Thursday, November 10, 2011

In which we were idiots

There are moments when you realize your shared stupidity. Sunday at around 6:30 that was David and I. He at home, me in the isle of the grocery store.

Last Sunday. Time to change the clocks and get some extra sleep (unless you have children). David had some friends over in the morning. We talked about the kitchen clocks being wrong as we cleaned. We talked about how early Acorn woke up.

We did not talk about Acorn's schedule.

A month back I solicited the advice of mom friends and made a game plan. That I totally forgot about on Sunday.

The usual child care/mom schedule is something like breakfast between 8-9, lunch around noon, nap around 12:30, bed around 8. We do feed him dinner. I promise. It just fluctuates. The dad schedule is another thing entirely.

So we could have adjusted his schedule up. We could have tried delaying everything 15-30 minutes. Or just be oblivious and wonder why your sweet baby was Mr. Crankypants.

To take it to the next level, I decided earlier in the day that we were converting the crib to a toddler bed. By we I mean I. And I had to do it right. this. minute. Acorn actually loved watching me use the screwdriver and them pretending to use one himself. During the very last section I sent him downstairs to be with the guys because repositioning the mattress holder thingie while Acorn tried to climb on it wasn't working.

Just as I finished up David brought a sleeping Acorn up. Then put him in the newly converted toddler bed. That Acorn had never seen. An hour into what needs to be a 2.5 hour nap for everyone sanity, Acorn roused a bit, looked around and I'm guessing went 'Where the heck am I?' He didn't like it and couldn't quite figure out climbing down. Combine this with the guy energy from David's friends and it was the sad nap that was.

After a few hours of cranky, we went for a walk where Acorn proceeded to conk out.

We woke him at 5:30 to protect bedtime. He protested. David changed his diaper. He protested more. David comforted him. Acorn said 'forget y'all, I'm going to sleep.'

Three days later we're still paying for it. Come spring someone please smack some sense into me. Because apparently we need it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Moments You Wait For

I've known forever that I wanted to have kids.

Between forever ago and getting pregnant was a long time, followed by the pregnancy daydreams about the person you're growing. Over all this time one of those visions was of me and baby sitting in a cuddly chair enjoying a good book.

Over his first year Acorn was not interested in books. Well maybe as a teether.

And then, like some much of this parenting a baby thing goes, he was so into books and reading. So before bed we snuggle in the brown rocker and read about busy spiders, singing pigs, and whatever else is in the stack.

Friday, November 4, 2011

We Shall Call Him Squirrel

Well maybe Acorn.

When I was pregnant my office ladies started calling the baby Baby D. It's carried over onto the blog because I wanted his blog moniker to have a bit of meaning and I couldn't come up with anything.

Over time the name has presented itself.

Apparently my boy is a bit of a squirrel. He takes bits of anything he can get his hands on and hides them away all over the house.

It started under our couch in those days when he had just perfected crawling. I'd look under the couch and be horrified by how much junk was under there. Housekeeping is not a forte of mine or David's, so despite how bad it was I kept saying this week we'll be better at keeping things tidy as I pulled the junk out.

Anything from a small toys, plastic wrapping (think disposable utensils, mail), paper, yarn  and whatever else he could get his hands on made the pile. Things he knew he shouldn't have his hands on too.

When he discovered the drawers on our coffee table they also became fair game. We've found the stuff listed above and my two favorites- a finished bottle and my cell phone open with a few numbers dialed.

He's like a squirrel storing up acorns for the winter. I can almost hear him saying I'm not sure if I'll find this again, I'll just hide it over here. Any nook or cranny he can get his little hands to is fair game.

So, we will call him Acorn.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Work

Baby D attends a Montessori child care center and preschool. When possible I need to integrate similar activities at home to give him more consistency.

Last week I was at a thrift store looking for sweaters to upcycle when I came across some small metal housewares. I kept wandering, but they stuck in my head. Eventually I realized that they would be perfect for a variety of activities for Baby D.

I paired them with a small metal bowl from the housewares section and we were set.

It was the best $3.50 I've spent in a while.

I introduced it as a dumping and picking up activity. He's been doing this for a while with various toys, but the U section has a smaller diameter than a pen. It's a good challenge for his fine motor development.
Another plus for Baby D- the pieces and the bowl make lots of noise when he dumps things in or moves them around. It may be making my husband a little crazy. But. When I introduced it the first time he played with it for 12 minutes straight. I think he would have gone longer if my phone hadn't rung. A week and a half later it's good for 5-10 minutes of focused play. Which gives me just enough time to breathe/start dinner/clean up dinner/read an email/breathe. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Year of Dates

A few months back my husband and I celebrated three years of marriage.

A few things to know about me- I procrastinate. Dates sneak up on me. I prefer gifts of the time intensive thoughtful sort. I sometimes get overwhelmed by gift giving.

These things do not work well together.

Not at all.

But sometimes I manage to pull it together and knock it out of the park. Or at least into the outfield.

This past year we've been focused on our boy and functioning on too little sleep and money. We are doing ok, but I wanted to do something to keep our relationship strong. Much more useful than anything I could come up with in the leather, crystal or glass arena.* Also, even pre-baby we were bad at planning dates.

I can't remember where I first got the idea. No doubt it was baby feeding/middle of the night blog surfing of some sort. When I started searching around again I found Shannon from Life In General.

I brainstormed a list of things I've been wanting us to do and things he likes. Then I consulted my girls for a few extra ideas. And then (because over-researching is my thing) I read a few date night blogs and date idea websites.

The next step was assigning dates to months. Date specific things to those months. The outdoor stuff went to warm months. The indoor stuff to cold months. The final consideration was how busy we'd be that month. The crazy months are at home dates.

I'll write more about the logistics next week.

*traditional and modern 3rd anniversary gifts

Thursday, October 27, 2011

13 Months

Right now you are loving:

the broom/swiffer/duspan
your toothbrush
the clear maracas at childcare
mama's cell phone
really any phone
The Very Busy Spider
playing bucket head

The dislikes, we'll chalk those up to toddlerhood. You have no love for any form or being restrained (see high chair, car seat, crib) or being fed. You want to do it all yourself and get where you need to. Unless it's time for cuddles.

The thing that's making me shake my head the most. When dad picks you up at child care you give Ms. F, the assistant a hug when she asks. If I'm there you ignore her totally, or play shy. Only once did you give in to the question. It was after 5-6 asks and a refil of your bottle. Even then it was more of a lean than a hug, your chest touching hers with your arms stubbornly at your sides.

Monday, July 18, 2011



That is the theme of you at 10 months.

The skills you spent the last 2 months learning have been perfected and you are on the go and intense.

You don't crawl anymore, you zoom. You know how to crawl on your hands and knees, but don't really like it. For a few days you experimented with putting your right foot flat on the floor, perpendicular to your torso and everything else in regular crawl position. That wasn't it either. After trial and error you've ended up in a modified army crawl- using your forearms and feet, with your belly lifted just enough not to drag.

Since you've figured that out you've been off. Exploring the hall and rooms upstairs, going from the front room to living room and up the stairs.

You will take steps if we hold your hands or you are pushing the cart at child care.

Purees are only tolerable in small doses and then you want food. You especially appreciate cheese. Your pincer grasp still leaves much to be desired, especially when you are trying to chow down. After a few tries you start grabbing with your fist, bringing it to your mouth, opening your hand against your mouth and hoping for the best. The seat of your highchair has the grubbiness to prove it.

At child care you are thriving. In my work brain, I know you learn a lot at child care. That you you have important relationships there*. But seeing it in action is so cool. You have buddies. Luke is your favorite and I sometimes spend a few minutes peeking through the door to watch you chasing after each other. The other morning Dad watched you two take turn pushing the other across the room in a Radi0 Flyer cart. One would push until the wall, stop, then the rider would climb out and stand to push once the other climbed in.
You take the 'work' you do there and apply it at home. Your favorite work is essentially a wooden piggy bank with a large hole for retrieving the coin. Two days after you first did this you started using mason jars as the vessel, dropping pieces in then pulling them out. Over and over again.

To join your tantrums you have started shaking your head no. I don't think you quite know what you're doing. But you use it in the right moment enough to leave me guessing and laughing.

You have perfected high fives and still love peekaboo. You play shy around others. The combination of your smile and curls continues to melt hearts. Mine most of all.

*that's why we pay more than our mortgage for child care each month

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

First Kiss

Monday while we were celebrating the 4th with the Kings you gave me your first real kiss. Until this point from time to time you've done an open mouth sucking on my cheek. You've done this after a kiss or whenever you're generally happy with me.

We were hanging out, sitting on their couch when I decided to make a fish face at you. Since your teeth came in you've been a pro at all sorts of funny motions with your lips. We don't think you had ever seen a fish face because we didn't do them and the child care ladies thought it was hilarious.

Back to the 4th. You made a fish face at me, then I made one at you. I got one of your mega watt smiles and then you leaned in and pressed your closed lips against mine.

Not that you'll do it again.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Today I talked to my baby cousin Colleen. She's 24, has a degree, and works full time but to me baby always comes first. We grew up like sisters, spending countless hours on the weekends and over the summers doing nothing and everything together.

She's on her way to Europe for a few weeks and wanted to say bye before she left. It's a bit of a habit that we have, even when life has gotten in the way of regular calls.

For just a moment I was wistful for my single days. I had been talking to my mom, lamenting the fact that this was my first time without a valid passport since I was 18. That's not so bad, but there is no need for a passport anywhere in on the horizon, when the phone rang.

My old passport is well worn and full of stamps. Ten years ago this month I got on my first plane to Europe. Two weeks of learning about social justice in Ireland. That trip kicked off visits to 25 countries over the next 4 years. Trips where I learned about the world and myself at the same time.

In those trips and resulting tales I inspired Colleen. After my mom she was the most interested in my pictures and stories. When Coleen started planning her first semester abroad she called me full of excitement. We talked packing, itineraries and hair. I visited Nice through her stories and photos. Then she thanked my for getting her inspired about studying abroad. And helping her mom to see that she would come home in one piece.

Now she's on another trip, making memories, ready to take pictures and bring back stories. I am excited for the experiences she will have.

I love my husband. My son. Our home. My life overall.

I also don't spend money I don't have.

But there was a little piece of me that wanted to jump on the plane with her and spend three weeks exploring.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Each day you manager to get cuter. And your personality explodes.

I was trying to explain your temperament to some ladies at a conference last week. We use a video that goes through temperaments- flexible, fearful and feisty. My dear, though i didn't want to admit it, you are feisty. I was originally going to say flexible, but you are flexible until you're not getting your way. Then we're all in trouble.

This is especially fun when paired with your 2 favorite things to go after- cords and plastic bags- and your newfound mobility. The rolling got us into a little trouble. But this week your Dad and I realized we are skewed. As if to celebrate your eight month birthday, you started army crawling on Monday. It's not all that efficient. Or graceful. But it gets you places.

The extension cord you Dad has been using for his computer has been your favorite goal. On Wednesday I grabbed a few things for dinner from Target on the way home. I absentmindedly put the bags down and then put you on your play gym 3 feet away while I grabbed your dinner. In less than 2 minutes you had grabbed a bag, turned it upside down and were vigorously shaking it. When we take these things away from you we get thrashing and tears. But we need to if you're still going to be with us long enough to read these posts.

You are getting stronger when standing. You look for every opportunity to pull up and then do your head banging bounce.

In the early morning when I bring you into our bed in the hopes of a little more sleep you look at your Dad and start babbling. Loudly. Definitely a trait you got from him. But you are excited to see him. I smile with my eyes closed, waiting the requisite 5 minutes before I ask him to please take you downstairs. The key seems to be gently getting you into bed already asleep with crossed toes.

In the past week food has also clicked for you. You've also done ok with cereal, but veggies and fruit were hit or miss. Maybe the ear infections played a part. You've averaged a tablespoon or so of solids until the past week and now you're eating three that and looking for more. So far we've covered sweet potatoes, butternut squash, green beans (your previous fav), bananas, mangoes, plain greek yogurt (wish we had recorded this one- best faces ever), carrots and applesauce. I think we should do tofu next. Dad does not like this idea.

Your father and I can't wait to see who you will become. It's exciting to see your personality forming. I will always cherish your newborn days (and that lack of mobility thing) but I'm so excited about what's to come.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sewing machine love

Baby D is doing better, which means mama has time for crafting. Too bad the sewing machines are all temporarily out of commission. Yes machines plural.

Machine A was left in the basement of the house we moved into when i was 15. It's lived in Pittsburgh, DC, and Denver since then. I'd fiddled with it a few times here and there- all unsuccessfully. When I was pregnant and the sewing bug hit full force I took it in to see what was wrong. I can't remember the details, just the $165 price tag.

I went back and forth. I can get a new machine with fancy stitches for that much. But it's a solid machine with metal insides. I was talking to a coworker about this and another offered her grandmother's machines, leading to machines B & C.

Machine B- A Montgomery Wards machine, circa the 1980's. It does the basics well. At least until I took the bobbin casing apart to clean it and messed it all up. I only ever work on it when I'm ready to sew- aka impatient.

