Thursday, April 27, 2006


Last summer when we had to move out of our studio apartment, it was because our house was under construction and this was being built behind us...

For months the pumping of the conjunto tuba echoed off of the walls of the facades as we watched the buildings rise from the earth. Ten of them total will be completed by the end of the year and five have gone up already. Four have been sold while one is still pending sale (can you tell I am a nosey neighbor?). Prices for these units are $419,000 and up. SO not worth it. How do I know? Last night the developer hosted a block party with some free nibbles, beer and a band. A couple of the homes were open to the public so Willem, Holly (my dear friend and designer of my house), and I strolled over to poke around. Beautiful granite countertops are flanked by cheap towel holders and mirrors pegged to walls reminescent of crappy student housing. Long tubes with light bulbs screwed in the tips hover overhead. From a distance it looks like exposed electrical work instead of a finished product. Bad Feng Shui. Rooms were small, painted edges unfinished, and the floor plans are wonky. Not my cup of tea. I did realize though that one of the perks of this little neighborhood behind mine is that the new neighbors are diverse, eclectic, and super friendly…and they love my purple house (or lie convincingly). Never mind that I can see into their worlds because their back windows are mammoth floor to ceiling jobs and I know just about every move they make behind them. Talk about reality television! The guys right behind me just put up a huge American flag as their curtain. It’s as big as the ones you see flying high above a car dealership. When I met one of the owners last night, I thanked him for not using a confederate flag. We will be installing clumping bamboo in our yard (backlit for dramatic effect) in the next couple of months as we begin phase one of the landscaping nightmare, I mean, project. The 30 foot willowy wall will aid in obscuring the view of my new friends and their overpriced properties.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Open Wide

I returned to my doctor's office for the first time in over eight months the other day. I had that annual appointment that all the ladies eagerly sign up for. It was strange going in without that giddy "I'm with child" sensation or the "someone get this thing out of me" awareness. Round bellies peeked out from underneath sheets that double as shirts and the daddies held court in line at the in-office coffee shop (genius idea, that coffeeshop). I watched as couples left the office with their VHS videos of sonograms in hand, blissful smiles on their faces as they strolled out. I remember floating in that bubble of disbelief and enchantment that I was preggers and growing a person in my person. It still blows my mind every time I look at my little guy that with a little bit of DNA and sexual healing, I cooked him up. He turned eight months old on last Saturday and I remember the first few days of his life vividly with his tiny body bundled like a burrito in my arms, helpless but so full of life. The other day he said "Dada" in front of Dada and we both freaked. Words! Sounds that resemble words! His raspy voice says "Bababakeekeekee" all of the time and I could sit and listen for hours.

The thrush monster came and attacked me and baby last week. We are still coating our parts (his mouth, my boob kegs) with fruit flavored meds. Really gross little fungus. It's like athletes feet of the mouth (and nips). He has now hatched a cough that I’m sure will evolve into a cold. Daddy has doubled up on the Echinacea.

Got this handy critter off of ebay. Willem loves it. Squeeze its beak and it quacks. Fill it in a quarter of the time it takes to fill the tub. He wraps his tiny arms around the duck's head when I stand him up to wash his below the waist region. It's hard to get him to sit back down though. He'd prefer to stand there and pat the mammoth rubber duck on the head 'til his toes wrinkle like prunes.

Speaking of wrinkled prunes, I still have no libido. It’s awful and strange and frustrating. It’s the complete opposite of who I used to be and God I hope it’s not who I will always be. Fingers crossed for some positive roll in the hay type of changes soon. This can’t go on forever, right?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Beach Baby Bingo

We escaped to the Texas coast this past weekend in search of the Easter bunny. It was four glorious days of friends, babies and tons of sand in the crotch area. This is Willem totally excited about the impending trip...

This is Willem asking "Are you SERIOUSLY taking that many pairs of shoes?"...

The drummer in daddy’s band brought his wonderful wife and their two children, ages 7 months and 2.5 years, and my girlfriend brought her Hoover, Shakespeare the dog, who had a grand time cleaning up after the little people.

We spent much needed time at the beach and took in the surprisingly small groups of vacationers that huddled there with us. Willem was a walking fool as he white knuckled my fingers in his grasp.

He enjoyed the sand on every level...

This is daddy and baby making their Jack Nicholson faces...

And this is Willem reading Goodnight Moon aloud...

to this eager audience...

One of the highlights of mommy's trip was when she flew daddy's kick ass kite, the kind you steer with two hands. On my initial attempt, daddy tossed the kite into the air and I took charge as the wind lifted it at a dangerous speed. It suddenly dipped to the extreme right and headed straight for daddy, it's pointy nose aimed at his bum. He ran like a bunny on a greyhound track as some people in a passing truck screamed, "Git 'em, git 'em!" Mommy laughed so hard she nearly wet her pants.

This is baby wearing the t-shirt of his favorite band and enjoying hiding eggs from himself...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

P-A-R-K is K-R-A-P Spelled Backwards

I went home today at my regularly scheduled time to grab a bite to eat and pump the girls and found Earth Mama and the babies to be MIA. I figured they'd be at the park in my neighborhood so en route back to the office I sought them out. Sure enough, they were sitting in one corner of the lot hanging in the grass with a guy who had his own child in his arms. I noticed right away that he was from E.M.'s (Earth Mama's) tribe as he was wearing things made in Guatemala, sporting tangled tendrils and he and his son had names I couldn't pronounce. A peculiar thing about him was the outline of green around his lips and inside his dark beard. Serious vegetarian, perhaps? Willem was pleased as punch that I was there and did his heavy, rapid excited to see me breathing as I sized up the little pow wow and considered taking the kid to the office with me. Suddenly a lovely woman arrived on the scene, obviously the child's mother. He leapt (as a 10-month-old may do) at her as she smothered him in kisses. She wore layered Guatemalan threads with a nose piercing and dreads. I was distracted for a moment by my son and didn't see her ample boob come flopping out and in to the child's mouth, the sun beaming down on it like it was the Holy Grail. I also didn't see the daddy figure disappear for a moment and reappear with a head of romaine lettuce in his hand. It was not in a bag but just free form in his hand as if he had just picked it himself. He tossed it at his wife/girlfriend/mate's feet and they began to tear off shreds like rabbits and eat it. Ahhhh, perhaps this is the origin of the green mouth syndrome afflicting this guy who's name sounded like something said underwater. Don't get me wrong, they were really nice people but not nice enough to offer me some of their lettuce.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Nutin' Much

Baby and I went to Target today and loaded up on Easter goodies for him and Finn and some stuff for the Port A beach trip this weekend. I purchased a floatie thing that has a moveable canopy for the tadpole but it sort of looks like something I could rest a plate of nachos and a big margarita on in the water...hmmmm. We then went out to an event I had to work in the heat of the day and although my shift was only thirty minutes long, it seemed like hours as my child refused to let anyone else nuzzle him. I could hear his tiny voice squawking over the murmour of conversations and the DJ. I stuffed him in the Hiphugger and he passed out sound asleep immediately. I actually had to make sure he was still breathing. Got him home and he took a marathon nap. When he awoke, I had prepared for him a lovely dinner to be had on a blanket in the yard. His first picnic. We had a grand time and stayed out there until way past bath time. Here is bath time...

This is Willem enjoying just a few of the contents of a box stuffed with goodies sent to us by my brother's family. Although the box was addressed wrong and actually open when I got it today, it looked like all of the contents (Pee Pee Tee Pees, eye gel, Tide Stain Stick, super soft blanket, yummy lotions and so much more!) were intact. Thanks fam!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Home Cookin'

I didn’t mention earlier this week that the husband has been on the left coast since Tuesday touring. I didn’t mention it because I’m sorta afraid that someone will come over to my house and break in and steal what, I don’t know, or hassle me which would be a very bad idea since I am a mom now and capable of maiming without hesitation. But if you want to try me, you have exactly two days left. Bring it.

Anyway, he emails usually once a day and calls just about every day. I know on those days I don’t hear from him, he’s been partying like it’s 1999. That’s when he remembers that he’s no longer in his 20’s and walks beneath the hangover cloud all the next day. He emailed yesterday to say that they saw a very pregnant Gwen Stefani in a restaurant. The sax player in the band wanted to invite her to the show. The drummer replied, "Yeah, she's 8 and 1/2 months pregnant, I'm sure she'd love to come down." I would’ve. I was big belly up to the stage stacks one week before my due date. They should’ve asked her. Dummies.

Babyland sans the dad figure is always an interesting affair as I can sincerely devote the entire evening to baby, scarf on some TV dinners and watch some really bad boob tube. I mean REALLY bad. Now I have never, ever watched any of the reality TV shows but the one on VH1 called “The Flava of Love” hooked me. I still can’t figure out why. This came on last night on the *Best Week Ever. The comments on this website are pretty funny, too.

