Thursday, December 21, 2006

In Which I Realize I'm a Mother

We leave for Florida tomorrow, and I'm not really ready. No problem, though -- I can pack for a week-long vacation in about 20 minutes. Dh finds my ability amazing. I don't really overpack either -- I might bring one or two outfits I never end up wearing. Dh is the Great Overpacker. He prepares for EVERY contingency. "Well, if it snows while we're in Florida, I'll sure be glad I brought my snow boots!" Okay, not really, but he way overpacks. Every time. We zip over to the coast, I have a dainty overnight bag, he has a giant duffel bag stuffed with six outfits and three pairs of shoes.

Due to stressers in Dh's life, he didn't figure out what he wanted for Christmas until Saturday. He realized that sportsy or outdoorsy stuff he wants/needs he buys for himself. But clothes he can never seem to justify. His taste in clothing has expensified in the past few years, but his ability to spend actual money on clothes has not. He wishes he still liked the ugly Old Navy t-shirts that cost $5 on clearance. But alas, they are too ghetto for him now. (Can I just say yay?!) So he asked for nice clothes for Christmas. I have $100 to spend on one outfit for him. I was super excited, because shopping for clothes is something I can get into, whereas shopping for halogen flashlights and pocket knives kinda makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

I've been busy shopping for my many brothers & sisters (four of them will be in Florida for the holiday), so haven't bought his presents yet. I did get his stocking stuffers (we have to set an allowance for stockings, otherwise we stuff each other's full of expensive little things). Today, when Baby E emerges from her morning nap, we are going to the mall. Now, because we are going to be flying across the country, we decided we would leave each other's presents here in Oregon, and then have a second Christmas when we get back. Double the fun. (Plus, I asked for Burberry London, and I can't risk that breaking on a cross-country flight!!!!) He told me this morning if I don't have time to shop this morning, I can just do it after Christmas since we're not opening each other's gifts until then anyway. I thought, No way Jose.

Baby E is on a lovely routine now: wake at 4:30-5 am for a 20-minute nurse. Go straight back to bed and sleep until 8-8:30 am. Wake up happy and ready for the day. At 10, take a 1 hr nap. Nurse, then we usually take off for adventures (aka errands). She falls asleep in the car around 1, naps for maybe 30-45 mins. Nurse around 2. Play, roll around, bonk head. Repeat until 3-3:30. Take 2-hr nap (I usually fit in a 1-hr nap here). Up around 5. Nurse, play. Bed at 6-6:30 pm.

Last night I was watching an old episode of CSI -- a woman was dead in her living room, in front of her baby boy who was crying in the playpen. I thought how horrible that would be, for something to happen to me and no one around to take care of Baby E for hours and hours. I started to feel anxious and I thought I hope that never happens to Baby E. Not, "hopefully I never get murdered," or, "hopefully I don't get killed in front of my own baby," but hopefully my daughter never has to cry and cry for hours with no one to take care of her. It was weird to realize that that is what I care most about. That I care about this little person more than myself. So I guess I really am a mom.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Baby E Gets Into the Christmas Spirit

"I love presents!"

Note the red eyes. Sometimes she cries when she topples over. What a baby, huh.

All better!

Don't read Keeper of the Keys. It wasn't even worth it to find out what happened to the main characters. SO lame.
I made the most delicious Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies last night, recipe courtesy of MSL. Now the challenge becomes "Don't Eat Them All By Friday Morning." We'll see how I do. Good: I gave some away to the guy who fixed Dh's laptop. Bad: But I had one first thing this morning before my cereal even.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Thirteenth Tale and other book-related crap plus some sex-related crap just for good measure

A thank you to Pamela Milkweed for recommending The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. It starts slow - the writing is a bit choppy, but then Setterfield gets into the flow of things, and the story starts to pick up. I really enjoyed it. As one of the reviewers on the back of the book said - this is a book for those who love reading. Us nerdy girls who spent our teenage years curled up in our rooms with Pride & Prejudice and the like. Or is it We nerdy girls???

I've just read a couple of mysteries that were fun - quite different from what I normally read. Die Trying by Lee Child and One False Move by Harlan Coben. Die Trying is...think James Bond, but without the "I have to sleep with every female in a fifty-mile radius" mentality. Wonderfully unrealistic fight scenes, quite entertaining, good story. One False Move is full of really lame cliches - lots of bad metaphors - at first I was like, this guy has to be kidding, but then you give in to it and it's a fun ride. Another good story. I read them because Kate Atkinson, whom I love, said those were the two authors whose mysteries she reads.

I have a bunch of requests put in at the library (Snow Flower & the Secret Fan, Baby Catcher, The Book of Fate, and many more), just waiting...waiting...for someone to return their book so I can take a crack! In the meantime I'm reading Keeper of the Keys by Perri O'Shaughnessy, which I have to say is badly written. However, I foolishly read just enough to want to know what happens to the two main characters, so here I am, suffering through bad grammar and lots of complaining about LA traffic.

And I'm just gonna lay it all out there, because eh, why not? I went to the doctor because sex still hurts and unfortunately the report is I am completely healthy & normal. My problem is my estrogen level is so low due to bfing that apparently I am experiencing atrophy "like a little menopausal woman" in the doctor's words. Ha ha He was...kind of funny. And I don't mean that as an insult. But anyway, girls who have not yet begun childbearing, just something to be aware of. I had never heard of atrophy due to low levels of estrogen. I am just going to suck it up. I'm not willing to use an estrogen cream because it would get into my milk. So. I was hoping the doctor would look around down there and say, "Oh yes, I see what the problem is - there's a problem with the (insert obscure body part here)! We'll just (insert simple out-patient procedure here), and you'll be right as rain!" No such luck.

