Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ships passing in the night

That is how my internship supervisor described being full time working parents.

I can see why.

We are lucky, in some ways, that our schedules are the way they are. It allows Kyle to stay home with Abby during the day instead of sending her to day care. This saves us money and gives them time together - which is great. I know she's in good hands and so I don't have to worry about her while I'm at work.

I'm the first to wake up in the mornings and I get ready until Abby wakes up and then I get her, change her, and make a bottle. She drinks her bottle on the bed while Kyle wakes and then he takes over and I'm off to work.

When I get off work in the afternoons, we have a bit of overlap time. Usually at least an hour, and this time is usually spent running errands that need to be done. Then Kyle takes off for class and I take Abby. Tuesdays are my favorite because Kyle doesn't have class till 7, so we get to spend the whole afternoon together. Yesterday we went to the farmers market, grocery store and then went to the park. That was nice.

Anyway, after Kyle goes to class, Abby and I run errands and play and eventually have dinner and I put her to bed. After she is asleep is usually the first time I have to "relax" and so I usually sit down at the computer or watch some tv for a while and try to stay awake until Kyle gets home.

Kyle gets home around 8 on his early days and around 11 on his late days. On his late days, I stay awake long enough to say good night and then I go to bed while he takes his turn unwinding from the day.

And then it starts again.

We're both learning, however, that we both need more time in the day to get things done. I'm going to start trying to get to work an hour early to have time to write and Kyle is going to stay late after class, or go in earlier, so he can have some quiet time to read and study (something not so easily accomplished while at home with the baby).

So, its an adjustment. Fewer dinners together and less time to "talk about our day" but we do what we have to do.

I'm not trying to complain - I'm glad that we're able to balance our schedules to keep Abby at home, and I'm glad that we each get part of the day with her. But, it doesn't leave much time for anything else. I haven't unpacked anything since Monday. Finding time to go to the gym is nearly impossible. I think I'm going to have to wait until the weekend to get anything done.

So, I get it - ships passing in the night. That's kinda how it feels. But I'm thankful to be employed and that Kyle is in a good school and that we share the childcare role. There's a lot to be thankful for, so I'm gonna try to focus on that.

Monday, September 28, 2009

bits & pieces

Well, we are now completely moved. Kyle and I turned in our keys to Archstone yesterday and said our goodbyes. ...I did wake up this morning wondering if I might have left something in the dishwasher - but I suppose it's too late now.

We are about halfway unpacked at the new place. I've learned that whatever you don't unpack within the first week, may never get unpacked. However, this is also my first time with a baby, so I'm giving myself 2 weeks to have everything in order. Whatever is still in boxes after two weeks is obviously not that important.

Abby has done beautifully with the move. She made the transition with no fuss and seems to like her new room pretty well...which was the first thing that was completed. I was determined to give her a sense of normalcy and had 95% of the nursery done the first night. Sometimes in the mornings, she seems to take longer looking around at things - but all in all she's been a pretty happy kid.

...which is even more amazing when you consider that while we were busy moving, she was cutting her third tooth. I saw it while we were hanging her upside down and tickling her. So, Miss Abby has her 1st top tooth. I kinda hope its neighbor comes through soon...3 teeth looks a little hillbillyish, y'know?

Things about the new place.

We have a spider that lives outside above one of the windows. We call her Charlotte because we weren't feeling creative. She keeps to herself, and I find that I don't mind her being there...as long as I know that's where she is. The day that she's gone, I'm gonna get real paranoid, she's not small.

Something I've never experienced is living in a really old house. Our place is really old - but its been remodeled and updated fairly recently. This means that we have central air and carpet - but it also means that very few things are flat. The floors slope this way or that way ever so slightly - the walls and ceilings aren't quite straight and the fridge has tiny wooden blocks under it to keep it level. The kitchen is the only really noticeable spot - there is a slope in the kitchen floor. It doesn't bother me much, but it is something new. Slopes and creaks too - I'm still learning where the squeaky spots are so I can avoid them when Abs is sleeping. Old houses, mmmm.

When it rains, we can hear it now. Living in a high-rise apartment building means that you don't have a roof - and you can't hear the rain. But now, we do - and we can.

We can't hear the trains at night anymore, instead we hear crickets.

There are so many windows. I love the natural light.

Last night we went out to a 50s diner for dinner - its about a 10 min walk from our house, but we drove because it was raining. Anyway - I love these types of places. With soda jerks and ice cream fountains... and all the right mix of authentic and trendy 50s decor. They had a house magician and the food was great. Abby had a lovely dinner of bananas and sweet potatoes there. There are also 3 very popular ice cream places within that 10 min walk from our house...dangerous.

I've decided to make an effort to take Abby on more walks - now that we have a neighborhood, with nice sidewalks.

Kyle met the downstair neighbors, who seem really nice. They have an 11 year old son who told Kyle "Yeah, this is pretty much the coolest neighborhood to live in" lol. I'm hoping he'll come play wii with us sometime.

the people across the street have a baby - I can hear him crying when they leave their windows open.

I guess thats it for now - I'm glad the moving part is over. Now just to get settled.

Here's a short video of Abby at dinner last night (at the diner) Nothing particularly special about the video - just Abby being silly and making me smile. Enjoy.

video

Saturday, September 26, 2009

almost done

I don't have much energy to write - but it's easier than moving. And by moving, I don't mean re-locating, I mean - any physical motion at all.

We've now moved almost all of our stuff. But, we still have an annoyingly sized amount of stuff still at the old place. Mainly our closet, all our clothes, and small kitchen appliances - as well as refrigerator goods.

But, the big stuff is in. We managed to get the dressers and tvs and heavy stuff up all the stairs (thanks to some very dedicated friends). I'm so sore. My body is sore in new ways. And, can I also say that moving without a baby is much different than moving with a baby? Not just all of the baby stuff, but things you don't think about - like how you have to pretty much be done driving back and forth by 7pm. Or, really 6. You have to stop lifting boxes and take time to let her have dinner. You have to stop packing so you can do nap time. Not to mention, you can't just let her loose because they're stuff all over the floors and who knows what will go in her mouth.

just tiring. But definitely not impossible.

Abby has done amazingly well. She loves the new place. She's been nothing but smiles since we got her except for when we make her sleep. Then she is very upset at us - because she has so much exploring to do! It's really funny to watch her. She will start "crawling" (it's still just dragging herself around) and she'll stop when she gets to some border (like a new room or change in the flooring) and look back at us to see if we're going to stop her. When we just smile and wave, she grins and starts moving full steam ahead. It's like she thinks that she tricked us into letting her explore.

So, just wanted to give a quick update. Things are going well. We're not done yet - but we have to finish by tomorrow. Thanks for all the good thoughts.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Dear Abigail

Abby,

Today is our last day living in your first home. The feeling of sadness that this brought up in me this morning caught me off guard. You see, I've moved a lot in my life - but I am usually more excited about the new place than I am sad about leaving the old one. But, perhaps for the first time ever, this home of ours has some very special memories for me that are making leaving a bit more melancholy than usual.

I realized this morning as I watched you scooting around our tiny living room that this apartment is special to me. It was our home when you were born. We moved into this apartment because we wanted to have a room for you - a nursery. You were the reason.

It was here, that your daddy and I spent hours putting together your crib together. It was here that I spent countless days decorating your nursery and dreaming about the day you would come. Here is where I sat in the quiet mornings feeling you kick as I watched the sun come up.

This is where we lived when my water broke. This is where we came when we brought you home for the first time. Within these walls is where your daddy and I learned how to be your parents.

Your first bath was on the kitchen counter, and your first photoshoot was on the couch. Your first meal was here - as well as every other first you've had since you were born.

I know you won't remember this place. And, really, there is nothing that special about the physical apartment itself - but the memories that we have of this place are special. You won't remember all the corners you like to hide in, or how you like to take the door jams off the door and chew on them. You won't remember that you have a beautiful view overlooking downtown boston from your changing table window. You won't remember all the wonderful staff that you've charmed again and again. You won't remember a lot of things about living here, but that's ok. That's one reason I write this blog - so that you can know what life was like for us...even when you couldn't remember it.

Your daddy and I love you so much. We are very excited about our new house. There is so much room and you are going to love it. There are stairs - and I bet you learn how to climb them in the first day. We even found somewhere with a great backyard for you. We're going to build snowmen in the winter and play in the sprinklers in the summer. We found a quiet street so we can teach you to ride a tricycle one day, and we're finally going to have a real dining room so we can eat meals together as a family.

There are so many things to be happy about. But, I just wanted to let you know that the place that we are leaving will always have a special meaning to me...and even though I know you will never remember it - I hope I never forget.








Thursday, September 24, 2009

You Capture - Happiness

It's You Capture time again! This week's theme from Ms. Beth was Happiness!

I decided to go with what makes me happy. So, here are a few for the viewing. Umm, of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list. :)

animals make me happy

The smell after the rain

baby feet :)


magic makes me happy.
(I know this picture is really no good - but because it looks like she's rubbing her hands together to make the light - I kinda love it)

And, of course - nothing makes me happier than my baby

Check out the other happy photos here

how rude.

Kyle and I decided to hire a few movers to help us move the heavy furniture into the new place. Since we're living on the 2nd and 3rd stories - I wasn't sure Kyle and our 1 guy friend would want to carry all the heavy stuff alone.

The realty company we used recommended a place, so we called them as well as several other places. Turns out the recommended place quoted us the lowest rate - so they won.

I guess my first clue should have been when the guy (named William) said he would call me back the next morning to set everything up because he was too busy at the moment. But, that's fine. The next day, he didn't call. So around 2pm, I called him.

I didn't assume that he would remember me, so I told him what I was looking for and when etc... He says "Oh, right, I know who this is...umm, is your husband in Texas?"

huh?

He proceeds to tell me how he, I guess, assumed that since Kyle's phone number that I left him started with a different area code, that he thought he lived in Texas. When I told him we lived in Boston he says something like "oh, ok, I guess I could have called him this morning and it would have been ok then."

In other words: I forgot to call you, but I'm going to pretend that I was worried about some nonsensical time zone difference.

So, I let that slide and we go over what we need, when, and how much. I ask him if there are any other charges beyond the 2 hours of labor and he says there's a $13.00 fuel charge. Great. Booked.

Then we get an e'mail the next day of our order - an e-recepit I suppose. Well, it's $100 more than we had discussed. They charged us an extra hour of labor for travel time. Now, I'm not morally opposed to paying somebody to travel - but when they don't tell you, its a bigger problem. So, Kyle (husbands are great) calls the guy to sort it out.

So when Kyle asks him about the extra charge the guy gets really defensive. He's almost yelling about how "any company will charge you that" When Kyle said that our problem was that we weren't told, the guy just keeps stuttering and tripping over his tongue. Then, get this. He says "Its what I told your wife on the phone, about 30 mins of travel and an hour and a half of labor" Kyle says - "exactly, but you charged us for an extra hour beyond that!" The guy starts yelling again and Kyle asks if we can just cancel the whole order. The guy says "I think that's a good idea" and hangs up on us.

