Thursday, February 25, 2010


How best to use my time?!? AKK!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wake Up Already!

On the weekends, my honey-man and I, we each take a morning to sleep in until about 9am. This morning was my turn, and mah honey-man let me sleep in as long as I would on my own... I slept in until 10:50!?! And when I got up, I found out our baby sweet potato had just gone down for her morning nap at 10:45am. It's now 12:30pm and she hasn't woken up yet!?!

I'm happy to have gotten some extra sleep, you betcha, and I'm glad my lil' wee one is taking a long nap, getting in some extra z's as well, but come on, wake up already my lil' girlie! Mommie wants to play!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Testing Things Out, Mastering Her World

I wrote this post on January 27th, late at night, and I simply neglected/forgot to post it:

My baby sweet potato girlie is TEN MONTHS OLD already!?! How did this happen?!? *sigh* She's growing up soooo quickly. Almost each and every day, something new happens. I love watching her as she discovers the world around her:

She has a miniature rubber duckie that somehow, months ago, made its way from her bathtub to her diaper changing table. Well, over a month ago, possibly back in late November or early December, she'd been kinda whining about whatever it is babies whine about while getting their diapers changed, and she'd been turning the rubber duckie over and over in her hands. At some point I'd bent over her and taken the duckie by its head into my mouth between my teeth - - and she LOVED it! Ever since then, whenever she sees this little rubber duckie, she'll grab it and offer it up to me for me to take it from her between my teeth. The other night she was offering it up to me again for the umpteenth millionth time, and I wasn't taking the duckie from her right away because I was honestly trying to focus upon getting her changed and dressed for bed before the window of opportunity would pass and I'd have an overtired baby on my hands. With my ignoring her, she opened her eyes as wide as she could, little eyebrows raised as well, and she shrieked as loud as she could while thrusting the duckie upward at my face. I couldn't help but laugh out loud at her behavior, and when I did so, she immediately frowned and began to cry, bottom lip out, still holding the duckie upward, arm outstretched as far and as long as she could stretch it, waving it slightly back and forth for it to be taken. As I bent over slooowly and took the duckie between my teeth, she stopped her crying short and released the most giggly-gut baby laugh I've ever heard from her, and with such a huge smile upon her face, her little eyes disappeared into a familiar squint, and the tiny tears from her short-lived outburst rolled down her cheeks, and I couldn't have adored her more in that moment.

When I'm dressing her, she offers each arm and hand to me as I bring her tops down over her head, and when it's time for her socks and shoes, she'll offer each of her lil' footsies to me, one at a time.

She loves to enthusiastically pull off her socks whenever she's sitting in her highchair. And about any other time she's shoeless, she generally loves to pull her socks off.

She LOVES shoes and will squeal with pure delight when she successfully nabs one without our having preemptively told her to please leave the shoe(s) alone. Furthermore, if she gets the chance to grab a shoe, she will invariably lick the shoe's sole: I DO NOT KNOW WHY SHE DOES THIS, but she loves it! If she gets a hold of a shoe and I catch her before she's stuck it into her mouth, right as I'm telling her shoes are icky-dirty and she shouldn't play with shoes and she cannot put shoes in her mouth, she'll get this serious look on her face, very wide-eyed, chin tucked down toward her chest, and she'll watch me closely as she twists and turns the captured shoe between her tiny hands, waiting to see how far she can push it before I'll make my move to take the shoe from her. Sometimes when she sees me coming to take her prize away, she'll release a short, particularly high-pitched squeal and jam the thing in her mouth, and then she'll quickly tossing it aside as she turns around to flee, crawling away from me as quickly as she can. I do find this to be particularly amusing and quite cute, for now. Yeah, fun times ahead.

For Christmas, we gave her a LeapFrog drum that plays through ABCs as it's hit and it sings and plays music along with drumbeats. And what would she rather play with? An empty, clear plastic cookie bucket that her daddy threw some dry beans into and then taped the lid shut.

She knows how to climb all the way up and down the stairs, thanks to Owen, but we can't yet trust her to handle the 'on the way down' without one of us right there. Although we've taught her to slide down the stairs, backwards on her tummy-tum, feet first, she sometimes tries to turn around to face downward, and that approach just doesn't work yet for her, considering she doesn't yet know how to walk without holding on to something or someone.

She's a very happy, very smiley baby, but still not much of a laugher, hardly ever. She really likes to be chased though, and if done right, she will giggle like mad when she's about to be 'caught.'

For months now -since she was 4 months old actually- I've been making a concerted effort to point out any bird we see and all airplanes visible whenever we're outside. She's not yet pointing with her index finger, however she'll now lift a teeny hand into the air when she sees a plane or a birdie, and she makes an excited little expression, eyebrows lifted, all wide-eyed and with her mouth in a perfect little "ooooh!" shape. Whenever she does this, I feel like there's nothing better in this world than that very moment with my little babe.

At the end of the day on our way home in the car, my baby sweet potato is eager to get home, both tired and hungry. We've developed a little routine of sorts, part of which often involves my reaching back behind me, offering to pop 2 to 3 toddler puffs or goldfish crackers directly into her mouth. I have one of those infant mirror-thingies strapped, clipped and corded [yes, it's very secure -oh my gosh- it sure is, lemme' tell ya!] to the backseat head rest which she faces while sitting in her own carseat, so that I can see her in my own rear view mirror. Every time I reach back to pop a puff in her mouth, I get a real kick out of watching her turn her head ever so slightly, just enough, and she'll lift her little face upward in order for her mouth to meet my hand and her timing is impeccable every time.

More often than not when I first offer her some food, it could be something she's never had, it could be the very first morsel presented once a meal has begun, or whatever, she'll fully accept whatever it is into her mouth straight away, and thereafter, she'll pull it right out of her mouth, look at whatever it is, and pop it back into her mouth.

She's learning how to be defiant... she knows she's to set her sippy cup back on her highchair tray when she's done drinking, but she will instead hold it out over the floor, stare me down, and drop it.

They have a little collapsible open-ended tunnel they use in her classroom during play times and SHE ABSOLUTELY LOVES IT! The first time I saw her inside it, she'd just entered one end and she hadn't seen me [SIDE NOTE: She almost always sees me through the window before I enter her room.] I ran over to where she'd been and peeked in after her, and I gave a little 'spss-spss' noise she knows well. Her little head whipped around so quickly, she nearly fell over when she saw me and began waving her arms with excitement, all while turning to lunge forward in order to scramble my way as fast as she could. I actually had my camera at the ready and captured the very moment she turned round and recognized me. It's a fabulous picture!

Some nights when we lay our baby sweet potato girlie down for beddy-bye, she falls asleep before her head hits her crib sheets. Other times, for 10-20 minutes after we've said our goodnight, we can hear her repeatedly turn on and off the music-maker aquarium hung on her back crib rail, against the wall, all while she babbles to herself, complete with little "ba-ba-ba"s, "da-da-da"s, "ma-ma-ma"s, and intermittently raspberry blowing. Occasionally she'll let out a short squawk or a squeal without warning to almost immediately resume her quiet babbling. She kills me when she does the latter - - I wanna run upstairs, scoop her up from her crib and play!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Comin' up Roseola

Okay, so we know what the heck's been going on with our baby girl now, finally ~ Last night, very late, I discovered a spotty red rash spread across and around her tummy, back and arms, and it came out of nowhere! From what I could tell, it didn't seem to be itchy, nor was it hot, so still, not until this morning, did she go with her daddy to the peds office = diagnosis of "roseola"

The incubation period is 5-15 days and typically lasts no longer than a week, so we're almost off the hook already, even though we only found out today what's been wrong. Friday this week, it will have been a full week since she first was hit with all the crazy fever spikes. I'm really happy to know now she'll ultimately be just fine and to have a name for what's been going on, but I gotta say one thing: The symptoms sections I've read, written about roseola, the mention of 'irritability' is far too understated, at least in our case! I'm looking forward to my baby girlie feeling more like herself and soon, poor babe.

This is Gunna Sound Awful (and possibly stupid)

Right now, my primary and really my only interest as to why I want my baby sweet potato girl to learn how to walk is so that she can wear darling baby girl dresses! - - She can't now because they get in the way, stuck beneath her knees while she's crawling.

Lovin' the Olympic Winter Games n' Old Spice

...but they're totally messing with my 2010 goal to get to bed at a more reasonable time --aiming for 10pm every night, to be more specific.

Oh, and we just saw an Old Spice commercial I've never seen [mind you, we aren't big TV watchers, so we haven't seen most commercials, honestly], and my honey-man and I, we're now dying from laughter.

And just a moment ago we both realized the time and said aloud, in perfect unison, "oh shit."

P.S. We love watching the snowboarders (Go Shaun White, Go Shaun White!), even if they do ruin the snow for us downhill dopes.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shhhh Baby, Shhhh

Oh me, oh my - - sumthin's wrong with our wee one, and no one knows for sure what it is. Wait a sec, I just read what I wrote and I should clarify immediately, there's nothing seriously wrong to report here, just a telling of how the holiday weekend went as to how poorly my lil' sweet potato's been feeling the last few days. BTW, I'll need to write about our weekend with the angel boy-O here as well!

Sooo, Friday afternoon, her preschool called me at 2:30pm, telling me she had a 101.6 fever and I needed to come pick her up. Thinking 101.6 is no fun, but basically a low grade, productive fever, I temporarily closed up my office, expecting to return. I thought I'd let a friend who's just a few doors down from my office, who also happens to be an enthusiastic fan of my baby daughter, watch her so I could truly wrap up the work week for just 30-45 minutes before we'd head home.

I was to the school's infirmary by 2:50-ish and in less than 30 minutes' time, her fever had gone up to 103.3 and we were all scared!?! I called her peds office to bring her in and they instructed me to take her to an urgent care pediatric center near our home - - and they gave me the wrong address and 411 was no help in locating the center either!?! So I ran home to get the info, less than 5 minutes away from the area I'd been driving around for nearly 10 minutes without luck. By the time we were home, her fever had broken, already down to 100.7, so I called the peds office again and they told me to give her a mild bath, get her to bed, and watch her temperature for 24-48 hours.

All weekend long, we had several fever spikes up to 103.3 and then they'd go down to 100 degrees in less than 15-20 minutes. Her temperature was alllll over the place, yet no other sicky symptoms - - no swelling, no rash, no sniffles nor sneezing or wheezing or anything. And her gums, suspecting some teething action? Her gums seem perfectly fine and her drooling has been next to nothing, strangely so. One thing notably different compared to previous times she's been sick is this: She isn't happy... She's been sick many, many times in her 10 months of age, and more often than not, she's been in good spirits, regardless. Well, she has NOT been a happy girl; very clingy, very whimpering, very short-fused, very tired and not too enthusiastic at mealtimes, and she LOVES to eat.

Sunday afternoon, she went down for a nap at 2pm and slept until 6:30pm, at which time, I simply gave her a diaper change, dressed her in her jammers, fed her a bottle and laid her back down for bed, and she passed right out, poor baby. And she slept until 6:45am.

And today, although no more fever spikes, nor any low grade fever reported, her teacher told me how sad everyone was feeling for her throughout the day. They're all used to her being such a smiley, happy girl, and she was not her usual self, very subdued, almost sad, and she napped twice for the day (remember, she's a bad napper), and she was often wanting to lay her head on the floor while clutching her blankey instead of playing or interacting with anyone.

If she isn't doing better by morning, I'll be taking her to her pediatrician.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"She Slept ALLL Night Long!" or "Full 8 Hours"

Oh yes, she did! She went to bed at 6:30pm last night [although she really didn't conk out until 7pm - - she was up playing with her music aquarium in her crib], and then she never woke up until 6:10 this morning! Maybe this will be our new routine?

P.S. Last night, I actually went to bed at 10pm and fell asleep almost immediately, so, for the first time in 10 months, I got 8 hours of solid sleep, sans any darling baby's middle-of-the-night or crack-of-dawn interruptions! *sigh* I, I, this feeling, I, I think I feel... rested!?!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

First Birthday - Party Ideas, Anyone?

Our baby sweet potato girlie is gunna be a year old in less than 2 months' time and I wanna throw a little (or big) birthday party, more so for our parental benefit than hers, of course, primarily to give us and our friends and family a chance to celebrate our little one having lived a whole year in this world. I have no idea what to do though... well, that's not entirely true: I'm 100% certain that I want to strip her down to her diaper and present her some kind of creamy (aka messy) chocolate creation just for her to attack and consume.

Anyone have any party ideas for a child's first birthday? What did you do for your baby's 1st?

Sleep Baby, Sleep

For the baby record, Recent & Current Sleep Habits (Sorry, this post will NOT get any more interesting after this): I'm happy to report our sweet potato girl is technically sleeping through the night [HALLELUJAH!], which began sometime in early to mid-January. In November and December, her bedtime was 6-6:30pm, and she was generally waking 2-4 times a night; sometimes as early as 9pm, and again around 11pm to midnight, and almost always between 2-4am. She'd wake for her day to begin anytime between 5 and 7am. With her sleeping in her own bedroom, no longer easily accessible beside our bed in a bassinet, it was a living hell, worse than when she was a newborn; the months of chronic fatigue was driving me out of my mind. With the arrival of 2010, I declared to mah honey-man that he and I had to develop a new tag-team approach for her mid-night wakings or else I was gunna go insane, but it was such a short-lived effort, no longer necessary after barely 2 weeks' time, I won't bother to detail the arrangement we had. So now? Now she goes to bed between 6-6:30pm, waking only once, usually around 4am, but it can be anywhere between 2-5am, at which point my honey-man will go get her from her crib and bring her to me for 10-15 minutes of side-lying nursing time, whether she falls asleep there in bed with us or not, and then he'll return her to her crib, where she continues to sleep, and later wakes up for her day by 6am on the dot.

DAYCARE, TO NAP OR NOT TO NAP: On weekdays, when our wee one's at daycare, she'll usually nap twice a day, but each nap will average no more than 20-30 minutes, and everyone in her classroom who cares for her knows that any amount of nap time past 30 minutes is remarkable for her... she just doesn't want to miss out on anything. Although she's had a couple record-long naps as of only recently, as long as an hour and 20 minutes last week due to a crazy growth spurt, for this week thus far, she's had no more than one 30 minute nap each day and she's been falling asleep on the car ride home -- We've only recently realized, officially, as a new rule, that any day she's only had one shorty nap at daycare, she'll be ready for bed that night by 6pm, and no later.

THE FAILED SLEEP EXPERIMENT: The last week or so of January, she began waking at 5am, but she'd wake up and want to stay up! More often than not, we could get her to either go back to sleep on her own for another hour after just 10 minutes of nursing, or she could be left alone, happy to babble away in her crib for as long as 20-45 minutes before she'd let out a squawk for someone to come claim her. That weekend of January 29th though, thru to February 2nd, she was up every morning at 5am and she refused to settle back to sleep or to quietly play in her crib, and was the one who got to get up and take care of her each time. By February 3rd, I was utterly exhausted - - and mind you, this was all going on during my stressful technology nightmare. For the past week and into the last weekend, we tried a later bedtime, 6:45-7pm, but quickly determined it doesn't seem to provide enough sleep for her. Over the past weekend, she slept in on her own until 7:30am or later, and for the past 3 mornings and last Friday, we've had to wake the poor girl up, never letting her sleep in any later than 7am, when we really need her up during the week by 6:30am in order for us to get to work on time. Although she wakes with a smile each time we've had to get her up, and she's no longer waking at 5am and wanting to stay up (which was our goal), this later bedtime experiment isn't working.... I noticed this morning she has dark little circle beneath her eyes. She needs more sleep.

WEEKEND NAPS: Ever since she began full-time daycare once she was 6 months old, she's spent her weekends catching up on sleep, napping twice a day for an hour at a time, and up to two n' a 1/2 hours. This is still the case and it can make our weekend plans a bit tricky, as we really must accommodate her sleeping needs and set our weekend plans accordingly, otherwise she's a noodle by Monday morning. And invariably, she'll get run down and catch a case of sniffles by Wednesday in the week after a crazy, nap-poor weekend. For her weekend nap times, she's usually nap-ready by 9-10am, and again around 2-3pm. If we miss the 10am window of opportunity, she's too hungry by 11:30am to take a morning nap at all. And if you don't get her down for an afternoon nap by 3pm, an afternoon nap won't happen either.

EVENING PLANS: If we have evening plans at someone's home and she's coming along, we'll bring the Pack n' Play with a baby monitor, and she'll typically sleep in the Pack n' Play wherever it goes, no problem. Such a night can happen no more than once during a work week though, as it's unlikely she'll get the chance (or ever take one) to recover from the sleep interruptions, from us having to wake her to go home, and wake her again after the ride home, to put her back to sleep in her own crib; if this happens more than once in the week, it will ruin the week, as we'll have an overtired baby on our hands, and she'll be susceptible to a cold bug. On the weekends, it's much easier on her to take her to someone's home, as long as she gets her two good, long naps in per weekend day, and we get her to sleep in her Pack n' Play by 6pm. As for late evening plans with the baby girlie in tow, wide awake, without the Pack n' Play, we really can't keep her up past 8pm without week-long consequences for everyone.

THE SHORT OF IT: So anyhow, beginning tonight, we'll return to a 6-6:30pm bedtime and hope that the 5 o'clock in the morning wake-up call doesn't resume.

Toothie Numba Three

Our baby sweet potato girl finally has another tooth coming in! Yes everyone, please welcome baby toothie numba three into the world! Top n' center, to the left (her right)! Discovered the growing lil' nubbin, barely visible, a moment ago while getting her dressed for the day... She'd offered something to me for me to take with my teeth, and then I offered it back to her with my own fingers - - she took the item and a finger of mine with her own mouth and so, I got a little bite in return and it was then I felt the new tooth emerging in her gums.

