msLaura: Modern Mama Laura Hamilton + Dan Baker = Julian Hamilton Baker & Adrian Hamilton Baker "When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her."
- Adrienne Rich



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the portable baby


recent posts
Recent reading

Sibling rivalry

Happy 1st Month, Adrian!

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy 3rd Birthday, Julian!

Bad V-Day gift ideas

Baby smiles

Preschool days

the Upside

When things get challenging...

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February 22, 2007

Recent reading

I came across this article a few days ago and it seems to reinforce my own discoveries of how to survive (and even thrive) while doing the motherhood thing:

How to be a happier mom: 8 ways to focus on the positive

For the most part, these are the same things that really help me out, so I'm glad that someone wrote them all down in an article that I can refer back to when I need reminders.

This morning I saw this article:

After a time out for child care, I'm glad to have a boss again
At the office, it's clean, quiet, and no one ever whines to be carried everywhere

And yes, there's something to be said for that. When I went back to work at Yahoo! part-time at five months post-partum with Julian, it was sheer bliss to sit at my desk and just....WORK. Clean, focused, uninterrupted. It was really, really nice.

But not nice enough to make me stay when my division was closed and my choices were either take a full-time position somewhere else within Yahoo! or accept a severance package. I took the severance package, but not without thinking long and hard about it.

I still really miss my paychecks. And my 401K. And my stock options. But I don't regret becoming a work-at-home mother, especially when the weather is beautiful and I have an activity planned with my mommy friends and their kids.

And finally, I decided today to get on top of this reflux situation with Adrian. Poor baby wakes up rasping and wheezing and miserable every night, and heartburn is definitely no fun. I bid on a Tucker Sling on eBay, I'm making some tummy-soothing tea right now for myself (in the hopes that it will pass through to him in part), and I think I might try a dairy-free diet for a while and see if that helps. Apparently that is the #1 dietary cause of reflux.

However, I think that this reflux and gassiness is mostly due to overactive letdown. My boob is like a fire hose in Adrian's mouth when letdown happens, and he gasps and chokes and swallows a bunch of air as a result. Poor baby.

So I've been reading about reflux a lot today, and also about umbilical hernias. Adrian has an umbilical hernia, and I really, really hate it. It's so gross. It's like a ball sticking out where his belly button is. You can poke it back inside and it squishes and makes a wet sound, then pops right back out afterwards. So disgusting to know that his intestine is coming out right there. OK, it's common...WHATEVER! It's nasty. But apparently there is no real treatment, it will just eventually go away on its own. IN ONE TO THREE YEARS. Dammit.

Jesus, Adrian is farting up a storm. He has ripped at least ten giant-sized farts while I've been typing this, and he's still going. Talk about gassy! Poor thing. OK, I'm dairy-free as of tonight. My friend Hana is bringing by a Japanese meal for us later, no dairy there. That's a good start. Might as well give it a go.

Sibling rivalry

I am kind of depressed today. Just typical post-partum stuff...feeling overwhelmed and fat and disconnected from Julian, who is acting out lately. Sleep-deprived too, of course. And it's raining and cold, which doesn't help.

It's all temporary, I know. I'll feel better soon. But today I just feel sorta shitty.

I'm glad that Julian is in preschool, I need a break. He has been very challenging lately, saying "no" to most things we ask him to do, melting down, or just plain ignoring us. He's been spending a lot of time in his room calming down, let's put it that way. Sigh.

I took Adrian to bed in his room last night, because he has been waking up fussy in the middle of the night and I don't want to have Julian awake as well.

This morning Adrian woke up at 6:00am fussy, hungry, snuffling (I still don't know what that's about. Reflux? Congestion?). I fed him, walked him around a little bit...he still didn't calm down, was still congested and breathing fast.

Julian came in to Adrian's room and climbed into bed with us at 7:00am, right when I had just gotten Adrian relaxed and sleeping on my shoulder. I patted the bed next to me and asked him to come and cuddle with me. Lately he wants to kiss his brother endlessly, but doesn't want to cuddle or kiss me at all.

He crawled in and snuggled up to me, and reached over to touch Adrian's hand. It was nice cuddling with both boys. I asked J if he was mad at me, and he nodded. I asked him why and he didn't answer. I asked him if he was mad because his baby brother was here now and taking up a lot of Mama's time and attention. He didn't answer, he just said, "He's out now, he's not in your belly anymore".

I said that was true, and it was OK for him to feel mad sometimes. If he ever wanted to cuddle with me, or wanted attention from me, he could just tell me and I would do my best to give him cuddling and attention. But crying and hitting were not good ways to get cuddling and attention, because then Mama and Daddy get mad.

At that point he grabbed Adrian's hand and started pulling it towards him. I asked him to stop, but he kept pulling, so I disengaged him. He was mad, but he grabbed his motorcycle and started playing with it. Adrian started to fuss from having his hand pulled while he was peacefully sleeping. I tried to comfort him while still keeping my attention on Julian, playing with the motorcycle, making a ramp out of my free arm, etc.

He kept reaching over to drive the motorcycle over Adrian's arm and getting it way too close to his sleeping face. Of course I asked him to stop and blocked him from making contact. He kept it up though, at which point I started getting mad. Finally he bonked Adrian on the head a little bit, not too hard, but hard enough. Then he whacked my arm with the motorcycle. I took it and threw it off the bed, then he lunged at me and I gave him a hard push to get him away from Adrian.

He started bawling and ran out of the room, apparently to go tell Dan that I had hit him. So much for my attempt at reconnection! I guess I just need to keep trying, but it's certainly not easy when you're being hit, and fending off potentially rough contact from your new infant.

Sigh....I'm so sad that it's like this with Julian right now. I guess it's pretty natural to have a lot of conflict when a new baby comes along, but it still sucks. I need to get back to reading "Siblings without Rivalry" and pick up some pointers.

It's odd because it's not like overt rivalry. He says all the time how much he loves his baby brother. He always wants to pet and kiss him, but sometimes the petting and kissing gets a little out of hand. Then he doesn't stop and he freaks out when I *make* him stop. It's more like he's mad at ME for the whole situation, which I guess is natural too. But I don't know how to get around it.

Adrian doesn' t want to be put down, and he doesn't want to be held by anyone else right now. So unless he's sleeping, I don't have much one-on-one time with Julian, and Julian is sort of avoiding me anyway. I tried to cuddle him yesterday while Adrian was sleeping, but he slipped off my lap and ran away.

Maybe it's like when you and your boyfriend/husband have a fight and he wants to make love to smooth things over, but you can't because you're still mad at him (even if it's just a little bit) and therefore not even remotely in the mood yet.

Ya think?

Maybe I could try to do more activities with Julian. It has been hard while I'm recovering, but now that I'm starting to feel better...I'm going to try to go for an easy hike next week. Maybe he can help me cook, we were doing that a lot before Adrian was born. Except that I'm still not cooking, just mostly reheating stuff from the freezer, or food that friends bring over. Maybe we can make cookies? Except that I'm feeling so FAT, that's probably not a good idea.

The fat thing is silly, I know I'm only a month post-partum and of course I'm going to be fat and flabby for a while still. But I have lost patience all of a sudden. I am so sick and tired of wearing huge maternity clothing, or too-tight regular clothing.

Last night Dan was holding Adrian while I did some stretching and some "Lose Your Mummy Tummy" exercises. I was doing a forward fold at one point and felt my belly skin fold over itself several times. Gross! I just kept saying to myself, "It will all go back into place with time." But still...

It also didn't help that Adrian was screaming in Dan's arms almost the entire time I was trying to relax and stretch. YOU try relaxing with a screaming baby 4 feet away. Jesus Christ. No amount of deep breathing can chill you out with that going on. I'd have to be some kind of super yogi to stay calm and centered. Especially since he's MY screaming infant.

My abs feel a little bit sore today near my incision, even though I only did the very mildest of contraction exercises. Just basically sucking it in and holding it there. I did plank pose a few times as part of my sun salutations. But maybe plank is too much? Aaaargh. I'm a goddamn INVALID.

Well, Adrian just massively pooped AND spit up, so gotta run. Cleanup duties required....

February 15, 2007

Happy 1st Month, Adrian!

Dear Adrian,
You were four weeks old last Tuesday, and will be one month old tomorrow. I would have said you were one month old last Tuesday, but apparently one month is not necessarily 4 weeks, so might as well be precise about it. But close enough to congratulate you on a milestone!

You're such a little cutie pie. That fantastic hair of yours, it's so David Beckham! Your Aunt Gail even asked me what styling products I was using on you the day you came home from the hospital. Um...IV tape residue? Amniotic fluid? Whatever, you still looked great. That tape residue is damn hard to get out though. I think you still have a little tiny bit in your hair, even after three shampooings.

Your hair looks especially great when it's freshly washed...all blonde and extra-fluffy. Then it eventually gets slicked down from everyone kissing and petting and nuzzling your head non-stop. I practically have to pry your big brother off you with a crowbar at times.

You look a lot like Julian when he was a baby, but maybe your eyes are a little wider apart and your face is a bit slimmer at the chin. You're definitely blonder. Hard to tell what you'll eventually look like though. I was stumped by Julian until he was about three months old, and then all of a sudden I realized that he looked like me. But before that? No idea really. So I'm making no predictions. And who knows, your glorious hair might all fall out and grow in a different color.

I certainly wasn't expecting you to come out so fair...what happened there? Here I thought you would be perfectly genetically engineered to have darker skin than me, what with your Daddy practically blackening in the sun and all. He turns into a shadow with teeth and eyes when he's tan. For me, a tan is an utterly foreign concept. I go straight to pre-cancerous lesions with UV exposure. I'm just glad that I realized that fact at age 18 and went into damage control mode.

But you're still perfect. Just don't forget your sun hat, and your Mexoryl-SX combination sunscreen. I'll remind you, don't worry.

So far you are really, really mellow. For 3 out of your 4 weeks you have not done much but sleep and eat. Even when uncomfortable you don't do much more than squeak in protest. Lately you have been going through a witching hour from about 8-10pm where you are fussy-fussy and just want to nurse nonstop, even though you get so full you puke most of it up. Typical baby stuff. Unfortunately that's the only time that Daddy has to hold you, right at your Peak Fuss Period (PFP). He's been very nice about being handed a baby at PFP, but there's not too much he can do with you. Rocking helps. He's good at that.

Last night I bounced you in your bouncy seat with my foot while I was creating an Evite for your brother's third birthday party. That seemed to help. So I guess it's a movement solution, pretty typical as well. For your brother I remember putting on a swing CD and dancing around for 20 minutes with him in a carrier and that would knock him out of fussiness into deep sleep.

You are super strong. Already you can hold your head up, even when held sideways. Your torso is strong too, you are making attempts to sit up, and to stand up even. Strong little legs! Not like that's any surprise, we weren't exactly expecting a weakling, but it's still impressive. When I hold you, you tend to hurl yourself in the direction you want to go. I have to keep a pretty tight grip on you, you're not the passive newborn you used to be.

You sleep fairly well at night. There are a few nursings here and there of course, but I barely wake up for them. Around 3:00-6:00am or so you start snuffling and wheezing, and I'm not sure if that's reflux or a little cold congestion or what. I usually have to stand up, hold you upright, walk you around a little bit, then it clears and you're ready to go back to sleep. By that time though, your brother is awake and ready to kiss you endlessly and talk to me and play with toys and eat breakfast, all at once. So usually once I wake up to hear you snuffling I know that's it for the day. We're up from that point on.

On some days, that's OK. On other days I feel like I'm going to die if I have to open my eyes and stand up. But then I don't die, I make it through somehow and just try to take a nap later on.

I can't wait for Spring to come. You love being outside. When we go for walks (still very short) you strain to see as much as possible, absolutely quiet and rapt with concentration. Then you slowly pass out.

Makes me long for a blanket outside under a tree on a warm Spring are going to love that. And hiking, we'll do lots of hiking, as much as your brother can handle. Or maybe we'll sneak off sometimes when he's in preschool. There's a good idea.

I almost forgot to mention your amazing potty skills. I hold you over your potty at every diaper change, and if you wake up super-fussy needing to pee. You totally hold it until I get you over the potty, then let loose. I just took you after you woke up from your nap flipping out and you let loose a gargantuan pee as soon as your butt hit plastic. I couldn't believe you were holding all that in your bladder. Other times I can tell you don't *really* have to go, but you push a little and give me a courtesy pee anyways. How lovely and polite of you! I do appreciate it, since it saves me a diaper change each time, and you don't quite fit into your Gdiapers or your cloth diapers yet, so that still means saving a disposable that is not only expensive but persistent. Good for you. You're still not much for pooping in your potty, the total opposite of your brother in that respect. But since I didn't even try him on the potty until he was 8 weeks old, it's not really a fair comparison.

