Month 12

birthday pie
Originally uploaded by wi77ow

12 months

Nicknames: Scooter, Turkey legs, Stinky McGillicutty,
Favorite foods: avocado, yogurt, scrambled eggs, cheese, chocolate, cheerios, boob, superfood juice
Favorite tricks: dancing, walking backwards, spin in circles, singing, undoing diapers, pretending to read, pretending to talk on the phone
Thoroughly uninterested in: television, small chairs
Unfortunate common occurrence: tripping
Worst habit: never sleeping for longer than 3 hours at a time
Best habits: kissing, babbling on and on
Favorite places to be: by the door someone just came in so you can play with the snow from their boots, lying down by the coffee table so you can peek at us through the legs, on my hip.

Josephine, this has been the fastest year of my life. I’m at a loss as to how I’m supposed to sum up this past month in this letter, let alone your first year. I do have one thing going for me this morning though, you actually have given me three nights in a row with 5 straight hours of wonderful sleep.

Your aunt Sarah came home from school a week ago and to all of our surprise you reached for her immediately and never looked back. Even though you hadn’t seen her in almost 5 months, you must remember her because you will not allow strangers to touch you. You still are cautious around your uncle Josh and he comes over about once a week.

This isn’t your first winter, but it’s the first winter you might be able to enjoy. I searched and searched for a snowsuit that was waterproof and didn’t have feet so you could use your own boots, and oh yeah, one that would fit a one year old and wasn’t $100+. I guess most babies your size aren’t allowed to walk in the snow? I don’t know but I finally found one and it’s a little big, but it does the job and you think the snow is awesome. You were born in a snowstorm, maybe that says something.

So you are a whole year old now baby. I didn’t throw you a grand birthday party with balloons and streamers, and I didn’t make a cake and take pictures of you smearing it on your face. You’ve had cake before and you were wearing a white dress so you only got a few toddler snacks while the rest of us had a berry pie I made instead. It was a nice day in the end, we sang, opened presents and for dinner we went to a friend’s house where you had the best time feeding their dog every last one of your cheerios. Unfortunately the day started a little rough because you got your 12 month immunizations in addition to a super fun iron test and flu shot. Then! There was a super awesome snow storm the night before and the roads were so bad that the 2 mile drive from the clinic to our house took about 30 minutes. We got stuck in the middle of the road several times and I had to maneuver and spin the tires this way and that while all these SUVs drove past and you screamed the whole time. Happy Birthday!

This month has been a little extra stressful for me. I am trying to sign up for some classes which means that I would have to leave you with someone else for part of the day. Even though you are a charmer and everyone wants to play with you, you are very anxious around strangers. I’ve left you with your aunts, grandma and papa a few times and you do fine for a short amount of time but even though I appreciate a break now and then, I hate walking out the door without you.

When I’m not freaking out about how many hours I have to be away from you, I’m freaking out about how you just dove head first into the coffee table again. (I bought you a pretty, retro icepack for your birthday.) You try everyday to break your personal speed record by picking up something you know you shouldn’t have and sprinting to the next room. Sometimes the coffee table, couch, dog, or a rogue shoe gets in your path and all 22 lbs bounces and rolls across the room. Fortunately, you usually think it’s pretty funny.

No matter what stresses have come this year, I would take them all times 10 if I had to because the joy you bring me trumps them all.

(video of 13 pictures: first one is Josephine 3 days old and every one after was taken on the 23rd of each month)



I'm sure the three people that still read this blog are just as busy as I am right now and haven't even noticed my lack of posting...
Josephine's birthday is tomorrow, then the whole Christmas Eve/Christmas Day extravaganza, and hopefully before Feburary I'll have some pictures and re-caps up for all to enjoy.
My sister that goes to school in Alabama is home and Josephine took to her immediatly, replacing Martha with her as her favorite for the first few days. We were all surprised since she is still nervous around my brother and his girlfriend even though they come over for dinner every Sunday.
I had pictures up several weeks ago with Josephine in the snow. That snow melted right away and we had plenty of sunny warm days since then. Until now. The yard is a winter wonderland, the stroller is retired for the season, and taking the dog out to poop in someone elses yard is a dreaded chore.
ok, I don't let her poop in someone elses yard, but I try to keep her from doing it in our yard because then I have to shovel it up. No one is at risk of walking in her non-yard poop, FYI.
stop talking about dog poop.


some stuff

  • I use "smell ya later" as my preferred salutation.
  • I believe bananas are the only fruit that should ever be pared with chocolate.
  • My favorite song is Love of My Life- Erykah Badu (link is to the video that frankly leaves a lot to be desired)
  • I was told to read books and magazines while I was pregnant because once Josephine arrives I won't have time for those luxuries. The truth is, I have time to thumb through a magazine once in a while...I just can't find one that hasn't been shredded and chewed beyond recognition.
  • This morning Josephine went down for her nap in my arms and just as I was thinking about putting her in her bed she threw up a festive mix of milk and cookies. As soon as I changed her shirt she was fine and took a few minutes to play with some toys and then went back to sleep. I can't get the smell of stomach acid and arrowroot cookie off my hands.
  • In 10 days my baby will be a whole year old.
  • My body will re-experience emotions from the past. That's not unusual, I know. The triggers are common ones like smells and certain songs, but I've noticed I also re-live emotions as the seasons change. This past summer I spent many days re-experiencing the stresses of the summer before for no reason other than that I could suddenly remember them so vividly. Upon the fist real snowfall of this winter I was suddenly taken right back to the snowstorm Josephine was born in. I felt the anxiety of knowing I was going to have a baby soon and the stress of being in so much pain and just wanting to enjoy my new daughter. I think my body remembers the bad days much stronger than the good ones.
  • I realized that I have a geeky crush on Bobby Flay after I had a dream that one of my friends married him and I was quite jealous.
  • Josephine has figured out how to drink from a straw and it's the only way I can get her to drink anything other than water or Odwalla Superfood juice.
  • Now that my hair has grown out a little bit I have no idea what to do with it.
  • My computer died a few days ago. I revived it but everything was lost...i don't even recognize her anymore. Anyway, the thing I'm missing the most is the billions of links that were in my favorites folder. Now I'll never know about all that cool stuff I was going to get back to. (I don't keep my pictures on my computer, so, phew!)


cast iron crown

There are two styles of cornbread.
Southern style and New England style.
The former has more of a corn flavor, a grittier texture, and a crispier crust than the latter. If you ask a yankee to make some cornbread for you you'll get a sweeter and softer bread, almost a corn cake. If you search for cornbread recipes on the Internet you'll mostly get the northern version; I think it's because if you have a good southern recipe you keep it a secret, possibly only sharing on your death bed.
My dad has been on a mission to make good southern style cornbread for several months now and has been failing miserably. I mixed up a couple of batches and even though he didn't think it was a competition, I won.
The first batch was a fail because I forgot to add the salt.
By the third batch I had made the best southern cornbread you can possibly make in a glass pan. That's the thing, authentic southern style cornbread is baked in a cast iron pan...which I don't have...glass is the next best thing.
I know you are dying for me to reveal my recipe...
I'll say this, on a scale of just add milk to childhood memory my bread lands pretty solidly on we could make this when grandma visits.


11 months

Originally uploaded by wi77ow

Dear Josephine, dear dear Miss Josephine,
I am so tired.
The end.

Ok, no, I can write more, but seriously baby, Mama is tired.

When a woman is pregnant her body does some amazing things to prepare for her baby’s arrival. It stretches in ways you wouldn’t believe, it nourishes and protects the growing baby, and it prepares to produce milk when the baby arrives. There is one other little know miracle that the mother’s body performs while gestating though, her brain starts melting. It’s true, a part of the mother’s brain turns into a puddle that sloshes around for a while before leaking out of the tear ducts the next time she watches a commercial with a happy ending. It’s the part that remembers the difficult and horrible times of labor and also parenthood.

If a mother’s brain could remember how painful labor is she would never have more children, but a few weeks or months postpartum and she is looking back at labor like it was a stubbed toe. If a mother could recall every exhausting 2am, 3am, 3:30am, 4am…waking, and every tantrum at the grocery, and every hours long crying session then I think there would be a babies category on EBay.

This brain melting is so very important though, for survival and for sanity. Luckily the part of the brain that remembers the good times swells to fill the space of the puddle. I know that I’ve wanted nothing more than for you to please sleep one more hour, but when we get ready to go to bed the next night I’m not dreading waking up seven times, I’m looking forward to the morning when you’ll pull my face to yours and give me kisses to wake me up. That’s your new thing, kissing, you kiss everyone and everything. Even right now you are sitting on my lap as I type this and you are leaning back every few seconds to give me a kiss. I like this new game. A lot. It might not be the best idea to put your mouth on everything during cold season, but it’s awfully cute. You kiss the dog, your toys, even papa’s scruffy face, and when there’s nothing right near by you sometimes stop in your tracks, bend down, and kiss the carpet. I will really miss this when you stop.

When we get ready to run errands in town I’m not worried that you’ll throw another tantrum when I don’t let you run free and clean off the shelves at Target (even though you probably will). Instead, I smile thinking about how you love to sing as loud as you can while sitting in the cart and everyone in the store stops to tell me what a wonderful baby I have. They don’t even know how wonderful you really are.

There have been days when I would have given my right arm if I could get a babysitter for one hour. I just want to spend a little uninterrupted time organizing computer files or picking up our room without you following behind undoing everything I set straight. One day I got my “wish” and even got to keep my arm. Grandma watched you while I went to see the new James Bond movie. I spent most of the movie thinking about you and absolutely not relaxing. You may be exhausting but you are also so delightful and I miss you every moment you aren’t around.
You are quite rambunctious now. I have spent time with babies before and usually the boys are wilder than the girls. You break that stereotype, shatter it, you are only getting bandages and icepacks for Christmas. You really like to spin until you fall over, which is pretty funny to watch. Sometimes you don’t even bother to spin, you just belly flop right where you are standing. Then other times you try to run as fast as you can through the living room and crash into the couch or a pillow on the floor. You are really good on your feet but you still manage to trip every once in a while and knock your head on the coffee table.

You LOVE dancing to any and every beat. There are the obvious times to dance like when you push the buttons on one of your noisy toys or when mama is watching that Beyonce video again, and the less obvious, like the beat of the security alarm at the mall, which you’ve rocked out to in the shopping cart many times.

You can’t stay still for very long, nor do you even want to. You even walk around when you have a book open and are “reading” the page with the cat and dog on it over and over.
But it’s at night when you really show off your inability to slow down. Even in your sleep you keep going and going. I’ve witnessed you laugh and smile in your sleep for months now, but recently you’ve also lifted your head to give the air a kiss before lying back down. It was precious, as was the time you reached out one hand very deliberately, pinch two fingers together and bring them to your mouth. You were dreaming about having a snack and you gave a big smile “eating” your treat. It’s terribly cute how you dream, but oh how I wish you would just sleep through the night. Like I said before, I’m so veryzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…


read while eating pea soup, or chocolate sauce, or butterscotch pudding

Several times as an infant she surprised me by peeing all over as soon as I pulled the old diaper off. Everyone in the house who is not a mother has been thoroughly grossed out by stray streams. That seemed mostly in the past now that she no longer has to relieve herself every 20 minutes.
There have been a handful of times that she's walked out of the bathroom, sans diaper, and created a puddle on my bedroom floor while I started a bath. That's not a big deal, her urine doesn't smell bad and it isn't difficult to clean up.
Once, when she was still small enough to lay in her baby tub, she pooped and had to take a bath after her bath.
Then there was this morning. Everyone was running late getting ready for church which is unusual as my mother is typically dressed and reading the paper before I get out of the shower. Normally I can dress Josephine and toss her in the living room with grandma while I finish fixing my hair and face, but this morning I didn't have that option.
I started the shower, pulled off her pajamas and night time diaper and set her down while I undressed. She walked into my bedroom and back. She held up her arms, asking to be picked up. As I bent down to scoop her up I noticed something didn't smell right. I looked into my room and because it'd only been a few seconds I only looked a few feet into the room. No puddle. In that same moment I had pulled her up nearly to my chest and then I saw it. Her legs, back side, and one hand were covered in that tell-tale mustard brown slime. Poop.
I quickly tossed her into the shower and walked further into my bedroom. She had made it further in than I thought, she had rounded the corner and when I did as well I saw it. She must have been holding it in a while.
I scooped as much as I could up with a wash clothe and jumped in the shower. When I got out I tried to clean it up some more but I had only a few minutes to get ready. I was having a hard time keeping Josephine occupied and out of the mess while trying to clip the hair out of my face and put on a little mascara.
My room smells like pet stain remover.


Yes we can

Dear Josephine,

I'm not sure how to start this; I want to present you with an eloquently written letter but I'm also finding it hard not to type OH MY GOSH I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LAKJDFLAKSADFSFJSFJ!!!!! over and over and just call it a day. You will always know a world where an African American can be the President of the United States and it's no big deal.

I can't help but think about the few similarities between you and Barack Obama. Like so very many other children out there who, until now, had no real reason to believe that America would have enough confidence in them to elect them as President, you have a white mother, an absent black father, and more love and devotion from your grandparents and me than you know what to do with. You could be our president 40 years from now! or really anything, an-y-thing. Now, don't misunderstand, I did not vote for Barack Obama because he is black, I voted for him because I believe he is going to be the the kind of President we need. I'm happy he won and I'm happy the outward, as well as the veiled racism in this country didn't win.

Unfortunately, even with this amazing step forward the same day held some terrible steps back as well and in all reality you will know a world where not all people are treated equally.

I hope that when you are older and you read this you are baffled at the idea of anyone being discounted because of the color of their skin, their sex, religion or lifestyle, or because of how they grew up. I hope that you are only known as Josephine.

You won't remember November 4th 2008 but hopefully your life will be filled with equally momentous days. Days where civil rights trump self-righteous attitudes and days where there is not tolerance, but acceptance and love.


If You Care

i voted

Utah is so red that no candidate bothers to campaign here. Utah is the reddest state in the world. Most houses around here have signs in their yard but only for the local elections, I've seen one McCain sign and maybe 5 Obama signs. I'm pretty sure that as long as you don't have a Obama sign in your yard you are assumed to be a McCain/Palin supporter. That's how red it is here. The first Obama sign in our yard was broken and stolen so we replaced it and after a few days this one was obviously kicked/stomped/punched/something but it was at least left in the yard and I managed to rig it back up. I've seen that the one neighbor with an Obama sign has also had to replace theirs and move it higher in the yard away from the sidewalk.

I know McCain will win Utah but I'm looking forward to see how purple we can get it this year. Also, we have had beautiful weather lately, warm and sunny, but today it is snowing. I hope it doesn't stop people from getting out to the polls. Oh! and you know about those flyers and phone calls telling people that they can vote after the 4th or that college students will lose financial aid if they vote at their school rather than their home state? yeah I thought that most people have figured out the truth but just last night someone had a bet with my brother that the polls were open until the 7th. She had received an email. Oh My Gosh people, today is the last day to vote and you will not get in trouble if you go, I promise!


Some Super Duper Exciting News!

I can't help myself. I start growing my hair out and then the next time I have a babysitter I make an appointment to chop it all off. To be fair, my last cut was kinda yucky and growing it out was more stress than any natural occurrence should be. And this cut? I love it. I've seen a new stylist the last 4-5 times I've gotten my hair cut because I was so unimpressed with the results that I was willing to take my chances with someone new rather than remember their name, but this time I will remember that EMILY cut my hair and she did awesome.

Now, where have I been? Well, I've been busy entertaining company for one. My grandmother has come to meet Josephine and hang out for a week. Here is four generations of CRAZY:

This has been the fastest fall I've ever seen. That bush in the picture is the only thing that is still colorful in our yard. Just about all the leaves on the oaks have fallen already and it seemed to happen all at once. (boo)

Josephine is much more comfortable around my grandma now than she was the first few days she was here. For three days I had 20+ lbs hanging on me 24 hours a day as she was terrified a stranger might look at her or *gasp* talk to her. By Halloween night I was ready to drop her in the pillowcase of the next trick-or-treater.

Speaking of Halloween... I hadn't planed on dressing up Josephine originally. I'm not a fan of the holiday myself and there was no way I was going to spend precious time and money on a costume she'd probably want to rip off anyway. But Martha ragged on me for days about how cute it would be and eventually I caved. I pulled together some things from our closets and dressed Josephine as St Joan of Arc...I guess I was the English.

Joan here had a marvelous time emptying the candy bowl all afternoon.

In other news, the night before Halloween my sister and her boyfriend, my father and I went to a local haunted house. That is really haunted (if you believe in that stuff). It was in an old Psych ward and interesting because it was interactive, they encouraged you to talk to the scaries. At the end was a maze with movable walls and spooky people that would MOVE THEM while we were still wandering around and so it took a while to find our way out. I hadn't been to a haunted house since I was in Jr. High. There are a lot of high quality ones around here but I figured they wouldn't let a big fat pregnant person in for fear they would scare the baby out of me so I didn't hit up any last year.

Sunday was a fun day as well. We all, except for my mother, went to SLC to see Body Worlds. (They don't allow pictures) I thought it would be kinda creepy but it wasn't at all. All I could see was how easy it is to pull a muscle doing mundane things and by the end my next was all twitchy. It was quiet in there, barely any whispering, only the sound of a heart beat playing over the speakers. I feel smarter having been through the exhibit. I'd be happy to give you a consultation on your cholesterol levels if you like.

We had a nice lunch out where Josephine entertained everyone in the restaurant like she always does. This time she was doing tricks with a straw and a spoon, you should really try to catch that show.

When we got home the old ladies of the house and I went to an antique show/sale. I snagged a super ring there called a poison ring. Pretty isn't it?

Yeah I didn't think about it until later that night but it's kinda like a good place to store some coke...but don't worry I'll only keep an emergency Cheerio in there, or maybe a picture or something.

Today I voted.

Now that we're all caught up on my week I'm sure you can finally sleep at night. I can't though, oh no, Josephine wouldn't allow that, but that's old news.


10 months

I'm undecided.
No, not on the upcoming election, but on how I feel about 10 months. The highs and lows of this month have been so extreme and so many that perhaps what I need to do is make a comparison list. Here it goes:

  1. You have stopped sleeping for longer than 4 hours max at night. Why would you do that? 4 hours? And that's on a good night! You wake up doing this horrible whinny noise and I lay still hoping you'll put yourself back to sleep, but oh that would be too easy. Instead, you sit up, find my face and grab hold of my nose with your razor sharp talons. Sometimes I give in right then, but other times I'm feeling a little more masochistic and I pretend to still be asleep. That's when you start kicking your little hammer heels into my ribs, face, throat, etc. I'm so tired.
  2. Everything tastes better off the floor! Also, everything looks better over there! Everything I give you to eat gets tossed to the floor and when the last piece of banana is finally off the table you want out of your highchair so you can walk around eating pieces of dirt and trash off the ground. Then you find anything I have placed on the coffee table, stacked on the ground, put away in your toy box, etc, and you toss it behind you. Thank you, but please leave the decorating to the grown-ups for now.
  3. For about 50% of your day you are very unhappy about your physical position in the universe. The whining to be picked up and then the immediate clawing to be put back down is driving me a little bonkers. It would be less annoying if when I put you back down you'd go play, but you don't, you cry to be picked up again, then claw my face, cry, claw, cry, claw....Oh My Gosh What?
  1. You've started singing along when I sing silly songs to you. Even cuter, you sing along in church. Every Sunday another lady turns to us after service to comment on how precious you are, how well behaved, and how cute it was that you knew to sing when we sang.
  2. While I'm on the subject of mimicking, you know how to hold a phone to your ear and say hello. You don't stop there though and that's the best part, you will hold anything to your ear and walk in a circle around the room babbling on and on and on. I've seen you pull one sock off, hold to the side of your head, and for at least a full minute you walked around talking and laughing before you noticed I was watching you. What are you talking about? Who are you calling? Who are you mimicking? Goodness knows I never answer my phone.
  3. When you aren't clinging and crying and clawing you do pretty well entertaining yourself. Often you just walk around the house stopping to examine this or that, answer a call on your hair brush, and then when I can no longer hear you stomping around I know exactly where you are. You have a club house under the dinning room table and you are happy to sit there for long stretches of time. I love catching you under there, it's adorable, but I have to wonder, are you planning something? Should I be concerned about some kind of baby overtaking?
  4. There's this thing you do with your tongue now that's pretty funny. I guess it's because you have those two teeth on the bottom that you are still getting used to. You know it's funny when you poke your tongue out and you do it when we're playing to get a laugh out of me. You know all the tricks to get me to smile and laugh, like starting a game of peek-a-boo or running towards me only to turn at the last minute and crash into a pillow. I love playing with you.
  5. You know how to cuddle and give kisses now. I can ask for a kiss from you and I LOVE that. You kiss the dog, you try to kiss the cat, and you give your mama kisses. That right there might be worth double points.

Ok, so it looks like the pros outweigh the cons for 10 months. 11 months, are you paying attention? It was a close race, but I guess 10 months was pretty good, I'm not surprised.

do my bidding

I invite you to please write Josephine a note. It can be a comment to this post, an email (madmartigan77 [at] gmail . com) or a genuine letter. I am going to assemble a time capsule for her birthday and I'd like to put in these notes and letters so she can read them 20+ years from now. I thought about how I wished I had saved the newspaper from the day she was born, but for the first month of her life at least I was pretty out of it, this is my chance.
I trust you won't write about how her mother was such a tool in Jr High, and how she may have had some embarrassing crushes in High school, or that one time she may have had a little too much fun at the bar...
Thank you and good night.


she does have shoes, though

Last saturday I tricked my family into taking the train to Salt Lake City so we could visit the planetarium. I've been wanting to go for a while and everytime I take the dog for a walk at night and look up at the stars I ask my dad if maybe this weekend we could go on a family field trip?
The train is a great deal for commuters who buy passes, but one round-trip ticket isn't saving you money. It is much more pleasent of a trip though as long as you weren't sitting within earshot of my family. Josephine and I sat quietly and looked out the window. My sister and parents had loud "discussions" about topics too embarrassing to write here.
Do you like my shirt?
I felt a little silly wearing it around town, but I also think it's pretty funny.
Anyway, the planetarium was fun and much less embarrassing than the train ride.
There is a station that allows you to "give the weather report". It seems that I have confused meteorologist with lady from The Price is Right.

There is also a neat set-up of a Moon and a Mars landscape that Josephine thought was fabulous. I couldn't coax her off of Mars and had to scoop her up as she wriggled and squirmed trying to get back to the red planet. There go my threats to send Josephine to live on the moon if she doesn't shape up.

We had a nice lunch and then had to book it back to the station to catch the next train home instead of spending a leisurely Saturday in the city, shopping and exploring, because someone hadn't seen her boyfriend yet today and Oh my gosh the travesty of spending a morning with your family while your boyfriend is back at home, all alone, WE HAVE TO GET ON THE NEXT TRAIN!

