Thursday, August 30, 2007

Now and then

I used to have natural blonde hair…but then I experienced pregnancy hormones.
I used to have a (relatively) flat stomach…but then I got pregnant.
I used to think I was tough…but then I gave birth.
I used to think I knew what it was to be tired…but then I had a newborn.
I used to think I knew what love was…but then I had Rebecca.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Am finishing up (hopefully) my final week of part-time work at The Really Big Company. The project may extend into next week, but golly gee, I kinda hope not. My small taste of working and motherhood has made this much clear to me: I don't know how working moms do it. You all have my respect and utter awe, because this is TOUGH. I'm frazzled. The house is in shambles. The Banker is on edge. Becca is constipated. The dogs and cat are pissed. How do you women do this? You are incredibly disciplined and your talents need to be sung from the roof tops. There should be a national appreciation day JUST FOR YOU.

In other tough news, can I just say that this weaning thing is dang uncomfortable?!? So blessedly welcomed, but really difficult nonetheless. Part of me is going to miss this stage, the way Becca clings to me and makes happy chugging noises, the way that this one thing can make all right for her even in her worst of moods. But it's time. My body was slowly giving up before I even made the decision to start this process. Still, this is just one more sign that my newborn isn't so much of a newborn anymore. More like an adorable, vocal, stubborn little person. I don't know how it happened--and so fast!--but it's happened. What a ride.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Close up

Little starfish hands spread wide to gently touch my cheek,
her skin so achingly soft.
Lashes arch above the deepest innocence,
eyes seal grey one minute, hazel the next.
The most perfect rosebud lips
emit heavenly sighs and sweet giggles.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Just for Fun

Star Wars Horoscope for Libra
You are on a lifelong pursuit of justice and determined to succeed.
You convey the art of persuasion through force.
You always display your supreme intelligence.
You have a great talent in obtaining balance between yourself and your surroundings.

Star wars character you are most like: Obi Wan Kenobie

What Is Your Star Wars Horoscope?

You are Betty Grable
The ulitmate girl next door
You're the perfect girl for most guys
Pretty yet approachable. Beautiful yet real.

What Famous Pinup Are You?

My parenting skills

I typically take most of what The Banker’s family has to say with a rather large grain of salt. While I care for each and every one of them, I don’t have a great deal in common with most of his family members. (For that matter, often neither does The Banker!)

So when The Banker’s older brother insinuated in an e-mail that we were selfish parents, I initially brushed the comment off. After all, he’s an annoying, talkative know-it-all, whose wife dresses him funny and won’t let him have a dog.

But somehow the jibe rooted into some corner of my brain and it’s begun to ferment, growing in acidity and becoming harder and harder to ignore. I’ve tried to be many things in my short tenure as a parent, but selfish sure as hell isn’t one of them. It’s an insult that cuts to the heart of most any parent—that they put their own well being before that of their child.

The source of the comment was The Banker and my pending vacation to hike up to Machu Picchu. With the recent earthquake in Peru, The Banker’s family is in an uproar. (For the record, they are disdainful of foreign countries, most notably ones that don’t speak English or reside in the “safety” of Europe.)

The trip is only a shadow of the adventure we’d planned before I’d discovered I was pregnant, but I cannot express how much I’m looking forward to this excursion. It will be a breathe of fresh air, offering beautiful sights, a peek into an entirely different culture, not to mention some much-needed time for just The Banker and me. Becoming parents, while incredibly rewarding, is also hard on a marriage—it’s sometimes exhausting and isolating. (Why people would ever have children to “save” a marriage is beyond me! The lack of sleep, private time, quality communication, and more can take a toll.) But now I’m saddled with the idea that this trip, with its small, small “dangers,” qualifies me as selfish.

I made the hard decision to give up working (short of special projects and freelance writing), to spend every day with my daughter, raising her myself and trying not to let the monotony drive me mad. With only one income, we’ve learned to live on a much tighter budget. The occasional treats I granted myself (facials, horseback riding), are now a distant memory. Not feeling that 10 months was long enough to give up my body, I’ve spent an additional six months nursing Becca—a good portion of that going lactose-free. I try to put only the healthiest of foods in my body and hers, try to provide a home that’s safe, clean, inviting, fun, and friendly.

