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Monday, August 29, 2011

Art Day at School

Getting a bath after the art project

The babies at school created art that extends beyond the white canvas.

This is not a normal bath!

Damn it Momma, put down the camera and help me.

Fine..but you will pay for this later!

I didn't get to "school" in time to see the babies on the paper, but Miss Miriam assures me we will get pictures. When I arrived Lucy was getting a 'shower' and was PISSED. I think the love of water does not transcend to sitting on her naked bum in a steel sink.


Lucy is orange in spots and I hope Dr. Robin doesn't think she's an Oopma Loompa.

Friday, August 26, 2011

What's up - the 6 month Lucy update

With lots of world events to comment on I know you've been sad to see the never ending display of baby pictures and the oh so targeted (to grandmas) videos of Lucy eating, but this is still a baby post.  (I'll do a run-down of my hot button issues in a separate post.)

Let's get the baby stuff out of the way first,  our peanut will be 6 months old on the 1st.  SIX MONTHS old, holy crap.  Before we know it she'll be running up and down the stairs, having friends over, then turn sullen, and boom she'll be off to college.  Right now she is sleeping, which is nice.  "School" is closed today, which worked out well because Jason has the day off and is on Daddy duty.  He did the morning cereal feeding, played with her until 9:00 when the AM nap became evident.  (You know, when I want a nap at 9 am, people accuse me of being lazy but when the baby does it, it is fine.  She gets away with everything.)

Napping Peanut
Lucy still puts herself to sleep at night without too much fuss.  We have a bath, a bottle, read a little and then down she goes.  Sometimes she fusses for a few minutes, sometimes she's silent before we hit the bottom of the stairs, last night she wasn't tired at 6 so we played until 7 when the eye rubs (the international Lucy clue that sleep is needed) became consistent.  Since we're trying to move the 6:00 pm bedtime up the extra hour of awake was great.  I don't think we've completely migrated to a new bedtime, but we're seeing hopeful signs.

We have a trip to Denver in our future and I'm worried that the time change will be enough to mess with the progress we've made.  However, it should work in our favor while we're there, getting to sleep into 7am local time will be nice.  When we head to Maui and the three hour time difference is in the other direction that could be ugly.  She'll be a year old at that point and hopefully more adaptable on her sleep schedule. A mother can hope, right?

For naps, sometimes Lucy needs a little coaxing to relax.  Just now she was in her crib crying, so I picked her up and snuggled her until she relaxed.  It is a dangerous, but super satisfying action.  Her little body relaxed on me is a really maternal feeling.  I certainly don't want her to get in the habit of having to be rocked to sleep, which is why even with the pre-nap snuggles I make an effort to place her in her crib before she's fully asleep.

Skill wise, she's on fire these days.  She hit a developmental milestone that may seem trite, but she's able to move objects from one hand to another, and she's reaching like mad for stuff.  You should see her go for the tub toys that are floating just out of reach.  She can do full yoga moves to get what she wants. 

She's sitting up with little assistance and the face plops are few and far between.  Mostly she needs help not falling sideways or when she arches back not to whack her head on the floor.   She's interacting with her toys a lot more too.  In addition to the crinkly toys that were so popular at first, she's digging the balls and the toy cars that Jason brought home.  I like that it won't be all dolls, and kitchen toys in our house - toys that Dad likes are ones that Dad & Lucy can play together.

We head to the pediatrician on Monday and will get the official weigh in and our instructions for the next few months.  I think of these as report cards and am happy when we get a good review.  I'll update you all with the stats on Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lucy eats goop

Lucy's eating skills are improving as this super dynamic video shows.

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Hairdo

Miss Alexis at "school" took the time to do Lucy's hair. We love it!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sunnyvale Dance Party


Disco Pete

I was in San Jose this week and my co-worker and I ventured out to Sunnyvale for dinner. Turns out it was a summer concert night. The street was blocked off and all the locals were out with their lawn chairs.  Apparently, Sunnyvale is where the older population of silicon valley go to unwind...  thankfully the music was great!

