SlutsUnlimited

Just a dirty girl from the dirty south…co-parenting a baby boy in New Orleans.

Magic & mushrooms.

March 19th 2014

Wilder is 19 weeks old.

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This past week was a whirlwind. Monday began very early with a cranky Wilder who didn’t sleep very soundly on the first night in our hotel suite. He woke at 6 am and instead of going back to bed, we got up for the day. I had plans on going for a Lundi Gras morning jog through the quarter, but walked with the baby over to the French bakery instead and ate too many croissants. I let Andy sleep in with the hope that one of my friends would stop by to visit, but it was a cold and quiet day. When Andy woke he went to the bar and I hung out with Wilder while he worked his way through a few screaming fits. I couldn’t blame him though, as I get the same way when I don’t sleep well. When Andy returned I took a nice long nap and had a serious bout of sleep paralysis, which I used to get rather frequently when I was younger. I blamed this incidence on the probability of ghosts in our hotel suite. Later Andy and I went for a stroll and he bought me a few new dresses, which I was very grateful to receive. Lee Kyle came over later with his sewing machine to make some last minute fixes to our costumes for the next day. Andy went to play a show at Allways and I had every intention of going until I realized that it was fucking freezing outside and didn’t want to walk any further than across the street to the bar. I did just that and ended up staying out later than I had planned. Andy met up with me after his show and by the time the two of us made it back to hotel, I was being drunken –bitchy about being hungry. I caught on quickly to my mistake, stopped being so ridiculous and instead of eating something, we had sex and went to bed.

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Waking up on Mardi Gras day I discovered that it was raining and really cold. In the mid-thirties cold. In fact this was the coldest Mardi Gras I can remember. At first I was very fearful that the day would be ruined. We all got up around 8:30 and began to put our costumes on. The plan had been to meet the St. Anne’s parade down by Mimi’s, which is something that I do every year. But one step out on the balcony and I knew there was no way I was going to make that happen. Cody showed up a little after we awoke and he hadn’t slept yet, so I sent him up to the bed in the loft. Jennifer Jane stopped by and we had an impromptu photo shoot on the bed in our costumes. I decided that I needed to get my shit together if I was going to enjoy the day, so I had some toast and a beer and ate some mushrooms. Not long after that, my hangover started to catch up with me and the corset I was wearing provided no relief from the nausea I was experiencing. Misty, John and their friends stopped in and I was not very social until I excused myself and went upstairs to throw up. I awoke Cody to the sounds of my vomiting, which I suppose is par for the course on Mardi Gras day. Thank god Misty and her crew had stopped by because they got the party started. Ellen was working at the bar, but her husband Joel brought their daughters and I started to feel much better about the day. Cody got up and we headed over to Flanagans. There were quite a few people there waiting to see our costumes, and I immediately had a cocktail thrust into my hand. What followed was an amazing day of wandering the quarter with Cody, enjoying the mellow high of mushrooms combined with the sweet buzz of good whiskey. I was extremely grateful that Lee Kyle (who is diligently sober) agreed to be responsible for Wilder so that I didn’t have to be on baby duty at all. We went to One eyed Jacks and danced in the VIP section while people watched. We went to Flanagans over and over and (haphazardly) hid in the liquor closet at one point, laughing at our own stupid jokes. We wandered in Jackson Square and lamented the fact that the freezing rain had cleared away all the cross bearing bible-thumpers. We danced in the streets with wandering bands and I made Cody take my picture with two cops (I was dressed as a pig). We went to Monaghans which brought back many wonderful memories for me, and Cody met some adorable Icelandic people who come to New Orleans every year for Mardi Gras. He talked with them for over an hour. We headed down to the Hustler Club and had a cocktail with the owner and his girlfriend and made a cameo in a reality series called Adventures in Boobyland. We held hands and walked fast to stay warm. I made out with a few people and convinced others to make out for my viewing pleasure. Finally after we were very intoxicated, we stumbled back to Flanagans for a final drink and to meet up with one of my friends visiting from out of town. He and his crew came over and we sat on the balcony, overlooking the end of Mardi Gras while eating pizza and talking lovingly. After my friends left, Cody and I both showered and watched a wakeful Wilder while Lee tried to nap and Andy went across the street to the bar. Wilder was wide awake and still ready to party for quite some time which required some Baby Einstein. When Andy returned from the bar around 1 am Cody and I went upstairs and cuddled and slept. I woke around 9 am and joined Andy and Wilder downstairs, feeling better than I expected to be.

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Ash Wednesday arrived and we needed to pack up all our crap and get back to the house. I had lofty goals of working a half day, which I laughed about not long after waking. Cody helped us haul everything into the car, then grabbed a cab and headed back uptown. When we got home I unpacked our things and started some laundry while Andy ran to pick us up some take-out. After eating some fried chicken (which is a very rare occurrence), I took a wonderful long nap. I felt a little remorse over my intoxication, which I lovingly call a “shameover” but decided not to waste any energy on it. Sometimes you just need to let things go.

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Andy took good care of me on Wednesday and I was ready to reciprocate when he fell ill on Thursday. He started experiencing really bad stomach pains coupled with a slight fever and vertigo. Lee Kyle had Wilder while I was work and when I got home I kept him away from Andy in case his illness was contagious. I called the doctor’s office on Thursday and they called me early Friday morning saying they could see Andy that day. They ended up running a series of tests which determined that he has some intestinal issues that required medication. He was very worn down on Friday after spending all day at the doctors and hospital, so Lee Kyle stayed over and he and I kept Wilder away from Andy once again.

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On Saturday Wilder and I got up at 6 am to make the most of the day. We met Dori and her son Paul at the park, which allowed her and me a chance to catch up outside of work. I was surprised at how well Wilder did in the sun, as he generally shows a strong aversion to direct sunlight. Dori gave me a jumperoo that had belonged to a friend of hers. When I got home, after cleaning it thoroughly, I put it together. Wilder loved it. He actually made his first “real” laugh that day while watching the dogs from the new perspective it provides. He finds the dogs very entertaining. If he gets upset I will often take him outside and hold him while I play catch with Kara. He giggles when she brings the toy back and sits waiting for me to throw it. Free amusement.

