Monday, December 31, 2007

Law and Orderererer

Where have I been? Why no blog? Have I been inventing a new way to keep baby socks in place? Sadly, no.

Sunday: Law and Order SVU marathon
Monday: Law and Order CI marathon
Tuesday: Law and Order marathon

Too much Law and Order? Heck no!

Happy Law and Order! I mean New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Memo from Babyville that I didn't get


To: All Babies

Re: Socks

Importance: High


Dear Baby,

By now, you will have noticed that your parents insist on putting socks on your feet. It is imperative that you do everything in your power to remove the socks. Please be advised that removal of socks normally results in the immediate re-installation of socks. Should this be the case with your situation, do not become discouraged. Simply remove the socks again. Repeat as necessary.

One Babyland field agent has submitted this tip regarding successful sock removal: wait until the parent lays you down somewhere--your crib, vibrating infant chair, gymini play mat, anywhere will do--and places a blanket over you. In this scenario, you can remove the socks undetected. While sock re-installation continues to be unavoidable, using the blanket as cover can usually extend the period of socklessness.

Remember, socks should be removed from feet at all costs. It is your duty as a baby to fight the sock movement. Together, we can end socks in our lifetime. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.


The Department of Socks and Sock Removal

CC: The Department of Hats and Hat Removal

Monday, December 24, 2007

I dare you not to get this song stuck in your head

A couple of weeks ago, my mom sent me an article about bisphenol A. As it so happened, the fancy shatter-proof gas-reducing bottles we'd been using to feed Samson had this horrible chemical in them. Sure, they wouldn't shatter and they'd reduce gas, but they'd also give him all sorts of reproductive cancer and horrible testicular problems. Hardly a fair trade off. Hooray for and overnight shipping. We of course switched to good old fashioned glass bottles. They're a little heavier and require a little more attention during use (I still tend to drift off during the 4 am feeding...), but they look oh so retro cool, and they hopefully won't screw with my only son's long or short term health.

Tangent: speaking of long or short term health. Before anyone rides me for bottle feeding, I will say that I've been struggling with low milk production since the very beginning. That doesn't mean Samson isn't getting breast milk; I take fenugreek and drink beer and pump umpteen times a day. While it's still necessary for us to supplement with formula, Samson's getting a good couple of meals a day of breast milk, and that will hopefully increase with time as I regularly pump into the wee hours of the morning. Of course, this is nobody's business. But this subject tends to make me defensive, and where can I rant and defend myself if not my own blog?

Digression. These glass bottles are very cool looking, and when we first started using them they reminded me of the glass bottles they use to feed baby goats and lambs and pigs and what not. Or, at least, somewhere in the recesses of my mind they do. (OK, really disturbing side note: when I was using Google image search to find that picture, I found this one, too.) I'm not sure where I would have ever seen baby farm animals being bottle fed, but it was probably Sesame Street. Somehow, that reminded me of one of my favorite Sesame Street segments of all times:

I know that there was no bottle feeding in that segment, but if someone did have to bottle feed a baby llama, they would probably use an Evenflo classic glass nurser.

I don't know which is more unbelievable--the prospect of a little girl walking a llama down a New York City sidewalk, or that haircut. Eesh.

Wow, what a long post about essentially nothing.

Friday, December 21, 2007

You like me! You really like me!

It seemed like everyone was catching a glimpse of the elusive baby smile. Everyone except me. Grandparents saw it. Dad saw it. I'm pretty sure Ozzy saw it. But all I saw was the business end of a diaper, the bottom of a slowly draining bottle and the never ending pile of laundry. Until yesterday! Score one for the mommy. I even caught today's encore on the camera.

I know that time flies. I know that one day, I'll wake up and my little piglet will be off to college. All those people who told me to cherish every moment are right. Still, I can't wait until Samson's big enough to hug me, run to me, say those three little, magical words (no, not "buy me that"). I'm constantly exploding with love for him, and every time I look at him I'm put back together and refilled, ready for next explosion. It's all I can do not to stare at him and cry tears of joy all day long.

