Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Sadly, last night was not a repeat of the previous night. Rolo slept for 5 hours straight last night, which is definitely better than 3 hours, but unfortunately those 5 hours started at 7:30pm. While I'm all about going to bed early, retiring before 8pm is a bit much, even for me.

Also, Rolo, who really only occasionally takes a pacifer, is turning into a thumb sucker. This has literally transpired over the last few days and it does not please me for several reasons. One, I don't really like thumb-sucking. Yes, it's self-soothing, but it's harder, I imagine, to take away a thumb than it is to take away a binky. Two, he's sucking on his hand so much, he's literally making his skin raw. Not too attractive. Three, MY GOD, IS THE SUCKING IS LOUD. I mean this kid slurps, loudly, for long periods of time. No, he's not hungry. He's just slurping on his thumb for the hell of it. Loud, slurpity, slurpity slup. Loud enough that it wakes me up.

The child will be in his own room within a month.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Working Girl

So being back to work is...good. Really. I mean I'm sure I'll feel differently next week when I've got this major project looming over me. But this week, this week so far is good.

Being back here, I've slipped right back into my old life. I'm not sure how exactly to express this, but my life over the last few months has changed so dramatically, that when I actually think about it, it doesn't seem like my life at all. So being at work, somewhere so familiar, being in the actual building is comforting in a strange way. It was a bit strange yesterday because it was like time stood still while I was away. Since I went into labor the morning of August 1st, the calendars in my office were still on July 2007. There were post-it notes about issues that have now long since been resolved, albeit by someone other than myself.

But once I cleared up the time-warp, everything was fine. There are moments during the day now when I almost forget about Rolo. I can run out and get a cup of coffee without wrangling the stroller down a flight of stairs. I can send an email using both hands. I can talk on the phone without a little person wailing in my ear. I can think, uninterrupted. I can't explain how glorious that is. Going back to work and day care is affording me the opportunity to not go completely crazy.

So you know, I'm sure I'll be bitching about work in no time, but for now, I totally love being here.

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I don't know what those day care people did to him yesterday, but Rolo slept for 8 hours straight last night. Which means I got 6 hours of sleep.

I love day care.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

What a Mess

So it's not really a good idea to fuck around with horomones the week you're going back to work and sending your kid to day care for the first time. Coming off the pill mid-cyle has been a disaster. After one day of an increased milk supply, the whole damn point of this, the supply decreased again because I got my period. I forgot about that part, that the supply decreases during your period. And speaking of periods, mine is PISSED OFF. Like, back with a total vengence. I'm not pleased.

I am also not pleased because virtually none of my work clothes fit. Don't roll your eyes at me, those of you who think I lost all the baby weight, because I haven't. Wearing jeans and flip flops the last three months has allowed me to get lazy and not really realize (or maybe care) that a majority of my clothes don't fit. And like what am I supposed to do? I'm not wearing maternity clothes to work. I refuse. And I'd like not to have to buy a whole new wardrobe around this larger size. So far, it seems I have two pairs of pants and one suit that sort of fit. I have no idea what to do about this. I've actually gained weight since Rolo was born. Turns out I can out-eat my increased metabolism. I can't tell you how many meals were Tastykakes shoved in my mouth while holding a screaming infant. Clearly, I need to make better eating choices. Being back at work will probably help as I can bring in my lunch like I used to and eat it without worry about Rolo.

Speaking of work, it's my first day back in the office and Rolo's first day of daycare. Let's just get this part out of the way now: I cried. I knew I would, because have I not mentioned the crazy period from hell?

So there you have it. I'm probably anemic by now, my boobs are drying up, although I hope that's temporary, my clothes don't fit, I'm having wicked mood swings, I'm back in my roach-infested office and I cried all morning like you would think I was giving Rolo up for adoption or something. AND I'm working on 4.5 hours of sleep. It's great to be back in action.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

The Labor Story

Be forewarned that parts of this are TMI. Here it is :

July 31st, 11pm
Ron and I go to bed.

August 1st, 12:30am
I awake to a strange wet sensation down there, and immediately think "My water broke." I hurry to the bathroom, sit on the toilet and look at my underwear. There is a wet spot, although not a very, very large one, so I begin to wonder if I just leaked urine in my sleep. Gross. I pee, wipe, and notice pink streaks on the toilet paper. I whip around and look in the toilet and see my mucus plug staring back at me. I had wondering if I would know what a mucus plug looked like. Trust me, when you see it, you know it.

Still, passing your mucus plug doesn't necessarily mean that labor is immiment. It could still be days away. And I don't seem to be leaking I decide to put on a pad, go downstairs and find one of my pregnancy books to read up on water breaking. No point in waking Ron yet.

Book advises me to lay down, as the baby's head can act like a cork when standing (lovely, right?), to see if I'm still leaking fluid. With no concern for my poor sofa, I lay down for about 5 minutes. Nothing.

I decide the book gives too generic a description of one's water breaking, and that I need to jump on the internet. Those crazy internet people have all sorts of water-breaking stories, I bet. I also start to feel like an idiot for not being able to tell whether my water broke. I mean, I should be able to tell, right?

Log onto a discussion board.

Feel a strange sensation down there. Realize I must get to a bathroom, PRONTO.

Don't quite make it to the bathroom and no longer have any doubt about whether my water broke. Am amazed that the pad did nothing to absorb the aftermath.

Gentley shake Ron's shoulder and say, "My water broke" and get "Are you serious?" as a response. Yes, honey, it's 1am and I thought this was a great time for a practical joke.

1 am
The physican on-call returns my call and tells me that I can either come in or wait at home for awhile since I'm not feeling any contractions. Of course, if I can't feel the baby move, I should come in right away. It dawns on me that I haven't been paying attention to whether the baby is moving at all.

My whole abdomen feels tight and I'm not sure I feel the baby moving. But I don't want to be paranoid either. I take a shower and finish packing my bag. Ron does the same and keeps remarking about how calm I am.

I finally tell Ron that I'm not sure the baby is moving. Like I think that the baby is moving, but I can't really tell. Ron resists the urge to throw me over his shoulder and run us to the hospital. He tells me to hurry up getting ready.

We drive to the hospital, which strikes me as funny since we only live 5 blocks away. I check into the emergency room and the admissions clerk takes my information. The ER is empty and the admissions clerk is nice. Both of these things surprise me. The admissions clerk tells me that I must not be having contractions because I am way too happy. She's right.

The hospital transport person arrives with a wheelchair, but sees I'm in no pain and allows me to walk up to the Labor and Delivery floor. The intake clerk gets all my information and then tells me to dump the bottle of water I'm drinking because I'm not allowed to drink anything from this point on. She seems grouchy, so I try to charm her by telling her she has excellent penmanship.

My nurse checks for the baby's heartbeat and to our relief, it's still there. In fact according to the monitor, I'm having contractions, little one, and I just can't feel them. Fine by me. I'm 2 cm dialated and 60% effaced, which is exactly how much I had been the day before at my doctor's appointment. The nurse is concerned that my blood pressure is so high. They check my fluid and determine that yes, indeed, my water has broken and I'm not going home any time soon. They move me to a L&D room, which Ron and I agree is smaller than some closets we have. I walk to that room on my own, not knowing yet that it will be the last time I'm allowed to walk any distance.

The doctor whom I spoke to on the phone comes in and talks to me about my options. I can either take pitocin, or we can wait a few hours and see what happens. If I don't start contracting naturally, they'll need to induce me to prevent infection. I know pitocin can make contractions more painful so I opt for a "wait and see" approach. The doctor agrees. Concerned about my pressure, she tells me that I can't walk around while in labor--something I had planned on being able to do. The nurses slap a "Fall Risk" bracelet on my wrist. She asks whether I'm having a boy or girl and I tell her I don't know. She seems shocked by this.

The nurse remarks repeatedly what great veins I have. I know this. I've donated blood enough times to know that my veins are a nurse's dream. However, in her attempt to put in my IV, this nurse manages to blow out the vein. She tries a different vein and collapses that one too. She (thankfully) gets another nurse, but they have to put the IV in my right arm instead of the left one. As I'm right-handed, this does not please me. They ask if I'm having a boy or a girl. I tell them I don't know. They also seem surprised by this.

A new nurse comes on duty. She offers me frozen yogurt. It's peach, which isn't my favorite, but considering I'm not supposed to be eating anything, I decide I love this nurse. Her name is Helina. I ask her if I can paint my nails while I'm waiting for this labor thing to start. She laughs and says it's fine. Ron shakes his head and can't believe I'm giving myself a manicure while in labor.

The woman in the room next to me is moaning loudly. They really should make these rooms sound-proof.

I start to feel crampy. I tell Ron to check the monitor and sure enough I'm having a contraction. Whoohoo.

I decide that contractions feel a lot like mentrual cramps. They also make me feel like I need to go to the bathroom. The bathroom is just outside my room, giving me the opportunity to walk about 10 steps.

I love the bathroom. It's cooler in here. I feel better in this type of sitting position. Plus, since I'm leaking fluid anyway, it makes sense to me to be over a toliet. But I start to worry that the nurses or Ron will worry if I stay in the bathroom too long. So I relucantly wash up and leave.

I again make my case for being allowed to walk around. But the doctor is firm. With my pressure as high as it is, I could pass out while walking.

8:50 am
The anesthesiologist comes in to talk to me about pain management options. At this particular hospital, it's an epidural or bust. I thought I'd have more options, I remark. Helina says she can give me morphine, but that some babies don't respond well to morphine. I decide not to take the morphine. The anesthesiologist proceeds to tell me all the risks with an epidural including paralyzation. Perfect. I sign the forms, so when I need the epi, I can get it. The anesthesiologist asks if I want the epidural now. It seems awfully early in the process to me and I'm just uncomfortable, not in real pain, so I decline.

The woman next door is screaming. Like seriously. And this isn't the side of the floor where you actually deliver, so it's not like she's pushing or anything. She's just having contractions. I ask Helina if there's something they can give her for the pain. Helina says she already has an epidural.

I seriously want not to be in labor anymore. I mean if this woman is screaming bloody murder with the epidural, it's got to be bad, right?

A new doctor comes in to check on me and I'm not really fond of him. He remembers that Ron is a doctor--for some reason when you're having a baby, they repeatedly ask what you and your husband do for a living. I guess they want to make sure your answer isn't "sell crack". Anyway, this doctor is way, way more interested in talking to Ron about medicine than he is in me. I find this somewhat irritating.

I'm bored and sick of listening to the screaming lady.

Ron notices I'm starting to hold my breath during contractions. He instructs me to breathe. Thanks, Ron. Helina comes back in to check my vitals and asks whether I'm having a boy or a girl. I tell her I don't know and she seems pleased by this. She loves surprises.

We start doing breathing exercises. Residents and nurses are in and out of the room to check on me. They keep asking me to rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10. I have no idea how to do this. I mean, I don't want to rank my pain high too early. I've never really been in pain in my life and I have no idea what my pain tolerance is like. So I keep saying it's a 4.

I notice the contractions are decidely more manageable when I'm walking to the bathroom. I curse my high blood pressure. This would be more manageable if I could walk around.

I consider screaming, "Shut the fuck up" to the woman next door.

I look at Ron and say "I'm going to need that epidural soon." Ron seems totally calm except that his eyes start frantically looking for the nurse. He knows if I'm asking for it, it must be getting bad.

I tell Helina that I'm thinking about the epidural. But is there any way they can check if I'm dialated any further? I'm not sure why I think this matters. I think my logic was that if I was still only 2 cm, I'd still have a long road ahead of me and should hold off on the drugs.

The resident comes in and checks me: 4 cm! Progress! Epidural, please! Then the resident asks if I'm having a boy or a girl. Helina and I both tell her that I don't know. She jumps up and down and says "Oh a surprise!" Seriously, does EVERYONE find out the sex of their kid?

The anesthesia team comes in and Ron has to leave the room. I'm sad he has to leave. The doctors explain what they're going to do, but I barely hear them. I'm too freaked out that I must remain completely still while they insert the needle. The nurse, who is not Helina and who is about 7 months pregnant herself, holds my arms while I sit on the edge of the bed. I feel the needle go in, but it's not that bad. The team leaves and the nurse helps me back into bed.

I feel funny in my legs. I realize that they're going numb. I then notice that my contractions seem to be considerably less painful. The nurse leaves and suddenly I realize that no one probably thought to find Ron and tell him we're done.

The resident comes in to check my pain level. I ask her to find Ron. She starts to ask what he looks like and then says "Oh never mind, I think you're the only one in here with a husband." Well, okay then.

Ron comes back and asks how I'm feeling. I tell great except I still have alittle pain in the left side of my abdomen.

Pain on that left side is getting worse.

I tell Helina that all my pain is gone, except for one section of my left side. She tells me to lay on that side to help the medicine "fall" to that side. This sounds incredibly dumb to me but I heart Helina so I roll over.

This laying on my side thing is not working. I tell Ron, Helina and anyone else who will listen to me that this laying on my side thing is not working. Helina agrees to get the anesthesia dude back.

