fastidious freak

I put the baby’s pacifier back in her mouth when she woke up from her nap and guess what? She went back to sleep! I’ve been getting her up when she starts to rouse but now I’m thinking I should leave her in her crib more often and let her take long naps if she needs them. What a revelation!

Every day I learn new things about Baby Bug. She really is something else.

I’m looking at my big pile of bills and papers to file and miscellaneous projects to finish and then I look at the clock and the sleeping baby and say, phooey! I’m going to blog instead of “getting things done”. This is my downfall. I only have so much free time during the day and my priorities are thus:

1. clean the house
2. write a blog post
3. answer emails
4. read blogs and comment
5. tackle projects/work

I’m proud that I usually manage to clean the house but I’m sad that work is at the very bottom of the list. I lag lag lag on work. I guess my heart just isn’t in it anymore. What I really need is a big cup of coffee and then I could power through it in half a day. But I can’t drink coffee anymore. Or can I?

This is where I need an “Ask the Internets” category like Kristin has. I’ve been letting myself have a sip of coffee now and then (because I’m falling asleep sitting up and my eyeballs feel like scratchy balls of gravel) and I’m not sure if those are the days that Baby Bug is extra fussy and won’t go to sleep promptly at 8 p.m. like she usually does or if it’s just a coincidence. I am not very scientific in my testing and there are so many variables from day to day I’m often completely confused. So what does caffeine do to babies and does it hurt their development?

I really miss my coffee.

So what else is new? I’m loving having a new car. It’s so great to be able to get up in the morning and plan my day without having to negotiate with Toby and his photography schedule over whether or not he needs the van. Freedom is wonderful. It’s also scary. I’ve realized that my odds of getting in a wreck or hurting Baby Bug in some way have jumped exponentially. But I can’t just sit at home in a bubble all day. I must get out and go to IKEA and Target and Baby’sRUs! The possibilities for good old fashioned American consumerism are endless! Arg.

I hate it that half of my fun outings involve shopping for things that are going to fill up the landfill. Do I really need a plastic high chair that only costs $19? Yes, yes I do. It’s so much better than the monstrosity peg perego one that I got hand-me-downed from the kid’s I babysit. Ugh. Just thinking about cleaning rice cereal out of the nooks and crannies of the nylon cushion gives me the heebie jeebies. The new plastic high chair is so sleek and visually it takes up half the space because it is white and it blends right into the wall. I love that. If I weren’t worried about boring Baby Bug to death, I’d like it if everything baby oriented was white and invisible. I love color, I do. I just hate how it clutters up my house. But Baby Bug’s happiness comes first so brightly colored plastic things are a big part of our life whether I like it or not. We’ve already talked about that.

I watched a show on garbage the other day and it almost kicked me into being a raging environmentalist again. Not that I ever was but I did go to college in the bay area so some liberalism rubbed off on me. Speaking of environmentalism… there was a sticker on my new car that said fumes from my car could cause cancer and birth defects! Why is this world so depressing! Is the new car smell going to melt Baby Bug’s brain cells? I think I should ditch the car and buy a bamboo bike. But then I’d have to breath all the exhaust and break dust from all the cars that are whizzing by me and giving me the finger because I am causing traffic jams with my baby strapped to my back who likes to arch her back and cause me to weave about dangerously.

I guess we’re all going to die one way or another.

About the “towel spreading” that I mentioned yesterday… (as if you are all waiting anxiously to find out what that is about) Back in college I used to live with my best friend from high school and she had OCD. I’d never experienced this kind of freakish cleanliness before. As you know, I was raised in a MUCH DIFFERENT environment. I was in for a big education on how to keep things neat and clean. Daily, I got lessons on why I should not use hair spray in the bathroom. (The residue! The spots on the mirror! The smell! The air must be clean for the plants to breath! I had to go outside to spray my bangs into perfect submission. Or even worse not use hairspray! ) If I took down a message on the pad of paper by the phone, I had to place the pencil beside the pad in an exact way or else all hell would break loose. We had this little string that attached the pencil to the pad of paper and I remember the string HAD to be wrapped around the pad. You couldn’t just leave it laying any old way it fell. Sometimes I would on purpose make lighting bold shapes out of the string just to piss her off. Thankfully my friend has always had a great sense of humor about her wackiness.

So anyway, my roommate/best friend from high school also liked to spread towels on all flat surfaces so that she wouldn’t have to dust. This meant all the countertops in our tiny little apartment kitchen had towels on them. On top of the refrigerator, the microwave, the shelves in the pantry…towels everywhere. We had a lot of towels. It used to drive me crazy. I hated the towels.

But somehow her funny little quirks have stuck with me through the years and now in my old age I have towels spread about on things I never would have thought possible when I first met her. I have a towel spread on the back of the toilet and on top of the microwave. And just the other day I bought black towels for the passenger side and back seat floor mats of my car. I got tired of looking at the little white flecks of lint and dust. Until I find a small vacuum that will plug into my cigarette lighter, the towels are going to have to do the trick. “Biff”* would be so proud of me. I’ve turned into a fastidious freak.

*not her real name of course


  • Liane

    Yay for pacifiers!!
    I’ve been trying to save up all my money to buy one of those Stokke Kinderzeat chairs but when I hear that someone as cool as you is buying the Ikea one, maybe I’ll buy it too…I like the minimalist look. (Because highchair buying is all about being cool!)
    And keep up the blogging priorities… I feel like a weird stalker but your posts are like my daily vitamin!

  • american girl

    I’ve been drinking 1 cup of coffee in the morning and sometimes a Coke in the afternoons since I was pregnant with Cate, and haven’t stopped since she was born. There may have been a couple of times where I wondered if her intermittant fussiness was due to my caffeine intake, but it hasn’t stopped me (and she’s not really a fusser by nature)! She is used to it, I think. That cup of coffee is sometimes the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. I do try to have caffeine right after I’ve fed her so that it has a chance to leave my system before she eats again. Maybe you could try starting with a 1/2 cup and see how that goes?

  • ellamama

    I am ordering that high chair immediately. Thank you. My big chicco mama hand me down must go. I want a high chair that can get put in the shower to clean.

    Mamas must have a little coffee. I have two cups, always before lunch, with no ill effects.

  • Clownfish

    Towel Spreading – Very interesting. I believe I will spread my first towel on the top of the fridge.

    OCD – 4 hot sauce packets for a Del Taco Burrito and 2 for a DT Taco. A top corner from each pack is torn beforehand so that you don’t have to set your food down to open another pack.

  • BeachMama

    I drank coffee for the entire time I was nursing (13.5 months). It was a half caf blend and I had about 2 1/2 cups a day. I loved it, I gave up everything else, but I had to have some coffee. I never found that I had trouble with J and his sleep habits or behaviour. If you haven’t been drinking coffee at all then you may see a difference, but if you really miss it try easing it in by starting with decaf and adding a little caf now and then.

    The towel thing is interesting, I would have never thought of it, but it would save me a whack of dusting :)

  • AmyinBC

    My gosh that woman sounds rather frightening! Wonder what poor sod ended up with her and her ultra hygenic methodologies?!

  • Anny

    While taking a class called Biology and Human Concerns, I learned that being inside a car with the so-called “new car smell” (ie. leeching chemicals) is much more dangerous to human health than being outside the car breathing exhaust fumes and the like.

  • Jennifer

    Towels…hmmm. I ended up with the Aquarium highchair. Everything in my house is mish mash so I’m not messing up any sense of order with all the baby plastic. I don’t think I could stomach a used highchair though. I recently purchased a HUGE piece of baby plastic and I actually thought of you while doing it. I promise I’m not a stalker.

  • Canadian Steph

    The perfection of the pad and pencil would have driven me over the edge. I would have messed it up on purpose too.

  • Sarah

    Drink the coffee! The Sears books says you can have up to 4 small cups a day. Go for it. Felix is now 6 months and I started drinking coffee about a month ago (I wasn’t a big coffee drinker before). I don’t drink it very often – maybe once a week – but it feels good.

    We definitely went for the used high chair – a beautiful traditional french folding high chair – but we are into exposing the baby to as many germs as possible. He is going to be a super baby! He hasn’t been sick yet and he is still exclusively breastfed so I am not going to worry about it. The towel thing I could use it a few parts of my house – especially behind the toilet – I hate cleaning there.

  • Lisa

    I breastfed both of my children, and had 1 or once in a while 2 cups of coffee a day with no problems. If you are really worried about the caffeine, try feeding Baby Bug in the AM, and then drinking the coffee. There will be less caffeine in your system at the next feeding. You are a motherly saint for giving up coffee this long!!

  • lin

    Baby Bug is growing up so beautifully! What a doll. I think anything in moderation (except smoking and drugs) is fine when you’re nursing…at least it used to be, lo those many years ago when I was a young mother. The National Health Service in England actually prescribed a Guinness a day for nursing mothers because of the iron content.

  • Auntie Keren

    You should ask your aunts about diet and breast-feeding. They have stories that will curl your hair! One or the other in tears. I think AJ was the most frustrated…she got a reaction from the most bland of foods and AK had the child with every food allergy under heaven, (plus nursing while being pregnant) AB had to decifer if it was food or colic, threw in the towel and gave up on sleep for six months.

  • Susie

    At least you haven’t resorted to plastic slipcovers for the furniture… ;-)

    Those photos of you and BB are adorable!

  • mrsmogul

    My baby needs his when he wants to go to sleep for the night. He just won’t take his fingers! Luckily he doesn’t need it if he wakes in the middle of the night or the morning! WOO HOO!