Sunday, December 30, 2007

I Wasn't Myself

Last night, Londo and I watched 300, which was a truly excellent movie. It's the kind of action-packed, adventure, hero-story I usually love. But this was the first time I'd seen it. Londo saw it--or rather most of it--in the movie theater. I had the option of seeing it with him in the theater with some friends of ours, but the ladies of the group decided to go see Music and Lyrics and I went with them. Usually I would pick the action flick over the chick flick, but I was over 41 weeks pregnant and not in the mood to see an action flick.

That's right, I was OVER 41 weeks pregnant. Can you guess why neither Londo or I saw the ends of our movies? The timing was impeccable, like a sitcom, really, when I hurried off to the bathroom, discovering my water broke and text messaging Londo with the news. But that's not what I wanted to write about today. I like the idea of writing my birth story on the year anniversary (like someone else I know did), so that story will wait.

But finally watching 300 got me thinking about when I was pregnant. I simply wasn't myself. A lot of things I usually enjoy and even love, I had no interest in. I didn't want to watch action movies or even football. I didn't want to play poker. My fantasy football team sucked because I didn't want to pay any attention to it. The only books I had any interest in were pregnancy books and parenting books. I didn't even want to have sex! (Poor Londo.)

I felt like my body had been taken over by some alien who was no fun at all. I don't know if was just me like that or if anyone else was like that. But no one warned me about this. I knew I'd be tired, moody, uncomfortable, but I didn't know that things I usually enjoy would hold so little appeal that I'd rather stick a fork in my eye than watch/do those things.

I'm happy to say that I enjoy all those things again. It took a few months for them to slowly come back into favor, but they are. I choose the movie 300 last night as what I wanted to watch. I've been winning at poker and fantasy football again. I'm reading a wide variety of books again. And the sex is fantastic and frequent! (I know you all were dying to know about that.)

So, when Londo says that he is ready whenever I am to start trying for another baby, I look at him and say, "You are ready to not have sex for 9 months?" He apparently hopes it will be different this time. I have to be prepared for the alien to take over again. Luckily, we are not trying just yet. I've got some time to be myself again.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Cara Mama - Smiles Await You When You Rise

Cara Mama,

Was that better? I didn't wake up until 4:45! So you got to sleep a lot, and we went back to sleep pretty easily. Then when I did wake up, I was all smiley. And when you started kissing me, I gave you kisses back! It was so sweet.

Daddy got to sleep in until 8:45! We are good to him, aren't we? We were quiet and happy so he could sleep in while we played downstairs.

I know I feel a lot better since I got a good night's sleep. I hope you and Daddy do, too! This doesn't mean I'm going to take good naps today, though.

Ti amo,

Friday, December 28, 2007

Cara Bambina - Not Again

Mia Cara Nervosetta Bambina (my dear fussy baby),

What a rough night we all had. You are a poor baby, and I know this is tough for you. But you are breaking your parents. We are broken. You're daddy's back? Broken from carrying, holding, rocking you. You're mommy's psyche? Broken from trying to soothe, nurse, get you back to sleep, deal with your fussiness and clinginess. We are two broken people trying to make you sleep and feel better.

Just when I thought things were finally at the edge of manageable, you hit another regression. You're dad does not want me to jump to the conclusion that this is the 46 week (10 month-ish) sleep regression/fussy period that should accompany a developmental spurt (so if you are reading this Londo, I suggest you stop and come back to it in another week), but I see all the signs. I've referenced the only book that has ever been true for you (my unique baby). The early evenings and early mornings have been getting more and more difficult for you to sleep, and you've started getting extra clingy and fussy during the day. You are obviously not feeling right.

I'm hoping this fussy period does not last long. I think the 37 week/9-month period was supposed to be pretty bad, but it wasn't too bad for you. Nothing like the period when you were 3.5 months to 7.5 months. THAT was bad. You are almost 42 weeks, and you tend to go through these periods early and take your time getting through them.

But please, please, can you try to get through this a little quicker and easier? Your broken parents need to try to get repaired, and everytime we are close, we break again. We are fragile right now because of the repeated breaking. The superglue needs time to set, you know. And we all need time to sleep. When you start sleeping through the night, I will buy you a pony. Okay, I won't really, but your dad and I will be VERY HAPPY! And don't you want to make us happy?

la tua mama a pezzi (your broken mama),

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Post-Christmas Wrap-up and Not Killing the Cat

Well, I'm feeling a lot better about Christmas since talking with others who had way worse times than I did. Suddenly, my Christmas looks pretty good! ;-) I am having some post-Christmas epiphanies, too. I've gotten some good advice, and from now on I'm going to do only that which I think is fun and worth doing, and let the other stuff go. Londo and I talked about it, and we are also going to do more earlier. And that's enough about that (at least for now).

Today, my major gripe is the cat. I may very well kill him one of these days. You see, when the cat isn't happy, he pees on stuff. Usually it's a bathmat or a rug, often it is right exactly where you step without thinking. But yesterday morning, it was on my good coat, which had slipped onto the floor. And this morning, it was the changing pad that's on the ground in the Pumpkin's bathroom.

I have had it with this behavior!!! I'm ready to strangle him! This is not an appropriate way to show his displeasure!

And we've pretty much figured out what his issue is lately. It's the baby gates we've put up. Londo thinks he has trouble getting over the one that is on the basement stairway and he can't get to his litter box in the basement. But it was wide open this morning, and he still went and peed in the baby's bathroom. I think he is just upset that there a gates blocking where he once roamed free. But he can jump over them. He is a cat. And we have to keep them up because of the baby. So he needs to get over it and STOP PEEING ON STUFF!

I can't kill him, though. The Pumpkin's first word was cat ("ca") and she loves to say it everytime she sees him, so he lives at the mercy of the baby.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Bah Humbug. Huh.

So, I didn't realize this until yesterday, but I hate Christmas. It turns out, I'm not alone in how I feel about this, but Londo's crotchety-ness isn't really surprising to me. I am, however, surprised by my feelings.

When we are kids, Christmas is a wonderful, magic time. Everything is done for us, without us thinking about it. There are decorations, good food, presents, candy, carols, cards, time off of school. It's great! My sister, brother and I would wake up our parents, run downstairs and open our stockings, and then all eat breakfast together. Usually, my dad would make our favorite eggs-in-toast, while mom was working on the Christmas dinner. After breakfast, we'd all go open presents. Then we'd either go to my Grandmother's house or have the family over to our house, and there'd be more presents and games and food. It was so much fun.

Now, I'm not only an adult, but a parent. Now I have to do the present buying, decorating, present wrapping, baking (although this is my favorite part), stocking stuffing, cooking a contribution to the Christmas dinner, holiday card writing (which I still haven't finished), and on and on. There is just so much stress--it hardly seems worth it! Especially to celebrate the birthday of someone who was most likely born in August or September!

Perhaps all the holidays this time of year (including placing the celebration of Jesus' birth during this time period) is really to celebrate the solstice, lengthening of days and return of the sun (or sun gods) during the bleak winters that humans struggle through. Then why do we put so much on ourselves to do this time of year? It seems to me like we should make this time of year easier on ourselves because winters are tough, and the lack of sunlight makes people more tired. Did I mention that I have Seasonal Affective Disorder with my main symptom being overwhelming tiredness/exhaustion? Yeah, this time of year is especially rough for me, even without my sleep deprivation from the Pumpkin.

But I will have to continue celebrating Christmas, especially now that I have a child. I will soldier on and try to do as much as I can with as little stress as possible. (I'm hearing the Mission Impossible theme in my head...) Maybe I can hide my feelings and keep the magic alive for the Pumpkin and any other children we have. I think Londo and I just need to start earlier, which we always mean to do. When are they old enough to start helping out more? ;-)

Edited to add: I meant to say that there were some really bright and beautiful moments to Christmas day and even the holiday time in general. There were some moments of pure joy and beauty in amongst all the stress and frustration. Mostly due to the Pumpkin and other kids and their joy at everything. And that was precious.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas and To Be Read Challenge

To all those who celebrate: Merry Christmas!

We've had a great Christmas morning so far. It's the Pumpkin's first Christmas, and she seems to be enjoying it. At 9.5 months, she doesn't quite get it, and she had a little bit of a stunned look on her face when we were opening presents (hers, hubby's and mine). Londo and I had a lot of fun, and we are going to my parents for Christmas dinner with my siblings and their families. I hope all you interneters are having a wonderful day.

Now, someone inspired me to do the To Be Read Challenge 2008. I buy, receive and borrow so many books, and I really mean to read them all. I just don't always get to them. So I'm doing the challenge! Below is my list of books and alternates, which I will at some point add to the side of the blog to track. Anyone else want to join in?

The books (in no particular order even though they are numbered):
1. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
2. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
3. The Pact, by Jodi Picoult
4. Saving Fish from Drowning, by Amy Tan
5. Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman
6. It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy, by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff
7. The Blind Mirror, by Christopher Pike
8. Girl, Interrupted, by Susanna Kaysen
9. The Last Days of Dogtown, by Anita Diamant
10. Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior, By Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson
11. Desiring Italy, collection edited by Susan Cahill
12. The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time and the Texture of Reality, by Brian Greene

The alternates (again in no particular order):
1. The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant
2. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
3. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
4. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
5. Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen
6. The Dante Club, by Matthew Pearl
7. A Conspiracy of Paper, by David Liss
8. Eon, by Greg Bear
9. The Accidental Buddhist, by Dinty Moore
10. Bella Tuscany, by Frances Mayes
11. Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier
12. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Yikes! That looks ambitious to me. We'll see how I do... Considering how much I generally read, this should be doable. But you also have to take into account that I will throw in a romance novel or two a month, cause I need a regular stream of light-hearted, happy-ending stories to keep me a happy girl. This will definitely eat into my internet time...

Oh, and there is pretty much a story behind each of the books I selected, so at the beginning of the month when I start the book, I'll relate the story.

Now, I'm spending way too much time on the computer during Christmas day! I'm off to try and make that napless child take a nap and wrap the rest of the presents...

I've updated the list of alternatives I originally posted, since I'm allowed to make changes up until December 31st. I've removed The Republic of Plate, translation and notes by Allan Bloom, because I don't feel I can give it my full attention with a 1 year old running around. I also removed Warrior Queen: The Story of Boudica, Celtic Queen, by Alan Gold, because it can wait. I'd rather read the two I added (I'm not sure how I didn't put them on the list first--it was a big "doh" when I remember both): Eon, by Greg Bear, and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. But I think that is my final books and alternatives lists.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Question of the Week - Traditions

This is a special time of year for many people. And I was wondering, is there a tradition that you particularly enjoy? This could be any kind of tradition: religious, cultural, familial. Old or new. Just something that you consider a tradition and you do every year.

I know MommyEm's answer is not going to be receiving Christmas cards. hehe.

Here's my answer:
For the past 5 years or so, my neice (who just turned 13!) comes over to my house during the week before Christmas, and we do our holiday baking. I love baking and we make really good stuff (truffles, gingerbreadmen, caramel popcorn), but even more, I love this time I get to spend with my neice. Just hanging out and baking. No matter how busy we are through the year, we make time to do this together at perhaps the busiest time of year. And this year, we are doing a 3-day extravaganza of baking!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Guest Blogger: With Every Christmas Card I Write...

I have a special treat today... My good friend MommyEm has agreed to provide a post for today so I can continue day 2 of baking (which will probably go into a day 3 and maybe 4) and work on my own Christmas cards! Just maybe I'll get it all done close to Christmas. Thanks MommyEm, and enjoy readers!


All names and some details have been changed to protection the innocent…oh, who am I kidding…it’s to protect me! - MommyEm

I used to like Christmas letters. Until exactly 40 second ago. I liked everything about them – the pictures, the paper, and the concise life updates. My favorites were from close friends and family since I knew the real dirt and liked to see how they edited out the PG-13 and R rated details from their lives. I suppose it all started when my sister and I were the stars of our parents Christmas letters and I liked that people around the globe (my mother has a friend in Holland) were reading about my adventures in life.

But my love of mass yule tide greetings came to a screeching halt when I excitedly ripped open a friend’s letter and can came face to face with a perfection confection that just made me sick. And jealous. Both feelings that make me turn green, which isn’t good with my skin tone. But as a new mom with an 11-month-old who thinks sleep at night is for the weak, I beg your and my friend’s (although I really really really hope she never reads this) forgiveness. Here are six reasons for my unattractive jealous rage towards a dear friend:

1. The letter is perfect and on-time – the perfect picture of darling child with jolly Santa. If we are lucky, Dorothy will get her picture at a local pharmacy Santa with a candy cane in one hand and complimentary bottle of baby Tylenol in the other (childproof cap, of course).
2. Quote – the perfect child is “sleeping through the night since 10 weeks.” No comment. Well, actually lots of comments, but I don’t want Dorothy’s second word to be “@#%&#!!”
3. Adorable cat loves adorable baby – I keep worrying that Dorothy will need a baby eye patch after our demon cat Medea takes a swipe at her one day.
4. She loves her job and gets paid well. I love my job, but the last time I checked this stay-at-home mom thing was an unpaid internship.
5. Perfect husband got a new perfect job. My perfect husband, love him as I do, got the perfect job, but it requires a move during the holidays.
6. They have the perfect house. I have a house that looks like it could audition for an episode of “Clean House.”

See? She’s organized, sleeping, and looks really cute in her picture. Of course I hate her. Can you blame me? Wait…don’t answer that. Jealous ragers, especially those who haven’t slept for over a year, only ask rhetorical questions. Childish? Yeah. Petty? Sure. Will feel bad about disparaging a friend? Absolutely. After eight straight hours of sleep. I swear. So, happy holidays from the Land of NO-Z’s and may all your children sleep through the night.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Cara Mama - Early Christmas

Cara Mama,

I had so much fun this morning when we got to open presents with Grandma and Grandpa! The crinkly bag and paper were my favorites! What do you mean there are books, clothes and toys? They aren't nearly as fun as the BOX! And we are going to do this again in a few days? Will there be more bags, paper and boxes? Yeah!!!

I hope Grandma and Grandpa come back and visit again soon. That was fun!

La Tua Figlia,

Friday, December 21, 2007

Cara Figlia - When It Runs, We Catch It

Cara Figlia,

I'm sorry you have this cold. I know it's hard on you because you don't feel good and don't know why. Luckily, it's not so bad, as colds go. But that runny nose... Oh boy! It keeps running, and you HATE having your nose wiped. I don't much enjoy wiping it either, but it has to be done. Otherwise your snot runs right into your mouth, and that's just gross.

When I get close to your face with a tissue, you turn your head side to side, away from the tissue, and cry and scream. I feel like the worst mommy ever, but I have to wipe the snot up! I'm not actually trying to torture you or hurt you. I try to be gentle or make it a game, but you still hate. every. second.

I hope as you get older, you will at least understand why I'm doing it and not freak out quite as much. I can only hope.

Ti Amo,

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's That Time of Year

Between having a lot to do at work, running holiday errands, and visiting inlaws, I don't really have time to post today or even visit all my favorite blogs. But please feel free to browse the previous posts. Perhaps you would enjoy the Questions of the Week. Go ahead and answer one, if you haven't already. Even you, my dear friend who thinks my hubby is funnier than I am. ("It's not that your posts aren't funny, it's just that whole 'hazy fogger' thing was SO funny." I know he's funnier than I am, but I'm still going to give you a hard time.)

I hope everyone else is getting it all done. I'm not sure how I will. We still don't even have up any lights or a tree, and we still have to address all the envelopes for the cards! At least I finished the shopping...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

That Bites!

It's happened before, but never like this. I thought I understood how painful it could be... But I didn't know it could hurt that bad! I didn't realize that it could go from being so sweet to very!suddenly!very!painful!

That's right, the Pumpkin bite me while I was nursing her to sleep last night. She's had a cold and she's been teething, so I'm hoping it was just due to her uncomfort. During previous teething bouts, she has bitten, but in those cases she started slowly and I was able to feel it coming and stop her quickly. This time, it was sudden, it was hard, and I was not smooth in my movements to stop her.

Out of the blue, she bit down hard. I yelled out and jerked sharply. She bit down harder in her surprise at my yelling and movement. I proceeded to yell louder and poke her in the cheek in my effort to get my finger in her mouth and pry her off. I finally was able to fish-hook her jaw with my finger and pull her away from my breast.

And she looked at me with a look of surprise and fright her bight eyes, made the most perfect open-mouthed frown, and burst out crying as if I had done something to her!

Meanwhile, my nipple was throbbing in pain, and I was in a little bit of shock. But as a mom, I immediately put that aside and held the baby to my shoulder to calm her down, telling her it was alright and we'd nurse again in a minute. After we both calmed down and my nipple felt a little better, we were able to finish our nursing session, with her peacefully drifting off to sleep.

I had heard that baby bites could be bad, but I hadn't realized how bad. I had read what you are supposed to do (don't show a big reaction and calmly disengage the baby from your nipple), but I did not do that. In fact, I was so the opposite of calm, Londo came running up to the nursery to make sure I was okay because he'd heard my yelling through the baby monitor. I'm hoping that next time I react faster and better.

Who am I kidding, I'm really hoping that I scared the bejeezes out of her and there won't be a next time!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Daddy's Take: Home for the Holidays

So, the Holidays are upon us. Now, I need to make a disclaimer before we move on. I hate most Christmas music. I love Christmas, mind you, but the music makes me nuts. I chalk it up to having spent roughly 2 years working in the mall. (I know some of you out there are feeling my pain right now.) I worked in a couple of different clothing stores, and they each had in-store stereo systems. They each had the same collection of Christmas music. So, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, from early November (yes, that early) through mid January, I had to listen to the same 4 CDs of Christmas music. I firmly believe this is what's happening in Gitmo right now.

However I now have realized that with Pumpkin's first Christmas coming up, I have an overwhelming desire to sing her every single Holiday ditty I know! She has, if only temporarily, given me the joy of Christmas carols again (I owe you one Kiddo.)

I find myself looking forward to this Christmas more than any other I can remember. I get to wake up in my own bed, next to my lovely wife, and bring Pumpkin downstairs to open her presents. For a brief moment, I will not be a Crotchety Young Man.

It's a Christmas miracle.

- Londo


Monday, December 17, 2007

Question of the Week - Passing on Your Traits

Thanks to everyone for sharing the names you loved on last week's QotW. I loved them all! (With the exception of Londo's names... We will talk later...)

Here's another QotW related to kids, as this is a mommy/parent blog:

If you could pass on any physical trait and/or character trait to your child, what would it be? What would you not want to pass on?

Here are my answers: I would love to pass on my eye color to a child of mine. So far, it looks like the Pumpkin will not have the same shade as me, although she does have my eye shape, and her eyes are really beautiful. But I got my eye color from my mom, and I would love to pass it on to one of my children. As for my character trait, I hope to pass on my love of animals.

What I don't want to pass on is my acne-prone skin (how am I still breaking out at 31?!?!) and how I deal (or should I say not deal) with frustrations.

How about you?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cara Mama - But I Wanted to Play!

Cara Mama,

I don't understand why we couldn't play last night. After all, you, Daddy and I were up for over 2 hours anyway. Why did you guys keep trying to get me back to sleep? Wasn't it obvious that I was awake and didn't want to sleep or nurse or be rocked or even lay down? We could have just played. It would have been much more fun.

Sure, Daddy eventually got me back to sleep. But I think we would have all would have been in much better moods if we had gotten up, went downstairs and checked out the toys. I don't know what you mean by "middle of the night" or "going to lose it." But at least when I finally went back to sleep, I only woke up one more time and then slept in until 7:30! Aren't I a good baby?

La tua bambina,

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cara Figlia - The World of Categories

Cara figlia,

The book The Wonder Weeks says you are entering The World of Categories. In the last phase, you discovered The World of Relationships, and now you are using your understanding of relationships to categorize things. There are apparently many ways in which you could be doing this, but I've been watching you and I think you are discovering How Things Feel and How Things Move (Note: I've made these up to describe you--they were not part of the book). You are also discovering How Things Taste, but I suspect all babies do this, especially when teething.

You love to touch everything, pick stuff up, feel it in your hands, turn it over, squish it, rub it, manipulate whatever it is in your hands to figure out How Stuff Feels. If you are anything like your mom (me) or your 12-year-old niece, you will continue to do this with things as you grow up. I still love the feel of soft, furry and silky things, and when I shop, I often touch the fabrics around me. If I don't like the feel of something, I won't buy it. You, however, seem to love feeling rough, scratchy materials. When we look at your touch-and-feel books (which you LOVE, especially the That's Not My Lion), you won't even bother to feel the furry ears of the lion but you never pass up the lion's rough paws! This surprises me, and delights me to see you exploring how everything feels, not just the things I think feel good.

I'm also delighted by how you watch and move everything to see How Stuff Moves. You are fascinated by how the spinning circle rolls down the busy cube, and when it gets to the bottom, you lay your head on the ground and watch it finish spinning, turning your head from side to side. You push things, drop things, throw things and shake things, all in your efforts to see how they move. If you hold up a sweater and shake it around, you are watching the bottom of it to see how it moves. You flip through pages of my books to see how they move.

And most of all, I think you are trying to figure out How The Baby Moves. You are crawling EVERYWHERE! Under chairs, on top of stools (balancing carefully all by yourself), into boxes, around chairs. We had so much fun the other day playing hide-and-seek and chase around the chair in the living room, especially when we went from you chasing me to me chasing (and getting) you! You are standing all the time, trying to figure out just what you are capable of, and often surprising all of us. And your steps while holding our hands are become more and more sure.

This World of Categories is an amazing place to be. I love that you are learning all this, and I can't wait to see what you learn next!

Ti amo con tutti mio cuore,

Thursday, December 13, 2007

That's Amore!

When the moon hits your eye, like a big pecan pie... Okay, so it's supposed to be pizza pie, but I've got pecan pies on the mind! I provide pies/desserts for my family's holiday dinners, and my niece and I get together before Christmas and do holiday baking! Because not only do I love to eat desserts, but I love to make them.

This weekend, my niece (who is almost 13!!! OMG!!!) will come over to my house and we'll use my new Kitchen Aid mixer to bake sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, chocolate truffles, lemon pound cake and I'm thinking of trying caramel popcorn. We package up the goodies and give them to our extended family as Christmas gifts. Everyone seems to like them, this gives me special time with my niece, and she and I get to eat yummy treats! It's a win-win-win!

Londo has generously offered to take the Pumpkin to the mall with him on a busy Saturday afternoon while he does his Christmas shopping. Not only does he hate shopping, but he hates the mall, and he REALLY hates the crowds in the mall around the holidays (his is a crotchety young man, after all). So he is wonderful to go at a time that he'd rather not be there and to take the baby, which means not a quick in-and-out trip. Thank you, sweetheart!

But back to pies... I have such trouble with rolling out pie crusts! It always sticks to the rolling pin or counter, no matter how much flour I use, and I can't seem to roll it evenly. This summer, I bought a ceramic rolling pin which is supposed to help because you put it in the fridge for 20 minutes before you start rolling so the dough won't stick. We'll see if that helps.

Two years ago, I discovered the book I Love Pies and Tarts, by Nancy Kershner, that has the best recipe for a No-Roll Pie Dough. It has been wonderful! I halve the recipe and use it for the bottom crust of my pecan pie. I'm not sure how you would use do a top crust from it, but it works great on the bottom. I highly recommend the book in general, too!

The recipe basically says to mix 2 and 1/4 cups of flour, 2 TBSP sugar, and 2 TSP salt directly in the pie tin, then add 3/4 cup oil and 3 TBSP milk to the mix, and press it into the edges and up the sides of the pie tin. You can bake it first at 425 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes, or just add your filling and bake however long the pie recipe says. And then, enjoy tasty, tasty pie!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Hanukkah and Child Care

First, I feel so remise that I haven't wished the world a Happy Hanukkah through my blog! I have sent email and told people in person, but here is to the world at large: Happy Hannukah! May your oil always burn longer than it should.

Now, on to my current crisis. The Pumpkin goes to my mom's house everyday while I'm at work. My mom watches her and my niece, who is a year older than the Pumpkin, until 1:00 when the nanny/babysitter comes over to watch them in the afternoon. My mom is a music teacher and teaches out of the home in the afternoons. In addition, my 93-year-old grandma has been staying with my mom since October, although she will be going to stay with my uncle for a few months after Christmas.

In general, this has been working out. But every now and then, my mom has a tough day (like yesterday) or some issue comes up, and Londo and I end up re-evaluating whether or not we should move the Pumpkin into another situation. As you might have learned by now, my baby is rather high needs/intense, and she is going through this big 9-month fussy phase. My niece has been an easier child, but it's still hard juggling two (as many mothers know).

The other aspect is that (IMO) it is never easy to enter a financial agreement with family, and add to that the care of your child and it is even harder. I want my mom to be able to vent about tough times, because we all have them. But I know my mom, and she will not want to admit if it is just too much for her. She likes to believe she can do it all and never wants to admit when she can't (I get this from her!). Because of this, it's hard for me to know when she is just venting and when she really does need the situation to change. If I were just paying a person or daycare, I think we would have a different attitude, but it's my mother and my sister involved in this arrangement.

I talked to my mom about whether or not this is working for her, and she says that she is okay for now, especially because my in laws will be up soon and will take care of the Pumpkin for a while, and then my sister's MIL will be up doing the same with my niece, and then my mom will go out to her brothers and return without my grandma. So things will get easier for her soon.

So for now we aren't going to do anything. But we are looking into daycares and nannies. I don't know how we could possibly afford a nanny or even daycare in this area, but we are evaluating that. It's just that things keep coming up, and it is frustrating to deal with. So I guess we will look into other arrangements and try to evaluate if any other is feasible and would be good for my high-needs Pumpkin.

Any suggestions, advice or commiseration is welcome!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tough Job for a Working Mom

Every night when the Pumpkin wakes up after 2:00 (and she always does), I get her out of her crib and nurse her back to sleep lying down in the bed in her nursery. We continue to cosleep until my alarm goes off at 6:00.

Yesterday morning, the alarm woke me up from a very vivid and action-packed dream. This was after the Pumpkin had woken me around 3, and me not sleeping longer than an hour at one time until the alarm went off. After that, the baby was pretty fussy the rest of the morning until I dropped her off at my mom's and headed to work.

I called Londo on the way in to work and was telling him how exhausted I was. "Well, after leading a rebel unit against the Chinese take-over of our moon bases, I woke up and had to deal with a teething baby all morning. I feel like I haven't slept at all."

His response was, "It's tough being a working mother. And 'all your base are belong to us!'"

