Thursday, January 29, 2009

If I were a superhero, I would certainly wear tights

Because without = chafing

OhHellNoWoman. She glares, she thunders, she sweeps into the room and roars "Oh HELL NO!" Once a more reasoned person, OhHellNoWoman found herself transformed by pregnancy via hormones into some one unable to control herself when it comes to bullshit. The second she smells bullshit she springs into action--swinging her head, squaring her shoulders and bellowing into the fray "OH HELL NO." Her voice paralyzes husbands committing acts of idiocy, frightens customer service agents and terrifies those who seek to wreck havoc with her day. She brings about justice, truth and price adjustments for consumer fraud.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One year

A year ago I was hanging upside down from some sort of wooden bar. Sadly, this is not a chipper tale of a stripper done good. I had been in active labor for almost 24 hours and was doing some bizarre contortions in an effort to Ramona unstuck from my pelvis. This is just as hot and sexy as it sounds. Also dignified.

I was heavily medicated (and thanking the good Lord for it) so I admit the details were vague. Also the ACTIVE LABOR FOR TWENTY FOUR HOURS thing made sleeping a wee bit tough and well yes, the details are hazy. Anyway, we did crazy shit that seemed totally rational at the time that Did Not Work and then they cut me open, gutted me like a fish and out she came (this should all be read with the proper reverence for the birthing of a child).

My baby is going to be one tomorrow y'all.

On one hand, this feels like a tremendous victory for J and I. Not only did we manage to create the family that for a long time we thought would not happen. But we have kept her alive for a whole year! I bet some one had a pool going on that shit. A year later here we are with a healthy, happy child who plays and bleets like a sheep and really likes to take Tupperware out of a drawer. Today she brought me a book to read to her and I am not lying you guys when I tell you that was a real milestone for me. My baby wanted me to read her a story. It was somehow different than when I hold her down before bedtime and force her to listen to the Very Hungry Caterpillar. I wasn't even mad when she wandered off at the end. She did her best.

On the other hand, I am shocked to find myself deeply sad. It is unlikely we will have another child. So while we are entering a whole new era for our family, the baby (real baby) era is ending. And it was too fast. I know that I rocked her in that chair and chanted YOU NEVER HAVE TO DO THIS AGAIN and wow that night was really hard. But I blinked and the whole year was over and . . .I don't even recognize myself. This is not me! I laugh at people like me!

This is what my mother would do OH MY GOD SOME ONE HELP ME.

This year was incredibly hard. I look about a million years older, tireder and sadly fatter. J and I had to work on things that we never struggled with in our marriage before. We are navigating all kinds of boundary issues with our families.

But it has been the best year of my life. I feel closer with J than ever. I feel closer with my parents and his mom and have become a pile of mush (clearly) about how many people love my kid. We are hosting a party for her (for us really) on Saturday--to celebrate us all making it this far. And while I am freaking the fuck out because my house really is a disaster and somehow I am going to get it clean before than? but for the first time possibly ever I am looking forward to a social occasion. We are going to eat spicy melted cheese and cupcakes (probably not together) and drink wine and toast my baby girl.

She changed my life. And I hope that I am worthy of her.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Her birthday isn't until Wednesday but I am afraid Ramona really isn't a baby anymore.

She has the toddler shriek down, the mood swings, the freak out for no damn reason. BRILLIANT.

As some one who doesn't think of herself as a baby person I am taken aback by how sad I am by her growing up. I will miss my baby. Even as I am excited by the new little girl in her place.

Except for the shrieking. Fuck that noise.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


My parents come to visit every weekend, usually for Sunday afternoon. Most of the time, the timing is good and they arrive as she is waking up from her afternoon nap. If we are lucky she gets two hours and is delightful all afternoon. If we are not lucky she only gets an hour and ends up weeping piteously as they leave--usually with her ass in the air and her head on the Elmo couch.

And then there was today, when my parents arrived a little early, after she had gone down a little late. And my dad fucking woke her up (he doesn't think she still needs naps which everyone who has young children just slapped him in the face) and then he bitched that she was grumpy. Oh and she was grumpy.

My dad has largely forgotten what young children are like--I think because he was not terribly involved in the day to day activities when my sister and I were young. This man, that knows DAMN WELL that my bedtime was seven pm. until I was fucking ten years old thinks it is crazy that Mo doesn't stay up until 8 every night. He has age-inappropriate expectations for her. Note to future grandpas, one year olds do not stop crying if you just tell them to stop crying.

I am so grateful that my parents love my daughter so much. And my mother has pretty low expectations for these visits. She just wants to see the baby, and honestly likes to help me. She would be fine if I left her to play with the baby while I clean the house or take a nap. My dad doesn't really help with anything and I think at this point expects to be entertained. He always seems vaguely surprised that I don't have a roast in the oven and Ramona dressed to the nines to entertain him.

I am afraid he is disappointed every week.

