Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mama's Mama

I don't always think things through.

In my head, I thought we'd just jet over to the cemetery, leave some lilies, and have a few quiet moments in my head with my mom while the kids were distracted by Dave. I have a 2 and a half year old. This was not to be.

It had been a tough trek to California. (Trust me, once my thoughts are even a bit formed, I will dish.) My heart was a bit raw. I miss my mom all the time, but with the birth of a daughter it is sometimes unbearable. I was trying to push back the tears into their rightful ducts before Dave pointed to the cemetery and asked, "Is that a synagogue?"

Spence had asked repeatedly where we were going. I was at a loss. I finally stuttered out, "To go see Mama's Mama." I want to lie here and say that I had mentioned something about the fact that my mom was no longer living. But, it would be a lie. How do you mention death to a 2 and a half year old? Instead, I sidestep. I talk about my mom, but distract when the inevitable question arises.

When we parked between the two trees (one evergreen, the other deciduous), I bolted out of the car and started to attend to the graves. I brushed aside the bit of crabgrass that had started to cover the date of my mom's death. I tried not to remember how my grandfather would carefully take out polish and shine the grave. As if, as long as the grave looked new, time would not have really passed.

I finally relented to the cries of Spence. I nodded to Dave and he released Nora from the car seat, as I got him.

He held my hand. It was about a minute before he started repeating in increasing louder decibels, "But I don't see her. Where is she? Where is Mama's Mama?" I was stricken. I searched my brain for something that made sense. She's buried? She's no longer here? She's in heaven?

I murffled out something about heaven. About it being high in the sky. I might have thrown in a few paradise-type images, I honestly don't remember.

"I want to go to heaven right now. I want to see mama's mama. I want to go to heaven RIGHT NOW." He must have woken up and pressed his repeat button. I just wanted to hit pause. Just a moment to think. To come up with some sort of response and still have time to release the tears from my ducts.

"Me too, Spence. I want to see mama's mama right now. Me too," I paused. "Should we go get some ice cream?"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Unsettled Spence

"I'm worried, Mama."

It was 8:00 p.m. and I was worried too. Worried that his bedtime was coming later and later.

I picked him up and cuddled him in my arms. "What are you thinking about, Spence?"

With that prompt, he pulled out his nuk. His words came quickly one after another.

"Then I couldn't see because it was too dark and I couldn't get out of bed and then Nora was crying and then..."

"To help Nora? Papa is with Nora. She was crying, but she is safe with Papa now. You don't have to worry," I counseled. "Is there anything else you are worried about?"

"And then...and then there was blood and the swing and..."

"Are you thinking about when you fell down at the playground? Are you scared about bonking?"

"Uh huh. And then when Henry was mad about putting his coat on and his papa told him to put his coat on and then...."

I stopped him. "Are you worried about Henry?"

"Uh huh. Henry was really, really frustrated. And then, the cold. It was really, really cold at the Farmer's Market and then..."

And his worries just kept bubbling out one after another and then surfaced again. Things that happened over a week ago made their way back into Spence's brain so he could worry about them. I tried to reassure him that his parents were always right here and loved him deeply. And that sometimes bonks happen, but that his parents will be there to love him up.

I just kept holding him. I ticked his face. He giggled and ticked my face.

Just another one of the countless times in the day that I don't have an answer.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tot Shabbot: Special Sukkot Edition.

When we signed up for the oneg, I had clearly been in a delusional state. Rather than dwelling anywhere close to reality, I routinely choose the fantasy. (Or the comfortable state of denial.) We have never actually arrived on time to a Tot Shabbot service on time. I had thought by October 2, we would have mastered the ability to get out of the house in less than four hours. I imagined that we could arrive to the thirty minute Tot Shabbot service on time. I also presumed that our financial state would have dramatically improved and coming up with cheese and crackers for 30 families wouldn't have phased me.

Silly Kristy.

The kids awoke at almost 6. I am sticking to the script that Nora is about to hit a milestone (crawling, right?) and that is why she woke up every two hours like clockwork. Nevertheless, we stumbled at of bed and attempted to organize the team to get out the door "on time."

