Friday, September 22, 2006


I cry every day. The hospital nurses told me I would, and they weren't wrong. It can be about anything. Hormones are messy like that. The other day, I cried as I watched Jon Bon Jovi on Oprah, giving Katrina survivors the keys to the new houses he'd spent $1 billion to build through Oprah's Angel Network. It was just so moving to see how happy those people were when they saw their beautiful homes. This morning, I cried because ... well ... because I wasn't sure if I could make it through another day. A touch of post-partum depression? I'm not sure ... maybe. I have my moments. But I don't feel like dwelling on them here. There are good things, too — things that make me laugh and smile. Here's a short list.

  • Audrey Hepburn dancing to ACDC's Back in Black in the new Gap commercial for skinny pants. Two of my favorite pop culture icons, coming from two completely different places, juxtaposed into one ad — I've gotta love whoever thought of that combination ... surely a kindred spirit "from the Tribe of Joseph," as Anne Shirley might say. I may not look as good in black skinny pants as I did in high school, but that doesn't dampen my desire to get up and dance every time Audrey (from Funny Face) says, "I rather feel like expressing myself now."

  • The "good deeds" commercial. I don't even remember what it's advertising, but I love watching it. It's the one where a guy picks up something a baby dropped from its stroller, starting a chain of "pay it forward"-type events in which people do generous acts of kindness for other strangers, like moving a guy's coffee cup out of the way so it doesn't fall off a table. I love it. I cry at this one, too, actually.

  • Daniel's beefcake pose. It's actually just a stretch he does after he's finished eating: I lift him into an upright position to burp him, and he puts his fists next to his cheeks and lifts his elbows into the air, arching his back and thrusting his chest forward as he looks upward at me with his chubby little cheeks. It's so darned adorable — I can never resist kissing him all over his little face! He does it sometimes when we put him to bed, too. Steve dubbed it his beefcake pose, and the name stuck.

  • The Happiest Baby on the Block. This book and DVD set by Dr. Harvey Karp have made our lives a lot happier by teaching us the five "S" words for calming a baby: Swaddling, sideways (or stomach) carrying, shushing, swinging and sucking. Some combination of these things usually helps calm Daniel down, which has cut down on another s-word for mom and dad: stress.

  • Grey's Anatomy. I've been watching the first two seasons on DVD, and I'm totally hooked! I usually save them for night-time feedings — they give me a reason to look forward to being awake at 3 a.m. One 42-minute episode is just the right length of time to feed Daniel, burp him and rock him to sleep until the next feeding a couple of hours later. With Dr. McDreamy at the touch of the remote, my nights with Daniel McGrumpy aren't half bad. (Actually, I enjoy nursing him. It probably the time when we bond the most.)

  • My husband. Steve has bent over backwards to try to help me adjust to full-time motherhood. Once last week, he came home for lunch so I could take a 45-minute nap, which saved me for the afternoon. Yesterday, he took a vacation day to stay home with us. Every night when he gets home from work, he takes over baby care and encourages me do something for myself — a bath, a walk, a trip to the bookstore. I could not ask for a better, more supportive partner.

  • My friends and family. Whether it's your encouraging phone calls and e-mails, frozen meals, lunchtime companionship or cyber hugs from afar, you all have kept me going. You know who you are. I don't know what I'd do without you. Thanks!

    Laura said...

    I love that commercial as well! Josh says, "Oooh! Your commercial's on!" LOL

    You've got to get a pic of the "beefcake pose!"

    Monkeymama said...

    The 5 "S"s ROCK!

    liz said...

    I love that Gap commercial, but then I was so swayed by the idea that I could look like Audrey that I actually tried some of those skinny black pants on this weekend. Talk about wanting to cry! ;)

    Cathy said...

    Just catching up on your blog. Everyone has said this, but it really does get easier. Personally it's reassuring to me to hear that others have the same experience -- crying over stories about total strangers you see on the news, learning to appreciate late-late night television, and spending all day in a sweatshirt...on the couch...breastfeeding. I also thought the 5 Ss were a lifesaver! (For #2, that is. #1 was a mellow, easy baby who was never cranky -- thus fooling us into thinking we were ready for #2. Nature is wily...)