Thursday, July 30, 2009

10 months: Devon (July) Crawling, pulling himself up & standing.

Devon is nearly 1 and I can't take it anymore! It is so unfair that he is so big. I really tried to enjoy his newborn stage because I knew it wouldn't last, but I miss my tiny baby. I wouldn't want to go back to that time with the 2 hour feedings through the night, the crying and all the insecurity that comes with being a new mom, but I miss him being so little. He looks little when Joe is holding him so I guess that will have to do.

He finally figured out that crawling is more efficient than Army crawling and is cruising all over the house. He is making friends with Sampson, pats him, pulls his tail, climbs on top of him, takes out clumps of fur every few hours and chases him around the house. Sampson is the sweetest, most patient cat I have ever seen and just lets Devon do whatever he wants. He has swatted at Devon and has nipped at him a few deserved times, but has never hurt him or drawn his claws. Sampson is the greatest cat and I think he is starting to like having a shadow follow him around.

Joe and I decided that we want to start taking a yoga class together every week so we need a regular babysitter. We have been using Samantha since Devon was a few months old and we love her, but she isn't always available so I needed backup. I asked around, but no one really had any solid recommendations so I did something I never thought I'd do ... I put an add on an online babysitting website. To me that is like online dating and I still have a hard time with that even though that's how a lot of people date these days. But since no one I knew gave me recommendations I really had no other choice if I wanted to find a sitter. This website does finger printing, references, and background checks. I wrote up an ad indicating the hours I needed help and what I was looking for. Within 3 days I had 28 responses. Not all of them were great (or even good) and some of them were a little scary, but I got 7 solid leads and made appointments for them to come over, meet them and have them meet Devon. I got a few funny responses and my favorite was," I love the babies. I want to take my care of the babies. Thank you job. Bye-bye." Read that again out loud. It's funnier that way. I know that learning English I so difficult, and I don't speak any other language, but I couldn't resist sharing that one.

I found 2 girls that I really felt comfortable with and one of them babysat for us this weekend while we went out to dinner with some friends. She went to the UofA and got the same degree I did. She is currently going to school for acupuncture. We were only gone 2 1/2 hours plus I had her there an hour early to show her around and to be there while Devon interacted with her so he could get comfortable. I think that was a good trial with her for the first time. She said things went well and that he was really good. I get a really good vibe with her and I think under other circumstances that we could have been friends.

The other girl hasn't babysat yet, but will sometime this week when I have a doctor's appointment. She speaks Spanish and sign language, is CPR and 1st aid certified, lives 10 minutes from my house, has a college degree, loves to sing and play games AND she only charges $10 an hour. This online babysitter stuff isn't half bad.

Devon is very proficient at pulling himself up to stand and gets better at it everyday. He needs a little work on his dismount, but even that has improved over the last few days. It seems like he does something new on a daily basis .... amazing. We have started "walking" him around the house (holding him under his arm pits) and he thinks that is just hilarious. We are not encouraging him to walk, especially since crawling is so good for his motor skills, but he seems to really like it so we are having fun with that. He is down to one long nap midday for about 3 hours. I much prefer one long nap to 2 short ones. This allows me to get lots of things done around the house, "work" on the computer, eat lunch and even have time left over to sew. When he wakes up we both are recharged.

*That's Devon on the left .... not the tan kid on the right ;)
I started taking him to baby story time at the library every Wednesday afternoon. It is 30 minutes and they sing songs and read books. They get to use shakers (a.k.a. spice jars filled with rice or beans)and crawl around with other babies. They basically just smack each other in the face, but it's cute and he gets really worked up when we go. I have a good time too and I am getting more comfortable talking with other moms, something I am really trying to work on.

He does one real baby trick ... he high-5's. There are rules for getting this to work though .... you have to be holding him and apparently you have to be me because he won't do it for anyone else ;) Yeah for mama, I win!

Devon is very interested in everything and wants to touch it or taste it. He loves green beans, yogurt, bananas, top Ramen noodles and Cheerios and hates pears with a passion even though I try to feed them to him everyday. He definitely is starting to prefer solid food over milk and I have been enjoying giving him new foods to try. He is on a different schedule everyday which is a challenge for me since I thrive when I have a clear itinerary, but I am adjusting and just enjoying my baby. He still lets me carry him in the "pouch" (the Ergo carrier) and I relish the time when I can hold him close and he doesn't beg to be put down.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mamas on the loose: The Brothers Bloom

We went to see The Brothers Bloom last night and we set a record attendance for our little group .... 13! There were just 5 of us last week so this week was extra fun. Jaime invited her mom, Kathy, who used to be a student of mine. She is one of the nicest women I have ever met. I got to talk with her quite a bit last night and she is just so wise and comforting to talk to. You can tell that there is no judgment and so much love. Brandi also brought her mom, Cherry, and a friend-or-a-friend-of-a-friend brought her friends. I invited Linda Kowolski. We used to be friends when we were teens (and our older siblings dated), but she moved away when she joined the Navy. I haven't seen her since our wedding, but she and her husband moved to Tucson a few months ago and we have been reconnecting through Facebook. The really strange thing is that Linda knew one of the women there that I didn't know, Misty. Linda met Misty as a fill-in for Bunko over the weekend. Small town.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the movie. It was quirky like Amelie and Moulin Rouge, but it was sort of confusing and could have been SO SO SO great if they would have pulled it together better. It was beautiful to watch and very sweet at times, but it was lacking something .... I don't know what, but I would recommend it anyway. I wouldn't watch it again, but it was good to see once.

After that we went next door for late night happy hour for appetizers, drinks, dessert and conversation. Linda and I had dinner the other night (a double date with our husbands), but this was our first chance to talk just the two of us .... well with 11 other people there, but you know what I mean. She left the church a few years ago and I am fascinated by the process people go through when that happens. She and I shared similar feelings and experiences in that regard and it is nice to have a friend that knows your background, the culture that you come from and be able to understand certain things without having to explain them. It really was a nice night and I think Linda had a good time meeting new people. I think a subtle piece to the "mamas on the loose" puzzle which deems mentioning is all the husbands that stayed home and cared for the babies so we could go out. I really look forward to Tuesdays all week and I really appreciate that he is happy to have me go out. I think he has a really good time with Devon and loves spending that time with him one-on-one.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bountiful Baskets?

I heard of this food co-op though 2 friends on the same day and decided to check it out. Basically you go online and register for "1 basket" and it's a grab bag of fruits and veggies. It is different every time, it happens every 2 weeks and everyone gets the same stuff. It's a little confusing, but from what I can tell it's a group of people who buy produce in huge bulk, divide it up, and sell it at discounted prices through their company. I went down to Udall Park today with my re-usable grocery bags (one I made myself .... more on that later) and picked up my basket.

It had grapes, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, asparagus, celery, acorn squash, tomatoes ..... basically everything you see in the picture and it was $15. It's cheap, but I'm not sure it's necessarily a great deal. Plus, there are a few things that we just won't eat so I guess I'll give those away. Cabbage or eggplant anyone?The major downside is I didn't get to hand pick anything so it's not all the freshest stuff. I also registered for the "Italian" bag which had a huge bunch of basil, parsley, garlic, onions, mushrooms and eggplant and that was $7.50.

It's not a bad deal for all of it together, but it is sort of a hassle. You have to register between noon on Tuesday and 10pm on Wednesday or you miss the registration window and don't get a basket. It's every other week so it's hard to remember to do. You have to go to Udall between 8-8:20 Saturday morning to pick it up or you loose your basket. If you don't show up to claim it the upside to that is your unclaimed basket is donated to a local firehouse so it doesn't go to waste. 20 minutes is not a large window so you better be on time.

