Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sleepy Weeks

Tim has asked me for the past 4 nights when I was going to put up a new blog post.

::Heavy Sigh:: Dude, I don't know.

I've been working on a guest blog post that I promised would be ready weeks ago. I finally sent it out tonight. It was an effort and that bums me out because I was really excited to write about this topic.

Here's the thing: I am super lucky that I had the easiest pregnancy possible with Ada. Never had morning sickness, hypertension, gestational diabetes, swollen ankles...nothing. I even wore my wedding rings the entire time. The one that stopped me in my tracks the first trimester was the incredible fatigue. There were nights when I would come home, drop my bags at the door, take off my shoes and go straight to bed with no dinner and not even bothering to change my clothes. I was seriously tired. Tim missed most of this because he spent a solid month on night float around this time.

This time around the fatigue is as pleasant and as ass-kicking as ever. However, now when I come home the job that kicks my ass on a daily basis even under the very best circumstances and drop my bags at the door it's so that I can swoop up my two-and-a-half-year-old toddler. I have to get her to bed. Bedtime for me is still a couple of long yearned-for hours away. There isn't nearly enough time to sleep as much as I really want to which means I am freaking bone-tired. And when I get tired I get crabby. I also feel no motivation to do much of anything other than eventually roll out of bed and onto the couch under a blanket where I can take a nap. Super inspiring. And luckily, super temporary. It'll pass in the next few weeks and besides, it's for a good reason. I'm not complaining. Rather, I'm explaining why I seem so damn lazy. Growing a human and the placenta and the blood volume needed to support it takes a damn lot of energy.


Even though I'm crabby and there isn't enough sleep on the planet to satisfy me and have had the same headache for 4 days now and nothing fits me right, Christmas was still good. We were busy enough and felt completely fine with only accepting a few invitations. It's not a race, it's Christmas. Sometimes that is a good thing to remind myself of. So we did stuff like go to the California Academy of Science with Kathi and Sarah.




Through my exhaustion even I can see that Christmas is a totally different experience with a kid in the house. We decorated the house and talked about Santa and watched the Grinch but I haven't spent much time cultivating the "magic". Our Elf on the Shelf never made it out of the box and most nights I totally forgot about the advent calendar I made. In fact, she opened no fewer than 2 nights in a row all month long. None of this seems to have mattered to Ada. She still ripped the paper from her gifts and said, "OH WOW!" more enthusiastically than any other toddler I've ever met. Especially considering she hadn't really seen what was under the wrapping paper yet.



She even got this excited about other kids gifts!


Mostly there was a lot of quiet time snuggling, playing, reading and baking. And it was perfect.


I hope you had a lovely Christmas and that the New Year is full of health, love and prosperity.
I'm going to sleep now. Good night.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fall Right Into Place

Today I was driving over to Potrero to look at a preschool for Ada. She was still sleeping so Tim stayed with her and I was in the car by myself. So many things are changing so quickly - New York, new baby, Ada growing up - that a moment of stillness was welcome, even if it was 15 minutes alone in the car. We have planning these changes for years but even good chaos is still chaos.

The word chaos sounds like such a violent description for something so wonderful. While I was waiting at a red light it occurred to me that all of this is something so different than what it could seem. All of this apparent chaos is really everything just falling right into place. This will shape the coming year (I'll have more to say about that later) in more ways than one.

In between pausing to notice that changes are in process there are moments so sweet and brilliant I think my heart might explode. Ask me right now and I'll tell you I can't possibly love her more but in two weeks ask me the same question again and I'll swear that I do love her more than I did before. Not that we've done anything particularly special but these are the times when I learn even more about my daughter and consequently love her more deeply than I ever thought possible.

Helping me prepare a pot roast. There was no actual eating of the celery and the vegetable peeler doesn't work in this direction but who cares. I love it that she's in the kitchen with me. I love it that we make stuff together.


Before Santa and After Santa. Notice there is no picture with Santa. That's how it was with the big guy this year: he's still better in theory. Better luck next year.



The banana slug booger was back for a while. Poor thing.
I mean me. The snot just kept on coming. Gross.


Sledding in Union Square, jumping in Union Square, loving her best friend in Union Square.




Last night I got home from work and Tim was on the couch with Ada wide awake and fully dressed. It was 8:15 so she should have been in bed asleep already. So I said, "What's going on here?" Tim was all terse and I could see it all over his face that he was worried. Our girl had a fever and wanted nothing more than to be held. Tim is an incredibly nurturing father but this is where her mommy comes in. I prepared to stay up all night holding and comforting her... and watching her like a hawk since Tim was convinced she had meningitis or would have febrile seizures while we slept peacefully in the next room. And so I nestled in and held her until she fell asleep. We did transfer her to her crib but I got up at least 6 times in the night to check on her returning to bed with a full report that consisted of "she's still breathing."

