Friday, May 30, 2008


Eliana's had a rough run these past few weeks. There was the projectile diaherria. Then the excessive vomiting over the weekend. The nights where she can't sleep for more than a few hours at time. The fact that she has basically refused all solids and only wants to nurse. And then there's the shiner. Apparently Eliana hurled herself onto the concrete floor yesterday and managed to give herself a gynormous goose egg. I'm not surprised. Little Baby Hercules is hurling herself into everything these days. She even managed to hoist herself out of her exersaucer last night (what we thought was the only secure place in the house....).

But not to worry, little sweetie's on the up and up! She apparently loves spicy thai food and ate up a ton of the deer curry I made last night (I don't know why I ever thought a child of mine would have a bland palette). She thinks cous cous is a gift from the gods and sort of moaned happily through each bite (anyone remember Matt Dillon in "The Flamingo Kid" in that scene at his girlfriend's dinner table? Elie's got that impression down...).

Here she is after a big night of getting into trouble (kind of a mugshot ala Robert Downey Jr., just to reference another hot, 80's icon).

Thursday, May 29, 2008

nights at our house...

Lucy and Eliana are developing a deeper, more complex relationship. They are always fighting for my attention and always seem to want to be in the exact same spot in the house. When Els is in her high chair, Lucy stays busy by licking her little legs and stuffing her snout in Eliana's lap in an attempt to get a few fallen grains of cous cous. Here is another moment in the lively lovefest that is our home.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

the precious present

My life is so full these days. I can hardly remember what it was like to just come home from work and just do whatever. I could hike if I wanted. I could hang with friends. I could cook. But it was all on my time. So leisurely. So carefree. Last night Jeff downloaded on to this computer some pics off our old camera - pics that were taken mere days before Eliana's conception. We were in Mendocino at our dear friend Melissa's wedding. It was absolutely gorgeous. We stopped on the way up the coast and tasted wine in teeny tiny, picturesque vineyards. We stayed in a swanky b and b way beyond our means. We were surrounded by the food and wine culture that defines that region of the world. I definitely have a part of my personality that would absolutely love to live that life (Jeff calls me the Snobby Pauper because I have such high class food and wine tastes, yet can't really afford to spend my money that way...). These pictures couldn't have come at a better time.

So back to real life. This week has been extra busy for me because I just added teaching three evening dance and yoga classes to my schedule. I am super excited about it because they are all taking place at this beauteous new studio downtown. I haven't taught in a space as pristine and welcoming as this ever. It's a great new project to be a part of and I feel very passionately about doing whatever I can to make this Downtown Dance Collective ( thrive. But it's definitely a lot. Especially for the next few weeks until my school year ends.

So there I was last night. I had had a rocking class (even though I claimed to Jeff before hand that I should take up some healthy habit like cocaine to help me have the energy to get through my life) and was all hyped up on the natural goofball, powerwoman, rockstar endorphins that seem to fill me after I dance really hard. I drove home all amped, so excited. I honestly hadn't given a thought to Eliana or Jeff or the pile of laundry that needed to be folded, the chicken pesto that I had planned to cook. I was totally in the moment.

I walked in the house and could hear Eliana's "I'm tired and generally not too happy" whine. Jeff looked at me and said something like, "She's done. She's had her bath. She needs her mom" and handed her to me. Okay. Quick life change. So I finished getting her ready for bed, put her in her growbag, and sat down to nurse her to sleep. As her little sharky mouth was doing what she does best, I smelled something really lovely coming from her bottom. I take her out of her growbag, out of her sleep suit, check things out. Mega poop. So there she is, lying on the changing table, whining because she's naked and covered in shit, and I'm trying to clean her up when, out of nowhere, this jet stream of brown liquid shoots out of her bottom, spraying down the table, the futon, a few clothes lying around, her mom's rockstar sweatshirt. I let out a scream, as I'm so shocked and she's really never done anything like this before. Jeff comes running in, I'm sure thinking that she's rolled off the table or some other equally horrifying thing.

"Dude. I've never seen anything like that. She just shot shit everywhere." I'm sort of shocked, coming down from my scream, still adjusting to life back at the ranch. As we're staring at our shit covered daughter, trying to decide what to do, we hear another sort of "pfhhh" sound and another jet stream, equally powerful, comes flying out of her teeny bottom. Good God, here we are.

We spring into action. I hold her as far away from me as possible and put her in the tub (which still hadn't been drained --that's the kind of trashy house we're keeping these days...). So there's Eliana, crying because she's sitting in lukewarm, dirty bathwater. I am rubbing the bar of soap all over her, trying to get every last shitty bit of foot, finger and va jay jay clean. Meanwhile Jeff has taken the cover of her diaper changer outside to hose off, has stipped the cover off the futon to put in the wash, and is out the door to buy, in desperation, more baby wipes, more diapers, a bottle of wine, a couple beers and, not to be forgotten, a box of maxi pads (yes, amidst all this, yours truly continues to bleed like a thirteen year old wearing a white Guess mini skirt, sitting in the front row. I seem to get my period every two weeks and it continues to be a gushy, disgusting, hormonal freak show. Too much information for you folks, perhaps, but critical in understanding the myriad layers of intensity happening in our household).

So finally the girl is clean. I get her all situated in a new pair of p.j.'s. It's now almost nine o'clock. I'm exhausted and, more importantly, ravenous. She has shat out any food that was in her system from our previous nursing. So I take what's left of my breasts and attempt to get some more milk out of their soft, saggy, shapeless selves. It doesn't seem like she's getting a whole lot (but can you ever tell?) I run with her to the kitchen and grab a banana. I sit back in the nursing chair and try to give hear a few banana bits to stop her up and fill her tum. One fabulous new discovery of hers is the ability to spit her food out. She actually likes to kind of gum it, suck on it a while, and then push it through her lips like garlic going through a press. Slowly and calculated, ending in a spitty/almost liquefied mush that I then have to clean up. She starts doing the garlic press lips thing with her banana. Our clean girl is now covered in banana mush. Luckily, I'm still in my stinky, sweaty dance clothes. Super! Built in towel system. I wipe my nasty gauchos over her chin, neck and grobag, give her a few more moments with the boob, and then put her in her crib. I tell her to go to sleep. And high tail out of the room to go eat my dinner.

The wails begin. She sits up cross legged in her crib and looks at me through the bars with this pathetic, how dare you leave me here face. I can't handle it anymore. My blood sugar is at a critical low. I look at Jeff and tell him to sit in there with her. He complies, and brings the computer in. Thank god for wireless and the New York Times on line.

I turn on some music to drown out her cries and sit down at the kitchen table with my plate of food and a big glass of wine. I remember the images of Jeff and I laughing on the Mendocino beach. I remember looking at my body, so pure and unstretched, my face, so free of all the smile and wrinkle lines that I seem to be accumulating as quickly as the dust bunnies on the floor since Elie's been born. I take a big sip of wine. And I know I wouldn't change a thing.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

holy water

Spring is in full effect here and is far and away my favorite season. Everything is green and bursting and after the ridiculously long winter we had, I feel myself wanting to savor every moment, be outside as much as possible, bask in the balsam root wildflowers, analyze the sage grass and lavender coming up in my garden. I almost feel like I'm living in a movie - the buds on the trees, smiling families and their bike trailers, electric sunsets - something that can't be real it feels so wonderfully cheery and alive. This weekend was spent hiking in the Rattlesnake and on Mt. Jumbo, buying Alaskan halibut cheeks and arugula from the farmer's market, planting basil and parsley in our little garden, and taking many laps around the park, examining the rapid changes in the water level of the creek. The water is higher than I've ever seen it, flooding the paths we walk on, turning our little park into a tiny wetland. Tonight on our after dinner lap, I even had to take off my shoes and wade barefoot because the trail was completely flooded in a few spots. Pretty nutty. Extremely beautiful. Eliana loves to stare at the white water and listen to it roar. She particularly loves the view from the middle of the bridge. I can't imagine how tremendous it must look to her novice eyes.

Friday, May 16, 2008

ten months today

Little Peanut entered the two digits today. She no longer, for the rest of her blessed life, will be a mere single digit month old. She's in the twos. One day she'll even be in the three's (let's hope I no longer count her age in months at that point...). I remember before I had Eliana thinking it was so nuts the way mom's of babies always told you how many months old their kids were. I had no frame of reference for four months or eighteen months or twenty four months. Now I'm a total month convert. I even celebrate monthly birthdays and fixate over double digits. And here we are. Ten whole, beautiful months.

What does big girl do these days? Well, she's all over the place and totally into everything. She follows me around the house, valiantly crawling behind me, letting me know she's with me, each step of the way. She feeds herself, mashing pieces of banana and sweet potato in her little fingers before they eventually reach her mouth (with Lucy right there to catch any bits that make it to the floor). She pushes her arms through the sleeves of her onesies. She pulls off her sun hats. She laughs when I push her stroller away and say, "Where's Eliana?" She talks loudly and often. She is full of life and animation and flirts with anyone who engages her. She loves to look at herself in the mirror and I often catch her talking to her reflection. She reads to herself (and always makes sure the book is right side up). She taps her toe when she plays her player piano and loves to make me dance to the music. She'll press the keys and get a song started, and then look at me as if to say, "Okay, mom, now's the time when you entertain me with your flaily arms and bouncy head." Of course, I always oblige.

As Kit Deluka says in Pretty Woman, I'm her "beck and call girl" and I wouldn't change it for anything else in the world.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

My first Mother's Day was absolutely perfect. In fact, the weekend was fabulous, taking the pressure off of today, because I'd had so much fun celebrating my mamahood even yesterday! I'm too tired to get into too much detail but, perhaps, the greatest moment was when I came home from my latte/bagel/nursery/shopping solo trip (while Jeff hung at home with a sleeping Elie), and found my little peach in her "Mother's Day" hat and jean overalls. I haven't laughed so hard and so fully as I did when I found Jeff loading her up in her stroller, the two of them waiting for me to come home, Eliana wearing a sunflower the size of her head. We walked around the park, perhaps the signature outing for our little family. And it was perfect.

Really the overwhelming thing I felt over the weekend was thankful. Thankful for my man. Thankful for my other mama friends and their sweet tykes. Thankful for our community and the farmer's market and the buds on the trees. Thankful for my own mama and the inspiring role model that she is. But most importantly, I felt thankful for my little sweetheart - for her smiles and chatter and crazy, straight armed wave, and the electric energy that passes between us when we stare into each other's eyes, absolutely dumbfounded, utterly struck, totally in love. Flower and all.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Perhaps part of my exhaustion is trying to keep up with my lil Peanut. Here she is, constantly invading other people's property and personal space.

nuestra communidad

Eliana isn't her usual, chipper self with her mini diente coming in fast and furious on the lower right...

She did manage to whoop it up with some gal pals over the weekend. Here Elie and Moana get nuts at Nici's dinner for our midwife, Jeannie.
Hayley lent her crib to her little buddy today for a splendid, two hour teething nap.
Natalie gives Eliana a taste of her own, in your space, medicine.

So tomorrow will be day 7 without my husband and we're really feeling it. Little E's tooth has finally cut through the surface of her gums and she's definitely wearing her crabby pants today. On top of the crabby pants, we had a scare with her grandpa Mort this morning and, while all is fine, thank the good lord, we had some fancy maneuvering to do on the fly in order for mama to make it to work and Elie to have someone to keep her safe while I was gone. Luckily, because Missoula is the size of a pea, I already had an offer from Leslie to watch Elie before I even knew that Morty was in the ER. While I was packing up El's things, the phone rang and it was Bri, offering to help because she had just run into Roseann on the side of the road and had been alerted to the happenings of the morning . Joellen offered multiple times to take Peanut. And when I finally made it to school, Elie already happily asleep in Haley's crib, Laura, the librarian was chomping at the bit to watch our little one. It takes a village, they say. I'm really feeling that. Between the friends who fed me this week, called to see if I needed anything, offered to come by with a late night bottle of wine and just generally kept me in their collective, lovely energy, I'm feeling absolutely loved and extremely graced by our little community. The sunny weekend, our bursting tulips and budding lilacs, the first farmer's market all a-buzz and alive with the hope of warm days and fresh veggies, and lots of good love all around had helped keep me feeling sane and hopeful too.