Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Laughing all the live long day

Dear Willa,
I love being your mom. You're going through a very goofy stage - you want to laugh with us - ALL the time. If dad laughs you want in on the fun. If I laugh you rock and start giggling. You look at Arlo and Greta with hope and amusement. You've started howling at Arlo because when mom or dad does it he howls back . Maybe we're all going through a very goofy stage because there's nothing your dad and I would rather do than laugh with you - ALL the time. And maybe cuddle a little too.


Monday, February 26, 2007

g-hog review

It was late, but Phil and his groundhog brethren have been officially and duly celebrated. It was a fun party: I got to have quick conversations with a bunch of people, there was good food, and our house has never looked better. My parents and Bill and Jac represented the east coast well. The Kalamazoo contingency had to come the next day because of a retreat. That meant almost no leftovers by Sunday night. I'll have to keep that in mind for next year.
Willa took the crowd in stride and kept everyone busy.
There were 3 other babies there too. Julia, Josie, and Meredith were all born within 3 weeks of each other.
Direct correlation the # of babies at a party and the # of empty bottles of beer, wine and liquor in the morning. We have a lot of alcohol at the house.
Maybe we'll have an outside summer "BBQ and drink our beer" party?

Friday, February 23, 2007

missed it.

"Willa walked 3 steps today!"
I read it over and over on her chart from day care. I've come to terms with our baby in day care. It's good for her immune system (in the way that saving for retirement will pay off later), she's got a lot of little buddies to play with and learn from and teach (and steal pacifiers from), and the women who care for her are wonderful with her.
But who tells a working mom that she missed her babies first steps?
I called Jim choked up - "I'm sad, are you sad?" "Yes, I am kind of sad."
We figure that we'll get her to walk 4 steps and that will erase the 3, and go down in history as her real first steps (and mom, you keep quiet.).
Maybe it'll happen at the Groundhog's day party tomorrow and she can entertain the masses?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

she makes bath time lots of fun...

Willa enjoying her President's day bath on Monday.

t-minus 44 days

In 44 days Willa will be one. And woo-hoo, and yay, and a little tear for the little baby we brought home and all that emotional stuff that comes with a first birthday.
What I'm thinking about and ready to celebrate right this second is starting the weaning process. Last night I told Jim I was looking forward to pumping when I wanted to and not because I had to in order to keep Willa fed at daycare.
Starting gradually in early April gathering provisions for Willa will be a trip to the kitchen, not unsnapping a bra.
I have enjoyed breastfeeding, and I'm glad it has went so well for us. The body amazes me - I can feed another human being! But I'm ready. Lugging a pump around all the time, taking time out of the work day to set it up, drinking teas to support supply... Pumping will go first, and then slowly her morning and night nursing sessions. I'm ready, and when the time comes, I hope she is too.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More than just an expression

Willa has mastered the look of happy surprise. I've been laughing ever since. A board book with photos of animals brought it on.

-side note: the book was one that I gave to MaKenna when she said her first word: "duck." Crazy that it was Willa's first word too, no? So, Lisa gave Willa the book back. She won't call the duck in the book a duck, probably because it's brown and not yellow and rubber.-

So at about page three are the photos of the puppy and kitten. When I opened that for the first time her body swayed back, her mouth and eyes opened wide, and then she laughed and clapped her hands.

It makes me so glad to see her taking an interest in books. She might end up a carnivorous Republican but at least she might end up liking books.

-another side note: Jim gave Willa some chicken from his fried rice this weekend. I closed my eyes and steadied myself. I know we made the decision that it would be her choice later to eat meat or not, but well... now that it's time that she can, I wish she wouldn't. Anyhow, she put it in her mouth and then put it on the table next to the fish tank. Maybe, maybe...?

Friday, February 16, 2007

giddy before sunrise

Thursday 8:30 pm: She takes the last long sigh of the day. "Goodnight Willa, I love you."
Friday 5:45 am: She's crying in her crib. "Congratulations, mama. Our daughter has slept through the night."

It's working! It's working!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I am not part of the solution

Through trial and error, we may have found the answer to our sleep issues with Willa. I know I have posted other "eureka!" moments here that haven't lasted, but we may be onto something lasting this time.

I have to stay in bed.

When I go to crying Willa at 3 am, the biological fact is that my boobs come with me. And she likes them just as much as Jim does (sorry Jim, now the internet - including my mom knows you like my boobs - blush). She tricked me into thinking that she needed to eat in the middle of the night past the era that she actually did. Then I became wiser, but was too tired at 3 am to protest. And when I held out it only worked about 40% of the time.

So the past 2 nights Jim and his less interesting (and really nonexistant) boobs have gone into her room, put her back in sleeping position, patted her for a minute, and presto - she's back sleeping in minutes!

I felt guilty for a little while that this will likely fall entirely on him until she "gets it." But then I remembered that it fell entirely on me when she really did need to eat at 3 am. So, hopefully, for only a few days (until she stops waking up), my boobs and I will stay in bed, but feel a little bad for Jim and his less interesting (and really nonexistant) boobs.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

feeling warm - and schmoopy

Yesterday's post about Sunday's date day that mysteriously didn't appear.

"Know what my favorite part of today was?"
"Sitting in the hot tub?"
"No, it was when you said you were glad I was your friend."

Friday, February 09, 2007

Drinking buddies

Willa and Uncle Brian hangin' out at grandma and grandpa's house.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Those Ragged-izzles.