This morning she woke up perfectly herself so we made gingerbread cookies. Each time she cut one out she would look at the cookie dough stuck in the cutter, raise her hands and exclaim "Gingerbren!" We made a total of about 6 dozen of these things. The girl has stamina.


As an appropriate follow-up she ate her weight in gingerbread cookies this afternoon.


We are carrying on with our holiday preparations like most families across the country are. Just like most other families we are way behind where we had hoped to be. It's OK, the day is coming no matter if we're "ready" so let the Christmas carols play! Sugar cookie dough waits in the fridge to see what Ada will do with it. I, for one, can hardly wait!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Welcome Widget

I'm 8w4d but little widget is measuring 9 weeks with a steady heartbeat at 167. Estimated due date is July 25th, my dad's birthday. We are far from being out of the woods and I know better than to count my chickens before they hatch but the odds are in our favor. I keep reminding myself of that: the odds are in our favor. I could have waited until the second trimester to tell but I would write about it if I miscarried again anyway.


Having one healthy child is a tremendous blessing. Two is over-the-top in good fortune. We have waited and prayed for this miracle and we are grateful to have made it this far. The majority of me is overjoyed and relieved but a part of my heart aches for my friends who are struggling with infertility - this post will sting and all the conflicting feelings that come up with someone else's announcement are familiar to me. I think of these amazing women every day and hope for a little miracle to touch their lives too.

Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to a healthy, uneventful (please!) pregnancy. I am as symptom-free as I was with Ada. My body is in that horrific awkward phase where nothing fits well enough to look good but you don't look pregnant yet, just fat. It's an awesome phase. The timing could be better since Tim is supposed to start his new job on July 23rd but so far everyone tells me that the bad timing means that this pregnancy will go for certain. Well, there you have it then :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Beyond and Back Again

It never ceases to amaze me how I end up learning and then re-learning the same lessons. Take, for example, the summer when I was 8 years old and I refused to wear flip-flops (or oolies, as we called them) around the apartment complex. I have scars on the ends of both big toes from stubbing them over and over and over again on the paved sidewalks that connected our front door the the swimming pool. After I limped home leaving a trail of blood behind me for the fourth time my mom asked in a concerned-slash-annoyed tone, "when will you ever learn?" Apparently not that summer since I kept doing it.

Another lesson I am still learning is that people are much more the same than we are different. For example, when I travel to another place I have very clear pre-conceived notions about how the people will be. In London I expected all of the women to look like Mary Poppins, Princess Di or Boy George. I thought that Parisians would all be dripping with undeniable style and romance. In New York I expected everyone to be oozing sophistication and creativity from behind all that black clothing. But they weren't. They're normal people just like me living their lives in some other place. In spite of all the time I spend working myself up to thinking that I'm not good enough to fit in to this or that place I inevitably find that I am plenty good enough because essentially we're all pretty similar.

We just got home from a weekend in New York.


It was a whirlwind tour that left all three of us exhausted and disoriented. Of course, the last time I visited New York City I was all "Oh! Wouldn't it be awesome to live here?" I was young and single then. Now I'm faced with the reality of relocating my family and life. Exciting? Yes. Many other feelings too.

The original intention of this trip was for me to go decide if I could live there before Tim accepted the job. Since he has already formally accepted that job this trip was more about wrapping our minds around what we are about to do. We've spent a lot of time reading about neighborhoods and looking on Craigslist and trying to figure it out. Being there is and seeing things and feeling the neighborhood and the light in the spaces is something else.

It was like this before we moved to San Francisco too. While we were still in Florida we spent hours on Craigslist looking at apartments in the outer Richmond, an area that is supposed to be good for families and have reasonable rents. Then we got here and started looking around. A couple  of weekends ago we were driving out there and Tim says to me, "Can you imagine if we had lived out here? We would have been absolutely miserable." The disconnect between fantasy and reality is often vast. One more lesson to learn repeatedly.

We spent all day on Friday in Manhattan learning that it's unthinkable to consider renting anything under 1000 square feet for 4 humans and 4 cats. The more valuable thing we learned is that our child was absolutely overwhelmed in this environment. She spent the whole day begging to be let up from the stroller and carried by one of us. The only time she seemed remotely normal was time we spent freezing on the playground. The rest of the time she was falling apart. I can't even tell you how many times I looked around this weekend and thought, "that would be an awesome picture" but my terrified toddler needed me and I couldn't get to my camera. No ten on 10 for me this month.


That night after we got back to the hotel room Tim, who was previously all "I always dreamed of living in Manhattan" was suddenly all excited about the surrounding boroughs or suburbs. What? WHAT? I was thrown. I even left the first apartment that morning thinking, "We can totally do this. She'll be fine, I'll be fine, Tim will be fine. We will be fine here."  I was psyched up and ready to embrace this thing my husband totally wanted and now he's changing his mind? So my husband is having a change of heart and my kid is freaked out by Manhattan. The only one left to come around was me. I tossed and turned all night thinking about it. So, I did something I almost never do: I prayed on it. I really did. I asked God to please show me what the right thing was for my family.

Saturday we went up to Riverdale.

Check out the look on her face. She's one or two fears short of wonder. Grand Central station was pretty busy but so, so very beautiful. 

Riverdale is a city on the Hudson River. It's technically the southwest corner of the Bronx but it totally doesn't feel like that. We were on the metro north, the three of us, and as the train sped north the buildings became fewer and farther away the sky opened up, the river came into view and the bare deciduous trees took over the horizon. Ada settled down, Tim took a deep breath, the corners of my mouth softened and I knew God had spoken. We are headed for the sleepy suburbs. And that's that.


I was looking at my sleeping, nappy-headed toddler on my lap Sunday after we got home to San Francisco. It's funny - New York City is a muse to so many people but my muse was sitting right in my lap feeding me cheese crackers. We would be just fine in Manhattan if we needed to be. Luckily, we don't have to. Instead, we can and will move out a bit further to preserve the sanity of our collective family. No city is an experience so amazing that it's worth ignoring how it made your oldest a little bit crazy. What's great is that we have this worked out now and my imagination is off like a rocket. Finally I feel it - this is going to be good.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Take a look at that. It wasn't but a year and a handful of months ago that she was just learning to walk. Now she's learning to play soccer.


Kathi is a very resourceful woman and how she finds some things, like soccer practice for a 2 year old, is beyond me. I'm just happy that she doesn't seem to mind me riding her coattails. We met Kathi + family at a playground in Golden Gate Park on Sunday morning. Sarah had soccer practice at 10:00 so Kathi said, "Why don't you join in? I don't think the teacher will mind."

Seriously, this class was like herding cats but Raul from Barcelona was tremendously good-natured about it, which made me adore him.  I couldn't adore him nearly as much as Ada did. She did everything he said and he treated Ada like she was part of the class from the start.  And he says some cute things like "quigly"instead of "quickly". Oh, and my personal favorite "binocles", which is really supposed to be "binoculars".

It was as if the clouds parted and the hand of Jesus himself came down and pointed to a soccer ball for Ada. We'll be back in February when rainy season is on the way out and class resumes.


Monday, December 5, 2011


P.S. For some reason my blog is not updating in your blogrolls or on your dashboards. I don't know how to fix this and apparently neither does Blogger. You might have to manually check me out from time to time until I figure a way around this lame problem. Sorry for the inconvenience.

In the short time I've done listicles I haven't deviated from the prompt. Today, I think I must.

The holiday traffic this season has just left me wondering how some people managed to get a license at all. San Francisco is also a pedestrian and cyclist heavy town. Sometimes these people like to use "right-of-way" as the justification for acting like self-absorbed assholes. This totally won't matter if they have severe brain damage or are dead but just try telling them that. Oh, the arrogance of youth!

For the Drivers:

1. Just because you re tired of waiting at the 4 way stop doesn't mean it's your turn to go.

2. The use of your turning signal involves little more than two neurons and a twitch of your finger. Use it.

3. Please, pay attention.

4. Seriously, get off the fucking phone and pay attention.

5. Please park efficiently. You aren't the only person trying to park in the neighborhood. Every time you park like a douche I have to park 2 blocks away and end up hauling all of my groceries and my screaming toddler that extra distance.

6. Fine. Cut me off. Just have the good sense to get the hell out of my way after you do it.

7. My neighborhood is not the airport parking lot. People live here. Pay to park in long-term parking like the rest of us. Cheapskate.

For the Pedestrians: 

1. Do not trust me. I may not see you. Someone else may be too drunk to stop for you. At least get off the phone/take off the headphones/look both ways before you step off the sidewalk to cross the street.

2. Also, if you could speed that stroll up to an actual walk I'd appreciate it.

3. Oh, one more thing, dear pedestrian. If the vehicle has already started in motion perhaps you could wait to step out into the crosswalk until after the car has passed instead of stepping in front of my moving car and then giving me a dirty look for having stopped for your entitled ass. I realize I have to give you right-of-way by law but this doesn't mean that you have to act like the world revolves around your poky ass. It doesn't.

4. Please, wait on the sidewalk for the light to go green. Being 1 foot further in the road isn't going to get you to your destination that much faster but it might get your legs crushed when a car comes around the corner and doesn't see you.

For the Cyclists: 

1. Please don't ride as if you are trying to make me run you over. If you swerve in front of my car or cross from the right lane to turn left going in front of my car there is a chance that I might not be able to react quickly enough to your lame decision making and I might hit you. Having the right of way doesn't make a bit of difference if you're dead. It also doesn't make you any less of an asshole for riding as if you were the lone soul on the road. Be considerate.

2. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know you think you're super awesome for saving the planet with your bike. Newsflash: you're nothing special. If you ride like a turd and get hit, it's your own damn fault. Good luck being an arrogant, self-righteous ass as a quadriplegic. 

Whew. I feel better.

If you want to check out some Christmas lists that have more uplifting messages than my frustration with traffic please check out: