Saturday, December 17, 2011


Yeah, I know this is a little out of focus. Looks like our pictures with Santa Circa 1976.
We marked Desmond's half- birthday today with a trip to see Santa Claus, who very conveniently stopped by the elementary school in the neighborhood. This Santa was good too: real beard, rosy cheeks and twinkle in his eye and everything. The big D did great, just hung out on the gentleman's lap while pictures were taken.  Again: this is a 6 month old in the picture above. We have a Big Baby. He looks like a bald two-year old.

It's hard to believe that an entire 6 months have passed, I can hardly remember when he wasn't here.  Sure, it takes me 30 minutes to get out of the house, even if I just need to run to the bank or the store, and every time I do leave the house I am laden like a pack mule with every possible item that I or the baby might need in the 15 minutes we spend at the grocery store. Diaper bag, handbag, car seat, jackets, hats, sometimes my briefcase and lunch bags all hanging from my arms. Rob once remarked that when I leave for work I look like a refugee. 

Desmond is well on his way to sitting up all alone, he is making sounds that are starting to sound like words- I suspect that 'kitty' may be among his first words. Two teeth on the bottom and more are on the way and with any luck, some hair. Poor boy has a head like a peach and it makes me worry that he's cold all the time.  
Six months? Too fast, already.

Every week I have to delete Barney from the Netflix queue.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Funny Over Here

Desmond Tutu. 

One day he's going to bring this up in therapy.  Mea Culpa.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Baby Talk

I spend a lot of time with Desmond. A LOT of TIME. In fact, the only time I am truly alone, no baby, no husband or co-workers is about two hours on Thursday where I am in the car rushing either to or from work. This is not a complaint at all, just a fact, and truth be told I would rather spend my time talking to the cute baby rather than many of the adults I talk to who merely think they are cute.

Here is a list of a few things I have caught myself, or been caught by somone else, saying to the baby, and if you know me well enough you will know just the sound of my voice when I make these pronouncements:
  • Are there tickles in there? Are there any tickles in there? Where do the tickles live? (as I repeatedly poke an annoyed baby in the armpits)
  •  Who has potato feet? Are these your little round potato feet? Can I eat your potatoes?
  • Is there a burp/fart/poop inside of you? Is it coming out?
Post your favorites (mine, yours or otherwise) in the comments. I can't be the only one talking gibberish most of the time.  We will be here, working on sitting up, making more teeth, hopefully some hair and striking terror into the cats.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Letter T is for...

...Having Two Teeth on Tuesday! Poor kid, his face hurts, and poor us, we know it hurts due to the low steady whine that has gone on for the last Two days. But hooray for TEETH!

Friday, November 18, 2011


The child just keeps growing despite my efforts to keep him small and cuddly. Desmond has a tooth,  a taste for bananas, a bobo monkey and in the above photo, an attitude. I am in for it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Giant Baby VS. My Spine

All my adult life I have suffered from back pain. I have been to 4 different chiropractors, been laid up with sciatica, I once rotated a hip after slipping and falling on winter snow and one time I bent over to tie my shoes and didn't straighten up for three days. While pregnant with the boy I couldn't stand for more than a few minutes without my right leg going totally numb and there were all the sleepless nights due to internal spine-punching.

Now I have a giant infant to pick up 570 times a day and I have been introduced to a whole new arena of spasm and pain! But every smile and giggle I get makes it worth it. 

Some of you may have seen this (totally adorable) photo of Maw Maw and Desmond on Facebook the other day when Des got his giraffe costume. What I would like to point out is the tag: The child wearing the giraffe suit on the tag is standing up by himself and waving at the camera. My kid can neither stand, sit up or wave unassisted as he is only 4 and a half months old. The animal suit is made and sized for a 12 month old, a child that should be able to do all of the above. 

I have a Giant Infant who has never yet eaten solid food. I love my son, and in about three more weeks I won't be able to pick him up anymore.

