family, gratitude, parenthood, running, toddler


I came up with the most brilliant idea. I still have to work out the logistics, but I’m going to start running home from work. It’s a distance of three miles. If I change at 4:30 and hit the door at 4:35, I should arrive to pick up E around 5:15pm, which is only ten minutes later than if I take the bus. Look at me, slipping in a workout AND outdoor time AND mood boost AND me time, all without changing our schedule!

There are some unresolved details here. I don’t think I can or should try to manage this while I’m still pumping. I’m not trying to run across San Francisco with breast milk sloshing in my fanny pack. I don’t even have a fanny pack (yet). Or whatever type of tight-fitting backpack I’ll need to carry my wallet and keys and phone. That part will be easily figured out, and I’m sure there are any number of running specialty stores excited to help me (and advice is welcome!). But not with milk and all the accoutrements in addition to work clothes/shoes and empty lunch containers and etc.

I think I’m almost ready to stop pumping. Heavily qualified by “I think” and “almost.” I like sending a bottle of my liquid gold each day. But even the nanny is saying he’s often not interested, AND he’s nursing more than ever in the hours we’re together, likely due to a gnarly moral coming in. I feel nervous about his daytime nutrients coming only from the food I’m preparing which he only sometimes wants to eat… And I guess I’m, oddly enough, nostalgic about the pump. Not that I love pumping, just feel like it’s part of the whole experience and now it’s almost over.

Our office just moved to a new location. In the old office, I had a cute little room with two comfy chairs and a fridge, and a window (with a curtain). In the new location, I have a windowless tiny storage room where I have to unplug a microwave to plug in the pump, set the accoutrements on boxes, and block the door which doesn’t lock. Yes, these are all signs! It’s time to wind it down.

They say they’re getting an “occupied” sign for the door. And of course it’s all guys who sit directly outside that door. Yesterday, I was asking this moving coordinator guy where to plug in and our IT guy made a joke about plugging into the adjoining server room, where you can hear buzzing and whirring of the server from behind the door. I said, “Yeah, I think that might be a little too much power,” and everyone laughed and it was at once terribly awkward and hilarious (which also kind of sums up pumping).

Anyway, not-pumping leads to the next dilemma–running home with super-full boobs. I suppose that’s all about the running bra. Won’t E be happy to see me showing up busting out! He literally makes the sign for nursing every time he looks at and/or touches me. Maybe he thinks it means, “Mom.” In a way, it really does.

E is only more and more delightful. Mostly–he can now get as frustrated as joyful, as his emotional spectrum gets more complex. He’s really reaching to communicate–he’ll say “Da? Da? DA? DA?!! DA???!!!!” increasing the volume to comical levels while pointing at something he wants, like more strawberries. One of my mom’s groups has been emailing about tantrums and there’s been nothing yet that I would call a tantrum, but definitely mounting frustration when it’s not what he wants. Usually he’s still distractable.

Oh and did I mention that he said his first word? I almost didn’t believe it when the nanny told me, and then, right before my eyes, E pointed at his little buddy and said, “Ta-ee!” or, “Charlie.” And then he did it about a million more times in case I didn’t believe it–in the evening, on the weekend, always with a big smile like he’s thinking about his friend. I think he’s also saying “Chacha” (or “Tata”) which is his grandpa. I’m hoping he learns “Mommy” and have been self-consciously referring to myself a lot in his presence. 😮

And he’s walking up a storm. He pretty much doesn’t want to be carried for transportation and insists on walking. He’s falling less and less but getting more and more circuitous in his route, checking out driveways and curbs and cars and not going in the direction we’re trying to go. It takes forever. I pick him up and he throws himself horizontal, trying to get himself back on the ground. He insists on climbing up the steps or walking up with my help, stopping to ring L’s doorbell and check out a bird toy on the top landing. I think he would go up and down the stairs all night if I let him.

My favorite thing he did lately, which my sister B was here to witness: I served dinner which included some butternut squash. I picked up one cube and blew on it twice before handing it to him. Then he blew on it twice and then put it in his mouth! Our eyes popped out!

HOW HOW HOW is it July tomorrow? I am in complete disbelief that the year is half over. But I’m not complaining that we’re heading for a long weekend and vacation not too long after that.

