Sunday, December 21, 2008

Opening presents

Ada's not quite got the hang of the whole opening presents thing. We tried to break her in easy but we'll have to see. After one party, I'm not sure she's got the hang of it. You be the judge.

First she eats the box. Then she stares at it.
Then she tries to help.

And finally she grabs the one piece Rick missed as if to say "Daddy, you missed a spot."
I'm sure by week's end she'll have it down to a science.
Grandma Ba and Grandpa Rich got her an awesome mini rocking chair. Perfect for a mini-me.

Make cleaning fun again!

As I mentioned previously, Ada hates the vacuum. She screams and throws a fit when we turn it on. In order to get her to like it when we clean house, Rick devised a new game. We like to call it the Ada Mop. It looks more like daddy powered speed skating and isn't very effective at cleaning the floors beyond the hallway, but it does make for a much needed laugh break.

On my own... kinda

Here is our attempt at having Ada stand on her own. I let go of her and she is okay for about two seconds and then... down... down... down she goes. It must be instinct to slowly lower yourself straight down until you are ready to stand on your own. This has been a very entertaining stage for us. Her other latest tricks include crawling in circles, following the dust mop, and screaming at the vacuum cleaner. All happen to be extremely entertaining.
Moral of the story: Children are SUPER entertaining once they get close to a year old. And even more fun at parties.

Happy Birthday Ada!

Dec 19th came and went without much excitement. More shock that my angelic little baby is one and pride that we made it this far as parents without any visits to the ER. Mix that with a slight bit of concern since her birthday is the kick-off event for a family filled week of party, party, and, you guessed it, party. 2 work parties, 4 Christmases, 2 birthday parties for Ada, all within 10 days. At least they are all in Chicago or Sycamore. Had we mixed in some air travel, I'd be well on my way to an intervention of some sort.

But we did celebrate her birthday. Not in the traditional get the kid naked so she can shove a cupcake in her face and you can spend twenty minutes cleaning it up sense. Instead, Ada had a small Chicago birthday party with a few friends and family that we could fit into our tiny city condo on a cold winter day without making everyone sit on the floor. The only incident was we ran out of beer. How does that happen at a 1 year old's party? I'm not sure. But the beer run was successful and the party didn't miss a beat. Or did miss a beat because I never actually put music on... hmmm... and we never actually sang to her. Rick and I serenaded her early on her bday with our sad rendition of Happy Birthday. I strongly feel a kid should only be tortured in small doses and that was plenty for one weekend. She's got enough coming to her this week with Christmas and then her family birthday party next Saturday. We'll see how it all pans out and use it as a guide for next year.
Moral of the story: Everyone we've met with a birthday around the holidays has advised us to make a big deal out of a separate birthday so they don't feel slighted. Wish us luck with that.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Baby free weekend

It's about time we had a weekend without Ada around. We waited 51 weeks to do this. She's been nursing and I didn't have enough milk to send with her for more than a day. The opportunity came up for us to ship her to Sycamore for the weekend and we jumped on it. This isn't the first time I've been away from her for 48 hours though as I ventured to Minneapolis earlier this year for an extended weekend. Rick's gone a few days without seeing her at some point, too.

So we did it.

I drove Ada out to Huntley so we could make the exchange -- really so I could spend way too much money at the Banana Republic outlet since the whole store was 40% off--and Rick's parents met Ada and I there around noon. We had lunch and poof, the adventure began.

Rick and I had set a few goals for things we wanted to get accomplished over the weekend. I wanted to go on a date and get to ride in the front passenger seat of the car --I normally sit in back with Ada-- Rick had a holiday party for a co-worker, I was hopeful that I'd be able to run errands and get a manicure/pedicure with Aunt Anne, of course I needed to set aside time to wrap presents, and if I was lucky, I'd get to my list of things to mend as it continues to grow. We also decided this was our chance to build shelves for our basement storage unit so that all of Ada's baby stuff would fit. Yep. We were ambitious.

So what did we accomplish? No much. We went to a quick dinner and a movie-4 Christmases was cute and funny. We were home by 9:30. You know us-- wild and crazy! Then we slept in-- Until 8:30 or was it 9 am? Hmmm... I made pancakes and Rick measured and drafted what we'd need for the storage units. At noon he was ready to go to Home Depot... but we can't fit all that stuff in our civic. Hmmm... Aunt Anne? Can we borrow your CRV? (Ha ha ha...) So we drive up almost to Evanston to trade cars with Anne. We get to Home Depot at 2, get the wood, get out to the CRV and the Home Depot guy measures the car. Nope. You need to rent the truck. So I go in to rent the truck and thankfully I had my insurance guy's number - James Taylor with Farmers Insurance --He rocks!- in my cell phone because I didn't have an insurance card with me and Rick had the one from 2007 and our previous Insurance agent. Jim happened to be at work and faxed the card over. We got the truck, Rick and the guy loaded it while I did paperwork. Tick tock. Tick tock. It's 3:45 when we get to the house to unload. Rick called our neighbor Lee -- who also rocks -- to help us unload the truck, in the rain since it started raining as soon as we got the wood outside, of course. And it's icy out. We can't get the truck into the back lot due to the ice so it is hanging halfway into the alley and ticking off our neighbors. Sorry about that. Half hour of unloading wood in our golashes - Rick in wet tennis shoes - we get it all into the basement. We return the truck, return Anne's CRV, and return home at 4:45 to order a burrito (since we skipped lunch), park the car, and sit on the couch to watch Jurassic Park as we digest - oh yeah, perfect movie to aid digestion.

Now it's 6:30. Rick still needs to make a dessert or appetizer for the party so he walks to the store as I finish the movie -- and all of the scary parts ALONE mind you. We make a batch of puppy chow -- corn chex with chocolate, peanut butter and butter melted and covered with powdered sugar -- got showers, got dressed and cabbed to the party so we didn't have to have a designated driver.

The party was nice. Got to meet fun people and drink fancy martinis. At 11:30 we both started yawning and were home, in bed by midnight. Sad. I know. We just don't have it in us anymore.

Sunday morning we got up at 9, ate cereal, wrapped presents, cleaned the house and left to meet Ada and my family for lunch in Wheaton at 12. We started off going the wrong direction (90 instead of 88 --oops--old habits die hard), but made it and had a wonderful afternoon.

So what did we get done, not much. I still have errands to run. We have a pile of wood in the basement that needs a full day of two people hacking at it to make anything resembling shelves, and my mending pile is still collecting dust. But I did organize my knitting stuff. We'll get to that other stuff on the list... eventually. Until then, we have the memory of a nice weekend with just the two of us.

And now I just keep saying "What did they do to her? She looks like a toddler now. Where's my little baby?" I know it didn't happen overnight, but it sure seems like it did.

Moral of the story: It's good to be kid free every once in awhile. It helps you reset, take a break, and realize just how much you love the little munchkins that bring so much drama to your life.

Ada's blog entry...

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The deception begins...

Today we tried to tackle a few more solid foods with Ada. She was eyeing my apple and a chunk of cheese so I decided to give it a try. I chopped up a sampling and put some of the Gerber banana puffs on a plate for her to try. Then I returned the knife to the kitchen so no one got hurt. When I returned, the cubes of food were strewn all over the floor. Yuck. So I scooped them up and dusted them off. They didn't qualify for the five second rule but a little dirt won't hurt her. She licks her hands after crawling all around the house and has recently been trying to eat the toilet so this isn't so bad if you think about it. And how many of them is she really going to eat?