Here are the most recent stats:

9 pounds 4.8 oz
21 1/4"
First Dr. Visit
9 pounds 2 oz

Second Dr. Visit
9 pounds 12 oz
Visit to midwives 10 pounds 11 oz

Two Month Well Baby Visit 14 pounds 7 oz
23 1/4"
Four Month Visit 18 pounds 5 oz
26 1/2"

Monday, October 17, 2011


Desmond is four months old and life as we once knew it is over forever. No longer is the boy just the newborn baby-slug that has no mind of its own and lives in eat-sleep-poop-cry mode. Oh No. Now there are so many THINGS:
  • Rolling over. Back to front and over and over and over until the baby is hiding under the coffee table and mama freaks out that the baby is *gone*.
  • The Drools Have Begun (read that like you are this man) and I'm guessing that teeth are not too far behind.
  • Interest in everything I am eating. I nearly had a large glass of water knocked out of my hands because someone's little apple-grabbers wanted some. Desmond has gummed on the following: watermelon, half a grape, honeydew, carrot sticks, a piece of pita bread and because I craved pancakes so badly while pregnant I fed him a teeny piece at brunch the other weekend and was rewarded with toothless smile. I think we might start rice cereal and bananas next week. Here is a photo of the boy after eating lemons:
just kidding.
  • Tiny feet have been interesting from the start, but boy, are they cool now that they can go directly into Desmond's mouth.
  • Laughing! This has only happened on a few occasions, and mostly for our freind Leah who is hilarious! Its a big belly laugh and I can't wait to hear more.
  • The cats are now fair game and if they get close enough to the baby chances are they are leaving with a bald spot.  I have little sympathy and I keep a close eye on both parties for bad behavior.
  • The child is getting really big-he is in 6-9 month clothing and I swear that sometimes the feetie pajamas that fit at bedtime are too small at 6 am.
  • Here are some random pictures I love from the last couple of weeks:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week 14: Singing!

The last time I saw my CD copy of PJ Harvey's Dry it was nestled in the console of Magda's car. This was about two years ago and I think its very possible that she rocks out to tunes like this on her ride over to yoga class.  She can still pick out a Smiths tune in the first few bars thanks to the fact that I had The Queen Is Dead on repeat from 1992-94, and I am pretty sure she know who The Creatures, Bikini Kill and Faith No More are.

We often have music appreciation at home and when I sing to the baby I generally skip the usual lullabies - because honestly, I don't know any- a stick to songs like Brand New Key and this one, Mairzy Doats, which turns out was a favorite Layne family ditty that Rob and I both sing to the boy, loudly and with much enthusiasm (see the previous post about Rob's singing career doing Cher covers,) sometimes until Desmond cries and we are forced to stop. 

If you listen carefully in the video above you will hear PJ Harvey's You Said Something playing in the background over Desmond's singing.  If he grows up with the talent for music it won't be anything he's inherited from his parents, but we sure hope to impart the same excitement and enthusiasm that we have for music, and maybe, just maybe we will get matching outfits and become the Layne Family Singers and entertain you- until, of course you cry and we are forced to stop.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Three Months Old!

Desmond can tell it better than I can, but its been a big few weeks:

  • I have gone back to work, and the transition has been easy for him, and not as easy for me, but not in the ways I expected: Desmond can eat. EAT. Sometime the multiple bags of frozen breast milk only last until noon. Sometimes I sit at my desk and wonder if I really will bust if I don't get off the phone and pump, already, which have already turned into me speeding over to the sitter's house and nursing, all before my west coast clients have had their first coffee.
  • Desmond has been to two Roller Derby bouts, and has already made some baby-friends there; He met his first girl-baby last weekend and it went as you would expect- all eyebrows and coos. Lock up your daughters...
  • This is a transcript of a text message from Rob, to me, this morning. Rob was keeping an eye on the Eat Beast while I spent the morning at the office: "I may also have to give him formula before you get home, and there is pee all over the loveseat."
  • Coming up: Desmond will be attending his second wedding, wearing feetie-pajamas in 6-9 size as he is nearly as tall as his Daddy, he's working on the Journey songbook in case they need another new singer. All in a day's work.
  •  Its hard work being the baby.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Week 12: The ButtStamp Of Approval! (Or, Desmond is Better Than CATS!)

