Thursday, June 29, 2006

New Shoes!

Look at my new Keds! Check out the darling little paisleys, the sassy polka dots on the sweet little bow! I love them. I got them on clearance for thirteen bucks, love that too.


They're not very comfortable.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Thirteen Months Old

Pearl's thirteenth month has been a pleasant one. We've settled in to our new home pretty well, Pearl is sleeping well, nursing well, eating well, playing well!

We had a well baby visit yesterday and I think I found a pediatrician at the clinic I actually like! She didn't say a word about our choice not to vaccinate Pearl at this point, at least. We learned that Pearl weighs a hair over twenty pounds and is thirty inches tall. I asked about her pigeon-toedness and the pediatrician watched her walk away from and towards her and said that it wasn't anything to worry about yet, but that we should come in to reevaluate it at eighteen months. Pearl explored the waiting room and played with the nurse and laughed at the doctor and was calm while being poked and prodded, so it was a good doctor's visit.

Pearl has never been a cuddly baby and that has made me a little wistful at times. She never liked being carried in pouch slings, or being held horizontally at all. She didn't like being rocked, she preferred to be bounced to sleep. She didn't like hugs, didn't like being restrained like that. She's always wanted to be watching and playing and doing - not sitting and snuggling! Even nursing has been pretty businesslike throughout her life, excepting the fact that she seems to think it's an arena for practicing whatever skill she's currently working on. But, that all is something that has changed this month! She will come to me and her Daddy for hugs, laying her head on our shoulder and relaxing there. She's more content to sit on my lap, and - this is a first since the very first few weeks - she just feel asleep while I was holding her one day! I was sitting here at the computer and she was fussy so I lifted her to my lap and continued reading. After a few minutes I felt something on my arm and look down and it was drool; she had dozed off! She has also let me rock her to sleep when she doesn't get there by nursing or car ride. So I am enjoying this new, more affectionate Pearl.

She is less clingy this month than last but has begun toddling over to me for reassurance from time to time, grabbing onto my pants and wedging herself between my legs.

She is doing a lot of imitating - she'll stand at the computer and move the mouse around, watching the screen. She loves to brush her teeth and will brush her hair, which is adorable when she does it with her own little comb and very amusing when she attempts to do it with the gigantic round brush I use to blow dry my hair. She blows when Daddy blows bubbles, and she's learned to pour water into the mill on her water table.

Pearl has learned to say Daddy and says it in the sweetest tone. I even got called Daddy, how humiliating. She'll also say, "Hi, Daddy!" or "Hi, kitty!" with prompting. The other night, I think she said "kitty" in her sleep.

She can bend over and pick things up off the floor then return to standing, which I've read is a milestone. She can stand up all by herself but usually she still crawls over to something to pull herself up on.

She loves playing chasing games with me. I'll run scream from her and hide, then scream some more and run when she finds me. Sometimes I fall over and let her get me, she loves that. Sometimes I jump out and say "Boo!" and she shrieks in delighted terror. Sometimes I chase her, fingers extended for tickling. It's lots of fun and I get exhausted before she tires of it!

Pearl is getting to a stage where I am having to try to teach her limits and I guess she's learning some but I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. She will look at me when she's doing something I've tried to get her not to do in the past, like bang the lamp against the wall. Sometimes redirecting her works but she can be very single-minded.

My creation

I can't believe another month has gone by. The days are too short for the most part, full to bursting with Pearl's laugh and meals cooked and time spent blowing bubbles on the lawn and laundry hung on the line, her intent face as she explores a new toy and acrobatic milkies and holding her hand as we walk through the house, time alone as she naps and delight when she wakes and stretches and grins, going to the library and the store and the park and seeing her reach her arms out to Daddy when he comes home from work and the three of us snuggled together in bed at the end of the too, too short day.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Self-Portrait Tuesday - Pop Art

Jumping back into Self-Portrait Tuesday for the first time in a while...


More self-portraits can be found here!

Labels: ,

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hooray for Being Social!

Yesterday I went to my first La Leche League meeting. It was the first time since we moved back to town that it didn't interfere with Pearl's naptime so we went. I almost didn't go, but I'm glad I did because it was so nice to talk with likeminded mamas about breastfeeding and mothering in general. Pearl had fun too, playing with the toys there and the other babies. She even nursed a little, which she will rarely do in public.

And I got invited to an AP playgroup at our favorite park! So we went there this morning. Again, I almost talked myself out of it, even drove through the park and almost left before making myself go back. One of the moms from the LLL meeting was there and she introduced me to the other mom and stay-at-home-dad who were there with their kids. I had a good time chatting with them and Pearl had fun clambering all over the playground and toddling after the older boys.

I always talk myself out of doing social things... and on the occasions when I make myself do it, I always enjoy myself. I am just so introverted and anxious, but it's never as awkward as I imagine...

Anyway, I've been working on Pearl's baby book. I never did find one I was completely satisfied with so I'm creating one using Adobe InDesign and will have it printed and bound. I've got lots of photographs and lots of materials from this blog to include, so I'm making outlines, sorting through things, learning how to use a new program and trying to remember what I learned about page layout from my time on the yearbook staff during high school. It's been keeping me busy and it feels good to have a project to work on.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

How Sweet It Is!

cosleeping mosaic

I want to note how much I enjoy cosleeping with Pearl. We didn't plan on fully cosleeping with her; we'd bought an Arm's Reach Mini Cosleeper for her but once she'd arrived it just did not seem right to sleep with her even that far away. I have never felt so discordant, my nerves jangled and I couldn't relax. Sleeping with her next to me felt and still feels like the most natural thing in the world.

