Wednesday, June 29

Blog Help?

Why, suddenly, is my blog all wonky when viewed in Mozilla? If anyone knows what I've suddenly done, please let me know how to undo it!

Sugar Sugar

Let's talk about Sugar Face for a few minutes, shall we? In the presence of her big brother, Doodles, she seems to get lost in the blog. I said to Adam last night, sometimes I think she pokes me just to say, "Hey! Remember me in here?"

According to Pregnancy Weekly, I have 66 days to go, and that's if she's on time (remember, Doodles came almost three weeks early, but there I go again, bringing up Doodles in Sugar Face's post). My hunch is she's going to be late, but I know that will only be the case if I plan on her being late, in which case she'll arrive early. So I'll prepare for early but expect her to be late. I'm not sure how suddenly I only have 66 days until my due date; it seems unreasonably soon. I'm completely stocked up on little pink outfits--between the shower my neighbors threw me and the hand-me-downs I've received, this child will be very well dressed. Definitely more clothes than her big brother had.

I went through Doodles's old clothing (can't help it; he's relevant here!) to see what I would save for Sugar Face and what was ready to be passed along (but not until Sugar Face is born, just in case the ultrasound was wrong, although they seemed quite confident that they actually saw girl parts). It doesn't seem that long ago that he was wearing his little "I'm a Scary Monster" t-shirt and the little solar system outfit that I made Tweeds run out and get when I realized that we actually had to clothe our small naked child. Of course, going through his stuff took forever, as I had to hold up each piece and ooh and ahh and ask Adam if he remembered our little munchkin wearing each thing. And of course, Adam was falling asleep on the couch and not much for humoring me, which irritated both of us, I think, but probably me more because that's just the kind of person I am. What kind of father doesn't get teary eyed looking at his monkey's teeny tiny baby outfits?

Anyway, thinking about it, my to-do list is quite a bit longer than I had thought. Originally I was thinking, wash clothes and buy diapers. Done! But it occurred to me I've got to (okay, Adam has to) set up the co-sleeper, put the Pack N Play downstairs, borrow a swing and bouncy chair from friends, figure out where all those really cute little outfits are going to go (not even born yet and she already has issues over closet space), boil the pacifiers, buy a breast pump (I am not going to torture myself as I did last time with a hand pump), find/clean the old bottles... The list gets longer every time I think about it.

So it's becoming real. Yes, I'm still surprised when others ask when I'm due, even though my belly is a big honking thing that I constantly hit when I get to close to the kitchen counter. But it's starting to sink in. When we make plans for end of September/October (which, yes, we're doing), Sugar Face will be here to join us.

With Doodles it couldn't come fast enough. This time around, I know what to expect, and I keep thinking, "Just a little more time! Please!!!"

Note to Self...

While I make it a point to never write about my work, I would like to put a little reminder to myself that when Adam is out late and I'm 7 1/2 months pregnant and hormonal, do not, repeat, do not stay up late to proofread a nonfiction book on serial killers. No amount of checking under the bed and in the closets can make up for that mistake.

Sunday, June 26

There Were Three (Plus a 1/2 and that Body Pillow and...) in the Bed...

It's that time of pregnancy again. The invasion of the pillows. I've got the wedge pillows, the back pillow, the body pillow, and of course the normal two pillows I use for under my head. Once upon a time, our little double bed seemed huge. When Adam and I bought it, we were, ah, such romantic newlyweds, not understanding why anyone would need anything larger than a full-sized bed. After all, we spent all of our time cuddled in the middle. But now that we've added my belly, my three pillows, one toddler, and my restless legs, I suddenly see why separate king beds wouldn't be big enough. And sure enough, every night in bed, I swear I can hear Sugar Face singing, "Roll over! Roll over!"

Unfortunately she doesn't seem to realize that when I roll over, she's the one who's going to fall out. Good night!

Wednesday, June 22

Down on the Farm

Once upon a time, I was a cool person. Not the hippest. Not the most cutting edge. But I had a cool life. And now? Now I can go on vacation at a quaint farm, be in a room with six adults--writers, musicians, and generally interesting grown-ups--and when I walk outside the farm and see a cat, I exclaim in a falsetto, "Look, a kitty cat!" I then turn to the innkeeper and ask, "Does the kitty cat live inside?" Need I say my son is nowhere in sight? "Kitty cat"? Not once, but twice. In my mommy voice. Bleah.

Anyway, this past weekend we attended the nuptials of Ms. Bear and the Dave Man at Celebrity Dairy in Siler City, North Carolina. I was wary of Doodles at the wedding, but it turned out great. He didn't make it through the ceremony--when the farm dog ran through, just as the bride and groom made their way down the outdoor aisle, he began to shout, "Hey Rocky! Rocky! Down, down. Hey Rocky!"--and he ended up sitting with Adam on a porch swing in the back singing, which those of us in the back rows could definitely hear, but he was on great behavior the rest of the time.

At the rehearsal dinner, his sandal broke, so he got to run around a Chapel Hill bar barefoot. When he begged Adam for some beer ("Beer! Beer! Beer!"), Adam complied and Doodles had his first taste of alcohol other than the few sips of wine he sucked off a gauze at his own bris. Doodles, I'm happy to say, was not a fan. He made an evil face, although that didn't stop him from asking for more.

At the hotel, Doodles kept himself entertained playing with the piano, letting a much older woman (over three!) lead him around, and chasing the farm chickens and dogs. The wedding was populated with many baby-crazy people (men and women) who not only tolerated Doodles, but humored him.

At the reception, when Mr. and Mrs. Bear serenaded the guests, Doodles and his older woman led the way in dancing, doing a little shake, shake, walk, shake, shake, walk, shake, shake, walk around the tables. Then the two had some energetic rounds of Ring Around the Rosie. We learned that Doodles is a big fan of bluegrass music and we even let him stay up late to listen to an impromptu Celtic music session.

And I had a blast because Adam volunteered to stay with Doodles in the room, so I could stay out late with the big kids. At the post-wedding bonfire, I ate too much cake, roasted marshmallows, and for the first time didn't mind being the only sober person, because everyone else's lips were loosened by the tequila and bourbon, and I got enough dirt on people to make for material for some really fun short stories. Of course, after a rousing evening of rowdy-making, I returned to my room exhausted to discover it was a whopping 11 p.m. So much for my late night out.

Usually these days when we travel with Doodles, I look forward to the vacation and the minute we arrive, I can't wait to get back home. But the company was so great, the farm so relaxing (the German fruit pancake was heavenly), and Doodles in such good spirits that I actually didn't want to leave. For the first time that we were away, I thought, "Damn! I don't want to go home!" The feeling, though, didn't last. As soon as we got on the plane, Doodles started screaming and he didn't let up until we landed.

But it was great. Best wedding we've attended. And Doodles? He's still asking for Rocky.

Wednesday, June 15

What to Write?

It's that time of week again: blogging time. I've decided I'd like to write about something that has nothing to do with Doodles or my pregnancy... but I've been wracking my brain about it all day and I'm drawing a blank. I won't write about work because, well, I think it's unprofessional. I can't write about my friends because if they want to be written about, they'll start their own blogs. I've already stated that I don't like writing about politics. No point in writing about books or movies: I keep a separate blog for that.

I could write about the fact that our appliances seems to be in mass rebellion. Our scanner died. The oven needs to be replaced. Adam's car conked out in the middle of the highway. We have a few thousand dollars worth of decisions to make here, but hey, really, I barely have the energy to care about this stuff, so why would you care?

Hmm. I didn't get into this year's New York marathon. Not that I would have run it this year, but I'd defer to the following year and run it in 2006. I'll still try again next year, but it's easier motivate to train when you're guaranteed an entry. However, Adam did get in, and he's already stated that he can run a 4:40 marathon, so we'll see what happens. Call it a hunch, but I don't think he'll be running that 4:40 marathon this year. But there, that's now been written, so what else is there to say?

So what does that mean? It means I'm stuck writing about Doodles and my pregnancy. My neighbors very kindly threw me a shower this past weekend, and suddenly, there is a wealth of pink in this house. It occurs to me, I have no idea where to store Sugar Face's stuff. Doodle's stuff is everywhere. There's no room for anything else! I keep thinking, "Oh, I still need to clean Doodle's old clothes and toys/wash the new clothes/read up on labor (since I didn't go through it the first time)/plan what to do with Doodles when it's time for me to go to the hospital/set up the cosleeper/find a doula/etc...Oh, but there's plenty of time!" It occurred to me just the other day, "Hey, it's third trimester time! Time's running out!" While Doodles was a planned C, it was an unplanned planned C when my water broke at 37 weeks and 1 day. Which means if Sugar Face comes on the same time frame, I've got about 8 1/2 weeks. And unlike my first pregnancy it means I have an hour here and an hour there, which adds up to about 8 1/2--maybe 10--hours between now and d-day or b-day, as I suppose it should more appropriately be called. Of course, I don't know why, but my hunch is that Sugar Face is going to be late. Which means I'll hurry up and prepare and then have lots of time when I'll be sitting around twiddling my thumbs.

