Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Her feet finally touch the ground!

Slept Through!

I am extremely confused.

Remember I talked about how the baby is waking up constantly after midnight? Well, Jeremy insisted I sleep downstairs in the guest room last night and he would take the night shift with the baby. I readily agreed. Then I woke up at 7:45 this morning very confused because, 1) even though I was downstairs I thought for sure I'd hear the baby wake up at night, and 2) it was way past when she normally wakes up and I told Jeremy to get me up when she woke.

So I went upstairs and woke Jeremy. He said the baby slept straight through the night! OMG! So now I'm obsessed with figuring out WHY she slept through he night last night and no other night in the last 3 weeks. Was it because I was downstairs and she couldn't sense me close by? I might try sleeping down there with the monitor again tonight and see what happens.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We did what I am starting to call the Relative Relay this Thanksgiving, as usual, running from one home to the next trying to squeeze in time with everyone. It's not so difficult with the baby, but the dogs make things ten times more complicated. If we're going to be gone more than 8 hours, they have to come with us. Since Jeremy is still working in the Springs right now, he took them down to his parents' house Tuesday night and kept them at work with him during the day. So all I had to do was bring the baby down on Thursday morning. It is no mean feat getting the baby ready and putting together all her gear for an entire day away from home, so I was thankful I didn't also have to bring the dogs into the mix.

The twins were asleep for the first hour we were at the Mehrings', so everyone spent time with Scarlett. When the boys woke up, all the attention went to them and Scarlett got a little bit of a break to take a nap. She doesn't nap as easily around people as she used to, but if I hold her and give her the pacifier, I can still get her to conk out for about a half hour. We had dinner at 1pm, stayed for dessert, then packed up the baby and the dogs into 2 cars and headed to my parents' house in Castle Pines.

I felt bad that I didn't bring anything to share at either dinner this year -- but with how demanding the baby is, and with Jeremy gone, it was just too difficult. But my brothers made up for my lack of cooking by making some really awesome dishes to go along with my mom's amazing cooking. We had all the usual trimmings, but then they made this zesty veggie and garbanzo bean soup, ginger teriyaki salmon, sweet potato fries, cornbread muffins with cherries in the center, and quinoa salad. It was a feast! Afterward we attempted to watch Labyrinth, but it was past the baby's bedtime and I needed to get her and the dogs home. So Jeremy headed back to the Springs for two more days of work, and I went home with a Jeep-load of warm bodies and paraphernalia. I'm proud to say I got all of them and their stuff into the house without having a meltdown.

Still Cranky

Someone save me from my child. She's making me insane. I don't know what has gotten into her lately. It's like Colic Version 2.0. She yells and whines and cries constantly unless she's on my lap with a toy, sitting upright on the couch next to me, or in my arms walking around with me. From about 10 weeks to 16 weeks, she had no problem playing by herself for stretches of time in her playpen or jumper, or lying in the boppy on the couch. But suddenly she wants nothing more than to sit upright or be walked around. I'm sure it has a lot to do with her increasing interest in the world around her, but it's making things very difficult!

In addition to the cranky behavior, she is still waking consistently after midnight. Because the situation wasn't improving and I knew continuing to have her in bed with me was not an option, I decided last night would be the night I would let her cry it out. So at 3:30am, the second time she woke up that night, I let her cry. An hour and five minutes, I listened to her crying. It took all my strength not to just go in and give her the pacifier like usual, because I just wanted to get back to sleep! But after she stopped crying and fell asleep, she slept all the way until 7:30am. So as tough as it was, it worked. I'm not looking forward to night #2 of that, but it's gotta be done. She has got to learn how to get herself back to sleep without the pacifier.

My friend Kate came to visit today. It was so great to have company! We hadn't seen each other since high school, so there was a lot to catch up on. We went for a walk around the lake, which is extra fun now that the baby actually pays attention to things around her rather than just naps.