Well, I'm starving. Time for lunch. I'm going to make my first attempt at grocery shopping today with you, so I had better get my act in gear. I did just discover how easy it is to nurse with you in the Ergo today, so that takes a load off my mind. If you need to eat all of a sudden, we can do it relatively discreetly while strolling down the canned goods aisle.

Boy, are you fussy right now. No more computer time for me, you need to MOVE!


February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

I am grateful today and every day for my loving husband Dan, who has impressed and amazed me in uncountable ways lately. Thank you for stepping up and totally being there for me, and for Julian, and for Adrian too.

Thank you for staying patient when I am losing it.
Thank you for doing dishes, and reading bedtime stories, and going out to get food.
Thanks for picking up my prescriptions, and for rocking a fussy baby during the witching hour.
Thanks for walking Bugs while carrying Julian's bike home for the millionth time.
Thanks for being sweet to me during all the times I've cried for no reason, or for many reasons.
Thank you for bringing me a glass of water or a piece of pizza when I need it.
Thank you for still making me feel pretty when I don't feel pretty at all.
Thank you for taking Julian out so that I can take a nap.

There are a million other things I could thank you for, but I think I've been on this damn computer way too long tonight.

Happy Valentine's Day, my love!

February 13, 2007

Happy 3rd Birthday, Julian!

My dear little firstborn, I can't believe you are three years old already!

Sorry that it hasn't been very exciting a day for you. I caught your cold and I'm feeling lousy, plus I haven't been getting much sleep lately due to your baby brother waking up at 3:00AM, and just when I get him asleep finally then it's time for you to get up. I'm not exactly a ray of morning sunshine when I see your cheery little face at 7:00am and you want to talk to me and kiss him nonstop. Sorry about that too.

I feel like a pretty bad mom to you lately, especially today on your birthday. I did manage to get you a pretty cool present, and you seem to like your new Fisher-Price digital camera a lot, but I don't have a party planned for you or anything. In my defense I can only say that the weather is crappy and rainy and cold, and most of your friends have colds, as do you and I both. If next weekend looks like it might be nice, I'll invite your favorite playmates to the playground for a little celebration, otherwise we may have to have a half-birthday party for you in July. That's not a bad idea, actually.

Well, I did get party hats and Elmo plates. We can eat dinner off those tonight, and I'll make cupcakes for you to blow out the candles on. You can help me, I know you love to cook.

I know you adore your baby brother, but I'm sorry that I don't have more time for just *you*. I love him, but I feel bad having to constantly excuse myself to soothe him, pick him up, change his diaper, nurse him, etc. I don't get nearly enough time to hold you on my lap and cuddle and kiss you anymore.

Poor baby. First I get pregnant and I have to stop carrying you, and now I barely even get time to hold you as much as I want to. I hope that one day you will be playing happily with your little brother and it will all be worth it for you. Already you have been remarkably generous about sharing your Mama with a baby who you just met and can't even play with. Well, you stroke and kiss him, but we have even had to curtail that with all the colds going around. I felt horrible not letting you touch your brother when you're sick, but I'm his mama too, and he's still so little, and he *just* got over a cold right after coming home from the hospital after being in the NICU for five days.

That was hard on all of us, all that coughing and snuffling and gasping at night, and you asking me, "what's the matter with him, Mama?" You were sick and feeling awful yourself with these past two colds since your brother arrived, and you had to listen to us lecturing you non-stop to wipe your nose, wash your hands, cover your cough, stop sneezing, don't touch, don't kiss, don't hug. Instead of getting babied when you're feeling icky, you get lectured and isolated. It's not your fault for getting a cold, I know that. I'm not sure what else to do, we've had SO many colds this past winter, and all of them miserable. I'm just trying to keep them from getting spread around. It's not personal.

You're so smart and so funny and so handsome and wonderful in every way. I'm enormously proud of you. I really hope we can manage to keep our close connection intact as you become a big brother and grow up. It would break my heart if we didn't. I am thrilled that your Daddy has stepped in to fill the gaps, and your relationship with him has blossomed beautifully. It's lovely to see you two together. Just don't forget about your mama! I know you haven't.

