June 30, 2007

Newborn Diaper Usage

One of my brother's friends had a baby a few months before I had mine, and they gave out the web address of their blog so that friends and relatives could keep up with the news. One detail caught my eye: they wrote that they'd been told to allow for 200 diapers for the first month, but that "those people don't know our baby--we used 500!"

I've never tracked my babies' diaper usage, but 500 sounded high. It's not the first time I've seen estimates that seemed high: because I had twins, I'm always reading about and hearing about twins, and I would keep hearing about twin newborns "going through an entire package of diapers per day." Diapers for newborns are typically sold in packages containing 40-56 diapers. If the twins were sharing a 40-pack a day, that would be 600 diapers per twin in the first month; a 56-pack a day is 840 diapers per twin per month.

I've seen high cost estimates, too: in the cloth vs. disposable debate, figures are thrown around about how many hundred dollars per month it costs to keep a baby in disposables, and the number always seems higher than I feel like we spend--but who knows, maybe it just disappears into the rest of the shopping and I don't notice it.

So now I had to know: how many diapers does MY baby use? and how much does it cost? I brought a notepad with me to the hospital, and as soon as the nurse put Henry's very first diaper on him, I started tracking how many we used. Looking back on it, I realize it would have been way WAY easier to keep track of how many packages of diapers we bought, but never mind that, I didn't think of it, let's just go with what we have and not discuss how dumb I may or may not have been.

One month seems like a good time to check in. Does this mean he is one month old? NO HE IS NOT I REFUSE TO ACCEPT IT. Also, Henry is right now outgrowing newborn-size diapers, so the next package I buy will be size 1, which changes diaper count and cost: going from size newborn to size 1 is the only time you get more diapers for the same price; after that, you get fewer and fewer diapers for the same price.

So here is the report: In one month, Henry used 180 diapers. The newborn-size diapers I buy are sold in packages of 40 diapers, and probably I missed recording a diaper change or two, so let's round it up to 200 diapers, or 5 full packages.

I buy Target brand diapers, which cost $5.75 for a package. So Henry's diapers for one month--5 packages--cost me $28.75. It'll cost me less next month when I can get 56 diapers for the same price as I spend for 40 now.

William's diapers cost us more, though, when he was a newborn. The Wa1mart diapers I was using at the time (we didn't have a Target near us then) didn't work on him; he kept leaking out of them somehow, with the diaper dry and his outfit soaked. Memory fails me, but I think I bought Luvs because they were the least expensive of the brands. Memory fails me again when I try to remember how much a package of Luvs cost, but I know it was more than the store brand ones, so that would make his diaper use more costly.

June 28, 2007

Let's All Go Shopping at The Children's Place!

I just posted a little while ago, so don't miss the cookie post below if you haven't seen it yet. But pretty, pretty Mir alerted me to a good deal over at The Children's Place, and we all like our kids to dress the same, right? ...Right? Anyway, there's a clearance sale AND a $10-off-$30 coupon AND a free shipping deal, so I got some stuff for Elizabeth for next summer. I tried to link to each thing I bought, but it didn't work--but just go to the "outlet" section, and all the stuff I got was under "baby girls."

I bought the cute false-advertising "Never Crabby" shirt that Shelly's Peanut modeled the other day, and in fact I bought it in two sizes so Elizabeth can tell lies this summer and next summer. I bought the yoga skort in the same blue color (called "oxygen"), and then bought the white t-shirt with the blue "CUTIE" on it, and a dolphin shirt I think will go with the skort too, and the blue socks, and the blue patterned maryjane sneakers. Plus of course the hoodie in both colors it comes in, because I love both, and because I love the hoodies I got for Elizabeth in the spring clearance, and because Shannon's Darsie has it (top photo) and I am so influenced by what other people's kids look cute in.

Why did I buy nothing at all for the four boys? Er. I have no good explanation, other than that it is fun to buy girl clothes.

If you follow Mir's link for free shipping, allow a little time for the coupon to arrive: I think mine came about an hour later. Do the dumb little game first (it wants personal information like your name and address, but you have to give them that anyway when you place an order), then shop, then see if the coupon came yet. And, as Mir says, you can use that shipping coupon along with the $10-off-$30 coupon, so as long as you order $30 worth of stuff, you get it for $20 and you get it shipped free. Awesome.

If you buy anything, tell me what you bought! I might have to place another order.

Postpartum Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is for Shannon's chocolate-chip cookie recipe challenge.

Swistle's Postpartum Chocolate-Chip Cookies
1 c. shortening (I use one Crisco stick--easier)
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 and 1/4 c. flour
12 oz bag chocolate chips (I use Nestle or Sam's Choice semi-sweet)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Get out mixer. Notice how long it's been since anyone has cleaned the mixer. Feel like a bad housekeeper. Feel oppressed by the millions and millions of messy things that ought to be cleaned. Dismiss thought; return attention to business at hand.

In mixer, thoroughly beat together Crisco and sugars. Remember the time brother's friends found out cookies were made with Crisco, after they had already eaten several. Remember how they looked like they might throw up. Wonder why Crisco is so terrible. Rather not know.

Add vanilla and eggs. Accidentally pick up pointlessly-saved empty vanilla bottle first. Then accidentally pick up lemon extract bottle, also empty. Finally find actual vanilla.

Dry off teaspoon. Use it to add the baking soda and the salt.

See ant on counter near sugar bowl. Weep at ceaselessness of ants.

Add flour. Feel pleased for millionth time about being able to use the 3/4-cup measure from the sugars to measure the flour (three 3/4 cups = 2 and 1/4 cups), saving endless hours of dishwashing.

Add chocolate chips. Ignore the part about "by hand" and just grind them the hell through the mixer. They can take it.

Carefully form perfect dough bite: exactly the right proportion of chips to dough. Accidentally drop dough bite on floor. Weep.

Put lumps of dough onto cookie sheet. Feel angry at husband for never washing it thoroughly so pan is ugly and gross with baked-on stuff. Consider leaving him for someone who would care about cookie sheet cleanliness.

Eat three more bites of dough.

Put cookies in oven. Wonder where timer is. Glance at clock on oven, in case it takes a long time to find timer. Oven says it is 3:75, cookies need to bake for 10 minutes, so cookies will be done at 3:85. Search for timer for a couple more minutes before realizing 375 is not the time.

Find timer. Set for what is probably how long they still need to be in there.

Baby cries. Start nursing baby, forgetting about cookies in oven.

Timer rings! Baby still nursing. Take cookies out of oven while nursing baby. Baby's hair looks a little...singed.

Let cookies cool on sheet because still nursing.

When done nursing, wander into kitchen. Oh! The cookies! Eat five cookies with two glasses of milk. Feel as if life has returned.

Put rest of cookies into grandmother's cookie container. Feel sorry for everyone who has not inherited grandmother's cookie container.

Put in another sheet of cookies. Feel angry at husband for leaving racks in oven during self-cleaning cycle, even though it says right on the oven not to do that. Now cookie sheet will not slide nicely over racks. Feel freshly angry when remembering that husband ran self-cleaning cycle on a hot, hot day, costing god knows how much in a/c.

Eat another cookie.

Baby cries. For a moment, think of feeding baby a cookie. Remember that baby is newborn and cannot eat cookies. Eat baby's cookie.

Notice dishes and feel that life is very hard indeed. But at least now there are cookies.

Thanks, Shannon--great idea! (If you want to join in, you still have a couple more days. Go see Shannon for details.)

June 27, 2007


Today we will discuss markers of the postpartum time. I will tell you the things that, for me, announce its arrival, for the first baby or for the fifth, and maybe you can add others you've experienced or heard of.

Sometimes I feel like everything is going GREAT! I am incorporating this baby into the household SEAMLESSLY! It is NO BIG DEAL! It is like I am some kind of NATURAL! I could handle even TWO MORE babies! I have to tell the world that having a baby is not as scary as they think! EVERYONE should have babies! LOTS of babies! Babies are GREAT! I LOVE babies!

Other times I feel like this SUCKS. I can't do this AT ALL. Furthermore, NO ONE could, because this is NOT POSSIBLE. I am twenty steps behind. Everyone is crying. Everyone needs something, and I'm the only one who can provide it. I will never catch up. I cut off one hydra head and three more grow back. I have to tell the world that having a baby is very, very hard and that they shouldn't be alarmed if they feel like it is suckily impossible to cope with one.

Sometimes I feel soppily grateful to my husband. He is the only one who holds us together. He is the only one holding me together. I could never do this without him. He is so good. I am so lucky.

Other times I envy single mothers. I think about divorce. I wonder how I could have married someone so inconsiderate and insensitive and MEAN and YUCKY-SMELLING.

I feel waves of animal-like affection for the baby. I try to stuff him right up my nose, he smells so good. I snuffle his neck. I rub his hair on my cheek. I fiddle with his tiny toesies. I look at him and can't believe how lucky I am to have him. So many reasons he wouldn't be here! And yet he is! He's my BABY! SNUFFLE SNUFFLE SNUFFLE!

I worry that I don't love the baby yet. Other mothers describe feeling an instant connection to the baby as soon as the baby was born, but my babies always look like total strangers to me--and not very cute strangers, either. They could be ANYBODY'S baby. It feels weird to let a total stranger NURSE on me. I remember that I felt this way about each of my other babies, and that I always ended up loving them--but what if it doesn't happen this time? What if I never love this baby? Sure, I feel like squeezing him too hard and that's a good sign--but what if we never connect? What if I had too many children and he's going to suffer for it?

I feel rage at everyone. The cats: they are pick-pick-PICKING at the door at 4:00 in the morning, and it is possible I could accidentally kick them so hard I injure or kill them. I have to make a conscious effort not to. I do still "help them along" with one foot, but stop abruptly because it seems like it would feel so good to actually hurt them. Rage at the kids, and at Paul: I feel like saying ugly things to them, and I do say some. As with the cats, I have to make a conscious effort to stop. It doesn't always work. I hear myself saying the ugly things, most of them involving how much I have to do around here, and how little anyone else does, and how everyone else is driving me CRAZY. When the ragey feeling passes, I feel horrible. The ugly things I said are my fresh nighttime fret fodder. I suspect I'm damaging the children. I shouldn't have even had children. I'm a terrible mother. Rage at the baby: how can he be crying again? I do everything for him, EVERYTHING! And he has everything he needs, EVERYTHING! I've fed him! changed him! snuggled him! burped him! Now why can't he be quiet and needless for FIVE MINUTES?

I feel desperate and panicky for sleep, especially in the middle of the night. I feel as if I'm going crazy. I feel like I will throw up from lack of sleep. I feel like if I have to wake up one more time I am going to go out to the car and sleep there. I feel like killing Paul because he's sleeping and I'm not. I think about how the nice thing about dying is you wouldn't have this feeling of not getting enough sleep. I feel like hurting the nurse when she says sternly, "You're getting enough sleep, right?"--as if I might be ABLE to get more sleep but just CHOOSING not to.

I make plans to escape. I could go to a hotel, not tell anyone where I am. I could make up a dying friend I must go visit.

If I see a sad news story, especially if it has to do with children or pregnant women, I feel a weight descend on me. The world is a terrible place; we can't live here. Bad things happen all the time; bad things will happen to us; bad things will happen to my children. Slide-show of all the bad things that could happen to my children.

If I handle a knife, I imagine it somehow flying out of my hand and hurting the baby, even if I'm nowhere near the baby. If I walk past the railing, I imagine myself somehow dropping the baby down to the first floor. If I bathe the baby, I imagine somehow accidentally letting the baby drown. If I put the baby in the car, I imagine somehow accidentally leaving him in there. It happens every time: every knife, every railing, every bath, every car trip. Every time, it makes me feel like throwing up.

I feel like I can't stand to hear even one more stressful thing. Not ONE. If Paul tells me that he lost a contact lens, or that one of his teeth feels kind of ouchie, or that one of the kids has a funny-looking patch on his skin, I feel like I CAN'T COPE. I feel heavy and weighed-down, like I can't move or breathe. It is too much. I can't deal with it. I can't turn my mind to it. He might as well not tell me, because I am already at maximum capacity for these things; I can't think about anything more.

It feels especially awful as it gets closer to the time Paul gets home from work. All day long I might feel as if things are going well, but as it gets later I start picturing what the house would look like to someone coming home to it after a day at work. Clutter on every single horizontal surface, and creeping on up the vertical ones. Children everywhere, hyper or crabby or crying but all LOUD, with their hair uncombed and stains on their shirts and crust around their noses. Wife with matted-looking hair and shiny forehead and milk-circle-stained shirt, slumped despondently in a chair. Piles of laundry starting to smell like sour milk. Sheets unchanged since who knows when. Mess and noise and neediness EVERYWHERE, how can he STAND it? And picturing how bad it looks to him makes it look even more hopeless to me: everything needs fixing, and I can't fix it, and maybe he doesn't understand that this is a short-term thing, and maybe it WON'T be a short-term thing, maybe I'll NEVER get it together.

...Hey, doesn't postpartum sound like FUN??? And if I felt like the crazy/sad/angry parts all the time, I'd go to my doctor and get a prescription. But mostly I feel okay, and the more food/sleep I get, the better I feel. Thus the 144 muffins. Thus the sleeping in the recliner with the baby to make the baby sleep more/longer.

I think it helps to know it's a stage, and that it passes. It doesn't help much during an individual bad time: if I'm feeling weighed-down and crazy, it's not going to help to think, "Hey, this is just postpartum! I probably just feel like this because of my hormones!" But it's there in the back of my mind, this memory of Being This Way and then, later, Not Being This Way, and I think it improves things overall. It also helps when I hear or read about other mothers experiencing similar states of mind.

I notice there are a surprising number of people who say "no one ever told me" that the postpartum time could be rough waters, so let's make a big list, shall we? People want to be told; we will tell them. Fill up the comments section if you want, or make your own blog post about it and link to it in the comments section.

June 26, 2007

Two-in-One Shampoo Conditioners: An Incomplete Report

First, yay!, because Sarah's pregnant! Go tell her eveything's going to be fine!

Now, do you remember when I asked for recommendations for 2-in-1 shampoo conditioners? Lots of you gave suggestions, and then I bought five to try. Three were from the suggestions and two were just There and so I bought them. One I wanted to buy but didn't was the Dove 2-in-1, because I could only find it in a huge bottle and I didn't want a huge bottle when I was only using 2-in-1s for the last weeks of pregnancy.

I may change my mind on that huge bottle, because I'm continuing to find 2-in-1 products helpful even now that I'm not pregnant. I usually shower at night (I prefer mornings, but geez), and I don't like to go to bed with wet hair. Recently, I've been washing my hair in the morning, leaning over the bathtub. If I use a 2-in-1, this is pretty quick and easy, and makes me feel all fresh and shampooey-clean in the morning, which is a pleasant change from the stale, matted feeling of hair that was slept on while wet.

Of the five I tried, there were 2 winners, 2 losers, and 1 fine. The losers were a Suave 2-in-1 and a Target brand 2-in-1, both of them Pantene copycats (words on label such as "pro-vitamin formula"). They made my hair seem darker and duller and yuckier and frizzier. When I used those two, I liked my hair less. The Suave one was the best of all five for making my hair easier to comb, but that was its only good point.

The fine one was Garnier Fructis Fortifying 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner for Normal Hair. I liked it pretty well, but there were a couple of days when my hair looked like it needed to be washed even though I'd just washed it. Also, my hair was harder than usual to comb. The smell was pleasantly fruity, but I don't usually like fruity scents.

The two winners were Pert Plus 2 in 1 Shampoo Plus Medium Conditioner for Normal Hair, and Herbal Essences Hello Hydration 2 in 1 Moisturizing Shampoo + Conditioner. The Herbal Essences gets an edge because of its cool bottle, pretty color, and yum coconut-y smell. The Pert Plus gets an edge for nostalgia (I used it in high school), and because I think it made my hair the softest and prettiest of all the kinds I tried. They both left my hair relatively easy to comb, and I didn't think they made my hair look much worse than usual.

June 25, 2007

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Whine

I am back! And--oh my god!--I am so tired. Last night I would lie down and immediately be asleep, and when I woke up for the next feeding I felt like I hadn't even started to chip away at my sleep deficit. I mean, tired. I'm tired. I've been having thoughts such as, "I have to get more sleep than this. If I can't get more sleep than this....well, I have to get more, that's all." The sleep deprivation is cumulative and is getting more difficult to cope with.

The trip went well, but there were some parts that were less than smooth. Edward was indeed restless at the wedding. The baby did cry some in the car. And whenever we stopped, I had to nurse the baby, so everyone else was stretching and saying how great it felt to get out of the car, and by the time I was done nursing they were impatient to get back on the road, and my butt got really really sore from sitting constantly.

Anyway. There were some stressful times, but mostly it was a great trip and I'm glad I went. I loved staying in a hotel room, using tons of air conditioning and hot water, playing with the wee little coffee pot, exploring all the free bottles of stuff, having a continental breakfast in the morning (hot cinnamon rolls! little teeny containers of honey! half-cups of yogurt in three flavors!). I love weddings, especially the part where the bride appears and everyone stands up in one swoosh and I burst into tears, but also the part where we eat cake. I love car trips and I love the stopping for a break and I love the getting back on the road. And it was fun spending time with just two of the kids, and seeing my extended family.

Here are some things I wish I'd brought more of:
  • Baggies in assorted sizes. I used them for so many things: keeping Edward's sippee cups from leaking all over the diaper bag, stashing diapers after having to change children in the pastor's office and not wanting to leave him any little gifts in his trash can, taking along extra food from restaurants, packing up things still wet from being rinsed out, etc. I could have used a whole BOX of baggies.
  • Nursing pads. I don't know if it was the stress or what, but I kept leaking through my shirts. For the wedding, I put three pads in each side and still was in danger of an embarrassing situation. I had to stuff a cloth napkin in there at the reception.

Here are some things I was very, very glad I brought along:
  • A changing pad. I used it in every gross rest stop bathroom, and also on the bed or desk in the hotel room, and also on my lap when I had to change Henry in the car twice (parked car, not moving car).
  • Infant saline nose drops. I grabbed them on impulse the morning we left, and Henry got a cold on the third day and needed the drops in order to nurse.
  • Infant gas drops. I think being in his car seat all day gave Henry more trouble digesting than usual.
  • Quarters. I brought them along for vending machines, and didn't need them for that--but we hadn't thought of needing coins for city parking, and we needed a whole lot of them for that.
  • A whole box of diaper wipes. I used them for diaper changes, hand washes, table wipings, after-meal face washings, crusty nose cleansings. For a longer trip, I'd bring a refill pack of wipes in my suitcase, but a box for 4 days was about right.
  • Sippee cups. I brought two, and that was perfect: one to fill with milk at the continental breakfast or at other meals where milk was available, the other to keep filled with water in the diaper bag.
  • Ibuprofen. Dramamine. Benadryl.
  • Every single toy and DVD I bought for Edward. The six-hour drive took us more than twelve hours on the way there because of construction, traffic, and nursing stops. I don't regret a single purchase, and in fact this one almost went in the category of things I could have brought more of.
  • Extra receiving blankies. Henry spit up all over two of them.

Here's a photo of Edward and Henry in our hotel room:

June 20, 2007

Will Return Tuesday, Unless This Trip Proves To Be My Undoing

Tomorrow we leave on our trip! A day of driving to get there, two days there, a day of driving home. Perhaps it will be a lovely and relaxing time of family and love, weddings and babies, all the happy things in life including hotel rooms and restaurants! Or perhaps Henry will scream for hours on end and spit up all over his car seat, and his diaper will leak all over one outfit after another, and Edward will kick the back of the seat and not want to play with any toys and make whiny word-sounds no one can figure out, and be a holy terror at the wedding and pull the entire wedding cake down on to the floor! Either way, I have three boxes of Sugar Babies, the new Elizabeth Berg book, and several precious precious tablets of Demer0l.

I'll be back late Sunday and will probably spend most of Monday lying in my recliner holding my head and signing documents promising myself I'll never shut myself in a car with a toddler and a newborn again. So let's meet back here Tuesday? Or maybe it will be Monday after all, it depends how much Misery wants your company.

June 19, 2007

Question: What the Hell is This?

Probably it's an issue of insufficient sleep, but I can't figure out this preschooler worksheet. If the pictured item starts with a Q, you're supposed to draw a line to the queen; if it starts with a Z, you're supposed to draw a line to the zebra. We got zipper, quilt, and question mark, but what is that fourth thing?


One thing that's way, way easier for me with this fifth child is breastfeeding. For example, right now I am nursing him AND two-hand typing. Serious! I was reading a post by a first-time mom, and she said that one thing she hated about nursing was that she was totally stuck, totally bored: she couldn't read or write or do anything because she had no free hands. This situation can improve with experience, unless of course your baby is of the sort who unlatches and screams at the sound of a page being turned, and babies of that sort do unfortunately exist, and in that case you are well and truly stuck and may want to take up meditation, or using the power of your mind to bring bad to your enemies and good to your friends, or some other activity you can do utterly silently and motionlessly. But so far I have had good luck with babies in this regard, and baby Henry is nursing obliviously even though my arm is jittering under his downy head as I type. I can also walk around, unload the dish rack, add an item to the shopping list, pack a small carry-on, etc. I prefer to sit in a chair with my feet up, reading Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, but I can move around and do other things if I want to.

Actually, EVERYTHING is easier with this fifth child. My first baby was difficult. My second baby was more difficult in some ways, though easier in others, and also more enjoyable because I knew SOME things and had already made many of the Big Decisions (co-sleep or crib or bassinet or bureau drawer; cloth or disposable; etc.). The twins were kind of challenging because there were two, and I am sure as hell glad I didn't have them FIRST, but they weren't as difficult as I'd been expecting. And this baby is--so far--easy.

He's still a BABY, of course. He still wakes me just after I've fallen asleep. He still cries right after we sit down to watch a movie or eat dinner. He still has a huge blow-out diaper right after I've changed him, or right after I've buckled him into the car seat. But I sling him around like a new purse; I tuck him right into our household, barely rearranging the furniture to make room.

When I'm driving somewhere I've never been before, the drive seems really LONG. Then on the way home, when I know where I'm going or don't have to worry about being anywhere on time, the drive seems so short. It has been the same for me with the babies. Well, except that I would have had to make the outward journey twice without coming home in between. And then now I guess I'd be saying I was on the way home with this baby--but then what were the twins? And really even the second outward journey was easier than the first...except when it was harder...so I guess that would be like driving to a familiar place but having engine trouble on the way. Also, it's not like I don't still go nuts all the time, so I'm not sure I want to use a "peaceful easy drive" comparison after all. And it's coming up on 3 weeks now and I still haven't been able to get my act together and bring the bouncy seat up from the basement, a task that would take all of five minutes, and the house is a total pit with heaps of clutter on every surface, and how does THAT enter into the driving thing? And what about when I'm standing over a sleeping baby at my bedtime, thinking, "Do I wake him and nurse him, or take a chance that he'll wake me 5 minutes after I drift off?" Well, Henry is crying now (WHY IS HE???), and that makes it really hard to think. Someday I would like to make just ONE good Life Analogy, but it will not be today.

June 18, 2007

NOW I Will Go Pack

I am very grateful to those of you who pushed me to call the OB. I am a terrible, terrible wimp about calling the on-call doctor. I've done so only one time in my whole life, and it was when I thought I was in early labor with the twins--and even then, I waited until the sun came up to call. I tell you this with cringing shame. But anyway, I did call the OB on Saturday, because you guys are so bossy, and I got a very bossy antibiotic that won't let me eat for 2 hours before or 1 hour after taking it and makes me set an alarm to take it in the middle of the night, and I am so so SO glad I got it two days earlier than I would have if I'd followed my usual wimpy ways.

Elizabeth is going to cause me to lose whatever mind I have left. After several nights of going down fine for bedtime and naps, she's back to the crying. Last night she cried for an hour and a half after her bedtime. I finally went in and snuggled her and patted her and comforted her--and then when I put her in her crib she cried. So then I rocked her to sleep, feeling both Right and Wrong about it, and she didn't wake up when I put her in her crib, but she DID wake up at 3:30 a.m. and didn't go back to sleep. So! You can imagine what a happy, happy household we are this morning, with a crabby, nodding-off mother and a crabby, tired toddler. She keeps emitting these SCREAMS at NOTHING, and I am about ready to join her.

Today I really must start packing for the trip to my cousin's wedding. We leave Thursday morning, which means I have three days for packing. I must do it! I must! I must stop blogging and go start on the packing!

I have been waiting so long to dye my hair again. I'd dyed it back to my own color shortly before getting unexpectedly pregnant, and my OB has a stroke if his patients color their hair, so even though I keep reading it's probably safe, I don't like to tease him and I've been suffering my natural color for about ten months now. That's too long. Last night I colored it--and the color didn't take. Did you know that hair color can expire? I did not--and if I HAD known, I would have assumed it was like those things that tell you to throw out ALL your make-up every 2/3/6 months. Not because they want more of your money, oh no! It's purely because they are concerned about your health!

