Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vacation



Wow. I didn't really mean to take a whole month off from posting, but it happened. I've got lots of vacation photos and some short videos that I'll be uploading over the next couple of weeks, so don't give up on me. Here are a couple pictures of Evelyn with her frequent playmate, Adrian, at lovely Ortega Park. It was 103 the day that we went, and the kids had a great time splashing in the water and keeping cool.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

That's my girl!

I don't care how old you are, it's important to be an informed citizen of the world.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Little Gardener


Our photo shoot/gardening lesson ended when she started eating dirt. They may not look like much, but those are the most expensive tomatoes ever.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Faux-hawk


This kid has got some good hair!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Allergies


So Evelyn is allergic to soy. Eating it makes her violently, even spectacularly ill. Think Linda Blair in The Exorcist, but with more chunks of egg yolk and bits of green beans.

This didn't really catch us by surprise. The last time that she had tofu, she barfed everywhere, but it had been hours since she'd eaten, and who knows? She could have had a bad piece of watermelon, eaten grass at the park, or had a bug. To paraphrase Shakespeare, one data point doth not an allergy make. No, I had to be sure before relegating her to an existence devoid of tofu, soy meatballs, tofu pups, and soy milk. And by sure I mean: I had to be soaked from head to toe with baby vomit at least twice to be convinced that it was tofu that was causing the reaction.

My little trooper never cried during the whole projectile vomiting thing, but she did give me a look that said, "Mother, honestly, clean yourself up. What is this, Skid Row?" (She can be kind of tough on me.) In a coincidence that makes me wonder what kind of serial killer I was in a past life to deserve this, we had also run out of baby shampoo that day, so I had to wash her without the benefit of soap. Not ideal when your kid is caked in puke.

I now have a new appreciation of parents who have children with multiple allergies. In addition to the obvious pain in the neck of not being able to eat normal stuff like wheat or milk, these parents have probably been vomited on more times than they can count. Blessed are they that clean up puke, to paraphrase the Bible.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ka-Ching

I seem to be fundamentally unable to leave Target without buying something extra--a sweet little top, a new toy to work Evelyn's latest developmental milestone, a freaking RUG. I am absolutely my parents' child, a thrifty New Englander to the core. And yet. A rug? A rug should never be an impulse buy. I blame Target and their dastardly ability to toe the line between price and style. I also blame my daughter and her dastardly ability to be the cutest baby in history. Some blame also goes to our consumerist society, which has slowly but surely convinced all but the very best of us (and them too, a bit) that buying things for our children equals love. Luckily, this leaves very little blame left for me!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Evelyn's First Red Sox Game!



We went to beautiful AT&T Park to watch the Red Sox take on the Giants on a warm, sunny afternoon yesterday. The Sox won for Evelyn's first game, and she had a blast looking around at all the people, the flags, and the birds flying about. Not so much the baseball, though.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Story Hour!

I love the Sunnyvale Lapsit for babies. Our local library puts on a great little program weekly for babies, complete with puppets, singing, stories, and a whole mess of babies trying to gnaw on books and poke each other in the eyeball. It's infant nirvana, basically.

Today, my little darlin' woke up from her nap just as the program was starting, so I whisked her, pajamas and sweaty bed-head and all, into the car. I noticed a certain pungency of diaper as I was getting her out of the car, but we were late as it was and the program only lasts for about half an hour anyway, so I figured I'd just let her stew for fifteen minutes. It was crowded, and I'm pretty sure that more than one mother noticed the poopy reek emanating from Evelyn. I think the cartoonish green stink waves above her bottom gave it away. Do I even need to mention that I was the last one to straggle in, and every other kid was groomed and wearing a daytime appropriate outfit? I also didn't see any other mothers licking their fingers to scrape the crusty sweet potato off of their kid's forehead.

Anyway, the singing and the stories and the puppets were great, and Evelyn did not care a whit about her diaper cargo. Once we were done, I went into the bathroom to clean her up. Did I ever mention that Evelyn likes to move? All the time? No matter where she is or how much poop she may climb into? To combat this, I gave her my sunglasses to play with in an attempt to keep her laying down. As I was changing her, she somehow banked my sunglasses off the toilet paper dispenser into the toilet. Have you ever tried to wash a pair of sunglasses in a public restroom sink while holding a 9 month old? In case you forgot, 9 month olds are the ones who are obsessed with their newfound standing and crawling skills, and DO NOT like to be held or sit still. I also had to one-handed because I had just stuck the other one into the toilet to retrieve my sunglasses.

