Now, I am well aware that sequins aren’t exactly the gateway drug to selling your wares on a street corner, yet an eensy part of me wonders if they are a gateway to those wretched sweatpants with “PRINCESS” spelled out on the bum. And, yes, it probably is time to admit that jeggings can’t be the only fun thing in a seven-year-old’s wardrobe and that perkily delivered statements like “Just LOOK at how cute that 60s-inspired sundress from Gymboree/Crazy 8/the Hanna Anderson outlet is!” really aren’t doing a damn thing to keep her from getting any older. As it was, I issued strict ultimatums about how she was NOT to turn four, five, six, or seven, yet here we are PLUS she wants to start shopping at “stores like Justice” because apparently that’s what everyone else does because their mothers allow it and probably also allow, you know, skipping flossing before bed and, hell, going to bed altogether. And if those mothers do make their kids go to bed, they make sure they’re tucked in wearing sequined nightgowns.
Anyway, Aura swears up and down that she flipped through a Justice catalog at a friend’s house recently (mental note: egg that house) and there were “things in there that you would like, Mommy. There was even a dress with polka dots!”
So, for all of my fellow fuddy-duddies out there, let it be known: We may be anti-seqin all the way, but we are downright fools for polka dots.
(The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Whenever the Hooker with a Probable Heart of Gold bites it in a crime/thriller movie, she’s never wearing polka dots.)
(You get one guess as to what she IS wearing, though. Right? RIGHT.)
(And to think that Adam was so judgey about all those “hours of my life” I was “wasting” watching Vin Diesel/Jason Statham movies. It’s not like I just know a lot about streetwalkers now, either. I can tell you bunches about Foolish Bank Robberies Gone Wrong, How to Look Emotional When Your Childhood Friend and Fellow Thief is Tragically Shot By Police and You Survive, and, most importantly, the nuances of Never Falling in Love with the Ravishing Detective Tasked to Track You Down. So there, Adam. TAKE THAT.)
But back to the subject at hand, which is not really a subject at all, but: Wheee! Blogging! Like riding a bike!
I have promised Aura that we will go to Justice within the next few weeks to peruse possibilities for her spring wardrobe. She is very pleased and promised to stay away from most of the leopard print, especially if it’s leopard print patterned with sequins. Because I’m pretty sure she knows I’ll either die on the spot from my geriatric fashion tendencies or lock in her room for the term of forever and ever times infinity. As a final nod to her wishes, however, I’ll make sure the padlock is covered with, well…you get it.
**Why, yes! We are indeed totally and utterly glossing right over the fact that many other things have happened in recent months. Of course, not many of you would know these things because I was busy becoming the World’s Worst Blogger. But, er, second-child-trouble-adjusting-New-England-winters-heck-New-England-summers-also-LOOK!-a-sleeve-of-Thin-Mints-very-busy.
***It’s not like there aren’t any sequins in her wardrobe. For the purpose of this post, I did a mental count and I can name two sweatshirts and two pairs of jeans that have sequins (ha!), as well as two shirts from her grandmother. BECAUSE IT’S ALWAYS GRAMMY WHO’S THE FUN ONE.]]>
“When you were a baby, I just put you in your playpen. You were happy there!” she’d reminisce, as I rolled my eyes at the folly of former generations.
“MOM. People don’t use playpens these days,” I’d admonish. “I don’t see anything wrong with letting Aura roam, as long as I’m keeping an eye on her.”
I imagine that my mother is having a great big guffaw at my expense right now (out of my hearing, kindly), as this sucker has been installed in our kitchen since last week.
See, the thing is (and this thing has become more and more obvious in recent months), Aura was what is universally and often enviously termed “an easy baby.” Sure, she rolled and crawled (not until 10.5 months, mind you), but she was much more busy telling us that she was thinking about pulling a bunch of books from the unanchored bookcase or going up the stairs than, you know, actually going up the stairs.
Not the case with this one.
