Wednesday, January 28, 2015

she says (IV)

Olive likes to play a game I hate in which while I'm still cooking she asks how many bites she has to eat of whatever we're about to have. She wants me to keep track and argue over every bite which completely takes the joy out of eating for me. I was cooking dinner recently and she asked how many bites she would have to take and started throwing numbers out: 5? 6? 7?
"I don't know. more." I said and she kept counting. 
I interrupted her impatiently to say, "1000, you have to take 1000 bites" and she wailed, "That's tooooo many, mama! I will never be able to eat 1,000!" 
"Have you ever tried?" I asked.
She immediately calmed down and said, perfectly reasonably, "You're right mama, I never tried. Let's see about 1,000."

"Papa, if I went up your nose, I'd be really really sad."

"Mom, what's the number?"
"One - oh - one."
"You mean one ZERO one?"

Most hard "c" sounds are "t"s. 
Carry = "tarry". Cracker = "tracker". 

Anything that starts with "sp" gets switched to "ps".
Spicy = "psicy". Special = "pschecial"

"Angina" = vagina
"Ope-meal" = oatmeal
And, mine and everyone's favorite, she retains this inexplicable deep southern accent only when she says "iPad" so it comes out more like "eye-paaay-ed". 

I dare you not to crack up when you hear it. 

Blogger Tricks

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

thoughts on birth (the second time around)

clockwise from left: 
a pretty pumped big sister, giiiiiiiant belly, riveted by a non-stress test, matching loungers

The home birth kit has been assembled and linens sanitized, the waterproof sheets are on both beds, the tub has been ordered, meals frozen, rapid birth (i.e. no-midwife-present-yet) instructions reviewed, house deep cleaned, birth videos with 3 year old watched, back up plan prepared. Now we wait. And the only thing left to think about is labor.

(Well, for me at least. Spartacus is currently obsessing over what he's going to feed everyone and going completely overboard on his list - he was in charge of the "flashlight with batteries" for the birth kit so he got both a headlamp and a giant floodlight from the boat supply store. I think we're covered in the illumination department and that's what papas are for, right?)

Sometimes, especially when I am tired, I think, "aw man, one of these days I'm going to have to give birth again. UGH." and feel very annoyed. Sometimes I really look forward to the purity of focus and experience that is contraction after contraction after contraction. 

But there is not much in the way of wondering (like the first time) because I know what it feels like. I know how to do it. I know how it ends.

One of my favorite things about labor is how it's not a collaborative effort. You do it by yourself. No one can share it with you or even give you a break. You have helpers, cheerleaders, doctors or midwives to keep you safe and they are very important but inside an invisible bubble you give birth alone. That is my kind of project.

I'm good at getting stuff done alone and I am ready to do this again. My two fears are that it will be too fast to catch up with (my first labor was not very long) and that the tub won't be ready in time (I don't know how anyone does it without the tub, it was my lifeboat). But I also know it's going to be however it is and whatever it is will be fine. At the end of the day I will be delivered from pregnancy (amen) and I don't really care how I get there or what I have to put up with along the way. So close!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

35 weeks

The biggest development in this girl's entire life/pregnancy lately is IV iron infusions. Sign me up for that shit for the rest of eternity as far as I'm concerned, I don't even care how much it costs. Here's how it goes: I reserve many hours of alone time, go the the beautiful, futuristic medspa office where everything is either white or clear (chairs, desks, cabinets, everything), lay on a bed and nap/read/talk on the phone/whatever and take a billion milligrams of iron straight into my veins. Then kindly Dr. Ian gives me a shot in the bum with a bunch of other good stuff (B vitamins, Vitamin C & A and other things that are meant to help my body "unlock" all the iron I just got) and I'm on my way. Sometimes if I look extra extra terrible - I have been getting a little yellowish artificial tan from my anemia - I also get an extra bag of fluid. I don't feel like a million bucks but I feel alive and that is really something. Thank god for modern medicine.

Ok but so really, though, any time now would be great. 

No one knows exactly what sets off the hormonal chain reaction that causes natural labor to begin. We think it's the baby and we think it's probably when their lungs begin to make surfactant, signifying that if they were born they would be ready to breathe air - that they send the first signal and the mama's body takes it from there, but really, no one knows. What a wonderful, frustrating mystery. May your lungs be ready soon, little guy.

Because, man. Exhaustion, heartburn, anemia and it's dark eye circles, a renewed nausea, belly button soreness, WADDLING. (I prefer to think of it as toddling.)

And really, there is just no way to sleep. Between the hips (the hiiiips - I am literally type-whining), the back, the belly, the legs, my hands falling asleep, my preschooler whacking me in the face, sleep comes in 1 hr shifts between rolling over/peeing/longing to lay on my back. Are you interested in hearing me continue to complain? Coming right up.

