Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Don't Wait Up

I read this  (LANGUAGE/CONTENT WARNING - if you're a niece or nephew of mine, you're not allowed to follow that link, k?) a while back, and it just still cracks me up.  I tried to tell the Bubba about it and I couldn't get words through the guffaws.  He thinks I'm nuts.  

And now I'm going to go see her/meet her/start stalking her tonight.  I'm so super excited.

Monday, March 30, 2009

On Eating Food

I just finished pureeing and straining the prunes that I rehydrated for Lucy and I have yeast activating in some water on the counter that will soon become pizza dough and pita bread for meals this week.

I’ve been thinking a whole lot about food lately. I like food. I like planning meals, I like making things, and I really like eating food. And now I want to know where it comes from, how it fuels our bodies and whether or not it’s good enough to serve my family. I am now on the job as Family Nutritionist.

This whole thing started with reading books about the first foods to give baby and their nutritional needs, and I’ve also been consuming (HA!) the Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.

I’ve (almost) always made Lucy’s food for her. Some of the baby food books and websites tell me that a vegetarian diet is the healthiest thing. I can’t really bring myself to agree. You can be vegetarian and live on HoHos and Doritos. I think a good diet is about eating good things. And I’ve decided that good things constitute the least amount of processing possible.

SO, I’ve made a decision to be more conscientious about making everything we eat from scratch. It certainly is a commitment. I mean, I have to plan my day/week around making bread during this nap or cutting all the veggies for quick salad preparation when Lucy will happily play in her highchair.

Dinner is the only meal that really matters to me. Well, it’s the only time that I actually get to sit and enjoy eating since it’s usually after the 7pm bedtime of a certain little Meal Interrupter. I can’t even finish half a cup of coffee during the day without having to warm it up in the microwave it three times. Making sure dinner is prepped ahead of time has made it to the top of the Family Nutritionist’s job functions list so it can come together quickly after Lucy goes down and the Bubba and I are both weary from the day.

Grocery shopping has become more interesting too. I find myself looking at labels and learning about where certain fruits and veggies are grown and where animals are raised and slaughtered. Not only that, but with the goal of cutting out many processed foods, I’ve been saving about $20-$40 per week on groceries! Someone needs to give that rock star Budget Manager a pat on the back!

It’s really hard, though, on the days I can barely make it through because I’m dealing with a needy infant, not to feel like a failure when dinner isn’t made. I’m still sorting out all the jobs involved in SAHMing (yes, it is now a verb!) and putting them in order of Priority. I mean, meeting Lucy’s needs is Number One, obviously. But meeting her needs as Comforter or as Playmate or as Nutritionist or as Teacher or as Official Book Reader? And then what about the jobs of Finding the Bubba’s Jeans He Wants to Wear Tomorrow or Keeping the Place Tidy or Making Sure There are Clean Undies in Our Drawers?

But I digress.  This isn’t a big stretch for us. We like being in the kitchen, and we like eating delicious food. It’s just a matter of using my time during the day to its maximum efficiency.  Everything in moderation, right?  So this is not to say that Lays potato chips don’t make their way into the cart (it’s been known to happen on occasion, perhaps as recently as yesterday). But I’m making an effort. I want my family to have healthy life habits and that includes food.

Anyway, wanna know this week’s menu? I know you do!!

Monday: Veggie Pizza (dough and sauce from scratch!)
Tuesday: Whatever the Bubba finds in the fridge ‘cause Lizzie’s going OUT! (Oh, come on, Mom, there's leftover shrimp tacos or quesadilla and salad in there!)
Wednesday: Kofte with homemade pita (recipe from Smitten Kitchen) and couscous salad
Thursday: Chicken enchiladas and Spanish rice
Friday: Quiche Florentine and salad
Saturday: Make your own sushi roll

Yum!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Insert Title Here

Sorry I drug you guys through my dental issue... But then again, if that's not what a blog is for, then I must have a skewed vision of things.  I will try my very hardest not to mention it again.  Except to say these things (and then I'll be done):

1) the hygienist said "you haven't even had the pain yet!  The pain is in the bill!"  Awesome.  Thanks for your input.
2) I would rather have pushed a baby out again than to have that done.  Mostly because I didn't have a full understanding of what a crown is.  According to my dentist they were going to "put a band around the tooth so the crack wouldn't bother me"  And I was all "That doesn't sound too bad!" HAH!
3) Somehow the dental assistant bruised my throat.  No joke!  I have a bruise on the side of my throat by my back-est molar and it hurts to swallow.  Ham-fisted clown.
4) The muscles in my back are SO SORE.  Like I worked out too hard yesterday.  Except that I didn't.

Ok, now I think I'm done talking about it.  *deep breath*  Let's talk about something nice (for a change).  How about Lucy??

Lucy's teeth are just under her gums.  I can see the tiny little white lines, but they're not through yet, so we're not quite out of the woods regarding that issue.  To be perfectly honest, the first time I saw them I felt the Mommy Pride.  Like no kid has ever gotten teeth before.  But it's another step of She'sGettingSoBig.



She's not crawling yet.  She not-so-politely refuses even though she doesn't mind being on her tummy and working on the Strategic Roll.


Modeling a hat I made:



She plays this new "game" where she'll be chewing on one of her toys and then she'll offer it to me for a "bite."  She thinks it's hilarious.  It still amazes me that she's a little person with a personality.  She's awesome.

Laundry day, hanging out in the hamper

Daddy lets me play in the dirty clothes...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quick Update

I am back from getting my mouth molested by the dentist.  Oh My Goodness, I am so miserable.  Don't judge, but I am still crying.  It was basically my worst case scenario.  I almost wish they would have just taken the tooth out and given me a bridge or something.  Dentures.  Whatever.  Either way I'm pretty sure I'm never going to eat anything ever again.  

Drama, much?  Sorry.

And evidently Lucy woke up from her "nap" 5 minutes after I left and fruck out screaming until I got home TWO HOURS LATER.  She is joining the mouth drama and is cutting a couple of teeth of her own.  

Right now she's perfectly happy playing with her wooden blocks and picking at the carpet.  And thank God, because I really don't have a lot left here.  I just have to keep it together for another half hour or so until nap time when I can crawl in myself and slip into a coma for a while to get over myself.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Smile!

I just got back from my six-month visit to the dentist.

I have higher-than-normal-but-not-super-wicked-high Dentist Anxiety.  High enough that I still go to the dentist we found downtown instead of trying to find a new dentist closer to our new neighborhood because she's nice and calm and laid back and has a soft voice.  Maybe you understand the weight of that statement, and maybe I should tell you that driving the 20 minutes to downtown and dealing with stupid Seattle drivers traffic and parking for ten dollars an hour are all worth it.  

And my anxiety has gotten a little bit better since I've had Lucy.  I tell myself that they're not going to give me Pitocin, and I relax a little bit more.  Not all the way, mind you, but a little bit more.

I have had so very few issues with my teeth, which partially stems from my dentist anxiety.  I've never had braces, I brush and floss every day.  I'd like to go in, get a quick cleaning and be on my way with no stops in between thankyouverymuch.  So why does it seem like my whole mouth is going to pot starting when I was pregnant?  I had a cavity filled when I was about five months pregnant, and last visit was a question of sensitive gums.  And now this.

I have had a little toothache for about five weeks.  I figured, well, I have an appointment in five weeks, it can wait.  And it's not a BAD toothache.  It's just maybe twingey, noticable-ish.  But I've been favoring that side of my mouth and now my TMJ is acting up.  My jaw is swollen and I can't clench my teeth or open too wide.  Which sucks on its own, but I was a little embarrassed having to tell the hygienist and dentist that I waited so long to have one thing fixed I screwed some other stuff up.

SO, I have to go back in to get this tooth fixed.  I have Cracked Tooth Syndrome.  They figured this out after a series of excruciating tests to see where the pain is and how it reacts to pressure/cold/poking/tugging/insults/kicking.  So now they have to put a crown on that poor little cracked tooth and maybe do a root canal, but they won't know until they can get in there and dig around and see where the pain is!  

WAH!  And that's not even the end of it!  I have two little starter decay spots on the top surface of my back two molars on the SAME side of my mouth.  So tomorrow I have a date to have all three things taken care of.  And they booked me for at least 90 minutes!  WAH!

I'm sure I'm not the only person to ever start crying in the dentist's chair, but to cover it up I made some joke about my evolving definition of relaxation, and that time in the dentist's office actually seems kind of nice with its soft music and big overstuffed chairs and a book I can read in the quiet.  My dentist said she'd have some stuff set up tomorrow to give me a paraffin hand treatment and eye masque and whatnot to make it seem that much more like vacation.

I hope I can get through it even with the extra perks of wax and masque.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fancy Pants

I love the idea of occasions where I have to wear a pretty dress and think about whether hair up or hair down is more appropriate. I love the idea, but usually all through the actual event I’m fighting with myself not to tug at the pantyhose or take off the achy shoes or pick at the under wire that’s digging into my side.

On Saturday, I went to a bridal shower at Newcastle golf course’s fancy-schmancy restaurant. It’s on the East Side and a little south and up on a ridge overlooking Bellevue and Mercer Island and Seattle. The views were absolutely stunning, and of course I didn’t take any pictures.

I feel like getting my camera out at a place like that would be solidifying the obvious in other patrons’ minds that I’m an Outsider and have never been there/will never be there again. Like I’m a tourist on a day trip and obviously Don’t Belong. If I don’t have a glass of wine, or if I stuff my face with the mediocre snack buffet, they’ll know. I have this list of anxious little dos and don’ts in my head.

Don’t put on the doe eyes. They’ll know somehow if I have anything but an insouciant expression that I’m the one that parked that beat-up little two-door Honda in the lot next to the 2000 sport model Porche and the Lexus SUV with (I kid you not) the bright orange Lamborghini on the other side.

I had Lucy with me, and of course dressed her in the fancy outfit my French friends sent complete with a beaded top and tiny pleated pants. I had meticulously planned my own outfit from the jacket to the boots, and even thought the day before about washing my hair and whether I would curl it or flat iron it.

It’s all good, and I’m the picture of belonging, right up until my perfectly dressed and coiffed little princess needs a new diaper. Then, evidently, rich people are on their own. The bathrooms didn’t even have enough counter space to snort a line on. There was no way I was going to change her on the floor. I thought briefly of going back into the restaurant and changing her on a table in there. Or maybe handing the stinky little cherub to someone on the wait/support staff and waiving my hand for them to take care her.

But I didn’t. I put on my Middle Class Pants, put my little changing pad in the sink and laid Lucy in there. And then wrestled with her to get the dirty diaper off, the new one on, and all the while to keep the faucets turned off. I left the bathroom with my hair a little mussed, my makeup a little less than perfect and a renewed sense of why fancy-pants occasions are not for babies, and not for me.

As soon as I got home, I was completely relieved to put on my lounge pants and one of my dad’s old running t-shirts. I contentedly sat on the floor with my kid and then made dinner with my husband.   I happily thought about doing laundry and what groceries I needed for the week.

But you know I left a little souvenir behind in that fancy-schmancy bathroom garbage.



Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Showers

The weather has been flipping me the bird lately. It’s the first day of spring, you know. And Seattle weather is warm-ish and super crap. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised anymore. I let my guard down.   I let myself get used to the rainy mornings that turn into sun-breaky afternoons that are lovely and smell of mud and fresh growth. And then Lucy and I can walk down to the canal and point at the ducks that just woke up from their rainy naps splashing around for a snack.

(Oh, by the way, in the bathtub the other day the girl said “guk! guk!” when reaching for her rubber ducky, I kid you not. I’ve been trying to get a repeat performance out of her, but as soon as her daddy’s in the room she looses all hope of concentrating on anything other than him. So, as far as anyone else is concerned I might have made this up.)

It’s hard to be homebound and there are just not a lot of options for Things To Do Outside The House That Don’t Cost Money. There’s Target and the craft store and the GermsRUs community center playrooms, but even there I end up spending at least $5-10 for entry and something caffeinated to deal. Not like going two blocks to watch the ducks.

So I’m trying out the Creativity. What to do with a seven and a half month old inside all day? That won’t drive her or me crazy? Sad headshake to the latter, I have a sneaking suspicion that it has something to do with the cookware in the lower kitchen cabinets.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Post About Me

The sweet and lovely Lindsay interviewed me.  Being myself (as I am wont to be) I completely over thought each question.  And because I find myself fascinating and witty, I post my answers to her questions here for your edification.  

1. Which personality characteristic or aspect of yours do you love the most and why?

My favorite thing about me? How do you expect me to choose just one?! Well, if I must… 

I think my favorite thing is that I am not afraid of people. I can talk to anyone about (almost) anything, and I love learning from and about people. I’m an animated extrovert, so people are important to my wellbeing. It's a survival technique, I suppose. I’ve never had too difficult of a time meeting people (until I lived in the NW, darn you cold shouldered sons of guns). Conversely (I feel like I should present a fair picture here) I am ridiculously impatient about letting a relationship evolve (see question 5).  (Anything else I can put in parentheses? No? Okay, on to question 2.)

2. Disregarding finances, feasibility, capability and practicality, if you could have any job, what would it be?

Disregarding finances, feasibility, capability and practicality? Hm, I guess that means I could choose to be a philosopher during the enlightenment. But I won’t. Although I would like to have been a fly on the wall during a salon just too see how interesting the topics got after a couple hits from the decanter. 

I think I would choose travel writing. Travel rocks my world. As does eating. And exploring.  And cultural experiences.  I told the Bubba this, and he said “Well, why not just be a traveler/explorer then?” I think that’s a little like being a SAHM with a maid and a nanny – what’s left to accomplish? I would need a sense of fulfillment, of a job well done, and writing would do that. Besides, I like writing.

3. If it were within your power to bring one fictional character to life--from a book, movie or otherwise--who would you choose?

I’ve been thinking about this for days. What an impossible question! I think maybe Anne Shirley so I could slap her face and marry Gilbert and don’t even get me started on any of Jane Austen’s characters. Half of them need a good face-slapping too.

Maybe Paul from L’Ensemble C’est Tout by Anna Gavalda. I’m pretty sure we would be BFF.

4. If you could write two letters to yourself--to yourself ten years ago and to yourself ten years from now--what would you say?

Dear Lizzie in 2000,

You’ll be ok.

Love,
Lizzie in 2009
____________

Dear Lizzie in 2020,

You’re probably ok, too.

Love,
Lizzie in 2009


5. How did you meet your Bubba? What is the story behind your marriage?

Ah, my Bubba. *sigh* Isn’t he dreamy? You want the whole story?

We “met” at a New Year’s Eve party. I put that in quotes because we knew of each other all through undergrad since we ran with the same circle of friends, but we (and by we I mean he) can only think of one occasion that we had a conversation. It was obviously so incredible that I don’t remember it.

But at this NYE party? When did the Bubba get attractive? I was super unsure that he would like me. But I smooched him at midnight and then we spent the next two days monopolizing each other’s time.

The Bubba was just visiting our mutual friends for that weekend. He lived here in Seattle working on his Master’s at the UW and I was living in Madison, WI having just defended my Master’s thesis at that UW. After he left, I called my mom and told her I met someone. And giggled.

Long story short(er): the Bubba moved to Sweden for a year and I decided to teach in France for the year he’d be gone. I spent some time in Sweden before my position started, and the Bubba spent lots of time traveling to France to see me.

And then in November we decided we’d get married and live happily ever after. But the Bubba INSISTED on proposing “correctly.” We bought the best piece of plastic bling from the BHV that we could afford (26€) on the way to the Eiffel Tower. As we climbed up to the middle landing and caught our breath, the Bubba said “Well, are you going to put your ring on?” Not exactly my take on ideal, but he can tell everyone he proposed on the Eiffel Tower, and that evokes the ubiquitous “Aw.”

We had a very short dating relationship and were married the following July 2. And then I moved to Seattle. And we had a very difficult first year of marriage after we realized how very little we knew of each other.

And then we started living happily ever after!

6. As an bonus fun question, if you could only speak in one of the eight parts of speech (verb, noun, pronoun, adverb, adjective, preposition, conjunction or interjection), which one would you choose and why? If you're feeling particularly generous, would you reward us with your attempt to do so?

The ridiculousness of this question really speaks to me, and I actually had to try speaking in each part of speech to be able to decide.

Bounce put sleep cry calm breathe.
Computer page friend wink smile.
Me you each other her myself.
Boldly quite expeditiously more unfortunately early.
Big hungry spicy messy delicious unthin.
On above beyond toward without.
And for until, if because when.
Aaah! Expletive! Sorry! Skadoosh! Dude! Badaboom!

Poetic, non? Therefore I give you my choice in haiku form:

Manipulative
Spilled useful chunky lovely
Wordy nerdy loud


Do you want me to interview YOU?  Just ask!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Therapy

Last week was a bisnatch and I really appreciate your support. I do hate complaining about my amazing lot in life, but sometimes the negative aspects of it all gang up on me and I am thwarted with no choice but to whine.

In the interest of therapy, I went to Ikea yesterday for a little organizational pick-me-up. That place is a black hole of time and money – I went for a couple of small things, and of course I left with a cart full of stuff I “need” and a way lighter pocketbook. I did get a box for toys so I don’t have to look at them in a pile cluttering up my miniscule living space

The box itself has become a toy…

something special to make a gift for a wedding shower I’m headed to this weekend, and a gift for me: glasses that match. I chose these:

Tres cute and the price was most definitely right

And since Lucy slept from 9-11:20AM yesterday, we had a great couple of afternoon hours wandering around touching all the stuff in the store. Well, that and making eyes at all the old ladies cooing. When we were going back to the car, one lady even stopped in her van in the parking garage with a line of cars behind her to baby talk at Lucy. The girl is going to have some ego issues when she’s older.  To be sure, I’ve gotten so used to the attention when we’re out that I’m borderline insulted on the odd occasion where no one comments on Boo’s cuteness. Like, did they not even SEE her?

And today I have a busy day full of grocery shopping and going to the craft store to get the rest of the stuff for the wedding shower gift I’m concocting.   And then actually working on said gift project.  

I am also slowly working on answering the questions that Lindsay sent to interview me, but man, she’s a tough interviewer!  I might have to just post one question a day for the next week.  We’ll see how far I get what with Lenten internet fasting and other responsibilities.

Friday, March 13, 2009

WHINE

Lucy not napping since Sunday got old by, like, Monday. Darn daylight savings. Mr. Franklin? Was it really necessary? Really? It’s not the lack of schedule that irks me (though it IS irksome), it’s the crabby, clingy, needy baby that is a result. It makes me wonder if I’m doing this right. This Mom Thing.

I hear the baby crying/crabbing from her highchair after a long day of the same and the first thought in my head is “Oh Lord, please shut up.” or maybe “Where did Daddy hide that bottle of Schnapps?” instead of “What can I do for you?” Evidently I have to work on my customer service skills.

How does anyone deal with this constant crabbing? How does anyone have the patience? Lucy doesn’t need me to be in her face every waking hour so much any more (and thank goodness for that) but we’re in a place where she WANTS me to be and I want to get stuff done for myself or for the house or for dinner. By 4pm, I just have to repeat “Just hold it together until 6, just hold it together until 6” when the Bubba can come and relieve me at least by lending his presence to the situation, which, a lot of times, is just enough to change the mood.

There are some days when I feel so suffocated by the walls of our house and completely incapable of picking up these toys one more time and doing one more load of laundry and marking the passage of time by how many diapers we’ve been through. Days when I doubt my abilities to parent an older baby or (gasp!) a toddler. Days when I wish more than anything else I had somewhere I had to get to.

So, what if I get a job? But then I think about how very lucky we are to be able to afford for me to stay home and give Lucy the best care possible. Even if I worked full time chances are I wouldn’t make much more than it would cost to have someone fabulous watch my baby. And at this point, the jobs I could probably get would involve spending copious amounts of time teaching other peoples’ kids. That’s even if I could even find a job that needs filled. Lord knows there is a ton of people right now who would kill to be in my position. Bratty McBratterson.

I do work one day a week. And lately I’ve been picking up a few hours here and there since the Bubba can watch Lucy. He is on a very strict 40 hour workweek diet mandated by his higher-ups in an effort not to cut any more jobs. Which is nice, because I always know when I can expect him to be around.

It’s turned into a good situation. The Bubba gets some good day time hours to spend with Lucy, I get to get out and play like I’m an adult with adult things to do and schedules to keep and adult people to talk to about adult things.

I guess I’m having a hard time finding meaning for myself in a routine that leaves me feeling like I go in circles and don’t accomplish anything. In my brain I know full well that keeping me and Lucy alive some days is the absolute best case scenario, but in all my other parts it feels like failure and I get angry when I go to my drawer and I STILL don’t have any clean socks.

I know, I know, screw the socks, Lucy’s only little once, etc. Sigh. There’s nothing like feeling guilty about feeling angry about stuff I should feel lucky about!

I didn’t mean for this post to come off as so depressing. Thank goodness spring is coming. I think I need to get out more.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

In a Nutshell

My day:
  • I was wondering why I kept feeling like I was pushing the jogging stroller up a hill, then on my cool down, I realized the brake had been on for the whole two miles.
  • I made pita bread from scratch today.  And it turned out!  Very exciting.  Unfortunately it's delicious and will not last long in the land of carbo-hounds.  Now I have to find a good falafel recipe.
  • Lucy will not deign to take a normal nap since Sunday.  40 minutes and done - but then she is very crabby/needy for the rest of the day.  Mom needs a nap too.  Or a vacation.  Or a day at the spa.  Or at least a massage.
  • I haven't had my one allotted cup of coffee for the past two days and I'm feeling it right now.  As in, having a hard time putting sentences together.  At this point, should I have a cup to feel better or should I just wait one more day and feel better without caffeine?
  • I really want to go get my eyes checked and get a new pair of cute funky glasses.  I keep telling myself that if I had a couple different pair, I'd wear them more often than my contacts.  I never pull the trigger.
  • There's a pile of clean laundry that I put in the middle of the floor so that I'd remember to fold it and put it away.  I keep stepping over the darn thing instead.
  • I seriously need a basket to keep toys in.  "Put away" right now means in a pile by the front door.




Evidence of pile-o-toys








  • I finished two knitting projects.  Ok, not just today, but I just found photos of them, so I'll post them. #1 a short-sleeve sweater thing for my own self 

















#2 leg warmers for my little worm: (or sausage casings as Maggie would call them)















The end.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chub Looks Better on Lucy

So, it's been seven months since I pushed a little creature into existence. And I'm not really where I thought I'd be when I was planning so idealistically to be Hot By Thirty.  Sigh.

My weight has been s-l-o-w-l-y decreasing since Lucy was born, but I still have a ways to go.

Up till baby, I've had my "winter weight" and my "summer weight." I also had my "smoking weight" and my "quit smoking weight," but it all happened to revolve around the same 7-ish pounds. Which? Not quite the 15 that's kicking (or maybe sticking to?) my butt right now.

I should report that I started strong and lost almost 15 pounds from September to December. Which is awesome.  And then I leveled off because I lost concentration, and then gained 2 of it back in the last few weeks.  Weight loss is hard. (Whine, whine, whineywhineywhine!)  I guess I knew that somewhere in my brain, but really, if you let down your guard for one blessed little frozen thin mint cookie, the floodgates of indiscretion open and your efforts are all but thwarted.

But spring is on it’s way.   I want to wear cute spring-y clothes.  That means get rid of the belly.  Get rid of the huge arms.  I gain weight mostly in my core and in my arms.  With these 15 lbs hanging out, I can still wear the size 6-ish pants I wore pre-Lucy as long as they're low rise.  If not?  Try a size or two up to squish what used to be my waist into them.  I look like a marshmallow on a couple of toothpicks.

The good news is, I'm back on the exercise bandwagon. I started the Couch to 5k regime and I find that I really like it. Especially with the podcasts announcing when to run and when to walk and taking all the thinking out of it. Could it BE easier? I think not.

I love love love the way exercising makes me feel. I love the way I feel about myself, I love the energy I have for the rest of the day.  So, I've slowly been getting rid of my excuses not to run. I have good shoes that fit, I have exercise clothes that fit, I'm doing the double-up sports bra method to keep the milk jugs from strangling me mid-stride.  And we bought a jogging stroller that I love.   That was the biggest clincher, this way Lu can go with me and my running time is not limited to the time before Bubba's work and the time after he gets home.

Losing weight isn't my only motivator this time, though.  I have always said that I would love to run a 5k with my Bubba.  And this couch to 5k program is something that he's doing with me.  Even though we're not running together everyday it is a big support.  (Have I mentioned that when the Bubba jogs with me he has to jump imaginary hurdles to keep his heart rate up?  We don't jog together too often because I end up feeling like I'm holding the marathoner in him back!)  It's also getting to be nicer outside and that means more time on my road bike which I haven't rode since I was about 6 months pregnant.  Our next big "toy" for Lucy will be a bike trailer, methinks.

So I've recommitted to loosing these last 15 pounds and being more active.  There's still a couple of months - I could be at least closer to hot (and buff) by thirty!  

Monday, March 9, 2009

We're Happy. And We Know It.

This makes all the hard work worth it.

video

Oh! The heartstrings!

Seven


Meet Lucy.


Lucy is seven months old.

Lucy is a Leo, both contagiously enthusiastic and more than mildly bossy.  Incredibly charming, this girl will win your heart and bend you to her will before you catch your breath.

A master of vocal creativity, Lucy says Da-Da, which is her best "said-on-purpose-to-mean-the-actual-person" word.  She says Mama every so often, but is not as consistent in her meaning, assigning this sacred term to her diaper or shoe or the vase of twigs in the corner as well as to the woman who gave her life.

Lucy has a grand repertoire of sounds and pitches to entertain the ear.  She inspires laughter at the accidental intelligence of the luck of putting sounds together.  Her new accidental word is ba-na-na.   A trickster to be sure, Lucy makes you check to be sure she didn't actually mean "banana" or "come on" or "program" whatever it sounded like she just said.  Also, the percussive repetition of ba-na-na has the potential of reminding the listener of the M.I.A. song, which may or may not constantly replay in your brain.

Always performing with her hands, Lucy is slowly mastering the art of American Sign Language.  Unfortunately, the under-coordinated motor skills makes it difficult to decipher some of the words this conversational neophyte wishes to convey.  However, Lucy is a master of communicating her frustration in no uncertain terms she is not immediately understood and obeyed.  Her most solid sign is "all done" followed closely by "more".  The sign for "milk" has evolved its meaning into "come pick me up right now, please" whether or not she is actually hungry.


Lucy's version of "more"


Lucy is a good sleeper and a good eater, as she has been since day one.  Her favorite foods are apples and avocado.  She does not care so much for pears no matter how we may try to convince her how good they are for the output side of things.  She will, however, deign to eat them if nothing else is offered.  Her beauty regime consists of about 12 hours of sleep between the hours of 7pm and 6:30am and four baths each week followed by a lotion massage.  Daylight savings time has thrown a bit of a wrench into the Nap Schedule, but an upside is that she slept in a little later this morning leaving her servants to catch up on their sleep too.

Always insisting that changes originate with her, Lucy does not enjoy being forced into physical activity when she is placed on her stomach with toys out of reach.  However, her capabilities of scooting and reaching for objects of interest multiply when she is left to her own devices.  She does, nonetheless, love when people around her are active in a physical way.  One of her favorite places to be is snuggled in the nest of her new jogging stroller.

Before and after:


Lucy's newest trick is to try to stand up by herself since the appendages of people supporting her tend to get in the way of the interesting things to play with.  Though she has to lean her core against a solid object, she makes sure to have her hands free with which to create the maximum amount of mischief.






Both sassy and extremely lovable, Lucy is just an endless joy to her handlers every day.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Safety, Cleanliness, Godliness, etc.

I shouldn’t have worried yesterday.  Remember what I was saying about borrowing trouble and thinking about every worst-case scenario?  Yeah, well, now I have to brag.  I got to the meeting and there were only 5 other people in the room, so I figured, what the heck?  Either they’ll tell me that having Lucy there is a problem, or else this is one of the places having a baby in tow is acceptable – at a Catholic function.  I talked to the presenter and he didn’t have a problem with Lucy, so that was that.  Then about 20 more people filtered in, and I was sitting toward the front of the room and I started getting a little nervous.

And?  She.  Was.  An.  ANGEL. I don’t know if she’s ever been that well behaved before ever over the course of three hours.  She played very quietly with her toys and then she drank a bottle and fell asleep.  What?  I know.  I am still blown away.   AND?  After the conference, I was walking out with the stroller, and a lady that was sitting two tables away from me said: “Did you have her with you the whole time? I didn’t even notice her!”  Yeah.  Awesome.  I guess I shouldn't be that surprised considering that her daddy is the God-King of the theocracy of Laid Back, but it was still awesome.

The How-to-spot-and-deal-with-abuse training was interesting in a frightening sort of way.  I had to do a very similar, though more intensive, training when I volunteered for CASA, so at least I knew it was going to be hard to take in.   The statistic now is 1 in 8 boys and1 in 4 girls will be exposed to some sort of abuse before they are 18.  That’s a terrifying number in general, but for us girl-moms?   Ugh.

But that kind of information is at least helpful and encourages us as parents and community members to be constantly aware and on guard for our childrens’ safety.  I’ve been reading Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron, which is generally an ok book when you’re considering nutrition, but she throws out some little tidbits that are absolutely ridiculous and clearly well beyond the scope of her seriously limited intelligence.  (I don't think much of them, can you tell?)  For example, get this: “Remember to keep your facial expression pleasant when your are changing your baby’s diaper…  He will notice any look of disgust on your face, which may teach him that his private parts are repulsive and lead him to believe that sex is ‘dirty’ when he gets older.”   Are you kidding me right now?  I just can’t even respond to that in any sort of charitable manner, and since I’m trying not to swear as much, all I can say is, that’s the biggest load of BS I’ve heard in a very long time.  I wonder if she made it up on the spot.  I wouldn’t be surprised at all.  

