Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Merry Early Christmas

We are taking a bit of a hiatus to visit Joe's family in NJ. Merry Christmas, Merry Everything, hope you get lots of goodies in your stockings!

Mom Has a Birthday

My thirty-third birthday was last week and I spent it with my favorite people doing some of my favorite things: eating and shopping and wandering around a big city. So, birthday success! Started off with breakfast here with my parents (even got a muffin with a candle and the Happy Birthday song from the staff - most people hate/are embarrassed when that happens. I, however, eat it up. Me and my only-child ego love the attention. Love it. Ha.) then the Hubs and the Babe and I took off for San Francisco. In a nutshell: Sody got her first trip on BART, we walked around Union Square and ate at Burger Bar in Macy's. (Nutshell review of that place: SO. GOOD. The meat, the boozy milkshake, the fat fries, the skinny fries, the sweet potato fries - oh, yes! we had them all - I am still thinking about them.) All in all, pretty perfect day.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Eleven Months, holy cow

Sody turned 11 months old last week, which means the monumental First Birthday is upon us. And it also means we are dangerously close to having a TODDLER on our hands. Peace out, Babyhood.

How, oh how, am I going to remember this little baby body? The way her chubby tummy feels when I kiss it? The softness of this thigh or that roly-poly arm? Sometimes I just stare at her or hug her too long or bury my nose in her little neck and breathe her in – all as though I am trying to burn the senses into my brain. I want to hold onto these things forever, just as I wanted to hold onto her newborn self forever too. You really forget how they feel, how small they are at first. And sometime soon the way she feels now is going to feel so faraway, too. I don’t want to forget.

Last night I let her stay up a little late because we were having too much fun. I sat in a chair and stood her up with her feet balanced on my thighs and looked at my big, strong, amazing girl. She moved in to kiss me (this is a new thing – we ask for kisses and she is just starting to understand) with an open mouth and we both erupted in giggles. I tried so hard to commit the moment to memory: the kiss, the laughs, her sweet face with the gap between her front teeth. And then I gave her about three million tummy kisses and pretended to eat her. There is a script that always goes along with the fake nibbling: “Oh, I am going to eat up this little baby because she is so delicious! Yum yum yum, what a yummy baby!” (yes, I really do sound like this) Over and over and over. Then cue her giggling and the goofiest little grin you have ever seen.

She is just so happy about life. Sometimes I still can’t believe someone this good exists.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Reader

Recently I started taking Sody to our local library for their “Baby Lapsit Storytime.” It’s about seven or eight moms and their babies, sitting in a semicircle on the floor while the children’s librarian reads a story and leads some songs and activities. It’s fun. It’s free. It’s sort of social…a little for me but more so for Isota. The chance to see other babies always seems to be a bit of a thrill for her.

What is funny to me about storytime is that the word “lapsit” is in the title of it. Isota has absolutely zero interest in sitting on my lap for any length of time during the half hour. And who could blame her? There are babies to visit, moms to wave to, the librarian to climb up on (how else will you get a closer look at the book??), strangers’ purses and cell phones to find and other kids’ pacifiers to grab. Really, it’s like Baby Disneyland for a half hour. Which means I am basically on my feet going after her the whole time. Up, down, up, down, Sody why don’t we stay here and look at this nice story?

What is strange to me about storytime is that the other kids aren’t quite like this. They all just calmly sit in their mom’s laps. Who are these robot children who don’t move? I don’t get it. On the one hand I think, well, that’s nice – the moms get a little break since they aren’t running after their spirited child the whole time. But mostly I am just dumbfounded and find it a little weird. I know that every kid is different and some there aren’t even at the exploring age yet, but still…where is their curiosity? I love that Isota wants to know everything that is going on in that room. Her curiosity is truly something to behold and encourage. And her charm wins everyone over when she comes over to check them out. I have gotten a couple looks from some particular moms who give me a vibe of “Why can’t you manage your child?” which of course drives me batty as we are talking about the under-1 set. Babies need to explore and do their baby thing! That's how they learn! But whatever, their children will never blaze trails because their moms won’t let them. My girl is going to rule the world. Or at least the library.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

We Thanked, We Gave

More like, we ate and we ate. So Thanksgiving 2009 can be labeled a success. And I think we all know what we were thankful for this year:

p.s. Sody seemed to like everything except turkey. go figure.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

She’s just so big now, I can’t get over it. Each time I reach to get her out of her crib or I pick her up when she holds out her chubby little arms, it’s like, “Oof! When did you get so heavy!” How did this happen? How did 10+ months go by so fast? I look at her baby book – (actually, I should say I look at one of her baby books – we keep many: journals, photos, scrapbook, you name it) and I just can’t believe my eyes when I look at pictures from last winter. Brand new Sody with her wrinkly skin and scrawny chicken legs, stretching out her whole body and sleeping with her little fist propped up on her cheek. I miss that newborn baby, I do. I miss swaddling up that little bundle and being able to carry her around in one arm. I miss watching her sleep on Joe’s chest. I miss the teeny clothes and diapers and I really miss a baby that never wiggled around and objected during a diaper change.

But of course, that newborn has been replaced by the funniest and most fun baby ever, which is alright by me. Every single day more facets of Sody’s personality come out and I realize that we don’t just have a baby - we have a real Person now. A person with her own specific tickle spots and curiosity and desires and a cute cowlick on the side of her head when she sleeps on her hair funny. A person with a squishy scrunchy grin that comes out so often I can’t help but think there couldn’t possibly be a happier or friendlier baby on this planet.

This morning we lounged in bed together –as well as one can lounge at 6:45 a.m. – and she started her own game of peek-a-boo with herself and the bedsheet, just giggling to herself. My heart gets a little bigger each time I catch moments like this, and there are so many. She is just so sweet and funny.

Sody Lou, your mama loves you like you wouldn’t believe. Way more than I could ever describe with this computer.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Scary Bear

Lately we have noticed a new emotion Isota seems to be experiencing: fear. She doesn't display often but there is one thing in particular that has set her off, and that thing is a stuffed bear. We have this big brown stuffed bear that has always sat around the house...either our room or her room but mostly in the living room with all her other toys. He is huge and soft and cuddly and she has always seemed to like him just fine. But one day Joe was playing with her and made the bear do a low growl and the noise freaked out Sody so much. Her eyes got wide, her arms started flapping like, "Get me outta here, quick!" and the tears were soon to follow. Cruel parents that we are, we found the whole scene a little bit funny because she is just never like that.

So now he is Scary Bear and I sit him in the corner so she can go play with him when she feels brave enough. Lately I have been watching her go up to him, feeling his face and trying to make friends with him again. My little girl, facing her fears. She is a brave little soldier.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


We had a lovely, mellow-ish weekend around here: dinner at my parents with old family friends Friday, puttering around the house on Saturday, and a visit from my college buds Melissa and Adam on Sunday, who roadtripped down from Portland with their almost-two-year-old son Stellan. Unfortunately the visit was so short and sweet that I forgot to snap any pictures of the kids together (doh!) so you are just going to have to trust me that they were very cute. Stellan is adorable and very well-behaved, even when Sody was trying to swipe his toy trucks away from him. Come back soon, you guys!

Random weekend pictures:

Monday, November 9, 2009

When Dad is Away...

...the mice have Dinner Dance Parties! Which means turning up the iPod with *my* tunes and dancing and singing like a fool for Sody while she eats her dinner. Oh, how I love a captive audience. And what an audience she is:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ten Months

Isota turned ten months old last week. I made a pumpkin pie in her honor but it came out pretty ugly so no picture of that. (I made it with a real pumpkin - the baking kind, sugar pumpkin - and it just wasn't as good as the canned stuff, it pains me to say.) So ten months, double digit age, and her skill set just keeps getting bigger and bigger. As of this writing she can now: crawl at lightning speed, pull herself up, cruise around furniture, clap her hands on command and babble really well in babyspeak. But her absolute favorite activity right now is waving. She waves at anyone and everything. We walk into a store and she waves at everyone we pass, smiling like a maniac and basically charming the pants off people. We go to a restaurant and every table around us and every waiter passing by gets a wave - the other night we eventually just turned the highchair around so she could face the whole restaurant and find more people to wave at.

But my absolute favorite wave is when I put her down for naptime. She gets all sleepy eyed and still in her crib and when I say "night night" right before shutting her door and leaving I see her little tired hand raise up and wave bye bye at me. Kills me every time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chicken Little

Isota's First Ever Halloween: Oakland, street parade, pumpkin patch with her friend Remy the Snowman, hanging out with her friend Lenny the Leopard, pizza and trick-or-treating til she passed out. So, a success! She was dressed as a chicken, obviously, and I was a farmer and Joe was a chimney sweep, which had nothing to do with the farm theme but he looked cool. Good times.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Eating is Our Hobby

Isota's eating habits have been one area of child rearing in which I have been particularly anxious. Not that she has given me any reason to be...just that, even before I had a kid, I have always been a little worried about getting a picky eater. Food looms so large in my life (shopping for it, reading about it, thinking about it, cooking it and of course eating it, duh) that I would definitely be a little sad if my child only wanted the classic "kid foods" like chicken nuggets or turned up her nose at vegetables. Apparently I was the sort of freak child who cheered when she could have seconds on spinach, and I would love love love if Isota could be like that too. I strive to make fresh fruits and veggies and whole, real foods part of her everyday diet so things like seeing green vegetables is just a normal habit.

Now, I realize Isota is still new to the whole eating thing - and of course she is going to change and what applies now may not apply next month or even tomorrow - but so far she is an amazing and fearless eater. Last week's dinners included things like salmon patties (salmon, mashed potatoes, egg yolk), pasta with my very chunky homemade tomato sauce (mushrooms, carrots, olives, celery, onions), chicken, garlic bread, beets, and brussel sprouts. She tries and seems to like everything. And I am not kidding - she cheers when she sees me get out the green beans or especially broccoli. The girl LOVES broccoli. I hope she hangs on to that feeling her whole life.

The last picture here is an apple she grabbed out of my bag and went to town on. Her little teeth were working so hard!

p.s. hi doobs! how is berkeley today?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sody Discovers the Kitchen Cabinets

More importantly, she discovers how to *open* the kitchen cabinets. And pull everything out. The kitchen is rapidly becoming her favorite room in which to play. Though maybe it's tied with the bathroom and the enticing toilet she tries to stick her fingers in...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall, Finally

So my favorite time of the year is finally here but you wouldn't know it from the weather. We are still regularly logging 70-80 degree days here, ugh. Growing weary of shorts and t-shirts. I want to bust out scarves and boots and knit hats, people! I want stormy weather and hot mugs of chai and the rain beating on the roof as I fall asleep at night! Is it too much to ask?! But I digress. Despite the weather, we are still focusing on fall-like activities around here. This weekend we took Isota to her first pumpkin patch on Saturday, to Apple Hill on Sunday, and I made some Halloween-y donuts last night. October, I love you. Will you last forever, please?


watching pony rides! (she was mesmerized)

ma and pa!

worn out!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Sody and Her Dad

Well, we have been on a little bit of a hiatus around here because last week I went in to have my gallbladder taken out. It has been a problem ever since Isota was born (turns out pregnancy can cause gallstones to form) so instead of waiting to have more and possibly more serious debilitating and really freaking painful gallbladder attacks, I went for surgery. It was nerveracking because I am more on the hippie-dippy, natural remedy, Eastern medicine side of things rather than elect to get cut open...I mean, I have never even had an IV in my arm before, let alone any surgeries. But now that I am on the other side of it (and it truly was an easy procedure, I have only four tiny incisions) and on the road to recovery I believe it was the right decision.

Needless to say, the weekend was filled with me laying on the couch, popping pain pills and dozing. I am not supposed to be lifting anything heavy, which is not exactly compatible with taking care of a child. So Joe totally took over - meals and cleanups and playtimes and walks and storytimes and most importantly, diaper changes. I didn't touch a dirty diaper for three days! It's hard to not be able to play and cuddle with Isota like usual but on the flipside it is so amazing to watch Joe with her. I can't describe how sweet they are together and the way I catch her looking at him sometimes. The Look of Love, totally. He is the best dad and the best husband and I fully lucked out with this one. Thanks for taking such amazing care of both of us, baby! Not just this weekend but every day. We love you to pieces.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

NugBug is Nine Months

Yesterday marked Nugget's nine-month birthday. She's been out on the planet as long as she was inside bakin' up in my belly. Weird! The cake to mark this milestone is three layer chocolate mint with cream cheese frosting, decorated with Cheerios and Fruity Pebbles. It was almost a disaster when I realized I messed up the recipe as I pulled the cake out of the oven...but luckily I used my Top Chef skills to repair the damage and make it tasty once again. We have way too much cake though, so come on over for a slice, won't you?

Also captured Little One yesterday taking part in her favorite pasttime of playing Computer Whiz. Technically her specialty right now is trying to bust the keys off my computer (she got the shift key - you can imagine that it has become a tad annoying trying to type) but I think she is on her way.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Perfect East Bay Day

On Wednesday we were scheduled to meet up with some friends for a pizza-n-beer night at our favorite pizza-n-beer place in Oakland, the mighty Lanesplitter. But we decided to pack up and play hooky and make a whole day of it, and it worked out perfectly. One of those lucky days where the weather is gorgeous and the traffic isn't awful and the company is great. We packed a lot into the day: stopped by Joe's office to show off Miss Thang (sorry if we missed you! lots of people seemed to be at lunch...), lunch at La Note, Amoeba, swings at the park for Sody, Grove St. Kids to use a gift certificate that has been burning a hole in our pockets, bevvies up at Guerilla Cafe (if you are anywhere near North Berkeley - get over to that place now for the "Red Gold and Green Sparkler" - it involves lingonberry syrup and mint and deliciousness), and then finally over to Lanesplitter to see our homies. We totally screwed up Isota's schedule for the day but she hung in there with us. She calmly sat in my lap working on a pizza crust for a loooong time so I was able to eat my dinner as well. And eventually she tuckered out and slept in the Ergo carrier so then I had a beer too! (It's the little things in life) Funny to be sitting at this restaurant, with these same friends, eating and drinking our same things, doing all the old things we used to do...but with a baby strapped to the front of me while I do them now. Kind of strange but entirely welcome.

East Bay, we miss you. We will be back.