Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Truth Is

All jokes and comments aside, the truth is that we knew we wanted another baby. As Amelia neared 2.5, and blossomed into the coolest little person, the light switch flipped on and I began to want another. Justin was already on board, largely for no other reason than he always planned on two children and only saw his future through that lens. This realization happened very quickly for me. I went from the “absolutely not. don’t even ASK about it” camp to “hey, wanna have another baby?” We talked about it and the rest goes like this.
Me: Just thinking about having another baby is making you look so hawt to me right now.
Him: Oh really, then let’s have another baby fer sher.
. . .

Next morning.
Yeah, I’m not ready for this. I don’t want to be pregnant. I really don’t want to wake up pregnant tomorrow. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.
Whoa. Um, seriously mixed signals here.
Let’s just talk about it for a while and maybe officially start trying next month. But I just can’t right now. I need some time to warm up to this whole thing. 
Oooooohhhhkaaay. You just let me know.

After this, I went to school and told my sisterfriend Megan that we were going to start trying in November to get pregnant again. I’m now so glad that I did because so many were shocked by our announcement later, that everyone assumed that it was an ‘accident.’ But there it was, out loud.
Meanwhile, over the next couple weeks, I made several jokes about being pregnant at home. Ohhh, I can’t do that because of the baby. Haha Justin said. Really funny. We only talked about it for a second. It so wouldn’t happen like that. It took two months of trying with Amelia and we were totally trying!
Fast forward two weeks.
Um Babe, can you pick up a test on your way home?
Why? Babe, you are NOT pregnant. We aren’t even trying until next month. But fine.
And then, exactly two weeks after we put the topic on the table, it was already decided. Turns out, it really does just take ONE time without protection. All those after-school specials were totally right! Good thing I paid attention to those things, knowing how stinking fertile I am now.

In any case, there was a lot of doubt about this pregnancy from the beginning. There is fear in the knowing second time around. I shook for three hours after finding out this time, whereas there was celebration all around when we found out the first time. Ahhhh naiveté is so warm and fuzzy. There were doubts about the timing—our house is for sale, a move imminent, and without a destination. The trauma and following diagnosis after Amelia’s birth of the bicornuate uterus put this heavy black cloud over the whole shabang this time around—we weren’t aware of any of this during the first pregnancy. So the fear was far greater, the anxiety level peaked with the appearance of that little pink line, and we have struggled a lot since.

However, the one thing we knew for sure was that we wanted another little person in our lives. That our family felt that it was missing a piece and Amelia’s tale was incomplete as an only child. Having passed through the fog of pregnancy, birth, and infancy and into toddlerhood, I’d come to realize that it all culminates in a whole person. A person who will only continue growing and changing and getting more amazing. Amelia’s third year woke me up to the joy of watching this little person develop into an independent little soul. One who truly only gets better with time. In short, I began to realize that the part of the process that I struggled with the most was a means to the end. If this little person is the end, the pregnancy/infancy phases are just the means to achieving the end. Once I got that, it was a no-brainer decision. The second kid? Definitely. Getting me to sign on to the process was the hard part. Turned out that there wasn’t much need for debate, which even at the time, I knew was a blessing. I could easily have thought my way out of the whole thing time and again, while taking my husband on the roller coaster with me.

Because it wasn’t completely mapped out like everything else in my life, I’ve been able to blame everything on Justin. I’ve been telling him that it’s all his fault. He saw the window open just a tiny crack and jumped right through it before it slammed shut! lol The best part is that he doesn’t even deny it, sneaky bastid. The truth is that I just suck at being pregnant and have only a terrible baby experience in my story that kept me hesitant.


In any case, the little baby on the way has been the only thing worth looking forward to for a while. And the vision of a house filled with the giggles and pitter-pattering feets of two conspiring kiddos is just . . . fantastic.

Little baby leg, ankle, and foot.
Sweet baby hand, in a fist, just about to touch the chin.

Whoa. Creepy 3D pic of face. lol  IMG_6807
And the very best part of ALL?!
I couldn’t have even dreamed of it. Didn’t even dare.

(And in case you’re wondering what you’re looking at: This is sideways, so turn your head and you’ll see that the arrow is pointing right at the clitoris and has labia on each side. It’s definitely a girl. I’ve checked and rechecked.)

