Monday, June 30, 2008

Sick II

This baby-having stuff has knocked me on my ass. I just got over being sick...again. The third time in six months. Maybe some people are sick that often, but I'm not one of them. In my pre-baby days, I was almost never sick. And it was a good thing, too, because I suck at it.

I'm terrible at being sick. When you're sick, you're supposed to go to bed and do nothing and rest and sit on the couch and watch bad TV and eat bland foods. I get itchy all over if I try to do that. Sitting and trying to rest just reminds me of all the things I'm supposed to be doing that I'm not doing because I'm sick, goddamnit.

"Get used to it," Rob's friend said when he heard I was sick. "You've got a kid now." Because kids are germ factories. They bring everything home. Except that Westley is too little to go anywhere I don't go, and (apart from a few teensy cold symptoms) he hasn't had so much as diaper rash in the six-and-a-half months that he's been on the planet. Better me than him, I guess.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008


silhouette from

Poking out of his bottom gum. A tiny white point, like punctuation. The tip of the iceberg.

After all of the fruitless drooling and gnawing and crying and carrying on a few months ago, Westley cut his first tooth without any warning whatsoever. My mom just happened to feel along his gum line, and there it was. No big deal for him.

I'm sure he'll cry when I try to take a picture of it.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ahead of Myself

When Rob and I bought our car two years ago, it seemed like everywhere I looked there was a new car. When our house was on the market -- both when we bought it and when we were selling it -- I saw real estate signs everywhere. So of course now that Westley is six months and some-odd weeks old, I can't help but notice all of the...preschools.

There are preschools everywhere I look, and I'm suddenly wildly curious about them all. I know there are parents who fill out preschool enrollment forms practically the same day they see the double lines on the pee stick, but I'm not that kind of person. I don't know which of the preschools in my area is the best, which have mile-long wait lists, or what my preschool education philosophy is. Honestly, I only recently became aware that there were major schools of thought with respect to educating three- and four-year-olds. Um, isn't preschool just about learning to say goodbye to your mom and being able to sit in a circle on the rug and sing songs? Apparently not.

So now, while my little dude slithers around the floor of our apartment, part of me is wondering if I should be looking for a Montessori 0-3 program somewhere, or at least touring the classrooms of some local preschools. And yesterday, I found myself looking at local kindergarten admission policies online while I waited for dinner to finish cooking -- because 7 months is practically 5 years, right? -- and then I had a little internal meltdown, wondering whether or not it was really a good idea to be thinking about sending Westley to Catholic school when no one in his family except his mother is Catholic, and she's not even a very good Catholic, and was is fair to him when the kids he'd be going to school with would most likely be coming from much more religious homes than his and what about the whole vegan thing and how am I going to help him and oh shit, oh shit.

Something about having a child has done this to me: I can whip myself into a minor panic with a stream of run-on what ifs. The same process that made my hips wider and my hair curly has made it possible for me to go from curiosity to insecurity in twenty-four hours!

Maybe I should be thinking about going to school myself, and putting all of this mental energy to work.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

That's How He Rolls

Nothin' to it. Tummy-to-back, back-to-tummy, left, right, north, south, across the living room floor and back again. Next order of business: crawling.

Crap on a crap cracker.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Out Sick

Westley managed to make it six months without getting sick. I got the stomach flu when he was three months old, and I was sure he'd catch it too, but I was wrong. I was miserable on the couch for a week or so, and Westley remained his fabulously healthy self.

So when I caught a cold from my dental hygienist (who really should know better than to come to work sick, what with a job title that suggests hygiene and all) recently, I was hoping that Westley would be able to dodge another germ bullet. Alas, no. We've been living in la casa de illness for a while now, and I think everyone has taken a turn. Westley probably would have had an easier time of it if his system hadn't been working on vaccines right when I brought home the cold. Rob has work stress which lead to a minor stomach bug, followed by a major allergy attack. Even the grandparents got in on the illness action. We all sound terrible, and there are tissues everywhere.

