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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We work hard, we play hard!

Single parenting...

Biodiesel baby!

Poltergeist

Bikers on crack

The Baby Man

The baby is clean...

Halfway done mulching

Post-partum chub

Bodily fluids

You're a girl now!

Golden

Julian's 3rd birthday party

Nappers

Why yes...I DO have my hands full.

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March 29, 2007

We work hard, we play hard!


This is my favorite Simpsons episode, where Homer thinks that Bart is gay, so he takes him out to a steel mill to show him a bunch of "real" men. Hys*ter*ical.

Single parenting...

...SUCKS ASS!

I think I mentioned before that Dan has to go out of town every two weeks for three days at a time. So every other Wednesday - Saturday really bites the big one for me.

Last time he left...well, I forget what happened, but I do remember crying hysterically on the phone to him. Blocked it out already, I suppose. The skylight broke over Julian's head while he was taking a bath, but that didn't make me cry. It was something else. Now I can't remember.

I just had another crying breakdown the day before Dan left, so I was really not looking forward to this trip. Julian was acting like a real brat, Adrian was screaming his lungs out, and I was in the first awful throes of an icky, miserable cold. Horrors.

But Dan had to go, and off he went. And it hasn't been *too* bad so far.

After my meltdown the other night I resolved to just try to be more zen about this parenting gig. Adrian is going to scream sometimes, Julian is going to act up sometimes, and it doesn't help for me to lose my mind over it. I just need to stay calm, not yell, and remember that this too shall pass. The kids are not out to get me, they are just little and need my help. I'm the grownup here. Breathe.....

So I have been pretty good. After I discovered the missing keycap incident I thought for sure Julian had done it, but then I stayed cool, asked him about it, and then asked him to go play in his room for a while. I did utter quite a few choice expletives once he was safely out of earshot, but then I figured out that Bugs might have done it. Which still pissed me off...the damn "e" key out of ALL the keys! It's killing my finger as we speak, pressing the nub that is left every time I need an "e", which is like, every other letter in written English.

But I did calm down and I didn't yell directly at anyone. Good for me.

Last night I got everyone bathed and fed on time, but then just as we got into bed to read Julian a bedtime story Adrian started screaming. Like, a BLOODCURDLING scream that permanently damaged the remaining hearing in my left ear. It was absolutely DEAFENING. I don't know what was going on with him. Gas? He hasn't screamed like that in a while, but he hadn't pooped in two days either.

So I had to put off bedtime until I could get the screaming under control. I walked him around and patted him and bounced him and swaddled him up tight and dosed him with anti-gas stuff and gripe water and probiotics and nursed him. Finally something worked and he stopped screaming. But by then Julian and I were frazzled and it was an hour an a half after bedtime.

So that sucked ass big time. I am so not into single parenting. I have no idea how people do it. One kid? Maybe. Two? Might as well prefill a prescription for anti-psychotic drugs.

Tonight was much better. I got everyone fed, then I put Julian in the bathtub while I went to go take a shower. I put Adrian in the bouncy seat by the shower, and he did scream for a while, but the water noise kind of drowned it out. Then he got tired and stopped screaming. Sorry kiddo, but after the pee and poop and snot exposure today I NEEDED a shower.

I threw on my nightgown, grabbed Adrian, went and got Julian out, dried him off, put on his jammies, and told him to pick out some books. Meanwhile I got Adrian all cleaned up and diapered and swaddled, nursed him, and put him in his swing. It was still an hour and a half after regular bedtime, but at least there was no screaming.

With Adrian in the swing, I went back to Julian, read him two books, cuddled him, sang him some lullabies and got him to sleep. Then I got up and came back out to find Adrian squeaking in his swing. Awake! But the swing keeps knocking him back out.

Anyway, one more day. Dan gets home tomorrow, late. I have one entire day with no preschool and no babysitter to get through. Then one more bedtime, and then I have a reprieve for two more weeks.

Must stay zen. Let the screaming wash over me like ocean waves on the shore. This too shall pass. The kids are not out to get me, they are just little and need my help. I'm the grownup here. Breathe.....oommmmmmmm.

Biodiesel baby!

We are getting a new car on Saturday, if all goes well.

I thought that we could handle two kids and a dog in the Civic for a while, but um...we can't. It's fine if it's just me and the kids, but when Dan comes along it's uncomfortable. Adrian's carseat is long, so the passenger seat is practically pulled up to the windshield. Unless the passenger is a legless human torso, the passenger is not happy.

And even less so with a dog on his/her lap, which is the only place for Bugs to ride when he comes along. Did I mention that Bugs is a terrible car dog? He insists on STANDING, first of all, so here is this dog who must STAND on your lap. And then he fidgets, and freaks out if the road is curvy. So just imagine being wedged into this seat with no legroom, your forehead practically resting against the windshield, and holding a wildly clawing dog on your lap who won't sit down. THAT'S why we need a new car.

We were going to wait for some kind of hybrid station wagon or minivan to come out, but who even knows when that will be. And I'm not settling for one of those "hybrid SUVs" that get like, 20 miles per gallon. What the hell's the point?

There is a beauty of a hybrid minivan out in Japan right now. It has tons of cargo space and gets fantastic gas mileage. But it will probably take forever to arrive here, and when it does it will be so beefed up that it will probably be a 25 MPG waste of time like all the others.

So in the meantime we are going for the best option currently available, which is the 2005 VW Passat Wagon. It's not hybrid, it's one of those new clean super-efficient diesels that get an average of 38 MPG, and we can run it on biodiesel. There is even a biodiesel filling station here in San Jose.

I'm trading in my Hybrid Civic. The dealership is all the way in Petaluma though, a 2 hour drive. With two kids in the car, one potentially screaming at high volume. Ugh. And then we have to sit at the dealership while they inspect my car and do the sale paperwork. Several hours. I'm considering just sending Dan, because this trip does not sound fun in the least.

But it will be nice to have a new car, especially one that sips gas. Bugs gets his own spot. And I get heated seats!

Poltergeist

Two mysteries...

Two weeks ago I was giving Julian a bath when suddenly I heard a loud BOOM. I heard cracking overhead, looked up and saw that the skylight over the bathtub had completely shattered. Luckily it was safety glass, so it stayed intact and didn't rain down on my child's naked BODY, but still!

I ran outside to see what might have caused it. Nothing. No branch falling, no kids playing ball. We had the contractor working on our backyard go up there to take out the broken glass and replace it and he said he didn't find anything either. No dead bird, no ball, no branch. So it remains a mystery.

Yesterday, the second mystery. I took Julian and Adrian to the playground to hang out with friends in the morning, and when we got home there were these weird Microsoft Navigator menu windows up on my laptop. I thought maybe I had a virus, or someone was accessing my machine remotely, but then I saw that the "e" key was missing from my keyboard! Like someone had pried it off with a butter knife or something...very bizarre. And of course it has to be the MOST commonly used letter. Of course.

Julian might have pushed some buttons, but he knows better than to pry keys off my keyboard. Besides, I asked him and he said he didn't do it, and he's not yet at the age where he knows how to lie about that stuff to avoid getting in trouble.

The only thing that I could imagine was that Bugs had gotten up on the counter and stepped on my keyboard, then gotten his claw stuck and pulled the key cap off. But then it should be right next to the laptop, and I couldn't find it anywhere. Today I found it all the way across the room under the table.

Utterly bizarre.

March 27, 2007

Bikers on crack

I rode a motorcycle for the first time at 18, and for many years it was my main form of transportation.

In San Francisco a car is nothing but an expensive hassle. There's nowhere to park, traffic sucks, and you get ticketed almost every day if you don't have a garage to stash your car in. But a motorcycle is freedom, mobility and FUN!

In San Francisco I split traffic like you see these fools doing, but I couldn't blaze through stoplights like they do. I did wedge through tiny little cracks between cars though. My side mirrors sometimes scraped the sides of buses. But i knew just how wide I was, and what I could get away with. Some of the shots in the video above made my palms sweat...those traffic slots are soooo narrow!

I stopped riding five years ago, after a minor accident on the way home from work. A car pulled out of nowhere on a blind curve, right in front of me. I jammed on my brakes and went down on my right side, whacking my shoulder. I rode home all full of adrenaline and freaking out, and when I saw Dan I burst into tears, got hysterical, and that was the end of an era.

We were leaving on a trip to Italy just a few days later and I couldn't even lift my suitcase. My shoulder hurt for a long time. I realized that I wasn't 18 anymore, and I was driving a vehicle where the mere act of trying to stop quickly could cause me to wipe out and get hurt.

