Sunday, November 28, 2004

Reflect on this.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Does Dr Sears know about this?

Jacqui starts to get sleepy around 9:30pm. Typically, she'll start to fuss around 10, and by 10:30 she's asleep. Whether she gets there in my arms (or Geoff's) or on her own isn't predictable yet, but there's not usually a lot of evening-angst.

Tonight I kissed her to sleep.

We were downstairs watching Muppets Take Manhattan, and the movie ended just at 10pm. That's when she started making the "I don't WANT to fall asleep!" noises, as she lay in her sleeper on the floor. So I leaned over and kissed her face, all up and down her cheek. I expected her to yell at me ... instead, she adopted the most blissed-out-baby expression I've ever seen. She even kissed me back, when my cheek was close to her mouth as I was nibbling her chin. Tiny little kisses all over her cheeks and chin and forehead made her eyes close and her body relax ... and then she was out.

When I picked her up she complained a little ... I kissed her cheek, and she relaxed back into sleep.

And now I sit here making the blissed-out-mommy face.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Chasing Jacqui

Last night, she crawled for the first time.

Today, she moves -- slowly -- across the floor.

Tomorrow, the world!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

santa baby

she shopped ... we dropped.

Santa was at the mall yesterday! Jacqui wasn't dressed in her Yule-tide finery, but there was no line and she was in a relatively good mood, so she and her grandma and I went to say hello to the Man in Red. (I haven't had personal experience with Santa-in-the-Mall since I was 5; my most recent impression was formed by Bad Santa. So I have to admit relief that he was not only an actual old man with an actual white beard growing out of his face, but he also had no apparent stench of alcohol.) They snapped the photo just as Jacqui was saying, "I'm not here to interact with you, old man -- I'm just an observer." If we have a chance for another, we'll take it ... but this way if we never make it back into a mall, or if the lines are too long, or if she's just in a rare bad mood, we've already got this year's photographic evidence.

Annapolis Mall has wonderful "family restrooms" set up, with two baby-changing areas, nursing spaces (they look like dressing rooms, but have a padded chair & table), and a large WC with toilets and sinks for both grown-up and small people. It's fairly impressive. The only disappointment is that the Powers That Be apparently believe those two changing areas are sufficient; there are no baby changing tables in the women's room, even though it's large enough to accommodate them.

Do they not realize we're in the middle of a baby boom? Walking through that mall, it seems like everyone over the age of 20 is either pushing a stroller or carrying a belly! And the number of tandem strollers (mostly double-long, rather than double-wide, for navigating crowded mall lanes) just keeps growing!

And now we get to the Big Thing. While the three of us were at Sbarro, Jacqui drank from a water bottle! To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how she ended up with my mom's water bottle, but Jacqui was getting very frustrated that she couldn't chew through the cap. My mom removed the cap, held the bottle up, and squeezed from the bottom a little to make the water-level rise to the top. Jacqui put her entire mouth around the opening, made little nursing-motions with her tongue, and drank from the bottle. She probably ended up swallowing 2 ounces, with another ounce on the napkins we shoved under her chin when we realized she was serious.

She amazes me.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Mama don't take my telephone away ...

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

feeding a baby

Tonight she ate egg yolk!

And I've introduced a third meal. Now she nurses first thing in the morning, then she has fruit mid-morning, then a vegetable for lunch, then she nurses mid-afternoon, then she has cereal with a couple spoons-ful of veggies in it for supper (except tonight she had egg yolk hard-cooked then pureed with my expressed milk), then she nurses again before bed.

Written down like that, it sounds like she spends her whole day eating!

She doesn't *have* to nurse so often. If we're out somewhere, often she'll be distracted enough not to. But since she's my vegetarian baby, until I've introduced enough protein-rich foods (legumes, nuts, certain vegetables, whole-milk yogurt; and once she's a year old she can have whole milk), we're nursing as often as she needs to.

Soy is also a good protein source, but there's been enough uncertainty about soy's effect on children that I'm not planning for it to be a major part of her diet.

my eight month old girl

Yesterday evening I put Jacqui in the exersaucer so that I could run upstairs and get ready to go out with her. I brushed my teeth and then listened: she wasn't talking, but she was still pushing buttons. I put my contacts in and listened: yep, still playing. I put a little make-up on ... she was STILL playing. I grabbed some socks and started back down the stairs.

She was sitting with her back to me, facing the 5 numbered buttons on the exersaucer, pushing them individually with great deliberation. She was so focused.

Then we went out to meet a friend and her 11-month old daughter at Krispy Kreme, and we all had a wonderful glucose-raising time. Jacqui sat in a wooden restaurant high chair for the second time in as many days, and she took no notice of the lack of back support. She was too enthralled with the other baby to pay much attention to anything else!

I think I might try to find a mommy-and-baby group in the area; Jacqui's of an age where it would be nice to see her around other kids.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

It's an eating utensil, held backward.

Now that's a fine stogey.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

an unexploited market segment

The scene: Mommy and baby at a restaurant ... baby's mouth opens and her tongue moves inexcorably toward the tablecloth. BUT WAIT! Mommy pulls a purse-sized spray can of Lysol out of nowhere, and quickly sanitizes the offending section of cloth.

Oh wait -- and then baby gets a mouthful of Lysol and gags and cries.

So maybe it's not such a great idea after all.

Yay! Puppies!

Jake is six and a half years old, but he acts like an old man some days. That's because he's got arthritis and hip dysplasia; he's a puppy mill dog, so I don't really think he's going to match the average 16 year lifespan for schipperkes.

He's been a constant companion since 1998. He visited clients with me when I freelanced; we went for long walks every day (apartment living made that a necessity -- schips suffer from only a little less ADD than Jack Russells); Geoff would sometimes take him to work with him when his office was still small enough for that. He was the baby we never thought we'd have.