But we're all on the mend. Mercifully, Westley had the easiest time being sick, and got over his cold almost immediately. He had no trouble with his breathing (and, therefore, no trouble eating), and after a couple days of feeling sorta-kinda miserable, he was ready to get back to his regular propelling-himself-by-rolling-across-the-floor routine. Par-tay! I celebrated my near-recovery by having more dental work done today. Different dentist, different hygienist. I sincerely hope I didn't bring home any new germs.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fear and Loathing in Lane Bryant

I own the exact same pair of jeans in four sizes. The exact same pair. The sad thing is that the cut isn't all that flattering on me, I just realized. The really sad thing is that I would feel better about this if I weren't still squeezing in to the second-to-largest pair six months post-baby.

I've lost nine pounds since Westley was born, after the eighteen pounds of water and blood and guts and baby disappeared overnight. That leaves me with, uh, a lot of weight still to lose. And with a six-month-old son, I'm out of the "I just had a baby"-excuse space. Yes, I know there are women who play the "Just Had a Baby" card when their children are two (or four) years old. But those women sound completely ridiculous, and I'd rather not be the mother who blames her fatness on her child.

It's certainly not Westley's fault that, after five-and-a-half months of despising all food, I ate lots and lots of fried potatoes the minute my pregnancy nausea let up. I could have had a nice big salad, but I chose to have veggie burgers instead. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, not so much.

But I've lost weight before, in ways mostly healthy and not-so-healthy. I'm reasonably confident that I can get down to my fighting weight again, even if I have to go without my time-honored traditions of juice-fasting and nothing-but-apples-and-water-for-a-week. I'm not actually as bothered by having weight to lose as I am by the distribution of said weight. I'm fascinated to note that these particular pounds look different on me.

I've been my current weight before, but never like this. My large breasts are now larger than ever. My lower body is mostly mush, and I have hips now. Womanly hips, one might even say. I'm afraid that even when the extra pounds are gone, the shape will linger, and my old straight-cut jeans and skirts won't fit the new body. And I'll have to learn how to shop all over again.

For now, however, I'd much prefer not to deal with clothes at all. Except that I can't go naked, and wouldn't really want to if I could. Getting dressed blows, and not just because almost everything I own has some kind of baby-related stain on it somewhere. It's the problem of fit. I'm not only between sizes, but between departments: regular sizes cut into my flesh and plus sizes are too roomy to the point of looking a little tent-like. I've been trying to cover up the problem with thrift-store purchases, but I just end up looking worse. The solution is clear:

I need to get up off my fat ass womanly hips and get busy.

And six months from now, I'll write a post with some awful pun in the title. "The Weight is Over." Oh yeah, baby.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I really don't understand why you can't just give them to me. I'm good with needles. Piercings, tattoos, vaccinations--makes no difference to me. Bring it on.

I mean, I breastfeed him. Isn't breast milk supposed to be some magical elixir of life, healing all ills, and righting wrongs and shit? Can't you put the vaccine mojo in the milk?


Well then, I'll have you know that the student midwife who poked my baby with a needle when he was not even 24 hours old managed to go about her business without his face getting all tomato-red and pain-screaming. At very least, you could give him the shots without jamming them into his leg like you're going to punch him with the needle.

Pick on someone your own size.


Sunday, June 1, 2008


I'm glad that today is today and not six months ago today.

Today, I have a solid-food-eating, daily-showering, sleeping-like-it's-his-job little dude. I say it every month, and I'll probably keep saying it as time continues to pass, but this is my favorite age.

It's Westley's half birthday. Six months. The big "point-five."

Half a year ago, Westley was a tiny, swaddled newborn. Depending on how I look at it, that time was either several years ago, or just yesterday. The slightest shift changes time in my mind's eye. It's like the vase-or-two-faces thing.

Many of those Things That Everyone Says to new parents aren't true, but one certainly is: they're babies for only one year. Six months from now, Westley may very well be toddling, in which case, he won't be a baby any more: he'll be a toddler. And I'll be saying, "Just yesterday you were six months old."

But that's tomorrow. I'll continue enjoying today until it gets here.