Tag Archives: baby

A Not So Very Big Deal Kind of Day

“I just realized I should have called you before I did this… but I gave away our crib today,” I said, as soon as he answered the phone.

“Just get a picture before you take it apart,” he said.20130701-143311.jpgIt wasn’t all the way apart.  And to be honest, this is as “in the crib” as Lucy ever got in the last two years.  So, it was kind of a non-event.

I took apart the crib and gave it away.

That sounds like a Big Deal, like a milestone.  “Awww, hold old is your baby? Is she moving in to a toddler bed?”

The “baby” is not even 18 months old but it doesn’t make any sense to keep stuffed animals in a gigantic cage.  In fact, I am not even really sure why we had so many damn stuffed animals and I gave away a trash bag of those today, too.

She isn’t moving in to a toddler bed.  In fact, when she moves out of our bed and in to her own it will be a step down.  She will be moving from a King to a Queen.  Poor kid.20130701-143303.jpg

I briefly considered looking at bedding online.  But it is hard to find whimsical kid bedding in a Queen size.  I spent a year and a half wedged in a twin bed with Emily when she “moved in to her own bed” and I am not making that mistake again. So, a Queen size bed it is for this kid.

And really, by the time she moves in to her own room she probably won’t want a whimsical kid room, anyway, right? I should probably get some kind of side table so she has a place for her cup of coffee, huh? I’m guessing she will be reading and drinking coffee by the time she moves out of our room.  She has a comfortable chair; she just needs a table.  Kid will be Virginia Woolf’ing it up by her 17th birthday, max.  But I am ready.

In the meantime, we are booking the Guest Room for the remainder of the summer season.


Damn Kid

I’m actually surprised it hasn’t happened before.

Some evenings bath time at our house is more like a drive-through car wash than a leisurely play time with tub toys.  Lucy is stripped down after dinner and I pop her in the tub.  I leave the warm water running and I don’t plug the drain. We get in and we get out.  It’s not a party. It is as utilitarian as a diaper change. Get clean and get moving. We have books to read and nighttime games to play.

Tonight Lucy Goose was standing in the tub all soaped up.  She was having a good time.  She grinned right through the hair washing.  With one hand under her armpit I reached over to the towel bar for a washcloth when I was suddenly soaked.

If you have ever lived with someone that likes to leave the faucet/shower lever on shower when they get out than you know what happened.  The sudden water in the face can be a rude awakening.  Wiping water from my eyes and with soaking wet hair I turned back towards the faucet and I saw her.  She still had her hand on the lever that switches the water from the faucet to the shower.  I quickly pushed it.  The water resumed coming from the faucet.

The bath that I had planned on being quick just got quicker. I’ll  just get the soap off and whooooosh.  Water in the face.  Again.  This time she was laughing.

So, help me.  This kid is so bad.  And I usually love it.  But man, I was annoyed. I finished washing the soap off of her.  But I did not brush her hair.  I showed her, huh?


Lucy Goose is ONE!

Dear Lucy,

20130120-133802.jpgLast year I wasn’t sure if it would be possible to love a baby as much as I loved your big sister. Lucky for you – you turned out to be a Lucy, not just a baby. And in one short year my heart has tripled in size.

I am crazy about you, little girl. And the bonus that I never saw coming? I love your sister twice as much as I used to and your dad, too. You are the icing on my cake, sweet girl. Life was sweet before you arrived, but now that you are here – I just can’t imagine our family without you.


So. You’re one. We made it.


I keep writing and writing and deleting. I don’t have words for you, Lucy Goose. You are sleeping in my lap right now. And I can’t wait for you to wake up. I have spent nearly every minute of the last year with you. And all I want is more.

You are a funny little thing. You make me laugh all of the time.


One year ago we left the birthing center in the dark hours of the morning and we came home, the four of us. I’ve never looked back. You have been a sweet and smushy little baby. You nurse like a champ and you hold my hand while you sleep. You are a cuddler. But you are also so independent in your own little way. You have been just a perfect little baby.


