Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Eleven Months Old

This has been an amazingly busy month for Pearl and her mama! She is getting big so fast and her mind is developing so quickly.

Taking things out of containers has long been a favorite activity. This month she has taken it to the next level and is putting things back where they go. She is restacking her happy stack, putting her books back in their basket, and she also likes to put random toys in any handy container and I enjoy seeing her collections:


Pearl attempts to put the pieces of her wooden puzzles back where they go, too. She got two of those this month and I was so impressed with how she grasped the concept right away. In fact Pearl amazes me all the time with how much she knows and how easily she learns - I taught her to snort like a little piggy just by doing it in front of her a few times, and she knows what lots of words mean and will point or look at Daddy, the kitties, the mirror when I say the words...


Pearl started 'toy surfing' this month - crawling along with one or both hands on a toy that she slides around. She is initiating play more and more - she will put her mouth on my belly in an imitation of the raspberries I blow on hers then pop back up, and do it again when I stop giggling. Any time she can she catches ahold of my hands, wanting me to walk her around the room. Walking down and back up the step between the living room and the dining room is something she has been doing over and over and she has gotten very good at it, which is good as I was somewhat worried of how she would handle the drop once she started toddling.

Along with "mama" she is saying "Hi!" and sometimes "hey". "Hi!" is often accompanied by waving and she usually will wave bye-bye to Daddy when he leaves for work in the morning, though sometimes she waits until he's actually gone and he misses it!

Daddy has become Pearl's jungle gym and she climbs all over him when he sits on the floor. He also reads her bedtime stories most nights and it is very sweet to see her relax with him as they read.

Bedtime Stories

She is letting go of the furniture and standing on her own all the time now, sometimes falling, sometimes taking a step or even two! Her record is three steps at this point. Pearl is also attempting to stand up without pulling up, getting one leg beneath her but not both of them yet.

Perhaps being on the brink of the bipedal phase of her life has her feeling scared and vulnerable, or perhaps it is just plain old seperation anxiety but lately Pearl will not let me get more than four feet away from her without some serious fussiness. Getting her to nurse in the mornings has also been very difficult for the past week or so, which leads to a pretty stressed mama. There was a day last week where she did not nurse from the time she woke up until after noon, when she was asleep, which was over six hours. I couldn't get her to eat or drink much else either and was worried that she was hungry, worried that she was dehydrating but also worried that this was a full-out nursing strike and that I might have nursed her for the last time and not even known it. That thought was enough to reduce me to tears and panic but thankfully she nursed fine the rest of the day. She had a bit of reflux then, along with the runny nose that won't go away, and was tired... the runny nose seems to be the key to our morning nursing difficulties. If she will just try to breathe through her nose she usually can, with snuffliness, but it's getting her to force air through her nose that is the problem. All that makes the nursing acrobatics she's been performing seem like not a problem at all!

Her fourth tooth, the front upper right, came in earlier this month and I think she's working on the next two teeth right now. She's chubbed back up again this month - she is still nursing a lot (other than the morning shenanigans) and is eating usually three times a day, though not much at a time. I can tell she is really wanting to eat for the sake of getting the food now, not just eating because I put it in front of her. She loves peaches and green beans and lentils! Her hair is getting long and curls a little at her neck though I am still not sure if she will have her Daddy's ringlets or not.

Easter Dress

She is my sweetie pie, my monkey bear, my wild and crazy baby. I am so glad she is my daughter!

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Spring Things

On Sunday we went for a little hike at a nearby state park. Nothing horribly exciting, but it was nice to be out in the warm sunshine and wonderful to take in the green leaves and new life that has exploded all over the hills and throughout the woods.


View from Yellow Rock

Daddy & Lainie in the Woods

On Saturday I took Pearl to her first Farmer's Market. I didn't make it there a single time last year as I was on bedrest, then living outside of town with a new baby, but the year before we lived quite near the square and I would frequently walk up the hill and buy some fresh vegetables or some inexpensive flowers, or just look around. I love this town and going to the Farmer's Market always reminds me of that because it showcases its spirit so well: the older folks with their produce, the younger vendors selling organically grown food and loads of cut flowers, artists displaying paintings and pottery and crafters with baskets woven of pine needles and knitted hats, the college student playing guitar with a hat set on the ground for donations, the NORML fanatic with his long beard and conspiracy theories.

This time I came back with some beautiful fresh asparagus, my most favorite of vegetables, young and tender and crisp - I sauteed one bunch up right away for breakfast with some olive oil and lemon juice; delcious:


And a spring bouquet, complete with a bee:

Bouquet from the Farmer's Market, Complete with Bee

And the tray on the left, to go with the tray on the right which I purchased two years ago and have enjoyed immensely since:


Final Spring Thing: Last Thursday I cut off all my hair. I'm still not sure as to whether I love it or not. I think I do. It's pretty cute and it definitely feels better but I kind of miss my long hair.

New Hairdo!

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Creative Works!

A weekend or two ago I did some tie-dyes, using a kit my husband got for my birthday nearly a year ago. It was fun (though leaning over the bathtub left me with some sore muscles!). I used the three colors of dye provided to make more colors and I now know that I prefer to have my colors premade! That way I have a better idea of how they will look. Some of them were a little kool-aid for my personal tastes. I also learned to draw designs on the inside of the shirt as even though I could scarcely see the marks the pencil made, the dye stuck to them. Whoops. Also the backs almost always look better than the front so I think I'll fold them the other way next time, too. At any rate I ended up with several good ones and several not so good ones. I'll post my favorites here, and you can view all of them (plus some newborn tie-dye goodness) here.




I think this one is the star of the show:


And I made matching mama and baby tie-dyes too:

Matching Spiral Matching Spiral

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Little Red Wagon

What with Pearl trying to walk and all we decided to get her a push toy, after seeing her pitifully shoving boxes and laundry baskets around all stooped over. We decided on this one as it was cute, not plasticky and obnoxious, and has a 'resist' feature which means it doesn't fly away from babies as soon as they put pressure on it, causing them to land on their little faces or knees at best. It was a little pricy but I expect that she will get several year's worth of use out of it. Did I mention it's adorable? I've also been planning on getting her this matching ride-on for her birthday.

She loves it! She spent a while checking out its various parts and once we showed her how to walk with it, she was all about it. However, it doesn't turn, and sadly we don't have any long, level stretches in the house for her to use it on so every eight seconds or so I get an expectant look and go turn it around for her. I don't mind much though - she has so much fun doing it. Pearl also loves being pushed around in it.

She Loves Her Wagon!

Checking the Tires


I didn't get any action photos when she first tried it out as I was busy with the camcorder but I did get one today. I know you can barely see her face but on it is an expression of sheer joy.


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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Two Steps

The other morning Mr. Peach got up with Pearl and let me sleep a few more hours and so he got to see a special sight: Pearl taking more than one step for the first time! I guess that's called walking. She took two steps between the coffee table and the sofa with nary a stumble.

Sunlight, Bedhead, Drool, Shiny New Teeth, Dirty Face, Mama's Uneven-Eyed Smile.

Part of me is thrilled at this new, big, important skill she's developing and wants to encourage it: I hold out my hands to her as she stands with one hand on the windowsill and say, "Come to Mama, come see me!" and watch, smiling, as she thinks about it and gets as far away from the windowsill and as close to me as her little fingers can stretch and her little feet can step, but she isn't quite ready to let go yet and crawls to me instead, and I'm happy then, because I don't want her to leave infancy behind just yet, even as my heart swells close to bursting with pride over this milestone.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

First Step, and Other Things

On Friday evening Pearl took her first step. She was standing, by herself facing me here at the computer desk, between the tv stand and the ottoman, which my husband had pulled up to sit on while he played a video game. She moved one foot forward and then the other, then stood there a moment, then went to move again and tumbled down. So it was a singular first step. I think I have a few weeks, maybe more than a month even, before she is actually toddling around. She loves to zoom around the house holding onto someone's fingers but she isn't very steady about it. Just a week or so ago she had no interest in doing it, as she could get around much faster by crawling! But now she's decided it's fun, I guess.

Walking Around with Grandma

On Saturday we went on a hike with Pearl in the Ergo carrier on my back. I've used it enough now to give it a good review with confidence - it is very comfortable! Pearl seems to like it too - she dozed a lot as we hiked. I took lots of photos, all of which can be seen at my flickr page, but here are a few of my favorites:

Sunlit Dogwoods

Nuzzling Ferns


Tree Shell

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Mirror, Mirror

I set up a mirror for Pearl to play with the other day and she had so much fun! There was lots of shrieking and laughing and waving, and pulling the mirror down on herself trying to see if there really was a baby back there. I felt kind of bad that it wasn't really another baby for her to play with. We did go to my sister's a few days later to play with my niece and it was neat to see them playing together. Their interactions grow more and more sophisticated each time we get together. This time they were babbling to each other and imitating the noises the other would make and following each other around - it was terribly cute. However K is pretty shy/sensitve and Pearl scares/upsets her sometimes with her wild and wooly ways.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Hunt Begins... Again

We've started looking for a new place to live again. It feels like I just did this last month, and I would prefer to not start looking just yet as we still have 2 or so more months left on our lease, but my husband is insistent so I gave in and started combing through the paper again. I hate to do it now because I just know I'm going to find some place whose owner will not want to wait a few months and our landlord won't want to let us out of our lease early and our perfect home will be gone and I'll be upset. I invest too much in the whole process emotionally I guess. Get my hopes up when I find a place that actually meets all of our requirements, get let down when it's too expensive or in a yucky neighborhood or doesn't match the image of it I built up in my mind. At least our lease is open-ended after six months so we don't have the pressure of finding something new in a small window of time.

We went and looked at a house last night that was nice, but just beyond our price range. I wasn't terribly heartbroken as it wasn't perfect, but it was very cute so I was a little disappointed. Nothing major though. This afternoon we're going to look at another place, one that sounds like it could either be very cool or very not cool. It's the bottom half of a house owned by a couple who supposedly travel a lot and are only home for a week or two at a time before they take off again. They have two dogs though, which could or could not be problematic. It's on four acres out in the country, which sounds very pleasant. It has it's own entrances and a fireplace and garage place along with the important dishwasher and washer/dryer. So we'll see.

I kind of like moving because it's a new place, a new start. However I do not really like turning around and moving again in six months. Moving is expensive and a pain. I know I'm not likely to find something that really is 'perfect' because we're poor. If we had more money we could find a nicer place much more easily, but we don't! So we have to try and see the whole picture, have to weigh the things we love about a place against the things that aren't so great. The little half-house we're in now is nice but we knew it wasn't a long-term thing so while we accepted its shortcomings and while it has been pleasant I haven't really grown attached to it, and frankly, I really, really, really want a place with a washer and dryer. Doing laundry in a laundromat, on site or not, sucks and I'm tired of it.

Anyway, those are my somewhat jumbled thoughts on moving and the house/duplex/apartment-finding process.


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Sweetly Sleeping

I love to take pictures of Pearl when she is asleep but haven't been able to do so as much since we moved, since she now sleeps behind closed doors and I don't want to risk waking her! But every now and again I leave the door open after nursing her to sleep and sneak back in to take her photograph.


L. M. Montgomery wrote in one of the Anne of Green Gables books - the one where Anne visits her parents' old home and reads their letters to each other, don't remember which one, "I love her best when she is sleeping, and better when she is awake." I think of that line all the time when I peek in on Pearl as she sleeps.

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