Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Baby Stats

Roxanne has her twelve month check up today! Her daddy took her, since I was at work. Apparently she was fussy, but that's pretty standard when she's sick. Her mood has been much better today though. At least around me. Anyways, back to the doctor... Roxanne now weighs 23.7 pounds, which puts her in the 90th percentile for weight. She is 30.5 inches tall, which puts her in the 95th percentile for height. Her head circumference is only 17 and 3/4 inches, which makes her in the 50th percentile for head size. I credit Justin with that one. He has a small/normal sized head. Mine's huge. According to Justin, the doctor didn't really comment on anything else, and it was a pretty short appointment. She said that Roxanne has a cold, and that her congestion will probably last for about two weeks. Justin and I decided ahead of time that she shouldn't get any shots, since it would just be mean to give her shots when she's already feeling sick. Of course, the doctor said it would be safe to give them to her anyways, but we said no. We'll bring her back to get them in a couple of weeks when she's feeling better. It's just too mean to give a sick baby shots.

Alright, I'm off to get this baby ready for bed. We've been giving her showers at least once a day to try and keep her congestion moving. It really helps. Yesterday we gave her honey a few times to act as a cough suppressant and it also seems to help. Of course, it's her first time having honey, since you are supposed to wait a year to give it to them (they can get botulism from it) and she doesn't seem to like it that much. I think it's the texture...

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2008

A post just for Justin

This post is dedicated to Justin on his birthday. He's currently trying to get some sleep (like I should be) since we're both pretty behind. So I will take the opportunity to share some of his baby photos. Teehee.

Happy Birthday Justin!

Today is Justin's birthday! I won't reveal how old he is just in case he minds. He had the day off of work, since he doesn't actually go back until January. Unfortunately, he spent the day with the sick baby while I was at work. He swears that he enjoyed his birthday, but I know that Roxanne can be a little tough when she doesn't feel well. We were planning to go out for a date yesterday to celebrate Justin's birthday, but Roxanne's illness pretty much ruled that out. Not only would it be kind of mean to expose our friend/babysitter to her germs, but it seems unfair to Roxanne. I promised Justin that we would do something fun for his birthday once she gets a little better. We've been talking about trying to see a movie... It's been a while.

We were at my Dad and Colleen's farm on Saturday evening, and she got progressively worse while we were there. When we left on Sunday, we were still hoping we could go out for our date, but we went to some last minute shopping at Lenox after we got back from the farm, and Roxanne was miserable. She had been napping all morning, so we thought she'd be OK, and I put her in the baby sling rather than the stroller so that she could be close to me and just sort of snuggle me as we shopped. Absolutely not. She was overstimulated and squirmy, and after about half an hour she started to melt down. I nursed her in the bathroom at Bloomingdale's, and about five minutes afterwards, she threw up on me. Aaah, the joys of mothering. It definitely made me feel like a jerk for dragging her out when she clearly didn't feel good, and it also made me realize that she was definitely sick, and it was more than a runny nose from teething.

She still feels pretty terrible, and so she's not up for doing much other than whining and being held. Last night I was up with her for about three hours trying to get her comfortable and back to sleep, but by 3:00am I was starting to lose compassion and just getting frustrated. She would only sleep while I was sitting up since her congestion is so bad. Fortunately, she settled down not too long after I was getting to be a basket case, and being the excellent parent that I am, I partially achieved this state of calm by playing an episode of Murder, She Wrote on my lap top and letting her watch it. Please don't call DFACS on me. We've been giving her baby Motrin at least a couple of times a day, since she feels like she's been running a low-grade fever. It's definitely one of the worst colds we've seen her get. I don't know where it came from, since neither Ben nor Josh have anything. We think she might have picked it up at her birthday party, but who knows. She is pretty notorious for licking foreign objects like shopping carts, etc. I have one of those high chair/shopping cart covers but it's not big enough and basically just causes more trouble because I'm constantly trying to get it to cover whatever exposed area of the chair/cart that Roxanne is trying to bite or lick. I've seen some HUGE ones that look like they would be more effective, but I'm hoping she'll be getting out of the licking phase in the next few months. I mean, I'm sure she'll still put things in her mouth until she is at least two, but not EVERYTHING.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Still no cupcake eating for Roxanne

Still nothing... What baby doesn't want to eat cupcakes??? What a goose! She did have a special birthday muffin this morning from the San Francisco Coffee near our house, and that went over really well. Maybe she just doesn't like angel food...

Happy Birthday Roxanne!

Today is Roxanne's first birthday! To celebrate, she took her first really real steps. I know I said the other day that she took a step, but today she actually took like 3 or 4 in a row, and she's done it several times. Yay! She is really getting to be a handful now. I remember thinking a couple of months ago that Roxanne was so easy because she liked to play with her toys, whereas Ben (also very easy) seemed somehow drawn to everything that he wasn't supposed to have. Well, the joke is on me, because this baby is a terror! She has a HUGE toy bin in the living room that is overflowing with fun new toys, and all she wants to do is slap the dog, try to mash the buttons on the computer tower, open and close the desk drawers, and climb all over the nasty dog bed. So today I dragged her to Target after work and we finally got a baby gate... I was trying to hold out until consignment season, but Justin and I agreed that it was time when Roxanne scooted into the kitchen the other night and had a piece of dog food in her hand by the time we caught up. She also is drawn to the stairs, so the gate blocks her from getting to those, too. Of course, the baby gate does nothing to keep her from the computer, the desk or the dog (and her bed) but it does at least keep her from the stuff that is really dangerous. Most importantly, now I can lay around on the couch and there is no place she can go that I can't see her.

I will take pictures of her tonight eating a cupcake. Well, in theory she will eat it. She totally didn't have any interest in the one at her party. But maybe the second time is the charm...

On an unrelated note, I just want to vent for a moment about child healthcare providers. Last night, Roxanne woke up and started crying with this awful-sounding hoarse cry and when I went to get her, she was wheezing. I brought her back to bed with me after Justin tried unsuccessfully to get her to settle down and go back to her crib, and all night she was just miserable! She would nurse and settle and drift off and then start wheezing and want to sit upright, on and off for a few hours. Sometime around 4:00am, I brought her into the bathroom and ran the hot shower while we sat and breathed in the vapor. It definitely helped her breathing, but I was still really anxious. I kept being terrified that she was having an asthma attack or something, since she had NO symptoms before going to bed. I almost brought her to the children's hospital about four times, but then she would drift off and her breathing would get easier. So this morning, she had absolutely no wheezing, and I really couldn't even hear any congestion. But, afraid of a repeat performance tonight, I called the pediatrician's office and talked to a nurse. She asked me lots of questions, and then basically told me to watch her tonight and if it started back up, I could either bring her in to the emergency room or come in the pediatrician's office tomorrow morning. When I mentioned that her 12 month check up is on Tuesday, she basically said, "well, if you don't see any more symptoms, just wait and mention it at her appointment." I've been watching her like a hawk all today, and I can't say she's had many symptoms. She's had a couple of brief coughing episodes that sounded congested, but her speaking voice sounds totally normal. I decided to call Children's Healthcare anyways, thinking I could maybe take her to one of their "urgent care" centers after work, since they are open until 9:00pm. So I spoke with a nurse, who was rude, condescending, and basically told me that Roxanne probably wasn't really wheezing, she just was congested and that I should run a humidifier in her room tonight. And if I brought her to an urgent care center, I would just be exposing her to serious illnesses for no reason at all, and that I would be negligent and cruel to do so. When I explained that I just didn't want to risk her having another night of this scary breathing, she just told me that I could bring her to the hospital if it happened again or take her to the pediatrician's office in the morning if it wasn't too severe. Then she got really nasty with me when I told her I thought it would be safer to have her seen this evening and couldn't understand why I couldn't go to the pediatrician's office right away if I was "so worried." I tried to tell her that I was at work and that Justin and I share a car and there was no way for me to take her to the doctor's office until after leaving work, and then she thought I was saying that I was Roxanne's nanny and not her mom. That's when I decided to end the call. I mean, I certainly understand her point, but she was so rude! And acted like I was a terrible mom. That's like the third time we've had a terrible experience with them. I don't get it!

Whew, what a ramble. Can you tell I'm running on empty?


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The most mobilest baby

Roxanne took her first steps today! Well, it was really only one step, from the couch to my knee, but it was so exciting! She did it right before we left work today, and I was telling Justin all about it once we got home. Then lo and behold, she took another step! This time she was standing up unassisted while holding one of her new birthday toys (don't even get me started on how many wonderful and adorable things she got! Thanks to all!) and she took a step backwards but stayed standing and didn't reach out to hold anything. So it might still be a while before she starts really going, but I think she's making progress! She spent about ten minutes straight tonight cruising up and down the length of the couch while waving her pants around in the air. She had pulled her pants off a few moments before. We didn't see exactly how she managed that, but they are slightly baggy pants with an elastic waistband. She cruises SO fast now. Almost like a little run.

