Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy Birthday

In the years that I was trying to get pregnant and while I was pregnant I would tell people how I am not a baby person. How, if I could, I would give birth to a toddler. And it was true. I found the newborn stage to be so overwhelming and they are so tiny and breakable and . . .

I couldn't wait for her to get a little older. We could play blocks! We could watch movies and eat snacks and go to the park! Oh it was going to be so great.

Two years ago I was recovering from a really long, really ridiculous MULTI-DAY labor. I was so tired and also stupid I didn't notice that my baby was as orange as a cheeto. I was having lunch and just staring into the hospital bassinet trying not to cry and laugh at the same time. Somehow unbelievably happy and yet totally freaking out at the same time. J and I went from a married couple that sure did like each other to a family that day.

In the following months I found I may not be a baby person but I was a My Baby person. My baby smelled so good after her bath and her arms were soft like puffy little twinkies. I wanted to swallow her whole. My baby curved into me just right and I rocked her for hours (I was bored as hell but I didn't think twice about doing it). My baby was good company at Target and on errands and I could feel her changing me and changing my whole life and I didn't care a bit.

I looked down today, and I don't want to scare y'all, but a two year old ate my baby.

She still smells good after her bath, and she is much cuter not orange. She has the best curls anywhere. She knows all of her colors and how to use a spoon and can put her baby night night. Her favorite color is blue, she loves her Grandma and Papa and Grams, she can count to two and build with blocks and goes apeshit over Curious George. I can't even pretend she is a baby anymore.

It is awesome and exciting and exactly how things should be. She is just who she always was but bigger and more able to pee on the toilet. I do find myself missing my baby. I want her to curl into my chest before she goes to sleep. I want to wrap her up like a baby burrito. I want her to not eat half of my steak. I miss her toothless grin and bald head and how she looked a lot like a can of butter flavored Cristco.

If you are out with your baby I might ask to hold her--I will sniff her head and take a hit of that fresh from the factory smell. Your baby is nice too. I don't really want her though, I just miss mine.

Happy Birthday Butter Bean.

Friday, January 22, 2010

No More Williams

I think my grandmother has called my house maybe twice since we've lived here. And called my residence maybe five times total since I moved out of my parents house when I was seventeen. She doesn't call is my point so imagine my surprise when her name showed up on my caller id early Thursday morning.

I was sure one of them was dead. This isn't as morbid as you might think--they are in their eighties--and why else would some one call at 8 on a Thursday (that IS TOO EARLY WHEN IT IS MY ONLY SLEEP IN DAY)? So I answered and got this "Childhood-nickname-I-don't-use-but-she-is-my-Grammy-so-she-can? I have a genealogy EMERGENCY!"

Some one has been watching CNN (round the clock!) and noticed the commercials. They were taunting her genealogy-obsessed self, she who gathered her information the old fashioned way--in libraries by bringing muffins to researchers and pouring over old records and stalking strangers over the phone. "Honey! Can you use the internet?!"

For the record my grandfather uses the internet, well AOL which when you are 85 counts.

So y'all I am on trying to find out information about relatives from Quebec. I am going to blow her mind because I have digital copies of draft cards and photos from other people who are researching the same ancestors.

This internet thing. It just might catch on.

The single best thing about the project, besides making an old lady happy (which I never do really since I refuse to move home to Iowa and dress my baby as a cupcake), is the names. I have a semi-obsession with names and since I have one child and am not dispositionally equipped to have a liter my obsessive is silly. I could totally name a liter though! I will talk about your choices endlessly if you are pregnant! EMAIL ME.

Anyway the names are fabulous. Triphena. Alphronsia. Many many more Virgils than you would expect. Some very heavy German ones, naturally, though those got lightened up a bit in Ellis Island I think.

I did tell J should we ever have another child he shall not be called William. There are 84000 of those already in the family and it is annoying to try to sort out who is who.

Also, FILL OUT YOUR CENSUS CAREFULLY. I know that most of the ones I am looking at were written by census workers since a lot of these people were probably illiterate (and not so much with the faboo English) but Fraggle on a cracker! Names are spelled willy nilly. Ages are unlikely and yet these are clearly the right people. Take your time and print carefully. Your future great great great great great granddaughter thanks you since your great great great granddaughter still thinks that the internet is powered by hamsters.

Also, please do not name your kids names that are so similar. No need for Emma, Emily, Harry, Harvey, Henry. And no more Williams. Even though I love it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


When I was a little kid I was a terribly slow running--actually this is still true, I still look like an iceberg slightly floating while running it just doesn't come up as much without daily recess tag games. I think it is likely that I can walk faster than I run but you can't really test that in most situations without looking really ridiculous. Naturally I have always been very pitiful at chasing games and my honest reaction to being chased is to uh sit down. It is like my psyche gives up immediately rather than be tortured by my slow ass getting caught one more time.

In college I learned to box and took self defense classes because the idea of me outrunning an attacker is laughable. But a part of me wonders if I even have that Fight or Flight instinct. I wonder if I would just give up immediately and not even be brave enough to scream.

I think most of us have a voice in our head that tells us all the bad things we are sure are true and everyone knows (if you do not have such a voice congratulations on being mentally healthy and please do not tell me about it). I think I have said here before that mine talks to me more than anyone else. He tells me how lazy I am, how I am not smart nor talented or interesting in any way. He tells me how I am just a fat suburban mom who is only good for buying the right brand of detergent.

He is a serious douchebag.

This voice tells me that I am too stupid to run, too weak to fight back. He makes me feel the fear of failing deep in the marrow of my bones. And I finally understand that the fear of failing for me is more powerful than any other fear I have--more than rats or ladders or of those freaky balloon animals that clowns make. That fear has been controlling me for much longer than I want to think about.

I am not much for New Year's resolutions. Easy to make, easy to break. But I am totally a sucker for goal oriented work as I adore crossing things off of lists and feeling accomplished. So I do have some goals that uh I coincidentally set recently.

1. Stop being such a social freak. My best friend lives in another state. As does my sister. And most of my relatives. I never want to call people because I don't want to interrupt but you know those relationships will not maintain themselves. And the longer you go between calls the more you think you need an occasion or news to call about. I am already married, I am not having another baby and no one cares about the oatmeal cookies I am baking so I will never have news again. Might as well call because it is Wednesday.

2. Ignore the voice. Actually hear the voice, feel that fear in my bones and just keep going anyway.

Notice that running is nowhere on this list.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Feeling the Fear

I don't do New Year's resolutions really. To be honest, I hate New Year's. I hate the enforced fun of New Year's Eve--how most of us have nowhere to go and yet feel compelled to try to do something. I hate how everyone decides to diet and eat better and bah all off the wagon by February.

The Jewish new year has more meaning for me since it ties up the previous year and you get a clean slate for the next one. It forces you to deal with what has happened to you--to atone--and then move on.

That being said the cold that I had before Christmas kicked my ass for nearly three weeks--I still have a fucking sore throat--and I didn't do anything for all of that time. And it made me realize that I need to get moving. I have so many things I want to do this year and I need to get moving.

For me the challenge is always the beginning. To just start a project is so intimidating. Once I get started I am fine and I can keep moving. But before I begin I sit and worry about failing, I feel overwhelmed. It is paralyzing fear and I guess what I am saying is in 2010 that fear isn't going to stop me.