Friday, April 27, 2007

This Kid Was Made For Walking

My sister is coming to visit next week for a few days with her son, Pequita's only cousin. I can't wait! I was off from work anyway, since the daycare provider has to go out of town for a couple days, so I get company of my fabulous sister, and another chance to hang out with my little nephew, who is just over a year old.

When they drive through, they are bringing with them some gifties from my parents. A couple of wood baby gates that we'll mount at the top & bottom of the stairs in preparation for Pequita achieving mobility. I have looked everywhere around us and can't find gates as nice as my parents have. Since the stairs in our 150 year old house are steep & narrow, I imagine we'll have the gates up for a few years and they might as well be attractive. They are also sending along a Kelty Elite child's backpack for carrying Pequita in, in royal blue, which is a great color. I introduced my dad to several months ago, and he's been a convert ever since, giving and getting free stuff with a great deal of joy. He acquired this kid carrier from another set of grandparents whose grandkkids don't need it - they had found it in the local dump. The carrier is in perfect shape, and has a backpack attached for carrying gear, as well as a rain hood. Since Pequita's chubby...errr...sturdy little thighs are now squeezing a bit in the Bjorn carrier, Homestead Mama is thrilled to have another mode of transport for her. With a rain hood, no less. Yippee!

Hottie Friend is on her way over to fetch the baby, and they will spend the next few hours in her new house playing and hopefully dozing off. This will allow Homestead Mama and I to go get a glass of wine in our downtown area, then go see the new movie by the makers of "Shaun of the Dead". We really loved that movie, and even with the stupid title "Hot Fuzz", we are hoping that this next movie by the same duo will be as funny. I must express how pleased I am with the whole concept of babysitters. It is lovely to miss someone every now and again - even the baby. Makes the heart grow fonder, and all that jazz.

Thich Nhat Hanh meditation

I had a great 32 week OB checkup yesterday. Apparently, the concensus is that I am glowing and pregnancy suits me. This deflected my irritation over having gained 3.5 pounds in two weeks. (Damn Klondike ice cream bars.) Back to a low sugar diet for the duration. No sign of gestational diabetes, BP is normal-to-low, fetus is head down and facing the best way for no back labor (can't remember the name of the position). The doc gave me advice on tandem nursing (nursing two kids concurrently) which I hope to be able to do to some degree once Homestead Mama returns to work. It is starting to feel like we are nearing the end, which is exciting. Then the doc pointed out that the fetus will be doubling in size in the next 7 weeks or so. I looked down at my distended abdomen - god knows where it will fit. My ribs are already bowing out with the size of my ute (which explains the bruised feeling) and my belly button looks dangerously close to actually popping out. Clearly, I need to take some more belly pics to illustrate my concerns - I'll try to get those up soon. To cheer myself up, and to take advantage of a sunny afternoon out of my office, i popped in to the baby consignment store to check on what had come in since I was last there. I scored with a set of 5 cloth AIO diapers that were brand new and less than half the original cost. I also found a couple things Pequita can use, like non-dorky sun hats and a nice pair of blue cotton pants, and a little teeny bathing suit. Most are very ugly or plastered with ruffles, bows, sparkles or are way too sexy for a baby - what baby needs a bloomin' bikini? Not my kid. The suit I bought (for $2) is a white maillot with diagonal rainbow stripes. Modest, with just the right touch of gay. She'll be a stand out on the beach this summer, which is good since I'm starting to feel that I might not be at my loveliest presentation in a swim suit and I'll need the distraction.

Today, I'm having one of those days where I should have stayed in bed. My hormones are flowing freely, which is contraindicated for my busy office. A friend just emailed me asking to be reminded of a meditation from Thich Nhat Hanh (Google him if you aren't familiar!) and just writing it out and thinking about it for a couple minutes helped center me. Phew. Now, I share it with you. For those of you who already meditate, it is a great one to use. For those of you who believe that you can't/ won't/ have trouble meditating, it is all written out, you just have to recite it mentally while you breathe slowly in and out. How hard can that be? It is a really easy way to get calm, centered, and get started with mindful breathing. Have a go! (Feel free to trade out words with ones that address your specific anxiety or stress. )

Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.
Breathing in, my in-breath has become deep. Breathing out, my out-breath has become slow.
Breathing in, I feel calm. Breathing out, I feel at ease.
Breathing in, I smile a half smile. Breathing out, I release my worries.
Breathing in, I dwell deeply in the present moment. Breathing out, I know this is a wonderful moment.
Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain. Breathing out, I feel solid.
Breathing in, I see myself as still water. Breathing out, I reflect things as they are.

