Monday, November 23, 2009


Right before Carter falls asleep, he often has a few moments of fussing - whining, squirming, and general crankiness. Sometimes this occurs on our morning walk, when he's tucked deep in the Moby Wrap, trying to find a comfortable position against mommy's chest before conking out.

On this particular morning, I happened to be passing an older woman standing in her yard, surveying the neighborhood. This lady inhabits the odd-duck house on the street - overgrown lawn, chain-link fence, chipping paint - sticking out like a sore thumb amongst its manicured neighbors.

I have seen this woman standing on her lawn on prior morning walks, but I have never interacted with her. Yet as I walked by today, precariously balancing my morning coffee while attempting to soothe my fussy baby, she looked at us and stated flatly, "The sun's in his face. That's probably why."

I chuckled and kept walking, but in my head an entirely different exchange played out.

"Why THANK YOU, Random Lady! What insight! I'm sure that my 12-week-old son is certainly not capable of moving his head. In fact, I know NOTHING about this creature strapped to my chest! Hey, I know!! Why don't you move in with us and help raise him, oh wise one? Would you like to take the 3am feeding or the 5:30? Because clearly you are some kind of baby-raising savant, shouting precious words of advice to all the bedraggled mothers passing by your shack. Woo-whee! How fortunate am I that the guru of childcare lives right down the street?!"

These are the thoughts that race through my mind when I am confronted with unsolicited babycare tidbits from strangers.

Listen up, friends - perhaps I may look like an unwed teen mother with my Converse, Dodger cap and make-up-less face, but I can assure you that I am of age, and that this child and I are doing just fine, thanks. So take your well-meaning words of wisdom and shove it, folks!

Did I mention that I get a wee bit cranky when sleep-deprived?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Almost every morning since Carter's birth, we have gone on a morning walk together. I pop him into his Moby Wrap and make a beeline to my neighborhood Starbucks, where I get a much-needed java to kickstart my day and rouse me out of my sleepless mommy haze. Then we wander around the neighborhood for a half-hour or so - he generally conks out right away, his sweet baby face tucked snugly into my chest, as I have my morning phone call with my mother.

During our walk this morning, I passed a scuffy 30-something dad pushing his toddler daughter in a stroller. He looked us over and asked "How old?" "Eleven weeks," I told him proudly. "Nice. Congratulations!" he said.

Walking away from this simple encounter, I smiled, thinking of all the other similar exchanges I have had with other young parents since Carter's birth. Whenever these exchanges occur - which they do often - I walk away with the realization that parenthood has gained me entry to a very special club. These are my people now, and though I may know nothing else about them, we share a common thread in our harried, sleep-deprived lives.

My husband and I have joined the ranks of the Baby People, and as a result, it seems that everywhere we go we are amongst friends.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back in Action

I am officially back to the blogosphere!
My long absence was due to a much-anticipated trip up north to visit Grandma and Grandpa. We were up in wine country for a week and then in San Francisco for two days while my husband attended a conference. It was a fantastic trip, full of fall colors, a chill in the air, and lots of old friends. Fortunately, my best friend's awesome sister has a toddler and lent us all the stuff we would need for the week - bassinet, playgym, swing, etc. My husband went to Target to buy a bouncy ball for Grandma and Grandpa's house (Carter loves himself some bouncing), and we were set.

To my great joy, we discovered that Carter is a fantastic traveler. On each plane ride he barely made a peep, preferring instead to (flight up) conk out and sleep or (flight down) stare wide-eyed around the cabin, charming the hell out of nearby travelers. Hauling all of the baby stuff through security wasn't nearly as hellish as I'd anticipated, happily - we had him in his carseat and Snap-n-Go, and simply had to shove it all through the x-ray conveyor belt and then gate check them both before boarding. Easy-peasy. Hopefully longer flights will prove as painless as the short LA-SF hop, but we most likely won't find out til next summer when we fly to the east coast to visit friends and family.

Carter is becoming more verbal every day, particularly in the mornings. As soon as he wakes up, he greets me with a series of "gaaaaahs" and "eeeeeeegkks," grinning all the while. In the past couple of days he has even started laughing - it's only happened a few times, but it was fantastic. I weighed him at the Pumpstation yesterday, and he's 12 pounds 2 ounces - officially double his birth weight! My baby is becoming a little boy!

Here are some shots from our vacation:
With mommy on the plane
Family portrait prior to lift-off
At Powell's Sweets (the best candy store in the world) in my hometown
With Grandma, exploring the Russian River
Posing next to an ancient barber shop on a trip to coastal Point Reyes
Laughing at silly mommy
Getting cozy in front of a crackling fire in the fireplace
Drooling over huge vats of molten chocolate at Ghiradelli's in San Francisco

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My little pumpkin


I knew I would love being a mother. But I just had no idea that I would !!!!LOVE!!!! being a mother. I thought I would be ready to go back to work when the time came, that I would yearn for the challenge of the workplace after many long, tedious days of mommyhood. I had no idea that I would tear up at the very thought of being away from him for a full day, of someone else getting his smiles and seeing the way his little eyes scrunch up when he grins his tiny baby grins.

Although I do not return to the office until next month, the thought of leaving my son already inevitably sends me into a melancholy haze. Discussing it with my mother the other day, I found myself choking up, and wondered What the hell is this? Who is this person? Who I am?

While I am not looking forward to returning to the daily grind, I can't say that I want to be a stay at home mom either - I dream of a part-time scenario, a job share, something that would enable me to spread my wings both as a mother and a worker. I have a mommy friend who is going back to work soon and is ready for the separation, yet feels guilty that she doesn't want to stay home. Why do we mothers torture ourselves so? Perhaps by this time next month, I will feel the same way. Who knows? One thing I do know - when I return to work, it will be with a new perspective - how can the petty office dramas bother me when all that matters is my healthy family?

As trite as it sounds, motherhood changes you. Mommy me is simply a different person than pre-baby me, and the new me is pretty damn fabulous.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gratifying Mommy Moment

The other day, Carter was in a mellow mood so I propped him up in his glider chair and began clipping his tiny nails. They grow like weeds, and before I know it he has these ghetto-fabulous talons like some kind of homeless crackhead and he's accidentally scratching his face and whatnot (those are definitely "Oh shit - negligent mommy!" moments).

When I began clipping he was just gazing around the room pleasantly, staring at the bright pictures on the walls, or the way the light came through the window, or the shadows on the floor. Suddenly, in the midst of my clipping, I realized that he had become strangely still.

I looked up to find him staring at me with a big smile on his face. It was as if he was saying "Thank you mommy. I don't want to look like a crackhead."

Delicious, priceless moments like these make me want to stop time and preserve his sweet baby perfection forever. Yet so many glorious adventures lie ahead - so I simply smile, kiss his tiny face, and soak it all in, loving every exhausting, challenging, overwhelming second.