Friday, September 28, 2007


Well I love that dirty water
Ohhhh - Boston you're my home

Congratulations to the 2007 American League East Champion Boston Red Sox.

Best non-FCC-offending quote so far:
"I was standing on this table here, watching that big-screen there..." (Jonathan Papelbon, when asked where he was when the division was won)

Best visual:
From the celebration within Fenway (lots of fans stayed), two players chasing down and dousing the bullpen cop with champagne. Said cop responded with a fist bump to the players.

Best thing about the celebration:
Seeing it leave the locker room and extend to the fans in the park. For example: Mike Lowell, beer in hand, skipping on down the line, high-fiving the fans. Well played, guys.

It's almost good enough for me to go wake up the girls and tell them about this momentous occasion. But, dude, I'm psyched, not stupid.


And now, back to work...there be October baseball to play, boys.

Dear Tessa: Month 7

Dear Tessa,

Almost two weeks ago, you turned seven months old. I know - I'm later than usual in writing your letter this month! In my defense, there aren't many spare minutes in the days lately, and an unfortunate percentage of those that should be spent sleeping are instead spent with you in the nursery. I'm just saying.

This month, your personality has come crashing through. You are a delightful, happy baby who smiles at everyone she meets. You leave a wake of delight and warm fuzzies. Your smile takes over your whole face, and those dimples - those dimples! Your newfound vocalizations enhance the smiles - we sing in harmony, which cracks you up. You're playing with consonants ("ah-da!") and long, drawn-out vowels, which cracks you up. You think most everything is funny, and you look like you're contemplating your deepest thoughts while gnawing on your toes. You've developed a bit of a royal wave that just slays its recipients. You're clearly imitating all the waves you see, and you love getting a reaction to it, so you keep it up, twisting an imaginary doorknob with your wee pudgy hand and your little wrist creases.

You passed your first weekend without both Daddy and me this month, and you were a real champ about it. I missed you like crazy and worried that you'd somehow forget all about me after a day or so. You had a wonderful time with Anna and your grandmother, but your huge grin is what greeted me when we got home, and it was all good. Daddy and I had a great time away, but don't ever think I was anything but thrilled to see you at the end of the weekend.

You have more teeth! For the longest time, you had just those two bottom center teeth. Then, suddenly, the two top teeth just outside of the center two appeared, giving you a bit of a vampire look. Don't get any ideas. These new teeth led us to toss more solid foods at you, including those airy little puffs that dissolve in your mouth. You love these. You get almost as many into your mouth as you sweep accidentally to the floor, but you clearly enjoy being able to grab something edible and shovel it in. Your culinary repertoire expands every few days, and you are becoming well-versed in fruits and veggies of the pureed variety. You are also still a strong nurser. And I do mean strong - you'll latch on and promptly arc your free arm out and around, slapping your little hand down on my breast in a gesture of complete ownership.

This appetite is good, as you are a stringbean. Long and lean (but pretty spot on the fiftieth percentile for growth), whereas your sister at this age was approximately as round as she was long. You're active, flailing about and reaching for things just out of your grasp, but I think the bottom line is that you're - hello - a different baby. This has had me convinced that you must need all those overnight feedings because you're littler. Ha! This is, of course, a cop-out, and we will start working on this soon. But I'd be lying if I said some part of my completely exhausted self didn't still enjoy rocking with you while you nurse in the wee hours. That part is being pummeled into submission by the part that would like a full night's sleep, please, so brace yourself for some changes, little one!

You've learned to sit on your own this month, and you can now reach for things and amuse yourself quite readily. Adding to your entertainment is your sister, who elates you. When she careens into your line of sight, you are elation personified, laughing and kicking and playing off of her every move. She in turn loves your laughter, and I've watched the two of you descend into fits of laughter together, each reacting to the other. My own sister - your Aunt Carolyn - and I had this reaction to each other very often as children. Who am I kidding? We still do, and I suspect we will always be able to set each other off as no-one else can. I know what your relationship with Anna can be, and I hope it's all of that and even more. I couldn't wish more love, or a stronger bond, for anyone than I do for the two of you.

I'm already losing your infancy. I can hardly believe that you were ever as tiny as the pictures that prove it. Every stage with you is more fun than the one before, but I still feel nostalgic for those earliest days. It's such a strange betwixt and between - stuck between wanting to keep you tiny as long as possible and eagerly anticipating the child you will become. It's bittersweet, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007


With apologies to REM:

Nightnursing deserves a quiet night
The moon and stars on the nursery wall, hung up years ago,
Left them turned off so it's not too bright
Every headlight reveals a room where you should sleep

Still, we're both awake

I forgot my shirt, but who needs it?

You are hungry tonight

Terrible, I know, but such are the things that wander through my mind when I've staggered into the nursery to pick up a hungry Tessa and feed her before her cries wake up Anna. (On an aside, it seems my older daughter could sleep through an Aerosmith concert in her bedroom for how little she stirs when Tessa wakes up overnight.)

We have just - knock wood - come out of a stretch of a few weeks during which Tessa woke up 3+ times per night. And not just little fussy repositionings but honest to goodness feed-me-now wakings. Tessa is a long and lean baby (75-90% on height and 25% on weight) and seems to be in a constant growth spurt these days. And teething. I am so sleep deprived that I suppose it's little wonder I'm starting to take great liberties with one of REM's masterpieces. Here's how it goes:

8:00pm - Tessa nurses and goes to her crib still awake, settling herself down with her paci and her lovey, a little (6x6 or so) square fuzzy blanket with a puppy dog head at one corner. She goes to sleep on her own after playing with her lovey for a few minutes and contemplating serious baby issues. I figure I can get done what I need to get done and be in bed by 9:30 tonight, for sure.

11:30pm - I crawl into bed.

11:45pm - I crawl out of bed, realizing I forgot to brush my teeth.

11:50pm - I crawl back into bed.

12:30am - Tessa hollers, and I go feed her. Diaper feels okay - don't rock that boat. Tessa dozes off nursing, and I put her back into her crib without incident.

12:50am - I crawl back into bed.

2:15am - Tessa fusses. I think perhaps this will pass.

2:20am - Tessa fusses more insistently. I think perhaps this will not pass.

2:25am - Tessa cries. I go feed her. She digs in as though she hasn't eaten in days, bringing her free hand around in an arc to slap it down on my breast in a gesture of impatient satisfaction and possession. She dozes off nursing. Her diaper might be wet, but I do not want to wake her up, so I deposit her carefully in the crib and tiptoe out of the room.

2:40am - I crawl back into bed.

4:00am - Tessa cries, no slow build this time. Her diaper is undoubtedly wet, but she is trying to turn herself upside down in order to latch on and eat more, so I sit in the rocker and nurse her first. After a solid nursing session, she is dozing again. (It never ceases to amaze me that my body will provide for Tessa so readily, no matter how recently she has nursed.) I put her on the changing table and attend to the diaper, which now weighs about as much as she does. She drowses awake and begins to play with me, cooing and looking for a response. Impossibly, I keep my face neutral through the diaper change, pick her up, and set her back into the crib with her paci and lovey. She rolls over and scoots her knees up to her chest, wiggling her butt.

4:15am - I crawl back into bed.

5:00am - The alarm goes off. I reset it for 15 minutes later.

5:15am - The alarm goes off again. I convince Mr. Asco to take the first shower so I can sleep just a few more minutes.

5:25am - Tessa wakes up, her internal clock set to our weekday schedule. I bring her into bed with me, and she has breakfast while I doze.

5:35am - I take a shower while Mr. Asco gets dressed and tends to Tessa.

By 6:25, we're out the door.

I am writing about this now because it is, temporarily, at least, over. I could not be more grateful for that, but I don't ever want to forget this. In 15 years, when the girls are out late on a Saturday night, I will be awake. I will be worried and maybe angry. I will be tired. But I will never again be this tired.