Monday, July 31, 2006

The girls

According to Lauren

...Lindsay has potatoes instead of piggies. As in "this little potato went to market".

...the circles represent the bad guys. The triangles are the good guys. The good guys are going to kill the bad guys.

...she's saving the tapioca pudding for her friend Joe from Blue's Clues.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Twins born 3 1/2 years apart?

This is seriously creepy.
Lindsay at 9 1/2 weeks.
Lauren at 10 weeks.

Still too soon

An ad aired for the movie World Trade Center, an Oliver Stone movie which will be released in August. I didn't make it to the end of the 30-second spot without erupting into tears. There are many people who lost family and friends that day. I did not. But it was still one of the most horrible days of my life.

We'd had a loss in the spring, and though I felt physically better from the first ectopic pregnancy, I was raw emotionally. I was trying to pull myself out of a depression that felt like it was swallowing me...and so, every day, I would get off the subway 30 blocks from my office, and force myself to walk those blocks. The rush of endorphins made me feel a little better, and then I would reward myself with a coffee and a cigarette before rushing upstairs to my empty office.

I walked down 8th Avenue that day. It was a beautiful, cool day with one of the bluest skies I ever remember. I didn't hear or see the planes hit, but realized as I got further downtown, that people were stopped in the middle of the street looking downtown. I could see there was a fire and lots of smoke from the first plane, and something John had said rumbled through my head. Planes are always hitting the World Trade Center. It wasn't until I got to the coffee shop near my office...they were listening to 1010WINS...that I realized what had happened. While I was in the coffee shop, the second plane hit.

I got back out on the street, and there were now a lot of people walled against the building staring at the inferno of the top floors of both buildings. A huge gaping hole appeared where that first plane gored Tower 1. I walked quickly to my building and got into my office.

The phone rang was ringing as I sat down at my desk. My mom. Then Alec. The phones were pretty much useless after those first fifteen minutes. I turned on my workstation and started running aging reports.

Two of my coworkers arrived around 10. Both had recently emigrated to the US. Slava was a soft-spoken man from the Ukraine, and Sujarit, a Thai who had been rechristened Tony C because he had a note pinned on him with "To NYC" scrawled on it when he arrived at US Immigration in New York. Tony was pale when he arrived. His subway from Queens evacuated at 14th Street in time for him to see Tower 1 crumble to the ground.

We sat at our desks working in silence to the hum of the nearby server room and the radio announcing what they thought was happening. By 10:30, those buildings were gone. I sat blinking listening to the radio. I just couldn't wrap my brain around that they were gone.

I nervously got up for a cigarette then, and blurted out I was afraid to be alone on the was so eerie earlier. Slava quietly got up and we walked down to the street together. Tony followed. The only traffic now going down Varick Street were emergency vehicles, and the scream of sirens seemed to echo from everywhere. The smell of smoke hung heavy in the air. I stared at where those buildings were, hardly believing they weren't any more. Tony turned his back to it, his expression was hard.

Around 3, the lettered subways were running, and there were Metro North trains leaving Grand Central Station. The 3 of us left the office and walked across town to the NR station on Prince and Broadway. The smell of smoke choked us and smelled...toxic. There were dust covered people on the streets who'd come from further downtown. We said nothing as we parted.

When I arrived home I sat on the terrace for hours waiting for Alec to drive back from Long Island, smoking cigarette after cigarette until an entire pack was smoked. The sound of sirens continued, and that toxic smoke smell hung in the air.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Mommy drive by

I was a victim of a Mommy Drive By today. The standard Mommy blog definition of a Mommy Drive By is when a perfect stranger feels it necessary to correct your parenting in a public place.

Lindsay has had her grumpypants on since Tuesday, and has been unable to go more than fifteen minutes at a time without screaming at the top of her lungs. Even fed, with clean diaper, and freshly burped, she still screams. It is, as you might imagine, maddening. Mercifully, she has been sleeping ok. I have been rushing to get as much done as possible during the sleep times.

I didn't manage to place a Peapod order yesterday, so I knew we had to stop at the local grocery for milk and bread. After we dropped Lauren off at daycare, Lindsay had fallen asleep in her carseat. So, I placed the carseat in the kid-holding part of the shopping cart and headed in to Stop and Shop. I ran down the aisles, throwing dairy products and produce in the cart. She started fussing as I grabbed the bananas, so I practically sprinted across the store to grab a loaf of bread. Lindsay had already started crying. I got in line, stroking her head, saying "It's ok.." as I loaded my groceries on to the conveyer belt. I set down my credit card and began stuffing the groceries into shopping bags as the cashier rung them through, clearly trying to get out of there as quickly as possible.

The cashier behind mine said, "Mommy, you really need to pick up your baby." My cashier turned to look at her and nod.

"Uh. No. I really need both hands so I can finish up here, thanks," I said as cordially as I could muster.

The woman behind me in line began to coo at Lindsay, still screaming, beginning to turn purple.
"How old is she?"

"Um. Nine weeks." I said succinctly.

"Has she been like this all day?" asked my cashier.

"She's been like this for nine weeks. Can I have my credit card back, please?"

The cashier looked at me sheepishly and handed me my American Express and my receipt in a wadded ball. I said thank you, stuffed the papers in my purse and turned to leave.

"I just don't understand why she won't pick her baby up and hold her," said the other cashier very loudly.

I felt my face grow hot as I pushed the cart toward the door. It was like a bad sitcom, with another Mom's cart angled out of her check out aisle and in my way. "Excuse me." And then her 2 boys ran directly in front of the cart as they chased each other around. "Excuse me, please." And then an old lady was sitting on the bench by the door with her cane out. "Please excuse me."

I got to the car, set the carseat into its base and took Lindsay out of the seat, still screaming. She screamed as I loaded the groceries out of my cart and into the trunk.

The old lady parked next to me asked if I needed help, and I replied, "No thanks." She began moving my bags into my car, "I've really got this under control, but thanks for your help" and then took the cart away.

I sat with Lindsay in the front seat of the car for a while until she finally calmed down. "Don't listen to those people," I whispered. "There's nothing wrong with you. I love you just the way you are...and more than you'll ever know."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mouthy and Gassy

Dear Lauren and Lindsay,

I am very sorry I referred to you in conversation as Mouthy and Gassy. Even though it happened to be true at the time, it wasn't a very nice thing for me to say.

I love you both very much,

Monday, July 24, 2006

About the blog

It's some sort of litmus test. My husband comes home from work and checks to see what I write.

"Lauren, there's no blog today."

"Uh huh."

"Now I don't know what happened today."

"Oh. Sorry, Dad."

"It's OK, Lauren."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lauren's announcement

"I have a baby in my belly," Lauren announced on the way to McDonalds this evening.


"Mmm hmm."

"What's the baby's name?"

"Baby Boy Pirate."

"Oh. Nice."

"Because he's a baby and a boy and a pirate."

"Right. Makes sense."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another gem from Lauren

"I'm afraid of 3 things: trees, spiders, and monsters."


"Yes. Trees."

"Um. Ok."

"Well, spiders bite."


"And monsters live under the bed."

"You said they live under Lindsay's bed."

"Right...and trees...well, trees are just scary."

Monday, July 17, 2006

The 8 week old baby...

Lindsay weighed in today at 9 pounds, 11.8 ounces, and is 21 inches tall. She's grown 2 inches and gained 3 pounds since her 2-week old visit. It was apparent to me in those adorable little rolls of chubby thighs and wrists that she's grown a whole lot in the past few weeks.

Lindsay has been sleeping about 5 1/2 hours at night now. She has started conversational cooing in reply to talking to her. It's very cute. She's flashing more of those smiles, as she able to see a bit farther. She gave Lauren the biggest grin I've seen yet.

She's not too big on the daytime sleeping, but will usually snooze for an hour or so after she eats, which is about every 3-4 hours.