The doctor comes back in and tickles my neck with a feather. Yes, I can feel that. Then he tickles my leg with it--nope, no feeling there. Then he tickles my left side with it. Yes, yes, I feel that. He gives me another boost of meds, which feels like cool water running down my spine.

Being pain-free is awesome.

The resident comes in to check me. I'm 9 centimeters dialated and 100% effaced! Time to move over to the delivery side of the floor. I'm elated over this progress.

Ron and I comment that there is an infant warming bed in the room. How about that! We're going to have an infant! The idea that we will have a baby soon seems surprising.

Curious sensation on my left side.

Curious sensation starts to feel like the beginning of pain. I ask Ron whether I should ask for more meds. The anesthesia team is super busy on the floor, and while I can handle the pain I'm currently having, I don't want to be in the midst of pushing and in agony because the anesthesia people are busy. I ask Helina to get anesthesia. She comes back with more peach yogurt. I love her.

Different anesthesia dude comes in, but he too has that damn feather thing. I pass the test and he gives me another hit of medicine. At the same time, the resident comes in to check me again. Nine and a half centimenters. Ron and I keep remarking about how weird it will be to have a baby. Helina wants us to name it Ron if it's a boy, which she's convinced it is. I dose off again.

Helina asks if I need to go to the bathroom. I tell her I have no idea. She says she'll empty my bladder. I am horrifed and although it makes total sense, I did not realize there would be a catherer involved.

A doctor I really like, Dr Kim, has been on duty now, but will be leaving at 5pm. He'll be replaced by a doctor I've never met. Helina is determined for me to have this baby before 5pm so Dr. Kim can handle the delivery. She tells Dr. Kim that he's staying until I deliver. She also tells him that I don't know if I'm having a boy or a girl. I begin to sense that people may be placing bets.

Another resident checks me. Ten centimeters! It's go time!

Suddenly, things go into fast forward mode. I should have expected this, but for some reason, I'm surprised that the residents are suddenly rushing around, bringing in carts of equipment.

The nurse instructs Ron to grab one of my legs and hold it up. Ron gives her a look that clearly says "Lady, I am so not here to do any work" but he does what she says.

The nurse tells me when to push, because the meds are so good I have no idea when I'm having a contraction. I know I'm supposed to push like you would if you're going to the bathroom. I figure this will be no problem since I've been going to the bathroom my whole life, right? Well, let me tell you, when you have no sensation from the waist down, you all of a sudden have no idea if you're pushing right. I must be doing a good job though because Ron and Helina are cheering.

Lots of pushing. Which I strangely don't mind, because it doesn't hurt. I am, however, worried that I'm going to be one of those people who push so hard that the capillaries in their face break.

There's a head--with hair! Ron is excitedly talking about lots of hair. The resident comes back in and is also excited about the hair. I think it's cute that she's so excited.

Helina asks if I'd like a mirror so I can see the head when I push. I say, hell no. Ron asks me if I'm sure, and I assure him that I am. At least for now. Maybe if I need motivation, I'll reconsider the mirror.

Helina, Ron and the resident are still cheering me on. I can't get over how excited Ron is. All of them cheering makes me less tired somehow. I continue pushing, but begin to worry that my eyeballs are going to pop out. Does that ever happen? Because I feel like it could happen. I'm so concerned about this, that I don't notice that Ron has stopped mentioning the mirror. Later I'll learn this is because I started to tear and he knew there was NO WAY I'd want to see that.

Helina and the resident realize "the time has come". Things start moving in fast forward again. Helina runs to get Dr. Kim, and comes back wearing a sterile, disposable gown, mask and hat. I think those hats are funny. The residents also put all this gear on. Dr. Kim rushes in, with what appears to be a clear shield over his face. He's also wearing those plastic pants that fishermen wear. One of the residents, the super-enthusiastic one, also puts on the fact shield and the pants...or maybe they're just tall boots.

More with the pushing, only now Dr. Kim has joined in the cheering. They tell me the head is coming and sure enough I feel some vague pressure down there. Helina asks me if I'd like the baby placed on my chest before they clean him or her. I surprise myself by saying I would like the baby on my chest. Dr. Kim tells me to stop pushing. Ron is describing the head to me "There is SO MUCH hair!!".