Plus, there's really no joy, no advantage in riding here in suburbia. There's plenty of parking, and I can use the carpool lane with my hybrid car, or simply by virtue of always traveling with one or more children.

But when I'm in San Francisco I get frustrated with being trapped in a car. I get all itchy to ride a motorcycle again. It's just so darned much FUN. Crazy maybe, but a blast. Nothing beats doing jumps off the Jones St. Hill!

March 25, 2007

The Baby Man


The Baby Man, originally uploaded by mslaura.

Don't fuck with the Baby Man. He will mess you up good if you even think about making fun of his Nub.

The baby is clean...


The baby is clean., originally uploaded by mslaura.

...but the dishes are very, very dirty.

March 24, 2007

Halfway done mulching


Halfway done mulching, originally uploaded by mslaura.

It's that time of year...time to fertilize and mulch the bamboo. This year I used something called Dr. Earth's, it's an organic fertilizer. And then shredded cedar bark on top to keep the moisture in.

Dan did all the work this year. He's my groundskeeper now, since I can't do much gardening with a baby strapped on my front.

Post-partum chub

I got so ripped off this time around.

Last pregnancy I gained SEVENTY pounds. When I got out of the hospital after the Home Birth Gone Wrong scenario went down, I had lost 35 pounds already. In like, three days! I didn't lose a single pound after that until six months post-partum, then all of a sudden those stubborn 25 pounds of extra junk in my trunk melted off.

This time around I gained forty pounds total. I thought I had it made. I was patting myself on the back for doing such a great job keeping my pregnancy weight gain to a nice high-end-of-normal amount this time.

If I lost 35 pounds right out of the hospital, then this time I would only have five pounds of excess chub to lose. And how easy was that? Five pounds...who would even notice? Sweet!

Well, it did not turn out that way. I got home from the hospital this time and I had lost 13 pounds. That's it! So I still have 27 pounds to lose, which means that even though I gained THIRTY POUNDS LESS than I did last time, I am actually fatter now.

I can't figure out what happened. The only possible explanation is that I was in labor for three days last time around. Not eating or drinking. Breathing like a steam engine. Screaming. That's quite a workout. It's more than that, it's like an extreme crash diet.

This time around I was pinned to a table for a half an hour of paralysis. Then I had broth and Jello for one day, and resumed eating three squares with relish. The hospital food was pretty good, and the fact that someone else was cooking and doing the dishes made it delicious.

Since then I've lost 4-5 pounds, but the neddle is pretty much stuck. I'm trying to remember how last time around I was jogging, walking, lifting weights and STILL not a pound melted off until the 6 month mark. At 2 months I should not feel discouraged. There's nothing more to be done right now except eat healthy foods in smaller amounts and stay active.

But man, I would really like to get back into my clothing. The saggy maternity wear is really getting old. The sausage-casing fit of my fattest fat clothes is not appealing either. Sweatpants are not appropriate for every occasion, after all.


Bodily fluids

Being a mother to small children generally means being covered in their bodily fluids.I am SO over it. I can't wait until everyone can keep their damn bodily fluids to themselves, or at least get them in the proper receptacle at all times.

It's only 11:00am and I already have had direct bodily contact with the following:
Pee
Poop
Snot
Spit-up

Like, literally I have had it ON me. Not on my shirt, but on my hand, or on my shoulder, or in my hair. Direct skin contact. And the best part is that I don't see a shower in my future until late this afternoon, at best.

A childless male friend of ours was over the other day and we were discussing Adrian's flushable gDiapers. (Yessiree, scintillating conversation over at our house. A regular salon, it is...)

I was describing the process by which you flush the diaper insert. First you have to tear the edge off, then you empty the fluffy pulp inside into the toilet, stir it to break up lumps, and flush.

Our friend was horrified..."You mean, you have to touch the poopy diaper? What if you get some on your hands?"

I thought of the previous day, when Adrian had mysteriously gone two days without pooping. He suddenly pooped while sitting on my lap, and the force and volume was so great that it gushed out the leg of the diaper and flowed onto my pants in a viscous, mustardy stream.

"Yeah well, no matter what happens you will get poop on you at some point. That's just part of the joy of babies and small children. It's gross, but you sort of get over it."

Although I'm not really over it. I don't flip out or anything, but I don't exactly LOVE it either, if you know what I mean. I still think "ICK" every single time. Or I just say it out loud.

