Monthly Archives: June 2009

When number 2 rolls around

A friend of mine is having her second baby on Tuesday through a scheduled C-section and it’s bringing back so many emotional memories of my last days just with Hannah before my scheduled C with Luke.  First, before I get to the emotional part, let me just talk for a second about how weird it was for me to have a “scheduled” C-section.  I mean, “scheduling” when you are going to have a baby is just so unnatural.  No build up, no “Honey, it’s time!”, no, “Oh shit, I think my water broke”, etc.  I don’t even know what a contraction feels like!  I feel like I didn’t really “pay my dues” for entering mommie-hood.  Not that a C-section is a walk in the park but without my labor “war story” it’s just not the same.  I remember telling people on April 22 that I’d be having my baby “tomorrow” and getting some weird looks like, “How do you know you’ll have your baby tomorrow?”  It’s hard to explain to some people that I scheduled the birth of my child.  I actually don’t refer to having gone through labor, I say I had a “removal” of my child.  

I remember packing my bag the night before and going to sleep thinking, this is my last night of sleep as a mom of one – tomorrow I will have another baby.  I remember dropping Hannah off at school and looking at her long and hard with tears in my eyes as I walked away knowing (but not really KNOWING) that things would never be quite the same between the two of us.  
And now as I think about my friend about to have her scheduled removal of her second baby, I’ve been wondering what advice I’d give to her (not that she’s asking)… what, if anything, would I do different with Hannah in those couple of days before Luke came along and in the months after he came along that maybe could have made this transition a bit easier.  I do know that the age difference between the 2 is a little hard.  In many ways I can see how it’s easier (only one in diapers, Hannah can “fetch” things for me, she’s able to fend for herself at times, etc.) but in many others, a 3.5 year age difference is much more “traumatic” than a smaller age difference.  It may be easier for the mom with an older first but I also think it’s much harder on the first born.  Hannah remembers VERY clearly what it was like when it was just her.  She actually states somewhat frequently, “I miss when it was just us, mommy”.  She misses the special one on one time when I didn’t have someone else taking special time away from her.  She constantly tells me to stop looking at the video monitor while he sleeps, to leave him in his crib when he wakes if he’s not crying, “he’ll go back to sleep mommy”, to hold her hand while I’m feeding him, to hug her when I so obviously can’t because I’m caring for him.   
I will never forget the day I brought Luke home from the hospital and was trying to adjust to this new turmoil in my world.  Hannah was trying to tell me a story and I was trying to get Luke to nurse (which in those early days with him was like torture for both of us).  I just wasn’t able to respond to her, I don’t even think I HEARD her story and all of  a sudden she fell to the floor and sobbed, “but who is going to love ME now??”.  It literally broke my heart.  And this is when I knew this new road was going to be a bit bumpy.  I absolutely knew I had a big enough heart to love both of my kids equally but just didn’t know how I was going to show it with only two arms and only 24 hours in the day.
So would I do anything different (sorry I keep getting off track here)?  Honestly, no.  I could not have hugged Hannah more than I did PL (pre-Luke).  I would not have prepared her any differently.  I read her all the “right” books, I explained to her what a new baby does and doesn’t do, I shared my fears and hopes with her, I told her I’d always be there to love her just the same.  I guess I could be faulted for loving her TOO much, which is why having this other little guy around is so hard for her, but I wouldn’t do it any differently if I were to do those days PL over.  I only wish I would have prepared MY head better.  I didn’t realize how much I’D miss that one on one time with Hannah or how hard it would be to see her struggling with the changes.  I knew I’d be physically tired and drained from a new baby but not how emotionally drained I would constantly be.  
So what would I tell my friend (who doesn’t read my blog and will never even know these thoughts?)?  I’d say,  it’s the most wonderful, special, amazing thing to have happen.  I feel honestly blessed to have had the chance to have 2 kids (after 3 miscarriages, an ectopic pregnancy, and 2 rounds of IVF) and to witness the love and adoration the younger has for the older is priceless.  I feel I notice so much more with the second because I am also watching him through Hannah’s eyes.  I am watching a bond form that hopefully will last a lifetime.  One which I hope is even stronger than the bond I have with either of them separately.  Although I have trouble finding the energy on many days to laugh at her 4 year old jokes or play dress up with her and I certainly don’t read Luke nearly as many books as I read to Hannah and that special bond I had with Hannah when I nursed her (like we were the only 2 people on earth) was most definitely not there with Luke (I actually remember saying out loud him, “suck faster Luke, FASTER!”), the days when I can sit back and just watch the two of them “be” is priceless.  Today watching her hold his hands as he took some of his early, drunk, wobbly steps makes her tearful, jealous tantrums less painful.  So, Marci, in your last day with Nicole… hug her tight, notice every big smile she gives you and give her big big smiles back.  Hold her hand tightly and notice what it feels like to hold just HER hand.  Just BE just the two of you and revel in it.  But also know that although your bond with her may change… it will be more special in the days to come even if she can’t quite see it yet.

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Old Shmold

For those of you who know me, you know that I never complain about my age.  I have always said that you’re only as old as you act and as long as you continue to do the things you love and keep yourself in the condition you’ve always been in… age shouldn’t matter.  I guess it helps that for most of my life people have always thought I was much younger than I am.  I remember trying on dresses for my bridesmaids to wear for my wedding and the sales people in the store thought I was buying a prom dress.  And for a very long time I was always carded at bars.  In work situations, I used to make a point of telling people how old I was so that they’d take me seriously.  Having them think I was 10 years younger than I was was not a good thing when I was making a presentation.   Sadly, however, this has not happened in a very long time.  And there is no longer a look of surprise in a person’s eye when I tell them my age.  I still hope when I tell people that I have 2 kids they’ll say, “YOU have 2 kids?  You look way too young to have 2 kids”!  I guess my drab complexion, exhausted bags under my eyes and lack of sparkle in my eye on most days give away my true identity as tired mother of two.  

But I still refuse to give in to the fact that I’m “going on” or “nearing” or “on my way to” 40.  I’ve recently posted that I’ve rekindled my love for tennis and joined a tennis league.  That was going fabulously until I injured my hip muscle so drastically that I had to meekly call and bow out this week.  I mean really, how out of shape was I to pull a muscle so badly that I couldn’t walk up the stairs?   It was a smack of reality… my body is just not what it used to be.  And it is so depressing!  I want to be that mom (and grandma!) who does cartwheels in the park with my daughter.  The one who can still do a backbend, plays paddle ball on the beach, body surfs in the waves, skis black diamond slopes, doesn’t scream when the ball is coming toward me in a game of family baseball, jumps off the cliff at the quarry (ok – that one I’d never do…).  I want to be the fun, cool mom who PLAYS… doesn’t sit on the sidelines and watch.  But this pulled muscle scared me.  
I also read an article in the NYT Style section yesterday about women dressing their age.  It pretty much said, after age 50 women really shouldn’t try to dress with the times.  WHAT?  50?50 is the new 40!  They had a picture of Madonna at some Costume Gala wearing well, what looked like a costume.  But supposedly if she had been in her 30’s or maybe even 40’s this micro-mini bubble skirt, thigh high boots and taffeta hair bow that looked like bunny ears, would have been a suitable outfit.  But since she is now 50… it was a no-go.  So what is a fashionista lady in her 50’s to do?  Succumb to the pressures of middle-age, and just all of a sudden only enjoy fashion through window shopping and glossy magazines?  Is Ann Taylor now where she is regaled to shop?  Where are the rules for the 50-60 year old cool mom/grandma?   I had always thought that as long as you still looked good in the fashionable clothing, you could still wear whatever you want.  I am not about to tell my 64 year old mother to stop shopping at Anthropologie because the clothes are too chic for her.  She looks good in the embellished T-shirts, tunic dresses and cropped pants.  I can’t tell her she now can only wear slacks and Oxfords.   I think we inherently know what is not appropriate for our age.  I know that wearing a short jeans mini skirt with Ugg boots in the dead of summer (or winter for that matter) would warrant some disapproving looks from my peers as well as the Gen-Yers.  I know I should not wear a T shirt that says “Whatevs” on it or wear jeans that show my butt-crack when I crouch down.  But I think I’m still ok wearing a baby doll dress and converse low tops.  No?  If the answer is no, I really don’t want to hear it.  Because as soon as someone tells me I’m OLD, I will start acting OLD and that will not be good for anyone.

