Water Baby

Over the weekend Simeon, Ana, and I took a trip to Bend, Oregon. Simeon presented for the Central Oregon Web Professionals’ Usergroup (COWPU) on Thursday night and we decided to make a long weekend of it and stuck around for a few extra days. Sort of a mini vacation. One of the perks of being a stay at home mom is my ability to travel alongside my husband whenever he goes any place I deem worth visiting. I don’t even have to ask for time off…I just bring my “boss” along with me.

The 4-hour drive was Ana’s longest traveling period to date (via car and/or plane) and she did great. We just stopped a couple times to let her out of the car seat, stretch her tiny legs, and get a little something to eat. She spent the rest of the time sleeping away while Simeon and I listened to an audio book (the latest Artemis Fowl, The Lost Colony, if you are curious).

When we booked our hotel we made sure to get one with an indoor pool so we could take Ana for her first swim. I picked out a cute little swimsuit (I intended to get her a one-piece, but the ones in her size were all ugly. Plus I reasoned that she wouldn’t outgrow it as fast since the majority of her growth is in length.) and a reusable swim diaper. So as soon as we had a spare moment, we slipped on our suits and headed to the pool. Ana did great. Simeon had me take her in first so he could catch her first swim on video (are we total first time parents or what?). At first she was a little scared and kinda shaky, but she quickly warmed up when she realized I wasn’t going to drop her. By the time I switched off to let Simeon play with her while I took some pictures, she was splashing around and kicking her feet in the water. So freakin’ cute!

We played around in the water for a while until Ana started to get cold and went back to our room. We decided now would be the perfect time for her to have her first shower. Up to this point she has been strictly a bath girl. At home it’s just easier in her own little tub and the last time we were in a hotel I gave her a bath in the sink since Sim wasn’t there to hand her off once she was done (I don’t know how to wash and then dry off myself and a baby at the same time. I am just not that good yet).

Once again, traveling brings out the milestones for Ana. She took an extended car trip, had her first swim in a pool, and took her first shower. My goodness! I wonder what new things we can have her do when we are in Minneapolis, Minnesota next week for cf.Objectve.

Talking With Ana III

I would like to introduce you all to the newest member of our household: The Shriek. Ana just started making this lovely noise in the last couple days. Sim thinks it sounds like a pterodactyl, but I think it’s more like that scene in Splash where Daryl Hannah says her mermaid name and all the TVs explode. In the clip there are several moments where it seems like she is quiet, however she is still screeching but she has just reached a pitch only dogs can hear. The downside of practicing her new sound is the more she does it, the more she starts to sound like someone who has been smokin’ a pack a day for the last 20 years. Go hear for yourself…just know you have been warned:

4 Month Doctors Appt

Ana had her four-month doctors appointment today. Here are her stats from the appt:

Height: 25 1/4″ (87th percentile)
Weight: 13 lbs 14.5 oz (50th percentile)
Head: 41.7 cm (75th percentile)

Ana had her second round of several immunizations today. Only difference from her last appointment is this time she knew what to expect and started crying as soon as she saw the nurse bring in the tray of medicine. Poor little girl! As for the rest of the appointment, the doctor confirmed what Simeon and I already know: we have a healthy, happy little girl. He said she is developing on schedule and was quite impressed with her physical strength–she grabbed onto the paper they cover the table with and refused to let go. Then she kicked and squirmed just to prove how strong she can be. Yep, that’s mama’s little over-achiever! So the doc said she is now ready to play in a exersaucer or johnny jump-up. She has been trying to stand up a lot lately, so I am sure she is just going to love that! We mentioned the fact that she has been biting/chewing on everything recently, but he said he doesn’t see any sign of teeth yet, looks like I get to avoid that nightmare for a bit longer. Our next appointment is at 6-months, so stay tuned!

