‘Tis the season

Two months postpartum and it’s that time of year. Having a new baby for the holidays is simultaneously lovely and a terrible idea.

Last week I managed to throw out the rotting pumpkin on our front steps and Tutu our elf on the shelf is out and about. She hasn’t remembered to move from the plant in the kitchen. But she did remember to get out of the attic, so points for that.

Update: as of this morning Tutu is nowhere to be found. Either she’s back at the North Pole for good or Captain decided to take initiative.

Update on the update. Captain moved her! She was on top of the kitchen light and Captain has earned himself a new job.

Note on the updates: Before kids I used to write these blogs in one sitting at 11am. Now I write them over the course of a week, starting at 6am. That’s why it’s possible to need multiple updates.

Ok that’s it. No more asides.

Hanukkah decorations are in full swing and I’m ready to wrap presents as soon as I get a minute without a kid, so maybe next year.

I know it’s too soon to say much about RB’s personality, but as much as BB is a clone of Captain, RB seems to be more like me. At the very least she seems chill and very smiley and happy despite being congested for 6 out of the 8 weeks she’s been alive.

It’s tough having an older sibling in school. BB spent the first month of RB’s life sneezing and coughing all over her. In the last month BB decided she’s capable of covering, which is wonderful, but still hasn’t prevented us from sharing every cold.

An email comes in from BB’s school: ‘just want to let you know a child has hand, foot and mouth.’

Oh help us.

Through all the colds, spitting up enormous amounts of milk and phlegm all over her face and into her eyes, because back is best? RB is still smiley.

I know people say babies don’t smile socially for several weeks, but I SWEAR RB has been smiling socially since she was born. She smiles for everyone. I’m not that indiscriminate with my smiles, but close.

On the other hand, if you get a smile out of BB, you’ve EARNED it. There are a million other things I could list that make BB and Captain twins, including their artistic talents, but there’s one recent discovery that I’m in awe of.

Captain can fart on command. I have a moderate amount of control to stop a fart, but I have no idea how to create one on cue.

During a moment of dinnertime tension: BB playing with her carrot sticks, me about to take her plate away, Captain tried to lighten the mood. He directed a fart at BB. I looked at her. She had a funny face. Was she upset? She directed a fart back at Captain. He did another one at her, she did another one at him!

Amazing! Such control, especially for someone who still won’t poop in the potty.

BB tries again. She’s running on empty. Frustrated she declares,

“I need more toots! How do I make more toots?”

Captain offers,

“Eat more green beans.”

The incentive is strong enough to incite a green bean nibble before the playing begins again and I take the plate away.

We relent on the cupcake because when everyone is exhausted, snotty and BB with her double ear infection isn’t eating, but will eat the chocolate frosting off a cupcake and then go to bed. A deal is made.

Also a deal was made to write about Captain farting on command. He said it was okay as long as I include a Ren and Stimpy photo. Here ya go.

4657b7ae91868f3322718919adab5b05

 

 

Blog-life balance is hard. And to BB, I’m sorry. Just sorry

One month postpartum. I’ve been DESPERATE to write a blog for a couple weeks and finding time feels hard.

Aside from that and BB being mad at me, things are good. Maybe it’s the placenta pills.

When my placenta came out covered in meconium, RB’s first poop in the womb, the nurse said,

“You don’t want this.”

I spent 9 months making and maintaining that thing and I’ve already paid $400 to get it made into pills, so I DO want it.

“Did you see your placenta? You don’t want it.”

“I do want it.” And considering it’s 2am, I want to save it until I can check with my placenta person and see if it’s still good to ingest.

“We need to send it to pathology.”

“Why do you need to send it to pathology?”

“When there’s meconium we send it to pathology.”

It avoided pathology and was allowed to go home with my mom who was kind enough to escort it out a day early.

And in case you were thinking:

‘Hey! Whatever happened to Jess’ varicose veins and those sexy tights?’

Well let me tell you.

Immediately after delivery the veins in my legs felt better. That or a million more important things were going on and I forgot I had legs.

I had 2 pairs of compression tights in my hospital bag and I didn’t think about them for a second.

The day after I delivered I woke up at 4am to intense pain. All my bulging veins had clotted. They were super hard, hot and painful. I could barely walk.

The irony of having an intact vagina but hobbling about because of my varicose veins was not lost on me.

At the time I didn’t realize there are all different types of thrombosis and what I have is painful, ugly and not life threatening. The blood clots are superficial and can’t move anywhere in my body, unlike deep vein thrombosis. That’s the deadly one.

At 4am we alerted the powers that be, but no one was alarmed. After multiple calls to the nurses, they told us that the doctor isn’t concerned and someone will be in to see us eventually.

Captain and I did the only logical thing to do if you’re in a hospital and think you might have something deadly going on. We consulted Google. It was unclear what signs of imminent death we should be looking for, but to be on the safe side we didn’t go back to sleep.

The nurse put a loose heating pack on my leg. I asked her for a way to strap it on. She said,

“Like an ace bandage?”

“Yes!”

“We don’t carry those on the maternity floor.”

“Ok.” I’m waiting for her to follow up with how she’s going to get one from somewhere else because we’re in a HOSPITAL. She proceeds to tie a baby swaddle blanket around my leg.

After an ultrasound to confirm what they suspected: nothing deep and deadly, we went home. They recommended I start wearing my compression tights again. A month later my newly found vascular surgeon tells me,

“Yes, wearing your tights after delivery definitely could’ve helped.”

Screw you people. I wore them my entire pregnancy, through JULY AND AUGUST. I could have worn them for one more day and maybe prevented or minimized the clots, but no one told me.

My vascular surgeon adds,

“It could be helpful to wear them now.”

Maybe, but now the pain is so minimal and the stockings are so annoying, that the pain-annoyance ratio is not in the tights’ favor.

Three months until surgery to remove the clots. I’m sorry BB and RB. It’s hereditary.

But BB has enough to worry about right now. She’s not happy. I’ve taken a lot of my love and attention that would’ve gone toward her or no one and directed it toward 10 pounds of screaming, helpless cuteness.

With the rainbow theme in full effect in RB’s room, BB informs me,

“You know I like rainbows too.”

“Yes! Of course you do!” There are plenty of rainbows for everyone.

Three days postpartum my placenta began the process of being turned into pills in my kitchen. The meconium did not disqualify it.

At this point I’ve swallowed about half of my placenta. And if you thought this would be free from the sting of sibling rivalry, you’re wrong.

BB had a lot of questions including,

“What did you do with my placenta?”

Sorry kid. We threw it out.

01

fullsizeoutput_9a2b

My placenta print. You’re welcome.

 

Birth Story! Don’t say I didn’t warn you

Rainbow Baby is here! I’m thrilled and Captain has PTSD.

On my due date we went for a regularly scheduled check-up. RB (Rainbow Baby) was doing well and I was doing well. My midwife was happy for us to wait to go into labor naturally, which is what I was hoping for.

Four days later we went for an ultrasound to make sure everything still looked good. RB was doing well and there was plenty of amniotic fluid. I felt relieved. Then they took my blood pressure: 160/90. My midwife was alarmed. She asked,

“Are you anxious?”

“Now I am!”

She gave me some time to calm down and then she checked again, 160/90.

She told us to go to the hospital to get blood work, a urine test and a non-stress test for RB. She recommended taking our bags with us in case they wanted to induce me.

I started freaking out. I was already on the verge of a freak out at any point in this pregnancy.

The day was not supposed to be going like this. I had been looking forward to an afternoon nap and then an anniversary dinner with Captain.

And the least of it, but not helping my anxiety, was that the next day was our Angel Baby’s birthday. A year to the day that she died. I was becoming a hormonal, emotional wreck.

We went home, had lunch, packed our hospital bags. I got in the car and told Captain,

“I don’t want to go. I have a really bad gut feeling about this.” I was feeling like my blood pressure was up because I was anxious and that instead of calming down I was just getting more and more anxious. I felt desperate to stay home and rest.

Captain felt strongly about going to the hospital and getting tested. I agreed to go with the stipulation that we’d leave if I wanted to.

The non-stress test showed baby was still doing well. My blood pressure was still 160/90. The blood work was normal but there was protein in my urine and they diagnosed me with preeclampsia.

I understood the severity of this. I also understood that no one was whisking me away for a c-section.

It was 5pm. The midwife wanted me to stay at the hospital and start an induction. She said it could take up to 2 days. I said,

“If it could take 2 days, then I’d like to go home, get a good night’s sleep and start the induction in the morning.”

“We don’t recommend that.”

They wanted to monitor the baby and me in case things got worse. The doctor came to talk to me. He said that if I were 30 weeks pregnant they’d hold off on inducing me.

I knew if I stayed in the hospital I wouldn’t sleep and how the heck am I supposed to have the stamina for a 2 day induction if I start off by pulling an all-nighter? I felt desperate to be well rested for this.

Against the doctor, midwife and Captain’s better judgment, I went with one of the strongest gut feelings I’ve ever had. I signed myself out of the hospital and agreed to come back at 9:30am the next morning to start the induction.

We got take-out. Not the anniversary I’d imagined, but at least I was home. Captain was terrified. I became a little more nervous. If anything bad happened now, I was 100% responsible and what would that do to our marriage if we both blamed me?

I took a long hot shower, followed by a long hot bath. I was determined to relax. So you can imagine how that went. Captain was snoring in no time and my mind was racing. At 11pm I got crampy. Nothing too bad. At 11:40pm I was too uncomfortable to stay in bed and also excited that maybe labor was starting on its own.

I began tracking my contractions. They seemed really close together for having just started. They were coming every 3-4 minutes, but only for 35-40 seconds. I wasn’t convinced this was for real, although the intensity felt for real. I figured I should track them for an hour to see if there was a regular pattern, but by 12:30am I told Captain we should go to the hospital.

Even if it weren’t for real, I was nervous enough about my blood pressure and RB.

Captain woke my mom up at 12:40am. I repacked my bag, changed my pants, told my mom she could go back to sleep, turned off some lights, told Captain to let my OB office know we’re headed to the hospital.

At 12:55pm we left. After the fact my mom said she was one minute away from making us stay and calling 911.

I knew from BB that contractions in the car are no fun. So when a really bad one hit me half way through the 15 minute drive to the hospital I figured I probably had one more to get through and then we’d be there. I moaned through a third as we drove up the hill to the hospital. Captain asked,

“Can you walk in?”

“Yes.”

Another contraction as we pulled in by the emergency room and with that my water broke. I screamed at Captain,

“The baby’s coming I can’t walk in!” I ripped off my pants.

He sprinted for the emergency room and came back with a man and a woman pushing a wheelchair. I climbed into the wheelchair, wearing one of Captain’s undershirts and nothing else. I instructed Captain on what bags we needed and we were off.

I was told that the woman said to stop screaming and asked what happened to my pants. All I remember is her trying to cover my crotch with my t-shirt and keep a hand there in case Baby popped out.

Later, multiple nurses asked me what happened to my pants. Baby was coming out so I took them off. I am unclear on how I was supposed to have a baby with pants on.

I left a trail of blood through the halls. Days later a couple drops were still there.

The ER peeps rolled me into an empty maternity floor. Staff appeared out of nowhere.

I’d seen meconium in my amniotic fluid and was terrified that RB wasn’t ok. I screamed at the nurse,

“Is my baby alive?”

“I have no idea.”

RB was crowning as I threw myself onto the triage table. I knew I wanted to be on my side.  My midwife had said that’s the best bet if I want to minimize tearing.

The triage “bed/chair” was in an upright position. I was on my side diagonally across it. Captain had one of my legs which he handed off to a nurse and I was resting my head on a side table thing.

I was given the all clear to push and RB came right out. It was 15 minutes since we left home and 2 hours since labor started.

RB was whimpering! They cut her cord and whisked her away. Captain went with her. He came back to report all was well. She swallowed meconium but hadn’t inhaled it.

The doctor who was there for the delivery wasn’t part of my OB practice, so she peaced out.

I asked Captain for the angelica root tincture that my midwife had recommended I take to help release my placenta.

The gruff nurse said,

“You’re not putting anything in your mouth, I don’t even know who you are.”

“I don’t know who you are!”

The doctor from my practice showed up. The same doctor we’d seen a few hours earlier who didn’t want us to go home. He was so kind and funny. He said if my midwife said to take it, I could take it. He asked,

“What time was the baby born?”

Everyone looked at each other. I looked at the clock. I have NO idea. No one knew. A nurse said,

“1:10?”

So let it be written.

The doctor started the task of inspecting the damage. I cringed and waited to hear the worst. I knew I was supposed to push the baby out slow and easy and nothing about this had been slow. Although fairly easy!

The doctor sent the gruff nurse for anesthetic. There was some misunderstanding and she came back without it. He sent her away again. When she came back he said,

“You took so long that the patient is all healed up.”

And that is how I found out the most amazing news: NO STITCHES!

I’d been hoping for minimal tearing, but I didn’t have the audacity to begin to hope for NO tearing.

Our healthy rainbow baby was placed on my chest at 1:30am, 20 minutes after she was born. And as for her sharing a birthday with our angel baby, it feels miraculous. I wouldn’t change a thing, except maybe leaving for the hospital 10 minutes sooner so as not to traumatize poor Captain. But maybe this cured him of the temptation for a third.

fullsizeoutput_92b5

Overdue

My due date has come and gone. As well as some of the anxiety of approaching it. I delivered BB 3 days before my due date, but now that that hasn’t happened I feel like I’m living on borrowed time.