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Four year old fears


Tuesday was Hannah’s last “free” day at home with me (no school, no activities, she can stay in her pajamas until noon for all I care!) before she starts camp.  Tomorrow is her last day of school and then she’s off to camp 5 days a week until August.   I realized tonight, as I put that bundle of energy to bed, that I’m actually emotional about this.   It’s not like she’s going off with a packed trunk to sleep away camp- she’s only going to 4 weeks of 9-4 day camp!  I asked her today if she’s excited about going off to camp and she said, “I’m a little nervous but, yes mommy, I’m excited”.  I almost felt like she added that she was excited as an afterthought, for my benefit.  I asked her what she’s nervous about and she simply said, “just the kids”.   How simple and honest you can be when you’re 4.  I tried to ease her mind by saying she shouldn’t worry, that she’ll make some great new friends and she quietly nodded – I knew she wanted to believe me.  So badly I wanted to know what that little brain was thinking.  Do 4 year olds worry that they’ll talk too much or too little?  Do they worry about what they are going to say on that first day?  That she’s wearing the right thing?  She’s experienced so little in her life as far as group dynamics having been with the same kids since 6 months old at her school, that I wonder what part of meeting the new kids she fears.  She’s so innocent, assumes the best from everyone, likes everyone, expects everyone will like her and becomes almost heartbroken when they don’t.   These times when she comes home so sad and leans into me, waiting for my arms to wrap around her so she can feel safe, and protected like mommies are always able to do, and my eyes well up for her wishing for her hurt to go away.   How big the world must look through her little eyes especially when trying something so totally new.  I can only hope that I’ve given her the tools she needs to go out on this new adventure.  I can only hope that the other little 4 year olds will see (and Hannah will be able to show) the loving, passionate, magnetic, fun, silly, caring, dramatic, girl that I see each day.  I can only hope that everyone at camp will appreciate her because I sure am going to miss her.

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penny for my thoughts


Yesterday, when I was at the grocery store there was a woman who literally was having an entire conversation out loud with herself.  I looked to be sure there was no child hidden under the groceries in her cart or that she had a bluetooth headset behind her ear and there was not.  She was simply, talking to herself.  I think we moms may do this more than we realize.  Just like I find myself pushing my cart back and forth, back and forth when I’m alone and standing still as if I’m lulling Luke to sleep in his stroller, we also mutter to ourselves since we’re so used to always “discussing” things with our kids.  This woman made me wonder what comes out of my mouth when I’m alone.  So, for the past day, I tried really hard to take note of my thoughts throughout the day to see what it is I think about if not say, when no one is around.  I won’t bore you with all the details but here were the trends:

 1. “Are you serious??” and “Seriously?” I’ll group together as the most common thoughts that went through my head and most often came out of my mouth.  Anything from a fellow driver driving too slow (at least for my lead foot) in front of me, to Luke wiping all of his peas in his hair (see picture), to clicking on Luke’s monitor only to see that he STILL wasn’t napping but instead playing peekaboo with himself, to noticing that I had eye makeup smeared under both eyes when I GOT BACK from the playground all incurred this little statement.
 2. “mother “f***ering f*****” was right up there as well.  One expletive wasn’t enough I guess…  this thought flitted through my head when I realized while carrying Luke and all of the groceries that I didn’t have the keys to my house in my hand and had to put all 12 bags and Luke down on the sopping wet rained on ground to get them out of my purse.  I also seem to think/say this when I bend over or twist in such away that I’m reminded by the shooting pain I get in my lower back that Luke is too big to not be walking.   Surprisingly this phrase is also thought for little not-such-big-deal things like not being able to find the dried apple rings with the rest of the dried fruit in the grocery store or not being able to find any matching socks in any of our sock drawers.  I may need anger management to deal with this one.
 3.  “I’m just sayin’ “.  I think I picked this one up from Twitter or reading other blogs because it was not something I said until recently, and now I’m quite fond of it.  It’s much more impactful with a little finger wag to go along with it to really get the point across which probably gets me some good looks from strangers when they see me wagging my finger at no one, but when someone does something truly ridiculous without thinking first, it warrants this little ditty.
4. “I’m so tired I could throw up”.  No explanation needed here.  I say it 10-12 times a day and will blame my 5:00 am rising drama queen daughter and face-planting prone, adventure seeking son.
5. “Becca is….” for some reason, throughout the day I am always thinking about what my next facebook status update should be.  I think far too often in the third person.  Anyone else?
6. “niiiiiice”   This is usually my thought when I see the dark circles under my eyes, my mess of hair on top of my head, my unshaven legs and the under arm jiggle I seem to all of a sudden be sporting.  Although numbers 1 and 2 could certainly apply here too.
7.  “Ahhhhhh”… this one was not uttered too often but warrants mentioning since maybe once a day it floated across my head and out my mouth.  Things like peeing alone in the bathroom, showering (maybe not once a day but most likely once a week), when both kids are finally asleep (for real asleep not wandering through the halls upstairs, asking for drinks of water, or waiting to be “checked on” asleep) and my glass of wine is in my hand, or when it’s 6:00 Saturday morning and there is someone lying next to me who I can (lovingly) kick and say, “can you take them downstairs” and I roll over and go Back. To. Sleep.

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Anyone like to Swing?

Ever feel when you speak all that’s heard is, “meep, meep, meep”?  Like your words somehow didn’t make it past your lips to the recipients ears and there’s like a brick wall in front of you that your words hit and bounce back into your mouth?  No?  Hm.  It happens to me at times and usually in situations where honestly, I’d really LIKE to be heard.  Tim makes fun of me often for this little Problem I have.  It happens most often a) when I’m trying to order a drink at a bar.  My “excuse me” to get the bartender’s attention is just NEVER heard.  “YO” sometimes works better but not always. b). When I’m meeting new people.  This is the worst because I usually have tried to chime in with something witty and something is lost when I have to repeat that witty little comment.  And then I have this second Problem where I turn a bright shade of red when I’m embarrassed that no one has heard me and my comment is no longer timed quite right to be funny or really wasn’t so funny in the first place.

Meeting new people.  Ahhh… the issue in my life at the moment.  I’m not trying to toss my old friends over the cliff or anything but I would like some more “convenient” friends.  Ones that live in my town.  I’m realizing at the ripe old age of 37 that this is just not a simple thing to do anymore.  Meet new friends.  I made a boatload of friends when Hannah was first born but I’ve come to realize over the past 4 years that most of these friends were really just friends because we had newborns at the same time, but in reality, well, I just don’t like them so much.  (Not ALL of them of course since some may actually read this blog.  Those of you who are my real friends… you know who you are.  And if you aren’t sure, this is the perfect place to tell you that you’re not!).  So, here I am at that ripe old age of 37 working on finding some new friends.  
Here are my requirements:
 – Friend needs to have kids (not that I don’t like childless women but a) I have a hard time venting about my kids to women who can’t relate and b) I’m jealous of these childless women many days and I don’t like to be jealous of my friends.
 – Friend needs to be “Real”.  I meet too many women who make it seem everything is jolly every day in their world and I don’t buy it.  Come on, cut the crap, tell it to me straight… life can suck sometimes and I want to dish it out and hear about it.   Your kids aren’t perfect and neither are mine.
 – Friend needs to have a sense of humor.  I’m tired of the weird looks I get from some women when I make a sarcastic comment.  And even more tired of saying, “I’m just kidding”.  
 – Friend needs to be Fun. Or least likes to talk about the days when she was fun and liked to have fun.  Because most days I sure as hell am not fun but I like to think that somewhere deep inside that fun-ness still exists.
 – Friend needs to like to swing.  Ok – this one was a screener to see if you got my sense of humor… I’ll keep my husband for myself, thanks.  For those of you who didn’t get it, “I’m just kidding.”   
I thought long and hard as to how to meet some new women and decided to join a tennis group. Good way to meet fun women I thought.  Or at the very least, get some exercise doing something I love (or used to since it’s been YEARS!).  Today was my first “meeting”.  I was so nervous – like i was going on a first date… will they like me, was I wearing the right type tennis clothes, should I wear my (Chanel) sunglasses (I mention Chanel because it’s the ONE Chanel thing I own and I really didn’t want to give the wrong impression to these ladies.  Overthinking?  Maybe.), will they even speak to me… you know, all the normal questions that run through your head in moments like this.  
There were 3 women waiting by the court when I walked up.   I introduced myself and said it was my first day, blah, blah, blah.  And of course, what happens?  “meep, meep, meep”.   That’s right, they didn’t hear a word I said and just gazed quizzically at me.   Had to repeat it all…  Then I wasn’t sure if I should try to join in on their conversation or just smile and look from one to the other as THEY spoke.  They were talking about whether it was going to rain this weekend and I chimed in that I couldn’t believe how horrendous the weather has been and that it was going to rain for the next 5 days straight, what’s going on with the universe…  HELLO, Debbie Downer has joined the group!  At least that was the look I got from all three women all at once.  I stayed quiet for the remainder of the pre-tennis time.  No fast friends made there.  I decided just to focus on the tennis side of the 2 hours from that point.  I said, “nice shot” no matter what when my partner got the ball in.  I said, “nice shot” when my opponent got a shot in.  I apologized for bad shots that I made.  I smiled a lot.  I was just Nice.  I played it Safe.  So, day one in “making new friends” went ok.  I certainly wasn’t offensive, didn’t embarrass myself too badly with bad jokes or sarcasm gone awry, and played some pretty good tennis (which strangely seemed to be what was most important to these women…).  The jury is still out whether this will be the right meet-some-new-friends place or if the “wine tasting club” would have been a better place to start.

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Sports talk

Tim and I disagreed for the first time yesterday.  HA!  Not really, but honestly it was our first parenting discussion that I feel we are seriously at a crossroads, where neither one of us will budge and I’m not sure how it is going to work itself out.  Here’s the issue… Tim feels that we should let our kids do whatever the hell they want to do even if it means putting them in harms way.  OK – that might be slightly overstating the fact, and a little bit of a dramatic way of saying what I want to say (I just think I’ll win more of my readers over if I put it like that).  The example that we discussed was sports.  Basically, I DO NOT want Luke to play football (the American football that is for my European and Australian readers).  Jewish boys do not play football (except for Tim).  Just like Jewish boys aren’t cops and don’t join the marines… they just don’t play football.  We Jewish moms just aren’t wired to deal with the constant worry.  His religion is really not the only reason I don’t want him to play though.  It’s just not a wise sport to choose (unless of course you’re 6’6 and 300 pounds and everyone who looks at you states, “I sure hope you play football.”).  Tim played football through high school and college and is PAYING for it still today.  He’d be the first to admit he’s a 38 year old in a 50 year old’s body because of football.  His back is a mess – because of football.  Tim thinks we should let Luke choose what he wants to do and be supportive of it.  I think we should encourage him to play other sports from an early age (like now at age 1) so that football doesn’t look as appealing.   Just like I won’t encourage sky diving or bungee jumping, I don’t see why we can’t discourage a sport that requires men ramming full speed into one another and piling on top of each other.  (I’ll also admit I’m not even a fan of WATCHING the sport but would have no problem if Luke enjoys viewing the silliness from the couch).  Tim is worried that I’ll be one of “those moms” that prohibits their children from doing something that their friends are doing and then require Luke to admit, “my mommy won’t let me”.  Well, I just might be, and if it is for my kid’s safety and benefit… I’ll be ok with that (see I AM a good mother).   Tim retorted at one point during this discussion that gymnastics is very dangerous for girls and I’m not discouraging Hannah from that, and I told him, if he felt strongly about it, then I’d have her stop (although I had my fingers crossed behind my back).  That shut him up… but didn’t get him to change his mind on football.   I don’t think any guys read my blog but my question is, is it most dad’s desire to see their boy play football?  Is there nothing that would make a dad prouder?  Am I going to be up against Tim and Luke’s “manhood” if I press this subject as he gets older?  If so, I’m ready for that fight.  Can you ask your husband’s for their take on this?  I grew up in a house where neither my dad nor my brother had any interest in football so I already know their opinion.  My dad would most likely recommend a much safer subdued sport like golf or even baseball where only a helmut and penis protector is required.   One thing I do have to say though, is if Luke continues as he is with his speech development (everything under the sun, and my roof, is a “buh”) then maybe the sport of meatheads will be appropriate.  But for now, I’m going to secretly be sitting Luke in front of Major League Soccer or baseball games, placing a lacrosse stick in his hand and quietly whispering in his ears each night, “football is for wussies, football is for wussies”.  

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bad mommy-ing


With all the jibber jabber these days about it being in-vogue to be a bad mother, I thought my daughter’s comment this morning was topical.  “You’re Being a Bad Mommy” she said to me through her tears.  It was like she whopped me in the stomach.  Because even as cool as it might be these days to be a bad mom… I actually still pride myself in being a good one.  I know her perspective on the topic is a little different than the rest of the blogosphere’s and her rationale for this outburst was that I wouldn’t let her watch TV at 5:30 this morning and I raised my voice (ok, I screamed) at her for thrashing about in my bed whining she was “uncomformatable”, pounding on the bed, and pushing my face with her feet.  I’m not sure what a “good mommy” would have done in this situation.  I actually think that there is a big difference between a “good mommy” and a “good mother”.  I believe the first is from the child’s perspective and the latter from the parent’s.  My problem is that I’m not sure which I want to be.  The issue in my world is that ever since the words “it’s a girl” were uttered from the doctor’s mouth all I wanted was to be my new little girl’s friend.  And I’ve been a really good friend to her.  We have real conversations, we share real thoughts, she sits on my lap through pedicures, she shops with me, gardens with me, dances with me…she’s my little buddy.  And luckily, for most of her life she’s been easy to have as a friend.  But recently, I’ve started to feel a little walked on and have realized that this girl may need more of a mother figure who sets stricter guidelines and doesn’t give 2nd, third, and forth chances before getting reprimanded for her behavior.  I know it’s parenting 101 type stuff but honestly, it’s just not easy for me.  This is why I wasn’t a very good camp counselor.  I just wanted to be the campers’ friend – couldn’t be their “boss”.   But where does this leave me now?  How do I all of a sudden change my ways and start being so stern with her, not letting her do things she is so accustomed to doing and being a totally different figure to her?   Ok, don’t answer that… I know the answer.  And I started this morning.  She is actually in her room now, which is where she will be spending the entire day after her horrendous behavior this morning.   I’m not sure how much she’s grasping the fact that this is a punishment since she’s never been punished like this before and she brought dozens of her toys with her to her room to keep herself busy.  I actually peaked in on her and she was wearing a princess dress and crown, had put 6 or 7 babydolls to sleep in various spots in her room and was practicing drawing butterflies in her notebook.   Didn’t look too much like she was “learning a lesson” but I had to start somewhere.   So today, I am a bad mommy, but hopefully one step closer to being a good mother.  And hopefully she can still be my friend.

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