Monday, October 29, 2007

Keep Your Hands Off My Cave-Aged Cheese*

*With CIO Update!

Apparently I am so out of shape that it is a wonder I can even keep up with this blog. Where do I find the strength to unsnap the top of my laptop and tapity tap on the keys? And press the return button? And walk all the way to the kitchen and back for my nightly ice cream?

This is not random sarcasm. Tonight I put myself through the torture of a gym “fitness test,” otherwise known as personal trainer-hard-sell-a-go-go.

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, let me explain what goes on: You are weighed and measured and poked and prodded and then special calipers come out to measure folds of fat on various parts of your body. Not just any parts, the fattiest parts: Triceps and stomach and the front of your thighs. Your heart rate is taken and your blood pressure is measured and then you take a fitness test on a treadmill. All sorts of information is calculated and you walk away with a cute little brochure touting your failing status and an emergency appointment with a physical trainer, who will whip you into shape for the price of nominal price of $150 a session, twice a week for at least three months.

Now I am by no means ready to run a marathon or try out for the Olympics, but I’d like to think that I am in decent shape. Meaning I can jog to the store to buy ice cream, if I had to, and I might walk on the left of the escalator instead of standing to the right. But I walked (limped? crawled?) out of this appointment feeling like a wildly out-of-shape failure.

Let me count the ways this was awful:

According to this particular trainer, my goal weight should be 110. OK, let’s take this apart piece by piece: 1.) My current weight is in the 140s. Let’s not get too specific because I have that whole number issue so in the 140s is descriptive enough. In my best shape (and by best I mean size 6ish with no bones protruding and able to walk up a flight of steps without needing to take a break) I am in the 130s. That is a healthy range for me, and in the low end of my personal spectrum, which spans 4/5 different jeans sizes (staring at 6 and ending at 14). 120s is bone-sticking-out, dizzy spell-inducing, lollypop-head toothpick range. So 110 is BEYOND stupid. And having a little sheet of paper tell me I have almost 37 pounds of fat on my body is ridiculous. Talk about issues. Scrape 37 pounds off of my body and I would be way way way too thin.

Another fun trainer comment: I need to give up my nightly ice cream pronto. For some reason she missed the fact that I eat lots of fruit and veggies and healthy breakfasts and lunches and dinners; I don’t eat processed foods or fast food or what might qualify as junk food. All she heard was that I pack away one ice cream bar a night, adding another whopping 160 calories to my day. Here’s the thing, the ice cream is not negotiable. Neither are the pretzels, when I have them, or the random cupcake here and there or the random slice of delicious cake or the kettle corn or my nephew’s Halloween candy or the cave-aged cheeses….

The good news from this test, which I like to focus on: Blood pressure is 110 over 68 (normal and healthy); my resting heart rate is 64, which is considered normal, if not slightly above normal. And my VO2 was 45.2. VO2 is how your body utilizes oxygen…in other words it reflects your aerobic capacity. The higher the number, the better. My number is in the very good range, and if I were a year younger I would be excellent. Almost athletic.

The trainer asked me about my goals and I explained how I need energy to keep up with the girls and how I would like to have a more streamlined workout and how I would like to train my body to operate at its peak level. And she was sitting there saying “right, right, right” and then offered “and lose the baby weight.” Well, actually, no, not really a goal, but gosh, THANKS for giving me a complex. I imagine that weight will be lost through the process of what I described but I did not put “losing belly fat” on the top of my list. Good god it’s been barely five months. Can I have a belly still please? So I told her I am fine with a belly and in fact I am proud of it. Because I am, in that way that you can be proud of something that almost everyone else finds abhorrent, apparently.

Honestly, one of the main reasons why I would like a return of a flatter belly is because I can then fit into all my old clothes. My shirts are all tightish and my pants and skirts are all low-riding (because I have big hips but a small waist, nothing quite fits like it should). So when I wear jeans, my shirts ride up just enough to my new layer of belly all around. Flat or floppy, I am not a belly-bearing kinda of girl. And it turns out floppy belly showing seems to make some people skittish. Maybe I could tour all the caves of Afghanistan and weed out bin Laden, who will run from cover, vomiting at the site of my unsightliness.