It's Saturday, so pancakes had to be made. Clothes had to be uncovered from the bottom of clothing piles, inspected and perhaps de-wrinkled with a hair dryer. Parades occurred through the kitchen and up the stairs. And the constant cries of "Come on, Team! Let's get it together!" from me.

Oh, and the oneg. We actually didn't have the cash to swing by and pick up cheese and crackers. Daycare has been snacking on our bottom line and we are back to recessionista cooking. I had thrown together some pizza dough the night before and decided I would roll it out to cracker consistency. I riffled through the fridge to find some stuff to put on it. We did buy a block of sharp cheddar, so there was that at least.

Here's what I came up to top the "crackers"...
* Butternut squash puree with goat cheese.
* Refried beans with salsa and sharp cheddar.
* Roasted garlic tomato sauce and sharp cheese.

And yet, I felt sheepish. They were clear that it was supposed to be "cheese and crackers." My internal monologue turned in circles. "What if everyone gets angry because I didn't follow directions? What if everyone thinks that I was trying to one up everyone? What if they all start pointing and laughing, "Stupid Christian!" Dave waltzed in to say something to ease my pain, but my anxiety only twisted it into a barb that hurt me further.

We got in the car right as the service was to start and arrived in time to enjoy the last 15 minutes. Perhaps it was a victory just to get there?

Dave and I actually decided to do dueling blog posts this morning. Take a peek on his take of the morning at High Impact Papa.

Friday, October 2, 2009


A wise woman told me once that you should estimate your work load and double it. This helps to humanely budget your life. Makes sense, eh?

I routinely, however, estimate how much time something will take me and cut it in half. Take a full time job as a faculty member at MCTC? I act as if I am on "Name that Tune"...I can complete that job in 30 hours. I have a few hours to kill. Why not sign up to work 20 hours a week at Anishinabe Academy? I am sure I could be super efficient and getter done in 10. That pesky PhD? I am sure I could pound out my written exams in a week over Winter Break.

Oh, and the fact that I never get an uninterrupted night of sleep? Just deny that it is happening.

This philosophy has actually been quite effective. Back when I was single and didn't notice that I was actually just multi-tasking the hours in front of the TV or with pals at the City Cafe. I was able to collect enough experiences to get more opportunities. Opportunities that I could not possibly turn down. Every year, I just exponentially increased my work load.

Life has changed. My thinking hasn't. It's time for an intervention. Unfortunately, this one will not be filmed by video cameras and I won't receive a new wardrobe and a smart haircut. Probably just more time with my absolutely fabulous family and friends. Infinitely better.

Now, I just need to wait until we can afford me to quit and the semester ends. Whichever comes first.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I'm Happy When I am Hiking?

Spence loves hiking.

We attempted to do the said activity today, despite our inner voices telling us that this was decidedly a bad idea. The clouds looked ominous. Spence's proclamation of "no rain, mama" did not chase away the dark skies. He also has grown strangely attached to these Dora slippers and happily announced he would wear the girls hiking.

Eight minutes into the car ride to Hyland Park, Spence started freaking out. The snippets of sunlight that were in the sky were daggers in his eyes. His Hot Wheel sunglasses did nothing. Nor did the repeated requests to "just close your eyes." He demanded Nora's nuk.

Dave and I glanced at each other and made a silent pact (silent because we could not talk over the screaming) to continue on. However shortly upon leaving the freeway, the orange cones spelled disaster. I swerved to miss a bike rider and suddenly saw 20 more. We had driven into a bike race. And not just a bike race, a triathlon. The park was closed to the non-racing humans.

We regrouped. We stopped at Target and picked up a nuk. We steered to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Reserve. Most people might think that the low flying planes would be a distraction. In our case, it saved the day.

Shortly into the walk, we stumbled upon a frog....

Then a snail. Then a baby turtle (who apparently was searching for his mama.) Then a grasshopper.

Damn grasshopper.

Upon seeing the grasshopper hop, Spence decided he was no longer a hiker. Rather a boy that would enjoy being held by his mama who was hiking. And he hated animals.

But Nora...Nora loves hiking...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Down By The River

"Ready to go on Spencer's big adventure?" I was cuddling with Spence in his toddler-sized bed with the lights out. The sun had already gone to sleep.

He nodded. "Who should go on this adventure tonight?"