A friend came over with her 9 month old baby when I was pregnant with Julian. He spit up a little bit on the couch and I was horrified. I thought that was the most disgusting thing. He had a little bit dribbling out of his mouth afterwards and I was completely grossed out.

HA! I have literally been SOAKED in baby barf. Had it all down my front, my back, and in my hair too. Well, it is MY baby. That makes a difference. It's also MY breastmilk that he's spitting up, but I don't relish being soaked in my own bodily fluids either. Secondhand it's even worse.

The other night I woke up to check on Adrian and discovered him in a sopping wet diaper that had soaked the whole pad underneath him. The volume of pee that can come out of one small 14 pound baby is absolutely astounding.

I got up, changed his diaper and his clothing, swapped out the pad for a clean dry one, changed MY nightgown (which had gotten wet from laying next to him) and took him back to bed.

Just as I was thinking how great it felt to lie back down and be dry again, I reached over to give Julian a pat and discovered that HE had soaked his Pull-Up and was also laying in a puddle of pee on a soaked pad. Ugh, DAMN it! So I got him up, got his nightgown off, pulled off his wet diaper, swapped out the wet pad, and luckily Adrian slept through the whole thing.

A few nights later I switched to cloth for Julian, as part of my campaign to stop using disposable diapers, training pants, etc. He gets much more uncomfortable at night if he pees in them, so he's more likely to wake up and ask to use the potty, instead of peeing in his sleep.

Well, he DID wake up and ask to go potty. I was so thrilled. I stripped off his diaper and he peed on his potty. When we went back to bed, I left him nakeybutt, since he typically just pees once at night and then is dry until morning.

Ha, but not THIS morning. I woke up around 5:00am to a soaking wet back. Julian was laying in bed facing me, and had peed a stream right onto the back of my nightgown. I was soaked, the bed pad was soaked. His nightgown was still miraculously dry.

Sigh...very trying times. I am really, really, really tired of being peed on. Since then I practically wrap an entire bath towel around the lower halves of both kids at night. Then add some sort of waterproof layer on top. And encourage midnight peeing on the potty. We haven't had any major pee leaks since then, but that's probably just luck. I am REALLY glad that I bought a big stash of these bedpads, because otherwise I could have really had a disaster and had to change sheets and stuff.

Anyway, it does get better, but I am still waiting eagerly for the day that everyone can keep their pee, poop, snot and barf to themselves. I'm sure there will be a downside to not getting snotty kisses anymore or wet nighttime embraces, but right now I'm looking forward to being dry and clean most of the time.

In the meantime, I'm grateful for baby wipes and perfume.

You're a girl now!

The other day I had on earrings and Julian looked at me, surprised.

"Mommy you're a girl now!"

"I'm a girl now? What do you mean?"

"You have earrings!"

"Mommies don't wear earrings?"

"No, a GIRL wears earrings."

"So am I still a Mommy now?"

"No, you're a GIRL now, not a Mommy."

Interesting. Anything that makes me look prettier also makes me less of a mommy.

March 14, 2007

Golden


Golden, originally uploaded by mslaura.

Adrian passed out on the sheepskin rug.

March 13, 2007

Julian's 3rd birthday party


Yay!, originally uploaded by mslaura.

We had Julian's 3rd birthday party at his favorite park/playground, with his favorite friends. Here he has just blown out the candles on his cake.

Nappers


Nappers, originally uploaded by mslaura.

Why yes...I DO have my hands full.


Why yes...I DO have my hands full., originally uploaded by mslaura.

How did you guess?

The Smiler and the Little Old Man


The Smiler and the Little Old Man, originally uploaded by mslaura.

Children of a retailer


Children of a retailer, originally uploaded by mslaura.

Poor things, sleeping in a car crammed full of Carseat Travelmates.

His head is fuzzy...


His head is fuzzy, originally uploaded by mslaura.

...and very kissable.

Puppetry


Puppetry, originally uploaded by mslaura.

Dan had Adrian in a football hold, trying to ease his gas.
It totally looked like he had his arm up our baby's butt.

Hiking family


Hiking family, originally uploaded by mslaura.

This is us on my first hiking outing since I was 5-6 months pregnant. Adrian's first hike ever! He is on my back in the Ergo. See that dark blue peak? That's his hoodie.

Yummy Chub


Yummy Chub, originally uploaded by mslaura.

I think he's up to 13 pounds or more now.

March 08, 2007

Getting to know you...

