Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Stocking Exchange

About 8 or 9 years ago, my friends and I started an annual holiday tradition called The Stocking Exchange. Heidi and I sewed each of us a custom stocking and we all get together, bring food and small gifts and have a big party post-Christmas. Over the years I've come to look forward to this event as much as real Christmas.

This year Heidi hosted at her house, which is only a few blocks from our house. We walked Edie over in her stroller and I will admit, I was tired. Edie had been a pretty terrible sleeper the night before and I was a little fried. Edie is hit or miss with crowds and with all the holiday parties and family events over the past month, I was nervous about having to console her off and on throughout the event and wondered whether I'd really be able to enjoy myself. But we had SUCH a nice time.
Edie was so well behaved and I just felt so relaxed and happy that night. I looked around a few different times because I realized I had no idea where my daughter even was. She was that happy and my friends were so willing to hold her so that I could enjoy my food and wine. She even slept in Heidi's arms for 30 minutes while we all talked and debriefed on our family Christmases. The food was great, the wine was fantastic, but my friends are the best. Jeff and I are the only ones with a kid in the group (although that won't be true for long) and instead of making me feel like an annoying breeder, they just love Edie. They don't roll their eyes (even if they want t0) when I go into ridiculous detail telling them how frequently she woke up the night before, despite the fact that they have every right to ask me exactly what I expected when I had a baby - that I'd get to sleep peacefully all night?
Edie wearing a fake mustache like the boys. She hated it. I loved it.

Edie was showered with gifts - and not just any gifts - extremely thoughtful and adorable gifts - and I just realized how lucky I am.
Walking home after the party, I was filled with an overwhelming, corny nostalgia for my friends. Next year Edie will be chasing Darrah and Matt's little boy around at the stocking exchange,
and who knows what wonderful men some of my other friends will choose to share their lives with and bring to this party in the coming years.

I once met a man who had a fancy cursive tattoo that scrolled up the inside of his arm. It said, "I have nice friends". I should get a tattoo that says, "I have the best of friends".

Dear Edie,

You are four months old today! So much has changed this month for you. Your personality is more and more pronounced and I can tell that you are going to be a real character when you get older. Scratch that. You already are a real character.
You can go from total joy to complete rage in mere seconds, but if I do something funny while you're screaming you'll often stop mid-cry to watch with fascination. I call you my little Faker Baker. You also talk like crazy; babbling with such intensity that you appear to be speech-making. You're laughing all the time these days and funny noises and voices are most often the things that make you giggle.

You adore bath time and recently started splashing like mad while we bathe. You must love the feel of the water slapping your hands and feet because it looks like you're doing jumping jacks in the water. You got some bath toys for Christmas and they've added to your bath time fun. You still love to stand whenever possible but seem to like cramming things into your mouth even more. You like reading Goodnight Moon (and other books) before bed and started helping me to hold the book and turn the pages this month, which I think is the cutest thing ever.

While you rolled over a few times at the start of this month, I think you decided "been there, done that" and have since boycotted the whole rolling over business. You still enjoy tummy time, you just seem to have more interest in cramming the nearby toys into your mouth than you do in rolling over again. This week during tummy time I noticed you lifting your bum and trying to get on your knees as if to crawl, so perhaps you're thinking that crawling is your next big project.

One of your biggest accomplishments this month is the transition you made from our bedroom to your own crib in your own room. Sadly, you've decided that sleeping for long stretches this month just isn't your thing. While you used to sleep for 7 or 8 hours each night before waking to eat, you now prefer 3-5 hours at a time. Thankfully you also started to go to bed earlier and without as much fuss as last month, so we're grateful for that. Your Dad most often puts you to bed each night at 9pm and you wake up promptly at 8am, usually with two midnight wake-ups in between. You still sleep swaddled every night, but we're starting to wonder if you might outgrow it this coming month. Sometimes in the night I hear you grunting in your sleep as you strain to bust out of your swaddle, but I'm still nervous to experiment with an unswaddled night, so for now you are still our bedtime burrito. Your napping schedule is getting more routine, with 20-25 minute naps in the 10 o'clock hour, noon hour and 2 o'clock hour, then your only lengthy nap around 5:30pm, which will usually last one to one and a half hours.

I go back to work 20% starting this coming Monday and I'm already dreading the thought of someone else witnessing all your little quirks. Luckily it will be your Grandmas that will be watching you while I work, so I'm sure I'll get a detailed account of your accomplishments when I return. Until then, I'm trying very hard to appreciate all our time together.