It was a warm and sunny weekend, perfect for running around in a t-shirt and bare feet.


you can just skip over this one

Can I just be a blubbering, gushy, stars in my eyes mother for one minute? Maybe it's the beauty of the changing colors of fall (probably), the fact that I'm already thinking about Josephine's first birthday (maybe), or maybe it's the long island ice tea I'm finishing (nah). I feel like I just realized that I'm a mother. It's not as if I didn't know it before, or that I didn't love it already. I just had that feeling of awe, that feeling of being enormously blessed and challenged. I remember all the grief I've given my parents and I know Josephine will give me as much trouble, but I don't care about that now. I mean, have you seen that gorgeous face? Have you heard that beautiful laugh? I am so in love.


white death

So last night it snowed. And snowed and snowed and snowed. Last year around this time it snowed some then quickly warmed up again until the super snow storm that kicked off a looooooong snowy winter. That super snow storm just happened to be the same night I was gutted on an operating table and met my daughter for the first time.
One night I sat Josephine on the counter while I scooped some rock hard ice cream into a bowl. She reached her fingers into the tub and poked the cold dessert, looked up at me and squealed with delight. Putting her fingers in the snow was a little like that.
She really enjoyed stomping on the snow. Her "boots" (slippers) have good enough traction, but they are a tiny bit big so she had a little trouble walking in them.
You can't tell from these pictures but this hat is absolutely gorgeous on her. I'll try to get a better close-up another day.
Right now I'm sorry we didn't roll in the grass more. The dog though, she loves the snow.


something else

CLICK ME if you dare.
Now, I don't agree with all the language describing the videos. Not all Republicans are ignorant or stupid, also, many Democrats are plenty stupid themselves...however, most of the people talking in these videos do not display much intelligence at all. It's pretty scary to think about all the people who have decided to support a specific candidate because they are in fact ignorant to the lies being spread around...Yeesh.


the artist

\I've been thinking about how people "trick" you into liking them, or at least, thinking they are something different than what they really are. I think these people fall into two catagories: those who know they are fooling you, and those who really believe it themselves.

The former includes people who are good at sales. That woman who makes you believe she really thinks you look great in that color and she'd never lie to you, she's your friend, so you end up getting pink highlights and you just wanted to buy some shampoo, she is in that catagory.

The latter is filled with celebrities and other ego-maniacs that really do believe they are that hot or that smart, and their confidence can sometimes convince the observer, if even for a moment. FOR EXAMPLE: Lately I've been playing Prince non-stop in the car. (don't judge me) Josephine is almost always chill when we drive around town so it isn't much different than if I were driving around by myself...listening to Prince. Anyway after about 2 songs I start to think that this Prince guy? he's pretty sexy. Prince, kinda makes me want to date again, then I remember that I actually know what he looks like and it's not what I picture when I listen to his music. Right. Not knocking anyone who thinks he's hot, just not my cup of tea.



It turns out that sometimes I'm not too bad at this blogging thing. But sometimes? I've got nothing.

Would you like to see a video or maybe some pictures? Because that's about all I have to offer right now. Allow me to present my cutie-patootie for your entertainment.

Here is a picture of Josephine's bath time "Mohawk", her hair is just too curly to get the soapy spikes of my youth. Someday.

On a less adorable note, I am going to start a slow progression into a macrobiotic diet/lifestyle. I've started reading this book and so far I'd definitely recommend it to anyone. I'll let you know how it works out, how I feel, or if I end up forgetting all about it in a week.

that's it.
as you were


9 Months

Originally uploaded by wi77ow
Hello Baby,
You turned 9 months old a few days ago and you probably want to know why I’m so late in writing this letter. Well, we’ve been sick. Snotty, sneezy, fever, achy, crying, sick. A few days would go by and I’d think we were pretty much better, all we’d need is one more night of semi-decent sleep, then the next morning I would wake up dead and it’s really hard to take care of a baby when you are dead, much less write a monthly letter. Yesterday morning we were finally feeling well enough that the thought of going to the grocery didn’t make me cry, but first we had a visit with your doctor so those mean nurses could poke you in the legs again (sorry, I hate it more than you do) and the rest of the day was pretty much shot. The only way I managed to get this typed out today was because I happened to wake up a little early and you, well, didn’t. You were so sleepy this morning that in the shower I noticed you weren’t playing with your toys and your head was bobbing a little and when I looked I saw you had actually fallen asleep sitting up.
Sick or not you have become quite feisty in your old age. You love demonstrating how smart you are by showing you know exactly where you are not allowed to go and then you go there. You aren’t allowed on the dog bed that sits at the end of the couch, and you know this. Several times a day you walk or crawl towards the bed and will stop six inches in front of it and stare at me. You are waiting for me to notice that you will not in fact bend to my oppressive will and follow my “rules”. Ha! Your wild spirit cannot be tamed! Anyway, I’ll tell you to stop and you screech back something, I get up to physically move you and you reach over and defiantly slap one hand on the bed right before I scoop you up and plop you some place else. That’s not the end of it though, oh no, no matter where I put you down you make a bee line straight back towards the bed, laughing the whole time. Rinse and repeat.
Wait, did you notice that new word I used up there? I typed out that you walk to the dog bed. Yep, you are walking. Thankfully, so far you are still content to be carried around places that are less familiar, like church or the grocery, but here at the house you love walking back and forth like no big deal, you’ve been doing this all along.
When you aren’t showing off your fine motor skills you have been working hard on fine tuning your verbal abilities. Specifically, you are working hard at screeching so loudly that the windows actually rattle. Our new neighbors are probably wondering what they’ve gotten themselves into living next door to a family that whips their cats around by their tails for sport. Little do they know that horrible noise is not a flying cat, but it’s my daughter, trying to grab a dirty spoon out of the open dishwasher.
My favorite trick of yours though, and probably the main reason I have decided to keep you, is that you know exactly when to laugh and even though it’s usually a fake forced laugh, it’s the hardiest fake laugh I have ever heard. You watch two people having a conversation and when one person pauses to chuckle or even just smile you bust out laughing like you just heard the best joke ever. Every night your Papa and I watch The Daily Show, Colbert Report and Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Even though you are usually busy trying to empty a tissue box or pull the ears off the cat, you take a few breaks to look up at the TV screen and laugh, then you look over at papa and laugh, showing him you totally got that joke too.
Josephine, you were in my belly for 9 months and now you’ve spent 9 months out in the world. The latter has been way more fun than the former, not because pregnancy sucks, but because you rock.


read read read

This is a pretty short article about survivors. You should really read it.
My favorite quote: "They survived because they're humble"
Here is another short article with a very happy ending. You should probably read it.

you are welcome.


wanna see something gross?

There's something wrong with my eye isn't there. I knew it. Gah! it hurts, it's swollen and I don't know what it is! I just woke up to this...could I have gotten into a fist fight in my sleep? Did I win? Man, I hope so.

I know what you're thinking, maybe it's a sty. Maybe, but I looked up the symptoms and I don't have any bumps or scratchy feelings, no tearing or light sensitivity, just a red swollen eye that kinda hurts.

So I don't know...I might lose an eye, I might be exaggerating, we'll see how it goes.

Moving on to something less yucky: Josephine has walked across the living room a couple of times. She still usually crashes after a four or five steps but she's moving along quite well for having such little legs. I'll have a video up soon but right now I don't have the external hard drive that I keep all my pictures and videos on handy.