The other thing she loves these days is climbing. She particularly loves climbing in and out of things, as can be evidenced in the photo above. Believe it or not, she climbs in and out of that table by herself, although we hover over her the whole time. She also likes to sit in Ben's "Breast Friend" pillow that sits in his nursery. And the two of them climb into a drawer that belongs to a nightstand and holds lots of puzzles. They sit inside it and fight over wooden puzzle pieces to chew on. She likes to climb in the toy boxes at Ben's house, too. It stresses me out since she can't climb out and throws a fit when she wants out. But I try to abide by that style of parenting that allows babies to do things that are not exactly convenient for you as long as they aren't dangerous. So while I don't love hovering over her as she attempts to climb onto her toy table, or get her feet stuck in the seat of Ben's riding firetruck, I don't want her to be told "no" all the time. I save that for when she tries to stick things in the Diaper Champ or play with the lamp cord.

Oh, and as a disclaimer, the outfit above is a little weird. The pants are her skeleton pajama pants, and the top was a dress that I was trying on her. That's why she looks like such a ragamuffin. Oh, and birthday party photos are now on Flickr! The link is on the left! We really appreciate everyone who came and gave Roxanne such generous and thoughtful gifts. It was lots of fun!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday Temper...

We just got home from Lenox. Whew! I have to tell you all though, there is a fabulous sale at Baby Gap right now. If you spend $75, you get 30% your entire purchase. Good deal! We got most of our shopping done tonight, but Roxanne was really having a meltdown by the time we left. Poor girl. We shouldn't push her past her limit, but it's so easy to let that happen! She has learned a new trick of stiffening her entire body while you are holding her or when you first put her in the car seat, and it's kind of like trying to hold down an eel or feral cat. She's a stinker.

Today Roxanne started using the "bah" sound to refer to the various balls in the playroom at work. Her and Ben were both doing it and we were rolling several balls around the floor simultaneously. It was positively dizzying, but lots of fun. She is also inconsistently blowing kisses. Usually she won't do it when we are on our way out the door, but once we are out of sight of anyone else, she blows a few. Go figure. She is also officially giving kisses. It's very very cute. She comes at you (sometimes with an open mouth and sometimes closed) and makes the "mmmm" sound that I always make when I kiss her (you know, mmmwwhhaaa!). Her and Ben kiss each other a lot. Sometimes on the mouth and other times just on the forehead or arm or tummy, etc. They are quite a pair.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Speed Racer

Roxanne figured out how to turn and steer her walker this week. It's a big deal because now she is tearing up the entire downstairs floor with that thing. Before she would cross the room and then stop once she hit any kind of blockade like a wall or door or table or couch, etc. etc. But now she has learned to back up and take things from another angle. Tonight I went to Perimeter Mall to meet my mom and left Roxanne with Justin, and when I got home he told me that she was really going fast with her walker. He also said that she knocked into Katie with it twice while Katie was trying to eat her dinner. Poor tortured Katie. Roxanne and her daddy apparently had lots of fun while I was gone though.

Oh, and Roxanne had some pretty serious head trauma today at work. She has been tumbling a lot lately, since she wants to pull up on EVERYTHING and doesn't always have the most steady footing. But today she was trying to put her face in my face while I was laying on the floor, and she fell sideways and hit her forehead on a toy. It cut/scraped her and she really fussed. I felt terrible, since I watched it happen, but I think it was pretty minor. It only bled a little, and I was able to put some ice on it so it didn't swell much. But now she has a pretty big mark on her little forehead. I'm hoping it doesn't turn into a big goose egg bruise. Something tells me it won't be the last war wound. Especially once she starts walking...

The photo above is from my sister. It was taken at Stone Mountain during our little trip. I would like to use it for holiday cards, but I feel like it is already too late for that... I keep getting e-mails from stores about "LAST MINUTE SHOPPING" and I'm thinking, "I haven't really started my Christmas can it already be last minute??" I guess you're supposed to be done by November 1... Oops. I guess I should get on that.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stone Mountain Christmas

We went to Stone Mountain this weekend for a family trip courtesy of my wonderful grandparents. We had a really nice time, and Roxanne (as always) had lots of fun with her cousins, and second cousins. It was really cold on Saturday night as we walked around checking out all of the things going on in Stone Mountain's Christmas Village, so I was a little worried about Roxanne. When we rode the train, I put her in the sling and bundled her up in a blanket that Nana and Mike and Leah were nice enough to bring and let me use. She ended up falling asleep and stayed asleep in there until we left. She missed the parade, but I'm sure she'll enjoy it more next year. I put her in a Christmas sweater that my Grandma made for me when I was little. There is a bigger one that used to be my sister's. I told Justin that we had to have a second baby just so that we could utilize the sweaters. He wasn't all that amused. But doesn't she look cute? You can see in the photo how cute she looks with her Nana. Don't they look festive? I'm really excited about Christmas this year. It's like I get to relive the excitement I felt as a child all over again with Roxanne. The magic of Santa!!

I can't believe Roxanne is going to be a year old so soon! She seems to be cutting a few teeth right now, and she's a drool machine and everything is going into her mouth. She's doing this new thing where she bites down really hard on something and clenches with her whole body. Her shoulders rise, her fists clench and she shakes all over just a little. Her face is the icing on the cake though. She looks so serious! I hope the teeth come through quickly, since teething really messes her sleep up. She got a special treat last night sleeping with me and Justin in the giant hotel bed. When she woke up this morning, she immediately crawled over and started slapping Justin and trying to crawl on him. The crib that the hotel gave us was great, but it was iron, and Roxanne wouldn't stop licking it. So she got to stay in the big bed. I'm going to try and start night weaning Roxanne this week, but I'm already afraid. She's a very stubborn baby! The lactation consultant I talked to at Piedmont told me I should try offering her water when she wakes to nurse at night. I'm going to try that. Keep your fingers crossed for me! If the night weaning works out, I hope she will start sleeping in longer stretches, too. I spend a lot of time on the forums of my favorite breastfeeding moms website, and so many of the moms talk about sleep woes. It's scary since some of them are talking about their babies still waking up several times a night at ages 2 and 3. Ugh... That will not be us! Hopefully...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Daddy's Night Routine

I always monopolize the blog talking about me and Roxanne, but I wanted to take a minute to share the cuteness that is Justin putting Roxanne to bed. Justin puts her to bed every night, since we've been trying to implement suggestions from the book The No Cry Sleep Solution which include not nursing baby to sleep and spending alone time with Daddy. They have a little routine (also part of the plan) that is usually followed very closely. It starts with a diaper change, which is usually pretty uneventful, but occasionally exciting when Roxanne decides to peepee in the open air. She gets her pajamas on, but she's not always agreeable for that. It's funny to notice the little differences between me and Justin and how we interact with Roxanne. Even down to the fact that we change her clothes differently. I pull shirts over her head and then pull her arms through one sleeve after the other. Justin bunches up her shirt sleeves from the cuff to the shoulder seam, so that her hand instantly passes through the sleeve and there is less risk of her thumb getting stuck in the sleeve on the way out. He does the same thing with her pants. Is that a silly thing to point out?

The next part of the routine is story time. They have several books that they choose between, and you'd have to ask Justin what her favorite book is. She is sometimes rowdy during this step, and instead of sitting quietly and listening to the story, she slaps the pages and does her best to rip the book out of her daddy's hands. She squeals and squawks, too. She definitely likes books, but some days are better than others...

Next it's time to turn out the lights. I can hear this part from our bedroom across the hall. Roxanne's room has one of those old light switches that are really heavy and make a loud pop when you flip them. Justin is teaching Roxanne to flip it by herself, so he helps her do it with her fingers and lets her try it on her own. In either situation, Roxanne thinks it's hilarious. Justin says he can't figure out why, but she really does think it's funny to flip that switch. I just hear *pop*giggle*pop-pop*giggle*pop*giggle* "you almost got it that time!" I think the flip gets switched roughly ten times per night.

It sounds like fun from where I sit. Then comes rocking in the glider. Justin doesn't sing to Roxanne since he swears he can't ever remember the words to any songs ever. I believe him. And she doesn't seem to mind. She just nestles down into her Daddy's chest and snuggles. Once she is in the lightest stage of being asleep, Justin puts her into her crib and lays a blanket over her bottom half. We leave the fan on in the bathroom for as long as possible, since it helps drown out the occasional sound of our stupid neighbor's motorcycle. Someday I would love to get her a noise machine, but in the meantime the bathroom fan works pretty well.

OK, sorry for yet another sappy post, but I just wanted to get that down for Roxanne before she's a big girl and her little routine changes. And give some of you an idea of what a wonderful daddy Roxanne has. They are really cute together.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Standing and more standing

So, our entire long weekend was a whirlwind of visiting, but it was all wonderful. I won't get into all of the trips, but we spent Thanksgiving at my Mom's house with my sister and her family (my stepdad and Leah were in Orlando for her soccer). It was really fun, and as always, Roxanne really had fun with her cousins. Friday we went back to my mom's and I actually got to do a little shopping with my mom and sister and nieces. It was so perfect because we went to a Target near my mom's house and it was really empty. They had these awesome carts that had two big kid seats and then the basket in the cart, so Roxanne could sit and face her cousins. Of course, she got squirmy fast and I ended up pulling her out after a while, but it was cute while it lasted. My mom and my sister braved the Black Friday crowds and went shopping around 6:00am on Friday morning. My mom got Roxanne a fantastic walker at Wal-Mart and it was really cheap since it was a "doorbuster" deal. Roxanne has been obsessed with it. She played with it at my mom's house on Friday, and then we went to my Dad and Colleen's farm on Friday night, and stayed through Sunday morning, and she loved it there, too. That was awesome since it's a huge house with hardwoods, and Roxanne was tearing it up. Back at home she's playing with it a lot, but it makes our living room seem tiny! It only takes her a few seconds to get from one end of the room to the other. Earlier this evening she crashed it into Katie's bottom and got a big kick out of that.

I swear the walker is really helping her. It is one of those walkers that is shaped like lawn mower and it will convert to a wagon when she's done using it as a walker. There are toys on the front of it, so sometimes she pushes it sideways so she can play and walk at the same time. But just in the past few days, she has been able to stand unassisted for longer and longer periods. Today she stood all by herself for almost 30 seconds or so while holding a small toy. Then this afternoon she stood by herself for a while as she clapped to some music we were listening to (thank you Michael Jackson). We have been trying to let her walk as much as possible as we hold her hands, so she's getting a lot of practice. Of course, my lower back hates me, but whatever. I'm secretly hoping she will start walking by her birthday, but we'll see.

On Sunday we went to brunch at Highland Bakery with Justin's Dad and Susan and Roxanne had a big time playing with them. It was her third (and last) time visiting with them for their trip back, and she's really enjoyed it. While we were there I was looking at the cake/cupcake/cookie portfolio and fantasizing about getting Roxanne some fancy stuff for her birthday party from them. Their baked goods are delcious and AMAZINGLY cute. Look at their portfolio and tell my you aren't impressed. But I'm not even going to bother pricing it I think, because I assume it would be very expensive. Maybe next year! But wouldn't a Where the Wild Things Are cake be adorable? Sigh.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Yes Baby

Roxanne is really becoming a little lady these days. She is becoming more and more sturdy and interactive. Like a toddler. When you nod at her and say yes, she gets this very earnest look on her face and nods back. She's just full of facial expressions. I put some photos on Flickr of her mugging for the camera, and in a couple of them, you can even see her teeth! She hasn't gotten any new ones lately (I don't think) so she just has 8 for now. Four on top and four on bottom. I just love the big gap between her front teeth. It's adorable. You can see it in the photo above. Cute, right? I guess I'm biased because I have one, but I'm also relieved to see that so far (BIG KNOCK ON WOOD) her teeth are pretty straight. Nothing makes me realize that I am actually a parent like thoughts of orthodontic bills. I mean seriously. That is grown up business. I feel like it was pretty recent that I was checking the trash at Pizza Hut for my retainer that I accidentally threw away.

Justin and I are having lots of exciting conversations lately about "the future." Stuff like our jobs, our family, our living situation, etc. One of the fears I have about having Roxanne young (as we did) is that any goals and/or plans we had before getting pregnant might get forgotten. Well, not forgotten necessarily, but sort of skipped over due to our daily realities and responsibilities with a family. I won't speak for Justin, but I'm still thinking big (in some ways) and right now I'm thinking about trying to become a lactation consultant. Which means I'd probably have to be an RN. So that might not be feasible, but I'm going to keep looking into it. I feel like it's something I wouldn't even have thought about if it weren't for Roxanne. But I'm really happy nannying for now, and I assume I will probably do that for a few years (hopefully with the same family I'm with now) until Roxanne starts school. Then we'll see. I'm not in a rush, but for the first time in a while, I feel like I have the leisure of looking at my options without the panic and desperation I felt while trying to leave my last job. It's really a relief. And I learned a good lesson. I never want to work in the legal industry... Thank goodness I didn't try for law school before working as a paralegal for a while. And now, it's fun trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up. Suggestions are welcome, especially if you are friends with any big shots at major publishing houses and can get me a book deal to write some awesome Sedaris-style memoirs. I'm working on those in my spare time. I have some now!!!!

This is a really random and rambling post. Sorry. Welcome to the way my brain works. Maybe some day I can convince Justin to get on here and write a post. But he probably wouldn't be as psyched about sharing his innermost thoughts with the internet. Maybe it's some kind of disease I have...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The camera has been found!

Yay! I am proud and slightly embarrassed to announce that I found our camera last week. It was wedged between my nightstand and the wall. So basically, I lucked out in finding it since that is not a place I would have thought to check. I promise we'll post new photos soon (in case anyone has missed them). We took some today with Justin's Dad and Susan when we went to see them. They are in Atlanta for a visit for two weeks, and Roxanne had lots of fun visiting with them. She was in a great mood until the end of the visit, which was about two hours past her regular nap time. She fought the good fight... One of the drawbacks to nursing a baby "on demand" for this long is that Roxanne won't take pacifiers. I know I should be relieved, but sometimes, like when she is screaming in the car, I wish she could use them. When we get desperate enough, I can nurse her with both of us still buckled up, but it's very uncomfortable, and frustrating because when I sit back down, she gets mad.

Now that she's officially eleven months old, I'm going through this dilemma about whether or not to wean her in a month. In some ways, it would be a HUGE relief, and I would certainly feel like I have done my duty. I mean, I pumped several times a day five days a week from when she was seven weeks until she was eight months and I was able to quit my job. She has never once tasted formula. I am proud of that. I've been doing a lot of research on the subject, and I spoke with a lactation consultant (Julie Duncan at Piedmont Hospital is the most amazing woman ever) and I'm still not sure what to do. For now, I'm just going to take it day by day. I'm considering trying to wean her to a sippy cup but still give her expressed milk instead of cow's milk for as long as I can stand to pump. There's a lot of research out there that suggests nursing a child for as long as possible (don't worry, I would never go past age two because it weirds even me out) is the best thing for their health. The World Health Organization recommends nursing for two years, and the American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends "at least twelve months" but I read that they are considering changing their recommendation to match that of the World Health Organization's. I guess part of the issue is that I don't have a whole lot of reason to wean her right now. We're not trying for another baby any time soon, and since I'm with Roxanne full time, it's not a hardship. We'll see. Either way, I'm proud of both of us for making it this long. Of course, these days, half of the time I nurse Roxanne it's kind of like trying to wrangle a feral cat. She's so busy! But she does stop what she's doing and march over to me, pull up on my leg and whine when she wants to nurse. I feel like spending so much time with her makes it much easier for me to understand what she needs or wants now. It's just amazing how different our relationship is. When I was working, I obviously loved her more than I thought possible, but now it's that and more. It's hard to explain, but I know that I made the right choice when I became a nanny.

Sappy sappy sappy. Sorry guys. I'm a little sick right now with this head cold, and maybe it's the cold medicine making me ramble on like a TLC "Bringing Home Baby" episode. But that's what baby blogs are all about right?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Someone please motivate me

I have got to get on the ball and send Roxanne's birthday invites. And my thank you notes from my birthday... Both are important, and both seem to be impossible for me to complete. Where is all my energy going? Roxanne has been sleeping very poorly lately. She's got a stuffy/runny nose and a weird cough at night... I think it's from Ben who also has a runny nose. The two of them have been adorable lately, as in even more adorable than usual. They are obsessed with each other. At least three times a day they are somehow sitting on each other and usually one is licking and or pretend biting the other. They like to wedge themselves into small spaces, although it often ends in frustration and fussing. The top three places are between the bed and the wall in Ben's room, between the couch and the wall in the play room, and in one square foot of space inside the tent in the play room. It's funny, since most of what I read says that babies at this age usually just "parallel play," meaning they engage in separate activities while sitting near each other, but Ben and Roxanne really do play. They love to tease each other with toys, too, where one gets one of the big favorites (this includes small plastic balls of any kind, small plastic animals of any kind, and pegs from a little tool bench) and holds it out to the other and snatches it back just before the other can grab it. And they talk a lot, too. I think it's really nice that she can play with Ben and Josh. Hopefully it will help her not be spoiled. Hopefully.

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Shoes, Standing, and the shakey duck

So, we had another busy weekend, with both a bridal shower (for my friend Megan, who I've known since we were in sixth grade) and a Sip and See for my Aunt's new baby Tucker. Who, by the way, is adorable. He was so peaceful and sleepy, and reminded me of how gigantic and wild Roxanne is these days. I had my sister take some photos of us while we were at my Aunt and Uncle's house on Lake Lanier in the hopes that we might use them for some holiday cards this year. The photo is above is from that set. I have to say, I've gotten some lovely photos from my sister and my friend Jacquelyn since our camera has been missing, and I can't thank them enough. Fortunately, Susan, or Mimi as she will be known to Roxanne, is bringing us one of her old digital cameras this coming weekend. Yay! Yay for family!

Roxanne is turning into a total ham. She really really flirts with everyone everywhere we go. She acts coy at first, but holy moly does she kick it up once they start paying attention to her. And when they don't, she just stares them down. It's a little awkward for me and Justin, who tend to be fairly socially awkward with strangers, but maybe it's good for us. On Saturday afternoon before the shower, Roxanne and I went to Hoopla, our favorite Decatur toy store, on the prowl for some new shoes. They carry a lot of cute brands there, including Robeez, Livie and Luca, Converse, and even Rocket Dog! We ended up with some Pedipeds, which are fantastic. Roxanne only had one pair of shoes that fit, so I don't feel too terrible about buying slightly pricey baby shoes. I wanted some neutral shoes that would go with her Christmas dress and come in handy when she needed to look a little more fancy. I settled (after lots of deliberation and calling my mom) on some fuzzy leopard mary janes. They are adorable, and during her time wearing them on Saturday and Sunday, she probably got about fifty compliments. She was wearing her black velvet pants from Baby Gap (like I said, we had social functions to attend, and she needed to look like a lady). She's wearing them in the photo above, but I'm not sure if you can see them.

Today Roxanne has stood without any support for a few seconds on two different occasions. Both times, she was holding a particularly interesting toy, and I think she didn't realize what she was doing. Her cruising is also getting much more sturdy, and sometimes I can get her to walk while only holding one of my hands. Sometimes I think all of her time around big boys makes her more motivated to learn to walk. She has also started to lock her knees when you set her down, so you have to be careful she doesn't topple over. She is very chatty these days, too, although "uh-oh" and "deh-deh" are still her favorite sounds. She usually says "mama" when she is fussing. She says "hi" in a shrill voice, and she is being more regular about waving and saying "bah-bah" for goodbye. Sometimes when I let her "talk on the phone" with my mom or my sister or Justin, she will say "Hey!" when the phone goes to her ear. Terrible, I know, but so cute. I just hope she doesn't end up with brain cancer from me holding the phone to her ear.

On to the shakey duck. This is just a passing note, but a couple of months back, I bought a soft yellow little ducky at Hoopla that had a pull cord that makes the duck vibrate. I knew she was a little too old for it, but she loves things with cords, and she loves chewing on rings, and she seemed to like the duck, too. It got tossed behind a chair in the living room shortly after it came home and I forgot about it. But last night I pulled it out and let Roxanne hold it while I pulled the cord a few times. She was mesmerized! Then she snagged it from me and started pulling the cord with one hand and holding the duck in the other. It was the perfect example of me underestimating her. I would not have thought that she would have figured that out, even though it's not that complicated. It's just hard to realize how much she can do until she shows me. She has started enjoying her stacking cups more these days, too. Or at least in a different way. Before, she just banged them together and licked them and put them over her face. Oh, and we liked to wear them as hats. But now she puts them inside each other like a big girl. Where has my littlest baby gone! Today when I gave her a spoon with her lunch (it helps keep her from fussing while she eats, but I don't expect much in terms of use) she was picking up little pieces of her chicken and trying to mash them into the bowl of the spoon and then putting it to her mouth. It wasn't working out all that well since the spoon was vertical, but the idea was there.

She's just a lot of fun these days. And every morning, I have a few moments where I smile as I remember again that I don't have to drop her off anywhere. I try to recapture those moments when I'm changing the fifth dirty diaper in a two hour period, or listening as all three little children demand one thing or another. Shockingly, it usually works. And I have to brag on my little ones. Most of the time, they are wonderfully behaved. It's enough to trick a girl into thinking having three kids wouldn't be all that bad. But not quite. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Still no camera...

Well, I still can't find our camera. I did figure out how to access my camera phone photos, so I uploaded them onto Flickr. Some of them are from Roxanne's days at Andrea's, and she is so little! My sister just sent me some gorgeous ones of Roxanne and her cousins at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens last weekend. I'll try to upload those tonight. My favorite one is above.

Roxanne has been really acting old lately. Justin and I went out for a date on Friday night, and she stayed with my friend Whitney, and didn't even need us. Whitney has two cats, Banana and Wendy (Wendy is a little kitten nick-named Wigwam) and Roxanne is in love with them. She loves animals. We recently realized that "dada" has a vast spectrum of meanings, but the main one is animals of any kind. She will hear a dog bark or a cat meow, and she says "dada." Yesterday when we left work she said "byebye" when she waved, but like a lot of her words, she says them once and then you don't hear them again for a while. But she definitely says "hi!" and "uhoh." A lot. She is getting more and more sturdy, and is pulling up on everything. She just learned how to pull up on my leg to be picked up yesterday. I'm not exactly psyched about that one, but it is cute.

Another cute thing is her "no" face. Every time I tell her no, or say "Roxanne" in a stern voice, she scrunches her face up and has an expression somewhere between fake fussing and smiling. It's extremely hard not to laugh when she does it. So that's not so good for my feeble attempts at discipline. We are going to have to figure something out though, since she's starting to be a little bit rough. She likes to knock her forehead into mine, and today she tried to bite Ben when he was trying to snatch her toy. I don't want her to be a bully!

In other news, we went to Old Navy on Sunday looking for a coat for Roxanne. We didn't find a coat, but we got her a little pink vest with a hood. It's very snug and lined with flannel. And since all of the outerwear was half off, I couldn't help but get myself one in the same color. Aaaahh! I'm that mom! Me and my baby have matching vests. I know it's kind of silly, but it's also kind of fun. We have started a new family tradition of going to the Farmer's Market every Monday night, and eating dinner in the buffet line and then shopping for our groceries afterward. Last night we wore our matching vests, and this little girl pointed to us and said to me "You guys have the same jacket!" I admit that I was pleased. A little embarrassed, but pleased. I figure if that little girl thought it was cool, then Roxanne might when she's older. Until she becomes a tween and is mortified at the thought of us having any coordinating clothes. I'll enjoy it while I can.

We're still hanging in there in our apartment, and we've gone to see a few other places, but nothing has been worth it. I mean, it would be a huge pain to move at this point, so unless it's just perfect, we're going to stay here. The good news is that our landlord hasn't asked us to sign a new lease, so we are basically month to month. And I'm still a Craigslist junkie. I think we might stick it out here until we can afford a higher monthly payment, and then try to rent a whole house somewhere in either Candler Park or downtown Decatur. Of course, by the time that happens, the real estate will probably have moved out of our league again, but we can't stay here forever. If only because the school districts are not great. We want her to go to Mary Lin Elementary, which is right next to Candler Park. It would be so nice to live close enough to walk her to school! But the City of Decatur schools are good, too. So either one. Candler Park is just really conveniently located to both of our works. Hmm, that's a lot of information for you all to hear about our housing situation. But I guess it's part of the territory! At least I didn't talk about poop or snot!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pointing, head shaking, and tongue wagging

These are a few of Roxanne's favorite things right now. And on a good day, she does them all at once. Impressed? I thought so. I always worry that she will get dizzy while shaking her head, but so far, she seems OK. The tongue thing is just kind of icky. It's like all of the sudden she has really discovered her tongue. She likes to grasp it with her fingers, and pull on it. She likes to stick it out and wave it around. I'm hoping that this, like many of her little quirks, will be a passing phase. It's just kind of gross, since there is no way I can keep her hands as clean as they should be. Of course, when I try to put myself in her shoes, I can imagine that it's kind of awesome to realize that you have a tongue. I mean really realize it. I certainly remember being little and doing this thing with my sister where we would lick our hands until our tongues got all dry, like totally dry. Then we would close our mouths, and it was the most bizarre sensation feeling that dry and rough thing in your mouth. Sort of like a kitty tongue. Yep, we were kind of weird. But really, what kid isn't?

Speaking of kitties, Roxanne is totally in love with Ben's kitty, Milo. He's generally a nice kitty, and he's very handsome. He's all black with a small white spot on his chest. He likes to come and hang out with us when we play, but he's older, like 12 or so, and so sometimes he is a little surly. Or a lot surly. Last week, Roxanne hammered him a few times with a wooden toy hammer (it goes with one of those little peg things so you can hammer the pegs into the wooden bench thing) and he scratched her. She was a little traumatized. But I can't really blame Milo. And she was on a hammering tear. She was hammering everything in the play room. After the incident with Milo, I tried to hide the hammer, but Ben found it today and gave Roxanne a couple of love taps on her head. He really was pretty gentle, but of course she reacted to me running over and snatching the hammer from Ben, and then they were both wailing. They made up, and Roxanne pushed Ben around a little on his fire engine riding toy. It's too light when he's not sitting on it and she tends to fall forward while trying to walk, but it's just right with Ben on it. There's a little snapshot of what my days are like. Well, that's leaving out Josh. He's usually asking me to read a book or tell him a story. But he's really a sweet kid, and I'm enjoying having a big guy to talk to. And over the weekend my bosses got a triple stroller for me to use. It's HUGE, but definitely a big help. We took a walk during the "witching hour" before lunch, and it made the day much much better. We all need fresh air during the day. And I can usually go for about half an hour to forty five minutes, which is usually about a mile and a half, before they get squirmy and I have to let them out of the stroller. But pushing a triple stroller is probably akin to pushing a VW beetle, but with less agility. And people were staring at me. But whatever. I need the exercise.

I still have to pinch myself sometimes, and try to remind myself of how much happier I am these days. And my wonderful sister gave me a wonderful gift of yoga classes! I start this Wednesday at 8:00. I'm really really excited. It will be the same studio where I took my pregnancy yoga, and I really like it there. Apparently it's a very small class, too, so I should get lots of individual attention. I hope to work on my back pain and carpal tunnel. It's going to be awesome. I can't thank my sister and her family enough for such a generous gift. And I got my haircut on Saturday! I really loved the stylist, Martha. She was great, and had curly hair, too, so she understood my hair really well. I like the cut a lot. She agreed that I should keep growing my hair out, so she gave me a cut that would grow out really well and help me keep a nice shape as it gets longer. She understood what I meant when I said curly hair tends to grow wider and not longer. It's a strange thing.

Happy voting to everyone tomorrow! I hope you all make it to the polls and don't have to wait for too long!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

25 and holding

I'm now officially 25 years old. I had a great birthday on Monday. Justin made some delicious shrimp stir fry and we had some yummy Whole Foods pumpkin pie. Justin gave me an absolutely lovely necklace. It's a silver "R" that is made by hand by a jewelry artist at a boutique in Decatur Square called Vivid. I absolutely love it. The older I get, the less exciting my birthdays get for me, but I have to admit that this one has been nice. And thank you to all the people who sent me cards! I love getting real mail. It's so exciting! My bosses gave me a gift certificate to a hair salon called Grow. I'm so excited! I haven't had a professional haircut in about three and a half years. Even though Justin did a great job in the interim. :)

I got some new jammies for Roxanne, since Gap suckered me with one of those coupons. You know, spend this much money, get this much money off... Tricky. But Roxanne needed pajamas. I got her three pairs and they came today. The jammies are so cute. But of course, we had to get them in size 18-24 month. She's a little chubs. Now I have to find her a winter coat. I'm thinking I'll probably get one in that size. I kept thinking I had some time before she needed one, but it's been so cold! We have to be at work at 8:00, so it's chilly when we get in the car.

Today Roxanne got to play inside the playhouse that Ben's parents got for us to play with in the backyard. She loves it. Her favorite part seems to be playing peekaboo through the windows in the cottage. I want to take some pictures, but I still can't find our camera. I'm starting to think it's really gone this time. Now I have to decide whether or not we can afford to replace it. With my luck, we'll find the camera a week after buying a new one. But I hate missing this stuff. I could keep using our film camera, but buying film, getting it developed, getting the CD of the photos so we have them in electronic format... Yikes.

Jeepers, this is a rambling and scatter-brained post. Can you tell I'm a little sleep deprived? I went to dinner tonight with some girlfriends, and I think I bowled them over with chattering. Adult interaction can be scarce these days and I was a little unstoppable. Especially after a glass of wine. But it was nice. I love my job these days, but sometimes I am desperate to talk about something other than dirty diapers and Cat in the Hat. Although I do love Cat in the Hat.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Back from the beach

Sigh. We're home from the beach. It was absolutely wonderful to get away for the weekend, but we are definitely a little sad to be home. It's hard to decide if it's easier to take longer vacations less often or more frequent but shorter vacations. Of course, at this point, we're doing short and less often vacations... But I'm not complaining. We had a great time. The weather on Friday (we got there lat on Thursday night) was a little rough. It was stormy and raining all day. We still enjoyed ourselves, taking things nice and easy. We had breakfast at my favorite restaurant, Dressners. Then we went to the pier in downtown St. Simons and tried to brave the weather to see the view. At that point, it was just sort of sprinkling, but it was very windy. Roxanne got a big kick out of the wind. She was waving her arms around and screaming and laughing. There was a pelican perched on the pier and we enjoyed getting as close to him as possible.

It didn't take long for the weather to overwhelm us, and we headed back to the condo. It was so nice to be staying in a place that is already baby-proofed! Roxanne could crawl around on the floor and stay out of trouble. Later, we went to dinner back in town at Barbara Jean's, and Roxanne ate her first "southern food." She especially liked Justin's mac and cheese. I gave her a dinner roll, and she ate some, but also spent a lot of time shredding it. She loves shredding things these days. Napkins, bread, etc. She also is a HUGE ham. She stares at everyone, and won't stop until they pay attention to her. At every meal we ate, she craned herself around in her high chair to stare at people and get their attention. Sadly, we get lots of "What a handsome boy!" I don't think she minds though. She just likes the attention.

So anyways, we spent most of the day yesterday on the beach. Justin and I were both surprised at how much Roxanne enjoyed herself. She loved digging around in the sand, although she tried to eat it. Actually, she did eat a lot of it. She kept picking up the shovels and buckets and licking them. Justin teamed up to build castles and tunnels. She also really liked the water. It was too chilly to swim, but we walked in the water, and Justin let her dip her hands in it. She really just loved every second of it. I got emotional while I sat in a beach chair and watched Justin and Roxanne playing. It was like a Hallmark commercial, only it was my family instead of actors... I just felt very very happy and fulfilled watching my beautiful family. And I took some photos with our film camera, but I'll have to get the pictures developed. I hope some of them come out. Either way, it was a nice break.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I was able to snag a few photos from my wonderful sister and my friend Sarah. Kendree sent me photos from Burt's pumpkin farm, and Sarah sent me a couple from the Little Five Points Parade, with Roxanne in costume. They are all on Flickr, but I added some of my favorites here, too. My sister is really getting to be quite the photographer. I'm so jealous.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lost Camera and Cruising

If anyone is paying attention, I haven't been uploading many pictures lately. Justin and I seem to have misplaced our camera. Well, I guess maybe I misplaced it. Usually when I do this, I find whatever I am missing in some pocket of my giant diaper bag that I didn't know existed. But I don't think that's the case this time. I just hope I find it before the beach trip. As it is, I don't have any pictures of Roxanne in her Halloween costume. We did have a great time at the Little Five Points Halloween parade. Roxanne looked adorable, and she definitely liked watching all the crazy costumes (and crazy crowd members). There was a little boy dressed as a peacock, and Roxanne could not take her eyes off of him. It was really packed, and there were about four rows of people along the parade route. I weaseled my way up to the front and sat on the ground with Roxanne so we could see more. It was perfect, but there were these two middle-aged women standing near us who were extremely drunk and obnoxious. They had big hair, and eighties outfits and they were drinking margaritas. They had several of them, and it was only four in the afternoon. They were yelling and hitting on people in the parade and all around them. I heard one of them lean over and tell a man near her, "I'm in rehab, I shouldn't be drinking." and then laugh uncontrollably. At one point she and her friend edged closer to us and she leaned down and asked me, "Is that a baby?" gesturing to Roxanne in my lap. After I said yes, she asked "Is that a wig?" pointing at the hat I made Roxanne. I told her it was a hat and did the best I could to look really mean and unfriendly in order to keep her from talking to me any further. Fortunately, a couple of minutes later, they crossed the road. Roxanne was handed a big Tootsie Roll by a guy from the Dad's Garage (a comedy place). She chewed it for about fifteen minutes with the wrapper on and didn't really look at the parade during that whole time. I know that's kind of gross, but sometimes, you just have to let these things go.

After the parade, we went to my Dad and Colleen's farm. My sister and brother-in-law and Ella and Chloe were there. Roxanne really gets a kick out of her cousins. And they are so sweet with her, especially Ella. Spending the night at the farm is really a nice break. Eating a big huge family dinner and a big huge family breakfast is fun. We're lucky we have so much family and have the chance to do it pretty often. We all went to Burt's Pumpkin Farm on Sunday morning, and even though Roxanne was a little fussy on and off due to an icky cold, she definitely loved the pumpkins. If you go to my sister's blog (link on the left) there is a photo of Roxanne standing on a pumpkin with a big grin. She really liked banging on them with her hands, and since she has finally started cruising a little bit, she was able to take some steps on the bigger pumpkins. We went on a hayride, too, and she really seemed to like it. She likes it when the wind blows in almost any situation. Sometimes I can calm her down in the car when she's fussy by opening the two back windows and creating a breeze across her. She waves her hands in it and giggles.

She still has a little bit of a cold, but she hasn't had any fever or anything. It started with a cough on Saturday and seemed to be the worst Sunday and yesterday. Poor thing hates when I get the saline for her nose. As soon as she sees the bottle she starts turning her head back and forth and puts her hands in front of her face. I don't exactly treasure the moments squirting stuff up her nose either, but it's so pitiful listening to her stuffy nose. Someone told me about their friends who had a new baby with a bad cold. Frustrated by the bulb syringe that you are supposed to use to suction out a baby's nasal passages, the dad apparently put his mouth over the baby's nose and sucked out all the contents. That is love. It is also disgusting. I apologize in advance if any of you are now feeling queasy. I am a little myself. Maybe I should erase that. Nah. I have plenty of polite and sappy content in my blog. You can forgive me that nastiness. And I bet at least one of you will retell that story to a friend. And then it will become an urban legend. Only I know it's true because my friend was best friends with the guy who did it. Seriously.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Insomnia Rambles

It's 1:05am and I'm watching old episodes of The Price is Right on the CBS website. Yet another one of those things that you don't read often in parenting books is mama insomnia. I finally read about it in a baby magazine (I don't remember which one, since there are like fifty of them that basically have the same five topics recycled in each issue) and realized that it's totally what I have. When you have a baby like Roxanne who is in the process of learning to sleep alone in her crib, she wakes up several times a night to nurse. Roxanne's pattern is almost ridiculously samey, which consists of her going to sleep around 8:30 after her Daddy reads to her and rocks her. Then she wakes up around 11:30, when I go in and nurse and rock her and put her back down. Then she usually wakes up again around 1:00 and I just end up bringing her back to bed. So the trick is, it is almost impossible for me to fall asleep until that 11:30 waking has passed. Like I try to fall asleep, but the whole time I'm just waiting for Roxanne to wake me up, so I can't really do it. Then after the 11:30 feeding I wait and watch the clock for the next one. It's poison! At least once I bring the baby back to the bed I pretty much sleep until the alarm goes off, since neither of us wake up for the night nursings when we are co-sleeping. I know some people are reading this and feeling no sympathy for me because I refuse to let Roxanne "cry it out." But I just can't. The good news is that it's now 1:12 and Roxanne still hasn't woken up once. So I think we are making progress! And best of all, Roxanne doesn't fuss when we put her in the crib. That's one of the big reasons that people don't let babies "cry it out." The idea is that making it a more gradual and gentle adjustment helps babies learn that nighttime is a nice and comfortable time, and the crib is a cozy place. Either way, I think every parent has to find their own way to deal with sleeping. There's no easy answer. And for now, I'm delirious and rambling.

One reason I am glad that we aren't making Roxanne cry it out is because of her superior will power. We had the day off today, and we went to see my Mom in Alpharetta. We got stuck in traffic on the way home, and Roxanne literally SCREAMED the whole way home. Roughly 55 minutes straight. I thought I was going to lose it. It was absolutely horrifying. I thought about pulling off the road to take her out of her seat and nurse her, but it didn't seem safe at all. When I finally decided we HAD to pull over, the exit we were at was for Northlake, and it apparently doesn't provide return access for 285. Go figure. But we did finally get home, and then something wonderful happened!

When we walked in the door, Roxanne was still a little fussy, but very sleepy. Then she spotted Katie. Katie is quickly becoming her little buddy. She started giggling at Katie, who was doing her usual big production that she puts on when someone comes home. I was saying "Hi, Katie, look Roxanne, it's Katie," etc. etc. Then Roxanne said, totally clear as a bell "Kay-teeee" while pointing at our stinky little beagle. Justin and I both totally freaked out. It was just absolutely mind-blowing. Of course, we couldn't get her to do it again, but still. I think I laughed for about five minutes straight. After that, Roxanne crawled around and giggled and yelled like a little monster for the next hour or so and was happy as a clam. Night and day.

I'm totally jealous of this lady's showcase showdown. A pilates machine, a trip to Monte Carlos, a Hybrid Ford Escape and some cash. I wish I could be on this show. Drew Carey makes a surprisingly adorable host. And these people get SO excited! Maybe I should find something more sedate while I'm trying to fall asleep. These games are just too suspenseful. The CBS website also has old episodes of Perry Mason, but I couldn't get any of them to play. Sigh. Aren't you all jealous of my super-glamorous late-night Friday? Tomorrow will be full of errands and the Little Five Points Halloween Festival. I'm going to make Roxanne wear her costume that I made. I think it turned out pretty cute, so I promise we'll take lots of pictures!

Monday, October 13, 2008


I'm very tired, but I feel compelled to post a blog entry. This weekend was really nice, but stressful in some ways, and busy. I'm going through changes at work. Maddie is leaving and there is a new child who I met tonight who will be coming for this week as a trial run. I think it will work out, but I'm just nervous because he's older. He's around 2.5 years old. And I will also have to start getting to work at 8:00, so I'll have 10 hour days, but only Monday through Thursday. He won't be coming on Fridays. So we'll see how it goes. I just like when things are predictable and organized. I know change can end up for the best, but I'm just a little nervous. I was thinking about it all weekend.

On Saturday morning I went to the Atlanta Parent Block Party at the Mercer campus with some friends and their daughter, who is about 17 months old. It was really fun, but a little overwhelming. Roxanne had a good time with the petting zoo, especially the baby piglets. Surprisingly, the petting zoo people were letting everyone pick them up and hold them. It was kind of horrifying because they were screaming so much, but if you snuggled them close on your chest, they were very peaceful. So with Roxanne on my hip, I picked one up on the other side and snuggled it up under my chin where it was really close to her. It was sort of snuffling and squeaking, and Roxanne was mesmerized. She was giggling at it and doing those full body jigs that mean she is excited. Adorable. She also got an orange balloon from the Publix stand, and loved it dearly until she let it go (it was a malfunction with the bow I tied to her stroller). I apologize to the environment at large for letting a balloon go and offer my condolences in advance if any animals were harmed by it.

After that, we went home and had a nap (both of us) and then went to an engagement party for Megan and Zak. It was all the way in Canton, which took about an hour to get to, but it was a really lovely house. It was pretty far in the country and surrounded by horses. It felt like a little oasis. I've known Megan and Zak since we were all in middle school. It's nice to see them together and happy! And Roxanne came with us and hammed it up. Since the party started at 7:00 and we ended up staying until a little after 10:00, I had to take her somewhere dark and private in the front yard around 8:30 and nurse and rock her. It was kind of strange and awkward, but effective. She slept in the baby sling until we left and then slept in the car on the way home. Phew!

Sunday we went to brunch with my grandparents at Agnes and Muriel's. That place is sooooo good, but definitely broke apart my Weight Watchers. Oh well. For the record (and anyone who is interested) I have lost about 7 pounds since starting about four weeks ago, but I bought a pair of jeans in a smaller size than I've worn in a LONG time. So I think I'm changing shape a little as well as slowly losing pounds. But back to Sunday. After brunch we went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to see the Scarecrows. My grandparents ended up getting us a membership for my birthday present, and I am absolutely thrilled. It really is a nice place to go, and it somehow feels like you are not even in the city when you go there. Plus, I figure it will be great next summer when Roxanne is old enough to run around in the fountain and other kid stuff. They are also holding some Christmas events, too. So now we are Zoo members and Garden members. We are moving on up.

OK, now I'm sincerely exhausted. I'm going to watch my requisite Murder, She Wrote episode on Netflix and go to sleep. I can't wait until later this week when I get to watch the Project Runway finale in five parts on YouTube. I wonder how my perception of the designers would change if I saw their clothes on a screen that is bigger than a Pop Tart. Sigh.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ok, bear with me

I think I figured out how to embed video from Flickr onto my blog... So I'm going to try and upload this little video of Roxanne "reading" and spinning around in circles. There are more videos on Flickr, but I just thought it would be fun to put one on the blog!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Long long long week

I don't know what is going on, but this week has been draaaaaggggging. It hasn't been bad, just long. So I'm glad tomorrow is Friday. We have a busy weekend planned, but I promise to take lots of photos. Should be some good photo opportunities... And I won't tell you all about everything until after we've done it, just to avoid repeating myself. The month of October is going to be busy from start to finish. And we're going to the beach! October 24 through the 26. My birthday is the 27th, so it's a nice present. I'm going to be a quarter of a century old. Yikes.

Oh, and as a side note, last weekend I went to the Sunday in the Park Festival at Oakland Cemetery with Roxanne and my friend Ariel. It was a lovely day (although a little too hot for me) and we had a great time walking around. The photos of the cemetery are on Flickr, and a friend sent me a link to the Access Atlanta website, where apparently we made it into the photo album for the event. There are only a few photos, but if you click here and go to the site, we're in the third photo in the series. I know it's not terribly exciting, but I feel sort of famous. Also, there are photos on Flickr from Ben's first birthday party. There was a jumpy castle, and Roxanne LOVED it.

Anyways, I decided I wanted to mention a few things about Roxanne and her newfound toddler ways. There are a few things that she has started doing that really seem so old to me. Here are a few:

*When nursing, Roxanne likes to jam her finger in my lip and try to pull my teeth out. Even when I purse my lips together as tightly as possible, she still manages to get her little sausage finger in there and scratch my gums. Strange as it may sound, it's extremely painful. But it shows the dexterity she has in her fingers. She's even capable of picking up tiny crumbs that fall from her pants to the floor after lunchtime and cramming them into her mouth before I have a chance to get them. Gross. But impressive.
*She doesn't fall as often anymore. She still hits her head a fair amount, but she's really getting good at deflecting the occasional body slam from playmates. Sometimes during the day Ben likes to slide down into her and put his head in her lap. She used to just fall right down, but now she wobbles a little and then braces herself, squinting her eyes a little like she is expecting a blow. Then she lowers her head and puts her forehead on his forehead and they both laugh hysterically. It's insanely cute.
*She wants to be in the mix. If I set her down in the playroom at work and then walk to the kitchen, she crawls in after me. Or if I put the baby gate up to keep her in there, I can hear her banging on the bars like a jail bird. When I sit on the couch in the play room while the babies play, she comes over periodically and pulls up on the cushion and looks at me over the edge. She still is only pulling up to her knees most of the time, although she has pulled to standing a few times. We're working on walking, but I think she's so heavy that it's tough. She takes a few steps while I hold her arms, but they are really wobbly and she likes to slip in a few hip sways and bounces, like she's just "gotta dance."
*She "reads" a lot. She loves to play with books. And just this week, she'll pick one up and look down at it and just babble away. Justin and I consider it "reading," since it really does seem like that is what she is mimicking. She's making all kinds of new sounds now, and she sounds like she is forming complete sentences, albeit in some kind of weird alien baby tongue. I'm getting pretty good at duplicating though, so ask me in person and I'll try to recreate a little for you.
*On that same note, she often starts babbling when she first wakes up. She usually has crazy hair, since she seems to sweat on her head any time she sleeps, and there's something incredibly comical about watching her open her eyes with that startled baby face babies make when they first wake up combined with Don King hair and this stream of babble that sounds indignant and earnest.

Alright. Enough for now. I'm sure you guys aren't quite as excited about these minute details as me, but like my sister says, it's important to document.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Roxanne has a new second cousin!

My aunt and uncle had their baby on Friday. Patrick "Tucker" Toms is absolutely handsome, and our family is just floored to finally have a boy join the ranks! Of course when we went for a visit on Saturday morning, Justin and I left the camera in the car, but I promise he's adorable. And he's big! He was 8 pounds 1 ounce and 20.5 inches long. His sisters are apparently very excited that they have a baby to take care of. He's very quiet and peaceful. Sigh. I remember when Roxanne was like that.

As I speak, she is pouring juice on her high chair tray, screaming her head off, and smeared in broccoli pieces (wearing no top of course). She's had a tough day. She got hit in the face during a baby altercation (she was an innocent bystander, although that's not normally the case) and she's got some pretty mean looking red bumps on her little cheek and left eye.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A few of my favorite things

I just have to list some of my favorite things about Roxanne right now. As cheesy as it sounds, she's changing every day, and I don't want to lose track of any of it. So here goes. And I'm just warning you, some of this will probably be offensively sentimental.

*Her weird little Woody Woodpecker giggle. It's recently become a very common sound that she makes, and it's just one of those sounds that makes me feel warm and fuzzy. She used to make it at random times, especially when she was concentrating really hard on something, but now she does it as laughter. Serious laughter.
*Her squawks. She does these throughout the day. They make me think of that Whitman poem, when he talks about sounding his "barbaric yawp" off the rooftops. Roxanne has a lovely "barbaric yawp." In fact, she sort of embodies "Song of Myself." She feels such fierce and undiluted happiness when she's playing. If you really think about how unfettered her little baby mind is, it could move you to tears to watch her chew on a book.
*Her round little tummy. It's really getting to be a Buddha belly, and it's delicious to watch her pat it. I love to blow on it while I change her and see her tense up and laugh. She's also ticklish on her neck. That's a fun spot to snuffle in and she just howls with glee. Adorable.
*Her newfound skills in mobility. She is such a good and sturdy little thing. Sometimes during the day she sees Ben coming towards her with a toy, and she squints her eyes closed and braces herself. So even if he knocks her over she just readjusts and keeps busy. But now she can get back up and follow him if he has something she is interested in. She might end up a bully if we're not careful.
*Her face when I brush her hair in the glider during our nighttime routine. I usually do it when I'm singing to her, and she gets so still and wide-eyed, looking up at me with this funny face, trying to stay awake but so relaxed and sleepy. After a minute or two, she reaches up for the brush and tries to get it into her mouth, but while I'm still able to brush her hair, it's such a nice serene moment. Her hair is very very blond, almost gold, and it gets shiny and silky when you brush it.
*Her snorting. She scrunches her face up and does this airy snorty laugh when she's really excited. It usually also includes Tigger-like bouncing. Sometimes hand and arm waving, too. It's a full-body reaction.
*The way she vocalizes when she's eating something really yummy. Sometimes I give her frozen whole wheat mini bagels to chew on, and she absolutely loves it. While she gnaws on it, she goes "Mmmmaaaammmaaaammmmm aaaaammmmmm..." You get the idea.

OK, that's enough for now. Too much more and I'll start getting choked up. But I needed to get some of that out of my system.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Screaming Monster Baby

Roxanne is going through a difficult few days. In my perception, babies seem to go through little phases of baby puberty where they are just totally fussy and unhappy. The worst part of all for Roxanne is the high chair. I am really getting frustrated with that. She doesn't seem to be able to stay in the high chair long enough to eat a full meal before she's having a meltdown and arching her back and banging her head on the back of her seat. During lunch while I'm at work, I just basically let her have her tantrums. Usually by the end of the meal, she's had at least three or four. I typically give her something to try and curb it, like a sippy cup, which amuses her for a few minutes as she sucks water out and then spits it out (loudly), or a baby spoon, which she chews on furiously. Both of these usually get thrown on the floor several times over and these days Roxanne says "uh-oh" as they go overboard.

I'm thinking that one of the drawbacks of us sort of skipping over baby food is that I'm not sure she's really getting a lot of food at mealtimes. Sometimes I think she is fussing because she's hungry and can't get full fast enough. Or she's just stubborn. Or both. On Sunday night I made a big batch of mashed potatoes just for Roxanne, and we basically stripped her down and plopped a heap of them on her tray. I want her to get some practice with feeding herself with a spoon, and the potatoes are perfect. She's pretty good so far, but she definitely makes a BIG mess.

Spending all of my time with Roxanne is really wonderful, but it does allow me to see how frustrating she can be from time to time. Which obviously is normal. But it's funny how the rose-colored glasses come off fairly quickly once you get to spend more than three waking hours a day with your baby. It's so much more than that though. Even when I'm frustrated with her, I still have so much gratitude that I'm getting to watch her throw a fit. Isn't that the cheesiest and most cliche thing you've ever heard? Sue me.

