Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Placeholder (a.k.a. everyone else is doing it)

So my report cards are due Monday. At my school that does not mean grades crunched from a program and a comment or two from the generic sheet ("Joy to teach" or, my favorite, intended for the music teacher but too often applicable to middle school, "Likes to sing in class"). No, we write lengthy, thoughtful narratives that take each child's individual development into consideration. I think this is a wonderful idea and part of why I teach where I do, but it's a bitch to carry out.

I don't go back to work until 2/25, but it's not fair to ask my replacement to write the report cards. (In other words, they're not letting me; I would have in a heartbeat.)

All of that is to say that every drop of decent writing must be channeled towards the damn things, so I am unlikely to post anything cogent until Monday. However, I've been keeping a Word document of things I want to blog about, and I'm hoping that actually listing those ideas here will keep me more honest. (And everyone else does it.)

*Jo's naming, of course. (I do need to share now that a cool friend gave us little gifts, since Jo got so much loot that day, and I got "The Chosen Keyboard" decals. Now my delete key says "Oy Vey!" and the space bar reads "A Little Space Couldn't Hurt.")

*Dressing my son. I don't give a hoot what I wear, but oh, his little outfits!

*The working mom thing. (Other than dealing with report cards, I went back to work once for a meeting, and that triggered an avalanche of feelings that I think it would do me good to share.)

*Jo's development. He is positively amazing and brilliant.


*Panic disorder. (That post will take some cajones but I think I'm ready.)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Jo's Naming

Jo's naming, at our congregation, was this past Saturday morning. I have at least one entry in me about the event (which was beautiful, spiritual, welcoming; more meaningful than I could have hoped).

My dad took this picture of our little guy. A colleague of mine (she has been teaching K-1 for 40 years!) made the sweater.

Jo's new favorite song is "Ha Mishpachah Sheli" (My Family) (okay, maybe it is the mommies' favorite song, but he grins when we sing it to him). You can hear the song if you click on the link, scroll down the page to that song title, and click on it. There's a fair amount in English and it's worth a listen.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Flick Cons the Bads!

Look at the right side of the screen (scroll down a bit), and notice that Co and I have started reading a detective novel. I will quote Calliope directly here:
Remind me to tell you about this book I am reading. The main character, Captain Flick, is in need of cash. He is hunting these crooks called the Bads. In order to save the day Flick cons the Bads.
Please click here to see Cali's full instructions, directly applicable to the bar on the right side of this blog.

So please flick, people. Con those bads.

50% of the proceeds will go to the IVP Fund, still in organizational process, to help women pay for various infertility procedures. 50% will go towards, uh, diapers.

In conclusion: Jo says, please flick!

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Return of Photo Friday!

I was too excited about Photo Friday's felicitous comeback to pass on participation! Even though, embarrassingly, I sit here completely exhausted...from a trip to the grocery store. (Jo's first.)

I picked these up at See Vee Ess (my most favorite store ever!! you can buy ANYTHING there!!) the other day, because, well, I had to:
The Green Ones

The tag line below the smirking, female green one? "Sweetie...it's all true." Click on the photo to get a better look at the package.

Marketing at its finest.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

An Asterisk Post

I'm throwing up this post, to keep the world updated on our goings-on, while I work on some more thoughtful drafts I have going. The Thoughtful & Crafted post is my new thing. We'll see if it sticks.

*Jo has acquired many nicknames; some are variations on his actual name and can't be shared here. (I have started a document to keep track of them; after all, I have such a document for Maggie.) Bloggable nicknames thus far: General Fusster, Boychik, Little J, Flipper (yeah, still), Milk-pig, Milkenstein (in response to a post-nursing position in which his head was slumped, eyes closed, arms sticking straight out. If we can get it on camera, believe me, you will get to see it.) Co once called him a hit man sent to suck the life force out of her boobs, but that hasn't stuck.

*I got Maggie a braided bull stick, as opposed to her regular single-link. (Bull sticks are a dog treat fashioned from....well, you probably get the idea.) It looks like a Havdalah candle. It does not smell like one.

*The above purchase was definitely a big-sister present, but let me assure you, Maggie is not being neglected. Many predicted she would be. My best friend A., ever wise, said that she knew how hard core I was and wasn't worried (Co is pretty hard core about Maggie too). Maggie adores Jo: she checks on him when he cries and curls up next to him and at his feet in bed. She steps very deliberately around him when he's lying on the bed or the futon. Furthermore, Maggie now has both mommies at home with her hanging out all day. Co works from home, but she doesn't give Maggie as much attention when she's working as she's able to give now. And I'm not usually home all week. Finally, the best perk: because Jo has us awake at all hours, she regularly gets breakfast at 4:30 or 5 a.m.

We got this pic of them the other night (sit down, the cuteness may affect your balance):

*We have discovered VH1 Classic. (Yeah, it's upsetting when the stuff that you feel is supposed to be on VH1/MTV is labelled "classic.") That means the top 100 songs of the 80s, hour-long elegies to hair bands, and...Pop-Up Video. The only drawback is seeing what some of these people look like today. Ignorance is far preferable in this case, I think.

*Ohchicken told me that Jo looks like me. Nonbio moms (by which I include adoptive moms, foster moms, anyone who is not genetically related to their children) will understand how deeply and wordlessly this touched me to my very core. I do not know that it is true, but I don't care.

I will break my longstanding rule of not posting pictures of myself on this blog to show you the picture she referenced. (I have the rule to protect anonymity, and frankly because I am not the biggest fan of my physical self; I like my words a whole lot better and would prefer to represent myself through them on this blog, since it's so rarely we get the chance to do that. Usually that physical self gets in the way of my words.)

I won't be posting any more pix of me, I don't think, and I'll keep 'em friends/family on flickr. But a wise blogger pointed out that you can't Goo.gle pictures. And if I look at all like Jo, well, that makes me a bigger fan of my looks.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Jo's First Meme

We were tagged by G. for the six random things meme. Since we've both done it several times and are running out of random facts (putting us in serious danger of telling you something meaningful about ourselves), we've turned it over to Jo. (But I'm writing it. We're not really into writing as Jo, though if you're ever around us in real life you might, uh, see us talk for him. Maybe.)

Here goes.

The Rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share 6 non-important things/quirks about yourself
4. Tag at least three people at the end of your post and link to their blogs
5. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
6. Let the fun begin!

1. Jo was born with a full head of hair.
Just born

2. He hates tummy time, but loooooves lying on his back in the Gymini staring at his toys. He loves it the best when he whacks the toys accidentally and they move. So amazing!
Gymini Love

3. He is always incredibly sweet, sleepy, and well-behaved when we go to friend's houses, or when people visit us. Everyone comments on what an easy, perfect baby he is. This is, of course, true. But he has his moments, like at 2 this morning when he was screaming for no reason that we could deduce no matter how we tried. He just saves every. single. one of those moments for us. The little darling.
4. His boob personality is "Nipper Napper," as defined by Dr. Rightwing. He nips, and he naps.
5. He has gorgeous, deep blue eyes (though we think they will probably turn brown).
6. He loves to be sung to. His favorite songs include anything by Billy Joel (as previously blogged), All Around the Kitchen (Pete Seeger), The Car Song (Woody Guthrie), Lo Yisa Goy, Dona Nobis Pacem, Little Boxes (Malvina Reynolds), and Edelweiss (from The Sound of Music).

Jo tags Mater at Butterbeans & Baby Dreams, Smarty at DosMamas, Beckett at Unwellness, Mr. E. at Two Moms Are Better Than One, and Z. at Rhymes with Javelin.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Renovation

A few months ago we noticed some water damage on our bathroom ceiling. More specifically, one night we noticed that our overhead light had water pouring out of it. Our Amazing Super (more on him later) checked on the apartment upstairs, verified a leak and fixed it, but our ceiling was water damaged.

The water trickled down far enough so that it also damaged our medicine cabinet; the shelves started to buckle and the plastic pins that keep them up started to fall out. In typical fashion I, feeling stressed out and helpless about this situation, jammed our medicine cabinet items into the shelves in such a way that they held up and I didn't have to deal. One day I felt a cold coming on, and Co trotted off to get me the Zi.cam. I heard a crash, and she came back with a perplexed look and commented, "I didn't realize the Zi.cam was holding together our entire medicine cabinet." It's a tall box, you see, and so rarely used...

Another issue in our bathroom was our bathtub faucet. We had two separate knobs, one for hot and one for cold, and the hot one leaked. The water was really hot, and the knob itself would be hot to the touch after use. Pain in the butt, but now with the baby, really dangerous.

I have always approached home repair with a kind of learned helplessness. Medicine cabinet broken? Oh well, have to use the zi.cam to prop it up. Faucet burns you? Oh well, better jump out of the way. It honestly never occurs to me that problems like this can be changed by doing anything less drastic than moving. I'm not sure why; my parents did some renovation on at least one of the houses we lived in. They redid our kitchen, doing things like adding a window over the sink. See, this would never occur to me. I'd be like, huh, I want a window over the sink, better find a house that has one.

Back to our story: Amazing Super told us that he would come fix the ceiling damage. We live in a co-op so we were worried we'd have to pay, being Owners and all, but he always does as much as he can on the co-op's dime (hey, what else is maintenance for?). When he saw the medicine cabinet he said he'd also get the co-op to buy us a new one (since the water damage ruined it and the plumbing problem was in the walls, not our apartment. I am all for semantics).

Co asked him about our faucet problem and he said, no problem, he could replace it. In fact, our two-knob faucet was illegal. Who knew?? (He charged us very, very kindly.)

So there you have it. Our big renovation. From this:

To this:

It's a milestone.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Jo Welcomes E!

Super J!
Originally uploaded by familyo
Jo is excited to welcome his buddy E. to the world! IVP boys rock!

Monday, January 14, 2008

The One Month Post

I can't believe Jo is one month old.

Some very eloquent bloggers write monthly letters to their children. I don't think I am going to do that. Or rather, I might, but I'm more likely to do it in my private journal (a battered black-and-white marble composition book) and to do it on my own schedule.

But I will offer this snapshot of life at one month:

On that monumental Sunday, I vowed I would get up and do laundry all day until it was all done. I prevailed, with limited interruptions (alas, the facilities in the basement are not exclusively mine, though with the frequency I have been doing laundry it's starting to feel that way). This was possible because we did not have any Things scheduled for Sunday.

A digression: I have come to embrace the belief that, as a new mom, I can handle one Thing per day. I was sharing this theory with Due Date Buddy (now Leo's Mom) last week when we went to visit. I noted that on the day of Jo's pediatrician appointment, we had actually accomplished a mind-boggling three Things: doctor visit, mah-jongg outing, and Fresh Dir.ect order. LM* (Leo's Mom, remember?) questioned the Fresh Dir.ect order as a valid Thing, since they do deliver to the door. However, it required being home (from the doctor) at a specific time, fishing out correct change for a tip, and wearing pants. "Oh, yeah, you do have to wear pants," LM said, and conceded my point.

Jo had a fussy day, with a lot of cluster feeding, and even the inaugural use of saline drops for some mild congestion. He was not a fan. However, I did insist on procuring cake to celebrate his big day, and made sure that Mommy had a piece so he got some cake-flavored breastmilk. (Co can take or leave cake. I love her, but I do not understand her.) It was chocolate fudge Enten.mann's. A boy could do worse.

I took a bunch of "one month" pictures, including this cute shot:
One Month Old!

And this monthly Flipper measurement:
1 Month Old

*Not to be confused with Little Monster (now Smarty) over at Dosmamas, or Little Mister over at MermaidGrrrl. Hmmm. Maybe she needs a better nickname.

The Grass Is Always Greener

I've been composing this post in my head for some time, so it wasn't exactly inspired by Cali's post, but it is a companion piece of sorts.

I've always suffered from a near-constant anxiety, and my near-constant fear that I'm just not as good as everyone else.

When I was growing up one of my best and closet friends was G. Our moms and his dad all went to college together and we were born two months apart. There are charming pictures of his mom and my mom holding both of us, and pushing us in huge British-looking prams. We didn't live in the same state until we were ten but even so, we saw each other frequently and our families were so close that I used to forget whether or not we were related. His younger sister R. is a year older than mine and we were a foursome. We made cassettes telling silly jokes (then we got older, and they became dirty jokes), which I still have. We had sleepovers with the four of us in their finished basement, or our attic, and played Blob, a game in which we put our sleeping bags over our heads and crashed into each other.

When we got to middle school age, and more dramatically high school, it became clear to me that G. was Cool. I am not Cool, and I have never been friends, before or since, with anyone who was. (All of my friends are cool, thank you very much; anyone who has ever been to high school can suss out what I mean by Cool.) But because G. and I didn't go to school together -- even when my family moved to his state, our towns were a good 45 minutes apart -- we could bridge the gap. I basked in the glory of his stories and marvelled that he could still be my friend.

We took two trips to visit colleges together, one to the University of Chic.ago, chaperoned by my mom, since my family lived in that city 'til I was four and she had people to visit. We took some nostalgic pictures of the two of us on colorful playground equipment, echoing photos taken of us preschoolers, and wrote notes to each other while we sat in on classes.

Then we took a trip on our own to Small College (it's where we both ended up going, along with Mean Mama). For once in our relationship I had the advantage -- I knew a student at Small College, thanks to my summer-trip-to-Israel program, and arranged overnight hosts for both of us. (You can do that through the admissions office, of course, but knowing someone is definitely Cooler.) That evening we hung out with my Small College acquaintance, and some of his friends, and someone handed out some beers. I think we played "I Never." It was fun.

Weeks or months later, I overheard G. describing that evening to someone else. And in his version, we had attended a college party, and traded sparkling witticisms with upperclassmen. Everything he said was true, but somehow in his words it all took on a sheen that it didn't in my own mind, that honestly, it hadn't in the moment.

And with that overheard conversation I realized how much of Cool is all about spin. That the stories G. had told me, that I had hung on and envied, might have been events that, in the living, were as ordinary as our night at Small College...as ordinary as a great deal of my own life.

I can't say it's a lesson that I've always been smart enough to keep with me.

The story of G.'s and my relationship is also the story of my own struggles with insecurity. I thought it was delightful when we both decided to attend Small College, a perfect idea for us to finally go to school together. In fact it was the end of our friendship. Very shortly after we started school, G. just stopped interacting with me. I cannot impress upon you enough how small this school is, how hard is to avoid someone, but he managed. It wasn't just that we moved in different circles, although we certainly did. He just cut me out of his life.

Today I have absolutely no idea where he lives (California maybe? I'd have to ask my mom), or what he is doing. And for years and years that pained me so much, I certainly wouldn't have been able to write about it as I am doing now. I sent him emails periodically, asked his mom (who is still like my second mom, that relationship has not frayed) for his mailing address, but he never responded to me. R. (his younger sister) and I have had sporadic interactions over the years, and I've always tried to maintain our contact; she always drops the ball.

When my mom had breast cancer, she encouraged me to get in touch with G. and R. because, she said, she knew they knew about her illness, and it must be upsetting to them; I should really reach out to them (you can see I come by my self-esteem issues honestly). I told her that if indeed they did know that their old friends' mother had been diagnosed with cancer, they could damn well reach out to me and my sister. She conceded the point.

It is hard for me to believe that G. is not a part of my life today. But I've stopped blaming myself. I don't know why he seems to need to cut me out of his life, but I don't think it really has so much to do with me. I don't think that he's a happy person. He was someone who always needed to be popular and important, and that didn't work out for him at Small College. Though he hung out with more popular (and Cool) people than I did, I was more of a household name around campus than he was (starting organizations, winning awards, starting trouble...) and I don't think he liked that. I'm not totally sure what all he did after college, but I know he dabbled in both journalism and the law, endeavours in which plenty of Small College alum have gained fame (including some of his friends). Knowing G. as I do, I can't imagine that sits well with him. He has always had a girlfriend, I mean always, since we were about eleven; but according to my mom (via his mom) he hasn't had a relationship in some time. A part of me will always miss G. But I wouldn't want to be him.

I still struggle with anxiety about whether I'm doing my life right. I look at people around me with flashier lives and think, that's the way to do it right (you play the guitar on the MTV...). Every few months I get the alumni magazine from Small College and Co groans as I curl up on the couch and beat my breast because I have not won a Nobel Prize or saved a small country or ended urban poverty or published a book.