Sony Reader GRRRR

I am less bitter about my Sony Reader now. I got that particular ebook reader over the Kindle about 4 years ago, for various reasons -- including price and availability. It's been a good gadget. I like always having a selection of books in my purse. But when other devices like smartphones and the iPad started coming out with ebook apps, I started regretting my purchase because Sony was the ONLY one not participating. So basically if I had bought a Kindle or a Nook, I could read my ebooks on my iPad or phone, but since I had a Sony I was out of luck.

Last night I spent about an hour trying to find an app online that would allow me to read my Sony ebooks on another device, but had no luck. At some point I plugged my Reader into my computer and pulled up the Sony Ebook Store, and I noticed an icon at the top of the page that said something about mobile apps. I clicked on it, and sure enough -- they announced that an iPhone/Android app was coming out in December! Yayyy! In all my research online, why did this not come up, though? Wouldn't that be kind of a big deal? For people like me that insist on compatibility (and will MAKE things compatible when hard-pressed), this would be a deal-breaker in regards to purchasing a Sony Reader. Anyway, I'm happy that all the ebooks I have purchased will be more accessible to me soon.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Got it Rough

The baby has had a rough week. She's been super duper cranky, and not sleeping well. Both of those things are probably related. I'm pretty sure the reason she's not sleeping well is because she kicks ferociously in her sleep, and it wakes her up. She's been sleeping with me a lot while Jeremy has been away. I've never been a fan of co-sleeping, but in this case it's either that or get up every hour to give her the pacifier. It's not really a choice -- I have a full-time job and I need sleep at night!

It's not easy with Jeremy away. I don't know how single mothers do this. I have the added stress of working at home with her -- so it's like I have 2 full-time jobs going on at the same time. The few hours I have left at night are spent catching up on household stuff, maybe going to the gym for an hour, and doing Scarlett's nighttime routine. It's rough. I carve out downtime where I can, but it's pretty minimal. Welcome to motherhood, right? Well this was a lot easier when Jeremy was here to help! I can't wait until he's back for good.

I went to Katy's baby shower down in the Springs on Saturday. My parents babysat Scarlett (for the first time ever!). It was so great to see everyone. The food was amazing, too. I wish I could have stayed longer and caught up with everyone more, but I had to get back to Boulder for the dogs.

The dogs, as sweet as they are, are the bane of my existence right now. Everything is SO much harder with them. If I'm gone, I have to rush back to let them out. If I bring them with me, it's a freaking nightmare to coordinate and control them. When Jeremy is here it's easier, but it's never easy. Unfortunately we're not the type of people to get rid of pets because of inconvenience. Besides, we love the little boogers. Well, I wasn't loving Tyr so much when he pooped in the house because he was upset that Jeremy was gone. But generally we love them. :-|

Just for the record, I wore my CU socks last Saturday and they won against KSU. So I will be wearing them once again on Friday. Come on Buffs! Kick Nebraska's BUTT!

I had a half-day at work today, so my parents came up to visit. They brought Scarlett a snuggly pink snowsuit and a holiday dress -- so cute! Then they played with the baby while I wrapped up my work, and we headed into Boulder to go to Turley's for lunch. I loooove Turley's. The only problem I have with that restaurant is choosing one thing to eat!

Ugh. My energy level is SO low these days. I know it's normal for a new mom to have no energy (especially when the baby isn't sleeping well at night), but it's getting on my nerves. I hope I am up to doing some painting on Friday. I have been itching to get to the canvas, and I have the day off work and no obligations.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mama's Girl and Work Woes

Raising Hope just got added to my Hulu queue. I can't resist a show with a barking baby.

Scarlett and I met Michelle and her kids at the playground at Waneka Lake today for my lunch hour. It was a beautiful sunny day, though pretty chilly. I'm glad I brought a fleece blanket, because as soon as we got there Scarlett wanted out of her carrier and I didn't have her bundled up warm enough to be out in the wind. So I held her in my arms with the blanket wrapped around her and she watched the kids play on the playground. When Seraphina was done playing, we went for a walk around the lake and, as usual with Scarlett and Aeden, she passed out and he got fussy. I swear as soon as Scarlett hears another baby cry, she says to herself, "Well, that kid's got it covered. I can relax." I think I do the same thing, actually. I am pretty high-strung, but if someone else is freaking out or stressing out, I immediately relax. It's like I figure someone else is worrying about whatever it is, so it's no longer necessary for ME to worry. Looks like my daughter is following in my footsteps.

And according to my husband she also makes the same face I do when she's concentrating on something. Until tonight I was unaware I had a "concentration face". Thanks honey.

Jeremy's business hit another snag. He's getting so frustrated because he seems to hit a new speedbump every week. It's nothing that's stopping his business from moving forward, it's just all causing it to move forward very slowly. Too slowly for us to survive on it yet, sadly. So he's got a work opportunity in the Springs and he's going to take it for a month. That means he'll be spending about 4 days a week down there, and I'm left here alone with the baby and the dogs (The cat doesn't count because he's got 16lbs of fat stores to survive on if he doesn't get fed. Just kidding! About not feeding him, not about him being 16 freaking pounds.). So hint, hint, friends of mine. I could use some company!

I started Wuthering Heights this weekend and I'm absolutely obsessed. How have I never read that book? It's wonderful! A twisted, epic tale. I want so badly to hate Heathcliff, but how can you hate a man capable of such passionate love? Or is it just obsession? Maybe I'll know by the end of the book.

Work has been nuts. 'Nuff said. Half the time I wonder if I'm cut out for this line of work. I excelled in the technical and deployment work I did in my last few roles with the company, but this role is higher-level thinking, a lead role without anyone to lead. It's very independent, which I like... but I also often feel a bit lost. No one has a stake in what I do. Unless I just tank my numbers for a few quarters, no one will raise a hand to question what I'm doing. My metrics numbers are the only feedback I get. Now that my pregnancy (brain) is over and things with the baby are a bit more stable and predictable, I think I need to revisit how I'm doing some things. I need to break out of my rut and get creative, if not to improve my numbers, to improve the way I feel about my job.

I don't even want to talk about NaNoWriMo. It has been impossible to keep up with it this year with the way my days go now. I'm trying not to beat myself up over it, and just write when I can. I have the rest of my life to write, but only a limited time with Scarlett at this age. Or so I tell myself.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Deadwilder Print

I promised a picture of the gift I got my brother, so here you go. It's a limited edition signed print from artist Erin King of Deadwilder Designs (http://www.etsy.com/people/DeadwilderArt). Erin is such a neat woman, and her art is incredible. I highly recommend her work.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Couch Potato

The only problem with Scarlett's new ability to sit up assisted is that when she wants to sit, there is no convincing her to do anything else. I have been working from the couch a lot so she can sit up without me losing both typing hands.

Not sure about this whole cereal thing

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Baby Einstein and The Book That Should Be

My parents bought Scarlett two Baby Einstein videos: Underwater and Four Seasons. Whoever came up with this idea was either a genius or worked at home with an infant. Brilliant! I keep them on continuous play all afternoon. They've got lots of bright colors and movement to make them fun for baby to watch, classical music (which doesn't distract me from my work) and minimal verbal interruptions (again, less distracting for me while I'm working). Also, they teach letters, numbers and some animals in a non-obnoxious way. Scarlett still likes to zone out in the afternoon, so this is the perfect thing to have on for her. She just stares at it and sucks her pacifier until she nods off.

The only thing I wish they had was the name of each piece of music, either on the box or on the screen. I would love to tell Scarlett "this is Beethoven" or whatever. Okay, maybe that's lazy of me. Maybe I need to go learn these songs myself so I can teach her!

Speaking of songs, I am so happy I can carry a tune. Scarlett just loves when I sing to her now. I've always sung her lullabies, but now I sing other songs while I'm changing her, or playing with her, or whatever. She is just captivated. I'm sure she'd love it just as much if I was tone deaf, of course, but it's more enjoyable for me when I can be confident that I'm making the song sound pretty close to what it's supposed to sound like.

I wish there was a realistic handbook for first-time moms. You know, one that warned you to buy your weight's worth of burp cloths and tells you that a pacifier will save your life. I should write one. The first thing I'd say is, "Buy a baby carrier that will last you more than 4 months." Yeah, we are about 1 inch away from not being able to use the baby carrier anymore. The straps are at their limit for length. When Scarlett was in her winter coat two nights ago, I had to have Jeremy buckle her in because the straps were so tight with the extra bit of bulk I couldn't force them into the buckle. I figure we've got about another month before it's unusable. I just hope Scarlett can sit on her own by then! I mean, what am I supposed to do with her in a grocery store if she can't sit on her own and I can't have her in the carrier? Argh. That's what we get for buying a clearance floor model.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Scarlett's 4-Month Appointment

Yesterday I had two appointments scheduled -- one for me with my eye doctor, and one for Scarlett with her pediatrician. I made those appointments before she was in her current routine, and I now regret that.

I thought both of those appointments would be in-and-out, and I would basically be taking a long lunch hour. Yeahhhh not so much with an almost-4-month-old. Scarlett is very predictable from the time she wakes up until about noon. She eats and poops at almost exactly the same time every morning. So in the middle of my eye exam, my little clockwork kid did her duty. I had to leave the doctor's office for a few minutes to go take care of it.

As for Scarlett's appointment with her pediatrician, as soon as I got her all geared up to go out in the cold (soooo glad I had my child in the summer, because it takes so much longer to get her dressed in cold-weather clothes!), it started raining. You can't park near the medical building, so there I was hiking across a huge parking lot in the rain with the baby in a REALLY HEAVY carrier. We both got soaked. But I got my workout in. LOL

Scarlett is now 13lb, 11.5oz, and 23.75" long. Her height growth has slowed down, but now she's a chunk! The doctor told me how impressed she was with Scarlett's behavior. She said, "I didn't want to tell you this at the time, but when you first came in and Scarlett had colic, she was one of the fussiest babies I've ever seen." OMG! I'm proud of myself for surviving. Hahaha! She also said that I have a "calm presence that Scarlett will benefit from". I told her I don't feel calm! But when the nurse commented that Scarlett was very intent when she looked at me, like she was "waiting for my cues", it really dawned on me that a calm presence is going to be very important so that she doesn't grow up to be as neurotic as I am. So whatever I'm doing, I'm doing it right. Whew.

Scarlett -- Jumper


Scarlett -- Bubbles


Monday, November 08, 2010

OCD Brain and Cardio

I keep meaning to blog about my struggle with cardio exercise, so finally here it goes. I know I need more cardio to lose the baby weight, but it is NOT good for my head. I mostly walk and jog (a little) around the lake because it's the easiest thing to fit into my crazy schedule, and I always put on my iPod when I go. You'd think the music and being out in nature would calm my mind, right? No! My mind goes APESHIT (pardon my French). It's like a feedback loop of crazy in there. I obsess over little things that have been bugging me, over stupid conversations with random people, over all the things I want/need to do. Walking seems to trigger my brain to go into OCD mode. Before I got pregnant I used to use the treadmill, stairstepper and elliptical machines at the gym -- I'd put on an audiobook and it helped to focus my thoughts a bit. But it wasn't foolproof. Obsessive thinking still snuck in. Unfortunately there's just no way I can get to the gym that much during the week. I'm lucky to be able to go the three times I do. So my walks/jogs around the lake are going to have to suffice. I guess I need to figure out a better way to get my mind focused on the present moment while I'm doing it.

Tummy Time

Drew's Birthday and Springs Visit

My brother Drew's birthday was on Friday, so I drove down to my parents' house at lunchtime rather than deal with the rush hour traffic after work. I worked from there for the rest of the afternoon while my mom and brother Chad took turns spending time with the baby. Jeremy went with me and took the opportunity to pass his business card out to tire shops in that area while we were down there. I just love it when he takes initiative like that. I am so proud of him for getting his business off the ground, especially in such a tough economy.

