Saturday, December 21, 2013

Progressive Dinner

Last night my friends and I had a progressive dinner (photos below are blatantly stolen from my best friend).

We grew up together in a very tight knit community and took part in various progressive dinners during most holiday seasons. But this was the first one that we held where we planned and executed it, rather than being invited guests to our parents houses.

And it was a blast! 

This photo represents friendships over the span of 15 years. I'm so amazed and awed at the fact that these girls are still such a huge part of my life some 20 years after I met them. I am truly blessed and I so hope that A finds a group of friends as wonderful as this!

And also? Growing up may be weird, it may be strange, but damn if it isn't better than staying in the same place. Looking back at pictures 10, 15, 20 years ago always reminds me that as great as the memories are, the present is so much better. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ten Months

My darling A -

Ten months! Ten! That's 1, 2, 3 - and you know, a few more! Actually, the truly amazing part is the fact that in less than two months you'll be turning one year old. That, my baby girl, just seems absolutely unfathomable to me.

The big news from this month? You're walking!

Though luckily you aren't climbing yet. Though you do a good impression of it when it comes to the laundry basket.

You started taking tentative steps, just a couple every so often, but mainly you were cruising around the furniture, keeping one hand on the couch or the wall or my leg. But then! Then you decided who needs handholds? You got this! And off you go. It's so much fun to see you walk in any direction you please. I'm so very proud of every step you take baby girl. Even though I know that they start to carry you away from me. I know that's a very good thing and I love seeing you succeed. But kiddo? Remember that I'm always right here for you whenever you fall down or need a hug, ok? All you have to do is turn around to find me.

You're a pretty fantastic eater, chowing down on just about everything we put in front of you. Avocado is still your favorite and in fact you actually did manage to eat an entire avocado one night for dinner.

What do we want? More avocado! When do we want it? NOW! 

Seriously, you just kept requesting more, more, more... We sign "more" and "all done" and you seem to know what they mean even though you don't sign them back yet. Too much fun to be able to communicate with you and watch the understanding in your eyes!

I'm pretty sure that was a bit too much though, so we're taking it easy on that right now. But you have discovered that you love sweet potatoes and peas, cucumbers are still delicious, pears are tasty and you will eat your weight in Cheerios if I let you.

Grandpa came up to visit for the weekend. You two had way too much fun together.

What, doesn't everyone like to climb in their toy basket after bath time?

I try hard not to have the tv on too often when you're awake, and you often don't pay it very much attention when it is on. But I put on Beauty and the Beast (your first Disney cartoon!) and you were fascinated! So now we listen and dance to the Disney Pandora station most afternoons.

And of course we celebrated your first Halloween! It was a really fun start to your first holiday season. (And yes. It is December and I'm just now posting your Halloween pictures. Oops.)

You were a dragon. You didn't love it when we put the hood up while we celebrated with your playgroup buddies, but when I gave you a pumpkin you were distracted long enough so I could get a couple of pictures.

Your personality continues to shine. You are so outgoing and bubbly. So very happy most of the time, except for those occasions when you aren't. Then you let us know. You're also starting to enter a whiny phase which is slightly less fun. Here's hoping that will get better once you can actually talk. Speaking of which, you aren't saying many actual words other than "mama" and "dada." And we still aren't positive those aren't just babbling, so we haven't really counted them as your first word. I'm pretty sure you'll be talking up a storm soon enough! And even when you're whining I know ultimately you just want to play which makes it pretty easy to leave the dishes to clean up later in the day when you're taking a nap.

I love you so very much little lady. To the moon and back.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Baby Boss

I'm working on A's 10 month post (omg she's 10 months old!) and I came across this today and had to share.

A has started walking this month and he just nails the way she moves. Loved this!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Nine Months

My darling A -

Not only are you nine months old, well, you're nine months and some change. Because once again your mom's a few days late with this. I'd apologize, but, well... it happens. I remember when I was a kid that it used to drive me nuts that your grandma was sometimes late to things (or more accurately, would tell us in mommy minutes how long something would take, but we were never quite clear on how long a mommy minute was). I've tried as an adult to make sure that I'm on time, and for certain things I do really well. Since having you though, well, let's just say that my inner clock which tells me how long certain things are going to take has gone haywire. I think that I leave myself plenty of time and then before I know it, we're ten minutes late and we haven't even left the house yet. I promise I'm working on it kiddo.

You've grown so much this month! And you took your first plane ride! We went to go see your aunt and your new baby cousin. Unfortunately your dad wasn't able to come on this trip (we had to cancel our original tickets when you got hand, foot and mouth disease and Cody got so sick and your dad didn't have the vacation days to come when we rescheduled). I was so nervous about how you'd do on the flight since it was just you and me. I carried you in the Beco Gemini and checked the car seat and then carried on my suitcase and diaper bag (I'm far too cheap to check a bag little girl, something you'll learn as you get older!). But you did great! And I was able to carry everything fine (and both flights there was a very nice gentleman who helped me get the suitcase up and down so I didn't have to try to do that while holding you). I nursed you pretty much any time you started to get a little bit fussy, but otherwise you just wanted to bounce on my lap and smile at everyone around us. We were super lucky and had an empty seat by us on the flight down (not so much on the way back) and you were so awesome charming everyone around you. Of course you had no interest in sleeping until the last 10 minutes of the flight. And you managed to do that on both flights! Ah well, at least you got a little bit of a snooze in there.

Grandma and Granddad were also both down in San Francisco so we got to have a little mini family reunion with everyone! It's been so fun watching you with your grandparents and I'm so excited that your cousin is here and you two will get to grow up together.

I set up your travel crib (that Grandma so helpfully brought down with her) right next to my bed in the hotel. Which meant that when you woke up in the morning you popped up right next to my head. I'm not sure which of us was more amused!

I have no idea why there were mirrors behind the bed in the hotel room (I don't really want to know, actually...), but you sure did love playing with that other baby!

We love SFO!

Sleepwise you're sort of all over the map. I mean, you're firmly in the two nap a day camp now (which, ok, but can you please sleep longer than 30 minutes if you're only going to nap twice?), and generally your night sleep is pretty good but I'm pretty sure there is definitely a 9 month sleep regression and you definitely hit it. Which is less than fun, let me tell you. I think we're on the other side of that (crossing fingers and knocking on wood), but we'll see how things go. And I shouldn't totally knock your naps. You usually give me a 30-45 minute nap in the morning and usually an hour-ish nap in the afternoon. Every so often you'll give me an hour and a half or nearly two hours, but those are rare and not to be counted on (sadly...).

And food wise you're still going strong with nursing (SO very happy that has worked as well for us as it has little girl!). I'm even starting to think about when and how to deal with weaning (not until you're at least a year old and I'd like for you to make the decision, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it). You're also eating two good solids meals a day with at least one snack. We started with only doing dinner so that your dad was around when we gave you new foods to try, but now we eat lunch together, too. And at least one snack, though we've started having a late afternoon snack, too. I think I mentioned that we've been following babyled weaning for solids and for you it has worked out really well. You feed yourself what you want and are really good about trying new things (just tried zucchini and yellow squash this week!). You don't always eat a ton but I am amazed at how much you can eat when you put your mind to it (I'm pretty sure you'd eat an entire avocado if we let you). Avocados definitely seem to be your favorite, but you also love cucumbers, apples, sweet potato fries, and Cheerios. 

So far the only real puree type foods that you've had are homemade applesauce and yogurt. You aren't a huge fan of either but it is fun to watch you play with the spoon! You like to feed yourself which I can totally appreciate baby girl. Much better to be in charge of what you eat!

We aren't opposed to processed foods, but I am trying to limit your exposure to them for now. So you haven't had any of the puree packs that are so popular at the moment, or mum mums or puffs or things like that. Mainly we figure that if you're happy eating the food we give you now we'll stick with that. And again, not opposed to all processed foods by any means - did I mention how much you like Cheerios? But this works for us for now. My goal is that you will at least always try foods. I want you to know you're in control of how much you eat by recognizing when you're hungry and when you're full, but I also want you to grow up willing to try new things. 

Any more toys in here Mom? 

We keep one basket of toys in the living room along with your set of wooden blocks. You're really good at pulling them out when you want to play with them (or when you just want to pull everything out...). We keep another basket of toys behind the couch and have instituted a weekly (or so) routine of switching out the toys. I figure this way you aren't overwhelmed by having all of your toys out at once and it feels like you get new toys every week!

It's so much fun to continue to see how you and Cody interact. Cody still sometimes seems a bit unsure of you, a bit concerned when you get too close. But he has learned that hanging out by you when you've got your Cheerios snack or sitting under your high chair during dinner pays off handsomely!

As for you, well, if you could throw his toys and get him to play fetch with you, I think that's what you'd do all day, every day. As for now you laugh hysterically when we throw his toys and he brings them back to us. 

My laundry helper. And by helper I mean pull-out-all-the-clothes-er.

Cody usually stays outside the living room while A eats her snacks. And then gets to clean up.

You are so close to walking! You are getting really confident with standing on your own (or just barely holding onto something, like your playmat). I remember when it was all you could do to stare at the animals hanging on the mat, maybe lifting an arm to bat at one. Now you rip them all off any time we try to hang them up because it's more fun to eat them and play with them around the living room. Watching you play is an absolute delight - you love to knock down the buildings that your dad and I create with your blocks. And of course everything goes right in your mouth. 

We're finding new places around the city to play, too. This was at a coffee shop that a couple friends found that had a great train table in the corner. You preferred eating the trains to rolling them on the tracks but hey, whatever works kid!

And I had to include this picture because I cannot believe how big you are compared to when you were first born! I remember how little you were on the changing table and here you are with your toes touching the end! Before I know it your feet will be hanging over the edge. Of course what this doesn't show is how wiggly you are about diaper changes now! I've been joking that it's like wrestling an alligator, but seriously kid, just hold still for a couple minutes! More often that not these days you pop up to stand as soon as I let go of you to put the diaper in the pail. I think I'm going to have to dig out the straps that came with the cooshee... 

I'm not sure if we're counting it yet but I'm convinced that you called me mama the other day as we were eating dinner. I'm pretty sure that your dad conceded that you were looking at me and you did say mama so I think we're counting it as your first word. We haven't heard any other words that are actual words yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if Cody (or puppy or doggie) is one of the first ones we get too. I love watching you grow and figure things out. You are such an amazing little girl!

I love you so much, you have no idea. My heart overflows.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

This blog

I keep thinking about posts that I want to write - funny things A has done, or stories that I want to remember.

And then I don't. Part of it is the lack of time (I don't know where it all goes) and part is that I don't know how interesting my stories are to anyone else.

I know I'll continue to post the monthly updates but I do want to write here more often than once a month. I guess I'm still finding my groove as it were...

In any event, I am still here, still thinking and pondering. And I do read so many of your blogs, though I'm pretty terrible about commenting (it's so easy to read from my phone and to think, hey, I should comment on that post! And then I don't...). But while I'm pondering, as I said, at least the monthly posts will be here. And hopefully soon some other posts as well.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Eight Months

My darling A -

Eight months! Eight! Time really does fly when you're having fun. And we're sure having fun these days baby girl.

Can't help but reach for the camera when you see it these days!

You really are growing and changing and moving so much these days. You're crawling all over the place, you're climbing up on everything, you're cruising around all over the furniture. Before I know it you're going to be walking without any sort of help (and then skipping, jumping and running!).

You do love playing with Cody's toys. I got to you before you started chewing on it this time at least...

We're now doing swimming lessons on the weekends - you seem to have so much fun in the water (well, most of the time - we went under during our last lesson and you were a little surprised by that!). What was pretty awesome was that Granddad was able to go to the first lesson so he got to see you splash around like the water baby that you are. I'm so very grateful that we're close by your grandparents. I wish that we were as close to other members of the family, but for now we'll take what we can get.

You are getting more and more playful with all of your toys, too! I still haven't bought you very many things but it amazes me how many toys end up in our house that I'm really not sure where exactly they came from. However, the one up above is one that I found at Costco on the recommendation of a friend of ours and you LOVE it. It's got different activities on all of the sides that you really like to play with, and you love messing with the beads on the top. You also enjoy eating the corners, but hey, whatever floats your boat. 

Unfortunately, a sad side effect of all of the moving and cruising you're doing these days is that you end up hurting yourself more now! I can't count the number of bumps and bruises you've ended up with on your forehead because of a slip of the hand here or an overbalancing there. Each time I kiss your hurt and give you a big hug until the tears stop. Half the time now it seems like you don't even notice, but there are definitely the bigger bonks that stop you for a few minutes. I so wish I could make it so that you don't feel any pain, but unfortunately that's not how the world works. Just know that your mama will always be there to give you a big hug and hold you until you feel better. 

You also had another bummer of a milestone this month - your first real sickness. We were supposed to go to California to see your aunt and newborn cousin but unfortunately life intervened. You came down with a terrible fever which we ultimately figured out was caused by hand, foot and mouth disease. You only ever got the sores in your mouth and your fever was gone after a couple of days but it was absolutely no fun to see you so sick! 

Of course, due to the fever and contagiousness of the disease we had to cancel our trip. Luckily your dad still took his vacation days so we decided we'd hunker down and have a little staycation. Unfortunately your puppy decided that we wouldn't quite have the quiet little weekend we thought we would. After a couple day stint at the emergency vet it turns out Cody probably got bit by some sort of spider or snake (probably a spider, and as such all spiders that enter my house no longer get a free pass back to the outside. Nope, they all get killed now). But it looked pretty touch and go there for awhile, and your dad and I weren't sure when we said goodbye to him at the emergency vet if we were going to get to bring him home again. I had tears in my eyes when I took this picture of you smiling at your puppy in the back of our car.

Luckily, with the wonderful help of the team at the emergency vet (and, ahem, the cash from our vacation fund for the next couple of years), your puppy is doing so much better now! He still has an open wound in his chest, but it appears to be healing well, thank goodness!

We had to watch you a bit closer these past couple of weeks to make sure that you didn't bother him too much, but it's hard to keep you away from him, little girl. You do love your puppy dog.

