Friday, April 30, 2010

Biscuit in a basket

Slings (and HGTV) are a mama's best friend.

Talking to a volleyball

So Clay's back in SF for a couple days, overseeing the big move. I'm eternally grateful that he's handling all that junky bi'ness and I'm cozy on a couch. However. It means I'm alone, hanging with a (super delicious albeit) completely speechless baldie in a new city. It's a wee bit...lonely?

I'm actually pretty good at hanging out solo -- I'm one of those strange outgoing introverts -- so things could be worse. But it's definitely time to start the making-new-friends process. I had Clay print me out a mommy group application and I'm all set to fill it out. However. There are somehow NO PENS to be found? Anywhere? Just a busted mechanical pencil? I'm thisclose to pricking my finger and using the blood. Cuz hey! I still have my diabetes kit!

Name: Amy Cowan
Child's name: Harper Cowan
Hobbies: SUcKInG YeR BLoODz

I'm in!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

So I made it to Target

And it was all I hoped it would be.

I even found a blue-and-white-striped shirt to replace my old blue-and-white-striped shirt that doesn't fit my nursing bod anymore. (I now wear stretched-out v-necks 98% of the time, so this is particularly thrilling.)

While I ran around grabbing shiny things off shelves, Harps snuggled into her sling and was a total saint for her mama. I think she got scared after my garage breakdown yesterday.

"Target must be really important. I shall behave."

I'd been feeling a little guilty about her lack of toys. We read lots of lovely books and talk all the time and sing and there was the caterpillar of course, but toys? Meh. So today I grabbed her a fancy playmat thing, with lots of baubles and dangles and jingles. And I also got her a Bumbo, one of those weird foamy chairs for wee ones. Perhaps this isn't a...toy. But it's sumpin different and fun for the Biscuit to work with. And it makes me squeal with happies.

It's sad

How much a trip to Target can mean.

People! Pretty things! People!

I was desperate to go yesterday. Made a list, straightened my hair (?????), and put the Biscuit in a girly outfit. Headed down to the parking garage, put her car seat in the back row, and began the tricky process of buckling in the seat, sans base.

(If you don't have babies, don't even worry about what this means.) (Just know it's hard for spatially challenged fruitcakes like myself.)

And I couldn't get it to work. And Biscuit was screaming. And my hair was getting clingy and weird.

I started frantically YouTubing How To videos on my phone. Which felt really weird and futuristic - and also completely unhelpful. I texted Clay for help - but realized a talk-thru on the phone wasn't gonna cut it and would probably end in marital counseling.

So I picked up Harper and I walked around the garage and we cried together.

"Looks like we won't be seeing other people today, Harps."

She shrugged. I think.

Then I put her in the stroller, pushed it outside into the Colorado sun, and got over it. Cuz that's what mamas do.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

At the park on a sunny day

-- Post From My iPhone

Wireless no worky

So it's iPhone only today. Quick summary?

Sunday was...interesting. Whole new world this doing-already-stressful-things with a baby in tow. Lots of manic laundry and packing and hand wringing followed by airport nonsense and pacing the airplane aisles to keep Harps happy.

I honestly didn't have the time or brain space to get sad about leaving; I'm sure it'll hit me at a totally inappropriate time, like the first meeting of my mom group.

"Nice to meet you, t --"

*sob sob sob*

Finally arrived Sunday evening. Pouring rain, chilly air -- Harps looked horrified. Welcome to real weather, honeycomb! But our pad (temporary corporate housing) is kick ass. Makes such a difference to land somewhere new and be staying somewhere pimped out and cozy. Yes please.

Yesterday the Biscotti and I laid real low. Had a touch of altitude sickness and wanted her to get settled. But today? Today we conquer Denver.

Whole Foods! Walk in the park! A baseball game tonight! Probably a huge dipe explosion! Stay tuned.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, April 26, 2010

Clearly upset by the move

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Some San Francisco memories on our last night

Looking at this crazy view from our living room fort

Foggy evenings on Fillmore

The tea party at Ghiradelli Square with Meredyth and Christie

Hilly walks home from work with Mary Claire

Sitting, looking out the window on Broadway, trying to hear the tour busses

Reading and writing upstairs at La Boulange with chai

Spicy hot chocolates on cold summer nights at Bittersweet Cafe

My Crissy Field constitutionals

Up and down the hills on our Vespa

My baby shower/tea party at Lovejoy

Visiting all the Presidio cafes with mom before Harps was born

Chinese food and Idol Tuesdays with Manj

Billy the Doorman and all his complete awesomeness

The 555 California view

Swimming at the Y with my huge belly in my undies

Learning to snowboard in Tahoe together

The Saga of the Flickering Lights across from the old place

Rollerskating for Steve's birthday in Redwood City

Poke bowls with chopsticks

Zipping down the 101 in our GTI to pick up Clay from the airport on Thursdays

6th floor shenanigans at Goodby

Live scallops from Zushi Puzz

That pretzel/sausage sammy Manj and I discovered in Tahoe

My City College classes. Wow.

Our honeymoon: San Francisco up the coast to Vancouver

Picking out a mini Christmas tree together while it drizzled cold

Pumpkin picking in Half Moon Bay

Cozy bookclub evenings with my ladies

Delancey Street Cafe reuben lunches with the Ubs peeps

Walking around (and around and around) Lafayette Park with Harps in her sling

Dogsitting Kylie and Danni while eating 3 different kinds of Ben and Jerrys and mini apple pies

Baking Amy Sedaris's ginger snaps at our first lil apartment

Horseback riding with the boys

Watching Twin Peaks on our fuzzy brown couch
Our mini babymoon to Carmel

Strolling the Farmer's Market on Saturdays for dried lavender and olive bread

The insanely yummy smell of Method's stock closet

The #12 bus

Egg salad and lemonade lunch breaks in SOMA's South Park

Hours of Jordan, Jesse, Go! archives at my work desk

The smell of eucalyptus everywhere

Thursday, April 22, 2010


If you didn't think Harps fusses?

You'd be wrong.

In other subjects, lately I've been feeling awkward around friends-who-don't-have-babies-yet. I feel a bit like a zoo animal. What does this caged hobo do all day? How is she looking? Is she living-the-life-she-always-wanted? Will she eat hay? (Sure.)

It's nothing they're doing, I know it's in my head. But sometimes when I'm around non-moms I feel frumpy and sort of...other. Like I hopped over an invisible fence and they're on the other side wearing skinny jeans and perfume and we're maybe also speaking different languages. Theirs being something cool, mine being Latin.

I know I'll get comfier in my new skin and my friends will get used to me being a mom and the planets will align again, just in slightly different positions. But for now, I'll be over here -- using my still-kinda-squishy bod to feed a small person, wearing the sweats and the glasses and the baby, probably smelling a little like hay.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Birth control for the younger crowd

Last week, Biscuit wouldn't nap. At all. I held her, I pushed her in the stroller, I rocked her in the swing, I cradled her in the sling. Nothing. Her red demon eyes only shone brighter. To force her into it, I drove the 45 minutes down south to my buddy Lou's house. I wasn't even sure she was around, but I desperately needed adult contact and a long car ride to put Harps to zzzzz.

Luckily she was there (with delicious baby in tow). We had a lovely visit, I regained some semblance of my sanity, and we hit the road after a couple hours.

I'm feeling totally smug that we've made it off the freeway and onto the city streets without any major car jams or small person meltdowns. But ten minutes away from home, cruising along a line of uncooperative traffic lights, Harps started wailing. Not fussing, not crying. Wailing. Red faced, fists clenched, choking on her sobs, break-your-heart-in-half wailing.

There was no way I could make it home, so I pulled off the Embarcadero, onto a wind-y side street. I found an illegal spot, nestled between another car and a fire hydrant, and parked. Hazards flashing, I jumped out of the car and scooped up the Biscuit. Within seconds, I smelled the problem. Serious, serious bum leakage.

So there I was: Target sweats, illegally parked, middle of the city, wailing, poop-smeared baby in hand.

Deep breath, deep breath.

I spot a patch of grass nearby. Score!

Juggling Harps and her diaper bag (which I'd come thisclose to not bringing along) I make it to the grass, lay down the portable diaper changey thing (thank you, Manj!!!) and strip her down. The diaper is 109% filled with liquid, mustardy, noxious junk. Leaking down her legs, up her back, all over my hands. She's naked (in 50 degree weather) and screaming and kicking as a large group of female joggers pass us by.

"Hi!" I say, waving a yellowed hand.

They run faster.

