Monday, August 30, 2010

Dear Edie,

Happy Birthday Edie Bee! Today you turned one year old. We celebrated your big day yesterday with a big BBQ potluck in the back yard. Family and friends all came over after your afternoon nap and you played with friends, ran circles around the yard, ate hot dog and baked beans, then happily smeared cake (and a lot of frosting) all over your party dress.

It would appear that cake is the one food you have perhaps been waiting all your life for. You were hesitant and curious at the start, but after tasting it, attempted to first plant your entire face into the cake with your mouth gaping open, and second, pick up the entire cake to eat it like a hamburger.

The first attempt failed due to your inability to bend forward far enough in your high chair (and I think everyone's laughter startled you out of your goal) and the second attempt failed after you were distracted by the sticky frosting. Instead you contented yourself with clapping your gooey hands together and then licking the frosting off. You weren't thrilled when I decided you'd eaten enough of your individual cake and took it away but made do with eating all the crumbs left on your try (and feeding them to Aunt Kathleen and baby Reid).

We had your one year check up today and discovered that you weigh 20 pounds and are measuring 29 and a half inches long. This means your growth has jumped down a curve and it would appear that you are perhaps my daughter after all. I think the fact that you essentially run everywhere and eat very little has had an impact on you slimming down. I'm assuming it's just your Bruton genes causing the height shift. All in all you were pronounced healthy as a horse, clearly not allergic to anything you've eaten thus far (including strawberries and peanut butter) and a prediction for bruises and skinned knees was made for the next 2-4 years.
Now that most of your motor skills have caught up with your desire to be a free wheeling toddler, the bulk of the changes this last month have been smaller, developmental shifts. You are starting to use toys "correctly" these days. You now focus to put the rings on your stacking toy rather than just chewing on them, you play with your stuffed animals - making them move around like people and giving them sloppy, open mouthed kisses,

you can throw your balls rather than just carry them around (although you still do a fair amount of this as well),
and you frequently sit quietly for long stretches of time turning the pages of your books as if reading them.
You also hold the TV remote and press buttons while aiming it at the TV, which really surprised me because I can count on one hand the number of times you've been allowed to watch TV and see the purpose of the remote.

You love Peekaboo and now initiate a game without encouragement. You seem to be grasping the concept of play and goofing off.
The other night you emerged from your closet with a dirty dress from the clothes hamper on your head and looked at me with barely concealed mirth as if to say, "Check out this dirty dress on my head - aren't I hilarious?" When I feigned shock at this, you burst into giggles, so pleased with yourself for having done something funny. You also have started to follow directions (unless the direction is to stop what you are doing, then it's completely ignored). For example if I ask you to find a book and bring it to me, you will immediately run to the books and pick out your favorite of the day and hand it to me while trying to climb on my lap. Of course the time you opened your diaper hamper and dangled a piece of cereal over it while looking directly at me, you didn't "Stop" or "Bring me the cereal" as directed, but rather kept dangling the cereal and then very intentionally dropped it into the diaper pail while maintaining eye contact with me. Oh the power struggles the two of us are going to have...
You are SO close to saying "cat", pointing specifically at Maurice every time you see him and saying, "TAT!". You more or less say "that" and "this" but the meaning of these words to you (and me) seems a bit unclear - basically everything is "dis" or "zat". While you aren't referring directly to your Dad and I by name, you do know who Mama and Dada are. For example if Dad says, "Bring your ball to Mama", you will take the ball to wherever I am in the house. You've also become fascinated with putting things inside other things. Your nesting blocks are actually being nested and Dad keeps finding our door stops (large rocks from Orcas) inside his shoes.

Eating continues to be a roller coaster, but the last week has seen some interesting progress. By trying to transition you from the bottle to a sippy cup, we've dramatically reduced the number of bottles you are drinking and thereby increased your interest in food. Apparently I was pushing too much formula and milk down your throat to allow you any actual hunger! The sippy cup is still a struggle, but just today you took two full bottles from it so perhaps success is right around the corner. You're showing interest in using your baby fork as well. I help you spear foods with it and then you happily eat the food off the fork. The other day I saw you trying to push the fork into a piece of peach on your tray, mimicking the way I do it.

You definitely gravitate toward danger - whether you're unraveling the entire toilet paper roll (we now have to keep the TP on top of the toilet), reaching for cords, running for the basement stairs in the back yard, or bee-lining it for the back door when Dad opens it to let the cat out. Which brings me to Maurice... the two of you seem to be developing a hesitant friendship. You've pet him a few times very gently and he's allowed it. Your enthusiasm for chasing him worries me, but he seems to be growing in tolerance.

You remain extremely social and love new people and children. You see your playgroup pals every week and have other friends that you see regularly, not to mention the kids at the gym daycare.
You also have many adoring adults that have generously volunteered to babysit for you these last few months. You typically spend all the time with your babysitters running laps around the house showing them all your toys and books with great enthusiasm, rarely even noticing that your Dad and I have been gone. You also had your second overnight trip with Grandma and Grandpa B this month.

I often hear moms exclaim, "I can't believe it's been a whole year!" But truthfully, I can. I heard a newborn screaming in public the other day and I'd entirely forgotten that sound, it had been so long since I'd heard it. You've taken this year to go from a little blob of mostly rage
to the most charming and hilarious KID.

I have many nostalgic feelings about this year, but mostly I'm just thrilled about who you are turning into. Any sadness I feel over you growing up is eclipsed by my excitement for the things to come. Talking! Family vacations! Ripping Christmas presents open with the kind of glee only 3 year olds experience, school, slamming doors in my face and yelling, "You don't know anything about me!" (cringe), dating, love, grandchildren?.... It's all still ahead of us.

Love you,

Thursday, August 26, 2010


One year ago, this is what I looked like:
A little less than two years ago, I was gallivanting through Guatemala:
I can't help but look at that top picture and feel intense relief over the fact that I am not pregnant right now. Oh how I hated being 9 months pregnant. Remember how badly my hip hurt? How I could barely walk? That sucked. And while it can accurately be said that I have a tendency to wallow in misery when put in a miserable situation, I think it only fair to also point out that when removed from the miserable situation I am immensely grateful. I frequently think to myself now that I am SO thankful to walk without pain, to have a stride that does not resemble a limping elephant, and to see a familiar number on the scale again.

That said, I've been feeling very reminiscent about our Central America trip lately. I think back with such fondness to our adventures. I have these vivid memories of riding the speeding water taxis after dark in Belize, the crazy wind taking some edge off the humidity and heat. The boat would run at top speed through the shallow water with no lights on - it felt like we were catapulting through the sky and I loved it. I knew we were going to start trying for a baby when we got home so I enjoyed everything the way you do when you know it might be the last time you do something. I knew things would change in the following year but I had no idea how quickly. Within a month or two of our return, Wamu had crashed, leaving Jeff's employment a big question mark, our friends that we'd just had such a wonderful trip with were divorcing, and I was pregnant. So when we remember that trip I think we both now see it as an end of an era.

I just spent like 20 minutes looking at our trip pictures from 2 years ago and craving a tropical vacation like nobody's business. I keep thinking about using our airline miles and taking a trip with (or without) Edie somewhere exotic. Or maybe just Hawaii. Or even California might do. Disneyland? Basically I've got the itch.
If you enlarge the photo, I think you can see me sitting on the left side of the dock - waiting for our water taxi.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

1 Year check up

Cinderella helping with the cleaning.

Edie's birthday is just around the corner and her one year check up is next week. Since food has been an epic battle for us from the time we introduced solids at 6 months, this is the point I'm most interested in discussing with the doctor. How will she possibly get enough to eat with the one bite here - one bite there attitude she has right now? I've done a crap job of getting the bottle out of the picture for this reason, but this birthday has sort of rushed up on me. Since Edie hates most foods, the bottle has been my go-to in times of frustration. After pushing like 20 different foods at lunch, for example, I will finally resort to the bottle because I keep thinking, "She needs her calories somehow, right?"

Her bottles are now about 1/3 whole milk and I plan to keep upping that ratio until we're working with all whole milk in a week or two, but the sippy cup part seems to have taken a step backwards. I think Edie got so used to drinking only water from her sippy cup, that now when she takes a drink and finds milk she gets confused and spits it out. Then she presses the sippy cup spout into the table or ground until it leaks the milk all over and she can draw pictures in the milk with her fingers. So. Frustrating.

I don't know... I talked to my Mom tonight while trying to convince Edie that bread and cheese is delicious (no dice) and expressed my frustration. I was saying that maybe I just need to go hard-core about this and only offer her the sippy cup from now on. No matter how pissed she gets. My Mom even suggested we could formally say goodbye to the bottles with Edie. I figure it's like Crying It Out but for food. Am I off base? I'm not suggesting cramming food down her throat (she wouldn't let me if I tried), I'm just saying that I will offer her plenty of food when she is hungry, as well as the same amount of milk she's used to, just in sippy cup form. I'm pretty sure it's going to be ugly, but maybe I'm ready for it.

Also? I was complaining to Jeff about the food war when he got home tonight and he took it as his personal goal to get Edie to eat something for dinner. He somehow got her to (willingly) eat: salami, plain Greek yogurt, a bite of a cherry tomato, grapes, strawberries and.... wait for it.... are you ready? .... PEANUT BUTTER. So yeah. I guess we'll find out tonight if Edie's allergic to peanuts. Seriously though, is that not the grossest combination of foods ever? When I turned around and saw Edie sucking on Jeff's finger I quietly asked (already guessing the answer), "What is she eating?" When he told me peanut butter I shrieked. But then, I don't know. It was too late to take it back, so I guess we'll just find out. The good news is that she liked it. Hopefully there IS no bad news.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bridal shower for Jessie

Now that my brother's wedding is over, our finale of the wedding season will be Jessie and Clay's wedding on September 5th. Jessie reading a book she bought Edie:
A few photos from the bridal shower I threw for Jessie a few weeks back. Jessie and Clay were engaged in Thailand so I used that as a quasi-theme. Pictures of them hang from the chandelier. I used bamboo from my backyard with some lilies for flowers:
I'm so good at taking pictures before the guests arrive, but never remember to take any good ones of the actual guests (or the food once it's all displayed). I'm really mad at myself for not getting a nice shot of Jessie at the party.
Parasols that were intended for the backyard (it's raining), peeking into the kitchen where more lanterns (also intended for the backyard) hang over the food.
We had chicken satays with peanut sauce, fresh rolls, lemongrass chicken spring rolls, veggie potstickers, tiny to-go boxes of pad thai with tofu, and tropical fruit. Very little of this is actually pictured because I got too distracted once guests arrived and the party swung into full gear. I also completely forgot to photograph the beautiful chocolate and blueberry cake that Jessie's friend made.
I bought two of these orchids and used them as prizes for the one trivia game we played.
My only photo of the party in full swing. What isn't obvious from these pictures is the fact that Jessie's lovely mother spent almost the entire party holding Edie back from clearing the coffee table of all those champagne glasses (did I mention we had passion fruit juice mimosas? And Thai iced tea?). Edie loves danger like a fat kid loves cake.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Scott and Emily

My brother Scott married Emily last night. The photo is from their engagement in Hawaii, I'll have wedding photos up soon. It was such a beautiful night with clouds on every horizon but blue sky overhead and a pink sunset. The venue was perfect, the food tasty and if my stomach hadn't been recovering from a touch of the flu from the day before I'm sure I could attest to the fact that the wine was delicious. Dancing was still going strong when we finally took our pajama clad Edie home (she fell asleep before we'd even left the driveway). And now we officially have a new member of our family and Edie has an Auntie Em. Congrats guys - have fun in Ireland!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stina and Ben's Wedding

I attended my first full Catholic wedding ceremony on Saturday. Jeff had been to one or two growing up, but this was my first. So we churched it up early on Saturday and before leaving Edie with "aunt Heidi" for a fun-filled 2 hours, she snapped a few shots of us.
It was a beautiful sunny day, already 85 degrees by 9:45am, so we decided to take the Vespa to the ceremony. I'm not going to lie - I *loved* scooting in style. It was like we were our very own parade! And while I'm not a fan of watching parades, being in a parade? Don't mind if I do.

After lunching at home post-ceremony, my parents showed up to take Edie back to their house in Bellingham for a slumber party while we packed for our very own sleep over in Poulsbo. Stina and Ben's reception was a casual affair held at Liberty Bay Marina and the invitation specified that a hat was required for all guests - "vintage, nautical inspired, what have you." I essentially took this as an excuse to raid the high school costume closet where Heidi is the drama teacher and force Jeff to dress up.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hot hot heat

You guys. It's been too hot to hang out in the upstairs office and post pictures. The heat wave is to end soon though so expect pictures from our Bainbridge Island wedding antics this last weekend and Edie's overnight trip to my parents (in short, it went swimmingly). Edie has taken to spending her days in air conditioned venues such as Target, the library and grocery stores with a bit of Greenlake wading pool time thrown into the mix - where she literally runs through the water to steal 2 and 3 year old's water toys. My kid is like a little chihuahua that tries to attack dogs 10 times her size.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I put my kid to bed tonight REEKING of meatball. She's developed a new habit of eating, then rubbing any food residue into the back of her head. So instead of smelling sweetly of baby, she frequently reeks of Trader Joe's turkey meatball, Pirate's Booty, or, if we're lucky - peaches and blueberries. I'd meant to bathe her before bed, but we had dinner with friends and didn't get home until 8pm at which point Edie was ready to crash. I suppose part of growing as parents is Letting Go. I wouldn't say that letting go has been something I've been particularly good at in the past so actually, letting my kid go to bed still greasy from sunscreen, with blueberry skins under her nails and meatball juice in her hair is something I would consider progress.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wedding Season

Wedding season is beginning for us. I guess you could say it already began because I hosted a bridal shower at our house on Saturday. I'd been running around all week to get things all ready. I had the perfect vision of little round tables with rented linens, paper lanterns strung from my trees and us drinking Thai iced tea in the back yard. Instead it was 60 degrees and pouring rain. Wah-wa. Everything still went really well though and we were nice and cozy inside (where I still insisted upon hanging the lanterns). I hope to have pictures up soon.

Next on the docket is a wedding this weekend for a former college roommate. The ceremony is early on Saturday, but then the festivities are a ferry ride away that night. Edie has booked herself a night at the Grandparents so that we can stay late and I can do my favorite wedding activity - drink champagne. Boy do I loves me some champagne at a wedding. Pair it with a bad sing along to Madonna or Michael Jackson while dancing with old friends and I'm pretty much in heaven.

The following week my (not so) baby brother is getting married. Woot woot! And then two weeks after that is a weekend wedding extravaganza on Whidbey Island for a very old friend. Hopefully Edie is up for the challenge, because I'm looking forward to all the celebrating.

Speaking of Edie, she woke up a ray of sunshine yesterday and was more than a delight all day. We ran errands, napped well, read book after book (that girl can't get enough of books these days), and then ended the day with a very successful trip to the gym daycare. Have I mentioned that I joined a gym? I did. And it has a really nice daycare for Edie! It's pretty great. Yesterday after I worked out I came to pick her up at the "Kids Club" and found Edie standing over two older girls (sisters I think) about 2 and 4, watching excitedly while they did some sort of sit-up meets dance routine. Also looking on was the fattest baby ever, named ... wait for it ... Andre. Andre was probably about 7 months old with the roundest head and adorable cropped Afro and he was staring raptly at Edie as she toddled around, exclaiming about the older girls and their awesome moves. I feel like it's the perfect way to introduce daycare right now, Edie gets a punch of social time, and I get a workout to boot. It's what Steve Carell might call a win-win-win.

Also? Edie found the paper bag in which I keep all the plastic sacks. Oops.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I love my daughter

Edie was a delight all morning and afternoon today. Then something happened during her late afternoon nap and she woke up a miserable sack of shrieking baby. I'm not sure what my damage was today (nor Edie's), but I just wasn't up for hanging out with a scream machine. I tried everything. Holding her (hated it), reading (pissed), singing (super pissed), finally I decided that despite having chugged an unprecedented 10 ounces prior to her nap, she was hungry again. So I saddled her up in the high chair and provided her with some left-over chicken satay from a party I hosted yesterday. She didn't want it. It made her angry. She clearly wanted ANOTHER bottle instead, but I just kept looking at her and thinking, "GAAAAWD, just eat the effing chicken!" Then we had a stare down. Which she totally won. I made her another bottle and she drank it. But then the shrieking resumed. Jeff went to The Sounder's game tonight - I just put her to bed and I feel so relieved.

It's normal to have a day where you just can't hack it, right? I mean, technically I *did* hack it. I didn't throw Edie out the window or anything (mostly because my neighbors were having a BBQ on their second story balcony) but I wasn't really my usual self. I have no real excuse.

The only thing I can point to is that Edie's sleep seems to be shifting. She's sleeping longer at night - from 8pm until 8am - and then her solid napping schedule seems to be getting shiftier as a result. I think I relied too heavily on those naps and when I don't get them for as long, or as predictably, it throws me off. I'm not adapting well and that needs to change. Also, I have always been sort of annoyed by picky eaters. Okay, majorly annoyed. I love eating and I struggle to think of more than one food that I won't eat (oysters) so I get a little high-horsey when people are all, "Is that blue cheese? Hmm... do you have any mild cheddar?" Except obviously the universe has a way of teaching people lessons and apparently instead of teaching picky eaters to suck it up and be adventurous, it feels more like teaching me that picky eaters are okay by having me GIVE BIRTH TO ONE. So sometimes when Edie doesn't want my tasty grilled chicken that I marinated in greek yogurt, curry, ginger and garlic (thanks Steve Johnson!) I feel like throwing said chicken in her face. I mean, I don't do it! I really don't throw chicken at my baby, but the thought did cross my mind for a second tonight.

To remind myself that Edie is usually a ball of sunshine and that I really do love her very much, I thought I'd post some adorable pictures of her.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The sleeping beast

Since returning from Orcas, Edie has returned to being a good sleeper. Not without a few nights of transition mind you, but she has slept from 8pm until 8am without a peep for the last 5 days or so. Well, except for today when she woke up at 6:30, gobbled a bottle and then conked out on my lap. I carried her into the bed, which is something I haven't done in months and she popped right up, looked at Jeff, exclaimed something inarticulate with eyes wide open, then put her head on my chest and promptly fell back asleep until 7:45.

Sunday, August 1, 2010