Wednesday, July 29, 2009

When do they Stop Mouthing Everything?

If there is one phase that I'm anxious to end, it is mouthing. These days it seems everything goes in Jillian's mouth from my shoes to tufts of dog hair to remote controls to plugs. I understand this is how she learns about the world, but I'm going a bit batty over it. Between being a mom and work, I don't have a lot of spare time. So you can see why I hate using that spare time to clean my floors every single day. And while I love my daughter, it would be nice to engage in an activity besides following her around and removing all the objects she encounters that would be inappropriate to put in her mouth. Yesterday I removed 5 pieces of hard dog food from her mouth when she beat me to the bowl. She is both quick and sneaky.

So moms of older children, please tell me when this will end. Because I'm starting to have concerns that my future 5 year old will be chewing on Jeramy's dirty socks.

Wordless Wednesday - A Little Creepy

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Seattle, Death Valley Edition

This was the temperature outside per my truck yesterday afternoon. Yes, it is crazy hot here in Seattle. I could fly to Texas and enjoy cooler weather right now. This is absurd. Seattle is known for its rainy weather and moderate temperatures. Hell, we barely know how to function when it is above 80 degrees or below 40. Most people around here do not even own air conditioners. Thankfully, we have portable units in the living room and bedroom making our house quite comfortable. But still, I retain my native right to complain.

The only place where we do not have air conditioning is in my car as it stopped working a couple summers ago and we never bothered fixing it. Luckily, the mechanic declared it unfit to drive this morning when Jeramy took it in for a wheel alignment this morning. It seems that the rack and pinion are quite literally about to fall apart, and unless we enjoy driving a vehicle with no steering it should remain parked until fixed. Jeramy should be able to replace it himself saving us several hundred dollars, but it will take about a week for the part to arrive. So I can drive the air conditioned truck, and we should be able to get by with the motorcycles and friends/family's cars for our second vehicle.

In other breaking news, it seems a tooth or two is emerging from Jillian's bottom gum line. Ironically, she has not been the least bit fussy leaving me with no cause to explain all the episodes of pissiness during the past six months previously blamed on teething. I have not been able to get a very good look at them since she clamps her mouth shut whenever I go to investigate. I can definitely feel them though. Which reminds me, before becoming a mom I never imagined that I would have my finger in a baby's mouth so much. Whether feeling for teeth or fishing out dog food, there seems to be an endless number of previously unforseen reasons for exploring Jillian's oral cavity.

Our weekend was fun with Jeramy's aunt in town, three birthday parties and the Swedish SummeRun 5K walk. Perhaps it was a little too busy though, as I found myself freaking out on Sunday night over the fact that my floors have not been mopped in two weeks leaving Jillian crawling through dust and stuffing crumbs from who knows what into her mouth. Now it's Tuesday, I'll be home late due to a meeting and my floors still are dirty. I need about 8 more hours in each day to get it all done.

Oh well. I'll leave you with photographic evidence of the fun part of the weekend and leave out those of the freaking out part.

Swimming with Kaycie. Cujo thinks the kiddie pool is just an enormous water dish. And honestly with this heat, he needs it.

The SummeRun. Jillian looks horribly uncomfortable in the jogging stroller, but it wasn't that bad I assure you.

Hanging with great-Auntie Em

Why you shouldn't let a 75 lb Bulldog sit on your knitting project.

She climbs anywhere and everywhere these days.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday

The other night we found this guy (or gal) giving us the stare down. At first he was by the garage and then flew over by the master bedroom. Jeramy even saw him the other morning. If my photo ID is right, I think it is a Barred Owl.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Need a Jillian Fix?

It seems like everybody around me has been getting crappy news lately. One friend from high school's husband died in a work-related accident. He was 39 and they have two grade school aged kids. A co-worker's husband was in a motorcycle accident where he crashed head on into a mini-van. He is fine after a bunch of stitches, but still it has scared the crap out of me (and turned into a lecture to Jeramy about riding safely, helmets, etc.) I also found out that another friend dealing with infertility found out that the surgery she needs to remove scar tissue from her appendix removal years ago will cost 15K. And that won't even solve her problems...they still think she'll need IVF in addition to that. She's the sweetest gal on the planet and would be the best mom ever. If babies could pick their parents the world would certainly be a different place.

