Category Archives: Baby

O’Pizza Face

Until today, our baby has been (if I do say so) remarkably
good-looking. He lost his newborn red-and-wrinkly look very early on,
and has in fact looked altogether too mature—more infant than
newborn—for my comfort. Slow down, I want to tell him. He doesn't listen any better than time does.

Today he's doing his best teenager impersonation. The baby acne is
out in full force: Beanie was afraid he had measles. My babies always
break out impressively around four weeks of age. (And, sob, Sean is in
fact four weeks old today.) I remember when Jane was his age; even
though all the baby books had warned me, I was shocked by the profusion
of red bumps on her sweet little face. Still, the books said baby acne
was normal; she was right on schedule for the temporary outbreak,
according to all those authoritative tomes.

So I was not alarmed—until my landlady got a look at her.

is WRONG with the BABY?" cried Mrs. Pappas, an earnest and dramatic
Greek woman in her mid-sixties. She had raised four babies of her own,
and the magnitude of her horror at the sight of Jane's spotty face
shattered my complacency.

"It's baby acne?" I said, asking rather
than asserting, though all the books had been so firm on this point.
"It's normal, right? For babies this age. It's not supposed to last

"Ah," said Mrs. Pappas, nodding sagely. "It must be an Irish thing."

Never fear, Sean Patrick. Sure and you'll be a handsome lad again soon enough.

The More Things Change

…the more they stay the same.

Something about this photo

rang a bell, and I went looking through my archives, and found this, from June 2006.

Apart from the fact that Rilla at six weeks was about the same size as her new baby brother at two days, nothing much has changed, eh?

Boy Crazy

(Psst, sweet friend, see what's on the arm of the couch? The postman
was walking up to our mailbox with your package at the very moment
Scott, baby, and I pulled into the driveway. It's beautiful. Rilla
approves wholeheartedly. Thank you so very much!)

And one last shot, decidedly less than flattering but a little gift for my Twitter pals:

Put the ding-dang camera away, honey, so I can eat my PUDDING!

(I didn't know this photo existed when I was twittering about
pudding this morning. When I uploaded the photos this afternoon, I saw
it and laughed and laughed. Scott must have snapped that during the one
brief moment in time when the pudding was actually still in the bowl.
I'm sure I was licking the dish clean five minutes later.)

No News Is, Um, Boring?

My traffic has been through the roof these past few days, and while I'm sure much of that is due to the magnetic allure of Angelica's milk-white shoulders,
it dawned on me that a sizable number of the hits are from friends
dropping by to see if there's any baby news. This became all the more
apparent when I switched the glitchy Twitter widget (which scrolled my
tweets in the sidebar) to a just-plain-Twitter-button, and the outclick
rate to my Twitter page quadrupled. May I just say it is awfully sweet to know how much y'all care? 🙂

But there's nothing to report. Great checkup at the OB on Friday.
Baby's got plenty of fluid, excellent heart rate, is a happy camper. If
nothing happens before Tuesday, I'll go back for another round of
checking up.



Meanwhile, my mama is spoiling me rotten, doing all my household
work PLUS beautifying the backyard in the most magnificent way. She is
a treasure, my mother, let me tell you. My daddy is pretty swell
too—and it's nice of him to part with my mom for two weeks so she could
come entertain my younguns and do my dishes and fill me full of
cornbread and ham.

Anyway, all's well, and I'm in good hands, and we're all hoping this
little person decides to join the party very soon. As in: today would
be nice!

Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

Stroller Recommendations Needed

The time has come upon me sooner than I expected. I knew I was going to need a good lightweight double stroller when the baby came, but I figured I could wait until, you know, after the baby was actually born. But the other night I took the kids on an outing, and when I went to pop Rilla into the sling, there was a big old belly in the way. I guess it had been a few weeks since I wore her—I haven’t been out much since the food poisoning nightmare. All of a sudden toddler-wearing is impossible. And because Wonderboy’s developmental disabilities mean he is much more like a two-and-a-half-year-old than a four-and-a-half-year-old, I can’t finesse group outings unless he’s in the stroller. It’s sort of like being six months pregnant with two-year-old twins.

I need a stroller that can contain both twins.

We have an ancient sit-and-stand stroller dating back to our New York days. I have rosy memories of wearing baby Beanie in the sling and pushing Jane and Rose down a steep hill to the little white church at the bottom. I would jog a little and get up some speed, and the tiny girls would hold up their hands and wheeeeee all the way down. (My memories of getting back up the hill after daily Mass are less rosy. Jane’s too, I’ll bet—I always made her walk home. That was one heavy, heavy stroller.)

The sit-and-stand still works and is great for our walks around the neighborhood. But I can’t lift it in and out of the minivan. Pathetic, I know. What can I say? I am a spaghetti-armed weakling.

So: what I’m going to have to find is a double stroller or sit-and-stand that doesn’t weigh very much. And doesn’t cost a fortune. And which can take abuse. Easy-peasy, right?

Any suggestions?

The Nice Thing about This Picture Is that It Doesn’t Show How Badly I Botched the Sweater


I learned to crochet when I was eleven, but I took about fifteen years off. And I’d never made anything but blankets, I think. This was my first attempt ever at a sweater (either knitting or crocheting).

Here’s the pattern I used: Baby It’s Cold Outside.

Rilla drew a lot of compliments at the park, but honesty compels me to confess what a mess I made of the project. First of all, it was supposed to be a present for a newborn. Of course, since I spent over a year on the sweater about ten newborn friends grew into toddlers before I had a chance to give what I thought was going to be the perfect new-baby gift. Hee. As I (finally, at long last) crocheted the final stitches, I had two dear friends who were counting down the days to the arrival of wee daughters, and I was delighted with the timing. The only difficulty was going to be in deciding to which baby girl I’d send the sweater.

Then I began whipstitching the sides together and it became clear that this sweater wasn’t going to work for either one of the newborn lasses. Rilla bopped past as I held it up by the sleeves, biting my lip doubtfully. The sweater looked more like her size (and she’ll be two in April) than newborn size. Hmm. I am sure I followed the directions meticulously. I can’t possibly have been at all distracted during the year and a half of sporadic bursts of hooking, right? The year and a half in which I packed up and moved to the other side of the country? No cause for absentminded mistakes there, surely?


The sizing problems, it turned out, were the least of my mistakes.  I mean, there are worse fates than accidentally making a sweater the perfect size for your own child. Of much greater concern was the fact that the front left panel was some two inches longer than the back of the sweater.


I unraveled the extra rows, but now the two front panels are different sizes. As I said, you can’t tell from this picture. Since one panel buttons over the other, the discrepancy looks almost intentional—sort of boxy and chic.

At least, that’s the story I’m going with.

I haven’t made the buttons yet but when I do you’ll see what I mean. If you compare mine to the picture, you’ll see how terrifically I blundered.

Fortunately for me, Rilla doesn’t give a hoot about following instructions to the letter.