"Our most ancient metaphor says life is a journey. Memoir is travel writing, then, notes taken along the way, telling how things looked and what thoughts occurred. . . .This is the traveler who goes on foot, living the journey, taking on mountains, enduring deserts, marveling at the lush green places...as a pilgrim, seeking, wondering." -Patricia Hampl

October 25, 2010

Leisure Suits

I'm no fashionista, but I love clothes--more, I love the design of clothes.  I've been nuts for Anthropologie since my Boston days (when no one back home knew what the store was) for its nod to kooky patterns, colors, and lines, have watched Project Runway since its inception, and try to follow the fashion mags advice and seasonally clean out or rotate whatever's in my closet

But let's be real, here: I have not bought a pair of good sweatpants since graduate school, when my days of sitting at a computer to punch out a Master's Thesis were long and cold (read: New England in wintertime), and my days for studying for its defense were fraught with couch-hopping, tea and notebooks and books and pencils in hand.  Those grey sweatpants were a $10 find (in 1996) from an Old Navy outlet in Maine, stayed with me through the aforementioned end of my graduate work, then through a ten-year residence in Boston, and met their demise (finally) during my latest pregnancy, when I could not even stand to look at their frayed, worn cuffs any longer.  Out they went, along with the other casualties of my nesting instincts, into the trash, gone forever.

Bad move. 

I'd forgotten how the weeks and months following a delivery are those when all you really want is something that fits around you without cutting into what I like to call "limbo flesh."  Your lovely prego belly is now {*poof*} deflated extra stuff you're carrying around like last year's Prada bags.  (Not that I own any Prada.)  And you just can't get rid of it yet.  And at night, when I'd be sporting those ol' grey sweats, I've had to resort to pajama bottoms that are worn so thin that a small hole is starting to fray on the left thigh and the drawstrings are stretched so that even tying double bows still leaves about a yard worth of material to tuck in.

During the day, I've had to accommodate my limbo flesh in what a friend of mine calls "big girl pants."  My big-girl pants at the moment are two in number: yoga pants and maternity jeans. 

The psychological affects of wearing one's maternity clothes several weeks post-delivery ought to be a federally-funded study.  Most women logically know that we won't fit into our "old clothes" straight out of the gate, but secretly hope that the limbo flesh magically melts away one night after we've indulged in, okay, let's face it, the cupcakes your mom left for your other kid (the one with teeth); we'll wake up after the final nursing of the night, having fed an infant maybe four times in the past seven hours, somehow rationalizing that all that cupcake calorie-energy must have gone into the milk supply, and that's why your infant is getting exponentially bigger by the day.  Um, right?

Now I'm at the point where my maternity jeans are too loose (and must be held up with an elastic backbrace that doubles as a secret-agent tummy-sucker-inner) and I'm about to wear a hole through the sitz parts, and my big girl "old clothes" jeans are a tetch too tight, just enough to make me irritable when I bend or sit, which is mostly what I do around here.  And my yoga pants?  Heath channeled his inner mother when he quipped, last week, that they could walk around by themselves.  I'd love to see what men would resort to wearing if the shapes of their bodies--namely their stomachs and breasts-- changed drastically over the course of a year.   I'd bet money that someone would invent a onesie that felt like boxer shorts or the Snuggie, but with parts that snap open and closed for breastfeeding and peeing.  I'm just sayin'.  Don't get me wrong--I don't mind hangin' out in the elastic wear.  But I'm a sucker for a well-crafted pair of bootleg trousers (I did not say slacks--there are no slacks in my closet), and sometimes, a gal would rather hit the town in something that buttons down.

Heath mercifully brought home a new pair of cotton pajamas and cozy pair of sweatpants for me the other night.  The gesture said, yeah, babe, I know you're not feeling too sexy right now, so wear this until you can squeeze back into the silky stuff again.  I love my husband for so many things, and this too.  It was an act of kindness like no other.  We're at the six-week postpartum mark now, when you're officially (usually) granted the green light for resuming all kinds of physical activities, so I'm going to make those sweatpants as sexy as I can.  Perhaps I'll have to do the dance of the seven veils in them, but I'll try, dammit.  And I'll try my best to resume the kinds of physical activities (like walking) that helps shed the limbo flesh too.  Until then, it's a stretchy fabric for me.

October 17, 2010

Introducing Sol

Yes, it's a little late in coming, but I wanted to introduce you to the newest member of our family, and a part of the reason why I haven't been and probably won't be blogging very often of late.  Holy hell, two kids under two is hard.  But this ambler of the Open Road is happier than a pig in poop, and is happily (sometimes) covered with it, not to mention the spit up, pee, and other unmentionables that make me want to shower several times a day.

Solomon Liev arrived over a month ago, and I'm just getting my sea legs on what he needs to be a happy camper: one kid hated being swaddled, one kid loves it; one kid slept marvelously in the car, the other seems to regard the car as a tempest-tossed seacraft.  I'm still in my p.j.'s sometimes at 9 (okay, 10) a.m., and have the highest hopes to do things like get groceries when sometimes by 9 (or 10) it appears that's not happening anytime soon, and we'll all have to forage in the pantry for food tonight.  What I love, though, are those quiet moments when everyone's asleep but me, and I can stare at a little mouth and gently kiss it, and get a little, tired smile from it.  Ahh. 

So: more about Sol.  Well, we call him Sol or Solly, Solly-G or Little Guy, and Dev likes to refer to him as "brother" or "Baby Sol" (and it's pretty cute when she tries to wrap her little mouth around the "l" of his name, so sometimes it comes out like "baby sow").  Sometimes I call him Sonny, a pun on Sol (Spanish for sun) and a nod to that Paul Simon song.  Generally he's a good eater, and he's gained heaps of pounds between doc's appointments, which is encouraging enough to stave me from finding The Motherly Art of Breastfeeding again.  Most importantly, and what makes all the long nights and being pooped on worth it, are the tiny smiles I get during his waking time--responses to our voices and touches that tell us we're doing something right.  I guess I didn't expect to get smiles so early on, and I'm sure it's normal.  It reminds me that my job is more than growing a person (literally); we're building a relationship. 

More stories from the Open Road to come when we settle a little more into a routine.