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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

11 months

February 1, marks Lucy's 11th month on earth with us.   I looked back on the baby blog and last year at this time I was sleeping every other night, enjoying that "super pregnant" look and hoping to make it for the baby shower.  Not only did I make it, but as you'll recall Dr. Kristen had to reach in and force Lucy to come out.

With everything we have planned this month I'm betting this February flies by a heck of a lot faster than last February did.  With Lucy seriously sleeping through the night we (Jason and I) are getting a lot more sleep and are far more rested than we thought we would be.

Lucy has her days.  Sometimes she comes home from school and is ready to play for an hour before we start the bedtime routine (dinner, bath, 2 pages of a book, a bottle then bed).  Sometimes, like last night she hardly has the patience for dinner.  We managed to linger in the bath and between the bath and bottle long enough to get bedtime in a hair under 6pm.  Our goal is 6:30 - 7:00 but 7:00 is RARE.

It didn't surprise me that she was awake at 5:00 this morning.  Since it is still the dead of winter it is DARK outside and I popped in gave her a pacifier and laid her back down.  That worked until 5:38.  Those 38 minutes were critical for me and I'm thankful for them.

I still can't get pictures of Lucy's top teeth - it is hard to get the kid to flash her upper gums, but trust me, when she bites on my finger I can feel teeth.  The books say that it is time to schedule her first dentist appointment.  Don't call me a naysayer, but I have a feeling that Lucy will not love Dr. Otto the way I love Dr. Otto.  Thankfully, this first appointment is simply about an initial assessment of her mouthal (yeah, I made that up) situation.

You can't tell by the picture above, but Lucy's curls have returned.  She will need another haircut before her birthday party.  I'm torn between keeping her in this adorable pixie cut or enduring a crazy grow out so she can have lovely little girl hair.  I can't stand it in her eyes (holy crap, I'm channeling my grandmother Elsie) but I do love the wave that her hair has.  Jason is no help - he said he would like it either way.   We have an appointment. scheduled for two weeks before her birthday; whatever damage we do there will soften up before the family arrives.  I'm not worried, she's super cute.

By the way, and totally off topic - I'm drinking a V8 V-fusion today.  It is vegetable and fruit and green tea, and I can totally taste the carrots and tomatoes.  I likely won't be buying it again.  I'd rather eat carrots & tomatoes.

Ok, gotta run.  


Friday, January 27, 2012

A terrible dilemna

What will we do?  I've been staying up nights unable to sleep because I'm overcome with worry.  We've put our names into the hat to win the 2012 HGTV Dream Home.

It is a 5000+ square foot home outside Park City, Utah.  It has an amazing kitchen, a glorious outdoor space complete with a hot tub, a tricked out 2 car garage (complete with an SUV) and everything you could think you might want.

I know they will pull our name and then we'll be in a terrible pickle.  This gorgeous place is amazing and it would be great fun to visit, but the darned thing only has 3 bedrooms so it only sleeps 6 people.  Can you imagine?  There is a very cool nook off the family room that kids can play in and I suppose Lucy could live in there, but the house isn't really equipped to deal with the large family gatherings I think we'd like to have.  The family room does have an Ethan Allen queen sized sleeper sofa and I hope that for $3947 the darned thing would be comfortable.  I haven't yet found a sleeper sofa that I would want to sleep on for more than 2 nights in a row, but maybe Ethan has that worked out.  Actually, my mom had a brilliant addition to her sleeper sofa - she slid a plywood board between the paper thin mattress and the jagged bars of the bed and it actually made her sofa bed bearable.  Not everyone has storage room for sheets of plywood that you might only use once or twice a year, but it made me feel special that she worked a solution to the tragedy that is "you don't mind sleeping on the pull out do you?"

So, I've been pacing the floors at night worried about learning to ski again - after all you can't live in Utah and not know how to ski.  I've been worried about how my 'can't ever keep my opinions to myself" nature will go over with the new neighbors and then how to keep the riff-raff from visiting.  By "riff-raff" I mean the relatives who a) don't read this blog and b) are boring or cause fights when they come around.