The rest of the body slides out and the resident, the excited one, says in what seems like the slowest words ever to be spoken, "It's's's a boy!". Everyone is cheering. Ron and I are both laughing and crying. Ron cuts the cord. Helina, in a very stern voice tells the resident, who had started bringing the baby over to the warming bed to clean him, "You bring that baby right over here and put him on mom's chest. We'll clean him here." I look down and see his tiny, poofy face with a ton of hair on his head. It is the most beautiful little head I'd ever seen. Moments later, Helina slaps a bracelet on my wrist with my name, address, a number and one other word: "Mother".

And that, my friends, is how I became someone's mother.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Losing Battle

I went back on the pill last week in an effort to get the bleeding/discharge/Lord-only-knows-what-else under control. I had asked the ob/gyn whether it was okay to take it while nursing and she assured me it was. She said the baby only gets a very small amount of the meds I take (which I knew) and that once my milk supply was well-established, which it was, it would not effect my production. And you know what? It worked like a charm. This week I am pad-free for the first time in three months. The freedom is intoxicating.

Know what else? My milk supply decreased by half. Turns out the ob/gyn didn't know what the hell she was talking about. Now, with Rolo starting day care next week, I'm not producing enough to get him through the day.

So my choices are: 1. stop the pill to increase my production, but that will almost certainly result in bleeding because I'll be stopping mid-cyle or; 2. continue the pill, use the milk that I've frozen over the last few months to get by and supplement with formula when that runs out.

Why does my body hate me? I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't. I'd really like to continue nursing at least for a couple more months until Rolo has been in day care for awhile. But on the other hand I'd also like to stop with the freaking bleeding already.

Another option is to remain on the pill for the next 10 days, until the end of the cycle and then stop taking it. The thought being that maybe just one month of being on the pill will be enough to jump start my body into a normal cycle on its own. I guess this is an okay option but there's no guarantee it will work and continuing to decrease my production for an extended period, even if it's only another 10 days makes me nervous. On the other hand, since I've already started pumping hormones into my body, I'd hate to screw with it even more by suddenly removing those hormones.

What to do? I definitely won't be staying on the pill long-term until I've decided to stop breastfeeding. So it's just a question of when to stop. I'll have to think that one over.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Crying It Out

Rolo's decided to go on strike from nap-taking today. He was very, very good while we were away and is now apparently making up for lost time. He's been up since about 6am and I've been trying to get him down for a nap since 11am. It's now 4pm. Which wouldn't necessarily been an issue except that he's been whining and whimpering since about noon.

Since diaper-changes, bottles, pacifers, rocking, walking and cuddling have not done the trick and because he's nearly three months old, I'm taking a "let-him-cry" approach now. Which is pretty much making me want to slam my head against a wall.


The Last Goodbye

It's a sad day around here in Casa de DJ Heavy. We got a call last night that one of Ron's friends, who we all call Battle, passed away over the weekend from kidney failure.

He'd be sick for years, we all knew this by looking at him. We didn't know what it was, and he refused to talk about it. Ron thought it might be HIV, but I asked Battle once and he just said that it was something but it wasn't that and something about the way he said it made me believe him.

I met Battle at a happy hour the same night I met Ron. He and Ron went to college together, and honestly I've never met a greater character than Battle. He was always up for a party, or a road trip, or a night of general debauchery. He slept on my floor or couch many a night after we'd wrestle his car keys away from him. He was a funny drunk, even when he eventually got to the point of being belligerent. He was fond of telling people to "Go to hell" or "You suck" when he had had a few too many and you'd have to know Battle to find this part of his personality endearing. But it was.

What I find somewhat interesting is that Battle chose to die. He could have done dialysis, which isn't an ideal way to live but would have saved his life, but his sister says he chose not to. I'm not sure whether he was a candidate for a kidney transplant. In the end though, he chose to move home with his mother to die. I can't imagine what brought him to that decision. He knew he was going to die and also chose not to let any of his friends know that.

Ron and Battle were friends for nearly 20 years. I've only known both of them for the last five, so I'm not sure what their history was like before then (although I've heard some great stories), but over the last few years we'd see Battle in spurts. Sometimes we'd see him almost every weekend for awhile. Then we might go the better part of a year without seeing him. During those times, Ron would inevitably say something to the effect of "I better call Battle and make sure he's still alive." It was a joke, then, of course and eventually he and Battle would get in touch with each other. But I know Ron feels pretty badly that he's been so wrapped up in the baby that he hadn't realized how much time had passed since the last time he heard from Battle. That he'll never again have to check in.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007


One of the best parts of working from home is that you can simultaneously try out new banana bread recipes. I used this one and made two loaves. One I substituted pecans and the other I used chocolate chips. Delish! Next week, I'll try pumpkin bread.

By the way the apple and pear crisp from last week came out really well too. Lordy, I need to start watching what I eat.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Several times each day, when I put Rolo over my shoulder to burp, he rests his sleepy little head on my shoulder. As the minutes pass, he slides down a bit, using me as a human pillow, with his head tucked under my chin, his face pressed into my neck.

I always sit with him like that for awhile and it does not cease to amaze me how content I am in those moments. Motherhood is a collection of extremes: exhaustion and excitment, frustration and happiness, fulfillment and regret. Those moments with him tucked there beneath my chin are so pure in their sweetness that even I cannot find one sarcastic thing to say about them. Instead find myself thinking that if those moments cannot go on forever, as surely they cannot, that they will occupy a section of my heart for the rest of my days.



Seriously, who else other than Mighty Girl has this life? A Great Gatsby birthday party. Who does that?



So on Thursday, Ron, Rolo and I leave for a trip to New England for 4 days. We're going to Plymouth, MA and may stop by Mystic, CT on the way up or the way home. A six-hour car ride with an infant will be interesting. We're planning on making lots of stops along the way.

Packing, of course, will be a nightmare. Any idea how much extra stuff you need with a baby? So I'm starting to pack today in the hopes of being done by Thursday morning. Unfortunately, I managed to break our washing machine and the repair dude won't be here until tomorrow. So that means most of the packing will have to wait until that's done. Because Rolo here manages to dirty about 6 bibs a day, along with 2 outfits, so he'll definitely need laundry done before we leave.

I should point out that I broke the washer by doing Ron's laundry. The string from one of his scrub pants is all wound around the cylinder and stopped up the machine entirely. Which just goes to show you that you should never do your husband's laundry.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Why do I feel like all these lead stories are just the tip of the iceberg? Is it any wonder why so many people get cancer when we unknowingly expose ourselves to God-only-knows-what every day?

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Thursday, October 11, 2007


So far, Operation Turn-Off-The-TV is going pretty well. I've been out walking twice this week and plan to go again tomorrow. It's actually kind of funny, but I put all my work-out gear on and headed out the door with the carriage. Funny because someone who used to work out twice a day has been reduced to a brisk walk as exercise. I can't even say I was speed-walking, because the Bugaboo currently has the bassinett attachment and this has no restraint system. Which means if I take curbs or bumps too quickly, little Rolo gets jostled all over the place. So for now, I'm just walking at a slightly faster than normal pace. But I've been going for over an hour and check out little neighborhoods in the process. Yesterday we walked around Queen Village and Bella Vista. I love those areas and I'm kind of sad we never bought a house there. On Monday, we toured Old City and I found this place, which I had seen featured on the Food Network, and I totally need to visit at a time that's appropriate to have ice cream (apparently it's not open at 10am when we passed. Like no one ever wants ice cream at 10am). Anyway, despite this being a huge departure from my normal fitness routine, I feel more productive just being in sneakers, shorts and walking faster than just the leisurely pace I've adopted over the last couple of months.

And I've been reading. Inspired by the book reading last week, I re-read Ann Patchett's "Truth and Beauty". I figured I'd start my reading slowly, since my memory is totally shot, by reading something I'd already read. I don't do this as much anymore, but when I was younger, I would re-read books, three or four times. Actually, I read "Gone With the Wind" twenty-seven times before I stopped keeping track. For some reason, a phrase or a scene in a book would pop into my mind and I'd become obsessed with it until I'd read the book all over again to find that section. I finished "Truth and Beauty" and I finally found my copy of Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love". I'm about a third into that book and am LOVING it so far. So yeah, the reading thing is going well. I feel smarter already.

It's been a slow start for cooking, although I have a new, completely made-up recipe, going in my slow-cooker right now. And I got all the ingredients for this pear and apple crisp the other day, knowing that today was supposed to be rainy. I'd figured it would be a good day to stay in and cook. We'll see how far along I get with that recipe because all the peeling and coring is somewhat labor-intensive so I'm hoping Rolo settles in for a long nap.

