Monday, May 23, 2011

I have a kooky co-worker. Well, not so much kooky as "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU!??!"

She is very fond of invading personal space, coming up to my desk and STANDING THERE STARING and talking at me while I'm attempting to work. And she’ll just KEEP STANDING! No matter how little eye contact I make, or how busy I clearly am, or how perfunctorily I answer her questions, she will just KEEP STANDING, making bizarre attempts at humor and blinking repeatedly in an odd idiosyncratic way. Fortunately she works in a different department, so I don't work with her directly, which minimizes our interaction. But nonetheless, every couple of days, THERE SHE IS, popping up over my computer screen, hovering vulture-like with her crazy blinking eyes and Joker-esque grin.

Today was a humdinger. As usual, she was STANDING THERE, hovering over my screen, while I was making as little conversation/eye contact as possible, focusing on my computer in hopes that she would scurry away and leave me be. At one point, I said “I’m tired” because I AM.

She said “Yeah – you look tired. You look really pale today, too. Are you not wearing make-up?” I said that no, it wasn’t that, it’s the eco-friendly sunblock that I wear during pregnancy, which gives a slight white cast because of the zinc oxide.

She nodded, staring hard at my face, and then said “Oh, and you’re getting a little spot there, too” and POINTED AT THE (teeny-tiny) ZIT ON MY FACE.


I said “Yep, that’s a pimple. Thanks!”

She said “Oh, don’t you love that!” and FINALLY scurried off, cackling.


The kicker is that, when she’s not pointing out my flaws, she’s all “You’re soooooo beautiful and thin!” (pre-pregnant, anyway). Huh?!?

What I Should Have Said: Listen, you schizophrenic old bag, why don't you walk a mile in my shoes for a day or two (or I should say waddle a mile, while six months pregnant and carrying an extra 18 lbs - ?!?! - on your midsection)?

Wake up at 5:30 with your teething toddler, make breakfast, feed/change/dress, prep food/bottles/snacks, take said toddler to school, rush to work (late as usual), rot your eyes in front of TINY LITTLE NUMBERS on 87 billion Excel spreadsheets for 8 hours, pick up/drive home/feed/bathe toddler, do dishes, wash bottles, make your own dinner and do those dishes, pass out on couch, then finally stagger to bed at 11 or later, and THEN talk to me about looking crappy.


Monday, May 16, 2011


- This weekend involved a trip to the LA zoo (Carter loved the meerkats - "Meerkats, Mommy! Meerkats!" His thoughts on the giraffes: "Back to meerkats! More meerkats!"). I'm thinking next weekend we'll hit up the aquarium again.

- We were nonstop on-the-go this weekend, going to dinner at our friends' house (at which there were no less than six children - although that counts the one in my belly), multiple shopping excursions (including a walk over to the Grove, where the Roo was fascinated by the Trolley, the water fountain, and the constant stream of bubbles emanating from at least a dozen bubble guns toted by various children), and a MASSIVE birthday party for our good friends' two-year-old (during which Carter made it quite clear that he shares his mother's distaste for crowds, as he chanted "Back in Mommy Daddy's car! Back in Mommy Daddy's car!" throughout almost the entire affair.

- There is a party in my uterus lately, which is reassuring, because since I have anterior placenta I hadn't felt much movement at all until a couple of weeks ago. Now Little Draitser is jabbing, kicking, and generally having a rollicking good time.

- "Baby Bump" is an understatement. More like Baby "holy shit did you swallow a razorback hog?"

- Note to self: please step it up in the primping department. You should not look like you just wandered out of a zombie movie in search of brains by 5pm. Unattractive.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Last night, I had my first pregnancy anxiety dream. It involved breastfeeding, and lack of supply - somehow I hadn't nursed the baby enough in the initial days or weeks, and therefore my milk supply was crap. I woke up all disgruntled and cranky.

I'm not surprised that breastfeeding #2 is a source of anxiety, considering that I spent the first month of Carter's life in excruciating pain until his latch (Pirahna Jaws) worked itself out and he stopped gnawing my nipples off with each feeding. My problem was never low supply, but rather an overabundance of milk - I had overactive letdown, and the poor little Roo was just trying to contain the flow - but I have many Mommy friends who had trouble with supply, and I can imagine how stressful that would be.

