Sunday, December 31, 2006

Blast from the Past

Pearl, about six months old:

Blast from the Past

Labels: ,

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Nineteen Months Old

Pearl has learned so many new words this month and I've been so busy that I haven't been able to jot them down when she learns a new one, but here are some highlights: In the beginning part of this month she made up a game, where she would say about whatever she was eating: "Ittttttttttttt's spaghetti! No, itsnot spaghetti, it's x!" Then she'd laugh and I'd laugh too. She's also been saying, "I found x" (particularly sweet when she says, "I found Ma!"). And she has learned the names of our cats, Timmie and Left Eye (pronounced Nest Eye, or rather, "Nessst EYE!").

She has been very cheerful and happy lately. Her nose has been stopped up since before Thanksgiving but she has learned to nurse efficiently with the gulp-gulp-gasp method and will do so without crying now. She has been nursing like there's no tomorrow lately and some of the nights this month have been really rough but as soon as they get so bad that I don't think I can handle anymore, they get better... and then the cycle repeats. Right now, several times a night she goes through periods where she won't sleep unless she is either latched on or half on top of me, and it's driving me kind of bonkers.

Pearl loves to climb onto the furniture and stand and plop herself back down on it. She gets all staticky and her hair goes all crazy:


She also has been enjoying playing with containers and their lids, blowing kisses, and cooking on the floor while I cook in kitchen. Anytime she's in the kitchen now she goes over to the pantry door (where the oats, main ingredients and star of the show in the dishes she prepares, are stored) and says, "Cookcook!"


She remembers and recognizes those extended family members whom she sees semi-regularity, and greets them with a cheery "Hi!" and will be held willingly pretty much right away. My teenage sister is a big hit with her. I told Pearl we were going to see her on Christmas Eve, and every ten minutes or so throughout the drive there she'd pipe up and say, "Ali! Let's go!"

Ali and Elaina, and Her Favorite Mustard Bottle

Her second Christmas was fun for us all. Taking her to see the lights on the square was great, and by Christmas morning she understood the concept of unwrapping presents... at least that she was supposed to be ripping the paper, which she did wholeheartedly! She got some good gifts of varying sorts but here favorites are of course the books! Besides being big on books themselves, our families pretty much know that's what she likes bests and purchased some new ones for her accordingly and we've been enjoying having new stories like Olivia and The Big, Big Sea in the house.

She seems like such a big girl now that she is nineteen months old that I can hardly believe she was once curled inside my womb. But she still shakes her fists around like a newborn when she wakes and cries for me in the night, and every once in a while I am lucky to catch her lightly sleeping and see a dream-smile, and hear that same laugh that delighted me so much when she was just a few weeks old, and I am reminded of her beginnings. It is amazing that we created such a sweet and enchanting creature.

Labels: ,

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Return of the Light

I have seen the title phrase written in regards to the Winter Solstice a lot as I have read about it recently, and I like it. It has a nice ring to it. I've been reading a lot about the science behind the solstice as well as the role its occurrence has played in various cultures. As someone who has dealt with the effects of SAD for years, the Winter Solstice seems a day worth celebrating but I have never thought much about it before this year.

This year, with Pearl being more aware of the world around her and becoming a more integrated member of the family, I've been thinking a lot about the kind of meaningful holiday traditions I want to create for our families. I've been reminiscing about my family's rituals: my grandfather reading the Nativity story from the Bible, singing carols, opening gifts from family, and eating waffles with strawberries and whipped cream on Christmas Eve, then gathering beneath the tree on Christmas morning to open what gifts Santa had left beneath the tree and explore and enjoy what goodies he'd left in our stockings. Later on in the day, a big dinner featuring turkey and ham.

These traditions are not exactly the ones I want to craft for my little family. My beliefs are not the same as the older generation of my family's, though I am not quite sure what they are. As I'm figuring that out I'm trying to find rituals of my own that feel right: acknowledging the shifts in the seasons, the changes in the light, and how they effect the earth and her children.

I did buy a live tree this year, a big potted Norfolk Pine. It's an evergreen, and cheaper than the pines one can buy to plant in the yard after enjoying indoors for a few days. I wanted something small that I could decorate with toddler-friendly ornaments, and a cut tree doesn't seem much better than a fake tree to me at the moment - I went with a fake tree last year and was pretty disappointed with it. So, we have this funky little tree, which isn't something grown to withstand snowy winters but rather a tropical plant, green in the belief of year-round sun. I'm all about tropical so this is okay, but still not quite the same. It lacks the presence of a true pine. But an evergreen to me seems to be a good symbol of the season - hope of brighter days remaining through the darker ones.

