Archive for October, 2012

I have nothing to kvetch about today. I pondered for a bit but all I came up with was formula lumps. And there’s not much to say about that. They’re gross. Ew.

Um… Here, look at this nice photo of autumn leaves:


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This lithograph was a baby gift from a good friend and her husband. It’s by W. Myers and is called “Your Move.” The nursery was previously known as the Indian Room because of, duh, all the Indian artwork on the walls. We are not the redecorating types, so this print was the only addition, and it fits in nicely.

I feed the baby in that glider, and when he seems to be done I turn him around to face me, partly to cuddle him and partly to see if he needs a burp. About a week ago, he looked up above my head, got a huge grin on his face, and then started giggling. He now does this after every feeding.

Easily the best five parts of my day.

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Last week, I realized our baseball team was in the playoffs, or nearly there. I’m not sure which because I don’t pay much attention to baseball, or any sports except sumo wrestling, which I’m sad to say is not covered on the nightly news like it is in Tokyo.

But anyway, I figured out that our team needed to win that night’s game to advance, and it had been a while since I’d sent a photo of the baby to my former coworkers. They are, generally speaking, baseball enthusiasts. I also knew there was at least one Cardinals shirt among the kid’s scads of Onesies, because this is a Baseball Town and he had received several, along with a teeny-tiny ball cap.

Late that afternoon, I plopped the baby on the bed, snapped a few shots, and sent the cutest one to my former colleagues. Our team won, and I was urged to dress the baby in the shirt again for the next game.

Next day, while doing my normal chores and simultaneously preparing for a weekend houseguest, i.e., frantically vacuuming during naps, I made a horrifying discovery when I went to shift the laundry. That little shirt, that cute, tiny red thing I know I had washed at least once before, had turned a bunch of stuff pink.

Yes, I know I should segregate my laundry. It’s just that most days, it doesn’t seem worth the effort.

Anyway, I tossed the load in the dryer and ceased to think of it.

Yes, I know I shouldn’t have done that if I was at all serious about ever trying to get that color out. Sleep deprived, people. Sleep. Deprived.

Next on the docket was a load of whites, and I figured, hey, maybe it’s worth throwing those pink bibs in there. Surely they’ll get lightened up a bit. Maybe they’ll even come out white.

Friends, that is not what happened. What happened was, the evil dye from that evil little shirt transferred from the three pink items onto the rest of the whites. Except for my husband’s button-down shirts — let’s hear it for cotton-poly blends!

But that little shirt had gone too far. I went on the warpath, by which I mean I Googled “dye remover” and went to the store I thought might have it. Success. I bought three boxes along with a bottle of wine (for the house guest!), came home and opened up the box to read the instructions. And that’s when I learned that you can’t use the stuff in a front-loading machine. Of course.

Ten minutes later, I had a big pot of water and dye remover simmering on the stove and was wearing rubber gloves. I dipped item after item into it, stirring constantly with my long wooden spoon per the instructions and feeling like a witch over her brew thanks to the semi-noxious smell (they’re not kidding about adequate ventilation).

It worked. It worked so fast and so well it took some of the original dye off a few things. Folks, I’m here to tell you Rit Dye Remover is your friend, and it’s on sale at the Esquire Schnucks.

And now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go make sure that cute, evil little shirt is in with the dark load so the baby can wear it for the next game.


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My husband has a sweet and creatively gifted coworker who knitted this sweater for our baby. People who can knit impress the hell out of me because I’ve tried, and failed, and I know it takes talent, precision and patience to do it well.

Even though this is newborn-sized, the A-line design means it still fits. I love it so much I will put it on him until it won’t button up any more.


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At the grocery store I seem to visit almost daily (sometimes, I admit, out of boredom) there is a checkout guy who likes to sing. He’s quite good, and funny, and even if I don’t go through his lane, hearing and seeing him never fails to cheer me up or make me happier.

He’s always at the self-checkout lanes, which I can’t always go through, but yesterday I did. We got to talking about the baby, the baseball playoffs (our team is in the running) and the other kids he sees. Then he started laughing kind of hard.

Seems one day he had a little boy of about six in his lane, and he sang him “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” a song the little boy did not yet know. This guy likes to change the words to the songs he sings, and that’s one of the reasons it’s so fun to hear him.

That night, the boy’s dad was delighted to hear him sing the song, though he was puzzled as to why, instead of peanuts and Cracker Jack, he sang, “buy me some chitlins and mustard greens.”

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Well, she always had a name, I just recently learned what it was.

I was pacing the walk in front of our house with the baby to calm his fussiness (he loves being outside). She was out walking with her husband and a younger man, who I assumed was her son. I was right.

His name is Constantine. Hers is Fayina, and she turns out to have been an elementary school teacher. Her son said this is why she has such fondness for babies, and certainly explains her sweet gentleness.

Fayina, by the way, means fairy, at least according to this website. This one says it means “free one,” and several other sites agree. Whatever the meaning, I’m glad to be able to think of her as more than Russian Granny #2.

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Certain baby-related items seem designed expressly to irritate older moms such as myself. Consider, if you will, this Dr. Brown’s bottle:


Perhaps you’ve noticed that the numbers are drawn on with a Sharpie. Well done. And perhaps you know that Dr. Brown’s bottles are very popular for their claim of reducing colic. I like them because they prevent my baby from chugging his meals and then returning a large portion thereof to my clothing, his clothing, and sometimes, the floor.

But the only volume markings are tiny, and stamped into the plastic. Embossed, if you will, like a fancy piece of stationery. Great for fancy people, useless for old coots such as myself. I mean, really:


Non-parents may be confused by this point, so let me enlighten you: In the early days of babydom you care very much about how much your baby is eating. You’re also getting up to feed your squirmy bundle a few times a night and trying to keep the lights low so said bundle will drift back to sleep quickly and peacefully. Even if your eyes aren’t a bit older, you can’t see those numbers unless you turn on a bright light, and trust me, you don’t want to do that at 3 a.m.

So, Dr. Brown, congrats: You win this week’s Appalling Design Award. You clearly care about good design, but why couldn’t you take that extra step and print the damn numbers on the bottle with, oh, I don’t know, ink?

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Breaking the Rules

Earlier today I went to Trader Joe’s with the baby, because a) I go stir-crazy if I don’t leave the house at least once a day, and b) we actually needed a few things. When I got out of the car, I looked down and swore, because I was wearing this:


It’s not that I don’t like the shirt — I love it, I think it’s hilarious, and I will always cherish it because my little brother had it designed and printed just for me. But it’s against my Clothing Rules. There are certain shirts, bras, and pairs of pants I don’t allow myself to leave the house in because they’re just not up to public appearances, and this is one of them.

In other news, the baby has spent the entire day in his PJs, and I don’t see the point of putting him in something else this late in the day. This is against the Baby Clothing Rules. There’s no punishment for breaking either set of rules, which is good, because its much too nice of a day to be punished.

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I’ve been reading to the baby for quite some time now. When I started he was, of course, oblivious, but he slowly cottoned on to the fun of reading with Mama, which is the whole point of waving a book at a two-month-old, yes?

Trucks Go, by Steve Light, was given to me by my mom and is one of his favorites. My aunt and uncle were visiting when she gave it to us, and I was commanded to read it to him on the spot. This was, I confess, super fun.

There are eight trucks in this board book, each with a distinct set of sounds to read. That’s it — nice and simple. Here’s an excerpt: “The box truck goes CHUGGADA-CHUGGADA CLANKITY CLANK.” Hilarious, no? And the baby giggles when I jiggle him around while I’m making the truck noises.

The watercolor (I think) illustrations are sweet and engaging, and the large words make it really clear to him that the clumps of shapes I point to go with the noises I’m making. (This also means I don’t need to squint to see them.) Bottom line: This book is entertaining for both of us, which is what I want reading to be about at this stage.

This book would make a thoughtful gift for an impending baby, or an excellent addition to your baby’s library. Anthropologie carried it this summer (weird but true) or you can go here for it.


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Dad the Rock Star

Last Friday, I’d been trying and trying to get the baby to eat, and he’d been looking left and right and up at the ceiling, clammed up like Fort Knox. It had been a long day full of the particular kind of fun that only teething can bring, and I was pretty much wrung out.

Daddy waltzed in from work, asked if I’d like him to try, and of course I said, “Be my guest. Good luck.” I stood aside, or maybe I left the room to fling myself on the couch. Can’t recall — this was days and days ago.

The moment my husband sat down and waved the spoon of rice cereal in front of the baby’s nose, the little bugger was all, “Absolutely. Happy to. How much more? Bring it on! I’d also like all of that new food Mama’s been trying to get me interested in.”

I told this story to a family member, who asked if it made me mad that the baby ate better for my husband than for me. No, I replied, this is why the baby has two parents. It’s also why I’ll be doing my best to set my frustrations aside whenever I sit down in front of the high chair. He knows.


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