Dante really is still a puppy -- he'll turn two in December. He runs and jumps and bounces, and he has a TAIL. He came to us from a breeder who didn't expect his litter to happen; one of her male dogs got into a run with a female in heat, and because she couldn't be sure who the father was, she didn't want to register the litter. That meant there was no point in docking tails, so he proudly waves his banner everywhere he goes.

Since Jacqui's arrival, the two boys have suffered a reduction in status. They're not the babies anymore -- they're the dogs. Since we have a fenced yard now, leashed walks aren't really necessary; since Jacqui requires so much attention, they're just not doted upon anymore. And since we don't have a vehicle big enough for a baby seat AND two dog crates, they stay home every time we go out. It's very sad for them.

Jacqui's getting big enough now to notice them, though. She watches them, fascinated, when they run around the living room. We've taught them to avoid her, so while she waves and dances and reaches from the exersaucer or her play-yard or my lap, they'll stop and look and then go about their business. She's touched them, in controlled circumstances, and even when she pulls they don't react.

I think once she's old enough for them to run away from her, that's what will happen. And then later, they'll all be buddies. And that's worth waiting for.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

I can't settle on just one caption for this -- you're just going to have to make up your own. :) Posted by Hello

Hi Jacqui! Bye Jacqui! Hi Jacqui!

This evening while we were waving "Hi Jacqui!", she waved back with her entire body -- she was in her exersaucer, and she would wave both arms and shake her head and bounce and giggle. I could have died of cute. Finally, she watched us, and then she watched her fingers curl inward toward her palm ... and then she lifted her hand to do it. Her hand was still turned toward her face, rather than out toward us, but nonetheless, it was a wave.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

that's what love is.

In the days before we lived together, sometimes Geoff and I would talk on the phone late into the night. I'd fall asleep still clutching the handset, feeling safe and happy long after the earpiece was cold.

Jacqui, curled in my lap tonight as I talked with my mom, started to get very agitated. She scratched at the phone with her little fingers, she kicked at my shins, she made the most awful noise until finally I said, "Okay! Here! Talk to your grandmother!" I pushed the button for speakerphone. Jacqui pulled the handset to herself, relaxing into the sound of her grandma's voice.

Two minutes after we finally disconnected, Jacqui was fast asleep in my arms, still hugging the telephone tight against her chest.

little fish in a big pond

This just in: About twenty infants brought their parents with them to the community Rec Center this morning, and they all (the infants, not the parents) wore swim-diapers.

Jacqui had the Best Time Ever. Geoff and I both went with her, and I held her most of the time we were in the pool. We sang play songs, we swam her around, we chased a blue rubber ducky and a brightly colored ball, and then the half hour was over. She grinned, she reached for objects, she kicked and splashed a little, she never got upset at all. After class was over, she didn't seem to be done yet and we asked permission to stay longer. Geoff took her and we played more with the ball -- and with a little boy named Tony who came over to meet her.

She wore herself out; she fell asleep as we sat on the bleachers after we finally came out of the pool. Posted by Hello

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Daddy's girl. Posted by Hello

Friday, November 05, 2004

baby steps

At the beginning, Geoff worked from home 4 days a week, and life was good. Then he had to start working in the office 3 days a week, and while we wouldn't say that life is no longer good, we might say that life is not quite as good as it once was. On the life-is-perfect scale, it's maybe a 7 now, instead of a 9.

Tonight when Geoff got home, I said the words: "I think maybe I should get in the car, all by myself, and go somewhere, all by myself." And he replied, "This sounds very mysterious." And I reassured him: "It's not really. It's just time for me to do this."

So with a tightness in my chest, I drove to Barnes & Noble, and with the support of several former co-workers as well as my mom who kept me company on my cell-phone, I stayed away for two entire hours. And while I was gone, Geoff played with a baby and fed her dinner and kept her entertained, and she only started to get a little upset once, and he managed to derail that train right quick with an assist from Jake-the-Dog.

I managed to get some holiday shopping done while I was out, and when I got home it was to a smiley baby and a happy Geoffrey and two bouncy puppies, and absolutely no angst whatsoever. Jacqui was ready to nurse, and I was ready for her to do that, and then she fell asleep ... and now she is angelic in her crib, arms akimbo.

It was a good night.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

all the little pumpkins Posted by Hello

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

da da da!

Oh, the growing!

For lunch Jacqui ate an entire 4 ounce jar of bananas with plums and rice. She loves that, and smiles and giggles and talks the whole time. Today though, in addition to finishing the jar (usually at lunch she's only good for 2 ounces), she started a new trick: she laughed and squealed and THREW herself back against the high chair. She had so much fun! She'd open her mouth wide for more food ... eventually I learned (after the spoon found her cheek, but before it found her eye) to put my hand on her chest before putting the spoon in her mouth.

When her daddy came home, she played with him on the futon (you can see her sitting on it in the photo below) and kept throwing herself backwards again!

This week she also started "da da da"ing. Sometimes we'll follow that up with a "chicky boom, chicky boom" and she grins. She loves to dance around the house while we sing "Jacqui is a punk rocker"! (Side note: yesterday I discovered that Geoff had never actually heard the Ramones singing "Sheena is a punk rocker". I once owned several of their CD's, but that was in a previous lifetime and marriage; eBay has come to our rescue.)

Tonight she drank a sweet potato smoothie (4 ounces), and then finished that 2.5 ounce jar of sweet potatoes. And in about a half hour, she'll nurse and then go to bed.

gabba gabba goo!

Sheena is a punk rocker! Posted by Hello