Monday, May 26, 2008

Wedding Weekend in Maine

Scott was the best man for his friend Sanjay, and wore traditional Indian garb with the rest of the wedding party.

A little dancing on Dad's shoulders at the reception.

And a walk on the beach near our rented cottage at Owl's Head. Audrey was up with the sun, and the sun is up early in Maine! From our bedroom we saw some gorgeous sunrises... at about 4:30. May as well enjoy them if you're going to be up anyway.

When we got home this afternoon we spotted what looks like her first tooth starting to errupt on the bottom gum. Which could explain why right now Scott is upstairs unable to get her to calm down and go to sleep.

Parents: share all your teething remedies, quick! We are offering her cold washclothes, which seems to help a bit. And I think we'll be offering some baby Tylenol before the week is out.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I Love Lucy, and Lucy Loves Beets

This immediately made me think of Lucille Ball and the way she would paint her lipstick waaaaaaaaaaaay outside the borders of her mouth. Audrey achieved this look by taking a mouthful of pureed beets-- of which she greatly approved-- and pressing her lips together, a kind of "Compliments to the chef!" gesture that she has. Don't be alarmed by the color; it's really just beets, sweet potato and pears all pureed together. That is nature's own hue, I swear. And now that hue is on everything. And I do mean everything.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Chickpea's List of Hostess Do's and Don'ts

Do offer your guest a reassuring pat if he is missing his Mom and Dad a little.

Don't pull your guest's pacifier out of his mouth and wave it tauntingly in front of him. (Audrey forgot her manners momentarily and did just that. Liam was quietly appauled.)

Do show your softer side by hanging out with guests in your p.j.'s. Don't wake the guests at 4:00 in the morning. Just don't. (Margaret and Ruth visited us on their way from Vermont back to Seattle. Lovely to see you both!)

Do pose for keepsake photographs. Don't spit up on the guests in their traveling clothes.

A little adendum for anyone who was worried by our last posting: sleep has gone much better in the last few days. Thank you for your concern, Aunt Janna.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Confessions of a Horrible Meanie?

Tap, tap, tap... is the tape recorder on? Okay, this is my formal confession. Our day has started with a bit of a jarring bump. Audrey woke up at four this morning, not quite an hour after I had already been up to feed her, and I just could not get up again. Just. Could. Not. I got about halfway to her room, and then something in me refused to take a step further. I turned around and went back to bed, and she cried for quite a while, and finally Scott got up to give her a bottle because, well, she was crying pretty hard and I had put a pillow over my head and was doing the la-la-la-la-I-can't-hear-you thing. She basically didn't go back to sleep again until I put her down for her morning nap a few hours later at 7:30, and she's still asleep now. Blessedly, she did consent to the nap; I wasn't sure what to do if she still refused sleep. Scott also got to go back to bed finally to get some badly needed sleep (he was up late working), and I got to sit in the kitchen having my coffee and considering all this kerfuffle.

Am I okay with how things played out this morning? Not exactly. Am I willing to get up multiple times in the night with my now-almost-eight-month-old? No. Maybe. It depends. I kind of wish I had just gone in to feed her when she woke the second time, even though it frustrates me terribly when she does that.

And so it goes.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Did you request our Little-Pig Wake Up Service (registered trademark)?

When Janna and I used to climb into our parents' bed, way way too early in the morning, it was called The Little Pig Wake Up Service. Audrey is carrying on the family business and waking up her dad nice and early, to help him get a vigorous start to his consulting day.

As soon as she can crawl, she'll be adding a Continental Breakfast option!

Why wait for take-out, when you can eat the menu right now?

She is lightning fast, and cunning. Yesterday I put her in the Exersaucer in the kitchen while I washed a few dishes, and in the time it took me to scrub one pot, she got a hold of our take-out menus, which are pinned to the refrigerator with a magnetic clip, and she took sizable bites from of several of them. I still cannot figure out how she managed to reach out and across a space longer than her body to get the menus. This maneuver must have involved climbing nearly all the way out of the Exersaucer and balancing on her stomach on the edge. By the time I turned around-- to the sound of her coughing-- she was back in her seat, munching. And she did not want to let go of that delicious mouthful of wood pulp and ink-- no, sir! I had to pry it out, one mashed up bit at a time.

Lesson learned. Clear all detritus from the three feet directly above the floor.

Life as we know it is over. Again.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day '08

For my first Mother's Day I received the strawberry-and-chocolate picnic at Pierce Park that I requested from Scott. Audrey was not able to come through on the full-night-of-uninterrupted-sleep that I requested from her, but she did agree to sleep during the picnic. All three of us protected our pasty white skin with sun hats and enjoyed the deliciously warm (but not too warm) weather. Scott allowed me to eat most-- okay, all-- of the chocolate, which could make for some high-octane breast milk later, but oh-well.

I am quite thankful today for my healthy daughter, my husband who remembered to bring my sun hat to the park so I wouldn't get sizzled, and for our good fortune to be a family. Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I think David Lee Roth said it best... Might as well JUMP! Go ahead: JUMP!

Man, does she ever love the Jumpster. Lord help us when she finds out about bungee jumping.

Because Scott is away and likes to hear about what we're doing back at the ranch, I offer this little sampling of our day: I was running low on baby food so I decided to let Audrey try a new taste sensation-- spinach! Emerald green organic goodness, right? So I boiled up a bunch of it and pureed it with my handy immersion blender (best kitchen tool on the planet) and the result looked, well... totally disgusting. The word that came immediately to mind was "bilious," a word I've never actually used before so I had to go look it up to determine if it right to describe the evil, dark green hue of pureed spinach. Turns out, it is. Look it up if you're curious. Audrey will never eat this, I thought to myself. But I'd made a whole pot full, so I poured a little bit for her, and some for me as well because-- fair's fair-- if I'm going to make her eat it...

I need not have worried about her reaction. She took a hesitant first taste, regarded me quietly for a moment, then swallowed and opened her mouth for more. We both ate all our spinach, only I cheated and added salt and pepper and a little hot sauce to mine.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Stingrays Need Love, Too

Although "kitty" and "froggy" are popular with Audrey, she also likes the stingray that her friend Hanuman brought her from Las Vegas. Now, do you think she loves him for being a stingray, or because he's from Vegas?

Tonight she fell asleep so early I didn't even have a chance to get her into her p.j.'s before she zonked out, cuddling her favorite stuffed sea creature. I know, I know, there shouldn't be any loose bedding or toys in the crib, and those pants are not approved infant sleep wear. Maybe I'm just getting reckless now that I've been in the mothering biz for seven whole months? But don't worry (Jean and Shirley especially) I will keep a close eye on her. Smart money says she's awake again within the hour. If not, I may be sneaking in to pull that quilt out of the crib, no doubt waking her up in the process.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Anything to declare, sir?

Scott had to leave for a spur-of-the-moment business trip yesterday, so we helped him pack his suitcase. Audrey checked out the inside for any pockets where an extra 16 pounds of carry-on weight might not be noticed... We imagine that Scott's trips are actually exciting James Bond type adventures-- the kind of mission where Bond stays at the Marriot and eats at Applebee's, but otherwise totally top secret and cool.

Late breaking news on the infant development front: Audrey is earnestly practicing her roll-overs and, true to what all the books said, is working on this new trick in the middle of the night. Last night, I put her down in her crib on her back, parallel to the long sides of the crib as per normal, and woke to her squawks when she had rolled herself into an improbable bunch up at the top corner. I straightened her out, and before I had even left the room, she was rolling again. This morning at 6:00 I found her lying on her stomach, playing with her loveys (two little fleece squares and a stuffed cat), and when she saw me, her expression was like, "Oh, hey. I was wondering when you were going to get up."

Friday, May 2, 2008

I go to New Mommies Group for the schadenfreude.

Allow me to explain. Schadenfreude is a German word with no precise English equivalent that means roughly, to take pleasure in the misfortunes of others. That's not exactly what I get out of my occassional visits to the new moms group, but it's sort of close. What I get is a cousin emotion of the more seriously mean schadenfreude. I feel relief hearing other people obsess about all the same things, and yes, sometimes even a little devilish satisfaction when someone else's baby is more fretful than mine, or is a much worse sleeper, or just isn't as attractive. (Biology is behind that last one, which I never fully understood until I had a kid of my own. I look at Audrey and think, "I know that people love babies other than you, but how?! " And I feel the hormones pulse-pulse-pulse in my veins.)

Lest you think me reprehensible, I also felt pretty good when I offered some words of encouragement to a new mom who was having major breastfeeding problems. I don't know if anything I said will actually help her feed her baby, but she gave me a certain look. A look that said, "Your words of comfort mean something to me because I think you know how terrifically hard this is." Is there a word in any language for the feeling you get when you provide someone else an instant of relief like that?

It also makes me feel lucky, and a bit guilty, and very sad sometimes, to hear moms talk about being back at work and missing their babies. I love that I can be at home with Audrey, even though I worry about work and staying skilled enough in something to get a job and where'd-my-career-go-to and all that. It's hard. There are not nearly enough options. Anyone know a good word for this?