Wednesday, July 30, 2008

At home with Mom and Ah-Da

I would like to direct your attention to her deliciously fat arms and legs. This kid was a rather scrawny newborn at first. But look at her now! Buttery rolls. Wrist creases. The works.

This is the kind of kiss you get from Audrey-- more of a slobbery bite, actually.

We are hoping for a better night of sleep tonight, and some naps tomorrow. Audrey has been sick this week and is teething. Currently she is on Day Two of her complete nap strike. That's right. No naps. At. All. Please let the madness end.

Dental work on Ah-Da

Well, I see you haven't been flossing as I told you to at your last cleaning. This simply will not do.

Audrey seems to say Ah-Da when Scott comes into the room. I'm not going to claim this is her first word. I'm just saying, you know, it could be, maybe, possibly.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Jagged Little Teeth

No mistake this time. Chickpea has two bumpy little teeth pushing through her lower gum, and she is wicked cranky today. Right now, she is in the car with Scott on the way to Home Depot where they are going to have some daddy-daughter quality time (so says Scott) and I am going to have some at-least-I-can-drink-this-cold-coffee-in-peace time. I've just stashed two damp washcloths in the freezer for her, so she can have them when they get back. Although that might be a while, since I told Scott to return home with a sleeping child or not at all. Okay, I didn't really say that. But we did have a talk in the car just now about revising our sleep plans (again.) Don't worry, I won't give details. I will only say that I deeply regret our recent back-slide into nursing-to-sleep. What a gigantic mistake.

Scott is probably in the lumber aisle right now letting her chomp on some press board or practice her fine motor skills on the trigger of a staple gun.

The photos above were taken after we gave her a corn cob to chew on last night. The stuff on her bib that looks like fountain pen ink is actually just blueberries

Monday, July 21, 2008

My lovey, my enemy

No photograph tonight, just a bedtime vignette. Another moment of I-can't-believe-I'm-doing-this. As my friend Rebecca recently pointed out, she could make an entire banquet of the words I've already eaten since becoming a parent. I don't know why I'm still surprised to be surprised.

So you've heard about "comfort objects," right? No? Well, get with the program-- they are essential tools for helping small persons get to sleep at night, calm down during the tempests of tantrums, meet the new babysitter with confidence, etc.. They are known in the biz as "loveys." No longer just a word for when you are pretending to have a Cockney accent, a good lovey is small, cuddly and portable. Audrey's is a small foot-square blanket made of yellow fleece. She's become attached to it only after many months of handing it to her, trying to convince her that cuddling with it is a deeply soul satisfying experience. But when she finally fell for it, she fell hard-- the lovely is loved. It is an all consuming love, second only to her love for her stuffed dog and -- possibly-- me and Scott. And it's incredibly sweet to see her light up and coo when she sees the lovey, and snuggle with it at night. Except.

I just put her to bed a few minutes ago and handed her the lovey (she was barely awake) and she immediately rolled over and buried her face in it. How can I walk out of the room where my sleeping child has her mouth and nose possibly maybe a little bit obstructed by the stupid lovey?? So there I stood, trying ever so gently to take the lovey away from her without waking her up. She finally rolled away from it, which is why I am not still there now, holding my breath and trying to pull it out from under her one millimeter at a time.

I'm tagging this one "Careful what you wish for."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Library at Monhegan Island

I really wanted to see the library at Monhegan Island because I knew it had been put together by a Simmons alumna, someone who is now over 100 years old and, coincidentally, is also named Ruth just like my buddy here in the yellow t-shirt. The library was an absolutely beautiful, charming building with a card catalogue still in use.

Why is little Ruth wearing such a huge t-shirt, you ask? Well, I won't tell you the whole story but I will say that it's a good thing they sell shirts on the island because when it's rough water all the way over on the ferry, people can start to feel kind of seasick and, well... bad things may happen to the clothes you were wearing when you boarded the ferry. That's why it's always good to travel with a lot of baby wipes, zip lock bags and some extra cash.

Tiny Tourists Take a Tubby

At the end of a long day of recreating, there's a lot of sunscreen, bugspray, food and I-don't-know-what-the-heck-that-could-be to be scraped off the littlest vacationers.

Civil Engineering 101

Audrey and Bethiah work on the train tracks during a rare window of time in which Ruth (age 3) is napping, and will not be too annoyed at having the train set taken over by babies.

A blur of furious concentration.

Our first Great American Family Vacation

... in which I play the cheerful "Mom," full of zest and clever ideas for having fun, always remembering to pack along the sandwiches and the baby tylenol, only sometimes crabby and sunburned and short on patience. Scott's "Dad" was very convincing; both his jovial moments and his hot-under-the-collar scenes were realistic and lovable.

We went to a place called Ocean Point, near East Booth Bay, ME with our friends and their two girls. Lovely cottage with kid friendly details like a splinter free deck, and my personal favorite, a fully equipped kitchen including baby spoons left behind by previous renters. It was the kind of summer rental where you often heard conversations like this:

Kris: I smell poop. Is someone poopy?

Hank: (picking up baby nearest him and sniffing behind) Not mine. She's okay.

Scott: Must be ours. Let's have a look-see. (picks up baby nearest him and peers into back of diaper ) Yep. Honey, hand me the wipes. It's a doosey.

Three-year-old Ruth: (delivering a long rambling joke all of which is incomprehensible except for the last word, the punchline) Poopy!

I'll get to the vacation pictures in a sec, but first...

Aren't these lovely? Her undershirt is one that my sister and I wore in olden days. And it was a hand-me-down even then, made by one of my mom's friends for her kids.

Rock me, Amadeus

Audrey has an awesome head of hair for such a small fry.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What a difference a year my waist.

In this hot weather I find myself thinking a lot about last summer and how big I was getting by this point in July. Every time I climbed a set of stairs I half walked, half hung by the railing. I always got a seat on the T. I could send Scott off to the store for any food I could think of, and he'd go fetch it for me. (He probably still would, but this would be more of a shrewish thing to do now that I am not pregnant.) When I got out of bed, from sleeping on my back which was the only possible position for sleep, a would totter back and forth like a weeble before I got my balance. And there was always someone swimming right underneath my ribs who would sometimes raise a foot or a hand out where I could feel it for a second. I still kind of miss being pregnant, a special citizen, a great big bus of good will every where I went. I miss-- I admit it-- the attention. There's plenty of attention for Audrey but I feel less like I can claim her as my own accomplishment. I say "thank you" when someone says "cute kid!" but it's sort of like taking credit for the weather.

There are things about this summer that I feel a certain nostalgia for already. In particular, I am smitten with the sight of my adult-size swimsuit and Chickpea's little tiny swimsuit drip-drying side by side. For some reason the sight of my slightly dowdy Speedo and her little pink suit lined up there together makes me feel very officially someone's mother.

Grapevine comes to Boston

Scotts folks, Jim and Shirley (a.k.a. Mimi and Pop-Pop) came to see us this week. And when I say "us" I mean Audrey. Between their camera and ours approximately 90,000 photographs were taken.

Audrey tries to whip up a bit more excitement for the back-patio photo shoot.

And then pulls out this cutie-pie grin.

But her real interests lie elsewhere.

Which appears to be a theme at our house.

Monday, July 7, 2008

No teeth? No problem.

When Audrey saw the other kids eating watermelon she wanted her own slice. Add this to the list of foods that can be safely gummed.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Wee Patriots

We spent a very relaxing 4th with our friends in Medford. No sob-inducing fireworks for this crowd. Bethiah and Audrey relaxed on the same picnic blanket on which their enormously preggo mothers tried to recline last summer at about this same time.

Sure, Audrey's t-shirt says "I love Canada" but the ensemble is red-white-and-blue. It's a free country, after-all. And we do love Canada.

Three-year-old Ruth took some photos with our camera, including this one of Hank stealing food from an infant while my eyes were closed. Ruth's style is very edgy and raw. I like her work, and the way she yells "Say Cheeseburger!" before each shot.

Audrey decided not to wait up to hear the Boston Pops before calling it a night.

Bathing Beauty

Chickpea has four- count them, four- swimsuits to wear to the Rez this summer (all hand-me-downs). First time in the water she clung tightly to me. She prefers the wading pool on the front lawn, or living room beach party, to open water.