Thursday, November 29, 2007

This Is My Daughter

Today I'm feeling really good about being Lily's Mommy. Days when I hold her for two or three hours at a time, several times a day, are becoming comfortable, familiar, not a "waste" of time, but something I even look forward to and relish. As she grows bigger I realize I won't get this time again, and that I want to enjoy it all I can now, holding her whole being in my arms and kissing her soft skin as much as I want and just looking at her. And it's good for her, it's a warm, safe, fun place to be, in Mommy's arms. I love to kiss her soft belly when I'm changing her diaper, and give her raspberries like my Grandma Furlong used to do with me and Wendy. And kiss her little feet and clap them together.

I can see her changing, developing more and more of a personality. She's making more and different noises, little coos, which we love to hear and often laugh at; she's working hard at stuffing all her fingers in her mouth at once, which is hilarious (and useful because she can always find her fingers and sometimes she can't find the binky as it drops on the floor a lot). She's looking directly at us more now, at our faces, and responding to our facial expressions with her own, and a lot of her expressions are happy ones.

Of course there are difficult times, when we don't know why she's crying and just try our best to comfort her and get through it, or when we're really, really sleepy and she's wide awake. But to me it's not feeling as overwhelming now. It feels like we're reaching a milestone--maybe because she's almost 6 months old now. We know the drill, even as it keeps changing, and we know we can do it. It's a really good feeling.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Old Mommy Glasses

These are my new "progressive" lens glasses, you know, bifocals without the line. I like them, I think they look pretty good. But I'm still getting used to them. Sometimes I feel like I'm bobbing my head up and down like a pecking chicken trying to find where the focus is. I'm sure nobody notices the crazy lady.

The Bloody Finger!

Um, yeah, it's strawberry jam on her bib, that's it. NO, actually it's BLOOD! Because Mommy used those damn baby nail clippers that are supposed to be safer or something than big people clippers, and I clipped some skin off of my baby's finger! Oh, the horror! I felt like a murderer! She only cringed and complained for a minute, so I guess it didn't hurt much, but it hurt my Mommy pride. I've injured my child! I should be thrown in jail! So I took a picture of the evidence: the bloodied bib. I know, to you it probably doesn't look like much. But I felt awful.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cute Robot Alert!

John just showed me this dancing robot on the show Wired Science on PBS and it is the cutest thing! I already love robots but this is just the bomb. It was designed by this Japanese scientist to work with autistic children. Watch as he takes "Keepon" out for a day to interact and dance with the world.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wow! I've almost outgrown my tub!

Wow! I remember when her head didn't come up to the top of that blue padding. Now she hold her head up and is really almost too big for this tub. She still likes baths, too, which is nice. She's very cooperative about getting washed. She probably likes sitting in the warm water. Sweetie.

Hee hee!!

I was gonna do red-eye reduction on this one but then I thought it was cute that her orange eyes match her orange outfit. Lily likes to stick out her tongue and grin, it's super cute.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


When we were little, Wendy used to speak in tongues in her sleep. Oops, I gave away your alternate identity as a secret Russian spy! Sorry Wendy! This was when we were in elementary and junior high school, I think. I'd hear her talking and get out of bed and go in her room and she'd be talking but she didn't seem to hear me when I said "Wendy?" and I swear it sounded like a foreign language, maybe Russian. Not just nonsense. Scawy!

So Lily sleeps kinda funny like Wendy used to. She likes to sleep diagonally in the bassinet with her head against the side. Lily, not Wendy. I don't remember how Wendy slept in her cradle. But I remember her wrestling with her covers a lot. Anyhoo, we've taken to just putting on the blankets diagonally in the bassinnet. It looks sorta funny, like Salvador Dali baby or something. But she's comfy. I just wonder is she's going to start speaking in Scandinavian in her sleep...


Hoorah, sleep! Today I got a 3-hour nap. It was good. I slept while Lily slept, and she just happened to sleep for 3 hours. Of course, I didn't get a shower, no lunch until 4pm, and no chores or art done. But I got some sleep and I feel much happier right now.

What's That, Bert? I Can't Hear You, I Have a Banana In My Ear!

Aw, so cute! It doesn't look real comfortable, but she doesn't seem to mind. And I couldn't help but think of the classic Bert and Ernie sketch from Sesame Street.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Stands for Suck It Up. Which is what I feel like I oughta be able to do. Aw, poor Carrie, pity the 41-year-old mommy. No, no, don't. It's just complicated. I'm so incredibly happy that we have Lily, she's so wonderful and I look at her and think "Wheeeeeee!" but there's also hard parts. Not that I thought parenting was gonna be a piece o' cake, but I didn't care.

And I feel entitled to help like I never have before. I'm not usually one to feel entitled about anything, I don't think I was raised that way. I was taught you learn how to do it yourself and your work hard. And yet. Now I feel like people should just show up and clean my house (for free instead of the $150 we are paying now) and cook us dinner and cookies and babysit so we can go out to a movie or a play. Why do I feel so entitled? Maybe it's hormones. I realize my body chemistry is all whack now, like I'm getting used to a totally new body after pregnancy, and I have no control over that.

And maybe I'm just not asking for help, or not asking the right way. I expect people to know we need help, which is not very useful. Carrie Kennedy knows I need help, but she is going through the same mommy experiences right now, so she knows on a very immediate level the daily stuff that gets overwhelming. And she's my best girlfriend, so she knows me well. But she's expecting her second little baby on Dec. 8, so even though she offers help, I don't want to wear her out, she needs to take care of herself.

Today I woke up with awful cramps and a headache. Blah blah blah how very boring. SIU. Or talk about something else. Let's get some more cute pictures up here. And I need some more humor.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Progressive Lenses

I got my new glasses today and the woman who helped fit them for me said I shouldn't wear them today, but get a fresh start tomorrow. I couldn't resist, though, I wanted to see how they felt looking at the computer screen. Okay, nice and clear, but you can't move your head up and down. I find if I circle my head around and look through the glasses, it looks like those scenes in movies where someone has been drugged and their vision is going all sideways and wonky just before they black out. Neato!

I was also warned that I wouldn't really have peripheral vision anymore, that I'd have to turn my head all the way around to get a good view of what's on my side. Hmmm.

So let's list the stresses on my body right now: new glasses that will take me weeks to get used to and I'll have headaches during the adjustment period; speaking of period...enough about that; breastfeeding; high blood pressure; thryroid; depression; migraines. Quite a little list, isn't it? I think I do well keeping a positive attitude most of the time, especially when I look at Lily, but sometimes I just kind of collapse and have to acknowlege that I'm exhausted. John is very understanding. Last night after I got my period and was freaking about that and having really bad cramps, I said "I need comfort food for dinner. Can we have scrambled eggs and pancakes?" And he did it and was nice about it. I am so lucky. I have a prince of a husband.

Did I Mention...?

How much I really didn't need to have my period start up again already? Maybe it sounds like I'm a whiner, but this is hard. People joke about PMS, but it ain't funny. I've been crying a lot today, and not for anything in particular, except maybe that I really don't want to have my period right now. Cramps, headaches, exhaustion, and mood swings, whee. Or should I say "Oh, my!" and sing it to the tune of "Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!"?

I've decided there really needs to be a more descriptive term for "mood swing." "Swing" just isn't enough, it doesn't convey the extreme nature, the great magnitude of the length of the arc between moods. "Swing" sounds so casual, like it ain't no thing. Like it's a romantic dance. It's more like a throttling. Mood throttle? How does that sound?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Getting Used to Interruption

I think I'm getting used to it pretty well now. John makes dinner, we sit down to eat, and Lily wakes up and wants to be fed. I feel annoyed for a minute and look longingly at my dinner, then get up and take her upstairs to get her what she needs. And I let go of the annoyance and kiss her and sing to her and talk to her.

Or we're watching a movie or a show together and suddenly I have to take care of her. She can't wait 'til the commercial break, or a nice stopping point in the action. Baby Rules. Or I'm reading a book. No, she can't wait until I finish this page, or this chapter. I have to drop whqat I'm doing without knowing when I'll get back to it, and really give Lily my whole attention. After the initial annoyance passes, most of the time it feels good. I'm taking care of her, she needs me. It is good.

Sleeping Through the Night, Or Most Of It

John told me that he talked to another daddy at work who said once the baby is 12 pounds, she should be able to sleep through the night. And so we looked it up in the bossy baby book (What To Expect blah blah blah), and it says, yeah, in the third month (which Lily is, corrected), they should start sleeping through the night more. Or more of it. Oh, okay, well how do you make that happen? You have to ignore the crying. What?! I can't do that. Baby cries, I pick her up, I make her happy.

Evidently by the time they're 12 pounds, they don't physically need to get you up three times a night to eat, they're just in the habit. So you're supposed to start imposing a schedule. But it's going to be hard at first. John's friend said the first night they didn't get up to feed their baby in the middle of the night, their baby cried for 45 minutes. HOLY CRAP. I can't do that, I'm sorry. I think I'd lose my mind. Not because I'd hate the crying, but because I'd feel so bad for her being that unhappy. When she cries now and she has little tears, I want to cry myself!

So we're starting out slow, trying to get her to go longer at night, like don't pick her up the moment she starts fussing. Wait, then pick her up and see if she just needs a snuggle. If you can stretch it another 30 minutes, that's still progress. Okay, I can do that, I think. Getting it down to one middle of the night feeding would be great. Then we'd get more sleep. I like that part.

The part I am having difficulty accepting is that soon we should probably get a real crib and put it in her room and let her sleep in there. By herself. Right now the bassinet is at the foot of our bed. And I like it there. Mmmm. I thought I wanted to change, but I guess I'm attached to my lil' pumpkin. As much as I am dissapointed some days that I can't put her down to go make art or do something else, I love to hold her, and sometimes sitting in the recliner for 3 hours with her in my lap sleeping is really wonderful. I stare at her face and see how her eyelashes are growing longer. I wonder if she really looks like me, I can't tell except for her cute little nose. I am proud of my button nose. Even if it's become a bigger button. But it doesn't matter who she looks like, to me she looks like herself, the most amazing thing that's ever happened to me, the cutest baby I've ever seen, the sweetest lil' pumpkin ever.


Oh, crap. I just got my period. I didn't think you got those again until you stopped breastfeeding!! Call me Ignorant (not Ishmael). I feel so betrayed! I thought this was one of the few easy things about breastfeeding, the mommy benefit, that I didn't have to endure monthly cramps, mood swings, more intense headaches, and the general pain in the a#* that is menstruation. Aw, bummer.

So I looked it up and just like pregnancy, just about anything is "normal." You can get it a few weeks after baby's birth, a few months, even a few years. Lovely. And it can be random instead of regular, like maybe I won't get it again for several months. Ah, I just love unpredictability. NOT! Grrrr. I am crabby now (probably my mood swing). I have to stare at my sleeping cutie baby to feel better.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Happy Happy Clean Clean

Our house has been a disaster area for about 6 months now, like about since I had to go into the hospital. I couldn't stand it anymore and my allergies have been killing me with all the dirt and dog hair flying around, so I took action. Clean Green Homes came and cleaned our house today for about 3 hours. Ahhhh it's good. I've never seen my crappy kitchen cabinets look so clean. And the ceiling fan is no longer a distributor of phlegm-inducing grunge. No more cobwebs. They even cleaned the milk stains off several tables. Because there are basically milk rings on every flat surface in the house. We're going to try to keep up the service every two weeks, and I just hope to God we can afford it, because it gives me great peace of mind and keeps me healthier besides. They mostly use vinegar and water to clean things, so I didn't have to worry about anything toxic. It was great.

Stupid Baby Clothes

I have one baby outfit I bought at an upscale baby store over on Grand in St. Paul and I finally tried it on Lily today and I now want to burn it in effigy. The brand is Absorba, some European brand, and I'm sure they have some other outfits that are designed better than this one. It's a shirt and overalls. Aw, cute. Except the shirt snaps in back. Now how am I supposed to do that with a baby who can't sit up on her own yet? And the snaps are really difficult. And then the overall thingy has to go over her head! And also snaps in back! Stupid! Oh well, it looks like she's outgrown it anyway, and she hated it because it took so long to get on so she barfed on it. So there. What kind of a name is Absorba anyway? Sounds more like a diaper than a clothing brand. Now I'm just being mean.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

He Do the Voices

I love listening to John read to Lily and hear the different voices he does for the characters. Right now he's reading The House at Pooh Corner and his Eeyore voice is like Forrest Gump. It's pretty funny.

Uncle Steve and Lily

Steve likes holding Lily, too. Of course, how could you not when she is sleeping so cutely?

Uncle Mikey and Lily

Mikey left for Singapore today, probably for 2 years, although we expect to see him a few times a year. This was Sunday when we went over to visit and say goodbye. Mike is holding Lily in what Carrie K. calls her Quidditch outfit. Mary calls it her Rugby outfit. Anyhoo, she got snuggles from Uncle Mikey before he left.


Here's Lily's other Halloween outfit, and she's trying to fly.


Feel my Pumpkin Foot power!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Baby Protests in Style

Sometimes Lily does not want to be interrupted from her feeding to be sat up and burped. So she does her Ray Charles impression, swaying back and forth, making it very hard for you to hold her upright. I have gratuitously embedded a Ray Charles YouTube video in this entry, just for fun. He's singing What'd I Say, one of my faves. Check the white dude on tambourine, he looks a

Secret Squirrel Bifocals

I got my eyes checked yesterday because I've been doing that thing where I have to lift up my glasses to read but can see far away fine with them on. And you know what that means! I have to get "progressive" lenses, which are one step away from bifocals. The progressive lenses don't have the telltale line across the middle of the lens, so no one will able to tell I'm getting old unless I tell them. Which. I just did. Oops. But you'll forget. I'll be incognito with my ol' lady glasses, and I picked out new cool frames, so it won't be too bad. The doc said it may take a couple weeks to get used to the new lenses and the whole progressive thing. I'm hoping that doesn't mean I'll get a bunch more headaches and have to use up my Percoset before I'm allowed.

The bonus of this eye exam is that we went to SuperTarget for it, so afterwards I got to shop in my favorite store. Lily was great, John shopped while I was getting my exam, and then we both shopped, and she was asleep and cozy the whole time. It's funny, I told John it seemed like no matter where we went in the store, I could hear a whining, crying baby. "Is it following us or what?" I asked him. He thinks maybe we're just more tuned in to that sound because we have a baby now. I don't know, I thought it was just annoying.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Hey! Did You Notice the Sound Clips?

Apparently some people have not noticed the sound clips that I put on the sidebar. They're those things that look like tiny VCR controls. There are 3, and I put a title above each one. No, it's not my favorite music (although maybe you could say it is, in a way), it's sounds of Lily that we recorded. All you have to do is click the play button (the one that looks like an arrow pointing to the right) twice, once to activate the control, and then a second time to hear the clip. They're pretty quiet so you may have to turn up the volume on your computer, and they're each only a few seconds long. But they're really cute, so please listen to them!

Lily's First Movie

So last week we went to a "Mommy Matinee" at a Kerasotes theatre in Inver Grove Heights. I put a link on the sidebar for anyone else looking for Mommy Matinees, and you can use a drop down list on their site to find theatres that do this all over the country, or at least the theatres owned by Kerasotes. They don't really do anything special for these matinees except note that parents with kids under 2 are welcome to bring them along, and then everyone else in the theatre knows there will be babies, possibly fussing, so they'll theoretically understand because they have babies there, too. They do the matinees on Tuesdays, the first show of the day, so it's not a big crowd to begin with.

The funny thing was, there weren't any other parents at our screening. They were all senior citizens! So Tuesday must be senior discount day, too. Anyway, Lily was very good. She only started fussing after we sat through 10 minutes of commercials and the movie actually started--oh my God, I hate these commercials! We actually had to sit through a music video for the National Guard! Can you say propoganda? So we had brought a bottle of milk and I ran into the bathroom to run it under some hot water to warm it up. Uh, except they didn't have hot water. What?! They had those automatic faucets that don't have any knobs, they just sense when your hands are under the spigot, or they're supposed to, although usually the sensor area seems about 1/16" thick and I feel like a dork waving my hands all around like I'm doing interpretive dance trying to get some damn water to come out. So I tried the hand dryers instead, holding the bottle of milk under the blast of hot air. That took forever and didn't work that great, but well enough.

Then Lily ate happily from the bottle while we watched the movie, and we traded off who was feeding and holding her so that we could each get some popcorn. Because I must have popcorn. At every movie. It's just a thing. I have to have it.

At first Lily kept turning her head toward the light of the big screen, like she wanted to watch the movie. We picked Dan in Real Life, which was really funny and sweet. The guy at the concession stand looked at us carrying Lily in the car seat and said, "Ah, let's see, bringing the baby, you're probably going to see...Saw IV?" Hahahaha. Everybody's a comedian.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tigger Lily

Here's Lily in the Tigger costume Aunt Wendy got for her. Aren't the little ears adorable? John's work, General Mills, had a Fall Festival last Friday night, and it was basically a big Halloween party for families. It was really fun to bring Lily, even though most of it was over her head. It didn't matter because we got to get out and be parents at an event with other parents, which felt really fun.

Zombies for Halloween

No, that wasn't Lily's costume, it was Mommy and Daddy after three days of barely sleeping. Lily must be going through a growth spurt, cuz she's been eating every 2-3 hours and not sleeping much. Wow, this is the hard part, being super sleep deprived.