Saturday, March 31, 2007
at 7:51 PM
Friday, March 30, 2007
at 8:15 AM
Monday, March 26, 2007
at 10:20 PM
at 12:00 AM
Sunday, March 25, 2007
at 10:30 AM
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Babies are so resilient and forgiving and for this I am grateful. Last night after much discussion we decided to try "sleep training." Annikah was a pretty good sleeper only getting up once for a while but after a few trips, a cold, and teething (see post teething sucks) she was starting to get up around 3 times a night and it was affecting her personality during the day(needless to say mine as well). So after re-reading the "Healthy Sleep Habits Book" and consulting with many other moms we decided we better start making her sleep thru the night. We defined thru the night as 11pm until 5am without eating. We geared up and last night tried to "let her cry it out." I hate that term because really what is "it"? "It" is the fact that I am all alone in a dark room and I want to get out of here and get me a booby! I do not think "it" is easy to get over but we tried because like many moms I realized I have not slept consecutively for more than 3 hours in 7 months. At around 2:50 am she woke up and Jason went in to calm her without feeding her and put her back to sleep. She was not having it. She basically told him "bring me the lady with the boobs and get out!" in so many cries. So we sat in our room and prayed she would go back to sleep. 5 minutes felt like 5 hours and it turned into 40 minutes which felt like waiting in line at the DMV in Chicago (useless and frustrating and makes you want to cry). She finally conceded and went back to sleep. At 5:30am she woke again and I went in to get her and feed her only to discover she had pooped EVERYWHERE! It was thru her diaper, on her PJ's up to her neck(really how does that happen?), on her sheets, everywhere. I felt horrible and thus have decided to award myself the WORST MOM OF THE MILLENNA! award for allowing my daughter to cry while covered in poop! Lucky for me she is very forgiving and this video was shot after we fumigated the room and her. She clearly tells us what she thinks of sleeping thru the night but offers a wet kiss to show she forgives me! Thank you Annikah!
at 2:47 PM
Friday, March 23, 2007
I have never really thought Annikah looked like Jason or I (I guess it is harder to recognize in your own baby as I often think other friend's babies look like mini-me's of their parents). But today she did resemble us.
Annikah tried mangoes for the first time today and to say she enjoyed them would be an understatement. She LOVED them! She even grunted at me as I was not feeding her fast enough and took the little bowl to try to lick the rest out while also banging the container on her tray (maybe to summon the mango fairy to bring more). Anyone who has seen Jason and I eat at a Mexican joint can already see the similarities. She acted just like we do when our chips and salsa are not refilled fast enough (sans the grunting, but sadly Jason has licked the bowl, and in public, he is proud of this cuz as he says "it's good" but hey that is why I love him)
See video for evidence.
at 2:25 PM
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
at 9:05 PM
This is a simple story about a girl who just wanted to get her free undies......
My mom had one of those free undies coupons (I say "undies" because i cannot bring myself to say or write the p-word as I call it, you know the other word for gal's underwear). Anyway, being a thoughtful Mom she gave me the coupon so I could pick out a cute pair for me. So, I ventured out with Annikah a while back to a certain national lingerie chain (with the initials VS) which shall remain nameless :). Strolling thru the mall we approached the store not knowing what we were in for....We entered and usually there is always a helpful (even sometimes annoyingly perky) sales person to ask if you need help (as if declaring your bra and underwear size is your favorite thing to do). But not on this day, as we entered no one, notta, in fact I did not even see anyone who worked there. So we made our way to the back as with the stroller I dodged string thongs and nighties that seemed like some sort of strange torture devices. After a valiant effort we approached the register to find someone who could point out the free undies so I could get my pair and get out asap. Here begins the saga. I had to wait in the line because as I said there seemed to be no one else working there. After just 30 seconds I realized why the line was not moving. There was a sales person (who we later discovered was the manager) "talking" to a customer. I say talking because it was more like arguing and snipping at each other, it was so rude it was a couple snaps short of a Jerry Springer episode. There was another Mom with baby in tow in front of me and we kept exchanging glances that read "can you believe these fools" but we waited patiently. After about 5 minutes of this discussion here is what i gathered: the girl that was buying something was an employee from another store who I think was being shady by trying to use some sort of unauthorized discount at this store, well the manager was not having it and threatened to call her store and get her fired. Neither one of them was going to be wrong or back down which resulted in a stand-off. Meanwhile two more VS employees came out of the back and you would think they would help the now 3 customers waiting in line but no they proceeded to watch the verbal bashing of the two women. Finally, the customer yelled "just give me my bag and I'll leave" and reached behind the counter and grabbed her bag and spun around to leave. She then uttered the B-word under her breath. Well, this is when the manger screamed "what did you call me, she called me out my name!" I had flashbacks to the halls when I taught middle school. Allow me to translate: calling someone "out they (their) name" means calling them a B*#@*! I discovered this after a breaking up a few fights when I taught 8th grade(one of which I got clocked straight in the jaw). The manager then leaped sideways across the counter and ran after the other woman. I am sure she was just going to offer to give her a free bra fitting :) The other two employees ran after her leaving me and the other bewildered customers alone in the store looking at each other as if we were on candid camera (or wished we were). I tell this story because a few things went thru my mind: 1. I have become a lightweight wimp as I used to see this stuff everyday and learned to not let it bother me but now with Annikah sitting watching this all I was sensitive to her witnesssing this clearly dysfunctional behavior and wanted to shield her from it and 2. I could not believe grown women were acting this way and thought it was normal. Finally, everyone came back in the store and we were helped, I mentioned to the emplyee that I thought the behavior was crazy unprofessional but no apology. She just said "we had to go out there to make sure she didn'y lose her job by beating up that girl." Oh, well that explains it! I picked out my undies and got the heck out of there. I got home and it was still bothering me so I called and talked with some people at corporate and rehashed the whole sorted affair.
I was inspired to write this story up because this week I got a 25 dollar gift certificate in the mail! Yeah, hopefully this time I will have a better experience getting my free undies, or at least sans WWF(VS) smack-down!
at 3:54 PM
So monkey has been so fussy for the past few days and I am losing it. She makes her what I like to call "dead monkey" noises all day (although this is perhaps a misnomer as I guess a dead monkey would be silent). But her noises are in no way silent. She groans and whines practically all day. In my feeble attempts to get her to stop and be happy I pretty much go from holding her, to bouncing, to nursing, to dangling an array of toys in front of her. I feel like she is Hitler and I am appeasing her...."go ahead take Czechoslovakia.. Poland too? Sure! Why not!"
Anything to get her to subside with the whining. After cataloging the noises and general fussiness and concluding that she is too young for PMS I think it may be teething. A girlfriend said she agreed and that it should pass within a week (only to return every time a little tooth emerges- YUCK!). I hope it is teething but I feel like every time a baby is less than adorable in attitude and over the age of 4 months people jump right in with "it must be teething." What if Anni just recently decided that is was fun to whine and fuss and watch me desperately try to stop her? I hope not. It must be teething and I hear it goes away and my sweet baby will return soon. Until then I shall march on in my noble fight against the dead monkey noises...
ps. Speaking of horrendous noises: what was up with Sanjaya on Idol?- it was hard to watch like staring at a train wreck in slow motion!! I am embarrassed FOR him. I love that Randy, Simon, & Paula have even given up on even commenting on his singing. Hint:If your performance makes 10 year old girls cry you are not a serious singer!
at 10:47 AM
Monday, March 19, 2007
at 10:03 AM
at 12:24 AM
Thursday, March 15, 2007
How is it that I just finished folding Annikah's laundry and already have a pile of dirty clothes and bibs. It is one of the great mysteries of life... kind of like what happened to Atlantis or how the pyramids were built...or how the heck is Sanjaya still on American Idol? You do not know how or why but it really drives you nuts!
at 10:33 AM
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
1. You must have a baby (preferably one that keeps you guessing at every turn, never allows sleep more than 2 nights in a row, goes from happy and smiling to screaming in horror all within 60 seconds, and is adorable) Ok, so a baby!
2. You must live in the Rogers Park neighborhood complete with its fabulous and shady parts and be willing to trek thru them in a proud band of mamas. You must brave the cracks in the sidewalks, sand in your stroller tires, and mud on your shoes.