Machine C- is an old Necchi that has 10 or so programmed stitches. It does the basics just fine, but with a squeak that made me fret a bit. I oiled all of the visible parts, but didn't want to unscrew any panels (see machine B's story). In one of those round about conversations with the maintenance guy at office 2 he shared that he used to be a commercial sewing machine repair person. I asked about the squeak. He offered to take a look.

So right now the closest to working machine is sitting in his shop. Half naked and soaking in oil.

Baby shoes, a tshirt tote, my first quilt (getting the layers together) and so much more are ready.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


The ear infection of doom. That, plus my slacker blogger style, has let your half birthday, first tooth, seventh month and so much more pass without note. The past 2 months have gone something like this:

Early March- cold of doom that you (and I) just can't shake. with a crazy cough on your side.

Two weeks later fever and a little vomiting joined the party. A Saturday urgent care visit revealed that your snottiness and cough were not a cold. Enter bronchiolitis. And as a bonus a right ear infection. We celebrated your half birthday one week later with antibiotics, bathroom steams and lots of cuddles.

Two weeks later at your well baby check you seemed to be doing better. Dr. D said something like 'the left ear is looking almost healed, that's where he had the infection right; before looking it up on the computer. I was confused, trying to remember all of my questions and keep your dad in check. I thought the computer confirmed the infection of the left ear and maybe I was just crazy. We headed home, your body responding to vaccine and ready to pop out it's first tooth.

The first weekend in April brought your first tooth! Also, mom specific seperation anxiety. As in your dad is holding you, I walk from the living room to kitchen, and you loose your mind. With our open floor plan you can see me the entire time, but there is something about crossing the line between the carpet and tile that makes you scream.

When you finished your antibiotics you had a small cough. Over time this escalated, sounding like something better suited to an old man who smoked. Another visit to Dr. D. The unhappy looking left ear from 2 weeks before? Full fledged infection. Enter boosted amoxicillin, because it was so close to your last dose.

Day one off antibiotics the cough returned. Day two brought back the lethargy then fever. More time with Dr. D. You screamed like you do with shots when he checked your ears. A third course of antibiotics. As a bonus we can't combine it with cereal. Your first diaper rash.

Back at the well baby we decided to take you off of the Zantac. Solids and age seemed to be doing the trick, keeping the acid at bay. Until you decided to go on a food strike. Combined with the dosing restrictions on antibiotic 3 we revisited refluxville. Yet another doctor's appointment, this one with a PA that we as a family despised.

So you're back on Zantac, on the antibiotic, and lots of ibuprofen to help you sleep.

Today is day 8. I'm hoping and praying that we can get off of this roller coaster. Though I'm not that optimistic.

Here's the thing though. You are the strongest little person I know. The morning of the initial ear infection diagnosis we were at the grand opening of our neighborhood library. You charmed librarians, ladies of all ages and a few kids too. You are a natural flirt and know how to work a room. In the six weeks since your style has changed but you melt just as many hearts. If I'm holding you you rest your head on my chest and shyly smile up from behind your mile long lashes. At least twice a week we are delayed leaving child care becuase someone wants to fawn over you.

You have mastered rolling. Turning too. Combining the two you've covered up to six feet. You've discovered the shelf under our coffee table, pulling books down one by one. Standing is your most favorite thing. The 5 year old grammar is the only way to adequately capture how excited you get on your feet. You pull up, squirm down from our laps, and refuse sit- bouncing with happiness until your legs give out.

You are happy. You are strong. Despite the battle between the bacteria, your immune system and the antibiotic support. You are full of smiles. Finding your voice and being the best baby in the world.

Even is we never get much sleep.

Friday, February 18, 2011


We're 5 months into this crazy journey. Five months of smiles, cries, wiggles and love.

You are finally out of 0-3 clothes. Like last week. I'll admit, I'm having a hard time saying goodbye to a few of my favorite outfits. Even though you're just moving up you have been putting on the pudge. At 4 months you got rubber band wrists and in the past few days your ankles have joined the party.

But underneath you are all muscle. You've always been strong, but your dad and I are realizing more and more how much trouble we're in for once you coordinate your arms and knees. Your teachers, grandma and anyone that has the pleasure of holding you gets a taste of your strength. Lunging out of our arms towards a toy, the TV, or even the daily activity sheet at child care is your favorite ways to display this strength. Most of the time you seem to understand this gravity thing and you grab on to a shirt or my hair to keep from falling.

