Archive for January, 2013


I am the target audience for mass hysteria. Killer bees in the ’80s was hard for me because I really liked swimming in the pool, but there were bees everywhere. Traveling with the wife to visit her Midwest family in summertime gets me scanning newspaper headlines for the words West Nile or malaria. Now see, none of those things have gotten to me (and here’s the psychological issue) because I worried about them. So by not taking the flu seriously this year and forgetting about flu shots, all three of us have been sick all of January. Yes, it is my fault. And for it, I got pneumonia—one of those arcane diseases of the past that I think barbers used leeches to kill or something. Oh! It’s just like how I spent so much energy during my pregnancy worrying about getting a C-section that I didn’t even consider worrying about episiotomies and forceps—I mean, that’s so boil some hot water and grab some towels, right?

Don’t waste a moment worrying about my twisted narcissistic logic for how the universe works. I’m always in therapy.

With that said… I have been in bed for a few days now, which does not seem possible. How is the world going on without me? Right now, Josie, who is almost done coughing completely and hasn’t borne the brutality of the external nasal suction device in days, is out playing with the sitter while Kristy is at work. I did sneak out and vacuum as soon as I had the house to myself because in my brain the enormous amount of our dog’s shedding is somehow connected to illness. But I also showered, without rushing, which is huge.

Being out of commission has made it painfully clear to me how little Josie needs me now (I mean really needs me). She’ll be brought in to the sick chamber for an occasional nursing but is otherwise out of my sight for hours at a time. When I’m healthy, I am the upended marionette with Josie holding onto my pointer fingers as she walks around the house over and over. I had been moaning a bit about the unkind ways of her puppet mastery and the pain in my back. So, of course, I get fluid in my lung! Do you see? Now I’m in bed instead of walking her around—i.e., I did this to myself. Okay, enough with the self pity and frightening misguided views of cause and effect.

Josie is at this taking off point between baby and toddler that both Kristy and I have noticed very suddenly. She turned 13 months old, and wham! a toddler. She still doesn’t walk on her own, but there’s just something different about her. She’s started signing and/or saying a ton of new words, like book, car, all done, more, shoe, sock, all within a week. This is huge when the one word forever was “Hi” (spoken in three syllables like a flirty Southern Belle). She’s got at least a million teeth now, too. She walks behind her walker wagon and scoots while sitting on her car—things it seemed she would never do a few weeks ago. I’m so happy to see all of this. So happy and also kind of sad, which is understandable (the tiny baby Josie is growing up!) but also stupid because letting someone like me with depressive tendencies get a little sad is like giving a kid carte blanche access to the ice cream container; I’ll gorge and get messy with it. When I’m not with her on these long lonely diseased days, I feel a physical ache, like I need her near me (I mean really need her). Is it because I’m still breastfeeding? Can I hope that this is all just hormones inducing what in any other relationship would be deemed codependency? I freakin’ hope so. Ich!

Now, for what you’ve all been clambering for, another FoGy (Funny or Gross) Moment:
We were making a video of Josie for a friend’s birthday—ya know, to post on his Facebook page kind of thing. We have the hardest time taking photos and video of Josie, so we thought we’d do it in the bathtub where she can only move so far. We made the video and were watching it later to see how it came out. Panning up from the adorable baby to a taped-up sign that reads Happy Birthday the camera catches a UBO (unidentified brown object) sitting in the soap dish on the wall. It unfortunately does not resemble the pumice stone it actually is but instead looks alarmingly like dookie. Now, most people may see this and not assume poop, but if you know Josie like we know Josie (and have told others about Josie), you have to wonder/shudder. See for yourself:

Life After One

I had so much time to blog when we were trying to get pregnant; I could write about every color my skin turned after an injection and how I loathed every flagrant pregnant person who dared shop at my grocery store. I thought this would be a great thing to continue doing once we were finally pregnant and even after… ya know. The truth is I do still occasionally have the thought, “The crazy thing that just happened must be blogged about!” But I never ever prioritize it. If there’s a moment to be had, I still, after a full year of moming, go for sleep, eating by myself, or a shower. If I’m somehow well rested, I may even go for exercise. But I have yet to choose blogging. I know I’m blogging right now, but it’s just to say.

Josie turned one at the end of the year. We had a small party to which she was fashionably late (she chose that day to begin napping well). I scoured the city for a bakery that makes desserts without gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, corn, or any other thing to which Josie tested sensitive. She did not carebday1_blog for the cupcakes (nor did many other people); this gave me a small glimpse into the years ahead when I’ll be whining such things as, “I worked so hard to find something you could have and you don’t even want to try it?!” We had the party away from the house because of how poorly her 6-month party went (Josie screaming through the entire thing and needing to be held in another room). We brought her big foam puzzle piece play mats and a bunch of oversize Leggos for the babies to play on/with. I think her favorite part was when we flash mobbed her, which is to say we all got in a big circle and did some of her favorite numbers (hokey-pokey, wheels on the bus, go bananas); she loved it, wearing an expression that said, “You all know my songs? That’s nuts! Sing unto me, my people!”

So long ago in the naive days of before-Josie, I thought that I would be back to doing some kind of work at three months. Ha! At that point we hadn’t even figured out her tongue-tie/eating issue and I still hurt to move for the shredded crotch. Now, here at twelve months, I feel like I’ll go crazy if I don’t find something to do with myself that isn’t Josie related. (BTW, I don’t need suggestions of what to do; the world is my oyster, yadda yadda.) But we’re just starting to get out of the house to try play groups and mommy and me’s and baby shows, etc. I think I’m just trying to find the balance between pushing to get up, dressed and out of the house after each nap (which I mostly do by running on adrenaline) and staying at home where Josie cries to be “walked” around the living room for hours on end. Finding said balance (while being a generally impatient person) and wishing there was something I’d love to do in this world that would allow me to make more money than I would pay in childcare… I will call this my Wish At Year One.

An example of pushing out of the house comes from this past Friday. Mama had been sick and coughing all night for days, Josie had the bug for a day but was better, and I had been fighting the throat demon (and the insomnia beast) for the past couple of nights. I heard of a dance party (open to the public) at a co-op nearby where people go with their kids to play whenever for a monthly fee and a simple job. Though I felt like a ball of peanut butter, lint and hair, I got us dressed and over to the party by 10am. I knew I’d probably end up losing the fight to the flu bug for pushing myself, but it was so worth it. Imagine a ballroom full of toddlers and babies and parents—and a DJ. Josie took off scooting (’cause she don’t crawl) all over the wood floors, chasing down balls and hula hoops (usually out of the hands of slightly older kids whose moms told them to give up the toy… I should teach her about sharing, huh?). There were dress-up party clothes to don, but we didn’t venture into that mess. She and I danced to Michael Jackson and some other tunes; I spun her around a few times (even though I could hurl) because she gives the biggest smile every time.

We’re going for it again tomorrow. There’s a concert series put on in Portland with real bands that play just for kids. It’s called YouWho, and tomorrow Blind Pilot is playing a show at a venue two blocks from our house. I have no idea what to expect. Will they play their own music, which I’d imagine would bore children to tears but make the parents cheer? Does the band take the time to learn kids’ songs? All I know is that it was cheap and it’s so close; we can leave and be home in five minutes for any reason. That is what I call an outing!

(Disclaimer: No men were harmed in the making of this blog.)

The Family

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