Sunday, December 23, 2012


There is no substance to this post, but for many hours a day, I stare at my daughter and marvel at her amazing eyelashes. My brilliant and talented sister B took this picture (when we dumped the baby at her house and ran off to watch a Bond movie. Weee!). It's no secret that I wanted a blue-eyed baby. Not that they are in any way superior to babies of other eye colors, but I'm a sucker for blue eyes, and it was sort of a genetic long-shot since there aren't a lot of blue eyed genes running around my side of the family, but we won the luck of that draw it seems. She has the same blue-grey eyes as her daddy. Those eyelashes? Those are all J too!

Reindeer Brownies

I'm blogging a recipe. Again. Like I think I'm some sort of food blogger. Except food bloggers take better pictures. Oh well.

But ok, seriously. I'm a little bit proud of this. It's not just some recipe I found. Well, I did find the recipe. In a cookbook I've had since I was 18 and is always useful. The other night, hanging out with KammahPants and someone said brownies, so I made brownies. From scratch. Which I've never done before, because honestly, a box of brownies is so easy! But I didn't have a box of brownies. I did have a ridiculous amount of flour* and some sugar though. And cocoa. That's important too. Anyway, I made the brownies and they were... ok. Not bad at all, but not really all that great. Certainly not chocolatey enough for me. So I thought and thought and thought and thought and thought** about what to do to make them better. I tweaked the recipe, tested it, then doubled it, stuffed it in some mason jars that I decorated, and TA-DA! Christmas crafts!

So, Reindeer Brownies (Adapted from the "Where's Mom now that I need her" cookbook)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used milk the first time, and a mix of semi-sweet & white when I made the jars)

Melt butter. Mix in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Mix flour & cocoa together and add slowly to the sugary butter mix. It won't be super stiff but that's ok. It's good. Trust me. Fold in the chips. Put it all in a greased & floured 8x8 pn. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Here's the beauty of it--these brownies hardly have edges. The edge pieces are almost as soft as the center. The edges are cake-like. The center is fudgy and you could easily eat the whole pan before it cools. Just warning you.

*My husband went on a bread-making bender when we inherited a bread machine. Yay! But now we have all purpose, self rising, whole wheat & two different kinds of bread flour. That's a lotta flour!

**Ouch! (Shiloh, he didn't think that hard)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Smore Chow

Ever since I discovered cookie butter--or Biscoff spread, as they sell it in my grocery store--I've been wanting to substitute it for peanut butter in a number of dessert recipes. My friend Kathleen remarked that it tasted like graham crackers. I think it's the love child of a graham cracker and a ginger snap. Regardless, it's delicious. But the graham cracker comment got us thinking of smores, because everything is better with chocolate and marshmallows, right?

First, we took a spoonful of cookie butter and stirred it into a mug of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows. It was lovely.

Then, I decided to make puppy chow--that stuff with chex mix covered in powdered sugar.

Oh, Internet. Forgive me my arrogance. I thought puppy chow was easy, like Rice Krispie treats. I thought you just melted stuff, stirred in other stuff and it was idiot proof. Well, I managed to mess it up.

First of all, and I'm not passing the buck here but it must be said, I think I found the WORST recipe for puppy chow on the whole internet. I suppose it could have been worse if it didn't include measurements, but I didn't realize that I needed such specific instructions until I was already elbow deep in Chex. (Apparently there's a recipe on the box? But I had chocolate Chex, and I didn't even think to look for a recipe there.)

So, The Ingredients:
9 cups Chex cereal (This is the first part of the dumb--my box only had 8 cups in it)
1/4 cup butter (I used margarine)
1/2 cup peanut butter (and I used Biscoff spread, and this is beginning to look like I'm blaming a recipe that I didn't even follow, but just stick with me, ok? My real complaints come later, and have nothing to do with my numerous substitutions)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

The Instructions:
Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in sauce pan.
Remove from heat, add vanilla.
Stir in cereal.
Put powdered sugar in large ziplock bag. Add cereal mixture, shake until well coated.