On this peaceful note, I set up a massage appointment for myself next Friday, and I intend to go at least twice a month until I deliver. I could use the help with the mind/ body connection.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I am not regretting selecting Monita/Monito for the fetus's nickname.  It means Little Monkey, and it got the monikier after the amnio ultrasound when it was so active and busy flipping around that it took 2 techs to get all the measurements they needed.  Lately, as s/he gets bigger, it is in almost constant motion.  I am starting to startle people sitting next to me in meetings with the antics of my belly - my shirt flutters, you can see a foot go by in a roundhouse kick; I swear I felt toes wiggling into my ribs the other day.  My sister said that when this was happening to her, people would see the movement and ask, "Is that the BABY?"  Talk about stupid questions that beg for stupid answers, like  "Uh, no, I had chile for lunch," or "No, the baby is over here (point to other part of belly) sleeping.  You are seeing the tapeworm that I can't shake."  Anyway, I frequently have my hand on my belly in that annoying pregnant way, not to emphasize the belly but to apply much needed counter pressure.  I'm not sure how much force my abdomen and the uterus can take, but Monita/o can really dish it out!
Monita woke me up last night at about 4:30 with hiccups for the first time.  While the OB has heard them on the doppler checks, I've never felt them.  At first I thought that it was just steady hand flapping or something, but quickly realized that was very unlikely - the pace was perfectly even and in the same place.  (The perfect cadence was a dead giveaway that it wasn't kicking or waving.  I have no rhythm, and don't expect anything that I spawn to have any either.  I go to dance clubs (ok, *went* to dance clubs when I was younger) with friends who already liked me despite my lack of grace.  Homestead Mama, on the other hand, would dance like a whirling (rhythmic) dervish, and could make friends and impress people on the dance floor.  Here's hoping the donor genetics pull through a bit w/ Monito, poor thing.)  The doc says hiccups are good, as it is strengthening and maturing the lungs.  I remember when Homestead Mama was at the end of her pregnancy.  When we were asleep, she'd be on her side of the bed, I'd be on mine and her belly would take over the middle & end up pressed up against me.  Pequita regularly woke me up hiccupping through H-Mama's abdomen, the little devil. 
I have been seeing my acupuncturist to treat a pinched nerve in my neck and trying to alleviate some of the tendonitis/ carpel tunnel I'm suffering from in my right hand, both issues stemming from the hormones, I reckon.  She loanded me the pregnancy pillow system she has for making women like me comfy on the table for use at home for the next 7 weeks or so.  This is a HUGE mitzvah, as my sleep has been increasingly interrupted as I try to get comfortable.  I can only last an hour or so in any position before my skeleton feels like it is collapsing upon itself and I have to shift.  I get in 4+ hours in one place with this pillow system, which is really helping me function during the day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Spring Comes to Upstate New York

First of all, Pequita busted out of her swaddle last night and flipped over onto her belly all by herself for the first time. A little unsettling - it was about 1:30 am and I happened to be up and on an ice cream run, and Homestead Mama woke from her light, hypervigilant sleep at the slight murmur Pequita uttered as she turned over. Time to stop swaddling, you ask? Lordy no! We don't get nearly the good sleeps when she is free to thrash around. Instead, I'll be buying some yardage of cotton gauze and making a couple swaddles that are bigger = harder to get out of (and cooler for the summer than flannel). Homestead Mama and I were of equal parts proud of her and horrified at the thought of her growing up.

