Archive | March, 2010

Meet the Parents: Guest Post by Brother Bear

30 Mar

Whine: Mommy is always disrupting my eating and sleeping routine for inane things like changing my diaper (what? it could totally hold more) or sneaking little kisses. Doesn’t she understand that a man needs his rest?

Cheese: Revenge. Is. Sweet. Honestly, I’ve never seen That Mommy Lady move as quickly as she did when she realized she’d left my hind parts uncovered and that I wasn’t finished filling my diaper. When all was said and done, I wasn’t the only one who needed a change.

I look pretty pleased with myself, don't I?

As you guessed, I’m the new guy around here. I go by so many nicknames that I’m not sure if my real name is Lahdee, Aaron, El Rojo Grande or Stinkypants. But my newly soiled baby blanket has Aaron embroidered on it, so I’m gonna go with Aaron. But you can call me Brother Bear.

Today is my one-week birthday, so forgive me if my entry is short. I just wanted to give you a babies-eye view of this place I now call home. It sure is different than my old home–lot’s roomier, but the service could be quicker. I mean, inside I never had to wait on a meal, I just sucked it down through nature’s original curly straw. Now I might have to cry for five whole minutes before That Mommy Lady gets around to feeding me. The outrage.

But other than that, I think I like it ok. I’ve got two older sisters, Big and Lil’ Sis, and as far as I can tell they serve two purposes around here. One is to sit at my feet and gaze adoringly as they offer me toys and blankets and teddy bears and play This Little Piggy with my toes that Mommy never manages to get socks onto. The other seems — as I overheard Daddy say — to be “like a tag-team of little accidents.” I see the look on Mommy’s face when Lil’ Sis is trying to drink my bathwater and I can tell I have much to learn from them.

Lil' Sis and I meeting for the first time.

She's just that into me, isn't she?

Mr. Dad seems like a cool guy. And handsome, too. Which is a good thing ’cause everyone says we look just alike, from the extraordinarily long legs to the fuzzy red hair covering my body (I kinda look like a peach). My auntie said it’s weird to hold me because it’s like holding her brother. (That would be weird.) But Mr. Dad and I get along great. Although he teases me that I’ll never be able to eat in public because I make such rude piggy-like noises. But he usually doesn’t pester me too much with insignificant details like diaper changes and whatnot, so we just mostly chill and watch sports together to give Mommy a break from my voracious appetite.

The indoctrination begins. . .

And last, but not least, is Mommy. She’s a sentimental one, which is why I had to write my introductory post, we wouldn’t want her blubbering all over the place about what a precious gift I am, blah, blah, blah. I may give her a hard time, but man that lady is my sun, moon and stars. Or more aptly, my breakfast, lunch and dinner. And second breakfast, second lunch, second dinner, and midnight snack. And although I may not be so crazy about all those kisses she tries to sneak, I try to throw her a bone every once and while and let her snuggle me to sleep. After all, I’m not completely heartless.

She looks pretty happy to see me. Probably because I weighed 9 1/2 pounds.

Well, that’s about all I’ve got for now. It’s been far too long since my last meal and all this exertion has made me extra hungry. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who sent prayers, well-wishes and congratulations our way this week. I want to send a special and personal thanks to the people who keep dropping baked goods off on our doorstep — I have a vested interest in Mommy staying both plump and pleasant — so keep ’em coming!

Brother Bear (aka Baby Aaron) is the resident baby at A Little Whine and Cheese. In his spare time he enjoys eating, sleeping and keeping up with his fan club. He is currently president of the Support Group for Newborns Who Look Like Third Graders.


Guest Post: Jingles by Mitsi

22 Mar

Whine: I figured as the first guest blogger during Sarah’s “maternity leave” that there’d already be a baby around that I could talk about. I should’ve known better.

Cheese: He’ll be here within the week!  Yay Sarah!

My name is Mitsi and I’ve been friends with Sarah for 8 or 9 years now.  In that time, she’s made several people and has commissioned my “talents” [if they can really be called that] as an amateur jingle writer to make up songs about having babies for her entertainment.  Yes, really. 

Now, I don’t believe I have a skill on par with the “Stanley Steemer” people, it’s more of a Weird-Al-take-perfectly-lovely-songs-and-manipulate-them-for-the-amusement-of-self-and-others gig that I’ve got going here.  However, on more than one occasion, I’ve answered the phone to have Sarah or my good friend Jenny request that I croon out one of these beauties, often on speakerphone, and frequently to people who are complete strangers to me (including OB/GYNs and random assorted others).

So here for your reading pleasure, is a list of the current tracks on the Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum, and Trying to Conceive collection (the album needs a catchier title, I know).  I don’t know how these will translate without musical backup, so you may have to use your imagination.

Track 1: Mammaries

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Barbara Streisand’s The Way We Were.

Notes: I came up with this in 8th grade. I was an odd child.


Track 2: Bertha the Birthin’ Uterus

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Entirely original tune and lyrics.

Notes: Comissioned by Sarah in honor of the birth of Big Sis.


Track 3: Epidural

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: The Eagle’s Desperado

Notes: The jewel in the crown. Also penned for Big Sis.


Track 4: Circumcision

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Foreigner’s Double Vision

Notes: Written for the birth of my best friend’s son.


Track 5: Onward Luteinizing Hormone

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Onward Christian Soldiers

Notes: For anyone who’s ever peed on an ovulation predictor.


Track 6: The Signs of Early Pregnancy

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence

Notes: The most recent addition. A tribute to my own heartburn.


In honor of the impending arrival of Little Brother, here’s the full-on version of “Epidural”


You help to deaden my senses.
When my uterus tenses,
You’re there for me.
I may be contracting,
But with your help I’ll get through it.
I know I can do it
When you’re in my spine.


Master Mitsi (she insists we call her that  until she’s Dr. Mitsi) is a Ph D student who writes jingles and names other people’s babies in her spare time. Currently a dog mom to two little rascals (Murphy and Stanley), she hopes to increase her brood with some human offspring in the near future and put her Baby Compilation CD to good use.

The Beauty of Baby Steps

18 Mar

Whine: I got puked on last night. I’ll spare you the chunky details.

Cheese: I got to snuggle a puny-feeling Lil’ Sis for an hour. Which is 59 1/2 more minutes than I usually get her to be still and on my lap. The price we pay for love, right?

I admit that Google Calendar has changed my life. I put all my important dates into it and it sends me a handy email reminder. Things like birthdays and credit card payments don’t sneak up on me quite as often anymore. So pretty much I’m in love and would run off to Tahiti with it in a heartbeat.

Except not so much yesterday. Because Google Calendar apparently does not know that under no circumstances do you ever, ever email a big ol’ pregnant lady to remind her that it’s her due date. Unless you want to die a slow and painful death. It’s a good thing I’m not an intrepid hacker/virus-designer or Google Calendar would have rued the day. Rued the day, I tell you.

And so we’re still here waiting for this kid to arrive. Every week when I go see my doctor, she measures various not-suitable-for-internet-reading things. And after a week of aches and pains and lots of not sleeping, I’ve progressed another centimeter. A measly centimeter.

But then I got to thinking about centimeters and the fact that when you’re in my condition, you only really have to get to ten. I know, I find the math versus the reality of a human baby very disconcerting, and I’ve already done this twice. But in the end, if you’re lucky, ten is your magic number. And very often you don’t go from 1 to 10 in just a few hours. (Although Lil’ Sis did her darndest to set a record — 5 centimeters in less than an hour. I don’t recommend it. Did I mention the two epidurals I had with her??)

No, most often you change a centimeter at a time. And then I thought about how babies grow from teeny tiny cells. One centimeter at a time. And how, like labor, I’m pretty glad they don’t start out at 9 1/2 pounds from the beginning. Imagine lugging that around for 40 (or 41, if you’re really lucky) weeks.  And even once they come out they change in minuscule little increments. Because how would we delicate Mommies stand it if they were in 0-3 month onesies one day and 2T the next? It’s hard enough to pack up the outgrown baby clothes after they’ve had a few months to wear and stain and get pictures taken in them. What if they just went to bed one night little and snuggly and woke up the next morning grown? It would be too much to bear. And a little creepy.

But still, it’s hard to wait for those exciting baby milestones. Giving birth, witnessing first steps (or second, because they always save the first ones for when you’re gone, don’t they?), or going to the park without anyone wetting their pants. Or other, non-baby but equally exciting ones. Paying that last student loan payment,  losing that pesky baby weight, or after five months getting your DIY project of a master bathroom back.

I’m tempted to look at my situation, especially my body and think that nothing is happening. I will be pregnant forever. FOREVER. I’m convinced that I will be the first woman in history to carry a baby in utero for 41 years. Although I could milk the pity I get from waddling around with a belly this big for quite a while. I mean, if I had to.

But deep down I know that change is inevitable and it’s happening right now whether I see it or not. In fact, if I knew how much was changing both in my body and in my kiddos right now, I’d probably freak out.  I bet Big Sis is secretly learning Chinese and Lil’ Sis is training for a triathlon this summer.

There’s beauty in the baby steps. Agonizing, heart(or back)breaking beauty, but beauty nonetheless. The longer I wait and the harder I work on those baby steps, the more I can appreciate that final moment of arrival. The moment I hold that little guy I’ve been growing  and talking to and carrying around without having to strap into a car seat for 10 months will be one of the best of my life, I know it. 

But in the meantime I can slow down a little bit (mostly because I can barely walk anymore) and snuggle my kids as they try to find space on my lap. I can eat one (or two, or three) more spicy meals without having to get up to nurse/rock/change an impatient baby. I can admire the hard work this body of mine is doing, whether I see it or not.

In the end, I’m grateful for the baby steps. For time to let the anticipation build, and to be really proud of finishing something that wasn’t easy. And for time to stop and smell the roses (or Johnson & Johnsons shampoo) on the way. But mostly I’m glad for baby steps because I’m pretty sure that if I had the option to take big giant steps through things I would, and as big of a baby as I am, I’m pretty sure it would kill me.

For some other people’s (much deeper) thoughts on beauty, click the button below and follow the rabbit trail. Enjoy.


Big Baby

14 Mar

Whine: I have officially sunk to a new low. For the first time since college, I’ve gone out in public in my pajama pants. What would Stacey and Clinton say?? I don’t really care, I’d like to see Stacey rock those kitten heels with a watermelon protruding from her front.

Cheese: They are very cute pajama pants.

Friday I had a root canal.

Yes, you heard me correctly. I decided that the best thing for me to do at 9 1/2 months pregnant would be to schedule an emergency root canal. You know, sort of like a dress rehearsal of pain for what’s coming up here pretty soon.

Let me tell you something about myself, in case you didn’t already know: I am a whimp. A pansy. A big baby. When I had my last big baby (aka Lil’ Sis) I had an epidural. Ok, I’ll be honest, I actually had two.

Friday at my friendly dentist’s office was no exception. After much poking, prodding and trepidation over poking and prodding a woman as pregnant as me, (Um could you please not go into labor? Yeah, thanks.) the dentist injected me with some Lidocaine. And then some more Lidocaine. Then she poked me some more. Can you feel this? Yep. This? Yep. Really? Mmm hmm. . . And so she gave me some more. And poked some more. Still feeling it. She called the other dentist in, who repeated the whole scenario. At the end of the day, I ended up needed 5 1/2 shots of Lidocaine (which means six pokes with a needle longer than I’d really ever like to see anywhere near my mouth agan) just to get a quarter of my mouth numb.

Once they finally removed all capacity for feeling from my mouth (which took an hour) the rest of the procedure wasn’t too bad. Except the part where I was lying flat on my back like a bloated turtle. And the part where I had to stop the dentist mid-torture to waddle mouth stuck open with some torture-related device to use the bathroom because, well, I’m hugely pregnant. And the part where they told me how much the whole episode was going to cost me, which led to the part where I was driving home and had to pull over because I was hyperventilating.

Once I stopped needing paper-bag-assisted breathing, I got myself a strawberry milkshake then took a monster nap. When I awoke, I discovered the part of a root canal that gives it it’s horrific reputation. Yeah, it’s the after part. When you wake up from your nap and the whole left side of your mouth feels like a giant throbbing mass of horribleness. And when you try to eat a mushy banana and accidentally chew on the wrong side and it feels as if there’s a tiny little ginsu knife going down into your nerves. I felt like I should have pulled one of these to make the pain desist:

Did I mention that I’m a big baby? Like it’s not obvious.

Ok, maybe I’m not a big baby. Perhaps I’m just . . . sensitive. Yes, that’s it, I’m very sensitive. Delicate, you might say. If by delicate you mean getting upset and close to tears when I realize that the Old Navy coupon I’ve been saving until I can escape the confines of my home without my children who behave like wild banshees in clothing stores is actually expired and I can’t use it after all. Or that someone ate the last piece of corn on the cob and I didn’t get any (but that was totally fair because I was newly pregnant then and could barely eat anything without hurling and corn on the cob actually sounded good and it was just so sad because I really was just so hungry).

So maybe I’m a bit oversensitive, and, yes, perhaps occasionally a modicum of logical thought might be of assistance as I deal with real life instead of the cry until I fall asleep approach. But there are positive aspects to being a complete bleeding heart.  Like rescuing stray puppies (ok, can’t say I’ve ever done that) or empathizing so much with the team who didn’t win the Superbowl you need a Pepto (I have definitely done that). 

And tell me this, when you spill the two ounces of breastmilk it took you an hour to pump or your seventeen year-old cat finally gives up the ghost and you’re heartbroken even though you didn’t actually like the cat, who are you going to call? Your “logical” and “rational” friend who “doesn’t cry over spilled milk or old dead cats” or the one who’s guaranteed to feel your pain and then some? That’s what I thought.

Sugar and Spice

10 Mar

Whine: I’m not sure how Lil’ Sis knows about the Terrible Twos, but she does. All day today I kept hearing emphatic variations of the same thing. “I. Don’t. Like. Church.”  and “I. Don’t. Like. Cars.”  and “I. Don’t. Like. Pizza.” (who doesn’t like pizza??)

Cheese: At least she’s using appropriate sentence structure.

The first thing people notice about Lil’ Sis is her hair. Her fiery orange hair. In fact, it was the first thing the delivering OB noticed before she was even all the way born. Now that is some red hair. And after people stop me mid-aisle in the grocery store to tell me how pretty her hair is, they quickly follow that first observation with a correlating second. “Red hair. Got a temper, doesn’t she?”

She does. But it rarely shows. Most of the time Lil’ Sis is sugar. You know as in sugar and spice and everything nice. . . She shares her toys with her cousins, and tries to make peace when tempers flare.  If Big Sis is sad, Lil’ Sis is the first to run to her aid with a blankie and a hug. And best of all, she insists on helping me unload the dishwasher.

But occasionally Lil’ Sis is spice. And by spice I don’t mean cinnamon. We’re talking cayenne. Possibly tabasco. When she was a little baby, people would ooh and aah over how sweet and mild she was. The nursery workers thought she was a dream. But Mr. Dad and I knew better.  At home we called her “Wild Thing.” She was very adept at letting us know when she was too hot or too cold. Her lion’s roar was just a little louder and more intense than all the other kids’ (it’s not a ten, it’s an eleven).

And today, as she sweetly helped me in the kitchen, all sugary and sweet, hints of her spicier side slipped out. She toddled to the dishwasher and handed me the spatula to be put away. Except I put it in the wrong drawer. And boy did I regret it. That sweet little angel hollered and yelled at me in righteous indignation until I put the spatula in the exact right place.

