Monday, November 30, 2009

To Do List - Updated

Whew. The child is asleep and I have a moment to myself. I didn't think that was going to happen today. Lucy must have had a wonderful baby-centric weekend, because I can't do anything today that doesn't involve being directly in her face entertaining her, and if I fail in this fundamental duty, she stands at the kitchen door crying for Dada. I get it, kid. I'm not measuring up to the FUN parent that was here for four whole days! Sigh.

Nap time today was supposed to be dedicated to mopping the kitchen and bathroom floors. *Snort.*

I do believe I'll be eating a "Thanksgiving sandwich" (I'm not the only one that does this am I? Turkey and stuffing and potatoes and gravy if it's awesome between slices of bread? Mmmmm. The Bubba thinks I'm mental.), knitting on some Christmas projects and watching whatever is on the TV. I've got to recharge for what is bound to be Round Two with Lulu this afternoon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Photos: Thanksgiving Edition

Lucy went ahead and made herself right at home at our friends' house.

The funnest toys by far? The phone and cash register:

Everything costs "Nineninenine!"

Multitasking

The second funnest thing? The stairs:


My blue-eyed beauty. I still can't believe she's mine.

So much to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Eve Thoughts

It's Wednesday! One pie down, another pie and a couple salads to go.

I love this kick-off to the holiday season. I like smelling the turkey bake in the oven all day. I like being fussy about hors d'oeuvres and desserts. And I love the anticipation of hot cocoa and tea and cookies by the Christmas tree.

And this year, especially, I like that Lucy understands some of it. She helped me whip cream with a hand mixer last night singing "Stir, stir stir!" I can't wait to see how she reacts to the Christmas tree and stockings. Oh no! Lucy needs a stocking. Add that to my list....

I'm having a hard time harnessing my jealousy of all our family together in Wisconsin. For whatever reason, I'm being more emotional than usual about it this year. And maybe it's because Lucy is understanding more. I want her to understand holidays with family.

I've had to remind myself at least four times already today that there will be time for that.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ketchup

This is a really fun time for us. Lucy is learning a new word every day, it seems, and he has a sense of humor to go with it. She’s taking one nap a day and that frees up our schedule to get out and do fun things!

Today we’re at the grocery store getting produce and some other last minute things for our pot-luck Thanksgiving with friends.

Lucy: Noooo?

Me: What. What, no?

Lucy: Noooo? Uuuuuuh.

Me: Do you want to hold these crackers?

Lucy: CACKAH! CACKAH! Mieh? Mieh!

Me: Mama didn’t bring any milk with us. We’ll have to wait until we get home.

Lucy: (more insistant) MIEH! Mo. Mo. Mo. Mieh!

Me: (grabbing stuff and throwing it into the cart because I realize that my time is now limited) (In a sing-songy voice) Milk at home! We’ll go in the car! And it’ll take us home! And then we’ll drink some milk!

Lucy: MAMA! MIEH! CACKAH! SNAH [snack]! MIEH! (makes sign for “please” furiously on her chest)

Me: (a little manic maybe) One more thing! We only need one more thing! Can you see where the cereal is? What kind of cereal do you and Dada want this week? Huh? Cheerios? Can you see the bumblebee? Where’s the bumblebee? What does a bumblebee say?

Lucy: (as we wait in line at the cashier) Huh,huh,huh [her fake cry] Mieh, Mama. (in a small pathetic voice like she’s never going to have milk ever again.) snah. peee.

Me: Almost done! Almost! Almost! (plays patta-cake with Lucy)

(Done at the grocery store. Back in the kitchen chez nous.)

Lucy: (After a drink of milk. Head down on the floor as I put the grocery bags by the counter and think about lunch for the baby) Huh,huh,huh. Owwwww. Nooooo. Noooo? (peeking up at me to make sure I know she’s deeply depressed.)

Me: Sounds to me like someone needs some more ketchup in their diet. Ketchup has natural feel-good agents to help you stay positive throughout your day! What do you say we have a big helping of ketchup for lunch?

Lucy: Kat-uh!

Garrison Keillor: Ketchup. For the good times.

Monday, November 23, 2009

It Will Get Worse

I expected the Bubba to get home a half-hour sooner than he did. That was my time to get ready. I had showered and dressed, but my hair was still wet, my makeup still in its bag on the sink. He got home about the same moment as I had been hoping to leave the house. As soon as he walked in the door, I directed Lucy to bring her books to Daddy and I ran into the bathroom. I pointed the hair dryer in the general direction of my dripping mop of hair while trying to simultaneously slap moisturizer on my skin. I got as far as putting pressed powder on my face before it happened.

Lucy snuck in the bathroom at some point during this process. And what is more interesting to a 15 month old mischief maker than a dangling cord attached to an unfamiliar machine? I'm not sure exactly what the play-by-play was, but at the end of that momentary eternity, my flat iron ended up flying onto the floor and Lucy froze mid-reaction. She stood perfectly still with her elbows bent and her fingers splayed staring at the wall for a good few seconds.

I imagined that she had tried to bring it to her mouth. That she had gotten both her cheeks with the sides of the flat iron. That it had gotten her eyes. Her mouth! Lips! That her face was going to be a blistery mess! Skin grafts! How much to skin grafts cost! How do I explain to Lucy that she's going to be one of those girls that's pretty on the INSIDE and that her husband will love her for her PERSONALITY?

Ok, I'm lying. That wasn't my first reaction. My original reaction was something more along the lines of very helpfully screaming "Shitshitshitshitshitshit!" (Or, possibly it was the F-bomb... heh heh. Still working on that potty mouth thing. A moment of crisis is NOT the time.) My second reaction was a huge hot ball of fiery anger at the Bubba for not watching her more closely as I got ready and at myself for being in such a rush that I didn't notice my baby in danger. We are obviously the WORST PARENTS EVER.

Lucy just stood there while I screamed cuss words. Frozen to the spot, I imagine she was both assessing the damage herself and freaking the heck out because of my yelling. Then came the tears, the huge crocodile tears. And Lucy was sobbing too. I looked her over and over and couldn't see any burned spots. I asked her where any owies were. And she just went from me to the Bubba and back for cuddles and loves, not interested in our concern.

And then a faint redness blossomed on skin of her hand. The Bubba put it under water, and I was still so angry at the whole evening's situation that I hid back in the bathroom and started over by washing the crying off my face. Lucy was oblivious. She was so happy to be playing in the faucet, it could have been her birthday for all she knew.

So insignificant!

But me, I was angry. Angry at us. Angry at the situation. Angry that I was in such a rush. Angry that the Bubba was all "What's the big deal?" about it. I left without much more said because I didn't trust myself not to start a fight. And that turned out to be a very smart thing. By the time I got home, I was able to tell the Bubba what was going on instead of just slinging vague insults in his general direction. Guilt has a funny way of lashing out, doesn't it?

I know we'll probably deal with cuts and stitches and burns and maybe a broken bone or two in our kids' lives. And I know that it will (um, probably!) not be my fault. This burn was seriously a little nothing. And not the worst that will ever happen to her, for sure. Or as that same phrase goes in German "It will get worse." I guess we'll see.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Photos With Bonus Breakdancing Video


Avocado with a spoon! Genius, Mama!

Reading about penguins in the National Geographic.

Chillin' with Daddy


video
Lucy's obsessed with this song - I can't imagine why! It's not rainy here or anything...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rain, Rain

This morning it was as dark as the middle of the night when we got up. We've been super spoiled the last few days in that it's been starting out all welcoming and sunny. I've been able to get out for a run in the sunshine, make a to-do list, and get my attitude in order before the rain set in for the afternoon.

I didn't have the luxury of a ray of sunshine coming through my bedroom window to inspire a cheerful disposition this morning, so I'm relying entirely on the coffee pot. And thinking that we might stay in our jammies all day long.

But today is Thursday, and that means I go out to a cocktail party blogger event with Carrie this evening at a fancy-schmancy bar downtown. I am super excited about going out with my girlfriend despite the two obvious drawbacks: 1) People I don't know and will have to talk to! (I briefly considered taking the bus because of the Uncomfortable Drinking that might take place. But then, I remembered Carrie'll be there!) And 2) having to try on every stitch of clothing that I own looking for the perfect outfit. OR perhaps I'll settle for an outfit that fits and doesn't fall into the category of Oga-yay Ants-pay. Cue nervous excitement. I haven't been away from Lucy or home for anything FUN in ages! And definitely nothing I wore makeup or did my hair for.

As I'm typing this, Lucy is standing on the couch looking out the window singing, "Rain, rain! Rain away! Rain, rain! Rain away!" Somehow she finds a way to make me laugh every day. Even if she is a naughty monkey-worm all the rest of the time.

Coffee, something to look forward to, and a funny kid? Well, today might turn into an okay day after all!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Dance

We slept through the night, wooo-hooo! Sleeping through the night is awesome! Weeeee-hoooo! I woke up not tired, Waaaaa-hoooo! I love sleep! Uh-uh-uh-huh! ...

That's a little ditty I just made up right now. You can put it to your own music and it's proabably not different from what I'm singing right now. I made it up all by myself. To sing while I do this happy dance I've been busting out all morning. You see, the night sleeping. It has not been ideal. BUT! Yesterday, the incisor poked all the way through and the left bottom molar seems to be taking a short little hiatus since all the points poked through.

I know, I know, you're probably all sick to absolute DEATH of me talking about teething. BUT THESE TEETH! Why couldn't she have started teething as a 5 or 6 month old like any normal human being? In which case we'd already be DONE with the teething and the badness would have fallen at a time when the night waking was a little bit more common anyway.

But whatever! I'm counting my blessings for right this very moment and the big fat number one is having slept NINE hours last night without interruption.

Do you know what that means? It means I could exercise today instead of feeling like death on toast. It means I might just every so gently encourage Lucy to play with her toys instead of freaking out and screeching at her when she tries to empty the garbage can all over the kitchen floor. It means I'll have the patience to point out the bubbles and the toothbrushes and the soap in the Bath Book a bazillion times. I'll have the energy in the afternoon to make the soup I planned for dinner! In short, I'm pretty sure it means a better day for everyone.

*HAPPY DANCE*

Monday, November 16, 2009

On Living Far Away

I have the kind of family that is rarely all in one place at one time. My brothers and my sister all have families and are scattered around the country and our schedules/incomes/vacation days hardly ever coincide to make for a family reunion. It's been almost two years since we were all together. That's not to say I haven't seen my individual siblings or my Mama Llama for that long. That's just the last time we were all of us together.

This year, everybody is descending on my mom's house in Wisconsin for Thanksgiving. Everybody but my little family, that is. And as soon as I heard the news, I started plotting and trying to figure out how we could get there. I'd love to go, but then again, traveling during a holiday weekend with a toddler? No, thank you.

We made a decision at some point that we would not venture back to the home land during the holidays. It's hard to spend Christmas without our big boisterous families, but weighing that against the pains of air travel and the inherent stress of the holiday, and it doesn't generally make for vacation, per se. We thought we'd much rather go back home during the spring or summer and spend time at cousins' ball games and swimming or fishing. But then, when the holidays come around and we're wandering around the house discussing whether making a turkey is even worth it for the two of us, we wonder if we made the right decision.

This year, we'll be spending Thanksgiving with some of the Bubba's work colleagues. Some people that are in the category I named "Work Orphans." These are the people who also have family far away and don't go home - slash - have visitors for the more minor holidays like Thanksgiving and Easter. There are kids to play with and good food to eat, so it's always a good time.

Christmas, though, is harder. I get really excited about the holiday season. I love the cookies and the spices and the lights and tree. I love the stockings and the baubles. And my favorite part is getting presents together. Casting on knit woolies, picking out something that some person will love. And it's kind of hard not being around for the opening of those gifts and the sharing of wine and the gorging on cookies with family.

This is the time of our yearly Should We Move Back? conversation. Nobody with their wits about them would have that conversation in the Seattle summer when we live in the most beautiful place on Earth. We have to weigh the Awesomeness of Seattle against the Potential Awesomeness of Easier Access to Family.

Lucky for us, last week out of the blue, the Bubba's parents got some plane tickets to use before the end of the year. They'll be coming the week or two before Christmas and we'll have some of that Christmas Family Time. We are looking so forward to it! They haven't seen Lucy and vice versa since JANUARY. That is, a year ago. So we're excited.

It's been averaging about once a year that our parents come here and about once a year that we get back to Wisconsin. And it's frustrating for everyone involved, I think. Every time we have two nickels to rub together, I feel like we're spending it on airfare to see family when we should be saving for a house or paying down our student loan debt or something. And I know that they feel the same way.

I love Seattle, and I know my Bubba does too. And the thought of moving back to the midwest is kind of saddening. And yet. The thought of living closer to family and having Lucy know her cousins and have a special relationship with her grandparents, and being able to enjoy our own siblings and family is really attractive. Every time a friend mentions leaving their kids with their parents in order to [fill in the blank with something ridiculously fun like quality time with her husband or (gasp) ALONE], I have to consciously quell the instantaneous knee-jerk jealousy.

But, for now, this is where we are and this is where we want to be. Grandma and Grandpa will come in the holiday season to help with the Cheer, and hopefully the Llama will come when the winter is starting to feel long in February. So this winter it's not going to SEEM like we're so far. And that feels good for now.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Photos: Again!

The Bird. I'm letting her hair grow out to see which way it parts.
Mostly it grows straight, straight, and more straight directly off her head.
But it seems to part on the right in the back and on the left in the front. ???

Fun surprises in the sweetest care package from a darling friend.

Lu's new hiding spot. I had to move the desk chair to take the pic.


Daddy and his clone. Seriously. His family claims not to see it, but aren't they IDENTICAL? Well, apart from my nose on there? IDENTICAL.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Idle Hands? I Think Not.

I've been a knitting fiend lately. So much so that I haven't even taken photos of some of the things I've made before sending them off as gifts. Hats, mostly. I love hats. Baby hats, big people hats.

I just finished this:

Ready to go!

Maybe it's just me, but isn't that the CUTEST HAT EVER?? My girl was looking awfully grown up lately, and I needed something that still screamed BABY. It's even more fun that she likes it and keeps it on. She'll even let me know when the ties come undone. I am currently two rows into matching mittens.

Can I just show you what my desk looks like right now?

Yarn, notions, books of knitting patterns, half completed projects!
SEE A THEME?

Piles. Piles of yarn. Tweed and variegated, sock yarn and wool. On the left is a brown hat, the pink is for mittens. On the right is the yarn for yet another hat, the beginnings of a blue short sleeve sweater - I think I'm about to the boobs - and then some yarn I THOUGHT was going to be for the hat that the brown yarn ended up perfect for.

My stash is normally stored on the top of the wardrobes in Lucy's room in two big flat tupperware containers. Lately, I've been going through it once a week or so and pulling out anything that inspires me. If you have ever known a Knitter, you know the gravity of this situation. I have yarn in little piles all over the house and not just in the designated stash area. Above the requisite baby-proof hight, of course. My husband is incredibly magnanimous about all the little balls and skeins cluttering the top of the piano and the higher book shelves.

And maybe his dresser top.

And perhaps his side of the closet.

Oh, come on. Knitting is a state of BEING, people.

I have so many projects in my queue, and they're not even Christmas projects yet! It's the cool weather and the dark. It's like a Pavlovian response to winter. Must knit. Must knit. Hands empty. Not good. Yarn! Yarn! Yarn! Ok, so maybe in my head it sounds more like a one-track record like in that Beggin' Strips commercial.

So that's what I've been doing lately. What about you? Any winter projects you work on? Any fun patterns you're dying to share with me?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On the 15th Month

A little after Lucy turned one, she started walking. I feel like she put a good deal of time figuring out how her body works and having fun with getting around and processing all the new information she was getting from her new point of view. She has gotten quite good at getting around and climbing and jumping and running. You know, the basics of mischief making.

And then? All of a sudden? Language explosion. In our estimation, Lucy has a command of 27 meaningful words (including "Mais non!" and 12 sounds (like "weee-ooooo-weeeee-oooo" for emergency vehicles and animal sounds). The girl talks!

It's not like I didn't expect it, and in fact, I was looking forward to hearing what she thought of things. Like dreaming about what she would look like when I was pregnant, I always wondered what my little girl would say if she could. And even though we're missing a couple of complex concepts, I know what she likes and what she doesn't like. That's already huge.

Maybe it's the fact that she can voice needs and concerns and wants, or maybe I am accepting the fact that I have a toddler, but I'm amazed at the evolution of my relationship with Lucy. She's not me anymore. She never REALLY was, but she was inside of me. And then she lived off my breast milk. And then she needed me to cuddle her to sleep. She's been part of me for so long.

Now, all of a sudden I have an independent person on my hands. Someone I happen to share a house with. I'm blown away. I'm getting to know her, not just through our bodies or through watching her, but through language. She is not even a tiny bit part of my own self anymore. Which is awesome, but it's also a little sad. She's not my wittle bay-bay anymore!

Lu ditches her baby dolls for books every time. Nerdlet.

I was trying to talk about this with the Bubba, but he couldn't get it. He gave me an Are You Okay? sort of look when I lamented that Lucy isn't just ME anymore! That's when I realized that this must be how he felt from the very beginning. He has always recognized that Lucy is an individual with or without me.

But for me, it's like I turn into a different mom every time Lucy hits a different stage in her development, and I have to redefine my job requirements and my role. Host to parasite? Physical demands 100%. Check. Milking cow? Physical demands 70%. Check. Playmate? Physical demands 20%. Check. Rule Inforcer? Physical demands 2%. I have to reassess the strengths and weaknesses of my approach and revise as needed to stay one step ahead of the Wave of Destruction. And every step actually involves me less and less.

But really, it just keeps getting more and more fun. I like my kid. She's funny and creative and sincere and surprisingly musical. She plays the piano and hums along with songs that I didn't realize she was picking up. When I was humming "Old McDonald" the other day, I stopped and she hummed the next three or four notes for me.

There's the other stuff, too. The not fun part of 15 months. The teeth are still coming. One of the bottom incisors finally cut and the bottom left molar is bulging. So we've been dealing with another bout of sleeplessness and drool and not eating and a bad case of the Naughties. The upside of not eating very well has been the discovery of smoothies! I make a Purple House Ape with blueberries and leafy greens and a Green Meanie with kale and yogurt and peaches and my girl sucks it down and belches like a linebacker.

Smoothie Fu-Manchu!

Then there's the exploration of "NO!" that's tuning quickly into a hostile takeover of the capital NO!ville, exploitation of the "NO!" residents and pillaging of the "NO!" resources. She has become well acquainted with the "NO!" laws and regulations and has thrown them out in favor of a natural state of "NO!"

But let's not dwell, shall we? Back to the fun! Lucy buries herself in the couch pillows and then pops out screaming "SURPRISE!" at least once a day. She can build block towers that are three or four high before the emergency vehicles (weeeooooo-weeeeoooo) come to crash them down.


She says "DONE!" and gives me a triumphant look
when she's accomplished something. Like I should have been timing her.

But the clincher? The very best part of 15 months? She says "I love you." and gives kisses. On purpose. SWOON!

THIS is how the species survives.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Case of the Mondays

I think I'm sick. I just slept for 13 hours and feel like I could sleep all day.

Yesterday the Bubba got a last minute ticket from my uncle and went to the Seahawks game. And left me alone on so very little sleep with a house ape on speed. I sent him a text during the game that said something along the lines of "You better be enjoying yourself, because I'm never going to forgive you for this." And I teased him when he got home that he should take Monday off just to make it up to me.

So when I started feeling poorly last night, I thought he would be suspicious of me. And then when we had to wake up with the screaming-in-pain teething baby (STILL! OMG, DOES IT EVER END?), I was feeling more ill. And then this morning, I felt like I got hit by a truck. I think in the night the little Sick Elves embedded a little set of jacks in my joints, replaced my tonsils with medium gauge sand paper, and slipped sleeping pills under my tongue.

The Bubba stayed home an extra couple hours this morning so that I could keep sleeping, and hopefully sleep it off, or at least get a head start on it. He felt my forehead and brought me pain reliever, and as he left, he said he'd go for a (hopefully) quick check in at work and come home early.

Isn't he awesome?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Recovery

The amount of power we give our electronics is staggering. Or maybe I should make that more personal: the amount of power *I* give MY electronics is staggering. I wouldn't know my mom's phone number if it weren't speed dial #14 (sorry, Llama, I don't really know how to assign you speed dial #1 - you know I would!). I wouldn't have any clue of friends' or family's email addresses if they weren't detailed in my email account address book.

This week I didn't post anything on my blog. I didn't READ any blogs (sorry, guys, you know I still love you). I barely even checked my email. My computer crashing felt like a betrayal. Like a boyfriend breaking up with me and not telling me why. Was it something I did? Something I said? Something I posted for all of the internets to see? I felt like I needed a minute to evaluate my situation. A little moment to heal from the heart brake.

I started out feeling like I was doomed. I lost everything! Woe! But little by little I've repopulated my folders with photos I'd sent to the Bubba at work or that I posted here are there. And even one or two of the videos of Lucy just born were saved on the Bubba's laptop. So things started looking brighter. But still, all my music, my knitting patterns, my work documents. Those are still gone.

I made a decision as you do when you are at a crossroads in a relationship. I will never make myself that vulnerable again. I don't quite know what that means yet. I think it means having an old fashioned address book in my desk. It definitely means having an external hard drive and backing up my important files.

But I can't quit you, computer. Can we still be friends?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Gone

I would love to post pics from this weekend of Trick-or-Treating! I took pictures of the cutest little Lucy in her lady bug costume with her candy bucket slung around her head like a trough. There was one of the lady bug driving her toy truck. There was even a pic of a construction lady bug wearing Daddy's hard hat and coloring at his desk at work.

Except. They no longer exist.

My hard drive fried. I lost everything on my computer. I learned a lesson today. A stupid effing lesson that I didn't want to learn. Nothing at all was salvagable. I went to the Apple store and wiped a tear when the fixit nerd broke the news. I asked if there were some specialist that I could talk to about getting my pictures. I don't care much about anything else. The pictures, though. Those were important to me. He said, "There might be, but it wouldn't do any good. You're not going to get anything off of here."

And then I listed everything else in my brain. The preliminary stuff for my business. I'm pretty sure my partner has all the same stuff saved somewhere. Taxes. I printed out copies of that. Ooooh. What happens to all the money I spent on iTunes? Crap. But those PHOTOS.

I feel like such a dumbass for not backing everything up. And I even THOUGHT about doing it. I have CD-Rs and DVD+Rs right here. Here on my desk. Within reach right now. Ready for me to back everything up! I'd think, "I'll do it next time I'm on. Or tonight when I'm not doing anything." I just never ACTUALLY did it. Which, just for the record, doesn't count even a little bit when it comes right down to it.

I didn't lose EVERYTHING. I mean, there are the pictures that I posted on my blog. There are the pictures I loaded onto Facebook. But the others. Oh, I'm going to miss those. The pictures of my brand new little baby. Video of her first squeaks getting washed in the hospital. Pics of my red, sweaty, crying face when I saw Lu for the first time. I didn't want to put these on the blog for everybody to see. Those were just for us.

I'll always remember those things. I've got that going for me, at least. And no grievous bodily harm was caused by the frying of the laptop. The house didn't burn down or anything. And from that lesson, I have an order number for an external hard drive that will prevent future heartbreak a in similar fashion.

It doesn't make me much less sad right now, though.