Small town girl

Until a week ago, I thought “The Wheels on the Bus” was a song about a school bus. I grew up in a small town, and we didn’t have public busses, and it genuinely never occurred to me in all this time that the song wasn’t about the big yellow school bus I rode all through my early education years.

Did I think it was odd there were babies on the bus? No, there were kindergarteners on my bus that went “waa waa waa” all through the town. Did I think it was odd there were mommies on the bus, going “hush hush hush”? Maybe a little, but since the version I’ve always sung also has monkeys on the bus (going “more bananas!”) and some other occupants you won’t see on a city bus either, it all seemed normal.

I’m not proud it took me this long to realize it, but there you have it. Parenting. You learn something new every day, even if it is something blindingly obvious.

Conversations with Pea, part the next

A few days ago, getting ready to go downstairs and watch a show

Pea: I am thirsty! Are you thirsty? pours giant glasses of water for us both
Me: Oh thanks, yes, I’m thirsty. I’ll bring my water downstairs.
Pea: drinks his water in one shot. Looks satisfied.
Pea: I’m going to bring my water downstairs too!
Me: ?
Pea: rubs belly, smiles like cheshire cat
Me: sighs


Snuggled up in bed last night.

Me: Sunday is Mothers’ Day.
Pea: Oh, ok.
Me: So we need to remember to call all our mother type people.
Pea: Ok. I can help you remember. You are better at remembering.
Me: waits…

Me: waits…

Me: also I am a mother.

Pea: tone of surprise Oh yeah!! cuddles me vigorously
Pea: Do you want a cake? I can make you a cake! The olive oil one turned out well!

Me: No, I am ok with not much of anything*, I just didn’t want you to realize I’m a mom on Monday and feel bad for not twigging earlier.

Pea: Yes. Although, really this is Spud’s responsibility.


* We tend not to celebrate things like Valentine’s, or Easter, or do much beyond small presents and maybe dinner out for birthdays and Christmas. This I am sure will change once Spud learns what holidays are. We will want to celebrate with him/for him, but for just the two of us, we are typically very low key.


Me: I would worry about the 4 month sleep regression, but Spud’s sleep is already so bad, what can we regress from?

Spud: hold my beer.

In other news, I caught a wretched cold and have now passed it to Spud. Jury is still out on Pea, who is bouncing a sleep-rejecting Spud as I type.

My mother is visiting and has made soup and stew and copious pots of tea. I thought this would be less of a care-taking time and more of just a fun visit for her, but alas. We are a house of plague and zombies.


It is my birthday today.

I like birthdays, but more so other people’s. I am mostly in it for the cake, because I seriously love cake. I am not sure dairy-free cake will quite cut it, but Pea has decided to try to adapt a recipe, so I’m excited.

Last year on my birthday, Pea and I flew back from Hilly Quirky for the last time, having vacated our apartment there, and with our possessions in transit on a moving truck behind us. Spud was, unbeknownst to us*, burrowing merrily into my uterine lining as our plane jetted across the continent. It was the start of a busy, stressful, joyous, painful, unique year.

This year I turn 35. According to popular science**, my reproductive tract should be withering and falling out of my body as a desiccated lump in the next day or two. Amid unending “will you guys have another?” questions***, it’s not a milestone that is designed to make me feel amazing.

I do feel amazing though. I am tired, and often overwhelmed, unwashed, or both. I don’t care. I have a partner who is loving and kind and quirky and funny and delicious. I have a bright-eyed, cheerful kiddo who learned to giggle this week. I have my dream job, and, one year in, I know I will enjoy it. We have a lovely house that we are daily making more a home. This life is a good one, and it took all 35 of those years to get here. 

Enjoy your Mondays, all. Have a slice of cake if one crosses your path, for me.

* I mean, we knew he was in there, but did not know if anything was going on in an implantation kind of way.

** Notably NOT according to actual science, which has shown recently that the fertility drop between 35-40 is more gradual than previously touted.

*** for serious, these inquiring minds can eff right off. And if my lengthy answer about how we’re not sure, but if we do we might not be able to, despite embryos in deep freeze in another country makes them feel awkward, then GOOD. Maybe they will not ask the next person with a newborn that question. Newborns are not conducive to baby-fever, my friends. Because why would I want to have a baby? I already have a baby, who’s pretty damn awesome thank-you-very-much, right here!! Literally right here, he’s asleep on my chest. <end rant> <gingerly replace baby in crib>

Breaking down the numbers

Spud had his four month appointment and immunizations yesterday. He remains a giant, at the 95th percentile for everything now.* He weighs 18.5 lbs – a hair over ten lbs from his birth weight. 

A pound of fat equates to 3,500 calories. Muscle is more like 1,600, so Spud has gained the approximate equivalent of 25,000 calories in four months. Not counting the energy he has used for general body and cellular functions, heat, movement, and thinking.

25,000 calories is 125 Larabars**. It is 250 tablespoons of peanut butter. You could eat 15,000 grams of chicken for that allotment. All of those together sound about right for my past four months. My diet is also sustaining me, after all. 

I made a plan to stop snacking wholesale throughout the day this week, to instead have two medium-sized lunches. I promptly lost three pounds in three days, abandoning the plan yesterday after feeling cavernously empty after lunch #1. I’ve maintained my weight, steady for the past two months, but it is a significant effort to do so. I worry Spud sees me as “that person who is always chewing”. I eat CONSTANTLY. 

The other day, Pea was wandering around with Spud and came across me in the kitchen shoving giant handfuls of popcorn in my face***. “Look, Spud, it’s your mom, eating again!” Spud beamed, we both laughed, I got out the peanut butter.

* so he is actually less fat, proportionally. His height caught up a bit, so his BMI is in a completely normal range (60th percentile).

** my dairy-free, soy-free, “I’m going to fall over if no food appears” snack go-to

*** this is the only satisfying way to eat popcorn

Posts that might be

but likely will not happen because there are finite moments in the day.

  • My preferred hot beverages and how they defined my life stage. From hot, strong, very sweet tea (undergrad) to hot tea with milk and no sugar (Ph.D), to the foam off a decaf latte (postdoc), to room temperature decaf tea with almond milk (current).
  • A study of sisters: three very different reactions to a mother’s gentleman caller.*
  • Dear god, Spud, that is a 12-18mo onesie. How can it fit?
  • (related) The rise of tendonitis and the fall of aligned backs in our household
  • Naps and sleep schedules are the new thing I can futilely try to “fix” in the absence of any indication something is wrong
  • On how Pea and I failed to correctly count to 24, twice, and how hardware store hours are annoying when it turns out you need eight more carriage bolts (twice)**
  • Pea is learning to drive and my hair is going grey in direct correlation***

* reactions run the gamut from amused, exasperated, worried, annoyed, angry, all the way through to “imma throw up in my mouth”. General consensus is that regardless of obvious problems with timing, rationale, location, or attraction, THIS gentleman caller is wholly inappropriate and likely to cause serious trouble in one form or another. But, as my mother aptly says, “you can’t tell nothin to a dill pickle”, so we’ve nothing to do but watch this unfold.

    ** Last weekend Pea built me a raised garden for my birthday. I’ve wanted a veggie patch for ages! He drew a great schematic and then we failed spectacularly in purchasing what it showed. Twice.

    *** the good thing is, if we have an accident, which, frankly, feels inevitable, it will be at 10 km/hr. I have renewed respect for my father and step-father, who taught me to drive and lived to tell the tale. Pea is getting better, but I really wish I had a brake on my side. Also that Spud was not in the car. 

    Semblances of control

    Conversations I have had:

    Last week

    Me: I have got to train Spud to eat less frequently! He’ll never sleep long stretches at night if he’s used to snacking every 45 minutes!! He eats ALLLL the time!
    Pea: Well, you can start waiting til he cries, rather than showing his other hunger signs.
    Me thoughtful: You aren’t supposed to be able to over-feed a breast-fed baby. I like that he can kinda communicate that he’s hungry, so I’d hate for him to always have to cry. Hmmm.

    This week

    Pea: How was your night? I didn’t hear you up much?
    Me: Another banner night!! Spud slept from 8-3:30, and from 4:10-7! He’s had a 7 or 8 hour first stretch for five nights in a ROW! This will not stick, I am sure, but it is so great!

    Me: Spud is not eating much. My boobs have waterfalled all over my jammies. They never feel empty anymore.


    Me: relates sleeping and lack of eating to Turia while Spud takes record length nap in carrier at her house
    Turia: Our mom has a theory that babies when they are growing eat and eat and eat and then sleep and sleep and sleep.
    Me: Ohhhh… last week he was nutty about food…. I was going to encourage him to eat less frequently and then was so pleased it was working. I have no control over this, do I?
    Turia amused: Nope. Babies!
    Me amused and exasperated: Babies!
    Me: Oh god, he’s not going to fit in his clothes again, is he? He’s already in 9 month sizes! Agh!