Wednesday, August 10, 2011

... and we're back.

Along with lots of other things/people/sleep/food I've neglected this month, I must now add the blog to the list. Here's what's been going on the past month:

* I got a job. It's a work-from-home editing job that I thought would be easy. I really like it, but it's been INTENSE. There's a major training period and I've been working every day. For a month. Long hours. Some near all-nighters. It's getting better though. No more crying breakdowns, so that's a start.

* We've been house-hunting. Which I thought involved looking at houses and choosing one. But no, it's a major emotional and mental journey. It's made us question all our priorities, make plans (a major weakness of ours), evaluate finances, etc. It's been tough. We have one offer out and of course we're all sorts of confused about it now.

* My cat Daphne died. Poor Daphne. It's just a horrible, awful story that I don't feel like writing at the moment.

* Annabel has been passing out. It's happened three times. She screams and then turns blue and then grey. Her eyes flutter, she 'sleeps' and then is lethargic. One time she had this horrible 20-second in-breath that sounded like death and made me bawl. I'm told this all is nothing to worry about.

* Nanny crises. It's hard to find someone to trust. It's hard to find child care when we may be moving. It's hard to explain she might pass out if she gets upset but just lay her down and wait for her to return to consciousness. It's hard to leave her all day when she won't take a bottle but needs milk. It's extra hard when you have a babysitter come to the house and your daughter just cries and tries to crawl to where you are working the entire time.

So that's what I've been up to. I need to upload a bunch of videos I've taken. I also need to take pictures!! I haven't taken any this whole month. (I've skipped showers for a few days and missed meals, so seriously I would have if I could have.) Annabel has, of course, changed so much. Last week she started standing, and today she reached some mastery. All day she's lifted her hands up, squealed and sometimes even clapped her hands. She's trying to stand from sitting, though she only usually gets to kneeling. She also a couple times threw herself forward from standing, which makes me think that little munchkin isn't going to waste time trying to walk.

She talks/yells/screams/squeals a lot. She is very loud and communicative. When we say 'clap' without moving she claps. I don't know why but the moment she first did that was so surreal. She understands things! She is like a real little person :)

She loves Gabe's keyboard. We lay it on the floor and she happily plays and plays. She dances too. (Cutest thing ever? Perhaps.)  Tooth 5 & 6 are through and she has the cutest toothy grin. She bites her little poofies in half before she eats them. And of course little miss independent will no longer eat any food we feed her. She must feed herself.

Tomorrow I'm home with her (while working) but I will make time for a little 8 1/2 month photo shoot!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

pop for tots

Sheesh, nobody ever told me that giving Annabel soda mixed with her milk would be wholesome and make her popular. Thanks, world, for holding out on me.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

a natural...

She is getting to be more comfortable moving around while standing. Maybe a little too comfortable. But her dismounts are starting to become more reliably non-concussion producing so it's all good. Here's the little munchkin at some random play today:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

a house in the country

When my friend Sabrina visited a couple months ago we visited a winery and then toured the scenic countryside. We happened upon this house, with the best views in all the land, and large trees begging for tire swings. We were smitten. We looked it up and could not spend 300,000 on a house, even if it was gorgeous and had 10 acres.

But it went 'on sale' for 200k a couple days ago so we ventured out there today to stalk it again. Here are some views from out of the passenger window during the drive there.

And here is the house:
Gabe contemplating where a tire swing would go for Annabel:

The view:

 We have visions of fruit trees, solar panels and goats... But it probably needs crap tons of work.  At the very least it was a nice afternoon out!

Friday, June 24, 2011

seven months old

Why does seven months old seem so much older than six months old? So many changes this month: sitting well, pulling up to standing, standing on her own (a couple times today, a couple seconds each), cruising, two little teeth popping through, lots of babbling, more laughing, more personality...


She is waking up really early now and I've been feeling zombie-ish. But I've discovered if I kiss her belly in the morning she erupts in giggles, and that gets rid of my initial reaction of wanting to cry from lack of sleep. She is teething like a champ. Sometimes she has bouts of fussiness, and she puts her fingers in her mouth more, but overall things are going smoothly. Check out her two pearly whites.

This is where she is usually perched these days-

She stands all. the. time. She just hangs out there, building up those little leg muscles. She will spend a whole day climbing up on the couch then getting back down. Sometimes she has trouble getting back down and she'll stare at the floor and scream in frustration. But more and more she'll bend her knees, place one hand down and land gracefully on her tush.

Her cute face that reminds me of an old man:

This is her saying I can't believe you got a bow in this peach fuzz of my head. Furthermore, I can't believe I have sweet potatoes in my ear and you've left it there this whole time.

I haven't gotten tons of pics and videos of her newfound mobility skills because usually I'm spotting her. But now that we have a rug and she's getting more stable I'll post some more.

Here's one of her today cruising on the couch, with a little poop detour.

You are so fun and smart and beautiful little munchkin!

i know someone who is rolling over in their grave right now...

care of 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

a year ago...

I have been thinking about a year ago. I was lying in a dark room with a picture of our unborn baby projected on the wall. Since my sister had a boy already, there was a definite hope for a girl from my family. Gabe only has nephews so his family was probably on Team Pink as well. And though I was obviously wanting a healthy baby of either sex, part of me had visions of raising a strong daughter, fastening pigtails, and buying the ridiculously cute dresses I had seen in stores.

The tech told us undoubtedly GIRL and the crowd went wild :)  Gabe said 'We just gotta keep her off the pole.' I went home and was totally exhausted. I felt like I had run a marathon. So much wondering and dreaming, and now we knew. 

Looking back, it makes me smile at how we had no idea what was in store. People tell you that your life will change. And I always thought 'well, obviously'. But I couldn't have imagined her, for all that time I spent imagining. She is such a little person, so separate from anyone else's ideas of who she would be. I also couldn't have known how I would change as a mother. I didn't know about all the anxiety, joy, the challenges, the love and sleeplessness. Just no idea. And if I could go back and tell myself something, I wouldn't say a word. It was all the most wonderful surprise.

My Beach Bum

I've got some catching up to do. First, we found out that Annabel loves loves loves the beach. She especially loves eating it.

She did not like it so much when she was not allowed to eat it.

We went down to Myrtle Beach and Annabel got to hang out with Grandpop & Aunt Neicey.

Near the ocean it was really windy and wavy and loud. I wasn't sure how she would do. I think she liked it.

After a long time playing in the ocean she chilled in the shade of the umbrella:

She is standing up all the time now, which is made especially cute by the addition of ruffles:

Left to her own devices she would have happily eaten a tummy full of sand and then crawled right into the waves like a baby sea turtle. I think this bodes well a family scuba trip in about 13 years!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


When Annabel wakes up early I wish I could pull her from the crib, take her into bed and we would cuddle like this:

Instead I take her into bed to cuddle and she sees her daddy so she yells in excitement and crawls all over him. I pull her back into my arms and she kicks off again, striking my boobs and elbowing my throat. Serious ow. I try to pull her back one more time and she babbles and screams (see previous post) and scrapes her nails across my face. Just as I'm about to get as cranky as I can be in my sleepy 5:32 a.m. state she gives me a giant gummy smile. So we get up and start our day. Not quite as cute and cuddly as this video, but I'll take it :) 

girl at play

I wanted to get a couple videos of Annabel at everyday play, at six and a half months. It doesn't seem that long ago that we could plop her under an activity mat and go do dishes for five minutes. I remember when she started to roll off the mat. And then it's a blur until now - this loud, busy, mobile creature you can't take your eye off of for a second.

And another:

(Does it sound like she's saying 'brrrr' after she makes the octopus say brown?) 

Baby girl is so much fun to play with nowadays. (Not so much when she is raring to go before 6 a.m.) She is starting to show some signs of separation anxiety (crying when we leave the room) but very little stranger anxiety. Usually she shouts across a room to get someone's attention. Over and over. Until I explain to random stranger that she is trying to say hi. Once they acknowledge her she is content. Awkward. (Did anyone ever notice how awkward looking the word awkward is?)  Today Gabe had a Blocklets making party and Annabel was happily awake for five hours playing with everyone and loving all the attention. (And yes, I really did try to get her to sleep for an hour and half. Didn't work.)

*Reason #2.7 million that kids are funny:

me: looking at boy with one shoe off and right under annabel's hands 
boy:  i gave her my shoe, she liked it a lot
me: oh, that is nice of you but she'll eat it
boy: that's ok, i don't mind. 

