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Our baby bouncy seat has a toy bar over it and on the toy bar are dangly bug toys: a butterfly, a snail and a ladybug that plays “If you’re happy and you know it” when you pull the little ring. Last week Baby Evan accidentally pulled the ring and made the song play. “Great Job! You’re so smart! Do it again!” we praised him. He did not manage to do it again.

Today he figured it out. I’ve heard “If you’re happy and you know it” approximately fourteen time in the last fifteen minutes. I’ll give him another ten minutes to enjoy his amazing new talent before I smash the thing with a hammer find the tiny screwdriver needed to take the battery out. I mean, I wouldn’t want to quash his development or anything.


The following takes place between 12:00 am July 30th and 12:00 am July 31st:

12:00 am – ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

2:21 am – Wake up for two seconds and roll over, check that baby is breathing, go back to sleep.

3:52 am – Try to roll onto my right side and am stopped by hugely enormous swollen boob. I’m worried about getting a plugged duct so I hand-express some milk (some=soaks through two burp cloths).

3:52 am – Baby smells milk and wakes up.

3:55 am – Take baby into nursery to nurse, since my lazy lying down breastfeeding has done some damage to my right nipple and it’s really sore.

4: 20 am – Baby make huge diaper-filling poop noise. During the diaper change I realize I only have tiny, size 1 diapers upstairs and would have to go downstairs for the right ones. Decide to risk poopsplosion by using size 1s.

4:22 am – Everyone’s asleep again. ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz.

6:00 am – E’s alarm goes off. I can barely hear it with the pillow over my head. Baby Evan isn’t the least bit disturbed. I go back to sleep.

7:59 am – Neighbor’s construction crew shows up with large trucks, heavy equipment and a dozen shouting men.

8:01 am – Baby Evan wakes up. I unwrap the one arm he had swaddled and leave him in the co-sleeper to amuse himself while I get dressed and use the bathroom. My, I look very well rested today. I think I might even do my workout DVD later so I put on workout clothes.

8:10 am – I take the baby downstairs for his breakfast. The neighbor’s construction crew backs trucks up and down the (shared) driveway for fun. Boy do I love that beeping sound first thing in the morning. Let the dog out, feed the dog, promise the cats I’ll feed them later.

8:20 am – Baby is fed and burped so I try to give him his antacid medicine. He immediately pukes his entire feeding and the medicine up all over himself and the Boppy. I decide I’ll give him another half dose. He hates it but keeps it down. I give him a toy to amuse himself while I check email and catch up on the news and the interwebs.

8:21 am – POOPSPLOSION!!!! and diaper change.

9:30 am – Baby Evan decides his toy is boring and that he would rather kick me. Kick kick kick kick.

9:31 am – Drag vibrating baby seat upstairs to entertain Baby Evan while I do laundry, fold laundry, put away laundry, make the bed, and clean the bathroom.

10:00 am – Baby starts making oooo oooo oooo mmmm mmmm mmmm noises. I cleverly deduce he might be hungry.

10:10 am – Thank God the nursing put Baby to sleep. I sneak him into the swing for his morning nap and go about feeding myself and collecting all the baby laundry for a load this afternoon.

10:30 am – Distracted by the interwebs. Ok, NOW I’m going to go get something to eat.

10:45 am – Baby poops himself awake before I can finish my sandwich (what, sandwiches are breakfast food). I finish my sandwich anyways.

10:52 am – Diaper change. Poop report -very green, not too smelly, did not leak. I’d give it a B+.

10:53 am – Baby is playing happily on his baby gym. I struggle with whether or not to do my Postnatal Bootcamp DVD when I know the Price is Right will be on in a couple minutes. I decide to wait and see if I’ve already seen this episode before I commit to the workout.

11:05 am – I’ve seen this one. Workout DVD it is.

11:45 am – The workout that was supposed to last 20 minutes took me twice as long because the baby was bored. I tried the gym, the swing, the couch, several toys and the Bumpo chair before settling on the exersaucer. It’s the only one that gives him a clear view of the dog.

12:00 pm – The baby is tired and hungry but insists he is NOT TIRED and NOT HUNGRY. I am boiling hot and sweaty and smelly so I don’t blame him for not wanting to cuddle but I can’t take a shower while he’s this unhappy. I eventually get him still enough to aim my nipple in the general vicinity of his mouth and he gives in. Ten minuted later he’s sound asleep. I’m so lucky that he’s a quick eater – I would not have stuck out the breastfeeding thing if it took an hour or more to finish each feeding.