On the movement front you're a bit of a tease. I've watched your turn from front to back and back to front. Multiple times on a variety of surfaces. But once you've done it once or twice you go on a strike for a while. I don't think you let your grandma see either in the week she was here. The one thing that will reliably get you roll is the TV. Two weeks ago you were sitting on my lap and got bored with looking at me. You craned your neck to double check that the tv was on and rolled off of my lap and into your stomach, chin propped on your arms to watch a bit of the news.

When it comes to sleep, the teasing becomes a bit of an annoyance. You sleep like a dream on your tummy. It's third to on me (like you are now) and with me. Once I know you can reliably flip yourself back and forth I'll let you sleep however you wind up. Until then I keep putting you on your back or side and you keep waking up. a lot. so much that I may have been too sleep deprived to write about your 4th month.

until this week where we got sick (and therefore weak) you've been sleeping in your crib. in short spurts, but there. all of our tactics (bed time routine, sound machine, the into the crib dance, holding your for 2 or 20 minutes after you fall out...)have failed us. you seem to understand when we're on the brink though. inexplicably you'll give us night with 3 hour stretches and we suddenly feel human again. if you're reading this as a teen I'd like to reinforce that last part. sleeping in 2-3 stretches of three hours puts us over the moon. because all of the other nights are so much shorter. good thing you're cute.

honestly, i wish we had a king bed so we could all pile in. but we don't. and your dad is scared you would never leave.

when you're awake and not tired you're an absolute dream. you love your toys as much as you have always loved people. you are still a total flirt. in your whole life there has only been one person who you wouldn't light up for- a waitress at a breakfast spot.

we're excited about you starting solids. and crawling. and continuing to see the little boy you will become.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Loosing Time

Twice in the past week I've lost my place in the space/time continuum.

The first was an epic fail as a daughter. My mom has a late January birthday. She was born in 1950, so it's always really easy math. Subtract 50 and you're all good. So one morning when I was feeling particularly on top of things I call my mom and ask how she feels about her approaching milestone birthday. She doesn't really celebrate birthdays, but there's something to be said for turning 60. Unless you turned 60 the year before and your idiot daughter can't remember that it's 2011.

The second instance also involves my mom. Hubby has a work trip so she's going to fly out for some grandbaby lovin and general daughter saving. The only hiccup in this plan is that my mom is a neat freak. She's in the 'my house looks like a museum camp' where my household is more of 'lived in' variety. Really lived in. It was like that before the sleep deprived, baby lovin, working full time state that is our life now...

So I made a plan to get things to the my mom can tolerate them point. Cleaning last weekend before my husband had friends over, a few minutes in each room in the evenings, the following weekend to dust/vacuum/mop, and then just keeping things maintained before she arrives the following Sunday. Except that middle weekend doesn't so much exist. My brain just created a weekend to get stuff done.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

The bug is back

I'm a long time crafted, but during the first few months of Baby D's life sleep, food, and laundry kept me preoccupied. But the crafting bug hit hard a right around the start of the new year. So far vie sewn some wool longies, started knitting some wool shorties, hand sewn a stuffed bird, bought fabric and cut rectangles for my first ever baby quilt...and there's something that I'm not remembering. All of this during short nap times and punctuated early evening sleep.

Though I still have a lot in progress I'm off to my newest idea, making drool catchers (aka suck pads) for my mei tei. The baby carrier, not the beverage, though a mei tai would be tasty.

Crafting is just one more thing that work is interupting, but without it I'm not sure how I'd fund the addiction.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Triple crud

three days back to work and i caught the crud. then i gave it to the baby. a few days later. my husband rounded it out by catching his own version of the crud a few days after that.

i'm finally better, but the baby is not. he's snotty and stuffy. avoiding the bulb syringe has helped him hone his aim, backhand, and scream.

he also seems to be outgrowing his reflux meeds dose. the plan with his doctor was to try and maintain his dose as he grows as a way to wean him off. the acid in his stomach seems to disagree. the last few days he's been fussier when spitting up about half of the time and generally cranky. today when wiping up some spit up i noticed reddish orange flecks suspended in the yuck. so somewhere between his stomach and lips there's a little bleeding happening.

because fun comes in three's our boy is also gassy. and trying to pass gas makes him spit up.

dealing with the fussiness and general unhappy is no fun. though there isn't much i wouldn't do for him to feel good.