Friday, March 12, 2010

New picture

Ok, I realize Christmas is over and also that we spawned, so, after being called out for the obsolete header picture by numerous sources, I decided to update.

Of course I have been meaning to do this, but the reason I had not done so is severalfold. First, I have no pictures of Gavin, myself, the shorty, and the fur, all together. It is just too challenging to get everyone looking at the camera, and if I can't get a good shot, I don't want one. So, just like in our Christmas card picture this year, the fur got the boot. See below.

As a side note, it was funny to watch the dogs observe us taking our Christmas card picture without them. As you may or may not know, they hate clothes, and therefore super hate the Christmas card picture-taking process. But I super love dogs in clothes, and animals in clothes in general, so I would win this battle, year after year. In fact, Maddie has been in every Christmas card picture with me, sporting a sweater, since 2002. The first two cards were of just the two of us. Then in 2004 we added Gavin and Sugarbear. I should do a retrospective.... blog for another time.

Anyway, this year, as we took multiple pictures without even attempting to get them in, I could almost see the thought process play out in Maddie's tiny little terrier mind. It went something like this.

"What the frak? We're not in the Christmas card picture! Yayyyyy..... Wait a tic..... we're not in the Christmas card picture.... hmmm." I think this was the moment she ultimately realized things had changed around here. Sugarbear is still oblivious. To everything.

So anyway, I guess in the near future I'll try to get a pic with the whole fam. I will probably need help with this.

Second, Elise is always changing. The above picture is several weeks old and she looks different already. So I'll have to stay on top of this.

Meanwhile, here are some pics of the fur, just to keep them on the page. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Back in the Saddle

So I've been back at work for almost three weeks now! Everything is going very well. Elise loves "school" and I have really enjoyed being back amongst society, where I can litigate with reckless abandon and spread my good cheer to all those around me. You're welcome, world!

Parenthood continues to fascinate. I generally think I'm a good parent. After all, my shorty is a little chunkster, so she is obviously well fed. She's also very healthy (knock on wood) and usually in a pretty good mood. But every so often I get a whiff that I might not be supermom after all.

For example, observe the following transcript of a recent conversation with my sister Nikki, who is a supermom. Note that this conversation took place while I was still on maternity leave. Ahem.

Nikki: So how are things going with Elise?
Me: Great - she is such a fun little buddy.
Nikki: Are you playing all those baby Einstein and Baby Can Read dvd's for her nonstop?
Me: Oooh... no...
Nikki: Why not?
Me: She likes CNBC.
Nikki: Hmm. Well are you playing all those stimulating baby music cd's in your car for her?
Me: No...
Nikki: What does she like to listen to?
Me: Whatever is shuffling on my Ipod.
Nikki: *crickets*

Ok, so maybe I'm not the greatest at remembering to stimulate her mind with the latest and greatest baby stimulating inventions, but I think that early exposure to stock market and commodity analysis as well as all different types of music could be equally beneficial, and that's my theory.

What else. Oh yes. I had to complete some paperwork for Elise's school. It was clear that some of the questions were probably more geared towards parents of older children, but I did the best I could. For example, see the following questions, and my answers.

What are your child's special interests? Breastfeeding, exersaucering, sucking on her hands, looking at her hands, batting things with her hands.

Is she enrolled in a special group? We used to go to a breastfeeding support group once a week.

Favorite toys? Hands.

Favorite TV programs? CNBC.

Favorite foods? Breast milk (body temperature), whatever is on her hands.

How does she play with other children? She sits near them and sucks on her hands.

Do you see where I'm going with this? Elise is 15 weeks old, should she be doing a lot more than the above listed activities? She does other things of course. She smiles and laughs all the time. She sits in her bumbo and/or exersaucer, reaches for toys attached to her exersaucer, and she loves anything that makes noise, but I have to admit, other than that she's still pretty limited. I've read some books, and developmentally we seem to be on track, but still. Things like this make me wonder.

Well, anyway, here's a pic of us last weekend, as we headed out to an equestrian event here in town. Elise had fun looking at the horsies, and Gavin had fun being the kangaroo. Don't send me hate mail, please, I promise we had a jacket for her, which we put on her once we got into the shade. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Drama-lympic love.

So... I recently realized that, between the Olympics and CNBC, NBC Universal owns me. Actually, I began the CNBC weaning process today, limiting myself to Squawk on the Street only while I was getting ready to go this morning, and to half of Street Signs and only the first few minutes of Closing Bell. I thought it was appropriate for Lent. It went ok. Erin Burnett and Maria Bartiromo do not help me when they insist on making witty and insightful comments that I agree with. Damn you, CNBC and your qualified anchors. I'm taking it one day at a time.

And how 'bout those Olympics. I love them and all their delicious drama. I blogged about this in 2008 too. Allow me to supplement that post now.