I remember those first four weeks of Carter's life so clearly - the euphoria and adoration coupled with the pain and exhaustion. I remember frantically emailing mommy friends looking for breastfeeding advice. I remember visiting a very expensive lactation consultant, who said that our latch was fine but he was just sucking too hard, and there was nothing they could really do. I remember crying when cold air hit my sore nipples, ravaged by marathon feeding fests by my growing newborn. I remember considering quitting nursing.

What a month. I was a bundle of postpartum hormones who had changed exactly one diaper in her life before her child was born (and that was only a few months prior to his birth, when we babysat for a friend's toddler and I decided that I should get some practice). Aside from tidbits extracted from birth class or the prenatal books I had voraciously consumed for the past 40 weeks, I knew exactly nothing about babies.

And yet, breastfeeding madness notwithstanding, I don't remember being afraid. Looking back, I wonder how that's possible, and suspect that my mind is playing tricks on me. We recently saw a couple of our friends who have a boy Carter's age and a four-month-old, and I asked them for some words of wisdom about having two. They said not to worry, that it's not nearly as terrifying as it was the first time - so I got to thinking about those initial weeks and months and trying to remember what exactly transpired. And all I can remember is love, exhaustion, and pain. Perhaps the pain of breastfeeding has simply usurped any other negativity surrounding those first months. I'm sure I was scared. How could I not be? How could anyone not be? Is there anything more daunting - or more wonderful - than parenthood?

It's incredible to me that in less than four months, we'll be back in the throes of newborn craziness again, but this time with a toddler to take care of as well. A family of four. My tiny son kicks me as I write this, as if to say "That's right, Mama - here I come, get ready!" and I am overwhelmed with love, joy, and thanks.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Miss Coffee

The title basically sums it up on this one. Carter's two bottom canines are coming in, so for the past week or so he's been waking either in the middle of the night (fun!) or well before 6am (ditto!). Mama's tired, my friends. I am dreaming about a big, dark, steaming cup o' joe, preferably from the BEST coffee shop in Los Angeles (tourists, take note) King's Road Cafe. Oh god, it's heavenly. Toss some cream and agave in that bad boy and we're ready to rock.

I've read that pregnant women can have up to three cups of coffee a day, but I have never abided by that rule. During pregnancy #1 I totally abstained, and wouldn't even drink tea - herbal OR caffeinated (there was too much conflicting info on safe herbs, and it all messed with my neuroses). During this pregnancy, I am more lax - I drink mint tea (organic, with only mint leaves - no funny business), and have an occasional soy latte. I try to minimize soy during pregnancy, given the supposedly increased risk of hypospadias linked to soy consumption, but by damn, I love me a soy latte. Plus, a quick jump around the Starbucks website revealed that a decaf soy latte actually has less caffeine (5-10mg) than a hot chocolate (15mg).

During my first pregnancy, I wouldn't even consider drinking a latte, even a decaf one. But back then, I also kept a running tally of every bite of food I ate to ensure I was eating an optimal amount of produce, protein, calcium, calories, fiber, yadda yadda, and was convinced that all the waiters in Los Angeles were conspiring to feed me unpasteurized cheese and thereby kill my baby.

Times have changed.

Now I have a toddler who basically occupies every moment of my time that is not devoted either to work, sleep or the 4.5 seconds of attention that my husband gets between Carter going to bed and me passing out on the couch. I simply don't have time to satisfy my obsessive-compulsive tendencies like I did as a first-time preggo in '09. Sometimes I feel a little guilty that I don't dote on this in-utero kiddo exactly like I did with The Roo, but it's just not realistic.

And with that, there is relief. I am trusting myself to nurture #2 without going crazy about it. Crazy obsession is my comfort zone, so to step outside it, to give myself that freedom, is an adventure for me.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Stuff My Kid Says

One evening last week while waiting for Daddy to come home, Carter and I took a stroll around the neighborhood. The Roo loves to explore our street, playing with rocks, climbing onto people's porches and getting dirty. On this occasion we happened to run into a little girl and her father who live one street over. She is three weeks younger than Carter, and her mother and I have known one another casually since meeting in The Pumpstation's Breastfeeding Support Group when they were both newborns.

Carter was climbing up a porch when he started counting the steps - "one, two, three, five..." (he has no interest in the number four). The father said "WOW - he's talking? She only has a few words - mommy, daddy, no..."

I must admit, my natural proud-mommy instinct was to bust out with a litany of the bajillion things that Carter says, but I stopped myself and just mumbled "yeah, he talks a lot..." I mean, I know Carter has a pretty kick-ass vocabulary for 20 months, but I probably shouldn't rub it in to a parent whose kid barely speaks.

But here, I can and will BRAG IT UP (although, bragging aside, I always said I would write this stuff down, but I have neglected my baby journal for oh, at least six months, so I have to get it down somewhere). Here's a list of just some of the awesome things that my little Roo says:

- One of his new favorite sentences: "Daddy pressed the button on the animals." This translates to "Daddy pressed the button on the computer and showed me animals on Google images," which is one of his favorite activities.

- Another fave: "Sun is bright - eyes. Mommy, fix it!" Whenever we are in the car and the sun gets in his eyes, this is his plea.

- He is getting really good with verbs - "Daddy do it!" "Carter do it SELF" (whenever he does NOT want our help with something) "Grandma going?" (if Grandma leaves the room) "Daddy doing?" (if Daddy's not around and he wants to know what he's up to) "Mommy closed eyes - Mommy sleeping" (when Daddy takes him into the living room in the AM and lets Mommy sleep in). "Daddy in the shower" (self-explanatory)

- He knows the names of just about any animal I can think of and the sound it makes and will gladly point them all out. In fact, he knows just about every single word in every single "first word" book that we have, and in any random first word books that we look at at friend's houses, bookstores, etc.

- Opposites: Under/Over, Empty/Full, Awake/Asleep, Up/Down (that's an easy one!), etc.

- Counting: He counts to eleven, but has no need for four and ten: "one, two, three, five, six, seven, eight, nine, eleven." He'll say four and ten individually, but evidently does not feel that they serve any purpose otherwise.

- Shapes: I just about fell over in shock at my parents' home when he looked over at my mother's picture frame, pointed and said "Oval shape." He also knows heart, star, "moon" (crescent), triangle, square, circle, and occasionally rectangle (though this can be confused with square).

- Colors: We are still working on these, but he's pretty good with distinguishing between red (Elmo) and blue (Grover), etc. The other day I offered him his orange sippy and he rejected it, saying "No - blue cup, mommy."

- We were driving the other day and he pointed at a double-decker bus and said "decker bus." I said "yes, double-decker bus" and ever since he's quick to point out any and all "double-decker bus" that we come across.

- Some of my personal favorites: "Mommy, stop!" whenever I am displeasing him (adorable). After dinner, when he runs around the apartment yelling "TUBBY TIME! TUBBY TIME!" and manically pelting his bath toys into the tub. Also: "TV time?" as he hopefully hands us the remote control (or "mokano" if you're Carter). It never works, but he keeps trying.

These are just some of his more recent verbal developments, but there are really too many to count. I was keeping a running list for awhile, but gave up several months ago when it reached 150+ (and that was BEFORE the sentences started). Yes, bragity brag brag, but hey - if I can't do it here, where can I?

I know all kids develop at different paces - for instance, Carter has little to no interest in using utensils, and generally spurns any fork or spoon we give him. He is capable of using them, but seems to be operating under the philosophy of "well, if these schmoes are going to do it for me while I sit here and read my book, why should I be bothered?" So there you go - many of my friends' kids are using their utensils with each meal like old pros, yet barely uttering a word. It's fascinating how differently they grow. Carter also doesn't talk a whole lot around strangers or in unfamiliar environments - but with us, he's a constant chatterbox. Guess he does take after Mommy after all.