A gem from Lauren

"Princesses don't 'grab you a cup of coffee'."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Every mom knows

...if you brag about your baby's sleep, she will suddenly refuse to. Also, her older sister will also refuse to sleep, but on alternate intervals, thus assuring no sleep for mom.

I went to bed at 12:30 AM. Lindsay awoke at 2 AM. Sleep interruption before 3 hours always hurts, but particularly after a couple of summer hummers (vodka and lemonade). Lindsay was done eating around 2:45 AM, and started falling asleep.

So Lauren stumbled into my bedroom at 3 AM. I ushered her back to bed, gave her a stuffed animal, and tucked her back in. An hour later, she was up again. "I had a bad dream," she said.
I got her a cup of water, and tucked her back in. A half hour after that, she was crying loudly from her bed. I got up, and this time I was not very patient with her and demanded she turn off the water works and go to sleep.

Lindsay awoke to eat at 5:15 AM, and then 7:45 AM. So, I think I got less than an hour of continuous sleep, and maybe 4 hours all together. Yuck.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

His Ami

The last time we were in Miami, Lauren thought Alec had said, "My Ami" so she kept calling it "Your Ami" or "Daddy's Ami". Anyway, Alec is off to Miami today by way of Dayton where he spent last night. I think his meeting was actually in Youngstown...but anyway, if it's midweek, he's got to be in Miami.

We had McDonald's for dinner, followed by a shopping spree at Babies R Us. We got a lot of stuff considering we didn't actually need anything. Lauren picked out some new bath toys and a mesh bag to store them. We bought lots of new toys for Lindsay that she can rattle, have texture, or she can teethe on. The Babies R Us here has a Motherhood section, so I bought a couple new nursing tops. Considering the amount of pressure to breastfeed, it is very hard to find places that carry nursing wear.

So anyway, we had fun. We got home, gave the girls baths, got into our jammies. Lauren went to bed pretty easily. Lindsay took a nap until about 10:30 PM, and then was up until about 1 AM. She's been pretty fussy the past couple days, and hasn't pooped, so I think she's fussy because she hasn't pooped. She ate a lot, and was starting to get sleepy. I set her on the bed and went to turn down the air conditioner. She started fussing, so I was walking kind of fast and brought the ball of my foot down hard on an exposed nail in the floorboard. I scooped her up, and turned over my foot to see it was cut and bleeding. Of course, it was a good ten minutes before she was done eating and I could attend to it. Yuck. Because it's on the ball of my left foot, it burns when I step, which is nasty and annoying. I cleaned it, bandaged it, and went to sleep.

Lindsay actually slept until almost 7, which was a great treat...and although she didn't poop, she woke up in a great mood and was smiling a whole lot and laughing. I changed her diaper, fed her, and she fell back to sleep 45 minutes later.

Lauren was up at 8:15, which was pretty much right when I started falling back to sleep. Ah well. But as she climbed up for her morning snuggle, I noticed her eye was all puffy. Oh geez, she had hives on her face again. So we went downstairs and got her some Zyrtec.
So we're doing okay while Alec is away. We've even come up with some new nicknames: Full of Poo (we're not encouraging the use of the S word since Lauren learned to conjugate both that and the F bomb when she was 2), Hop Along, and Squinty.

Monday, July 10, 2006

A thank you (and the girls plan a shopping trip)

Our postman left us with a fat envelope today, some baby presents from my friend Mark.

Lauren tore open her own card, and contemplated its contents. "I can buy things from the store with that?" She held up the Pottery Barn Kids gift certificates.
"Yep. The store where we got Lindsay's lamps."

"The one where they have the big dollhouse?"

Hmm. Wonder what she's going to get there...

Lindsay, on the otherhand, was not so enthusiastic about shopping. She didn't even lift her head from the little puddle of sleepy drool...yeah, I know back to sleep. Kid always falls asleep during tummytime. I don't wake the sleeping baby.
It was funny, because I was thinking today about the toys Lauren had at Mark's office. Her favorite, and also, by far the most annoying, was this Baby Einstein orchestra that played 5 different Mozart pieces in 4 part harmony. When you removed each animal piece, its part stopped playing. It had on, soft, and loud settings. I was thinking it was sad we don't still have the toy, and wondered if Babies R Us had it...well, now we have the gift cards so I'm sure we can stock up on toys to annoy while I try to work.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Good day sunshine

Really, how bad can your day be when you wake up with a smiling baby on your chest. A few minutes later, Lauren bounds into the room, jumps up on the bed, and cuddles up on your other side and tells you her baby feet call your feet Mama.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Let's pretend

"Let's pretend I'm a cat named Stinky Pig."

"A cat?!"


"Named Stinky Pig?"

"No. Skinny Pig."

"Oh. That makes a lot more sense."


Losing a baby leaves a sharp edge that I'll nudge up against unexpectedly and suddenly find pain. I've lost two. The first was 5 years ago, and the second was almost exactly a year ago. The upcoming anniversary has me feeling a little raw.

I had to write a letter today to our insurance company explaining why an ambulance was called a year ago. That was sort of upsetting also.

But the sharp edge that snuck up on me was an innocuous blog my dad made fun of while he was writing about silly blogs. It was the picture of her ovulation chart that struck me. The little form she uses to write week by week about new symptoms.

In February 2001, I downloaded freeware for charting ovulation. I took my temperature every day and entered it into the even had a little smiley icon to indicate the days you have sex and what the chance of conceiving for that particular event based on where it predicted you were in your cycle. On April 28th, the software remarked that my basal temperature had been elevated 18 days and that it predicted I was pregnant, which a EPT confirmed with the faintest pink line. Two days later, I started bleeding and called my gynecologist in a panic. It took nearly a month for a diagnosis. Tests of increasing amounts of pain. Finally, 5 weeks later...that is 5 weeks of pregnancy symptoms knowing that this wasn't going to result in the child we'd hoped for...she diagnosed the ectopic pregnancy. I was given a shot of methotrexate. At my followup appointment, she prescribed another painful test that I had to wait 3 months to take. The result of the hysterosalpingogram (HSG) was that there was no blockage found in my tube.

But as we tried again, all of that excitement that Angela writes about in her blog had been wrung out of me. The beginning of the 3 pregnancies after that first one were a call to the doctor and then bloodtests every 48 hours where we watched, wondered, and waited with our breath held.
It was a nerve-wrecking process.

A year ago, I had just gone off the Pill, and called my obgyn to ask her if I should be alarmed that I had been spotting for 4 weeks. "Well, are you pregnant?" Huh. Well, that thought hadn't occurred to me. She took my stunned silence as an emphatic maybe. "Because, with your history, I would be alarmed if you told me you were pregnant and spotting since that was your symptom last time." I saw her the next day, and she said the same thing my gynecologist had said 4 years earlier, that all we could do was wait 48 hours and do another test. It wasn't to be. Forty hours later, I was in the emergency room trying to listen to a doctor telling me what I already knew. That worse-case scenerio. It had happened again. But this time, I needed surgery.

The path that has brought me here has been full of potholes and dark alleys. Some days I feel really blessed. Days like today I wonder if God, like us mortal parents, sometimes gets distracted. If so, I'd really appreciate whatever the karmic equivalent is of getting to eat ice cream for dinner and staying up way past my bedtime...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tummytime lessons

Although she hated tummytime herself, Lauren shows Lindsay how it's done. Lindsay likes being on her tummy, and usually falls asleep.

First smile captured

Lindsay, 6 1/2 weeks, gives us a big toothless grin

Monday, July 03, 2006

Hold the figs, please

"So what are we having for dessert?" Lauren asked.

"How about a cookie?" I offered.

"Is it a chocolate chip cookie?"

"No. It's a fig cookie."

She waited for the joke. "Fig?!"

"Yes. They are Fig Newtons."

"Eeeeeewww. That's disgusting."