Monday, April 29, 2013

A Week in the Life (v.9.5)

"She is so eager to learn.  Great week!"
Girlfriend loves learning at daycare, but we can't get her to do anything that she learned there at home.
So we really don't have any idea at how eager she is...

But she is definitely eager to eat cake!  Daddy helped by putting frosting on her forehead...

She is her Mommy's baby....  Funny how we eat cake the EXACT same way.

She had her first popsicle at our neighbors.

Sleeping in.

Waking up.  This video is totally boring to anyone who is NOT her mother.  But she does her cute little scrunched-up smile and it melts my heart...

Playing with Daddy in the morning

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Patience is a virtue

Well, as the title of the post hints towards, I am was hanging by a gossamer strand and my patience was truly being tested.  And the girl is ONLY 14 months.  Boy, am I in for a long, unending road of struggle...

The last couple of days, Finorah has been testing my limits as well as my fortitude.  When reflecting over the last days, my only answer is that my patience dried up.  I'm not proud to say it, but in the last couple of days, I've "set" things down a little harder than I intended to; that I've had to count to 10 too many times for my taste; that I've raised my voice a little too loud for my liking.  For the past couple of days, in the darkness & stillness of my yard after the terror went to sleep, I've had to swig on some seriously large glasses of wine to relax my frayed nerves.  And yes, I understand that this is only my first real taste of the difficulties of parenting.  Yes, I understand that there will be too many glasses of wine drunk in the dark of my yard than I care to count.  Yes, I understand that I will have more meltdowns, both to deal with and to actually have myself.  I'm just breathing a small sigh of relief that I was able to replenish my patience pool in time and again feel invigorated and not defeated.

This week, Lady decided that she wanted to boycott evening naps.  Joyful!  I'm sure that part of this is somehow my fault (it usually is) -- that maybe I could have bear-hugged her a little tighter as she was screaming and trying to hit me in the face rocked her a little bit longer.  But after about 15 minutes of struggle, I gave up and figured she would tire herself out playing on the floor.  Except she didn't want to play on the floor -- she wanted me to hold her.  I began to assume that she was getting her molars as the drool coming out of the girl over the weekend could have made Niagara Falls jealous -- so because I had put her in the "I-feel-crappy" category, I yielded to her need for me physically.  Traditionally, I've always been okay with putting all my evening plans on hold should my little babe not be feeling well.  I always chose sick baby snuggles over cleaning and cooking dinner before.  Why was this time so different?

I think part of it was that before I was a food source.  I knew that if I could get her to nurse, at least she was getting her antibodies and all her vitamins that she needed to get better.  Now, I need to get up and make her dinner.  Unfortunately, Finn would start screaming like the floor was burning her with the heat of a thousand suns.  Without sounding like a terrible mother, when I have to finish something that is necessary and need to put her down, I can usually ignore her cries or at least distract her into doing something else (like raiding the pantry and pulling everything off of the bottom two shelves).  There was no distracting her this time.  As I tried to get dinner ready as quickly as possible, her cries escalated and continued through my futile attempts to feed her dinner.  This continued until it was time for a bath.

We spent part of last weekend kissin' babies...

Bathtime is a happy time in our house.  This time was no different (surprisingly).  But when the last drop of water was drained and she was sitting in an empty tub and realized that she was sitting in a waterless tub, the banshee again made her appearance.  There was no soothing bedtime routine on these nights.  And the screaming continued as I tried to get her to sleep.  After 15 minutes of her writhing around on our bed and crying, I finally picked her up and went into her room.  I sat down in the rocking chair and held on for dear life.  It was almost like she knew the jig was up.  She knew that the rocking chair would be her demise and that soon she would be tricked lulled into slumber.

I'm not joking when I say that within 3 (yes, THREE) minutes of rocking her, she was sleeping beautifully.  But the most amazing thing happened once she fell asleep.  I looked down at her slumbering peacefully in my arms, the swaying of the rocking chair soothing me as well, and I recognized how blessed I was.  Even through my frayed nerves, her face was beautiful and angelic.  My heart melted once again and I thanked the powers that be that I was the chosen & lucky one to be this beautiful creature's mother (I really did).