The VO2 number, this was the whole reason why I did this test. I am interested in my endurance, in how far I can push my body. And I needed a baseline so I can see a few months done the road if I am improving.

I have recently taken up the running. Running may in fact be overstating the case, it’s more like a fast jog at this point. But I am doing it every day. It’s funny because I never thought I could run. So if that is what you think about yourself, you can do it too. Believe me, if I can ANYONE can. Back in the day (like, high school) I could sprint a good sprint but distance running was never my thing. And then I felt like I had the wrong shape: Runners are tall and lithe with long graceful legs and strong torsos. They don’t lug around 36Ds or wide hips. I had a whole lotta excuses why I couldn’t run.

Then recently I started getting so bored of the elliptical trainer and my standard free weights routine. Someone told me once to look around the gym, find someone with the type of body you want and do what they do. The people with the type of body I want are the runners. Not just the body but the attitude. You don’t have to be stick thin (in fact, watch a race and you see every body type). And the runners, they have this something else…a sort of balance I guess and a sort of Zen something. They are like a tribe, a clique. And I LOVE that sorta thing. I am all about giant groups of people with things in common. And runners also have perseverance and focus and endurance. I want endurance. I want a portable endorphin-releasing exercise that I can do anywhere. And I just needed a change after years and years of elliptical workouts.

I was inspired by my friend Molly, who runs all the time and can train for a half marathon and finish it. She actually talks how she enjoys running. “Enjoy” and “running,” two words I didn’t think could live in the same sentence. So foreign to me. But one morning about two weeks ago I just started running. I got on the treadmill instead of the elliptical trainer and just started to run. And suddenly—literally suddenly—I was a runner, as if I was a runner my whole life. I bought new sneakers and new clothes and running magazines, which makes me feel like the new skier in the flashiest, most ski-tacular set-up on the bunny slopes, but whatever. I got books and did all sorts of research online. I keep track of my times and mileage and compare them day-to-day. Seriously, it is starting the change the way I think about exercise and how I look at endurance and strength. It is shaping my goals. It is giving me new strengths. I am signing up for a four-mile race and hope to do a 10K in the spring. It’s like my whole gym life snapped into focus.

What I like about running is that it gives me something to strive for, literally. I can train for little races, which gives my workouts new meaning. I’m not just on the treadmill: I am trying to run longer and faster. And it is SUCH a good way to work out tensions and release those endorphins, which for me is what it is all about. And if I have to lug around some extra body fat, so freaking be it.

So that is the story of the fit test and the new hobby. And, and for the record, I had ice cream for dinner!

If you can stand to read more, here’s the latest on CIO. The girls were exhausted on Sunday, since they didn’t nap like they usually do. It was Leif’s birthday; they spent a better part of the afternoon kicking it Halloween style and not sleeping. Bedtime was around 615ish, since they didn’t nap well. They definitely send strong cues when they are ready to go to bed. Avery went down first, and cried and cried and cried for about 15 minutes. Nicole took her out of the crib because she was borderline hysterical. I know, not CIO protocol, but we are human and it HURTS to hear a baby cry like that. At least we are better than the first nigh, when Nicole removed a crying maddie from her crib and deposited her in our bed and refused to move her back to the crib (which I had to do).

Back to Night Three. Nicole rocked Avery, then I breastfed her (not sure how much she is getting, if any) and put her back into the Scandinavian Crib Of Fire (with new mattress, thanks for the heads up, Infertile Pediatrician). She screamed for 15 straight and then fell asleep, probably exhausted from crying and the day. Maddie went down and stayed down, seemingly oblivious to the screaming of her sister.

