Monday, September 25, 2006

Conversations II

She squirms in the night
I listen
Wondering if she will awaken
A couple of minutes go by
And she is silent
Then so am I

She squirms in the night
I listen
I hear her cry that says
Mommy, I'm hungry!
I go sleepily to her
She nurses in silence
When she is finished
I lay her down next to me
She plays with her feet
Fascinated with the toes
That are now covered with pajamas
She rolls over and goes to sleep
Then so do I

She squirms in the morning
I watch
Her breathing quickens
Her eyelids flutter
She is dreaming
One last dream before waking
Her lips move
She dreams of eating
What a wonderful dream!
She rubs her eyes
Slowly they open
She looks at me and I say
Good morning, Doodle!
Did you have sweet baby dreams?
She smiles
Our day has begun

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Anja's Ode To Her Tummy

There's no place I would rather be
Than on my sweet little tummy
My mommy puts me on my back
But I want to be face down and flat
On my tummy I can see
Everything there is to see
I play with toys and make some noise
Then lower my head to go to sleep
My mommy says that back is best
She worries I won't get any rest
But, oh, sweet Mommy, don't worry about me
For on my tummy is the place for me!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I love to watch "The Price Is Right." I like to try to guess the prices and I think I'm pretty good at it. Someday, I want to be a contestant on "The Price Is Right" (although I realize I better hurry because Bob Barker isn't getting any younger). Yesterday, I saw the first episode of the 35th year of the show. They were giving away all kinds of things: a Cadillac, a Corvette, trips. Someone won $1000 on the wheel. They even played Plinko. How I long to play Plinko and win up to $50,000. I always know which number to pick so I can win more Plinko chips.

The show was wonderful until the showcases. A second showcase featured a Viper, a very beautiful and expensive car. I want to know how cute Vickyann knew to bid $89,500 on that showcase worth approximately $89,700, therefore winning both showcases and the largest take ever in "The Price Is Right" history (over $141,000 in prizes!). All on the first episode of the 35th season.

I smell a rigging going on.

The sperm donor and I were accused of rigging the bouquet toss at our wedding reception. One of his co-workers caught the bouquet; her fiance caught the garter just minutes later. They got married two weeks later. Everyone was screaming "RIGGED!! RIGGED!!" But it was pure coincidence. And they were both very athletic people, able to reach and jump farther than our other guests.

But I don't think I saw a coincidence on "The Price Is Right" yesterday. Which is really disappointing to me. I'm a little jealous too. Vickyann also won a van, a trip to some fabulous destination, and a hot tub. I still want to be a contestant someday. And when I am, I vow not to be one of those contestants who looks anxiously into the audience, seeking for a sign from the sperm donor or another loved one about what the right price is. I'll just know.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Hmpf: the sound one makes (ok, the sound I make) when there is simply no other response.

So, I mentioned in a previous blog entry that Anja the Bed Hog and I usually end up in the guest bedroom around 5:00 a.m. to finish off our slumber. That is when she wakes up for seemingly no reason at all and I am to tired to shush her back to sleep in her own crib. (And yes - I do worry that I am setting some kind of precedent here, that she will always wake up and want to come to bed with Mom. But you know what? All kids eventually sleep through the night in their own bed, whether they be 6 months old or 3 years old. Whatever.)

Back to my story.

I had also mentioned that our guest bedroom was the room not being serviced by our brand new $8000 air conditioner. Which was not the air conditioner's fault. A couple of years ago, stifled by the heat in our own bedroom, the sperm donor added a second vent. The air conditioner repair guy told me that the sperm donor "stole" the air from the guest bedroom. Which was not always the guest bedroom. It was just the extra room. There was a bed in it which no one ever slept in unless they were too drunk to go home AND allergic to cats (the cats not being allowed in the extra room). The computer is in that bedroom, but we have a laptop so why leave the living room if you don't have to. I always used the room to wrap presents at Christmas because it had a large space of floor onto which I could place all of my wrapping supplies, keeping my dream alive of someday having a gift wrap room. Anja's room used to be the guest room. When I got pregnant, we stuffed the contents of the guest room into the extra room and voila! A new guest bedroom. Which still no one would sleep in. And sure it got hot, but we didn't care because we were never in the room. That is, until Anja started waking up at 5 a.m. and the two of use started sleeping in there.

So, yesterday we spent another $800 to have our air conditioner system redesigned, with all of these service lines put in so that the WHOLE house could be cool. Three men stomping around in the attic for a few hours, banging around and leaving flakes of ceiling all over the floor.

You know where this story is going, don't you.

Anja woke up shortly after 7:00 this morning. In her own crib. In her own room.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Five Months Old And We Are...

Two white bumps were observed below Anja's gum line during the weekend. Those, accompanied by gallons of drool, her hand in her mouth constantly, and general crankiness, have led us to the conclusion that she is...


Yep. There they are: two bottom front teeth poking out. Needless to say, Anja is a bit unhappy about the whole development. These drops have proved to be liquid gold. I gave her some of the drops yesterday after we had maximized the benefits of the cold teething ring and the frozen washcloth. Within twenty or so minutes, she was babbling about who knows what to the bunny rabbit on her sock rattle. A few minutes later and she was asleep.

Ahh. And so we napped.

Now I wonder if those drops will work on the cat.

Monday, September 11, 2006

My 9-11

I blame the media for my mood today. The rain isn't helping. The TV is all 9-11 this and 9-11 that. I'm not insensitive. I have a lot of sympathy for the people who were directly affected by the events on that day. I have sympathy for everyone who was indirectly affected, which is everybody who, American or not, sat there that day and watched all of it on TV. I just get confused by a message which implies that we need to move on with our lives while we are continuously bombarded with images that never let us forget. I have to move on. I could write a book about what has happened in my life since 2001 - it would be very thick and have some very sad chapters. But I have had to go on and find my own happy ending.

Someday, years from now, Anja is going to come to me after having read about 9-11 in her history book. I am sure that her history teacher will make a big deal about the largest terrorist attack on American soil (said with hopes that there won't be another). I will tell her about my memories from that day. That it started out like any other morning: get up way too early, go to work. I will tell her how I was somehow compelled that morning to lock the car doors for my drive to work, something I had never done and rarely do today. How work was proceeding as usual, all of us rushing around to get some things done before physicians showed up. How my co-worker, Howard, walked in late, as usual, and said that a plane had crashed into one of the towers at the WTC. And how we all wondered how such a horrible accident could happen, that something must have gone terribly wrong with the plane. Then another co-worker, who had been watching TV with our patients, came running in and exclaimed that another plane had hit the other tower. And that's when we knew something was horribly wrong. Then there was the Pentagon, then the plane crash in Pennsylvania. Everyone was glued to the TV, watching images that would be seared in our memories forever. Everyone included our patients, placed in a hospital for psychiatric problems that stemmed from their own traumas. We watched people run for their lives in the streets of New York. We watched as people, hand in hand with a co-worker, jumped to their deaths from high up in the WTC towers. We watched the towers collapse. We were stunned. We were speechless. I went to the gym after work because I didn't know what else to do; there was nobody there. At home, there was nothing on the TV but the images; images that seemed so unreal. The sperm donor and I knew we should stick a movie in the DVD player, but we couldn't. We were stuck.

I will tell her how our lives have changed. How we try not to be a paranoid nation. How we have been educated about elevated security levels. How, as a hospital employee, I was inundated with training about managing large scale disasters and exposures. How we became a nation at war with a leader we are not sure we can trust. How we have become a nation who cannot even take a small tube of toothpaste on an airplane so that we may freshen ourselves up before we meet a loved one who we have not seen in years.

Anja will be five months old tomorrow. I remember she was taken to the newborn nursery shortly after her birth for her little newborn exam, the sperm donor right behind her with camera in hand. I lay on the operating table in an opiate-induced fog, doctors sewing my uterus back together. I remember my doctor saying "Someone call the nursery and find out how much that baby girl weighs." A nurse went to the phone and a few seconds later exclaimed "Nine pounds, eleven ounces!" And I cried. What a big girl. What a big beautiful girl. We have a picture of her on the newborn scale, which clearly reads 9-11.

She is my 9-11. She is the symbol of how I have gone on with my life.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Bed Hog Does A Tripod

Each morning, at around 5:00 a.m., Anja ends up in bed with me. This is the time at which she inexplicably awakes: she is not hungry, she is not wet. She is just...awake. I could stand at her crib and shush her back to sleep, but all this sleepy mom wants is to go back to sleep herself. So I grab Anja, her blankie, and her pacifier and go to the guest bedroom. We go there to avoid the sperm donor's alarm clock. Unfortunately, the guest bedroom is the room not currently being serviced by our brand new $8000 air conditioner (a whole other blog entry), but at 5:00 a.m. it is pretty bearable. I place Anja as close to the wall as possible, lie down next to her, and we are both back asleep within ten minutes or so. When Anja wakes up, however, she is not as close to the wall as she once was. She is now on my side of the bed, and I am nearly falling out of the bed.

Anja is a bed hog.

This all started when we were on vacation. Anja refused to sleep in her portable crib so one of us would sleep with her in the bed in a very small bedroom. Even though the bed was a double size, I was nervous about her sleeping in it by herself. Imagine this room design: wall, dresser, unused crib, bed, wall, all with very little space in between. One night, the sperm donor and I both slept with Anja in the bed, the two of us on each side and Anja in the middle. When I awoke in the middle of the night, I discovered that the sperm donor and I only had a small space of bed and Anja was sleeping peacefully in the shape of a cross. I had my back leaning against the portable crib - thank goodness, because otherwise I would have hit the floor. After that night, the sperm donor went to sleep in a different bed. I would have done the same thing had I not been the one who lactates. On the last night of our vacation, our hotel room had two queen beds; I let the bed hog have one all to herself.

I have no idea how she wiggles towards me in her sleep. What is even funnier is that I don't even sense that I am moving with her. But I do believe the tendency toward bed hogging is genetic: I love to sleep diagonally. Always have. What I love about my king size bed is that I can sleep diagonal and the sperm donor doesn't even notice. Unless he happens to be sleeping diagonal too.

So this week my bed hog learned how to do a tripod. What the hell is a tripod, you might ask. That's what I said to the pediatrician. A baby does a tripod when she sits supporting herself with her hands. One butt + two hands = tripod. Anja is pretty pleased with herself, but she can't stay up for too long. After a minute or so she is on her elbows. Give it a little while longer and she would be on her face if one of us was not there to catch her. I bought her an Aqua Duck so she can try to grab the little fish while sitting in her tripod.

She's sleeping now, exhausted from a day's worth of development. I'm going to catch some sleep myself before she knocks me out of bed.