Seems straight forward, yes? Even substituting margarine and cookie butter, things couldn't go too wrong, could they? Oh, but they DID! Maybe cookie butter doesn't melt as well as peanut butter. I will admit that could be part of the problem in this formula, and accept the blame accordingly. However, "melt" isn't very specific. Melt over high heat? Medium high? Not quite so medium high? Low? What temperature? I guessed--and oh did I guess wrong. First things started to boil before everything was melted, so there was much stirring and turning down the heat. Then I had a lump of slightly cooked chocolate chips and cookie butter and a mess of un-melted stuff. So I turned the heat up, but it was useless. The mess just sort of...congealed. It was the consistency of peanut butter, but grainy--like unsolidified fudge, which sounds tasty but was totally ineffective for my purposes.

I forged ahead. I removed from heat and added the vanilla. It...didn't improve things any. I added the cereal. I stirred for all I was worth. It sort of worked. Some of the cereal got coated. And it was chocolate Chex to begin with, so there was that. Then I had the brilliant idea to make this into S'more chow by adding marshmallows (about 1/2 a cup for those who might care). It sort of helped things get meltier and more like a dessert instead of a jumble of ingredients. I was feeling mostly defeated, so I dumped the lot into the ziplock bag with the powdered sugar and shook well. I shook and shook and shook and... Well, the result was edible.

Which is to say that in 2 days a gallon-sized ziplock bag was demolished in about 24 hours courtesy of one birthday pot luck and an afternoon watching Supernatural with Captain Kammahroo.

I'm still not impressed with the recipe, but I will take the blame for not knowing how hot to have the pan to melt the things. Live and learn, eh?

8 months

The Vitals
I don't know. She's napping at the moment, but she's big. 20lb ish? Tall-ish? (She woke up. 27", 20lb 3oz) She's still wearing mostly 6 month size stuff though, except for pants. Those are 9 month pants in the picture. 6 month pants are pretty much capris--which is fine as it's been mostly 80 degrees here in TX.

The first Thanksgiving!
Getting to meet her Great-Gram!
20 days in Weatherford!

Sitting up--I mean, getting from her belly to sitting all by herself
Standing--still while holding things, only once did she let go, and like a cartoon stood there looking quite shocked until she realized what she was doing, and then promptly fell down.
Getting out of the Bumbo!
Pulling up (her favorite is in the bathtub--I KNOW!)
Pincher grip-which she has perfected by picking up (and sticking in her mouth) every bit of flotsam, jetsam, detritus and fluff on every surface everywhere.

Works In Progress
Standing by herself.
I don't think she gives two figs about crawling in the traditional sense. I think she's figured out the crawlooching and will go from here to terrorizing the animals on two feet.

She likes
All the food
Banging her spoon around
Chasing the animals around
Putting everything she can pinch into her mouth

She dislikes
Falling down. Man, learning to be mobile is hard and so are floors. No time like the present to learn that gravity sucks.
Leaving headbands on her head

I like
Knowing what will make her laugh
Seeing her learn new things everyday-- I watched her figure out that her hands were full the other day. I was on her right side and handed her a toy. She grabbed it with her right hand. I handed her another toy. She reached for it with her right hand, saw that her hand was full, transfered the toy to her left hand, and then grabbed the NEW toy with her right. Later that day, I did the same thing. This time she turned to grab the toy with her left hand. FASCINATING!

I dislike
The tears that come when she falls down
The sleeping thing. It's still hard.

It was a good month overall. I got some very sweet compliments from my sister-in-law and J's grandmother about how well behaved Eleanor was at Thanksgiving and that did my heart good. She smiles and laughs at everyone--well, most everyone. She's sort of figuring out that there are strangers. I'm seeing the beginnings of separation anxiety but it's not too bad yet. She chases me when I leave the room. Oh! And there's this thing with loud noises. They don't scare her--I mean, she doesn't run away from them. Of course, she can't run, but she crawlooches TOWARDS them. Which is to say she crawlooches towards me, when I'm vaccuming or drying my hair. She used to sleep right through those things, now she's fine as long as I'm holding her while doing it.

And here's the monthly "look how big she's gotten" picture.

for comparison, this is her at 8 days:

Saturday, December 1, 2012

And then...

The past 24 hours have not been very good. They haven't been terrible, horrible, no good or very bad but they have not been very good either. That being said, there is humor and smiles to be had too.

Eleanor is learning about a million new things every minute*. This is wonderful and entertaining. What she is not doing is sleeping very well. So, of course, neither am I. The lens of sleep deprivation makes everything grainy and gritty and sometimes cranky.

Yesterday, I went down to clean the pool filters, since it's fall and there are leaves, well, FALLING everywhere but mostly in the pool. My parent's pool. I do not have a pool. Down to the (fabulous salt-water) pool to do the thing with the places where the leaves gather so the motor to the pump/filter/thingy doesn't burn out. Emptying these things is a Sisyphean task but you do what you do, right? This time it went pretty smoothly. An earthworm had gotten in the Velcro bag of the crawler dodad and that was kind of icky, but not as bad as the half-drowned spiders from a few days ago. Then comes the very satisfying part--I get to throw the crawler back into the shallow end of the pool. Hooray! Toss! Splash! But the cord part was still mostly on the side of the pool, so I went to kick it in. I missed. Try not to be surprised. My athletic prowess is... admirable. But! Wait! Not only did I miss the hose/cord completely, my shoe also flew off my foot and... yep. Right into the pool. Thankfully it floated long enough for me to retrieve it with the crowbar I use to fish the crawler out of the pool in the first place. Floating shoes are good for clumsy people.

Today, I wore lace up shoes. I wasn't going to make that mistake again. But this time, when I went to empty the basket of leaves, the basket was mostly empty. All the leaves were puddled up BESIDE the basket. Not in the basket. Just near it. This meant I spent some time with the net-on-a-pole scooping the leaves out. It was actually quite soothing in a Zen gardening kind of way. But what was in the basket? Not a spider. Not an earthworm. A mouse. A tiny mouse. A wee, morbidly cute mouse no bigger than my thumb. A mouse that upon closer inspection turned out to be a possum. A BABY possum. Now, there are lots of things to say about Darwin and the circle of life, rodents, pests, blah blah blah, ok? Tiny baby possum. Sad.

I went Christmas shopping today and was very successful. Eleanor was all decked out in her cutest polka dots. I love this outfit. I love that headband. I am a rookie who wasn't paying enough attention to the baby strapped to my chest as I shopped and that headband is now lost to the Kohl's in Weatherford. I am irrationally upset. I know it's just a headband. I know babies drop things and if I want to keep them, they should be attached to cords. I know this isn't the last thing that will go missing randomly while out and about. And yet, I'm bummed. It was so cute! Navy with white polka dots and a bow. It matched the pants!

All that aside--enough whining for one day, right?--there are some definite perks to staying at my folks' house. A fully stocked fridge/freezer/pantry. A giant bathtub. A marvelous shower. (And Eleanor is content to crawl around on the tile playing with her bath toys, the Bumbo that she can now get out of, and any random thing she finds. She will play long enough for me to take a shower or bath AND put on makeup. Not at the same time. One after the other.) A BMW X5 with satellite radio. The world's most patient cat, Bandit, who lets Eleanor maul her, manhandle her, try to eat her tail, paws, face and whiskers, and does it all without a growl, hiss, or swat.

I'll be working on Eleanor's 8 month update just as soon as I get more picture storage so you can see how cute this little girl is being!

*Slight exaggeration

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

7 months

I almost missed this one. I'd been waiting for a week or so to be able to say "7 months" instead of qualifying it with "almost" or "nearly". Then today, I was going about my normal routine and thought, "she'll be 7 months soon." Only, soon is now!

Uncertain face...
because every other shot looked like this!
The Vitals:
18lb 14oz
She's the biggest of the Nebraska babies, but still wears her 3-6m onesies. 6-9m pants though, thanks cloth diaper booty. She's not just the heaviest, or chubbiest, she's actually...bigger. I don't realize or think about it until I'm holding little L, who isn't scrawny or anything, but her hands are just much tinier and the 2+ lb difference seems huge when it comes to picking her up versus Eleanor.

October was a great month of stuff! She's exploring her world more and more each day--mostly with her mouth. She growls at things, chatters away and smiles at most everything.
Her first Halloween was the biggest calendar event.
We also had her first curry (tikka masala with Julie and Erica), first hummus, and first flu shot.
Second double ear infection, second funeral/memorial service (boo! Hiss!)
She got to spend time out at her Grandma & Grandpa Boswell's house. She met lots of cousins (second cousins? First cousins once removed? I never did get that sorted out) at her great-granddad's memorial.
She had her first (almost) full night away from me too. It wasn't traumatic for either of us.

On her way to get the Puca
Standing-- not unassisted, but without being held... Just steadied. Do you know what I mean? She can stand holding on to something. Like our fingers, or the coffee table.
Scooting...mostly backwards
She doesn't really crawl in the traditional sense of the word, but that does not stop her from getting all over the place. She sort of army crawls, sort of just uses her fingers and toes to pull herself around on her belly. Hardwood floors help since there is much less friction.
She can (most of the time) get from sitting to crawlooching in a fiarly graceful manner. There was a lot of faceplanting before.
Feeding herself. I hesitate to say this, since she's been doing it since she was almost 5 months old, but she's more accurate now. She can work a spoon with about 50% success. She gets all the food we give her into her mouth and has been chomping and gnawing things such that she more reliable ingests it.
She sits like a champ and passes toys from one hand to the other.

Works in progress:
Walking. I wish I were joking, because COME ON! I don't need an ambulatory baby yet. I don't think she'll actually do it for a while yet, but when she stands holding on to us, she tries to take steps. She's succeeded a couple of times. It's both exciting and terrifying.
Teeth. I felt the lump of where I think a tooth is trying to come in. The bottom left one. We'll see if it gets here soon.
Crawling--in the hands and knees sense.
Pulling up. She's done it precicely once, for. 5 seconds. She startled herself and fell back down immediately. Side note--invest in more throw pillows.
Pincher grasp. She's sort of got it. She can pick things up, but has a hard time keeping ahold of them and in the case of food, letting go once it's to her mouth.
Waking up happy

She likes:
Her basket of toys--specifically taking them all out of the basket
Chasing her octo-ball thingy around the living room
Trying to pet the animals. Thankfully all the animals in her universe are either incredibly patient or smart enough to stay out of her way.
Going for walks--which is to say riding about in the stroller. We have a problem with the sun getting in her eyes, which keeps her from viewing the scenery, but she still enjoys a good stroll about our (surprisingly) hilly neighborhood
Bath time, especially since the addition of bath toys
All the food. We have yet to encounter a food that she doesn't like. She makes interesting faces at the first taste of things, but then quickly reaches for more, more, more.
People. Praise God she is a social baby right now. We go on lots of lunch dates and she is content to be passed around to any number of strangers without fussing--for now.
The Jumperoo continues to be a huge hit. I've had to shorted the straps twice now already because she has learned how to actually jump in it.
Car rides
Grandpa's fish tank
The blue plastic dryer balls
Her giraffes. She has many, but she smiles at them on sight.
Me. Which is good, because she's stuck with me for 99% of her time.

She dislikes:
Having things put over her head (like clothes in the getting dressed process)
Having her face wiped
Having her nose wiped
Having her hands wiped
Having a wiping motion applied to any part of her person at all, ever.
Being consistent (this is nothing new--she's been a pile of guesswork from the day she was born) about when and how she will sleep
The blue bulb of doom (nasal aspirator)

I like:
The way she smiles when she sees me.
She's learned to put her arms up and reach for us when we go to get her out of the Jumperoo, and that is my current most favorite thing ever (at this moment).
Cloth diapers. It seems weird, but after a couple of round of antibiotics and travel which led to more disposable use, I really do prefer the cloth. It contains messes better for us. Her skin seems to like it better. Really, the only downside is the laundry.
Watching her feed herself. It's fascinating. She's just like a little person, eating real food.
Ok, just watching her do everything. She's better than tv.

I dislike:
Her inconsistency in regards to falling asleep. Sometimes she'll play happily in her bed/cradle/co-sleeper after eating and just calmly fall asleep. It isn't often, but when it does happen it is like a tiny miracle of joy. Sometimes she'll fuss and cry for a few minutes when I lay her down and then fall asleep. Sometimes she cries and screams and gets so worked up that she can't sleep. It's pretty much the toss of the dice which it will be when it comes to nap/bed time. We keep to the same routine every time as much as possible. Something has to be a constant in this experiment, and she is definitely a variable.
Now, as I sat here typing this, she's been playing with the toys in her basket and scooting around the living room. Only, she started off scooting, and now, just because I said she couldn't/wasn't she's getting up on her hands and knees. Most of her locomotion seems to come from comando-style crawling, but that hands and knees thing is coming any minute now. Ack! She got my toes. Gotta go!

