Tuesday, December 23, 2008

No more Haiku

I have decided that writing a haiku everyday is stupid and I'm not going to do it anymore. OK, its not stupid, its boring. Who wants to read a new Haiku everyday? I certainly don't, and if I don't even want to read my own haiku, I figure I should stop. Yes, I know what this means - I failed my own challenge, but I am a firm believer that life is about evolving and growing and if I failed my challenge it is only because I was able to evolve to a place where I don't need to do it anymore (yes, I was excellent at coming up with excuses not to do my homework in high school).

In other, non haiku related news, my family is descending on us tomorrow. I am actually very excited that they are coming to visit us, but really they didn't have a choice. We declared long before Alice was born that we were not traveling with our baby for the first year - and we have stuck by that promise. Its actually very easy to do when you realize everything that goes into traveling with a baby - ITS TERRIFYING!!! Especially THIS year with everyone stuck at the airport for DAYS!!! I can just see Alice now:

Alice: mom, its been 5 minutes. Why arn't you singing and dancing to entertain me?

Mom: Alice, I would love to entertain you, but we are stuck in this airport and I need to go wait in a line that will most likely take hours so that I can put us on a list that will most likely be for a canceled flight - ask your dad to entertain you.

5 minutes later:

Alice: Mom, why are you not feeding me right here and now?

Mom: Alice, I just fed you an hour ago and you spent the entire time trying to expose me to the entire airport. Don't you want to wait just a little bit longer?

I can just imagine this process continuing for days! My heart really goes out to all those stranded at the airport - especially those with children.

Not having to go to the airport, we have have been enjoying the snow!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Haiku day 17

Tried to take the bus
We waited for one hour
It never showed up

We tried to get out of the house today. We first tried to catch the bus at our bus stop only to discover that the bus was there - stuck. The bus driver told us that our best bet was to walk to Northgate and catch the bus there. We did this and waited about an hour before we just gave up. Our city really does shut down in the snow.

One of my favorite things to do in the winter is to sit in a warm, cozy house drinking hot chocolate and watching movies.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Haiku day 16

Stuck inside all day
What was once fun snow for games
Is now a captor

Friday, December 19, 2008

Haiku day 15

A new idea
Creating my own business
Working towards a goal

A couple of my friends and I have decided to start a business together. I won't go into the details too much but it involves starting something new and the best part is that I can take Alice with me. I'm excited about it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Haiku day 14

Watching dumb movies
Cuddling on the sofa
What a perfect day

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Haiku day 13

Lets just pretend that I didn't forget to post yesterday...

Running through the wind
Snow stings my cheek as I flee
Alice snuggles close

I have discovered the perfect way to put Alice down for her nap. I simply put her in the moby and take a walk in the cold. Her little nose gets cold so she buries it in my chest. Something about the dark and warmth put her instantly to sleep. Its so very sweet.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Haiku day 12

The Aquarium
Swimming fish delight Alice
Fur seals flirt with her

On this record breaking coldest day of the year, Alice and I took a bus to the Seattle Aquarium. This is the first time that she has actually taken notice of the animals. She laughed every time a fish moved - which basically meant that she was laughing the entire time.
I think the cold scared everyone else away because we basically had the place to ourselves. Even the seals looked disappointed with their lack of an audience - they did a little swimming dance just for Alice. The volunteers looked desperate to answer questions, so I talked to them about the octopus while Alice splashed in the tide pool. It was a perfect way to spend a freezing Seattle morning.

Here is Alice trying to grab onto the octopus - if only this silly glass wasn't in the way!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Haiku day 11

I wrote an old friend
I haven't seen him in years
He is a dad now

It seams to me that there are times in your life when everyone does the same thing. When I was 24, everyone I knew was getting married. I think I went to 4 different weddings that year alone. I don't think that I felt any pressure because of that trend to get married, but I did get married as well right around that time. A couple of years later, those same friends were all getting pregnant, and lo and behold, I did as well. I want to say that "I am an individual! I do not follow the crowd! I am not a sheep!" but maybe I am. Maybe we do things more because "everyone else is doin' it" than we would like to admit.

I've been thinking a lot about the things that I do and asking myself why I do them. Christmas is a perfect example. Neither my husband nor myself are Christan, yet we always have some sort of Christmas celebration. It is hard not to when it feels like the rest of the country is celebrating. I want holiday traditions to be meaningful for Alice. While I don't believe in Christmas, I do believe in some sort of holiday magic. I LOVED trying to force myself to go to sleep Christmas eve so that Christmas would come sooner. I LOVED our Christmas tree all lit up and sitting in front of a fire drinking hot coco. I want to continue these traditions for Alice.

Even though it feels like everyone around me is celebrating on December 25th, SDN and I have decided that we are going to celebrate the coming on winter on the winter solstice. This gives our holiday a firm date which will hopefully allow Alice that same wonderful feeling the night before of being too excited to fall asleep. We are committed to treating this day as sacred to us, which means that we might have to take Alice out of school (if her school is still in session on that day) so that this day will always be special for us.

This is such a great time to be starting traditions. I just want to be sure that there are reasons behind the things that we hold dear.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Haiku day 10

Brain functions slowly
Everything is loud and bright
On next to no sleep

Friday, December 12, 2008

Haiku day 9

I give you my sleep
Soaring on the backs of dreams
Soundlessly resting

Why don't babies come with instruction manuals? Each one would have to be different to account for the unique needs of each child. One instruction manual might recommend putting baby to sleep around 9pm for optimal sleep duration lasting no less than 8 hours. Others, like mine, might caution that care of this baby might require sleepless nights.

"Baby has a loving temperament and will instantly be soothed by the sound of your voice, the caress of your hand, and being embraced. Baby will be charming and attempt to make eye contact and smile at everyone you pass. Do not be surprised if total strangers talk to you on a daily basis about the smile of baby while attempting to tickle baby's tummy and touch baby's hands.

"By 6 months of age, baby will need to be nursed once every 3 hours although, it is important to note that baby can go as long as 6 hours without being fed. When eating solid foods, first remove all clothing from baby. Second, place clear plastic food catcher beneath baby's chair. Third, have a hose ready to spray baby off when finished.

"At night, baby will fall asleep easily if a bedtime routine is in place that includes: naked time, bath, story time, and nursing. Baby, however, will not stay asleep for longer than 1.5 hours. Your particular model of baby wakes frequently during the night. To make up for this, we have enabled this baby to be instantly soothed, so putting baby back to sleep should be no problem...just don't expect baby to stay asleep.

"If nighttime wakings should cause distress, please keep in mind that your model of baby smiles, laughs, and cuddles more than other models currently on the market.

"We hope you enjoy this baby. Our help line is open 24 hours a day if any questions should arise."

I can wish, can't I?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Haiku day 8

One more year older
I still feel like a child
Waiting to grow up

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Haiku day 7

She's crying upstairs
I want to hold her right now
Wipe away her tears

We have very reluctantly began allowing Alice to cry herself to sleep at night. This decision was made after she woke up every 15 minutes one night. So far, it has worked nicely. She has been sleeping much longer stretches (2, 3, or 4 hours). Every time she cries, though, its all I can do to not run upstairs and hold her and kiss her and show her how much I love her. I know that if I do this, we'll all go back to not sleeping, but it is so hard to listen to her cry.

Haiku day 6

oops, I forgot to post yesterday...

Out with my mom's group
Talk turns to the babes at home
I miss my Alice

Monday, December 8, 2008

Haiku day 5

She looks up at me
And gives me her secret grin
A smile for me

I noticed yesterday, when Alice was playing with all of her friends on the living room floor, that in every picture I took of her, she was looking up at me smiling. Now, maybe she just likes the camera and knows exactly what to do whenever she sees it, but I think that she was smiling just for me.
I have "ninjafide" the other children to protect their identities.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Haiku day 4

The Great Depression
People living on the streets
Things could get much worse

I watched a movie today about the Great Depression, and I realized that while we have had to really tighten our belts since SDN lost his job, we are still quite wasteful.

On a side note, I have no idea why I am writing in italics. I have tried to switch it off, but I think that my computer is cursed because it won't go away. This is how it looks when the italics button is off. This is how it looks when the italics button is on. Stupid technology...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Haiku day 3

My sister called me
Life is hard when you're a teen
I'm glad I'm grown-up

Friday, December 5, 2008

Haiku day 2

Christmas exploding
Alice wants to eat it all
So much excitement

Have you ever noticed how many unsafe things there are associated with Christmas for little babies - tiny light bulbs, pine needles, toxic plastic - she wants to put everything in her mouth and gets so frustrated when I won't let her.

Here is the cutest holiday baby ever!We put up a holiday tree which is just about as tall as she is.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Haiku challenge

One of my friends showed me this book (I can't remember the title...sorry) where these famous people (can't remember who...) wrote a haiku everyday for a year. Some of them were funny, some were sad, some were profound.

I thought it would be really fun to try this. Only not for a year...maybe a month. I'm going to try to write a Haiku everyday for a month. If you want to join in, that would be fun. Just leave it in the comments or link to it in the comments.

Day 1:
Smiling baby
Puts her fingers in her mouth
Banana drips out

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A neurotic post about Thanksgiving

So, I had no intention of writing a cheesy Thanksgiving post detailing everything that I am thankful for - I mean, isn't it obvious?

