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June 2005
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August 2005

My new mantra: This is hard. This will pass.

Been meaning to update for a few days but the sitch on the ground continues to evolve, so to speak. We are all well, but the Dude will now only abide if he is somewhere on my body and/or being gently shaken. Makes it hard to do much of anything, especially anything that involves my hands or a desk, which would interfere with the shaking. I would, however, like to thank the folks who invented the laptop, without which I may never have been able to figure out how to meet the Dude's needs and mindlessly surf. Wonder if the apple product testers ever had to figure out how to get formula out of a motherboard...

The Dude and I just watched the SNL with Green Day and Cameron Diaz. Diaz still makes me wanted to beat my chest and weep for those who find her appealing, but it was worth sitting through her to get to Green Day. They just keep getting better. Also good is the Taxi rerun right after, in which Judd Hirsch and Louie have a contest to see who can make the most money. I'd forgotten what a really good sitcom can do with such a simple idea. Oh, and is it wrong that I have a slight crush on Jeff what'shisname? I must be more tired than I thought.

If nothing else, the lap baby has allowed me to catch up on my mindless media, like Miss Congenialty 2, which was fun and completely silly, and Michael Palin's new travel series Himalaya, which is also silly and fun, but in a completely different way.

Again, that aside, I'd again like to mention how different it is this time around. Yes, there are moments that suck -- like this evening when the Diva informed me that she didn't like me anymore (to which I responded: just wait until you're 13, then I burst into tears.)-- but I know that this is all just temporary. A temporary pain in the ass a lot of the time, but, still, transient. And for this enlightenment, I'd like to thank the makers of Zoloft and everry shrink I've ever known.

In terms of things that are truly tragic, please send your kind thoughts to my friend Katie Granju's family, whose lives must be bleak beyond measure right now. Now would be a good time to pray to the diety/life force/fruit bowl of your choice.

two handed typing

Since I have a quiet moment and am caught up on naps, two quick links that I meant to mention:

New Austinmama column is here and a new Parenting Imperfect column is here.

And there you have it.

Since the weather held, the Dude and I went for a walk in the gorgeous, not humid, not sticky, not oppressive air. I may have gone one block too far, I'm now discovering, because certain parts of my anatomy are sending up protests. Ah, well. The Dude dug it, until he went into sensory shutdown because there was just too much to take in.

if the weather holds

Muuuuch better night last night, wherein we all got a heck of a lot more sleep. Amazing how much difference a decent night can make. Currently, the new one is sleeping on the sofa beside me, since his bassinet suffered a bit of a hosing down. You know, everyone told us to always keep the penis covered when changing diapers, yet, clearly, that info failed to sink in.

At this point, it looks like this one's nickname will be Dude, as in "the Dude abides." Yes, he does get mighty pissy when hungry or gassy or tired (I mean, don't you?), but he is also pretty mellow thus far. (This will change now that I've dared mention it in public.) The Dude did let his sister run her favorite Thomas the Tank Engine all over his belly this morning with nary a peep. He just kept staring at her like she was the most interesting this ever. Great, someone else to worship She of the Most Pink.

(Note to the Baby Gods: I am not getting cocky. I know full well this could change in a heartbeat and he could become the most Demonic Newborn Ever. I am simply appreciating how he seems right now. Really. No need to send plague and pestilence.)

Speaking of the Diva, she got a wonderful surprise in the mail yesterday. It was a homemade mermaid (scroll down) from Lynn. The Diva aboslutely loves it and insisted on sleeping with her new friend last night.


Her face usually isn't that red, but she'd just come in from a good romp outside in the 90+ heat.

Thank you so much for the gift, Lynn. You made us all pretty dang happy. Hopefully, this will offset your missing cat. Um, if you want another one, I can box up Mooch....

One more photo, then off to tend to the Dude, who seems to be stirring.


The Hub and the Dude as the Diva and I were doing the morning's routine stuff. Yes, it is blurrier than usual but I didn't want to risk a flash. While we are all adjusting and today is muuuuuch better, we are still all living with someone under a week old. A little more sleep would kick serious ass, but only if it could kick while we slept.

you forget other things, too

Like, you forget how hard these first six weeks are and how much they suck. You forget what it is like to sleep for about 45 minutes at a clip and how helpless a little 8 pound person can make you feel. You forget that this is a long endurance race, not a sprint. And you forget this just like you forget how much labor sucks and what you feel like for a bit afterwards.

