Saturday, March 29, 2008

Newsy Tidbits

So, Ruby is really really close to walking. She'll stand for long periods of time and if I am sitting right next to her, she'll take a couple of steps and fall into me. Another favorite trick is for when she practices her stage diving technique while on the bed. She'll stand and then literally throw herself down on the bed and laugh hysterically. Thankfully she seems to realize that she can't do this on the floor though she hasn't realized that she will fall off the bed so it requires strict supervision. Some other funny things: She will blow on her food if you tell her to. Amd of you tell her "Put your chupa chup in the crib," she'll take it out of her mouth and throw it in the crib. She really likes to imitate sounds that you make and she likes to say "Cat!" and then screech with excitement whenever the cats come anywhere near her. All of this is exciting to me because it's real live evidence that she understands us. SO fun! Her bedtime has thus far been smooth sailing. Sleep itself is a little rough going at times though. She's been waking up intermittently the past few nights -- one night it was a scream fest until we coated her gums with orajel -- but the teeth are showing themselves so only 2o+ more to go. Oy! She is also waking up at the ungodly hour of 4 or 5 am. I make feeble attempts to try to get her into bed again only to give up and just stick her in bed with me. This doesn't have the desired effect for me, which is more sleep. I remember fondly those cozy mornings with her snuggled up to me, all folded into a little ball...soft, cuddly, still. Those days are OVER. Now, she's wiggly and pushy and pokes me a million times. She's like Sputnick - all round and pointy in parts (to borrow a quote from one of my all time favorite movies). I sure miss those soft and snuggly days......... Yesterday we had a playdate in the morning, a lunch date at noon and then met up with the papa that afternoon and then we went to dinner. All told we left the house at 10 am and came home at 7:30 pm and let me tell you, this girl was a trooper! She didn't fuss, she didn't cry. She slept in her stroller for an hour while I was shopping and then charmed all the folks at the cell phone store and laughed and played and was just generally great. I was amazed at how well she did. In news about ME, I am, today, wearing a pair of pants that hasn't fit since about month 2 of pregnancy. Huzzah! More news and photos soon!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter from all of us!

Baby Pterodactyl

Ruby got this cute hat for her birthday, made by Auntie Christine, and she got the llittle car for Christmas from her Tia Monica & Uncle Steve. Her feet now reach the ground so she can push herself around and she luuurves it. She especially likes to go FAST -- I took her outside and we rode around on the sidewalk. There's a part of the walkway that slopes downhill and she'll pick her feet up off the ground and laugh and laugh as she goes careening down the sidewalk (with me directly in front to keep her from getting away, of course) laughing her head off. Ruby is off at Aqua Tots with her pop which gives me a few moments of blogging time and a chance to drink my coffee without having to dodge little fingers, flying waffles or flung milk. I hardly know what to do with myself..... She's lately taken to these unholy shrieks when she wants to get our attention, leading me to believe that I actually birthed a pterodactyl, not a sweet little baby like I had thought. It's quite ear piercing and reminds me of my brother Harley. At around this age, he would emit the most blood curdling screeches at slightest provocation and it just makes you want to do whatever it is that they want as long as they will just stop...please...stop. If there was a way to harness this, why...world domination would be mine! Mine! All Mine! Some of her new tricks include blowing on her food, "cheers"ing her sippy cup, drinking from a cup with a straw and she likes to try combing her hair whenever she gets a comb or brush in her hand. Her 5th tooth is also making an appearance which probably accounts for the past few restless nights. Yesterday, I met up with some lady friends (and the babes Elijah, Hudson & Ryder) and met at the mall where we got the tots' pictures taken with a scary scary Easter bunny (IMHO), though Ruby enjoyed it. Scarier still was the woman who was so wickedly upset by her photo that wouldn't lie flat but all in all and after a drink at the Rainforest Cafe to calm our nerves, we had a lovely time! The babies were all too cute and not at all scared of the crazy bunny. Good times abound!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Baby Daddy

One of the things about my job is that I don't work regular "banker's" hours. I work 1-2 nights per week as well as every other Saturday and sometimes Sundays. Though this has its advantages and disadvantages -- i.e. it made breastfeeding and pumping a nightmare -- one of the hidden advantages is that Dustin gets a LOT of one-on-one Daddy Time without me around.

I didn't even think about it at the time, but I think it's been a really good thing for him to be able to be Ruby's dad without me around. He can do whatever he wants and be in charge without feeling like I am hovering (me? Do that? Never!) or questioning anything (like I'd do that!) and it also forced him to figure out all the stuff that goes into taking care of a baby for a day. He has a no-fear kind of attitude and just goes about his day with Ruby in tow and they have a lot of fun.

I love watching him with her and hearing about what they did when I come home. They go on adventures at Home Depot and the mechanic, off to buy M's tickets and putter about the house. And, of course, he takes lots of pictures of her both with and without props!

I know that he doesn't do everything exactly as I would do it but I think that's the whole point. Dustin getting to have that one-on-one time allows him to figure out his role and his parenting style. There is no one right or wrong way and as long as we agree on the important stuff everything else is just gravy. In short, Ruby's a lucky pants and so am I!

Here are some cutey photos of them playing outside:

Dag Nabbit!

Clearly, I am wholly unorginal or a total slacker. Actually, I am sure it is a healthy mixture of both. Several times I have thought to myself, "What moms need are business cards to hand out to other moms that they make a connection with at the park, baby classes etc." Did I run out and create these things? Oh no. I sat around and waited for someone with way more get-up-and-go than I to make them. And golly are mommy cards cute or what? At this rate, I am going to be poor and working for the man forever!

Friday, March 14, 2008

No More Bottles!

Well, it's official -- Ruby has now gone 5 days in a row without a single bottle.
Ruby was pretty much all on the sippy cup except for one bottle at night the past month and a half. Though I don't really see anything wrong with kids having a bottle well into their second year, I was hoping that we could get her off of it sooner rather than later. Her doctor said we should try to have her off of it by 15 months so I figured I'd give it a shot...at some point. I was kind of dragging my feet for many reasons - I loved the bottle snuggle time each night, it's EASY and I was worried about her getting enough to eat before bed. But the upside is that I am done with bottle washing and buying liners and all of that business. Yes!
At any rate, phasing out the bottles during the day was easy. We just stopped offering them to her. But, I was stumped as how to get that last one phased out. With some encouraging advice from some folks on my mama list, I said to Dustin, "Let's work on getting her off the bottle this month," thinking it'd take a few weeks or even a month. Our bedtime "routine" up to this point had been pretty fluid so I figured we'd need some time to establish something more routine-like.
Well, I had to work late both Monday and Tuesday, so in my head, I figured we'd just try it on Wednesday. Imagine my surprise when I got home on Monday and Dustin said he'd gotten her into bed without a bottle no problem! He just dimmed the lights, read a few stories to her, popped in the chupa chup and to bed she went. "Has to be a fluke," I thought. Well, the situation was the same the next night. Wednesday, I was sure that it wouldn't work for me -- that it was Dustin's magic touch. Again, no sweat and the routine repeated again the next night and tonight. I am having a hard time believing that it was really that easy.......... Anyway, a big ol' hurray to Dustin for just going for it! No fear!
So, now our bedtime "routine" consists of the following: Jammies, wash face, brush teeth, read some books (current favorites are Pat the Bunny, Funny Face, Bedtime for Bears and Richard Scarry's Mother Goose), I sing a little song, give her the chupa chup and then she's down. Takes about 20 minutes (longer depending on how much we are enjoying the books). The great thing is I don't really miss the nighttime bottle feeding because the book reading part is so fun.
I think that she wasn't that attached to the bottle so it was easier. I am certain that dumping the chupa chup is going to be a lot more difficult. Oh well, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it!

Finding a Voice

Well, Miss Ruby is now starting to really let us know what she thinks. Today, after she threw two cars across the room, I put them out of her reach. She responded by sticking out her lower lip and smacking my coffee cup. Hmmm..I think we may have a wee bit of a temper, no? And mad or not, she does love to throw things. I blame her dad who is secretly pleased and envisioning the next speed pitch softball olympian. As she's getting older and starting to assert herself and her personality is becoming stronger, I find that I am both delighted and befuddled. I think that watching a child grow and develop really brings to light a lot of the issues, hang-ups etc that I have and I am wanting to keep myself from inflicting her with any of them. And then I think that with all of my efforts, she'll probably just develop her own hang ups anyway so I should just relax and just do what I can do. I guess what I am saying is this whole experience is making me more self-aware. This is great but it's also kinda disturbing in some ways. Add that to the list of stuff they don't tell you when you are pregnant.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Back to Normal...ish

Well, now that we've all mostly recovered from the House of Ill, it's back to business as usual. After about a week of restless sleep, heartbreak at bedtime and numerous nighttime fits, we are back to sleeping through the night and even, dare I say, peaceful bedtimes. Sweet bliss. I am going to enjoy the next few days... Ha ha! She's also been eating like crazy -- everytime I think she's full, she shoves more food in. Growth spurt! We had a wonderful and fun visit from our pal Watts and company. The whole gang came over one afternoon and it was, literally, a chorus of baby cries at one point. We even got a visit from Sweet Finn at only 11 days old. What a peanut! Ruby thought Watts was the bomb and wanted to pat his head, Hank tried to remove Ryder's pants and all the babies were tumbling all over each other, eating crackers. It was too fun! The ladies and I had some good conversations and laughs while Watts' mama was here and we realized how much we miss having that family around. Hopefully we'll get to see them again this summer!
Anyway, here are some pics from the past week:
Ruby in her outfit from Auntie Marie, showing off her teeth
Ruby with Auntie LaLa
Ruby & Watts