Lastly, after my little fit last week, I find that I am enjoying being home after all. Not every minute of it, but as an overall experience. I enjoy it because I know it's temporary and that makes it somewhat bittersweet. After some soul searching, and temporary moments of insanity when I thought "maybe I could be a stay-at-home mom", I've come to the conclusion that in a perfect world I would work part-time. Or maybe go to school part-time. And then spend the rest of the time with little Rolo. At any rate, then there would be some structure to my days, something to occupy my mind, while spending more time with my son than working full-time allows. But that's not a realistic plan, because I'm the breadwinner right now, so...back to full time I go.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Just in case you were worried, I have not thrown Rolo out of the apartment on his ear. Despite another crying bender last night. And despite waking up every 2 hours, which would be fine, except he felt it necessary to wake me up too. The kid is lucky I adore him.

But what I'm really posting about and I realize this is old news now, but 50 Cent and Justin Timberlake (and Timbaland, who I just want to hug) have a song out right now. How did this come to be? When did Justin get street cred? I know he's all cool these days, because he wears sneakers with suits and doesn't shave very often and puts some semi-exotic looking girls in his videos. But he fronted N'Sync for Christ's sake. And 50? He's been shot in the head, like 7 times and I think has done some serious time. How did these two hook up? Is Timbaland that powerful?

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Sunday, October 07, 2007


Yesterday, after a lovely afternoon of coffee and drinks with Meg, I had just about HAD IT with Rolo. He went on a 2 hour crying bender when we got home for reasons I couldn't figure out. By the time Ron got home and I handed Rolo over to him, I was seriously considering moving out of the apartment.

I'm not sure why last night hit me so hard. Certainly, Rolo has had his share of crying fits before. It wasn't something that I couldn't handle. I think perhaps it was that Ron was out all day yesterday golfing and is working all day today. I think I realized how much I look forward to the weekends, because Ron will be home and will help bear the load that is caring for an infant. Weekends usually mean that I get out of the house a lot more. We almost always pack up the car and head somewhere on a Saturday or a Sunday. My friends are super-fantastic about meeting me out for a drink or coffee, usually on a moment's notice, but in the end, that's about an hour or two a week. In fact, even though I do get out most days, it's usually not for long periods of time, and the reality is that I'm usually in my apartment about 22 hours a day.

I'm going stir crazy.

And I realized this last night, in the midst of Rolo's screaming, how dependent I've become on Ron to save me on the weekends. I count the hours until he gets home every night and look forward to Fridays with a ridiculous amount of enthusiasm. I dread Mondays like the plague. And so this weekend, without the hope of co-parenting, I was depressed. Not that it was really justified. Ron had to work today and of course, that's unavoidale. And yesterday with the golfing? It was the first time he's seen any of his friends since Rolo was born. Me? I go out with my friends all the time by comparison. So I can't fault him for golfing.

Today is a different day than yesterday and I'm not feeling nearly as bad. Something's up with Rolo though. He doesn't have a fever, but he's cranky and just not himself. I feel better about being home today. In three weeks I'll go back to work, and I know it's not likely I'll ever be home with him like this again. And that? That does make me a little sad. Funny, how I can love and hate being at home at the same time. I love it, because I know it's the best thing for him, but for me, personally, I can't stand it. I alternate between letting my selfishness get the best of me and feeling guilty that I've wasted time feeling frustrated. I feel...I don't know if guilty is the right word, but guilty that I don't always make spending time with Rolo my top priority. I wish I was the kind of person for whom mothering is enough.

The maintenance man in my building, Ernesto, who is a wealth of knowledge, advised me shortly after Rolo was born, "Enjoy this time with him even if it's hard. Too many people try to do other things while taking care of their children. Your children should be your real focus. Because you don't want to look back and realize you didn't spend enough time with them. You can't undo that."

Never again will Rolo be as little as he is right now. That's a thought that has repeated in my head over and over since he was born. And that makes me a little sad too, but in a sweet way, because I know one day I'll look back and wish I was still at home and that he was still a baby.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

The Day the TV Got Turned Off

Wednesday night, I went to an Ann Patchett reading and book signing with my friend Christy. Turns out Ann Patchett is wonderfully entertaining. She and I share something in common and that's that our husbands think we are very unfunny.

So you all know I've been home, not really working since I had Rolo. I was proud of the fact that since the day he was born, I showered, put on makeup and got dressed every day. I leave the house most days. These were all good goals to have for, say, the first couple of weeks. But I haven't really progressed past these goals and this, my friends, is a problem.

After the Ann Patchett reading, it really hit home that I had not been reading. Well, anything other than magazines and they don't really count. I was an English major in college for Christ's sake. And here I am not reading.

Not cooking either. Oh, I make dinner most nights, but I don't research and try new recipes like I used to--and actually I don't even look up old recipes I used to make. I just make 3 or 4 things I have committed to memory. Pretty dull on the ol' taste buds.