Being the smart mom that I am, albeit a bit delayed, I moved her to the highchair, locked her in and secured the tray. Then I redistributed the cubes of food, dusting them off as I went, and showed her how to eat them. She did eat a few, but she mainly just picked them up and pretended to eat them. Here I'm thinking she's had a good amount of food and then I peek down past the tray, onto her lap. Deceiving little booger! She's neatly stashed away 90% of the food on her tray. So I picked the slivers of food back up, now mushed and slobbery, and we try again. The food disappears off the tray again and after one more round of replacing the food from her lap to her tray, I finally give up. By now she's got a party in her pants and can't sit still. We'll try again later.

Moral of the story: Starting a baby on chunks of food is kind of like giving a cat or dog a pill. You won't know if it made it into their bellies until later when you find it on the floor under the table, next to your favorite pair of house slippers that are now decorated with tooth marks.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Follow the leader...

I volunteered to watch Eva from next door for awhile today to give her mom a break -- to shop for groceries mind you, but still a break. At first I was a little concerned as here I was, alone with two mini people in my not-so-child-proof home. I was curious to see what these two little gals were going to do during their play date. I sensed Eva's mom was a bit nervous about how it would be to handle the two of them since they are at that stage where they want to get into everything. I'm happy to say it went very well. Far too well in fact. It was, dare I say it, easy.

Why? They just wanted to chew on stuff and play follow the leader. And babysitters get paid to do this. What a job!

Moral of the story: People handle multiples all the time. If you are in a situation where you have to watch multiple kids, ease into it and be thankful you get to give them back at some point. (Eva's so cool I'd keep her, but her mom kinda likes her and I'm not ready to try to put them both to bed at once, or down for naps, sheesh!)

Soooo guilty...

I'm on the phone with my mom... chit chatting up the kitchen ...blah blah, "oh yeah, Friday sounds great... anytime... whatever works best for you..." blah blah... "alright... see you then... have a good you too". I return to this in my living room.
How can you be mad at that face? So what if it was a full glass of water? It's just water. A few towels and a change into dry footie pajamas and we'll be as good as new. Now I know not to leave an unattended beverage on the coffee table. Good to know.
Moral of the story: Once they are mobile, there is no going back. Just learn to roll with the punches, go with the flow, and clean up the messes. Sing and dance while cleaning if it makes you feel better. It works for me.

Tickle Monster

When I babysat for the kids in the neighborhood, way back in the day, we had to walk to and from school in the snow, uphill both ways (it was actually--now that I think about it). The one thing I was famous for was being the "tickle monster". I'd tickle the stuffing out of every kid I knew, until they almost peed their pants. It was my thing. They'd laugh and laugh and yell, "Do it again! Again!" And I'd humor them until they started turning purple from lack of oxygen. Good times.

Now Rick is Ada's #1 tickle monster. He's really good at it too. I can honestly say, I taught him everything he knows. :)

Moral of the story: Few people in the world really, truly hate being tickled. Beware of those people and have fun with the rest.

Bobpa's famous!

Exhibit 1.

Proof that Elmo is real.

Proof that Bobpa is famous. He met Elmo. In person. And look how big Elmo is. Who knew?

Moral of the story: Always carry your camera. You never know who you're going to meet and you'll kick yourself if you miss a once in a lifetime opportunity like this one.

Patience while waiting...

Of the two of us, I have little to no patience. Rick on the other hand, is very patient -- for the most part. When it comes to waiting in lines with Ada, I know that I'm setting an example for her to follow later in life. I don't want her to be rushing me through life and instead hope that she will slow me down. So I've had to think of a way to make waiting less horrible. That's why we dance.

While shopping at Macy's, formerly Marshall Field's don't forget, with my mom and dad and our friend Anne (Ada's #2 Dad since she fills in whenever Rick can't) and Rick, we had to wait a few minutes for an elevator. Santa was in the building and you know how that can make everyone a little kookie. So we're waiting. ..and we're all board and tired of staring at each other. That's when I notice there is a nice jazz song playing on the intercom and I start to dance with Ada. Not only did it pass the time, but it got a few giggles (from her), laughs (from my mom and dad), smiles (from me) and weird looks (from other people wondering what was wrong with me).

Moral of the story: As long as you don't care what other people think (I don't), it turns out that dancing, with or without music, is a great way to pass the time you must spend waiting.

Daddy's helper...

Rick ventured out to get a haircut the other day. Nothing exciting. He was really shaggy and in terrible need of a trim. Upon returning home from the barber shop a whole three blocks away he noticed that he had lost a glove. "Oh, I must have dropped my glove on the way back home." He says as he's unbuttoning his coat.
My reply? "We'll get your butt back out there and find it. It can't be more than three blocks away right? I just mended the hole in that pair of gloves. And it's really my glove anyway!" So he rebuttoned his coat, but not before enlisting Ada, in her pajamas still mind you, to join him. In her kitten hat and retro jacket, complete with footie pajamas, she ventured a whole 50 feet from the house before they found the glove. They made a loop around the block just to make it worthwhile. Upon returning home with said glove in hand, Rick explained how they made the walk even more exciting by moving Ada up to ride on his shoulders --something he's been looking forward to since the Summer I was pregnant. He said Ada did well until about 20 feet from home when she decided it would be fun to start bouncing. They will be sure to perfect their technique in the weeks to come.
Moral of the story: You don't know how much you miss your footie pajamas until you have a baby. Then you miss them constantly and can only wish for the good old days.

The fortress...

In order to better contain Ada in our enormous home (thick sarcasm, really thick), we purchased and installed a baby gate to cut our house in half. This way, we can keep Ada limited to the kitchen, bathroom, and our bedroom or we can let her roam the living room, dining room, and her bedroom. Theoretically, it's a good idea. In practice, I hate the baby gate and already asked Rick to take it down. I spent more time holding it open so she could crawl through it to be in the same room as me than anything else. And it's a pain to open and close and open and close. And even worse when you are trying to find your cell phone or carry her from her room to the bathroom once she's peed all over herself and needs a dip in the tub. So it's down. It will most likely resurface another day when she is walking and really getting into everything. Or when we are working on something she just shouldn't be a part of --like washing the floors, painting the kitchen, or some other random fun that she just shouldn't be part of. Until then, let freedom reign.

Moral of the story: Sometimes containing your child does more to limit your movement than hers.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Date night perks

One of the nice things about the holidays is having plenty of relatives around to watch the baby while you sneak out for a date night, assuming you aren't so tired from all of the travel that you can actually stay awake for it.

This thanksgiving, I was thankful for parents that watched Ada while we snuck out for a hot date at Qdoba to share some nachos in the half hour we had allotted for dinner before we went to the local theater to watch the new 007 flick. We were home by 10:30. The best part of the night? I got to ride in the front seat of the car. That's a rare treat now that we have Ada and one of us typically rides in back to entertain her. It's a big deal to ride up front and feel like an adult again. Kind of like getting upgraded to the adult table once you've outgrown the kiddie table at grandmas house.

