Already, I Concur

March 29th, 2008

I feel the same way, Dooce, after only seven weeks.

HMF: Sleeeeep

March 29th, 2008

I was planning to do today’s HMF post about an item from someone other than Kate, since I talked about her last time, but most of the other hand-made items that are currently in use by our 7-week-old are in the laundry, so here’s Violet’s hand-knit bassinet blanket. It’s the perfect size and weight for a second layer atop the swaddle-blanket. Vi sleeps underneath it every night.

Speaking of sleep, it’s Friday, and in a description coined by my college roommate Emily, Stevel and I are experiencing “The Friday Factor.” This is the condition so many of us find ourselves in on Friday afternoon/evening, when the weekend officially begins, and you want to chill and do fun things, like go out or watch a movie, but the week catches up, and you can only feel sleepy and crawl toward bed for an early night instead. Stevel came home early and is napping. I’ve been tired all day, but it turns out Vibble’s Friday Factor involves a lot of sleeping … but only in my arms. Put her down, and I have maybe ten minutes before she “lets me know” it’s time for more arm sleeping. Here she is temporarily giving in to being put down. In this photo, she is also giving in to the swaddle. Most often, she manages to bust out and stick her arms up or out or sometimes fold them up next to her ears.

Incidentally, all of these photos are from today. That first outfit? Victim of an early morning Poo-splosion. Along with my PJs and the nursing pillow. Up to now, I hadn’t found a way to remove baby poop stains. But I was recently introduced to a product called Zote (I assume it’s pronounced “Zo-tay”), which is cheap and works like magic and can also be used as catfish bait, according to the Internet, which never lies.

Back to the Friday Factor. Because I’ve spent a good 90 percent of this day with a kid in my arms, I’ve watched a lot of TV. Here are some observations:


A woman I knew in college—actually, we had a class together and worked on a project together—was on FreeStyle. I know it was her, because I recognized her characteristic grin and unusual first name. Her living room looks much better now.


Two different commercials feature the music from the hymn “Father Father, We Adore Thee,” which I’m pretty sure (and the Internet backs me up on this) originates with the hymn; in other words, it’s not like I remember a hymn that borrowed music from some non-religious song. Anyway, one of them is the Lowe’s garden commercial, which has just the tune. The other one is Manwich, which features pretty much the same lyrics, except it’s Manwich that is adored, rather than the song’s original exaltee. I don’t feel necessarily political about this or anything, but for some reason it makes me squish up my face and go, “Whu?” It just seems … off.


I can’t stop thinking about Manwich. It’s such a weird food. Loose meat in sauce in a can, and you’re supposed to just eat it, just like that. Is it just me, or does that sound a lot like the definition of dog food?

Yep, Poop—I’m a BIG Fan

March 27th, 2008

I just called Stevel to find out, When can he come home from work and make our daughter poop? You see, Stevel has a laxative effect: He holds her, and SPLWOOJSH, out it comes. Yesterday she even pooped through her clothes onto him, and he had to call for backup at the changing table. But here today, the two of us, I’ve seen only a teaspoon or so of that sweet, golden mustard, and this means I’ve seen only the metaphorical equivalent of contentedness from this baby, aka Girl-with-a-gut-full-of-unpassed-curds. You’d be cranky, too. But I don’t know if you’d be screaming about it nonstop for most of the day.

Anyway, he can leave work in an hour. (I know, Vibble, it sounds like forever to me, too.)

My Thoughts Right Now

March 25th, 2008


Growing pains are real. Or something is real. Violet is not unhappy overall the last two days, but neither is she, oh, SLEEPY. She requires physical comforting to remain content or, say, ASLEEP. For 48 hours, she has required constant holding and has preferred to sleep in chunks of no more than ten minutes—and since this does not count as sleep, I want to say that for 48 hours she has slept only 5-6 hours total. She frequently lets out a short burst of pained crying, and it doesn’t resemble the crying she did when her stomach and gut were upset. Nor do other symptoms point to a gut problem. (BTW I tried going two days with no milk and noticed no difference, so I think if she has food issues they originate elsewhere.) But the point is, WHY IS THIS BABY SO AWAKE AND ALERT GRANDMOTHER YOU DID SPOIL HER HOLDING HER ALL THE TIME!


A rant: Old crones who say things to a new mother like, “That baby’s too little to be out,” or “It’s too hot out to be walking such a little baby,” are obnoxious, and by obnoxious, I mean ignorant and rude and presumptuous and mean. New mothers are insecure enough without having to hear from old hags in public places who make false assumptions about the care of a baby they see, a baby who is none of their business and who, by the way, is extremely well cared for. I wish I had the nerve to say, “And you are too old and judgmental to be opening your stupid, old, judgmental mouth.”


