Friday, May 30, 2008

Veg Out

Short history on The Dad: He Does Not Eat Vegetables.
Annoying, right? Me? I love me some produce.
The lil' dude, well, she'll eat anything. Just last weekend, she was trying to fist the white cotton-y looking stuff that was billowing into our house when we had the sliding door open. I advised her that would not be a good idea. Never eat pollen, lil' dude.
So yeah, back to The Dad. I should clarify, he does eat some vegetables. Corn, carrots ( likes them cold with peanut butter, ewww), and potatoes. Yes, arguably a starch, he doesn't care.

The skill with which he can dissect a meal and remove the microscopic pieces of vegetable is amazing. If we are having a meal in a restaurant or at a guest's home, he does this without anyone really even noticing. He's been fine-tuning his veggie removal tactics for the last 28 years. His mother loves to tell the horrifying story of the The Dad at age 2, removing the bun from his McDonald's cheeseburger, and scraping the onions off the patty . . . "just like Daddy," how horrifying indeed! So by the time I got my hands on him 23 years later, there was no coaxing him into trying sauteed mushrooms with his ribeye, or having a chicken Caesar salad. Too late.
In my house? You ate your vegetables. I mean, we ate our vegetables: pan-fried cabbage, tomato sandwiches on toast, marinated beet pickles, grilled veggie kabobs, and even carrot cookies with orange icing. Love me some produce for sure!
When my mom found out I intended to marry the anti-vegetable, she said immediately, "What are you going to do when you have kids? Your kids will eat vegetables!" And yes, Internet friends, my kid will eat her veggies.
"I know," The Dad said one day when the lil' dude was probably 2 months old, "I will tell her I met my veggie quota already."
"Excuse me?" I asked.
"You know, that since I am a grown-up, I don't have to eat my vegetables anymore because I already had 10,000 vegetables, that I no longer am required to eat them."
He had obviously been preparing for the day when I grab him by the ear and shove him back down to the dining room table shrieking, "EAT YOUR GODDAMN PEAS IN FRONT OF HER RIGHT THIS MINUTE, SHOW HER THE PEA-LOVE YOU BASTARD!"
But I had a question. "I will always eat vegetables though, what will you tell her when she asks why Mama still eats them?"
"I will tell her the truth."
I smiled, "You will?"
"Absolutely. I will tell the lil' dude that you are crazy."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Baby Steps

Yesterday was one of those days I could not wait to see my baby girl; to pick her up and hug her close to me, to smell her scent, to feel her warmth. I read too many sad stories yesterday . . . about a tornado and a 2 year old who didn't survive, about the shocking new scandal surrounding the Save the Children organization, about a 10-week old SIDS case who also lost a cousin 7 weeks earlier just moments after her birth. I finished the new Jodi Picoult book about a murdered child and pediatric cardiac failure. It seemed everything I read was terrible and sad and I couldn't wait to get home to see the lil' dude.

I had her in my lap, and we were talking about our days. She was particularly animated and busy, and it made me laugh at her.

Then, she began to do more than squirm . . . she arched her back and straightened her limbs, as though she was uncomfortable. I made sure she had dry pants and a full belly, check and check. I sat her back on my lap and she did the same thing. It was like she was trying to get out of my grip. I thought maybe her tummy was full of gas? so I gave her more room and tried to coax a burp out. No, that wasn't it.

I looked around, realizing her "car keys" were on the floor in front of us. Do you want your keys, sweetheart?

So, I set the lil' dude on the floor so I could grab her keys for her, and she immediately calmed down. She reached her arms out for her toys, so I placed them in her lap, and scooped her back up into my lap. This move instantly was met with cries of frustration from the baby, as she began to arch her back against me. I looked at her for minute, realizing what she wanted.

She wanted to be put down. She wanted to sit on the floor amongst her lovies and the dog hair so she could roll around and sit up and play like the little girl she is quickly becoming. I slid onto the floor next to her, but she was already busy. So, I just laid there, on my stomach, with my head propped on my forearms, watching my daughter play with her toys, on her own, away from me. To say it was bittersweet is an understatement.

I thought she would be smaller, for a lot longer. She is nearly too heavy for me to tote around in her carseat. She can pick up banana puffs with her fingers and eat them. She thinks both the remote and my cellphone are the coolest things ever, and will keep looking for them when you move them out of her sight and wet grip. Her outfits are making her look like a toddler instead of an infant. She fought me on her small baby bathtub, she nows takes a bath like grown-ups do. She is on the last size of Pampers Swaddlers, the next stage of diapers are called Cruisers. No! No, please don't do that yet. I am not ready.

I think I am starting to regret the lil' dude and I have only spent one night awake together; quietly whispering in the dark and rocking ourselves to sleep in the big chair, covered with fleece blankets. That night was her first night home from the hospital. Since then, she has been content to sleep by herself in her crib until morning . . . without me.

I have always read bedtime stories to the lil' dude, since she was brand new. I could situate her in the froggy position against my chest and hold the book in front of us. Now, it's all I can do to balance her and Pooh's Complete Storybook Collection in the rocker at the same time. It's like she wants to help tell the story, too. She wants to help me. See Mama? I can point to the pictures, can you see what I am showing you?

The Dad? He can't wait for her to grow and get bigger. He asked me last night when she'll know how to clap. I said, "I don't know . . . soon, probably," knowing it is right around the corner. He is so excited for her to crawl, for her to say words with her sweet voice, for her to sit by him and watch the big games because she wants to. He wants her hair to grow long enough for pigtails, just like Boo in Monsters, Inc. He is ready for all this. But I'm not.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

She's a Party Girl

You all know who I am talking about here.
The Party Girl.

She is that skinny, ultra-bottle blonde who is loud. Her thong is visible riding up over both tiny hips. Her jeans are an impossible size 26. Her shirt is cheap; probably from Deb. Her boobs are small, but her bra makes them look huge and perky.

She smokes a lot of cigarettes. She is drinking Redbull Vodkas, but without ice. Her nails are bitten to the quick, and have a tiny bit of bubble-gum pink polish left near the tips. Her eyeliner is of the pencil variety, and she has way too much on. Otherwise, her eyes would be very pretty.

She's wearing flipflops that are worn in and an old zip-up hoodie. She knows all the lyrics to the Sublime songs that keep playing. She wants to hug everyone who enters the party, and calls them by their nicknames. She doesn't carry a purse, just her ID and lipgloss and smokes in her pockets. Her cellphone has one of those charm-things on it and it dangles off her wrist.

Yes, picture her. You all know this girl, a version of this Party Girl.

The more she drinks, the more people she hugs. Strangers. She keeps pushing her bangs out of her face. She blinks a lot; her eyes are dry from the smoke. She is swaying when she talks, using her hands emphatically. The Redbull has since run dry, so she nurses some straight vodka in the bottom of her pink Solo beer glass. Oh, how she loves the color pink.

Later, when you are amazed she is still standing upright, and without help, you see her take three giant steps to the porch and bend at the waist. She is puking over the railing, and the porch faces the street. Her friends rush to bring her to the side of the house, The Cops will definitely take the Party Girl's puking as a sign of illegal behavior. She mustn't be seen like this.

As you are ready to walk home, you see her again in the kitchen, leaning against the fridge. Someone brought her Taco Bell, and she has lettuce on her shirt. She clutches a dirty napkin, and is laughing at some guy's story. There is vomit visible in her hair, she has swept it into a ponytail to keep the crusty smell away from her face. She is still smiling, still ready to go, still the Party Girl.

Yes, there is vomit on her face. She puked while on her tummy, all her peaches from her bedtime snack. She rolled over then, and smiled. I'm a Party Girl!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Miller Time? Try Tummy Time!

After consulting every source on the Internet and about 17 Moms, I am now convinced it is OK for the lil' dude to sleep on her tummy.
Because, she's all about flipping herself over and staying that way until the morning light.
She owes me two nights' sleep for panicking about this.

This morning:

She wakes up all snarly-like, just like Mama!

Belly is better Mama, now go make me breakfast!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Not on Her Watch

Last night after work, I was able to go straight home and stay home. For the first time in one week, seven days. Home.
The Dad had Man things to do, like Load Things Up in the Truck, and Go to the Meat Market. I decided to take the opportunity to spend a little QT with the lil' dude.
I took her into our bedroom, opened the window, and flopped onto the bed. God, was I exhausted.
I thought the baby may be as well, as she was napping at daycare when the Dad picked her up.
QT=NT (nap time) instead!

Mama: "Here, lil' dude, a yellow ducky to play with. Lay down here nice by me and plaaaay."
Baby: "No."
Mama: "What if I traced a spot on your forehead with my finger ever-so-lightly? Does that make you sleepy?"
Baby: "No."
Mama: "What if I rubbed small circles on your back while doing the 'shhhh-shhhh-shhhh' thing you love so much?"
Baby: "No."

This went on for the whole 25 minutes I had planned to take a serious power nap. As I lay there, willing my child to pass out, I thought instead about days like this in the future, her and I on the bed.
We'd talk about school, and our days, boys, about our friends. We would laugh about memories, and make plans for things to do together in the upcoming days and months. We would bond so effortlessly, we wouldn't even know we were doing it. We would just be that way, mother and daughter, hanging out on a bed with the window open.

Oh, OK. No, no, shit, no. I didn't think of that scenario, not for one second. I was just thinking the whole time,
"Ohpleaseohplease OH PLEASE go to sleep little girl, shhhhhPLEASEgotosleeptinybaby, ohpleaseohpleaseohPLEASE. SLEEP. NOW."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sleeping on the Job

You know life is sweet when you fall asleep while playing and having fun and experiencing pure delight. Oh, how it broke my heart to have to wake the lil' dude up this morning, from her Exersaucer. When I did, she barely opened an eyelid as her little arm slid around the back of my neck and she nestled her fuzzy melon into the crook of my neck. So yeah, this morning, going to work? Was the hardest. Thing. Ever.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Knee-High by the 4th of July

Why is there a picture of a cornfield on this post and what does it have to do with me, the lil' dude wonders. Well, I'll tell you.
Daddy is from a small, sleepy town of less than 2,500 people. The town is nestled on all sides by cornfields such as the one in the picture. Knee-high by the 4th of July, a measure of a good crop, is what they say about a good field of corn. I know, that was new to me, too. You will hear it one day soon and learn all there is to know about that.

When your daddy and I got married, he picked his song for our slideshow, Small Town, by John Cougar Mellencamp. It probably surprised more than one person to hear that this is one of his favorite songs, but not to the people who know him and love him best. Your daddy is from a small town and he is very proud of it.

This past weekend, we loaded you and all your gear and the Beagle up and headed to daddy's hometown for a visit. You had been there once before; you were about 7 weeks old though, and it was nasty-cold out. Once we got you into grandpa and grandma's, there you stayed. You didn't get the chance to see much of daddy's small town.

This weekend though, this weekend was perfect. It was sunny and breezy and gorgeous. And you were the Best Girl ever and melted people's hearts with your smile and energy. I don't know how daddy didn't explode he was so proud and happy to have you home.

Saturday morning, daddy and I slept in until 10am with the windows open. We had donuts and "Crispies" pastries from the wonderful bakery up town. Daddy said that is the only bakery that puts the right kind of vanilla cream filling into chocolate donuts.

We visited the nursing home where grandma works. You met sisters, one 98 years old, the other, 103.
Of course, all the ladies grandma works with have seen your photo a time or two, but marveled at seeing you in person. It was these people who sent gift after gift after gift. The people in this small town are so generous. The residents too though, lil' dude, they knew all about you as well. I thought my face was going to break from all the smiling I did, seeing them peer at your face and declare things like, "She has big pretty eyes," or "I am so happy to know you, you little lady." You, my sweet daughter, made dark, long days better for each person you met. More than once our visit turned into a resident showing you and I photos of their families. You made them remember! As we poked our heads into the last room before we left, we asked an old man if he was ready to meet you. He sat upright in bed, and turned on the light and said your name so loud! You see, he asked your grandma everyday when you were going to be born, and after, asked everyday when you were going to visit him. He deemed you, "the nicest baby I have ever known!"
On the way home, grandma pointed out the town pool where daddy spent summers life-guarding and teaching little kids to not plug their noses when they jump in. He'll teach you one day, too.

That afternoon, we took you to the park, about 3 blocks from where daddy grew up, the same house grandpa and grandma live in today. He told you, "see those Evergreen trees by the tennis court? I remember when those were planted." Now, they are so tall, you can't see the tennis courts on the other side.

We picked up a greasy thin crust pepperoni pizza Saturday night from the one-word pizza parlor, and drank Busch Light. All the things you do in a small town. We walked around grandma's flower beds and waved to people walking by. We visited neighbors, showing you off, as you drooled and flashed gummy grins. You ate your cereal in daddy's old metal highchair, propped up with a stripey blue and white afghan.

There is also the highschool visible from grandpa and grandma's living room window. Friday nights in the fall you can hear the football game and see the lights. There is the VFW where your great-grandpa worked and gave free pitchers of beer to daddy and his friends, telling them "not to worry about it". He would dance with all the girls on the dance floor, and "made the stiffest drink the county," according to legend. There is the drugstore with the soda counter where grandma gets all her pictures of you printed; the church where your grandparents got married; the golf course; the purple house on the corner. Everything inside one small town.

Lil' dude, this is a big part of your history. Your daddy turned out the way he is because of all these places. You'll have your places too as you grow up . . . making you into the person you are going to be.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Worth a 1,000 Words

That, my friends, is an artistic rendering of the lil' dude.

I picked her up from daycare a few days ago, and tucked into her carseat was this drawing. I unfolded it expecting it to be a daycare lady note saying, Need Diapers. Need Diapers and Scotch and Vacation, but it was this drawing.

"That is the lil' dude," said C., a little who really loves the lil' dude.
"I can see that," I told him, "you did a great job."
"See? I drew hers hair all stand-uppy, hers has stand-uppy hair," he said.
"She sure does," I agreed.
"And hers has BIG eyes. I drew hers with big eyes," he pointed to the drawing.
"She does have big eyes, you're right again," I replied.
"And, hers has a big happy round head. I drew hers a big happy round head," he finished, "hers wants you to bring this to her room."

And I did. I hung this perfect drawing of the lil' dude on hers nursery door.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Danger Danger!

There are bumpers in the lil' dude's crib, and I put them there. Her crib looked so . . . barren and cold without them. Like a orphanage crib. People (new moms) warned me they are the new Sleeping on The Tummy, bumpers can kill.

So far, they haven't been an issue. They match her nursery. Her grandma made them for her.

This morning at 3am, I heard her make a noise. I figured she was rooting for her pluggie, so I got up to help the poor kid out. I found her instead, pluggie intact, smashed into the corner of her crib, where side bumper meets front bumper. She was breathing, she was sleeping, actually. Still made me feel weird.

The lil' dude is moving around a lot more these days, she is never content to lay on her back and stare at the same speck on the ceiling anymore. She's a mover. Now that she is beginning to explore her crib, and all surroundings, is it time for me to take out the coordinating bumpers? Oh, don't say yes. Damnit.

Won't she cry when she smashes her soft melon onto the bars now?

Hmmm . . . what is over here? Let me take a look see . . .

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

Yesterday, I celebrated my first Mother's Day with the lil' dude . . . I am a Mama.
Last year, Mother's Day was during the 12th week of my pregnancy, we were days shy of hearing her heart beat for the first time. My mom snuck me a package, as it was still a secret to most people. The Dad gave me a card, careful to not jinx anything. It seemed surreal.

Yesterday was, in a word, perfect. We had the morning to ourselves, and we were slow and lazy about it. We had coffee and oatmeal (one for each), read a magazine, played on the floor, went outside, and cleaned out the li'l dude's closet and dressers. I really fought back tears as I packed up a third Rubbermaid tub full of too-small clothes.

I got some great gifts . . . that girl has taste! And, knows her Mama well.

Music and coffee, high on the I Heart lists.

A photo album, titled appropriately.

My favorite gift of all, though? These three things.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


47 years ago today, someone very special was born.

My own Mama.

I know I've blogged her up in the past, I probably always will. She is undoubtedly my favorite. She deserves every accolade, every award, every poem written, every song sung, every pot of coffee brewed.

When I was born, my mom was 18, a month shy of her 19th birthday. She was a freshman in college, living with some second cousins. She walked to classes each morning, studied hard, ate well, and never wore maternity clothes. She was alone. She was determined. I was born on a Friday, during the noon hour, after a long, uneventful delivery, three weeks late. She marveled at the similarity when the lil' dude was born on a Friday, during the noon hour, after a long, uneventful delivery, one-and-a-half weeks late. That weekend I was born, my grandparents drove the hour to visit my mom, peek at me, then they took me home. My mom went back to school the next week. She walked to classes each morning, studied hard, and wore the same jeans. She was alone.

She would visit me at her parents' farm on the weekends, reading and doing homework on the Greyhound bus the whole 120 miles one way. She didn't have any money, she didn't bring me fancy presents with each visit. She simply came home to see her daughter. She would put me to bed and rock me and take me for walks across the river. Or, we would sit together at Grandma's famous kitchen table, the one she still has today, and play with what looks like a camera in the photo above. She was my Mama, I knew that from the very beginning.

One June when I was three, my mom got married to my dad. They both had graduated from college that May, and had jobs lined up. They had a small wedding with one attendant each and had their reception in the church basement. Grandma made punch and cream-cheese mints. They played horseshoes all afternoon back at the farm, and there are pictures of the kids on the swings being pushed higher and higher by various women in nylons. I was their flower girl. I distinctly remember crying that day back by the washing machine; I was sad to be leaving my grandparents'. I learned how to read the paper there, how to appreciate Dan Rather, what goes into Ham Spread Funeral Sandwiches, and a whole lot about love and sacrifice and family. My grandma cried too; you see, Grandpa worked over-the-road construction during the week, so it was just her and I during the days, give and take some cousins, aunts, neighbors, or church ladies. Grandma was my first friend.

Then, we went Home.

As I got older, my mom shared everything with me, and answered all my questions. She said that weekend when I was a few days old was the hardest part of her life. Leaving her newborn baby and returning to school. She said she knew if she didn't make that decision, she wouldn't be doing what was best for us, for me. She knew it was our way to a better life. When the lil' dude was born, people naturally asked my mom about what type of a baby I was, my tendencies, patterns, quirks. She would mention how my grandma did daycare for her while she finished college, and how they both have distinct memories of me as a baby. She was never ashamed.

And that "better life" she referred to? I've had nothing but the best life, since that weekend as a newborn I went to stay at my grandparents'. At the time, they had a little house dog of some shaggy sort, named Uffda (yes, my heritage is Norwegian) who would bark at my grandma when she would hear me cry from my crib upstairs. Baby monitors, circa-1980. To this day, Grandma still refers to that tiny bedroom as mine. But I have always belonged to my mom. I grew up the same as everyone else did, in a house that was loud and smelled like wonderful food, with homemade outfits and quilts and toys, and a huge family who loved and loved and loved. And still loves.

Mama? Happy birthday, daughter loves.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Letter from Mama, v5

Happy 5 months-old, Miss Lil' Dude!

Five months. Last night I said to Daddy, "Five months?" all incredulous-like, as in, where is time going. You're growing up so quickly, peanut. Your daddy said, "Is that what it is? It feels longer than that, like she is 3." Silly Daddy!