In other personal health topics (but I think some of ya'll'll (<--check that one out!) find this interesting), my testosterone level is really low. This is both bad & good. Bad because it means my sex drive is kind of in the crapper. Good because I hardly ever have to shave now! Ha ha

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Baby's Gettin' Big

The first picture was taken when Baby E was less than a week old - the second at 6 months.
And in case you were wondering, in the second shot - no, Baby E's foot was not supposed to be in the shot. Baby E, however, had other plans.

More Photos!

Check out these angry eyes. Kinda freaky.
Oops. She blinked!
Says Baby E, "I love this swing!"
Baby E's first Christmas tree. We got a little one because we won't actually be here for Christmas. We're going to Florida! Woo-hoo!

Photo Orgy!

Our first Christmas as a real family. Yeah yeah we were a family when it was just Dh and me, but whatever. NOW we're a REAL family.
Baby E and I goof around.
A couple of weeks ago it was SO cold. (And by cold, I mean 34 degrees. What can I say. I've lived in western Oregon for almost 5 years. I'm a pansy.) So anyway, the point is, Baby E needed to be protected from the elements! Good thing we had this fantastic little hat! You can't see them, but she's also wearing matching mittens.
She's getting so darn big. Meh.
I made this sweater.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

6 months!

Baby E is 6 months old and I can barely believe it! She is already growing out of lots of her 3-6 months clothes and most of her 6-9 months clothes fit perfectly. She is not very big around, but she is pretty long, so some of her new clothes are even already too short! (Picture unintentional capris.) Her biggest accomplishment is she is a pro at rolling over both ways now. She likes to roll and wriggle until she reaches forbidden objects, like Daddy's schoolwork. She is really making progress at sitting up and can sit up on her own for 5-10 seconds before toppling over. She is also insatiably curious. She wants to grab anything I have, which calls for new levels of speed and dexterity on my part. Ha ha Cell phones, cups, keyboards. All of them appeal to her. She laughs more and uses her angry yelp more often too. She's a funny kid, and SO fun. Dh and I are just eating it all up. She has this one smile she gives me - it's the most adoring look, like she thinks I am just the best thing ever, I wish I could box that smile up and pull it out anytime I'm down. I'd never be sad again. She is a wonderful little girl.

Unfortunately for all of us, we are having trouble with our digital camera, so no new pics. BUT you can view pics of our San Diego trip here.

What have I been up to? Aside from sadly neglecting my blog...I foolishly decided to knit a little sweater vest for my friend's baby boy, due soon. Her shower is the 16th...and I have a ways to go. I'm done with most of the body, but what's left is the finishing. Technically I've never done most of the finishing required in the pattern. So it's going to take a while. Oops. I guess I really have to buckle down...or run out to Gymboree on the 15th. Ha ha

Dh is taking two graduate courses this semester, as I might have mentioned. One final paper is done, the other remains. Between working full-time and keeping up with his homework, he's been really stressed. And this trickles down onto me. Not so much trickles as pours like a mighty avalanche. Frankly, November kinda blew. (Aside from glamorous San Diego trip, of course.) He's looking forward to his classes being over - I don't think he realizes how much I'm looking forward to his classes being over. When he's stressed, he sucks to be around. And because he's been so busy, any breaks for me have been few and far between. Which double sucks. Because as any mom knows, you can't stay at home with a baby all the time and not go a little crazy.

Well, sorry for being out of the blog loop so long! I'll be better, I promise! But now I hear a yummy strata calling my name, so ciao!

Monday, November 13, 2006

San Diego

Baby E and I spent the weekend in San Diego! Woo-hoo! We had a great time! Neither of us had been to SoCal before, so we went to Disneyland, Balboa Park, and the Hotel Del Coronado, among other locations. Baby E did very well the whole time. Mother-in-law came too, and let me tell you, it is so much easier to fly with a baby when you have another person to help! Uncle Longroper is absolutely smitten with Baby E and spent the weekend doing whatever it took to get her to smile and laugh. It was adorable.

Oh and I just switched to Blogger Beta, and it deleted my profile! And my profile picture! How annoying. I spent, like, a long time on that bloody profile. And all my interests and what-not.

And finally, some pictures of Baby E!

Welcome Gavin!

Congratulations to my friend Renee, who had her baby boy early Sunday morning! I was in San Diego, but I'm going tonight to the hospital to visit!!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Red Tent

I found this review of The Red Tent, which very accurately sums up my feelings:

Amazon review

I give Case Histories by Kate Atkinson an unqualified thumbs up!

5 Months

Baby E decided Sunday she is a thumb sucker. It took a little time to get used to it - at first she was more of a thumb gnawer, but now she is definitely sucking on that little thumb. She seems to have no preference for left or right as yet.

Sunday was a big day for Baby E - she rolled over from back to front for the first (and so far, only) time. This event was met with much applause from her adoring parents, which delighted her. If only she could figure out why they cheered. Ha ha We haven't hit recognition of cause and effect.

Monday we fed her rice cereal for the first time. She ate with alacrity, then became fussy and puked it all up. Poor baby. My mother and my instinct coincide on this issue - my mom said to put the cereal away and "nurse the heck out of her." We'll try solids again around 6 months.

Baby E continues to be a ridiculously happy baby. However, I found out yesterday by accident she has begun her stranger anxiety phase. I went in to the office with her, where she would go into anyone's arms, look around in shock for a few seconds, then start crying pitifully. It was all too cute to resist. And as the one she was crying for, gratifying. All those nighttime feedings - paying off!

She is sleeping very well. On a hunch, I moved her bedtime up substantially a few days ago - she goes to bed around 6/6:30 now, but still sleeps until 4/4:30 am, then straight back to bed until 6:30/7:30 am. If only her mother would get her butt in gear and go to bed before 11:30 pm...