I think we may have filled our quota of early-talking, late-moving cerebral children long before Jax arrived on the scene. This is not to say that Jax is not a super-smartie, but I don’t know that I’ll be worried about where his teachers put War and Peace in the classroom, if you catch my drift. Jax is a roller, an army crawler, a whirlwind of non-stop-moving legs that must pull candles off the TV stand and gnaw on (mercifully not-plugged-in) printer cables. If I’m in the kitchen attempting to prepare dinner (after believing I have removed or blocked off all possible safety hazards) and yell to Aura in the living room, “Is Jaxie okay? What’s he doing?” more often than not Aura will yell back, “Oh, he’s fine. He hit his head rolling into the coffee table, but now he’s just gnawing on the table leg.”
That head. That poor, bald-spotted, little eight-month-old head. If it isn’t getting stuck under our bed, it’s being whacked by a toy lifted up by its owner, for the sole purpose of head-smacking. It’s like he revels in possibly concussing himself. I’m pretty sure Pop Warner football is a foregone conclusion, by way of the missed Mensa meetings.
In the interest of not having to get one of those little baby helmets (knowing that eventually I’m going to be one of Those Moms Who Has Her Kid on a Not-Fooling-Anyone “Stuffed Animal Backpack” Leash), I’ve folded. I’ve surrendered. I’ve gone playpen.
I figure I get three weeks before he determines the best way to gnaw his way out of there. Or maybe just use his head as a battering ram. Nice try, Graco. Your mesh sides? They’re goners.
All this is to say that I still need to buy more and more dratted nursing bras, but I can’t fit into those eensy lovely cheapies at Target. I tell you, I may not be a genius when it comes to stock futures and I may not be able to tell you what a Cricut machine is under threat of death, but I can nurse me a full Little Gym of babies. If it came to that. Not that it would, because that’s weird and subtly creepy. But. You’re getting my drift. I can feel it.
Anyway, the following is the conversation you don’t want to have with the twentysomething clerk at the local lingerie superstore. Because if you do you might get murderous or homicidal or a comforting combination of both.
Me: Hi. I’m here to be fitted for a new nursing bra.
YOUNG, LITHE, PERKY CLERK: Okay! Let’s see. Are you pregnant right now, or did you already have the baby?
[Ding-ding goes the Death Bell.]
Me: Yes. He’s six months old. But, you know. THANKS FOR ASKING.
YLPC: No problem! So, have you ever been fitted for a bra before?
Me: Unfortunately, yes.
YLPC: No? Okay then! Let me explain. You’re going to take off your shirt, then stand in front of me topless, and I’ll kind of feel all around your chest with this measuring tape.
Me: Great. Got it. Oh–I’d prefer a nursing bra with an underwire, if you have any.
YLPC: [measures, sadly not squirted with impromptu milk; turns out that wishing really, really hard for something is crap]
Me: All set?
YLPC: Okay! Got the measurements! Let’s see! Well, this bra has an underwire but supposedly isn’t as comfortable as some of our others.
YLPC: At least, that’s what the moms, the older women who work here, tell me.
Me: Uh huh.
YLPC: You know, those women over there at the counter! See them? They’re older, like you.
[DING DING DONG #2.]
Me: I think I see them. My cataracts are making things look a little fuzzy.
Me: Nothing. Anyway. This bra seems like it offers a lot of lift, but I don’t know how supportive it is…
YLPC: Let’s think about this! This is what I would call a “going-out-at-night bra.” I bet you don’t really go out at night anymore, though, do you?
[DEATH BELL NOW A VAPORIZING LASER. ZAP ZAP ZAP]
Me: Give it to me I’m taking it I have plans in May or maybe July.
YLPC: What about this one? It’s not as attractive, or as uplifting, but it sure is comfy. At least the woman on the front of the package looks comfy.
Me: Against my better judgment, I’m actually going to agree with you. She looks comfy. She also looks like she might be on her way to drown a couple of kittens.
Me: Nothing. Forget it.
YLPC: You know what? Why don’t you get both? They’ll get you through the next few months until you drop that baby weight!
[SIZZLE SIZZLE LITHE AND PERKY PILE OF ASH]
[Note: The first bra hurts like hell but you better damn well believe I wear that sucker proudly to...er...the grocery store. The second one--startling model aside--is pure wear-around-the-house heaven and makes me feel that being at an age so close to death isn't all bad.
The best underwire nursing bra I've found this time around, though, is this beauty from Anita. I love it. It's pricey, but I've found that this seems to be the common factor among higher-cup-size, really-works nursing bras. And it's not like I need the money to, you know, GO OUT or anything.]]]>
Wow. I’m going to have to congratulate myself this time, for though I have taken breaks from blogging here and there in the past, I’ve never treated myself to a whopping four-plus months off. Then again, I didn’t ever before have a blog and a newborn at the same time, and I’m here to tell you that it’s not a combination I recommend.
To be fair, if you get yourselves one of those newborns who actually sleeps, then a blog is probably a fine idea. Actually, I read a few blogs where the mothers are beautifully balancing life and baby, so I know it’s possible and I also know I need to get my hands on their vitamins, stat. I triple know that it would help to have a husband who can get home from work earlier than 7:00 p.m., parents who live nearby, siblings to beg for babysitting, or, heck, an extended family larger than three people. But I knew all this going in, too, so it is what it is and I’ll make Jax support me from a young age in my stunningly lavish retirement for years so there. (Quick preview: Reallly expensive cabana boys who like to make chocolate-chip cookies often and from scratch.)
Things in the no-sleep department have finally begun to improve, mainly due to the Magic That is Baby Oatmeal and Various Purees, but it was bad there for a while.
Actually, it was good, because there was a lot of this:
To put a fine point on it, it was wonderful and cuddly and rolly-thighish and sibling-bondingish, but it wasn’t fun. From late July on, it was night after night of at least six or seven wake-ups and nursing an average of 10-12 times per 24-hour period.
But! Good news! I have not walked into a wall (much) in three weeks and I no longer am putting the dirty clothes into the dryer and the wet clothes back into the washer. I do keep putting on my right blinker instead of my left, but I maintain that this is a vast improvement, though the parking scuffle in the Target parking lot the other day would say different. (Related: NEVER trust the elderly.)
Anyway, I’m back. I miss blogging and I miss writing and I miss most everything besides spit-up. I miss you guys. No more of this disappearing thing. I mean, just LOOK at what it’s doing to the baby.
Shh. Don’t tell him. He’s exactly the kind of kid who will stay up all night over a bald spot.]]>
Yes, so I am back on Weight Watchers (the nursing moms version), a regimen that has always worked for me in the past, mostly for five-to-ten pound losses/maintenance, except for when I started, a dark blip in my history that involved too much late-night-pizza-ordering during sophomore year of college and a heck of a lot more than 10 pounds. (Pizzzzzzzaaaaa.)
Permit me to interrupt myself to note someone who should NEVER get rid of his fat rolls:
Anyway. Since I’m back on the Weight Watchers wagon, I’ve been paying more than a little attention to all the press surrounding Jessica Simpson’s new role as WW spokesperson. And I’m not thrilled with how her successes might come across to people considering using WW to better their health.
Why do I care? Excellent question. Lack of sleep? Baby screaming has addled my sense of injustice? Full-fat ice cream withdrawal? Really, the reasons are countless.
Regardless, these are my three main gripes with ol’ Jess and her spokesperson role. (These should not be misinterpreted as problems with Jessica herself. She seems harmless enough, I guess, and hey, I admit to watching a few episodes of Newlyweds way back when.)
(What? I was recovering from the Norovirus. And I’m pretty sure it was the only thing on TV that weekend. Yep, definitely. Something wonky with the, er, airwaves? signal thingies? that weekend.)
1. Recently pregnant women are supposed to drop some weight. This is because THEY’RE NO LONGER PREGNANT. This whole Jessica’s-down-40-pounds-in-four-months! thing really needs to be put into perspective. I’m sure she’s worked her butt off to lose a lot of that weight (with the help of her widely publicized personal trainer and probably a personal chef) (FYI I need a personal chef), but hell’s bells, all the magazines reported that her baby girl was nearly 10 pounds. And as someone who has now delivered two children, I can tell you that all that amniotic fluid and placenta aren’t exactly featherweight. You have a baby, you automatically lose some weight. It’s like nature’s little insincere gift before you lose your mind staying up every night for the next three months.