On a slightly odd note I did know about 80% of the people there. The volunteers, the owners and lots of people in line. My "mama's on the loose" friends were even there with all their kids and husbands so it was great to visit with them and get introduced to more of their friends. The odd thing was that no one said hi to me. My friends did of course, but none of the people I knew that were standing around did. They looked at me for a long time, but then said nothing. It's like they were either trying to figure out who I was and didn't put it together or they did know who I was and didn't say anything anyway. One woman who was checking me in said,"What's your last name?" me: "Smith." her: "Oh yeah that's right. Your basket is over there." So she remembered me and then moved me along. It is a very strange feeling to be literally surrounded by people you have known since you were 11 and be treated like a stranger. Maybe some of them genuinely didn't remember me so I guess I can give them the benefit of the doubt, but the rest did know who I was and ignored me. I didn't say anything either so maybe I could have made the effort. But I think what bothered me the most was when I was standing in line there was a girl I have known since I was a teenager. She was facing me, saw me and turned her back on me. I'm sure there is a metaphore for this whole situation in there somewhere ....

I don't really want to hear any excuses from anyone why they think those people acted that way. I know what it felt like to be there and it definately was not very welcoming.

It was very weird .... I think it doesn't bother me, but I'm not totally sure.

I will try one more time and see if the next basket is better and then call it quits if it's not. (My friend said that the basket last time was much better). I heard there was another co-op in town that is cheaper, occurs every week instead of every other week plus their produce is local and that is an extra bonus.

Everybody was kung fu fighting

Joe has been doing kung fu for over ten years. His sifu (pronounced like "sea food" without the d), or teacher, was the best man at our wedding. When sifu's school closed down Joe started taking Brazilian jujitsu about a year ago. There isn't any punching or kicking just submissions and chokes. It is really technical, a great workout and he really enjoys it. He attends classes 3-4 days a week and has been very dedicated. He competed in a competition a few months ago and won his first fight, but lost the 2nd so he was out of any medal placement early on. Even though he didn't place, it was great experience for him to understand the scoring, the kind of energy you need and to see how he stacks up against other fighters.

Yesterday he competed in his 2nd competition. He won 3 fights in a row. When I asked him how he won each fight (meaning did he choke the guy out, etc) he said he won the first fight by "murder". I had to laugh at that because I'm sure the poor guy he fought just got annihilated for 3 rounds. He said he won that fight by like 1000 points to 1, a clear victory. The next 2 fights he won by submission. They literally get 15 minutes to rest in between bouts so they really have to have the stamina to make it for 4 fights in a row. In jujitsu you use the gi (white pants and wrap top and weights like 8 pounds) a lot to maneuver and submit your opponent and Joe said by the end he couldn't close his hands all the way from gripping so hard. He lost his 4th fight by THIS much, but still managed to place 2nd in his weight class and was awarded a silver medal. He said it was a difference of 2 points between 1st and 2nd place so he was disappointed that it was so close, but was still happy to place as high as he did. Lots of coulda-woulda-shouldas I'm sure.

His next fight is in September in Long Beach and it's called The Masters. It's basically for people over 30 .... old guys by jujistu standards. People come from all over the world to compete and we can't wait to go. Joe is going to take a break for the next few weeks and then back to training. He already has his new training strategy in place and is excited to get to work. When he got home from Phoenix Devon wouldn't take his eyes off him. He clearly missed his Daddy even though he was only gone over night. He wanted Joe to hold him and tuck him in. It is really sweet to see Deon interact with his Dad and to see him start reaching out for him. Joe gave his fancy silver medal to the baby and Devon looked at it, looked at Joe, and then put it in his mouth ;)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bananas and O's

Here is breakfast in photographs.

I got out a banana and he took the whole thing and ate it .... skin and all.

One O.

More O's

A smile.

Getting serious.

Over the banana.

Focused on the O's.

You can see a little tooth on the bottom.

Eating is exhausting.

Snap. Crackle. Pop

Sugar. Fat. Carbs.

Go ahead ..... make a batch.

Mama's on the loose

Also known as "girls night out", but my sister called it that and I thought it was more appropriate.

I think I have been officially inducted into this particular group of friends for girls night out. This was the 2nd Tuesday in a row and again .... it was a blast. We went to see quite possibly the WORST .... I mean WORST movie ever made "Ghosts of girlfriends past". I didn't know what we were seeing ahead of time, but the fact that Matthew McConaughey was in it should have been my first clue that it was going to suck big time. Lacey Chabert did a great job as the neurotic bride-to-be, and I had semi high hopes because I like Jennifer Garner, but it was a big 'ole stinker. The good news is it is $1.50 night on Tuesdays so it wasn't a big loss.

From there we went to Baskin Robbins for a scoop. I don't know what it is about Tuesdays, but they have a special also .... $1 cones. They are usually $3.50 so we got a whole night of fun for $2.50. We stayed out til nearly midnight talking. It is so great to be able to talk with other moms, not just talk about our kids, but at the same time be around people who share similar experiences and daily routines. They are all really nice people and are so easy to be around. It has really helped get me through the week since I feel like I have gotten a true break to relax.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It only took 9 months jeez

I officially lost all the baby weight. Go me!

07.08.09 = Standing up on his own & officially crawling

Devon totally stood up on his own today. He was Army crawling all over my bedroom and went over to my harmonium and started pounding on the keys. All of a sudden he steadied his legs and voila! .... he was up. I had my camera handy and caught the ensuing standing/tipping over/standing that followed for another 5 minutes. (Check out the video on youtube).

Later in the day he got up on hands and knees and hand-over-hand crawled across the floor. Usually he Army crawls or gets down on his belly, shoots his arms forward and then gets back up on hands and knees. Not anymore at least. He is going to be cruising around the house now for sure. Cruisin' for a bruisin' that is.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Girls night out

I am not really a "girls night out" type of girl. I don't mean anything by that except to say that I am more of a homebody and quite frankly don't have tons of girlfriends to have girls night out with in the first place. However, last night I got invited out by Jaime.

Jaime has been one of my yoga students for many years. She introduced me to Heather who also became a student of mine, but I really met her when we played on one of my soccer teams when I was little. We get together once in a while, but Jaime comes to my yoga classes on a regular basis. She has four kids and Heather just had her 3rd.

Last night she calls me up to invite me out for a "mom's night out" to go shopping down by the university and then for dinner and drinks afterward. The last time I went out with her was when I told her I was pregnant .... so it has been a while. I met Jaime, Heather, Jaime's sister-in-law Brandi, and another one of my students Heidi. We went to a store called Pitaya and I got a GORGEOUS eggplant, floor length jersey dress. Perfect for summer, but easily dressed up.

By the time we finished there all the stores were closed so we went over to a place called Maynard's downtown. I wasn't in the mood for dessert so I got a Caesar salad. We talked over chocolate mousse and Merlot and had a great time. Our chats were interrupted by the occasional passenger train coming into the station right next to us, but in a weird way it added to the ambiance of being outside on a breezy, summer night.

We talked about our kids, baby names, movies, Michael Jackson, vacations and everything in between. I headed home around 11:00 which was just enough time to have a nice night out, but not so late that I was going to pay for it the next day. (Unfortunately Devon woke up before 6:00 so I am paying for it anyway). They usually get together on Tuesdays which is the perfect night since Joe is not at jujitsu so he can stay home with Devon.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tiny tantrum

It's amazing to me how you can be having a perfectly lovely day and then when it's almost over something happens that officially turns that entire day into a bad day.

I had a great breakfast with the baby and in the afternoon one of my girlfriends, Stephanie, came over for lunch. Devon went down for a nap when she got to my house so we were really able to get in some good girl talk for a couple of hours. She is a few months pregnant with her first baby so we had lots to talk about. It was fun to reminisce about my pregnancy and birth experience and talk about her plans as well. We hope to get together more often and I am enjoying spending time with my friends again, something I have been neglecting the past few months.

After she left and after lunch Devon and I went to the fabric store. I wanted to make a bigger blanket this time and I needed supplies for that as well as a few random things. I put Devon in one of those soft grocery art covers, but he was hating that. I lugged him out to the car and put him in one of the carriers I use (the Ergo) thinking that he wanted to be held close. I usually "wear" him whenever I am out so this is nothing new to him. I think he hated that even more and in that moment .... in the fabric store .... he had his first official public tantrum. Like screaming and real tears and flailing arms and red face. It was terrible. That has LITERALLY never happened before. In all of his 9 months of life this was his first freak out. When I was unable to soothe him he squirmed his little arms out of the carrier and started smacking my neck, scratching and pulling at me. I was thinking, "Who took my baby and replaced him with this demon all of a sudden?" It was so strange and out of character and just as soon as the screaming started it abruptly ended. So I continued shopping and he would scream .... I would head for the door and he would stop. Determined to get what I needed I would sort of let him cry it out since nothing I was doing was working and then I realized .... I had become "that" mom who didn't leave the store and just let her kid cry. I was chuckling at the spectacle we were, but I was at the cutting counter, was basically finished and leaving in 5 minutes anyway.

Finally out of the store and in the car he was back to his old self calmly playing with toys like nothing happened. I still had to go to the grocery store so I left him in his car seat and quickly got what I needed. He started to fuss a little and I SWEAR I saw this new mom, with her baby in a carrier, give me this smug look of satisfaction that her baby was quiet and content and mine was not. I knew that look .... I have given it many times when my baby was being good and some other baby was throwing a fit. I tell you what, I'll never give that look again.

He was a total crank right up until he went to sleep and I was exhausted. I started working on cutting out the fabric in hopes that would make me feel a little better, but even when I went to bed I felt like I had been at jury all day or something. Plain. Worn. Out. Joe could tell I had had a rough day and took a half day off work today to watch the baby so I could go shopping and run errands. He said last night that it's not fair that my only break is when Devon goes to sleep at night and wanted to make sure I got some solid, free time. I think I will hit up Buffalo Exchange, the fabric store again (I forgot a few things) and a few random errands that will be much easier without baby in tow. Yeah for helpful husbands!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Baby's first big kid tub .... sort of

Devon officially got too big for his infant tub, but is not quite ready for the real thing. I got this inflatable duck tub that sits in the big kid tub so he can get used to being in there, but still have the soft sides in case he tips over. He was really panicked about it the first time and just stood in the water naked clinging to me ..... it was sad and cute at the same time so the tub sat in the living room for a few days until he got used to it. I have to distract him with washcloths and bottles of shampoo, but he is getting the hang of it.

Devon is continuing to zoom around the house with his Army crawl. Just this week he was able to go from sitting to hands and knees without face planting. Yeah Devon! He is THIS close to really crawling. He pulls himself up to standing and wants to do that all the time. His teething is just getting sad though. At first his teething whining was a little annoying, but after weeks and weeks of it it is sad to know that he is upset because he is in pain. I was used to this really calm, happy baby so to see him like that was tough for me. He still has his good moments throughout the day, but it is definately peppered with "terrible teething". He wants to be held a lot and is starting to reach out to the person he wants to hold him. He also will let you know he doesn't want something or doesn't like it by waving his arms up and down or having a tiny tantrum. It's sort of cute, but I'm sure there is room for discipline in there somewhere. In other exciting news, he sort of hugged me .... meaning I put his arms around my neck and he didn't let go. I just loved it.

Baby's first 4th of July

It wasn't much of a first 4th of July, but we had a great day together as a family and who could ask for more than that. We slept in a little on Saturday (it's funny how sleeping in now means 8:00) and had breakfast. Devon is now on to finger foods so we made pancakes and he seemed to do okay with them. We played toys, watered the garden then Devon took a nap. This is how I found him.

After that we went to a furniture place to look at couches for the study. It is the one room in the whole house that I haven't really done anything with since we moved in nearly 4 years ago. I always considered it "Joe's room" and wanted to let him do with it what he wanted .... which means that there is a computer, a bookcase and a leather chair. 4 years later I am putting in a couch, an end table, possibly a rug and I'm hanging stuff on the walls ;) I don't want to have that room in my house when people come over I have to shut the door because it looks terrible. I don't want a super-decorate-ory house either. I think a few pieces of furniture will be a big improvement.

Anyway, we skipped the Smith BBQ and BBQed at our house. Joe grilled burgers and they were great. Avocado, cheese, katsup on a whole wheat bun with a diet coke .... yum. I was trying to put the baby to sleep and the fireworks started. We can see the downtown fireworks plus nearby resort fireworks from our living room windows. I opened the shade so Devon could watch and he did catch a glimpse, but passed out a few minutes later. Joe and I stayed up and watched Slum dog Millionaire. Great movie ..... very sad (the beginning nearly made me throw up), but in the end it was really well made. 2 thumbs up!

While I was at Katy's we did a mini sewing project that totally got me re-energized with sewing. When I was a senior in college (2007) I started taking sewing lessons in between classes and really enjoyed it. I made drapes, a computer bag and the dress that I wore to my college graduation. I've got a picture, but it's on another computer .... it is really pretty though ;)

Anyway, I was on quite the "sewing roll", but then I graduated from college, traveled, got pregnant and had a baby so I sort of lost my enthusiasm (and time) for it. However, I started a small project last Sunday and I worked on it when I had time in the evenings. I finished it tonight and I think for my first official quilt it's not half bad. It is not perfect and it is definitely not totally squared up, but I have no idea what I'm doing or how to do it right or how to do it better, so with that in mind I am pretty proud of it.

It is super soft on the back and very plush. I wanted to start with something sort of small before jumping into a huge project. I learned a lot with this small blanket and can't wait to get to the fabric store tomorrow and get more. I want to do new pillows for the living room, some pillows for the nursery bay window seat and a quilt for the crib. He sleeps with a blanket now of course, but I want to make a bigger one that he can grow with that also matches the bedding. Can't wait to get started.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Neat freak

While I was visiting Katy we were talking about cleaning our houses. It seems that my house is "picked up" and we don't have a lot of clutter, but I seem to spend so much time picking up that I usually run out of time to bleach, mop, vacuum, etc. I told her how I never seem to get the house clean all at once because it's tough to get it all done with a baby since I try and only clean when he is sleeping. That way when he is awake he gets my undivided attention. She showed me this box that she put together from an enrichment night and it has been great so far.

You take index cards and write down jobs that need to get done around the house on a daily basis (ie: laundry, dishwasher, dusting). Then you take 30 different colored cards (I used purple) and write down jobs that need to get done monthly and only take about 15-20 minutes to do (ie: organizing cabinets, scrubbing baseboards, wiping down air vents). You then distribute the cards over the course of a week with several white cards and one purple card everyday. One of the great things about it is you can really figure out what you have time for in a day, you have a schedule, but if something doesn't get done you just move the card to another day. Over the course of a week the whole house gets cleaned and over the course of a month you get to all the little things that don't need to be done weekly, but make the home that much more clean and organized.

I am a total list person. I make lists for everything. If I do something extra that was not on the list I add it to the list anyway just to feel like I got extra stuff done. Using the cards allows me to add or delete things throughout the day depending on how much time I have without feeling like I didn't get it all done, but I am still able to get the whole house clean in a weeks time. It feels great to get the whole house so clean .... you can totally feel the difference. Great idea Katy!