Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Snapshots of Our Day

Here's a few shots that really encapsulate how our days play out...

most days, Lily naps while attempting to choke Mama:

occasionally, Lily Ruth traverses the hall with Mama's new shoes while alternately making clicking noises, yelling 'BWAWB' and chewing on the buckle:

we stop to check out (and shred) nature on our walks:

our shoelace interest has grown into an obsession:

we get seriously silly on our walks - especially if it's windy:

sippy cups are now old hat, and mastery of said cup has been achieved:

and sometimes, we're pantsless, yet need to check out the action in the backyard:

So, that's pretty much what goes on around here these days. What are YOU up to?

Today's Random Tidbits

- Yesterday, we walked to the grocery store again. It went better than last week until... Keely slipped out of her harness for the first time in her life and WALKED INTO THE GROCERY STORE!!! A nice lady grabbed her, walked her out, and held on to her until Lily Ruth & I emerged from the checkout. She was so sweet, and not the least bit irritated. I ♥ her. I guess that's the end of Keely walking to the store :-(

- Last weekend marked my first 'Please don't blog about this' request... so I won't...

- The Highland Games were fun, but would have been improved with the consumption of some Guinness and maybe a 'Shepherd Taco' (? we didn't ask, but assumptions were made about contents and shell...). The hagis was successfully avoided, and the sheep dog trials were amusing. Oh, apparently the style of yelling that I thought came from a place of pure rage within me is EXACTLY how you talk to a sheep dog? Hmmm. Next year, we will be prepared.

Snapped these at the games...

Apparently, it's important to schedule your invasions in advance. Attendance is better.

why? never? I'm so confused...

- Lily Ruth started clapping on Sunday! Well, really, she smacks her left palm with her right palm without making a noise, but it's still hilarious :-) also, there was this bit...

That's how we roll. Not really. We don't usually have babies on the table, nor do we ever allow them to drink alcohol, but it DOES make a great picture :-)

- I got avocado on the census. What will they make of that? Will it put us in a new category?

- I have a horrible muscle cramp just above my left eyebrow. It's been there for days, and it's so bad that it feels like I hit my forehead really hard, yet I have not... on the plus side, I look permanently sarcastic with my partly raised brow... on the minus side, it seems to be giving me a wrinkle :-/

That's all I have time for right now - Lily Ruth has requested a trip to the playground!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Glimpse into Lily's Future

We had dinner at The Homestead (my parent's and grandparent's house) tonight. It was wonderful - as always. Even when one (or more) of us is exhausted or cranky or just 'off', coming together for a meal makes us feel good.

Tonight, we had our Friday night staples. There was steak for my dad (Friday is ALWAYS steak for him), and everybody else had whatever meat they were in the mood for... we brought chicken because that saved me a trip to the store... and we had a veggie and some pasta. By default, the pasta tonight was a Paparadalle - a long, flat, wide noodle. I had very carefully cut pasta, broccoli, carrots and chicken into Lily Ruth-sized pieces before we sat down, and placed them just out of her reach. As we began to eat, my beautiful mother began feeding Lily food off of HER plate, completely bypassing the 'baby plate'. I started to panic as she handed Lily Ruth a long pasta strand, but Mama has successfully raised not one, not two, but three infants to adulthood, so I took a breath, and watched the show.

As usual, the entire family was entranced by Baby Lily's performance. She slurped, bit, yanked and waved that noodle all around. The majority of it made it's way into her tummy, and none of it obstructed her airway. Nanny handed her another.

Someone (perhaps Grandmother Ruth?) suggested that Lily Ruth should enjoy this, as she would not always be the center of attention the way she is now. Someone else countered that she just MIGHT always be this popular :-) Her Daddy chimed in with 'Do the noodle trick, Lily... - she's 30, and we're still asking...' the table erupts in laughter. 'Lily, it's your favorite!... I was a BABY, what do you expect!?'. 'Just do the toes thing! Put your cute toes up here on the edge of the table like you used to!' Oh, the laughter was out of control around the table as we pictured a 'tortured teen' being exhorted to perform the 'tricks' of her babyhood... I personally pictured her in goth/emo make-up with a sullen boyfriend in tow in order to make it more embarrassing... All the while, the current darling is twirling loops of pasta in the air (occasionally hitting herself and/or her Mama in the bangs with butter & Parmesean covered noodles) and hooting softly.

This is why we're here, folks. The moments like this. These times are irreplaceable, and precious. Acknowledge and treasure them... and save them to torment a teen with...

Dear So & So... take 6

FRIDAY! Again? I think I missed a few days... well, lucky for me it's Dear So & So Day!!!! Gracias to Kat over at 3 Bedroom Bungalow for another opportunity to vent :-)

Dear So and So...

Dear City Parking Division,

Is $5.25 truly an appropriate amount to charge for 1 hour and 41 minutes in your disgusting garage?

Just asking, you jerks.


(the following is a guest post)

hgm hn q

Lily Ruth


Dear Only Pair of Denim Shorts I Own,

I feel so betrayed. I've trusted you for so many years, and now THIS? Consider yourself fired.

Lady Who Just Caught a Full Length Glimpse of Herself


Dear Infant Daughter,

Happy Nine Month Birthday! You rock my world :-)

Your Biggest Fan


Dear Trees,

Good Morning, Sleepyheads! Good to see you're awake! Now, let's talk about all this crud that you're dropping. I'm just as excited as you that Spring is arriving, but this seems a bit excessive. The pool is outraged, and I'm kinda grossed out. Perhaps you could tone it down a bit?

Thanks in advance,
the Homeowner


Dear Starbucks-Near-My-House Employees,

You guys make my day! There are always smiles, kind words, hot coffee and even sometimes witty banter. There are days when you are my only adult contact for the day... Also, Lily Ruth loves to chew on those cup sleeves - don't tell her Daddy...

Many Thanks,
Stay At Home Mama

oh, there's more, but I think that there are somethings that are better left unsaid... :-)

Got something to vent? Head on over to Kat's place, and link up!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Weekend of Firsts

This past weekend was pretty low key, but that didn't keep it from being pretty great :-)

Saturday night, Mama was making dinner, so Daddy and Lily Ruth were playing on the floor. Daddy starts yelling 'get in here - you're missing it! You're missing it!', so I book it into the play area in time to see Lily Ruth STANDING WITH NO SUPPORT!!! Shortly thereafter (3 seconds or so), she freaks out, sits down and cries. She had been standing at her play table pushing buttons and 'dancing'. Then she turned to grab hold of Daddy. Then she let go of Daddy and just STOOD there staring at him! Sooooo awesome!

I didn't even realize she had done it again when I took this picture today. It wasn't until I was reviewing the shots that I noticed she wasn't holding on to anything.

Sunday afternoon, we piled onto the big bed to watch a movie and hopefully nap. Daddy throws in '2012' (so relaxing, no?), and we get to a scene where John Cusack and his on-screen daughter are singing along with the radio 'May the circle be unbroken by and by Lord, by and by' and when they get to 'by and by', Lily Ruth turns to the t.v., waves and says 'Bah... bah' :-O !!! They sing another chorus, and she does it again! Now ya'll, she's been stringing sounds together for months now, but aside for the 'apple' incident, we haven't counted any of it as talking because she wasn't directing any of it toward the person or item that the 'word' would have been referring (da-da, baab, ma-ahm), she was just making (really great) noises. This, people, was real talking. For real. Seriously.

We decided to play it cool today, and didn't hit any milestones. We did, however, take a walk to the grocery store - a terrible idea in retrospect. I had on the wrong shoes, Keely pulled on her leash the whole way, there were random loose dogs everywhere, it was 5:00 so the traffic was brisk... you get the picture. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it was a bit rough - unless you were Lily Ruth :-)

At least dinner was good - pork chops, CM organic shells and cheese, steamed asparagus - yum. Lily Ruth is in love with all of those foods. Add in the large amount of pinto beans she ingested at Taco Haven for lunch, and the way she slurped down (among other things) spinach, rice, chicken and avocado the past two nights, and I think that my tiny baby is well on her way to being a full time eater!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Lady, A Baby, A Frank and Some Rosemary

Yesterday, I found myself in a position that (let's not kid ourselves) I often encounter... I had forgotten something at the store that was fairly integral to my dinner plan. Now, since that item was just Rosemary for the steak marinade, I probably could have modified my 'plan' and gone without it. Well my friends, that's not how I played it. It was a lovely afternoon, and I know for a fact that a house just a little more than a block away has a HUGE Rosemary bed. I decided that Lily Ruth and I could go herb-begging.

I scooped up the baby girl, and started down the block. I was sincerely hopeful that there would be Rosemary available in a yard closer than that, but I was prepared to go all the way if needed. Now, as I mentioned, it was a lovely day, so the Boy Cats were already outside. Bing was keeping the pool area Ginger Cat-Free, and Frank was watching doves and mocking birds from the front yard (also known as 'Home of the Dandelions - Sorry They Are Spreading To Your Yard'). Now, one of my favorite things about Frank is how he earned the nickname Crazy Frank. Quite simply, he runs around like his butt is on fire in order to garner attention. It's especially hilarious when he does this outside, because he can run even farther even faster and can climb random trees for emphasis. When I noticed that he was out front when we started out, I was secretly wishing that he would break into his Crazy Frank routine, but I also thought it would be fun if he wanted to come with us.

Since he had been dozing while watching birds, Frank was not in a Crazy Frank mode, but he was interested in coming with us, so off we went. I was talking to Frank and Lily Ruth about where we were headed and why. Both seemed supremely uninterested, yet I pressed onward, carefully scrutinizing each yard for Rosemary. Frank reached the edge of his comfort zone after three houses, and decided to wait for us in that driveway. Lily Ruth and I trudged on. A few houses from the corner, I spied some! There were no cars in the driveway or on the street in front of the house, so I was tempted to grab and run, but then I got paranoid. What if a neighbor saw me. Lily and I walk the neighborhood all of the time. We were bound to be fairly recognizable, and nobody wants to earn the moniker 'The Stealer', so we went to the door to ask nicely.

It was immediately apparent that someone was home from the thumping noises coming from inside. I knock, and the door is opened by a woman of around my own age. She was slightly surprised by my presence, and a bit frazzled-looking, but quick to politely respond 'please, help yourself' to my request for Rosemary. She seemed to be in a hurry to end our encounter. I was disappointed, because I had decided instantly upon seeing her that I would introduce myself and attempt to make a new friend (I've been doing this a LOT lately... stay at home motherhood can be a bit isolating...). Before she could close the door, the reason for her haste reviled itself as a nude toddler slid into view a la Risky Business - followed quickly by an equally nude younger child. I was stunned into amused silence. Seeming to mistake my mirth for silent judgement, the lady of the house firmly closed the door - leaving my as yet unspoken hope for friendship on the outside.

Lily Ruth and I pinched a few stalks of Rosemary and made our way home - picking up Frank as we passed. He was more interested in moseying than hurrying, and chose to roll on cement, poke into crevices and slink along the curb. Lily was enthralled. She seemed to have already forgotten that he had accompanied us on the first part of our journey, and watching him in a setting outside of our home was the coolest thing that had happened to her all day. Taking a cue from Frank, we ambled slowly home, enjoying our way. He returned the favor of our company by throwing a Crazy Frank fit that covered 3 yards, two trees and a fence - it was awe inspiring, and well worth the wait.

Well, we didn't make a new friend, but we DID get the herb we needed, a small amount of exercise, a good amount of fresh air, a visual comedy memory to cherish (it's not every day that naked kids come sliding unexpectedly into view), and a truly note-worthy Crazy Frank fit from a cat who almost died earlier this month. Not bad for a quiet Friday afternoon.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dear So & So... take 5

Dear So and So...

aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Dear So & So Day!!!! Let's dive right in, shall we...


Dear New Shoes,

Don't worry, we're still in love. Even if you hurt my feet when I put you on 10 minutes ago, and I'm just sitting on the couch admiring you.

Your Moony-eyed Fan,
(soon to be) Bunion Girl


Dear Baby Daughter,

Please stop growing so fast! Seriously, you are freaking me out. Here you are in your popsicle top just 6 short months ago - when I made you wear it as a dress...

And here you are in the same top last week...

Same beautiful grin. Totally different skill set. You are amazing.

Let's make a deal. You stay AWESOME, and I'll try to keep up.

You make me a better person.


Dear Husband,

I love you so. Thank you for sticking with me even though when the funk shows up, I act CRAZY and snap at you randomly... or even for several days on end.

Hey, remember when we were just young pups?

That was a looooooong time ago, my friend. I'm glad we're still standing.

I ♥ you,


Dear Lord,

Thank you. For everything.



Got anything to say? Well GET ON IT, then link up with Kat over at 3 Bedroom Bungalow

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why I like shoes...

If you've ever met me, you know that I am not small. Nothing about me could be called small - except maybe my patience. Now, this is not a bad thing, it's just who I am. What it does mean, is that when I gain weight, I get to really big really fast. And (just like the rest of the world), I do not enjoy shopping for clothing when I am feeling really big. Shopping becomes something that you HAVE to do, not something you could enjoy doing (p.s., I don't like clothing shopping in the best of times).

Something that is ALWAYS fun to buy though, are shoes. Your feet always look the same, and shoe stores tend to only have those tiny mirrors on the side of that little stool, so you can ignore any parts of you that you don't want to see. As a result, at any time in my adult life that I have avoided mirrors, I have turned to shoes. My closet floor is littered with a decade's worth of flights of fancy (fancy that was purchased for $40 or less per pair as we were close to broke for a lot of those years) that have become obsolete since I 1) became a massage therapist and 2) gave birth. I've pretty much lived in flip flops or sneakers for the last 5 years, and my beautiful shoe 'collection' has languished alone and neglected.

Luckily for me, I have (mostly) come to terms with my body in the past few years. We may not see completely eye to eye on my current shape, but I am by no means miserable about that. The only 'downside' to this has been that I lost the ability to justify needless shoe purchases... until today. Today, I chose to throw common sense and rational thought out the window so that I could purchase a pair of shoes that has haunted my dreams for a month now:

I know - HAWT.

I originally had no idea where this obsession came from. They're really not my style. They literally do not match even one outfit that I own. Yet, starting from the first moment I saw them starring as the 'shoe of the week' for Gabby B's, they have romped through my imagination. I can only picture myself in them from my ankles down because I seriously have not even one thing in my possession to wear them with, but this did not stop me. AND, in my defense, they were only $30. Practically free. Plus, it's so hard to put a price on happiness :-P

Here's what I think might have prompted this - the funk. The funk brings out the worst in you. Feeling old? The funk makes you feel ANCIENT. Feeling lonely? The funk makes you feel like Tom Hanks in that movie I never saw where he's stranded on a desert island with only a volleyball for a friend. I think that in my state of funk, I latched onto the shoes as something that would make me feel fun and hip and maybe even 'with it'. It sounds dumb to even type that, but sounding dumb doesn't make it any less true. Luckily for me, I recognized and acknowledged this ahead of time. Then I was able to process the funk, weigh my options, and buy the damn shoes with my eyes wide open, and no regrets in sight.

So thank you, funk, my inner child totally needed these shoes. You may retreat into your hole until our next battle.

Monday, March 15, 2010

*sigh* :-)

It's turning, Ducks! I told you it would, did I not? The funk does not last forever... and if it starts to feel like it's going to, well, you should tell somebody.

I think the time change actually worked in my favor. Last night, there was 2 1/2 hours of yelling (booooo), then 3 1/2 hours of sleep, a quick nursing, then sleeeeeeep, and more sleep (yaaaay)! Don actually woke Lily Ruth up when he told her goodbye and put her in bed with me this morning. She and I then alternately nursed and slept until NOON. I allowed it because we both obviously needed it, and I definitely deserved it.

Tonight, there was only 1 1/2 hours of yelling followed by brief nursing and immediate sleep - IN HER OWN BED. Ya'll, my darling daughter fell asleep at 10:30! This is unheard of. I am giddy with relief.

It's hard to fathom the effects of long-term sleep deprivation until you've lived through them. I'm sure that every mother in the world (barring those who have full-time 'help') can close their eyes and call up the memory of that feeling of weariness deep in their bones, but when you are in the midst of it, you feel like the only person in the world who has to go through it. I was told by a friend today that the sound of children's cries coupled with sleep deprivation is an age-old torture technique. Apparently, it's quite effective... duh... But I know that this is not a permanent part of parenthood. This is a stage. It may turn out to be a stage that we re-visit more than once, but there will be times in the next 18 years that I will feel well rested. Just not today. Or tomorrow... maybe Wednesday...

There was more that I wanted to tell you, but writing about sleep deprivation has made me so tired that my eyes are closing without my permission. I do however want to leave you with something nice from last weekend - see, that's the problem with the funk - it can make you forget that good things happen all of the time!

That's Lily Ruth enjoying her first ever ride on a swing! She wasn't at all sure that swinging was for her until her Daddy started tickling her toes each time she swung toward him. Then she couldn't stop grinning.

What a great memory for me to drift off to sleep on! If you would be so kind as to tuck me in, smooth my hair back off my forehead then creep quietly out to your own room, that would be great. Thanks in advance.

Expect the Unexpected

Sometimes, you're just having a regular day, then BAM

you're stuck in the dishwasher

and because you're so fabulous, the paparazzi have followed you, and are snapping the whole thing for the tabloids

and just as you can taste freedom, the rack starts to slide, and you're practically trapped... o.k. fine, you're not trapped, but it was sort-of touch and go for a few moments there.

Gotta stay on your toes around here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I am in a funk. A truly funky funk. I have all kinds of random crap in my head, and it has made a funk stew of my brain. As a result, I have nothing fun or funny to post. I haven't even made any super yummy food! Stupid funk.

If I have to have the funk, couldn't it be a fun kind of funk? Like maybe P-Funk?

or Elephunk?

or even just Funky Fresh for the 90's?

no? Just regular funk? FIne.

Never fear - I'll shake this off and be back to gratuitous baby picture posting and cooking up a storm in no time. You'll see.

Friday, March 12, 2010

dear So & So... take 4

Dear So and So...

Dear Frank,

Thank you for not dying at the vet - that's one of Mommy's biggest fears. We'll deal with the steroid-induced weight gain together. Now, get back out into the backyard and start evicting those Creepy Ginger Cats.

Yours in Puffiness,


Dear Lily Ruth,

Remember in one of my first 'Dear So & So' letters when I threatened to sell the doggie to the Gypsies for barking so much? Well, if you don't stop yelling for hours on end instead of sleeping, the same fate may befall you. Not really, but could you think about maybe sleeping? For me? Your crib is a nice place, and you have your own space heater. Let's make that happen.

I adore you,
Your Bleary-Eyed Mama


Dear Mesh Baby Feeder,

Gross. Just gross. If you really wanted to be part of this family, you would be much easier to clean.

The Dish Washer


Dear Sunshine,

Nice to see that you're back on the job! Your weak Winter cousin was no replacement for your warming rays and bright beams. Let's see how much time we can spend together this year.

Missed you,
Lady on the Verge of S.A.D.


Dear Swimming Pool,

I know that you want more of my attention, but this algae outbreak is not the way to go about it. Can we discuss our options?

You know that I love you,


... Thank you as always to Kat over at Three Bedroom Bungalow for 'Dear So & So' Day! Got any letters of your own? Then get 'em out there & link up!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Vision Check

I must begin this post with a confession. I happened upon a high school acquaintance's blog today (um, she posted it on Facebook), and it was so well written and so expressive that I furiously clicked back to my dashboard, and began trying to type out a better blog. Well, in writing my 'better' post, I realized that blogging has curtailed some of my more (shall we say) blindingly obvious story telling defects (rambling, non-sequiturs, etc.), and allowed others (dashes, ellipses, parenthetical references) to rage unchecked. So I realized (yet again), that I am who I am, and I have to write in my own style. So, while I may expand on some of these topics later or even on a different blog (yep, we're starting a multiple-mama blog soon), for now, here's what I was thinking about today... in my own damn style...

I started my journey into Motherhood with a very clear vision of how this was gonna go. I knew that there would be lots of things that I learned as I went along. I knew that patience and flexibility (two of my largest stumbling blocks) would be needed by the truckload. I did research on everything that came into my head regarding babies and motherhood. I talked to friends who had already started their journey, and picked their brains endlessly. I had very definite ideas about parenting. I knew just how to keep myself from making any of the 'mistakes' that I felt anyone else in the history of parenting had made...

Then I gave birth, and right from the start, my plans were foiled.

Nursing was hard. I was so sure that because I really wanted to nurse, and my body was MADE to do it, that it would be easy for me. Well, it wasn't easy, but I hung in there because it was important to me. Now my daughter is 8 1/2 months old and is still thriving on food produced by my body. An incredible concept for me. So that was a win - albeit a hard-won victory.

Sleeping was easy. Deceptively so. Lily Ruth even slept on her own in her pack'n'play and then in her crib. But she got crankier and crankier. Then at her four month check up, our new pediatrician informed us (and rightly so) that we were in the midst of a 'Sleep Crisis', and recommended Dr. Weissbluth's 'Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child'. It worked until I got sick over Christmas and brought the baby into our bed for my convenience. Now I have a bed-sharing maniac. Which currently makes this one a loss - but a loss with potential. I am determined to win, but am wavering due to sleep deprivation.

I wanted a strong, healthy, confident baby. Somehow, I managed to translate that into a child who thinks that she's the boss of me, her Daddy, the care giving ladies at Parent's Day Out, and everyone else. She screams if she doesn't get her way, and I am at a loss as to what happened, and how to fix it. So far, we're trying Cry It Out sleep training, and leaving her at Parent's Day Out even though she screams with indignation for most of her time there. Another loss, yet I press onward with the hope that my determination will win out over hers.

This WILL get better. It's already improving... in theory... she only yelled for 2 hours last night... of course, we're going on two hours tonight with no sign of stopping (**edit: she yelled for 3 1/2 hours, slept for 2 1/2, then yelled for 1 1/2 when Daddy couldn't take it anymore, and brought her in with us so that HE could sleep, and I could stay awake being kicked, scratched and mangled.)... but she 'had a good day' at Parent's Day Out today! Which hopefully translates into 'she didn't cry for the entire 4 1/2 hours that she was here'.

DANG, Ya'll! This Mommy Gig is HARD. Even restaurant work was less taxing - if more soul-sucking. Fine, this is better... much better...

Monday, March 8, 2010

the standoff continues...

Remember how excited I was on night two of sleep training? Remember how quickly Lily Ruth went to sleep and stayed that way? Well, that was a fluke. A cruel joke. A one-time-event that is never to be repeated.

Last night, she went to sleep fairly easily, but when she woke at 2 am to nurse, she refused to go back to sleep. Well. let me amend that - she would suck her thumb and pretend to be asleep if one of us was rocking her or standing over her crib with a hand on her back, but as soon as we walked away, she would pop up and cry. That got old FAST, and we also realized that it was completely defeating the purpose. She not only has to sleep in her own bed, but she needs to be able to soothe herself to sleep WITHOUT one of us being there. So we went back to bed, and she stayed in her crib YELLING - not crying, but full-on angry yelling - (aaaahhhhhhhh... ahBAWB... ahdaDAda... aAAaah... DAAAAhd... *sob*... ahbabababa...) for over 2 hours. I'm pretty sure that she has figured out that full-bore crying is truly exhausting, (and she is in it to win it) and that is why she has switched to yelling.

Tonight, she passed out while nursing at around 8:45. It's not optimal for her to fall asleep someplace other than her crib, but you gotta work with what ya got, so I walked her to her room, and laid her down. Her big blue eyes immediately popped open and the yelling commenced. I waited 30 minutes, then went back in to check on her. Secret weapon #2 had been deployed... and by #2, I mean poop. Ya'll, my angel baby can get herself so worked up that she poops. Awesome. I cleaned her up, rocked her for a few short minutes, then put her into the crib again. She actually rolled onto her tummy and started sucking her thumb, but when I walked away instead of 'laying hands' on her, she sat bolt upright and started yelling. We're going on 20 minutes of round two, and she is showing no signs of fatigue. I, on the other hand, am drop-dead tired. Of course, I cannot sleep while she is crying, because I am her mother. I seem to be hard-wired to her noises. I tried laying out a crafting project - I am bound and determined to finish that Sushi Bracelet!!! - but it didn't soothe me. Instead, my crafting stuff seems to be mocking all of the determination that I had last fall. The multiple unfinished projects feel like ankle weights... or a food diary... something you do because you're supposed to, but that you don't really want to do... which is a shame, because there is some fun stuff in there.

Great. In reading over this post, there seems to be a hint of whine, and an element of 'poor me' seems to be trying to creep in. So here is what I will do. I will breathe deeply - repeatedly. I will stand up, stretch, and go check on my daughter. I will then make a cup of tea and grab my new book. I will turn tonight around and I will give myself time. Time to re-teach my daughter (and myself) to sleep. Time to figure out what I want to do in my 'free time' that will replenish my inner well-spring. Time to just BE without judging myself for not accomplishing something every second. Time to watch my baby grow and learn because she's moving so fast that it feels like a blur! Time to honor who we are and where we are because it's a pretty great place to be if we take the time to notice.

