Archive for March, 2009

bienvenido, carlitos.

welcome welcome welcome to the world, mi sobrinito.

my sister, e, gave birth via c section to a really big and healthy baby boy this morning at 7:47 am.

ivp, et al, meet ruben carlos iii:
ruben carlos torres III

he weighs 8.75 lbs and is 20.5 inches long. did i mention he was born 3 weeks early? and that my sister is of the size 0 family when not pregnant? that’s a BIG kiddo.

and i can’t wait to meet him…this weekend!

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remember this.

lazy saturday afternoon. 3:30. seventy-one degrees outside. sunny and breezy. the wall of windows is open. smoke from the coil of incense floats about the living room, smelling like sandalwood and burning leaves. h and jude nap upstairs, cuddled together like the mother and child they are. my hair is damp, after a lazy bath. our shower is being fixed. we all soak in the big tub now.

outside, there is birdsong. so much birdsong. we live near a bird sanctuary. i swear i hear a hawk in the distance. music thumps from down the street. our neighbor, crystal, has turned eight years old and there is a party. we need to get her a gift later today. children are squealing in the streets, riding bikes. a helicopter flies overhead, shaking the house for a moment. military?

the yard is greener than it’s ever been in this drought. our crepe myrtles are flourishing. the orange tree is blossoming. the garden is overgrown with greens.

this is my life on this first weekend of spring. color and sound and scent. i am home and happy and alive. glory be.

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nine months.

dear jude,

yesterday, you turned 9 months old. just. wow. really? how did that happen? i’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that you have now been outside as long as you were inside me, but i’m failing miserably. because weren’t you just born? weird.

here’s something else that is weird. you were born on a wednesday. your nine month birthday also fell on a wednesday. and here’s tmi for when you’re a sullen sixteen year old, reading these letters ironically while simultaneously making fun of me: my period came back yesterday. ewwww, i know, right? and the cramps, little girl, reminded me so very much of that amazing night of your arrival. as i lay in bed, curled up in a fetal ball last night, your mama h comforted me just like she did when i was in labor with you. i was momentarily flooded with a visceral memory of your birth. and i was once again blindsided by the reality that you are no longer my tiny baby: you are my little girl.

you are my little girl who loves to clap and bounce to music–and, hilariously, the rhythmic stylings of my breast pump. you now point at things that interest you, and mostly you’re interested in cups of steaming hot coffee, overhead lights and/or fans, and kitties. you play a thoroughly entertaining game with sal cat called “ribbon”, wherein you hold a ribbon, and sal obsessively bats at it, until securing and ultimately storing it under our bed, along with various ponytail holders, burp cloths, and qtips. sal is so gentle when he plays with you, in that he keeps your interactions teeth and claw-free. and you’re gentle with him in return; you very rarely pull his fur or whiskers.

you continue to be danger baby. your crawling is now efficient and done with confidence. you can freestand for frighteningly long seconds at a time, and you’re full-on cruising anymore. nothing in the house is sacred. last week you ate a business card. without remorse.

i must thank you for taking the time to read last month’s letter, jude; for understanding my needs, and meeting them. because, guess what? you’re sleeping through the night now.

i must also thank one of his moms, who sent me a sanity-preserving outline of just how to maybe possibly somehow someday get you to fall asleep on your own. and holy shit: it worked! most nights now, we have bath time, followed by tooth-brushing time (you have a deep, loving relationship with your toothbrush). then i nurse you for a few minutes and lay you down in your crib. and then you sleep for a few hours, before waking up for a midnight snack. and then you’re back to sleep again until six-ish, at which point we bring you into bed with us for a long, sleepy breakfast.

what a dream.

thank you for ending the angry bedtime tantrums. that was hard. the first few nights of our new routine, you were royally pissed. you yelled and flailed and thrashed until you were hoarse. and then you wailed silently, and it was heartbreaking to watch you fight sleep so vehemently. for the record, we did not simply let you cry it out. we stood sentinel by your bedside, silently or humming lullabies, willing our presence to be enough for you to relax and fall asleep. soon enough, it was. i am so proud of all of us.

the downside to your improved sleep situation is that my milk supply is quickly diminishing. i know this is a normal reality: you’re a big girl now. you eat food. you drink water. my milk is more comfort than sustenance anymore. and yet, i grieve this loss. there is so much mama gratification when i pump a big bag o milk for you, even more when you are milk drunk and at peace with the world, snuggled up to me, belly to belly. my milk is our original, primal bond. i promise to be mindful of the apron strings when you’re older, my love, but right now? i crave every constant connection to you.

when this nursing season is over, i hope you still snuggle so close to me.

i love you, danger baby.


um, you've got something stuck to your ass, kid.

bearded one.



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so. nine months–to the day–after i gave birth to my daughter, i started to bleed again. a lot.
i haven’t had a normal period since september 2007. i can’t say i’ve missed it. and these cramps? total bullshit.

that’s all.

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scene: check out line at HEB.
characters: one chicken, one male teenaged cashier, one female observant bagger

cashier: [maintains blank expression while scanning items]
chicken: [fumbles with touchpad to pay for big grocery bill]
bagger: [bagging two bunches of bananas, one yellow, one green] “so why do you buy green bananas?”
chicken: “we eat the yellow ones first, while the green ones ripen, and then we don’t have to run to the store as often…”
bagger: “oh, so that’s how you do it.”
chicken: *silence”
bagger: “yeah, all these people buy green bananas, and i thought they must be healthier, so i bought some, and they taste nasty. they taste like dookie.”
chicken: “i, um, yeah.”

[end scene]

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this video–even with its unfortunate terrible lighting–is meant to make your friday.

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oh hi.

i’m at a loss. every day, i really want to write, and every day, i find it damn near impossible to carve out the time to do it. ideas for posts float in and out of my head like so many good intentions, and now i’m sitting here during a quiet moment at the workyplace, and i’m drawing a blank.

…i’m having blog performance anxiety. or something. i don’t know.

so this baby of ours, she sure demands a lot of time and energy. go figure. she is busy busy go go go from sunup to sundown (referred to as “play” and “pause” respectively). she is forcing us to hone our dry-mopping skillz on ye olde stained concrete floors, as she now deftly pincer-grasps the tiniest grit the dogs can drag in. just the other night, i found a burr drooling out the corner of her mouth as she fell asleep at my breast.

we’ve also recently learned that there is a reason babies experience stranger anxiety: strangers are crazy.

this past weekend, we took an overnight trip to dallas to visit my sister e, who was having her baby shower. [side note: she is huge. her belly is delicious.] held in a small room at an italian restaurant, we were amongst 20ish grown women all sat around a huge table that gave us all little wiggle room. one of the guests was a 50-something woman named c, who looked a little nervous to be sitting next to lesbians but whose nervousness was totally overridden by the edible baby belonging to said lesbians. within moments, she begged permission to hold jude, and of course we gave it. for communal appetizers had arrived, and we didn’t want to miss our chance at getting some goat cheese.

after filling my plate, i glanced over at c, who was feeding my eight month daughter crabcake with a fork! this no-no was apparently preceded by spicy broccoli cheese dip, which we missed. h drew the line at very sugary cake. c actually asked if she could feed her the cake before shoving it in her mouth, and when h said no, c became all pouty and faux apologetic to jude in a “sorry baby that your mamas are mean and won’t let you have cake even though you’re 8 months old” kind of way.

…jude puked and smelled like sour goat cheese, by the way. it was her first projectile experience. and it was just as glorious as it seems. did i mention the small restaurant room was also stuffy?

seriously, who feeds crabcake to a baby?
/end rant.

anyway, it has to be said that, despite the constant dangerbaby moments and being the adrenaline-filled spotter, i am enjoying busy crawling age so much. jude is this fuzzy-headed wonder, who is not quite a baby or toddler. she is squat and chubby one day, lean and gangly the next. she smells like shampoo and sweat and cheerios and sunshine. her pants are always falling down, revealing a fabulous baby coin slot. she calls my name mamamamama as she climbs into my lap and tries to lift my shirt in hot pursuit of the boob. she laughs when i pretend to sneeze, laughs so hard she topples backwards.

i spend every day trying to remain present, hoping to hold every moment like the delectable treasure it is. because, this having a baby part of my life is almost over. jude is fast becoming a kid. i don’t want to miss this.


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