12:15 pm – Baby’s asleep in the nursery (for the first time ever, although he’s still in the bouncy seat and not the crib) so I hop in the shower.

12:49 pm – I’m clean, dressed and wearing mascara. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. We’re having people over tonight so I briefly consider making brownies but decide it’s too hot to turn on the oven. Plus I’ve heard our guests may be bringing cookies. Mmmmm…cookies.

12:50 pm – Must be lunch time for the neighbor’s contractors. I notice their van has completely blocked my car in the driveway. I suddenly think of a dozen places I really need to go and start to get annoyed.

12:57 pm – Dog starts barking at neighbor’s contractors who have wandered too close to my back garden. I shush him but secretly feel glad that he’s big and kind of loud. I’m not a fan of all these strangers wandering around.

1:oo pm – Man, daytime tv sucks.

1:05 pm – Clean: downstairs bathroom, family room, kitchen (again) and litter box. I get distracted by the disgusting state of the basement and start rearranging and pulling crap out of the corners. By the time I’m done there’s a huge pile of “yard sale” stuff in the middle of the floor and I’m filthy dirty again.

1:55 pm – I hear the baby playing with the toys on the bouncy seat so I head upstairs to get him.

1:56 pm – Diaper change. Just wet.

2:00 pm – It’s like a zillion degrees in this stupid non-air conditioned house. I aim one of our big noisy box fans right at my seat on the couch just so I can feed the baby without being cooked to death.

2:10 pm – The baby is done eating so it’s play time. I’m trying to teach him to give kisses, which is really just pressing his mouth against something. I think he’s getting the idea though.

2:21 pm – E’s home! He amuses Baby Evan with a few rounds of Rock Band.

4:00 pm – Feed the baby.

4:10 pm – Baby’s asleep on the Boppy on the couch but I don’t think it’s going to last long. I use my free time to do very important things play games on the internet. And to eat some Pringles, the dinner of champions.

4:45 pm – The baby wakes up and acts adorable.

4:52 pm – The baby starts howling like a banshee.

4:55 pm – Diaper change. The poop is yellow with…little black things? How did he eat that? Still not smelly though. I give it a C.

5:00 pm – Shockingly, after all my interwebs time wasting the baby now wants attention. E and I take turns swinging on the front porch, making silly faces, and throwing him (GENTLY) in the air for the lulz.

5:30 pm – Dinner time for babies. No food for the adults though. Still hoping for cookies.

5:44 pm – Screaming and thrashing time for babies. He throws up a little but is happy as soon as E picks him up and starts patting his back.

6:25 pm – I finish the baby laundry and general tidying, sweep the front porch and make some iced tea for our game night. E rocks Baby Evan on the front porch swing.

6:30 pm – Our friends come over for some adult conversation and a few rounds of the marble game (THE BEST GAME EVAR). They brought their adorable and well behaved 3 year old…and cookies! Thanks Amanda! Baby Evan sits in the bouncy seat and makes funny faces the whole time.

7:30 pm – Feed the baby without having to get up or ever miss my turn. Baby falls asleep.

9:00 pm – Our company leaves.

9:01 pm – Feed the baby, baby screams and throws up. E changes him and tries to give him his medicine but he pukes it all over himself and the changing table cover.

9:02 pm – Ok, I guess it’s bath time. E washes the puke and sticky medicine off Baby Evan. Now he smells like baby shampoo.

9:05 pm – I spend 30 minutes smelling the baby’s head and chewing on kissing his chubby face.

9:35 pm – E and I take turns holding Baby Evan while we watch fast forward through most of the So You Think You Can Dance results show (They did the door routine (yah!) and the one to Bleeding Love (double yah!) and Evan made it to the finals! Everyone loves people named Evan).

9:50 pm – E swaddles the baby and stands next to the couch rocking him. I sit on my butt and think about how nice it is to have someone else to do that.

9:55 pm – Baby is totally asleep. We watch the last 10 minutes of SYTYCD. E pets the baby’s head because he’s so cute when he’s passed out.

10:05 pm – Everyone’s in bed. With the giant box fan blowing directly on the bed it’s almost a bearable temperature in here.

10:25 pm – The last time I remember seeing on the clock before I pass out.

12:00 am – ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz.

Things I call the baby:
Baby boy
Baby face
Pumpkin face
Pumpkin head
Sleepy head
Sleepy baby
Silly baby
Silly boy
Funny boy
Pretty boy
Mister Stinky
Mister Cranky
Poop face
Poopie head
Cutie pie
Darling boy

Things I rarely call the baby:

Things I have never called the baby:
Evan Richard

When I say the baby loves the dog more than me, I am totally not kidding. He loves him. LUUUUUVS him. I guarantee “doggie” will be his first word. I think he’s learned to use his hands just so he can pet Brutus. The only other thing he does with them is squeeze, pinch and twist the skin on my chest while he’s nursing. Which, let me tell you, is SUPER DUPER FUN.


Don’t you give me that look. You’ll stand there and you’ll LIKE IT or I’ll find a dog that will. If it keeps the baby from screaming he can ride you for all I care. I’ll buy a tiny saddle and rename you Lightning the Wonder Dog.

Yesterday at E’s softball game I has a conversation with another Navy wife who has a four year old son and another on the way (and possibly a teenage son? His relationship was clearly familial but he might have been her brother. I didn’t want to ask due to potential age-difference awkwardness). She was…very vocal about her parenting decisions and what she thought of other people’s choices. She was conductor of the no holds barred judgement train and the station was nowhere in sight. This is the first time I’ve encountered such a person in the real world (i.e. not the interwebs) and I was a little stunned.

I’ve gotten into the habit of bringing my nursing cover and a lawn chair to the games so I can feed Baby Evan fairly discretely. Navy bases tend to be heavily male and I am often the only woman in attendance so I just feel more comfortable under my cover. Plus the games are really loud and when the baby gets distracted and whips his head around to see what the cheering is about it’s nice to not have my boob flapping in the wind for all of E’s coworkers to see. Not a single guy has ever made a comment or done anything that made me uncomfortable. But this woman seemed to see my public breastfeeding as an opening to start a formula vs. breast discussion. She plans to do both. She sees no reason why breastfeeding is so much better, her older son had formula and he’s totally fine. She doesn’t have the energy to commit to breastfeeding all the time. Her grandmother had 10 kids and they all had formula. She’s not like me and wouldn’t want to nurse in public.I could practically FEEL the judgments rolling off her and it took everything I had not to start my “breast is best” lecture, especially when she started talking about how expensive it was to have a baby. Breastmilk is free, Judgey McJudgerpants.

But her opinions didn’t end with what seems to be the most controversial of baby topics. She had something to say about everything. Her friend gave her a bunch of boy clothes after she found out she was having a girl, how dare she think her baby was too good for boy clothes? If her baby was spitting up like my baby was (FYI we had just come from the doctor – again – who said he is fine) she would go to the emergency room. Not teaching your children to say “sir” and “ma’am” is akin to child abuse. Potty training should be finished by 3 years old and children who have accidents just have lazy parents. And my absolute favorite: The best cure for Baby Evan’s teething pains? Jack Daniels. What, her grandma did it and she had 10 kids!

Am I just as judgey as she is for thinking giving alcohol to your infant makes you a terrible parent? Maybe. But I would never say it to her face. And I definitely know better than to make blanket parenting statements to mothers I know nothing about. It’s a pretty fair guess to say that raving about the new $15 organic baby massage oil would be welcomed at my breastfeeding support group but met with confused stares elsewhere. You have to know your audience before you talk about a lot of baby topics: cloth diapers, baby-wearing, vaccinations, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, homeschooling…some people feel really strongly about this stuff. I’ve been lucky to find a lot of like-minded women in my friends – both real and internet – and my close family, but even we don’t agree on everything. Although I’m pretty sure my grandma would support my use of teething tablets over a shot of Jack.

– I need to stop threatening to eat my baby, no matter how chubby and delicious his legs look.

– I wonder if all almost-four-month-olds know how to make THE WORST NOISE IN THE WORLD. Baby Evan has started screeching like he’s being strangled and he has to make sure ALL the neighbors know it. I’m expecting the police to show up any minute.

– Oh God, is it teething? Is it going to keep happening? I’d better Google “how long does teething last?”

– The baby loves the dog more than he loves me. A LOT more.

– There is no one in the world I like hate enough to ask to babysit a child who can’t be more than 10 minutes away from my boobs, so I guess I’ve got a couple more months before we get a parents night out.

– I hereby declare this week “Take-out week” since I refuse to turn on the stove at 85+ degrees.

– Taking care of a screaming child uses up an entire days worth of patience. Telemarketers and ATT tech support beware.

– Jumping and splashing in the river like a couple of 15-year olds is better than marriage counseling.

– After watching that “news” story about cankles on tv this morning, I think a) America is totally screwed up and b) I finally found a body part that I can be totally happy about. No cankles here!

– Since when can my tiny baby boy stand up!? You can’t even roll over, where do you think you’re going??
IMG_2859p.s. My in-laws gave us that onesie. Isn’t it hilarious? Now he looks even more delicious.

Friday was the opposite of fun. It was the anti-fun. It was like fun packed up all his bags and left the country with a suitcase full of simple and easy. It was just one lousy thing after another all culminating in the moment when I walked out of the pharmacy and discovered my car had crapped itself and wouldn’t start. So I’m standing in the 85 degree sun holding a crying baby staring at a car that won’t start and has the “check gauges”, “no oil pressure”, and “urgent problem” lights on…and E is unreachable. His work phone goes to voicemail. His cell phone goes to voicemail. My texts go unanswered. I don’t have the number to his office building.

After trying to feed Baby Evan in the steaming, boiling hot car (WAAAAAH WAAH WAAAAAAAAAH!!!!) and opening the hood and staring blankly at the engine I just pack up the stroller and the baby and head down to the Commissary hoping to find…I don’t know what. Help? A tow truck? Santa Claus? Anything was going to be better than sitting there. Luckily E got out of his meeting and called me back and after we BOTH opened the hood and stared blankly at the engine for a few minutes we finally called a repair place. The repair guy suggested that before we pay for a tow and a checkup we just try jump starting it. Ok but we don’t think it’s the battery, I mean, the radio works and this oil gauge looks pretty serious. Guess what, it worked. Our real problem is that I know NOTHING about cars and E knows just enough to imagine thousands of dollars in repair and hopelessness instead of a $50 battery, so we both freaked out for two hours and exhausted ourselves.

Today was better, although my spray on sunscreen failed to reach my back and now I can’t lean back without wincing in pain. But I have my aloe gel and some Netflix and no plans for the rainy Sunday we’re expecting tomorrow so I’ll be ok. Maybe Baby Evan will decide to sleep all afternoon instead of scream. I can wish.

Next time you’re invited to a baby shower, bring the mommy-to-be the most useful, affordable, never-knew-they-needed-it gift: WD-40. Just tape a bow to the top. Trust me, they’ll thank you eventually.

They’ll thank you when that glider they use to rock their screaming baby to sleep starts to squeak and every squeak is another five minutes of lost sleep.

They’ll thank you while they WD-40 every hinge on every door of every room. It’s much easier to put on clothes when you’re not afraid to open the closet door for fear the CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEK will wake the baby.

They’ll thank you because ever single piece of baby equipment is “collapsible” – as if a three foot bright orange high chair is less noticeable standing on two legs instead of four – and collapsing them is much easier when the hinges work.

They’ll thank you if they were given any hand me down baby gear, since no matter how clean the previous owner thought they kept it, anything that’s supposed to slide or swing is stuck because it’s full of a residue made up of goldfish crumbs, apple juice and poop.

And they will really thank you when they realize they ALREADY HAVE A CAN OF WD-40 instead of having to pack up the baby, the car seat, the stroller, and restock the diaper bag just to go spend $4 at Home Depot before they can do any of the above.

Who knew that the most effective, most entertaining baby toy you could buy was one poorly trained mutt?

Today we looked at mansions. We ran into the owner of my favorite one (the green one) who I once bought a bunch of antique furniture from so I know slightly. She was like “Oh my God you had a baby! When did that happen?” And then she gave me the new mommy once-over. It’s like a very fast stink-eye that judges you on your remaining baby fat, general pastiness and whether or not your hair is washed (guess what, it’s not). I don’t think I did very well but luckily you get extra points for the cuteness of the baby and mine flirted his chubby butt off.

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July 2009
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