I remember after Olive was born waking up in the night to feed her and change diapers (and pump, I also pumped after giving every bottle) and how quickly that turns you into a zombie who doesn't REALLY ever wake up and remembering anew in the first few seconds of waking that I was not pregnant anymore because I had, in fact, already had the baby and how supremely happy that made me. Not sleeping and having a giant, deflated stomach that basically served no purpose because it couldn't do anything it was supposed to, nursing a sore bottom and having a baby with feeding problems and most of the time I just rejoiced over the non-pregnancy of it all. Sometimes I really feel like I'm crawling out of my skin waiting for this to be over.

But I am still grateful for this boy. I am grateful for a healthy, if miserable pregnancy. This is a gift.

Olive still has a birthmark on her face: a red heart right between her eyebrows. Her pediatrician said it would probably fade by around her first birthday but here it is, still going strong at nearly 4 and standing out especially dark whenever she is hot, cold or crying. People who know her stop noticing it pretty quickly and I only see it when a stranger points it out and then I always feel a warm familiarity, like seeing an old friend for the first time in a long time. It's her special mark and so emblematic of who she is: loving, emotional, connected, full of heart. I was looking at her forehead-heart the other day and her full, expressive eyebrows and perfect shaggy, sandy hair and just generally admiring her and thought about how my undereye circles continue to grow and I know all my hair will go straight and fall out after her brother is born and all the while, she seems more and more beautiful each day. And I thought about how I'm so happy to give her that - to sacrifice some skin elasticity and to accept a few new grey hairs (6ish just with this pregnancy!) for these exquisite children of mine. You lose something in the looks department when you have a baby - it cannot be argued otherwise: a certain softness or plumpness or youth or something but these babies, man, the soft pillows of fat thighs and chubby cheeks they grow are so worth it. 

Weight gain: oh, I don't know...65 lbs. Maybe I can keep it under 80? ha! Syke. But it really all depends on how much longer this thing goes so let's everyone think labor thoughts in the coming weeks, shall we? I'm ready any time after Jan 24th when I am officially in dates.

Let's do this thing.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


"She's tiptoeing into the very beginning of some sort of relationship with God, or with a higher power, or something, but it is very hard for her to believe. I recommended that she think of all the women who have most adored her in her life and to come up with a sense of God based on that kind of love, on the sense of protectedness that it gives you to be loved by a really fine woman, a sense of some mysterious regenerative force at the center of things."
- from Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions

My friends gave me the most lovely, low key baby shower recently and since then I've been loving how I get to field all the text messages about how much they enjoyed each other. They all generously listened to my epic whining and Elieen, who understands me, made me a giant pile of bacon to eat. So.

One of my oldest friends is one of Olive's favorite aunties and she and her man took O for a special date to see Zoo Lights for the second time. It's amazing for me to have a couple hours to just sit but even better for O who gets to go on an outing and be showered with fresh, undivided adult attention. Her aunts - both those with and without kids in their own special ways - have been so key through this pregnancy and I don't know what we'd do without them.

I annoy my doula nearly every day with my pregnancy induced mental illness - she hears about every ache and pain, every heightened emotion (frustration, guilt, rage) and sleepless night. She endures all this with aplomb, as doulas do. Her husband makes a cheesy bean dip you'd trade a family heirloom for and when I told her I was thinking about it, I came home to find some on my porch. With tortilla chips.

My mom has interrupted her very busy, newly retired schedule of hot tubbing with her friends and playing in her ukelele band to take Olive many extra afternoons so I can nap, get an iron IV, etc. Thanks, mom.

Olive's wonderful babysitter has been clutch: getting my wiggle worm outside and to the wading pool this summer while I spent the whole thing puking and sleeping and now going on fun outings like ice skating and also just having her over to do girl stuff like paint their nails and wash their bangs. Olive loooves hanging out at her apartment.

To all the people who have offered to join the meal train, taken Olive off my nauseas hands for a bit, listened to me complain and just generally held me up these past 35 weeks, really, Thank You capital T capital Y.

Of all the things I have learned through becoming a parent, asking for help - and accepting help when offered, has been one of the hardest and most profound. I am so so grateful for the amazing women in my life who have literally made it possible for me to have another kid. Thanks, ladies. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014


// a brief guide to essential oils

// a brilliant acceptance speech from shonda rhimes

// I have a perfectly good system so I probably won't be getting one of these but aren't they drool worthy?

// if you need me, I'll be somewhere eating dates 

// pretty updo for short hair (got a holiday party coming up?)

// project 333 in the kitchen!