I've acquired many boxes of hair color on one clearance or another, and I've been sitting here all smug on my pile of riches--but now I find out that I am sitting on a pile of useless boxes. The active ingredients change with time, so you can get a different color than you expect, or patchy results, or no effect at all. I guess I should be grateful that I got the last option, but I was still disappointed: I was expecting to see my light-absorbing brown-blonde change to a more appealing, light-reflecting, blondisher color. But no! I removed the towel for the big reveal--and there was my very own brown-blonde as usual, sucking the light and color from the room. Well, now I have to toss out a bunch of hair color, and then go buy another box.

At least my hair is all yum soft from the conditioner that comes with the hair color, so if you met me in the dark you would think I had great hair. Man, why don't they sell that conditioner separately? It is so much better than any conditioner I've ever used.

June 16, 2007

Good and Bad

Good news: I went to the dentist about that chipped tooth, and it "only" needed a replacement filling, not a crown. So it was "only" $250--but that's a heck and a half better than it could have been.

Bad news: We thought Paul had paid vacation time saved up, since he never uses any. He took 8 days off from work when Henry was born. We just got his paycheck and there's no vacation time on it. I thought it was a problem of Paul forgetting to tell his employer he wanted to use vacation time. Paul thinks it's a problem of not having any vacation time, possibly because of vacation time expiring, unpaid, when it's not used, or for some other stressful reason.

Good news: It looks like our new insurance does not have higher copays for office visits, even though they told us it would.

Bad news: They were also wrong about the monthly employee contribution being lower.

Good news: The library was having a book sale, and I got 19 new-looking children's books for $7.

Bad news: Rob lost a library book. I'm feeling that compulsion to keep looking and looking and looking for it.

Good news: Less than a week until the trip to my cousin's wedding (I'm going with my parents, Edward, and Henry), and I'm still glad I'm going. I think it's going to be fun. My parents and I are buying lots of treats for the car ride, and my mom and I saved up a whole bunch of trashy celebrity magazines to read.

Bad news: I tried on the dress I was planning to wear to the wedding, and it looks terrible on me. I'd thought the high-waisted style would be kind to my postpartum figure, but actually it looks maternity. Also, I'm not sure why I ever bought such an ugly dress.

Good news: I have a skirt and shirt that I bought a long time ago because they looked cute even though they didn't suit the occasion I was shopping for that day. I tried them on, and they're PERFECT. Not only does the skirt hide my tum, it's long and I won't have to wear nylons, and also the shirt totally emphasizes my great breastfeeding rack.

Bad news: I'm pretty sure my incision is infected. It started getting bad on Friday at 5:00. I am not kidding: my body knows office hours, and is mean to me. I've never had an incision get infected before, so now I'm worrying about hysterectomies performed in a last-ditch effort to save my life. Also, I'm worried that this will mean something bad for the trip.

Good news: I have Demer0l.

Bad news: Henry already looks older. He's not even 2-1/2 weeks old and he's lost some of that itsy newborn look.

Good news: Henry nursed for a long time last night, and I was up until 11:30 nursing him--but then he slept until 7:00 this morning.

Bad news: I'm practically blowing off Father's Day. I kept forgetting to have the kids make cards or even to have them tell me what to buy. Last night I got Paul a bag of Doritos, a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and a box of Gobstoppers. The kids didn't even choose it, and I think of that as being the number-one most important thing for a Father's Day present: that the children be involved in the selection.

Good news: Who the hell cares? I'm okay with this plan for this year. At least he's getting something.

Bad news: I'm having a problem with Blogger: it's really really slow to show what I'm typing. Paul thinks the problem might be with my computer, not with Blogger. Either way, I don't know what's wrong or how to fix it. Also, I'm getting a headache.

Good news: I have a big bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. (Not Paul's.)

June 15, 2007

Good Food And One Small Task

Shannon is suggesting we pool our recipes for chocolate-chip cookies, and I'm all for that idea: I'm going through my cookie stash even faster than I'm going through my muffin stash. Go on over and sign up so I can steal your secret family recipe.

This is my fourth time through postpartum, and Paul and I are getting better and better at handling it. What helps most of all is this kind of thing (also, observe my mad Photoshop skillz):

Paul is worth all the food scraps he crams down our non-garbage-disposal-equipped sink when he does stuff like this for me. While I'm the hospital he goes to the grocery store and buys all the foods I want after I have a baby (theme: "things they fed me in the maternity ward where I was ha-a-a-a-a-a-ppyyyyyyyy *bursting into tears*"): cranberry juice, milk, deli turkey and fancy chunky grainy breads, colored wraps and Romaine lettuce and tomatoes and chicken breast and Caesar dressing. Then, whenever he's home, he handles my meals. The above photo is of what I found when I was exhausted and sad at the end of the day and had just peeled an endlessly-nursing baby off of me for what felt like the first time in a week. I went to my computer and there was a chicken Caesar wrap, a glass of milk, and a vase of roses. I shouldn't even be telling you about this, because in the future when I want to complain about Paul you'll all be like, "Yeah, whatever, you spoiled bitch."

Food is the absolute best thing for my morale (well, good food and good narc0tics), but I've also found that small accomplishments are helpful. I'm not saying I wear myself out cleaning the house from tip to toe, because AS IF, and also I think it's more helpful to let that go as much as possible. But if the kitchen counters are making me feel sad and overwhelmed and hopeless because they are covered in dried milk puddles and little blue marks from someone's clay and speckles from boiling fudge, and I manage to wipe them down, I feel like maybe I have a grip on life after all. Also: pretty, sparkly counters.

So this is what I do. I am good at keeping a mental list, but you could do this on paper too--as long as the list itself won't overwhelm you by its very existence. What I do is I put small items on the list in order of priority, choosing each day which one I really want to try to get to. Today it was the counters: I didn't care if I got nothing else done all day, but I did want to get to the counters. Yesterday it was a couple of bills I wanted to pay. The two days before, it was that I wanted to get some digital photos cropped and uploaded so I could order prints for my in-laws.

If I don't get the task done that day, it's no big deal--I just try again the next day. But if I DO get it done, I feel pretty good. I feel like I'm managing to get things done after all, and like maybe I'm coping okay after all. Sometimes, if I got the top list item done, I might even think of tackling the SECOND list item! Superwoman!

I am most likely to be successful if I do my list item early in the day. Today I did the counters while I was still in my pajamas. I got breakfast for Rob and William, and I went into the kitchen intending to make Rob's lunch, and instead I spritzed all the counters. I let the spritz sit while I got Edward dressed. When I came back, I went swipe-swipe-swish with a couple of paper towels and I was done. I didn't lift up the toaster and clean under it, I just did the minimum--but it's surprising how much of a difference it made, and I felt all perky and pleased with myself. Highly recommended, if you can keep yourself from launching one of those cleaning cycles where now you have to scrub the sink, and that reminds you to fill the soap dispenser, and that reminds you to do the one in the bathroom too, and that causes you to spritz the bathroom sink "while you're at it," and so on until you've totally overdone it and also Rob has missed the bus.

June 14, 2007

Phascinating Pharmacy Edition

What the hell is up with Blogger and/or my computer? I'm typing, and it's way, way behind. For example, right now the screen is showing me typing "and/or" near the end of the first sentence, even though I'm all the way over here at the end of the third sentence typing "typing." Frustrating.

I took Henry for his 2-week check-up this morning. On the way, I dropped off my prescription at a pharmacy with a drive-up window. My plan was to thank them when I picked up the prescription for having a drive-up. What a great thing for a mother of five, four of whom are currently in the car and three of whom have to be buckled/unbuckled and can't be trusted to walk. But when I came back 90 minutes later for my "this will be ready in 30 minutes" prescription, it was not yet ready.

One reason I get very, very crabby when that happens is that I know there is no one to bitch at. I worked for awhile as a pharmacy technician and the problem is usually understaffing, and bitching at the clerk just makes the clerk feel yuckier than she already feels: she doesn't like the understaffing, either, and she's about to quit from being run off her feet and yelled at all the time. Complaining to management doesn't help, since then they yell at the clerk, too, rather than drawing the conclusion that their "save money by pissing off customers" idea isn't working out. So I just held my teeth together in a grim approximation of a smile and said, "These things happen" and "I'll come back later"--when I would really have preferred to let loose about how annoying this was and how I really couldn't come back later unless I loaded four children into the car.

One thing that helps get the prescription done on time is to tell the clerk at drop-off when you'll be back. Like, if I'd said, "Okay, we're going to a doctor appointment and I'll be back in an hour," she would have written that time on the prescription and it probably would have been ready. But I was a big dim and didn't think to do this.

Hey, do you have any pressing pharmacy questions? Like, why does it take so long to fill a prescription? Or, why do they always give me the generic? Or, do the clerks remember everyone in town who has a male-enhancement prescription, and do they notice how many tablets are gone through per month? Ask away, that's what I'm here for. Swistle: Where to go for HOTTT pharmacy tips!

June 13, 2007

Bad Night and Down Day; Also, Father's Day Question

Last night was a bad night: Henry was fine, just nursing as usual, but Elizabeth woke up crying at 3:10 a.m. and never did go back to sleep. I wrote a whole post about this and about how Paul handled things (a highlight: he hit the wall with his open palm and said in an aggrieved "is this too much to ask?" tone of voice to his post-surgery, up-breastfeeding-in-the-night wife, "ALL I want to do is SLEEP"), but then I deleted it because I noticed it crossed the line from "Ha, ha, my husband is such a cheesehead" into "I actually dislike him and this is a bad marriage," and since that's not true, I thought maybe 2 weeks postpartum on 4 hours of sleep was not the right time to write about whether he could possibly love me if he thinks missing sleep is so catastrophically miserable and yet happily lets me suffer it for eight and a half years and counting.

Then I wrote about The Sadness and how I feel it creeping up on me the way it always does after a baby, but then "The Sadness" seemed like such a stupid name as soon as it was out of my head and on the page, and the whole post seemed melodramatic, and I thought it sounded self-pitying and like I was asking for a huggy comment section, so out it went and I will talk about postpartum sadness some other time when I can handle it in a less maudlin manner.

Then I wrote half a sentence about kids not letting Rob sit down on the bus, and I realized I don't even want to think about that, let alone write about it.

It's a Down day. I was planning a Target trip, but what was I thinking? With four children, one of whom will want to nurse on 15 seconds' notice and one of whom woke up four hours too early and one of whom has been grabbing things off shelves and flinging them? I would end up grabbing upper arms and hissing, I just know it, so let's not do that today.

Instead I put in a load of laundry and tried not to go all martyr over it. Later perhaps I'll make some fudge. I'll nurse the baby and not try to do anything else. I am on the verge of tears for no reason, which is classic postpartum for me, and I think it would be best not to push it today.

Also, I have a question for you: What the hell are you doing for Father's Day? It snuck up on me and I have no idea what to do. I mean, what to have the kids do. I don't get Paul a present from me, but I organize the children to do something for him, and that usually means a trip to the store, but I don't see that happening. Should I just have them scribble some cards and then I can order a pizza or something? What are you doing that's easy and cheap? (Hey, keep it clean!)

June 12, 2007

City Hall and Taco Bell

Look, you can see my pretty new car seat. Er, Henry's pretty new car seat. Since we knew we were having a boy, my intention was to get a boyish car seat--but it happened that my clear favorite was one that could be for either boys or girls. That's the Graco SnugRide in the Devon pattern, in case you want to be car seat twins with me.

Today I loaded Henry into it, and I took four children downtown, half an hour away, to City Hall to get the birth certificate error fixed. This is the kind of downtown that is all one-way streets, paid and/or parallel parking, and other cars swooping around as I bumble along anxiously looking for the right street number, driving in the wrong lane because I am not sure I know how one-way streets are supposed to work and so I treat them like two-way streets. I was not made to live in a big city, and my periodic forays confirm this time and time again.

I would like to milk this situation for all the pity and sympathy I can get--but the fact is that I found City Hall on the first try, I found the parking lot, I chose the entrance that happened to be right outside the correct office, and I dealt with helpful city employees who got me out of there in about 10 minutes. The only glitch: I got all the way in there and realized I'd left the form in the car and had to lug everyone back out to the parking lot and back in again, but that was over quickly.

You are going to think I'm just trying to impress you when I say we stopped at Taco Bell on the way home, but the thing is I was feeling high on the success of the outing so far, and I pushed it, and I shouldn't have because by the time we left, Elizabeth was making awful toddler noises (it's screaming! no, it's whining! no, it's screaming!) and Henry was wailing that riveting newborn cry. Still, I felt good! We survived! We ate tacos! And when we got home, it was naptime!