In the last few weeks I have started to see the little girl you are going to be. And Lucy Goose, you are trouble. You are funny. Your sister and I are funny, but you? You are a nut. Your squinchy little smile. Your gonna give me a run for my money, I am afraid. There is a reason you didn’t come to me until I had figured this mothering stuff out a little bit.

Happy birthday, Lucy Goosey.  I love you so much I can’t stand it.



How to take the Baby out to Dinner

Taking your kids out to eat in a restaurant can be daunting.  It is a crapshoot.  Will they behave?  Will they get restless? Will my food come out in less than seven minutes? There are a lot of questions.  Questions that do not ever include “should we order an after-dinner drink or dessert?” because if you make it through dinner unscathed, without tears or dirty looks from the wait staff or other diners you just want to pack up your crap and your kids and get the hell out of there before your good juju runs out.

Last night we had one of those once in a Blue Moon dinners.  (Perhaps it was augmented by the three Blue Moons Mom slurped down during dinner!) It was perfect.  We could have stayed for hours chatting it up at the table.   How did we do it? Easy.

Step 1. Slide in to the booth in a manner that puts Mom far away from all of the kids.  Mom is quick to jump to “Well, you knew this was going to happen!” when Baby squeals or Big Kid spills a drink.  Or at least this Mom is.  Yanno, before she has a couple of beers, anyway.

Step 2.  Put a grandparent between Baby and Big Kid.  Just do it if you can.  Grandparents love to play tic-tac-toe and pick up toys off of the floor.  Over and over and over again.

Step 3.  Have a waitress that is over 27 but does not have her own kids.  She is old enough to have the uterine twinge of “Damn, those are some cute kids” and not yet keen to the fact that it is the cute ones that wreak the most havoc.  She will give you way too many straws.  Key to step 4.

Step 4.  Give your baby a straw.  They will not poke their eyes out.  Or choke.  They will love it.  When they throw it on the floor just give them another.  Straws will not get ground in to the carpet like a Cheerio.

Step 5.  Someone, anyone, preferably someone at your table but it could be a diner nearby, order the pork shank.  Give the baby ALL the bones.  Not one or two.  Three.  Three bones.  She will be (you know I am going to go there) in hog heaven, I promise.


That’s it.  It is that easy. Five simple steps to taking Baby out to dinner.  You’re welcome.


The Mom who Cried…

Is it Wolf?  Are you crying Wolf when you take your kid to the doctor and they miraculously feel better the moment you get there?  I guess I cried “Possibly More Than a Chest Cold?”

Or maybe I didn’t cry at all. Maybe I only meekly said “Umm… tell me that my baby isn’t scary wheezing and cooking pneumonia in her lungs so that I can avoid a late night trip to the Emergency Room over the weekend?”

There are things I don’t really do – things like take my baby to the doctor because she has a cold. And things like go out in public without a shower, wearing pajamas and a poncho.  A fucking poncho, y’all. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

As Lucy upchucked snot rockets for the eleventh night in a row my lack of sleep started messing with my head.  Her wheezy breath at night started scaring me.  Her little eyes in our dark bedroom, crying.  This morning I caved.  I called the pediatrician.  “Can you get here in fifteen minutes?”

Yep.  Let me just put on a hat.  And a poncho.  Let me put on my Frazzled Mom That Has Not Slept in 11 Days costume so that when I show up and my hacking, coughing snot nosed baby appears to be in perfectly good health I will not look like a raving lunatic with Münchausen syndrome.

Clean lungs.  No danger zone.  Just a crabby baby with a nasty cold upchucking snot rockets in my bed.  And I am grateful.  I guess that is what motherhood is all about some days, gratitude for the strangest things.

If you need me, just look for the gal with the poncho on, the sweaty one because she has a humidifier running in every room of her house. I will be alternately squirting breastmilk up my kid’s nose and chasing her with The SnotSucker.  I will be hard to miss.

Addendum: If there was a teeny part of me that felt like we were getting the short end of the health stick this holiday season I don’t need to look far to check myself.  While I was at the doctor getting the clean lungs stamp of approval my dear friend Karen was heading back to the ER with one of her wee ones.  Send her good juju, please.  And if you are dying to hear more about bodily functions she is your gal.   

