Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oh, Wait, That Was an Inadvertent Lie

CORRECTION: There are a couple major unfinished projects yet to deal with. I have about, oh, a hundred or so holiday cards that haven't made it to the mail yet because I still haven't finished addressing 'em. Yeah, but I figure if they make it in the mail before this year's end, that's WAY better than last year: We never sent any last year. Annnd, well, so there's the cards thing, and well --this one makes me feel bad, but I know I gotta cut myself a break or I'll melt into a whiny puddle-- I failed to finish our presents for the grandparents and siblings. See, due to a restricted budget this year, we'd opted to take advantage of the cuteness we have on hand and to make Christmas gifts for our friends and family. Excellent idea, right? No really, it IS an excellent idea, but like I said, I'm operating a week behind schedule.

SOME BACKGROUND INFO: The angel boy-O used to 'collect' pine cones galore, but his collection had to been restricted to a very tall, very large glass canister-like jar kept at the bottom of our stairs. Mind you, although restricted in size, what he'd collected could have easily filled a couple paper grocery sacks, and that's a fact... Well, he has a rock collection too, which is also restricted in terms of its size, also stored in large, lidded glass jar. Over this past summer, he wanted to add more rocks to his already full jar, and I'd told him he'd have to pick and choose which ones he wanted to keep in order to make room for the new ones. [SIDE NOTE: If this 'pick-n-choose-which-can-stay-and-which-will-go' approach sounds mean, please believe me: If we didn't restrict his collections somehow, they would take over every nook n' cranny of our home! The boy would keep every rock and every bottle cap he sees!] So, rather than have to go through his rocks at all, he decided to sacrifice his entire pine cone collection, a collection I'd grown fond of, I gotta say. So yeah, he bagged up all his pine cones and headed for the trash, and then, after he'd gone to bed that night, I removed them from the garbage before the trash would be set out for garbage day -he never knew this, by the way.

So anyhow, I was trying to figure out how we could make something meaningful to give to our friends and family, and I wanted it to represent not just our baby girlie, but our angel boy-O as well despite his absence from our home. And I could not think of anything, at least not until our baby sweet potato girlie was sent home from preschool one day with a baby-hand-painted pine cone Christmas ornament, including a photo of her attached to it, taken when she was in the midst of her paint-covered creative efforts. And voila! I instantly knew what we'd do for everyone! Baby-painted pine cone ornaments, and soooo, our baby girlie has been helping mommie paint her big brother's discarded pine cones over the last couple weeks now, which we will give as lovely lil' holiday ornaments! Brilliant, yes!? --except she can only manage painting 5 pine cones at any one time, and we've learned the most it can happen is once a day, only every other day at most. We've had FOUR "painting of zee pine cones" sessions so far (more like three n' a half), and the last session, she was like, "What? More of these pokey things? Again? Are you kidding me?" and she didn't last more than 5 minutes.

Yeah, so it's taking a while....

The Eve of Christmas

Wow. So we've determined our household has been operating about a week behind the calendar. Yup, a solid week behind schedule; it should be Christmas a week from now, not tomorrow!?! Don't get me wrong, it's not that we have a ton of stuff left to cross off our to-do lists. We're actually in okay shape compared to previous years come the holiday time; the house is all decorated and all clean; mopped and vacuumed, dusted, etc., and the laundry all caught up and put away. Every holiday candle holder in he house is loaded n' ready to burn a candle, and we'd located the 20-odd Christmas albums we own several weeks ago, so there's been a steady rotation going for the last couple weeks. All the presents are wrapped and under the tree --something that's so not our norm by Christmas Eve night. And all the shopping that could be done is done, including our grocery shopping, but man, it can't be Christmas already!?! I haven't done any baking yet, but that's because I'm only taking stuff to Utah, and that's not until next week. Otherwise, we don't need the sweets this year, so yeah, no bakin' or candy makin' this week. Even still, we're just not ready. I don't know how to explain it, but, we're just not ready. [A related 'corrective' post included HERE]

My honey-man normally creates a grand French Canadian inspired meal for Christmas that has him in the kitchen for a day, cooking away, but this year's holiday really snuck up on him -or us rather- real super fast. I knew yesterday morning when we got up that he had NO IDEA what the following day was, and when I told him, he looked like he'd been struck dumb, utterly confounded. This morning we decided to hold off on the Montreal feasting tradition and wait until the angel boy-O joins us on Sunday the 27th.

I think this year is just so new and different for us. For instance, this will be our first Christmas spent in Vegas, which isn't a shocking piece of trivia for my honey-man, but for me, well, I've lived here for TEN years now, and I've never spent Christmas here, nor in my own home, not ever! And of course, this will be our baby girlie's first Christmas, and that's very exciting, even though we know she won't ever remember a bit of it. It feels a bit odd though to celebrate the holiday season with our new darling babe now, but without our other darling babe included.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sugar Time for KiKi

The past two nights in a row, my sweet lil' Otis has tried to take a chunk outta my right wrist with his kitty teeth! Now, before this week, I could have counted on one hand how many times Otis has ever tried to bite me and only once ever had he broken the skin, which was more my fault than his, but I won't go into that - - point is, it has only ever happened when he's feeling incredibly SUPER neglected... It's his way of saying, "Hello! Love me now OR ELSE!"

See, the last two nights, I guess I was focusing more upon tapping my fingertips against the colorful glowing thing I often have set in my lap --a place he's believed to be rightfully his since he came to live with me 6 years ago-- than upon his fuzzy backside. And while in the years before now, he could totally, patiently handle sharing some lap-space with the glowing whirring thing, only occasionally perturbed by the finger clicking and the 'mouse pad' taps beneath his chin resting upon either wrist of mine, he now has to be doubly patient and it seems he can no longer handle it.

It began 18 months ago...
First it was 9 months of sharing lap-time with the glowing thing AND a "baby bump" that gradually, steadily grew, and then altogether took over my lap near the initial 9 months' end, and the baby bump even kicked at him repeatedly when he's tried to reclaim some lap-time. And now, for the last 9 months? Well, Oatie's lap-time has been severely cut, doled out between the glowing thing, and a now ever present, relatively new, and very noisy, wriggling, squirmy thing that actually moved in with us 9 months ago! Yes, sadly for Otis, the squirmy thing seems to be here to stay.

Like his first days sharing lap-space with the glowing thing, Otis has done very well, too, with the noisy, squirmy thing, but its obvious to us he longs for the days when he reigned king-supreme over my lap, when he collectively spent a couple hours in my lap each day, even if those hours were spread throughout a days' time, over breakfast and dinner and the evenings and bedtimes. He just doesn't get much concentrated lap-time anymore, and well, to make matters worse, the tapping on the glowing thing has reached an all time high, so he's noticed, with all my working from home.

And it was bad enough a couple months ago, but now that little noisemaker routinely chases after him on all its fours, squealing loadly at him, and it goes after his tail and pulls on it harder than ever. Oh, and he's had to endure countless naptime interruptions as well... blasted lil' noisy thing.

Anyhow, long story short (too late), Otis apparently needs to tank up on some sugar from his mommie, so tonight, after putting the wriggly thing to bed, I let Otis reclaim his lap-space for a good solid 2 hours, while the glowing thing sat on the coffee table playing through the last two episodes of "Glee" from online. And I swear he was purring for those 2 hours... and now he's content to sleep beside me while I work (and blog), my sweet lil' kitty-cat.

P.S. I nearly wrung his sweet little neck though last Monday night, when he'd bitten me. I was about to send a Christmas email to a number of friends and family (which never happened), and I just had to attach three professional jpeg images of our baby girlie sitting with Santa Claus, taken at Town Square (and that is another story in itself that I will not get into right now). Although I had sensed and known he was irritated with me and all my typing while he was trying so earnestly to get my attention for some cuddles, when Otis bit me, I was so surprised and stunned, I jumped up from the couch. Consequently, I dumped my laptop on the floor and the usb drive with the jpeg files busted off in two pieces. And of course, I hadn't attached the files yet, nor had I made any duplicate file copies. Yeah, dammit. The swearing that ensued thereafter was explosive. Humpht. My sweet blasted kitty!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

While Nom Nom Noming on zee Swiss Cheese

Otis has been sleeping in our dirty towels basket on top of the washer in the laundry room since eleven this morning, until just a moment ago, when he joined me, jumping up into my lap to my baby sweet potato's delight, as we're in the midst of her dinner time! Otis is just a foot away from her tiny grasp and she's deliriously happy about the close proximity. Otis is staring cooly at her while she squeaks and squeals, little arms waving and flapping, leaning as far forward as she can while sitting strapped in her high chair. And Otis knows she can't get him...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 47

Because he regularly makes me laugh so hard I cry and I nearly pee my pants!

Friday, December 11, 2009

No-Go to Big Lots

I'd never been to Big Lots before, but decided the other day to finally check 'em out on our way home. I picked up a couple minor things, but nothing really worth writing about, except, um, there's a reason these are selling at Big Lots:

SOME BACKGROUND INFO: Over the past month, I've had a general craving for all things Oreo... Mint Oreos, Peppermint Candy Cane Oreos... and these 'Strawberry Milkshake Oreos" were a part of the latest effort to satisfy my jones'n for Os... What a NO-go!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

No Fever, No Worries

Last night was pretty painless; we had no more swelling, no more crying, and zero fever past 10pm. She woke up only twice and went right back to sleep each time after nursing, and she actually slept in until 7:30am. She was an absolute angel at her peds appointment, smiling and flirty with everyone, and we wound up getting her 9 month wellness check taken care of while we were at it, since we were there close enough, just a couple weeks early. She weighs a titch shy of 20 lbs, measuring 27.5" tall --not much of a change since she was to the doc a month ago-- but her head circumference measures 47cm, still placed in the upper 95th percentile for her age = means she still has a mega big noggin, disproportionate to the rest of her lil' bod, as the rest of her measurements are still in the 50th percentile. Ha!

We also took care of her 2nd round of flu shots as well, including the H1N1 vaccine, plus a hemoglobin test-prick taken on her right big toe, which didn't elicit even a peep out of her. The two vaccine shots, one to each baby thigh, on the other hand, produced some intense but short-lived crying and some cute purple band aids, one for each baby thigh, and she was fascinated by those, and the one wrapped around her big toe too.

Throughout the day, she and I would play together quietly, and she was often content to play on her own, sitting at my feet while I tried to get some work done. She napped about every 3 hours for at least 30 minutes at a time. She actually went down around 3:30-ish for what I'd thought would be another 30 minute nap, but she didn't wake until after 8pm! After one diaper change, plus a round of eye drops and one feeding refuel later, she was back to sleep. So clearly, she's not quite herself yet, but she's much improved compared to how she was when I'd brought her home yesterday, yes, much better, thank goodness.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Back to S.Y.T.Y.C.D. for the Sake of My Nerves

So, I'm watching "So You Think You Can Dance" right now - - I missed the last 4 weeks of shows, um, cuz I don't really watch TV. But tonight, well, tonight I'm on alert, trying to remain cool, calm, and collected, and I need some 'veg-out-n-don't-think-about-it-too-much' time: My baby sweet potato girlie is sick, sick, sick, again, and this time, if she feels how she looks right now, oh my goodness, my poor baby is so sick.

As I was leaving work to go pick her up, all excited about carrying her out to the car due to her new carseat, her preschool called me to ask if I was on my way over, because she'd been taken to the infirmary. She'd woken up from a loooong nap --an hour and 15 minutes, which NEVER happens at daycare-- and they said her little face was puffy and her right eye was red and nearly swollen shut, and she was just crying, crying, crying, and with or without the puffiness and swollen eye, she's not known to cry much there.

When I arrived to her school, I went first to her group's room to collect her things and to sign out this and that, and I talked with some of the ladies who watch her to hear what they had to share about my baby girl's day. They all expressed their concern that she had had such a hard time, that she looked so sick, and that it had happened so quickly, and then? Then the real worry began to sink into my gut as I read the worry on their faces.

As I walked from one building to the other, I tried to keep my nerves and my heart in check and to not let my growing worry run out of control. As I entered the building where the infirmary is, I could immediately see my lil' sicky babe through its windows before I even had to ask where she was, and my baby girlie saw me as well, and holy cow, the crying hit a new high the moment she saw me through the glass!! The school's program director actually came out to talk to me and she met me just as I set my things down on a table outside the infirmary, but honestly, I have NO IDEA what she was saying to me, as I passed her by, eyes and ears for my baby only in that moment, and as I made it into the room where the head nurse was trying to hold her, my darling sweet pea, with her lil' right eye swollen 1/2 shut, smiled a pained and crooked smile, and the crying turned off like a switch had flipped as I reached for her, and she reached for me, and then my heart exploded.

The director and head nurse gave me the relevant details I'd need for our pediatrician, but foremost, I was preoccupied, alarmed to see how sick my wee one looked and to see her so exhausted.

Placing her inside my car and into her new carseat, after having carried her out of her school in my arms with her lil' wet, tear streaked cheekies brushing against my own as she whimpered and sighed, she barely kept her little eyes open, yet she realized something was new and different, and as she opened her peepers to see what was up. She recognized she was sitting in something she'd never seen before and she looked around, from side to side, and as her lil' wet and puffy fingertips reached out and gingerly touched the corduroy upholstery and the harness straps, she closed her swollen eyes, fingers still exploring her new backseat throne, and she leaned her little head into a side-impact cushion, opening her eyes again to look at those as well, then closing them again, whimpering some more as I began fastening her in.

Once we were home, she was too sleepy to keep her poor eyes open as she ate, and only half her usual dinner portions at that. A couple times she'd kinda squint at me, her left eye half-closed to match her right, and I realized she just had to go to bed and sooner than I'd originally thought. As I turned from her highchair to grab a bottle from the freezer to be thawed in our bottle warmer (thank you, Christina!), she began to cry a kind of slow-motion cry, too tired to cry, but with big fat tears rolling down her red, chubby cheeks, dripping off her trembling chinny-chopper. As I unbuckled and lifted her from her highchair, up into my arms, she closed her eyes again, and with her bottom lip out in a full pout, she buried her face into my neck, and patiently waited for her bottle to thaw, taking a couple peeks here and there to watch the steam rise.

We then headed upstairs for a modifying bath time. For a first, I simply laid her down in a warm bathtub filled very shallow water, rather than place her sitting up in her usual blow-up baby tubby which sets down inside the bathtub. With her head supported by a hand of mine behind her neck, she laid there in the warm water with her eyes closed, quietly humming, letting her little arms and legs float, all relaxed. And I was in awe with her.

I couldn't believe --and still can't-- how sick she looks. Her whole face appears to be puffy, her cheeks and chin are chapped, and her nose is running like a faucet, and we're certain she has a nasty eye infection. She hadn't had a fever earlier, but the last time we checked around 7pm, she had a low grade temp of 99.1. And so, as I'd said when I first began this rambling post, I'm on the alert tonight. I did talk with her pediatrician's office on our way home, and we do have an 8am appointment set for the morning. Needless to say, we'll be home from work tomorrow and she won't be able to return to daycare until she's been fever free and on antibiotics for 24 hrs' time. For now, let's just hope she doesn't get any worse tonight!

No More Infant Carrier Carseat

Our baby sweet potato is now 8 months old, well, as of 2 weeks ago, and she now weighs enough that it's proving a leg-brusing effort to haul her around in her infant carrier carseat, soooo, last night my honey-man installed our two Britax Boulevard carseats, one in each car so as to avoid daily reinstallation issues, swapping one carseat back and forth between the two cars every single day she has daycare. Anyhow, I can't express how delighted I am to be rid of the infant carrier - - and why am I so thrilled? Because from now on -well, at least until she learns how to walk- I get to carry her out to the car and in from the car every time we go-go somewheres, and I love to get my arms around my lil' bug whenever I can find the excuse to do so without mauling/smothering her [SIDE NOTE: She's a VERY independent baby and mommie (that's me) tends to cramp her style if mommie doesn't watch herself!]. And now I'm off to claim my lil' babe! I'm so ridiculously excited!

Monday, December 07, 2009

How Can it be December?

Where the heck does all the time go? AKKK!

To be continued...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Baby Purees O'Plenty!

I've been meaning to write about our adventures in homemade baby purees!! Yes, very, very exciting stuff here. For the baby's record though, I gotta write about this, plus, I'm a lil' proud of my efforts, gotta say. Offering nothing but fresh foods has been great for her health and my sense of accomplishment as a mommie.

So yeah, armed with nothing but Annabel Karmel's "Top 100 Baby Purees," I've spent the last 2 months dedicated to making our baby sweet potato's food from scratch, and I gotta say, it's wonderful! The only time she's eaten any store bought baby food is when we've been traveling out of town. Soon though, as her palate expands to include meats and cheese and more mixed food purees, we plan to be toting a baby grinder wherever we go-go.

Here's a list of her first baby food purees, starting with the first and so forth from there on:

1) Apple - the elementary baby food staple, of course
2) Sweet Potato - tastes like dessert, I swear - she loves it, of course.
3) Carrots and Sweet Potato - likes it fine, no big deal.
4) Petite Peas - her first favorite! No, really! Eat it right up, eager for each bite.
5) Pear - another staple mixed with cereal, likes it fine.
6) Broccoli and Peas - surprisingly, she eats it right up! - but results in BAD tummy bubbles, of course!
7) Banana - absolutely HATED it the first time, I mean really, really hated it = She cried!
8) Mango - can't eat it up fast enough, another favorite...
9) soooo we tried Mango with Banana - - but she wasn't a big fan of the mix, no fooling her.
10) Butternut squash - her very favorite to date! Have to admit it tastes really nummy.
11) Apple and Pear with Cinnamon - very tasty as well, like dessert.
12) Tried not-quite-so-ripe banana mashed with a fork = Success! However, it causes a lot of 'red-faced-n'-grunting' constipation, so we've given up on bananas for now...
13) Papaya, now eaten in tandem with the broccoli mix to help her digestion - she loves it!
14) Avocado - likes it fine, but the clothing stains are awful to treat, so it appears only once a week or less.
15) White corn - loves it, but only if warm... absolutely hates it if served cold.
16) Hodgepodge veggies - immediately HATED this mix = produced angry tears! Haven't tried it again since its introduction. [broccoli, carrots, corn, red pepper]
17) Foursome veggies - a total hit, warm or cold [peas, green beans, carrots, and limas]
18) Mango, Blueberries and Raspberries - may be her new favorite! And this may be TMI, but it's easily identifiable in her diaper the following day.
19) And today, while we're stuck at home together, sick, we're about to try the "Easy Pot Chicken" - - her first meat puree! Includes leek, carrots and sweet potato and some chicken broth...

She's gunna be eating better than we do!

About once every two weeks, I have a baby puree making extravaganza during which I might mix up 3-5 different purees while I'm doing some other kind of cleaning or cooking in the kitchen as well. Some food items requiring steaming while others just get thrown in the blender as is. I use silicone muffin pan forms for easy pop-out removal once frozen, and we just store the muffin cup 'disks' in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. The muffin pan also allows more portion size variance than when using an ice cube tray. One batch typically fills a 12-cup muffin pan, and we fill the muffin cups 1/2 way for some foods, like broccoli and berries, and to the top for larger portions.

When our lil' girlie was at six months of age, we began with one 1/2-disk usually mixed with a little baby cereal given around her dinnertime which is 5pm. After two weeks of that, she moved to a dinner of two 1/2-disks with some baby cereal, amounting to no more than a half-cup of food each night. At nearly seven months of age, she began having a 1/2-disk of fruit puree for 'brunch' around 10am while at daycare, which lasted for only a week. From there on until last week, she'd been given a 1/2-disk of some fruit puree mixed with some baby cereal for her brunch and a 1/2-disk of some veggie for an afternoon snack around 2:30pm. Her portions for brunch and her afternoon snack have both now increased to full-size disks. And for the past two weeks, her dinner has consisted of three 1/2-discs...

This next week, she will be EIGHT MONTHS OLD already?!? Holy schmoly, Batman!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We Can't Help It: We Miss the Boy-O Horribly

Man, I can't wait for Thanksgiving week to get here, dammit! We miss our angel boy-O sooo badly - - Tonight, after dinner, cleaning up around the kitchen, as my honey-man washed the cooking pans and dishes, it just hit me so hard that I yelled out loud at the ceiling that I miss him so much.

Late last month, I'd written over at our family blog that I wasn't going to write anymore about how much we miss him:

"...At the beginning of the October month, [the boy-O] had a 'fall break' from school, which allowed him to fly into Vegas on a Wednesday night and stay through to Sunday afternoon. IT WAS SOOOO WONDERFUL to have him for more than just a couple nights!!! We REALLY, REALLY loved having him for 4 nights and THREE WHOLE DAYS plus half of Sunday - - And of course, we were totally heartbroken when he had to leave us, as usual...

I'm not sure we're ever going to get used to the pain we feel when [the boy-O] leaves. We basically miss him all the time, and for the few days following his return home to [his mom n' step-dad], we actually feel a bit under the weather. It's emotionally and psychologically challenging, gotta say. I think that from now on, it should go without saying that it's ALWAYS hard to let him go EACH AND EVERY TIME, but that's the way it is, and I'm just not going to write about it or mention it anymore."
After the summer's over, we go month to month with one chance per month to see him, and each time we see him, it's just sooo freakin' bittersweet - - long enough to serve as a refresher as to what we're missing out on each and every day, yet never long enough to build upon any kind of family routine or to influence his daily habits. It's hard to find a good balance and the right attitude to take when it comes to our ability, or rather, our inability to parent him and be a family. And for me, it's hard to find my role in it at all, especially now, as he sees how involved I am with his baby sister and makes his own comparisons, although we've tried repeatedly to explain she's a dependent, needy little baby, and she does live with us everyday, so her life is about living with us, etc. etc. Hard stuff.

Man, this is such a loaded subject, I don't know where to go with it really, especially here, blogging, so I'll stop and leave it at this: I'm very happy the angel boy-O will be here for Thanksgiving. Although we saw him in UT for Halloween, he hasn't been to our home since that first weekend of October. It will be wonderful to have him here, sleeping in his bedroom, singing in the shower, getting popcorn all over the couch, hanging on the open refrigerator door, playing with the kids in our development, riding his bike with his dad... and to spend more than a flash-in-the-pan weekend together.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Eureka! We've Got Two Teensy Toothies!

This crazy week of sleepless nights now makes total sense: Our baby sweet potato girl is cutting her first pair of baby teeth, bottom, front and center, of course!

Yesterday morning, last night and this morning, I noticed sumthin' was a little off while we were nursing... I'd felt her gums, but nothing was there, but tonight, I was absolutely certain something was significantly different tonight, and so I stuck a finger inside her mouth again, against her lower gums, and viola, two teeny, tiny teeth have surfaced!

So yeah, tonight, finally --more like, duh!-- we've got baby ibuprofen working its blessed magic! And now? I'm going to bed, and hopefully, get me some sleep! Ga'nighty-night and sweet dreams!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


This morning, around 4am, our lil' baby sweet potato girlie woke up absolutely starving, or so one would have thought with all her squawking, until you turn on the light and see it can't possibly be the case, since she's a total butterball. So yeah, I was feeding her at 4am, lying in our bed with her -- I realize this is sooo not a good habit to get back into - I know, I know, - but she's been waking every 2-4 hours for the past FOUR NIGHTS IN A ROW and I just can't get up and stay in her room every time anymore, I'm so severely sleep deprived. The other night, staggering back to our bedroom from hers, I ran my side into our bedroom doorway with such force, I bruised my right upper arm and shoulder! But I digress...

The point of this post:
At 4:30am this morning, my honey-man woke me to point something out -- I honestly suspect I must have been snoring, and loudly, for him to have been awake. Again, I digress...

He told me I was surrounded: He was at my back, spooning me, the two kitties were lying together behing my knees, between us, and I was spooning our darling lil' baby girl, who was lying on her back, sound sleep; I was surrounded from all sides, and despite how tired I was, it was a perfect moment, and I am so grateful for my life.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Poor Cat Deely

Tonight's S.Y.T.Y.C.D., oh my: How can they dress that darling cutie-pie Brit, Cat Deely, like that? Poor girl.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

What Day Is It?

On Monday, I nearly dozed off while driving to work... my left eye twitched throughout the day (and it's still twitching today, this very moment). After picking up my baby girlie from her preschool/daycare, I fed her a lil' bit of pureed apples while she sat in my lap, the two of us sitting together in the passenger seat of my car, hoping to help her last until we'd get home from grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. Once we were home from our grocery shopping excursion, I began steaming some white corn to introduce a new baby food puree for her to try, and I put away the groceries while my lil' wee flower happily played at my feet, plopped on the kitchen tile. Otis swiped her with the side of his body at least twice and she was utterly delighted with the furry kitty contact. Then I fed her some more din-din (she loved the white corn!), while steaming 2 more batches of food for baby purees; another new one, 'hodgepodge' veggies, and one of her faves, green petite peas. She bathed her in the kitchen sink, and I sang several songs to her while dressing her for bed and rocking her in the glider chair she has in her bedroom. She was out like a light and in her crib by 7pm. To be honest, she was asleep by 6:40pm, but I just continued to hold her and rock her and sing to her. After she was down, I then cleaned all our bathrooms (2.5) from head to toe... the baseboards, tile floors, cabinet doors, drawers, toilets, sinks, counters, mirrors, glass, and light fixtures, and I changed out all the towels and shook all the rugs. I saved the trash for my honey-man, who handles the trash (and diaper pails) on Tuesday and Friday nights. And then I loaded and ran the dishwasher, and I prepped two 5-oz bottles and two baby food containers for the following day. [SEMI-RELATED TANGENT: Yup, for a little more than a week now, our baby girlie's been enjoying a cereal-fruit mix for 'brunch', and now, as of this Tuesday, she began having a veggies-mix for lunch, ready and rearing for more solids. END OF TANGENT.] And then I took a shower and threw myself into our bed around 1/4 to midnight. (Yes, I do need my head examined.) Our sweet potato girl only woke up once that night, to be fed around 2am.

And on Tuesday, um, Tuesday was loaded with stuff and I can't remember what right now... except that I'd initially eaten microwave popcorn as my dinner until my honey-man came home around 7:30pm, and said "oh no ya don't" and made us a real dinner. Oh yeah, I did the usual "pick-up-and-claim-my-darling-baby" thing after work, and once she n' I were home, we did the usual "feed-and-bathe-the-baby" thing, except she had a teething biscuit for the first time, which was a real hit, and then she and I, we had a bath together. She was soooo tired -and so cute- she actually began to nod off while in the tub! I tried to keep her up so my honey-man could see her when he got home, but by 6:30pm, she was totally limp-limbed and soundly asleep before I could even place her in her crib. After giving her up to her crib, I went downstairs to unload the dishwasher and to hand wash all her bottles n' food containers. I also swept the kitchen and downstairs tile, wiped down all the kitchen counters, and prepped her bottles and baby foods for preschool the next day, and took an early shower. As I've already mentioned, my honey-man came home and made us dinner, and then I tried to watch "So You Think You Can Dance," but I missed most of it while talking on the phone for nearly 2 hours. I think I was in bed by 11pm, and our sweet potato girl woke up only once that night, to be fed around 3am.

And yesterday, we did the whole "pick up, go home, feed baby, and bathe baby" thing, and then I tried, tried, tried to keep my baby sweet potato girlie up. And this time, she was totally up for it, happy to quietly play, waiting with me for her daddy to come home, even though she was seriously tired... here and there, she would lean forward to rest her head on my leg, or on my arm or in my lap or on my shoulder. My honey-man came home early though, 'round 6:30pm, and so we all had about 30 minutes together, playing and cuddling on her bedroom floor together. And she went to bed at 7pm without a single baby utterance of protest. Thereafter, mah honey-man and I, we had our dinner together, after which, we ate cookies, too many cookies. And soooo, I vacuumed the entire house, including the stairs. And I washed 3 loads of laundry. And some other things.

We were both in bed by 10pm last night - - a true rarity for either of us! Our sweet potato girl woke up twice, at midnight and 4am... arrhhhgg! The 2nd time she woke, you would have thought it was a bright sunny day underway, as she seemed ready for action, talking and squirming around and all smiling and all perky, but I knew too well what she was really doing... See, she doesn't like to miss out. My honey-man, he had brought her into our bedroom, and after I'd fed her, I had hoped she'd fall asleep right there where she laid beside me, but she knew she was there with the both of us, so she wanted to play with her mommie and daddy, patting our faces, trying to twist and turn herself so she could climb onto our sides. And then I caught her yawn not once, but twice in a row, confirming my suspicion, so I scooped her up to take her back to her bedroom. She was sooo darling! Once in my arms, on the way to her bedroom, she shut her lil' chattery yap and simply cuddled into my chest, ready for it and willing. I laid her back down in her crib and she smiled at me as she took her binky into her own hand and placed it in her mouth as she turned her head to right, away from me, and closed her little sleepy eyes and she was gone.

And tonight? It hasn't been quite so busy. I had planned to run to Smith's for some of our non-Trader Joe's items we like, but after picking up my lil' babe, holding her in my arms as we entered the lobby of her preschool, I just wanted to take her home and do nothing but be with her. Not until after she had eaten and bathed did I touch anything else. She was in her crib, fast sleep by 6:30pm; almost every part of her little being was begging to go to bed as early as 6pm. At one point, mid-bath, she actually began to whine and then cry, wanting to be on closer on her way towards bedtime.

My honey-man came home 'round 9pm, and because I was already upstairs, I didn't yell down to him, but waited for him to come up. Can I tell ya, he looks exhausted, as do I, too, apparently... I think last night's baby wakings really tapped us, but I think they may have really done one over him a bit more so because he said this to me as he flopped beside me on our bed, me with my laptop: "Two words... Go to bed early!"

It's now 10:27pm, and I can hear my baby girl's breathing is stuffed up, and for the last half hour, she keeps letting out a pained lil' moan every 10 minutes or so. Hmmm... I'm going to hop in the shower, after which, I hope to finally go to bed. I imagine she'll be up a couple times tonight.

P.S. Yesterday morning, my honey-man called me on our way to work to ask me if I'd remember to take my coffee with me to work... I hadn't... nor had he. We'd left behind a brand new, fresh, full pot of coffee.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Off to Ootah for Halloween with the Angel Boy-O!

We're leavin' in the morning, EARLY (hopefully...)! Our aim is to hit the round once the wee one rouses... depending upon when she has her midnight wake-up, that could be anytime between 5:30 and 8am... On second thought, we'll wake her up at 6am, and she can sleep in the car. Sorry, thinking via type here.

Everyone have a Happy Halloween!!! boo!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Let the Chaos Resume!

By noontime yesterday, as we were leaving Trader Joe's, my baby sweet potato girlie's nosey was drip, drip, dripping... yup, she's sick AGAIN!

We had a non-sicky-baby break for ONE WHOLE FREAKIN' WEEK, that's all, and now she's sick again... moaning, stuffy and snotty, dripping, coughing, teary eyed and uber clingy (so far,all in a cute way)... Mah poor baby girlie. Oh yeah, and she also seems to be TEETHING! The next couple weeks are gunna be fun, fun, fun.

Excuse me, but I have a super cute, super sick baby beginning to wail beside me, slapping away at my keyboard. Gotta go!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Positively Exhausted

I don't know what the heck is goin' on with our baby sweet potato girl, but man, she was up FOUR TIMES last night...?!? And the night before, it was three times... and the night before that, also three times. She wasn't this bad as a constantly hungry newborn! She wasn't particularly cranky last night whenever she woke, but she wouldn't go back to sleep on her own, not once.

Now that she's been feeling better, no longer sick n' snotty, we're trying to get her back to sleeping flat in her crib, without being propped in her vibe chair... We NEVER used the vibration setting, but if she'd wake or kick or move, it'd bounce and I think she got hooked. Hence, she doesn't know how to "self-sooth" herself back to sleep anymore = that's my theory for now.

I feel like I'm operating with my head in a vice (headache), in a cloud (can't think), and everyone's talking into paper cups (can't focus on what anyone says to me), BUHHT I'm in a pretty dang good mood, nonetheless, hence the use of "positively" for this post's title. Yeah, I'm feelin' uber happy right now, cuz, #1) Friday makes for slow foot traffic throughout the work day, so I actually get a lot done, and #2) because it's Friday, that means the weekend is here! And #3) I finally get to spend more than 2 freakin' hours with my daughter due to the weekend's blessed arrival!!! I have 45 minutes until I can leave n' go claim my lil' pumpkin!

I'm gunna eat chubby babyfat rolls all weekend long! WOO-HOO!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Five Times on Tuesday - Yes, FIVE Times

I'm referring to the number of times I burst into tears yesterday... Felt like the universe was conspiring against me, throwing as many menial and inconsequential mess ups and minor frustrations at me as possible in a 12 hour period... Felt like I just couldn't do a damn thing right! Later that night, around 7:30-ish (my 5th cry of the day), I grabbed a blanket and nearly threw myself on the couch like a pouting child, and I sobbed until I passed out, asleep.

P.S. Plus, I'm almost certain I'm PMSing. Yeah, that and major sleep deprivation; I'm sure neither condition helps me much.

Proof Positive, Maybe

My kitties have not disowned me for having a wriggling, squealing n' squawking baby, who demands and receives most of my attention... either that or they just like the heat my laptop gives off.

(And no, I don't know why my top is doing what its doing here - - looks twisted? Nothing quite fits right still...Um, my cup size went up from a C to an E! Yeah, that might explain it.)

Note to Self

What characterizes most immature people is that they sit around complaining that life doesn't meet their demands.

Monday, October 19, 2009

We Love Las Vegas in October

I used to abhor fabric ruffles on baby bums - - I now love 'em!
Can you say "baby fat?" Ahh, lemme' tell ya, it's dah best!
I love all her lil' chubby-chub rolls and apple cheekies! I eat 'er up, I do, each day!
I love this hat of hers...Thanks again, Brenda!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 46

Because he still wants and asks to spoon with me in the middle of the night.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Unexpected Baby-Related Self-Discovery

Listed in no particular order of importance:

1. I look down and see baby cereal smudges on my pants that I missed from the time I wore them last, and they make me smile and chuckle...and then I make zero attempt to clean them off.

2. If I don't have a tissue handy, I'll use the inside of my shirt hem to wipe my baby daughter's snotty nose... anything to keep her lil' darling mug clear of grodie baby boogies!

3. During mah baby's dinnertime, I pause just long enough to lick the baby puree off the back of my fingers before I gotta swipe my bangs outta my eyes.

4. I encourage splashing at bathtime and EVERYTHING gets wet and I do not care one iota.

5. I gave my baby daughter a dip-package of fry sauce to gnaw on the other day to keep her entertained while we were having lunch on the way home from Utah, and when ithe fry sauce inevitably exploded open all over the two of us, I almost laughed so hard that I cried.

6. Whenever my baby's Grammy and her auntie Riann feed her cake frosting and ice cream and chocolate syrup and the like, I just grin and watch.

7. I figured out recently that my baby daughter really enjoys my crazy bedhead in the mornings, so I quit doing my hair before she wakes up.

8. I really do like to pick out what my baby sweet potato girlie's gunna wear for the day, enough so that my honey-man will no longer offer to dress her without my first picking out her clothes.

9. I ocassionally find myself singing the songs from 'Signing Times' while driving to work, even though my honey-man is the one who takes our sweet potato girl to daycare in the mornings.

10. I totally lose track of time when I'm with my lil' sweet pea because I'm so focused on her and little else.

Friday, October 09, 2009

She's Napping Finally, So I Can Go Cry Now

My grandma Joanie died yesterday... The funeral will be Monday, and we'll be leaving for Salt Lake tomorrow morning. Luckily, I was able to get a lot of stuff done today ~ Thank you to my sister for watching the baby so I could get my shaggy mop cut! Granted, the day isn't nearly over yet, but my baby sweet potato girl is finally down for a desperately needed nap, so I'm gunna have me a good cry and a nap of my own if I'm luckier.

P.S. My lil' sweet pea will watch me all wide-eyed and transfixed if she sees me crying.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

My Poor lil' Happy-Go-Lucky Sicky Baby, Not So Happy

My poor lil' baby girl, she's still sick and now? Now she's got a tinsy-tiny ear infection brewing in each ear, so she's on antibiotics as of today. BTW, she is such a good lil' medicine taker! No refusals, no gagging, no spitting, no choking, nor spraying. She just sucks it right up from the medicine syringe. Such a good girl... over the last 24 hours though, she's not quite the happy-go-lucky sicky baby anymore. Well, not compared to how she's been for the past 5 weeks of sickidom. You can tell now that she's really not feelin' so hot: She's a lot more snotty; a lot more stuffed up; she's coughing more; she makes these pitiful, sad little moaning noises here and there throughout the day and night, particularly during her naptimes. Speaking of naptime, today's naps were absolutely futile - - no more than 15 minutes here and there. There's been some impromptu wailing and crying out in the night while she's asleep, and she has a hard time settling back down on her own every time. During the day, there's a lot of what we call "cranking." (I'll explain later, as "cranking" deserves its own post.) She's still quite the lil' trooper, but her eyes are watery and she's just, well, she seems sad. And she wants to be held and held some more... and my back is still very fragile right now. I won't go into that though, not right now either.

Come dinner time, she was very perky in her high chair once her mangoes-loaded spoon finally hit her little open mouth (she was screeching before that happened), and like her usual self, she was delighted with her bath time (First time bathing in the kitchen sink without her infant bathing tub!!!)... but she was soooo tired. Despite her being so happy to take a bath, she looked like she was going to pass out after just 5 minutes! And she went to bed so easily, absolutely no fuss. But 3 hours ago, she had me scared and getting nervous...

We laid her down for bed and a couple hours later, she was hot and flushed with a fever of 101.4. It was 10pm-ish by then, and I was about to feed her, so I told my honey-man I'd retake her temp after she was done. In less than 20 minutes' time, she was at 102.4 and climbing. And then? Well, I gave her some infant ibuprofen and her temp was down to 98.8 within 30 minutes.

So, am I feeling better now that that last fever came and went so quickly? Um, well, it's after 1:00am, and I'm still awake, and I'm blogging... just take a guess. I'm listening to every sniffling snuffle, every raspy exhalation, each and every lil' heart-breaking cough, and I'm getting zero sleep. I'm wired outta my utterly exhausted mind, and having blowing my own nose every 15 minutes as gently as I can to avoid a coughing fit that'll send my back into a spasm(s), and on top of it all, I'm sad, really, really sad.

But I can't got into that right now either.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 45

Because he's downstairs right now, playing his guitar, singing the Beatles' "Rocky Raccoon" for our 6 month old baby girlie, and I can hear her squealing with delight, and I can hear him giggling at her squeals inbetween the verses.

102.7 Degrees

BE FOREWARNED: I will write in detail about baby boogers and phlegm at some point in this post.

Since Sunday morning, my baby sweet potato girl and I have had new matching colds, and this time around, we've had matching fevers to boot (her first fever yet), each topping at 102.7 degrees. Her fever broke yesterday, thank goodness, and mine finally went down around 10am this morning.

She's been sick for five freakin' solid weeks now, one cold after another without reprieve. Although none of her symptoms have warranted a doctors visit according to "Your Child's Health" (the book her pediatrician told us to use as a reference for anything and everything, and it's excellent, I must add), I called her peds office today for some pointers. Happily, I'll now be taking her to see her pediatrician tomorrow morning, cuz a month + of being sick is too much, as they agreed.

She really has been doing pretty well, despite being sick and sick for so long now. There's been no throwing up (knock on wood). She has runny nose at times --the worst yet has been just over the last two days; post-sneeze is the worst-- but her snot ain't exactly running down her face at all times (you know what I mean, those kids that have an endless waterfall of snot coming from their nosies?), nor has it been super green or thick. To say the very least, it's been quite manageable. As for a cough, she does cough a little, sometimes hard enough that tears well up and spill down to sit atop her chubby little cheeks, but she only coughs a little in the night, when she first wakes, and after she's eaten. Otherwise, one couldn't say she has a cough per se. And there hasn't at all been any coughing and gagging on phlegm. Although I kept her home with me yesterday and today due to her fever, she's been downright indomitable even when her fever was running hot! Me though? I didn't do nearly half as well with that fever as she had. I was shaking and sweating, and around 2am last night, it was beginning to feel like a flashback to last summer, and I was getting a little scared. Yeah, I haven't exactly been feeling all that perky, to say the very least (and it's too late for that). Oh, and I haven't been taking any cold meds because I don't want to pass anything along to her via my milk... Man, do I have a new found appreciation for cold meds! - - have I said this before?

Anyhow, over the last couple days, understandably, she's been a bit, um, clingy compared to her usual independent self, wanting to be held and carried ALLL THE TIME. I actually enjoyed it, quite a lot, but (and there is a but here, unfortunately) for over 2 weeks now, I've been sleeping propped up in bed with pillows at night to help my sinuses drain, and it's been aggravating my back. So that, coupled with the carrying of my 20 lb daughter over the last 2 days more than I have in the last 2 weeks' time combined, I woke with an angry back. By 11:40 am this morning, I sent a text to my honey-man asking him to come home as soon as he could, because my back was on its way out. And by 12:30pm, I called him to ask how close he was, because our baby girlie was in her room, awake from her nap, happily babbling away, and I was certain I wouldn't be able to pick her up out of her crib. Luckily, he was only 10 minutes from home, and I kept her entertained, standing rigid, semi-slouched over her, singing and talking to her while she remained in her crib, stalling until my honey-man's arrival.

Not being able to care for her right now is far worse than any 102.7 fever.

57 Inches Tall

We had the angel boy-O with us last week from Wednesday thru to Sunday, and I gotta say, ooh my, he's growing up so, so, so well. Other than a few struggles come mealtime --par for the course when it comes to this kid-- we had a grrrreat time!

Thursday, the boy-O spent his morning watching The Incredibles in his dad's office, and then he spent about an hour n' a half over at my office, before he and I were to go claim his baby sister early from preschool. While I had to wrap up a couple work items, he sat at my desk and watched music videos via Yahoo Music. He first asked to watch "Circus" and he thought it was someone else, and was all impressed that I knew it was Britney Spears (now that was a funny moment). And when Beyonce's "Single Ladies" queued up next in line and began to play, he was all excited that he recognized it as the song featured the week before on the TV show, Glee, which we had actually seen as well, but only because it was after So You Think You Can Dance, which is the only TV show I ever make any successful effort to remember to watch, which means I may manage to catch it once or twice in a month. [SIDE NOTE: Oh, that reminds me! When the angel boy-O got in on Wednesday night, we had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, and we all watched So You Think You Can Dance together. We also managed to consume 4 bags of microwave popcorn between the 3 of us!] After Beyonce, I had to pump in my office with the door locked, so he then hung out in the office next door with one of my staff and I set him up with Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and "Beat It" videos. He was delighted.

Once we got to the preschool, I showed him all the rooms in his sister's wing of the school, including the "stroller parking" room and her playground. I also showed him her crib there, and all the lil' cubbies they use for her for this and that. He got to meet her head teacher and a couple of the assistant teachers as well. When we were leaving, nodding with sound confidence, he declared the facilities were excellent. He was most impressed with the fingerprint scan required for entrance into her school. That night, we had a great dinner with uncle Jim and aunt Radeane - - I had to improvise with the breading for the pork chops. I had everyone taste them and confirm first that they were undeniably delicious before I revealed the mystery ingredient, graham crackers... I usually use Keebler's Club crackers.

Friday night we went to see the Toy Story double feature in 3D - - yeah, and lemme' tell ya, that was crazy! We were at the theater from 7:30 until nearly midnight!?! The best part was when they explained how the intermission would be handled, and my honey-man realized for the first time that we would be seeing not one movie, but TWO! Our baby sweet potato girl managed to stay awake for the first 40 minutes, and then, thankfully, she slept the rest of the time. And the boy-O, well, he was thrilled outta his mind, from start to finish, and as soon as we walked in the door, back home, he went straight upstairs, brushed his teeth, threw on his pjs and was out like a light.

On Saturday, the boy-O slept in until 10am, and I made a ginormous breakfast for the fam. My sister had been invited, but she scored a nasty infection by that time and had to pass on the offer. At 12:30pm, I had a baby shower to attend with the girlie, while the boys went off to play tennis together. For dinner, we had friends over and ordered from Pizza My Dear - - ridiculous name, yes, but their food? Oh my dear, oh dear, their pizza is sooo good! The "My Big Fat Greek" pizza is our favorite!

By Sunday morning, our sweet potato and I had both come down with something new - - both with low grade fevers. Before that, and some awfully bad wind sweeping through the Vegas valley, we had had plans to go hiking in Red Rock Canyon. Instead, we all laid low that morning, and the boys played some more tennis, and we all had lunch together before the boy-O had to catch his flight back to UT.

Somewhere in all that, he and I played Othello one time while I prepared dinner (must have been Friday night), and he and his dad played chess (think that was Sunday). And all throughout the weekend, he sang to his lil' sissy, and he even read to her a couple times, and he kissed and hugged her almost constantly, and he was sooo dang cute, I didn't want to let him go.

Oh and my favorite moment during his stay was when I made a quick run to Target to buy a booster seat, and I'd called home to ask my honey-man a question... See, I had heard an NPR broadcast earlier in the week about booster seats and the importance that kids under 80 lbs always use one when riding in a car. According to the NTSB, booster seats reduce the risk of injury by 59%, and because my family has lost TWO family members to fatal car accidents, I take accident statistics and car safety very, very seriously. Well, the angel boy-O weighs only a slight 62 lbs right now (he actually lost weight over the last 2 months), and he ain't terribly tall neither, so I was on a mission to purchase him a booster, and the poor lad was not at all thrilled about it.

Before heading to Target, I had tried to verify the height limit for booster seats via the NTSB website, but was unsuccessful, although I was pretty certain the boy-O wouldn't meet the limit anyhow. Once I got to Target, surveying allll the available booster seats they had for sale, the noted height limit was listed for five of the product descriptions. So, I called home to ask my honey-man to measure the boy-O's height, but without telling the boy-O what we were up to. Now, the angel boy-O didn't find this odd at all... maybe because we almost always measure his height when he comes to stay? And often in the past, I've called asking for his waist or inseam measurements when I've been out shopping for his clothes? [SEMI-RELATED TANGENT: He's a great lil' clothing shopper; real patient, not too picky, nor is he demanding at all; all very no-nonsense about it. It's actually a very satisfying experience. It's just that, well, sometimes he gets really side-tracked if we're in a store selling anything else but clothes, sooo, sometimes it's simply easier to go without him. And so far, whenever it happens, he's not at all insistent that he come along. END OF TANGENT] Anyhow, not until after my honey-man confirmed his height, did we tell him why I needed to know... He measures 57" tall, and the height limit for a booster seat so happens to be 57 INCHES, and so, I then told him I wouldn't be buying him a booster seat after all, and oh boy, was he soooo relieved! When he got home to UT, he even told his mom about it! Purty dang cute!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"No Honey, Fifty-TWO, not Fifty-six"

My honey-man and I were just discussing the paperwork required to establish a flexible spending account for the pre-tax payment of our dear daughter's oh-so-crazy-expensive daycare costs, and we were trying to determine the annual cost value, and any no-daycare holiday weeks, etc., etc., and what not. At one point, we were both about to calculate the projected annual cost by simply multiplying the regular weekly $ amount by the number of weeks in a year, naturally...

Me: "So, $215 per week times 56..."

Mah honey-man: (he interrupts me) "Um, no honey, it's 52, not 56. There are 52 weeks in a year."

Me: (with an impatient and insistent tone) "Nooo, it's 56." (and I immediately open a web browser window to google the answer, speaking my inquiry as I type the words...) "How many weeks in a year?" (and the answer comes up...)

Me again: "What?! FIFTY-TWO??? 52?!?!! For years -- YEARS!!! -- for, for like, FOREVER, I've always thought it was FIFTY-SIX!!?! 52?"

Mah honey-man: (dying from laughter) "Honey, how many days are in a year?"

Monday, September 28, 2009

Window Cleaning

It's sooo cute when they do this...

Surprise kitty nose from Otis
Owen, he looks like such a lil' gentleman here...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

6 Months of Chubby

Six Months Later, Headed Back to Work

I'm pretty subdued right now... woke up a bit dazed this morning as reality sank in... Last Friday really was the last day of my part-time contract.

For the last month, the whole "part-time in the office with the girlie in part-time at daycare" arrangement actually worked out really, really well. Our baby sweet potato girl loves her daycare, and I'm certain I could totally handle working part-time on a permanent basis. It'd be a perfect arrangement! She'd continue to get her time to socialize with other babies and people, "learning to trust others and the world" (another Leslie-ism), as she needs to do, and I could continue to help bring home bacon and get some adult time in it for me as well. Not sure though how I'm going to handle a full-time daycare arrangement... I know my baby daughter will be absolutely fine; she will be, I know it. It's me that's the problem - - As I've said before, it feels wrong to have my daughter spending the majority of her day with someone other than me... This new arrangement will be altogether different. My time with her will be so drastically reduced. I can't wrap my head around the fact that from now on, I will see my darling babe for about no more than 3-4 hours a day. Yeah, that's right: 4 hours, tops!

For the past month now, she's been sick, and so, her evening routine has shrunk down by about an hour and 30 minutes... She's been going to bed as early as 6:30pm for the past two weeks! In my head I've been trying to work out how we're going to spend our after-work evenings together, and unless I'm mistaken, they may look like this:

4pm, I scramble to leave my office and arrive at her daycare no later than 4:15pm. I get all her stuff together to be taken home, I read through her notes for the day, talk a moment with her day-tenders, and then she and I will take 5-10 minutes to say Hi to one another... We sit in the lobby together and I talk with her and hug her and smooch her cheeks instead of immediately swooping her up and throwing her in the car. 4:30-ish, we leave to make our way home, walking in the door by 5pm, hopefully. By this time, she'll be absolutely ravenous! I'm really hoping she'll be okay to nurse first, which would be not just a nice way for us to reconnect, but could also serve to placate her appetite well enough to buy me some time with which I could make dinner for me and her daddy first, before feeding her the rest of her dinner via highchair. We could all sit together for dinner then. I know already though that this may not always happen.

Whether I wind up feeding her first or cooking dinner, or getting to eat my own dinner at all, it'll be time for zee wee baby-girlie to hit the tub by no later than 6pm. If she continues to bathe in the infant tub we can place in our kitchen sink (although she now prefers her blow-up tub placed in the upstairs bathroom tub), I could use that time to empty the dishwasher or tidy up the kitchen or whatever while she plays... maybe. She likes to bathe for at least 15 minutes, if not a full 1/2 hour, depending upon how tired she is. [SEMI-RELATED TANGENT: Oh see, that's one thing I forgot to mention! Now that she's in daycare, she never naps for more than 30 minutes, not ever. In fact, for the last two weeks, a couple times each week I had her stay until 2:30pm, to see how she'd cope with a longer day (she was totally fine, unphased), but she still never napped for more than 30 minutes at one time. Sometimes her daycare naps aren't more than 15 minutes!?! When she's been home with me in the afternoons, she'll nap for 2 hours or more, but at daycare she doesn't want to miss out on anything. Plus, her head teacher tells me the crying babies still sometimes wake her up. Yeah, no decent naptime at daycare for our babe. END OF TANGENT] By 6:30pm these days, if she's not already in bed by then, she'll begin to rub her eyes and pull on her ears, and she'll whimper, super tired. For the past month, I really haven't been able to keep her up past 7pm. So, if I have her outta the tub and dressed for bed by 6:30-6:45, I could maybe read her one short story and then she'll be out and that 's it.

Doesn't sound like much, but that's all I'm gunna have once I resume my full-time work schedule tomorrow. Crap, my bottom lip is trembling.

A few weeks ago, there was one day I had a lil' series of emails back and forth with the angel boy-O's aunt Leslie, and she wrote me something I knew I would have to share here. I have since read and re-read that particular something she wrote me, I don't know how many times, to remind me that me and my baby will still be able to have quality time together, despite my having to work... Here's what she wrote:

"When you are in the car, you will sing, when you are fixing dinner, you will visit and tell her all about what you are doing. Pretty soon she will be playing in the pots and pans at your feet while you cook, or sitting in the sink watching you. You will play peek a boo with the laundry and tie a rope to the basket so she can ride as you pull it along the floor on the way to and from the washer. She will learn colors and shapes from veggies and fruit. She will learn to sort and match with socks and tea towels. She will stir and pour and put things in the salad for you. The laundry will be folded funny and dinner will be goofy, everything will take longer, but you will do it together and it will be quality time.

Don't be surprised when math is easy for her. It will make sense because she watched you measure and helped you count things at the grocery store. When she loves reading, and does it well, it will be because she saw you reading cookbooks and getting excited about ideas you found in magazines. She will know that you read the tags on a new dress before it goes in the washer so she will notice print everywhere she goes... don't let one second go by when you have even five minutes to laugh and visit and sing and dance. Relax and have fun, projects and housework be damned!"

I'm trying to be strong. I'm trying to be positive. I'm trying to look for ways to enhance our experience. I'm trying to believe that my relationship with my daughter will not be hindered severely - - or at all-- by my having to rejoin the world of full-time work. I am extremely grateful to have had 3 months of maternity leave and to have enjoyed a part-time contract for the last 3 months. I had said a long time ago that if I could keep my lil' sweet potato girl out of full-time daycare until she was 6 months old, I'd be happy... and she's 6 months old now, as of yesterday. I need to be happy.

However, right now, I'm super sad, regardless, knowing I'm about to lose so much of my time with her. She's soooo wonderful, so, so, so wonderful, and it just hurts to have to give that time up.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Poor lil' Happy-Go-Lucky Sicky Baby

Sooo, my lil' sweet potato girl has been in daycare for a month now, and she's basically been sick for over 2 weeks now as well. I actually think her first cold ended early last week, but she picked up something new in time for this past weekend. As I type, I can hear both the two humidifiers we have running in her bedroom and her snotty breathing via the baby monitor. Anyhow, whatever she gets, we get it too. She's our very own little petri dish, growing lovely cultures she must bring home and share with us!

I have to say though (and this is really why I'm writing), she's been a remarkably resilient little sicky babe!?! Each and every morning she wakes up unable to breath through that tiny nosey of hers, yet she's smiling and downright perky as could be! My sister had babysat for us Sunday night, and she was amazed at how SICK AND HAPPY she is. Her head teacher in her daycare group has also noted several times that although she's sick, she sure is a happy baby despite how she may feel. It's unbelievable to me. I was expecting total misery ahead when it first became apparent she was getting sick, but other than the general worry and concern for her care and health, she hasn't behaved at all like she's sick and miserable. I'm not kidding -- The girlie is sick and she is sooo happy -! ?! The past few days I've been sick, I've been... well, I've been anything but happy. Time to learn from my own tiny-darling daughter's example, eh?

Man, she's just so delighted with each new day. How did I get to be so lucky?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pink Martini!

Although I seem to have come down with a new cold (sneezing, running nose, blak), we managed to make our way to the Henderson Pavilion last night to see Pink Martini. [THANK YOU AGAIN, AUNTIE RYNER for watching our lil' still-sicky wee one!] I'd first heard of Pink Martini in 1999, listening to a morning NPR broadcast on the way to work. During their NPR feature, they'd shared snippets of several Pink Martini songs, all of which, I totally loved! That same day, later in the afternoon, I went online and ordered their debut album, Sympathique, and to this day, it's my favorite of theirs. They have a new album coming out next month!

Anyhow, Pink Martini is, um, is a truly unique ensemble in today's time. What an understatement. Nevermind the fact Pink Martini is a TWELVE members-large production! Their music is nothing short of amazing - - French, Portuguese, Spanish, and even Turkish?!? Oh, and yeah, last night's concert? It was fantastic! I feel so fortunate to have had the chance to sit and behold their creative magic in live concert. Their musicianship is absolutely spot-on spectacular and China Forbes is a powerhouse. I love them.

And now I must go back to bed and cough my eyes out, thank you.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

5 Years Later...

Me: [meandering over from the kitchen to my honey-man, a sky blue plastic plate in my right hand, carrying my homemade mini-pizza, fresh from the toaster oven. I have a smug smile on my face.] "So, we've been together for FIVE years now. Do you finally admit and accept that you DO like my all my plastic and melamine dishes?"

Mah honey-man: [laying casually on the couch, reading one of his 'application architecture' books after having his own lunch on a dark blue plastic plate, a huge grin spreads on his face as he looks up at me standing over him] "Yes, yes I do. I love them now, especially for my lunches."

Me: "When we met, you hated them. For years you hated them."

Mah honey-man: "Yes, yes, I did, but they're sooo handy."

The latter is precisely the reasoning I'd offered him 5 years ago, as to why I had them.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 44

Because he can still make me weak in the knees whenever he comes home from work and gives me a good "ten second kiss" before even taking off his backpack.

Two Weeks Left

I have only TWO WEEKS until I am to resume my full-time employment contract, and my baby sweet potato girl will then begin attending daycare full-time. After this weekend, I will be spending ALL MY WAKING FREE TIME with my baby girlie!

I wrote the above on Friday, September 11th... um, I hope to catch up on some blogging soon (particularly our family blog), whenever my lil' babe is dreaming away come her bedtime, that is, if I can keep my own eyes open for more than an hour after she's hit the hay.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm That Tired

This morning, I nearly left for work without any shoes on -- really, I did. I had my arms and hands loaded and I was headed to the garage, to my car, to leave for work...without my shoes!

And tonight? I just came downstairs after taking my shower, during which, I'd discovered I was still wearing my sunglasses on my head. Yeah.

I will be going to bed as soon as I click 'publish post' here (and finish with my mama-dairy 'pumping').

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


My mum would have been 56 years old today. Man, what I wouldn't give...

Friday, September 04, 2009

Sicky Baby

Late Wednesday night, our lil' girlie woke up in the night with a super stuffy nose, but once we had her humidifier running, she managed to sleep 6 hours straight. By this morning , however, it became official: Our lil' baby sweet potato girl has her first cold. Her eyes have been watery, she's sneezing here and there, coughing whenever laid down flat. Her nose began to run an hour ago and we now have a light fever of 99.9 registered on the thermometer... and this is all in time for her big brother's first weekend stay in Vegas since his new school year began in UT. Lovely.

She was with me at work today... we had a very productive day together (heavy sarcasm).

She'd been in daycare for 2 weeks and already, she's sick!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Ah ha! Total nerd now, posting via Blackberry!


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Nappy Times

Okay, so daycare began well. Now we just gotta work on the sweet potato girl's concept of nap time, both morning and afternoon. She used to run like clockwork, but ever since she hit the 4 months mark, nappy time hasn't been all that consistent. And now that she's in daycare, it seems she will no longer embrace the idea of a morning nap for any longer than 10-3o minutes at a time. The afternoons at home are no better unless she's glued to my side, or rather, to a boob. We did quit napping in her beloved swing weeks ago, about the same time she moved from her bassinet to her crib - - Yeah, absolutely no more 'based-upon-swing-motion' napping, that became the rule once I found out swings don't exist at her daycare. So now she's gotta learn to fall asleep simply because she's tired.

The ladies at her daycare tell me they have to rock her, more often than not, to get her to doze off, but that either way, she tends to fight nap time. It's not that she'll cry or protest (yet). She'll lay in their arms, drowsy as all heck, rubbing her eyes while smiling and cooing quietly, simply refusing to give it up and just conk out. And they say that once she does finally pass out, they'll lay her down in her crib, and she'll either wake up immediately or 10-30 minutes later. Today she had one 10 minute nap, and then an hour later, a nap for 25 minutes.

I arrived yesterday right when they had laid her down. The young lady in charge of her that day told me with a huge grin and a laugh that it was her 3rd time getting her to fall asleep that morning (and I'm hoping they continue to handle her refusal to nap in the same jovial manner weeks from now). By the time I had my jellybean's bottle bag in hand and had signed her charts, etc. etc., my lil' girlie had turned on her side and was smiling at me from her crib from across the room. Lil' stinker!

She just doesn't want to miss out on anything... sounds a lot like someone else I know (guilty grin spreading across my own mug).

Okay, I'm Ready Now: Our Babe's Daycare Dealio

Last week was mah baby sweet potato girl's very first week of daycare, and I gotta say it went very, very well. Yup, this mommie is very, very pleased.

First of all, I had told myself to expect some tears that first week. So, when I picked her up around 11:30am on her first day, and I found her wailing away in the arms of her group's head teacher, I wasn't too alarmed. They were both sitting on the floor on a playmat together and mah baby girlie was upright, clutching her white silky blanket to her face with big fat baby tears streaming down her chubby cheeks. I had actually heard and identified her crying from outside the entrance to her group's room, so I wasn't at all surprised when I saw her...

SOME BACKGROUND INFO: Whenever my lil' jellybean cries, there is normally a very particular and identifiable reason, and it's usually easy to stop her tears and quickly at that. We've found that the only times she'll wail inconsolably is when, 1) she has either unrelieved tummy bubbles or major fluffies [IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: Baby girls do not fart! They 'fluff'.]; or 2) she's fried due to some kind of significant unrelenting over-stimulation (like after withstanding the first 5 hours of a loud, seven-hour-long, 11-innings baseball game on the 4th of July).

So, anyhow, I could hear her from outside, and it was no wonder to me why she was upset... Two other babies were totally screaming bloody murder, crying their little eyes out with such intensity, it was incredible! Immediately upon my arrival in the room, her teacher confirmed my suspicion: She'd been totally fine all morning long until one of the baby boys, poor lil' guy, had begun to scream uncontrollably (I knew which one too, as he'd been crying like that the first time we'd met him), and after 10 minutes of his crying, both she and the other baby boy couldn't take it any longer and they lost their cool.

