Archive | November, 2012


29 Nov

Things are getting more fun around here.  The babe is starting to get that curious pucker of the lips, the excited glint in the eye, the thoughtful furrow between the eyebrows–small indications that she’s actually internalizing new experiences, and she thinks they’re totally rad!

We took our first real road trip down to Virginia this weekend post-Thanksgiving for my 10-year high school reunion and the baptism of one of Aurelia’s best friends (so what if they just met this weekend) and John’s Goddaughter.  Somewhere in Maryland, we stopped at a Starbucks for lattes and a quit diaper change.  Normally we carry A around in her covered carseat to avoid losing too much heat.  This time we just ran the 15 yards from car to coffee and back with her tucked into our coats.  As we were running back, a gust of air made the hair on the back of her head whip upward, and this hilarious expression came across her face.  It’s hard to describe, but it was definitely not one of fright, discomfort, or any negative emotion, more something like: “What the…what??!  Wind???!  Huh!  That’s not at all unpleasant.  I don’t know what I feel!”

And then, what do you do when you stay in a home that doesn’t have a baby bath and the kitchen sink is in use?  Well, you take a shower…the three of you.  Game plan: I was to get in the shower first and get myself clean while John undressed our girl.  Then he was to get in with her, hold her while I sudsed her up and rinsed her off, and then shower himself while I exited the shower with a freshly cleaned Aurelia.  Of course, while I was in the shower and John and Aurelia already undressing in the steamy, closet-sized bathroom, we remembered that we forgot to check her diaper, which naturally was heavy with mustard-colored poop.  At six weeks into parenthood, I’m used to being covered in vomit, feces, urine, or some combination, so I told John to just hand her over.  I then proceeded to hold my daughter’s bum right underneath the shower faucet.  And she loved that shit!  The three of us managed to stay clean for a good 5+ minutes until my darling daughter spit up curdled milk from a feeding two hours prior.

Rediscovering the coolness of rotating leaves and animals in her swing:


the butterball hotline

22 Nov

This will be our first Thanksgiving with family in town.  We’ve only had one other Thanksgiving when we didn’t travel.  It was John’s intern year and he was working.  I ran a five-miler in the morning and was presented with an apple pie as I crossed the finish line.  We had sushi for dinner.  And free pie.

I thought this year would be similarly low-key, as we have a small infant consuming most of our attention and our family coming from NYC has been living out of a hotel since Sandy.  I swear John was on board with the whole Indian/Thai/Mexican take-out idea.  However, while discussing take-out options this weekend, he looked at me solemnly, “Wait…you mean we’re not even having a turkey?  Or stuffing??!”

Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday and, at 32 years of age, he’s still a master at the puppy-dog sad face, and I just can’t say no.  So now I’m making a turkey…and mushroom/fennel/pine nut/prosciutto gluten-free bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean something-or-other, cauliflower whatnot, and this easy and far superior pumpkin pie substitute (thanks Nathalie!).

I had a moment of panic on Monday night while reading online instructions about when to defrost the turkey and how long in can stay defrosted in the refrigerator, as our small bird had been immediately placed in the back of the fridge after purchase on Sunday.  Thoroughly concerned about the prospect of caring for my daughter while nursing a wicked case of campylobacter, I thought to myself, What would Jed Bartlet do?  And I called the butterball hotline, which actually does exist and was profoundly helpful.

Thanksgiving morning and our fridge has NEVER been this stuffed to the brim:

And my little 10 lb 9 oz helper after her 6am feeding (bored with so many variations of the same picture?):

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!!!

holy breast milk batman!

20 Nov

My refrigerator of a daughter gained two pounds in three weeks–one fourth of her birth weight!

career perspective

19 Nov

Okay, so I’ve decided to use this new mom-time for my educational benefit (not that I wouldn’t be forced to anyway…this thing has a steep learning curve, yo!).  Whenever I get frustrated that I’m not getting any work done, I’m going to remind myself of all the ways the day-t0-day will help make me a better pediatrician.  (Yeah…I think I want to be a pediatrician, but I haven’t ruled out ED or Ob/Gyn…so if you can make a case for either one, hit me up!)

John says that the last month has been hugely informative for him regarding labor and delivery and normal, well child health.  Recently, his ED got all geared up for a woman who was presenting in labor, thinking that she was close to delivery.  When she arrived, John took one look at her and relaxed, thinking, Dude, I’ve seen imminent delivery, and that ain’t it!

Right now Aurelia is going through a growth spurt, apparently.  Did you know newborns/infants had growth spurts?  (In peds talk, newborn = birth to one month, infant = one month to one year…so as of Saturday, Aurelia is officially an infant!)  We did not.  But she is slamming milk like none other, and my breasts feel like they might rip off my body.  She is also tracking to midline, maintaining eye contact, AND lifting her head to 45 degrees while lying on her stomach (the last one is a two-month skill!).  And to think, all those developmental milestones I struggled to memorize for the peds shelf exam…  The rest of the medical knowledge I amassed this year…questionable at best.