Hey, as I'm sitting here typing, my belly is moving all by itself. Thump, thump, thump. Doin' a little dance all on it's own.

Yeah, I know. I really didn't have anything to write.

Wednesday, June 8

Toddler Time

I feel like every week I say, "Doodles is more of a toddler than ever," but I swear his energy level has soared. He's running and screeching and stealing toys and interacting with kids and generally being your absolutely stereotypical toddler. He hates being confined to his car seat and screams when I try to put him in it. Clothing is an issue. As in he no longer wants to wear it. Which is fine when we're at home, but I do insist on clothing on when it's time to go out. Call me a prude. But at home, he starts to wiggle out of his shirt, yelling out, "Shirt off! Shirt off!"

I feel bad, as it seems life has become one big "No!" "No jumping down the stairs!" "No running into the street!" "No poking your eye with the fork." We've started to have to make use of "naughty time." Naughty time is restricted to when he is physical with someone. At a playgroup last week, a boy was playing with Doodle's kitchen set. It wasn't enough that Doodles knocked him out of the way to get to it. Doodles then squarely planted both his hands on the other boy's shoulders and shoved him. And again. And again. By the time I made my way across the yard, I thought Doodles had most likely shaken the kid down for his lunch money. So, naughty time. Doodles also gets naughty time for hitting, pulling hair, and kicking.

Of course, not all of the behavior is bad. He's singing lots more. He's playing somewhat nicely with friends ("playing nicely" can quickly devolve into "shoving match," but it's generally out of fun that malice). He's talking a lot more to us, requesting favorite books by name. He's interested in longer stories. He's becoming more involved when we go to singalongs and story times. He says, "please" and "thank you," and even remembers some of the time to say, "bless you" when someone sneezes and "excuse me" when he burps or "toots." (See, Tweeds, I am teaching him some manners. "Burp!" will come later.)

He's changing so fast. I keep looking at him, getting teary eyed, and thinking, "Where did this little boy come from? What happened to my little munchkin?" And then, suddenly, it'll hit me: "Oh, hell! We're going have to go through this all over again with number two!"

New Name

For all those who were, um, disturbed that we are calling our child-to-be The Occupant, you will be happy to hear that she's acquired the name Sugar Face, due to her obvious love of sugar. When I oblige my sweet tooth--which frankly is often--she goes wild. And as neither "sugar" nor "face" is a trigger word for Doodles, we can freely speak of the baby.


Posts will most likely be getting shorter, as, only days away from my third trimester, the third trimester woes have set in. Which means that only a few sentences into any post, I've got to go pee again. It tends to make one lose interest in posting much.

Wednesday, June 1

Weekend with Doodles

Adam had a black tie wedding to attend in Long Island this past Memorial Day weekend. Originally I was going to go with him, but then we started to think about it. First of all, I'd have to buy a black tie maternity dress. Um, let's see. I won't spend $20 to buy myself a long sleeved maternity shirt even though we haven't had a day over 60 degrees yet. You really think I'm going to spend $150+ on a black tie maternity dress? Then there was the issue of the babysitter. The Tweedle Twirp was willing to come out to sit with Doodles, but was she going to share our hotel room (the LIRR doesn't run that late) or would we have to get her her own room. And what about the rehearsal dinner? Was I just going to sit in the room with Doodles while Adam went to that. The more we thought about it, the less sense it made for me to go.

Meanwhile, my friend J. had asked me and Doodles to meet her and her daughter in the Hamptons, at her dad's place. I had originally said no, because the idea of me and Doodles alone for a three hour car ride and a one and half hour ferry ride was less than appealing. However, as long as Adam was going to Long Island anyway, Doodles and I might as well hitch a ride to the Hamptons.

Doodles was on remarkably good behavior. He fussed for maybe 5 minutes of the car ride, which was about 63 minutes less than what I fussed for. Mostly he played with his toys, ate his snacks, and hummed to himself as he looked out the window. He adored the ferry ride (New London to Orient Point), as there was an arcade on the boat, Adam let him sit at one of the car games and turn the wheel. Of course for the rest of the ride, we were subjected to demands of "Car! Car! Car!"

We made it to J.'s place without any major incidents (except that one very public meltdown on the ferry when Doodles wanted to walk around outside and we wouldn't let him go without his jacket on, which he had no intention of wearing), and Adam left us to head off for boozier grounds.