I am a very very very very very lucky girl.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

This blog is laborious

So I added a site meter to my blog last weekend. The reasons were twofold. Mainly it was pure curiosity; I wanted to see if anyone besides my mom and a sprinkling of supportive friends were actually reading this thing. Not that it would matter--I blog for me. I blog because it helps me feel like I'm doing something creative on a fairly regular basis, and I blog to keep in touch with my near and dear ones who may not be as near as I'd like them to be. But I was curious, and I knew that if I got more than 5 hits a day it would be a real boost to my ego, and you can't have too many of them. Second, I'm considering running Adsense on my blog. I've always been opposed to doing this because I think it makes my blog look cheap. Not an entirely logical reason, but, like a fine wine, my blog is to be enjoyed slowly and deliberately and without the visual invasion fo some kind of sponsor. But now that I'm a stay at home mom, I'm kind of sort of running us into the poor house. Rather than go back to work and leave my infant son in the care of someone other than me (seriously, you could be the kindest, gentlest, most well educated caregiver in the Bay Area, and I would kick you rather than see you spend 8 hours a day with Samson. HANDS OFF.), I've begun to fantasize about little tiny ways to earn a little tiny bit of money, just to soften the blow. I'm not looking to get rich or even make a living. It would be more like an experiment: can I earn money doing more or less what I already do? Blog, knit and craft stuff, hanging out with dogs. It's not entirely impossible.

So the site meter. It's invisible (I'm sneaky like that), and it tells me how many people have come to my site and via which search terms. So like that one time with the Paris Hilton entry , I get to see that people come my blog for reasons other than to get updates on my life. And as it turns out, I show up on a lot of searches about labor. See? Complain enough about something, and it will make your blog appear to Google to be a source of information. There are your run of the mill "how to go into labor" and "bouncing to induce labor." But then there are the unexpected "inducing dog labor" and "inducing a dog when in labor." Hmmm. Sorry guys, Nanna's been spayed.

Long story short, it's been fun to see where I stand, blog-wise. I'm no Dooce or Mighty Girl, but there's a chance you'll start to see little tiny unobtrusive Adsense ads here someday. Who knows, maybe I'll even start and Etsy store. Anybody out there need hand-knit beer can coozies?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

You're so cute, I could eat you many points are you?

I've gone and joined Weight Watchers. Yup. I'm going to try and get rid of some of this baby weight. Then I'm going to try to drop the "I'm leaving Ireland soon so I better get my fill of curry fries" weight. Then I'll try to loose the Turkey, France, Italy and Portugal weight. Then I'll work on the "I'm leaving San Francisco to live in Ireland for a year so I better get my fill of Raja's Indian Pizza" weight. I mean come on, they have pizza with tandoori on it. It's especially good when dipped in chicken tikka sauce. And they deliver. Sigh.

I've heard good things about people's experience with the whole points system, especially after having a baby. So far, I like keeping track of all of the points. It's like a game. A game where I go to bed hungry and dream about cheeseburgers.

It's working well with the Disneyland trip; I get to set two-month short term goals, like fitting into pre-pregnancy clothes and getting to the point where I eat 3 different kinds of veggies each day. And I can celebrate my inevitable success with cotton candy! Can you say counter-productive?

On a completely unrelated note, I discovered today while listening to Andrew Bird that I only like "blues" music when the part traditionally played by the harmonica is played by a violin or a trumpet or some other horn, but not a saxophone. I found this to be interesting and enlightening.

Monday, December 17, 2007

...aaaaaaand we're back

What, I'm supposed to go more than post without blogging about my beautiful little baby?

Every year, Max's company takes it's employees on a ski trip. This year, instead of a ski trip, the whole office is going to--wait for it--DISNEYLAND. That's right, complete with company-only extended hours after the park closes at night. It's like a dream come true. For me. And I can't go. No spouses, kids, or SOs. Employees only. On the up side, they're making it really easy for everyone to take a couple days off afterwards so their families can come meet them for a late week Disney getaway. So this February, at the tender age of 3 months, Samson will go to Disneyland for the first time! Lots of firsts. First plane ride, first night sleeping away from home, first hug from a giant mouse, first time seeing Mommy go crazy over cotton candy...

