Monday, March 31, 2008

In Pursuit of the After Picture

I have a little work out routine that I do every day. It starts with 15 minutes on the step machine. Not exactly the fast track to that "after" picture I'm shooting for, but you have to start somewhere. I generally put Sophie in her little rocking chair about 5 feet away from me. Why, you might ask, don't I do this while she is sleeping? Because, I have to keep the stepper in our bedroom or I won't do it - out of sight, out of mind - and our bedroom is right next to Sophie's room. The stepper, despite being oiled, still makes a squeaking noise with each step and I like watching TV while I do it, so to be heard over the squeaking, the TV has to be pretty loud. Between the squeak, squeak, squeak and the roaring television, there's not much sleeping going on. So she gets to watch me every day. Lucky kid.

For a while the jingly bell and battery operated "Doggie in the Window" pull thingie on her chair will keep her occupied. However, almost every day she starts fussing somewhere around the 10 minute mark. This, of course, makes me anxious. So what do I do? I start going faster. As though I have a destination and if I go faster I will get there sooner. As her crying gets louder, I go even faster, pushing that little step machine to the limits of what it can do. By the end, I'm stepping like I'm being chased by a pack of wild dogs. The upside to this is that thanks to her the last 5 minutes of my step workout is CRAZY. The downside is that my head might explode.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wild Kingdom

Watch her as she approaches her prey. You can see the determination in her eyes. These animals are experts at the chase. Notice how the prey plays dead to try to throw off its hunter.

Once she has trapped her prey, her jaws unhinge to accommodate it, as it is much larger than her mouth.

She uses her powerful jaw muscles to gradually work it in further and further. These animals eat their prey whole.

Sated, she takes a rest. She lays her head on the carcass to signal to others that this is her kill.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Lunchtime Observations

  • Grilled cheese must be cut in twain to be truly enjoyed. And you must say, "cut in twain" while you're doing it.
  • One slice of cheese is good, two slices, much better.
  • Turning away for just a moment to make googely faces at baby makes a grilled cheese burn.
  • A slightly burnt grilled cheese makes a lot of smoke.
  • When eating a slightly burnt grilled cheese, burnt side up is best.
  • String Cheese must be eaten in strings, somehow it doesn't taste as good in bites.
  • Sophie starts crying after approximately three bites of a grilled cheese sandwich.
  • I can do two "hard" Sudoku puzzles while eating a grilled cheese sandwich, a handful of chips, a string cheese and one pickle spear.
  • I think Sophie might be ready for solid food because she watches me eat like a Jenny Craig customer at a pie eating contest.
  • I'm starting to think the cat likes being squirted with the water bottle because he gets up on the table so much.
  • Whoever said that one cookie is a serving clearly did not like cookies.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ladies Who Lunch

I had a wonderful lunch with my two sisters-in-law, Jen(left) and Karen(middle), my mother-in-law, Gail
aka Mammom (right), and my niece, Tara (Sophie's future idol in the orange stripes), who is on Spring Break from school. It was delish, as well as interesting to spend time with the women who helped shape the person my husband is. They just adore Sophie, so if I didn't already think they were great, that would tip me over the edge.

At the end of the meal, I had to take Sophie to the bathroom to change her diaper. This is challenging even at home where the set-up is ideal, because Sophie will simply not lay still. But in a restaurant bathroom where you're working within the confines of a small stall, things are even more complicated. Luckily, they had one of those changing station things, although the stall it was in was only slightly larger than a regular stall. So when I sat down to do my own thing, Sophie was literally laying across my lap on the fold down table. Pretty weird to be staring into my daughter's eyes about one foot away. I felt like the cats when I walk in on them in the litter box.

I did manage to get us both taken care of, though, and get her dressed and all of her diaper gear back in the bag. However, I waited until coming out of the stall to return the changing pad to the bag. A woman comes out of an adjacent stall and walks up to the sinks as I finish wedging the pad in my bag and "wash " my hands with my antibacterial gel. I do this because washing my hands while holding a baby is darn near impossible. Holding baby requires at least one hand, washing hands requires two. Where do I put the baby? Under my arm like a clutch purse? So I use the antibacterial gel. Truth be told, it probably does a better job of de-germing my hands than the pathetic wash I could accomplish one hand at a time while holding Sophie. Meanwhile, this other woman does a cursory rinse of her hands, I don't even think she used soap.

