Friday, October 29, 2010

Hormone Soup

There's been lots of action around these parts. Ceci had her first doctor's appointment yesterday. Getting her into the car seat and taking her there felt a little bit like scaling Mt. Everest, but we made it.
Ceci is gaining weight now that she's getting formula along with some breast milk from me, and she's looking good overall. In fact, the doctor and nurses were quite taken with her overall attractiveness. Her above average cuteness is now a medically established fact. But I knew that before they told me.
I had a little crying meltdown about the nursing thing while were there. It certainly doesn't feel good to think that I'm not able to provide all that she deserves. But it is what is is. Some breast milk is better than none.
The doctor told me I was "swimming in hormone soup" (a new and poorly understood diagnosis). I'm hoping this condition can be applied retroactively to all the crying meltdowns I had during pregnancy as well as the ones I may have in the future- maybe even tonight if Matthew's lucky!
Here's some pictures at the doctor-

Dr. H. admiring Ceci's gleaming pink gums

Ceci flaunting her trim physique and head of luxurious hair.

I'm working on my birth story, and I've noticed my mind has already started erasing the details. Especially the unpleasant ones. Does that happen to every postpartum woman? It's like the brain decides to delete the most painful memories so that you will go ahead and have another kid, thus ensuring the survival of the species. While I'm finishing that, if you like to read birth stories, check out Marvelous Kiddo. She posts one every week. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day Three

Dear friends, as some of you may know, I had a baby on Saturday night. If any of you are interested in hearing my birth story, let me know and I will try to write it down. It was intense, and I'm glad that part is behind me.
Anyway, now I'm trying to get to know our little Ceci.
She's been home with us just a day and a half. Last night I tried to jot down some observations about her at 3 am, while I was trying to breastfeed. The title of that post was "Help!". I deleted it.
We've been having some trouble with breastfeeding, to put it mildly. Between Ceci's insatiable hunger, the fatigue of labor, and my sore, bleeding nipples I've had some trouble coping. Last night I actually questioned if I brought the right baby home. I was hoping for a sweet angel baby, not a piranha that screams. Today we had a visit from the home health nurse and as I suspected, she hasn't been getting enough milk from me. I'm incredibly relieved to know what's going on, so we can now take steps to fix it. I'm also terribly ashamed for getting so frustrated with my baby. What kind of a person writes a snarky blog post about their hungry baby? I'm going to Hell for sure. She was so panicked, it makes my heart hurt. I think tonight will be easier, and now that she is fed and resting, the house is peaceful and quiet.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Now We Are Three

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Maternity Leave!

Breaking news! I just danced around the living room while I was mopping the floor. Thank God for the Blow. I can't remember the last time I really danced. It felt awesome. Don't worry, the curtains were closed so the neighbors were not subjected to my private bovine house stomp. I was worried that my maternity leave would consist of me wandering around the house trying to clean, but really just bumping into furniture and nagging the cat until Matthew got home.  How wrong I was. I'm a merry housewife, and I'm so jacked up I'm thinking about cleaning the whole house with fungicide just for the hell of it.
In other news, Beth is the winner of the hamburger phone! Congratulations to Beth and to everyone else- thanks for the comments and never fear! I will have another giveaway.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Women We Become

I love Miranda July. I love her so much I even considered the name Miranda for baby X. 
I love her because her mind works well. She also strikes me as honest and brave and I like that in a person. 
I'm bummed that I missed her exhibition "Eleven Heavy Things" in Central Park.  Check out her site if you get the chance. There is some amazing stuff on there, and if you can figure out where the exhibition is going next, drop me a line! I need to see it. 
This sculpture is my favorite of the bunch. I've been thinking a lot about my hopes for baby X. I want her to be smart, happy, playful, and healthy. All the typical things Moms want for their daughters. I'm terrified of the inevitable loss of self-esteem that seems to happen to girls once they hit ten or eleven years old. I remember when it happened to me. One day I looked in the mirror and I saw a pair of hairy eyebrows on a ugly monkey face. That's all I saw in the mirror for years. I lost value in myself, and I'm still not sure why that happened. My parents always tried to build me up. 
Thankfully after some terrible years my self esteem gradually reappeared. But I can't deny that I wasted many dark hours dieting, allowing bad boyfriends to treat me as if I was without value or intelligence, and feeling like a huge loser. I don't want that for my daughter. I want her to be powerful and brave and know that her value as a person is not relevant to her bra size, dress size, or looks in general. 
Any parents (or daughters) out there have words of advice? Books I should read? It seems like it's never too early to start. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Folly is Your Gain