It is so wonderful to curl around her, to fall asleep with one of my hands in hers and the other against my husband's hair, blowing kisses back and forth with him over her as she dreams. I love knowing she is safe, love being able to comfort her instantly when she wakes and feed her when she hungers.

Someday, in the not-terribly-distant future, we'll begin transitioning her to her own bed and room. But for now I am enjoying having my whole little family beside me at night, breathing and dreaming together. It is one aspect of parenting I didn't know I would love so much.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Vomit, Unselflessness, and Guilt

Last night Pearl threw up again after she went to sleep, and we have a culprit - both nights that she's thrown up, we've had an egg dish for dinner. It contains both eggs and almonds... two iffy things to feed babies but she has had both of these seperately with no problem, so I don't really know what the deal is, just that we won't be feeding her that dish for supper again any time soon!

Before she threw up, we had company over and were playing Scrabble (my favorite!) and she kept waking up. I was getting quite irate, the one night I am doing something fun with adults that I'm neither married nor related (by blood, at any rate) to is the one night when she won't sleep unless she's on top of me. She wouldn't nurse, wouldn't lay on her back and when laid down on her front she immediately started crawling. I feel bad that instead of picking up on the fact that something was wrong I was preoccupied with how mad I was about not getting to spend a pleasant evening with our company. It's hard to be selfless 100% to the time. Hard to always put her first. I try though and when I fail I feel so bad about it, and dumb too, in cases like this where I should've known something was up.

So it was after they'd gone and we were watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer (a show we have become quite obsessed with) when she threw up. I didn't make it to her in time and she threw up on the bed on only a little bit on me this time... I'd bought a plasticky mattress cover to protect it from diaper leaks just last week but I laid it out to air and then my husband folded it up and stuck it... somewhere... so sadly the mattress was not in fact protected but hopefully is not permanently embued with the oh-so-pleasant scent of baby puke.

She's okay now, I'm mostly ok, my husband is okay. He's a good sport about cleaning up the puke while I shower with Pearl.

Also, the marmot is okay. I saw him alive and well this morning, grazing away. My future bounty of vegetables is once again at risk but I'm not terribly concerned about it.

Labels: ,

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Scattered Thoughts from a Tired, Busy Mama

I have a bit of time to myself, and of course, Blogger is down! So I'm composing this post in gmail, while my husband takes Pearl along to do some errands. This past handful of days has been as busy and chaotic as expected, and I'm all kinds of tensed and stressed. On top of that I have a urinary tract infection and another tooth telling me with short agonizing stabs that it wants a root canal. Pearl hasn't been sleeping well so neither have I.

But! Aside from all that, I'm doing well. The house is nice, the yard is lovely. My washer and dryer: divine. We're putting in a veggie garden in the back yard and I'm spending a lot of time worrying about the marmot who lives here. I enjoy seeing him scamper around the yard doing his marmot thing but what about the tomatoes and zucchini that will soon abound?

Pearl threw up the other night, the first time for real... not spit-up, not from gagging, but actual throwing-up. She ate something that didn't agree with her, I guess, as there weren't any other symptoms - don't know if it was food or something else, but a few hours after she went to sleep when I went in to nurse her down she wouldn't be soothed so I picked her up out of bed to sway her back to sleep and after a while she threw up all over me... so with my husband's help we got into a bath and then nursed back down... then later as I was rocking her she threw up again, all shaky, poor thing, so we took a shower and after that she was pretty cheerful and played for another hour or two, then back to bed. I had recently read Sarah's post on the initiation of a mother caring for a vomiting child for the first time and it had been rattling around my mind, what a coincidence!

She also chipped one of her front teeth. There are all sorts of new surfaces and objects to navigate. She loves toddling around the house and is delighted to play outside, playing in the water table my mom got her for her birthday, wobbling off the patio into the grass...


Another bit of time all to myself - my husband has been gone all day at a motorcycle event, and Pearl is down for the night. I haven't had any adult interaction other than that with the cashier at Lowe's and am feeling a bit like an insane hermit.

Lots of unpacking, organizing. Lots of messes. Lots of laundry done. Baby gates installed - Pearl is free-range no more. Have to corral her to one part of the house or the other to accomplish any tasks without worrying about what she's up to. Lots of writer's block - I am so prolific with pen and paper, but my words tend to dry up on the keyboard. I kept tangible journals starting my senior year of high school and the next few years, one after another I filled them right up. I miss that. Blogging isn't really the same; there's an audience... which is both good and bad but the point is, it's not really the same.

I am reading a book called Possession by A. S. Byatt and it's good. It's the first fiction book that I haven't read before that I've been sucked into in a long time and I'm enjoying it, thinking about it, even in my dreams. I came across the title in this flickr photostream, which is worth checking out as her photos and stories are quite beautiful. I thought that if it was one of her favorites then it was worth checking out from the library, and I was right.

I finished putting the garden in today - strawberries, two kinds of tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant. In containers on the patio I have chocolate mint, oregano, cilantro, basil, chives, Thai basil, and rosemary. There is a strip of earth between the front porch and sidewalk where I have planted Japanese Painted Ferns (so lovely, one of my favorite plants) and some coleus. So nice to plant things in the earth. I hope my vegetable garden flourishes, I'm looking forward to eating garden-fresh food.

On the subject of the marmot, well, there was one squished on the road this weekend and today he has not been sighted. And this evening, there was a squirrel in his territory. So I'm thinking I don't have to worry about him possibly wreaking havoc on my garden anymore but what a sad way to end the dilemma.

Labels: ,