But, then I started being all neurotic and thinking to myself, "what if Alice reads this post when she is older and doesn't realize how incredibly thankful I am for her." I know, its so obvious, it goes without saying, but I am thankful for my baby girl. I am ridiculously thankful for my little girl. I have never been more thankful for anything in my entire life. There is not a single thing about her that I am not thankful for - from her incessant giggling to her 4 am night screaming.

Every morning when I take her PJ's off and put on her socks, I kiss each foot (I know, ridiculously cheesy). I am thankful for each little toe.

Being a mom has also made me appreciate things and people that I probably overlooked or underestimated in the past. I could never have done this without my moms. It is true what people say - once you are a mother, you appreciate your parents so much more.

I also appreciate my husband in ways I never did before. He is so dedicated our family. He always puts us first. I would put up a sappy picture of him, but I think he would be mad that I had blown his cover - which is not really the reaction that I'm going for with this post - so another one of my photoshop marvels:I knew I shouldn't have started listing all the things that I am thankful for - now I feel obliged to list everything that I am thankful for. I don't want anyone to feel left out, but, on the other hand, I don't want this post to go on forever (and you probably don't want to read much more anyway) so, let me sum it up - I am thankful for all those special people in my life (you know who you are *wink, wink*)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Now and then

Things that used to suck:

Having to do something stupid and meaningless just because you boss told you to when she was clearly wrong but if you argue with you, you will lose your job.

Things that now suck:

Leaving dirty diapers in the car overnight. When you open the car door the next morning, the smell could wipe out a small country.

Life is so much simpler now - if smellier.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A shout out to two of the bravest people that I know

I often worry about what role models Alice will find in her life. On the one hand, there are so many admirable people in this world - so many people that have followed their dreams in a positive way and accomplished extraordinary things. On the other hand, I clearly remember being a teenager and admiring - not the people out there changing the world but - my crazy-assed friends. Yes, I was a dork. The faster my friends drove, the cooler I thought they were. The more spontaneous and adventuresome they were, the more I liked them.

I hope that Alice has more sense than I did. All I can do is introduce her to some of the most admirable people that I know.

Two months ago, two of my very best friends gave away everything they owned except for some clothes and a pair of stilts and set off to explore America on a grand busking adventure.

They believe so passionately in what they are doing that they are willing to face open criticism from strangers (I have a hard time thinking about getting a negative comment on my blog - I can't even imagine strangers telling me to my face that I suck and finding the strength to continue on - not that they suck. Quite the opposite. Their show is fun and creative and inspiring). In the process they contemplating questions that everyone should have to answer: why are we doing this? What are we hoping to gain? What role does art play in our world? They say it much more eloquently on their blog. I highly recomend it.

With what money are they accomplishing this wonderful adventure, you might ask? With very limited funds, relying instead on the premise that people are basically good at heart. They are hitch-hicking as much as they can, staying with friends, family, and couch surfing.

I am so impressed with what they are doing, and while I probably worry about their safety more than they do, I hope that Alice will be inspired by them.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

100 word challenge


It may be the glint in his eye as he glances my direction with the slight upturn of his lip, halfway between a snarl and a show of victory. It may be how one eyebrow arches slightly, as if such a simple gesture could throw into doubt everything that I stand for and love. It may be the off-handed way he turned. It may be any of these things, but it isn't. Something deeper is encouraging me to not just walk, but run. As the police link his hands behind his back, it is my lip that curls up.

Challenge on Velvet Verbosity

Alice's first protest

To support our friends and fight the injustice that is plaguing our nation in the form of discrimination against gays and lesbians, Alice, SDN and I participated in a peaceful march from capital hill to downtown. We were joined by 3,000 other people, including lots of other babies and dogs. Alice especially liked the dogs. I took some wonderful pictures, but I think that SDN would not appreciate me posting his picture without his ninja gear on. OK, I just photoshopped a picture. I'm so clever. You probably won't even be able to tell that I photoshoped it - it will just look like SDN is wearing his ninja gear. I am that good. Here they are at the rally.
Isn't she cute. She screaming, "Stop the H8!"

Then she sat down and ate some pretty fall leaves.
Such an exciting day!

Good news (at least its good, if you are either my husband or myself or you care about us somewhat): Alice is sleeping...kinda. She now sleeps for 2 or 3 or (if she is really on a roll) 4 hours at a time! Life is grand. Colors are returning. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that I looked like I hadn't slept in about 6 months (which is mostly true) - but the fact that I can recognize this rather than blindly go thorough my day is so exciting.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I am so sick of hearing how well other people's babies sleep - of watching how quietly other people's babies sit - of seeing how calm other people's babies are. Alice has charisma! When she walks into a room (or is carried) people take notice. Babies stare, mothers laugh, random strangers smile and sunshine filters into the otherwise gloomy shadows. My baby girl has spirit, spunk, and an indescribably ability to bend the world around her the way she wants it to be.