One more thing, and then I should really spend some time with one of my many offspring. On Sunday--get this--I actually said to my mother, "You know what....Henry hasn't spit up even one time." Oh oh oh. *shakes head sadly* You would think that a mother of five would understand at least the basics, but no. So of course yesterday Henry spit up all over my shoulder, and today he did one of those projectile spit-ups that left his own baby self pristine but covered his car seat, my nursing pillow, and the blanket and pillow I use when I sleep in the recliner. Nice shot, Henry! Also, now I live in fear, because what I actually said to my mother was that he hadn't spit up or peed/pooped on me.

June 11, 2007

Ups. Also, Downs.

I have been up and down all day today, and it is only 9:00 in the morning. This is Paul's first day back to work.

Last night started out well: I nursed Henry at 8:00, and he was still asleep in his infant seat at my bedtime so I went to bed, and he didn't wake until after 2:00 in the morning so I got some nice by-myself sleeping done, and also it was encouraging to see him sleep a big chunk of time like that.

But what woke him was Elizabeth, crying, which she's been doing a lot more of since we brought Henry home, especially at bedtime and naptime and during the night. And Paul let her cry for a long, long time, and I could hear him snoring which made me feel like putting a stake through his heart. And when he finally went to her, he brought her out to let her sleep snuggled on him. And then he said nonchalantly, "She'll probably be up at 5:30 when I get up." That's what he said to his exhausted, breastfeeding-in-the-middle-of-the-night wife, who was facing her first day of five children on her own. So that was not a good beginning to the day.

Then he went off to work, clearly happy to be getting the hell out of here, and Elizabeth did indeed get up when he did, so at 5:30 in the morning I was watching a newborn and a toddler through bleary, uncomprehending eyes. But she was cheerful and cute, humming to herself and making little comments about everything, padding around in her pink sleeper feeties, and Henry was all alert and cute, and okay, I can handle this. Then the sudden awareness that the twins have a check-up this morning, and that probably means I should scrape a layer of dirt off of them first. And the discovery, in the kitchen, of a piled-high-and-squashed-down trash can, and a teetering-full dish rack.

I am always hoping, when Paul has to do (some of) my job for awhile, that he will be left thinking, "Oh my god, I had no idea how hard that was! I've got to help out more!" Instead he seems to be left thinking, "Oh my god, I had no idea how hard that was! Thank god I don't have to do it anymore!"


But this was a big Up: I took the twins to their doctor appointment (Oh, hi! It's 11:30 now! This post is taking me forever!), and of course I had to take Henry and William also, and it went fine. Totally fine. I put Henry's car seat and the less well-behaved twin Edward into the double stroller, and I let Elizabeth walk, and William opened doors, and it went fine. So now I feel better about the goddamned stupid department of vital records making that stupid-ass mistake little birth certificate mix-up, and I think it will be humanly possible to go this week to fix it. Not today, though. Today I'm all used up.

June 10, 2007

Newborn Survival Sleep Plan

I am currently using my Newborn Survival Sleep Plan, which took me four babies to perfect. The NSSP takes these things into account:

1) That I can't comfortably sleep lying down for a couple of weeks after a c-section (I like to sleep on my side, which pulls at the incision).

2) That I start losing my mind if I have to repeatedly deal with a crying, crying baby in the middle of the night when I am so tired already, and I hate how that makes me feel about the baby.

3) That in my experience so far, newborns are too dim to learn much from what I do to them at this early stage.

4) That sleep is more valuable to survival and sanity than almost anything else, and that I don't really care what I have to do to get it.

So this is the plan: I sleep in our extremely comfortable La-Z-Swistle recliner, mostly reclined, which is very cozy. If the baby wants to sleep there with me, he may. (He always does.) If I nurse him in the night and fall asleep that way, so be it. (It is always so being it.) Bad habits be damned!

Actually, I'm more nervous about it than I pretend. Who doesn't project forward, imagining that each deviance from your intended path will lead to a permanent, unchangeable, highly regrettable situation? I imagine the baby, two years later, still sleeping only on me and only in the recliner.

But so far I have had great luck with this gamble. What happens is that after a few weeks the baby gets a little heavier, I get a little tired of sleeping in the recliner, my incision heals, and pretty soon I don't feel as much like having a damp hot baby pinning me down all night. I start going down my intended path without even meaning to, feeling naturally inclined to put the baby down in his bassinet instead of automatically going back to sleep with him on me. I recover from the surgery and am less desperate for sleep, and so I can tolerate a little nighttime training. Before I know it, the baby's in the bassinet and I'm in bed. (See how it sounds so smooth and easy when I am looking back on how it happened with other babies? Stay tuned to see how it goes in real time.)

But for now, NSSP is in effect, and it is cozy.

June 9, 2007

I Heart Newborns; I No-Smoking-Sign-Around-Heart The Dept Of Vital Records

I love the newborn stage. I wish there was a way to have more newborns without having to have more children.

Henry's torso is the size, shape, and approximate heft of a loaf of zucchini bread. His skin is soft and foldy, like a soft elephant's. His hands and feet are purpley. His legs are skinny. His eyes look like they belong to a woodland creature. He has big wrinkles under his eyes. A newborn-size diaper is big on him, down to his knees. He still likes to have his legs folded up against his tummy. His hair is too, too soft. His mouth pops open if you touch his cheek.

I had my stitch check at the OB's a couple days ago. He was showing me how he wanted me to take care of the incision, and he was using a huge q-tip dipped in hydrogen peroxide and he was saying, "Really get in there with it." And I was like, "Uh huh. Listen: the best I can give you is blind, fearful dabbing." And when I say "I was like," what I mean you to understand is that I said nothing of the sort, and in fact I said, "Okay!"

I got the preview copy of the birth certificate in the mail. If there are any errors, I have to bring it in person to the city where Henry was born, to the downtown area of one-way streets and paid parking, and I have to do it within 14 days, and they're not open on weekends so I have to bring four children with me including two toddlers and a newborn. I was fervently hoping there would be no errors. There is an error. It is such a dumb error: they listed my maiden name as Swistle Middle Maiden Maiden. Just, my maiden name twice. But I have to go tell them in person that that's not correct, and I have to do it this coming week. Furthermore, I know from experience that when I correct this error, they will claim to be unable to put my current legal name in its current legal form (Swistle Middle Maiden Married), but will claim to be able to do only Swistle Middle Married. I hate them.

June 8, 2007

Goddess of Awnings and Rashes

This picture looks as if I'm showing off the bandaid, but in fact I'm showing the foot and the attached skinny leg. But tell me the truth: my hand looks like the hand of Miss "I Think of Myself as a Model" on those Baby Einstein videos, doesn't it? It's something in the pose, as if I were conscious of how I wanted my hand to look in the photo. I swear I was thinking only of the foot at the time, and of keeping my hand from blocking a single toesie.

Notice I was not wearing nail polish. My plan was to wear my new L'Oreal Blush It Off, which is just as good as Sundry says, but the little pamphlet from the hospital said no nail polish. Well, bah.

Henry nurses every two hours for an hour. I am glad I have been through this before so I'm not panicking at the way half my time is spent pinned down to a chair. This part improves with time. And already he is not literally nursing every two hours: he often does, but then there are a few longer stretches in there.

A few weeks ago I read a post, I think it was on Playgroupie but I'm too aware of the countdown of the Nursing Clock to go look, about cracked nipples. I think my brilliant suggestion was Lansinoh. I would like to change my answer. My new answer is: Cut them right the hell off, because it will be far less painful in the long run. Save Lansinoh for something less painful, like, say, a leg amputation. And I would like to add that everyone who says that nipples don't crack if you're "doing it right" can BITE ME. The lactation consultant who came to see how things were going at the hospital said she doesn't know why anyone says that, since she herself got cracked nipples when she breastfed, and if a lactation consultant doesn't know how to do it right I don't know who does, and neither does she. I wish she would spread the word to her colleagues.

I sure am glad I have all the bigger clothes I wore before I looked right in maternity clothes, because that's all that fits right now. I had jeans in one and two sizes too big, and a couple of men's t-shirts that I wore Every Single Day, and that's what I'm wearing now. I think otherwise I'd be freaking out, and so I would like to take a moment to re-state what I think is an important rule for pregnancy: buy yourself a very small wardrobe of bigger-than-usual clothes. They'll get you through the "don't look pregnant, just look fat" first half of the pregnancy and then they'll serve you again post partum. I'm getting steadily smaller, but I still look about 4 months pregnant. It's sad but there it is, and it's a whole lot less sad if you can wear some comfy big clothes instead of having a choice between (1) squeezing into clothes that won't even button, and (2) wearing maternity clothes. Both depressing options.

It's nice to see my body deflating. I didn't retain a lot of water this time, but I retained enough that I'm happy to see my foot bones looking so pretty. My calves look all slim, too. I see my face returning to normal, which is such a relief: all through the pregnancy I think, "Oh, I am aging and I am so much less cute than I used to be, and why is my Good Skin all blotchy and pore-y and shiny?," and then I deliver the baby and there's my face coming back to me, cute as ever, albeit with undereye circles that rival an eclipse.

On the other hand, I've lost the Goddess of Fertility look I'd gotten used to. It's lovely to walk around feeling all gorgeous and round, even if you're also feeling heart burn, shortness of breath, and shooting pelvic pains. Now my look is, what? Goddess of Awnings and Rashes? There is a--*shudder*--flap where my stomach was. And pretty much everything they put on or in my body in the hospital left a mark: the adhesive (back, hand, chest, stomach, neck), the enormous synthetic underpants (whose brilliant idea were those?), the fentanyl (which feels delicious but makes me itchy).

Edward is crying "Lah! lah!" (lap), so that gives me a good ending for a post I wasn't sure how to end anyway. Thanks, Edward!

June 7, 2007

Beautiful Baby

It makes my mother heart happy to read all those comments about how beautiful my baby is. But it also makes my mother heart nervous and darty-eyed, because the truth is I deliberately chose an exceptionally flattering photo of the child, and now it occurs to me that if I post any more photos you will discover the truth, which is that.....well....

Let me put it this way: every baby is beautiful in his or her own way. Which is to say that even this baby's love-eyed mother knows not to enter him into any beauty contests:

I mean, the comb-over alone would disqualify him.

The thing is, I never think my newborns are particularly...attractive. I stare at them for hours, endlessly fascinated by their every detail, so I speak as one who has had time to judge. When the nurse says, "Oh, he's beautiful!" I think, skeptically, "Uh huh." If anyone says the baby is cute and I accept the compliment without arguing, I imagine them snorting behind my back, "She actually thinks that thing is cute!"

Oh, I'm fond of the baby, clearly! And there is beauty in the eye of this beholder! But it is difficult to get photographic evidence of that kind of beauty.

June 5, 2007

Blog Post (Used Up All Creative Juices Creating Baby)

I am stealing a moment to blog. My goodness, a newborn certainly is a time-sucking vortex! Yesterday was gone before I knew it. My hospital bags are still on the kitchen floor. I have a huge intriguing baby present I haven't even opened. The mail from when I was in the hospital is still on the counter, and I have to be careful or there will be bills that get away from me. ...No, I am not going to think about bills right now, or I will trigger a whole series of panicky "Must do this right now!" thoughts and I will never get any blogging done ever again.

I am too scattered to even know what to blog about. Normally I think of something as I'm going about my usual morning routine, and the topic gradually fleshes out until I'm ready to sit down and write it. Since the baby was born, this is more how I'm thinking:

1) Flowers make such a great hospital-room present. My parents gave me a huge geranium and the whole room looked prettier.

2) Two paramedic students sat in on the c-section. I loved that. One of them let me squeeze her fingers while I was getting the epidural, a gesture I would have thought was useless but to my surprise it seriously helped.

3) I tried to start baby-name conversations with several nurses, but got nothing good. One said, "Yeah, Madison is getting really popular." Hey, great insider information!

4) A newborn has, like, no butt at all.

5) Paul and the kids cleaned the fridge while I was in the hospital. I hadn't realized the shelves were see-through.

6) Hey, I'm doing great! Hardly any postpartum sad feelings at all!

7) *weeping*

8) I did not bake even one single muffin too many.

9) Must choose baby announcement photo open that present write thank-you notes unpack hospital bags find that hospital pacifier make baby's 2-week appointment bring baby to see the bus driver put deli turkey on the list email friend about being home eat breakfast take medicine see if Paul can manage to do a load of laundry help Rob with his homework remember to get out the gifts for William's teachers.

June 3, 2007

Hey, Baby!

It is a good thing we didn't arrange to meet earlier, because here it is 9:20 p.m. already and I am just getting to this. I had forgotten, perhaps through biological necessity, how much time everything takes when there's a newborn. We've been home more than eight hours, and all my hospital bags are still sitting on the floor in the kitchen.

Anyway! You are not interested in the status of my hospital bags! You want to know if there is a BABY. And there IS:

May 31, 2007
8:35 a.m.
8 pounds 2 ounces
21.5 inches long