Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mt. Vesuvius?

Today was supposed to be an easy morning. I had an appointment at the optometrist, (and AUGH, I have an astigmatism! Stupid expensive contacts...) so I wasn't even HOME until ten! Evelyn is a particularly advanced creature, though, and managed to pack more mayhem into the next two hours than a whole rugby team on PCP. I'll keep it short for you, and only tell you about the HOUR it took to get her dressed.

So it was time to change her out of her sleeper, mostly because we've got tons of adorable outfits, and must wear at least two per day to go through them all before she outgrows them. I put her on her changing table, and during the 4.8 seconds that her l'il bottom was diaper free, she peed. Unfortunately, yesterday she did the same thing TWICE, so I was down to her last changing pad. No problem, today was laundry day. I managed to wedge her into her outfit despite her insistence on eating the darn thing, and we went into the living room to play, which lasted for literally two minutes until she started grunting like a grumpy gorilla. Being the good Mama that I am, I laid her down on her back so that things could move along, and hoo boy! move along they did. The kid exploded. Everywhere. Probably the biggest poop we've had in a month. (She may look like Alex, but...)

I plunked her on her last clean changing pad, and started scraping her down. (I figured another bath was in order when I saw she had gotten poo on both elbows and her leg.) While I was undressing her for her bath, she peed on her changing table. Again.

After her bath, I put her in her crib, but while she was (thankfully) still wrapped up in her towel, more pee! Seriously? I slapped a diaper on her before she could decorate her room any further, and went to get her dressed. Like I mentioned, it was laundry day, so the first onesie I grabbed had been way down in her pile and was too small. So was the second. At this point, I was worried about her getting cold*, so I brought her back over to the uncovered changing pad. The thing was, I had wiped it down, what with all the pooping and peeing from earlier, and it was still a little damp and uncovered. You'd be surprised to find that undressed Evelyn does NOT like being put on cold, wet, plastic-covered changing pads. Weird! So she howled, and I picked her up and managed to get her dressed in my lap while trying to soothe her.

Anyway, she recovered, I found some clothes that fit her, and then washed the poop off the couch. And then I stuffed her in the closet so that I could drink my bourbon in peace. What did YOU do this morning?

*You might be wondering, why not just wrap her in a blanket? HA! Why don't YOU try to pin a corsage to a tornado?

Monday, January 25, 2010


(This kid knows where it's at.)

Yesterday Alex was all like, "Don't give the baby an onion to play with!" Such a stick-in-the-mud, that one. I shall now present my argument for why an onion is actually a perfect baby toy.

1. It's blunt. No poking her eyes out with this sucker!
2. It's got fascinatingly crinkly, crackly skin.
3. It's about as cheap as baby toys get.
4. No lead paint!
5. Way too big to choke on.
6. If it becomes her lovey and she loses it, they're really easily replaceable.
7. It just might turn her onto a lifetime love of cooking, and then she can go on to win Top Chef, have a show on the Food Network, and become so rich that she can take care of us into our old age. And let's face it, this whole parenting thing is really all about not ending up in a home.

Take THAT, husband.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I think any parent will tell you that there are times that you question your decision to have kids, like when you've just walked into the grocery store and your angel starts wailing. Fortunately for the survival of our species, humans have adapted and came up with this: the baby giggle. Thirty seconds of this, and it's all worth it.

P.S. This one's mine; go make your own.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Eternal Optimism, or Why I Don't Need AAA

So I don't know how many of you (and by you, I mean my readership of: my immediate family) thought I was either delusional or lying when I said that Evelyn goes to bed with five minutes of rocking in the rocking chair and a pacifier. I didn't MEAN to be lying. And really, it does happen! She just now got sleepy and fussed for a minute while we were playing, and I sat with her for probably two minutes in the rocking chair before she got sleepy enough so that I was able to plunk her down in her crib. I'm not sure why, but that seems to happen only for naptime, not bedtime. Bedtime, more often than not, still involves bouncing her around the living room for twenty minutes before she finally gets sleepy, and then instead of her drifting off to sleep in her crib by herself, she wakes up two or three times and we get to do it all over again.

Anyway, my point is that I'm an eternal optimist, and seem to only remember the best of everything. Like the three times that she went to sleep with no fuss at 8:30, and Alex and I got to watch bodies being decapitated and drained of blood. You know, on Dexter. Our neighborhood's not that bad. I remember reading a New York Times article about how people who are chronically late (me!) tend to be generally optimistic types, who when calculating how long it will take to get somewhere take into account days with good weather and no traffic rather than what some people would call "reality". Whatever. So what does that mean about my Dad, who usually tries to drop us off at the airport about four and a half hours early, in case the Ted Williams tunnel collapses again and we have to walk halfway there?

Which leads me to what happened this past Friday, when I ran out of gas in the middle of El Camino (a street FULL of gas stations amongst all manner of other stores and urban junk, to you East Coasty people). I had ample opportunity to stop and get gas, but I thought, gee, when the car is off, the little needle is way below the Empty marker, so that must be where the needle can go before I run out. I don't know how many ways you can say WRONG, but hoo-boy, I will not make that mistake again. Probably. So anyway, I stopped at a light, and poof, when it turned green, no go. Of all the times that I've loved the weather in California, I don't think I've ever appreciated it as much as then. Until you have to wander around carrying an infant in a carseat to the nearest gas station, it being 60 degrees in January is something that you sorta take for granted.

