Sunday, January 30, 2005


To: Benjamin
Re: Sleep

Your dad and I slept three hours last night. Four tops. We are exhausted, and you are too. Yet you still refuse to go to sleep. I rock you, feed you, change you, rock you, feed you, change you, over and over again for hours until I collapse exhausted into the bed, leaving you in the crib red-faced and screaming at the top of your lungs. Then your dad takes you. You’re not sick; I checked your temperature. You’re not hot or cold either. You don’t seem to be teething. You just don’t want to sleep. This morning, we decided to take you for a ride. On our way to the car, a strange Russian woman in a jogging suit was plucking loquats from the tree in front of our building. “I need something to keep my mouth from getting dry,” she said. We drove for forty minutes and you fell asleep. However, the minute we pulled up to our apartment, you awoke. We were not surprised.
Benjamin, it was at this point, after much deliberation, that we decided we are going to let you cry it out. We will be determined and steadfast, and we will probably cry with you. But eventually you will go to sleep, and it will be a miracle. One day, Benjamin, you will have a baby too. And I hope he screams. I hope he screams to holy hell.

Friday, January 28, 2005

burned out

Ryan’s car key slipped from my fingers into a deep hedge yesterday. I took Ben to Kids’ Club at the YMCA and they had to come get me off the treadmill because he was crying inconsolably. Our car needed new brakes this week and –surprise!—a new alternator belt, and we had to borrow money to pay for the repairs. Our heaters don’t work, our toilet is running. I tried to install DSL, and after six hours of technical support, I failed. My camera is broken. The screen on my laptop won’t stay up by itself. I’m tired of mailing things, writing lesson plans, changing diapers, filing paperwork, pumping gas, paying bills, cooking dinner, requesting forbearances on student loans. All I want to do is crawl under a blanket and sleep, sleep, sleep. I've gotta go. The baby is crying. Really.

Monday, January 24, 2005

may god bless you, little grace

I was minding my own business, looking for coupons for Total cereal and Purell hand sanitizer in the Sunday paper that comes to my house thanks to whoever lived in this apartment before I did when all of a sudden, I came across the following advertisement (see photo below). It is a fifteen and one half inches life like premature baby doll wearing a miniature disposable diaper and an ankle bracelet. "So Truly Real," the ad says, "...Grace's RealTouch vinyl skin holds all the realistic folds and creases." Does anyone else think this is a little creepy? I tried to rationalize that some people might want to buy a $129.99 doll for their child, but then, in tiny print in the corner I saw the following statement: "This doll is not a toy; she is a fine collectible to be enjoyed by adult collectors." Who is the market for baby Grace? I can only picture an old woman who never had children with warts on her face and frizzy gray hair stroking Grace's vinyl skin in the dark, surrounded by seventy-two cats licking their own feces. "Baby Grace," she coos, "Baby Grace. My little baby girl." This doll should be illegal.

so life like! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

bikinis are stupid

Say you squeezed a baby out of your crotch three months ago. Say you’re feelin’ a little blue because you’ve got an incredible amount of lard hanging over your pants, not to mention back fat. Here’s what not to do: Don’t try on your old bikinis. For a second, you might think, “Hey, it isn’t so bad.” But then you will turn around and look at the reflection of your back through the tiny lens of your compact mirror, and when you do, you will wonder how more of your ass is visible than the pink and white stripes on that miniscule scrap of cloth that was once your bikini bottom. Depressing enough for you? There’s more. Next, you will convince yourself that it’s time for a one piece. You head down to Target in search of a suitable alternative. On a lopsided rack behind the bikinis, you will find a turquoise one piece and a fuchsia two-piece tankini. As you search for a Large, two teenyboppers hold nearly transparent white bikinis against their tight, tan bodies and wonder whether a small will fit. “I’d go with a small,” one of them says to the other. “Definitely.” You know they don’t notice you in the back holding your tent of a bathing suit, but for some reason you just know they are looking at you in disdain. “Just wait,” you think. “Just wait.” But when you get home (you’ve decided not to buy either and simply not go swimming for awhile), you upload pictures of your baby Ben wearing his sunhat that he hates and realize that you have the most beautiful baby ever invented. It sounds cliché, but it is worth it.

Here comes the sun Posted by Hello

The fam Posted by Hello

Fat man taking a bath Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 13, 2005

waiting for ben to wake up

I'm waiting for Ben to wake up so I can feed him and go to bed. I suspect he is teething, but the doctor says he isn't. We'll see about that, missy. Wait till that tooth comes in. Anyway, I was clicking around to see who else likes what I like, and I find that the people who like what I like are really annoying. Which means that I'm probably really annoying too. So I officially apologize to everyone who knows me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


To see a picture of my son, click here.


To see a picture of my son, click here

Ben at 3 months Posted by Hello

test--trying to set up links

Visit my friend Renee.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

happy birthday and happy new year

Benjamin turned three months old today, and to celebrate, we took him to Babies R’ Us and bought him a baby toy. He even let me walk him around in the front pack for a few minutes before he got angry. We rang in the New Year at the Bartletts. Ryan and I (well, mostly Ryan) won Trivial Pursuit and Ben woke up almost exactly at midnight, red-faced and screaming for food. (By the way, he sleeps to the sounds of the rainforest because he is so very spoiled.) Every so often, Ben goes through periods where he sleeps almost all day, wakes up pissed off to eat, and goes back to sleep. Then, after a couple of days of this, he wakes up a different baby, and the change is tangible. He starts looking around a little more. He holds the rattle longer and puts it in his mouth. He went through this cycle again this week, and I believe the new skill that will emerge is the ability to roll over. Because he FINALLY lets me place him on his tummy. He FINALLY let us photograph him smiling. He even rolled over today (though I’ll admit he was on an angle already).

I’ve been going through some depression because my hormones are completely out of whack due to weaning. I’m wearing cold cabbage leaves on my rock-hard, throbbing boobs and I’m wondering if the milk will go away or if my boobs will simply explode. Either way, I’ll be out of my misery soon. I’m glad I made the decision to wean him. It’s been relatively stress-free for Ben, as he eats anything that’s given to him, but it’s been kind of a rocky road for me emotionally. Today was the first day that I’ve felt normal in over a week, and I think it is because I’m exercising vigorously every day (thanks for the advice Mary). Back to boobs, I came across a website today that showed pre-pregnancy boobs and post-pregnancy boobs. It was just a mix, you know, of photographs of average people’s boobs. It was a breastfeeding website, not a sexual one, and it was very fascinating and a tad distressing. What was worse, as I scrolled down, I found a box on the side of the website that contained a message about how if you formula-feed your baby, you are setting him up to be twice as likely to die. This is a totally manipulative use of statistical information, almost to the point of being fanatical propaganda, and it really made me angry. Although nearly 60% of women stop breastfeeding by the time their babies are 3 months old, no one talks about it. There are reasons that people stop that go beyond being poor and uneducated. For me, there was a psychological factor, and I haven’t seen anyone anywhere discuss this in any meaningful way. In fact, the very real depression I’m experiencing is only dealt with in a cursory manner. Anyway, sorry to rant, but I’m going to definitely write more about this and try and get it published somewhere, because, it’s really absolute bullshit.

I’ve gotta go now—It’s nearing midnight and I’m gonna wake Ben up and feed him before I go to bed. But I want to say just one thing: This new year, in the wake of the giant wave that killed so many people, I’m so grateful to have so much love in my life, and so sorry for those who’ve had that taken away from them. My new year’s resolution is to not take what I have for granted.

Victory! Posted by Hello

In his little man outfit Posted by Hello

With Daddy Posted by Hello

Happy New Year! Posted by Hello

Playing a mean trick Posted by Hello

Come on. He's fucking adorable. Posted by Hello

Big smiles!! Ryan skat (sp?) sings for him, and Ben loves it.  Posted by Hello

This is the reason I had a baby--to wear him in a baby backpack. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Playing a mean trick Posted by Hello

Happy New Year!! Posted by Hello

Victory! Posted by Hello

Chilling on the couch Posted by Hello

Ben in his little man outfit Posted by Hello