Goodnight. Sleep tight.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Grooming, Grass, Eating and Screaming

So, have you seen Being Erica? Well, it's big fun. Fluff, a small message, intriguing concept. I'm enjoying it.

My point? Oh, it's just that the actress that plays Erica has THE BEST eyebrows ever. Seriously.

Um, that's all. I'm just obsessed with her eyebrows.

Also, I took Lily Ruth & Keely back to the diocese. It was cold when we left the house, but by the time we went to Starbucks then parked and got all settled, it was HOT. So I stripped the baby out of her baby k-tan, bear suit and socks then let her play on the grass. Then I realized that it was her first time to play on grass! So I took a picture...

... I spent the rest of our time there finger-sweeping grass, twigs and oak leaves out of her mouth. She HATED that part. I explained that if she would stop putting those things IN her mouth, I would stop taking them OUT of her mouth. It made no difference.

In Baby Feeding News, Lily Ruth continues to be a champ. Here's a recent example of how her dinner looks - keep in mind, that's a tiny dish...

She ate almost all of that! It's not always that tidy. Night before last, we had Taco Garage takeout, so she enjoyed some of the pork out of my Tacos Al Pastor and pinto beans from my borracho beans. She managed to cover herself and her highchair with food to the point that her Daddy put the (empty) highchair in the shower to clean it. To be fair, he is (self-admittedly) lazy, so maybe it wasn't all that bad...

Oh, and we started sleep training again. Last night, Lily Ruth cried from 10:30 pm to 1:50 am. Then she woke up and screamed every 30 to 45 minutes until 6:30 - when I caved and brought her into our bed. After that, she slept until 9 am... and she napped for 3 hours in the afternoon... then she fell asleep while I was making dinner for our guests (a big shout out to Kerri for holding her while I finished the risotto)... and then her Daddy got her to sleep in her crib ALONE at 9:30!!!!!

(baby styling by Robyn & Matt Davies)

I try not to be a a girl who counts her chickens before they hatch, but it's now 10:55, and she (like her Daddy) is sawing logs like a pro in her OWN BED! She hasn't slept in her crib since early January. My night belongs to ME again, and I am blissful! Wait, that was an unhatched chickens moment. What I meant to say is that I am quietly confident that this will go well... If it does, I might even finish my sushi bracelet sometime this year... I might even find a use for the rest of the polymer clay after that's done!

Talk about cart before the horse - I should just shut this down and get some sleep since everybody else is already there. I wish you could see my bed. Two cats, a snoring husband, and me with a glass of wine. Heaven.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Why I do not work

... outside the home...

Here's how the morning went:

8 am - phone rings. Car dealership - 'how is the car doing since it's service?' 'IDK - ask the guy that drives it.' 'Uuuhhh, can I have his phone number... and his e-mail address?' 'um, no.'

8:15 am - Lily Ruth has a 101° teething fever, so she gets a dose of Tylenol. This does not go smoothly.

8:20 - 9 am - we nurse and play in bed.

9 am - I make Oat Bran cereal with cherries and Greek yogurt for our breakfast. After one bite, Lily decides that she doesn't want to eat off of the spoon. After one more bite, Lily decides that she doesn't want to eat off my finger. I glop a big spoonful onto her high chair tray, and let her have at it.

9:20 am - Lily starts yelling at the cereal. I video the hilarity, and send it to my Mama, my e-mail and her Daddy.

9:25 am - Lily Ruth is no longer amused by me, breakfast or anything else. I pull her up and head into the bathroom with a cereal-coated baby. We both get in. The bath itself goes well, but then Lily Ruth breaks down, and wants to nurse - IN THE TUB.

9:35 am - Bath time is over. Time for drying off, diaper, and today's clothes. Tears and screaming accompany the whole ordeal. I get one item of clothing (out of 4) on her (and none on me), then give up and curl up on the bed. No dice - she's still ticked.

9:45 am - Still crying, so we nurse AGAIN, and she cries as I put the rest of her clothing on.

9:50 am - Time for Mama to get ready. Lily Ruth sits in one of the sinks in my vanity and plays with a tiny bottle of Lavender massage oil while I fix my hair, cover the huge zit on my chin and apply a thin veneer of mascara. BTW, I am still nude at this point - she has not seen it necessary to allow clothing for me yet.

