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?

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Is that a bottle of Motrin the baby has? Why, yes it is! (Don't worry--it has a childproof lid.)

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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.)

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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"



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...