The biggest change I've seen in you over the last month is how it appears that we now exist in your world. When I pick you up from your crib in the mornings, you grab my face with both your little hands as if to say, "Lemme get a good look at you here now, Mama. Let me see your face," then you grab my lips like you are saying, "now say those words to me, Mama, tell me those little things with your mouth that are words." You look at my face so intently, so fiercely, I can feel I exist to you. You know who I am. I've seen it happen in rooms full of people; our friends, our families. You get busted scanning the other faces looking for me, straining to hear my sounds. It makes me feel like my heart will break wide open . . . you know me, I am your Mama.

Our household noises no longer startle you; the dog's cling-clanging collar, my sneezes, or Daddy yelling at the Celtics. You've become comfortable with you surroundings, your home. Before you'd about jump out of your tiny skin, and sometimes you'd cry making us feel bad. And now, lil' dude, your noises are so loud YOU startle us, or the dog. You owe us that I guess.

Along with your emerging personality and ability to relate to us, you have the urge to grasp anything you can get your hands on. Beer bottles, bags of chilly carrots, my earring, the dog's flappy ear, a piece of chicken on Daddy's plate. I love to tell you stories of each object you make contact with, "This necklace here? This is the necklace Daddy gave me for our first Christmas together. Or, "That is a napkin. You use it to write down cute boys' numbers on in about 20 years." Two nights ago we sat in the yard and played with handfuls of grass and we talked about spring and being new to the world, like you are. I love to teach you things, tell you stories. You're such a good listener.

For being so small, you have a big impact on me. You make me want to be nice to mean people. It's strange . . . but when I think of you and your ridiculous grins and toothless smiles, I can't help but feel like I'll be happy forever. It's a shame not everyone can be your Mama, because they are missing out. You are so good.

One of my favorite things to do with you is feed you in your highchair. We usually start the day this way. It's quiet, and I only focus on you. Before it was too easy to flip through channels while balancing the bottle of formula against my chin, not paying enough attention to you. Now, it's you, me, and the spoon. Nothing else. We're usually quiet, just taking each other in. You're like Daddy in you don't like to talk when you eat.

And, sweetheart! You learned a new trick this month! You have perfected the Little Fake Cough. You use this to get Daddy's and my attention . . . it's so staged and so overly dramatic I can't help but scoop you right up. You're smart, lil' dude, you already know how to get what you want. Good for you!

Mama loves.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Yesterday was amazing.

I woke up feeling nasty, like I had a piece of Wonder Bread lodged in my throat. I sounded like Kathleen Turner and my right cheek had a heartbeat all its own. But. That's not the part of the day I am referring to in amazement though . . . obvi.

Spring finally cracked wide open here yesterday, the sun was hot, the breeze mild and warm. The lawns are starting to get mowed and you can smell bonfires here and there. I heart spring!

I went to work for a few hours in the afternoon, after I had slept enough for Kathleen to retreat and I could manage swallowing most of my spit. I was anxious to pick up the lil' dude from daycare so we could get home and Go Outside!

When we did, we tied this little blue bonnet under her chin (that's vintage, baby, my baby bonnet circa 1980) and let her soft pudgy arms feel the sun without a hoodie or her jacket. FOR THE FIRST TIME! We wandered around the yard, inspecting the buds on the flowering crab apple tree, looked at Mama's lilies poking through the flower beds, and peeked at the neighbors' pool still floating with winter-dead. We made circles around the new dirt pile that soon will be a veggie garden. We leisurely laid in the front yard on a blanket, watching the Dad spray off the truck. The dog yawned, and the baby sat up, showcasing her new core-strength talent. Neighbors waved and honked as they drove by. Girls from the local college roller-bladed the sidewalks with tan legs and very short shorts.

It was the best afternoon I've had in a long, long time. I felt so relaxed, super calm. I was happy and carefree . . . I felt like a commercial for wetness protection for shit's sake!

New spring, new baby. Each day brings something new, something that wasn't there the day before. It's all new and perfect.

Monday, May 5, 2008


I stopped by McDonald's last night to get some vids from Redbox for girls' night.
The place was pretty dead, the evening weather being so nice probably meant people were outside.

As I waited for Redbox to dispense 27 Dresses and Juno, I couldn't help but hear three wee-voices saying PINK ICE CREAM PINK ICE CREAM.


I looked at the counter, where three mini-brunettes with glossy Posh-hairdos stood peering over the ledge. They were completely stairstepped in height, from tallest to shortest. They looked identical.

The employee asked the woman with the girls, presumably their mother, or handler, if any of them were twins.

"No," she sighed loudly, "They are all 13 months apart."

The girls delighted in their strawberry milkshakes (pink ice cream) and ran to get first dibs on the booth by the window.

Their mom told the McWorker all she wanted was a large order of fries, and opened her wallet.

Fries? Lady, you shoulda asked for a Gin and Tonic, extra lime, Supersized.

Friday, May 2, 2008

On Being a Mom

You turn 18.
"Where are you going to college?"
You turn 22.
"What are you going to do for a living?"
You turn 25.
"When are you getting married?"
14 seconds later,
"When are you having babies?"

And then once your lil' dude pops into the world, it's all, "When are you having the next one?"
And I'm all, "When I can sneeze without my v-j-j hurting, or when she can read, whichever comes first."

But, one of my all-time fave questions since having a baby is, "Has becoming a mom changed you?"
Oh, has it, internet friends!
At my 7-week postpartum check-up, my OB/GYN congratulated me on losing the 25lbs that comprised the lil' dude and her house and all her fetal stuff. She even mentioned the additional 7lbs I lost on top of that.
"But . . . why don't my jeans fit me then? Like, at all?" I asked, pulling up my V.S. sweats.
"Little Dude's Mama, you are now a Woman. Having a baby has made you a Woman," said the doc.
I wondered to myself what Mrs. Skogen, my 7th grade health teacher, was talking about then, about becoming a woman during puberty?

Being a mom has changed me in that I now own a soft, squishy mom-roll. That. Won't. Budge. When I go to the gym, I feel obliged to read "Parents" on the Elliptical so people Know why my body looks the way it does. I wish the chick on the stair-climber yesterday morning at 5:15am (AM, as in, Morning, as in, not PM) with ASS SWEAT already would read a magazine called "Starving" so I would know why her body looks the way it does. It'd be helpful and make it easier to make snap judgments, no?

Being a mom has changed me in that I now head straight for the baby section in each and every store I go to. But, just because things are littlier does not mean they are any less expensive.

Being a mom has changed me in that I now think of more creative ways to swear.

Being a mom has changed me in that I now found myself liking a new John Mayer song. Seriously? Then, days later, I caught myself like the new Coldplay song.

Being a mom has changed me in that I now have all sorts of annoying voices. And words, especially anything that starts with "missy" or ends with "pants". Example: "I wuv you, you wittle missy cutie-pants!" Barf. I know.

Being a mom has changed me in that I sleep more. That's right, more. Being prego + sleeping = not happenin'. Since 5 days post-birth, the lil' dude has slept 9, 10, 11, even 12 hours at night. No, I will not tell you what we feed her.

Being a mom has changed me in that I love my husband more than ever. God, the things he does for me, the house, the babe. He should have more sex.

Being a mom has changed me in that I have become (even more) sentimental. I heart all the hand-me-down toys and books which adorn her nursery. I love the bonnets and dresses and quilts that were mine as a babe and are now hers. I love bringing the lil' dude to spend time with her g-grandparents.

Being a mom has changed me in that I think the TV is too loud. I automatically turn down the V anytime I enter a room, whether or not the lil' dude is present. But, you'll be happy to know I still love to drive with the radio on the obscene volume level- not when I am chauffeuring the kid around though.

So far, I am proud of the changes I have undergone, and feel honored to be Mama to such a kick-ass person. I am also proud I haven't taken motherhood to The Next Level. My license plate does not read "Lil' Dude's Mom" nor do I discuss poop colors with strangers at Walgreen's. I haven't hunkered down in the house and refused to leave the babe with anyone except me. I haven't started wearing clogs nor have I abandoned my reality shows on MTV. That's all crazy-talk!