Someday soon we'll all be able to play together, instead of Daddy and I taking turns parenting you while handing your baby brother off to one another like a football.

I'm glad you enjoy your friends, and school, and going to Grandma's house. I was hoping that you could have fun going to school more often while I catch up on sleep and work and all that other stuff, but I'm a little worried about you picking up colds there, quite frankly. I guess we'll just have to play it by ear. If I get too tired and sick, I'm not a very good mama to you.

Well, again I have to cut things short, your brother is fussing and it's time to lay down and try to take a nap before you come home from Grandma's house. Yes, Daddy and I sent you off at lunchtime on your birthday today. You were driving us both crazy by hitting the dog and being contrary. No wonder, no one was playing with you, and you've probably reached your limit of self-entertainment.

Oh well, I'm sure you had a much better time with Grandma riding your bike at the playground than you would staying home for yet another day with me, especially when I'm tired and sick like this.

The bottom line is that I love you with all my heart, you wonderful boy. Happy 3rd birthday. Sorry we couldn't do more to celebrate today, but I promise I'll make it up to you. It will still be your birthday season for a while after all, and I'm a big believer in looooong birthday celebration periods!


Bad V-Day gift ideas

This is hysterical, it's an list of items that you *shouldn't* consider giving for Valentine's Day.

Bad Gift Ideas

The funniest ones are near the bottom, so keep scrolling down and check them all out.

February 10, 2007

Baby smiles

Adrian woke up all snuffly this morning, poor baby. I hosed his nose with saline solution and took him in the other room for nursing so that he didn't wake up Julian with his fussing.

His nose cleared out eventually, and I was holding him to me and cooing at him what a beautiful baby he is, how sweet, how much his mama loves him, planting little kisses on his head and cheeks.

He started smiling, a one-side-of-the-mouth smile at first, then a full smile. The more I cooed at him, the more he smiled, and then he actually gave a chuckle! Then he cuddled up to my chest and held me with one little hand, closed his eyes and went to sleep, still smiling.


February 07, 2007

Preschool days

I am slowly venturing out of the house into the world again. It's pretty hectic. I've been practicing with trips to the local playground, and taking Julian to preschool. Nothing too stressful.

The trip to preschool is kind of a pain, because it's literally just 6-7 blocks away. Not close enough to walk with Adrian yet (and I don't have time in the morning anyway), but putting him in his carseat for 6-7 blocks and then taking him out again right away is a hassle.

Adrian is giving Julian status at school though. When I show up for pickups and dropoffs with Adrian, the kids all crowd around me, "A baby! A baby! Can I see him? Can I touch him?"

I just smile and say, "He's Julian's baby." And secretly think, "No way in hell are you getting those virus-laden little paws on my baby, kids. We've been through enough illness lately, thanks."
They *are*'s not their fault they are so germy.

Yesterday was Julian's first full day at preschool. He did great and even took a nap there. I figured out that he will do just about anything as long as there are accessories involved. For example, taking a nap at school was exciting for him because he got to bring in a pillow, blanket and sheet for his mat. Going to a new classroom with a new teacher was fine because Daddy bought him a new Thomas the Train backpack, and he already had a Thomas the Train lunchbox. The kid is already way clued into retail therapy. But it seems to work just fine, so I'm not complaining. It's not like he needs diamonds and gold or anything, the kid is excited about a blue flannel crib sheet.

Adrian and I arrived yesterday to find Julian out on the playground riding a tricycle. Adrian was actually awake for a change, and looking around at everything from his sling. Kids were clustering around, clamoring to touch him and see him.

When Julian and I made it out of the throng, he said, "Baby Brother LIKES my school."
"Yes, he does. He's excited for when he gets to be big like you, and he can go to school too", I said.
"Yeah, and he'll have TEETH then!" said Julian.

My boy cracks me up.

Adrian had his first fussy day yesterday. He fussed all night long the night before, and fussed all day yesterday. If I wasn't holding him, he fussed. In fact, if he wasn't latched onto a nipple, he fussed. Then he unlatched, barfed, and started up fussing again.

It was a long day. A very long day. I had all kinds of grand plans for what to do while Julian was in preschool for six hours straight, but in the end about all I did was sit around and nurse Adrian, and ask him what was making him so fussy.

