Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

On my own

This spring, I didn't just return back to work after my truncated maternity leave: I went on business trip after business trip after business trip.  Spring is always our busy season for travel and this year was no different.  All told, I was gone three weeks out of six, and the first trip was during the time when La Principessa still wasn't sleeping through the night. 

This is a long-winded way of saying that the Texan is on a week-long visit to his friend in SA as a thank-you for dealing with the baby by himself for so long.  He left yesterday and I kid you not, less than one hour after he left, the power crews working outside accidentally knocked over the transformer on our block - oopsie! - and took out the power.  On a DC summer day, that's bad enough.* What had me panicking was that I knew there was something I supposed to do with the computers in the house when the power went off but I had no idea what, and the Texan was unreachable.  90 minutes of sweating later**, the power came back on and all the computers powered up nicely. Except for one: the one that we use for our TV and movie viewing.  I tried not to freak out but goddammit, I had saved up a lot of stuff to watch while the Texan was gone and if I had to spend a week alone here WITHOUT a TV, I was going to be pissed.  Fortunately, the Texan was able to log on from his friend's house in SA and fix whatever was ailing the TV computer.  Hooray!

* When I realized what had happened, I went outside to go ask the crew when they thought it would be fixed. To their credit, they were going up and down the street, knocking on doors to tell people what had happened. I told the guy that I had a baby in the house and I needed to make sure her formula kept cold. He heard "baby," paled, and got his supervisor over to apologize to me and assure me that it would be an hour, hour and a half, tops.  I have no problem with using this baby as an excuse for wanting my A/C back on. 

** One good thing about the baby's sleep habits is that she loves to sleep in her crib now.  You laugh, but the first month or so that she was at home, she slept mostly in her car seat and would not stay in her crib without wailing.  The bad thing is that now she insists on going to her crib for naps, and her room is hot even with the A/C on. I was so worried about her over-heating that I grabbed a book and sat in her room, sweltering along with her, to make sure that she would be okay. She was.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I finally bought a new pair of work shoes last weekend. I'm super-happy with them so far, as they appear to be the perfect nude heel.  So I was looking them up on the interwebs to send a link to a friend who I thought also might like them, and I noticed that they had a lot of positive reviews.

Turns out that this shoe is the favorite of men who wear heels.  There were many, many reviews by men who praised their comfort and style.  I guess that means that these shoes are drag queen approved? 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Save your drama for your mama

So last night, The Texan and I had just started a movie*.  It was a nice night, so we had the front door and the windows open to enjoy the breeze, and for some reason I'm still not sure of, we had the front porch light on.  Suddenly, we heard a woman's raspy voice shouting through the front door, "Can I please use your phone? I've been jumped!" I ran over there and there was a woman gasping for air, holding her shoes, jacket arm ripped. She didn't want us to call the cops - in fact, she was insistent that we not do that - but said she just had her van stolen and she needed to call someone to come pick her up. 

Now, it's late at night and there's a woman in distress pleading for help. What are you going to do? We invited her in and let her use my phone.  Our dog, Che, kept barking at her. I almost asked The Texan to put him in the yard but then figured that Che, who frightens most of our neighbors, might not be a bad thing to keep nearby. 

The woman asked for water and was hysterical. She kept sobbing that her friend had stolen her van and it had everything in there: her purse, wallet, phone, smokes, glasses, etc.  It sounded weird that a friend would steal your van - carjackers typically don't know their victims - but you never know. 

She was very polite and kept thanking us, even when she start puking (and thank god she ran outside to do that over the porch).  It took 45 minutes for her daughter to come get her.  We didn't really talk - she was far too upset to do that - but over the course of her repeated phone calls to various people, what I think was her real story came out. She mentioned at one point that she'd had a restraining order put against her and she wasn't allowed within 20 feet of a house just down the street from us (this is the house whose residents often have loud screaming matches out front and then when the cops show up, yell at them to show respect and that they've got their badge numbers). 

What I think happened, based on other details she said to us, was that she and a friend had been outside her ex-boyfriend's house. His current girlfriend and her friends started mixing it up with them, at which point the cops were called. Her friend took off in her van and she ran to avoid the cops. 

Her daughter eventually came and she sobbed one last thank you to us and left. 

We have all had bad nights, and I hope that this woman's got better when she left.  But I have to say that The Texan and I were talking that despite all the tumult in our lives going on right now, we are both so glad not to have that sort of drama going on. 

This is a very long-winded way of saying that today is The Texan's and my 9th anniversary.  Almost a decade!  We've had our ups and downs but overall, can't complain. :)

*11:30pm.  Yeah, that's right - living it up!  Of course, knowing that no matter what time you go to bed, your baby is going to wake up around 7am and want to eat does make you think through doing this verrry carefully.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Reflections on Mother's Day

Yesterday was kind of a weird day for me.  It was my first as a mother, and that part of it was wonderful. The Texan put out a card in the baby's room, since he said he knew that would be the first place I would go in the morning, and La Principessa did her part by working on taking steps and generally being adorable. (Less adorable: how she managed to, uh, expel up the front of her diapers, necessitating a bath and general all-over bleaching of the clothes she had on.  I'm still not sure of the physics behind that.)

But it was also the first without my mom.  She died when I was four months pregnant and it breaks my heart that she never got to meet her first granddaughter.  At the end, her dementia was getting pretty bad, but one of the last really coherent conversations we had was when I told her I was pregnant, so she definitely knew and was thrilled. Later, even when her grasp on everything else was pretty loose, she still would remember to ask me how I was feeling and if I was listening to my doctor. 

Yet her knowing about the baby and getting to meet the baby are two different things.  When I was growing up, no accomplishment was complete until my mom knew about it.  I wish I could show her the baby - she would just adore her.  But I can't, and I never will be able to.  I just have to accept that. 

In the meantime, La Principessa has gotten to meet the rest of my family and our "urban family" of friends here in DC.  They have all been wonderfully supportive and we are lucky to have them. I keep reminding myself of that.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Capped and gowned

Well, he will be soon.  The Texan will be walking down the aisle (wait, wrong metaphor?) for his college degree tomorrow.  His soon-to-be-alma mater being UDC, they are having an intimate ceremony for their grads at the Washington Convention Center.  I am very proud of him and am bringing along La Principessa for the convocation ceremony, not because she'll remember it - at five and a half months, I am pretty sure this will all just go over her head - but because I want her to be part of the memories of the day.  And that way I can be that horrible mother who brought a child to an event that they clearly are too young for. In my defense, I am planning on sitting near an exit and have plenty of food and pacifiers ready in case she decides to start vocalizing mid-ceremony.  But either way, can't wait to see the Texan in his cap and gown!  And then afterwards, because the ceremony is first thing in the morning, there is brunch and mimosas.  A celebration all the way around!

Sunday, May 05, 2013


So the Texan and I have learned that if the baby is miserable, EVERYONE is miserable. La Principessa has had a cold/allergies/who knows what.  I feel kind of guilty about the cold because I think I was the one who brought it to her (I flew last week and was feeling crappy a day or so after I landed and then had a small cold myself when I got back).  Fun fact: babies breathe through their noses, so if their noses are stuffed up, they are unhappy campers. We have had a week of waterboarding the baby (ie, rinsing her nasal passages out), suctioning out what is loosened up, and taking her into the bathroom for a nice steam.  Also frantically including googling to see if dear god there is ANYTHING we can give her.  (Short version: not for a five month old!)

I am knocking wood as I type this, but it *appears* that the baby is on the road to recovery.  The Texan has been sick too and he also seems to be feeling better.  Those two Scorpios really do feed off each other.