Monday, November 30, 2009

Style Maven

Olivia told me to tell you that:

1.  Naps are for losers with no joie de vivre.
2.  Only suckers go to bed when they're tired.  Sleep when you're dead, plebes.
3.  Crying frantically while sweating and rubbing your eyes red because Mama won't let you just sleep on her all night long is the new black.

Also, she wants a pony for Christmas. 
That is all.  End transmission.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Rookie Mistake

We did a poor job of protecting Olivia's personal space and schedule this holiday.  This bit us in the ass hard tonight as she suffered a 3 hour bout of sweaty, red-faced, tear-stained SCUH-REAMING before she was finally able to go to sleep.  After two days of interrupted naps, late nights, and constant stimulation, she conclusively let us know that our Thanksgiving aggression would not stand.  We heard you loud and clear (and long), Livy.  Mama and Daddy fully understand now.

So, Olivia, I officially apologize to you for not putting your needs first.  Compromise means accommodating your needs within the context of the holidays, not trying to override them because of our social life.  And to our family and friends, I apologize for letting you be a part of her discomfort because of our failure to insist on Olivia's needs being met.  We'll do better next time.

Love you, family and friends.  Thanks for a great holiday!  Love you, SLB.  Thanks for wrestling our demonic girl into angelic sleep tonight.  Love you, baby girl.  Thanks for a great everything, you chubby little screaming life-enhancer.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

For You (Especially If You're Caroline)

My friend, Caroline, informed me that I had shown her more babies as meals than she had ever seen before.  This was after she had seen the sandwich baby below and this video of babies in Thanksgiving food costumes:  (I don't know how to embed the video instead of just adding the link - can anyone teach me how?)

To add to the merriment, I give you this:

To join in the fun, I will be wearing this next year:

Happy Turkey King Day!

The King Is Dead (and eaten). LONG LIVE THE KING!

As new parents, SLB and I are putting a lot of thought and effort into creating new family traditions with care and intention.  While we happily and gratefully will include a lot of the traditions from our families of origin, we also want to strike new ground in forming beloved traditions all our own.  This is important to us, and we're working hard at making holidays in our new little family unique and special.  Also, we are idiots.

Thus, the Turkey King.

The Turkey King, as we envision him, is a judgmental, though benevolent, poultry monarch who travels the world on Thanksgiving Eve leaving a turkey in the refrigerators of all deserving families.  He goes unseen until Thanksgiving morning when he is the opening act in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  When children of deserving families go to bed, there is no turkey in the fridge.  When they awaken, there is one there.  Presto!  Turkey King!  Viva!

Willard is a louse on the glorious plumage of the King.

So, in the spirit of the holiday, I wish you good tidings from the Turkey King.  May His bounty rain upon you and yours this blessed season of Kingly birds!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In My Head

This fruit is bananas. 

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Motherhood: A Sensory Inventory

After a long night of getting up to feed and diaper Olivia, and now of hearing her babble and blow raspberries to herself when she wakes up in the night, I still love mornings with her.  This is why:

That sweet melonhead wakes up DELIGHTED to to greet a new day and ELATED to get to spend it with us.  She'll holler and yell, as opposed to crying, for someone to come in and free her from her swaddle, and when she's finally rescued from her loneliness and confinement she bursts into giggles, squeals, and spastic wiggling.  Truly, it is a sight to behold.  It makes getting out of bed worthwhile and, even after nights of only a few interrupted hours of sleep, exciting.

Now would be as good an opportunity as any to talk about the time Livy spat up into my mouth, but reliving the experience in writing might unbalance my delicate psychic constitution and then the nightmares will return.  So I'll just say this: oddly sweet, spookily viscous curds.  The rest is up to your imagination.

But, officially, motherhood will always taste like this.

At least two in the morning: 

At least one in the evening:

Never before has so much of my outlook, productivity, and ability to navigate consciousness depended on mere fluids.  This is where addiction comes from.  It comes from babies.

Oh, the temptation to make poop and fart jokes is overwhelming!  Later for you, my feculent and flatulent loves!  Later for you, sweet princes!

My memories of these months will always smell like 48-hour-unwashed baby head.  I am in love with the smell of Livy's sizable unwashed noggin.  We don't bathe her all that often in part because of this (the other parts being laziness and her sensitive skin), and I am intoxicated by the smell of her scalp just before a bath.  It's a scent so distinctly her that it's like mainlining infant pheromones directly into my maternal lizard brain.  She should keep some of that scent on hand for when she's a teenager.  She can spring it on me just as I'm telling her she's not wearing THAT out of the house or that her curfew is 11:00 for a reason, young lady.  I'd instantly go dreamy-eyed, hold her gently, and then give her whatever she wanted.

Thank the gods of teen pregnancy, MIP's, and juvenile detention that this isn't possible.

Olivia loves to "moosh heads," as we call it.  She's a snuggler, and it's generally not enough if we're just holding her.  She's happiest when she's held AND smooshing, mashing, and pushing her head into our faces.  I've had many a bloody lip from her signature headbutt-and-moosh maneuver, and I've become adept at speaking with a mouthful of baby hair, cheek, or forehead.