I figure if I start now, I might be ready with a dressed and clean baby by next week's lapsit. No promises, though.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Appreciation

It's kind of sad. I know, deep in my heart, that Evelyn will probably never truly appreciate me and her dad. She'll probably think we're superheroes until she's about 8, disdain us when she's a pre-teen/teen, hopefully think we're alright after all when she's in her early twenties, and might even have an epiphany about how much we love her when she has kids of her own. But will she know that I just spent almost an hour researching and deciding on the absolute best shape sorting toy out there (which, by the way, costs twenty-five bucks for some dadgum reason)? Will she know that her dad used to rock her to sleep every night until he got a repetitive stress injury in his wrist? Will she know that we could have been in Hawaii RIGHT NOW if it wasn't for her?

Nope. And still, I love being a parent.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Little Booger-Bear


My brother took this photo over Christmas this year. I'd forgotten what a little baldy she was!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Parents are insane


This is not a new topic for parents, and many other people have talked and written about it with more wit than I can muster but I'm going there anyway. Because HOLY CUSS, PARENTS ARE COMPLETELY INSANE!

I was at a playdate yesterday with Evelyn, who as you know is under a year old. Most of the other babies at the playdate were also under a year old. We were sitting around talking about your typical baby topics, and I was exaggerating the small difficulties I have with Evelyn's sleep so that the other moms wouldn't gang up and kill me. Actually, it was just one mom in particular, but I think that if she weren't so sleep deprived she really may have hurt me. Apparently her kid only takes two ten to twenty minute naps per day. By way of contrast, Evelyn sleeps so much that she manages to take two ten minute naps DURING her naps. Anyway, I digress.

So one of the moms asked the group if we had started looking at preschools yet, and fully half of them said that they had. Is it necessary to shop around for a preschool before your kid can even walk? One time while Alex and I were driving we saw a sign for a bi-lingual Montessori preschool which looked pretty cool, so I guess the thought has crossed my mind. Then again, another time while Alex and I were driving we saw a sign for a new KFC sandwich with bacon and cheese where instead of bread they have two pieces of fried chicken, and that looked pretty cool too.

I guess we'll have to check out some schools eventually. I haven't made a full list of my essential criteria yet, but proximity to sandwiches comprised entirely of fried food may factor in. We'll see.

Ms. Busy Legs

I know I haven't blogged in a long time, and it's really not my fault. Someone went and learned how to move around on her own, and things just haven't been the same since. My days are spent picking up all of the many, many things that Evelyn can now get her hands on and pulling them out of her mouth.

I've got a whole new appreciation for what Sisyphus went through. She crawls over to the clothes drying rack and pulls down everything on the lower levels. As I'm putting wet laundry back up, she's crawling over the the DVD player to open it and pull the discs out. I drag her away from the electronics and unplug them, and she's pulling at the dog's tail. I stop her from harassing the poor dog, and she's scooting under the coffee table to yank on the cord to the laptop.

Add a full seven seasons of Buffy* to get through and my attempts to keep up with the New Yorker (futile), and I've got about 4 and a half minutes per day which isn't spoken for.

*I'm only sorry that it took me until this year to realize how awesome teenagers fighting vampires can be. Also, it's basically a documentary. I mean, Sunnydale, Sunnyvale? It's a thin disguise, and I see right through it. Really, I'm learning history!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Feel the love


Here's Evelyn getting some attention from one of her many, many, many admirers.

Our friend Mike Sklar took this photo.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ultimate II


Sorry Grandmamas... None of our friends can resist making the baby hold a beer bottle.

Our friend Joe Mendoza took this picture, with his iPhone, no less.

Ultimate

This was Evelyn's first season of Ultimate, and she's already tearing it up. She's even catching with both hands! I heard a rumor that someone form Fury was scouting her already...

Our friend Ken Loo took this great picture.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sleep, part 2

I promised to update you folks on how teaching Evelyn to fall asleep on her own was going, and it's taken me so long because honestly, it was so quick and painless that I basically forgot about it a week later. Don't get me wrong, there are times when she struggles and frequent trips back into her room are made at night, but I swear by "Good Night, Sleep Tight: The Sleep Lady's Gentle Guide to Helping Your Child Go To Sleep, Stay Asleep, and Wake Up Happy." (Quite the title.)

Just now, I was reading to Evelyn on the couch and realized it was just about as late as naptime should be, so I put her in her crib with her lovey blanket, turned on her ocean sounds, and walked away. Five minutes later, she was asleep. I almost can't believe it myself: no nursing, no rocking, no car ride, no walking her up and down the hallway as she cries until she finally falls asleep (Hi us, a month ago! I don't miss you!). Granted, we were having quiet time, and she's used to having a nap at around this time, but SERIOUSLY. Her sleeping could hardly be better, and it truly only took about a week.

The thing I loved about this book, and why I found it/used it even though there are much more popular methods out there is the gentle bit, right there in the title. There is no crying it out, no listening in agony as your angel baby screams herself to sleep. This, like the Ferber and Weissbluth methods, emphasizes that babies absolutely do need to learn to soothe themselves to sleep, but allows you to stay right next to their crib reassuring them as they learn to do it. And, like Ferber and Weissbluth, this doctor stresses the importance of being consistent while still allowing you to pick up a truly screaming baby if the transition is too difficult.

I don't want to make this post too long so I won't go into much more detail, but here are the basics: you foster attachment to a lovey, stop nursing the baby to sleep, and at first, sit next to the crib soothing and patting to get the baby used to falling asleep on her own. Then, you move a few feet away. A few days later, to the door. Then, to the hall, soothing from the doorway as often as baby needs.

We never got beyond the next to the crib thing. The first three days were a bit rough, because Evelyn was understandably furious with us. She was doing her damnedest to tell us that HEY, I'm tired, rock me to sleep, morons!, and we were ignoring her and leaving her in the crib. But then, three days later, she caught on that this was the newest, coolest thing, and hello, it was like soooo last week to have to fall asleep in Daddy's arms or snuggled up to Mama. She would rub her face on her lovey, and be out within minutes. About a week after we started the whole thing, when she got too sleepy she'd squirm when she was in our arms; she wanted to be in her crib so she could sleep.

Now that we've taught Evelyn to sleep on her own, I can't believe we waited so long. There was some crying, but it was absolutely worth it. I'd trade those four nights of difficulty for these two months of peaceful bedtimes ten times over.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

You might be a parent if...

Stepping anywhere in your living room, moving a shampoo bottle in the shower, getting into bed, or sitting on the couch produces a rattle, squeak, or jingle from a previously hidden toy.

You speak in children's stories. (e.g., "She ate through a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an orange, and a piece of string cheese, but she was STILL HUNGRY!"

Your idea of a good outfit includes anything not crusty.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sleep, part 2

I promised to update you folks on how teaching Evelyn to fall asleep on her own was going, and it's taken me so long because honestly, it was so quick and painless that I basically forgot about it a week later. Don't get me wrong, there are times when she struggles and frequent trips back into her room are made at night, but I swear by "Good Night, Sleep Tight: The Sleep Lady's Gentle Guide to Helping Your Child Go To Sleep, Stay Asleep, and Wake Up Happy." (Quite the title.)

Just now, I was reading to Evelyn on the couch and realized it was just about as late as naptime should be, so I put her in her crib with her lovey blanket, turned on her ocean sounds, and walked away. Five minutes later, she was asleep. I almost can't believe it myself: no nursing, no rocking, no car ride, no walking her up and down the hallway as she cries until she finally falls asleep (Hi us, a month ago! I don't miss you!). Granted, we were having quiet time, and she's used to having a nap at around this time, but SERIOUSLY. Her sleeping could hardly be better, and it truly only took about a week.

The thing I loved about this book, and why I found it/used it even though there are much more popular methods out there is the gentle bit, right there in the title. There is no crying it out, no listening in agony as your angel baby screams herself to sleep. This, like the Ferber and Weissbluth methods, emphasizes that babies absolutely do need to learn to soothe themselves to sleep, but allows you to stay right next to their crib reassuring them as they learn to do it. And, like Ferber and Weissbluth, this doctor stresses the importance of being consistent, but while still allowing you to pick up a truly screaming baby if the transition is too difficult.

I don't want to make this post too long, so I won't go into much more detail, but here are the basics: you foster attachment to a lovey, stop nursing the baby to sleep, and at first, sit next to the crib soothing and patting to get the baby used to falling asleep on her own. Then, you move a few feet away. A few days later, to the door. Then, to the hall, soothing from the doorway as often as baby needs.

We never got beyond the next to the crib thing. The first three days were a bit rough, because Evelyn was understandably upset and furious with us. She was doing her damnest to tell us that HEY, I'm tired, rock me to sleep, morons!, and we were ignoring her and just leaving her in the crib. But then, three days later, she caught on that this was the newest, coolest thing, and hello, it was like soooo last week to have to fall asleep in Daddy's arms or snuggled up to Mama. She would rub her face on her lovey, and be out within minutes. About a week after we started the whole thing, when she got too sleepy, she'd squirm when she was in our arms; she wanted to be in her crib so she could sleep.

Now that we've taught Evelyn to sleep on her own, I can't believe we waited so long. There was some crying, but it was absolutely worth it. I'd trade those four nights of difficulty for these two months of peaceful bedtimes ten times over.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Puppy Love


People ask us all the time how Cash has responded to having a baby in the house. I'll let you judge for yourself. Here are pictures of Evelyn: kicking Cash in the face, grabbing and about to yank on his collar, and biting his face. Not captured on camera are her pulling on his lips, sticking her hands into his ears, and poking at his eyes. (I do try to keep her hands out of his eyeballs and mouth, for his sake. Also, I'm always right there when they're playing together. Besides, even if Cash did get cranky, he doesn't have many teeth left with which to bite her. And vice versa.) Cash was the one who came over and laid down behind her with his head right next to her while she was playing on the floor.

Sadly, I am now dead, as my heart exploded out of my chest from the cuteness of those two snuggling each other.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bathing beauty


Good parents are supposed to talk to their babies all the time so that they develop language skills and grammar and vocabulary and all that good stuff. They suggest acting as if you're narrating everything you do. I truly do try, but sometimes it's easy to drift off into your own thoughts, especially when your little monkey doesn't respond. I was doing a good job, though, yesterday while changing Evelyn's diaper:

"Now Mommy's going to change your diaper! Oh, you made a nice big poop!

Sweet potato poop, how stinky! What a stinky diaper, good girl!

Now Mommy's going to wipe your bottom and get you niiiice and clean.

What a strong girl, trying to kick your legs out of Mommy's grasp. Oof! Strong girl. Good girl!

OH! Now you've wrestled one of your legs free. OHHHH... Now Mommy's desperately trying to grab your leg before you get your foot into your diap-- Now you're kicking your poop. Good strong kicker! Oh, there goes the poop, fling fling fling!

Now there's poop all over Mommy's arm, your legs, and the changing table. What a strong baby! Kick kick kick."

This photo was taken right after her unscheduled bath.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

6 Months

Dearest roly-poly daughter of mine,

As many times as people told me time with you would fly by, I still can't believe you're already six months old. Half a year! As much as this milestone makes me tear up, I've been finding myself thinking, "This is why people have kids" lately.

You hardly cry, can go to sleep on your own (and in fact seem to prefer it now), and can amuse yourself and allow me freedom for expanses of time that seem positively sinful. I swear, sometimes the minutes I have to get a mug of tea and go to the bathroom extend into the double digits! I do tend to exaggerate for the sake of humor on this here blog, but I swear to you I had twelve minutes to myself while you were AWAKE the other day. TWELVE!

You love it when your Dada or I make silly faces and nuzzle our noses into your belly to tickle you, and giggle uproariously at the slightest provocation. You've discovered how to string together rolling onto your back and onto your tummy to become mobile, and while I'm glad you've reached this milestone, you don't have to practice anymore, okay? Just stay where Mama puts you. Nobody wins when you manage to wedge your chubby little thighs under the bookcase.

You're getting to be such a clever little monkey. While the dog is still more capable than you are, you're definitely proving to be much smarter than he is. When we point to a dropped morsel on the ground for him to clean up, his reaction is along the lines of, "Finger! Finger! Finger tasty? Not tasty finger. Finger tasty now? Not tasty finger. Now? Not tasty. Lie down." When we're reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to you and showing you the little egg on the leaf, you actually look at the egg when we point at it. And then you try to eat it and the rest of the page, but still.

I'm not sure when in these last few months it happened, but your Dad and I've changed, too. Somewhere along the line we've gone from exchanging panicked looks when you just wouldn't stop crying at 3am to confident veterans who know better than anyone what you need. One thing hasn't changed; we still marvel at your utter perfection every night as we watch you sleep. I remember standing by your crib with Alex when we first brought you home and being overwhelmed by how tiny and perfect you were, and that wonder has only increased with every brilliant and adorable move you make.

Thank you, baby, for bringing us more joy than I ever thought possible.

All my love,
Mama

Sunday, March 14, 2010

California girl

video
Our little monkey loves her avocados! And by love, I mean sort of dislikes, but loves eating anything so much that she eagerly snarfs them down.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stupid supermodels


Dear Heidi Klum,

I'm sorry to have to say this, because you seem like a nice enough person, and you're obviously living the dream of having a fabulous career and raising your kids too, but honestly? *&%$ you. It's probably not your fault, but when you look like that what, like 3 weeks after having your fourth kid? It's bad for morale. We all know that supermodels just don't have fat stores, and they don't even diet, blah blah blah. Fine. Good for you, 19 year old supermodels. Who cares? I know I'm not gonna be looking like a 19 year old ever again, and it doesn't bother me in the slightest.

But seriously, Heidi, you're ruining it for the rest of us. We Mamas are patting ourselves on the back for brushing our teeth twice a day, not dropping the kids on their heads, and being only a few pounds away from the pre-pregnancy weight. Win! We think, until your gorgeous face and stupid gorgeous bod show up. So please, for the sake of us humans, go back to Planet Perfect or wherever you're from.

Thank you,

Elena (and the rest of the moms out there)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

This little piggy...


Went into the mouth. And so did all the other piggies! The market and roast beef are for suckers.

Introductions

At Baby Boot Camp today, Evelyn got a bit peckish, and needed to stop for a snack. Being a handy-dandy snack dispenser, I just sat down on the curb next to the other moms who were exercising, and took a break to nurse her. We were right next to the playground, so the few people who were walking by were other mothers with strollers, or the occasional jogger. No biggie, I'm not easily embarrassed, and I've nursed her while out a few times before. No biggie until TWO fire trucks pulled up, and parked about 20 feet away from where I was feeding my little monkey. Men from the fire department piled out of the engines, and started milling around the parking lot where we were having our exercise class. I guess they were having some sort of kids' event. In any event, I believe introductions are in order.