But don't think that the first thing that I did once I put my beautiful creature in her crib wasn't pour myself a hefty helping of wine and pray that tomorrow the more peaceful version of my child would come back.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Week in the Life (v.9.4)

Sleeping beauty

 Someone decided to keep filming instead of catching his kid...

We are walking!!!

Cat nap

Cruisin' along in my automobile...

Flaps blowin' in the breeze!

This is how I found them this morning...  :)

This is how E found her this morning...

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Friday, April 19, 2013

14 Month Update

  • Finorah's unofficial weight is 22.8 pounds and in wrangling her, she is 30 inches tall.
  • We are walking!  She took her first steps about two weeks ago.  She is still really unsure of herself, so crawling is still her main mode of transportation.  She only walks in between close pieces of furniture and in between me & E when we ask.  She has taken up to 15 steps in between the two of us.  She thinks it is an absolute riot.
  • We are in size 4 diapers and fitting into 12-18 month clothes.  I'm thankful for the change in weather because I'm getting tired of her winter clothes.  Sure the girl is a clothes horse (I make sure of that) -- but we have SOOO many cute summer clothes and I'm super excited for warmer weather!
  • We are hitting minor road bumps in her eating habits.  The girl still eats, but she is starting to get picky and choosy about what she wants to eat.  That mostly means that veggies are hitting the floor.  And sometimes she will eat meat and sometimes she refuses the same type of meat the following day.  She will never turn down cheese, tea biscuits, yogurt bites, and fruit.  A surprise new favorite of ours are peas and pork & beans!

  • We have eight teeth now!  Two months ago, she had three and she cut five teeth within one week!  She spiked a temperature of 104+ and developed a severe rash along with an upper respiratory and double ear infections!  That was a fun week in our household -- especially because E was out of town helping a friend.  But we rocked it out and came out with five more teeth in the end.
  • She has two new "words" in her vocabulary.  She says "ball" as well as "arf arf" for the puppy dogs.  She tries to repeat sounds that I make.  She has a toy that has teeny pillows placed in a pocket of the letter that the pillow begins with (i.e. an apple is stored in the "a" pocket, a ball is stored in the "b" pocket, etc...).  For the umbrella, I usually make the noise of an umbrella opening and then the sound of rain coming down.  She will pull out the umbrella and try to make that same noise that I make.  Super cute.  When I say "fish" or "duck", she will try to repeat those.  

  • Daycare has told us that she knows multiple parts on her face (nose, eyes, ears) and she can point to each little kid in her room as their names are said.  She can also draw circles when asked.  Unfortunately, she gets tired of over-achieving at daycare and refuses to do any of these things for us at night.  Now granted, we just found out about this a day or two ago.  And I'm sure that we are going to be trying hard within the next couple of days to get her to do those things with us.
  • We do LOTS of pointing at what we want.  And we also do a lot of pointing that things that interest her and she wants us to look at them as well.  She loves watching the birds at our bird feeder and the squirrels and deer in our yard.
  • The girl should be on Solid Gold!  She loves to dance and refuses to allow anyone to dance without her.  If she is sitting in her high chair and I bust out in an impromptu dance move, she starts protesting and pointing at me.  If I continue to dance, she will end up crying because I'm dancing without her.  But she doesn't do a lot of dancing by herself yet.  She likes Mama's dancing more.

  • About a month ago, we had an amazing stretch of four nights where she slept in her crib the entire night -- until 6am.  Then, she got sick & that disrupted her sleeping patterns.  Isn't that how it always goes?  We are just getting back into our routine of putting her in her crib and for the past two nights, she has slept in her crib with only a quick 15-20 minutes in our bed.  She falls asleep in our bed and is moved to her crib.  She usually wakes up at least two times.  If we can get to her before she really starts crying, we can get her to sleep without picking her up.  If she wakes fully up, E has moved her into our bed until she falls asleep and then he returns her to her crib.  It's not completely ideal, but it is a great step in the right direction.
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fleeting moments

We haven't had a deep post in a while.  I think we are due...

So I've had one whole year to adjust to becoming a mama.  I still don't see myself as a "mom" or a "mother".  I prefer to call myself a "mama".  But I also don't consider myself a woman -- I still feel like a girl (which I believe is a good thing).  I think that I like "mama" because I'm comfortable with using that term.  Way before I had Finorah, I would lovingly refer to my friends with "mama"s or "lady"s.  I'm not opposed to others calling me a mom or mother.  I just don't like to refer to myself in that fashion.  Okay, that turned into a total sidebar...

Back to my original thought, I've had one whole year to adjust...  I think that I stepped in my role as Mama quite easily.  Rarely do I second-guess my decision with Finorah, but at the moment, we aren't discussing sex, drugs, and the like.  It's whether she should be picked up or cry on the floor (a lot of the times, I let her cry on the floor -- if I got sh*t to do, I got sh*t to do; she can still see me, I ain't going anywhere, but I can't drop everything to pick her up.  The girl has to learn now that the world isn't always going to turn on her dime and it's not always going to be about her, but I'll always be there for her and she has to learn some patience.)  There have been some moments of guilt because of course, hindsight is 20/20.  I should have checked her diaper before I put her down for a nap.  I should have grabbed the camera before we left.  I shouldn't have given her that fourth cookie.  But for the most part, I think that so far I haven't scarred her yet.

I don't know it all.  Hell, half of the time I feel like I don't know anything and I struggle to make it from one moment to the next.  I know that when the physical difficulties that we are experiencing now leave, new difficulties are going to take their place.  Just when I'm excited that she learns how to play by herself and I don't have to hold her and rock her; I'm going to miss rocking her and holding her with her needing me so fierce.  I try my best every day to realize that the time that I have with her is fleeting.  In the moments that I wish her just a little bigger, I feel a huge pang of guilt and then I start to cry.  Because when these moments are gone, they are gone.  There is no going back and wishing her smaller again, although I know that it is something that I'm going to get really good at as she progresses through life.  I try my best to live in every single moment, but people, that is seriously hard to do day-in and day-out, not to mention, exhausting.  There are days where I count down the minutes until it is bed time.  And then when bedtime comes and she is sleeping next to me, I look down at her sweet little angel face and realize that I just wished away fours and I'm never going to get back with her.

I can live with the guilt that I feel at that moment, because I know that I have the next day to make up for taking those moments for granted.  And I really do try to make up for it by soaking in more of the everyday experiences the next day.  But even sadder than wishing away a couple of hours here or there is the fact that I don't remember exactly when she was a little wee one.  I have some memories, but the year has gone by so quickly that I feel like I didn't get to relish those memories before they started to slip away.  This past year has been exactly like the way that she came into the world -- a little bit of pain, a lot of awesomeness and way too fast for my tastes...

I am so thankful that I took tons of photos and videos.  The other day, I found videos that I took on my iPad, some from a couple of months ago, some when she was 5 months old.  I was surprised at how quickly she has changed and how quickly I forgot how stinkin' cute she was.  And grateful doesn't even begin to describe my feelings about this blog.  I think that I did this as much for myself as I did for family and friends.  I have a beautiful record of her first year, filled with TONS of photos and TONS of videos. But more importantly, it is filled with my written words, describing life with her.  Although I may trudge through some weeks on this blog or not have enough time to write something meaningful -- when I do, I will be thankful to myself in years to come.  It may not be the same thing as living in that moment again, I will always have the words that I felt while I was living in that moment.  And more importantly, she will have a written record for herself of just how much her family loved her...

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Monday, April 15, 2013

A Week in the Life (v.9.3)

Throw your 'Rollies in the sky -- wave 'em side to side & keep your hands high!
The last 4 seconds slay me!

Helping the kitty sit properly at the table

Such a big girl -- eating with a spoon...

Auntie Anita gave her a beautiful retro tricycle!  And it came with a matching helmet!  Sister be sportin' some serious wheels...

Brother Munky

Norman and Lucy chilling on her changing pad...

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Monday, April 8, 2013

A Week in the Life (v.9.2)

Sister was just chillaxing in the kitchen

We ate our Easter Bunny this week.

As you can see, it was a big hit!

Finn had her first ice cube chip this weekend.  This video is mostly just because I think she is too stinkin' cute that I couldn't NOT share.

Fabulous photo of Daddy and Finn at breakfast

Mama made macaroons on Saturday.  Someone got to eat the spatula

Frosting face!

Daddy left for a week long conference in Paris, so this is how we slept for much of Saturday night.

On Sunday morning, it was a girls only breakfast.  She really wasn't that scared...

A view of our evening walk...

