Hello House

Expanding magic family. We’re like one of those tiny souvenirs that you add water to and it becomes a full size t-shirt, towel or family with a dog in the suburbs.

Yes I’ve had a dog all along, but he lived with my mom. Now he’s with us.

I’m a stereotype. In retrospect, I’ve fit plenty of other stereotypes, but this mom in the suburbs thing seems to be the most blatant.

Living in the city there was a part of my old single self that didn’t feel that far away. Now I’m a 30 minute drive with no traffic and a lifetime away.

I feel like a new woman. Is it the trees? The space in the house? Being down the street from Target? All of that. But better yet, Baby Bop is sleeping by herself, from 7pm to 6am, without a peep.

She is on a mat on the floor. The crib pisses her off. So there’s that. Whatever.

Putting this in writing could screw it all up, but after 11 months of it being all screwed up, I’d like to revel in the 13 nights and counting that we’ve got going.

Now I can sleep in the same bed with Captain and work on filling up the empty bedrooms. KIDDING! I have boxes to unpack first.


She’s asleep on the floor. You do you Baby Bop!



Bye bye condo

This is it! Moving tomorrow.

The other day I paused for a minute and stared at the blank walls and empty shelves. Whoa. What’s that emotion I’m feeling? I can’t believe it. I’m nostalgic for the condo.

Not so nostalgic that I wouldn’t have moved yesterday, but nostalgic enough to make one of my eyes water just a little bit. Could also have been the dust.

At this point it’s easy to believe we’re moving. I’m drinking water out of a red solo cup because I decided to pack everything except for Baby Bop and my computer. It’s harder to believe we own a house and a yard. I’ve been in our new home twice since we closed on it and both times I kept waiting for a real estate agent to pop out from around a corner and shout,

“So what do you think?”

I love it. I’ll take it.

We won’t have internet set up until Saturday so if I don’t blog for another two weeks it won’t be because I don’t have internet.


If your living room/play space is going to be consumed by boxes, they might as well be happy ones.


We’re moving! Probably!

We’re in the process of a buying a house. I don’t want to speak too soon, but I’m not sure what else to speak about, because it’s consuming my entire brain. That and wondering where Baby Bop is. It’s a small condo, but she’s a small person and fits in the tiny space between the toilet and the sink. I know this because I found her there.

Everyone keeps asking me if I’m freaking out. I’m not. Maybe it would help if I were. I’m half getting ready to move and half still in disbelief that this might happen. During the past 2 weeks I’ve packed 8 boxes. There are 2 weeks left and about 30-40 more boxes to go, so you do the math.

I ordered a bunch of boxes from UHAUL. They have handles. At first I thought this was great, then Baby Bop managed to get her little arms through the handles into the taped up boxes and started pulling things out that I just packed. If at some point Baby Bop ends up in a box, I’m going to blame Garfield.

I’m trying to pack in some sort of organized fashion. As I drag things out of every nook and cranny, there are things I’m not sure what to do with. Streamers for my bike? Pack them. An unopened bottle of whiskey? Pack it? Open it? Girls Gone Wild VHS? Take a photo, text some people and wait.

Captain made a decision to hold onto this when he moved into the condo in 2009, so I doubt he’s going to want to part with it now. I ask him,

“Are we packing the Girls Gone Wild VHS?”

“Of course!”

Silly me.

I tell a couple girlfriends. One responds,

“Oh I loved that series, that used to be on every week right?”

“No, it’s not a TV series, it’s women flashing people.”

“Oh no, I was thinking of 90210.”

I ask Captain if he minds me blogging about it. He says,

“Go for it. For some reason I’m not ashamed.”

I noticed.

“Maybe it’s cause there’s no way to watch it.”

And maybe when Baby Bop is old enough to ask about it, she’ll be so bored by the explanation of what a VHS is that we won’t have to explain anything else.

The packing continues.



Don’t tell Baby Bop where I am

Baby Bop has two teeth. She’s had them for a couple of months now, but they didn’t pose a problem until a few days ago.

At night Baby Bop likes herself a little comfort nursing. It’s her thing. I could do without it, but at 3am it’s not worth a fight.

I scooch toward the other side of the bed. In her sleep Baby Bop scooches too. She throws a leg over mine, then an arm and then she sniffs for a nipple. Yes, even if I keep them covered up. I duck, evade and jump over her to the other side of the bed to wait as she starts scooching again.

It was manageable until the other night when she clamped down with her teeth. She could’ve bitten harder, but it was hard enough. I snatch my nipple away from her,


She giggles and tries to nurse again. Wary, but not sure what else to do, I give her my boob back. She does it again.

“That hurts mommy!”

She lets out a full belly laugh and tries to get my boob in her mouth again. I’m pretty sure there’s a saying about this: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me a million more times and I’m going to have really sore nipples.” Or something like that.