The real issue would be, move or don't move.  Our people mostly live here in Washington so a move to Utah for just the three of us would be sad, but I know I mentioned that this place has a hot tub.  There is an option where we could take the cash payout, which would be a pretty nice little addition to our savings account, but it would be sad not to get to hang out at the house for at least a month before they wrote us a check.  We could take the house and then find a property management company to rent it out for vacationers. I've always wanted to go to the Sundance Film Festival...having a tricked out place to stay would be great, or we could rent the last unused bedroom to Brad & Angelina.  Their kids would have to bunk with Lucy in the kids nook, but I'm sure they are use to sharing rooms anyway.

Oh well, I guess this is the burden I'll have to shoulder. I'm sure I'll figure out what to do before they draw my name later this spring.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's been exciting around here

We took off a long weekend to spend some much needed alone time together and then Mother Nature decided that five days wasn't enough.  With the exception of a one day break we spent 11 days in each other's company 24/7.  It was great, it was fun and it was super exhausting.  I think we all benefit from Lucy's outings to "school".  She certainly likes her friends. When I left her this morning she and Connor, a fellow 'I can't quite walk yet' classmate were laughing at each other while handing a drum back and forth.  I think she likes the diversity of activities that they plan at 'school'.  Sometimes they do art, sometimes they play with shredded paper, sometimes it is peek-a-boo time.  At home, my entertainment skills are heavily reliant on the toy box and   books.   I don't get creative with arts and crafts.  I hope to be that kind of mom who can manage a rainy day with art, but at almost 11 months, it's a challenge.

We're happy that the weather has warmed up, but we had a major wind storm last night and it kept me awake. I could hear all the vents on the house being blown around and I just knew that all the trash bins that were outside were being strewn about our already messy street.  The big snow day was our trash day and for some odd reason (hills?) United Waste didn't pick up the trash.  We managed to bring our bins in for the week( it's called shoveling your walkway) but many of our dip shit neighbors couldn't get it together to do it.  If there's a reason why I won't be friends with many of the neighbors it is their complete lack of pride in keeping our street clean.  I understand why everyone (but us) has bins and extra bags out today, but they also have their recycling out as if some miracle will occur and the Recycle truck will come too, even though it's not recycle week.

Today the wind is gone, but we have what I like to call "big rain" and all the bins that have had their lids blown off are filing with water.  Could the neighbors bring in their now super soggy cardboard piles?  Hell no.  I called to confirm that there will only be trash pick up today and now I'm tempted to run around outside and put a sign on every pile that says "TRASH" so that the garbage people will just pick all that junk up.  I'm happy to recycle and it would be sad to have all that product go to the landfill, but I want it off the streets.



In Lucy news, we finally have top front teeth budding.  I noticed them last night after her bath.  She was singing and singing and I caught a glimpse of white in the upper palate.  She's still right on time with the teeth, because these teeth are expected anywhere between 8-12 months.  She'll hit 11 months on the 1st so she's fine.  I guess I just felt that because Jordan's teeth came in all at once that Lucy's would too.  Lesson:  different kid, different rules.

Both Jason and I got a little emotional (not tears or anything like that) when we saw the teeth.  We are excited but I, for one, am going to miss that gummy smile.  This year has gone by so fast.  She's such a little girl these days and I'm sure walking is right around the corner.   She doesn't quite have words yet but we occasionally hear "mama-mama" and "da" and the ever embarrassing "die die die".  Sometimes she sounds really sweet when she's babbling and other times it sounds kind of expressive, so the difference between cute 'dai, dai, dai' and demonic  "die! die! die!" is remarkable.  She does growl at us, but most to express displeasure and I'm sure it will go away when she has the word 'no'.  She already knows what shaking her head no means and we get hand signals to let us know when she's done eating.  It looks like a grand two handed wave, but it is the sign language move for "all done".  She knows what "more" looks like (pinch your fingers together and touch the tips of both hands) but an outstretched arm, the gimmie hand grab and an expressive grunt works too.

This weekend is Jason's birthday and he and I will be going out to dinner.  Lucy will be staying home with Rico and Mrs. Rico but just so it feels like she's with us in spirit we'll be scattering a handful of Cheerio's on the floor around our table. I'm sure the staff at El Gaucho will see the humor in that.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snow Day

We're home again due to weather. Yesterday it was simply snow that caused the schools to close and since our day care follows the school district closures we had a stay at home baby yesterday. I was able to attend all my meetings and keep up with email, so it wasn't a total (work) loss. We're home again due to freezing rain. Yesterday I shoveled part of the driveway (and Jason did the other half when he got home) and overnight it has filled with about 3/4 of an inch of ice. It looks like a big soupy puddle but it's frozen solid. The picture below this post was taken this morning on the little tree in front. The power lines look the same. In fact, our power has been flickering on and off all morning. I'd be doing laundry, but I worry that if the power goes out for a long period of time that a tub full of wet clothes would be a bad thing.

 Hanging with Lucy is fun, but she really does the same things over and over again She unstacks the stacking boxes, pulls the blocks from the bin, removes the coasters from the coffee table (what they did to her I'll never really know) and then makes the annoying "learning puppy" sing. (Thanks DOUG for the Annoying Learning Puppy!) The damn thing has the most irritating song that Lucy seems to love. Imagine this in a fake child voice "It's fun to see you laugh and grow, learning as you play. It's something something and here is what I say I loooooove you, I loooove you , morning noon and night, I loooooove you, I looooooove you, you make my day so bright." It seems innocent enough, but there are times when I really want to punch that happy puppy right in the nose.

We're in kind of a growth spurt with Lucy right now and she's a sleeping machine. She woke up at 6:30 this morning and had to have a morning nap at 8:30. It's been over an hour and there's been nary a peep from the nursery. She'll likely take another nap this afternoon and still be ready for bed in the 6:00 hour. The other Lucy issue is that we're still dealing with a minor diaper rash. It gets better then flairs up again. We had it in pretty good shape after our 5 day weekend together, but one day at day care and we were back to a flaming red bum again. I'm not sure what that's all about. She does eat a lot more at 'school' than she does at home and seems to pooh a lot more there too. They are changing her every hour and applying the doctor required paste - something about school makes Lucy's butt very very angry.

Enough about baby butts - we have a follow up appt with our pediatrician Friday (provided we can get there) and we'll get to the bottom of it. Ha Ha, get it, I said "bottom" while discussing a diaper rash... I'm so funny. snort. My book group meeting is scheduled for tonight, but even if it warms up and melts today, I likely will not be going. I don't have any fear about getting there (if it gets warm during the day) but once the sun goes down the soggy slush will be an issue and since BG is optional, I feel safer skipping. Hopefully the ladies are in agreement and we can find another day to meet. I did finish the book and am interested in their thoughts on these strange and mildly unlikeable characters. there goes the baby.... off to be a mommy.

Brrrr

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter Duo


Jason, Lucy and I went for a walk yesterday and we stopped for a mildly cute picture along the way.  We bought this silly blue snow suit for Lucy before we went to Denver for Christmas and didn't get a chance to wear it.  Lucky for us, the snow gods in Seattle have blessed us with a winter blast.

We're enjoying the snow, the cute suit and of course as always the camera.  Dragging the tripod on our walk seemed silly, but if we go out again I'll insist that we take it, as the only thing that would have made this picture more perfect (more perfecter?) would be to have Jason in the shot.  However, Lucy is flirting with dad in this picture and if she were simply looking at a camera on a tripod she wouldn't be so happy.

The weather people say we're in for a whopper tomorrow, so I'm trying to get as much done at work today as possible (minus the time to blog) so that if I'm home with a kid who has no "school" that I'm not horribly behind.

We cut short our trip to Long Beach due to the snow and it was a good decision.  Sadly we had to cancel dinner with a friend, but having a whole day at home was great.  We made an amazing stew, Lucy took two very long naps and had fun not being in the car all day.

Last night, our power went out at 2:30 am, which is reason to have to get out of bed and power the computers down (they have a back up battery to save us from hard unexpected power outages) and to reset the house alarm.  It only takes a few minutes (as a team) to do all that, but neither of us could get back to sleep.  Maybe the house without the hum of fans, heaters, or the glow of all the electrical lights is too dark and quiet to sleep in.

Power was restored before 4:00 am and we were able to get a couple hours of sleep in before we had to start our day.  Everything seems back to normal, but our satellite TV is out.  The big blob of snow that was on the satellite has sloughed off, so I'm wondering if Mr. Fix-It needs to reset the main box.  (Or if there is a main box to reset...)  I tell you this, if Jason should ever leave me the tvs, phones and computers will never work again.  Everything is magically connected and I don't really understand it all.  Seriously, if he were to go get cigarettes and never come back I'd be like the 40's housewife who didn't know how to drive or that there was a mortgage payment to pay.  You'll come over and I'll be sitting in the dark with a candle and a paper book feeling really sorry for myself.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Traveling

The new year has started in earnest. I’m traveling this week in San Jose. Thankfully it is a short flight and the weather here is pretty nice. It was a “roasty” 60 degrees today, but should dip down to a chilly 40 tonight. I braved this trip with only sweaters and am a tiny bit sorry I didn’t bulk up a bit. (There was some crazy dude in the outdoor pool last night...it was NOT warm enough for that activity.)
Alaska Airlines changed their available flights out of San Jose and instead of getting home at 5:45 tomorrow I’ll be landing at 9:00. The difference is only a few hours, but it does make for a long day. Oh well, it’s nice that our home is near the airport and I don’ t have to add on a 45 minute freeway trip on top of the flight time. I didn’t travel enough last year to retain my “elite” flyer status and the real bummer is the added ten minutes it takes to get off the airplane when we land. For some reason those ten minutes feel a lot longer than any other part of the flight. I’d like to complain about the loss of my “elite” status, but it really means that I spent lots and lots of time at home in 2011. 2012 will see the return of my status but thankfully I will not hit the “super elite” status. I frankly don’t want to travel that much.

It was Mom’s birthday on Sunday and I used my go to birthday gift generator (Amazon.com) to mail her two movies – the recommended hit “The Help”, which I really enjoyed and I know many of you read the book. I also sent her the documentaries “Babies”. My parents watched both movies yesterday and I heard that the Babies movie was such a hit that it was going to get a second viewing in short order. So – yeah!

Monday night we (the work peeps) went to dinner at an “Asian Fusion” restaurant and we filled our table with entrees from Thailand, India and Japan. It should have been flavor collisions, but alas I wanted to tuck tidbits of the meal into my shirt pockets to eat later in the evening. I know that licking the bowls during a business dinner is slightly unacceptable, so I had to hold myself back.
Jason is “solo” parenting while I’m away and of course is doing just fine. I’m sure they both miss me as much as I miss them. Jason does a nice job of sending me a photo every day to keep me in the loop. Yesterday we went over Lucy’s day care sheet. Each day the ‘teachers’ at ‘school’ fill out a sheet to let us know when she ate, when she slept (never) and all diaper changes. Usually the sheet comes home with notes like “Lucy ate green beans!” or “Lucy needs more pants”. Monday it was “Lucy pooped at 6:30, 7:45, 10:15, 12:25, 3:10 and 4:10 today”. May I just say – WOW, that is a lot of poop. We’ve been managing a semi-industrial sized diaper rash and all the #2 does not help the healing process. I do think it’s nice that she’s so relaxed at “school”, and I guess I’m paying a lot of money for those diaper changes so I shouldn’t feel at all guilty about them.

When Jason picked up miss Lucy from ‘school’ yesterday he was asked when I was coming home. He felt a little judged so his response was “Why, am I doing something wrong?” The response was that of course he’s not doing anything wrong but that Lucy seemed “off” and seemed to be missing Mama. He seemed a tiny bit indignant that they would suggest that she would miss me considering how little awake time she has at home during the week. (1 hour in the morning and maybe 90 minutes after she gets home.) Part of me agrees that it’s crazy that she would notice in that timeline that I’m not around, however the idea that she would notice does my heart good. My guess is that when I get her up tomorrow she’ll be clingy and snuggly. I won’t mind that. The only bummer of not having middle of the night feedings anymore is that I don’t get to snuggle with her until tomorrow morning. It would be a bad mama moment to wake her up when I get home, no matter how much I miss her.

Other than that, not much is going on. We are planning a trip to Long Beach in the near future. I’m looking forward to solo time with my guy and the peanut. Doing it away from home is a special challenge because of all the stuff we have to bring, but also allows us to ignore all the things we should be doing instead of just hanging out with each other. We’ll be having dinner one night with Connie and Kendall – a couple that I know from high school. They married in 1987 or 1988 and have managed to stay together all these years. They are super nice and it will be great to reconnect. They started their family early on and have at least one son in college (or was in college and is now exploring other options) regardless, my point is that the only time I question our decision to do the parenting thing is when I hang out with people my exact age who started their journey 20 years ago… I know that my journey is the right one and I had many wonderful experiences prior to bringing Miss Lucy into the world and am enjoying my time with her . I have no regrets – it’s just the only time I feel like an “older mom” is when hanging out with my peers and they are talking about their college aged kids.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Holidays 2011 Recap

I do love the holidays and am sad to see them end.  The alarm this morning was a sad jolt back to reality.  Thankfully Miss Lucy slept until almost 7 which allowed both Jas and I to wake up slowly and ease back into the routine.