Anyhow, before I get you all too down, I'll share some Jillian pics. Looking at them makes me smile at least.
Modeling one of her new headbands. Can I just say that I love etsy? I got this and a couple more from Banner Boutique.

Okay so one of Cujo snuck in here. When Jeramy took our waterbed down I was sleeping on an air mattress inside the baby pasture in our living room. During the day, Cujo enjoyed it too.

Hanging with Kaycie.

One of Jillian's favorite activities is pulling herself up on our legs. It is crazy cute (although the view of my thighs in not quite as cute). Her eye is watering in this pic because sunscreen got in her eye.

Okay. Maybe she looks like me a little.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Still Alive...Barely

Sorry for the week long hiatus. I'm full of excuses though. After finally pulling through that lovely cold and cough, I woke up Monday morning to horrible nausea. I attempted to shower only to find the effort of applying shower gel utterly exhausting. I got out. Walked to the kitchen and threw up in the sink. And lest you think I'm pregnant, I assure you that I am not. Because guess what, both ends of the body were impacted by this one. I spent the better part of Monday puking, shitting and sleeping. Yes, you're welcome for the TMI on that one. Tuesday was spent trying to eat solids and feel like a normal person again. By Wednesday I was back at work and completely overwhelmed by trying to fit the first three days of the week into one. Now I'm watching Jillian and her friend Kaycie and listening as that annoying guy on Blue's Clues explain how purple and red combine to make violet. And here I was thinking that purple and violet were the same thing.

Seriously folks this whole being sick constantly is getting downright silly. I know there is a baby in my household but since when did I develop the immunity of an infant? Can't I resist any of her germs? And for the record I'm not even sure if Jillian even had this particular bug. Sure she covered me in puke at a birthday party Saturday night forcing me to wear a friend's sweatpants with my rather cute red flats. But she's the sort of baby who will throw up several ounces seemingly for kicks and giggles. She never had diarrhea. Oh well. You should have seen the look of horror on my friends' faces as Jillian covered me in vomit. Finally proof positive that she is the pukiest baby out there.

Jeramy finished the master bedroom today. As in I can actually go sleep in there tonight. Now he just needs to finish the hallway and Jillian's new room. I only wish that it was done on Monday so that I could have enjoyed it while I felt like I was on my deathbed. Instead, I got to sleep on an air mattress since Jeramy had taken the waterbed down to paint and move it. (Yes folks, the 80's lives on in my house).

The kids rooms in this house are tiny so the rocker doesn't fit in Jillian's room. However there's plenty of room in here. I love the new carpet. I spent way more than I should have, but it is so plush. Almost as sweet as my late great grandmother's pristine pea green shag.

The entrance. Jeramy is so awesome that he built a little alcove for the TV equipment and then ran high-def wiring through the walls to the TV.

More closet space. I get the walk-in closet by the entrance that connects to the bathroom. It looks empty without my husband's clothes there as I have hardly anything compared with him. The closet on the right is dedicated to motorcycle gear. Really. And Cujo is quite happy that we finally have a carpeted room upstairs. This whole hardwood floors thing has been getting him down.

Electric fireplace. To heat the room and for romance.

I swear this room is bigger than our first apartment. Definitely nicer. We might just never leave.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

9 Months

While it is cliche, there are certainly some things that I did not expect about parenthood. One was the total paranoia that would grip me after Jillian's birth about my ability to actually be a parent, which seemed to stem from a combination of sleep deprivation, hormones and adrenaline. Another has been my bittersweet enjoyment of watching her grow. Before I had just assumed that the passing of every month (eventually year) and the achievement of every milestone would be met with great excitement. And really that has been true. What I did not expect was that I would also feel a tinge of sadness with every change. She was just born, and now all of the sudden she is nine months old. Almost a year old! That tiny, snuggly baby is quickly becoming a whirlwind of energy and motion. Suddenly, I understand why parents have so much difficulty standing back and letting their kids grow up.

She began crawling just before the 8 month mark, and ever since then she has become a complete whirlwind. She has gained such speed that it is difficult to stop her before she reaches her destination, which is invariably a power cord or dog food. We bought a couple sections of baby fence and built a baby pasture in our living room, but that undertaking has been met with mixed success. While toys may keep her occupied for a couple minutes, she KNOWS that dog food and those power cords are out there and that the man is keeping her down by placing her within the confines of the fence. This leads to crying, which may be soothed by picking her up but it is not long before she wants down to seek out those forbidden pleasures. Ultimately a temper tantrum ensues. I had never before thought it possible for such a young baby to throw a fit of frustration. If I had, I most certainly would have built the baby pasture before she crawled so that she would never have known that such things even existed.

Walking, it seems, is just around the corner. We bought a push toy for her and she can walk behind it with a wobbly competence. This past month she has become quite skilled in pulling herself up on any object. At first it was just on things with bars that could be gripped. But she can climb to a standing position next to any flat surface such as sliding glass doors, cabinets and in the bathtub. She can also now climb an entire flight of stairs with astounding proficiency.

When I think of her personality, the words that come to mind are determination and fearlessness. At our friends house on the 4th, I placed her in their walker in the kitchen. The French doors were opened to the deck, and Jillian wanted out there. Because the threshhold of the doorway was raised, the walker would get hung up and stop. Rather than give up, Jillian would back-up and ram the door way again harder and harder (and nearly tipping the walker over with her force) until she got all the way out on to the deck. I am sure that I will appreciate these qualities when she is older, but right now it makes the job of keeping her safe rather difficult.

She babbles, screams and screeches all day long, but is not much of a giggler unless you sing to her. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star has been her past favorite, and she'll sometimes open and close her hands in the twinkle motion. Recently, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes has emerged as a new contender, and she starts cracking up as I go faster, faster and faster. Her favorite syllable is "da, da, da" and she seems to be starting to make a connection between the sound dada and Jeramy. Oh and daddy does remain her favorite person. If he comes into a room and then abruptly leaves, it is often met by her tears which usually can be quickly alleviated by a verse or two of the aforementioned songs. Teeth remain elusive, but I am not worried as I was a late bloomer in the teeth department as well. This has not prevented us from introducing finger foods though, as she most happily consumes a wide variety of items from mum mums to gerber puffs to oranges (mostly sucking out all the juice) to grilled cheese sandwiches. She has also discovered that the sippy cup is more than just a fun toy to chew on and throw but a container of liquid she can drink! She isn't quite ready to drink from it full-time, but I'm hopeful we can get there by the one year mark.

Sleep has generally been getting better, and she usually gets 8 to 10 hours straight per night. Occasionally she'll still wake up wanting a bottle around 2 or 3am, but she'll go right back to sleep even if slightly awake when I put her in the crib. Most of the time falling asleep can be a challenge and she'll wake up once or twice in that first hour needing to be rocked back to sleep. The middle of the night pacifier cries have become much rarer. She's not a terrific napper and when she naps and for how long varies greatly from day to day. In fact we have nothing even remotely close to a schedule going on. I don't want to force my MIL to enforce one during the week, because she has been providing free child care while Jeramy works on the house and also has a 3 year old to chase after. Plus we are really on the go during the weekends making it quite impossible to impose a schedule when I am at home as well. As she generally goes to bed between 7pm - 9pm and sleeps until 5am - 7 am and sneaks in a sufficient number of naps to be tolerably agreeable, I am not overly worried about the whole thing.

Jeramy took Jillian to her 9 month appointment this afternoon, and her measurements were as follows:

Height: 27.5" (50th percentile)

Weight: 19 lbs (50th percentle)

Head: 18.75" (100th percentile)

So she remains perfectly average except for that enormous head.

And for photographic evidence of all this progress, I offer the following:

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July Weekend

It's amazing how quickly a three day weekend can fly by. With so much to cover, bullets seems the best approach.
  • I've acquired yet another bug from Jillian. Last year I was sick, maybe once. This year, it seems like just as soon as I feel better, something new hits me. That wouldn't have anything to do with having a baby in the house would it? The real problem is that Jillian is so damn kissable and huggable that I can't resist her even when I know she's a complete germ factory.
  • Continuing in my trend of absent-mindedness I locked my keys in vehicles twice this weekend. The first time, Jeramy had to ride his motorcycle all the way into Seattle (about a 45 minute drive) to let me in. At least the second time was the truck, and I was able to call Onstar to unlock the doors.
  • Watching Kaycie on Thursday night turned out to be a breeze. Rather than creating twice the work, I found that two babies actually keep each other entertained. I even decide to venture bathtime with the two of them, which was the cutest thing ever as giggling abounded. (Note that Jillian's ooooh expression seems to be the one of choice these days...well that or hand in mouth).

  • After a relaxing day at home on Friday, we dropped her off with Jeramy's mom and stepdad for an overnight so that we could go to the Green Day concert. I was really looking forward to a whole night with just my hubby, as the only other time she's slept away from home was during our move. And of course changing out a water heater at 11pm only to wake-up again by 6am doesn't exactly count as date night. We enjoyed our time thoroughly at the concert.

  • To celebrate the 4th we went to our friend's Jeff and Jenny's house for a BBQ. Their daughter, Becky, and Jillian were born just nine days apart. It's so fun to see them together now that they are able to play. We've informed the girls that they have no choice but to be friends. In return we receive blank stares. I'm surprised that Jillian did so well all evening considering that she only got a 15 minute nap between 5 and 11pm. She was just about to crash when we went outside after dark for the pretty fireworks. All of the loud noise and sparkles were pretty exciting for her.

  • Rather than sleep in my vanpool, I have been trying to use that time to read. I've finally read an actual non-baby related book for the first time since Jillian was born. It was A Thousand Splendid Suns, which is the sequel to the Kite Runner. While fiction, I feel like both books provide a glimpse into a culture that I have no real understanding of. What was especially great about this sequel is that told the story from a feminine perspective and their helplessness given the circumstances was at times overwhelming. In the end it was bittersweet, and I highly recommend it.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What a Night

I really wish I were a better driver. Remember this back in August when I was like super pregnant? Well somehow I've managed yet again to cause another accident. Why is it that I can be so competent in so many aspects of my life and yet be the shittiest driver I know? This time I tried to switch lanes to get around a stalled bus but did not see a mini-van. I know I looked, but somehow I did not see an entire van. Am I blind or something? The damage was a little worse than last incident; it was enough to report to insurance. Luckily the guy was very nice, we got off the road quickly and no police report was filed so I do not have to worry about a ticket.

While I was upset, I was not nearly as emotional over this accident as the last one. Last time I cried all evening long, but perhaps that was really due to the pregnancy hormones. I'm pissed off at myself, but more than anything I was upset over having to miss my knitting group (that's where I was headed) which I hadn't been to in months and months. I'm in serious need of some kid-free time.

Here is the damage. It is a little difficult to see since the pictures were taken by cell phone. Basically denting and scratching to my front driver's side and his rear passenger side plus scratching on his rim. Honestly, I'm kind of surprised that the damage wasn't a lot worse given how I hit him.

The rest of the evening wasn't so great either. Jillian has a bad cold with a cough that has only gotten worse and worse. After reporting the incident to my insurance, Jeramy decided to go to Wal-Mart to buy formula while I put Jillian (who was on her 5th or 6th wind) to sleep. I was successful and put her in the swing so that she'd be upright and sleep better. Well 20 minutes later I heard her crying, and when I went into the room she began coughing and then puking. I got her out of her swing and on to the changing table where she puked even more. Luckily Jeramy arrived home at that very moment, and he helped me get her cleaned up. He then rocked her back to sleep but it took a while as she was coughing a lot and very restless. We think it was just the coughing that caused the puking because she has been fine since then and she has a rather sensitive stomach.

I'm sure today will be better. Wait I'm getting a cavity filled and then watching a friend's 18 month old tonight so that Jeramy could get a guys night out since I was getting my girls night last night (or maybe not).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

For more Wordless Wednesday posts, go here