She falls asleep. My breasts are safe for a little awhile. Google tells me that when baby bites and mom yells, some babies are so shocked they never bite again. Other babies think mom’s reaction is really funny and keep biting.

Of course Baby Bop falls in the second category. Pretty soon I’m going to be sleeping on the couch with Captain.*

*Thanks to a good mom friend for this idea.


Baby Bop learns to swim. Just kidding!

I love swimming and I love my baby. I ponder combining the two. Lots of people do it, but how? And is it worth it? I went to baby swim class when I was 6 months old and now I’m a retired lifeguard, so that proves it works.

When Baby Bop was taking 3 naps a day. We’d just about get ready to go somewhere, arrive and then it would be time for another nap. Now we’re on 2 naps a day and we fit a little more life in.

Boston University has a baby swim class that works well with our schedule. I email them,

“How do parents manage to get themselves and their babies changed for swim lessons?”

“Hi Jessica, We actually have family locker rooms by the pool specifically for families attending lessons with kids. In those, you’ll find private space to change, as well as changing tables if needed. I hope this helped, and please feel free to reach out with any further questions! Best, FitRec Member Services”

‘Dear FitRec Member Services, I don’t understand how I get my baby and myself dressed at the same time and where my wet, slippery, screaming baby goes while I’m getting dressed. I know I don’t know for sure that my baby will be screaming, but I’d say I’m 90% sure she will be. Thanks, see you soon!’

The first swim lesson I drag my stroller into a family locker room. I feel good knowing I have a safe spot to put my screaming baby. She didn’t scream until the swim lesson was over, so there’s that.

From getting ready to go, to getting there, to getting ready in the locker room, to getting dressed afterward, to getting home: took 3 hours for a 30 minute swim lesson.

The second swim lesson, I notice plenty of the moms are doing it with no stroller. I ask for their secret: a second towel to lay the baby on the floor. I try this. When Baby Bop decides she’s done screaming, she is off and crawling, delighted to find stray hair balls while I put my wet butt back in my underpants. Drying off is a luxury there’s no time for.

Third swim lesson. I swaddle Baby Bop in the towel super tight and lay her on the locker room floor. She doesn’t move a muscle. All the moms start exclaiming,

“Oh she’s so calm!”

“Wow, she just lays there!”

Nope. That’s not correct. She’s calm as long as every part of her body is physically restrained. She proves me right. The minute I loosen the towel to get her dressed she starts to scream.

Fourth swim lesson I feel like a pro. Baby Bop barely screamed and I even dried my butt a little.

The young woman teaching the swim lessons is very good and very serious. She tells us,

“Ok it’s time to float on our backs.”

“Now it’s time to float on our tummies.”

“Ok now we’re going to sing ‘Ring Around the Rosie.’ I looked it up and I learned an additional verse we can sing. If anyone knows any other verses please let me know.”

“Now it’s time for the lazy river.”

I tell Captain, he exclaims,

“Are there college kids floating around drinking?”

“No. It’s not that kind of lazy river.” Although I wouldn’t mind a drink.

Near the end of the lesson the instructor tells us,

“Now you can put your babies underwater, but it’s not required to pass this class.”

Pass this class? Who’s worried about passing this class? I’ll declare us passed if we complete this experience and don’t leave any floaters in the pool.



Me! Modeling my new bathing suit, 1983.

Dear house, your photos look great, do you want to meet up? I’ll come to you. I’m still seeing other houses, but I’d love to see where this goes

The house hunt is on. It’s been on in theory since we knew we were pregnant, but it got on in earnest a couple of months ago when Baby Bop made it clear she’s not going to stay in one place for long.

I could be fooling myself, but I have a dream that we’ll all sleep better with more than one bedroom. Baby Bop would argue that she sleeps great, but she’s a bed hog. She sleeps on her back with her arms splayed out like she’s the letter “T.” A 9-month-old baby takes up most of our queen-size bed.

House hunting is like online dating. It’s a drag. The photos, or lack of, are very deceiving. If there are no photos of any bathrooms, assume the worst. If there’s no mention of a great neighborhood, it’s probably on a highway. If it says, “it has potential,” it’s probably a tear-down.

So no matter how good a house looks online, you have to meet in person ASAP. No point daydreaming about where I’m going to sit outside with my coffee and attempt to blog, while Baby Bop plays in a pile of dirt. I have fond memories of playing outside and Captain has fond memories of playing in piles of dirt.

The good thing about online dating is that after meeting three times, you’re free to walk away and it does not require the biggest financial investment of your life. If it does, you’re being scammed.

It’s all a little scary, a little exciting and a little overdue. I’m ready to move my stuff out of my mom’s garage, living room, kitchen, basement, attic and hallways. Don’t forget about my in-law’s basement and attic. Thanks everybody.

And I’ve got my eye on a new king-size bed. Baby Bop, the queen is all yours.


Too much beer? Just go easy on the carrots

The longer Baby Bop is around, the harder it is for me to remember that I had a childless life for 34 years. I know it happened, but it gets fuzzier every day. One thing I used to do was ski. I’m reminded of that every time Baby Bop and I sit on the toilet and stare at my skis.

Two weeks ago I had an amazing ski weekend with my friends. Baby Bop was there because I need her to empty my boobs, but other than that, my mom and Captain did everything baby.

Even sitting on the chairlift was pleasant. Sometimes I was with my friends and sometimes with random people. One lift ride I got on with two middle-aged women. And as I’m writing this, I googled “middle-aged” to see if I made three, but it looks like I’m off the hook for a minute.

The women were chatting,

“I love my farm share, I just get way too much of the same vegetables and I don’t know what to do with it all. My kids sure aren’t eating it.”

Her friend nods. Farm-share lady continues,

“And there are always so many potatoes and I need to stay away from root vegetables.”


“Root vegetables have a lot of sugar.”

“I didn’t realize that.”

“Yeah, sweet potatoes? Carrots too.”


“The other problem is that I have a full share and some people have half shares and the other day they gave me a half share.”

Didn’t you just say you have too many vegetables? I wipe my snotty nose on my mitten. Is this my future?

A few ski runs later I get on the lift with two teenage boys, maybe early twenties, but it’s getting hard to tell as I approach middle age.

One boy pops open a beer. The other one declares,

“Running into that tree hurt.”

His friend hands him the beer. He adds,

“I’m so drunk.”

Skiing, trees and alcohol. One of these things is not good with the others. Yes, Sesame Street is a part of my life now.

The ring leader with the beer offers empathy,

“Well I was so drunk last night I don’t even remember being on the lazy river.”

I head back to the hotel. I like my beer in the hot tub with Captain. I look at Captain. It’s like old times. This is how Baby Bop got started. Then we head to dinner the two of us. I feel like a new woman.

Captain tells me,

“You’re back!”

Yes, there’s still hope that I exist. I’m living somewhere between chugging beers on the chairlift and swearing off sweet potatoes.

These all seemed relevant.

Aggressive pre-snowstorm shoppers and a crazy pregnant lady

Going grocery shopping before a snow storm is never a good idea. But then when the snow storm hits and you don’t run out of Cheez-Its, it was worth it.

Baby Bop and I make our way through the store. She grabs anything. I try to be a little more discriminating. The mid-weekday grocery crowd is slow-moving. There are several people pushing around oxygen tanks.

One lady checking out has eight loaves of white bread and that’s it. She must be doing snow storm shopping for the ducks.

I start chatting with a pregnant woman. There’s a pet carrier in the cart. She tells me,

“I just got this puppy!”


I screamed that in my head, but maybe it was also plastered on my face, because she adds,

“I’m due in 7 weeks, so maybe it was a mistake.”


Baby Bop is wearing pink and blue. I like all colors, but I especially like pink. Baby Bop’s blue eyes look good with blue. And so attired we head for the yogurt aisle. I’m bent over examining the selection. A woman raises her voice at me,

“Is that a boy or a girl?”

“Excuse me?” Why does this lady sound aggressive? She continues in a scolding tone,

“I can’t tell if your baby is a boy or a girl because of the pink and blue.”

I’m sorry she’s not wearing a t-shirt that says “I have a vagina.”





Nature vs Nurture. I’m going to toss a lot up to nature

Will the truth survive four years of this? Will we recognize it after it’s attacked day after day? I have no new insights, but I need to acknowledge the pile of poop in front of me before moving onto Baby Bop’s cuter, more manageable poops.

I got my parenting job the same way I got my first bartending job. I BS’d my way into it.

My mom’s friend’s nephew was a bartender and he agreed to teach me how to bartend with no intention of helping me get a job. My first day with him a guy walked up to me at the bar and said,

“You’re new here.”

“Oh I don’t work here, So-and-so is just training me.”

“I have a restaurant and I need a bartender.”


“Have you bartended before?”

“No.” Didn’t this guy hear what I just said? “I’m learning.”

“Have you bartended before?”

Ooooh. “Why yes. Yes I have.”

And off I went to my first bartending job.

Fifteen years later: do you have a uterus?

Why yes I do.

Alright. Let’s see what happens.

I BS’d myself into thinking I knew what I was doing.

“I took care of my baby brother.” I was five.

“I babysat plenty.” At 15 I rang in the New Year with a baby who had just fallen asleep on his parents’ bed. This should’ve served as a warning.

“I’ve read so many books.” I have. But reading about feeding solid foods is very different from watching your child get prunes everywhere but in her mouth. Baby Bop, don’t be mad at me when you’re still constipated later. I tried.

Trying. Maybe I’ll try this. Or I’ll try that. Or I read this on some obscure site, after hours of Googling. It’s worth a try.

My hormones have provided some basic parenting instincts, like the desire to keep my child alive, even though I want to eat her. But they aren’t helpful with the nuances, like what to do when my daughter does pelvic thrusts the entire time I’m trying to change her diaper.

Having more children would provide perspective on what’s personality and what’s parenting skills. But I am not trying to have a comparison anytime soon.

This morning Captain’s bare chest was tempting. I slapped it, then Baby Bop slapped it. That’s parenting.


I’m confused about how this baby’s hair, ears and eyes are so clean.

The fun fact about cribs you wish you knew when you were a baby

Sleep. Elusive sleep.

All I’ve heard my whole life is what a great sleepy baby I was. I slept through the night almost immediately and took two two-hour naps. My mom fed me, put me in my crib and walked away.

When Captain was a baby, he had a very hard time sleeping and remembers his parents bouncing him. He remembers being bounced. I’m repeating that, because it scares me.

In the beginning I had a lot of hope. Every night I thought to myself,

“Tonight’s my night! I got the naps right, the temperature right, the clothing right, the feeding right, the je ne sais quoi right.”

It didn’t matter.

Talk to anyone with a baby older than your baby and they’ll tell you,

“It gets better.”

This is true. But it’s not a straight uphill trajectory to Better Land. Or at least not with Baby Bop. We’re at 7 months now. It’s the best. Month 3 and Month 5 were the worst.

Month 3 was when she stopped breastfeeding during daylight hours and screamed if she could see anything. Anything. There had to be pitch blackness, motion and even better if her limbs were restrained. So her life in the sling began.

Then Month 5. She stopped sleeping for the four-hour chunk of time she’d been giving me her whole life and decided to wake up every hour. After a few weeks of sleep deprivation torture. I tell Captain,

“I’m not going to make it. I need you to sleep on the couch, so I can have Baby Bop in bed with me for the whole night.”

And that sounds really calm when I read it here, but it wasn’t.

After one night of that, I thought to myself,

“Wow, we were up every hour, but I feel rested.” Not having to stand up and get Baby Bop out of her crib, to put my boob in her mouth, was a miracle. I ask Captain,

“Will you sleep on the couch one more night?”

So two months of Captain sleeping on the couch later, I feel great! I ask Captain,

“What do you want for Valentine’s Day?”

“I want to sleep with you in the bed.”

Mmm. Sounds nice. So we’re working on getting Baby Bop back in her crib. I’m employing all sorts of methods, tricks, advice, witchcraft. Whatever works. And then I read this in one of my many parenting books:

“If diapers and pajamas don’t foil them… some baby girls adopt a version of rocking which rhythmically rubs their vulva against the crib mattress or bars.”

If Baby Bop knew this, she’d like her crib a whole lot better.

So while I leave the book near Baby Bop in case she wants to read it, we work on making our bed safe for an increasingly mobile girl. It was either put our mattress on the floor and lose precious storage space or put rails on the side of the bed. We put up rails.

I tell Captain,

“I like the rails! They make the bed feel really cozy.”

“You’re all set for the nursing home.”

Guess I should stop rubbing in the fact that I’m enjoying sleeping in the bed. But don’t feel too bad for Captain. It’s a memory foam couch and it cost a lot more than our bed.

The other night I startle awake to Captain standing next to the bed. I ask him,

“What’s going on?”

“I’m trying to see where everybody is.”

No one is in the crib and everybody, Baby Bop and I, are in the bed. This crib thing isn’t happening overnight.

Last night, with Baby Bop asleep in the bed, I collapse on the couch to enjoy my couple hours of baby free time. I start with my favorite activity, scrolling through photos of Baby Bop. Captain admires the photos and declares,

“I want to wake her up and play with her.”


Bed rails!


Baby Bop’s Valentine’s Day present for Captain: Chocolate poop

No Ban No Wall, Baby Bop agrees

I have an unshakeable queasiness. I go about my daily life: brushing my teeth, taking care of my baby and it stabs me again and again. The psychological weight of this evil White House administration is constant.

Baby Bop agrees, so I’m filling her calendar with protests. We didn’t make it to the one at Logan airport because it was past our bedtime, but we made it to one yesterday and looks like there’s one on Wednesday that’ll fit in great with our nap schedule.

Meanwhile on the home front, physical therapy is winding down. Am I like new? No. If I were posting my vagina for sale on Amazon I would need to label it as “good.”  As in it has had some solid use, there are small markings and folds, but it’s in usable condition. I could try passing it off as “very good.” As in it has had minimal use, is unmarked, undamaged and shows limited signs of wear. But we all know that’s not true.

After my regular appointment with my physical therapist, she hands me over to a 25-year-old guy to help me go through my exercises. He has an even younger trainee with him. This guy looks like he just started sleeping through the night. He might be 21.

I do my squats. The 25-year-old attempts small talk,

“How’s the sleep going?”

Once this guy has to feed a baby at 3am for months on end, then we can talk about sleep.

