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!