Saturday, June 30, 2012


I do not have a green thumb. I suck at keeping plants alive. I have managed to slay succulents and african violets. I murdered a diffenbachia. Heck, even my lawn is sketchy. Plants are not my thing. I love them, but in a distant "other people's gardens" sort of way.

That being said, a sweet friend told me every nursey should have something homemade and something growing. Homemade we've got. From the cradle made by my father to blankets, quilts, hats and booties, many wonderful people have used their talents and time to bless our little girl.

Now for the growing. This sweet pot is a little pink cradle. Inside grows an ivy plant made from a clipping from our friend Shannon's ivy plant. Shannon loves plants and plants love her. All her fingers are green. She works hard and spends quality time to ensure that she has fresh herbs and vegetables for her family. Her gardens are decorative and functional. I did not want to disappoint her and I certainly didn't want to lose the "growing thing" for the nursery. I was hopeful that I might do better than I had in the past. See, Shannon gave me an amyrillis bulb for Christmas and I managed to care for that little plant well. It gave me 3 huge red flowers in the middle of winter. It's still alive, but flowerless at the moment.

My little ivy plant has survived pretty well thus far. I've been caring for this little plant since January. It's still growing strong, getting new leaves and dangling about. I've relocated it several times to keep it away from tiny kitty teeth.

Right now, it rests on our mantle, next to a glass pumpkin Shannon gave us at an Autumn dinner party years ago. Next to that is our wedding cake topper, that Shannon's husband Allen made for us. I think it's in good company. Mostly it's someplace that I see it and remember to water it, so that's important. I hope I can keep it growing. I want to have to re-pot it, and someday tell Eleanor how to care for it, the little ivy from our friend Shannon.

Wish me luck and a green thumb or two.

Friday, June 15, 2012

You fall within a bell curve

So, at Eleanor's 2 month check up, they did their official measuring, and it turns out The Squnchler is in the 90th percentile for height, weight, and head size. At her 2 week check up she was 50% for everything, so this really puts my mind to rest about her getting enough to eat. Is there a woman out there who nurses and doesn't worry that her baby is getting enough to eat? As much as she's been nursing recently, I was worried that she was going hungry. No, not at all. She's big, but proportional. Also, really stinkin' cute. Look at her tiny shoes!
the calm before the shots

I went to a La Leche League meeting on Tuesday and was pleasantly surprised by how reasonable the ladies were. I attended one meeting while I was pregnant, which was informative, but it was so much better this time around. I mean, I was actually doing this thing that everyone was talking about. It was so encouraging to hear other stories of moms who struggled with the exact same things--fast let down, tongue tied babies, engorgement after a growth spurt, plugged ducts, leaking, bad latches, cracked & bleeding parts. Also, these ladies weren't anti-formula or anti-bottles, which I think is what I thought of when I first heard of LLL. While there was talk of attachment/natural parenting (which I will not comment on as I know both diddly and squat about it), co-sleeping and baby wearing, there wasn't a feeling of "you must do these things to be a good mom" which was nice. I did get some help putting Eleanor in the sling that I have, so now I have hope hat I might be able to grocery shop one day. I even got to try on (and put Eleanor in) a Boba carrier too. Everyone was so nice and helpful. I even felt like I had something to contribute.

So, I want you to look at something that is totally weird to me:

This is me, age... wee, having a bath. Yes, I just posted a nude picture of myself on the internet. Craaazy.  Anyway, so you see that face? It's hard to see, but you know whose face that is? That's Eleanor's face. As she grows she looks more like herself and less like a mini-me, but sometimes, she gets a certain look or I see her from the right angle and I see all my baby pictures in my mind. Yet, I still can't quite process the fact that I helped make her, carried her, and she's mine. My baby. For real.
Baby Bean
Bean Baby

Bean Baby
Baby Bean
So, you know, not an EXACT double, but she's definitely mine.

I made cookies, as you saw from my last post. It was exciting. Tonight, my husband made his beer cheese soup. He says he modified the Pioneer Woman's recipe, but for the life of me, all I can find is her recipe for Welsh Rarebit... because apparently when he says "Pioneer Woman" what he really meant was "Art of Manliness." Right. Anyway, this got started because K asked on Twitter about the most wonderful thing to come out of your crock pot, and the two things I thought of were both cheese-based creations that J makes. O'Quinn's O'Queso and this soup. Though this soup isn't actually made in the crock pot, just served there, because he always makes it for work pot lucks. Anyway, J makes this soup and it is super good, and he tops it with crumbles of peppered bacon, and I'm making him blog it up, and you should make it, or make someone who loves you make it for you, because it's soooo good.

Food and boobs and babies. That about sums up my life right now.

Oh, in other AMAZING news, today is my grandparent's 70th wedding anniversary. 70!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Grandma Jonte's No-Bake Butterscotch drops
These cookies are not pretty or healthy. They are, however, easy and delicious!
1/2 c butter
1/2 c milk
2 c brown sugar (packed*)
2 1/2 c quick oats
1 c chopped nuts
1 package butterscotch chips
Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add milk & brown sugar. Bring mixture to a boil, boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add oats, nuts & chips. Stir, stir, stir until everything is melted. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool (20-30 min in fridge, about an hour at room temp).
These are very rich little cookies, so keep them small. If you're feeling crazy, you can substitute chocolate chips, either milk or semi-sweet. I used walnuts as my nut of choice in this batch, but use whatever floats your boat. If you want nutless cookies, add another 1/2 c (or so) of oats so the texture is right. Right being firm enough that they don't spread out all over the wax paper, but still softish.
*is there ever a recipe that calls for unpacked brown sugar?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

2 months

The Vitals:
11 lbs
She's growing, but still feels tiny to me. Due to cloth-diaper-butt, we've moved out of the newborn onesies and she's wearing 0-3mo without looking like I hit her with a shrink ray. I have 2 dresses and one onesie left that she hasn't worn. That's two months without repeating an outfit. I say THANK YOU TWITTER, FAMILY & FRIENDS for clothing my baby!

We went to Scarborough Faire and she got made a Lady of the Court by the Queen.
I learned how to use the stroller
We had dinner with Aunt B at Jorg's Cafe Vienna
Spent Memorial Day hangin' with the EDGE group babies

Rolling Over: Belly to back only, but can do it both directions, with cloth diaper
Waste Production in high volume (What? It's totally a skill!)
Sticking tongue out (she'll even mimic you if you do it first)

In Progress:
Laughing (she does it in her sleep--so cute!)
Rolling over: back to belly She's done it once, and I don't think she even knows that she did it, which is sort of fine by me
Holding her head up--Still working on it! She can do it for more than 30 seconds at a time, fairly consistently, but she's still pretty wet-noodle like at times. If I hold her in a sitting position, she's pretty good, just a little wobbly still.

She likes:
The dangling toys from her activity mat and chair (because she can SEE them now)
Bath time
Me (even when she's not eating, which is nice)
Her musical swing
Being slung over a shoulder like a sack of potatoes
Music & dancing
Ooching herself around the co-sleeper

She dislikes:
Being hungry
or wet
or cold
or tired
or bored

I dislike:
Cradle cap
Leaking diapers
She's started pinching me while she's nursing

I like:
Watching her watch things
Watching her sleep
The magic moment where she sees me and smiles
Figuring out what's making her cranky and fixing it
All her adorable clothes. Yes, she's my little doll (for now)
I think her eyes are getting lighter. They might stay blue
Smooching her all the time. All the time. All the time.
J singing & playing guitar to her
Nursing is going SO MUCH better

We still haven't found the zen of nursing, but we're getting there. Right now, I feel like an example of dysfunctional economics. She eats all the time, like there's a shortage, then the next day, she's back to every 2-3 hrs and there is a surplus, and that's uncomfortable too. It's a learning curve. The best part is we're doing it. She's getting fed and I'm doing it. It doesn't hurt anymore which makes me feel like a whole new person.

I'm also enjoying her more. I mean, I spend all my time with her, but she is awake more. I think I can kind of sum it up with this: she's more interactive now. She sees us, and responds. We can make her smile. She's not reaching for things yet and rattles aren't very interesting, but it won't be long now.
0 months
2 months
1 month

Sunday, June 3, 2012

In a minute

Just some quick, non-sequitor notes

*When I vacuum, I think our house could be used for Dyson before and after commercials. Only the bedrooms have carpet, but it's that ubiquitous shade of beigy grey that was probably lovely once. They might have called it "Silvered Almond" or "Toasted Twilight" or something equally bizarre. Now it's just a magnet for the black dog hair that accumulates everywhere. 3 grey/brown tabby cats don't shed half as much as this one Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mutt. Or if they do, they shed fur the color of toasted twilight.

*I've been puked and pooped on. I don't mean just "in my life" because, you know, infant. I mean just today, by Eleanor. The glamour of my life!

*Glitter-hippieness continues! I haven't had much time to wash my face with oil, and I'm still using shampoo and conditioner, but we're using the laundry detergent I made, and we're cloth diapering, and I'm about to install a clothes line/drying rack outside. Watch out world!

*There was a discusson on Twitter a while back about what to put on a corn dog: mustard or ketchup. I like both condiments in general, and like both on my hot dogs at the same time, but for some reason I thought I liked mustard only on corn dogs. But we were out of yellow mustard, so I had ketchup, and now I think I like that better. Someone from that Twitter conversation should tell me whether that makes me "Texan" or not, because I don't remember.

*I made a Disney station on Pandora and it is eye-opening to me how many songs I don't know. Mulan? Tarzan? I'm right out. Little Mermaid, Lion King, Beauty & the Beast? No problem!

*Thursday, for about 30 minutes, I had the bed all to myself. No husband, no baby, no cats. Just me and 8 pillows. It was wonderful.

*I painted my finger & toe nails with this fun UV color changing stuff. It's a cheap thrill. Indoors my nails are a silvery pink. Outside they're...a darker pink. Pink and pink. My nails are blush and bashful, one id much deeper than the other.

*As you can tell by the corn dog comment above,  I haven't gotten around to doing real meal planning yet. I want to. I have plans to plan. I just haven't figured it out yet. Also, grocery shopping with The Squnchler is... not very efficient. I need to figure out how to make her more secure in the sling so I don't have 3/4 of my basket taken up with her car seat. She spends our grocery trips snuggled up to the frozen vegetables and that seems awkward.

*I have a fussy baby. Not an inconsolable colicky baby (thank God, and by the rules of the Internet, I have just jinxed myself and colic will show up tonight). She settles down at night and sleeps (knock on wood, cross your everything) well, but during the day, she is really only content for short periods of time (5-10 min) unless she is asleep or eating. She naps during the day. She likes her playmat with the bright colors and dangling toys, at least for a little while, then the fussing starts. It's mild fussing, no tears, no screaming, but it is fussing. It seems unconnected to the state of her belly, diaper, or gas bubbles. I walk her about. We dance. I sing. She likes being tossed over a shoulder best. I don't know. Mildly fussy baby. Could be so much worse.

*Cloth diapers have only been a challenge at night. I haven't found the magic setting that has snug enough leg holes and enough padding to handle her 6hr stretch.

*My musical baby swing plays 2 songs that I just don't know. I find that odd. It plays "Rock-a-bye baby," "Fur Elise," and "Baa-Baa Black Sheep" (which J tells me is actually "Twinkle Twinkle") and then these other 2 songs that are a total mystery to me.

That's all.

Oh, here's a picture of my baby:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Weight. Wait, don't tell me.

With all the various doctor appointments I've had recently, there have been lots of scales to step on. Thankfully, the numbers keep moving down (thank you breastfeeding). But oh the numbers! Currently, I'm about 10 lb under my pre-pregnancy weight, which is about 20 lb less than what I weighed on E's birth day, but 20 lb heavier than what I think of as my "normal" weight, which is about 20 lb heavier than my goal weight, which is about 20 lb heavier than the BMI chart says I should be. But my jeans fit, so, you know... there's that.

Also, thankfully, I'm done with doctors for a little while. All pending appointments are for The Squnchler.

I read a book! A whole book! In The Woods by Tana French. It was good and suspenseful, but left one of the two mysteries that made me want to read the story completely unanswered. We all know how I feel about unsatisfying endings. Still, I managed to read a book while Eleanor was sleeping or eating.

We've made the switch to cloth diapers. It's going pretty well. There is a learning curve at the moment--figuring out all the different kinds of diapers that I bought and their various inserts to avoid leaking. Also, I really need a clothes line to dry these suckers on. One, Dallas is basically a giant hot air tumbler in summer anyway, so I'd love to take advantage of that, for my pocket book. Two, I need the sunshine to do its work, bleaching away stains and whatnot. The problem is there isn't any spot on our property that isn't shaded. Which, again, is great for my pocket book in terms of keeping the house cool, although we do have to turn a lot of lights on during the day in our cave-like living room. Still, I need to find a spot for my clothes line.

 My parents adopted another kitten, a friend for their beautiful tortie, Moki. This is Bandit, snuggling down to take a nap in E's car seat. She is friendly and sweet. I'd forgotten how much fun kittens could be. Watching her go tearing around the house, with her tail straight in the air! Moki is getting used to the new addition pretty well. There is hissing and chasing and arched backs, but not much. I don't think it will last for long. And yes, my parents now have cats named Moki & the Bandit. As you can see (example: the title), the penchant for puns comes completely naturally to me.

Oh, and Eleanor is smiling a lot more these days. She's smiling in response to us, to me, which pretty much just makes my day. She has also learned to frown, which I have yet to catch on camera, but believe me, it is equally exciting!

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