The blank snow globe...

This past weekend we learned a little factoid about the consequences of naming our daughter something unique and more unusual. Even though she's named after great great grandmothers on both sides of our family, Ada isn't a very common name nowadays.

While at my parents house, I was perusing a shelf of trinkets and noticed that my dad had purchased mini snow globes with all of our names on them. There was Bob, Diane, Rick, Amanda, Rob, Anna and then a blank one. I asked my dad what the blank one was all about thinking that maybe he bought them before Ada was born and assumed we'd add her name later, but he said, "Well if you named your kid something common, I'd be able to find her name pre-printed on a damn snow globe."

When I told this to Rick, he was pleasantly surprised by this revelation and saw it as a sign of our success in naming Ada something that wasn't common. My comment, being less than materialistic was more along the lines of, "That's awesome. Now she won't be tempted to by crap with her name on it."

Moral of the story: Not only do you need to think about what the kids at school will call your children, how they can be made fun of, what rhymes with their name, how the name will work with your last name, and what the baby's initials will spell, but you also need to consider if you want it to be readily available on key chains, street signs, mini license plates and other kitschy tschotkes. No pressure.

Rockin' it Retro

It's winter and it's cold. I've mentioned how Ada needed a winter coat this year that fits her. The first one we had was too big. My mom went out and got her a coat at Target that is cute and we're using it. At the same time, my mother-in-law went into her basement and found something a little more retro--as in 30 years retro. She still has Rick's winter coat from when he was a baby... and his brother wore it, and his sister wore it. And now Ada's wearing it. It fits great, looks cute and was free. It's in great shape too so we'll be sure to pass it on to the next baby in the family. And rumor has it, she may have some of Rick's sister's old dresses down there too. That's for our next visit... stay tuned.

How's that for recycling?

Everything but the kitchen sink...

Packing for the holidays has never been all that easy, but it's even harder when you have a munchkin in tow. Each time we pack for a weekend or an overnight with Ada, we always end up taking too much of everything, not enough of the things we need, and forgetting the really important stuff -- like a poop filled diaper on the middle of the nursery floor when we expect to be gone for several days. (Huge thanks go to our neighbor Kelly for using our spare keys to eliminate that threat as we remembered it an hour away from home.)

This time was no different. We each had a bag of clothes. Ada had a bag of clothes, a bag of blankets (we have radiators and it's always much warmer here than anywhere else hence all of the blankets), a bag of diapers and wipes, a diaper bag, and probably another bag I'm forgetting. Oh, and her carrier just in case. Then we had all the stuff we had to take with us, things to entertain us in the car -- I didn't find my knitting bag until we returned home so that didn't make the trip--things to eat, things we've made for other people to eat. You get the point. Way too much stuff for a 3 day trip.

So it really isn't surprising when I say that the nanny called me at work at 10 am asking where all of Ada's formula was. Uh... "It's all in the trunk. I packed it. All of it." Yep. I told you I forgot to mention another bag. Ada had a food bag and a carry-on food bag that didn't go in the trunk. Unfortunately, I had packed it all in the trunk before going to work so I wouldn't have to pack with her alone in the house or alone in the car or in the carrier on my back as I schlepped all of the crap out to the car. "I'll be right home." But the nanny offered to hold Ada off and give her water and food until I got home right after lunch to feed her milk. I had a few things to get done at work and, the guilty mom that I am, left at 12 instead of 1:30 so that my baby wouldn't starve to death or be depraved her milk fix for the morning. Bad mommy.

Upon returning home to find Ada crawling around in an obnoxious outfit while barefoot, I was quickly reminded (by the nanny) that I had indeed packed all of her "cool" stuff-- Including her cool shoes, clothes, hats, gloves, bibs... all of it--forcing her to look like a complete dork that morning. She'll get me back someday. I'm pretty sure of it.

And to make things even more interesting... since we had Ada's car seat already installed in our car, WE got to play chauffeur for the 3 hours to our relatives house for thanksgiving in our 4 door honda civic. Normally that would be fine but we got to do it with a baby, all of the baby's stuff, all of our clothes for an overnight at my cousin's house with blankets for us and Ada, all of the food my dad was going to prepare, a pack-n-play for Ada, and 4 adults in the car --3 being men 5'9" and above. Lovely.

Moral of the story: Be sure to give a responsible neighbor your house keys, just in case. And try to pack light. There is only so much room in the trunk of a honda civic.

Pinned in...

Today, Ada and I ventured out in the snow to see her Doctoress. Ada has had a cold for about a week and a half with a hefty cough that just won't leave. With the holidays behind us and all of our tricks making little difference to hurry this cold on it's way, it was time to visit the Doctoress and make sure this cootie is shown the door.

We set aside an hour to get ready this morning, and we could have easily used two. That's how it is now that I have a baby (soon to be toddler). I left ample time, or so I thought, to clean the snow off the car as we got about 2 inches overnight. Unfortunately, as I was putting Ada's socks and shoes on her squirmy little feet, a waft of something not-so-pleasant hit me and we were delayed a few minutes to re-change her diaper, that was a whole 5 minutes old, and dispose of the toxic waste in the back garbage. I took about 20 seconds to debate wearing tennis shoes or golashes - some call them wellies - and chose the golashes. After all, why bother trying to be fashionable when taking a sick kid to the Doctoress when you don't have time to put makeup on, it's snowed recently and is sure to be slushy, and you aren't going to see anyone you know?

I got Ada ready and realized... she needs a hat, and I need to grab the diaper bag. Oh, and I need my phone. Ooooh, and I should grab her some food and make her a bottle quick before we go. Tick, tock. Tick tock. Yeah, thank goodness I padded my schedule with some extra time for all this last minute stuff.

We load up, or I should say, I grab Ada, the diaper bag, the shoulder bag serving as my purse these days, my hat, gloves, a scarf, my jacket, double check I have keys, hoist the baby onto my hip and we're out the front door, first and second vestibule doors and into the fresh, cold, winter air. The car is right out front and I locate my keys, unlock the door and heave Ada inside as I step into the puddle next to the curb. Thank God I was wearing my wellies! I am now standing in 6 inches of brown, cold, slush... but my feet are dry. I lock Ada down into her car seat and go to grab my gloves when they get hooked on my sunglasses and, of course, I fling them into the brown slush below. At least they are plastic and will wash easily. Tragedy narrowly avoided.

Ada cries as I dance around the car ridding it of snow. I get in. She starts really crying. I get out. I give her a bottle of milk. I get back in and pull out. Our appointment is at 11:45 and it's 11: 35. It's a ten to fifteen minute drive so we are cutting it close. We get 5 blocks away and she starts screaming. She's dropped the bottle onto the seat beside her. I get to a red stop light. I get out. I give her the bottle and prop it up better this time. I get in. We make it another 5 blocks and she drops it again but this time she isn't hysterical. 5 more blocks and we've arrived at our destination. We do the whole Doctoress visit. Ada gets a flu shot. Doctoress says she's fine, might have an infection and we can try amoxicillian in a few days if it doesn't clear up on it's own. I schedule my flu shot for later this week, and Ada's 1 year vaccine appointment and we're off. We bundle back up, I gather all of our stuff and "bye bye", we head out to the car.

