Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gabby's Recent Greatest Hits


- Shriek emanating from Gabby's room as the cat bolts, inexplicably failing to appreciate Gabby's enthusiastic toddler ministrations

Mommy: "One . . ."

Gabby: "No two!! No two!!"

- Gabby attempting to avoid being strapped into her car seat on the count of three

"Coffee. Raisins."

- Gabby's recent response to the question, "What would you like for breakfast?"


- Gabby trying to entice Mommy and Daddy out of bed. It might work, once she learns to actually make the coffee.


- Apparently, the alphabet now contains a small, red, furry monster

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Notes You Hope Never To Have To Write

In deference to Gabby's future social life, I won't reveal whether any of these are based on real incidents:

Dear [close friend with child near Gabby's age],

It was so lovely having you and [child] over for a playdate. I am terribly sorry my daughter pooped in the bathtub while our children were bathing together. I guess the last ten blackberries were kind of a bad idea. I hope this little incident will not interfere with our daughters' friendship, or ours.

Apologetically yours,


Dear [happily childless friend],

Thank you for attempting to take me out to dinner for my birthday. Bummer that we got thrown out of the restaurant. I honestly had no idea Gabby could throw that far, or that forcefully.

Next one's on me.

Love always,


Dear [Director of exclusive preschool]:

I am writing because we have not heard back from you on the status of our application. I was wondering if it would be possible to schedule a follow-up interview. We would very much like the opportunity to demonstrate that the unfortunate biting debacle was an isolated incident.

Very truly yours,

Mrs. Binky

Dear Local Public Library:

I am terribly sorry that we returned a library book minus Elmo's lower half. I have enclosed a check to cover the fine, plus a small donation in the hopes that someday we may regain our library privileges.

Earnestly yours,


Dear Local Parks Department:

Sorry about the whole sand thing. Won't happen again.



Dear Neighbors,

I agree -- it is unfortunate that sounds carries so well between floors. I'm sure you realize that your cat yowls just as much as our toddler. How 'bout I bake you a pie and we'll call it a draw?


Binky upstairs

Dear Crayola Company:

I am writing to complain about what I believe is an instance of false advertising by your company. By calling your crayons "washable," you imply that crayon marks may be washed off any surface. Extensive, um, shall we say field testing? has revealed that such is not the case.

A concerned customer


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Gabby has begun her twentieth month of life and I have passed the twenty week mark in this pregnancy. It seems like a nice point to sit back and assess.
The pregnancy part is quite a bit better. I still feel like I'm swimming through Jell-O much of the time, but that may have more to do with the cold/cough I've had for two months than the pregnancy itself. The nausea has finally abated (thank the pharmaceutical gods for that) and my mood is considerably brighter (ditto). I am now CLEARLY identifiable as preggo and not just chubby, and I've even had people offer me seats on the bus. There's even a silver lining to the constant congestion -- it hampers my super spidey smell superpower, so bus rides and trips to public restrooms aren't quite as gross as they could be.

And Gabby continues to take the world by storm. She's big into puzzles right now, and can actually put the pieces back in instead of just taking them out and scattering them around the room. She's a huge Sesame Street fan, and every morning she drags us out of bed, saying "Cookie? Cookie?" She doesn't want a cookie -- she wants to hear Cookie Monster and boogie to the Sesame Street theme song.

She's putting sentences together, too:

"Daddy gave me watermelon!"

When asked why she threw her apple on the floor, she responded, "I don't want the apple."

And my absolute favorite: "I love you, mommy."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Every Pregnancy Is Different

Hellz, yeah. I've certainly heard it before, but now I'm living it.

I feel a bit guilty and also somewhat shortchanged. The fact is, this pregnancy is hard. I'm very, very grateful that I was able to get pregnant at all, especially with comparably minimal medical intervention this time. But oh, geez.

Can I just kvetch for a moment? Am I allowed to kvetch and still be grateful? I hope so, 'cause I'm gonna. This is my blog, after all, and if I can't kvetch here, where can I?

Ok, so I'm nearly 19 weeks pregnant, and I'm still queasy. Thank the gods for Zofran, because otherwise I'd still be miserable. For the last however many weeks, I've been unable to choke down my prenatal vitamins (feeling very guilty about that) or my Zoloft (so I'm also depressed). On top of all that, I've had a nasty, terrible cough and chest cold for the last two weeks that has me sounding like an emphysemic octogenarian.

Last time, even though I was working full time, I could come home, put my feet up, relax and daydream. This time, I have a lovely, energetic, wonderful and exhausting toddler to care for, feed, bathe, and get to bed at the end of my work day. I love her more than my life, but sometimes I just want to come home and crawl into bed.

And on top of it all, I worry. I worry about whether the Doodlebug will come out healthy and happy. I worry over whether I will be enough for both of my children. I worry that at the ripe old age of 42, I may be too old for this. I worry about how Atomic and I both feel taxed to the limit as it is, and how we're going to get through the next few years. I worry about whether we'll have enough to support them and get them through school. I worry about where we're going to put the Doodlebug, since we currently seem to be fresh out of spare rooms. I worry about how in hell I'll be able to get two children up and down our stairs. I worry that I'll be a grouchy, unfun mom, a harried, nagging wife, and an absent, preoccupied friend.

I'd love to hear how all you intrepid parents of two or more manage.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ok, that was just a teaser

Sorry, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to taunt my dear, long-suffering mother with my prior post. That was horrible of me, and I am sure to suffer some karmic retribution for my wickedness.

And now, as that old dude on the radio used to say, for the rest of the story.

Before we embarked on the original Child Quest (you know, the one that ended up taking WAY longer than we expected and turned out to be fraught with obstacles and bizarre twists and sadness and lots and lots of needles and resulted in one absolutely beautiful child and one somewhat whingey blog), Atomic and I had agreed that we wanted to have two children. That seemed like the right number for us, which is not surprising given that we each have one sibling and each sibling has two gorgeous kids.

After the aforementioned long, fraught, needle-and-heartbreak-filled (and expensive! Did I mention expensive?) Quest, we had our sweet little Pebbles. We felt SO lucky and grateful for our good fortune that we agreed to just leave it up to the universe whether we had a second child or not.

Well, that lovely Zen attitude lasted, oh, about a year. And then we started to realize that, as grateful and complete and happy as we are with our one, precious child, it would be kind of nice if she had a sibling. And even though her initial reaction to said sibling might be something akin to murderous envy, it would be nice for her to have a little brother or sister who would be there after we're gone.

So we decided to saddle up and climb back into them stirrups. We had no idea how long it would take, or whether it would happen at all. Certainly the numbers were not with us. But we thought, what the heck. Let's roll the IUI dice. What's a few more injections? If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen, and we still have the awesomest kid on the planet.

And guess what?

(Go on, guess)

Exactly! It happened!

And there was cautious rejoicing in the Land of Binky, Atomic, and Pebbles. And Binky threw up many times and learned that early pregnancy and labor negotiations are a terrible combination. And Atomic became ecstatic, worried, and grumpy by turns because he was not sure what he was getting himself into. And Pebbles carried on, blissfully unaware that her world was about to be set on its head by a tiny, squalling little interloper.

I couldn't quite bring myself to blog about it, though. I think that was primarily because this leg of the journey was comparably short and easy, which didn't really make for a good story. And then there was this other part of me, the superstitious part, that didn't want to say anything for fear of jinxing it. I still have that fear. I'm afraid that my joy, or my hubris, or my relative lack of suffering this time will cause something terrible to happen. Dumb, I know, but it feels real enough.

So I held off. And I decided to post today because, well, because my mom told me to. And because we got our CVS results back today, and we know there's a teeny little boy in there with exactly the right number of chromosomes in the right configurations. So, you know, maybe we'll actually be having another baby this December.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Out with it!

"NOW will you update your blog?" my mother asked me today. I could practially hear her foot tapping impatiently over the phone as she busily loaded up her shopping cart at Kohls with armfuls of cute little blue outfits.

"Yes, mom."

Ok, mom, here it is. I've updated my blog. ;-p

Friday, April 10, 2009


Brava, Dooce.

She summed up my own feelings on the issue pretty well.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Words, Words, Words

Recently added to the Gabby Lexicon:



Toe (meaning "tofu")





Oh, boy! (Thanks, Jimmy)


And then there's a whole bunch of stuff that she says, entire sentences, nay, paragraphs, that we are simply not astute enough to understand. I predict there will be a lot of that in our future.

