Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Is it Saint Swithin's Day already?

Oh my goodness, it's December. Kali is eleven months old. I'm a delinquent blogger... what else is new?

Last night we discovered one of the drawbacks to the Cry it Out method of sleep training. About half an hour after we put her down, Kali started to cry. This is not unusual. We ignored her for about 10 minutes, but it seemed to be escalating. I went to check on her.

She was sitting in a puddle of vomit, and in a very poopy diaper.

Needless to say, she had two baths last night.

__________

I'm weaning off the Zoloft, finally. I've been on antidepressants for two years. Is it really lame and bad of me to say that I preferred being on the full dose? Ever since I've reduced the dose I've been having more trouble waking up in the morning, and less motivation to do stuff around the house. It's quite a remarkable difference.

Instead of begging my doctor to let me increase my dose to its former level, I've decided to wait and see. Kali and I will be leaving for our Island in the Sun in a week, and I'm hoping that a month of sunshine will help my mood. Maybe weaning off my meds in the winter was a bad idea.

__________

My teaching job has become crazy. I think that's all I'm going to say, for fear of being found and identified...

Okay, let's just say that I'm not feeling charitable towards my students right now. I know I need to employ some important Jewish principles here, but what I really feel like doing is saying "screw you guys, I'm going home".

I meet with the Rabbi today to discuss the issues with my class. Wish me luck.

__________

I finally got my period again. A real period, for sure. Today is CD13 and I felt my left ovary twitch. I'd better crawl back into bed and whisper sweet nothings in Mr. December's ear.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Ugh... stressed!

I love my life, my family, my baby girl, my home, and most of my work.

But I'm so so so stressed. And irritable.

Little things: Mr. December didn't change Kali's diaper when she woke up from her nap, and he took her to his parents' house and they didn't change her diaper at all... so we're talking about almost seven hours with no diaper change. This is NOT OKAY, people.

And why can't he empty the dishwasher for a change? Really? Why? Or maybe wipe off the table when he's done feeding Kali?

Big things: My new tutoring student is being a pain in the ass. I feel like I was misinformed of the subject matter I was supposed to teach, the true nature of this kid's challenges... and put in a difficult position in other ways. I'm so pissed off I want to scream. And then quit, and spend every day on the floor with Kali, blowing bubbles and blowing kisses.

All this stress is making me tense, and now I have a crick in my neck and it kills.

The worst part is, this feels a bit over-the-top. (oh, did I leave out the part where I was on the subway on my way home from tutoring, and I saw an ad featuring adorable babies, and I almost cried because I had just wasted two hours of my daughter's life that I won't get back?)

So yeah, it feels over the top. Almost... hormonal. But I'm not on progesterone (evil evil hormone), I'm not pregnant (trust me, I've peed on more sticks than I care to admit), and I'd be shocked if my period was coming anytime soon. I'm still breastfeeding and we haven't made any major changes to the frequency of feedings, so really I have no idea where this is coming from.

And I really wanna pig out on chocolate, but I can't. We're on a diet. Because yet another person asked if I'm pregnant again.

I am NOT PREGNANT, people! I'm FAT and sub-fertile. Thanks for asking.

Bah, humbug.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Educational toys

Long before I had Kali, I was of the opinion that educational toys were a crock. Is the world around us not educational? I would wonder. I'd scoff at the parents with every possible V-t.e.ch or Lea-p-f-rog toy in the children's playroom. Educational, my ass, I would say. These toys are just doing the parents' job.

And now I am a parent, and while I love my job, sometimes mommy needs to do something very important, like Check her email for hilarious forwarded jokes or Call her best friend. And now I understand the appeal of educational toys.

And so, as a service to my readers, I am pleased to present a list of...

Decemberbaby's favourite educational toys!

1. Learning laundry basket
This high-quality plastic basket with perforated sides will amuse and entertain your baby while teaching important lessons for any developmental stage. Throwing neatly folded clothes out of the basket, Junior will learn about cause and effect and will experience a variety of textures and colours. Climbing into the basket will develop baby's proprioceptive sense. More advanced children will exercise their sense of compassion when mommy turns the basket upside down on them, simulating the experience of children in captivity. Fun for all ages, the learning laundry basket is easy to clean, portable, and can double as an infant bassinet.

2. The big stone fireplace
Featuring real stone and a working flue handle, the big stone fireplace is a hit with our junior testers. The variety of shapes and textures stimulate baby's developing brain while the flue handle exercises her fine motor skills. Hear baby squeal with delight as the wind comes whooshing down the chimney and into her face! Note: rocks may be hard and/or sharp. Adult supervision recommended. Do not play with The big stone fireplace if there is already a fire in it.

3. The clothes dryer
The clothes dryer offers hours of educational fun! Baby can push the buttons, turn on and off the drum light, start and stop the dryer, and watch the clothing spin. Includes a load of clothing so that baby can fill and empty the dryer over and over again. Note: not for use as a ride. Do not put baby to sleep on top of dryer. Do not put baby IN the dryer, you nitwit.

4. Stainless steel step can
Babies love looking at themselves. With the stainless steel step can, baby can see himself from any angle. He'll enjoy pushing the pedal and making the top flip open. Best of all, when in lying-down mode, the can can't roll away because the step pedal acts as a natural kickstand. Great for encouraging baby to crawl and to pull up!

5. Sleeping bag bolster
It's soft, it's round, it rolls on the ground, it makes a squishity sound... it's a sleeping bag in a bag! Roll it back and forth - its specially designed cylindrical shape keeps it from rolling off in a different direction! Baby will love to crawl along behind this toy as it rolls. And when it's naptime, she can snuggle up to it. A fabulous travel toy!




Why yes, we did spend a few hours in the basement while I folded laundry. Why do you ask?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Further proof that I am, indeed, a mother

You know you're a mom when somebody passes you a Torah, and as you take it in your arms you immediately start to rock back and forth and make shushing noises.

You know you're a mom of an older baby when somebody passes you a Torah and you say, "hey, this feels pretty light - what are the guys always complaining about?"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

We need to invent a new phrase... where's Mel?

We were at shul (synagogue) tonight for Simchas Torah. (yes, I'm on the computer on a holiday. We're working towards complete observance, but we're still probably years away from it. The internet is probably my biggest obstacle... but I digress.) There's a woman in our congregation who absolutely loves to hold Kali, always has. I've always handed Kali over promptly because I could see that "I want to cuddle a baby" longing in her eyes. I've assumed that there was a story behind that look - she has two kids, one bio and one adopted, with a huge age gap in between. How could I not wonder?

She asked me whether I'm still breastfeeding Kali and when I plan to wean. I leaned over and said, "I'll wean whenever I'm ready to go back to the fertility clinic and do this all over again." It took a minute to sink in, and then she looked at me with complete understanding. She took my hand and confessed, "I had to do that too. Secondary infertility. It didn't work." She hugged Kali tight, and looking close to tears, said, "so this is extra special for you, isn't it?"

She gets me. I figured she would.


So... this reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend recently. He introduced me to a new verb: "to bagel". To bagel someone is to work a reference to Jewish practice into the conversation, in the hopes that the person you are "bagelling" will meet your revelation of religious affiliation with his/her own. Hence, "bagelling" is a tool used to either identify or draw out fellow Jews.

I think this behaviour exists among us infertiles, but we don't really have a name for it. Do we? What do we call it when we drop a superfluous reference to fertility issues into the conversation so that someone else will feel comfortable talking about their struggle? What should we call it?

I'm open to suggestions. Anybody have one?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year day...

Naptime.

