Monday, June 30, 2008

My Flaming Loins

I discovered yesterday why "curvy" women do not wear skirts for athletic activity, or really any activity more strenuous than watching TV. We were planning a trip to the National Zoo in DC for a little reunion with our Hypnobabies classmates. Neil was not especially excited about the outing at first. Not because he didn't want to see them, but we had a birthday party on Saturday for our friends' kid and my homebody husband (like I'm any different) doesn't normally like to have more than one day's worth of events on any given weekend.

I spent more time than I care to say trying to decide what to wear. I wanted to look halfway decent because we were going out to lunch afterwards, but we were going to be outside for several hours first, so I had to be comfortable. I settled on a khaki skirt and white polo (tres LL Bean, I know). I had considered capris but figured they would be too hot and these legs don't leave the house in shorts since the baby was born, so a skirt seemed like a good choice.

We made good time driving there despite encountering a few obstacles accompanied by a few cross words. Not to mention the fact that my beloved is not especially comfortable driving in an urban setting. So he spent the whole time we were in the city hunched over the steering wheel a la Mr. Magoo, going a good 10 miles under the speed limit. When I laughingly commented on this, he sweetly said that he wanted to be careful to protect his family. His family. I felt like such a jerk. Of course, that didn't stop me from giggling, but I felt guilty about it.

We found our friends and started walking around. Pretty quickly we realized that it was hotter and more humid than would be optimal for a day at the zoo, walking miles and miles (or so it felt) on black asphalt sidewalks. After about half an hour, I started noticing some discomfort in the inner thigh area, but I brushed it off. By the hour mark, I was in serious pain, but as long as we stopped frequently I could separate the two raw pieces of flesh and recover a little. After two hours, it is quite possible that my thighs were throwing off sparks each time they rubbed together, they hurt so bad. I am not even sure I can accurately put into words the lightening bolts of pain being sent through my chafed thighs. Somehow I survived the experience, although there might have been some limping and a VERY pained expression on my face as we walked the two miles back to our car which was, of course, located at the absolute farthest parking space possible.

Mercifully, the rest of the day saw me (and my thighs) mostly sitting down. When we got home I immediately ran (hobbled) into the baby's room and put diaper creme on my legs, which helped alleviate some of the pain. I followed it up with a motrin cocktail. I felt better when I woke up this morning and pretty much forgot about the whole thing until I took a shower a few hours later. I happened to look down at that area while I was shaving and spotted the road rash on both legs. Without going into further detail, let's just say I won't be getting into a swimsuit any time soon. Lesson learned.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sophie's Amazing Technicolor Dream Table

video

Much like her other unintended toys: coasters, golf balls, shoes, etc, this box provides a surprising amount of entertainment. Here is what that scenario is supposed to look like:

Friday, June 27, 2008

On her own two feet...

When I walked into the Bean's room this morning following our morning nap, I found her standing in her crib. That's right, STANDING. I recognize that every baby does this and it's not really a major news flash, but to us, it's huge. It means that she's getting stronger and more capable. And also that we need to lower the mattress. When I walked in, I exclaimed, "my goodness, look at you!" and she looked over at me with the biggest smile. There was such pride on her face. She was beaming. And I beamed back at her because I was proud, too. Every new step she makes is a wondrous and amazing thing. Unfortunately, there was also a part of me that wanted to tell her "no!" because standing in her crib means that she could hitch that leg up over and fall out and get hurt. Images of which flash through my head in little daymares. In fact, images of horrible outcomes race through my brain on a regular basis: missing a step when I'm carrying her down the stairs, her biting through a cord, a car jumping the curb when we're out walking, as well as a thousand others. I try not to dwell on these thoughts but they do color my actions.

The great truth is that I want her to be confident and to have pride in her accomplishments. And I will do everything in my power to make that happen. But how as parents do you balance that support with guidance. I can't rationally explain to her why she should or shouldn't do things
. So my question is: how do you keep them in check without breaking their fragile little spirits?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Numbers Thursday

A collection of thoughts that could probably merit individual posts but that I don't have the time/inclination to do. So here we go:

0 - Pounds I've lost and kept off since beginning my workout regime.
This I completely don't get because I spend 30 minutes on the stepper almost every day, in addition to various other core and strength-building exercises AND I'm still breastfeeding. It's not like I'm eating Big Macs every day, or even every week. It's been five months and I'm starting to lose confidence (said with a Spanish accent).