(Someone is standing next to me right now making weird faces and noises as the smell of poopy diaper fills the room...that's my cue to move on from this blogging dealeo and go wipe some butt)

till we meet again--


it's my party and i'll gorge if i want to

Originally uploaded by wi77ow
Well, I am officially too old to act the way I do.
Not much is going on around here, even on this great day of celebration...I ate half a pan of cinnamon rolls today, and I think someone is bringing home Famous Dave's for dinner.
Josephine has two teeth coming in and she's pretty pissed about it.


news break

I won't write much about politics on this blog, there are people out there who can do that much better than I can. However, I would just like to express in writing how freaking excited I am about this presidential election! (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
I watched a lot of the DNC and every night it brought tears to my eyes.
I remember a few months ago feeling very torn between Clinton and Obama. I really really wanted the best candidate to be a woman, so much so that I didn't know who I wanted to win the nomination...I think Obama is the best candidate, I do, I just want a woman too you know?
I also love that we have such a fantastic election as the first election in Josephine's lifetime. My daughter, who is half black, has nearly always lived in a world where it is absolutely possible, and not just in theory, to have a president of the United States who is not a white man.
Ok, this is about all the politics I can stand to write about this morning...and it's about time I shower...


Look what I can do!

I made a new baby-wearing device. It's pretty huh?

Kind of a crappy picture, but hopefully you can get an idea of what's going on here.

And no sewing machine!

In other life-changing news: We have Comcast digital cable which offers PPV options as well as several free movies. I found out that the Exercise TV is also free. Sooooo that means I have been trying out the yoga and Pilate's and other exercise "classes" in my living room. Convenient! Free!

If you've never tried yoga, you probably should give it a shot. I've heard of people who get addicted to the feel-goodness you have after a yoga session, to the point that they are complete assholes if they miss a day...So don't do that, but maybe try it once or twice.

Can you believe it's the end of August already? Schools are starting up...the first few tinges of golds and oranges are showing up at the top of the mountains...pretty soon I'm going to have to get Josephine dressed everyday instead of letting her run around naked.


8 Months


This month has been packed with firsts that I hope to never forget. I have a perpetual calendar that I write things on, like your first word, mama, and the first time you took a few steps before crashing into my lap. Next year when those dates come back around, I'll see that July 30th 2008 you got up on both knees to crawl for real instead of the army scoot you've been perfecting. I'll document all of your milestones for sure, but this month there was so much more that I want to remember besides.

I don't want to forget how we share a piece of chocolate sometimes in the afternoon. I put a square of whatever chocolate grandma has around the house in my lips and you try to bite the corner that sticks out. My little baby bird has to give her mama a kiss if she wants to have a taste. I have no idea how you still manage to get chocolate all over your face, a candy goatee framing that perfect smile of yours.

I want to always hang on to the nights that you would get a second wind. You would practice your hollering all day and with your pipes all warmed up you'd play a very loud game of come catch me Papa. A game that has you yell and scream and laugh until Papa crawls over and you try to scamper away but you only manage to tumble over onto a pillow. Then you laugh even louder and send Papa hiding behind the pillow and the game turns into the loudest game of peek-a-boo in history.

You are very good at playing with everyone. You know when you are supposed to laugh even though you don't get the joke and you can always get any one's attention back on you if we dare take a minute to talk to someone else in the room. You also know how to tear your diaper off if I don't put it on backwards. You tear one side half way open, look to see if I have seen what you've done, then finish the job as fast as you can.

I know this won't last forever, but I wish it would: I love when you stare at me when you are sitting in the shopping cart and when I look into your eyes you give me the most genuine smile one person has ever given another. You smile like you know how much I love you. You smile like you have to show all the love in the world in one facial expression.

Here's something I don't have a picture of, my most special time with you in the morning: I bring you in the shower with me now. I hold you in my arms for the first minute and let you hold your hand in the stream of water, then set you down with some toys while I wash my hair. You do just fine in there, then I stop the drain and let you splash in the bath while I towel off. If I don't set you down fast enough though, you fall asleep, just conk right out without warning on my shoulder. It's hard to describe the special feeling of having your tiny wet body snuggled up to me, your arms wrapped as far around my neck as they can reach.


the biggest dorm room i have ever seen

Friday, us ladies (grandma, Martha, Josephine and I) went to the zoo! hooray for caged animals!

The big draw exhibit they have right now is an albino alligator, The Ghost of the Bayou. This picture was taken right after Martha dangled Josephine's toes over the alligator pit, just for fun. Ok, that didn't happen, the gator is behind glass, but you should have seen how that baby-eater was eye balling us.

It was a nice day that wore the baby out.

Saturday and Sunday I spent my free time fighting with or avoiding Martha because she was a little anxious about going off to college and leaving her boyfriend behind. Apparently she deals with anxiety by tearing heads off...but it's ok, moving out for the first time is pretty scary.

Monday afternoon we loaded up the cars, (Martha is the only one of us that got a car to take to school), we picked up the boyfriend and drove up to the place Martha will call home for at least this next semester, and hopefully the next four years.

Her new digs are pretty sweet as far as dorm rooms go. She has a double room, but no room-mate! So, she has an extra desk and wardrobe and space and privacy! Look at the view! And the super safe window that only opens about 4 inches and has bars covering those 4 inches just in case.

Hey! Are you one of those people that claims to never get car sick? Really? I challenge you to sit in the back seat of our Pathfinder while my mom drives. It was a nice straight and smooth highway that felt like an off road adventure.

I need to go off on a tangent for a moment, stay with me. Back when I was newly pregnant and realized that I needed to move out here to Utah I wasn't sure how I'd get here with all my stuff. For a while I thought I would have to fly out here and that meant I'd mail the things I couldn't pack and toss everything I could live without. I started to slowly clean out my apartment and one night in a fit of pregnant hormones I threw away my sewing machine. Soon after, I decided to drive out here instead and that meant I could pack a lot of stuff in the car...the sewing machine would've fit fine...but it was too late.

Well, I'm currently making something fabulous, but it's taking a really long time to sew by hand, one nap at a time. The car ride gave me almost two solid hours of sewing time while Josephine was sleeping in her car seat and my mother was driving like she was cross-eyed. I didn't throw up but I did sew my thumb to my thigh. I am not finished yet, but I'm a hell of a lot closer, and the blood came right out...

Anyway, I guess if I wasn't here my parents would officially be rid of all their kids...I like to think I'm keeping my mother from having a empty nest meltdown.


it could be a phase- or it could mean i need to activate the microchip

It seems my daughter is a tumbler and a runner.
She turns with a squeal and tries to crawl away when anyone enters the room. She will start to crawl out of the room, stop and look back at me, and if I flinch she will squeal and pick up speed.
Her favorite game right now is to stand up on the couch when I'm sitting next to her on my computer and purposely fall backward. She really loves it when someone suddenly looks her way and she can combine the running away with the launching backward into the cushions.
I do not look forward to shopping with her when she can really run away from me...I think there is an extra dog leash around here somewhere...


Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles

Because I know you have all be wondering...here are a few of my favorite things: The bathroom and kitchen edition

1] Philosophy skin care products. Specifically the Purity wash and On a Clear Day H2O2 cream. My skin went bonkers after Josephine was born and I tried a few different products including a few months of a birth control pill that all just made things worse. I finally gave in and bought the Philosophy products after months of reading rave reviews and now? I feel pretty, oh so pretty... If your skin care routine isn't working out for you, I recommend you look into Philosophy.

2] I bought these sun dried tomatoes to put on a pizza and the rest of the week I put them on sandwiches, in salads, on more pizzas...mmm...they are so delicious. I could probably eat them straight from the jar.

3] The other day I wandered to the yogurt section, as I am wont to do, and found these:
They come in delicious and unique flavors, but best of all there are no weird ingredients, all natural. When I sit down to eat I like to have something that I can share with Josephine, she eats a lot more if we eat together, and I feel good about sharing these with her instead of the super sugary and artificial color loaded yogurts.

4] I love getting new lotion. I don't love strong smelling lotions, sugary sweet smelling lotions, or expensive lotions. I've been pretty loyal to the Aveeno brand, but when I saw that Suave made a cheaper Aveeno knock-off I had to give it a shot. And I love this lotion. You will love it too. It has the perfect consistency, no weird smell, and that nice low price of Suave.

5] Like I said, I'm a fan of Aveeno. I love the baby lotions and washes, the sunblock, the shaving cream etc. but most of all I love the sunless tanner. I've tried a million kinds of sunless tanners and they are all the same, stinky and orange. Oh but the Aveeno has the very mildest of stinks...I mean no sunless tanner is totally odorless, but this one is very close. Very close. And, at least on my skin, it isn't orange at all.
This is what we do all day...


a few things to look at:

Adding this to the places I need to visit before I die.
I should probably get my order in soon.
Just what I need to make dinner extra special.


Our actual dog acts more like a cat anyway

Reason #2 why my daughter resembles a puppy:

She chases the vacuum cleaner. Some babies are lulled to sleep by the noise, some are terrified by the machine, mine? She scoots around behind it, laughing as I zoom past her.

who's hungry?

November 1998 I stopped eating meat after being totally grossed out by deer carcases proudly displayed on every car hood in town.

October 2001 I have been in college for a month and the cafeteria has few vegetarian options. I'm hungry and too poor to get my own groceries so I start eating the tuna. I continue to eat seafood but still avoid all other meats for the next several years.

April 2007 I take a pregnancy test, it's positive, I resolved to give in to any food cravings for the next 9 months. 1st up: fried chicken. I've been eating all foods ever since (except celery and mushrooms, yuck).

I've been considering going back to vegetarian side for a while now, I even planned on going vegan for a few weeks just as a sort of cleansing diet. My dad keeps making good food though, like ribs in our new smoker grill, and most nights it's just him and I that sit down to eat dinner.

My solution is that when I cook dinner I will try to make a (mostly) vegetarian meal and see if I can make meat a 'once-in-a-while' food.

Last night I made some pizzas. I made one that didn't turn out too well and so we won't talk about that one, but I made another one that was DELICIOUS.

Separate the sides of pita bread so that you have two thin round pieces. Pile on goat cheese, roasted red peppers, and sun dried tomatoes. Bake at 400 for 15ish min and finally toss on some diced up basil. Mmmmmmmmmm. Drizzle some balsamic vinegar over it just before you eat.

I had leftover ingredients and stuffed them all in the pita pockets and put it under the broiler for a few min for lunch today.

The night before I made this:

These zucchini "crab" cakes that were yummy. (There isn't really any crab in them)

Chiles Rellenos (stuffed poblano peppers):

Scorch the outside of the peppers with an open flame from your gas stove or put them under the broiler until they are black and blistered all over then stick them in a plastic bag to let them "sweat" for a while.

Cook up what you plan on stuffing them with. I cooked together onion, cactus, eggplant, tomatoes, and corn until the onion was soft.

Now you can take off the skin of the peppers...but be careful! Wear gloves if you have any cuts and make sure all the babies are being cared for by someone else far away from the kitchen sink. Run the peppers under cold water as you slide the skin off and wash your hands often so you don't accidentally rub your eyes or pick up your baby with fire fingers. (This dish isn't really spicy at all after you finish, I promise)

Cut a slit in the peppers and cut out the guts (that's the spicy part, watch it go down the disposal)

Stuff the peppers with your filling, add cheese too if you want, and "sew" them back together with toothpicks.

Whip three egg whites together (for four-five peppers) until fluffy and then mix in the yolks. Dust the peppers with flour and cover them with the egg mixture and then set them in some hot oil and fry those suckers till they are golden.

Put any left over stuffing on your plate as a bed for your chiles rellenos and top with any remaining cheese.

These are fricken awesome.

Finally the pretty little things inthe middle of the picture:

Blackberry Cornbread Tartlets with Ricotta Cream via Vegetarian Times:

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal + 1/2 cup unbleached (white) flour* (I used whole wheat) + 3Tbs sugar +1 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp salt in a bowl.

1/2 cup milk whisked with 1 large egg, fold into dry mixture.

Add 2 Tbs melted unsalted butter and 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels.

Bake the corn muffins at 375 for 14ish minutes.

Whisk 1 cup ricotta cheese + 1/4 cup sugar + 1.5 tsp vanilla extract + 1/2 tsp orange zest.

After the cornbread has sufficiently cooled, cut off the tops to make a flat surface and plop some cream on each and top with blackberries. I used frozen berries, but if you use fresh ones you should toss them with a little sugar and a pinch of salt ahead of time and let them rest so they'll be juicier.
Now if you made it to the end of this post you get a little treat...


Month 7

Everywhere I take you, Josephine, people stop me to tell me how beautiful my baby is. They comment on how much hair you have, pull on your tiny toes and then ask me how old you are. Do you know what I have to say now? I have to say 7 MONTHS. BAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

I would have written this earlier but I've been having too much fun playing with you lately, and I hesitate to write this but, Finally. Not that you aren't always a totally fun baby, but this past month has been a little rough for your mother's nerves. The separation anxiety paired with increased mobility left me with about 15 sec to myself everyday. 15 seconds is not enough time to go to the bathroom by myself, FYI.
This month you and I went on an airplane, four airplanes actually, and we survived. My best friend Kelly, her fiance, and their daughter Paris finally got to meet you. I haven't seen them since you were in my belly and Paris was soooo confused about why I ate a baby. How else could there be a baby in my belly?
You and Paris were BFFs almost immediately. There were so many moments that the two of you were quieltly playing and unaware that I was watching from the kitchen and I just died from the picture-perfectness of it all. The sappy fantasy that two young girlfriends have that one day they will have babies that will be best friends...for a week that fantasy came true. Those moments made all the crying on the plane and pooping in the airport totally worth it.
When we got home you waited a few days before you had your first real fever. I'm pretty proud of myself with how I reacted to you being a sicky baby. I wasn't the nerotic first time parent, I was the cool and composed rational parent that shushed the crazy family that asked if I was taking you in to the doctor's. You were fine, you are fine, but that's it honey, you aren't allowed to get sick again this decade.
You know what? I don't know if I have much else to say about this month. The more I gush about how cute and smart and fun you are, the more I sound like every mom with every baby. And I'm not every mom, and you aren't every baby, and I don't want to sound like we are. At least not in these letters to you. So this is all I can put out there this month, Josephine. I love you so much.


oh yeah

I'll probably be giving little updates about my MN trip from time to time because I'll suddenly remember something funny or interesting (to me) and I'll just have to share!

SO, remember the $7 shoes I got to go with my brown dress? Well, I wore them around my house before I left so that I could get a feel for any trouble spots and apply padding to appropriate areas. So far they were feeling pretty good. I'm not much of a high heel girl but these felt like I could keep them on for most of the night.
When I put them on the day of the wedding I suddenly needed bandaids on all my toes just to walk down the stairs to the car. But I didn't put any bandaids on because I thought I'd just re-adjust them in the car and baby=suck brains out. (Josephine is my excuse for most things, she owes me, my section scar still hurts) Anyway my feet hurt so bad that I carried my shoes around for most of the night, keeping them on only for the ceremony and for a brief walk outside between dinner and dance. I left them there. I had to. Walking to the bathroom for one last diaper change before we left my feet cramped up. Like when you are swimming and your toes suddenly point in unnatural directions...yeah, so I'm wiping baby but on a bench in a bathroom and my toes are pointing every way possible and OUCH! See ya later cheapo shoes.



Josephine is sicky

she had a slight fever last night and it's a little higher this morning...so I'll see what i can do while she's napping but I'm not promising anything too entertaining.

The first flight out to Denver was a little of what I was dreading, Josephine started off happy and got fussy when I couldn't walk around with her to help her fall asleep. She did finally fall asleep and no one seemed too pissed that they were sitting by a baby. On the second flight she fell asleep almost immediately and since I was able to bring her car seat on the plane, I stuck her in there and was able to take a short nap myself.

*If you show your cute baby to the guy behind the counter, throw in a look of slight desperation, the ticket guy will make sure you are sitting next to an empty seat, even if it's the only one on the plane.