Out of nowhere a random woman walks up to Baby Bop’s stroller and starts touching her. My insides recoil and I almost drop the 17 pound weight that’s standing in for Baby Bop. The woman notices my concern and reassures me,

“I have a baby too.”

Part of me softens, but the other part of me screams, well then what the heck are you thinking?

I try to focus on my squats. The 21-year-old looks over the list of exercises I’m supposed to do and asks the 25-year-old,

“So what’s the injury?”

“Childbirth or something like that.”

Something like that? What is something like childbirth?

Baby Bop preferred to protest from inside my coat. Don’t worry, she made her voice heard.

Baby Bop asleep for the win!

Today is a magnificent day. Baby Bop napped on her own for an hour. On her own, as in not attached to my body. No boob in her mouth, no boob on her cheek, no boob within smelling distance. And no one bouncing her. She might as well have told me that she just got accepted to college for the joy and relief I feel.

The rational part of my brain has understood all along that someday she’ll sleep on her own. The problem is the rational part of my brain hasn’t been around much these last 6 months.

While she slept, I made and ate a sandwich, had a coffee and started a blog. And it was only a minor meltdown when she awoke to the indignity of a missing boob.

It’s good that this coincides with her gaining weight, 16 pounds and counting. At physical therapy the other day, I mention I booked a ski trip. My physical therapist cheers for me and tells me to do squats. She asks,

“How much does your baby weigh?”

“16 pounds.”

She hands me a 17 pound weight with a handle and tells me,

“Do 4 sets of 10 squats holding this weight, it’s just like your baby.”

“If she grew a handle.”

I’m going to be in such great shape, I’ll be able to ski while I hold Baby Bop.

KIDDING! But it’s not the worst idea I’ve ever had.

Who’s harder to photograph, a dog or a baby?

Happy New Year! I didn’t make any resolutions because I wasn’t awake at midnight. That’s how that works right? If I were to make one resolution, it would be to write more. I wouldn’t mind showering more too, but one thing at a time.

Did you know that JCPenney’s Portrait Studio takes photos of dogs? Did you know that JCPenney’s has a portrait studio? Now you do. And what’s better than a photo of a dog and a baby? I call to schedule an appointment. The lady tells me,

“Any photos with pets have to be the last appointment of the day.”

“What time is that?”


“That’s a hard time for my baby.”


There appears to be no negotiating. 5pm it is. I ask,

“What’s the cancellation policy?”

“Give us a call anytime, no problem.”

Perfect. I’m going with an 80% chance of cancelling and a 20% chance of showing up with Baby Bop in some stage of disintegration.

Day of the photo shoot, Baby Bop takes an epic 3 hour afternoon nap. And Booker, our chocolate lab, appears well rested.

My mom, Captain, Baby Bop, Booker and I head to the mall. Booker is thrilled. He’s never been to JCPenney’s before. Baby Bop has never been to JCPenney’s either, but she is not as thrilled. Although she does seem to be keeping it together.

We’re early and they’re running late. We stand near the studio in the curtain department. Should I nurse Baby Bop? How is she going to make it another half hour? These are the dilemmas of my life. And I never know what the right decision is.

Several people come up to Booker and say,

“I’m going to talk to you, because I’m sure everyone is talking to the baby.”

No one is talking to the baby and that’s just fine.

We head into the studio. The photographer tells us,

“You can let your dog free to explore so he’ll calm down.”

He’ll never calm down. He’s 12-years-old and it appears that the answer to old age is carrying your favorite rubber rattle around and never stop moving.

The photographer asks,

“Mom, will the baby sit on her own?”

I glance at my mom. Oh RIGHT. I’m “mom.” I ask the photographer,


I’m in charge of trying to have Baby Bop sit. My mom is charge of trying to get Booker to sit. We’re both in charge of trying to get them to sit near each other. The photographer tells us,

“Closer together.”

Booker starts to scramble away.

“Closer together.”

Baby Bop wobbles, but stays upright.


Now in an attempt to get Booker and Baby to look at her. The photographer makes a clicking sound. Booker dashes straight for her.

We try again. Baby seated. Dog seated. Photographer makes clicking sound. Dog jumps up.

She’s using the same sound we use when we want him to come to us. Booker hasn’t sat still for more than a second.

This seems to be a disaster, but the photographer keeps at it. We get some adorable shots. Booker is smiling in all of them. I know what you’re thinking: ‘there’s no way to tell whether a dog is smiling or not.’ Oh but there is. He never smiles in a “stay” at home. See home on the left and JCPenney’s on the right.

On the other hand, Baby Bop isn’t smiling in any of the photos, but she’s also not crying, so this is going down as a win.

We head out to the car for our drive home. Captain tells me,

“I think Baby Bop likes us.”

“Yup. I think we’re guaranteed that for at least 13 years.”


Even Baby Bop’s poop is in the holiday spirit

Baby Bop is enjoying Hanukkah and enjoyed Christmas more than I realized until this morning’s diaper change.