So, in an Oliver Sacksian twist of sensory representation, here is a photo of my favorite tactile mommy experience.

That neck.  It is so very soft, like the kiss of angels' wings.  And the fine hairs, the few that still agree to grow on Livy's head, are like velvet against my cheek.  I spend half of the day with my face nuzzled against that soft neck and the other half with it pressed hard up against my face.  These are some good days, my friends.  I may be oxygen deprived and she may get snuggle abrasions, but it's worth it.  I'll miss this when she's bigger, less baby soft, and inclined towards freedom rather than constant contact.

It's an awful and ironic name, but it's so very descriptive.  I love what we call "the aborted sneeze."  Olivia, like most folks, sneezes in multiples.  But she's not very good at it, and the last sneeze often fails after its initiation.  So, she'll take the big inhale, pause for dramatic sneeze effect, and then just yell instead of sneezing.  I can't tell if she's relieved, or frustrated, or celebratory, but I laugh every time.  If I'm ever able to record one and submit it to America's Funniest Videos, I'm sure that Tom Bergeron will cut me a huge novelty check.  But they are wily, these aborted sneezes.  Like another local legend, the Sasquatch, they have never been captured live on film.

That's it!  The end!  As you were!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Critical Juncture

To be fair, now that I've made fun of my baby's looks, Mama isn't looking that hot, either.  But the growout has reached Zach Braff proportions, so it's all roses and sugarplums from here.


SLB is a lucky man. 

Off to remind him that I'm the best he can do in case his self-esteem suddenly spikes and he leaves us...


Can you find our melonheaded daughter in a lineup?  I bet not.  The challenge is on.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


If Thomas Keller and Alice Waters had a baby...

I would eat that baby, and it would be delicious.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Congratulations and Well Done!

Today we congratulate three people on their outstanding achievements!  Mark November 18th on your calendars, folks.  It has been an extraordinary day.

First, Livy. 

As I was making lunch in the kitchen, I heard a number of heinous farts coming from the dining room where Olivia was swinging happily in her baby swing.  Readying myself for an epic diaper change, I was delighted to discover that Livy has learned how to blow excellent raspberries!  She was so delighted with herself that she'd blow a resounding "pthpthpthptht!" and then smile, only to repeat the process over and over and over again.  This means that she can now make fart noises in two different ways.  As a family in which gas is elevated to performance art, this is very important. 

Olivia Lee Larsen, Mama gives this a thumbs up!

Next, we must honor the efforts of our beloved neighbors.  In what I must assume is a pursuit for decorating efficiency they have wisely decided to keep their festive knitted snowmen in the window facing our kitchen window ALL YEAR LONG.  And now, at long last, their endurance is about to pay off!  Their holiday decor is very nearly almost kind of appropriate to the season!  Bravo, brave neighbors!  I salute you!

If you peek through the lattice you can see the all-season snowmen.  You lucky voyeurs, you.

And what have YOU achieved today?  I thought as much.  Well, let these heroic souls inspire you and make tomorrow your day to shine!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Baby's Blood

Scary, isn't it?

This is what happens when Olivia gets her 4 month immunizations and the nurse doesn't put a bandaid on securely.  I was putting Livy's jammies back on while she screamed on the exam table when I saw the blood.  It so shocked me - I've only really seen Livy bleed 3 times, all from immunizations or blood tests - that I immediately ran out into the hall to get the nurse.  It was only when I had swung open the door in a blind panic that I realized that, being a higher-level primate with opposable thumbs and the ability to reason, I could reattach the bandaid MYSELF.  It reminds me of first-aid classes I took in middle school where the instructor emphasized how injuries always look bloodier than they actually are.  This is a good thing to keep in mind as Olivia grows and starts getting actual owies.

Here's the brave girl with her thigh bandaids.

After an afternoon of chattering, babbling, and giggling, she finally realized that she didn't feel well about an hour ago and begain wailing a cry so pathetic and hopeless that it instantly broke my heart.  I went through my practical care checklist:  Tylenol - check.  Bottle - check.  Clean diaper - check.  Swaddle - check.  Still she cried.  Then it dawned on me that all she needed was her mommy and that all I could do for her was be a strong and comforting mommy for her.  And, for as hard as it was to just hold my pained child, it felt like a privilege to get to be her mommy and to get to be a comfort to her.  I'm lucky to be the one to hold my wailing girl.

I have these realizations from time to time that strip all of my cynicism and sarcasm straight away.  Our friend, Matt, corrected us when I was pregnant and SLB said that becoming parents would be life-changing.  "Life-enhancing," he said, "it's life-enhancing."  I'm reminded on days like this how fundamentally and essentially true that is.

Snark and wit and sarcasm later, I promise.  Today my heart's needed elsewhere.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hooray for Me!

I started a blog!  Hooray!  Hooray for me!  High fives all around!