Back in the Saddle


Not that I really ever went anywhere, but between jet lag and Maggie’s illness and general grumpitude on the part of the supposed adults in this hotel room, our intrepid exploring spirits were somewhat dampened. But today is sunny, we’ve had fantastic visits with friends, and morale is high once again.

This is just too delicious. Without going into too much information about Past Issues, I got the rundown about some people who once Done Me Wrong today and well, my life is looking downright charmed comparatively (even when you factor in Maggie’s sleepless days of illness). So charmed by comparison, in fact, that I have been singing “Schadenfreude” from Avenue Q all day long. One could argue that I am tempting karma myself by being so happy about their misfortune but I would then counter One by telling One it was a buzzkill.

Tomorrow is more sunshine, tonight there will be draft beer with longtime friends. It’s warm enough for the baby to have jettisoned her pants AND she has taken to pursing her lips and cooing “Oooooh!” whenever something fascinates her. It is so adorable I am overcome with an incredible need to gobble up her tiny neck and cheeks, which she enjoys as well. There will be grandparents and family togetherness on Friday in Florida.

How is your week?


What a Difference The Letter L Makes

From a natural pregnancy website:

“There is a vegetable oil called CASTOR Oil, made from castor beans, which is sometimes used to get labor going or for other medicinal purposes. There is a petroleum product, i.e. motor oil, called Castrol Oil, which could be toxic. Please do not confuse them!”

Well. After that sober warning I will certainly store my motor oil away from my laxatives. Thanks, Internet!


At the final prenatal class this evening:

Me, via text, to Anonymous Family Member: The scary nurse is teaching the class again!!
Anonymous Family Member: You should throw your mucus plug at her.

That is sick and wrong and utterly hilarious. I love my family.


The arrival of baby draws nigh, and th most obvious sign of which (aside from the brightly painted nursery full of stuff) is the big pile of laundry already done on the baby’s behalf. All the cloth diapers, the wipes and diaper stuffers, the darling little onesies and stacks of bedding, receiving blankets and bathing accessories all need a good washing before going into commission. That more than anything else, even including the daily “Streetfighter” re-enactments in my belly, has driven home the reality of the baby: Tom’s pile of undershirts and cargo shorts, my colorful underthings and jeans, and a teeny, tiny pile of teeny, tiny shirts and other accessories next to our grown-up clothes.


A generous friend gave us her Medela Pump-in-Style to use after the baby is born and I have to go back to work (we’ll just look on the bright side and assume I’ll have a job to return to). I ordered the replacement parts this last week. They came yesterday and I decided to spend a few minutes today assembling everything and seeing how it all worked. Not even a week ago I read this entry on an experience with the Medela on a blog my cousin sent to me, and I laughed so hard that I couldn’t get myself under control for a solid ten minutes. I laughed until I cried gigantic lunatic tears, it was so funny to me. It’s just by sheer virtue of timing that I didn’t wet myself–I had just been to the bathroom. Tom tried to get me to explain what was so funny but all I could get out was “Breast pump…curious husband…Pinocchio.” And the look on his face set me off again.

It wasn’t until the following day that Tom explained that given my reaction and abbreviated explanation, he thought the husband had put…something else…in the breast pump. Ah, I nodded thoughtfully. That would explain why Tom turned a little gray.

Anyway, I decided that it couldn’t hurt to do a five-second test of the parts, nothing that would actually activate any sort of reaction. Two seconds strapped into that machine and I spent the rest of the afternoon holding a cold bottle of Perrier to my chest. Not only do I not learn from my own mistakes, I don’t learn from others’ either.


The last big item that we needed to buy was the carseat. Since we are anxious folk, it made sense to have the base installed in the Fit and ready to rock at a moment’s notice. (I already bought some nursing tops and large, cheap, parachute-like underpants for my hospital bag–with no Victoria’s Secret on the island, no sense in ruining nice underwear with the byproducts of labor.) We did our research on Consumer Reports, weighed the advantages of the ungodly expensive but top-rated Britax Marathon against the cheaper but infant-only Baby Trend Flex-Loc (a Consumer Reports best buy!) with collapsable stroller. Much like our other decisions with baby things, we had to see what was available for purchase locally. We located a vendor for Britax seats, but decided to go to Toys ‘R Us and see if they had the cheaper Baby Trend. They did, complete with matching stroller that folds up relatively flat (we have a baby wrap to wear the baby, but the price was so reasonable we had to go for it). The only thing is…the car seat and stroller are orange. So is our nursery. So is our baby wrap. And so is our car. We might as well name it Sunkist Tropicana.

If in 2027 our child tells us that it wants to attend Syracuse University, we’ll know why.

May The Force Be With You

In my ever-continuing post-adolescent quest to be cool in at least ONE aspect of my life (and please, God, after my jr. high and high school years YOU OWE ME), I decided to hit and look for cloth wipes there. Etsy is the coolest website on the Internet, an online 24-7 craft fair of amazing things made by very talented men and women. So naturally, I’d rather support someone’s small business than a company like BumGenius when it comes to things like buying cloth wipes. After searching, the quality is uniformly higher–often double-sided and well-reinforced–and they come in a rainbow of colors and patterns; the ones I purchased are plain cream-colored single ply and $12 for a dozen. The prices on Etsy are comparable.

I hit the jackpot with a seller who offered double-sided cloth wipes in a pack of 15 for $15, custom-ordered with any five of the prints on this page. Surprisingly, I did not choose any of the monkey fabrics. I did, however, choose the Darth Vader print at the bottom of the page. (The other four were purple stripes, lime dots, moocow, and camping–for Tom.)

It probably hasn’t done a thing to up my cool quotient (quite the reverse, probably), but I feel a little bit better knowing that while my neighbors are paying extraordinary sums for prepackaged Huggies baby wipes, my baby’s butt is going to be cared for by the Sith Lord.

I read my hometown paper rather religiously; Seacoast Online has lots of local news that I find interesting related to construction ordinances, school news (particularly the consolidation kerfuffle with a neighboring district–our administrative district is full enough with two towns, thank you, no need to add a third town), and the best part: the Portsmouth, NH police blotter.  Mostly I like to read it because every three months or so someone I knew in high school will turn up and well, schadenfreude.  And once in a while, they will post an item like the one below:

June 28, 2008, 11:58 p.m. — Officers were asked to check on a disorderly male on Congress Street and found him to be sober and just dancing.