Thursday, December 27, 2007

16 Months


Delly, you are 16 months old. You are running around like you’ve been up on your feet for years, and you are talking up a storm. You have quite a few (barely recognizable) words, but the biggest change is that your constant babbling and chattering is now very conversational, with varying intonation and gesticulations and pointed looks and apparently great meaning. You like to walk around with phones (or things that look like phones, like remote controls etc) and hold them to your ear and say Hi! Hi! Hi! In the morning when we finally give in to your distress calls and come into your room, before we can even reach the light switch your hand shoots up into the air to wave as you yell Hi!

One of the first times you said please, you happened to have also thrown your hands in the air at the same time. We praised you so heartily, that you got the idea that the hands in the air thing is the sign for please, so now every time we prompt you to ask nicely for something, your hands shoot up and you say Pees!

This month you mastered the stairs, and you can scoot down them on your tummy like a bullet. You're getting more into climbing, too. You were able to climb onto the sofas and chairs for a little while already, but now you like to do it more often and you’ve started climbing and standing on other things too, like your kapsule chair and our heat registers, and onto Daddy when he lays down on the floor to do his stretches. You climb onto him like a cowgirl and bounce around. I guess it’s not doing an ounce of good for his back, but it sure is funny. We just keep him hopped up on muscle relaxers and let you have your fun.

You can count all the way to 2 now. You are mastering your negotiation skills, and when we tell you that you can have One of something, you say Two! How many feet do you have? Two! How many ears do you have? Two! Etc. You're pretty much brilliant.





You've just recently started getting separation anxiety. Daddy almost always drives you to school in the morning, and when he goes outside now to warm up the cars, you think he's leaving without you and you freak out. I have to hold you and watch him through the window so you can see him outside to calm you down. When Sarah came over to watch you on Christmas day so we could go see a movie, as soon as you saw her you got all whiney and clingy and were stuck to our legs like glue. You even do it a little bit when we drop you off at school now, hugging our legs when we bring you in and take off your jacket. Though I don't want you ever feeling distress, it does seem like comforting evidence of how much we're bonded as a family. You've been in fulltime daycare for most of your life, you love it there, and sometimes it has seemed like you actually prefer it there with all the fun and playing -- but you really get it now, that even though you spend most days there, you belong with us.

Love,
Mommy

Monday, December 24, 2007

a moist toddler is a happy toddler

We have been havig a bitch of a time with Delma's morning wake-up routine. She'd been going to bed at 7 every night and for a while she was sleeping til 6, which is fine. It's really f-ing early, but whatever. A month or 2 ago she went back to waking up before 6. Sometimes even earlier than 5. We wouldn't get her out of bed til 6, but she would be crying (that awful pissed-off fake-crying), so it's not like waiting to get her up gave us any extra sleep. A few weeks ago we started keeping her up a little later to see if she'd sleep later. No dice.

I've been really dry now that we have the heat on in the house, I wake up with my mouth all dried out and it's pretty uncomfortable. I thought maybe Del is having the same problem, so yesterday I bougt her a humidifier. It was a toss-up between the frog one and the penguin one. I even called Josh from the store to see if he had a preference. We decided on the frog. It would be easier to look at the frog and talk about it and say "what does the frog say?" "Ribbit!" I couldn't do that with the penguin. What the hell does a penguin say?? But Del wanted the penguin, she kept looking at the box and saying "kitty!" So, we went home with the penguin, which is actually cuter than the frog anyway. But I digress.

It could be, and probably is, a coincidence. But this morning, after sleeping in her room with the penguin at full blast all night, she slept til after 6 and for the past half-hour has been happily chatting away and singing in her crib instead of wailing. I was still up at 6, but at least I've had some calm, quiet time to check email etc. Please please please let this not just be a fluke! Knock on wood, fingers crossed...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

smart money

I've been lusting after this Built By Wendy pattern forever. I've seen so many people blog about it and show their adorable little tops made from it. Today I decided to splurge, and went to the Built By Wendy site to get it. $14.95 plus $9.00 for UPS Ground. That seemed a twee bit steep. I Googled it to see if I could find it somewhere cheaper, and doncha know Simplicity has it for $8.95 and free USPS shipping. Sold.

In refreshment news, I am long overdue in reporting on our best investment EVER. Soda Club. We make seltzer at home whenever we want, and can add little flavors to make sodas or flavored seltzers. Reusable liter bottles that are supposed to last something like 3 years. Refillable CO2 canisters that make appx 110 liters of crazy-fizzy yumminess. We are so hooked on seltzer now in our house that it borders on the absurd. We call it "bubbles." "Babe, want some bubbles?" "Do you need bubbles?" "I'm out of bubbles." "Delly, want bubbles? Do you hear Daddy making bubbles?" Whole lotta bubbles goin on round here. I actually feel like it's made us happier people. Never underestimate the power of bubbles.

Monday, December 3, 2007

gotta get my butt to Providence

...to see Craftland. Looks so so so cool.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

15 Months

Delly, what a fun month you've had. You're much more interested in talking now, you've started parroting a bit, and you have a short list of words. Unfortunately, many of your words are indistinguishable: "Mommy" is "mama" or just "ma." "Milk" is "ma." "More" is "ma." Cats say "ma." The Baby Enstein Animals DVD that you're obsessed with and that we just call "Animals" is "ma." I know you think you're saying distinct words, and you get annoyed with us for not always correctly interpreting. You were saying "meemee" all morning today, and I think that you were trying to say "mommy." You can't really handle combining vowel sounds in one work, you can only say Mama or Meemee but not Mommy. Donkey is "donk-donk." Ducks say "cock cock," and since that's obviously so freakin' funny, I try to get you to say it every chance I get.

You're so proud of yourself for looking in books and recognizing things that you know the words for. This morning you went running into the bathroom to show Daddy a book that had an apple and an orange in it, and you were saying "baaaall." Close enough, they're round. You were so excited.

You just recently discovered TV. we've played some shows for you for a while now, like Yo Gabba Gabba, and you'll watch it but you get antsy and want to play, and you never used to actually request TV. Then one day I was tired and I sat you with me on our bed and put the Animals DVD in, and you were hooked. You took to it like a full-on crackhead and now you are completely hooked on the junk. We usually keep our bedroom door shut so you can't wander in and pull our bookshelves onto your head, and now you'll stand at our bedroom door, trying to turn the knob and will howl for "ma." If the door is open when we're getting dressed or something, your spidey senses start ringing and you come running into the room and try to climb onto the bed screaming for "ma." Our bed is too high for you to haul yourself onto, but you'll walk around it trying to get on from every angle.

What I am really loving right now is the fact that you can just putter around, running up and down the hall, looking at books in your room, all happily by yourself. Last weekend Daddy was baking bread in the kitchen and I was working on a project at my laptop in the living room, and we had the radio on and you were just running around doing your thing, stopping to hug our legs or show us your toys every few minutes. It was just so genuinely realxed and pleasant and made me get all teary. We really do have a nice life.

Love,
Mommy

Monday, November 12, 2007

on the mend

2 weeks ago I was pregnant. We went in for our first prenatal check-up and ultrasound, and there was no heartbeat. For some reason (intuition?), I had had a very bad feeling about this pregnancy right from the beginning, so I wasn't entirely surprised when we found out we'd lost the baby. I was and am very sad, of course. And angry about our pans being messed up -- I was really looking forward to a June baby and a summer vacation from work, playing at the beach and the park with Delly and the new wee one.

I was hoping to miscarry naturally on my own withut having to get a D&C. I worked with an acupuncturist, I tried to reduce stress and worked a lot from home, took some half-days etc. It didn't work. I was completely stressed, was walking around in a fog, and was so run-down that I got horribly sick and developed bronchitis. I ended up getting a D&C this past Friday, and while I was practically out of my mind with anxiety about it, it went fine. Recovery has been a breeze, the worst part was dealing with the after-effects of having been intubated while suffering with a non-stop cough.

