Monday, April 30, 2007

Another one bites the dust

"Another what," you ask.

"Fingertip," I answer sheepishly.

I hadn't mangled baby girl's fingers since the day we brought her home from the hospital. That streak is over. I think a combination of cockiness on my part and squirminess on her part lead to this morning's hack job on her right pointer finger, which she's been holding up for all the world to see since I chopped it. Her little finger bled and bled. In fact, there are tiny little bloody fingerprints all over the outfit she was wearing, our bedspread, and the shirt I was wearing. She finally sucked on her finger until I think she sucked all the blood out because it finally stopped. She'll make it, though, and I think she'll make it without reconstructive surgery or anything dramatic (like bandaids).

Beyond that, we're planning a trip over to Mother Nurture when she wakes up from her nap. We're buying cloth diapers. Wish me luck. I take that back. We don't need luck. We can do this. We're also bravely moving forward with her "sleep training." She actually fell asleep last night without crying. She just sucked her fingers for a few minutes and conked out. She woke up a little after a few minutes, but she fell right back to sleep. Of course, she was totally restless this morning from about 4am on. That explains this afternoon's super-nap.

I've been trying to pay closer attention to her sleepiness the past few days, and it's amazing how clear her patterns are becoming. I feel like I've been neglecting her little cues all this time. I feel like most of the times that she's been really fussy are probably my fault for not paying attention to what she was trying to tell me. I'm going to try to NOT let the guilt eat at my insides.

Ah, parenting. I love it. I have nothing else to even talk about anymore. How one-dimensional am I?

Sunday, April 29, 2007

This is my life

It's flat-out gorgeous outside. The sun is setting, so the neighborhood is basking in the orange glow. We are inside, however, much to Otis's chagrin. Baby girl is asleep in her daddy's arms. She's clutching the impromptu burp cloth (a dinner napkin) like the marble rye lady from Seinfeld. You'd think we routinely take things from her as she exhibits her mighty kung fu grip. Her dad looks to be in agony as he unwisely let her fall asleep while he bounced her on the Pilates ball. The dog is standing at the front door all but begging to go out. I am at the computer researching cloth diapers.

The diaper dilemma has me tearing my hair out. I feel GUILTY that I use disposable diapers even though we use "hippie diapers" according to our friends. By the end of the week I'd bet we've got cloth diapers on S's little butt.

I'm also delving into my newest project. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. 10 year class reunion. Yuck. Trying to find 400 people that I barely knew in high school doesn't sound fun to me in the least. Planning an event in my hometown sounds even less appealing as I'm used to big city, big budget soirees. Wish me luck. Better yet, send me your leftover Valium. I'll likely need it more.

Last thing. I haven't mentioned anything food related in awhile. So, here's a recap of last evening's meal. Cilantro Lime Chicken, spinach salad, and bread. I improvised with the chicken, using the ingredients I had in the house. I whisked together the zest and juice of one large lime, a few tablespoons of olive oil, a couple of cloves of minced garlic, kosher salt, black pepper, chili powder, and a healthy dose of chopped fresh cilantro and marinated a couple of chicken breasts for a couple of hours. They grilled up quite nicely. As for the salad- nothing fancy there. Baby spinach tossed in balsamic vinaigrette with chopped yellow bell pepper and tomato. The bread was a very disappointing multigrain "bake it yourself" concoction I picked up at the grocery. I made real fresh bread with dinner tonight. Significantly better option.

I'm tired now. Time to water the garden and watch Planet Earth.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Not so bad really

The time has come. The time for S to sleep in her own bed. I'm not 100% sure that I'm ready to not see her little face first thing in the morning, but I know that if we don't make the transition soon we'll have a hard time evicting her from our room before she starts kindergarten. So, we bought Good Night, Sleep Tight, which was recommended by several friends and we're starting the process. The book basically discusses how to teach a baby to fall asleep on her own and put herself back to sleep when she wakes up. Hey, I knew how to put her to sleep...left boob and right boob. Worked like a charm. Then again, I had become the human pacifier. I attempted to let her fall asleep on her own (but still in our bed) Thursday night. It didn't go over well. She screamed and screamed and no amount of consoling her seemed to help. Finally she just stared at me, crying. I couldn't take it anymore and left boob made an appearance at the Late Show with SMP.

Yesterday, however, I decided to try to get her to sleep in her crib for her afternoon nap. It wasn't a great experience, but after about a half an hour of fussing and crying she fell asleep. It's a start, right? Last night, we tried the "fall asleep on your own" routine again and achieved a significant measure of success. I put her down (unswaddled) between the two of us "drowsy but awake." She fussed (but didn't wail) for about twenty minutes. She was out cold by 9:45. She woke up at 10:45, 12:45, and 3:30, which is more than usual, but we left her alone and she went back to sleep all three times. When she woke up at 5:45, I fed her. Eight hours is longer than she's ever gone without nursing, so I figured she was actually hungry, not just looking to the udders for comfort. She went to sleep after nursing for ten minutes and actually unlatched on her attempts at using me as a pacifier. Related? No idea, but I'll take it. She woke up for good about 8. It was wonderful.

As for today, I'm not screwing with her morning nap routine, choosing to let her snooze in her swing, even though the book suggests against it. I don't want to throw her into the deep end, you know. We'll try to do the afternoon nap in the crib again. Once I can get her to sleep in her crib for a nap, I'll try to move her at night. Who would've thought that teaching a baby to sleep could be so much work? I'll keep everyone posted on her progress...because I know you're all dying to know.

Happy Saturday.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Five Senses Friday

Sight: S smiling at the baby in the mirror, trees in the park
Sound: baby giggles
Touch: baby girl kicking me in the stomach all night
Taste: lemon cake (again), sweet potatoes from Good Foods
Smell: freshly cut grass, freshly zested lemons

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Oh Snap

"Today is a gift from God. That's why they call it the present."

I'm not sure if wittiness like that is only experienced in the south or not. Seems like a southern thing. Then again, I witnessed an appetizer with bacon last weekend that wasn't from the south. For the record, it was peanut butter and bacon, and it's a Buffalo thing. Just the same, I drove past the Lexington Baptist Temple (I know...Baptist Temple? I don't get it either) earlier today, and a big grin spread across my face upon seeing their sign. I love me some good Christian advertising. I sincerely hope that all you northerners and westerners and whatnot aren't missing out. Beyond that, yesterday was little bit's three month birthday. We had cake. I can't believe that she's a quarter old. What I really can't believe is the fact that I put a six month dress on her this morning and couldn't button it around her neck. Luckily, it was a polo-style dress, so we just left a couple of buttons undone. The child is huge. Huge. She's also a bonafide member of the family now...she has a savings account. We went and had lunch with hubby today and stopped by the bank on the way back to his office. Hehehe...she's sooooo her daddy's girl.

She's sleeping now, and I have some housework to catch up on. Peace out, my peeps.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Back in the saddle again

We're home. Exhausted and home. Traveling with little bit was more work than expected...especially since there was travel within travel involved. She was awesome, though. I know we were lucky. She slept through all four flights, and she snoozed through most of the car rides to and from Hamilton. She did, however, scream all the way to and from Niagara Falls. She was's not her fault.
As for the trip itself- it was great. The weather turned out to be pretty nice despite the storms earlier in the week. I think it even climbed to 70 on the wedding day although it was significantly cooler in the shade. Die Frau and her new hubby looked wonderful and crazy happy, which is something you always like to see at weddings. Pics are on Flickr.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hanging in there

I think we did the alone thing better yesterday. Sort of. Add to the list a clogged milk duct last night, which was less than fabulous. S was great yesterday morning, but she'd had enough of feeling snotty by the afternoon. So, everything until 4pm was great. After that it was hit-or-miss. As Feathernester said, I had to take it one minute at a time. Luckily, S was pretty content laying on the bed staring at her toys and the ceiling fan for about 45 minutes last night. That gave me a chance to get some things packed for tomorrow's trip. She also slept pretty well last night, so even though I stayed up late dealing with the milk duct issue, I was able to get plenty of sleep. Thankful for that. Also thankful for hubby's return this evening.

Of course, making my day brighter yesterday was the discovery that The O.C. now comes on the Soap Channel at 6pm on weekdays. (How embarrassing is it that I admitted that?) By about 6:15 last night, I was pooped, and so was baby girl. I sat down to nurse her, and flipped on the TV. Searching for something to watch, there it favorite teeny-bopper soap opera. I enjoyed every second of it. I'm only mildly ashamed to admit it. (Also mildly shameful is the crush I have on Adam Brody...I like nerdy, thin, brown haired boys. What else can I say?) Besides, I happen to know that a certain someone who reads this blog was hooked on 90210 back in the day, so she's swimming in the shame pool with me. You know who you are.

Okay, there's a guy here to give me a quote on replacing our gutters, so I have to run. Check you later, peeps.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

How do you spell relief?

D-A-D-D-Y. Yesterday was my first day completely alone with baby girl. M left for a conference yesterday morning, so S and I (and Otis) are all by ourselves until he gets home Wednesday night. I already knew that I always wanted someone else to hold her for a few minutes by the end of the day...around 6pm, I usually just need a little break. I just want to sit down and relax with no baby attached to me. Not having that break last night wasn't fun...especially with S not feeling well. Since she's been sick, she's wanted to be held non-stop, and she is much more demanding than in, you absolutely cannot change the way you're holding her until she's ready, and when she's ready, you'd better move with the quickness. It's a harrowing experience when you're all alone. So, not that I take my husband's help in the evenings for granted, because I don't think I do, I've realized that I NEED him. Especially when Otis takes off with a burp cloth and starts barking at a stray dog and brings in a load of wet grass from the backyard right at bedtime. I'll be glad when M gets home. I am counting the hours.

Beyond dealing with S's sickness, I've started keeping A for a few hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. (Yesterday was our first day for that, too.) I'm also trying to get everything ready for our jaunt to the Empire State. Since M doesn't get home until late Wednesday and our flight out is at 630am on Thursday, I have to have everything ready for everyone before he gets home. If I make it through this week, I'll be pretty impressed with myself, I have to say.

Hope everyone else is enjoying their stress, too.

Smiles to all.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Oh my yumminess.

I am sad that I didn't take a picture of it. "A picture of what," you ask. THE LEMON CAKE. All capital was that good.

We had friends over for dinner last night. The food was all very simple (salsa chicken over brown rice, black beans, and sauteed spinach), so I wanted something WAY delish for dessert. Ordinarily, that would've meant my "world's best chocolate cake." I wanted something lighter, though, so I decided to finally try out the Barefoot Contessa Lemon Cake recipe. It is worth zesting and hand-juicing the lemons. It was so, so good. I'm showing remarkable restraint by not devouring the two pieces that are left in the kitchen.

The recipe makes two 8" loaves, but I cut it in half to make one. I'm kicking myself for that one. Amazingly, the cake turned out as pretty as the ones pictured in the cookbooks, and that's a very rare thing. So, here's my ringing endorsement for THE LEMON CAKE.

Oh, yeah, we also bought a new car yesterday. The Hybrid Saturn Vue. M took it into the office this morning, but I'll post a picture of our shiny new toy soon. Until then, dream of THE LEMON CAKE.

For the record, I served it with fresh blueberries.

The other thing happening at the P house is baby girl's first cold. Poor thing is all congested and coughing. Plus her eyes are watery. She's so pitiful. We finally got Otis well, now the other baby is sick. Will all members of our family ever be well again? I'm beginning to think not.

Friday, April 13, 2007

New chew toys

S has figured out that she can put her hands in her mouth. Half the time she looks like a chipmunk...both hands pulled into her mouth, "chomping" away. It's pretty funny. Hopefully, she'll soon learn to rely on sucking her fingers as opposed to using me as her pacifier. I'm sure I'll regret that statement someday, but for now...freedom would be nice.

Also, it's Friday. Five Senses Friday makes a comeback:

Sight: freshly mowed lawn, baby girl's smile

Sound: S attempting to laugh
Smell: chocolate, chocolate, chocolate

Taste: chocolate, chocolate, chocolate

Touch: s's sticky, stinky feet; s's chubby cheeks

Here's a shot of our fun Friday footwear...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

So long


Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday. I loved Vonnegut.
Hocus Pocus is consistently on my list of favorite books. I adored his ability to say exactly what he thought in a creative and thought-provoking way...not to mention a hysterical way.

So long, Mr. Vonnegut...and by extension Mr. Billy Pilgrim and Eliot Rosewater. Nice knowing you...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What season is this anyway?

It's gorgeous outside today. Deceivingly chilly, but beautiful nonetheless. It's in the fifties, which isn't nearly as warm as I'd like, but it's a far cry better than the twenties we experienced this weekend. I just don't get it. I think the weather has a split personality. Of course, now that it's turning warm again, our attention turns to the grasslands we're cultivating. Our lawnmower was in the shop during the last warm spell when the entire neighborhood mowed their lawns. We quite seriously appear to be the neighbors no one would want. Ordinarily, we are great about keeping our lawn mowed...the pesky maintenance people just wouldn't give the lawnmower back. M has been very distraught. I fear, however, that our lawnmower won't be up to the task it will face upon its return home. Anyone got a bush-hog lying around? If so, swing by our house.

I think I'm going to take baby girl on a walk this afternoon. It'll be the first one in over a week because of the weather. Otis will have to sit it out, though. His cough is nasty, and I know he'd exacerbate the situation by pulling on the walk. He's getting a super-duper cough suppressant tomorrow. The vet called it in for us. The poor little guy is coughing so hard that I fear for the safety of his ribs. He'll get better...

Beyond that, we're just chilling. Oh, I would like some opinions...