Baby E also found her toes this week and is this close to getting them to her mouth. For now, she enjoys grabbing them and shrieking loudly.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Books, Again

Shamelessly swiped from Cassie.

One book that changed your life: 1984 by George Orwell. The treatment of language alone is freaking brilliant.
One book you'd read more than once: Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen. *Happy sigh*
One book you'd want on a deserted island: Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver.
One book that made you laugh: Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. Chick lit at its best.
One book that made you cry: Blindness by Jose Saramago. Oh. my. gosh. Read it now.
One book you wish you'd written: The Da Vinci Code, because then I'd be rich.
One book you wish had never been written: This Is Not Civilization by Robert Rosenberg. The most painful prose of my life.
One book you're currently reading: Case Histories by Kate Atkinson.
One book you've been meaning to read: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I got to page 100-something and then it was due back at the library. The book is weird, yet strangely compelling.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


First, I have no idea why some of my posts are center-aligned. So don't ask. Blogger just did it. Probably because it was bored.

Baby E got her second round of shots on Friday. She was pretty okay for the rest of the day. Just a little grouchy. But Saturday. Not so well. Around midday her fever peaked at 102.2 F. Her legs were swollen and any time I moved her she started to cry. She just wanted to lay still on her back. She started to get really fussy around 3. Dh got home early from class, around 4, and sent me away for a little "Anth time." Which was greatly appreciated. Being the NERD (yeah!) that I am, I went to the library. [By the way - I checked out The Red Tent - to all y'all who suggested it - so I will keep you posted on how I like it!] Around 5, Dh called me on the cell and Baby E was clearly screaming in the background. Luckily by then I was just down the street at the grocery store.

Upon arriving home, I tried to nurse Baby E so she would calm down enough for Baby Tylenol. She wouldn't even nurse! So we tried to give her the Tylenol anyway. It ended up everywhere, including on our bed sheet. And all over Baby E, who just cried harder. I asked Dh to give her a blessing. To give a blessing, though, you have to have special oil that has been blessed. Of course we were out. I had succeeded in calming Baby E just a bit by this point. Dh prepared some oil, and went to put some on her head. The stupid oil container fell apart, and oil poured all over Baby E's head! She started shrieking, and we didn't know whether to laugh or cry by this point. And now there was liquid Tylenol and oil on our sheet.

Dh gave her the blessing, and it worked! She calmed down during the prayer, and by the end both Dh & I were in tears. We were so glad she wasn't crying and in so much pain anymore. She dozed off for a while. After she woke up, we all watched some TV because quite frankly I know how hypnotized Baby E is by that bloody box. Ha ha Around 7:30 I nursed her, and it was like the past 4 hours had never happened. She smiled a few times, and would sit up, and I could move her legs without her crying.

This morning she was still rather swollen but she seemed okay otherwise. However, during the first hour of church, she just fussed, fussed, fussed, so Dh dropped us off at home (we only live a few minutes from our church house) and went back for the last two hours. She has been really serious all day. Usually she laughs when Dh goofs around for her, but today she just looks at him solemnly. But her fever is gone, and she is moving her legs around again like normal, so I know she's doing much better.

Ugh. If I didn't know the consequences of no immunizations could be so much worse...

S-i-l told me that if she has kids, she doesn't plan on having them immunized. I told that to Dh, who responded, "Her husband will talk some sense into her." Ah, Mr. Tactful. Ha ha Anyway, I haven't done a ton of research on the risks involved, but from what I have read, I still feel it is worth it to have Baby E immunized. I wasn't going to have her get the chicken pox vaccine when she is 18 months. I had chicken pox, all my siblings had chicken pox, and ditto for Dh and his family. When I mentioned this to Baby E's pediatrician on Friday, she told me she has personally seen people with permanant bone damage from chicken pox, bad enough to require surgery. She further said she has never seen side effects from the vaccine to rival that at all. I didn't realize chicken pox was so serious. I just remember it being a major pain in the butt. So I've changed my mind on that as well.

Right now Baby E is squirming around on the floor, rolling on her side. Getting my hopes up for a back-to-front roll, but so far, no dice. I bought a baby carrier this past week and I LOVE it. Baby E is portable again! We are having insanely nice weather, so Baby E and I went for a walk and I paused in front of trees and flowers so she could practice grabbing.

S-i-l is still at our house. Dh and I talked about it last night as we bought the ingredients for Caramel Apple Cider.* She's a great houseguest, and her prescence is not bothering either of us, so we're cool with her staying. Dh said if a month goes by, he'll say something. (It's been two weeks.)

Trav, one of Dh's brothers, and his wife J live in San Diego. They are moving to Seattle at the end of February (i.e., close to us). But they want to see Baby E so badly and do not want to wait until February. So they bought a ticket for me & Baby E to go down and see them in a couple of weeks. The ticket was just over $200. This kind of mystifies me. If Trav & J had had a baby first...well I don't know if I would want to see that baby $200 worth. You know? Maybe I'm just cheap. But yay! for a free trip to San Diego.

*We just discovered the caramel apple cider at Starbucks. (Don't make fun! We never go there!) Dh happened to watch how they make it, and was appalled that he was paying $3 for one. We bought: apple cider, caramel syrup, and whipped cream. You just heat up the cider, put some cream on top, and then put a bunch of syrup in. It's delicious. And we bought an enormous jug of apple cider for $3, so it's a lot cheaper.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Read It and Weep

Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you?

You are LaFawnduh. Why are you so sweaty?
Take this quiz!

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Si, hablo espanol

In Mexico, I unintentionally convinced a guy that I spoke Spanish. I was singing along perfectly to Antologia by Shakira.* I know all the words. And don't know what half of them mean. The guy said to my husband (in Spanish), Your wife speaks Spanish, and my husband snorted. I was forced to admit that I only know Shakira lyrics.

