Sunday, September 18, 2005

To the nice internetians:

Please join me over at 24-inch boss.

Lilypie Baby Ticker

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Yes, the rumors are true.

The notion that I have somehow lowered the quality of journalism in America is hogwash. I must address several points:

First, I filed my new address with h.r. as soon as I moved but I didn't tell my bosses because I didn't want them to freak out and think I wasn't coming back. At the time, I thought I might work part time on the copy desk and I wanted to make that decision after I had the baby. The fact that I moved to Gainesville didn't determine that I would resign.

Second, my husband has the best job he's ever had in his life and the three of us have been using his health insurance for several months.

It is true that Sentinel executives didn't discover my new address until they sent flowers to my old address but frankly I just didn't have the time to deal with that because I was in the midst of recovering from a 26-hour labor. And when my boss called to ask where I was, I said "I moved to Gainesville."

Anyway, I resigned today. I hope that when I return to the industry from an extended maternity leave, I do not face a tragic struggle to keep up.

Lilypie Baby Ticker

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


This will not be a sappy good-bye post.

The new incarnation of this blog will begin in the next few days. It is time to move on. If you'd like to continue reading about my life, you may e-mail me at: If you don't know my name and you'd like to continue reading, you may post your own e-mail address in the comments of this entry.

If you're planning to make hurtful or uninformed comments in the future, I'd prefer not to hear from you.

Later, Gators. It's been fun.

Lilypie Baby Ticker

Dear Anonymous(es):

You shouldn't comment - especially anonymously - if you don't know the whole story, which you can't possibly get from this blog.

It's my life and I don't owe you an explanation, but here's a short one: I'm on unpaid maternity leave - not mooching off the company - and waiting until my life calms down and I can get down to Orlando on a weekday without the baby (difficult while breastfeeding) or with my husband (also difficult because he has yet to acquire any vacation at his new job) to hand in my resignation in person. I think I owe that to my bosses, and I'd like to say good-bye face to face. And, as for the six weeks of paid leave I did take, that's time I earned by working hard for two years.

Lilypie Baby Ticker

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


I have been brave, and also cowardly, I think, to shut out the world for the past few weeks. I haven't been watching CNN, haven't been reading your blogs, haven't even unwrapped my beloved morning paper or clicked on since Katrina touched down. Once, at four in the morning, I accidentally stumbled on an Internet headline that read, "Thousands Feared Drowned in New Orleans."

I cried. Now I avoid the news smidgets on my homepage.

My memories of New Orleans are sketchy but tinged with the bright, bold colors of a masquerade. For my high school self, the city was as much a performance as a place - and it was one of my favorites among my family's many road trip destinations.

I can't believe I will not take my children to the same place I remember. I wish the world - and the country - my daughter lived in had not seen tragedy like this, although this is nowhere close to the first incident of its kind.

A news junkie, I've had to make a concerted effort to concentrate on my daughter's sweet face instead of the tortured faces of thousands who are suffering in the South. And shopping today with E., who was dispatched to Biloxi, I had to hold the questions inside. Although part of me feels guilty, I don't want to know what she saw.

Of course, I understand what happened as well as anyone else can. Not the details, but the meat of it. No amount of reading and viewing can bring the reality of a loss like this home.

My body, my heart, must be singly focused on creating love, making food and giving warmth to a single beautiful soul. I can't bear to look, or I worry I'll pass my sorrow and frustration on to my daughter, through milk or through mood. My bank account, however, will be directed toward giving food and warmth to a few souls in New Orleans.

E. and the other reporters covering the storm are some of my heroes. Knowing the sacrifices they made in the wake of the storm - the dangers they ran toward and risks they took without hesitating - has reinforced my decision to leave reporting and make mothering my job. Despite my longing to be out in the trenches, doing what I love and doing good for the world, I know that nurturing the little world in my arms is more important.

Lilypie Baby Ticker

Saturday, September 03, 2005

College Game Day, Baby

First off, GO CATS!