Everyone recommends getting babies on a schedule. Sounds wonderful to me, but someone needs to convince Baby Bop. Morning wake-up time tends to be 5am. If I’m unlucky it’s 4:30am. If I’m really lucky it’s 6am.

This morning Baby Bop slept until 6:30am. A Hanukkah miracle. I put her on the changing table and open her diaper. My heart stops.

There’s a large red blob in the middle of her poop. She’s dying. She’s hemorrhaging out of her butt. What do I do? I glance at her face. She’s smiling, babbling and chewing on a stuffed bunny. Maybe she’ll live.

I examine the red blob. I’m going to have to pick it out of the diaper. I go for it. This is love. Now I understand how not so long ago, when I was already an adult, my mom helped me get a stool sample that I was too squeamish to myself.

I hold the red poopy blob between my fingers. Wrapping paper! Merry Christmas to me.

Captain also wants to hold it. He agrees with me. Wrapping paper. He asks,

“When did she swallow that?”

Good question. Baby Bop?

She’s not owning up to anything. Maybe there will be blue blobs in her poop tomorrow.



Cause Captain wanted to take a photo and I know you were curious.


My post-baby brain needs as much as help as my post-baby body

I’m not sure which has killed more brain cells: all the drinking I’ve done or having a baby.

The writing corner of my brain is either dead or hibernating. It used to be that someone could say something funny or absurd and my blog brain cells would click on, record and regurgitate when I turned on my computer.

Now when something funny happens, my brain cells light up for a moment and then go back to sleep. Getting the information from them later is not guaranteed. And if it’s backed up somewhere, I don’t know where to find it.

After my previous post, I was on the phone with a dear friend talking about our pelvic floor physical therapy. Shoot! I forgot one of the best parts of my blog post. It was one of those quotes that the moment I heard it, I said to myself, “gotta blog this.” And I didn’t.

Not only did I not blog it, but I wrote the whole post it inspired and didn’t even realize it was missing. The good news for you is that I remember now.

So back to my pelvic floor. I know you missed it.

I went to a trampoline park with my Little Sister a few weekends ago. Which I recommend if your bladder muscles are in good shape. I report back to my physical therapist. She asks,

“How’d it go?”

“I leaked.”

“So I guess we know where the line is. Sneezing isn’t a problem, but an hour on a trampoline is too much.”

“Also this may sound crazy, but my vagina felt like it was falling out.”

“I’ve heard that before.”


“Yeah, think of your vagina like a roll of toilet paper. Since you’ve had your baby, your vagina isn’t holding its integrity anymore. Now it’s like a soggy roll of toilet paper.”


Pelvic floor massages covered by my health insurance. Not as fun as it sounds

I dedicate this post to my pelvic floor. I didn’t know I had one until half way through my pregnancy. It’s what keeps my bladder and uterus from falling out of my body. Baby Bop stretched the muscles to their limits and now they’re not sure what to do.

Around the same time I learned I have a pelvic floor, I learned there are pelvic floor physical therapists. I thought maybe I’d go one day, in the same way I thought maybe I’ll have a baby someday.

Now I have a baby and now I’m going to physical therapy. Three months postpartum I arrive at the PT center. It’s full of people doing all sorts of exercises. I wonder what I’ll be doing. Squats I bet.

I meet my physical therapist. She’s very nice. She escorts me to a private room with an exam table and closes the door. Maybe I’m not going to be doing squats. She tells me, and I’m paraphrasing, that she’s going to poke around my vagina.

She starts off very shallow and asks,

“Is this painful?”

“Uncomfortable.” If childbirth is painful, then one finger has to be something less than that.

She pokes around for awhile,

“How about here?”


“I thought so, it feels tight. Bring a couple breaths here. Did you do anything fun over the weekend?”

Wait, what? I’m supposed to bring breaths to my pelvic floor and chat about my weekend, while a very nice stranger has her finger in my vagina? She continues,

“Now I’m just going to let my finger float while you do a kegel and hold it for as long as you can.”

I do.

“Not bad! Ok now do 5 quick ones and fully relax in between.”

I try.

“Mmm. So that’s something to work on. Could you feel that you were tensing your whole body? Your neck muscles shouldn’t be involved in doing a kegel.”

That’s reasonable.

As I’m leaving, I see a guy gabbing away while he gets his calf massaged. This is a million times less awkward.

Two months of weekly appointments later, my physical therapist pops her finger in and we’re chatting about skiing, Thanksgiving, trampolines, the election, weddings, babies and occasionally my vagina.

“Bring a few breaths here. That’s better. Can you tell?”

“Yes.” It’s not as uncomfortable.

Now we’re ready for squats.


When I told Captain about this blog, he said I needed to use a photo of a turkey getting stuffed. And since he so rarely makes blog requests, here it is.

"I think you need to work on your pelvic floor exercises, dear!"