2. Making a new, nursing mother a weight-loss spokesperson is a little misleading. I’m on the Weight Watchers program for nursing mothers right now. Basically, you just get more “points” (your daily allowance of protein/fat/carbs/fiber) to balance the calories and nutrients that are going into producing breast milk. And letmetellyou: Those extra points are heavenly. To put it into perspective, instead of my old 26 points per day, I now get 40. That’s not a bad amount of food. In fact, that’s an I-can-haz-cookies amount of food.
My point here: Of COURSE it’s a heck of a lot easier to lose weight on Weight Watchers when you have 50+% more points than the average non-nursing woman. I wish WW would indicate this in their ads crowing about Jessica’s progress.
Note: I shall now be nursing forever.
3. Pretty much anyone can lose armloads of fat if you’re paying them armloads of money. So, all reports indicate that Jessica is making $4 million for her role as WW spokesperson. I might be going out on a limb here, but I’m fairly certain that a good hunk of the U.S. population would take their chances jumping off bridges and surviving for $4 million, never mind lose some weight.
(Weight Watchers Powers-That-Be: CALL ME.)
There. Done ranting. Good thing, too, since all that ranting made me hungry. OH, GREAT. From now on? I’m Team Nick Lachey.]]>
Hello. My name is Kate and I am a blog ignorer. (Also, I apparently make up words. It’s funner that way.)
Who knew that when you went and had a second baby you’d immediately become disorganized, scatterbrained, and frequently unshowered? Ignoring (again!) the fact that everyone in the world knew this except for in-denial me, I have to tell you: This baby thing is EXHAUSTING. How did I not remember this from the first time around? In my head, Aura remains the Perfect Baby: slept all the time, ate regularly but not obsessively, cooed at appropriate times, and slept some more. Either this is exactly how it went down or six years does not do a memory good. But let’s go with Door #1. Makes all the complaining below just seem…healthier.
(SIX years, October 6. Must be in a time warp thingie or something. Plus she went and got her haircut and now I can’t even squint and pretend she’s still three, like I used to:)
Right around the time he turned one week, Jax decided that Sleep! For the Lazy! Is Much Better to Demand to Be Held Every Second of the Day! Anything past 10 minutes in a bouncy seat/swing/car seat and all hell breaks loose. Wearing him (I have now moved onto the Baby K’tan wrap carrier and I must now request you buy it for every new mother you know, because Hi, I can cook dinner now or at least gaze into the freezer Very Seriously before picking up the phone to order Thai) has helped, but still, Jax spends an awful lot of time lying on top of me, while I sit as still as possible and watch the fifth John Cusack movie on TV in one day. (Oh, that Must Love Dogs. He was a keeper, I tell you. Perhaps too good for Diane Lane.)
As of this weekend (seven weeks, hollah), nighttime sleep has improved. Jax now regularly goes for three-and-a-half or four hours for the first stretch. Of course, this is because he is exhausted from howling all evening, because WOMAN, IF YOU DON’T FEED ME EVERY HOUR I’M GOING TO…HOWL EVEN MORE AND MAYBE SPIT UP MORE AND THEN HOWL MORE MILLLLLLLLLLLK. You’d think finally finding a use for that stupid pink velour Build-A-Bear bed with decorative trim would calm him down, but OH NO:
Of course, something else happened right before five weeks. The Smile. And that makes me forgive his astounding 12-pound self for almost everything. Say, 99%.
What else? Ah yes, the guilt. The horrible, debilitating guilt over how much less time I spend playing with Aura. She continues to adjust well, but it can’t be easy coming home from your spankin’ new first-grade classroom only to hear “Sorry, sweetie, I have to feed the baby again!” or “Sorry, I have to change the baby again!” She spends a lot of time listening to stories near the nursing pillow or modifying pretend games (those BLASTED Littlest Pet Shops still won’t die a timely death) so that I can play them one-handed.
Yet these moments take no hands at all:
But still. I might be selling a baby soon. Stay tuned. For now, I’ll just toss him in with the laundry.
Adam and I feel blessed beyond belief. As for Jax, well, I think we can sum things up in this way:
THINGS JAX LIKES
3. Grunting loudly in his sleep at 12:00 a.m.
4. Eating some more
5. Pooping in the middle of a diaper change, while simultaneously spraying himself in the face
6. Grunting loudly in his sleep at 2:00 a.m. See also: 3:00 a.m., 4:00 a.m., infinity.
7. EATING EATING EATING GOOD LORD WOMAN WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU HAVE TO SLEEP/USE THE BATHROOM/DO DISHES/PLAY WITH THAT OTHER CHILD
(After a brief episode of birth-weight loss, otherwise known as That Time the Pediatrician Threatened a Feeding Tube and I Sobbed and Felt Like a Monstrous Mothering Failure But Then All Was Fine 12 Hours Later So Screw You Medical Establishment and Yay for Monstrous Breasts, Jax has moved on up the scale to a whopping 9 pounds, 2 ounces. His thighs are even more rolly now, for the cuteness record. Plus he has a dimple in his elbow NOM NOM.)
And Aura? Well, I’d say she’s pretty thrilled. A little disappointed that Jax is not yet expressing her level of extreme pleasure with either the iPad or her approximate 4,849 Littlest Pet Shop toys, but eh. That’s what the third week of life is for, anyway.
You know what, friends?
Right now, life is good. Very, very good.]]>
You’d think that after taking such a blogging vacation I’d have oodles and piles of stuff to share with you, but I instead I’ll basically sum up the past month or so with this:
1. Still pregnant
2. More enormous
3. Rough patch with the business, now some downtime, back to blogging, and hey, we got REALLY far with the baby’s room LOOK:
There. Now we’re all caught up.
Looking forward, this Friday brings us to Aura’s last day of kindergarten. (Literally–we heard about our petition to get her into public first grade, and it was successful. I loves you, my town. Forget everything I said about those potholes that one time on that local message board lalalalala)
While Aura’s school doesn’t host a kindergarten graduation, there is an all-school Last Day Play. Aura will be playing the essential role of Woodland Creature in The Secret Garden. To be precise, she is a rabbit. A rabbit that, along with The Other Woodland Creatures, apparently breaks into “All We Need is Love” by The Beatles somewhere during the first half. I don’t know about you, but I’m sensing serious blackmail material for her wedding. Which is honestly why we paid all this money for kindergarten anyway.
In other news, we have been eating a lot of s’mores.
In this sixth-to-last-week of pregnancy, it has not gone unnoticed that this is the last time in my life when I will be able to eat anything and everything not nailed down and have a fairly plausible excuse. Which would maybe kind of explain this:
What else? I mean, there’s stuff. There was a dance recital (let’s hear it, all you Manilowacs!); a near catastrophe at an event our business held, remotely, halfway across the country (my Scary Kate Phone Voice apparently does nothing to cow people in the Show Me State who are DEADLY INTENT ON BANKRUPTING US); and the other night there were even some mild contractions! at 2:30 a.m.! that terrorized me enough into buying an actual car seat and diapers at 2:45 a.m.!
No contractions since, but now I wake up to use the bathroom every hour in greater peace, knowing the baby will be able to poop in comfort and safety on the way home from the hospital. Who knows where he’ll sleep or what he’ll wear, but…eh. Details. Who needs ‘em anyway.
P.S. I put Aura in charge of the nursery decorating scheme. After lingering on the idea of turtles, then changing to frogs, she settled on owls. So I ordered this wall decal. Turns out it has numbered parts and a map and OHHH I SELF-LOATHE REAL BAD RIGHT NOW
P.P.S. Still no name for the baby, either. Aura is a big fan of Marc-with-a-c, Jack, and, recently, Fizzy. Given the alternative of Baby X, Fizzy is looking better and better every day. It has a certain…soda-themed charm. (Adam already said no to the name Diet Coke. Because you know I asked.)
Gone to a bachelorette party. Nothing like a bachelorette party when you’re knocked up, I tell you. I was tasked with bringing the old college blow-up doll (some people have scrapbooks, some have blow-up dolls with terrifying faces; judge not lest you be…well, you know). I also participated, minimally, in a champagne tasting, otherwise known as OHMYGOD THESE THREE BIG SIPS ARE THE BEST OF MY LIFE GOOD LUCK TO YOU FETUS
Visited IKEA for
Swedish meatballs baby furniture. For some reason, I was overtaken with the need to act out some semblance of real baby preparation early Sunday afternoon. So we piled into the car to go to IKEA, where I was promptly distracted by the signs.
“It seems to me that they just add -ka to the end of English words!” I announced as we passed a display of Beddingka and Textileska, realizing belatedly that I had thereby offended anyone of even questionable Swedish descent in hearing range.
Happily, I was able to drown my embarrassment in a lunch that turned out to be free because we purchased over $100 of baby furniture. I’ll be the first to admit that the changing table looks a little shifty, but at the same time that complimentary apple cake was delectable.
Started to go through Aura’s baby clothes. Although I really didn’t think we’d have a second child, I never gave away Aura’s outgrown clothes. Which means I now have approximately one trillion items of tiny clothing to sort into Donation, Consignment, Keep for Nostalgia’s Sake, and Unisex Enough for a Boy piles.
Aura is helping, by which I mean she is insisting that every piece of infant girl clothing is also appropriate for her impending brother. If I hint that a particular item is “a little too pink” or has “perhaps too many flowers,” she reminds me that WE DON’T DO THE GIRL-BOY THING. And I can’t exactly argue, yet it’s so much easier to practice this concept when your girl child is playing with trucks than when your future boy child is potentially wearing this, as lovingly chosen by his sister:
Disgusted a young, impressionable, and apparently blunt daughter. Aura walked into my bedroom as I was getting dressed this weekend. I turned from the closet to find her with her face buried in my comforter.
“Sweetie, what’s wrong?” I asked, pulling some socks from a drawer.
“It’s just…well, I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but your breasts look really gross. I’m just going to close my eyes until you put a shirt on,” she muttered from under the blanket.
So, in sum: Milk pre-production going well. Turns out that I’ll be able to feed the second child while I TOTALLY AND BITTERLY NEGLECT THE FIRST ONE.
Which is why this blog post is a bit of a departure.
Please allow me to announce: I am so, so proud of my kid.
I mean, I’m always proud of Aura, for vast and various reasonsher behavior, her empathy, her sense of humor. Oh, and her steadfastness in the pursuit of a handheld video-game system. (Keep savin’, child. That $169.99 is just, oh, five really full piggy banks from becoming a reality.)
But this time I’m proud of how she handled something. Without making a long, not-necessarily-intriguing-to-anyone-outside-the-family story even longer, suffice it to say that Adam and I aren’t taking our town’s September 1 birthday deadline for first grade lying down. We already missed the September 1 deadline for kindergarten this year (Aura’s birthday is in early October), which is why Aura is now in a fairly pricey half-day private kindergarten, instead of a third year of preschool.
So we’re taking advantage of the first-grade petition process that the town offers (and for which we are grateful). I don’t know what the final decision will be, if Aura will end up having to go again to kindergarten next year or entering first grade, and we won’t know until probably sometime next week. But the process is finally underway, and yesterday was Aura’s screening.
We didn’t even tell her about the testing until the night before, and even then we obviously downplayed it as more of a “chat with a nice teacher.” Still, I wondered how she’d do, being ushered into another room by a man whom she had never met and being asked to answer a series of questions.
And yet? She did beautifully. She warmed up immediately to the school official and bounced away from me and to an office down the hall, never glancing back. As for me, I sat in the school lobby, nervously picking at my maternity top (update: still not one stranger has asked me when I’m due IT’S AS IF THE SOLID FAT MASS OF NON-PREGNANT-LOOKING TORSO IS DETERMINED TO FOIL ME) and envisioning how I was now to be known around the school district as The Pushy Mother Who Won’t Adhere to School System Policies and Is Determined Her Kid Is a Genius.
All this while Aura…aced it. She enjoyed the testing, enjoyed the screener, enjoyed the entire thing. And from the brief feedback I received afterward, I gather that she did very well on the tests. There’s still a classroom observation and committee meeting ahead of us, so who knows what will happen. But honestly?
Watching her walk away to her test, ready and willing and maybe a tad bit nervous, proves to be me that we’re doing the right thing. Turns out it’s not so much about that she knows how to read, or that she knows how to add double-digit numbers and tell you about various groupings of five. She’s just…ready.
Good thing I’m having this other baby to make up for the one who is preparing to leave me. Ungrateful twits, all of ‘em.