Boo woke up this morning doing the classic Wildcat growl and moving her little claws in the characteristic fashion. She's already a fan - and a fiesty one at that.

Our child is quite portable, being approximately the size of two footballs. And we've found she loves to go new places. Her eyes light up at the new shadows, new voices, new smells. So we love to take her places.

Case in point:

We attended our first hometown tailgate today, and let me tell you, we college town residents do it up. Probably because we have the hot stoves and comforts of home just minutes away. Our theme was cowboy - as in Wyoming. I made cowboy oatmeal cookies (with butterscotch, yum!) and seven layer dip. Others brought turkey burgers, buffalo brownies, puppy chow, etc.

And although I worried that an afternoon in the hot Florida sun with the Bean would be taxing, she did great, dressed up in her little team tank and bloomers. The ladies took turns holding and admiring her. She nursed in the car once, from the bottle once, and was largely sleeping the afternoon away.

We did have a triple diaper change, which I executed on my lap in the car with surprising precision and grace. By diaper #3, I was giggling quite hard because I had managed two full loads of especially runny yellow ooze - and a voluminous impromtu pee - without getting a spot on my mini skirt. (Yes, I wore a mini-skirt. Not a single pair of my shorts fit, and no way I was wearing pants in that heat. So I went with the college girl look, and topped it off with pig tails for kicks.) Husband was impressed. (I just re-read this. I meant by the diaper change. But he quite possibly was equally impressed by the outfit.)

But there's a catch:

Having left Husband behind to go to the game with the guys, S and I were on our own in the car. And let me tell you, car rides with her give me headaches. Even if she doesn't fuss, my shoulders tighten up in anticipation of the worst. This time, She freaked upon being put in the car seat, which is par for the course, and then settled as we got moving - also usual. Halfway home, she flipped out. Sometimes I can calm her by taking a corner quickly, but that was just a stopgap this time and she got herself so worked up by one mile from home that her face had turned purple and she did that mouth-wide-open, nothing coming out, can't seem to breathe very well cry. The one her dad never has to hear. Sure that her poor little screams had given me my first grey hairs, I veered off the road. Whew. It took much longer than usual to calm her - by that I mean two or three minutes; she's quite consolable.

She's so great during outings. But the getting there and back really, really sucks.

We have thousands of baby contraptions - from Bjorns to slings to wraps to seats to strollers. But what I need is one of those Star Trek beam-me-up things. Maybe I'll try Babies R' Us?

Lilypie Baby Ticker

Thursday, September 01, 2005

This Must Be That Whole Getting Worse Before It Gets Better Thing They Warned Me About

Yes, it's 4 a.m. and I want to kill my husband.

That's all I'll say, but those of you who have been in my shoes - or my spit up stained T-shirt - know the drill.

Lilypie Baby Ticker

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Dear Sasha, Month One

Dear Sasha,

You are sleeping on my lap, nestled in the boppy with your little body curved around my stomach. You have wriggled your way out of the yellow waffle blanket your father swaddled you in, so your teeny chub toes are sticking out and your arms are strewn spaghetti-like first on your chest, now up near your ears. Unfortunately, it took you only days to figure out how to escape the swaddle, including the double-swaddle and two varieties of guaranteed store-bought swaddles. Sometimes, when you stay all sweet and wrapped for more than two minutes, I call you my "burrito bundle." Daddy calls you his "banana," and Nana calls you an Oscar Meyer weiner. Mostly, though, you are our little Houdini. Right now, your fingers are splayed, gangsta style. Your lips make a perfect bow and your adorable skater boy hair is spiked as usual. You're making noise, which you always do, and at the moment your noises sound like squeaks and chirps, with a few squeals thrown in for good measure.

