Sunday, January 18, 2009

Packing up and moving on...

Sorry fans...but I have defected.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Letter to Zach - Month 10

Dear Zach,
Today you turned 10 months old and you weigh 26lbs 13oz and are 30.5 inches long...
So either your shrinking since your 9 month newsletter where I reported you were 32 inches long, or I can't work a tape measure right.
And I would like to just take a moment to pat myself on my back for posting your monthly newsletter ON TIME. This is HUGE. I will be proud of this for DAYS.
This month we started off with a little Halloween activity which was probably way more entertaining for me than it was for you come to think of it. We spent the morning at Suzanne and Sylvia's house where we ate one of the tastiest potluck brunches I've had in a long time and stuffed you kids into hilarious costumes. You were a plush little turtle. This would be the part where it was probably more fun for me. You seemed pretty neutral about the whole thing, only swapping neutrality for confusion when we lined all of you up on the couch and then started simultaneously making cooing, buzzing, and clicking noises to get you all to smile and look at the camera together. Not as challenging as herding cats, but not easy either. In fact, combing through our collective pictures from all four cameras I don't think we got a single picture with all of you smiling.
We spent the rest of the afternoon running errands at which point (much to your relief) I changed you into your second costume for the day which was a simple skeleton PJ set courtesy of Grandma Carola. By night time we were home and ready to greet trick'or'treaters - something I was skeptical we would have given our track record of only one last year, and that was the neighbor we're friends with so it was more out of pity than anything else. But this year we had over 10! I'm convinced it's because the new neighbors have fixed up crazy old lady Rena's house quite nicely since buying it. And by 'nicely' I mean 'nicely, considering they chose to paint it a god awful shade of orange and I'm still upset about it 3 months after they did it.' My theory is that the house was downright scary looking before, and on a such small cul-de-sac not many people felt compelled to wander around knocking on doors near a freaky dark house where a crazy old lady is rumored to live. But she's gone and so the treak'or'treating ensued with much merriment.
Once Halloween wrapped up you came down with a cold.
Yes, sick again.
Thankfully you are the best sport about being sick, otherwise I think I'd go insane with all the times that you and I have collectively been ill this year. This time you had a head cold complete with cough, sore throat, and running nose. Which you graciously gave to me, and then I in turn gave to your dad. So for about 2 weeks running we were all in variously states of cranky. And in the midst of it all you decided to stop eating anything solid at all - even your cheerios - which drove me nearly batty by the 2nd week. You finally started eating cheerios again, but just about all other solids are out. I can sometimes trick you into trying a few things, and if I'm lucky and give you a loaded spoon you might actually get some of it in your mouth. At this point I think you're just still not that into food yet, combined with getting over a cold, as well as striking out with some independence of your own.
Once again I have chosen to walk the path of patience and neutrality. We try eating every day, at a few different times, and one day I'm sure I will look back on all this and yearn for the days when I didn't have to only shop at Costco, and I could leave there for less than $800 in groceries.
As for the end of the month you have been mastering a few accomplishments which has been both exciting and amusing. You've become quite adept at rolling around which has made things a little bit easier ironically. Now that you're independently mobile I don't have to hover quite as much in case you become bored and need flipping or propping up. You're quite happy to roll around and play on your own while I sit nearby supervising as well as accomplishing a task like sewing, knitting, reading, emailing, twiddling my thumbs. But mostly I enjoy getting down on the ground and playing with you - your favorite game is knocking down towers that I build with your blocks, followed by tearing apart whatever clean up your anal retentive mother has tried to do in the wake of your playing mess.
Now that you've mastered rolling around you seem to be working on pulling yourself up. You're not quite there yet, but you're getting stronger every day and I anticipate that one of these days you'll pop right up like you've been doing it for months. If I help pull you into a standing postion and give you something to prop yourself on you actually hold yourself up quite well. So well in fact that you cruised a little the other day. Your dad and I suspect that you might bypass crawling altogether and go straight to walking. Crawling seems to interest you very little. You can get into a crawl pose complete with your belly off the ground, but do you actually crawl? No. If you want something you roll to it. Game over.
We ended the month with adding a couple new constenants to your vocabulary: B and D. Which was quite entertaining as one afternoon you started saying "bah bah bah" and "dah dah dah" out of no where and continued to alternate between the two all day long. It was hilarious until about midnight when you woke up chatting. And it become increasingly unhilarious at 1:18am, 2:24am, 3:53am, 6:12am, and finally 7:42am. My sweet little boy - let me give you a tip - when you learn a new trick feel free to practice it whenever you like, just heed the following rules: 1) if you must do it at night, please wait until you have your own room and 2) if you're waking up to practice, please see to it that you go back to sleep on your own when done.
All the love and kisses possible,

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Letter to Zach - Month 9

Dear Zach,
On Saturday you turned 9 months old and you weighed 26lbs and were 32 inches long...
Oh my little peanut, this month came with it's challenges. Nothing we were not necessarily prepared for, just a few things were shaken up and I'm left yearning for not that long ago when we had a fairly normal routine.
The greater part of the month was dominated by a minor virus that you have been plagued with. Still are, in fact, as I write this. The first week you had it I didn't even realize it - noticing only that your sleeping was off, you wanted to nurse more, and you seemed to be developing a rash on your legs and arms. Concerned about the rash I took you to your Doctor and he informed me that sometimes viruses show themselves in the form of little bumps and it's nothing to be concerned about. Glad to hear that my mothering instincts were right, and that I had nothing to worry about, I took you home thinking we were half way through the virus and you would be on the mend soon.
Only to find you developed a bad case of diarrhea a day later.
Now, one might like to think that she could go on about blogging on the topic of her infant son without mentioning diarrhea at length. And truthfully, if I was really devoted I could probably achieve that goal.
But I have just spent the past 8 days changing an average of 6 diarrhea diapers a day. That's 6 diapers on a squirming, almost 9 month old. An almost-9-month-old who has started rolling like there's a pile of tivo remotes on the other side of the room.
I'll explain about the remotes shortly.
And let us not forget what happens when a baby poops a lot during the day and consequently gets wiped a lot? Diaper rash happens that's what. Ugly, swollen, angry diaper rash that sneaks up on you. So next thing you know you're not just changing a diaper. You're preparing wet paper towels to clean the bottom (because baby wipes sting and make a baby scream like their toes are being chewed off), you're smearing Desitin on after each diaper change (which is near impossible to completely wash off of your fingers), and your washing each and every diaper pad you change on because your rolling tyke has roll/smeared poo all over it. And as a result of all this effort you're also doing laundry every day to keep up with all the poo-tastrophes (read: wardrobe changes), and let us not forget the twice (sometimes thrice) daily baths to soothe and help clean the poo-smeared angry baby.
And as I write this I can almost see the collective all-knowing head-nods of all the parents who've been there.
It's not pretty.
And we're on day #9.
Ok, so enough about poop.
This month you started rolling with some real intent. One day you were no longer content with just rolling over onto your belly. You decided it was high time you start rolling around to grab an object, or just to relocate yourself from point A to point B.
And much to our dismay you took your first fall off the bed on to the not so welcoming hardwood floor below. You ended up with a goose egg bump on your little forehead and a nasty looking fat lip - you learned that night a little bit about gravity and how your teeth are not just for chewing cheerios with.
As for the tivo remote...
You have developed an unusual fixation on the tivo remote. You always seemed very interested in it, but this month your interest has blossomed into something a little more concerning. When you see it nearby you get a look in your eye akin to that of a drug seeking junky who came across a stash in his dresser drawer he had forgotten about. You lunge, roll, grab, and squirm with all your little might in order to get the remote into you little palms so that you may suck on it. Once in your possesion you hold onto it like it's the most precious of all toys - never even coming close to dropping it.
We typically take it away from you since your playing with it usually wrecks havoc on our tivo - deleting shows we had yet to watch primarily. And up until recently you didn't care all that much. But then one day when I went to take the remote from you it ellicited a reaction I had yet to encounter - your face wrinkled up, turned red, and you started hiccuping little upset cries.
You, my darling little boy, were upset that you had something taken away from you.
For the first time ever.
While admittedly cute, I'm sure the cuteness will wear off. But for right now I find it adorable, so my sanity remains intact.
And you still don't get to play with the tivo remote.
In the spirit of the fall season starting and Halloween soon to follow we took a day off from working on the bathroom and traveled out to the coast for your first trip to the beach. We started in Halfmoon Bay to do a little (soon-to-be) traditional pumpkin farming, and then we drove up north on Hwy 1 through San Francisco and took you out on the beach for the first time at Baker Beach. Well, the first ocean facing beach you've been on - as we've been to our bay front beach in Alameda plenty of times.
It was windy, but you didn't care as you were snuggled up against me in your Ergo.
It was a fantastic day - just our little family taking time to be a family. Something I think we should try and do more of.
All the love and kisses possible,