The emotional relief after getting the procedure done was incredible and totally unexpected. All of the waiting and wondering what my body would do and when it would do it was over, and it left me feeling practically giddy. I didn't quite realize just how much of a mess I'd been. Until you're on the other side, sometimes you just don't see how poorly you're doing. I was really just barely dragging myself through every day, hanging on by my fingertips. I'm tempted to say it was the worst 2 weeks of my life, but for all the pain and the heartache there was always Josh to love me and Delma to make me laugh. That little pip-squeak manages to make me laugh out loud every single day, no matter how awful I feel, and she is the best therapy ever.

Josh and I have been quite charmed. Our life is not perfect but we really haven't had to face major challenges yet as a couple. We have agood jobs, we found a way to buy the house we wanted, with both Delma and this last pregnancy we decided what time of year we wanted to have a baby and we got pregnant on the very first try... on a whole the major life planning stuff has gone according to our plans. This has been a bitter pill to swallow, dealing with this lack of control in our life, events out of our hands. For me that's been the hardest part of this whole ordeal. It's a good lesson for us, though. There are bigger forces at work, and I wasn't meant to have a summer vacation next year. Things will work out the way they're supposed to, even if it means being trapped in the house in the dead of winter with a toddler and a newborn. Right now that sounds like a nightmare to me, but hopefully by the time that happens it will feel perfect.

Monday, November 5, 2007

14 months

Delly, you are 14 months old. To celebrate, you decided to FINALLY sprout some teeth. Yay! You went to bed with one tooth popping through one night, and woke up with a second. About a week later, a third popped. And just this morning, about a week after your last tooth, the fourth came through. Full steam ahead! I must say that so far -- knock on wood! -- you are handling it like a champ. We've had a couple rough nights, but those were really because you also happened to have gotten sick during your first week of teething. But really we're all pretty much sailing through teething so far with minimal tears. Though I probably just jinxed it by saying that.

You are a really good walker now and can reach all sorts of completely not childproof things now that you've got all this height working for you. You love animals, you want to hug our cats all the time and you love seeing dogs when we're out. You are fearless, if a huge dog gets in your face and sniffs and licks you, you just laugh. All animals are "kitty" to you, including dogs and even the goats and llamas at Bishop's Farm. You also say ball ("baaaaah") and shoe ("doooooo"). This morning you started pointing to other round things, like the button's on Daddy's coat, and saying ball. Your sweet little brain is working very hard.

You are off bottles completely now, only drinking your milk from sippy cups. You also don't get any milk at bedtime anymore -- you were only getting it out of habit and weren't drinking much, so we stopped doing it one night to see how you'd deal with it, and you were fine. So now we just read some books, sing the Shema, and plop you in your crib and wash our hands of you entirely til morning. Again, I fear I'm jinxing us, but you are so great about going to bed. No matter how crazy our day is, we know that we just have to hang on til 7pm, and then you'll be tucked away in bed and we can spend the rest of our night doing special mommy/daddy things, like fighting over who gets to play Ratchet and Clank.

I think my favorite thing that you do right now is hug our legs. As you run around playing and getting into things, you'll just come up to one of us and throw yourself against our legs in a huge tight hug, and sometimes toss in a bonus of rubbing your facecrazily against our legs. I know what you're doing, you're trying to burrow into us to get a little closer. I know that feeling, of hugging and squooshing and never being able to quite get close enough, that's exactly how I feel when I hug you.

Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

3 down, a kajillion to go

Happy Bananaversary, Josh. Yet another action-packed year, filled with mystery and mayhem and still not a single fight. And also not a single recent picture of just the 2 of us.

Monday, October 8, 2007

zombie baby

Our girl is walking. And falling a lot, and still crawling when she's in a hurry, but finally, really, truly walking. She's been taking a few steps here and there for a while, but one evening last week Josh and I just sat on the floor and had her walk back and forth between us over and over and over, and finally some little switch flipped in her brain and she figured it out, and started walking by herself all over the place. Just like that, right then and there. It was such a trip.

Her balance is very iffy and she looks like a zombie walking around, all wobbly with her arms out in front of her and her mouth open. She was walking toward me this weekend and Josh said "Look out babe, she's coming for your brain."

We got some little Delma-sized furniture from Ikea, because when I go to pick her up at school and she's sitting in a mini-chair at a mini-table with all her short friends, it's just so cute that I can't stand it. We got her a little table and chairs set where she will hopefully one day create adorable crafts. Or do puzzles. Or something. And we got her the new kids' size POÄNG, which in addition to being fun to say, is also really nice. We put it together and told Delma it was hers, and she's been climbing on and off it ever since.



We have a strict policy of not letting her walk around with a bottle -- she needs to be sitting in her chair to drink it, just like any other meal or snack. Normally we strap her into her booster seat at the table, but now that she has this chair she likes to sit in it for her bottle, which is fine. It's actually better, since she can get up by herself when she's done instead of us having to untether her. This morning she didn't finish her bottle, so I set it aside on the coffee table. A little while later, she was sitting in her chair and she got off of it, went and got her bottle, and went back to her chair to sit down and drink some more all by herself. I'm constantly amazed by how much she understands now, and all the things she can do.

A year ago she was barely focusing her eyes, grunting and squirming and puking on herself non-stop. And we thought she was amazing. I could not have imagined what kind of person she'd start to become, how fun she would be, that every single day she would give Josh and me reason to just look at each other and say "Babe, how CUTE is that??"

more babies to pray for

I made a huge tray of baked ziti for Morgan's family on Friday. I didn't know what else to do, we've never even met the parents I don't think. I included a note asking them to please call us if we can help at all with grocery shopping, errands, housecleaning, watching their boys... Anything at all. I hope they take us up on the offer, even though we are complete strangers.

And I recently started exchanging emails with an old friend of mine, we used to be best friends but drifted apart and haven't seen or spoken with each other in several years. His second son was just born last week, with only one kidney. They knew that he only had one kidney, from ultrasounds etc, but until he was born there was no way to know what complications there would be, if any at all. Just got an email from my friend this morning, saying the baby is not doing well, he was admitted to ICU because of problems with his heart and his brain and they're running lots of tests. Just a nightmare.

I know it's such a simplistic thought, but it's just so bizarre going through a major life event -- whether the tragedy of a death in the family or a baby in ICU, or a joy like a honeymoon or a baby being born -- and having the rest of the world just carry on and keep turning, business as usual... Your life is turned upside-down, and yet there are still bills to be paid and work to be done, and people all around just doing their own things like always. It makes you feel so completely out of sync with the world. I thank God for this level of normalcy that we have back in our lives now again, now that life with Delma just feels relatively predictable and stable. My heart breaks for my friend's and Morgan's families. I hope they can bring healthy babies home with them soon and find their ways back to normal, stable, blissfully boring days.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

counting our blessings

A little girl at Delm'a daycare was just diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. Morgan is such a doll, she has a head full of blond curls and always gives me the sweetest smile when I say hi to her. I can not even imagine what her family is going through, I've been crying at my desk all day and it's giving me a splitting headache. I just want to hug and kiss Delma all day long.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

13 Months

Happy Lucky 13, Delly! You are so close to walking now, but you just really aren't that interested. You love to be on your feet, you're great at standing up by yourself, and every day you take a few steps. Now that you realize that you're actually walking, it seems to make you a little nervous. Daddy is determined to get you walking, but I am not in such a hurry. Crawling is fine with me. Not having to chase you is fine with me. We'll get there soon enough, it's hard to look at you and not see a baby anymore, I'm not anxious to see you on your feet and running off into the world.

This has been a busy month, with Daddy and me both traveling a bit. I was away from you for 2 nights when I went down to my company's office in Philadelphia. I'm not with you all day during the week, so it wasn't so hard to be away from you at all, but spending my evenings away from you was strange. It just felt like my life was on hold til I could get home again. Being around you just feels normal now, you keep me present and grounded. Without you close-by I feel like I'm adrift and I need you to bring me back to solid ground.

The High Holy Days were this past month too, which also kept us busy. And last night Sukkot began. We brought you to the temple to help decorate the sukkah. There were crafts for the kids to make, and you just sat on the floor chewing on a magic marker while we made construction paper chains and colored pictures of harvest fruits and vegetables. After all the decorations were hung up in the sukkah we all squooshed inside and said some prayers, and then shared a carry-in dinner together. It's wonderful to make these holidays an integral part of your world, to create these memories for you.

You sign "more" and "all done" now. It's so cute. Actually, your version of "all done" is more like you flapping your hands, but we know what you mean. And sometimes you sign "more" just to mimic me or because you know it makes me so happy and you like to get a reaction. :) You still are not a very picky eater, and eat just about every vegetable we feed you. You're the size of an average 18-month-old now and you are one tough cookie. Several times last week you took some good face-plants -- on the metal frame of our bed, on the corner of the wall jutting out in the bathroom, on the side of the bathtub. Even when it makes you cry you calm down pretty fast with some hugs and kisses and just carry on like a champ, big bruises and all. This is a pretty regular thing for you, I keep expecting daycare to report us and find DCF at the door. I swear, we do not beat you, you really are just a flippy-floppy klutz!

Precious is really warming up to you, and likes to lounge around in your room when we play in there. She'll lay down next to me, then you'll try to grab her or you'll get in her face and squeal, and she'll walk around to the other side of me, and you'll follow, and on and on. You two circle around me, you climbing and hanging on me, over and over until you grab her tail and she leaves the room. One morning when you and I were alone and I was in the bathroom getting ready for work, I heard you tearing all over the the upstairs, shrieking and squealing. You'd been chasing Precious all over the place, and finally got her cornered in her little kitty cube that she sleeps in. Poor thing was trying to just get the hell away from you but you were merciless in your cute pursuit.

Yesterday we visited with my girlfriend Kristine from high school and her kids. I was holding her 3-mo-old baby, and you started to get a little bit threatened by it. You were sweet to her, but you definitely stuck very close to me to make sure I knew who my baby really was, and you kissed me. It was the first time you've ever initiated a kiss and it was just the best. You are just the best.

Love,
Mommy

Friday, September 7, 2007

Crafts

It's a beautiful sunny day, so I took a break from work (love working from home on Fridays, talking on conf calls in my bathrobe!) to snap some quick pics outside in the sunshine. I took Tuesday off this week to get an extra-long weekend after Labor Day and to do some crafting. It's tough to only have evenings after D goes to bed, so it was nice to get a day to myself in the house with just me and my rotary cutter and sewing machine. The fruits of my labor, all to be mailed out for swaps:

A little appliqued shirt for the son of a swap partner:


Coasters, using the pattern from Bend-The-Rules Sewing (each pic shows both sides of the coasters):





Covered photo books, a little invention of mine. I just use the cheapy albums you get from the photo counter at Walmart, iron some interfacing onto a piece of 9"x16" fabric, and hem up the sides and Voila! A cute little album to keep in your purse!








And here are some little lavender sachets, with pink organza ribbon loops that pretty much disappeared in the sunlight:


And also a Shana Tova (Rosh Hashanah - Happy New Year) card. I found this image online, printed it onto that fabric that you run through the printer (sew-on transfers, not iron-on), cut it out with pinkers and sewed onto card stock. They came out pretty cute:


Back to emails and project planning and budgets, and then on to more important tasks: playing with leaves and sticks on the driveway with Delma. TGIF!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Happy 1st Birthday

Oh Delma, you are a whole year old today. Our little baby is nowhere to be seen, in her place is a force to be reckoned with, a fascinating little girl who is learning so much every day that we can practically hear the sizzle and pop of little synapses firing and forming in your brain.

You've always liked taking things out of things, like emptying my bag, pulling tissues or baby wipes out of their containers, taking books off the shelves, etc. But in the past month you've started putting things into things, which provides opportunity for many funny discoveries, like finding a binky in your drawer in the kitchen, finding a stuffed animal in your shape sorting bucket, finding your shoe that you took off and put into a little bin at school, etc. You also like to feed us, putting your little bits of dinner into our mouths, though you don't understand that we need to chew and swallow before you can put more food in. The devil's in the details.

You used to like to play with books, but now you'll actually pay attention while we read you a whole book. When we used to read you books, you were more interested in grabbing them and playing with them and wouldn't usually let us even read a whole page start to finish unless we held on tight to the book to fight off your grabby paws. But now you'll bring a book to us and will pay attention to every page. I could cry now just thinking about it, my daughter someday loving books, spending whole rainy days reading and rereading Judy Blume books and Bridge to Terabithia, or whatever books blow girls' minds these days. There's a whole beautiful amazing world in books and I can't wait for you to discover it. But for now, I'm happy to read you the little Mary Engelbright Mother Goose books over and over, so we can join in with the dog who laughs to see such sport in Hey Diddle Diddle.

You can understand and follow (when you choose to) directions now. You're like some little robot, we have to very carefully give you simple, explicit and short directions, like "Don't put your rabbi puppy in your poop." Because you have a little puppy dog wearing a yarmulke and a tallis and you put him right into the poopy diaper I had just taken off of you. But more often we just tell you to pick things up and put things down and hand us things over and over because we think it's so cute. It's just so cool that you can understand what we're saying to you. I wish you were more interested in trying to speak to us too -- though you're very verbal, you don't really have words yet that you use consistently. I think it's too early to worry about that, though.

You love music so much, and now you dance a little too. You'll rock back and forth, sometimes with your hands up in the air, or you'll do the classic toddler bouncy dance. We don't know where you got the rocking thing, and they don't know at your daycare either. Maybe it's primal, maybe you saw someone do it once, who knows. All I know is we're pleased to have another baby trick that we can make you perform for guests.

Thank you for the best year, baby bunny rabbit. Daddy and I think that raising children is probably like marriage: if you can survive the first year, it's smooth sailing from there on out. :)

Happy Birthday!

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Why, China, why?

Here's another wonderfully thoughtful post from one of my heroes.

She has lots of great info about how to avoid toys made in China, links to great stores that carry European toys (like one of our favorites, Oompa Toys), info about toy companies that work in China but have strict oversight policies, and ideas for making toys. I commented on her post, basically asking her to adopt me, but I haven't heard back yet.

Friday, August 10, 2007

OMG Birthday (almost)!!!



During Shabbat service last week Josh became Bar Mitzvah, along with 4 other people who decided to finally become official adults, some more than 40 years behind schedule. Better late than never! It was a wonderful service, a great celebration with friends and family and our congragation, and it's nice to finally be married to a man. His voice might finally change now.

Since we had family in town for this big event, we had an early First Birthday Extravaganza for miss D.

Cupcakes inspired by Martha and this super-crafty maven:



Martha birthday garland (came with pink ribbon which I swapped out for some bright orange instead):




Hanging tissue flowers using Martha's instructions (they sell a kit at Michael's too, but it's cheaper to buy your own supplies). Not great natural light in the living room, but you get the idea:


I've also made a few more pinafores. One for D, one for a gift for a small friend of ours (no picture -- damn!), and another as a commision (!!!) for the lovely Miss Melanoma's wee Scarlet. Again, no picture. But I've asked her to take one and send it to me, so...

But here is Delma's newest, with one side being modeled by D and the other side modeled by a hanger (less cute than D by far, IMHO):


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Swapbot junkie

I just signed up on Swapbot and immediately joined a kajillion swaps. All cute little ones that require little-to-no spending, just crafting and what-not. One where you just write a letter describing how you met your significant other, one where you write a list of 10 favorite things and describe why you love them, one where you make a mix CD. Fun!!! I miss getting fun stuff in the mail, this should be good times man, good times.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

like I need more things to freak out over

Amy Karol is great, and I need to thank her for 2 things:
1. Her amazing book that has rocked my world; and
2. Completely freaking me out about plastic

So, now I have to find plastic baby bottles that are as non-toxic as possible, and stainless steel snack containers, and stainless sippy cups, and glass storage containers for home.

We're already using Envirosax , and though we don't always remember them, and some plasic bags find their way home with us sometimes, we've made big progress there.

We use completely biodegradable garbage bags in the kitchen, and I keep little biodegradable dog-poo bags in the diaper bag to use for Del's dirty gDiapers inserts when we're out and can't flush them or secretly dispose of them. The corn-based kitchen garbage bags are good, but you do have to be careful and not put wet stuff in the garbage or else the bags will start to break down right there in your kitchen. That's happened to us, and it's very annoying to pull the bag out of the container just to have all the contents spill onto the floor. We did that once, and have not made the same mistake since. Luckily we have a spot in the woods that we can actually reach from our deck, where we toss compostable wet stuff, so it's easy to not put that stuff in the garbage. I'm also using lots more dish towels for spills and wiping food off Delma after her meals, and cloth napkins for us, so we don't have many wet paper towels that go into the trash.

Someone in the comments to Amy's post was talking about the trouble with finding alternatives for plastic produce bags. You can't use anything opaque because then cashiers can't see the stickers on them, etc. She found a company in Canada called grassroots that will sell the mesh bags that they put oranges in, so you can use and reuse them yourself. They're still plastic, but at least you're reusing. That made me think of knitting my own smaller version of this cotton net bag to use for little things like fruit. We actually rarely use produce bags. I don't mind putting piles of freely rolling fruit etc into our carriage. But for some things like leafy greens they really need to stay sealed up or else they'll get all wilty in the fridge. I should just start rinsing and reusing produce bags for that.

If I could just find a way to get paid for sitting around and worrying about things like this, life would be perfect!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

dark days

Delma's fever finally broke last night, after 4 days. Josh comes home from his 10-day Euro-adventure tonight. We all go back to work and daycare tomorrow. No rest for the weary. I *almost* feel like an ass for complaining at all, considering that a really bad day for/with Delma still isn't all that bad in the big picture. She has really awful periods, but then just as much time in the day when she's just herself, puttering around and licking things and spinning around on her tushy and hugging her animal friends and climbing on the coffee table and chasing the cats. She is more and more fun every day. Despite being sick and often miserable, this week she started some new tricks:
- Doing "so big"
- Really waving bye-bye (with both hands, all floppy and loosey-goosey) and sometimes saying Bye!
- Putting her binky in my mouth
- Copying me and putting some little stuffed animals and toys on the heads of bigger ones
- Squeezing the foot on her piggy to make it play music and sing

The pig is a big deal. She has had a very complicated relationship with this pig, wanting to hug it and be friends with it, but then getting freaked out when it would be activated and play music and wiggle it's little feet. But once she learned how to do it herself, Delma and the pig managed an unspoken truce. They get along famously now.

She really watches things now and tries to figure out what they do, how they work, etc. You can practically hear the little wheels in her brain spinning to work. This girl has come a long way. I can't belive she used to be half the size of our cats and just grunted and squirmed and we used to look at her and wonder how on earth it could ever get any better than that. It gets better every minute of every day.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Aprons

A very simple beginner's apron: the Tea Towel Apron from Amy Karol's Bend-the-Rules Sewing. Seriously fabulous book.I had been looking at these same Xochi towels for months and months and months at our little cafe in town that sells some cute little kitchen thingies and gourmet condiments and whatnot. I think they sell them for around $12. Found them at Homegoods for $3.99. Score!



Tonight I'm working on some more pinafores, for gifts and maybe also for Delma. I should be cleaning this pig-sty, doing laundry or dishes, but I just can not get myself to do any of that. Josh is out of town, and I always sort of fall to shit when he's away, all I do is eat pasta and ice cream and watch TV or maybe do crafty stuff. Delma was having a tough time tonight, really fussy and not eating well and very clingy and whiney, running a low fever, and my patience was nowhere to be found. I had to let her sit on the floor crying for a few minutes while I cleared dishes, I had to just be away from her or else I thought I'd lose it. I hate that, I hate that there's part of me that's so selfish when my child is in need. After that there were lots of cuddles and kisses and reading books together, but I still just could not wait for her to go to bed so I could turn my mind off. Ugh. It's times like these when I really wish I had a mom, someone to come over and hug me and help me.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

11 Months

Delly,
You are 11 whole months old. You look nothing like a baby anymore, even according to Gap and Old Navy clothing sizes, you're a toddler. Yesterday you walked across the kitchen with me, holding on with only one hand. You'll be flying solo soon, baby girl!

You spent a few hours with Grandmommy and Grandpa Joe yesterday so I could have some time alone, while Daddy is away being a rock star. You had a blast with them, and when they took you to Stoney Creek to look at the water you made some new friends as you always do. You're a huge flirt and you especially like to make eyes at men and get all cute and coy. Your new buddies fell in love with you and Grandpa even took a pic of you with them, you are such a ham. Hatton through and through.

You are becoming really affectionate, which is so sweet and special. You hug your stuffed animals all the time, squeezing them and burying your face it them, and you'll give them kisses if I give them kisses first and you mimic me. It's adorable. You try to kiss us sometimes too, which you do by opening your mouth as wide as possible and trying to cover our mouths like you're going to consume our faces or french us or something. You've gotten me, Daddy, and this weekend you got Grandmommy too. You climb all over me when I sit on the floor with you and like to touch my face and stare at me like I'm the most fascinating creature on earth, which I pretty much am.

You are into everything, you will reach up and pull anything off of any table or counter that you can reach. I am developing my Spidey Sense, that fear that all parents get when things become eerily quiet, which inevitably means I'll find you in the middle of the floor surrounded by a pile of tissues that you've pulled one by one out of the box, or your wipes, or an entire roll of toilet paper you've unraveled, etc. You like to stand at the side of the bathtub and look in and drop binkies and toys in there for me to retrieve (arf!), and the other night when I filled it up for your bath, the entire surface was covered with tiny little bits of toilet paper that you had apparently ripped up and dropped in there while I was doing my makeup that morning. The other day while you were happily eating your lunch -- and were properly dressed -- I jumped into the office to send an email to Daddy, and when I came back you looked like this:


You are getting funnier and funnier, and as hard as is it to keep up with you and as tiring and challenging as you are, every day you make me laugh out loud. I can not believe that in less than a month you'll be one year old, Delma. One year full of the biggest fears and anxieties, and the biggest laughs.

Love,
Mommy

music and crafts

If you haven't heard Mika yet, go to Amazon or iTunes and listen to the samples STAT, especially for Love Today. He performed on SO You Think You Can Dance (OMG, LOVE THAT SHOW!), and when I was fast-forwarding over it like I always do for the filler stuff on that show, the banter, the music, etc, I saw him jumping around the stage, all 9 feet and 23 pounds of him, so I stopped to watch it and got so so excited. Super-fun music.

I haven't been doing as much sewing as I'd like, but I have gotten a few thinks done, including this embelished tee and reversable pinafore for my girlfriend's daughter. I made a tee like this for Delma, and my friend loved it so I made her one. The pinafore is a repro of one I bought on Etsy. I fell in love with it, and realized it was the simplest design so I made a pattern from it and started making my own. I have lots of fabrics waiting to be made into pinnies!

The appliqués are made from these instructions at jcaroline creative. I didn't use a pattern, just cut some circles out from fabric, so I skipped steps 1 and 3. So simple. And I (very sloppily) sewed ric rac on for the stems. Such a home-job, but it still looks pretty cute.




Front, back and reverse views of the pinafore:




And hopefully soon I'll get around the shipping them off to the wee recipient!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Delma's bodily functions

Because no one ever tires of reading about diapering issues and such, I thought I'd provide an update to the 2 people (Hi, Heidi!) who read this blog: Delma's daycare ended up letting us use gDiapers after all. We bought a bigger size because they seemed to think the fit just wasn't right. But no matter what size they use on her, they still regularly get some leaks so I think they just don't put them on right. They also don't use them exclusively, so we do still send some disposables (switched to Seventh Generation, at least) that they use sometimes. I don't know why, I guess maybe some of the people who work there are freaked out by them and would rather just use disposables. I don't actually care anymore, I feel like any fewer disposables they use is progress.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

deer

This is why we can't plant any hastas or tulips. Or, as I found out this year, lillies. Hmpf. They do make for great live-action entertainment for the kitties, though.

Simon

Simon Fondu Pepitone was born on July 12, a few weeks early. Baby and mommy are doing great. Erica is someone who's become a really good friend, and I just adore her. She moved back to CT last year and was a huge support to me after Delma was born, even though I don't think she really realized it. She was my one friend who was just like Hey! I'm coming over to see you! And would just be around a lot without ever feeling weird like she was getting in the way or invading some pseudo-sacred mommy-baby time or something. I think a lot of people, unfortunately including family, felt like they didn't want to intrude and would just wait for an invite. Like when you have a baby you make plans to have people over for tea or something. No, at least for us, it worked better when people would call or email and ask if they could come by. It took all the pressure of planning off of us, and of course we always had the option of saying nope, not today, we're too tired. But Erica was great, popping in to chat and cuddle with Delma regularly when she had breaks between work appointments. I'm so psyched that she had a baby and we have this whole new huge thing in common.

Simon:


Erica, looking all rosy and gorgeous after about 2 days of labor and one teensy nap!




Simon was a great excuse to start sewing. I made some little appliques and put them on onesies, and I made a pair of shoes using this super-easy pattern.





I also made a bunch of burp cloths for her shower, but forgot to take pictures. The mom of a friend of mine gave me a couple special burp cloths when Delma was born, just some cute ribbon sewn onto the short-side hems of soft cloth diapers. So simple, but it was nice to use them out in public and feel like I was slightly hip and put-together despite being unshowered and sleepy and smelling milky and being covered in spit-up. I ended up making a few more myself, using some pink camo grosgrain. For Erica/Simon, I took some nice Kushies and pre-washed them, sewed them right sides together with a piece of cute cotton print fabric, left a little hole, turned them inside-out, and then top-stitched all around. So so so insanely fast and easy, and they all look adorable. Can use the same "technique" to make a blanket, using flannel or minky or chenille for backing with a really cute print. I have a couple lined up for Delma and up-coming baby gifts.

Monday, July 23, 2007

away and back


Home from vacation. Well, home from "vacation." A vacation with a baby is not exactly a vacation. It's more like every other day except away from home. We were on Cape Cod, had a teensy bit of nice beach time, went for nice drives, did a few fun things, saw Harry Potter, and had some really good nights at home after D went to sleep with our friends with whom we rented the house. It actually was better than I expected, I was braced for the worst but we really did have some fun. And we realized that D is really quite adaptable, she slept in the Pack-n-Play in a strange house like it was nothing. There was way more space to run around there than in our house too, and she had an absolute blast playing chase with our friends. She just screams and squeals and crawls after us now lightening-fast, it's so funny.

It's always good to come home though, and D was really happy to see her friends and her teachers at school this week. She seriously was so happy to see them, Josh said it was adorable when he dropped her off on Monday morning.

My newest Delma-obsession is her hydration. Of course I always have to have something to panic about! Now that she can feed herself finger-foods, she will not let us spoon-feed her at all, so she won't eat yogurt or cereal. And she's not great about taking her bottle anymore, so I'm constantly afraid of her getting dehydrated. Luckily she does like to drink water from her sippy-cup... We can't get her to drink more than a few sips of formula from her cup, though. Gah! BUT, on the up-side she is trying all sorts of new foods and loving them. Last night she had sauteed mushrooms and asparagus. She eats blueberries like there's no tomorrow, which is no surprise considering when I was pregnant I ate so many blueberries that we thought she'd come out looking like Violet Beauregard.

Listening to Jim Dale narrate the new Harry Potter. It's great, I'm loving it.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Would you care for a slice of hip bone?

I want to say this once, to get it out of my system and then move past it: I am pissed -- really effing pissed -- that people from work have some weird compulsion to read this blog. When I found out, I shut it down to invitation-only access, but have since opened it back up again. The point of the blog is not only for me to journal but also for me to connect with unexpected people, which making it private took away from me. On the other hand it was a good wake-up call, making me think twice before writing just any old thing for all the world to read. Done, moving on...

I want to donate bone marrow. Why? because it sounds awesome to have someone chip away at my hip bone and cause me agony. And then there's the added perk of maybe saving or prolonging someone's life. You can't donate if you have Lyme's Disease, and when I found that out I read about the symptoms and realized I must surely have it. It's easy to fall into that trap -- I could probably convince myself that I have testicular cancer too. So I went and got tested for Lyme's, and just for good measure my doc also ran some other tests. No Lyme's, but as it turns out I do test hypothyroid. I just had my thyroid tested 9 months ago at my annual physical just weeks after Delma was born. But apparently this is a typical post-partum thing that can show up within a year after giving birth. It'll probably correct itself, but until then I'm on medication. And now that I know this, I'm seeing very clearly some symptoms I've developed over the past few months that were actually becoming really barely manageable. All sorts of things are so clear now, that I'm amazed by how awful I was feeling but not really noticing because all I was trying to do was cope with getting from one day to the next.

Monday, June 25, 2007

10 months

Delly,
You are 10 months old today. You are a crawling dynamo and are pulling yourself up on absolutely everything now. Though it's only been a few weeks, I can barely remember what it was like when we had to carry you from room to room with us instead of urging you to follow us around like a little puppy. It's amazing to me how every new phase in your development becomes so all-consuming for us that we forget completely what life was like just days or weeks ago.



You are amazed by mirrors. You stand up in front of the full-length mirror on the back of our bathroom door, bang on it and talk to your reflection. You like to watch us in the shower, too, you pull yourself up on the edge of the tub and play peek-a-boo with us while we shower. Even in the tub during your own bathy you are constantly getting onto your feet. Washing your hair has become quite a challenge.



We've been saying this since you were 4 months old, but now we really really think you might actually be teething! You've been waking up at night and though you usually go right back to sleep if we put a binky in your mouth, last night you (we) had a really tough time. Daddy resorted to swaddling you and holding/shushing you like we used to do when you were tiny. It was the only way to get you back to sleep. All we can think, since you aren't sick, is that you must be uncomfortable from teething. Why don't you just tell us what's wrong?! :)

You're starting to get a little bit cuddly, which is so wonderful. You've always loved being held, but not in a cozy cuddly way -- you usually want to grab at us and check us out. Now you'll crawl onto us and give us little excited mini-hugs, jam your face onto some part of our body for a few seconds in some fleeting ecstatic urge. You're starting to appreciate little stuffies and lovies too, and like to hug and bury your face in your little pancake puppy and your piggy blanket.

This past weekend we went to a party at the Handelmans' house, and it was our first experience with lots of couples and babies. We learned that you are a brute. You'll crawl right over anyone and grab things out of other kids' hands, just to lick them and toss them aside and move on to the next object that catches your eye. It was sort of embarrassing, but what could we do? We also learned that your cute trick where you sit on your butt and then use your legs to spin around and around is unique. You did it for about a half-hour straight and everyone thought it was hilarious. Of course we've always loved it too, but we assumed it was some normal baby thing. Apparently not. Hmmmm.

Love,
Mommy

Monday, June 18, 2007

happy daddy day

When Josh was little, instead of saying he wanted to be a fireman or a policeman or a doctor when he grew up, he said he wanted to be a dad. He's the only man I've met whose biological clock was ticking. He was every bit as excited as I was to get pregnat, enter the kooky world of parenthood, all of it. The biggest selling point for me in marrying Josh was that I knew that if anything should ever happen to me, my children would be safe with him and would always be 110% loved.

