Friday, December 31, 2010

Year End Musings

This is me and Lucy in December of last year
What a year!  Last year at this time Lucy was barely 4 months old.  I was chronically sleep deprived and really floundering as I tried to fit into my new role as a mom.  Now Lucy is almost 16 months old, I usually get a full night's sleep (though I often feel tired anyway) and while I am floundering a little less, I still feel like wearing the Mama Hat is still a very intimidating article of clothing to don every day.

February 2010
Lucy started choking on a grape the other day and I didn't know what to do.  The four moms in the room were all looking at Lucy and then looking at me and the first thing I said when I realized she couldn't cough it up on her own was "Oh God, I don't know what to do" and started crying as I grabbed my daughter and managed to do some gross approximation of  the Heimlich Maneuver.  I am still having nightmares about this - Lucy looking at me with  "please help me, Mama" written all over her terrified face, and me not knowing what to do.

March 2010
It sort of slapped me in the face about what my real job is here.  You're up, Mama.  This is your job. You are the EMS, triage, and nurse along with teacher, maid, laundry worker, milk bank, cook, playmate, interpreter and sanitation engineer (read: butt cleaner).  I sort of knew it before.  I really know it now.

May 2010 with adoring Daddy
Regardless of any life-threatening situations, however, I have really grown into being a mom.  I love it.  I love watching Lucy turn into a little person with likes and dislikes and opinions and independent thoughts.  I love watching her discover and learn.  I love watching her learn to communicate more effectively.  She now will say a word she knows, and if I don't understand, she does the sign.  She's just so cool.  The best thing I have ever done.

Silly July baby
Happy birthday, Lucy! September 2010
I love watching Kevin grow into being a dad.  He is so good with her.  So fun and loving and silly and strong and everything you'd want your dad to be.  I love watching him watch Lucy play.  I love him more every day.  Our wedding vows said "I choose you today, as I chose you yesterday and I intend to choose you tomorrow."  I am so incredibly lucky to be able to choose this wonderful man as my husband every day.
Thanksgiving 2010

I sometimes worry about money (who doesn't) and accidentally letting Lucy choke on/fall off of/run into something, but generally speaking, our life is pretty damn good.

So here's to 2010.  It was a really good year.

And here's to 2011 being even better.  Happy New Year everyone!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Things I Don't Want to Forget

Time is just zooming past.  I remember before I had a baby thinking how fast the seasons flew by, but the feeling that time is going in fast forward is compounded by this beautiful child I am watching grow up every day.  I know full well that I will only have a sketchy memory of this time, so here are some things I hope never to foget.

Lucy covers her face with a napkin or a hat and wobbles about the house with her face covered.  Sometimes she falls into me or the couch.  Sometimes she trips on something, falls down and says "oos" (oops).  And then she does it again!

One night recently, after nursing before bed, she did the sign for "thank you" then the sign for "sleep".  I took this to mean, "Thank you for the milk, Mama.  Time to sleep."

Speaking of sweet nursing moments, two days ago, se unlatched, giggled, kissed my boob, then went back to nursing.  So sweet!

She has discovered her reflection - and LOVES the baby she sees there.  The "baby in the window" is her reflection in the big picture windows in the living room.  We'll say "where's the baby in the window?"  She'll toddle over to the window and spend 10 minutes saying "hi" and kissing her reflection.

She likes to lift her her shirt up and show off her belly.

She says "mees" instead of "please".

When she really wants something, she desperately does the sign for "please" - rubbing her whole belly and chest with a look of utter pleading on her face.

She often toddles around the room with her index finger in her nose.

She is a Baby Signing Time addict.  She'll sign "please" and say "Baby sign?".  Then if I don't
it give it to her, she does the sign for "sign" and says "siiiiiiiiiiiiiign?"  If I still don't relent, she does the sign for "baby" and the sign for "sign" the same time and then more "MEEEEEEEEEES?"

She loves putting things through the bars of her play space.  She puts it through or drops in over and says "oos". 

I am sure this will be the first of many of these types of posts.  How does the heart hold so much, but the brain fail so completely at all the tiny details that make up the moments of our lives?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Adventures in Felting

I have two small problems:
1) Lucy likes to hide and/or chew on the coasters that tend to float around the living room.  This isn't so terrible, but one set of coasters is stone (not great for chewing on...chipped little baby teeth, here we come) and the other set smells like recycled tires, which I just don't feel good about her SMELLING, let alone chewing on.
2) I have a ton of scrap wool leftover from various knitting projects I have done in the last few months.