You also appear to love football, which is good as between watching Oregon games on Saturday and the Seahawks on Sunday (and really, just whatever game might be on), your dad and I love football, too. We don't let you watch any TV normally, but we're a bit more lax about football on with you in the room on the weekends. I figure it's educational. Or something.

This blanket was one of mine from when I was a baby! I can't believe my own baby plays on it now.

It is so much fun to see your personality developing more and more. You are such a happy, smiley girl with an incredibly goofy disposition. Your face lights up every morning when I go in to get you when you wake up and evening when your dad comes home. You continue to babble mamamama and I can't wait until you say the word "Mama" with purpose. And "Daddy" and "Cody," too. But really I can't wait to hear you say mama. 

I love you so much little lady. To the moon and back.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Not our greatest week

Well. I've had better birthday weeks, that's for sure. However, given that my family (including my dog) is home, healthy (or at least looks like we're on the way to getting healthy), it could have been a lot worse.

Let me back up a bit.

Last week B, A and I were supposed to head to California to see my sister and meet my new niece! I've been SO excited about this trip - we'd found an incredible deal on the tickets, we were going to see my in laws, I was going to get to have coffee with this girl and her incredible kid... Basically, I was going on vacation (even just a long weekend!) for the first time in far too long (seriously... the last vacation that B and I went on was, uh, I guess we took a long weekend after I took the Bar Exam in February, 2012. We were due).

And then on Tuesday, Cody's head and neck swelled up. So I took him into the vet. We thought that it was due to a blood draw he'd had the day before. But it looked terrible and we really didn't know what was going on. But he came home and we thought he just needed rest and time to heal. Ok, we can board him at the vet instead of having him stay at my best friend's house. More money, but it'll be ok.

And then Tuesday afternoon (while Cody was still at the vet), A seemed a little fussier than normal. And a little hot. Huh. That's weird. I took her temp and it was 103.9. WTF?? I took it again and again as I honestly thought my thermometer was broken since I'd never seen it that high for her before (actually, I don't know that A has ever had a fever over 100? Maybe after her 4 months shots?). I called the nurse. I gave her tylenol. We nursed a lot. We snuggled. She was acting fine otherwise (and especially after the tylenol, so the nurse felt it was ok to watch it overnight. Ok. Not the greatest to have a baby with a fever a couple days before meeting a newborn, but maybe we can still make this work.

The next morning, A's temp is back up to 103.9. Eff this, we're going to the doctor. Her appointment is at 2pm that afternoon, and we have until 6pm that night to cancel the hotel and flights and all that. At her appointment I find out she has hand, foot and mouth disease (but it only ever manifested in her mouth). Poor kiddo! No wonder she felt so rotten. So, more tylenol and ibuprofen to make her feel better and sleep ok. Lots of nursing and cuddling. And unfortunately, our trip was definitely off. A baby with this disease should be no where near a newborn, and neither should B or I, just to be careful. So there goes our vacation. Luckily B decided he was still going to take the couple of days off work that he planned (thank god for this!), so we figured we'd have ourselves a staycation (yeah, it's a dumb term, but ah well). Also, thankfully Thursday was the last day that A had a fever, so happy she was able to kick this virus so quickly!

And then. Friday morning Cody's head and neck was still swollen, it didn't look like it had gone down much at all. And he was walking SO much slower than he had been even a day before. And he wasn't eating. B and I were SO worried, so back to the vet he went. And then we got a call at 4 saying they'd done all they could, they were concerned it could be a fast moving tumor and we should take him to the emergency vet. So that's where he spent Friday night.

I took this on our way to the emergency vet and A kept staring over at Cody and smiling. I was crying at this point, thinking that this might be our last car ride with him.

Saturday morning we heard the good news that it wasn't a tumor! But he was still in pretty rough shape. We're now pretty sure that he got bit by a spider or a snake, probably the prior weekend (we still really don't know by what or exactly when. The whole thing is incredibly bizarre). But with lots of fluids and pain meds by Sunday night we were able to bring him home, SUCH a better outcome then we'd even dared hope for on Friday night (and a pretty awesome birthday present to wake up to on Monday morning!). Cody is my first dog and I got him when I was a first year law student. He's been in my life longer than B has, and the thought that he might not be coming home again (he's only 8!) was absolutely heartbreaking.

I don't know that we're fully out of the woods yet - he's got a wound on his chest (which we're pretty sure was where he got bit) which is going to take some time to heal. And he's on a regimen of about a billion pills 4 times a day which he hates (actually, he's now refusing them completely, so our vet recommended we give him a break from said pills for 24 hours).

But oh, I'm so happy to have him home. It was so weird to be in our place without him.

So yeah. That's what's been going on at hour house. Oh, did I mention the clogged duct that I ended up with Monday night (my actual birthday)? Yeah... that was pretty much the icing on the cake of a fantastic few days...
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