But that night, Night Three, Maddie slept all the way to almost 6:30 am WITHOUT waking up! Can I have a round of applause for Miss Maddie! About 12 hours of sleep without waking is amazing! And Avery went all the way till 4:30 until she started to cry. This is the child who routinely woke twice a night and wanted to start her day at 3:30ish. Avery cried until 5:00, which is when we got her, because 5:00 is an acceptable wake-up time and she went so long already. I’ll take 5 ANY day over two wakings plus a 330-ish wake up call!

Tonight is Night Four. I was at the gym, so Nicole put them to bed without me. I am curious how tonight will go. Could we be turning a corner?? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Now that I said that, of course, I have jinxed us.

To be continued….

Pictured above are Maddie and Avery chillaxing together in Mad's crib. Notice the cuter-than-cute pants.


Ah, the powers of jinx. All was going swimmingly until 2:30 a.m., when Maddiegator awoke and started crying. She cried for a good half hour, finally waking up Avery, who, not one to miss out on the fun, joined in the mix. Nicole and I lay in bed, listening to the monitor and steeling ourselves. So so hard, not going in a picking them up. We both took turns checking on them during the crying ordeal to make sure neither had a limb stuck in the crib or was stuck in some sort of painful position. These girls can both roll from their backs to their tummies but not from tummy to back. So I get nervous.

What shocks me most during this process is that I am the one who is stronger and more regimented, not Nicole. From Day One Nicole seems like she could change her mind at any second and if I said screw it, let them sleep with us, she would have a king-sized mattress and new sheets delivered to home before the day is through.

Last night, she broke protocol again by putting Maddie’s pacifier back in her mouth. Well, we haven’t really established ground rules, truth be told, and seem to have fallen in the habit of negotiating not-so-brilliantly in the wee hours of the morning. “But she didn’t see me,” she said, as a sort of excuse, which I guess is worse because now Madddie thinks not only do we abandon her, but there is a pacifier fairy out that that puts fallen-out pacifiers back into babies’ mouths. Nicole also really wanted to feed Avery but I staved that off. I know we talked about getting her used to the bed then weaning her from the middle of the night feedings but I felt like the whole night would have been a wash if we put a pacifier in Maddie’s mouth AND feed Aves. I feel like we have to go straight back to start when we go to them in the middle of the night.

So Night Three, amazing. Night Four, ehh. What’s in store for tonight??

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Don't You Love Farce? (Sorry, My Dear)*

Cry It Out Night One
Friday October 26, 2007

It’s time. We’re ready. Cry it out happens now. It has to.

The girls were really really tired so we gave them a bath and got them ready for bed. Nicole sat in the rocking chair with Avery and I sat on the stool with Maddie. Nicole read GM; both girls proceeded to scream through the entire reading. Maddie fell asleep first; I put her in the crib. Avery fell asleep in Nicole’s arms but as soon as she went into her crib she screamed as if it were made of nails/fire. She fussed for a bit and Maddie slept thru it all. Then Aves fell asleep, after about 10 minutes of crying and fussing. Not too bad, right?

And at 6:47, maddie starts crying a cry I have never heard before. A cross between a mewing kitten and an injured bear cub, not that I have heard many injured bear cubs. She is on her stomach. It is an insistent cry. I consult Nicole and decided to roll her over to her back. Now on her back again, still with the mewing. It’s going to be along night.

Nicole agrees to let me take an ambien to make it through the night. Sweet, delicious, should-be-illegal ambient….

At 6:58 Nicole slides open the door to check on fussy Maddie and 3 seconds Nicole exits their room with Maddie scooped up in her arms. They look adorable. Cute and cozy and content. But not in her crib. Nicole gets a bottle and starts the process all over…this time in our bed, where Mad drinks and falls asleep.

Around 8:10 I scoop up the sleeping Maddie and return her to her crib. Nicole comments that she didn’t think I had it in me. I didn’t, either truth be told. Consistency might be the hobgobbins of little minds (according to RW Emerson or Vonnegut…I forget) but the girls need it to establish a pattern of bedtime.

Oh man I am dreading the rest of the night. Dreading it intensely. Hearing them cry will destroy me. Which I why I took an ambient.

9:05…I’m going to bed. The claws of ambient are dragging me under.

Edited to add: Avery woke around midnight and screamed for an hour. After an hour we decide to feed her. She drinks and goes back down for the rest of the night. Maddie screams around the 3 or 4 hour for a while. A few moans here and there as well from the girls. But both have to be woken around 7:30 am!

Cry It Out Night One
Saturday October 27, 2007

I am tired, crampy, tortured, sad, undone, and did I mention crampy? [Guess who decided to return? Yes, my monthly cycle DURING a full moon no less. Yikes…]

But I miss them in our bed. I really really miss them there. How Avery would turn toward me and rest her head on my side. Her baby breaths. Maddie cuddled up with Nicole.

That sound you will hear is me and Sisyphus and our giant rock of CIO. Tonight, the babies were promptly placed into respective cribs at 645ish. Maddie is asleep, Avery screaming. So sad, that screaming. It rips my heart out, looking at her little body and those tears and that fear in her mini almond-shaped eyes. Nicole and I argue over what the plan actually is and what happened the night before and what we need to do going forward, all with the cacophonous screaming in the background. Whoever said that couples reach new lows of cruelty [toward each other, that is] after the have kids is so brilliant. You think at times like these a kinder, gentler couple would emerge. I guess we’ll learn….

But so far, so good. And yet it was only been a hour. More updates tomorrow…..

Pictured above….Nicole at the Dept. Of Energy. Ha.

** Wonder if anyone knows what song that comes from?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Let's Talk About Fat, Shall We?

We women far and wide (I’m assuming that not a single man has stumbled upon this blog…) seem to suffer in spades from body issues/weight issues/food issues. Not every woman, but a lot of us have dabbled in these dangerous territories at one point or another in our lives. Right?

So that is why the latest issue of Us magazine really pisses me off. On it is Trista Sutter, an E list celebrity (I feel mean today, but why is she relevant?) who was on the Bachelor Show or Bachelorette show, whatever. I am a reality TV fan, but I never could watch these type of dating shows. Give me Amazing Race and Survivor and Top Chef, but you can keep those ridiculous shows that have women (or men) groveling for love and affection or makeovers.

Anyway, this cover feature explores Trista’s ridiculousness in detail. Just THREE months after giving birth to her son, she is upset that her body is not back to “normal.” Three months, people. Some loser told her she would be back in her pre-pregnancy clothes before she left the hospital (what the fuck?) and she believed her.

Trista says she is 116 pounds (a weight I haven’t seen since, what, middle school?) and that she feels unattractive and unsexy. Her goal is to fit into a pair of jeans and also to wear sexy clothes again. (Nice goals.) She drops all sorts of crap about how hot she used to be and talks about how she put a picture of her with H*ward Stern on her fridge as incentive. She also has pictures of herself up looking “good” and wants her son to see how hot she used to be. Yuck. But now, she walks around her house in oversized hoodies and sweatpants because she is ashamed of her weight. Gosh, maybe I should cover up when I am home and hide myself too from the love of my life. (Yes, I am being sarcastic.)

A quote from Us Magazine:

What bothers you the most?

“My belly. It has a layer of fat, which, of course, your body has to put on, but it’s blubbery and I hate it. I want to be able to go bathing suit shopping for a vacation and not feel totally disgusted…I just don’t feel good in a lot of my clothes.”

Cue the violins. And, wow, “hate” and “disgusted” are such strong words.

Wow. She JUST had a baby. What does she think her stomach would look like? And so many women would beg, borrow and steal to be in her shoes (or, according to her, giant unsexy clothing). Would do anything to make it through to the other side of infertility with a baby and a bigger body.

I don’t know who to blame here. Us magazine missed its mark…there is so much more to Trista’s story that is interesting. She had a traumatic birth (HELLP syndrome, gestational diabetes and premature birth via C section, for goodness sake). She also, according to some, suffered from infertility. But Us decides to focus on her body? They even put a pre-pregnancy pic of her in a belly shirt (who wears these anymore??) on their cover. Who cares?

