Saturday, June 30, 2007

Here is a picture of my pumpkin patch from this morning. So far they're looking good! I just hope SNG keeps the giant beetles, the deer, the moles and the rabbits out. If you click on the picture, there are a couple more in Flickr.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Saturday was my dad's birthday, and I meant to post this ON Saturday. Better late than never.

Here's to my dad, the guy who taught me how to ride a bike, to go faster, and sometimes, to slow down a little. Good advice for riding or living.

I hope your birthday was all tailwind! E-baby did a celebratory lap around the foyer in your honor.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Nine Months, Ten Thoughts
E-baby is nine months old today. It's kind of a milestone for me that today, while perhaps more symbolic than exact, marks the day that I will have been a mother for longer than I had been pregnant. Which might not seem long to y'all, but it's like a lifetime from my end. Or rather, it literally is a lifetime.

In the interest of being too lazy (busy?) to keep up with things in a baby book, here are ten thoughts running around my brain this month.

1. Nine months on, nine months off... that must be an average. Stuff just doesn't end up where it used to be, and for me, there's still plenty of stuff hanging around in spite of my best efforts. My friends who also have babies? I'm sure they all lost all the baby weight before being discharged from the hospital. Me? I've still got these 5 pounds that don't want to go away.

2. Babies eventually learn to communicate (I know, I can hardly believe it myself). E-baby is beginning to sign to us! She started using the "milk" sign about a month ago, but just to herself while nursing. A week ago, she made the "milk" sign at her water glass when she wanted a drink, but it wasn't so much directed at me or SNG as at her glass. Yesterday, she unmistakeably made the "milk" sign to me when she wanted a drink from her water glass. OK, so it's the wrong word, and while she isn't exactly overflowing with sign language, I can feel that soon the dam will burst and kiddo will be absorbing new signs very quickly. Honestly, I'm more impressed that she made the connection between "milk" and "water glass" since nursing and drinking from a glass are presented in completely different contexts. She wasn't saying "milk" or "water," she was saying "I'm thirsty."

3. Before babies communicate, they learn to understand what you say. E-baby recognizes and understands quite a few words, whether signed or spoken, such as more, eat, banana, melon, hungry, and Cheerios. Well, that last one might just be that she recognizes the big yellow box and gets very excited.

4. Babies can babyproof for you! Everyone says so, but it's true: as soon as they crawl, babies are drawn to the most dangerous thing in a room. Mine likes to hunt dirty shoes and electrical cords. She can move a sofa to get to an electrical cord. She can climb a bookcase to reach a bottle of something poisonous. Babyproofing is less like dog-proofing and more like cat-proofing than I ever knew.

5. There is nothing in the world cuter than a naked baby crawling zipper-zapper after a bath with the hoodie towel trailing behind like a superhero cape. Even when she pees on the floor (see #6).

6. A sense of humor is vital. In graduate school, one of the profs in our dept studied phobias and anxiety disorders. In the "fear lab," subjects would be hooked up to a mask of CO2 gas, which causes hypoxia and simulates, physiologically, the beginning of a panic attack. What they learned pretty quickly was that some people, in hypoxic conditions, went into full-blown anxiety attack. No surprise there. But, interestingly, other people responded to the exact same stimulus with fits of giggles and silliness. In other words, they interpreted the physiological cues of shortness of breath, increased heart rate, and altered perception as being stoned, not as rising panic. A nice trait to have, I think.
With a baby, you get peed on, pooped on, puked on and drooled on, bitten, screamed at, and kept awake late at night. These things can be perceived as horrible, scary, frustrating, overwhelming. But if you can see it all as one big, fat, practical joke, it will be a lot easier to enjoy the high. It is pretty darn hilarious, too. But sometimes it would be funnier without the poop.

7. Nine-month-olds do not take naps unless they are in 1) a stroller/jogger, 2) a bike trailer, or 3) a moving car. This phenomenon dates back to the advent of crawling. Read between the lines to learn why I Love Daycare.

8. Pampers have an expiration date. Why? Do they go bad? How do you know when a diaper has gone bad? Does it begin to smell funny? I'm not even going to dignify that joke with a punchline. Too easy.

9. People say you will never understand a parent's love until you are a parent. Isn't that a bit overly dramatic? After all, I really, really love my parents, my brother, my niece, my husband. I figured a child would be like that, only moreso. Well, you people with children were right and I had no idea. It's not just like regular love amplified. It's a different animal altogether. Amplified. And sadly, I can't explain it any better than they did, so I'll just leave it at that. Sorry if that sounds overly dramatic. It's just true.

10. Post-Baby time is on a log scale: First week took a year, second week took six months, fourth month took a month, fifth month took two weeks, etc. From eight months to now took about a day and a half. At first I was afraid to miss anything so I took a million pictures. Now I can't keep up.

I enjoy being a mom far more than I expected to, but I also miss SNG. We spend most of our time together taking turns watching e-baby while the other gets something done. I miss those late night walks in the park after closing time to see the glowing spiders and listen to frogs and owls. I miss sitting around watching a movie and cooking extravagant meals together. I miss eating at a table with a normal-sized chair. Still, the padded floor is clean enough to eat off of so it could be worse.

Has it been worth it so far? No question: Yes. The future feels brighter knowing that e-baby is in it. And if I've learned anything so far, it's that whatever is happening now won't last very long and soon we'll be on to the next thing. Eventually (what, 17 years or so?) that next thing will be just SNG and me in the house again, walking in the park after dark and looking at glowing spiders.