Normally our weeks are full of activities and nights out for me. As of my due date I have nothing scheduled.

Every evening that isn’t spent in hospital underwear with a baby on my boob is some kind of weird bonus. Even if I’m still in compression tights and have now gained 40 pounds.

BB asked me,

“Did the baby make your butt grow?”

That or donuts and ice cream.

BB has a sense of ownership over my belly that not even Captain can have. She touches it, kisses it, hugs it, slaps it and uses it for leverage whenever it suits her. I’m enjoying the last few days of having a shelf for my coffee cup. Last few days. Last day. Something like that. PLEASE.

At my induction massage, A WEEK AGO, I was told that the skin on my stomach looks amazing. Which has led me to the only possible conclusion: postpartum I’ll wear sweatpants to cover my atrocious veins and a trendy, crop top to showcase my mummy tummy. Or in reality I’ll just wear my floor-length, zebra, fleece robe.

I’ve tried all the things. Including asking this baby very nicely if she would please come out.

I’m enjoying afternoon naps, never being cold and the to-do list that’s dwindled down to the things that I’d really rather not do.

I’m so overheated that BB has started calling me her Hot Mama. Yesterday we were walking out of the Y and she said,

“I want my Hot Mama to carry me.”

She snuggles up and murmurs,

“Hot Mama.”

Hard to say what other people make of this, as sexy as I look right now.

Pregnancy-Overdue-Meme-17

1ed4aef98ee3c3b21775ebd8ecbb82bd

What? Why? Are you talking to me? Am I still pregnant?

Still pregnant. No more to add on that front.

In other news, BB loves my impressions. I’m nowhere near as good as Trevor Noah or SNL, but I’m very decent at animals. That seems to be all I need for the toddler set.

A couple years ago before BB could talk, long before we entered the land of infinite why questions, BB and I took a baby development class. They mentioned that animal sounds are great “first words” for babies. And by animal sounds they meant things like: “moo, baa, oink, woof, neigh.” They did not mean my very realistic goat bleating from a mountain top.

I changed it up. I neutered my animal repertoire and other things started to talk, like BB’s breakfast cereals. Frosted mini wheats talk like Italian mob bosses. Granola talks like a California surfer dude. None of it was premeditated, so there’s no rationale.

The talking food has become so rampant that BB demands it. She was sitting at the table eating a snack and she said,

“Talk to me.”

“Yes? What is it?”

“No! Cereal bar, talk to me.”

Ah. Now I’m expected to switch to my cereal bar voice, which sounds a lot like Granola. I don’t have a huge range.

BB’s ability to suspend disbelief is impressive. The other day she was talking to Baby Bunny, her security bunny, she said,

“Sometimes I just call her Buns or Baby Buns. Buns?”

“Yes?” I say in my best baby bunny voice.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m getting your jammies out for sleepies.” Said in my mom voice.

“NOOO! I’m talking to Baby Bunny!”

“Oh! Hey! I’m ready to snuggle!” Reverting back to my baby bunny squeak.

And she resumes talking to Buns (me) like I didn’t just break character.

When I’m not speaking for all the inanimate objects in my home, I’m still answering a steady barrage of “why” questions.

I asked a veteran mom friend,

“When do the questions end?”

“Never.”

So I have to find a way to deal without losing my mind. I decide that I will remain as detached as possible, answer all the questions and try to conserve what brain power I have left.

After an entire lunch of answering whys, I am so zoned out that I’ve lost track of the line of questioning. I ask BB,

“What was the question again?”

“Just WHYYY?”

fullsizeoutput_9260

I knew I needed a kick stand

Milk bath for BB

37 weeks pregnant! I’m stocking the freezer with my favorite meals. But before I could do that, I had to clear it out. That meant dealing with my 3-year-old stash of breastmilk.

A long, long time ago, when BB was a few months old, I had the idea that I’d pump on a regular basis, BB would drink the occasional bottle and I’d hit the town or at least be away from her for more than 2 hours at a time.

The first part worked out great, I pumped every morning and the freezer filled up. The rest of my dream did not come true. BB drank maybe one bottle and we never tried that hard to make it work.

When she was 10 months old, we moved to the burbs. I contemplated the milk. Take it? Toss it? Too old to donate. I packed it just to delay having to make a decision. And so it sat in the freezer.

I feel very nostalgic about it. I can’t remember where, but I read an article about a woman who saved a bag of breastmilk for many more years than me until her freezer died and the milk leaked everywhere, so that was validating.

But I need the room in my freezer. What to do? I lined it all up on the counter. Took a picture. Saved my four favorite bags and dumped the rest in the bathtub for BB to have an epic milk bath.

She loved it and needed another bath the next day. Imagine what a head of hair looks like after being doused in liquid lard.

That left me with only one more breastmilk-nostalgia item to deal with. I have a very snuggy maternity hoodie that I wore while bed-sharing with BB. Then we moved. She went from waking to nurse every couple hours to sleeping through the night. She night weaned herself and my boobs exploded all over that snuggy hoody. I hung it up in my closet and forgot about it. It never made it in the wash.

The next time I thought about washing it, we had weaned completely. I noticed the milk stains on the front. I was consumed with nostalgia. I said to myself,

“I’m washing this to put it away. I’m not wearing it anymore. Do I really need to wash it?”

And so it hung in my closet. Now it’s getting chilly. Now I could really use a snuggy maternity sweatshirt. I take it out. I wear it around the house a few times without washing it.

I wear it out in public. Now I’m ready to wash it. I take a photo and into the laundry it goes.

BB tells me,

“If my baby sister doesn’t want to drink her milk, I can have another milk bath!”

Maybe. Although if I don’t need the room in the freezer, BB could be waiting a very long time.

InstagramMilk-bath hairless tico nala.png

 

Crotch belt bringing it home

35 weeks pregnant! I’m eating my last Cadbury cream egg. Yes it’s September and they never should’ve lasted this long, but it’s been a roller coaster of gestational diabetes tests. I passed my third and final one a few weeks ago.

Not only do I not have gestational diabetes, but there was some concern that the baby might be small. As of a month ago that doesn’t seem to be a concern anymore, but I still ate a pint of Haagen Daz for dinner just to be on the safe side.

This feels like the home stretch. I wouldn’t mind a few more weeks to check things off my to-do list, but I’m also dying to get my hands on this baby. And hoping, praying, pleading with my circulation system to please please please not be painful after I give birth.

My midwife warned me that my veins would continue to get worse over the course of my pregnancy. She didn’t say might. She was correct.

In the last week, the intense pressure of the veins in my crotch has turned into a relentless throbbing pain. I’ve been eyeballing a vulvar compression belt for a couple months now, but at $80 and no points for style, I was planning to manage without.

The other day I was standing at the counter for my millionth snack of the day. I love standing and eating at the counter, even when I’m not pregnant, but I couldn’t bear it. I had to sit down. I read the reviews of the compression belt for the millionth time.

It looks like a glorified jock strap. Everyone agrees it works. The main complaint seems to be that it creates 4 butt cheeks.

Four butt cheeks be damned. I’m taking my pregnancy sexiness to the next level. Between bulging out of the top of my compression tights and my 35 week belly bump, what’s a few more bulges out of my backside?

I like it and it’s super obnoxious. In addition to a tiny person doing a head stand on my bladder, I now have 4 pieces of straps, velcro and spandex between me and the toilet.

I’ve been refraining from asking anyone what’s the worst thing that could happen to the veins when I give birth. It’s a little bit like not wanting to hear other people’s labor horror stories. But thinking my imagination may be worse than reality, I ask the nurse who runs my support group. She tells me,

“During labor one woman had to have emergency surgery on her veins before she could give birth.”

Huh. Maybe I was better off not knowing that.

Five weeks or less to go. I have no intention of going much past my due date. I have an induction massage booked for a week before and acupuncture and walking and drinking a bottle of wine and whatever else might work.

I am so appreciative of all the help and services we’re able to afford. So every morning as it gets harder and harder to reach my feet and put on my compression tights I think there must be someone I can pay to do this for me.

The other day my acupuncturist watches me struggle to get them on. She offers,

“Can I help?”

“I wish!”

I really don’t know how anyone else could help me put them on.

A stranger finally said something about my pregnancy that made me feel better. I was in the locker room at the Y and she asked,

“Are those compression tights?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh you poor thing.”

Thank you!

I am beyond grateful to be pregnant and almost to my due date and to be complaining about a problem that has zero implications for the health of my baby, but I really appreciate the condolences for my vagina.

As sexy as the white one is, I went with the black one.

First day of school EVER

Gearing up for back to school. It’s our first time. And by gearing up I mean filling out all the forms I’ve had for weeks and buying BB a new pair of sneakers.

I have all the feels: excitement, nostalgia… that’s it. No anxiety. It’s going to be great! It’s like leaving her at the Y, but for 2 more hours and they’ll feed her lunch.

At home BB is a non-stop chatter box. Among new people she could very well remain silent all day. It’s anyone’s guess when she’ll decide to let loose.

I fill out the online forms which have big open boxes for personality description, fears, hopes and dreams and then there’s the toilet section. It has an impossibly small character limit: either 2 simple sentences or one long one.

Yes I could use one of the other large data fields to explain how we’re peeing fine and pooping in a pull-up. But as you can see, one complex sentence just about covers it. If they want to know more, I’m sure they’ll find out.

BB has a backpack and lunchbox she picked out. She told me,

“It needs to have horses on it.”

This was not a super-simple find. Unicorns are having a moment. They’re dominating gear where horses might once have stood a chance. I show BB a unicorn backpack. She shakes her head at me and repeats slowly,

“H O R S E S.”

I find one! Not just horses, glittery horses! BB is thrilled. I’m pretty pleased with myself. My mom has contributed a bullet-proof insert. This feels useful and makes me cry.

BB tells me,

“I need green, light-up sneakers.”

I mention this to Captain. He’s surprised.

“How does she know about those?”

I ask BB,

“How do you know about light-up sneakers?”

She looks at us like she can’t believe this is what she has to deal with and explains,

“Other kids.”

fullsizeoutput_9093.jpeg

We’re kinda obsessed with Toy Story right now. So much so that BB wants to be a space ranger when she grows up. She is the master of putting toys places I’d never suspect and often can’t find for months. Buzz either really needs coffee or has had his coffee and is ready for blast off. 

Home Alone! Please don’t send anyone

I’m home alone for two nights! Just me. I’d like to thank everyone who has made this possible: Captain and my in-laws.

Last night was the best night’s sleep I’ve had in 3.5 years. I really think that’s true. I slept for 10 hours straight. Nobody waking me up. No bathroom. Nothing but calm silence.

I’ve had my fair share of nights away from BB, so that’s not the only contributing factor. I think the magic sleeping pixie dust was being alone in my house in my own bed and having zero agenda.

A walk, a coffee, a soda-water mimosa, writing my blog, working on photo albums, that’s what I’ve got planned. And the timeline for it is anyone’s guess.

People asked if I’m getting together with friends. No way! I can do that when Captain is around. I’m hoarding my home-alone time. After all, this is it, the home stretch. I’m almost 30 weeks pregnant.

The varicose veins in my legs and crotch continue to get worse. They burn and tingle and bulge, BUT with BB I was nauseous until the end so if I’m going to have only one physical issue, I’ll take the veins.

I’ve reached the point where my body announces itself whether I want it to or not. I’m pregnant and on display for general public questioning.

I’m used to and very bored by the standard fare:

  • “When are you due?”
  • “How far along are you?”
  • “Is it a boy or a girl?”

When I mention my due date a woman says,

“Oh October is a very popular birthday!”

I haven’t heard this before. I ask,

“Because of the school year cut off?”

“No, because of the New Year!”

“The Jewish New Year?” This seems very unlikely, but what else could she mean?

“No! Conception date! New Year’s Eve.”

“Ah. That’s not really our story.”

“Oh but I guess it is!”

Thanks lady, but no. First of all I had my period New Year’s Eve. Second we thought we were going to be 7 months pregnant at that point, but instead we were on our 3rd try for our 3rd pregnancy. It’s October because that’s what we got.

And of course just when I think my belly speaks for itself, it doesn’t and I still end up struggling to get what I want.

I was craving a large meatball sub. Especially the large part. The place I want to go to is closed. I drive down the road unwilling to give up on my dream. I see another Italian joint. I order my sub. I’m the only customer in there. No one else. I step back from the counter to wait. The person who made it, a different person from the cashier, steps up and hollers,

“Meatball sub!”

I lunge for it. She pulls back and asks,

“Large meatball sub?”

Are you kidding me? There’s no one else here. Does she doubt my ability to eat a large meatball sub? Because I’m about to INHALE it and her arm along with it.

Last but not least I took BB for her 3-year-old photo session. The photographer is a lovely woman I met last year for BB’s 2-year-old photos. I haven’t seen or talked to her since.

She notices my belly and seems oblivious to any social constraints on what the “standard” stranger questions seem to be. She dives right in and I find myself feeling more surprised than put off and I answer honestly,

“Was this a planned pregnancy?”

“Yes.”

“Oh that’s good. Are you done?”

“I sure hope so.”

should-you-comment-on-a-pregnant-womans-body-433x650

What day is it? How long does this question phase last? Will I survive it?

BB is 3-years-old! We have reached the land of a million questions.

We have also reached vacation land, which may or may not be why I’ve been slacking on blogging. I’ve thought about it almost every day, but then I went to the beach.

BB asks,

“First you’re a baby, then a kid and then an adult?”

“That’s right.”

“What’s after adult?”

“That’s it.”

“That’s it?”

“You get older, but you’re still an adult.”

A few days later BB starts crying,

“I don’t want to be an adult!!!”

“Why?”

“I don’t want to take showers.”

Don’t worry. No showers.

BB points at our house,

“What’s that?”

“What do you think?” I know she knows the answer, so why does she still ask?

“It’s the chimney!”

“That’s right.”

“Is that where Santa comes down?”

“So they say.” It’s July and I’m answering Santa questions.

“Why doesn’t he come in the door?”

“I don’t know. Maybe the chimney is faster? If you don’t have a chimney I bet he comes in the door.”

Let me supersede some of this if possible.

The next day Captain, BB and I are in the car headed to the Cape. BB asks,

“Mom, where are we going?”

My knee jerk reaction is to answer when I hear my call sign, but I remember I’m on vacation. I ask Captain,

“Are her questions driving you crazy?”

“Not really.”

Oh right. Because I’m the one who’s been answering all of them. BB tries again,

“Mom? Where are we going?”

“I’m going to let Dad field this one.”

He calls out,

“What’s the question?”

She goes back to “reading” her book.

Toy Story 4 is playing at the drive-in movie theater at the Cape. Considering Woody was one of BB’s top birthday present requests, along with “armresters” for her kitchen chair, the movie sounds like a good idea.

It’s a 40 minute drive. We pull out of the driveway and slow down at a crosswalk,

“Are we there?”

“No, we’re going to be in the car for a long time.”

“Where are we going?”

“Where do you think?”

“To see the Buzz movie with Woody.”

“That’s right.”

“Where’s the movie theater?”

Shoot me now.

We get there.

“Where’s the movie theater?”

“This is it.”

“This is it?”

“It’s a drive-in movie theater.”

“Where’s the movie theater.”

“This is it, we watch the movie from the car.”

“Where’s the movie theater?”

She’s NEVER even been to a real movie theater, WHAT is she talking about?

“Is the sun setting?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Because the earth is rotating.”

“Is it getting dark?”

“Yes.”

“Where’s Woody?”

Is there another car I can watch the movie from?

And sometimes I’d like to turn things around and get some of my questions answered. Like why after months of successfully peeing in the potty unprompted with no accidents (as I write this), does BB still insist on a pull-up for pooping?

BB comes to me holding her butt,

“I need a pull-up.”

“Do you want to try pooping in the potty?”

“NOOO! I said no.”

“Let’s try.”

“I’ll poop in the potty when I’m an adult.”

She heard that kids can drown in a few inches of water

My DNA results are in!

I sent my DNA to 23andMe. I waited as my spit traveled through the multi-step process. I ripped open each incoming email:

  • Kit registered
  • Sample received
  • DNA in queue for extraction
  • Genotyping your DNA
  • Reviewing your genetic data
  • “Results for Jessica Curtis are in. A world of DNA discovery is waiting.”

I was excited. Too excited. After hearing so many crazy genetic stories about people finding long lost relatives, I had myself convinced I was going to learn something other than that I’m 50% Jewish and my parents are exactly who I thought they were.

One close relative, my mom, was listed and after that just 2nd, 3rd and 4th cousins.

I’m not sure who I was hoping to find, but confirmation of who my mom is wasn’t a surprise. She’s the one who bought the kit for me in the first place. 23andMe offered a look at my connections,

“We detected close family: Mother (predicted). Would you like to connect?”

Thanks. I’ll text her.

Then I got a little bit excited again when I browsed the genetic traits category. The first one was,

“Less likely to be able to match a musical pitch.”

That’s so me! Back in the day my piano teacher said the good news was I wasn’t completely tone deaf. The bad news is BB only wants me to sing when she’s going to sleep. Any other time I get asked to be quiet.

My excitement started to wane after that. There was:

  • Less likely to have flat feet.
    • I have flat feet
  • Likely little baby hair.
    • I had plenty.
  • Likely to get motion sickness.
    • Sometimes, but really only when cleaning toilets below deck on rough seas.
  • More likely to be afraid of heights.
    • I’ve been sky diving no issues.
  • Likely at least a little unibrow.
    • That one’s correct.

It started to feel like a horoscope. I could easily believe in it if I wanted to or not. It did say I have a 43% chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

That isn’t a complete shocker because for whatever reason my blood sugar was on the high end at the start of this pregnancy. I laid off the several powdered donuts for breakfast, soda for lunch and chocolate for afternoon snack. That seems to be helping for now so I added the chocolate back in.

It also said I’m likely to wake up at 8:11am. Before BB I was likely to wake up at 10am and now that BB exists, 7am is all I get. I’ll let her know that 8:11am would be ideal based on my genetic makeup.

Supposedly I’m likely to consume less caffeine than average: 17mg less. That’s an 8th of a cup of coffee. I’ve been helping myself to that additional splash to make up for not sleeping until 8:11am.

And fun fact, I have a gene that is common in elite, power athletes, which may be why I was able to bounce BB for as long as I did.

Captain has a kit waiting for his spit. So if BB ever decides to submit her DNA she’ll have at least 3 close connections to contact if she’d like. And hopefully just as little excitement.

41zm92z19zwy.gif

Still growing this baby

22 weeks pregnant and holding the course. I’m doing what feels like an enormous amount of self care: therapy, pregnancy-after-loss support group, midwife appointments, acupuncture, chiropractic, pelvic floor physical therapy, yoga, walking, haircuts, book club and considering a prenatal massage.

I can’t control much of this baby making process, but I’m good at making appointments. 

This is short lived. As soon as this baby is on the outside my self care will be down to the occasional shower and walk. Or maybe just shower and nap if I tear my crotch to pieces again.

Overall I’d describe myself as NOT an anxious person, but of course that’s not doing me any good now. My therapist said that I can’t expect to have zero anxiety and she thinks I’m doing about as well as I can hope. So there’s that.

At my last ultrasound scan the doctor said,

“I have no concerns aside from your advanced maternal age.”

Perfect. I’ll be 37 in July. In general I feel great, healthy, strong, vibrant, full of life, optimistic, all that good stuff. But 36.9 and pregnant? I feel OLD. My hips are aching; my legs are throbbing and I’m leaking urine just thinking about it.

I see why 22 years old is physically a great age to give birth. Although the only thing I was prepared to give birth to at that time was this blog. That’s right, this blog was born in 2005. And yes I know where to find those posts and no they’re not public. They’d only reassure you that waiting to have kids in my thirties was the right decision.

I’m also in full blown nesting mode. I had this feeling when I was pregnant with BB, but we were in a one bedroom, so after we squeezed in a changing table, there wasn’t much else I could do.

Now I can decorate a whole nursery! The rational part of me says,

“BB didn’t sleep in her own room for a year. This kid is going to be in your bedroom for a long time, no rush to decorate her room now.”

The anxious, superstitious part of me says,

“Don’t you dare decorate that room, you have NO idea what’s going to happen.”