Some of you may have correctly deduced that I have a shopping problem. I really love to buy stuff. Luckily, my urges to waste my money can be easily satisfied by inexpensive things (most of the time) provided the said item has a certain je ne sais quoi. 
I purchased this hamburger phone yesterday morning and I have to say I felt good about it all day long. It was a funny thing really. I went to the local ebay store to try to unload my framed Ken Griffey jersey (don't ask), and lo and behold, I spotted the hamburger phone in the ebay store and was smitten. The shop girl agreed to sell it to me for $5 and I actually thought to myself- "This girl doesn't even know what this is worth!"
I snapped that baby up and went home feeling very self satisfied. Of course, I have no land line at home. I have no plans to get a land line. I have no use for a hamburger phone and I'm not sure what compelled me to get it except that it exuded a certain sex appeal that I was powerless to resist. 
So today, I have hamburger phone regret. It's not quite as bad as ate-old-dairy regret but it's still making me uncomfortable. I could have bought a REAL hamburger for 5 dollars. 
Dear Readers, do any of you desire the hamburger phone? I'm going to do my first blog giveaway with the hamburger phone. If you want it, leave a comment below and on Wednesday I'll choose someone at random. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Slow Progress

I'm making some progress on the baby's room. It's starting to look more like a real nursery and less like a cluttered storage room. Of course, in typical neurotic fashion I now feel guilty for obsessing over the room so much these last few weeks. Baby X isn't going to care about her room for a few years anyway, right? It's my own hangups that pull me into this room when I could better spend my time reading about infant care or attending a breastfeeding class. I need to shake off the voice in my head telling me that if the nursery looks perfect, then I'll be a perfect Mom. 
Perfect house does not equal perfect life. Good to remember. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Workout

Oh My Goodness. I almost don't have the words I need for this blog post, but I'm going to do it because it's just too good to pass up.
Matthew is a dedicated thrift store shopper. He's at Goodwill and Value Village at least two or three times per week, and it's a good thing. We have a lot of nice things that we haven't spent much money on. When you troll that much, you net some big fish. This was last week's bounty. The last time I laid eyes upon the Hitachi Magic Wand it was in the Amsterdam Sex Museum. The time before that, I saw it in my very own house in the late 1980's. This was a mighty popular massager back in the day.
For some reason, the massager evokes memories of myself and a friend lurking around the library after school. We sat between the stacks and read choice snippets of Clan of The Cave Bear to one another. That Jean Auel sure had a way with Caveman porn. Anyway, a pregnant lady likes a back massage any way she can get it, so I'm willing to overlook the Hitachi's tawdry past, and I'm even somewhat awed to have an artifact ripe with historical interest in my very own home.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Savannah Crush

Hello all. The Satorialist was in Savannah a few weeks ago, and as much as I admire his amazing eye for person-on-the street fashion I found myself ignoring his subjects and instead devouring the background of every picture for familiar places. I have a serious crush on Savannah. Matthew's parents have a house nearby, so we've been lucky enough to spend some time there in the last few years.
There are so many things to like about Savannah. Its quirky beauty is the most obvious. Savannah is beautiful but none too clean, too hot, and full of eccentric people. It's kind of like snooty Charleston's funky cousin. The restored historic district stretches for miles, and you can lose yourself for within it for days.

You see what I mean? Dreamy. 
Other things I like about Savannah- The BBQ, this restaurant where I gorged myself on a potted foie gras terrine, and the Savannah College of Art and Design
A word about SCAD. The presence of an art college injects some youthful vigor into what could be a stuffy old Southern City, and the art in the student shop is kick-ass. 
I've become infatuated with SCAD alumnus Stephanie Howard. It's difficult to get the full effect of her art from the website, but she makes expansive and meticulous pen and ink drawings on paper. She draws a lot of beauty queens, and uses cultural imagery that doesn't make sense to me as a stranger to the South, but I like the way it makes me feel, and that's how I know I like art. 

One last thing I like about Savannah- my maiden name pops up everywhere. I saw it on street signs, engraved onto tombs in the cemetery, and on local Bed and Breakfasts. I imagine my ancestors smeared themselves all over that part of the South before moving on to be debauched and disease-riddled in other parts of the U.S.A. Ah, the beauty of being a French American!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Party All Night, Sleep All day

She's kind of a slutty burnout. But I love her. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Everyday Heroes

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who has sent me messages of support this week. It turns out that the mold growing in our house is most likely just an ordinary outbreak of mildew or mold or whatever, but not the "Black Mold" that eats babies and erases minds forever (I just made that last part up).
But especially, a big thank you to my lovely husband Matthew.

Matthew has spent the last three days cleaning the bedroom from top to bottom with bleach and fungicide, as well as emptying out the closet and washing every single article of clothing. He's done the majority of this all on his own since I've been camped out at a friend's house to avoid inhaling the chemicals.  

My other hero is Sam. 

Wonderful Sam lent us her house while she is at a wedding in California, which has not only enabled me to avoid the chemicals in our house, but has allowed me to fulfill my fantasy of bathing in her beautiful claw foot tub with the skylight overhead. 
So the saga of fungi vs. family continues, but it's been tolerable. Really, it's almost a blessing in disguise because our house has never been so clean, and what better time to do a deep cleaning than before baby arrives? Also, I learned a valuable lesson about ventilation in old houses. We've kept our bedroom door shut for years because our cat is an asshole and pissed on our bed when we first brought her home. Turns out airflow is important, and the perpetually closed door has most likely contributed to the fungal invasion. 
Lastly, I've grown to almost sympathise with fungi. Why wouldn't the outside want to come in? It's nasty outside. And after all, I'm an inside creature that likes to go out. I especially enjoy "camping" and "sleeping outside in the shrubbery" after a few cocktails and the fungi of the world has shared it's space with me in the past. So who am I to begrudge fungi for looking for some hospitality?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Fungus Among Us

Dear Friends, according to some inspirational literature I once read, God never gives us more than we can handle. I'm trying to meditate on that thought today. Last night Matthew discovered some type of fungus growing in our bedroom. The fungus is in the closet and it ate my favorite shoes. It also colonized our bed frame.
Matthew and I live in a rental house that is about 100 years old and quite drafty. I have a love/ hate relationship with the house, but the rent is so cheap it allows us to put away money each month.
Upon discovery of the fungus we quickly abandoned our bedroom. We moved our mattress and clothing into the baby's room and I went on the internet to research our new housemate. I discovered that the fungus could be as harmless as mildew or as toxic as "Black Mold", which is dangerous for anyone to live around and breathe in, and especially for pregnant women and newborns.
Great news. So now I'm camped out waiting to hear from my landlord and the mold inspector and wondering if I need to move while I'm 9 months pregnant.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Life as a House

Here's the obligatory belly picture. I look like I ate a baby. In the last few days I've felt significantly bigger and heavier, and baby X's movements feel like they have more muscle behind them. I'm a little worried that she may be growing to gargantuan proportions. I really want a nice, petite baby I can get out with a few good pushes and call it good. The other thing I really want is a waistline. That would be nice. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

More Things I Want

Matthew and I want a new desk. Because really, what better time for us to buy furniture than right before we have a baby and are inundated with hospital bills? Makes sense to me. I like a challenge.
Here's the desk we've been eyeballing.

It has a few chips on the front but regardless, nice eh? I'm into the mid-century modern look. I'm also just into saying the words "mid-century modern" because it sounds a little ridiculous. 
All that stuff on the top of the desk doesn't come with it. 

As an added plus, the drawers seem sturdy enough to hold a smallish baby. Provided said baby kept her weight below ten pounds. 

In other news, we put together our crib and changing table today. I'll post some pictures soon but don't get your hopes up. I won't be winning any design awards. We went back and forth this morning debating painting the floor of the nursery blue. That's right, you heard me. It's the new thing according to Design Sponge. Ultimately we decided that we didn't want to take on another project in our rental house. Also the idea of living with paint fumes for the next few weeks is not very appealing. So we slapped a green rug from Ikea on the horrible floor and called it good. I'm feeling like the rug makes the floor look like AstroTurf and it troubles me, but at this point I'm resigned to not having the nursery of my dreams. 

Dear friends, how much would you pay for this desk? 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hello October

It's October in the City of Subdued Excitement and the anticipated month of our daughter's birth. We've got three weeks to go, if our due date is accurate. Everyone and their mother keeps telling me not to expect her early or even on her due date, but a girl can dream, right? 
I've cut back a bit on work, and I'm trying to take lots of walks around town to soak up the lovely fall weather. I've heard that the triad of walks, sweet lovin' and spicy food encourages babies out of the womb. I'm anxious to meet this person that has been kicking me and draining my finances for these many long months. 
The cat, however, will be disappointed to give away her new sleep nest. 

Happy October!

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