San Jose Fire Department, I'd like you to meet my bare bosom. Bosom, Fire Department. Charmed, I'm sure.

And that's the story of how Elena finally decided to get a nursing bib.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Can it be summer yet?


Thanks to the blooming cherry trees in these here parts, my brain thinks summer is just around the corner even though it's February. And we all know that summer means lobster rolls. Watch out, lobster baby.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Coupon lady

I had two big thrills this weekend. One was when I used my faithful Neti Pot to clear out my poor, gunked up sinuses. If you've ever had a cold, you probably need one. And, if you're like me and revel in things like falling-off toenails, huge bruises, and big gobs of booger that get flushed out of your noggin, go get one NOW. I think you get the picture.

The second was at the grocery store. (I hesitated before writing this post; I mean, I don't want to alienate my readers (Hi, you two!) by making you all insanely jealous of my thrilling stay-at-home-mom life--what with the snot and the grocery store and all--but I just had to share.) You know how when you swipe your grocery store card, all the stuff on sale gets deducted from your bill, and it's almost like someone's handing you 8 or 11 or 3 bucks? Well, this weekend, I saved... wait for it... wait for it... $57 dollars! It was about 50% of the whole bill, and I may have said "I win" out loud to the clerk. And she may have not cared at all, and given me a look that said, "Nothing is worse than being a supermarket checker, and I hate my life, and I hate YOU for not hating being in this store." To all ZERO of you who are still reading this impossibly lame post, I did it by clipping coupons and reading the circular to plan meals that were made out of sale stuff. Feel free to call me for more detailed questions. I'm thinking about writing a book. Or maybe a screenplay...

And that's what I did this past weekend. Had boogers, and went grocery shopping. When did this become my life, and when did I get this excited by it?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

To sleep, perchance to dream




(An oldie from when the little bean was about a week old, and we couldn't keep her awake for more than half an hour at a time. Kim took this photo.)

I've been sick for the last couple of days, so of course Evelyn decided to get up at 5:45 today. I nursed her, and because I'm a terrible neglectful mother and was in no mood to play with her before dawn, I just re-swaddled her and put her back in her crib. Alex was out with the dog (who was also being a horrible wretch and conspiring with the baby to make sure that nobody could get any more sleep) and I figured that she could look at her mobile until he got back in a few minutes. She was wide awake, and happy (read: quiet) enough so that I fell back asleep. When I finally woke up at 8:30, Alex said that she was asleep by the time he got back with the dog.

Excuse me?

The baby went to sleep on her own, when she was WIDE awake??

She's NEVER done this at night, despite our best efforts. So today, realizing that she's perfectly capable of falling asleep on her own in the morning and for naps, and most importantly, that our efforts in getting her to to bed apparently totally suck, we decided to take the plunge, and sleep train Evelyn. I know this is a subject that everyone has an opinion on, and I have a few conflicting ones myself. The thing is, the sort of natural approach we'd been taking hasn't been working that well for her. Ideally, she should be going to bed at about the same time every night. As it is, she goes to sleep anywhere from 7:30 to 10:00, which is not good for her or for us.

So we're doing a kind of middle of the road approach, where we set up a bedtime routine (pajamas, rocking chair, stories, swaddle, crib) and have her fall asleep in her crib rather than in our arms. For the first few days, we'll put her in her crib and if need be, let her cry until she falls asleep while we sit right next to her patting and soothing her. Next, we move the chair a few feet away and talk to her while she goes to sleep, then move to the door, and then hopefully leave the room as soon as we put her down as she goes to sleep on her own.

Doesn't that sound nice? Putting the kid down after a nice story, and she drifts off to sleep... I guess we just have to keep that end goal in mind for the week and half this will supposedly take. Tonight was the first night, and I hated it. She was a bit fussy for a while, then settled down and was quiet for a good five minutes. I thought she was going to drift off, and she WAS, but she does this thing where she'll basically catch herself falling asleep and start to wail just as she's about to go down. Awesome, yes. So she started crying harder than ever, and I went into the living room to tell Alex that I was ready to pick the poor thing up, and he took over. He got her to settle down again by having her nurse on his finger until she fell asleep, and there you have it.

We got her to fall asleep in her crib at bedtime for the first time EVER.

It took 45 minutes, but still, the goal is in sight, and I think this is going to be so good for all of us. I'll tell y'all how it goes. New pictures soon, I swear.

Monday, February 15, 2010

5 Months


On Valentine's Day, one day before she turned 5 months old, we fed Evelyn solid food for the first time. It was a smashing success--it only took about 20 minutes to get three teaspoons of food down her gullet. (Those of you who have never introduced a baby to eating from a spoon are probably scratching your heads at why I would describe that as a smashing success, but believe me, it was.) "Solid" is a total misnomer in this case. We're not giving her rare steaks (sorry, Dad), but rather rice cereal which is thinned out to the consistency of soup.

Alex and I took turns spooning her cereal into her mouth. When we didn't get her next bite ready quickly enough, she would lunge forward toward the spoon with her mouth wide open like a hungry little baby bird. She dribbled food down her chubby little chin, grabbed at the spoon and cup, and amidst all this adorableness... I cried.

I guess it's because she's growing up so fast, and because I know that my days of nursing my infant are coming to an end. It was a bit of a struggle for the first couple of weeks, but now it's one of the best parts of my day. Having her sweet, warm little belly snuggled up against mine, her tiny soft hand resting on me, and just feeling her breathe is profoundly relaxing. It's a wonderful feeling as her parent to know that I'm providing everything that she needs so naturally and easily. It almost makes me feel like I can do the rest of the whole parenting thing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

My Valentine's Day present from Evelyn was some well aimed spit-up which dribbled from my knee straight into my slipper. My non-washable slipper. Love you too, Goo Bear.

Alex and I actually got to go out on a date last night, thanks to my sweet sister-in-law. She had offered to babysit for us a few days ago, and the prospect of being on our own just about knocked us flat. Some of the ideas that we tossed around in those first heady moments when we were drunk with the possibilities included: dinner, a movie, dinner and a movie, driving around in circles high-fiving each other, or sitting in a parking lot somewhere in blessed silence. We ended up going to a comedy show, and I'm glad it was a good time, because I think it might be the last time we go out for a long time.

Our little monkey has tricked us into thinking that she's incredibly easy to deal with. And she is, for us. Well, for me. Or to be perfectly precise, for me and my nursing capabilities.

Bedtime usually goes something like this: Evelyn starts to rub her eyes a bit, we get her into her pajamas and start to wind her down. After 15 minutes, she gets pretty tired and fussy and cries a bit. Alex tries to rock her to sleep in a darkened room. This occasionally works, but 75% of the time after another 10 minutes of fussing and crying, he gives up, hands her over to me, and I nurse her to sleep. It takes about 5 minutes, and involves basically no effort.

I should have known that it was dangerous to leave Evelyn when it took Alex, who is well schooled in the art of getting baby to sleep, two hours to get her down when I was out on Thursday. We got home at 9:45 last night, well after her bedtime, and we could hear her crying from the carport. Poor sister-in-law and boyfriend had tried everything--bottles, rocking, darkened room, pacifiers, distraction, quiet--to no avail. Ten minutes with Mama, and she was out cold.

So what do we do? We can go out and let her cry herself to sleep with a sitter, or we can stay home until she gets big enough to get to sleep without nursing. Anyone dealt with this? I have no interest in weaning her anytime soon, but I would like to get her used to going to sleep without me.

Ideas?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Celebrity Doppleganger



In honor of the Facebook meme, here is Evelyn's celebrity doppleganger. Uncanny, no?

Itsy Bitsy NOT AGAIN

Yes, again.

Evelyn loves the Itsy Bitsy Spider beyond all reason. I didn't know her almost-five-month-old brain could PROCESS this much happiness. She squeals with delight when I start, and cries when I stop. (You might think I'm a horrible person, but between reps, I like to pause for a few seconds because I think it's just a little bit hilarious that she get so distraught when it stops.) The only way I get a break is to pick her up and move her to a different room, and that usually makes her forget about the wondrous ecstasy that is me singing off-key and wriggling my fingers.

This is my life.

I'll get Alex to make a video of her exploding with joy when I decide to torture myself again.

Sorry to family and friends about the lack of pictures and updates lately. I just got new batteries for the camera yesterday, but we already have a couple of good ones of the little cuteness monster. I'll try to upload them tonight.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mt. Vesuvius?

Today was supposed to be an easy morning. I had an appointment at the optometrist, (and AUGH, I have an astigmatism! Stupid expensive contacts...) so I wasn't even HOME until ten! Evelyn is a particularly advanced creature, though, and managed to pack more mayhem into the next two hours than a whole rugby team on PCP. I'll keep it short for you, and only tell you about the HOUR it took to get her dressed.

So it was time to change her out of her sleeper, mostly because we've got tons of adorable outfits, and must wear at least two per day to go through them all before she outgrows them. I put her on her changing table, and during the 4.8 seconds that her l'il bottom was diaper free, she peed. Unfortunately, yesterday she did the same thing TWICE, so I was down to her last changing pad. No problem, today was laundry day. I managed to wedge her into her outfit despite her insistence on eating the darn thing, and we went into the living room to play, which lasted for literally two minutes until she started grunting like a grumpy gorilla. Being the good Mama that I am, I laid her down on her back so that things could move along, and hoo boy! move along they did. The kid exploded. Everywhere. Probably the biggest poop we've had in a month. (She may look like Alex, but...)