M and I are toying with the idea that we need a bigger vehicle. S and I filled the Matrix to capacity on our little road trip last week, and we didn't even take that much stuff (nor did we take her father, who tends to occupy a lot of space). I long ago declared that we would not buy another car unless it was a hybrid, though, and therein lies the rub. There are only a handful of autos bigger than the Matrix that are available as hybrids. We are most interested in the Saturn Vue. Anyone heard anything about it or know someone who drives a hybrid Vue? Our other option is to break my no-hybrid rule and go for a CR-V or RAV4, both of which get comparable gas mileage to the Vue. My head is spinning trying to decide what to do. Any suggestions?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Wicked awesome

My friend P from church is working on her Montessori certification, so she observes S for a couple of hours a week. I realize that the point is for her to watch S and note her behavior, growth, and interactions. Honestly, though, I think I get the most out of it because P brings all sorts of cool stuff for me to see. The Montessori literature, which discusses aspects of development that Parents magazine just doesn't cover, is especially cool, and some of the items she brings are so WICKED AWESOME. Makes me want to be Italian if I'm being honest. The coolest thing she brought today was a topponcino. It's basically a flat pillow. When she took it out, I thought it was just a "tummy time" mat. Not so. Apparently it's some 19th century Italian deal, and it's a brilliantly simple concept. The pillow is large enough that a newborn can easily rest upon it, and the pillow will "fill" an adult's arms, making holding more comfortable for both adult and baby. It also makes it easier to transition a sleeping baby from being held to lying down. (Genius.) The baby will also grow accustomed to her own smell on the topponcino, so she won't be fussy when strange people hold her. Why on earth has this never caught on in America? Especially since it could become a "tummy time" mat when the baby outgrows being held cradle-style. It's a two-fer.

She also had a Gobbi mobile with her today, and I think I'm going to try to make one for S. It was really neat, but I can't seem to find a reference to it online. Trust me, it was neat.

As far as the developmental stuff, P has mostly shown me stuff that focuses on how a baby's motor skills develop, specifically in her hands. How a baby's grasp changes over time. Stuff like that. It's so super-cool. The even cooler part? It makes me watch S in a different way. Meaning I do more than stare at her and think how pretty she is. (Really, though, she is pretty.) I look at her and actually notice how she is changing...the new things she can do. I noticed the other night that she is really starting to "sprawl." She fell asleep with her arms stretched as wide apart as they could get. That's a new thing. I suppose that newborn tendency to keep her arms tucked in is all but gone. I am so loving being a mom. Can you tell?

I have to go to the grocery.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

Here's wishing you all a very happy Easter from the P family.

S's loot from the Easter bunny.

M reads Green (Easter) Eggs and Ham.

Baby Girl snoozes through church.

The happy family...don't be fooled by S's disgruntled expression. She was happy.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


It's too cold for Easter Egg Hunts. I don't even know if the neighborhood hunt happened this morning. Why? Because there's friggin' snow on the ground. So much for not sticking. There wasn't any real accumulation, but there was still snow on the ground and it was around 25 degrees this morning. That is officially too cold for Baby Girl's first foray into hunting. Not like she'd remember it anyway. I'm actually torn about what she's going to wear to church in the morning. I knew exactly what she'd be wearing when I thought it would be toasty warm. Now that it's cold, I have to find something to bundle her up in. I have to find something to bundle me up in, too. I haven't the slightest clue what I'm wearing. Was everyone subjected to the horror of "Easter dresses" growing up? I was not a "girly" child, but my mother would slap ruffles and bows and the whole shebang onto my person every Easter. I'm sure I'll do the same to the wee one. She'll get over it. I did. She'll have a harder time forgiving me for things like this... I have to run...time to glaze the strawberry pound cake. Yum.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Cruel, cruel world

Are you kidding me?

It's snowing. Easter is in two days, and it's snowing. I realize that for those of you hailing from the frigid north, this is fairly normal. To a girl from the south, it's insane.
Day After Tomorrow, wrap up with Jake Gyllenhaal in a blanket before you freeze to death, insane. I doubt it will stick as it was in the 80s less than a week ago, but still. How can one adequately participate in an Easter Egg Hunt in gloves? I'll say it again. Insane.
Adding to the insanity is the plague that hit the P house. M went back to work today after two sick days in a row (there's a first time for everything). He went to the doctor yesterday, where he learned that he's sick. No kidding. He's supposed to limit his contact with me and S until Monday. What?? Otis is also suffering from the plague, but at least his illness was properly diagnosed and can be medicated. He has tracheal bronchitis, which is something like kennel cough. I guess he picked it up last week when he was boarded. Awesome. S seems to be feeling better, though, so I'm hoping she and I can stay well. Of course, she did puke IN MY MOUTH earlier today, but I think it was a fluke.

For now, we're bundling up and hoping the Easter Bunny is strong enough to hop through snow drifts... Oh, and Otis stole one of S's bibs last night. M made him wear it as punishment.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Home again, home again... the house the plague hit. M is sick. Otis is sick. I'm afraid baby girl isn't feeling 100%, and I need a nap. It's great to be home.

S and I had a great time on our trip to the motherland. She got to meet lots of family, and she got loads of presents. She is now ready for summer with all of her cute new sundresses. Right now, however, she's fussy, so I've got to go. Just wanted to say hi. Pics of the trip are on