Which, the way time is moving, should be in about six hours or so.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

You'd think I had learned my lesson by now...

So yesterday was e-baby's 9-mo appointment, and we found out that she's long and lean. And she has a big melon. She's also way ahead of the averages for social, communication, gross and fine motor and problem-solving skills. But then we knew she was brilliant.

She's in the 80th percentile for head circumfrence (no surprise-- SNG and his dad have big heads), she's 27" long, and 16lb8oz. That's a bit taller than average and a bit lighter than average. Of course, I immediately worried that she isn't eating enough, and that I need to start sending her to school with weight-gain protein shakes, but the doc said it was nothing to worry about, and that when babies start crawling they tend to lose weight.

And really, if you look at this child, she has rolls on her arms and legs, she has big pudgy cheeks, she has a baby belly. Hardly wasting away.

Still, I got all worried. So last night I put some silken tofu and babyfood apples/plums in the blender and made tofu smoothies for her. She had not had tofu before. She had also not had plums before. One of those things had a Drano effect.

Big time. Mosh pit at lollaPOOlooza

I've made this mistake before, where I give her 2 new foods at once, mixed up, and she had a reaction and I couldn't tell which food was the problem. So, no more tofu or plums for a couple of weeks, and I'll try them one at a time. In the meantime, Bananas, Rice, Apple, Toast (BRAT). And zucchini. Because really, who can live without zucchini?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

This is ... unusual ... I keep checking the calendar to see if it's April 1.

I wonder whether biking and rosary beads mix well?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I have a pumpkin patch!! Click the picture and mouse-over to see what's planted where.

We've had a spell of lovely, cool weather this week -- highs in the 70s, which is nice for June-- so I did a bit of yardwork. Yes, it's still me and I'm not running a fever or anything, but about once a year I get the urge to plant stuff. I hope SNG realizes the responsibility of caring for a pumpkin patch.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Before becoming a parent, I never liked the way other people with kids' houses usually looked. You know, the whole Big Plastic Fisher-Price crap replacing real, grown-up things; Barbies instead of knicknacks; Teletubby sippy-cups on every flat surface; Pokemon area rugs in the living room.

And now, Look At My Kitchen.

In a pathetic attempt to avoid letting Evenflo own my house, I do not own a proper high chair. They are just so huge. So we have this:

And instead of bright plastic toyboxes, we have these:

But still,

And she is only 8 months old. Things are just going to get worse, huh?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Saturday, June 9, 2007

So hopefully you noticed the post below, that my BFF Lizard had her baby eeeeaaaarrrrly this morning. Everyone is doing well and trying to get some sleep. I heard that she has lots of dark hair and she's already got her dad wrapped around her wee-bitty finger.

Boston was fun. I made it to the museum of fine arts on Wedensday, when admission is freeeee, and (as usual) spent most of my time in the Islamic and Hindu art sections. After that I got cioppino to go from Legal Sea Foods, which combines 2 of my favorite things: cioppino and Legal's, and it was BAD BAD BAD! Ew!! Bad shellfish! No cookie for you!

The next night I ate at a thai place (Chilli Duck thai cuisine on Boylan St.) that was cheap and outstanding, and best of all, not septic!

Friday night Fuzzy picked me up at the airport so that SNG could stay with sleeping e-baby, and when I went into her room, she heard me and CRIED and I picked her up and we were so glad to see each other and I didn't want to put her back in her crib for awhile.

The trip was a milestone because while I missed e-baby like crazy, it was the first trip that didn't have me feeling horrible about being away from her. But it felt just as good to see her again.
At 4:33 this morning, Little Miss C was born, 7lb 4 oz, 20.5" Lizard and DH are elated, I'm sure, and I hear she's absolutely beautiful. And how could she be otherwise??

Congratulations!!! e-baby and I can't wait to meet her!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

I am teaching in Boston this week, a 3-day class, and the longest I've been away from e-baby since she was born. *snif! I miss my little squeaker.

But I love Boston. The students are always very smart, the weather's usually nice in the Summer, and there's plenty to do. Tonight the museum of fine arts is open late and admission is free, so I know where I'll be in an hour or so. The best thing about Boston is how nice the city is since they finished the Big Dig. It seems impossible that you could take a city that was so crowded, polluted, full of traffic and highways, and just... bury it all. Boston is now a beautiful, walkable, peaceful city. Still lots of people, but they're mostly jogging or biking.

Boston was also the last place I went before e-baby was born. I have 5 students this week who were in that class last August, and one of them didn't recognize me until I said "Imagine me with a BIG PREGNANT BELLY" and they were all "OOOOOH YEAH! You were about to have that baby any minute!" Yeah, that was me, the ticking, traveling, prenatal timebomb. I feel MUCH BETTER this time.

Let's hope that SNG is having as good a time at home. E-baby decided things were too exciting for sleep last week, and she ran laps in her crib all night, 3 nights in a row. Hopefully she's getting it out of her system this week. I'd feel terrible leaving SNG all alone to deal with a baby who climbs the walls from 2-4 am every night.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

I miss the DogBlog. For that matter, I miss the dogs. They always had something to say.

So it should come as no surprise that I have been hearing the pitter-patter of little fingers on the keyboard. By popular demand, e-baby is blogging. I've linked her on my home page.

She doesn't know that I know. If she tries to start a MySpace page, I'm pulling the plug.