22 years ago I received a book of Raggedy Ann and Andy stories from my parents' friends. I remember reading that book over and over, and loving the illustrations. It was one of the first hardcover books I got.
Johnny Gruelle wrote the Raggedy books in the 1910's and the language is definitely dated. I've been reading it out loud to Willa at night, and snickering over some of the word choices. Jim took the chapter about the Snoopwiggy and the Wiggysnoop and read it (when he wasn't cracking himself up) to sound like Mr. Snoop Doggy Dogg. Hence today's conversation:

"I'm doing good, I'm listening to some Ice T. I love late 80's early 90's rap." proceeds to rap with the music.
"Woah there Snoopwiggy - or do you want to be Wiggysnoop, 'cause you know it's gonna happen."
"Snoopwiggy! You can be Wiggysnoop. We're so funny."
"Yup, we sure are, dogg."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Mac and cheese

I used to work at Habitat for Humanity's headquarters in Americus, Georgia. I signed on for a year as a compensated volunteer, and had a role that was essentially cruise director for other volunteers and staff in the community.

Because it's an international organization, that community was amazingly diverse. I often found myself playing Boggle, collecting pecans in the park, and sitting on old southern style front porches, with people from all over the US, as well as Indonesia, Germany, Mexico and Kenya. On labor day weekend I stopped to remind myself of the unique adventure I was having - canoeing in the Okefenokee Swamp with friends who cursed in different languages when they'd hit a submerged tree. What I'm getting at is that it was pretty cool to work and live there.

I was very lucky to live in a huge house as the only semi-permanent resident. It functioned as a hostel for work and training groups that came though. On Thanksgiving I decided to invite friends over for a pot luck dinner. People got really into it, searching cookbooks and gathering great ingredients. I actually wore an apron. My friend Jenny flew down to be with me.

People started showing up with steaming dishes that smelled terrific. It was not a meal for the unadventurous. Until... someone came with a saucepan full of Kraft mac and cheese. We all kind of gave him a hard time about it. At the time I was actually ticked off. Silly, I know, but who brings mac and cheese to Thanksgiving?!?

Doesn't everyone know that what you contribute to a pot luck signifies how you feel about the people you're feeding?

For some reason I was thinking of that this week, and finally came to the understanding that it was all he had to offer at the time. We didn't know if it was finances or lack of creativity or time... But for some reason this week I had to think about that and "come to peace" with that. I don't know if I need to remind myself that sometimes the metaphorical mac and cheese is okay. It's something to offer, and we all try to do our best. I think that my unapologetic obsession with my husband and baby, combined with a lack of sleep has left me with little resources, creativity, energy or, frankly, interest in much else. So for now everything else gets mac and cheese.

And that's okay.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Ten months old

Our gal hit the double digits and turned 10 months old at 2:51 am. When we were in the hospital I had her in the nursery a lot during the nights. I thought I would be the mom who kept her baby near her the whole night through. Reality was I was exhausted and knew I couldn't possibly sleep with my new favorite person in the same room the whole night.

Jim and I were both up with her several times last night - another cold makes it hard for her to sleep lying down.

Solutions I'm considering:

Installing a nurses call button, "nurse, I'd like you to take the baby to the nursery. She's fantastic, but mom and dad need some sleep."

Arlo and Greta get opposable thumbs, we train them to rock Willa back to sleep. Let them figure out whose turn it is. "Damn it Greta, I got her last time, now get out from under the bed and take care of that crying baby!"

Monday, February 05, 2007

Winter freakin' wonderland

Two and a half feet of Willa vs. one foot of snow.

We put Willa in her snowsuit, grabbed the camera, threw her in a snowbank, took a few photos, and then ran back in the house to warm up. The folks on the news say that if you stay outside for longer than 4 minutes your face will freeze that way and then your skin will fall off...

Friday, February 02, 2007

Hey Phil, thanks! AND happy birthday, k-9s

Phil in Punxsutawney has declared an early spring for 2007. I will roll around in that joy for a day and ignore the view out my window - what is that, 5... 8 inches of snow on the ground? Phil, almighty groundhog soothsayer, has declared spring to be soon. I'm getting out my kite and oiling up Willa's stroller wheels.

If you're reading this and aren't an internet stalker or someone wanting me to quit my job and earn $5000 a week by selling ads on this blog (not that I wouldn't) AND if you haven't received our invite to the 3rd Annual Groundhog's Day party, please let me know. It's Feb. 24th this year. We'd love to see you.

Also, it's true that Arlo and Greta were both stray dogs, but we know they were both born on February 2. Arlo and I will also be celebrating our anniversary next week. He was a stray in Baltimore, and, based on how my life was going, so was I. He was the best thing to have come from my time in Baltimore.
Arlo (left) is now 5, and Greta (right) is 2.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

My mom is a party animal

So I'm a little tired today after going to bed past midnight 2 days in a row. Mom and I were up until 12:30 having a really great conversation with big, deep, important stuff. An no, internet, I won't be sharing.

I'll just say this... I always thought Bill was born with a tail.


It was a wonderful, exhausting and refreshing visit. I feel like mom and I got to reconnect. I am reminded that I really like my mom as a person (Hi mom, now can I have the Milky the Cow?).

I think Willa liked having her around too. Now I get to go pick up Willa and go home to Jim who should be home by now!