But it really wasn't that bad, because I was literally across the street from a gas station who sold those little portable gas containers, and it was a particularly beautiful day, and Evelyn couldn't have cared less and was as happy as a clam to be carted back and forth across the street, AND about 87 people stopped and asked if I needed a ride anywhere or if I needed help, and in fact at least two people passed me, and then turned around and came back to help out. Thanks, strangers! Maybe my karma meter was full from donating stuff to Goodwill and making a donation to the Red Cross the day before, I dunno, but it was about the best running-out-of-gas scenario ever. It was more than a little embarassing to have to put gas in the car in front of all the people driving by. I might as well have a bumper sticker that said, "Yes, I had at least two choices of gas stations way back in Redwood City, but I wanted to go to the Arco that takes cash for 5 cents per gallon cheaper, which will save me about 70 cents, total."

Anyway, the moral of the story is not that you should just fill up your dadgum tank when the light goes on and not drive for another 20 minutes to save a lousy dollar, but that if you have a realistic looking baby doll in your car, you really don't need AAA.

Friday, January 15, 2010


So, as I've mentioned about a hundred times before, little Evelyn sleeps through the night EVERY night, and has been doing so since she was about 6 or 7 weeks old. I want to emphasize that there's nothing that we did to bring this on, and that it was just sheer luck that landed us with the sleepiest baby ever. The hardest part about taking care of her for the first few weeks of her life was waking her up to feed! She would be sound asleep, but the doctor wanted us to feed her every 4 hours at least, so we'd have to tickle her, undress her, bounce her, talk to her, and otherwise desperately try to wake her up. It usually took at least 20 minutes, and sometimes longer. NOT fun at 2:30 in the morning. She also naps three or more times during the day, usually for 20 minutes or so, but sometimes for much longer.

Awesome, you say, right? So why is it that I am compulsively looking online at baby sleep habit books? Didn't I just say that I have the sleepiest baby ever, and she does it on her own?

I made the mistake of reading something about how in an ideal world, babies can be placed in their crib when they're starting to get sleepy, and they will drift off to sleep on their own. This does not happen around here. We've tried putting her in her crib when she's sleepy but not asleep, but inevitably, 2 minutes later, she is fully awake and crying because she's tired. She'll sleep perfectly if we rock her to sleep, but somehow, some way, the internet convinced me that rocking her to sleep every time is bad, and that I'll have to drive out to her college dorm every night to rock her to sleep if we don't break this habit.

So, to you, internet, I say: I love rocking my baby to sleep, and I think it's perfectly natural. My baby and I are both happy and well rested, so I hereby declare that I will no longer hold either of us to some arbitrary parenting standard when what we're doing is working for both of us.

Now, if only I could just stick to it...

Post script: I had forgotten that I wrote this post, probably for the best, because it is neither funny nor interesting, really. Last week, we came to a turning point. It has something to do with the fact that Evelyn weighs 16 pounds now, and imagine rocking a huge sack of flour for at least an hour a day; 15 minutes (at least!) for 3 naps and bedtime. And of course, by rocking, I mean standing, swaying, and doing half squats. Now, imagine how your back feels. We were also rethinking the whole rocking her to sleep thing because she's steadily getting more mature, and while it seemed perfectly natural to hold her as she fell asleep when she was a tiny infant, she's really getting to be much more independent. The third piece was that one day, on a whim, I bought her a new brand of pacifiers, and lo and behold! She who used to spit out her pacifier faster than you can say, "Mother, I utterly reject this ridiculous silicon substitute. I must insist that you provide only the very tenderest morsels of your body for me to soothe myself upon," was appeased. And lo, it was good. No, seriously, it was MORE than good. Instead of the 30 minute epic battle of wills we used to go through at times, with her yowling in misery and us trying to explain to her gently that 'Dearest, that unpleasant feeling is TIREDNESS, and if you would just GO TO SLEEP, it will all be better,' she now gets a bit sleepy, we toss her in her pajamas, spend about five minutes in the rocking chair with the lights out with her, and then into her crib as the eyes get heavy. Thank you, Nuk. If I found out their pacifiers were manufactured from the souls of puppies and kittens, I'd still buy them.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010

We're back, and ready to rumble.

I had been planning to write this post about how we FINALLY got Evelyn to go to sleep before 10:30 pm, and all it took was two weeks on the east coast to reset her internal clock. Last night, and the night before, she went to bed at 8:01 and 8:04 respectively, and was down for the count until about 6:00 or 6:30. You'd think I would have learned this in Statistics, but two data points doth not a pattern make. It is now 9:00 pm, and she is wriggling happily, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, on her changing table as I ignore her. And I know, I'm an awful parent, and I should be engaging her in enriching activities instead of periodically blowing on her paper bird mobile, but DAMMIT, this was supposed to be Mommy time.

I think she must have overheard me naively tell Alex how excited I was, because if she's in bed by eight, we could go out! We could just get a sitter to stay with her while she sleeps, and I wouldn't have to be even a little miserable thinking about how we had probably hired a serial killer who was shaking her or selling her on Craigslist. So anyway, here we are at 9:42, and I just put her down. Meh, going out is overrated anyway. Thank sweet baby Jesus for the DVR.