Saturday, December 30, 2006

First Sentence?!

This evening I made a Mexican feast for Mark, Agatha, and Auntie Angeli. While I was still bustling around, rounding everything up so we could eat, Agatha took Angeli over to the bedroom where Proton was snoozing on the bed and asked, quite clearly, "Want to see the cat?"

It was probably just a fluke, but what a fluke! I could hear her from the kitchen, and it sounded fairly well enunciated even with that distance. We're all impressed!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Imagination is free (thank God!)

Gaz has some fun new games she's playing.

First, as Nana Cel pointed out, there is a shelf in our bedroom that Gaz likes to stand next to and tap with her fingers in clear imitation of me standing at my laptop, typing away. (We've got a box on top of our short file cabinet where I often have my laptop set up so I can check work email during the day without giving Gaz the opportunity to pull any more keys off my keyboard.) She does have a little kid laptop that she will be receiving soon from Auntie Lis, but she'll be getting nothing more techonologically advanced from us for a few years yet. We've still got our old computer that she can have when she's old enough to demand computer games. I know it can't be too much longer.

The next cool thing is that she's now playing the piano. By "playing" I mean doing the finger tap thing while singing "doo doo dah doo," and by "piano" I mean the marble slab we've got sitting on top of my old TV that serves as a stand for the space heater in our bedroom. She squats down next to the Zenith and taps away on the marble, singing something vaguely music-like. It's adorable and I have no idea why she's doing that instead of playing with her Leap Frog musical table thing, but hey, she's using her brain to imagine things and we all know that that is not a bad skill to have.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Christmas with the Mitchells was a smashing success. The best present Gaz got was days of constant playing with her cousins. This is not to say that she didn't receive completely awesome material gifts, but the highlight for her was definitely playing with The Goils. It was a raucous house of little blonde girls, and when we weren't all running after them to keep an eye out for Polly Pocket shoes in toddler mouths, we were happily (if wearily) enjoying the fact that all our girls were truly enjoying themselves, and not destroying property.

When we went to church on Sunday, the older girls were persuaded to stay with Gaz in the nursery during the service. When we first got there, Gaz looked around a bit unsure. The two ladies who minded the nursery were the only other ones there apart from us. Then Brynn got out a toy grill and Gaz noticed that there were a couple of plastic drawers full of toys. She never looked back to see me after that. This was a bittersweet moment for me--proud of my girl for being so independent and sure of herself, but a bit sad that our time of being a mama-and-baby unit is slowing winding down. I know it's not a lightswitch and she still needs me quite a lot, but it sometimes seems to be daily and not so much hourly now.

But as I was thinking on this last night in the shower, Mark and Gaz came in to join me. She'd woken up and cried and cried when Mark tried to get her to calm back down and go back to sleep. She still needs me just enough.

Weaning is a process for both moms and babies, I think. We both want the same thing, but it's going to take us both a while to ease into our new roles. While we haven't begun any actual weaning, I feel confident letting Gaz set the pace.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mixed Bag

Well, she's got another rash, but no other frustrating symptoms to go along with it, so we're waiting it out. It looks much less angry now than it did Monday at bathtime. We're pretty sure this is a new rash, as Nana and Papa didn't notice any rashiness during their visit. Best guess? Another vaccine reaction. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Today Gaz figured out how to unlock one of the doors on her animal hospital toy (which we specifically sought out to transfer her key fixation away from my keys), but there was also plenty of her trying to beat the doors into submission too. Since it only came with three animals to fill the six kennels, today I added two little monkeys in pajamas and a mummy. Gaz seemed amused.

We're kinda ready for Christmas. I've got to pack tomorrow because I opted to clean the kitchen this evening. It's easier to get the packing done with Gaz awake than it is to do a whole lotta dishes with her either tearing up the kitchen or complaining from the dining room that she can't see me. I've been wiped out all week (still recovering from Gaz being sick?) so I hope that a few good nights of rest and a peaceful visit to the wilds of central Indiana will fix me up.

Merry Christmas and a Happy Life Day to y'all!

Monday, December 18, 2006


Is a little girl who has no rash, fever, or cold, and who suddenly wants to sleep for 12-13 hours overnight.

Insert sigh of profound contentment here.

She's been a very happy girl the past few days. Part of it is no doubt the visit from her Nana and Papa, and I attribute the rest to getting back to a good sleep schedule and the general lack of illness. Nothing like a couple of bad weeks to make the good ones seem that much better!

Now we're looking forward to visiting Mark's family this weekend for actual Christmas. Hooray! It's going to be an insane cousin hoedown--three rambunctious girls and one adorable baby! Wooo!

I'm sure it will come as no surprise to anyone that I'm running late on getting Christmas cards out. I swear they will get to you eventually, on one holiday or another. You aren't being ignored, I just can't prioritize well lately. :-)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

All Better, and Inventory

The rash is almost gone, and she's in really good spirits. Her apetite has also returned with a vengeance, and once again peas reign supreme after a long dry spell of peahating.

Now for the word inventory I've been meaning to put together (before it exceeds my ability to remember all of it): hi, bye (includes bye-bye), good, cat, dog, kitty, up, down, book, key, eye, nose, toes, uh-oh, oh me!, wow, woah, home, ham, hug, car, ear, papa, dada, mama, more, Elmo, shoe, okay, yeah, no, snow, cool, cold, cow, moo, mrow (like Proton does, not like a normal cat), bok, ow, cheese, numnum, and chichi.

Signs: more, please, bath, book, telephone, cold, good, book, and sporadic others depending on when we last watched Baby Wordsworth.

Today she used "Elmo" to refer to the Netflix movies we got, I assume because the envelopes are red. Mark also insists that I point out that her signing (and for that matter some of her words) are "approximate." I doubt there are many 16 month olds who speak and sign perfectly. At any rate, her vocabulary grows daily (kitty is new as of yesterday, book new as of ten minutes ago) and I am sure that I will lose track of it soon.

The amount of words she understands is truly staggering. The safe bet is to assume that she understands everything you say, because she will surprise you with what directions she can follow and what she can infer from an off-hand comment about going o-u-t-s-i-d-e. The other day I said something about "when Daddy gets home" and she went over to the door and jiggled the doorknob yelling "Hi Dada!"

Other fun things to do are imaginary eating, nose blowing, trying to unlock doors with the wrong keys, and coloring. She's really good with the cat these last few days. I don't know how much of that is related to her not feeling 100%, but she and the cat sniff each other in turn, and she's really in love with rubbing her face on his after he's done that. Too cute.

But now, it's bath time.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Better, Worse, Better Again

Monday Gaz broke out in a rash everywhere. I called the doctor's office again and was told to bring Gaz in during walk-in hours the next day, as I had been a fool and not called earlier because she was still in a pretty good mood. The good mood didn't last (and had been preceeded by her screaming and crying all the previous night) and we've been a big mess the past few days.

The doctor yesterday confirmed that the rash and fever were a reaction to the MMR vaccine she got last Monday, and also said that it looks like she has a little cold. If the rash is still here in a week we have to go back again and get re-evaluated, but already today she looks a little better.

Monday night we kicked Mark out of bed to sleep in Gaz's room, and Gaz and I got some almost good sleep. I gave her Tylenol every four hours, because she would wake up crying every four hours, but this time she settled back down relatively easily. Last night she woke up only once at 1:00 AM-ish, and that was the last Tylenol I gave her. Today she woke up cheerful and has only fussed when I changed her diaper and when I put the baby gate up so that she could not invade the kitchen and bathroom.

She's been very happily--and nondestructively--playing with the computer while I type this. I have been so frazzled dealing with the contstant crying, I don't know what to do with myself while she's in such a good mood. I'm inclined to think this improvement is for real, as she got out all her balls and threw around the big red one for a while this morning. It's been almost a week since she got any toys out and played with them.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


The fever that is. The cranky continues, but with scattered patches of cheerful. We're slowly getting our girl back!

Friday, December 8, 2006

Feels Like Forever

It feels like she's had this fever FOREVER, although I know it's only been two days. Poor gal. It took two stops this evening to find the Vicks adhesive thermometer things (which are fabulous), but after these two days of pinning Gaz to the couch in order to take her temperature, I couldn't come home without them. Although, to illustrate how lousy she feels, while she still howls when the thermometer comes near her, she hasn't been struggling near as much as she has previously.

So lots of nursing, with breaks for fitful naps, temperature taking, Tylenol administrating; lather, rinse, repeat. Last night she was waking up every hour until about three, when I tried unsuccessfully to suction her nose. Between the vaccine reaction and the dry cold air at night, we've got no end of problems.

Think restful thoughts for Miss Gaz, and keep your fingers crossed that this reaction won't go on much longer.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Sickly Gaz

She's apparently having a reaction to the vaccines she got on Monday, because today she's listliss and feverish. She has refused to eat a decent meal and has only picked at a piece of pasta and a little bit of cheese and half a cucumber slice. She's been laying on the couch most of the day, neglecting her toys and alternately snoozing and whining.

I feel terrible with my girl so out of sorts. We're watching Pride & Prejudice because that's what I always do when I'm sick.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Sunday, bloody Sunday

Just when I thought she was significantly more coordinated and well balanced (in a movement sense), today happened!

She somehow slipped while climbing onto one of the dining room chairs and smacked her face right on the edge of the table. She's got this nice little gash just under her lip (it's oozing still a bit in this picture; it's much more linear) and two little marks inside her lip where here teeth dug into, but did not break the skin of, her lower lip. She looks all pouty all the time. The initial blood was distressing to me, but Gaz was mostly upset by the pain of course.

Freezer teethers helped greatly, as did my not dabbing at her lip after a while. Tonight she surprised me by asking (with grunting and pointing) for Tylenol at bedtime. We're hoping for a much less exciting day tomorrow.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Papa Charley got her to swing for a few minutes, but it wasn't until recently that she really got into it. Here's a nice shot of her clearly having a good time on a recent trip to the park.

Such a big girl.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Christmas Stuff

I keep getting nudged to say something about what Gaz wants for Christmas. Since she's mostly saying "moo," "no," and "okay," it falls to me to say something.

For various reasons (not the least of which was a conversation with Dr. C. at our last appointment) we have decided that what Gaz needs most from us as we head into winter, is help in keeping active. The doc suggested things like organized classes/sports/activities to keep her healthy, and we both agreed that this is the best thing for her.

So, in lieu of toys, we are asking that everyone who feels the urge to get something for Gaz contribute to our stay-active-this-winter fund. I know toys are cool, but she's got more than she could possibly play with and we've got limited storage space. (Really limited storage space. . .) One thing we're looking at enrolling Gaz in is Wiggleworms classes at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Check the link to see what it's all about. It's exercise hidden in games and singing. What's not to like?

We want to help Gaz stay healthy and happy, but since our finances are still strained by my not having regular income anymore, we can't do it all ourselves right now. If you can help at all, it would be very much appreciated by all of us.

The SERIOUSLY, DON'T BUY THIS list: no videos, no DVDs, no books with real pages. We have more than enough videos and DVDs, and Gaz is so extremely hard on books we can't read books with real pages to her yet. They just go right on a shelf in her bedroom and collect dust. There's plenty of time to buy those when she settles down (and grows an attention span long enough to handle Dr. Seuss). Board books are okay, if you're really set on books.

And if you consult Gaz's Amazon wishlist, PLEASE sort the entries by priority!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Electronic Housekeeping

Which is all the more amusing because I'm also watching House right now. ;)

I just finished finished adding tags to all the lovely baby postiness here, so presumably now you can take a variety of topical strolls down memory lane. Going back through Gaz's history has been weird and nice. Looking at those pictures where she has almost no hair. . . it's hard to look at her now and remember what those days were like, I'm so entrenched in what's going on Now. But it's fun to look back on how things were.

Anyway, enjoy the shiny new labels.

Friday, November 24, 2006

How Gaz liquified my insides

Usually Gaz does one of two things at bedtime: she nurses to sleep or she nurses for a few minutes and then rolls over, snuggles up to me, and then goes to sleep. Twice last week she did something a little different. She nursed for a while and then climbed up on me, threw her arms around my neck, and rested her cheek on mine. That's how she drifted off to sleep those two nights.

The two best bedtimes ever. My heart melts anew every time I remember; I know I will cherish the memory of those nights the rest of my life. My little girl is the greatest.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Our First Family Cold

We're all sick. With a virus, you silly people. :)

I think Gaz got it first, as she's the one who was clearly suffering more last week, when she woke up several times Wednesday and Thursday nights needing to have her nose suctioned so that she could breathe enough to nurse. I had been very sneezy, but it seemed more like allergies than anything else. I fell ill Saturday and Mark's ick set in while he was driving us home from a visit to Grandma Judy and Grandpa Will's house on Sunday.

We're all convalescing now. There have been no fights over cold medicine, and best of all Gaz has had two good nights (maybe three now) of not-enough-congestion-to-cause-problems-nursing. Hooray! I don't like having to get the moco-sucker out, and I really don't like having to sit on her to use it.

Apart from bringing pestilence to central Indiana, we had a good visit and Gaz got to be the first one to try out Grandma and Grandpa's whirlpool tub! (She didn't like the air jets, but enjoyed having her own little pool.)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Gaz loves keys. Specifically, she loves my keys. She has long known that keys open doors, but previously she would bang the keys on whatever part of door was handy.

Now we have two new tricks. First, she has figured out where keys need to go in order to open doors. She hasn't figured out that they need to go in point first or that doors need particular keys, but she's well on her way to figuring out how to escape.

The other thing she's figured out is how to put my keys in the diaper champ. Fortunately I heard them go down the one time she's run off with my keys long enough to do this, and they were quickly rescued. Now all who set their keys out around here must beware of this potential key fate.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

More Words

It's freaky how fast the vocabulary is growing. Latest entries are: shoes and home. Or ham; we're not too sure which, baby pronunciation being a little "mushy" if you will.

She's been a lot of fun this weekend, micronaps aside. Mark and I just spent the last hour or so grinning at each other while Gaz ran around being cute.

Life is pretty good.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Plea for help

Here's the deal: I want to enter Mothra into a Halloween costume sewing contest. My problem? I'm really not sure what picture to send. If you have a moment and are so inclined, have a look at the photos I've got and tell me which one would inspire you to pick me if you were judging a sewing contest (not a cute baby contest, mind you). Alternately, if you have any pictures that you have taken of Miss Mothra that you feel are superior, please send them to me.

Deadline coming up soon, so if you can help I would be much obliged.

(And so this post isn't totally non-Gaz, her current favorite words--spoken at full volume--are Hi! Wow! Caca! and NO!)

Sunday, November 5, 2006

New Old Game

Back in the days when sitting was a rather novel occupation, Gaz and I would play the up-and-down game, wherein I held onto her hands as she lay on the couch and pull her up to a sitting position while saying "UP!" and then laid her back down while saing "DOWN!" It was loads of fun.

We've been playing that game again lately. It's one way of saying thanks for holding still while I change a diaper. It's even better, though, as a vocabularly builder. Just moments ago she was playing on the couch, getting on all fours and saying "UP!" and then collapsing her limbs to flop onto the cushions and saying "DOWN!", which was then followed by running a few laps around the recliner while yelling "UP! DOWN! UP! DOWN!"

The other new word is "juice." She likes saying it more than she likes drinking it.

Another cool new vocabulary twist is that she understands way more than she did just a couple of weeks ago. Now when we read "Five Little Monkeys" she holds her head every time we get to the part where one of the monkeys bumps its head. This is just one example of the kinds of things she understands. It constantly blows my mind that I can mention something like "why don't we go outside after lunch?" and before I finish talking she's already at the door trying to get out. We're spelling things a lot more now. She doesn't get "not now--in a minute."

She's weird, which results in creativity. :-)

Thursday, November 2, 2006

October catches up with Mama

I meant to update this last night, but feel asleep while getting Gaz to bed. I must have really needed it!

We have just returned from her 15mo. appointment and her current stats are: 34 inches in height, 30 pounds six ounes in heaviness, and 47 somethingorothers in head circumfrence. She's still off the chart. She's big enough now that she doesn't have to get up on her tip-toes to see what's on the dining room table, and her reach has grown as well. Best part of the visit is that Dr. C. says that she's progressing so ideally in terms of her vocabulary and coordination that she doesn't need to see her at 18 months. We're going back in a month for the second dose of flu vaccine so we're just going to do her 18 month vaccinations then and we won't have to worry about an actual doctor visit until August. Hooray!

Let's see. . . I keep thinking of things I should be putting down here but now of course they slip my mind. Halloween was a big success. We ended up going over to our friend Lis's house to help her hand out candy and to show off the finished Mothra costume. She's a very popular wee kaiju.

She fell out of bed for the first time last week, which was quite memorable for Mark and I. I scrambled to pick her up off the floor even before I was conscious enough to articulate what was going on--I was awoken from a sound sleep by a loud thump, my daughter was not right next to me, and my body moved instantly toward the end of the bed to pick her up before I knew what I was doing. Mark came rushing in asking how she fell off the bed and I said "I don't know. I was asleep!" She's definitely getting more fidgety in her sleep, but I think this is largely due to her crazy sleep schedule the past few weeks. She's evening out now.

She has her first owie from walking around outside, too. Yesterday we went out in search of discounted candy, and at first Gaz refused to ride in the stroller. She took a little tumble almost a block from home, but was completely unfazed. While we were at Walgreens I noticed a red spot on her hand and sure enough, there was a little scrape there. And even though mean Mama was the one who took soap and water to open wound, she still wanted to cuddle with me after the ordeal was finally over and I was reasonably sure we'd gotten the ick out of her abrasion.

I know there's more new tricks, but I can't think of any right now. Gaz is sleeping off her frustration and shots. I should probably get some straightening up done before Hurricane Gaz arises.

Hope your Halloween was groovy and Happy Day of the Dead to you all!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Costume Madness

Mark and I are finishing up Gaz's Halloween costume, but for those who want a sort of sneak peek, feel free to check out these pictures from our Milwaukee visit over the weekend.

Photos by our good friend Clare, aka Raggedy Android. :-)

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Gaz has a fever, and has had a terrible night of sniffling and coughing and crying her little eyes out. It's been rough on all of us, but particularly out little girl, who had not been sick before just now. She's snoozing sans pajamas now, just a little blanket-hating ball in a diaper. Once our doctor's office back home opens up I'm going to give a call and talk to a nurse. Then if we need to go to a doctor I'll have to call the insurance company and see where I can take her.

I'm glad to have help, but we came here to help out my family, not to wake everyone up repeatedly all night long. But it was helpful for someone else to give Gaz her Tylenol while I held her. She didn't want anyone else.

Spooky trivia: I had my first fever when I was about this age, about this time of year, while visiting my maternal grandparents. Mom says it was an ear infection.

I'm going to lay down with Gaz again, see if I can get a little more shut-eye.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Family Update/New Gaz Tricks

My grandpa is doing much better all of a sudden. He recognized me and Gaz last night and was amused by her antics before he fell asleep again. Three cheers for some real progress!

Gaz has done some cool things too. She now repeats strange new words with a good degree of accuracy. She just said "funky" just a second ago, and she's said "cracker" and a whole lot of other words that haven't quite joined the vocabularly but she's really working on the variety of sounds she can make. I'm all aglow. One big new thing is that she calls Grandpa Charley "Papa" as reliably as she calls me Mama and Mark Dada. So now we're seeing if "Nana" sticks for Grandma Cel.

She's also mastered climbing into chairs. Last night at the nursing home she climbed into the chairs in Great-Grandpa's room over and over. At Nana and Papa's house she's got her own little rocking chair (which used to be mine) that she can get into and use with relative ease. Now she hates being strapped into her little high chair booster seat thing, so we just set her in it now. She also refuses to use the tray most meals, preferring to eat at the table like a big girl.

My, how they grow.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Better late than never

This week we got a card from the governor, welcoming our new baby. Yeah, they're more than a little behind the times. Best of all is the note inside encouraging us new parents to get our little bundle of joy all her essential vaccinations by the time she's two months old. They even give us a nice little card to write down all the dates of the vaccinations.

There was also a note from the First Lady regarding a "new" law that protects a woman's right to breastfeed in any public place. Except that the law came out two years ago in August.

Can you tell that it's an election year?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Good and Bad

You'll have to forgive this not-entirely-Gaz-related post. There's a lot going on these days, and it's all overlapping.

The Good: Yesterday we went to an Attachment Parenting group and had a wonderful time. Gaz got some quality play time in with a bunch of kids of varying ages, I got to spend some much-needed time with other moms, and it was generally a positive experience. Gaz didn't get too unruly or tantrumy, and even ate a whole strawberry (including the green bits I couldn't get away from her in time), some pineapple chunks, and a lot of floor Cheerios (they seem to be instantly more attractive on the floor). I also got to poke around a bit at the venue, BeBYBaby, and they've got this whole wall of nursing bras! I was amazed. I will definitely have to go back sans Gaz, plus checkbook to see about getting some attractive underthings. (Oh, the woes of nursing. ;-) ) Gaz was also a total champ about running errands after the meeting, including a trip to get Proton his prescription food, and stopping by Whole Foods to try to find some toothpaste our little vegetarian will tolerate. Speaking our little veggie girl, I could not believe that she willingly set aside the oreo that J. gave her as we were on our way up to the apartment for lunch in favor of tofu and peas! Whatta gal.

The Bad: My grandfather had a stroke on Sunday. Gaz and I are going to head home this weekend to stay with my folks for a while. I'll be able to help where I can, and everyone can benefit from having a little dose of Vitamin Gaz. Mark is driving us down so that I don't have to try to make the long drive by myself.

The Ugly: Today after lunch I was trying to clean up the table when Gaz, who had stolen my seat now that she's figured out how to climb up on the dining room chairs, was splashing around in some liquid on the table. Just as I was about to take her sippy cup away and shoo her off to play in the living room, I saw that her sippy cup was nowhere near her and still sitting upright. Then I noticed that my sweatshirt was completely soaked and dripping onto the table. I'm not sure what set off my milk-ejection reflex, but I definitley couldn't blame the mess on Gaz. She was a good girl and helped me wipe up the table, and now that I've got on a clean dry shirt, I'm a happy mom again.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Bad day for teething

My poor girl is miserable today. We skipped storytime at some local shop because she spent the morning in hysterics. She's napping now, thanks to Tylenol. Nothing else worked today, not fridge teethers, not freezer teethers, not cold drinks, not anything. She did feel well enough to eat a bunch of tofu and beans and a little bit of apple and puffed wheat cereal, so we're doing better on food today than any other day this week. Generally we've been nursing quite a lot and cuddling even more. I've been wiped out for many days now because Gaz constantly wants to be held. Did I mention that she is a heavy child? Of course I give her all the hugs and hefts and nursing she needs. I wish I could make the pain get over with faster.

While she was screaming this morning I got a good look in her mouth: three canines (all but the lower left) are out and the top two molars each have the tiniest point out, but obviously not enough for her to be unafflicted. Come on molars! Mama's getting impatient with you!

Another side effect of all this is that I think we're getting closer to getting Gaz to reliably and independently say "chichi," which is our time-honored family term for breastfeeding. It's either "gutter Spanish" (as my late Abuela used to call it) for "breast" or Nahuatl for "to nurse," take your pick.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006


Just a quick update to note that now Gaz nods as well as shakes her head. Since she's not saying "yes" and "no" yet, this is a great help to figuring out what the heck she's on about.

Also, getting much better about signing "more" and "finished" at mealtimes. Wheeee!

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Independent Toddler

Anyone who thinks that attachment parenting only encourages a child to be overly dependent on its parents hasn't seen Gaz in action. Despite extended breastfeeding, never being allowed to cry herself to sleep alone*, and our family bed sleeping arrangements, when we went to the park last weekend she ran off to check out everything and everyone, hardly looking back at me once. She was happy to have help in navigating the slides, but otherwise she was all about doing it herself. I'm very proud of my little girl.

I know the way we are doing things isn't what everyone necessarily would (or should) choose, but I'm happy with how things are working out for us.

* The crying to sleep that has been done was always with a caregiver (Mark or Lisa, usually) at hand to provide what comfort Gaz would allow. There's not much than can be done about her preference for me (in fact, most days I wouldn't want to change it at all), so unfortunately sometimes someone has to get several earfuls in the course of minding her.

Monday, September 25, 2006

best Gaz-Grandma game ever!

We just bid adieu to Grandma Cel this morning, and that reminded me that I wanted to share this cool game that Gaz made up at breakfast Saturday morning. I call it foie gras, and to play Gaz sits on Grandma's lap and shoves all the food on her plate that she doesn't want to eat into Grandma's mouth as fast as her little hands can shove. Weeeee! It was amusing to spectate, but I don't look forward to my turn at the game.

Look out Grandma Judy!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Of toddler hysterics and lunatic Halloween costumes

If I were to write my will today, I would have to lie about that sound mind business for two reasons.

First, my mom and I took Gaz to Joann's AND Target. On a Saturday. Well after all the insane shoppers of the world are up and about and breakfasted. On the day after a rather late bedtime. Oh, the foolishness. I am now nostalgic for those care-free days of shopping with Gaz when the worst that would happen was that she would get fussy about being in her stroller, so I would put her in the sling and use the stroller as a shopping cart. Now she screams and throws fits when she's not allowed to pull all the patterns off the shelves or just run at shopping carts as they are being pushed around. Oh, the evil glares we recieved. You know, parents do realize how annoying that screaming baby is, because they have to deal with it on a daily basis! So get over your momentary inconvenience, 20-something hipster brats. I'm busy trying to corral my kid so that she doesn't grow up to be as rude as you. I don't always succeed, but I'm working on it.

Second, which directly contributed to the shopping trip to begin with, I'm making a Mothra costume for Gaz. Which endeavor is completely insane and will definitely keep me busy until Halloween, when she will wear the damn thing once and then I'll probably be really mad that I spent so much time making this monstrosity. But it's not like any of this is going to keep me from doing this, of course. I'm enjoying myself despite the general madness of all of this and the loooong, daughter-aggravating wait in line to get my fabric cut today.

It took two hours to get Gaz down tonight and now I think it's time for me to join her. We just finished watching Rebirth of Mothra, which was pretty lousy but it qualifies as reasearch. I will be drifting off with plans for constructing fuzzy moth wings dancing in my head.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Happy Birthdays Mom and Dad!

For our birthdays, Gaz gifted us with some good things (the following neat new tricks) and some not so good things (constipation and night terrors), but let's focus on the good:

* She's figured out how to go up stairs! And once she figured it out she wouldn't stop, so we ended up getting pretty tired. But still, we're half way to her mastering stairs!

* Yesterday was a banner day for thrilling acrobatics. Just as I was about to remove her from the rocking recliner because she wouldn't stop standing on it and bouncing around (see house rule #1: no standing on the couch), Gaz jumped and leaned forward over one of the arms at the same time, diving right over the arm of the chair. I caught the butt of her romper, narrowly saving her from a major head bonk. She did bump her forehead on the recliner lever in her post-surprise spaz attack, but after a few seconds of cuddling, she was fine. I needed a bit longer to calm down, but no one is any worse for the stress.

* Gaz was relatively well behaved at the museum on Sunday. The shoes we brought were a bit too slippery for the highly polished institutional floors, but it didn't take her long at all to figure out how to run around without falling to her knees every two steps. Huzzah!

And for anyone worried about her health, the night terrors haven't recurred and her young bowels are happy once again. Apparently apples can be a bit binding for young guts, which was news to me, but in any event we won't be letting her eat an entire apple by herself again.

Friday, September 15, 2006

cute phaser on KILL

I know. Lots of posts lately. It's because I've got the laptop on constantly for work. But on to the meat:

Gaz does two really brain-meltingly cute things lately. First (and she's been doing this for maybe a week now), she gives kisses now. And not the open mouthed protokiss that babies do, either. These are cute little kid kisses. She's yet to figure out how to pucker her lips, but she's most of the way there. Adorable.

But this morning really took the cake. I was laying on the couch after we got up as I'm completely wiped out from a very busy work week. (Maybe 3 1/2 hours of sleep last night, for reference, and that's about par for the course this week.) So there I was, all blah and mopey, when Gaz discovered a beam of sunlight coming into the living room from our dining room windows and then decided to try to catch it. She tried to grab it in the air, she tried to pick it up off the rug, but couldn't get a hold of it. She was a little perplexed, but still very amused. The sight liquified what was left of my brain and various other insides, but I still have enough grey matter left to proclaim that I will never forget that moment.

Auntie Angeli was dead-on when she described toddlers as cats with opposable thumbs.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The teeth, the teeth

I keep forgetting the teething update. (And I grow a bit wearing of today's editing job. This is the perfect opportunity for a break.)

Some days are worse than others, as always, when it comes to mouth pain, but we've got something to show for Gaz's trouble. Both upper first year molars are just barely peeking out, and the lower right is close. The canines have decided to be precocious and both right dog teeth are extremely close to cutting through. The upper will probably be officially out in a day or two, and the lower is not far behind. I wouldn't be surprised if either or both beat the molars to cutting completely.

That's all the news from Gaz's mouth. Pitty the poor child, always cutting eight teeth at once!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

2T, kina

We just got her in some 2T jammies tonight. It was a bit of a struggle with the zipper. She looks a bit like 30 lbs. of toddler in a 20 lbs. sack made from one of those fuzzy hotel blankets, but at least we didn't have to pinch her chubby, chubby thighs to zip her in. That's a good thing. We don't have any long-sleeved jammies in 24 mo. size, so we are working with what we have. I suppose we could always put her in the 3T jammies and hope for the best if she doesn't stretch out soon. I might have to start making her some homemade pants that include plenty of room for a diaper in addition to all of her. Oh, how this post will embarrass her in the future!

Anyway, she's a healthy little girl, regardless of how clothes fit. Pretty happy, too.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Now with neck!

Grandma Judy and Grandpa Will were just up for a visit and confirmed that yes, Gaz has a distinguishable neck now. Huzzah! Seems like a silly little thing, but it's the first part of her to slim down and look more like a normal human body part (versus chubby human body part). She's playing with the cordless phone now, dialing randomly then holding it to her head and saying "Prutahn?" As Mark said at dinner tonight, "She's adorable and completely insane. It's times like this when she really reminds me of her mother."

Today we received her birthday present from her Aunt Llydie (a college friend of mine), comprised of a cute little crocheted afghan and a book. Keep an eye on my flickr site, as I'll be uploading pictures of the happy occassion soon. She had much fun playing with the box and book.

And now Mamama has a whole inbox full of work to do.

Sunday, September 3, 2006

exploding vocabulary

Today I got a picture of Gaz doing the sign for "table," which she starting doing after a few viewings of the Baby Einstein "Baby Wordsworth" DVD. I was trying to get a shot of her signing "more" by telling her to "say 'more' with your hands." So naturally she looked right at me and said "more!" and then looked confused while I laughed myself half off my chair.

Other good, solid words lately are: cow and Proton (just this evening, instead of "tahtahn"). Anyone who spent any good amount of time with me in my youth knows how important it is that she can say cow early and often. :-)

Now she's walking around with a stuffed cow in one hand and a plastic cow in the other, saying "hi, cow!" to each in turn while she does laps around the dining room table. I think this sets the tone for her second year fairly well: lots of chatter, lots of parent-wearying scampering.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Avian Queen

Last night we took advantage of Gaz's late afternoon nap to run errands as a family after dinner. The last stop was to Petco in our continuing search for the good kitty litter we used to use and can't remember the name of to save our lives.

As soon as we strolled into the main area of the store where there are animal displays several cockatiels immediately noticed us and kept their eyes on Gaz as we walked by. Then the parakeets suddenly fell silent as she and Mark lingered near their case. All of those birds stared at them, but most particularly at Gaz.

Of course, the rest of the small mammals (gerbils, hamsters, rats) couldn't have cared less about any of us and continued burrowing and eating and running in their little wheels. A couple of guinea pigs entertained us by running in circles while we waited in line, but I think the biggest Gaz fans there were the birds.


Sunday, August 27, 2006


Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl.
I had no idea that Fermilab had on its premises a prairie restoration project until Mark started writing this story (the sequel to "Improbable Times") that involves said lab. And naturally, as soon as we found out there was a buffalo farm just across the road from one of the particle accelerators there was no way we could stay away.

First we went to see the buffalo. We think Gaz liked them, but it was hard to tell. They didn't come very close and it was drizzling so we set about finding a spot for our picnic lunch. We finally found a nice spot with a view of the "A. E. Sea" (which is really a pretty little marshy lake), and so devoured our sandwiches and vegetables while Gaz tried to eat celery, but consistently gave up after sinking her teeth in just once. Mark and I ate more than our share of slobbered on partly chewed things she handed to us.

After lunch we stopped at the administration building, which has some public areas. The atrium was very pretty. A large pendulum hung in the center, tracing its path in a large trough of sand. Gaz had a lovely time walking around and smacking plants, then an even better time stomping around the back patio area. Then we went back out the front of the building, where Gaz took her first full-front fall on a non-carpeted surface. She came away with barely a scratch on one knee and stopped screaming in a shorter amount of time than usual. Walking to the pond in front of the building helped, I'm sure.

We enjoyed more nature at this pond (fishing is allowed in the ponds that are in the public area), including some egrets, a great blue heron, and ducks. Gaz was fidgety, though, so we hopped back in the car and headed to the Lederman Science Center. Most of the exhibits were either not working or over my head. Physics never was my strong suit. Gaz rode more or less happily in her stroller and then had fun watching Mark play with some video game in one room.

We drove up to the prairie trails, but seeing the height of the grass on the path and knowing how damp the ground was, we decided to save that for another time. Some time when we have a backpack carrier for Gaz so we can keep her out of the mud, or better yet, some time when there is less mud.

An educational time was had by all and we will definitely keep going back, at least until Gaz wins a Nobel Prize for something sciencey.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Gaz's first wedding

Lori & Dave's Wedding
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl.
As a guest, that is.

Gaz was adorable and well-behaved and so personable she got some strange lady we'd never met before to offer us her expensive-looking wristwatch as a toy. (I declined, of course. No sense in ruining the party for someone who was probably a relative.) Of course she always seemed to want to nurse only when a photographer was about to get us, but I think we managed to be mostly discrete. She charmed and was charmed by all, I think it's safe to say. She had a hard time letting go of Izzy as we were on our way to the car.

[The wedding was lovely too, I should mention, and we continue to wish Lori and Dave every happiness!]

In the parking lot we dressed her in some jammies (a clearance onesie we bought in Highland Park when I realized that we forgot to bring anything with us well after we were on 94) and she fussed only a bit and then dropped off to sleep.

It was a good day.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Insert Pithy Title Here

Gaz and I are back from another whirlwind visit to Evansville. We got to see many people, but always never as many as I would have liked and never for as long as I wish we had. But you do what you can when you can, especially when working around naps. The trip was largely uneventful, but the visiting was wonderful and Gaz is having a good time with her new birthday presents. I regret that we left some presents at La Casa Rizen, but at least Gaz will have some good toys to play with when we next we visit.

Now for the news:

Vocabulary - I think we can add a few more words, even though they aren't all that well-formed all the time. These are: cat, dog, Proton (often Pohtahn or Tahntahn), car, and the sign for "more" which often ends up being her clapping. She understands an amazing amount of what we say to her, too. You can ask her to do things (bring me your pajamas, or give this to Grandpa) and she goes right to it. When she's not in a mood, that is.

Motor skills - Just today I noticed Gaz working her way around toys on the floor instead of just stomping around getting tripped up by everything. Her hilarious little sideways crabwalk sort of thing is paying off in the obstacle avoidance department. She's figured out how to work the corn popper, too, although she thinks it's also fun to grab the handle and slam the whole thing on the floor a few times. Not in frustration, mind you, it's all for amusement value. We're not encouraging that.

Higher Education - She now brings me books to read to her and if I ask her to bring me a book she'll grab one and climb up on my lap. Right now she's seriously addicted to "But Not the Hippopotamus" and "Opposites" from her Sandra Boynton collection (Thanks Mike and Terry and Dani!) but she's also open to other books from time to time. She's still hell on anything that's not stiff cardboard, so "Just So Stories" and "Knuffle Bunny" are being kept safe for now. I suspect it won't be long before she gets a bit gentler.

And in the annoying baby tricks department:

Gaz long ago figured out how to work the handle on the Diaper Champ, but now she's also figured out that she can put things in the opening. This morning I caught her putting the phone (!) in the top. She hasn't yet combined these two actions, but it can't be long now. If you ever spend any time at our place and suddenly find something of yours missing, it might be in among the used diapers. Wheeeeeee!

She's never been a subtle child, but now we can add something strange and new to her catalog of breastfeeding habits. She's been very acrobatic for at least the past six months, often climbing all over me in the course of a feeding. Lately she's taken to holding onto the other breast with a free hand while she's nursing. I think it's a security thing, as we've been traveling and sleeping in strange beds lately. I understand that she comes by this honestly; I was an acrobatic grabby child, too. My folks shared stories of my own long-ago breastfeeding antics. What goes around . . .

Since our return Gaz has been having more normal bedtimes and I've been completely wiped out so I can't enjoy the not-fighting-with-the-toddler as much as I otherwise would. Speaking of, it's about time to call it a day.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Christened and Gifted

Well, I spoke too soon in my last post about her sleeping well on her birthday. Not an hour after she went down, she was back up and stayed up until nearly midnight. Next evening, almost as bad. The night before her big day, she was up until 2:00 AM. Not because we let her stay up, but because she could not be induced to sleep earlier.

So apart from the sleep angst, Saturday ended up being a very good day. In the morning we had her nontraditional christening down by the lake, and in the afternoon we had her local first birthday party. Gaz was fussy in the morning and didn't nurse well at all until much later. She was pretty difficult until things got underway. Our good friend Greg officiated and pulled together some amazing readings. The theme, inspired by a quote from Mary Popins Comes Back was remembering and learning, or maybe relearning. Everyone brought little gifts that were symbolic of a hope or blessing that was wished for Gaz, and they were wonderfully thoughtful and creative and I'm still completely blown away. I mean, not that I ever doubted the creativity of our friends and family, but I had no idea what to expect. A catalog of these items will happen one day.

I don't think I can offer a fair description of the, and the video is lovely to peep but has terrible sound. I guess you had to be there. When all the readings have been collected I'll put something up here. Or somewhere. It might end up being a bit long. The long and the short of it is that it was beautiful, it was everything we wanted and more, and Greg almost made me cry at the end.

Then mad rush to get home, get food, get Gaz to nap (didn't happen except for the bit she slept in the car), get decorations up, get cupcakes (red velvet and confetti) set up, and get ready for people and presents to appear. And so many of our friends stopped by to partake of the cupcakes and to help us celebrate (again) Gaz's birthday. Some truly amazing presents were received, among them a couple of knitted nautiloids, a ton of clothes (thanks Grandma Cel and Aunt Hillary!), many wonderful books, a doll she immediately took a shine to, numbers and letters to play with in the bathtub, and so many more things, my brain cannot think of them all now. A big giant blanket thank you to everyone for showing up, for being so generous, and for being part of our extended family. We love you all! And thanks to the tissue paper we wrapped our gifts in, there's glitter everywhere, including on Gaz. Even after a bath.

After such a long week (I was working through all the horrible baby-won't-sleep nights, in addition to party planning and ceremony pondering) I can't claim to be all that coherent here, so feel free to email or comment with requests for details and I'll try to either edit this post or do another, spiffier one. I can pretty much guarantee that there will be more details on the ceremony later, though. Greg is typing up the readings we used for us. Wonderful, nerdy readings. Ursula K. LeGuin and Mary Popins and some guy who's poem I call the space prayer, but that's not what it's really called. But it should be.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

The Big One

Today is it, that bittersweet anniversary when we officially say goodbye to the baby days and hello to the toddler madness. Today it was too hot to do anything but lie around on the living room floor (okay, I laid on the floor, she did laps around the baby safe zone) and wait for the rain that has finally just come and brough some relief. Gaz and I took a shower to wash off the day's sweat (and the day's meals, in her case) and I was very pleased to see that she's figured out to close her eyes when I told her that I was going to rinse her head. No more freaking out when water falls on her head, no more flailing about when I try to wash her face. What a big girl.

We sat in the rocking chair nursing for a while, but when she was obviously done and obviously not asleep yet, I handed her off to Mark so that I could get out of my robe and into some pajamas. I expected protests from the other room, but heard only Bob Marley. I quietly came out of the bedroom, trying not to attract her attention as she was cuddled up against Dad's chest and on the verge of sleep. The creaky floorboards alerted her anyway. She turned and looked at me, then content that Mama hadn't gone anywhere too far away, she turned back to Mark's chest and promptly fell asleep. Amazing. Since she was out by 7:30 it's probable that she will wake up in a few hours, but that should still give me plenty of time to get some work done. I might even get an early bedtime.

The quiet momentousness of the day hit me this morning when I laid her down for a diaper change. She's been resisting anything but stand-up diaper changes ever since she figured out how to pull herself up, but lately (maybe the past week or so) she's not so violently opposed to it if I'm a) fast and b) generous with the comforting kisses and entertaining zerbets. So this morning I was changing her diaper and I looked at Gaz, her cherubic little face so different and still so like that little face I first met a year ago, and I had to cry a little bit. I quickly went to the diaper champ to dispose of the diaper so I could get ahold of myself before Gaz got concerned and started crying herself. We napped on the couch today and, apart from the blistering heat (yes, even indoors), that felt very much like those early days.

It has been a very good day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tuesday Morning, 8:24 AM

Mama: Gaz, would you like to go to the library today?
Gaz: Nuh.
Mama: Would you like to go to the library next Tuesday?
Gaz: (shakes head)
Mama: Do you even know what a library is?
Gaz: (stares at Mama with a happy yet blank look on her face)

We had to wait for some work to come to me, so we had to stay home regardless. Next week, though, we're going to hit the cool sounding infant communication workshop thing.

Right now she's throwing her red rubber ball around, then giggling and chasing it. She is suddenly walking more than crawling, which is the most fun thing ever. This truly is the world's most entertaining science experiment.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

one year later

Sometime around a year ago (I don't remember the date, which is strange coming from me, I know) I was still quite gravid and my blood pressure was trying to scale Mt. Everest. On this particular anniversary-I-can't-quite-nail-down, my OB sent me to the hospital because my blood pressure was dangerously high. If it came down, I could go home; if it didn't, I would be induced straight away whether I liked it or not.

It did, of course, come down and Gaz was very healthy, as we all know now. Today I remembered how bleak that day was. One year ago, give or take a few days, I didn't know if things were about to go badly. I had no way of knowing if Gaz would be okay, if I would be okay, or how anything was going to turn out. It's all very easy for people to be dissmissive and say "oh, things will work out just fine," but there are no guarantees of that. Last year I was awash in that horrible uncertainty.

Today when I see Gaz toddling around, throwing books at the cat, and nodding when I ask her if she wants more macaroni and cheese, I am grateful beyond words that things have gone so well. There is no expression yet conceived to convey my absolute happiness with my daughter and our little family. This is the most precious thing I have.

There is no moral to this story. I just love my girl.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Walking: There is so much more walking, completely away from all furniture. Much video has been shot of late of this walking, including some diaperless pre-bath walking last night.

Destructo: She tore the question mark & slash key off my laptop keyboard. It wont' pop back on, so I think this counts as the first big thing she's broken.

Words: All sorts of almost words, including today's effort: baby. We looked at her reflection in the mirror while she was feeling mellow in between pre-nap tantrums. I pointed to the mirror baby and said "Baby. Bay. Bee." and she tried really hard to repeat. It ended up "bah-beh" but this is pretty good progress.

Tiptiptiptiptip: She drank from her sippy cup! For real! Right in front of me! I can't believe it!!! I thought she would never figure out how to hold the sippy cups right side up, but it finally clicked.

I think she's just showing off for Grandma Judy and Grandpa Will, the little ham.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hugging the cat

Hugging the cat
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl.
She's figured out how to "pet the cat nicely." After yesterday's kitty trauma at the vet's office, she's been a paragon of good behavior towards one's fellow creatures. I guess seeing him howl and bark in the car and in the exam and waiting rooms inspired some empathy.

You can just barely see the cat carrier behind her. This was the source of much fun after we returned home. The game went like this: Gaz opens carrier door, cat goes in, Gaz throws shoe in with cat and closes door, Gaz opens up door again and looks at cat, Gaz closes door and cat complains, Gaz opens door and cat gets out. Lather, rinse, repeat.

We're still waiting on a test, but so far the cat is not full of any more evil than ususal.

Saturday, July 8, 2006

Mr. Mitchell, open the gate! Mr. Mitchell, tear down this wall!

Now that Gaz is stong enough to pull the fence (that formerly separated the baby-safe living room from the clutter of the dining room) out of its moorings, we've taken the whole thing down. She now has run of both the living room and dining room.

She is completely ecstatic. She's already broken something in the once-forbidden zone.

Getting ready for a birthday

I've just been fiddling with Gaz's Amazon Wish List in preparation for her birthday. There are a variety of new things on there to inspire. There is one thing I couldn't fine anywhere online that I saw in our local Babies R Us store that was pretty cool and Gaz seemed interested in. It was a Baby Einstein (I think) car toy that is good for rear facing and forward facing seats, has a mirror, and (this is the cool part) has music and flashing lights which are controlled by a remote that clips onto a visor. For when you absolutely positively have to distract the upset car seat-bound baby right now without twisting around and killing everyone in the car! What a concept!

Something is being planned for the first weekend in August to celebrate the natal anniversary. Call us or email us for details, you who are local. You who are of the Mitchell persuasion: we'll be seeing you the weekend before, so don't feel like you *have* to come. You who are of the Rizen persuasion: we're planning on coming down later in August, so don't feel like you have to come. There's plenty of Gaz to go around!

To add to our bad, bad luck this week, our car was broken into sometime Thursday night/Friday morning, so we're carless for a while. The nice people at our local garage offered to store the car in their garage over the weekend so that no one else would mess up the car while the window's still broken. Today we took buses to Lakeview and strolled around. We stopped at My Place for Tea and had a great time talking to the proprietress (a nurse who's worked labor/delivery, NICU, ICU, and outpatient surgery) who got the biggest kick out of holding Gaz. If I'd had half a brain when we left, I would have grabbed the camera. At the comic shop Gaz fell in love with an Ugly Doll, and so "Jeero" has come to live with us. We will stop caving in to her whims one day, probably on the day we remember to bring toys out with us so that she won't go nuts for the first thing at eye level she sees.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Lead Scare

It's not lead poisoning. Hopefully we will avoid that. Anyway, it went like this: Gaz was tested in May at her nine month visit; who ever processes the tests reported her results to the state (might actually be the state that runs the tests) and the doctor; the state reports the results to the local health department; the local health department sends us spooky notices that scare the hell out of us because the doctor's office doesn't contact patients that have test results that don't require treatment. There is lead in Gaz, but not enough to cause any kind of damage, just enough to give me a couple of sleepless nights waiting for the situation to resolve.

And resolve it has: we've got lead in the kitchen, pantry, and back porch. A nice inspector from the city health department was out today to check everything out, and that was his verdict. Both Mr. Inspector and the nurse from Dr. C's office concur that the level of lead in Gaz's system is "very low" but that we should really try to get it down to zero, a sentiment I completely agree with.

I've already talked to our landlord and told him basically what was going on and that he'd be getting more detailed information from the inspector. We don't blame the landlords, of course, because had they known they definitely would have fixed it before now, and he did look quite vexed when I spoke with him earlier. Mr. Inspector said something along those lines too. They aren't "out to get" anyone; they simply want to prevent children from getting lead poisoning.

Gaz's lead level is so low that treatment isn't necessary, so there's nothing to do at the moment but keep her out of the kitchen, work with the landlords to fix the problem areas, and wait for her doctor appointment next month. I can handle that.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Happy Fourth!

We've had a wonderful holiday--great weather and generally good baby temper--and now, somehow, our Gaz baby is sleeping through the insane fireworks bombarding the neighborhood skies.

I hope none of youse has grabbed the business ends of any sparklers! (And if you have, well you learned your lesson didn't you?)

Monday, July 3, 2006

All the way to eleven (months)

Yesterday marked eleven months since Gaz's birth. I've been feeling introspective and philosophical about the whole business, and I'm sure that will go on for a little while longer. I've been thinking about the death of the me-that-was and the birth of the me-that-is, which is the same me-that-was only different; different enough that it's not extreme for me to talk of the transition as a death. I'm more and less patient, more and more loving, more creative in my problem solving. I think I'm more focused now, and I guess the thinking of such things is what is important so I guess I should start saying that I AM more focused. Gaz inspires a lot of things in me, all of them good so far. We'll see what later years bring about. ;)

As we get ready to celebrate her first year, I look back and see a hale and hearty infant who is rapidly becomming a hale and hearty little girl. You can tell that she is happy. She is happy to see me when I've been in the kitchen for a minute or when she sees me poke my head around the chair as we play in the living room, she's happy to see Mark when he comes home from work or when he comes around the door as he follows us down the stairs to run errands. She's happy to see all the people she recognizes. Sometimes she needs reassurance and extra cuddle time, but you can tell that she trusts more than she distrusts. She gets scared, but she does overcome fears little by little and that's all I can ask of her.

Now I go back to my regularly scheduled puttering and Gaz continues with her nap. Soon will be time for more errands and happily greeting Daddy when he gets home from work.

Friday, June 30, 2006

pants and palabras

So here's an important note if you plan to buy anything for Gaz's lower half: she's now in size 5 diapers and she won't be wearing any denim/woven fabric pants any time soon. If you must send her pants, send her knit pants. She can't climb in pants with no give, and when she can't climb she throws a tantrum. I don't care for tantrums, so please, no jeans. You can buy them if you really want to, but I won't be dressing her in them. Thank you.

At long last I think we can identify a tie for Gaz's first word. After many almosts, it seems she actually gets "hi" and "tree." Why those two? No idea. But I do say "hi" to her probably hundreds of times every day, and we do look at trees rather often. Mama and Dada she can say, but I don't think she's figured out that those words are our labels, and while we were really optimistic that "Proton" might win out, she's only been teasing me with an occassional random "poh-twon." Nope. The winners are "hi" and "tree." Silly baby.

Insert the usual comments about how Gaz just won't nap or go to sleep when she ought to here. What else can I say? It's just a fact of life right now. Difficult as all get out, but so far as we have tried various tactics it can't be helped right this second.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl.
Gaz took a spectacular tumble from the couch last night. I was more of a bounce, actually. I found her climbing on the arm of the couch and went to get her, but before I could get there she flopped backwards, bounced off the cushions and, twisting mid-air, landed face first on the floor. It seems to have scared her (and me!) more than anything else. As soon as I got her Mr. Bump cold pack out of the fridge she brightened up and wouldn't let me hold anything cold to her face.

I'm happy the bruising wasn't more extensive and that the swelling hasn't affected her nursing. Her nose still whistles a little when she breathes, but it's not swollen shut. Small favors. I'm trying not to feel like the horrible mother--I know I had much worse accidents as a child and it sure wasn't my mom's fault.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

five steps

Gaz just walked a good five steps, completely unaided, to Mark as he sat on the couch! It was amazing!

Mark insists that she wouldn't have walked to him if she hadn't already gotten primed by walking to me (maybe two steps before she grabbed my hands and walked the rest of the way, thereby reducing me to baby-perplexing tears of happiness and pride), but I don't care who's walking to whom.

My baby walked! Insert proud whooping here!

Friday, June 23, 2006

oh, thank you Chris!

Many, many thanks to Chris (and, I assume, Christina) Holland, who just upgraded my Flickr account!

I don't deserve such nice friends!

(New Evansville visit set can be seen here.)

Thank you again, you wonderful, wonderful people! I grovel!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Gaz's Southern Indiana Adventure

How to boil down the past week into a coherent blog entry? You'll have to settle for fractured and rambling, and likely incomplete. I'll try to cover everything as best I can.

Gaz picked up a few new tricks during our week in E-ville. She's hugging things now and clearly knows what we mean when we say "give X a hug." There was much cuteness as we encouraged her to hug all the stuffed animals we had gathered for her amusement. We discovered that she really likes cucumbers and cherries, so new food horizons are continuing to open. The freeze dried fruit snacks we got were a pretty big hit, too, but she'll only eat a certain amount of those and then she'll just hold onto them until her sweaty, slobbery hands turn the fruit pieces into sticky mush. Still, it's a good snack for the car and is now another weapon in the fight to keep her from screaming on long trips.

Let's see. . . She's taking a couple of steps at a time now, kinda lunging for the next nearest support. Grandma Cel got her a new standing toy (a Leap Frog Learning Table) and if you put that far enough but not too far from all the cruise-worthy furniture and start pushing buttons to entice her, she'll take a few staggering steps to get over to where the fun is. She's also more confident in standing by herself, which is also cool. The days of her hovering near furniture to pull herself up on are over. She just stands up whereever she is when the urge takes her. Her balance is pretty good, too. Stay tuned for more exciting ambulatory developments.

The waving is still hit or miss, and she never seems to wave the same way twice. Sometimes she waves her whole hand, sometimes she waves both hands, sometimes she does the open-and-closed-hand thing, sometimes she does that with both hands. She rarely aims her gesture at the person she's looking at, often waving behind her head or whoever is holding her or some convenient home furnishing.

She's still great with a crowd, and was very good at the family get together on Saturday, and at all the restaurants she was dragged to. She's a crowd pleaser. Of course, she saves all the tantrums for me (or whoever is "lucky" enough to be watching her in my absence). Which reminds me: at a rest stop at the junction of Indiana 63 and I74 she found an ashtray that said "Mommy's Little Monster," which she naturally wanted to chew on. Grandpa Charley had his work cut out for him, but he did manage to get it away from her. How apt, but she's too young for ashtrays. So says Mama.

I noticed halfway through the week that all the adults were referring to themselves by title (I was Mama, Dad was Grandpa, Mom was Grandma) and since there was much concentrated visiting, it was more obvious than usual. No real comment about that, it's just a thing. Just don't be surprised at the death of the personal pronoun in this house.

We did some exploring of the world. We went to see the bald eagle family in Henderson. The adults were out doing wild bald eagle things, so all we could see is the baby. Gaz of course saw nothing except for the bugs that were hovering nearby, but I'm sure she'll be excited to know that when she was just a wee thing we were out looking for honest-to-God wild bald eagles with her in tow. When she's older and we're embarassing her with baby stories, you know. We also went to Mesker Park Zoo, which is about half what I remembered and half not what I remembered. It smelled somewhat less horrible, probably because the Monkey Ship has no monkeys on it anymore.

The one tragedy of the visit is that just before leaving for E-ville, we bought a rocking recliner at CostCo to replace the old, sciatica-inducing rocker that we permanently borrowed from my folks. I only got to sit in it that evening, then not again for a whole week! It's as good, if not better, as Bob Marley and the Wailers at getting Gaz to go to sleep. It's amazing! I naturally spend as much time in it as possible. Another benefit of the new chair is that now Mark can fall asleep with Gaz on his chest or lap and I don't have to worry about him dropping her. There is much fluffy chair to keep them both safely contained.

I know there's tons more, but I'm tired and needing to send off resumes. Prod me for specific tales, if you like. I take requests. Pictures from the trip will be on my Flickr account, all tagged with "evansville" as I don't think this family can handle paying for two unlimited accounts now and I've used up my allotment of photo sets. Oh well.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Gaz's big day!

I finally did get to take Gaz's temperature and it was normal, so no trip to the doctor today after all. The checkbook and the daughter thank us, I'm sure. But after several frustrating days, we've been having a very good and fun morning.

Today at breakfast Gaz signed "more"!! She was clearly not putting the sign with me putting more food on her tray, but she has figured out that when she's sitting at the high chair that is one of the signs to use. So WOOO! It's just too bad Mark was asleep. He was very excited when he woke up, though.

She's finally figured out how to push the buttons on the musical bug toy she inherited from her cousins. She played some music and practically glowed when we clapped and cheered her little accomplishment. She's not quite figured out how to work buttons and switches, but today is a good step forward.

She's getting better at walking when I grab her hands, too. She's slowly figuring out that when one of us is supporting her that she can just throw herself into it. It's so fun to watch her brain work!

Friday, June 9, 2006

Oh, the Cranky

Gaz has been on a hair trigger/not sleeping well/not eating as much solids the past couple of days, so naturally I start wondering What's Wrong With My Baby. I call the nurse this morning and she asks if she's running a temperature. Let me tell you about trying to take this child's temperature.

1. Raise Gaz arm; apply thermometer to arm.
2. Gaz starts whining and refusing to let me lower her arm over the thermometer.
3. I persist and she progresses to keening and twisting away from me.
4. I move the thermometer so that it's behind her where she can't see it and try to grab it.
5. Gaz howls and writhes, now crawling away from me while I try to hold onto her and the thermometer.
6. The thermometer has still not registered her temperature, after five minutes of trying to keep it under her arm. Mama gives up and calls nurse.
7. Nurse says "just keep her distracted."
8. Mama asks if this really is the best way to take a temperature; nurse suggests taking a rectal temperature while I'm changing a daiper. Clearly, this woman has not seen Gaz getting her diaper changed.
9. Mama ask when walk-in hours are tomorrow.


Not to mention that Gaz did finally fall off the couch this morning while I was trying to contain her for temperature taking. But fear not: she was much more upset that I wouldn't let her chew on the cold pack I was trying in vain to hold on the back of her head than she was about bonking her noggin.

And after all this I still don't want to ship her off to the moon. I am a glutton for punishment.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006


Little Monkey, that is.

The coffee table is in the dining room on the other side of the fence until we can figure out something else to do with it. I caught her on there three times this morning and decided that now is as good a time as any to remove the coffee table. She didn't complain, which is a nice change for today. She's been complain-o-riffic.

She's got a new trick though: when she stands up on the couch and someone says "no standing on the couch!" she'll fling herself down onto the cushions and cackle like mad. Of course, this will one day cause other problems, but today it's cute.

I cannot believe how much she changes in a matter of days. I'm glad I don't have to live in fear of missing something big now. (For them what doesn't know: I'm now a work-from-home mom, freelancing with my law office and on various copyediting projects as they come up.)

Saturday, June 3, 2006

and downward, suddenly

Of course just as soon as she figures out how to climb up onto the coffee table, she also figures out how to creatively fall off the coffee table. We've got it pushed up against a wall, just under some windows. She was on the table and I was sitting on the floor next to it. I foolishly figured that if I just kept nearby to keep her from toppling over one of the three free sides that all would be well. Silly me.

She is strong enough to push the table away from the wall with the greatest of ease, after which feat she immediately fell between the table and the wall: butt and legs first, leaving the top half of her to register her surprise before following the bottom half of her. I threw the table to one side to expose a crying little girl with absolutely no bruises or little red bump marks. You know ultrawhite babies: every little bump usually leaves a red mark for a minute or two. Not even any of those! So mostly she scared the hell out of both of us.

Lessons learned, probably just on my part. We really need to find another place for the coffee table.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

onward an upward

Gaz has figured out how to climb unassisted onto not only the couch, but also the coffee table.

I picked up a bib to hang back up on our bibhangeronthing and when I turned around she was sitting on the coffee table, throwing around one of her Five Little Monkeys dolls.

We are now contemplating alternative placements of coffee table that don't involve the living room. If you have a suggestion, please let us know. We're out of ideas and I don't want to lose my coffee table!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Blogity blog blog

I don't have tons of time for blog-reading (go figure), but I do love Tending Violet. I mean, she's got pink hair so you know it has to be good. I especially like the Week 39 entry. Take that, Dr. Phil!

Back to the bidness of this blog, Gaz is on the verge of walking. And by "on the verge" I mean she's already taken her first unaided step. It was totally unexpected, which is why she was unaided. I mean, we were right there, but we weren't holding her hands or anything. If you do hold her hands she takes off, so she's clearly putting two and two together. Sunday evening we spent some quality time with our landlords in the back yard and M. kept saying how ready-to-walk Gaz looked, and since she's raised two walkers recently I believe her. We had a great evening and it only took Gaz, what an hour? two hours? to warm up to everyone. And she let a total stranger hold her for a minute or so without crying. Progress!

Gaz is generally being a progressively more complex little human. She's been on a serious blueberry kick since the early days of solid food, but is cooling on them now. Peaches are most fun for smearing everywhere (everywhere!), tofu is fabulous, cereal puffs are the new rice cakes, and so on. Peas wax and wane but continue to be rather well loved, and beans are a special new treat (we've been eating out at Mexican restaurants lately). Hooray for the incredible edible legumes.

So many little moments feel blog-worthy to me, but they all blend together in a mishmash of daughter love. So: I love my kid. She's the best kid ever. I'll leave it to y'all to sort that out into its composite moments of joy/befuddlement/frustration/triumph/peace.

P. S. - Gigantic congratulations to Mark's sister Emily and her husband Kyle, who welcomed little Merynn Deborah into the world on Thursday (three nieces! how did we get to be so lucky?), and a big fat "HELLO BABY!" to Miss M. We all can't wait to meet you, particularly Gaz! Is there anything cuter than babys' obessions with other babies? No way!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

why didn't anyone mention this before?!?!

Teething biscuits are perhaps THE most messy thing in the galaxy.

I know, something that solid and rectangular doesn't look like it could be as bad as all that but don't let the little devil fool you. As soon as it encounters baby spit (and oh, can a baby with teeth generate the drool) it liquifies into a sticky brown mess and ever few chomps the baby will inevitably decide that what would be even cooler than chewing on this tasty treat is rubbing said tasty treat all over his/her face, neck, clothing, the carpet, the furniture, Mom, etc. Normally it hurts my wrists to hold her out from my body--deQuervain's tendinitis, remember--but when confronted with her gooey hands all thoughts of wrist pain fled like startled bunnies. I ended up sticking her in the high chair and now that looks like a war zone. It's not technically as gross as diaper detail, but oh the laundry. The Horror; the Horror.

I don't know if we'll ever get Gaz clean. Fortunately being covered in dried cookie residue isn't hampering her nap (if anything, it's helping).

Thursday, May 25, 2006

New Rule!

No standing on the couch!

Because a certain baby has been climbing onto the couch!

Where she can get to all the stuff we keep on the table behind the couch!

And that's not good!

Also, no climbing on the coffee table!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

to all the folks I've bit* before

I am getting my comeuppance.**

* As a small child I had a bad habit of biting people. The stories are many and deeply embarassing.

** It should be noted that these bitings are not breastfeeding related, although sometimes when she wants to get my attention because she's hungry she'll nip my arm. Mostly the biting is accidental because she wants to chew on my clothing. Sometimes, now that we're getting into tantrum age, she tries to bite everything in sight in a fit of anger. We're really trying to discourage that.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

oh, and

I feel it is my duty to let you all know that we did eventually get some good video of Gaz cruising, so Mark is exonerated. For now. Since we don't have a good way of sharing video online, please feel free to send us recordable CDs and we'll burn you some Gaz video. Including video of her shoving a finger up her nose in response to "where's Gaz's nose?" Truly priceless.

Update! Finally!

I've got some spare minutes, so let's see if I can do a whole update.

First, the doctor's appointment last week went very well. She's (as usual) totally on target developmentally, and her growth (height= 30.75", weight=24#, 7oz.) continues to make the loveliest of arcs above the 97th percentile. Big girl, as always. She was a total champ about getting her thumb stuck for a lead poisoning test and hemoglobin test. She was more interested in playing with the paper of the lead test and the nurse had a hell of a time keeping her from chewing on it. Gaz managed to get blood all over her Frankenstein t-shirt, but I managed to not pass out or anything. Woo! All should be happy to note that our vegetarian baby is chock full of iron. I've been vegetarian for more than a decade (closer to 12 years, off the top of my head) except for that weird pregnancy craving for ham/bacon/kielbasa/sausage, and I've never once been even slightly anemic. She must have my blood. She was a brave little toaster yet again with her shots. The IPV shot was over before she could react, but the last of her Hep vaccines was big and right in a muscle, so there was much howling. Until we went across the room to look at the lion picture and the butterfly hanging from the ceiling. She's such a good girl, I can't begin to express how proud I am of her at the doctor's office.

Then we piled back into the car and drove many hours to visit Aunt Emily, Uncle Kyle, and cousins Brynn and Evynn for Evynn's fourth birthday. Gaz did not like the pool party, but mostly because it was loud at the pool and other kids splashed her. Oh, and the water was pretty cold, too. I didn't linger long in the pool either. It was a short visit, but a very good one. Gaz loves playing with her cousins and the goils (as I call them) love playing with Gaz. In fact, there were arguments about who was going to play what with the baby. It was very cute. Those girls are growing so fast. It was fun and at time harrowing to get that glimpse into our future. We also got to spend some quality time with Grandpa Will. We missed Grandma Judy, but I bet we'll get to visit with her soon.

Now Gaz is home with Grandma Cel who's helping us out this week as Lisa is out of town visiting family. She's got some neat new tricks, like leaning and grabbing for her high chair when she wants some food (she did that today after her morning nap when Grandma was carrying her through the dining room), and the all-important pointing at everything in sight. Waving is still hit or miss, but pointing is forever. She will point at everything and everyone. It's mostly cute and occassionally socially awkward (she's really good at pointing at the one person of a different color than everyone else, staring somewhat vacantly all the while) but it's so wonderful that she can indicate better what she's looking at. She's working on parts of faces and has discovered noses (inside and outside) and continues to go for moving lips and teeth.

The talking is still mostly babbling, but more and more often what comes out of her mouth sounds like words--some of them even appropriate words for the conversation. We spend a lot of time talking to her, reading to her, and singing to her. It sounds much more dull than it is in practice. It's easily as good as having cable, which we only sometimes miss.

That's the big stuff, I think. More later, as time allows.

Friday, May 5, 2006

Cruisin' Daddy's Hall of Shame

Gaz has just started cruising along furniture, as I previously mentioned. She was somewhat active when Mark got home from work, so I set about trying to encourage Miss Thang to take a stroll in some manner for one of us to get some video of her. First I took the camera while Mark tried to get her to walk over to him along the coffee table by tempting her with a comb and, when that didn't work, the phone. She loves the phone.

Then we switched and I sat on one end of the couch and waved our electronic sudoku game (from Grandma Judy) at her while Mark operated the camcorder. She loves to play with things we don't want her to, so she immediately sped over to me.

But (there's always a but to these tales) Mark then said that he's zoomed in on the sudoku game and by the time he zoomed out Gaz had made it over to me and stopped walking. I told Mark that I was, of course, going to have to tell everyone of his faux pas. Then I realized that I could tell everyone of his video shame right now.

Let the mocking commence!

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

nine months (with footnotes!)

With Gaz turning nine months old this morning, I'm feeling all reflecty.

First, I've got to say that I dig that she was born so early in the morning, not just because at the time I was under a bit of duress, but because we get to spend every 6:11 together, regardless of whether it's a work day for me or not. It's a little thing, but I love it.

This brings me to two things that are so important to us--all three of us--that I want to take a little space here to explain to everyone. Neither Mark nor myself has often been accused of doing things in an orthodox manner, and our family life is no different, I'm sure. The two things that make us all very happy with our family situation are breastfeeding and sharing sleep.

Let me start off by saying that, having gone through the business of figuring out how to do things in our family, I have nothing but respect for all the moms and dads in the world who've made decisions, some of them pretty tough ones, and raised their families in the ways that best worked for them. I've got no argument with anyone who has done things differently, and the following rambling is not meant to make anyone feel bad for their decisions. I don't like it when other people dis our choices, so I don't want any of our friends and family thinking that we don't support everyone's right and capacity to figure out how best to do things for themselves. Right. Onto the ramble.

Breastfeeding was not easy for us in the beginning. Gaz was lazy and I had little idea what I was doing. I was a bit arrogant about my skills: just because one's mother was a La Leche League leader for years, does not mean that one has innate breastfeeding super powers. In the hospital and for one difficult day at home, I ended up feeding Gaz formula via a supplemental nursing system that allowed her to get enough fluid volume to keep her hydrated while also getting her the all-important colostrum from me. This also helped my milk come in. To anyone in a similar situation, look for the compromise that will make everyone happy. One day after getting Gaz rehydrated my milk came in with a vengeance.

Breastfeeding has continued to be a challenge after going back to work. I had to buy a new watch that had alarms because I don't always watch the clock well when I'm working, and I was occassionally missing my pumping times and ending up horribly engorged and uncomfortable. It takes time out of my work day that must be made up. I have to carry around a breast pump (although the one I use, the Ameda Purely Yours, is pretty convenient for carrying purposes) and it's not the quietest thing in the world to use. This might all sound like very good reasons to not breastfeed, but I've got to tell you that I happily, willingly go through this and worse because the nursing relationship we have is so important to me. Today Gaz was fussy at breakfast (tropical fruit mush and rice cakes) and hysterical by the time I got her out of her high chair. Nothing calmed her--not cuddling, not sitting her near her toys, not petting the cat--except for nursing. It's one small way I can always "make it better." I provide her with important nourishment (recent studies are showing that breastmilk continues to be nutritionally significant for years) and with the security of my presence. That is something I treasure, and I will do everything I can to maintain that benefit.

We further believe in baby-led weaning. I know I'm not going to breastfeed forever; I don't want to breastfeed forever. For one thing, we'd like to have another baby one day, and while I know it's possible to tandem-nurse, that seems like more complication than I'd like to deal with in addition to the complexities of a growing family. But I've got faith in Gaz's ability to let me know when she's ready to ease up and eventually quit nursing. She figured out today that she can turn on one of her tap lights by throwing another tap light at it, and that if she throws it just right, she can turn them both on at once. She's a smart cookie.

The other strange thing we do, co-sleeping, is also very important to us. There's the whole always-being-near-Gaz-at-6:11am thing, but there are many more practical and emotional benefits to the arrangement. Since Gaz has never taken to the bottle well, she's usually a little low on fuel on the days that I work all day, so she'll nurse all night to compensate. That might sound like a lot of work for me, but with her right at my side, it's really no trouble at all to feed her. She doesn't usually wake up all the way and I get back to sleep much easier than if I had to get up and walk around. And for all the sleeping trouble we had right around the move, I can't imagine how much worse it would have been if Gaz had been alone in bed. Sharing sleep also provides Mark with opportunities to assist in the nighttime parenting that he otherwise wouldn't have. Everyone who knows him knows that he sleeps like a rock and is difficult to wake up. Well, he wakes up a bit easier now. He can sleep through one of us crying, but not both of us. If I'm at my breaking point, he's right there to help. He's been of so much help, especially in the early days.

Even when he's unconscious, just being in the bed helps. One night recently Gaz was sleeping fitfully and kept startling in her sleep. Her little body would jerk, she'd let out a little cry, then she'd reach out and feel both of us nearby and drift back off to sleep. That was the coolest thing I've ever seen (her settling, not her crying), and proof enough for me that our just being there is a good thing.

Of course I just love having my baby near. If we couldn't spend all that quality time together at night, I probably would have quit my job in a fit of hysterics ages ago. I hate being away from my girl. I'm not worried that she won't learn how to comfort herself, because she's still so young. I know, like breastfeeding, she'll grow out of wanting to sleep in our bed. Neither of us is in a hurry to enforce independence now. We feel that if she feels completely safe, loved, and trusting, that independence will naturally follow. Some people call it attachment parenting. We call it just doing what we do. It feels very comfortable and very "right," which IMO should be every parent's guide for their parenting. If it doesn't feel right, whatever it is* and whatever is in vogue in the latest parenting book, don't do it. I'm down with good enough parenting.

That's the foundation of our life at home. Add in the love and support of all our friends and relatives (we love you all!), plenty of interesting toys (mostly cat toys and lids from POM tea right now), and the occassional episode of Teletubbies, and you'll get a pretty happy little Gaz.

Now for the update on what Gaz is doing! At last! She's been caught standing unaided a couple of times now, which is ever-so-cool. She's obviously figuring out that standing doesn't always need to be done next to furniture, although she's still usually found next to the couch or the coffee table. She's also experimenting with walking along furniture or, as I found out yesterday, propelling furniture with the power of her little legs. If only the coffee table could scoot farther, Gaz would be the happiest creature on the planet! I havent' gotten video of that yet, because she's usually moving around at my feet while I'm on the couch, which is a terrible angle at which to try to capture little feet. I promise I'll work on that, but Mark, if you're reading this, I'll be needing your help! I have got some video of her playing by herself, mostly attacking a cardboard box and taking things off of/putting things on the chair in the living room. Oh, and also attacking the video camera and putting her finger in her nose. That'll learn me to ask her where here nose is.

I look at the wall-o-baby photos at work, I look at our Flickr accounts, and it seems like so long ago that she was still in the "loaf of bread" stage, but at the same time it feels like no time has passed at all. It seems like there should be a word for it. We go see Dr. C. next Friday, so I'm sure there will be much to report on the vital stats.

As for the parents, I'm sure we've changed somehow but I haven't noticed much. Been a little busy. I think I'm more patient, though (I know! I can't believe it either!) and better at playing with little kids. I'm also better at rhyming on the fly, which is a must-have skill for people who like to change the lyrics of songs constantly and with no notice. It's fun to see Mark and me try to do it at the same time. Rule #4? Broken!**

And now I'm afraid that if I reflect any more, I'm in danger of turning into a mirror.

* It goes without saying (or should, anyway) that baby's saftey is already taken into account and is the primary consideration.

** Rule #4 states that one must not sing one song while another song is already playing. This is mostly so that I don't go crazy on car trips, but it's good for any occassion. The other rules don't seem to stick, except for Rule #2, which is "don't ever make someone laugh while they're eating watermelon."

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Idle babies. . .
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl.
She's doing all sorts of wonderful (somewhat annoying) things. She's figured out how to open the cabinet where we stash all the changing supplies and she can very quickly empty the cabinet of all the diapers and then chew on them. :\ She can climb down off the couch by herself without falling, and she's been spied taking a few steps along the couch in pursuit of a certain furball. If we had a literate spider in the house we'd be coming home to find gossamer tapestries reading "some kid" all over the place.

Oh, and the waves! She waves and they're not even backwards waves! Sometimes she forgets to hold her hands up to where other people can see the waves (yesterday she kept waving at my chest while smiling at the neighbor girls over my shoulder) but it's still genuine bona fide waving. Precious!

She's still not impressed with the critters in the zoo, and slept through the monkey house which was the only place she seemed interested in the last time we were there, so I'm thinking we'll go to places with fewer screaming children for our outings until she's more up to being one of the screaming children.

We're awfully close to nine months now. It's hard to believe that the nine months before her birth creeped by as slowly as they did and these have flown by. She's quite good at keeping us in the Now, which is probably why. When you're pregnant you've always got your eye on the prize in the seemingly unreachable distance.

We may have another tooth getting ready to cut, but I'm not 100% sure. My money's on the next upper right whatever-tooth-it-is. Canine, maybe? We'll see.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Easter travel and Gaz goes to the vet

We went to visit Granpa Will and Grandma Judy over Easter weekend. Granted, we weren't there for actual Easter, but we did have a nice visit. Gaz got to experience her first big Crazy Midwestern Weather (hail storm, strong winds, and much rain/thunder/lightning) and took it all in stride. She got to sit on the grass in Grandma and Grandpa's yard and wasn't too sure about the stuff. Most importantly, she got to spend quality time with her Shelbyville family, ranging from the youngest (Baby Ava) to the oldest (Aunt Justine). It was a good, fun visit. I wish we could scoot Chicago and Shelbyville (and Evansville and Midland, for that matter) closer together. We didn't get to see the Claytons, but Emily did send us some wonderful hand-me-downs and we got to unload some on Chuck & Christy and we left a box at the Mitchells' for Baby Clayton. Yay! Everyone loves free clothes.

The drive back went very smoothly, like the drive down was supposed to be. Next time we're dressing her in her jammies before the road trip so she's more encouraged to sleep. Compared to some trips (and resulting baby meltdowns) this one was a breeze.

Yesterday morning we had to take Mr. Proton Accelerator to the vet for a check-up. He's officially an old cat, so we're encouraged to take him in twice a year. Considering the last time he went to the vet was maybe five years ago, we'll see how well we manage that. We should hear back on his lab work tomorrow and I hope all is well with his various body functions. Gaz wouldn't know what to do with herself without a Proton to harass. Anyway, the important thing is that there were a lot of strange new dogs to look at in the vet waiting room. She had a great time screeching at Tulip, this little mop of a dog who was sitting next to us. There were also kitties, but they were hard to see through their carriers. The highlights of the trip were Gaz urping all over my coat as I got her out of the car and the bed-head mohawk I hadn't noticed until we got out into public.

She's got some weird new sounds she's just started making over the weekend, and we're not sure if she picked them up from Ava or from all the birds that were frantically building and re-building their nests in the back yard. It hasn't interfered with her attempts to talk, and I'm very, very happy to be hearing "mamamamamama" much more often. It makes the aggravations of my homeward commute all melt away.