Secondly, we are still a little concerned about her eyes - she is 6.5 months (today!) and they should have straightened out by now, but still are a little bit crossed. This isn't entirely uncommon, but we'll ask the doc when we see him at the end of May. (Unless we miss the appointment because I'm in labor. Hey, a girl can dream.) Pequita's eyes are slightly more worrisome than they might otherwise be because Homestead Mama's sister has a lazy eye. I have no idea if it is an inherited trait. I guess we'll see. Having had over 20 surgeries myself (mostly orthopedic), it is old hat for me to go under the knife. It is another thing entirely to imagine handing my kid over to a surgeon. Hear that? It is the sound of me getting WAY ahead of the situation. Breathe...

And now some photo love. It was warm enough on Sunday to let her fall asleep naked in the waning afternoon sun. We took almost 20 pictures of this from different angles. We are, as always, smitten. And thank goodness for digital cameras and the ability to delete.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What price drive-ability?

$113, actually. My drive shaft bearings had gone bad, which caused the smoking & grinding. My beloved Volvo is saved from the knackers again.

One reason she is my beloved is that she actually has RUBBER BUMPERS. This means if I hit something gently, or someone bumps into me, there is bouncing, not the expensive crushing of plastic. This is a pet peeve of mine, that all new cars have nothing but plastic molded frames that cost a ton to replace - there is no repairing.

Anyway, all's well that end's well. Now we just have to hope that we have no more towing incidents until our AAA renews - this was our last free tow.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Car Update

Apparently my drive shaft was seizing up, whatever that means. They were happy I had it towed in instead of trying to drive it in. I told them that the grinding sound aside, I cannot abide foul smells these days, and the burning rubber is now topping my list of smells I cannot tolerate while pregnant. It has been haunting me all day. Anyone want to guess how much this will cost? Safe to say probably either $30 like the last tow emergency or $400 like everything else. Beloved car aside, I am looking forward to having a newer car in a couple years.

Car seats

My 1991 Volvo wagon, my beloved car, started having trouble on my way to work this morning, complete with burning rubber smell and awful sounds. I pulled over, called Homestead Mama who was only a couple miles on her way to work, and called for a tow. She stopped by the house to pick up breakfast for us since we had a little wait for the roadside service folks to arrive, and came and waited with me. The tow guy hauled away my car on the flatbed truck (since the wheels turning made the smoke happen) and she dropped me off at work. Hottie Friend agreed to come fetch me after work and pick up Pequita from daycare - this means we needed to finally get the extra car seat I bought installed in her car.

I get all my carseat installation help from the local University police, since they are close by, very accomodating to our schedules, and completely adorable. It is a pair of older gentlemen, both of whom had to sit through 40 hours of training to be licensed to install infant seats. One of them became a great-grandfather 3 weeks ago, the other is in his 60s. In their nice business suits, they crawl around in the backseats of our cars (dog hair and all) leaning all their weight on the carseats to affix them firmly in place, all the while keeping up a running commentary on the safety features. It is good that we did this today - they told me that Pequita is within a pound or two of needing to upgrade to a convertible or toddler seat - Little Miss 90th percentile! I had no idea.

So now Hottie Friend is having visions of springing Pequita from daycare early with some regularity to go down to the lakefront for stroller walks while Homestead Mama and I are at work. This is GREAT for us all, since Pequita loves to do this, and the less time in daycare the better. While I hope Hottie Friend gets a high paying job very soon after graduating in a few weeks, if she doesn't, she might have a little free time to play with the baby and now she can do so independently of us. Pequita is hitting the beginning of her stranger anxiety stage, so the more exposure to non-mom people the better. Boston Grandma & Grandpa stayed with us over the weekend, and were a bit of a shock to her - it took her a full day to warm up to my mom, and 2 days to smile at my dad.

We keep a sunhat for her in diaper bag now, after our unprepared first foray into the spring outdoors on Friday, when everyone got a little pink. She looks like a little dork in it, but all the experts say that she has to be kept from sun exposure for 2 years. Too bad berets don't offer enough sun protection - she looks very cute in those.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sunday's Nor'Easter chez nous

Sixteen inches of heavy, wet snow fell this past Saturday & Sunday. My belly is too big to shovel, so poor Homestead Mama had to deal with it all, despite being on antibiotics for her sinus infection. It was lovely, though.