Way to be professional dude.

So, now, we don't have any movers to help us. I think I'd rather carry the tv myself than work the them anyway. And we'll be saving money. It won't be easy, but we'll manage. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

afternoon photos

just a few pictures we shot yesterday afternoon.


This is Abby's watching face.

nothin' like a bottle and a handful of toes.

where we goin?

piercing blue, no?

caught her mid laugh

Monday, September 21, 2009

no rest for the weary

Last night I started feeling sick. Within a few hours, I had full blown aches, chills and fever. It was 101.1 when I went to bed. This morning, my fever was lower, but I was still achey and I could tell I wasn't "better" so I called in sick. I've only done that one other time since being in Boston. But, I didn't have a lot scheduled at work today and I thought it would be good to rest up.

By resting up - I mean getting up with the baby at 6:30am and taking care of her until it was time for her nap at 9. It would have been nice to pawn off the morning baby duty on Kyle - but he didn't even go to bed until nearly 6am. So, how awful would I be if I made him get up at 6:30? I'd be pretty bad, so I put on my big girl pants and settled in for a morning with the baby. So, then it was nap time. Oh, nap time...

Yes, nap time. In the past day or two, Abby has discovered that she can pull up to standing on things. Including her crib rail. The problem is she can't get down. So, whether its in the crib or holding on to the couch, or a box - when she's tired of standing, she just cries because she can't get down. She doesn't want to fall - but she knows no other way. This happens when she doesn't want to sleep too. So, today marks the first day that I can remember in her entire 9 month life that Abby refused to take her nap.

I let her cry for the full hour, then went and got her up. They say you're supposed to do that - then keep them up till the next nap time.

Anyway -back to my day - We got dressed and got everything ready to go and we went over to the new apartment to get the keys from the landlord. Then, I drove around with Kyle getting errands done before driving him to class.

When I finally get home with Abby, she's had a 20 min nap in the car. That's it. All day.

I post some stuff on craigslist that we don't want to move and am instantly busy coordinating when people can come pick stuff up. While I'm doing that - I'm trying to tape some boxes together. Well, turns out the sound of the tape dispenser terrifies Abs. She's just a big red faced screaming ball of tears. I decide that its better to just do them all at once than try to comfort her between each one. My attempts at showing her the tape dispenser was friendly had failed. So - boxes done, baby is beside herself in terror, so I comfort her. She's fine. But from then on, the lack of naps really started showing. She started whining and crying about everything. She only wanted to be held - but I had too much to do for that game. Sigh.

I make her dinner, feed her, all while answering a gazillion e'mails. Have I mentioned that I still have a fever - and ache - and am tired? Ugh.

The guy coming to get my desk said he'd be here by 5:30. At 6:45 he calls and says he'll be here in 15 mins.

I mean, perfect, why in the world would I want to actually let my overtired, cranky, and whiney baby go to sleep on time? That's crazy talk. He and his friend come for the desk around 7:15. The desk actually falls apart - but I convinced them that it would be fine, duct taped some parts together and told them good luck.

Now, Abs is asleep - at least I didn't have to fight her on that one. I SHOULD be packing something - anything. But, I'm not. I'm ranting on my blog instead.

I'm just tired, don't feel well, and I think I would have had infinitely more rest if I had just gone to work this morning. I'm definitely going tomorrow - there is no way I can handle staying home feeling like this.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

clapping

Every time we read a book to Abby, we clap when we finish the book. We close it, clap and say "yay!" Except, more often than not, the "yay!" comes out as a rather low-key "yaaaaay."

So, yesterday and today, Abby has really been making a true effort to master clapping. And, she says "yaaaaay." when she does it. We think its kinda funny.

Here's a little video of her practicing.

Oh, and you'll see her start the music with her nose. This is the only way she ever does it - and I'm honestly not sure if she knows she can use her fingers to do it or not. But, she's so dad-gum proud of herself every time that we just let it slide. Perhaps she's part parrot.

Enjoy!


video

Friday, September 18, 2009

good things come to those who wait

Today after work, Kyle and I went to take a look at one of the apartment options. I saw the place on Wednesday and thought it was fine...there was nothing wrong with it and the rent was cheaper - but it wasn't really exciting either.

So we went to have a look and the real estate lady said she had two other places to show us.

So we drive to meet her at the second location - and it is a few streets away from our ideal local. Y'know that expensive condo I was lusting after? It's about a 4 min walk from that place. So, we know we like the area. The apartment...ah, the apartment...it exceeded any expectations I had. It has all been redone on the inside, so it looks new. It has carpet, and central air, and is HUGE. I never thought we'd find a place that had more room than we knew what to do with. This place has a ginormous living room and open kitchen, a seperate dining room, and a big office PLUS three big bedrooms upstairs. We get two full baths, and a deck. And...the best part? A laundry room! You have no idea...

It has a fenced back yard - picket fence and all that over looks some of the neighborhood. The yard even had a little kid play house ready to go. There's a front porch - with rocking chair and its a quiet street. It is a five minute walk to the train as well as tons of restaurants and shops, banks, and post office. Oh, and there's a great park for kids too.

And, get this. The rent is lower than what we're paying now. Not by a lot - but still. I'm excited.

Oh, but wait, there's more - the people living below us? Professional classical musicians. I heard her practicing - clarinet I think. Seriously? Its too perfect.