1) The opening ceremonies, watching the cute little tiny countries march in with their cute little tiny contingents that have no realistic chance of earning a medal, or in Olympic parlance, "medaling." I think my best shot at getting into the Olympics is to obtain dual citizenship from one of these tiny nations, become a mediocre competitor, make the team, and be one of the 5 people to march in. At least I'd get to go and march, get a free brightly-colored parka, see the sights, meet some interesting folks, look cute in sweaters and stay in the "village." That's all I really want.

2) The dramatic back story profiles of the athletes. I love every soggy, gooey, musical montage-laden second. You know exactly what I'm talking about. NBC parties like it's 1998, rolling out soundtrack clips from Rudy, Forrest Gump, Hoosiers, Chariots of Fire, and sometimes even Titanic. Then they parade pictures and slow motion videos of the athlete as an embattled child. Usually the pictures/video show the athlete with at least one deceased relative. All this occurs while Matt Lauer tells the tale of triumph over adversity. *tears* *sniffle* *sob* *choke* .... gets me every time, folks. Bravo NBC.

3) The Barbra soundtrack that I find myself enjoying night after night with the skating competition. First it was "Send in the Clowns", then, "The Way We Were." Then last night it was "Yentl." If someone skates to "You Don't Send Me Flowers" ... I. will. just. die.

4) Curling. This could be my new career and my ticket to the 2014 party. I could so curl. I want to do the scrub-a-dub-dub part, which is clearly the more dangerous role, but I'm not particularly prone to injury, so it's ok. Research reveals that my new career thrives in Wisconsin and North Dakota. Well, geographic obstacles will not deter me.

Hope everyone is enjoying the games!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Latest obsessions.

So…. I’m obsessed with CNBC. I know this is random and I can’t explain how I got here but I pretty much watch this channel 24/7. It's bad. Yesterday was President's Day so the markets weren't trading and I was tremendously annoyed. I’m home with the shorty all day, and as much as I love that snuglet, at 12 weeks she is not the greatest conversationalist of all time. So until I start lawyering again next week, CNBC is helping me exercise the old brain. I majored in accounting in college, but I minored in barely paying attention, so it wasn’t until CNBC came into my life that I became the financial expert that now blogs before you. Stocks, commodities, bonds. I totally speak the language now.

I like to report what I’ve learned to the husby and to other actual people on the rare occasions I encounter them. I know all the anchors and I’m pretty sure we could be best friends. Especially Mark Haines and Erin Burnett, who come on at 9 a.m. and do their show right from the New York Stock Exchange. Their show is def my favorite at this moment and I want to have drinks with them reaaaaal bad. I could write them stalker letters. I won’t, but I could. Who wouldn’t want to be my friend? I’m interesting, right? I can talk about lots of things, like my theories on how pandas and polar bears garner so much media attention and how I get all pet peevey when people use “chock full of” as a descriptive expression. Ok, this is how I know I really need to get back to work. In fact, I’m going to start weaning myself from CNBC or it could be painful. I just decided. I'm lying to myself... I'll play "call the close" today.

The shorty likes CNBC too.

What else, what else. Oh yes, my other, newer obsession is the Olympics. I want to be in the Olympics. Help me pick a sport. Not luge. It’s not too late for me - I’m 30, but a spry 30. I could do something like curling, probably. Do not delay with suggestions because I do need to start training. Thank you.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Racing the meltdown

Well, the shorty and I went on another shopping excursion yesterday, this time to our normal WalMart and then to Publix. She got her usual amount of adulation, and balance in the universe was restored.

I came to the realization, however, that any outing is nothing but a race against the inevitable baby meltdown.

As it turns out, the attention span of a 7 week old baby is remarkably brief. The length of any nap time is also obnoxiously unpredictable. This should have been foreseeable. But, honestly, when I was pregnant, I had such fantasies of going places, doing things, visiting people, seeing the world (town) with a placid little baby. Erroneous!

Love that girl, though! Enjoy the pic of her in her pink giraffe robe!

Monday, December 21, 2009

You don't write me blog posts.... you don't sing me love songs...

Well, I'm back! I do apologize for my extended absence, friends. I have a 6 week old baby and basically I'm a walking movable feast, acting as her 24-hour buffet, and being food can sap the sarcastic energy on which this blog thrives right out of a person.

Speaking of Elise, love love love that girl. She's hilarious and way cute. Right before she cries she does this tiny little kitten cough thing. So it's *kitten cough**kitten cough*... WAHHHH. Really cute.

In recent weeks the sleep schedule has compromised my sanity. As in, I would either get 3 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period (famine), or 6 or 7 (feast). She's doing better now (fingers crossed) but I will never take sleep for granted ever ever again.

That said, the shorty and I have pretty much confined ourselves to the house so far. The reason for this is twofold. First, she hasn't had her vaccines yet, and second, going anywhere with a tiny baby is such a huge production with all the stuff I have to bring that it's usually easier to stay home and have Gavin do my bidding. However, I'm finally getting antsy. So today we decided we were going to go out and do stuff. I love to do stuff with Elise, because people will almost always compliment me on how cute she is. It's a nice golden parachute from the attention I got as a preg, when everyone opened doors for me all the time. See how I only remember the good stuff? That is so typical me.

Anyhoo, we went two places today: Toys R Us to get a Baby Bjorn baby carrier thing and WalMart to do our grocery shopping.

First stop, Toys R Us. I walk in with Elise and immediately everyone in the store starts ooing and ahhing over her in her cute little pink outfit and hat and her big blue eyes, etc. Appropriate. As expected. Thank you, thank you.

Next stop, WalMart. Elise is really bringing it, because she's hanging out (quite literally) in her new carrier on my chest and looking all around with aforementioned big blue eyes and I could barely keep my eyes off her myself in all her glorious cuteness.

It wasn't our usual WalMart, but when you go anywhere with my particular shorty, you're basically on borrowed time until she has a meltdown, so I went to the one closest to Toys R Us, which also happens to be the one filled with the surliest group of folks in Tallahassee. No one said anything to me about how awesome my baby is except one nice old couple. WTF. I was so confused. I won't tell Elise about this. She loved WalMart, by the way. I think it was all the colorful packaging and socioeconomic mingling that kept her so rapt.

Anyway, here are some pics of her for your viewing amusement. She's so way cuter than the baby panda in San Diego that is trying to steal her glory.

Going to visit Daddy at work. She prefers warm weather clothes. Actually, she prefers to be naked. But it's like 20 degrees right now, so I have to bundle her up. As you can see, she loves that.

Pensive. Vaguely amused.

Watching the crackling fire. Planning world domination.

Displaying annoyance with the paparazzi.

See you soon!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

She's here!

Wow, well I have so much to tell you! First of all, check out my baby's cuteness. I cannot even tell you how obsessed with her I am. I could stare at her all the time. She is actually a really good baby, too. Even when she fusses, I can almost always calm her down by sticking my boob in her face. She is a total chow hound.

Anyway, on to the birth story... on Sunday night (Nov. 22), we checked into the hospital so that I could get the cervidil to help dilate my cervix. Well, it worked! The next morning I was between 2 and 3 cm dilated, and I was having contractions. At this point I said, "I would like my epidural now, please." And I got it. I could still feel a lot "down there" but it helped enough with my contractions that I was pretty satisfied, and it turned out that because I had some feeling in certain lady parts, I was able to participate more in the pushing process.

Anyway, so after the epidural, we waited for me to continue dilating. I had more contractions, and as they got stronger, I felt a lot of pressure, and my sweet husby helped me breathe through them, just like we learned in class. My sister Nikki was also there helping coach us through them by reading the monitor and telling us when to start and stop the breathing to get the most benefit. Having her there after she had the benefit of going through 2 births of her own was really valuable to us. Once we got to 10 cm and I started pushing, our other family members retreated to the waiting room and Nikki and Gavin stuck with me, one on either side, for the duration. Nikki counted off my pushing and coached me through how to push, which isn't as instinctive as you might think. Big huge props to Nikki. It was surreal scary at this point, knowing that this was it.

Anyway, I pushed and pushed and pushed for a few hours, but the baby just wasn't moving enough. My doctor let me tough it out for a while but then told me that unless we could get her to move within the next few contractions, she wasn't going to move, and we were going to have to have a c-section. After going through all of that and exhausting myself with pushing, the last thing I wanted was to have to call it a day and go to the OR, so I gave it everything I had. The doctor also used a vacuum extractor and together we popped her out! It was the most amazing thing to see her for the first time! Here are some pics!

Bouncing on the yoga ball with Daddy (this really soothes her).

First baby-tub bath! We thought she would hate this but she actually liked it. We think she is going to be either an Olympic swimmer or a regular bather. We will take either.

In her swing! She LOVES this thing and will stay in there for hours between feedings. It is probably the most used item we own at the moment. Yayyy swing!

So that's our birth story! Every day is turning out to be an adventure when we learn something new about Elise. She is so funny and cute, no matter what, and we will basically do anything and everything to make her happy. She rules our house with little tiny pink-mittened iron fists of fury. More pics and posts to come about her, no doubt.

BIG props to my parents for staying with us since the birth and helping us get a handle on this parenting thing and special props to my mom for helping me get my breastfeeding established with all her experience and advice. Finally, thanks to everyone else for all the well wishes and support over this past week and two days! We did it, team!