She says her husband says she looks great but she doesn’t believe her really means it; she thinks he just says it because he is a good husband. Yet she also admits that he wags his finger and says “uh uh uh” if she tries to eat something she “shouldn’t.”

I can’t even imagine having my partner monitor my eating like that. Talk about fanning the fires of food issues. Nicole never tells me to give up my daily ice cream and never objects when I plow through a bag of pretzels. The only time she intervenes is when I eat popcorn. And that is because even small amounts of popcorn make me popcorn sick. But for some reason I have NO ability to stop until I finish the entire bag. And, oh my, I LOVE my fake movie theater butter! And we both know if I buy a pint of Caramel Cone then we will split it and finish it in one night.

Why did this article bother me so much? Maybe it hits a little too close to home. And I can’t sit here and pretend that I don’t look in the mirror myself and wonder what happened to my body and miss my old body (sometimes). I struggle with it to, but I try to put it back in perspective.

I gained 60 pounds. 60 pounds. That is a lot of weight in a short period of time. I’ve lost the 60 pounds, but things aren’t how they used to be. Let’s talk about the belly. There is a lot of it still there. Little rolls, soft and pudgy, perfect for little feet to stand on. It must feel like standing on jelly to the girls. If I eat too much in a meal or a day or a week (and I do all of these things), my belly kinda blows up like a watermelon. Tall and oval but not quite as firm. It has a memory like a steel trap, my belly! It has the extra skin, perfect for expansion. It remembers being stretched to its limits and, apparently, it kinda like being like that. I will never have a rock-hard, “perfect” body, and I am fine with that. Because that means I can eat pretzels and ice cream and the occasional tub of popcorn. I can eat two slices of pizza for dinner and slowly widdle away a third piece sliver by sliver. And my old body didn’t have babies. I am proud of a body that carried twins for 37 and a half weeks.

I have a scar that reminds me where my babies came from. My little zipper. Long and red and elevated. My breasts hang in such a way that I know they will never be perky (not that they ever were… D cups are good for cleavage, if that is what you like, but not good for perkiness). My belly button looks just bizarre now. My stomach has a decided oval shape. But I have a respect for my body that I didn’t always have, brough on by age and maturity and probably a little therapy. I am not abusive like I sued to be, like when I used to go to the gym twice a day and cut back my calorie intake to like 500 calories a day…talk about unhealthy.

But I don’t want to minimize my own issues. I am very much an all or nothing person. When I am in control, I am very controlled. But when I am not in control, wow. I can scare myself. But more on that another day...

Pictured above is me, taken with Photobooth on my computer. Notice the oval belly, the misshapen belly button, the scar, the bra-less breasts, hanging w-a-y down there. The bags under my eyes. Far from perfect but I am ok with that.

*oops...edited to add the pciture uplink feature isn't working. I'll add the pictures later today. **two pictures up and one to go....

Monday, October 22, 2007

Karma Deposit

Really, no one deserves to be experiencing what this woman
is experiencing. After all the hell she has been through and now this….a false positive hepatitis C test has stopped her shared donor IVF cycle in its tracks. Due to federal laws, the egg recipient is out of the picture, period, end of story. But to have to throw away her 20 or so perfectly perfect eggs because of a lack of money? There ought to be a law.

Insurance-less, she is paying for everything out of her pocket. And her pocket is pretty lean, since she is currently not working so she can be her grandmother’s 24-hour a day caretaker. Talk about selfless....

Think of this as a deposit into your karma account…and donate something/anything to Cal’s cause. When have you had the chance to be a part of creating a life? Seriously, any bit helps. There is a Donate to IVF button on the right.

Pictured above, fall leaves for Calliope. On top of everything, on her trip up north for cycle monitoring, she doesn’t even get to experience the beauty of fall, since we are in the middle of a global warming heat wave up here in the northeast.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Greeeaaatttest LOOVE of ALLLL!!!!!!!

