riding bitch

We had our car seats installed by the department of safety.  Okay, not the whole department.  A cop, named Vicki who was a man.  Actually, I don’t know who at the department did it.  I wasn’t there, but I was told that an absurdly high percentage of parents have their car seats improperly installed.  So now that the two bases are installed into the back seat of our SUV, they’re there to stay.  The problem, of course, is now we’ve got visitors.  Phil is on his way to the airport right now to collect his parents, who are staying Sunday to Sunday.  That’s a longass time for anyone to stay.  And I’ll say the same thing when my sister comes too.  Though I think she and my mother are only coming for 5 days. It’s nice that everyone is eager to help, though really, they want to bond with the beans.  Who can blame them!  I’m sure there’s a lot to help with, but I’m not sure what it is.  I’m breast feeding, at every single feeding, though now, at the suggestion of their pediatrician, I’m now breast feeding only one of them at each feeding.  And I’m not following it up with a bottle, which makes one very unhappy Abigail, who is used to a full belly, pounding down ounces of milkshake.  She cries now, on and off for about an hour after she’s breast fed, because dammit, she wants the bottle.  It’s basically hell.  Lucas, on the other hand, is a breast man.  Still, I wonder how anyone can help us.  I mean, I know we need help, but I don’t know how.  I mean, it’s not like the house needs cleaning; I NEVER leave this room, except to brush my teeth or pee.  I eat salads along with frozen South Beach Diet dinners because they’re quick (and it’s the first time in my whole life to eat a frozen dinner).  And dammit, I’ve lost 4 lbs. since eating them each night.  So what, really, do I need?  Someone I guess to change diapers and hand me one of the babies to breast feed?  I guess we’ll see when my in-laws arrive.

"How are they going to fit?"
"Your parents."
"What do you mean?  My mother will sit between the two car seats,"
"You know you’re insane right?"
"No I’m not.  What’s the big deal?  I’ll just move up my seat so she can get in."
"Not only is ‘getting in’ impossible," I say without the use of air apostrophes, "climbing over the base in semi-motherly-now-heels, but there’s the whole ass-hips scenario.  Honey, I can hardly fit." 
"It will be fine."

Now I’m waiting for him to return with them.  I wonder who ended up sitting bitch, in that mini middle "seat" which is really just the space between the left seat and the right seat.  My guess is Ted drove with his wife in the passenger seat, with Philip riding bitch.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe it’s just my ass that has the problem.  It wouldn’t be the first time.



  1. All grandparents want is time with the kids. You can probably ask them to do ANYTHING and they will only be more than happy. Let them do all the diapers, grocery shop and the laundry and trust me, they will love every minute of it. Get as much rest as you can while they are there.

  2. Stephanie, you crack me up! I'm just imagining your husband sitting in that middle seat, with his elbows pulled in and his knees pulled up.

  3. I`m not sure if frozen diet dinners are the right food now while you are breastfeeding; maybe your family can help you as they cook some nutritious and tasty meals?
    And BTW, I just try to imagine that my mother-in-law would come to stay for a whole week – uuuuh, how this scenery scares me…

  4. Now that was damn funny. And real. When our preemie twins came home I wept with exhaustion and knew I was in over my normally well-organized head. Naturally everyone descended to "help," but truly all they wanted to do was cuddle babies. Nobody really wants to mop your kitchen floor, empty the dishwasher, wash clothes (yours, especially) or microwave your pumping equipment. I only see it in hindsight, but I should have hired someone to run the house for a few months, and spent every spare moment snuggling my babies. They grow up so fast … you won't believe it until you're planning their first birthday party. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  5. I agree. Let me your mother in law cook some nutritious and healthy meals for you and Phillip. And absolutely they should change ALL diapers and handle all baths too! Rest as much as you can while they are here and just enjoy!

  6. I'm behidn on blog reading… congrats ont heir coming home. Try to enjoy the IL's visit… that can be rough I'm sure! I'm SO grateful I never had that situation!
    Hang in there and rest when you can!

  7. hahaha…I remember the days :)
    They want to cook and do laundry…grandma that is…as for grandad, he'll just want to chime in about how adorable the babies are, and ask what sport stations you can get on the television….he may even suggest a shopping trip to home depot to get some baby safety gear, light socket plugs etc….so that he can prove to grandma he's doing his part! After that, they just want to coo at, cuddle and hold those beautiful babies. Good luck!!

  8. Plese tell me Philip's father never went by Teddy, because the idea of a child named "Teddy Beer" makes me want to slap someone silly.