1. What is your occupation??
Web designer, retailer, business owner, mother, wife

2. What color are your socks right now ??
No socks, I'm wearing flip-flops. I just got a pedicure. Yay!

3. How many kids do you have??
Two: Julian (3 years) and Adrian (7 weeks)

4. What was the last thing that you ate?
Some licorice candies.

5. Can you drive a stick shift??
Yep. My first two cars were stick.

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be??
Cornflower blue

7. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
AJ

8. Do you like the person who sent this to you??
Duh!

9. How old are you today?
Thirty-seven.

10. Favorite drink:
Arnold Palmer: half iced tea, half lemonade. I also like grapefruit soda, watered down a little.

11. What is your favorite sport to watch?
Snowboarding.

12. Have you ever dyed your hair???
Yes. Light blonde, dark ash blonde, fiery red, highlights, lowlights.

13. Favorite food?
Stone crab claws

14. What was the last movie you watched at the cinema?
A Scanner Darkly

15. Favorite travel destination?
Around Naples and Sicily. The Aeolian Islands, Capri, etc.

16. What do you do to vent anger??
Bitch, moan, complain, clean, exercise.

17. What was your favorite toy as a child?
Barbie or Monopoly

18. Most Missed Memory ?
Windsurfing in Florida, sailing there to all the little islands.

19. What is your favorite fall or spring?
Definitely Spring!

20. Hugs or kisses?
Hugs, more physical.

21. Cherries or Blueberry??
Blueberries.

22. Do you want your friends to email you back??
If they like.

23. Who is most likely to respond?
Erika or Mom

24. Do you like where you live?
Yep!

25. When was the last time you cried??
Every day for two weeks post-partum.

26. What is on the floor of your closet??
Kimonos, some ill-fitting maternity clothing, old purses and belts

27. Who is the friend you have known the longest that you are sending this to??
Not sure who will end up reading it.

28. What did you do last night??
Made burgers and salad, took a shower, gave Adrian a bath, talked to Dan, went to bed.

29. Favorite smells??
Narcissus. Gardenia. Cookies. Dan's neck. Adrian's head.

30. What inspires you??
Hearing tales of what others have done. Natural beauty.

31. What are you afraid of??
Sickness, old age, death.

32. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburger ?
Cheddar cheese.

33. Favorite dog breed??
Whippet/lab mix.

34. Number of keys on your key ring?
One. I lost my house key ages ago.

35. How many years at your current job??
I have owned The Portable Baby since June of 2005

36. Favorite day of the week?
Friday. It's so exciting....the whole weekend lies ahead, and it's a night to let loose and party.

37. How many states have you lived in?
California, Florida, Connecticut and Spain.

38. Favorite book?
Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice

39. Ever driven a Motorcycle or heavy machinery?
I rode a motorcycle for 17 years. Then I had a crash and I gave it up. Heavy machinery? I have piloted large boats before, does that count?

40. Who's your favorite NFL team???
I hate football.

41. Do you have a house phone that is NOT cordless?
No.

42. 10 inches of snow or 100 degree weather??
100 degrees.

43. What is your favorite thing to listen to?
My son Julian laughing, being told that I am loved.

March 04, 2007

Off switch

Someone hit the off switch on Adrian's screaming Friday. I don't know if it was the probiotics I gave him in the morning, or my dairy-free diet kicking in, or some developmental phase ending, or all of the above, or none of the above.

I know it wasn't the Pepcid, because I hadn't given that to him yet. Apart from that, I don't know much. I just know that he screamed for maybe two weeks straight (lost track of time), all day and during the night too. I know that I forgot what it was like before the screaming began. I forgot what HE was like before the screaming began. I remembered that he *was* mellow at some point, but it was all very fuzzy in my head.

Friday morning was a low point. Dan had been gone for three days and I was *barely* hanging in there, clinging to sanity by a thread. I promised Julian that I would take him to the playground. The weather was finally sunny and warmer, and he was absolutely wild with excess energy.

Unfortunately Adrian was in full scream mode. Even holding him and bouncing him and shhhhhing him was having no effect. I had to put him down in order to put on my clothes, but then the screaming was so bad that I couldn't concentrate on getting dressed. I just stood in my closet paralyzed, listening to him scream. Finally I burst into tears, then went and got some of Dan's earplugs and put them in.