You Know You're A Mom When

You know you're a mom when your toddler excitedly runs up to you to hand you something, and that something turns out to be a booger, and you say, "Thank you, sweetheart" and absentmindedly stick it in your pocket (along with the sock you found wedged into the car seat, the banana chip that you pried off the floor, and something that may once have been a blueberry).

You know you're a mom when all manner of nasty bodily fluids no longer gross you out.

You know you're a mom when you spend more time thinking about what you're going to put in your daughter's Easter basket than about the project you're supposed to have finished by Friday.

You know you're a mom when you can sing 642 verses of "The Wheels On The Bus" from memory.

You know you're a mom when the sight of your little one running toward you with her arms outstretched moves you to tears.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The World According To Gabby

Ah, language. What a fun, fun game.

In Gabby's lexicon:

  • All food is "cheese."
  • All animals, except for rhinos, turtles, and fish, are "kitty-cats," and all kitty-cats say "hoo-hoo."
  • Turtles are sometimes turtles. At other times they are kitty-cats.
  • Fish are "cheese."
  • We're not sure what rhinos are called, but they are definitely NOT kitty-cats.
  • Anything hanging from a ceiling is "fish."

Got that?

Gabby also indicates, "I am bored. Go over there and find something with which to amuse me" by gesturing with one hand and uttering a single syllable, which used to be "that" but is now usually "ba" or sometimes "shoe."

I am assuming our little prodigy will have this all worked out by the time she starts kindergarten, lest she, like the child in the old Steve Martin routine, raise her hand and ask the teacher for permission to go mambo dogface in the banana patch.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Reflections On A Momentous Day

Tuesday was the kind of day that simply could not be spent in solitude. Every fiber of my being yearned to be in a public place, in as large a crowd as possible, all witnessing and celebrating together the dawn of a new era in America. So the three of us got up early, hopped on a bus, and headed down to Civic Center, where we watched the inauguration on a jumbotron out in the sunshine with a few hundred friends and fellow citizens.

I admit I had been feeling a little queasy about all the hype and hero worship, mostly because I feared our national expectations getting out of control. As far as I have been able to determine, Barack Obama is not, and has never claimed to be, capable of healing the sick (although if he can get the economy back on its feet, that would count as a miracle), raising the dead (with the possible exception of our international reputation), or walking on water (ah -- I got nothin').

But once we got out there in that crowd, I started tearing up and couldn't stop crying for the next two hours. I was struck, not just by the change taking place in Washington, but by the change taking place in ourselves.

Now, this is a town that is, to put it mildly, rather fond of protests. Everybody's got a cause. But on Tuesday morning, just for that one day, there were no "Stop the slaughter in Gaza" signs in the crowd, no would-be freers of Mumia, no anti-brown apple moth spray faction. For a brief moment, we weren't anti- anything. We were resoundingly and earnestly pro. Pro-democratic process. Pro-Obama, certainly. Pro-peace, pro-diplomacy, pro-family, pro-science, pro-equality. And dare I say it? Pro-American.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Stuff

So, Gabby's walking now. She took her first few independent steps on her birthday (despite the knock on the noggin), and a week and a half later she just started cruising across the floor. See ya, mom! I've got stuff to do, and I have to bring these two toys along with me!

She seems rather pleased with herself, and rightly so.

She sailed through her 1-year vaccinations, and I breathed a little sigh of relief knowing she's protected. Given how many people are choosing not to have their children vaccinated these days, the possibility of a measles outbreak was kind of a scary thought. I know it's not 100% effective, but it's a heck of a lot better than no protection at all.

Unfortunately, my little foodie-in-training has become an extremely picky eater. What kid doesn't like grilled cheese, for pete's sake? Or pasta? She won't eat meat or grilled veggies or quesadillas or pizza or mush of any kind. She turns up her nose at rice and lentils, scoffs at hummus, and has even rejected bread. She nibbles on fruit and crackers and the occasional pancake. Fortunately, one can sneak all manner of pureed vegetables into pancakes, and if I smear enough peanut butter on her pears some of it actually lands in her instead of just on her. It wouldn't be so bad if she were a chubby baby, but she's teeny tiny - off the bottom of the weight charts.

Well, I can't force her to eat, and if she takes after my side of the family, this may be the only time in her life she's underweight, so I'm just not going to worry about it too much. I have faith that one day she will bite into a lovely ripe epoisse with a little fig jam and say, "Oh, mom! I had no idea!"