So to solve both these problems, I am knitting some coasters, which I will then felt.  Cool! Here are some pics of my work in progress:

I knit them using Cascade 220 , size 8 double pointed needles (the pattern said to use size10.5 needles but I only had 8s), and using a simple pattern that I found for free online...that I can't find here a reproduction of the free pattern that I found somewhere:

Cast on 6 onto dpn.
Divide stitches onto three needles (2 per needle)
Round 1: *k1 f&bl, place marker, k1 f&bl repeat from * (increase to 4 st on each needle)
All following rounds: k1 f&bl at the beginning of each needle and after each marker (inc by 6 sts each round).
Continue in pattern until there are 18 stitches between marker (if you use size 10.5 needles increase until there are 12 stitches between markers)
Bind off loosely.

Here's how mine looked:

After I knit all six (I still have tons of wool scraps left, but I was excited to try felting) I did a quick internet search on how to felt wool.  I found a ton of different techniques, but the one I liked best was what one blogger called the accidental technique.  Meaning who hasn't accidentally felted a wool sweater by machine washing it?  Well, I hadn't, actually, but I got the gist of the process:

Put the wool items in a pillow case to avoid wool fibers mucking up your washer.  Set the machine on the lowest water setting, the highest agitation setting and the hottest water setting.  Toss the pillow case in the machine start the cycle and check on it every 5-10 minutes.  Easy enough!  I had to restart the cycle a few times to get the coasters to shrink to the size that I wanted:

They looked a little like wool fortune cookies.

Then I steam ironed them flat and let them dry under some heavy books:

And now here they are - cute as little woolen buttons!

I might still sew a water-resistant backing on them and maybe lanolize.  But I am really happy with how they turned out!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Video Day!

Here are some really fun videos of my little walker and talker!  Like any good mom, I make Lucy parrot things for my own entertainment.



Monday, November 8, 2010

Family Photos!

Nicole Pavey rocks!  She is a family photographer in Fairfax, VA who has done photos for us the last 2 years.  I hear you asking - "Jenny, why are you going all the way to Fairfax?".  Excellent question!  Last year I was looking for a photographer to do some newborn shots of Lucy.  We found Nicole on Craigslist.  She was advertising a special and I checked out her blog.  The photos were beautiful, she was offering an amazing price, AND she was moving her studio, so she would come to US!  We booked a session...and then we all ended up getting sick.  We sadly missed that glorious window for newborn photos where the baby will just sleep and let you dress them up as a bear or a bunny or Diana Ross, drape them in bows and put them in baskets with fresh market produce, all for the sake of a few photos.  We ended up booking a family session instead several weeks later and she was just wonderful!  We walked around outside and got some nice candid shots:

Went to her studio back to her studio:

Believe it or not, this wasn't posed!
We got some perfect Christmas card shots:

And 2 of my favorite photos of all time:

So when we decided to get more photos this year, we went right back to Nicole!  She has been super flexible about scheduling our shoot - our work schedule is always a little crazy, and this has been the cold season from hell.  She is closing in on the last month of her own pregnancy, but she gamely followed up around, set us up on bridges and rocks, posed and snapped, clicked and captured some really sweet moments.  The only thing we didn't like was our own choice of outfits:-)  I just love the fall colors, and Kevin finally has his long-desired family shot of us all under a bright fall-colored tree!

Right now she is only newborn photos and a few high school senior shots.  We were her last family photo shoot before her maternity leave...something about not wanting to chase families around with a 37 week baby belly **shrug**, but I just love her work so much, so here's my shout out to Nicole Pavey Photography.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Such a big girl!

Lucy is growing up so fast!  Such a big girl I have now. 

She can take a few steps by herself now!  (I can't believe how exciting that development was to watch.  I mean MOST people can walk - what is so special about watching a drunken sailer-esque child learn to do what everyone does without thing?  I dunno, but it's awesome.) 

She can sign up a storm (I think she uses 20 or 25 different signs, in context and with intent).

All this signing hasn't hampered her vocabulary development.  She can say a ton of words in her adorable little baby voice (Mama, Dada, hat, up, no, yes, iPod, hot, ice, meow, ruff, down, apple, outside, all done, octopus, socks, switch sides (a nursing thing..:-), shoes, leaves, tree, cheese, keys...actually those last four might all be the same word...). 

She can take all her clothes off (this is not as exciting a development). 

She can drink out of a regular cup (uh...closely supervised and only containing water).

She can put her own hat on...

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Few Pictures

I have been dreadful about updating here.  Things have been really busy, and everytime I am sitting still...I am knitting something instead of writing something.  I think I might have a problem.

We had a fun visit from our friends from North Carolina!  Here are some pics of the girls playing together.

Mind if I sit here?

Coffee Table Fun!

Try this puzzle piece - very tasty.

Baby K finds a comfy spot to sit and read.

Are you gonna eat these peaches?


Shake that booty!

Just chillin' with Mama's iPod

Blueberries at the park.