"Can Mama come along?" This was met with ambivalence. I decided not to nose my way in on the fun. "Do you want to go hiking or play at the park?"

"Hiking by the river!" he proclaimed. (I can't lie...I love when Spence picks the outdoor adventures. It foretells a future of forcing Papa to go camping. He will be out voted.)

"So you and Henry hike down to see the Mississippi. Oh wow, Spence! Do you see that? What is it?"

"A boat! A big boat! A big, blue boat!"

"What's it doing?"

"It's coming to us. And a rope! And I pull the rope to get the boat." He starts to pull an imaginary rope. "Oh no!"

"What happened, Spence?" We cuddle in closer.

"Henry fell into the river!"

"Do you want to jump in to get him or do you want me to?"

"Mama does it." So I jump in the water to retrieve a bobbing Henry. Immediately, Henry starts to help out with the ropes and boat. Soon, however it is snack time and the adventure ends.

His eyes are heavy. I give him a kiss and try to creep out of the too small bed without being detected. Good night.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

September 13

I never can tell how this day will hit me.

Last night, I predicted an easy day. I have felt pretty connected with her lately. Giving birth to a girlbaby and naming her after my mom made me feel even closer to her spirit. I kind of felt like I had been mourning a bit each day. In a healing way. If that even makes sense.

I woke up and knew immediately I was wrong. My eyes didn't want to open. My body begged me to stay in bed. Those calls would go unheeded. Dave had to go to work. I needed to muster up my mamaenergy. I snipped and snapped at Dave before I finally wrangled the kids into the car.

I decided to seek out jasmine. I have such fragrant memories of the jasmine plants that flanked our house growing up. I wanted to kind of lose myself in the scent and do a little time traveling. I packed up the kids and headed off to the Arboretum.

We didn't find the jasmine. But, we found a lot of laughter (and a snake.) I just wish their Grandma NJ could have been there to giggle along.
On the way back to the car, the kids made a mama sandwich and I wondered how she experienced motherhood. I wish I could have known.

The kids are now asleep and the tears keep blurring my vision. I can't wait for tomorrow to come.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Videos

Please take note of the new videos on Snydervision. Especially "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Nora giggles."

Monday, May 25, 2009


With the exception of my mom, I have lived with Byron the longest of anyone in my life. And my mom beat Byron by just four months.

We said goodbye to Byron on Saturday. In the two days that I have lived without him, I can't believe how often he dominates my thoughts in a day. Little things...taking note of the sun filtering through the window and knowing he should be there sunning himself or making sure the basement door was open so he could sneak away from the kiddos. I probably thought about him without thinking 50 times a day.

It was a decision to put him to sleep. He was diagnosed with diabetes after Nora was born and we lived in denial for a long time. Dave and I knew as the veterinarian spoke the words that we would be unable to live up to the commitment to the extensive treatment. But, we remained silent. When we could barely get Nora her antibiotics three times a day, we passed sorrowful glances. When we sat down to attempt another budget, we crunched the numbers with a giant question mark hanging in the room. His pronounced gait got even more rigid. He fell. The boundaries of his litter box expanded. We knew that denial was not working.

We just didn't want it to be. I know others would make a different decision. We agonized and came out on this side of the decision. I thought the grief wouldn't be as pronounced when you make a conscious choice. I was wrong. I just miss him.

Friday, May 22, 2009

And again!

I watched her wiggle her little body into a roll. Awe. I am in awe.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Roll Over!

Nora was up to her old tricks. A bit of tummy time usually leads to a nervous nap. Nervous on my part, restful on hers.

Today, she sneakily fell asleep. I did my normal running between her sleepingself and some chore activity. I heard her stir and immediately ran into the room to see a grinning girl on her back.

She looked a bit stunned, but mostly just pleased as punch.

Good job, little girl!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

For Nora?

I was flying solo tonight. Dave was busy being interviewed by some TV reporter about his anti-foreclosure work and dining out for AIDS and meeting with the Shir Tikvah social action committee and some other activist-y things.

The Spence pick-up did not go smoothly. Nora goat-cried for the 20 minutes it took to get home in the car. (Damn you light at Hiawatha & 26th!) Spence was on the verge of empathy crying. He looked at me with these pitiful eyes that beseeched me to "DO SOMETHING! HELP HER!" I tried not to break into tears myself as I explained that I could do nothing.

To release some of the stress of the car ride, Spence and I went out into the backyard to play a little t-ball and chant "Hey Batter-Batter!" But Nora needed a bit of comfort, snuggled in and wanted to nurse. Spence was left to play t-ball while I chanted "Sssswiiing Batter-Batter!" from the steps.

It got too cold, so we all agreed to go inside. I put Nora on the playmat. Spence and I set out to make a bit of dinner. Nora seemed content, so Spence and I sat down to dinner and chatted about his day. We giggled over milk as we made funny faces at each other. We finished up the meal with a little chocolate pudding. He was pleased with himself that he finished the whole thing.

Instead of watching Calliou (which was not yet on), Spence and I decided we would go make letters with shaving cream in the bath. I carried Nora up in her buzzing white chair as we tried to decide what letters to make. M for mama? P for papa? N for Nora? S for Spence? We decided one of each and an extra M for mama. Nora cooed. We then decided to blow some bubbles. Spence noticed the bubbles that floated up towards the ceiling. "Bubbles high!" he grinned.

He then smiled over at his sister. "For Nora?" I blew bubbles in her direction. She seemed pleasantly confused. Spence, however, was delighted. His smile was electric.

For Nora.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Week Measured in Love & Laundry

I used to be the laundry person in our relationship. I had organized our laundry baskets into a "light" and "dark." I would lug the dirty clothes down the stairs once the colors co-mingled and littered the floor.

And then I got pregnant with Spencer. And we lived in the house of precarious stairs. Suddenly, Dave became key laundry person. I have never taken back this responsibility. Nor have I really picked up another. I have nurtured a bit of guilt, but I have never vocalized it. My guilt has grown as our family has doubled and the laundry monster requires almost daily attention. Still, I remain mute.

I do fold and put away. Sometimes.

If you look right, you can see a photo-montage of Nora's outfits for the seventh week of her life. 18 pictures, but really 20 outfits. And that is just one kid, the one that does not count the dirt pile in the backyard as a favorite toy. (We won't even mention the number of shirts that I "milk through" in a night.) That's a whole lot of laundry.

Luckily, Dave rarely reads my blog. My guilt can remain a secret between me and you.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Nuk Sharing

Leaving a fun place is never easy with a toddler.
Leaving the Minnesota Zoo with Addie still there is even harder. (Yes, her parents were with her.)

Nora was snug in the mei tai sleeping through the screaming scene Spencer was sharing with anyone near(or far)by. After Katie and I wrestled him into the stroller, Team Snyder (sans the birthday boy) made our way to the exit.

All my usual tricks failed to ease his tantrum.
"I know it is sad to leave a friend and a fun place" only led to more painful yelps.
"Whoa! Look! A leopard" was met with shrieks and squirms.
"Remember when the goat licked your hand?" was greeted with a vigorous shake of the head and more tears.
"Shall we greet the people? Let's wave to the people" did indeed get a twist of the wrist but the crying continued without vocal interruption.

He then started chanting, "Nuk! Nuk! NUUUUUUUUK!"

Finally, I broke the taboo that I had established to eventually wean Spence off his nuk. I wrenched the nuk from the sleeping girl's lips and inserted it into his mouth. He immediately stopped screaming and relaxed into the stroller. Nora miraculously stayed asleep.

We made it through the Russian Coast before Nora awoke and wailed. I started to do a bit of parental calculations. Which child was entitled to the serenity the nuk provided? Which child had a better set of lungs? Whose screams could I tolerate for the twelve minutes it still would take to get to our car and the second nuk?

"Spencer, can Nora have her nuk back?" I just knew this wouldn't work. Was I setting myself up for an even bigger meltdown when he rebuffed me?

He nodded. I leaned down and tenuously removed the nuk from his mouth and put it in Nora's. I listened for my punishment and was greeted with silence.

"You are such a good big brother."

He nodded.

(Happy Birthday Dave!)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mobile Love.

There are many good reasons why we have a mobile attached to our bed. When I woke up at 2 am and came face to face with a psychedelic cow, I was less certain of what those reasons were.

Nora, of course, was still sleeping. My breasts were not. They were ready to shake their milk makers and give this babe some food. As per normal these days, I am either awakened right before a milk gush or shortly after. My eyes opened and came face to snout with the plush cow hanging from my bed. I stifled a scream. It is still unclear to me why this mobile would be comforting to any living creature. And the atonal Bach was not even playing.

The mobile is attached to our bed frame for sibling harmony. Spence had forgotten how much he loved his mobile. He spent many hours in his own babyhood delighted by the turquoise cow, fuchsia donkey and lime green horse. When we dragged it out from the basement, I was unprepared for his nostalgic trip down babylane. We needed to put the mobile in a place where both kids could be delighted by its magic.

I had been taking the mobile down each night. There is just something kind of wrong about being an adult with a husband and two children who sleeps below a mobile. But, I grew lazy and tired of Spence using it in the mornings as a spear of sorts. So now you know. I am 33 and sleep below a mobile.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tacos & Tofu

Spence's favorite word (right now) is yes.
When we chat about his day at school, it is yes, yes, yes...

"What did you do today?"
He nods.
"Did you go outside?"
"Did you read stories?"
"What did you read about today?"
He nods.

A few days a week, I lug Nora into school to pick up Spence. Today, he spied her, ran up to her carseat and peered in to say hi. We put on his coat, grabbed his nuk (I know, I know) and held hands as we left the door. I took a mental note of the day's events so I could ask about his day.

After both kiddos were secure in the car, I started to engage Spence about his day. He chirped his "yes" for each question. Until I reached the food portion.

"What did you have for lunch today?"
Tacos? Tacos? Did he really just answer my question with actual information?

Where is the line to record that in his baby book?
First time he actually answered a question with events that occurred a few hours prior? Tacos for lunch.

I started cheering. I was just so damn excited. And I am not one to hold back.

After a few more questions that elicited only yes responses, I dared to ask what he'd like for dinner.
Foo-Foo? Foo-Foo? Did he just give me a decoder ring to figure out what he'd actually ingest? The level of excitement was the same as if Ed McMahon had arrived on my doorstep with a giant check.

"Tofu it is." And with that, there was a lot of chanting and song-making (on my part) about tofu until the tofu was served. For the record, he gobbled up five slabs of golden brown tofu.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Still Incubating.

In case you feel like the fact that my voicemail box being full is an indication that I gave birth, it is not.

This babe is still high up in my rib cage and delighted to be there.

I am glad that he or she enjoys being in the womb and that I provided a comfy environment for all of these months. But, my mind is rapidly turning into Swiss cheese and I have no desire to work or do a thing. I should really work up until delivery and am feeling stressed that I cannot even put words together any more.

At least the appearance of a babe would let me off the hook for work.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Still Pregnant.

The due date came and went with just a solo trip to the movies. No action to really speak of.

I don't have an intuition as to when this babe will come. I know some mamas are perhaps more in touch with their baby within, but I just don't know his or her time schedule. It has yet to be revealed.

Last time, I at least got to experience three nights of labor starting on my "due date." This time, really nothing. And more nothing.

I have felt a few contractions, but when I grin in response, they dissipate.

I know that it could all start at any moment and the waiting game will have been in vain. I just hope I deliver before February is up.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Poop in the Potty.

Dave just trounced down the stairs triumphantly holding the Baby Bjorn potty above his head. He nodded with a glint in his eye.

"Did he just poop in the potty?" I asked.

No words. Just a grin.

"Really? He pooped in the potty? What happened?" I am not sure why I asked that last question. Dave launched into a story that started with "practice grunts" and ended with a "good sized poop."

"And you brought the potty down so I could inspect the poop?"

He looked a bit uncomfortable. A look passed across his face as if it was the first time he realized that this might be a bit strange. In my pregnant state, I can barely stay in the room if their is a trace of toot. Not that if I wasn't pregnant, I would want to pass judgment on the scat. He quickly retreated into the kitchen with the pooped in potty.

The kitchen?

I eventually followed to size up the scene. I found Dave tying up the poop in a Target bag and setting it in our kitchen trash.

" could have just dumped it into the toilet."

Another sheepish look crossed his face. "I didn't think of that."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gender Predictions: State 'Em.