Monday, October 20, 2008

My little Popeye

Starting solids has been no quick and easy task for me and Zach. It has been mentioned in previous posts (it is with near-exaggeration that I pluralized the word "post") that he has approached transitioning to solids with much lackluster.
Tonight I looked into the pantry to decide what would be on the Junior Menu this evening and found a jar of spinach and potatoes - something that Zach has yet to try.
Cracking it open I took one look at it and grew very skeptical - the puree resembling something you might skim off the walls of an aquarium. After taking a whiff I was surprised to find out that it doesn't smell much better either. And finally taking a taste (as I find it hard to feed my kid something I won't at least try myself) I found that, yes, seriously, it really does taste like what I imagine algae to taste like.
Let us be clear - I have NOT tasted algae before so I am not certain.
This is only an assumption I am making on my part, and assuming is as far as I will go.
With much doubt I spooned a small helping into Zach's bowl and imagine my surprise when my little peach-hating, avocado-scoffing, pear-ignoring child took a big mouthful and didn't immediately spit it out.
Something I was tempted to do when I tasted it.
And imagine my sheer indignation when he took another spoonful. And then another.
In fact, I'm writing this post while lying on the floor.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Letter to Zach - Month 8

Dear Zach,
A while ago you turned 8 months old and you weighed 25lbs 7oz and were 30 inches long at the time...
I started this blog on time...and then the tile came in for our bathroom floor and all things got dropped. So you can imagine the laughter that ensued as I sat down and reread the draft I had started working on a few weeks ago, specifically the following:
"The mere fact that I'm actually getting this month's entry done on time might be an indication of a few things - 1) your nap times have condensed dramatically so that rather than taking 73 thirty minute naps a day you take two 1-2 hour naps a day and 2) we've almost finished remodeling the bathroom which has freed up my time dramatically.
Oh the hilarity of it all.

