Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Reluctant Reindeer

The little Munchkin has made it very clear that she does not want to pose with the antlers. We've been trying all day, and she will undoubtedly show the resulting series of photographs to her shrink in 15 or 20 years, as evidence of What She Had To Put Up With. Anyway, this is the best I could do.
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

News Flash!

Crunchin' Crackers, the kind that are shaped like little Elmo heads and little Big Bird heads, are in. Cheerios are out. Cereal with orange squishy stuff is out.

Just though you should know.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Latest News

If this baby were the editor of a newspaper (like, say, the Baby Bugle or the Infant Intelligencer, or maybe even the Diaper Daily) or a magazine (the Wee Weekly?) the articles would be along the lines of:

Cheerios: Are they for dropping, smashing, grinding into the rug, or just sucking on until they’re sticky?

Identifying the best playthings: How to spot dangerous items like electric cords and small bits of plastic in a room full of toys.

Arching your back, screaming, and grabbing Mom’s hair: How to make a diaper change as difficult as possible.

Guest Columnist: It’s All About the Cute, by The Cat.

ETA: Amy says I should add some news articles, since the above are all more like features. How about:

Breaking News: The Cat is in the Dining Room!
Fluffy Puppy Replaces Bear as Preferred Stuffie
No! I'm Not Hungry!
Update: The Cat is in the Living Room!
No! I'm Still Not Hungry!
The Swing is No Longer Interesting
No! I Don't Want Any Food!
Update: The Cat is in the Bedroom!
Time to Go? NOW I'm Hungry!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

All alone

Amy and the baby are away for a few days, and I miss them. The house feels so sad and lonely and quiet. So quiet. Hmmm. So quiet that I have not been woken up during the night, for two nights in a row. Two nice, long nights of nothing but sleep.

Life is full of mixed blessings.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

What I would trade for 8 consecutive hours of uninterrupted sleep..

My Palm Pilot (it's broken, but I'm sure you could get it fixed)
My MP3 player
The car
All my books, CDs, DVDs and videotapes
My Kitchenaid
All my Star Wars collectibles
My entire postcard collection
My computer
My cat
My dog (Ok, she died last year, but if she were still alive. Sorry, Astro)
My life savings
Sex with Johnny Depp
A Honus Wagner baseball card
A Magic Wand made of maple with a unicorn hair core
Van Gogh's Starry Night

And for10 hours of pure, uninterrupted sleep, I would also perform depraved sexual acts, do your laundry, and make you a cheese sandwich before I crawled under the sheets.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Rice Cereal

The little mookster had her first bowl -- 2 bowls, actually -- of real food last night. Rice Cereal, to be exact, made with Mama's milk. At first, she was suspicious:

Then she thought about it a bit...

And decided it was pretty good. In fact, she said, "Give me that spoon!"

"This is really yummy. Ahhhh...smoosh in mouth."

"What do you mean 'Two bowls is enough' ?"

Monday, July 9, 2007

Just some baby news

The Baby has learned to roll over onto her tummy. She is really proud of this ability and does it constantly. The problem with this is that the result is she is stuck there, arms and legs flailing. Amy says she looks like a turtle.

Sometimes she manages to roll back over onto her back, but usually she can't remember how and cries until someone comes and turns her back over. She clearly feels betrayed -- after weeks of trying, she's finally managed to roll over, only to wind up somewhere she doesn't want to be.

I keep telling her that life is like that -- no matter how far you go, you never really get to your destination -- but she is unimpressed by my philosophy. The first of many times, I'm sure, that she will be unimpressed by my philosophy.

She's also gaining a lot more facility with her hands. She can now grab, throw, push, and pull whenever she wants. Mostly, of course, she uses her hands for grabbing things and shoving them in her mouth. As a result, everything near her is damp, but that's kind of cute, in a disgusting sort of a way.

OK, enough blathering. Here's a photo:

Friday, July 6, 2007

just a little cuteness

Most of you reading this have seen this photo already, but you get to see it again because it is so cute! Plus, I'm doing a terrible job at keeping up this blog, so I have to find something to post. It's better than listening to me whine about my job, believe me.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Friday, June 15, 2007

Those Golden Moments

As everyone who has raised a child probably already knows, it is full of wonderful moments that fill you with happiness -- the first smile, the way she turns to look at you when she hears your voice, the first time she notices the mobile, the stuffie, the cat.

There are other wonderful moments, too, that are more about relief than charm. Like right now, at 9:00 a.m., when the baby is just waking up after going to sleep around 11 last night. You have no idea how nice it to have 10 hours of not having to look after her needs. Or maybe you do.

I mean, I love this kid with all my heart, I really do. But it's exhausting. I have a friend who says that he remembers wondering, when he was a kid, why his parents were so tired all the time, but now that he has 2 kids, he totally gets it. Me too.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Blogging for LGBT families Day

It’s Blogging for LGBT families Day! Yay! To celebrate, I’m going to write about what it’s like to have a change in status – from Ordinary Adult Being to Parent.

Before the arrival of The Baby, my expectations of what this change would be like were vague, and probably a little negative. I would transform from Ordinary Adult Being to an existence that consists largely of drudgery – sleepless nights, diaper changing, constant feeding, always at the beck and call of a demanding little monster.

Now that The Baby is not just theoretical, my experience of parenthood is completely different. While I certainly have experienced sleepless nights, diaper changing, constant feeding, and always being at the beck and call of a demanding little monster, the other things far outweigh all of that stuff. Now, this is possibly because I am the mother of The Cutest Little Baby in the World, who at the age of three months sleeps through the night and pretty much just acts cute all day, but I was unprepared for the sheer beauty of this baby.

I feel like someone has given me a priceless work of art – one of Monet’s Water Lilies, or perhaps my very own symphony orchestra. From the moment she was born – a screaming little mass of indignation – I was overwhelmed by her beauty. It’s not just the adorableness of the ten little fingers and toes, or the perfection of the 20 little finger and toe nails, the sound of the tiny little voice, or even the softness of her precious baby skin.

What it is, I suppose, is the miracle of life and the pride of having made it ourselves. Us! We went to the sperm bank and got a big metal canister, month after month, and took it to the doctor’s office, and then one day there was a little peanut growing in Amy’s belly. Then it had a face and organs and a gender. Then I watched her emerge from Amy’s body. I still can’t believe that process actually works. But this miracle occurs, I’m told, about 300,000 times a day, and only my baby is so special, so gorgeous, so cute, and so wonderful. I guess that’s another part of the miracle.

So I believe that my change in status is definitely a move up in the world. I love being a parent. I love watching this little girl change and grow. I love all the attention – the people on the street who come up and coo, the co-workers who ask to see her picture, the boxes that still arrive daily at the door. She deserves all this attention, as she deserves everything we can give her and teach her. I love this little girl so much it’s hard to understand.

OK, so back to Blogging for LGBT families day. What does this post have to do with LGBT families? It sounds as if it could have been written by any parent*, and I guess that’s the point.

*well, except for the part about the big metal canister

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Miracle Happened Here

Some things are unexplainable by science. They shouldn't happen, but they do. They are unheard of, yet they occur. Everything in your experience tells you it never happens, and then it does.

Such a thing happened to us last week. The baby's mobile, the one mounted in her crib, the one that she loves to watch spin around and around, the one that keeps her happy and calm, broke. Probably in revenge, since we had subjected it to an operation the week before and snipped the wires which connect its tinny little music box to its loud, annoying speakers.

So, we did a little research and found a mobile that would spin around without playing an annoying tune. It was on sale at amazon.com, so I ordered it about 11 a.m. one morning, chosing the "free shipping" option to save a little $.

Now, I've ordered many a thing from amazon.com with the free shipping option. Free shipping is, generally, slow shipping. Sometimes painfully slow shipping. Sometimes it takes weeks. Of course you can choose fast shipping, but fast shipping is also extremely expensive shipping so I decided to go with the slow.

However, at some point in this process I said to myself, possibly even out loud, "Oh God I hope this doesn't take forever." I had visions of a crying, fussing, miserable baby, lying awake in her crib all night, wondering why her mobile was not turning and, more importantly, keeping us awake.

And, miracle of miracle, Oh God heard my prayer, or whatever it was, and the mobile arrived at our doorstep the very next day. I kid you not.

And now we have a happy, sleeping baby:

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Amy and I are, more or less, followers of the "Attachment Parenting" theory (found here). At least we are to the extent that we think it's a good idea to respond to the baby's needs rather than let her just sit there and cry, which seems (surprisingly to me) to be a parenting technique that many people follow. Attachment Parenting also tells you to carry or wear your baby as much as possible, and to have her sleep in your bed at night. We sort of have her in our bed, although actually in a co-sleeper attached to the bed (which is acceptable to Dr. Sears, the Attachment Guru), but lately I've been trying to let her sleep in her crib more and more. And we do carry her a lot, and Amy wears her in a sling sometimes, but we don't actually hold her anywhere near as much as Sears recommends.

This is because although we seem to think Attachment Parenting makes sense, Mookie has mixed feelings about it. Sometimes she insists on being held, but often she makes it clear that that's not what she wants. I try to tell her that she should let us hold her so that she will learn to trust us, but she often says, "Trust, schmust, I wanna swing in my swing." Or, "I want to lie on my baby gym with my bobo in my mouth. Sucking and staring at the mirror are a really cool combination, and much more fun than snuggling with my parents. So PUT ME DOWN!"

And today she is feeling gassy, so she really wants to be in her swing when she's not eating. It's really good that the swing relieves her gassiness, but it's a little hard on us because swinging seems to, um, generate all sorts of internal action. Sometimes all over the swing, in fact. But, it's better than a gassy, screaming baby, I think.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Baby Conspiracy

Let me ask you something. Is it my imagination, or is there some sort of Baby Network or Baby Union or Baby Organization that sends messages to all little babies? Like, "Wake up! It's midnight! Baby Party Time!" And this morning, I'd bet anything, they held a contest: "The 7 a.m. Diaper Marathon -- How many diapers can you go through in one hour?"

I'm sure my darling little Mookiekins didn't win, but she made a valient effort.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Whose Idea Was This, Anyway?

It is midnight. Approximately 2 hours ago, Amy and I were in a restaurant with some friends and I said, "We have to go home; I'm falling asleep." I am still awake. So, as you might have guessed, is my daughter. An hour ago, Amy fell asleep. Since then, The Baby has been alternating between sleeping, crying and emitting various noxious substances -- gaseous, liquid, and solid -- from various parts of her body. She has gone through at least 5 diapers, 3 or 4 burp clothes, and a change of clothes; and I've changed my shirt 3 times.

If I pay you money, will you come do something with this baby so that I can sleep?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ask The Baby

Today's guest blogger is The Baby. The Baby has taught me a lot, these last few weeks, about babycare, so rather than repeat what she's taught me, I thought I'd let her do a little Q&A herself.

Q: Why are you crying?
A: I'm not sure. Check my diaper. Put me on my tummy so I can burp. Put me on your shoulder so I can burp. Feed me. Hold me in your arms and rock me. Repeat.

Q: Cloth or disposal?
A: Cloth, definitely. It feels softer against my skin, and it's much easier for my moms to figure out when I'm wet. And I hear it's cheaper, although I don't really understand what that means. Also, disposals are bad for the Earth, which so far seems like a nice place, and besides which they seem to make me cranky.

Q: Do you really use 80 diapers a week?
A: Not anymore! My parents just called the diaper service and increased our order to 100 diapers a week! Am I special or what?

Q: When is the best time to pee?
A: Just after they take off the nasty, clammy, wet diaper.

Q: Doesn't that make your clothes, the changing pad, the diaper cover, and anything else in the vicinity wet?
A: Not if you remember to put down the new diaper before you take away the old one, stupid.

Q: When is the best time to poop?
A: Right when you have a new, clean diaper, and a new, clean diaper cover, and new, clean clothes.

Q: What are your parents' names?
A: "Boobs" and "Cleans My Butt"

Q: Does anyone else live in your house?
A: There are these two creatures, about my size, who are soft and furry and always trying to nap in my bouncy seat. I'm not sure what their purpose is.

Q: What kind of music do you like?
A: The same sort of pre-1990 rock that my parents like, obviously. After all, I came into the world accompanied by Bruce Springsteen. Although I'm starting to like jazz and classical as well. And I really like it when Cleans My Butt plays the piano for me.

Q: When is the best time to be awake?
A: My preferred time for being wide-awake and making a lot of noise is from midnight to 2 a.m. Why do you ask?

Q: Can't you stay awake more during the day and sleep at night?
A: No.

Q: Are you the cutest little baby in the world?
A: But of course!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I wasn't prepared

I wasn't prepared for motherhood. She arrived a week early. The suitcase was half-packed. I didn't even buy a chicken for the chicken soup I was going to make* to spoon into Amy's mouth when labor got hard**. The first signs of labor came in the middle of the night, after I'd had only 2 hours of sleep.

But more than that, I wasn't prepared for how beautiful she would be, or how much I would love her. The sheer delight at watching her little arms flail, her little mouth suck, her little eyes look around, and turn towards me when I speak to her. She recognized my voice immediately! When she cries, I can lie her on my chest and hold her tight and she falls asleep. When she fusses, I play the piano for her, and she looks around, bright-eyed and calm. She is the most beautiful baby in the world.
Now I get it, this motherhood thing.
*My friend Joyce pointed out that making soup was probably not the best idea, anyway, since if I had made it I would have had to nag Amy to hurry up and go into labor before the soup spoiled.
**Plus, she wouldn't have eaten it. She didn't want anything to eat. Giving birth, as it turns out, is a lot of work, and you don't just lie in bed and get fed chicken soup. Mostly, you groan.
Photo: Little Mookie, about 2 minutes old. Those are my hands, on the left, cutting the umbilical cord.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Signs of Incipient Parenthood

And so it begins...magazines with names like "Baby Talk" and "Motherhood" appear mysteriously on the coffee table. Yard sale purchases move from books and kitchen gadgets to onesies and crib bumpers. Packages show up at the door, with little bathtubs and diaper covers in them. A shelf in one of the bookcases fills up with parenting books. The crib is assembled; the alphabet quilt is hung on the wall; the changing table drawers fill with baby clothes. Like a werewolf at the full moon, I am transforming into another kind of being.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Strange Sisterhoods

Lately I feel like I've been initiated into a mysterious society -- The Sisterhood of Childbirth. It's a sisterhood which, despite its mysterious nature, has a pretty open membership. All you have to do to join is get pregnant, or hang out really close to someone who is.

In the past I've always avoided this sisterhood, with its scary talk of pain and panic, stretching and soreness, tearing and terror, blood and birth and babies that cry and suck and poop. But now I've taken 2 whole prenatal classes, which qualifies me as, if not a full-fledged member, at least a credentialed auxiliary. I've learned new words, like "doula" and "maconium." I've learned the full meaning of words that have always been on the edge of my vocabulary, like "episiotomy" and "dilation."

It's a very scary society, this Sisterhood. And so I'm standing here now, at the brink of a new journey, full of information about analgesics and birthing balls and contractions and diapers and epidurals, but without any clear view of the road ahead. I know about Fischer-Price and Graco and highchairs and induction and jogging strollers, but not about what this little baby girl we be like or who she is or what kind of life she will lead. After all, the Sisterhood can only prepare you so much. Now that I've passed most of my training, I am about to be pushed out of the nest, along with and Amy and Mookie, to fly on our own as a family.

I think we'll be fine. Really, sure we will.