Tales from the Diaper Bag

The Battle Scars of Motherhood

Today was a big day. We bought our Christmas tree. We did some holiday shopping (it is REALLY hard to out-do the grandparents. I don’t even know what Santa is going to do. He’s going to have to come up with a pony, or something. Sheesh) AND we decided to take down the crib and replace it with a “big-girl bed.”  We had done some reading and knew it could be traumatic for DD, so we took the advice of a friend and got her involved in the process of taking the crib apart. While my husband unscrewed the bed, DD “helped” with her toy-tools. Alas, after about 45 seconds she got bored with that, and we settled down with a book while Dad finished the job. . . or that was the plan. Here’s the thing about crib construction/destruction. . . .it’s a not a one-man job. Not REALLY. It takes two people to hold the various (very heavy) parts while the other one screws or unscrews.  Did we know that? Yes. Did it matter? No.

When my husband unscrewed the last piece of the crib, the heavy oak headboard of the crib fell. . .right on me and my daughter. Let me start by saying, DD is totally fine.  I was leaning over her, reading a book, so my face took the brunt. . .but BOY, did it ever take the brunt. At first, I just thought I was in a lot of pain, but when I went to the bathroom to clean up , I saw that I was bleeding a lot and had a nasty gash above my left eye. A VERY nasty gash. Cue: utter hysteria. I’m not proud of that. I kept telling my husband to take DD out of the room because I knew I was freaking out and crying and I certainly didn’t want to traumatize her, but DAMN. Have I mentioned my inability to deal with seeing blood? Well, head wounds bleed a lot. And then there’s my utter phobia of doctors? Despite the pain, the blood and the tiny, rational voice in my head that was saying: “you need to get stitches,” my initial reaction to the injury was to try to wash it off, slap a piece of gauze on it, and clean up the bathroom (denial, denial, denial).  My husband had to pull me away from my OCD cleaning-fest and put me in the car.

And then things got a little better.

(1) My daughter was a rock-star about the whole thing. It was around her bedtime, but she was great in the car on the way to the hospital. Great in the ER waiting room. And good when we got home. Seriously, she’s amazing.

(2) I only had to get 8 stitches. I look like a horror-show, but it could have been worse.  I could have gotten a concussion. Or worse– my daughter could have taken the hit. . .if I got 8 stitches, I shudder to think what would have happened to a little girl, not yet 2.

(3) And here’s the real shocker. . . I was in and out of the ER in about an hour. No joke. I had no wait. There was no one there. I walked in, filled out my admission form and went straight back. I’ve NEVER had that experience in an emergency room. Ever.


So, I look pretty terrible. DD is afraid to look at me. She keeps saying “Boo-boo. No, no, no!” but she’s fine. I’m fine. And one day, when she’s a teenager and she’s driving me nuts, I’ll have a scar to point at and say, “Look what I did for you!” This is the start of a beautiful mom guilt-trip. 🙂




Who Would Sell This Stuff?

Last week, I went to Kohl’s to buy Bambina some new pajamas (by the way, is there anything cuter than baby footie pajamas? I don’t think so).  I ended up buying several pairs of Carter’s pajamas. Typically, I love Carter’s products– they’re cute, they’re affordable and there’s a ton of variety.  So imagine my shock when I found the below tag on one (and only one) of the pajamas I picked out for Bambina.


In case you can’t read that, the pajamas aren’t flame resistant.  What the heck?  Aren’t all baby pajamas fire resistant? How is that legal? I found this particularly weird because all of the other identical-looking Carter’s pajamas were flame resistant, so what was this fire hazard doing on the shelves?

I did a little digging, and it turns out that these pj’s are not, in fact, a consumer lawsuit waiting to happen.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission,  all children’s sleepwear has to be either: (a) flame resistant or (b) “tight fitting” (hence, the ridiculous tag. Indeed, the tag’s color and wording is dictated by the CPSC).  Now, why would anyone want to buy pajamas for their infant that aren’t flame resistant? Apparently, many people.  There’s some debate on this, but some parents are suspicious of the chemicals in fire-resistant clothes. For more info., check out this short (and refreshingly hysteria-free) article.