There have been a number of firsts recently. Last night, Samson grabbed something for the first time. With his own hands. With the grabbed item being placed into his hand. He reached up to his activity gym and grabbed the hell out of that dangling giraffe's foot. I almost exploded with pride.

Last week, we took Samson to a restaurant for the first time. It was also the first time he wore a sweater. And shoes.

Samson even watched his first Sharks game! He likes Rivet.

We have this awesome baby book where we're supposed to record all these firsts. First holiday (Thanksgiving), first smile (any day now!), first word (I'm sure it will be "bacon"), first trip (Disneyland, here we come!). But there's no page for the first time Mommy dropped the mobile on the baby, causing much screaming and crying from everyone involved, especially Mommy. Because that would never happen. Ahem.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A whole post without mentioning Samson

I love it when commercials try to manipulate me. It's not that I enjoy being manipulated per se, but it's the thought that I'm worth manipulating, that some company spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to figure what makes me feel warm and spendy inside, somehow makes me feel, I don't know, important. Real. Valuable. Luck for them, I'm super easy to manipulate.

I knew that something was happening back when Quizno's came out with the singing tree rat commercial. All of a sudden, obscure bands that made me cool were doing commercials for Chevron and Outback Steakhouse. The random pop culture quirkiness that had always kept me on the fringes had become mainstream--and, surprisingly, it didn't bother me. Instead, I felt validated. There were times, more insecure, high-schoolish times, when I would freak if one of my beloved bands, actors, or what have you became popular. It was as if I identified myself through this penchant for obscurity, and mainstream popularity, by definition, negated the individuality that these bands, actors, or what have you provided for me. Now that I am older and wiser and have evolved to a place where I am defined by my beliefs and values and views and other decidedly more grown up things, hearing a favorite obscure band like Pavement in the soundtrac of a major network sitcom (coughhowimetyourmothercough) makes me squeal with delight. It's like the producers knew that I would be watching, and they knew that they had to win me over into their viewership, so they all sat around a big wood laminate table, sent the intern out for Starbuck's, and proceeded to brainstorm about how to get ultra cool urban 30 something professional females to watch their show--and they had a picture of ME up on the their white board. I am honored that you want so very much for me to watch your show or buy your product.

But like I said, I'm pretty easy to manipulate. There's no need to sit around the big wood laminate table or spend hundreds of thousands on the marketing campaign. Want me to watch your show? Pop a They Might Be Giants song in there. (note: I was already a huge fan of this show long before this episode. I mean, a show with Kristen Chenoweth and Audry from Little Shop of Horrors? Come on. Besides, I love Chuck's wardrobe.) Want me to buy your product? Make me feel smart, clever, in the know. And all that takes is a pop culture reference so witty, so obscure that anyone not living under a rock would get it. And I, my friends, do not live under a rock. Now, where's the nearest Hallmark store?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Only one life away

We recently started putting Samson to bed in his own room (gasp!), in his own crib (gasp gasp!). For the first few nights, it was amazing. Longer stretches of sleep between feedings, plenty of room for dogs in and around our bed, and cute little baby barely 10 steps away from me. But the best part is the bedtime routine--thanks again to Maggie for tips and advice on this and dozens of other topics--and it is the best part due in no small way to the best bedtime playlist EVAH. From diaper change to bedtime massage to jammies to feeding my little piglet in the rocking chair, our nightly soundtrack is chock full of mellow sing along goodness.

Forever Young--Bob Dylan
Lazyhead and Sleepybones--They Might Be Giants
I Know Where the Summer Goes--Belle & Sebastian
Town and Country--Chris & Tad
I'll be Yr Bird--M. Ward.
All Out of Love--Air Supply
Involuntary--M. Ward
Oh God, Where Are You Now?--Sufan Stevens

We don't usually make it past Air Supply, although the past couple of nights have involved one very un-sleepy baby so we got to listen to the whole thing. And it rocks.