We wind up walking out at the same time, with me ahead of this woman. I hold the door open for her and instead of grabbing it, she awkwardly hits it with her elbow and then her butt so as not to touch with her hands. Now, I understand the desire to avoid contact with germy public bathroom surfaces, but this woman could only marginally have been considered to wash her hands and she was concerned about touching the door after me? At first I was offended, but I have since come to the conclusion that she was actually doing the rest of us a favor by not touching the door with her disgusting hands.

Speaking of bacteria-laden hands, how about this picture of Sophie with most of her hand in her mouth. That's my girl!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In a Mommy Moment

I had my first truly ditzy mommy moment yesterday. Mondays are generally grocery store day, give or take three days, and so I bundled the child up and off we went. We have four grocery stores within about 2 minutes of our house and I go through phases where one is my favorite and I will go to it all the time. But then something will happen, they stop carrying Campbell's Supper Bakes(gasp!), for instance, and we will break up. Amicably, of course, because I might want to take them back. Safeway is my grocery store du jour.

Sophie had just woken up from a nap when we left, so I knew we had a good solid hour, maybe even two, before the cranks set in. We wandered through all of the aisles, grabbing things we didn't need and generally had a pleasant shopping experience. Sophie looked around, wide-eyed, and gurgled the whole time. When we got to the check-out, I politely let both a man and a woman, who each had only one or two things, go ahead of me. I was feeling terribly magnanimous, sort of like that give it back commercial. You know, where people do something nice and someone sees them do it and they do something nice and so on. I wanted to start that chain.

I finally get to the conveyor belt and laid out all of my food. The checker starts ringing things up and I reach into my purse to grab my wallet so I can scan my Safeway card, but its not there. And that's when I realize that, horror of horrors, I have forgotten my wallet. I stand there sheepishly for a moment, watching him run items across the scanner, and then I check my purse again. Maybe I've overlooked it and it is in there. But, no. Plenty of diapers, but no wallet.

I tell the kid how sorry I am but I've forgotten my wallet and he looks at me like I'm the biggest moron ever. It was obvious even before this that here was a person who was not happy. Whether it was just the job or it extended beyond to a general dissatisfaction with life, I can't say.
I ask him if we could just put the stuff to the side and I could run home and come right back. He doesn't say anything, just starts putting everything back in the cart. Despite my urge to tell him where he could stick his bad attitude, I continue to apologize profusely saying I've never done this before, I just switched purses and so on. Another checker/bagger comes by and starts helping us re-load the cart and he tells me that they'll put the cart over to the side for me. He says not to worry, it happens all the time.

The worst part is that I hadn't really dressed up for this outing. I had showered, but had just allowed my hair to air dry, had no make-up on and I don't think my clothes really matched. So I couldn't even be the cute, dumb girl. I seriously contemplated not going back and just moving on to the next grocery store, but my conscience got the better of me and back we went. I wish I could say the kid was nicer the second time around but he wasn't. However, the bagger and the other checker who had witnessed the event were surprised and happy to see me back. I know I'm going to feel goofy the next time I go there, maybe it's time for a switch.

The moral of the story is never forget to wear mascara, because you're going to do stupid things, but its much better to look good and feel stupid than to feel stupid and look bad while you're at it.

Monday, March 24, 2008


We had a pretty exciting event this weekend. For the first time, we left Sophie with someone while we left the house! We are doing some tiling in the basement and needed to go to Lowe's to pick up all of the supplies, which not surprisingly, would be much easier without the baby. So, Neil calls up his parents and asks them if they could come over for an hour or two so we could go.

I have this picture in my head of how that call went through on their side. Mammom puts down the phone after telling Neil that they'll be over in an hour and hits the grandparent alarm button. A giant G spotlight immediately shows out onto the clouds and Grandy, working his way through the back nine, recognizes the sign. He finishes the round, let it not be said the man walked away from a golf game unfinished, and then hops in the G-mobile to pick up Mammom. They barrel over here at breakneck speeds, whip into the driveway with flourish and are at the door in exactly an hour.

Sophie was a little fussy when we left, it seemed like she knew that we were leaving her. I had absolute confidence in Grandy and Mammom's ability to take care of her, but that didn't mean that the desire to call about 10 times during that hour at Lowe's went away. Somehow I managed to restrain myself, though. When we got back, she was sitting contentedly on Grandy's lap with one of her teething toys in her mouth.

Here's a picture of the tile so far. Do I rock the hizzy or what? I got it all down and all that's left is to grout it. I'm pretty excited to be done with it. Except that I am so sore. Every. Muscle. In. My. Body. Hurts.

I am dreading doing the grouting because it means more pain.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

If at first...

"I read my horoscope. The first line said, 'Ignore bad advice.' Fine. I stopped reading my horoscope." - Dan Spencer

I made a startling revelation the other day, one that just might change the future of my life as a parent. I think I am probably way behind the curve on this one, but the realization is still pretty liberating. Parenting books are crap.

For nearly six months, as well as most of the previous nine, I have read and reread a half dozen books looking for guidance and inspiration for how to deal with the myriad of unforeseen circumstances that parents encounter. And let's face it, as a new parent, they're ALL unforeseen circumstances. However, they all seem to be so specific, "your child should be sleeping through the night by 6 months, four days and 8 hours" or they're so vague "your child might be sleeping through the night between 5 and 9 months," that they just don't seem to be practically applicable.

I think the best comparison is to newspaper horoscopes. Here's mine for today: "The labor of your hard work will show great rewards this morning. Perhaps you have been working in the garden or you have prepared the house for a reception of some sort--perhaps a birthday party or a celebration. You put a lot of effort and forethought into whatever it is you are doing today. Your personality is magnetic and can be passed very easily to another person today. You will be highly successful in the results that you set out to achieve. Allow your positive energy to work through you now. Emotions today as well as the feelings of those around you, may become very clear. If you are not cleaning up this evening, you will most certainly find yourself relaxing and having fun with friends. Start the evening out with laughter."

Something I've been working on, hmm, I am tiling the personality is magnetic, gee, it's like they know me...If I'm not cleaning, I'll be relaxing this evening, true, true...start the evening out with laughter, wow, have they read my mind? It's absolute merde.

And so goes the books, I'm sorry Doctors Sears, Spock, Weisbluth, et al. I appreciate the effort you put into creating these magnum opuses (opi?), but I think we'll just figure it out as we go.

This picture was in the slide show from Friday's post, but I am so in love with it that I had to put it in here again.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Summertime, Wherefore Art Thou?

After the whole Verizon experience I needed a little sunshine and puppies, so I had Sophie try on one of her summer outfits, just for fun. I couldn't decide which photo I liked the best and they were awfully darn cute as a show, so here is the whole experience.


I would like to take a moment to mourn the loss of customer service in America. I just spent the better part of an hour on the phone with various “customer service” agents from Verizon trying to explain the problem we are having with our DSL service. Basically, some sort of static on the line is causing our DSL to frequently disconnect. On two occasions, they directed me to call the same number I had just called to reach the person I was speaking with. What? On one occasion, the woman had me repeat myself because, wait for it, there was static on the line.

After an hour, I was on the verge of tears from frustration and trying not to yell at these poor people whose only sin was to agree to work for Verizon, which might be sin enough, now that I think about it. By this time, however, the baby actually was crying, quite loudly, and I decided it was time to take a break. All of this could be solved if you could just talk to a person without going through a 15 step automated menu and their service departments weren't so fragmented all over the world.

Sorry, there’s no cute baby story here.

I need a Ho Ho.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Booga Booga

Sophie just loves to be vertical these days. Her favorite thing is for one of us to hold her so that she is supporting her weight on her feet and then bounce her up and down. So, thinking this meant she was primed and ready for the exersaucer, I plunked her down in it. The first thing I noticed was that our little miss is a tad petite for the seat, so we had to support her with a small pillow. Doesn't she look cozy? And unfortunately, she's not quite strong enough to really move many of the parts or buttons yet. So, as usual, mommy wound up playing with everything while baby looks at mommy like she is covered in blue fur. She went back and forth from crying to happy squealing, so I can't quite figure out yet if she likes it or not. We'll give it another go in a day or two.

Neil took this video the other day and I can't stop laughing when I watch it. The funniest part is that Neil had no idea he was moving the camera, he just thought he was getting a cute video of Sophie laughing and smiling. Make sure your sound is on.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Here's Sophie waking up from a nap. We had a little photo shoot since she was looking so cute. I said, "dahhhling, can you give me cautiously happy," and I got the one on the left. And then I said, "now, give me pensive, rrrrrr!" and we got the one on the right.

In the continuing theme of
lists, I thought I would compile all of the nicknames we have for Sophie:
  1. Sophie Bean (given to her by her pinni and still my favorite)
  2. Beaner
  3. Soph
  4. Sophapotamous
  5. Poopasaurus Rex
  6. Stinky McStinkerson (can you guess who gave her this one?)
  7. Poopenstein
  8. Sweet Potea (developed when I kept accidentally blending sweet pea and sweet potato, now it's a thing)
  9. Baby Girl (not very original, I know)
  10. Beanie Baby
  11. Toots (which she does often and loudly)
  12. Sophiekins
No doubt she'll have some trouble figuring out what her real name is. Poor kid.

I loved some of my friends' idea of taking a picture of their kids in the same spot each month. So here she is at 5 months. See her at four months.
She's getting more okay with the camera these days and I can usually get her to smile for at least a couple of pictures. Can you spot her little teefs?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Next Blog

When I first set this blog up, I noticed the small button at the top of the screen that says "Next Blog." It didn't interest me, really. Frankly, I figured all blogs were like ours, mostly interesting to people who know us. Although I'd like to think that the whole world wants to look at pictures of my beautiful daughter because she's just so darn cute and read my tales of delight or woe about life with her, sadly I don't think that is the case. (This is Sophie's most recently acquired chew toy. She has about 12 now and this is the only one she'll have anything to do with.)

We did start using Google Analytics, which tracks how many hits we get a day and from where. We've had 325 hits from more than 60 people in 15 states. And would you believe someone checked us out from Malaysia! I can safely say that the majority of these are people that I know, however, I am fairly confident I don't know anyone in Hoboken, let alone Malaysia, so there are at least a few non-family members who think we're moderately interesting.

So despite these numbers, which I naively thought were pretty awesome, and my delight with my friends' blogs, I hadn't really put much thought into the blogs of people I didn't know. But after looking at that "Next Blog" button for the better part of a month, I finally pushed it the other day. I can dramatically compare this event to every movie where a person does that first line of cocaine or hit of heroine. I think the Doors "Break on Through To The Other Side" might even have started playing somewhere. That first click did not take me to an interesting blog, nor the second or third. But at some point, I clicked on one from a woman in Wisconsin who spends a great deal of time talking about Jane Austen and knitting, both topics that could be VERY dry, but she makes them interesting and fun (A Good Thing It Is To Be With). And somehow from there I found my way to my first professional "mommy" blog (Baby On Bored). This one done by a woman who has actually written a couple of books and who is splendidly perceptive and funny. I haven't read her books yet, but I plan to. There are LOTS more mommy blogs, way too many for me to detail. Most of which curse a lot and have terribly clever names that make me wish I had come up with something better for mine. (This picture has no relevance whatsoever, I just think its funny. Note the ugly blue carpet, soon to be gone. Yay. And that's an ever-present twistie-tie by his head. He LOVES them.)

From here, a whole world has opened up to me. I now have my Paris blog (Paris Daily Photo), my cooking blog (Smitten Kitchen) and my snarky Hollywood fashion blog (Go Fug Yourself), among others.

I can't believe that I was so completely unaware of this blog world (ahem, blogosphere, I'm getting in on the lingo) and that I might actually find it interesting.

Programming Note: I finally watched High School Confidential, which I DVRed last week. It's set in Overland Park at Northwest High School, which is pretty close to my last KC residence, so it's kind of neat to see recognizable locations. More importantly though, it was a really interesting show. It follows twelve girls through their four years of high school, showing how they changed over the years.
Each show is about two girls. It is probably most appealing to girls/women, not surprisingly. If you have the opportunity, give it a watch. It's on Monday nights on WE.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Running Underwater

I went to the Mom's Group at GBMC yesterday and for the first time felt like one of the not crazy ones. The group is sort of divided into two sets: the ones who are still figuring things out and look and feel completely frazzled and the ones who have survived this stage and can now
offer advice and promises of better times to come.

Up until fairly recently, I felt like I was trying to run underwater. I just seemed to be making no progress at all. At some point in the last month, though, we turned a corner. Sophie has started to be a kid rather than a crying, puking, peeing, pooping lump and I finally feel like we're going to be okay.

She was 5 months old yesterday. I know I've said it before, but the time really does seem to be flying. I swear I love her a little more every day. Sometimes I feel like I could burst from it. I love hugging her little body, kissing her chubby cheeks and seeing that smile. It's so overwhelming sometimes. I can't even begin to think how I'll feel in a couple of years or further out.

As promised, the top reasons my husband is the best:
1. He always opens car doors for me.

2. He lets me sleep in on weekends while he watches Sophie.

3. He gives me the remote when we watch TV. (Believe it, ladies!)

4. He makes sure to kiss me every night before we go to sleep and every morning before he leaves for work.

5. He calls me every day on his way home from work to see if I need him to pick anything up.

6. He actually went through his pant collection to find ones that I could wear when I was crying because none of mine fit.

7. He never mentions the really yucky stuff that happened when Sophie was born.

8. He loves my cat even though she can be one tough customer. (And that's not a euphemism.)

9. He writes me love letters. (All right, they're love E-mails, but that still counts.)

And most importantly,

10. He makes me laugh EVERY single day.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wait Loss

My dad always said that it was when he turned 30 that he started to have to watch what he ate. I always laughed and thought, "it will never be me!" With the confidence of youth, I honestly thought it was something I would never have to worry about. Boy, was I wrong. I swear the day I turned 30, food started settling in on my hips and butt in ways it never had . Despite this, I managed to stay in the single digits size-wise until I met Neil. I don't blame Neil for my weight gain since then, but if he weren't around...just kidding, my love! A friend of mine told me there was nothing so hard on your waistline as a happy love life and truer words have never been spoken. (That's me at my first birthday, obviously I had issues with food even then.)

So, as many of you know, I've been struggling with getting those last baby pounds off, not to mention the couple extra from the previous couple of happily married years. I have been exercising nearly every day for the last month or so and am watching what I eat. Mostly watching it from the plate to my mouth, ha. That's a terrible joke. Seriously, though, I am being a bit more aware of portion size and such. Of course, I just got back from lunch at the Olive Garden with my parents- and sisters-in law and managed to clean my plate. I did leave a couple of bites of my dessert, though. Does that count as restraint?

The really hard part is that almost none of my pre-baby clothes fit and I just can't bring myself to buy a whole new wardrobe of clothes in the size I currently am. Neil's suggestion was that I lose weight. Well, gosh, I hadn't considered that option. He's lucky to have survived that particular comment. Never mind that it's true (said through gritted teeth). I have bought a few things, though. It is simply unavoidable.

As I was walking through the mall the other day, I passed by the store for curvy girls, I won't name it but it sounds like Schmane Schmyant. (Here's something funny - spell check is okay with Schmane but not Schmyant?) Dejected from less than satisfactory trying-on experiences in my usual stores, I decided to go in. I just have to say, this was a major ego boost. It was really great to be the smallest girl in there. And here's the best part, I actually had to ask a salesgirl if they had a particular pair of pants in the smallest size they carry! Now, I really don't want this to become my regular store, but I just may visit again for a little confidence boost when my spirits are down from the fact that weight loss is such a slow process.

**I would just like to say that I do not blame my parents, my husband, my child or society for my weight ills. Clearly the blame rests solely on the fast food industry who tempt me with their irresistibly seductive commercials. Meanwhile, Neil has been the most supportive husband I could ask for. He tells me how beautiful I am many times a day, even when its not true. I could, and probably will, do a post dedicated to just how wonderful he is.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


We went out to lunch with Toi (isn't she gorgeous!) and her son Trey yesterday. She and her husband were one of the other couples in our hypnobabies class. There were three couples in the class and she is the one that came closest to the desired med-free birth. As you know, I wound up going full steam ahead with all the available medication the hospital had to offer (and don't regret it one bit) and the other woman had a C-Section. Pretty disappointing results, frankly, that only 1 in 3 are able to use the hypno-training. And Toi confided in me that she felt ALL of the pain. So although she went med-free, it's really 0 in 3 for pain management.

Neil, of course, feels vindicated. He thought it was hooey from the get-go, but I was so afraid of the epidural (a needle in your spine, I mean, come on!) that I was looking for anything to avoid it. I should add a disclaimer here, the mind is a very powerful thing, the effect of placebos proves this. I suspect I never really committed myself to the hypno approach, never truly believed that it would work and therefore it didn't. I do think that if you fully believe that it will work, that it can. That said, I'll probably just pre-order the epidural next time.