But sometimes you find out those fancier lives aren't all they're cracked up to be. That the glamour and the bluster hides a weak foundation. I'm a 7th grade teacher living in 800 square feet. But I live with a family I built and that I adore; here in the city I joyfully came home to; and our foundation is strong. I know it's strong because the F train rolls by every so often. Sometimes we hear it, but sometimes, we don't even notice.

I have everything I want. I really do.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Superstores & Internet Advice

Yesterday we went to Babies R Expensive for the first time. Sure, we registered there, but I did that all online. I'd never actually set foot in the place. Oh, my goodness, it is overwhelming...the aisles packed with outside vendors selling fancy ultrasound pictures, and with moms pushing enormous strollers and oversized carts. And oh, the dizzying merchandise.

Of course, despite all the dizzying merchandise, every. single. one. of the actual on-sale items that propelled me into the place had to be fetched from the back. In stock, but not on the shelves. Clever.

I really can't handle stores that big. I'm becoming more and more urban in my old age. Back to the Internet for me.


Here's the Internet advice part: because Jo has grown so quickly, we're worrying that we will need a crib sooner rather than later. I am on the hunt for cribs that are at least a touch smaller than average (the better to fit in our apartment, my dear). Someone suggested this style to us. Any other candidates??

Friday, January 11, 2008

Complications & Jo's Milestones

The complications:
This story about my mom and driving, the complications around it are not to be believed.
a) We just found out that my uncle, my mother's younger brother, is dying. (I might write more about this. I'm kind of numb.) It's not a good time to upset her. Yet, this issue has come up now because of Jo's naming.
b) My mom has offered my sister a ride to our city because my sister will not drive to our city. She is afraid to drive here, and her husband isn't coming, he has to work. Sis could tell Mom she prefers Amtr@k, but Mom won't believe her. Neither would I.
c) Sis and Mom live in a car-culture place. You have to get in a car to get anywhere. So telling Mom she won't be allowed to drive Nephew S. places is a huge deal (in a way it wouldn't be with Jo, because our city is not a car-culture place). She won't be able to do anything alone with Nephew S. if she can't drive him. And that really does put a cramp in the Grandmom style. To make matters worse, Nephew S's other grandma (who you may remember if you keep up with my vituperations; she is pure evil) lives nearby as well, and already has a carseat in her car for her other, older grandson. My sister is definitely not sensitive enough to keep S. from being driven around by Evil Grandma. E.G. is most likely a better driver. But still.
d) If Sis does bring this up with Mom (and it's likely she'll be forced to) it'll be five to seven seconds before Mom is on the phone with me. Which means I need to decide how to respond. I am not as worried about my mom's driving as my sister is, partially because I really haven't noticed a problem to the degree Sis has (it's not like Mom gets in accidents all the time) and partially because it isn't going to be an issue for us because of our awesome walking/public transport city. I don't want to gang up on Mom. I don't want to betray Sis. I really hate this triangle (it's so not the first time our triad has become awkward).


Anyway, enough of that. If you read this far, I'm honored, and I reward you with...
Jo's one month milestones!!
Possibly, this is Proud Mama blithering of the worst kind, and now you're really not reading, but I'm going to keep on.
According to this website, at one month Jo should be doing the following things (he was 4 weeks yesterday; my technical Co says he will not be one month until Sunday, since he was born on the 13th):
*Lifts head momentarily: Check. More than momentarily!
*Turns head from side to side : Check
*Looks and follows object moving in front of him: All the time, and in fact, he's noticed the mobile that hangs over his changing table
*Sees black and white patterns: Um, how would we know?
*Cries to express displeasure: Yes. Yes, he is very good at this one.
*Quiets when a voice is heard: Yes, especially his mommies; though not always, see above.
*Looks intently at parents when they talk to him: It is absolutely adorable, the intense, pensive look he gets on his face.
*Makes throaty sounds: He makes this grunty pig noise. Who knew it was a milestone?

Dr. Rightwing adds:
*Fleeting smiles: His smiles are so, so sweet. I cannot wait for the social smile.
*Sleeps, wakes, feeds erratically: A world of yes.

This picture is a good example of his pensive, looking-at-a-mom look. My cousin D. took it:
Intense Boy

Here's the best picture I have of his smile (it's still so fleeting, it proves difficult to catch on camera). This is a close-up of his face when he was sitting on my sister's lap.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


My sister needs some advice (I might need it too someday):

My mom is kind of a scary driver. Sister feels strongly that she does not want Mom driving Nephew S. (Or anyone, really, but Nephew S. is the person Sister has control over.)

This issue keeps coming up, since Mom and Sister live so close to each other. Mom has talked about buying a carseat so she'll have one in her car for S., and Sister has always kept her from doing it. But now: Mom has offered to drive Sister and S. to our city for Jo's naming ceremony.

Now, this could be solved by borrowing a carseat for S., since Mom's husband is likely to drive. (Mom always defers driving to him when he's in the car, which is a whole other post, believe you me, but in this case her deference is a good thing.)

But the larger issue remains. How to deal with Mom on this issue? Sister said she posted to some mommy boards about it, and people just said "You have to protect your son." Useless advice from people who don't know my mother. So those of you who do (or have read enough of my commentary about her), I invite you, I beg you.....

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Giant Baby

We took Flipper to the pediatrician yesterday. Co was very anxious about his weigh-in, hoping that her indentured servitude to the boy would prove satisfactory.

The child is ten pounds, one half ounce. That's 84th percentile. He no longer fits in the newborn diapers.

He is 22 and a half inches, putting him in the 96th percentile for length. (Fortunately he's only in the sixties for head circumference; no basketball head.)

Today he got to visit his BFF Leo! They engaged in in, shall we say, parallel play (where play equals nursing, pooping, and sleeping).

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Kid Likes 80s Music

We couldn't be prouder.

My mom sent us a fun link that puts pictures with Billy Joel's We Didn't Start The Fire. I clicked on it, and Co and I were singing along. Huge smiles from Jo!! Really the hugest we've seen yet!

So we put the 80s station on cable and he enjoyed some Wham! and Rick Springfield.

He also danced to We Didn't Start The Fire in utero, so much that Co noticed it, and wondered what it meant if Flipper was a Billy Joel fan (I remember this, because my snarky reply was, it means he's white).

Co sang him "You May Be Right" and elicited the same huge grins.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Jo's Friends

The Pack N' Play
Originally uploaded by familyo
Some quick notes on Jo's development: a) Fostermama was able to thread the Maya wrap, bless her. Jo likes being carried held close to a mom!

b) The fostermoms were impressed with how he pushes up when held up against a chest. He's also really working on holding his head up.

c) Sometimes, he explodes from both ends at the same time. Eating is hard.
Our plan was for Jo to sleep in a Pack n' Play. Well, you know what happens to plans. At the last minute we registered for a Snuggle Nest, were given one, and fell in love with having Jo in the bed between us.

But the Pack n' Play, it is not empty. Click on the photo to read about all of Jo's furry little friends. (We did not buy any of these.)

Friday, January 04, 2008

He's Official

Jo's birth certificate came in the mail today!

Along with it came a "birth certificate correction form," so I jested that we ought to just note that I'd been left off and be done with the whole thing. In fact, the correction form explicitly announced that a woman who is married can add her husband's name to the birth certificate, even if he is not the biological father.

I have been pretty upbeat about this second parent adoption thing, feeling relieved that we have the option to make it legal rather than annoyed that I have to do it all, even when forking over the hefty retainer to our lawyer. But that line on the form gave me a sharp moment of anger. I caught this child on his way into the world. I planned his conception with as much (and far more than some) intention of any husband. Why must I jump through these hoops to prove what couldn't be any truer?

On a lighter note, the third insert in the envelope was a yellow pamphlet, courtesy of our city, labelled "Your Baby." NOW they send us the instructions!!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hope, and Rage

I don't usually get too excited about politics. Since I turned 18, "voting" has pretty much been meant "putting in a good word for the loser." (My first of-age presidential election was Clinton I, but voting in winning races is did not become a habit.) When I was eleven or twelve a friend of my dad's ran for Congress and we went to his "oh well" party. My parents said, "Stick with us, and you'll go to a lot of these parties." I Liked Mike in '88. I liked him a lot.