I love her sweet side. I really, really do. I mean, who wouldn’t like a kid who happily (and very accurately) unloads the dishwasher? Watching her gently tuck her baby dolls into bed or look in every room until she finds her sister melts my heart. And we die laughing every time she runs out of a room with her purse and waves as she says “Berightback.” But her spicy side is nice, too. I know it sounds nuts, but that little extra oomph in her cry yell when someone she likes has the nerve to leave our home to go to their own is pretty endearing. And it shows how fiercly she loves. Her indignation over not getting to do something herself makes me chuckle (well, sometimes). At least I can be reassured that Lil’ Sis will someday (probably sooner than I’d prefer) be an independent woman. But mostly it’s the way she attacks me when she hugs me and the way she dances her heart out to Farmer in the Dell that I like. Because what’s life without a little spice?



Everything nice?

That's what little girls (and wild things) are made of.

So I’m sending a birthday roar to my little Wild Thing. I love you, Lil’ Sis. The day you were born (although it was VERY long) was one of the best of my life. I cannot wait to see how you grow and change and make me crazy over this next year. Happy birthday to you. And just because you’re so darn cute, one more picture.

All dressed up (well, almost) and nowhere to go.

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Post What I Want To

5 Mar

Whine: It’s 4 am and I am definitely not typing this in my sleep. Which means I’m awake about four hours too early on my birthday. Is this an omen of what this year in my life will be like? I’m sure it is.

Cheese: I have it on expert authority that insomniacs get more done. If by more you mean checking facebook in the middle of the night and watching Paid Programming on mute while I wish for sleep to come. Perhaps I should invest in a few new books so I don’t end up ordering the Simoniz Power Car Washing Kit again. Yes, I said again.

I love birthdays. I always have. I particularly love my own birthday. I get presents and cake. And I finally get one day a year when I get to be the center of attention without having to resort to attention-seeking behavior like getting stuck in windows or being too sick to walk. But I love other people’s birthdays, too. Any excuse for cake and a good party is fine by me.

As I get older and the birthdays seems to blow by, I realize that some birthdays come with lots of fun and fanfare, and some are barely acknowledged. Although this could be partly my fault, as I seem to have made a habit of being “due any day now” right around my birthday. Last time I was great with child, I was due the day before my birthday.  And so my birthday greetings that year consisted of many baby-related wishes. This one, from my friend Carrie was one of my favorites:

May no baby come forth today (unless you are miserably large)
So that you never have to share your birthday with another (unless you are selfless like me and do not mind.)

I also spent that birthday in the doctor’s office for a routine exam. And if you’ve had a baby before, you know that a “routine exam” at 40 weeks pregnant is not really the most exciting way to spend your birthday. Unless awkward discomfort is your cup of tea. In which case, you should find another cup of tea, really.

But because I have the Ritz-Carlton of wombs, there was apparently no danger of Lil’ Sis arriving anywhere near her due date, which meant I wouldn’t have to share my birthday with her. Here is what I looked like on my birthday in 2008.

2008 or 2010? Doesn't matter, I look exactly the same.

I was going to post the picture of me showing my belly, but I thought seeing that amount of exposed skin might cause extreme discomfort/nausea for some of my more sensitive readers. Although, it was (and currently is) a sight to behold.

I was looking through pictures from my birthday last year and felt a twinge of longing for my old body. I mean I could wear pants. With a button and zipper. And I had a cheekbones and an actual chin. My how I miss my chin.


It's been so long since I've looked like that, I didn't recognize myself.

But chins (or lack thereof) and pregnancy and infomercials aside, I’m looking forward to my birthday today. Because a birthday is a great excuse to get away with eating lots of cake. And as long as Baby Boy stays in for another day or so, I can have my cake and eat his, too. Now that’s a birthday.


2 Mar

Whine: I’m on the home stretch of this pregnancy. Which means he could come today or three weeks from today. The uncertainty (and the uncomfortable nature of carrying another human in my belly) is really wearing me down.

Cheese: People return your calls when you’re this pregnant. I like to call, hang up and not leave a message just to freak them out. That’ll teach them to screen my calls.

Remember the spring semester of your senior year? The one that came after you got accepted to college (or got that job) and really didn’t matter much at all. Remember how oppressive and pointless every quiz, group project and term paper seemed at that point? Do you also remember how it took exponentially more energy just to get your sorry behind to class (if you went) and do the bare minimum just to get the heck out of dodge? And in response to any inquiries about your sudden loss of motivation there was an easy answer: Senioritis.

Apparently the last few weeks of pregnancy for me have a similar malady associated with them: Eyeore-itis. You know Eyeore, the fluffy grey donkey, Winnie the Pooh’s gloomy pal. He continually walks around feeling very despondent about losing his tail or having his house of twigs crushed by an over-enthusiastic Tigger yet again.  He mumbles and complains about his difficult state of affairs. You can’t help but feel a little sorry for old Eyeore, I mean, his favorite food is thistles. 

So these days I’m feeling a little Eyoreish. I’ve lost my tail (and my phone, and my keys, and definitely my patience) more than once today and am surrounded by a couple of little Tiggers who generally knock over anything I manage to actually clean up.

Yeah, that’s right. I’m supposed to be at the height of my nesting potential, rehanging light fixtures and shellacking (it’s a real word, look it up) diaper changing tables. Instead, I’m letting the laundry mount and staring despondently at the heaps and heaps of baby boy hand-me-downs that really ought to be in drawers instead of Hefty bags.

Mostly I’m just really, really tired, my ginormous belly (which now literally has a mind –and body– of it’s own) hurts more often than it doesn’t, and my overly ambitious Before-He-Arrives List suddenly doesn’t feel like joyful preparation and now hangs over my head like I’m being held in the stocks while tiny townspeople hurl things at my immobilized form. (You think I exaggerate?? I cannot tell you how many stuffed animals I’ve barely dodged in the last week alone. Lil’ Sis did not fare nearly as well. And the stuffed gorilla that hit her had a tiny battery pack that came loose just in time to whack her in the face.)

I know I really shouldn’t complain. For lots of reasons. One being that I get to have a sweet little sunshine of a baby boy sometime this month. I know this. But I also know that we are all real people, and that if I spend every blog post blowing sunshine about how great my life is, everyone will stop reading because we all know that it’s misery that loves company. Besides, this blog is my outlet and it’s way cheaper than therapy.

I also shouldn’t complain because I’ve had worse third trimesters. Like ones that occur in August. Where my fingers swell so much that I can no longer wear my wedding ring. Ones where I get carpal tunnel syndrome and for my last four weeks of pregnancy my hands hurt so bad I can’t hold a pencil, type on a computer, crochet that stupid baby blanket I’ve been meaning to finish for months. Where it even hurts to grab my toothbrush and brush my teeth, although I manage somehow. Four weeks without brushing my teeth would be a long time. Even for me.

So yeah, life’s not that bad. I can (obviously) type on the computer. And hopefully if you’ve seen me recently you know that I am still brushing my teeth, although some days that’s about all I manage. And really, by the third baby there’s not much on the List that actually has to be done. Car seat? Check. Dusty from a year in the attic and inexplicably sticky? Yes, but still functional and more importantly fits in my car with the other two.  Bed? Check. Also have a few boxes and an empty dresser drawer he could sleep in, just in case. Somewhere to ship the sisters to when the Blessed Event occurs? Check. Definitely don’t want them in the room to witness the ugly side of the “miracle of life” just yet.  

But just because he’s my third doesn’t mean I don’t want everything just right for his arrival. I want his room to at least resemble a kid’s room and not just the guest room into which we are stuffing his cradle. I’d love to have all his tiny little clothes folded sweetly into those dresser drawers I haven’t emptied of random collections of junk yet. Having a few packs of diapers would probably also be a smart idea too.

And all of these tasks are feasible. I’m not immobilized by the sweltering August sun. I’m not so interminably large that I can no longer move. I even get time to myself now and again. But I’m staring at my List and it all seems so impossibly huge, and I just feel so sleepy. So instead of doing the one or two things I might manage today, I curl up on the couch and eat some thistles, right before I give up and fall asleep.