Sunday, June 03, 2007

Moving soon.

Actually, I pretty much have the other site all set up I just haven't made the move official.

For reasons that I explain on the new blog I've decided to move my ramblings over to a new blog called 42. As soon as I figure out how to do an automatic redirect on this page I will try to set it up so that any of you who are reading presently won't get lost in the move. I will also be shutting down the googlepages site and will try to set up a redirect there too.

In the meantime I won't be putting up any new posts here at this address and comments are going to be turned off.

Come see me and MJ at 42. :)

Friday Night Date night

Friday night my mother and step-father drove down to our house to babysit MJ for the night. Thrill of thrills! We had a babysitter on a Friday night. So what romantic getaway did we plan? Was it a candlelit dinner on the bay? A hand in hand stroll along South Beach?

No. We went to an infant CPR class. So much for romanticism.

Now that MJ is 6 1/2 months old (my god, has time really gone that quickly?) I thought it was about time to get my ass in gear and take a safety course. Yes, I should have done it ages ago, but the opportunity just never arose. Friday night our Gymboree location had an RN from Jackson Memorial Hospital come in and go over the basics of CPR and other information important to a paranoia mamma home alone with her newly mobile baby. She covered the basics of how to deal with a choking infant as well as discussions of the dangers of after market items in the car (such as sun shields on the windows) should one get into a car accident.

All in all it was a class that was well worth that time and I'm glad we went. I just hope that the next night we manage to secure a babysitter we can do something a little more intimate, even if it's just dinner and a movie.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Paige, the air travel masochist

June 1st, the first day of summer. (Ok, technically summer doesn't begin until the solstice on the 21st, but to anyone living in South Florida June 1st really means the first day of hurricane season, and that pretty much amounts to the same thing.) Naturally we have begun making our summer vacation (read – obligatory visits) plans. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against visiting friends and relatives. What I hate is flying. Yes, I hate airplanes. Well, that's not entirely true. Airplanes are fine and dandy (again, with the horrifying phraseology) as long as I'm not on them. I wouldn't exactly call this a phobia as phobias by nature are irrational fears. I think it's quite rational to be afraid of a huge bucket of metal hurtling through the sky with no safety net. The thing that always get me most is the insistence on seat belts. Really, if we fall from the sky the only thing a seat belt is going to do is make it easier to match my body to the flight records.


But I digress.


I'm not a masochist for arranging summer vacation plans. However, I am certainly indulging in self abuse to be making as many plans as I am. Let's see, where to begin.


July 4th: CableDad and I frequently go out to visit his parents just outside of Seattle. This year we are taking MJ on her first visit. This coincidentally will also be her first plane trip. Brilliant! So her first plane trip will require waking her up at 4 am to get to the airport by 7 at which point she will be strapped into a car seat for 5 ½ hours (yeah, that will go over well) while we fly into a different time zone practically guaranteeing a week of hellish sleep. Woohoo! I'm certainly looking forward to that. Never mind the fact that I tend to sit on the plane white knuckled concentrating very intently on whatever book I have with me so as not to think about the fact that I am 30,000+ above the ground. (Is it ironic that I actually do want to go sky diving? This has been pointed out to me in the past. I always say that it is not a contradiction as at least with sky diving I'm guaranteed a parachute.) The travel agent arranged the tickets for us because I was having a hell of a time finding a direct flight from Miami to Seattle. I figured the shorter the trip and the fewer the lay overs, the less time MJ would be forced tot behave and the fewer times I'd have to deal with take off and landings. Unfortunately there is only one air line that flies direct and it's flight is at the crack of dawn, requiring us to be up well before that crack. I must seriously be smoking crack to consider this.


Luckily that trip CableDad will be accompanying me. No such luck later on this summer.


I decided awhile back that since my grandmother is no longer capable of traveling I would being MJ to visit her. (This is not the same grandmother we visited for Mother's Day.) Allowing MJ to meet her other Great Grandmother requires flying to New York, which we will be doing in late July. Ok, not nearly as bad as Seattle, less than half the distance and the flight leave at a least an hour or two later. Unfortunately, this time around CableDad has to stay home and work. In his place my soon-to-be 14 year old step-brother will be coming with us. I know for a fact that he will be a great help, that's just the kind of kid he is, however, I think I'm probably not going to be able to grip his hand in panic when we hit turbulence. I'm equally sure I can't hand him the baby when I'm nervous and not wanting to stress her out. (Sorry, MJ, Mamma's going to be forced to inflict her paranoia on you. Hope it doesn't scar you for life.)


The third trip we have planned is a trip to North Carolina the first week of August. (Becky, if you're reading this we will be there from the 4th until the 11th and will most likely have a car. I'm really hoping we can come out and see you guys.) Again, I think CableDad might be unable to come with us as he's already going to be taking the July 4th week off and I doubt two weeks in two months is going to fly (yes, pun intended) well. However, the flight out there won't be so bad. MJ and I will be going with my father, step-mother and above mentioned step-brother. No problem there. The problem for this flight will be the return home. MJ and I will be leaving a day or so earlier than everyone else. We go home on a Saturday and they'll stay through the weekend. What does that mean to this paranoid traveler? Well, it means that I hope to hell that the two previous flights have turned me into an expert flier since I will be doing that trip all on my own, car seat, stroller and pack-and-play in tow. UGH! What am I doing to myself?


Of course that's only my stress over the actual flight and travel. I've said nothing about MJ's decidedly delicate sense of routine. The girl thrives on routine. I have no idea how sleeping in an unfamiliar place will go over. Naps are hell even at home. But that's a story for another time.


And a note out to my Toronto friends, yes I'm insane, but yes I am planning on coming up to visit you guys as well. To be honest, since I've been in Miami for the past year I figure it's best if I try to arrange that before winter hits. However, after the nightmare of three trips inside of two months I think I may wait until at least September before I attempt that one as I'll be coming up by myself. Anyone want to house a slightly frazzled Miami refugee?

I'm a new woman!

MJ was a raging rabid bear by about 6 pm last night (go figure since she had skipped both morning and afternoon naps) so we put her down by 6:30. Mind you, bed time is usually 8. I fully expected another night of hell so went to bed early, but guess what?

She slept straight through until 8! Which means, I slept through until 8.

I'm a new woman today. Bring it on!



(Mr. Murphy, I was just talking smack. I didn't really mean it. Please don't bring it on again so quickly. Thank you.)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Last night was hell!

Teething sucks.

MJ has the lung power of an opera star should she choose to be one.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mama Day

It has been a long time since I've read a book purely for pleasure, even longer since it was a work of fiction. That's what working on a PhD and teaching European history courses can do to you. However, a month or so ago I promised myself that I would take some time to indulge my love of books and read something just for myself, with no view to writing a paper or teaching a class. The book I chose was one that was recommended to me by a woman on a mothering discussion board. It's called Mama Day. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and plan to build up a new TBR list (To Be Read, for those who aren't obsessive readers, don't already have such lists and have never used that particular acronym) of modern authors recommended to me by other people or those which simply catch my eye.


Mama Day was written by Gloria Naylor, an African American woman from New York writing about life on a small fictional island, Willow Springs, straddling the border between South Carolina and Georgia. The people of Willow Springs, and specifically the Day family, trace their ancestry back to a woman, whose name no one wants to mention, and the actions she took allowing her to obtain freedom from the slave owning master of the land. The book is a complex but comfortable tapestry of voices fleshing out two of the main characters and one voice that seems to embody the island, its history and the presence of Mama Day herself. The island and its people thrive on customs that are both confusing and alienating to people from “across the bridge.” The people of Willow Springs reject the idea of mainland living and adhere to their own traditions which are largely oral and dependent upon folklore.

On its most superficial level Mama Day is the tale of two people coming to terms with themselves and their personal histories in order to strengthen and support their relationship. However, were this the driving narrative of the story it would fall flat and hardly merit mention. What fuels this story is the tension between the mythical and the concrete, the traditional and the cosmopolitan, the heart and the mind.