Not exercising either. I can't even pretend like I'm exercising. I don't even do my usual stretching or yoga at home. Nothing. Nada. I refuse to join a gym until I can get myself into some sort of routine at home.

So this is the trifecta: reading, cooking and exercising. I need to start doing these things again. These are the new goals. I know it's unrealistic to think I can do each of these things every day. But I can do them all every week. The first step is to turn off the TV. Watching shows on the Food Network, HGTV, and Style have fooled me into thinking I'm not a couch potato. Because I was watching some semi-educational shows, I didn't count as "doing nothing". But TV has turned me into a vegetable and I've never before been a couch potato. So the TV gets turned off. I'm allowing an hour in the mornings of CNN and the Weather Channel and perhaps something in the evenings. But during the day, if I don't have work to do, it's all about reading, or yoga or putting together the recipe binder that I've been putting off for a year.

Time to go read.

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Currently Hating

Researching 529 College Savings Plans. I know little Rolo needs one but the question is which one? Did you know that you can get a 529 in another state besides your own, because each state has a different interest rate? Currently, Utah and Nevada have some of the best deals.

I feel weird about choosing Utah or Nevada though. It just seems like I should stick with my own state. My brother is trying to convince me that the only loyalty I should show is to my money and where it gets the best return.

I'm so not good at this investing thing.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007


So when "Hogan Knows Best" first came on, I really thought they all functioned like a relatively normal family. Which was refreshing for reality TV.
Oh yeah, I do actually watch that show, which is kind of embarassing, (but not nearly as embarassing as watching "Rock of Love"). But mostly I tune in because I remember watching the WWF with my brother as a kid and Hulk Hogan was the guy you loved to root for. By the way, remember Rowdy Roddy Piper? But I digress.

Now I think the fame has gone to the Hogan family's heads. The mom particularly seems like a whack job. And her make-up? Way, way too dark and not at all flattering. Unfortunately, her daughter is following in her footsteps. Let's not even touch the outfit. Focus on the makeup. She could be a cute girl. But instead she looks like a drag queen. Why, Brooke, why?

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Month Two

Yesterday, Rolo turned two months old. The reason I didn't post anything was because after getting some work done in the morning, we went to New Hope in the afternoon. Ron played hooky unexpectedly. As in, he left for work, and then when I was in the shower, I heard his voice saying, "I'm back and not going to work." Very happy that he was home, but not so happy that he scared the bejesus out of me in while I was in the shower. I told him he was lucky that I hadn't heard him rummaging around downstairs or I might have mistaken him for an intruder and come at him with a baseball bat.

The weather in New Hope was lovely--slightly cool, but warm enough that Rolo wasn't cold. It was a great day to hang out with the little man. He was very good. I've noticed recently that going out with him doesn't fill me with the same level of anxiety as it previously did. Part of that may be that I'm getting used to him, but I think mostly it's that he has become a happier baby:

Sunday was Rolo's christening and afterward we had a luncheon at the Irish Pub. My friends, as well as my and Ron's families had a great time. The day left me exhausted, but it doesn't take much to exhaust me these days. Anyway, Rolo was pretty well behaved for the christening and was so worn out that he slept 7 hours straight that night. And I did a happy dance. Someday I really hope he forgives me for this:
(if I were better at this picture stuff, I'd figure out a way to rotate these photos so they're upright, but I'm tired, so you'll just have to deal with a sideways view)

While we were at the Irish Pub, the Phillies won the division and our guests went nuts. Rolo is already a Phillies fan:

Today Rolo got his first real round of shots. He cried when the injections went in, but recovered quickly and took it like a real man. I was proud of him.

Actually, I'm always proud of him. Two months down and about 214 left to go until college. If he stays as sweet as he is right now, we'll be just fine.

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So I found the green Banana dress. It fit. I bought it along with another wrap dress. After about an hour of trying both dresses on Sunday morning, I wore a very safe, typical "me" outfit: a jewel-tone blue short sleeve sweater, a gray lightweight wool skirt and black slingbacks. I thought I looked fine, but I was disappointed in myself for not rocking the green dress.

This was all for Nolan's christening. We had a lunch afterward and all my friends, as well as both my and Ron's families were there. It was exhausting, but it doesn't take much to exhaust me these days. Still, I had a good time I think everyone else did too. Didn't hurt that the lunch was at a bar and while we were there, the Phillies won the division. Good times.

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