Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Car rides & homemades

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about making the trip to and from Oregon yet again this month. I'm looking forward to being there, but the thought of making the trip with Amelia again makes my neck start itching and puts my sweat glands into overdrive. She was just so miserable last time. We've made a few changes since then, though, and she seems to be (knock on wood) doing better in the car. First, we moved her car seat so that it's behind the passenger seat. I would imagine that if I were a rear-facing baby I'd want to see out the window and where she was before she was pretty much staring at a boring seat back - it can only get better from there and already we've caught her staring at the lights out the window. Second, I stopped sitting in the backseat next to her. Initially I thought sitting back there with her was a great idea because I could stick her pacifier back in when it slipped out and made her mad and I could "calm her down" when she was having a spastic moment. Doesn't work that way. She seems to calm down faster when I'm not back there, probably because if she's crying and I'm sitting back there she's thinking "Hey, lady, pick me up already. What kind of heartless person are you?" That's what I'd be thinking if I was a baby in a rear-facing car seat staring at my mom when I'm overstimulated wondering why she won't just pick me up already. Being in the back seat with a screaming baby is no picnic. It's hard work. I could practically feel minutes of my life melting away.

On the way down to Oregon last time we stopped twice because Miss Amelia was having a full blown temper tantrum. Now, I realize that, generally speaking, 3 month old babies don't have temper tantrums but in order for you to get the best mental picture that's how I need to describe it. The trip should have lasted 3 hours yet it was over 4. On the way back we also stopped twice but the first time she had a good reason to cry because she had a full, nasty diaper and I took that opportunity to feed her as well. This time I sat in the front passenger seat and as we got on the road from the first stop (about an hour in) she started crying. Then screaming. We stopped again and I tried to calm her down but it really wasn't working. I finally got her to sleep and, since it's impossible to put her in her car seat without waking her up, she woke up and wasn't all too happy about it. But, she stayed in her car seat and we got on the road, determined to let her "cry it out" since there was nothing wrong with her! I'll tell you that being in the passenger seat of a car with a screaming baby in the back seat is ten times easier than being in the back seat with said kid. Ten times. Maybe even one hundred times easier. After about 5-8 minutes she was asleep.

So, tomorrow night makes me nervous. Pray for us.

On to more fun things. First, I have very crafty friends. I have a very sweet friend named Megan who taught me how to knit about a year and a half ago and, as you may remember from this post, Megan sent me an adorable sweater for Amelia before she was born. I can't believe it's already time for me to show you my baby in the sweater because it looked so big when Megan first sent it! I'm attaching two pictures because I think her expression in the second picture is so cute. I think Millie looks a lot like her Grandma Baldwin in that second picture!

Finally, here's a vest I made for Anna or Kate or Amelia (whoever fits in it in the correct season, I guess!). My mom and granny helped me pick out the fabric and supplies which I really appreciated since it was my first ever sewing project (unless you count the whale-shaped pillow I made in Home Ec in 7th grade). My mother-in-law was sweet enough to come over a couple of times and help me read the pattern and teach me a thing or two about how to thread my machine and how to get the seams sewn properly. The courderoy flowers are not sewn on yet. I still can't decide if I like them there. What do you think?

It's way past Amelia's bedtime and probably past mine, too. She's in her swing and fell asleep maybe 10 minutes ago so I need to move her to bed.

Have a great Halloween weekend!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Autumnal Bliss

I'm knee-deep in household projects. Amelia sleeping only in her swing for naps has its perks and its pitfalls. Mostly pitfalls. On my list of "household projects" are things like "organize kitchen pantry" and "organize baking cabinet". I have to say that I love, love, love having a husband who is happy to load and unload the dishwasher, especially since I can handle the loading but if I unload while Amelia is sleeping (in her swing) then I inevitably wake her and I try to avoid that. Sidenote: I do realize that I should live as I live and she can get used to the noise but that's not the way it has worked for us. For the first couple of months of her life we did everything we could to live normally and make any noise we needed to make while she was asleep and amazingly she did stay asleep but she's no longer a heavy sleeper. At all.

Anyway, David unloads the dishwasher in the morning while Millie and I are still in bed before he goes to work. It's fantastic, it really is, and things are generally in the cabinet where they belong but they are rarely in the order in which they belong. I spend a lot of time organizing cabinets only to have them in complete chaos and disarray less than a week after I organize them. For a while, I just gave up. I felt bad for complaining about how my husband was unloading the dishwasher and decided to focus on the fact that my husband was unloading the dishwasher. He's a doer anyway - I'm not by any stretch of the imagination married to a slob. We are both varying degrees of "neat" and, as a matter of fact, he might even have me beat on how neatly he keeps things and likes things. One thing we differ on is that David just wants things out of sight and in their proper place...he doesn't really mind if the pan isn't stacked neatly inside the other pans where it belongs as long as it's in the correct cabinet. Same goes with the kitchen pantry. This is our dilemma.

Recently I implored David to straighten out a cabinet full of pans because I had done it before only to have my work undone by a well-meaning husband. So, he did, and that cabinet has been neatly kept ever since with pans stacked tidily in other pans. I'd ask him to straighten out my baking cabinet but I'm home all day now so the best I can do is post about it on my blog and hope he tries to put things back where they go when he unloads the dishwasher (which I really appreciate). My point in all of this was to say that it's noisy to reorganize a cabinet full of cookie sheets and muffin pans as well as rearranging a pantry full of crinkly food packages. So, those items have been put off but I need to get to them this weekend at some point while David is around to entertain our daughter.

Other items on my list are to send out thank you notes from my Oregon baby shower and order photos for a ton of frames as well as for Amelia's baby book and for my pregnancy journal. My shower was on August 31 and I do feel terrible for not having sent the notes out yet but I have some done and will do the rest this weekend! The picture thing - well, it's kind of a pain. I was happy to have found mats for a couple of the frames at WalMart (we have a halfway decent one in Covington) but deciding which pictures go into what frames and even where the frames should go is something I know I can't really make too many mistakes with but it still is a lot more work than it sounds!

Tonight I went to a Ladies Bible Class at the church building. The speakers were really fantastic and I learned a lot. It's amazing how much you can absorb when you're not preoccupied with an infant. It struck me on the way there and on the way home how much I missed turning the CD up and singing along with the music. I don't, however, turn the CD up too loudly because apparently I am sensitive to noise (but more on that later). I was listening to Rascal Flatts. I'm very big into lyrics. I concentrate so hard on lyrics to songs that I can usually listen to a song just a couple of times before I can sing along without making too many mistakes. I play a particular song of Rascal Flatts over and over again called "Why". It's heartwrenching. I've embedded it here if you want to listen to it. I get teary-eyed every time I hear it.

David and I are going to see the movie "Amelia" on Saturday. We didn't name our daughter after Amelia Earhart but I still think it's neat that there's a movie that came out the same year Amelia was born. So, we'll go see it and I'll let you know what we thought of it.

Here are some pictures from the Pumpkin Patch a couple of weeks ago. We go to a place on Sauvie Island in Portland every year with my family.

David with Amelia & the 3 girl cousins in the pumpkin cutout

Caleb on the tractor & the 3 sisters with our 3 baby girls. We dressed alike and got a LOT of stares and comments. Some people even took pictures of our babies.

My twin & me sharing a mini-chocolate chip covered caramel apple (I still dream about it). Can you guess who is who? Now that we're about the same weight we definitely look similar! Also, there's a picture of Caleb with his airbrush-painted face from the pumpkin patch and Amelia on his lap.

Have a great autumn weekend!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The sleeping post

Are there other things I could be doing right now? Simply, yes. However, my kid has been fighting sleep more than normal lately and last night and today was no picnic so I'm going to use this time that she's actually fast asleep to post.

Lately I've been feeling like it might be time to lose the swaddle and the swing for naps & nighttime. I've only just recently realized how overambitious of a goal that is. A couple of weeks ago I laid Amelia down for a nap and after about 10 minutes of whining she fell asleep. Granted, she was only out for about 35 minutes but it was a start. Over the course of that week she kept doing okay on her own to fall asleep at naptime. I should also add that, for about a month, she was giving us 6 1/2 -9 hour stretches of sleep at night. It was wonderful.

She has regressed.

I laid her down for a nap today and for, no kidding, 30 minutes she whined and fussed and was just generally a big grump about the whole thing. I went in a couple of times to put her paci back in and when I did she would close her eyes and snuggle with her blankie but then would get mad that her eyes were closed and pop them back open and start whining again. I left, but then after another 10 minutes I finally went in and fed her thinking she might be getting hungry. Okay, fed & changed so everything should be good, right? Nuh-uh. More fussing and whining except this time she threw in some temper tantrum. Yeah, the girl already knows how to throw herself a mean temper tantrum. I decided that if I was going to get rid of the swing during naptime then maybe I should swaddle her since that's how she's used to sleeping in her crib (that's how we roll at nighttime). Swaddled. I rocked her and she got mad again so I laid her in her crib and left. 15 minutes went by and her fussing is turning into full-blown cries. SO...I went in, picked her swaddled little self up and put her in her swing. Within 5 minutes she was out. I waited another 10 minutes before scooping her up and transfering her to the crib. She barely moved the entire time.

So, that's been my day. I've managed to get some laundry circulating but other than that I'm feeling rather unproductive. I'm allowed those days, right? They have been happening a little too frequently lately.

So, here's the recipe I was talking about. I'm sure someone has thought of this before so I won't claim that it's completely original. It's simple enough. It doesn't even have a title.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked & cubed
1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 can black olives, drained & sliced
1 cup fresh spinach (you can use frozen, I won't tell)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 T chicken seasoning (I used Montreal)
1 T dried sweet basil
1/2 T fresh ground pepper
Parmesan cheese to taste

Basically just throw it all in a skillet, heat it up, and serve it over angel hair pasta. I promise never to write a cookbook.

My baby is awake. I think she slept for 40 minutes. She's on her playgym staring at her feet and yawning. I don't think it's her teeth, but maybe it is. I just know that when I would walk into her room when she was whining and pick her up she'd stop crying.

Okay, we played, I cut her fingernails, and put her back in her swing since her eyes were red and she was looking dazed. She's sleeping and this time I'm not moving her!

That's the thing about parenting infants. People would tell me before she was born that infants just "eat, sleep & poop". That may be true to an extent, but you also have to figure out why they're crying, why they won't eat, why they won't sleep or why they're sleeping so much and why they haven't pooped/pooped so much/why their poop looks the way it does. Are they sick? Teething? Tired? Hungry? Gassy? Colicky? Overstimulated? Too hot? Too cold? Uncomfortable? Of course, you probably know what I'm going to say next. It really is all worth it. I get to snuggle her, kiss her, play with her, and watch her smile and laugh. And drool. Last night I got done feeding her and had her over my shoulder to burp her. She lifted her head and, while putting her chubby little hands on my face, planted her nose into my cheek then tried to eat my nose. She burped in my face and spit up just enough so that I could smell that distinct digested milk scent. It was the sweetest moment so far!

Okay, I probably should get some stuff done while she's still sleeping. David (that's my husband's name. No more "D") will be home soon.

Did I eat lunch today?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Good Going

I really need to redo my title page. Not only is our baby girl here now, she's been here for 3 months and, oh, just woke up. I really thought I had a chance at completing a post. Silly me.

Okay, well she's content to chew on her lovey and her fingers so I'm going to try to write as much as I can. I'm grateful to God for my baby's fingers. She finds them endlessly fascinating (and tasty, too) which has saved us a lot of money on toys at this age.

Don't you love my lame attempt to keep this thing updated? Really, it's completely ridiculous but here's the thing. I could write every day, I really could. But every day it would be about my kid and it would be a snore to most of you. Not, as I've said before, that I really do this blog only for you (the 5 people who read this). But poor writing bugs me, especially when it's coming from me and I noticed that when I would write every other day my writing started sounding monotonous and boring. Kinda like right now so...onward.

Yesterday was D's and my 3rd wedding anniversary. The day itself was nothing to write about since we celebrated on Tuesday. Tuesday, however, was fun. It was wonderful to fiddle with my hair, get mad at it, then fiddle with it again until every piece was in place. I also enjoyed spending approximately 15 minutes on my makeup, especially since most days I only apply a bit of powder and mascara. Rarely, even, on the powder since my goal is to, at the end of the day, climb into bed with the minimum amount of hassle necessary. Since Amelia has regressed in her sleeping habits, I try to catch every ounce of shut-eye I can squeeze in. Obviously if I'm going somewhere I make an effort. But, if I'm staying home I mostly just make sure I get a shower and look halfway decent so my husband doesn't come home to a frumpy dumpy wife.

Anyway, D got home and took me to dinner at The Melting Pot. His parents graciously offered to watch the baby for us while we were gone and my parents generously "contributed" to our anniversary dinner. Totally unexpected but very appreciated. The Melting Pot is having some Oktoberfest special so their "Big Night Out" is centered around German foods like sausages and pickles and mustards and, of course, cheese. I'd tell you more about it but I'm hungry and talking about it would just make me more hungry so I'll refrain. I have a couple of pictures, just of the two of us and not of us together because that would require the embarassing "Uh, waitress, could you get a picture of us together?" Not that it's that embarassing, we just happened to be satisfied with the individual shots. Since our baby girl came along pictures of ourselves have become significantly less important.

This is D's "no more pictures" face:

Well, tonight is Ladies Bible Class and my baby has now been fed and is laying on her playgym mat "talking" but it's more like "whining" since she's upset. So, more later...

Well, I'm back but now Blogger won't let me upload any pictures. The one of D is the only one I can upload right now so I'll have to write more later...trip to the pumpkin patch, my own recipe, and more coming.

Hey, it's an update!