But it’s not enough. The Banker and I have been labeled as selfish parents, and while part of me thinks this is just damn ridiculous, the other part of me wonders if maybe there’s some truth to that insult.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Best ever

Sometimes when Becca hasn't seen me for a few hours--say first thing in the morning or after I've left her with one of her grandmothers for a bit--she gives me this look: Her brows lift, her eyes get wide and her mouth opens in the biggest, most ecstatic smile. Then, she hunches her shoulders, squints her eyes, shoves her fist in her mouth, and turns her body away as if she can't contain herself. Okay, it's crap to explain, but let me tell you, it's awesome to know that I get that reaction.

Monday, August 13, 2007

More procrastinating...

The Simpsonized Me...

Feast or famine

Only a month ago I was whining about not having enough freelance work. Okay, stupid, now don't complain about getting what you asked for. I currently have four articles due before the month's end, which is a decent load for me to handle.

But then out of the blue, The Really Big Company called. There's a special project they'd like my help with over the next three weeks, for about 15 hours a week. Hooray! Much needed money and mind stimulation. But how in the heck am I going to get all this accomplished?

And more importantly, how is Becca going to do with her grandmas for five hours a day? And why in the world am I procrastinating here when I should be getting a jump on those articles?! Argh!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Becca's First Foray into Veggies

I put both containers in front of her: Gerber's organic carrots and Gerber's organic green beans. She reached toward the unnaturally bright orange concoction.

"Okay, baby girl. It was your choice. Carrots it is."

And with that, we moved from cereal to vegetables. And Becca's reaction? First there was the cringe:

And then there was the spitting:

And finally there was the royal flippin' mess, followed by crying:

So, Becca prefers the sweet carbohydrates. No news there--she's clearly my daughter. We'll try again tomorrow, with what I hope will be better results.
Congratulations, baby girl. Welcome to the world of veggies! I know, they suck. But after you get these things down, we'll move onto the fun stuff. Like ice cream. Chocolate and peanut butter. And wine.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Modest Me

It's official. When did I get so old?

A friend of mine had asked if I wanted to attend the Modest Mouse concert last night. Having, in my life B.C., been quite the concert-goer, I said yes. (Aerosmith, Green Day--their first big tour, Van Halen, Tom Petty, Nine Inch barely mattered the type of music, I just attended.) And The Banker gladly gave me the night off, in turnabout for his day of golf a few weeks ago.

The concert was outside in 280% humidity and a balmy 80 degrees--at 8 p.m. It felt like I'd dressed myself in a wet wool sweater, despite my t-shirt, capris, and flip-flops. Maybe the insufferable heat caused so many young'uns to run about half naked. But it doesn't explain the teetering high heels. I mean, ladies, there's no place to sit down. In this heat. On the sweltering blacktop. For four hours.

But the clear answer to this insane climate is to mount each other in public, right? Yes, clearly gratuitous signs of PDA will stem off the rolling beads of sweat and the general stink of a thousand people slowly boiling.

And while I acknowledge that Modest Mouse caters to the alternative crowd, I was still caught off guard by generally attractive people with huge pegs in their ears, so as to stretch them out to attain the look of some African tribe in National Geographic. I wanted to take these people aside and assure them that with time, things will sag of their own accord--no mutilation required!

See how I sound like a grumpy old lady? Once upon a time, I was in a mosh pit. I crowd surfed. I smoked a pack of cigarettes and made myself ill. I had that look of entitlement, that screw-you exterior. So why begrudge the next generation their time? Maybe it's a bit of jealousy mixed with hindsight's ever-clear view. Whatever it is, the evening left me feeling damn old. And the concert was just so-so. The band didn't play one of my favorite songs and struggled with feedback issues the entire evening.

The only upside? I was carded for beer and some young gentleman kindly offered me his bong. Even though I turned him down, it was still nice to be asked. Because you wouldn't offer your pot to someone who looked like your mom, would you? So maybe I'm not quite that old. Just yet.