Lest you think I am grumpy, I hereby celebrate that bath time has become a wonderful time! See for yourself!

Also, the extreme cuteness continues to be extreme.


I have watched some good things lately. So I recommend …

[a] Dexter—we are partway through the first season on Apple-TV, and I have never been so sad to see an episode end, nor so eager to move right along to the next episode. Great!

[b] Breaking Bad—interesting characters and premise, and some great acting (a lot of “turns” that shouldn’t be believable, but are, because Bryan Cranston somehow pulls them off). Can’t wait to find out what happens next.

[c] No Country for Old Men—Yes, it’s great, etc. etc.

[d] Michael Clayton—I liked this better than “No Country,” actually. I was just more entertained and moved during this movie, and it’s challenging/engaging to keep up with the plot.

[e] Meet the Robinsons—I can’t believe no one ever mentioned this movie to me. HOW! CUTE! And truly funny.

On a related sidenote, Apple-TV has changed my life, and I’m luxuriating in the fact that my husband works in the industry we’ll umbrella-ize as special-effects/movies/gaming so that we “really must,” in order for him to remain “up” on his industry, have this Apple-TV and Blu-Ray player and surround-sound. Sigh. The burden of maintaining one’s career!

HMF and The Marietta Edgars

March 22nd, 2008

Abigail does a thing called “Hand-knit Fridays,” or HKF, in which she posts what hand-knit items she or her family members are wearing on Fridays. Violet’s gotten some beautiful hand-made gifts from some truly talented family members and friends, so here she is wearing an adorable tiny item knitted by her friend Kate. Kate lives in Portland, Oregon, and stopped by when she recently visited her brother in L.A. to visit with us, meet Vib, and drop off some lovely gifts she had made. This dear little cardigan is made of cotton, hand-dyed in what Kate described as “Oregon color,” which implies all sorts of things, from Birkenstocks, to chilly rain, to organic cereal, and we now call it her Oregon Sweater.

The Oregon Sweater was the perfect outerwear for Violet’s first trip to the beach. As you can see, there was no end to her enthusiasm.

Our current visitors, my dad and Pauline, have been enjoying Vibble immensely, especially when she smiles. Here is a conversation had this morning:

Stevel: “I think her eyebrows are starting to fill in more than Kristan’s contribution allows for.”

Big Steve Edgar: “Well, we’ll know for sure whose daughter she is [Stevel's] when she starts walking and doesn’t stop.”

Stevel: “And we’ll know for sure whose granddaughter she is when she starts talking and …”

Pump It Up

March 18th, 2008

It’s a little after midnight, and I just got Vib to sleep. She’s been fussy the last two days. Gas? Over-stimulation? Stress over the latest polls citing Hillary’s unstable popularity?

Stress over my plans to dye her in PAAS Easter egg dye? (She is such a cute little egg.)

Her fussiness has mostly been absorbed by our third round of reinforcements, the Marietta Edgars—my dad, aka Big Steve, and the Vibble-infatuated Pauline, who has come to teach Violet how to speak properly, like this: “Haah, y’all, my name’s VAH-let. And this is my grandmother, her name’s Grandmother, but I call her Ma’am.”

This is one fast-growing baby. Is this normal? I swaddle her as much and as tightly as possible in an effort to stunt this growth and keep her tiny. In some sort of paradox, though, she gets less tiny and MORE CUTE every single day. She now watches our faces with wide-open eyes, coos more and more, and has mostly gotten over her anger at the diaper-changing business. We also received a wonderful baby bathtub from Nana Anne and Papa Auggie, and Vi seems to enjoy her baths now. This is wonderful, because the layers and layers of sour milk encrusted on her entire person meant she smelled constantly like garbage.

She still loves the Magic House, and we spend some time hanging out there every day. There is also, I should mention, a Magic Blanket, which is a fleecy white blanket from IKEA that often works when no other blanket or trick will work to calm her. And then there is the Magic Blanket II sent by Grandma/Mama in Latrobe. Women friends, if you have not yet had a baby, then when you do, I recommend you register at some kind of Magic Store, because the very best products are the Magic ones.

What else can I update you on? She eats very well. Oh, right, that reminds me. I titled this post “Pump It Up,” didn’t I, and I forgot all about that. Most of the time, I don’t remember five minutes ago. Having a baby around makes it hard to think in terms of minutes and hours and days and nights and dates and stuff, both because the two of us now rotate on a little planet that turns on the axis of her alimentary canal and because she is an all-consuming kind of cute.

And now I have used the word “cute” the allotted three times for one post. (See how I worked it in there a fourth time, though?)

