JOURNAL NO. 33
January 1982 - July 1982
Age 24

"Jamie is the world's most perfect baby."






January 1, 1982
Friday evening

Happy 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.

Evening:

Wondering - as I always do on January 1st - what this year may hold in store.







January 2, 1982
12:30 afternoon

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?

Schlepping around 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 no appetite.








January 3, 1982
Sunday night

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 guess.

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. 

4 p.m.

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
Tuesday

Jamie and I are gradually working ourselves into something loosely resembling a schedule.

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.  

 

 

Jamie 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.

3:30 p.m.

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 Clementi!)








January 7, 1982
Thursday afternoon

Tired. I've had a rough night and morning with The Boss, and my jerves are nangled.








January 8, 1982
4:30 a.m.
(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??

10 a.m.

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.

1:30 p.m.

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.

8:30 p.m.

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 left, dammit!!)








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 new-mother silliness.

My doctor's 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: He forgot.)







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.

Saturday morning. 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.






Random Thoughts:

.... 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 people!

 



"My favorite sight in the world at the moment."

 

 

... Another sign I'm getting older: slathering on moisturizer morning & night.

... 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 completely.

 

 




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 to her.

At six weeks, my little daughter:

  • Likes to have her diapers and her clothes changed, especially when I powder her bottom.
  • 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 lbs., undressed.




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 ...

Slumber parties! Jell-O! Finger painting! McDonald's! The ice cream man! Balloons ... pigtails ... modeling clay ... lemonade!







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

Tired, hungover. 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.

 

She 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 hour later.

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! :)

 

"When 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.







Monday afternoon
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.

Even 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.





January 1982








February 2, 1982
Tuesday 11:30 a.m.

(Took pic of Jamie smiling in her crib today.)



Smiling 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 this??

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 AGAIN. You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but I'm not.

6:15 p.m.

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 shortly.




 


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 been.

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.

 

Her sunbath quickly became the highlight of her day   ...  AND mine.
1982

 




Evening:

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, Smokey.







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 being pregnant again ... I just don't want to have another BABY.)







Sunday 9:30 p.m.
Valentines Day 1982

(obviously I'm experimenting with 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.







Tuesday noon
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

Early. Another 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.

Noon:

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 ... )

8 p.m.

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 come HOME.

2 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 AM.







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.

1:30 p.m.

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!

Later:

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.

(WOW! "Comfortably Numb," followed by "I Love Rock & Roll" !! KZOK)

Early evening

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 ...







Monday morning
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.

I'm pooped.

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.

Afternoon:

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 normal.

Things I'd like to buy with my part of the income tax refund:

  • Pin-ups for Jamie's room
  • 2 lg. photo albums
  • Flashcubes
  • Film
  • 2-3 tops
  • Flat shoes?
  • Slacks?
  • 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 tonight.







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 ...

8 p.m.

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.

11:30 a.m.

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 big hug.

Afternoon

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.

8:45 p.m.

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.







Saturday morning
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 Jamie's birth.




Her first glimpse of herself.
This is my all-time favorite picture of her.
1982







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 $32.)







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.)







Sunday noon
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 forever.

JAMIE:
... 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 ...






March 1982
A Typical Morning

10 a.m.   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.

11 a.m.   I 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.

11:30 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 ...

Noon.   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 Betsy Kenicott.)

12:30 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.

1:00 p.m.   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 ...

When she's 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.







Monday morning
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.







Tuesday morning
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 out.







Wednesday morning
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.

 

Her first formal studio portrait
1982








Friday morning
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

Saturday afternoon. 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 back.







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.







Monday evening
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.






Some Things

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.

"Jamie 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 kisses me.

"Gee, it's really great to be back in sillivization."  ~ Bugs Bunny






Wednesday 8:30 p.m.
May 5, 1982

Going through 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 common.

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 made.







SOME SCRIBBLES
Tuesday 9 p.m.
May 11, 1982

Tonight's dinner: Hamburgers, potato rounds, Cherry cola, "Laverne & Shirley" on TV

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 together?







Wednesday noon
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.

I've started 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" !!!)

Shower, shampoo
R & R tape?
Makeup, dress, hair
Letters to Michele, Sheryl, Amanda, Debbie
Dishes
1/2 c Oly fridge
Make beds
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
Wednesday a.m.

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
Friday morning

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 ...



Summer 1982: white 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 ...







Sunday
June 20, 1982

Growing 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 her hair.

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 of July
Cut that first tooth? End of July
Sit up by herself? July 2







Monday
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

Afternoon:

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 ever had.

RAMBLINGS:

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
Thursday

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.

5:30 p.m.

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 end.

LATER -- 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.

Cloudy, windy, 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 damned fat.

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.



INVITED (originally):

Don, Judy and Billy CAN'T COME BECAUSE BILLY'S SICK
Don & Peg - not speaking to each other! but still coming?
Barbara
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. - ?

 

Our little family on the Fourth of July, 1982
(Intersting aside: we wouldn't know it until months later, but this is the night Kacie was conceived.)

 

 



 

WISHES ‘82

  • Jamie to sleep thru the night!
  • Dresser or chest of drawers!
  • New sofa & loveseat!
  • The Go Go's, "Beauty & The Beat"
  • Bookshelves
  • Stationery
  • Blank cassette tapes
  • Jamie - mobile
  • Sofa cushions
  • Two HUGE photo albums
  • Coffee mugs & hooks
  • 2-3 hanging plants
  • Jamie - high chair
  • Rick Springfield, "Working Class Dog"
  • Christmas pics developed
  • Mother's spoon ring
  • Piano!
  • Hair ribbons, assorted colors
  • "Collection" photo frame
  • Jamie - wall hangings for her room
  • Kitchen canister set
  • Telephone!
  • New jeans
  • Jamie - crib mirror & crib toys
  • Scrapbook
  • Cuckoo clock
  • Towel rack in bathroom
  • Flat shoes
  • Sweatshirt jacket
  • New bras
  • Typing paper
  • Typewriter ribbons
  • Large 3 ring binder
  • Pearl ring
  • Peg Benatar, "In The Heat of the Night"
  • Felt tip markers
  • Joan Jett, "I Love Rock & Roll"
  • Pink Floyd, "The Wall"
  • Fireproof 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 Internet.)
  • Jamie - wall clock
  • "Quarterflash"
  • Brick tiles in kitchen
  • Sofa and chair covers
  • Woven wall hanging (for l. room)
  • Paint bedroom
  • Large baskets & pots for upper shelves in kitchen
  • Jamie - sweatshirt/jacket
  • Car for me
  • Jamie - highchair toy
  • Jamie - assorted pullovers
  • Jamie - assorted coveralls
  • "The Mirror" by Marlys Milhiser
  • Watercolors
  • Jamie - tennis shoes
  • Jamie - dress-up outfit






July 7, 1982
Wednesday morning

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.

Jamie started 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 fireworks.

My dream last night: making a movie with Kim DeLaney and Lawrence Lau, sad when production was over.



COMMERCIALS I HATE:

1. Syrupy music, drippy announcer: "... Times like these are made for Taster's Choice." Bleccch.

2. "I won't put ON my bikini ... till I take it OFF with Neet!"



 




Monday afternoon
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.

 


Sitting up by herself
Summer 1982

 

I've 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.

I 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 somehow?

5:30 p.m.
"Puss" 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?

Evening

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.

Rainy, cloudy 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? Kimberli? Lindsay

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

Feeling crummy 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.






Saturday noon
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.

Family Feud Question: "The age at which your youth ends."
Answer #1: "25."
Answer #2: "30."
The #1 Answer: "21."







Monday morning
July 19, 1982

Another BUSY 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 first tooth!

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 stamina.

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, I'll bet.

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 ... ??








Thursday noon
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.

Evening:

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 cares?






FAVORITE SONGS DURING THIS JOURNAL:

  • Our Lips Are Sealed - The Go Go's
  • Dead Ringer - Meat Loaf
  • I've Done Everything For You - Rick Springfield
  • The Sweetest Thing - Juice Newton
  • Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic - The Police
  • Centerfold - J. Geils Band
  • Harden My Heart - Quarterflash
  • 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 - Rod Stewart
  • You Could Have Been With Me - Sheena Easton
  • Calling All Girls - Hilly Michaels
  • Find Another Fool - Quarterflash
  • Hollywood - Shooting Star
  • 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 - John Cougar
  • Gloria - Laura Branigan
  • Agnes - Donnie Iris
  • Say Goodbye - Triumph





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