Friday, July 31, 2009

I Like Big Butts and I Cannot Lie

On Wednesday, I was in the office for the morning staying late into the afternoon, but I got the chance to see and talk with a few friends. Of course, baby milestones were often the topic of discussion, which included the telling of how our baby-girlie will not laugh or giggle for anyone but her big brother, the angel boy-O. At one point one of my friends asked a very good question, something along the lines of just how slap stick are my efforts to illicit a baby laugh? I had thought I'd been trying hard enough, but she brought up a good reference for comparison... Think Ross and Rachel from the TV show Friends and the episode during which they both sing "I Like Big Butts" as the magic key to unlock their baby girl's giggles.

So I got home late that afternoon with mah own baby-girlie, and with resolute determination I went into the motions of making sure all her needs were met in order to ensure the fairest laughter-coducive conditions were met: I fed her, made sure she was well burped, changed her diaper, gave her a dry bib to wear, handed her favorite blankey, and placed her in her vibe chair. Then, standing in front of her, complete with bad dance moves, I sang "I Got Big Butts" and [drumroll please] SHE FINALLY LAUGHED FOR ME!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's About Love!

Kitty Fa-Fa-Fascination

Months ago, as young as 6 weeks old, our baby sweet potato girlie began her fascinated with our cats, Otis and Owen. She'd stare at them, watch them move, crane her head for a glimpse, and she'd make her cute little 'oh-my-goodness' face with her tiny mouth held in a perfect open "O" whenever Otis came within a foot of her, and she'd either shake with excitement , or she'd freeze, absolutely transfixed, with her little eyes bugged so large and wide I was ready for them to pop out!

Now that our little jellybean can grab for and hold most the things she wants, she is now grabbing after Otis, of course. She'd be grabbing after Owen too, but he never gives her the chance... yeah, Owen ain't that dumb, nor is he quite that desperate... It is because Otis is always vying for cuddles that our baby girlie was recently given the chance to successfully pulled tufts of kitty fluff from his backside!

This past Tuesday afternoon, taking a break from work, she was sitting on my lap while Otis was walking back and forth, crossing over my knees. As he did this, mah baby girlie was brushing her little hands all over him, making her 'oh-my-goodness' face, trembling with excitement, and trying her darnedest to sink her tiny spread fingers into his fur for a good grip. Once she happily held a small wad of undercoat in her right hand, about to bring it to her mouth, Otis quickly turned around and beginning with the side of his head, he leaned into her and swiped the entire length of his body across her little drooly face! If I'd had my camera that moment, it would have been sooooo grrreat! She was COVERED IN CAT HAIR! and the hair had reallllly stuck best to her wet chubby cheeks. I laughed so hard as she wrinkled her nose and coughed and coughed, shaking her head. I tried first to clean her up with a washcloth, but I ultimately had to give her a bath to remove all the fine cat hairs. And Otis? He was trying to clean up all the baby drool in his fur for nearly 20 minutes of licking.

By the way, since the freakishly hot Vegas summer first began heating up in May and Otis and Owen then began exploding fur, shedding like crazy, I've had to routinely check for and remove fine cat hairs caught in mah darling jellybean's chubby neck rolls on a daily basis!

So anyhow, yeah, despite any fur pulling or the near whisker-removal swipes of her baby hands, so far Otis doesn't seem to mind our baby girlie's kitty fascination, although I'm certain Otis doesn't approve of all that baby drool.

Hmmm, Dohhnuts

Food-related Travel Notes for the someday-future:

The Elvis inspired Memphis Mafia donut from Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, the Pink Feather Boa from Top Pot Doughnuts in Seattle, and either the Roasted Pistaschio glazed or the fresh Raspberry glazed donuts from The Doughnut Plant off 43rd and 9th in Manhattan.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 42

Because he spends his Wednesday mornings with our baby sweet potato girl hanging out in his office so that I can go in to work once a week and get some things done, working baby-free from my own office. Thank you, my lovin' honey-man! You're such a darling daddy! and such a wonderful hubby!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Moulin Rouge to the Rescue

Baby-girlie hadn't been cooperating all that well with mommie trying to get work done once the 8 o'clock hour hit... not until I put Moulin Rouge into the DVD player and began selecting the scenes featuring songs. She's been lying beside me on the couch for nearly an hour now, gumming a ring of toy keys, just grinning away while I sing "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" to her for the second time while I type away work emails. And I'd thought my multi-tasking skillz had abandoned me with the confounding of my short-term memory via mommy-brain?!

And We're Off Again!

I've yet to write anything here about my June trip to Iowa with sweet potato girl to see her grandparents' (my parents) home for the first time (and it was her first flight)! I haven't yet written a word about our trip to Utah over the 4th either! And tomorrow, we're leaving for a 10-day trip Montreal!

Today will be spent scrambling to finish last minute work for the office, running miscellaneous errands and packing the last bit of packing. Oh and I'll be trying to get the baby girlie to the portrait studio before the day's end! And I've been up since 5am! And I'm wired outta my mind! Can ya tell?!?

Maybe I'll get to blog from Montreal, but who knows ~ Toodaloo for now!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 41

Because he spent half the day trying and trying to establish a wireless bluetooth connection for my laptop with the printer we have upstairs. He's a Mac man and I'm certain he hates my PC laptop more than ever now!

Scheduling Kitty Time or Else

Our poor lil' Otis hasn't been getting what he's used to these days due to the fact that there's often a baby in our arms now. And with my blogging less and less, he's missing even more of the individual cuddle time he used to enjoy just a couple months ago with the baby's arrival. Desperate for the attention he craves and misses, we often find him plopping his body atop our feet (happens at least three times more often than it did in our pre-baby days!), winding in and out between our legs (happens 5 times more often!), and wrapping himself round our ankles (happens a gazillion times more often than pre-baby times!!!)... and he tries now to do it all while we are trying to WALK! = DANGEROUS!! The very worst is whenever he runs and darts up the stairs between our moving feet as we're making our way up the stairs with the baby in our arms!

Yesterday afternoon, the most feared finally happened... Otis ran up the stairs after my honey-man, who was carrying our girlie, and Otis found himself literally underfoot. My honey-man had squarely placed a foot atop Otis and his knee jerk reaction was to recoil his foot and collapse as his balance was then seriously thrown off, rather than carry through the taken step and break Otis' back. And so, as Otis let out a horrifying yowl of pain and fright, my honey-man fell on the stairs with our lil' girlie. Makes me stomach churn just thinking about it! Anyhow, although it scared her badly and she bawled her lil' eyes out, the two of them and Otis, they are all fine, thank goodness!

So it's official: From now on, we've decided we're going to have to give Otis at least a half hour of concentrated cuddle-kitty time each day. Yup, a full 1/2 hour for a cat in order to stave off any desperate kitty behavior that may result in the tripping of a baby-carrying adult! Otis is actually on my lap right now while I"m typing (as I check the clock to see how I'm doing with my kitty-time). Wish us luck!

Giggles and Laughter Ensue

Last night the angel boy-O and his lil' sweet potato sister shared their first bath together. We had her set in her lil' pink bathtime lounge chair with the angel boy-O siting in the tub directly in front of her. As he poured the first bucket of water over his dry head and the water cascaded down and off the ends of his hair, something magical happened that we hadn't yet ever heard before: Our baby sweet potato girl let out a squeal followed by GIGGLES and LAUGHTER! And we all looked at one another, all wide-eyed, and then we all freaked out, totally delighted! ~ She laughed! And promptly thereafter, the boy-O was trying again and again, most valiantly to elicit the same darling response from her, just as cute!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 40

Because he got up this morning and declared that today, hell or high water, will be the day I'll once again be able to park my car inside our ridiculous over-packed storage unit... I mean, inside our garage!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Big Time Feat for Baby Girl!

This morning, before everyone had to head out to their respective destinations for the day, we --that'd be me, the angel boy-O and my honey-man-- were all at home at just the right moment to witness our baby sweet potato's greatest accomplishment yet, other than her arrival into this world, of course [drumroll please]: SHE ROLLED OVER!

Yup, her very first time! And man, she's been a totally wiggle worm since! I laid her on her activity mat this afternoon, the length of her body perpendicular to one of the sides. She would up somehow rotating the length of her entire body clockwise, over 180 degrees from where she'd been set, and then she rolled over into one of the overhead support arches, stuck against the corner post attachment. For about 5 minutes she tried to free herself on her own, but eventually issued a high pitched squawk demanding a swift rescue. Yup, my growing baby girl rolled over all on her own and she's becoming mobile... *sniff, sniff* *deep sigh* She's growing so fast.

At the same time today, it's become glaringly apparent there's noooo way we can simply set her on or into anything like her vibe chairs or swings, not without strapping her in tight for good measure. If we don't do so, she throws her tummy upward, fiercely arching her back, while twisting her hips to the left, and kicking her right leg upward and over to the left. Yeah, so far she's only tried this same move a couple times while at the diaper changing table, but I suspect it will become a regular occurence very soon. That will be fun (NOT). Life's gunna be a bit trickier once this baby girl becomes mobile, and boy, is she eager for that day to come! Our sweet potato girl wants to be on the move, and she doesn't want to be strapped down, I tell ya! It was about 3 weeks ago when she first began to use her entire body to physically protest against her car seat carrier, not only grabbing at the straps, but nearly throwing herself out of the seat, arching her back while sinking downward, kicking her feet, nearly slidding out of the damn thing, the lil' stinker...

By the way, I find both her vocal and her physical protests to be incredibily cute, and I often giggle at her frustrated efforts to escape whatever it is she's protesting. Yeah, she's purty cute no matter what she's up to. Have I mentioned we've decided to keep her?

"Can't Find the Time" or "Can't Pump Enough"

FOREWORD: I wrote the following post on July 1st, originally published to our family blog, after which, I realized I should have written it here on this blog, as it hadn't included any pictures of our baby girlie. So, here it is as it was 'over there', minus our baby girl's name:

*sigh* I want to blog, really, I do! I just can't find the time these past couple weeks... It's no coincidence that this all coincides with my recent return to the world of those who work for a living. And don't get me started on that right now. Blak.

Anyhow, we're off to Utah in the early morning - - and I'm sooo not ready. And today, well, today was a really, really hard day. Today kicked my butt. But I won't get into all the details on that. The short of it is I'm exhausted and I'm wired outta my mind; not a good combo. Blak.

I hope (I hope, I hope, I hope) things go well with our drive north tomorrow. It will be the longest car ride yet for our baby girlie. When I was once baby/child free, a drive northbound to Salt Lake would take me 6 hours, tops, driving 80 mph (minimum), stopping only in Beaver to gas up and to take one bathroom break. Those days have been looong gone for a few years now. With baby girlie in tow, I'm guessing tomorrow's drive will be 8 hours long (minimum). Blak. Anyone want to take bets? Eight hours is twice as long as our old weekend drives to LA. Blak. My father told me I was too optimistic; he said it'll be closer to 10 hours. God, I hope he's wrong! Plus we lose an hour once we arrive because of the Mountain-time change. Oh and get this: We'll be entirely prepared-bottles free this trip, and I'm NOT AT ALL happy about this.

My lil' surgery last week managed to provide baby sweet potato girl the opportunity to wipe out my entire frozen supply of pumped breast milk! The surgery, by the way, was nothing super major: An outpatient visit with my OB... I had a centimeter's depth removed from my cervix and a deep cone biopsy taken. It required general anesthesia, so I was required to "pump and dump" for the 24 hours following. My bebe spent the morning after the procedure with her Grammy, who's been visiting Vegas from Iowa, so I could not only get some work done that Friday, but also avoid baby's enthusiastic dancing and jumping on my sore pelvis (bless you, Grammy!). In less than 5 hours' time, two n' a 1/2 feedings later, our lil' piglet managed to consume over 22 ounces!?! I kid you not. To put this into the proper perspective, for those who aren't up to snuff on this stuff, think about this: For a baby her age, 18-20 ounces is the typical amount needed for 12 HOURS period. Yeah. She's unbelievable. I still cannot believe it. 22 ounces in less than 5 hours.

And as luck would have it, she being 3 months old now, as all my nursing literature had forewarned, my milk production has begun to level out, limited to baby's demand. The days of ample overproduction seem to be past. There's no extra milkies to be had, unless I want to wake up at 2am to pump in the middle of the night - - which I have done FOUR TIMES in the last week, trying desperately to recreate a back-up supply, however, my lil' jellybean has somehow wound up drinking each 'extra bottle' every time. Yeah, so I don't have any prepared breast milk available for her and this drive to SLC.

It very well could wind up taking us 10 hours to get there, after all.

P.S. Hopefully next week, I'll get a chance to do some better blogging than this!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A New Adventure: Car Trippin' to Utah

We're home from our Utah trip spent over the 4th of July weekend, and lemme' tell ya, our baby girlie was such a trooper! Really, I'm not kidding! She was such a guhoood lil' traveler, both the way up there and all the way home, and for the duration as well. Of course, it was not possible without the truly invaluable help of her loving big brother, our angel boy-O! He was totally rockin' awesome! He kept her well entertained, also sweetly helping her fall asleep whenever she needed some gentle coaxing, and he fed nearly every 'in-the-car-on-the-go' milk bottles to her. Yup, I'm pretty sure it was because of the cheery and persistent efforts of the angel boy-O, that our drive to and from UT was a success! Not until we took the exit ramp that leads to our home, for the very last 5 minutes of our trip, did our baby sweet potato girl ever squawk even once during the entire 6.5 hour long drive back to Vegas!!! oh and yes, we did, indeed, make excellent time! We only had to stop twice; once for lunch via a Carls Jr. drive-thru pick up window and the other time to gas up in Beaver... Although I did have to monitor my honey-man's speeding --he thinks he's racing in the Indy 500!

Anyhow, I've gotta say that although the next time may be different, it's quite encouraging for us that our first drive to UT with the wee one went so well, as once this month of July comes to an end, the angel boy-O will be returning to live with his mommie again, but not to California this time... instead, it'll be Ogden, UT. We'll have greater reason than ever to head north!

Yup, Utah. I think I real briefly touched upon this news a few weeks ago... *deep inhale* And here it goes, reality: This move will not only finally bring the boy-O sooo much closer to his mom's family --literally within blocks!-- but it will, we hope, also provide him a more active lifestyle with greater exposure to his own peer-group and awesome recreational opportunity [TRANSLATION OF "AWESOME RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITY": Hiking, rock climbing, camping, mountain biking, fishing, all kinds of water sports, the general great outdoors and SKIING! --grrreat emphasis on the SKIING!!! (and we're soooo jealous!)]. Such aspects of this move will be invaluable for his personal and psychological growth and his physical development. Consequently, we're THRILLED about the potential UT holds for him!

At the same time, however, this move will certainly make it more difficult for us to see him. Yeah, no matter how I try to work it out in my mind and my heart, it just will. Whether our baby girlie is an angel in the car or not --and honestly, she might not be so swell next time around, traveling without her big brother beside her in the backseat-- we just won't be able to make the frequent 2 and 3-day weekend trips to UT like those we'd made to Los Angeles so often before with relative ease. The greater driving distance to UT amounts to just enough of a time difference that it will no longer be possible for us to hop in the car after a full day's work on a Friday, and still make it to our destination well before midnight, especially come the winter months when there will be snow and ice to contend with. Flights will be more expensive too, as unaccompanied minor fees apply. Plus, a flight will now require greater effort and significantly more time to coordinate, as Ogden's over an hour away from the SLC Int'l Airport when one considers the probable after-school/late afternoon traffic they'll encounter on the interstate drive down to SLC. Getting the boy-O to the Burbank Airport had involved a mere 10 minute drive... those days are over.

I know we'll all work hard to make it work out somehow, just like we did when my honey-man made the move away from L.A. to Vegas, but these simple to-and-from UT logistics are already daunting... Makes me cry and I can't blame the new-mommie hormones this time. I don't want the end of this month to ever come, and I know my honey-man feels the same, ten-fold.