Still, it helps to have done it once, even though I've forgotten so much stuff. All I have to do is look at the Diva and know that it is worth it, that it will get much, much better, even if it may not feel like it at 4 a.m. and there has been non-stop screaming for hours. I also know that, sometimes, it helps to put a silly outfit on the new one, simply because it amuses you. And I know that my body will recover, eventually and that I will never, ever do this again. I will never have to endure a first night home again, or a second night. Once these three months are done -- the six-week mark is when it simply gets not as bad -- I'll never do them again with one of my kids. Sometimes, this is what gets you through.

Yesterday, I kind of asked for the night we had last night. I got cocky, thinking that I'd figured this baby thing out. I forgot that they always have a curve ball ready. And I desperately wanted the calvalry to swoop in. The calvary -- in the form of grandma Roth -- will be here Sunday. If I can manage to not get cocky again, we just may make it.

FYI -- it sounds more bleak than it is, I suspect. Watching The Daily Show helps, as does Anthony Bourdain's new series on the Travel Channel. What would help more is if there were something on daytime TV that didn't make your teeth hurt. Thank God for the DVR and Netflix and Jim Dale.

More pixs eventually. Pinky swear.

you forget how small they are

Sorry about the silence. I was off having a baby.

The details:

His first name is Cormac, which is an homage to a certain writer who grew up in a certain city that the Hub and I lived in for a spell. (If you get a chance, check out the over of this week's NYT book review, which features the work of another of my faves. Once I get it together, I may have to order a print.) There's more about the name and about kismet, but I feel a nap is in my immediate future, so I'll save that.

Weight: 7'14"
Length: 20"

All it took to start the labor rolling was breaking my water with the big crochet hook. Less than 8 hours later, we were done ... with that part at least. All things considered, it went quite well.


We can't tell if he's flashing a peace sign or tellling the Brits to sod off.


We have a picture of big sis looking exactly like this.

And speaking of...


So far, she approves.

Oh, and the hair and makeup support team hadn't been by yet, so forgive the hair and general pallor.

There is plenty more to tell and show, but it will all have to dribble out as time permits. In short, we are home again and in the settling out portion of the cruise. Mentally, I'm partly cloudy with a 60 percent chance of bursting into tears, but it isn't, like, crazy tears. Just a little weepier than usual and pleased as punch for him to be here. The whole newborn thing is easier this go-round so far. I could still use about 4 times more sleep, but it will happen. I hope.


Tomorrow (Friday) the issue shall be forced and Nemo will be on his way. I still can't quite wrap my head around the idea that I will soon have two children. Weird, eh? It's not like the second one snuck up on me. Still.

There may be some silence for a bit, but details will make it out eventually.


some pixs

First, the silk scarf:


Please ignore the double chin. I'm retaining enough fluid right now to fill the Diva's kiddie pool.

Second, the Fitzgerald progress, as modeled by the Hub:


This is 2.5 skeins in. Size medium. And it's actually the back, not the front, but the Hub is not a contortionist.

Third, today's daylily, which is bright red:


Lastly, I finally got around to watching Sylvia yesterday. It had been sitting in its cheery Netflix envelope for the better part of three weeks. My review is "eh." It's not bad. Some moments, like the first two scenes on boats (the one with the cows and the one in the U.S.) and the development of her British downstairs neighbor, work well. But, mostly, it just feels too overdone, especially when Plath starts losing her shit. It's the violin/oboe orchestration that sent me over the edge from drama into melodrama. YMMV.

One lesson can be taken away, however. Two poets should never even try to have a romantic relationship. No good can come of it.

Diva humor

So tonight during her bath, the Diva starts telling knock-knock jokes, which caught me completely by surprise.

D: Knock-knock.
Me: Who's there?
D: Duck.
Me: Duck who?
D: The duck who wouldn't open the door.