A Letter: Four Months

Dear Ana,
Today you turn four months old. Or 17 weeks. Or 121 days. Well, no matter how you look at it, those have been the best days/weeks/months of my life. I now appreciate each and every moment in a way I never imagined possible. Yes, even when you are crying inconsolably, huge crocodile tears streaming down your chubby cheeks, and you cling to me with every fiber of your being. I try to keep in mind that you are just telling me that you need me. I especially want to cherish those moments because I know as you grow up those times will grow far and few between.

You are becoming such a little person now. Do you know how I know? Because in the last couple weeks my dad, that’s Grandpa Larry to you, finally held you. Up to this point he considered holding you “for Grandma’s” but I know it’s because you were just so tiny and fragile looking. However the other day I had you lying on the couch between us and he kept scooting closer and closer to you and finally he propped you up–right onto his lap. Your father and I exchanged looks realizing what a momentous occasion this was! Your Grandpa was finally holding you! Neither of us dared to take a picture, fearing we might scare him off and he would never come back again. So we just smiled to each other and knew that this meant you are becoming more than just a helpless baby, but growing into an exciting real live person.

As you are growing, your physical skills are developing. You no longer have any trouble getting things into your mouth. And so into your mouth everything goes. You are particularly fond of your hands and blankets. I have to watch you when you chew on your tiny fingers because you tend to get so excited that you can get your whole hand! into your mouth! all at once! that you often gag yourself with your long fingers. But even that doesn’t slow you down.

You have discovered that when your hands are in your mouth your repertoire of vowel-sounds change. You like to coo and talk, then stick your hand into your mouth while making the same noises to hear the difference. I am sure you also like the vibration the sounds make on your fingers. You express your happiness by getting louder, wriggling your body, and kicking your feet enthusiastically. I just love watching your excitement physically consume you!

Yesterday you laughed for the second time. I was in the shower and your father came running into the bathroom screaming, “She giggled! She giggled!” He was so excited, not only because you actually laughed again, but because this time HE was the one who made you laugh. I told him a little later that running out of the room screaming was probably not the best response if he ever wants you to laugh again. Silly Daddy.

Not only are you learning, but I am as well. I am having to learn self-restrain on a level I never imagined. When you are asleep in your crib, I often sneak in to watch you sleep and it takes all the power I have to not wake you up just so I can see your smiling face. Or pick you up just to feel your body pressed against mine and have you snuggle your face into my neck. I just love you so much it overwhelms me.

All my love,

PS Oh and before I forget, I wanted to mention that your eyes are finally starting to change color, but we can’t yet tell what color they will be. I personally am hoping you have green eyes like your mama. So if you want to work on that, it would be great. Just know I am not above bringing up the fact that I carried you around for nine and a half months or the 19 hours of labor…

Avoiding the Mommy Haircut

The last time I got my hair cut, I was about seven months pregnant. Not wanting to do something crazy and overwhelm my hormones, I kept it simple; cut off a few inches and added lots of layers to “lighten the load.” So you better believe, six months later, I was in desperate need of a haircut. See exhibit A:

After my trip to the salon today, I left with sleeker, shinier, and shorter hair. And I even managed to avoid getting a “mommy haircut!” See exhibit B:

Keep in mind it is shorter than it looks because it is blown straight. Once I let the unruly curls do their thing, it will pull it up a couple more inches. Just in time to be soft and bouncy for spring.

Talking With Ana II

A year ago today, on Good Friday, Simeon and I found out we were expecting. To celebrate the day that changed my world, I wanted to share another video clip of my chatty little daughter. I can tell Ana is up in the morning because of the steady stream of squeaks, squeals, and coos coming from her room. She is happy to entertain herself, just talking away until I come to pick her up (I tend to use this time to gather my breakfast, a cup of coffee and the phone–once I start feeding, I am not able to get up for quite awhile). Yesterday on my way to get her, I grabbed the video camera to share the moment with you. As you will see on the clip, she gets a little camera shy but quickly realizes her Mama is back there and the excitement takes over. See for yourself:

Yep, those are the sounds I wake up to each morning. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

CSI: Puke Unit

Minutes before 6am this morning, Ana woke up. I went into the nursery to feed her and Sim took the dogs downstairs to let them outside and feed them. As Sim approached the main level of our house I heard him call up to me, “Someone puked down here…don’t worry, I’ll clean it up.” Then I heard him murmur something like, “What the…oh, dear Lord.” Instead of hearing running water or the gathering of cleaning supplies, the next thing I knew Simeon came back upstairs and said, “I am trying to summon the crime scene investigators to try and understand what happened down there. It’s just….” and then gave some sort of involuntary shudder and went back downstairs.

