Friday, March 30, 2007


All three of us are where we should be on a weekday. Willa is healed and was smiling and waving at everyone when we got to day care; a wounded soldier returning from battle.
After this week, I am very thankful for daycare. I love my daughter. I will be able to be better with this love after a full day at work, not worried about her.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Waiting it out... still

Willa's still sick and it's my day to stay home with her. It's day 5 of gastrointestinal distress. Here's hoping today we see solid poop. She's become a Pedialyte junkie. But she'll only drink the grape. We've cleared out the local CVS.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Girl's best friends

Yesterday Willa worked for the emancipation of the dogs from the house. She and I were sitting on the front porch playing with her blue ball when she caught sight of Greta behind the storm door's window. She made her way to the door walking via chair and table assistance and pounded on the door shreiking, panting and saying "'eta! 'eta.". I let them out and we all hung out on the front porch soaking up Summer in March (well over 70 degrees).

In the interest of full disclosure, these photos are not from yesterday, but earlier in the month. Jim had the camera at work. It looked a lot like this but in different clothes. Also, Willa didn't look quite as old man/pirateish as she does in the 1st photo.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Spring and ee

I don't want to put this in writing, but I think this high, giddy feeling I get in the hiccup between winter and spring makes enduring Michigan winters worth it. Almost.

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and



balloonMan whistles

e.e. cummings

Monday, March 26, 2007

Big backyard plans, compliments of Willa's stomach bug

Willa tried her darndest to make all fabric in our house tye-dyed with her projectile vomiting this weekend, but I think it's over and a few loads of laundry later and many, many ounces of baby Gatorade, we're all okay.

We took her to the med center on Sunday just to make sure we shouldn't be worried, and got her wrist rash (confirmed as eczema)and Jim's ear looked at too. Jim has an ear infection - in his good ear. This makes him virtually deaf for now. One stop shopping for a bunch of concerns.

Yesterday she was moving slow and very cuddly. We spent 2 hours in my hammock. While she napped (and yes, it is bliss to cuddle your sleeping baby in a hammock on an early spring day), I made big plans for our backyard. This year's priority is to reclaim the hill that a natural spring and the dogs are ruining. Too much water and happy dog exuberance equals erosion on the hill.

It's Spring! At last!

Friday, March 23, 2007

out on the town

Last night I had dinner at one of my favorite places in town. I don't get there often because my most frequent dining companion feels uncomfortable in a place where there is no meat. He stayed home with Willa and I went out.

I had a great time getting to know some women who I've met on a message board. Yup, I have internet friends now.

When I was driving home I was thinking about my goal to not lose myself in mom-ness. I haven't been making great steps at that, but it's like ordering the veggie hash every time when I go to Gaia - if I loovvveee it, why do something else? However, talking with 3 other women as a grown up without having to worry about my kid lobbing spoons at people or trying every tactic she knows to get to the ground was... nice.

So was the actual conversation, and the cookie Emily bought.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Willa says Wow.

Last night was the first thunderstorm of Spring. It was a pretty showy one - lots of noise and light. It took Willa a long time to wind down for the night (she giggled and moved my hand toward her ribs when I was patting her tummy after putting her in her crib), and I blame the electricity in the air.

Hoping to not have a kid fearful of thunderstorms who would then grow into an adult fearful of thunderstorms (ahem, Lisa), I would say WOW to each loud boom or streak of lightening in the sky. Willa was very impressed with this expression. She stared at me while I said it and opened her eyes wide and her mouth wider. She whispered "ow" and smiled - all 7 and 1/4 teeth showing. In the bath we continued saying wow to each other.

This very hectic morning I got her packed up and we walked out to the car. The damp spring air swept her cheeks while she heard the cardinals in the trees and saw water dripping off of the roof. She looked at me and said, "wow."

Sigh. I'm in love.

private vs. public and this blog

I've arrived at an interesting point in blog-ville.

There are things that are happening in our lives (and the lives of people close to us) that are taking time, energy, and concern. Some of these things are not public, and this is a public spot. Ordinarily I would use this space to explore some feelings to get to an "end spot," and this blog is a good way to record for the future. I guess it might be time to start a private journal again.

This all sounds cryptic, and I'm sorry for that. Jim, Willa, and I are in good health, so don't worry about us please.

In the meantime, topics here will likely remain pretty surface.

Put good thoughts and kind actions out into the world, because the world could really use them.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

on the menu - recorded for posterity

Willa likes to eat big people food. Every so often she's inclined to humor us in our quest to use up all the baby food. But mostly if she can't get her hands on it, it's not going in her mouth.

She likes broccoli, peas, corn, sugar peas, sweet potatoes, avacado, apples (hand her a whole one, she'll chew off slivers), pineapple, mandarin oranges, NOT NOT NOT bananas, peaches, pears, mango, pasta, soy sausages, goldfish crackers, string cheese (on hiatus due to increased congestion), kidney beans, green beans, garbanzo beans, and if we let her she would eat a whole gallon of ice cream - she gets a crazed look in her eye after just a taste or two.

Except for her moving chicken from her tray to the table, she hasn't touched meat yet. We decided before she was born that it would be her decision when she could make it. Jim's in charge of providing for that department.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

step by step - ooh baby...

Someday Willa's going to ask me when she started taking steps on her own. And I'm going to say, "uhhh... I don't remember, but check the blog from your childhood. I put it in there. Your baby will walk when he/she's ready. And seeing as he/she's my grandbaby, it will be the best walker ever."

And she'll read this entry that says that over the weekend Willa had many adventures that involved 3 or 4 steps out into the open with no furniture or dogs or people to hang on to. And then she'd realize what she was doing or that her dad and I were watching her while holding our breaths and then she'd sit down.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Serious play

Willa has started to figure out the world via her set of nesting cups - 10 plastic buckets that fit in each other. She loves to put the small ones in the bigger ones and stacking the bigger ones on top of smaller ones and tossing what she's not interested in over her shoulder. Last night I was amazed to watch her put 8 of them together in order on her own. Before she smiles - ever - she needs to have it figured out. It could be a person, a room, a toy... I'm sure she enjoyed the cups, but the entire 15 minutes that she played with them, she never cracked a smile. Very serious concentration. "No problem mom, can I take a bath now?"

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Team of one for a few days

Our mornings are usually equal parts backstage at the circus and well oiled machine. Jim and I clumsily glide around each other while getting dressed, getting Willa's bottles ready, feeding the dogs... Often we get in each other's way; and because we're not really morning people, but try for the sake of each other, we do not greet each other with an enthusiastically cheery smile. However, we also don't growl at or punch each other in the gut.

This morning I was flying solo while Jim's in Chicago. It was a little lonely being able to access my sock drawer without waiting for him to leave his closet area.

Greta spent all night by the front door instead of her normal under the bed sleep spot. Arlo was happy to start out on the bed in Jim's spot, but left after I accidently threw a pillow his way. This morning Willa kept looking around corners. "Dadadadadada," she cried as I put her on her back for a diaper change. "Dad will be back tomorrow, but he'd wisk you away from playing with the shampoo bottle for a diaper change if he were here."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

baby steps

The past 24 hours have included me feeling like a train rolled over me 200 times, Jim getting over his sick, but not being able to sleep while I was unable to stay awake, Jim scrambling this morning to get on the road for a 3 day trip to Chicago, all 3 of us sleeping a little too long, Willa bumping her head on the bedside table just as Jim was leaving, and my car window not closing after opening it (shouldn't be a problem, this is where the shop "fixed" my car, so I'm bringing it back this afternoon to see if they can do a quick fix - and it's a great day to have a stuck open window: sunny and 60 degrees.). I don't need to go into all of that in detail. Jim's feeling better, I'm feeling better, Willa is okay, just crawling around with a bump...

What I want to share today is a moment she and I had yesterday. We all decided to go outside for a little while. The snow is melted except in the shady areas, the sun was shining, and it was spring jacket warm. I set Willa on the sidewalk and took one hand. She walked slowly and clumsily to the neighbor's driveway. It was amazing. A year ago Jim and I were getting him moved back into the house after finding a job back in Grand Rapids. And now here's our baby holding my hand and walking outside.

Life is good.

Monday, March 12, 2007

dad and willa sledding (retro video).

I know I'm behind on the technology, but I've figured out how to share video on the blog. This is an old one from December. Check out the dogs romping at the end. Don't adjust your volume, our current videos have no sound.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

cuties on parade

The hats were a flop. But grandma pushing the girls around on great-grandma's wheeled walker like they were on a parade in front of an audience of 10 adults was a big hit.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Party like you're (almost) 3!

Tonight we're going to visit my tribe on the east coast (of MI).
MaKenna has decided we're going to have a party. Except she kept saying on the phone "have a potty" so I thought my sister had to take her to the bathroom. Until she said, "get our hair wet and take our shirts off." I hope that doesn't send Child Protective Services to Lisa and Ken's house.
A some time MaKenna decided that you can't wear shirts or have a dry head to have a party. Does that happen in one of the Disney movies? She's addicted to Peter Pan, but I think Wendy keeps her clothes on. Cinderella too... Has Sleeping Beauty been on "Girls gone Wild?" OH! Maybe it's Ariel - I hope MaKenna doesn't want us to wear a shell bra and swim this weekend. Brrr...
Willa and I went to the party store yesterday to buy party hats. I hope those distract MaKenna enough so that we can all stayed fully clothed. And dry.
I'm sure a photo of our rockin' party will follow within the next few days.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A mighty fine monument

One more photo from our DC trip.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

baby allergies?

I've got some research to do.

Willa has had a cold for 5 weeks. Today I took her to the doctor. He think she may also have allergies. All fingers are pointing to Greta and Arlo, but it could be dust in which case all fingers are pointing to the carpet, and my lack of desire to dust frequently.

The doctor was very comfortable perscribing allergy medication for her. I don't know anything about long term affects on kids who take this daily for a long time, and I'm going to have to look.

My fingers are still crossed that it's just a nasty cold with no place else to go. In the meantime, we'll be trying Claritin and see if we can't rule anything out. Here's hoping the medicine does nothing within a week, a cold clears up and we're all good.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Gold standard baby.

Eleven. Months. Old.
Jim and I were talking last night about how to handle compliments from strangers about how cute or good Willa is. I told him I smile and say, "thanks, we like her." Truth is, yes, we do think she's precious and the most beautiful and virtuous, and wise baby ever invented. But that's a lot to live up to, you know? And it might be a little arrogant to respond to a strangers polite compliment with, "I KNOW! Aren't you envious?! I mean really, people should just stop having babies, because we're reached the apex of babydom here. Evolution can stop, 'cause here she is."
This photo kind of takes my breath away. I'm not sure how two yahoos like us created this.
"Thanks, we like her."

Monday, March 05, 2007

very long review of our short vacation

Jim, Willa, and I returned yesterday from our trip to Washington DC. She and I tagged along as Jim had two days of meetings for his job. Some highlights:
Drove until 2 am on day one and stopped for the night just inside of Pennsylvania. Exhaustion put us as the Whatever Inn complete with a full bed (with padding on the head board) and towels that looked like our rag collection.
I woke up the next morning asking Jim if I would look more odd with an eye patch or my right eye swollen shut. Called the dr. and got a prescription for pink eye.
Willa projectile vomited her milk and was pretty freaked out.
We got to DC, immediately went to the FDR memorial and got in the spirit of America, public service, and democracy. Then we walked around the tidal basin to visit Mr. Jefferson.
Jim lost his glasses.
The next morning Jim was off to work. I enjoyed the king sized bed, a napping Willa, fresh brewed coffee and a nutty buddy bar for breakfast. When Willa woke up we walked to the National Zoo and saw pandas and orang utans though the meercats were her favorite.

She was thrilled- the whole trip- to be in her stroller. It was beautiful weather and the breeze in her hair and her bopping along was a site to see. She made many strangers smile on the streets.
Friday she and I hung out near Dupont Circle: bookstore, bead store bakery for an oatmeal cookie. Then to the park/Circle to people watch, read her new book and eat the cookie. We weren't wearing winter coats.
Kelli is my friend who still lives in DC - she and I met at Habitat in Americus and we both went from there to DC. She, Willa and I had Friday lunch while Jim was in his last hours of meetings. From there we hugged goodbye, and Jim, Willa and I walked around the great neighborhood.
Later that night Willa had her first Metro ride as we all went to Old Town Alexandria (VA). She was fascinated by the flamenco dancing women who had castanets. They danced for probably 8 or 10 minutes, and she watched them, hypnotized, the whole time.

Saturday we woke up, packed up and stuffed the car. We took the Metro to Eastern Market and had a great Salvadorean breakfast on the market. We strolled through fresh flowers and produce and crafts. From there we went to the mall and the Air and Space Museum, and then to a botanic outdoor garden. Then to The White House to "pay respects" to W. Then we walked through interesting neighborhoods, back to the car to get on the road. We were totally content to walk with no winter coats, seeing robins and daffodils.

On the way back there was no vomiting or hideously swollen eyelids, but there was some snow. That night we stayed just in Ohio, and got home at about 5 on Sunday. We were in the car for about 24 total hours. Only one of those hours had me wanting to crawl out the window. Willa was a great kid in the car, in the stroller, in the hotels. Jim and I really enjoyed the city and each other. It was a great trip that left us pretty tired.