We went for a walk on Sunday evening and picked a crocus from an abandoned lawn.  I smelled the flower and she started blowing on it.  This is as good as it got when I tried to catch it on video.  Please disregard the  purple chunk on her face -- she decided that the flower looked tasty.

This week, we also added to our vocabulary.  Of course the word was "ball".  Of course it was.  She is also really good at telling the dogs to "drop it"... But they don't listen.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mama's Little Peep Lover

It's hard to believe that this is actually her second Easter.  We didn't really celebrate her first Easter.  We got her naked and put on Bunny ears.  That was it.  This year was our first year to begin the Easter traditions.  I wanted our new family traditions to be a mix of both mine and E's childhood traditions.


When I asked E about his Easter traditions, they ended up being very different from my childhood Easter traditions.  His included getting dressed up, going to church and going to Woodlawn Cemetery to stand next to the new flowers that people would place on the tombstones.  His Aunt Peggy would also give them a chocolate bunny, which one year his dog Rex ate causing some problems.


The traditions that I remember from my childhood involved Easter egg hunts at my Grandma's with all my cousins and Easter baskets that were hid in the house.  Our Easter basket contains lots of candy, but it also includes books & puzzles and ALWAYS a new kite.  My brother and I would get so excited for our Easter kites.  (Total sidebar: E has never flew a kite.  I bought kites when we lived in Jersey and we tried to fly them up in his summer cabin in upstate New York once, very unsuccessfully.  It makes sense that he has never flew a kite.  Buildings tend to be big barriers to wind and effective kite flying.)  Finn didn't get a kite in her basket -- at least this year.

Finn woke up to two Easter baskets;  one from the Easter Bunny and one from her grammy in Iowa.  The one that Grammy sent included Peeps (which are a favorite of mine).  Finorah had her first Peep on Easter morning.  It was quite the hit!  She had yellow sugar all over her face before that Peep was gone and it was gone pretty quickly.  And then she started pointing to the box for another!

We also had an Easter Egg hunt for her in the front yard.  I wasn't sure how excited she would be for it.  Saturday, we practiced by giving her an egg with Gold Fish in it.  She would open the egg and see the Gold Fish and gobble them up.  Then, I'd fill it again and close up the egg.  I was hoping that when she would see the colored eggs on the lawn that she would think of Gold Fish and hurry to get them.  I'm not sure if it was my Pavlovian egg experiment or the fact that an egg looks just like a ball (we have ball-obsessed dogs, hence the ball-obsessed daughter) -- either way, our Easter egg hunt was a success!

I only laid out about 10 eggs.  I "hid" two eggs under larger pieces of bark laying in our yard, thinking that might hinder her "seeking" abilities.  No way!  My girl was an excellent egg-picker-upper.  E drove her out to our front yard in her wagon.  Since she doesn't walk yet, I was thinking that E would have to hold her hand and walk her around for the eggs.  When she found her first egg, she immediately sat down on her butt and tried to open it and eat what was inside.  Then she gingerly started crawling to another egg.  She initially didn't like the feel of the cold, damp ground under her hand.  But that was forgotten as she started to see the other eggs scattered around the yard.  She picked up every single egg by herself.

Then, E decided that Easter was also going to be her first dirt-bike ride.  He has a little Honda 50 that he rode around when he was a wee one.  I was surprised at how quiet it was -- I didn't remember it being that quiet, but then I didn't think anything about noise scaring me or any of its adult riders.  He pulled up right next to her and she just looked at it.  Wasn't afraid.  I picked her up and put her on E's lap and they drove around the yard for about 5 minutes.  She put on her usual Finorah Face.  She didn't smile or laugh, but she also didn't cry or make any attempts to get off.  She brings out her Finorah Face a lot in public, when meeting new people and being put in an unfamiliar circumstance that she is trying to figure out if she likes or not.  She didn't NOT like the dirt-bike.  So I think that was also a success!


After the dirt-bike ride, we put her in her red wagon and put on her Easter bunny ears.  We walked down the block and back.  She clutched her basket full of eggs real tight and actually allowed the ears to sit on her head the whole time (shocker!).  She had a fabulous Easter morning!  After the morning festivities, the poor girl was tuckered out and fell asleep quite quickly, napping away most of the rest of the day.

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