Barring a Middlesex incident, we are days away (or optimistically hours away???) from welcoming a baby girl or boy. Dave is feeling girl. I am feeling boy. Now is your chance to record your will be reserving your right to say, "I knew it!"

Monday, February 9, 2009

I Heart Online Grocery Shopping.

I took the leap into the wonderful world of online grocery shopping.

Yesterday, I laid on the couch with a bunch of cookbooks and devised a shopping list. Today, the CobornsDelivers service dropped off all of our desired goods in tubs with dry ice to keep the groceries cold until I got home. The ice cream was still so frozen that it was hard to get my spoon into it!

I even used a promo code to get 25 bucks off!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I Still Love My Husband.

"Hi, sweetheart. I know that you have the stomach flu, but Spence and I are stranded in Longfellow Park. I know it is ridiculous...I mean we are just two blocks away, but can you pick us up?"

That was the first message in a string of messages left on Saturday. After a mama-son bagel extravaganza, we decided to take advantage of the balmy 38 degree weather and take a stroll on over to the park. The first half a block went off without a hitch. We were holding hands and avoiding the mushy-mushy parts.

Then we turned the corner. And the sidewalks had turned into sheets of ice. Spence fell on his bottom and scooted a bit on the ice. I smiled and tried to make it a game. A smarter mother might have taken note of the conditions, remembered she was 9 months pregnant, and turned around. Not me. We persevered.

"Dave, you need to wake up and come get us. I am in a lot of pain here. Things are not going well." Second message.

A half of a block later, Spence was demanding to be carried. I picked him up and started to maneuver on the icy sidewalks. "Park, park, park," Spence chanted. My right foot slid precariously, but we---really "I"--carried (him) on. My back started to spasm and I had an uncomfortable feeling in my belly, but I chose my favorite coping strategy. Denial.

"I know that your phone can't possibly be on silent. I mean, I am in striking distance of delivery..." Message 3.

We made it to the park. Spence delightfully walked on the swinging suspension bridge and climbed up to the slide and slid all the way down. He radiated with happiness. My mind started to wonder if these were Braxton-Hicks contractions or the real deal.

"Spence, should we walk back home and find papa? We can walk through the mushy-mushy!" His brow furrowed. He shook his head. He punctuated it with a "No!" to make sure he was clearly being heard. We headed over to the swings.

Message 4 really shouldn't be archived. There were a lot of words that started with "f" and "a."

My back threatened to paralyze the lower half of my body. I picked Spence up and told him that we had to go find papa. Spence started to kick and scream. Tears rolled down his rosy cheeks. "!" He kicked all the way home. He ripped the button off my last pair of maternity pants that still feel comfortable.

We made it home and woke up my sleeping husband. I crawled into bed and tried to disown the lower half of my body. The contractions and vomiting came later. Lasted all night.

Needless to say, Dave has made sure his phone is permanently on loud and vibrate and even dances an Irish jig.

Monday, February 2, 2009

and March...

After a quick (and perhaps deflating) look at the calendar, I realized that the birth window actually extends into March. We could be looking at two March babes after all.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


If I could stay up any later, I would. I want to welcome in February with eyes wide open. Toast to the month with a glass of red, red wine that our new baby will be born.

Due month is here.

The kiddo is doing a twist and shout in my womb to celebrate. The midwife predicted that this kid will be about 8 pounds. Or rather is now about 8 pounds. (As if they know these things.) But, the kid is dancing away, swaying from the right to the left side of my belly and jumping up and down on my bladder for good measure.
We are looking at 18 days until d-day. I am just hoping to keep the kid in until then. We have a serious to-do list staring at us in the face.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Brooke Shields

On the surface, it might appear that I don't have a lot in common with Brooke Shields. And for the most part, you'd be right.

There is the obvious...I have not appeared nude in a movie. Indeed, I have not appeared in any movie. Nor have I starred in a TV show.

I did not attend an Ivy League university, but a Jesuit one. I did not major in French literature, but squeezed out a double major in history and philosophy.

Whereas nothing came between her and her Calvin Kleins, mostly the price and my predilection for shopping at Target come between me and any pair of Calvins.