Everything you need to know about Parenting you can learn in AA

Time and again I chuckle about the similarities.  This business of raising children is not too dissimilar to that of being a recovering alcoholic.

Yesterday morning  I allowed myself to be overwhelmed with the changes that are happening too rapidly for my tastes. But later in the afternoon I pulled it together and reminded myself that I needed to live today, “one day at a time.”  And furthermore, I needed to accept the things I cannot change.

With the Serenity Prayer going around and around in my head I set off to the store.  If my tiny little baby insisted upon crawling it was time for a gate at the bottom of the stairs.  My compulsion to keep all things kid and baby out of the adult living spaces at night is challenged by the baby gate’s addition.  However I think I succeeded in making it not stick out like a sore thumb.  With the addition of a square baluster I stained to match my hand railing and a round piece of wood I painted to match my trim I was able to get around the uneven surface issues presented by my trim molding and my handrail.  I am available via email for How To Make My Baby Gate Less Ugly consulting services.  I can be reached at IHaveTooMuchFreeTime@stayathomemom.com.

It’s hard to swallow.  This tiny little baby is almost seven months old and army crawling all over the place.  She will be standing at the gate hollering for her sister in a matter of moments.  But today, today is she is still my baby.  Because today I woke to a nursling in footie pajamas.

Years from now you will be able to spot her in a group picture from middle school.  “Which one is Lucy?” someone will ask. “She is the one in the footie pajamas” another mom will answer. And she will lower her voice to a whisper and mouth “Last baby, the poor mother, she has issues…”  You think I am kidding?


The one where we buried the placenta…

My husband is a scientist. He labels everything. He once asked me if we could talk about keeping the refrigerator more organized. He volunteered to make labels. Dairy. Vegetables. Condiments. We had only just moved in together so I bit a hole in my lip and smiled and said “if you’d like to take on that project I will try really hard to put things back.”

It was never mentioned again.

That having been said there is  no placenta shelf in our freezer. Just a ziplock bag with the tell tale biohazard bag inside crammed in the back of the freezer.

For four months and nineteen days. Lucy is four months and twenty one days old. The nurse practitioner that stopped at our house to see us when Lucy was two says old brought it to us. We left it on the counter when we headed home four hours after Lucy’s birth.

Some people leave their purse. Or their cell phone charger. We forgot our placenta.

I was lucky. I did not experience post-partum depression after Emily was born. So I elected not to dehydrate and encapsulate my placenta. But I liked the idea of doing something with it.

Different cultures do different things. We decided we would bury it under a plant or shrub (I can’t bring myself to say bush, although the comedic possibility is enticing.)

We decided to plant a gardenia. When we were picking out flowers for our wedding we considered gardenias. I imagine opening my front door next spring and smelling them for the first time of the season. Lucy will be walking by then.

Emily chose a hydrangea for her plant. I am hopeful that our soil will produce blue flowers as that was what helped her make up her mind. The September birth stone is the sapphire and she favors the blue sapphire. Not to be confused with her mother’s favorite gin, Bombay Blue Sapphire.

I’ve said it before. I am smitten with my husband. Married a little over fourteen months and he still makes me smile. He hollers up to me as I stand on the deck out of the rain “get a picture! You’ll never see your home again, Lucy!!”

I hope our plants survive. But the benefit of being a mom the second time around? Our kids will make it. Of this much I am certain.

Word to the Wise: “call before you dig” is no joke. We spent our first weekday of summer without cable television or the Internet. MQD wisely elected to not put the plants or the placenta in the hole until after the cable guy came lest he accidentally dig it back up.

It meant we put our plants in during a gentle rain shower on Monday evening instead of on Sunday afternoon. And MQD looks totally hot in wet blue jeans and a tshirt, I mean… our plants were well hydrated and the rain had some kind of poetic symbolism and…. Yeah.

Lucy and I supervised.  And Emily?  Well, the cable guy came about thirty minutes before MQD got home from work.  She established that a placenta looks like a brain and then she decided she’d had enough.  There was tv to watch.  It’s Summertime.

Jeepers Creepers


Jeepers, creepers, where’d ya get those peepers,
jeepers, creepers, where’d ya get those eyes?
Gosh all, git up, how’d they get so lit up,
gosh all, git up, how’d they get that size?

~Harry Warren / Johnny Mercer

90 minutes

90 minutes.  One and one half of an hour.  The average length of a feature film.  Enough time to drive about 80 miles away from your house if you live near a highway.  I could read more than half of  a typical junky novel in that time.  Or I could go get my nails done.

And this morning I did.

All alone.

I had planned to do this.  I had three ounces of milk pumped in the fridge.  Twice as much as necessary if you consider the one ounce per hour rule.

I stayed in bed with Lucy until 9:30.  She nursed and fell back asleep several times in the extra two and a half hours we lolled about in the sack.  Eventually I kissed MQD on the cheek and said something along the lines of needing to just rip the band-aid off.   Put her in the stroller and take a walk if she is cranky.  You know how to warm a bottle, right?  She might not even be hungry.  Unless you are going to the emergency room, try not to call me.  

And then he didn’t.

I sat down across from the man who does my nails and he said “How are you?”

“I’m fine,” I said.  And I waited.  For him to say “So, where’s your baby?” or “Anything new?” Surely MQD would call and say “She’s crying terribly, come home” and I’d have to say “Oh, she’s fine, I’ll be home as soon as I can…”

The man said nothing.  My phone did not ring.

“Relax your hand,” he said, shaking my fingers.  I tried.  Moments later “Relax your hand,” he said.  I am TRYING.  Can’t you see I am DYING inside because my six year old barely waved goodbye from across the street as I backed down the driveway and my infant, my less than two month old infant, is at home with my husband and they are NOT calling.   NOBODY needs me.

In silence, he did my nails.  I read my book.  “You want to pick a color?  Or you want French?”  I looked up.  “What? Oh.  French, please.”  He gestured to the other chair, next to the airbrush machine. I stood to switch chairs, leaving my wallet, my book, my sweater, but grabbing my phone.  Surely MQD would call.

The minutes ticked by painfully.  “You like?  All done,” he said.  I am sure that I paid him.  I am sure that I walked to my car, but I don’t recall speaking to anyone.   I called home immediately.  No answer.  I hung up and called again.  No answer.  He called right back.  It was quiet at first.  “Do you want me to run to the grocery store or should I just come home?”

Crying in the car at the longest stop light ever.

“We’re okay,” he said.  And then I heard her.  Not crying, really, just grumbling a  bit.

“I’m coming home.”  It takes nine minutes to get home from that shopping center.  I got home in seven. My eyes wet with tears I said “Mommy’s home, baby girl, I missed you…” and we rocked in the chair in the living room as she rooted around in search of my breast.

“How was it?” MQD asked.

“It was fucking awful.  I know I need to go.  But it was fucking terrible.”


Fortunately for me, I had my nails done, not my make up.  And crying doesn’t ruin your fingernails.


And Then We Were Four: Part Four

It was decided that I would stop trying to push through the last centimeter of my dilating, that I would  stop and take a break, let my body finish doing the work.  Then it was determined I should change position.  In spite of the enema I had managed to give myself during early labor the shred of privacy I had been maintaining was holding on to the fear that it felt like I had to go to the bathroom.  When Sarah suggested I go sit in the bathroom for a while it sounded like as good a plan as any.  Pillows were placed on the back of the toilet and I sat backwards with my face against the cool, soft pillows.  In the dark it was easier to let my mind go.

Earlier, I had gotten very sick.  Throwing up like a freshman at a fraternity party, I couldn’t even open my eyes lest I see the bucket and get sick all over again.  (Hello, chinese food, I had to have!!) I took a new bucket with me to the bathroom just in case.  There, in the clean white bucket from the birthing center was a single dog hair.  Even amidst the mania I felt… I smiled, Fisher… his damn hair gets everywhere.

Changing positions brought no physical relief.  If anything it required the body to  acclimate to new pressure points, new pain.  At this point each contraction seemed to radiate down in to my legs.  Later I would have IV fluids to hydrate me and the pain in my legs would  almost immediately subside.