On the day of the Solstice we ate a pretty simple dinner in the candlelight of a centerpiece I'd made from a white candle, red ornaments, and pine and holly branches I'd gathered from our yard:


And afterwards we took Elaina to see the Christmas lights that adorn the town square each year. She has been very excited when I point out Christmas lights in passing to her to the car, frantically signing and saying, "More more! Lights!" when they fade from view. So I thought she'd get a thrill out of seeing the thousands of lights there, and I wasn't wrong. She wandered about throwing her arms up in the air, palms open, her sign for lights... saying, "Lights! Lights! Let's go!" Except she can't yet pronounce the "l" sound, so it was more like, "Kights!"


It was wonderful to see her joy. That new tradition is definitely here to stay.

Today, we had a feast: an organic, free range turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry/apple/orange relish, sweet potatoes with a pecan praline crust, and pumpkin pies to come. We're still quite stuffed.

Tomorrow I am going to be making toffee and fudge, what seems to be my traditional gift to loved ones. On the morning of Christmas Eve we'll go see my in-laws, and in the evening we'll travel to my parents' house and take part in all the above-listed festivities, minus the strawberry waffles - my mother decided it was too much! So I may be adopting that into my home for a Christmas breakfast. On Christmas Day, Pearl will open her presents here beneath our wacky little tree, and pull the goodies out of her stocking, and then we'll have Christmas dinner with my family later on.

So, that is where I am now in this winter holiday season, trying to mash together my husband's family's non-beliefs, my family's beliefs, and my own confusion into something that expresses the spirit of the season and makes warm memories for Pearl to carry off into the world when she starts making her own traditions.

~* More about Tradition this week at Mama Says Om * ~

Labels: , ,

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Windy Day

Today was warm and breezy, so we went to a lake park on the other side of town that we'd never been to before. It was 70 degrees... very much not the norm for this time of year; the record high for December in our state is 80 though, bless the South! (Or global warming, one...)


My husband took the photos of Pearl and I; the photoshopping is all me though.


A Few Photos

I haven't picked the camera up a lot lately... but I got a few nice shots at the table in the afternoon light yesterday.


Apple a Day

Blowing Kisses


Friday, December 15, 2006

There's a Fungus Among Us

Remember the rash I mentioned? Thrush. We have thrush. The tale-tell white patchy film has showed up on Pearl's tongue. Ick. No doubt it was fueled by her letting milk get all over the bed while she was sick and us wallowing in it all night whilst I was totally succumbing to a powerful sugar addiction. I don't even know what to do. I mean, I do, of course I've researched it and read about all the various treatments, but it just seems like it'll be too hard to deal with to even bother... she has her hands in the mouth all the time, she gropes the free nipple when she's nursing, she touches everything, she licks everything, in my mind's eye I can just see the stuff everywhere. The yeast infection is just topical on my breasts, and Pearl doesn't have the accompanying diaper rash, so as far as I know neither of us are really in any discomfort from it so at this point all I want to do is dose us up really well on probiotics, cut back on the sweets (omg, noooooo!!!), and hope it goes away... forget about gentian violet and topical creams and doctor's visits... but as I mentioned in the first link, she's been a very annoying little nursling and I'm wondering if discomfort from the thrush in her mouth might be contributing to that. Of course, she still isn't breathing well through her nose either, which I know is causing nursing problems. I don't know if it's a lingering reaction to her last cold, or the dairy I had at Thanksgiving, or some other, more mysterious problem that I'm unaware of.

I don't know, I'm just tired of it all, I wish we could just BE HEALTHY. I'm feeling very sulky about all this.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

2006 in Review, Snippet-Style

Elaine of Wannabe Hippie stardom has shared a fun meme, in which one posts the first sentence of every month's first post for all of 2006. Once I got over the shock of realizing that the year is coming to an end - I'd barely been dealing with the fact that Christmas is scarcely more than a week away! - I decided to join in the fun and hope some of you will, too! It was neat to take a look back through a year's worth of blogging and see a scroll-by of my life. Click on the month to see the full entry, and leave a comment if you do a mini-review as well!


Bubbles and a Round Rosy Cheek.

This eighth month has been a month of many firsts for Pearl: her first tooth, her first move, her first time crawling, first time sitting up by herself, first time pulling up to a standing position, first time in the big bath, first time at home with Daddy while Mama went out, first cat scratch.

Since Pearl was very, very young, we have gotten her to sleep by bouncing her on an exercise ball.

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!

Here is a news bit from ABC on how much stay-at-home mothers should be paid.

I have a bit of time to myself, and of course, Blogger is down!

Music on my mother-in-law's back porch.

We've been practicing elimination communication for about a year now, so I thought I would share some thoughts on how the year has progressed in regards to pottying.