So how is she coping this week with the other babies' upsets? When I picked her up today, that same lil' tyke was once again screaming his lil' head off, but this time around, my baby girlie was lying beside one of the daycare ladies, playing on a playmat placed no more than 2 feet away from him, blissfully happy, smiling and gumming some toy. Yeah, she's doing well.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Baby's Pretend Upright Bass

Last Friday night, or rather, early last Saturday morning, ohhh, about 4am-ish in the midst of feeding mah hungry baby girlie, something funny happened. She was entirely docile, eyes closed, all relaxed and limp like a ragdoll... but her tiny left hand kept reaching up and slowly taking hold of the gathered elastic neckline of my pajama top, and then she'd pull her little hand back and away from me, to then let go of it with a soft thudding noise. She did this over and over, kind of moving in slow-mo, reaching and plucking the neckline of my top like it was a rubberband or an upright bass. The sound it was making actually woke my honey-man, and as he raised his head from the bed to peer at us in the dark, he began to quietly giggle, seeing and realizing what it was she was doing and taht she was 1/2 asleep while at it, no less.

Can you say, WAY. TOO. CUTE. -?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Parenting Under Pr-Pr-Pr-Pressure

I haven't been able to write about this before now, cuz I've been trying reeealllly hard to keep my s*** together this morning. See, today's my baby's first day at daycare. We went to the open house for her classroom last Friday, which was immensely reassuring, but dang, this is a freakin' hard pill to swallow.

For the next month, before my part-time contract expires come the end of September, we'll be transitioning into this new 'baby-in-daycare' phase of our lives, meaning she'll only spend 1/2 her day at daycare, in the mornings. Her daddy's gunna drop her off around 8am and then I'll be picking her up between 11:30 and noontime. Shouldn't be too bad -right? We only have 5 weeks of this part-time arrangement though. Thereafter, it will be full-time daycare from then on, year round. This last statement makes me wanna bawl.

Arrgghhh... My stomach is in such topsy turvy knots!!! And she's not even there yet!

It feels wrong to have someone other than myself caring for my daughter for the majority of her day. I don't care how common it is or how many people have to do the very same thing and blah, blah, blah, whatever! It feels W-R-O-N-G! I've read countless books and I've read some of the actual research [yes, I've sought out and read some of the research journals written regarding the subject of daycare and how it affects a child's emotional and intellectual development], and I know she'll be technically fine, as will I, but I can't describe this raw and aching pain I feel in my gut and in my heart. It just hurts! Blak.

I'm hoping that come time for me to pick her up four hours fro now, I'll find a happy baby - - somehow though, I'm certain this will throw her for a loop. She'll be all wide-eyed and fascinated for the first couple hours, but by 11am, she'll be fried. We'll see. Details tomorrow.

Friday, August 21, 2009

5 Years Ago...

... mah honey-man and I, we went out on our first date! Can't believe it's been five years since we met!? And our 2nd wedding anniversary is just around the corner. Mmmm... I love him so!

I Love You Too, but PLEASE GO TO SLEEP!

Last Wednesday night amounted to more of the same when compared to this past Tuesday night = NO SLEEP FOR THIS MOMMIE. Thursday morning, I had to present myself as a knowledgeable person-in-charge, speaking at an orientation. It was a miracle I didn't wind up tripping over my own feet that day, I was so dead tired. Sooo last night, after 5 hours in the office and an afternoon juggling zee wee one while working from home, I decided we were going to try for an uber early approach to baby's bedtime. She usually bathes around 7pm, but we had her in the tubby by 6pm, and I fed her at 7pm and topped it off with a 2 oz bottle with extra cereal, which she ate while I rocked and sang to her in her bedroom... and begged her to please sleep through the night. I laid her down in her crib by 7:40pm and she was fast asleep in five minutes' time... AND SHE SLEPT UNTIL FIVE AM!

And so, this morning at work, I was as happy as could be (amazing what some good sleep can do for a person), and I had a spring back in my step for the first time this week. And my baby girlie? She was soooo smiley this morning and has been such a darling all day, today, well rested and happy. A friend's 13 year old was watching her for me this morning while I was at work, and the two were situated together in a room 2 doors down the hall from my office. Throughout the morning, I could clearly hear my darling babe cooing, giggling, and laughing, and occasionally they'd come past my open office door and my baby sweet potato girl was all baby drool n' dimples! And she even took a nap! Bless you, Millie! And thank the creators of baby rice cereal! Or maybe it was just a fluke - - or maybe it was the earnest begging? We'll see if we duplicate the same circumstances tonight and wind up with the same result!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Wrote Too Soon, Part II

The night before last, our sweet potato girl went to bed at 8pm, and she woke up at midnight, 2am, 3am, 4am and 5am. Apparently, once more, I wrote too soon...

And so, yesterday morning, I was a bit of a zombie at work. And after work, after picking up my baby girl, I failed to get a nap, and then I didn't get to bed until 10:30pm last night. She woke up hungry at 11:30pm and again at 3am. And she was up for the day at 6:20-ish am. If she keeps this up, I think I may be dead by Friday.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I Wrote Too Soon!

Not only is she sleeping in her crib now, I guess she's on her way (I hope, I hope) to sleeping through the night again (all fingers and toes crossed, let it be true! oh let it be true!). After writing this yesterday, she wound up sleeping for SEVEN HOURS straight last night! Oh yes, bless her darling lil' bottom! ~ Yup, seven uninterrupted hours of sleep. *sigh* And what bliss it was! She went down for bed at her usual 8pm and she didn't wake up until a little after 3am, at which point I fed her and then she went back to sleep.

What do I think the difference was? - - I suspect is was the TWO tablespoons of cereal I'd given her in 3 ounces of expressed milk, plus a feeding just before that = Mah girlie had a full, full belly! And so, of course, we tried that again tonight. By the morning, we'll know if it worked again...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

So Far, So Fantastic

Well, our baby sweet potato girl has been sleeping in her crib for 3 nights in a row now, and tonight, being her 4th night, she went down for her bedtime and was out like a light in less than a minute! Sooo, I think it's safe to say her transition from the bassinet to the crib has been flawlessly smooth thus far. I know it hasn't even been a week yet, so I realize things could change like night and day without a moment's notice, but I'm pretty pleased so far. The only thing I miss about the bassinet is getting to be right there in the morning to see her little mug when she first wakes up for the day ~ She's ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE when she first wakes up for a new day! Although I now can't see her the very moment her lil' eyes first open, we can still hear her when she wakes up for the day, with her cooing and gurgling and blowing raspberries, making lil' 'aaah-ha' noises and stuff = also very adorable. Yeah, whenever she wakes up, especially in the night, we can hear her from our bedroom well enough to easily determine if she'll either settle herself back down without help or will need one of us to snag her before she becomes hysterical.

I hadn't mentioned any of this before now, but we decided to move her to her crib for several reasons.
1) Thought it might be good to sleep without hearing every lil' sigh that starts me wide awake in a second.
2) I had said she'd only be in our room for couple months (although I did admit later I was so crazy wrong).
3) She was basically gettin' too freakin' big for her bassinet (that's the real short of it).
4) She could actually kick the upper rim of the bassinet with her little feet, waking herself in the process.
5) She would scoot herself up and into the head rim of the bassinet, again, waking herself up.
6) She would bring her blankets up over her face and they'd stay there since there was too little room around her anymore. These following pics were taken last Saturday night. Ever since that night, she's been sleeping in a Halo SleepSack!

This totally freaked me out to find her like this!
Okay, so yeah, she's safely and comfortably sleeping in her crib now and it's going well. However, she's still will not return to those wonderful days we enjoyed when she was sleeping 9 hours straight through the night. She's always waking at least twice now, usually around midnight-ish - 1AM, and then again sometime between 3AM - 5AM. A week ago, when my honey-man went out of town for a conference, I caved the very first night I was alone with the girlie without him = I gave her a tablespoon of rice cereal in a bottle with 1.5 ounces of expressed milk. Yup, total pansy, I am. And it didn't work at all, in that she was still up multiple times throughout that night, hungry almost every time like a ravenous lil' piglet. I tried the cereal one more night while he was away, but no luck then either.

, the last two nights in a row now, we've given her cereal in a bottle with some Pedialyte, and each night, we've enjoyed a 5 hour stretch of sleep between when she's put to bed and when she wakes for the first time. The cereal --and remember too, it's just one little tablespoon as the portion-- has also changed the consistency of her diapers, for sure. Oh boy, yes it has. They're not tooo bad yet, but the days of semi-sweet (comparatively) exclusively breast-fed diapers are over now.

At first I was feeling guilty about giving her some cereal before she's reached 6 months. More so, I've also been nervous about how it will effect my 'production,' but yesterday, we met an 8 month old and a 6 month old, and both of them were her size. Yeah. Not feeling guilty so much anymore; still a bit nervous, but not feeling guilty. She's a big girl and SHE'S HUNGRY, and at night, before her bedtime, I just can't keep up with her hunger! We'll see how the next couple weeks go.