Me? I’m putting her in fire-resistant clothes.  I’m anxiety-prone enough without sitting around wondering if Bambina’s pajamas are tight-fitting enough to avoid being a fire hazard. Knowing me, I’d be sending her to bed in a baby unitard and my guess is that she wouldn’t thank me for that.


Music Class for the Kid

Today I took Bambina to her first music class.  I’ll admit that I signed up for the class mainly out of a sense of guilt.  A couple of months ago, a friend of mine and I were talking and she casually asked what kind of classes we were taking.  Classes? I honestly didn’t know what she meant. Infant CPR? I wondered. Uh, no.  She wanted to know if I had signed Bambina up for Gymboree, music classes or, I don’t know what else, maybe infant ballet?

I had not signed her up for any such class. Frankly, I hadn’t known that there were any classes for babies.  Don’t babies just sleep, eat and play? In our family, bambina’s outings consisted of daycare, the park, the grocery store and that’s about it.  Lucky for us, we live in a town offering  plenty of class options  to all the fussy mothers who live here and are looking for ways to develop their childrens’ genius.  So we sorted through the options, and decided to sign her up for swim classes with my hubby and music classes with me.

My husband got the better end of the deal.

We did not get off to a good start. The class was at 10:45, but Bambina didn’t take her usual morning nap, so she arrived at class VERY sleepy.  Still, I wasn’t that discouraged because Bambina is a mellow girl and if we were just going to sit around and clap our hands to guitar music, we’d be fine.  As it turned out, there was very little sitting and NO circle.

When we got there, the room looked like an insane asylum for very tiny people.  A 2 year old girl was banging away on an off-key piano.  A little boy was having a temper tantrum.  Several other kids were running to and fro, banging into people and strollers.  The rest of the mothers and kids sat on carpet samples (our “seats”)  waiting for class to begin.  Poor Bambina, was swiveling her head around, trying to take it all in and probably wondering what I had gotten her into.

We sang a couple of classics like “the Hokey Pokey” and “BINGO” and the instructor–who looks exactly like the kind of hippy, dippy person who would teach a baby music class–made a half-hearted attempt to sing “The Rainbow Song” which neither she, or we, knew very well.  I was less than impressed with the whole production.

Now, I’m about to say something for the first time that I’ll probably repeat a million times over the next 18 years:  I do no understand my daughter’s taste in music.

Bambina adored the class.  She smiled and laughed and shook her tambourine.  She was fascinated by the babies and there was a song during which we all waved colored scarves that she LOVED.  So, even though I thought it was a loud, stupid, and poorly planned class, we’ll be back.  Every Friday.  For the next 8 weeks.


Holy Moly, Karma Wilson Read My Blog!!

In my last post, I talked about “The Bear Who. . .” books and how much I loved reading them to Bambina and –OMG, y’all– the author, Karma Wilson, commented on my blog!  Wow!! Not only has someone besides my friends and my mom (hi, mom!)  seen this blog, but my favorite children’s author read it! That officially made my week.

My Favorite Baby Book

Every night we read Bambina a book before she goes to sleep and for a little baby she has quite the library.  All the classics are there “Paddington” (which, can you believe, the woman at Barnes and Noble told me might not be in print! The horror) “Goodnight Moon” and “Green Eggs and Ham.”  My favorite book, by far, is “The Bear Snores On” by Karma Wilson.  Actually, Karma Wilson has written a whole series of Bear books.  Including The Bear Wants More, The Bear Feels Scared, The Bear Feels Sick, etc.  I just LOVE these books.  The book centers on a Bear (obviously) and his posse of woodland creatures.  The plots of these books aren’t exactly the stuff of the Great American Novel (Bear eats a lot, Bear gets a cold, Bear gets lost, etc.) but the writing is stellar– Wilson uses lyrical rhyme that flows beautifully and I love her word choices.  For example:  “They tweet and they titter. They chat and they chitter.” OR “With a flap and a flurry
all the friends gather near.  They give him bear hugs and they calm his bear fears
.” It’s just so much fun to read! Plus, in almost every book the Bear and his buds “pop white corn and brew black tea” and the illustrations of a badger sipping a mug of tea is too, too cute.

Then I went to the author’s website and found these adorable character summaries.  If you read these and DON’T want to read the Bear books you have a lump of coal where your hear should be.  I’ve included a couple of them below. Notice the use of old-timey words like “chap” and a view being “grand.”


Bear, the cuddly, loveable main character of the Bear books, is most well known for being a good and faithful friend. His favorite foods are berries, fish and popcorn. His friends say he is an excellent storyteller.  When he isn’t sleeping Bear enjoys playing with his woodland pals. He is also an excellent swimmer, and loves taking a dip on a hot, summer day. Bear lives in the deep, dark woods and he makes his home in a cozy lair.


Mouse is the smallest character in the bear books, but he has one of the biggest hearts.  He is said to be an excellent cook. He enjoys black tea, especially when shared with friends. His favorite spot in the world is riding on top of Bear’s back, where he says the view is grand.  Mouse lives in a small hole at the base of a large Tamarack tree next to Strawberry Vale.


Badger lives not far from Bear.  He is a kindhearted, loveable chap. He is known to be generous and enjoys sharing, especially honey nuts. Badger is also an avid fisherman and his favorite fishing spot is at “Ol’ Fishin’ Hole”. Badger lives in his own cozy den across the stream and three trees down from Bear’s lair.

Baby Barrettes?

Bambina was born with crazy hair–which I love. I’ve always found it weird the way some babies are just giant HEADS for the first few months of their lives.  People told us that it would all fall out but it hasn’t. . .it’s only gotten longer.  Again, that’s awesome (I dream of the day when her hair is long enough for cute little pig-tails. Soooo  cute) but in the meantime, we’re definitely in the phase where she just looks unkempt.  Her hair is kind of shaggy and in her eyes.  To make matters worse, she has a serious side-part which makes her look not unlike Donald Trump.

So I was talking to a friend who suggested baby barrettes.  Not a giant baby bow.  I think those look pretty silly and sad– it’s so obviously a play by parents to identify to the world that the baby is a GIRL.  I don’t care if some random stranger thinks Bambina is a boy. She’s 7 months old and she’s not going to be traumatized by the mistake. Anyhow, I don’t know how I feel about the barrettes. If they hold her hair back from her eyes, that’s awesome–but my husband pointed out that if she can get them out of her hair it’s a potential choking hazard.  To that I say, would they really sell something that could wipe out their customers?  I see his point, though. Bambina LOVES putting things in her mouth. Hmmmm. . . . I have to think about this one


Back in Action

So, I’ve dropped the ball.  I’m one of those people that started a blog only to let it wither away. Well, I’m back.  Partly because the bambina is sleeping well (so I am too!) and partly because I realize that this is a great way to document the little everyday wonders that come up in a baby’s first year.

Today Bambina had her first playdate!  My friend brought her 3 month old to meet Bambina (who is 7 months old– I KNOW! Crazy, right? Where does the time go?).  The 3 month old was FASCINATED by la bambina. Her face lit up when she saw her and she smiled and squeeled when Bambina shook a toy or babbled.  I don’t know if it was just the novelty of seeing another baby or if she was entranced with all the skills a 7 month old has that she’s yet to master.  It was pretty darn cute.  La bambina was too hip to be bothered with a mere 3 month old.  She took one long cool look at the other baby and then spent the rest of the morning trying to make eye contact with her mother.  . . offer her a toy. . . wave at her.  That’s my girl.  Bambina loves to hang out with the adults. I think she likes to bask in the inevitable “ooohs” and “aaahs” that she gets from the over-18 crowd. She knows her cuteness gives her power and she’s wary of other babies who rob her of her spotlight.  She’s nothing if not a tiny, adorable dictator.

Bambina's motto.

Helloooooo Strangers!

Well, I’ve neglected the blog. It’s true. Sorry, folks. The last few months have been a blur. Sleep training, daycare, going back to work. . . It’s been crazy. Lovely, but crazy. Finally, a friend told me that I needed to get off my bum and update the blog.  So, Margaret here ya go! 🙂

I went back to work last month and so far, so good.  When I went back, I made an agreement to go back part-time. So, I work four days a week, which gives a nice long weekend with the baby.  A four day week works out great for me because it gives me enough time in the office to do my job (that’s pretty key) and lets me spend enough time with la bambina so I’m not missing out on watching her grow.