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The week ended with Andy finally feeling better. I was able to escape the house alone and go for a jog at City Park. When I returned home Andy, Lee Kyle and I took Wilder to check out the newly opened Crescent Park on the riverfront. It was a beautiful day but I should have worn sunscreen. Andy felt well enough to watch Wilder for the afternoon, which allowed me the chance to meet up with Amanda for a few beers. We went to Marie’s and enjoyed the weather while drinking with a few other day-timers. We then called Cody and had him meet us for lunch at Santa Fe. After a few pitchers of margaritas we were feeling great. We went for a stroll through the neighborhood and ended up encountering a fellow who lives in the attic apartment of the Luling Mansion, home of the old Jockey Club. He told us the history of the beautiful building, including his own personal, charming story. After that awesome diversion Cody and I headed back to my place, and Amanda went home to hang out with her husband. We decided to bake a cake for the evening’s viewing of the season finale of True Detective. I must admit that Cody is far better baker than I (although most people are). The cake turned out to be delicious, and we even hid a golden king cake baby in it (in reference to the yellow king) which Lee Kyle got in his slice. The boys and I all quieted down to take in the episode and Wilder fell asleep calmly on my shoulder. It was a perfect night.

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Gold flake.

March 2nd, 2014

Wilder is 18 weeks old.

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This past week started out pretty fucking shitty. As most of the people in my life are aware, I don’t typically enjoy my job. Before Wilder was born I was working on a project on the West bank that was less than fulfilling. When I was first sent to that location I was told it would be for a project lasting up to a year. Two years later I was able to escape, mostly because the budget was being reduced and my pregnancy required more frequent doctors’ visits, which made working downtown much more simple and time effective. I returned to work four and a half weeks after our son was delivered. I would have liked to take more time off but having absolutely no benefits whatsoever and whopping hospital bills, I didn’t have much of a choice. I’ve been working at the downtown office since then on a different project that is not exciting either. But the commute is easy and the hours are more flexible. This project is coming to an end soon.  My boss came into town this past week which doesn’t happen very often. As he was strolling past my office he very casually said, “When you finish that, you’ll be going back to the West bank.” There was no discussion, not even much of a hello. Needless to say I lost my shit. I told him that I would consider the West bank if it was there or unemployment. I wanted to say a few other choice words but restrained myself. I’ve been working for this company since 2007. I’ve never had a paid day off, no health benefits, and no incentives at all. What the fuck have I been doing? As frustrating as the moment was, and the anger that seethed in me the rest of the afternoon, it catalyzed me to look at my career and begin to implement some changes. I have become addicted to the monetary aspect of my job. It hasn’t ever fulfilled me in any other way. I understand that money is important but isn’t personal happiness also worthy of consideration? I’m way too responsible and considerate to walk out on a job, but if I wasn’t I would have said “Fuck this shit” and left without looking back. When I spoke to Lee Kyle about the day’s events, he told me that I should have just quit because life is too short to spend eight hours a day, five days a week feeling completely unsatisfied. I have begun planning a proper escape because at this point it is inevitable.

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On the bright side of things, our son is growing and becoming more adorable by the day. He turned four months old this past week and even started using a different (less complicated) type of bottle. He’s been enjoying trying new baby food and it’s adorable to watch his expressions when he tastes something for the first time. He seems to prefer vegetables over fruits, so maybe he will have more of my dietary habits. With Mardi Gras quickly approaching, I feared I would have moments where I felt like I was missing out on some of my old traditions. But honestly I would rather be home with Wilder most nights. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived here for so long or because I’m getting older. Either way, I’m thankful to get to spend any extra time with him that I can.

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Andy’s birthday was the past week and he turned 39 years old. We celebrated first by having really hot sex in the shower. I’ll be honest, since Wilder has come along I’ve definitely dropped the ball when it comes to spicing up our sex life. We haven’t been very adventurous, mostly because one of us is always exhausted. I realized that I really need to work on bringing back some of the excitement. The sex is always good. Really good. But it has become very predictable which is not either of our styles. I was reminded of this that night. I won’t go into too much detail but let’s just say we used to rarely have sex in bed and now it’s the #1 spot. I can’t pursue other sexual relationships if I’m not giving ours my absolute best. So if you need me, I’ll be browsing porn to up my techniques.

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After sexy shower time we went to dinner at Oxalis in the Bywater. The food was delicious and they have a really great selection of whiskey. We ran into some friends there and it was a great start to the celebratory evening. We then went to Flanagans where we enjoyed a king cake I had ordered from Domenica. It was filled with bananas, caramel, mascarpone cheese, pecans and then covered with more caramel and gold flake. It was fucking delicious.  I had a few drinks with Andy and our friends and then bowed out around midnight because I had work the next day. Andy was out until very late and he got pretty wasted. He rarely ever drinks so I felt bad for him knowing the hangover he would be having. At times I get annoyed with Andy’s lack of pageantry. I don’t have a single photo of him from his birthday night.

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I knew that Mardi Gras weekend had rolled around because I got my first drunk-dial from a good friend who was having a hard night. I never mind being the recipient of these types of calls, because god knows I’ve made so many in my lifetime. In fact, that’s where the name “Slutsunlimited” comes from. When I used to drunk dial my best friend Jackie years ago late at night, she would answer by saying that instead of “hello.” It stuck. I’ve always felt sluts should be limitless.

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On Saturday I met Dori, her husband and some mutual friends at Flanagans. We planned on some quality day drinking which is generally a good time. Andy went with me and wasn’t drinking so that he could drive. Not long after we arrived (and right after I did a car-bomb) Andy realized that he had fucked up the schedule and needed to stay and work for a while. This meant I had to stop drinking, have a few glasses of water and wait at least an hour before walking back to the car. I don’t drink and drive. I had in my past when I was younger and less seasoned, but now that is something I won’t do. So my day drinking was cut short but it probably saved me from having an awful headache.

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We finished this week by prepping to stay in a suite in the French Quarter for the next few days of Mardi Gras. We packed up all our stuff, which now consists of way too many baby gadgets and headed on down to the hotel. We will be staying right across the street from Flanagans until Wednesday. I was very excited to have the hotel room but also nervous about Wilder’s reactions to his new surroundings. Also the place might be haunted, so there’s that. Tonight was very nice, though. Lee Kyle stopped in and visited with Wilder. I went over to the bar and made out with one of my new crushes who happened to be there. Then Andy and I cuddled together, and actually slept the whole night together in the same bed. I’m very excited about this coming week and Mardi Gras.

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Guilt shopping.

February 23rd 2014

Wilder is 17 weeks old.

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I’m pretty certain that every parent has felt this at least one time, but honestly, my son is so fucking cute I can hardly stand it. Even though we have surely entered the pre-teething stage which is accompanied by tons of drool and intermittent crankiness, I’m still head over heels. His newest maneuver is an attempt to roll over. It consists of a lot of wiggling and turning, but a full roll has yet to be achieved. He is also very interested in music and singing. He loves to watch anyone sing and he’ll often sing along with coos and squeaks. Every day when I leave for work I am fearful that he will have big experience that day. It’s an interesting case of parental fear of missing out, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous that Andy and Lee Kyle get to spend a lot of the day time with Wilder.

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I started getting up super early this past week in order to make it to the gym before work. I know that I have more physical determination in the morning than in the afternoon. Losing weight has always been a struggle for me, but now I have even less time to myself that can be devoted to exercise. As much as I love sleep, I also love being able to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes, so I know that getting out of bed is a requirement. Also, pre-work gym time tend to make me less likely to snap at a co-worker. It’s a win-win situation.

Jennifer Jane came over for dinner this week, and as always it was a pleasure to see her. She and Andy began talking about Dexter and although I haven’t seen the show it was quite comical to watch them get into such an animated discussion. We drank wine and ate delicious snacks. All the while Wilder hung out with us, just content to be listening to our conversation. I’m thankful for friends who love our son and don’t mind boozing it up at our house every once in a while.

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I had been thinking a lot about the prospective of Andy moving upstairs into the main house with me (as opposed to living primarily in his apartment downstairs) and it was giving me some anxiety. I attempted to talk with him about my feelings, but unfortunately this coincided with a time where I had drunk a few glasses of wine. What I meant to say was, “I am nervous about you living in this part of the house because we have never co-habitated and I know that I can be somewhat unreasonable when it comes to my expectations of cleanliness.” But what I actually said was, “I don’t think I can handle this living together thing. You don’t mind living in complete filth and it drives me absolutely insane. Your dogs are ill-behaved and I’m afraid that if we live together I will resent you and we will never have sex again.” He reacted the best way he could, which included acknowledging my concern and saying that if needed he would move out of the house altogether. Not exactly how I wanted that to go.

I know that I’m fucking cuckoo when it comes to cleanliness. I get this trait from my mother. People joked that having a baby would mean that my house wouldn’t be as pristine, but they were wrong. I can’t relax in a dirty house. I’ll skip meals, writing, even sleeping if the house isn’t in order. In my personal view of things, I think I have become a little more lax, but for Andy (or just about any other sane individual) my need for extreme cleanliness can be overwhelming. This is the #1 reason why I have preferred to live alone. Followed by my need for time alone. When I’m out and about it is a surprise to no one that I like to be the center of attention, but in my home, I like to relax. I know Andy doesn’t care if I walk around in my underwear, in fact he’d probably prefer it, but some days I don’t feel like being watched when I do a naked rendition of Patsy Cline’s “South of the Border”. Since Wilder’s birth, Andy has basically been living in the spare room, mere feet from my own bedroom. It really shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but the thought of him making the actual move into the upstairs, is still very daunting. We don’t need to rent out his apartment, but nothing would make me happier than to have it available for Cathy when she comes. Truth is, perhaps Cathy can move in with me and Andy can stay downstairs. Sometimes I wish I was needier, like the majority of my female friends who crave sleeping with their significant others. I don’t want that. Never have, and I don’t expect it to change anytime soon. If Andy does make the move to the upstairs of the house, we will still maintain separate bedrooms. What difference will a few small flights of stairs make? Maybe we will find out.

The day following my verbal assault on Andy’s cleanliness I felt badly about my choice of words. Whenever I feel guilty about something I’ve done to someone, my first thought is to apologize and then follow that apology up with a gift of some sort. There were years during my vodka/Xanax phase that this tactic nearly bankrupted me. Andy’s not huge on receiving gifts, but with his birthday approaching I was able to make a few big purchases under the pretense that they were birthday gifts and not guilt purchases. I bought him some new bedroom furniture with the understanding that he would use it when he moved upstairs. I also purchased two large dog crates, because, well, I’m no fool. He was happy about it, and in the light of a new day we were able to have a much more meaningful conversation about him moving “in”. For the time being, we aren’t going to make any changes until after Mardi Gras.

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On the evenings that Andy works at Flanagans, I get to have time alone with Wilder. I cherish these moments when I act like a complete idiot for his entertainment. I make up songs about everything, from poopy diapers to poor Lady Edith on Downton Abbey. Wilder is mesmerized by my idiocy, which only makes me want to make him giggle more. I adore cuddling with him and rocking him to sleep. I know the time will come too quickly that he won’t need these things from me, so I try to enjoy every moment that I have with him.

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This past Saturday was a busy day. We started with Wilder having his first taste of baby food. He tried carrots and seemed to enjoy them after he understood what was happening. He was quite confused at first, as to be expected, and some of his faces were hilarious. He didn’t have any type of reaction so it looks like carrots are a go. Yummy and they stain everything too! Lee Kyle stayed over to keep an eye on Wilder so that Andy and I could see part of the Chewbacchus parade and then go to the Apocalypse Ball. It was fun to get into costume and Andy looked amazing as always. He is so much better at doing theatrical makeup than I am. Between him and Lee Kyle I often feel like the ugly duckling. We had fun at the parade but it was cold outside and there was a long stall. After staring at the sub crew of Dr. Who for 45 minutes we decided to head over to the ball. The ball was a blast. Easily one of my favorite Mardi Gras activities. Reminds me of MOMS ball but smaller attendance and more people that I like seeing naked. We stayed a few hours but neither of us drank much because we didn’t want to be hung-over for the Barkus parade the next day.

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This was Harlow’s first year as a marching member of the Barkus parade and she was very excited. The theme was Dogzilla and she and Andy went in costume. Unfortunately it rained most of the morning and early afternoon, so her march was a wet one. Andy said she kept trying to run into people’s homes on the route. He ended up carrying her part of the way, which is no easy feat with a 55 pound pit bull. Even though the weather was atrocious, Wilder and I went to the parade. Lee Kyle was kind enough to drop us off and pick us up later so we had curb side delivery to Flanagans. Amanda met me at the bar and we had a few cocktails before opening up our umbrellas and heading over the few blocks to the parade route.

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We were the only people standing in the street waiting for the parade because it was pouring down rain. As the parade began to near, more people huddled under their umbrellas in the street. I had picked a prime spot because I wanted to get a few good pictures of Andy and Harlow, perhaps with the baby. I was doing great, despite the weather, enjoying the parade with Amanda and Jennifer Jane who had showed up. Out of nowhere this rather large man makes his way through the crowd and stands right in front of me. Trying not to be that girl, with the baby no less, I stepped to the side of him where I could easily see again. Moments later, obviously oblivious to the people around him, he steps in front of me again. On my third blocked maneuver, I gently tapped his shoulder and said, “Hi, I’m really trying hard not to be a cunt here, but you keep stepping directly in front of me and it is getting to be frustrating to say the least.” He looked taken aback and then immediately retorted, “I live here, right down the street and I’ve been here all day.” I told him that I didn’t give a fuck where he lived and that he hadn’t been there all day unless he had a fucking invisibility cloak because I was the only motherfucker standing in the pouring rain when the parade started. As I was saying this, Amanda calls over my shoulder, “She has a baby, so you need to shut the fuck up.” I couldn’t help but laugh at how the situation had developed and how it became immediately apparent that I, Wilder, alcohol and parades are a bad mix.

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After Andy passed and I was able to get a few photos, I stepped out of the crowd and began making my way toward the bar. I saw the guy I had briefly argued with and tried to extent an apology for the way things had escalated. He once again pulled the “I live here” card. I told him that just because he lived in the quarter that didn’t guarantee him a spot at the front of the crowd for every event in the neighborhood. I explained that Andy owns a bar and that I don’t have any entitlement because of it. On the streets, we are all the same. He pointed out that Flanagans was one of the bars he frequented and that Andy was a close friend (though I’ve never seen him before). Then he refused my apology, and stormed away claiming I ruined his entire day.

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I felt bad, but I had tried my best. In reality, the guy was an asshole. As we were watching the angry man storm away, an older gentleman who looked like Santa walked up to join the crowd. He smiled at Wilder and we started chatting with him. Amanda has an affinity for old men; she loves talking with them and will often end up in deep conversation on the street or in a bar. Turns out this guy is an independent Santa. He looked very convincing in the photos he showed us. He asked about Wilder’s age and if I was a first time mom. I answered his questions, to which he replied, “Can I give you a bit of advice?” Now normally I’m not too hip on taking advice from strangers, but this guy was Santa, for God’s sake. Of course I wanted to hear what he had to say. He got a bit misty-eyed and said, “I had a son. He passed away at the age of nineteen in an automobile accident. The most important thing I can tell you is to cherish every moment you have with your little boy. You never know when it could be the last.” Of course, I stared to tear up, as did Amanda. We hugged Santa goodbye and headed back to the bar. When Lee Kyle picked me up I told him the story and he was overcome as well. A little later after being home for a while, I still felt a tinge of guilt over the way things went down with the angry man. Perhaps I should buy him a present.  Nonetheless, a rainy parade presented such a bittersweet reminder to love the ones you are with.

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Champagne wishes and petit four dreams.

February 16th 2014

Wilder is sixteen weeks old.

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I have always functioned best on a schedule. I’d like to pretend that I am one of those people who can be spontaneous at the drop of a hat, but the reality is that I’m too much of a control freak. Having a baby has helped to break me painfully from my rigorous scheduling in many ways. Now, though, that we are trying to implement a structured bedtime and routine to accompany it, I feel like my nature has its benefits. Wilder has been falling into a rhythm of sleeping and eating at rather predictable intervals. I am very grateful that he will virtually nap anywhere, but we try to always have him home for bedtime. He has been doing great sleeping in his rock and play and I trust that soon we will be able to transition him to his crib. It truly is amazing how quickly he is growing.

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This past Tuesday Wilder turned 108 days old and we had his puja celebration. I hadn’t slept well on Monday night as I was strangely experiencing anxiety over the celebration. I adore throwing parties but I had never done anything of this type before and honestly I was nervous that I might fuck it up. The boys and Cathy had assured me that things would be fine, and they were right. We had a lovely group of over 40 dear friends show up to celebrate. Both Jackie and Keith did an amazing job in leading the chants and it was absolutely joyous to see so many people participate (even if some of them thought it was weird). A dear friend and fellow yogi Nancy Maas was kind enough to photograph the event. Wilder was on his best behavior and he sat in his little seat in the middle of the crowd while we all chanted. He was only fussy for a moment to let us know he was hungry, but after he ate he was happy to be passed around the crowd and cuddled by the guests. The puja presented me a wonderful opportunity to express my gratitude to both Lee Kyle and Andy for all their love and support. I openly and loudly admitted that I had been foolish thinking at the beginning of this adventure that if needed I could do everything on my own. Wilder has helped me to realize the beauty and strength in the community that I have cultivated. He has opened my eyes in many ways and I am often surprised and elated by what is right in front of me.

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Photo by Nancy Maas

As lovely as the puja was, I was sad that neither Dori nor Amanda could attend. The 11th also happened to be Amanda’s birthday, but she wasn’t able to make it due to nursing school. After the ceremony ended, Cathy, Lee Kyle, Andy, Wilder and myself went to Mandina’s for lunch. It had been a while since I had eaten at Mandina’s and I was immediately flooded with memories of my father. This was one of his favorite restaurants and we used to eat there every time he visited when he lived in New Mexico. I also had my college graduation dinner party there. Many fine memories in that building. I was happy that we were able to make a new one with our new family. We headed home after lunch and I relaxed on the couch with a very sweet baby while Andy took care of his bar duties. Cody came by and watched some Downton Abbey with me, which ended the day perfectly.

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This past Wednesday Wilder had to go in for his (belated) 3 month check-up. Having taken off Tuesday for the puja, I couldn’t accompany Andy to bring him to the pediatrician. He received three shots and according to Andy he was only briefly upset. The doctor said that he was growing well and his heath was good. Our only concern is the shape of his head. Since birth he has had a slightly flattened portion of his right posterior skull. She assured us it was nothing to fret about at this point, but I’m determined to keep an eye on it. Andy called after the appointment and I could hear Wilder crying, which made me teary-eyed as well. I love that little boy so much, more than I actually thought possible.

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Andy and I finally found some time alone together and we spent it fucking. It was highly enjoyable, as it always is. I love Andy and he loves me but that doesn’t mean that I don’t worry about the decline of general passion in our relationship. I think in some respects it hasn’t actually changed much, it’s just that now we see much more of each other. When we lived more separately, it was easier to be excited to see one another. Also, before Wilder our responsibilities to each other were much less. As happy as I am to be a family now, there have been some unexpected complications in nearly all my personal relationships. I’m also generally the type of person who gets more sexual satisfaction from clandestine affairs than from long term relationships. I think this is why living apart from Andy was so healthy for our sex life. As much as I thrive on routine in nearly all aspects of my life, I like spontaneity and unpredictability in the bedroom. Call me a slut, it’s just my nature. The good news is that we have an open dialogue about these things, so it isn’t difficult to address my desires.

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I made it to yoga class this past Wednesday night and was able to visit with Jackie following the class. It’s so rare that we have time to converse privately with one another that I consider it something special when it happens. We sat in my car for nearly an hour, which was not nearly enough time to truly catch up. I miss Jackie but I’m grateful to know that no matter what is happening in each other’s lives, we are always there for one another.

I have a unique work environment because not only do I work with some of my closest friends (who mostly were my friends before the job) but I also work with my cousin. This means that our conversations at work are almost never work appropriate. This past week I got into a discussion with my cousin concerning some of the unique traditions in our families. I’m not sure how the memory came to me but I was reminded of how my mother was naked a lot in front of us when we were younger. She had the habit (which persisted until she died) of wearing only her underwear while applying her makeup, which she always did either in the living room or at the dining room table. She never really cared who saw her in this state and all of mine and my brother’s friends had seen her breasts at some point. Odd as it may sound, we never really found it to be strange. My cousin’s mother, my aunt, also choose to be half-dressed a lot of the time. I suppose that to them, there wasn’t any shame in nudity. I think this affected me in many ways included my own penchant for being naked in my house. I would assume that 85% of my close friends have seen me half-naked if not entirely. I’m glad that I have the openness about my body, even if it did come in a rather strange way. I wonder how this will affect Wilder’s perception of his own body? Hopefully in a positive way.

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At work, we also got caught up talking about the Woody Allen situation which led to a discussion about rape in general. This brought up memories and feelings about my own rape. It’s funny how the anger never really completely dissipates. I think all the yoga and therapy and forgiveness in the world won’t completely diminish my feelings of shame and rage. They are surely lessor than before but always present. I don’t think about that situation very often, but when I do, it’s still hard.

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Thursday night I was ready to shake off the heaviness of the discussion of the work day. Cody accompanied me to the Valentine’s Day addition of Big Dicks House of Big Boobs (BDHBB), which is a DIY strip club where ANYone can dance. Lee Kyle and Jennifer Jane were performing together as part of her birthday celebration.  Cody had never been to any of the BDHBB parties, so I think it is safe to say that he was pleasantly shocked by what he witnessed. I chatted with Corinne, the mastermind behind the parties, and she said that this might be the last for quite some time. I was saddened by this possibility but know that all good things must eventually come to an end. We had a blast there and then went to Mimi’s for one final drink before heading home. Cody and I were intoxicated, and thankfully Lee Kyle was sober. When Cody and I arrived at my house, we munched on food straight from the fridge then passed out in bed around 3 am.

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The 7 am alarm felt pretty harsh the next morning, which was Friday the 14th, Valentine’s Day. I reluctantly roused Cody from sleep and attempted to make us breakfast before we headed into work. I’m pretty sure he was still drunk when we left the house. Apparently we weren’t the only ones to have a rough morning. Crystal had gotten into a small fender bender on her way into work. She was obviously shaken up, but luckily no one had been hurt. Needless to say, it was an unproductive day on the job. That night, despite my hangover, I made dinner for Cathy, Lee Kyle and I. Afterwards we took some adorable Valentine’s Day photos. Andy worked and I was in bed early, resting up for the parade the following night.

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Saturday night was Krewe de Vieux! This is one of my favorite parades and probably the only one that I have consistently seen every year for nearly a decade. I was very excited that this would be Wilder’s first parade. Clint’s friend Lauren lives near the R Bar so we were fortunate to have her house as a home base. We put Wilder in his Stokke carrier and he did wonderful. Not only did he make it through the whole parade without crying but he even napped for a bit. There was quite a sweet scene when a brass band serenaded him and he looked on with awe. I couldn’t have been more proud, he is a true New Orleans baby. After the parade, I left Wilder with Lee Kyle, Clint and Cathy and I met some friends at Flanagans where Andy was working. I had a few drinks and flirted a little and then walked over to One Eyed Jacks to see The Walkmen’s (final) show. It was incredible. I was flooded with memories of all the times I listened to their music and the many times I had seen them live in the past. I had a great viewing spot, thanks to the sweet staff of the bar, and I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a show on the same level as I did this one.

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Sunday rolled around with more sex and delicious pizza. I talked with Andy about the prospect of taking on a (few) new lover(s). He laughed and said, “Seems like your vagina is back in business and the line starts behind me.” I thought quite a bit about what it would mean to enter into this situation again, especially in our new living environment. It’s seems equal parts exciting and bothersome. I figure it would be easier if I could immediately present some rough guidelines for new lovers, but that would take some of the mystique out of the whole situation. I decided to ponder it while I ate more pizza. I pondered for longer than I should have.

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Wine time.

February 9th 2014

Wilder is fifteen weeks old.

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We made some big progress this week. Wilder has slept in his nursery since coming home from the hospital but that has always included spending a good portion of the night sleeping in the arms of someone who is resting in the recliner in his room. I figured this was a better option than having him sleep in my bed with me, because I already share my bed with a pit bull and have no desire to have another human sleeping in it. The recliner has been used by a rotating cast of dear friends these last two weeks while the boys have been out of town. This past Monday, Dawn, Andy’s sister made the bold move of brining Wilder’s monkey sleep-and-play rocker up to his nursery. We usually keep it in the living room because he naps in it during the day. Apparently he was able to sleep in the rocker without being held, nearly the whole night (except for one feeding) which has never happened. Dawn left the next day on Tuesday, but we are hopeful to move forward with this new sleeping situation.

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Jo came by on Tuesday as Dawn was leaving in order to watch Wilder until I got home from work. When I got home I found them cuddled on the couch together. She had trimmed his nails and spoiled him all day with snuggles and attention. It has been great to see more of my close friends interacting with Wilder in the absence of Andy and Lee Kyle. Their respective trips made it necessary for me to contact others for help, and in the process I have been able to catch up with many of my good friends. I feel very fortunate to have the support system that I have procured over these years. I wasn’t always a great friend, and I have acknowledged many of my short-comings, so now I really do strive to be someone who others know they can depend on.

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Cathy has been a life-saver these past few weeks and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her. She has such an absolute love for Wilder that I am sure she will be a huge part of his entire life. I depended on her a lot at the beginning of this past week before Lee returned because work was a nightmare. Tuesday was so awful that I was offered a valium from one of my co-workers which I rapidly took. As we are getting closer to our impending deadline, tensions are high. To make matters worse, on this particular day the team-lead decided to make what she thought was a simplistic change to the project that actually set us back several days. I try not to let work affect me for the most part, but some days I want to smash out an office window with my shitty-ass rolly chair and scream “FUCK THIS SHIT!” from our high-rise office. Valium: 1 Unemployment: 0

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Lee Kyle returned home this past Tuesday and while I was grateful for him to be home we got off to a rough start. Misty had come by that night with a delicious meal which was enjoyed by myself, Cathy, Lee Kyle, Clint and Cody. I was already stressed before anyone had arrived as days upon days of working, taking care of the dogs and spending less time with Wilder than usual had worn me thin. I was feeling ugly, unaccomplished and envious, which obviously didn’t sit well with my ego. I found myself struggling with my envy over the travel and experiences that Lee Kyle and Andy had been able to enjoy while I was home trying to keep all the shit together. I got in a small back and forth with Lee Kyle concerning Andy’s dogs and I think that was the last straw. Before I knew it I was in the nursery crying and feeling like complete shit. Misty came up and I emotionally unloaded on her explaining how I felt unappreciated and all I had wanted was a simple “thank you” from Lee Kyle but I hadn’t received one. Being the dear friend, and eternal optimist that she is, she calmed my mind enough for me to stop crying. After everyone else left, I sat on the couch drinking wine with Cody and feeling sorry for myself. Sometimes that’s the only thing left to do.

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Cathy is planning on moving from New York to New Orleans permanently. She and I spoke about her potentially moving in with us, in the form of taking Andy’s apartment over. While it is still just an idea at this point, I would readily welcome her back anytime as she has been so wonderful with Wilder. On Wednesday morning I called Lee Kyle to speak with him about the potential of Cathy coming to live with us, since she is his dear friend. It also gave me a chance to talk with him about other things, including our family schedule and the dogs. He was completely supportive of Cathy staying with us and we had a really nice conversation about all the other thing that had been weighing on my mind. I have to remember that even when it isn’t the most comfortable thing to do, it is important for all of us to talk with each other to avoid hard feelings and miscommunications.

This past Wednesday night Sarah came over to hang out with Wilder and I, which gave me the opportunity to go through his clothes. He is growing so quickly that I had a few stacks of clothing to pass on to Gabby, who showed up later that night. I am eternally grateful for all the clothing hand-me-downs and gifts we received. I am just starting to need to buy things for Wilder and he is nearly 4 months old. I had a nice full house on Thursday night which consisted of myself, Lee Kyle, Cathy, Gabby and Cody (he didn’t stay the night but everyone else did.) Apparently Lee Kyle had started watching Game of Thrones while on vacation and he was completely obsessed. Much like I was while pregnant. He was watching an episode on the couch and we all gathered around to join him. Earlier that night I had decided to try the Target brand of formula, which is supposed to be completely comparable to Enfamil Prosobee (Wilder’s normal brand). The Target brand cost less and I should have known better. Thankfully I had only given him two ounces, which he later vomited up all over me. I was about to shower to clean the baby puke off my body when I decided I needed to tell Gabby something. I attempted to walk down the stairs at a brisk pace and literally fell on my ass. Sadly I had been holding onto the railing at an unfortunate angle and hurt my shoulder more than my ass. Everyone heard me fall and they jumped up to check on me. My IPhone had been in my back pocket and had literally broken my fall. P.S. Otter box cases really do work, because if mine had not been in one, I guarantee my ass would have busted that phone.

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The next day at work I was pretty sore. Thankfully Amanda came into the office for a few hours and it was good to see her. I talked with her about some of the issues I had been experiencing, focusing a lot on my feelings of envy. She has known me for a very long time and is by far one of my closest friends and my favorite person to travel with because we always have such a great time together. We share a love for adventure, writing and silliness. It felt very good to discuss my insecurities with her as she validated my feelings and offered worthwhile, thoughtful suggestions. When I returned home that night I was in a much better mood.

Daphne stayed over on Thursday night, which was really awesome. She showed up with fried chicken, which is something that I might eat once a year (if that). She, Cathy and I drank wine and ate dinner together. Gabby showed up a little bit later as she had asked to stay an extra night at my house because the roads were icy. The four of us had a pleasant evening laughing and talking. Daphne stayed in the nursery with Wilder and she held him most of the night, not because she needed to, but because she was enamored with him. It felt warm and welcoming having had a full house of guests those two nights and I enjoyed all the time I was able to spend with my lady friends. I think this week alone I went through a half-case of red wine.

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On Friday when I got home from work I noticed that Wilder’s penis looked more red than normal when I changed his diaper. This prompted me to get very worried and start texting other moms. I made the stupid mistake of googling the issue and I was simultaneously terrified and put on the child-porn watch list, I’m sure. I sent a picture to Andy, who forwarded it to Dawn who assured me it was diaper rash. Another good mom friend of mine, Meghann, texted me back and said the same thing. I tried not to get too worried and I put some diaper rash cream on the area. It looked better within a few hours. Cathy was the only house guest that night and while I did miss my other friends it was refreshing to have some quiet time.

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Andy arrived home on Saturday! Before he arrived I was able to get Wilder into his Stokke carrier and clean up his apartment a bit since the dogs had done a number on it with muddy paws. He got home in the early afternoon and we were all happy to see him. Andy actually shed a tear of joy seeing us. I was grateful to have him back home, and I promptly handed him Wilder and took a nice nap. Lee Kyle came over that night and watched Wilder so that I could attend Andy’s show at Siberia. We had so much fun that night at the show. Ellen, Joel, Daphne and Cody all joined us to watch the bands. My Graveyard Jaw was great but so were the other bands that played. I got to see many of my friends that I haven’t shared a drink with since before my pregnancy. I drank too much, flirted too much and ended the night having amazing sex with Andy. I’d say it was a good time.

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I slept in until nearly noon on Sunday, which is the latest in over a year. I then leisurely spent the day eating pizza and hanging out with Andy and Wilder. It was a great day for my hang-over, and I was happy not to have to go anywhere. Wilder and I watched Dumbo together, and I was shocked at how mesmerized he was. Watching movies, eating pizza, being hungover and snuggling with my boys made me feel somewhat like my old self again.

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Urine Trouble.

February 2nd 2014

Wilder is fourteen weeks old.

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We began this past week with Wilder celebrating his 3 month birthday. It has become apparent that mothers who told me that three (months) was the “magic number” knew what they were talking about. He is getting more adorable and expressive by the day and our interactions are so much more rewarding than the first few months where I often felt like I was winning by simply keeping him alive. His motor control and personality is developing so rapidly that when Andy returns from his tour, Wilder will be somewhat of a new baby.

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Lee Kyle has been gone now for quite a few days and Andy left this past Monday. Thankfully Cathy was already helping out before Andy left, so the transition wasn’t very rough. I also took some time to make a schedule of friends to come by to assist with Wilder while the boys are out of town. Work has been difficult, and will only continue to get more stressful with our upcoming deadline. I wish that I had been able to take some time off while the guys were travelling, but unfortunately that was impossible to schedule. I did luck out though and get to work from home on Tuesday because we experienced such cold and icy weather. It was very fun to be able to spend the day at home with Wilder and enjoy his happy mood. We played records and had a dance party then we made a wonderful lunch and dinner. I didn’t get much work done, although Cathy was there to help when I asked. I wanted to spend as much of the day with him as possible, since I don’t generally have the luxury of staying home during the work week. Wilder watched his first partial episode of Baby Einstein on YouTube that night. I know I said that he wouldn’t have screen time until much older, but I wanted to see his reaction. It was an episode that featured a lot of trippy, swirly images and serene photos. I couldn’t help but think it would be enjoyable to watch while on mushrooms or LSD. I wonder if that is what life is like for a three month old? If so, now I know why he is smiling all the time.

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I trudged into work on Wednesday in 28 degree weather, which is ridiculously cold for New Orleans. I was the only one in my office for quite a few hours and many people choose not to come in at all. The day went by very slowly and I wished that I had just stayed home again. Andy’s sister Dawn arrived from New York to help out with Wilder. I was worried that the weather might affect her flight but she had no problems getting here. She was ecstatic to meet him and because she had arrived mid-day, Cathy had greeted her at the house while I was at work. I had never spent very much time with Dawn, so I was a bit apprehensive about her visit. But I had been apprehensive about Cathy as well, and that was working out beautifully.

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Dawn turned out to be incredibly helpful as well. She embraced Wilder as her true nephew and completely supported our unique family situation. It was good for us to have a chance to get to know each other. I had been taking care of Andy’s two dogs in his absence (with help from our friend Kelly). So it was extremely convenient to have both Dawn and Cathy around to care for Wilder. It is often difficult for parents to find people that they truly trust with their children, but that has not been the case for Wilder.  He is such a blessed child (and I as one of his parents) to have such a wonderful network of caring family and friends.

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On Wednesday night Wilder face timed for the first time ever with Andy. It was quite adorable watching him stare at Andy on the phone. I had never used face time before and always thought it was a bit useless, but now I see its function. We were having a splendid night and then after dinner while I was still seated at the dining room table with Wilder on my lap, he threw his little body forward and smacked his head on the table. He was shocked and upset, but no real damage was done as there wasn’t even a mark. Real tears came from his eyes and I felt HORRIBLE. Like “worst- mother-of-the-year award” bad. I immediately texted Dori, who is one of my oldest, closest friends and she responded “Well at least you weren’t drunk when it happened.” That made me feel better, along with the fact that he only cried for a minute. I was worried that Dawn would think I was a careless mother, but she didn’t. She has four children of her own, so she wasn’t fazed.

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On Friday night Laura Fine came over and helped out by holding and snuggling with Wilder while I made dinner for all of us. We had a wonderful night filled with laughter and good conversation (which seems to always happen when Laura comes over.) I remember in the latter part of my pregnancy, I would often think of my own family and it made me sad to think that none of my immediate family would be here to meet and spend time with Wilder. After he was born there were days when I would feel depressed and anxious over the fact that as far I was concerned, I wouldn’t have much family to provide him. On nights like this past Friday, with Dawn (Andy’s sister), Cathy (Lee’s oldest friend) and Laura (one of my favorite people) seated around my dining room table just cooing over our son, I was reminded that family is what you make it. Wilder will never be without family, it would be impossible.

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I insisted that Dawn and I get Wilder out of the house on Saturday because the weather was beautiful. We met Melissa, Vaughn and their son Nicco at City Park. We had fresh beignets and café au lait in the gorgeous sunshine, which everyone enjoyed except for Wilder. I swear he must be part vampire because he doesn’t like to be outside in sunny weather. He arches his back and acts very fussy, even if he is shaded from the rays. He seems to prefer a good overcast day and never cries even when it is storming thunderously outside his bedroom window. I hope he gets over his discontent for the sunshine. Luckily we had Melissa there, who is a baby whisperer and she had him calm and happy within minutes of her arrival. It was fun to watch Nicco play and interact with other children. I look forward to watching Wilder grow into an adorable little boy like him.

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My sweet cousin Crystal came over for dinner on Saturday night. Actually, she came over with all the stuff to prepare dinner and then proceeded to cook us a delicious meal. She went to culinary school, so I don’t feel bad about asking her to cook. Once again it was a fun evening spent around the dining room table. I realized how rarely Andy and I eat together, let alone have family dinner including Lee Kyle and Clint, and I decided that when both the boys get back I will suggest that we eat together more often. I think it is important not only for Wilder, but for all of our relationships.

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Today the week ended with worry followed by relief. I noticed that Wilder hadn’t urinated during the night for nearly a six hour stretch. After I fed him his morning bottle, he thankfully did. In the afternoon he went another long stretch without urinating, and when he finally did I noticed an orange spot in his diaper. I immediately called the answering service for the pediatrician and luckily Doctor Capone called me back rather quickly. I was afraid that what I had seen was blood in his urine but it turned out to be uric acid crystals. I had been pacing the floor expecting Dawn and I to be taking Wilder to Children’s Hospital, but thankfully that was not the case. I went and grabbed some pedialyte at the suggestion of Doctor Capone and by the end of the night Wilder was urinating normally with no sign of uric acid. It had been scary and the situation made me miss Andy very much. As grateful as I am for all the help, I will be very happy when both he and Lee Kyle get home.

 

Getting handsy.

January 26th 2014

Wilder is thirteen weeks old.

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This past Monday was a holiday so Cody and I spent our day off the right way. We traveled to Baton Rouge to get groceries at Trader Joe’s. In reality we spent much more money on booze than we did food, but it was completely worth the long drive. Not only that, but we were able to spend quality time together in a car, since sharing an office isn’t quite enough for us. We left around noon and I was home relatively quickly and able to spend a good part of the day with Wilder. Andy doesn’t share my absurd adoration for Trader Joe’s, so I was happy to have Cody on my side.