The hormonal, pregnant, nesting part of me says,

“But I really wanted to do this when I was pregnant with BB and I couldn’t. This is my chance!”

I’m going with the hormonal part of me. She’s the most insistent. Plus we already have all the big nursery furniture. The crib has been stored in that room for over a year. All I had to do was move it to the other side of the room.

I’m going with a rainbow theme considering sometimes people call the baby they have after a loss their rainbow baby. It may be overplayed, but I like it. And heaven forbid this kid doesn’t make it, if some kid makes it at some point, they’ll be our rainbow baby.

Captain painted the walls a light blue, so it’s ready for rainbows. BB slid her bare butt across the new cloud rug, so that’s broken in. And I’ve been making frequent trips to HomeGoods to keep an eye on the rainbow/cloud paraphernalia.

All that’s left to do is keep going. And whatever concerns I have about labor and delivery, I can let those go because the other day BB told me,

“Mom, when you push the baby out?”

“Yes?”

“I’ll catch her.”

Self-care pregnancy

I can do this. I’ve got the rubber duckies, the letters and the bubbles, tear free!

Baby #3 for the win? TBD

If all goes well, we’ll see what happens, you never know, chances are, God willing, if we luck out, if the stars align, I don’t want to count my chicky before she hatches, BUT I’m 20 weeks pregnant!

I can’t believe I’m halfway through. Between this pregnancy and the last one I feel like I’ve been in some sort of first trimester purgatory.

I’m due early October. Twenty more weeks to go. A whole summer of being pregnant. I’m feeling hot thinking about it. Not sexy hot. Sweat dripping down my enormous belly and settling in my crotch hot.

Or not since the sweat will be absorbed by the full length compression tights I’ve started wearing. These are $50 pantyhose that I got a prescription for. That’s how sexy they are. Not just anybody can get their hands on these.

When Captain saw me in them he said,

“Straight out of a J.C. Penney catalog!”

I think he meant it as a compliment.

My varicose veins are popping. And mostly it’s an aesthetic issue, but by the end of the day they are achy, throbby and uncomfortable. If I wear the tights, they’re not, but then I get to be uncomfortable in a bunch of other ways. So so far it’s a real toss up.

My main complaint is that the compression tights are so strong that they squish everything up and then the compression stops right below my butt/crotch and everything spills over the top.

There never used to be a line of demarcation on my leg. My thighs increased in width until they somewhat smoothly met up with my butt. That is no longer the case.

I called the pharmacist back and asked about compression all the way up. That’s not a thing. I tried adding some maternity spanx on top of my pantyhose. Not only was it not strong enough to contain the thigh spillage, the number of layers was getting ridiculous.

Yes of course I would accept a million varicose veins and 10 months of being pregnant in the summer if I can get my hands on a healthy baby, but I sure as heck am not about to do it quietly. Or at least not anymore.

the-best-funny-pictures-Dogs-in-Pantyhose-1the-best-funny-pictures-Dogs-in-Pantyhose-2

 

Potty training continues

I could spare you more potty talk, but since I brought it up you know I’m not going to.

We’ve made progress. BB is pooping in the bathroom. She requests a diaper, I’m happy to oblige and then she stays in the bathroom until she’s done.

I read that this way she’ll start to associate the bathroom as the place to poop as opposed to standing in her bedroom window. Even though it has a lovely view.

This whole thing makes my cortisol levels spike like nothing else. We were running errands the other afternoon, so that by the time we got to Target I was positive we needed the potty. BB agreed to try, but nothing. I plopped her in the cart and we went on our way. Five minutes later,

“I need to go potty!”

I push the cart in panic mode from one side of the store to the other. I understand that the worst thing that could happen is we need to change clothes and we leave a Target shopping cart covered in pee, but I’d rather not. We make it to the bathroom. Nothing. BB declares,

“I tried, but my butt is all dried up.”

Ok. I resume shopping. I glance at BB. She’s holding her crotch. C’MON!

“Do you need to go potty?”

“No.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“Why are you holding your crotch?”

She has no answer for me, but she continues to hold it for the rest of the 20 minute shopping trip. This is enough to raise my stress levels, but not quite enough to make me abandon Target before I’m ready.

We check out and head for the bathroom. At this point I have to go and have given up on BB, assuming an accident is imminent. She declares,

“I’ll try. If it comes out, it comes out.”

It comes out.

This is a very unpredictable process. At home I go to the bathroom. I reach for toilet paper and get a piece that’s already been ripped off. It’s mysteriously wet.

“BB where do we put toilet paper after we wipe?”

“In the potty.”

“That’s right!

“But last time I put it back on the roll.”

81GXjUaD1pL._UL1500_

Someone may need this shirt.

 

Potty training continues

We’re potty training for real this time. A month ago BB announced at the dinner table,

“I’m going to pee.”

I’m assuming she did. She was still in a diaper and I didn’t really give it a second thought. Until it dawned on me. It’s probably time.

Before our vacation I told her,

“No more diapers after ski vacation.”

She looks me straight in the face and replies,

“No more diapers and no potty.”

That’s not right.

We get home from vacation mid-afternoon. I had planned to start the next day. BB declares,

“No more diapers!”

I guess we’re really doing this. Again.

Aside from a couple accidents, she’s peed in the potty every time. She’s even peed for other people at the Y when I’m not there.

But that’s only part of it, isn’t it? Then there’s poop. Oh poop. And it is not going in the potty. It is occasionally going in a diaper. It is mostly going in her underwear. She has ZERO desire to poop in the potty.

Coincidentally we’re in the process of getting our septic tank pumped and BB is fascinated by the fact that there’s a tank in our backyard full of poop. I keep reminding her that if she wants her poop to go in the backyard tank, she needs to put it in the potty. That has not been incentive enough.

Captain dug a hole down to the top of the tank and today BB declared,

“There’s the poop hole!”

We are officially a third potty trained. We’re not even thinking about attempting nighttime. She can go off to college wearing an overnight diaper for all I care about that right now.

Part of that problem is that when I weaned her from breastfeeding at 20 months, I weaned her onto a sippy cup of milk. Then I proceeded to water down the milk everyday until now she goes to bed with a sippy cup of water. She is ATTACHED to her water cup. Not as attached as she is to her bunny. But there will be screaming in the middle of the night if it’s nowhere to be found. How can I expect a water chugging toddler to potty train overnight?

BB has insisted on complete privacy. She goes in. SLAMS the door. And screams bloody murder if you try to enter before she tells you to. Part of her process is that it is very important to her to be the one to pour her pee from her little potty into our big potty. So while she is not having accidents per se, I continue to clean up a large amount of pee off of multiple bathroom surfaces.

We’re peeing in the potty. That part is a success. And I can’t remember the last time she let me go to the bathroom by myself, but it must be nice for her.

5a7259f4651f3b54e44e88aec42fc002--funny-duck-fowl-language-comics.jpg

Another test of my love for a ski trip

Back from a successful week in Smuggler’s Notch, VT. By the skin of our teeth.

Last year in Killington we all got the Norovirus, there was vomit everywhere. It was the WORST. And the chances of that happening again? Well it didn’t even cross my mind.

Our drive up was smooth. BB slept, Captain and I chatted. We only made 2 wrong turns. We pull into the parking lot at central registration. My plan is to run in, get the info, then we’ll drive to our room. No need to get BB out and back into the car for this.

We picked Smuggler’s Notch because it’s supposed to be really good for kids, also it’s the only ski school I could find willing to put an unpotty-trained 2-year-old on skis.

I join a line of dads checking in. Some of them may have left another dad in the car, but based on the number of dads in line, there had to be a fair number of moms in the cars with the kids.

I contemplate this dynamic. We pulled in. I got out. I didn’t put it up for discussion.

I return to the car. I open the door. I’m not in the car yet, Captain and I are starting to talk. He peers into the rear view mirror.

“Uh, she’s throwing up!”

I yank her door open. I stare. She throws up more. I stare at her covered in vomit. The carseat full of vomit. Her security bunnies soaked in vomit. UGH. We decide to drive the 2 minutes to our room and deal with it there.

It’s 6pm. We unpack. Get clean clothes on. BB is interested in a snack. She seems to feel fine. I toss it up to being in the car too long and maybe car sickness? Although that’s never happened before and the car had been stationary for 10 minutes.

There’s laundry in the building. We’re ready to toss everything in: car-seat liner, clothes, blankets and bunnies.

BB shouts,

“Don’t wash my bunnies!”

Captain tells her,

“We have to.”

She starts to freak out. I say,

“Wait! BB, I want you to smell your bunny.”

I hand it to her. She doesn’t smell it.

“I need you to take a really big smell.”

She does. Her whole face puckers. She pushes the bunny at me,

“Wash it!”

That’s what I thought.

We put everything in the wash. It’s high-efficiency meaning it’s going to take 2 hours. At this point that’ll be 9pm. Then everything still needs to go in the dryer. Will BB fall asleep without her bunnies? We’re about to find out. We head to dinner.

BB does not fall asleep without her bunnies. Captain spends a fair amount of time in the shower cleaning the plastic frame of the car seat. We’re all up until after 10pm.

It was silly of me to think she’d sleep any later than her normal 7am. She’s up and chugging water. I don’t think anything of it. Then she’s puking again.

We get cleaned up. She pukes again. We have a small respite, maybe one TV show worth. She’s hungry. I let her have a little applesauce. She pukes again. We manage to go an hour with nothing. We contemplate going to the restaurant for breakfast. We get our coats on. She pukes again. We take our coats off.

Is it really possible that we’re going to have another ski vacation like this? I may never ski again.

And if I thought a 1-year-old puking was tough, BB is proving that a 2-year-old is far worse. She is now capable of puking into a trash can, but has decided that she would rather not and is managing to get it on as many clothes and surfaces as possible.

I feel like I might lose my mind. I also don’t want all of us to get it like last time, so I’m washing my hands every other thing I do.

Then she naps. Then she feels fine. She wants to eat. I’m rationing out food. She’s angry with me and I feel terrible, but if I let her have her way she’d eat 2 giant pancakes and that sure doesn’t seem like a good idea. With half a pancake in her tummy and the promise of more later we head to the FunZone.

There’s a bouncy house, but I don’t give it a second thought. BB doesn’t really like those. She heads straight for the bouncy house and Captain starts helping her in. I offer,

“I don’t think this is a good idea.”

I feel 99% sure we’re about to leave this bouncy house covered in vomit.

We don’t. We do cancel BB’s first day in ski school. Not taking any chances. She starts after a day and a half of being puke free. Captain and I drop her off together. I’m used to dropping her off at the Y, but Captain has never done that. I’m reassuring him as much as I’m reassuring BB. Everyone is going to have fun and be ok.

They give us a link for an app we can download to access photos of BB throughout her day. We drop her off at 9am and are planning to pick her up at 1pm.

The app is the best and worst thing. At 9:40am I shout at Captain,

“There’s an update! She had a snack!”

“Oh yeah?”

“A nutrigrain bar.”

9:45am:

“Another update! Wet diaper.”

10:15am:

A photo of her doing arts and crafts.

I am spending my relatively expensive child-free morning compulsively checking this app. I feel like an idiot.

11:15am, I tell Captain,

“There haven’t been any updates, they must be skiing.”

And ski she did, if by ski you mean she wore boots and skis and tolerated someone sliding her down a microscopic incline, all for a video for Mom and Dad and so someday BB can breezily say ‘oh yeah I’ve been skiing since I was two.’ Or so she can say, ‘Oh I skied once when I was two and never again.’

We were very happy to see each other and she was exhausted. I ask her,

“What did you think? How was your day?”

“Good.”

“Did you have a favorite part?”

“When the lady with the flower pants gave me more ketchup at lunch.”

For the rest of vacation BB continued to feel fine; we were all fine. No one was sick. I have no idea what all that was, but the car seat is the cleanest it’s been since we took it out of the box.

Until next year.

Version 2Version 2

Puzzle me this, just please don’t make me do it

One of the good things about Captain is that he’s as in love with BB as I am. And I’m especially in love with her once she’s asleep for the night. I sigh,

“Isn’t she great?”

“Yeah, she definitely has her own persona.”

She does and it’s apparent she’s extra related to Captain.

The two of them are very happy doing any number of activities that I have no desire for or can’t even comprehend the enjoyment. As a kid Captain loved lining up his toy cars. He walks into the house after work and BB shouts,

“Daddy, lets line up my doggies!”

They both love legos and both prefer the process to the finished product. They spend half an hour building something for BB to declare,

“Let’s knock it down and do it again!” And they do.

She loves puzzles. Arts and crafts are something I was confronted with my entire childhood, but puzzles were pretty easy to avoid. Until now.

We’re lucky she has a lot of puzzles. And in theory I come down on the side of encouraging her to do whatever she’d like to do. Which means, she wants to do a puzzle? Great! She wants me to do a puzzle? I’ll be hiding in the bathroom until she finds me and dumps the puzzle all over the bathroom floor.

I could suck it up and do one puzzle, glue it together and never do it again. The thing is the minute the puzzle is done BB sends the pieces flying and shouts with glee,

“Let’s do it again!”

Shoot me now.

The good news is Captain is a puzzle fan too. I’m still waiting to see what BB got from me aside from both of us liking to eat lemons.

So if at all possible, when BB begs for me to do a puzzle, I pawn it off,

“Daddy will do one with you when he gets home.”

The minute he walks in the door she explodes,

“DADDY PUZZLE TIME! You’re better at it.”