Miranda Day, or Mama Day, the eponymous powerful lead character of the story is a woman who straddles two centuries, having been born in the previous one while thriving in the present. Although she is more than 80 years old she is easily the most powerful woman on the island mentally, spiritually and physically. She is a practiced midwife and personally delivered nearly each of the island's inhabitants. Although her midwifery is a large part of Mama Day's personality she is also known to have great strength and ability with “roots” and demonstrates her powers through her flashes of future events and the ability to call the weather at her will. This matriarchal figure is the last glue binding her family together and forcing her grand-niece, Cocoa, a woman who deserted her home and familiar way of life to live in New York, to come to terms with her heritage and open her past to her new husband, whatever the consequences.

I fear that a large portion of the deeper shades of meaning of this story have been lost on me because of my lack of familiarity with African American folklore and oral histories. Naylor draws heavily upon what could probably be called a cultural memory. That culture, fictionalized in Willow Springs, is what beats at the heart of Mama Day. Even with my lack of knowledge and understanding of the material underlining her work, I found Naylor's writing, largely imitating oral narration, colorful and the storyline compelling.

Has anyone else read this book? I'd love to hear other opinions, perhaps opinions of people who have a greater knowledge of folklore than I.

next up: Tracy Chevalier's The Virgin Blue. And please remember, I'm looking for suggestions.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

sleep crawling

A little over a month and a half ago I put up a post about MJ's habit of trying to roll over in her sleep. At the time I thought it was odd. Now, not so much.

We had a rough night last night. I knew it would be since she had been working so hard on trying to crawl all day and right before bed I noticed that her gums were swollen. Looks like this is going to be a double whammy week. Joy of joys.

About once every hour MJ would wake herself (and therefore me) up because she had managed to face plant into her mattress. Each time I went in there her butt was up in the air and she looked like she was digging to China. Maybe she was trying to get to her aunt and uncle in Hong Kong. What do I know?

What I do know is that this is only the beginning. She is now sleep crawling which, if she follows the pattern she did when she was sleep rolling, means that she will be a very mobile little girl inside of a week. I'd better get my ass in gear and start doing some serious baby proofing around here.

Poor cats have no idea what they are in for. Run, Simba, while you still have whiskers and the chance to get away!

Week 3 weigh in

Well, I somehow managed to lose a whopping 2 pounds this past week. Not too sure how it happened since I only got to work out twice, but hey, I'll go with it.

This means that I am now 5 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight and 8 pounds away from my personal ideal.

Yahoo! Progress sure feels good.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Makeover Monday

Last week I mentioned that Google Reader was feeding my habit and causing me to read many more blogs. Well, yesterday I stumbled across Am I Going Mad or Am I Just a Mommy. (Admittedly, it was another habit that brought me there.... LOST, but that's a story for another time.) Moodswinging Mommy has a weekly thread called "Makeover Monday". I'm intrigued and think I'll play along.

Here is a list of my desired accomplishments for this week:

  1. wakeup and hour before the baby so I can get some stuff done around the house calmly and properly, not rushed.

  2. keep up with the laundry

  3. clean the kitchen before going to bed.

  4. find the time to shower each and every day. (sounds gross, yes I know, but MJ is demanding and there is very little time in my day for things that don't include her.)

  5. Go on a date with hubby. (aka CableDad.)*




*From now on I will refer to Morgan strictly as MJ and Jim strictly as CableDad. Call it changing the names to protect the innocent. :)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Who lives in your neighborhood?

After the Friday night strike of the Orchid Thief the Orchid lady phoned the police to report the theft. Apparently the bicycle of a young girl who lives a block or so away was also stolen. The police informed the Orchid Lady that they are on the lookout for an ex-convict who lives about 2 blocks away. He has been brought up on assault, robbery, kidnapping, and sexual battery charges in the past and the cops are looking for an excuse to get him. They informed the Orchid Lady that he also has had a crack habit in the past and that may account for the recent thefts.

All this talk got me thinking about who actually lives in our neighborhood. Months ago a friend of mine told me about a website called Family Watchdog which keeps track of the home and office locations of registered sex offenders and other criminals. I did a search for our address. We have two in our area.

Who lives in your neighborhood?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Orchid Thief

When I woke up this morning I was planning on having a nice quite relaxing couple of hours while MJ's daddy took her to a baby Gymboree music class. It turns out that she is not quite ready for the class and got a little freaked out by the instruments, but that's a story for another time.


As this was going to be a lazy Saturday morning I didn't bother to change out of my Pjs as I sat on the couch to read for awhile. It was a decision that I regretted when my neighbor from across the street stopped by and knocked on the door. She is a wonderfully friendly woman who has been helping me feed a recent addiction to orchids. I've never really been much of a green thumb, but a few months back my step-mother bought me a lovely chocolate orchid (the flowers smell exactly like chocolate) and shortly after that I went to the Orchid Festival at Fairchild Botanic Garden with my mother and acquired a few more orchids. Since then, with the help of my neighbor, the Orchid Lady, I have been doing marvelously well at not only keeping my little green friends alive but also getting them to thrive.


This morning, however, the Orchid Lady stopped by to see if all of my orchids, which only numbered around 10, had been stolen as well. Yes, I said, “as well.” You see, the Orchid Lady had at least 30 or more orchids hanging on the palm trees in the front yard of her house. She has what must be at least 200 or so more elsewhere around her house. Sadly, when she woke up this morning and took her dog out for a walk she noticed they had all been stolen. She came by my house to see how we fared. All of mine were gone as well. She talked about phoning the police to file a report and mentioned how she thought it was probably kids who stole them to resell them to the street vendor down the road.


Of course, we all know what will come of filing a police report. I mean, in all honesty, in a city like Miami I'm sure (or at least I hope) the police have more important issue to attend to. While I wish there was a possibility of getting my little green friends back, I know there isn't. My husband keeps saying how I can get new orchids and start my blossoming collection over again. Somehow that's not quite the point.


In a way, I feel violated. Someone walked up onto my well lit porch in the middle of the night while we were all asleep and stole from me. Yes, this is Miami. Yes, I should expect such things to happen I suppose, but for the past year we have been here I have been lulled into thinking that my neighborhood was a real neighborhood. The people are friendly and know each other. We stop to chat on the street. We have had dinner at each other's houses. Now, I know it wasn't one of my neighbors who ran off with our orchids, but nonetheless, the neighborhood just doesn't have that same safe homey feel anymore. The orchid thief ran off with more than just my flowers.

Friday, May 25, 2007

music lessons

We go to Gymboree every Friday afternoon. Morgan loves it and I'm constantly hoping to meet other mothers to whom I can relate (not yet). Anyway, it is customary at our Gymboree to have a weekly discussion topic. This week's topic was music you like to listen to with your baby. What sorts of music does s/he like? What sorts of things so you sing with him/her? etc.

As we went around the room and I hear the replies of the other mothers I knew that MJ and I were out of the loop.

“Oh, Stevie likes the 'Tinker Boxer' song.”
“Anna loves the Putumayo CDs.”
“Evan laughs every time we sing 'Five Little Monkeys'”

When they got to me my reply was, “Morgan loves AC/DC, but the early years. She definitely prefers Bon Scott to Brian Johnson. Oh yeah, and we listen to a lot of Tool and Nine Inch Nails. Those are always favorites.”

I was greeted by stunned silence and then uncomfortable laughter.

What can I say? The kid's got good taste.

De-Lurking Day

So thanks to Stacie I now have the ability to see how many people check my blog each day. Even cooler than that, I can tell where they come from (Dave and Chinatsu, you're not checking nearly often enough! lol). This new found ability has left me wondering. Why is it that when I get at least 40-50 visits per day and the average length of each visit is 3-4 minutes, I never have more than 4 or 5 comments on any one post?