I particularly like the part about having almost finished remodeling our bathroom. We've "almost" finished our bathroom now for about 2 months. This pretty much sums up the largest lesson that your momma has learned about remodeling, and construction in general - when you think you're close to done, i.e. you just have the "finish" work left, you're only halfway there. This is why so many people don't actually ever completely finish projects - they get to this part and throw in the towel because there are so many other enticing things to do with your time (read: drinking heavily) and why spend it painting baseboards or filling holes with wood filler when you already have a working toilet, sink, and tub?
But your dad and I are dedicated to seeing all our projects through to the finish. Literally. Every hole will be filled, every item painted, sealed, or stained. So ever since the tile came in I've spent every free moment when you're asleep up a ladder painting, sanding, filling, sanding, and painting. And when I'm not up the ladder I'm on my knees tiling, grouting, sealing, caulking, and more caulking.
Isn't it nice how I've spent so much of your monthly newsletter on the topic of our bathroom? A room you don't even use?
Oh my little monkey - you will use it soon if I have any say in it.
And on that's the rest of what I wrote, on time, back when you were just turning 8 months old:
This whole napping thing - oh let me tell you - has been the greatest thing. And to think, I was just writing mere months ago at how excited I was to just be able to put you down for a nap and walk away. Who would have thought I'd eventually have up to TWO HOURS to myself more than TWICE a day!?
It's insanity.
I mean, I knew there would eventually come a time where I would get a little more time to myself, that your naps would become more consistent as well as nice and looooooong. It seemed clear to me that at some point, by the time you were at least 20, I would have that luxury. So imagine my surprise when little by little your naps stretched out. As I'd be puttering around the house I would check on you, confused by how long it had been since I'd last tended to you. Eventually I would just check on you every so often to make sure you were still breathing because god knows there could be no other explanation for your sleeping for so long with out me RIGHT there next to you.
But I've adjusted. I've now learned that not only does this mean you have not stopped breathing, but it also means that a whole new world of opportunity has opened up for me. Quite timely I must say too, as we were in the throws of renovating our bathroom when all this started - it didn't take long for me to take advantage. Now while you nap during the day I spend my time drywalling, painting, tiling, and generally busying myself with lots of detailed finish work that is - quite frankly - driving me up the wall.
And to be honest?
Sometimes I look at you lying in that cozy bed and I yearn for the days of when I had the excuse that you wouldn't nap without me - just so I could go and lay there with you.
But that's only on the days when it's peaking 95 degrees and I have been up a ladder with nothing but joint compound, a drywall knife, and my sweat to keep me company.
And all this sleeping is going to good use I can see. You continue to put on weight, keeping you steadily just off the charts - you've turned into quite the little Michelin baby to be frank. And this week you worked on two more teeth. Bringing us to the grand total of 8 teeth.
I think you're going to be eating corn on the cob before you start walking at this rate. Although, that being said, you're still not the hottest about eating solid foods. We still try new things, and you continue to humor me one or two bites. But even your favorites you're not that excited about. Most of the time you look at me as if to say "what is this? why are you shoving this stuff in my face? I'm a boob-man mom, would you just accept it?
Like with all things parenting I stay patient about it, keep persisting, and assume that one day you will suddenly figure out that this whole eating solids thing is pretty damn cool.
And then we will go broke feeding you.
All the love and kisses possible,

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Letter to Zach - Month 7

Dear Zach,
On Monday you turned 7 months old and you weighed 23lbs 13oz and were 29.5 inches long...
Oh my these weeks are speeding by. We've had a very busy summer and I can hardly believe that pretty soon I'm going to have to start thinking about a costume for your for Halloween!
At the beginning of last month we started trying out some solids. I watched you very carefully for a few weeks up to that point and felt that you were ready. You didn't exactly go for it with the gusto I envisioned you would. After all, you've been such a good eater to say the least. But I'm sure eating solids and drinking breastmilk are two very different experiences for you, so I'm patient and don't put much pressure on you. We started you on rice cereal which you seemed very interested in. And when I say 'interested' I don't mean excited, jumping-up-and-down-with- anticipation interested. It's more like hmmmmmm-this-is-different interested. You would roll the cereal around in your mouth and sometimes swallow it and other times push it out onto your chin. Then we moved on to bananas - something I was sure you would love. And while you seemed more into the banana than you were the cereal, you still seemed a bit UNDERwhelmed shall we say. Avocado had slightly the same reception. And then we tried the sweet potato. Holy cow do you ever like sweet potato. After one bite you were hooked - every time the spoon came your way you would open your little mouth and lean forward against the restraints of your highchair. Each bite you swallowed as quickly as it entered your mouth. You can't get enough of the stuff! By day 2 of the SP as soon as you saw the spoon you leaned forward, mouth agape, and reached out with not just your arms but your legs too! Each spoon full was received in much the same manor until we ran out of the stuff!
So I'd have to say we're off to a good start on the solids front.
On the teething front...
More teeth started coming in last month. The two neighbors of your upper front teeth started poking their heads out of nowhere. You certainly do keep teething to yourself these days. The drooling and gnawing hasn't even been that excessive - yet you seem to be growing teeth like mad. In addition to those two teeth, you started cutting your two front uppers near the end of the month - so you're pushing out 4 teeth all at once! And it seems as though you could care less. Which pleases me to no end - it gives me great pleasure knowing you're happing and comfortable.
And the fact you're not keeping me up at all hours is great too.
Saves on the liquor bill.
This month was full of visitors to say the least. Grandma came out from Colorado for a long visit and we saw her at the beginning of her trip before she headed up north to visit your Uncle Dana. We saw her again right before she flew home which was nice. Even though our visits are short, I'm glad we've gotten to see her a few times now since you've been born.
Aunt Nisa and Uncle John stopped in for an unexpected impromptu visit - this was your first time meeting them and we had a nice quick visit. And then later in the month Uncle Dana stopped by while he was in town. You had a great time with him, finding him particularly hilarious (as most people do), especially when he rubbed your feet on his 5 o'clock shadow. And in true Dana fashion he taught you how to make smacking noises with your lips.
I'm sure next time he'll teach you how to make farting noises in the crook of your arm.
Near the end of the month your dad and I took a day off from working on the bathroom and went with Grandma Carola to the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the De Young in San Francisco. I was super excited to go check it out as I have been a big fan for years, but it was also fun because it was your first trip into San Francisco.
Which I'm a bit ashamed to admit come to think of it.
We live across the bridge from the damn city and it took us nearly 7 months to take you over there??
It hadn't occurred to me prior, but during the exhibit I kept thinking what a great thing to take you to! You're not mobile yet, so you couldn't run around threatening to knock all the glass over...and consequently giving me a heart attack every 5 seconds. So you just sat in your carrier, leaned against my chest and looked out at all the beautiful colors and textures. You didn't nap until we were done - and boy were you tired. So glad I could share something like that with you.
All the love and kisses possible,

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Letter to Zach - Month 6

Dear Zach,
I'm ashamed to admit that I am 3 weeks overdue with writing your 5 month newsletter. And it took me getting sick and confining myself to bed to do it.
But that's the way it's been for us lately - busy busy busy.
When you turned 6 months you weighed 23 pounds and were 29 inches long. I took you in for your 6 month check up and when the doctor was done the nurse came in and gave you a shot - and for the first time you didn't cry. I couldn't believe how brave you were! There were tears in your eyes, and you looked at me for support - but you didn't cry. You let out a little sigh and the redness in you face went away and then you saw me smile at you and you smiled back as if to say 'well that sucked, but I'm over it now.'
This month has been full of house related projects - which is probably the biggest reason why my blogging has gone from hardly at all to NOT at all. As mentioned last month we started our bathroom remodel upstairs. So far so good - in fact we're probably going to be ready to install our new tub on Saturday! I'm especially looking forward to that mainly because once that's in I can leave you and your dad alone while I go and take a long deep soak. I haven't had a bath in forEVER - the idea sounds particularly appealing as I lie here trying to ignore my aching muscles thanks to this stupid cold I've got. Well, in part due to that, and in part due to the aching muscle spasm that has taken up permanent residence in my lower back - a side effect I suspect is due to lugging around a rather large infant. I take it all in stride though - I take great pride in your healthy rolls of pudge - and I let the aches and pains remind me that I just need to do back strengthening excersizes while I'm at the gym.
Aside from growing (a given at this point) you've been busy working on other tricks. Blowing raspberries is probably my favorite. The day you learned how to do that you were so excited - you had watched your dad and I do it probably a million times, each one eliciting a big smile from you. So when you finally figured out how to do them on your own I could really see the joy and excitement in your eyes as you then sat there and kept blowing them for a good 10 minutes. I folded the laundry and you blew and blew and blew, alternatively flapping your legs and arms in celebration of your accomplishment, until you had a frothy spit mustache and were tired and ready for a nap.