Disco Pete brought his bedazzled roller skates and (unplugged) guitar to wow the crowd with his skating ability.   At one point I saw him "do the splits", but at his age it involved dropping to his knees, putting both hands on the ground, sliding one leg behind him and then with a lot of effort straightening the front leg as far as he could go.  It was not the fluid skate into the splits position that I'm sure he was able to do in his 20's.

Now I know it is WRONG to mock the aged because I will get my turn at the Geriatric Disco Party if I'm lucky.   I will say that these folks had a great time and were likely home in bed at a respectful 7:30 pm.    If you watch the video you'll also hear that the band (Tortilla Soup) was pretty good. 







A sample of the locals enjoying the show.



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Instpirational

Rachel turned 9 on June 12th.  She died in a terrible car accident here in Seattle on the 23rd of July.  Her birthday wish was to raise $300 for an organization called Charity: Water, that provides clean water wells to rural areas in developing nations.

She didn't reach her goal by her birthday, but in a wonderful moment of people coming together in a common cause her story has been told across the nation and as of a moment ago because of 24 thousand donations over $902,000 has been donated.  It is growing by the minute, mostly due to the media.   Her story has been in the local papers, on the CBS morning show, a CNBC story, other locations and this morning a story in the New York Times.    The donation "ask" is $9 or $90.  There are far more $9 donations than other denominations and that actually inspires me.  Yes, it is fabulous that someone donated $5000, but the kids that are clearing out their piggy banks are the ones who embody the spirit of this gal.

I think there are more people like me who are checking in on a daily basis to see where the donations are at.  When I donated ($43 for my 43rd birthday) it was at $750,000. 

As our stock markets roller-coaster and we bicker about our national debt and how to live within our means nationally it is sweet to see that for a small price we still have the ability to fulfill a girls dream and help others.  So far, the donations will help 45 thousand people get water.  That is significant no matter how you look at it.

I am aware that this "unity" won't last and soon we'll be onto something else, like the next celebrity scandal, but for right now I'm feeling good about "us". 

Here's the link to Rachel's page http://mycharitywater.org/rachels9thbirthday you can follow along (or donate). 

2:00 pm Update:  donation amount $950,891

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The birthday gift


After weeks of being told I was getting a new step stool for the kitchen (because Jason hates the one we have) I was happily surprised to open up this nifty baby backpack.  It has great lumbar support, lots and lots of pockets (a couple within reach of the wearer) and two massive pouches to double as lunch and diaper supply carriers. 

Lucy did pretty well in it (to the mailbox) but since she loves being outside so much I think it will be a huge hit.  It also has a sun shade that I think Lucy will hate, but we have good hats with chin straps to protect her little head.  When her arms get longer she can pull my hair as a game.  Until then we will clip on a lightweight toy.  One great safety feature is arm straps for the baby - so she doesn't just sit in it, she's clipped in from the top.  She may be able to throw me off balance with wild body flings from side to side, but she's not jumping out.

Thanks honey!  I love it.  Hows about a hike on Sunday?

Monday, August 08, 2011

Lucy's first SeaFair experience

Lucy & Dad watch for planes
 After cancelling our plans for Saturday because of Lucy's cold I was worried we weren't going to do anything this weekend.  I was feeling very housebound and rather sad about our dinner plans on Saturday.  The closer it is to my birthday, the more important social stuff is to me.  Saturday wasn't a party for me or anything, but I was looking forward to hanging out with these folks and having a laugh or twelve.  I do understand our people's desire to not have snotty, sneezy Lucy around, but the selfish part of me took a while to rally.  

Keeping Lucy home on Friday was a good thing.  I was able to get her to take two - two hour naps and she still got a full nights sleep.  By Saturday mid-day other than the spray your face sneezes she was back to her normal self.  Heck, she was even giggling again.  Friday I debated for about a half an hour what to do for Lucy.  She was clearly not herself, she was having sinus issues and was leaking tears from both eyes.    I put her in the car seat and then took her out a couple times.  The second time she leaned into my shoulder and made a sad little sound, like "I need a nap momma."  At that moment I knew I couldn't send her to the land of 10-minutes naps. 

Calling in sick when you personally aren't sick is a new thing.  I've taken "mental health" days, but those were somewhat scheduled, and they were almost always coupled with an actual medical appointment.  Calling in on a Friday seems suspect, but Lucy doesn't actually pay attention to my work calendar, so it's not that big of a deal.  Jason could have come home to be with Lucy, but I selfishly wanted to be the one to nurse her through it.
I hear nothing
We had been planning on going to see the Blue Angels fly on Sunday and in preparation we researched and purchased ear muffs for small people.  The BA tend to be earth shatteringly loud and not only did I want to protect these little ears but figured the noise would be super scary.  I'm going to give the 3M ear muffs the TP gal seal of approval.  Not only did they not pinch her head, thus making them comfortable to wear, but they worked like a charm.  The planes would fly over and she noticed it, but there was no screaming or scared face.  Well, there was one screaming incident, but that's because we thought the show was over and took the ear muffs off too soon.  Whoopsies. Lucy recovered nicely.

We think the pink muffs were a find, but felt they needed a little something so the bow adds just that right amount of flair.   Honestly, I was surprised at how many parents were there with the U1 crowd (under 1) that didn't have ear protection.  We were the only ones I could see in a sea of families. 

Lucy didn't get good naps yesterday and going to bed was a bit of a battle.  (It always is when she's super tired - hows that for irony.)  But, she woke this morning and was right as rain - her happy self.  yeah!

Friday, August 05, 2011

This is BS!

Lucy says it is not fair to make her do tummy time when she's not feeling good. Never mind that it drains all the ickies from her nose, she's pissed.

Friday

I'm having an unexpected day off, Lucy has a cold and she was kind of pathetic this morning.  She's not hospital bound, she doesn't have a fever, but she's whiny, somewhat lethargic, sneezey and has a cough that while infrequent sounds like she's been smoking for a while.

There isn't much to do for her, but I knew that keeping her home from "school" would allow her to take a couple really good naps today.  She's 1 hour into the morning nap and I'm hoping than when she wakes up she'll be hungry. 

Later, we'll pack up the bob (our awesome stroller) and take a walk to pick up some baby tylenol (and maybe a coffee for mommy.)  We'll also hit the grocery store and perhaps find something for dinner tonight.  I'm guessing grilled meat and salad... the typical summer night on the patio meal.

While Lucy is napping I turned on the TV and there's a show on about secret societies and they are suggesting that the Committee for Foreign Relations is actually a society of the most powerful men in the US and they decide who will be the next president.  Their theory is "proved' by the fact that no one had heard of Jimmy Carter, but within a few months or a year of being allowed into the committee he was president.  It's all very cloak and dagger - or rather meetings in hotels with bagels and bad coffee.  Maybe I should turn the channel - but the next show is about the plague.  I can't resist the black death.


Or... baby stiring - so much for learning about the plague.  It's time to play with Lucy.  A much better thing

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Giggly Girl

5 months

5 months (August 1)
4 months (July 3)

3 months (June 2)

2 months (May 1)

1 month (April 1)

day 3
Lucy had her 5 month birth-aversary Monday.  It's amazing to see the progress she has made in transforming from a 7 pound blob to a bubbly, giggly girl who has found her feet. 

She has always know who we were, Jason and my voice has been familiar since day one.  But her attachment to us is far more solid than it was early on.  Yesterday I picked her up from 'school' and this is normally Jason's job so I didn't want to forget anything.  I breezed in with a mission, car seat, milk bottle, pick up the dirty clothes (she has at least 1 costume change during every day), grab the info sheet, pack the baby. 

Well, Lucy saw me before I saw her and I zipped right by her on my way to item #1 on my task list.  I heard a familiar cry and realized she saw me and wanted me IMMEDIATELY.  That stopped me in my tracks - how on earth could not grabbing my baby after 7 whole hours of separation not be my first priority!?  Bad Momma.   

Speaking of crying children, there's a new boy in school who is not adjusting well.  Ryder is 11 months old and has never been away from his mom and now he's in 'school' all day long.  The little dude has screamed for 3 days straight.  He cries when anyone comes in the room (problematic for baby drop offs) and then wails when anyone leaves.  He wants everyone (adult) to pick him up, and maybe take him home?    He will adjust soon, hopefully the teachers will be able to remove the ear muffs they are forced to wear.  Ryder can scream!  Fortunately, the other babies could really care less.  They are all 'busy' with their own things.  Heck, even Lucy pays him no attention and at home she notices everything.  The only real affect is that so far this week at school her accumulative nap time is.... 10 minutes.  Maybe once Ryder accepts his fate and realizes that there is a ton of super fun things to do at school peace will reign again and naps will happen.