The day was a rousing success. I got to catch up with J., who I hadn't seen in over a year. Doodles got to taunt J.'s daughter, who at 14 months, was fascinated by the much older, obviously more sophisticated, 21-month-old Doodles. My favorite moment was when it was time to say night night and J.'s daughter chased Doodles around the house trying to give him a kiss good night while Doodles just ran for cover. Someday he'll be girl crazy, and I'll remind him how many pretty girls he refused as a child (and if he ends up boy crazy, well, this will all make sense).

The trip kind of fell apart for me when it was time to put Doodles to bed. I brought a travel trundle for him (borrowed from a friend) that I thought would work. At day care, Doodles sleeps on a mat, so this would be nothing new for him. But I guess a nap at school is different than a mat at a strange place. We went through his bedtime routine and at the appropriate time, he pointed at the mat and went to lay down. I sang his songs and his eyes got heavy. And then I started on my bedtime good nights--"Nighty night time!"--and he freaked out. Stood up and started screaming, which wouldn't have been terrible if J.'s daughter wasn't already asleep in the room next door. He was miserable. I tried taking him downstairs (where J. and her dad were holding up dinner for me) and putting him in the Pack N' Play. No going. I tried bringing him back up and laying down with him. Uh uh. What finally worked is I laid down with him, called Adam on his cell phone, pulled him out of his rehearsal dinner to go into the hall of the hotel to sing Doodles his bedtime songs (at home, Adam always puts Doodles to bed). That did it. It calmed Doodles down enough to cuddle into me, and I just laid on the floor until he fell fast asleep. After over an hour, I finally made my way back downstairs for adult company.

But that wasn't the hardest part. The hardest part is when I came back into the room and found that Doodles had rolled off the travel trundle and was on the floor, halfway under the bed. Okay, I can sort of scoot him back. Not a problem. But when he got fussy around midnight, I quickly grabbed him and pulled him into bed, as I didn't want him waking up the rest of the house. We were staying in a beautiful guest room with, what to me looked like, an antique bed that was quite high off the ground. What that meant was that every time Doodles scooted over to curl up with Adam--who of course wasn't there--I woke him up to scoot him back over to me. Which means he didn't get a lot of sleep. And I got almost no sleep.

The next day, J., her daughter, Doodles, and I spent a lovely morning playing on the beach. But I was on a fast downhill trajectory in my sleep deprivation, the night before being simply the final straw in a week of no sleep (from work, from Doodles, from the Occupant, from no reason at all), so I bailed on my friend and her beautiful summer home, and made Adam trek all the way back out to the Hamptons to pick us up and bring us to his hotel in Long Island.

In the long run, it turned out to be just fine. Doodles and I got to spend some time with nearby cousins. Doodles went to sleep just fine with me in the room. And I got to take a nice long shower, order room service, and eat dinner in bed while watching trash TV until I was too tired to keep my eyes open. These days, that's what passes for excitement in my world.

The next morning, to break up our trip, we decided to stop off in NYC to have breakfast with the Tweedle Twirp. The entire hour to get to her apartment, Doodles practiced saying, "Hi, Tweedles." He got it down pretty well and we made our way to the East Village, found a parking spot right outside her apartment, and when she came out... he refused to speak with her.

"Doodles, can you say, 'Hi, Tweedles'"?


"Are you sure? Do you want to try?"


Which I could have lived with if it weren't for the fact that not two seconds later, Doodles started accosting strangers on the street, bombarding them with "Hi! Hi! Hi!" and refusing to stop until they acknowledged him back. All the while, with the Tweedle Twirp pushing his stroller, keeping him out of traffic, holding his snacks. Did she get a "Hi" when she took him to Central Park Zoo? Well, the sea lions got a "Hi." The polar bears got a "Hi, hi, hi!" The monkeys got an "Eeee oooo!" And the fish got lots of "Hellloooooo fish!" And Tweedles? Tweedles got squat.

It's a fickle world when you're dealing with an almost-two year old. A lesson we seem to be getting a crash course in. But regardless, the Tweedle Twirp took it all in good spirit and after the zoo, we scooted our little monkey home. Despite it being Memorial Day, traffic was almost completely clear, and we made it home in under four hours.

Traveling with Doodles is always an adventure. And at the end, I swear I'll not do it again for many more years to come. Yet within days of my return, I find myself thinking, "Hmmm, where can we go next?" I guess it's a fickle world when you're dealing with an almost-37 year old as well.