    YOU may never leave one room, but Philip does. They can clean up after him. And grocery shop. And dust, because even if you don't go into rooms, they get dusty. And they can hold the babies and coo and tell you which obscure relatives on his side they see in the babies' features.

  9. I've gotta be honest with you…I don't like family coming to visit on a regular day. Never mind an 'I've just gone through the biggest change in my life and I'd like a little time to adjust…alone' day.

  10. Sounds like a very smart pediatrician. I don't think that the South Beach dinners sound that bad. They are pretty balanced. Just make sure you're not losing too fast. The toxins relased when you lose weight pass into the breastmilk.

  11. about a year and a half ago, i lost 40 pounds and have kept it off and i can say without question my favorite diet product is 'no pudge' brownie mix. they tell you how to make individual servings (using apple sauce or yogurt) that you can make in the microwave and is damn close to a molten chocolate cake. you can eat it with whipped cream and have the best best dessert for around 225 calories, tops.

  12. You are shedding an interesting light on my OB nursing rotation. Thanks.

    After the first C-section, I swore I would never get anyone pregnant. After the first vaginal delivery, I thought otherwise although it was a premie and flew out.

    I have now confirmed that women are the crazier sex.

  13. My MIL commented how my breasts couldn't possibly be big enough to provide enough nutrition for my baby. Was I sure I knew what I was doing? Hang in there. Take time for yourself when you need it. If it's more comforting, take some extra private time when you nurse. I know I did.

  14. Great plan on the feeding of the beans and exactly what I did. I could SO relate to your post about it taking darn near 2 hours to feed them only to have to do it again!

    Have the grandparents spoil you all rotten, and when they start to grate send them out to do some lovely sight seeing ;)

  15. Give Abigail a pacifier. If you approve of pacifiers. She'll be able to "suck", and will quiet down for a while. Honestly, letting my baby son have a pacifier was a huge help when he was just born.

    Some people don't approve, so follow your own spirit. If you do get pacifiers, get the same brand as the bottle nipples you're using. My son went from breast to pacifier to bottle with no "nipple confusion", and it gave me some much needed peace. And there was no big power struggle to give up the pacifier later..he simply started throwing it out of his crib.

    Give it a chance if you need some peace for Abigail!

  16. Give Abigail a pacifier, she already has a handle on breastfeeding. And put one of those carseats in the middle. Not only is it safer but you will also be able to get in through one side with ease.

  17. As another woman who needs her "space," I can empathize with the longass family visits. I mean, even though they're family, and even though you're in your own home, you still have to put on a semi-hostess front. Ugh! Too stressful under normal situations, never mind two brand new babies. What's wrong with these people!

    Three days tops. After three days of other people staying in your home, it gets tense for everyone. Hang in there Stephanie!

  18. Pump and let them feed the babies while you and Phil have a well deserved night out!

    Let her cook and do whatever she wants! You can relax and enjoy things.

    BTW – I hope she doesn't read your blog!

  19. Congrats on the weight loss, gradual progress!
    My MIL ruined the first weeks I had my baby home. All she did was sit on the couch with the baby while I waited on her and vacuamed the floor…it was horrible…baby blues and mom in law..I cried every day she was there.

  20. Try the South Beach pizzas. I think they're like second phase of SB but it's still made with wheat bread, lowfat cheese and they are DELICIOUS. Lots of cheese and sauce unlike Lean Cuisines and WW pizzas.

  21. Honestly – they make hotels for a reason. People should NEVER stay with you (especially family) (especially after babies) (especially EVER). I remember my evil Ex MIL coming and expecting me to entertain in my pre-baby fashion – if I ever need to quantify when I started hating her ever-stinking guts – it was then. Happy she's an ex now.

    My mom carefully waited until invited, and then came and did yeoman's work filling the freezer, doing the shopping, laundry, and staying out of my way…and still the relief when she left was palpable.

    It's the oddest, most vulnerable time of your life right now – post-bringing-home babies. You're trying to establish your nest, routines, roles, habits and it's freaking intrusive to have anyone (even someone with the best of intentions) stay even one minute too long.

    I'm sending courage and strength from here.

  22. Let someone cook for you and Phil – fill the freezer with wholesome homemade food. Let someone run errands for you. Let someone diaper, shhh, swaddle, etc. the beans post feeding so you can actually get some rest. Have someone do laundry for you. There are lots of ways someone can help. As a control freak I find it hard to let people help me but when I had my daughter I let all of that go. Enjoy the visit with the inlaws.

  23. Oooh,While we're on pizzas…here's a great pizza fix, AND it's fast as can be:

    Take 1 whole wheat tortilla, couple of spoonfuls of pizza sauce or tomato sauce, add whatever veggies or a couple of slices of turkey pepperoni (try it, it's yummy) on top of the sauce, then top with fat free mozz cheese and maybe a drizzle of EVOO. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for about 15 min.

    Very low cal & low fat, FAST, and not boxed stuff, which has a ton of sodium. I'm on WW and these little pizzas only have about 5-7 points!

  24. My husband and I came home with our first baby to my parents observing cocktail hour in the living room, while we struggled with all of the hospital gear, introducing the dog, etc. It was at that point I knew they would not be helpful unless I asked them to be, and was VERY specific. And that we would never have either set of parents in the house when we came home from the hospital. They're allowed to come the week after, at least. As for my MIL, she tries to be helpful, but ends up making more of a mess that I have to clean up. Hang in there, and try not to totally freak out when they're using the bathroom/kitchen/TV/computer during the only free five minutes you have to do the same!

  25. It is fabulous that the Grandparents are so interested in your family and share your love of the little beans. I hope you enjoy this magical time in all your lives.

    It brings back so many memories of when I first met my grand daughter. I loved her instantly, an overwhelming feeling of love, far greater than I imagined.

    Being a grandmother brings me incredibly joy. Fran

  26. beer. i don't know if you LIKE beer, but according to many people (doctors, even!), beer is not only okay but actually a GOOD thing to drink while you're breastfeeding. apparently your body soaks up the alcohol, but your kids get the barley and oats, or whatever beer is made of …. just some food for thought!

    mazel tov on having the twins at home!

  27. i've never written before but have truly enjoyed your site and your book.
    give the babies pacifiers!!. mom of 3,also abigail might still be hungry. let her eat!!
    remember these are phil's parents and grandparents of these precious children. think about how in love with these children you are, grandparents are TWICE as in love. they won't expect much, just the opportunity to know their grandchildren. i'm surprised you have no family there helping you. i couldn't keep my family away.

  28. I would not diet now…your babies need real food in the breast milk not frozen dinners. If you won't give them formula then you shouldn't eat the stuff from the box. As well if you nurse for longer than 6 months you'll see that you will be skinnier than you ever were before you had the babies. Give it time and remember that babies even preemies are pretty darn strong.
    Keep your sanity because that is the number one rule to being a good parent.

  29. Have to agree with the commenter that alluded to the fact that company is hard with little babies. Hotels ideal. My MIL visited when the girls were about 3 weeks old and all she wanted to do was hold them. Which was fine, if I didn't have to clean, cook, and tidy while she held the babes. I was resentful, let me tell you! And of course exhausted from two babies needing feedings all night AND entertaining her.

    I am hoping your inlaws are being more responsive to you and Phil's needs right now than my MIL (bless her dear, dear heart just when I am not post partum!!) I will always hold dear my mothers sentiment that 'like fish, company starts to stink after a few days'. Hope you are surviving ok.

  30. Ok, while we are throwing out parental advice regarding soothers I say skip them!

    My son was so addicted to his that even when he was completely capable of sleeping the night without them he couldn't. I can only imagine the number of nights I was ass up in the air, in the dark under his crib searching for one of 5 or so of his 'suckies'. If you can, skip the addiction. I did with my twins (when the 4 year old son started stealing theirs) and never looked back!

  31. Just keep your eye on your supply. Dieting can slash it overnight with little warning. Also, I would not give a binky to a baby who does not take well to the breast.

  32. Cutiepie and I just spent the weekend at his mother's house. She's a super-sweet southern lady who already spoils my kids (from previous marriages) rotten every chance she gets. I'm currently 19 wks pregnant with what will be her seventh grandchild, and she's tickled to death. My mother has never been much of a doting grandmother, so it will be a nice change to have one who wants to be involved, HOWEVER, I did cringe a bit (albeit quietly to myself) when she casually mentioned "I think I'll come up and stay with y'all for a week or so when the baby gets here." I plan to breastfeed (and lucky me, I'm only carrying one) so I don't know how much help she'll be with the baby, especially since this one is my third child, but she's more than welcome to knock herself out doing dishes and laundry! I say, let 'em spoil ya while ya can, worry the fur off the beans and go home grinning from ear to ear next weekend. The novelty will wear off soon enough and you and Phil will be left to fall into a semi-comfortable routine that will leave you hard-pressed to remember a life before your children existed. Believe me, you won't miss it at all.

  33. Please don't eat food designed for dieting right now. A breastfeeding woman nursing only one child needs a minimum of 1800 calories per day. Add 500 calories and 10 grams of protein for each baby. You also shouldn't be losing more than a half to one pound of weight per week at this point.

    I had twins myself and gained a bit (a massive understatement) more than recommended during the pregnancy. I followed the calorie guidelines for nursing after I had the babies and I was surprised to start shedding the weight at about the three month mark, with no dieting and no exercise (exercise? Who has time for *that* with twins!?)! I eventually went back to my pre-*wedding* weight just nursing twins!

    So don't short shrift your babies. This is not the time to diet.

  34. Haaw! My MIL came to "help" when our twins were born and I ended up waiting on HER… she faked a health crisis to get me to drive her to the ER, so she could ask the doc to refill her valium, which he did. Never forgot the feeling of wanting to SEND HER BACK… Thought, what the hell am doing, driving her around while my C-section healed, trying to put two newborns in the car alone to do it. She did mop the floor and wash bottles, I'll say that…Your post brought back that memory loud and clear!

    My mom, in contrast, came right as they were born, and was a real joy and help, actually getting up at 2 and 5 with me. She knew what I would need, since I was one of HER twins!

    I had the same problem with one of mine, he didn't want the breast, I think he was unable to suck very well, made my life hell with his fussing, so I gave up and gave him a bottle to supplement and everyone was happy. Funny how their personalities continue — last night he spilled two cups of water by his bed fussed for more, and was too afraid of the dark to go out and get more. Grow up already!!! (He's 11)

    My rule of surviving newborn twinhood remains: No matter what anyone tells you, go with what works!

  35. Is there a reference to "So I Married an Ax Murderer" in your post….say in the first couple of sentences? LOVE IT! =)

    Also love that the babies are home!

  36. give her a break! i don't get the impression she's dieting… she's just eating frozen south beach dinners b/c they're fast. Stephanie's a smart woman, and I'm sure she would never do anything to jeopardize the beans, especially what they've been through.

  37. This post cracked me up. I remember my MIL coming after I brought my newborns home. Just picture the white trash version of "Rome". She's a hideous, evil, selfish excuse for a human being. Enough said.

    As far as help – ask for them to go grocery shopping, cook meals for you, do laundry, and take the babies for walks so you and Phil can nap together.

    I'd love to hear about their car ride home from the airport. The visual is too funny.

  38. Sundry-
    No one should stay at someone's house for more than a few days. I love having people over, but there are limits, and under no circumstances should you wait on them.

    If you do give them a pacifier, and they don't give it up, try putting hot sauce on it. I didn't have to do that, but I've heard it's effective.

    On the btch seat, I thought you had his and hers SUVs? If you do, wouldn't it make sense to have one car be the kiddie car and the other the grownup car?

  39. Your sense of humor knocks my socks off. This post made me laugh out loud. Thanks for that! Also, thanks for mentioning the South Beach frozen dinners. I was thinking about those things just this morning, wondering if they're worth it. You just helped me make my mind up. Although now I'm wondering if maybe it's all the breast feeding that's helping you shed the baby weight so quickly?

  40. To JoeyB: Please, please don't ever recommend putting hot sauce on a pacifier. That is totally cruel and somewhat obusive. I told my son who was in love with Bob the Builder at the time that his pacifier was being sent to Bob to look after from now on. We went to the post office and dropped it in the mail. It worked, he understood and no one was bruised with a spicy hot mouth. Sheesh.

  41. I won't give you any advice because I think every possible opinion has already been expressed. It sort of amazes me how much advice you get with newborns. And such strong opinions. I think it would drive me a little nuts.

    I hope that the visit with your in-laws is going well and that you're able to enjoy your babies and Phil's family.

    I haven't commented much in the past, so I'll also celebrate your kids coming home. I worried about you, Phil and the niblets for a while so I'm glad that you're all healthy and at home.

    Shameful admission: I love the lean cuisine "spa" frozen dinners. They are what I throw in the microwave when I've worked a long day and just want to lay on the couch and not move.

  42. Speaking of pacies…
    I have a gf who was trying to break her kid of the pacy and so she cut off all the nipples on the pacifiers and showed them to him saying they were broken and no longer worked.

    He looked at her, didnt say a word and then walked over to his little sister and bonked her on the head.

  43. Julie, My sister got my niece off the pacifier by cutting the nipples off too and telling her that they were broken. My niece tried them out, obviously didn't like them anymore, and that was the end of that. She doesn't have younger siblings, so no one got bonked in the head. Much better than putting hot sauce on them, too.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.