Right now, I don't care that she is not sleeping. I don't care that she able to find that one moment of silence in a restaurant and fill it with the full force of her lungs. I don't care that she attacks every item within a 10 foot radius as if it were the most delicious piece of chocolate cake ever created. I simply adore this child and all of her wonderful quirks.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I am probably the worst mother in the world. I had such great intentions when I had my beautiful baby girl. I read all the books and decided that there was no way that I would traumatize my child by ever letting her cry for more than a minute. I carried her in a sling everywhere I went and slept with her right by my side so that at the slightest mummer, I was there to sooth her with a gentle pat or a boob if needed. I didn't love waking up in the middle of the night, but I did because my baby needed me and I felt so bad for her.

Fast forward 6 months later. The waking up in the middle of the night did not get better as everyone promised - it got worse. The night before last, she woke up every 15 minutes until 3am at which point she was just awake and babbling until 5am when she returned to the 15 minute routine. All those nurturing, loving feelings I had for my child were gone in the face of severe sleep deprivation. I was frustrated, SDN was frustrated, Alice was frustrated - it was no fun for anyone. I might even go so far to say that it was the worst night of my life.

Last night, I got into bed dreading another sleepless night, and I did something I never thought I'd do. When Alice woke up at 12am, instead of picking her up right away and offering the boob for the third time that hour...I let her cry.....

I felt horrible. She was less than a foot away from me. I had my hand on her back and was talking to her the whole time. Her sobs were louder, but I think that mine had more tears. Every few minutes I had to sit on my hand to keep from picking her up. Whenever the urge to comfort her was too powerful, I thought of the previous night and knew that I couldn't survive long like that.

32 minutes later, she fell asleep - the amazing thing was, she fell asleep for 4 hours!!!! I haven't seen that stretch of sleep in ages. It felt wonderful. Then, after some quick nursing, she slept for another 2 hours!!!!

I hope that she has learned to comfort herself so that she can sleep longer. I don't think that I can handle more of those letting her cry moments.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New hoodie

Dear Grandma Susie,

Thank you so much for the beautiful new hoodie and hat. Everywhere I go, people want to know where they can get one. Sometimes we lie and say we got it in a fancy boutique but usually we just say that my incredibly talented grandma made it for me.

Its raining here, as usual, but mommy and I are going to walk around Greenlake anyway. We tried to convince daddy to come with us but he has a phone interview for a new job! Yea daddy! I miss you tons and can't wait to see you over Christmas!

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, October 27, 2008

The positive side of life

SDN lost his job. I guess that makes it sound like one day he woke up and couldn't remember where he put it. It would be more accurate to say that the evil start-up company that SDN worked for called all employees into a meeting on the last day of the pay period and informed that this would be the last day that they were getting paid, and, oh yea, would you mind working for free for the next two and a half weeks so that this company (which has treated you oh so fairly) can put on a good show for investors and do well? OK, to be totally fair to this evil corporation, they did offer the ex-employees stock options to continue (note: stock options that will be worthless unless the company makes it big - an increasingly unlikely scenario given the current state of the economy - and they had already given him stock options but somehow those are worth less now...don't ask me to explain it, I don't really understand). SDN, being the wonderful - glass is always half full- type of person that he is, happily accepted and has been diligently working full time for a company that unceremoniously laid him off for the past two weeks.

I just realized that I made it my mission in writing this post to be positive, because I do firmly believe that being positive can actually change your circumstances for the better. So, here goes: SDN has a wonderful opportunity to find a different job that will hopefully pay him lots more money and allow him to work fewer hours so that he can do things like go for walks with us around Greenlake and smell the spices with Alice.

I've been trying to tutor as much as possible, but 6 hours a week of tutoring does not really compare with the income of a full time tech job. I really want to be one of those people that is always positive and can calmly assure SDN that this is for the best and what a great opportunity this is and now we get to see him more...but I do find myself slipping into very negative and dark thoughts about his stupid job that screwed over their employees and them asked them to remain loyal.

Changing the subject, Alice as begun to do all sorts of wonderful things. She can grab onto anything - silverware, clothes, friends - and eat them. She makes hilarious raptor noises and has even put herself on a daytime nap schedule (yea, for nap time). Her grandma got her a sea turtle costume for Halloween which we have been showing off everywhere we go (I always thought it was a shame that you could only wear your Halloween costume once a year) to a chorus of "awwws" and "how cute!" I'm worried I'm beginning to get addicted to all the attention that Alice gathers whenever I take her anywhere...I mean at some point she is going to grow up.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's 10:39pm...

