Friday, December 29, 2006

Picture's first Chrismukkah...

It was a busy couple of weeks, so excuse me for not waxing poetic at great lengths. I know you'd rather see pictures of the kid anyway. Enjoy...

Ethan's (and mom's) first trip to pick out a "holiday shrubbery".

In the absence of a red Starbucks cup, Ethan bonds with the red bows.

"mmmm, shiny red bow, how I love youuuuuuuu."

Ethan, right before the haircut. Do you think he can tell what's coming?

"Check me out! Chicks dig my new short sassy 'do!"

"Seriously, enough with the red bows!" Ethans sans Trump-esque comb-over.

"Play that funky music, white boy!"

Ethan opens Hannukah presents at Gram & Grampy's. Not a red bow in sight. But we did find Runny Babbit...

In the event of a water landing, your mommy can be used as a flotation device.

My little man, on top of the world

Sunday, December 24, 2006

"You'll shoot yer eye out!"

Not being a true Christmas celebrant, Ralphie's epic quest for a Red Ryder b-b gun is the reason for the season as far as I'm concerned. And here I sit in my hotel suite (upgraded b/c they ran out of king sized beds before we checked in), next to Husband and my diaper-clad, raspberry-blowing, squealing son, I am settling in to watch "A Christmas Story" and wonder if there is such a thing as Xmas Eve room service.

But that's not what this entry is about. This entry is about what a champ Ethan was on his first plane flight, and how we gave him his first haircut today.

Yes, the Donald Trump-do is no more. Husband & I somehow managed to keep Squirmy E still long enough to snip the one Rapunzel-esque lock that was forever being combed over--it was getting to that freaky "wrap around" point, where the comb-over actually went waayyyyy around behind the ear; never attractive, in my opinion, but less so at 7 months. But I will get to that in a minute (after I watch Flip stick his tongue to the frozen light post during recess).

First, let's talk about my son, the phenomenal traveller. The "fussy" switch in him has apparently magically been switched to the "off" setting and a heretofore unknown "placid baby" switch has been found and is working overtime. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

In my obsessive need to pre-board before anyone else (this is a perk I plan to take full advantage of for the next several years), and considering it was one of the busiest travel days of the year, we arrived at the airport with several hours to spare. What with finding a parking space and waiting for the shuttle bus to the terminal, waiting to checking the bags, inching through the security line while wondering what technically is and isn't a liquid and is my chapstick considered a suspicious item, and the bjorning and un-bjorning of the baby, I envisioned hours of drudgery ahead of us at BWI.

There was parking. We were 6th in line to check our bags. There was NO wait at the security line. For a moment I was afraid we had slept through Xmas altogether and were travelling next week. (Then I remembered that indeed I had barely slept the night before & therefore knew that it was the day it was supposed to be). So we got through security and to our gate with two hours to spare. Yes, two hours to spare with a 7.5 month old. I anticipated melt-downs and crying jags. Instead there was some nursing and napping.

So I figured he was saving it up for the flight; that somehow he knew soon we were going to be a confined space with a bunch of cranky adults and he was gearing up to "release the hounds" at about 10,000 feet. I imagined my vocabulary whittling down to one abashedly muttered word to everyone around us for the hour long flight: "sorry". Oh and maybe, "please, please sweetie; shhhhh for mommy."

But no. More nursing and napping. Although, to be honest, I kind of wish he had screamed a little bit--just to piss off the jackass next to Husband in the aisle seat of our row. "Eh, three minutes in the air and that kid will be fast asleep." one calls my kid "that kid". Thanks, Dr. Spock, for your expert evaluation of infants and air travel. I hated that he was right.
But then there was the peace and quiet that came with it and I got over it.

Aside from the fact that my head almost exploded on the descent (I've never flown with a head cold before--there aren't enough synonymns for "agony" to sufficiently express the pain--I'm still waiting, three days later, for my left ear to equalize), it was the perfect flight.

After visiting with friends and family, we realized that our son's hair was just beyond explanation at this point. Something must be done to the original hair left on his head. You've seen it; the "flock of seagulls" lock that months ago served as a hip faux mohawk. It has been the highlight of more than one pic on this blog. But it has, as of late, become unmanageable and absurd. It was time for it to go. And Husband and I thought it was appropriate that last of E's original hair was the bit that we should save in an envelope in his baby book. So Husband ran down to the front desk of the lobby (because who travels with envelopes?) and returned with one bearing the name and address of the hotel (extra sappy sentimental points!) and we snip-snipped that first little lock, stuffed it in the envelope and sealed it up.

It is bizarre to say, but E looks like a totally different little boy without that pesky lock. I don't really miss it because he is so handsome and grownup looking without it. But it's one of those things--another "first" that we'll never get back. A lock of hair that came into this world with our son is now in an envelope and that means all the hair on his head is brand-new. Good lord, someone get me a drink and tell me to get a freaking grip.

I have pictures. And I'll share them tomorrow without any consternation because I am on Husband's computer and I know how to make the pictures work on this one. But right now I have to curl up with Husband and Ethan, watch Ralphie beat the snot out of that Farkis kid with the yellow eyes and do some research on Xmas Eve room service. My Xmas wish is some sort of ice cream.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I want to show you pictures....

But I can't.

I have pictures of Ethan sitting up on his play mat, all "hell, I've been sitting for ages and ages!" and I have pictures of Ethan being totally ho-hum as we light the menorah (right in front of tree). I have pictures of Ethan doing all kinds of adorable Ethan things. But alas, I cannot show them to you.

Husband, generous and loving soul that he is, got me a MacBook for Hannukah and as fabulous as it is supposed to be for blogs and pictures and all that, I cannot figure out how to find my pictures. I know, I know *hanging head in shame*. It is embarrassing to admit and I am only admitting it because it is almost 1am & I'm only partially aware that I'm even writing this post.

Tomorrow we leave for the frozen north for almost a week of running around visiting family & friends. My head is swimming with lists of things to pack, things to do and things to remember between now and when we leave. Whatever part of my brain isn't entirely occupied with this part-time OCD is stressing about how Ethan's going to deal with the flight. We are all sick right now; Husband and I fighting some funky sore throat/ear ache thing. It's fab. Ethan has an on again, off again fever and no other symptoms but the uber-fuss. I'm hoping it's teething--good god, I need some proof that there are indeed teeth in that child's head! With my luck, its a double ear infection and I am going to lose my place in line for "mother of the year" for not having rushed him to the pedi this week. In my defense, I have done that several times over the course of the past 7 months and each time they send me away with a pat on the head and a roll of the eyes. He's never sick. *shrug* I just don't know.

So wish us luck that the little man's ears don't explode on the plane and that he is happy just to nurse and snooze for the hour of the flight. And hopefully I won't get kicked off of any planes for breastfeeding. I will try not to offend any skittish flight attendents with my boobs. I promise.

And when we return, I will have pictures and the knowledge of how to freaking use them.

Happy Holidays, Internet!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ravings of a sleep-deprived Mama...

My son. He does not sleep. EVER.

Well, sometimes he does. But more often than not he is simply "resting his eyes", waiting for the first opportunity to squint up his face, spit out his paci and wail. Seriously. It's getting old. I'M getting old.

Daytime is fine; we nap together which feels indulgent and frivolous, but that's one of the joys of staying at home, isn't it? Why not take advantage of it? I spent the first 6 months of his life obsessing about the laundry, the dishes, the dusting, blah blah. I threw that towel in and decided that snoozing with the little man was way more important. And it is. And I enjoy it. And somehow, all the other stuff still finds a way to get done. Or maybe I've lowered my standards. Either way, it works out and no one's complaining.

Nighttime is an entirely different story and it's wearing on us big. time.

Finding his bedtime requires serious detective work. Was that eye-rub legit or did he get an eyelash in his eye? Is that fussing about being tired or hungry? Why, after almost eight months is it so tough to figure this out? Then, when he does go to sleep, it is a micro-nap of 20 minutes. There is much shuffling up and down the stairs, rocking and ssssh'ing, turning on the white noise machine; turning up the white noise machine; checking for fever; checking his diaper; checking my sanity. Yeah, that's just about gone at this point.

And when we get him back to sleep? It starts again 20 minutes later. We've had some lucky stretches of 2-3 hours of sleep in between the theatrics, but those are few & far between. And we've learned not to trust them or count on them.

Perhaps a phase? We are still waiting for that first tooth. Could this be it? These are the slowest freaking teeth in the history of mankind.

Ugh. This blog entry has no logical end. It's just time to try to get a little catnap before the incredible sleepless wonder pops awake for another round.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Ladies Man...

