovel it in fast enough. After a good meal she will rub her belly and bliss out for a few minutes.
My whole world is different and I cannot even remember life before Mo (ok there was sleep I do remember the sleep). I feel like the cheesiest cheese because it is like some one cranked up the color on my world. I go to sleep at night (eventually) with purpose.
To sleep that sweet baby head.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What We Didn't Know In 1996

When I was eighteen I worked for an internet startup. No one I knew really used the internet for much other than email at that point, and maybe AOL chat. I remember I frequented the Seattle Times BBS and it was like ten dollars a year or something.

My company was basically one that made webpages but marketed itself like Amway and was seriously one of the weirdest places ever to work. I was eighteen though and didn't know things. My almost thirty year old self wants to back in time and kick some serious ass because that shit was fucked up and some one needs to tell those people that.

This was before the internet boom and before most people had figured out how to make money using the internet but everyone just knew that they could. It was before blogging or wikipedia. It was before GOOGLE. I used the internet all the time back then but I never imagined all of the ways it would infultrate my life. I don't think any of us could image this back then.

I realized today that I use the internet for all kinds of things. Banking, shopping, Boggle, time wasting, communicating with my family, business, research of countless things. I mean what did we do prior to IMDB? Thanks to the internet you can find out which actress was in that one scene in that one movie and not obsess about it until three in the morning.

I even get recipes from the internet. But not from foodie sites. I just pick them up from blogs I read, I am currently obsessed with some carrots that I got from the comments from some one's blog post. This is the part of the internet that I wish my mother and my grandmother could enjoy. Sort of a virtual neighborhood recipe exchange. Or a place where moms worry about their babies sleep habits. Or exchange pictures. Or tips on where to find the best deals on baby shoes.

I suppose my grandmother in particular actually had a real community that provided some of that support. And now I have it too. Even at 2am.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The New Jan Brady

This is me on Mother's Day (no one else cares but I am having myself a little moment about posting my face here--I've put J and the baby up without a pause but ME? so anyway this is me). And up until yesterday my hair looked pretty much like this. Very long, very blond and wavy. Actually this is the good version of my hair, on most days it was really a ponytail. I don't think it looks BAD here by any means but it wasn't so faboo.

And this is my hair now (not the best picture and please forgive the period induced clusterfuck on my chin). I actually love it, it is more flattering than it appears here, much more professional and if this photo hadn't been taken after a very long day it makes me look younger and more awake. All smoke and mirrors but hell I will take smoke and mirrors.

J seems neutral about it but all other responses have been overwhelmingly positive. Which is crazy since people really liked the long hair and whined excessively when I said I was going to cut it. I had nice hair but it wasn't anything special and it was all you saw. But now I am more than just three feet of blond hair. Though dude I need to be wearing some makeup given that chin.

I do feel a little cliched, given that I have an infant and am turning thirty in a couple of weeks. But I also feel free. I was more than a little tired of even blow drying all that hair (let alone styling it which face it, did not happen so often). I was also starting to feel ridiculous, like I was trying to rock high school girl hair more than a decade after high school. This is the kind of style that can look casual or dressy, fun or professional. And I really hope it doesn't scream MOMMY.

What is amazing to me is how many women told me I was "brave" and how they wished they had the courage. It is not brave to cut your hair! It doesn't hurt and it will always grow back. I understand how important good hair is (it's an accessory you wear every day) but that is why it has to be something you love, not something you are afraid to change. I will try to post another picture that doesn't make me look all crazy eyed but I love my new hair.

And hopefully you do too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Not Again

In the past week I have worked eight days, close to eighty hours (plus commuting). By the end I was a stringy haired, sallow skinned, broken out, weepy goddamn mess. This is my least favorite week of the year, it's a crazy time for work and in this current economic environment it is just ugly. Do not let Fox News or anyone else tell you that the economy is healthy because god it is scary out there.

Today I rested. Shopped with my mother. And cutoff all my hair (this is it's own post but it is ALL GONE y'all).

In a couple of weeks I turn thirty and y'all I feel it (and lord how much of a cliche am I to hack off my hair six months after having a baby and right before turning thirty?). I just cannot do this shit without losing my mind anymore. My feet are swollen like little sausages, my skin is all rough and horrifying. Everything hurts. At night I get MoMo to bed and just collapse. I feel like an old woman. I am promising myself never again. This I am not doing again.

I just have to figure out what to do instead.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Slow Down

Baby girl really wants to crawl. I am afraid that she will do it soon too. This has happened before--she taught herself to hold her head up fairly early. She just wanted to do it and did nothing else until she figured out. She has wanted to stand for weeks. She now lays on her stomach, frantically pushes her legs and scoots along--crashing her chin periodically and making a noise like she swallowed a parakeet.

It's actually pretty cute.

And alarming.

I have done nothing to childproof this house. We have all kinds of heavy things to pull down and exposed outlets and dust bunny/dog hair blobs. I'd really like her to be the kind of baby that chills out for a couple of more months.

Grow some hair darling. Enjoy the naps. No need to rush into mobility. I am really not equipped to deal with it anyway.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

And Try to Forget That Today Ever Happened

Today was . . . not good. Baby is working on another goddamn tooth and she was so very screamy. She screamed for two hours this morning until I got her to nap. She woke up and was happy for about ten minutes and screamed some more. She screamed at my dad who came up to visit. She screamed at J when he finished up the yard.

Some of it was good natured and she was pretty upbeat. But she needed a lot of distraction so that she wouldn't wig out again.

I got a headache (naturally) we turned into a migraine. And somewhere this afternoon I turned into a big dry heaving vomiting thing.

The child charmed her way back into the will by being pleasant during our (oh I admit it early) bedtime routine. And then she passed out. GOD I LOVE HER.