I just started reading Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom by Christiane Northrup. It's quite interesting. Yesterday I read the chapter on bonding with your baby. There was a section on circumcision, on why it's unnecessary. I found it pretty compelling. So I brought it up to Dh last night.

Me: Is there anything in our church that says boys have to be circumcised?

Dh: No.

Me: I don't think we should then, if we have any boys.

Dh: So all the other guys can make fun of them in the locker room, make fun of their torpedos? No. We are circumcising them.

Me (surprised): But this book I'm reading says circumcision causes a reduction in sexual sensitivity.

Dh: Worth it. A slight loss in sensitivity, so they don't get made fun of for their torpedo penises.

Me (at a complete loss): Um, then let's make sure the doctor uses anesthestic then. (Thinking: Boys are so weird.)

Dh (shrugs): Okay. But they are getting circumcised.

I guess I don't really want to know what goes on in guys' locker rooms.

*If you've never heard Antologia, go listen to it. Even if you don't speak Spanish, it's a beautiful song.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Pumpkin Party

We had a pumpkin party last Monday - it was a great success! Hmm. I need to start farther back.

Dh grew pumpkins in our garden last year. He planted them too late though, and so some of them weren't any good until after Halloween (so what's the point then). He left the biggest in the garden to rot. It's...the lazy approach to composting! Yay!

This year he planted more pumpkin seeds. In time. What he didn't realize was the composting pumpkin also planted some pumpkin seeds. So we had lots of pumpkins. Lots and lots of pumpkins. Our own (not-so) little patch. It grew out of the garden, far into the yard. Dh, being the sentimental man he is, couldn't bear to prune it back. So the grass underneath grew long and lush and became a wonderful green cushion for our gazillion pumpkins.

Then as the nights grew cooler, Dh had a fantastic idea! A Pumpkin Party! We invited three families, and Monday night they came with visions of pumpkins dancing in their heads. Or at least the kids did. Most of the moms stayed inside with me. Especially after I informed them that Dh had found a slug eating one of the pumpkins earlier that day. I fed them cookies and pound cake and everyone had a good time.

The only thing that marred the evening was: Due to some miscommunication, Dani thought it was a dinner party. (Not sure how she got this message, since Dh used the phrase "Pumpkin Party" very liberally, and that doesn't convey "We're providing dinner" to me, but whatever.) Which she brought up to me three times. By the third time ("We're so hungry, but don't feel bad! Don't feel bad!") I kind of wanted to reply in a really fakey nice voice, "Oh, don't worry, Dani, I don't feel bad!" Especially since at one point that evening she made a joke about my husband having a beer belly. Excuse me, but wtf? That's so rude! Ugh. Dh and I were talking about it later and we finally decided we just don't understand her. She is so tactless, and yet her husband is always nice, polite, and careful of his words.

So anyway, the Pumpkin Party was for the most part a big hit, and Dh wants to make it an annual tradition. You should have seen him. He was so cute, leading all the kids and dads out to the patch to pick their pumpkins.

Dh's sister is still with us. She is feeling much more positive - she has three job interviews over the next three days. She helps out with the cleaning so much, I almost don't want her to leave! Our house has never stayed this clean this long! (Reason: Dh is living proof of the second law of thermodynamics. Ha ha)

Meanwhile, Baby E is hard at work perfecting her grasping:

Oh, and she loves herself:

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Show Your Faith By Your Works

Until recently, Dh's sister was living in Tennessee. When she came out to visit not long after Baby E was born, she felt strongly that she should move to Oregon. Now she is here. She doesn't have a job or a place to live. It is a big leap of faith for her, and she is scared out of her head. But she is here, where she feels she should be. I'm impressed.

She is crashing in our office until she finds a place. She arrived yesterday afternoon. She set up her massage table and gave me a long, fantastic massage. The kind of massage my postpartum, tired body has been longing for.

Yes, I think having S-i-l in my town will be a wonderful thing.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Craft Day

D and I had our first ever Craft Day. Which was really more of a Craft Hour-and-a-Half, but hey. You do what you can. She worked on a baby blanket for her impending arrival (she's 3 months along), crocheted, and I worked on my sweater vest, knitted. This sweater vest is taking me bloody forever. I am so slow at knitting. I have 8 inches of the back done. And none of the front. Bleh. Blissfully, our kids' naps coincided. I walked over to her place with Baby E swaddled up in my arms and laid her down on D's bed to sleep.*

Last night, Baby E thought it sounded cool to wake up once an hour starting at 2:30. Not from any real need, just to fuss-fuss-fuss until I dragged myself out of bed to pop her binky back in. Not that I should really complain, because she is sick.**

Here is how you know you're crazy: when you go to Target and look through all the clearance clothes (don't you just looove Target clearance), and the only clothes you end up buying are two maternity shirts. When you're not pregnant.

Went to the ol' Olive Garden with JDub last night, Baby E in tow. Who behaved wonderfully. She got sleepier and sleepier and then finally succumbed to an evening nap. JDub and I had fun catching up on each other's lives.

My life is boring right now, and I don't care. I like it. I take care of Baby E, and make dinner for my husband, clean my house (mostly), read books and do the crossword. And yet every day goes so fast. I look up at the clock - "What! It's already 3?!" What I'm trying to say is, my days may seem boring from the outside, but I am really happy.

*Which, by the way, someone somewhere had recommended the easy swaddler from Target. Well, maybe Baby E is Houdini (I highly doubt it) but no sooner had I put her in that thing, then before my eyes, and in approximately three seconds, she had both her arms out. It's CRAP. And it's going back to Target tomorrow.

**With the mildest cold ever, so yay.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

In Which Grandma Successfully Buys Baby E's Love

Baby E and I just got back from upstate New York. We visited Grandma & Grandpa! And Auntie & Uncles. We had a lot of fun, but man are we glad to be home. I came home with an entire new suitcase full of things for the baby. Grandma really, really loves Baby E. Ha ha A lot. We went shopping almost every day we were there. Now Baby E will be decked out in style this winter. Six pairs of tights alone.
One day we went to the "Asian Market" which is really an Indian market. It was so cool. I wanted to buy half the store, as I am a huge fan of Indian food. My mom practically did. And she is in heaven now, because the shopkeeper rents out Bollywood films, which my mom adores. I made the fam Chicken Curry. Everyone looked very doubtful until they tried it. (Could it have been the heavy cream in the sauce? Surely not.)
We went to the Italian pastry shop and bought lots. Yum. New York, even sleepy Upstate, has much better shops than my town. You cannot get good Italian anything in Oregon.
It was so nice to visit my hometown. I miss the hills. There are hills in Oregon, even visible from my back porch, but it's not the same. The hills in New York hug me, they are so close around. The trees were just starting to turn. Fall in New York is amazing. The Northwest just has nothing to compare.
Oh, and flying with an infant is a mild form of torture. Not exaggerating. And she was actually really good on all four flights. [On the long flight out - 4 hours - we were trapped in the middle seat. Feel bad for us. :( Ha ha] Nursing was a particular challenge. Baby E dribbles, so I have to tuck in a washcloth or she gets me all wet. So I had a blanket over me, trying to set up, with Baby E laying on my lap, her butt up against me. Kicking at the blanket. Making me flash everyone around me. Oh, hi! Look! A nipple! But strangers on all flights were fantastic. So helpful. Thank goodness for Good Samaritans. There always seemed to be someone around me, offering to carry bags or set up the stroller. Also gratifying were the people who saw her and said, "Oh! I didn't even know there was a baby on board! She's so good!" because of course I felt bad every time she cried. It felt so conspicuous. But everyone was so very nice, and helpful. It eased the torture.
Baby E will be four months old in three days. She holds her head up (see below). She drools constantly. She laughs occasionally. She is outgrowing her 0-3 month clothes. I am pouting!!!!

Baby E is not fooled by toys. She knows Tummy Time sucks.

But she sure loves her mommy!

Cuddling with Daddy is always fun.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How Did I Land Such an Awesome Guy?

Dh is an amazing father. He is an expert swaddler. Sometimes, when I am at my wits end because Baby E is fussing, Dh takes her and within minutes she is chilling peacefully in his arms. His love for her is all over his face whenever he looks at her. Especially when she gives him one of her beautiful toothless grins.
He is a fantastic and fun husband. He always seems to want to talk around 11 pm, when I am exhausted. But talking to him is so enjoyable I stay up every time. I can be myself with him, goofy and nerdy. We make lame, obscure movie quotes and give each other props when we guess correctly. He tells me how much he loves me, and loves my body. Even though my midsection was recently and permanently ravaged. He nags me into trying harder. He helps me think about things from new perspectives. And makes me laugh so freaking much.
Dh works really hard, does overtime shifts, so I can stay home with Baby E. He is going to go back to college, to get his master's, because he is ambitious, in the best way. He works to play. He loves his little family.

As proof that God loves me, I am married to Dh.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I love to read. Nursing is therefore perfect for me. I read a lot now. While I was pregnant...I don't know, it was weird, reading was bottom of the list for me. Practically the only thing I read while pregnant was a new chapter of What to Expect When You're Expecting each month. And the Sears' breastfeeding book [which, Chas, I have to take back my dis of that book. Yes, it has a line drawing of a woman bfing an infant and a toddler at the same time (guh-ross!!!!!), but I credit that book with helping me get Baby E latched on correctly before she was even a day old. By myself.].

In August I read the following:
London is the Best City in America – Laura Dave B-
The Taking – Dean Koontz B-
Julie & Julia – Julie Powell B
Three Wishes – Liane Moriarty B+
Baby Proof – Emily Giffin B-

Yes, I keep a list of books I read. And grade them. So I'm a nerd. Like I care.

I am sad to report I have not found an "A" quality book in some time. Right now I am reading Crazy Ladies by Michael Lee West, and I think it might get a B+ or an A-. It's quite good. I'm also reading A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich; it will probably get the same grade.

Anyone have a book they can give an unqualified "A" to? I'd love to read something really satisfying.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

First Laugh

Baby E laughed for the first time yesterday. Twice. It was hilarious and awesome.

I went shopping for hours today, and was so good - I only spent $13.00! I finally found an apron for myself. It's very cute, sage green, with a paisley pattern and a scalloped hem.

And I am really bummed about Steve Irwin. I really like him. I even own his movie. And made my husband watch it with me several times.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I Want a Sick Day

Somehow I managed to catch a cold in August. This quickly led to the unpleasant realization that I no longer have "sick days." Which I am a firm believer in. When I'm sick, I'm whiny and lazy and prefer to avoid people (partially because I know whininess and laziness are annoying) and lay in bed until I feel better. I did manage to spend a chunk of the day in bed. Unfortunately today we ran out of diapers. And the last thing I was going to do was pack Baby E up and take my sick self out of the house. So I asked Dh to get some. Seems simple, right? Like the kind of thing you do for your spouse when she is sick. If only to get away from the whining. Ha ha Too bad Dh doesn't have an empathetic bone in his body. I knew it when I married him, so I'm not complaining. I'm just saying. Ha ha Besides, where is he right now? Safeway, getting some diapers. He's a good husband, he just likes to complain an awful lot.

* * *

There's the oddest thing about Dh's mother. The week before last we went to visit Dh's parents. I can count on one hand the number of times she held Baby E. We were there for four days. I know she's excited about Baby E's existence. When Dh mentioned that we were thinking about visiting, she emailed us saying "Yes please come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" And I am not exaggerating the number of exclamation points. When we arrived she showed me cute clothes she found for Baby E at yardsales. But she barely touched Baby E.

Almost every time she did hold the baby, Baby E cried. Baby E is a happy baby, as has already been established. She's amazingly chill (which is very convenient for me). So the crying was frustrating for M-i-l I'm sure. Especially since as soon as I appeared in Baby E's line of sight she usually started smiling at me. Now, M-i-l has six kids. She has spent plenty of time around babies. Yet she seems to have forgotten everything she knew. When Baby E cried, M-i-l held her and looked vaguely perplexed. Sometimes she tried shushing. That was as involved as she got. Dh wanted to boss her - "Get up, walk around, rock her! You know these things!" - but he restrained himself. It was just so odd; neither Dh nor I know what to do about it.

She just emailed asking if they can come this weekend, and part of me wants to say, "Erm, no thanks." Can I give in to that impulse? I'm sick and my bathrooms haven't been cleaned. (See how whiny?)

* * *

Early this morning I had a first. I woke from a pleasant dream involving Dh...and I woke up really happy, if you know what I mean. I toyed with the idea of waking Dh to make my dream a reality, but decided against it. [Which turned out to be wise. When I told him about it this afternoon, he said I should only wake him up in the middle of the night for that kind of thing on the weekend. *pout* He's no fun. Ha ha]

* * *

My parents offered to fly me and Baby E out to New York at the end of September. I'm really excited about it! Well, not the flying part. I hated flying when it was just me. Throw in Baby E, and well, that sounds suspiciously masochistic. And yet, sign me up. My dad hasn't even seen her! And neither have my siblings (though only three of them are still at home). I want Baby E to know them all, and smile at them. Especially my dad. He is acting tough, like he doesn't care a bit; my mom says he is faking, and I guess she would know.

And have I mentioned my parents are flying me, Dh, and Baby E out to Florida for Christmas? Yes, apparently a baby is really useful for scoring free plane tickets. Ha ha That is, of course, the primary reason Dh and I had a baby. For the plane tickets. I'm KIDDING.

The plane tickets are a latent function.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Baby E Rocks the House!

Great Scott!

Sweetness Personified

"Don't bother me. I'm eating."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Siennafication of Fashion

Is anyone else dissatisfied with the turn we are taking? Fashion this fall annoys me. Why does Sienna Miller hold so much sway? The chick cannot dress! And yet everywhere I look are the unhappy manifestations of her influence.

Leggings. They're crappy. They're ugly. They make most people look bad. I could wear leggings; I refuse to do so. I remember the 80's. And so should Sienna.

Big, Ugly Purses. The link will take you to a purse named after Sienna. Blech. I want those sassy little tweed purses to come back in. Way cooler.

Tunic Tops. I just got done being pregnant - why would I want to wear fake maternity shirts?

The only thing I like about fashion right now is the shirtdress. I want to get me this one as soon as possible.

Sienna, give me a call. I think there's still hope for you. We can go shopping, and I'll find you some cute clothes that don't make you look a) homeless, b) like you just rolled out of bed, and c) like your stylist is seriously having the last laugh.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


It's been a rough couple of days. Tuesday for reasons unknown Baby E just fussed, fussed, fussed. Yesterday was her 2-month checkup, codephrase for SHOTS, so of course yesterday had lots of fussing as well. She kept doing this shrieking cry, even after I gave her a little Tylenol. But I did at least get a few smiles out of her before she went to bed.

My boss offered me a part-time position working from home. So I said, Yes thank you! I just started last Thursday. It's basically perfect. I told Kevin I don't have more than 2 hours per day, he said that's fine. One of the guys brought over my nice, new work computer, so I don't have to use our crappy old e-machine anymore. So far, I've been working about an hour and a half a day (Tuesday & Wednesday: zero time...). I like this. It's nice to use my brain in this way. And it's nice to earn a little money so we don't have to live on rice and beans. (When I said that to Dh, he said, "What's wrong with rice & beans? I think we should eat them more often." He was one hundred percent serious. Ha ha)

I had a dream that Dh was scratching me while holding me very tightly so I couldn't get away. He thought it was funny, but I was getting really pissed. I was yelling at him to stop, but he just kept doing it. Then I woke up (partially), and punched Dh in the ribs! From his side of the bed, in a very droll voice, he said, "Well, that was interesting."

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Friday, August 04, 2006

Yay for Baby E!

Baby E is two months old today. Huzzah for her! She is developing more and more control over her neck and hands. She tries to talk a lot (it is so much fun). Lots of smiles. Sometimes she morphs into Fussy McFuster though.*

I realized that since Baby E is in bed asleep by 9 (9:30 at the latest), we can get a babysitter to just sit in our quiet house and we can go to a late movie or whatever! So that is what we are doing tonight! We're going to see Pirates.

And apparently there are some evil eyes pointed at me because Baby E sleeps so well. Ha ha Believe me, I am very grateful that she is an easy baby. There are a couple things that I've done to help her, though:

  1. Swaddling. At first she would fuss through the entire swaddling process, then be quiet as soon as it was done. Now she usually quiets down when I start to swaddle her, like she knows what's happening and that it will feel nice once I'm done. On the rare occassions when Baby E naps without being swaddled, she doesn't sleep as long or as deeply.
  2. Naps. During the first 6 weeks of Baby E's life, napping was very erratic, and not just because Baby E was a newborn. I didn't know how to put her down for a nap, or how long, or anything. Then I read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and learned that a baby under 4 months of age shouldn't be up longer than 2 hours at a time or the baby becomes overtired. Through a process of trial and error, I learned that Baby E does best when put down for a nap after being up for about an hour and thirty minutes. This has helped her sleep better at night because then she's not overtired from being up too much during the day.**

So Wednesday night, Baby E went to bed at 8:30. I went to bed a little after 11. 4 am I woke up to the sound of the smoke alarm intermittently beeping. No, it was not the battery, because our smoke alarms are hooked up to our electricity, and only have batteries as backups. And no, there was no fire. The smoke alarm is just retarded. I tried to fiddle with it, get it to stop, it never stopped beeping for longer than 5 minutes, then it would start back up. By 5:15, Baby E was still asleep and I was uncomfortably engorged and wide awake thanks to that stupid alarm, so I pumped for a while (5 oz in 6 minutes! the only advantage to being engorged!). 5:30 Baby E woke up. The entire time I nursed her, the smoke alarm beeped every 39 seconds (I timed it - nothing else to do while nursing in the semi-dark!). Baby E was back in bed by 6:30, and by this point I was so tired, I slept through the smoke alarm beeping until Baby E woke back up at 9:30 am. The point of the story is, Baby E slept from 8:30 - 5:30, and then 6:30 - 9:30. And I could have had a wonderful night's sleep if that bloody smoke alarm hadn't kept beeping!!!!!! It was like the smoke alarm knew how long Baby E would sleep, and just wanted to F me up. Grr...I couldn't get the blasted thing to stop. When Dh came home for lunch at 1 pm, he was able to disconnect it. Yeah, it beeped all morning. Stupid piece of crap.

*I call Baby E Fussy McFuster. Dh made a face when he heard me say it the first time, and then he said it himself a few minutes later. Try it. Just say, "Fussy McFuster." It's fun to say. You'll see.

**And some clarification: Sometimes Baby E sleeps great (yesterday morning - 3 hour nap), and sometimes not (yesterday afternoon - catnaps). Sometimes she just fusses for like 2 1/2 hours. Ugh. Sometimes she sleeps great at night (9:30 pm - 5 am last night!) and sometimes not (last Friday - woke up every half hour from 3 am on - that sucked!!!!).

Friday, July 28, 2006

Foto Friday

Wow that is a lame title.

"Yeah, I'm awesome."

Baby E feels the news is
best literally consumed.

Double chin...crazy hair...what's not to love?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Stay-at-Home Mom

This is both easier and harder than I thought it would be. I have lots of time to read now. But it's never really my time - I'm ready to jump up at the slightest cry from the nursery, if only to creep to the door and listen, hoping Baby E will drift back off to sleep. I read as I nurse her, which can be anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, but half the time she seems to want me to hold her close to me, which takes both hands.

I have time to cook now, which I love, love, love. That was one of the things I hated about my job - I came home so tired, too tired to cook. Yesterday I made blueberry muffins, and halfway through Baby E started crying. "Ten more minutes is all I need!" I called out to her. She was in her bouncy seat on the kitchen table. I scooped the batter into the muffin tin, turned to look at her. She had fallen asleep. (Dh woke her up 15 minutes later by giving her an "I'm home" kiss. He'll never make that mistake again! Ha ha)

Our house is neater, not necessarily cleaner. Ha ha What can I say? Um...this is only my second week on my own! I'm still getting my footing! Ha. The reality is, having a SUPER clean house is not really high on my priority list, and fortunately it's even lower on Dh's. He's way more thrilled about dinner on the table. I'd much rather peruse Atlantic Monthly or National Review (thanks, public library!) than make sure my entryway is immaculately swept. But I do keep a clean kitchen. That, I am pretty anal about.

I really am on call 24/7. I had kind of figured before she was born that's how it would be, but I couldn't really conceptualize what that meant. There's no, "I'm taking lunch now, see ya in an hour, Baby E." Sometimes lunch doesn't happen for me until 3 pm, and that's just how it is. (Of course it's different on the weekends, because Dh helps me - I'm just talking about weekdays here.) There's no guaranteed break, when I can be absolutely sure of twenty uninterrupted minutes. I get twenty minutes or more all the time, but it's completely erratic. This is why I often find myself counting down until Dh gets home from work, because then I know I can really take some time. Not because I don't enjoy this.

I love being home with the baby. I am so grateful for this opportunity. Every time Baby E smiles at me, ah, I don't even have the words for this. I'm not some skilled writer. I love it. It's a completely overwhelming feeling. She has started trying to talk, started cooing, and it's so freaking adorable, and sweet. My favorite thing right now is when she smiles at me, to get me to smile at her. I'm sitting here grinning like an idiot just thinking about it.

Dh is jealous, he misses her, doesn't get to spend much time with her. He works until 7:30 pm and gets home just in time to put her to bed. She smiles at me so much, and coos, and she doesn't do that so much for him. I'm sad that it's that way, but I am the one at home with her, so I can't say it doesn't make perfect sense. I know he kind of wishes we could keep her up late, so he could see her, but um no! Because I am the one on night duty. Which I have to admit usually goes quite well since she only gets up once a night now. Her longest night stretch is usually 7 hours. God knows that I don't do so well with little sleep, so He took pity on me and sent me an easy baby. :)

Friday, July 21, 2006

I'm in My Underwear Yet Still Sweating

Baby E, normally a well-behaved baby, fussed off and on from 1-8 pm. Rude. I'm not complaining! But it is rude, you have to admit. It meant I got nothing done today. But since it was 99 degrees, my main goal for today was: Sit in Front of Portable Air Conditioner That Thank Goodness We Bought Just Before Baby E Arrived. Now that I think about, I actually accomplished today's goal. ALL afternoon. So yay me.

I brought Baby E in to the office this morning. It was weird to be back there. Nothing had changed. All "my" files were still in place on the shelves where I had stacked them. Kevin told me he realized I really was working all those hours I sat at that ugly desk. Which was nice to hear. I did not feel the need to inform him that I only mostly worked and sometimes was actually checking people's blogs. Ha ha

Baby E actually slept this way for like 10 minutes. Maybe she was dreaming she was an airplane. (And Dh looks like he's sporting a creepy mustache, but I swear he's not. It's the lighting. Or something. But that is a Goonies t-shirt.)

We had planned on going camping tonight. Psych! Or however you spell it. It is too freakin hot. I pictured myself nursing Baby E in the horrible heat and her fussing at 4 a.m. and all the other people in their tents cursing the retards who decided to take their infant camping. When Dh got home from work, I told him, "There is no way I'm camping with fussy Baby E when it is this freakin' hot!!!!" I live in western Oregon, people. I don't do heat.

Last night I dreamt that I had to help everyone in India, and I was very frustrated because as you know there are over a billion people in India, and the first day I only helped five.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

6 Weeks

Baby E is 6 weeks old today. It is a bittersweet day because it's the last day of Dh's paternity leave. Tomorrow it's back to the grind for him. We are going to miss him very much! He works almost until Baby E's bedtime! Fortunately he is able to come home sometimes for lunch, and only works 4 days a week, so hopefully she won't forget who he is! Ha ha

I have to admit though, I'm kind of excited to officially start as a stay-at-home mom. I'm looking forward to getting into a steady routine with Baby E (I have been trying, but someone (Dh) kept wanting to jaunt around all the time!) And I'm really looking forward to having a cleaner house!

Baby E is Very MAD Daddy is Going Back to Work

As proof that God hears and answers prayers, Baby E has been sleeping 6-7 hours at a stretch at night. She goes down around 9, sleeps until 3 or 4, and then after an early morning meal, sleeps for 3-4 more hours!! And makes her momma sooooo happy! She is getting better at napping and doesn't fight it so much anymore. And better sleep means happy baby!

That smile was hard to capture! She has been smiling at me for about 2 weeks now, and finally FINALLY started smiling at Dh this past week! I'm so glad; I was really hoping she would start smiling before he went back to work. At first I was lucky if I got a smile a day, but she is starting to bust 'em out a lot more often, and I LOVE it!!!!

Baby E Busts Out the Boo-Boo Lip, Which Makes Her Parents Laugh and Then Cuddle Her

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Reviews in Brief

I read two books this past month. Yeah, I'm amazing. Ha ha

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvery Karp, MD.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It's geared toward parents of babies with colic (which Baby E does not have), but the 5 S's of calming a baby have proven so incredibly useful. And the new burping technique has saved us countless hours. Since Baby E IS a gassy little girl.

The Husband by Dean Koontz.
Yeah, I know, Dean Koontz. Stop rolling your eyes! I know his writing is horrible and his metaphors make me laugh out loud they are so bad, but the story itself is good. I even got Dh to read this one. He's almost done with it! Try it. You'll like it. And it will only take three days max. I think I read it in four, and hi! I have a new baby, so you have no excuse.

Something New
An enjoyable if retarded chick flick. (Don't most chick flicks fall into this category?)

Oral Fixation Vol. 2 by Shakira.
Didn't get enough questionably rhyming lyrics in Laundry Service? Grab Oral Fixation Vol. 2 to get your fix! Ah, who cares? You don't listen to Shakira sing in English for the lyrics. It's for shaking your booty to!*

*Apparently, my own English is not so hot. Ending a sentence with a preposition. I know better than that.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Bath Time!

I promise that's not cold water we're spraying on her.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

4 Weeks

It is simply unacceptable that it has been four weeks since Baby E arrived. Time is going WAY too fast and it makes me grouchy. Or is that due to the lack of sleep??? Yeah. Anyway, Baby E was blessed today and it went quite well. As the proud new mom, I would like to mention that when Dh held her up immediately afterwards (as is the tradition), there was a collective sigh from the congregation. She looked that cute.

My mom made the blessing gown. Yes, MADE it. I have to admit, I didn't know she was so good at sewing; the gown was absolutely beautiful.

Then Baby E had a meltdown in the car on the way home. Thank heaven the church is only 5 minutes away from our house, because I just hate it when she cries and there's nothing I can do to help her, i.e., whenever she cries in the car (which thankfully is not that often).

I am doing pretty well. Much better than last Sunday. That day, we had two guests, and neither was helping much (misunderstanding that was cleared up the very next day), and I was so sick of having people everywhere in my house. And yes, fine, there were definitely some hormones and exhaustion in the mix. So I went into the closet with a pillow and a burp cloth (for the tears) and had a cry. Luckily we have a large walk-in closet so there was plenty of room. Ha ha Dh found me there and insisted on a cuddle, and between the cry and the cuddle, I felt much better.

And now I'm feeling so much better. More confident in my abilities as a mother, better physically, and let's be honest, I'm glad all visitors are gone now. It's nice to have our house to ourselves again. So I can walk around half naked if I so desire! And don't have to nurse Baby E under a blanket! We get so sweaty when I have to do that.

Dh only has two weeks left of his paternity leave. I know, I should shut up because yes, I'm bloody lucky that he could take so much time off. And believe me, I am, because Baby E is shaping up to be a daddy's girl already. He can calm her faster than anyone. Except my boobs. Ha ha And he is an expert swaddler. And seeing him hold her and whisper, "It's okay, Daddy's here," makes me REALLY wish I already had the go-ahead on marital relations!!!!!

Monday, June 26, 2006

An Amazing New Record

Just when we thought Baby E's pooing prowess was solidly established, she went and outdid herself. Dh was so impressed, he was forced to take photographic evidence.


For reals.

But it gets better. She managed to vault poo OVER the edge of the changing table...

and all down the hallway. Dh paced it out. Seven and a half feet. Wow.

I'm So Tired

And yet having trouble sleeping. Blech.

Went to the coast today, but it was too windy to take Baby E out. And she was MAD about it.

Just kidding. She slept through most of her first coast experience.