Due to Extenuating Circumstances

Adventures in Unplanned Parenthood

Archive for the tag “#nursery”

Señor Arbuckle

Attention! Due to extenuating circumstances, the meal plan has been altered. Supplementing the traditional “three squares a day” are Extra Breakfast, Second Breakfast*, Elevenses, brunch, the Long Lunch, the Business Lunch, the None of Your Business Lunch, tea, high tea, High Noon Tea (if you don’t bring me a cup of tea I will shoot your ass), the Late Tea, early bird special, rudely unpunctual bird special, and Midnight Snack.
*denotes service available outside your local shire starting 5/2015.

The baby is going through a growth spurt. Not the kind where his little jammies are a bit too tight. The kind where our doctor asked, in all seriousness, if he was throwing up any of his food because she had never heard of a baby this young drinking 11 ounces at a time and keeping it all down. But he does. Over and over again. We feel bad because we are feeding him so much more than we’re told we should. The problem is, if we stop he screams and screams until he gets his bottle back. We cannot fill him up. He’s not even to his third month and we’re buying the amount of food recommended for 6 month old children or those greedy mean chihuahuas that women carry around in handbags and you know they could rip your face off. I mean the chihuahua could rip your face– nope. Just thought about it. As to whether I meant the chihuahuas or the women I’ll let the ambiguity stand.
Every ounce the kid gains goes to his face. It looks like I’m raising the Mexican Fatty Arbuckle. His cheeks look like we decided for some reason to store an egg’s worth of Silly Putty on each side of his face. His forearms have little rolls of fat. I find rolls of fat I didn’t even know the human body could make. I delight in showing my friends how you can part his roll of neckfat to find another, deeper roll of neckfat. His neckfat becomes my pride and joy. See how fat MY baby is? I go through an odd phase of showing everyone I meet just how fat I can make a baby. You’d think I had invented caloric intake.

His burps can be categorized thusly: hic-cough, ate at Taco Bell, frat boy, Homer Simpson, and Zuul. You do not want Zuul. Nobody wants Zuul. The worst is when the Zuul burp wafts formula smell at you. I seriously thought nothing could smell worse than formula that I had to mix at three a.m. while sick to my stomach. At 3:15 that same morning I knew I hadn’t thought it through. Thankfully he doesn’t spit up that much. When he does, he seems to be an all-or-nothing kind of guy. I used to think loving my baby was such an intense, visceral kind of warmth I could truly feel it spreading. Now I know better: that warm gushy feeling I get when I hold Baby starts at my heart and spreads steadily all the way from my chest to my arms and stomach, then stops at the band of my underwear where it pools because formula-drool is super-viscous before it crusts over.

This leads to a whole other tactical problem I had yet to consider: the nursery has a little bassinet, a changing table, stacks of onesies and jammies, a shelf of stuffed animals, but no laundry hamper. We forgot that outside the casino hotel laundry would be expected. You can get away with a LOT in a casino hotel that just doesn’t fly out here in reality, but that’s another article. Tune in next time when Mac and Sarah re-evaluate the importance of clothing, self image and sanity.


The Garage Sale and My Coke Habit

**a short break from our regular blogging duties to enjoy a piece I submitted to a site a few weeks ago. They didn’t want it but asked to see more of my writing. To celebrate this small victory I am leaving the original submission here. Enjoy and share.**

I made the mistake of having a baby and a garage sale at the same time. To clarify, I didn’t go into labor on a card table in the driveway, although that would have been one way to upstage the lemonade stand across the street. No, I was merely in simultaneous possession of a baby and a garage sale, just not my faculties. If I had been, I would have remembered to put my personal soda supply inside the house before the Well-Meaning Neighbor stopped by. You know that neighbor. I bet you have one, too. She’s not nosy, intrusive, inquisitive, snide and smug. She Aggressively Means Well.

“Hi, Well Meaning Neighbor.”

“Hi there! Wow, look at that baby, he is so big! And wow, you really needed to have a garage sale! What’s in the back? Well wow, you guys sure have a lot of Coke in your garage!”

I’ll be honest: it made me kind of happy when you just said Baby instead of his actual name, because I know from experience this means you don’t remember it. I’ve played the overly casual “so, how do you spell your name?” card twice on this block alone and I’m comfortable with the fact we just don’t care enough to remember each other’s’ names. I have yours narrowed down to a common name that begins with N but not Nancy.

Not-Nancy, I’m also letting the overuse of “wow!” slide because I’m trying to break the “amazing!” habit. I recently watched myself for 45 seconds on a reunion video and realized there is a very real danger I’m going to turn into someone who sounds 13, or, worse, perky. But, Not-Nancy, we’re going to have a frank talk about my Coke habit.

My Coke habit is the direct result of the garage sale condition. That stems from the baby you can’t remember the name of (and good job using context clues to take a stab at identifying gender, by the way). Our garage looks like a disemboweled Walmart for one regrettable reason: we were the last in our group to have a baby. We adopted very suddenly and needed help. When the call went out for baby things, They Came. Like benevolent plagues of Egypt, a thousand friendly mommies ripped open the seams of their basements to disgorge months, years, decades of baby-related detritus they will never want again. The top layers were fabulous items I was thrilled to use for Baby. The underlayers will forever haunt me.

Onesies of uniforms worn by now incarcerated athletes. Bits of plastic toys with tooth marks and bizarre discoloration around the edges. Alarming harnesses with Swedish names and buckles to fit body parts neither gender would possess. Shoes for feet that can’t walk. Mismatched socks and hats with odd fuzz on them. Formula samples expiring years before we began the adoption process. Two doorway jumpers with parts missing and no way to test how critical those parts might have been. Last, but certainly not least, a mountain of clothing that was perfectly cute but for a summer baby. I have enough on my mind without dressing a Christmas baby in a “Surf’s UP!” tank top then facing my social worker.

What does this have to do with the Coke? I’m glad I imagine you asked. Right now, I’m making a house ready for a baby, working, maintaining a semblance of control over my finances and fighting the urge to rapidly defenestrate the next person who chirps “savor each and every moment!” The Coke in my garage is what is keeping me upright because coffee is awful, I can’t afford speed and nobody will tell me what Seal Team 6 uses to stay awake on missions. The calories are a good idea as mealtimes have been reduced to whatever I can eat while I’m making a bottle. The corn syrup is a godsend because the word corn implies I have eaten something plant based. In fact, the more corn syrup I have in my system the better I feel about my choice to drink Coke. I live in Nebraska so supporting local corn growers might provide the karma I need to offset the enormous amount of diapers I’m chucking into Mother Earth. Hell, I’m gonna ride this one all the way to its logical conclusion: high fructose corn syrup isn’t just keeping me alive. It’s keeping America alive. That’s right. I went there. If you don’t support Frosted Flakes, Pop Tarts, Oreos, NyQuil and Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, then you’re not the kind of American I want on my lawn. You don’t deserve to judge my garage, my mess OR my Coke habit.

Not-Nancy, I am going to sit here and drink this Coke while I figure out how much of my husband’s stuff I can sell before he notices. If you aren’t here to diaper my kid or lay out of season onesies on a card table, then just keep walking. And if you’re walking past the gas station, bring me another Coke.

My son’s homecoming

After three weeks in the hotel, Baby got cleared to go all the way back to Nebraska. It was the first week in January so we’d have a few days to settle in before the semester started. Time was a factor because we had been commuting back to Nebraska one at a time to do work while Baby stayed in Iowa. You’ll remember that we would be charged with Very Bad Things if the baby had spent even a second outside of Iowa before the Interstate Compact was completed. So I would like to state, here on this public forum, that Baby’s homecoming was the very, very first time he had ever crossed into Nebraska. He absolutely never slept in the backseat when we needed to deposit a check so my bank account wouldn’t be in tragic overdraft and that bank account was definitely never, not ever located in Omaha and frankly, I think it’s strange you would even ask.

The baby’s homecoming was everything you’d imagine a long-awaited homecoming would be. My mom loves putting up decorations and she loves being a grandma. Homecoming for the baby was her Super Bowl Halftime Show and she was going to go big or die trying. There was a big sign on the way into the back door, decorations in the living room, huge welcome banners and sparkly decorations saying It’s a Boy! The baby got carried into his brand new nursery and knew he was safe and loved. It was a spectacular homecoming. I hear. I wasn’t there. I was with AJ in Virginia visiting a pain specialist who performs some magic where he injects things near my spine and it stops pain where my spleen is. Hold on there– nope. I just googled where the spleen is, and it’s not there. Regardless, it stops pain in my front which is nowhere near my spine.

Upon my return I was overwhelmed by the generosity of friends and acquaintances. People knew we were blindsided. We had no furniture, no nursery decorations (except four adhesive soccer balls Mac has been saving since 2013. No, really). The Baby had clothes and diapers but we needed someplace higher than the floor to make these activities happen. My parents and Robin chipped in the immediate necessities like bassinet and diapering station which they set up and put in the room that was always-going-to-be-the-nursery-except-it-was-an-office-because-people-facing-infertility-have-complex-emotional-needs-balancing-hope-with-realism.

I was also overwhelmed by my husband’s face. Let me tell you something. Mac has had a challenging life. He has faced serious medical issues, his career involves long hours, he nursed someone through terminal cancer. He has stared into the abyss and the abyss was a little taken aback.

Mac was a single father for 5 days. This cannot be overstated: Mac, with the help of my family, was a single parent for just over 120 hours. I arrived from Virginia at the 121st hour. I walked in with my suitcase, saw Mac, and immediately reached for my phone. My husband had died and I felt someone should tell his mother. That man has never looked so haggard. He stared eerily into my soul, said he was happy the injection went well, and then said “I am going to sleep.” Not “I’m taking a nap,” “I am going to sleep.” There was no preface or qualifier or time limit. He meant it. He went into the bedroom and came out in March.

We’re home. I’m home. The three of us are in our home. All I have to do is organize a few things, make sure Baby gets fed and changed, and then step right back into work and my social life.

Stay tuned to find out how easy that has been.

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