1982 - July 1982
is the world's most perfect baby."
January 1, 1982
Ray is glued to
the TV, watching the Rose Bowl (Huskies vs. Iowa) ... Jamie is
sleeping, I think ... Mommy is suffering with the worst cold she's had
in months. Feeling lousy physically, otherwise fairly happy.
Haven't seen Sammi
Cat in two days.
Wondering - as I
always do on January 1st - what this year may hold in store.
January 2, 1982
When I got up to
feed Jamie at 7 a.m. this morning I discovered a lovely surprise ... it
snowed last night! Only an inch or two, but enough to transform our
rather glum-looking, post-holiday neighborhood into something festive
and pretty. Last night I took down the Christmas tree and most of the
decorations from around the house, and I was feeling a bit sad because
of it ... the place always seem so barren to me afterwards ... but now
the curtains are thrown wide open so we can look outside at all the
gorgeous snow. I feel somewhat happier. There's still so much of the
child left within me, isn't there?
this morning in a ratty old nightgown, Ray's terry cloth bathrobe and a
pair of pink woolen socks. Still quite sick. I've cooked an egg and a
couple of sausages for my breakfast but have suddenly discovered I have
January 3, 1982
Angry words with
Ray in the middle of the night last night -- he balked when it came
time for the 2 a.m. feeding, which he promised he would handle. When I
ordered him to get out of bed and take care of the baby, he hissed "Oh,
shut UP!" at me, slammed the
door of our bedroom and stalked out to the kitchen to feed her. We got
up this morning more or less not speaking to each other. I'm getting
sick and tired of his lack of help. During the daytime or in
the early evening he can sometimes be persuaded to handle a feeding or
two, but when it comes to those late-late-night bottles - forget it.
That's strictly MY territory. Even on weekends, when he can sleep late
the next morning, he still won't do it without a fight. When am I ever
going to get a chance to sleep late??
Long, rough day
with Jamie - she has been restless, crying, fussy since noon, with no
naps between feedings. She's been spitting up more than usual, too, and
I think it's because Ray brought home a can of Similac instead of the
Enfamil she usually eats. I knew I probably shouldn't give her a
different formula, but it was all we had. I'll know better next time, I
She went down about
half an hour ago (7:30 p.m.). Now I'm holding my breath, waiting to see
if this one "takes." I worked long & hard today, picking up the
house and doing what I could to comfort and entertain Jamie, and now
I'm pooped. Wish I could go to bed and look forward to (at least) eight
long hours of uninterrupted sleep; instead, I've probably got another
long, rocky night ahead of me. Heavy sigh ...
Monday 8:30 a.m.
January 4, 1982
Jamie had two
extremely easy, pleasant feedings last night - one at midnight, one at
4 a.m. I wrapped her snugly in a blanket, held her close and made sure
she had Enfamil in her bottle, not Similac. She ate quietly, without
fuss, and was tucked back into bed within an hour each time. I was up
again with her at 7:30, but I have a feeling this time won't be as easy
... she's crying in her crib right now. Lately she's been staying awake
for longer & longer periods during the day, and she has to be
constantly stimulated during that time. Why won't she just sit quietly
and entertain herself ... ? Har.
Getting used to
doing things one-handed ... one hand holds the bottle, the other hand
holds the pen (the cigarette/the magazine/the cup of coffee)!
January 5, 1982
Jamie and I are
gradually working ourselves into something loosely resembling a
2 a.m. Feeding
6 a.m. One hour feeding, back to bed, cried
9:45 - 10 a.m. Feeding, stays awake for an hr. or two afterwards
11:30 a.m. Went back down
Awake on & off between noon and 3 p.m.
2 p.m. Feeding, earlier if she demands it
6 p.m. Down @ 7-8 p.m.
10 p.m. (Slept till midnight)
Snowed heavily in
the night: the world this morning is unexpectedly lovely. After the
baby finishes her bottle I think I'll throw on some clothes, tromp
across the street with my camera and take some pictures of our house.
(Other things I'd like to do today: wash the dishes, haul the beer
bottles outside, small laundry, give Jamie a bath during one of her
wakeful periods? and vacuum around the fireplace.)
I was never more in love with this little
house (and my life there)
than I was the day I
took this picture.
is so alert and so strong, at four weeks, that it surprises me ... I
think I had the idea that babies remained sort of inanimate blobs the
first couple of months or so ... that they just sat around and did
nothing but eat or sleep ... but such is not the case, apparently.
How lovely! Jamie
is sound asleep in her room, the house is neat as a pin, and I can just
sit back and totally relax for a little while, all alone. Card and
letter from Michele Manzo today. Still no word from the Iversons (?)
Maybe they're in a state of shock over the birth announcement I sent
them: they didn't even know I was pregnant!
Wish I had my
piano. This would be a perfect time to sit down with a little
January 7, 1982
Tired. I've had a
rough night and morning with The Boss, and my jerves are nangled.
January 8, 1982
(Note the time)
Why are her
feedings taking two fucking hours each time?????
Why isn't Ray
lifting a finger to help??
Why am I so filled
with rage, sorrow, helplessness?
When will I sleep
through the night again??
There seem to be
two Terris co-existing in the same body these days ... the frantic,
frazzled mother standing at the kitchen sink in the dead of night,
tears streaming down her face, warming a bottle with a howling daughter
slung over one shoulder ... and the content, peaceful Terri I am at
moments like this. Jamie is down for what will probably be the first of
many brief naps this morning, the house is tidy, a cup of coffee sits
on the table beside me, and I'm feeling fairly well-rested for a
change, ready to face another day of caring for the baby and
the house. Not exactly the most thrilling life in the world, but for
now it is just what I want.
Ray came home very
late last night - 11:30 - after promising he would be home "early." I
was angry, of course, but words are wasted on him when he comes home in
that condition. So I simply went to bed without saying a word to him
and allowed my silence to speak for me. My disappointment in Ray grows
every day. Where is the Modern Father of the Eighties I expected to
find when the baby was born?? I don't think he's even seen his daughter
in two days. Her care and feeding are completely my responsibility;
he'll change an occasional diaper, or walk around with Jamie in his
arms for a minute in the evening while I warm up her bottle, but
NOTHING beyond that. I keep hoping this will change. Perhaps it will.
But every day that he lets me down, however slightly or inadvertently,
my resentment grows. The most infuriating thing of all is that Ray
doesn't even realize how deeply I hurt I am by his lack of involvement.
He knows that something isn't quite right between us, but I doubt he
could give it a name, if asked.
I probably expect
too much of him - more than he's capable of giving - and if I didn't
set my expectations so unrealistically high, I wouldn't be so
disappointed all the time.
Gave Jamie a bath
at noon ... she hollered once, when I first put her into the little
plastic "Tubby" bathtub; but then she felt the nice, warm water, and
her eyes popped wide open in surprise, and she relaxed and seemed to
really enjoy it. I soaped her all over and rubbed her gently with the
washcloth - then wrapped her in a big, clean towel and powdered her and
dressed her in clean clothes & diaper. She drank half a bottle
of formula and is now down for a good, long sleep ... I hope.
I don't know what
I'm going to do this afternoon. I feel sort of restless, and I suppose
that I should take advantage of my free time.
Ray is still not
home. What's he doing - making it two nights in a row?? I'm beginning
another slow burn. (To make things worse, I only have one cigarette
January 9, 1982
Saturday, 6:30 a.m.
Still dark outside
... early, early morning. Sitting here in the living room with a piece
of cold barbecued chicken, a Pepsi and a cigarette. (Talk about an
unlikely breakfast combination.) I just put Jamie down after a 5 a.m.
bottle that took an hour & a half to finish; now I'm waiting to
see if, by some miracle, she STAYS down so I can crawl back into my
nice warm bed.
January 12, 1982
Tuesday 10:30 a.m.
Haven't been able
to write much lately, have I? (For obvious reasons!) Life remains
upside down. Tomorrow I go see my o.b. for the first postnatal checkup,
and he's going to ask me about birth control, I'm sure. I just realized
that I haven't given it any thought. It's been so long since I've had
to worry about such things! But I'm definitely going to have to decide
on SOMETHING or else Jamie may end up with her little brother a couple
years earlier than planned ...
Ray and I have
talked about whether or not we want more children in the future, and
seem to be generally agreed that we'd like one more, maybe in three or
four years. We're obviously not in any hurry.
January 13, 1982
Wednesday 7 a.m.
JAMIE SLEPT THROUGH
THE NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YIPPPEEE!!!!!!!! I put her down at 10:00
last night, and she didn't make a SOUND until 5:30 this morning.
January 14, 1982
Thursday 9 p.m.
Two nights in a
row! I put her down last night at 10:00 and she slept straight through
till 6:30 this morning. I don't want to get too excited about it, for
fear she might revert to waking in the middle of the night, but I can't
help but take this as a good sign. It means she's developing normally
and taking her formula well; it also means I'll be getting more sleep
& will be less cranky and irritable as a result. Life will be
easier and more pleasant for all of us.
Ray's still not
home, dammit. I'm afraid he's going to come home all screwed up and
forget to bring a can of formula for Jamie and some pop for
me. I'm deathly hungover today and haven't done a thing except sit
around in my bathrobe and try to scribble a few letters. Ray and I went
bowling last night - he bowled, that is, while I drank
beer and watched - Peg and Barbara came over and watched Jamie
for us. It felt terrific to get out for an evening, of course, although
I sat there and worried about my baby the whole time! Typical
appointment today (with Dr. Heffron instead of Dr. Pheifer, at my
request) went very smoothly and I was given a clean bill of health:
everything checked out normally. I've decided to go ahead and
take the pill for at least a few months; maybe later I'll use something
else, but for now the pill is easiest. Ray is thrilled that we can now
resume a normal sex life again, but I'm always too tired or too
preoccupied or too SOMETHING to be interested in lovemaking ... this
could become a problem if I'm not careful, I think.
I'd sure love to
take a shower and go to bed, but Jamie is beginning to stir in the next
room and it's almost time for the 10:00 bottle. Besides, I've got to
wait up for Ray and send him back out if he forgot the Enfamil. (Note:
January 15, 1982
Friday 3:30 p.m.
Can't get my motor
started today, dammit. The house looks awful but I just don't have the
energy to clean.
January 16, 1982
Saturday 10 a.m.
I knew it was too
good to last. The past two nights in a row Jamie has woken up at 4 a.m.
again ... darn.
Ray has to work today for a few hours. Just gave Jamie a bath: little
whimpers when I first popped her into the tub, but then she relaxed
again, just like last time, and splashed a little bit with both hands
and feet. Now she's asleep in her room and I have a little time to
myself. Gonna enjoy a cup or two of coffee, watch "Resurrection" (Ellen
Burstyn) on HBO, take a shower.
.... My favorite
sight in the world at the moment: tiny Baby Daughter peering over her
Daddy's shoulder as he carries her around the house. My two favorite
favorite sight in the world at the moment."
Another sign I'm getting older: slathering on moisturizer morning
... All I wear now
are loose, floppy overblouses: beginning to feel VERRRY fat again. I
know I should get started on my diet before I lose my motivation
January 19, 1982
Tuesday 1 p.m.
Jamie is dozing in
her room ... I don't expect it to last, though. She sleeps very little
during the day. She and I are falling into a comfortable sort of rhythm
with each other: it's becoming a little easier to interpret her signals
and predict what she might do next, and I'm becoming more relaxed
& confident as "Mommy." I gave her a bath this morning: it gets
easier every time. I've stopped worrying about her eating habits during
the daytime, too. She likes to have half a bottle or so every couple of
hours, and I've stopped fighting it. In between feedings, she sits in
her infant seat and looks out the window or naps, or she sits in my
lap and does the same, or sometimes she lays on her blankey on
the floor and kicks her legs around in the air and "talks." I love
those funny little chirping noises she makes, and I always "talk" back
At six weeks, my
- Likes to have
her diapers and her clothes changed, especially when I powder
- Is still waking
up between 2 and 4 a.m. for a feeding.
- Turns her head
in the direction of familiar voices, especially mine or Ray's.
- Still sleeps in
her little wicker basket, although she is beginning to hit the
sides of it when she's waving her arms and legs around; maybe
it's time to
introduce her to the crib?
- Sticks out her
tongue and makes little "mmmo" sounds to indicate that she's hungry.
- Doesn't like to
be held on my left shoulder, and will always try to move over
to my right.
- Weighs about 9
Thinking of all the happy things that Jamie hasn't discovered yet ...
and what fun it will be to introduce them to her. Books, music,
chocolate chip cookies, swimming pools, summer camp, Girl Scouts, fairy
tales, piano lessons, Sunday School, Santa Claus, crayons, Easter eggs,
puppies and kittens, snow, merry-go-rounds, Barbie dolls, libraries,
the first day of school ...
What else? Peanut
butter, and Walt Disney, and ...
McDonald's! The ice cream man! Balloons ... pigtails ... modeling clay
Thursday 7:30 p.m.
January 21, 1982
Tired. We've had
an extremely rough couple of days and I'm completely drained. The only
thing that's keeping me awake are a couple of toots (an unexpected gift
from Ray) and my duties as "Mommy." Peg, Ray and I took Jamie to the
doctor this morning because she's been having a lot of digestive
problems and we were worried. She eats HUGE amounts of formula
but never seems to be satisfied, and in between feedings there's a lot
of spitting up and gas, which seems to cause her pain. Dr.
Frits prescribed some medication to relax her stomach muscles and aid
digestion. Too soon to tell if it's helping any. She has been very
quiet all afternoon and evening; she's probably exhausted. I know I am.
She was awake for almost 12 hours with only a couple of brief naps
here and there.
Note to myself:
Tomorrow will be two years. I can barely remember the pain anymore.
Saturday 5 p.m.
January 23, 1982
The house is a disaster area but I'm too run-down to do anything but
sit here and drink Pepsi and watch HBO. Dark, storming outside. Ray is
out grocery shopping.
Saturday afternoon a week later
January 30, 1982
Jamie is sitting on
top of the kitchen table in her little infant seat; Ray is at the table
sitting directly in front of her, reading the newspaper and drinking a
beer. I love to sit a few feet away from her, where she can't see me,
and just watch her ... every day she does something new. Lately she has
shown a marked interest in looking at the world around her. She looks
at things and really SEES them now. I've strung a row of bright colored
Christmas ornaments across the top of her playpen, and when I jiggle
them she watches them in fascination. She has also become increasingly
vocal lately, and is obviously delighted by her own noises! She is
awake all day now. There may be a quick nap, here & there, but
basically she insists on being out in the living room with me at all
times, and she howls in protest if I dare put her down in her crib.
Sometimes I worry that she's never going to learn to amuse herself, but
maybe it's just too soon for that. She likes to have her people around
her; later, perhaps, she'll be content to play by herself for short
periods of time.
likes to have her people around her
I worry, also,
about her eating habits, but maybe that's something else that will
change as she gets a little older.
At the moment her
schedule goes something like this: she wakes up sometime between 6-7:30
a.m., eats 4 oz. or so of formula, and then sleeps in her infant seat,
perched on the sofa, for an hour or two. (During this time I either
sneak back to bed for a little more sleep, or else I tiptoe around the
house and get some housework done.) After she wakes up again at 10 or
so, that's pretty much it for sleep for the rest of the day. She eats,
eats, eats ... a fresh bottle every two hours, just about ... seems
like I am ALWAYS sitting in the armchair with her, giving her another
bottle. Naturally I try everything else first - changing her diaper,
putting her in the playpen, giving her a bath, giving her a little
water, walking around the house with her. Sometimes these diversions
work for as long as two hours or so at a time, but then it's always
back to the bottle. Her hunger is insatiable.
Some days she stays
awake long into the evening; some days she'll drop off for an hour or
so around 6 or 7 p.m. Either way, she's almost always asleep by 11 p.m.
That's when I go to bed, crossing my fingers in hopes that she'll sleep
through the night, but this only happens on rare occasions. She almost
always wakes up sometime between 2 and 4 a.m. Fortunately these are
usually very easy feedings, and she'll be back in bed, asleep, about an
What an interesting
period of my life. Learning so many things about myself, as well as
about my baby. Exploring the world in a whole new way ... through the
brand new eyes of my Baby Daughter. She is seeing everything for the
first time, and in a way, so am I. I love finding new things to show
her. Sometimes we just walk around the house and I hold her in front of
each window so she has different views of the outside world. I doubt
that she can really see anything beyond a foot or two, but she enjoys
the movement, the strong arms holding her, the whispered words in her
ear, the cool air from the window, and whatever limited view of the
world she does have.
I don't think she
has "found" her hands yet. Once in awhile a little curled fist will
connect with her open mouth, and she'll suck clumsily and eagerly for a
few seconds, but it's definitely a random thing.
She is smiling more
now, and when she smiles her whole BODY seems to smile ... she wiggles
and wriggles and her entire face just BEAMS. Mommy finds this intensely
gratifying!! Jamie smiles when I'm smiling directly at her, which means
this is a direct response to something I'm doing, and this is an
amazingly rewarding sensation. All those long, exhausting hours of
feeding and diaper changing and entertaining her all seem very
worthwhile when she smiles at me! :)
she smiles, her whole BODY smiles."
On the other hand,
I can get irritated and impatient with her when she becomes fussy for
(seemingly) HOURS on end ... but I try very hard not to convey those
feelings to her. Whatever it takes to calm me down - a shower, a
cigarette, a cup of coffee, a quick trot outside to get the mail -
sometimes I just have to put her down and let her fuss for a little
while, until I've worked through my own frustration & feel
capable of tending to her needs once again, calmly and patiently. More
than anything, I think, I want my daughter to like me. If that means
allowing her to cry for a little while, in order to keep myself from
becoming tense and cranky with her, then that's what I'll do.
Feb. 1, 1982
One of the nicest
things that Jamie's arrival has brought about is a renewed closeness
between my family and me. Yesterday afternoon Mom, Grandma St. John and
Deb came out to visit for a couple of hours; today, Dad and Grandma
Vert came over. (They just left.) Of course Jamie is the main
attraction, and most of our visiting time is spent showing her off or
talking about her; she always seems to be at her very best when other
people are around. The entire family thinks she's the living end. But
even though Jamie is the main reason they visit, I get something out of
it too. I've seen more of my family in the past month, I think, than in
the last two years put together! And that is very satisfying. I've
always been family-oriented, and it hurts me when I'm estranged from
the people I love. I felt that way when I was living with Scott W. ...
it was like a great distance separated me from my family, and I always
wanted to do something to rectify the situation, but I couldn't. I
wanted to reach out and close the gap, but I felt such enormous
disapproval from them (for my lifestyle) that I just sat back and
allowed the gap to widen. Then when Scott and I split up and I went
through all that awful pain, I retreated even further. Instead of
accepting their help, I withdrew from them. I think I needed to mend
privately. Looking back, it was probably just as well. But now that I'm
married and have a baby, the need is there again to feel close to my
parents, my grandmothers, my sister. Jamie has a lot to do with that. I
want her to grow up with a sense of her whole family -- not just the P.
side. Ray's family is over here all the time, because they live so much
closer than my folks do. I don't begrudge them this; I encourage it.
They adore Jamie, and I think that's a wonderful thing. I just want
Jamie to grow up surrounded by her entire family -- BOTH Grandmas, BOTH
Grandpas, ALL of her aunts and uncles. The more the merrier. And I'm a
teensy bit prejudiced toward the Vert/Beeson/St. John side of the
family tree, well, I suppose that's only natural.
Dad and Grandma
Vert took us out for lunch at The Royal Fork. I bundled Jamie up in a
snowsuit and a couple of blankets, and she lay quietly on the seat of
the booth, beside me, and didn't make a SOUND the whole time we were
eating lunch. Grandma kept marveling over what a good baby she is, and
I just drank in the praise. I'm so glad that Grandma has lived long
enough to see my daughter: I just wish Grandpa had, too. I think it
would have given him special joy. Grandma watches me while I hold my
baby, and there are so many things in her eyes ... pride, sadness,
empathy, joy, private memories of her own. I would ask her what she's
thinking about, but I don't have to: I already know.
now - almost two months after her birth - I look at her & I'm
amazed by the fact that she actually grew inside of and came out of ME.
February 2, 1982
Tuesday 11:30 a.m.
(Took pic of Jamie smiling in her
in her crib
Rainy and gray outside. The house is warm, neat, cozy ... I've just
showered, and I feel quite happy. I sewed two tiny bells to Jamie's
booties, and she's laying in her playpen, kicking and cooing and
jingling her bells, happy as a little clam. For the time being, anyway.
February 3, 1982
Wednesday 4 p.m.
Wondering ... are
we going bowling tonight? Setting my hair and putting on my "face,"
just in case. I got LOTS of sleep last night, thanks to Jamie, and I
feel rested and sorta anxious to get out of the house for a little
while. (She slept from 9:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., and then again from 6
a.m. to 9 a.m. this morning!)
February 5, 1982
Friday 10:30 a.m.
Ray didn't come
home at all last night, and I spent most of the night restlessly
waiting for him. Damn. I'm a nervous wreck this morning as a result.
Where is he?? Probably at work with a horrendous hangover, wearing the
same clothes he wore yesterday ... unless he's been arrested, or hit by
a car, or something ... (stop it, Terri). All I know is that unless he
has a STERLING excuse - which he won't - there's gonna be fireworks
around this house when he gets home tonight.
Why does he do
I think that part
of him sincerely wants to be responsible and dependable, but some
weakness inside him keeps tripping him up. He doesn't pay the bills -
another damn process server just knocked on the door, as a matter of
fact - and he stays out all night while Jamie runs out of formula. When
he's home, all I hear are excuses. I ask him about the unpaid bills and
all I get are vague, mumbled explanations about how he intends to pay
them "next month." And when he stays out until some ungodly hour - or
doesn't come home at all, like last night - he's always full of remorse
and apologies. BUT THEN THE SAME THING HAPPENS OVER & OVER
You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but I'm not.