She has taken to telling us which tasks we’re better at. Captain is better at puzzles and tubby time. If Captain even attempts to sing, BB is quick to remind him that my rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is bar none.

And it’s clear that BB has her own sense of personhood. I told her, as I’ve told her many times,

“You have two choices…”

“No. Those are mommy choices, those are not my choices.”

OverviewWEB.jpg

A puzzle competition! They’re a thing.

What to do about a geriatric blanket

As you may or may not know, I have a security blanket. Her name is Blankety. Yes she is a she and no she does not like to be called Blankie.

Blankety is 36 years old. That is very old in security-blanket years.

I made that same joke in a 2013 blog, but I’m banking on you not remembering it.

Over the years she has started to show the wear and tear that anyone would show if someone slept on top of them every night. The more worn out she gets, the less I wash her.

And before or while you’re saying eeew, if someone told you the Notorious RBG would live longer if she stopped showering, tell me you wouldn’t go take away her soap.

For awhile I washed Blankety every year or so give or take a year. I washed her right before BB was born. And since then, by nothing short of a miracle, she has stayed free from spit-up, vomit and all other bodily fluids that have spewed out of my child.

We’re going on 3 years since the last wash. That may be a record. I’m more and more concerned that she has very few washes left in her.

My mom and I have mended her many times. The issue now is that she’s disappearing. The material is fading away before my very eyes. It’s hard to say how mending can help her.

I also have a blanket we wrapped Angel Baby in. It wasn’t really a conscious decision, but the night she died, I snuggled that blanket right up to Blankety and they haven’t been parted since. I don’t need AB’s blanket quite the same way as I need Blankety, but when I was trying to pack as light as possible to go to DC, I left a big empty spot in my rolling suitcase.

I tell my therapist,

“Looks like I’m going to travel with both blankets.”

“Sounds totally fine. You’re not hurting anyone.”

No I’m not. But I’ve just doubled the number of blankets I need and refuse to wash.

baby-lovey

Was the trip a success? Yes, minus a few major malfunctions

We made it to DC and back! AND had a great time. It took what felt like a herculean effort, but was worth it. All we missed at home was Captain, 2 yoga classes, one zumba class, one playgroup, one library story time, one therapy session and an immense amount of sleep.

It IS possible to travel carry-on only, including BB’s giant, bunny sleeping bag. A surprising number of people offered to help me drag my luggage through the airport. I turned everyone down because I was managing and also because I could’ve checked something if I’d really wanted to.

I got us to the airport 3 hours early because I was terrified of how long it would take me to get through security. I had one rolling bag, two shoulder bags, one backpack, one stroller and one toddler.

I can’t remember the last time I went through security without getting pulled aside for extra screening. This time they waved us right through. We must’ve looked like it would be more of a hassle to keep us hanging around then to send us on our way.

I love our light weight stroller. The only time it proved to be insufficient was when BB was insisting on dashing away from me. I strapped her in the stroller, at which point she started whipping all 28 pounds of herself back and forth, full-body tantrum style. The stroller was about to be knocked over entirely when my hot tea that was in the cup holder sprayed everywhere. BB sat in shock contemplating what must’ve been painful tea splatters all over her.

I got her into the sling. Yes, the same sling she spent the entire first year of her life in. She still fits, ish. But more importantly, she still loves it. As her eyelids closed she told me,

“I’m not sleepy.”

“I know.”

Then she was snoring and I was drinking what was left of my tea.

BB enjoyed her window seat. And I enjoyed having two seats worth of leg room. On the way there BB was the ONLY person under 18. And the only person on the plane sneezing and coughing without covering. I’m sorry to anyone we gave our cold to. It’s a nasty one.

BB still hasn’t figured out how to blow her nose which led up to an ear infection mid-week. The urgent care office we went to gave us a Minnie Mouse nightlight, so now BB can’t say enough good things about going to the doctor.

This is BB’s first time taking amoxicillin, aka the pink stuff. I LOVE the pink stuff. I mean that. I would still get it in liquid form if I needed to take it. I’m so excited for BB to try it. She is not impressed. I stare at her,

“You don’t like it? It’s the pink stuff. Everyone loves the pink stuff.”

“No medicine. I went to the doctor, I’m all better.”

I wish it worked like that. I have an epiphany, I tell BB that if she drinks the pink stuff she’ll turn into Pinkalicious, one of her favorite characters. She slurps it right down.

“Delicious!”

That’s what I thought.

My dear friend has 4 kids and a fenced in backyard. I can’t say enough good things about the fence. Kids can be outside and we can be inside. So peaceful, until I go hurtling for the tree house as BB contemplates descending down a rope.

I borrow my friend’s car to drive to the pharmacy with BB. We FaceTime with Captain, he exclaims,

“Are you driving a minivan?!”

“Yes. Yes I am.” It’s the car I should’ve bought if my ego didn’t insist on a SUV.

It was a successful weeklong playdate. And with the help of a babysitter, we even snuck in a pedicure.

On our return flight there was a woman flying by herself with 4 kids: ages 6 months through 6 years. She made me feel like anything is possible, as long as you check some luggage.

Version 2

Solo flight with a toddler, what could go wrong?

I just booked a last-minute flight to DC for BB and me. A friend will be waiting there with her car and a car seat. So as far as baby gear goes, I can travel “light.”  I want to go carry-on only and the internet is not helping me.

I google “pull a rolling suitcase and push a stroller.” I’m hoping to find a helpful how-to video, no luck. Someone did ask a similar question and got this response:

“I suggest you find a different piece of luggage to transport your belongings. It doesn’t meet your needs if you have to ask this question.”

I practice in my driveway with an empty stroller and an empty suitcase. Super easy!! Yes I realize that my driveway trial will have no resemblance to departure day with a 30 pound toddler and however much our allotted liquid amount in fruit pouches weighs.

We would definitely be able to travel light not in quotes if it weren’t for the fact that I’m taking BB’s sleeping bag. It’s a big, hairy bunny bag. Its selling point was not based on how tiny it compresses.

I’m nervous about juggling luggage and a small person. Everyone has asked if I’m nervous about the flight. Not really. It’s less than 2 hours. Our iPad is up to the challenge. And whoever our seat mate is is welcome to share the giant bag of chocolate animal crackers I just bought.

As a child I was always desperate for a window seat, but as an adult I prefer the aisle. I like to go to the bathroom. Without thinking I select an aisle and middle seat.

Captain and I are chatting about the flight. He says,

“BB will like looking out the window, don’t you think?”

“SHOOT!”

“What?!”

“Of course I need a window seat for her! What was I thinking?” I modify our reservation ASAP. Window seats both ways. Phew.

So maybe this is the start of a lifetime of travel together or maybe I’m never flying solo with BB ever again. I will let you know.

22336086959_ab23181d5f_o

7-year-old me privileged enough to be going to Disney World and pissed I didn’t get a window seat. Yes, I used this photo the last time we flew with BB, but it’s a classic