You might think that she outshines me.
But, I one-upped her.
Always the over-achiever, I got my postpartum depression early.

My hormones have taken me for a ride this pregnancy. Not a pleasant one. My midwife assures me that this is normal...1 in 5 women do experience depression during pregnancy. In most cases, it doesn't mean that postpartum depression is imminent. Usually, depression just works itself out as the new babylove exits the birth canal.

Just like Brooke, I want you to know it happens. And that is why I haven't returned your calls in weeks and weeks.

Please don't go all Tom Cruise on my tail.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Fish Ladders

I am trying not to turn this into a dream blog. But, this one was too good to pass up.

Last night, I dreamed that my Dave was on an ecological tour of some rivers on the Eastern Shore of Maryland (yes, the Maryland reference did not escape me) with my doula. While there, he decided to deconstruct some old humidifiers and make ladders so that the fish could easily spawn in their desired location. He fashioned some bolt cutters out of regular scissors and proudly pioneered a design that would enable to the fish to jump off at different parts and not feel too constrained. The ladders were actually double ladders...the center part was open and free so that fish could easily maneuver within it all.

I cannot lie. I don't really enjoy being the fish in this scenario. But, the unconscious sense of trust that I feel for Dave is deep and secure. I love that.

Let's just hope that birth is not too imminent.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Under (Name) Pressure

I have one son. His name is Spencer Emmanuel.

Yet, I have had more than one dream where his name is Andy. Andy wasn't even on the short list of names. Heck, it wasn't even on the long list of names. Yet, it is the name that comes out of my lips when I see my son.

Name remorse?

Perhaps. But, my waking self is quite content with his name. Early on, there was a bit of me that wished we had used his Hebrew name (Lior) for his English name, but whatever. It was a fleeting thought.

But with this babe in the womb, the name pressure is on. We don't know the gender of this kiddo. I am feeling boy. Dave is feeling girl. We have decided this will (most likely) be the our last kid. So, I am feeling like this is my chance to name my child after my mom.

Norma Jean.

If it is a girl, we'll probably name her Nora. I don't think I could deal with the same name. Too close. But, Nora is a nice compromise. There are other options as well, but Nora seems the clear front runner. I am not so concerned about the middle name for some reason. We have a few ideas, but I guess because I am feeling boy, I am not so worried.

But, the flood gates of worry burst open when I think of boy names. Norman is out. Who wants a son to one day experience the glory of the sitcom Cheers throughout his life? And yes, while a beloved cousin pointed out that old names are coming back, Norman will not be included in our family tree. Because the closest name to Norma is ruled out, I have settled on the idea that the boy will share her initials...either N.J. or the inverted J.N.

Nash? Nolan? Nuri? Neville? Noah?
Josiah? Jasper? Jeremiah? Jericho?

We could also do place names. Emory was the street I grew on. But, is that really a tribute? Or we could go with the meaning of Norma. "North man; Norseman." Yeah, right.

My dear husband is not worried. (Again, he's feeling girl.) But, I am. We have sat in front of the gazillion of baby name websites culling through J and N names. Trying to put them together. It's not really gelling.

"We'll figure it out when 'he's' here."

Yes, I am sure the fact that we have no names even written down on a list will make name picking postpartum so easy.

So before we hire a baby name consultant, I turn to you. Ideas?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Thank you, Annalise.

For better or worse, Annalise strongly suggested that I pick up the blog again in 2009. So, here goes a quick post, just to squeak out some of the rust in my knuckles.

My husband is walking around in his underwear that I think he has had since we started dating and a wool hat. I know that he has lots of theories about how simply wearing a hat keeps you warm, but I don't think a hat overrides wearing pants. But, what do I know? He also didn't bring a winter coat to our New Year's Eve festivities in Duluth. Do I need to mention that we haven't hit freezing since early December? And that we are pretty darn conservative with the heat register? (And that we do not have curtains in a majority of our windows?)

And I am full of baby. I discovered a new stretch mark today that dangles from my flattening belly button. If the baby arrives on time, I still have seven weeks to work on a symmetrical stretch marks to create a sun around my belly button. Wish me luck. Maybe I will just get a tattoo to make me look like a bad ass mom and disguise the marks.

Alrighty, here's to brand new posts in 2009.