Thursday, November 29, 2007
She wore it all day like this without knowing it. In my defense, her hair *was* in her eyes. This is the first stupid thing I've made her hair do (so of course I had to take a photo of it) but I'm sure it won't be the last while I wait for it to grow long enough so that I can braid it.
I was totally annoyed yesterday by a lovely microfiber sweatshirt. You can see the bad design here:
I used a piece of my favorite fabric, a flannel with origami cranes from Garnet Hill. I cut a patch, sewed it on over the ugly football applique, and voila. I now have an almost heirloom hoodie. I have a huge sense of accomplishment - I have to take it where I can get it.
You can see her here doing her happy dance in her booster seat as she eats. I'd upload the video, but it is 11:50 pm and Blogger is being recalcitrant. I have to go to sleep.
Monito was less than impressed with the dim sum (maybe in a few months when he starts eating solids) but really loved all the stuff above his head on the streets - dragons, silk scarves, myriad plastic imported toys. He was completely quiet and wide-eyed in the carrier as we walked around looking for a special Christmas outfit for Pequita (I'll post on that later.)
As much as Pequita enjoyed the king sized bed, Monito couldn't get enough of the vanity. As handsome as he is, who can blame him.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
It is on the second day of not going out, the second day of Pequita working diligently to touch, break, unpack or unfold all the things she isn't supposed to touch that I am reminded of just how cluttered our house still really is, and how much work it will take to get it babyproof. Maybe by the time the kids are 3 or so. Here's when I start regretting spacing our two kids so close together. I'd have 3 hours a day of time for myself to nap, organize or just read if we only had one. BUT I'll be through a lot of the hardest stuff by the time others are just getting around to having their second kid... I have visions of us zipping over to Europe for a visit once both our kids can walk a couple of miles. There are some alps I miss dearly that I'd like to traipse around on, and some melted cheese I'd like to eat with red wine. We'll just see how that pans out.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
first and deposited some toys in them. She also hoards my shoes, and
finds them from all over the house and makes a big pile upon which she
sits to better caress and admire them.
have ordered the nosefrida (http://www.nosefrida.com/index.html)
because that snot bulb is useless against the disease we are fighting
and I'd rather suck the snot out of my baby's nose with my mouth than
listen to them struggle to breathe while nursing.
I am going to venture out for chicken soup and fluids, and to pick up
some meds from our acupuncturist. I will do this in my spitup covered
vintage J. Crew football jersey (back when their clothes didn't cling)
and without having cleaned any part of my body other then my teeth -
that is how badly I feel.
At least all Pequita's toys are brand new and fresh for her, after 5
days away. Plus we managed to hit IKEA on the way home and have many
new and colorful things to pull out when the existing toys she is
playing with get stale. And did I mention that my brother-in-law
works for Melissa & Doug, and we have a trunk full of their new line
too? I can use all the ammo I can get, since I can't nap and need
very much to rest. And I am grateful that if the kids *have* to be
sick, at least they are slowed down and snuggly, versus me feeling
this way and having to chase after the usual whirling dirvish that is
Friday, November 23, 2007
She also was amazed by her 15 year old cousin playing guitar. Come to find out, acoustic Black Sabbath will make Pequita dance in just the same way that The Itsy Bitsy Spider song does.
I am sitting and nursing Monito (at the desk while blogging) and Homestead Mama just looked over at me and said, "You're blogging now, aren't you?" Of course - nursing is a sit down activity and it is what I do. And finally, since we are about to miss checkout time, a picture of the kids REALLY enjoying the fresh linens on a king size bed. Pequita is into sitting on Monito's lap, and manhandles him into the position she wants and then sits on him. So far, he loves it and laughs. She is so proud and pleased with her arrangement that she collapses on him in giggles. It is charming.
Off to the next stop on our weekend whirlwind, a last brunch with my mother-in-law and then on to H-Mama's college friends house in Westchester.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
lovely babies ever born. They are vibrant and dear and both have
perfectly round heads (this is important to Homestead Mama's family.)
We are financially stable in this very rocky time, even though I have
quit my job. H-mama and I have much love for each other despite two
babies in 8 months, living in a partially renovated house, and
muddling through all the normal stresses a couple faces. I have a
fantastically loving and supportive family - my parents and sister's
family are all in good shape and form a good backdrop for us to raise
Pequita and Monito.
Then there is right this second. We drove to Connecticut last night.
Since we are frequently split our 'road trip team', one person
navigating and driving in the dark and the other squeezed in the back
seat between two car seats wrangling babies who have timed out of the
car, I printed Google maps for each and every permutation of travel we
could possibly do (hotel -> grannies; hotel -> brother-in-law; hotel
-> IKEA, etc) Instead of arriving at dinnertime at Homestead Mama's
mother's apartment, we ran late (shocking, I know) and H-Mama followed
the wrong sheet of directions, resulting in our car pulling up in
front of out hotel at 9 pm. I checked in while H-Mama stayed with the
kids and called her mom to check in. I returned to the car expecting
to unload, put the kids to bed and relax for 20 minutes in front of
free hotel cable before dropping off to sleep. Oh no. Granny was
holding dinner for us, so we turned the car around & drove the dark,
foggy 30 minute drive to her apartment. We ate a delicious pork stew,
visited for a couple hours, and then returned to the hotel by 11 am.
The kids are now 4 hours past their bedtimes, and have fallen asleep
in their seats on each leg of the journey, so are completely jangled
and discombobulated. I am getting a cold sore, and feel logey and
exhausted. Homestead Mama puts Pequita to sleep by reciting her
favorite board books from memory ( I had no idea she had this skill)
and they curl up in the king sized bed and go to sleep. Monito had
been napping well for the last several hours and is not tired, but
will deign to be quiet if I nurse him constantly. All night, while he
fidgets and thrashes because he doesn't need the milk and it gives him
painful gas. I'm up for about 20 minutes of each hour pacing,
bobbling, dandling him on my knee in the dim light of the clock in the
bathroom trying to get him to sleep. Finally around 5:20 I try
swaddling him with my Maya Wrap sling, and since I don't remember
looking at the clock when it read 6:anything, we must have slept a
bit. He woke up like usual at 7:30 ready for the day. I woke up
ready to shove both kids on Homestead Mama, tell her to take them both
to her brother's for the day, I'll be perfectly happy sleeping in
until 2 pm, having a dip on the pool and then have a Thanksgiving
dinner of room service, Thank You Very Much.
Instead, I followed my wise sister's advice: when in doubt, go
outside. Or in this case down to the lobby to blog and drink coffee
while H-Mama and Pequita squeeze the last bit of sleep from the night.
I need a little time to get my mind right and not be angry at all
things not a soft pillow.
So yes, our lives are rich, full and blessed. And I'll be able to
properly reflect on all that after a nap.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
The sleep/crib training is going pretty well. I usually put Pequita down for her morning nap between 10:30 and 11:30 am, and she cries/hollers for anywhere from 10 – 50 minutes before dropping off. (Personally, I think she really enjoys bouncing up and down in her crib, like jumping on our bed. As soon as she lays down she crashes, but if she is standing she is bouncing, whether or not she is crying.) We put her down at night between 8 and 9 pm, depending on the afternoon schedule, and she is usually asleep within 15 minutes, frequently fussing for mere moments before being silent. We hope not to have to become more rigid with actual times, but we will if we have to. Frankly, Homestead Mama and I are not great with schedules ourselves, and it would be a massive life change to put that in effect for the kids.
Pequita is now running. I have been keeping a list of milestones and changes in both kids for the last few weeks, but haven’t been able to find the time to post them. They are both moving in leaps and bounds – it is very exciting, but also sad to lose each stage that they grow out of. I’ll post each kids’ list in a separate post shortly.
We are heading downstate for Thanksgiving to spend time with Homestead Mama’s mom & maternal family. Her mom and stepfather met Pequita when she was four months old, but haven’t seen any of us since and have never met Monito. I secured a reservation at a hotel near them which offers free wireless and a nice pool. One of my coping mechanisms for visiting family & in-laws is to make sure we have a room/suite of our own, even if it means that we pay for one in a hotel. This works well for H-Mama and me, but now with the kids means that we spend less time with whoever we are visiting since we have to leave by 7ish to go put the kids to bed. Usually, given family dynamics, this is just fine. We’ll spend 2 days with the in-laws and then spend the following three days staying with friends outside of NYC who have two kids, which should offer a comfortable environment for our own. We’re really looking forward to hanging out with them, and will be able to zip over to the City to visit a couple other friends while we are down there.
Homestead Mama is out with an able-bodied friend to begin dismantling a cedar swing set we bought from a listing on Craig's list. It is only a few years old and in great shape, and we are pleased with the deal we got. Pequita is so agile and physical that it is definitely not too soon to get her a slide and swing of her very own; the climbing tower and fire pole she’ll have to grow into. Here is her impersonation of King Kong on her dollhouse. The dolls? Not so much right now, but the house offers much fun. They should have the second half of the swing set transported back to our house by tomorrow afternoon, and hopefully put back together in our yard the following weekend. I can’t wait. We had something like this when I was a kid and I remember playing on it a lot. H-Mama, never one to do things on a small scale, is already planning add-on towers, tunnels, and other glorious playground-like modifications. This is fine with me – I don’t expect to let the kids watch TV much at all or play video games (in our house anyway) so the more exciting the outside activities the better.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Pequita has a naturally occurring love of raw cookie dough. I have no idea from whom she got it. Here she is accepting/ snatching dough from my hand like a wild animal. Note the blur her hand has become. Then I realized she was hoarding the balls of dough in the duvet in her book area and coming back for more. Each time she walked back to me for more, one of the dogs snuck up and ate her stash. She must have been confused by this.
I hired our contractor to come install window and door molding - after 5 years, I'm willing to admit that I might not have the time to learn how and then do it. He'll be doing this in the next 8 weeks sometime, when he gets an opening in his schedule. He's also begun replacing the windows in a couple of the rooms in our rental property across the street. Some of the original ones were cracked, and we're fixing them as needed, much to our tenant's happiness at the start of this high-priced season of oil.
I have, however, managed to install a doorknob on the first floor bathroom. Now that Pequita is enamored of Open and Close, doors hold much excitement. Our house guests don't always find it amusing to have a 13 month old busting in on their private business. Homestead Mama took care of Pequita, and I managed Monito thusly: Despite not having painted the door, or finished the door jamb trim, this lovely knob is now protecting our friend's ability to pee in private.
In the picture with Monito, you can see the craft table that we bought for the kids for Christmas. Pequita is totally ready, and Monito will not be far behind. It really isn't so much a craft table as it is a full dining room set for young children. Hardwood construction, solid, and far more substantial than we could have bought at IKEA. We got an unfinished set so that we could treat it with our Tried & True linseed oil & beeswax food-grade hand rubbed finish. We are suckers for the stuff. It is lovely. Pequita keeps climbing up on the chairs, thumping the table with both hands and then hopping off to go Do Stuff Elsewhere. She is just starting to know what writing utensils can do to paper, so we're just in time. Crayons, here we come.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
*I always hesitate to link to other blogs. These days, I wander the blogosphere freely and without always remembering how I got where I ended up. These days, I haven't always had time to read all back posts when I start enjoying a new blog. I let a new blogger into my life as long as they are compatible and interesting, and inspiring. A few times I have checked in expecting another inspiring post and have found that someone I liked is actually homophobic, or has a vastly different political background from me; this is always sad, because once I have established a mental connection with someone - even a fully one-sided connection - I hate to be disillusioned. I recommend posts from other blogs with this caveat in mind always. I apologize if I send you to look at something that upon higher scrutiny proves to be less than satisfying. Nonetheless, I will continue to link to posts I think are valuable.
Friday, November 9, 2007
After lunch with College Friend, we went to a big box baby store, taking advantage of the big city consumer options. We got many things that we needed, like childproof outlet covers, BPA-free pacifiers, and assorted things we couldn't imagine until we saw them. Pequita saw many things and loved them deeply until the next bright display caught her eye; she spent many long minutes removing each and every bottle from the shelves until she had a huge stack. Homestead Mama replaced them all while I shopped for the stuff we needed. Then she saw the push toys. I'll get film of her love for the popper toy soon, but suffice it to say that she learned its name immediately and pushed it all around the store, to the car, and into the house when we got home, all the while saying, "poppoppop poppoppop". She also made friend with Elijah, in the video below, who was old enough to know where to push toys to make magic noises happen. After a while of her following him about, he started bringing toys right to her, and even started to select the pink girly ones he wouldn't be caught dead playing with but clearly thought she would like.
We left when we had enough new toys to get me through the next few months of home care in addition to things to put away for Christmas, and all the other things we needed. Monito LOVES his new chew toy - I mean teething toy. We had nothing that interested him - boggling, but true - and he hasn't had a moment without it since we left the store. This is good, as he's spent a lot of time gnawing on my knuckles in the past few weeks.
After a 60 minute nap on the way home, Pequita was what we call 'full of beans'. She was into everything, a little aggressive and frantic. It is some of her cutest times, as she is nutsy but still snuggly.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Keep coming, my friend.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
She got real Levi's recently, and they are super. Below, she's in a shirt I just got for her brother - he needs big ones to cover his wrists, as his arms are really long. They set off her new shoes nicely. (Clearly, I have a love of footwear. I am seriously limited in my choices, though, because my ankle is fused to 90 degrees and requires absolutely no heel and modified soles. This is most frustrating. I hadn't factored in the vicarious thrill I could get from choosing my child's shoes. Total bonus.)It took her an hour to fall asleep for her morning nap today, and just as we were going up to pull her out all sound ceased. Encore victoire!
On a sadder note (for me), Monito's eyes are finally turning from blue like mine to something else. Currently, they are hazel and blue and light brown. His fuzzy hair is also not blond like it was at first - he's kind of tawny all over now. Golden, as Homestead Mama prefers to call him.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Pequita is using some of her sign language signs. She's learned the signs for her most treasured and favorite objects, like the windsock in the shape of a fish that her Aunties sent her. It bobs and floats in the wind, and looks like it is swimming. We visit it each day outside, and Pequita flaps her hand open and shut in a clear (to us) hand sign. She loves her fishy with a passion right now. Apologies for the subpar filming. Monito was in my arms wrestling me for the camera.
Winter is finally coming, with days in the 50s and nights down in the 30s. The house is kept at a brisk 65 degrees 24 hours a day - we flick it up as needed, but mostly we are wool sweater wearers and use two duvets on the bed in the winter. Each kid has their own duvets to top them and a shearling under them. Pequita refuses to wear a hat, and with her head of hair she doesn't really need it anyway. Monito on the other hand is too young to figure out how to pull his off, so spends each night adorably (I think) attired thusly: