Monday, May 24, 2010

Mom of Two - Week One

I'll never forget the second time I ran the marathon.


I'd run one a few years before with a big group of friends, and in 2001 I decided it was time to do it again, this time in my hometown of New York. Thus, on a chilly November morning, I took off across the Verrazano Bridge with 40,000 or so others, feeling like 10 million bucks. I was fit, I was fiesty, and I was in a zesty little jogging outfit.

By about Mile 23, however, the following interior monologue began to play in an endless loop in my head:

"HOLY JUMP UP AND SIT DOWN! WHY did I decide to do this again? This is HORRIBLE! And I knew how horrible it was going to be because I've done it BEFORE! Sweet Christmas - what kind of moron puts herself through this for the SECOND time????? I AM A NUMBSKULL OF THE HIGHEST MAGNITUDE!!!"

Have you picked up on the parallel here? Pretty much from the moment labor began, that same monologue began to replay in my head word for word. It continued as we returned home to begin the inevitable descent into the abyss of sleepless nights, constant feedings, and continually angry nipples, but now with the added bonus feature of a jealous and confused 19-month-old determined to take his revenge upon us by waking up screaming every morning at 5:30am!

How could I have done this to myself again?

But, if I focus solely on the downsides for the first week I fear I will work myself into the sort of state that ends with me attempting to leave one or both of my offspring in that basket outside the firehouse for the nice folks inside to raise, and so instead I present the following list of...


Here we go....


Back in 1993 I moved to New Orleans, and early in the evenings I would go out for a run in the street car tracks up and down St. Charles Avenue.

(I'm kind of loving how this entry is making me sound like a super-athlete, BTW. It amuses me that I've mentioned running casually twice already - as if going for a run is just a totally natural and unremarkable part of my life - this is NOT the case, I assure you.)

Anyway - back to New Orleans. They use some kind of lubricant on the streetcar wheels that has this smell that lingers after the car has passed by. It smells like nothing else on Earth, and every time I visit and smell it anew I'm instantly overcome by memories of my first stint in the city, nearly two decades ago.

I was similarly transported when the nurse put Crinkles in my arms for the first time. That sharp, deep-earth, slightly acrid, new baby smell hit me and I REMEMBERED. I was taken back to Snoodie's birth and filled with an overwhelming sense that this was right in the most fundamental way a thing can be. That smell meant - he's here.


Though the Snood was the KING of these I'd completely forgotten how hilarious and cute the sudden...

"I am belting out an imaginary aria entitled 'Please Let Me At That Boob!'"

gesture is when they're hungry. Not to mention the...

"HOLY CRAP! What was that!!!!!"

...startle that happens whenever there's a loud noise.

It is cute. And great. And can almost make one forget the soul-crushing fatigue. Almost.


A lot of times, especially in a city like Los Angeles, we live in relative isolation. We interact with people only on the most superficial of levels, occasionally nodding at our fellow city mates as we pass or maybe sharing a smile with the guy selling us our stamps at the post office. But, when you have a new baby in tow, you are suddenly the center of a COMMUNITY.

The cashiers at Albertsons run from behind their scanners to hug me and take a peek into the stroller to meet Crinkles. A non-stop flow of neighbors has stopped by to bring food, baby gifts, and offers of help. My mom and sister have set their own existences aside to live at my house, help take care of Snoodie, and do the cooking and cleaning I'm unable to face.

I'm living in Hilary Clinton's 'village' right now, courtesy of Crinkles, and it is an unexpectedly wonderful upside to bringing home baby.


I've lost 26 pounds since last Monday, folks! If that ain't an upside, what is?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

There's a New Dictator in Town

Well, he took his time about it, but our baby boy arrived on Monday, May 17th just 10 days behind schedule.

I went in for a dreaded scheduled induction and, deciding he would not be bullied into anything, our kiddo opted to come out on his own without undo prodding as I sat waiting for my pitocin delivery.

While hearing my husband describe the delivery as "really easy" made me threaten him alternately with great bodily harm and divorce, the fact of the matter was it really wasn't too bad. Turns out that 350 years of Irish peasant folk breeding with each other has resulted in me - - the 3-hour laboring super birther!

Baby is currently going by the name "Crinkles McWrinkles", but I'm sure that will evolve over time.

I'd write more but I fear for what might emerge from my advanced state of sleep deprivation.

Suffice it to say that Crinkles is doing swell and mama is crabby, tired, sore and wildly elated.

More next week!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

You've Got Mail Again, Because You're Still Pregnant

I can't begin to express how unhappy I am to see you all here for this week, in that it means that I am STILL PREGNANT.

Everywhere I go this week, the cries ring out:

"You haven't had that baby yet?"

Neighbors open their doors to gawk as I waddle by, the check out clerks at Albertsons gasp in surprise. Sometimes, there is pointing. Occasionally, there is laughter. I have decided that the time has come to stop leaving my home.