1 - Wardrobe changes this morning due to a pooptastrophe. That would be my wardrobe and Sophie's poop, not the other way around. Because I'll talk all day about my girl's movements, but I can't even use the bathroom on the same floor as my husband. I'm sure not telling the whole world about it.

2 - Number of belt loops that all of my pants seem to be short. I'm shaped like many women, I think, in that my waist is smaller than my hips. Which is a small mercy given the size of my hips. So why then do most women's pants only have five belt loops placed mostly in front, guaranteeing that any belt worn tight enough to actually do its job will ride up over the top of the pants?

3 - Unmatched socks that turned up in the laundry last night. Where in the Selma Hayek do the matchers go?


7 - Time Sophie got up this morning. Crazy that I now think of 7am as sleeping in.

35 - The age I said I was during a conversation with a friend yesterday despite the fact that I am, in fact, only 34. Aren't you supposed to mistake down rather than up?

48 - Number of times Independance Day was on TV this week. I mean, I love Will Smith and don't get me started on Jeff Goldblum, but that movie is on ALL THE TIME.

52 - Number of blogs I actively follow. Yikes. Perhaps I should get out more.

154 - Times I have yelled "No!" at Gomez today. And still counting.
Usually followed by "Get Down!" or "Stop!"

326* - Kisses I gave my little bean yesterday.

1865 - Calories I consumed today.
Why does it all have to taste so good? Why can't carrots and celery taste like Swiss Cake Rolls and french fries? Guess that explains "0".

* I actually stopped counting around 5, but I'm betting it was 326.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Comment Ca-va?

I've talked about blogging before, how it started out as a way to keep family and friends updated on our daughter and has turned into a really good thing for me. Especially during the earlier months of my stay-at-home-momhood, it provided a connection to the outside world that I wasn't really getting otherwise, for a number of reasons. I do sometimes hold myself back because I know that my parents and my husband's family read this, but I don't really feel that not cursing or tiptoeing around certain topics is really that much of a hindrance. I've never been one to talk about most of that stuff anyway. Imagine how tough my gynecological visits are. Our conversations go something like this:

Me: I'm having some discomfort around...there. (pointing in the general direction of the lower half of my body)
Doctor: Where?
Me: Next to my, um...

Doctor: Your vagina?

Me: Oh my god.

Doctor: Your anus?
Me: (fainting)


I'm not sure where my extreme shyness about these things came from, but the very fact that I just put those two words in this post has me literally in a cold sweat. So not writing about that stuff is no biggie. Because of this though, my blog will never be one of those avant garde blogs that says the stuff that everyone is thinking and no one says because they're too embarrassed. Because I'm too embarrassed. Likewise, I won't write things that are unkind to my friends or family, even though sometimes I really want to. Like how my sister that lives 2,500 miles away, who is a stay at home mom turned Ebay mogul, simply can't find a couple of minutes here and there to check in to my blog more than twice in four months. WTF, right?

But I digress. What I wanted to talk about is the phenomenon of commenting. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE me some comments. And if I have something to contribute to a person's post or just want to say bravo, then I'll leave one myself. In addition, I've found some really great blogs by clicking through from other people's comments. What I don't get is that some of the really popular blogs will get hundreds of comments on posts. Hundreds. I've even seen a few that had thousands of comments. I expect that most people's motivation for commenting falls into a couple of categories: communicate with the writer of the blog OR with other readers. I don't mind being number 20 or even 50 or 75 but when your comment is number 434, who exactly is going to notice you? I simply can't imagine that Dooce takes the time to read all 500 comments on every post. Seriously, scroll down and look at how many comments she has on some of her posts. I don't want you to think, dear reader, that I am posting this out of jealousy, although I am a tad chartreuse of her readership. But she has that because of her ability to beautifully and humorously convey a thought and she's been doing this for like seven years. Serious props to her and all of the hard working bloggers out there, because coming up with witty, touching, insightful posts (almost) every day isn't easy and they deserve every bit of recognition they get. I just have a hard time posting comments that late in the game because I feel like the only people who are going to see it are the people commenting immediately after me. Which maybe that should be enough, but I just don't like feeling lost in the crowd.