Have I talked about how much of a flirt my son is? Have I mentioned how he sticks his tongue out between smiling lips as he's looking at another baby, or another mom, or a daddy, or one of the cats? Have I described how his whole body jiggles with excitement when he makes someone else smile? And how as soon as he gets that smile, he turns and buries his head in my shoulder?

Have I mentioned that? Because it is too freaking cute. Last week, at the coffee shop, Ethan flirted endlessly with Lily. This week, he & Kate pulled on eachother's socks while Kate's mom and I talked over lattes. At yoga class, he smiles across the mats at Katherine until she's rolling over to him (okay, so the real lure might be the fact that Ethan has the same toy as Katherine and she's thinking he's taken it from her; but I like to think it's because he's totally irresistable) I swear, this boy is such a player.

It's cute now. It probably won't be too cute when he's 13 & the phone starts ringing.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Seven Months & Some Change...

Last Tuesday you were 7 whole months old, if you can wrap your head around that one, little man. This is the first month that I have started looking back and realizing how far we've come. Gone are the nights when we used to run downstairs in a state of semi-consciousness to warm up a bottle for you and then spend vast expanses of time rocking you back to sleep. Now we just sit up for a few minutes, nurse and head back to dream land. Mommy no longer finds herself fishing around in the dark for sweatpants before the crack of dawn because you've decided that 5:15am is a perfectly acceptable time to wake up. Now you sleep until at least 7am every morning and either accompany daddy to Starbucks in the morning at a reasonable hour or cuddle with mommy in the warmth of our blankets.

But then, naps and bedtime are no longer what they once were, either. Gone are the days when you simply rubbed your eyes once and zonked out in my arms 3-4 times a day for over an hour at a time. Ah, good times. Gone, too, are the nights when you'd pass out in daddy's arms on the couch while we watched TV and stay asleep until your "every three hour" internal alarm clock went off as your belly's tank hit empty. Now, things are a little more work intensive--there's much to do with the exact timing of sleepy cues and white noise and precise light-levels and optimal motion, and...sigh, the list goes on and on and even the perfect combination of all factors does not ensure more than 10-15 minutes of shut-eye on your part. If you'd only catch on that sleep is indeed one of the great pleasures of life, we'd all be a lot happier. But as I type this, I hear you upstairs babbling to daddy when you should be napping. You were the one rubbing your eyes and crying 20 minutes ago, right?

So, you sleep with us and often you end up in one of our sets of arms for some part of the night. All the books say this is a big fat no-no, but considering the human race has been raising babies since the dawn of the caveman without the help of Ferber & Weissbluth and we've managed to survive as a species, I'm going to lighten up a bit about it. I'm fairly certain you'll be sleeping through the night and in your own bed before you leave for college.

Aside from sleep, this month has been a whirlwind of activity for you (which might be why you didn't sleep, huh?!)

To begin with, you had your first holidays. You got Thanksgiving twice this year--once with Grammy & Grampy and once at Grandma Judy's. The ride to Grammy & Grampy's was your first looooong car ride and it might have been the 6 month shots you had the day prior to the drive, but you were a real trouper! Hardly any crying, so mommy and daddy didn't need to drink heavily upon arrival in South Carolina. Greatly appreciated, little man. We took you to the beach and you played in your jumperoo while we ate turkey. At Grandma Judy's, I feel like I hardly saw you! There were so many people there who wanted to hold you and smooch you; you spent most of your time in the bjorn on either Tia Emi or Tio Pete. Maybe given the practice they got with you, you'll get a cousin out of the deal at some point in the not too distant future.

You started sitting up unassisted & now your favorite spot in the house is your crib, as long as you're sitting up and facing your aquarium toy--you love to spin the toys on the bottom and turn the music on and off. You giggle & shake your fists when I sit you down in there. It's like you might explode with glee from the very prospect of watching the plastic fishies inside swim up & down at your command. it's too cute.

You've also started rocking on your hands & knees. To our joy AND trepidation, daddy & I know you'll be crawling soon. It is mind-boggling.

Still no teeth. Lots of drool. Lots of cramming everything within reach into your mouth. Lots of "ma, my gums hurt!" fussing, but no teeth.

Hair? Well, I am debating when to do that first "lock of hair" haircut. You still have that Trump-esque comb-over to some degree, although every day it gets thinner and thinner as new hair takes over. I can't decide whether to cut that off and save it, as it is the hair you were born with, or wait for your first real necessary haircut for my keepsake lock. Ah, these are the decisions a mother frets over.

That, and what to do about your butt. You like solids, but they don't like you. Carrots, check. Squash, check. Peas, check. Pears, check. Peaches, check. Applesauce, check. Prunes, check. Constipation, check...
Seriously, it doesn't matter what food I put in your belly, anything other than the mama-milk shake makes your whole system stop. There's really nothing like listening to you in your jumperoo grunting and straining. Poor thing. So we're cutting back on the real food and keeping you mostly on a liquid diet for a bit.

You've been having lots of fun on Wednesdays & Thursdays, in our yoga class and our little mom & baby group. We've been meetng up with a bunch of other mommies and their babies at Starbucks on Thursdays and you are getting to the point where you really want to interact with the other babies; it's so fun to watch you flirt and giggle with the girls. Last week you and Lily cracked each other up so excessively we thought for sure you were going to run away and get hitched before our coffee cups were empty. It is incredible to watch you interact with the world around you.

Now, as this post is dayyyyyyyys late and people are starting to give me a hard time, I will post this and move on. I promise to get your 8 month review out on time. And, kiddo, slow down!!!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Venti Breast Milk, Please...

Remember that anti-drug commercial in the 80's where the dad confronts the son after finding a box of pot in his room? When the dad presses him to explain how he learned about smoking up, the kid melodramatically bursts out with, "You! I learned it from watching you!" And we all learned a valuable lesson in how kids watch and imitate the behavior of their parents. Very heavy stuff.

Well, you would think that Husband and I would have expected this, given that effective ad campaign. But alas, we did not. No, we didn't find Ethan in his crib taking a hit off a bong or smoking a big old doobie. What we've discovered is that after watching us for 7 months make our daily trek to the yuppy coffee Mecca our son is already jonesing for the Starbucks.

Exibit A...

Don't be alarmed; it's empty. But it's red. Red seems to be Mr. E's most favoritest color in the whole wide world these days. If it's red, he wants to touch it. He must taste it. He wants to "love it, and hug it and name it George." And the holiday Starbucks cups? They are red. Therefore, he must have it.

This Starbucks cup holds an auspicious place in the life of litte Mr. Ethan J. C. It is the first "toy" that, when taken away from him, resulted in whining, grasping and tears. Yes, the left over refuse from daddy's tall no-foam latte has been the most loved and prized possession of our son's first 7 months. That, my friend, is $3.50 well-spent.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The sad reality....

Is that I'm old. Old. Old. Old.

I know this because today was *early release day* for the high schools in my local school district. This horrifying event that allows random teenagers and their angst to roam the malls and streets starting at 12:15pm happened to coincide with my day to meet the mommy group at Starbucks. And wouldn't you know it? Teenagers lurve their caffeine. Literally PACKS of teenagers were descending upon Starbucks as I pulled in to the parking lot. They were hanging on the rails of the outside seating area like monkeys at the zoo. They were scurrying across the parking lot in front of my car. Don't think I didn't count up the number of points they were worth.

One mom was already in Starbucks, sitting alone with her child, staring out the window, and from the look on her face, desperately willing the rest of us to show up. I was so relieved that for once I hadn't been Miss Punctuality. I am so on time it is embarrassing. Fortunately today, Ethan decided to take one of his 20 minutes nap at just the right time to make us 5 minutes late.

Seriously people. They were like locusts.

And they gawked as each one of us walked through the door with our babies. The girls "awwwwwwwwed" in their high-pitched girly voices, waking up the babies who were sleeping. The boys paid no attention until it looked like a baby might be getting ready to nurse; then the thought of seeing naked real life booby piqued their interest and they were all about oooh'ing and ahhhh'ing at the babies.

As I stood in line to order my grande peppermint hot chocolate (just saying that makes me feel warm and fuzzy--oh, and fat), Ethan was accosted by a green-haired girl from the *alternative* crew. She was in front of us with her guy friend who will be coming out of the closet shortly. Until then he's just going to write really deep and disturbing poetry. Anyway----as she turned around and saw Ethan in his cute little Bjorn, she did her cute, teenage girl giggle (pom poms or black lipstick, the giggle is usually the same), turned to her Will & said, "How much money do you have in your wallet? Can you buy me that baby?"

Wha???? So weird. How do you respond to that? I did one of those, "I sort of heard you, but I'm pretending not to pay attention" smiles and ignored it. Kids say the darnedest things....

Sunday, November 26, 2006

He puts the "grrrrr" in Swinger, baby!

Today, in honor of the freakishly warm November weather we're experiencing, we took Ethan to the park. There we found three groups of musically dueling folk groups (wha?????) and the baby swings. We went for the baby swings, the dueling banjo routine was just an, bonus?

Earlier in the summer, I saw a mom putting her baby in the swings and thought it was the cutest thing ever. But as I was carting around a floppy-headed baby who was so tiny he's slip through the swing's leg hole, I assumed we'd just have to wait until his around his first birthday to introduce him to the joy that is the baby swing. Not so.

Today is more of a photo blog than anything else. You'd say it's a cop-out, if the pictures weren't so freaking cute!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Grandma Has a Thong...

...and other things you learn at Thanksgiving dinner.

I'm not going to share the story of how I know (it's just more fun to make you guess). But I thought it was a funny title for the Thanksgiving post.

So today I had a realization about myself. As I watched my petite little sister in law show my husband's cousin how to do "Spider Man" push ups, while I drank my standard soy chai tea latte, I came to the painful realization that I have let myself go.

Sure, I know--"9 up, 9 down", that's what people say. "You were on bedrest for 4 months!" they also like to remind me, as if this somehow makes the extra 20 pounds I am carrying around almost 7 months later an acceptable given. As if no one could possibly be expected to be able to lose weight that their body no longer needs because of a condition that hasn't impacted them in more than half a year. "But you have the baby to take care of all day! When would you even have time to work out or cook a really healthy meal?!" They like to remind me. Perhaps this is the most valid of the things people say to me to make me feel better about this body I no longer recognize.

Regardless--I am fat. Well, not fat like "you'll see the lower portion of my body walking away on a nightly news report about obesity" fat, but fat. And it's not unfamiliar territory--after being Miss Skinny Minnie in high school (I used to drink slim fast shakes WITH dinner just because they were so yummy), my metabolism hit a brick wall in my early 20's and I spent the better part of a decade with one foot in Obese-town. So perhaps more than a woman who has always been thin and then finds herself carting around extra weight after giving birth, this new body of mine terrifies me in a way I can barely stand to describe. And I won't because it's Thanksgiving, people! And I don't need to take this post to that dark place....

And it's not just my weight. I have had one haircut in a year. ONE. IN A YEAR, people! How my hair isn't all Crystal Gayle'd out is beyond me--it just stops growing after a certain point. But it ain't pretty. And I am wearing make up that is a year old, with the exception of course of the Benefit goodies I was suckered into buying when I walked through Sephora with my "haggard mommy" face back in June or July. When I drive by the DSW shoe store, I barely feel a pang of desire. This is deeply disturbing as I used to live within walking distance and would go at least once a week just to see if they had any new Mary Janes that I might NEED. Now I have one pair of shoes. And they aren't even stylish, internet! Weep for me!

My point being that starting on Monday, this girl is whipping herself into shape. No, no, I dont' think I'm going to drop 20 pounds before New Year and all that craziness (when I was fat, I used to make deals with myself that I would do everything in my power to embrace anorexia, starting tomorrow....). I am going to flip through magazines until I find a haircut I have to have and I might even do color. That's how serious I am about this. Then I am hauling my sorry Cover-girl wearing ass to Sephora and I am going to buy something other than brown eyeshadow. And then, I'm going to throw away the ice cream and stop drinking chais!

......sorry, I just hyperventilated a little bit.

All right--I guess I will have to make some changes, because I don't want to be the pretty fat girl I was for 10 years (is there anything more well-intentioned and hurtful than hearing "You have such a pretty face!"). But perhaps it will be a small cup of ice cream instead of a bowl. And maybe it will be tall chais a few times a week instead of grandes daily. .....I'm still breathing into a paper bag here, people.....

So, although the timing couldn't be worse (there's pumpkin pie upstairs and two kinds of stuffing! TWO!), I am grateful that my sister in law is such a skinny little biatch, with such a damn kicking hair cut, and a travel bag full of Estee Lauder makeup in the bathroom. And I'm grateful that she's been carting my son around all afternoon so I could help with dinner and blog.

Probably not the standard "Today I am thankful for this journey of motherhood and the lights of my life, Husband and little E" that you were expecting, but really--doesn't that go without saying?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

When a baby's gotta eat, a baby's gotta eat!

So today my boob's made their debut on the local evening news. Well, sort of.

In response to some ignorant idiot flight attendant kicking a nursing mom off of a Delta flight last week in Vermont, women across the country sat down at Delta ticket counters from coast to coast and whipped out their boobs in solidarity. And I was there. Yeah, sister!

I wasn't going to go. I wanted to. But I was torn--10 am is right smack in the middle of Ethan's nap time. Generally I'd chew off my own arm rather than keep Ethan from napping because when he misses a nap, he is a bear. A bonafide cranky infant bear. It's not pretty. So I was going to say a lot of "gee, I wish I could go, but...."'s and call it a day.

But by 10:15, it became apparent that napping was not on the agenda, in spite of the eye-rubbies and the whining (oh, how mommy loves the whining!) So I bundled him up and headed off to Reagan National Airport.

There were about 25 women there and a ton of babies and toddlers, as well as the press. Ethan made a big show of spitting up on me, which was lovely, but he also managed to get a few minutes of nursing in here and there as well. It was basically just a big old love fest with a bunch of moms and their kids. It was great!

Of course, with the way the Delta ticket counter is set up, we weren't right in front of them; we were at a bank of seats off to the side and we didn't see one representative from Delta at all. Cowards. But we did see the press. Every local DC news outlet was there, filming, shooting stills and interviewing moms.

And lo and behold, as I watched the 6pm news, there I was---all unflattering and shit, but nursing my little boy and apparently carrying on a very animated conversation with the woman next to me at the same time. I could tell by watching it (again and again--we have DVR) that they caught a moment during which Ethan wasn't really eating--he was just sort of hanging out (he may have actually been talking to my boob at the time; when he's not eating, he often mistakes my breast for a microphone or his best friend and he has quite the conversation.)

When they say the camera adds 10 pounds--yikes! I felt like that line from Friends when Monica says of fat-self in a home movie, "The camera adds 10 pounds!" and Chandler responds with, "How many cameras were on you?!" Yeah, I think I had about 5-6 cameras on me to add all that weight. It wasn't pretty.

But it was important. And I'm glad I went. I'm glad I was able to show my support for a baby's right to eat, even if the container from which their food comes makes some people, who should be smarter and better than that, uncomfortable. Imagine telling a mother that she can't feed or comfort her hungry and scared child because of a boob. By the way, the entire time I was there and in the entire new segment--I didn't see one nipple. Not one. Well, I did see my own. But it didn't offend me. :-)

Monday, November 20, 2006

No, I'm NOT talking to myself, thank you....

One of the perks of having a baby (besides the baby smell and the unconditional love stuff) is that when I am out in public, I can talk to myself ALL. DAY. LONG. and no one looks at me like I'm a crazy homeless person.

I'm an only child. One of the fabulous quirks of being an only child is that I have, from an early age, talked to myself. Muttering, cracking myself up, full-on conversations. SOLO. If I forget where I am and start doing this in public, I can definitely make people avert their eyes like, "Don't look at the crazy person. Don't look at the crazy person. Don't look at the crazy person."
So I have learned that perhaps I will spend less time in psych ward if I learn NOT to talk to myself when I am anywhere others might witness it. My car. Fair game. The shower. Fair game. But Starbucks, the grocery store, the mall---all off-limits.

Until I had Ethan. Carting Ethan around, in the bjorn or the stroller gives me an open invitation to prattle away, all under the guise that I am in fact, chattering lovingly to my son. And, don't get me wrong, often I am. I shower him with baby talk and air kisses plenty. But I also ramble on about what type of apple I should buy to make the sausage and apple stuffing for Thanksgiving. At great length. In front of people. It's so liberating.

Of course, my fear is that I will become so accustomed to this license to be a crazy person in public that a.) one day Ethan's going to be old enough to talk back and he's going to be like, "Ma, you're a loon." and b.) one day he's not going to be out in public with me every single time I'm out and what if I start talking to myself then??? I'll be the crazy lady who roams the aisles of Target chattering to herself about cat litter. God. Help. Me.

And, yes, I know I took the weekend off from the whole blogging thing. I have failed at the whole 30 entries in 30 days. I won't beat myself up, though. This month has definitely jumpstarted my blogging and that's good enough for me. A girl's gotta rest sometime, you know.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Tis the Season....

So, being Jewish (or as we joke considering how lax we are at this point in our lives, "Jew-ish"), and the parents of an infant, we are faced with the dilemma of how to integrate the secular components of Xmas (that how the non-Christians write it, right?) into a celebration of Hannukah.

As a child, a Hannukah bush decorated in bright primary colors adorned the top of our TV (one of those big 1970's television consoles). Lights & tinsel in non-Xmas colors pop into my memory and can be found in the pages of my childhood photo albums. My mom's side of the family celebrated Xmas and my Dad's celebrated Hannukah. It never confused me as a child; I knew which one went with my religion and which one was just for fun. Even still, I loved Xmas carols and everything about the Xmas season. I wonder now if my parents ever feared I was going to come home from school one day (oh yeah, I went to Catholic schools--that's a whole other post) and declare that I loved Jesus.

As an aside, I did for a very brief time in the third or fourth grade consider becoming a nun. Something about it appealed to me (I'll wait for you to stop laughing before I go on). But then Laurel told me I had to be Christian to be a nun. Well, that put an end to that career path. Because, again, I was never confused as to what my religion was.

But for some reason, as a parent, I don't know where/how to draw the line. Is Ethan going to want to believe in Santa? Should we get a Xmas tree and just decorate it with blue and silver? In this day and age, these decisions shouldn't be brain surgery, but to new parents trying to make the right choices for their child (good lord people, one wrong move and he's scarred for life, don't you know that??!!! yikes!!!) , it feels huge. It feels MASSIVE. It feels like Mama needs a glass of wine. Or two.

We did decide that we were going to send holiday cards. With a picture of Ethan on it. Husband & I both agreed that this year, neither of us are "family portrait quality". Our goal is to be freaking hotties for next year's family holiday card. We will light up the mailboxes and mantlepieces of friends and family with our thin, perfectly in shape gorgeousness

So today I took pictures to use for the card. Please enjoy, Internet. And happy whatever holiday you celebrate.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


My son. He is a good fella.

At least, that is the consensus of my new group of mom friends. We were sitting around Starbucks this afternoon and it must have been the velour track suit he was sporting (zipper down a bit because it was freaking hot! People, it is November--it's supposed to be cold!) and the curly-q magic of his hair. He flashed a smirk at one of the girls and as if it was a revelation from above she said, "He could be a Soprano!"

And she was right. He just needed a cigar.

How you doin'?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

In the blink of an eye...

So tonight I gave a pregnant friend of mine Ethan's 0-3 month clothes. Sigh. Pieces of fabric that are too tiny for him to wear now. It's wonderful, really. I love helping my friend out; she was so sweet and thoughtful when I was pregnant, on bedrest, in the hospital last March and after I delivered Ethan. She and her husband brought us food and were the first to babysit Ethan when Husband and I were finally willing to be apart from him for more than ten minutes at a time (it is, however, still on record as the most speedily consumed meal EVER). So it's a great thing, and I feel good to have helped out in some way, since I'm usually so busy with Ethan and spinning in circles, I don't really feel like I'm doing a lot for other people these days.

At the same time, as Husband helped her carry the three bags of clothes out to her car and I went upstairs to nurse Ethan to sleep, I had a moment of such intense sadness. Like I was losing a tiny little piece of my baby. While my sweet little man, who is growing so much every day, drowsed while he nursed, I wanted nothing more than to freeze time and just keep him where he is now. It was all-consuming and I had to talk myself out of crying.

One of my favorite books ever is The Catcher in the Rye. In one of the final scenes Holden Caufield watches his little sister Phoebe on the merry-go-round and wishes he could put her in a glass case in the museum because nothing in those glass cases ever changes, even though the world around them changes all the time. My teacher's mind always thought that was such a poignant way to look at youth and innocence and the desire to protect someone you love from the changes that growing up forces one to go through. My mother's mind is just a puddle on the floor thinking of that passage and how quickly my little baby is growing.

He was fussing earlier today and I heard myself say, "I swear, I can't wait until you can just TELL me what is wrong." But I can; I can wait, little man. Take your time. Please don't go too fast.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Not so lovey....

Yeah. About two posts back I was all bragging and shit about that stupid lovey. Lovey, my ass.

It would seem as though Mr. E has become immune to the lovey. I'm sure over the past week or so he's been building up sleep antibodies to use as a defense against the power of the lovey. And thus, today the lovey had zero impact on my little napper. Irony of all ironies, this immunity seems to have coincided nicely with the day that I rushed out to Target to buy two more identical lovies in case this one should become worn beyond all recognition or god forbid, lost somewhere.

Today--no naps. Well, none to speak of. There was a 20 minute stretch in the car between Target and Babies R Us and another 20 minute teaser which followed an hour of "pleeeeeeeeeeease sleep" from mommy. That was it. Then there hours of crying and blowing raspberries and crying and giggling and crying and...well, you get the general idea.

This nap strike comes on the same day that we are transitioning Little E to his crib. Yeah, delightful. In his exhausted state, the first attempt was super easy. Two hours later, however, he's been up twice, each time increasingly pissed off that he is not in our bed.

Good times...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Life's a beach

It may be the middle of November, but it was sunny and warm in South Carolina this weekend, so we took the opportunity to introduce Mr. E to the surf and sand. He seems to have taken to it like a natural. There was even a face-plant into the sand that illicited no tears or fretting of any kind. It got more of a "hmmmm...sand is tasty" reaction than anything else. Sure kid, spit out the fancy organic cereal mommy buys for you, but savor that mouthful of dirt. Ah well, I guess that sort of counts towards his introduction to solids.

So the sand in the toes, in the fingers, in the hair, in the diapers, in the carseat, in the butt...that was all fun stuff! There's nothing quite like watching him discover something for the first time, especially when it is something like the beach, a place I grew up loving and have such warm and fuzzy memories about.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It's all about the lovey...

I haven't spent a lot of time kvetching about it because usually I have a hard time finding the humor in it, but little E is not the greatest sleeper in the world. Perhaps it was the seven nights he spent in an isolette in the NICU, perhaps it's just the way he's wired, but this kid NEEDS to be on people. Not near, not next to....on.

And so for the past six months, in addition to being "Mommy, the food", two or three or four times a day, I become "Mommy, the bed". You can watch a lot of TV being "Mommy, the bed", but you can't really accomplish a lot. Thus, "Mommy, the keeper of the house" is in dire need of the ability to physically telaport herself through time and space to get the laundry done and cook a meal. I will just say that Martha Stewart would consider my house uninhabitable (and that woman has done time in prison!)

Don't get me wrong, there's almost nothing sweeter in this world than a sleeping Ethan. And being "Mommy, the bed" gives me a front row seat to all his almost irresistibly edible cuteness. Many times I have found myself staring adoringly at his little snoozing face wanting to reach down and swallow him up in one bite. But cute only goes so far when you realize that your arm is falling asleep AGAIN, you really have to pee and you're dying of thirst. I still believe that the joy that was my July kidney infection/hospital stay was a result of not having enough water to drink while Ethan was a newborn because I was stuck on the couch for literally hours and hours at a stretch without a drop of water to drink as my poor kidneys tried to make do with the drops they could squeeze from whatever food I happened to be able to eat in between naps and the incessant scream-fests that were the early days.

"Well, Sarah, put him down, go pee, get a drink and come back, silly!" Ha Ha Ha, I say. Even in the deepest of sleeps, this little stinker would know when his head met with anything other than the crook of mom's arm and the wailing would begin. I tried this over and over again until I realized it was simply not worth the trouble it took to soothe him back down. And so I sat with him. For hours. For months.

Until last week. I decided that the "on mommy" naps had to end.

Now before you "tsk tsk" me and throw the "bad mommy" award my way, I made this decision not for my own sake, but because I was noticing that Ethan was no longer the deep, peaceful sleeper he used to be when he was on me. The slightest movement from me would stir him and his naps, well, they sucked. (But while I am so busy explaining myself to the internet about why I won't let my son nap on me anymore, I'll throw this out there---why shouldn't I be allowed to take my own feelings into account when I decide what parenting choices to make? I am bombarded with so much stuff about how I have to do everything just perfectly and selflessly for his benefit or I will be messing him up for life and only have myself to blame when he starts beating kids up on the playground and smoking in the boy's room. I happen to think there's got to be a balance of what works for baby and what works for mom, or mom's going to end up being the one beating kids up in the playground and smoking...anywhere).

Anyway, I digress. Ethan was not napping well on me and we needed to make a switch. If that means that I get some time during the day to wash a dish or make a shopping list, more power to me.

And so the quest to find the perfect nap setting began. Husband has been putting Ethan to sleep at night in our bed. Thus, the bed seemed logical. But the end goal is the crib. The thing cost a small fortune and so far has only served as a place to pile laundry, to dry the little man after a bath and the occassional session of tummy time. So I tried the crib. And I tried letting him "cry it out".

Um, no. That lasted about 45 minutes. Yes, I know I did it wrong; I went in to his room every 5 minutes and cuddled and loved him because I just don't have it in me to let him scream. If it were simply a fussing or a little cry, I could cope. No, no, no. All out "I'm on fire"!!!! screaming is more Ethan's cup of tea when he's left alone in his crib. One afternoon was enough for me to realize that that method wasn't going to work for us.

It occurred to me that what was missing in the crib was me. Or something to remind him of me. And so a drive to Target solved that problem. Yes, mommy is best, but a plush little lovey that's half teddy bear, half blanket aint' half bad.

I am telling you, somehow this little piece of fabric and bizarrely disembodied teddy head has revolutionized sleep in our house. I held it three or four times while he nursed and now, all one has to do is give Ethan his paci, his lovey, tap him bum a few times while whispering sweet nothings and the little man is off to dreamland. Okay, sometimes there are some tears, but they are few and far between and they smack of "boo hoo, I don't want to nap", not "someone save me! I'm on fire!!!" And the naps....they are in the bed. Not on mommy. Next week we will attempt to revisit the crib and see how that goes.

And now I can start finding other ways to procrastinate instead of cleaning my's not like Martha Stewart is planning on visiting anytime soon.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Java for Jesus....

Did you know there are actually places in this country where you CAN'T find a Starbucks? I know, it is a sad thought. Coming from a city where on certain street corners you can actually take your choice between the three Starbucks within eye-shot, this dearth of Starbucks is more of a shock to the system than a triple shot espresso.

Here we are in relatively rural South Carolina visiting my parents. We have grown accustomed to the latte withdrawal over the years and we just make sure that we savor that last grande on our way out of town to start the 8 hour drive. I figure, they gave me life, kept a roof over my head and paid for my education; the least I can do is go grande-soy-chai-tea-latte-less for 48 hours or so in order to see them a couple times a year. It's not easy, but hey, I love them, right?

So imagine my glee when my father told me there was "Starbucks-type" coffee place just down the road from their house on the golf course. After Ethan was down for a nap, I grabbed my keys and scooted down the road. I turned right at the Fish House, a restaurant that has a gigantic fiber glass shark busting through the roof of the building. It's quite the landmark.

And so I arrived at the latte place. Thus began my religious experience for the day. I should have been clued in by the shop's logo--a coffee cup with steam in the shape of a halo. I opened the door and immediately saw that they had two cushy couches, a la Central Perk and cute little lamps and coffee tables. The couches were upholstered in denim, but I guess it is rural South Carolina after all, so its' not like they furnished the place at Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn.

At the counter, I read the menu--the blakcboard with the perfectly penned list of drinks and options. What is it about that perfect hand-writing you always see on coffee shop blackboards? Is penmanship part of the interview process? What happens if the person with the impeccable handwriting is sick on the day that the specials change? Can they even open the shop?? I swear, only first-grade teachers and coffee-shop employees have this ability to write their letters in perfectly straight lines and such impossible neatness. Not to mention the little curlique embellishments on the sides.

After placing my order (I cringed saying, "medium" instead of "grande", but I didn't want to seem like a big city snob, you know?), I looked around waiting for her to see if they still have any soy milk.

This is when I saw it....the stone tablet replica of the Ten Commandments on the wall. I thought "oh, I bet those are cute coffee shop commandments, like "Thou Shalt Not Spill" and squinted to get a better look at them, hoping for a laugh. Nope. "Thou Shalt Not Kill" was right there as #6. Eek. Pretty heavy reading while just standing around waiting for the milk to steam for your latte. I am much more accustomed the the little bulletin board poster at my local Starbucks that says, "Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy". See, there's a commandment in there, but it's subtle. And perhaps way more appropriate for a public place that's taking my money in exchange for something as secular as coffee.

Then I started scanning the room. On the coffee table were no fewer than 3 different books with "Jesus" somewhere in the title. On one of the far walls was a shelf with statues of Mary and Jesus and wire doves adorning the all behind them. Above the door was a wooden cross. Suddenly the halo over the mug in the logo made sense---here I was, good little Jewish girl, in a Christian coffee shop. Mkay. Thankfully, answering "Have you accepted Christ as your personal savior?" was not part of the ordering process.

I had no problem with this--I guess whoever is paying the rent on the shop has the right to decorate it as they choose and honestly, 99.999% of people going into that shop are probably going to the same church together every Sunday morning anyway. I'm just a Jew passing through. No need to keep me in mind when they decorate, I guess. But it did remind me why I live in a more diverse place--if the coffee shops in DC had posters of Jesus on the wall, they'd probably also have a basket of yalmulkas at the door and a pile of prayers carpets next to the couch.

My problem with them was that their Chai sucked. Seriously, people. If you're going to open a coffee shop and offer something besides plain old coffee, learn how to make something besides plain old coffee. It's what Jesus would do....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My Name is Sarah & I'm Ethan's Mom...

Now you say, "Hi, Sarah, Ethan's mom".

This is sort of what starting up a mom's group feels like---Moms Anonymous. My "Baby & Me" Yoga and Baby Massage classes have morphed into an informal mom's group. Last week three of us met at Starbucks and today seven of us met at a local coffee shop, babies in tow. We came equipped with bjorns, pacis, strollers, pacis, burp clothes, sun hats, pacis, toys, our horror stories and, oh...yeah, pacis.

I really enjoy meeting with these women. They are women I would have been friends with if I'd met them in a regular non-baby yoga class or if they were co-workers. But that's not how I met them. I met them because we all signed up for a class without knowing each other and because we were trying to make some sense of our new identities as moms; in particular moms who are staying at home, either permanently or for some undetermined stretch of time. We haven't really gotten into it yet, but I wonder if any of them feel like they are floating out in some unfamiliar space, grasping to make sense of it all. I think that's probably too *deep* for our second cup of coffee.

But there's lots of talk about breast pumps and labor and sleep habits and reflux, which I suppose is just as good as spilling your guts about how hard being a mother is and how exhausting and how you feel like your identity has slipped away and you feel like you're rebuilding from square one.....

Did I say that???

Anyway, what I mean is--I find it interesting that this group of women, we don't know each other at all, really. I only know their last names because of our email address list. I dont' know what they all did for a living before having kids. I don't know their husbands' names or what type of music they listen to, where they stand politically, or where they are from originally (well, I know where a couple of them are from). All I know is that they are other moms of other adorable babies and I enjoy their company. And I realize that that's all they know about me, too. I am Ethan's Mom. They are the first people I have known socially who see that as my primary identity.

I have to say, it's kind of cool.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A little game in lieu of real blogging...

Stupid 30 posts in 30 days. I have nothing interesting to talk about tonight, but I feel compelled to post just because I said I would. Writer's block and sleep deprivation are ugly things, especially together.

So instead of trying to come up with anything witty (cuz it ain't gonna happen, people), let's play a game of "Does he look like me?"

Ethan, 2006

me, 1971

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Flock of Ethans...

So, this is what happens to my son's hair when it is not properly combed after his bath.

This bizarre curly-q mohawk is a spontaneous example of the unruliness that is my son's hair, unless of course he is sneaking out of the house, stealing the car and joy-riding into the city under cover of darkness to get his hair styled at some after-hours baby salon that his father & I are unaware of.

If that is the case, he should be a real treat as a teenager.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Oatmeal and barley and rice...oh my

I posted a picture yesterday of Ethan's reaction at starting rice cereal a week ago. In case you missed it, it looks something vaguely like Edvard Munch's "The Scream" (please google it if you are unfamiliar). This week we decided, since rice cereal was such a bust, perhaps oatmeal would be more palate pleasing.

Nothing, my friend, could be farther from the truth. There was a lot of crying and flailing involved. Husband and I have, in the past, considered taking a baby sign language class, but even without training, today I could clearly tell this was, "Ma! Get that shit away from me!!! Where the hell is your boob??!!" A mother just knows...

So today, after a third failed attemp at oatmeal, I thought perhaps barley cereal would be the magic ticket. You know, third time's the charm and all that. Besides, I'm a fan of barley--they use it to make beer, right? It had to work. Who ever heard of a baby who didn't like cereal? Well, if there's a list of "babies who hate cereal", please put Mr. E on that list, right at the top. After the first tentative bite, the message that seemed to be shooting through the synapses in my son's brain was not "Open your mouth for the next bite of cereal." It seemed instead to be, "The spoon's on fire!! The spoon's on fire! Warn mommy with a blood curdling scream and kick all appendages at full speed!!!"

It seems that thus far, whether mixed with breast milk, water or formula, cereal is not going to make it's way into my son's belly after that first bite. Actually, now that he's tried all three, I don't think I'd be able to trick him again. I have to admit, I can't blame him. It's not like I'm offering him Fruity Pebbles or Apple Jacks (because no one can resist those). I am trying to convince him that after six months of the perfectly concocted milkshake meal after meal, that this goo is actually food. Each bowl is more cardboard-y than the other. I can understand why he'd be horribly offended by this turn of events. I just hope that some solid food catches his fancy soon. As much as I love breastfeeding, I will not be sending a thermos of breastmilk to kindergarten with this boy.

Now, I had a fabulous picture of the bowls of barley and oatmeal cereals AND a witty caption that had something to do with the children's version of Dante's Inferno and the various circles of cereal hell....BUT the memory card is jammed into the camera and I fear I am simply breaking it bit by bit as I try to eject it with increasing aggression at each attempt. (I'm taking deep breaths and trying not to panic). So I am picture-less today.

But I am 6 for 6 on the whole NaMoBloPo thing.... (did I get that right?)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Six Months...

Seriously? Half a year come and gone? It hardly seems possible, little man! And yet, it is the 5th of the month and that means you are another month older, having had another month's worth of experiences, trials, tribulations, adventures and hugs & kisses.

I can hardly figure out where to begin. You've changed so much. Your personality, in all it's strength and determination, shows itself more and more with every passing day. You have started to grace us with the fabulous smiles of pure joy at simply seeing mommy or daddy come into a room. The most precious part of my day is when I open my eyes in the morning and there you are, eyes wide open and looking at me. When I say, "Hi, bud!" your face lights up and the smile just takes my breath away--it's a sucker punch of happiness. When daddy comes downstairs from work at the end of the day, you wiggle in my arms or flap your arms and smile, your tongue blowing raspberries as daddy reaches out to take you. It is so wonderful to feel your love begin to find a way to express itself.

The smile that lights up the world and the hair that defies explanation

It's been a busy couple of months. We took yoga & infant massage classes together and I think it was such an important step for both of us. The first few yoga classes were tough--you were super fussy and I spent the second hour of yoga rocking you in the hallway and crying, wondering why I spent $100 on seven hours worth of holding and rocking you while you cried, when I could essentially do that at home, minus the other women doing yoga while their babies peacefully slept and the tibetan monk chant CD. But by the third class, you seemed to know where we were, what we were doing and you even began to dig it. You still fuss every once in awhile, but you realize now, perhaps, that mommy reeeeeeeeally needs that hour to do sun and moon salutations--you are pretty happy now to lay at the top of the mat, shaking your blue bee and watching mommy mellow out in triangle pose.

This month's biggest stressor was your weight. You are a skinny little man, darling. Are you sure you belong to daddy and me?! During September and early October, I noticed you nursing less and less. Still every couple of hours, but only for a minute or two at a time. there something wrong with the milk factory? Nope. That's good quality stuff. So why no weight gain? You actually only put on about 6oz in three weeks and the doctor wasn't too thrilled (and we like making the doctor happy!). So we decided that perhaps, even though you aren't complaining about it, you might still have some reflux and we started you on Prevacid. Voila!!!! The magic potion!!! Now, you are Mr. Nurse-aholic again and you have finally tipped the scale at 13lbs, 2oz, according to the digital scale at the breastfeeding group we go to. You are finally fitting into the 3-6 month clothes, as you hit 6 months. That's okay--you can keep wearing them for awhile; mommy has a shopping issue she needs to deal with and she spent wayyyy too much $$ on your 3-6 month clothes, so don't feel like you need to suddenly weight 16 lbs or anything.

This tummy time stuff is so last week, Mom.

You are also a flurry of learning this month. I noticed back in September that when I talked or made noises at you, you were staring intently at my mouth, watching to see how I formed the words and sounds I was making. I experimented sticking my tongue out at you. Over and over and over and over. You stuck your tongue out at me. I blew a raspberry at you. Again and again and again and again. You blew a raspberry at me. I said, "Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious" to you.....nothing. Oh well. Maybe next month.

So there is the sound of constant babbling coming from you now. If it is any indication of your future chattiness, I expect to get many "too social in class" comments on your report cards. You "talk" to your toys; you "talk" to your hands; you "talk" to my boobs. You've got a lot to say, my friend. And sometimes you are happily rambling and sometimes I think you're trying to tell me that Timmy has fallen down the well or something, considering the passion and emphasis you seem to be putting on some of your "syllables". I can't wait to see what comes out of your mouth when things start making sense.

Then there's mobility. Let's just say, you're trying. You've long since mastered the belly to back roll. Please. That is SO three months. You seem to be totally uninterested in getting from your back to you belly, however. You do seem to give it a shot every once in awhile, but it's half-hearted at best, as if you're already jaded by the whole rolling thing.

Trying to crawl is where it's at now. I noticed a few weeks ago that you've decided to try to get places by getting up onto your arms and pushing of with your hands. This would be an ideal means of transport, if you always wanted to get to what is 3 feet behind you, because all you do is ending up sliding backwards. However, if you are trying to get to Larry Lion who is 3 feet in FRONT of you, well, then you have a dilemma. So you've learned the way of the inchworm. I cannot tell you how funny it is to watch you curl up your legs so that your butt is in the air, you chest is on the ground and your arms are completely out of the game. Where you should be propelling yourself forward by pushing off with your feet, you're simply just trying to throw your weight ahead of you, willing yourself to move. Unless the force is with you, my friend, that's never going to get you there. But it's cute to watch. What you need to do is realize that both the top and bottom halves of your body are required to work together and at the same time for this elusive crawl to materialize. Perhaps this month....

Let's talk sleep, little man. It's a concept you've yet to really grasp a hold of. Sleep makes the world go round, pumpkin. Sleep makes people happy. Sleep makes mommy happy. You like happy mommy. Let her sleep. Since day one (okay, day 7, when you came home from the NICU) you have been napping on or right next to me. I love you, sweet thing, but jeez. Six months, two or three naps a day---that's a lot of "sit on the couch" time for mommy. She's used to being able to pee when she feels the urge or, oh, I don't know, get up and walk around the room without worrying about waking the giant (that's you). I do love the bonding time with you, but we're basically living in squalor because the time I should be spending perhaps cleaning the bathroom and making a meal for your father and me, I am fighting off the need to sneeze lest I wake you, my arm is falling asleep or I am dying to scratch an itch on my nose that I can't reach because of how you fell asleep on me. This means that tomorrow, Operation Nap In Crib begins. I am going to have to toughen up. I am going to have to draw the line in the sand and see what I can get away with. I am going to have to really decide what is "fussing" and what is "crying" because I can't bring myself to let you "Cry it Out" a la Ferber, but I also can't be your own personal sleep-number bed until you're 10.

Nighttime has gotten a lot easier. Because now you just sleep with us. Daddy bathes you, gets you ready for bed, then I nurse you and he reads you a story and lays with you until you fall asleep. When we come to bed later on, you're snug as a bug (a la safe co-sleeping rules per Dr. Sears) between us. You wake up still. Sometimes once. Sometimes twice. Sometimes 800 times a night. There's no real rhyme or reason. Can we work on the rhyme and reason this month, please? Hmmmmm? Pretty please. I do love, though, how you reach out in your sleep with your little hand, just to touch my arm, to make sure of my presence.

Your favorite new toy is your Baby Einstein activity center/jumperoo. I got it a few weeks ago because I just could not hold you up in a standing positon all day. Yes, you don't roll from back to belly and you don't crawl or sit upright, but you LOVE the world from a standing position. You just can't do it yourself. So the jumperoo is the answer. You bounce, you play music, you spin the frog. It's fabulous.

Must. Make. Frog. Spin!!!! Must make frog spin!!!

We also started solids this month. Rice cereal was first. You were far from thrilled. Even mixed with breastmilk, you were having none of it. "What is this cardboard-tasting crap?" your face seemed to protest as more of it ended up on your chin, bib, and cheeks than in your belly. Now we are working on oatmeal, but not really finding much success with that, either. The box says you might need to try it up to 15 times before you like it, but I think that's just Gerber trying to sell me more cardboard..I mean, cereal.

This is not the look of a man who is happy with his cereal...

We took you apple-picking this year. Big let down. Not that you weren't fabulous company, but I think I expected you to enjoy yourself more than you did. I thought you might be mesmerized by the trees and the pumpkins in the pumpkin patch. But really, you just wanted to nap. No biggie, little man. There's always next year.

Seriously, Mom, I'm trying to nap. Do we have to climb trees right now?

What is up with these giant orange things? What is up with this cold ground? What is up with my hair??!!

We're waiting on teeth. We are praying for teeth. On the days when your teeth are trying to work their way up through your gums, you are not a happy little man. You drool, you cry, you get a fever, you don't sleep. AT. ALL. I took you to the doctor last week to see if you actually had an ear infection, but alas, no..."just" teething. I asked the doctor if you were going to be "like this" until you popped this tooth. She explained that you could be like this until ALL your teeth were in. There was an unpleasant silence as I mentally digested that tidbit of doom and gloom. Then I said, "If that's the case, Mama's going to have start drinking at the crack of dawn!" The doctor was not amused. Perhaps making joking references to alcohol abuse to your child's pediatrician isn't the smartest idea. Oh well, live and learn.

I cannot believe that you've been for half a year. I cannot believe every day when I look at you that you are the same little being that grew and wriggled in my belly for eight months and that you will continue to grow and learn and change with every moment that passes. I am obsessed with taking pictures of you (258 in October alone), but I cannot bear the idea of forgetting a second of this and I need pictures to remind me because it goes so fast. I am torn between my anticipation for the future and my longing to slam on the breaks and keep you from going any further. As your hair grows, as you put on ounces, as you get closer to independent mobility daily, I realize that I am simply your guide through this adventure and that the seconds slip away so fast. Sometimes I think I might squeeze you a smidge too tight or smother your face with too many kisses, but I can't help myself. I am trying to memorize the way you are right now, the baby soft skin and tiny fingers and rosy cheeks, so that some day, when you don't want me kissing and hugging you (because, ugh! Mom, how embarrassing!!!) I can think back on these days and remind myself that you will always be my baby.

You then...

You now....

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Working out the kinks...

It's tough being a baby. There's the sleeping and the constant nursing to contend with, not to mention all the shiney, crinkly toys at your disposal and that mommy lady who caters to your every whim at the first sound of a cry. One can imagine the stress, right? That's why all babies need massages. You know, to ease the tension of every day baby life.

In another lifetime (okay, 5 years ago), I seriously considered leaving my teaching career to pursue the life of a massage therapist. The thought of being surrounded by aromatherapy, candle-lit rooms and the "plinky plunky" music (Phoebe's words, not mine) of new-age artists piping through the sound system appealed to me beyond words. I imagined the sense of peace and well-being I have after a massage and figured that giving a massage must be almost as good as that. I was *this* close to drop-kicking my teaching certification out the window and enrolling in the local massage institute---I even went on an interview at the massage school, looked into buying the anatomy text books and gave my notice at the snooty private school I was working at. For any number of reasons, the switch never happened and now here I am.

Enter "Infant Massage"--yes, the class where I get to live out, in some tiny little way, my dream of being a massage therapist AND my poor little overworked, stressed out baby gets the much needed deep tissue massage his hectic life demands.

E and I took a 3-week massage course taught by my yoga instructor, Jennifer, who I LOVE. Her favorite little mantra is "I honor farts, poops and belches in my class." This is a woman who understands babies, people! Far more than the old ladies in the cereal aisle at my local grocery store, who fail to find amusement in my son's colossal adult-sized gaseous emanations while Mama selects her Special K Red Berries. Jennifer also makes up fabulous little nonsense phrases that I find myself repeating to Ethan when he is fussy....example, "ooohka linka lakka shinka, that feels good! (after a yoga pose or a massage).

Aside from the fabulous bonding time with Ethan and the miniature dream fulfillment, I also met, interacted with and established budding friendships with other new mommies. I find myself almost giddy at the prospect of having people over the age of 6 months to actually do things with on week days. And at the thought that perhaps Ethan will have other children to socialize with, lest he become that weird, socially awkward kid in kindgarten who is way too smart and grown up, thus making him the most likely to be picked on until college.

There has been talk of going to matinees, and there has been one bona fide Starbucks *date* between me and two of the yoga/massage mommies. If all goes well, we MIGHT even invite a few couples over to our house for a dinner or game night. But wait, I'm really getting ahead of myself--we've only had one date. Maybe we're not ready for that kind of commitment yet.

So infant massage really worked out quite a few kinks; my son's muscles, aching from all that sleeping, eating and rolling; and my own fear of throwing myself out there into a social world again, as opposed to hiding at home and wallowing in my own sense of "otherness" now that my life has changed so dramatically.

And here we are, "graduating" from massage class: Massager & massagee


Friday, November 03, 2006

A Room of One's the Raddison

So while on my blogging hiatus, Old Man Time snuck up behind me & beat me severely with the "YOU'RE 35 NOW!!!" stick. It was not pretty. I am not someone who generally minds a birthday. I loved turning 30--I felt all strong & powerful & centered in my life. Not so much with's tipping the scale each day closer to 40. FORTY. Four. Zero. Forty. yikes....

Having survived nearly six months of motherhood, I deemed myself deserving of a day "off" and informed Husband that I was going to take a day of obscene indulgence; this included ahhhhhhh, a facial (and is there anything sweeter than a facial that starts with a foot massage...ahhhhhh), a leisurely stroll through Barnes & Noble sans ginormous stroller and screaming child secured in ginormous stroller, 2 hours sitting in a dark movie theater, popcorn and soda all to myself (even if the movie sucked), and, the icing on the cake---I checked into a hotel downtown, took myself out to dinner and ice cream (Stone Cold Creamery is proof of God's existance, if you ask me) and then slept for....wait for it....11 hours. Un. Interrupted.

Happy. Birthday. To. Me.

Now, yes, I experienced major pangs of guilt during the course of my ME day. I thought of rushing home to hug and squeeze my baby and beg his forgiveness for leaving him for a whole day and night. I called home probably more than I needed to. I missed Husband and the E man. But I'm an only child and I think only children thrive on some amount of solitude. And that was some sweet solitude, my friend. Besides, I considered the case of engorgement I woke up with after not pumping for 12 hours to be my punishment. Nothing like carrying around almost 10oz of breastmilk IN your breasts to start your morning off right.

I started writing this post in my head last night as I laid in bed, unable to sleep. It was way wittier then and once again, I should have gotten off my lazy ass, come downstairs and written it as it was first popping into my head. But alas I did not, so what we have is just mediocre at best. But you know what? Three days, three entries. :-) And besides, I'm gearing up for the big SIX MONTH recap in 2 days...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Baby's First Halloween...sort of.

May this offering of the little peapod appease the blog-gods whom I have offended with my absence. :-)

Yes, Husband and I (okay, I) decided that since we called little E "pea pod" when he was in mah belly that he should be a "pea pod" for his first Halloween. You know, for old time's sake. Well, that and it's so freaking cute.

Halloween for us was actually just dressing Ethan up the day before Halloween and snapping about a hundred pictures. When the actual day arrived, we attempted to do the "dress up" again, and wound up with a very pissy pea pod. Please note exhibit A...

Clearly, Ethan was unaware of his own irresistable cuteness in this outfit, because he was having none of it. Also note the mellow and lovely leopard, Miss Chloe, chilling with Ethan as he melts the hell down. Trick or freaking treat, mom.

So after about a nano-second of that, we stripped him down out of his peapod-ness and he seemed content-ish again.

I guess the first Halloween isn't really for the kids, is it? I mean, without teeth, what's the point? And really, no one's handing out my breastmilk but me, so going door to door really isn't an issue yet. Maybe next year...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

All right, Amy...I'm back! :-)

At the urging of my bloggosphere BFF, I have rejoined the world o' the blog. I have much to share. But not tonight. Must go to sleep. Tomorrow I will read up on everyone else's blogs and then dust off this poor neglected blog and get started again....if anyone's still reading! :-)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Oh, the Guilt...

Yes, I know. I know. I've neglected you. I've been ignoring you. I didn't get a chance to write the 5 month update on October 5th and since then I have felt too guilty to come back. What kind of mother doesn't find time to recount in writing a recap of her son's 4th month, when she's already done the first four? Sigh...tsk, tsk. Bad mommy.

So I considered letting the whole thing drop by the wayside and forgetting that I blogged. I mean, I am taking yoga now and baby massage classes and getting out of the house more. Maybe I don't need to blog anymore....

Nah. I dig mah blog. I miss mah blog.

And so here I am, internet, hoping that someone still reads this. But then I guess, even if no one does, I do. And maybe someday Ethan will. So that's good enough for me.

OH! Update--I'm semi-famous (in my own mind...) As I bowed my head and uttered "Namaste" at my last yoga class, I couldn't help but notice one of the other girls in the class was looking at me funny. I am very self-conscious in yoga, so immediately I assumed that a boob had popped out of my nursing tank top. But the tank was intact and the boobs were concealed (although that's no longer a given in my world), so I let it go. As I was rolling up my mat, she said, "You're Sarah, right?" Ummmmm...indeed. "I recognize you from your blog. Forty-five degrees something, right?"

F.r.e.a.k.y. But very cool. I have never been recognized by a stranger for any reason whatsoever in my life, so that was fabulous. And then she said nice things about the blog, which was way better than if she had said, "Yeah, you suck." So I was happy.

