Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Ears

How have I managed to miss so many bloggable days in a row? It's not like things aren't happening around here. Today was my first day back at work since Willem was born and, ladies and gentlemen, I am here to report that it was SWEEEEEEET! Wow! I guess I'm one of those moms with a detachable heart that can easily leave her child in the suddenly capable hands of her fab husband. Of course, I did shed a tear when Willem's tiny face looked up at me from the bars of his cage, I mean, crib, raised his eyebrows and smiled like a movie star promo shot. It was hard to say that last good-bye but all of a sudden, when I got behind the wheel, I was so stoked to be free, I mean, glad to be on my way to contribute to the financial responsibilities of our family. At work, I gossiped (got caught up), sent adult-scented emails to clients, eyeballed co-workers who put on a few too many since I've been gone and nibbled on holiday edibles that have probably been there since before Christmas. I dashed home briefly to feed the little boy wonder and nibble all of his parts but without hesitation, I put him back in his cage, CRIB, and sped to the office. Now I'm wondering how it got so late in the day so fast and I still have so much to do?

Tomorrow is a big day for Willem. He's going to daycare on Tuesdays and Thursdays and tomorrow is day one. Mommy is FREAKED but it has to be done. He will be the youngest in the infant room and I only hope that the teachers protect my youngin' from the grabbing hands of other tots or this Greenville girl with be all up in their business stat. 'Nuff said.

Check out these naughty little naked lady soaps sent to me from my dear friend, Wendielu, who never updates her blog, for Christmas. They are amazing scents like almond spice, rosemary mint, gingergrass, and the most confusing essence, karma. I don't know if she made them but I would like to get some more so, Wendielu, please advise. I enjoy bathing with a collection of naked ladies so hook me up.

Well, that's all I can muster for now. I just ate a larger than lady-like bowl of homemade bolognese and must now jellyroll myself in the direction of a queen-sized mattress.

Oh, let me mention that in 2005, my dedicated husband and I remodeled our entire house, moved 3 times, gave birth to a healthy and beautiful baby boy, started a new band, and traveled to Spain for two and a half glorious weeks. Our plans for 2006? You'll be the first to know.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Price You Pay

About 4 years ago, I asked my lesbian hairdresser in Nashville to dye my hair red like hers. She was blonde, like me, and looked totally foxy sassin' around in her newly colored mop. I, on the other hand, looked like Raggedy Ann after it was said and done and have for all this time. There's nothing worse than looking at pictures of yourself and thinking "Why didn't anyone tell me?"


Today, I spent 5, count 'em FIVE hours in a salon, the longest time I've been away from my baby in the daytime since he was born, turning my hair back to blonde and the end result? Well, let's just say, I have much more salon time to look forward to but I will say, I'm well on my way and that my hairdresser is a magician. The biggest bonus of this endless day of breathing chemicals and having my hair washed four times is that daddy had to spend all of this time with baby and it was a SUCCESS! Gives me great peace of mind since I am eagerly and begrudingly returning to work on Monday. I can't believe it's true, but it is. The babymoon is over and I must head back to the salt mine. The thought of spending such large chunks of time during the day away is really tough, tougher than I expected and my stomach is all tied up in knots but a huge part of me is ready to jump back into the working world where adults linger and bad jokes are swapped and new shoes are compared and deals are negotiated and clients are swooned and money is made and all that stuff. It's going to be a tough transition but here we go, sooner than I expected. Baby also starts daycare on Tuesday and will attend there two days a week. Yet another reason to have my fur in a dander and worry about that one little Asian baby I witnessed scratching the face of a toehead while we were talking to the director of the school. My baby is unspoiled (yet spoiled by be), unscathed, unscratched, and smells sooooo good. It's all about to be very different. God, grant me the serenity...

Monday, December 26, 2005

Blonde In A Box

This was how one of my Christmas presents was wrapped this year. Was it packaged by the tiny hands of my child, you ask? As a matter of fact, it was wrapped by my husband and THAT was his SECOND attempt. Inside was a coupon in the sum of a few hundred dollars, the amount it will cost to bring me back to blonde. Being a redhead was great but it's time to return to my "roots" and have some fun, as the saying goes. The transition isn't going to be fun and I am fearful I will look more like Sinead O'Connor than Paris Hilton. Stay tuned.

GoGo came and stayed with us for the holidays but this is what happens when you share a good book with her. These were taken in sequence. She hardly put the book down...

Notice the pajama pant/puppy combo. That's her dog, Blaze, and when he lays on her lap, he completely disappears. The book, by the way, was The Lovely Bones, soon to be a movie.

And here is a picture of Willem eagerly awaiting Santa's arrival or in other words, "Go to sleep already, kid!".

Also, if you're wondering what the heck to do this New Year's Eve, you can't miss this!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Some Libido In My Stocking, Please

As promised in the childbirthing class we took six months back, I am a new mother who traded libido for a 24/7 date with a very small person. My husband was disheartened like every other spouse that day when the instructor explained that hows and whys of this cruel decline of desire. She gave a recovery timeline of a year. That was when the collective masculine gasp sucked the air out of the room and gave everyone face lifts. Honestly, it's hard to believe that what got you where you are in the first place would be removed and replaced by a hollow void but it's true. The idea of a roll in the hay is about as appealing as skinning fish with my teeth. Don't get me wrong, I love the kissy, cuddling, canoodling parts of our affectionate role playing but don't even think about second or third base. I'll take that bat and beat you with it. I know it's a protective measure installed by Mother Nature to keep our children's ages at least a few months apart but I also know that my husband wishes we were back in the dark ages where when a woman was impregnated, he could go off on a dinner date and woo another gal. I don't blame him and extend permission to him to visit as many naughty sites on the internet as he so desires (not that he needed my permission in the first place). In the meantime, I will hit the sales racks at Last Call after the holidays and see if I can muster some luster in the lingerie department. He's been a good boy this year and deserves a little "hoe" with his ho, ho. ho.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Sensitive Ponytail Type

Didn't I just take my child on a two and a half week trip to another country where EVERYTHING was unfamiliar? And didn't strangers oogle, touch, tug and squeeze him? Just checking because I took him to a fun Christmas cookie decorating party yesterday and he SCREAMED and CRIED for the first 35 minutes until he was bright red and hoarse. Mothers flocked to make his acquaintance and try to calm him down but it only heightened his freak out fit. He was a soggy, limp rag doll by the time he wore himself out and I was in major need of a glass of wine and snuggle time with the little guy. We stuck around for another 45 minutes or so and he remained calm but I think he scared all of the guests. No one really talked to us.