And before someone gets her panties in a knot, not, it's not because the baby is asleep and I can do things for me. Although I will go ahead and say, at the risk of being selfish, that every so often I need to evacuate bodily wastes and fuel my digestive system (not always in that order).

Most days, naptime is my favourite time of day because Kali pulls herself up, starts pawing at my shirt, and when I pick her up she immediately burrows her face into my neck. She is her most cuddly, peaceful self right before a nap. She nurses (all the while absently grabbing and releasing my clothes) and smiles and sighs and closes her eyes. Opens them. Closes them. Slurps on her right thumb, rests on my shoulder and drops off.

I love naptime. I love how it starts - with the cuddle I've just described - and I love how it ends - with her standing in the crib, arms outstretched and little tears glistening on her cheeks because she woke up and mummy wasn't there and she thought the universe was falling apart. And then mummy came back.

To Kali, I am the human version of duct tape. I hold her universe together. I'm an all-purpose solution to a myriad of problems, from sudden noises that startle her to a very full diaper to an empty tummy. Kali can use me to fix a toy, find the lost cheerio ("it was under the table, baby. You know, where you threw it."), or transport her outside. Like duct tape, I'm a tad sticky - once Kali holds onto me, she knows I won't suddenly let go. Like duct tape, I am always around here somewhere, because you never know when I might come in handy.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Once again...

BFN.

That is all. Now go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

apologies are so last week...

I know, I've been gone for a long time. To be honest, I feel like readership has dropped off so I figured nobody would really miss me. (except you, Dagny. I miss you too.) I mean, really, I used to be funny. Okay, funny-ish. Back when I was bitter and sarcastic and stuff. Right now? Not so bitter, not so funny, just enjoying my life. Really.

My brother's wedding was beautiful. However, taffeta is not my friend. Somebody at the wedding asked me, "so when's your due date?" !!! I repressed the urge to clobber him with my bouquet, because a) he's one of the nicest people I know, and b) that day it really wasn't about me. But yeah, I looked phat fat. I could pretend to be outraged or hurt, but I know that this belly is mostly a result of my inability to "put down the fucking fork", as is said in cynical circles.

Then we went to Seattle for a wedding. The wedding was gorgeous, we were very happy for the couple, but the trip was just not good timing for us. Too many things interrupted. And I got mastitis in Seattle and got to navigate the lovely American health care system (good thing we have insurance). And then we came back, and it was Rosh Hashanah, and then I got sick with a nasty cold, and here we are.

So really, you didn't miss anything.

Am I allowed to demonstrate my patheticness now? Is "patheticness" a word? I think not. Whatever.

Anybody else remember the last time I had a really nasty cold, nosebleeds, and a resting pulse rate over 82? Anybody? How about now?

I'm not saying I am, and I'm not saying I'm not. I'm not sure what I really think or how I really feel... but I just had to put it out there. According to murphy's law, AF will come soon and I won't have to wonder.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Tomorrow...

My baby brother gets married tomorrow. Or today. I'm not sure which side of midnight I'm on.

I'm getting a sister, finally. She's cute and quotes the Simpsons every two minutes, just like me. She's skinny as hell no matter what she eats, not at all like me. She needs and wants the kind of bossiness and common-sense advice that a big sister can give. I think we're gonna get along fabulously.

Oh, and the bridesmaid dress is actually quite fetching, now that I've had my tailor butcher it and turn it into something completely different. Stay tuned for pics!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Holy sleep deprivation...

I think it's teething. But whatever it is, it's kind of annoying. She cries out in her sleep, roughly every 20 minutes. All night.

I'm a zombie.

I'm a zombie who has to buy her husband a birthday present, bake a cake, and find a card. Also a zombie who has to go to her bridesmaid dress fitting.

I'll give you a more thorough update when I'm actually awake.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Further evidence that I am, in fact, a bitch

My mother-in-law is here, to play with Kali and keep her entertained and happy while I finish up some things that really need to be done. I'm thankful that I have help and that it's someone who loves Kali so very much. Sure, Kali's napping right now, but MIL is waiting patiently for the moment she wakes up. I've got James Taylor playing, and she's enjoying it as much as I am.

Why, then, am I a bitch?

Because she's singing along under her breath. And she's tonedeaf.

Please just knock me out, wouldja?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shiny happy people

My sink is still shiny. Amazing. Other stuff isn't necessarily always clean, but the bed is made, the sink is shiny, and the bathroom has been wiped down. Every day. I feel somewhat sane again.

Oh, and I did some menu planning, which means that making dinner no longer requires any brain power at all. Just the way I like it. Tonight we had turkey soup (using turkey carcasses from last Friday) and schnitzel sandwiches on homemade foccacia. The whole thing probably took about an hour of prep time, and that's an over-estimate.

We have new laundry hampers, which I absolutely adore and were totally worth what I paid for them at Ceramic Silo Children. They make doing a daily load of laundry almost enjoyable. Hey, anything to get the job done... right?

Miss Kali is sitting up like a champ. She doesn't even fall over anymore... so now we can sit her in her ball pit and she'll amuse herself for 20-30 minutes. It's rather amazing, really, how if she drops the ball she goes looking for that exact one, even there are a ton of identical ones all around... and she finds the one she's looking for. Hmm, maybe she just touches it to confirm the presence of drool.

And Mr. December and I have set a bedtime for ourselves. It may not seem early to you folks, but we're always in bed with the lights out before midnight, sometimes substantially earlier. We're happy campers.

Lest you think everything is just perfect over here, allow me to remind you that I'm still fat, my brother's wedding is coming up, and I'm dreading the fitting for my bridesmaid dress.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Strep Poker

I think I finally see a flaw in my laissez-faire parenting plan: if you keep on sticking your kid's pacifier in your mouth for sanitization, one day your throat will get the sharp end of a poker. A strep poker.

OK, sorry. It was the only way I could think of to work in that lame-ass joke. Perhaps Julie could have done a better job. Just be thankful that I didn't regale you with stories of my trip to a seedy Strep Club, Or whine about how the Strep Malls are taking over suburbia, or rasp in an adorable cockney accent, "'ey, sweet'eart... a quid to see me strep?"

I'm done.

The antibiotics are making me feel better. I'll be sure to tell my dad that... tomorrow. Tonight is the last night he's in charge of Kali. He's managed the impossible, getting Kali to take a bottle of formula, so I'll be getting a good night's sleep. Possibly my last for months to come. I'd better milk it for all it's worth.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm sick.

Yesterday I was feeling a bit tired, so I went to lie down. I woke up an hour later with a full-on fever (103) and chills. Swallowing is torture. I haven't been upright except to go to the bathroom, and my obligation to Kali has been reduced to that of "Wet Nurse". I'm holed up in my bed at my parents' house, where Kali is being played with and spoiled til there's no tomorrow. There's no way I'd be able to manage at home with Mr. December at work all day.

I haven't felt this ill since I had Mono. What the hell is this?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Echo... echo... echo...

No, I did not get buried under a pile of clutter and have to dig my way out again. I've just been busy cleaning my house... very slowly. My living room is so much emptier that the acoustics are audibly different (at least to me) - everything seems to echo.

In the end, I did what Shelbel suggested: I went back to Flylady. I shined my sink, left the rest of the mess, and went to bed. The next day I did the bathroom "swish and swipe" in the morning and kept my sink shiny all day. It's snowballed since then, and while I'm far from on top of everything, the whole house feels a bit neater and a bit more manageable. I can breathe.