We went to my friend Deb's house yesterday and you played with her daughter Alison and your other friends Mae and Emmeline.

Edie and Mae
Mae, Emme, Edie
Alison, Edie, Mae

While watching you four grin and giggle at each other, we found ourselves already reminiscing about the days when you were "tiny". The truth is, I suppose you're still tiny, but seeing as you now weigh in at about 14 pounds, it's hard to imagine that you were ever so small that you fit the length of my forearm like the picture I included in your One Month letter.

love you Shorts,

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A thought crossed my mind today

Before I had kids, situations would arise in which I would have to make a decision. For example-

1. The alarm goes off at the usual time. You didn't sleep very well and you dread the thought of going to work. Do you hit the sleep button while debating whether to call in sick or do you suck it up and get out of bed on time?

2. You know you need to schedule a dentist appointment but you hate dentist. Who doesn't, right? Do you put it off until tomorrow (or the day after that...) or do you call right now and just get it over with?

3. You know you need groceries and you're driving by the grocery store on the way home from work. Problem is, you're super tired, you can see that there aren't any parking spots in the supermarket lot and you're wearing your uncomfortable shoes. All you really want is to get home and put on your elastic waist pants. Do you pull in anyways, park far away, hoof it to the store and get stuff to make a well balanced dinner OR do you drive straight home and eat Annie's Mac and Cheese or Trader Joe's frozen gnocchi for dinner instead?

The thought crossed my mind today that being a parent is sort of like NEVER being able to choose the easy option in any of those scenarios.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dear Great Gramma,

Thank you for the beautiful stroller. I find it very relaxing:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

These photos are totally out of order, but I haven't the energy to rearrange.

Maurice got catnip in his stocking which we brought back in this box. In the past we've given him catnip and he's gone a little crazy. Like slap Jeff in the face crazy. We hid the catnip but he was still super pumped to hang out in the box and just enjoy the aroma:
Ooooh... bubble lights
Seriously, how pretty is my baby? Answer: PRETTY.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire....
Toby and Edie do tummy time:
She loved the sound of tissue paper crumpling:
Looking a bit more like a Bruton if I do say so myself:
I would have thought Sophie the Giraffe was overrated, but dude does Edie love her some Sophie.
At our house just before leaving for Bellingham on the 23rd:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Here are two of our favorite photos from the new camera to tide you over during the holidays.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

More Pictures

My Dad came down for a conference last week and came for dinner:I think he bragged to my Mom too much about his time with Edie. My Mother insisted on coming down that weekend (with Dad):
Edie in her colorful cage:
This one's for you T:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

This and That

Guess who drove to and from Next Months in Madison Park yesterday without crying? Edie Bee! Earth shattering. Nothing short of earth shattering. She also drove all the way to Ballard this afternoon without crying. The way home from Ballard was a slightly different story, but in her defense she made it halfway quietly and then decided she was starving, so I think it was less about the car and more about the fact that she was desperate for food.

We went to a Postnatal yoga class this week for the first time. Which reminds me, did I tell you I dropped out of PEPS? That was my Tuesday Mom's group that I wasn't really feeling. Turns out this will actually open up my Tuesdays so I can continue going to yoga with Edie, so no regrets about being a drop out. Even if I did have an awkward run-in with one of the moms going around Greenlake last week... Yoga was fun - the babies all lay next to you and the teacher takes them if they fuss. Edie actually hung out with Sophie the Giraffe in her mouth for the first 30 minutes and then fussed so I put her in her car seat and bounced it on the yoga ball and she fell asleep for the rest of the class in her seat.
We bought the Nikon camera that everyone recommended and here are some new pics (some from the old camera and some from the new) for your viewing pleasure.

Reading Goodnight Moon (taken tonight) - Can you see her little hands helping me hold the book an turn the pages?! SO COOL.She's looking more and more like Jeff these days:
Our little nudey tooterson Christmas elf:

Edie loves Ladies Bath Night sooo much. She splashes like crazy and you can just tell that she's going to love the kiddie pool this summer. I asked Jeff to take pictures of us in the tub the other night but then proceeded to shriek the entire time, "Don't get me in the pictures!" and "SERIOUSLY, I'll kill you if you get me in the pictures!!"


She fell asleep on the car ride home from Cousin's Christmas (big family gathering every December) in the beautiful blanket Bev made her:
Edie's new play mat, or as Jeff calls it, her "colorful cage". She loves it and I drag it into the kitchen so she can play on the floor while I do dishes and make lunch:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Just to Tide you Over

Until we upload our latest pictures:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ta Daaaaaa!

Well, we took Edie to an enormous family gathering last night and while she did pretty well, it was definitely overstimulating. Maybe because of all the excitement, or maybe because she slept so poorly the night before, or maybe because we swaddled her more tightly in her smaller Kiddopotamus, or maybe because she skipped her evening nap due to the festivities (you get the idea - I basically have no idea why) Edie slept for 8 and a half hours straight last night!!!! We got her down at 9:40 and she woke up at 6:10am! I fed her and then she went back down until 8:30. It was so awesome. We had more family adventures today with Jeff's Grandmother's 94th birthday brunch so maybe we'll get lucky again tonight. I doubt it. But it would be nice, right?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

For the love of everything good what does it take to get some sleep

Okay, one last post on the subject and then I'll leave it alone. We are SO TIRED today. Edie woke up at least 3 times last night and was more or less UP for the day around 5:30am. I think I got a total of about 4 hours of sleep combined? Not sure. I've already begun to block it out. Edie is, of course, full of joy today - not in the least impacted by her night time antics. Oh to be young again.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mr. B

A few years ago, I went to New York for my friend Erianna's baby shower. My friends Heidi and Katherine and I all wanted to make the trip but were a bit strapped for cash. We were about to cancel the trip when Erianna came up with a plan. A friend of hers in New York was going to be out of town and needed someone to cat sit. If we were willing to take care of her cat, then we could stay in her fancy New York apartment for free. It was perfect. Taking care of a cat is so easy!

About a week before we left for New York, this friend sent us an email thanking us in advance for taking care of her cat and attached some directions. Looking back, the fact that the directions were about 3 pages long should have been a red flag. If someone takes care of Maurice, here are the directions - he gets one can of wet food per day. The end. But these directions were very detailed. He only drinks water out of a human's glass that must be placed on the bedside table, he needs his liter refreshed multiple times throughout the day or he'll pee in the bed, he likes to play with a ribbon toy for 30 minutes per day, he enjoys a snack of brewer's yeast in the evenings, etc...

The cat's name was Mr. B.

All of this didn't phase me as much as the fact that she referred to him as a Cornish Rex. A what? I Googled it and was horrified. Mr. B was a hairless cat! Creepy. But at this point, we were too far in it to turn back and really, how hard could it be? And all animals deserve love, right? Even creepy hairless ones. And we'd get to stay in a nice apartment for free!

When we arrived at the apartment we were a little freaked out by his alien appearance, but nothing prepared us for what happened after we turned the lights out. The lights went out, we laid our weary heads down, and Mr. B went nuts. He meowed like the house was on fire. He ran circles around us on the bed. It was impossible to ignore - trust me, we tried. After about 30 minutes of denial, we finally turned the lights back on and looked at each other. "I'll change his liter box again if you want to get him fresh food..." We got up and dragged around the apartment trying different things, but nothing soothed Mr. B. We finally locked him out of the bedroom. He scratched the door and screamed to be let in. So we let him in and petted him for a minute or two. The second we stopped petting and tried to sleep, he'd flip out again. It NEVER ENDED. He did this ALL NIGHT.

Promptly at 8am when we finally got out of bed to start our day, Mr. B curled up in his cat bed and fell deeply asleep. Then our friend Katherine flew in from LA to join us and we all three endured together for 2 more nights. Don't get me wrong, the trip was totally worth it. But I distinctly remember thinking at some point when Heidi and I were wandering around the dark apartment trying anything and everything to shut the cat up that first night, "This must be what it's like to have a baby."

Last night, Edie was more poorly behaved than Mr. B. After sleeping for 7.5 hours straight on Tuesday night and then only waking for a quick feed before going back down in her crib until 8am, last night felt like a mean trick. She slept 4.5 hours and then woke up. And stayed up. She cried, writhed, wailed, and broke loose from her swaddle in rage. We took turns. One person would lie in bed listening to the chaos while the other dealt with a spastic baby in the nursery. She finally fell back asleep after close to 2 hours. Then she woke up 1.5 hours later. And didn't want to go back to sleep again. More crying. More back arching. Finally I half got her to sleep and brought her into bed and I don't even remember what happened after that. I just remember that it SUCKED.

Flash forward to tonight: It's 9:15 and Jeff just put Edie in her crib asleep. I'm scared for what the night may hold.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New pictures

Thanks Bill and Penny for the warm jammies:Another morning photo shoot:
Team nap:
Wearing the tiny reindeer suit from Uncle Scott and Aunt Emily:
Finally big enough for the Johnny Jump Up:
In the Moby we inherited over Thanksgiving: