Booby Trapped



So I think I'm going to abandon ship on the breastfeeding. I know, I know - it was going so well. That is until last week when I started experiencing toe curling, feet sweating, head spinning, profanity spewing pain every time Lila latched on to my left boob.

It continued to get worse and worse and it got to the point that when she even breathed on it I inadvertently clawed the skin off the back of her head which resulted in her quick retaliation of springing at me and attempting to suck my nipple completely off. When I took a closer inspection (it's really hard to look at your own nipples, by the way) I found a large, gaping, awful looking crack and if you stare at it hard enough you can actually see my rib cage.

I called the lactation consultant who advised me to only feed her on the right side and just pump the left side. Which is awesome because the feedings weren't already taking long enough and I had a lot of extra time on my hands and the guilt of putting Ellie off every time I breastfed Lila wasn't yet quite ALL-consuming, so why not throw a few pumpings into my daily schedule? Awesome.

So I dusted off Ole Pumpy, stuck Ellie in the playpen and turned on Pretty Woman (for obvious reasons). After 20 minutes I looked at the bottle and was like WTF? Where's all the milk? There was only a measly ounce there which explains why Lila has been so fussy the past few days. She was trying to tell me that my milk skills sucked and to start doing my job as a Mom and feed her.

And thus my new feeding routine was born:

1. Pump left boob
2. Wave at Ellie
3. Feed Lila on right boob
4. Tearfully apologize to Ellie for being such a loser
5. Feed Lila bottle of milk from right boob
6. Ignore unbridled guilt resulting from ignoring Ellie
7. Feed Lila supplemental formula bottle
8. Kill self
9. Repeat every 2-3 hours

As you can see it's really efficient and a delightful way to spend the day.

The only thread that keeps me hanging on is the 800 or so calories breastfeeding burns every day. That's a whole lotta pancakes. And pancakes are the only thing that I've got going for me right now.

Just a normal breakfast

So somewhere between hospital days one and three the balance of power shifted and Nick became THE BEST PARENT IN THE MAYER HOUSE EVER!! MOMMY WHO!? I've already forgotten all of the awesome things she did for me over the past year! You're the GREATEST, DAD!


Nick also happens to be the most competitive person on the planet - he forces me to play Rock Paper Scissors like five million times a day - so of course he's basking in Ellie's new found adoration and the fact that I now suck.

However, he's been making her breakfast every day while I feed the baby and it's starting to get a little ridiculous.

I think he's moved beyond appreciating Ellie's attention to deliberately trying to sabotage me if I should ever try to give her a normal looking meal again.


The Human Trampoline


So yesterday was my first day alone with the girls. Totally alone. All by myself. No husband, Mother, Mother-In-Law... no one to make sure if I fell down the stairs and broke my neck that my children won't die from eating their own poop or electrocution or something.

That's on my really long list of irrational fears, by the way. That I will fall down the stairs or choke on a pancake and Nick will come home hours later to find my dead body and Ellie picking her teeth with broken glass while washing Lila's hair with lighter fluid.


I must say, for all of the anxiety I had leading up to my first day alone it really was pretty anti-climactic. Everything went relatively smooth though I did hit a low point when I found myself sitting on the toilet trying to pee while breastfeeding Lila with one arm and holding Ellie on my lap with the other. Seriously... talk about stage fright. Oh, and I know what you're thinking and trust me when I say you DON'T want to know how I wiped.

The big challenge, which I sort-of anticipated but sort-of didn't was the not being able to pick up Ellie because of the whole c-section thing. I had been working through some of the logistics in my head but there were a lot of unexpected situations that required a pick-up.

Like her crib for starters. I mean, what am I supposed to do? Lie down in front of the crib, pull up my shirt, release all the bound up loose stomach skin from my jeans and let her use my body as a human trampoline to catapult herself in?

Or the changing table. I tried to change her on the ground but after leaning over her for 92 seconds my back actually locked up in that position and I was forced to walk around at a 90 degree angle for the next 20 minutes.

The high chair. The car seat. I could go on and on but what it boils down to is that I have totally disregarded the fact that there's a huge incision in my abdomen and my uterus is probably either going to fall out or Nick will come home to the final scene from Braveheart in Ellie's nursery because I'm picking her up.

On the bright side, Ellie has realized that if she comes within a 3-foot radius of the baby her skin will not burn off. She actually showed a little interest this morning and put her head next to the baby's on the floor.

Maybe there's hope after all that she won't pack up her bags, shimmy out her window and hitchhike across country tonight. Which is also on the long list of irrational fears, by the way.



Many of my friends who have two children told me that a big fear they had before the second baby made its arrival was whether or not they'd have enough love to go around. Apparently the love they had for the first child was so strong and special that they thought there was no way to replicate it with another.

And I get that - especially because the new one spends a lot of time crying and crapping and keeping you awake all night and now that I think about it doesn't really have many redeeming qualities whatsoever.

But I was already prepared for something along those lines. I'm not ashamed to say (though I once was) that it was not love at first sight with Ellie. It was a whole lotta like. The love that I have for her is something that has grown every day, and continues to do so. I wasn't concerned that my love for Lila would quickly catch up.

But what I wasn't prepared for was when Ellie entered the hospital room, saw me holding another baby and cast a net of icy cold indifference over my hospital bed. My gut reaction was to toss Lila under the bed and take Ellie in my arms. "Heh heh - WHAT baby? There's no baby here! Now come on over here and love me again!"

But there were a lot of people in the room and tossing babies is illegal so I just smiled and jimmied the knife out of my chest while I tried to convince her to look at me.

Since we've been home her feelings about the baby (and me) have slowly started to thaw, though not by much. Just when she starts to treat me like a human being it's time to feed the baby and she regresses back to talking to her new best friend, the stuffed dog, alone in the corner. And it kills me.

Which leaves me no choice but to employ Operation Covert Mommy.

Without knowing it I'll wait until Ellie turns her back to kiss the baby on the forehead or nuzzle her ear. Once when I was feeding the baby Ellie looked at me with a tear in her eye and a look that said WHAT? You're going to put your boob in her mouth while I'm sitting RIGHT HERE? I'M RIGHT HERE. IN FRONT OF YOU. HERE. LOOKING AT YOU. How about I just go and live with the neighbors?

I feel like a cheater.

Of course we've spent a significant amount of time trying to acquaint Ellie with the baby. Look Ellie - Ellie's hands... Lila's hands! Ellie's nose... Lila's nose! We've gotten her big sister books, t-shirts, songs, her own baby, pictures of babies... still her eyes meet Lila's with nothing but an icy glare. And mine as well should I even dare to think about associating myself with the baby.

And this is a problem because I'm starting to fall in love with Lila. I can't go on living this double life much longer. Sooner or later my boobs and I are going to have to come out of the closet and I'm going to confess my love for Lila to Ellie.

This is not going to go well.

Note to Self


Dear Self,

If you are reading this then you have made the exciting decision to have another baby. Let me be the first to congratulate you on this thrilling and permanently life changing journey.

It sounds like you are finally to the point where you are able to de-latch the baby from your boob and actually go to the bathroom and maybe even step outside and breathe fresh air. The newborn days are a distant memory and perhaps nature has even found a way to erase them altogether.

However, before you go and do anything crazy please allow this letter to serve as a friendly reminder. Actually, mere words won't do this justice. I've taken the liberty of outlining below few warm up exercises I'd like to ask you to perform before you get knocked up again to give your memory a little jog:

1. Tie a 10 pound bowling ball around your waist and run around the block. No, you won't have any time to do anything leisurely for yourself like exercise while pregnant but you will be forced to run through the Target parking lot as one of your children tries to make a run for freedom. And the Dierberg's parking lot. And the botanical garden parking lot. And the church parking lot. And the mall parking lot.

2. Scrub your nipples with a Brillo pad. Then put a fish hook through them. Then get a butcher knife and cut them off completely. Then find a crocodile and stick your bloody stump of a boob in its mouth until it snaps down. What you're feeling is almost as bad as what you'll be feeling 10 - 12 times a day. Forever.

3. Take every purse you own out of your closet and ask Nick to hide a pacifier in one of the pockets. Then take them all out to dinner with you and just after you order ask Nick to scream at the top of his lungs until you find the hidden pacifier. Then after you put it in his mouth ask him to shit through his pants and up his back. Then ask him to throw up all over the table and your new shirt. Then ask the waitress to just please box up your dinner before it gets to the table. Then dodge the spoons as the other restaurant customers throw them at you as you slink out.

4. Ask Nick to blow an air horn in your ear every morning at 2:30am. Then find the crocodile and clamp him down on your still bloody nipple-less boob for about 30 minutes while you watch infomercials. Then have the crocodile pee all over the bed spread. And your pajamas. And the crocodile's pajamas. And then the floor. Then just as you start to fall back asleep blow the air horn again. Repeat.

5. Sit in the playroom and stare at the wall for eight hours. You may occasionally look out the window in between diaper changes and wonder what happened to your life.

Now hopefully I didn't discourage you from bringing another miracle into the world. I just want you to be fully prepared for the wrath that will be unleashed in 9 months. Because this can't be undone and there's no turning back.



The Thrill of Victory


Now, before you go feeling all sorry for the mole I would just like to point out that we have given these little suckers every opportunity to leave peacefully. Not only did they not take us up on our offer to just walk away but I'm pretty sure they've started a little underground mole hotel and casino.

A hotel and casino who are now without a blackjack dealer and bartender.

Mayer Family: 2
Moles: 0

Baby Bump

Yesterday in the Macy's elevator:

Old Woman: Wow, you've got quite a crew there! How old is she?

Me: 16 months.

Old Woman: And the other one's so tiny! How old?

Me: One week.

Old Woman: Wow, and it looks like you're working on another one in there! (points to my leftover baby stomach)

Ok - so I know what you're thinking. And usually a comment like this would be enough to send me into an emotional tailspin. I mean, she didn't even pause to do the basic math and figure out there's absolutely no humanly possible way that I could have a one week old and be pregnant enough again to show. She just assumed by my still there obvious baby bump that the only plausible explanation is that I'm set to deliver at any moment - no questions asked.


As I teared up and whipped around to share my insult with Nick I immediately saw the wheels turning as he was already calculating the amount of man hours it would take for him to undo the damage this woman has just caused. He radiated fear and panic as he realized that once the elevator doors opened I was probably going to bolt under a rack of clothing where I would lay sobbing in the fetal position for hours while he tries to talk me off the ledge with a screaming baby in each arm. It was enough to make me laugh out loud.

I fell in love with him all over again when he suggested the only way to remedy this situation is to stop for McFlurries on the way home.

She who dared to stand where I stood


This shot was taken just after Ellie came into the hospital room, saw me holding Lila and arrived at the conclusion that she had been replaced.

She didn't look at me once during the entire two hour visit, save for this glance she stole when she thought I wasn't looking to size up her competition.

There's no place like hospital. There's no place like hospital. There's no place like hospital...


Remember in college when you went on spring break and stayed out until 6am and woke up still drunk at 9am only to crack open another beer and start all over again? For the first couple of days you felt like a cross between David Hasselhof and Superwoman... nothing can stop me!

But then somewhere around day three something goes wrong. You wake up in a pool of your own vomit wearing a dog collar and upon stumbling into the bathroom to pee you notice a strange twang in your stomach and when you look in the toilet you see you've just shit out an entire chalupa. Party's over.

That's about how I feel right now. This morning I shit the figurative chalupa.

Coming home from the hospital was a big adjustment. For instance at home I don't have a magic button commanding someone to deliver me a cheeseburger or help me put on my underwear. But I was running on adrenaline and so excited to try to rekindle my relationship with Ellie, who had labeled me as dead, that I didn't care.

I was also looking forward to sleeping in my own bed with my own pillow - something that no matter how many times I asked Nick to bring to the hospital was the one thing that he forgot.

For the first couple of days I was Super Mom. Who needs sleep? I like watching Three's Company at 4am! I can totally do this!

But this morning everything caught up with me all at once. My quality time with Elliot is now spent explaining to her the subtle differences between my nipples and beef carpaccio. I can't sleep on my left side or lift my left arm because of some whopping cough vaccine. My incision feels like someone is burning it with a lighter. I can't bend my right wrist - not sure what that's about but I think it may be because they had to try like a million times to get the IV in. Also yesterday afternoon I started to feel like there was a hot air balloon in my abdomen that inflated every time I stood up.

Add to all of this sleep depravation and you've got yourself a recipe for me to go to the grocery store and never come back. I'm starting to understand why they don't allow post partum c-section women to drive for two weeks.

But at least the breastfeeding is going well.

Nick's details about mopping the uterus


This week on Saturday, Hannah was finally given permission from a kind God to expel the awkward mass of baby from her body, thus ending the battle for control of her gait and urinary continence. She is one step closer to fulfilling her purpose on earth, as I have gathered since meeting Hannah. The slow trickle of interest I received from other women was destroyed quickly once I met Hannah and became her Bitch and property. Once completely castrated, I was able to study the social and family interactions of free ranging women in the wild without being noticed.

Hannah had one moment of clarity this morning, between doses of percocet, when she asked me to tell others of her story. Before I was able to say that I was not interested, she screamed at me to stop talking as the infant ground her nipple with its molar. I know she wanted me to re-tell the labor and delivery play-by-play. I know this because I have been in situations before where I had to sit with her purse in my lap, watching her and her friends talk.

With this methodology of study I have observed women in the wild use a script that they steadily, but efficiently work through. I surmise that the purpose of the script is to talk about babies. In addition, the script is capable of re-orienting those without babies, as well as bluntly determining how close to having babies one might be.

In a precise and humiliating way, women in the wild move down this script like drones in the following way:

Girl Number one: Hello. Whatʼs your name?
Girl Number two: My name is ____.
Girl Number one: Are you dating somebody?

At this point, if girl number two replies that she is not dating anybody, then there is no more conversation; the girl asking the questions has lost interest and the girl answering questions leaves with an injured ego having been reminded she is nowhere close to the objective. However, if she replies that she is dating somebody, then the two move to the next question:

Girl Number one: When are you getting married?

The first time I heard this question asked, I was standing behind Hannah at a grocery store checkout line. I still donʼt know why the checkout girl asked Hannah if she had a serious boyfriend. At first, the question appeared invasive and uncalled for. Why not just bag the damn groceries and comment on the weather.

Upon further reflection, it seemed pointless in that there is absolutely nothing a traditional girl can do to control a wedding date except manipulate. But then I realized that if Hannah was able to place my balls in her purse by our third date, she is probably capable of marriage manipulation. I was 2 years in when Hannah began to give me the silent treatment every time I didnʼt propose, and it hit me: these questions are designed to remind the slackers to keep their eye on the ball.

Assuming there is a wedding date, however, the script continues without pause to the fourth question.

Girl number one: When are you going to have a baby?

The only woman who ever realized her true potential in life was the old woman who lived in a shoe. She was successful because she had so many children, her uterus fell out. And when it does fall out, the women want to hear every detail about how it hit the floor.

The Labor: Part III - The Aftermath


The day after Lila was born I was changing her diaper and noticed something strange. I hate to disclose details involving my daughter's private parts but she had a little, um, dimple above her, um, butt. I didn't think much of it other than it looking a little odd but the pediatrician came in the next morning to talk to us about it.

I was listening to her as I was hoisted high in the air on my hospital bed, frog legged as a student nurse was learning how to insert a catheter. On me.

For whatever reason I was unable to pee after they had removed the catheter so after a few hours it went back in.

Apparently the dimple can mean many things, blah blabbedy blah... I wasn't really listening until I heard Nick ask a question that included the words spina bifida and her answer included the word yes and I immediately launched into a sobbing fit.

Me: Wait, wait just a minute. I don't understand what you're saying. What's going on?

Pediatrician: Well, we're doing an ultrasound as a precaution - I'm not concerned...

Nursing Student: Is this the hole where the rubber hose goes? I've never done one of these before.

Nursing Teacher: Yes, but turn it this way.


Pediatrician: ... or I would have ordered an ultrasound today. It could be one of three things...

Nursing Student: Is it supposed to be wiggling around like that? I think I hit something I shouldn't have.

Nursing Teacher: No, let's take it out and start over.

Me: (sobbing) Hell no. You get one shot with this shit. Give the hose to the one who knows what she's doing.

Pediatrician: all of which are treatable...

But I didn't hear any of that. I heard my baby will never walk. She looked at Nick who subliminally communicated that he would take care of this (this being the blubbering hormonal mess on the hospital bed with all of the tubes hanging out of her) and she left.

He tried to calmly explain that it was nothing to be concerned about and listed the things is was NOT but all I heard was my baby will never walk.

So the next day we had the ultrasound and it turns out that everything is fine - she will just never be able to be a stripper. However, the pediatrician told me that she could even wear a thong and you wouldn't be able to see it.

As I was telling this story to my friend "H" she told me that she too has an extra butt hole, and thought everyone did until a few years ago when her daughter was born. Her Mom was examining her daughter's extra butt hole and said "oh, she has a an extra butt hole there just like you do." H was perplexed because she didn't realize having an extra butt hole was not normal.

Don't you hate it when you find out something you thought everyone had or did is actually something exclusive to you, like an extra butt hole?

Meanwhile, I still can't pee and have been walking around for three three days toting a big urine filled purse which I'm sure everyone in the cafeteria appreciates as they try to eat their meals. A CT scan shows nothing abnormal, and again Nick tries to explain everything it's NOT. He starts by saying it's not nerve damage but all I hear is that I will never pee again because I have nerve damage and launch into a fit of hysterical crying.

I will either have to learn how to insert a catheter every time I have to pee or walk around with a pee bag strapped to my leg for the rest of my life. I cried myself to sleep, and all morning because I will be forever known as pee bag woman. I cried until the nurse came in to remove the catheter to see if I could pee and I peed on the toilet.

Oh. Well. Good. I won't be pee bag woman after all -sniff-.

So that means everything is back to normal. Oh, except for the fact that Ellie has labeled me as dead. She came to visit the baby for the first time and took one look at me with a baby on my lap and hasn't looked at me since. She's been to visit us three times and I might as well be a roll of toilet paper sitting in the chair because she won't even so much as acknowledge my existence.


The person who has dedicated the past 16 months of my life to catering to Ellie's every whim. Who loves her more than I've ever loved anything in my entire life. Who still wakes up in the middle of the night every night at least twice to tiptoe into her room and cover her with a blanket and stare at her because I love every single breath that she breathes.

I am dead to her.

But at least the breastfeeding is going well.

The Labor: Part II - Epidural Fail


So as I was saying, by the time we pulled up to the front doors of the hospital we were wearing life jackets and snorkel gear. As I hobbled inside I looked back and saw Nick covering the car in gasoline and yelling "UNCLEAN!"

Nick grabbed a wheel chair and as he raced toward me an old man sitting on a bench in the lobby pointed at me and said "uh-oh... looks like SOMEONE is going into labor!"

We were in a hurry to get up to the maternity ward but not in such a hurry that I couldn't flip a handful of whatever was falling out of me in his general direction as we ran for the elevator.

Apparently Nick is the Richard Petty of wheelchair drivers and aside from running me into a wall we arrived safely in our room just in time to see that it was student nursing day at St. Luke's.

My issue with student nurses isn't so much that I mind a whole bunch of random strangers staring at me splayed naked on a table while someone points to my various body parts and explains to the group why you never want to see one of those on yourself, but it's that when you get to the point you would kick your grandma in the teeth if it means a mili-second of relief from mind bending pain is not the time to have someone learning how to read a thermometer.

The student asked if I minded if she tried to put in my IV and I did not hesitate to tell her that I needed someone who knew what the hell they were doing and to get her fat ass out of my room. Of course I apologized after the contraction was over about the fat ass part but I really wasn't kidding about getting someone who knew what they were doing.

I should have also told the epidural woman that as well. There are several things you want to hear after you've had an epidural. I was hoping for something along the lines of "Ok honey. Those pesky contractions are gone. Can I get you something to eat, or rub your shoulders?" Instead I heard: "Well, it looks like a mess but I THINK it should work ok."

Let me tell you, it didn't work ok. The shooting pain down my neck when I moved my head was my first clue something was wrong. Then the fact that my leg started kicking out uncontrollably like a mule at the state fair when she tried to fix it was also less than reassuring. Oh yeah, and then there was the whole contraction thing and I could still feel every single horrific second. Even though that bitch liar told me with every contraction that one would be the last one.

She shifted something around and I was just about to breathe a sigh of relief as I peeled myself off the ceiling when my legs slowly regained feeling and within seconds the pain was back and I climbed back up the wall to my favorite ceiling tile and resumed spinning my head around in circles and spewing profanities.

They remedicated the epidural just enough to slow my labor down and thus we started pitocin. AKA Elixir Au Satan. With the pitocin I quickly got to an 8 (for those who haven't had a kid once you get to a 10 it's baby time) and meanwhile the epidural ran out three more times. THREE TIMES. The third time the only thing I remember is weighing my options, one of which included jumping out the window.

The solution was to start from scratch with a new epidural and fill it full of enough medicine to numb a T-Rex. The anesteologist apologized several times about me having two holes in my back and I wanted to turn around and gouge her eyes out.

Two holes? Are you fucking kidding me??? I would saw off the lower half of my body right now to get rid of this pain!

Well, the moral of the story is that it was all for naught. All of the work spent doing home inductions, all of the witchcraft herbs I took, all of the pep talks I had with my vagina. Her heart rate took several nose dives and J.T. My Trusty OB thought it might be a sign of some sort of uterine rupture from the previous c-section and at 2:00 we made the decision to do another c-section.

I had a flash of disappointment and feelings of failure but as always Nick was my voice of reason and reminded me to suck it up and focus on the bigger picture. All I knew is there was an end in sight to the pain.

Lillian Florence Mayer (Lila) was born at 2:31am on September 11, which at first I was a little bummed about (the September 11 part) but what better way to turn a black day into a joyous occasion. Joyous because my pain was finally gone, of course.

Meanwhile, in a crib across town, Ellie is deep in a peaceful slumber, blissfully unaware that her Mom - the person she loves and trusts most in the entire world - has gone and done something unforgivable. In a few hours her perfect world will come crashing down.

The Labor: Part I - Please do not Google any words in this post


So Friday I woke up and quickly realized that I would soon be going into labor. I won't gross you out with all of the gory details but WHATEVER YOU DO you should never ever ever Google the words "bloody show".

I immediately went into a panic because I still had four days before my due date and I had a lot of important stuff left to do. I have to wash the bathroom towels! I have to Swiffer the bedroom! I have to dust the oven!

For some reason my nesting instinct waited until the 11th hour to kick in and I was NOT going to have this baby until I had checked every last errand off of the list. The first thing I had to do was drive to Wal-Mart and buy some of those "cleaning supplies" I'd heard so much about.

Once I got back from Wal-Mart I spent the next five hours ricocheting back and forth from making sure the floor was clean enough to eat off to Googling descriptions of various bodily fluids.

Apparently my computer decided to commit suicide as a result of all of the horrific images I was forcing it to display which threw me into a complete tailspin.

I can't go to the hospital if my Internet isn't working!

The contractions had started somewhere in between alphabetizing the microwave popcorn boxes according to calories and blow drying my loofah and now they were about 10 minutes apart.

Time was of the essence.

Right around the time the Indian customer service representative, her translator and I realized we would need an appointment with an exorcist to fix whatever had shut down our Internet access I noticed a lot of very strange things were coming out of me and I probably needed to start thinking about wrapping up my little spring cleaning projects.

I told her I would have to call her back because I was having a baby and called Nick and told him it was time to jet. He told me he only had four patients left to see so cross my legs and he'd be there in a flash.

Perfect - that gives me enough time to carry up the laundry from the basement and put all of the clothes away.

Meanwhile Ellie had woken up from her nap and was on all fours mimicking my Lamaze breathing in the corner of the living room and all I can wonder is if my therapist will give us a family discount.

My Mother-in-Law arrived to properly instruct both Ellie and me on our breathing technique and at one point I was certain she was going to have to strap on some surgical gloves and saw me off a biting stick from the Oak in the back yard because the contractions were all the while getting closer.

By the time Nick arrived they were 3-4 minutes apart and as I ran to the car he passed me in the driveway and told me he was going to grab a couple of towels.

Me: No! Get in the car... we have to go NOW!

Him: Are you sure you don't want me to grab a towel? They're right inside.

Me: No - I don't need one - I'll be fine. We have to go we have to go we have to go!

He reluctantly got behind the wheel and by the time we left the neighborhood I had about 237 more contractions and each of Nick's fingers were broken in fours. Right about the time we got stuck in Friday evening rush hour traffic my water exploded all over his passenger seat.

Me: Oh god... I'm SO sorry for the wrath I just unleashed. You got a towel in here?

Do Not Disturb


One of the special gifts Ellie definitely inherited from me was my uncompromising need for personal space. I have a very defined 3-foot bubble that surrounds me at all times and if penetrated I start to scream like a hyena in my head.

I don't really like hugs or kisses, and any boyfriend who made the tragic mistake of putting his arm around me has since spent a significant amount of time learning how to write with a hook.

It's really a shame that Ellie has a similar need for space, though, because she's the one person who I could literally smother to death with hugs and kisses. She doesn't hug and she certainly doesn't kiss anything but her plastic baby and the only time she's ever cuddled is the two times she woke up sick in the middle of the night.

Does it make me a bad person if I put some epicac in her dinner every once in a while?

The highest form of affection she'll offer is what we refer to as "The Pat" - a rare straight-armed pat on the shoulder. And once in a GREAT while she'll sit on my lap for 10 seconds while I read her a book. She loves books, but she prefers to sit next to me while I read. Not touching, of course.


She has recently made one exception.

Every time I go to the bathroom - which is somewhere between 342 and 567 times a day - she decides it's time to get in some good quality lap time. She has some sort of superhuman radar and immediately notices if I walk into the bathroom and quickly follows me and hops on my lap.

Have you ever tried to poop when someone is sitting on your lap? It's physically impossible. I can barely poop when the neighbors are home, let alone when someone is looking me in the eye and breathing on my damn cheek.

I'll pull out every distractor I can find - I'll put on a movie, surround her in books and release some caged circus monkeys into the playroom but apparently nothing is as interesting as sitting on my lap while I'm on the toilet.

About five seconds after I make my stealth escape I'll see a little pair of eyes peeking in the crack and then four fat little fingers curl around the door. She'll toddle in and pat my knees until I pick her up and put her on my lap.

And then it's over.

Defeated, we'll walk back into the playroom, me doubled over with my stomach in knots and her running away from me because I'm following too close behind.

So that's awesome.

39 & Change


Depending on what doctor you listen to my due date is either Monday or Wednesday.

Personally I think there has been a terrible mistake and this baby was actually due some time in 2008. I'm positive she's going to come out with a beard.

I would just like to point out that if I had opted for the c-section I would be catching up on my US Weeklys while nurses serve me Percocet cookies and tell me to get some rest in my hospital bed right now.

Granted, my abdomen would look a lot like the closing scene from Braveheart but at least I wouldn't be pregnant anymore.

I was thinking this morning that I might try to use my condition to benefit society and embark on a safe sex campaign by showing up naked at area middle schools.

I'm also available for private parties, if you have a child you'd like to scare straight.

Whether or Not...


Today Ellie and I went to the botanical gardens on what might be our last solo excursion of the year.

And I call bullshit.

All winter we waited. Staring out the window as the wind whipped witches tits into mini cyclones in the front yard, me promising Ellie (and myself) that summer will be here soon. Eventually we will be able to leave the house. I do not regret quitting my job. Summer will be here soon. Eventually we will be able to leave the house. I do not regret quitting my job. (Repeat for seven hours until Nick walks in the door and I put on my I'm Totally Sane But Please Don't Ever Ever Ever Leave Me Again face).

Summer FINALLY arrived, and we took full advantage of all St. Louis had to offer.

For about a week.

Then the temperature lurched into what rivaled the fiery pits of Hell and again we were quarantined to the playroom, looking wistfully outside as cacti melted into the ground.

One morning I was so fed up with the weather that I decided to defy it and we went to the park. By 9:00am it was over 90 degrees and by the time we walked back home her face was covered in heat rash and my kankles were speaking Chinese.

So finally the weather has been beaten into submission and we have about four days until my due date comes and life as we know it will once again come to a screeching halt.

Four days.


Despite the fact that I'm pretty sure this baby is so close to coming out it could scratch my ass if I asked it nicely we are taking full advantage of this cooler weather and every baby-free day we have left.

Last week we met up with Nick at the zoo and it was glorious. Except for the part where Ellie completely freaked out on the Train of Baby Death.

And today as I huffed and puffed up a flower covered hill, telling myself to enjoy these last few days but secretly praying for one of the ferns in the Japanese Garden to pull out a rifle and shoot me, I saw this.

You gotta love an old couple who still holds hands. It made my day - hope you enjoy it as well.

Oh, and I know what you're thinking and yes - I do take pictures of random unsuspecting people. In fact, I've become a master of my craft. I have an entire album titled "Thongs Gone Wrong."

But that's for another post.

Old Lady Hunger


Right now I'm sitting here on the couch typing this next to my long lost pal Old Lady Hunger. And when I say long lost pal I mean horrible bitch who is single handedly responsible for that big doughy mess that bulges out under the back of my bra strap as well as that fleshy, jiggly flying squirrel bull shit where my triceps used to be.

We were first introduced when I was a kid and finally old enough to ride my bike to the grocery store and use my babysitting money to buy whatever donut I wanted. As I took off from the driveway she would run behind me and hop on the back of the bike, holding on to my shoulders, our hair blowing in the breeze as we laughed in happy anticipation of what filling we would choose. Would it be lemon, or apple? Or maybe we would just get a giant bear claw! Or both! The possibilities were endless!

But we really got serious when I was in college.

She would usually pop in around 2 or 3 am when I was on my way back to the sorority house after a long night of scandalous and mostly illegal activity. I would look over just in time to see her lunging at me from the passenger seat grabbing the wheel and driving on my lap like a bat out of hell to the nearest Long John Silver's while I sat helpless.

She's surprisingly strong for a 3-foot-tall lazy eyed hunchback.

After college I stopped returning her calls and we only saw each other once in a while. I was single, hunting for a husband, and she was ruining my mojo.

Things came to a head when we had a big falling out about two weeks before my wedding, three days into my cabbage soup diet. She would keep me up all night long screaming racial profanities that made Mel Gibson look like Dora the Explorer. I would hold my pillow over my head, trying to quiet her with thoughts of me in my wedding dress and honeymoon bikini.

Once I had trapped Nick and stopped caring what I looked like we rekindled our friendship, though not to the level we once were.

She's been noticeably absent throughout my pregnancy, popping up here and there, usually at the most inconvenient times. One morning a few weeks ago I was on my way home from the grocery store and looked over and saw her panting and staring at me from the passenger seat and without warning she leaped into my lap, one hand around my neck and the other steering the car to the nearest Taco Bell.

We both waited in silence in the parking lot until they opened.

And then yesterday morning I woke up and there she was, just like old times, standing at the end of my bed looking at me all happy and googly eyed, two overflowing suitcases at her side. I saw she meant business and I figure it's easier to let her hang around for the last week or so of the pregnancy rather than wasting precious time fighting.

And from the minute she unpacked her bags we've been partying like it's 1986. We quickly launched into a 36-hour food bender that doesn't show signs of stopping any time soon.

Last night I woke up at 3am and thought I was going to vomit. Probably from the three pieces of pie and ice cream that topped off the cheeseburger, baked beans, pasta salad, bag of chips and can of cheese dip, turkey sandwich, bagel sandwich, biscuits and gravy, hash browns and two granola bars I ate for dinner.

She also followed me to my appointment and jumped on the scale with me when I went to see J.T. My Trusty OB this morning. Apparently she weighs five pounds.

That's right. Five pounds. In one week. That officially puts me one pound over the weight I was when I delivered Ellie.

AKA... my highest weight ever.

Thank god Nick is at work today because the bender continues. In fact, Old Lady Hunger is getting impatient and pissed because all of this typing is taking away from valuable eatin' time.

On to the Fruity Pebbles.

How Ellie Came To Be




Last night while eating dinner out:

Nick: Remember when we didn't have to shovel food in our face with one hand and try to keep the baby from having an atomic meltdown causing an angry mob of restaurant customers to rush us with their cutlery with the other?

Me: No.

Nick: Me either. (takes a long draw from his beer while wearing Old McDonald hand puppet book)

My Diaper is Full... Full of Fashion


So my no TV for Ellie rule has gone down in a blaze of glory. But cut me some slack, people. Rainy days + big ole belly... we can only play Rub Mommy's Feet so many times.

Yesterday after we had our fourth staring contest I finally broke down and turned on Baby Einstein. Then Sesame Street. Then Baby Story. Then Locked Up Abroad.

In my defense I tried to find shows that taught valuable lessons, like the letter B and why not to smuggle cocaine across the Japanese border.

She's a very perceptive kid, though, and after I decided the TV levels were just about to launch her into a lifetime of facial ticks and Ritalin breakfasts I turned off the TV and without hesitation she waddled over and flipped it right back on like it was her job.

At first I thought this was going to be problematic but I've found that it actually comes in very handy to have a back up in case we lose the remote and Maury is coming on.

Another valuable lesson learned from Maury - condom use. Or at the very least keeping track of your cycles well enough to know if you get knocked up you can pin it on the right guy.

Oh, and yes - those are denim diapers she is sporting. Thanks Uncle Josh.



On Saturday I attended the baby shower of Kelly, one of my Fancy Friends. We are due right around the same time so it was nice because I was able to steal, err, share, her limelight.

Every time she had a few too many people gathered around paying attention to her I would stand on my chair and announce:

Hey people! You think SHE'S pregnant and interesting - well look at THIS! Then I would lift up my skirt and shimmy my glitter encrusted belly back and forth while spotlighting it with a couple of flashlights.

Of course a natural and popular topic of conversation at a baby shower is babies. More specifically, how our own babies came into the world. I think I told the story of my labor and delivery with Ellie around 200 times and listened to others recount theirs just as many.

I felt sorry for the non-baby people there because when the labor topic would come up their eyes would glaze over with "oh my god are these losers SERIOUSLY talking about this again" and then they would silently back away and congregate together near the back of the room talking about things that really matter, like toast.

The funny thing about labor stories is that these girls are my friends - it's not like I was meeting anyone for the first time. I've heard the same stories over and over, so many times that I can tell you with amazing accuracy the down-to-the-minute details of each and every one of their deliveries.

And I love it.

Mainly because delivering a baby is a big freaking deal. I mean, in the category of superhuman. And superhumans are entitled to some mad bragging rights and the most important thing you need when bragging about yourself is a captive audience and a forum, which the baby shower conveniently provides.

But there's another reason I like to hear these stories. In my twisted, demented little mind I'm in some sort of sick labor competition with every other woman who has ever lived.

Oh, you had to have your water broken? Yeah, mine broke on its own. (I win)
Oh, you went into labor on your own? Yeah, I had to be induced. (I lose)
Oh, you didn't get an epidural? Yeah, I had one after eight hours. (You. Little. Bitch. The No Epidural Trump Card. Now wipe that little smirk off your face while I try to find something I can beat you at. Umm, your ass is bigger. There.)

I know I'm not the only one who plays the I Win At Labor game. Why else would anyone give a shit how many centimeters dilated you were when you got to the hospital? Because they are sizing you up, that's why. You are the enemy.

Which is why I'm taking my upcoming labor so seriously. Everything must go perfectly. I know I'm going to be sharing every last detail with friends as well as strangers over and over and there's a lot of tough competition out there.

I must win.