March 16, 1983

Got a good night's sleep, and woke to find the sun shining and the birds singing. It's a beautiful spring day. I would dearly love to "stroll" Jamie up to the little park this afternoon, but I'm terrified that I might get all the way up there and go into labor. Maybe if we take it slowly I'll be OK. I hate cooping her up in the house with me on days like this, and I'm beginning to feel a little "cabin fever" myself.

Later:

I took Jamie to the park for almost two hours. We've just returned, and I'm pooped. I'd forgotten that it's mostly uphill getting there: by the time we arrived I was huffing and puffing. Coming home -- downhill, thankfully -- I suddenly felt very flat and sad. I don't know why, but the feeling lingers. Jamie is happy as a clam, thanks to the exercise and fresh hair (and the cooky and 7-Up she just had as a snack) ... she's running around the house at breakneck speed, chattering ten miles a minute, chocolate cooky crumbs all over her face, her hair windblown, her cheeks rosy. I'm glad that we went to the park, but I wish I felt as good as she does now. Maybe I overdid it by walking so far?




March 18, 1983

One week from right now, will I be a mother again? (Baby gently nudges my breastbone ...)

Yesterday I sat and looked at a handful of Jamie's newborn photos. The funny bowed legs, the snub nose, the purple belly button, the peach fuzz. I can't wait to bury my face into the soft folds of a newborn's neck again, and smell that sweet, new-baby smell ...




March 24, 1983

I have become a mother again!

I have a beautiful little daughter named Kacie Pauline P., born on Monday night (March 21st) at 9:29 p.m. It all happened very suddenly and dramatically, and now here I am, beginning my third day in the hospital.

Dr. Heffron just woke me up to say "hello," and I feel so much better today, I think I'll stay awake for a while. The sun is shining outside my window, and the hospital is strangely quiet ... out in the hallway I can hear an occasional gurney being trundled back and forth, muffled voices, the swish of a toilet, footsteps ... but not much else. It's very peaceful and nice.

Kacie is a beautiful, healthy baby girl with a shock of blackish-brown hair, a very round head and face, wide-set eyes and the beginnings of Ray's nose and chin. (Editor's note: I was wrong about the nose, thank god ...) At birth she weighed 6 lbs., 7 oz. She's got all of her toes and all of her fingers (I've counted), and everything is beautifully in place.

I feel amazingly good. Last night I had a lot of pain, and I had to call the nurse twice. The first time she gave me two pain pills and a sleeping pill, but an hour and a half later the pains were worse and I was still awake. Recovering from a c-section is tougher than anyone told me. Finally the nurse gave me a jab of morphine in the rear, and that finally did the trick. Now I'm rested and refreshed.

On Monday morning I had a routine visit with Dr. Heffron. He said that everything looked "fine," and that he would see me bright and early Friday morning for the c-section. I left his office feeling excited and impatient. Peg took Jamie and I to lunch at McDonalds, where Jay and I split an order of Chicken McNuggets (with hot mustard: my favorite food right now), fries and a chocolate shake. Then we came back to the house and I put Jamie down for a nap. The house needed some picking up, but I didn't feel like cleaning; I sat and read a couple of new baby magazines, drank a Pepsi, visited with Carol Greene for a while when she dropped off my Avon order.

Late in the afternoon I began to realize Baby might be on the way. It was nothing I could put my finger on ... just a "funny feeling." Ray was making spaghetti for our dinner and I was ravenous, but I decided I'd better not eat anything in case I ended up having surgery that night. While I was talking to Judy on the phone, my water broke. This is it, folks!

I got Jamie into her p.j.'s, finished packing our bags (my hospital bag, Jamie's going-to-Grandma's bag) and calmly telephoned Peg and Don. We arranged to meet at the hospital. I was excited, but I felt no panic or pain. No contractions, either! Just a vague, painless "squeezing."

... (During the ride to the hospital) my water had broken completely and my jeans were soaked. Ray missed the entrance to the hospital, and (cursing a blue streak) he had to double back. He dropped me off at the entrance so I could go in and admit myself, while he parked our car and waited with Jamie for his folks to show up.

During the c-section Ray sat on a stool beside my head and nervously held onto my fingers. Once or twice our eyes met: he looked straight at me and refused to watch the surgery at all. At 9:29 p.m. the baby was born, and several people around me said, "It's a girl!" My first glimpse of her was when the nurses took her off to one side of the operating room and began the weighing/cleaning/fussing process ... I thought, "She looks so much like Ray!"

We were allowed to visit with her briefly while I was being patched back together, and then I was wheeled to the recovery room. Ray used the bedside phone to call my Dad with the happy news, but I was in a groggy haze and all I could manage was to wiggle my fingers at the phone in greeting. Ray left soon afterwards, at my insistence. I was taken upstairs and put alone in a dark room, covered with piles of warm blankets (I kept requesting more) to control my shivering, and given occasional doses of pain medication through the I-V. The worst part was not being able to move my legs for hours, until the spinal wore off.

I watched the night pass. The paralysis and chills gradually subsided, and a lovely euphoria set in ... a combination of pain medication and the natural "high" you feel after giving birth. I started thinking about Kacie, and about everything that had happened, and I was excited and buzzing with thoughts. I watched the sun come up. At 6:30 a.m. I turned on the early morning news, and another hour later I started making phone calls. I called Ray before he left for work, and then I called Mom. She and I discussed possible spellings of the baby's name, and it was then, in my state of early morning euphoria, that I changed Kasey to Kacie ...




Still in the hospital

March 1983

Kacie is a sweet, quiet baby. Her ears are tiny, set close to her head; her nose has tiny indentations just below the bridge, and there is a scattering of small (temporary) bumps across her forehead. I've only seen her open one eye at a time -- dark, liquid, inky-colored eyes. Her toes and fingers are slender and tapered, and she already has fine eyebrows and smooth, pink coloring. I think she looks a lot like Ray, especially her hair, nose and eyes.




March 30, 1983

We are home. Much has changed, yet nothing has changed: here I am as always, sitting at the kitchen table with my coffee, watching the sun outside my window, listening to trucks rumble up and down our street. In some ways things are exactly the same as they were two weeks ago. But today - this morning, this moment - there are two babies napping as I write. There are two different bottles in the refrigerator ... the infant nursers filled with Enfamil, and the Evenflos filled with milk and Hawaiian Punch. There are three people in our little house today, while Ray is working ... me and my two daughters.

We left the hospital Sunday morning. Kacie immediately adjusted to sleeping in the wicker basket, and she has done little but eat and sleep since we came home. She is a quiet, sweet-tempered baby, and taking care of her is unbelievably easy: I think I've heard her cry once so far. I love the way she looks up at me with those big, inky-dark eyes while she's eating ... that look of complete trust.

Jamie came home on Monday night. She was SO excited when she saw Kacie. She kept pointing at the basket where the baby was sleeping, saying "Dee! DEE!" (her word for "baby"). She clambered up onto the sofa and gingerly touched Kacie's hair, her nose, her blanket. A real live baby!




Some Classic Postpartum Stuff

April 1983

I'm having a crummy morning. Ray is laying like a lump in bed, refusing to lift a finger with the kids, the house, anything. Yesterday he went off and played basketball with his friends all afternoon. Then he came home at 7 p.m. and promptly started making this huge, greasy steak dinner ... deep-fried everything ... and when it wasn't ready until 10 p.m., he couldn't understand why I was too exhausted to eat much. I shuffled off to bed at 10:30, a weary mess. Kacie had fallen asleep in her little basket in the living room, no more than three or four feet from where Ray sat eating his dinner, and I figured he would watch her while I slept. With any luck I might catch two hours of sleep, but ten minutes after I'd flopped gratefully into bed I heard her start to cry. I buried myself deeper into the blankets and prayed that, just this once, Ray would take the initiative and feed her. I was just so tired. Instead, he completely ignored her! I listened as she grew steadily more agitated, and then I couldn't stand it anymore. I stalked out to the kitchen and grabbed her bottle out of the fridge. Ray was sitting there at the kitchen table reading a comic book. I glared at him, and he looked at me with this big dumb innocent expression and said, "I was gonna do it!" I muttered one choice obscenity at him, slammed the refrigerator door and carried Kacie out of the room.

I was up and down with Kacie all night and I feel awful this morning. The kitchen is a greasy mess from Ray's steak dinner, and guess who gets to clean everything up ...? Me. Naturally. Jamie is fussy and cranky, too; every two minutes she falls down or bumps into something and starts screaming again.

I feel confused, unhappy and sadly let-down. I've got two beautiful babies and a home of my own ... and yes, an occasionally decent husband ... but for some reason Kacie's arrival feels more like an ending than a beginning. I feel as though I've already done all the glorious things I'll do in this life, and from here on it's all downhill: all that lies ahead are bottles, diapers, greasy dishes, baskets of wrinkled laundry, diets, arguments with Ray and lonely afternoons.




April 1983

Hey! I now have company during my early morning coffee-and-journal routine. Jamie (newly proficient at sitting at the "big table") is eating a banana in the chair next to mine and yelling about nothing in particular. And Kacie, hiccuping in the infant seat balanced on the table in front of me, intently watches my every move. Privacy is a thing of the past. I have an "audience" now for everything I do ... washing dishes, making beds, brushing my teeth, showering, even going to the bathroom ...

My Exciting Agenda For Today

Wash and fill bottles for the day ahead

Shower, shampoo, dress, put on my face

Change and dress the girls (who knows how many times)

Dishes, clean kitchen

Make beds

Vacuum

Fold and put away clean laundry

Take girls outside for fresh air and play, while I enjoy a glass of wine and a magazine

Another afternoon

Just took my last two pain pills ... should be a mellow afternoon.

Jamie is verrrrry cranky at the moment. We went outside and played in the backyard, which she loves, but when it started to rain we had to come in. Now she's mad at me. I gave her a cooky as a peace offering, but she promptly threw it on the floor. Maybe it won't be such a "mellow" afternoon, after all ...






April 12, 1983

Having my first rough day with Kacie. Until now it's been smooth sailing, but today we've hit a rough patch. She woke up at seven a.m. and has been eating non-stop ever since ... four bottles' worth, as a matter of fact, and she's still hungry. It's noon and Jamie is still running around in her underwear, and I'm sitting here in my nightgown, longing for a shower, but until Kacie goes to sleep I can't get anything done. I have a splitting headache and I'm exhausted, but I'm doing my damnedest not to take it out on the girls. It's not their fault.

3 p.m.

Still having one heck of a day. The girls are taking turns being absolute pills. It was well past noon before Kacie finally settled down; now it's Jamie's turn to be fussy and cranky. Arrrgggh. Is this what my life will be like, from now on?

My most immediate goal in life (besides a nap) is to get the two of them synchronized, somehow. Naps, mealtimes, bedtimes, baths, diaper changes, waking times ... will they ever coincide?? Until they do, it's going to be pretty rocky around here. Mommy is going to be a ragged mess unless we find some way to create order out of chaos.

Tired, naturally. Feels like a permanent condition.

My moods go up and down. I guess I'm still in the throes of postpartum crazies. Sometimes I feel content and happy; other times I am almost intolerably sad and let-down.





April 1983

Kacie always looks so worried. She has those big, sad eyes of her Daddy's, and his deep frown lines between her brows. It gives her the appearance of perpetual anguish. It's heart-rending! I know this is just a facial characteristic, not a reflection of her feelings, but still ...





More Postpartumitis

April 1983

Feeling tired and "wispy" ... neither here nor there, not up, not down ... just sorta in-between. I sit and look out the window and let my thoughts take me away. Every once in a while Jamie comes over and jabbers at me, bringing me back to reality.

I'm thinking about how much my life has changed in the past five years, about all the things that have happened, the people who have passed through my life, the places I've lived, the different people I've been ... I'm back at Ridgway Packaging, answering the phones. I'm in Lahaina on Thanksgiving night 1978 with Scott Wolf, eating a ham sandwich in an open-air cafe. I'm sitting on a barstool at Gatsby's, drinking a screwdriver and flirting with Bobby. I'm moving into Ray's house on Presidential Election night. I'm giving birth to Jamie. I'm pregnant with Kacie ...

... And then, here I am, sitting in my kitchen on a stuffy, cloudy spring day with my two daughters, a glassful of melted ice cubes, a headache, a soap opera on the tube, a heartful of memories and nothing to look forward to in the immediate future but Jamie's afternoon nap ...

We went and watched Ray bowl last night, and for the first time I noticed how sensitive Kacie is to noise. Jay used to snooze right through the mayhem of the bowling alley, but poor little Kacie was jumpy and unsettled the whole evening. She never really fell asleep, the whole time we were there. I held her and comforted her as best I could, but every noise scared her. The car ride home didn't soothe her much, either ... she laid on my lap and stared up at me with huge, troubled eyes until we finally got home. Then I gave her a warm bottle, changed her diaper and her p.j.'s and put her in her dark quiet nursery, where she finally -- blissfully -- dropped off.




April 27, 1983

Kacie smiled at me for the first time today!




Still Adjusting

Spring 1983

We've lost all spontaneity around here. Nothing can be done on the spur of the moment anymore: no quick trips to the store or to Dave's Place, no unplanned stroller rides, absolutely no deviation from our rigid schedule. Whims must be ignored ... if I feel like a shower in the middle of the afternoon, that's too bad! Everything must be planned in advance, from my morning shower to a trip across the street to the mailbox. I have a 9:30 a.m. doctor's appointment tomorrow morning, and you'd better believe I'll start getting ready this afternoon or we'll never make it.

Unexpected company, something I've always disliked, is now something I hate. So of course people are constantly dropping in on us now, usually at precisely the wrong moment: when I'm in the middle of a poopy diaper, or when the house is a total mess, or when I only have half my makeup on. Or, worst of all, when both of the girls have miraculously gone down for a nap at the same time and I have a little bit of precious time to myself. Right about then a car will pull up in the driveway, and all of my plans to shower or write a letter or simply put my feet up for ten minutes will go right out the window. Just writing this journal entry is the most I've done purely for myself in days, and even so I've been interrupted half a dozen times already (Jamie woke up).

Every morning I face the Big Decision: what will it be today? Housework and babies? Or letter-writing and babies? Or laundry and babies? Or (as on Tuesday, when we were all sick), just babies and nothing else?? Usually it's housework and babies. I still feel compelled to keep my house clean. At the end of the day I want things to be neat and orderly, even though I know that by the next morning I'll have it all to do over again.

10:10 a.m.

Would you believe it?? I was just getting into the shower -- I'd just turned on the water! -- when my mother-in-law knocked on the door. Am I leading a charmed life or what?





May 5, 1983

The unexpected company continues to pour in ...

Monday, Dad and Valerie came by at noon for one of their typically brief visits; they brought a new scrapbook for Kacie, a belated baby present. Later that same afternoon Cathie Walden popped in. Last night, just as we were sitting down to dinner, Peg and Barbara showed up. Ray and I were annoyed - they always show up when we're eating - but once I realized the purpose of the visit I snapped out of it. They brought me a double stroller! Barbara found it at a garage sale, and I'm so pleased! As soon as Kacie can hold her head up, I can prop her into one of the seats, put Jamie in the other, and we can all start going for strolls!




Kacie P.

One and a half months

I am just beginning to get to know my new little daughter. For the first month of her life she did little but sleep and eat; a dream baby. But each day now she grows more alert, more aware of the world around her, and I see signs of her emerging personality. She's a sweet, adaptable, tolerant baby. Sometimes her feedings have to be interrupted (when Jamie takes a nose-dive off a kitchen chair, for instance), but Kacie doesn't fuss ... she just waits very patiently for me to return to her.

She smiles at me often. She loves the funny faces and noises I make for her, and responds with coos and gurgles.




May 8, 1983

Mother's Day ... my second!

"Jamie and Kacie" left me a beautiful card on the kitchen table this morning. I am a blessed, happy Mommy, and I love both of my babies very, very much.




June 15, 1983

Lunchtime in P.ville

Jamie:

Sitting in her highchair, eating lunch - cold chicken, strawberries, chunks of

cheese - says "Hi!," I turn around to see her sitting on the tray of the highchair, facing the wall, smashed strawberries all over the butt of her pink sweat pants. I put her firmly back into her chair and say "Sit down and eat your lunch-lunch!"

Kacie:

Laying in her infant seat on the table in front of me, sucking on her propped-up bottle, watching me with huge eyes, wiggling her feet. I washed her hair yesterday, and today it is soft and fuzzy and sticks out all over her head.

A Stimulating Conversation

Jamie: "Mom-mom? Hi-yi! Hi!"

Mom: "Whatcha doin?"

Jamie: "Ooo, oo, ga. Da da DA!" (Pointing at Ray's picture on the wall.) "Ooo! DA!

Ma! Doo!" ("Doo" is her name for "sister.")

Mom: "What does the doggy say?"

Jamie: "DOO!" (Reaching for Kacie's bottle)

Mom: (persistently) "What does kitty say?"

Jamie: "AAA! OOO!"




June 18, 1983

Some things about Kacie

She has outgrown the white basket she's been sleeping in, and since Ray still hasn't put her crib together (despite my constant nagging) I've had to resort to putting her down on the bedroom floor at night. I made her a soft, comfortable bed out of blankets, and her room is warm and draft-free, so actually it's working out OK for now. She has plenty of room to wiggle, and she isn't constantly bonking her head and scraping her fingers against the scratchy sides of the little basket.

Once she starts crawling, though, I WANT HER IN A CRIB.

Her hair grows ever longer and wilder. The other day I slicked it down with a dab of baby oil, and for about thirty minutes it was under control. Today it's back to normal, sticking out all over her head. She looks like she just hatched: it is endearingly comical.

Kacie is really starting to grow on me! We've gotten through the frantic first couple of months, and now we're falling into something loosely resembling a schedule.

She giggles now when I bury my face into her tummy and tickle her. I love the sound of her laughter.

There has been a subtle change in Jamie's behavior towards Kacie lately. She is less affectionate, for one thing ... she has to be coaxed into giving Sister kisses. She won't even approach her otherwise. When the baby is on my lap, Jamie gives her these wary, sidewise glances, keeping her distance the whole time. Obviously there is some resentment building. Kacie is becoming less a helpless infant and more a real presence in the household, and Jamie perceives a threat, apparently.

I'm trying not to put a lot of pressure on Jay to "love" the new baby: I hope the feeling will evolve on its own, eventually. When she absolutely refuses to give Kacie a kiss or a smile, I don't make a Major Deal out of it. My feelings for my Puss have in no way diminished since Kacie's birth; I still love Jamie very deeply. I've just discovered, to my relief, that it's possible to love two children, separately but equally. And I hope that someday they will love each other too. That's very important to me.


July 11, 1983

Yesterday was a wonderful day. Kirkland was celebrating its annual Moss Bay Days Festival, and in the afternoon we packed the girls into the double stroller and walked down to the fair. Terry S. and Rick Bruff, two neighbor kids, came along to lend us a hand. Jamie went on her very first rides! She rode the little cars and boats, and then Terry and I took her on the merry-go-round. I'll never forget the look on her little face as she went around and around in that little car for the first time!

Kacie slept in the back seat of the stroller for most of the day, although she woke up fussy a couple of times and insisted on being carried around on my shoulder. We strolled around among the booths and exhibits. At one point it started to rain, briefly, and we huddled in the shelter of a covered doorway eating corn on the cob and Vietnamese shish kebob. Ray bought a helium balloon for each of the girls, "Strawberry Shortcake" for Kacie, "Smurfs" for Jamie. We got home at 5 p.m., tired but happy.

I'm still sitting here in my nightgown, watching the girls play with their balloons. Kacie has one tied to her wrist and is laying on the floor, watching it float and bounce in the air above her. Jamie tries to use hers as a "pillow," giggling wildly every time it slips out from under her head and bobs back up to the ceiling.




July 12, 1983

A lovely thing has happened this week: the girls have started taking their afternoon naps at the same time!! For two delicious hours every day -- usually from one to three -- I am completely free to do as I please while they snooze. FREEDOM!!!




July 22, 1983

Kacie has been very sick this week. We think it's bronchitis. At one point she was having so much trouble breathing, we took her to the Emergency Room at 2:30 a.m. I heard her choking in her room, and when I ran in to check on her there were big bubbles of mucous coming out of her nose and her mouth. It scared me to death. Our neighbor, Judy S., came over and slept on the couch while we were gone, to be with Jamie. At the hospital Kacie was examined and given a blood test. The doctor diagnosed an upper respiratory infection, and gave me a few simple instructions: crack open her bedroom window, feed her smaller but more frequent amounts of formula, and use a vaporizer next to her bed. We brought her home at 4 a.m. and I've been watching her anxiously ever since.

Two things have really helped: she's finally got a crib, for one thing. My mom found a used crib and mattress for $10, and we set it up in Kacie's room yesterday. Secondly, Terry S. found us a secondhand vaporizer at a garage sale for only $3.00. Kacie slept with it turned on last night, in her new crib, and she is noticeably improved today.




July 26, 1983

We took Kacie to have her picture taken at Sears yesterday. What an ordeal! We had to wait such a long time - over an hour - that by the time it was Kacie's turn, she'd fallen asleep! I was so disappointed. My mom suggested that we go have a cold drink in the coffeeshop downstairs and let Kacie sleep for a while. If she woke up, we could try the photo studio again.

After ten minutes or so, Kacie began to stir. I took one look at her grumpy little face and my heart sank: she was waking up hungry, and I was out of formula! Any minute she would be pitching a major fit. So I grabbed her in my arms and whisked her up the escalator as fast as I could, hoping to get at least one decent picture of her before the tears started. The photographer was just leaving for her lunch break! I begged her to please fit us in, it would only take a minute. She finally relented and unlocked the door and we all went back into the studio. But my problems still weren't over. The photographer and I cajoled and prodded and pleaded with Kacie to "look at the camera and smile!" but she was having none of it. She was unhappy, hungry and tired - at one point she laid down and tried to go to sleep, right in front of the camera - but finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, she looked in the general direction of the camera and smiled for a split second.




August 1983

The days of my life continue to roll past. Jamie, ponytailed and diapered, hair still damp from an afternoon in her wading pool, sits on the floor beside Kacie and threatens to pull the bottle out of the baby's mouth.

"No no!" I say to her, sternly.

Jamie shoots me a guilty look, but pulls the bottle out anyway as Kacie is sucking on it: it makes a little "popping" noise. Jamie holds up the bottle, smiles brightly and says, "Ba-ba?"

"That's Sister's bottle," I say. "Give it back to her right now."

Jamie rudely shoves the bottle into Kacie's mouth. Kacie is so thrilled merely to have her big sister's attention, though, that she doesn't even cry: she just looks up at Jamie with huge, trusting eyes, her mouth curving into a smile around the nipple.




September 1983

This has been a particularly crummy week, not only in my life but around the world: the Soviets shot down an unarmed Korean jetliner that had inadvertently crossed Soviet airspace. Over 200 civilian passengers were killed, including 30 Americans. The world is in an uproar. On the newscasts I keep hearing words like "retaliation" and "revenge." Is this the beginning of the war to end all wars? I hold my precious children in my arms, and I am frightened.




Jamie at seventeen months

1983

Certain foods fall in and out of favor. Currently tops on her list of untouchables are eggs in any form. Also fish (tuna, fish sticks, etc.), hot dogs (once a big favorite), plain bread, apples, french fries - unless they're the greasy McDonalds variety - and raw veggies. This week she likes cooked corn, salisbury steak TV dinners, soda crackers, cheese, green beans, bacon, cooked carrots, and generally anything that's new or slightly different. She also loves ketchup and butter (although not xied together!) Some days her appetite is enormous, other days, she eats like a bird. Some days she's content to sit in her highchair, other days she insists on sitting at the "big table" ... I let her choose. When she's done eating she holds up her plate and says "Done! Done!"

She likes to sleep with her "Liddle Diddle" - her beloved orange blanky - and a few favorite stuffed animals, including her Monchichi and her two favorite teddy bears, "Jingle Bear" and "Honey Bear."

... When I brush my teeth she demands her own little toothbrush, and then she stands beside me sucking the toothpaste off the bristles.

Other favorite games:

"Ickies." Jamie will find odds and ends of junk laying around the house or the yard (bits of string, crumpled pieces of paper, bottle caps, used matches) and bring them to me, saying "Icky! Icky!"

"Foo." Any time the two of us are near a window overlooking the backyard,

Jamie raises her arms to me and yells "Foo! FOO!" That means she wants me to pick her up and let her look out the window at the doggy, who she calls "Foo."




More stuff about Jamie, and a note about Kacie

1983

Favorite Toys: Baby dolls, especially the kinds with eyes that open and shut, and any doll with clothes she can pull off ... her pink toddler car, which she can now maneuver all over the house ... pull toys ... her wind-up radio, which plays "When You Wish Upon A Star" ... balls, of any size, from teeny-tiny to enormous ... her new wading pool.

Jamie is a chatterbox! From the time she gets out of bed in the morning, until she finally drops from sheer exhaustion in the evening, it is non-stop jabber jabber jabber ...

Jamie loves her kitten, "Wendie," more than anything in the world. She calls her "En," and she's constantly lugging her around the house, slung over one arm like a handbag. I can't believe how patient Wendie is about it: she puts up with Jamie's continual mauling and teasing without complaint.

Kacie has quite suddenly reverted to waking up twice in the night again. Last night she woke up at 2 a.m., and again at 7 a.m., both times ravenously hungry. She's going through a quart of formula a day now, and she's always hungry.





September 15, 1983

Whenever I start feeling like my life is nothing but gloom and doom, I count my blessings. This is the only thing that has lifted my spirits lately: forcing myself to think about the things that are right with my life. Jamie and Kacie, my sweet baby daughters, are my life's greatest joy. I watch them growing and playing, and I can't believe how purely I love them. I especially love to watch the two of them together. When Jamie can overcome her resentment of the baby, she likes to "entertain" her with funny faces. Kacie, of course, thinks Jamie is the greatest thing since canned formula.

You know what? Taking care of two little ones is proving to be easier than I thought it would be. I've amazed myself! Changing two diapers is practically as easy as changing one; I've even gotten Jay and Kacie into a loose but consistent schedule, and there is always a little time left over for myself. Some days are more frantic than others, but for the most part I juggle babies and housework with surprising finesse.

One thing I've got going in my favor is that I'm so laid-back about things. As far as Jamie is concerned, the only hard and fast rules are Stay out of the fireplace and the toilet, don't go out in the street, don't hurt the baby, don't eat your crayons. We make up the rest of it as we go along. She has the run of the house, pretty much, and her mealtimes, naptimes and bedtime depend more on mood than on the clock. I don't allow her to tyrannize me, but on the other hand I don't force a lot of non-issues. Life is too short.




Kacie Stuff

Seven months old

1983

Kacie gets cuter and more lovable every day. She is trying so hard to crawl, and at the rate she's going I have no doubt she'll make it before the end of the month. She can already get up on her hands and knees and rock back and forth ... the prelude to crawling. She is so strong and so determined.

She is much more aware of the world around her now. She looks out the window at the wind blowing in the trees. I hold her in my arms, and she reaches out to touch the pretty calendar on the fridge, the kitchen curtains, the toys on her bookshelf.

She has discovered the kitties. Yesterday I sat her on the floor (I had to support her) and placed Wendie Kitty on the floor in front of her. Kacie burst into delighted giggles, grabbed the kitty with both hands and tried to stuff her into her mouth.

In the mornings I can hear Kacie singing to herself in her crib: what a delightful sound to wake up to.

She loves her baths in the kitchen sink. Her favorite toys are her Raggedy Ann, the cold teething toys that I chill in the fridge, small rattles, her string of teething beads, and any mirrors. Her only major dislike in life, so far, is getting dressed: she fusses whenever I pull the shirt over her head.




Jamie Stuff: Twenty-one months old

1983

Jamie grows more independent every day. Most of the time she's still my baby girl, and she needs my help doing things; but more and more she's trying to do things for herself. She brushes her own teeth and hair, wipes up her spills, fetches her clean diapers and p.j.'s for me, puts her dirty dishes into the sink and her dirty clothes into the hamper. She feeds herself completely, and is adept at using a spoon and fork. She's starting to figure things out for herself, too. One night she accidentally dropped her ba-ba into the playpen. With no help from me, she figured out how to push the ottoman over to the playpen and crawl over the side to retrieve her bottle. This morning she dragged a laundry basket into the kitchen, with one of her baby dolls inside of it, and proudly said "Play PEH!" Her baby had its very own playpen!

She howls in anger any time I shampoo her hair or brush it into ponytails, and yet she is very concerned (already) with how she looks. She loves to play with my makeup. She'll smear blue eyeshadow and gray pencil onto her cheeks, peer into the mirror and announce delightedly that she's "Pree!" (Pretty.) She loves being told that she's a pretty girl, and she loves new clothes.

One of the things I love best about my Jamie is her utter unpredictability. You never know what she'll come up with next. Whether it's walking into the living room with her Daddy's underwear draped around her neck, or dancing to a Tab commercial on TV, or shuffling around in my big tennis shoes, there's no way of knowing what she'll think of next. She's a complete original.

I think that someday I would like to have another baby. Ideally, it would be when Jamie and Kacie are in school. Ray isn't too sure about this idea, but I know that if it's what I really want, he'll go along with it. I adore being pregnant, and I'd like to experience it one more time. Last weekend when we were over at the in-laws' house (for Barbara's 14th birthday), I looked at Sheryl, who is eight months pregnant, and felt totally green with envy.




September 1983

I tried giving Kacie strained peas yesterday, and she absolutely refused to eat them. She won't eat baby applesauce, either. Getting her to eat solid food is proving to be a lot tougher than it was with Jay. Kacie is also having trouble sleeping through the night - still. Last night she was up at 1 a.m. and again at 4 a.m. I'm so accustomed to getting up in the night that it doesn't bother me much anymore, but I still wish that once in a while we could all sleep straight through the night, without interruption. It would be such a luxury. Sigh ...

By the way, Kacie came a fraction of an inch closer to crawling today!

Sunny but cold. Autumn is truly here. I feel marvelously alive. An apple pie is baking in the oven, and a load of baby clothes are tumbling around in the dryer ... the house smells of apples, cinnamon and Ivory Snow.

Jamie and I are listening to music. She's twirling around the living room with her baby doll in her arms, dancing to Billy Idol's "White Wedding" ... red sailor dress, pigtails flying, newly-trimmed bangs.




P> October 4, 1983

Kacie crawled about an inch forward this morning! She moved one knee, and then the other; then she tried moving them both at the same time and fell on her nose. Undaunted, she continues practicing as I write this. Babies are such remarkable people.


Continued ...

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