Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

We had a busy and filled weekend with a wedding, Pentecost, pancakes, tornado sirens, beautiful weather, and a cook-out.
Will post more later!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Industrial Lubricant

She has been sick this week.
On Monday I stayed home with her because Jason had a meeting half way across the state. She had a head cold and an incredibly runny nose. The only problem was, every time I went to wipe her nose she would shriek and twist. But, smart little whip that she is, she figured that out soon enough. Every time her nose would itch because it was starting to run, she would sidle up to me, burrow her head into my shoulder, and swab her nose back and forth on my shirt until her nose was nice and dry and my shirt was anything but.
I looked quite a fright by the time Jason got home in the evening.
She is still not entirely well. I think the head cold started out as a virus, and has now turned into a bacterial infection. The poor thing can't hardly breathe well at night.
It is getting better, and I felt so terribly for her as we had had such a splendid weekend. On Friday, we enjoyed our very first of what I hope will be many outings to the Brookfield Zoo. Jason and I had decided that we would buy an annual membership to the zoo so that we could go back throughout the year and let Baby Girl take it all in at her leisure. It was a splendid day, cool and sunny, with loads of kids for her to watch as we strolled about. We took in the giraffes, the penguins, the baboons, the polar bears, and the tiger that was stalking about (obviously inside its enclosure).

On Sunday, we had had such a relaxed and lovely weekend and seeing that it was Confirmand Sunday, Baby Girl and I bundled off to church where she was well-received and everyone made such a fuss over her. However, everyone was so excited to see her, that they just couldn't wait to get their hands on her, literally. Everybody touched her fingers and her palms and, of course, those went right into her mouth.
Which brings us to where we are at today, four days of runny nose later.
But, church was good, regardless, and I look forward even more to the summer schedule coming up in another week when we start earlier in the morning. It is such an obstacle to go in for worship when it coincides perfectly with her morning nap. But during the summer we should be able to just fit in a later morning nap. I am very glad, because I want Baby Girl to be inspired with wonder at the Creation.
When we were going through the penguin "house" at the zoo, there were water tanks all throughout with fish and small sharks and such not. In one particular tank, there were hundred of little creatures, for lack of a better description, each no more than two centimeters long, with eight tiny little legs/flippers, which were moving in perfect synchronism with each other, pushing them through the water. As we stood there and her little blue eyes focused on the fact that there was action going on behind that glass and the swirling pattern of their movement with--what? temperature current, food particles, hormonal secretions telling the group which direction to go?--I realized that this is one of the first big lessons I want her to understand about God. I want her to understand Wonder at the Creation and to know the Grace that comes with it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Protein Supplements

While we were in the bathroom brushing our teeth yesterday morning, there was a lady bug on the floor in front of her feet. I picked up her toothbrush from her and turned to the sink to rinse it off and put it in the toothbrush holder. I turned back to her on the floor to pick up the lady bug. When I looked down, the lady bug was gone and she was chewing with a concentrated look on her face.
I think she's working her way up to that five pounds of dirt before she's five.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Found Moment

Yesterday for lunch, it was just Baby Girl and me. We had just got home from a walk and seeing Dad at church and when we got in we were both starving.
I quickly put together something for her, and set about boiling some water and pasta for myself with the intention that once the pasta was cooked, I would cut some up for her to feed herself while I ate.
Well, the wheat pasta took longer than I thought I would, and I had to ply her with cheese and pears while we waited for the pasta. I finally thought it was done and I took it up, pouring it into a colander in the sink, and took out a couple of pieces to run under cold water.
I went to her tray, and started to tear off a few pieces, only to discover that I had not cooked it enough. So took those pieces to put them back into the microwave, plying her with more pears.
Finally, the microwave went off. I headed to her tray to put some on it so I could have my lunch, too. As I stood over her, Baby Girl looked up at me, barely lifting her head, looking up at me out of the tops of her eyes as I started to put more pasta on her tray as if to say, you have got to be kidding me, lady. Now, you just put more pears on this tray and I won't shrilly remind you of who is in charge here.

Friday, May 11, 2007

It's not nothing

It has been such a busy week.
My mom, dad, and sister were here last weekend, until Tuesday morning and, with one thing and another, there just didn't seem to be time to do much else.
It was a really good visit, in particular, I think, because Baby Girl was just thrilled to see them. She warmed up to each of them within minutes of laying eyes on them, even though it had been since January since she had seen them. It was a good reality check kind of visit, for me especially, as my guest/visitor mode over the past nine months has really changed.
When people used to come for a visit, I would get all hyped up about them coming, cleaning and shopping and planning, menus, activities, et. al.
Now, people are lucky if I mop the floor.
I think my family got thrown in pell mell into the flurry of our lives, which may have been a bit jarring for them. Even though Jason and I are pretty relaxed and mellow in terms of how "scheduled" we are in relation to some of our social counterparts, it was obvious that we are in overdrive in comparison for my parents. Baby Girl is so particular about her schedule, and even a 15 to 20 minute deviation can result in tears that may drag on for hours (or just what might seem like it).
This was brought home a couple of times during their stay, the most dramatic of which was Monday night, the last night they were here (and my parents' 40th wedding anniversary). We had dinner a bit later than intended, which put me a back a bit whisking her off to bed, which put her in a right mood because I skipped part of her routine, which set her up for being disgrunteled while we were nursing, which then caused the utter and complete meltdown of Baby Girl at bedtime.
Needless to say, this was followed up by the utter and complete meltdown of mom (me).
The next morning, Baby Girl's world had returned to normal and with the smiles came the glimpse of a brand new tooth poking through the gum line. It still needs to work its way forth completely, but she' s now up to a grand total of three and, no, I don't have pictures of them yet besides this one because she is very adamant about not letting anything near her mouth unless it's got food on it.
So, between the tooth and visitors, it's been a very up and down kind of week, full of inadequate naps, raging smiles, and crocodile tears.

She had a doctor's appointment on Thursday, and it would seem that our days of worrying about weight may be slipping behind us. She checked in at 26 1/2 " and 17 pounds, 4 ounces. We are almost ready for size 3 diapers, and I now have a very concrete reason as to why my back is hurting so much.
In addition to this, in the last nine days she has become an adept crawler. She will crawl to something if she wants it and is starting to cotton on to the idea that if she wants to, she can traverse from one room to the next. She doesn't seem to like to get too far from whoever is playing with her, however, and if you walk too far away (in her estimation, of course), then the gig is up.
With more crawling skills has come pull-up skills. To wit, we have had to lower her bed this week as, on Tuesday morning when her father went into her room, she was actively trying to pull up on the sides of the crib so she could stand.100_4583
It's all very exciting, as the idea that one can walk freely from room to room and she is responsible for her own locomotion is awesome.

The question came up this week from a friend about how long I was planning on breastfeeding (actually, she asked Jason, but neither here nor there). When Jason asked me what my intention were, I said that I still wanted to get to a year. But I realize that that answer is much more complicated than that. Nursing has been the source of my greatest pain since having Baby Girl and one of the sources of my most intense pleasure. From the difficulties with latching early on, to the low expressed milk output, to the weight concerns, to the general learning curve of it all, it has inspired a wide range of emotions in me, and not all of them serene.
But, over the months, we have come to a compromise of sorts. At first, when I went back to work, I would get up in the middle of the night to express, and before I went to bed, too in order to have enough milk for the day. I eventually gave that up and started supplementing with formula. Then her nursing habits changed as she got more aware of the world, and we supplemented more and my supply adjusted and now I no longer express at work. We nurse before I go to work, and when I get home, but I don't worry about it otherwise and we're in a place now where that's really ok. Now that she is such a good eater, breastfeeding isn't about giving her food or antibodies or even brain-developing amino acids. It's about this relationship. When I walk in the door after work, she looks at me and smiles and begins this half giggle, half whimper at the sight of me. That's my cue to wash my hands (shame on me for not coming with them already clean!), to pick her up, to snuggle her against my skin, and to let her hold on.
I look forward to the day when Baby Girl will walk away from me, and not look around to see if I am still there. But, that day isn't right now. Right now, Baby Girl still looks for me as she starts to crawl away and, as long as she does that, then she's still Baby Girl. So, we'll keep nursing as long as she wants to.

Friday, May 04, 2007

273 Days

Baby girl hit a big milestone this week. She turned 9 months old this week. She has now spent more time in the world, as it were, then in utero.
To celebrate, on the day before the second she did her first cross-crab crawl

Needless to say, this has sent little ripples of delight through her father and me. It is astounding to think that this little human being, who has spent so much time in the making is actually becoming a little human being. She has even started to lose her infant-looks, and has really moved up to growing not only into her head but also into her features (if you know what I mean).100_4546
She is showing a clear like for certain things ... like food. We have yet to find anything since the first days of trying out textures at which she will turn up her nose.100_4531 She seems to like savory things equally as well as sweet (hence all the naked blueberry meals), and no meal seems complete in her estimation until she has had the opportunity to shove some of it in by herself. She is tolerant of the spoon, but she wants to get in the middle of things.
She is also showing a distinct joy in water. We have bought swim pants for her and are anxiously awaiting a time when we can all gather at the YMCA and see if that prowess extends beyond our bathtub.100_4060
But, perhaps what is most astounding as we observe this milestone this week is the fact that she is so complete and so utterly is. We need to love and nurture her, and we will, but she is already a total human being. We will do nothing to add to that. She knows what she wants, even as she is experiencing those wants for the first time. There is no half-heartedness. Everything is treated with gusto because that is all she knows of life: gusto. Sure, this means that the tears are heart-rending, but the joy, ah, the joy, well, that's worth getting up for in the morning.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

It's like free-falling...with a safety net

Just a quick shout out from the park. Yeah for Spring!