Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Almost Time to Move

This is our last week here at the little half-house and I am both excited to be moving into the new house and sad to be leaving this place behind. In the four years since I left my parents' home I've lived in six different places and I've been glad to turn my back on most of them... except the peaceful, lovely apartment where Pearl was conceived that I still kind of miss; the cottage on the farm where I spent quiet days alone as my belly grew rounder and rounder, waiting to meet my baby - her first home, where we spent a blur of days feeding and sleeping and napping and where we walked around with her outside every evening; and now we're leaving the place where she first crawled and took her first steps and said her first words and fell off the bed for the first time.. So I am sad to leave, even sad to move into the new place because I know we won't be there forever, either.

Yes, I am the sentimental sort.

Anyways, this might be the last day we have internet access here, so I'll be away for a while, getting packed up and moved and settled in and what not. So I will bid you farewell for now with some birthday pictures:

Birthday Girls Meet & Greet

A Big Present from Grandma!

At the Window

... Which She Promptly Crashed!

More on flickr as usual.

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

One Year Old!

So I guess Pearl is a toddler now. I haven't really said that out loud yet, because I'm sort of in denial about it, but she is walking. She can stop walking and start walking again, she can change directions, she can even run a little ways. The other day she impressed me by running from the computer desk then dropping to a crawl when she reached the table, which she is too tall now to walk beneath. She can also stand without pulling up on anything, although I personally have not seen her do this; I've just seen her standing up when she previously wasn't, when she's not near anything to pull up on. Plus, her daddy says he's seen her do it. She does still fall a lot and she is quite pigeon-toed, which trips her up more than I'd like. It is more pronounced when she is walking with assistance and/or with shoes on than it is when she is walking alone and barefoot. I think I'll probably make a well-baby visit appointment - we don't do them regularly as we are not vaccinating Pearl at this point - and get a professional opinion about it.


Though it is sad that she's leaving infancy behind, it is so fun to see her standing around and walking between things. I can finally convince her to let go of the couch and she'll come to me at a run - such sweetness to catch her up in my arms.


Climbing has also been a big thing this month, though we don't have much here for her to climb. She clambers up the odd boxes that come into our house and all over us when we're on the floor, and she has been goind up my in-laws' stairs like she's been doing it her whole life during our recent visits. I've also taught her to turn and slide off our bed and she has been perfecting that move on the drop from the living room to the dining room, which is funny because it's not nearly high enough to require taking such care.

She has rediscovered her voice this month and has been babbling away, making the most funny sounds as she goes about her baby business. It is especially cute to hear her read to herself.

At the beginning of this month we settled into a nice napping routine - a short morning nap at around 9:30, and a long afternoon nap at 2:30. Well, as always happens when I am pleased with the predictability of her days, Pearl decided to shake things up and I have no idea how many naps a day she needs right now or how long they should be. I do not impose a schedule but I do try to follow her cues and keep a rhythm going so that I can plan our activities accordingly and make sure she is well-rested. At the moment it's pretty much a mystery. I blame teething; she's been restless at night and waking up early, and acting like her mouth is hurting.

Speaking of teeth, a few days back Pearl was eating lentils when some escaped her fingers and she tried to eat one off her wrist like she often does, but she bit herself, and she got so angry! She gritted her teeth and growled for a good long time, turning red in the face. It was the cutest fit of fury I have ever seen. She is definitely communicating more about what she is upset about and what she doesn't want; she will shake her head no at me if I try to nurse her and she doesn't want to eat, and as always she makes it pretty plain that she is irate about having her diaper changed. We have been doing a little bit better with the Elimination Communication this month, and there is a new development - she has been using the potty sign some, and has once or twice gotten the potty out from its home beneath the coffee table when she needs to tinkle. That is very encouraging!


Pearl has become very blatant about wanting to nurse and it's pretty amusing: she will come up to me and stretch out the neck of my shirt and peer down inside it and if I don't respond quick enough she'll stick her arm in and feel around. She also uses the milky sign and often with both hands, which is no coincedence as she insists on having access to both breasts. She is letting me nurse her sitting up a lot lately; for months she would only nurse lying down. I hadn't even tried in weeks and when I nurse her sitting up now she doesn't even fit on my lap! I look down and see that I am nursing a child, not a little bitty baby.

She has been very "mama-oriented" this month and fusses when I leave the room or get out of the car or am out of reach in general. So I have been spending more time than usual holding and cuddling her, and though it can be irritating to have her complain any time I try to do something, I have also enjoyed the extra closeness at this time when she is taking steps away from me.

Lainie & Me

One year ago I went into labor and at 4:35 tomorrow morning, my baby will be a year old. It has been incredible, watching her grow and change and learn; there is nothing to compare it to. When she was tiny and new and grew even more quickly than she is doing now, I used to feel frighteningly sad about the stage of her life we were leaving behind. I think I felt that in a way I might be leaving her behind, but I've realized I haven't. She is still the same person she has always been; her essence still shines through and things about her are as true now as they were in the womb. Pearl is still the same strong, determined, intense girl and seeing her grow into herself and emerge further into the world with each milestone she passes, each inch she grows and each new thing she learns has been the most joyous, humbling, mind-blowing experience. Thank you for the honor of being your mother and giving me the opportunity to see a person come into being, my sweet little Pearl, and Happy Birthday!

A Nurse Came, to Take Her Away.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Scenes from a Hike that Wasn't Much of One

We went out to go hiking yesterday, but we discovered when we got there that the trail was quite overgrown... overgrown enough to make me whimper about ticks and chiggers and poison ivy. So we just picnicked, walked the short trail along the top of the mountain, and enjoyed the scenery for a while.

View from White Rock Mountain


We took a back road part of the way home (winding dirt road, no other traffic, very bumpy... and the air smelled so good) and stopped to check out a creek. We saw butterflies and fish but by that point the big camera was out of batteries and the little camera was out of memory... then I saw this big snapping turtle, so I deleted some pictures really fast and waited for him to come up for air, but he didn't so I only got this underwater shot of him.

Snapping Turtle

Floating Feather

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Better Late Than Never, Right?

Sarahgrace and Mama C-ta tagged me for these here two list thingies respectively, a looooooong time ago and I've finally finished them! However it took so much effort that I no longer have the energy to pass them along so feel free to imagine that I am tagging you personally, dear reader, and complete them if you will.

A lot of things about me:

I am
- twenty-two!
I want - jeans that fit well. My own forest, with a big stream in it. A never-ending supply of chocolate.
I wish - I could make friends more easily.
I hate - feeling self-conscious all the time.
I miss - having a thousand open doors in front of me.
I hear - the sound of the fan through the baby monitor: white noise to mask the noise I make while she sleeps.
I wonder - what my daughter will look like when she's grown, where her path will take her. How it happened that my cleaning accessories are all neon green.
I regret - always having felt older than my age.
I am not - good at speaking my feelings aloud.
I dance - when neccessary or with a baby in my arms.
I sing - lullabies, made up silly songs for my girl, whatever is stuck in my head.
I cry - over nothing at all, over times gone, more often (these days) with such joy...
I am not always - pleasant to be around.
I make with my hands - meals for my family, piles of dirty laundry, stacks of clean diapers
I write - lists, plans, phone numbers. Memories to keep, moments to share.
I confuse - important things with things not so important.
I need - to call the dentist again :(
I should - bake more, write more, paint more.
I start - chores, projects, lots of things that are never finished.
I finish - my dinner! Often my husband's too.
I need to tag - anyone willing to play:)

Six Weird Facts/Things/Habits about Me:

When I was a child I hated mushy cereal - probably because as a young child I couldn't tolerate milk and therefore ate my cereal dry and then once my body could handle milk, the mushyness was just revolting. So! I'd pour my milk into a bowl, put sugar into the milk if it was an unsweetened cereal (ugh I can't believe I did that! The thought seems gross now.), and pour cereal into a large cup. I'd dump the cereal (Cheerios, usually) into the bowl a bit at a time, refilling once I'd eaten what was in there. My favorite cup to use for this purpose was a big insulated mug-type cup that my dad had picked up somewhere with a scantily clad blonde holding a big drill. Not because if featured a scantily clad blonde, because I ALWAYS read while I ate and didn't do much blonde-gazing.

What a weirdo I was! Somewhere along the way I outgrew all that rigamarole and now eat my cereal like a normal person. Kids are so bizarre.

I can whistle through my tongue.

I can't go to church without getting a serious case of the giggles, very irreverent giggles, which is why I don't go. That and the fact that I'm not religious.

I have two freckles on my right pinky toe.

I do not shave my armpits.

I HATE to be cold. Hate it.

Whew! That was intense.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

House Hunt = Over

For the past few weeks it was particularly difficult to convince Pearl to take her morning nap, so I often resorted to driving her around until she drifted off. I couldn't help but feel that things had come full circle, having heard my own mother talk about having to drive me to sleep when I was a baby. Perhaps that's why I enjoy going for drives now and why I don't really mind doing it for Pearl; it's a quiet time with nothing pressing on me and plenty of space for my mind to wander.

Sometimes we'd leave town and venture out onto county roads, paved and dirt alike. I liked those drives best because I love to see the woods and the hills. Other times we'd stay in town and I'd kill two birds with one stone; keep my eyes on the houses we passed, searching for the perfect one with the 'for rent' sign staked in the yard.

After finding not much of anything and not being able to afford what I did find I finally wised up and started looking on the south (read: poor) side of town. And last week I found a house! Barely inside town in a pretty quiet area. The poor side of town, yes, but in a pretty nice neighborhood all the same. It's location is the only reason we can afford such a big, nice house.

I'll leave out the boring phone tag part and I'm definitely not going to write about how I agreed to leave the door unlocked and come back and show my husband later, then promptly locked the door behind me causing my husband to have to shimmy in through a window. How embarrassing. I'll skip all that and chatter on about the house itself.

It has a carport big enough to hold both the car and the motorcycle. A big backyard, fenced in. Tall trees in front. Three bedrooms and two bathrooms, a roomy kitchen and dining room, and a utility room where we can have a washer and dryer - a washer and dryer in the house, such a luxury! It feels so good to know our days of trekking across the parking lot to do coin laundry are numbered.

The kitchen has this atrocious orange-red formica on the counters - very dated, but in good condition, and at least it has a lot of counter space - our current kitchen is about the size of our walk-in closet and I chop things up on the stove, which has on at least one occasion led to a burnt cutting board. And the cabiniets! A thousand cabinets! I don't know what we'll put in them all! How strange it will be, to not have stuff fall out on our heads when we dig around for the ziplock bags!

The two small bedrooms share a closet and that closet might just have been what sold me on the place because I immediately had such sweet visions of kids playing tunnel between the rooms. :)

Teri wrote up some very apt thoughts on finding the right home and I wanted to share them as they echo so well what I feel about houses. We went ahead and put a deposit down on this house today... with a little trepidation as it is at the very tippity top of our budget... but I knew I wanted to lease it, because it just feels good, feels like a good home for us, at least until such a time as we can buy our own house.

Our current landlord was very accommodating and agreed to let us out of our lease two months early, so we will be moving at the end of this month!

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

At Long Last

Pearl has finally reached that pinnacle of baby cuteness: she has learned to put her toes in her mouth.

Toes in Mouth

A few days ago we started playing a little game where I would clap her feet together while singing "Clap Toes" to the tune of Beck's "Clap Hands." She loved it and soon was trying to do it herself. She can do it while in her carseat or while laying down, but while sitting up she only gets one foot off the ground before losing her balance, then she gives up and just claps her hands a few times instead. Today she took it to the next level and brought her toes to her mouth, where she promptly bit them and then yanked her foot out. They soon returned however; I think she's developed a taste for them!

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Damn Straight

Here is a news bit from ABC on how much stay-at-home mothers should be paid. Could someone make this happen? Please?