3. You must be fully equipped for "war" at any moment: this means at all times carrying your boobs (should not be a problem), a diaper bag filled to the brim with everything needed to meet any challenge such as a massive blow out with ease and grace.
4. You must be willing to openly admit that sometimes you just have no idea what you are doing in this mommy gig but without a doubt you love that lil' chubber and would throw yourself in front of the next CTA bus that drove by to save her/him. We will problem solve and put you into check together!
We tried to come up with an initiation to our gang:You must be able to change a diaper in less than 20 seconds on the street while holding your latte and talking on the cell phone.
So, if you are out and about in Chicago...beware the RPM'ers... we will mess you up unless you stop to remark how exquisitely beautiful our babes are!
at 10:46 AM
It was another beautiful day so any where outside was amazing. As I said yesterday: take a Zoloft OR go outside: same effect on your emotional state of being :)
at 12:44 AM
Monday, March 12, 2007
Today Annikah and I went for walk to the Post Office (an excuse really to WALK outside as it is beautiful- no coat needed, just a sweat shirt thank you). Well, I guess I went for a walk and Anni really rode along in her little Zooper chariot (as Jason likes to say, he wishes he had one and someone to push him around the city, I try to talk to him about this but it is useless, I'll let him have his "chariot" dream but I ain't pushing it..). Anyway, we were headed back to our place for lunch when we went by the Waldorf school about a block away. There were a bunch of kids outside playing so I crossed the street so Anni could watch them make delightful noises as they chased each other around. As we were cruising by I noticed a little girl sitting all by herself on the stump of a log. She had a white hat that was stained with mud from the damp play lot and wavy chestnut hair. When I looked closely I realized she had taken one of her pink and purple rain boots off and was scooping up the wood chips on the ground. My first thought was "ah, how sad, she is by herself and why on earth would she being doing that?" Then I had a moment of panic as I thought "What if Anni becomes that girl- the loner who collects dirty wood chips in her boot?"
We stopped to watch the kids and Annikah started squealing at the kids and then looking at them as if she was annoyed they did not understand her clearly commutative speech and reply. They were too busy in kid world, running back and forth, seemingly going nowhere and having a blast. Then I looked back at the girl with the boot. With her boot stuffed to the top she got up and walked over to a group of kids I had not yet noticed. These kids were attempting to fill the inside of a tire with the wood chips. One boy seemed to be the leader of the group as he hollered out orders to the others. The rest of the kids clumsily grasped at wood chips with their hands. It was sort of like watching a very inefficient assembly line. As fast they grabbed them and stood up to deliver them most of the chips would fall out. Then up marches our girl with the boot! She confidently sauntered over and proceeded to dump her boot into the collective pot. Utter amazement came over the other kids faces as they saw her brilliance at accomplishing the goal. Even the leader of the pack was impressed.
So upon further reflection I decided I hope Anni does become a her own unique version of the girl with the boot- defying convention, not afraid to stand alone, an innovator of sorts!
at 2:48 PM
Sunday, March 11, 2007
at 10:15 PM
Saturday, March 10, 2007
at 11:16 PM
If you are reading this and it is still light out STOP IMMEDIATELY and GO OUTSIDE! It is fabulously beautiful! I had forgotten how wonderful the sun was. Annikah, Jason and I spent 2 hours outside today enjoying our neighborhood. I am convinced we saw every parent and baby in the city out as there seemed to be an endless parade of strollers. Can you blame us? We have been stuck inside for too long. I felt like National Geographic should have been capturing the whole emerging from our buildings on film with some British guy narrating (cuz everything sounds better with a British accent).... "watch as we see the stay at home mom and her baby emerge from the desolation of winter." In my opinion the best thing about Chicago winters is that they eventually end. Annikah is a champ and loved our exploration despite the fact that she got 4 shots today. Here is a video of one of our many stops on our tour of Rogers Park.