We filled out all the paperwork - I have to have a few things faxed in and as soon as the paperwork clears, we'll sign a year lease this week and hopefully move next weekend. I've got to get a-packin'.

yay yay yay yay!

so, what's the downside? I will be losing my covered parking, so I'll have to shovel my car (although the landlord shovels the driveway, porch, and deck!) and the utilities will be higher. Heat may be an issue as we're not used to paying for gas heat - and the utility company quoted us a pretty high price) So - we'll just pull out blankets. :) Those are the only downsides I can think of. Unless you want to count *having* to buy some new things - like a dining room table. :) I'm not counting that as a downside though.

Thanks for all the good thoughts people - they paid off!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

You Capture

Photobucket

I found this blog a few months ago - and I've been visiting every so often ever since. The writer does this thing called "you capture" where she posts a weekly photo challenge. Then, everybody posts their pictures and leaves the link to their blog and you can go browse other people's photos too.

So, this week, I decided to do it. The theme was "up close" and you were supposed to take macro pictures. This is my favorite kind of picture (well, other than those that have Abby in them) So I was pretty excited.

But, I have to admit, that I have not had the time to take new pictures so I'm breaking the rules on this first entry and posting pictures I've taken in the past. BUT - I promise to take some new ones this week and add them.

I think this will be a fun thing. :)





Wednesday, September 16, 2009

decisions

I'm not a fan of them. Apartment hunting requires them.

Let me try to organize my thoughts.

Here are the problems:
1. We need more space
2. I want a dining room - or at least space for a real table
3. Kyle (and I) need office space...one that does not share with the nursery.

Here are the requirements:
1. It has to be on the T so Kyle can access the city
2. It needs a dishwasher and laundry (these are not always included, weird, huh?)
3. It needs to be safe and clean

Here are the options:
1. Rent one of the absolutely fabulous places that we found that is over our budget and hope things magically work out. (not smart but happy)
2. Rent a place we don't like but can afford (booo)
3. stay where we are and deal with the before mentioned problems. (smart but sad)
4. Keep looking in hopes a better compromise comes along (unlikely, but you never know)

Of course, there are 50 caveats and what ifs and maybes for each one of those things. We have to move fast, if we decide on a place, we'd be trying to move within a week or so. ugh, no fun. But, that's where I am today. Trying to make good decisions.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

file under C

for cute.

big girl food

I've only mentioned it a gazillion times already - but I love feeding Abby. Well, the actual feeding is fine, but I mean more about the planning and the cooking.

I'm trying to branch out more - away from the world of single food purees and into the world of big girl food.

The biggest challenge with this is trusting Abby. She has to learn how to bite and to chew and while sometimes she does fine, other times she just tries to eat more than she can handle. So, its a learning process for us both. Me, trying to trust her with bigger chunks of food and her, trying to learn to eat them. I mean, it's hard for me to think of her as being able to bite and chew when she only has 2 front teeth. But, she can...she just needs practice.

So last night we did quesadillas. Whole wheat tortillas and some good 'ol american cheddar cheese. Simple.

Well, first of all, Abs l.o.v.e.d them. She'd never had cheese before and it was a hit. Unfortunately, that meant that she was eating it too fast. She'd shove pieces in her mouth before she'd swallowed the other ones and she started looking like a chipmunk.

She choked 4 times. Her mouth would open wide, her eyes would be wider and rimmed with red and tears, no noise, no air, just her trying to breathe. Not a happy mommy moment. I yanked her up from her chair and flipped her over and hit her back until I heard her cough and then she'd start reaching for another bite. Not even phased.

Anyway, it took me a little while to convince myself to let her try again. and again. and again. But, she ate just about all of it and seemed to enjoy it. I, of course, watched her like a hawk the whole time. And it took forever to finish them because I made sure she'd finished each bite before she could take another.

So, here's to baby steps...for mommy and baby.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Dear Abigail

Dear Abigail,

I love you so much.

You turned 9 months old this weekend, which is, as always, bittersweet. These nine months have gone by much quicker than the nine months you grew inside me. I'm having the best time of my life being with you. Its amazing watching you grow and learn - just amazing.

There is so much I want to tell you and sometimes I don't know where to start.

I think, today, I want to tell you what its like for me to be your mom.

Since as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a mom. When I was in Jr. High, I finally convinced my parents to let me have a kitten. Her name was Tabithia, and I loved taking care of her. As I got older, I daydreamed about having a large family. When I met your daddy, I was happy to find out that he wanted children someday too. And then when we found out about you - I was ecstatic. Well, I was also very surprised and a little worried about the unknown - but mostly, I was very, very happy.

And 9 months later, you were born. Maybe one day, you'll experience it yourself - but there is no way to prepare for the way you feel at that moment. I remember one part of my head thinking that it was finally real - that you were real - as if the 9 months of swollen legs and planet sized belly were just a show. When you were born, I cried and kept saying "we have a baby" to your daddy. I really, couldn't believe it.

As the weeks passed, I found that I had two feelings about being a mom. The first one was happiness the second one was disbelief. Part of this has to do with the crazy hormones your body puts up with after pregnancy. It took me several months to really feel like myself again. But, it was not uncommon for me to look at you and to "remember" that I was your mom. I mean, obviously, I knew I was - but sometimes it just seemed so surreal to me. It wasn't the easiest time. You were so perfect and easy and wonderful - how could you be mine?

And then, as the hormonal fog lifted, I found that I was becoming more comfortable being a mom. All in all, I was still taken by surprise at how long it took me to feel normal in that role. I mean, I'd wanted to be a mom my whole life - why was it taking so long for it to feel normal? That was the question in the back of my mind. In the front of my mind, we were having a blast getting to know you and learning how to be parents.

As the months have passed, something else has happened. I've felt myself becoming more and more comfortable being a mom. No. Being Your mom. But, beyond that, I started feeling this small, but growing, feeling of pride. Maybe things were starting to sink in. I was your mom, and that meant that you - in all your wonderfulness - really were my daughter. And I was proud.

Over the past several weeks, I've felt that feeling growing stronger. I'm so proud to be your mom. I feel so lucky to have been trusted with that job. There's another feeling that has grown over your short lifespan as well - the feeling of wanting to protect you. forever. from everything bad. Unrealistic? yes. I know. But, I feel like there is a small pilot flame now deep inside me - and, if anything ever threatened you, it would burst out of me like a wildfire. It's that feeling of protectiveness that lets me know that I really am a mom now.

It has taken me 9 months to get this far - to let your amazingness sink in to my brain.

One more thing. That little flame - it is always burning - but its not just waiting to protect you - it tells me every second of every day that I am completely utterly 100% totally in love with you. You are my daughter. I will always, always always be your mom. I will always love you more than anything. I know your daddy feels the same way about you (his daddy flame has burned bright from the moment he saw you - you had him in that first instant)

This has been longer than I anticipated - I guess that happens when you don't have a clear idea of what you want to say....and I don't even know if any of it made sense.

But, even if it didn't. There's only one part that you need to never forget.

I love you. Your daddy loves you. Always will.

9 months

This is a couple of days late, sorry about that. Abby turned 9 months old on Saturday.

We spent the day doing some needed shopping for school supplies and groceries and other odds and ends - it was a good day. We all went to TGI Fridays for dinner and Abby, even though she had slept for a grand total of 30 mins the whole day, hung in there. Sunday was lazy, and I got caught up in finishing the last book of the Twlight series - so forgot to blog.

So. Abby at 9 months.

Well, she's still amazing. She's (yet again) more alert and curious than ever. We have a kind of makeshift barricade in our living room and she spends a lot of her time scooting around that space exploring every inch of it. This means that she inevitably always finds something that she shouldn't have - no matter how many times I think I've found everything.

Yesterday, she unplugged the TV. She was in her jumper, which was, apparently, too close to the wall. I hadn't even noticed that the TV plugged in there until it suddenly went black and I looked up to see her sitting there with the plug in her hand looking extremely pleased with herself. I moved pretty quickly and now the jumper has a new location.

Abby isn't quite crawling yet, but she's so close that I know it won't be long. She spends more time on all fours than she does on her belly I think. She just doesn't move yet. Yesterday, I was letting her watch this show called "Little Einsteins" She really seems to enjoy it - it captures her attention for the whole 20 mins. Anyway, she watched the whole show just sitting on all fours with her head tilted up to the TV. It didn't look comfortable, but I guess she didn't mind. She's also started to bear crawl a step or two. She'll get on her hands and feet and take a shuffle or two forward and then fall to her knees, then to her belly - where she still scoots/drags herself around...very quickly, might I add.

She usually breaks through our barricade once a day, or we let her roam the apartment. She's recently discovered the door jams on the bottom of each door. She likes to grab them and use them to swing the doors open. She broke on of them off. sigh. She likes to pull up on things all day long, but hasn't yet mastered the art of pulling up all the way to her feet yet. Actually, I think there aren't many things for her to practice on. Most of the things for her to pull up on are too short. But she is good at getting to her knees. She can now pull up and look in her toy box and pull things out that she wants.

She likes food. I can't think of anything in particular that she won't eat. But, there are times when she is less zealous about food. She is so easy to understand. When she doesn't want something, she just looks at it when you offer it to her - mouth sealed shut, no expression on her face at all - she just stares at it. If you try to force her to eat it, she'll turn her head. On the other hand, if she wants it, her mouth is wide open before the first bite is finished. :) She's discovered mashed potatoes - which is something she's only had off of my plate at restaurants. Maybe that's why she loves them so much. Maybe she just loves her carbs, I dunno, but I think she would eat them all day if we'd let her. She's also pretty crazy about any of the Gerber finger food snacks - cheese puffs, veggie puffs, and wagon wheels.

She can drink from her sippy cup now, but doesn't like to hold it on her own like her bottle - I think its heavier than she likes. She gets some juice, usually apple, at least once a day now.

She waves. At everything. Everyday. It's super cute. It's even cuter when she looks at you from across the room - all serious like, and waves her hand at you and then beams the biggest smile when you wave back. It's as if she's thinking "it worked! I made them do it again!"

She's a little thrill seeker. She loves to be swung upside down, tossed, flipped, or flown. Sometimes when Kyle is holding her, she'll suddenly throw her whole body weight back in an attempt to be swung down. She'll do it over and over - giggling the whole time.

She loves her books, she smiles as soon as we get one out and this pleases me immensely.

She has decided that there is nothing more annoying in the world than having her diaper changed. Apparently, being on her back for that 20 seconds is just. too. long. She twists and whines and cries when she's restrained. Sometimes I can distract her for seconds at a time -but the whole process has become a tiring one. I guess I'll have to learn to change diapers with her on her belly.

She still says dada and mama among other words/sounds. I really think that she understands that Kyle is dada - although she still says it to other things too, like blocks - but, more often than not when he comes in the room, she says "dada!" I mostly get "mama" when she's crying. lol. I guess we're hardwired to cry to mom, huh?