Somehow I wipe most of the offending smell away and bundle everything bad into a little package. Harps is quickly into a new dipe and her poop-stained onesie is buttoned back up. I strap her back down into the car seat and speed off toward home.

Only she's back to screaming again.

I'm literally 7 minutes from home, but I don't think we can make it.

At this point, we're cruising down Broadway -- our former street-o'-residence, but also, in parts, where the nakie girls like to dance in shiny-signed clubs. This is where I pulled over. And whipped out my boob. And fed her. In daylight, in my car, no nursing cover. But she finally calmed down. Cuz here's the thing. Mine not be what the passerby are used to, but they'll do. They'll do just fine.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Holy s&*t I'm tired. Not a particularly tough day -- we even got a solid morning nap in! -- but it's the first day in a long while I haven't had an extra pair of hands around to help. See, Clay started his job this week -- so the ladies are winging it solo thru Thursday. I shouldn't even make a peep though, because if he hadn't quit the old job? This would have been our life every week. *choke*

It's our last week in SF and I'm in good spirits. Not that I won't miss some very specific people very much, but dunno -- I'm ready. As much as I talked a big game about 850 square feet being just fine for two big people and one little person, thankyouverymuch -- it's kinda not. At least when you don't have any outdoor space for spillage and there's only one main living space that we use for...everything. Tight quarters on a few hours sleep makes me psycho flustered.

In other news, I can't wa-ait to drop these last 5 or 6 pounds. Because I won't spend any cash on new duds until I'm there. I'm getting by with some baggy maternity clothes and weird inbetweeny  hobo-who-nurses outfits, so I'm desperate for some lovely items. Perhaps not "lovely", since everything I wear is covered in milk/poo/spitup within seconds, but maybe just flattering and cute? Mmmkah?

Speaking of which, check this shirt out. Clay's friend gifted it to Harps and I pretty much fainted at the sweetness of it all. Yes, that's a pink guitar that says her name inside. Hello.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Harps' best friend

Mom and I put this sucker up a week or so before I had the Harps. She didn't give a s&*t about it until a couple weeks ago, when cupid's arrow struck. Now? We can't drag her away.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Is there a fast forward button

For the next few weeks? I sort of don't want to live through them.

(Very, very, very) luckily, Clay's new job is paying for our move. Which means we'll have strangers packing up all our stuff. If this weren't happening, I'd...jump in the bay. I have a lot less to do than in a regular move, but I still have a ton to do. And it's not like before, when I'd be busy and tired and overwhelmed, but could be crabby or mopey and collapse when it was all over.

Now I have to ty and remain cheerful and calm for my Harps, keep it steady and stable so the move doesn't throw her for a total loop. This staying happy and wholesome all day long is probably the most challenging part of motherhood for me. Sometimes I just want to yell. Loud. Or hide under the covers for an hour or two and sob it out. (And then stay under for a few days' sleep.)

But now I've got a little girl I love so huge and I want to keep her daily life as peaceful as possible. So I find other ways to let out the frustration (cookie binges long walks) and remind myself how one day all this moving stress will be behind us and I'll miss those squishy two-month cheeks.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


We're moving.

To Colorado.

Denver, if you want to get all specific and stuff.

Today was Clay's last day at the old job. Monday is his first day at the new. A whole two days he gets off! Slacker.

I'm sad to leave behind good friends, an insanely beautiful city, and a chapter of my life where some amazing things happened. But I'm really excited to: have our main man at home, try something new, snag a bigger pad without paying two arms and two legs, enjoy all four seasons again, maybe buy a truck?

Pretty sure we're clinically insane for attempting such a big move in such a short time with such a small baby. But we're doing it! I've got a couple weeks left in town to wrap up loose ends, say goodbye to pals, and visit the mystery bookstore. Then we hop on a plane (psssh ain't no thang - we're pros!) and shack up in corporate housing till we find home sweet home.

Anyone in the mood to ski? Accepting visitor applications!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cheeks from above


Harper does not want me to eat. Harper wants me to weigh 30 pounds. Harper thinks only Harper should eat.

So creative eating solutions abound.

(I may or may not have found little pieces of ground turkey in her diaper.)

(Also. I'm scared that you can tell, even in a grainy iPhone vid, how beat up I look. Oh, to get 6-hours-a-night again.)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

WNBA perhaps?

Compared to Grandad I might be sorta small still...

So today was Ms. Junebug's 2 month appointment. Can't say I was looking forward to it (needles in my baby's thighs!), but I was interested to see how big she'd gotten. I felt like she was large and in charge (my back and arms - her personal transport system - have been killing me lately), but it's hard to judge changes when you see someone everyday all day. Plus, mamas aren't exactly unbiased.

But yeah. I wasn't wrong.

The Little Tank That Could is 13 lbs 1 oz and 24 inches long. That's two feet, people. Even the doctor was all woh! The man actually put a gold star sticker on her growth chart with instructions to hang it on the fridge. I blushed. Yes, I'm five.

That puts our future Jolly Green Giant in the 96th percentile for both height and weight. Holy nuts! Sorry for the braggy pants, but so much of my energy goes to feeding that fiend; I can't help myself.

Okay, okay. Moving on, moving on.

The shots sucked of course. (Except that they didn't, really. Because I'm pro-vaccine! Blah blah soapbox blah!) But Dr. McSteamy gave her some yummy sugar water first (her face was all: THERE ARE OTHER FLAVORZ IN THIS WORLD WHA?!) and got them all done super quick. Harps screamed bloody murder, but calmed down once I could hold her for a bit.

Since getting home it's been another fussy day, but she's hanging in. (By a thread.) (As am I.)

Note to self: Traveling across time zones with a baby followed by stabbing baby's thighs with needles = BABY NO HAPPY PANTS.

But good God, she's freaking cute.

Thumb bum

Me: "Buddy! Quick! I can't look down without moving her; is she sucking her thumb right now?! No more pacifiers?!"

Clay: "Ah! Yes! Don't move!"

Me: *stands frozen and helpless*

Clay: *snaps a million photos*

Harper: *removes thumb; never puts it back in again*

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


It's common to meet the Biscuit and think she has eyes like mine. (Blue.)

Because she does right now. (Have blue eyes, that is.)

But I'm pretty sure they're not going to stay that way. Because some days they're gray. Other days a murky...non-color? And still others I can spot a little glimmer of Clay's color. (Green-y brown.)

For the baby mamas and papas out there: When did your peanut's eye color turn its real shade?

Monday, April 05, 2010

Two months

Our best girl is two months old today.


Apologies for her somber expression. It's been a rough day around here and that's about as happy as she got.

(Piglet for size reference.)

(And now I'm going to try and get my little angel pop to sleep. A word she's forgotten the meaning of.)

This was much of our trip

1. Country tunes. These were live at a gas station. Awesome.
2. Backward snoozing.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Oh, HI

Turns out, our sweet little baby -- who usually only cries a few minutes each day -- is VERY MAD AT US for taking her on a big trip. It's not that she wasn't good -- no, great -- while we traveled. She was a total champ on both plane rides, barely made a peep during the many, many car rides we took, and cuted it up for all her relatives.


Bedtime brought massive tears and screams. Like, you hauled my ass all over the world, I put on a good face for all those strangers but NO MORE, evil parents! Once she got her ya-ya's out, she'd sleep great. But then demon screams would reappear at the next bedtime. And now that we're home, she is completely over it. Like, if I fall asleep, I may wake up in another home or state or country. So I will NOT FALL ASLEEP. Or STOP CRYING.

(I admit she finally fell asleep. Four hours into trying. I'm frantically bouncing her with my foot as I type.)

And while I'm tired and cranky and feeling frustrated, I mostly feel guilty and my heart's a little crumbly because...we did this to her. Our sweet little scone is crabby solely because we pushed it too far. Parenting fail 101!

This isn't to say that Texas wasn't a good time. We got to see a lot of people we haven't seen in a long time, ate some really great food (barbecue! Sonic! real biscuits! sweet tea! catfish! cupcakes! I gained 300 lbs!), enjoyed the insanely beautiful spring weather, and bonded our little family of three even more.

But I just want my buttery biscuit back to normal. Sigh.

Friday, April 02, 2010


Mugging in Texas. Catfish, sweet tea, and lotsa trucks. XO

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Deep in the heart

People! We made it! Alive!

Typing on my fone so I'll keep it brief, but Harps truly did GREAT. She even rocked the new sleep arrangement last night! I'm one proud mama.

We're off to Location Two today, deeper into the wilds. Our little city girl won't know what hit her!

(Snoozin on the plane!)