Sunday, April 30, 2006

Breakfast is no simple business around here, and why is breakfast a recurring theme?

Ana sent out an e-mail about taking the kids to the beach. Mari and I agreed to do something today. My parents haven't seen Max since last weekend. I was hungry as hell.

All this adds up to one thing: to figure out what I'm going to do for breakfast, I have to call at least three separate households to coordinate.

So Ana called us first, actually, to see about the beach. I rant off about not having any towels, or a tent for the baby, and that we are completely unprepared to have an enjoyable day at the beach. I don't tell her, though, that I'm too hairy to put on a bathing suit but not hairy enough for a waxing appointment - and that's the real reason we are not going to the beach.

Then I call Mari, who's in the middle of planning her day out. She wants to know about the beach, and I welcome the chance to sound off yet again about how impossible it is to have an infant and be ready for the beach in April. She thinks the beach idea is too complicated, because she and Pete need to go car shopping. That doesn't solve my breakfast problem, though, so she agreed to call us back.

Next, mom and dad. They were on their way out, had to go set up for the event at La Ermita. The lightbulb goes off in my head: the bishop's been wanting to see Max, so have the nuns, and I bet everyone else there. My parents will be there. So if we take Max, everyone gets to see him, my parents get to show him off, and I must earn some good heaven points or something for this. Everyone's happy, I won't be a heathen and this, I smugly tell myself, shows how brilliant I am, for once.

So we figure we're on our own for breakfast and settle on Sergio's. And then Max falls right asleep. So we settle for my running to the bakery to get some pastelitos while Ben stays with the baby.

The big breakfast turned out to be us huddled on the couch scarfing pastelitos and cafe con leche.

It's part and parcel of being Cuban.

Or not. It's just funnier that way.

Posted by Tere @ 4/30/2006   | | | links to this post

Friday, April 28, 2006

Stupid Newbie Parents

Dinner tonight was at Maccaroni Grill. Because of his appointment with the cardiologist, Max's schedule was thrown off and he didn't nap well during the day. By the time I got home with him at 5, he fell asleep immediately, until about 7. That's like, miraculous for this monkey. Since he'd slept so well, we figured we had a shot at heading out to dinner without any major meltdowns. We felt ballsy and decided to run an errand beforehand (but he ended up getting clothes! Clothes! Cute, summer-baby clothes! That makes it o.k.!)

Anyway, we get to MG shortly after 8 and plop him into the high chair. He just seemed so big in that chair, munching on bread, stopping to absorb everything around him, smacking his book and looking up and laughing at us. I got all choked up inside - wow, I'm a mom, I never thought this would ever happen to me, look I beat infertility, look I have this beautiful, bright boy who is just so awesome, I never imagined it would be like this - when I suddenly remember the last time we went to MG.

Max was about a couple of months old (and very much into his "I don't sleep, I refuse to sleep, I will never sleep and will instead fuss and whine and show everyone how unhappy I am and nothing you do will fix it" stage). We had a craving and very simply decided, well, why not? Let's just go. So we took our two-month-old and headed for the restaurant at like 8:30 p.m. It was the most miserable meal we've ever had. He had miraculously fallen asleep but woke right up the minute they sat us at our table. Oh yeah, he also hated his car seat with a rage that knew no bounds, so once he woke up and figured out that he was still strapped to the chair, he started to wail. I got him out and popped him right on my boob, since that always seems to be the magic cure. Except this time. He wouldn't latch so I got up and took him to a quieter area and tried again. He nursed a bit and started to cry right after. Back at our table, we just couldn't make him happy. We ended up asking them to pack our food up and left. He fell asleep in the car for good this time ("for good" being an hour).

WTF were we thinking? We subjected that tiny creature (at an hour that classifies as "very late" in baby land) to a loud, crowded, brightly lit place. When I told Ben what I was thinking about, he was like, "I can't believe we did that. What the hell was the matter with us? We were so stupid, so clueless!"

And then we proceeded to laugh with all the wisdom that 7 months of parenting has brought us.

Posted by Tere @ 4/28/2006   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hot Momma

"Good morning, beautiful." That's how one of the security guards at work greets me. The fact that he greets me and only me this way (when I come in with co-workers or a bunch of people) leads me to believe that on some level, he thinks it's true.

Yes, yes, I'm flattered. I'm not going to lie, act coy or act outraged. A compliment delivered sweetly is very welcome. What gets me is how foreign this all sounds to me.

Prior to having Max, my reaction to a compliment like this was "Yes, I am, so glad you noticed, you're beautiful, too, thank you and good luck."

Now? I'm like, "WTF? What do you want from me, and what drug are you on?"

I don't know what's come over me to feel so... bland. Plain. Un-sparkling. The baby weight is gone. Beyond gone, in fact, since some of my old clothes are big on me. My face is the same face I once found pretty enough.

I think it's that on some level, it all feels to indecent now. Like, I'm someone's mom, I'm not supposed to be beautiful anymore.

Which is pure bullshit, just the way my twisted mind works. In fact, I don't think anything can beat the beauty of a woman who's given birth and is in awe of what she's been through and of the baby she helped create. A mom who's in love with her baby and can't help but show her happiness and awe and reverence for her new role is simply wonderful, I think.

So maybe I glow with Max-love and don't know it. Or I don't glow at all and can only come off as the tired, tired, tired soul that I am. It seems that no matter how much attention I place on getting ready and looking like my old self (or trying to look better, even), I always come off as looking like a blah-face that just had a kid and has no beauty or mystique or spunk left in her.

Posted by Tere @ 4/26/2006   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Greatest Gift of All

I can't wait for this weekend. Can't. Wait. The best thing ever is going to happen:

I GET TO SLEEP IN.

Ben will be getting up at 6 a.m. when Max wakes up and will leave me in bed so I can sleep.

Sleep!

I haven't slept in over 7 months. Between being up with Max for various reasons and his not-so-cute habit of waking at 6 a.m., I am beyond sleep-deprived. The funny thing is, I never cared much for sleep. I've battled insomnia my whole life (with periods where it was minimal to times when it was awful, so awful), and being a morning person, I was usually up by 7 a.m. During my pregnancy, as my belly grew, sleep became uncomfortable, but I never felt any intense need for it.

And then Max was born. The worst feeling I had in those first days - not for his safety, not because of his tiny size, not because I felt like I had no clue about anything - was the sudden, definite loss of sleep. Just like that. One day I wasn't even dialated at all, and by 2 a.m. the next morning I had kissed sleep good-bye forever. It was such a dreadful, permanent feeling. It made me feel so powerless.

That had to be the worst thing about having a baby - something I never even cared for before, something that had almost been an enemy, was now so hopelessly gone and unattainable that it killed me. The lack of sleep didn't make me a bitter, uninterested mom, but it frayed my nerves so that by the time Ben would get home from work I was exhausted, cranky and immensely annoyed that he had the nerve, the nerve, to walk in and declare he was tired and needed a few minutes to himself.

What? I had no sleep; I would spend my days with a tiny creature who nursed so much that my nipples were raw and sore for months, who fought sleep so much that he would end up exhausted and screeching, but refusing to shut his eyes; I was so busy with trying to keep the baby happy and comfortable that I wouldn't eat or shower or fucking pee - and he dared to act like he had greater need or reason to rest?? Please.

The battle for sleep is still raging. Ben takes a lot of liberties with this, meaning that on days when it's fair game, when we're both off of work and therefore equally responsible for baby care, he stays sleeping and it's my ass that's up at 6 a.m. But it seems that he finally heard what I've been saying for months now, or rather, the other day I told him "this weekend, I don't care what happens, but I need at least one day to sleep. I can't keep this shit up anymore." And he oh so generously told me to sleep in both days.

And I will. He may've been pulling that male bullshit where he so magnanimously offers something that's slightly inconvenient for him, that I have no choice but to refuse such a generous offer. Ha. No chance in hell.


Posted by Tere @ 4/25/2006   | | | links to this post

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Crazy Cubans Manhandled My Son

We were at the Union de Reyes annual picnic today, and for whatever reason, a ton of my relatives, and a bunch old friends who hadn't gone in many, many years were there. So Max was able to meet people who have been like family to us, as well as see some of my aunts, cousins, etc.

But do you know what it's like to be surrounded by 200 Cubans who are in a party mood? The kid was held and kissed and bounced by every single person there. All of them. And God bless him, he was a total love the entire time. A real ham, laughing and blowing raspberries.

I was so the proud mamma, all, look what a great job I'm doing raising him, he's so awesome because I've spent the last seven months doing nothing but bowing to his every whim, making sure I meet his every need and therefore show him that mommy can be trusted, mommy makes the world fun and safe, and now we all get to enjoy this yummy chubber of love and wonderfulness thanks to me so please love me and tell me that I'm a good enough mom and that it'll always be this blissful.

But no, everyone was more concerned about his fat feet and juicy thighs. So like the crazy Cubans that they are.

On a day like today, I feel like the luckiest woman in the world.

Posted by Tere @ 4/23/2006   | | | links to this post

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Breakfast

I was so hungry! Need food! Now! A night of breastfeeding leaves me hungry and thirsty, ohgodsothirsty. There's no chance I could have more than a toast and a bottle of mocha frap, because - ha. To cook I'd have to leave Max in his playpen, and yeah right, he might settle for that. Oh, and the kitchen - the kitchen is a nightmare right now.

I sit down on the couch - Ben is there, too, "holding" and "supervising" Max. Basically, I had to scarf the toast down, with Max reaching, trying to grab it, whining because he couldn't, and with Zoe at my feet, begging. And my coffee - my sacred morning coffee that has been reduced to a Starbucks product in a bottle - by the time I got to that, Max was actively swatting at the bottle, grabbing my arm, pushing against me, babbling right in my ear.

You will never enjoy your coffee again, mommy dearest!

Posted by Tere @ 4/22/2006   | | | links to this post

Friday, April 21, 2006

Into The Void

I'm not new to the blog world. In fact, I feel like I've been doing this forever. I started my own website back in 2000 - a crappy little thing where I would ramble about anything I wanted to. Mostly, it was stuff I wanted to bitch about, a constructive way to release the anger within. I look back at that site, which I maintained until 2005, as a blog of sorts.

But the truth, the scary truth, is that I've never done this before. On the Internet, I've always used another identity, never my real name, never my face, never any real details. At first I did this because of my paranoid nature, because I had visions of stalker exes finding me and spying on me and knowing things about me and my life that I didn't want them to know. Then I realized that none of my exes give a shit about me, and I continued to use my Internet persona to protect my job(s) - as in, I didn't want my boss to see what I was writing and fire me over it.

But I'm over all that crap and feel the need to embark on something new. My life has changed so drastically in the last year, and I'm in this place where I feel the need to use my writing to explore all I'm going through and all that is to come. And in order to do this, I have to do it this way.

Mommy, hold me, I'm so scared.

Posted by Tere @ 4/21/2006   | | | links to this post