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.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

the joys of grass

Yesterday was a fairly bad day. Napping was difficult, she didn't want to be set down at all, let alone for five minutes. There was much fussing and toy throwing and a little hand in my bowl of just-warmed-up-soup for which I'm sure to get Bad Mother of the Year. But in the late afternoon I looked at the outdoor thermometer and saw that it was 70 degrees and I said, "kid, we're going outside." I put on some sandals and stuck the phone in my back pocket and off we went, down the back stairs and into the back yard.

The back yard isn't big. The lawn isn't perfectly manicured. It reminds me of my back yard growing up--largely green but occassionally bare from certain children horsing around with bikes and such. It was mostly shady, which made me happy. I'd forgotten to grease her up with sunblock before heading down. The landlords' two boys were down there playing with another neighborhood boy. They're nice kids, excited about the impending birth of another little brother, and after a while they played less with the boy next door and more with Gaz. It was very cute. N. went looking for a ball that was more her size than his basketball and J. demonstrated how he still knows how to "talk baby." He babbled at her, which immediately produced huge smiles and babbles from Gaz. It took her a little while to warm up to them, and she spent a lot of time just staring and making an inscrutible face, but after that "conversation" she seemed to have decided that they were okay.

But the grass! The grass was most interesting of all. After she relaxed enough to sit on the ground instead of on my lap, I moved her to a nice soft spot on the green. She examined every blade. She hasn't figured out that she can pull them out of the ground and try to eat them yet (thankfully!) but she clearly enjoyed the experience in that strange deeply concentrating way babies enjoy new things.

Then N. converted a little Hot Wheels kinda motorcyle into a rocking horse sort of motorcycle and let Gaz sit on it. She was enjoying that most of all, but she wouldn't sit still, it was hard to hold onto her, and she was barefoot. I could see those toes getting smashed pretty easily considering the day we were having. The wind had picked up a bit so I spent the last of my thumb strength holding her up over my head to catch the nice strong breeze, which more than made up for taking her away from the motorcycle.

Then we went back upstairs and had a meltdown over changing her diaper and it was back to more of the same, but our outdoor venture was very nice. I'm very glad that we live in a building with a lawn. I'm sure we'll be enjoying it more as it continues to get warmer.

Friday, April 7, 2006

tooth and consequences

It had to happen eventually and now it has: Gaz has bloodied her mouth. I was brushing my teeth after my shower this morning and Mark was hanging out with Gaz in the living room. (Lisa's home sick, so Mark's taking some vacation days to cover our childcare needs.) Just as I turned off the faucet I heard the tell-tale pain howls that usually mean that she's just bonked her head or she's aggressively cutting a tooth. I threw open the bathroom door to find Mark coming toward me with Gaz in his arms, blood on his chest, her chin, and her shirt.

Seems she had been goofing around while standing at the coffee table. She lost her footing and crack! Chin hits table and tongue, which is perpetually sticking out of her mouth, gets impaled by tiny sharp teeth on the delicate underside. Once I got a hold of her she quieted right down and started smiling so much I couldn't get her to open her mouth for me to have a look. Figures. Just call me mammabalm. She periodically had whining episodes before I left for work (late, because I had to help comfort the upset Gaz who wasn't always sure if she wanted Mama or Daddy), but seemed to be generally no worse for the wear.

I'm proud of my little girl for bouncing back so easily, thankful that she bit a part of her tongue that doesn't interfere with nursing (no more nursing strikes!), and pleased that Mark and I both managed to handle things without freaking out. We're the level head twins. But now we've resolved to not let her near the coffee table without really, really close supervision, at least until she's steadier on her feet.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

feet, tongue, teeth

Gaz has gotten really good at pulling herself up to her feet using furniture and has even started trying to stand up without anything to pull up on, although those experiments havent progressed beyond the funny hands-and-feet-on-the-floor/butt-up stage. Today she was entertaining herself by standing up next to the chair where the cat was curled up. She had a great time bothering him for a while, but then decided that she wanted to come over by me. I was an arm's length away so that I could stop her from being too rough with the cat, but I had been letting her play since she was for once petting the cat nicely. So she turns to me and holds out one hand while holding onto the chair with the other. I hold out my hands to her and she grabs first one hand, then the other with her other hand. And then, I could hardly believe it, she took her first self-directed, albeit Mama-supported steps! I've walked her all over the living room with me swinging her legs in big, floppy steps before, but now she seems to have gotten it down in her head that she can make steps herself! I got out the video camera, but no more walking to Mama and no furniture cruising. I don't think we're going to put the video camera away for a few days, just in case she does it again.

Her other big "holy cow!" trick is what I think is shaping up to be her first word. Now, I'm not talking about the accidental words like "dada cat" and "yeah" and the like. I mean where she says a something and knows that what she's said is attached to something. She was sitting on our bed yesterday while I was getting dressed, looking at the cat curled up with his head and tail poking out from under the blanket. She was feeling mellow and not in the mood to attack him, so she was just patting his twitching tail when she said, very clearly and meditatively, "Puhtah." I squealed and encouraged her as she kept saying "pruhtah" "puhtaaah" over and over, working on the sounds. So I guess the reason her favorite phoneme lately has been "peh" is because she has been working up to "Proton." We've always joked that "Proton, NO!" would be her first word, but I guess we weren't too far off.

We're STILL waiting for that damnable tooth (#8) to come in. It feels very close to the surface, but who knows how long it will take. A week? Two weeks? Our only consolation is that she seems to be in between the worst of the teethy pain for maybe a day or so.

Sunday, April 2, 2006


After much thought, we solved our baby-likes-to-crawl-in-bed-after-a-nap problem by buying two more bed rails for Gaz's bed (a double mattress and box springs on the floor in one corner of her room). One goes along the foot and one goes along the side. This is now the Official Nap Venue. If she wakes up quietly and gets out of bed, she won't fall any farther than she would while standing up propped up by the couch in the living room. Maybe a little headbonk, but nothing as serious as is possible from our bed. Yay! Because the other option was to buy a crib, which we were trying to avoid in the first place for many reasons, not the least of which was cost.

Gaz is, as we speak, snoozing peacefully in her bed. For almost two hours now. I love it when a plan comes together.