I wish I could add sound effects.
Many of you have asked about how our household (some meaning the two of us as parents, some asking about sleep deprivation, but mostly meaning The Cats) has adjusted to a new baby.

The answer? Doing OK. I admit to a sleep-deprived meltdown and the house could be cleaner, but whatever, I would rather make faces at Desmond than wash dishes. I eat lots of sandwiches off paper towels. Sometimes these sandwiches don't include bread. Sometimes a sandwich is three tablespoons of peanut butter. Don't judge.

The Cats, however, alternate between behaviors; often they want to participate in family snuggle time. They lick my toes. Sometimes they meow and make sweet kitty face as one of us feeds them. They have smelly breath. Very often I chase them down to administer various medications to keep the mean geriatric felines alive. Mostly though, they act like jerks and put their wee-banana-slice-kitty-butt all over everything. We have a mesh tent over the crib to kitty doesn't work. The evil destructive monkeys touch everything with wet noses, gritty paws, butts and leave a trail of hair letting everyone know exactly how much they enjoyed sleeping in the basket full of diapers. On everything. Everything. 

Every. Thing.
Desmond has not yet expressed any interest in the kitties. He is more interested in his own feet, laughing at his own farts and splashing in the bath tub. (Check out the photo pool for more pictures.) I can't wait until he corners one of them. I do love The Cats, don't get me wrong. But The Cats have been demoted. At this point the level of poop, drool and vomit has reached critical mass, and (forgive me) the baby can't clean his own bottom or bring me presents caught in the yard.  There are only so many butts and noses I can clean off in a day. I don't even have the chance to put my sandwich on a sandwich some days. The Cats are now second class citizens. Don't judge.




Saturday, August 27, 2011

Week 10: The Eat Beast Cometh

14 pounds, 7 ounces. That's what breast milk will do for you. This is nature's protein shake. (My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard? No? Ok. I'll stop.)

Desmond went in for his two-month checkup: Everything is as it should be and he is growing gigantically. Measuring in at over 23 inches he is nearly as tall as his best buddy, Jake, who is six months older.  He has grown out of almost all the 0-3 clothes and earned the nickname "Eat Beast".
The stats:

9 pounds 4.8 oz
First Dr. Visit
9 pounds 2 oz
Second Dr. Visit
9 pounds 12 oz
Visit to midwives 10 pounds 11 oz
Two Month Well Baby Visit 14 pounds 7 oz

I make mommy's arms tired.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Two whole months have flown by and every time I turn around Desmond is bigger. We have gotten the hang of this breastfeeding thing, have gotten used to the cushy cloth diapers and have come to agree that zippers are far superior to snaps on clothes when one party involved wants to get the baby dressed, already, and the other one wants to wiggle. 

Sleep, and creating a routine for sleep is the next big hurdle.  I won't be going back to work for a few more weeks and though getting the fella to sleep is sometimes a challenge, Des and I are equally lazy in the morning and have shared the sofa for many a mid-morning nap. Laziness seems to be hereditary.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Week 7: Sweden, Babywearing and Dads

If we lived in Sweden, I wouldn't be going back to work for a long time.  This past week NPR ran a story about maternity leave around the word, (a map can be found here) and if we were to reside in Stockholm, we would be entitled to benefits that can cover up to 480 calendar days. Two months are reserved for the father. Not bad.

I have been having a lot of conversations about the division of labor when there is a newborn at home and everyone seems to agree: Moms have to to the bulk of the work where baby is concerned. The pregnancy part, the delivery, the breastfeeding part, it just seems to work out this way. This naturally leaves some new dads wondering where they fit in, but things are about to change, thanks to one Tom F, husband of one of my oldest friends.

Mr. F. is father to two beautiful kids, both under age 5. He was quick to pick up on the fact that caring for a newborn is very mom-centered and watched as his wife carried their kiddos around in an baby sling. I can do that, he thought and strapped on the baby carrier and quickly renamed it: the DUDE-terus! Figuring this was the closest he would come to knowing what carrying an infant is like Mr. F. happily wore both of his children.

Hearing this, Rob strapped on Desmond this weekend and quickly realized what I had known for weeks already: its really hard to sit down to a meal and not drop food on the baby's head. That is why the baby gets a bath before bed, so we can get the salad dressing out of his hair and the crumbs from behind his ears.

And the carrier we use, why, its called a Baby Bjorn, and comes from of all places, Sweden.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Week 5: The Taste of Breast Milk

No, I have not taken the time to sample my own breastmilk, and I can't really tell you what it tastes like, despite the fact that Desmond has projectile vomited into my mouth. (If you want an answer, though, keep reading.)  I am not one of those poor women stopped by the TSA and forced to drink the baby's only food source, nor am I one of those people who rushed to the chance to try Breast Milk Ice Cream.  My dairy products, as strange as it is when you really take the time to think about it, will continue to come from the cow.

Breast feeding is HARD WORK. If you have done it, I commend you. If you haven't and you plan to, I am not trying to discourage you, (do it! Its the best thing for you and your baby and I am six weeks post-postpartum and I haven't been this skinny since I don't know when. I have to buy new pants as none of my old clothes fit!) but there is a reality to the whole mess:

1. There will be a teacup sized human latched onto your body for hours everyday and well into the wee hours of the morning.  The word "latched" makes me think of this.
2. Breast pumps are medieval torture devices. They are loud, they can be uncomfortable and if I wasn't spending so much time with the babe stuck to my boob I might be one of those enterprising mommy-tycoons that reinvents this for the good of humanity. 
3. Everyone can choose when to wean their kids.  In my mind, when Desmond is old enough to walk over to me and request a boob using multiple words to express his desire he should be cut off.  I'm talking to you, lady at the DMV who was unable to fill out your paperwork because your kindergartner was attached to you by the face.
4. Props to the La Leche League for championing and promoting breast feeding; However when you live in a conservative backwater as I do there are plenty of people who will give you the stinkeye as you try to discreetly feed the baby anywhere outside your own home. The thought of a BREAST or a NIPPLE potentially exposed in PUBLIC! My God, won't someone think of the children!

Which brings me here:  While at a cookout at a friends home this weekend I excused myself to discreetly feed Desmond on a porch swing and was shortly surrounded and kept company by a bunch of ladies who are all moms and who had also breastfed in their day. They gave me tips, encouragement and told me how they all coped being home with their newborn children. 
One close friend told me that her son (who is now my age) nursed well into his second year.  When asked by another child who either was not breast-fed or was too small to remember, "what does it taste like?" my pre-school aged friend responded after a thoughtful pause, "It tastes like sugar and rainbows!"

Sunday, July 17, 2011

One Month Old!

Desmond is a whole month old today!
In celebration here is a list of things Des loves:
  • Warm baths
  • Poking himself in the eyes
  • Boob
  • Binky
  • Making faces
  • Staring at the ceiling fan
Also, there are those things that don't appeal:
  • Being naked
  • Cold water/cold wet wipes
  • Rollerblading
  • Mani/Pedis
  • Pop Country
  • Cilantro
You can't win them all, I guess.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Week 3: Pictures!

This was a busy week for Desmond: Weekend visit from one grandma, a photo shoot with the other Grandma and family, a dip in a pool, a cookout, lunch dates, making new friends, grabbing my hair, and (still) constant eating. Check out a few of the highlights taken by Rob's Aunt Marion- pictures are better than anytthing I can report on...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Week 2: Eat, Play, Love.

 Desmond is spending July 4th weekend doing some of his favorite things:
eating, napping, eating, visiting friends, eating, sticking his fingers in his mouth when hes not eating, hiccuping, making eyes at the ladies and eating.

Desmond is already above his birth weight and doing well. His belly-button stump has fallen off (a yucky process this- the little brown thing that fell off the baby will forever be known as 'baby jerky',) and sleeps long enough that neither Rob or I are total basket cases.

As far as being a nursing mom: I was hungry when I was pregnant, but nothing like this; I have seriously considered getting in the car at three AM to find a cheese-steak sub.  Also, I never thought I might welcome having a third nipple. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Week 1: Mastering the Fundamentals

There he is, baby Desmond, sleeping like an angel.  He doesn't do too badly, considering he's barely a week old, and Ma and Pa are not yet stumbling around like sleep-depraved zombies.

Wouldn't you know it, the one time my hair does *exactly* what I want it to do, effortlessly, is the time I don't leave the house. 

Desmond is working hard at being adorable, focusing his eyes, holding on to his pacifier with one had while its in his mouth and Smelly Big Poos.  We are proud parents indeed!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome...

Desmond Justice Layne. Born June 17th at 4:41 pm, weighing a total of 9 pounds, 4.8 ounces. 
Toward the last days of the pregnancy I joked that I didn't care if the baby came out of my nose as long as we both lived to tell the tale; after almost 24 hours of labor I truly didn't care.
Everyone is happy and healthy and safe at home. More details will come as we get settled in and I'll be adding pictures too. My boys and I have had a long few days so we will be resting up for now, returning all your wonderful calls and messages soon. Thank you for all the love and support!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Week 40: The bun is STILL in the oven.

Blobby Layne is now officially, by the standards of my midwives, three days late.  I am an an extremely  punctual person, as is Rob, and there have already been conversations about the consequences of lateness and what sort of disciplinary action we will take once the child decides to (finally) show up.  We believe strongly in nipping this sort of rebellious behavior in the bud and will not tolerate dawdling, lollygagging or tomfoolery of this sort.

Otherwise, I feel good, though it is getting hotter outside. I am fortunate that I really just move from air-conditioned house, to climate controlled office and blast the A/C in the car in between. Its just like being retired in a place like Boca Raton or Palm Springs, complete with having trouble getting off the sofa, complaining about my sciatica and being hungry for dinner at 4:30 in the evening. 

Well, maybe next week there will be a photograph of someone other than me.  The family pool so far:
June 16th, 5pm, 9lbs, and 22" long 
June 15th, 10:45 am, 8lbs 9 oz., 22 inches long
June 19th. 6pm. 8 lbs, 3 oz. 21 inches.
June 12th, 8:30am, 7lbs. 12oz. 21inches long
Place your bets!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Week 39:

One week from the due date!

Friday morning I went in for a weekly check in with my team of midwives. While in the midst of the, um, inspection under the hood, shall we say, my practitioner told me that I am a celebrity of sorts around her office. 

Oh? I asked, which is really all I could manage considering the situation. Seems my story-time-lady days are still talked about and it turns out that Midwife Melodie is also a big fan of the pillows I make! So there we were, talking about needle crafts and in the next breath she told me that I am not at all dilated or showing signs of pending labor.  

Once I was back on my feet I let her know that I'll be part of a group show in Harrisonburg during the month of July, and won't she come out? Snapping off her gloves she said she would see me there, if not at the hospital first. 

I really, really don't want to still be pregnant in July.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Week 38: That's Two Weeks Left.

Two weeks or so left to go.
My favorite things about being pregnant:
  • Ice Cream. 
  • People are nice to you and let you sit down when there are not enough chairs to go around.
  • Ice Cream Bars.
  • You never get lonely/you always know where the kiddo is.
  • Naps.
  • That I will not be pregnant for very much longer.
  • Ice cream bars that resemble candy bars.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Making Stuff For the Boy's Room

Blobby Layne now has somewhere to keep all his treasures.

Once upon a time this wooden chest sold fan belts at an auto parts store. We found this chest in a family member's basement- it was full of tools and covered in the dust of the ages. 

Some sanding, paint, polyurethane and some new drawer pulls later we have the coolest dresser, ever, and if Blobby grows to hate it I am totally moving it into my kitchen as a linen and china chest.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Week 37: Even the baby made it through the Rapture.

Week 37 out of 40.

This means we are three weeks from Blobby's due date, or as Rob pointed out to me this afternoon: that's EIGHTEEN DAYS away.

Commence panic. 

Freaking out aside, we are ready to meet the wee man, put a face to the name and introduce him to all the people that have waited patiently with us.  I'll bet you are tired of looking at me smuggling the baby and would rather see his face too. In the mean time, here are a few snaps of Rob and me so in a few weeks you can easily decide who the baby looks like. Enjoy!