As a fellow geek, I found this very funny. I also started thinking about how I should write a story or book about a woman who is a key part of a rebellion on the moon, or better yet on Mars (I have a passion for Mars), but also has a baby that she has to take care of. I think it would be a really interesting story, but I'm not sure about how marketable it would be. It would appeal to a very niche market of sci-fi loving moms like me. Maybe some dads too. But probably not much money in it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Question of the Week - What's in a Name

If you could name/could have named your child anything you want, what would it be/have been?

And in this bubble world, you could be pick anything and everyone would love whatever you pick (including your partner, family, and strangers), it would go great with whatever last name you had, no one would tease your child, and it didn't have any weird/bad connotations.

For a girl, mine would probably be Lily, or some name that could be shortened to Lily (as in Lillian or maybe Delilah). My second choice would be Sienna, my third would actually be the Pumpkin's real name, and my fourth would be River or Star or something equally as hippie.

For a boy, mine would be Hunter. Other names at the top of my list are Connor, Dante, or Marcus.

How about you?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Show Us Your Teeth

As with so many other things, the Pumpkin did not get teeth the way the books said she would. This is another reason that I don't depend on the books to tell me what's going to happen or what should happen. Some books (like The Wonder Weeks) have been great at helping me figure out what is currently happening, but I don't try to predict anything with this child anymore. (This is also why I love Ask Moxie (and her community of readers)--because she doesn't say any one thing will happen or any one way will work for your child.)

The Pumpkin got her first two teeth on the bottom, in the middle. Not unusual, except that they came in early-ish (I think around 4.5 months). Then we went months without any teeth. Finally, around 8 months, the Pumpkin got her next tooth. It was on the top, but it was not either of the middle teeth. She got the one to the right of the middle teeth--the lateral incisor, not the central incisor. It was a surprise for us new parents, who thought surely the next two teeth in would be those two top, central incisors.

The fourth tooth in was the right central incisor. So she had the two bottom middle teeth (bottom central incisors) and the middle and next over tooth on the top right. Her smile was a little lopsided and very cute.

Then, the left lateral incisor came in! Finally, just two days ago, the left central incisor came through. Once it works its way down a bit, she'll look a little more even, with four teeth on top and two on bottom. I know she still needs to get the bottom lateral incisors and all four of the canine teeth, but hopefully there will be a little time before they start working their way through. And hopefully even more time before those molars start coming in.

We could use a little more sleep, a little less drool, a bit less biting and a lot less whining. :-)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Cara Mama - Feeling Better?

Cara Mama,

When Daddy and I saw you sitting on the couch yesterday evening, you looked very tired and blue. So I decided to be the Best Baby Ever! Daddy put me in your lap, and I was cuddly and gigglely and smiley and oh so sweet! It really seemed to cheer you up, and we had so much fun just sitting on the couch.

I love to play with your hair, and I'm trying to learn to play with it without pulling it. I love to squirm around in different ways in your lap, looking at everything. I love it when Daddy and you tickle me under my chin and on my knees.

It was so much fun. Let's play like that again soon.

La tua bambina,

Friday, December 7, 2007

Cara Figlia - Incredible Baby

Cara mia bambina,

You are incredible! Next week, you will be 9 months old, and I'm so amazing at everything you've learned to do in those 9 months. Just in the past few days, I've realized that you have made a "magical leap forward" in terms of development (as talked about in the book The Wonder Weeks). Even your Grandma noticed, and she and I talked about it over the phone yesterday. You are able to do more with your body and with toys, and you are starting to entertain yourself more.

We are still at the edge of this 9-month fussy stage with separation anxiety. Your Grandma and I talked about that recently, too--how you don't want to be put down and are randomly fussy about things. I was thinking that it was your teething bothering you, and I'm sure it is, but you are also going through some very typical issues for a baby right at 9 months old.

I know that in just a little while longer, you will be through the fussy stage, and we can all revel in the new things you can do and the new ways in which you look at the world. We are starting to see it already.

You pick things up, examine them and decide what you want to do with them, which is usually put it in your mouth but sometimes you bang what you are holding against other things or put it in something else. And you are crawling around exploring everything. What is in here? What is that over there? What happens when I crawl under this? Can I get on top of that and balance there?

These sound like little things, but when I think about how far you've come, they really are amazing. You used to just lie there frustrated at the world that you couldn't touch or move around in, frustrated at your limitations and inability to grab or hold things the way you wanted. Your dad and I could see early that you were an active baby that wanted to MOVE and DO things. And now you are able to more and more.

I am in awe of you. And I look forward to seeing how you develop in the future.

Ti amo,

Thursday, December 6, 2007

These Are a Few of My Favorite Posts...

Before I get to my post today, please check this out about toy recalls and add any questions you might have to the comments. Hmmm. I feel like I'm linking to Mom-101 a lot--but she's just so very linkable!

I was talking to a friend yesterday, and although I go on and on about different parentbloggers and how funny and great they are, she just doesn't get into them. I understand that. At first, I didn't get why people blogged or would read blogs. I don't watch reality TV or talk shows or listen to call-in radio shows. I generally prefer fiction, although I do like biographies and history, perhaps because they are more indepth looks at real people than I think you get with reality TV.

But then, thanks to a friend, I discovered mommyblogs. NOW I get it. Here are other women and men who are interesting, good writers and writing about things I can relate to. My world has changed so much that I even started my own.

As I was talking to my friend, I told her I'd recommend some posts that were really good so she could see why I'm so into them. Later I realized that I want to share them with more than one friend. And since it's Link Week, I'm posting some of my favorite posts by some of my favorite bloggers. I think I'll do this every now and then, because I love discovering other bloggers through links from bloggers I read and enjoy, so I would like to pass that on to others.

Disclaimer: I'm a person who hates to leave anyone out. However, I'm super busy at work lately, so I don't have time to link to a post for everyone on my blog roll. I'm sorry about that, but I'll do more links later. Cause all these women and men are great!

These are really good:
Ask Moxie: Moxie is one of my favorite people in the world, and I love everything she's ever written. Read her post about her philosophy to understand why.

a little pregnant: I almost died from laughter at Julie's's take on mamograms!

blissfully bitch: Read this to understand what it's like when your heart walks around outside your body.

finslippy: Alice is always so funny, but read this to get an inside view into the crazy minds of women!

Her Bad Mother: This post is so good, although I like the follow-up post even better!

ImposterMom: I love that ImposterMom does haiku Fridays, and here was one that I truly can relate to.

i must admit: This one was very funny, but I lost it when I read the follow-up post! I'm still laughing at it!

Mom-101: How sweet is this? Plus, there is a picture of Thalia in a Redskins onesie!

One Tired Ema: A glipse into what it's like to drop a young kid off at school. I am not holding my breath.

Oh, my. That's probably enough for now. I'm sure I'll do more soon! Also, I'll get back to blogging about life with the baby tomorrow. Apparently I needed to talk about blogging the past two days.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

No Comment

Before I had my own blog (was that really just 2 weeks ago?), I didn't comment much on other people's blogs. I read a bunch regularly, was often amused and interested, and on occasion, when I really felt compelled, would comment. The only exceptions were places I started to feel very comfortable or know the blogger IRL.

Reading blogs felt like I was listening in on other people's conversations, or even sneaking glances in other people's journals. Hmm, I think the conversations is a better analogy. To me, it felt like people were sharing bits of their lives with their friends, who would respond in the comments. But these people didn't know me. I would be an interloper, just randomly commenting. I felt like they would wonder who I was and why was I jumping in.

I'm not a shy person. In fact, I will jump in on people's conversations around me("Oh no, it's raining out there?" and "It took you how long to get into work?" were recent jump-in comments I made on the elevator last week). It's even a bit of joke in my family, how I'm such a wallflower. But still, even when I jump in on a conversation, I usually back right back out unless invited to stay by look or return comment. And that's just not really how blogs work.

And, I will admit, I've been a bit intimidated by some fellow bloggers. I said this to my husband, and he was surprised. "It's not like you to be intimidated by anyone," he responded. But some people are just so popular or seem so cool or so different (I won't link here, because I don't want anyone to take offense to me saying they are different, even though I mean it in a good way cause I like different) or have so many other commenters. Yes, I was intimidated.

But ever since I started my own blog, I have been commenting a lot on other sites. This is for a couple reasons. I personally love getting comments. I'm putting myself out on there for the whole internet world to see. And I'd like to know what people think about what I say. Besides, I'd rather have a conversation than a monologue. I have to assume (although you know what they say about assuming...) that others feel the same and would like to hear from their readers.

Also, I finally feel like I'm not some Great Unknown Commenter. If people read my comment, they can track me back to my blog and see who I am and that I'm not some Crazy Weirdo Internet Stalker. I'm just another mom, going through the same things.

Okay, maybe I'm a little crazy and weird, and maybe no one else feels the same. I guess I won't know for sure unless people comment...

(Totally off topic, but here is an interesting article about testing toys for toxins. Check it out.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What Would My Mother Say?

Note: Apparently, I'm going to be linking to people this week. I did yesterday, and I'm about to again today. And so, I will link all week long.

Currently, I'm working on letting things go. After all, what's the harm in letting things go that aren't going to hurt the kids? And why do we parents believe things have to be perfect or set a bunch of rules for the sake of having rules? And why do we judge others who let some things go, when really the rule is for no good reason? Don't get me started on the Sanctimommy!

Why do we stress about things and make our lives harder than they have to be? Why do we buy that extra winter coat for a baby who will almost assuredly not need it? Why do we go crazy trying to come up with variety in food for a baby who doesn't care if they eat the same 10 things? Why do we spend an hour trying to get the baby to sleep when the nap lasts only 15 minutes, or 30 if you are really lucky?

Often, I think we berate ourselves because of that voice in our heads that say, "What would my mother say!" So, I'm not listening to that voice in my head anymore that starts rebuking me in my mother's voice. In an effort to reduce the stress in my life, I'm letting things go. Wanna see?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Is that a bottle of Motrin the baby has? Why, yes it is! (Don't worry--it has a childproof lid.)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Is that a dirty sock the baby has? Yep, a dirty, stinky sock! (Can't be worse than other things she sticks in her mouth.)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Is that a trash can the baby is playing with? Sure is! (At least it's empty.)

My mornings are finally getting easier, thanks to this new attitude-- and the Pumpkin's ability to sit, crawl and stand so well!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Question of the Week - Just Desserts

Someone got me thinking about desserts the other day. This is not hard to do, as I LOVE desserts with an intensity that is a little scary. One of the best parts of pregnancy and breastfeeding for me is that I get to indulge in my sweet tooth all the time. I really do have dessert after lunch AND dinner. I have no idea how I'll deal when I stop breastfeeding... I guess I'll have to get pregnant again (I say as if it was easy the first time).

Anyway, this line of thinking brings me to the Question of the Week:

What is your favorite dessert?

My answer:
Okay, I have two. But I think it's allowed, considering how much I LOVE desserts. My favorite is the pastry Napoleon, but I so rarely find it done just right, with the pastry flaky enough and the cream the right level of fluffy creaminess. So my close second favorite is creme brulee.

Mmmmm. Now I'm ready for dessert. I have just finished breakfast, after all...

Okay, apparently I can't spell things correctly until I've had my coffee. I've fixed it now, but I'm glad you all realized I didn't mean, oh, the Sahara...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Daddy's Take: Sleep Deprevation, Short Term Memory Loss, and Sleep Deprevation

So as the father of an 8-9 month old--especially as the father of the "fussiest baby in the world"(TM)--I have noticed a strange phenomenon. I have gotten accustomed to going through my days in what can only be described as a hazy fog. I have always been a morning person (I know, it's pretty disgusting). Before the baby, I would get up at 0530 and be at work by 0700, and be in a damn good mood. I would leave work around 1500 and be home and relaxing (at least I think that's what I used to do) within the hour. This is one of the better ways to avoid the DC traffic, or so I have found.

Now, my routine has shifted a bit.

After being "on duty" with the "fussiest baby in the world"(TM) until 0200, I get about 3-4 uninterrupted hours of sleep per night (on average). My alarm goes off right on schedule at 0500. I have absolutely no recollection of this on any given morning. I sometimes have a vague memory of slapping the large snooze button on the top of the clock with a satisfying *THWACK*, but this could also be a sweet, sweet dream. I fall out of bed (it's a gigantic bed) and stumble towards the bathroom so I can get ready for the day (whee).

For the next 30-45 minutes I am sure I shower/shave/get all dolled up, and get dressed. I also have no recollection of this on any given morning. I take the dog outside and do my final prep work for leaving the house.

I kiss the wifey and Pumpkin and head out for the day.

On a good day, my commute takes about an hour. In DC traffic, the good days are few and far between. For this hour+, I zone out like nobody's business. I seriously get to work sometimes and have no clue how I pulled it off.

I pour a very large cup of pretty good coffee (I love my office, we have cool little individual-cup coffee machines with tons of nifty flavors) and wake up about 15 minutes later.

I repeat this process all week long. The best way I can describe it is that it's a little bit like watching your life happen through really, really old glass. It's smoky and blurry, but you recognize everything, vaguely.

I can't remember what it was like to sleep for 8 hours a night. The baseline of restfulness you have as a footloose and fancy-free non-parent is just impossible to comprehend. The fun part for me is that I know I am not alone. I can tell another "hazy fogger" a mile away. Just the other morning I was walking through a parking garage and I watched a guy (30ish) getting out of his car. He took 2 steps, armed his alarm, then realized he had forgotten something. He went back to retrieve whatever it was then armed his alarm again. He repeated this process 3 times.

As I walked past his car, sure enough, there was an infant seat in the back and a baby on board sign in the window. Hazy fogger.

All the childless folks out there have no idea just how surrounded they are. Next time you are in traffic in the morning, look to your left, then look to your right. Chances are, one of those people is a hazy fogger.

Tune in next week when my topic will be: "Sleep Deprevation and its Effects on Short Term Memory"



Saturday, December 1, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

Cara Figlia - My Fussy Girl

Cara figlia,

It's true, what they say, I really do love in a way I didn't know existed before and it is all worth it and all that. But you, my love, are a Fussy Baby. There, I've said it. Now it's out there, and I can't take it back. I don't even want to take it back.

You could not be defined as ONLY a Fussy Baby, though. You are sweet, cuddly, giggly, smiley, inquisitive, active, and many other things. But you are also a Fussy Baby.

I know some people were happy to have the diagnosis of colic and don't understand why others don't want to name their babies "colicky." And when you were just a newborn, your dad and I agonized over what was going on with you. I read the Baby Book's definition of Fussy/Colicky/High Needs, and I realized that my issue with "colicky" was that I didn't think it truly describe what was going on with you. I have no problem with the term or using it to descibe babies. But you fit more with the desciptions of a Fussy Baby and a bit of a High Needs Baby. You just wanted to be held all the time. You didn't cry in pain, just in frustration that everything wasn't exactly the way you wanted it. You were usually fine when everything was the way you wanted it.

I'm still glad that I didn't chalk it up to colic and hope that it would end at a certain point, that magical point when babies stop being colicky. Because I believe this is more about your personality. You are Fussy. I don't think this means you will always be a fussy person, although you may be. But as a baby, right now, you are definitely a fussy one.

My therapist (yes, I'm seeing a therapist for my PPD, and she's wonderful) said that I can't change the fact that you are a Fussy Baby. She is right. So I'm going to try to embrace it.

And you know what, my little fussy one? I'm a bit of a Fussy Woman. So we'll just fuss together until we drive your daddy completely insane.

Ti amo,

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Would You Like Some Cheese With That?

I hate my mornings. That's not to say that I hate all mornings. I used to be fine with mornings. I was never a "morning person" per se, but I'd made my peace with getting up early, getting ready for the day and commuting in to work (which is usually pretty rough in the DC area).

But things are different now. Now we have the Pumpkin, who I love so much and wouldn't trade her for the world, but... she has not been what you'd call an easy baby. For the first almost 3 months of her life (except at night), she WOULD NOT BE PUT DOWN FOR MORE THAN 5 MINUTES! I am not exaggerating. It wasn't one of those things where she would make a noise and I, a new mom, would hurry to pick her up. Within minutes of being put down, she would work up to a scream of epic proportions. HOW! COULD! YOU! PUT! ME! DOWN! And I didn't "get her used to" being held. This was the case from Day 1. Although, I guess I did get her used to it, considering she was carried around in my belly for over 9 months prior to birth.

Once she was around 3 months old, she would let us put her down for up to 10 or 15 minutes. The bouncy seat was our lifesaver. Other than that, Londo and I got really good at doing things with a baby in a sling. Also, I went back to work around then, so I at least could eat one meal without shoveling it down my throat with a baby strapped to me or use the bathroom without a baby screaming to be picked up (because Mama doesn't get to wear a diaper).

There was a point... Oh, yeah. The point is that mornings have always been tough for the Pumpkin and me. When I was home on maternity leave, there were the mornings she wake up next to me screaming before she even opened her eyes. Those were fun. And she would cry and fuss the whole time I washed up and put on some clothes. (Just washed up and put on clothes--no shower, no doing my hair or makeup--was that too much to ask?) Then, there was a period where she no longer woke up screaming and would last about 10 or 15 minutes in some sort of containing device (jumperoo, play pen, rocking/vibrating chair), but to get ready for work, I needed 30 minutes. This meant at least 15-20 minutes of whining, fussing and crying while I tried to juggle her and getting ready, but longer really because of the extra time it took to juggle her.

Now, I can plop her on the floor of the bedroom and she explores while I get ready. Oh, it's great! I feel like I shouldn't complain at all, things are so much better. But I will complain. Because now she hates to have her diaper changed or have clothes taken off/put on and I feed her a breakfast of solid foods (30-45 minutes) and have to start the car and let it warm up before I put her in it (5-10). And some mornings, like this morning, she whines and fusses and cries the whole time. So from 7 until 8, she whined, whined, whined.

She doesn't yet use words, but this is what I hear: I don't wanna have my diaper changed! I don't wanna put on clothes! I don't wanna eat this food! I don't wanna be put down! I don't wanna play with my toys! I don't wanna get my coat on! I don't wanna go in the carseat!

For. An. Hour.

Once we get to my mom's house, she is fine and happy and my mom says, "She was fussy? Really?" As if she is never fussy for her. Urg. My mom has a great morning with the Pumpkin, and I'm really really glad.

But mine is another morning ruined.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Don't Push Me Cause I'm Close to the Edge...

It's like the Pumpkin somehow knows that her dad and I are right on the edge of losing it... And she pulls us back by sleeping from 8 UNTIL 5! Yes, it was a beautiful night last night.

The morning was still rough for her and me because we didn't really go back to sleep until 5:50. My alarm goes off at 6:00. So basically we were up since 5. And that almost hour when we lay in bed with me trying to nurse her back to sleep? She fidgeted the whole time, scratching me, pulling at my PJ pants, plucking at my PJ top, scratching the wall behind her, kicking me, grabbing at my hand, waving her arm around, and you get the picture. Fidgeting in general drives me crazy. It's especially frustrating when the baby fidgets for almost an hour when all I want to do is go back to sleep.

The 7 hours of sleep I got were great, but the morning was not so great with her fussing because she was still tired and my grouchiness because of the Fidget Hour. But I've dropped the Pumpkin off at my mom's, I've had my coffee, and I'm ready to get some work done (after I post this, of course)!

Besides, one of my favorite authors posted a comment in the Question of the Week post. That really brightens my day!

In other news, my hubby (let's call him Londo--and I'll be really impressed if anyone gets this reference before he explains it) has agreed to throw in the occasional post to share the daddy perspective. I'm excited to read what he has to say!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Torture, Magic and Death of a Redskin

Apparently the car seat is the most evil device ever created to torture the baby! But my boobs... They are magic!

Thank you to all the women before me who have shared tales of what they've had to do to get a carseat-hating baby through a long car trip. I've now joined the legions of women who have put themselves in physical danger by angling myself over the carseat to get the baby a magic boob, all without the aid of a seat belt. But it was worth it when she drifted off to sleep...

And we had another rough night with the teething Pumpkin, but we made it through.

The same cannot be said for everyone. Sean Taylor, 24, a safety for the Washington Redskins, died early this morning after being shot yesterday. My and my husband's condolences go out to his family, friends and teammates, especially his 18-month old daughter. He will be missed by many.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Question of the Week - 5 Authors

If you could read only five authors for the rest of your life, which would they be? (These must be published authors, not online authors.)

My answers:
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Robert Frost
William Shakespeare
Jane Austin
Jo Beverly (I've gotta have some romance novels!)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How Life Has Changed

So, there I am on Black Friday, entering the mall with MIL, SIL and the Pumpkin. I love to shop, and I really need new clothes that fit me better. Regardless of what I weigh, my body shape has changed and my old clothes do not currently fit me right. There is not much in the small mall near my inlaws house, but they do have two department stores, and we've entered one.

But do I head to the women's department to look for nice work clothes and casual clothes that might fit me? Nope. Do I head to the jewerly counter to look for a little something for me or Christmas presents for family? Nope. Do I go to the men's section to look for gifts for my husband or family? Nope. Certainly I would go straight to the housewares to find fun things for the house, or again maybe Christmas presents (I really need to get presents!). Nope!

I immediately go the children's section and shop for clothes for the Pumpkin. She could get by without more clothes, but getting her more would lessen how often I have to do laundry. Or so I tell myself and my inlaws. But really, I just love buying her the cute little clothes! And with the great sales, I bought a bunch in the next two sizes so she can grow into them.

I did get myself a pair of much needed brown boots before we left the mall. But that was the quickest picking out and trying on shoe shopping I've ever done.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cara Mama - Visiting Grandparents

Cara Mama,

As I tried to tell you and Daddy all night, I DON'T FEEL RIGHT! This whole teething thing sucks! My mouth and ears hurt, and it seems to be worse when I'm lying down. This is making it hard for me to take naps and sleep at night. Can't you do something about it? Like maybe hold me all night long and for every nap? You and Daddy have had over 30 years to sleep (minus 6 or 7 of the last 8 months)--certianly you can go a few nights without any sleep in order to hold me.

Also, I'm not sure if you realize it, but the place you are putting me to sleep? It's NOT MY BED! I'm having enough trouble sleeping as it is, and you guys are putting me in some strange crib. The chair you are nursing me in and Daddy is trying to rock me in? It's NOT MY GLIDER! It doesn't even rock. And you expect me to sleep with all this going on?

I will say that I do like all these people who are holding me, playing with me, and giving me all sorts of attention. I like them a lot. I am having fun here. I'd like to see these people more, but without that long car ride, please.

I love you, Mama. That's why I give you my best smile in the middle of the night when you do hold me or when I want to play. I know you love me, cause you can't resist smiling back, even when you are crying from sleep deprivation, whatever that is!

Tua figlia,

Friday, November 23, 2007

Cara Figlia - Pumpkin's First Thanksgiving

Cara Figlia (Dear Daughter),

I'm so sorry about the long car trip down to your grandma and grandpa's house. I know that even in the convertible carseat, you get antsy and hate being confined, especially for long periods of time. I know this about you at 8 months, as you have made it abundantly clear to everyone in the car. Thank you for the very pleasant 2.5 hour nap you took in the morning (incredible!!!) and the 45 minute one you took in the afternoon. But there was an hour of pure misery for you, me, your dad and your dog. If I could have taken you out of the car and walked the rest of the way, I would have. But it was too far and the stops we made only prolonged the trip. Your daddy and I are trying to come up with another plan for the trip back.

But I'm so glad we made the trip for your first Thanksgiving. You've been a delight to your grandparents, aunts, uncles and the rest of the family. You seem to be having a great time and interested in everyone. You loved the green beans and enjoyed the potato and turkey you tried. And you were good natured, even though your naps were only 15 minutes. Until the late afternoon, when we both took a nice, long nap together (1 hour for Mama, 1.5 hours for Pumpkin)! I just wish you were sleeping longer at night down here. We had a good thing going for a while, and I hope this trip isn't going to mess it all up.

Today is Black Friday. And we are going shopping. Normally, you love to be out at the shops looking at all the people and things, but it is going to be crowded even in the small mall where we will be. I hope this goes well...

Ti amo con tutti cuore,

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It seems fitting to start my blog on Thanksgiving. I am thankful for so many things, one of which is having a great online community of mommybloggers to read.

Of course the thing I am most thankful for this year is my beautiful 8-month old baby girl, the Pumpkin. Words cannot express how much joy she has brought into my life. The constant holding and rocking, the months of sleepless nights, the struggle with naps and everything else has been worth it. She is amazing.

I'm incredibly thankful for my husband, and for having met him 10 years ago. He is truly my perfect match. I'm also thankful for my family and his family, who are loving and supportive. I am thankful for all my friends in real life and online. I am very blessed.

I am thankful especially this year for fertility treatments and those who work in the field who are compassionate and helpful.

Well, this first post is especially sappy, but I guess that's what Thanksgiving brings out in me. Just wait until Christmas!

Monday, January 8, 2007

DC Area Meet Ups

Follow the links to the posts about the DC Area Meet Ups!

DC Area Parents Email Group:
- Post About the Email Group

August 2010 Meet Up:
- Initial post about Adults Meet Up

July 2010 Meet Up:
- Details for Meet Up

May 2010 Meet Up:
- Final Details for Meet Up
- Details for Meet Up
- Initial Post

November 2009 Meet Up:
- Initial Post

October 2009 Meet Up with hedra:
- October Meet Up Details

August 2009 Meet Up:
- August Meet Up Details
- Initial Post

May 2009 Meet Up:
- Final Plan for the May Meet Up
- More Details on the May Meet Up
- Deciding Where and When

November 2008 Meet Up:
- Play Date Attendees
- Play Date in Reston
- Deciding Where and When

Dinner Out Meet Up 2008:
- Dinner Out Wrap Up
- Dinner Out Update for 8/30
- Dinner Out on August 30th
- Dinner Out in August?
- Postponing Dinner Out
- Plans for Going Out 7/5
- First Post about Dinner Out

Zoo Meet Up 2008:
- Summary of the First Meet Up
- Final Plan for the Weekend
- Latest on the Meet Up
- Original Post about Meeting Up

Italian to English Translation

a = to
a pezzi = broken
amore = love
bambino/bambina = baby
bello/bella = beautiful
buono/buona = good/happy
cara = dear
compleanno = birthday
con = with
cuore = heart
curioso/curiosa = curious
felice = happy
figlia = daughter
grazie = thank you
il/la = the
mio/mia = my
molto/molta = very
nervosetta = fussy
per = for
primo/prima = first
ragazzo/ragazza (ragazzina) = boy/girl (little girl)
ti amiamo = we love you
ti amo = I love you
tuo/tua = your
tutti = all

The Beginnings of a Ski Buddy

After lunch, my daughter and I went back up the "magic carpets" to the top of the bunny slopes. She wanted to keep skiing! With me...