Donovan is heading out to San Diego this week for DevCon, the yearly conference for developers (of the product Filemaker, it's not defcon the hacking conference!). I'm nervous and excited for my first week alone with Eva. Unfortunately she woke up with a runny nose but in comparison to the stomach flu that we had for a couple weeks in July this seems like cake. So wish us luck! We'll be doing bachelorette things all week like eating ice cream for breakfast, watching Sleepless in Seattle, and staying up late (probably none of those things actually, but it's nice to dream).
For our family and friends in the northwest and afar, I'm sure you would love to see how different Eva is now that she is 14 months! Just within the last two months she has learned so many new things about the world. She really loves ambulances and says "wheeew" when they go by. We visited San Francisco yesterday and she really enjoyed the hustle and bustle, especially going up and down the escalator, although we had to move along after 4 times because I started to worry the security guard might ask us to stop. She LOVES dogs and yesterday attempted to ride Hunter, the 8 year old chocolate labrador that lives next door. Also, Eva has shown a lot of interest in mimicking behavior, especially bathroom activities like pretending to curl her hair, tweeze her eyebrows, and put on a shirt (none of which she actually does successfully, of course).
I started a running club in Oakland and have enjoyed meeting new women, getting out regularly and just feeling healthy in general. The late evenings in Oakland are so beautiful, warm, and sunny, it's such a great way to end a day! I'm hoping by next summer I will be ready to run my first marathon. I've enjoyed getting a nice little tan too, which is a great side effect. Donovan has also started going to Toastmaster's regularly as a way to get some self care and recently spoke about himself to the group in his first talk.
Donovan and I celebrated five years together last week. We enjoyed an evening out alone to dinner, the beach, and a used bookstore/vintage place while we perused without Eva distracting us. It was so fun! I'm really glad we got married and I really love him more every day. I truly think I'm such a better human being than I would be without him.
August will be a month of "vacation time" for our family (although some of it is others vacationing here in Oakland). We are hosting my middle sis and her husband for a week and hosting my mom for another week of August. Also, we'll be making a week long trip in August, too. And after we have our month of fun in August, my aunts and cousins will be coming to Sacramento for a weekend in September. I'm looking forward to it all! Let's hope Eva's sleep schedule remains normal and traveling goes smoothly. In the past Eva has woken up at 5am every day of our vacation, which made for really tired parents and baby.
In other news, another stay at home mom and I have started a "swap" where we watch both kids one day a week. That means that twice a month I will get a half day without Eva! We started by me watching the girls last week and it was really sweet to see them together. They toddled around without any talking and reminded me of two little penguins, so cute! When I opened the fridge they both came running (which is really just a fast walk at this point) and were doe eyed, hopeful that they could get something! I just love how babies roll on top of each other, have such a different sense of space and no sense of ownership, and bump into each other when their walking ... it's like watching two comedians.
Well, it's nice to talk about new changes in our family and the joys of summer because right now it looks like winter outside. The weather outside is frightful but inside we feel so *summer-y.* What are you up to this summer? Is the weather looking like summer where you are?
Eva sleeps a LOT. Most parents say, "what a wonderful problem!" But I'm starting to hope that her sleeping/napping hours lessen soon. I miss being out in the sunshine and having longer stretches in the afternoons to be doing... well... anything. This is especially different because now she gets cranky and needs a nap but can't nap in the stroller (although sometimes I take her out during a nap anyway).
There are only so many quiet activities I can do in my house. Let me give you a ballpark... about 13 hours of sleep a night and at times as much as 3.5 hours of sleeping during the day. Wow! Surprisingly, I can still find ways to procrastinate the hard stuff like learning about my sewing machine, sending important emails, and getting my intern paperwork done. :)
Guess who just woke up? Her ears must have been burning!
I would like to sheepishly admit that I expanded my six items to ten. Funny that dressing up for Eva's baptism didn't end up being the thing that made me cheat. It was just a normal day. I was longing to wear a racerback tank top. How weird is that? Also, it's been rainy and some of my choices didn't foresee this awful May weather, which is turning out to be much more like winter than spring or summer in these parts.
In other news, my mother celebrated her birthday, our friends just got married, my childhood friend is turning 27, Mother's Day was lovely, and my colleague from Fuller is earning his very distinguished Psy D within a few weeks. My heart is full of pride for his hard work and love for my family during this time of celebration.
In the downtime I'm trying to not go completely crazy since Eva has been sleeping between 15-17 hours a day lately. Yes, this is really high for kids her age. They are expected to sleep around 12-13 hours around age 1. I try to be grateful for it. But being a stay at home mom can be repetitious. I'm looking forward to working part time again. I'm also hoping to do more running, sewing, and have another weekly ritual to see friends (starting this summer when our community group is on hiatus). Anyone else having a hard time being motivated this week? What do you do to get inspired?
I'm going crazy. Too few clothes and combination. I window shopped last night and I think it made me even crazier. A part of the challenge is not buying anything for yourself during the challenge.
The good news is, I've only done laundry twice in a week and hope to keep at that pace. It's actually not as much laundry as usual if you can believe it. Laundry is one of those things that multiplies with people and it makes me think that only having one child sounds like a good idea :)
Day 2: Rocking the pencil skirt, tank, and cardi. No sweat.
Day 3: Walking a baby in my red dress and feeling a bit over dressed but happy. Plus, Part 2, purple tee with skirt due to dress getting dirty from the baby and a nighttime counseling appointment.
So far I've done laundry once, spent $8 in quarters (coin machines), and already worked through all of my items. I think one tip for not going crazy is planning the next outfit a day ahead of time. Check out the official site if you haven't already:
I read about an interesting project called Six Items or Less. I decided to do the challenge.
1. Pick 6 items of clothing to wear for 30 days (not including underwear, shoes, outerwear, or accessories). So my challenge will end May 30 2011.
2. Don't buy anything during the month.
3. Get creative, accessorize, mix and match.
It is an open ended experiment that hopes you will find some insight from the experiment although it doesn't push a certain agenda. I'm excited to do this and learn. I think I've convinced Donovan to join too.
Here's what I chose:
1. Purple v-neck tee 2. dark jeans 3. red dress 4. pencil skirt 5. stripe tank top 6. cardigan
After my first day of being on the project I think having a messy baby may be my biggest challenge in the next month. I'm going to be washing my clothes all the time! Other thoughts: last night I was a bit panicked. This morning although it was a bit unexciting to already know what I would be wearing it was also freeing and time saving to have few choices.
Here is a picture of me on Day 1 (I'm happy, I promise.)
We're taking some time for reflection and peace in our house this Lent season. No computers after 6:30pm. I love it! So far in our first day we have already done so much bonding! We had a really great dinner, talked over tea, watched an old film, and went through our pile of bills that had been long ignored.
Donovan made a note of how the space we have created is allowing us to look at what we had formally been putting off. It's funny how we used to say we "didn't have time" to do the bills. Sure we do! We just can't watch Hulu all night long, but that's something that's really not life giving (that's a term one of my friend's coined, I love it!).
Still no walking yet, but Eva is sure a lively girl! She has a new habit of wiggling like a fish. It's so funny. Whoever picks her up grabs her around the torso only to realise that she's moving from top to bottom with all her wiggly might! What a character.
Eva just passed the 8.5 month marker yesterday. She isn't walking yet but is so close. I started walking at 8.5 months so I was worried that she might walk just as soon. Turns out she's still not, but it might only be a small difference depending on soon she walks.
A friend commented that she looks just like a mini adult all sized down proportionally. I think it's true. And this plus a very active baby makes for a baby that looks older than she is. People are surprised to hear that my baby who refuses to be in a stroller or carrier now (way to curious and big for that!) is only 8 months.
I fear that this means she won't want cuddles. It's hard to say though if she is just curious because she is at this developmental marker now or if her personality tends away from snuggling and such. I'm hoping that it's the former not the latter.
It's been rainy here. We took the car in this week and so Eva and I did a lot of walking due to no other option. We met some nice people at Whole Foods cafe and most of the people there are patient to understand a mom that needs to get out of the house with a curious and active baby. Thank goodness for understanding and even sweet and interested strangers! On our rainy day walks it made me think about Portlanders and accepting getting rained on a bit. I think some people in our neighborhood thought I was a little crazy for being out in the rain with my baby, but really, the baby was the least concerned with the rain (I think we get a little worked up as adults about this sometimes, unnecessarily so). Who needs a plastic stroller cover anyway? :) (Not that Eva would actually be in a stroller!)
We are officially over being sick. Thank goodness. What a long road that was. Now we are due for more immunizations. Oh no. They always come with a few days of being sick. I just can't bear to do that right now after the last two weeks. So I've gotten to attend our normal weekly functions and see friends which has been a great light in my life. I was seriously getting cabin fever!
The blossoms are pink and white and started turning around the end of the first week of February. I love the signs of spring coming. My father always loved this time of year so much. The two year anniversary of his death is Feb 28, 2011 and it's been a funky month as I am entering a new season of grief.
Anyone got any great ideas for taking care of sick babies and making them better? I've heard of some different theories about high temperatures. What do you do? Bundle them up or try to "get the heat out" (stripping them down, cool baths, etc). Eva also has a nasty head cold, is mouth breathing, and subsequently is not sleeping well.
Here I will throw up my prayer to God for today...
"Make me patient and kind, God. Make me gentle. Make me soft and huggable. Show me how to help Eva even when she can't say what she needs. Give me understanding when she is fussy and needy. Help me to see her needs in a sweet sense rather than looking at her resentfully. Give me strength to be a big strong rock of a mother. My strength comes from you. Give us rest tonight. And peace. Provide us with shared smiles and sweet glances in the midst of this hard week. Heal our bodies by your mighty power, Jesus. Come and touch us. And please Lord, keep us close to you. Amen."
crawling pulling up to standing waving at people (and by waving I mean opening her mouth really wide, saying hi with her eyes, or flapping her arms like wings... because she doesn't know how to "adult wave" yet) letting you know she's tired of being held and sometimes she does this by clenching her little legs together so you can't wrap her around you or arching her back! back arching in general, for any and all occasions, and to generally communicate frustration sleeping eating oatmeal, rice cereal, veggies, bananas, and especially Graduates (an infant type of Cheerio)
She is absolutely in love with little girls. She loves watching them do anything. Yesterday she admired a little three year old from our church as she played a lap harp and talked. Today she watched as a little toddler peeled an orange. And by watching I mean some intent staring as well as some crazy chasing as fast as she could crawl, climb and go in her direction.
She also loves doting adults and really doesn't have any preference over who it is (stranger, friend, man, woman, child, etc) although hats, glasses, and facial hair score big points. I was a bit afraid at all this apparent extroversion until a friend of mine simply stated "she just loves people, like you and Donovan!" I feel much calmer about it all now. Somehow that made it seem so fitting for our family and so beautiful. Sometimes I get nervous and think, she will be so extroverted she'll make me crazy! But that's not necessarily true.
Right now if Eva could instantly become an adult in the working world, I have a few ideas of how her raw talent could be optimized. (I can't believe I'm doing that which I said I would never do, but this is partially for the sake of comedy.) Eva could be a... -missionary. She is a magnet to others and really loves them without restraint. She ministers to others and makes them feel closer to God. She radiates beauty and is unashamed. She just wants to make others happy. -computer technician. Seriously. Today I found her in a nest of computer cords with a huge smile on her face and I could almost imagine her pulling out plugs and reorganizing them and saying gibberish that I couldn't understand like "Stanley, pass me the B35 ninety X, I have a real problem over here and it's going to take me all afternoon!" -artist. She loves looking at the sky and just stopping and staring. Sometimes she finds the most simple thing (like a tagged speed limit sign) and locks onto it with her eyes, even following it as we pass by. It's beyond me what she sees in something so simple! But I can imagine great things coming from her. She helps me see the world anew and I think that's what artists can do too. -animal rescuer. Eva loves animals as much as she loves people. She tries to interact with cats and dogs and attempts talking to them in the same way she communicates with humans, she doesn't judge them to be any different!
On a serious note, most of the time I'm trying to hold onto every precious moment. I love being with her and raising her. But one bad thing did happen this week! As I sat a mere 1 foot away while Eva was bathing in the adult bathtub, Eva put my razor in her mouth! You can imagine my shock and surprise to look over to see her with the handle of my razor sticking out of her mouth. There was a cut and some blood and a restless night but I think all is well now. The only other hiccups we've had lately with this developmental stage is 1. learning to get down (from standing or sitting) gracefully, which is much harder to do when tired and 2. eating things (leaves are our biggest problem).
She keeps me on my toes! Did I ever say I'm glad I'm 26? Whew. I am!
I love seeing Eva's determination. Today she stood on her toes to reach for something but it wasn't just her toes it was the tops of her toes. Her whole body reached for the object (I'm still not quite sure what exactly she had in mind at the time because there were a few things within her line of vision). I look at her sometimes and think, "if only I had that much zest for life!" Children make you new again, they help you realize how fun simple things like water can be, and they help you enjoy simple things (like breathing fresh air) as you live life along with them. Just today I found myself sighing and screaming along with Eva as we breathed our lungs full of cool fresh afternoon air. Of course, children also make you tired beyond all belief. So there is this strange dichotomy of complete exhaustion, sweet slowness, exhilaration, and a desperate cry to go to sleep. I'm hoping this long weekend finds you slowing down, breathing in fresh air, and kissing the cheeks of your loved ones just because.
Eva is working on grabbing toys while she is propping herself up (in a standing position) on furniture. I can see the wheels turning. She wants to grab the object. She also wants to stand and hold onto the furniture. But she can't stay standing without holding onto the furniture. She's tried and figured it out. It hurt to learn that lesson! After she fell that first time she went about furniture-standing much more cautiously. And to get down there were two options 1) wait until her legs almost buckled and then cry for help, while shaking from head to toe meanwhile (looking very helpless and often getting the hoped-for assistance) or 2) slowly tipping like a falling tree, allowing her big baby belly brushing the couch to slow the force of gravity. I watch these things and wonder with her. How she figures them out. How she decides to explore further. How she trusts again and risks again. The world is a scary place! But she is a brave soul. I think all babies are. To work within a world where things hurt and are not always working out as you would like them to. To work at things that time after time don't succeed. I wonder at how she is motivated to try things like walking that she has never accomplished before. How does her body and her brain motivate her to try for the first time? And second and third time (after those attempts didn't work), before there is any reason for her to think that she will eventually get it? Eva puts her whole body into moving. She can scoot and just this last two or three weeks can do a proper knee and hand "crawl." If she sees a computer cord or a piece of paper she is on a 100-meter sprint speed toward it, nothing will stop her. Yet, to my great delight and humor, if I pick her up and play a different game with her the memory of the cord is removed from her entirely and she is enveloped in the new activity. I will delight in this for as long as it lasts. It seems if we could delay this lack of short term memory until about age 4, many toddlers would be easier to manage :) So Eva is moving through this world, one small task at a time. And I am watching. I love just seeing it, experiencing it though her eyes. It really does make me feel like the whole world is new again. Small banana pieces are new again. I cut some up for her today and reveled at how she watched them, grasped for them, and in spite of them slipping away from her rigid little fingers, she continued on this journey at trying to get them. Although when she did I was surprised to find that the goal was not to get them in her mouth and I'm not quite sure what the real goal was. Perhaps just to chase them. Ahhh, raising babies makes me feel young and carefree and wild. I love having a little learner in my house. It is so strange and lovely!