at 7:03 PM
Friday, March 9, 2007
So i think "the Watcher" was the name of some creepy made for TV movie I saw when I was little that really freaked me out. From what I remember it was about this old lady who watched kids from her window all day. They had no idea they were being watched that is until she had to come out to tell them something of monumental importance. Of course I cannot remember what that was; all that stuck with me was the creepy lady watching them. I thought of it today while Annikah insisted that we do one of her favorite activities. That makes it sound too laid back, obsession is what it really is. She LOVES to sit in our front room and watch out the window. She will not do anything else for as long as the window will hold her attention (I think she has my ADD). She intently watches the people running to catch the El, the cars trying to parallel park into too small spaces, the people walking their dogs, and the El cars rumbling by (this is by far her favorite as she can hear it even if we are in another room- her love of public transit brings joy to her papa). She loves watching these daily festivities unfold. Jason and I noticed from when she was just a few months old that she really watches and observes things around her. Her window watching also includes my narration of the events. I tell stories about the people... "Look Anni he has his overpriced latte now he has to hurry to make it to work on time without spilling" "Anni see the pretty lady with her dog? Do you know what kind of dog that is? That is right a Welsh Corgi" "That red van is going fast- that is what car you have to buy when you have 2 kids, it is like a weird rule or right of passage"
She listens with a sort of shock and awe like I am a politician telling the truth. If I try to stop my narration and say slip a book on my lap to read while she continues her gazing she is having none of it. She quickly puts an end to any such thoughts and refocuses my attention on describing the snap shot of the world rushing by outside. As we watch I think about how much is new to her and how many things she learns each day just by watching. I think I would learn more if I took cues from my "watcher" and really try to see people. I pray that as she grows she does more than look but truly sees people for who they are and desires to impact those around her!
This picture sums it up- when I look at it it is kinda sad, she looks like she is in a jailhouse longing for freedom! I tell her I sympathize what with the winter blues but we should see some warmer weather soon or we are taking our window watching elsewhere!
at 11:32 AM
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Like many woman I usually pride myself on my ability to multi- task- just ask my hubby. When he gets home from work some days I tell him of our escapades during the day. It goes something like this.....
Jason "so, what did you and Anni do today?"
Me "Well, we threw in some laundry while cleaning the kitchen, then Anni played while I put away toys and reorganized and sorted her clothes, typed up some lessons for my History Museum meeting, answered emails, went for a walk to Devon market to pick up some groceries while catching up with friends via cell phone, all the while making dinner and standing on my head" (Ok, i made up that last part)
But I usually love getting things done, you know that feeling of crossing things off your list. Today i had a realization, not a new one, just a reoccurring one that I have had from time to time. An important lesson God teaches me again and again (I am a slow learner). It is not what I do that makes me important or successful but rather who I am. I think my desire to achieve can be a good thing but for me sometimes it gets in the way of just taking in the big and small blessings of life and appreciating the grace God gives me each day. That verse "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10)came to mind because in the midst of mommy-hood it seems there are infrequent opportunities to be still. It reminded me that while there are things I need to do, there are many things only God can do in my life and I need not try to earn my worth with my business.
Oswald Chambers said "We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do. We cannot save ourselves or sanctify ourselves, God does that; but God will not give us good habits, He will not give us character."
Today, even if just for a few moments I built character in being a mother.
Usually when I put Annikah down for a nap I rock her for a few minutes, promptly put her down and go about my race to get things done while she snoozes. But today I just held her in our rocker and smelled her head. It is the sweetest smell ever. Her little chubby hands gripped my hair and I listened to her little breathing noises. I felt blessed that I am her mama and she doesn't care how much I get done today. We don't have a homemade dinner tonight and email can wait. I savored these moments.
at 3:59 PM
So I bring this up because I need to turn myself in for rehab (perhaps I have been inspired by recent Brittany developments or maybe not). I caught a glimpse of myself in the glass doors at Target today and realized I am one step away from needing professionals. This is my plee for help. Let me break it down: I was wearing pants that are too big (I guess the only blessing in the outfit), galoshes (with the pants tucked in- did I mention I hate winter?), a sweatshirt, a sleep bra, no make-up, and my hair in a messy ponytail (not the messy kind that stars pay hundreds of bucks to make it look messy, just plain, lazy messy). Of course Annikah was dressed in her cute lil velour jumpsuit with her little stylin' shoes. So, I have concluded I am one holiday sweater and pleated mom jeans away from the edge.... help! This is my pledge to reform.
at 12:52 PM
Monday, March 5, 2007
So Annikah started the venture into "solid" foods a few weeks ago. I say "solid" because really there is not much solid about them. They are pretty much mashed or pureed beyond any resemblance of their former appearance. I say this to all those who may not realize that in baby land solid foods means anything besides breast milk or formula. I now know the need for such an explanation after I went to a friends birthday dinner ( a throw back to my former life,- it was amazing no one smelled like spit up even!) and a single guy friend of mine from college asked what the baby was up to these days. As I searched my mind for something he would find interesting (or at least not "Oh, sorry, I forgot I have to be somewhere...like the dentist"...boring)
and so I mentioned solid foods. He then asked what her favorites were and I kid you not he asked "Has she tried a T-bone yet?" After I realized he was serious I had to explain that she has no teeth and big hunks of meat come later (or never unless her daddy makes them, I can barely touch the stuff). Another reminder of the HUGE learning curve of becoming a parent. So, here is Anni's review of her experiences with solid food thus far:
this was her first food besides rice cereal and she was not having it, in fact her face actually seemed to twitch in convulsions as she starred at me in horror as if i was feeding her raw fish (oh, some people pay a lot to eat that-my bad). It was hard to not take this personally as I would eat a shoe I found in the alley if it was covered in guacamole! It is getting better- see the video. We will keep trying...
Bananas: tried them today for the first time and it went over much better than the avocados.
She looked only mildly disgusted at first and seemed to warm up to them. We will continue our foray into fruits.
Sweet Potatoes: on the menu for later this week...stay tuned to find out!
at 2:23 PM
It is really pathetic how we live to make Annikah laugh these days. That little laugh just is the best! I mean we try everything... while most of the time she stares at us like we are nuts and would call DCFS or at least the local media outlet to report us as a couple of crazys if she could dial (and talk). Well, here is an attempt to get her to laugh that worked. One part of the video speeds up so do not worry we were not giving her whiplash! As a bonus this video also includes her fake cough that she does frequently now for attention.
at 7:43 AM
Sunday, March 4, 2007
We discovered that Jason's Wii playing needs some serious work after Annikah started laughing at him "bowling" and playing "baseball". She laughs every time he plays. It is too precious. Check it out!
at 9:57 PM
at 4:50 PM
at 10:46 AM
at 7:30 AM
Saturday, March 3, 2007
at 12:55 PM
Ok, so I have been known to love a good conspiracy theory....
I think I should be considered for medical evaluation as I think I was actually pregnant in my butt and thighs. No, seriously! The medical community should take this seriously, search me out, put me on that crazy "Medical Mysteries" show, or at least look into my condition as I think my butt and thighs think a baby is still in there. Billy Blanks and I have our daily meetings (I have to be honest here he is way more peppy than I about our rendezvous), I've cut back on eating everything in sight but still a stubborn 10 pounds hovering, laughing, mocking.... I also think my old pants are getting in on this gig and conspiring against me. I tried to neatly put them away so as not to have to look at them until I am emotionally ready but every time I look for a purse I forgot about, pair of shoes I have neglected... there they are.....starring at me...reminding me.....Oh well, I think I'll go eat some chips and salsa to forget all about this!
at 8:13 AM
at 7:26 AM
Friday, March 2, 2007
No doubt she is the biggest blessing to me but since she showed up I feel like life is crazy most days. I now FINALLY understand why all of my "mommy" friends were so unreliable and I am proof that God has a sense of humor. So many times I thought to myself "I will still be able to handle everything" or "how can one little baby change so much" HA! OK, God, I get it. I repent of my caviler attitude about how much a baby changes your life. I actually thought you could "be prepared" for a baby. Now don't get me wrong I still believe in the value of reading some books, talking to other moms, and maybe even taking a birthing class. (Although, as an aside, after my husband and I attended our first birthing class together and saw some video that boarded on birthing porn i distinctly remember saying thru tears "I am not having this baby" to which my hubby so smartly and keenly responded as he looked down at my 8 month prego belly "Yep, honey, I think you are"). Anyway, I do see the value in all these things but none of them adequately prepared me for this journey. I guess that is how it should be though. The best and most difficult things in life should take our breath away and force us to dig and find out what we are made of. So, I guess that is what this blog will be about. The search for me in the midst of mommy.
at 10:01 PM