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Amanda started nursing school this week and I already miss her incredibly at work. Our office can be high on stress as well as high on general bullshit and she has an amazingly calm disposition that is lacking in the rest of us. I am really proud of her fortitude and I know that she is going to be an amazing nurse. I’m just sad that she won’t be around as much, nor will she have as much free time. Our novel has been put on the side for a while, mostly due to her pressing schedule. I’m very hopeful that when she gets into the groove of school and work, she will have time to further her writing. Until then I plan on focusing on personal writing projects. That is, if I can find the time.

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Guess who still feels like a fat ass? This girl. I’ve continued eating healthier and exercising frequently but my energy levels have plummeted. I emailed Jackie, who is in Germany, to whine about my feelings of discontent. I always feel like an asshole when I complain to Jackie about anything that could be seen as trivial since most of her life’s work has been with unjustly incarcerated individuals. I think I have problems. She is always there to listen though, and generally doesn’t make me feel like a heel for being somewhat self-absorbed. I wrote to her explaining that I felt as if my metabolism had decided to completely abandon ship post-pregnancy. She made some smart suggestions and told me that she loves me just the way I am. I think she called me magnificent, which I considered a beautiful compliment. I felt better immediately after our email exchange. Sometimes I get so caught up in my physical appearance that I forget to be grateful for all that my body has done. Sure my hips are larger than I’d like them to be, but I nourished an amazing baby and can still jog over three miles at a good pace. I need to get it through my thick skull that it’s going to take some time for me to get into the physical shape I was before I got pregnant. I’m my harshest critic, and it’s becoming fucking exhausting.

In news of the mayor (Wilder that is) he has made an amazing discovery – his hands! Over the past week I have witnessed as his seemingly crazy flailing arms have become more articulated in their movements. He watches his fists and perpetually brings them to his mouth to suck on. It’s quite adorable, the way he literally “waves a fist” at me when I engage him. I think we picked the right nickname in calling him the mayor. He certainly is refining his public speaking body language at a young age.

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Work has been stress city. I am currently focusing my energy on a project that requires reviewing daily summaries of work performed for various clients by people within our company. I have a deadline for reviewing and categorizing all this data for a presentation. Unfortunately my team lead keeps changing her mind on how she wants the data to be not only sorted but which information is most important to summarize. Add the frustration of trying to complete something with little direction to the fact that I’d rather be home with our son and you’ve got one unhappy employee. I’m not the only one facing a deadline in the office and the use of profanity had gone up significantly as the week wore on. As Ellen once told me, “Some days just go to shit.” Well, this past work week had for sure.

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One of the more fun things that I completed this week was planning a puja for Wilder. A puja is a Hindu ritual that can be used to celebrate a lifetime event; in our case Wilder’s 108th day of life. The number 108 has long been considered a sacred number in Hinduism and yoga for various reasons. Because we are not having a traditional baptism for Wilder, we wanted to have a ceremony that will be a gathering of those people who we consider to be an extension of Wilder’s family. There will be chanting led by one of my dearest teachers, Keith, and one of my closest friends, Jackie, as well as a time for spoken or silent blessings for Wilder. Because this is a party I am planning, there will also be petit fours and champagne. I am looking forward to this unique celebration with our unique family.

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Lee Kyle’s dear friend Cathy arrived in from New York this week, just in time for him to head out on his trip to the Pacific Northwest. He will be visiting both Portland and Alaska while on that side of the country. Because his trip and Andy’s overlap, Cathy and Andy’s sister will be helping me with Wilder. Unfortunately due to my work deadline, I am not able to take time off, so I have enlisted their help as well as the help of several of my friends over the next two weeks. I am nervous about having to depend so heavily on other people, although I completely trust all of them with the care of our son. It’s difficult for me to have people in my personal space for long periods of time, hence the reason Andy and I have always lived separately (until recently). It will be a good lesson for me in learning how to receive help from others and sharing my personal space.

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We went to Flanagan’s again this past Friday, as it is becoming somewhat of a weekly ritual. I didn’t drink as much this time, which was probably a good thing. Jennifer Jane dropped in on her way to the Peaches show at One Eyed Jacks and we were able to catch up. She is always so happy and entertaining that it’s infectious. We had a good time chatting while Wilder napped on my shoulder. Cody and Patrick also stopped by and had a drink with us. Ellen was working and the crowd was relaxed so all in all it was a good night.

This past Saturday was the one year anniversary of my father’s passing. It’s hard for me to believe that it’s already been a full year. Andy said that it feels as if more time has passed by. Our difference in perception is interesting to me. So much has happened and it does sadden me that neither of my parents were alive to see me make major decisions this past year, such as buying a house, a car and having a baby. I know both my father and my mother would be completely smitten with Wilder and I do feel it is a loss for him that he will never get to know either of them. I miss certain things about my father, particularly his story-telling and his laughter. Toward the end of his life he was literally losing his mind to dementia, so I don’t regret his passing as much as I mourn for the person he was before he became ill. Neither of my parents were perfect but just in the few months since Wilder’s birth I have come to have a deeper respect for them as parents and I’m glad that they instilled certain values and beliefs in me.

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Wilder has been not only fascinated with the discovery of his hands but also holding his head up with more control. This a major turn of events for both of us, as I feel less like I’m going to break him. He still has the bobble head thing going on, but there are muscles working now that seemed to be nearly non-existent just a week ago. We sat him in his bumbo chair for a few minutes and he held his head up on his own! I also sat him in his highchair which has a higher back and he did wonderfully lounging there for a few minutes. It’s quite incredible watching him grow and learn new things. I cherish the moments when I get to witness him growing before my eyes.

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We ended the week with Andy packing on Sunday for his trip the next day. He is going on tour for two weeks with My Graveyard Jaw, which will take him to Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. I have been nervous about him leaving and so I spent Sunday doing what I usually do when I’m uptight – cleaning. I was able to get the entire place in order which was a relief since Cathy and Andy’s sister will be staying over. I want them to be as comfortable as possible since they are doing us such a huge favor. I am happy that Andy is getting the chance to go on tour, which has always been a goal of his. The time away will also allow him a respite from the daily duties of caring for Wilder while I am working. Hopefully he will miss us. On cue, to show how adorable he is, Wilder performed a new trick on Sunday night. He grabbed a little chew toy (made for babies, not dogs) and brought it to his mouth on his own. Andy caught him in the act and I got a picture of him. He’s growing so fast. It’s very exciting and I don’t want to miss a moment of it.

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