Sunday, November 26, 2006


What? How do you read the paper?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Monday, November 20, 2006

This is Your Birth Story

By 36 weeks you were very, very big. By 37 weeks you were ready to come out.

I got the call while I wandered the aisles at Party City, killing time until my new glasses were ready at the optometrist next door. The doctor called at 6pm to tell me to be at the hospital at 7:30 the next morning for my scheduled c-section (we always knew it would be a c-section because the same surgery that made me subfertile also made my uterus too weak to withstand contractions). I still have the note I made in my Palm Pilot for January 18, 2006 "7:30am: Have baby-North Tower/3rd floor."

The next morning we arrived at Cedars-Sinai hospital, giddy and carrying pillows and pjs, thinking we were prepared. As can only happen in Los Angeles, the nurse who checked us in was the winner of that season's The Bachelor (God, I hope you don't know what that is) and your father recognized her immediately.

I was so huge at that point that all I could think about was getting you out. It never occurred to me how much I would miss having you in there. Being able to give you a poke good morning. Freaking people out with my undulating belly. But that morning I'd had enough.

I was ushered into an operating room and given an epidural to numb me for surgery. Soon they started poking me to make sure I was numb and, it turns out, I was not. There was a quadrant on my right side that would not go numb no matter what. They jacked me full of vial after vial of Novocaine and still I could feel them poking and prodding. Somehow they started cutting anyway and when I completely freaked out that I could feel them, they jammed Nitrous over my face and, although I still had sensation, I no longer cared.

After what felt like a lifetime but was actually only a couple of hours, they pulled you out. I was so high that when the doctor said, "I see his head," all I could think was that my legs were closed and I wasn't pushing. I had forgotten that I was having a c-section.

Soon enough they brought you to me and you were beautiful. I kissed your head before they took you away again so Daddy could cut your cord. All I saw of you was your hand and I remember thinking how big it was. Your Apgar numbers were high.

You weren't immediately hale and hearty. You were taken away from me to be treated for wet lung and I didn't see you again for nine hours. They were the worst nine hours of my life. But eventually, finally, you came to us and have stayed nearby ever since. It was a long, hard day. The payoff, however, was immeasurably wonderful.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Got fire in your veins*

As I so delicately explained yesterday, Dash has been sick for one day shy of a month. It's kind of been a dance of infirmity. One day he seems better, a delightful child for all to adore. The next he is a tired, cranky, sweaty & vomity baby. You don't know what to expect from hour to hour. Except snot. There will always be snot.

The debates in our house are endless: Is he really sick or is he just teething? Is this a new illness or the same one as before? Cold? Flu? Stomach flu? Does he feel hot? Do ear thermometers do anything else? Because they certainly don't take temperatures and they really should do something.

My mother, who hovers like a hummingbird at the edge of hysteria always, crossed completely over the day we announced that Dash had his first cold. She proposed taking him out of daycare and getting a nanny because clearly his school was unable to protect him from disease. You think I'm joking. Surely I must be exaggerating. I am not.

Yesterday she was vibrating from the anxiety so hard that she was blurry. The child had been sick too long and she was either going to die from sheer agony or we were going to do something about it. So I took him to Urgent Care.

Now, I don't know if you've ever been to Urgent Care anywhere in the city of Los Angeles. If you haven't, let me explain what it's like. You walk into a cramped, filthy room--usually in a strip mall-- and sign in. You will then proceed to wait for four to six hours among a rotating cast of about 100 of the city's great unwashed. You will, if you persevere, see a doctor eventually who will likely prescribe you a medication and tell you to visit your g.p. during business hours. It will be six hours of waiting for 60 seconds of care.

And this is how it went yesterday, in the Los Angeles suburb of Valencia. We walked in to a clean and well-lighted lobby where maybe 6 people were waiting. I signed in and found they already had Dash's information on file because they're affiliated with his pediatrician. We were called after about three minutes and Dash's vitals were taken by a sweet nurse who cooed at the baby and flattered his mother. She did not look at me like I was insane for bringing a baby with a cold to what amounts to an e.r. We were delighted to hear that Dash's regular pediatrician was staffing Urgent Care that night, and when he saw us he remembered that Dash seemed to be getting over a cold when he last saw him three weeks ago. He played with the baby a little, gave him a thorough once-over, discovered an ear infection, calmed us down and sent us on our way with a couple prescriptions. The entire process, including drive time, was 45 minutes.

That right there makes three hours a day in the car worthwhile.

Dash has had two doses of the antibiotic and already seems to be feeling better.

*a 50 cent piece goes to the person who can tell me why that's the title of this post

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Two new teeth as of this morning (top center). That makes four total. Only 16 to go. Then 20 to lose and 32 more to grow again. Christ.


Before I had a baby only one thing could make me gag to the point of throwing up. Not poop. Any pet owner gets over fear of poop right quick, and we have two cats. Not puke. Puke used to do it, but then I became a borderline alcoholic and the smell of vomit, although not something I sought out, didn't really bother me that much. No, it was boogers. Well, boogers and spit. Anything that qualifies as mucus.

I think something happens when you have children. Your grossout switch gets disconnected or something. Dash has literally been covered in boogers and drool for FOUR FUCKING WEEKS and last night I scooped some out of his nose with my pinky nail (after the aspirator failed again) and, when I couldn't find a rag nearby, wiped them on my pajama pants. And continued to wear them for the rest of the night. And then hung them up on the hook in the bathroom to wear again tonight. Pants that are covered in my son's snot, you understand.

So I guess it's two switches: grossout & dignity.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


So, every Monday or Wednesday or Tuesday, who the hell knows, Dash's school has "music & movement" (should it be capitalized? is it a Thing? with a proper Name? again, who the hell knows). From what I can gather, someone comes in and plays a little guitar and the babies all shake rattles and "sing" and wiggle around. Cutest thing ever, right? Apparently, Dash lurves music & movement. So much that they can't pry the rattles away from him once it's over. I've never seen him take to any rattle-y or song-y thing at home, but I do know that the boy loves to wiggle.

Anyway, we decided that we should try Gymboree. They have singing and wiggling and the Extra! Added! Bonus! of mats and tumbly things that he can crawl all over and through and on top of.

I am happy to report that the little man has not inherited any of his parents' timidity. He barreled in there like he owned the joint. Crawled at lightning speed to whatever he thought was interesting (which was mostly some other baby's dad and a poor kid named Rodrigo who sat there minding his own business while Dash smacked him about the head). He bounced and climbed and spun and wiggled. And when it was time to sit in a circle and blow bubbles and clap and be dragged around on the parachute (you had to be there) he laughed like he was seeing Eddie Murphy's Delirious for the first time.

So, Gymboree, hearty thumbs up. See you next week.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Dash was transferred into my uterus as a 5-day-old embryo (technically a blastocyst, but whatev) on May 24, 2005. He continued to live in my uterus for 239 days until he was sawed out on January 18, 2006. He slept either at the foot of our bed in a cradle or in our bed in a snuggle nest for the next 181 days. After that we moved him into his own room where he has slept (or "slept") every night for the next 115 days and counting. That makes a total of 535 days that Dash and I slept under the same roof.

On November 8, 2006 I broke the streak. Las Vegas on business. I was actually kinda looking forward to it. A night of quiet. No bottles to make, no monitors to check, no screaming episodes that start and stop for no reason that I can discern. A night of peaceful slumber for the first time in many, many days.

You won't be surprised to read that it totally sucked. I missed him so much my teeth hurt. I woke up at 5am and couldn't go back to sleep because that's when the little turd has decided morning starts. There is no peace when I'm away from him. When I can't hear him breathing. When I can't whiff the top of his sweaty little head. No peace at all.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Fun With Baby

They tell you it's gonna be hard with a baby. They tell you you'll never sleep and that the house will be a mess and you'll never have any time to get anything done. And you sort of believe them, because they ALL say it and they can't ALL be liars, but you also somehow think that maybe they're weak. They couldn't handle it because they're not as strong, organized, and smart as you. You think that somehow it won't be as hard as they say.

But it is. And even harder.

Dash is, knock wood, a dream baby. He's happy and friendly and funny and easygoing. He's just like his dad (and the opposite of me). And even with Dream Baby, it's hard. We don't sleep and the house is a mess and we can never get anything done.

Now, throw in starting daycare and all of the new organizational requirements and anxiety that it brings with it. Now throw in Dash's first cold. Now throw in Josh & me getting the stomach flu. Now throw in Dash getting the stomach flu on top of his cold. Now throw in my mother, our only babysitter outside of daycare, getting the same stomach flu.

Are you good and freaked out? Yeah, me too.

Josh and I have been fighting more than usual lately. It's hard. We're tired and sick and we constantly feel overwhelmed and overworked and underappreciated. So that's what we were doing (fighting) last night when Dash woke up howling.

The moment Josh lifted him out of his crib Dash projectile vomited into Josh's mouth. I obviously thought that was hilarious and didn't stop laughing until he vomited again and with such velocity that it not only bathed me completely, but also made its way INSIDE a closed linen cabinet and onto the hand-embroidered organza table runner my mother brought me from Spain that was (I'ma say it again because, seriously) INSIDE A CLOSED LINEN CABINET.

But the point is this: it is so worth it. We fight and we cry and we feel completely inadequate and ill-equipped. We labor trying to figure out how to go from being two people to a unit composed of three (I mean, really, have you ever put together an Ikea bookcase without having a fight? Try building a cohesive fucking family unit. Try. I'll wait here). And there will be vomit-soaked nights and disasters of timing. But it is so worth it. Every frantic moment and passed-around virus. It is worth every gray hair and Rolaid tablet.

Because we are a family.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Well, that sucked

So, our first Halloween with the baby in the new suburban, family-friendly neighborhood. We decorated. Oh how we decorated.

The entire front of the house is still covered in stinky, synthetic cobwebs.

There are 50 ghosts hanging in our trees.

We have witch feet sticking out from under a boulder.

We have windows splattered with gore and dead rodents lolling around.

We have a caged skull on the mantle and black candles in the candlesticks.

We have a welcome mat that cackles when trod upon. We have a motion-activated, lighted rock that screams for people to turn back! Stay Away! We even have the equipment to turn the baby into a chicken (see below).

And then Josh started throwing up. And then I started throwing up. And then Dash's school called to say that he had a fever of 101 and we could expect him to start throwing up any minute. Yeah, stomach flu on Halloween. Awesome.

So, instead of the world's cutest chicken-baby (again, see below), our trick-or-treaters were greeted with a bucket of candy on a chair and this: