Sunday, May 31, 2009

So E took his first (supported) steps today...while holding onto the couch. I think walking is around the corner...

Friday, May 29, 2009

So I went to Old Navy today and got a dress, skirt, a romper for E, and socks for E. The romper says: All-American Hunk, 2009. I'm going to need a new bra for the dress - it has really thin straps so the somewhat sports bra-like nursing bra I've been wearing is not going to cut it, and my fairy-sized pre-nursing bras are out of the running. In the past, I would have just gone without a bra in it, but that is not an option. Big-breasted friends of the Internet - am I stuck with an uncomfortable strapless bra or is there an intelligent solution I didn't think of? At any rate, the dress was really cute so I figured it'd be dumb to pass it up due to bra problems.

I have mixed feelings about our move, which is imminent. The new apartment is superior in many ways. It's much higher up than the current one, so it'll be far quieter. There is no balcony to babyproof. The living room is about twice as big as the one we have now. We're going to have it painted in fetching colors. Et cetera.

But I will miss our big picture windows in the living room. We knew we were giving them up. During this whole process, we realized we could get a cramped 2-bedroom with the large living room windows, or a spacious one with smaller living room windows. We chose the latter. That's life, I guess.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The return of Rainer

So D, E and I saw Rainer today. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that Rainer is an exceptional cat and a long-time friend. If you haven't, Rainer is a tabby who lives in a Brooklyn bookstore. Because of distance, pregnancy, childbirth and the whole megillah (a little Yiddish has rubbed off on me after living in NYC so long), I haven't seen Rainer since January '08.

When we got to the bookstore today, the owner (also known as Rainer's father) said, "Hi!" I saw Rainer's friend, Hayes, napping on the counter. I asked, "Does Rainer still live here?"

The owner nodded, but seemed a little uncertain. Then he told me that Rainer had had cancer. The tumor spread, and now he only has three legs. But he's getting around fine and feeling much better.

I saw Rainer then, sleeping peacefully on a box. When he woke up, he came over and sat in my lap. Just like old times.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Of window treatments and other demons

So D and I went to Home Depot to pick out window treatments. This is about as much fun as, I don't know, getting your toenails clipped. But finally we found some really nice, not blinds exactly but in that genre (I'll put up pictures when they're installed. If I remember). They had a little veil thingy on them (I believe it is called a vane) and we had to pick out the color of that. Then we were done.

They have a big sale on, and to take advantage of it, we needed to get the measurements done by May 27. (MIL, who loves this sort of thing, warned us to have the final measurements done by the installers, so they would be responsible for any errors. It seemed like sound advice.) So D met the measurer/installer in our new apartment, and had an unexpectedly good time.

The installer told the story of an especially trying woman earlier. The woman, who lives in a rent-controlled apartment with many windows, asked him to install eight blinds (supposedly pre-paid to Home Depot). He did it. Then she asked him to install eleven more for a total of thirty dollars. He refused. She said, "Okay, I'll do it through Home Depot." She called HD and paid over the phone. He installed the eleven additional blinds. Then HD called HIM and said, "Don't do it. Her HD credit card is in collections."

So then he had to take all the blinds down. And she said, "You're gonna put my old ones back up, right?"

He did. But he told D, "I'm gonna have a Bacardi and Coke when I get home."

Monday, May 18, 2009

I wonder if E is starting to wean himself. His first birthday is June 4. He seems to be eating more food - not wolfing it down, but he loves tofu as long as it's not plain; he likes the smoked variety and also a kale-tofu dish I make where the tofu is flavored with balsamic vinegar. He also likes ice cream, little bits of vegan cupcake, bread, dry salad greens (baby greens are his favorite, appropriately), Cheerios, and so forth. He's gone almost 5 hours without nursing, which is unheard of. I gave him a little rice milk in a sippy cup. (I read that it's the most similar to breast milk.) He was not too successful with it, but what he did get, he seemed to enjoy. He also seemed tickled by the whole concept; he started laughing, flashing his two white teeth.

I like to take him to lunch at a sandwich shop. Next to me, two guys were talking about how someone else (not present) was tightening his belt in the tough economy. "He only gets his dog clipped for $300 every 3 months now," said one. "It's hard," said the other. I really could not tell if they were serious or joking - about how tough this was. I tend to think, weirdly enough, that they were serious.

I also did some quick math in my head. My three-month hair expenses are cheaper than the dog's. I get my hair colored once a month (or 6 weeks) for $65. I get my hair cut every 3 months for $35.

P.S. E is *not* weaning himself. Oh well...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Some pics of E

Some shots of the bare apartment.

We can't move in for another 2-4 weeks, and don't have keys yet; but here are some pix from the day we inspected the place.
One of the bedrooms; I'm not sure which. D took the pix.
One of the views.
Me in the living room.
Me in the living room again.
Walk-in closet in the front hallway.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The search is over.

We got the apartment. It's big and beautiful and below market rent. We only had to wait ELEVEN MONTHS for it. Kvetching aside, I am grateful. Now we have to figure out what color to paint it...the co-op people will paint it for you, but you have to supply the paint. So I'm looking for good paint brands and color ideas. I think light green would be nice for the bebe's bedroom...

P.S. I got recommendations from a friend who knows a painter over on Facebook - Durations (first place) and Benjamin Moore (silver medal).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Too wired to sleep

So D and I were offered an apartment from our list. We're going to see it tomorrow. It should be great, but I'm anxious about it nonetheless. Big life changes and all that. I wish we could see it right now. But the management office was already closed when we got back from Boston, so we couldn't get the keys.

E is crawling, but in a very calm way. He's not one of those terrors who zips around the house, unplugging everything and swallowing chemicals. (I actually moved all the detergent to the top of the fridge months ago.)

We went to a "wedding celebration" on Saturday. It was in a town that's hard to reach because it's not accessible from 128, eastern Massachusetts's major highway. It was for a friend of mine, hosted by a friend of hers (whom I've never met before). At one point, the hostess yelled, "Everyone out of my kitchen!" but I didn't know whether she meant it or not. My sarcasm/joke meter is not always the best. I chose to believe that she meant it. I could see that another woman was confused as well.

At the party, I realized that I've become a bit of a one-trick pony, conversationally. All I want to talk about is pregnancy and babies. That's a slight exaggeration, but there's a glimmer of truth to it. Fortunately, two women there were pregnant, and another woman had two kids.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

So E is getting more into solids. Lately he has enjoyed avocado, bits of smoked tofu, Cheerios, steamed spinach, crumbled cornbread, bits of burger bun, vegan cupcake, bits of veggie burger, and soy ice cream. I was worried for a while because he didn't seem overly enamoured of the purees. So now I'm not using them and just giving him nibbles of table food. It seems to be working.

I read a book today where a woman had trouble weaning. When her baby turned a year old, she gave him cow's milk (as her pediatrician advised) and he said, "No. Bad." Then she tried soy milk, goat's milk and rice milk. Supposedly, rice milk is the most like breast milk. Who knew? He turned them all down. He finally accepted the cow's milk when he was two. Like E, he is not fond of bottles (I gave up on pumping bottles for babysitters because they all reported that he was just chewing on it rather than drinking from it).

So....not really looking forward to the weaning thing. I have a friend who was determined to wean her baby by her first birthday. I am not in this category. I think I will start making a half-assed attempt to wean him after his first birthday. Sometime. So you just start swapping cow's milk for feedings? And can you use a sippy cup?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

First swim class

I survived E's first swim class. The other moms were very nice. I saw the one I met last time, whose baby has a very serious expression. I also met a new one, from England. I explained how when we went to London, we stayed in Marble Arch and had fun saying that with a British accent. Hers was better, though. I also liked how she said "nappy" instead of diaper. After class, there was a surprise appearance by her nanny (a surprise for me). She said to the nanny, "If I change his nappy, can you get him dressed?" I thought, "That's a sweet deal." I would feel weird about having a nanny, though. I don't know why. Unless I had 6 kids or something. There are some people who should have nannies. The octo-mom is one.

Anyway, the only downside of the class was the swim diaper. It was not what it was cracked up to be. I was, shall we say, baptized before class. But I had a towel handy and no one was the wiser (except the British mom, whom I told; she said cheerfully, "At least it wasn't poo."). After class, I headed to Buy Buy Baby and got him two pairs of swim trunks with much sturdier built-in diapers.

Monday, May 04, 2009

More snippets of conversation

I went to the hairdresser the other day to get my roots done. It really is a drag once you start getting your hair colored professionally, because you have to keep up with it. However, my hairdresser does a good job. She is a tiny woman, a self-confessed bottle blonde who treats hairdressing as artistry. I like how she gets really serious about my head.

We never had one of those confiding-in-each-other relationships, but somehow we did last time. She has one kid but would have had more if she didn't get divorced when her baby was 6 months old. "If I had a good husband," she said in her Armenian accent, "I would have 2 more."

"3? But that gets expensive," I said, thinking of Manhattan real estate.

"That's why I say, a good husband," she said, and winked.

I told her about my hesitation with the 2 kids thing. I told her about 2 kids I know, where the older kid beats up on the baby when the parents aren't looking.

"They want someone to fight with," she said.

I shared my fears about E feeling displaced, no longer being the sole focus of attention.

"Is not good for child to get all the attention," she shrugged. "My daughter is such a selfish girl."

Finally, I mentioned that I became enormous during pregnancy.

"Me too," she said, holding her hands out to indicate a beach ball instead of her concave belly.

"You?" I couldn't believe it. She disappears when she stands sideways!

"Oh yes," she nodded. "Is normal. And now you have a nice body, you are in good condition." I felt like a shiny car ;)


In the elevator today, two older guys were looking at E and one said to the other, "Whenever I see a baby, you know what I think?"


"When he grows up, I'll be dead."

"Well, there are all kinds of technologies now...helping people live longer."

"Then we'll have a world full of old people. We need more babies."

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Honey, how does it feel?

Today D, E and I had lunch at a funky diner that we visit every weekend. The waiters know and love E. One of them rushed over and gave him a hug. Then two or three waiters noticed and commented on D's weight loss.

"You look good! Muscles," one of them exclaimed.

Another waiter looked at me and said, "Honey, how does it feel to have every homosexual in the restaurant saying how good your husband looks?"

I said, "I feel validated."

He said, "You know if the ___ like him, it's good."

I asked D how he felt about the attention. I think he was flattered. He has a theory that men get less attention than women.

Random update

Well, D is out taking E for a walk, and it feels like I have nothing to do (a strange feeling that moms almost never have). I've been cooking a bunch and we've been making progress with our apartment search. We live in a complex that has Byzantine rules in exchange for below-market rent. Anyway, we were offered 3 apartments, all of which were in effect smaller than ours (a smidgen bigger, but with an extra room, so that each room was actually smaller than its counterpart in our current apartment). Turns out we were offered apartments from only two "lines", which are essentially identical, known for being cramped but having large windows.

Entering into phase 2 - we sent in a certified letter explaining exactly what we wanted. We want two other lines that are big but have fewer windows. We decided space was more important than enormous windows. These lines feel quite spacious so we're pleased with our decision. The next thing that happens is, we'll be offered an apartment from our list and we will have to take it (or else go to the bottom of the waiting list). But we should be happy with what we're offered, because we did all this painstaking research and apartment visits to make sure we knew what we were committing to.

Happily, the swine flu seems to be blowing over. For a while, people in NY were panicking a bit (albeit in their worldly-wise, slightly jaded way). I overheard one man telling another that there's a difference between allergic sneezing and swine flu sneezing. "You can tell!" he said. "An allergic sneeze is like, CHOO, and a swine flu sneeze is like, a lot of nose blowing." Hmm.