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.



Things I think are pretty radical:

This ring from here. It's a little (OK a lot) more than I'd like to spend on myself for a piece of jewelry that isn't a wedding ring, but I think it is so pretty.

I love the new trend of unique and stylish wallpaper and wall stickers. Ferm has a few wholesalers in the U.S. but unfortunately none near me. There website is a blast to look through though.

Bilk is another great wall decor site I've found. There are so many great designs that I cannot pick a favorite. I love the simple graphics, the whimsical characters, oh all of it! The Threadless Shop might be my favorite part- (I love the Threadless t-shirt shop as well). I cannot wait for Josephine to move out of my room so that I can start decorating a space just for her. Well, I'm looking forward to decorating, but I'm not sure when I'll actually be emotionally ready for Josephine to sleep anywhere other than right next to my bed or in my arms. Sappy sappy blah blah blah.

Finally, The Land of Nod has some really beautiful artwork. I particularly like this painting:
But it is a little pricey for me.


home and head intact!

We got in last night around 8ish and Josephine was so excited to be home that she squealed and quivered and ran her feet in circles for a good two hours before finally crashing out for the night. She did way better than I thought she would in the car and slept better than I thought she would in the hotels.

If you've never been to Yellowstone I highly recommend that you make plans to go there. The hot springs and geysers are incredible to see, a little stinky, but pretty amazing (and dangerous, this was supposed to be a stop for us the second day there but it was closed).
And of course we saw Old Faithful and the famouse Old Faithful Inn.

Then there are the animals! I didn't get pictures of all the animals we saw because some were just too far away, and some were just too boring to stop for I guess... We saw bison and their babies, black bears, fox, deer, elk, moose, pelicans (really! pelicans in Wyoming!), more bison, a stink bug in our hotel bathroom, marmots, and a bunch of boring birds.

The bison were everywhere! They stopped traffic several times and then I saw a sign at the beginning of a short trail that led around some geysers and hot springs that warned of bison charging and goring hikers. We started walking the loop and around the first corner we saw some bison very very close to the trail and a ranger asking us to go around the other direction and hopefully they'll have moved on by the time we get back to that point. My mom and sisters decided they'd rather wait in the car. So my dad and I come around to the spot on the trail again where the bison were and they have only moved about a foot away. My heart is beating a little faster. Dad takes my camera and I start down the trail. When I get close to the bison he yells my name so I'd turn around and then the bison stops eating grass and looks right at me with a snort. I immediatly turn forward again and keep moving so he only got a shot of my backside. And I may have peed a little.

All in all it was one of the best family vacations I can remember. Very little bickering, much laughter, and I only had to crack the window twice because of someone's farts in the car. That last fact is probably the most surprising to me.