So, she eats well, and she has no trouble switching from the breast to the bottle and back. She eats only breast milk, and I do a lot of pumping for various reasons. The main reason is so that others can feed her, too. But the weird thing is how much I like the pumping. No, not in a mechanical-boob-action way, but because with the pump and bottles, I can monitor my production. As a Human Dairy (or, as my dad calls me, “The Lunch Wagon”), it is very satisfying when I fill a bottle. I just want to make more and more. I want to stock store shelves with my product. I want to diversify into human cheeses and butters. With my trusty Medela Pump in Style Advanced, I can change the world.

I should probably try to do that sleeping thing now. Here are some photos; click on “Next” to move forward in the Slide Show:

Violet Looks Around

The Magic House and a Bum in Transition

March 7th, 2008

Vibble went to the pediatrician today, and she has grown quite a bit—8 lbs., 5 oz. is her weight now at one month (birth weight was 6 lbs., 15 oz.). Everything looks good—eyes, ears, etc.—and her tummy problems are back to normal now (as in, she has the normal baby tummy problems). Her growth puts her in between two diaper sizes. This is a problem that has led to diaper changes involving escaped poo-squirts from gaping leg openings in the too-big diaper and from poor-coverage-side-areas in the too-small diaper. Hers is a bum in transition.

She has come into her own with the crying. Diaper change? Do not want. Clothing change? Do not want. Bath? WTF DO! NOT! WANT!!!

(“Do not want” = [SHRIEK SHRIEK SHRIEK!!!])

She also lets us know when she is hungry (“eh-eh” sound and short-shriek short-shriek short-shriek). Or has a bubble in her stomach (shriek-around-the-nipple-or-bottle-nipple). Or is trying to pass a BM down the intestines (long-shriek). Or has been kidnapped by evil, abusive parents who want to abuse her with an abusive diaper change (horrid banshee shriek that translates to “Call the Child Abuse Hotline!”).

One of the things that can mediate the diaper-change shriek is if we take her in the downstairs bathroom for the event. This bathroom has a loud—LOUD—fan-light and mirrors, and she seems soothed by the sounds and by her own image in the mirror. Thus Stevel has dubbed this bathroom “The Magic House.” Sometimes he takes her in there and sits with her when she is having the stomach pains (see above for sound effects).

Violet also makes some very sweet sounds. She has a tiny, gleeful coo, and when she is eating, she lets everyone know what INCREDIBLE satisfaction she is experiencing—with EACH AND EVERY GULP.

And there are the hiccups—so sad for us, but seemingly unnoticed by her. And then there is the belching, aka “Violet’s big ole trucker impression.” Other impressions Violet performs include …

- The Frog, or Froglegs. When being changed, she transforms into this persona in an attempt to thwart us from removing her clothing or putting new clothing on, or from generally having any control over the situation whatsoever.

- Bird-mouth. This is her early indication that she is hungry. It involves looking around the room with her mouth open, as if to say that someone—anyone—is free to insert breastmilk at his or her convenience.

- Warthog, aka Rooter. This is a later indication of hunger, after the Bird-mouth but before the hungry shrieking. The Warthog seems meant to convey the message that if someone—anyone—does not insert breastmilk soon, she will suck it out of the arm—or sleeve, or coat, etc.—of whoever is presently holding her.

- Baby Chick. Post-bath Violet has a hairstyle that makes her look like she has just popped out of a freshly cracked egg.

She has also begun smiling. Early, I know, but she does. I’ll link you to the photos now so you can see all of these things. Click on “Next” to move forward in the Slide Show:

The latest Vibble shots

Welcome to Hooters

March 3rd, 2008

During a nap yesterday I dreamt that we as a race ate only from breasts/nipples, and as we outgrew our mothers’ offerings, we switched to man-made, wall-mounted breasts that produced various liquid food options. In the dream, my companions and I were dissatisfied with the options available from the giant, wall-mounted breasts in my kitchen, so we went to a restaurant, where the walls were flush with giant fake breasts, customers latched on all over the room.

My mother (Grandma “Mama” #1) departed Saturday night. On her last night in town, Violet’s umbilical cord stump fell off. We had called the doctor, who assured us it was no big deal for it to hang on longer than a few weeks, so just as we had let go of our worries, the stump let go of our baby’s navel. I know this is gross, but I’m totally keeping it!

Mama was here to see Vibble visibly grow larger every day, start to stay awake in little chunks of time, be able to focus on our faces and want to be looking at us, and work through the stomach problems that we surmised in the end were the result of some antibiotics I took in her second week (still going to keep my eye on the milk sensitivity possibility, though). The two really bonded and were sad to separate.

Yesterday morning brought the next round of reinforcements: Nana #1 (Stevel’s mother) and “Grandpa/Papa” Auggie. We’re so very glad they’re here!