A few minutes later, Ana had fallen back to sleep so I went downstairs to help Sim. There were several piles of unidentifiable bodily fluids. The first was a scattering of dried flecks of what looked like cat food. Several feet away was a monstrous pile of gooey, slimy chunks (the odor coming off this pile alone made my eyes water) from which two separate rivers of liquid were drifting across the hardwood floor.

From these disgusting clues, we were able to surmise one of the cats had eaten too quickly and vomited up their barely digested food. Then one of the dogs came along and happily devoured this pile of cat puke, walked a few steps away and proceeded to vomit as well, emptying the contents of their stomach all over the floor. However once riding herself of the offending items, she continued to vomit up stomach bile, hence the slimy rivers. So much vomit. So much grossness.

Simeon and I set to cleaning up the massacre. He scrubbed the dried chunks and scooped up the slimy pile while I wiped up the river of bile and then quickly filled up my mop bucket with hot water and orange scented Mr. Clean. Once the disaster had been resolved, we headed back upstairs. I leaned against my husband and thanked him for helping me tackle that horrifying mess. It was definitely a two-person job. I swear if I would have discovered that in the middle of the night (or heaven forbid, after he had left) I would have literally thrown in the towel, packed up the baby, and left. There is only so much one can handle before being pushed over the edge.

So, how has your morning been?

Time For Mommy, Take Two

Last Friday I had a much needed night out with the girls for Chloe’s surprise baby shower. I think it is healthy to get a little time away from the kiddo every now and then, so I appreciate her that much more when I return. Plus I think it is very important for Simeon to have some one-on-one time with Ana.

For those of you who don’t remember,
last time I went out was a little tough on Sim. In fact, I was surprised how willing he was to take care of her this time. I guess Ana’s overall demeanor has really mellowed out in the last few weeks (not that she wasn’t mellow before, just fussier) which has served to boost Sim’s confidence in his ability to take care of her. He is learning her different cries, knows how to calm her down, and understands what she does (and more importantly, what she doesn’t) like. Apparently the combination of all these factors made for a much more successful evening. She actually took the bottle, went to sleep willingly, and everyone was happy and resting when I finally came home.

Make sure you read Sim’s version of the nights events too!

Zen in the City

Over the weekend Simeon and I entertained our friends, Rob and Kristin, who were up from California for the weekend. We have been trying to convince them that Oregon is “the place to be.” We figured what better way to prove our point than to show them. We started the morning off at Beaterville Cafe, a trendy little breakfast place in North Portland that we knew would cater to Rob’s vegan lifestyle. Then we took a little drive through downtown, Sim pointing out the sights along the way, and ended up at the Portland Classical Chinese Garden.

Knowing that Rob has been learning Chinese, Simeon thought he would take an interest in the gardens. Every now and then Rob would recognize a Chinese character or point out an interesting cultural tidbit, which really personalized the experience. Besides, how could anyone not love a beautiful little square block of all things zen and peaceful nestled in the heart of our bustling city?

I always enjoy having guests from out of town because it allows us to play tourist. Simeon and I have talked about visiting the garden, but never had a good reason to make the time to see what was hidden behind the fancy gates. Needless to say, we were not disappointed in the amazing architecture, the serene water features, and the gorgeous foliage.

Luckily the weather cooperated and we were able to enjoy the beautiful blooms and signs of new life that only spring can provide. You can see all the pictures from the Chinese Garden and even a couple of us up at Council Crest Park over in the gallery. Enjoy!