Let me preface this post by officially stating that both Nicole and I love our children equally. That said, I must talk about Nicole’s very special love affair with Madeline!

Maddie LOVES Nicole. Loves loves love her. I won’t say more than me, because I am sure she has equal love for us (Ha!) but let’s just say my approval rating doesn’t really go up until Nicole is no longer an option. In the Coke/Pepsi challenge of Favorite Mom I would lose ever time! I’m okay with that because my theory is I will just bribe the kids when they get older and Mommy goes to work. Besides, we already know Nicole is going to be the stricter Mom so that alone will elevate my standing as well.

We think this bond is extra tight because from Day1 Nicole has been responsible for feeding Maddie and putting Her Maddiness to bed, while I took on Avery. It’s just the way it played out. By the time we thought of switching, to keep things balanced, Maddie was so entrenched in her nighttime routine that we thought why risk it? And who would want to disrupt this bond??

It’s cute when Maddie sees Nicole, how she responds to her voice, the big gummy smiles she gives her. She’ll sit with her at Nicole’s desk while Nicole is doing work. Sit on her lap and watch football on Sunday. But at night, the cuteness is over the top. I would take pictures if it weren’t for the flash. Nicole and Maddie are wrapped up in each other in the most adorable way. Nicole is usually on her side, with her hand on Maddie. And Maddie is on her side, facing Nicole with her mini hand on Nicole’s chest. Sometimes she is nuzzled into the crook of Nicole’s arm. And sometimes the are both on their backs, arms flung over their heads, softly snoring in sync.

Avery at night is so different. For reasons I don’t know she is suddenly waking again in the middle of the night and acting like it is time to start the day. This is any time between usually 2 and 4. She will coo and smile and grunt and make noises until you roll over and say something to her. If you look at her, it’s over. She looks at you right in the eye (she has had a while to adjust to the dark so she has cat-like vision now) and smiles the biggest smile you have every seen. And she has this innocent look on her face like “Hey, you’re up too? What a coincidence!” Who can say no to that face?

I couldn’t say no to that face, so I got up at 4 today. I settled her down with a bottle and then I held her on the couch till she fell asleep. Bad thing is I feel asleep too and since I turned the alarm off Nicole didn’t wake me up so I could go to the gym. Not starting my day off at the time really sets me back. The thing is I need to be up way before the girls get up. This makes sure I have the energy to go through the day with them. Without the gym to kick start my day, I am much more lethargic. We’ll have to take lots of stroller walks today to compensate.

We need a nighttime routine for Avery pronto. This is Maddie’s: She gets a kiss goodnight from me; she is placed in front of her sister so she can stare blankly at her while her sister returns the same blank stare, and then she disappears into our bedroom, where Nicole reads her Goodnight Moon (while she screams her head off), then gives her a bottle while nestled in the rock of Nicole’s arm, then a pacifier and finally sleep. The whole process takes anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on how much bottle she has and how long she needs to be held before Nicole can s-l-o-w-l-y withdraw her arm and pad softly out of the room. Avery we put on the play mat and let her play herself to sleep. Or we carry her around until her eyes slowly close. Or, if we are lucky. We sit with her on the couch and can read or watch TV or internet surf while she [hopefully] eases into a restful state.

What I wish, I wish she would nestle on my shoulder and sleep. If she did I would sit with her forever, But mostly she kicks and squirms until I turn her around, let her face me and practice standing. Sometimes she falls asleep standing up, and her little legs buckle under the weight of her giant tummy like marionette legs.

We are going to Northampton to leaf peep the last weekend of October and I am so excited. I hope it is high color! Fall is my favorite season and I am particular excited this year because I have a big fall leaf craft project, so I am excited to collect leaves. I
will post pictures when it is done.

Anyway, we are also going the second week in November and we might look at some houses, which bring us one step closer to getting a weekend retreat. We have to do that, or get a bigger apartment, because while the four of us in our apartment is doable, it does get cramped. Especially with all the girls’ stuff. But bigger apartments in NYC don’t come cheap! The market here is still strong. And your money doesn’t go far. We looked at a three bedroom apartment a couple of weeks ago. The bedrooms were all one after the other, so you had to walk through each one to get to the next. The kitchen and both bathrooms are prewar and need updating. The moldings and paint and floors all needed to be redone. Easily this place needed 100K of work. Maybe more. Asking price? 1.6 million dollars. And, to make it even more ridiculous, the monthly maintenence was $2600! That’s before mortgage and taxes! Outside of NYC, 1.6 million would go a very l-o-n-g way. It amazes me how not-far it goes here in the city.

Pictured above is Nicole and the girls in their new rocking chair. Next comes Miss Maddie in her new winter hat, a gift from her Auntie Nancy (holding Mads) and Auntie Annie. And who-can-say-no-to-that-face Avery?!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Everything's Coming Up Rosie *

On this hot, sticky, muggy and humid summer-in-October day, I strapped the girls into their stroller and took them to B&N to buy Rosie O’Donnell’s new book and have it signed by her. I was prepared to bail out at any moment. The girls tend to fuss or cry when their stroller stops moving (or goes into an elevator). And then there might be diaper issues of spit up issues or rain issues. Anyway, the LOVED waiting on line. Absolutely loved it. To think I try so hard to entertain when them when what they really want is…to wait on line (I grew up on Long Island…we say on line). They smiled at strangers and laughed and played with the toys I have clipped to the side of their seats. They ate and napped and observed and all was going swimmingly until the last 15 minutes, when both decided they needed to be held rightnoworelse.

There was a kindness-of-strangers moment when a security guard came up to us while we were waiting outside on line and said “Come with me.” At first my heart dropped and I shuffled through the last hour to try to remember if I did anything wrong/illegal. But he assured me all was well and told me to follow him. I did, once again showing my gullibility. I’ll follow anyone with an earpiece or a clipboard. He brought me inside to where the signing was going to be and told me he didn’t like seeing babies outside in the grime and drizzly rain. So so nice. He also brought in people in wheelchairs and on crutches.

So we ended up first in line. First! I felt bad, since there were die-hards who were probably waiting on line for days, but what can you do. We were up front in the line anyway. But first!

You could tell when Rosie came into the signing area because there were thousands of flashes from the photographers there. I was trying to figure out how I was going to push the stroller while carrying Maddie and the books and the bottles and the burp cloth and all that when Rosie came over and asked the babies’ names and how old they were. Then she asked if she could hold Maddie. She took Maddie and there was another round of flashes from the photographers. I tried to get a picture of her holding Maddie and the result was not so good. Not one of my better picture-taking moments. But look how cute Maddie is! She stared at Rosie and I think it may be because she kinda looks like Nicole. Same coloring/hair. Then again, Maddie is going through a stage where I think she thinks everyone is her mother.

In my previous pre-babies life, I interviewed celebrities here and there and some of them were so pretentious. In that previous life, I went to a publishing party that Rosie was at (during her Rosie O’Donnell show days) and she was with a cluster of people and seemed so distant, for lack of a better word. I can’t wait to read this new book, and her take on fame and its trappings. This time, seeing her, Rosie just seems like a genuinely nice person; down-to-earth. And you can tell she really cares about the charities/causes she supports. And we see eye-to-eye politically. And we both share an obsession with Barbra Streisand. Anyone who loves Barbra is ok in my book.

It’s October. It is supposed to be chilly. I should be in a sweater and maybe a scarf at night. I should be able to wear my new boots. I should be eating more caramel apples. I should be pulling out my turtlenecks. Instead, I am pre-cooling the bedroom at night and taking yet another cooking hiatus.

Is it wrong that I am sitting here blogging while Maddie plays in her exer-saucer and watching a tivo'd Dancing with The Stars? Does that make me a bad mom?'

Pictured above is Maddie and Rosie. Under that is Maddie in her exer-saucer thingy, which she loves. And below that is a picture of Miss Avery, all 15-plus pounds of her!

* Sorry for the bad pun.