But we all muddled through the day. Ramona ate everything in sight, ran around like a maniac all afternoon and then crashed in a blaze of glory. The rest of us watched James Bond on TNT and ate pizza. I still feel lucky. That really isn't a bad way to spend a Sunday.

My husband is an involved father. Baby care is divided pretty evenly between the two of us. I see now that my dad missed something by doing what he did. He seems to brag about how he doesn't change diapers, he didn't get up with us in the night. I love my dad, it doesn't matter. But my mom gets to enjoy Ramona more and I think she enjoyed us more.

And she also never pisses off her daughter. Which is a lovely trait.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy O Day Everyone

The IT department at my office failed to consider exactly how many of us would be trying to stream the inauguration on our computers. We crashed the network well before anything began. Fortunately, a friend belongs to the gym next door and we dashed over and sat in their lobby.

I am so grateful I didn't miss a thing.

I feel proud of us all today. Those who voted for Obama and those who did not. I feel energized and hopeful and so thankful that the past eight years are over. I hope we never take our right to vote for granted again. I pray we never give away so much of our freedom again. And I will try to always remember the hopelessness of the Bush Administration. You have to remember the bitter to appreciate the sweet.

My darling girl will not remember today. I know my MIL watched it with her but she probably didn't even notice to TV. If Elmo's not knocking then she is not watching. But she was here. It's amazing to think that just as my husband and I cannot really imagine the segregated world our parents (well really just mine) grew up in, our daughter will not be able to imagine a time when a black man couldn't be President.

I hope that the last eight years will be like the McCarthy era is for me for her too.

God bless us all.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Not Alone

I went back to my job in May. I feel as though I have been running a marathon for the past nine months. A frustrating, high-wire, stressful, never ending marathon.

I was prepared for most of what was going to be thrown my way when I had a baby (as much as that is possible). I knew that my husband and I would change, our relationship would change. I knew that we would have to have different relationships with our parents. I knew I would be tired (OH SO FUCKING TIRED). I was reasonable person and I was pretty well prepared (except nothing can prepare you for the brutal baby bootcamp of the first couple of weeks). I was woefully unprepared for the realities of being a working mom.

I say this with a lot of respect for those moms and dads who stay at home with their children. That is a different kind of marathon--one I am not entirely sure I could run. But trying to run a household and a family and have everyone get what they need while still doing my actual for-pay job has beaten me down.

I commute two hours a day or more. I get up before 5 each morning. Our schedule is held together with paper clips and chewing gum and if the bus is late or there is bad weather then the whole day goes into the shitter. Last Tuesday my bus was very late and I could feel myself just drowning in anxiety even as the rational part of me is thinking that half an hour should not ruin your day. But when every minute is scheduled the thing that gets scrapped is me. I skip lunch, I don't leave my desk. I run out the door to try to make a bus without waiting even a minute. I get home and play with the baby while I pee. I try to make dinner while reading her a book. It's just running, running, running and there is no break.

Lest anyone think that J is sitting around doing nothing, his schedule is just as hard. He has to split his time at work so his mom can get home early enough to sleep. The reason I need to get home by a certain time is so he can turn around and go back to work. I may to bed time (and the early morning wake up) every week night. But he gets her up every morning. The division of labor is fair--it just fucking sucks.

What I do know is I am not alone. There are millions of us in this situation--actually I would say I am one of the lucky ones. My childcare comes to my house. It never calls in sick or snowed in. We don't have to wake up the baby or pack her meals for the day. She doesn't even have to get dressed. And still it is this unrewarding and relentless hamster wheel. Just running and running. And millions of families do it every day. None of us are alone.

But I am pretty sure we all feel like it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Food For Thought

Like pretty much every American I have food issues. Now, as an adult, I recognize my food issues are not your food issues. J and I have been married almost eight years and we are just scratching the service of how different our shit can be.

Mine stem from being a girl and not ever truly being thin. I remember my mother and grandmothers dieting even when I was very small. My mom did the color diet and slim fast and nutri systems and eventually weight watchers. The weird result is that I did actually learn a lot about nutrition. Of course I also learned that some foods were "bad."

I am thirty years old and I have never dieted. But I have to fight back all sorts of weird guilt about eating and not eating and wow sometimes I feel like I am dancing right on that edge.

J's issues stem from growing up poor. He doesn't really understand nutrition and portion control and wow I do not blame him. I've never gone hungry in my life, I really can't imagine what that does to a kid. Actually I can. It makes him binge eat and snack out of grocery bags. It makes him think that diet soda has fat in it. Or maybe that is just J.

So we are trying to work through this and teach Mo that food is fuel. Tasty tasty fool. That we eat more healthy food than none healthy food. That nothing is bad in moderation. We try to eat better every day.

So that we can saddle with her with some unforeseen food issues that she will tell the internet about in the year 2032.

So, in honor of National De-Lurking Day, what are your food issues? Maybe we'll be inspired.