Josephine was great for most of the time in MN. She really only fussed when I put her in the car. Also, her hair was super curly in the MN humidity, very cute.
It didn't take very long for her to warm up to my friend Kelly, maybe because she and I don't look entirely dissimilar, and Josephine just LOVED Kelly's 4 year old daughter. For a 4 y/o only child, she did spectacular with Josephine around. She played peek-a-boo for as long as Jose would pay attention, she layed out a blanket with baby safe toys on it and was super excited to show us the display, she was quiet when Josephine napped and only casually suggested that maybe we can walk someplace instead of drive, because the baby always cries in the car.

We went swimming almost everyday and Josephine loved it. One afternoon we spent some time in a bridal shop that had gone out of business. The bank was selling everything 1/2 off and so the four of us, along with another girlfriend that was visiting that day, tore around the shop looking at some potential bridesmaids dresses for Kelly's upcoming wedding, as well as the gawdy and silly dresses that we would've bought just for dress up purposes if they were a little cheaper.

The reason I picked this particular week to visit MN was because a very dear friend of mine was getting married. I could go on and on about how great she is but I won't, you'll just have to trust me that she's pretty awesome. Josephine conveniently took a break from being an anxious clingy little monkey and wanted to say hi to everyone there. It was so great to see her make googly eyes back at all the people I haven't seen since I was in my first trimester. It was a good night.

I guess I was a little cocky about how easy it was to travel out with Josephine and I didn't prepare as well for the trip home. First I forgot to pack our swim suits and a few little things that Kelly had given us because I just set them down instead of putting them in my suitcase immediately. Because I'm a mom and babies suck your brains out.

Anyway, my return flight was super early and while getting us dressed and ready I didn't get a blanket back into the diaper bag. The blanket I use to cover up while nursing. I didn't notice until I was in my seat and she was grabbing at my shirt. Luckily I had a bandanna that I hadn't removed from the diaper bag that I could use.

Let me back up, on the ride to the airport Josephine pooped. Not a big deal except that I couldn't change her right away because we were tight for time and there was a serious line ahead of me to check in. She was sitting in the Bjorn and seemed happy so I didn't worry about the diaper situation. We got through security and I booked it to a bathroom, took her out of the Bjorn and saw that poop had seeped out of the diaper and was all up her back...so much for the cute outfit...The lady sharing the changing station with me was all Oh my, mah baby peeeeeeeeed through all her clothes! Now I have to change her whole outfit! Do you have any spare wipes? Hey look, it's just pee, look at my baby, half her body is smeared in mustard yellow poop, and no I think I'm going to need all of these wipes just to clean up her back before I even attempt to clean her butt, and look at her poopy feet! it's everywhere!

*she ignored me and my poopy situation, and I did give her a butt wipe.

Then Josephine slept through both flights even though I couldn't bring the car seat on board.
The end.
(I'll put pictures up on Flickr soon.)


give me a minute

I have uploaded all my pictures from my camera but I have yet to edit them.
I will work on writing about my trip tonight (it was super!) but right now I'm going to try to get some laundry put away and then go outside and enjoy this beautiful summer day.
I'll be back


it builds character

I was starting a post with whatever, y'all can suck it, thanks for nothing, then a friend posted some shoe ideas after all...but I already found shoes. $7 from payless, and they look like they cost $7 but I'm ok with that.

so, Operation Lose My Shit is officially underway. I have half my suitcase packed, disposable diapers purchased for the trip, and nightmares about being seated next to some cranky drama queen that thinks breastfeeding is gross and wants to educate me on the benefits of Benadryl or other sedation techniques.

I mentioned the Wonder Weeks book before and you know what it says? It says that the most common week for a baby's separation anxiety to peek is week 29. Guess what week she started yesterday? If she would've been born on her due date then week 29 would start this coming Friday. Either way, it's just in time for the wedding I'm attending on Saturday. Here's hoping she doesn't fit the mold this time.

I am really excited though. I leave tomorrow morning and I'm not going to be doing any computer stuff while I'm there so I look forward to sharing how everything went when I get home again the following Wednesday.

Give me a few days, if you don't hear from me assume I got in a fight on the plane and TSA has me locked up in a back closet.


find me some shoes!

The way she tosses and turns in her sleep and ends up in all sorts of twisted and contorted positions, you'd think she'd been in this world a lot longer than she has. You'd think she would have something to be troubled about.
(Maybe she's been paying attention to the nightly news and I just didn't realize.)
6 months is a typical time for babies to get a touch of separation anxiety. Josephine's been smacked with it, though, I'm the one that feels punched in the face by it. She pretty much freaks out if anyone tries to hold her for more than a few minutes, or even talks to her if they are a stranger. I am so glad I have this book: Wonder Weeks. It lays out the developmental spurts (and accompanying fussy/clingy/no sleepy spurts) so that you know you aren't going crazy, it's just a phase...and now I know exactly what she's learning each time, so when she wakes up for the 100th time and screams in my ear I can just remind myself that she is learning something new, so it's OK.

I need help finding shoes for this dress. I don't know what style would work. If you have any ideas, please leave a comment. I only have one week to get something that'll work!

(The dress ends above my knees- I can't wear any heels especially high or pointy)


6 months

She wakes up a few times in the night, technically it's morning, but she's the only one that wants to be up. Usually sometime between 3 and 5 am I look over to her tossing and turning in her bed and her head pops up as she whips around to look at me as if she sensed I was now awake. I'm greeted by a giant smile on her face and a small giggle, she's ready to play. I shush her, nurse her, and if she isn't asleep after that, I let her lay in the crook of my arm as she half sings, half cries, herself to sleep again.

8am, the sun is shining through the windows and with her eyes still squeezed tightly shut she starts grunting and thrashing, she's hungry. I nurse her and she is sound asleep again, breakfast in bed, she has no idea how good she has it.

I get up for the day, pour a cup of coffee and while my computer is starting up I walk back into the bedroom to find her looking around on her back. When she sees me she kicks and squeals and starts a song that I call her good-morning song, a series of Oohs and Aahs interrupted by a giggle here and there. I lay down next to her until she finishes, she grabs at my face to acknowledge my presence but avoids looking at me until the song is done.

She sits next to me on the couch while I start my coffee and within a few minutes she's reclining into my side, my arm around her, watching the news with me and singing out to the ceiling. Sometimes she takes a brake from exercising her vocal cords to try an fit her feet in her mouth.

When she starts to get restless I sit her on the floor and, after a quick scan of the room, she crawls strait toward the pile of magazines by the coffee table, most of them wrinkled and puckered from previous mouthings.

After lunch I can see in her face that she is ready for a nap but she has other ideas. She is tired of all the toys I offer and cries real tears when I set her down. To calm her I sing a song that always brings a smile to her face:

Oh I wish I was a little bar of soap (bar of soap)

Oh I wish I was a little bar of soap (bar of soap)
I'd go slidey slidey slidey, Over Josephine's body
Oh I wish I was a little bar of soap (bar of soap!)

I tickle her when I sing "slidey slidey slidey" and she's not upset anymore, but still tired. I hold her close with one hand and prop open a book with the other and read out loud until she is asleep on my shoulder.

It's late in the afternoon but still too early to start worrying about dinner so we go explore the back yard. I sit her in a shady spot on the grass; the grass has never bothered her bare feet and legs. I lay down next to her in the sun and watch her fumble with a toy fish and a oak leaf she picked up, she is more interested in the leaf. Tomorrow I'll put some warm water in her pool and let her splash her energy out. She likes splashing and trying to catch the toys that go floating by, but the real reason I lather her in sunscreen, warm up the water, and lay out towels to sit on is so her grandmother can watch her "swim".

Earlier in the day I sat in the rocking chair with her in my lap. I was reading to her, hoping she'd fall asleep, but she was much more interested in trying to eat the book, then her feet. I sat quietly for a few minutes just looking at the back of her little brown fuzzy head, that head that is so soft and comforting when it nuzzles my shoulder and fits so perfectly under my chin it's as if it is a part of me rather than belonging to a separate being. I imagined brushing her hair back into a ponytail in preparation for her first day of school, and combing out the tangles after a bath, braiding it so it wouldn't be ratty in the morning. Maybe she'll want to keep it short when she's older, maybe it'll be curly, maybe she'll scream that I'm pulling too hard, and maybe she'll sit on my lap like this for years to come. I hope she does.

She falls asleep around 8pm but will wake up in about an hour so that I can change her into her night-time diaper, then she'll want to play and eat and finally fall back asleep in my lap as we watch The Daily Show and Colbert Report with Papa. She'll wake up around 3 again, and when she does I'll let her lay in the crook of my arm, her warm face on my skin, until she has fallen back to sleep.


just ignore the the mumbling crazy lady

I'm serious when I said that the only thing on my mind is that I'm flying cross country with Josephine in July.

I've started a packing list that I keep open on my computer in case I need to add something to it really quick. When I go shopping I find myself on the look out for something that will make this trip easier, some miracle product I've never heard of but could totally be on the sale rack.

I've gone back and forth over the pros and cons of checking my car seat at the counter versus lugging it through the airport and leaving it at the gate. (I'm going to lug it through the airport, I think, probably.) And every time Josephine wakes up in the middle of the night and actually starts to fuss I think, is she going to wake up our hosts? I told them she isn't a crier at night! Josephine, You will not make your mother into a liar!

Then there are the moments sprinkled though out the day where I use up all my energy, and the energy of whoever else is in the room, just trying to keep my shit together because How The Hell Am I Supposed To Entertain A 6 Month Old Baby On An Airplane?

She can crawl now you know. Did you know? Well, she knows, and she will not want to just sit on my lap when there is so much floor to lick, and all those shoes! she needs to drool on some of those!

I should probably just get over it huh? Crazy lady should just relax...

(Attn: Kelly, at the airport, I'll be the one with my hair sticking out, bloodshot eyes, more spit-up than clean spots on my clothes, and a screaming baby strapped to my chest. You can't miss me!)

I really am excited though- almost exactly a year since I left Minnesota, it'll be a nice vacation, plus I'm going to a wedding!

In other news, dude, did you hear? Josephine can crawl now. So wild.

Some cool stuff:

Neat huh? and stylish! Link

Also, click here and watch the short video about this reverse graffiti artist. It's pretty radical.

Finally, for those of you with kids, not babies, kids. What do you think about giving them a placebo when they are complaining about some ailment but you don't really believe them? It'd probably work a lot of the time, I think. Why not just fill an old medicine bottle with tic tacs or something instead? I might keep this idea filed away for later.


celebrate those worthy of celebrating

Happy father's day...to all the fathers that are there for their children.


who's idea was this?

So I've been trying to come up with something half-way entertaining to write about here but every time I sit down to write there is only one thing on my mind.
I'm flying to Minnesota in July, with Josephine, and I'm nervous. Scared. Shitless.
I mean, what am I thinking, traveling with a baby by myself? I can barely manage to get through security and to my gate when it's just me and now I have to do it all with A BABY.
I chose a flight with a longer layover than I'd like if it were just me (3 hours), so we have time to re-group, stretch out, pee, eat, and change diapers before the next leg (and we don't have to sprint if our first leg is delayed a little bit). The layover is in Denver, I've had long layovers there before and it's a nice airport to be stuck in, as far as airports go.
I know that it is entirely possible that the whole trip will be far better than I could imagine. But it is also entirely possible that it will be far worse than I could imagine.
All I've been doing since I bought the damn ticket is reading travel tips on parenting websites and blogs. Occasionally getting up to pee and grab a Diet Coke (damn you, addicting carbonated beverages!)
The only time my mind briefly wanders from packing lists, travel tips, and just trying not to lose my shit three weeks before what may or may not be a difficult situation, is when I start freaking out about trying to look decent in my current state of being a Flabby McChunk.
Damn those celebrities that return to their size 2 a month postpartum! I can't do that! (not that I was a size 2 to begin with)
You know what Josephine has started doing? No, not getting Diet Cokes for mama, she has started spitting up every other time I pick her up. Newborns spit up, older babies mostly grow out of it, Josephine has decided to projectile vomit on my pile of clean laundry.
If anyone on the plane gives me a dirty look I'll just turn Josephine to face them and give her a little jiggle and BLAAAA.


the excitement

I got some gift cards to the local mall for Christmas. I was saving them for when I lost a little weight, thinking I would have lost more than this by now, so that I could have a few nice things to wear in the time between only-sweats and pre-pregnancy clothes.
Yesterday I decided that I could no longer get away with squeezing into my too tight jeans or wearing sweats everywhere and roped my sister into accompanying me to the mall (to tag-team entertaining the baby).
Success! I found two (2!) pairs of pants.
When we were heading home I noticed some nice fellow mall goer saw how boring our all black car was and thoughtfully spruced it up with a splash of ketchup all over the drivers side door.
Josephine had fallen asleep and I didn't need to start dinner for at least another 30 min so we headed out for the car wash. We didn't get far. I mean, well, we made it home and all but we didn't make it to the car wash.
There's a fancy smancy fountain that is in front of a fancy smancy cemetery and traffic at a red light backed up so that we were stopped right in front of the fancy smancy water display. The car behind us however, was not stopped. Until it hit us.
And then we hit the car in front of us.
Josephine SCREAMED and my heart stopped. I was dead.
I pulled the car over and jumped out around to the back seat and I don't know what I was expecting, I don't want to think about it now, but I yanked her out of her seat and held her so close until she calmed down. That's when I remembered there were other people in the accident and I looked up to see who was talking, asking if we were ok, if we were wearing seat belts, is the baby ok? Everyone involved is ok. Even the cars are pretty much ok. The lady that hit us said she was distracted, looking at the nice new fancy fountain over there!
We sat around on the grass while the cop wrote everything up and were braiding each other's hair by the time everything was said and done.
And my heart has started beating again.
Now to deal with the stinkin' insurance people.


Josephine's first book signing!

So about two years ago, spring break of 2006 actually, I was in a bad place emotionally and it didn't help that I was living in Minnesota and the snow was so high I couldn't see out my windows and I was pretty much stuck in my apartment all week with little to do. I read a news story about a girl meeting up with someone she met on MySpace and getting hurt (I had internet, but not a TV) and I decided to look into what Myspace actually was because I really had no idea. I eventually figured it out and then quickly learned that all my siblings and half my friends all had accounts and I was clueless.
In the process of learning about this new corner of the internet I stumbled on these things called "blogs". I had previously been clueless about these things as well, but oh what a discovery! It was like an oasis in the desert; I had something to fill my time until school started again!
The first blog I found was Dooce and I enjoyed the few posts that I read so much that I went back through the archives and read everything from the beginning, almost five years worth of back posts. Heather, the author, has been writing letters to her daughter every month for 52 months(!) and is the reason I write Josephine a letter each month. I don't know if I'll keep it up as long as she has, but I need to give her the credit for the great idea.
She put together a book recently, Things I Learned About my Dad (In Therapy) with essays from many writers that I have followed through their respective blogs over the years. I haven't read the book yet, I just bought it tonight, but I'm certainly looking forward to it. Tonight I drove down to Salt Lake City, to a little bookstore in the middle of town, so that I could have Heather sign a copy of her book for me. And she totally made googly eyes at Josephine which made me happy. She is an amazing writer, she pays the bills for her whole family of three through the ads on her blog for crying out loud. She is funny, clever, honest, and quite candid about real life struggles such as depression. I am very excited that I got to meet her, even if it was only for 5 seconds while she scribbled her name in a book.