Thursday, March 23, 2006


Gabriel's breath smells like cilantro.

mommy needs a friend

So what's with this girl? Has she no friends?
Well, I do, they just don't have kids. Or at least the ones who live around here don't.
I tried to make friends with a mommy. I did. It just didn't go so well. I feel a little bad about it.
On the outside, it seemed a promising idea. The midwife gave me the number of another woman who'd just had a baby at the Birth Home (sadly now-defunct) who lived in our town. I felt very proud of my socially decrepit self by calling her up. We made a date to hang out. The minute I saw her, I was suspicious, though. Her hair was perfect. Like a blow-dried vision, all swingy and bouncy. I squelched that, though, and made nice. She lent me all of her maternity clothes and we talked about all manner of baby related stuff. We hung out again. Then I invited her and her husband over for a BBQ. Cracks were apparent at dinner, when she started to discuss the fate of her placenta. It was currently residing in her freezer. She thought she might dry it, grind it up and put it into capsules. Ew. I am not easily grossed out, but, ish. It so didn't fit with the swingy hair, which didn't really fit with the whole natural childbirth thing anyway. But I am intrigued by inconsistency and so recovered. We got together once more before G was born. Then I found out she doesn't vaccinate her son. Something of a deal breaker for me, actually. And not really fitting with the driving an SUV while using cloth diapers. I was so confused, my prejudices falling in around me. What happened to my orderly little world?
On the day Gabriel was born, she brought over a massive turkey dinner. And flowers. So sweet. It fed us for the better part of the week and I couldn't be more grateful.
We got together a couple more times. She asked me if I had any ideas about getting a baby to sleep more (ha ha). I think I must have given her an anguished look. With a 4 week baby, I was getting NO sleep. I may have indicated that there was something wrong with her precious babe who was not sleeping through at 8 months. Oops. I just couldn't fathom life on any less sleep than I was getting. I was clinging to the hope that it actually got better. So she found that off putting, probably. Then there was the fact that I was all about natural childbirth but was too lazy to do cloth diapers. What a hypocrite, really.
This is all to say, I am NOT going to call her again. I tried. I did, but you just can't fake chemistry. Also, you just can't forget about placenta pills. Not really.

Monday, March 20, 2006


M got me a DVD of the Muppet Show for Christmas. It is great! It has allowed us to get in touch with our inner loose-limbed puppet, and how can that but be a good thing? As stated in the previous entry, Gabriel has taken a shine to at least one little muppet ditty. It's one of my last tricks in my wee shallow bag, so I find myself pulling it out quite often. I'm so pleased with this link, I'll do it again!
My mom came to visit for a week. It was fun! She and Gabriel bonded like mad and I had time to sit and stare out the window, read trashy novels, bake cookies and then eat too many of them; it's a simple, satisfying sloth I cultivate. It's also lovely to see my child through the eyes of someone else. I'm delighted with him of course, but as I see him all hours of the day and night, I tend to get a little blase about the smiles, the squeals, the delicious chub around his wrists. Not so his grandma. Seeing her in such ecstasies at his merest coy glance, playing with him for hours, and running over me for the chance to change a diaper or feed him made me think, well, he IS pretty wonderful, isn't he? It's refreshing to push out all the clotted feelings of doubt and self-loathing I gather in relation to raising my son. I know, that sounds delightful, no? But I do second guess myself constantly, and ponder every little hiccup and poop as a sign that I may have fucked it all up, utterly. Just being able to take the tiniest step back and watch him doing his perfectly baby stuff is a relief!
All right, the little bugger's awake. Enough of this sappy reverie.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

oh bloggie

How I've missed you! And how, you may ask, have I been spending my time? Well, just click here.
It's Gabriel's favorite song. We sing it many, many times a day. It tends to take a chunk out of your day. And your brain.
Hope you (all two) are well!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

stellar day

-- lost keys in sketchy neighborhood while looking at apartments and then
-- forgot to buckle baby in carseat and drove ALL THE WAY HOME (with husband's keys). My mantra is shot to hell now.

Well, it's good that I don't let things rattle me. Social services should be knocking on my door any minute now.

Monday, March 06, 2006

the beast rears its ugly head

Had my first full-fledged freak out over putting Gabriel in daycare. It began as a discussion I frequently re-visit upon my poor husband entitled, "what am I doing with my life?" Gosh, doesn't that sound fun? I am batting options about in my head: apply for residencies in emergency med? family med? internal med? Focus on geography? specialty? family? M's work needs? big city? rural? It just goes around and around, especially now, as I'm somewhat removed from it all, the advantages of one specialty vs. another are mostly fantasy.
M made the mistake, though, in the midst of the swirling daydreams of asking, "what does your gut say?" And I knew instantly. My gut says, "stay with the kid." Oh shit! I am not a particularly good stay at home mom. I find it boring and trying most days. But I also find Gabriel the most amazing being and I love being with him. It's so contradictory. And then there's the fact that three years of medical school gets you $150,000 in debt with absolutely nothing to show for it. It's just not a viable possibility for me to stay at home. I do wish I could be two people. I feel I've got enough crap to fill up two heads, anyway. I could BE that wonderful, warm, caring mom who's always there. I could BE that dedicated physician who's smart and always there. It makes me feel sick to my stomach to be so torn.
I have so many good friends who have put their kids in day care and they are doing JUST FINE, thank you. In fact, they're thriving. In my head, I know Gabriel will, too, after an adjustment period which will consist mainly of my weeping and moping and hating myself. He'll just toodle right over to the toy pile, I'm sure. Still. I miss holding him when he takes a long nap, for god's sake! And he looks for me whenever anyone else holds him. We need each other, see?
Because feelings like these require some sort of action, unless we're to develop ulcers and panic disorder (trigger: day care and discussions about day care!), I have rechannelled my anxieties: we need to move. See, right now M drives about an hour and a half to get to his job, morning and evening, fighting traffic all the way. When I start back to school, I will join him most days. Plus there's the fact that we live in a crummy neighborhood in a dreary town. So how can we minimize Gabriel's time in day care, and maximizing good old quality time? By moving closer to the heart of it all -- a crummy neighborhood in an exciting town! It will in all liklihood break our little bank, but I think it may save my sanity. More to come

Saturday, March 04, 2006

how big a nerd am I?

M is at a conference in Long Beach. Gets back tonight. In his absence I have been renting episodes of CSI from the video store. The whole 5th season, actually. I find it fascinating, I confess. The cheezy montages, the gore, the quasi-science, the puns, I just can't get enough. This leads me to my other TV obsession, yes, Lost. This one is M's fault though. In my post-partum haziness, Matt proceeded to rent the entire 1st season, which we watched while taking turns bouncing the baby on the exercise ball. We paused it when G started screaming so we wouldn't miss a minute. It took about a week and a half for us to get through it all. I had a dream in the midst of our Lost-o-rama that the radio in our bedroom, which we had turned to static for in an attempt to lull Gabriel to sleep, started playing "the numbers," in a creepy, Spanish accented voice. I am fairly certain that this really happend, but when I told M about it, he burst out laughing, which helped me to realize that I was, in fact, becoming obsessed. A weak mind beset by too many hormones and too many shots of Naveen Andrews in a wet T-shirt. Bestill my nerdy heart.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

wanna date?

Heh heh.
Sadly the mini-eggs are all gone. Sigh. As I have no will power I will NOT buy any more. I cannot be trusted with them in the house. They are SO GOOD. They call to me, talk to me, tickle my ear at night...oh wait, that's the cat. Anyhoo, in an attempt to be a better, healthier sugar fiend, I have attacked dates this morning. Not just any dates. Medjool dates. Serious manna. They are delicious and sticky, but it's hard to eat them with the same abandon I do mini-eggs. There are pits, you see, and every 10th date seems to have some weird bitter mealy fungus growing in it. But they are so good, you push on to the 11th and forget all about it. I got these at Trader Joe's (I am hitting the links pretty hard, but you see, it's a new found skill and ever so much fun), and they are lovely.
Dates remind me of Peace Corps. In Mali, you could buy bags of dates so dry they crunched when you bit them. They revealed their well disguised sweetness only when chewed on for a minute or more. Many of them were actually infested with worms. But of course I loved them. I am a courageous and not very smart eater. I tend to try it and ask about it later. I once ate a big bag of them in the dark while sitting on a train that was not moving.* (This was actually a major theme of my Peace Corps service: trains not going anywhere). I'd arrived at the train station before the sun came up to get a seat on the local train to take me from Kayes back to my village. I bought a bag of dates and munched them contentedly while the waiting for something, anything really, to happen. As it became light, I realized that the bag of dates I was eating was NOT GOOD. Full of worms. Oh, let's call them what they are: maggots. I'd sat in the dark eating maggots and hadn't realized it. At the time, it gave me a moment's pause. I stopped eating and tucked them back in my bag (what, for later?). I didn't get sick or anything. My body was probably thrilled with the extra protein.

*This happened after I'd been in country at least a year. Early on, it might have freaked me out. But after a certain point, it's all good. Really.