Monday, February 26, 2007

I’ll Have You Know That My Man Don’t Save the Romance Just for Valentine’s Day.

Bump was up with Lula pretty much all night last night. He admitted that it was a rough morning, as Lula complained whenever she wasn’t being held and Lumpyhead complained whenever Elmo wasn’t on the TV. Bump survived his first solo day with two kids on about a half an hour of sleep.

My day was full of ass-ache-inducing meetings and computer difficulties and “welcome back!” pleasantries with colleagues. I ate lunch at 5:30. I pumped three times in a vacant office that’s been set aside for me.

The pumping room is pretty sweet. It’s completely private. It has a sink and a refrigerator, and would be a great office to work in except its network connection is fucked up, and the poor soul who inhabits this room would be plagued with an internet connection that’s slower than dial-up. Oh, and a slow connection to the server, but let’s face it, the internet connection thing is the deal-breaker.

I made the mistake of answering my phone as I was just about to leave, which meant I got home 45 minutes later than I’d hoped. His reaction when I walked through the door indicated that Lumpyhead hadn’t missed me at all. Lula farted loudly when I picked her up to give her a cuddle.

But Bump had put a martini in the freezer so it would be nice and cold when I got home.

Seriously, the thought of this is what kept me going during those long, dark days of being pregnant.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Kids These Days

We bought an E3. Yesterday, determined to make the most of my last days at home, I loaded Lumpyhead and Lula into their sweet new double-decker ride and took them for a walk. After nearly turning them both upside down on the three steps out of the door (the new stroller is pretty heavy), things went pretty smoothly.

The stroller is an extravagance. We saved a lot of money using Aunt Bob’s strollers, car seats, high chair and other baby gear, which is how we justified the purchase. Also, we liked the idea of having a double stroller that wasn’t double-wide, and this was the only one we could find.

I walked down the hill with a “look at my nifty new stroller!” air. I managed to wriggle the new vehicle through the entrance of the drugstore (Does anyone know a graceful way to maneuver a stroller through doors? I don’t do this often enough to be any good at it. I went through the door backwards, then pulled the stroller through the door after me. Is there a better way to do it?). I bought Lumpyhead a green ball for a buck-fifty, which he clutched the entire ride home, dropping it only once to gesticulate wildly and yell at a passing bus.

On the way back to the house, I saw three young men crawl out of a late-model Honda. Sporting oversized hoodies, they were old enough to be taller than me, but still too young to be prosecuted as adults. They loitered on the corner after the car pulled away.

I started to worry about wrestling my fancy behemoth stroller around them. One of them was standing in the middle of the sidewalk.

When I got close, his companion chided him, “Get out of the way for the lady with the stroller,” in a tone that implied, “What the hell is wrong with you?”

“Sorry, ma’am,” the boy said, quickly stepping completely off the wide sidewalk and into the boggy grass.

The thugs in my neighborhood are incredibly polite.

That, or I’m a judgy asshole.

Monday, February 19, 2007


The end is near.

This is my last week of maternity leave; I return to work next Monday. I’m not ready.

I imagine I would not be ready if I were returning to work after three months of maternity leave, or six months of maternity leave, or even a year.

But Lula is nowhere close to sleeping through the night yet; her long stretches of sleep are about three and half hours. Currently, Bump and I take turns napping during the day, but once I return to work neither of us will be able to do that. I’ll need to be semi-functional during the workday, and Lumpyhead will wake up between 8 and 9, expecting to be fed and entertained. I hope Lumpyhead and Lula’s nap schedules will coincide to give Bump a little much-needed rest during the day, but honestly, neither Bump nor I anticipate that will happen.

I know that in many ways, I am lucky. My office has been great about allowing me to set my own timetable. I don’t have to worry about childcare placement. Many parents in my situation get only a week of leave. (Granted, those parents have penises and didn’t push anything out of anywhere, but I can’t really use convalescence as a reason to remain on leave.)

The real trick is emotional, not physical. I’m no longer in pain. I don’t get exhausted after walking short distances any more. I’ve self-medicated a few rounds of the baby blues with brownies and a buttload of mini candy bars. I feel like I’ve recovered from childbirth. But how do you recover from new motherhood?

I will miss seeing Lumpyhead all day. Lula will morph from a floppy-necked, cross-eyed newborn to a squishy, chubby-cheeked infant, and I’ll only see that transformation a few hours at a time. I’ll be looking at pictures of her while I pump at work, wondering what she and her dad and her brother are doing right then, picturing an idyllic scene with a sleeping Lula and giggling Lumpyhead.