Speaking of Jeremy's business, due to some wackiness going on with a partner company, I had to drive him to and from Hudson to pick up/drop off his boxtruck twice last week. It's actually a pretty relaxing drive because it's all country roads and no traffic, but it's still LONG. I am so glad my job is as flexible as it is. And I'm also glad Scarlett is such a good little traveler!

I drove down to Colorado Springs on Saturday for a day full of girl stuff. As the southern mountains got closer, I was struck by how much they looked like they were draped in dark green velvet. So different from the mountains up here near Boulder, with our steep, rocky canyons cracked open by rushing rivers. I lived in the Springs for several years, off and on, but it's only now that I realize what a different place it is. It's like a step out of time. The arts are growing there, spirituality is blooming, and culture is sneaking in bit by bit -- but it's still overgrown with decrepit buildings; much of the city lacks landscaping, giving it a run-down feel; and the deep military and right-wing religious influences are still more prevalent than anything else. With a population rivaling Denver, Colorado Springs has a lot of potential. I am interested to see what 10 or 20 years does to it.

The first thing I did on Saturday was get my hair done. All of you women know how hard it is to find a good hairstylist, and I'm sure you sympathize with my hour-and-a-half trek every six weeks to see my stylist, Eric. I'm a natural blond, but I have my hair lightened a few shades -- and Eric does this without bleach. That alone is worth the drive. You wouldn't believe how many stylists have tried to bleach my already blond hair.

I met Josey for lunch after my hair appointment. I stopped by her house and saw her three boys for a few minutes. So adorable!!! Connor has these big sweet eyes and a very generous smile, and Garrett is so friendly and smart. Garrett told me how he helped his daddy pick up sticks in the yard. He was so proud of himself. Josey and I went to On the Border for lunch. We don't have one close to our house in Lafayette, and I looooove their fish tacos, so it was a real treat. Then we grabbed some Starbucks and went to a park to have some more girl talk time. She and I are in a similar place in our lives right now, so it's really nice to have someone I can relate to. I miss her!

The last stop for me on Saturday was Courtney's baby shower. She looks so beautiful! She calls her baby boy a "linebacker" because he's already so big. Too funny. I used to call Scarlett my "riverdancer" because of how much she kicked. It kinda made me miss being pregnant. Sure, being pregnant was no walk in the park, but I had it pretty good compared to some. And I felt so happy and calm throughout the experience. Plus, feeling that little baby inside is really something amazing. Part of me wishes I could have half a dozen kids... but the reasonable part of me is happy I waited as long as I did, and knows having 2 or 3 is smarter. Anyway, Courtney's shower was fun. We filled out cards with our advice, and I could have written a book for her. Cheryl was also there, visiting from Seattle, so it was great to see her too.

My poor little girl has had nightmares a few nights over the last 2 weeks. It's so sad! It usually doesn't happen until after 3:30 in the morning, so she's still going to sleep well and staying down for quite a while -- but she wakes up with these really sad cries, and when I check on her she's half asleep, sobbing with the most heartbreaking expression on her face. My mom says that this means she has a high level of consciousness, and she'll be very smart. I bet she's right!

In other baby news, this morning Scarlett started practicing making a "p" sound. It mainly results in a lot of drool, but it's pretty cute. And she's doing this "mama" cry now when she's really sad about something. I know she has no idea what she's saying, but it comes out as a wailing "mama" and it breaks my heart. And I can't remember if I've already mentioned this, but she loves sitting up these days. Of course you have to hold her up or prop her up, but the look of pure accomplishment on her face when you grab her hands and pull her to a sitting position is just glorious.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Halloween 2010, Etc

As I mentioned in a previous post, I gave myself permission to cocoon last week. Well, that lasted until Friday. I couldn't stand it anymore. So I took a break from work and walked with the baby over to Starbucks for some sunshine and caffeine. It was a nice walk, the baby was happily watching the world go by, and the sunshine was filling up my vitamin D stores...until the walk back. The wind picked up rather violently, turning the bonnet on the stroller into a sail and leaves into deadly weapons. But the caffeine high and the nap the baby took afterward was worth it.