By 6:30pm or so I was at my wit's end. Fuss, fuss, fuss. In desperation, I swaddled his ass up TIGHT, hoping to calm him down. He usually won't let me swaddle his arms, but I strapped them down and swaddled them too. Just his head was poking out of the top.

"He's a burrito!" said Julian.
"Let's hope he's a NON-FUSSING burrito", said Mama.

Well, he seemed kind of mad about being swaddled up like that, but within 5 minutes or so he totally chilled out. He was biting at the edge of his blanket, so I gave him his pacifier (he was already tanked up on milk and I didn't want him barfing) and that put him into La-la land. I propped him up on the couch and let Julian hold him, which was easy in his burrito form. I took about a thousand photos of the two of them together, they were so cute, and J was THRILLED to be able to hold and kiss Adrian at will.

Still calm, Adrian sucked his pacifier and blissed out in his bouncy seat. Not a single fuss out of him for almost two hours. He slept pretty well all that night too, except that it was too hot for him with the blanket swaddling him, and he got sweaty and fussy around 4:00am. I really need to work on swaddling without Velcro. It's so hard to get the damn blanket wrapped tightly, and then make it stay that way.

Today he was calm again. Whew. I was really worried that my mellow sweet baby had gone colicky or something. But I guess it was just a blip, and the swaddling worked OK, so there's one tool in my toolbox at least.

Adrian was three weeks old yesterday. I can't believe it has been that long, but I already don't remember very well what it was like before he came along.

Today I planned on napping while J was off with Perri (our babysitter, who sometimes takes J to Starbucks or the pet store instead of to the park, but I guess as long as they're both happy and he's not taking up on sugar it's all OK). I was super-tired, but I had a to-do list a mile long. I was just going to knock off a few things before laying down to sleep for a bit, but then one of my tasks turned into a two-hour ordeal.

Scammers are still after my grandmother, so I had to disconnect her current phone service, have the referral message give my phone number so that I can screen all callers and only give the new number out to friends and family, then start new service for her under a new unlisted number. That took forever.

Then I had to call my grandmother's caregiver to discuss how she has recently lost 10 pounds and her doctor thinks she needs full-time care.

After all that babysitting time was over. Sigh.

Oh damn. Julian's nose was running tonight, but I just thought it was leftover from the LAST cold, which darkened our doorstep less than two weeks ago. Now he just woke up screaming and crying and coughing and runny-nosed, so looks like the Enemy is in our house again. Goddamnit. I am so fucking sick and tired of cold viruses destroying our health and happiness. Will spring ever come?

February 02, 2007

the Upside

Getting dinner ready, originally uploaded by mslaura.

My lovely cousin Chandra is expecting her first bundle of joy, and commented on my last post:
"Oh good lord! Thanks for giving me something to look forward to :)"

Well the good news is, you can also look forward to:

Sweet-smelling fuzzy baby head to kiss
Adorable baby smiles
Funny nursing expressions
Cute little baby bird noises, squeaks, etc.
Velvety soft baby skin
Being the absolute center of the universe to an amazing little creature that you made yourself!

Seriously, you will love your baby so darned's just crazy. And impossible to anticipate.

With both J and A, I was excited to be pregnant but when they came out...whoa!!!! Super love blast! And I was never really very into babies at all, never played with baby dolls or anything like that. But your own baby is just an amazing, amazing gift. You'll see! It's sappy Hallmark bursts of gooey, sticky love times 1000.

Kid number two is more hectic, but it's even sweeter baby-wise because you're already a mama and you know what to do (plus you already own all the stuff you need, very little shopping to do). There is a whole lot less anxiety and freaking out and a lot more calmness and relaxed enjoyment.

Well, there is for me anyway...Adrian is about as mellow a baby as they come. As long as he is being held and has a full tummy, he is a very happy camper. This time around I have a collection of great baby carriers, and if I need to put him down I have my rockin' bouncy seat (shown in pic), so the right gear makes a huge difference.

I can't imagine how mothers function without a good baby carrier....what do they do? I wear Adrian around for most of the day and he is happy as a clam, while I have my hands free to do other stuff. It's always nice to sit and hold him in my arms too, but not too practical to do that all day long. Baby carriers are the perfect solution. I am using my wraps (both velour and cotton), my Ergo with infant insert (easiest on my back by far), and my Kangaroo Korner fleece pouch, which is hard on my back but easiest to slip on and off. Good for short little babywearing sessions.

I was stressed about having two kids, but now I mostly feel rich, like I have a million dollars in the bank. Two beautiful healthy boys! When I am snuggling them both in my arms and Julian is kissing his baby brother, I just feel crazy lucky. Not that it's not hard sometimes, it most definitely is.

But what a payoff! Sweet kisses, early morning heart-to-hearts while cuddling in bed, playing games, tickling, belly laughs.

I feel tremendously lucky to have Dan too. The only thing better than enjoying my children is enjoying them with the person who helped me make them! Family life is very satisfying.

Of course, when the kids are both sleeping and Dan and I can talk without being interrupted, just hang out and enjoy one another's company, that's definitely time that I look forward to, each and every night.

On that note, both kids are sleeping now, so off I go...

February 01, 2007

When things get challenging...

This just happened to me, it's a good example of the kinds of situations I'm finding myself in as a new mom of two.

I suddenly realize that I have to pee.

Julian is running around chasing the dog with my Pikstik grabber. I yell at him to stop, but then I remember how Bugs barreled past him the other day and knocked him over, so I reconsider. Bugs probably deserves it.

I go in the bathroom and realize the challenge ahead of me. I am wearing Adrian in the Ergo carrier on my front, which is sort of a barrier to undressing to begin with, but I also am wearing a MOST unfriendly set of garments for someone who needs to pull her pants down.

Apart from the baby strapped to my chest, I am wearing:
1) A pair of maternity pants. No biggie there...
2) My industrial strength girdle, complete with hook-and-eye crotch. Challenging to undo even when I don't have a baby strapped to me.
3) The most challenging: fishnet hotpants that are holding a maternity-sized menstrual pad to my body. These are pulled up past my navel, so once I manage to unsnap my girdle I will have to reach way up inside it to pull the fishnet hotpants down.

I tried a regular pad in regular underwear (and tampons too), but it just wasn't doing the job. I had 4-5 nasty leaks before deciding to go back to the fishnet-hotpants-with-supersize-maternity-pad system. If it's good enough for me when I'm in the hospital, I'll bet it will work just fine at home too. And guess what, it does!

I will be very, very sad when I run out of hospital pads and/or fishnet hotpants. I'm realizing that I should have really stocked way up on this stuff when I was in the hospital. Then again, I'm not planning on bleeding like a stuck pig FOREVER or anything, but it would be helpful.

Realizing how many layers of difficulty I have to deal with just to PEE makes me have to pee ten times worse. Now all of a sudden it's a really urgent situation instead of just something that seemed like a good idea.

I start pulling down, unhooking, fishing around, unsnapping. With much snagging of hooks on fishnet, I do manage to get my crotch finally exposed enough to be able to sit on the toilet. I even manage to avoid dropping the supersize pad in the toilet, which was my frustrating event du jour when I was in the hospital.

I sit down and pee. Hooray! And then...the doorbell rings.

Bugs explodes in a frenzy of barking. Goddamn that dog! Julian starts in too.
"Mama, who is at the door! Can I OPEN the door?"
"No, you cannot open the door! Wait until I get my pants up!"

Shit, shit. I yank up the fishnet hotpants, hoping that the pad is somewhere close to where it should be. I miraculously hook the girdle closed somehow. Then I pull my pants up, pull down my sweater, and hope that I don't have underwear (or a semi-used pad) hanging out inappropriately somewhere.

Julian is waiting next to the door with baited breath. He was going through a most unpleasant phase where he was actually opening the door whenever the doorbell rang, but we cured him of that in a BIG hurry, I assure you. (After having Julian answer the door with me undressed, or nursing his baby brother, or going to the bathroom, for example). So now he just yells out, "Mama! Someone's at the door! Mama! Someone's at the door!"

There is no hope of ever pretending that I'm not home again. If the Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses come by, we are really screwed.

I open the door and find...NOBODY!
Oh but wait, there *is* a lovely bag of tasty treats left outside the door!

My fabulous moms' group has been bringing us food regularly and this was the latest delivery. So there was definitely a happy ending, but the process itself was a bit rough.

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