This is our front entry. The branches are usually at least 8 feet off the ground, but the weight of the snow has really weighted them down.

Pequita on parade

Boston Grandma sent Pequita a postcard which she loved to pieces (literally, which we were sweeping out of her mouth for quite a while).

Grandma is on a South-to-North driving trip with Boston Grandpa along the bike route of the Underground Railroad. Cycling would be more fun, but with her recent knee replacement, the comfort of a Lexus seemed a better idea.

Red Tailed Hawk

I woke up slowly on Monday morning (is there any other way?) and when I opened my eyes fully discovered that we had a red tailed hawk sitting on the tree branch right outside my window, about 20 feet away. I whacked Homestead Mama awake quickly and was granted amnesty from a return thumping as she agreed that I had good reason. The hawk was preening while keeping an eye open for breakfast. I have never seen one so large and so close up - we could see the red speckles on its belly, the talons gripping the perch, and its hungry ever-scanning eyes. After 7 minutes of watching it, something moved in the garden and it took off towards the ground. When we were dressing 15 minutes later, we saw it in our meadow further away from the house. It was perched on a mound of mulch happily consuming whatever it had caught. We continued to marvel at the glory of it all until we realiezed we should be making sure all our cats were inside and accounted for - it was a big hawk! With the whole pack intact, we went about our day. I love living in a rural area. (Picture below is not mine. I may have been awake, but I wasn't funtioning this highly.)

Saturday whirlwind, Sunday respite

We had a long and mostly lovely weekend. Homestead Mama was at the doc's by 8 am to get antibiotics for the sinus infection she has been developing (that part is not so lovely). The Saturday doctor's office rush, along with the pharmacy lines, kept her out until 10:30 or so. We were to help out Hottie Friend at 11:30, and almost made it on time. Hottie Friend is moving from an apartment into a house of her own - she graduates with her MSW in a few weeks and will be making a good living wage, so it was time to move up. Along with the annual trailer-loads of compost, manure and mulch that we use the trailer for, it is great for moving washer/dryers, couches, etc. And when I say 'we' were going to help Hottie Friend, I mean Homestead Mama & her truck and trailer. I was on baby duty, since I'm not really lifting anything heavier than Pequita these days. Homestead Mama came home from her medical circuit, gulped down her first Amoxicillin, and took off. Pequita was taking her mid-morning nap - usually an hour if we're lucky. I dozed off next to her and awoke to find that she'd (we'd) been sleeping for 3 hours! Blessed be. We jetted off to the new house, sadly sans camera, and offered moral support and food prep for the folks doing actual work.

While loading up the second trailer-full at the apartment, Homestead Mama's truck died. With the trailer loaded and ready to go. With a Nor'easter scheduled to begin any minute. The skies were darkening, the wind was picking up, and there sat Hottie Friend's worldly goods & expensive electronics in her driveway, stuck. We decided to break for Chinese food until another truck with a hitch could arrive. Luckily, in our crowd, there is no shortage of trucks with hitches, so they managed to get it all moved in before the storm hit. Pequita was beginning to get a little fussy as it approached her bedtime, but was so interested in all the activity, and all the happy women who were tending to her, that she held on admirably well.

Homestead Mama and I had been invited to a joint birthday party on Saturday night for our neighbor, turning 50, and her good friend who was turning 80, held in a local vineyard tasting-room. As it was approaching 8 pm at this point, we were already 2 hours late and dressed for moving, not a dinner party. I decided my overalls were festive enough, H-Mama borrowed a clean shirt from Hottie Friend (who, much to her credit, could lay her hands on it quickly despite the boxes & mayhem), and of course, Pequita was dressed for her public in a terribly cute outfit. We showed up to the party just as dessert was being served, had a little bit to eat and mingled with some really nice people. Pequita was the belle of the ball. Having gotten a second wind she was tired but in a cute little smiley stupor, and was happy as a clam being held by the birthday women and myriad other folks who wanted to bask in her presence. She got to dance to motown, ogle a life-size golden mermaid statue suspended from the ceiling (clearly the highlight of her night, since the mermaid was at least a D-cup and had carefully carved nipples Pequita could easily make out from 6 feet below) and chew on the necklaces of no fewer than 6 women who were thrilled to be drooled on. Homestead Mama and I got a nice rest, some yummy cake and got to enjoy seeing our kid interact with strangers.