Physical relief did not come while I was in the bathroom, but it did give me a moment to regroup emotionally.  I’d had my eyes closed much of the previous hour and now in the darkness I could  feel only hands rubbing my back.  Not knowing if it was MQD or Erin  – it almost didn’t matter.  I cried out as my contractions peaked.  Spoke quietly to myself and to the baby in the interim.  I don’t know how long I was in there.  But when I came out, I knew it was time.  I said more than once that I felt like I had been asleep.  And like I had just woken up.  I asked several times for Erin to tell me again what was happening.

For a time I felt like I was trapped between the bathroom and bed. My body had returned to the bed, my mind had stayed in the bathroom.  Eventually we all reunited and a feeling of calm alertness washed over me.  MQD smiled at me and I could see in his eyes the relief I was experiencing.  Never once did he look frightened, but he looked so happy to have me back that I know it must have been quite a scene there for a bit.

As with so many things in our lives the clearest pictures are those that we can see only after the fact. From this side of things I know that it was the final stages of transition in the bathroom.

As much as it was almost unnecessary to check, I needed to hear it. When Sarah said “You’re ten centimeters, we can have this baby any time you’re ready,” tears began to flow down my face.

I had watched a lot of birth videos.  I had seen images of these smiling women as they pushed their babies out in to the world.  But I had imagined I would be more of the Linda Blair/Exorcist labor and delivery type  than the Blissed-out Commune Mama type.  This picture does not tell the whole story, certainly.  But it captures the joy, the lack of a sense of fear and urgency, the calm that was in the room before Lucy made her debut. 

Our doula, Erin, pulled triple duty as she held the mirror, the flash light and my iPhone throughout the home stretch.  Sarah suggested I reach down and touch the babies head and I asked her to guide myhand.  In keeping with the sense of levity throughout my labor Erin said “I don’t know how big your vagina is exactly, but you’ll find it.”

As soon as I felt her the waterworks began again and I wondered how I would  ever continue to push slowly, not risk tearing.  At one point (after I had the moment of clarity wherein I asked for my glasses and could  actually see in the mirror!) I saw her head begin to emerge and then as I tried  and relaxed between pushing I saw it retreat.  “No, no, no, baby, come back….” and I wept.

I told Sarah and Missy and Erin the story of my dream, how Baby D came and knocked on the door and I didn’t pick him/her up.  How I was so terribly afraid that I didn’t do the right thing.  Sarah reassured me that the baby would descend at least as far as they had previously with each push.  So, I relaxed.  And spoke.  “Come on baby, I promise I will pick you up, and I will never let you go, just come out… Come on… I am right here.”

And slowly, I saw this tiny flash of baby hair become a baby.  I was waiting for the ring of fire, and as I saw the head emerge I can recall thinking this must be it… and then the head would grow bigger.  Later they would  tell me Lucy was born with her hand against her face contributing  to her already giant sized baby head.

I felt it, finally. The mystical ring of fire, the moment that your body is open, allowing passage of your child in to the world and then I saw her face.  Red and smushy, bloody and quiet.  With little effort  her shoulders appeared and I had my hands hooked beneath her armpits and I was pulling her on to my chest.  Our baby. She was here.

I cried out for Emily. I had been adamant that no one tell me if we’d had a boy or a girl and we realized as Emily entered the room that from my vantage point I really couldn’t tell.  And no one else had gotten a decent look. So, it was Emily that told me.  My sweetest girl, my Emily June, it was she that said “It’s a sister.”

“You got your sister, baby girl…” I said,my eyes flooding with the realization that my baby girl, was no longer my baby girl.

We stayed at the birth center only a few hours before we headed home.  Our family of four.  Mom and Dad in the front seat.  Our girls sleeping quietly in the darkness of the early morning.  I carried Lucy Quinn in to the house.  A teeny tiny girl in her car seat.  MQD carried Emily June up to her bed, her long legs looking even longer as he carried her past me up to her room.

It was just after six in the morning.  A new day.  We were home.  And then we were four.

MQD's girls