Monthly Archives: April 2015

A Conversation with Madge and Dorcas

I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Madge and Dorcas.  The following is a transcript of our conversation.

Me:  Madge, Dorcas, it’s wonderful to finally have a chance to talk with you.

Dorcas:  Yes, it is.

Madge:  I AM MADGE.

Me:  Yes, we know that.  It’s okay to use your indoor voice.


Dorcas:  She’s right.  It is.  Madge is a Valkyrie.  I’m more of a Rhine maiden.

Me:  I see.  We’ve known each other quite a while now.  Must be 25 or 30 years.

Dorcas:  More than that.  Our entire lives.

Me:  (laughs)  True.

Dorcas:  Madge and I were just less prominent for the first years.

Me:  I was saddened a little by the fact that Anna was so distraught by nursing, but you seem to have adjusted all right.

Dorcas:  Well, you go with the flow.


Me:  Well, no, Madge, you won’t.  It’s too much work to pump to supplement Anna’s formula with breastmilk.


Dorcas:  She gets like this sometimes.


Me:  I noticed.  I’m guessing that’s why she’s still leaking after five weeks.


Dorcas:  There’s really no talking with her when she gets like this.

Me:  That’s too bad.

Dorcas:  It is.  But what can you do?  We’re stuck with each other.

Me:  That’s very true.

Dorcas:  I mean, I know you’ve suggested we should lose some weight, but you weren’t planning on doing that anytime soon.


Me:  No.  Not anytime soon.


Me:  I can see how this is going.

Dorcas:  (sighs)  Yes.  I’m afraid that’s about all you’re going to get out of her right now.

Me:  Well, Dorcas, it was lovely talking with you.  I promise that as soon as Madge finally gives it up, I’ll stop wearing a bra to bed.

Dorcas:  I’m looking forward to that day.

Me:  Me, too, Dorcas.  Me, too.


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Villagers, Assemble!

Anna and I are enjoying some much-needed quiet time right now.  It was a good morning, but she did get a bit overstimulated.

They say that it takes a village to raise a child.  Even before I started trying to get pregnant with Sofia, I thought about my friends and determined that I have plenty of people who will support me as a single mother, especially in these early years.  (It’s amazing how someone so small can require so much energy!)  Today, Anna got to meet some of her, um, village people.

Not everyone was able to make it, of course, so there will be smaller gatherings to be had.  But she’s met most of the family now.  And most of the Granny Brigade.  And a good number of theatre people.  And I have a list of phone numbers of people who are willing to lend a hand.

It definitely feels good to have a physical reminder that I have a community beyond my immediate family.  I know this.  But it was nice to see everyone, too.

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What’s Making Me Happy This Week

  1. Clare, Nicki, and I had a late brunch (so that would be lunch, I guess) on Sunday.  It’s a lot of fun watching our three babies grow.  They were 8 weeks, 6 weeks, and 4 weeks this time.  And it was a lot of fun to talk about babies and theatre and the Stratemeyer Syndicate.
  2. I’m remembering that one of the things I love about the Cherry Ames books is that they don’t talk down to their readers.  I’m in the middle (okay, 50 pages in… so not really the middle yet…) of Cherry Ames, Cruise Nurse.  A character who is dead when the book begins suffered a pulmonary thrombosis.  It takes at least ten pages before the phrase is translated from medical speak into “blood clot in the lung”, but they still don’t go into detail on why there was so little the doctor could do to save him.  I love books that might inspire young readers to read further!
  3. My pendant is at the jewelers to be reset with an additional stone for Anna.  Dropping it off took longer than it really should have, but I got to eavesdrop on some wonderful conversations while I was there.*
  4. For my relatives who get eaten alive by mosquitoes while the rest of us look on, research shows that there is more than mere anecdote to show that mosquitoes really do prefer some people over others.  It doesn’t necessarily make me happy, but it is interesting.
  5. This is a fascinating story about why fondue became so popular.
  6. And finally, one of my college professors posted this list of nerdy jokes.  They are super nerdy.  I find the majority of them to be hilarious.  Number nine made me laugh so hard that I found it difficult to read it aloud to share.

*In related not-happy things…  RIP Mr Morrison.  You will be missed!

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Child Development

My sister-in-law is not a baby person.  She never has been.  She will tell you that she isn’t.  This is not to say that she didn’t love her babies or that she wasn’t a good mother when they were infants.  She’s just one of those people who prefers children when they get older.  I say this because Emily (my 9-year-old niece) appears to have taken after her.

It was interesting to watch how my nieces interacted with Anna.  My mom and I expected that they would both be gunning to go for walks and push the pram, that they would ask to feed her, that they would be regularly want to hold her and play with her.  And they weren’t.

Felicity (who is 7) would check in regularly.  She’d pat Anna’s hand or leg.  One day, she did come over to me and ask if she could hold her, which was, of course, perfectly okay.  But Emily never did.  She held Anna once and that was for a cousin picture when Chelsea was doing the photo shoot.

It was clear that both girls were a bit unsure about an infant so young.  Felicity wanted to get out all of the baby toys, and we had to keep explaining that a 7-week-old simply doesn’t have the skills to use them yet.  Emily wanted to know if Anna would be talking when they came to visit this summer.  (She was a bit disappointed to learn that Anna will still be learning how to sit unsupported then.)

Like all children, Emily and Felicity did not behave as anticipated when they met their new cousin.  It will be interesting to see if they become more comfortable around her as she gets older.  But it was definitely interesting to see that Felicity is taking after my brother in regards to babies while Emily is most definitely her mother’s daughter.

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Well Baby

The reason we went to visit my brother and his family when we did is that the timing fit in between my 6-week follow-up appointment and Anna’s 2-month well-baby check-up.

She did well.  She smiled and cooed.  And then, of course, wailed mightily when she got her first vaccines.  Our practice limits to two per visit, which works pretty well.  Two nurses, two needles, two baby legs.  They give the shots simultaneously, which (at least to me) seems to be better than giving them separately.  Anna was pretty clingy for the rest of the day (when she wasn’t asleep, that is), but by bedtime, she was back to normal.

One of the interesting things my mom had noted was that they have not kept us in the waiting room for long.  The infant exam room wasn’t available at our appointment time yesterday, so Julie (our favorite nurse) took us back to the pediatric exam room to wait.  (It will be interesting to see if this trend continues now that we’ve started vaccinations.)  The only problem with the pediatric room is that the infant scale is, of course, in the infant room.  We had to wait until the end of the appointment (post-shot) in order to get Anna weighed and measured.  She’s up to 10.5 pounds on the nose.  Just shy of the 50th percentile.  Just the right size for this petite mamma.

And today?  Today we have a quiet day at home.  We’ll go for a walk, maybe sit out on the balcony.  Watch my wives (the good one and the mid one who gets called).  Snuggle.  Play.  Read.  Eat.  It will be nice to just be.

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Fridays Are For Happy Lists

  1. Watching Anna snuggle with her Uncle Matt
  2. The new Zoo Mama Facebook group — a closed group created two days ago and already up to 109 members.  Clearly there’s a desire for a non-judgmental support system.  (Thanks for adding me, Sheri!  If you’re a mom in the Kalamazoo area and want to be added, let me know.)
  3. We have the Pack ‘n’ Play set up.  Anna is currently happily playing with her dangling toys.  Thanks, Aunt Cindy, for the use of it!  It was very clever of you to buy one in my color scheme six years ago.  😉
  4. My mom and I ate lunch outside.
  5. And I was wearing a tank top.
  6. And now for a large collection of links.  There’s this yoga for writers infographic.  (Thanks, Rams!)
  7. And this great post about what books teach us about women and romance.  (Thanks, Betsy!)
  8. I can’t remember who first posted/shared/commented on this post, but it’s a great post about C-sections.  All births are miracles, no matter which route the baby takes to get out.
  9. I love this video of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” choreography set to Shostakovitch.  Because.  (Thanks, Sheri!)
  10. And this great post about modern dance from The Jesuit Post.  (Thanks, Mom!)
  11. And now for the NPR links.  Ever wondered why European food doesn’t tend to be as heavily spiced as food from, say, India?  Yeah, me neither, but NPR answers that question nonetheless in this interesting article.
  12. Then there was this article about higher education for craft brewers, featuring none other than Western Michigan University’s new program.
  13. And, of course, a Linda Holmes post.  I can’t remember if I’ve shared this yet or not.  (This is what happens when I get behind in my blogs…  It was posted a month ago, but when exactly did I read it?)  If not, please enjoy this exploration of Cinderella and her sister stories.
  14. I’d also like to thank Linda Holmes for reviewing the new TV Land sitcom Younger.  It stars the delightful Sutton Foster.  Anna and I have enjoyed the first two episodes.  (It’s on Hulu if you’re interested.)
  15. NPR’s food blog looked at writing recipes using emoji.  Why not?  (At the very least, read the introduction.  It’s about eggplant.  It’s very funny.)
  16. And last, but definitely not least, the folks at NPR found the speed of light using Peeps.  Because they could.  And they had a lot of Peeps leftover after Easter.

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Is This the Real Life?

Now that you’re spoiled by daily posts, the blog has caught up with the calendar.  Yes, this post is going up in real time.  Or, you know, once I finish writing and hit “publish”.

We’re home from Virginia.  I’m hoping Anna settles better tonight than she did last night.  She slept so much in the car that she couldn’t decide if she was restless or hungry or wanting to snuggle.  Today’s leg was short, so she played for quite a while this afternoon.  Now she’s nursing her way through a bottle.  (Took a break, so I decided to try writing…)

Hopefully the blog will stay in real time from here on out.  Obviously, none of us foresaw Sofia’s death, so I make no guarantees.  But barring major life events such as that I see no reason for the delay in posting to return.  This is the real life; it isn’t fantasy.

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