And the crazy part?
She looks just like her big sister in profile.

(I can’t show A’s ultrasound pics because they were on film, but the profile is identical.)
And the truth is, nothing makes me happier than the thought of raising sisters. SISTERS. *tears*

Monday, April 25, 2011


I haven't been very good about writing down the crazy, funny, brilliant things Amelia says throughout every day.  I started a book once and jotted things down until she stole the book and colored on every page. She's obsessed with writing lists (I have no idea where she gets it) so any little book lying around turns into Amelia's list book. 

In any case, since I'm desperately avoiding grading at the moment, here are just a few of the things she said today. 

Me, with a big smile on my face looking at A in the back seat: Hey Amelia (wait for her to look up at me). I Looooooooove you! 
Amelia: I want a snack. 

Me: We're going to get Megan a birthday present. Do you want to help me pick something out? 
Amelia: It's Megan's birthday? I would LOOOOOOOOOOVE to go to a party today!! 
Me: Well she's not having a party Honey. We're just going to the store to get her a little present. 
Amelia: Megan's getting presents for her birthday? 
Me: Yes, just a little something. 
Long pause. 
Amelia: I want a birthday. 

Me: Um, Amelia. What are you doing? 
Amelia: Me and Minnie are at the movies. 
Me: What's the paper? 
Amelia: It's our popcorn. Want some? 
Me: No thanks. 
Amelia: Shhhh mama, we're watching a movie. 

Me: I love you Baby. 
Amelia: Aw, thanks Mama. 

Me: Amelia, do you want to make the reservation for your birthday party? 
Amelia: Is my birthday party today? 
Me: No. It's still a few weeks away but we can go check it out and see if we like it. 
Amelia: For my birthday party?! Will there be yellow presents? 
Me: Let's just go check it out. (There and looking around) Do you think you'd like to have your little party here Punkin? 
Amelia: YEAH! This is going to be the BEST PARTY EVER! 

Me: Amelia can you please hand me the tape measure? 
Amelia: I can't Mama. I'm catching ants with this rope--to keep them from getting the dogs! 

Me: Amelia can you pick up your Easter eggs and jelly beans please? 
Amelia: No Mama. They're vitamins and we're hiding! 

Amelia: I need a snack. I need some jelly beans for snack. Ugh I'm full from jelly beans. I think I need a jelly bean to feel better. 

Amelia (wrapping her arms around me): I love you soooo much Mama. 

On Motherhood

The journey of a feminist takes many turns and goes through many a transition. When I leave students with parting words after a semester of Women’s History—a truly life-changing class for most—I give them the tiniest bit of advice. . . to join the Sisterhood. Educated on the historical and current political issues facing women and young girls, they are eager to do something but don’t know where to start. Most of them don’t picture themselves with picket signs at the capitol so it’s important that they know there is a middle ground for women. In joining the Sisterhood, I say, we refuse to pick on each other for our parts, our adornments, our courage, our voices. We don’t slam each other to split the Sisterhood or to gain male approval. Instead, we give each other the benefit of the doubt and maybe even some support. The way that so many women make a million excuses for the men in their lives, so too do they refuse any flexibility with other women, even their best friends.

Having taught women’s issues for years, I found myself most profoundly affected by motherhood. Never before did I feel the glaring judgment of other women—or society at large—than I did as a new mom. As a woman, I’d grown up berating myself in front of the mirror since young childhood, but never doubted or blamed or ridiculed myself more than as a mother. When things got dicey with Amelia and it became apparent that she was not a ‘normal’ baby who followed the normal rules of infancy, I was shocked by the multitudes of comments, judgments, blames, and ‘advice’ that others gave me. I don’t think I’ll ever forget a woman who’d talked to Justin only briefly about Amelia came up to me and said, “I told your husband that crying is just what babies do.”  I had a very quick flash of myself punching her in the face repeatedly before I calmly informed her that our baby didn’t cry. She screamed for hours and hours and hours at a time without consolation. Before she chirped about babies crying again, I cut her off and told her that Amelia had digestive issues that were very painful. She went on with some ‘advice’ from there, but I don’t remember the rest. I still don’t even know why I felt the need to explain myself to her, but I did and I had to explain this to everyone. I even had a very good friend suggest at one point that if I could just relax, then maybe Amelia could too. It still makes my skin crawl to think about that comment. Even after we had to take an ambulance to the hospital when she turned blue and appeared to DIE, the comments, critiques, and advice poured in. Everyone wants to feel validated by their own experience and therefore think that if I could just do what they did, my baby would be like theirs (which was often described as ‘good’ by the way, indicating that my baby, because she was hard, was therefore bad). It made the worst time of my life even more painful, isolating, and depressing. It made me feel like a failure and so very alone while also very defensive and angry. I remember confessing to a friend that I hated motherhood and even though it was in an email, I could just see her face recoil at the thought of my saying that out loud. And she was a friend who stuck it out to stay in touch with me. Most of them just disappeared. Even though Justin experienced this too we later learned that it hadn’t affected him nearly as horribly as it had me. The difference being that he didn’t feel the world blaming him or that his child’s inconsolable crying was somehow a reflection on him as a father.

