Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Puking. Hurling. Blowing chunks. Soul coughing. Praying to the porcelain gods. Shouting groceries. Whistling beef. (I have to give Google credit for those last two.)

I hate it. I hate thinking about it, hearing it, seeing it, smelling it, doing it. I know no one enjoys throwing up, but I have a special kind of fear of it. I can probably count on two hands the number of times I've done it since I've been old enough to remember. I can also remember many, many times where I probably should have just thrown up and gotten it over with, but instead chose to live with days of nausea instead. There's actually a term for it: emetophobia. Fear of blowing chunks. Or something like that.

Yesterday, Olivia did it twice. She choked on her afternoon snack and sent a horrid concoction of milk, goldfish crackers, banana and rice cake everywhere. I managed to not totally flip out as I stripped her clothes off and left them in a heap on the high chair tray for my poor husband to clean up later. She's been sort of iffy with eating much of anything lately, and picked at dinner. I gave her a bottle at bedtime, then she wanted more, and then around 9:30pm she was yelling "BA-BA!" from her crib, so I gave her a little more milk. Big mistake.

Around 10pm she woke up and I could see on the baby monitor that she was just sort of sitting in her crib, not really moving. If you know Olivia at all, not really moving is not really her style. Her head was slumping forward occasionally, almost like she was asleep sitting up. Again, totally unlike her. Dan thought I should just leave her alone because she wasn't crying, but I had a weird feeling and went to check on her. Yeah, you already know where this is going. The poor thing had puked all over her jammies and was just sitting there sort of shivering. Saddest sight ever. I think she just must have had too much milk, because she seemed totally fine after we changed her out of her wet PJs and remade the crib. She didn't end up going back to sleep until after midnight, but thankfully at least slept through the night. Phew.

Breakfast and lunch were uneventful today, so I'm just going to go with "random fluke" instead of "Terror alert: High. Stomach virus in house. Commence freakout."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

not quite walking, but it's a start

She stood up and pushed her little wagon while walking yesterday -- it's the first time she's even attempted to do anything like that, and she even managed to take a couple of laps across the kitchen.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Still no walking, but she seems to be adding a few new words per week. As my mom said to someone who was giving her a hard time when I hadn't walked yet, she's an intellectual, not a jock.

She said her first sentence last week: "Hi kitty." (Though kitty usually sounds a lot more like the hard k sound, or sometimes just a t sound.) This week she also started saying "Hi daddy," and now waves while saying "bye!" Her favorite word is still "hi" by a very large margin, probably because of all the attention it gets her when we're out. If she says hi to someone and they don't hear her, she raises her voice and tries again. I've even had her shout it at people across a parking garage. Oh my ... how did I get such a social child?

She also still loves to say bird, bear, and baby (bayyyyy-BEEE!). I think her word for magazines is mimi, and lately she tries to imitate things I'm saying, like beep beep or knock knock. She gets this hilarious grin on her face when she does it---I really need to get it on video.

She also picked up the sign for dog today, and is doing car and banana since I last posted about it. I'm really glad I overcame my all-or-nothing complex and got the Baby Signing Time videos. If you're in the market, I can't recommend them enough!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

winter blahs

I'm not sure if it's just February (a.k.a. the novelty of winter has worn off, yet spring is too far away to think much about yet) blahs, the typical let-down feeling I get after a big thing I've planned for has passed, or what, but I'm in a bit of a slump this week.

I'm trying to self-analyze so I can get out of this mood. My usual pick-me-ups haven't been working: goofing off online, reading trashy celeb gossip mags, eating chocolate ... even shopping at Target. Something is seriously amiss.

So, I've realized that it's bugging me that I have to take Olivia's bottles away now that she's a year old. I've been trying to transition to giving her a sippy cup, but someone isn't thrilled with that plan of action. It's completely my fault for not breaking the bottle/rocking to sleep combo sooner, but after months of very little sleep I've sort of felt entitled to do whatever works for a while. But now I'm annoyed that I have to switch up a routine that's been working just fine. Maybe I'll just pull a Katie Holmes and let Olivia keep her bottles until she's four. Ha!

She also isn't really digging the whole milk thing, and doesn't seem crazy about solid foods other than a few select purees. I joke that I'm going to end up going to school with her to spoon feed her pureed pears in the cafeteria, but I do worry that she's not getting enough to eat and/or that she should be eating more finger foods by now.

I guess in a nutshell, it's that I don't enjoy when I feel like I don't know what I'm doing ... and I feel that way a lot lately.

One happy thing in the midst of all this gloom is that she's finally saying mama! I think she started doing it last week, and I must say that it's the best thing ever. She's been up about 5 times since I put her to bed at 7:30 (ugh), but each time I've gone in to check on her she's pointed at me and said "MAMA!" like she hadn't seen me for days. So sweet. Things like that make the bad days a lot better.

Friday, February 13, 2009

storm photos

We spent all day yesterday dealing with a tree service, trying to get the street and our neighbors' driveway unblocked so they could get their cars out of the garage. $800 and a lot of annoyances later (we won't be using that company again), the tree went from this:

(see the upstairs window on the left side of the house? That's Olivia's room. We were sitting across the room from where that sloped wall is, but her crib is pushed right up against where that tree would have fallen.)

to this:
We still have some work cut out for us---chopping up the remaining pieces of the trunk and offloading the wood, plus repairing the neighbors' grass where the tree made a huge dent in their lawn. Dan already replaced their mailbox today. It's been a huge hassle, but I'm trying to keep it in perspective. It could have been much, much worse.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

1-year appointment

Olivia had her (very traumatic) 1-year appointment today. In addition to the usual tortures of being measured and weighed and having her ears looked at, she also got three shots and her finger stuck to check her hemoglobin. I've witnessed her getting upset before, but wow---she was in full-on screaming mode today: red face, sweating, tears gushing from her eyes, the whole works. She actually was more upset by the weighing and measuring and ear checking than she was by the needles. At one point, I thought maybe she'd broken a blood vessel in her eye from all her hysterics. It was really sad to watch, but Dr. Jim said it's totally normal for kids her age to react that way. Can you imagine your days filled with kids who are crying and terrified of you? Maybe that nice salary offsets those unpleasantries. Anyway, the stats!

length: 31.5" (I thought it was closer to 32", but she was pretty squirmy) - 97th percentile
weight: 21 pounds 8 ounces - 50th percentile

I didn't see the head circumference on her chart this time, but he said that her head is pretty normally sized ... not too small or too big. (Ahem - Pesto, are you reading this? ;)

I also got the go-ahead to switch her over to whole milk, and was told we have a month to get her off bottles. It breaks my heart a little to take away her beloved ba-ba, partially because I can't imagine snuggling in the rocker with her blanket and a sippy, but also because she's so cute when she crawls over to my leg, pulls on my pants, and shouts, "BA-BA!" excitedly.

In other news, while I was rocking Olivia tonight, I heard a wind gust and a boom that shook the house a little. I assumed it was thunder. When I came downstairs, I asked Dan if we should move Olivia's crib to the other side of the room in case it got windier and the giant tree out front fell. He assured me there was no reason to worry. Well, there wasn't---because that boom I heard was the tree in the front yard falling over. I'll post pictures tomorrow, but it came up by the roots and fell across our neighbor's driveway. Unreal. I'm still sort of shaking thinking about the what-ifs.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Happy birthday, Olivia Kate!

Sweet miss Olivia, it's your birthday!

At this time last year, I was in bed, unable to sleep. Truth be told, I think I was also crying a little. I was to report to the hospital at 6 a.m. to be induced -- you were stubborn and cozy in there and didn't seem to be showing signs of wanting to come out on your own. I didn't want to go to a hospital. I was under the assumption that childbirth might possibly be the Worst Thing Ever and thought that if I could be the first woman to remain pregnant forever, I'd gladly sign up. I was sad that I would no longer be carrying around a little friend with me wherever I went. I knew I'd miss your crazy nighttime kicking and all-day-long hiccups.

I was also just plain petrified. Petrified about some big stuff, like that I wouldn't have any idea how to take care of you or that I'd be a lousy mom, but also about some silly stuff, like fearing I'd never get to go out to eat again. When I was nearing my due date, everything became a "last." Last dinner out. Last movie in a theater. Last night as a childless married couple. I worried that maybe your dad and I hadn't traveled enough, or that perhaps we should have spent more time being selfish (your dad assured me that as people in their mid-30s, we'd had plenty of time to be selfish).

As it turns out, I was wrong about a lot of things. Having you was -- after the epidural, anyway! -- exhilarating. Though I no longer had a built-in little friend, I had something even better: a tiny sweet bundle that I could hold in my arms. It's true that your dad and I had a lot of "lasts" before you were born, but now we have so many firsts to look forward to. Something is a first for you every day, and we get to go along for the ride. We somehow figured out how to care for you, with lots of help from grandma and books and even that first-night-home call to the hospital to find out why you were crying. Answer: have you tried giving her more food? Yeah, we were rookies in every sense of the word. And I laugh now, thinking that we'd never eat out again. I think you may have been in more restaurants in your first three months of life than I'd been to in a year. One of these days, daddy and I will get brave and travel somewhere with you. Maybe.

Though I jokingly called it "A day of indignities" after some of the things that happened during labor and delivery, February 7, 2008 was by far the best day of my life. I'm so happy you're my daughter and that I get to watch you learn and grow. I love seeing the world through your eyes -- how you point and grin at birds and squirrels and have been fascinated by butterflies even when you were only a few months old; that you hear an airplane and look toward the sky expectantly, as if it's one of the most exciting things ever.

I am so lucky, and I love you so much.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

this too shall pass ...

... but it doesn't mean it isn't frustrating anyway. I'm sure you can probably guess: teething, sleep disruptions. Last night looked like:

7:30 - bed
8:30 - awake
9:00 - asleep
2:30 - awake
3:00 - asleep
3:30 - awake
3:45 - asleep
4:15 - awake

Not the worst night we've had by any stretch of the imagination, but after several weeks of her either sleeping through the night or only getting up once, last night ... well ... sucked.

I just spent the better part of an hour trying to get her to sleep. She was nearly asleep in my arms when I dared plunk her in her crib without her being fully conked out. I did this for two reasons: 1) I know she needs to learn to fall asleep on her own eventually; and 2) I was starving and wanted to come downstairs and eat. Silly me! But she's asleep now, and I'm hoping she stays that way -- dare I say all night long? -- because I have a lot to accomplish for her birthday festivities on Saturday.

True to form when I decide to entertain in some capacity, I'm rocking my typical modus operandi: overthinking everything, feeling overwhelmed, and simultaneously procrastinating. Darn this perfectionism complex of mine! Tonight I'm going to attempt to get the 250+ photos I had printed into an album (fighting the urge to make it absolutely perfect by writing the dates on the back of each photo and making sure the photos are in the album in exact chronological order) and to burn a DVD of her greatest hits to play on the TV during the party (fighting my desire to get fancy and learn video editing software tonight in order to accomplish this).

She's so cute, though, saying bayyyyy-BEEEE! excitedly whenever she sees her photo. And I hate to admit it, but it's pretty funny that she grins and says DA-DA! when I ask her to say mommy. What girl doesn't adore her daddy, after all?