Friday, February 29, 2008

Nap Time

No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap. ~Carrie Snow

I have to say that, although I love every waking minute I spend with Sophie, I love it when she naps, too. And yes, she still naps in her swing. Yes, I'm working on getting her to take naps in her crib. No, that hasn't been terribly successful yet. I'll keep you posted.

But I digress. First off, she is impossibly cute when she sleeps. Sometimes I just sit and stare at her. As much fun as this pastime is, it is more important to note that this break gives me some of that oh-so-treasured "me time." I would like to say that I spend all of this time
cleaning (ha), doing projects around the house (double ha), or working out (gales of laughter), but the truth is that much of this time is spent doing things that I enjoy, like this blog, or getting in a few much-needed Z's myself, or catching up on the magazines that are piling up. There is some of that first stuff, although not nearly as much as would probably be optimal. I have to think, though, that this downtime is one of the perks of being a stay-at-home mom. Its a 24-7 job, so I can't feel guilty if I take long breaks, right? Plus, I have a feeling the days are not far away when I will be chasing her around most of the day and wishing I had back these times of long naps.

Anyways, as soon as the little miss wakes up from her current nap, we'll be doing a bit of running around. Among other things, we'll be setting up the installation of new carpet in the basement! I am pretty excited for this to happen, as the carpet in here now is commercial-grade dark blue berber. I can only speculate that the previous owners got a very good deal on it because they sure didn't buy it for looks. For those of you unfamiliar with our house, the basement is the TV Room and Office as well as the laundry room, some storage and a half bath. We spend quite a bit of time down here and with the low ceilings so often found in basements and the dark carpet, it has the well-deserved nickname of "the cave." So we're going to put in a lighter carpet that will hopefully open up the room. More to come on that, for sure.

Ah, the babe awakes, duty calls...

Happy Leap Day!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I, Mommy

I read somewhere that you're not supposed to use pronouns when talking to infants because it will be some time before they have any grasp on the concept of I, you, we, etc. Therefore, I generally talk in the third person and say Sophie rather than you, ie Mommy loves Sophie. In a continuation of this, and according to the same book/article and to encourage her language skills, I narrate a large portion of my day for Sophie. Therefore, I walk around describing my activities: Mommy's going to rinse the dishes, Mommy's giving the kitties treats, Mommy has a headache. I really don't mind this, although I felt a little weird at first. (Not to mention the fact that I was a MOMMY!)

However, I now find myself doing the same thing even when Sophie is not in the room with me and on a couple of rare occasions when I was out and about without her. Case in point, I went grocery shopping the other evening, leaving Sophie at home with Neil, a rare opportunity to have a luxuriously long grocery experience. I perused the deli counter at length, pondered the merits of all of the different yogurt flavors and window-shopped the salad bar with an insouciant I-may-but-I-may-not attitude.

So, as I was deciding between the hearty Italian bread and a crusty French loaf, the words came out of my mouth even as I was thinking them, "Mommy wants the French bread." To my embarrassment, I was not alone at the bread stand. An older man was standing a few feet away and clearly heard my announcement. He looked from me to my cart, I suspect just double checking that there was no child there, and then gave me a strange smile and walked away. I would like to think that he had children and a wife who did the same sort of thing, but its just as likely that he thought that I was a little touched in the head and wanted to get away, fast. I laughed then, of course, probably a bit maniacally, further cementing the idea in his head that I was cuckoo.

Eh, who cares, Sophie loves Mommy and that's enough for me.

Here's Gomez lounging in his little bed with his mouse (one of many) by his side. When I first saw him, he was belly up with all four legs in the air, but he composed himself into a more respectable cat position before I could get the camera. You can't tell from this picture, but there is a heat vent in the wall just to his right that is absolutely irresistible to both of the cats and is the reason the cat bed is where it is.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

408 Months Old

I turned 408 months old on Sunday, oh wait, at what point do you stop counting in months? I'm probably a little old for that. Oh well, 34 then.

Sophie's pinni Aparna dropped by on Saturday with gifts from India from Amamma Parvathi including the most adorable little outfit that included a skirt, halter and duppatta(scarf) as well as little bracelet bangles and a silver spoon and bowl. The clothes and bangles are a bit big yet, but I can't wait to get her in them! Thanks, Parvathi, as always, you are so thoughtful and generous!

Aparna has promised to teach Telugu to Sophie. I am both delighted and nervous about this. On the one side, hopefully my daughter will succeed where I have failed, (despite listening to Aparna for approaching 20 years, I still only have a few words and phrases) and plus when we go to India (hopefully, someday!!) she can be our little translator. However, I just know that the two of them will have long conversations about Sophie's poor mother(me) while I sit ignorantly in the same room with a stupid smile on my face because I'm so happy my daughter speaks another language.

Mammom and Grandy came by on Sunday so that we could go out for dinner for my birthday, although I suspect they had an ulterior motive in wanting to see Sophie. :) We went to Outback Steakhouse. Now before my cosmopolitan epicure friends and family raise their nose at this much loved spot, I would like to pose the following argument. I was once the urban foodie who absolutely refused chain restaurants thinking they were the end of all things tasty and good in the world. However, now that I am beyond the beltway and happily ensconced in suburbia, the appeal of the family-friendly chain restaurants has finally come to me, especially now when dining out with Sophie. Almost all of them have these special slings for holding infant car seats and they are very accommodating to our spatial needs as pertains to said car seat. I would also like to point out that although I am unlikely to find any really daring combinations or unique menu items, I have never had a bad meal at one of these places.

In conclusion, ladies and jelly spoons, I still enjoy the small restaurants with trendy one-word names that give absolutely no clue as to the menu, but I love the predictability of the yummy Bushman 'Shrooms. And don't even get me started on Red Lobster's cheese biscuits.

On another note, as might be visible in these pictures, Sophie has developed a bit of a cranky side when it comes to being held by anyone other than Neil and I (although doesn't Grandy look very Old Spice-guy handsome?). She warms up to people fairly quickly, but she can be a bit fussy at first. I suspect this is a consequence of us doing the stay-at-home thing. Although I do get out quite a bit (I'm no shut-in), its not really that often that other people hold her. So she's very social when she's in my arms or her car seat with lots of smiles and wookie-speak, but the minute she hits someone else's arms, she starts crying. I hope this is just a phase that as she develops she will grow out of.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Morning Playtime

Every day, after Sophie's morning nap, we go to the living room and have a little play time. Sophie lays on the sofa, usually on her tummy because that's her favorite position these days, and we listen to her sing-a-long CD. I do most of the singing. Sophie generally just stares at me and laughs a little. I prefer to think she's laughing because she just loves playtime so much rather than at my singing. Her favorite song is "The Wheels on the Bus." I hold her hands and do the round and round motions with the song and am rewarded pretty much every time with smiles and gurgles.

She started playing with one of her toys today. This sounds silly, but up until now, she may have held onto, and possibly even shook, things when I wrapped her little fingers around some part of it, but not really at her instigation. But today as I was changing her, she reached out and grabbed a hold of the little dolly that sits on the edge of her changing table that has about 30 different textures and a variety of noises including squeaking, crinkling and rattling. Of course, her control of her arms isn't spectacular, so I had to help her a little (Read: keep the hard parts from falling onto the soft parts of her face.) I want her to learn from her actions, but I also want a child with two eyes. Call me overprotective, but I think depth perception is a pretty important skill.

I have a cold right now, so I'm trying hard not to kiss her too much for fear of giving it to her. How she doesn't have it baffles me, considering leading up to now I kissed her face about a thousand times a day, (look at those cheeks, how could anyone resist?). But so far, she's hale and hearty and has actually given me a couple of nights of nearly uninterrupted sleep. I think she knows I'm sick and is being considerate, my mom thinks its just coincidence. I prefer to think the former.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Believe I Can Fly

It's just the cutest thing. Neil picks Sophie up and holds her over his head and sings the R. Kelly song, "I Believe I Can Fly," which, frankly, I'm surprised at how many of the lyrics he knows. She does her part and holds her body ramrod straight out from his hands and just smiles and smiles. Its moments like these when I look at my husband and think, "what a dork."

(I've been trying to get a video of this but every time Sophie sees the camera she stops smiling, so the picture will have to do.)

Addendum: Neil had me change the last sentence to its current form because he thought what I had written was too sappy. Probably true. Honestly, though, when I see him and our daughter playing, cuddling, whatever, it really touches my heart.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pardon Me, Do You Speak Wookie?

So, my sweet Sophie has been chatting more and more over the past month or so. She is really finding her voice. A friend of mine says her baby speaks Klingon, personally, I think Sophie has developed a rare pidgin dialect of Croatian-Wookie. Neil and I get such a kick listening to her as she has long drawn out conversations with her left hand or the little jingly stuffed elephant that is hanging from the toy bar on her bouncy seat. Occasionally, I will try to communicate in her language, but Wookie is a very difficult language to master, one I think that only the unblemished ear of a child can truly tame and so we have some difficulty. I keep trying to catch her on video but she is a bit camera shy, too many flashes have left her a little shell-shocked, I think.

I wonder what she will sound like when she starts talking for real. What will her voice sound like, and her laugh? Likely the curiosity of every parent, everywhere. I hope she has a laugh like my sister, Briana. She has one of those laughs that is so infectious, it just gets the whole room going. She has started to laugh a little, but they are mostly a kind of grunting laugh. She hasn't quite got the hang of it yet.

I don't want to wish away these early days when she is still so little and everything is so new, but it is hard not to be anxious for all that is to come.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Sophie is four months old today. In some ways the time has gone by so quickly and in others it feels like it has been forever. I can't remember life without her. I mean, of course, I can remember it,
but I forget what it was like to just run out of the house, or even from floor to floor without thinking about how and what she was doing. Or what it was like to sleep through the night. Ah, those halcyon days of sleeping late.
We transitioned her to her crib nearly two weeks ago and it went as well as I could possibly have hoped. As I was changing her into her nightclothes that night, we had a little talk and I told her how she couldn't sleep in Mommy and Daddy's room anymore, that she was a big girl now and had to sleep in her own room. She was very serious and didn't say much as I cried a little. I tear up now thinking about it. She went right to sleep after I put her in her crib. I have to admit, a tiny part of me wanted her to be unhappy, wanted her to miss having her mommy right next to her. The bigger part of me was so very happy, though, that the transition had been so smooth.

I do watch her a lot, on the little video baby monitor (thanks Mammom!) as she sleeps in her crib. Sometimes when we're laying down for the night, Neil and I will sit and watch her on that little screen, waiting for her to move or twitch or something. No more Leno or Letterman, it's all SophieTV these days. Not to mention the fact that we're in bed by 9:30. Pretty pathetic.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Visit from Nammo and Grandpa

Over the weekend of February 8-10, Sophie's Nammo and Grandpa came for a visit for the first time since she was just a few days old and were just amazed at how much she had grown. At nearly four months old, she's now almost 13 pounds and 24 inches long.

We had a great visit with Nammo and Grandpa, going out to eat a bunch of times, going shopping and going to the Bodyworlds exhibition at the Science Center. For every outing, Sophie was on her best behavior. After a previous disastrous dinner outing with Neil's parents, I was a little nervous, but it seems there was no reason to worry.
I was so proud.