I must add that Natasha, the woman turning 80, was an inspiration. She is very active in the community - teaching Spanish to all-age groups, acting in independent films. and maintaining far more activities than I have managed to in the last 5 years. Seeing her quality of life made me want to embrace life a little differently.

Pequita got her third wind after a refreshing 20 minute nap in the car ride home, and kept us up until 11:30 playing with her blocks. We spent Sunday in bed, all of us, with short trips down to the first floor to feed the pets and make food for ourselves. We needed it!

I'm hoping the truck isn't easily repairable, as it is the third vehicle that we pay insurance on and only use a handful of times a year. Yes, it is useful occasionally, but mostly it allows Homestead Mama to hold onto her former wilder truck-driving mental image of herself. At this point, it is unreliable for even short distances (clearly). The last time we drove it any distance was 3 years ago to Martha's Vineyard, and it broke down on the Massachusetts's Turnpike on the way home. Granted, we had filled it with beach rocks from our garden, but still. And now, as an aged Ford, it has been having ever more trouble. Over this past winter a mouse nested somewhere in the engine, so when you start it up the odor of mouse nest wafts through the interior of the vehicle. Lucky you if you don't know that smell. Not so pleasant. I have promised that when we replace my beloved Volvo wagon in 2009 we can do so with a mid-sized vehicle with a tow-hitch, but it is still hard for Homestead Mama to let go. The truck has itself been towed to the garage, where we have asked for an estimate on the work needed. If it tops $200, I'm going to vote we sell it to the mechanic for him to use in his hobby, stock car derbies. Something about driving fast and crashing into each other until only one embattled vehicle is still running. Seems a noble and fitting end for the truck – going out in a blaze of glory (and eau de souris).

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Kurt Vonnegut blew my mind in junior high school. His books opened up my literary world and helped shape the trajectory my reading and thinking would take for years. I quoted him in my senior yearbook and fancied myself quite the deep thinker.

He died yesterday, which saddens me. I liked knowing he was still around. At least his books are all still here for the re-reading, which I shall commence doing immediately. I need something gripping to keep me company at 2:30 am, my current regular waking time. (Blast these hormones.)

So it goes, old buddy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

All's Well...

I have a hard time cheating on tests, even ones that taste awful, so yeah, I drank a whole new bottle of Glucola for my appointment this morning. We'll see how I score. I'd better not come back as at-risk for gestational diabetes, as I'm pretty sure that will get in the way of my Breyer's chocolate ice cream addiction. My OB is pleased with my pregnancy, as I have only had a very short list of the normal aches and pains, my blood pressure is great so far, and I've gained a total of 4 lbs in 30 weeks. The page in my file dedicated to troublesome issues, problems, and concerns is blank. His happiness about this flies in the face of Homestead Mama's attitude that I am having a 'problematic and difficult pregnancy' since it isn't like hers. She, however, is a physical mutant. The OB shakes his head and throws up his hands when he thinks back on her pregnancy. She played softball (as pitcher, for goodness sakes!) well into her seventh month, and was happily trotting around & going up and down stairs with ease for the duration until she went into labor. This makes her think that I am having an unfortunate experience, with my very sore & separating joints, fatigue & sleep interruptions, and my difficulty carrying around the 20+ lb baby we now have. Ahem. I regularly set her to rights, but will be insisting that our OB mention repeatedly how great I am doing - how average my experience is - when she next attends an appointment. And I very KINDLY don't bring up the fact that she never dilated or effaced, Pequita never descended, resulting in a c-section. Perhaps the fact that the kid was firmly ensconced comfortably within her barrel-shaped & waist-less (but very sexy and lovely) abdomen and not sitting in her pelvis EVER had something to do with it. Harumph.