Daycare is also working out well.  We got into our first-choice daycare center and I LOVE everything about the place. The daycare providers love her to pieces. She loves them so much, I’m almost jealous. The facility is also fabulous. Lots of toys. Lots of green space for the kids to play (it’ll matter soon, if not right now).  My favorite thing, however, has to be these adorable little reports that I get about our baby’s day.  Usually these reports include mundane information about her naps, when she ate her bottles, etc.  Sometimes, however, I’ll get a little note about something so silly that I laugh out loud. An example– “Today la bambina created her first art project. She was assisted in gluing cornflakes and Cheerios to a piece of construction paper.”  These two sentences raised a million and one questions in my mind. Why would you want to glue breakfast cereal to construction paper?  Can that possibly look artistic? (I’ve since answered that.  No. No it cannot.)  She was assisted in gluing something? What exactly could her role have possibly been?  Another example from last week: “La bambina used a carnation as a paint brush to to create a painting.”  My 4 month old. Using a carnation. As a paint brush.  Huh.

Seriously, I laugh so hard when I read these notes, it brings tears to my eyes. Who is designing these  projects? No one in the infant room is older than 15 months old.  Are any of the babies fully able to participate in these crazy arts and crafts sessions? What’s next? Baskets woven with pasta noodles?  Edible pottery created from fondant? (Why not? If my 4 month old can paint (with a piece of vegetation, no less), I bet when she’s 8 mo. old she’ll roll out some sweet looking fondant.  Apparently, she’s an artistic prodigy.)

Anyhow, that’s it for now. I promise to try to be better about updating the blog.  In the meantime, here’s a picture of the little lady.

Chilling in the exersaucer.

Chilling in the exersaucer.

Hubby Guest Post: Day Care Started….

Quick update – the bambina started day care on Friday. Only went for a few hours, and this week Mom’s picking her up later and later every day to get her ready for next Monday when she goes all day. Big event with lots of crying (Mom) and lots of screaming (bambina).

I’m sure there will be a more complete update later, and I may have my posting privileges revoked for saying this, but I think bambina will thrive in an environment with other kids. She is very curious and active, and getting to interact with other babies will be great for her. It’s going to be a tough week to start, but all will be much better soon….

3 Months Old!


This month the Post. Next month: Tolstoy.

Reading the Post and looking a little Andy Rooney.


Ah yes. 3 months old.  Finally. We made it. I didn’t lose my mind. Or my hair. This is the milestone that I had set for myself in the early days of motherhood when I couldn’t tell if I was doing a good job–when I couldn’t tell if my girl even liked me.  Everyone tells you when you have a baby that things really start to get interesting around 3 months.  Not that the baptism by fire that was the first two months wasn’t. . .ummmm. . interesting, but I have to agree that the 3 month mark has, in fact, been the start of all sorts of things. This past week has been amazing. Some developments have been weird– for example, she constantly pulls her own hair. I mean, really pulls her hair. She’ll grab a big ‘ol handfull and she’ll tug so hard I’m afraid she’s going to make herself bald. 


That's my girl. Already stressed out enough to have a tic.

That's my girl. Already stressed out enough to have a nervous tic.



On a less disturbing note, our girl grins constantly now–wherease only a few short weeks ago I had to do everything but juggle to get that girl to crack a smile.  Best of all though is that she’s started laughing. . .which pretty much makes my entire day.  She has an adorable belly laugh which is surprisingly loud– far louder than her coos.  It’s just the best sound ever.  It’s led me to do some ridiculous things in pursuit of a laugh.  I sing and dance like I’m in a caberet. I talk in funny accents (which all sound French– what can I say, it’s the only accent I can do.) and I can’t be trusted to go the store without buying a toy that she might like.  Alas, she hasn’t so much mastered the whole laughing = funny equation.  She’ll smile and make a cute little cough when I make funny faces or show her a toy but I haven’t gotten the big pay off– the full laugh.  Thus far she laughs whenever the spirit strikes her and in response to nothing. Yesterday she laughed and laughed when I pulled the shower curtain aside to run her a bath.  This morning at 4:45 AM she chuckled as I tried to rock her to sleep.  The t.v. repair man made her laugh when he turned on his power drill. Weird.  Eventually she’ll get it.  .  . in the meantime, I’m making a fool of myself going for the big laugh.  So much for being the cool mom.