It does occur to me--rather frequently, in fact--that I blog about absolutely nothing other than the baby. I'm not thrilled about it; I hold fast to the belief that I am more than Samson's mom, and that things other than Samson interest me. He turned six weeks old today, and I'm hard pressed to think of something else that has held even five minutes of my attention in the past 54 days. Even the dogs and and cats are just going through the motions with me--I feed them, pet them, love them, walk them and take them to the dog park, but they know it's not like it was, I'm not like I was. I know I'm a new and improved me, that I'm still finding my feet with this whole parenting thing. I'm looking forward to someday soon when I'll start blogging and it will be all about knitting and Disneyland and that asshole who cut in front of me Starbucks and how I wanted to say something smart and humiliating but couldn't. Maybe after Samson stops being so gosh darn cute. Right.

How's this for bile inducing? Max and I are going on a date tomorrow night. Japanese buffet and I Am Legend while the grandfolks stuff Samson full of sugar and lies about his mother. LIES.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bring it on

This week's theme was social interaction. Samson had three play dates this week, two trips to Target and Family Chanukah! No wonder I'm so exhausted.

First we went to Dave and Sab's house to visit with Isaac who was born 3 1/2 weeks before Samson. Dave and Sab are old high school friends of mine. After years of being out of touch, we've recently reconnected. Having babies at the same time gives us plenty of stuff to talk about (you can only catch up and gossip about old friends for so long, right?), and it's really fostered this feeling of social nostalgia within me. It's the kind of reminiscing that makes me think of old friends and people who I lost touch with--I've always been horrible at keeping in touch with people--and wish I'd been better about writing or calling or emailing because now it's too late, now if I were to contact them it would just be weird. Right? Wrong. I google-stalked some folks from my past and found an email address for an old college roommate of mine. I sent her an email, she wrote back, and we've been corresponding ever since. True story. And she had a baby this year, too--I swear, it's something in the water (or the 30th-31st birthday cake). But I digress.

Social outing number two was the local hospital's weekly infant group. So imagine a room full of mommies and babies, none of which were as cute as my little nugget but that's beside the point. So all of these babies of varying ages from about 2 months to 9 months were laying around doing baby SITTING UP and ROLLING OVER and GRABBING THINGS AND CHEWING ON THEM and it occurred to me, as I sat there wide eyes and freaking the hell out like a deer int he headlights that Samson will eventually do these things also. I mean, I knew that because I have lots of dogs and cats and everyone knows that puppies and kittens eventually become dogs and cats so it stands to reason that infants become babies and toddlers and kids and god help me teenagers and I'm nothing if not reasonable. So I know this. But it was like sitting there watching a coming attraction for all of things my little lump of warm, pink, aromatic flesh will be doing in the coming months. More than a little intimidating. But it also made me impatient, because those babies seemed to be having the time of their lives.

We capped off the play dates with another old-time-friend-turned-recent-parent, and entertained Amy and her 8 month old daughter Draven. Amy and I met in 1980. In kindergarten. Ahem. We've drifted in and out of each other's social circles throughout the years, so it wasn't too weird to see her. Plus her daughter's adorable so it's not like I paid much attention to Amy anyways. It's hard to compete with big eyes, a drool covered chin and a game that involves throwing the rubber ducky so that mommy can pick it up and hand it back to you. That kid is adorable--I really feel sorry for her dad.

And then there was first night of Chanukah! Joined by grandparents, both in person and live via satellite, we celebrated with Samson and bestowed upon him his first, and what will no doubt be his most treasured Chanukah gift ever: a plush ostrich. Yet to be named.

Speaking of the most treasured Chanukah gift ever...I love Max.

Samson turn six weeks old on Thursday, and that truly boggles my mind. The little half smiles have begun, and soon--any day now--the honest to goodness smiles are going to start. Every now and then I wake up to the realization that it's been 5 HOURS since Samson last woke me up to feed him, and it shows. I can form complete sentences again. And carry on conversations with people. It's astounding. And maybe I'll even be able to blog regularly again. Hmm.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Samson: Month One

Wait, what? A whole month has gone by? Or, it's only been one month? I feel both ways, simultaneously. Once again, time has lost it's grip on me. Finally.

Month One kind of went like this:

Me: Damn trick-or-treaters, they took all the candy. Let's go to bed. Wait--ow. No, seriously, OW. OW OW OW OW OW.

Max: Um...

Me: This can't be labor. What happened to early labor? Where's those 4-10 hours where my contractions get gradually more pronounced and I'm supposed to bake pie to pass the time so I don't go to the hospital too early?? OW! Get the car.

Me: OW. Drugs, please.

Me: ...

Me: So this is what they mean when they say it's not so much pain as it is pressure. Ow.

Doctor: Mommy, Daddy, meet Samson.

Samson: Meh.

The above process took about 6 hours, from first contraction to delivery. Yeah, I know. How awesome are my mom's genes?? 400 awesome!

And then we watched Lawrence of Arabia, Chicago, Slap Shot, and the entire first season of Seinfeld on DVD while in the hospital because there's not much else to do while you're in the hospital for two days. Except hold the baby. And cry. And watch the baby sleep. And cry. And feed the baby. And cry.

When we drove Samson home, Max carefully undermined the entirety of my future musical domination over my son by playing Metalica. I'm working to correct this injustice by building the master of all bedtime playlists for the little guy.

And when I say little, I'm not kidding...

He started out as 6 pounds and 14 ounces of cuddlesome fury. He has now reached gargantuan proportions--8 pounds 6 ounces as of last Tuesday. Must be all the Thanksgiving turkey.

According to the website that I check to learn about weekly baby developmental milestones, Samson has recently learned two important things:

1) Being held by mom or dad rocks. It is way better than, say, not being help by mom or dad.
2) If you need something (like, to be held, for instance), cry. Mom and dad will come running to serve you. In fact, try this: let out a sort of squawking cry. Just a little bit. Watch how fast they come running! Now close your eyes and go back to sleep. When they walk away and get comfortable on the couch, try it again! Repeat as necessary.

Seriously. I've already gotten up to hold him 17 times since starting this post.

Another thing Samson is learning this month: all men have beards. Seriously, every man he's met has at the very least a goatee, and mostly a full facial fur factory. When he finally meets a clean-shaven guy, he's going to be all like, where's your purse? Cause you know, you're, like, a girl. Oh, snap.

Mostly, Samson spends his time being totally freaking adorable. Other than sleeping, pooping and eating, his days are comprised of sitting on dad's lap and mimicking various expressions--he's especially adept at the retarded monkey look--and being carried around to look at high-contrast things like trees, shadows and dogs. He's gone on very few outings other than the doctor's office and grandparent's houses, although we did totally bust out and go to the dog park on Friday. So if you were at the Seal Point dog park and saw the sleep-deprived-looking lady with two beautiful dogs and Baby Bjorn full of super cuteness trying ever so gracefully to pick up dog poop without bailing, that was me. I rock.

I'm a big fan of swaddling. I know there are people out there who don't quite get it; they seem to think that swaddling is too restrictive and somehow equate it to the practice of foot binding. I'm not saying that Dr. Karp is some kind of genius--the whole fourth trimester thing smells way too faddish for me. But Samson loves a good swaddle. And it keeps him more or less quiet, so I love a good swaddle, too. Plus it leads to all sorts of cute nicknames--we now affectionately refer to a swaddled Samson as The Bindle.

And then there's the inevitable wobbly head factor. To help Samson learn to hold his own head up, we have daily tummy time. And let me tell you folks, it's a fine line between tummy time and screaming baby.

Max and I thank our lucky stars every single day. Our baby was born healthy, labor was a breeze, and everything seems to be going according to plan. Samson doesn't cry all that much, and when he does it's very easy to soothe him--all it usually takes is a hug, and I mean come on, try and stop us from hugging him anyway, right? If he's fussy, it almost always means he needs to be fed or changed, and he really sleeps pretty soundly. Even the destructive sounds of Halo 3 don't seem to bother him.

Let's hope that Month Two's report is more of the same.