*Freakin’ cahrazie biaches! I was riveted and laughing my ass off which usually scares the child when he’s in the presence of a hysterical (in a good way) mom.

Weekend baby update (for dad’s sake): Willem discovered his hand today and it was weird. I mean he’s been aware of his hands for a while but I think he’s just figured out that he can make them do things. The weird part is that he was talking to them (yes, talking to the hand). He would reach for a colored square on the rug and then turn his hand to his face and “Ca ca ca ba ba ba” at it. Maybe he practicing ventriloquism? Next time I’ll put a sock on it and then we’ll have an opening act for daddy’s band. I also think that when daddy returns we'll need to get Willem a trampoline. He laughed his tiny toosh off at some kids jumping and crashing in to each other at an Easter Egg Kegger.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Toyland Quarantined

I came home today to find little Finnegan sound asleep in Willem’s crib and Willem happily gobbling banana with exaggerated yummy sounds that could be confused for some serious throat clearing. Earth mama mentioned that Finn had been napping off and on all day (red flag) and that he had little white patches in his mouth (insert sound of needle scratching record here). Thrush? Super contagious? Binky sharing? Oh no! We took Finn’s temp and it was 101. Yikes! His mama poured his limp body into his papoose and they headed on their short stroll home. Before leaving though, he managed a tiny smile and a grunt for the road. After feeding and bathing my little guy, I put him to bed and gathered up all of his soft toys for a spin in the washer. Here they are air drying. I tried drying them in the dryer but it sounded like I had loaded it with no less than three cats wearing collars with bells.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Just Say…”FERBER!”

A baby daddy at work asked me how the Ferberizing was going and I totally forgot to tell you how amazingly well it has worked. I mean, I merely mentioned to my husband in the presence of baby Willem that we were going to start the Ferber Method on the tyke and, BAM!, next thing I know the kid is automatically sleeping at least 6 hours straight. No poop! Since last Friday, he has only woken up once a night to feed and then drifts back to dreaming about stealing cars and chasing skirts with Fenn. Dammit, Ferber rocks! Now before he goes to bed, I say "Ferber!" just to remind him.

Let's Pretend It's Summer Already

The weeks are blowing by now that the conference is over and I don’t want to do anything but be with baby (and daddy, too, of course). I’ve got a nest to finish feathering, a yard to gut and replenish. Don’t I need to be around all day to ponder the wall colors and landscaping ideas?

We spent last Saturday afternoon swimming with the tadpole in the frigid waters of Deep Eddy Pool . Now normally, this beach mama wouldn’t dip more than a shin into the depths of shimmering cement pond but I could barely wait to get him all slathered with sunscreen and in his blue dino sun shirt, Speedo and hat before racing out into the water like a kid with a new inflatable shark raft. Willem loved the pool as I had hoped and prayed throughout all of his bath time conditioning. We got out before our limbs were too blue and too numb. We spend the rest of the afternoon lazing in the shade and rolling around on the blanket as daddy worked his daily crossword puzzle.

The new sitter is working out brilliantly. She’s very baby-centric and the ringer is Finnegan, the infant who looks like a Russian writer on a book jacket. When he arrives with mama in the early afternoon, he and Willem both light up with eager recognition. They start grunting at each other like little cave babies and grinning like toothless aged men with a moment of clarity. They play wonderfully together as earth mama navigates. She’s all about the babies and sings to them, tells them stories, shows them sign language, takes them to the park (ambitious journey with two tots, I must say), and handles them like precious heirlooms. It’s not surprising to see that by the end of the day they are sucking the other’s binky, sticky with Wagon Wheel residue and completely exhausted. It takes lots of hyper-stimulation when I get home to keep Willem awake long enough for me to feed him and bathe him before he’s sound asleep.

The other day I called hubby to check in on the kiddos and he mentioned that he had just turned on the monitor housed in the studio to hear what was going on in the baby’s room. He said they were playing and singing. I said, “Click it on, I want to hear.” Of course, when he did, I could hear Willem fussing in the background and he sounded rather inconsolable. I heard an immediate click as daddy turned off the device and heard him say, “I better go in there.” So I don’t always expect it to be a bed a roses at the casa de Zuniga but I know all is well most of the time.

And now for the infant pictorial as requested by the dad...

"I am a goat!"

"Yeeeoooooowwww! Papercut!" (Kidding)

"I miss my daddy."

"I'm a little George Strait fan...yeeehaww!"

"Is there a grackle out there?