Now I realize that I'm not the most scintillating author and that the majority of what I write is certainly interesting only to a very small viewing public, but with so many repeat visitors I can only think that you actually like reading my posts. So, if you're out there and you're reading this but don't usually post a comment, take this as a “De-Lurking Day.” Hell, take it as a De-Lurking weekend. Come out of the woodwork. Say hello. Say you like my ramblings. Say I'm a boring bitch. I don't care what you say (provided it's not raunchy, and even that might be acceptable if done with taste lol), but say something.


Call it an ego thing.


And, thank you SilverNeurotic for giving me the idea for this blog holiday. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

baby personality test

I found a baby "personality test" on a mothering board this morning. As a lark I took it to see what insights it would give me into my daughter's future.

What can you expect for your baby? She will be very popular. She will not have any problems making friends. She is fun, optimistic, and full of energy. She may not be the most organized person but she thinks well on her feet. She likes to see everyone get along and may meddle in other people’s relationships in her attempt to keep the peace. She is outgoing and not afraid of meeting new people. In school, she is likely to be in the drama club, on a sports team, or involved in the yearbook committee. She enjoys gossiping and takes pride in the fact that people trust her to tell her their secrets. She likes to give out advice even though her advice is not always the best. Even though she is very popular, she is very insecure. She likes to be praised by others and will seek out people that give her attention.

She will likely pursue a career working with people. She would be miserable if she had to work in a cubicle with nobody to talk to. She may be indecisive when picking a career. She may try more than one job before she settles on one she likes. Career choices may include waiter, journalist, teacher, nurse/health professional, flight attendant, or sales representative.
~taken from justmommies.com

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

food preferences

Things Morgan likes to eat
  • bananas
  • avocados
  • sweet potatoes
  • pears
  • green beans
  • cereal
  • carrots
  • celery sticks
  • her feet
  • her toys
  • her clothes
  • the straps on her car seat
  • Simba's ears
  • my hair
  • my fingers
  • anything else in reach
Things Morgan doesn't like to eat
  • watermelon

Go figure.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

getting ready for summer



My future's so bright, I gotta wear shades!

Week 2 weigh in

When I woke up this morning I dutifully got on the scale to see if there had been any change in my weight. Amazingly I lost 1 pound. I say 'amazingly' since I haven't exactly been the poster child for good eating this week. We had pizza for dinner at least once and I'm sure that cake my step-mother made for Morgan's 6 month birthday wasn't diet.

Next week I will go back and get a body fat % reading and new measurements from the gym.

Monday, May 21, 2007

pierced ears and pink clothes

A few days ago there was a post up on A Mom, a Blog and the Life In-Between about the Curious Case of the Evil, Ear Piercing Cubans responding to a post elsewhere in which people compared piercing a baby's ears to genital mutilation. Obviously the phrase “different strokes for different folks” applies here. While I think it is absurd to compare piercing a baby girl's ears to mutilation in any form (although I may be biased here as I am heavily pierced myself and have never felt mutilated), I certainly would never do it to my little girl. This is not a moral statement and it is not an assault on the practice of piercing. I just personally would never do it. I feel MJ deserves the right to make that choice for herself and that was the comment I made in response to the post, the first one in the list of replies.


When I went back a day or so later to read other comments the tone of each was basically in agreement with the original author: How absurd it is to make such a lopsided comparison. One comment in particular, however, bothered me. The poster described a story in which she encountered a baby of a fellow worker dressed in a white t-shirt and overalls and exclaimed, “He's so cute.” It turns out that the baby was in fact a girl, something about which she was later informed, prompting her to reply, “Really? well maybe she should get her ears pierced. Or not dress her like a boy.”


That statement really annoys me. I was going to reply to it on the original blog, but as my response was forming in my head it began to sound more like a rant and I thought here would be the better venue.


As many people know I am fairly adamant about not having MJ dressed in pink. Personally, I don't like the color and I see no reason to dress my baby girl like a bottle of Pepto-Bismol. This is a lot easier said than done since it seems that many manufacturers of infant clothing generally only make pink for girls until past the age of 12 months. I have gone out of my way to make sure that MJ has clothing in purple, green, black, blue, orange, red and any other color I can find only because I think that the 'pink = girl' equation is absurd. It is my own belief that the tendency of mothers to dress their baby girls only in pink stems from a (possibly) subconscious fear of having someone think their girls are boys.


I feel a similar way about ear piercing. I have no problem with it. I won't do it to her because I think that she should choose to do it herself. I understand that it is also a cultural thing in some instances. I also understand that many mothers simply like it and therefore do it. I have no problem with any of that.


What bugs me is the assumption that it is my responsibility to make sure other people know my baby is a girl by outfitting her with the trappings of "female". Why should I have to I get her ears pierced so that you know what to call her? Since when are jeans and a white t-shirt the exclusive property of the male wardrobe anyway?


Just because I don't put my child in pink frills, or put headbands on her, or put stick-on bows on her head does not mean she looks like a boy. Why is it that no one asks the mother of a boy in a plain white onesie if he is a girl? The assumption always is that if the baby isn't in pink or doesn't have pierced eras the baby is male. How much sense does that make?


What I don't understand is why our culture requires us to outwardly tag female babies in some way to prove to strangers that they are, in fact, female. Why not say that any baby not wearing trucks or footballs must be a girl? It is an equally absurd assumption.


There is an easy solution to that problem, people. If you are wishing to compliment a baby of whose gender you are uncertain, simply say, “What a cute baby!” Simple and to the point

a twist of fate

So after my dose of vitriol on Friday fate has decided to make a monkey out of me.

I had to bring my little car into the shop this morning to get new tires and have a general overhaul. The difficulty with that, as any mother knows, is trying to figure out a way to keep a child entertained for numerous hours while waiting for the service to be completed. Thankfully a friend of my father's offered me the use of his car for the day. Morgan and I went to the garage this morning followed by my aunts in the second car.

The catch? The borrowed car is a Suburban. Don't get me wrong, I am incredibly grateful for the use of the loaner, but the irony of the situation has not escaped me. Nor will I forget it later when I have to spend $100 to fill that monster (nicknamed Big Blue).

Being that I am so used to driving a little '93 Camry, this car is an entirely new experience. It's HUGE. No wonder SUV drivers are so oblivious of other drivers on the road. How could you see them around that monster?

Anyway, for anyone out there who dislikes SUVs and, even worse, Hummers (again, something to add to my list of things that sound dirty but aren't) as much as I do, check out FUH2.

Friday, May 18, 2007

road rage

I am sick to death of overprivileged, cell phone talking, SUV driving women. Wake up, bitches, you are not the only people on the road!


Why is it that the person driving the Porsche Cayenne who nearly runs you down as she flies through the unnoticed stop sign is inevitably a woman on a cell phone? Never mind the environmentally unfriendliness of the car she has chosen to drive but must she always be on the freaking phone? Come on people! I'm sure that whatever you have to say can wait the 15 minutes it will take you to reach your destination and no longer be driving. Do you really feel you are so important that you can totally disregard traffic regulations and nearly run down a woman in a MUCH smaller car complete with baby in the back seat simply because you are on the phone? Let me break it to you gently. In this day and age nearly everyone has a cell phone. Having one does not make you important. Talking on one while driving, however, makes you an inconsiderate asshole.


Inevitably these road hazard SUVs are of a Porsche or Mercedes (Latin for 'bribe' by the way. Look it up. merces, mercedis) make. I mean, really, how ridiculous is it to have a Porsche SUV? I'm sorry folks, I don't care what kind of pepper you name it after, it is still just an SUV, not a sports car.


I realize that presently there is no law in the state of Florida banning drivers from driving one handed because they are talking on the phone. There are no regulations for hands free devices. I'm not an activist. I'm not trying to petition for such a law to exist, no matter how good an idea I think it is. All I want is (obviously impossible) for drivers to have some sort of consideration on the road.


This afternoon on my way back from Gymboree I was nearly hit by a woman (black Porsche Cayenne) who ran a red light. Naturally she was on the phone. Naturally she did not care at all for the fact that she barely missed smashing into the rear left side of my car (with baby in the back). Two days ago I was being tailgated (again a black Porsche Cayenne) while driving on I-95. The woman was so close to me that I couldn't see the nose of her car in my rear view mirror. She was so close I KNOW she would have seen Morgan in the back seat had she not been on the phone. None of this, however, was a concern to her as she tailgated me at 65 miles per hour since her SUV and deep and meaningful conversation marked her out as a much more significant person than either myself or my baby.


Admittedly, I'm not the biggest fan of the SUV to begin with. However, should an affordable hybrid SUV ever be developed I'd buy it in a minute just to shield myself and my child from the Ford Excessives the pollute the roads. Those gas guzzling monsters apparently do not come equipped with rear or side view mirrors. Or if they do the owner's manual expressly forbids using them while the car is in motion. However, my personal dislike of SUVs aside, today I will direct all my anger and venom at the inconsiderate and oblivious cell phone talking soccer moms* who clearly believe that whomever they harm on the road is inconsequential as long as their own kids are safely strapped in the back numbing their brains on seat-back DVD players.





*Please don't mistake me. this is not a rant against soccer moms in general. In fact, I hope to be one someday.


Feeding my habit

Since becoming a SAHM I have found myself frequently 'trolling the blog world. However, I restricted myself to checking blogs only two times a day. Once in the morning (that is, if Morgan takes a nap) and once in the evening. Why bother looping through all the blogs I'd like to read if there isn't going to be anything new up on them.

In steps Google. Now Google may be slowly taking over the cyber-space world (and in the 21st century that really means taking over the whole world) but since their products are so damned cool I don't consider them an evil empire, like say Disney World. Google Reader is the ultimate enabler. It is a widgety thing (technical term) that I added to my Google homepage and gives me up to the minute updates on any blog to which I subscribe. Now I know when the sites are updated and I can 'troll much more efficiently.

What does this mean in the long run? Basically it means that I'm reading a lot more blogs now. So, if I've been posting on your blog or you've been reading mine and you'd like me to add you to my blog roll (presently rather meager) drop me a comment and let me know. :)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tough Day.

"Do you mind if I just rest here for a moment?"

6 month stats

We've just returned from our six month pediatric appointment. Miss MJ is certainly growing and her love of food is showing.

She is now 26 1/2 inches long and weighs 18 lbs and 12 oz. That puts her around the 70th percentile for height and the 80th for weight.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

fun with forms

I have discovered a new way to make Morgan laugh. Unfortunately it is unintentional.


As with any martial art, studying kickboxing requires learning certain choreographed movements called forms or Kata. When I go to the studio on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays I learn the steps to these forms. I practice them at home in order to improve before my next session. Since the play mats that I have put down in Morgan's room are perfectly suited to doing yoga or other floor exercises I have been practicing my forms on them. Morgan is always my audience. This morning I discovered that watching Mamma do forms incorrectly is cause enough to laugh hysterically in Morgan's world.


The final step (at least, as far as I have learned) in the form I am currently practicing requires a 270 degree turn into a squatting position called the Horse Stance. Well, unfortunately for me but fortunately for her, I am not very good at completing this turn gracefully. The matter is further complicated by the fact that the play mats have letters and numbers that pop out of them. As I was practicing this turn my foot rather gracelessly caught on a 'Q' and over I went. Miss Morgan was well out of harm's way but she was close enough for a front row seat to a Mamma tumble. She thought that was hysterical.


My friend Jeff warned me awhile ago that his boys always find it funny when he gets hurt. Guess Morgan has the same sense of humor. Maybe I should bring her to my kickboxing class and see if she finds that funny.

All hail the celery stick!

A few weeks ago I read a post on a mothering site about giving teething babies a cold stick of celery to gnaw on. (Here is my shout out to Caroline, aka twogreencars, who suggested this to me. She has a website selling nursing necklaces and jewelry with therapeutic properties.) Apparently the celery juices have analgesic properties and gnawing on the celery will help relieve teething discomfort. Admittedly, it sounded a bit odd to me to give a baby celery. I mean, really, most adults don't even like it.

Anyway, I figured it was worth a shot. A few days ago I gave her a piece. Now, I don't know if what they say about the celery juice is true or not, but she certainly loves to have the cold stick in her mouth. It can keep her entertained for 30 minutes at a time and during that time there is nary a whimper to be heard. It sure beats out any teething toys we've tried. Call me a believer.

So, anyone out there with teething babies, if you haven't tried it already, take a piece of celery, wash it well, cut the end on a bias (but not sharp enough to gag on) and hand it over. Hope it works for you too!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

May Day Challenge

Well week one of the challenge is over. I weighed in this morning at exactly the same place I was last week, but that doesn't bother me since the pair of shorts I put on this morning are a bit looser. Before I got pregnant they were quite baggy on me. Two weeks ago they were snug. This morning they fit. So there is progress, it just isn't showing up on the scales.

Monday, May 14, 2007

4 generations

For Mother's Day Morgan and I took a drive with my mother up to visit my grandmother. It was very cool to have four generations of the women in my family at the same brunch table. Unfortunately, I was not smart enough to have a picture taken of all four of us, but I did have the foresight to get a picture or two of MJ with her great-grandmother.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

photo contest

Stacie at the Twinkies is holding a spring photo contest. I've submitted a picture of Morgan. The prize is a children's book. Be a friend and vote for my Munchkin.

Her first graduation

Today she graduated from Gymboree level one. The requirements were that she can sit up on her own and she is 6 months old. She'll be six months next week.


Jim wanted to know if his presence at this graduation gave him a get out of jail free card to a later one. Considering she's my child she will probably graduate from far too many schools.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Judgment of Mothers

I'm constantly amazed at how hard mothers can be on each other. It seems to me that some women feel the need to compete for the “best mother” award with every other woman they see or speak to who has a child. I find this an incredibly distressing trend. Ladies, why are we so hard on each other?


I subscribe to and read a few parenting boards. For the most part I find them interesting and helpful. It is always a comfort to hear that your child is not the only one who does some incredibly strange things. I have become quite close with one group of women with whom I've been chatting for over two years. We branched out and formed our own message board about a year ago. I offer this information to demonstrate that I don't think all mothers are hostile towards each other. However, more and more I am becoming disillusioned with some of these mainstream sites. I frequently see mothers attack other mothers for some of the silliest reasons. This seems to me completely out of character with the purpose of these boards, to be support groups. But then again, perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps it's not about support. Perhaps it's about coming out on top.


I have encountered some really bizarre criticisms in my short stint as a mother. I have had women (and mind you, it is almost always women, other mothers, who make these statements) ridicule me for my diapering choices: “Why on earth would you want to wash your diapers?!? That's so silly. Disposable diapers are so much easier.” I've been mocked for wearing Morgan in a wrap: “That just looks so uncomfortable. Why don't you just get a stroller and be done with it. It's so much more practical.” My answers to those sorts of derisive statements? “My daughter is nearly 6 months old and has never had a diaper rash. Why wouldn't I use cloth diapers?” “Actually, I have a stroller. I just find it easier sometimes not to have to pull it in and out of the car for no reason.” I won't even get into the comments I get on my natural birth in a tub, although admittedly the ones I got before the birth were much more harsh and judgmental, telling me things like I was putting my unborn baby's life in danger. I know I've already complained on this blog once about people telling me I need to let my baby cry if she's ever going to learn to go to sleep on her own.


Those are some of the issues I have come across in real life. On line is an entirely different world. Perhaps it's the anonymity of message boards that allows women to feel that they can rip into other women's parenting choices. Whatever the reason may be, I find that the attacks on parenting styles tend to me much more severe on line than they are in person.


A few examples: I recently read a thread on a board in which mother asked for advice on how to freeze homemade purees. Do you think anyone offered her advice or information on this topic? No, it was much more important to chastise her for feeding her child pureed foods when everybody knows that if the babies can't pick up the food for themselves they shouldn't be eating it. The other morning another woman posted that “tummy time” was invented by parents who drop their children into contraptions 24/7 because they need to be reminded to flip their babies every now and again. The implication, of course, was that if you put your child in any sort of “contraption” then you are a bad parent and must remember to put your child on the floor for tummy time, kind of like flipping a comatose patient to prevent bed sores. I was disgusted by that statement. There is, of course, the ever present hostility of, “Don't talk to me about breastfeeding!” and “giving the baby formula is the same as feeding her plastic.” The list goes on: If you use a stroller it obviously must mean that you don't love your child enough to hold him or her all the time; if you don't have your child sleeping in your bed with you they will grow up to be needy and unfulfilled.


When did it become the right and, seemingly, the obligation of women to tell other mothers how to raise their own kids? I have news for you. If my child is independent and likes playing in an exersaucer and I don't allow her to do so, that, my friends, is not responding to her needs. If my baby does not want to be carried in her Maya wrap today, forcing her is not responding to her needs. If my baby wants to eat “adult food” and can't quite manage the manual dexterity to eat finger foods, refusing to allow her to eat purees is not responding to her needs. If she does not sleep well next to me in bed and I insist on keeping her there anyway, I'm not doing it for her, I'm doing it for me.


I wish mothers would lighten up and be more supportive of each other. Mothering is a hard job. It requires a lot of long hours and difficult decisions. Why must we rip into each other instead of offering support? I think we should all take a moment and congratulate a mother we know on the good job she is doing. Offer your fellow women support, not criticism!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bubbles!!!


Wonder Week my a$$

Not a day after I told a friend that I hadn't had to get up in the middle of the night last night happened. Morgan is working on 6 months now and I think we are hitting a Wonder Week. She was up and HUNGRY at 11, at 1, at 4 and again at 6. We finally got out of bed for the day at 7:15 when she had her breakfast, about a tablespoon more cereal than she usually has, and she was still hungry.

Of course, mind you, her first tooth is still trying to make an appearance and that has her all on edge too. She has been incredibly fussy and clingy in the afternoons after her naps. Ah yes, and this week the napping routine has changed as well. Last week we were on a steady diet of 2 two hour naps a day. As of this week we are back to 3 or 4 half hour to forty five minute naps.

Here, for your edification, is a brief description of the side effects of the so-called Wonder Weeks:

[S]he may cry more, be more fussy and need more comforting. check.
Some of the babies lose their appetites. Oh no, not Morgan. She is a Cable after all.
Some babies who have been sleeping well may take more time to go off to sleep and wake more often. double check
Some young children who have been happily exploring their world may become more clingy, and become upset much more easily. check. "Don't you dare put me down, Mamma, or I'll scream."
They may show an increased need for body contact with their mothers. see above comment.

So, what I'd really like to know is: Who is the sadist who decided to call these difficult, fussy, wakeful and clingy weeks wonderful?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

May Day Challenge begins

Last night I went to the gym and got my new measurements and body fat percentage. I thought I wasn't going to be able to get those until tomorrow and therefore not be ready for the challenge starting today, but here I am.

As of yesterday I'm still 15 lbs over my ideal pre-pregnancy weight, but my body fat percentage has gone down by 2.2% since the beginning of March. I think this bodes well for success in this challenge.

Here are my goals: I want my body fat % to be down around 19%. It is currently 22.5%. I want to lose 3-5 inches off my hips so I can fit into all of my old pants and skirts. I'd also like to lose a few inches off of my waist and thighs. I plan to do all of this through healthy eating and exercise. I am a diet failure and won't subject myself to that sort of torture. The 15 remaining pregnancy pounds can go or stay as long as my muscle mass increases and I get more toned.

My biggest weaknesses are savory foods like french fries and pretzels. My goal is to cut them out of my diet. Dr. Pepper is also my archenemy when it comes to empty calories, but I know better than to think I can give him up. I have stopped buying all kinds of desserts and have stocked my fridge with fresh organic veggies. the freezer is also stocked full so that I have no excuse for coming home from the gym and saying, "There's nothing for dinner in the house. Let's just order a pizza."

My workout plan is the same as I have been doing for the past few weeks. I go to the gym to lift weights on Monday and Wednesday nights with my personal trainer. On Tuesday and Thursday nights and Saturday mornings I go to the kickboxing studio to work out. Working out five days a week may sound excessive, but I always feel better when I'm done and nothing promotes a good self image as much as self confidence.

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ahhh, the sweet (potato) smell of success


Please pardon the out of focus picture, but it harder than you would think to feed a baby and snap a photo at the same time.

Well, the potatoes were a hit. At first she wasn't quite sure what to think of them and kept making some rather entertaining facial expressions. After each bite she got a rather pensive look on her face as if to say, "well, now. What have we here?" and then would open her mouth to get some more. It took 2 days before I could say for sure that she was enjoying herself, but now there is no doubt.

Yesterday we started on avocados. Same routine as before. At first she was a little horrified at the taste and/or texture of the fruit (yes, avocado is a fruit, not a vegetable) but now she loves it.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Our first thunderstorm

For any of you who have never been to Miami during the rainy season let me tell you we have some serious thunderstorms. Last night was one of them. It hit just at about 8 pm, which really could not have been more poorly timed as that is Morgan's bedtime. Both Jim and I were sure that we were in for along night of repeated wakings and a lot of frightened crying. Not so. My girl pulled through.

For about an hour and a half the thunder was so loud that it actually shook the house and set off multiple neighborhood car alarms; the lightening flashes so bright the house glowed with an eerie blue light. In spite of all this Morgan slept through it all. Of course, that is, until the storm was over and the house was quiet and dark again. Then she woke up. Figures.

However, the important thing is that she made it through our first real thunderstorm. This little practice run was just in time for the onset of hurricane season. Let's hope we don't have to test her out with one of those storms.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Fluke? or intentional?

For the second time this week I woke up to the sound of the mobile hanging over Morgan's crib. This happened once before a few weeks ago, but at that time I was convinced that she had hit the button by mistake. This week I'm not so sure.

I find it hard to believe that she is purposely hitting the on/off switch on the mobile but I'm not sure what else to think when she turns it on herself and then happily chills out by herself in her crib for 15 minutes. I figure the real test will be if she turns it on more than once in a morning.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

just keep swimming...

Today was her first day in the pool. At first she was a little hesitant. I kept her in my arms as I got in the water and she clung to me very tightly at first. Then as she realized that I was not going to let her go she relaxed and started enjoying herself. I bounced in the shade in the shallow end for a few minutes making "ba-boom, ba-boom" noises. She loved it and started her happy kicking and flapping. Then when she was more comfortable I held her away from me and she "swam" through the water kicking her feet. Her favorite part of the swim, however, was when I stood her on the step. She found it was much easier to stand in the pool than on dry land.

Afterwards we took a shower to get the chlorine off of her and she enjoyed the water spray on her hands and face. We will definitely be swimming again soon.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Picture Ho-in' it.

I have some friends who had a baby exactly four weeks after Morgan was born. Every week or so MJ and I take a drive up to visit T. and his stay at home daddy. Here are some pictures of the two of them "playing".

And here is Miss Morgan "reading" her kitty book with her favorite kitty.

That's my girl!

There is no doubt in my mind that MJ will be taking some of my music tastes with her as she gets older. My girl was VERY excited to listen to the new Nine Inch Nails CD when it came out. She does this really cute, terribly excited bird flap with her arms when I put it on. Then she starts cooing and "singing" while bouncing up and down as fast as she can on her little bottom, arms flapping the whole time. I'll work on getting a video of it.

That's my girl!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Feeding Miss Morgan

I've decided to make my own baby food. There are a number of reasons for this decision but the top of my list is knowing what is in the food I give to my baby. Sure there are plenty of baby food companies that make cute and convenient little jars of food in all flavors, but do I know for a fact that there is nothing but veggie and water in those jars? Do I know that there is no extra salt or sugar added? No. So, move over Martha Stewart, here I come (minus the insider trading). I plan to purchase only organic fruits and veggies (most likely from Fresh Market although today's purchase came from Gardener's Market) with which to make her foods. There will be nothing to them other than the produce of the day and a little formula to help smooth out the texture. Wholesome Baby Foods has some great tips on how to make homemade baby food and what things to try at which stages.


As a Mother's Day present my mother gave me a nifty (did I just use the word “nifty” in a sentence?) little contraption called the Magic Bullet. (There's one for my list of things that sound dirty but aren't.) It is basically a mini blender, designed mostly, it seems, for making mixed drinks but will puree veggies nicely. This morning I set out to test said contraption by making a sweet potato puree.


There is quite a bit of debate, it would seem, among mothers as to whether one should feed a baby pureed foods. Some seem to think that a baby should only eat solids when she can pick up her foods in her own hands. MJ is no where near having the coordination to do such a thing but is she ever interested in food. Not only does she grab for whatever I'm eating, but she watches food with an intense curiosity and will open and close her mouth when she sees someone eating. MJ has demonstrated over and over again in the past weeks her intense interest in food so I felt no need to wait longer.


When I made the sweet potato puree I made enough to fill two ice trays. Each cube of the ice tray works out to about an ounce of food. I have, at the moment, no idea how much of this Morgan will want to eat, or if she'll even like sweet potatoes at all. However, I intend to start with two cubes of food (thawed out in the fridge and mixed in with a little formula) and see how she does. Although she has mastered the art of eating cereal with a spoon, in fact she wants to manipulate the spoon herself, we have never tried anything but brown rice cereal so the different taste and texture may freak her out at first. As always I will have her bottle standing by at the ready for when she gets frustrated and too hungry to want to play these stupid games anymore. I'm a little gun shy about allowing her to “finger paint” with the potato like I did with the cereal only because I just know that orange goo will get EVERYWHERE and we are a house without a dog to act as a wet-vac.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

leaving comments

I'm making it a requirement that if you want to leave a comment on this blog I have to accept it first. I'm getting sick of anonymous comments that I feel I need to delete.

For those of you who do not know how to leave your name on a comment:
1) select "other" as a posting option
2) leave your name


It is very easy.

May Day Challenge

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I recently put up a post about my desire to regain my old self. Part of that, but certainly not all of it, is losing the last few baby pounds that are still hanging on. I've got about 10 lbs to go before I'm back to the weight I was at right before I got pregnant. I've got about 15 lbs to go before I'm back to my idea weight. Well, today I came across May challenge to lose weight. Needless to say, I'm all in.


If you are interested in participating in this blog event, click on the button above and read the full details. However, in short, starting May 8th, that is a week from yesterday, lasting until September 8th the challenge is to lose your desired amout of weight. I'm going to set my goal at 15 lbs. This is a bit misleading however as my main intent is to decrease my body fat % and gain back some of the muscle tone I lost during my pregnancy.

Every week there is a weigh in on Tales from the Scales and I will update my progress here. Unfortunately I will not be getting my new measurements and body fat % until Wednesday, the day after the challenge begins. I guess that means I'll have to have two separate posts about it.

Wish me luck.

Monday, April 30, 2007

dressed up

As proof that I do put her in girlie outfits here is Morgan dressed up for Mamma's birthday in a blue frilly dress. She had ruffle bottom pants undies to match.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

going commando

She is on the move! Yesterday, as if in celebration of her daddy's birthday, Miss MJ decided that she was not going to sit still anymore. You can't call her method of movement crawling since she doesn't get up on her hands and knees, but lying on her belly she pushes off with her arms and wiggles her legs and butt to get momentum. She actually did this commando crawl over the space of 2+ feet in under a minute.

The only catch: she only goes in reverse. Yes, Miss Morgan wiggles her way backwards while smiling up a storm. She's quite proud of herself, as are we. I expect soon she will realize one of two things. Either that she can look over her shoulder and see where she's going or that she can go forwards. :)


I promise that I will take a video of this maneuver but I can't promise how soon I will be able to put it up. The reason I haven't posted videos of her sitting up playing and eating her cereal is that I have run out of room on my hard drive because I take too many videos! Jim has promised me that he is going at long last to build the ever discussed but never realized "media box". As soon as he does that and I can transfer files off my machine on to that I will post another few videos.

The best birthday present ever

So Miss Morgan decided that her daddy and I deserved birthday presents. Jim's birthday was yesterday and mine is today. She slept through the night both Friday night and last night! Thank you my darling girl. I could not have asked for a better gift. :)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

UFC, here I come - not really.

I decided a few months ago that I was feeling decidedly frumpish and that I needed to do something to get my old self back. When I got the “ok” from the midwife at my 6 week post-partum visit I signed up for personal training sessions at the gym near my house. Twice a week after Jim gets home from work I walk up and meet a trainer and we do some weights routines. If I have enough time or energy I will stay for an extra half an hour and “jog” on the elliptical runner or ride a stationary bike. Well, that was back in January and I'm still about 10 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight.


Before I got pregnant I was a pretty fit person. I worked out at least 4 times a week and I was kickboxing training with a private coach as well as taking 2 or 3 yoga classes a week. After I got pregnant I was told that kickboxing was too dangerous for the baby as it would elevate my heart rate too high and I might over heat, not to mention possible difficulties arising from accidents while sparring. I certainly didn't want to take any chances to I cut that out of my life. By the time I was a month into my pregnancy I was usually too nauseated in the early mornings and evenings (when I had “free” time) to bother. I kept up with my yoga for the most part, but even still the first trimester really takes a lot out of you.


The Lo! the second tri came about and I felt like new. I still had to shy away from kickboxing but I was able to spend the majority of the World Cup back on the elliptical runner, exercising while watching the matches with one of my very closest friends. (E. if you're reading this, I miss you. I also know you read this blog with a fair amount of frequency... drop a comment every now and then. :) ) Life was good again although some of the yoga poses became quite a bit cumbersome. Who knew just how much a belly could get in the way? (yes, that is a rhetorical question.)


Unfortunately, as soon as the World Cup was over Jim and I packed up our belongings and jumped in the car for our big move from Toronto to Miami. When we arrived in Miami in the middle of the summer it was just too hot for me to even think about walking anywhere and I could not find a suitable pre-natal yoga class. Needless to say that in my 3rd trimester I got... well... large. I had gained well over 35 lbs and was feeling very much like Orca... without the water displacement and the sharp teeth. To make matters worse, the midwives were concerned about the fluid levels surrounding the baby and I was strictly instructed not to sweat too much. Um, they knew I was in a Miami summer, right?


I have now decided it is time to take my body back. I no longer wish to feel like a frumpy old mother. A mother? yes. Frumpy and old? HELL NO! Which leads me back to my original statement. I have been going to the gym to meet with my personal trainer (PT) since January and this past week I signed up at a new martial arts studio, which conveniently is within walking distance of our house, to train for kickboxing again. UFC, here I come! (just kidding)

Friday, April 27, 2007

A full time job

Being a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) is a full time job. Actually, it's more than full time since your day does not begin at 9 am and certainly does not end at 5. This is a job that knows no time restraints. (As has been requested I will soon post up an outline of a "typical" day, although in all honesty such a thing does not truly exist.) These last few months staying at home with Morgan has made me appreciate and admire mothers everywhere.

(Sorry for all the crap I gave you when I was younger, Mom!)

When Jim and I first discussed getting pregnant and having a baby we agreed that I would stay home and take care of him/her. I had all the time in the world to come to this conclusion since it took us over a year to get pregnant. I knew that as much as I loved working on my degree and as much as I loved teaching, I was not going to be happy if I left my baby to someone else to mind for the day, even if that someone else was her father. Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for working moms too, I just didn't think it would work for me. I debated for awhile, before Miss MJ was born, about finding a job teaching online courses. I even went so far as to apply for a position or two. That was before November. That was when I still thought that babies slept for large portions off the day and I'd have time to do work and take care of her. My Munchkin's arrival into this world changed all that.


If you have read any of my previous posts you will realize that MJ does not like to sleep. From the day after her birth everyone who saw her said, “Wow, she's so alert!” Little did I know then that what those words in fact meant were, “My god, you're going to have your hands full!” Morgan seems convinced that if she sleeps, even for a mere ten minutes, in the middle of the day she will miss out on something important so she does her damnedest to stay awake, at all costs... to both her and me. I laugh now when I think back on the naivete' that led me to believe that I could work at home and dedicate as much time to MJ as is required or desired by either of us.


Mothering is a full time job. full stop.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A real mom

A week or so ago I got tagged by Stacie to post about what makes a real mom. I'm afraid I have yet to catch these particular issues on film, but they still happen often enough that I'm sure I will eventually be able to add them to our video library. (Ok,the poo thing was a one time occurrence but the others are in our regular repertoire.)


A real mom nonchalantly will wipe the spit up which has just been deposited in her own mouth in order to continue kissing her baby.


A real mom does not freak out when she gets poo in her hair while changing a diaper.


A real mom knows about 100 different baby dancing steps and can sing made up songs the whole time she's dancing.



I'm afraid I don't know many other blogging mamas whom I can tag, but there is always Hilary at Mom's Tin Foil Hat

However, I do know a lot of mamas who have great mama moments.. and a stay-at-home-dad too. So, if you have a "real mom" moment to share, please do!

2 outta 3 ain't bad, right?

Well, she slept through the night. Mostly. She went down at 8 pm and didn't really wake up again until 8 am. Sounds heavenly. Well, only one downfall. She was complaining in her sleep every hour to half an hour. Now, I'm pretty sure that the complaints were because of a wet diaper, but I'm a chicken shit and I refused to go in and change it. I mean, after the night before I was a little gun shy about waking her up. I figured that if the diaper wasn't going to wake her, who the hell was I to poke the bear.

Well, that would have been all well and good if it hadn't been for the fact that my dear dear husband was snoring louder than a jet engine last night. So between the two of them I got next to no sleep. But, hey, they did.

2 outta 3 ain't bad, right?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

chillin'

My own personal horn section.

For whatever reason Miss MJ had some serious tummy issues last night. She was up continuously between 2 am and 6 am. I have never heard such incredible gastric noises! I swear she could have been her very own marching band this morning. At one point she farted for about 5 minutes straight. Wynton Marsalis would have been proud. Anyway, after much crying and a few vials of gripe water she passed out on me at about 6 am while I was bouncing up a storm on the exercise ball.

Here's to hoping her tummy is better today and she takes a long nap. (HA!) I seriously need some sleep.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

mesmorized by Simba

Morgan has a decided preference for Simba out of all the cats. Truly her daddy's daughter.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I have this reoccuring fantasy.

In it I put a sleepy Morgan down in her crib or on my bed and she shuffles around or fusses a bit and then falls asleep. I do not spend an hour bouncing her on an exercise ball only to have to wake up screaming 5 minutes later. I do not have to feed her into a coma guaranteeing later tummy trouble because she passed out before I could burp her. I do not have to feel guilty and inadequate because it is incredibly apparent to everyone around me that my red eyed child who keeps rubbing her face and whining is exhausted and I have not let her nap.

It's a small dream. Please tell me it will happen eventually.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

posing for the camera

Sitting pose.

"I can stand"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

another attempt at cereal

I think the reason I enjoy giving Morgan solid food is that she makes some of the most interesting and hilarious faces while I do it. We had our second attempt at eating rice cereal this morning. At first I think Morgan was just confused as to why on earth I kept putting a spoon in her mouth inciting her to close her lips. However, after I offered her some on my finger, which she greedily sucked off, she got the point. After a few finger fulls, I offered Miss MJ the spoon again. This time she lunged at it in an attempt to get it in her mouth. The trick was that once she had the cereal in her mouth she wasn't quite sure what to do with it. The pensive and confused look on her face was priceless (sorry no pictures). She had great fun playing with the cereal that I had spread all across her highchair tray. She did her own form of infant finger painting and then planted her hands in her mouth. then we tried the spoon again. After a little while she got the hang of it but since by that point she was decidedly hungry she got impatient and wanted her bottle.

I can't wait to do this again over the weekend so her Daddy can have fun with food too!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Who wants solid food? Not Morgan!

So to commemorate Miss Morgan's 5 month birthday I thought we'd give eating solids a try. I found some organic brown rice cereal and mixed it up specially for her. Here we are starting to try to eat.


After much complaining and spitting cereal out the process quickly devolved into Morgan sitting in her chair having a bottle.

What you can't tell from these pictures is that it took me about a half an hour to clean up the mess she made. At least she had a good time. :)

5 months old today

So here is a list of 5 month milestones that I got from my friend Stacie at the Twinkies blog. I've marked off if Miss Morgan has achieved them. The ones for which I said "sort of" means that she is working on it and only does so intermittently.

At 5 months old:

90% of babies can…
hold head stead when upright --- yes
on stomach, raise chest, supported by arms --- yes
pay attention to an object as small as a raisin --- yes
squeal in delight --- yes
reach for an object --- yes
smile spontaneously --- yes
smile back when you smile --- yes
grasp a rattle held to fingers --- yes
keep head level with body when pulled to sitting --- yes

75% of babies can…
roll over (one way) --- yes (back to front)
bear some weight on legs --- yes
say “ah-goo” or similar vowel-consonant combinations --- yes
blow raspberries --- yes
turn in the direction of a voice --- yes

50% of babies can…
sit without support --- yes

25% of babies can…
pull up to a standing position from sitting --- no
stand holding on to someone or something --- sort of
object if you try to take a toy away --- sort of
work to get a toy out of reach --- yes
pass an object from one hand to the other --- yes
look for dropped object --- sort of
rake with fingers a tiny object and pick it up in fist --- no
babble, combining vowels and consonants such as
ga-ga-ga,ba-ba-ba,ma-ma-ma,da-da-da --- no

Monday, April 16, 2007

Is this pink?

Even before Morgan was born Jim and I agreed that just because she was going to be a girl did not mean that we would dress her in pink. Personally, I hate pink. I also find it funny that for some reason people naturally think that if a baby is dressed in anything other than Pepto pink clothes (for example pale lavender with flowers) the baby must automatically be a boy. "Lady, she's wearing flowers!"

All in all our relatives and friends have been quite accommodating with our "no pink" rule on clothing (the one major exception was Valentine's Day. She wore pink then). However, this outfit recently arrived in the mail and Jim and I have been debating for a few days now as to whether this counts as pink, or an outfit with some pink on it.

And yes, I do realize that Murphy, who has taken a special interest in my dealings with Morgan recently, is bound to come back around and kick me in the ass. I figure that my little no-pink-wearing-girl will eventually tell me that she wants to only wear pink tutus and she wants to be a cheerleader. Oh, it gives me a headache already just thinking about it.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

belated Easter pictures

Sporting her holiday purple and DKNY skirt (gift from her Great Aunt Andrea.)


Hanging out with her Pa Bruce.

starting early

Her daddy is determined that Miss Morgan will be a gear head and he is beginning the process by encouraging her appreciation of his new motorcycle. :)


Unfortunately my camera fogged up from the excessive humidity in the garage this evening. We will get some better pictures later.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

a note on crying babies

Honestly, if I had a dollar or each time I heard the phrase "sometimes babies just need to cry" since the birth of my daughter, I'd be a rich woman today. In response to all those people who feel the need to offer that unwanted and unsolicited advice here are my thoughts on the issue.

Yes, sometimes babies do need to cry, like when their diapers are dirty or they are hungry or they have hurt themselves. The rest of the time, there is no need. Putting a baby down for bed should *not* necessitate crying.

I do not believe in allowing my daughter to "cry it out" for multiple reasons. Firstly, if there are babies out there who release stress by crying, my MJ is not one of them. When she starts crying it is because she is genuinely upset and ignoring that fact is not going to make her stop and all of a sudden realize she is over reacting. Instead she will escalate and be upset for hours. Not pleasant for her or anyone else, so why do it? If she does stop crying because she has exhausted herself, how horrible is that! I have never voluntarily chosen to cry myself to sleep, why on earth would I think that she should have to? Secondly, why on earth would I want to teach a brand new human being that the world is so awful that when you are upset no one cares? Now, that may be true and it may be something that she will have to learn at a later date, but my belief is that not quite 5 months old is way to young to become so jaded. Thirdly, I'm sure it is true that when she cries she knows I will come in there for her. At least, I hope that's what she thinks. How awful to think that my little girl does not have faith that I will come to try to comfort her. No, she is *not* trying to manipulate me. No, she is not "spoiled". She is a baby and sometimes crying is her only means of communication. Lastly, how can anyone who has ever heard the heart wrenching sound of your own flesh and blood, a spawn of your own self, crying inconsolably possibly stand by and do nothing about it? These people must have no feeling.

So, in short, while it is impossible to have my little one go through life never being upset and never feeling sad, I scoff at people who tell me that I should just let her cry it out and get over it. There is time for that later in life. There is no need for it now. So I will happily (ok, maybe not happily) suffer through nights of sleeplessness so that she can feel comforted and secure. I WILL pick her up when she cries and I will NOT let my poor little munchkin think that Mamma is not coming for her.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

4 month sleep regression.

Well it would be a stretch to say that Morgan's sleep has been following a linear pattern since she was born but I've come across a phrase in the past few weeks that would imply that was the case. The infamous "4 month sleep regression". What I take this to mean is that MJ is totally normal in the fact that she won't sleep for more than an hour or so at a time and that she just simply won't nap during the day. So far the only thing that has worked for us is to pull her into bed with me and hold her tightly, one hand behind the head, one hand under the butt. Unfortunately she still wakes up screaming every 20 minutes or so.

The reading I've been doing suggests that this is because she is making some big cognitive leaps these past few weeks and, admittedly, that is a good thing. Lack of sleep for everyone in the house (even the cats have a hard time sleeping through Miss Morgan's sleep-screaming fits) is most decidedly *not* a good thing.

Here's to hoping that the "regression" comes to a head quickly and she is able to sleep for longer stretches again. this sleep deprivation is making my normally happy little girl into the bear we feared she might be.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Scorpio baby

I just recently stumbled across this description while I was playing curious mom (kind of like trying to read the last page of a book first) and get an idea of my child's future in advance. I'm floored by the accuracy of these statements:

When a Scorpio baby enters the world, all eyes will focus on them. And that's exactly how it will be for a long time to come, as this baby must be the center of attention! To that end, this is quite the manipulative little tot, sucking up energy from everyone around. The Scorpio baby is also a bit mysterious, making it hard to figure out what's wrong when the crying starts. So often, it's something which is seething below the surface and will be very hard to draw out of this child. You must also consider power struggles when thinking of this child, as the Scorpio baby will expect that Mom, Dad, and everyone else will fit into their schedule and plans. Make no mistake, this is a powerful child! The flip side of this is that this baby is quite clear on what they want and can get that message across. One important note: Scorpio babes loathe lounging in dirty diapers, so change them often! Many times, this can be the simple source of their discomfort, although the malady may not always be so clear. For that reason, the Scorpio baby should be watched closely. Someone will generally be watching this child, though, as the Scorpio tot enjoys a crowd, especially one where it can lead. To sum up, the Scorpio baby is clever, wants things on their own terms, and will know how to get it. Watch out!

Friday, April 06, 2007

she's a big girl!

Today was Morgan's 4 month well baby visit. Yes, I know she is 4 1/2 months old, but the pediatrician was not taking morning appointments the week she turned 4 months and there was NO WAY I was bringing a 4 month old in for an appointment at 6 pm.

My girl is 16 lbs 12 oz and 25 1/2 inches in length. That puts Miss Morgan in the 90th percentile in length (I'm assuming I can't call it "height" until she is standing) and the 90th percentile in weight. She's growing so quickly.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

a big day

Today was a big day in two ways. Not only did she figure out how to roll over onto her belly but she was able to sit up on her own for a good few minutes. Long enough, at least, to let me back away and take a few photos. :) Here are my two favorites:

sleep rolling?

I've heard of sleep walking and even sleep talking but last night Morgan decided to sleep roll. We put her down for bed last night on her back like we always do and at 6:30 this morning when I was marveling to myself that she had slept straight through I went into her room to get her up for the day. She was lying on her tummy. She had managed to do at night what she never could in the day, roll form back to tummy. Guess we'll see where we go from here. :)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

the color purple

I have to admit it, I'd missed my purple hair. I got rid of it and went back to a "normal" color the December before Morgan was born. Before then, it was a beautiful shade of purple.

Anyway, today I decided enough was enough and I needed to do something to make myself feel less frumpish. So, I went to the local herbal store, bought an herbal (ammonia etc. free) hair dye with the alluring color title "violet" and took the plunge this evening.

I will report back later on the results, but the early verdict is that my hair is superman black with purple instead of blue highlights. When my hair dries completely I will take and post up some photographic evidence.

I'm also curious to see if the change of my hair color will confuse Morgan tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It's a miracle

I can't believe it! She fell asleep on her own! I'm still in shock and it happened over 4 hours ago.

It was almost 1 pm and I wasn't ready to get in the car to head out to my mother's house until at least 1:30 so I decided to put my little girl down in her crib under the mobile in hopes that it would entertain her but knowing in reality that I would have to prepare myself to endure the wailing that always ensues when I attempt this little trick. I turned on her mobile, rubbed her tummy and told her I'd be right back (I had to transfer laundry over before leaving at the very least). When I got back into the house (the laundry machines are out in the garage) I went into her room to check on her and lo and behold! She was asleep! She put herself to sleep!

I'm sure it will never happen again, but wow, was it every worth it even if just for today.

a drop in the bucket

You may have noticed (and if you didn't, please do) that on the top of the right hand column there is a new page element. It is Google AdSense and yes, it is intentional. Every time someone clicks on one of the ads, a dime goes into an account specifically designed for Miss Morgan's future. I got the idea from my friend Stacie who runs a blog for her twins (the link to her Twinkies site is also in the right hand column). She calls it their 529 fund. Feel free to contribute to Morgan's financial future by visiting the ads.

Thanks.

Monday, April 02, 2007

addendum

Not only did Murphy kick me in the ass, but I think he lost a shoe.

She woke up literally the moment I hit the "publish" button. You'd think I'd learn my lesson.

getting better all the time....

"I used to get mad in my school. The teachers who taught me weren't cool. Holding me down, turning me 'round, filling me up with their rules. I've got to admit it's getting better, getting better all the time." (Thanks, Paul).

As you can tell, we're in a much better place today than we were last week. Although Her Highness was refusing to nap all morning, she is down for a nap now and I think we may be on an upward trend.

Murphy, please don't kick my ass.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Notes from teething hell...

I've known that Morgan has begun teething for quite some time now. She has been a drooling champ and nothing makes her quite as happy as having a cloth rub her gums. Everything she encounters goes into her mouth these days. Little did I know that this was only the beginning.

This past week has been a new experience in teething hell and I'm assured it will only get worse. Since she has been so uncomfortable of late, Morgan has been exceedingly clingy. She will fuss and fuss unless I am holding her *all* the time. Most of the times no one else will do. She refuses to nap in the day time unless I'm holding her, which I assure you makes posting (and doing anything else, for that matter) rather complicated. Multitasking while holding a sleeping infant is not as easy as it sounds. Ah well, so much for housekeeping.

I thought at first that her inability to nap alone might have been related to the NSS plan, but my dear girl sleeps just fine unswaddled throughout the night. She has also developed a bit of a cough, which I am convinced has its origins in the excessive drool she inhales while lying down.

Poor thing has been rather needy the past week and it has worn me out, through and through.

However, on the lighter side of things, I got her a new bathtub last week so that she could have more fun playing while bathing. She loves the water and here is my favorite picture to prove it.
Here she is kicking and splashing in the water and generally having a good time. :)