In retrospect, considering all the teething drama we've endured over the last several months since her first bottom, two front teeth made their arrival, you'd think she'd have a mouthful of toothies by now!?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Back Online

Got me a laptop now, my old one with a new hard drive (Happy Valentine's Day to me!), and my office computer, rebuilt, was returned to me today, finally. Soooo, I'm back online - - but no Christmas 2009 or New Years 2010 pics, nor any January pics still... The scan on my 1TB drive has been running for over 6 days now?!? Soooo, yeah, back online = YAY! We'll see what I can get done now.

P.S. I'll say it again: If you haven't done so already, back everything you have to CDs/DVDs ASAP!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Living in Technological Hell for the Last 2 Weeks

1) After a week of scans and diagnostics, my personal laptop's hard disk was officially declared fried last Friday, and while I knew it was beginning to fail weeks ago, I had begun to frantically try moving everything I had on it to a very new, very large, supposedly very stable 1TB external drive kept in my office at work. There were only 350 picture files remaining on my laptop, all from November and December, all of which refused to move or copy from the laptop due to cyclic redundancy errors. In the end, after several data recovery scans run by IT and a certain saint-like, professional computer guru friend of mine, only 1/2 of them were successfully recovered; so far, it seems I've lost everything since December 20th, which includes our baby girl's first Christmas and our New Years pics.

2) Meanwhile, my office computer, which was purchased December 15 of last year, brand spakin' new, Windows 7, not even two months old, it began to do strange things as well, beginning nearly 2 weeks ago... but until last week, I couldn't say exactly what was wrong, if anything really.

3) And the 1TB external drive I had used to back everything up? Well, on January 27th, I had moved all our original January pictures directly from my digicam's memory card to the drive, plus back up duplicates of our Christmas and New Years taken from a 16GB jump drive I generally use for jpg back ups. Wednesday morning, January 27th, all those picture files and then some, they were all there, entirely intact. The following morning, they weren't to be found, and I have NO IDEA what the freak happened!!! And the 'data recovery back up' feature for the drive? The program files are corrupt. IT has been running scans on the drive since Friday the 29th, and the last scan took 4 full days to run. As of this past Friday, none of my pictures have been recovered yet, not a single jpg file.

4) The same day my 1TB drive went all wacky and all my pictures had disappeared, along with, might I add, 270 GB of additional office and personal data, , my office computer refused to recognize my login profile. I called IT for help that day, but they were short-staffed. After twiddling my thumbs for 2 days, struggling on an old loaner laptop, IT came to my office last Tuesday, ran some tests, deemed my office computer profile corrupt, said they could fix it, tried to fix it, rebooted the thing twice, and then they too were locked out of my computer. Everything else they tried, failed. IT took it away that day and I haven't heard a thing since.

I'm happy we have all our November pics and we have all that we'd taken up until December 20th, which includes Thanksgiving, when we had the angel boy-O here for 4 days and 5 nights. That's great, yes! BUHHT, I'm still super sad about our Christmas, New Years and January pics. [SIDE NOTE: On January the 29th, when I'd discovered the pictures had disappeared, just as I was about to burn them all to DVDs, I bawled and bawled, as if someone had died.] Those pictures included images of our baby girlie beginning to walk along our furniture, and her first trip up the stairs and her first trip down the stairs, her first moments of unmistakable dancing and singing, and the first time we found her standing against her crib rail in the morning, and her receiving her very first dolly, giving it a hug, and her first experience with snow and riding in a sled, and her first experience deliberately singing/making noise into microphone... We also had pictures of the angel boy-O singing and watching Signing Times along with his baby sissy, held on his lap. We had pictures of him kissing her goodnight, and pictures of him bouncing in a bouncy house with his baby sis sliding down the bouncy slide in his lap. And pictures of him trying to feed her while she sat in her high chair. We have theses memories still, but I want the pictures too.

For Valentine's Day this year, my honey-man bought me a replacement hard disk for my laptop. We'll see how the installation goes this week. And if it works, I'll have a lot of pictures posting to catch up on over at our family blog. And some kitty pics to share here. *sigh*

MY RECOMMENDATION: Back up ALL your photo files to DVD immediately if you haven't already done so!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

"Please Don't Feed Andre Bauer" or, simply, "Andre Bauer, the A** Hole"

This is a bit old news I guess, but when I finally read last night about the latest from South Carolina's Lieutenant Governor, Andre Bauer, I about hit the roof.

The following commentary from Bauer was offered in regards to free lunch programs provided for school children: "My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed! You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that."

And he says he wished he'd used a different metaphor and hadn't intended to offend anyone?!? If you ask me, his choice of 'metaphor' makes his feelings about America's poor all too clear. Breaking the cycle of welfare dependency is an extremely valid social issue, but what Bauer said, it doesn't address that issue at all, but an entirely different attitude.