Sunday, December 28, 2008

embarrassed by a bounty of riches

This is not actually my daughter's first Christmas, but since she was 10 days old the first time around, this is certainly the first one where she could join in the celebration. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my family. Two of my brothers, my sister, and respective families, as well as my parents were there. We played games, read stories, sang songs, and generally got into the spirit of things.

That afternoon we spent with my husband's family, immediate and extended. It was a quieter affair, but that is largely just a result of numbers.

The sheer amount of gifts given and received were phenomenal. Kiddo made out like a bandit, with many more books, clothes, and toys. My husband and I were also the recipients of serious generosity shown to us by our families. We are so blessed.

Did I mention that Christmas is more Christmas-y when surrounded by family?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

home for Christmas

After 4 hours in the car, 3 hours in the airport, and 6 hours in the plane, we arrived at my husband's ancestral home (and my ancestral home too, just not as recently) for Christmas. We were stung by our daughter's good sleeping habits, she is so good at sleeping in her crib that she is lousy at sleeping on our laps in the plane. So she effectively got to bed at 1 am. She has been tired today. We're hoping she can get somewhat caught up before the fun with cousins starts tomorrow. Despite the struggle to get out here, we are grateful to have come.

Christmas is more Christmas-y surrounded by families from near and far, especially when we don't see them very often, so we're glad to be here.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

take a bow

On YouTube is a video of Leslie Feist on Sesame Street, singing "1, 2, 3, 4" which Kiddo LOVES. She dances along to it, and has now officially seen it too many times. I know it is too many because Kiddo knows all the dance moves, including taking a bow at the end of the song, exactly like Feist does.

If you'll be where we are at Christmas, and ask nicely, we may show off our baby's dancing skills. She's good.

being there for her

Yesterday my daughter had been whiny and clingy all day, had no appetite for table food, and had a fever. It was a long day for the two of us, since my husband had a long day at work yesterday (grading 100 or so finals). She went to bed just fine (albeit a little early, because she's had lousy naps and wasn't feeling well), but because my husband had been gone all day, we stayed up a little later to talk. At 11:20 as we were finally going to bed I remembered that I wanted to check on her before I went to bed, and peeked into her room.

She moved as soon as her door opened, and looked at me. Shoot! I picked her up, and hoped I could rock her back to sleep. She felt pretty hot though, so I decided to give her some Tylenol first. As we were sitting in the rocking chair, trying to get the Tylenol bottle open, she coughed, then coughed some more, then threw up all over me. I called out for my husband, and then she got the rest of her dinner out on me. Why does this always happen at night?

We were all up by this point, so we cleaned the baby, her carpet, me, threw the clothes in the washing machine, and took her temperature. Definitely warm, but not enough to wake anyone. I assume this is a response to her vaccinations, and all I can think is how grateful I am we're doing this now, and not in three days on the plane for Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

green pants

Not long after my daughter was born I found these great green pants for her at Target. I seriously considered buying a pair in every size so she would always fit into a pair, but decided that was extravagent, and thus she only had the one pair. But let's be honest, with pants that cute, I regretted that decision.

A few weeks ago, I saw green pants again, for bigger girls. Our financial situation has changed since then though, and the pants seemed a silly whim that I could pass up, and I did. Except I didn't. I obessesed about how cute the pants were, and decided I could get them. By this point though, our Target no longer had her size. Argh.

We went out of town that weekend, and ended up stopping at two more stores before I finally found the right size. I have to thank my husband for supporting me in this crazy obsession, but you can see the evidence right here - didn't I make the right choice?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

family togetherness

When it's grey and cold outside, and my daughter needed a 2 am snack, it's hard to get up in the morning. So when she starts calling out, one of us will get her, then pull her into our bed with us. She cuddles sometimes, but this is really her indicating that she needs to be fed. We don't worry about this creating bad habits of her wanting to be in our bed with us (which works for some, but really, not for us), because as soon as she's had her morning bottle, she is on the go. She does not snuggle with us, in fact she climbs all over us, gets her books, expects to be read to, and pokes our faces. Sometimes she'll "stroke" our hair, which is not so restful as it sounds (chalk it up to still developing 12 month old motor skills).

After she has bored of us, she wants out of the bed, so she can turn on my clock radio, dance, turn on and off my touch light, and investigate anything else that catches her fancy. And she is content to entertain herself, unless my husband and I should try to cuddle at all. As long as we lie on seperate sides of the bed, she ignores us. If we move next to each other, she immediately wants in on the action, and insists that she should be with us. She stands next to the bed, whining loudly until we lift her up with us. But she is not content to join us calmly and quietly, in order to catch a few more minutes of quiet before the day starts. No, this just starts another round of poking, prodding, and general wiggling, until we have both resigned ourselves to our opposite sides of the bed once more. Then her job is done, and she can get down and play again. Unless we should leave our designated sides of the bed...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

happy birthday baby

On Sunday, Kiddo turned 1. For her birthday, we went to church, then took a nap. After her nap, we made cake, and while it was cooking, we opened presents. She got a lot of them (especially a lot of books, which is just the way we like it), and enjoys all of them.
Her favorites, by far, are a doll from her Aunt, and a walker/lion from her grammy (no pictures of that). She has learned to pat the doll, and we encourage the love she is showing, but we think, given the enthusiasm of her patting, we won't let her pat her new cousin just yet.
We had cupcakes with whipped cream, which she enjoyed, but she really loved dinner: spaghetti and asparagus. It's nice that her sweet tooth is not fully developed.

The next day we visited the doctor, and she received a clean bill of health. She is 31 inches long, and 19 lbs 12 oz. In other words, she's still tall and skinny. But because she follows her growth curves so exactly, the doctor is not worried, and neither am I.

She is a blessing in our lives in every way, I'm so very grateful to have her.

Friday, December 12, 2008

ode to my forced air heater

My heating system has only one thermostat, which means that the temperature tends to fluctuate a lot from room to room, depending on the time of day and whether or not the doors are open or closed. The vents are in the ceiling, which makes sense given that the system is in the attic, but makes less sense to think of all my warm air exiting, and staying, near the ceiling, which, given that hot air rises, is not an ideal place to put the warm air (although we have low ceilings, so I guess it's not so bad). But recently, I've grown to love my system, and this is why:

1) Forced air heating keep air circulation up, which is important to reduce the risk of SIDS, which was a constant low level concern for me last winter with my newborn.
2) It also provides A/C in the summer, which most duplexes in my row do not have.
3) Our heating bills are significantly less than our neighbors.
4) It serves as a white noise generator when I'm putting my daughter to sleep.

And then yesterday I was visiting my neighbor with her 10-month old, and realized the real reason I love it:
5) The old system was vents on the floor, which get hot. She spends all day making sure her boy doesn't touch them. My daughter can't get any where near our vents, so there is no danger there.

I have enough things I'm trying to keep my daughter away from without adding that to the list.

I love my heating system, and will miss it when we move. (which is not for many months, but I continue to dream.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

a lefty?

In the last week or two, Kiddo has finally mastered the cup. She can hold it by herself, knows how to hold it and actually get water out of it, as opposed to needing me to hold it for her. It makes helping her drink much easier.

So, when she's mostly done with her meal, I hand her her cup, and she drinks like a parched girl. Then as she finishes her meal, she carefully cradles her cup in her arm, in case she should need it again.

She always cradles the cup in her right hand, and does the bulk of her eating with her left hand. While sufficiently dexterous with both hands, she seems to prefer the left. I find this fascinating to watch her motor development.

the saddest sound

You know how your voice sounds when you're a little sick, sometimes a little higher, sometimes a little lower, and definitely more scratchy than usual? That's how my daughter's voice sounds today. Which means her throat is just a little sore. The poor kid.

(no surprise, she seems to be taking it all in stride, and is still having a great day)

Monday, December 8, 2008

maybe not

Yogurt should be on the no list, because it requires me to feed her. But, I figured out that she would drink it with my help (and who wants to waste any more baby food than necessary?) But then she decided that she wanted to make this happen by herself too. So we probably won't go back to yogurt any time soon. (But she sure was happy trying to make it work.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

a mother's rite of passage

Today would be the second or third time I've fasted since I became pregnant with Kiddo. And it was the first time I had to fix her breakfast of real people food when I couldn't eat. I'm not a fan.

Friday, December 5, 2008

no spoons here

Kiddo will now only eat food that she can pick up and eat herself. Her cousin has been this way always, so I feel for my sister-in-law, but up until the last week or so, I could still feed my daughter. This requires further creativity in what to feed her, and frankly, it's taxing my brain.
It's also taxing her clothes, since she's not as good with her hands as I am with a spoon. Where is her bib? you may ask. They are too small, and she just takes them off any way, so I've stopped fighting for a while.

She does love spaghetti, which makes me happy, because it's one of my favorite meals too. She especially loves the meat. I never would have guessed. In fact, she carefully picks the noodles away from the meat (and often drops them to the floor so as to not cramp her space) so that she can enjoy it in it's pure form. She then goes after the noodles, as can be seen in this photo.

Second Cousins

This year for thanksgiving, I feasted with my husband, my daughter, four of my cousins, their spouses and children, at the home of my ever generous aunt and uncle. The children portion of the event consisted of 5 kids under the age of one, and a 2 1/2 year old. The good times were plentiful. The pictures are of my daughter interacting (parallel play for sure) with her second cousins that are closest to her age.

This is the one that is three months younger than her.

This is the one that is 10 days younger than her.

There were also three-month old twins, and the aforementioned 2 year old. The 2 year old was particularly helpful, and soothed Kiddo to sleep one day when we were having no luck in getting her to nap. He took the initiative for helping all by himself. I am grateful for his help, although I would not have thought to solicit it.

It was a great weekend, and a welcome break from conference prep, conference attendance, and the general activities of our life. Family is really what it's all about.

a mathematician's birthday cake

It was my husband's birthday this week. He got books, and gift certificates for more books. This is good, because he's been rather forlorn for the last few weeks with "nothing to read" (which is somewhat ridiculous if you could see the number of books we have in our house, but I recognize that it's always nice to have something new).

I made him a cake, and we opened presents together as a family. I didn't have enough candles, so he did it in binary. Clever.