Now on to our errand of the day. We're stopping by The Right Start to pick up a second car seat so that we can swap it between Grandparent's cars and carry my niece if ever we need to. It's on sale and the sale ends today, of course. So we drive up to the store and there is prime parking available, but it's squished in between two cars and it's a tight fit. So what. I'm going to squeeze into it and show that green jeep who's boss. I mean really. Who parks like that? So we squeeze in. We shimmy out on the driver's side as I've left more room for me to get out than for them to get in on the right side. Serves them right.

Once in the store, we learn that they only have the pink one in stock. Is that okay? "Sure. That's what we wanted in the first place but it wasn't in stock." I call Rick to confirm and all is well. (If you've read my other blogs you may remember a bit of drama we had about not being able to get the pink one. Well, we now have a pink one.)

After waiting in line -- this place was really busy for 2 pm on a Monday -- the nice saleswoman carried it to my car. The green jeep had moved so it was easy to get it past the car and into the trunk. She returned to the store and left me to put Ada into her car seat. With the Jeep gone, it was easier for me to load Ada into the car on the passenger side. I followed her into the back seat and shut the door to keep out the cold. As I'm strapping Ada in, a grey mini van pulls next to us. The driver realizes she's too close and can't get out, but like me, she feels this is too good of a spot to pass up. So she realigns the van a few inches and slips out of the van and into the store. Now that Ada's secured, it's my turn to slip out. But I can't. It's too tight.

Serves me right. Karma always comes back to bite you in the butt as I always say. And boy did it ever bite me. Sitting in the back seat with my golashes on, I now have to throw my leg over Ada, in the car seat, and shimmy to the driver’s side of the back seat so that I can open the driver’s side door and eventually get behind the wheel, all while avoiding crushing Ada’s little body in her car seat as she looks at me thinking, “What the hell are you doing mom?”

As I’m doing this shimmy thing in the back seat, I’m also on the phone with Rick discussing the purchase, the Doctoress visit and the irony of the green jeep turning into the grey van and how I am now stuck. I’m straddling Ada and the car seat while on the phone when, “Oh shit. Ow. OW. OWWW. That hurts. Rick hold on.” “Are you okay Amanda?” he asks as I’m holding the phone at arms length trying to stretch out a cramp under my floating rib. “Yeah, I’m fine. Sorry about that. I got a cramp while suspended over Ada. Karma always gets even.” We wrap up our conversation and Ada and I head home.

Of course, we got an okay parking spot. Nothing fabulous but at least it’s on our street. I figure it is residual karma backlash and hope that doing a few good deeds early in the day tomorrow will set things back to the good side of things.

Moral of the story: If it’s crummy outside, wear your wellies. If a space is too tight, no matter how close it is to the door, let it go. You could probably use the exercise and it’s better than a cramp under your rib and a dent in your door.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Grocery Shopping - Who knew?

Who knew it was so hard to do something as simple as grocery shop when you have a baby? Finding time to shop is part of the issue. Having the energy to make a list, check the cupboard, run around the store, lug the groceries back into the house, put them away, that's a whole different story. There is a reason Peapod grocery delivery service exists. There is a need for grocery delivery when you are a mom. Even if you don't take the baby along.

Today, I'm sitting at work, with eight programs open and in the middle of five different things when I notice, "Shoot" (my G rated version), "It's already 4:30. I gotta get to the store." I typically leave work at 4:45, race to the car, road rage home in a hurry -- but I counteract that by driving through the park since it's more scenic... and faster. Then I'm usually 5 minutes late because I have to circle for parking once, unless I get really lucky and find a spot out front.

As I'm finishing things up on my computer, I grab my cell phone to call the nanny and tell her I'll be 10 minutes late, gotta run to the store, does she need anything, etc.? I quickly close out of everything I was working on, click send on one last email, tell the guys that I'll update them on a potential lead once I know more and I'm gone. I get outside, briskly walk -- trot actually- to the car, get in and realize, it's winter. I have to wait to heat up the car. I never wait to heat up the car and I know it isn't good on the engine so I'm trying to train myself early this season to be good to my little honda because she's been good to me. So I try to wait one minute for the clock to turn to 4:42 from 4:41 and... I can't do it. I think I made it 40 seconds and put it in drive.

Vroom, vroom, beep, beep. Seriously? Just turn left already. Hurry up people! Learn how to drive in the city. Don't make me miss this light you turtle! Gas is on the right. Let's go, let's go, let's go. Six blocks later, I pull into the grocery store. "Oops! (G rated version) I forgot my reusable shopping bags. Oh well. There goes the environment." It's 4:50. I park, hustle into the store. Grab a basket. Call Colette to see if she needs anything last minute. Her list is too long for me to get in one quick trip but I tried. Ta ta. Here I go. First on the list, formula. Oh, look! Baby food is on sale. Let's get a few jars, or twenty. Whatever. Wow. This basket is heavy. Hmmm... next on the list. Oh, wait. I have to get dinner for tonight. A roasted chicken and some bread sounds good. I'll grab a cart while I'm by the front door. My arm hurts from all these baby food jars. Gesh. Got a cart... with a crummy wheel/vibrating mis-alignment thing going on. Nice. Eeert, eert, as I whip through the produce aisle. Roasted chickens are $9.99? That can't be right. Oh, that's the turkey breast. I need the chicken. Got it. Eeert, eert, chitty chitty bang bang, fresh baked bread. Italian or French? Italian. Nice. Hot out of the oven. Love it. Chitty chitty. What's next? Chocolate for work so I can feed my cravings. Ziplock bags - the big ones, and pecans for the divinity I'm going to attempt tonight. Okay. Chocolate, might be near the nuts. Let's see. Eeeert, chugga chugga, snickers aren't on sale but kit-kats are. Should I really be doing this? Ah, what the heck. It's the holidays and I need something sweet darn it(again G rated). Okay, so the nuts in the chocolate aisle don't include pecans. Let's try the baking aisle. Yep. There we go. Chortle chortle as I attempt to "spin" the cart around. Ziplock. Two aisles over. Yeah, on sale. Freezer or no freezer? I don't want the vacuum seal. Freezer sounds great. Now to check out. Wow those lines are longggggggg. What's up with checkout line #2....looks empty. "Are you open?" "Yeah, I just opened." "Nice. This is my lucky day." Yada yada. Get behind slow couple leaving the store, dur dur dur, dur dur dur.

Finally, I get into the parking lot.

I attempt to ride the cart out to my car but it's vibrating so violently that I fear for my life so I go back to trotting behind it in my heeled boots clop cloping along. Where did I park? I think I'm one row over. Oh, there it is. Load the bags in the trunk. Great. The chicken bag handle broke already. That will be fun getting into the house. I push the cart into the cart corral, yea ha! Back to the car and vroom vroom home. More road rage, impatience, get out of my way. Okay, there's my street. Slow guy in front of me. Don't take my spot, don't take my spot. What? No spots near the house. Oh wait, no! Someone just pulled into a prime spot right in front of our house! Urg! 5:25. I'm late. I have groceries to carry inside! Have you no heart? Do you even live on this street? Grrrrr... around the block, cut through the alley, try again. Is this really as close as I can get? I'm half a block away. Whatever. It's 5:28. I'm so late. I told the nanny 10 minutes and it's almost 30 now. Go go go. I park quickly, pop the trunk, grab all six grocery bags and the broken bag holding the chicken. Check that the car is locked and click, clacketey clack quickly down the street. I'm just over half way home and I notice the clacking start to slow. These bags are heavy. Must make it home. You can do it! What? Are you flippin' kidding me (super G rated)? You're going to leave now? Why not 30 seconds ago when I was looking for a spot right in front of the door. Urg. No time. Get inside!

Finally, I get to the front door. Do I buzz or find my key? I set everything down, find the key. Unlock the first vestibule door. Hold it open with my hip and my foot. Grab all of the bags and the broken chicken bag. I get inside, climb the five steps, and repeat. Then get to the front door. Try the lock, set it all down again, get out the key, unlock the door. "Sorry I'm late. Of course I parked down the street and when I got ten steps from the front door I noticed a Jeep out front pulling out of the spot directly in front of the door. How aggravating. Have a good night. See you in the morning."

"Hey there Ada. Want to help mommy take the groceries to the kitchen? What? You can't walk yet? Bummer. Soon enough." And I grab all of the handles and the chicken bag and shuffle back into the kitchen with Ada in tow.

And that folks, is what it takes to buy a few items from the store. $56 dollars, 45 minutes, 2 missed parking opportunities, 2 bouts of road rage, getting stuck behind no less than 8 slow people, and an aching arm later, I've got a few items to attempt to make a candy my nana made for us every holiday when we were younger and we haven't had since she passed. All that work and who knows if it will even turn out.

Moral of the story: This thanksgiving, I give thanks for peapod (when I have a $100 order to make it worthwhile), family, attempting to cook, having the access to ready available food at grocery stores, and the freedom to cook as poorly as I do without being jailed for it. I'm hopeful that next year I'll be able to give thanks for patience as I've put that on my Christmas list this year. If you see Santa, let him know.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The new drawer

Awhile back, several months ago now, Grandma DD (my mom) came to visit. She often comes to take care of Ada and, among other things, clean the stove and the refrigerator and fun stuff like that that we no longer care, or have time, to do anymore. So DD was here cleaning and tried to open the top drawer under our kitchen counter. She couldn't open it so what did she do? She pulled with all of her might until it opened, darn it. When it did, she was in for a surprise. It wasn't really a drawer at all. She had pulled off the face plate to what would be a drawer in any normal home, but the developers who remodeled our building failed to install a drawer in the top slot of the cabinet. It's the same in all of the kitchens in our building because they were stock cabinets meant for a bathroom and therefore should have a sink basin that dips into the space a drawer would slide into, thereby making a top drawer unnecessary. In our case, they just covered the cabinet with a granite slab, didn't go to the trouble of installing the missing drawer and said, "whatever, no one will notice."

No one, except my mom.

See my mom is a realtor. She snoops around houses for a living. And she's a practical woman too. You can imagine her surprise to find a "fake" drawer in my kitchen. And you can imagine my surprise upon returning home to find Ada napping and happy and my mom holding on to the face of my cabinet drawer wondering what just happened. Then for the followup reaction, "Rick can totally go to Home Depot and get a drawer for this and you'll have more storage space. You can't just leave it fake. That's silly."

$30, 2 weeks of waiting for the special order drawer, and 5 hours of fiddling with the darn cabinet later, we have a functioning drawer. And we have the drawer for our neighbor too but it's in our hall closet too afraid to come out of the box until Rick has more free time. But now we have a drawer. Which is great and we have a home for our oven mitts and a few trivets. Yippee! I'm sure our resale value went up at least $5 for that effort right? Sure.

And the drawer is great, except for a tiny, tiny, itsy, bitsy problem. Rick had to install a new drawer slide too. The new one is way better than all of the other drawer slides because it is two rollers on the sides instead of one roller in the middle on the bottom of the drawer. It's metal with plastic wheels whereas the rest of the drawers are wood on wood slides with a plastic do-hicky and no wheels, lots of friction. The new one slides really nice and fast now and all of the other drawers are jealous. That's not the problem. The problem is that Ada wants to pull up on all of the drawers so she can stand up, because that's what she does now. And when she climbs from the lower drawers that don't move so easily to this top drawer, well, to be honest, she wipes out. She grabs the handle and Whoop! down she goes. An accident just waiting to happen.
Here's Ada just prior to wipe out.

Moral of the story: You can't plan for everything. Even good intentions for increased resale value can go bad in the tear-filled eyes of a child. She still loves you DD.

Give me a P!

So today, in typical Ada fashion, I was changing her diaper and she was squirming around like a typical 11 month old. She started out on the changing table but got too wiggly so I decided the floor would be safer. In her room we have an alphabet mat made of foam where all the letters of the alphabet link together in interlocking pieces -- it's great as a shock absorber when she falls and looks cool too.

As I went to set her down on the map, she of course wanted to stand up -- it's tough to get her little knees to bend when all she wants to do is stand up. ALL the time. So she's naked, standing up. There is a poopy diaper on the changing table and I'm trying to grab the wipes, put the cloth diaper in the diaper cover while holding her up and what does she do? She pees all over the letter P. While standing mind you. So now I have a poopy diaper, a pee covered P and the surrounding tiles, and a pee covered Ada who now, of course, wants to sit down and start crawling all over so she can spread the wealth of pee to the rest of the letters. Luckily, she was only able to grab her elephant rattle before I was able to wrap her in a cloth diaper haphazardly and briskly walk down the hall the bathroom hoping pee wasn't dripping all through the house as I whisked her off to the sink.

I gave her a quick rinse while fighting to keep her from scorching herself as she found it really fun to play with the faucet knobs. Once she was "clean" which is a relative term and only a temporary state at this age, I toweled her off, again attempted the diaper dance and was able to successfully finagle her into her diaper. I quickly returned her to the far end of her play mat and then removed the peed on P and the elephant rattle and the poopy diaper and the wet diaper from her room. Who knew multitasking was such a prerequisite for being a parent. Whew.

Moral of the story: Don't put a P on the floor. You're just asking for it to be peed on simply for the irony of it all.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Successful Formula!

It worked. Believe it or not--I still have trouble believing it--it worked. Ada is now drinking 100% formula. She graduated from the half and half mix to all formula and it rocks. I nurse her whenever I feel like it. She drinks formula whenever I think she didn't get enough breastmilk. She's happy. I'm happy. Life is beautiful.

I don't have to pump anymore--which by the way is AWESOME! It is so much easier to travel with her and I think I'm getting more sleep now that I'm not up 20 minutes extra each night pumping. I feel like I'm washing less bottles but really it's probably more bottles and less pump stuff. What a relief. And, driving with her is easier too as I can easily whip up a bottle whenever we need it. Very nice. No complaints here. I made it over 10 months strictly nursing and it was a huge sacrifice but worth it. And now I feel great with a little bit of both. She'll be on whole cow's milk soon enough.

Too bad she's back to teething again. Poor little thing. She has 4 teeth and this past few days has been awful with her drooling and screaming and not napping and waking up during the night. And Tylenol isn't even helping. Ug. But, like all things thus far, we'll get through it.

Oh, and I'm also so excited since now that Ada is drinking formula, we can send her to grandma's house for the weekend and not have to worry about if she has enough milk. Perfect for the holidays coming up since we have a few parties to attend and really just don't want to dole out a million dollars for babysitters.

Moral of the story: Weaning your child isn't the worst thing on earth as some people might suggest. It's actually quite freeing, and helps you see how much you've dedicated to your child if you did nurse them. Kinda rewarding.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Kitten Mittens

Winter is officially here. We saw a few snowflakes today and decided it was time to pull out Ada's winter coat. It looked a little big but we thought we'd try it on her anyway. So here it is.

Where's Ada? Okay, so maybe she's not ready for a 24 month coat quite yet. We tried. Maybe next year. Until we grab a proper coat, we'll be using the kitten mittens, matching kitten hat, and many layers of hooded sweatshirts and coats. And we'll be coat shopping tomorrow.

Moral of the story: It's tough to gauge how big a growing baby will be next season, but even tougher for a generous mother-in-law to pass up a sale. Always be thankful for that.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

When panic strikes...

Three time this last week I've had to calm my mom instinct to repress the urge to immediately panic. The first was when Ada was holding on to the side of the bath tub and chewing on the porcelain when she somehow bonked her teeth on the tub edge. She started screaming and upon further evaluation, I noticed she was bleeding a little from her two front teeth. Instant almost-panic. I took a deep breath, checked her teeth again, wiped away the blood, and then took another deep breath. She's fine. Shake it off. No biggie. Crisis averted.

Then I worried that Ada had broken something when she decided to hurl herself off our bed. I was standing right there, between the bed and the closet. I turned for part of a second and she was able to launch herself off the edge of the bed, roll onto the floor and land on top of Rick's shoe with her cheekbone. After a minute of extreme screaming and a few tears, she settled down enough to reveal a red mark on her cheek that later turned into a bruise. Another crisis averted.

And finally, when I went in to get Ada out of bed on Thursday, she was covered with vomit. Not having had her really throw up ever before, I wasn't sure what to do with her. I immediately assumed it was a food allergy and stuck her in the shower with Rick to get cleaned up. A few hours later, our nanny called to say Ada had thrown up all over the couch and wasn't feeling well. Then she remembered one of the kids on Ada's play date had been sick. That led Rick home to stay with Ada for the day and me to make her an appointment with the Dr. Turns out it is just a case of the flu. She'll be fine. We just have to keep her hydrated. She'll be fine.

Moral of the story: Do all you can to prevent your child from getting injured or sick, and remember not to panic if something should happen. It's probably not as bad as you think. Stay calm.

Who needs a pack and play?

So "brilliant me" thought I was so smart to put Ada in a laundry basket to contain her in the kitchen while I checked email. It was like a mini pack and play, yet light and easy to move and maneuver. She was happy and all was well... until she decided to tip it over and fell face first onto the hard kitchen tile. Whoops! Not such a great idea after all. Not such a smarty mommy either.

Moral of the story: Sometimes what might seem like a good plan just isn't. Luckily babies get bumps and bruises and take it in stride. Just try to minimize the damage.

Mom Group Halloween

There have been a lot of requests for more Halloween photos. I posted a few from our first Halloween event. These shots are from our Mom Network at the hospital. They have a Halloween party every year and a bunch of Ada's friends were there. Of course, we tried to take a photo of all of the kids in their adorable costumes. Ada's the Blue Toucan. Here's what happened...

Total Chaos.

Moral of the story: I don't know how Anne Geddes does it but photographing multiple kids at once isn't easy. Be sure to get it all out of your system before they go mobile.

Formula trails take 2

The time came for us to try giving Ada formula again this weekend. Unfortunately, we got into a situation where I went to a wedding and had a good time that included a few chocolate martinis -- for which I needed to pump-n-dump as they say -- and our milk supply dropped to an all-time low. It didn't help that upon returning from the wedding reception and a night out on the town until 2 am like the crazy mom that I am -- in a really short sassy black dress mind you -- I woke up around 5 am to begin a 12 hour bout with the flu and a close relationship praising the porcelain gods. Rick got a head start on the flu during the reception dinner and had to call it an early night. Our house was a sad state Saturday morning and our only saving grace was that my mom had come to stay with us to babysit Ada during the wedding. My poor mom had to listen to Rick and I both get sick, while dealing with a crabby Ada, and exposing herself to all of our cooties. Hopefully she doesn't get the full blown version of the bug we got. It was awful.

So we took every one's advice and mixed Ada's formula 50/50 with breastmilk and it worked like a charm. She guzzled it down the first time. Then this afternoon we tried again and she drank the concoction just fine. Then she had dinner and while lounging on the couch, she started round two of the flu--if you know what we mean. We've become experts in running the couch cushions through the laundry machine at this point.

Moral of the story: 50/50 is the way to go when switching to formula but when buying a couch, make sure the cushions are 100% washable... pretty much the same rule goes for everything you buy if you ever plan to have kids.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Quick Update

We're still here. Just SUPER busy. Ada's crawling and pulling up so I'm spending a lot of time chasing her. And she just got a bout of the flu yesterday so Grandma DD is here playing nurse while Rick and I are off to a wedding today. I have more halloween photos, and surely a bunch more stuff to blog about so try not to get your undies in a bunch. I'm home this weekend and plan to blog soon.

:) AY

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Where have all of the naps gone?

Our little rock star napper has turned into a napless little fuss pot. Ada used to take two naps a day. Sometimes even three. But lately, she's on to our little plan to sing her to sleep and rock away the fun. She's putting up such a fight that she spends more time trying not to go to sleep than actually sleeping. And then she does silly things like fall asleep on the way to a party, but not until we are five blocks away. She doesn't normally even sleep in the car, unless of course it's a really short trip that we don't want her to sleep. Then, she's out.

Today has been the ultimate battle of teething, Tylenol, and resisting a nap. As eleven rolls around, I assume she's hungry as she hasn't eaten since 7 am and, what does she do? She falls asleep while nursing. So typical. And even more frustrating...we had a lunch date at noon that we had to cancel so she could get her beauty rest. Such is the life of having a baby I guess. It's still worth it :)

I have to say, I'd rather she were a mess during the day and off her schedule now instead of during the night. We are still very blessed to have a daughter who sleeps 11 or 12 hours a night. For that I am very thankful.

Moral of the story: Don't get lulled into a false sense of security when your child adheres to a schedule for awhile. Enjoy it, but know that it isn't likely to last and be thankful for what naps and sleep you do get.

The Formula Formula

Ada's 10 months old and we're ready for a little formula. So how does that work?

Well, we don't know.

Rick and I have been talking about introducing a bit of baby formula for weeks now as my milk supply is okay but not bountiful, and we'd like it if I was less tethered to the baby, less stressed about having enough milk supply and just as a fall back plan in case we need it. I have about 9 oz in the freezer, but that's not a whole lot when she's eating more than that each day. I'm still nursing her four times a day when I'm home, two times a day if I work. And I still pump each night before bed and mid-day at work assuming we don't have a lot of milk in the fridge and I'm not on a deadline. But I can make it eight hours without nursing now, if need be, and it is not the end of the world.

So yesterday, we tried a little formula in a bottle. Oh boy.

She hated it!

She had a look as if to say "Wow, what a fun toy you've given me. A bottle with sticky stuff that I can drip all over myself." She tasted it. Then made a funny face and proceeded to play with the bottle and make a mess. We tried a generic soy-based formula to begin with as I'm told it is easier to digest, but I think we're going to have to try something else. We'll give this formula another chance or two since it is only good now for a month and we have a whole container of it, but I'm not confident that she's going to go for it. At least we have less than two months before we can make the switch to whole cow's milk. Hopefully that goes better than this little experiment.

Moral of the story: As a parent, you'll find that you often have no clue what you're doing. That's okay. Just keep researching, trying new things, and asking mom's who have gone before you. We can't all be clueless.

I'm a little TOUCAN, short and feathery...

Rick and I know Ada is going to hate us for this when she gets older, but who could resist? She's just so cute!

And the best part?
The costume is from a school fundraiser garage sale in our home town and was purchased by grandma Ba.
The leggings are from Aunt Anne and will last all winter long. The socks and the long sleeve red onsie are hand-me-downs.

The next best part?
She fell asleep 5 blocks from the party after not having taken a nap all day. Of course, we then had to wake her up for the party. And she slept the whole way home - all 25 minutes.
Cost of looking adorable on Halloween? Nada.

Thanks to all who help Ada always look cute.

Moral of the story: Don't
spend a ton on kids' Halloween costumes. Kids are so cute to begin with that it doesn't take much to exploit
that fact and make a good costume out of a sheet and some pipe cleaners.

This one's for Bobpa...

My dad thinks all kids should know how to flick their lips with their fingers and make noise. Here is Ada's latest attempt.


More Teeth!

Finally, the onslaught begins. Ada has her two front teeth popping through now too! And we've found a new use for her "Soothie", which is another brand of pacifier or "Nuk". She uses it at a teething toy since it is hard plastic that she can get into the hard to reach places in her mouth and it doesn't hurt as much as chomping on her fingers.

If you squint, you might be able to see the 3 teeth here. One bottom, two top. Pretty exciting!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I wish I could still fit in the sink...

I didn't think I had anything exciting to report today... but then I checked the camera for recent photos of Ada.
Here's what I found... I wish I could still have someone bathe me in the sink.
Remember when life was this easy? Ada loves the mirror...And can entertain herself for hours...

Other than that, not much else to report on the Ada scene. Her tooth is still coming in. She's still trying to crawl. She's getting better at stealing toys back from Eva on their play dates. And she's still not on a napping schedule. But she's sleeping through the night -- 14 hours straight is still the record. And she's still having whiny moments where she gets so frustrated from not being able to crawl yet that she just screams. I think we all have those moments in life.

I'm sure we'll have a more eventful weekend coming up as we are off to our first Halloween party. Stay tuned for some spooktacular photos to come...

Moral of the story: Just go look in a mirror and smile. Someone will smile right back at you. Then you can make faces at them, and they'll make faces back too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Up, Up and Away!

This past weekend was Ada's first plane ride since being out of the womb. I've been nervous all week and not really looking forward to traveling with an infant since I don't enjoy the whole process of flying all that much to begin with. Surprisingly, it wasn't that bad. It wasn't good, but it wasn't so bad that I'm never doing it again, bad.

Unlike our long trip to Germany via Ireland with a sprint through the airport to catch a connecting flight in June while I was 3 months pregnant and very unhappy about flying... this trip was about a 2 to 3 hour flight from Chicago to Boston. Not bad. But...then we had an hour and a half drive to our final destination of Brooklyn, Connecticut.

The flight there wasn't too bad. We took off 20 minutes early (shocking, I know!) and were able to pack light as Rick's sister is totally awesome and was able to borrow a crib, car seat, toys, blankets, etc so that we didn't have to pack much. I took Ada in her Ergo carrier and that was easy. We also left on a Saturday night with a 6:55 Departure. It turns out NOBODY flies on Saturday nights this time of year so there were no lines. Okay, maybe I waited behind Rick in line at the security check but then I decided he had too much crap (keys, money, wallet, watch, shoes, belt, etc.) that I'd be better off in the other line. I took off my shoes, threw my purse in the x-ray bin and walked through with Ada attached to me. So easy. Then we did have to hike to our gate since it was on the other end of the state it seemed, but we got there in time to eat the dinner we brought with us, change her into footie pajamas for the trip, and change her diaper one last time.

The flight was uneventful, thankfully. We arrived. Heather and Matt were there to pick us up and all was well until they lost the car in the parking garage. 20 minutes later, after a long walk up and down aisle after aisle, Matt finally realised we were one floor above the car, but in the right section. We loaded up the stuff. Ada passed out almost instantly. And we started the journey to the farm. We had a minor blip with the toll booth exit and detoured for a minute but finally arrived and nestled into our beds right around midnight.

Rise and Shine! Baby wakes up early and it doesn't matter if you didn't get much sleep because it's time to go see the horses and play on the farm. In the two days we were there, we got way more than just quality time with Aunt Heather and Uncle Matt. We saw horses, cows, baby cows -- that scared Ada when they mooed--hay being baled, really big (Ginormous actually) horses, the pet cemetery on the farm, the local ice cream shop--yum, hot waffle cones fresh off the iron-- and Matt's friend Sam's 101 year old grandma who was out picking weeds! I learned that I need a whole new vocabulary and my own Carhart overalls in order to really fit in. And a highlight of the trip were the resident deer in the front yard. Momma and two babies who came to visit each day for the freshly fallen nuts from the trees. All good things.

Then the trip home. Well, let's just say today was tough. We got up at 3 am our time and got home about 11 am. That makes for a long day with a fussy little miss. It was a great time to drive in Boston but a crappy time to get a baby to nap and not want to play and be entertained on the plane. Highlight: We saw The John Kerry at the airport --and almost ran into him as he came out of the book store. Very cool. He was flying to Milwaukee.

Oh, and Heather and Matt are awesome. They are doing great. Their home is adorable. Enormous compared to our little box in the city. They have 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a basement after all. And the farm is soooo quiet. Nothing like the city. You stand on the front porch and hear nothing but your heart beat and the red squirrels in the leaves ten feet in front of you. Crazy how quiet it is. You don't really have to look both ways before crossing the street because you can hear any car coming for at least a football field away, if not two.
I've decided it needs to be an annual or almost-annual retreat and that next time we'll stay longer and eat more yummy food, and we'll keep Ada to a more strict schedule as she did break down do to the lack of structure.

Moral of the story: Traveling with little ones is manageable assuming they aren't sick, you aren't sick, you travel light, and you don't have a bunch of crab apples on your plane who are all ticked off that your kid won't shut up. Just ignore them.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My first face-plant

Yep. She's finally done it. Someone should have started an office pool for when it would happen but ... too late now. Ada had her first face-plant today. She went to the park with Nanny Ashley and decided to fall face first into the wood chips on the playground. She was sitting so sweet and innocent on the end of the toddler slide and whoop, waaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! Down she went. Good thing is her spirits are still up and her cuts are minor... and pink (the color of scratches and cuts) really is her color.

Moral of the story: Babies fall. That's what they do. We pick 'em up, dust 'em off, pretend nothing happened and move on. And be thankful that even if they are all scraped up, they are still cuter than most adults (and some puppies).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

If you squint, you can see it...

The eagle has landed...

If you blink, you'll miss it...

Some things are worth the wait...

It's about friggin' time it showed itself...

It has arrived.

Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnn... (Imagine some really cheesy music here.)

What you ask?


Can't you see it in the photo clear as day?

No? You can't see it? Well. Obviously you are blind! Squint a little harder.

Okay, so you can't see it because NEWSFLASH a baby's tooth isn't easy to photograph (without an x-ray machine that is) AND they don't come shooting up all at once like you see in the movies. Gesh!

But it's here. Her lower right front tooth has finally -- after about 6 months of pissing her off to no end and driving us all nuts--decided to show up. Thank goodness.

Moral of the story: Patience is something you are born with and I don't have much of, if any. And if you ever have to photograph a baby's tooth, make sure you have two people, flip her upside down, tickler her while hopping on one foot and you might, just maybe, still end up with a whole lot of nothing.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Celebrities Rock The Vote

This isn't political, but it will make you register to vote, and entertain you if you already have registered.


First Camping Trip

Ada's first camping trip was gloriously uneventful. We didn't see any bears or raccoons. There weren't any mosquitoes since it was on the chilly side --50 to 60 degrees I'd say. And we didn't spend the night and actually "camp" in tents as we normally would since the overnight temperatures were in the mid-thirties. That just isn't my idea of fun.

Instead, Rick chauffeured Ada and I up to Marengo Ridge for the day. We left early in order to arrive for breakfast. At first we arrived at the wrong camp area but were quickly redirected to the group site. After some trouble with the combination to the lock on the gate that delayed us from entering the group camp area, we were met at the parking lot by Grandpa Rich, Grandma Ba, Uncle Shawn and various family friends. They anticipated having to help us carry all of our "camping gear" which was really just Ada's diaper bag, blankets, extra clothes, Ada's food, and Ada's toys. We didn't even take camping chairs with us. And it was so nice just to show up and be taken care of. With someone holding the baby and everyone else holding most of her stuff, I carried my knitting bag and camera down to the campsite.

Upon arriving at the site, we were greeted as if we had just woken up and crawled from the tent. Hot cinnamon rolls from the dutch oven, hot off the campfire. We have the world's greatest camping chef who camps with our group. Tom is the master of all things camping, and has a knack for dutch ovens. You name it, he can make it. Birthday cake, pineapple upside down cake, biscuits, rolls, etc. And all of it delicious. After inhaling the cinnamon roll, we got settled on a blanket in the sun with Ada and her toys sprawled around us. Then we placed our omelet order. Somehow I got to be at the top of the list and was first to enjoy my ham and American cheese omelet hot off the propane stove. Then I shared an order of biscuits and gravy with Rick, had some bacon on the side, and decided life was good.

Ada had a jar of green beans and rice and some prunes. Boy did she ever get the short end of that deal.

Then Ada took a nap. Woke up. Got passed around from person to person for a million cuddles. Then took another nap, as did I. She did well sleeping in an air mattress in Grandma and Grandpa's tent. And when she awoke from her second nap of the day, she momentarily caused a bit of alarm in the campsite as she had grabbed hold of the rain fly and started shaking it vigorously, similar to what we all imagine it would look like if a raccoon got into your tent and started rustling around. Someone quickly called out, "Ada's up" and everyone went back to the calm state of relaxation they were enjoying. I of course, rolled over from my nap and got up to feed her. Lucky me.

Somewhere during the day, Great Aunt Connie arrived with brownies --triple chocolate brownies to be exact--and life got really good. I got some knitting projects completed, Ada got a ton of attention, Rick got to play poker and read. All in all, a great day. We decided to stick around for dinner - roast beef sandwiches - and then took off for the drive home. The nicest part of this camping trip (that I haven't mentioned yet that is), is that we only had to drive an hour and a half to get there and then the same on the return. And since Ada really doesn't sleep in the car much, that was a real bonus.

Now I just have about 6 loads of laundry to do to get the smoke out of everything.

Moral of the story: Camping is a lot of fun when you don't have to do anything but show up with the baby and her stuff and can let someone else take care of the rest. Oh, and good weather helps.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Job Titles for Mommy & Daddy

Rick and I came to the realization this weekend that our world now revolves around Ada. Spending 2 days with both sets of grandparents made that very clear. Our new job titles include...

Travel Coordinator

Secure seating (car seat mainly), pack and load luggage, maintain vehicles, confirm flights, pack plenty of necessities, provide snacks, drive, stop for frequent diaper changes and feedings, shade eyes from the sun, maintain proper interior temperature, play baby-friendly music, avoid bumps in the road, and shut up if and when baby wants to nap en route. Guard the car and don't move baby once final destination has been reached if baby is resting.

(Rick is the official Chauffeur but I fill in when he isn't available or is under the influence.)

Wardrobe Crew/Fashion Advisor

Provide multiple wardrobe changes depending on temperature, mood, messiness of eating, change in event, etc. Must remember to include tops, bottoms, hats, shoes, socks, diapers, bibs, and additional coordinating accessories. Wash, dry, fold, hang and iron wardrobe as necessary. Maintain collection of seasonal items in the proper sizes and secure collection for next season and size anticipating needs (all while avoiding the inconsistent brand labeling system that doesn't really correlate to what size baby actually is.)

Personal Assistant/Event Planner

Make sure Grandparents clear calendars to allow for plenty of playtime, cuddles, meals.

Ensure that cousin Ana is available for play dates.

Arrange for various pets to let baby eat their fur, pull their ears and attempt to ride them without malicious retaliation.

Organize social calendar to maximize party opportunities. Purchase gifts for said events, wrap them appropriately and sign cards with baby's name.

Schedule daily walks and outdoor activities for fresh air and exercise.

Have swings, exersaucers and playpens available at all potential locations.

Plan parties, birthday celebrations, and neighborhood play dates.


Lug plenty of toys everywhere we go. Make them dance, sing and move on command. Don't forget teething toys, books, music, blankets, etc. When that all fails, always have a back up bottle ready for immediate consumption.


Always carry at least one camera. Supply plenty of memory cards. Charge batteries frequently. Maintain a secondary camera as backup. And prepare to take video as needed.


Maintain records of "Firsts". Document special events and daily milestones through scrapbooks.

Communications Director

Maintain database of friends, family, babysitters, and neighbors. Provide monthly photo updates on growth and development and record major milestone achievements.

Doctor/Pharmacist/Butt Wiper

Administer various drugs for teething, colds, sinus infections, etc. Aspirate nose when stuffed up, wipe butt when poopy, pump legs up and down when gasey.

Salon and Spa Technician

Administer bubble bath, maintain proper water temperature, towel dry all parts, apply post bath lotion, brush hair. Give massage treatments, routine manicures and pedicures.

Personal Chef

Prepare all meals (Mom's in charge of milk, of course). Maintain supply. Provide a variety of fruits, grains, vegetables, and desserts. Keep bottles clean and sanitized. Wash bowls, spoons and sippy cups after every use. Provide a steady supply of teething biscuits.

Or taking one from HBO... we're planning to have t-shirts made that simply read...

Ada's Entourage