I've heard some people say that the circumstances surrounding a person's birth influence the kind of person they are. When I see Trey, I believe this. He is the calmest baby. Meanwhile, my beautiful child spent a good chunk of the lunch showing us her tonsils. And you can see how happy she is in this picture. That's the patented Sophie pout, by the way, with full lip extension. Clearly, she had a difficult birth. Boy, am I in trouble in years to come.

On a side note, Sophie now officially has a second tooth coming in! I thought it was my imagination at first, that it was just the sparkle of her gums. But no, it's another tooth. Since I've committed to breastfeeding for the long haul, I'm really glad my baby is getting her teeth early. Not.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Baby Teeth

Yesterday while we were laying on the bed having a little play, I pulled Sophie's lower lip down so I could see her little tooth. She giggled at this, so I did it again and got more giggles. So this turned into a full blown ventriloquist act, with me moving her lips and doing Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Four score and seven years ago... We were both laughing pretty hard, although I suspect for different reasons.

I've been wondering how I could get a picture of her tooth without prying her mouth open since she is so reluctant to smile for the camera. Later when she was in her swing, I got out the camera and pulled on her lip again and surprise, surprise, she was just as entertained by it and allowed me to take some pictures. Turns out prying her mouth open was the way it had to happen. Who knew she'd be okay with it, though?


Footed Sleeper: $12
Black Leather Recliner: $700
Daddy's Face When His Baby
Daughter Fell Asleep In His Arms: Priceless!

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Today was a bath day. I give Sophie baths two or three times a week depending on how dirty she gets, which since she is not independently mobile yet, isn't very dirty. As I'm undressing her, we do the Naked Baby Song, sung to the tune of the Macarena. I'm not sure exactly how that began, I couldn't even tell you when the last time I heard the Macarena was. But it's catchy and she seems to like it.

Although I have a little baby bath, most days I just use the baby bear bath sponge in the bathtub. This is a 2-inch thick sponge that is roughly the length of her body and has a baby-shaped indentation to hold her somewhat in place. I think you're only supposed to use these with very small babies, but when I've used the baby bath, she looked so awkward, kind of sliding down into it that it made me nervous. Plus, I could only safely put maybe one inch of water. What's the point? I might as well use the sponge that I'm comfortable with. The baby-shaped indentation only goes to about mid-thigh, so her legs and feet hang off into the bath tub.
A small amount of water pools at the end of the tub and she generally spends most of the bath kicking her little legs in it as though she's making for the other side of the English Channel. I use a plastic mug that we got at a beer festival a couple of years ago (Is that in bad taste?) to dump water on her various parts.

She really seems to enjoy baths. I have to admit, I do too. Since it's wintertime and she is so often bundled up in her little outfits, I don't get to see her charmingly chubby legs and wiry arms and round little belly nearly often enough. I joke (sort of) that I can't wait for summer so she can run around (sort of) without any clothes on, except a diaper, of course. I read somewhere that a baby without a diaper is a loaded weapon and after a couple of unfortunately timed pees and poops, I do believe that. So, no fully naked babies here. I will like seeing a little more skin, though.

We're starting a swim class in a couple of weeks. I'm hoping that her comfort in the water will translate into the pool, but who can tell. As for me, I'm just dreading getting back into a swimsuit.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Never List

This morning, shortly after I had changed Sophie into her daytime clothes, I brought her downstairs so that I could make myself a cup of tea. I sat her in her bouncy seat (Thanks, Lisa!), which pretty much lives in the kitchen and dining room. I use it whenever I am cooking, eating, etc. So, I had just sat her down and she spits up on herself and the chair. As I am cleaning her and the chair up, I say to myself, out loud, "the chair has at least another puke in it." Meaning, it has already seen at least one and will be okay to continue use through this one and possibly more. And it occurred to me that a) this is very gross and b) this is something I never thought I'd do.

So I decided to start a list of all the things I NEVER thought I'd do as a parent.

THE OFFICIAL NEVER LIST (in no particular order)

1. Bring the baby into the bed with us. Yeah, broke that one on her first day home.

2. Let the baby sleep in our room for more than a couple of months. Neil practically had to pry her out of my arms to get me to start putting her in the crib at four months.

3. Leave her in an outfit that had been spit up on. Although if there's any significant amount, I will still change her, I would be changing her three times a day if my only criteria were that it had spit-up on it.

4. Leave myself in an outfit that had spit-up on it. Again, I would be changing three times a day if a small amount of spit-up required it.

5. Pick up a chew toy (are those for dogs?) that had fallen on the floor and give it back to her. At first, I faithfully washed each toy the moment it even brushed the floor. Now I blow on it (can you believe it?) and give it back to her.

6. Wear maternity clothes after the baby was born. Um, I hate to admit this, but I still have a few baby pounds to lose and if I'm not going out...

7. Breast feed. Dumb I know, but I was pretty weirded out by the idea pre-baby.

8. Breast feed for more than a couple of months. We're at 4.5 months now and counting. I would NEVER have thought I would be okay with going this long, but now the idea of giving it up makes me sad. A couple of months ago, six months seemed like a good length of time to shoot for, now I'm thinking, I can go a year. At a year, I'll probably be like, "well, heck, the rest of the world nurses for an average of two years."

Along those lines...whenever Sophie starts acting hungry, I ask her "Do you want some boobie?" Well, it occurred to me a couple of days ago that she is developing her speech right now and although she probably doesn't understand too many, if any, words, I really don't want her to start thinking of nursing in those terms. God forbid her first words are "I want some boobie!"

9. Not change her diaper when she's wet. This sounds worse than I mean it, but when we had just brought her home, I changed her at the merest whiff of pee. Now, I squeeze her diaper and if its not stinky or FULL, its staying on. Those things are expensive and I'm tired of changing her 17 times a day. Although I do admit to occasionally giving her what I call a therapeutic change. Sometimes when she's fussy, changing her diaper seems to calm her. Even if she's not wet or poopie. I'm probably setting her up for some sort of weird fetish, but if it shuts her up and doesn't have any obvious negative impact, I'm doing it.

10. Wear my husbands clothes. I'm wearing a pair of his pants now.

The list will no doubt get longer as Sophie gets older and there are certainly "nevers" that I'm not thinking of, but it starts here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Through the Night

Yesterday started off fantastically. By some sort of miracle, Sophie slept in until 8:45. Or I guess I should say that Neil and I slept until 8:45 (!) and she wasn't crying or really even making any noise when we got up, so I can only assume that she slept in, too. When I woke up and looked over at the clock, I did a double take thinking maybe I had read it wrong. But the oversized numbers on the clock for nearly blind people that my mom gave me did not lie. I do not have bad eyesight, by the way, but my mom is always thinking ahead.

The funny thing about this is that I was the quintessential night person. Back in my other life as a bartender, I was rarely in bed before 5 or 6am and it was a very rare day that I was up before noon. When I began working at GWWO and had to get up to be to work at 8:30, I was in shock. I had so rarely seen that part of the day except at the end of the previous one in the preceding 10 years that morning as the beginning was an unfamiliar experience. Since those times, I have adjusted to the normal circadian sleep patterns. While I have not turned into a morning person, I generally don't sleep past 8 or so and now with Sophie we are generally up by 7. Neil, however, is the consummate morning person, he goes in to work at 6am by choice...BY CHOICE. Crazy, huh? Opposites attract, I guess. So the very fact that we slept so late is pretty amazing, but the fact that Sophie did, too, is downright momentous.

I don't hold out much hope that this is the beginning of any sort of a trend, but gosh that would be nice.

To round out the day, Sophie slept straight through to 5:30am after going to bed at 7pm! I was so delighted with her. Of course, she was starving when she woke up, so in her enthusiasm she overate and then threw up all over her crib. Even on the bumper that I'm not supposed to have in there. So there I am at 5:30am stripping off the sheet, sheet protector (ha) and contraband bumper while she is laying on her changing table gurgling and chatting up a storm, completely unfazed by the event. I'm thinking to myself, I would rather have gotten up twice than have to deal with this. The irony is that just yesterday I was commenting on how it had been so long since we'd had any trouble of that sort. Silly me.

I couldn't think what pictures might be appropriate to go with this entry, so I just put in some fun ones that we took tonight while Neil was playing with Sophie. I absolutely love the middle one where Sophie is looking so coyly at her Papa. Melts my heart, it does.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Monsieur Green Paw

"When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even." Percy Bysshe Shelley

When we moved into this house almost three years ago, we bought new furniture for the living room and dining room. Since then, Gomez has done his best to destroy all of our lovely new furniture. In particular, the sofa and side chairs in the living room. I have often thought of declawing, but I just can't bring myself to do that to an animal. No matter how bad he is, and he is VERY bad.

However, we found a more humane way to prevent his scratching, too late for the sofa unfortunately, but maybe for the other furniture and us. They're called Soft Claws. Basically they're little plastic caps which are too dull to do any damage that you glue on over their claws. Sort of like Lee Press-On Nails for kitties. Plus they're in fun colors! We got purple, go Ravens. He was very calm while we put them on. Its been a month and so far we've only had to replace one. They're supposed to last a couple of months. I highly recommend them to all cat owners who have trouble with scratching, which is sort of like saying all cat owners who have a problem with them breathing all over the place. Cats scratch, period.

I guess I should explain the picture, though. I made a big mistake this morning. Really, I can only blame myself. I know that Gomez loves candles. Or more accurately, he loves turning over burning candles. We have red stains on our off-white dining chairs to remind us of this. Anyways, I was tidying up the living room and doing some dusting. Of course I had the sing-a-long CD on. I play it so often now that Sophie is probably like, "geesh, mum, can we listen to something else, already?" (I'm hoping she'll have a British accent, hence the use of "mum", I try to watch lots of BBC to encourage this.) So, while I was cleaning, I lit a candle. It was just a little thing in a metal tin sitting on the coffee table in the living room. I think it smelled like jasmine. Well, I wandered off into the other room during the "If you're happy and you know it" song and completely forgot about it. In my defense, when you get to the part where you have to do all four things: clap, stomp, snap AND shout hooray, it can be pretty distracting.

Well, a half hour later, Neil walks in carrying Gomez and says that he has something all over him. It felt kind of waxy (duh) and smelled good. We wandered around the house for a few minutes before I caught sight of the overturned candle and realized what I had done. Luckily the wax mess didn't leave any permanent damage to the coffee table or surrounding furniture, carpet or floor. However, Gomez got a green paw for his efforts. Now he is Monsieur Green Paw avec les Purple Claws. It clashes terribly with his orange fur, but I don't think he cares about that.

I'm hoping he learned a lesson, but somehow I doubt it.

On a side note, I've been listening to the Once soundtrack on Rhapsody and I am absolutely in love with it. I have listened to it a half a dozen times and each time I like it a little more. Disclaimer, if you don't like folksy alternative music, you probably won't like it, however, if you like Damien Rice, Ryan Adams, Wilco, KT Tunstall, Cat Power and the like, then give it a listen. I haven't seen the movie yet, but it's in my Netflix queue. I am optimistic that it will be as good as the music.

Monday, March 3, 2008

My Kingdom for a Tooth

Would you believe that our little darling has sprouted a tooth. I didn't believe it myself at first, thinking it's way too early. So, I stuck my finger in there and gosh darned if it isn't a tooth. It's her bottom left front tooth. So far she has been remarkably good natured about it. I've read that some babies have a really tough time with teething and others breeze through it. Of course, I'm praying for the latter, but its a little early to tell which way she'll go.

One less than desirable aspect of the process is that she slobbers, a lot. I used to worry about leaving the house without diapers and such, now it's burp cloths. Most of which have had no use as burp cloths per se, seeing as how she's not much of a burper, but they are now coming into heavy use for chin cleanup.

I do wish I could get a picture of her smiling big enough to show her budding tooth, but that isn't likely so you'll have to take my word for it.

In other news, Sophie took a two hour nap in her crib this afternoon. She didn't even really fuss when I put her in there. She woke up about 40 minutes into it and tossed around a bit and then went right back to sleep. Meanwhile, I took an hour nap myself, and it was fabulous. Her in her bed, me in mine across the hall. And Neil downstairs in the basement making all the noise he wanted to without fear of waking the baby.

She started sleeping on her stomach a few weeks ago. At first this terrified me, with all of the "back is best" propaganda out there for the prevention of SIDS. She has always been a side sleeper, which I didn't love, but I came to accept that babies, just like adults, must have preferred sleeping positions and that is hers. However, when she took it one step further and went all the way on to her stomach, I worried endlessly. I can't even speculate on how many times I have gone in and felt her little body to make sure she was still breathing. She can roll over both directions now, though, so short of strapping her down there's not much I can do about it.

She often sleeps propped up on her knees with her thumb in her mouth. It doesn't look that comfortable to me, but it sure is cute.