Oh Lilly, How Could You?

August 5, 2009

SabineDressSo smug and assured were we that our child’s name would be unique. I mean, come on, a river in Texas, referenced only in a Lyle Lovett song? Who even listens to Lyle Lovett besides us? Until yesterday we were practically guaranteed there wouldn’t be three Sabines at daycare.

But yesterday Lilly Pulitzer, designer of the prepster shift dresses that so capture my heart and my disposable income, former Palm Beach neighbor of ours (in a manner of speaking), all-around-style inspiration, introduced her new collection. And in it is…wait for it…the “Sabine” dress. Nooooooo! Mendozzzzzza! I mean, Lillyyyyyyy!

Believe you me I am keeping an eye on BabyNameWizard — which currently returns the result “No names starting with SABINE were in the top 1,000 names in any decade” — and if there’s so much as a smidge of an uptick, a certain little missy and I are on a plane headed to Palm Beach to “J’accuse!” in person. Our fury will only be mitigated by comped hers-and-hers Marcella dresses, Ms. Pulitzer.


* Thanks to TJWasAFirecracker and K for calling this development to my attention.

Anything Happening This Week?

August 3, 2009


Oh, that’s right. We’re slated to have a baby.

BumpWatch! Week 39: What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been

July 30, 2009

Has it been 39 weeks already? It seems like only 153. I thought we’d step in the wayback machine and review the little nipper’s growth since November, as measured in visible belly girth.

Week 19
I was initially reluctant to take these photos. Hence, the running-from-the- camera blur. The good thing about the blur though is that it gives a good approximation of the nauseating haze one is in for the first 18 weeks of a pregnancy.

Week 23
One too many Frappuccinos or pregnant? You make the call, passersby.

Week 27
A BumpWatch! favorite.

Week 28
At our friends’ nuptials in Florida, my husband begins a tradition of pointing to the bump to announce its presence. Or as I call it, gilding the chunky little lily.

Week 31
In retrospect, the wheels were coming off the good judgment trolley at this point.

Week 33
Back to being fully covered, I figured I’d stand in front of my prim and proper collection of Nana-inherited china to try to class things up a bit after the Week 31 YouTube debacle.

Week 38
Just last week. But in that week the baby added an inch to my stomach assuring that I would lose no rights to my J-appointed nickname, Preggers von Tummyington.

And here we are at Week 39, post- this morning’s walk.IMG_1378
Dog: “Am I the only one who notices that she’s gotten reeeeally heavy since November for some reason? I mean, is anyone going to say anything to her?”

Hopefully this will be the last BumpWatch for this wacky gestational journey. I’d prefer the next photo be “BabyWatch!: Week 1.”

Mommies and Me

July 30, 2009

BabyCupcakeHistorically, my luck with social gatherings of unfamiliar females has not been good. Example: when I moved to West Palm Beach I connected with my sorority’s alumnae chapter there hoping to meet some friendly beach buddies. My first (and last) outing with them was a brunch where, upon learning I was an education reporter, one of them informed me, “the problem with the schools here is that the blacks don’t care about anything but sports and band,” while the others nodded their assent as they sipped their mimosas.

After a couple decades of similar disappointments, I approach such gatherings with trepidation now. But a few nights ago I steeled myself and headed to a post-work gathering of expectant D.C. moms. Add in that the D.C. Urban Moms listserv, from whence this group sprang, is populated with more than its share of Snippy Sallies and you realize how additionally fraught with peril this outing was. But there were too many lures to resist, namely, the opportunity to swap information with women in my same delicate condition and cupcakes. (Note to organizers: you could hold a Young Prospective Scientologists meeting at Hello Cupcake and I’d likely attend.)

After a few minutes of conversation and a few bites of my “You Tart!” lemon selection it became apparent that my streak was snapped. The other ladies all seemed lovely, intelligent, similarly nervous and excited, and nobody was being foofy about chowing on their cupcakes. Highlights included hearing about the mother of one of the attendees taking the attendee’s sonogram to a sonographer to have him tell her if it was a boy or a girl after the couple opted not to share the gender. Also, the chick whose husband issued an emphatic warning before she left for the meet-up that she should be careful because there might be guys lurking who just troll around for pregnant women gatherings. There was laughter, there were business cards exchanged, there was genuine well wishing.

All in all, a successful gathering. Even without the cupcake.

BumpWatch!: Week 38

July 24, 2009


This could be the one. The last Baby Bird Bump Watch that is. It all depends if she’s more like her mum, in which case she will arrive either early or promptly at 12:01 a.m. on her Aug. 6 due date. If she is like her father she will, roughly one week after her due date, toss aside her 2009 Dave Campbell’s Texas Football preview issue, give a half-hearted “eh, why not,” shrug her little shoulders and mosey into our lives.

Feel free to put your arrival date guesses in the comments. I’ll gin up some sort of prize for whoever’s closest.

This is What Two Weeks Left Feels Like

July 23, 2009


That is all.

May The Force Be With You…Or You’re Totally Screwed in the Teen Years

July 21, 2009

I was ushered into a room I’ve never been in before at the baby doctor office today. One of the doctors is quite the Star Wars fan and has loaded this small room with paraphernalia from the Lucas movies, including the prominent display on the wall directly across from the table of this Star Wars: Episode I poster.


I don’t ask for much when it comes to decor in a treatment room. Maybe a van Gogh “Starry Night” print or a pharmaceutical calendar. Heck, I’d even take one of those nauseating Anne Geddes baby-as-mung bean photographs.

What I’d love not to see is a relentlessly creepy image depicting the potential for unmitigated, throat-crushing future evil within a child raised improperly. ‘Cuz that’s totally what this poster is about. Is this the doctor’s sly way of warning us that we better not slack on bedtimes or our kid is going to end up building a Death Star? One too many cookies and suddenly she’s devoting her days to destroying the Rebel Alliance?

Why not just get right to the point and hang this up?:stewievader

The first time my daughter sasses me by saying “Don’t fail me again, Mother,” I’m marching her right back to the doctor and demanding an explanation.

Good to Know

July 21, 2009

It’s 2:15 a.m. I can now report that you can be awoken by heartburn. Glad I can cross this off my bucket list.

If You Encourage It To Get Knocked Up, They Will Come

July 17, 2009

bellies and baseball 2It’s only Friday which means you have plenty of time to hit the Jersey Turnpike and make it to Sunday’s “Bellies & Baseball” event at the Brooklyn Cyclones stadium. Yes, from the ad wizards who brought you the New York Mets comes this event featuring:

* Barefoot & Pregnant:
Expectant moms can run (or, more likely, walk) the bases with no shoes on before the game
* Craving Station: A table on the Concourse level will offer pickles, ice cream, anchovy pizza, etc. for pregnant women who crave more than the usual ballpark fare
* Water Break: Two expectant fathers will try to complete a race with water balloons attached to their bodies. The winner is the one who lasts the longest or finishes the race without his water breaking
* 7th Inning Stretch Marks: Pregnant women will be allowed onto the field in the 7th inning to sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame
* Lamaze on the Lawn: The Cyclones will offer a Pre-game Lamaze class on the grass in centerfield
* Special Delivery: Any woman who gives birth at the ballpark before the end of the game gets free Cyclones Season Tickets for life for each member of her new family
* Naming Rights: Any expectant mother who agrees to name her child “Brooklyn” or “Cy” gets free Season Tickets for life
* Pregnancy Pitch: Any woman in her third trimester gets to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the game
* Trimester Tricycles: Bike race between expectant fathers between innings

From Cyclones General Manager Steve Cohen, courtesy of the team’s website: “Families are at the heart of our fan base and we’re proud to welcome new families or new members to the family with a night of Brooklyn baseball in their honor.” Ideally, Cohen would like to see a generation of Brooklyn babies who literally grow up with the Cyclones. “Wouldn’t it be great if two people met at a Cyclones game, later gave birth to a child at Bellies & Baseball, and then brought their new family to Baby’s First Ballgame (on August 16th)?” he asked. Cohen also explained that the timing of the announcement gives fans ample opportunity to prepare. “If you want to be involved in Bellies & Baseball but you’re not pregnant yet, there’s still time!”

Awesome. I, too, wholeheartedly endorse a child “literally” growing up with the Cyclones, living amongst them in the clubhouse like Mowgli in The Jungle Book, except this time the bare necessities include anabolic steroids and Gatorade. And who can argue with a couple deciding during the past week to create another human life so as to be able to participate in something called the Seventh Inning Stretch Mark? Finally, the Cyclones might want to tighten up the disclaimer language on that Naming Rights thing, or else they’re going to be shelling out season tickets for life to these folks:


[Thanks to old friend and blogger Raising Two Americans for the tip.]

What The Calmest Man in Texas Can Teach Us About Parenting

July 15, 2009


Now that the baby’s arrival could occur at any minute—at the movies, at work, in church (baptism on site–so convenient!)—my husband and I have been chatting with increased frequency about what kind of parents we’ll be, how we’ll handle the bumps in the road, and so forth. We’ve been reading the books, watching the DVDs, etc. But nothing will likely be more instructive than the advice imparted by the father of my husband’s boyhood friend one hot day in McAllen, Texas, in the late 1970s.

Yes, on that day, my husband and his buddies were piled into the back seat of a sedan driven by Mr. Spellmann. These boys of about 11 or 12 were no doubt jabbering about the relative strengths of Obi Wan v. Yoda in a fight when Mr. Spellmann turned onto the busy main drag in McAllen. While that normally wouldn’t catch the attention of his knobby-kneed, striped polyblend T-shirt-wearing passengers, it did on this day. Because Mr. Spellmann was driving the wrong way on the main drag. As they yelped and pointed and unintentionally swallowed their Dubble Bubble like cartoon characters, Mr. Spellmann calmly draped one arm over the back of the sedan’s bench seat and kept the other loosely resting on the wheel. He gave a quarter-turn toward the wide-eyed backseat passengers and said:

“Kids, the secret is not to panic.”

Now, Mr. Spellmann was no reckless hooligan. To the contrary. But when faced, accidentally, with adversity, he delivered a pronouncement of such calm, logical majesty that its legacy carried forth through the decades from its humble beginnings on that McAllen roadway. The utterance never propelled him to fame as a parenting guru with a series of books or a talk-show career, but certainly that is a gross injustice. One we will rectify in our own small way whenever our baby hits an octave of wail or contorts her face into a scrunch of irate annoyance the cause of which we cannot determine. One of us will turn to the other and say, “Kids, the secret is not to panic.”