Our Christmas holiday was spent in Denver with Jason's parents.  It sucked not being with my own family but circumstances were going to make that not a reality even if we were here in Seattle.  We decided to take advantage of Lucy's mobility and lack of long term memory to take our party to Denver.   Next year we will be home and all relatives will be invited to join us.

Actually, we decided to throw a cocktail party on December 22nd.  Mark your calendars, we'll be dressing up and serving appetizers.  We'll be inviting family and friends, so don't make other plans. Christmas day next year will likely be just us, and both sets of parents.

To get to Denver a family must either fly or drive.  Since a driving vacation to Denver is a summer activity and one we won't put Lucy through until she's forward facing in the car so we can lull her to sleep with the on-board  DVD player, we flew.  Don't worry about that DVD thing though, she won't be watching Hannah Montana for 3 days straight, it will be PBS shows like Year in the life of a beaver pond, or Discovery Earth.   Flying with an infant is an adventure that I'm happy to have had a partner to share it with.   The airlines kindly let you hold an infant on your lap until they are 2 years old and it costs you nothing.  Well, nothing but personal space and worry for the people around you.

Lucy did very well on both flights.  The outbound flight she slept almost the entire way and on the return flight she was awake but mostly happy. We did ply her with Cheerios and other treats to keep her occupied, but I don't think we were wrong.

We decided a couple things though... unless the cost is horrific we'll be buying her a seat from now on and she's uninvited to our upcoming Maui vacation.  Thank you to Grandma Susie and Papa John for coming out and keeping our girl company, as she's a tad bit too young to stay alone.   I feel some guilt about leaving her behind but am also pretty excited about a week in Maui with my fella and no schedule to keep.   Instead of dinners on the lanai while the Peanut sleeps, now we can go out to dinner and maybe even a luau!  Walks on the beach at night and maybe even some skinny dipping.  Well neither of us are skinny, so technically it could be "tubby dipping" but you get the idea.

Ok, I hope that didn't give you a visual.  Let's get back to the holidays.  For the first time a trip to Denver did not include a neighborhood wide party to celebrate some nonsense like an engagement, pregnancy or birth and we were mostly free to do what we wanted. What we wanted to do was shop.  I mean, isn't that what people do who are limited to certain amounts of luggage and have yet to open the piles of presents under the tree?

I think the purchase of a big and fluffy bathrobe was entirely reasonable and the winter coat with the liner was super practical.  Heck, if I had to I was willing to wear all three on the plane.  I actually am in love with both items and found a way to make room.  We actually had almost 6 pounds of leeway with our bags (4 free bags of 50 pounds) so we had room for at least another pair of jeans or something equally important.

After all the shopping we also kept ourselves busy by frequenting our favorite breakfast and lunch joints.   Lucy doesn't do dinner out, so it's up early for eggs at Sam's #3.  We did get out twice for dinner.  Once with the family and an alternate grandma was brought in to sit with Lucy.  The other night, she was home with the real deals.  Both evenings were lovely, it is a bit strange to be out past 7pm in the evening.

While in Denver, Lucy attended her first Catholic Mass.  She did pretty well considering the late (for her) hour and the hot hot temperature in the room.   (We weren't early enough to be in the Churchy church part of the building.)   Papa John (not the pizza king) proudly paraded her through the room sharing his mild joy and adoration for our little girl.  She likes to see all the people so it was a great form of entertainment before all the talking began.

Lucy was somewhat unimpressed with the Christmas morning activities and had to take a nap between the stockings and the opening of the gifts.  She likes the paper, or to be more specific likes to eat the paper.   The new toys and all the beautiful outfits she got were not really her concern.

We were in Denver a week and it flew by very fast.  We arrived home Thursday and then enjoyed four full days of a home vacation.  We planned and prepped for a New Year's Eve celebration, de-Christmased and spend a day on the couch watching movies.

Today it was back to life day.  Lucy went to school at 7:30, I hit the gym for the first time in for ever and there is laundry production happening.  I'm logged on to work and have resolved the emergencies that did not occur while I was out and am making my long to do list to keep myself on track this year.

This long post is not really on the plan, but I needed to catch you up so I could get back to complaining about customer service or politics.