My fabulous acupuncturist slipped me onto her schedule today for treatment right after my OB appt, as my neck was entering a spasm, and I just couldn't stand to have one more thing on my body feel like it was broken. Between the pregnancy-induced carpel tunnel in my right hand and the pinched nerve in my left shoulder/arm, I was dragging the kid around instead of picking her up. Luckily, she thinks it is a lovely game to slide across the bed (floor, counter, dining room table). I'm much better now.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Birth and Biking - a mistake?

I am due to deliver Monito/a (these days, a.k.a. Pele) on or about June 14.
I am due to go on vacation to a lovely Cape Cod location with idyllic biking opportunities on Aug 2.

From those of you who are in the know, is it worth it to strap my bicycle onto our car for the trip - will I even be able to sit on the bike seat, let alone ride it for miles, a mere 2 months after assaulting my hoohah with what I hope will be natural childbirth?

Considering that even now, with two months left to gestate, I feel like my pelvis is no longer one cohesive unit I'm thinking that biking isn't on my summer agenda, but I'd like to hear from you! I have a comments section, for, you know, comments.

(And sis, do you want me to bring it for you to ride even if I can't?)

All sugared up and no place to go (but to sleep at my desk)

Weeks ago I scheduled a dentist appointment for this morning at 9am for a cleaning, and an OB appointment for tomorrow at 9am at which I would be given my first glucose test for gestational diabetes. I am not sleeping very well these days and am consequently a bit scatterbrained. So I dragged my tired butt out of bed, remembered (yay!) to grab my bottle of super-saturated glucose water disguised as 'orange soda' (blech) out fo the fridge, and on an empty stomach had it half consumed before realizing that the glucose test is WEDNESDAY, which of course, today is not. So after hosing the sugar off my tooth enamel & passing my dental checkup with flying colors, I am back at my desk with a sugar hangover. I am in a stupor, my system crashing as I write this since I have had nothing to eat except a handful of almonds. I may have to have lunch NOW at 10:30 to get some protein in me so I can make it through the day.

Burning question: do I tell the OB doc tomorrow that I need an additional half of a bottle of glucose juice to make the test accurate, or do I 'forget' to mention it and ace my glucose exam? I'll think about it. Regardless, having experienced the power of the glucose juice, I will be stopping for a fried egg sandwich immediately after to attempt to balance out my system.


Sunday, April 8, 2007

6 month milestones

Pequita has fed herself. She turned 6 months old last Wed, and this afternoon managed to properly hold her bottle for an extended feeding. She is lying in the antique cradle that Boston Grandma bought for her at an auction that we keep in front of the stove - since it was snowing here today (we regularly get a storm or two in April) it is the best nap site in the house. Once she was full, the playing began and it got a little messy. The dogs took care of the clean up, though.
After the recent press about BPA toxicity, we bought her BPA-free plastic bottles from Born-Free (better safe than sorry) and will sell all the hand-me-down Avent bottles we were using. We also got some glass bottles from Born-Free, for home use. They keep the milk warmer for longer, although it will be a while until we trust her to hold one on her own. I will be making felted wool bottle covers for them, both to insulate them as well as make them less likely to break when we inevitably drop them.

Homestead Mama still breastfeeds Pequita full time, pumping when at work, and we supplement with formula for a few bottles a week, mostly at daycare. I've been giving her bottles of breastmilk since she was few weeks old, at first when Homestead Mama was having breastfeeding pain and now to give Homestead Mama a break from duties to give her some free time. We haven't started giving her food yet, although she is old enough. We will soon, I think, because we are intrigued with the prospect and also Pequita is starting to notice us feeding ourselves and is interested in the process.
Pequita is a sturdy kid, which is good for me as my style with babies is vigorous. She likes being swung about, tipped upside down, and lifted above my head. She chortles with delight when dropped a short distance into the pouf of duvets on our bed. She is standing a lot more - propped up, holding onto our hands, and as you can see below, clutching the cage of her beloved parrot Peaches. Of course, she lets go when distracted, so we are awfully diligent. Bets are still out on whether we can get her through toddlerhood with only the one big head bump.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Bath bliss