10 am - I get dressed. Finally

10:05 am - Lily Ruth takes her massage oil into the dining room. I take the highchair tray and the t-shirt she wore while 'eating' into the bathroom and rinse them in the bathtub.

10:10 am - I think that we are ready, but then I remember that Lily needs stuff to eat while at Parent's Day Out. I assemble a cereal/veggie/yogurt snack, check the volume of dry snacks in her bag, defrost and assemble a bottle, fill her sippy cup, label all of her stuff with a sharpie and cram it all into her diaper bag.


Ya'll - it took us TWO AND A HALF HOURS to get up, get ready and get out of the house. Ridiculous. This needs work.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Adventures in Baby Feeding

Today's Recipe: Diane's Amazing Soup

Well, week one of month eight in The Life of Lily Ruth has brought new adventures, new challenges, and (as always) big fun.

'What HAPPENED!?' you ask? Let me lay it out for ya!

Lily Ruth started Parent's Day Out. Day one went 'o.k' - caregiver code for 'she cried a lot, but there were some good moments in there, too'. Day two was apparently a scream-fest from the minute I handed her over. It was bad, ya'll. To the point that when I got back to pick her up, they asked 'how she was at home' - caregiver code for 'does she ever stop crying, ever?' I rocked her in the rocking chair there until she was calm. She then took a deep breath, climbed off my lap and started playing on the floor. She was laughing and smiling immediately. They were amazed and very surprised... too bad for Lily - I'm dropping her off on Wednesday come hell or high water - I've got things to do! She'll be fine.

We took Lily Ruth to her first birthday party! One of her (two) friends had his first birthday, and we were invited. I'm pretty sure that I managed to horrify the other mothers there (all related to our hostess) by feeding my newly-eight-month-old 'real food' off my own plate. She even had small amounts of ice cream and cake. She was THRILLED.

Which brings me to the next part - baby food... or the lack thereof. A few weeks ago, Lily Ruth lost interest in my lovingly handmade purees :-( She did, however, gain a great deal of interest in anything that I was eating. We had introduced a lot of foods by that point (avocados, peas, bananas, brown rice, apples, Greek yogurt, butternut squash, mango, spinach, blueberries, cherries, egg yolk, peaches, carrots, chicken), and we used the 4-day-rule for all of it. She displayed no reactivity or sensitivity to anything we gave her... so I got brave, and chucked the rules. As of last week, she eats what I eat! Now, I'm still holding off on the 'big no-nos' (honey, peanut butter, cow's milk, etc.) until she's a year old, but the rest of it is pretty much ON! Ya'll, I thought that it was fun to choose which foods to puree for her next, but it is WAY more fun to plan meals for us that she can share all or part of :-D

She started with baked potatoes and turkey meatballs at Nanny's house (we let her cover herself and the table with potato!), and progressed to pork tenderloin tacos on whole wheat tortillas. Since then, she's been a wild woman at the table who tries (and LOVES) things like mac'n'cheese made with spinach noodles, fresh orange & tangerine juice, pretty much everything they are sampling at Central Market. Oh, and yesterday, she flipped for a new soup recipe with sausage, lentils and spinach - as did I.

Said soup deserves it's own paragraph. It's THAT GOOD. The recipe comes from my Mama's good friend Diane. She is a WONDERFUL cook, and an ardent gardener. I love her blog. She captures the wild, rough, individualistic beauty of South Texas in her pictures while making gardening sound like something I might be able to do someday! I've been secretly yearning to start a garden, and may even start small with kitchen herbs this year. I just need to find the time and the energy... At any rate, the soup recipe can be found here. As you may have noticed, my lack of an attention span makes recipe following a tricky business. I managed to buy 1 Lb instead of 1/2 a Lb of Italian sausage. Also, I forgot the celery. I also need to mention that I am so used to putting garlic in literally everything that I cook, that I almost minced some and added it before I realized that the recipe doesn't call for any. A lesson can be learned here, folks - garlic is not mandatory. Even with my unintentional changes, it was beyond fantastic, and it was super easy to make! Now, if you make the soup and like it, let her know! In fact, if you make any of the recipes that I share with you, let ME know!

Happy Eating, Folks!

By the way, there is standing and practice laughing happening over here! You should come over!