Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

“Are you OK,” Patrick asked as I buckled Joey into her car seat.

“Yeah, it didn’t bother me at all. I would have wondered the same thing. It made me smile, actually,” I responded with a laugh, more out of relief than anything. It finally had happened. I had wondered how I would react…

You guys, after 9 months of watching TV and staring down other mixed-race families, in a game called “Guess Which Shade of Tan Our Baby Will Be,” we have a baby that is a shade of white a bit more milky and porcelain than Patrick’s skin. We had not anticipated that…at all. During our pregnancy, Patrick kept reminding me that we weren’t mixing paint, there were a variety of possibilities. But, even “anything is possible” Patrick admits being more than a little surprised by our baby’s skin tone and overall strong likeness to her dad.


I may have mentioned that I am biracial and adopted in a previous post or two. Even though I was adopted into a mixed-racial home, my skin tone is noticeably darker than the varied tones of my immediate family. It is safe to say at this point, I have never experienced bearing any resemblance to my family.

That being said… While I was pregnant, did a part of me revel in the thought that I would have a family member that looked like me? Yes, definitely. Was I anticipating a little girl with tan skin and wild curly hair like her mama? Yes, indeed-y. Did Patrick and I excitedly hold our collective breaths, expecting an olive complexion to make its way to the surface as our newborn daughter went from white, to yellow (thanks, jaundice), and…back to white again? Yup! Did we expect Joey’s eyes to turn brown by now? Oh, yes. Do we think our daughter is perfect and the most beautiful girl, exactly the way she is. Undoubtably!

Day-to-day, minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, I do not notice my daughter’s skin, unless  a rash turns up. (Reoccurring belly rash is no match for me!) I’m used to being in a family that is bound by…whatever it is that links a family–love, sense of “us,” same detergent smell–that is not genetics or looks. So this isn’t exactly new territory. But I always wondered if other people could shake my confidence and my strong sense of family-connectedness now that I’m a *mom* to a baby that does not, at first glance, look like me. Turns out, not so much.

Mirroring Surprise

As we were gathering all of our belongings to leave a restaurant–coats, diaper bag, toys, baby–I overheard a girl say to her friend, “I’m trying to figure out if she is the baby’s mom…” She said more, but I didn’t catch it. I smiled as I thought, “Yes, I am the mom! Lucky me!” And that was it. As Patrick and I walked to the car, I told him what I had overheard and he asked me if I was OK.

Am I OK? I have a healthy and beautiful baby girl; a loving, supportive, and present husband; and the best job ever–a full-time nanny to my own daughter. Yeah, I’d say I’m more than OK! But thanks for asking. 🙂


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Today I’m I’m guest blogging at Sippy Cup Chronicles. I wanted to start by thanking Jenny for asking me to guest blog! I had nearly forgotten I had a blog of my own and that I enjoy writing. I had been so busy joining the walking dead becoming a mom that I just haven’t had the time and/or brain power to keep up with it. So thank you so much, Jenny, for giving me that spark to write again. And also thanks to Jenny for being kind about deadlines – it took me a while to get this post together.

My first and only child, Joey, is now 6 months, but it is only recently that I feel like a mom. At first, I just felt insane, tired, and like I lived in an alternate universe. I was just trying to survive on little sleep and figure out what on earth this cute little baby wanted…

Read the rest of my guest post and see cute Joey pics by clicking here!

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I love being a mom!! It is usually a joy, sometimes frustrating, and it gives me even more opportunities to pronounce preferences/opinions with conviction, only to be proven wrong.

Pacifiers, the little plugs I swore “I’d never,” are in full rotation here. We even have a pacifier with a dragon toy on the end! And I love it. I love watching my little girl manipulate the toy and sometimes, with a lot of effort and a bit of luck, she can put the pacifier back in her own mouth. This was also the first toy she grabbed, so I’m obsessed with it!

Dragon wrestling

Dragon kiss!

Co-sleeping? Um, do I look like a hippie? I must, because we did. This week we are transitioning to sleeping in the crib in her room. So far, the “transition” has resulted in the baby sleeping in the crib just fine while I try to fall asleep without my little girl beside me. This is a pic of the baby “adjusting” (not shown – a hippie mom tossing and turning):

Look at that crib-hater

Sleeping dragon

But of all the “That won’t happen to us!” squawking I did, I NEVER thought I’d be wrong on this. I wrote a snarky post last year (read Judging Books By Their Covers here) about all of the white babies on the covers of baby books. On behalf of our future brown baby, we were offended by the implication that all babies are white. I wrote sarcastically:

So if I am to judge books by their covers (admittedly, at a seriously picked-over out-of-business sale), it looks like my baby will be white…

Well, guess what? She is! I’m going to print this out so I can eat my words.

Yes, sir, that’s my baby!

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Just yesterday, Gilly wrote this post about the lily-whiteness of Baby Book covers. At the risk of turning this TTC blog into a treatise on race relations in America, I have to share our experiences tonight: Not once, but twice in the span of half an hour, two different checkout clerks in two different grocery chains in “liberal New England” tried to ring up my basket of items individually, while ignoring my dear wife who stood next to me holding the rest of the items that we had collected together.

I know what you’re thinking – perhaps this is mere coincidence. Perhaps, like Beauty and the Beast, the sight of Gilly next to me seemed a mismatch of such Disney-esque proportions that it confused both of these befuddled, overworked, and underpaid clerks. Or perhaps they were simply too busy to notice when Gilly put her full basket down on top of my recently emptied one (in the first instance) or were confused by the lack of dividers among our combined conveyor belt’s worth of items (in the second instance).

Now, I don’t tend to notice racial issues. In fact, I tend to be oblivious to them. It can be both a blessing and a curse, but growing up white in a white-bread suburb of western Pennsylvania, I never really had to notice them. Today, I like to think we’re living in a post-racial 21st century society. But clearly, we’re not there yet. And this troubles me. It makes me wonder if one day I will experience the same reaction when I am carrying our future, brown, multiracial children in the supermarket. Will I have to worry about comments from perhaps otherwise well-meaning strangers who are set up for certain racial expectations? Or far worse?

It may not bother me personally, but I guarantee you it will bother me if it upsets my children in any way.

But then, just as I was about to sink into a state of despair, I saw a ray of light in the card aisle of another store tonight:

You can judge this card by its cover.

So I’m going to rejoice in our one victory this evening: Babies of many shades on a card together.

Now there is the post-racial 21stcentury I’ve yearned for.

Just like these baby animals sitting in multi-species harmony together.

In the future, people won't judge them for their color.

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This blog post is not for the faint of heart. If you’re squeamish, stop reading now. Seriously. Okay, you’ve been warned.

As I’ve documented before here and here, I’m pretty clueless and a bit delicate when it comes to the realities of childbirth. Pregnancy does things to a body, and they’re not always pretty.

(But I *am* looking forward to seeing Gilly in her maternal bloom. That will be beautiful. Seriously.)

I’ve been following American Baby on Facebook for several weeks now. They post good stuff there, and do a great job of engaging their readers. Then they posted this story and I almost vomited in my mouth a little. Then I clicked on the link, and up it came. (Okay, seriously, this is your last chance to turn back.)

A woman pushes a lot of things out of her body during childbirth, and only one of them is a bundle of joy. So why on earth would any mother eat the placenta?

This is a zinnia we grew in our garden. Isn't it pretty? It's much nicer to look at than a placenta. But if you really want to see that instead, click on the image above.

The article states that most mammals eat their placentas after giving birth. I don’t have the science to back me up, but casual observation has also revealed that many animals also eat their own sh*t and vomit.

The article mentions that the placenta is high in iron, vitamins, and hormones. So are a bar of steel, a bunch of broccoli, and a monthly dose of Yaz, but I’d only consider eating one of those things.

Some places will grind it up into pill form for you. Others will serve it with ginger, lemon and a jalapeno pepper.

One woman mentions that it gave her the “wildest rush.” Call me crazy, but when I want a rush, I think all in all I’d rather ride the Thunderbolt, run with the bulls in Pamplona, or take a taxi ride in New Delhi.

If you peer beyond the ick factor, doesn’t this all smack of a wee bit of auto-cannibalism? Should mothers really be setting their inner Hannibal Lecter loose so soon after childbirth?

What’s next in the placenta craze: a cookbook, a restaurant, or a show on Bravo? Because if I see a fried umbilical cord challenge on Top Chef, I think I’m going to lose more than this afternoon’s lunch.

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Naughty Lulu in Timeout

As I spent the better part of the morning dealing with Lulu’s rambunctious behavior, I realized that I have no clear idea of where I stand on the subject of discipline. I feel comfortable in saying only that I am woefully unprepared to hand it out (Gilly agrees).

While I feel relatively confident – as confident as one can be when dealing with the little nibblers – in saying that I will fall somewhere between the extremes of Severus Snape-strict enforcement and Where the Wild Things are levels of abandonment, it’s that wide swath of middle ground that’s giving me cause to ponder.

Do I reward positive behavior and withhold for negative? Do timeouts really work? Is the occasional spanking a bad thing? Do I raise my voice or keep a neutral tone? Do I let Gilly deal with it?

I’m an uncle seven times over, and let me tell you – it’s easy being an uncle. In fact, if you’re doing your job right, sometimes you even instigate their misbehavior and then simply return the child before you have to deal with the consequences. But, from what I’ve been told, there are no givebacks where parents are concerned.

I suddenly realize I have tons of questions and very few answers. I suppose like so many other things in life parental discipline is another one of those Things-You-Figure-Out-As-You-Go-Along, but it might be helpful to have a strategy in place first.

Now, Lulu, we need to have a talk…

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When you’re trying to start a family, it’s natural that your questions should be about the many possibilities that lie ahead. The practicalities of pregnancy (doctor’s appointments, pregnancy symptoms) and the realities of raising children (changing diapers, dealing with exhaustion) are far down the road, ready and waiting.

Today, I’m wondering about the hypothetical future, and more specifically, what my hypothetical children might be like one day in the (hopefully not-so-hypothetical) future.

I was thinking of this the other night while watching a re-run of Bob’s Burgers, one of my favorite new shows. (I’ve been watching Bob’s Burgers and Archer so much that my future children may respond faster to the voice of H. Jon Benjamin, who voices the lead character in both shows, than they will to my own.)

Bob has three children: Tina (an embarrassingly awkward adolescent), Gene (the affable, slightly dimwitted middle child), and Louise (the youngest child, sarcastic and bordering on the sociopathic). These animated children make for great entertainment, but what would I do if I were stuck raising one of them?

I always assume that my little ankle-biters will be like me, or like Gilly, or ideally a best-of-both-worlds blend. But what if they aren’t? What if they are nothing like either one of us? What if my child is a bit weird? Or dim? Or worse – a little bit of a sociopath?

I hope I will be the type of parent who loves my children unconditionally, even if they do not turn out the way I expect them to. I suspect most parents do love their children this way.

And this has left me wondering: Is this what the true miracle of birth is all about? That you’re going to love those little diaper-loaders no matter what they’re like?

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