My beautiful baby girl has decided that her bedtime is 11pm and nothing I do will change this. I have diligently followed the advice of the experts - we have a bedtime routine which begins at exactly 8pm every night. We read, take a bath, listen to soft music, and nurse - and it works...for about 10 minutes. Then she is up and ready to go until 11. At this exact moment, she is trying to catch my eye so that she can flash me one of her soul melting smiles - its hard to be annoyed by someone so charming and adorable. Her new trick of the evening is pivoting in a circle around her butt. It reminds me of those people who lay on their backs and move by using their feet to push them in a circle. Its like that, only she doesn't use her feet - she arches her back and gyrates with her entire body until she manages to move. You might think this would tire her out. You might think that this sort of super-human gymnastic routine might be just a bit draining - but no! She is having a ball. I guess I should go spend this non-sleeping time reading more "expert" advice, but I just keep thinking about my middle school students. They would sleep something like 20 hours a day if they could, so eventually Alice will grow out of this. Nothing is permanent - I just have to survive until this phase ends. The unfortunate part about his phase is that it also comes with 7 night wakings. She is starting to get grumpy - this is my cue that she might be ready for sleep....

Monday, September 8, 2008

One of those days

Every once in a while I have one of those awful days where everything seams to be stacked against me. I did not sleep last night. Not because of my bundle of joy who only woke up about 4 times, but because I was stuck in the bathroom with things that are far too disgusting to even write about in an anonymous blog. Morning came far too quickly, and Alice must have picked up on my moaning and groaning because the sweetest baby in the entire world spent her morning fussing and screeching at the top of her lungs (her new favorite game). I had finally got her to fall asleep for her morning nap when the doorbell rang - not once or even twice, but 50 fucking times!!!! Alice wakes up screaming, and I rush downstairs convinced that there must be some sort of mandatory evacuation order that I somehow missed in my sick induced fog and the police had come to take us away. It was not the police. It was our friendly mailman delivering a package. Why he felt it necissary to ring the bell over and over and over is a myserty that may never be solved.

Obnoxious Mailman: You need to lay gravel down and then flatten sand on top it it. (He gestures to our patio that we have litterily spent every weekend of the last four months working on. Granted, it does bring up the image of waves when you look at it, but hey we never put in a patio before).

Me with screaming baby in arms: Yea, we did that. Its harder to get it to go flat than you might think.

OMM: You need to put sand on top of it.

Are you fucking kidding me!!!! You are a fucking mailman! You drive in a truck all day and deliver mail. What gives you the right to criticize my handy work. I don't see you putting a patio in. So, to be fair, I don't actually know if you have ever put a patio in or not, but the point is moot. This is my patio, and I know it looks like some sort of bumppy slip and slide, but do you really think I want to hear your imput right after you have woken up my baby girl?

Me (through gritted teeth while juggling Alice to my other side): Thanks!

The package is a carrier that I ordered weeks ago that (I sadly discover once I pull it out) requires TWO people to put on!

Alice has no intention of going back to sleep and the bathroom beckons. Its days like today that I wish I worked at some boring office job. Don't get me wrong. I love every second that I get to spend with Alice, but being able to call in sick and spend a day in bed is a luxergy that I miss terribly.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thoughts on being a celebrity

I've always been a shy girl. I used to sit in the back of class and look down at my desk in an attempt to avoid eye contact with anyone who happened to enter the classroom. Walking down the street, I would count the lines on the sidewalk or stare at the buildings overhead so that I wouldn't accidentally make eye contact with people I was passing. Parties are the worst. I hate making small talk with strangers - I instantly feel self conscious and want nothing more than to curl up with a book alone. Like most shy people, I have trained myself to function in this society. I force myself to return smiles when I see them, and I've memorized a list of questions that I use when mingling with strangers or trying to get to know new co-workers. I've gotten very good at pretending - my friends look at me like I'm nuts when I admit to them that I'm shy, and my boss used to shove me in leadership positions "because I was so good with people." Despite my advancements, I still posses the skills necessary to make myself all but invisible when walking down a crowded street or in a room full of strangers.

I took Alice on a walk today through downtown to visit SDN for lunch. She was in her favorite position - in the MOBY facing outward. If you've never seen a baby in this position, it really is quite a site. Alice loves to watch the world safely strapped to my chest, and everyone we meet goes nuts over how adorable she is.

We were walking through downtown, and within my carefully constructed bubble of anonymity, I began to notice that strangers were not ignoring me as they usually did when I avoided eye contact and tried to be invisible. They would casually glance at me, but before their eyes had a chance to slide away, their pupils would widen and they would purposefully look from Alice to me. They would force their eyes into my bubble, making sustained eye contact as giant grins erupted all over their faces. Hardened city dwellers melted at the sight of little Alice. "What an adorable baby," old women exclaimed. "Look at that hair," about a dozen people commented. One man even went so far as to have an entire conversation with Alice as I politely nodded and smiled. "Hee, hee, hee. Are you enjoying your ride, buddy? I wish someone would carry me around like that. You got some hair on your head. I wish I had hair like that. You goin' off to work? You work around here? Where do you work? Ha Ha Ha! That's one cute baby you got!" I thanked him and continued on.

I never know what to say when people tell me how cute Alice is. I guess I can take some credit for it as I did pass along some mighty cute jeans, but "thank you" doesn't quite seam like the best response. If I had half the guts I would like to have and twice the honesty, I would proabably just say, "I know," but that would really throw people, and I try to avoide making people uncomfortable if I can. Now that I think about it, though, I'd bet people would really get a kick out of it if I responded with "I know" instead of "thank you". Sure, I might offend a few old women, but most people would probably laugh, and isn't that what Alice is all about: making strangers happy.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Good Dads

I am married to an amazing husband and wonderful father. I know a lot of people say this, but SDN really is quite extraordinary.

We went to SDN's company picnic last weekend and SDN was carrying Alice around and playing with her while I ate. We have become a well-oiled machine at taking turns playing with Alice while the other one eats - its almost second nature. SDN becomes almost like a child himself when he plays with Alice. He talks to her in a high pitched baby voice and makes funny faces and farting sounds. Its quite a sight - especially among a bunch of professionals.

When we were getting ready to leave, one of women we had met approached SDN. "It was good to meet you. I can tell you really love your daughter."

SDN: Thank you. I do really love her.
Random woman at party: No, I can tell you really care for your daughter
SDN: Thank you...

This woman almost had a tear in her eye when she said this. She was so amazed to see a father so devoted to his child. It got me thinking. Is is really so rare in our culture for dads to take an interest in their children? It is almost expected that mothers love and care for their babies, but is it a rarity for a father to take that kind of interest? As a teacher, I knew every single one of my students' mothers, but I only knew about 3 fathers. When I asked for parent volunteers, it was the mom's who took time off work to help. Only about 1 in 10 fathers even bothered to show up for parent teacher conferences.

I know from reading blogs that there are some involved, wonderfully caring fathers out there, but maybe they are more rare than I thought. Growing up, I hardly ever saw my father - he worked so much. I want to think that my generation is different. That now fathers are interested in being part of their children's lives. I guess I'm just grateful that I lucked out marrying one of the good ones.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Night LIfe

I think my husband is leading a double life (I mean apart from his Ninja escapades). During the day he is "super dad extraordinare," but at night he turns into a completely different person. It started with the sex. He would initiate sex (and sometimes even engage in it) without remembering any of it in the morning (that alone is enough to hurt anyone's pride). It is becoming more than just that, though. Last night, SDN, opened his eyes and stared at me for five minutes straight.

Me: What are you doing?
SDN: Moving my throwing stars
Me: Sweetie, you don't really have throwing stars
SDN: I know, but I need to move them off the bedside table.
Me: Are you awake?
SDN: What are you talking about?
Me: What am I talking about? I don't think you are really awake.
SDN: I need to move these.

He then proceeded to lean over the bedside table and move his arm around and around without touching anything. I couldn't help it, I started laughing.

SDN: What?
Me: Nothing...I think you should go to sleep now.
SDN: When we get there, I'll let you know.
Me: You do that.

He finally closed his eyes and rolled over. While it was all very funny, I was thinking about it later and actually got a little freaked out. He didn't remember any of this in the morning. It was like I was talking to a complete stranger in the middle of the night in my own bed. I have an overactive imagination and, of course, started to imagine the worst. What if his night time persona is really a serial killer. What if he really sneaks out every night to hunt down unspecting victims? I guess its a good thing I don't have time to watch thriller movies anymore. I might be forced to make him sleep on the couch.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hunger Strikes

My beautiful baby is brilliant. She has successfully discovered the secret to keeping mommy near her at all times. All she has to do is refuse the bottle...no matter what. By doing this, she ensures that I will never leave her for longer than three hours at a time.

SDN and I went out for our bi-monthly date to celebrate our 2 year anniversary. We had hoped to eat dinner at one of those "fancy" restaurants - you know, the ones where the tables are too close together to fit a stroller and the atmosphere is quiet enough that a screaming baby would disturb more than a few people - then see a movie (the kind of movie that doesn't begin at 10am and include a theatre full of other screaming babies). After a luxuriously long dinner (90 minutes!) we called home and discovered that Alice was refusing to eat. We walked around downtown - saw a sunset on the water - and called home again. By this time, Alice was hungry (it had been over 2 and 1/2 hours since she last ate) but was still treating the bottle as if it were poisoned. That kid defiantly has my number. There was no way I could leave her for another two hours when I knew that she was hungry.

When we got home, Alice looked at me like, "oh, back so soon. Since you're here, you might as well feed me." She wasn't upset in the slightest, but she drank like a drunk frat boy on a Saturday night.

Maybe this is just a stage that she will grow out of. Maybe she will wake up one day and decide that the bottle is a good thing. Maybe I'll win the lottery and buy a house on the beach with a cleaning service and a personal cook and a little blue fairy who will grant all my wishes...

Friday, August 8, 2008


I am such a geek. At least that is what my 8th graders used to tell me in one of those affectionate "we like you but we're still going to make fun of you" sort of ways. I have been looking forward to today for years. Not because it is the first day of the Olympics (although I am following the woman's soccer - go Hope Solo), but because it is 08/08/08. 8 has got to be one of the coolest numbers in the world. It is infinity sideways, it is a cube number, and it is the atomic number for oxygen (which we all need to survive), as well as a many other reasons. Today there are three eights!

Alice couldn't agree with me more. One of the most wonderful things about having a 3 month old daughter is that I can tell her anything and as long as I say it with a smile, she smiles back and agrees. Its like having your own personal "yes" man by your side 24/7.

SD: Alice, did you know that today is a very special day?
Alice: (smiles) I didn't mama. Tell me more.
SD: Today's date is 08/08/08. Isn't that exciting?!
Alice: (laughing) Is it really? That is so cool! You are so cool, mama!
SD: Really. You don't think I'm a geek?
Alice: (in fits of laughter) No way, mama. You are the coolest person alive!

Just to prove her point, she decided to stop whatever she was doing (including crying) every time she saw me today to give me an enormous grin. I guess I'm doing something right to deserve that kind of devotion. Although she could have just been happy that today was 08/08/08.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ups and Downs

I am feeling low right now. Up until this point, I was fairly secure in my belief that I was doing everything I could to be the best mother possible for little Alice. I had read all the research - I even studied infant development in college. In an attempt to be the perfect attachment parent, I carried Alice with me wherever I went. When the Moby wrap was so completely covered in spit up and drool that I couldn't possibly ignore it any more, I would quickly throw it in the wash and carry Alice with me in my arms for the next two hours. I've catered to her every whim - brilliantly stopping cries before they had a chance to begin based solely on her cues. I guess I'm telling you all this so that I don't feel so guilty.

I took a survey today on-line about parenting, and one of the questions was "how much time do you spend with your child (not counting driving, TV, computer, or talking with other adults)?" Looking at this questions, I realized that for all my good intentions, I hardly spend any time during the day interacting with just Alice. I'm always trying to clean the house, or driving us somewhere to meet other mommies, or talking with my friends about how challenging it is to raise a child. I probably spend at most and hour or two a day playing with Alice without all those other distractions.

I know its ridiculous, but I really feel like an awful mother today. I haven't been interacting with my daughter enough. I look around the house and it is a mess - all that time that I had spent cleaning (with Alice firmly attached to my front) is wasted. There is always so much to do and there is no way that I am ever going to get it all done. I don't want to look back on my life and realize that I missed my daughter growing up because I was too busy trying to clean up that was determined to stay messy and chatting with friends.

I remember when I would have bad days teaching. When I could tell that my students didn't understand a word that I was saying and they were bored and miserable and I was bored and miserable. I always used to think that no matter what happens today, there is always tomorrow. I guess I get up tomorrow and just try harder.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mommy World

With the birth of my daughter has come a ticket into this strange and unfamiliar world I like to call "mommy world". Mommy world is a place where new mothers get together and try to figure out this what their lives have become since the birth of their child. Attendance is mandatory - participation is optional.

I have have always had a strong leaning towards hermit-hood. If given the choice between going to a party and staying in to watch movies and eat pizza, I would choose the latter option every time. Its not that I don't enjoy drinking and mingling as much as the next person...it just takes so much effort. I would much rather drink and enjoy the company of a small group of select friends who won't analyze every little thing I say...or at least if they do then they don't hold it against me. I have a tendency to be far too honest in initial conversations which can be rather...off putting to those that don't know me. I would say things like, "thank goodness there is someone here who is as fat as me," or "wow, five drinks and you're still walking up stairs. Does someone have a 'problem'?" I spend half the night trying to take my enormous foot out of my mouth. But I digress...

After the birth of Alice, I fought vigorously to maintain my quiet, solitary life despite the best advice of all those books everyone reads and my doctor, whom I adore. I took her on walks and scoped out the mommy and me movies that only show at 10am on a Thursday morning. I ran errands and planned dinners that I always found an excuse not to cook. For three solid weeks after my husband went back to work, I managed to live my life on a day-to-day basis with only an infant for company. Then I realized that if I don't have adult conversation at least once during the day, I start to go a little nuts. So, I stepped into mommy world.