Friday, November 2, 2012


It's November. National Write a bunch month. I'm really enjoying reading all the stuff that folks are putting up and it's reminding me that I do like my bloggy friends, but...
I'm not doing it.

I feel pretty accomplished when I manage to make my once a month Eleanor update, so every day for 30 days, especially when 15 of those days will be spent in Weatherford with my grandma... nope, not looking so good.

I would like to post MORE though, which is nice as a goal, as it is pretty easy to accomplish. Twice a month and I'm set, right?

I do have things that I want to write about. I've decided to buy all the weird looking squash at the grocery and eat it. I like squash. This should be a good plan. So fat I've only done the 2 squash that I always get--acorn and butternut. Oh, and I guess yellow (summer) squash and zucchini, but I don't ever really think of those as squash, even though they are. My brain thinks of squash as just the fall/winter varieties. Also, I have an ENTIRE cookbook dedicated to squash and pumpkin. It's beautiful and I'm just dying for a chance to make all the things. There are about 6 different squash soup recipes. It's gonna be great.

I'm trying to get better about doing things during Eleanor's naps, but recently her sleeping has taken a turn for the decidedly ugly. I don't even really want to talk about it because I simultaneously want all the advice so I can try everything and maybe something will work, and also don't want to hear about what worked for you, because that means your baby is sleeping and mine isn't and I'm a little tired and bitter, ok? *sigh* I just want more than 2 consecutive hours of sleep. I know I'll get it someday, but we all know that I'm terribly impatient about waiting for things I want.

Life is sadness and woe. Sleep is for suckers. I don't wanna nap!

Oh, hi there! I missed you!
One of he saving graces is that Eleanor wakes up so very happy (when she's truly done sleeping). So I have an easy way of knowing when she's ready to be done napping and when she needs to be re-napped, and I get lots of smiles and playful snuggles. Can't go wrong there.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This is Halloween

I love Halloween. I love dress-up in general, and on this holiday, everyone joins me in playing and I think it's the most fun ever. Also, this year, I have a baby to dress up. So I did. Repeatedly. With great joy and vigor!

must be the season of the witch
the giraffe from her 6m portraits

Posing like a prima donna 

Monsters Inc 
Family fun at the shindig for my moms' group

Pint-sized punk
I had way too much fun with my fake hair and eyeliner

This morning's happy girl in her giraffe suit. I call this her Penny face. I think it's the eyelashes.

blurry photo, but you gotta see the mane and tail!
Ta-da! Baby in costumes! Enjoy the day. Have sweets, play dress up!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Light the corners of my mind

Anyone who has seen Memento knows that "memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts." While I've known that to be true intellectually for quite some time, recently my own brain revealed its fickle nature.

For our honeymoon, J & I went to Ireland. J drove because at the time I couldn't opperate a manual transmission at all. At present I only do it under duress and it stresses me smooth out and I don't like it. But I can do it. But I digress. J did all the driving. Which means I was always in the passenger seat. Which is fine. J likes to drive and I like to take pictures out the windows of moving vehicles. A match made in heaven.

Recently, in talking with my cousin Buddy--and remind me to tell you about kilometers and milliliters in a bit--I realized 2 things. One--they don't drive on the other side of the road in Germany. I think I kind of knew that, but not really. So when Buddy comes here and drives my folks BMW (which stands for Bavarian Motor Works...does everyone in the world but me know this?) it's not really all that strange for him. He's driven speds with triple digits on the Autobahn, so I imagine the Texas speeders don't faze him one bit.

This is relevant in that it got me thinking about driving around Ireland and what I remember from our cross-country drive. After spending a weekend in a little B&B on the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland, we drove 6 or so hours to Donegal. We saw many rainbows and Ireland really is as green as you think it is. It's also got pretty blues and golds and spots that remind me a bit of northern California. We couldn't play the cow game because the Irish country side is just lousy with sheep instead of cows. Black faced sheep and white faced sheep and since it's very difficult to brand a woolly animal, they spray paint them instead, which led to the "one sheep, two sheep, red sheep, blue sheep" game instead.

So, I have fond memories of riding around the northern part of Ireland (and Northern Ireland, but those are two different things) while Jeremy drove the manual transmission Passat wagon or whatever it was. It was blue. I remember that much. Nothing unusual about my memories. They're all from the perspective of the passenger seat.

Only, the US passenger side. Which is the driver's side in Ireland. I know this. I remember frequently walking to the wrong side of the car and J teasing me that I was welcome to try and drive. I rememeber that. I know that I sat on the right side of the car--I mean, the correct side of the car, which in this case is the left. But all my memories have re-written themselves to show from the OTHER side. My brain says I turned my head to the right to look out my window, and I know that's not right. I know I looked left. If I did look right, it was to talk to J, but what I know to be true is in direct conflict with my actual memories. It's as though my brain just merged the Irish memories with all the other car memories and made everything match. They should stick out like a sore thumb because I only have that one trip where "shotgun" was on the left. But they don't. It's the only set of memories that I concretely know are wrong.

I wonder how many other memories are wrong. I know that the room I think of as the green room from the house on 1414D Washington St wasn't really green. It had green curtains and a green bedspread, so the light in there always seemed green, but the walls weren't painted green. I know that, but I don't remember the walls as white. Growing up we had a couch that my mother swears up and down was brown, but I thought it was grey. I mean, it was a varigated pattern of light colors that my mind read as grey. I suppose once upon a time it could have been brown, or maybe beige would be more accurate, but I don't remember it any other color than grey. Colors changing seems more natural a memory lapse than to completely change the interior of an automobile.

Unreliable brain.

OH! Kilometers. So, in talking with Buddy, I revealed that I say it kill-OM-eters. Buddy laughed at me. The inconsistency here is that all the other measurements aren't pronounced this way. It's centi-meter, not cent-IM-iter, milli-liter not mill-IL-ilter. But I've since vowed that I shall be consistent. I will say mill-IL-iter because it's way more fun than milli-liter. Try it! Kilo-meter may be boring and kill-OM-eter isn't that much more exciting, but cent-IM-iter and mill-IL-iter are a riot.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I know Eleanor is growing. The numbers on the scale go up. Clothes and diapers get smaller. But I spend all day, every day with her, so it's also a little hard to process that she hasn't always been this way. So, some photographic evidence.

0 months old
0 months

1 month

2 months

3 months
3 months

4 months
5 months

6 months

6 months

Sunday, October 7, 2012

6 months

We made it! Half a year! Wooohoo!

The Vitals:
18lb 6oz (in fleecy pajamas and a cloth diaper)
Still growing and still squishy--those are the at home numbers. We'll see what the doctor's office has to say tomorrow. Flu shot, ahoy!

The highlights:
Baby's first cough which led to baby's first ear infection which led to baby's first antibiotics. None of these are fun milestones
Baby's first tutu! (Also baby's second tutu, but that's less exciting)
She attended her second funeral/memorial service. I don't know if that counts as a highlight, but she did get to meet many cousins of the second variety...or first cousins, once removed. I'm never sure how that works. My cousins. Also my aunts and uncles from far away.

Sitting up (mostly) without tipping over
Locomotion--I'm not willing to call it crawling yet, but it is a coordinated lift-face plant-toe push maneuver that gets her places. She rolls and ooches.
Hand flapping
Babbling (now with consonants!)

Works In Progress:
The aforementioned crawling.
Sitting up--in the way of getting herself from laying down to sitting unaided
Standing. Oh, we're a long way from standing unaided, but she *wants* to pull up and be standing. So, much like sitting, the desire is there long before the actual proficiency.

She likes:
Chewing on everything
Laughing and "talking" to herself and everyone
Trying to climb me while nursing
The Jumperoo!

She dislikes:
Taking a nap if there are GOINGS ON TO BE A PART OF!!

I like:
Laughing and talking with her
Coordinating outfits (and this has led me to buy the supplies to make bows for her head! Yeah, it's awesome.)