I figured out yesterday that one of the greatest things about having a new baby is that it really simplifies the holiday shopping gift list. All I need to buy are a bunch of picture frames 'cause every family member is getting a picture of the kiddo. Merry Ho-Ho.

On the second leg of our return trip home, we had a layover in Atlanta. After the first 9 hour flight, we were tired, cranky and carried short fuses. When we deplaned, we had to reclaim our lugguage, go through customs, recheck the baggage, go through security (the part where you get naked to clear the beep), and make the long haul to the gate. Well, our beloved Snap N Go, the stroller frame that carried baby all over Spain, got left in Atlanta. Damn thing never showed up. An Indian man who worked somewhere in the airport said it would pop out on some other belt where golf clubs and fly rods appear. Daddy and I fussed and cussed about where we were supposed to retrieve it and I was just about to ask for a divorce when we both waved the white flag and left the thing behind. We were both saddened by the loss but stumbled onward. I had to now haul the 15 pound kid in carseat with my giant backpack on my person through the terminal while daddy dragged two suitcases and his carry-on behind him. It was not glamorous and I heard a woman who walked past me with her stroller remark to her husband, "That must suck." Yes, lady, it did. So now we're searching for a new stroller, a complete system with beer holders, a gun rack, and a giant spotlight. If anyone knows of any on sale (because, dang, they're expensive!), send me an email.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


I will always be grateful that I got to drag my infant son all over Spain, an event that he'll have no memory of, and I will be the first to admit that IT WASN'T EASY, people. The opportunity to go presented itself and the trip was a must do. It was practically paid for, too. This was my first time across the pond and it was a time of year that wasn't overpopulated with tourists (but no one told me that Spain has plenty of its own people on the continent). I was scared, excited, unnerved and anxious but it all played out well and we made it home in one piece and as a complete family.

One wonderful thing about Spain is that they LOVE children and it doesn't matter where you take them or when. Many times Willem found his tiny self in the arms of some foxy foreign woman gooing over him. One of the most remarkable moments occurred when we had gone to the Museo Sophia in Madrid one afternoon. We made a mad dash inside of this mammoth place to see the famous Guernica before it closed or got too late or something. Anyway, around the corner you stumble upon this amazing painting and in real life, it's breathtaking. I'm sure there's always a crowd of people hugging the perimeter of the exhibit as there was that particular day. I was making my way from one corner to the other when I was stopped in my tracks by a young, attractive girl from Italy. She freaked out over Willem, gushed over him to her friends, begged to take him from me, smooched him, cooed at him, had her boyfriend take a picture with him when all the while there's this super important piece of art behind us (nice backdrop). I soon saw my husband who seemed a bit shocked at the spectacle before him and the disregard we were having about the important work over our shoulder. I, in turn, was a bit overwhelmed by this girl's enthusiasm and began to think at any moment she was about to take off running with my child. In the end, the baby was safely back in his stroller, I was gloating and daddy was shaking his head. We heard the word "guapo" often about our baby in Spain and I have to admit, he is kinda cute. "Guapo" is now one of his many nicknames.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Scrooge Conversion

I share a holiday homestead with Ebenezer Scrooge but I'm working to convert his curmudgeonly ways. Hopefully I won't have to enlist the three ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future to do it. That could get ugly.

Ol' Eb drove Willem and I to the east side of Bastrop to the Loma Alta Christmas Tree Farm last Thursday. I had a feeling that the trip would be challenging but I was determined to share with him the experience of killing our own chosen sapling in a pine-scented forest of hundreds.

As I'm ho-hoing away in the back seat with baby, Eb was looking for the landmarks for the turn. Needless to say, we ended up in Smithville and Eb was one pissed miser. He couldn't understand why we didn't just drive to the neighborhood grocery store and snag one of the dried up twigs out front instead of going on this extended hunt. After a bit of fussin' and fightin' we found the joint and bounced our way down the dirt road to the headquarters. We were greeted by a man who could easily play Ned Flanders in the made for TV movie and his Australian Shepherd, Barney. Barney had one bluish eye that Eb thought was sans vision. Faux Ned gave Eb a hand saw and sent us off into the forest. Since the hayride wasn't in commission, we stayed close to the road knowing full well that we'd have to schlep our tree of choice back to base camp. Surprisingly, Eb quickly embraced the hunt and followed baby and I into the manicured thicket. A sparrow hawk sat at the top of one particular tree that Eb claimed was "the one" because the bird was some sort of sign. I would've been game for it except that the tree was 10 feet tall and I was sure the strangely calm bird would rip our eyes out and steal the baby. We did finally manage to choose a bushy fella and, on my command, Eb begrudginly got on his knees and began to saw. About five minutes later, he was cursing from underneath the branches. Not wanting the fun to come to a screeching halt, I handed over the kiddo and made a go of it but damn thing was impossible to sever. I marched out into the road and summoned "Ned" and with little effort, he cut the tree from the ground. It was easy to imagine him with the muscle bound body of Flanders underneath his flannel and raincoat. After the dead bristles were violently shaken from the tree by a shaking machine and it was fed in to a really big mesh bag, we secured it to the top of the truck and took it home. I grinned to myself when Eb said that next year he wanted to gather up a group of friends to make the trip with us, pack some warm toddys and make a Saturday of it. One small step for wifey, one giant leap for Christmas's to come.

P.S. Baby loves the tree!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Storytelling: Part Dos

The Climb Of Our Lives - we hiked up to that castle on the island of Palma, Mallorca. There were about 200 stairs and we were half way up them when we decided to ditch the stoller in the bushes and hike the rest of the way like Sherpas hired by a 24-inch, toothless person who really couldn't appreciate the effort.

Face Melting Architecture

European MTV ROCKS!

World's Largest Vibrator

Paella Thief


I tried to download a program that would allow me to creatively post the vaca pics on my blog but because I own a Mac, that damn program isn't compatible. That's probably a saving grace because I am now limited in the amount of things I can post. Here is a tiny morsel...

Before Baby

After Baby

Popsicle Baby - it was dang cold in Madrid.

Museum Of Ham - Seriously, that's what this place was called and I thought we had lost Willem's Piglet rattle there which would have been appropriate.

European Baby - He really does look like quite the Spanish flirt, doesn't he?

Stranger Danger

Close to the tail end of our trip, I finally threw in the towel and decided to let the front desk guy at our hotel find us a babysitter so that daddy and I could go out on our first real date since the rugrat arrived. A part of me was excited about the idea of putting on some fishnets and stepping out but a huge part was hoping that every babysitter in the town of Leon was on strike or booked. Turned out that someone was willing to come sit in our modest hotel room with my beloved late that evening. Dinner isn't served in this country until 9 p.m. which is insane, so the sitter had between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. to raid our suitcases and steal my child. I was a wad of nerves all day long and nearly jumped out of my skin when she finally knocked on the door. An elderly, grandmotherly Spanish woman calmly hobbled in and I was relieved to note her obvious age range. I mean, she couldn't run that fast if I had to chase her. She smelled nice and smiled broadly as she told me she couldn't speak English so in my broken Espanol, I explained to her things about the baby. Translating my info to her would read something like "Baby very good. Sleeping 10 minutes. Diapers big. Here. Things you need. My first time out from baby. Very nervous. Need drink. Milk here. No more. Kiss him. Love him. Very nervous." She kept repeating the word "tranquilo" over and over and over. Basically she was telling me to calm down but by the 10th or 11th time she said it, I was beginning to think she was recommending tequila or tranquilizers. I managed to leave with my date for the evening out but he didn't help matters by joking about Willem being kidnapped. I had to laugh when he reminded me of the Simpsons episode when Homer lost Maggie and called the lost baby hotline. They put him on hold and the hold music was the song "Baby Come Back." All was well though when we returned and the little one was sleeping like an angel with no visible signs of trauma. I tipped her 5 euro and scooted her out the door so I could promptly examine all of his parts.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Friggin’- A, we did it! We survived a two and a half week trip with our now three-month-old son to a foreign language speaking country that legally has two-hour lunches WITH ALCOHOL AND CIGARETTES throughout. Was the adventure fun? You bet! Did I ever want to be gored in the streets by a running bull? Once or twice, but I couldn’t find any bulls.

Here’s a brief rundown of our trip…
Number of plane flights: 6
Number of train rides: 6
Number of cities visited: 5
Miles of stroller journeys: 150 or so
Number of miles in the Bjorn: 10
Number of cathedrals I breastfed in: 3
Number of women who flung themselves at Willem: 22
Number of café con leches consumed: 34
Number of glasses of cava: 40 or so
Number of times I asked for a divorce on the trip: 1

Yesterday was an 18-hour travel day. This isn’t healthy for an adult, much less a 24-inch little one yet he hung in there like a champ. Since he had gotten a stuffy nose on an overnight train ride a couple of days earlier, he was a tad more opinionated than the trip to Spain but who wouldn’t be cranky when you don’t know how to blow your own nose. Mommy flubbed the backpack diaper bag packing for the trip home and had to bum number 2 diapers from mothers in the airport. I bought European diapers in Palma, Mallorca but couldn’t make the weight conversion and ended up with MC Hammer diapers. Daddy came up with a hilarious version of Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” for diaper duty that went…

“Every where I go, people laugh at me
‘cause I’m wearing diapers made in 1983.
Can’t wear these.”

I will include a little collage of life in Spain as soon as I figure out how. Oh, and I'm REALLY tired so I need a nap before I start researching this. It's good to be home and Austin is a dang fine city to live in.

P.S. If anyone needs any tips on traveling with very young people, let me know. I think I'm close to an expert on the subject.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Little Big Man

This funky looking seat is called a Bumbo and Willem loves it! I think he feels like a big boy while he's sitting in it. I recommend one for all babies.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Are We Crazy? The Answer Is Perhaps.

This Thursday, Turkey Day, we are compromising all levels of composure and sanity we have been maintaining the past nine weeks as we place our butts in the seats of an airplane and fly to Madrid, Spain. This includes baby's butt. Very few people think this trip is possible with an infant and think we have lost our marbles. Those people should get out more.

In preparation for the journey, I have been taking baby everywhere I go to get him acclimated to the feeling of adventure, the outdoors and lots of people. As a matter of fact, he's a much better kid out and about than at home where he gets bored by redundant scenery. I hope this translates well in Spain. He's going to be on the go with us. Have boob, will travel.

Last night marked a significant moment in my life as a mom. I actually dropped the baby off at my brother-in-law's house and went out for an adult evening of vino and fine cuisine with hubby at Zoot. It was, however, one of the most painful things I've done. Willem busted a nut in his carseat en route so by the time we got there, he was rather rabid. I was completely unnerved and upset. It's a physical and emotional response that Mother Nature has sewn into a mother's wiring. I was looking forward to stepping out in my big girl shoes and propped up cleavage but my heart had been steeped in baby sobs so it was hard to leave him behind. I did finally make it to the event after practically being shoved out the door. The purpose of the evening was benefit-related and hubby was performing at the end of the noshing (and trust me, his performance isn't limited to the stage...dinner was VERY interesting) but I was there for the adult conversation and a real meal. The crowd was VERY white (and hubby managed to ruffle a few feathers with some nasty Bush comments) but there were a couple of colorful characters, one being the very talented Anthony Nak. He was wearing a conservative button down shirt with stitching on the pocket that read "God Loves Even Me." Nice. At 10:30, I raced to retieve my son and got home feeling like the cat that ate the canary (and foie gras, skate, duck, and chocolate cake). I had made it through and only thought of baby every OTHER minute. As I was pumping to dump in the darkness of the bedroom, I did realize that even though I've been stuck in this baby bubble for the past nine weeks, I really do like it here.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Admiring My Post Natal Self

I'm in the process of weaving a baby blanket for Willem with the CLUMPS OF HAIR THAT ARE FALLING OUT OF MY HEAD! The luxurious mane I effortlessly grew while preggers is a thing of the past. I was thinking of going back to my natural blonde color this month but I don't think I'll have any hair left to dye soon. My nails have returned to their wafer thin ways and the knuckles on my hands are huge. I had to have my wedding ring increased half a size to get it back on my finger. Little did I know that was going to cost me $130! That's 7 packages of diapers and 2 boxes of breast pads, man.

I'm still carting around a spare tire for a Pinto in the midsection area (sexy, no?) but a girlfriend explained that this thing might stick around for a while. She says it's natures way of making sure I have enough reserves to maka de leche. Although I can wear my old jeans, keep in mind that they're hip huggers so they dip below the belly and leave a nice place for it to perch when I sit down to nosh candy corns.

My C-section scar has healed and now I sport a thin-lipped grin in my pelvic region. Vericose veins? Check. I'll be zapping those suckers sometime next year. The boobs are pretty cool but are beyond my control. Willem has them under his spell. We added a set of stairs to our house and if I'd known that my knees were going to be so sore climbing them with baby a million times a day, I would've commissioned the elevator job. Actually, I'm just plain sore all over. Back, wrists, back, knees, back. Did I mention fatigue? I'm about to doze off as I write...this...Zzzzzzz.

Good Parent Bad Parent

This is so right...

This so wrong...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Stuff And Things

So hubby finally made it home the other night after a rousing evening of debauchery. I was beginning to think something terrible had happened to him so by the time he stumbled in through the door, I had retrieved the copy of his will we had just signed earlier that day. I kept thinking to myself "The damn ink isn't even dry yet. This is like a made for TV movie."

Willem turned two months old yesterday and we celebrated by taking him to his pediatrician and letting his nursing assistant jab him four times in the thighs with needles. Next month we're giving him cake and sticking his hands in the candles. What a heartbreaking moment to hear him scream with the certainty that we suddenly hated him. Daddy had the cruel job of holding him down to the table so the woman could make her mark. I'm sure the kid is traumatized on some level and will pay us back someday, somehow. Luckily, I got to be the good guy/gal and smothered him with hugs and kisses after it was over.

It's no surprise to me that he now weighs 12 pounds (7lbs, 12 oz at birth) because he eats like horse at every meal. It's getting more challenging changing his diapers because I have to navigate every chubby little crevasse to find poo hidden there which takes a bit more time than he's willing to put up with. What was once a relatively manageable moment shared by mother and son has turned into a race for time and cleanliness. I swear, every day there's a new fold to unfold. Is there some way that I can start producing skim milk?

Go Go will be here in the morning. She is probably the only person I trust to leave my child with and know I don't have to worry about him at all so don't 'cha know I'll be racing like mad out of the house tomorrow for a shopping spree! Stay off the streets. Fair warning.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Middle Of The Night

Many of us parents are very familiar with the stirrings of the middle of the night. I usually have to feed W around 2 or 3 a.m. and can thankfully (usually) put him right back down to get another 3 or so hours of sleep, when I can get back to sleep. If I can't, I wander the house, periodically peeking out the front windows of the house to look at what, I'm not sure. I imagine that cars whizzing by are revelers leaving last call or the beloved donut maker heading to work. My neighbors across the street have a 4 or 5 week old son and I grin to myself knowing full well what's going on over there as the lights inside their home click on and off. It's tough. Before baby, I dreamed of blue Tiffany boxes, spa weekends, and spontaneous trips to the hill country or Marfa, Texas. Now I would kill for a full nights sleep, a long shower under my new huge showerhead, or a drive to a coffeeshop where no one knows me and I don't have to change my baby soiled clothes to look presentable. Ugh.

Tonight I'm also looking for the return of a certain musician from a post-musical dinner celebration. This is about the time I start to imagine he's in a ditch somewhere.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

And This Baby Award Goes To...

Okay, so W is the only kid in the running for the award but this time he REALLY deserves it.

I'm still nervous about the idea of having someone come babysit my son. I know that I would be out on the town dancing on bars with tequila shots squashed in my new found cleavage and not enjoying it one bit while watching the time drag by like a two-legged dog. Therefore, I didn't plan to attend hubby's brave musical performance last night at Hyde Park Theater and went about my evening as per the usual course. W and I kissed daddy goodbye, took a bath, played on the floor gym mat thingie and he was soon asleep around his usual time. Within the hour, he was awake and letting me know he wasn't too happy. I repositioned him in his bed and patted his back until he was out again. It was only a few minutes later when he was letting me have it with a high-pitched screech. It's the one that only dogs and I can hear. This time he wasn't interested in sleep so we hung out at his changing table for a while like two old pals at a bar sharing whiskeys and talked about sock monkeys. I noticed the time, decided to dress him in proper britches of the non-sweat variety and stuffed him in the car seat with Hyde Park in our sight. Upon arrival, he was quickly embraced by a friend's mother whose shriveled elder ovaries swelled upon making contact. We took our seats and the musical began with Willem drifing off to sleep on my chest. To my surprise, he slept through the entire performance, intermission and all! I cringed with every sax blow and actor bellow knowing for sure that he'd awaken and we'd have to leave but that never happened. I was able to enjoy both the performance and my sleeping child. When it was all over and the tears of laughter had dried, I took a groggy baby home and tucked him in. He even slept through a post-musical party that lasted until 2 a.m. (I turned in at midnight). I count my baby blessings every day and know that at any moment the other shoe could drop and he could turn into the Prince Of Darkness but until that day comes, I'm going to keep pressing my luck and love every minute of it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Mr. Who?

About a week ago, I emailed my mother (Go Go to her grandson) to invite her and her sister to come visit me and the baby. Hubby is going to be gone all weekend playing gigs so we could have the run of the place and do mother, daughter, grandson, auntie sort of things together. I got an email back from her explaining that they couldn't come and perhaps we'd see each other in a few weeks or so. I was surprised! What? Go Go doesn't want to endure the lame four hour drive to see her only grandson? I mulled this over for a few days but finally had to call her at work and say what tha'? Seems there was a misunderstanding in the translation of my email and SHE thought I didn't want her to come visit BECAUSE huband would be gone. Wrong-o. So we're discussing the possibility of them coming and I can tell that she needs to get off of the phone to address someone or something at her desk. She's saying she'll check with her sister and would call me to let me know of their plans. The pace of the conversation picks up a bit more and I'm telling her to "Yes, call me when you know, we'd love to see you, it will be fun, he's so big," and so forth and at the last moment she says, "Well, I guess I won't get to see my boyfriend this weekend. He'll have to wait. No big deal." or something along those lines but I don't hear the rest of what she says after the word BOYFRIEND. What? Who? Stop the presses...and she says, "I'll call you, love you." Click. Excuse me? Boyfriend?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

At Least Someone's Getting Some Sleep Around Here

Showbiz Baby

It's been a tough couple of days since the husband has been completely submerged in a musical he's written and is performing in this week (finally!). His rehearsals have taken him out of the family unit much to my chagrin but I try and keep it to myself (but, please, let me share it on the internet). Without his 20 minute-a-day visit with Willem, I am overwhelmed and beat. The tot and I are tired of looking at each other by the time the sun goes down. It's been a battle of wills. I don't think I am supposed to be with him this many hours a day. Will this developmentally affect my child somewhere down the road?

He has been forced to run errands with me but he's really gotten the hang of it. In public he's all smiles and coos and gurgles. He sends women running home to their husbands for more offspring. He naps while I eat out (alone) and wakes up just in time to woo the waitress before we leave. He's the cutest baby in the land at the Fresh Plus grocery store right before he busts a nut when we get around the corner on our way home. In the evening, it's much more of a challenge as he fights sleep and I fight his fight. Somehow we compromise and he drifts off but by this time, I am totally wiped out. A glass of wine, a shower, and I'm ready to turn in. Yes, it's 9 p.m. Boy, have things changed.

For the record, I DO miss my job.

Oh, I just ordered this for the little guy. Soon he'll be begging to hang with the band and since I can't discourage him from being a musician, at least I can protect his hearing.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Nothing To Report

Sometimes when I sit down to blog, I think that I have nothing to write, that nothing worth typing has happened. Well, I'm usually wrong. There's always the little things. Even though I spent the whole day with my son who only had maybe 20 minutes the entire morning/afternoon/evening in his father's arms because he's busy working on his musical, I still didn't want to leave him on a neighbors doorstep, not once. Sure his usual evening fit creeped into our lovely afternoon together and of course he returned pints of breast milk every time he ate but it didn't matter. Mother Nature has us mommies wired in a way that it doesn't take much for us to forget why we want to give our children to total strangers some days. Willem is mastering this shy Bambi-like smile-hidden-in-arms combo that makes me swoon. I could get lost in the depths of his dimples (he got those from the pool boy) and when he wraps his tiny arms around my neck and clings to me with total exhaustion, I go weak in the knees. When he finds his little fist and with every ounce of concentration he can muster, directs it to his mouth, I am cheering. Of course, when this happens, his eyes cross as his hand gets closer to his nose and stay that way for longer periods of time than I am comfortable with but I know he'd still be "my boy" if they stuck. Every day he is changing so every day I have something to write.

Tonight my husband flirted with me and said I was rocking the "Rosie the Riveter: "We Can Do It!" look and he liked it. At least this time he wasn't talking to my boobs.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

This Is Your Brain On Maternity Leave

I'm on my eighth week of maternity leave and during this time I have acclimated myself to raising a beautiful baby and moved into a mini mansion (it is to me anyway) complete with shiny new appliances. Well, I am trying to keep them shiny but I know it will only be a matter of weeks before they look like they came from a crack den. The day before yesterday, I entered into Stepford Wife territory when I couldn't get the surface of my oven shiny again after cooking up some opossum and made a special and speedy trip to Target for some heavy duty cleanser. I'm still working on getting that luster back.

I have lost track of the days of the week and packed out the trash can and recycling bin well in advance of their departure day. The side of my mansion looks like a landfill. It will take me a good 30 minutes or longer to get it all to the curb. Better hook up the Baby Bjorn and teach Willem how to open and close his hands so he can assist mama.

Yesterday morning, when little Will had easily gone down for his nap, I collected my purse and told my husband that I was going to run a couple of errands. I jumped in the truck, cranked up the radio and headed off only to realize that it wasn't 10 a.m. like the clock in the studio had said it was. Nine a.m. and the store I wanted to pillage wouldn't be open for another hour! My time is precious, people, and I immediately needed to decide how to make good use of it while I was away from mothering. I begrudgingly headed to Target 'cause we all know they have tons of crap we don't really need but have to have and they're conveniently open early to sell me said crap. Disgruntled, I found a parking place, wandered in and do you know what I saw? All of the Halloween candy HALF PRICE! This includes candy corn. Thanks to the confusion of daylight savings time, I am stocked with enough candy crack corn to last until next Halloween! By this time next year, I will have the toothless grin of a jack-o-lantern.

On an unrelated note, a real estate agent left her business card on our door with a note on the back saying she has a client who would be interested in buying our house. It's either a fan of Barney the Dinosaur or someone who is severely color blind and don't you know I'm going to call her to find out!

Monday, October 31, 2005

The Language of Baby

Several times a day, here's what you'll hear me say...

"Are you making me a diaper?"
"Is that my little little?"
"Do you want a boo boo?"
"What a sneezers!"
"Are you shoo-shoo?"

I miss true adult conversations. I even miss slurred, drunken babble.

Oh, and here is my new babysitter...

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Jimmy Crack Corn

My guilty pleasure of the fall season is candy corn. I am officially on my third bag since they hit the store shelves en mass. I'm not bragging about this level of consumption but reaching out for help to end the addiction. No wonder I can't lose these last 10 baby pounds. Somebody plan an intervention before they go on sale after the Halloween holiday.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Charge It

Today I actually got to go shopping for me, by myself. For one frantic hour, I tried to pretend that I didn't have an urgent reason to race home to the baby and enjoyed a brief moment fondling clothing that I hope to fit in to again someday. I almost turned around a few blocks away from the house because I was sure Willem was sending me telepathic baby-to-mommy information that daddy didn't know what the hell he was doing and couldn't stop his crocodile tears from flowing. I feel this way because a couple of times I've gone out to run a VERY quick errand, husband has called to say not that Willem was crying but that he was FREAKING OUT and I needed to come home NOW! Of course, hearing his heaving, sobbing voice in the background makes my boobs engorge, my head spin, and I break the sound barrier in my truck. This morning, I raced to south Austin to my favorite store, nearly creamed a couple of families in the parking lot, and practically ran inside. Knowing the layout of this place very well, I cruised my normal browsing route at warp speed, tried on a couple of items in the middle of the store over my clothes (who has time to walk all of the way to the dressing room?), and had great success in the shoe department where I realized that although my son got my eyes, he has given me big feet. I already possessed a couple of built in barefoot skis and now they are Telluride snowboards. I grabbed the mommy-friendly boats and hightailed it to check out. As I write this, I realize I completely forgot about shopping the baby section of the store. In a way this IS a success story.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What Is The Sound Of One Hand Typing?

Raising a child is the most exhausting thing I've ever done. EVER. The little darling is sleeping right now (God only knows for how long or short) so I am typing as fast as I can. Yes, I should be sleeping, too. It's impossible to blog with him clinging to the left side of my body while my right hand bounces around the keyboard. I've tried. Very frustrating.

Two weeks ago, we moved into our remodeled house but were told we couldn't officially "move in". At the time, the electricity didn't pass inspection so we were informed that we could put our crap inside but we couldn't live there. Huh? Was someone really going to try and stop me from sleeping in my own bed in my new master bedroom? To make matters worse, there is no gas therefore no hot water and no heat. This will finally be remedied tomorrow but remember, we moved "in" two weeks ago. In an effort to avoid the constant traffic of contractors crawling around the house like insects on a pile of poop, hubby, baby and I went to the coast for a week in hopes of returning to a home we can actually inhabit. The time away was, well, like being at home with baby but just in a different house somewhere else. We did go on a few stroller walks but the mosquitos were relentless and once I looked down to find a huge beast perched on the end of Willem's nose! Freak out! I did make my pilgrimage to purchase a giant cinnamon roll and that was a highlight. I saw the beach from the back of my truck while everyone else frollicked in the waves like seals. My husband's brother, wife and daughter joined us over the weekend and I was more than eager to play "pass the baby" as they were eager participants. One of the many perks of the extended family.

So now we're home in a house full of boxes, the contents of which have revealed more junk than I can believe we were stupid enough to pack up a year ago. We could open our own Goodwill. We even gave away two suitcases and some clothes today to a couple walking down the street. Is that weird?

I unpacked Willem's room right away when we "moved in". Repressed nesting took a hold of me and I didn't stop until it was done. Of course, it's still an unfinished version of what it will be someday but Willem seems to like it. His changing table is by a sunny window now unlike before when it was stuffed in a closet smelling of stale shoes. He smiles and bounces his arms and legs as the sun makes him squint to the point of visual darkness. I bought him the coolest moblie but my arms get tired dangling the heavy thing over his not-so-little head to amuse him. It only attaches to a crib and we don't have one of those yet so I angle it like a fishing rod with a big catch on the end and watch my son swing his spastic arms to touch it. Oh, the things I will do to see him smile.

On a side note, have I mentioned breast pads yet? No? Did I think for a minute that I would be a candidate for such products? No way. Am I keeping the companies in business? Definitely. I never thought I'd be wearing round maxipads on my boobs. No one spoke of the possiblity. Is it only a big deal to me? Perhaps. For the record, I hate them but perfectly circular tandem wet spots on any shirt are out of the question.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Dearest Willem,

Today you are 33 days old. I think that most mothers would write a letter to their child on a certain significant date but to me every day is significant and a celebration of you being in this ol’ cruel world. At the moment you are in your swing and seem to like it, an event that is as hit and miss as a basketball hoop game at a county fair. I believe most of this enjoyment stems from the fact that you are currently filling your diaper with your special sauce and it looks like it feels pretty damn good.

In the wee hours of the morning last night, I looked down at your sweet face as I was nursing you and ‘lo and behold you were flashing the Hook’em Horns sign on your cheek with your tiny hand. Wow!

In these same wee hours when you awaken for your 30th feeding of the day, you nurse with such excitement and urgency, making me feel so needed and necessary in your world. You make these great breathless gulping sounds that go “yoink, yoink, yoink” and are loud enough to wake your father. It’s dramatic to the point of cartoonish ridiculousness and we always laugh at you. I only hope your feverish drinking sounds don’t last in to grade school. I fear what the other kids on the playground might do to you when you finish a carton of chocolate milk. You nurse with such force that at any moment you could suck off my nipples, put them in the pocket of your Gap sweatpants (yes, they do have pockets!) and toddle off.

You love being outside and listening to the cars woosh by. You enjoy our stroller journeys. You love your baths even when mommy forgets to warm up the infant support thingie in your tub and puts you on its icy cold surface as you scream like a skinned cat. You like lying on your changing table for chunks of time just to hang out and gurgle to the white walls. Putting a clean diaper on you is like dressing a fish and you think it’s funny.

You are already outgrowing your Onesies and sporting quite the handsome mullet with ponytail potential. You smile at your father and I can almost feel his explosive love for you in the next room. You are such a snuggle bunny and I could hold you for hours. I love it when you send up your dramatic fake cry and I swoop in like a mother lioness ready to protect and nurture. I love watching you change every day as a part of me is sad to see you growing so fast.

Tomorrow we move into our new house and start a new life. Your mommy and daddy have been waiting for this moment for over a year. We are very excited to share this silly purple home with you. We think you will like it. Barney the Dinosaur would. Thank you for being my son and for being so wonderful. Thank you for showing me what it means to love unconditionally. My heart couldn’t be any bigger.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

How Does He...

Make the poop shoot straight UP his back? It exits the top of his tiny diaper and soaks up the adoring expressions of the giraffes and elephants on his Onesie. It's a mind boggling phenomenon.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

When Farts Became Cute

As a testimony to his healthy bodily functions, my infant son packs one hell of a fart. His tiny buns amplify the flatulent exit and I am in constant shock and awe at the punches packed down there. Today, in the quiet solitude of our bonding, he ripped one so powerful we both jumped. After checking to make sure there wasn't a fire or smoke down there, I burst out laughing while he stared at me poker-faced like nothing happened. When in the arms of strangers, a toot evokes a look of concern and a sudden passing of child back to parent. Having recently been schooled in the art of distinguishing between harmless and dangerous farts, I am amused by this exchange. Eyes immediately scan ones garment for evidence of pooting debris. Thankfully, as of this date, no one has been stained and I have yet to receive a dry cleaning bill.

The freakin' temperatures have finally dropped in our fair city and it looks like the 90+ days of heat are a thing of the past for now. Willem and I went for a walk this afternoon. I was so in to the weather that I walked 30 minutes in one direction and had to walk it back. An hour walk is no big deal to most and there was a time when it wasn't a big deal to me either but I had worn the wrong shoes, still have C-section suture issues, and had forgotten to bring water. Upon collapsing inside my front door, I realized I have a long way to go to get back to my normal, energetic self. Onward through the fog.

I got an email from a girlfriend the other day asking who my pedi was. I emailed her back with comments, info and a link to the spa where I get my pedicures done. She emailed in return saying that I needed to get with the "mommie program" and give her Willem's pediatrician contact info, not pedicure info. She basically stated that my monthly pedicure days are over except for VERY special occasions. I choked back tears as I painted my toes myself.

This is a hotel pool in Corpus Christi sans water in natural light.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Sunday, October 02, 2005

And The "Baby Of The Year" Award Goes To...

Willem Zuniga!

I'm not EVER expecting it to happen again, but the most wonderful baby in the world didn't cry ONCE on the 4-hour drive to the beach, or on the drive to and from Corpus where daddy had to play an outdoor show (after Foghat!) at 10 p.m. therefore getting us back to the beach house at 2:30 a.m., nor did he cry on the four hour journey home. I didn't even have to drink tumblers of adult beverages to medicate him or myself for any of the legs. We went cold turkey and it was great! I don't know what kind of mommie karma I racked up to deserve such a wonderful trial run with tiny infant but whatever I have to do to pay it back, I'm game. We didn't get to spend much time at any of the places we went and it was still damn hot out but we did our little routine in a new location and at one point, Will slept for a 4-hour stretch one night. I think I even had a dream or two!