Nonetheless, I find myself sitting here full of hope and excitement as I watch coverage of Barack Obama speaking. Could this really be the beginning of something?? God, I hope so.

The rage is for Cali, because the universe owes her more.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Infant Massage....Help

I am writing this post in a general state of overwhelm and sleep deprivation.

I was flipping through our Dr. Rightwing book today, and opened to the part about infant massage.* Oh yeah! I remembered. Infant massage. I tried that on Jo like three years ago! (Well. Maybe it was last week.) Then I forgot about it. I panicked and pointed out to Co that our baby was now at risk for decreased neurological function and psychosocial dwarfism from lack of touch. She pointed out that just yesterday, a friend's mom asked if we ever put the baby down; he is not really suffering for lack of touch.

But I really do want to learn infant massage. Oneofhismoms lent me the definitive book on the subject and another friend gave us a flip book with photographs. Unfortunately even these excellent resources leave me feeling tense and incompetent. Because a) I am really, really crappy at following written directions of what to do with my hands; I even have trouble following pictures or photographs that tell me what to do with my hands. (Yeah, that frigging Maya wrap is still unthreaded, and Co has to show me the baby signs from the books with her own hands before I really get it.) b) The books say you should do it daily, and for what seems like a really long period of time. We just tried some massage to see if it would relax him (he just wanted to nurse again, which is all he has wanted to do since about 5pm) and after 15-20 minutes of Co trying to interpret the photographs and directions for me, we were still on his feet. I would love for massage to be a special daily ritual for Jo and me, the way sucking Mommy dry is his special ritual with Co. Right now, it's okay if massage takes a long time. But I am thinking about going back to work and coming home to make dinner, write a lesson plan, feed the dog, change 57 diapers, and settle down for three hours of infant massage. The image is seriously stressing me out. (I don't mean that I don't want to spend time with my kid once I go back to work. I mean that maybe it shouldn't all be massage.)

So those of you who have used/are using infant massage, how does it fit into your life in a practical way? If you do it daily, what time of day seems to work? About how long is a session? Do you pick and choose certain "strokes" and if so, how? What other tips can you share?

It's 11:48, the kid is on the boob again, and I am going to try to go to bed. Maybe I will make more sense tomorrow.

*Every time I pick up this book, it automatically falls open to the page with the big orange box labelled "Disappearing P*nis." What is up with that??

New Year's O Style

As I intimated, our New Year's Eve was a mellow affair. I have always been a homebody, so actually being in my 30s, and actually having an infant, is pretty blissful for me. It's like I finally have a reason to be who I have always been.

It was a big treat that several of the L & O's in the two different marathons were actually episodes we hadn't seen. This is rare. (You see what I mean, about the homebody thing...) We had a late lunch, so by the time we were ready for dinner we had to call around to find a place that was open and delivering. But the great thing about our city is that someone is always open and delivering, and we found a diner. (The first two diners we called were not open, to my surprise.)

For the big event of the evening we had rented The Simpsons Movie from Netflix. Co is a big fan who has a Simpsons quote for most occasions. We didn't manage to finish it before we got tired. However, Jo woke to nurse shortly before midnight, so we watched the ball drop (holy crap, Dick Clark has finally aged) and I opened the window to hear the neighborhood's shouts and illegal fireworks.

New Year's Day we hosted a mah-jongg-a-thon. It was our first game since Jo was born, and he did really well. He spent some of the time in his swing, which he has started to really enjoy.

He is particularly fond of Green Octopus (on closer examination I think maybe it is Green Whale? unclear), he turns toward it and even reaches out to touch it.

A note about the swing: I highly recommend this style to anyone who lives in a small space. The footprint is significantly smaller than regular swings, and it folds up easily. We also have a folding bouncy seat. Overpriced city dwellers, take note.

After the game we decided to make manicotti for dinner. I put it together with Co's instructions while she nursed the milk pig. Sometime during the preparations, this happened:

Please note that is homemade sauce on her head. Maggie was thrilled, but was much less happy when I whisked her off for a bath. Jo had his weekly bath (his first in the infant sling from Mean Mama, since Umbie fell off on Christmas) earlier in the day, so by evening I had bathed both children. Neither is a fan.

Hope your 2008 is off to an auspicious start!