Max slept 7.5 hours last night!
We didn't do anything differently. He just started pooping out around 7:30 and was asleep before 8. And then he woke up around 3:15, but wasn't too crabby, just ate and fell right back to sleep.

I, on the other hand, woke up every hour out of habit. And when he started sleeping past the 4 hour mark, I had to get up and poke him to make sure he was still alive.

I am praying this more normal sleeping wasn't a just a fluke.


Max and I have been sick for almost two weeks.
I've been feeling especially worn out lately. I took Monday off in the hopes that we could both rest up and finally beat our colds.

I knew I needed to do this when I had my weekly meltdown late Sunday night, and I started crying, I can't go to work tomorrow.

In my mind, it was going to be like the old days of maternity leave. Just the boy and me snuggling and bonding and napping it up. I guess I forgot that he likes to eat every 45 minutes, that he demands constant attention, and that when he naps, he only does so for about 20 minutes at a time. By the end of the day, I was crying again. This time I was saying, I can't stay home tomorrow.

It's looking like the kid's got eczema. What I like most about his rashy red cheeks is that it gives people the opportunity to assume Brian and I are horrible parents. The lady at the dry cleaners said, "What did you do to him?" A stranger on the train said, "It's because of that pacifier. I took away my daughter's three months ago, and look at her cheeks now." The daycare workers have taken pains to point out repeatedly that he did not look like this when he left there on Friday.

It makes me want to say, "It's because we don't love him enough."

Have I already talked about why I've been going around in a girdle? It's because people keep mistaking me for being pregnant. It's driving me crazy. The last time I was asked this was at Max's daycare. I was picking up my five month old son, and another mother winked at me and said, "You're expecting another one?"


I think I said this before, but I was up 40 pounds before I went into the hospital. I gave birth to an 8 pound baby and a placenta. Blood, fluid, gore, and the like. I came home, hopped on the scale, and was only down three pounds. How is that even possible?!?

In the first weeks, my weight slipped down slowly. And then more slowly. And then it stopped entirely. And then it started rising again. I really wanted to diet, but I was so tired and cranky, I felt if they took away my food, I might kill someone.

Then I experienced another hormone shift, and the weight starting dropping again, but my hair started falling out. Must I really choose between being fat and being bald? What cruel world.

I suppose I have become one of those people who is always showing you ten thousand pictures of their dumb kid, like you care. Yeah, I hate those people, too. Except I'm different, because my kid is so amazing. Even when his face is ravaged by eczema. Thank god for oxytocin.

And of course, here's another dress up picture:

I call this one "Poop Icon"

Running On Empty

It keeps getting better.
And then it keeps getting worse again.

Max was never one to sleep through the night. On average, he was sleeping about 4-5 hours a night, then waking up to eat, then back down for another 2-3 hours. When he was 12 weeks old, I went back to work, and the poop hit the fan.

During the day, he seemed perfectly happy at daycare. Not clingy in the morning. And when I picked him up, he barely seemed to acknowledge me, But at night, he started waking up every 45 minutes.

Now I was working full time and was not getting more than one hour of continuous sleep. I felt like the subject of a bizarre, cruel sleep experiment. I was always dreaming. My eyes would close and I would start dreaming, and then the baby would cry and I would wake up, feed him, and plunge back into a dream. I was exhausted from waking but also exhausted from sleeping.

At our last doctor's appointment, the doctor suggested we try "cry it out." This made me cry. Anyway, it would be difficult, as we live in a one-bedroom apartment and the boy sleeps in our room. Brian and I made some adjustments — we turned on a fan for white noise, we switched places so he slept closer to the boy, I changed my diet a bit. And it worked. We were back up to five hours in a row. For a few nights

And then Max started to teethe or something, and began waking up every hour shrieking in pain. After a few nights of this, we tried those homeopathic teething drops. And they worked. We were back to 4-5 hours a night.

And then Max got a cold. He was up almost constantly, and when he was asleep, his breathing was horrible and raspy and labored.

I have been such a mess. At least once a week I have a total anxiety attack meltdown where I cry uncontrollably and beg god to allow me to sleep a little more. I've been bargaining. I'll get up twice to feed. I don't mind that. Just please. A week. And just 4-5 hours. I'm not asking for much.

I am pretty low as far as functioning goes. On Sunday, I put up a wash at the laundromat, then met Brian and Max for brunch. When our server brought out our food, I had a vision. I said, "Oh no, Brian, I threw the entire box of dryer sheets into the washing machine."

And I had. The box completely disintegrated. But dryer sheets held up just fine.

This morning, I was leaving the restroom at work when I volunteer said sheepishly, "Uh, Miss?"

I turned to her, and then a male coworker started to pull me aside. "Deb. Your skirt. It's kind of stuck."

I torqued my body. Yes. I had tucked my skirt had into my tights. I started to feel embarrassed, but then redoubled. "Ha!" I said. "You couldn't have seen anything, because I'm wearing a girdle to suck in all the loose skin on my belly."

I felt triumphant. But my coworker and the volunteer looked horrified.

Halloween Costume Suggestions Needed

We need a Halloween costume for Max.

I am always dressing him up, so finding a Halloween costume for him feels anticlimactic. Still, I think we've got to represent.

Please email or zonk your suggestions. The costume would need to be weather-appropriate (autumn in New York City) and not too difficult for a five month old to maintain while being paraded about town. Also, it should not include such frippery or flights of fancy that would require my learning how to use a sewing machine.

Also, the sundry costume elements should not come to any substantial financial sum, as he is a baby, and will most-likely wear the costume only once before outgrowing it. And he may end up pooping all over it before we even get out the door.

Please advise.

Oh, and here are some more pictures:

I feel like he's saying, "Dad, you're embarrassing me."

I love this kid's smile

New teething toy!

Baby Budai

Roach Simple

It seems like all my roach encounters remind me of the movie Blood Simple.
Since about a week after we brought Max home from the hospital, a giant, Florida-palmetto-bug-sized roach has been calling the nooks and crannies of our kitchen home. Some evenings I'll peek into the kitchen, and there he will be, hanging out, relaxing, dreaming of putrid trash and reproduction. Sometimes I am not wearing my shoes, and by the time I put them on, he's gone. Sometimes I am, but I hesitate, and he scurries away.

I want you to know that I understand there might be a whole brood of roaches living in my kitchen. A gaggle of roaches. A pride of roaches. But in my mind, this is personal, and there is only one roach, and it has been alive at least as long as my four-month-old son and its mission is to make my home an unclean place for my vulnerable, young offspring.

This evening I walked in the door with Max in his carrier and 16 bags hanging off my shoulders. I flipped on the hall light, and from the corner of my eye, I could see him, a foreign form, little armored body, belly to the tile in the open shadows of my nighttime kitchen.

"That's him!" I whispered to Max. I removed my 16 bags in ninja silence. I held my breath and took a step. The shadowy roach form remained still. I took another step. And another. I was shoed. I was silent. I was going to smash this little prehistoric f*cker into eternity.

I am a kindly vegetarian type, and do not enjoy blood and gore. So the very idea of my smooshing the guts out of a roach makes me want to puke. But my soul burned for his annihilation. I took another step. I was upon him. He twitched, but down down came my shoe....

AAHHHHHH!!!!!!!! I let out a cry like a tennis player whacking at a ball. He didn't escape. I got him. Yuck! His smooshed gross was all over my floor. And my shoe.

I wiggled out of my shoe and retreated to the living room. I had to feed Max. And bathe him. Maybe Brian would clean up the mess.

I fed my infant son, played with him a bit, and got him down to his diaper. Then I put him on his playmat and went to draw his bath. I couldn't help myself. I peeked into the kitchen, ready to avert my eyes at the gore .... but the roach ... was ... gone!

His smooshed guts were still on my tile. And on my shoe. And there was a trail of gross leading in a fading arc from the smooshing spot to a crevice under my over.

Here is a picture I took of the crime scene

Are you kidding me? REALLY?!? I can't win. I just hope I crushed his reproductive organs. One uber-roach is more than enough. I have no desire to meet his family.

Here are some pictures of Max's last visit to Nonna a week and a half ago. Nonna and Max seem to really like each other:

I also threw in some pictures from our trip to visit our favorite server at Cafe con Leche on the Upper West Side, "Big Bamboo" on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and lastly, a quick drink at Timboo's, the dirty old man bar around the corner from our apartment. Enjoy!