I dislike:
Her not wanting to nap when there are GOINGS ON SHE WANTS TO BE A PART OF
Her attempts to climb Mt. Hudge

She's pretty awesome these days. Beautifully chubby and squishy and sociable. She's all smiles and grins, even for strangers. Her latest favorite game is to sit on her blanket with a basket of toys juuuuust out of reach. She then reaches them and pulls them out. It's pretty fascinating to watch, at least for me. We go on walks and she likes to interact with the other babies in our playgroup. That group is about 90% lady babies, which is pretty rad. We're still pretty bad at having a consistent nighttime routine. I mean, there are things that we do, but it's not very...routiny yet. We're still doing baby-led weaning. She's not ingesting that much, but she is having a grand time gnawing on things. Raw bell peppers and cucumber are big hits, as are apples and bananas. Sweet potato and carrots remain popular. Bread gives her the full-body happies. Also: belly rubs, trying to "pet" the pets, and tutus.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


To update, yesterday remained wonderful from start to finish. There were many giggles, some pictures in a tutu (not the one I made during her morning nap, but the one that Kammah and I made on Monday) and so on. Today has been... less stellar, but we did go get her 6mo pictures taken, and that reminds me that I never showed you the 3mo ones. Well, let's fix that, shall we?

So, that's Squnchler, age 3 months.
Now for today's pictures. Dude. Just... I'm in love with this kid and MAN she photographs well! (toot-tooting my own horn!) Also, I made that tutu! MADE IT (which was so stinkin' easy)! The headband and tail are from my giraffe costume last year. And yes, the tiny giraffe (Beanie Baby) makes another appearance.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Remind me

Should J and I ever decide to do this baby thing again, I want you to remind me about today. And by you, I really mean me. Now me needs to talk to future me to remember today.

Today is good. I got out of bed at the not-early hour of 9 and while Eleanor finished sleeping I made a tutu. Well, 95% of a tutu, because I think it needs just a little more fluffing and maybe a ribbon bow before I'm ready to call it totally done, but still. I cut up 50 yards of tulle and tied it around an elastic band, which is making a tutu. I also watched some Aaron Sorkin while I did it, and 25 episodes in, I'm ready to say that I'm just not in love with Sports Night. It's not because it's about sports, which I care nothing about, because A) it's not about sports, it's about relationships and 2) I don't give a squat about politics and I loved The West Wing. It's because I don't really care about any of the characters. I can't put my finger on why. I also ate breakfast while making a tutu and watching Sports Night. This is a morning full of win.

After Eleanor woke up for the day--which I can now tell when she's waking up to eat and when she's up for the day by how she wakes up. Tangent interrupting that sentence and I'm not going to fix it, so just hold on. When she's waking up to eat, she fusses, eats, and then goes right back to sleep. When she's waking up for the day, she wakes up happy. It's wonderful. She sings to herself and plays with whatever she can get her hands on and she smiles at me. So, right, after Eleanor woke up, I got her dressed in a cute orange and pink gingham dress with matching bloomers and accessorized with a pink headband. Then she played by herself in the Jumperoo for 30 minutes while I cleaned the kitchen. And I don't just mean emptied & reloaded the dishwasher, which is usually what I mean when I say I cleaned the kitchen. No, I mean I cleaned counter tops. And the stove. And the MICROWAVE. I was productive.

Then Eleanor was done playing by herself so I played with her. We sat on the floor and she chewed her toys, which is what counts as playing for us at this point. Puca came to sniff her and she grabbed his fur. He is incredibly patient and gentle with her and I'm pretty ridiculously excited to see how much she loves watching him play. I know that most moms think they got the best baby ever (and I totally did) but hands down I got the best dog in the whole wide world--barking at everything that touches our sidewalk not withstanding.

When it was time for her nap, I recognized it by her demeanor, not the clock. That may sound simple and like a giant no-brainer but that's a really big deal for me. She doesn't have a schedule and her routine has always been fairly unpredictable, or at least that's how it feels at the time, but looking back she really does have patterns and I can recognize them now. That makes me feel really good at my job. I sometimes understand my baby. On this day, I saw that her fussiness was because she was tired and I put her down for her nap. In her own bed. Well, I nursed her to sleep in our bed then transfered her to her own bed, but she's taking her naps in her bed. This is an accomplishment for me. Just 2 weeks ago she was still taking her naps on our bed surrounded by a bumper of pillows. She had been taking naps in her cradle, but even with the bumper (breathable, of course) she was getting her hands and feet caught in the bars but couldn't get them un-stuck, so back to the bed. Now she naps in her bed. In our room. It's progress.

If tomorrow doesn't go this well, I want to remember that today was good. I'm pretty bad at remembering the good days as it turns out. I dwell on the bad days and kill myself with comparison. Comparison is the thief of joy. Someone wise and probably more famous than me said that and it's true. Except when it's not. I mean, I don't think I'll ever be able to stop comparing myself to others. I know I should focus on just being the best me I can be because only I am me and I'm not anyone else. When I focus on being grateful for how good I have it--and I do have it good, objectively good, not just subjectively--it's in comparison to others. I am grateful that I have a car and a house with functioning temperature control and almost enough room to store the oodles and oodles of stuff we accumulate and enough disposable income to have hobbies instead of a career. I get to stay home with my adorable baby and I'm lucky to have all of that because there are lots of others who don't. But that's comparison too, and when I do that it's just too easy to flip over to the other side of the "but I don't have" lists. I've never been on a cruise and my baby doesn't sleep through the night and she's still in our room and not sleep trained to sleep in her own room in a crib all night long without us.

For crying out loud! That's what I have to complain about? I've never been on a cruise?! So what! I honeymooned in Ireland and I don't really like bathing-suit beaches anyway. Which is why I'd love to do an Alaskan cruise, or the Holy Land cruise that my aunt & folks are taking in November, or to take a boat down the Rhine river, or the Danube, or... See, there's always something to dream about. And fine, great, dream! I like dreaming. It's good to have "bucket list" items and things to plan and hope for. They should bring joy though, not depression because I haven't done it yet.

And Eleanor's not even 6 months old yet. (And you guys, wait until you see the pictures I have for her 6 month update. You're gonna die from the cute. I'm just saying... This one is gonna be good.) Sure there are plenty of babies younger than her sleeping longer stretches in their own room. But I LIKE having her in our room. I like having her near to me. She will move to her own room in her own time. This works for us, for our family. She gets time to herself to explore and play and entertain herself, soothe herself, and be her own tiny human. She's not spoiled or coddled--she's a baby! What's more, she's my baby, not anyone else's baby. If I have to be nice to me for being just me not anyone else, then the same rules apply to my mini-me. And I'm not saying this because anyone has said anything hateful or hurtful or judgmental disguised-as-advice to me. This is me saying out loud what I need to remember because my own brain wants to sabotage me. My brain wants to paint a bleak picture of reality and it's just not true.

Today is good. I'm wearing real clothes, clothes I could comfortably leave the house in. I've had nutritious food and even slept in a bit. I've made crafts and taken care of my house. I trimmed Eleanor's nails. It's not a perfect day, but it's good. Eleanor face-planted on the hardwood-laminate floors and I was terrified she'd get a big ugly bruise. Not because I worried about her health or well being. Well, I did, but honestly it was a secondary concern. No, my first worry was that she'd be all banged up for the pictures that I want to have taken tomorrow so I can give 6 mo portraits to the family that's coming in for my granddad's memorial on Friday. Isn't that some Murphy-type rule of babies in pictures? They'll mar their tiny faces just in time to capture it for posterity? (See also, why I trimmed her nails) She's got an ear infection because she's been congested for going on 3 weeks now and she's taking her antibiotic like a champ and she's only had a few bits of inconsolable screaming and she is still generally my happy, sweet, easy-going, social baby, but man! Do I ever beat myself up about it when she gets fussy when we're out with other friends' babies. Like why do *I* have the fussy baby? Why does other babies fussing sound so mild-mannered and when E does it I feel like my ears should fall off? Because those aren't my babies. I just have to cut myself some freaking slack. Hear that, self? Chill. You got a good one. I mean, look at her!
Eleanor being very lady-like at the doctor's office

Also, today is good and it's only noon. I've been productive. I'm presentable for the general public. Eleanor is clean, fed, and happy. (Well, asleep at the moment, but that counts as happy in my book.) Today is good and I want to remember it for later. (Even if later is later today in case things go completely off the rails.)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...