At 5 months, Lucy is starting to "talk" more frequently.  Mornings are very active as she is finding her voice.  She likes it when I parrot back to her what she's saying.  I try to turn those sounds into words. " IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIeeeeeeee  love you", or "IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIeeeeeeeeeeee think momma is really pretty."  She really seems to understand.  :)

Sleep wise we are VERY fortunate.  Lucy can't stay awake past 6pm.  Take a nap during the day little bunny and you'll see that there's a whole other world out there!  She sleeps for about 5 hours and wakes for a much needed food break.  The books and websites say that a 5-6 hour stretch is the expected norm at this stage.  From the reading I've done it seems as though there are parents with babies this age who are still feeding every 3 hours at night.  I tell you I would be super cranky if that was us.

Depending on when Lucy gets her night time bottle the next wake up is anywhere from 3am to 6am.  The 3am is rough because it feels like she just went to sleep 4 hours ago (oh wait, that's us).  Heck, the 5am is rough because there's really no going back to sleep at that hour, we're up at 6am anyway.   No matter, Lucy has started to wake up and at times, put herself back to sleep without the aid of a Momma or a Dadda.   We've been trying to discourage a second night time feeding and thus the second (not morning) bottle has been getting smaller and smaller.  We need to re-think our strategy though when she wakes up and it's been 6 hours since she last ate - chances are she's legitimately hungry. 

Lucy had a spell at 4 months old where she was rolling all over the place.  This seems to have calmed down.  She seems quite happy on her side and rolls to her tummy are infrequent.  However, when we plop her on the tummy for "tummy time" she tolerates it for a while.  Her head control is excellent, but I think she's going to walk before she crawls.  (That's not uncommon for back sleepers.)   

She is sitting up well, but needs some support on her lower back - and a safety hand because she is prone to herky jerky movements without much notice.  I take this as a sign that she's so confident that someone is there to catch her that she can fling herself in any direction she wants without regard to how hard the floor might actually be.  She certainly prefers sitting up to floor time, and the bouncy chair is extremely popular. 

On the food front, we've started cereal.  I'm apprehensive about moving away from a 100% formula diet.  It's so simple - make formula, drink it.  There's no brain power required.  This food thing for babies feels like it's going to be complicated.  I know I can do it, one step at a time, but just as I worry that we won't be able to send her to college or that we'll have the sex talk too late, I worry that I'll ruin her food habits with my own inability to manage a diet of mushy, but nutritious foods for infants.    Maybe that's why the chicken nugget diet is so popular, it is essentially formula for finger food eaters.  They like it, it's easy and you could figure out a way to think it is nutritious.  So far we're doing just fine, she likes the pears, apples, prunes and sweet potatoes.  Next up... carrots. 

So, that's the Lucy update. 

Wifely Domination

As previously mentioned, Jason enjoys a game on his iPhone called Angry Birds.  It is a cultural phenomenon.  Our last story on this topic was the devastating loss of all of his progress due to a phone freeze up issue.  I still can hear the pathetic wail from the office as he realized that all of his game data had been erased. 

Well, that is long since passed and he has gotten over the emotional pain and even gone back and replayed those silly basic levels with the self imposed rule that "I can't move on to the next level until I earn three stars on the current level."  For the uninitiated, in the game you fling birds at pigs that are hiding in structures.  You get points for the amount of destruction you create and once all the pigs are dead (cutely exploded) you get a star score for that level.  There are bonus points for not using all the birds and other little tricks. 

I am not encumbered by the three star rule so while I try to do it, if a level is just too hard but I've gotten through with one measly star I move on.  I play for the fun of it, not the glory.

Another aspect of the game is the ability to upload your scores and see where you rank "nationally".  I have been listening to my beloved tell me where he's ranked.  "I'm in the top 5% of over 13 million players!"  I will from time to time look up from whatever I'm doing, reading, playing with Lucy, doing our taxes and say (without much emotion) "Congratulations honey, you must be very good."