Now you blow them whenever you feel like it - usually when you've just woken up from a nap, or when you're bored and are waiting for me to come and pick you up. And sometimes you blow them when you're really upset - like the time we were driving home in the car and you were upset and wanted out of the car. You were fussing the whole way home, ending each fussing yell with a raspberry. I snickered the whole way home. You certainly don't understand this now, but someday when you're a parent you'll see how hard it is to take a 6 month old's cries seriously when they're each punctuated with a long raspberry.
Much to my dismay you've learned how to wriggle out of your bouncey seat. The very same seat that enabled me to eat breakfasts, take showers, and just have a safe place to put you when you were very young. I haven't quite motivated myself to pack it up just yet. But each time I put you in it you seem to last less and less time, either ending in loud fusses or you wriggle out.

In a very exciting development, you've started sitting up on your own this month. It was very early on, so the news seems a bit old to me now - but it's still important! Sitting on your own means so many things to you! It's an important criteria to meet before we can start you on used to love sitting with help, so now that you can sit on your own you're that much more happy...and my favorite - you can now go in the swing at the park and not look like a sack of flour about to tip ass over eyeballs out onto the tanbark. A few weeks ago I parked you in a playground swing and you seemed to enjoy yourself. I use the word 'seemed' because you mostly just sat in the swing and thought about what was going on. As your mom I've come to learn that this means you're curious about what's going on and eventually will learn to love it. But for the time being you just want to think about it and will tolerate thinking about it for a long time. In this case I pushed you for about 15 minutes until the other baby we were with got bored and fussy.
We went to the beach for the first time this month. It's hard to believe that it's taken me this long to get you to the beach given our bay front beach is only a 10 minute walk from our front door. When I was pregnant with you I used to have all kinds of grand romantic ideas of walking with you to the waterfront on a warm breezy day...curling up with you on a blanket under an umbrella, and while you slept peacefully taking in the fresh bay air I would catch up on some reading and maybe snooze with you. Dreaming and doing are two totally different things. For one, I realized that walking to the beach with you was a totally different challenge if I intended to STOP and sit AT the beach. Have you noticed how pathetically small the cargo space is under your stroller? I barely have enough room in there to stow our farmer's market goodies, so it's pretty obvious to me that a blanket, an umbrella, jackets if it gets too cold, hats and sunscreen if the umbrella won't stay up in the breeze, and a book are all a bit on the big side cargo-wise. And did you notice that part about the sunscreen? I hate sunscreen. Hate putting it on, hate feeling it on my skin, hate reapplying it. So you can imagine I'd hate putting it on you, hate feeling it on you, and hate reapplying it. In fact, multiply that times 10 because you're squirmy and I'd feel much much worse if I got it in your eyes.
It took nearly 6 months, but a friend of ours planned a playdate with some other friends, so I packed all our things in the CAR and drove over to the beach. It was nice to finally share that part of our world with you - being we're Californians and all. And even though it was a bay-front beach, it still gave you a good idea of what to expect. Someday we'll make it out to the ocean and you can really see what I'm talking about. But that's a longer drive, a longer day, and a lot more sunscreen.
The last big accomplishment this month was cutting your first tooth. Which was quickly followed with cutting your second tooth. Two cute little teeth keeping each other company on your bottom gums. I hardly even knew you were cutting them - you were such a good sport. You've been drooly for a few months now, so that was nothing new. But one day your dad pointed out that he could feel a sharp little tooth just below the gum line - and sure enough just a couple days later we could see it poking it's little head out. Then a few days later the other one joined it. You drooled, and gummed your toys and our fingers a little harder than usual. But other than that life was pretty normal. Let's hope you cut all your teeth with as much of a sweet laid back attitude as you have so far!
All the love and kisses possible,