Having said all of this, and possibly alienating a few, please feel free to leave hundreds of comments on my blog. I promise to read every one.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Moving Along Now

The first rule of writing is to know your audience. Or maybe not the first rule, but it is certainly one of the important ones. It occurs to me that not everyone is as interested in the poop talk as I seem to be. So to clear the air after my last post, I am posting a cute baby picture. See those beautiful blue eyes and joyful smile. And how adorable is she with her little lovey, which I swear I did not position for the sake of the picture. Just try not to think about the fact that this darling baby is the same one that produced the wandering turd.














Yep, I went there.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Craptastic

(warning: poop talk)

I spend a great deal of time thinking about poop these days. And I think I'm not alone based on the number of posts about poop I've read on other people's blogs. Mostly I worry, has she? will she? and when? Recently I've begun to worry what I'll get when I pull open her diaper. Will it be the gooey mess I'm used to or the new solid variety. When the solids made their first appearance I was a tad unnerved. However, I have come to prefer them. How great is that? I have a poop preference.

Lucky for me, it's been mostly smooth sailing in the poo department since the bean arrived, with only a few blips. However, this morning we had an incident. The setting: I'm changing Sophie on her fireplace changing station. She's being a cool customer for a change. Usually it's arms and legs EVERYWHERE. When I pull down her diaper, there's a little roundish turd. Not a big deal, except that as I'm rolling up her diaper for disposal, that little turd makes a run for it and lands smack on the cat's scratch box next to the fireplace. Which now that I think about it is much better than landing on our new carpet. I say something very witty and appropriate like "oh crap!"

Although I need to keep one hand on the babe so she doesn't roll off, I don't believe I'll have any trouble reaching it. However, I just used the last baby wipe and the tissue box is across the room. There's no chance I'm picking it up barehanded and somehow the idea of leaving it sit there while I finish up the diapering and redressing seems too yucky. And that's when I realize
that this is what my life has come to - errant poo retrieval. Not that long ago I was living the high life with great clothes, parties, exotic vacations and, ohhhh, a waistline. I spent my days working to acquire multi-million dollar contracts for my employer. My nights, well those I spent sleeping. And here I am, staring down a turd.

Once I got my wits about me, I realized that I was just going to have to sacrifice a new diaper for the cause. So that's just what I did. In the end, I've come to terms with the poop pondering, handling and disposing that are a part of my life now. And crazy as it sounds, I wouldn't change a thing. Now, how do I tell the cats that the baby pooped on their scratching post?

Edited to add: The faux brick behind the fireplace was there when we moved in and I haven't figured out what else to put there or how to change it (maybe painting?) to make it look less, um, faux. Any ideas??

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Smile and the World Smiles with You














During a lunch excursion yesterday, we tried out the restaurant high chair
(germ city) for the first time. Despite my misgivings, my little bean did great. I had brought several toys for her. She played with each one for approximately 10 seconds and then threw it down on the ground. I could probably have left them at home, as she spent most of her time looking around at all of the people and the restaurant. How strange and interesting everything must seem to her.

Located in the aisle, she was quite visible to all of the servers and other patrons walking by, as well as diners at nearby tables. And she drew quite a bit of attention. (Probably because she is the prettiest baby EVER. I don't have a certificate or anything, but my mom said it was true, so it must be, right?) I am constantly surprised by how friendly people are when you have a baby. (Especially when that baby is GORGEOUS!) Almost all people will at least smile as they pass by and many will stop to talk. (About how gorgeous my baby is.) At first I thought this was totally due to our natural attraction to small humans, but I've begun to think there might be other factors as well. (My own gorgeousness -
am I over the top with this?) I think I might actually be more friendly when I am out with her. Not that I'm an ogre normally (Eye contact, are you kidding me?), but I am certain that I smile at people more often when I am holding her than when I am alone. And I am definitely more inclined to engage someone in a conversation. Mostly because I look for any opportunity to talk (brag) about her. (Did I mention that my baby is gorgeous?) I think part of it might be that I'm not in the hurry that I used to be when I had a regular 9-5. (Ha, as if I ever got out that early!) Now when we go somewhere, if Sophie is willing (read: doesn't cry incessantly), we could spend all day at it. A trip to the grocery store or the mall are ends in themselves, not just chores to be accomplished on my way home or somewhere else more important (like happy hour).