Through it all, I realized something invaluable. I learned that as mothers, we all love our babies. We love our babies more than ourselves and would do anything for them. We love our babies the best we can. We do not love our babies through the same means, but with the same depths. That as mothers, we are the experts on our own children . . . sometimes even more than the experts. (holy shit, can you imagine coming to THAT conclusion?!) And that nobody else knows our babies the way we do as parents. And yet, under the glaring pressure, we push and judge each other so openly that even strangers, nonparents, and whomever else fall into the same game of blaming mom. It makes us feel validated when we know more than another or have a better behaved kid. At least 99.9% of our criticisms of other parents will hardly save a life—meaning we judge things that don’t matter. That aren’t going to kill a kid. Though this realization, I adopted a no-judgment policy. When the frazzled mom is leading three screaming children through Target long after bedtime, I just think to myself, “that poor mama must be having a hell of a day.” When I see the mom on her Blackberry at the park while her kid tries to get her attention, I give her the benefit of the doubt. It might be the only time she can be alone all day. Give her a break! We can’t all be ON and perfect all the time. And you know what? Sometimes those ugly moments happen out in the open. Shouldn’t we help each other out rather than take that vulnerable moment to point fingers? Add to it all the ongoing pressure to look as if our bodies never grew or birthed babies and is it any wonder that so many moms look like zombies? Like people who’ve just given up? Or that they act like zombies? And lash out at each other—the only other vulnerable people in their gaze?

Mothers of the same generation are each others’ greatest resource. Unfortunately, it’s motherhood that pulls us away from our friends and often strains the long-running friendships we had pre-baby. Just when we need it the most, the Sisterhood appears to vanish. And in working at my no-judgment policy, I find that I most often fail in refusing to judge myself.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Crash Landing

Well, we got home on Friday and are now saddled with laundry, dishes, work, and cold weather. So much for a smooth transition from our lovely break. I ended up with shoddy wifi for most of the trip and on the nights when I sat down to blog earnestly (those do happen I swear), there was no connection so I wasn't able to update much.

We had a great time on vacation. It wasn't anything spectacular or even overly memorable except for the mere fact that we were together, all at once, for almost a week. Sounds simple enough but with our schedule the past few months, family time has narrowed to exactly one day a week--usually spent running errands and catching up on chores or attending obligatory functions. We spent many hours on the beach in both sunny and cloudy weather, just enjoying the slowness of downtime. Amelia and Justin made many a sand castle and I took walks and read with my toes in the sand. There were lots of snuggles and laughs and shared naps. Such simple, beautiful things.

I found it funny how excited Amelia was. Not just the day we got to the beach, but the whole week, every moment. She was just happy all of the time while we were on vacation. Like I said, it wasn't a busy, fun-filled time, just relaxing at the beach and . . . well, that's it. Perfect for us, but I worried it might be boring for Amelia. Instead, she was giddy for the whole trip. You'd think that a toddler's life is pretty nice just on a regular day, you know? For her to be soooo excited about vacation made me realize that the daily routine of her life requires rest and a break from time to time too. And I think she just revels in the time she gets to spend with both of her parents, which is highly unusual of late. Everything was exciting to her. Everything! It was hilarious and adorable. She even ran to nap time and went right to sleep. Every day. Even excited about that! ha. (heaven knows that didn't last) She never grew tired of the beach or the sunsets or the passing trains. Everything was just exciting.

Here are a few pics from the week.

We didn't make it back to the beach for a nighttime fire with s'mores so we made some in our room. Her first s'mores experience. She was really excited and thought they were yummy, but overall gave up on it because it made her hands too sticky. Put it on the counter and walked to the bathtub. I love her OCD ways.

And my personal favorite. 

There are more pics I'd like to post too. I actually had Justin take a couple of A and I at the beach that turned out not horrible. . . but I'm having trouble with my camera. I can see the pictures on my camera, but they aren't showing up on my computer to transfer. I can seeeeee them right there! And can't get them? Yeah, driving me crazy. Other pics too including a couple pretty sunsets and whatnots. Boo on tricky technology, always making our lives complicated.

Looking at these pics is a real eye-opener. I can't believe how much Amelia's grown since she turned two! When we went to San Clemente last year, I thought she looked so grown up and more like a kid than a baby. . . but this year. Yikes!

What a difference a year makes.

May 2010

April 2011

Good grief! She looks like a childchild more than a babychild. And she's not even three yet. We noticed some other differences too this year. She slept in her own bed rather than a pack-n-play in our room, which was really nice. I may have slept with her a couple nights too just for the heck of it. The whole potty situation was a million times better than last year, when she was still a beginner. She could stay up later and get herself dressed as well. In so many ways, they really do get easier with the passing years. And I'm pretty sure that if any more years pass with us taking beach vacations, she'll never want to leave! As it was, she only wanted to come home to get the dogs to take them back to the beach. And today, after a 3-hour nap struggle and both of us frustrated out of our minds, she declared that she wanted to be at the beach! To which I could only respond honestly. "Me too, sister. Me too."

Now that we're home, everything kicks into high gear.  We are headed into the third trimester (eek), and face 4 family birthdays in the next few weeks. Not to mention closing out the semester, which is always hectic, Mother's Day, and doctor's appointments. Something tells me we won't be relaxing on the beach again any time soon.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day One: The (mostly) Open Road

We made it safe and sound to San Clemente today! We also cut almost two HOURS off our drive time from last May. What a difference a year makes in the potty-training world! At this time last year, Amelia was potty-trained well, but not completely. She'd figured out that yelling "PEE PEE" made her parents drop everything and take her to the potty. It was the perfect out of any situation for her. . . like being in her car seat. So last year on our drive down, she said she had to pee every five minutes and being a newly potty-trained tot, we never knew whether to believe her. Yeah, so that sucked.
But today was a million times better! As exhausting as she can be, Amelia really is a great kid. She didn't so much as whimper once during the whole 8.5 hour trip! Not once. We didn't even have to bring out the big guns (DVD player/movie) until the last hour and a half. She took a nap and we stopped every two hours or so to hit the potty. That totally works out since I have the same pee schedule at the moment. No incidents whatsoever. In terms of the kid I mean.

However, any or all of the following may have occurred throughout the day.

*Amelia threw a map when she couldn't fold it.

*My feet and ankles swelled so badly that I couldn't move my foot and could feel my skin stretching.

*In trying to find a Starbucks (which should be easy since they're on every goddamn corner), Justin got us lost and we turned into an airport and then had to snake our way out.

* When realizing we'd turned into an airport, Justin began to laugh, while his swelling, sore, tired, hungry, been-driving-for-7-hours, pregnant wife yelled at him.

*While trying to recover from said debacle, Justin asked, "I wonder what airport this is?" To which was replied, "I don't know. Maybe it's the Bob Hope airport like the 50fuckingmillion signs around here say. Maybe if you read a goddamn sign, you could find a goddamn Starbucks!"

*While whizzing down the 5-South in LOS ANGELES, Justin felt something on his leg, went to scratch it and realized that it was  LIZARD. On his leg! He promptly opened the door in the middle of the freeway and kicked the stowaway out.

*When we pulled in front of the apartment, I pointed out the window and asked Amelia if she could see the beach--to which she yelled, "I do see the beach mama! HOORAY HOORAY!"

*After getting Amelia down for bed, Justin wandered onto the balcony and glanced to his left--to see our vacation neighbors having sex right in front of the window facing the beach.

*Upon this discovery, I pressed my ear against the wall to hear.

I'll let you decide on the truthfulness of the above.

These are the only pics I got from today --- a long day of traveling.

Beach Bound! This was taken at our house at 8 am. Look how excited she is.
beach bound

It was sunny for the whole drive and then we were welcomed by cloudy skies. Sad face. Supposed to be cloudy tomorrow and then sunny for the rest of the week. This is the view from our balcony. Happy face.
cloudy beach
What shall tomorrow bring?

Friday, April 15, 2011

In the meantime

You can’t just stop existing because you don’t feel well. The general summary of life has been fairly bleak of late, but we are still living our lives and doing plenty of laughing, playing, and dancing. What else can you do really?

In just a little over a day, we will be on our way to our happy place to spend time, just the three of us. School is out for Break and my shoulders feel lighter already. Looking forward to long, slow days and lots of lovely down time. I can’t wait to post pics and recaps of our trip—the last as a family of three—but in the meantime, I’ll share a fun adventure we had this week.

The College where I teach held a Kids Day event on Tuesday evening. I had no idea exactly what that meant or what to expect of this event, but decided that since it started just as I’d normally pick Amelia up from preschool, we could stop on by and check it out. It was hosted by the Early Childhood Development Club on campus and geared towards preschoolers. Oh and the best part—it was totally free! Nice. Not only that, but I have a strong desire to have Amelia on campus as much as possible as she grows up. I love that I get to work at a place where people are standing around talking about Shakespeare and political theory. I want her to take in the college atmosphere for all of its guitar/bongo-circle glory.  I think she’s so lucky to grow up with that as her mom’s office, surrounded by bright, inspiring young people. But I digress.

Kids Day totally rocked! I had no idea what to expect and it was just fabulous! The ECDC had student-run booths of various learning/developmental categories throughout the theater lawn. Everything was free, age-appropriate, creative, and just plain FUN. The students put together some really cute ideas for the kids, all of which were very simple and doable at home too. I didn’t take my camera, but I took lots of pics with my phone.



This is Amelia’s friend Molly. Her mama teaches too and the girls go to school together. They’re buds. These are their crowns, made out of paper plates and decorated by the girls.


Then there was the water table. There was a whole system of PVC piping sitting in a kiddie pool with water. They had funnels, water bottles, cups, and other containers for the kids to filly up and poor into the ‘tunnels.’ It was definitely the most engaging booth for Amelia, who likes nothing more than to fill a cup with water and poor it into another. We stayed at this booth for a long time, until Miss Pants decided to clothesline a much smaller baby girl in order to reach a container.


At this painting booth, there were panty hose full of sand (large) and then dipped in paper plates full of color. The kids could swing and drop the socks to make paint splotches. Yeah, it was messy. And so much fun!

paint drop 1

I even got whacked with a sock newly loaded with read paint. Eh, what are you gonna do?! When at Kids Day, you get paint splotched.

paint drop


MY personal favorite activity was this one. They painted the kids’ feet with rollers and then let them walk the runway of paper to make footprints! Love! Oh and yeah, the girls LOVED it too. They ran up and down that paper table many a time.

painting feet


Look at me Mama! I’m painting with my FEEEET!

walking 2

How stinking cute is that? This activity was over once they accidentally got paint on the TOP of Amelia’s foot. She’s not down with that and had to immediately clean her feet. Game over. She got a lot of good runs in though, so no worries.

Which reminds me—They also had a couple booths related to tactile learning. They had a booth where kids could feel ‘slime’ and play with the wonder of Corn Starch ‘melting’ playdoh. Amelia wouldn’t even go near those booths. The babychild despises having her hands dirty. HATES it. “Amelia do you want to touch that cool slime.” “No.” And on we went. I love that kid and her weirdness. She doesn’t even love finger painting much at all. She spends the whole time washing her hands. ha.

Anyway, back to Kids Day. They had another fun table where they had bowls of various noise-making materials (rice, dried pasta, beans, etc.) set out for the kids to load into toilet paper rolls to make shakers. They sealed one end, let the kids fill the tubes, and then sealed the other end. FAB. As it turns out, making your own noise shaker is some serious business.

noise maker

And lawd how that noise shaker made the girl happy!

But her very favorite thing? Of the whole event? OH my goodness.


Toilet-paper-tube-and-yarn BINOCULARS. Woot! Can you see that smile? She was quite the explorer with her “eye-nock-uh-lers".”  Oh and note the shaker in the other hand. She’s set!

Once she had her binoculars, I was a fit of giggles for the rest of the evening. She used them for everything! Like she couldn’t see without them. Hilarious.


Here she is watching the Storyteller—who was about 10 feet away. Love. It.


Kids Day was fantastic! I can’t wait to go again next year. It’s the perfect combination of my role as mama and job as an educator. The kids got to have a fabulous time and the students got to put their learning to practical use and to gain experience with children and teaching themselves. All good things. And fun was had by all.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Looking Forward by Looking Back

In just a couple short days, we will be on our way to an early summer vacation--otherwise known as Spring Break! We are forcing it a bit with the timing this year because we probably shouldn't wait until the end of May like we'd prefer, seeing as I'll be 30-something weeks pregnant by then and staying pretty close to home. In any case, we are going to beautiful San Clemente and while I haven't had but a minute to think about it yet since I am still in classes, I browsed through some pics from last year, just day dreaming.

Can. Not. Wait. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


*WARNING* This is a stream-of-consciousness post. Not for those who prefer editing or organization or logic. /warning


This post was supposed to be all about rainbows and butterflies as I carried on about how wonderful good health, spring, and relocation have served us over the last few weeks. And in a turn of I-couldn’t-have-made-it-up-if-I-tried luck, we wound up sick. Again.




I literally left class on Tuesday, bouncy and relieved. The semester’s last hurdle was over, the sun was out, and I had been breathing well for two whole weeks. The good fortune! And when I picked up Amelia from school, she had green stuff coming out of her nose and eyes. EYES. Green solid shit coming out of the babychild’s EYES, I tell you. Every frantic interweb search declared that any such nonsense needed doctor attention immediately. Lovely! Okay, I figured an allergy attack of some sort. Treatable. NOT contagious. And then she woke up the next morning with swollen, oozy, red eyes. Good morning Pink Eye.


Still, the ignorant optimist inside thought, ‘hey all kids get pink eye. It’s nasty, but just some stupid eye thing. No big. You can do this.’

You’d think by now that idiot optimist would just shrivel up and die. Or at least shut the eff up once in a while, just out of repeated failure.

At the doctor’s office, we discovered that the doctor didn’t really know what was going on except that obviously Amelia had an infection in her eye that needed drops. Oh and here’s some nasal spray too in case the runny nose is from allergies. Again. No Prob. She’ll be better in 2-5 days and completely cleared for school in 24 hours. Sweet. Totally doable.  And then the hives appeared. And the fever. And I started feeling sick too. Two calls to the Advice Nurse, one call to her doctor, and another trip to Urgent Care later and it was clear that Amelia was having an allergic reaction to something that nobody wanted to attribute to the meds, but that was clearly from the MEDS. At the UC, it was determined that she’d caught a virus that had affected her eyes in addition to just making her sick. You know, a virus. Something that mom can catch too.


Swollen puffy eyes.

pink eye


Hives. They started like this and then covered her from head to toe! “My Body itches Mama!”


And so it goes.


When news got out that we were sick again, I had more than one exasperated exclamation of “how do you get so sick all the time?!” It’s almost accusatory, but wrapped in sympathy too. In any case, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Feeling defensive maybe, but also in my own exasperation. I mean W.T.F? How many times can one person get sick in the course of a season? To date, I haven’t been healthy for more than two weeks since Thanksgiving. THANKSGIVING. And when I tell people that I live with a 2-year-old trudging her way through her first year in preschool, they respond with “But she’s building an immune system. What’s WRONG WITH YOU?!”

So this is what I figured out. There are many things to blame, I’m sure. Pregnancy ails your immune system. Just when I should be adding hours to my sleep schedule, I am getting less sleep than ever. Can’t be good. But all in all, when I analyze my daily life, there’s something that stands out.


See, um, Amelia and I are close. Not like cute mama/daughter close, but borderline obsessive. Maybe a little unhealthy. Maybe a little silly. Maybe cringe-worthy and a little embarrassing. But it is. And we are. When people keep asking me how I catch toddler illnesses so easily, I guess it makes sense.

Amelia and I spend a lot of time together. I don’t work a Monday through Friday 8-5 standard job. I’m home with Amelia several days a week, just her and I. And then several other days a week with I’m home with her and her dad. Her dad works crazy long shift for half the week, making those long days mama/baby days. If I am not with her, I am at work. That is it. It’s ridiculous, the extent to which that statement is true.  It’s regretful on my part in many ways (I mean, mom could use a freaking pedicure every once in a while!), it is the truth all the same. We are, I believe, spiritually connected. Cut from the same cloth. I just get her.

Oh and there were those months when she was the baby nobody could love and I held her close and cried right along. When nobody would listen to me about her abnormal crying, I knew only one thing for certain: that I was the expert on her and no stats or books or others’ experiences could cloud that. In the quiet, lonely moments of new motherhood, she was there. And in the quiet, lonely moments of my life today, she is still my partner. Or shadow. Or appendage as the case may be. And when we are together, even now, we are almost always touching. Even just sitting on the couch requires her hands wrapped around my arm. When she’s within my reach, she holds my fingers. When I sit at the bench table in the kitchen, I put her on one end and sit at the other. She slides her plate over, and sits beside me. Not just beside me, but overlapping me. On top of me to an extent so I can’t lift my own fork. This physical attachment has become a joke in our house. Justin can only laugh as she plops down on top of me in whatever situation we find ourselves. He thinks it’s just hilarious.

And the attachment is on my end too. Her new big girl bed has allowed me to slip into bed and snuggle my baby close every night. It has, and I’m crazy embarrassed to admit this, saved me from the humiliation of having my husband actually find me in our daughter’s crib. When we snuggle in the dark before sleep, our foreheads touch and fingers intertwine and sometimes we just look at each other. I whisper the things to her there that I want to stick. I’ll love you forever, Angel. There’s nothing you could ever do to make me not love you. You will always be my sweet baby love. And I would be absolutely lying if I said that I didn’t love and need those moments with her because I do.

However, it’s safe to say that I don’t shower/bathe, eat, drink, or do anything really by myself. (Seriously, there have been meltdowns because I wanted to *gasp* shower alone.)

All this on normal days in normal times.

And when she’s sick? Fuhgetaboutit. The child literally attaches herself to me. When Amelia doesn’t feel well, she develops complete tunnel vision, a world in which nobody exists but mama. Her daddy, whom she adores in a way that she could never love me, becomes totally invisible. Her Grammy, with whom she acts ridiculous and free of discipline and drenched in blind love, might as well be a troll when Amelia is sick. She blows past both of them screaming for maaaaaamaaaaa.

sick baby

Innocent enough? Yeah, but it gets a lot worse. It’s beyond measure, the neeeeed she has for mama when she is sick. The other night, I couldn’t leave her with her Grammy for two seconds to pee. I had to literally push her off of me so I could stand to pull my pants up. This produced tears. Real, sad, huge tears. Because I had to pull my pants up, people! It can be exhausting. Last week, in the midst of the pink eye/hives/virus debacle, she screamed her way through a bath because god forbid, her adoring, amazing, loving daddy had the nerve to steal her from me to get clean for a few minutes. As soon as she was out of the tub, she came wailing through the house maaaaaammaaaaaa as if she’d just been tortured by some horrible child hater. She was screaming with her eyes closed, located me by sheer magnetism, and jumped into my lap, hair soaking wet, unbrushed, naked. She curled up in my blanket on my lap.

sick baby 2

And fell right to sleep. She never even opened her eyes. Or brushed her hair. And let me tell you that picking up this dead weighted sleeping child, while scooting off the couch, and 6 months pregnant (with utero baby stretching to obscene lengths) was a sight to behold. Justin had to act like the human crane to get me up.

In any case, is it any surprise that I’m always sick? We share everything down to the space we take up on the planet. And the air we breathe.

And the crazy thing is that it’s worthy of complaint. It’s completely exhausting and draining and frustrating and literally sickening. It is why I have stayed up all night holding her so she can sleep upright and breathe, while sick and in need of rest myself. It is why I can’t get better and struggle with my own health. It is why motherhood is impossible and insane. It is not enviable in the slightest. And it is what makes me feel like I have superpowers too. Because nobody else can really do what mama does.