Struggling to stay awake during Doctoring:

adventure day

17 Nov


Yesterday Aurelia and I took not one but two fairly big trips into the city.  Just getting in the car with her feels like an achievement.  Ahh…to be one month old and absolutely HATE the carseat–depositing my sweet child into it elicits choke-sobs horrendous enough to cause pain to the coldest of hearts–but LOVE the car…at least for the first 10 minutes of a drive.  By the time we arrived at Doctoring yesterday afternoon and removed her from the carseat, she was an angel, melting into the arms of my classmates willing to hold her.  She made it an hour and 45 minutes before she started squawking for food, at which point we made a quick exit, she proceeded to down 4 oz of milk at breakneck speed, and then exercised her gastrocolic reflex like a pro.

After Doctoring, we went home, ate some more, then braved the night to celebrate Nathalie’s birthday, arriving a little later than was fashionable, but who can blame a one-month-old who likes to cuddle?  Below with the birthday girl and table six:

A couple discoveries of our travels:

  • The white noise app on my phone is clutch!  Not sure how closely the sound of waves or rain on a roof sound like blood and fluids whooshing in utero, but they do the trick.
  • I have lost my ability to keep focus in conversation, think or speak intelligently about anything other than my daughter.  Is this “mommy brain”?  If so, when does it go away, or how to I make it stop?
  • My classmates are awesome!  I can’t think of a better crowd to trust to safely handle my daughter and be diligent about reapplying Purell without reminder or eye-roll.  I loved seeing my daughter so happily snuggle with band of future physicians.



four weeks

14 Nov

It’s gone by in the blink of an eye.  I recently emailed a physician, with whom I was hoping to meet, back a week after she emailed me: “The last few weeks have been some of the best of my life but, unfortunately, I’ve been pretty behind on everything.  I apologize.”  To which she replied, “You should only be “caught up” with mom activities!!!!”  And then she suggested that I bring my daughter to the meeting.  I love kind people.

If I leave the house for 30 minutes a day, I really feel like I’ve accomplished something.  I know being a mom, and learning how to be a mom, is a big thing (if I offend anyone, please let me know)…I’m not sure what I envisioned…I just thought I would be able to do something else as well, just something relating to my field of study or passion…an hour a day?–an hour a week??  But I’ve been blessed with a cuddle monster of a child who is apparently going through a growth spurt and eating like crazy.  At present, I’m typing with my body at a 160-degree angle on the couch with my daughter breathing heavily and audibly sighing and squeaking on my chest.  I need to learn to be a more productive writer in this position…but I just keep getting distracted by the sound of her breathing, the transient puckering of her lips, the quiver of her eyelashes.

And then there’s this article regarding Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to take a working three-week maternity leave.  I keep thinking about how much freedom I have to take the time with my daughter that I need, how much love and support we’ve received from every direction…and I still feel like I’m at my wits’ ends sometimes, perhaps even often.

To everyone: thank you.  Thank you for your help in providing me with the opportunity to love being a mother.  I hope I can pay it forward.

first run

11 Nov


Aurelia was three weeks old this past Wednesday.  And it sleeted/snowed.  And I went for my first run in three months.  2.3 miles. Slow as dirt.  Felt just like freedom…except for the last quarter mile or so, which felt like my uterus might prolapse, so I switched my trot to a shuffle/walk.

Post-run, feeling/looking a little like a drowned rat, but happy to be rediscovering long lost muscle groups:

One kind of great thing about running in the frigid weather postpartum is that I’m still riding the wave of all those hormones warming me up without any of that pesky pedal edema that plagued me during pregnancy.


next year’s costume?

8 Nov

If she’s still rocking the faux-hawk (fohawk?), what do you think about Halloween costumes: David Beckham or mini-me circa 2007?


7 Nov



Election Day 1992 was the only time that I could remember my bedtime being up for debate.  I was really into that election…well, as much as any third-grader could be.  Ever since I saw Bill Clinton play the sax on Opera, I was hooked.  I even wrote a letter to the White House after he was elected because I was heart-broken when I lost my Clinton-Gore pin; come the following November, I received a Christmas card from the man himself (I still believe in Santa Claus and I still believe the President signs all his own Christmas cards–don’t kill the dream).

Anyway…my dad was all about me being allowed to stay up until the election was called.  My mom, probably rightly, thought this was a terrible thing to do for an eight-year-old.  So I sulked to bed a mere 30 minutes past my regular bedtime.  Hours later, I don’t remember the exact time but I do remember my dad sneaking into my room to give me the good news.

This year was similar in that I grudgingly met my self-imposed bedtime of 8:30pm (when John takes the little un for a few hours), making John promise to wake me when there was any news.  I, however, refused to rouse when John invited me to join him for President Obama’s acceptance speech, in favor of 10 more minutes of sleep.  My state of mind during the midnight feeding was dramatically improved as news of Wisconsin, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington state rolled in.

This election was the first in which I actually voted at a polling center (I had previously voted absentee) and, of course, it was Aurelia’s first time at a polling center ever.  After John got home from work, we braved the weather and all walked over to the local elementary together.  I wanted to document the event (below) but, in the spirit of democracy and a supportive family dynamic, would also like to note that this is not to imply anything about Aurelia’s political leanings.  Three weeks old, and she’s already made it quite clear that she has a mind of her own.

halloween 2012

2 Nov

Aurelia had a blast in her personalized scrubs, just like her Dad’s.  Thanks so much to her yaya aunts!  Apologies for her looking a little drunk and pixilated due to postprandial state and poor lighting.