BUT! As promised, I shall continue, at least on the blog, to keep my positivity involved and maintain my promise not to spend our precious time here together wallowing in my epically overdue misery. Instead, I shall return to the blog's newest and much-beloved feature, "READER MAIL"!


Where did the name "Snood" come from?

Well, I'll tell you.

I have always been, like former President George Bush before me, an unrepentant nicknamer. The majority of folks in my like sport a special sobriquet of my own invention. My husband is "The Murph", my sister is "Schmanner Bananer".....the list goes on and on.

I feel it is important to acknowledge right up front that I FULLY realize that, as a "nicknamer," I walk a decidedly fine line between:

"I choose to express my enduring affection for all that you are by creating for you your own special moniker!"


"I am the sort of annoying creep who shoots finger guns at people to express excitement and/or gives unsolicited back rubs."

but it's a line I CHOOSE to walk.

So it was that when I first sat snuggling my newborn baby boy, who was all swaddled up and resembled nothing so much as a pile of laundry with a face, that I couldn't help but start referring to him as:

We took Bundles home from the hospital and quickly decided that this name no longer seemed sufficient to capture all that our little snuggly being had to offer. The name NEEDED to evolve, and so it was that he became:


and, not too much later:


This multi-part moniker really got the job done for the next several months.
But sometime around Christmas, our petite nobleman insisted on casting off his swaddling clothes, only to replace them with a seemingly endless collection of hiply ironic onesies. As he entered his third month on Earth, he took on a surprising sense of mission in all his actions, whether it was drooling, battling with his octopus toy, or experimenting with his first meals of rice cereal, and so it was that I felt overwhelmingly compelled to call him:


or alternately:







My husband, an engineer and practical man at heart, decided it was time to coalesce all this nomenclature into one single, perfect, and epically fit nickname - and it was though this that we ended up with a boy named:


(In other words, we made it up.)

Another question answered!

Alright folks, that's it for this week. Keep your fingers crossed that I will eventually go into labor. Check back here next week for a birth announcement, or alternatively, a special offer for tickets to my freak show debut as "The World's Most Pregnant Woman".

See you then!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

You've Got Mail

Well, I'm still pregnant.

But hey...let's look on the bright side! At least I've developed a vicious head cold (complete with body-wracking cough) to take my mind off of the small human taking up the majority of my abdominal space!

I saw my OB yesterday, hoping that she would be FULL of answers for me about when this kiddo MIGHT arrive. It is impossible for me (and for a host of my beloved and frequently calling loved ones) to accept that there can be NO ANSWER to the question: When is this baby going to get here?

The doc informed me that Doodle Two should make his or her appearance sometime between now and May the 17th. (HINT TO ALL HUMANITY: If I am still pregnant on May 17th - SEEK COVER FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY!)

Having come to terms with the fact that it may be a while before this baby shows up, and feeling determined NOT to let this blog devolve into a weekly series of screeds chronicling my own late-pregnancy misery, I've decided to devote the remaining pre-birth blogs to answering questions from readers!

Now, some of these questions have come via email, some have been posted in the comments section, and let's be honest - some are things my mom just asked me on the phone yesterday when she called to check in.


How are the preparations going for the arrival of Doodle 2?

With embarrassing slowness.

Everything about preparing for our second baby has been markedly different than preparing for the arrival of our first. When I was pregnant with the Snood, David and I were living in a one-bedroom apartment. In spite of an EPIC lack of space, David and I moved out of the bedroom months in advance and started sleeping in the loft in order to get the room all ready for the blessed event!

At the time, I thought nothing of schlepping up and down and the stairs half a dozen times a night to use the bathroom, because it meant that we got to erect the crib, put up the adorable Pooh mobile and set up the changing table for OUR NEW BABY!!

Snoodie's nursery - fully set up TWO MONTHS before his birth

But with Doodle Two's impending arrival, things are a little different. The main problem with awaiting number two is that all the time one might have spent preparing is taken up in caring for one's extant offspring.

My mother had three kids in three years, and for proof of how different things are for each subsequent child, one need look no further than each of our baby books. My brother's (the first born) is filled out in exquisite detail, each roll, smile, and bowel movement lovingly chronicled in my mom's elegant cursive. My sister's (the next in line) is sparser - featuring the occasional photo and entries chronicling a handful of notable developmental milestones. Mine (born exactly a year and 11 days later) has my name and date of birth written on the first page and then a collection of glaringly blank pages with the occasional keepsake jammed haphazardly in-between.

And who can blame her? Just trying to keep the Snood from crawling into the dishwasher while I desperately attempt to grab some infant clothes out of storage has proved overwhelmingly daunting. While Snood's first 18-months have been intensely "hands on", I think the reality is that Doodle Two's are likely to be a good bit more "catch as catch can".

So, that answers our first ever READER'S QUESTION! Should I still find myself still blogging next week (having failed to succumb to either labor OR deep homicidal rage) I will address more questions, including the oft-queried


Until then, I remain, pregnantly yours.....