I could still hear the screaming of course, but it wasn't quite so intense with the earplugs in. Then Julian came in and started trying to soothe Adrian by kissing him. I got the bright idea of having Julian hold Adrian in the bed. Not really hold him, but sit back against pillows and have Adrian lean back against him.

It worked! At least for a few minutes, until the novelty wore off for both of them. Adrian started screaming again, then Julian lost interest. But by that time I had my clothes on and had even brushed my teeth. So it was OK. I packed a lunch for us and we took off for the park.

Adrian slept the whole time at the playground in my velour wrap. Julian was having a blast playing with two 4-year-old twin girls. The weather was lovely after days of rain and cold, and being outside in the sunshine was definitely giving my mood a boost.

I was pushing Julian on the swings and one twin was pushing the other next to us. They had on matching pink and purple outfits.

The pushing twin suddenly asked me, "Are you married?
"Yes," I said.
"To who?"
"To Julian's daddy."
"Oh. That's a BIG diamond on your finger."

Hysterical! What four year old notices diamonds?

Anyway, it was getting close to 2:00pm, when Dan's mom Ida was supposed to come over and help me with the kids. SInce we were having such a good time at the park, I called her and suggested that she come down and take over with Julian there, while I went home with Adrian to take a nap.

It was all looking good until Ida arrived to take over, then Julian was suddenly struck down by a massive attack of trapped gas and lay screaming on the grass clutching his stomach. He was also overtired from going to bed late the night before (a whole story in itself) and then waking up early the next morning.

So that was a bust. Julian was plagued with massive gas pains all afternoon, so then HE was the screamer. I barely even noticed the fact that Adrian was calming down. Good thing that Ida was there to help me!

Dan came home that afternoon, so he put Julian to bed that night while I hung out with Adrian. Silence in the house! Adrian smiled and cooed at me. That's right, SMILED AND COOED. I could hardly believe it. It was actually a pleasure to have a little baby for a change, he was so cute and adorable. Who could tell with all that screaming?

So I played with him all evening. We gazed at each other and he made happy little noises. He made the same exact cooing noise that Julian made as a newborn baby, "Ho, ho, ho." And even a thrilled squeal here and there. Wow!

Of course I was over the moon at having a normal happy baby for a change, but it also made me sad to realize that he must have really been in pain this whole time. And here I am, helpless and useless. Putting in earplugs to drown out his screams. Aargh. I mean, I held him and comforted him as much as I physically and mentally could, so I don't feel that bad, but still. Poor little baby.

Yesterday was Saturday. We went out and walked around downtown Los Gatos, and had lunch in the plaza park there. Adrian napped the entire time on my front in his wrap carrier. He was totally sacked out for at least 3-4 hours.

When we got home he woke up, was fairly happy again, then went back to sleep on my lap for 2-3 hours while Dan and I watched "AI", which was entertaining despite gaping plot holes big enough to drive a truck through. The presence of Jude Law as a robo-gigolo made up for everything though. I don't think he's all that sexy in real life, but he sure is a hottie in that flick. Hmm, I just read that he had a prosthetic jaw applied in that movie. Maybe that's why he looked so much better? Eye makeup helps too.

Big mistake to let Adrian sleep that much before bedtime. He woke up at 3:00am fussy as all get out. He wanted to be walked around with the light on so he could look around and stare at everything, but I didn't want him to wake up more, so I turned on the nightlight as a compromise and jiggled him in the bed without getting out of it. I was just too exhausted to move any more. I changed his diaper and that was that. No more walking for Mommy. Somewhere in the middle of his fussing I went back to sleep.

He woke up again at 6:00am, which was close enough to Julian's wakeup time to get HIM out of bed. This time Adrian was snuffling again, and breathing fast. I squirted some saline in his nose and a giant booger came out. Where in the hell did that come from? Is he still stuffy from the cold a zillion weeks ago? What is this nightly mucus thing? I cannot even begin to keep up.

Whose idea was it to have these kids anyways? It's either pure joy or a torment, nothing in between. Absolutely no middle ground.

So for today I don't know what to expect. Adrian has been somewhat fussy, but not as bad as previously. Not as calm as yesterday. He had a weird vinegar-smelling poop this morning. Not that that necessarily has ANYTHING to do with ANYTHING, but I'm noting all potential weirdness at this point. I'm just desperate for ways to chill him the fuck out.

Well, he has had his Pepcid, his gripe water, and his probiotics this morning. I stopped giving him iron, thinking that might be upsetting his tummy, but I should start back up soon before he gets too anemic again.

Right now he's napping in his swing. Julian finally stopped yammering right next to him and went in his room to do something. Probably set the house on fire, but at least he's quiet.

OK, must take advantage of this brief quiet spell to clean our disgusting kitchen and make some lunch. I'm attempting my first hike in a long time today this afternoon. I hope I don't completely poop out, but I want to get some exercise and get my strength back. I can't deal with these kids in my current flabby, weak state. It's too hard on my back and shoulders.

Next week I'm hoping to go back to my yoga class on Sunday. Dan got me my postpartum gift of a Timbuk2 yoga bag yesterday, so now I just need a new mat and I'm all set.

Off to chore.

March 01, 2007

Post from Shitville

Life is hard lately.

Adrian is still on his Screamfest2007 tour, poor baby. I took him to the pediatrician today for an evaluation and the doctor thinks he has reflux bad enough to prescribe medication. It's basically Pepcid for babies. It won't stop the acid reflux, but it will make it less acid.

His rash is most likely just baby acne + heat rash, so no worries there, except I guess I am putting too many clothes on him at night.

The doctor checked out his umbilical hernia and said it was acceptable, shouldn't be causing him any pain, but then he thought his groin looked a little swollen and he suspects an inguinal hernia as well. He referred me to a pediatric surgeon, then when I called the number today the guy has retired. So now I'm waiting for a second referral. The only upside is that if Adrian has an inguinal hernia, then they can repair his umbilical hernia at the same time. Oh joy.

So first we have a mystery stay in the NICU. Your baby is breathing fast-has low blood sugar-low calcium-anemia but we don't know why.

Now we have a mystery screamer. My baby is screaming or fussing almost every waking moment, but don't know why. Reflux is the best guess, but who knows? Can't tell until I get the medicine into him, but OF COURSE the fucking pharmacy is OUT of Pepcid for babies, so I can't pick it up until tomorrow afternoon.
Yes, I could have gone to another pharmacy, but if you had to go through getting a screaming infant in and out of a car and making additional trips with said screaming infant, you would understand why I thought hard and then nixed the idea. Right now I am wondering how I can avoid the car entirely and keep my travel radius down to a walkable mile or so. Might be possible if it weren't freezing cold and raining.

Did I mention that my back, neck and shoulders are all absolutely killing me from carrying, holding and jiggling a screaming baby all day and all night? I have worn myself out even with my baby carriers. The house is littered with baby swings and vibrating bouncy seats, but they only work for a short while before I have to pick him back up again.

I have moments where I consider just laying him down in his room, shutting the door and letting him cry in order to get a break, but given that crying makes reflux and hernias worse, it's probably not a great idea. At all.

On the plus side, he weighs 11 pounds, 7 ounces today, so at least he is rapidly gaining weight and growing.

I feel like I am losing weight at least, from my no-dairy, no-acidic-fruit diet plus all the baby jiggling. But not sure. My pants feel looser. I stopped drinking my morning tea too, which I really, really miss in my current state of sleep deprivation. I feel like I should do a real elimination diet and just eat turkey and potatoes for a few weeks to see if this misery is caused by my diet somehow. I guess I'll wait until I see if the Pepcid helps. Right now I feel like an all-tequila diet is the appropriate one for me, and I don't even like tequila. Jesus Christ.

Adding to MY misery are Dan being out of town and Julian acting up. I'm sure he's feeling my stress, poor little guy. He has been yelled at plenty lately. Thank god for preschool and Grandma!

The house is still a total wreck, but at least I got a shower yesterday when Grandma Ida came over to give me a break. Too bad Adrian barfed in my hair almost immediately afterwards. I have a stiff clumpy spot in back now. I've just been wearing it up in a bun. My new styling product....baby barf!

There's always the possibility that this fussiness is caused by a fast letdown on my part. My boobs are like firehoses lately. That could cause air swallowing. Or maybe it's nothing at all, just a phase. I doubt it, but I don't know what to think at this point. I'm just crossing days off on the calendar like a prisoner. As each day ends, Adrian gets a little bit older and this too shall eventually pass.

Man, I thought pregnancy was rough. Well, at least I can walk now. My current problem is that I can't sit down or else I get screamed at!

Time to go get Julian from preschool. It is not raining at the moment, so I'll take the stroller and walk there with Adrian . The fresh air will do us good and I can avoid another hellish trip in the car.


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