On Monday, we all fell sick here at the Homestead with variations of the same cold. As the pregnant one, I'm hardest hit since my immune system is AWOL. Homestead Mama is already on the mend, and Pequita has the sniffles & a bad cough but none of the body aches, sinus pressure, scorching sore throat or headaches that seem to only be worsening in me. (At least we don't think she's suffering - all we see is the usual face-splitting smile and lots of giggling. If she felt like I do, she'd be crumpled in a fetal position and whimpering. Wouldn't she?) She's doing so well, actually, that I have seriously considered hitting the stockpile of frozen breastmilk for the immunities that Homestead Mama is clearly passing on. If only she didn't keep such a close eye on the supply, I could get away with it.

After listening to Pequita hack, cough and struggle to breathe for a couple hours, we decided to steam all our heads/chests on Wed night before bed to help us sleep better. Into the shower we went at about 8pm. Pequita usually falls asleep between 8 - 8:30, so she was perky when we started. It was a tad challenging not to grip the slippery baby too hard in an attempt to not drop her, but it was a hoot. Now that it is warming up as winter grudgingly departs, she has started to experience different and new sensations on her skin (other than that of being bundled in 5 layers of cotton and wool.) She loves it - she is making up for lost time with her toes/feet by never letting go of them once I take off her socks & Robeez shoes. She adores being naked and being tickled gently, or getting some bare-butt time to stave off rashes. She is particularly fond of the after-bath oiling with Burt's Bees almond oil that Homestead Mama likes to give her – keeps her skin protected and she smells great, but Pequita just likes the baby massage. The new sensation of water showering down on her skin kept her in a state of constant surprise for about 10 minutes - we rotated her body around in circles so her feet, legs, back, stomach and head got to feel the spray. After the shock (and its accompanying raised eyebrows and O-shaped mouth) wore off, the smiling started. Homestead Mama and I took turns getting clean and holding the babe, and breathing deep to clear our congestion.

Pequita was finally overcome by fatigue. I was holding her while Homestead Mama rinsed her shampoo out, and Pequita moved like a suckerfish down my face and neck desperately looking for her bedtime comfort boob to nurse herself to sleep on. She usually knows that I am a 'dry well' and hasn't been interested in nursing on me since she was about 8 weeks old. Maybe it was the fact that Homestead Mama and I smelled like the same soap, or just that any boob in her exhaustion would suffice, but she latched on and immediately fell asleep quietly suckling away. In the shower. It was amazingly cute and touching. Homestead Mama finished up while I stood in the hot spray beaming beatifically at our sleeping baby. She got out & dried off, then helped me - still clutching the sleeping & wet baby - out of the clawfoot tub. We wrapped me & Pequita all up in a towel and we zipped upstairs where we outfitted her with dry jammies & a diaper, and transferred her to the real fountain of boob, Homestead Mama. She only nursed for a couple minutes and then achieved the state of deep relaxation/ sleep that we call 'loll'.

Loll: [lol].

Verb (used without object)

1. to recline or lean in a relaxed, lazy, or indolent manner; lounge: to loll on a sofa.

2. to hang loosely; droop; dangle: The dog stood in the heat with his tongue lolling out of his mouth.

Verb (used with object)

3. to allow to hang, droop, or dangle

Noun (archaic):

4. the act of lolling.

5. a person or thing that lolls

Loll, for Pequita, means that she is able to be set down anywhere and she'll work diligently to stay asleep. Her mouth is slack, her eyes closed, her breathing steady and slow. She may continue to suck on her pacifier or even the boob, but she isn't likely to wake up. We love loll. So in a state of loll we gently tucked her into her co-sleeper, tucked ourselves into bed, and were asleep by 9pm en famille. We all slept solidly (except for my 6 trips to the bathroom, but I don't even wake up for those anymore.) It was a lovely night.