The election and flying with a baby. Flying with a baby was better

Dear Country, What have we done?!?

This is not what Baby Bop expected for her first year. She said she’d like to go back inside me and come out again when it’s safe. I told her she’s out of luck and we both cried.

Now Baby Bop is reassessing her path to the White House. She had her eye on a senate seat and a cabinet position, but may need a reality show instead. She told me to get her a Twitter account ASAP. I told her to work on rolling over and we’ll see.

In other news, we survived our flights to San Diego! Months ago when Baby Bop was a few weeks old, I used frequent flyer miles for tickets to my friend in California. I got early evening flights with a connection. At the time I thought to myself,

‘Baby Bop will be so old by then, it’ll be much easier than it is now.’

Baby Bop is four months old. It’s somewhat easier. One week before the trip I say to myself,

‘Jessica Burday, what the heck were you thinking booking a connection??’ I use my maiden name when I really want to take myself seriously.

People reassure me,

“With a connection you get part of the way there and then you get a break. Could be a good thing!”

“Our connection is in Atlanta.”


I’ve waited to board so many flights and always hear the announcement,

“People who need extra time or anyone with small children are welcome to board now.”

I’m excited this is me. We need all of our carry ons to fit on the plane. One bag with toys, one bag with diapers and one bag with extra clothes if everything else fails. Also one bag has my book in it. I’m not sure when I thought I was going to read, but I was so sure I was, that I even packed a second book in case I finished the first. This did not turn out to be a problem.

The gate attendants make the early boarding announcement. Half the waiting area gets in line. I’m not feeling so special anymore. Aside from having gray hair, I’m not sure why all these people need extra time. Captain points out one woman is on oxygen. Fine.

The first flight is very smooth. The second flight is a little fussy, but there’s another baby way out screaming Baby Bop. The seatbelt sign is my demise. As long as it’s off and I can stand and bounce, life will be ok. I bounce so much, that even when I’m not bouncing I feel like I’m bouncing.

Aside from the doomsday of an election, it was a wonderful week. As I bounced Baby Bop my friend was worried I’d be sorry we came. I’m going to be bouncing wherever I am, I might as well bounce in 80 degrees, by the beach, with a good friend and a drink. It made me realize I can recreate part of it, the bouncing with a drink, anytime.

The trip also made me realize that I still exist and can have fun unrelated to Baby Bop, even if she’s attached to my boob while it’s all happening.

We gear up for the flights home. Two down, two to go. I buy the biggest taco bowl I’ve ever seen in my life. One of us may scream because we’re hungry and too distracted to eat. It won’t be me.

We get on our second flight. It’s bedtime, but also seatbelt time. Baby Bop is not thrilled. Between fussing stints she makes sure to smile at everyone around us. She is winning people onto her side, except for the guy next to me. Baby Bop smiles, he glares straight ahead. He’s deploying the I’m-going-to-pretend-there-isn’t-a-baby-next-to-me-and-maybe-then-I-can’t-hear-her-screaming tactic.

Halfway through the flight Baby Bop is asleep in her carrier. I’m standing with her in the aisle. I’ll sit when the seatbelt sign comes back on or when my legs give out. An older woman approaches. I slip into my row to allow her to pass. She asks,

“Is there a baby in there?”


“May I see?”

I lift the cloth of the carrier that’s hiding Baby Bop’s sleeping face. The woman smiles,

“Aw, she’s sleeping! I just left my grandchildren.”

“Oh nice.” At which point the woman reaches out, puts both her hands on the carrier and shakes Baby Bop.

“She’s so cute!”

Baby Bop’s eyes pop open. The insane woman exclaims,

“Oh no! I woke her up!”

Yes. Yes you did. This must be the type of person who voted for our next president.


My first flight!


7-year-old me flying to Disney World and pissed I didn’t get a window seat. Yes I’m wearing a matching outfit with my brother. That way if my parents lost one kid they could point at the other and say, “looks like this one.”

What’s happening at 3am? Don’t worry, Baby Bop is on the case

Sleep. It’s all I can think about. I want it. It’s the number one thing on my Hanukkah/Christmas list. I’d love to blog about something else, but I’m so sleepy.

Last night I put Baby Bop to bed. I popped my head out to Captain,

“I’m going to bed.”

He glances at the clock.

“It’s 7pm!”

“Yup.” The thought of doing anything else besides sleeping makes me feel very tired.

Baby Bop gets up four times a night to eat: 11pm, 1am, 3am, 5am. The 5am one may or may not be up for the day. Sometimes I squeak out another hour until 6. On a rare occasion she’ll sleep till 7 or later. In which case I feel like a new woman. Most days I feel like a sleepy sack of boobies.

Also all the times are very approximate. I never have a clear recollection of what happens at night. Some of the night Baby Bop is in her bassinet and some of the night she’s on my boob. Whatever happens, it’s messing with my sleep.