I can not imagine learning how to be a mom without Josh by my side. From the second Delma was born, he was right in the game without any hesitation. He wasn't overly cautious or nervous, he took to being a dad like a fish to water. He took care of me in the beginning so I could just focus on making sure Delma was fed -- nursing was tough at first and I never ever could have stuck it out with Josh's help. He has never met a poopy diaper he couldn't handle. He wanted Delma to start taking the bottle so that he could get up and feed her at night.

Delma is so lucky to be Josh's daughter. I am so lucky to be Josh's wife. We love you, babe.

Monday, June 4, 2007

9 Months

Delma,
You are now 9 months old. You are such a vibrant, engaging child with a very distinct personality, but you are also such a part of me that when I press my nose to your head or bury my face in your neck, I can't smell anything, as if I were trying to smell my own arm.


Right now you are in your crib making the sweetest la-la-la noises and babbles. This is a delightful change, you usually practice the range of your voice, screech like a dolphin, do this funny silence then BLAH! then silence then BLAH! thing, etc. We long for the days of your sweet little coos, as you mostly just sound like a tyrant these days. You're happy and you're just fine entertaining yourself in your crib, but your voice just makes you sound like a brute. You still wake up VERY early, around 5am most days, so we have taken to letting you just hang out til at least 6am before we fetch you, and as we go about our early-morning routines we have lots of laughs listening to you talk and sing and just make non-stop noise.


You started crawling for real a couple of days ago. It is so cute to watch you. To be honest, I was starting to think you'd never do it. You just weren't interested at all. When you wanted something, you were content to sit on your but, peg your arms and legs straight out in front of you, tense every muscle in your body, turn red and bellow. It didn't seem like any amount of Frustration As Motivator would work on you. But then you just did it. Just like that, with encouragement from Daddy. You are officially mobile, little bunny.


Your affect on total strangers is amazing. People love babies, I know, but you seem to go beyond the norm and suck just about everyone into your gravitational pull. You stare at people and make eye contact with everyone and I think that your coloring and the amout of hair you have just look quite dramatic and catch people's attention. People go to mush around you, everywhere we go. You have a way of lighting up a room, of making people happy. You are magic.

Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

saga continues...

OMG, seriously, could I talk about something other than diapers? No. Our daycare called today, D had 2 big poops that went through her diapers. SO they won't let us use the gDiapers anymore, as they got poop on their hands and it's unsanitary, so they'll only use disposables on her again. ?? How is that any different than when a baby in a disposable diaper has a blow-out and poops through their clothes??? Argh.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

more on diapers...

Since we started our adventures with gDiapers, it has taken up LOTS of space in my head, and lots of time in my day. Still trying to figure out exactly how to work it all, like now what to do with wipes etc.

I think what we're going to do with diapers is:
Flush poopy diapers, trash pee diapers

This will help us not beat the crap out of our septic. They're biodegradable, so even if the tinkle ones end up in a landfill they're better than regular disposables. And if we muster up the oompf to do some composting, we can put them in there.

And for wipes (maybe):
Use disposable wipes for poo, and just use a wet cloth for pee that will go into the wash afterward.

Good god, the laundry. Until now we've managed to do baby laundry twice a week. Not anymore. We aren't actually doing a ton more laundry, it's just that we have to do smaller loads more often to make sure we always have more than the bare minimum of clean diapers on hand.

I've been reading a bit about cloth diapers too, and I sort of wish we'd tried that with Del. I guess we still could try it at home, but I doubt they'd go for it at daycare. Apparently lots of daycares just flat-out do not do cloth diapers. We're lucky I guess that ur folks didn't even blink at the request that they support our move to gdiapers.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Def Leppard

Josh's band is going to the UK and Europe this summer. They're playing a festival in Germany, and some other shows. They have a way longer set at the festival than they usually play, so they're trying to think of a few covers to play to fill out the set. I've come up with some super-awesome ideas, like Mickey by Toni Basil which would be really great and they really should heed my wisdom and play it! So I was trying to come up with some other ideas too.

me: "What about a great Def Leppard song?"
Josh: "Ummmmm..."
me: "Everybody loves Def Leppard!"
Josh: "Ummmmm..."
me: "Everybody doesn't love Def Leppard?"
Josh: "No."
me: "Then why do I love Def Leppard so much?"
Josh: "I've been trying to figure that out for the past 4 years."

mommy moments

I had my first real taste of Mommy Power this past weekend. We were visiting with family, and my MIL was holding Delma. D was getting fussy and fidgety so my MIL passed her to me. The second she got into my arms she instantly quieted. Whoosh. Calm. She just stood on my lap facing me and gnawed on my necklace and was happy as a clam. How amazing that I can have that effect on another person, that I can be all she needs to just feel safe and centered. What a blessing.

D has a good bedtime routine, we feed her dinner at 6, give her bathy at 6:30, and at 7 she gets a bottle and goes to bed. She likes her routine, and goes right to bed with no fuss and puts herself to sleep. When she gets her bottle, we shut her bedroom door so no kitties wander in and distract her, we turn the light down low so she knows it's nighttime, and we turn her white noise machine on. We really try not to mess with the routine, because we're pretty much obsessed with her sleep schedule and we don't want to do anything that will screw it up.

Josh usually puts D to bed, but he's out of town this week. Last night as I was giving her a bottle and singing to her, she got all squooshy and cuddly. She just wanted to watch my face while I sang to her. I realized we've been robbing ourselves of a really special time with her, right before bed when she's all sweet and sleepy. When she was tiny, at night we made sure to keep feedings to "just business," no playing or anything that would stimulate her, to get the idea of night vs. day really cemented in her mind. We've kept that up, but I think now her bedtime routine is well established enough that we don't need to be so hyper-vigilant. I think now we can give up a bit of that control and follow her lead. If she's really exhausted, put her right to bed. If she wants to squirm around and have some cuddles and kisses, then by God that kid should absolutely get cuddles and kisses.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

making friends with the earth again

Before D was born, I ordered the gdiapers starter kit and refills. I was so excited. Then she was born and we got home and I had no room in my head for anything other than putting one foot in front of the other every day and just surviving. We never opened the gdiapers. I did make sure to buy all natural household cleaners, but other than that my head was not in a very earth-friendly space. I totally succumbed to convenience.

After almost 9 months of mommyhood, I finally feel like we're in a groove, at long last. We have a schedule for Delma, our days and nights are pretty predictable, and with that new level of comfort is coming the freeing up of some mental space and energy. I went back to the gdiapers site and re-read all the alarming statistics regarding disposable diapers. D is too big for the newborn-sized stuff I bought last year, so I stocked up on all the goods for her current size. They arrived last week, and so far so good. We even have the people at daycare using them during the day too, which I am so pleased about. They aren't flushing, they're throwing the diaper inserts out. But that's fine with me, at least it's all biodegradable! It definitely requires a bit more planning and work than just using disposables, but both Josh and I are happy to put in the extra work since it means being kinder to the planet. I wish we'd done this from Day 1 -- I think the key is to be completely committed to it, and prepared and ready to go before the baby is born, so that when you get home you can just start using them and don't have to feel like you're figuring out some new project. We just weren't prepared and we obviously were not 100% committed. We took a sort of wait and see approach, and if you do that you will never just decide to start doing something that requires more effort. You need to acknowledge the extra effort and accept it and commit to it.

I also ordered BioBags from drugstore.com... Our local natural foods market carries Seventh Generation, which is better than regular trash bags since it's mostly post-consumer plastic, but I really want to try the biodegradable ones. Far more expensive than getting a big ol' box from Target or Walmart, but since we won't be using a diaper pail anymore we'll hopefully be using less garbage bags. We'll see how they work.

AND I ordered these super-cute shopping bags. I even got a discount using a code from Cool Mom Picks. I have forgotten them in the car every single time I've gone shopping since I got them, so they're not working out too great yet, but I'm sure they will once I get myself into the habit!

All of this more earth-conscious living is making Josh think about going back to veganism. We're vegetarian and are raising D vegetarian. When it comes to dairy products, especially for D, I'm trying to be more conscientious about organics etc. I appreciate and respect veganism, but I just don't think it's a committment I'm willing to make right now, and it seems to me like that's something we would need to do together as a family. If one person is vegan, we'd have to cook vegan for the whole family. Our restaurant options would be severely restricted. I know these are all manageable issues, people make it work all the time, I just don't think that's where my head is right now. Right now I need to get used to flushing Delma's poo and to using garbage bags made from corn. Baby steps!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to me. Technically I was a mother last year since I had a bebe in my belly, but this year it's really really real. I told Josh a while ago that for Mother's Day, I wanted to go away by myself for a night in a hotel, to get a good night's sleep. He's a bit of an over-doer, and though a night at a Best Western watching cable and reading a book in the bathtub would have been just fine with me, he instead sent me to a spa. Huzzah! It was great, I got a facial and a manicure and a seaweed mud wrap thing. I took a line dancing class and a toning/stretching class. I got an astrological birth chart done for Delma, and a tarot card reading done for me. I had room service dinner while I lazed about watching Beauty and the Geek. I finished a book I've been reading. It was over the top, and Josh is not allowed to by me any gifts again for a long time, but it was wonderful.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

8 Months

Delma is 8 months old. Actually, since I am so late in posting as usual, she is about 8 and a half months. Crazy. She had been really healthy, then caught some little tummy bug last weekend and was running a fever for a day or 2. It was very weird, even when she's been sick before she rarely really seems sick. But this time, all day on Monday she was totally mopey, lethargic, a bump on a log. So not like her usual peppy kooky self. It sort of freaked me out, she would let me cuddle and hug her, whereas normally she's too interested inpulling and pushing me and grabbing and squirming to ever let me just have some nice quiet cuddle time with her. I had just been complaining days before that she never lets me mush and cuddle, and then she got sick and did let me, but I would have traded her back for her annoyingly squirmy healthy self in a second.

She's all better now, though, and is donning fun little summer clothes now that we're having some warm days. LOVE the summer baby, with the exposed flesh and the sweaty little head.

Del still isn't crawling, but she sometimes seems like she almost might be making some progress. She does on occasion get on her knees and rock, but it seems more accidental than anything. She's happy to push herself around backwards on her belly, though, and she scooted herself right into the kitchen the other day and found the cat food. Oops. Time to baby-proof. She mostly likes holding someones hands and pulling herself up, but now she likes plopping back down on her tush too. She used to cry any time she plopped down, but now she does it on purpose. She'll do it over and over and over and over. We call it "Up and Oop!" Good times.

A few weeks ago we went to a birthday party for our niece Aria, who turned 5. My sister-in-law is one of 4 kids, and they each have kids around the same age and all live near each other and the little cousins all spend tons of time together. With the exception of the youngest, my nephew Elijah, they're all girls, and they're all tight. They were so excited to see Baby Delma, they practically descended on her like lions on prey, though in a very loving way instead of an I'm-gonna-chew-you sort of way. Alexandria put a little tiara on her. Del was overwhelmed but fascinated. We just kept our distance and let her get sucked into their world, my SIL's mother was holding her most of the time. It was very cute to sit back and see it all play out, see our baby trying to make sense of this completely foreign world. Josh and I have problems with my SIL, and her family is rather overbearing and they're definitely a tight pack, but I want Delma to know her cousins and have the experience of extended family. It's hard, it means that we have to make a real effort to see them and spend time with them, but it will be worth it for Delma's sake.

Up until recently, Del had this strange thing where she'd get very upset when we'd play with blocks and a tower of them would crash down. I would make little towers and she'd watch me, and then I'd knock them down or she'd try to grab the top one and accidentally knock them all down, and it would really freak her out. I don't know why. But now all of a sudden, she's fine with it and has also started doing this cute thing sometimes where every block that I put down she'll grab and put in a little hoarded stash in front of her. Very cute. I put it down, she grabs it. If I want to make a tower I have to do it very fast because she'll grab as fast as I can stack. Of course she won't do it if there are witnesses... I wanted to show Josh how cute it is, and she doesn't do it if he's there. She's like that singing frog from the cartoon.

Friday, April 20, 2007

black plague strikes again

I can not catch a break this year! Oh my god, I keep getting so horribly sick, this has been the grossest winter/spring ever. I am so ready for less rain, more sunshine and fresh air. I feel like I need to put on some sunglasses, dress all in black, and go lay down on some black-top somewhere and just bake myself til I've essentially pasteurized my system and killed off all the hideous crap that's been coursing through me. Antibiotics have kicked in and the codeine has done a good job of helping me sleep at night, but it's all left me feeling completely whomped.

Very pleased that all the new fashions have floppy shirts that make everyone look pregnant and hide sad bloated tummies.

Delma wants to stand so badly... She's figured out that if she grabs our hands when she's sitting, she can pop herself up to a standing position. And she gets really pissed when you plop he back down on her butt. The woman who spends the most time with D and the other babies under 1yr (aka The Littles) at daycare said that D will stare at the woman's hands to see when she can find her in, and grab them to stand up. Yesterday she tried pulling herself up on an activity center toy like another Little there does. The girl doesn't even crawl! I really don't think she will, either -- I think she's going to go straight to her feet.

I ordered a couple of these cute necklaces, one in pink and one in blue. They're specifically made out of the same rubbery plastic that teething toys are made of, for ladies who have babies who chew their necklaces. D is obsessed. The second you pick her up she reaches right out for your necklace. If you aren't wearing one she rests her little hand where your necklace should be. She really likes these, and I know they're safe for her to gnaw on. It's a win-win!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

7 Months



Delma is 7 months old. Wow. She is a little person now, sometimes I look at her and I wonder just who she is and what she's doing in my house. She's completely weened now, so I don't have that physical connection with her anymore... When she was hungry she used to grab me and smother her face in my chest -- now instead when she sees her bottle she starts getting all impatient and cries and it makes me really sad. She's completely separate from me, if I dropped off the face of the earth she probably wouldn't notice. Josh, on the other hand, she would notice. She is such a daddy's girl already -- if he's in the room she can't keep her eyes off him. When he leaves the room she just stares at the doorway he left through. The only thing that's maybe as interesting to her as Josh are the cats. She beams the biggest smiles when she sees them, her head whips around to check them out when she hears a meow, when they come near her she screams with delight (and then looks completely confused when they get scared and run away).

I'm glad she won't remember this part of her childhood. I fear that this is how she'd remember it:

Sitting on the bathroom floor every morning when we get ready for work. Babies shouldn't have to play on the bathroom floor! It's clean, but it's weird. She gets to look up at our naked butts as we get in and out of the shower and get ready for work. I think we're going to end up being "that weird naked family."

Her hair is so long now that we have to put a barrette in it every day. We love her crazy unruly hair, but one day when Josh picked her up from daycare there was a piece of yarn tied in it on the top of her head, Pebbles-style, and they made a comment about how it always in her eyes... OK, OK, point taken. Now we put a barrette in front, but we let the rest just stay all crazy.

A couple weeks ago she developed Thrush, the poor thing. She's such a good sport about being sick that we didn't even notice it for quite a few days, until the daycare people pointed it out. All we noticed was that she wasn't eating as much as usual, and then we relized it was because she was uncomfortable. :( It's her own fault, though, she should have just told us instead of withholding information! Seriously, when will she learn??

This little girl has such a personality now, and is really asserting herself. She babbles A LOT. She has developed that adorable baby habit of screaming when you take things away from her. Throughout the day, just for the hell of it, she'll tense up her whole body, clench her right fist, and yell this weird gutteral yell. We're finally starting to realize that we shouldn't laugh every time she does something crazy like that, since we're just encouraging her and she knows it. When did she grow a brain??

One really great development is her love for music. We sing and dance all the time in our house, and she's always really responded to it. So we signed her up for a Kindermusik class and it's been a blast. We bought her some little instruments to play with at home, and it's a great way to calm her down. She can amuse herself for quite a while with her little drum, tamborine and her little shake boxes while we listen to music. I think she's going to grow up thinking that life really is like a musical, where randomly in the middle of a conversation people break into song. Because that's what we really do. And she's going to think that's normal. Ha!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

$$ and the Easter Bunny

Money and the Easter Bunny are on my mind, though not necessarily in that order. Actually, yes, in that order.

We got a Discover card recently. We always used our Mobil card for all gas purchases, and then paid it in full each month, so we never carried a balance or paid interest and we never had to use cash for gas. That worked great for years, and also gave us very clear visibility into what we paid on gas each month. But the Mobil card had no benefits, points, etc, so was sort of a waste in the world of cashback and miles and points and all that... Enter, the Discover Card. 5% cash back on all gas purchases, plus cash back for all other purchases too... So now I'm trying to use it for everything that we'd normally pay for with cash, like groceries, etc, and we'll just pay it off in full each month. I'm really excited about it, and after only one month we already have a nicely growing little cashback balance!

I also signed us up -- finally! -- for upromise, so we're earning money for Delma's $800kajillion college tuition every time we use any of our credit or bank cards, or when we use our little savings cards at the grocery store or CVS. We still don't even have a savings account ourselves, or a 529 for Del, but at least we're taking baby steps in the right direction (we have 401k's, but those don't really count since we can't touch them). I feel like we're finally learning to be a little bit proactive financially, and it's very motivating.

OK, so the Easter Bunny... Josh and Delma are Jewish. I'm converting. This past Christmas was really weird for us, we got a tree and decorated it -- out of habit more than anything else, really -- and then felt really uncomfortable having it in the house since we're not Christian and we had no clue how to justify having it, other than the fact that we like shiny things and we have all sorts of my family's ornaments and decorations going back to before I was born. Though we both grew up with Christmas and we have wonderful magical memories associated with it, we just don't know how to raise a Jewish daughter and celebrate Christmas. So we likely won't be doing the Christmas thing anymore at our house, but we'll happily enjoy the sparkly shiny twinkling lights and decorations and trees in public places and in the homes of friends and family.

So, on to the Easter Bunny. While Christmas is extremely secular, it still is very much a Christian holiday. But Easter? It is so secularized that there's almost no religious association with it out in the public forum. And it's really cute, with all the chicks and the bunnies and what-not. And it's got really great candy. And egg hunts with all those waddling, greedy little kids are really cute. Would it be so awful for us to give Del an Easter basket every year? I'm conflicted. I have a meeting with my rabbi today, I'll have to pick his brain on this one.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Happy Thursday

I love Thursdays for a few reasons:
1. I have no meetings. My Outlook calendar is completely empty on Thursdays (for now), and it makes me so happy.
2. Bagels at work. On Thursdays we have free bagels and cream cheese in our office. My love for bagels is boundless, and absurd. And then when they're FREE? Look out.
3. Free lunch. On Thursdays we have a free sort of buffet lunch thing here in the office. I love food a lot. I love free a lot. Put the 2 together... heaven.

In other random thoughts:
Bravo has been playing Six Feet Under. I don't get HBO, so I've been watching the series on Bravo -- I caught it right from the beginning, and they play 3 new episodes every Monday night which I record and then somehow find time to watch during the week. Oh my god, what an amazing show. It's up to maybe the 4th season now and still after just about every episode I am so sad that it's over. Last night I watched the episode when Ruth's sister takes her friend Fiona hiking, Fiona trips and falls down the mountain and dies, and then Ruth and several women end up getting drunk and high and go down to the basement to look at the body, and all start singing "Calling all Angels." I cried, and all morning today I keep picturing that scene and getting teary. It makes me miss being surrounded by girlfriends.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

3 is the magic number

When we bought our house a year and a half ago, the inspector told us we had some mold in the attic. He said all attics have some mold, it wasn't super-serious, but we should call someone and get it cleaned at some point. He also told us our bathroom fan is vented *into* the attic, not out of the house, and that should get fixed at some point too.

Fast-forward to a few weeks ago when we sloth-esque first-time home-owners finally get around to dealing with some of these little issues. The mold dude looks in the attic and says the amount of mold is so extensive that remediation isn't even worth it, it would be cheaper to replace the entire roof, all the way down to the plywood. *Gulp.* Then the roofer comes out, takes one look up there and almost shits a brick. That's never good. When the roof was replaced 7 years ago, they pushed the insulation all the way down into the soffit vents. There is no ridge vent. Even though we don't turn the fan in the bathroom on, the vents are there and all that moisture has to go somewhere... So we have an attic full of moisture from our nice long steamy showers and baths, and absolutely no ventilation up there to get the moisture back out. Recipe for toxic air. Toxic air that we and our infant daughter are breathing. Next week we will be the proud (and financially strapped) owners of a shiny new roof. Then after that's done, the mold dude comes back and kicks us out of the house for a couple days so they can do some crazy enzyme fog that will eat all the kajillion evil little mold spores that live in our house.

But that's not enough. No no no. The weekend before last, the whole downstairs of our raised ranch flooded. The first time there's been even a drop of water down there since we moved in. It was some freak situation with the frozen ground and flash-flood rains... It sucked. We spent a Friday night shop-vac'ing water from the utility room floor, throwing out LOTS of (thankfully not valuable) wet belongings, and trying to sop up as much water as possible from the carpet in the family room. The next day we had guys out there ripping up the carpet, taking out any padding that was damaged, putting in fans and a massive dehumidifier... A few days later they put down new padding, relaid the carpet and cleaned it.

Then a few days later the dryer went on the fritz.

These things happen in threes, right? So nothing else in our house is going to blow anytime soon, RIGHT??? Knock on wood...

Monday, March 5, 2007

Happy 6 Months!

Delma turned 6 months last week. And what a month it was... We flew to Florida for our first little vacation, Delma had back-to-back health issues, she started eating food, I stopped pumping (and I promptly got my period!), she started sitting on her own, she outgrew her infant carrier and graduated to a big-girl car seat, and she has a fabulous new repertoire of vocal noises.





Health: Poor Del had a crazy ear infection, and a week into her second round of antibiotics she developed an allergic reaction to the Augmentin she was on. She broke out in a rash all over her face and body, then her fat little hands and feet swelled up to even fatter little hands and feet. She really handled it like a champ, though, and now she's all better (knock on wood!).

Aunt Flo: I didn't miss that bitch! After over a year with (blissfully) no period, she just had to go and show up. Damn. I'm still nursing D once or twice every day, but I don't pump anymore so during the day when I'm at work she gets formula. And seriously, after only 4 days of not pumping my body just immediately responded to the lower milk demand and decided to menstruate. I never cease to be amazed at the things my body does, the way it responds to different dynamics with the baby. Just incredible.

Food: We have been blessed with a little piggy baby who will eat anything you put in her mouth. I hope it stays that way, and she doesn't turn into some picky eater. She's liked every food we've given her, and though it's messy and a bit of a time committment, feeding her is so fun.



Talking: It only took her a couple feedings to get the hang of the chewing motion. And as soon as she started doing it, the babbling started. She loves the feel of flapping her dumb little gummy mouth like she's chewing, saying "lalalalalalalala," "mamamamamamamama," "blablablablabla," etc. She still licks and chews everything that gets near her face, but there are no signs of teeth yet. Her gut seems to have matured, too, and she barely spits up anymore. She used to constantly spit up, we had to always wear "baby armor" -- burp cloths -- over our shoulder when we held her or else we'd get schmutzed.

People at daycare are constantly commenting on what a sweet, happy, cute baby Delma is -- the people who work there, parents of other kids... She has quite a fan club. She really is a very pleasant little muffin, and it brings us such joy to feel like we're creating a home and a life for her where she feels safe and happy, where there's always laughter and singing and kisses and love.