Still no Ray.
Jamie is down to her last bottle of formula, I'm down to my last couple
of cigarettes, and he's probably sitting at Dave's Place drinking beer
without a care in the world. If it gets much later & he still
hasn't come home, I'll have to traipse next door and borrow the
neighbor's phone to call my mother-in-law. I've hesitated doing this
sooner because I didn't want her to know Ray stayed out all night, but
Jamie needs to eat and I'll be damned if I'll let the
baby go hungry just to protect Ray from his mother!
Beginning to get very, very angry. I kept myself busy all day
cleaning house in order to avoid thinking about him, but now I'm just
sitting here with my cup of tea, watching out the window for my errant
husband. His thoughtlessness and irresponsibility are starting to
REALLY bother me.
Saturday 11 a.m.
He still hadn't
come home by 10 p.m. last night ,and the baby had finished her
very last bottle, so I bundled her up in a blanket and went
next door to borrow Gary & Gail's phone. They were super-nice,
as always, and held Jamie for me while I made my calls. First I tried
Peg & Don's house but there was no answer, so I dialed Dave's
Place and, sure enough, Ray came to the phone. I didn't even say
"hello" or ask him where he'd been: in the coldest voice I could muster
I said, "If you're not here in twenty minutes with a can of formula for
your daughter, I'm leaving you." And then I hung up. Then, simply
because I was upset and needed to talk to somebody, I called Dad and
cried on his shoulder for a few minutes. That was probably a mistake:
he sounded about half-tanked, and offered to drive out and "help," but
I told him there was no need, and that I was sure Ray would be home
Tuesday morning 9 a.m.
February 9, 1982
I was interrupted
while writing the above, when Don Jr. & Judy showed up for an
unexpected visit on Saturday, and I haven't really had a chance to pick
up a pen again until now. The gist of my story, anyway, is that Ray
eventually did come home Friday night (although NOT in twenty minutes),
and he was predictably contrite and ashamed and full of apologies. He
went out and partied with Mike R. on Thursday night and wound
up passing out on Mike's sofa. I said "That's no excuse," and he
agreed, and that was more or less that. Once again I let him off the
hook. Ray said, "You should be mad," but I just couldn't be. I don't
know if I was too tired or too relieved, but I just couldn't work
myself up enough to be really angry with him, the way I should have
Saturday night Ray
and I took Jamie down to Dave's Place for a few hours. She slept in her
basket, perched on top of one of the pool tables, while I sat at the
bar gossiping with Jennifer B. , drinking beer and thoroughly enjoying
myself. It always feels so damned good to get out! I got very drunk,
and of course I felt like hell all day Sunday, but I actually think it
was worth it.
Jamie Lynn is two
months old today! Wow! So many changes have already taken place. Today
I'm going to keep my journal & pen right beside me on the
coffee table and jot down a few things about her, as they occur to me.
- She has a lot of
reddish-brown, fluffy hair - almost auburn - much like my own. No trace
of natural curl, like Ray's. And she has EYEBROWS now!
- Late in the
afternoon, when the sunshine streams through Jamie's bedroom window
directly into her crib, I take off all her clothes and her diaper and
give her a "sun bath" for a few minutes. She LOVES this. She kicks her
legs wildly and crows with delight. Lately she has taken a particular
liking to one of my old dolls, the one I called "Sister Belle," with
the big smiling plastic face. Whenever I put the doll into Jamie's crib
where she can see it, she immediately responds with smiles and chuckles
and tries to "talk" to Sister Belle. I can leave her in her crib,
wriggling naked in the sunshine talking to Sister Belle, sometimes for
as long as 45 minutes before I hear the first squawk of protest. Does
she think Sister Belle is a real person? (Me?) Sometimes I tiptoe into
her room in the middle of all this and sit quietly a few feet away,
where she can't see me, and just watch my daughter playing with this
dear old friend of mine. It's a strange feeling. At one moment it makes
me feel as though my own childhood was only yesterday; the next moment
I feel very, very old & far removed from the little girl I was.
Am I a "grown-up" now? Strange ... if I am, I don't feel like one.
became the highlight of her day
... AND mine.
Things around the
house this evening are sad and subdued. Smokey died sometime within the
past couple of days. Ray has known about it since last night, I think,
but he didn't tell me until now. I could tell something was troubling
him, and after a little probing, he burst into tears in my
arms and sobbed, "Smokey's dead
." He's in terrible pain. He loved his dog. We don't know what he died
of, but personally I think he just gave up ... his spirit was broken.
Ray went out to the side of the house, where we've been forced to keep
Smokey chained up since the court decision last May, and he found
Smokey curled up inside his doghouse. Sometime since Sunday night he
had quietly died. After he told me, Ray went back outside with a
flashlight and a big plastic bag. When he came back inside half an hour
later, he threw up in the kitchen - he turned the water faucet on real
loud so I wouldn't hear what was happening - and then he wordlessly
undressed and threw his clothes into the washer and got into the
shower. I'm not sure what he did outside: I hope that he buried Smokey
somewhere in our backyard, where he belongs.
The only comforting
thing I could think of to say to Ray was, "Now he won't have to be
chained, ever again." Poor, sad old Smokey. All he ever wanted to do
was run free, the way he had during the glorious days of his youth at
Pine Lake. He was not born to be chained to a doghouse, and that's what
finally killed him.
Run free forever,
Wednesday 8 a.m.
Still sad about
Smokey ... weeping into my coffee. Looking at the neighbors' house
across the street - the Pierces, those nosy, trouble-making old fucks
who took us to court last spring - and I blame THEM for Smokey's death.
They were the one who forced us to keep him tied up. I've always
disliked them, and now I hate them.
On a lighter note:
Baby Daughter slept for TEN HOURS last night! (9:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.)
Friday 9 a.m.
February 12, 1982
Busy day ahead of
me - nothing wildly exciting - the usual round of washing dishes and
making beds and folding laundry - but it's nice to wake up in the
morning and have things that need to be done. It gives me a sense of
purpose. And then of course there's Jamie ... always there, always
needing SOMETHING. Even on those days when the house is spotless and I
haven't a bit of housework to do, there's always the little daughter in
need of food and clean diapers and cuddling. I can't just lay in bed
all day and ignore my responsibilities, and I'M GLAD.
A few words about
Ray and I. We are nearly flat broke at the moment ...
living on bologna sandwiches, eagerly waiting for our $1,500
income tax return to get here so we can pay off our bills and buy some
things for the house. Our sex life has take a definite turn for the
better. Unfortunately, we've sorta been playing with fire - making love
sometimes without any protection - and I find myself once again
watching the calendar. (It occurs to me that I really wouldn't mind
again ... I just don't want to have another BABY.)
Sunday 9:30 p.m.
Valentines Day 1982
(obviously I'm experimenting
nicknames here: I haven't hit on "Puss" yet)
Just put Porkchop
down for (hopefully) the night ... Ray and I are sitting here enjoying
a blazing fire, "Smokey & The Bandit" on TV, a few cold beers.
Ray isn't the sentimental type and I didn't receive anything from him
for Valentine's Day, but we've been together all weekend, and sometimes
pure companionship says more than Hallmark can.
February 16, 1982
Ray and I measured
and weighed our little girl last night: she's approximately 24" long
now and weighs 11 lbs.
Wednesday 7:30 a.m.
Feb. 17, 1982
cold, rainy morning. Drinking my first cup of coffee, listening for
Jamie to wake up, watching "Good Morning America." Wondering if I have
the nerve to watch "The Man Who Saw Tomorrow" again when it comes on
HBO at 10:00. I saw it once the other evening, and it's been bothering
me ever since. Frankly, it depressed the hell out of me. It' s a
documentary, hosted by Orson Welles, that explores the writings of the
sixteenth century prophet Nostradamus. It includes some grim prophecies
for the near future, in particular the beginning of nuclear war in the
year 1994. Ordinarily I wouldn't put much stock in prophecies written
by someone four hundred years ago, but so much of what he foretold has
already come to pass - with uncanny accuracy - that it's hard to just
laugh it off or ignore it. I've been vaguely depressed for the past few
days, and I actually think it was because of that damned TV show.
Suddenly everything has begun to look fragile and vulnerable to me ...
my daughter, my house, the trees that line our block, the skyline of
Seattle across the lake, even the very stars in the sky. It could all
be so easily destroyed. The thing that hurts the most is the thought
that Jamie may never reach adulthood in a normal, peaceful world.
Well, I watched it
again, and I'm very sorry that I did because it just reinforced my
fears ... I hold my two month old daughter in my arms, and I wonder
what kind of threatening, uncertain world I've brought her into.
Thursday 9:30 a.m.
February 18, 1982
Next day ... same
time, same place ... "Donahue" on TV, coffee, listening for Jamie to
wake up and begin her day. Rain is coming down steadily outside. The
specter of Nostradamus still hangs over me; for the last week there has
never been a moment when he has been far from my thoughts. I have a
feeling there never will be. Everything I think, do and say from this
point on will be influenced by his grim prophecies. I am profoundly
depressed, and I wish there were someone I could discuss this with
sensibly, without fear of ridicule.
(I want somebody to
pick me up in their arms and tell me it's only a "fairy tale" and make
it all go away ... )
Wish Ray would come
home. He was supposed to go to his parents' house tonight, and I'm
anxious to find out what they had to say ... we've been sorta "on the
outs" with them this week, and I hope Ray managed to straighten things
out. (Don Sr. called here in a drunken rage last week and threatened to
kick all of us out of the house because Ray was late with the rent.)
I have decided to
shove old Nostradamus to the back of my mind. For tonight, anyway. So
the world is going to blow up in twelve years ... big deal.
Wish that Ray would
a.m. (written in darkness)
He still isn't home
and Jamie is out of formula. The last time this happened - two weeks
ago - I said I would leave him if it ever happened again. It has, and I
Friday 9:30 a.m.
February 19, 1982
Ha ha ha. GOD. My
little threats are so pathetic and ineffectual, aren't they? When Ray
finally came home at 2:30 a.m. and I huffily informed him that I was
"leaving him" (with no possible means of doing so, mind you), he barely
twitched. He knew I was bluffing. That made me even angrier, of course,
but what can you do?? He's always "sorry," and I always forgive him.
I'll probably write
more about this later today. Right now, while Jamie is temporarily
preoccupied on the floor with her teddy bear, I've got to sneak out of
the room and grab a quick shower before she notices I'm gone.
Anyway. After he
explained where he'd been until 2 a.m. - the usual gobbledygook about
his car breaking down - he gave me $40 for "spending money," a quarter
gram of toot and a six-pack of beer for today. I sort of turned up my
nose at his attempts to bribe me, but secretly I was delighted. I
haven't touched any of it yet today, but later this afternoon I'll
probably have lotsa fun!
One of those
lovely, rainy afternoons that make staying inside feel so good. I
actually feel happy. Thoughts of gloom and doom have receded somewhat.
If anything good has come out of this Nostradamus business, I guess
it's my renewed appreciation of the moment at hand. Every new day is
something precious; there simply isn't time to waste. If ever I
believed in living for the moment, I do now. No time to be angry with
the people I love. No time to put off doing the things I want to do.
Now is now. The world is still here, and we're still here, and until
that changes I intend to appreciate every single minute. I plan to
watch Jamie grow up, and have a successful marriage with Ray, and do
the things I want to do while I can.
Numb," followed by "I Love Rock & Roll" !! KZOK)
Drinking a couple
of beers, and so of course I fell like going on & on ...
sometimes I forget how it feels. There have been periods of my life
when the whole world revolved around this feeling, and sometimes I do
miss it. Being a wife and mother was always the ultimate goal, but now
that I'm here I wonder if maybe I just panicked and went for
it too soon. I'm 24 years old and already I feel over the hill.
Sometimes I miss the way I used to be ...
February 22, 1982
ARRGGH ... what a
weekend. Three straight days of craziness. Ray was paid on Thursday,
and then he got his income tax return on Saturday, so for the first
time in weeks we were fairly ROLLING in money. Saturday we went to his
folks' for dinner; yesterday Dad and Grandma Vert came out for a visit.
My period started
this morning, too, and I'm really feeling run-down. My first period in
a YEAR! I'm enormously relieved, of course, but I'd almost forgotten
how crummy the first day always feels.
Thinking. After all
the frenetic activity of the past weekend, it feels good to just stop
and sit quietly for awhile. Jamie is taking her bottle, here on my lap
-- I think maybe she's relieved, too, that all the hustle &
bustle have died down. She's always sweet tempered and well behaved
when other people are around, but all the excitement disrupts her
regular schedule and it takes awhile for her to get back to
Things I'd like to
buy with my part of the income tax refund:
- Pin-ups for
- 2 lg. photo
- 2-3 tops
- Flat shoes?
- index cards
- photo hinges
- starter plants
- BLANK TAPES
Tuesday 1:30 p.m.
February 23, 1982
It just started
SNOWING! My GOD!! Big, fat flakes suddenly pouring out of the sky ... I
knew it was cold today, but I had no idea it was that cold. Hmm. It's
coming down so fast & furiously it probably won't stick, but
what a lovely surprise.
... And then, ten
minutes later the sky is clean and blue again, and you never would have
known it was snowing unless you saw it with your own eyes ...
Another average day
in the life of Terri P., Housewife & Mother. Jamie goes up and
down, I do little bits of housework whenever I have a free moment. The
dryer hums in the bathroom .... "General Hospital" on the tube ...
trucks rumbling past in the street outside. Baked potato for lunch.
Worn jeans, loose floppy blouse rolled up to the elbows, hair pulled
back into a scraggly ponytail. Watching for the mailman. (Today's mail:
a flyer from K-Mart.) Pasting Valentines in Jamie's scrapbook. Wishing
for something more, but not quite sure what.
Wednesday 2:30 p.m.
February 24, 1982
A whirlwind of
activity today: the house fairly sparkles. Ray and I are going bowling
tonight, and Peg is going to babysit, so I wanted the house to look
decent. Feeling more energetic than usual today. Glad I'm going out
Thursday 5:30 p.m.
February 25, 1982
Depressed. Too much
time on my hands. No one to talk to ... no one in my life except Jamie
and Ray. Too much time spent alone in this house. Become increasingly
aware of the void. Trying to remember any time in my life when I was
completely happy -- I can't find one.
Mommy's note: Hung
one of the balls low enough for Jamie to accidentally bat at with her
first - just to the right of her upper chest - and it has kept her
totally engrossed for half an hour. She is trying SO HARD to connect
that little fist with the pretty ball ...
And then all of a
sudden I've got a dog.
Peg and Barbara just stopped by to drop off a scruffy, funny-looking
little dog who has been hanging around their neighborhood ... Ray and I
said we would "try him out." I have no idea what breed he is. He's
short and stocky, and his long red hair is tangled and dirty; I bet
that if he were clean and combed, he'd be quite pretty. Hmmm.
Who are you, Dog?
And why have you come into my life at this particular moment?
Friday 9 a.m.
February 16, 1982
But now, this
morning, the dog is gone ... Ray tied him up in the carport last night
before we went to bed, and now he's run off. Dismal, rainy day. Where
could be be? Worried, in spite of myself.
He's back -- wet
and bedraggled and hungry. He just came trotting up the driveway in the
pouring rain, straight to our door, just like he owns the place. I gave
him half a can of dog food and a bowl of water; he wolfed it down in
one gulp, practically. Now he's asleep on the living room floor in
front of me. Poor old Doggy. He must be at least five years old. Where
are his People? And how did he get separated from them?? Ray cried last
night when he got home and met the dog: he still grieves for Smokey. He
said, "I'm glad there's a dog in the house again," and he gave him a
Jamie sleeps; the
dog prowls around the house, restlessly. One minute he's laying on the
sofa watching me, the next minute he's sniffing around the kitchen.
Wondering if we're going to keep him. Wondering how I really feel about
having a DOG. Another mouth to feed. Another living thing to nurture.
I'm a very lonely person these days ... I could probably use another
friend. Too bad he can't talk.
Ray came home early
tonight - 6:30, which is VERY early for a Friday night - and that
immediately eased some of the loneliness. Right now my husband is my
best - my only - friend. He's gone at the moment (he has a run to make)
but he'll be back shortly. We're probably going to do the same thing we
did last Friday night, staying up till all hours, drinking and talking.
Thursday 7 p.m.
March 4, 1982
We have a phone!! I
feel partially re-connected to the world!! Our new number is 822-3848.
March 6, 1982
Jamie has a new
"friend" ... I put my plastic makeup mirror into her playpen with her,
and she is fascinated by the "other baby" she sees reflected. It's so
funny. Motherhood certainly provides some fine moments. I love thinking
of new things to do with Jamie, new things to show her. Yesterday I
held her in my arms and we went for a "walk" around the backyard: she
couldn't take her eyes off the dogs next door.
Ray is still
asleep. I feel tired and hungover from another crazy Friday night - Ray
and I sat up until 2 a.m., drinking beer, talking, reminiscing about
first glimpse of herself.
This is my all-time favorite picture of her.
Sunday 5 p.m.
March 7, 1982
Lois T. died early
this morning - Grandma Vert's best friend.
Jamie had her first
taste of applesauce this afternoon and LOVED it.
Tuesday 4 p.m.
March 9, 1982
Dad came over for a
visit and I treated him to lunch at The Royal Fork. Jamie came with us,
of course - she was fairly well behaved throughout, only got fussy when
she'd pooped her drawers and needed a change.
Ray is sick with
the flu and will be coming home shortly. Our pictures have all been
developed and are waiting to be picked up at Safeway ... will probably
be quite expensive. (My prediction: $46.58.) (Turned out to be about
Monday 2 p.m.
March 15, 1982
Not writing much
lately, am I? Busy living the life ... there isn't always time to put
it all into words.
I've been sick with
the flu since last Thursday. All that's left now is a phlegmy throat
and runny nose - enough to be irritating, but nothing serious. I don't
know if it's because I've been sick, but Ray and I have been picking at
each other more than usual. I get so damned IRRITATED with him. Friday
night he went to Dave's Place late in the evening, promising he would
be back "in twenty minutes" ... in fact, it was after 3 a.m. before he
came home, with no explanation, no apology. I was mad at him for most
of the weekend. When I asked him where he'd been until so late, he made
that infuriating little "hmmph" noise and ignored me! I finally
screeched at him that he "owed" me an apology and then I just stood
there, tears streaming down my face, until he finally looked down at
his feet and mumbled "I'm sorry" in a barely audible voice.
Tuesday 11:30 a.m.
March 16, 1982
Jamie had her three
month checkup this morning at 9 a.m., and Dr. Frits said she's in
excellent health and is developing "beautifully." He
complimented me on the excellent care she's obviously been receiving,
which made me feel good. Jame got another inoculation in her thigh,
which she hated, but all things considered it was a pleasant and easy
checkup and she only fussed a little bit after the shot.
(The first time she
heard "Hey Jude" - laying in her playpen looking at herself in the
mirror, sticking her tongue out.)
March 21, 1982
I'm going through a
phase where writing in my journal seems pointless ...
Thursday 4 p.m.
March 25, 1982
although there are SO MANY interesting things going on with Jamie these
days, and I feel guilty not writing about them all. I guess I just
wonder why I should bother writing about this stuff if no one's ever
going to read it? If the world is going to come to an end sometime
within the next few years, why expend the energy doing anything beyond
the day-to-day necessities? My new fatalistic attitude. Isn't it
depressing? I go about my business from one day to the next ... feel
happy one week, crummy the next week ... sometimes I forget about all
this end of the world stuff and live my life as though it'll go on
... Is beginning to dislike having things pulled over her head -
shirts, nightgowns, etc. - and protests LOUDLY when I'm dressing her
... smiles and giggles easily if Ray or I provoke her (tickling,
kissing, funny faces & noises) ...
... loves to go for car rides in her infant safety seat ...
... still sleeps 10-12 hours each night; takes two or three brief naps
during the day, usually on the sofa ...
... likes applesauce and apple juice (Gerber brand); DOESN'T like
bananas or cereal ...
... has learned to give people the raspberry ...
A Typical Morning
Mommy goes in and wakes Jamie with a soft word. Jamie is instantly
awake, all smiles. I change her diaper, wrap her in her blanky and
carry her out to the living room, where "breakfast" is ready and
waiting: a bottle of formula and a small dish of Gerber Rice Cereal.
Her reaction to the cereal: hesitant at first, then enthusiastic. Most
of it ends up on her nightgown, though. The bottle is emptied in a
flash. We watch an old "Love Boat" re-run on TV while Jamie sits on my
lap. She sings, babbles, clutches at my necklace, blows spit bubbles.
After a while I lay her across my knees, on her back, and we talk and
play a few minutes longer.
put her in her playpen while I read the newspaper, drink my coffee, put
on some makeup. The mirror is on one side of her so she can admire her
reflection: her Pink Panther is on her other side. An orange and yellow
plastic rattle dangles from a string above her, and she bats and
clutches at it happily, chubby little legs kicking wildly.
a.m. Time to get
dressed. Mom dresses Jamie in a gaily striped pullover, bright red
pants, yellow socks. Jamie is patient throughout most of this
operation, protesting only when the shirt is pulled over her head. I
tickle her, nuzzle her neck; she giggles and squeals. Back in the
living room I place her on the floor, on her tummy, and let her do her
"push-ups." She props herself up on her arms and watches me intently as
I dab on some eye makeup. Each time she catches my eye, she smiles
hugely and lets out a happy burble. She drools, wobbles her head,
clutches at the blanket in front of her, tries desperately to move ...
but can't, yet ...
Fussy time. Jamie begins to cry in frustration. I take her on my lap
and give her one ounce of apple/banana juice, then a bit of formula. We
watch Rick Kincaid leave Betsy Kenicott standing at the altar on "All
My Children." (Good. I hate
p.m. Jamie naps
for half an hour on the sofa while I quietly eat a beef pot pie and a
baked potato for lunch.
Jamie stirs, is fully awake in an instant. I put her on the floor
again, this time on her back, and sit beside her so we can "talk." I
let her grab my fingers and then I pull her up into a sitting position.
She's can't sit without support yet, but it won't be much longer. She's
a strong baby.
Next, we try
something new ... I prop her onto the sofa with a pillow and let her
sit by herself, without me holding her. She loves this! I face her and
we have a ten minute conversation ... she runs through her repertoire
of assorted sounds and syllables, and beams delightedly when I repeat
them back to her. ("Baaa ... aaah ... oooh ... mooo ... mohhh.") While
she's sitting on the sofa her little face suddenly turns crimson, and
she grunts and strains and turns her full attention to what's going on
inside her Pampers ...
finished, I carry her to her crib and change her. She is enthralled by
her animal mobile, hanging above her, so I leave her in the crib for a
while. "One Life To Live" is on the tube, and I settle into the
armchair with a cigarette, hoping she'll amuse herself for a minute or
two. No dice. Within seconds I hear the indignant squawk ("Ah-AH!")
that is her special call for me. She is back on my lap sucking away at
a cold bottle minutes later, singing as she eats, happy as a clam.
Halfway through the
bottle she suddenly stops sucking and bursts into tears! Perplexed, I
try to soothe her. Nothing works. Finally, I wrap her in her blanky and
we walk outside to check the mail. The abrupt change of scenery does
the trick, and soon the tears have stopped.
April 5, 1982
I've decided to
begin writing again -- once in awhile. There are just too many things
happening with my little daughter, precious things that deserve to be
remembered. My entries will doubtless be short, sporadic, written
whenever Jamie isn't making demands on me ... like right now, when she
is still asleep and I've got my coffee and "Donahue" on the TV ...
SO MUCH TO DO
TODAY. Last week was a busy week, people-wise ... lots of
people coming by for visits, lots of running around, going places,
doing things ... naturally Jamie went everywhere with us, and her
adaptability is a real blessing. This week, in comparison, will be
low-key and uneventful. Thank goodness. I'd like to spend whatever free
time I have cleaning the house, sorting through cupboards and closets,
getting the household in order. Spring is here, and with it my annual
itch to get organized.
April 6, 1982
Just gave Jamie a
bath -- she was beginning to smell awful! -- and for a change she
didn't complain one bit. Ordinarily she doesn't care much for her bath.
Now she's doing her "push-ups" on the floor at my feet; propped on her
elbows, her hands are relatively free to finger her brightly colored
plastic keys. God, she's cute. I could just sit here and watch her all
day. (She wiggles and gives her phony little cough to get Mommy's
attention: when I look at her, she smiles hugely, then coyly ducks her
head down into her blanket. Where has she learned all these funny
little tricks?) This will be a nice, easy day. Maybe we'll go for a
walk around the block later this afternoon if the good weather holds
April 7, 1982
I would like to
mention that last week - a week ago today, as a matter of fact - Mom
and I took Jamie to Sears and had her picture taken. Jamie was asleep
when we first arrived at the studio so we laid her on a small table and
allowed her to snooze for twenty minutes; when she woke up she was in a
delightfully cheerful mood, and smiled every time the shutter clicked.
The photographer was a young woman with long brown hair ... maybe Jamie
thought it was her Mommy, hence the big smiles. At any rate she was an
excellent subject and I can't wait to see the results.
My little pumpkin.
"Donahue" is on TV, another debate between mothers who
work and mothers who stay home with their children. I get
bored and frustrated sometimes, being a stay-at-home mother, but
overall I really like it.
first formal studio portrait
April 9, 1982
Jamie is four
months old today.
Yesterday she was
almost unbearably cranky and fussy -- frantic, almost -- and I felt
like I was going to go crazy. Nothing seemed to soothe her. Now, today,
she's already beginning to show signs of repeating yesterday. Is she
getting her teeth? Or what else is wrong?
April 10, 1982
Beautiful, brilliantly sunny day. Ray left over an hour ago to get some
gas for the lawnmower and still hasn't returned; wondering if he
slipped down to the tavern ... ?! If he did, I'll STRANGLE him. He
promised to take Jamie and I down to the Kirkland waterfront today.
Jamie is napping in
her bedroom. I'm in a great mood although slightly hungover -- Ray and
I sat up until 1 a.m. last night, drinking beer and talking. We were up
early this morning and Ray went out and bought us McDonald's for
breakfast. Feeling as though I should do some housecleaning before the
whole place falls apart, but laziness prevails ... this is one of those
days best spent lazily.
Wish Ray would get
April 12, 1982
Reading "The Stand"
again, first time since 1979.
Am I pregnant
again? (Please Lord, no ... ) I think I am. Even
this early, I just know I am. I had a regular period last month and I'm
due to start again right now. But I know I won't. I feel only the
vaguest of physical symptoms; nothing at all tangible. It's just an
intuitive feeling that I've got.
April 19, 1982
Whoops. I forgot to
tell you - I'm not pregnant after all. My period started on Saturday
morning and everything is 100% normal. What amazes me most of all is
how excruciatingly relieved I am.
I'm drinking pink
champagne in a beautiful pure crystal wine glass. There is a six-pack
of Cherry Cola in the fridge. Ray is stirring his crockpot of chili for
the million billionth time. We had it last night for dinner and I was
awake all night ... maybe I'll pass on it tonight. Jamie Lynn fell
asleep at 7:30 p.m. -- I knew she would. Last week I suddenly realized
that I know her schedule now! I know what I can expect her to do at all
times. USUALLY. (Let us not become Overly Confident here; The Boss may
decide to remind us who's in charge.) What I mean is, caring for Jamie
is truly becoming second-nature to me now. I know I said this identical
thing almost immediately after she was born, once I'd learned how to
change her diapers and fix her formula, etc. ... but even after
learning all of that basic stuff I still don't think I was truly
acquainted with Jamie as a PERSON. I didn't know how she would respond
to things. I didn't understand (or care) what her personality was like.
Now I do.
Tuesday 6:30 p.m.
April 27, 1982
Not much to say; I
keep beginning letters and not finishing them; everything always sounds
the same. Life is placid, routine, comfortable. Jamie is the world's
most perfect baby.
Thursday 6:45 a.m.
April 29, 1982
Very early -- I
haven't been up this own early, on my own volition, since Jamie was a
newborn. It feels kind of good. Ray just left for work; I was having
all kinds of weird dreams (owning a giraffe?!?) and decided I didn't
want to stay in bed any longer. Now I'm sitting on the sofa with hot,
black coffee and Sammi Cat beside me. If I play my cards right and I'm
very very quiet, Jamie could sleep as much as three hours more. That
would give me lots of time to just sit here and scribble a few pages
about what life is like these days.
Jamie had a bad day
yesterday. I'm not sure what caused it, but she was fussy and unhappy
almost all day. We changed to Daylight Savings Time earlier this week
and her schedule (and mine) are all outta whack, which may have
something to do with it. She also had a mild case of "the runs" - most
likely from the apple juice she's been drinking - I suppose I should
quit giving it to her for a couple of days and see if the loose watery
stools clear up. Maybe the juice is too acidic for her four & a
half month old system to handle. (Doctor Mommy again.)
Dad came over for
about an hour yesterday and brought Jamie a brand-new deluxe stroller!!
It's BEAUTIFUL! We put it together and propped Jame into it with a
blanket and then wheeled it all around the house -- her eyes bugging
open in surprise. Maybe later today we'll go for our first walk around
the block in our new stroller, if the dark clouds laying overhead don't
turn into rain.
As usual when she
saw my father she burst into hysterical tears, looking at me in a sort
of frantic, pleading way ... this is a fairly new development. She does
the same thing when Ray's parents walk into our house. It mystifies me:
it must be some kind of phase. Not all faces bother her or cause her to
react so violently - so far it's just Dad and Peg, mostly. Peg says she
thinks it's because Jamie has begun to associate the sight of
"Grandma's" face with Mommy going away for awhile, and it upsets and
scares her because she doesn't want me to go. Is that it? If so, I find
it curiously touching. Anyway, Dad just held her for a few minutes and
I sat nearby so she could see me, and after a little while her tears
subsided, although she remained guarded and wary the whole
time he held her.
Jamie is getting to
be so much fun. She has (almost) mastered her hands -- yesterday I
watched her clutching a rag doll in one hand and an old magazine cover
in the other hand, simultaneously. Last week I saw her transfer a
rattle from one hand to the other. If you hold an object out to her,
she'll take it from you and put it into her mouth. Her favorite things
to play with at the moment are her jingly yellow giraffe, a squeaky
puppet, her plastic keys, the little cloth Christmas dolls Peg made
her, and torn magazines. She LOVES Spencer (the dog) and Sammi (the
cat), and she'll even STOP EATING in order to watch them! An honor not
accorded lightly, may I add! She also seems to be fascinated by the
little cherry tree in our front yard, especially if the wind is
blowing. She'll sit on my lap on the sofa and watch that tree outside
our window forever, little eyes wide open.
is getting to be so much fun."
She is trying SO HARD to crawl and to talk to me. In the
crawling department, she occasionally gets one knee under her tummy but
doesn't know what to do once she gets it there -- she just sorta flops
over. Most of the time when she's on her tummy she's content to
practice her "airplanes," which she is very good at ... usually with
that fat little tongue hanging out. When she "talks" to me, it's the
usual assortment of nonsense syllables, but now she adds some vocal
inflection and facial expression, trying to mimic me I think, and it's
very cute. Since I can generally tell what she's trying to say to me
("I'm hungry" or "I'm poopy" or "Pick me up!"), I can respond
accordingly. This is our rudimentary form of communication, and it
works just fine for now. Of course I still long for the day when she
can really talk to me. But in the meantime we've got a way of
communicating with each other, and as a result my baby daughter has
ceased to be the perplexing mystery she used to be. I think that's what
I was trying to say a couple of pages back ("Some Things"), that she's
gotten easier to take care of because I'm learning to understand her.
I've been fairly
happy and content lately, as long as I'm not too far away from home. I
don't like the way I look, and I don't want anyone seeing me look this
way. I'm a good 30 lbs. overweight and I've only got one pair of pants
to my name -- a pair of old ragged jeans that I hate. Wish Ray would
buy me some new clothes. Wish I could lose some weight -- WITHOUT
dieting and exercise! Ha! Ray doesn't seem to be concerned about the
excess poundage I'm lugging around, but perhaps he's just too kind to
say anything. I know I look like hell.
Ray is a
hard-working, gentle man and he loves Jamie and me very much. We have a
fairly good marriage, although we don't talk much or go anywhere or
really have much in common. There are times when I feel there must be
something missing, but I try not to think about that too much. My
childhood dreams have been realized -- house, baby, husband -- and I
consider myself extremely fortunate, even if my toes DON'T curl when he
it's really great to be back in sillivization."
~ Bugs Bunny
Wednesday 8:30 p.m.
May 5, 1982
another bout of depression. I don't like my marriage the way it is now.
For that matter, I don't especially like RAY at the moment. We never
talk. We hardly ever see each other. We have virtually nothing in
I am so maddeningly
alone all the time. I have no friends. I have no one to talk to. If I
spend the whole day making something pretty and special, like the
Mothers Day card I drew for Mom today, there is no one to show it to.
(Ray just sorta looked at it with glazed eyes and no reaction ... he
didn't even pick it up or read it. I was crushed.) We don't have a cent
to our names, Ray is careless and irresponsible with money, and I'm
wondering why in the world I ever married this man. What a mistake I've
Tuesday 9 p.m.
May 11, 1982
Hamburgers, potato rounds, Cherry cola, "Laverne & Shirley" on
Jamie's in bed.
(Today: Sammi jumped in crib w/Jamie, sharpened his claw on the top of
her head; Jamie screamed hysterically; Mommy came running from kitchen
and picked up frantic daughter, swatted rotten cat.)
Bottle on rising;
cereal/fruit/bottle before first nap, at noon; bottle after first nap,
2 or 3 p.m.; bottle before second nap, late afternoon;
bottle/cereal/juice after nap, between 5 and 7 p.m.; bottle before bed,
8-8:30 p.m. Bed.
ALL MY CHILDREN:
Will Opal find out that Liza Colby wasn't the true winner of the Miss
Junior Pine Valley pageant -- that Jenny really won? (Yes.)
Will Donna find out that Palmer is sterile and that the baby she's
carrying is really Chuck's? Will Chuck and Melanie break up for good? (Yes
and yes.) Will Benny find
Estelle & Emily Ann? Will Jessie & Angie get together? (Yes.)
Will Mark leave Ellen for Pamela? (No.)
Will Erica and Brandon marry? When will Silver take off her glasses and
"transform" into a raving beauty? When will Greg & Jenny get
back together? When will Donna have her baby? Will Langley and Opal get
May 12, 1982
The things I wrote
a week ago were needlessly harsh and essentially untrue. I was in a
sour mood and I really didn't mean what I said. Ray has his faults, and
there are moments of blind panic when I wonder if I did the right thing
by rushing into marriage with him, but I do love him, and I do want to
work to make our marriage succeed. Above all else, though, I DON'T
REGRET HAVING JAMIE. I never will. She is the light of my life and I
love her dearly. She's my best friend!
Speaking of Boo.
She has started to "scoot" a little bit when she's on her tummy, except
that she moves backwards instead of forwards! Only an inch or two, but
that's a beginning, anyway.
June 4, 1982
Friday 11:30 a.m.
keeping a little journal for Jamie, which has taken up a lot of my
writing time the last couple of weeks. I've also been busy with my
cookbook project, rearranging things around the house, making new
tapes, re-reading some of my old books ("Now Molly Knows," "Laura,"
"The Confetti Man"). Got an early - and then a late - start this
morning. I woke up at 4 a.m. when Ray did, and then I laid in bed for a
couple of hours and read after he left for work. Jamie heard me
puttering around in the kitchen and began to sing in her crib, so I
gave her a bottle in bed and we both went back to sleep for a couple of
hours. Now I'm still sitting here in my bathrobe with my coffee, trying
to work up the energy to take my shower and get the day started. Jamie
is shredding a comic book on the floor.
(Hey!! They just
killed off Hector Wilson on "Edge of Night" !!!)
R & R tape?
Makeup, dress, hair
Letters to Michele, Sheryl, Amanda, Debbie
1/2 c Oly fridge
Put Jamie pics in photo albums
Two fragments of
last night's dream:
- Jamie was on her
tummy, playing on the floor, when all of a sudden she started to crawl
forward. I was very excited and said to Ray, "Look! She's doing it!
She's crawling!" But he wasn't paying attention to me and he missed it.
- A small,
plain-colored bird was flying high in the sky above me. Suddenly, two
vultures swooped down on the little bird; one vulture took the bird's
right wing, the other vulture took the left wing. It looked like they
were preparing to fly in opposite directions and tear the little bird
in half. I closed my eyes because I couldn't bear to watch.
June 9, 1982
Jamie Lynn P. is
half a year old today. Unbelievable!
Ray was late for
work again this morning, for the second day in a row: this time his
alarm didn't go off. He left the house at 5:15 in a panic. Western
Kraft will probably reprimand him and I'm worried. So much depends on
Ray's job. What would happen to us if he ever lost it? (Note: They
suspended him for three days.)
We have a new dog
-- a one year old German Shepherd mix named "Gretchen." She belonged to
Gary and Gail next door until they moved last week; we agreed to take
Gretchen because their new house isn't big enough for a dog. (Spencer
ran away last month and we never saw him again. Poor old Doggy. I hope
he found himself a new home and some new People, although deep in my
heart I probably know the truth.) Ray is already madly in love with the
new dog because she reminds him so much of Smokey, and Jamie adores her
too. I'm not the dog-lover the two of them are, but even I like
Gretchen's friendly, well-behaved manner.
June 11, 1982
Summer 1982 is
here. I don't generally have any sense of the seasons arriving and
departing, but for some reason I do feel it this time. Even more
amazing, I'm looking forward to summer -- usually my LEAST favorite
time of the year. I think Jamie being here has something to do with it.
There is so much to introduce her to.
THIS JOURNAL IS
TURNING INTO A DISORGANIZED MESS.
Today: bathed Jamie
in the kitchen sink for the first time, as she has outgrown her little
plastic bathtub; it worked out great. She sat up in the water, with
help from me, and played with a paper Dixie cup while I soaped and
rinsed her. After, I dried her and powdered her and dressed her in a
new pink dress, and she is SO sweet-smelling and adorable ...
wine and apple juice in the fridge ... thunder and lightning ... Prince
William ... Jamie rolling on the living room floor ... a new best
friend in my sister-in-law Judy ...
June 20, 1982
eveningward. Another hot summer day drawing to a close. The past couple
of days saw the temperatures skyrocket into the 90's: today was
mercifully cooler, "only" in the high 70's.
Busy weekend. We
had a big garage sale yesterday and today. (Total profits:
$80.00.) Debby came and spent the weekend with us, ostensibly to "help"
with the garage sale, but actually she spent most of her time talking
on the phone, in the bathroom doing her hair or sitting in the living
room listening to my records. My 13 year old sister has suddenly turned
into a gorgeous, slender, slinky, almost-woman ... she chain-smokes
Marlboros, wears heavy eye makeup, eats like a horse and dangles three
or four boyfriends at a time. It's positively AMAZING. Where is my
sweet, unaffected, ever-so-slightly-chubby baby sister?! I'm happy to
have found a new friend in her, but at the same time somewhat
disappointed to have lost my most ardent admirer and biggest fan.
Jamie adores her
Aunt Debby. They spent a lot of time together this weekend, and Jay
never seems to tire of poking her fingers into Deb's face and pulling
I feel: restless.
Tired after a full weekend of hard work. Hungry. Ray has gone to the
grocery store to pick up some things for dinner. I think we're going to
have barbecued ribs.
Oh yes - this is
Father's Day, by the way - Ray's first.
When will Jamie:
Start to crawl? End
Cut that first tooth? End of
Sit up by herself? July 2
June 21, 1982
First official day
of summer. I have a LOT of cleaning to do today ... where will I ever
find the energy?? Today's lunch: leftover ribs and salad
Princess Diana had
her baby today - a 7 lb. baby boy. The whole world has followed her
pregnancy, so this birth is a big media event. Someday that little boy
will be the King of England! If there is a "someday" ...
Took Jay for a walk
in her stroller today. It wasn't as hot as it was earlier in the week,
but it was very muggy. By the time we got home from our stroll we were
both soaking wet from perspiration.
Jamie can now roll
herself all the way across the living room floor. I have to keep an eye
on her practically every minute, or else she wedges herself into some
potentially dangerous spots. Yesterday I caught her trying to poke her
fingers through the grille of the electric fan while it was running.
She still isn't crawling, but I honestly expect that to happen any day
now. Last night Ray said he saw her get up onto all fours, with her
tummy lifted off the ground. Life will be utter craziness once she
starts crawling, but I'm looking forward to it anyway, the same way I
look forward to her walking and talking and all of the major
developments in her life. Watching her grow up is the most fun I've
Hard to believe
that ten whole years have passed since my Golden Summer of 1972 ...
Camp Firwood, Kerry Summers, "Tusk," John Riley, George Wood, Karen,
sunshine, "Summer Days," "Rocket Man," memories-memories-memories ...
My period started
this morning, which was (as always) a gigantic relief. I'd sorta lost
track of my cycle the past month or so, and as always when that happens
I was worried I might be pregnant again. I don't know why we're playing
this kind of Russian Roulette .... maybe I WANT to have another baby,
deep down inside. But circumstances and finances must prohibit my
having another baby until next year at least. I love Jamie and I want
her to enjoy being an "only" for a while. I want her to have her chance
in the limelight. I also must admit that I don't want to have two
children in diapers at the same time, if only for the sake of my own
sanity. Jamie alone is enough of a handful.
July 1, 1982
Jamie has her first
cold. This morning when we got up, her little nose was running and
crusted over, and she keeps sneezing and coughing. I've turned up the
heat all over the house -- fortunately it's kind of gray & icky
outside today, so turning up the thermostat in July isn't as
uncomfortable as it sounds -- and I've dressed her in her warmest
jammies and dosed her with baby Tylenol. Actually she's in a pretty
good mood in spite of her cold, although a bit more subdued than usual.
GOD DAMMIT ... Ray
has done it to me again. The fucking PHONE has been disconnected
because he didn't bother to pay the bill. I'm getting so tired of this
crap!! I can't even call him down at the tavern (which is no doubt
where he is at the moment). I swear to God, my patience is nearing an
-- FULL OF REMORSE -- FOOT PLANTED SQUARELY IN MOUTH:
The phone being
dead was not Ray's fault after all -- it was a mechanical problem. And
the bill wasn't even due yet.
July 3, 1982
Saturday 5:10 p.m.
yucky day. Getting tired of the rain. Tomorrow we're having people over
for a Fourth of July barbecue/party, and I hope the weather isn't as
shitty as it is today.
Jamie can sit up by
herself now, for as long as three or four minutes, with no help from
me. Yesterday was the first day this happened. Her cold remains the
same ... runny nose, hacking cough. Her little cousin Billy is down
with a severe ear/nose/throat infection, and since Jay was around him
quite a lot this past week I'm watching her anxiously. Worried.
I am getting too
Ray called here an
hour ago and asked for "Cathy" ... he didn't even recognize my voice or
realize that he'd dialed his own number. Wonderful. He must be
screwed-up already, and it's only 5:00.
Don, Judy and Billy
CAN'T COME BECAUSE BILLY'S SICK
Don & Peg - not speaking to each other! but still coming?
Dad & Valerie
Randy & Geri W.? No
Kurt & Wendy - "MAYBE" (They have other places to go)
Dave & Cathie W. - "MAYBE" (Doubtful)
Robby T. - Bringing potato salad
Janet K. & Friend - Can't come, Janet's sick
Sheryl & Jeff? Can't come, going camping
Scott & Leslie
Tim (Scott & Leslie's neighbor) - invited him just now
Dave & Cathi McK. - YES
Randy W. - ?
the Fourth of July, 1982
(Intersting aside: we wouldn't know it until months later, but this is
the night Kacie was conceived.)
- Jamie to sleep
thru the night!
- Dresser or chest
- New sofa
- The Go Go's,
"Beauty & The Beat"
- Blank cassette
- Jamie - mobile
- Sofa cushions
- Two HUGE photo
- Coffee mugs
- 2-3 hanging
- Jamie - high
Springfield, "Working Class Dog"
- Christmas pics
- Mother's spoon
- Hair ribbons,
- Jamie - wall
hangings for her room
- Kitchen canister
- New jeans
- Jamie - crib
mirror & crib toys
- Cuckoo clock
- Towel rack in
- Flat shoes
- New bras
- Typing paper
- Large 3 ring
- Pearl ring
- Peg Benatar, "In
The Heat of the Night"
- Felt tip markers
- Joan Jett, "I
Love Rock & Roll"
- Pink Floyd, "The
strongbox for my journals (I
was constantly worrying about my journals being destroyed in a fire:
one reason why, seventeen years later, I wound up putting them on the
- Jamie - wall
- Brick tiles in
- Sofa and chair
- Woven wall
hanging (for l. room)
- Paint bedroom
- Large baskets
& pots for upper shelves in kitchen
- Jamie -
- Car for me
- Jamie -
- Jamie - assorted
- Jamie - assorted
- "The Mirror" by
- Jamie - tennis
- Jamie - dress-up
July 7, 1982
We had violent
thunder and lightning storms last night, which kept me awake
for hours. Usually electrical storms don't bother me at all -- I enjoy
them, in fact -- but something about last night's storm left me feeling
uneasy. I kept getting out of bed and prowling around the house,
checking windows, putting extra blankets on Jamie. Her cold really
hasn't gotten much better: she's still got a runny nose and a phlegmy
cough. I should probably call Dr. Frits this morning and ask for some
advice. It seems to me she should have shaken this by now.
saying "Da Da" a couple of days ago. Actually, I think she just learned
to make the "D" sound, and doubles it up occasionally to come up with
something that sounds remarkably like "Daddy." I can't believe how
quickly the changes are occurring now. Since she began to sit by
herself last week, she's been giving even more time and
attention to trying to crawl. She can get fully up on all fours now,
with her tummy well off the floor, and rocks back and forth as though
she's WILLING herself to move. When she's on her tummy she can turn in
any direction by using her arms as propellers.
Looking into her
mouth this morning I think I saw the very tip of a little tooth, on the
bottom right gum. She won't allow me to investigate further, though, so
I can't be sure.
CeCe's kittens are
ten days old ... the gray one's eyes are open this morning.
The Fourth of July
was a lot of fun. Dad & Valerie, Don Sr., Peg and Barbara, Don
Jr., Judy and Billy, Robby T. and his girlfriend Nancy, and Kurt
& Wendy all joined us for beer, barbecued hamburgers and
My dream last
night: making a movie with Kim DeLaney and Lawrence Lau, sad when
production was over.
1. Syrupy music,
drippy announcer: "... Times like these are made for Taster's Choice."
2. "I won't put ON
my bikini ... till I take it OFF with Neet!"
July 12, 1982
Summer continues to
roll along ... peacefully, gently, placidly. We had another family
barbecue at our house yesterday -- Sheryl & Jeff, Don Jr. and
Judy and Billy. Ray cooked chicken on the grill, and I made stuffed
baked potatoes. We ate at the picnic table in the carport and had fun,
talking and catching up on family gossip. Sheryl and Jeff have set
January 8th as their wedding date, and for the first time in
I-don't-know-how-long Sheryl and I were not merely civil, we were
genuinely friendly; this comes as a gigantic relief, as she is Jamie's
aunt and will therefore always be a part of my life, one way or
another. It would be stupid to remain hostile forever. She and I are
both still completely opposite personalities, and I doubt we'll ever be
close friends, the way Judy and I are, but we've both thawed
considerably and it makes life just that much easier.
Jamie has learned
to maneuver herself into a sitting position with no help at all. It's a
long, laborious process and involves a lot of twisting and rolling, but
when she finally manages to get up on her bottom she shrieks in pure
delight & the look on her face is priceless. She is beginning
to learn about freedom, I think: nothing can stop her now.
up by herself
been spending some time out in the sun, usually when Jay is napping,
and I've managed to get something of a tan this summer. Nothing
spectacular, but not bad for me! Better by far than being deathly pale,
anyway. It makes me feel a little better about myself. There's still
the impossible obstacle of my extra weight, though ... I'm beginning to
feel horribly self-conscious about the new, EXPANDED Terri. All of the
women in Ray's family - my sisters-in-law, even my mother in
law - are slender and pretty, and when I'm in the same room with them I
feel like an absolute CHUNK. I hate to walk out of a room because I'm
sure that everyone is snickering at my immense behind and the rolls of
fat around my middle, and thinking "How could she just let herself go
like that?!" I have nightmares about running into an old boyfriend or a
high school classmate, someone who hasn't seen me in a few years. What
would they think, seeing me like this? What a ghastly thought. When I'm
out in public with Ray, no one ever looks at me the way they used to,
back when I was thinner and pretty and heads turned when I'd walk into
a room. I know how disgustingly vain that sounds, but it's true. I used
to just eat up the attention I got from even complete strangers. Now
I'm just another fat, ordinary, frumpy/dumpy housewife that no one
gives a second glance, and it is profoundly depressing. I've always had
trouble controlling my weight but I've never been this grossly out of
control. I look terrible and I feel terrible, but I just can't seem to
do anything about it. I eat too much of the wrong foods and I get
practically no exercise at all. I drink too much beer and pop. I snack
almost constantly ... whenever I'm bored, lonely, frustrated, angry ...
for breakfast I eat the leftovers from dinner the night before, TV
dinners for lunch, and then whatever big heavy meal Ray cooks at night.
(Tonight we're having porkchops.) After dinner I have
bread and peanut butter, pop, ice cream, whatever I can
scrounge up. All these family barbecues we've been having lately
haven't helped much, either ... lots of rich gloppy sauces, potatoes
with butter and cheese and sour cream, more beer.
love to eat. I love food. But I don't think that's why I'm fat ... why
I'm keeping myself fat and unhappy. Deep down inside, I must not really
want to be thin: there's something inside of me, some nameless
unconscious fear, that prevents me from dropping the weight and feeling
good about myself again. What could it be? Am I punishing myself
finally makes an appearance!
Jamie just woke up
from her afternoon nap, and now she's sitting in her high chair eating
one of her "cookies" (her teething biscuits). It's hot and muggy this
afternoon, so I've got her stripped down to her diaper and a pair of
plastic pants. She's got messy cookie all over her face, her hands, her
pants, her chair ... it's so cute! She's having such a ball working on
her biscuit that I don't even care about the mess. I love her SOOO
much. Happy, messy, wiggly little girl. My little puss. Where would I
be without her?
I have just re-read
everything I've written in this journal, and like an idiot it has
FINALLY dawned on me why I'm keeping this journal in the first place.
Not just this journal, but all the ones that came before, and those
which will surely come after. I'm keeping them for Jamie. Why have I
been writing in these silly notebooks since I was thirteen years old??
Why does the habit continue - flourish, even - eleven years later? My
life, duly recorded in spiral-bound notebooks, stored in a cardboard
box at the bottom of my closet ... more than thirty different
notebooks, as well as assorted diaries, summer camp notebooks,
sketchbooks, letters ... why have I bothered, all these years? Why have
I spent the time, effort and money, pouring out my heart and soul onto
paper this way?
Now I know why.
It's for myself, partly - for the sheer pleasure of re-reading the
things I've written, transporting myself back to other places, other
times. But now I know it's also for Jamie, for my little darling puss.
Someday these journals will be hers. If anything ever happens to me, at
least she'll have something to remind her of me.
afternoon ... a complete turnaround from yesterday. I'm tired. I stayed
up until 1:30 last night watching horror movies on Channel 13
("Invasion of the Body Snatchers," the original 1956 version, and then
"Race With The Devil" with Peter Fonda & Warren Oates). When I
turned off the TV finally I was too rattled to sleep! I layed in bed
and listened to the sounds of the night ... Ray snoring next to me in
the bed, the refrigerator humming, Gretchen barking out in the back
yard, the kittens mewing for CeCe from their box in our bedroom. I got
up a couple of times and checked on Jay. Babies sleep in such a
vulnerable, abandoned way ... flat on her back, arms and legs flung
wide open, blankets kicked off ... no fears, no worries ...
She's so cute right
now. She's wearing a purple and white polka-dot dress, lavender tights,
new white shoes. I love to dress her in pretty, frilly things.
I gave her a piece
of hard toast, cut into quarters and smeared with some strained baby
peaches. Most of it ended up on the floor and on her bib, but she
thoroughly enjoyed herself. Now she's on the living room floor, playing
with the phone. Our phone is a bright candy yellow and she loves it. I
don't mind letting her play with it, although I know I probably
shouldn't let her get in the habit: it might cause problems later on. (Just wait until she's THIRTEEN!)
But I enjoy letting her have her freedom. Everything fascinates her,
even the most common household objects. She likes to pull my record
albums out from under the stereo.
Wow. I'm so sleepy
I can hardly keep my eyes open. It's 4:00 now and Jay is napping, but I
know that if I lay down and try to catch a few zzzzs, she'll wake up
and interrupt me. So I guess I'll just try to hang on and then go to
bed early tonight. It's dark and stormy outside. I've got a frozen
chicken pot pie in the oven for a late lunch/early supper; the whole
house smells warm and good.
Oops - she just
woke up. I knew it!
Casey P. (my son,
someday?) Jeremy? Kimberley Dawn P. Another daughter ... Melissa?
TAKE JAY'S CARSEAT
AND MY SWEATER OUT OF CAR TONITE
Raymond ... where
are you with my typewriter ribbons & my beans??
Thursday 10:30 a.m.
July 15, 1982
today (and no, I'm not hungover). I woke up this morning with a sore
throat and a headache, undoubtedly the beginnings of my annual summer
yuck. The house is a total mess and I'm still in my bathrobe, but maybe
later this afternoon I'll feel more energetic and will get things
picked up before Ray gets home. I just hope no one decides to drop by
today. My social life has picked up considerably this summer ... hardly
a day goes by that someone doesn't stop by or phone. It's really nice,
and I love having friends again, but today I just want to hibernate.
(Jamie is all the
way down the hall!)
Yesterday was a
super busy day. Judy and I took our kids for their doctors appointments
with Dr. Van P. -- Jay's was at 12:15, Billy's at 12:30. I brought
Jamie's carseat and strapped it into the backseat of Judy's car, right
next to Billy's carseat, so she rode safely and comfortably while we
ran all around town. Jamie's appointment went (fairly) smoothly. She
weighs 17 lbs., 1 oz. and is 27" tall. Dr. V said she's in perfect
health and is developing in the top 50% of her age group, or something
like that. She's doing just fine, anyway. She got her third DTP shot -
she hated it, of course, and began screaming her head off before Claire
even inserted the needle into her thigh - she also got another oral
polio, and then we were all through. Judy and I took the kiddlywinks to
Chuck E. Cheese for lunch, to help them forget about the doctor ... a
noisy, rollicking place filled with kids, games, music, rides,
balloons, cartoon characters ... a regular ZOO, but Billy adores it and
I have a feeling Jay will too, when she's a little older. She was just
a little overwhelmed by all the bright lights, loud music, screaming
kids: she sat in a highchair eating a cracker, taking it all in with
enormous eyes. We had pizza and salad for lunch, and I bought a "Chuck
E. Cheese" poster for Jamie's bedroom. After lunch we all went to
Bellevue Square to do a little shopping. I bought a T-shirt, for $6, to
put my "Super Mom" iron-on decal on. We stopped briefly at Dave's Place
to say hello to Ray and have a cold drink, and then we went to Peg's so
I could pick up my laundry.
July 17, 1982
I was sick
yesterday and the day before with a sore throat, fever and headache.
Yesterday, in fact, I felt so rotten that I called Peg and asked her to
take Jamie for the day so I could stay in bed and sweat out my fever.
Peg was delighted at the prospect of having her granddaughter to
herself for a whole day, and came right over to pick her up at 10:00. I
had no idea how quiet and lonely this house could be without my baby.
It was sorta nice to be lazy and just lounge around in my robe all day,
but I MISSED MY BABY. I kept catching myself doing really stupid
things, like tiptoeing past her bedroom door so I wouldn't wake her up,
turning down the TV, listening for her cry ... it didn't feel right,
not having her here in the house with me.
Question: "The age at which your youth ends."
Answer #1: "25."
Answer #2: "30."
The #1 Answer: "21."
July 19, 1982
weekend. Had another family barbecue Saturday night, this time at
Sheryl's house, and then another one on Sunday at Don & Judy's
(Don made chicken tacos). Judy made an authentic Mexican dessert called
sopapillas, which are made of deep-fried batter, very plain but
delicious with honey on them. Jamie sat on my lap and ate half of one.
Wednesday 9:30 p.m.
July 21, 1982
Ray and Jamie are
both asleep already, but I'm trying to stay up until 10:00 so I can
watch "Dynasty." I've been watching it every week this summer (in
re-runs) so I can be caught up on the story when new episodes start
again in the fall.
Two exciting things
have happened this week: Jamie learned to crawl, AND she got the her
Jamie crawled for
the first time on Monday night. Ray was sitting on the floor with
Jamie, watching "The Muppet Show" and playing with CeCe's kittens
(Jinx, Mitzi and Norman). Jamie was watching the kittens intently, when
all of a sudden she began a slow, wobbly crawl towards them. Ray and I
were so excited that we started to shout, which of course startled poor
Jamie. She collapsed onto her tummy and looked at us like we were both
crazy. I immediately ran and wrote the event down in her scrapbook and
her baby book.
I should add that
Jamie was sick that evening with conjunctivitis. When I went to wake
her up from her afternoon nap her eyes were practically glued shut.
They were so red, swollen and crusted-over, she looked positively
Oriental. I ran to the phone and called my sister-in-law Judy, and she
calmed me down enough to call the pediatrician. The nurse prescribed
some eye drops, and I called Peg and asked her to pick them up for us.
Jamie hated the drops, and she screamed furiously when I put them in,
but I noticed an improvement right away. Anyway, Jamie was sick on
Monday night, before the drops had a chance to work, so the fact that
she crawled for the first time that night is amazing. She has a lot of
Today she practiced
her crawling a little bit, mostly trying to reach the kittens, and
after only two days she's already noticeably stronger and steadier,
although she's still wobbly at times. Once I was stretched out on the
living room floor, with my eyes closed, resting my head on my arms.
Jamie crawled all the way across the floor, straight over to where I
was laying, and started to grab my hair and bat at my head and giggle.
This afternoon I
saw the tooth, or at least the spot where it's breaking through the
gums. It's on the bottom right side of Jamie's mouth. She's been
unhappy and fussy a lot these last couple of days, and I'm not sure if
it's because of her eyes, her teeth or both. Ray bought her some Baby
Orajel to help with the teething pain. It's fruit flavored, and I'm
supposed to rub it onto her gums with my finger. The fact is, though,
that she's pretty darned tired of Mom poking around her face (wiping
her eyes, putting in the drops, cleaning her ears, rubbing on the
teething medicine) that she yells if I even try to touch her mouth.
Mom and Grandma St.
John are home from their trip to Wisconsin, and they came over
yesterday to show me their vacation photos and bring some gifts for
Jamie. Mom gave her a T-shirt and panties that have Mt. Rushmore on the
front. The panties are too small but the shirt fits. Grandma brought
her a big toy elephant made out of a very soft, fleecy material. Judy
and Billy were here, too, and she looked at all of Mom's pictures even
though I could tell she was bored stiff. Judy had just gotten her hair
cut and she was wearing a new sweater, a soft fuzzy brown, and it
reminded me how chunky and sloppy I look. I don't have any decent
clothes except for one good blouse and my new jeans, and my hair needs
a good trim, plus there's all the extra weight I'm lugging around. I
would love to look like Judy.
Tomorrow is Ray's
payday, and it's going to be a good one. He's giving me $100, maybe
$150, and Judy and I are going to do some shopping on Friday. I'd like
to buy some clothes for Jamie and me, some toys for Jay, some stuff for
the house, and some advance Christmas gifts, but I doubt I'll have
enough money to get everything I want.
There's a chance we
may buy Don & Judy's living room furniture this weekend! A big
sofa, two chairs and an ottoman. I'm really excited, and I hope Ray
buys it and doesn't fink out on me. The sofa and chair we've
got right now are so disgustingly ratty that I'm ashamed to have anyone
see them. The whole house would look better with some new furniture,
My throat still
hurts; it's been a week now. My period is three days late and last
night I had dreams that I'm pregnant again. I wonder if I am. The idea
isn't as scary as it was a month or two ago, now that Jay is getting
bigger, but I guess it's still too soon. The reasonable part of me says
to wait until 1984, but in spite of myself I feel this crazy,
irrational hunger to have another baby. I wish I had the money and the
room and the help to have a whole bunch of children, right away. I
would love to have a house full of kids. I would love for Jamie to grow
up surrounded by brothers and sisters. We can hardly afford one baby as
it is, though, so I'll probably only have one or two more, if any. If I
am pregnant right now the baby would be born next April. Jamie will be
16 months old then. Hmmm. Would that be too much craziness to ask for
July 22, 1982
Waiting for Jay-Jay
to wake up from her nap so we can go out in the back yard and enjoy the
sunshine. I'm going to take her playpen outside with us and let her
crawl around in it. Hungry, but the cupboards and fridge are empty.
Just as well, I s'pose. This can be Day One of Terri's diet. Sunny,
breezy day. I washed my hair and pulled it back into a fat braid. Later
this afternoon, when it's dried, my hair will be nice and wavy.
Tired. Lots of
sunshine and wine today ... my head is swimming. Very relaxed, happy,
enjoying this summer. Jamie is changing so much, so fast. Just within
the past three weeks she sat up by herself, began to crawl and sprouted
her first tooth.
Friday 5 p.m.
July 23, 1982
This will be my
final entry for this journal. Unwinding with a cold glass of wine and
the news on TV. Jamie is sound asleep in her crib after an incredibly
hectic day. Judy, Billy, Jay and I went shopping today: I spent nearly
every cent of my $100 and got a lot of nice things, mostly for Jay
Bird. I bought her two pairs of pants, one pink, one light blue, and
two cute tops to mix and match with the pants; some toys to hang in her
crib; a little rattle with a suction cup to stick onto the tray of her
highchair; a "rocker/stacker" toy to play with when she's sitting on
the floor; and a water-filled teething ring. For myself I bought two
tops - one is a smock-type blouse, the other a short-sleeved T shirt -
a set of watercolors and a drawing pen, mascara, tampons (just in case
my period starts), a big jar of Noxzema, stationery &
envelopes, and a new journal. We shopped at Fred Meyer and Bonanza 88,
had a salad lunch at Chuck E. Cheese, and stopped by Peg &
Don's so I could borrow the vacuum cleaner. I gave Judy $100 for her
living room furniture, and tomorrow Don Jr. is going to move it over
here for us. I CAN'T WAIT!! NEW FURNITURE!! Our
living room will finally look halfway decent, and I won't have to feel
embarrassed when we have people over.
Journal: I leave
you in the middle of Summer '82 ... a much happier, more fulfilled,
more content person than I've been in a long time ... enjoying summer,
enjoying my baby, enjoying my life. Jamie is so much a part of my life
now that it amazes me. In seven and a half short months she has become
the most important person in the world to me. I can't believe how
deeply and profoundly I love her. Sometimes it makes me think I haven't
really understood about love until now. It's almost a physical
sensation: a tightening in my heart whenever I think about her, a
warmth that spreads all the way to my fingers and toes.
My grandmother's full name at birth: Viola Anna Belle Velma Louise
Matilda Marguerite Elsie May Roberts
Where is Laura? Who cares ...
Is Maeve gonna die? Nope
Is Larry gonna marry Mimi? Nope
Is Roger gonna marry Jane? Nope
Over the weekend we wonder:
Did Raven really shoot Jinx? No
Where is Rick going? Is he leaving Betsy at the altar? Yes
Did Ivan kill Pamela? No
Where did Luke take Laura T.? Who
DURING THIS JOURNAL:
- Our Lips Are
Sealed - The Go Go's
- Dead Ringer -
- I've Done
Everything For You - Rick Springfield
- The Sweetest
Thing - Juice Newton
- Every Little
Thing She Does Is Magic - The Police
- Centerfold - J.
- Harden My Heart
- I Love Rock
& Roll - Joan Jett
- (Theme From)
Chariots of Fire - Vangelis
- When All Is Said
& Done - Abba (first heard today, 2/5/82)
- Young Turks -
- You Could Have
Been With Me - Sheena Easton
- Calling All
Girls - Hilly Michaels
- Find Another
Fool - Quarterflash
- Hollywood -
- Do You Believe
In Love? - Huey Lewis & The News
- Empty Garden
(Hey Hey Johnny) - Elton John
- I've Never Been
To Me - Charlene
- My Desire -
Johnny & The Distractions
- Hurt So Good -
- Gloria - Laura
- Agnes - Donnie
- Say Goodbye -
to throw a rock?