And I’m running and he’s walking. Kisses to the universe! xo

(shaking his bootay at Pride)



ordinary monday

I just want to remember this evening. An ordinary Monday.

I hopped on the wrong bus after work–an express bus that was headed for the ocean, way beyond where I get off to pick up E. When I realized it, I ran to the front to plead with the driver to let me off. He was not cheerful about it but didn’t say no. I stood next to him quietly for about ten blocks until he said, “Ready?” and I jumped out at a stop light, navigating across the median to circle back to E.

It was a cool, foggy evening, with brief moments of sun. The breeze felt good on my bare legs.

I walked into the house and, rather than greeting me or raising up his arms to be picked up, E immediately wanted to show me everything in the room, pointing at one thing after another and saying, “deh? deh? deh???” He wanted to keep playing too, which I always love to see.

He was not thrilled to be put back in the stroller, and V (his nanny) told me that he would probably be going to bed early because he’d only slept 45 minutes all day.

The tears stopped as soon as we walked outside. I kept popping my face around to the front and saying “boop!” until he smiled and laughed at me. Then he started telling me about his day, “digadigadiga.” On the way home, I thought about getting him out of his stroller to walk part of the way home (now that he’s walking!), and then decided that would be a terrible idea considering his pace and propensity to get distracted.

We arrived home, and I put his stroller in its convenient storage spot on the ground floor and then hoisted E, my purse, and my backpack (some days I also have the diaper bag too but not today). When we got to the bottom of the stairs, I let him climb up himself, positioning myself behind him to catch him if needed. He was very irritated with me that I didn’t want to let him go back down once he got to the top.

We walked in and he stood in one place and cried until I got everything set down and got out of my dress to nurse him. He now enthusiastically gives the sign for nursing with both hands.

After nursing, I pulled out a frozen dinner from a meal exchange I did last month (made by a mom friend) and put it in the microwave. E wanted to open, shut, open, shut the microwave and I only let him do it a limited number of times so I could keep dinner moving forward. While it was defrosting, I sat down and played with E and his blue car. I perceived a poopy diaper and changed him. At one point, he let out a scream just to hear himself do it. I tickled his belly with my nose while he giggled. I tried to imagine what his older-boy laugh would be like someday.

Before dinner, I put on Ben Webster to remind us of our old friend, Herb. I got out a beer and served quinoa and the defrosted garbanzo beans with veggies, and the requisite container of berries (probably $17 worth from the farmer’s market–we are helping keep berry farmers in business). E was uninterested in the garbanzo beans and carrots, which were thrown unceremoniously to the floor. He did take a few bites of the soup with quinoa. Mostly, though, he jammed a whole wheat tortilla in his mouth. When it was berry time, he eschewed the blueberries and requested more raspberries. I agree, they were delicious.

I cleaned up (not much of a job thanks to the frozen meal) and got the bath running. He had quinoa in his hair and dirt under his fingernails. I got him in the tub and he clanged a plastic comb on the bath faucet while I washed his hair and dabbed him with the washcloth. We read each of his three bath books, which are getting a little old. (“Splish, splash, little duck! Time to wash, says fish! Bathtime friends are fun!” Who writes this stuff??? Of course, he loves it though.)

He didn’t want to get out of the tub after pulling the plug and replugging it several times, so I finally insisted. He’s very consistent about hating the transition from tub to jammies, like he doesn’t want the day to end. I wrapped him in a towel and picked out his jams and a diaper. While I towel-dried his hair, he wanted to nurse, sitting in a little ball in my lap. I held him there in the towel.

After a while, I had to insist on a diaper before I got peed on. I distracted him with his favorite animal book. Then I got the coconut oil and we took three deep breaths and I did a little massage on his arms, belly, legs, and face. Jams on, and we did songs. He liked them so much that he signed for “more!” So we did one more (Old MacDonald) and then I nursed him to sleep and he went down easily.

Now it’s 8:20pm and I’ve already cleaned up and started a load of laundry and made tea. And written a post. What a luxury–not all evenings are so smooth.

I know that I’m going to blink and he won’t be a baby anymore!


kitchen3 kitchen2 kitchen1



Jeez, Louise, it’s been over a month. While writing this blog may be one of my favorite way to spend my free time, my free time is at an all-time low. But here I am for 30 minutes so let’s take advantage:

  • E’s birthday was wonderful. It was a sunny day (in a month of cold, foggy, windy days), many dear friends and family showed up or facetimed in, and I tried to give a little speech pre-candles but got choked up and could not get the words out. Still, that’s probably enough for people to get the point. I’m so grateful for this amazing crew of people who have supported me in a million generous ways since E was a sparkle in my eye.
  • The party itself was a metaphor for this, with a parade of friends carrying all the stuff from my car up a big hill in multiple trips and helping me set everything up in a not at all over-the-top but very sweet and dare I say Pinterest-worthy display of food and E celebration.
  • People congratulated me. I didn’t realize how much the 1st birthday is about the mom. According to my midwife, in Japan, they bring gifts for the mom, not the baby.
  • E is one. He is pure joy.
  • Lately, he is doing these things:
    • Tonight at swimming class, he so loved the “sit jumps” that he signed for “more.” I do not have a photo of him in goggles but it is awesome so stay tuned for that.
    • He is almost-walking. Tonight he walked from my couch to the kitchen door, which is about 10 steps. He is still a drunken sailor, but each day he gets a little less wobbly. He definitely stands unassisted now.
    • He is also almost-talking. He’s go-to phrases are “gabagabagabaga” and “digadigadigadiga.” With a lot of Cantonese thrown in. He pants when he sees a dog. And he’s really verging on saying “Hi!” (without the H, so “I!”) and “baby,” which comes out “bapee” (but, so far, not when there’s an actual baby within sight).
    • Lately, when I pick him up, he pats my shoulder for a while, like “You’re doing a good job, Mom.”
    • We’re still nursing and co-sleeping same as ever. I expected something to change by now, but nothing did, so I’m sort of without a plan and no one in exactly my boat (except a blogger friend in Boulder 😉 )–so, I suppose my plan is just to keep going as long as we’re both enjoying the current set-up.
    • It looks like there’s going to be no self-weaning nor much of a decline in demand anytime soon. I’ll probably go another year. I was at the dentist the other day and she and the dental hygienist were going on and on about a patient of theirs still breastfeeding her 5-year-old and how weird/wrong/crazy that was, and I felt like–OK. I won’t be breastfeeding a 5-year-old. But isn’t this a very personal decision? And one that isn’t likely doing harm to anyone? Why do people jump in with how weird it is, really nice people who mean well? What button is this pushing for people? The WHO recommends going until age 2. I recently read that humans naturally wean anywhere from 2-7. Why would we deprive these little ones of their liquid gold?? Not to mention depriving the moms of their go-to soothing strategy when their child is sick or hurt or upset. I don’t get the backlash, I really don’t. Hoping we can all do what we can to #normalizebreastfeeding.
    • Co-sleeping is the best. I know I’m outside the norm here too, From my perspective, there are only benefits, like cuddling, nursing without fully waking up, and starting the day together with smiles instead of crying. He’s a great sleeper, basically from 7pm-7am, minus a few wakeups to nurse which I am sure are totally biologically normal, expected, and beneficial. I don’t know where the nighttime nursing is headed but I’m making an effort not to read anything written about it because this will just make a person crazy.
    • I’m doing a massive decluttering project based on what I’ve heard about the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up–I don’t even have time to read it but just with the high-level principles it’s going really well. I gave away 5 trash bags of clothes and probably as many boxes of books. I’m clearing space. It feels awesome and is much easier to work on while my parents are here. But I’m challenging myself to take my productivity to the next level–not rest on my laurels with the basics. Let’s keep things moving forward–keep organizing, keep prepping, keep writing, keep dreaming.
    • My eyes are hanging heavily now… we were awake at 5:30am today due to me sneezing with an itchy head.
    • I went to an SMC meeting today. There were mostly moms of babies up to 2-year-olds, plus two twin moms, plus a handful of thinkers and tryers–the net result was that everyone was holding a baby. It’s crazy–no one can even help each other because no one has a free hand! Yet, these women are superwomen–we all get it all done. And a twin mom shows up with two babies and a homemade pumpkin chocolate chip bread. High five!!
    • OK, heavy eyelids and dry contacts are winning. Thanks for hanging in there with me, readers! I intend to be back with another post soon, mark my words. xo