Am going to take a couple of Tylenol PMs and try to sleep.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Same Old Shit

My MIL and I communicate primarily through my husband. This isn't quite as horrifying as it sounds as we rarely see each other. We have a weird baby wrangling schedule so he is the one here when she gets here in the morning (I am already at work) and he is the one that relieves her in the afternoons (and he goes back to work when I get home). This has resulted in some seriously passive aggressive shit going back and forth without me really knowing if she is being passive aggressive. Is she asking about fucking JUICE BOTTLES again because J didn't really tell her clearly last time? Or is she being annoying about wanting to give the kid juice even though she knows I don't want her to? Is she being as judging as I think she is? Or just clueless? Sometimes it is hard to parse the intent through J.

Our arrangement . . .is working. I know everyone expects me to be gushing with gratitude and feel so lucky and sometimes I do. But sometimes I wish the kid was in day care. Because day care would do what I wanted and if they wouldn't I could do something about the attitude. But with her I can't really, it is more delicate than that. And while I do think she takes excellent care of my baby, and loves her more than anything, there is a lot that comes with this arrangement that is challenging for me.

She refers to my daughter as "her baby." And has made comments that she is raising her. J thinks that these are a joke and no big deal but they make me seethe with rage. Rage I am not allowed to express. Because those dark weeks after the baby was born (and really prior to the birth) are a bruise in my marriage that is still too tender to rub. I think J is perfection in a bottle but he is not so supportive of me in the face of his mother. Maybe I wouldn't be either if the situation were reversed--I have no idea. But I am Mo's mother and really I would like my MIL to back off. But our situation is so intimate I don't think she can. SO . . .that is not so perfect.

She ignores some of the things I want. Even though I have been assured repeatedly that whatever I want is great. That is really whatever I want that she agrees with. So I say not to push foods and she proudly talks about tricking the baby into eating. I say let her figure out her own way and she insists that it is time to eat. I say STOP CALLING MY BABY FAT and she calls her Fatty Patty. I believe that maybe we are not interpreting "whatever you want" in the same language.

I feel like I have gotten better about this issue, and try to appreciate my MIL for who she is. And she does an amazing job with my daughter. But man, I just feel so judged by her all the time. J claims she isn't doing it but it feels like she is. Maybe I am projecting onto her? I just wish that she would back off, really accept the difference between Grandma and Mama. I wish that she would stop claiming success for everything the baby does (she rolled over because I taught her, she eats because I made her, she got teeth because I invented TEETH)--Mo is doing these things because she is growing up and trying so hard and man she deserves all the credit (my MIL does the same thing with her boys too--everything they do is because of her and man do I have to bite my tongue).

I should probably stop worrying about her and move on. Nothing is going to change. And in a few months this arrangement will be over.

And I will probably miss her.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Why I Do Not Cut Myself A Break

I am struggling right now with my body image. I think the high of not being pregnant anymore and the initial rush of being so much smaller so quickly has worn off. My body is not the same, and while I really did not expect it to be I guess maybe in the back of my mind I did.

The worst part is that I don't know if I am being irrational at all. Am I really a lot huger than I was before? No idea. My clothes fit but differently. Things hang and drape where they didn't before. I feel wide. I feel ungainly. It is not unlike being thirteen and growing six inches in a year and just not knowing what to do with myself.

The baby is only five months old and if I were anyone else I would cut myself a huge break. But I cannot seem to. I had planned to get my act together about this shit before I had a daughter because even though she doesn't understand me at all I can feel her eyes on me. I do not want her to feel this way about herself.

I do not know what to do. I suppose just mindfuck it to death and feel bad about myself and then somehow accept things. I could get off my ass and change some things but I do not think that is going to happen.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Fourth

I hate the goddamn Fourth of July.

Before you hit send on that anti-AB email I have nothing against days off of work and barbecues but I really fucking hate fireworks.

I never got the bug on fireworks. I don't even really enjoy the big shows (they are usually dull) but at least they are safe. I really hate the home fireworks.

On our street is an apartment building that even the city admits was a mistake. It is a multi-unit building on a small street with only historical homes. I have nothing against renters but the ones that this building attracts are just awful. They are loud--they sit in their cars at the curb with the music blasting loud at all hours (I actually had a confrontation with one at 5:30 on a Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago that began with my head exploding and screeching "ARE YOU HIGH?"). Their kids run in the street and in all of the yards. The speed down the street (which is very short and a dead end). It's just a frustrating situation.

So right now there is a whole group of them on the street, drunk, with loud music and setting off fireworks. Into the woods behind the neighborhood. With kids running around.

Under the best of circumstances fireworks stress me out. In the hands of drunks and kids I am hiding in my bedroom self medicating with Diet Coke and Vanilla Sandwich cookies.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


We took the girl to the zoo last weekend and if you had met my mother you would realize it is amazing that she hadn't been eighty-seven times already. It was the perfect Seattle summer day--a little hot for me (because I am week like that) but sunny and lovely and I think every family in the Northwest headed to the zoo.

Mo was not that interested in the animals but just adored being carried about by Grandma and Grandpa. She was also thrilled to be riding facing forward in the stroller.

One of the happiest surprises that we've found with the baby is how everyone just relaxes around her. My parents were there, J's mom was there and we all just strolled around with the baby. We all just want to take everything in through her eyes. My nature is not to take time and breathe it in but she makes me slow down.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Best overheard conversation EVER:

"Is that Jennifer Lopez?!"
"No. Hell no."
"That is her. I just know it. That is J-LO!"
"No. Her booty is the wrong size. And where are the twins?"
"I just knew her hair was a weave!"

This went on and on and on between this girl and her boyfriend in the cosmetics section of a department store. The great part? Neither of them noticed that they were really looking at a drag queen.