Before Baby Bop, I’d write my blog first thing in the morning, 11am, while I was fresh. Now  11am is the middle of my day and first thing in the morning I do not feel fresh. I do not feel like writing a blog at 5am, but then it doesn’t get any easier at 7am and then by the time 10am rolls around I decide I’ll do it another day.

That’s what happens to other things like cleaning and laundry, but I’ve never felt like I really wanted to do those in the first place.

I’d be resigned to this being what life is like with a baby, but I feel like we’re so close to a solution. Baby Bop eats from one boob per feeding. This happens all day long as well as at night, but I don’t care at 10am when I’m not writing a blog.

If I could get her to eat both boobs, she’d sleep for double the time. Or at least that’s my dream. During the day I offer her the second boob and she arches her back, throws her head to the side and will resort to screaming if I force the issue. At night she feigns deep deep sleep. Which will only last 2 hours.

This morning at 5 am Captain and I lie with a babbling Baby Bop between us. Neither of us is sleeping and neither of us can face the idea of getting out of bed. Captain asks,

“Can she stay here and play in bed?”

Baby Bop screeches. That’s her new skill. I tell Captain,

“Then no one will sleep.”

“Yes, but we’ll still be in bed.”

I am now out of bed and flying to San Diego tomorrow. We’ll see how Baby Bop likes a little jet lag.


Hello 5am and soft filter. Don’t worry, I just got a hair cut.

What’s green, wobbly and so cute I could eat it?

Happy Halloween!

In the near future I will be able to go door to door collecting free candy under the guise that it’s for my child. I’d go this year, but Baby Bop doesn’t have any teeth yet.

I’m the proud mother of a baby dinosaur. I’m Mommysaurus and Captain is moonlighting as Daddysaurus. The good news is that all of our costumes should fit us next year. Which means Baby Bop’s costume is huge and Mommy and Daddy are hoping to stay the same size-ish.

And by costume I mean I wore a t-shirt and jeans. I tell you this because there are many sexy dinosaur costumes and my days of wearing sexy costumes in public are behind me. Even if this is the one year I need fast access to my boobs.

The other day I was in a room with a chicken, a lobster, a flower, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, a member of Run DMC, a strawberry, a lion and two pumpkins. All under the age of one. Captain looks around at the guardians of this cast of characters and says,

“Five years ago I wonder if any of these people thought this is where they’d be today.”

Five years ago I was bartending, dating like my blog depended on it and sleeping until 11am. Even now when I look at all the people with their babies I still find it hard to believe that I’m one of these people. Although at 3am it’s a little less hard to believe.

How did we end up being a dinosaur family? The internet vortex of adorable baby costumes could’ve sucked me in and never spit me out, but I asked Captain, who usually doesn’t have strong apparel opinions,

“Do you care what we dress Baby Bop up as?”

“A dinosaur.”

“A dinosaur?”

“Yeah, something with a tail.”


The car is trying to kill my baby

If one more person says,

“But babies love cars!”

I’m going to scream louder than Baby Bop screams when she’s in the car. That’s right.  Nothing pisses her off more than going for a car ride.

And for once Google is on my side. There is evidence that many babies despise the car.

Baby Bop used to have numerous dislikes: diaper changes, vitamin D drops, 5:00 pm. But every day she gets happier. Some days she doesn’t even realize 5 pm has come and gone.

The one dislike that has remained constant is the car. Much to Captain’s dismay. He loves cars. I appreciate the function of a car and enjoyed it more before it sounded like my child was dying.

I appreciate everyone’s helpful suggestions. In no particular order we have:

  • Removed the infant padding
  • Removed the mirror
  • Added toys
  • Played lullabies
  • Played nursery rhymes
  • Played classical music
  • Played white noise
  • Sang to her
  • Reverted back to absolute silence (plus screaming)
  • Played with her
  • Changed the toys
  • Made silly faces at her
  • Tried to get her to suck a pacifier
  • Tried to get her to suck my finger
  • Jangled my keys
  • I cried
  • We stopped the car for a break (this works)

And we have narrowed it down to the car. The car seat itself is not an issue. Baby Bop is very happy to sit her car seat on the stroller for a leisurely stroll. It’s also not the seat belt because we left her buckled up tight while she sat in the seat at the lunch table. Happy as could be. She even enjoys sitting in her car seat, in a parking lot, next to the car.

Part of me never wants to drive anywhere ever again and another part of me says, screw it, I need to live my life. Then I’m in the car and part of me wants to blast the music, not nursery rhymes, to drown out the crying and the other part of me is concerned that this crying is doing permanent damage to Baby Bop’s brain.

Am I ruining her life? Will she end up in therapy 20 years from now trying to figure out why she always cries in the car?

I’m ready to compromise. I told Baby Bop that I will drive as little as possible. But now she needs to hold up her end of the bargain and assume we’re not trying to kill her.


Maybe she would prefer this.