Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Luki's pad

Luki moved out of our room and into his own place a few weeks ago (oh, if we could all be so lucky to escape Ton Ton's snoring!). Here is a tour of his new pad:

We didn't know the sex of our baby until he came out and told us, so we tried to make the nursery as gender neutral as possible. Although, now that Luki lives here, it seems like the perfect room for a little boy. The All You Need is Love decal is from sayitwithstyle, and was purchased on Etsy. I discovered Etsy while I was pregnant and fell in love. The bunny mobile is Flensted, it was really hard to pick from the many, many, different designs they have.

The crib was a gift from Big E and Uli and, I am embarrassed to say, is from Walmart. You see, I really liked this crib, but the Walmart version was $600 cheaper -- so, I put away my ideals about labor rights and lifted the boycott against the big box store. I'm not proud, I know I sold out...but the crib, it's so pretty! Big E was willing to pay $900 for the original, but I wouldn't allow it -- that's just outrageous!

The bedding is called Bounce Dreamsicle by Nurseryworks We painted the bottom drawer yellow, because yellow rocks.

Here is the dresser/changer -- again, with the yellow accent.

This is what the other side of the room looks like. The rest of the furniture is from Ikea.

A close up of The Little Prince poster, my favorite thing in the whole room! I found it on Ebay.

We bought that set of flash cards very early in my pregnancy and didn't think twice about the big L on the box. I still can't believe we ever thought the baby in my belly could have been anyone else but Luki.
This is also where Luki keeps his piggy bank: Chanchito

This room used to have carpet in it. Thank God we put in floors! Wiping up poop missiles from wood is much easier than getting them out of carpet.

Finally, these awesome Rock 'n' Roll prints were designed by our incredibly talented friend Juan. Luki doesn't seem to ever get tired of staring at them.

So there you have it...I hope the place doesn't get too dirty after the keg party our son plans to host this weekend!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Welcome back, Saturday

When Ton Ton and I met and started going out, we would have "dates" that lasted entire Saturdays. He would pick me up at 7:00 a.m., and we'd go right back to bed and spend the day cuddling and watching cheesy chick flicks on cable like, Dirty Dancing or City of Angels (always his picks, not mine). Showering was optional, and food was of the fast and delivered variety.

A lot of things have changed since those first dates almost 7 years ago, but Saturday always remained a day of rest, relaxation, and few showers. Some Saturdays we stayed in bed just because we could, while on others we had to sleep in to recover from the events of the previous evening. One thing is for sure, you'd never, EVER, find us jogging in the park or at Home Depot on a Saturday morning.

And then Luki arrived.

The first weekend he was home, I didn't even realize it was Saturday until the day was almost over. It was no different from every other day he'd been with us -- a vicious cycle of crying, eating, and sharting, with an occasional break for sleeping. After a few weeks, Luki got on a more tolerable schedule...but our Saturdays have been spent at Sam's Club buying cases of diapers, or hosting well meaning friends and relatives who come by to ogle and talk in funny voices to the baby.

Until this weekend...

This past Saturday, with its several inches of rain, was my favorite day since our son arrived. We had no visitors, and running errands in a downpour with an 11-week-old would have been a logistical nightmare. Luki, who LOVES his parents more and more every day, slept until 6:30, had some boob, and didn't flinch again until 10:00. Then, we put him in bed with us, Ton Ton got his guitar, and the three of us rocked out to Andres Calamaro. In that moment, as I held Luki in my lap while he stared and smiled at his daddy, I envisioned the many Saturday mornings that are to come -- Luki, playing a tambourine; Ton Ton, continuing to scold me for singing out of tune; and I, feeling happier than I ever thought possible when we first started this adventure 7 years ago.

After wearing Luki out, we put him down for his nap and turned on the TV. Ton Ton used his special talent for finding the cheesiest, girliest, movie on at that moment, and the two of us curled up on the couch to watch Pretty Woman for the rest of the afternoon.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Getting an identity

Luki got his first piece of mail this week. Now, I know it's a federal offense to open someone else's correspondence, but he hasn't really figured out how to use his opposable thumbs yet... and it could have been time sensitive material, like a check from an anonymous benefactor a la Great Expectations. But, alas, no such luck -- it was his social security card.

My first thought upon opening the envelope containing the nine digits that will identify my son for the rest of his life was, "ALRIGHT! Now we can add him as a dependent and get us a tax break!"...but the party in my head only lasted a little while. As I tried to commit his SSN to memory, I realized, for the first time, that Luki will become an adult. Yes, I know I've talked about how much and how fast he's growing...but I always figured he would just turn into a gigantic baby, not an adult who needs a social security number to apply for a credit card, file taxes, or get a mortgage.

And, while putting his card away in the safe where we keep our birth certificates, car titles, and piles of cash from our money laundering business passports, I thought about my mother and the little tin box where she kept all of our important papers. And I remembered the day she handed over custody of my social security card to me. I had been away at college for a week and needed it for my work-study job, so she and my father drove up from Charlotte to DC for the day just to put it in my hands. I don't know if Big E, who packed my bags for college as if I was going to Siberia, genuinely forgot to include such an important document, or if she was just in emotional denial about letting go. I will say that, although I didn't realize it at the time, on that day I took a step closer to independence.

So, if I was a cheesy and emotional mommy, I would end this post talking about how important it is to cherish every moment because "oh they grow up so fast". But that's Ton Ton's style, not I'll say this:

"Hey Luki! Now that you got a SSN, it's time for you to get a part-time job and start pulling your weight around here!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

Two weeks notice

I'm not going to lie, being home with Luki for the past 11+ weeks has been the most challenging, demanding, and exhausting job I've ever had. So, there is a minuscule part of me that is glad to be going back to work in two weeks. That same part is also very excited about the thought of going out into the world and having conversations in which the other party actually responds with words. Minuscule me can't wait to get back to my routine, to listen to NPR on the way to the office, read the news online, get back 'in the loop' about important things such as John and Kate's divorce the state of our nation's healthcare.

But the rest of me, the vast majority of my person, feels heartbroken, anxious, and...guilty. I just wish I had more time! Just when Luki's starting to act like an actual human baby (as opposed to the boobaholic ball of gas he was for his first 10 weeks of life), I have to abandon him for eight hours a day. It doesn't seem fair! …I've already gotten on my soap box about the lack of maternity leave at my job, so I'm not going to go there again.

However, I will say that this whole motherhood thing is a mosaic of so many damn emotions, I could plaster the walls of a freakin' cathedral. I feel guilty for leaving my baby and for looking forward to being out of the house. I feel anxious about the nanny we hired to take care of him...she seems like she will do a great job, but what if she doesn't? I'm happy Luki is exclusively breastfed, but hate the bovine aspect of having to pump milk. Add to all that the fact that, for some bizarre reason, and for the first time in my life, I'm starting to actually care about what other people think. Or what I imagine other people are thinking. I’ve convinced myself that I have a contingent of relatives and acquaintances who judge me and think I’m a terrible mother for going back to work…and, at the same time, there’s a whole other group who, should I decide to stay home, would think me bourgie, or be appalled that I, a loudmouthed supporter of gender equality, could take on such a traditional role. Oh, the PARANOIA that comes with childbirth….this must be what doing meth feels like.

I blame my father and his sperm containing the X chromosome for all this, because I really don’t think I’d be having these feelings if I was Luki’s daddy. My favorite Beatle said it best:

In the end, I have to have faith that things will turn out alright and be happy about my impending return to the workplace, because, as a friend said to me a few weeks ago, "a good mom is a happy one."

Monday, September 14, 2009

On umbilical phobias and hernias

My husband is afraid of belly buttons. Yes, it's as weird as it sounds (but not as weird as the fact that he still sleeps with his childhood blankie wrapped around his head!). He refuses to touch his own or anyone else's navel, and would really rather others not touch their navels in his presence. We don't know what deep cave in his psyche this phobia stems from, but one thing is for sure, the belly button sends cold shivers down his spine.

And now cue in Alanis' "Ironic," because the man who has been avoiding navels his entire life just begot a son with a belly button the size of Mount Everest. Ok, maybe Mount Everest is a stretch, but it would totally be the perfect ski resort for ants. Yes, Luki has an umbilical hernia, and as much as Ton Ton tries to cover it up and pretend it's not there, it simply cannot be overlooked, especially when the kid cries and the thing grows three times its size.

Now, I'm not really worried about the's not a serious condition and should go away by the time Luki is a toddler (I had one and it went away on its own), but it has gotten me thinking about the kind of mother I'm going to be. You see, it's not just Ton Ton. Lots of people, upon seeing his protruding umbilicus, make comments like, "eww how weird", "it looks like it's about to pop" or "gross". And then I have to summon every ounce of self control in my body to keep from yelling "YOUR FACE IS GROSS YOU DOUCHEBAG, MY CHILD IS PERFECT!" And I want to lie to Luki and tell him that they're just jealous because his belly button is special, it's a real button that can actually be pushed in and gives him magical powers.

But that's not the kind of mom I want to be. You know, the mom who hides or ignores all her child's flaws, assures him that he is perfect in every way, and ends up raising a mediocre, pompous, jerk.

So, when Luki is old enough to understand and ask questions about the mountain growing out of his abdomen, I will simply tell him the truth. That it's an umbilical hernia. That it's not pretty, but it's also not that big a deal because it doesn't hurt him or prevent him from executing any of life's major functions. That it should go away with time. And that if it doesn't, there's a lot of money to be made in the ant tourism business!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Show me the money!

So it looks like our son may not have to get a part-time job after all. Recently, Ton Ton and I have noticed a remarkable and unprecedented change in our checking account: the numbers are black instead of red! How could this be, you may ask? After all, I recently popped out a money sucking machine baby. Well, Luki hasn't been that expensive yet. He eats for free at McBoob's, and our amazing friends and families are constantly showing up with new outfits and cases of diapers.

While we're on the subject of diapers, I'd like to take a moment of personal privilege to say: I got pooped on yesterday. No, not sharted on...full blown pooped on. It's like Luki said, "I mock you Pampers Swaddlers and your super absorbent diaper gel, you can't handle my poop bombs!" Yes, the missiles have been replaced by bombs and we are at war.

Anyway, as I was saying, the boob milk and free cases of diapers are fabulous, but that doesn't explain the extra cash in our account. Ton Ton and I have been scratching our heads about this for a few weeks, and we finally figured it out over lunch on Sunday. (We've been leaving Luki with his grandparents for a few hours on Sunday afternoons, in part to have some couple time, but mostly to give Big E and Uli some uniterrumpted time with their grandson with the hopes that it will limit their visitations. It hasn't worked. By Sunday evening they're already calling, asking if they can come over to see the baby...but that's a whole different blog post.)

Ok, we're at lunch, in a restaurant, where you have to pay for your food, and we realize that it had been a while since we'd participated in that kind of transaction. And then we thought about how we used to go to the movie theater twice a week, and that certainly hasn't happened since our son arrived. But our biggest savings come from another little habit we've had to let go of: afternoon cocktail hour. Now, we are not drunks, but we do enjoy a good beverage more often than not. Well, we did...right now we are so tired all the time that drinking would probably put us in a coma. And we were particular about our cocktails, Ton Ton won't touch anything that hasn't been aged for at least 12 years, and I refuse to drink domestics. Who would have tought that booze had been making us poor all these years?

We're rich!! Allow us to bask in our new wealth while it lasts, because once I start work and we have to pay for childcare, it's ramen noodles for Ton Ton and I, and straight to the sweatshop for Luki!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's our monthiversary! Part II

Yes, we are going to do this every month. Remember the annoying girl in high school who was always like "ohmigod my new boyfriend and I have been together for two whole months and we are so in love, we are totally going to be together forever, I got him this teddy bear holding a heart shaped box of chocolates to celebrate"...remember her? I am totally that girl and Luki is my high school boyfriend, except we really are going to be together forever.
Our son has made it through his second month of life! The premature baldness he was so upset about last month is a thing of the past, and there are new hairs sprouting on his little head. For years, men all over the world have been trying to find a cure for hair loss and my kid discovers it in a month. What can I say? I gave birth to a genius. He is currently negotiating a fair price for his hair growth secret with his grandpa Uli. A genius and a great businessman.
Other milestones from this month include: pulling mommy's hair, being full for more than two hours at a time, and discovering that those two things fluttering in front of his face are actually his hands. But his greatest accomplishment this month is his newfound ability to sleep 6-7 hours straight at night. Go Luki, Go Luki, Go! Don't stop 'til you get to 12!
Ton Ton and I also survived, and we barely got sharted on! We finally figured out that we should stand to his side when we change his diaper and not directly in front of the firing cannon (clearly, he gets the genius genes from us!).
So like ohmigod, I totally have a 2 month old! I've been doodling I heart Luki all over my notebooks...