Last week a series of rainstorms ushered in Autumn.

The three of us are leaving on a microvacation to celebrate Mr. Peach and I's second anniversary.

Despite purchasing two bags of candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters (second bag being purchased after first bag being consumed) we did not stay home with our welcoming jack-o-lanterns to give it out to costumed children, nor did we go trick-or-treating ourselves.

Or about as close as it gets around here, anyway.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Spaghetti Face

Because I feel guilty about neglecting my blog, but have absolutely nothing else to share:

Haven't Shared a Spaghetti Face in a While!


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Introducing Baby

So I have had the vague idea to get Pearl a doll sometime in the near future... then Mama C-ta talked about getting Cricket one for Christmas, and I kept coming across them in my holiday shopping. Then when my Uncle came down for Thanksgiving, his four-year-old daughter let Pearl hold her baby "for three minutes" and Pearl was in love, so I decided to go ahead and get her one for Christmas. So I shopped around and then decided I might as well make her one myself! It seemed like a project I could handle, fun to do, less expensive than having someone else make one, more personal than buying a mass produced one... so why not?

I went with the My Baby kit from Dancing Rain Dolls... I like supporting home based businesses over bigger companies when I can, and I'd heard good recommendations about Dancing Rain Dolls on a message board I frequent. I went ahead and got a pre-made head because that seemed like it would be the most time consuming, daunting part - though after my rough time getting the head attached to the body I am not so sure of that!

Amy, doll maker and proprietress of Dancing Rain Dolls, was very nice and helpful through the whole process, responding very promptly to my questions and checking in on me when she hadn't heard from me in a few days. The materials Amy provided to make the doll were just beautiful, really quality stuff. I know anyone who knits/crochets can appreciate this... like working with high-end yarns after using acrylics from Hobby Lobby. The materials all felt great when I was working with them and the doll feels lovely now that she's done.

She doesn't have a name yet... I don't really know whether to give her one or to wait until Pearl can name her herself, so in the meantime she is just baby. And here she is:

Waldorf Doll
I tried to give her wild hair like Pearl's!
Sweet little face.
Belly Button!
Belly button! Still debating on whether or not to add nipples.

She's definitely unique... she's a little crookedy all over, and I'm pretty sure I didn't stuff her legs enough - hence the appearance of rolls! But I am very pleased with how she turned out and I had a wonderful time making her. Making a doll is neat... she sort of came to life as I worked. I know Pearl will like her, she's already run off with her a few times when I've been working on her, smoothing her hair and hugging her tightly when I ask for her back. I still need to make her some clothes, but other than that, this project is complete!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


That was the scream of a tired mama.

Pearl's sleep has soooooo not been good lately. I think she's got some molars coming in that are driving her a little crazy. She's mostly over her cold - no green snot for a few days now, thank goodness. I was so tired of being covered in snot, though Pearl was really good about letting me and even encouraging me to wipe her nose this time around rather than act like I was trying to smother her. She's still got a little bit of watery drippage going on but I think that could be a teething thing.

Anyway, she sleeps okay for the first half of the night but the second half, in the early early morning, she stirs and instead of just nursing sedately back to sleep as is normal she yells and cries a bit and nurses, while pinching the free nipple furiously. She has always been a twiddler. From the moment she gained some control of her hands she started trying to stick them in her mouth while she was nursing, so I wasn't able to nurse hands-free from that point on... I had to use one to support her/my breast and the other to run defense between her hand and her mouth so she didn't break her latch and could eat in peace. And once she realized there were TWO nipples... it was all over. Clothes won't stop her, distraction won't stop her... for the most part she will not nurse unless she has access to both breasts.

Since she's still stuffy too, she can't nurse very well and will stop and just breathe against my breath, milky and drool and snot betting the bed beneath us cold and wet... my breasts are rashy, her face is rashy and in general it just sucks. She usually only nurses a short while before rolling over, but if I so much as twitch she yelps again and rolls over for more milkies... and we repeat that a few times until she's good and asleep, and by that time my bladder is complaining about being full and my stomach is complaining about being empty and by the time I've drifted back to sleep she is waking up and yelping again. Ugh.

When I'm laying there awake I think about night weaning her... but I think doing so at a time when she's obviously in some sort of discomfort isn't really a good idea. So I think maybe some teething tabs or ibuprofen might be on the menu for tonight.

That's my rant! I'll be back soon with pictures and details about what I've been doing in these post-NaBloPoMo days.

Labels: ,

Friday, December 01, 2006

Winter Wonderland

Or about as close as it gets around here, anyway.

Icy Ditch Water

Vine (over)Ripened Tomato