I've also been able to exercise a lot more lately, taking Ben and Roxanne on 30-45 minute walks at least four days a week. I also started Weight Watchers on Monday, which is not super fun, but seems to be working. I definitely feel better already. I'm eating more vegetables than I ever have before. And I actually like them! Just in time, too, since Roxanne is crawling more and more and I want to keep up with her. She also pulled to standing on Ben's new fire truck on Monday and even took a couple of shaky steps as she pushed it along the floor. She's going to be leaving for college before I know it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


We're sick. The whole house. We're not dying or anything, but we've all got the sniffles and scratchy throats and body aches and general ickyness. Hopefully it will wrap up soon. I'm sure it will. Even though it stinks to get sick, I'm definitely relieved to report that this is the first time since I started my new job that we've been sick. Before, Roxanne pretty much had a permanent runny nose and we were all getting sick every week or two. Just another reason that I love my new job.

Roxanne has been extra fussy lately, but only because of her little runny nose. And she still goes through lots of parts of the day where she is happy and happier and bouces all over the place. She crawled a few more times today, but only a few steps at a time. She was going for her Rhino, which is the toy we chose to keep in her crib. But don't worry, we put it up against her leg in the crib so that she feels a warm body near her, and we're very careful to keep it away from her face. It was a recommendation in the sleep book I got. I was just reading about how babies at her age start latching onto specific toys and lovies, and Roxanne is definitely doing that these days. Specifically, she loves the rhino (it's a Sandra Boynton rhino, and it's really soft and snuggly. She is obssessed with her orange and yellow squeaky starfish bath toy. She carries it around after her bath and we can't get it from her until she falls asleep. I tried to take it from her the other night by handing her a stuffed animal, and instead she ended up keeping both. She's really getting into her demanding phase, where she pitches a fit when she can't get something, but only when she's really sleepy. Otherwise she just sort of growls. She loves plastic water bottles more than anything else. That's usually what sets her off. She can't stand it when we have a water bottle and don't give it to her. Who needs toys?

Friday, September 19, 2008

9 Month Doctor Visit

Today is Roxanne's 9 month birthday. She went to the pediatrician with Justin for her check up. Everything went well, and she only had 2 shots and a toe poke (they were checking some blood levels I think). They gave her the first of her flu shots, and we have to go back in a month for the second one. I need to get Justin and I a flu shot. Ick. Anyways, here's her new stats:

*Height: 29 and 3/4 inches, 95%
*Weight: 21 pounds 9 ounces, 90%
*Head Circumference: 17 and 1/4 inches, 50%

In reading the little handout they give us at each of her appointments, she's a little behind in some areas. Obviously, she's only sort of crawling, although today she was pushing herself backwards all over Ben's room. As you can see above, she's really good at getting into the crawling position. It also says she should be able to pull up to standing, and Roxanne only pulls up to her knees. And she definitely can't cruise on furniture. If I pull her to standing and let her hold herself up on a piece of furniture, she's fine and loves to bang on the surface of the object she's leaning on, but she doesn't take steps yet. Of course, I'm not worried at all, especially since Roxanne only turned 9 months old today. And because she's obviously a healthy and happy little baby, and the timelines just don't mean that much to me. But I am trying to make more of an effort to play with her in ways that might help her development, and instead of handing her toys, I try to let her go get them herself. She might fuss a little, but she's good at ending up with the prize. And she's definitely on par with talking. I was just telling Justin that it's funny to listen to her on the baby monitor these days, because often, she wakes up and chats in her sleep, rather than her usual crying. It sounds so funny. She says "mama," "dada" and "hi" but not always in a meaningful way. Sometimes it's just chatting. Her favorite thing to do is blow rasberries. She does this ALL THE TIME. She likes to wave to people, and she's very very friendly. She's really a fun baby to be around. And I'm only a little biased.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Look Out World...

Roxanne took her first real crawling "steps" today! She took about two or three little crawling steps towards me today right after lunch. She was concentrating so hard, and when she finally gave up and slid onto her belly, I clapped and cheered, and sat her back on her bottom. She did it again, and I cheered again when she gave up. So then she started crawling for one step, then sitting back up onto her booty (another new skill she learned today, going from flat on her belly to her booty) and clapping. She did that a few times, too. Sort of defeated the purpose, but that's OK. It was cute. I think maybe she was just waiting for today, since it's her Nana's birthday today, so now I will always be able to remember what day she crawled for the first time. Also, her nine month birthday is Friday, so she probably wanted to make sure she started crawling at eight months instead of nine.

Sadly, when I got home, I tried to get Roxanne to show her Daddy her new skills, but she pretty much just kept flopping onto her tummy. We think maybe it's easier for her to crawl at Ben's house because they have this rough rug that she plays on, and maybe the traction helped her. Or she's just exhausted from all of her efforts today. She had watermelon for breakfast, and it was her first time trying it, so maybe it gave her extra strength. Actually, she had broccoli for lunch, and that was her first time with that, too. Either way, we are proud parents tonight.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rough Day

Today sucked. It just did. We had such a lovely weekend, but Roxanne kept me up most of the night screaming. In the process of trying to figure out what was wrong with her, I realized that she is cutting four teeth at once. Poor little thing. Soon she'll have eight teeth! So anyways, I hoped that since I was tired, the day would be sort of laid back, but it was not to be. There were worker's tearing up the old driveway at Ben's house, and it was a very loud process. Nobody really napped (well, they did a little, but not at the right times and not for long enough). My carefully crafted schedule went out the window. Consequently, everyone was fussy for most of the day. And at one point, I caught Roxanne with a dead cockroach in her hand, and she was starting to shove it in her mouth when I caught it and had a total freakout. I seriously considered washing her mouth and hand in the faucet and calling the Pediatrician immediately. But then I realized that I read over and over again about how babies eat gross things off the floor and it's not really that big of a deal. Easier said than done. I still get shivers thinking about that disgusting thing in my little baby's hand. I guess it would have had some protein...

In other news, Roxanne is getting really big. Justin and I had picked out some super cute fall clothes for Roxanne in the 12-18 month size, but she's already fitting into them now. I'm a little worried that we will end up having to get new clothes this winter. I've been able to follow my plan of buying some basics at Baby Gap and then supplementing with consignment sale pieces. I've had great luck at the sales this season, although every time I go I swear to Justin that I'm only going to look for a baby gate. Funny thing is, I have yet to find a baby gate, but I've gotten lots of cute clothes. So it goes. I went to one on Saturday morning (Roxanne and I go really early, like 8:30 so that Justin has the house to himself and can sleep in peace for a little while) and bought somewhere around 15 pieces for $8.25. Pretty awesome. My favorite are these Baby Gap floral jammies. If you can tell, they are very snug. Evidently jammies are supposed to be very snug for safety reasons, but these are 12-18 months, and they are really almost too small. Roxanne's arms look like little sausages.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Small World, Fate, etc. etc.

So my wonderful Step-dad, Mike, has been doing a lot of family tree-ing in the last few months. He's been finding all kinds of super cool connections and tracing both my mom's family and his family back really really far. This week, my mom e-mailed to tell me that he had discovered a Roxanna E. Conner, who was the older sister (by 3 years) of my maternal Grandma's great-grandfather (Lemuel Pinkney Conner). My mom nudged him to do a little more research on Roxanna, and it turns out that she was in fact Roxanna Elizabeth! She was the oldest of nine children, and she actually had eight children herself. Funny thing, she had seven girls and one boy. Further evidence that my family has to really stick it out to get a boy.

My mom pointed out that even through some ridicule, we stuck it out and named the baby formerly known as Hosey Roxanne Elizabeth, and we ended up one letter shy of a family name! Spooky. Technically, I chose Elizabeth as her middle name to honor my Dad's mom (we called her Gramma Zaic) who passed away while I was pregnant. But I'm even happier to realize that we (accidentally, or serendipitously) honored my Mom's side of the family, too! Now I can tell all those jerks who ask me if I named Roxanne for that song by the Police that her name is a family name. How nice!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

She likes feet...

Roxanne seems to love feet and toes. She tries to get mine during the day when I'm sitting on the couch and she's playing on the floor. I guess that's another great reason for me to never ever wear flip flops again. I know that they are gross, but sometimes I just put them on in the morning because they are easy. Of course, Roxanne also tries to eat Ben's feet. I let Ben lay on the couch next to me in a Boppy and feed himself his bottles. Usually Roxanne is content to sit on the floor and play by herself during all of this, but sometimes she gets fussy and wants to be held. When this happen, she sits on my lap and tries to grab Ben's bottle. Then I move her backwards a little, and she tries to eat Ben's feet. Personally, I can't see the connection between the two items, but I guess they are equally fun for her. Of course it makes me really nervous, because when she play-bites me, it hurts. She bit my knee-cap yesterday and it really felt like a cat bite. Actually, more like a bunny bite. Regardless, it hurt. So I'm nervous that she will hurt Ben, but he of course thinks it's really funny when Roxanne tries to eat his feet.

Babies are so awesome.