In the meantime, Lula will be squealing while Bump tries to put Lumpyhead down for a nap, or Bump will be struggling to find a way to take a dump yet prevent Lumpyhead from poking at Lula’s eyes, or Lula will be peeing all over the changing table at the exact moment Lumpyhead decides to drop a Level 3 Code Brown.

(I guess this is more apocalyptic than I originally thought.)

I return to work in seven days. I'm not ready.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Best Valentine EVER

While Bump was changing her, Lula spit up all over herself and her dad. Bump finished changing her, mopped himself off and gave her a bath, all the while preventing Lumpyhead from burning down the house or gouging his own eyes out.

I was in the middle of a two-and-a-half hour nap. I woke up to find the evidence of what had obviously been a disaster. Bump said he was going to wake me up to bail him out, but I had only been sleeping for 45 minutes and he managed on his own.

Two and a half consecutive hours of sleep. Two and a half hours. Top that for a Valentine’s Day present, I dare you.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hi Jean

Rather, hygiene. Or lack thereof.

I’m struggling to find some structure in my day. Other than Lumpyhead’s amorphous nap schedule and pumping every three hours, there is no routine in my life. Add that to the fact that I’m not sleeping much, and I’m left feeling slightly brain damaged all the time.

When Bump asks me when the last time Lula has been changed, I draw a complete and utter blank. I stare at him vacantly until I admit that I have no idea what he’s talking about. He might as well be asking me to split an atom with my laser vision, as my recall function is completely shot.

If I had some sort of daily routine, it would include showering at least every other day. Also brushing my teeth. My greasy hair is producing some major funk, and the irregular naps aren’t helping the serious case of ass-mouth I’ve got going.

So, I stink. But also, greetings to any Jeans and/or Genes who might be reading.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Her Name Is Lula

You can call her Lou.

Remember how Bump said she looked like Lumpyhead? She looks a lot like Lumpyhead. She even has the same sucking blister on her upper lip and fatty deposits/baby whiteheads on her nose.
Lula, 1 day old

Lumpyhead, 1 day old

Granted, they're wearing the same hat, which is sort of cheating. And most one-day old babies look exactly like every other one-day old baby. But to my eye, at least, they look a lot alike.

So much alike, in fact, that when we were getting Lula ready to leave the hospital, I felt like we were dressing Lumpyhead in drag.

Now, if I could just get Barry Manilow out of my head. (she was a showgirl. . .)

Friday, February 09, 2007

On Our Own

Nana Vicky left this afternoon, meaning our grandmother-assisted honeymoon period is officially over.

Both kids were sleeping when she left, so Nana V sent Bump off to try to nap himself. Not thirty seconds after the door closed behind her, Lumpyhead began loudly protesting the indignity of being expected to sleep in the middle of the day, the baby woke up hungry, I was planning to attend a staff meeting via conference call, and I remembered there were two loads of laundry in the dryer that were ready to come out.

Then the phone rang, and I almost cried.

But the phone call was from Sarah, which is always a good pick-me-up.

I fed the baby, Lumpyhead calmed down and went back to sleep, the conference call didn’t happen, and the laundry is now fetched and folded.

I don’t feel like crying any more, but a drink sounds like a great idea.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Do You Think It’s a Sign of Postpartum Psychosis?

The itching has not stopped.

I gave the PUPPP a week to go away on its own before I went to the doctor. My OB took one look at the rash, told me it wasn’t PUPPP, and made an appointment for me with a dermatologist the next day. I was a little freaked out by the alarm with which my OB reacted, particularly because he wouldn’t let me back into the waiting room “because there were pregnant ladies in there.”

The dermatologist gave me a steroid lotion that our pediatrician confirmed was safe to use while nursing. At my follow-up appointment today, the dermatologist said, “Let’s see how you’re doing. Last week you were a mess.”

Thanks, Doc. If you think my skin is bad, you should have seen my nipples a week and a half ago.

The rash has begun to mock me. While it is starting to get better, it’s still spreading. Recently it’s begun taunting me with random images.

There’s this spooky ghost face:
Not convinced? Here’s a headless gingerbread man.
Yeah, it’s a little blurry. But it’s totally there. What, you still don’t think the rash is toying with me? Here’s Barney:
Not the dinosaur, the dog. The rash is causing Republican pets to appear on my skin!

Perhaps I should start watching TV or something instead of staring at my arms while I pump.

Um, okay. Blurry baby picture!