(Deep breath to avoid getting too worked up,  aaaand sigh.)

And now I leave you to mull that over because I must take advantage of naptime by mopping the kitchen floor. I’ll let you be impressed for just. a. moment ... before ... I ... tell ... you – oh, maybe I won’t tell you how long it’s been since it was cleaned. Maybe I’ll just hint that I might have mopped it last trying to induce labor… 

And now your daily moment of Zen (am I allowed to shamelessly steal that like that?  Too bad, I just did.) :



Thursday, March 5, 2009

Stress

I think I told you guys that I'm helping teach the Youth Group at our church, right?  Well, there's a class that I've been needing to take, well, a safe environment training, really.  And I've been meaning to take it since the beginning of the school year since I started this gig.  Except that it's never convenient enough to take it.  

There's on a random Wednesday at 6pm in West Seattle.  I can't really see myself fighting to get there at six in rush hour traffic, and that would mean that the Bubba would have to come home at, like, 3:30 for that to happen.  Or there's one on a Saturday but it's an hour plus drive each way, and it's a 3 hour class, so that would be an entire day away from my baby.  And even if Lucy could do it chilling with her daddy, I don't know if my BOOBS could take it.  And the one time in this three month period that the class is anywhere near my Home Zone is on a week day.  At one pm.

But I need to stop making excuses because I dedicated my time to the youth group and this is a requirement of that.  So I bit the bullet and signed up for a class.  It happens to be today.  At one pm.  Which is usually the very start of nap time, so no biggie if I were to leave Lucy with a sitter.  Except that I don't have one.  The Bubba was going to come home and hang with Lu for a while, maybe bring work home, maybe go back in at 4 after my class.  But he was called to San Francisco today to take some photos of cracks in the concrete at the building he designed. (And he's already coming home early tomorrow so that I can go to some admin work at my tutoring job because he's awesome and supportive like that.)

SO.  I guess all this to say, I'm going to try to - wait for it - go to the class WITH LUCY.  AT NAP TIME.  And you should all say prayers for me.

This is another one of the infinite examples of how it's hard to raise a child without any family around to help.

And here are some photos I've been meaning to post, because, and lets be honest now, they are the main reason you show up here. 





Chilling. The girl loves her sunglasses. She must be from Seattle.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Lenten Post - One Week Into It

I know I haven't posted anything of substance lately.  Partially because I'm busy doing stuff (gasp!), partially because the stuff I want to write about I don't want to write about, partially because I'm lazy, and partially because I severely cut back my internet time in observance of Lent.

I opted to cut out some screwing-around time and add in some prayer/meditation time.  I'll tell you, it's been kind of nice.

I've been thinking a lot about prayer.  And how it works in my life.  I pray often - from grace before meals to a petty "Please help me find a close parking spot so Lucy doesn't have to get wet" throughout my day.
  
Ever since my dad passed away, my biggest and most frequent prayer is for God to help me accept His will even if I don't understand it.  I have a really hard time surrendering what I think should happen or what I want to happen or what I'm worried about happening in order to listen through prayer.

I am the queen of worrying about the worst possible outcomes of everything.  Example: if I narrowly miss tripping over a rut, my mind completes the scenario of having fallen and breaking my arm and then having to go through my day somehow taking care of a baby with a broken arm.  And one time my mind went though an awful sequence in which my Bubba died, and I very nearly had a panic attack because I didn't know if he wanted to be cremated or where he wanted to be buried.

You could say I'm really really good at borrowing trouble. 

So anyway, I've been working on surrendering that worst case scenario worry.  I've always thought that the answer to my prayers is more in the way I feel about things than in the way they turn out.  Like God is giving me peace in answer to my prayers.  Peace about things I worry way too much about (evidence above).  And I need more of that.

So that's what I'm focusing on this Lent.  No small task...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Scrunch


I make a silly face with Lucy when I smooch her fat little neck to make her laugh.  And then yesterday she started doing it back!  

(Sorry it's sideways, dudes.  The stupid video thing is evidently smarter than I am.)

video

I'm going to have to start thinking about what I do/how I do it from now on.  Let the mimicry begin!