Sunday, June 29, 2008

Recipe for a Quiet Morning


1 napping baby

1 toddler who likes to do puzzles

1 box of puzzles

5' x 5' floor space

0 plans to use the space for at least an hour

1 digital camera to document the occasion (optional)

Step 1: Remove each puzzle from the box, one at a time, dumping the pieces into a pile.

Step 2: Spread out the puzzle boards for easy access.

Step 3: Retrieve a puzzle piece from the pile, one at a time, locate the appropriate puzzle, and place it in its rightful place.

Step 4: Once in a while, pick up a piece and yell, "One for mommy!" just so she doesn't feel left out.

Step 5: Carry as many pieces as possible for maximum efficiency. Extras may be stored under spare cheeks and chins.

Step 6: As a puzzle is completed, place it back in the puzzle box...

Step 7: ...until all the puzzles are done.

Step 8: Repeat if necessary (it will be).

Friday, June 27, 2008

The end of the 4th trimester

When I was pregnant with Katy, I worked with a girl who had recently had a baby. She told me, "The first 3 months of the baby's life is like the fourth trimester. Your body is still functioning under par, and the baby is still so dependent on you that you might as well be pregnant." She went on to say that all the babies you see on TV and in magazines are at least 4 months old, all bright eyed and content. No one ever shows you what they are like in the first 3 months.

I repeated that conversation over and over in my head during Katy's first 3 months. It was true, I had no idea what newborns were like and I was counting down the end of the first 3 months, when everyone promised me she would stop crying inconsolably. And it was true, after 3 months she started to gradually get easier and easier, until she was a very happy 1 year old.

This time around, the fourth trimester hasn't been as dramatic or shocking, but I'm still glad to be reaching the 3 month mark. David is starting to be so much more interactive and personable. He's starting to reach for toys (somewhat), blow raspberries, roll onto his side, and break out of his swaddling blanket (this could be another post -ugh). And I can't wait to see what he'll do next - I just love seeing them learn new things. This is the most enjoyable part of parenting.

But I also just can't believe it's already been 3 months. It's the END of JUNE?!?! We haven't even been to the pool yet. How can June be over? I feel like David was just born, but we're already one quarter through his first year.

One funny thing about 3 month olds (or at least for my kids) is that they are starting to experience Baby Pattern Baldness. The baby hair is falling out, but first it rubs off where their heads rub against the crib/floor/car seat. So David is currently sporting both a mohawk and a mullet. Not many people could pull this off, but I think he's doing a good job with it.

Several people have asked me if I think David looks like Katy. I see a little resemblance (in the cheeks), but it's hard for me to tell. But when I was looking for pictures of Katy when she was 3 months old, now I can see it...

Katy at 3 months

David at 3 months

Katy again

David again

So it should all get easier from here, right? I won't count on it, but I do look forward to seeing what David will be like in the next 3 months...

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Did anyone see that show Baby Borrowers last night? At first glance, the preview looked a little silly: letting teens who think they're ready for parenthood borrow someone's baby for a few days? And then go on and give them toddlers, pre-teens, teenagers, and elderly to care for? But as soon as I tuned in, I was hooked. Partially, I think it's because I'm in the middle of this baby thing, and it gives me some validation that what I'm doing is hard work. Not that I need reality TV to validate my self-image, but...

Around midnight last night, I was awakened by my phone ringing. Don't you hate it when the phone rings in the middle of the night? Your heart is pounding because you're so nervous that something terrible has happened? This time, it was my sister (who lives a few blocks away) asking if I knew that there were tornadic storms headed right toward us. I did not. The finished attic where we sleep is like a soundproof recording booth, so we are never able to hear the sirens, or sometimes even the storms. So we rubbed our eyes and went downstairs to turn on the TV and judge whether or not to wake the little ones. It was looking pretty scary, so we yanked those kiddos out of their cribs and headed for the basement. Katy thought this was marvelous fun. Mommy came into her room in the middle of the night, put on her crocs, and took her down to the basement where she is never allowed to go?!? Sweet! We were up for an hour, and she never even yawned. She was so excited, asking us to read books from her lawn chair. But her innocence kept me (somewhat) calm. How can you be scared when you are reading the Very Hungry Caterpillar?

As a result of this interrupted sleep, I was pretty exhausted this morning. I was sitting on the floor doing puzzles with Katy, and I thought, "I'll just lay down here on the floor while she works on these." No sooner did I get horizontal than Katy is tugging on me, "Sit UP, Mommy, sit UP!" So I told her, "Mommy's just trying to rest." "No rest, Mommy." How true. So I sat up, to which she responded, "Good job, honey." Thanks, Katy.

Speaking of puzzles, we are missing a piece to one of them. The last time I saw it was Saturday, and I've looked for it every day since then. I know it's not a big deal, it's just a puzzle piece. But I'm a first born, and this is driving me CRAZY.

Finally, I have a confession to make. My son has a nickname. I didn't consciously choose this nickname, nor did I even notice that I was saying it on a consistent basis until Katy began using it, too. I wouldn't have chosen it had I put any thought into it, but now it seems to have stuck. I can't stop saying it. And I actually think of him this way. Want to know what it is? Bubby. Not Buddy or Bubba, but Bubby. I seriously don't know where it came from - I've never heard anyone else call their baby that - have you? Now even his nickname has nicknames. I've heard myself call him Bubby, Bub, Bubby Boo, and Bubs. Maybe I should've called the blog Katydid and Bubby Boo?

Monday, June 23, 2008

said portraits

All in all, I was really pleased with these. I did not have high expectations for pretty smiles and nice poses from a 2 year old and a 2 month old, but I have to admit that JCPenny did a nice job. And you absolutely cannot beat the price. (But they are really big fans of the white background)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sum Sum Summertime

It's the first day of summer. It always seems to me that the first day of summer comes when it's already been summer for quite some time. Heck, it was 95 here for 2 weeks already. We've been enjoying some summer activities, and Katy is in love. She's so happy that I don't know how I'll ever get her back in the house when it gets cold again. So enjoy a few pictures of pure unadulterated outdoor fun.

But while we're at it, if I may say a few words about sleep. My pediatrician says that baby sleep happens in a "two steps forward, one step back" kind of fashion. This week we've taken a few backward steps.

Oh, how I hate the backward steps.

I have to admit that prior to this week, David was sleeping really well. So well that I haven't mentioned it on this blog because I was embarrassed about it, like I really don't deserve a 2 month old who takes such good naps and sleeps such long stretches at night. Plus, I was afraid it wouldn't last. Alas, it hasn't.

First went the naps. We went from long naps to cat naps and from going down easily to fighting it. Then I decided to mess with his night sleep and move him from the bassinet in our room to his crib in his room. He's quickly approaching the weight limit on the bassinet, but I don't like moving him because it means I have to go downstairs in the middle of the night to feed him and UGH, that's rough. But I really thought that he wouldn't notice the switch. When I moved Katy, she just continued her normal sleep pattern. But David is apparently a little more observant, because he went from getting up once to getting up 3 times. And did I mention the stairs?

But today was better, and things are looking up. If we took our backward step, then we're ready for another 2 forwards, right? The thing that I'm really nervous about is that in 2 weeks, he'll reach the age limit on his swaddling blanket. I really cannot imagine him sleeping without being swaddled. So I may have to come up with an alternative. Any suggestions?

But oh my gosh, he is so cute. I took the kids to get portraits a couple of weeks ago and I just picked up my prints today. That baby actually smiled for his pictures, at 2 months old!! I couldn't believe the expressions on his face. What a stinker. I'm looking forward to the first laugh. That one is one of the best.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

much anticipated weekend

So I've been having a little bit of trouble getting a chance to update the blog. I've got several things I'd like to post about...but it's been just the big stuff lately.

For about a month, I've been really nervous about this past weekend. The short story is that we wanted to attend the wedding of one of my college roommates in Buffalo, NY. A wedding with an evening reception. If you have small children, you can imagine the challenges in the logistics of this. So our conclusion was to go to my mom's house in Pittsburgh on Friday, and then Saturday drive up to Buffalo for the wedding. We would leave Katy at my mom's and take David with us. Then after the reception, we'd drive back to Pittsburgh (David would sleep in the car, right?), and then stay at my mom's house until Monday for a visit. All in all, it would be 14+ hours in the car with David, who has recently decided that he hates his car seat.

So I won't go over details, but we made it, and I'm glad we went. The drive was tough, it was a long and exhausting weekend, and it had its challenging moments. But it was really great to be at the wedding. My friend Cathy was one of my closest friends for those crucial college years when everything wasn't so peachy. And it was good to see her family, who had me over for Easter every year when I was in school because it was too far for me to go home. It was a beautiful wedding, and I love seeing Cathy and her new husband Arvind so happy together. As an added bonus, I got to hang out with the newlyweds, Dawn and Lee.

Sunday at my mom's was a really nice day. Katy loves being at "Oma's house." This was the first time she could really anticipate and understand where we were going and remember things that we had seen before. And David did fine, loving the extra pairs of hands to hold him.

Finally, another thing that I enjoy about being at my mom's house is that she pulls out my old toys for Katy to play with, and the memories come flooding back. This time it was my Fisher Price record player. I spent countless hours as a child cross-legged in front of this thing. I tried to teach Katy the ways of high-tech toys from the late 70's, but even I forgot about the different speeds and didn't figure out why it sounded like a chipmunk until after I finished taking this video:

Sunday, June 15, 2008

another fun giveaway...

...from the girls at Mommin' It Up. They're fellow Buckeyes, fellow CVS'ers, fellow moms, fellow Emily's, what more could you ask for? Check out the details here...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

missing cousins

This past weekend, Brian's brother and his family moved from Cincinnati to Philadelphia. They stopped by to see us on their way through Ohio, and we were so sad to see them drive away. It's been really great to have them a day trip away for the past 3 years. While this is going to be a really good move for them as a family, we will certainly miss them. Especially Katy. Not a day goes by that she doesn't talk about her cousins. She is in looooove.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Happiness is...

...pigtails and baby smiles.

(Do you know how hard it is to catch a 10 week old smile on camera? Eeeesh...)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A letter from my 2 month old

(photos from our weekend in Dayton visiting family and helping my Dad update his garage.)

My dearest car seat,

When we first met, we really hit it off. You were so comforting, providing the perfect combination of position and support with your snuggly straps. Nearly every time you and I hung out, you lulled me into a peaceful sleep, which was enjoyable not only for the 2 of us, but also for the whole family.

But unfortunately, things have changed.

I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I'll just go ahead and say it: I don't like you anymore. I hate the mere thought of spending time with you. You are nothing compared to the arms of any one of my family members, and I resent the fact that we are forced to be together nearly every day. You leave me no choice but to scream incessantly every time we are together. And if I scream so hard that I put myself to sleep, well, that was an accident. Because I really intend to make everyone as miserable as I feel when I'm with you.

The worst part is: I know we have to stay together. Our commitment is legal and binding in the state of Ohio until I weigh 40 pounds, and we both know that's not happening anytime soon. So I guess for now we have to learn to live together. Maybe eventually you will wear me down and I will begrudgingly put up with you, but that will be months down the road. Months and months...

I also know that you and I have a loooong date coming up soon. Oh, I'm not looking forward to that. Not looking forward to that at all.

Until next time, your companion,