These are your happy sleep noises. The grunts -- the 300 lb. fat man grunts that do not stop for hours -- those are the gassy sleep noises. They had grown considerably less frequent until your dumb Mama indulged in a Ben and Jerry's strawberry shake at the mall the other day and, girl, did they come back with a vengence. Your daddy and I were up all night soothing our beautiful girl. Every time we put you down between us, which is where you sleep best (even though Mama lives in fear that one of us will roll over onto your little body), you would fall asleep peacefully only to wake up choking. Do you know what this does to us? We absolutely panic, whip you upright and examine you for signs of life. You're always fine, and seem fairly happy afterward, usually peeping at us through now wide-open grey blue eyes.

You are a fantastic communicator. Some of those through-the-belly conversations your dad had with you must have paid off. He is a superior communicator; he even majored in communications in college. But you won't have to. Already, you have different types of cries. There is an angry, low-pitched, open-mouthed cry; there is a baaing lamb-like cry that means you're uncomfortable or lonely; and there is the most-familiar, fussy, FEED ME! cry.

Of all the things in life, I can say with certainty there are three you enjoy the most. The first is milk. I never want to forget the way you peck at my shoulder, or slurp on your daddy's arm so hard he worries he'll have a hicky. I love the way you'll suck on a paci or a finger for a few seconds until you realize there's no milk coming out and then you'll shake your head back and forth with these quick, whipping motions and make throaty sounds that most certainly mean, "You adults are trying to trick me and it won't work!"

Even though I find myself walking around topless at all hours of the day, and even though I am impatient with your desire to eat constantly from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily although you are so full you choke and milk runs down your little chin, I wouldn't trade nursing you for the world. I love to watch your perfect, round face nestled close to me and feel your tiny fingers petting my side or gripping a bit of my shirt. I love to stroke your tiny jaw and your little eyebrows and trace circles on your pink cheek as you clamp onto my boob with both hands, as if to say, "You're mine, boob, and you're not going anywhere!"

The second thing you like most in life is being held by your Daddy. Whenever I can't console you, he always can. You especially like to lay on his chest in the evening, listening to his loud, slow heartbeat. And, wow, does your daddy love you. Last night, you would not stop fussing unless he paced the living room with you. And so he held you in one hand and a board book in the other, reading to you in a sweet, low voice.

Most nights, your dad changes almost all of your diapers. But one night, he had a hard time waking from a dream and mistook you for a stack of lab papers. I had handed you over, hoping he'd take the next change, and he started blabbing about a work project. I asked, "What lab papers are you talking about, honey?" He put one hand under you and one hand on top, and said, "THESE lab papers!" I snatched you away from him in a hurry, worried he might go file you instead of cleaning your tush!

The third thing you love is the bath. You lay there like a movie star at a Hollywood day spa, especially when we wash your hair.

And it's a good thing you like the bath, too, because this month we have had dozens of huge spit ups as well as projectile poops and pees. Today, all my pants that fit were in the laundry and so I had to dig out some pre-pregnancy pants. Just a few minutes ago, you pooped on those, too, so now I'm walking around in a shirt and panties!

Let's talk about your left ear. It looks like a tiny animal, maybe a mouse, took an itty bitty bite out of it. My left ear looks like that, too. The rest of you looks like your Daddy, which is fine by me because he's darn cute, but if you ever wonder if a big girl like you (you weigh more than 11 lbs. and your doctor is already predicting you'll be six feet tall!) really came from a little girl like me, you can just reach up and touch your ear and know that it's true.

At the end of this first month, I'm still not sure I believe you're really here. I'm a little sad that you're not inside me anymore, but thrilled that you're eating from me and sleeping and playing in my arms constantly. Every day, you are more your own person. You open your eyes more and more, leaving "Cyclops" behind and revealing a bright, alert Sasha. In your sleep, you sometimes giggle. Your little legs are getting some meat on them and growing strong, so that when I lift you, it seems you could practically stand. And when you're on your belly you do push ups.

Even though I used to think I wanted you to stay just the way you were the day you were born, I now know that each day brings something new for me to love about you. I wish I could pause you every day and take more time to watch you, smell your little sour-milk neck and cover you with kisses. But then I wouldn't get to the next day. And so far each has been more wonderful than the last.

I love you, little Boo.


Lilypie Baby Ticker