I plunked her on her last clean changing pad, and started scraping her down. (I figured another bath was in order when I saw she had gotten poo on both elbows and her leg.) While I was undressing her for her bath, she peed on her changing table. Again.

After her bath, I put her in her crib, but while she was (thankfully) still wrapped up in her towel, more pee! Seriously? I slapped a diaper on her before she could decorate her room any further, and went to get her dressed. Like I mentioned, it was laundry day, so the first onesie I grabbed had been way down in her pile and was too small. So was the second. At this point, I was worried about her getting cold*, so I brought her back over to the uncovered changing pad. The thing was, I had wiped it down, what with all the pooping and peeing from earlier, and it was still a little damp and uncovered. You'd be surprised to find that undressed Evelyn does NOT like being put on cold, wet, plastic-covered changing pads. Weird! So she howled, and I picked her up and managed to get her dressed in my lap while trying to soothe her.

Anyway, she recovered, I found some clothes that fit her, and then washed the poop off the couch. And then I stuffed her in the closet so that I could drink my bourbon in peace. What did YOU do this morning?

*You might be wondering, why not just wrap her in a blanket? HA! Why don't YOU try to pin a corsage to a tornado?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Onion


(This kid knows where it's at.)

Yesterday Alex was all like, "Don't give the baby an onion to play with!" Such a stick-in-the-mud, that one. I shall now present my argument for why an onion is actually a perfect baby toy.

1. It's blunt. No poking her eyes out with this sucker!
2. It's got fascinatingly crinkly, crackly skin.
3. It's about as cheap as baby toys get.
4. No lead paint!
5. Way too big to choke on.
6. If it becomes her lovey and she loses it, they're really easily replaceable.
7. It just might turn her onto a lifetime love of cooking, and then she can go on to win Top Chef, have a show on the Food Network, and become so rich that she can take care of us into our old age. And let's face it, this whole parenting thing is really all about not ending up in a home.

Take THAT, husband.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Giggles

I think any parent will tell you that there are times that you question your decision to have kids, like when you've just walked into the grocery store and your angel starts wailing. Fortunately for the survival of our species, humans have adapted and came up with this: the baby giggle. Thirty seconds of this, and it's all worth it.

P.S. This one's mine; go make your own.


video

Monday, January 18, 2010

Eternal Optimism, or Why I Don't Need AAA

So I don't know how many of you (and by you, I mean my readership of: my immediate family) thought I was either delusional or lying when I said that Evelyn goes to bed with five minutes of rocking in the rocking chair and a pacifier. I didn't MEAN to be lying. And really, it does happen! She just now got sleepy and fussed for a minute while we were playing, and I sat with her for probably two minutes in the rocking chair before she got sleepy enough so that I was able to plunk her down in her crib. I'm not sure why, but that seems to happen only for naptime, not bedtime. Bedtime, more often than not, still involves bouncing her around the living room for twenty minutes before she finally gets sleepy, and then instead of her drifting off to sleep in her crib by herself, she wakes up two or three times and we get to do it all over again.

Anyway, my point is that I'm an eternal optimist, and seem to only remember the best of everything. Like the three times that she went to sleep with no fuss at 8:30, and Alex and I got to watch bodies being decapitated and drained of blood. You know, on Dexter. Our neighborhood's not that bad. I remember reading a New York Times article about how people who are chronically late (me!) tend to be generally optimistic types, who when calculating how long it will take to get somewhere take into account days with good weather and no traffic rather than what some people would call "reality". Whatever. So what does that mean about my Dad, who usually tries to drop us off at the airport about four and a half hours early, in case the Ted Williams tunnel collapses again and we have to walk halfway there?

Which leads me to what happened this past Friday, when I ran out of gas in the middle of El Camino (a street FULL of gas stations amongst all manner of other stores and urban junk, to you East Coasty people). I had ample opportunity to stop and get gas, but I thought, gee, when the car is off, the little needle is way below the Empty marker, so that must be where the needle can go before I run out. I don't know how many ways you can say WRONG, but hoo-boy, I will not make that mistake again. Probably. So anyway, I stopped at a light, and poof, when it turned green, no go. Of all the times that I've loved the weather in California, I don't think I've ever appreciated it as much as then. Until you have to wander around carrying an infant in a carseat to the nearest gas station, it being 60 degrees in January is something that you sorta take for granted.

But it really wasn't that bad, because I was literally across the street from a gas station who sold those little portable gas containers, and it was a particularly beautiful day, and Evelyn couldn't have cared less and was as happy as a clam to be carted back and forth across the street, AND about 87 people stopped and asked if I needed a ride anywhere or if I needed help, and in fact at least two people passed me, and then turned around and came back to help out. Thanks, strangers! Maybe my karma meter was full from donating stuff to Goodwill and making a donation to the Red Cross the day before, I dunno, but it was about the best running-out-of-gas scenario ever. It was more than a little embarassing to have to put gas in the car in front of all the people driving by. I might as well have a bumper sticker that said, "Yes, I had at least two choices of gas stations way back in Redwood City, but I wanted to go to the Arco that takes cash for 5 cents per gallon cheaper, which will save me about 70 cents, total."

Anyway, the moral of the story is not that you should just fill up your dadgum tank when the light goes on and not drive for another 20 minutes to save a lousy dollar, but that if you have a realistic looking baby doll in your car, you really don't need AAA.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Nuk FTMFW

So, as I've mentioned about a hundred times before, little Evelyn sleeps through the night EVERY night, and has been doing so since she was about 6 or 7 weeks old. I want to emphasize that there's nothing that we did to bring this on, and that it was just sheer luck that landed us with the sleepiest baby ever. The hardest part about taking care of her for the first few weeks of her life was waking her up to feed! She would be sound asleep, but the doctor wanted us to feed her every 4 hours at least, so we'd have to tickle her, undress her, bounce her, talk to her, and otherwise desperately try to wake her up. It usually took at least 20 minutes, and sometimes longer. NOT fun at 2:30 in the morning. She also naps three or more times during the day, usually for 20 minutes or so, but sometimes for much longer.

Awesome, you say, right? So why is it that I am compulsively looking online at baby sleep habit books? Didn't I just say that I have the sleepiest baby ever, and she does it on her own?

I made the mistake of reading something about how in an ideal world, babies can be placed in their crib when they're starting to get sleepy, and they will drift off to sleep on their own. This does not happen around here. We've tried putting her in her crib when she's sleepy but not asleep, but inevitably, 2 minutes later, she is fully awake and crying because she's tired. She'll sleep perfectly if we rock her to sleep, but somehow, some way, the internet convinced me that rocking her to sleep every time is bad, and that I'll have to drive out to her college dorm every night to rock her to sleep if we don't break this habit.

So, to you, internet, I say: I love rocking my baby to sleep, and I think it's perfectly natural. My baby and I are both happy and well rested, so I hereby declare that I will no longer hold either of us to some arbitrary parenting standard when what we're doing is working for both of us.

Now, if only I could just stick to it...

Post script: I had forgotten that I wrote this post, probably for the best, because it is neither funny nor interesting, really. Last week, we came to a turning point. It has something to do with the fact that Evelyn weighs 16 pounds now, and imagine rocking a huge sack of flour for at least an hour a day; 15 minutes (at least!) for 3 naps and bedtime. And of course, by rocking, I mean standing, swaying, and doing half squats. Now, imagine how your back feels. We were also rethinking the whole rocking her to sleep thing because she's steadily getting more mature, and while it seemed perfectly natural to hold her as she fell asleep when she was a tiny infant, she's really getting to be much more independent. The third piece was that one day, on a whim, I bought her a new brand of pacifiers, and lo and behold! She who used to spit out her pacifier faster than you can say, "Mother, I utterly reject this ridiculous silicon substitute. I must insist that you provide only the very tenderest morsels of your body for me to soothe myself upon," was appeased. And lo, it was good. No, seriously, it was MORE than good. Instead of the 30 minute epic battle of wills we used to go through at times, with her yowling in misery and us trying to explain to her gently that 'Dearest, that unpleasant feeling is TIREDNESS, and if you would just GO TO SLEEP, it will all be better,' she now gets a bit sleepy, we toss her in her pajamas, spend about five minutes in the rocking chair with the lights out with her, and then into her crib as the eyes get heavy. Thank you, Nuk. If I found out their pacifiers were manufactured from the souls of puppies and kittens, I'd still buy them.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010

We're back, and ready to rumble.

I had been planning to write this post about how we FINALLY got Evelyn to go to sleep before 10:30 pm, and all it took was two weeks on the east coast to reset her internal clock. Last night, and the night before, she went to bed at 8:01 and 8:04 respectively, and was down for the count until about 6:00 or 6:30. You'd think I would have learned this in Statistics, but two data points doth not a pattern make. It is now 9:00 pm, and she is wriggling happily, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, on her changing table as I ignore her. And I know, I'm an awful parent, and I should be engaging her in enriching activities instead of periodically blowing on her paper bird mobile, but DAMMIT, this was supposed to be Mommy time.

I think she must have overheard me naively tell Alex how excited I was, because if she's in bed by eight, we could go out! We could just get a sitter to stay with her while she sleeps, and I wouldn't have to be even a little miserable thinking about how we had probably hired a serial killer who was shaking her or selling her on Craigslist. So anyway, here we are at 9:42, and I just put her down. Meh, going out is overrated anyway. Thank sweet baby Jesus for the DVR.