I am also nearing the end of my quest for a tolerable Mom's group, the holy grail of the stay-at-home-mom. Like Amy, I fret and stress when I am going to be in contact with other moms, potentially cool new mommy friends. It is, in some ways, worse than preparing for a blind date, because you REALLY can't look like you're trying too hard the way you kind of can on a date. So you dress nice, but not too nice; you put on makeup, but just a little for that *natural* look (god forbid they think you're a frump OR a tramp--it's a delicate balance!) And then you don't want to talk too much or share too much.

So sitting cross-legged on my massage instructor's livingroom floor, in between two moms and their adorable little ones, I commiserate, but not enough to let on there's PPD lurking in here; I offer advice, but not enough that they might think I'm a *know it all* just because Ethan is older than the rest of the babies; I laugh at jokes, but not enough to sound seem totally desperate for company and adult interaction. When one of the other moms suggests the group exchanges emails/phone numbers and starts meeting outside of class, I try not to run across the room and hug her in relief that someone has stepped up and made the first move.

So I have Zoloft and I have new mommy friends, but I still need mah blog.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What was once two blue lines... now babbling away contentedly in his swing, chewing on the ends of his crinkly fabric book "Fluffy Chick and Friends".

Yes, it was a year ago today that I stood in the bathroom looking down at the pregnancy test as the second line ever-so-quietly appeared in the first window, sort of a "psssst, hey you. Yeah, you. You're pregnant," in the form of two blue lines. It hardly seemed possible. It was only the second month we'd even considered it and it never occurred to us it could happen so fast (um, hello, 8th grade health class, dumbasses...)

*****excuse me, please--it's bed time for the little man. I'll return to finish when and if he decides to grant me the peace and quiet of sleeping tonight******

It was the first night of Rosh Hoshannah and instead of attending services like good Jews, we were simply being "Jew-ish" and celebrating the new year with a culinary feast from Whole Foods---turkey, potato laktes, noodle kugel, tzimmis (potatoes, noodles and honey in one meal--no wonder I packed on 40 pounds...). While Pedro heated up our feast, I casually announced I was going upstairs to "pee on a stick". It never occurred to me that the next time I walked down the stairs I would be someone's mother.

But here it is, a year later and I just came down those same stairs after rocking the little man to sleep---for the third time tonight (it is 8:24pm...God help me). I marvel at how life has changed in the past 365 days. What a journey it has been that has brought me to this day....

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Follow the boucing ball...

How did I finally come to accept that I have a fabulous case of post partum depression?

Could it have been the fact that I am still wearing clothes two sizes bigger than I should be and have no motivation in my gut to lose the gut? No.

Could it be the fact that I have all but forgotten how to put make up on? No.

Could it have been going out to dinner with two of my pregnant friends recently and realizing as I sat across from them that I was struggling to say something positive about being a mother that day? No.

Could it have been the fact that poor Husband has become a master of walking on eggshells in my presence, never knowing what combination of words is the one that will set me off on a "you don't think I'm a good mother" tirade. No.

Want to know what made me realize and finally accept that I needed to address this new gloom residing in me?

I wasn't blogging and I wasn't reading other peoples' blogs.

Strange that realizing I had essentially stopped blogging would be my *lightbulb* moment, but it was. Blogging is something I started doing for myself when I was first on bedrest--it saved my sanity from the clutches of boredom, and while I am no Shakespeare, it was fun to tap into my creative energy and occassionally, my sense of humor (let's face it, every English teacher is a frustrated novelist). It became a part of my identity and my sense of self; it was a record of my life.

But I stopped. I haven't been too busy. No, I still have a baby sleeping on one of my arms most afternoons for at least an hour (yeah, the independent napping thing pooped the bed as soon as Ethan got his first cold--then it was right back on Mommy). I have plenty of time to blog. I just don't. I sit and watch TV. Ugh.

And I stopped reading other peoples' blogs, with a few exceptions. Amy, Becki and KMW still got my daily attention, because we all went through similar pregnancies and because Becki and KMW just had their little miracles (congrats, girls!). But the blogs I usually read simply for a laugh--"eh, why bother??" is how I've been feeling. Seriously. Why bother clicking on that link and running my eyes over the words on the page that pops up? Why bother laughing? Sigh....

So I dragged my sorry butt to the doctors, said, "PPD" and walked out with Zoloft. Husband & I used to laugh at the gloomy little bouncing ball in the commercial, bouncing his way over to the other, happier balls. Now I am that mopey little bouncing ball. Depression isn't new to me, so I think deep down I've known it's been gnawing it's way back into my life for the past few months. But how do you admit, when you are supposed to be at your very happiest, that there is a part of you that feels so utterly alone and lost?

Yes, poor me. It's all so melodramatic. I just wanted to explain where I've been and why I've been neglecting the blog. Hopefully now I will be able to kick my butt in gear and write more regularly. I have no intention of turning this into my PPD blog; that sadness is something that feels totally separate from my relationship with Ethan (ironic, isn't it?) and this blog is about him and how wonderful watching him grow has been and continues to be. And to prove it, check this one out...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

One Year Ago Today...*

We made this:

I think it was a pretty good year...

*thanks to Amy S for the idea

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Years ago, after a devestating breakup, I dragged my weepy ass to a therapist and began the uphill climb out of a mind-numbing depression. Among other things the therapist did to help me untangle the mess that had become my life, she gave me the assignment of joining a yoga class. I was so utterly disconnected from myself and wrapped in a blanket of self-loathing (if he didn't love me, how could I possibly be of any worth??), she thought enrolling in yoga would, at the very least, force me to concentrate for one hour on something other than the emptiness that consumed me the other 23 hours of the day.

I half-heartedly attended a class at my gym. I spent much of the class just hoping I could get into the postures and not fart while I was in them. I definitely rolled my eyes at a lot of the soothing "oommms" and whatnot during the class. I was distracted by the sound of the racquet ball cout adjacent to our "studio". I certainly didn't focus on my breathing.

Until the end. The last pose, Savasana, the "corpse pose", isn't really a pose at all; it is "simply" lying still on your mat and allowing all your stress to drain away through your breathing. The instructor takes you on a tour of your body, from toes to head, telling you to release the stress from each part of your being. Something inside me broke open in those few minutes of listening to myself breathe. I found myself sobbing as silently as possible as, for the first time in months, maybe even years, I felt, for a moment, a fleeting sense of ME, of who I was. The instructor read a short piece at the front of the room about self-acceptance and I felt the cool tears slide down the sides of my face and into my ears.

I went to yoga two times a week for the next four years. I broke free of the depression, eventually I started to feel whole again and got on with my life.

Today I took my son to a Mommy & Me yoga class for the first time. I had signed up for the instructor's prenatal yoga class and irony of all ironies, was put on bedrest the very day I was to attend the first class. So much for that. But I always dreamed of being the cool, hip, yoga mat-toting mother who zens-out with her peaceful, placid infant.
Of course, some of you may know that my son is anything but peaceful and placid. I may have mentioned here in one of any numer of posts and some of you have witnessed the famous melt-downs in person. Others still don't believe in the demon-child that resides in my son and comes out when he's not being held to his satisfaction or when he is otherwise miffed at the unfairness of the life of a baby ( I mean, all that breast-feeding and napping--what a raw deal). Anyway, suffice it to say that I spent much of the day leading up to the class in fear that my child would be the only child screaming and wailing in a mad attempt to ruin everyone's zen-buzz.
But something amazing happened. My drop-of-a-hat freaker-outter turned into uber-mellow buddha baby. The class was hardly yoga as those unfettered by little humans know it. There was crying, baby farts and stopping mid-sun salutation to drop onto the floor, whip out the boob and nurse. But Ethan was all smiles, all curiosity and all "whatcha doing?" as I stretched and breathed my way to some vague sense of peacefulness. He was mesmerized by the other babies, and the yoga instructor's voice, always soothing and sing-songy at times, captured his attention to the point that he forgot that I wasn't holding him every. single. second.
At the end, in Savasana, I laid next to Ethan on the mat, closed my eyes and tried to relax. He spent most of the deep relaxation time playing with my face. I took a moment to drink in the feeling of his little breath on my face and his curious fingers getting to know mommy's features. I thought for a moment about my body's recent struggles and "incompetence". I thought about how I have beaten myself up for months that I couldn't have a normal pregnancy like normal women and how I will never carry another baby. I haven't talked a lot about it, but it's been on my mind.
I realized--I have let myself get caught up in so much negativity in my own sense of my body and self--not nearly as badly as I have in the past, but enough for the lightbulb to go off. Enough for me to realize that I have to let those sad feelings go and appreciate what my body did accomplish and how amazing it is to have that accomplishment lying next to me, breathing with me and zen'ing out. I can't wait 'til next Wednesday...
And so here he is, showing that he can do yoga in his crib, even without a class--in a perfect "child's pose"....Zen Master E

"Mommy, look! Ommmmmmmm....."