All in all, she's just amazing. I thought about writing her a letter for this post, but I couldn't figure out what I wanted to say when I thought about it in a blog. So, I wrote her a letter on paper and I think that was easier for me. Perhaps I'll post it later - since this really is like her baby book. But, I just want to say that 9 months of Abby has been great and has only gotten better everyday. I'm starting to feel like a real mom, and I like it! I can't wait to see what the next month brings.

We love you Abigail


PS: Here are her growth charts. 50th %tile for both weight and height. Good job girl. :)



Friday, September 11, 2009

where I was

Isn't it funny how something that happened 8 years ago can seem so recent?

One day, when Abby grows up, she'll learn about 9/11 in her history books in school. It will, I imagine, be for her much like learning about Kennedy's assassination was for me. It was tragic and sad, but so long ago...and I had no real attachment to the events.

She'll probably look at me as if I'm as old as the dinosaurs when she realizes that I'm old enough to have been around when it all happened.

So, for the sake of passing memories down the line -

I was a freshman in college - barely. I had only been "in college" for a couple of days. I was on an orientation trip with 15ish other freshmen learning how to be "in college" We spent a lot of time playing silly ice breakers and eating lots of food and chocolate. Good times. The whole group of us had signed up for the Habitat for Humanity trip. So, we had spent the previous day sodding a lawn and other manual labor. The second day was a shopping day in Hot Springs.

At the time, I had never even heard the word "blog" I did things the old fashioned way and kept a journal. It was one of my college resolutions - to continue to keep a journal so I would eventually be able to remember everything from those 4 years. It only lasted about a week before homework and assignments were taking over my free time.

Anyway. I woke up early on 9/11. We were staying in a cabin by a lake and I woke up first and decided to go write outside. The sun was barely up and the whole scene was, ironically, peaceful. I was watching geese walk around the lake, which still had the morning mist rising from it. Everything was lush and green. A few mins later, my new friend John awoke and headed down to the lake. I remember watching him play with this little puppy who was nipping and jumping after him the whole way. I wrote about all of this in my journal.

Soon enough, the rest of the cabin awoke and we all got ready to head to Hot Springs for the day. We rode in two big vans and I remember as we were getting settled, the driver was playing with the radio. As we started to drive off, somebody started saying "shh. listen."

We started hearing the radio - but it was hard to tell what was going on, because we had missed the beginning of the story. Something about the world trade center. I wasn't even sure where that was. New York I thought. The group of us sat listening to the radio, and, for a moment, we thought that this was a "war of the worlds" kind of moment. We were waiting for the punchline. For somebody to say "just kidding"

But, they didn't. Instead, we sat and slowly gathered the pieces of the story - planes had crashed into the world trade centers. We were under attack. I remember those words being said very well. It was strange. Us? Under attack? Another breaking news flash interrupted to say that the pentagon had been attacked and they feared the capital building was next.

We were just dumbounded. And scared. I don't remember the drive to Hot Springs at all. We all just sat and listened to the radio. When we did get there, we quickly found a sports bar that had all of the tvs going. That's when we first saw the images, and where we saw the coverage of the towers falling. I remember going into a bathroom stall to cry because I didn't want to melt down in front of all my new college friends. It took me a long time to compose myself enough to rejoin the group. Of course, when I did, they all looked just like me - red puffy eyes, worried eyebrows.

I was overcome with emotion for the victims. I wasn't worried for myself. But for them. I couldn't imagine the thousands of people in those buildings as I saw them fall.

We spent the day in a bit of a stupor. Nobody did any shopping. We got back to campus to find eager messages from our parents awaiting us. We soaked up the TV coverage like sponges. They cancelled the pep rally for that night and, instead, we all gathered in the Burrow to watch President Bush give a speech. I remember sitting on the floor with several hundred other students all chattering and the moment Bush came on the TV screen, everybody was quiet. You could have heard a pin drop. I remember being awed by that.

In the coming weeks, we would continue to get more news coverage than we could take in. I remember being moved by the signs of solidarity around town. Ribbons, cups put into chain link fences to spell things like "peace" and "never forget"

Abby, there are a lot of things I hope you have as you grow...but one of the most important is the ability for empathy. I hope you grow to feel for others. I know you will, I'll teach you. But it is a very important thing. I remember feeling completely connected to every other person in our country through this common tragedy. I cried a lot - for the families. But, as with most things, time heals.

So, here we are, 8 years later and I'm reflecting, as I do every year, on the events of that day. I wonder how it will be viewed by Abby when she's old enough to learn about it. I hope I can teach her the importance of it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

crib

Y'know how I promised I was going to lower the crib a few weeks back when Abby catapulted herself from it? Well, I just got around to it today.

Since I had to strip down the crib of everything (see previous post) - I thought I'd take the opportunity to lower it. Strangely - it made me a little sad. I didn't expect that to make me sad - but it kinda did. I mean, it *really* means that she's getting bigger. So big that I have to lower the whole crib so she can't get out.

Sigh.

So, I grabbed the camera and decided to take some shots to commemorate the last moments in her crib as it was when we brought her home for the first time.


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trial by fire

Today was the first day of work - well, the first day with students back in the schools. Thus, it also meant this was Kyle's first full day as a stay at home dad.

Well, kinda.

We had to schedule her 9 month appointment for this morning as it was the only opening in almost a month. Our pediatrician is having her 5th? child next week - so, she'll be out for a little while. So, we all made the trek to the peds office together.

I'll write more about her 9 month milestones in a few days, but she weighed in at 17lbs 15 oz. Which is right at the 50th %tile. Then, poor baby, had round 1 of her flu shot as well has another Hep B shot. She was so sad. BIG CROCODILE TEARS. She was crying so hard that she could barely breathe. She was just sobbing...with tiny little gasps of air between.

excuse me for a second while I consult the mom manual for a refresher.....oh yeah, here it is - page 24, paragraph 3, and I quote -

"...being a mom means that you will always always always hate it when your baby cries when they get shots. It sucks. There is nothing you can do. The End. If you want to cry with them, go ahead, everybody will understand"

all righty. just checking.

So, yeah, poor baby suffered through them. Just when we got her calmed down and dressed and desperately clinging to daddy's shirt - it was time to get blood drawn. Kyle and I were both a little worried about this since when she had it done as a newborn, they couldn't get enough blood and had to prick her a gadgillion million times. Luckily, this time, it went fairly smoothly. Abs would disagree. Again, with the tears and the looks of betrayal.

So then I dropped of the daddy daughter duo and headed to work. I was happy to find that my fridge, which had accumulated a huge block of ice over the summer, had melted and that half of my office carpet was soaked...and the office was humid, and smelly. So, I used up all the paper towels I could find and then got called in to work on a project. I spent the next several hours trying to sort through a mess of mixups with distributing student T-passes. We all worked together and finished the job early - it was kinda fun, in its own weird way. So, finally, I had some time to organize myself. I'm entering paperwork things and our new secretary comes to tell me that my husband has called.

wha? He never calls. It must be bad.

So I check my phone, and, sure enough, have a voicemail. Its pretty vague, just asking me to call him. So I do.

So, while Kyle thought Abby was sleeping off her morning shots, she was apparently very busy making a dirty diaper. She then busied herself in learning how to take off said diaper dragging it around. Kyle walked in to find Abby sitting in the middle of quite the mess. Kyle was worried about the mess and Abby's shot "wounds" where she had picked off her bandaids as well. He was waiting on me to call him back to give him the "ok" that he could bathe her.

Obviously, I called and he bathed pronto.

Poor daddy. He's been working on a project for his class today and was counting on having just enough time to finish things before he had to leave, so this little interruption left him a little stressed.

Luckily, my co-workers understood and as there was nothing else for me to help with ( I set up fans to work on my carpet overnight) - they suggested I go help him out.

And so now, here I am, waiting on the icky laundry to finish. I just put Abs down for her second nap - but the change of sheets and lack of bumpers (yep, had to wash those too) has left her all too awake. She's in there babbling to herself quite happily at the moment. Sigh.

So, its been quite the first day. Busy for me, busy for Kyle, and well, busy for Abby too. Little stinker.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

new routines

It seems like a lot has changed in the past 24 hours.

Summer ended, work began. I think I had a great summer. I mean, I got to spend it with my husband and my baby. It was a first for me - having a child around during the summer months. I had a blast. I loved traveling with her, and I loved our daily outings to parks or target, and I loved just lying on the floor watching sesame street with her. It was a really, really great summer. On one hand, I think I could be a stay at home mom in a heartbeat if circumstances allowed.

On the other hand, I find myself excited for the beginning of a new year. The beginning is always the best part. You're not behind yet and everything is a clean slate. I enjoy working and I enjoy my job. I especially enjoy that my job has fantastic hours for being a parent. I enjoy that each year that I've worked I've become more confident. I'm no longer "learning the ropes" Now, I'm a part of my school - somebody that the other staff know and look to on certain things. So, I'm not really sad that summer is over. I like what I do.

So anyway, all this has brought about new routines for our little family of three. We made the decision that Kyle would not take on a full time job while in school this year. Instead of using that money to hire a nanny, Kyle offered to be a stay at home dad during the day while I'm at work. Then we switch so he can go to his evening and night classes.

For the first time...ever? This means that on most days - Kyle and I can eat dinner with Abby. So far, she has always eaten around 5:30 and we eat around 7:30 or 8 after she's gone to bed. But, with all of us home for the afternoon hours - we can eat together. This makes me happy. ...and it also makes me sad. Sad because we live in a small apartment with no formal dining room or room for a real table. I know its not forever - but I DO look forward to having a nice sit down meal with the whole family some day. Either way - it'll be better for all of us to eat a little earlier.

And speaking of food - I decided to make up some new meals for Abs over the weekend. She is getting very good at picking up her food - but I'm still pretty gun shy about giving her big chunks of things. This means, that she will feed herself small pieces of food - but that takes too long and I don't think she can get enough that way. So, usually, I give her some finger food portions of whatever we're eating that night and puree the rest. On Sunday, I made her some brown rice, chicken, sauteed celery and broccoli and mixed them in various combos. Then we made beef and roasted red pepper, onion with a touch of garlic. We made some others stuff, but those were the best.
pre mix
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I thought it was appropriate that Abs should have her first taste of hamburger on Labor Day. Here are a few pics of that.
ok...I'll try it
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hmmm
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I like it!
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In other news, after a long hiatus, I ran again today. I didn't have a lot of time between me coming and Kyle leaving and dinner in between - but I got in about 30 mins. I gotta keep it up. I like it when I do it. I just HAVE to make time to do it.

I suppose that's enough random information for one evening, huh? Have a nice night folks.

Monday, September 7, 2009

into everything

Abby is into everything these days. Its delightfully baby-ish of her.

Everyday I have to re-stack the DVDs. Everyday, I have to keep her from crawling into the kitchens and bathrooms (I don't trust my floors that much). Everyday, I set up a make shift playpen and everyday she finds a way through it.

Everyday she finds the one piece of thread or paper that the vacuum missed. Everyday she puts something in her mouth that she shouldn't....and she cries, everyday, when I take it away from her. She would rather play with my flip flops than her toys.

She isn't officially crawling yet. She scoots around on her belly, stops, raises up into crawling position and rocks back and forth - and then goes back down on her belly to keep moving. I've learned that belly scooting can be fairly efficient. She's quick.

She pulls up on things - but only to her knees. I think she's pulled up all the way to her feet maybe once. But, if you stand her on her feet - she can balance on something for...as long as she feels like standing there. I don't think it'll be long before she's crawling and standing on her own.

And, just for the record, I love every second of chasing her around. Who knows, I'll probably change my mind when she's 2 - but for now, its a lot of fun watching her explore things.

Here are some shots we snapped yesterday morning of Abs playing with her new toy. We started using all the footy pajamas we had when we stopped swaddling her at night. For some reason, all the ones we have are really big. The one she's wearing in these pictures is 0-3 month size. Crazy. Enjoy the pics.

roller coaster beads = fun
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figuring it out
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smile!
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exploring - I love that little pointer finger
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so close
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she was waving at me - this made me laugh.
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hey mom - wanna watch Hook? How 'bout Apollo 13?
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Friday, September 4, 2009

outings, deals, and baby stuff

My dear friend Shelby has spent the week with us in Boston. It was a lot of fun having her around.

We got out in the city (and beyond) almost everyday and it was nice to see some things I've never seen either. In addition to the "usual" Boston sights, we took a day and headed down to Plymouth. We ate some shrimp on the beach, went and saw the rock, toured a Mayflower replica and did a little shopping. We did the freedom trail and did some tours that I'd never been on (Paul Revere's house and the USS Constitution). We took her to the Sam Adams brewery, which was fun as usual and spent an afternoon walking around Harvard. We had a girls night out with our friend Karen while Kyle babysat. After a nice dinner, we found a bar to hang out in and didn't leave till it closed. It's been a while since any of us had done that. ;) So - all in all it was a great week.

Here are some pictures of Plymouth - I've got others from the rest of the week that I haven't uploaded yet
maybe she has my chin.
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classic new england beach
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the rock.
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mayflower replica
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daddy and daughter
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While we were out an about, Abby decided that she could, after all, hold her own sippy cup and actually drink from it. Well, mostly. She still somehow manages to completely soak whatever she's wearing when we just let her have the cup. But, that's fine. Apple juice has been a big hit and she also tried some banana-carrot-something else combo that she enjoyed.

such a big girl
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So, in other news. Abby and I went thrift store shopping today. I love thrift stores. I mean, it's a process, and its not for everybody - but I think it is so much fun to find something perfect for next to nothing. We spent a little over 2 hours in the store (this is an amazing thing considering I had a baby with me - gotta love gerber cheese puffs). I came away with some great finds. I got some pants, some shirts. One pair of pants I found were the exact same ones I wanted to buy at the mall earlier this week - but they were $80 and I just couldn't. Well, today I got them for $5 and I'm thrilled. I do need to hem them...but I don't think that'll cost me $75 bucks. My other great find was this activity cube for Abby. I have a weakness for wooden toys. And bright colors. I thought it was a good toy that would be interesting as she grows. I looked it up when I got home to find that it sells for $130! I got it for 4.00, which makes me love it more. Abby played with it all afternoon. :)
Abby's activity cube
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In yet other news. Abby Finally said "mama" tonight. I've been "practicing" with her for weeks. Then we hear her in the corner of the room, talking to her toys: "ma - mamama - ma - ma..." It sounded like she was trying to practice in private before trying it out on me. ;-)

Later in the evening, she was watching me cook and had a FIT of the giggles. I could barely look at her and she would laugh - so, since this is like a drug to me - I decided to actually make faces. That made her squeal. So then I decided to jump out at her, make silly faces, jump in the air, tickle her, eat her toes. Oh my gracious - she was beside herself! She would jump and scream out and then DIE laughing everytime I popped around the corner. We've never had her laughing that hard and it was fabulous. Kyle came in from running an errand and said "I could hear you guys all the way from the elevators" It was great.

Oh, and the whole time, she would periodically reach for me and say "mama!" I'm not truly convinced she's put two and two together - but I think within a few days she will.

So, fun times! She's absolutely amazing and is more fun everyday.

I'm going to try to be better about updating - I know I've been slacking a little bit. But, work starts on Tuesday (WHERE did the time GO?) and I'll have a routine again.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

summertime

We had a great day today. We spent most of it in Plymouth, but I'll blog about that later. After we got back, I dropped off the others and Abby and I went to a new farmer's market I've been wanting to try.

Perfect. The only word is perfect. The day was beyond gorgeous. The farmer's market was more than I expected. I had Such a good time looking at all the foods and goods and planning in my head. There were lots of people - far more than I expected considering there was only an hour left before the market closed.

So, we wandered around and enjoyed the perfect weather. There was a homemade ice cream place that had kids lined up. There were children everywhere - walking around with melting ice cream cones and vanilla or strawberry on their faces. There were kids sampling fresh plumbs or raspberries, running around chasing puppies. It was almost too picturesque. I didn't have much money, so I bought a few things but then decided I wasn't ready to leave. With my last dollar, I bought a white peach that Abby and I enjoyed together.

We just sat on a bench and I let her eat it. I took pictures (of course). The sun was on its way down and...did I mention the weather was perfect? Beyond perfect. We just sat there enjoying the park, watching the other kids roll down a hill, play tag, and laugh. Just perfect.

Here are our pictures.
perfect peach
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such a big girl!
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sucking the juices :)
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baby bird
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figuring it out
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barefoot is best
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juicy!
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flashing those baby blues
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