I have had songs stuck in my head every day for the last week. First it was that "I've got a pair of brand new roller skates" song from the HP commercial where the baby zooms around in his walker. Then it was "Skidmarks and smokescreen" from that car commercial. I'm sorry, but when I hear "skidmarks", I don't think of a car. Just sayin'.

Scarlett has been super needy in the afternoons lately. Like whiny to the point of driving me batty if I'm not looking at her at all times. In an attempt to compromise with her so I could get my work done, I've been taking my laptop upstairs every afternoon and working on the couch with her nestled up next to me. It worked for about a week, and she happily played and talked to herself within arm's reach of me every afternoon--but the last two days she has reverted to "look at me, look at me!" mode. My mother says this is only fair since I demanded so much attention as a child myself. Lovely. I intend to continue to foster her independence, though, as hard as it is not to give in and spend all my time staring at and playing with my beautiful daughter.

Saturday evening I went into Boulder to pick up my brother's birthday gift. Not that he's a regular reader of this blog, but I'm not going to divulge what it is until after his birthday on Friday. Let's just say it totally rocks and I can't wait to give it to him. Now that I've piqued your curiosity, I'll post a picture this weekend.

Jeremy and I got out a 1,000-piece puzzle Saturday night, a Thomas Kinkade one that I had purchased at a Walter Drake sample sale and had never been opened before, only to discover that the pieces inside didn't match the picture on the box. Party foul! Way to go Ceaco! We were able to put the border of it together, though, and with that we were able to look up the picture online and print it out for reference. Ah, technology. Without it, we'd be doing Ceaco puzzles blind.

Sunday we dressed Scarlett up as a monkey (pictures below) and went to the Denver Zoo for Boo at the Zoo. It seemed everyone we walked by said something along the lines of "Oh my gosh, look at the adorable monkey!" Della and family met us there and we had a blast until I got sick from the cafe pizza. I started having weird throat spasms, like I was having an allergic reaction. I have no idea what happened, but it freaked us out so Jeremy and I left a little earlier than everyone else. Della had given me a Dramamine just in case it was simple nausea, and it knocked me out HARD for the rest of the afternoon. I woke up in time to hand out candy, though. We didn't have very many trick-or-treaters, sadly.

I went to yoga Monday night and have now been returned to my normal state of sanity. Yoga literally saves my life sometimes. Tonight, though, Jeremy got home too late from work for me to make it to yogalates, so I opted to walk around the lake. I ended up jogging a bit, just to see how it felt since I haven't done it in over a year. I've never been a jogger/runner, though, so it's never felt good. But it wasn't awful. And I desperately need the cardio to drop this baby weight. So I pushed myself a bit. And now my hips are mad at me, but at least I feel like I accomplished a decent workout tonight.

And now pictures! The first few are from Boo at the Zoo, and the ones afterward are Scarlett in her jumper. Caveat, though: Scarlett gets a deer-in-the-headlights expression every time she sees a camera. It is SO hard to catch her smiles on film!

You can really see her daddy's blue eyes in this one!

In this one you can see the tail of her costume a little better.

NaNoWriMo 2010

I'm trying not to use this post to procrastinate. Really I am. But I keep coming back to it when I run into a wall with my work-in-progress.

Yes, it's that time of year again. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) started yesterday, and it clobbered me. I have all these ideas, but the writing just isn't flowing yet. I keep wondering if I've lost my touch, and that obsessive thought in turn makes it more difficult to write.

Maybe I'll never write another book! Maybe I'm all washed up! Maybe I'm not the writer I thought I could be! Welcome to the head of a wannabe novelist. That show on AMC, Obsessed, could do a hundred shows about us wacky writers. Being wacky is a job requirement. I'm good at my job.

I've got 2,000 words written on day 2--and I have to get 50,000 done by Nov 30. Slow start indeed. But hey, my procrastination is causing me to get lots of other things done! Like laundry, dishes, this blog...

There is no way I can possibly transition this rant into a description of my Halloween festivities, so I'm going to drop it here and start a new post. Hasta luego.