We walked to the neighborhood coffee shop for decaf and a cinnamon roll shortly after the sun came up one morning (note - daddy is still sleeping in) . I make a pilgrimage each trip to own one of the delicious pastries. These beasts weigh a couple of pounds each. If you're lucky, they're still warm from the oven. Here is proof of the size of this thing. I am holding it right next to baby's head for reference...

Yes, it was delicious.

Looks like we'll be moving in to our house on the 14th of this month. No, it won't be fully completed but we have agreed to move out of our apartment so someone else can move in. This gave me an excuse to really crack the whip on the contractor last Thursday. Most of the finer details will be completed but I'm sure we'll have to co-exist with a few strange men lurking as they tie up loose ends. It's been over a year since we have been able to settle in somewhere and create a home environment. Our life has been in storage that long, too. It's been tough as we have moved four times in the last twelve months. I can't believe my marriage is still intact and we even have a baby to prove our compatibility. Needless to say, we aren't doing squat in the upcoming year except gardening. Hubby can continue to push his music career and I'm going to grow stuff, dig deep and put in some roots.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Geez, Where Have I Been?

Oh yeah, in babyland. It’s a whole new world but a predictable one. My day/night goes something like this…nurse, burp, change diaper, nurse, coo, nap, repeat. Somewhere in there, I get a glance of my husband. It’s like being stuck on a merry-go-round except that you’re madly in love with the circular affair. Okay, I don't want to sound like the Mary Poppins of newborns. I have begrudgingly gotten up at 2:30 a.m. (while cursing under my breath) to begin the cycle all over again but that’s only when I’ve been asleep for about three hours straight. My mood fares better on two or less. Any more than that and I get greedy.

There is nothing more charming in the world than to see your child (Egads! MY child?) smile. W does it mostly during his "drunk sailor" skit. He nurses for about 10 minutes then his eyes begin to roll in all directions and his oral grip slackens. His head lilts to the side with the nozzle of my boob barely touching his lips and he grins the cheekiest, toothless grin, like a sailor that has washed ashore and discovered a never ending fountain of hooch with his name all over it.

He's asleep in his swing right now. It gently clicks tick, tock as he is lulled back and forth. I wish I had one of those in my size. Swaddle and swing me. He’s dreaming of God-only-knows-what-a-3-week-old-boy dreams of and making puppy whimpering sounds. It’s very sweet.

We’re leaving for the beach tonight. Whoo-hoo! Set me free! It will be the third time I have left the apartment since baby arrived three weeks ago. "Hello, stir crazy." We will see how we all fare in the car together for a few hours. I don’t foresee any major snafus on the way but fingers and toes are crossed. I think the biggest challenge will be getting all of the baby gear in the truck. Our days of traveling light are over.

My baby looks very Latino here, no?

Friday, September 23, 2005

If Raising A Baby Were A Foreign Language...

I'd be nearly fluent by now. Doing something 24/7 is an interesting challenge. W and I watch the world (or at least our little corner of the world) pack up its day and go to sleep each evening and then watch it as it unfolds into a new day in the twilight of the morning. We are up and down all night but I'm not complaining. I wasn't counting on consistent sleep being a part of this deal anyway. It's a beautiful thing actually. He and I have our own quiet exsistence as the hours and days tick by. He evolves as my tiny infant son and I evolve as a mother and we do this together, just he and I. For this time together, I am grateful.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Baby Things

I have a whole new collection of baby necessities surrounding me in our small apartment. It's a jungle gym of brightly colored, over-priced plastic. Most of these have ridiculous names, many with dual meanings that are appropriate either way. For example:

Snap 'N Go - What it is: a collapsible stoller frame that a car seat fits easily in to.
What it could mean: After feverishly trying to put the damn thing together, you SNAP and GO to the nearest bar.

Pack 'N Play - What it is: a portable playpen with a changing table for baby.
What it could mean: What mommie wants to do after a long day with baby, PACK, head to a hotel and PLAY with her imaginary cabana boy come-to-life.

My Breast Friend - What it is: a fabric covered donut/shelf sort of thing that fits around your upper torso allowing baby to rest on it while you nurse. It's a great invention!
What it could mean: A buddy who would happily take your place with their boobs and feed your baby for you giving your tortured nipples a much needed break.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Many Days of Firsts

I've been floating in a sea of baby-love for the past 10 days. It's a great ride. I never imagined how good life could be.

This is W. Z. weighing in at 7 lbs. 12 oz and was 20 inches long on 9/10/05 - also his daddy's birthday. Some b-day present, huh? Came in this awfully gooey wrapper though. As advised by my doctor, he was removed via the belly, in retrospect, a horrifying event. Thankfully, the medication kept me from fully digesting the enormity of the manipulated delivery. One thing I will never forget is hearing the doc say, "You're going to feel a little pressure in your chest." I'm thinking, "Why my chest? The baby is coming out of my belly?" Seconds later, an unnatural tugging sensation seemed to suck my lungs, heart, and throat (these parts weren't that numb) outside of my ribcage via my incision. It felt like someone had parked a VW on my upper body. The pressure was unreal and terrifying. Days later, I had a lingering soreness that continued to remind me of that moment.

My son was born in that moment, too. I heard his cries and tried to process the information as "that's MY baby crying." It was too surreal to fully grasp. Groggy from the drugs, I got my first glance at a very upset little person and struggled to make a connnection in my mind and heart. Again, only the fear of the operating room activity consumed me. My husband drifted out of view as they stiched me up and got the vitals of the baby. I heard Willem's cries and I heard my husband exclaim, "Oh my God, Oh my God" with tears choking his voice. I didn't know if that meant something was wrong or all was right. The masked faces surrounding me were busying themselves with getting the surgery done and flipping the table for the next patient. I felt removed, like an object with no real purpose. I was on so much medication.

We spent 4 glorious days in the hospital and I'm not being sarcastic. Hubby and I had a cozy room to welcome the many guests who came to congratulate us. We got to spend much quality time together with our baby (no internet access provides for that). In the backs of our minds, we felt the safety and comfort being exactly where we needed to be in case anything should go awry. The nurses were great (it helps to ply them with cake and truffles), the food barely edible, and the mesh panties super comfortable. I could've claimed a whole box of those. Boy-short meets soft texture.

So we're home now. Hubby has the freedom to come and go as he pleases. His life is pretty much the same. I, on the other hand, have become someone else and I like this person. It's an amazing thing to live in a bubble of adoration, complete bliss, and love something like you could never imagine. Never.

Friday, September 09, 2005

A Day Of Lasts

I awoke at 6:30 this morning and knew I was doomed. I wouldn't be going back to sleep on the last morning I have to spend with my warm, sleeping husband without the peeps and murmurs of a tiny person in the background. The brain is busy with details, scenerios, conversations and last minute things to do. The whole day is going to be filled with thoughts of "this is the last time I will..." Tomorrow will be a day of many, many firsts.

Just rewrote my birth plan. It's a mommy's version of a rock star rider that tells a venue what she needs. Like a rock star, I got to include the drugs and rock-n-roll, but no sex. I will be seeing lots of groupies throughout the day but no sex. No sex for a LONG TIME. But sex is what got me in to this mess in the first place. I think not having any for a while is a good idea.

My mom and her crazy-assed sister from LA are coming in tonight. My Auntie Bonnie is a force of energy, passion, presence and compassion all wrapped up in a raven-haired package and steeped in Cherokee blood. It will be amazing having the two of them here for the weekend embracing and loving this baby in to the world. I couldn't ask for more incredible adoration to be shed on this child from the get-go. The might of those two together could turn the tides.

The proud papa-to-be is probably rousing now and looking for his pregger wife who is sipping decaf at the coffee shop across the street...or perhaps he is still dug in and soaking up the fleeting peacefulness of our cozy nest. Of the latter, I'm not jealous.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Okay, This Is The Real Victory Lap

So I’ve been going through the first stages of labor since Sunday. Evidently, in my world, there was to be no second stage. Although I’ve made some progress, it hasn’t been as significant as it should be. I wanted to believe it was because Mother Nature was letting me get some more things crossed off of my “To Do” list, i.e., dye hair, remove hair, make up guest bed, relearn how to use car seat, stock up on Gatorade, get Thank You cards finished, etc. Today my doctor confirmed otherwise. Since my sweet husband has genetically donated a large melon of a head to our baby, we have to go in for the kid and pull it out of a space somewhere to be determined next to my bikini line. Looks like my stripper days are over. Poor tyke’s head can’t get close enough to the light at the end of the tunnel to barrel through. I was always told I had small but nice child bearing hips but I’m realizing now that hips really have nothing to do with it. I was given three options at the doctor's office…wait for baby to do its own thing which means it could be another week and baby will be even BIGGER, induce now and probably have a c-section anyway, or schedule the c-section and have a chance to put on lip gloss and style a foxy updo for the photos. We voted on the latter. So, the big day is this Saturday at 8 a.m. with a 6 a.m. arrival time at the hospital. This is also daddy-to-be’s birthday. He has chosen to share his birthday with his son or daughter, which I think is incredibly sweet! Also guarantees kool-aid AND champagne each September 10th. Tomorrow I will start my maternity leave and finish up a few details before my life changes FOREVER!!! Mixed feelings abound.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Victory Lap

Baby is due this Sunday (yes, that’s September 11th, as in 9/11 and I’m sure, dear readers, that you’re thinking to yourself “Gosh, I only gave money to the 9/11 disaster in NYC and she’s giving back a WHOLE PERSON!” Don’t beat yourself up about it.). I really, really want to deliver it right now. Yesterday would’ve been nice, too. I could've given Labor Day a whole new meaning to this little family of mine. I’ve been enduring the Braxton-Hicks contractions since Sunday and they’ve done nothing but wear me out. Being the trooper that I am (and can’t stand the thought of being left out of anything), I went to a midnight outdoor show on Sunday to see Guy Fantasy perform (he’s soooo foxy!!) and bounced around in a boat with my sister-in-law on Monday afternoon. Neither event took this labor thing to the next level. So now I’m waddling around even more now than ever and experiencing weird pains in scary places. Like when I get up to walk, I feel like I have been whacked with a baseball bat in the pelvic bone. One of my wonderful pregger girlfriends said that I'm producing relaxin which encourages the bones to become loose and separate. I thought it was an old football injury coming back to haunt me. All of this is a sign of progress, forward momentum and for that, I am grateful. I have another doctor visit tomorrow and if he says I am not making any progress, I'm going elsewhere for a second opinion.

Monday, August 29, 2005

A Trio Interpretation

The day Junebug decides to grace us with its presence, two other very important people will be assisting me in the delivery process. They are my husband (of course) and, Christi, my best friend since first grade. The other night, we all had dinner together to discuss any concerns about the delivery room dynamic (there were none - Go Team!). At the end of the meal, we each picked up and ate the little metallic paper wrapped mint that the waiter had left with the bill. I couldn't help but notice how each of us had discarded the wrappers. The top one is Christi's, the bottom left is hubby's and mine is on the bottom right.

As you can see from her meticulously folded version, Christi is in the best position to take care of all of my needs, concerns, and delusions in the delivery room. Hubby's seems to be a reflection of confusion and uncertainty (but present) and mine, well, you can see how I must be feeling.

The Pop-Up Timer Has Popped

I happened to notice today that I can see the bottom of my belly button. I don't mean underneath it, I mean the very core of it, a part that has been neatly packed away for the past 36 years. The button has inverted and revealed its virginal flesh. Mind you, it doesn't stick out like an extraneous body part (thank goodness) but barely protrudes revealing a place on my body I've never seen before. I would also like to mention that this is a clear indication that the baby oven is done cooking this little bird and would like it removed as soon as possible.

I am very round in front now, like I have stolen a fourth grader's dodge ball and swallowed it whole, air and all. It's disturbing. One redeeming quality of this compact design, however, is when a carload of guys go blazing past me and begin a sequence of cat calling and hooting from behind. It's only a matter of seconds until they are knocking each other out trying to stuff themselves back in their vehicle windows when they see I am a front loaded baby makin' machine. Such satisfaction!

A couple of weekends ago, hubby obliged me with a weekend at a nearby resort. I was craving a couple of days of sitting by a pool, watching a TV loaded with channels, having someone else to cook and clean for us as we embraced one of our few remaining childless times together. There is such a place close enough to town in case we needed to suddenly head to the hospital. Like many resorts around Austin, this place is a golfing destination, a haven of greens and bogies. It's a very coiffed location with very coiffed guests. Being the lo-fidelity, indifferent couple we have a tendency to be sometimes, we arrived at the valet station in a car so covered in tree sap you couldn't see out the windshield. Empty water bottles, CDs and newspapers carpeted the floor boards and a basket of dirty laundry filled to the brim was sitting in the backseat. We snickered to ourselves as we handed a guy the keys and scurried inside to check in. "Hey, Uncle Jed, which way to the cement pond?"