Kali broke out in a rash today, all over her chest and tummy. I hope it's not a food allergy - but it's hard to tell. Despite the fact that I said numerous times that we have to introduce foods slowly, i.e. once every 4-5 days, my mom fed Kali some watermelon and something else - can't remember what - so it's hard to know what, if anything, the rash is from. Dammit, I might have to go right back to rice cereal and bananas (she was fine with both of those) and try to figure it out. Why can't the grandmas just listen sometimes? Sigh.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

there's gotta be a 12-step program for this

Last night I had a total meltdown. In what is evolving into a theme here, I tried to find something, couldn't find it, wanted something to eat, couldn't see anything in the fridge that wasn't rotten or otherwise unfit for consumption, decided to go to bed and had to wade through an ankle-deep pool of clothes to get there.

I am so tired of being a slob. I have to dig through a huge pile of shirts to find the five - count 'em, five - that actually fit and flatter me. Every night I pick up and shake 5 or more pill bottles to find the one with pills in it, because I'm too lazy to throw out the empties. Kali has 8 pacifiers. Right now we can only find one.

I've done FlyLady before, never for long. I suck at "baby steps". I don't know exactly how this is all going to change, but something's gotta give. I can't live this way.

Does anybody know where I can find a meeting of "Slobs Anonymous"? And is anyone coming with me?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Vegas baby

We just got back from Vegas. Kali loved it all, from splashing in the pool to kicking back at the girls' pajama party. She especially loved the part where we ate cheesecake and watched Sox and the Citee.

We are, however, exhausted. Will update more when we've recovered from the red-eye flight.

(oh, and I've discovered that I love baby rice cereal. a lot.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

now 36% more crafty!

I bought a sewing machine. I developed a fabric habit. But it was all worth it... baby gifts that I can guarantee were not duplicated...

Have a look!

Photobucket

Photobucket

So... how much do you think people would pay for these?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

8:34 a.m.

I'm blogging at 8:34 on a Sunday morning. My eyes are swollen and I think I just ate half a banana bread but I can't be sure. My coordination is so off that I whacked my head on the bathroom door when I went to pee.

Kali, on the other hand, is showing off her dexterity on the keyboard of her Baby Ein.stei.n activity jumper. I am so thankful that thing doesn't play nursery rhymes. If I have to be up at this ungodly hour, I should at least get to hear something good, like the 1812 overture or "in the hall of the mountain king" by Grieg. Yeah, I'm a music snob. Deal with it.

She keeps bouncing up and down and grinning at me - I keep faking a smile at her. How long until I wake Mr. December and demand a shift change? Hmmm... maybe I can tell him that Kali and I left the bed 2 hours ago... if he's groggy enough it just might work.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Self discipline?

I have no idea what's happened to me. I'm the kind of person who will sleep until noon. The kind who will never put off til tomorrow what can be put off til next week. And yet... I woke up at 8:30 this morning. It's now 10:00 and I've already tidied the bathroom, made the bed, showered and dressed, changed and fed Kali, made challah dough, and arranged a playdate in the park.

Who is this, and what have they done with the real me? Whatever. I like this organized person. I think she's a keeper.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Mommy's girl

It's separation anxiety, no doubt about it.

Tonight we were finally back to our usual bedtime routine. Mr. December bathed Kali and sang to her while rocking. She screamed. And screamed. After about ten minutes I went in to make sure she wasn't sick or in pain or something... the second I walked in and started talking, her screaming faltered. She was laughing and cooing by the time I had her on the change table.

She passed inspection. She was fine. I handed her back to her daddy and left the room. She screamed.

I figured Mr. December could do without me hovering. I thought they could work it out together if I just wasn't around to swoop in and save the day. I went out.

I came back twenty minutes later. Kali was still screaming.

You can guess the rest, but I'll write it anyway: I held Kali and rocked her, and she drifted into sleep. I tried to pass her to Mr. December. She screamed. I took her back; she smiled and fell asleep.

I think our days of hiring babysitters are officially over. Not that we hired babysitters very often, but I don't think it's even an option now. Not because I don't want Kali to cry... I don't want to make the babysitters cry.

So yeah, if anybody needs me, just look for the mom wearing the baby with the diabolical smile.

Help?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

"tired" doesn't begin to cut it

Holy fuck, I'm exhausted.

Kali has been having a hell of a week. She's teething with a vengeance, and getting her to sleep every night is a nightmare. Tonight is Mr. December's first night home (he's been away for 10 days) and Kali is screaming up a storm. We went in and burped her. We rocked her. We put oral.je.l on her gums. She kept screaming. We gave her Tylenol. Changed her diaper. Sang. Rocked. Swaddled. Unswaddled.

I finally told Mr. December that I had a confession to make; I don't know what the fuck this crying is about. Kali seems to be having some separation anxiety lately. Is that the problem? Is it her teeth? Is she just trying to manipulate us?

We've finally settled on letting her cry it out. Seriously, it's a last resort because we both generally agree that we don't like leaving her to cry - but it's been over an hour now and we can't think straight. I can't see straight, either - my head feels like it's splitting open.

I love her. this is so fucking hard. I hate that she can't tell me what she needs. I hate that she can't understand why she hurts.

At this point, if my head would just stop hurting, I'd consider that progress.

ETA: I just realized that I already have a post by this name. Apparently when I'm exhausted, all creativity goes out the window. Ah well, at least I'm consistent.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Power tool mama

I may be fat, but boy, can I wield a power tool. I finally tried the radial arm saw that's sitting in my parents' garage... SO awesome. Now I can really make anything! So I celebrated by building a storage bench on the back porch. I'm hoping to have the back porch completely overhauled in a while-you-were-o.ut kind of surprise when Mr. December gets back from his 10-day business trip. Stay tuned, I promise I will DEFINITELY post pics this time.

And thanks for your kind words on my last post. I feel better now.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Moo. And it's got nothing to do with breastfeeding.

In case I haven't told you fine internets, many moons ago I agreed to be a bridesmaid for my brother's wedding. I'm one of three. There's me, and there are the bride's two best friends, neither of which I particularly like. And now I'm beating myself up for having agreed to do this. Why, you ask?

I just came home from dress shopping.

For those who don't know, bridesmaid dress shopping is a special kind of torture for anyone who is larger than a size 8 in real life. There is only one dress of each style to try on, and the samples generally fit somewhere between sizes 6-10. For reference, I believe that I'm probably somewhere around a size 16 right now - although I don't know, because I'm still wearing my comfy maternity pants and skirts.

Anyway, the bride has chosen a colour that is only available from one designer, and only in a select few styles. None of the styles is what I would choose if I had a free hand in this - I look much better, for the record, in empire-waist styles in some kind of flowing fabric, like chiffon. Stiff taffeta is not, I repeat, NOT my friend.

So there I was in the store, trying on dresses that I knew wouldn't flatter me, in sizes that were way too small - to the point where in the two-piece styles, the two sides of the bodice were about 8 inches away from meeting, so instead of clamping the dress together at the back I had to hold it up to my chest and pray that my huge boobs didn't make a surprise appearance.

The sales ladies tried. They really did. "Don't be grumpy, this dress will be gorgeous on you in your size." Doesn't matter. I get the message that these designers, this industry, and this world are sending me: I'm Fat.

I get it. I'm fat. Apparently that means that I don't deserve to feel or look good while I'm trying on dresses so that I can help and support some of my favourite people on the most important day of their lives to date. I'm fat, and I'm unworthy. I feel like a cow. Moo.

It's sick, isn't it, that our society puts way more emphasis on looking good than on doing good. Let me preface this by saying that I actually think I'm quite pretty. I have a gorgeous face. Leaving that alone for a minute, I know that I do a lot of helpful, good things for a lot of people. I contribute to my community. I welcome guests into my home. I work with students that nobody else likes. I'm raising my baby to be a loving, giving, happy person. I'm a good wife and a good daughter. But I'm fat, and any time I go shopping for clothes I get slapped in the face with that reality. That I don't deserve to look as beautiful on the outside as I know I am on the inside. And that somehow I must be lazy and self-indulgent because of my size.

A year ago, my biggest problem was that I couldn't get pregnant, I felt I might never get pregnant, never have children to raise and love. Today I'm in a much better place than I was back then. And if fatness and lack of clothing options is my biggest problem, I can count myself lucky in a world where millions are being oppressed. But would it be so bad, would it spoil some vast eternal plan, if I could go dress shopping and not feel like a failure?

If anybody needs me, I'll be in the fridge. I'm fat anyway, what's another piece of cake?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Insert snappy title here

Hi!

I've missed you all. It's been busy chez decemberbaby, what with the not leaving the baby lying in her playgym at all. Oh, the fun we've been having! Kali in the moby wrap while I grocery shop, Kali sitting in the bumbo watching me paint an old dresser, Kali screaming her head off as a cadre of finger puppets extol the virtues of tummy time in song.

Today I spent an hour with a mommy friend of mine, thus realizing what a dull life I've led so far. Seriously, we walked the babies to the library and back, and it was the most socially fulfilling hour of my week. Damn, I need to see my friends more often.

Kali will be five months old on Saturday. Holy crap, where has the time gone? And why haven't I taken more photos? I just told Mr. December that we might have to do this all again very soon just for the photo ops.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to boil some eggs for tomorrow's picnic with another mommy friend. When it rains, it pours. I love a good downpour.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Is your head flat, or are you just happy to see me?

Yep, the verdict is in. One side of the back of Kali's head is flattening out. It's nothing keeping her off her back during the day won't fix. Have I mentioned that she loves being on her back? And only tolerates tummy time for fifteen minutes? And how long can you leave your child in a jumperoo or Bum*bo?

But hey, I like to think that part of the reason she always turns her head to the left is that she wakes up in our bed, with me on the left, and then we have a little morning conversation before we get up. Hmmm... I guess I should switch sides with Mr. December, huh?

_________________________________

Have I mentioned that the little princess is teething? Today was especially bad - she was crying her "ouch, make it stop, this hurt makes me sad" cry anytime I wasn't holding her, and some of the time I was. It's hard being there for a teething baby all day... but not as hard as not having a teething baby to be there for. I'm deeply thankful - just tired.

_________________________________

It was gorgeous out today. We spent about 4 hours in the shady yard, with me trying to do various outdoor tasks and Kali protesting loudly. At least she got plenty of fresh air into those little lungs.

And now, a question for you wise internets:

My back deck smells like pee, and I'm pretty sure it's cat pee (my neighbour suggested that it was a male cat spraying his territory). Short of pulling down the deck, what can I do to get rid of the smell? Pressure washing didn't work.

And that concludes my Tuesday ramblings. Tune in next time when I hope to be more witty and focused.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Cry it out

As I type this, my baby girl is crying.

I have two more minutes on the clock until I go in and pat her, stroke her head, offer a pacifier, and leave again.

I really do think it's a good idea for her to learn to put herself to sleep. I have the nerves of steel required to listen to her scream and not run in and cuddle her.

But I feel so bad for what she must be thinking. "they've abandoned me. why won't anybody come? where's mommy? where's the breast?"

*sigh*

It's time for my ten-minute check-in. Wish me luck.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Baby's first Bar Mitzvah

Today was the bar mitzvah of one of my students. He worked very hard, overcame learning disabilities and low self-esteem, and chanted his aliyah and his haftorah perfectly. Flawlessly. I am so proud of this young man.

It was Kali's first bar mitzvah. She sat quietly in synagogue during the service, only yelping once to remind mummy that it was time to eat. In the evening, she smiled and laughed in her moby wrap while mummy danced the hora, and was adorable and cute as she got passed from one set of loving hands to another.

What most pleased me, though, is that this bar mitzvah was a lot less Bar and a lot more Mitzvah. Have any of you been to a bar mitzvah lately? Many of them are like weddings - gorgeous table linens, sophisticated centerpieces, huge bands or dj's who give away prizes to the most enthusiastic dancers. And let's not get started on the activities for the teens who don't want to dance. They can choose between "make your own pajama pants", a karaoke recording booth, and handwriting analysis.

But this bar mitzvah was different. The party in the evening was in a simple hall, there was a trio who played through dinner, a few short and meaningful speeches. The decor and food were simple and tasteful. Later, a couple of teens showed up to organize the kids and lead them in Israeli folk dancing. The kids loved it. Everyone loved it.

It was probably the most beautiful bar mitzvah I've been to. Mr. December and I agree that we'd like Kali's Bat mitzvah to be a lot like it.

So... where do we find her some friends who love Israeli folk dancing?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Tired" doesn't begin to cut it.

Kali would NOT sleep last night. She was awake every hour or so. I put her in her pram next to the bed so that I could reach out and push it back and forth if I needed to. I am so naive. She screamed until she was picked up and cuddled.

Why did I coddle her, you ask?

She just had her shots on Monday afternoon, and she was running a fever and just wasn't herself. Under those circumstances I don't feel right ignoring a crying baby or making her sleep on her own.

So here I am, exhausted, with a crick in my neck and a sore shoulder from cradling her while I sleep. And the princess is bubbly, smiley, and ready to take on a new day.

If anyone needs me, I'll be on the couch.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Four months... oh my!

We had our four-month checkup today. Kali now weighs a mere 12 lb 10 oz, and is 23 inches long... up from 10 lb 9 oz and 22.25 inches two months ago. Her left eye may be slightly turned in, or it could just be the newborn cross-eyedness taking its sweet time to go away. She screamed her head off when she got her shots... poor baby. She cried most of the afternoon too, in between sleeping the drunken sleep of a baby dosed to the gills with Advil. I almost cried at one point, it was so pitiful.

But the important thing is that she's growing, she's ok, and we're so blessed.

And now I must go and do all the pesach dishes, put them away, bring the regular dishes up from the basement, and put them back in their place. Oh, and there's the pesky issue of "I have no clean underwear left".

So... bye for now. Will return later with more dull posts like this one.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm okay

Thanks for asking, you guys. I'm feeling better - it's just crazy over here.

Kali is sick. She's starting to get better, but she still has moments of crying for no apparent reason. We're going to the doctor to rule out an ear infection.

Mr. December is sick. He's miserable when he's sick. Nuff said.

Passover is in two days. I have done no shopping (and I hear some of the stores are already sold out) and no cleaning. Damn, I wish I wasn't such a procrastinator.

Thanks for your love and well wishes. Sorry I didn't update sooner... and I have to say, I may not update again until Monday or Tuesday. I'm still reading all of you, though.

Chag Sameach to everyone who celebrates Pesach!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ouch.

Fibromyalgia sucks.

My legs, shoulders, and back are killing me. It's gorgeous outside and I'd love to take Kali on long rambling walks, but I hurt too much.

In other news... the brake on our stroller stopped working last week. I called the company (Jolly Jumper) and they said if I needed it done quickly I could bring it in and they'd fix the problem. They discovered that a couple of the parts were defective... so they replaced the stroller frame with a new one. Talk about excellent customer service! (if only I'd remembered that the clip on the seatbelt is a bit sticky... now I'll have to make another trip to get that fixed.)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Has it been a week already?

Haven't posted in a while... sorry.

I've been busy - stocking up on deeply discounted diapers, teaching, singing "wheels on the bus", cooking yummy things, hosting shabbat guests... busy busy week.

My body is feeling it - I'm in a full-on fibromyalgia flare right now. In between her naps today, Kali was forced to lie in bed with me and carry on a conversation (and she did!) because horizontal was the only position in which I was comfortable. Good thing she's a cheerful kid.

I have so many thoughts right now, but I can't motivate myself to post them. I will, though. I promise.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Update on foster baby

I just got off the phone with the social worker. They found a home for said baby last Wednesday... but she wanted to talk to me about joining their foster program. I asked her if there really are only 35 Jewish foster homes in Toronto. There are. Really. She said that the email about the baby generated about 100 phone inquiries, but out of those 100 people they'll maybe get three new foster homes, if they're lucky.

We've been invited to an information session in early May. Mr. December and I will go and then decide whether this is something we can commit to. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

cranky calls

My in-laws love to regale people with stories of what a "difficult" and "cranky" baby Mr. December was. Of course, no story is complete without a comparison to Mr. December's brother, who was an "easy baby".

(As an aside, may I point out that Mr. December's brother was passive as a baby and he's passive now, which may explain why he's 32 and single, in a mediocre job, with a VISA card that is payed by his father every month? In the meantime Mr. December, the demanding baby, has a great job, a home, a wife, a baby, and a published book. Passive doesn't necessarily translate well beyond babyhood. But I digress.)

Anytime Kali cries, fusses, or deviates from smiley happy-baby behaviour, my inlaws are quick to point out that a) she's a cranky baby and b) she resembles Mr. December in temperament. Do I need to tell you how much this annoys me? Perhaps not, but I should tell you why.

Kali does not cry without a reason. Boredom, exhaustion, overstimulation - those are all good reasons to cry when crying is your only mode of communication. But why bother learning the baby's cues for naptime when you can just label her "cranky", bounce her and yammer on in babytalk in an attempt to cheer her up, and talk about how her uncle was such a "good baby"? And there's certainly no reason to think that two books, twenty minutes with the gymini, five choruses of "the wheels on the bus", and some tummy time would require a lot of energy and concentration for such a small person. No, she's just "cranky". Oh, is it 9:00 at night? Kali's so cranky for crying all the time! It's not at all possible that she's tired because it's two hours past bedtime and her grandparents have only just served dessert. Duh.

Yes, much of this is about me not wanting my daughter to grow up with the label of "cranky" when she should really be aware that she is energetic, inquisitive, alert, and charismatic. But it's about more. It's about Mr. December.

A big part of me wonders how he might be different if he hadn't grown up being told that he was a difficult, antisocial, grumpy person. His parents may mean it affectionately, but those are all negative attributes.

I also wonder how different it might have been if his parents had ever stopped to consider putting him down for naps earlier, letting him have some quiet time to himself, and developing other adaptive strategies.

And I hurt for the fact that his parents saw him as difficult, like a smoke alarm that trips at the tiniest whiff of steam, instead of like a rechargable battery, which needs only to be put in its familiar dock for a while to recharge before once again powering everyone's enjoyment and lighting up the world.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I called.

I got the social worker's voicemail. I left a message, then emailed her for good measure. I didn't hear back. At this point I guess I probably won't.

I thought I'd feel relieved, but I've got that deflated feeling like someone's let me down.

Thanks for your comments. They helped.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tell me I'm crazy. Or tell me the truth.

I got an email from my mom a couple of days ago.

It said, "Healthy six month old baby in urgent need of a Jewish foster home. Length of placement unknown." It contained contact information for a social worker at the Jewish social service agency here in town. I read it, sighed, acknowledged that I would do it if only I didn't have a three-month-old tying up my time, and forwarded it to a friend who, I thought, might want to know. I went about my life.

I can't forget about that baby. A very big part of me is itching to call the social worker and offer our home for however long the baby needs us. I understand all the arguments against it: having two babies so close in age is like having twins, which is notoriously difficult; I probably couldn't fit two rear-facing seats in my tiny car; I'd have to drop all my peripheral projects and focus on raising two babies; I'd have all the added responsibility of meeting the agency's standards, documenting any incidents (like the bruises, bumps, and scrapes every baby and toddler inevitably gets), and communicating with a social worker. In short, it would be a lot of hard work.

But raising Kali is a lot of hard work, and yet it's so worthwhile... I love it. I love being a mom. And seeing the way Kali lights up when she hears my voice, seeing how I can soothe her just with my presence, makes me ache for that little baby who, for some reason, doesn't have that kind of bond with a parent. Every baby deserves to be loved the way I love Kali. Could I love a foster child equally? Of course. Any child whom I sing to, rock to sleep, take care of when sick, bathe, change even when s/he's unforgiveably dirty and stinky, is unquestionably my child.

You might be asking why I even think this child might still be in need of a home. The email was sent out on Monday and by the time I call it will be Friday. Wouldn't someone have stepped up by now?

Perhaps... but I recently learned something that disturbed me greatly. Apparently in all of Toronto, which has a Jewish population of more than 164,000, Jewish foster homes number only...

oh, come on, guess. How many do you think?

It's only...

35.

As a Jew, I'm embarrassed. The Torah is full of admonitions to never forget the needy, the widow and the orphan. Orphan, as in a parentless child... are foster children not effectively lacking parents?

I know why the numbers are so low. We're so busy with ourselves and our lives. Toronto's Jewish community is a generous one... but it's a lot easier to be generous with your chequebook than with your time, your home, your arms, and your valuable breakable possessions. There are people who feel they can't afford it, people who don't want to have to spend $1000 to take their foster child to the bahamas with the rest of the family for March break, people who already have six kids and who can't imagine taking on a seventh, even though they eschew birth control and would manage beautifully if God graced their home with a new baby.

And what about us? We've spoken before about the need to put our money where our mouths are. We have a beautiful home with plenty of space for children. I'm a stay-at-home-mom with experience in child development and special needs. I love kids. I speak socialwork-ese. While we may see ourselves as broke after the renovations, we always have food in the fridge, gas in the car, a rented DVD in viewing progress, and a little money left over. We have a wonderfully supportive extended family.

Rabbi Hillel Said:
"If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
But if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?"

I'm going to call tomorrow. Please comment as soon as you read this so that I can hear other people's thoughts on this... especially if you've ever fostered an infant or if you're a Jewish foster parent in Toronto. I'll read your comments before I make the call.

I will make the call tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I know you're out there. I can hear you breathing.

Hmm, the silence after my last post was pretty pronounced. I'm left to wonder what caused the lack of typed reactions. Was it just so perfect that there was nothing more to say? (not likely)... insensitive and gloating about motherhood now that I've got it? (maybe, but I don't quite think so)... totally unremarkable and reeking of filler?

At least I know what the problem isn't. The problem isn't that nobody's reading. You see, I now have statcounter on my side... and apparently, there are a lot more of you reading than the comments let on. Like, at least 10 times more. Way to make me feel popular, internets!

I did get a kick out of seeing where some of you are coming from. I'd like to take a second to give a warm Canadian welcome to my readers in Russia, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Australia, Slovenia, and all of y'all who are closer to home. I'm amazed that you want to follow my story. In the words of Apu Nahasapimapetilon, thank you and come again!

Probably one of the most interesting things statcounter does for me is list the google searches that have led to my blog. Somehow I just never expected people to find me by asking Google whether they can get pregnant from swallowing their partner's spunk. But that's a whole 'nother post for another day.

So yeah, I just wanted to say hi to all of you playing along at home. Leave me a comment sometime... I'd love to visit you too.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

party girl

Last night we went to my brother's engagement party.

First off, I have to say that I was a very yummy mummy. I got a haircut yesterday so that my hair would be nicely done with minimal effort on my part. Then I had my makeup done, because my brother's fiancee wanted us to try out the makeup artist she wants to use for the wedding. I wore a very hot red dress and the only pair of heels that doesn't make my hips hurt. Wowza. I haven't looked like that in a looooong time. I even made it through the night without leaking milk all over my top.

Kali was dressed up, too... and she was totally playing the crowd. Seriously, she pulled out all the adorable stops* and was smiling, cooing, waving, grabbing hands... what a flirt! Everyone wanted to hold her, and being the relaxed mom that I am, I let them. I didn't know where she was most of the time, but we have a very close extended family and so I knew she'd be in good hands.

This is all a prelude to the fact that I've been thinking about Shlomit's latest post and wondering what it really means to be a mother. I mean, when you distill the whole motherhood thing... when you take into account the wonderful nurturing and affection and care that close relatives and friends can lavish on a baby, what does it really mean to be the mother?

My cynical side is jumping up and down, frantically waving her hand like a kindergartener who needs to pee. "Oooh! Oooh! I know! The mother is the person the baby gets returned to when she's pooped through her entire outfit and thrown up all over herself!"

Hmmm. True, I suppose. Partial credit, Cynical Sara.

Last night Kali was given back to me twice. Both times she was crying and couldn't be jollied out of it. I took her upstairs to my old room, nursed her, sang some songs, and she was happy and smiley again. We snuggled and chatted.

Being the mummy does mean that you can't pass the baby to someone else when the shit hits the fan... or the clothes. The buck stops with you. But the baby stops with you, too. When the child is grumpy, sick, sad, or hurting, you're the one who can make it better just by being. You're the mother.





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*I think I just figured out where the phrase "pulled out all the stops" came from. When playing a pipe organ, the stops are the things you push in to get a different timbre, tone, or volume. When you pull out all the stops, you get the loudest, fullest sound possible. Wow, I'm so S-M-R-T!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Irony?

Kali spent a couple of hours screaming yesterday.

When I woke up this morning, my voice was gone.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

close encounters of the bloggy kind

Today I met Lisa B. I liked her instantly.

Maybe it was the way she was dressed - for comfort - or maybe the way she talks to her girls like they're intelligent people (did I mention I hate baby talk?). Or maybe it was the free gymini she gave me. Anyway, she's way cool.

(At this point if *I* were way cool, I'd be giving mad props to Lisa. Do people still do that, or am I thinking back to high school? Did I mention that I'm not so way cool?)

Right. So Lisa is awesome, her girls are gorgeous, and her taste in decorating is good. Visiting her totally made my day.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Overheard in the December household II

7:00 a.m.

Mr. D: Fuck... HONEY... FUCK!!!!
Kali: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! WA! WA!! WAAAAA!!!
DB: (jumps up from bed, runs to Kali's room)
Mr. D: We are NOT doing this again! Next time she eats first!
Kali: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
DB: Why don't you have a clean diaper out?
Kali: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Mr. D: There ARE no clean diapers! We forgot to refill the drawer!
(Mr. D stomps back to bed)

DB: Did you have fun this morning?
Kali: ooooo.
DB: Did you pee all over and make Daddy say "Fuck"?
Kali: (smiles, delighted squeal)
DB: That's my girl.


10:30 a.m.

DB: fuck! I need an adult! Fuck!
Kali: (grins)
Mr. D: what happened?
DB: Poo.
Mr. D: (groan)
Kali: ooo!
DB: That's it, little girl. If you go through one more outfit before noon today, we're turning you into a naked free-range baby. No more clothes for you.
Kali: (smile)

Friday, March 07, 2008

I'd hate to see these go to waste if someone can use them...

So I'm offering them up to the internets.

I have a 5 coupons for Huggies diapers and 1 coupon for huggies wipes, valid in Canada only. Anybody want them? I'd gladly mail them to any of you, even the lurkers who never comment!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

not sick after all

It seems I'm just overtired. Thank God.

Last night, Kali started getting really fussy around 6:30. We started our routine and she was asleep in her crib by 7:15. The only problem was that she woke up at 5:30 ready to start a new day.

"Little girl," I said, "in this house the day does not start until 8:00 at the earliest. Go back to sleep."
"But eeema, look how smiley and awake I am! Let's plaaaay!"
"No way," I replied, avoiding eye contact. "We're gonna sit in this rocking chair in the dark until you go back to sleep. It's not daytime yet."
"Ha ha! I know how tired you are, eema, and if I stay awake long enough you'll give in and put me in my swing!"

In the end, Kalanit was right. I chucked her into the swing, gave her a pacifier, and went back to bed. The joke's on her, though. She fell asleep and didn't wake up again until 9:00.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

as if.

I think I'm getting sick. I told my mom, and she was like, "get yourself some masks to wear around Kali. That way she won't get sick."

As if, mom. As if.

We nap nose to nose every morning.
When her pacifier falls on the floor, I lick it off and then give it back to her.
Sometimes she latches onto my nose and sucks the daylights out of it.
I give her my finger to suck on if she's inconsolable and there's no pacifier around.

And I'm sure there are more things that completely eliminate the possibility that she won't get my germs. It's a good thing that she gets my antibodies by nursing.

Cross your fingers that I'm just overtired and not actually sick.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Fun with a Meme

Mel over at Stirrup Queens pretty much tagged everyone who reads today's post... so here I go with a meme...

Ten things you'll never hear me say

10. Blue is for boys.
9. I can't wait to stop breastfeeding.
8. One kid is enough for us.
7. (to Mr. D.) Sweetheart, don't feel inhibited. It's okay to eat with your fingers!
6. I just wish my MIL came over more often!
5. Coffee? Yes, please!
4. Road trips suck.
3. Honey, I can't handle this power drill. You do it.
2. He just has to look at me and BAM! Pregnant.
1. Do you want fries with that?


Oh, and tag... you're all it. Go forth and meme!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Holy crap, batman!

Kali just pooped so forcefully that it exited her diaper and exploded up her back. If I hadn't responded as quickly as I did, I'd be cleaning it out of her hair right now.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's all our fault.

Or so it seems. You know how Kali was fussing and crying and not going to sleep until 2 a.m.? Well, for the last two nights she's been down around 10:00 with no fuss at all. What changed, you ask? I'll explain, but I know full well that by the end of this you'll be shaking your head and wondering how two highly intelligent people could have been so stupid.

All those nights she didn't go to sleep until very late, we were essentially waiting for her to fall asleep. She didn't, and then she got overtired, and then she was unable to sleep at all. Oh, sure, we tried putting her in her crib - right after taking her from the bright living room to her room and swaddling her as she fought with all her might.

Last night we tried something different. At 9:00 we bathed Kali, gave her a massage (with lavendar vanilla lotion), and then Mr. D held her and rocked in the glider while we sang broadway tunes (slow, soothing ones. not "do you hear the people sing" or anything else that might inspire a bedtime rebellion complete with little fists and a diaper blowout. But I digress). When she stopped raising her head and shoulders to look around, presumably for a more happening party, Mr D and I switched seats and I nursed Kali while we sang some more. I burped her, we rocked, and she got nice and drowsy. That's when I slowly lowered her into the crib, swaddled her, Mr. D. turned on the hair dryer, and we sang some more and patted her tummy until she settled a bit in her crib. Nightlight out, door shut. Sleeping baby.

Are you ready for the punchline?

Last night, after that routine, she slept for EIGHT HOURS. 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. I know it could have been a fluke, and now that I've blogged it it will definitely never happen again, but whoa. Huge difference between 8 solid hours and waking up every 3 hours to nurse.

I can't believe we were stupid enough to think that a baby with only a few weeks of life experience would be able to put herself to sleep. Duh. I almost deserve Dr. Phil's snarky "who's the parent here?" and a smack upside the head. It makes me sick to think of all the sleep I could have had... all because I didn't realize that I'm the mommy, and bedtime is when I say it is.

Or maybe she'll sleep in 2 hour spurts tonight and through the weekend, and blow my whole theory out of the water.

I'm taking bets. What do you think will happen?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

can't I just scrap the whole darn thing?

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm making a scrapbook. For Kali, of course. And the first thing I've learned about scrapbooks is that there's a lot of overpriced stuff out there.

After going to the big box craft store and spending about $60 on an album and some paper, I happened by doll.arama and found tons of scrapbook stuff. I stocked up on everything I'll need for at least a few months, all for $30. I returned the other stuff to the big box store.

And then, as I contemplated the need for cute little die-cuts and other embellishments, it hit me: we got tons of greeting cards with cute little baby designs on them. Some of them even have 3-D die cuts on the fronts. Who the heck needs to buy cute little cutouts? I have a bonanza right here in my recycle bin.

just one thing... I bought myself a fis.kars shape cutter, which is supposed to let you do freestyle cutting, but I'm just not getting the hang of it. Any thoughts?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sleep... finally!

Sorry 'bout the prolonged absence... we went through about a week where Kali wouldn't sleep at night. Literally. It took me three or four days to figure out that I should be napping along with her like I did when she was just born. Last night she finally slept the way she used to - a few hours at a time, and right back to sleep after nursing - and today I feel human again.

(for the record, I did take her to my parents' house one night this past week, so that Mr. December and I could each get some good sleep. My mom took care of Kali from 10 p.m. (when I went to bed) until 5 a.m. (when I woke up with serious engorgement). It was lovely and we're planning to do it again just for a break.)

Can't remember if I've already written about this, but we're on serious budgeting measures right now. I've decided now that Kali can focus on things and remain awake for quite a while, we should get her a mobile or a playgym or something... so I'm scouring Craigslist. Cross your fingers that the $20 tiny love symphony in motion mobile is still available. Or the $30 island play mat.

Those of you who have babies, how many of these things do/did you have? A mobile? Swing with dangling toys? Crib toys that attach to the side and play music? How much does one baby need?

Friday, February 15, 2008

overheard in the December home last night

Kali: WAAAAAAA!
DB: really? you don't say!
Kali: NEH! NEH! AAAAAAAAAA!
DB: well, now you're just repeating yourself.
Kali: AAA! NEH! NEH! NEEEEEEEEH!
DB: ask your father.
____________________________________________

Kali: HEH, HEH, NEEEEH!
Mr. D: What does she want?
DB: Nothing she hasn't already gotten at least 10 times today.
Mr. D: (to Kali) OK, kid, that's it. You're cut off.
Kali: NEH!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Long time no post

Sorry I haven't posted in a while... we've been dealing with some increased crying in the past week, and it's hard to type when you're simultaneously shushing, rocking, bouncing, and patting the baby's back while singing, "go to sleep, go to sleep/ so I won't have to sell you/ to the gypsies or the church/ sleep so mommy can sleep too..."

I have so many thoughts I don't know where to start. Maybe today's entry should be in point form.

And now that I've sat down and decided to write in point form, all thoughts have escaped my head.

In some places, your arrival is heralded by greetings, food, drink, and a place to sit. In parenthood you're welcomed with a mess of bodily fluids, a lobotomy, and a feast that includes whatever you can grab and eat in one minute or less.

When I said it before, I was being facetious... but for me, this really is the dream factory. I just wish that the union running this factory could work out a better arrangement for time off.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

"So it turns out you're not infertile!" (rant)

Believe it or not, I've heard this line from quite a few people in the wake of my successful pregnancy. Somehow nobody got the memo on the definition of infertility, and those who have gotten it have filed it under "g". Their argument runs along the lines of "well, you did get pregnant, and you have a baby now, so that means you're not infertile!"

Let me say this once just to be clear... even though I'm preaching to the choir here. Bear with me.

Infertility is a biological disorder involving organs that are not functioning properly. Fertility treatments involve medications and procedures that mimic the natural process that is supposed to be happening, the way that insulin injections mimic the release of insulin that a diabetic's body should be doing but can't. These days, diabetics on insulin actually can eat some sugars depending on the dosage of insulin they take before meals (as I understand it - please don't crucify me if I'm totally wrong). Yet nobody would dream of telling such a diabetic, "oh... you're eating a cookie. I'm so glad you're not diabetic anymore!"

See how wrong that would be?

Telling an infertile who successfully achieved and maintained a pregnancy that she's not infertile anymore is the same. Treatments have allowed infertiles to temporarily overcome the effects of infertility. They are not a cure. I'm infertile. I'm also very, very lucky to have had success with the available treatments.

End of rant.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

So fast.

On Friday, Kali started wearing size one diapers instead of the newborn ones. I cried at the loss of the tiny newborn baby she was. I spent the rest of the afternoon in the rocking chair, holding her and sniffing her head.

On Saturday we took her to a party. For seven hours. She ate and slept like she does at home. I had a blast.

On Sunday my FIL dropped in without calling. We reiterated that he needs to call us. The kicker was that we already had plans to go over to the in-laws' house that evening, so I ended up with double the parent time. Grrr.

On Monday Kali cried from 6 pm to midnight. We think she was overtired. None of her rocking or vibrating seats were able to soothe her, so I developed some serious biceps as I rocked her, face down, in my arms and sang my entire repertoire of Sinatra songs.

On Tuesday night Kali took a bottle of expressed breast milk - Mr. December took one night feeding. No fuss, no confusion. Afterwards she started to cry and then to really wail. It was like a knife in my heart, that sound... hearing her distress and not calming her. It was very different from the times when she cries while I get dressed and I talk her through it. Very different. I almost cried.

None of these experiences will be forever. Kali will keep growing and changing. I know this, and a part of me welcomes seeing her get bigger, learn to smile and laugh and crawl. But another part of me wants to hold onto her just as she is, for as long as I can. She's growing so fast, and it's only been a month.

(happy one month, sweet girl)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

pop quiz

I can't remember the last time I didn't have a tiny person attached to my boob. Is this because:

a) she has actually been attached to my boob for 18 out of the last 24 hours (I don't exaggerate)

b) the sleep deprivation has gotten to me, and I just can't remember anything, OR

c) both a and b?

OK, now... pencils down. Share your answers with the class, and don't forget to show your work.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ouch, times two.

I mangled my thumb today. I wasn't looking at all while unfolding the stroller, and... ouch. Really ouch. It's a good thing my mom was with me, because I think I went into mild shock. I felt like fainting.

And ouch. My nipples hurt. Princess Kali has been feeding every hour. Did you hear me correctly? YES, EVERY HOUR. It's like perpetual happy hour at the breast bar. If breastmilk was boozy, she'd be facing a killer hangover in the morning. Mr. December and I think it's a growth spurt, but who knows for sure? All I know is that she's genuinely hungry each of these times... my policy is to start with burping, diaper, rocking, and some non-nutritive sucking (usually my pinky finger) before determining that she's actually hungry. So far today... she's actually hungry. All the freaking time.