This is another unexpected plus of staying home with her (also, naps). I am rediscovering a joie de vivre that can only be experienced when you lose that go go go mindset. Now, every day is laced with opportunities. To introduce my little bean to something new or spend a few hours with a friend or just roam around the house, playing. And believe me when I tell you, we're in no hurry. (So when I'm late, as I always am, you can blame my damn joie de vivre!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Morning Explorer













Sophie loves crawling around the basement. Exploring the different textures and surfaces with her eyes, hands and, of course, her mouth. I will often watch her from the comfort of the chair at the computer. But after a bit, she will get too far and start chewing on something unpleasant, like a doorstop or the pedal on the exercycle, and I will join her on the floor for some closer monitoring.

While the majority of the basement is carpeted, there is an area between the laundry room and the back door that is tiled. This transition holds great intrigue for our little bean and when I put her down on the floor she generally makes right for it. Once there, she will first test the water by slapping the tile with her hands while her body is still firmly on carpet. Once she is certain this new surface is solid, she will pull her little body fully on to the tile. I'm not sure if it's the cool on her belly or the smoother surface to slide around on, but she really seems to enjoy that area.

This morning she had done her usual routine and was working her way towards the back door. After a few minutes, she had maneuvered herself such that I could only see her legs, so I went over and laid down on the carpet close to her. The adjacent laundry room is where the kitties take care of their business and it is not unusual, fastidious though they are, that they track a small amount of litter out. So as I'm laying there parallel to the floor, I notice some litter on the tile. Dutiful housekeeper that I am, I weighed the different cleaning options. One included going upstairs for the broom (out) or using the small hand broom that was close but would take quite a lot of sweeping to get this area clean (also out) and opted for the dustbuster that was in the laundry room.

I grabbed the dustbuster and turned it on. Sophie was only about three feet away and was facing the other direction, so she didn't see me as I came up behind her with it. When I turned it on, the poor thing screamed and jumped a good foot into the air. Which is no small accomplishment considering she had been flat on her stomach at the time. I attribute it to her highly developed stomach muscles. I immediately turned it off and she stopped crying. I sat it down on the floor and picked her up to soothe her a little. After a few minutes, I put her back down and she crawled over to it and touched it with the gentlest of caresses. So I mistakenly thought that she might be prepared for me to finish my task. This time she was slightly to the side of me, watching. When I clicked it on, she cried out again and moved to shield herself from it behind my feet. This is the first time she has ever acted afraid of something. I use the hair dryer on an almost daily basis while she is in her bouncy seat in the bathroom with me and she never seems troubled by it. Likewise drills, the ice dispenser on the fridge, the dehumidifier and various other equally noisy objects. So I was surprised by her reaction, but what surprised me more was what followed.

After the second time, I sat down on the ground and she immediately climbed up into my lap and clung to me for comfort. And just like that, after months of playing the role of mother, I became THE MOMMY. Not just the person who feeds her and changes poopie diapers and cleans up the variety of messes she creates, but the person who embodies safety and happiness and comfort. And I'll tell you something, it feels good. It feels damn good.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Firsts

My beloved,
I wish I could say that every important first in my life had taken place with you. However, it took thirty years of firsts for me to get to a place where I was ready for you. I made a lot of bad decisions before you helped me start making the right ones. When I met you, a lot of impossibilities suddenly became possible. Things I had never thought I would even consider, that two people could love each other so much and that the love could last.

This world, with all of its problems and potential heartbreaks, has not always been kind to me and I have occasionally thought it had it out for me. This world, that I thought was full enough without my adding to it. But with you, I began to see that maybe there was room in this world for more. The love that I, that WE, could bring to a new life was enough to fend off the evils that exist both within and outside our walls. And so we began this adventure. Through a sometimes rocky pregnancy and a very rocky delivery, we were together, hand in hand. I could not have asked for a more supportive partner. I am so proud that you are the father of this baby girl. This beginning. This continuation.

Over the last eight months, I have watched you both grow. She in the most literal sense and you in a less physical, but no less tangible way. I have seen how with just a smile she can change your day. The absolute joy her laughter can bring to you and the bottomless sorrow her tears. I admit that before she came into our lives I worried some. It was not you that I doubted. Not really. It was my own cracks that were showing. I needn't have.

So here we are, a family. Each day I love her more. And I love you more. And I love US more. Our baby girl, our future - all of our hopes poured into one tiny little being that such a short time ago was just a dream yet unfulfilled. Here's to all of our days together and all those yet to come.

Happy First Fathers Day!!
Love, Me

Saturday, June 14, 2008

She's a Sitter!

Another month has passed and you know what I want to say. She has made some pretty incredible developmental leaps this month. I don't want to brag but (that's what this blog is all about, so...) she is one heck of a sitter. It should be said up front that she comes from a long line of folks with a distinct capacity for using their posteriors. Knowing this, there was some pressure on the little bean to be at least proficient. I was a little concerned at first, because she seemed to have very little interest in sitting. All she ever wanted to do was stand, stand, stand. Its the same old story, kids HAVE to be different than their parents. She fought it, and indeed fights it still, often toppling over just to spite me and my old fashioned sitting ideals. But in the end, the genes win out and I'm proud to say she's a sitter (one lone tear runs down my cheek).

video

As usual, we had fun with her monthly photo. Like I don't take pictures of her EVERY SINGLE DAY. I couldn't get her to sit still long enough to take that one perfect picture, so this month is going to be a slide show. And I'm pretty sure I'm breaking copyright laws or something by putting the music in, but I couldn't help myself. I mean, seriously, who doesn't love the Muppets? I plan to introduce my girl to them as soon as I think she's ready. Which may be this afternoon, now that I think about it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Back from the Edge

Yesterday was one long day but, mercifully, it's over. Somehow I managed to avoid a ho-ho breakdown, so the diet is still marginally intact. Of course, the pizza and cinnastix for dinner probably don't help but since they were part of a meal I'm not counting those as a real splurge. I'm reverting to my ostrich theory of dieting that if the number of calories and fat are not written on it, then there aren't any. Of course that might be how I got where I am now, but lets not kibble over details. There was just no way I was cooking and lets face it, gobs and gobs of cheese are so gratifying when you're coming off of a day like that. So the good news is that I was actually able to get about six hours of sleep last night with only one wake up by the babe AND she went down for a two and a half hour nap this morning. I said to hell with the no naps business and laid down myself for a nice long snooze. And I'm back, people. I feel refreshed and ready to take on the world. Or at least my little slice of it.

Sophie and I went to a mom's group this afternoon with one of the mom's I met in swim class. It's a group of stay-at-home moms that get together once a month, rotating through their houses. It's the first time I've had an opportunity to really sit down with a bunch of other SAHMs. Of course there were the usual war stories about our birth experiences and how our babies slept and so on. And it was EXACTLY what I needed. I forget sometimes how much I miss interacting with adults. I get so caught up in our little world here that sometimes days will go by where the only people I talk to are Neil and Sophie. And obviously, Sophie isn't much of a conversationalist. I realized the other day that I had not gone farther than the sidewalk in four days. Four freaking days! I felt like an agoraphobic.

Sophie enjoyed watching the other babies and exploring an entirely new space. She was in good humor for a solid two hours before getting a might cranky. I decided it was time to go, we said our thanks and were out the door. I am happy to report that this:














was the result of her busy afternoon. In case you can't tell, that is one passed out baby. And when we got home she moved her nap in to her crib and slept for another hour and a half. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there are few prettier sights than a sleeping baby.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Counting Sheep and Other Useless Activities

I'm really struggling today. I have some sort of weird insomnia that afflicts me most nights lately. Last night I read until about 11:30 and then turned the light out and watched the shadows on the ceiling for two hours. Thinking. I actually tried counting sheep at one point. When my brain finally quieted and I fell asleep, Sophie woke me. I got a whopping 45 minutes of sleep that time. And then an hour and a half later she wakes me again. I'm not one of those people who can just go right back to sleep, either, so I was up a good half hour each time. And then she was up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6am. I don't know why I'm having so much trouble sleeping. The weird part is that I can nap like crazy during the day, but I haven't been because I thought that might be fueling the nightime sleeplessness. So now, no naps and only 4 fractured hours at night. This isn't fun.

Today Sophie is super fussy and won't nap and I'm losing my mind a little. Okay, a lot. I definitely need a ho-ho. Or a whole box. Unfortunately, the only sweet thing I have in the house are these stupid 100 calorie packs of cookie-esque things because I've been trying so hard to lose weight and I wanted to get all temptations out. So it actually will take a whole box to even begin to satisfy my need for a comfort binge. I try to keep it light on here, but it isn't all sunshine and kittens, folks. It just isn't.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What's in the basket?

Not a whole lot going on around these parts. Which is not surprising since it's hotter than the depths of Hades. I'm going to brave the heat, though, and go do some shopping. Among other things, I have to get some presents for an upcoming unnamed holiday that a certain someone has been talking about for weeks. He's still upset because he got me flowers last year for mother's day and I didn't get him anything. As I keep telling him, at that point I was still doing all of the work. Other than being nice to the pregnant lady and, of course, that one special night, he hadn't really put in much "dad" time yet. But this year. It will be something special.

I was doing some laundry this morning because the bean had run out of bibs. As I've mentioned before, this kid can DROOL. We're going through them at the rate of four or five a day. I just packed up a bunch because they were too small. I was starting to worry that I was cutting off the circulation to her head when I squeezed them on her neck, and I'm pretty sure that is not good.
I'm no expert, though. So I started a load last night and finished it up today. I pulled them out of the dryer when they were still warm and toasty and would you believe the bean crawled right up into it. Don't be silly, she's way too small to pull herself into it. Feh. I did put her in it, though, because how could I resist? Of course, now I have to rewash those pants and at least one other item of clothing that went straight into her mouth. But it was totally worth it.














I swear that sometimes she is so cute, it hurts a little.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

She's on the move

The bean is officially mobile. In fact, putting her down on the ground ensures that she will be in, on, under and chewing on whatever is within a 10 foot radius within 6.5 seconds. She's surprisingly quick. We began the babyproofing process this morning by wrapping a strap around the freestanding gas fireplace we have in the basement to lockdown the access panel. Because despite all the other stuff, she is irresistibly drawn to that one thing which is, of course, the most lethal thing in the room. That hasn't kept us from using it as a changing table for the last 7 months (classy, eh?). Not while it was lit, at least, but still.

video

Any kid could put the rings ON the toy, but only mine can take them off with such finesse. That thing is actually kind of creepy. It starts talking/singing at completely random intervals. We'll play with it for a little bit and then leave it to do something else and five minutes later it will say HELLO! completely out of the blue. I think it's haunted.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Favorite Moments

I have two favorite moments of every day. The first is when I walk in to Sophie's room in the morning. Pretty much every morning, she wakes up before I do and (reasonably) quietly plays in her crib until one of us goes in there. There are the occasional squeals but rarely crying. This wasn't always the case. For the first five or so months of her life, she woke us up crying EVERY SINGLE DAY. I like to think that her cheery morning behavior now is some sort of payback for those traumatic mornings. Let's keep our fingers crossed that this continues, shall we? Because mommy is not a morning person and all of that crying first thing in the morning puts mommy on the edge of a nervous breakdown. (Teeth gnashing.) So when I walk in to her room in the morning, I usually find her at one end or the other of her crib with her little lovey blanket. And, here's the moment, she smiles the biggest, widest, I'm-so-happy-to-see-you smile. That one smile makes absolutely everything worth it. The poopie diapers, the midnight feedings, chasing her around to keep her off the electrical cords and catscratch boxes (cat nip, not just for cats), the fussing and crying. That 1000-watt smile lights up my every day.

The second of my favorite moments comes at the end of the day. One thing I can say for my little Sophie Bean is that she has always been a good sleeper. A typical day has her taking at least two naps of between one and three hours a piece and she goes down for the night about 6:30 pm. I think she might actually sleep more than the cats. No complaints here. In the evening, our little routine is pretty short. In fact, it can really only marginally be called a routine, but we'll go with that for now. When she gets a little older and stops trying to eat the books I attempt to read to her and when she is dirty enough to require daily baths, I plan to incorporate those two things into the nightly routine. But for right now, its just changing her clothes and then sitting down for her evening feeding and a little cuddle. She usually gets pretty drowsy during her meal and I always caress her little face as she slowly blinks her big blue eyes. Then I carry her to her crib and whisper in her ear that her mommy loves her as I gently lay her down on the mattress. She looks up at me as her eyes droop closed and then she rolls over onto her stomach, pulls her knees up under her and plops her thumb into her mouth. That's the moment I love. When she settles herself in for the night, her lovey in her free hand and her little butt pointed skyward.

These two moments are the bookends to each day. No matter what happens in between, they make it start out bright and end on a happy note. Mmmm.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Newton Might Have Known a Thing or Two

I struck up a conversation the other day with a woman over the drying bar at the local nail shop following a mani/pedi. I told her about my daughter, because even the threat of bodily harm can't keep me from talking about her, and how I had left a promising career to become a stay at home mom. I went on to tell her how my husband and I had left the city for the suburban life shortly before we were married three years ago because we wanted children and the challenges of having and raising a child in an urban setting were more than we wanted to deal with. I have several friends who are doing it and have been very happy with their decision, but it just wasn't for us. And how I love having a house with a yard and a driveway and a GARAGE! Anyone who's lived in the city will appreciate that sentiment. And not worrying about crime so much or how we're going to afford private school because the public schools are so bad.

So as I'm telling her all of this, and oh so much more, it occurs to me that this apple didn't fall far from the tree. As a kid, I used to watch in horror and embarrassment as my mom would tell her life story to anyone who would listen - other people in the check-out line, grocery checkers, gas station attendants, department store sales clerks, etc. I was mortified by this because I was certain that these people had absolutely no desire to listen to her anecdotes and at 13 my greatest desire was to de-emphasize any connection I had to my parents. Like pubescent children everywhere, I was WAY too cool to be spending time out with them. I suspect, however, that then, as now, people generally responded to her quite positively.

Now, I find myself talking to people on a regular basis, just the way she did. It seems that I've spent a good part of my life trying to distinguish myself from her big personality by being as different as possible and in the end I've wound up being more like her than I ever
would have expected. Go figure.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Babypalooza













We had our second baby round up yesterday. From right to left, they are: Joey (5 mos), Lucy (9 mos), her big sis Gwen (almost 3!), Ben (8 mos), Sophie and Will (7 mos). I just love how they're all jumbled up in the picture with arms and legs all over the place. Plus how cute is Gwen hugging her little sister, Lucy! My friend Debbie and her two month old daughter Alyssa also were there. However, the tiny miss was comfortably asleep in her car seat, so we decided not to disturb her.


What's funny is that when Sophie was the itty bitty one asleep in her car seat, people would ooh and aah and wax nostalgic about their own children and I thought, with the vanity and confidence (such as it is) of a new parent, they were just being dramatic and that I would never feel that way. Once again, I am proved monumentally wrong. I was actually a little sad to see such a tiny baby because it truly did make me miss when my little bean was so small, and we're only five months removed. I don't miss the non-stop crying jags or the sleepless nights or the absolute doubt about every single thing I did, but god, she was cute. And so cuddly. Now, its like wrangling a greased pig to hold her in my arms.

When Sophie was brand new all I could think was, okay, this is it, NO MORE BABIES! But now, well, I might be singing a different tune. Don't get any ideas, Neil, the timetable is still the same. The idea of another baby is certainly growing on me, though.