I joined a group of women that met every Wednesday for lunch who drank too much and were all about to get a divorce, and I joined a group of women who met every Tuesday who researched all the new toys and had advice on every topic imaginable pertaining to babies from how to get them to go to sleep to what diaper is the most socially responsible. I figured between the two groups I actually ended up with a nice balance. I was amazed at how little effort joining this mommy world was. All I had to do was express the smallest amount of interest and the people came to me. Suddenly, I had people wanting to get lunch and go for walks on a daily basis. My social calender was busier than it had ever been. Alice was as shocked by the turn of events as I was. Every day a new baby stared blankly at her while reaching out a wobbly hand to touch her arm. We became wildly popular. Apparently honesty is a good thing when it comes to raising a child, and my mommy friends couldn't get enough. Having other mothers to talk to is surprising helpful. I'm realizing that my baby is not the only baby in the world who would rather poke burning hot stakes through her eyes than sit in the car seat for five minutes, and that it is perfectly normal to poop green every once in a while. Who knew? I still find this mommy world a strange and unfamiliar place, but it is helping me get a grip on my sanity, and I honestly think that the other mothers are just as lost and confused as I am.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cooking and Cleaning

I am such a failure as a housewife. Housewives are supposed to be able to do things like...cook and clean and handle a screaming baby while knitting a new sweater and planning a party at the same time. I can't even do these things individually. Its like I'm mentally stuck in the dorms at college where all I have to do is keep my half of the clearly divided closet-like room from spilling over onto my roommate's half and pop over to the cafeteria whenever I get hungry.

My husband turned 29 years old on Thursday and I, being the super-talented housewife that I am - decided to throw him a birthday bash. We were going to make sushi and play games - oh, I had it all planned out in my head. There would be copious amounts of food and decorations. Hundreds of his closest friends would be waiting to sing him happy birthday while feasting on sushi and drinking mango margaritas. I would be in the background, smug in my certainty that I am the most amazing person alive. I hit my first road block trying to shop for the party. Alice informed me in no uncertain terms that she was not going to stand for all this running around in the car and I was just going to have to pick my favorite store and only go there. All this sounded like a super-sonic wail emanating from the car seat in the back. So, I decided that decorations really weren't all that essential and crossed those off. Then I realized that in order to have a party, one must invite guests. I called, rather frantically, our small group of super supportive friends only to discover that half of them couldn't make it. Alice also informed me that there was no way she was going to sit idly by while I cleaned the house. No problem. I pretty much suck at cleaning anyway - now I have an excuse. I burned the sushi rice (who burns rice), bought the wrong kind of nori and the cheap alcohol.

My grand vision of a party turned out to be five close friends politely eating burnt rice with raw fish while trying not to notice the mess. Alice, with her adorable cheeks and propensity to blow spit bubbles, was the hit of the party. Next time, I'm just going to call the party what it is and invite friends over to come play with my cute baby.

Sex after baby

I read somewhere that a woman's libido drops significantly after having a baby. Something about it being a natural way to ensure that a woman doesn't get pregnant immediately following the birth of a child - as if the copious amounts of sweat, spit-up, spotting, and leaky boobs don't already to the trick. I have not felt even the tiniest bit sexy since the birth of my daughter over two months ago, and, my husband - bless his long suffering heart - has not tried to push the issue...awake.

My husband and I are trying to do attachment parenting which requires the child to sleep in the same bed with you, so last night I was cuddled next to Alice, my daughter, on one side, and my husband on the other. Around 2am, Alice woke up for a feeding, and as I was feeding her on on my left boob, I felt a tug at the burp cloth that covers the drippage of my right boob. Too tired to process this information fully, it wasn't until my husband started kissing my right boob that I knew something was amiss. This is the same man that has difficulty giving our daughter a bottle because it contains breast milk. He wants nothing to do with breast milk. It grosses him out the way cat vomit grosses me out.

Me: What are you doing?
SDN: (more kisses)
Me: You are about to get breast milk on your face.
SDN: You're sexy
Me: I'm breastfeeding Alice
SDN: (more kisses)
Me: Stop touching me.
SDN: (not even a little bit hurt) OK (rolls over and goes back to sleep)

The next morning I apologized to him for shutting him down so quickly and he looked at me blankly. About last night...I prompted. No recognition. He had absolutely no memory of the previous night's events.

There is an actual medical condition called sexsomina, which is - you guessed it - having sex while sleeping. I didn't believe it either when I first heard about it. Whats the fun in having sex and not being able to remember it the next day? My husband is a classic case. Its like sleep walking with an erection. I guess this no-sex thing has been harder on him that I thought.