Now that I've got that out of the way, I feel the need to say... thank God my baby girl nurses well and is growing and gaining weight like a champ. Thank God I have a baby girl at all.

But Jebus H. Christ, my nipples fucking HURT!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

the princess and the pee

Yes, this is what has become of my blog. I can't hide the fact that my child's hazardous waste output is fascinating to me. Especially last night, when we had our first diaper "blow-out" and saw what many parents have affectionately called "shitting up the back". For future reference, Oxi-clean worked really well to get that stain out of a white onesie. Oh yeah, and I learned that rolling a baby sideways to clean her back can be hazardous... she peed over the side of her change table.

OK, new topic.

My students are so cute. For those of you playing along at home, I teach teen classes at our synagogue. I've become particularly close with my oldest class, and on Friday four of them came over after school to make us shabbat dinner. One arrived with a frozen chicken in a mini cooler ("mmm, locker chicken!" I exclaimed), others came with potatoes and vegetables. Most notably, the one who brought the chicken turned to me, packaged chicken in hand, and said, "um, how do I prepare a chicken?" In the end the chicken was fabulous (I left them to their own devices and they invented a recipe), and they even made us challah. What a mitzvah... I'm very proud of them.

Today I unpacked a whole bunch of the presents we received for Kali. I've organized them according to size, and I'm trying to figure out whether we need to exchange anything for larger sizes... but I can't get past the organizing stage. How do I know how many of each thing we need? Little help?

Our days have very little structure, built as they are around Kali's 3-4 hour naps. The only constant is that after her morning feed, I put her back to bed and go take a shower. I'm inordinately proud of the fact that even though I have a new baby, I'm showered and dressed by 10 every day. Okay, now I'm ducking to avoid the eggs being thrown at me.

It's freezing out today. The in-laws want to see us, and we don't want to take Kali out in -21 degrees (celsius, windchill included) so the only remaining option is for them to come here. Dammit. They have a habit of overstaying their welcome... our second day in the hospital they came and visited... for three hours. Not exactly restful, especially with their discomfort with silence and their need to make inane small talk. You can probably see why I'd rather meet them anywhere but at our house - at least we'd be able to leave when we want to. I wonder how long after the birth I can legitimately excuse myself for a nap, claiming that I'm still tired and recovering? And does that excuse not hold water when I've been out and about with the baby every day?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I (heart) Mr. December

Well, of course I do. But I'm also very proud of him.

He came home from work, observed Kali's fussiness, and immediately offered to take her and give me a break. Right now he's wearing her in the moby wrap. He changes diapers (even the poopy ones) and last night he took her from me to change her after she nursed, so that I didn't have to get out of bed.

So yeah, I feel like I'm dying of exhaustion, but at least Mr. December is doing his fair share. And he's really good with Kali. I'm swooning. Is there a porn magazine out there for women like me? I'd love me some full-page spreads of guys wearing babies, changing diapers, all the while flexing their pecs and lats. mmm... sexy daddies. yum.

(yes, I'm weird. deal with it.)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

About Kali's name.

Kalanit is the name of a flower that grows in northern Israel. It looks like this:



It grows wild and even adorns places like minefields and mountain bunkers.

Yarden is the Hebrew translation of "Jordan". The Jordan is the river that brings fresh water, and thus life, to much of the land of Israel. (side note: all those gospel tunes and church songs about the mighty Jordan river? We of North America would probably call it a creek. Towards the end of the summer if you go rafting on the Jordan, you can feel your butt scraping the bottom of the river in places.)

We chose a name beginning with the letter Y in honour of Mr. December's paternal grandfather Yehuda. He was the first generation to really abandon traditional Jewish life and assimilate into North American culture - to the point where he never used the name Yehuda... his parents also gave him the name Julius (it's hard to think of a less Jewish name), and that's how he was known. Our hope is that by naming Kali after him, we're bringing that process full circle and returning the family to a place where we can be proud of our heritage.

So that's the story of her name. Thanks for waiting patiently!

the princess officially has a name

Kalanit Yarden.

Kali for short.

Further explanations forthcoming. Just got home from her naming and the subsequent party, and I'm exhausted.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

what a new parent really needs...

a tiny phiilips-head screwdriver for opening the battery compartment on every single toy, night light, and baby accessory.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

this little piggy

I've been blessed with a baby who really knows how to latch and suck. And she's a show-off to boot... here's a shortlist of

Things that princess poopypants has latched onto in the last 24 hours
1. My bathrobe
2. Her swaddle blanket
3. Daddy's chest hairs
4. Her own fingers
5. A washcloth
6. A clean diaper

In related news, as of yesterday she had gone up to 7 pounds, 3 ounces from 6 pounds 14 ounces last Friday. This little piggy knows how to eat, just like her parents. I guess her newborn clothes won't be too big for long.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

One week ago

One week ago today, I was out walking with Mr. D and our doula. Every four minutes a contraction would hit and I'd have to lean against someone and breathe my way through it. It took us half an hour to walk a route that normally takes 10 minutes.

Today I walked that same route with our new baby. It only took ten minutes. She seemed unimpressed, choosing to sleep through the experience rather than look up at the (admittedly gray and depressing) sky. As I pushed the stroller along, I realized that this is what I've always wanted, what I've dreamed of. I always thought there would be a feeling of excited amazement bursting out of me when I finally got my baby; instead, it feels like life as usual. The new usual. It's amazing how quickly I've become accustomed to her face.

This child is such a tremendous gift and a blessing. I never want to take that for granted. But I wonder, have I just skipped over the sense of immense gratitude and privilege? Will it hit me later? Or is this really the gift I'm getting, the ability to finally feel like a normal new mum, simply accepting the fact that of course I have a baby?

They say that names matter. Perhaps I should have named my blog differently... because today, instead of marveling at the miracle that I've received, all I can think is, of course. Of course I got pregnant.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

4:45 and all is well

After the past few nights' escapades - nonstop crying and nursing from 1 to 5 a.m. - I was expecting more of the same. Instead, I was woken up by my full boobs, about 4 hours after we all went to bed. The princess has been fed and changed, all without uttering a peep. Back to bed I go. I may actually feel normal in the morning.

Stay tuned for "tales of the in-laws". Not recommended for those prone to nightmares. Highly recommended for those who want to find said in-laws and smack them upside the head.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

We're home!

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the greetings and congratulations... Mr. D printed them and brought them to the hospital for me.

We're home now. I'm feeling great, aside from the crushing exhaustion. The baby eats and sleeps like a champ, although she has yet to figure out that 3:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. is not a good time to be fussy. She's keeping us on our toes with the diaper changes... just when you think she's done - you open her diaper, start cleaning her up, and she pees or poos all over you. We're already running low on diapers and wipes. If it wasn't so cold we'd take a family outing to the drugstore, but I think one of us adults will have to go it alone.

And to everyone who says that you don't need the newborn size clothes... she is SWIMMING in her 0-3 month sleepers. Most of the time her little legs are crossed near her bum and they don't even make it down into the legs of the clothes.

Her name will be announced, as per Jewish tradition, in a ceremony at our synagogue. Not this Saturday, because it just seems too close to plan and notify people, but next week. Until then she's "the baby". Or Princess Poopypants. Either one works.

I haven't really decided how I feel about posting pictures of my kid online. Those of you who have been reading me for a long time, I'm happy to send you a pic if you email me and ask... sara at wlualumni dot com.

Happy Thursday, everyone!