Last night I was flipping him some playful crap about how much time he has invested in the game and what else he could have done with that time and he decided it was time to see where I was ranked.  I knew he needed to see how far above me he was and since I don't really care (thus I've never uploaded my scores before) I let him do it.

I was reading and realized it had gotten very quiet on his side of the couch, so I picked up one of the phones (gaming consoles) and saw the ranking screen.  (Printed at the left.)  It is quite clear that without even trying, my score is higher than his.  I asked "well, how did that happen?"  I got back a very loud and quite irate "I have no *&%$^* idea!"

In case you can't see the numbers it reads:
tpgal (that's me) : 22,100,120
Me (that's Jason): 21,831,000

The 200,000 points is nothing and I think he stayed up until Lucy's 3am feeding to work on his score.  I expect I won't see his face until he is safely ranked above me.  I'm tempted to call in sick today just to play to keep my lead, but that seems spiteful and wrong, especially since it matters to him and not me.

Although, I think I would be remiss if I didn't also share our national rankings.

Total players: 13,738,106
Jason is ranked: 195,668  (meaning that there are only 195,000 people with better scores than him - out of 13 million players.) 
I am ranked 176,057  (meaning that I am one of those 195,000 people!)

This whole silly episode reminds me of an incident in high school where the star quarterback and honor roll king (and super competitive prick) somehow figured out that I had a better GPA than he did and he almost flipped out and had to be taken to the hospital.  That might be a slight exaggeration, but he was mad.  I'm pretty sure he's over it now, but since he didn't come to any of the reunions maybe he's still harboring a grudge.  (Actually, he has a very nice, happy life - which is good for someone who is clearly very stupid.)

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Where've you been?

The jetty at Ft. Canby

The family

Ft. Columbia

Lucy with Grandma Susie and Dad

Chico's Pizza

Lucy is unsure about the frilly hat
Now that I share a home with whatshisface and my tv has been upgraded from the 19 inch tube to a much more modern 29 inch tv, I don't really feel it's safe to announce when we're going to be on vacation.  When I lived in the condo and my whole world was protected by a rather large cat and an angry raccoon it was fine to announce I wouldn't be home, but now... I keep it to myself until after we're home.  Although, if you have any kind of brain at all, you'll see the pictures from various parts of the world.

Last week we enjoyed a glorious stay in Long Beach, Wa.    The weather was amazing, warm, perfect wind for kites, and our 'cabin' was lovely.

The only bummer was that our other munchkin, Jordan had a rough weekend and a trip to the Ocean Beach hospital at 3 in the morning with what turned out to be not one but two ear infections.  Poor little bug.

Going back to the beach is always fun.  Some things never seem to change (the two stop lights) and then some are never the same.  Some businesses are different every year, this year it's elephant ears, last year it was pottery, the year before, kites....

One shocking discovery, the beloved pizza parlor Chico's is for sale. We from the beach can only pray that whoever coughs up the asking price ($850,000) doesn't feel the need to mess with perfection.  Chico's is an institution and for sure the beach isn't ready for an Italian/Asian fusion restaurant.  (For the record, 'restaurant' is a word that I can never seem to spell correctly. If spell check ever stops working I will be eating at "restaraunts".)

After our beach weekend, we were home for a day and then off to the east side of the state to visit with my folks and to make a side trip to the Hedges winery. 

We helped mom zip up the yard.  She and I trimmed the trees while Jason mowed.  I tried to rake up all the apples, but he mowed over the ones in the back yard before I could get there.  The part of the mower that directs the cut grass away from the mower broke, so it spews grass (and ground up mushy apple bits) all over the operator.  Jason was a dusty, grassy, sticky mess at the end of his task.  

When we got back to our room we both showered and it was almost too much for our tub.  By the time he was out the tub was really grimey.  I'm sure the housekeeping staff wasn't pleased.

Lucy did well on both trips.  The drive to the beach was a bit of a challenge but I think we screwed ourselves by stopping in Tacoma.  She had just fallen asleep and it was enough of a nap to 'refresh' her and she didn't nap again.  Instead she cried.  She was a much easier baby the ride home and on our way home from Yakima slept the whole way.