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.