Then she would laugh. And launch into:

D: Knock-knock.
Me: Who's there?
D: Crab.
Me: Crab who?
D: The crab that's in the soup.

And again with the laughing. So I try to tell one:

Me: Knock-knock.
D: Who's there?
Me: Boo.
D: Boo who?
Me: There's no need to cry. It's only a knock-knock joke.

Silence. You could hear crickets. It dawns on me that they're not so much jokes but surrealist koans.

D: Knock-knock.
Me: Who's there?
D: I don't know.

And again with the laughing. I think I need to work on my material. Maybe if I add some farting noises my jokes will be a real hit with the three-year old set.

so the plan

The OB visit went well. Still 5cms. Still ready to go at any time. Still convinced that this kid is never coming out. Um, that last one is just me. My OB is certain the kid will come out, which is reassuring.

The plan -- and those who know me know how much better I feel about my life when I have a plan -- is that if there is no spontaneous blessed event by Friday, then we shall force the issue that day. Honestly, I'm OK with this. The first one was induced (10 days late) and she has suffered no ill effects. Well, no ill effects from being induced, that is. I'm sure that there are years of therapy in her future because we are her parents ... but that's another issue. This one will be induced a little early, if it goes that way. Again, I'm fine with that.

Yes, yes, it's subverting the "natural course" of things. I have some problems with the natural course argument, simply because I'd probably be dead by now, by my own hand at some point or during childbirth when The Diva's big pumpkin head refused to move, if things were always allowed to progress as nature deemed fit. Perhaps this makes for a weaker species or maybe it makes for a smarter one. Probably both, frankly, and a billion other things as well. Regardless, I'm pleased to be here, even if I've had to rely on chemical/mechanical/"non-natural" means.

Anyway...that is the plan. And maybe Nemo takes after his mom and always likes to beat a deadline by a day or two. Unlikely, I know. Still, it *could* happen...

eviction notice

If the weekend-long lack of posts got your hopes up about Nemo's arrival, let me dash them. He is still in there, probably writing graffiti on the walls and trashing the carpet. It would be an understatement to say that we're both getting a little bored at this point and lashing out randomly. At my OB appointment today, we are going to talk about forcing the matter. More details to follow as warranted.

Still, it was a good weekend, all things considered. The Diva's room is painted and looks exactly like an exploding Easter egg, which makes her very happy. The adults in the house can almost hear the walls vibrating and need some insulin. But the Diva is dead chuffed. Since she's the one who'll be sleeping in there, my distrust of that much pink shall remain my secret.

The best part of the weekend was yesterday. Two very good friends put on a smashing baby shower. First, the food was divine: two kinds of quiche, fresh fruit and dip, pigs in a blanket (which foreshadowed the next bit I'm about to reveal), muffins and fruit bars and cream cheese mints (which are a Midwestern delicacy that I'd never before experienced, which is good, because they are the sort of thing one could eat until one plotzes). There were gifts. There was conversation, which included a brief detour into my Mother-in-Law's rediscovered stash of knitted uteruses (uteri?). There were women of all ages doing that bonding thing we do, but not in any kind of encounter group touchy-feely way.

There were also games, of course. First up was one involving a toy baby frozen in an ice cube. The goal was to guess the time that the baby would be "birthed" fully. Ah, if only it were that easy. The weather helped, in this case. Nothing like upper-80s with 80 percent humidity to speed the process along. Again, if only it were that easy.

The hit, however, and the reason I can't eat a pig in a blanket without snickering slightly, was Pin the Teenie Weenie Peenie on Nemo game. Here is the finished game board:

And a close-up of the Peenies:
(Sorry about the color -- photographing a pink piece of paper taped to my burnt-orange living room wall seems to have given the camera a small breakdown. It has been given some Xanax and a minute to regroup.)

The peenie-maker, who I need to invent another nickname for, did a fine job in providing a wide selection of styles and shapes, n'est-pas? Better still was that the peenie-maker's almost-five-year old daughter, husband and father-in-law each had a hand in the process, even if it was just walking into the room and laughing hysterically.

To sum up, it was a very good couple of days and I have very wonderful (and, admittedly, odd) friends. And this is very pleasing.

Now, back to the waiting.