You can probably tell from all the tangents and parentheticals that I am tired. I'm going to sleep early tonight. And hopefully I don't wake up in the middle of the night and puke for hours like I did a couple nights ago. (Still an awful mystery.)

a favorite thing

If Annabel falls down (which is happening a lot) or gets really cranky we play her favorite game - Let's Throw You in the Air Until You Are a Happy Baby Again. She loves it.

p.s. Mama doesn't approve of this variation of the game that includes spinning her around in mid-air.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

sitting like a big girl

Annabel has decided she no longer needs her hands to prop herself up while sitting:

She also decided last week that she should start STANDING. She has pulled herself to standing three times now, to my horror. She is such a little munchkin doing such big girl things. I feel so proud of her, but part of me just wants her to slow down so I can enjoy her fleeting babyness.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I just found out about this app (months and months late, of course) and have been playing around with it today.

Even the port-a-potty outside our house looks cool. If you have the app you can follow me at 'alysacantor'.  Or you can find pics here. If anyone knows how to put a stream on a blog, please let me know!

Friday, June 3, 2011

our little crawler

Annabel has been crawling for a while, but she hit a milestone four days ago when she 'cross-crawled' - a real  opposite foot and hand crawl as opposed to her version of The Worm dance.

The first time she did it I was randomly taking a video:

Here she is two days later:

And another two days later (today):

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Last March my husband did a project at the animal shelter and came home declaring we needed to adopt a puppy. His name was Sammy (at the time). I had just learned I was pregnant, and was in my zombie pukey stage. We were going to have a baby. We lived in an 800 sf apartment. We weren't allowed to have another pet at our apartment complex. There were many reasons not to do it, but I gave in. Because my husband is such a dog person, because I have a weakness for shelter animals, because I love a challenge, and because I met him. It was all over after that.

Training him was hard. I was exhausted and sick and there was this crazy rambunctious puppy eating everything and testing limits. I played referee all day between him and the cats. 

We persevered, and got a place with a backyard and things started getting better. But then he hit his teenage years. Right when I had a big belly he started jumping on us, getting mouthy and not listening to anything we said. He got aggressive with some dogs over food and toys. I got very worried about bringing a baby into this situation.

We had a dog trainer come to the house a couple times and help us train him in a positive manner. Pretty soon after that we felt we had our good dog back. He also started going to doggie daycare a couple times a week. He got in a few scraps that first week, but apparently the other dogs taught him well. He's been nothing but a good dog for months. 

As soon as Annabel became more aware of her surroundings she zeroed in on the animals. Conan got a look, then a smile, then a laugh, and now she does an elaborate dance and screech when she sees him, or her signature, insistent grunt which I translate to mean "look at that, look at that, i want that, i want that." She loves this dog. And he loves her. Mostly because she usually has sweet potatoes or oatmeal on her hands or dried behind her ears. He learned quickly that underneath the highchair is the place to be. 

Here are the two of them, hanging out in the morning:

Annabel also loves our cat Ookie, who surprisingly keeps coming around despite the ear and tail pulls and loud screeching. Annabel never moves faster than when she sees Ookie across the room. 

If Ookie needs a break from the baby she has learned to take the high ground. Ookie is in for a surprise in a few months, I think.

And just when I think there is too much sweetness, can you believe that Conan and Ookie get along?  Our other cat Daphne has refused to even acknowledge him and is now much happier living outside. But Ookie tolerated him in the beginning and now has warmed up to him. They lay together on the floor, and she rubs her head up against him. They were giving each other baths the other day. Adorable. 

I am so thankful I gave in and let our husband bring home a puppy at the worst time possible. He has been such a joy, and I just love watching Annabel grow up with him.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Annabel has never been into peek-a-boo, despite our best efforts.  When we pop out from behind hands or couches she gives us this disinterested stare like Duh, I knew you were right behind there.  But this time I succeeded! She apparently thinks it's hilarious when I'm wearing sunglasses and lift them up quick:

Sunday, May 29, 2011


This picture makes me wonder whose poster Annabel will want on her wall in thirteen years. (And seriously, this overall look was considered attractive??)

Image: New Kids on the Block in 1990 (© Janette Beckman/Retna Ltd.) 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

six month stats

I officially have a peanutty itty bitty munchkin. Annabel is in the 23rd percentile for length and head circumference and 3rd percentile for weight. She has always been really low for weight, but the other two dropped from a consistent 40-50%. They told me they are not too concerned.. she is naturally petite, a wicked calorie burner and just started solids. We're doing a weight check in four weeks just to be sure she is maintaining. 

Annabel got an all clear for sunscreen, insect repellent, use of sippy cup and solids three times a day. She also got three shots that put her in a funk today. The dr. confirmed that yes that's a tiny tooth pushing through the gums. 

p.s. What do you think of the new blog design? I'm trying to get my learn on. I'm also going to stop fighting the worry that this is becoming only a mommy blog and just embrace it. This blog will be a family blog, and I'm going to start a new one to have an outlet for some other art & musings. More on that later. For now a couple six month pics.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

six months old

You are six months old! People told me time flies and I didn't believe them until this past month (when, non-coincidentally you began sleeping a reasonable amount). You have changed so much recently. You have a fuzzy head of blond hair, you 'talk' and laugh a lot, you crawl all over the place and you sit up. You've become such a little big girl.

I've had a hard time sleeping this past week. I find myself thinking about the night you were born, and trying to remember every detail. I asked your daddy yesterday about it: how long did she cry? what did i first say to her? did i look over at you? did i look happy, relieved, in shock? why didn't i cry? I kept thinking it was strange that I didn't cry, that I didn't immediately grasp the enormity of that moment of your birth. But today I realized two things. One, I was in labor for 46 hours with no sleep or food so no wonder it was a bit of a blur by the end. And two, I didn't know in that first instant how much you would change my life, or how deeply I could love you. It took a little getting to know you, and a little getting to know myself as a mama. And now? I just checked in on you sleeping in your crib and your little legs crossed at the ankle brought tears to my eyes. Thinking about how much I want you to be healthy and happy in your life brings tears to my eyes. Your daddy and I feel so incredibly blessed and we don't take it for granted at all. At least once a day, while doing mundane chores or eating lunch or reading mail, it will hit us, and we will look at each other, smile, and say "I just love her so much."

We love seeing your personality emerge. You are happy most of the time. You never ever stop moving. You're a busy girl. Busy busy. Always learning. You master new things quickly and you're off to the next thing. If you are focused on something you do not like to be redirected (uh oh), and lately you're getting more vocal about it. More than anything you are DETERMINED. You are the least distractable baby I've ever seen. Please use this power for good and don't be unnecessarily stubborn like your mama, who frustrates your daddy to no end by doing things like refusing to learn the cruise control in the new car.

You cry every time we put you down to sleep, and give us the brightest smile when you wake up and see us. You loooooove animals and other babies. You love eating solid food, everything except avocados so far. I can't believe the mess that's created. You like being outside and experiencing new places, and that's one of the rare times you'll be still - taking it all in. You like baths and try to eat the bubbles.

You are long and skinny and fit well in 6 month clothes. Today I put away all the 3 month clothes and it actually physically hurt a little. But there are so many things I'm looking forward to: listening to you sing, watching you splash in rain boots and hold a little umbrella, seeing you read a book, putting you in pigtails, fingerpainting, making you play-doh, cooking with you, eating ice cream cones in the summertime, hearing you say mama, and watching you hug your daddy.

Thank you for an amazing past six months. I made this movie and can't believe how tiny you were. I just want to go back and fatten you up!

It's strange to see you sleepy and still in those videos. Because this is the girl I know now.

I love you beyond measure, sweet pea!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

big girl stuff

I gave up on the Bumbo. It seemed such a good invention, but Miss Annabel is too much of a squirmbug and she was about 1/2 a second from arching and crawling out. So into the highchair we went. Doesn't she look like such a big girl now?

Now that she has gotten the knack of crawling, I have discovered something disturbing. She is starting to think vertically. Yesterday while I was showering she started pawing at the tub. And today she did this:

Baby girl, feel free to slow it down. Just when I get to know you, you are a different girl. I'm starting to understand now why people say it all goes by in the blink of an eye. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Annabel has been growing so fast, I can't keep up. She is talking more, sitting, crawling all around and making more of her personality known. I take videos each day and by the next day she's changed. I'm overwhelmed at this point with how to document it all on the blog. And I've never yet mentioned two old friends I got a chance to reconnect with, our trip to NJ (in which Annabel meets her cousin!), or pictures of Annabel and Conan together.

But for now here are just two things:

1) Gabe's Kickstarter project is funded!!  If you helped out or spread the word we send thanks! If you haven't yet and are interested you have until Saturday at 9 pm.

2) Yesterday I got Annabel from a nap and she was sitting and playing with a toy. SITTING. I did a triple take. She hadn't even looked interested in sitting at all the day before. She is now refining it. She spent a good hour and a half today practicing, without interruption. She would sometimes get frustrated and cry, but she got mad if I picked her up. She was busy learning. She also was so intent on getting my ipod today.. she crawled to it over and over and cried if I tried to distract her. It didn't help if I hid it, she tried to find it. I had to leave the room, dance with her, and have her play with Conan before she got over it. Mark my words: girl. is. determined.

Monday, May 16, 2011

her first modeling gig

An article came out today regarding Blocklets - check it out here!  It's a well written article but I think the photos are the best part :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

time suck

In case you are wondering how I filled up all that time yesterday evening I will fill you in. I kept seeing this dude's face on Kickstarter and thought he looked a bit like Gabe when the picture was small. See?


I finally got tired of seeing it so many times and clicked on it. Yeah, so some guy does Journey covers, woo hoo, I thought, underwhelmed. But listen to this guy! I love his voice. I suddenly want to listen to everything he has done. So I spent the night on youtube, and also listened to other songs from that AV project. By the way, if you have $1500 you need to dispose of, this guy will come anywhere in the continental US and do a private acoustic concert - good deal! And for $150 he will cover any song you want and send you an mp3. I think that is amazing. 

I also found another surefire time suck. If anyone wants to buy me this, I promise I will spend hours and hours going from cover to cover. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

identity crisis

After I wrote the title of this I spent half an hour looking up the etymology of crisis. And felt nostalgic for all that time I used to spend looking up origins of words. (The etymology of 'nostalgia' is one of my favorites by the way.) Because for the past months I haven't had time. For myself. I don't know if I ever said 'myself', because my point of reference for all things became that little girl that arrived in our life. I could tell that I didn't feel the same kind of 'us' between my husband and me for those first months. I certainly didn't think of personal goals. There was not really an I - just a 'we' - this little girl that occupied all my energy and time.

But as you know I just spent a half hour looking up trivia about a word. (I just made an impulsive frown, feeling bad that I called a word's origin trivia. Sorry 'crisis'.) Annabel went to sleep at 7:30 (thankfully, since she's falling a bit off the sleep wagon..ironically since my blog post about her super sleeping). Gabe is at the Tech Shop. I am here. With TIME. 

And ever since she's been sleeping, I've found myself with TIME. It's like it's brand new. And it's also forcing me into an identity crisis. I've been thinking about it more since I read my sister's blog post. Her baby is 6 weeks old, and I wasn't nearly at that point of questioning an identity besides mommy. I was in a sleep-deprived haze of nursing and diaper changes and worrying about her gaining some weight. I remember when she was nearly three months old thinking 'ok, this is starting to become a bit more manageable'. I had some time to maybe cook and clean. But my baby didn't sleep much until 5 months old. And that is when some spare minutes started creeping in. Minutes where dinner was made, the house was relatively clean, bills paid, baby sleeping. Like now. And I am starting to feel like Alysa again. Like maybe I want to have a goal that is something totally personal. But I have no idea what that is. I almost feel like I'm rebuilding from scratch.  Because all these goals and choices will have repercussions. If I work, and where, and how long I'll be away from the baby. Do I go back to being a therapist? If not, how do I justify my umm...tenth career change? But doing therapy at the moment sounds totally not fun. I'm craving something literal and goal-oriented and mentally challenging. Something with words and numbers and not the abstract, emotional, circular feel of counseling or art therapy. And I definitely do not want to do something involving angry teenagers. 

So we'll see. I'm trying to be patient and thoughtful and optimistic vs. pouty and self-critical and impatient. My mood isn't helped by the previous gray week full of cicadas. They are everywhere. I get grossed out just walking to the car. And they are loud. Check it out:

Well, I'm going to go lounge around in some spare time. And I will not make scones. Because last time that happened I ate five of them in one night. Five, people. And I knew how much butter went into them. Sheesh. 

Kickstarter update

So proud of my husband!  His project is 77% funded, with 7 days left. They are getting lots of press, like this. And tweets. I can't believe something as silly sounding as Twitter and tweets is in such common usage.

Check out their site if you haven't yet (there are two new rewards, by the way). Or their website. And stay tuned for some pretty cool press coming in the next few days.

These Blocky creatures are popping up around the house:

And I'm pretty sure Annabel is popping up in their next video.

Friday, May 13, 2011

oh, love!

like treading water

Usually I have Annabel practice crawling in our bedroom, because it's a bigger open space and it's carpeted. She was on the living room floor in this video and had an unexpected blanket and slippery floor obstacle:

messy messy

Annabel is the messiest eater. It's hard now to get her to attend to eating (or nursing, or diaper changes, or anything). She always has her own agenda. See the flowers in the background? This morning (not this video) I was feeding her and she kept arching back to get them. I pushed them back further and further and she arched into a backbend and grabbed the edge of leaves to pull it close. Almost came out of the Bumbo.

There can be nothing within a 5 foot radius or she tries to get it. And she's got that object permanence thing down. She remembers you taking things away and she will look and look and look for it. Sometimes I feed her on the living room table and our bookend statues and candle are currently covered in sweet potatoes. I should probably go clean them now.

Play time with Daddy

Daddy playing pat-a-cake with Annabel, sort of. I can't blame him. I don't know the words either and up until now thought it was 'patty cake'. 

I think it cut out, but in the very beginning Gabe is saying "I need a clock that runs backwards." Typical Gabe.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Here is my beautiful girl. Here are some surprising facts about this picture:

1) It was taken after a 2 hour nap.

2) This is one of her 3-4 usual naps per day.

3) She is smiling when she wakes up, her new normal.

4) She is well rested, after having slept 11 or 12 hours the night before, waking up once. Which she now does EVERY NIGHT.

I've been hesitant to mention it on the blog, but Annabel - my I-only-sleep-8-hours, if that-Annabel - is now a textbook sleeper. She goes to bed between 7 and 8 pm and wakes between 6:30 and 8 a.m. She takes 3 to 4 naps a day, about 2 hours apart. (The 2 hour nap is a bit of a fluke - 40 mins. is average.) This is all going into the third week now.

This literally happened overnight. I had called my pediatrician at a complete loss, feeling like an incompetent mother who was depriving her baby of needed sleep. Not to mention that I'd had 5 months of very little sleep, with long long long stretches of trying to get a screamy protesting baby to go to bed finally, already. If only I had this book at the time.

My doctor was shocked at how little my baby was sleeping and wondered how she was functioning so well. I got a 'prescription' for sleep training. I thought I'd been doing something like this already, but I wasn't. She recommended putting Annabel down after a bedtime routine, saying a certain good-night phrase, then leave. Let her cry 5 mins., come back, repeat phrase, and do all this without touching her. The other mandate was to have my husband do the bedtime routine, so that Annabel wouldn't expect to be fed. I think it's this part that was key. The first night Annabel cried about 40 mins. I was used to this, but Gabe was not. He almost was in tears. But she quieted, then slept, at 8:45 p.m. vs. 1 a.m. And since then she's been great! She cries when I put on the white noise now and say it's nap time or Gabe says good-night. I think this is a good sign, though, because she knows what's up. She doesn't like it, and lets us know that, but she accepts it. And she is well rested and happy.

I would be well rested too, except I've been stoked to have my evenings back. I used to spend from 6 pm til 1ish trying to get her to sleep and now I have time! I love this freedom again and am having my own little protest against bedtime... I go to sleep 12-1, wake to feed her around 3-4 and am up with her around 7. Now I just need someone to put me to bed on time!
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Monday, May 9, 2011


A video I took last week of Annabel at the height of another blowing bubbles phase:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

sweet dreams

I came across two beds I think would be adorable for Annabel whenever she graduates to a big girl bed. (Oh my god, I think I just got vertigo thinking about that.)


Child's Play Bed by Yusuke Suzuki

Which do you like better?

Point A to Point B

Annabel figured out how to be on her hands and knees yesterday and now it's her go-to position. From there she does lunges, downward facing dogs, rolls and rocks. She doesn't stop moving. Ever. She gets around now in a half crawl, half roll. I took a little video today to show her going from Point A to B. Yesterday it was different and I'm sure it will be tomorrow:

I love to watch her experiment. And I love the screams and bubbles that follow her moments of frustration:

I think it's high time to baby proof, which is Gabe's job as our home's official Safety Officer :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

little houdini

This weekend we put Annabel down for a nap and then put the monitor on in the living room. After a long while I realized the static that had come through was continually uniform and I wondered if the transmitting monitor was off. Yup. As I got close to the nursery I heard her insistently talking, not quite crying, so I assumed she'd been up a little while. When I looked into the crib this is what I saw:

We put her down dressed in a onesie, and somehow it was completely off and still snapped. It's a 3-6 month size so not too big on her. How does this happen? What I wouldn't give for a video of this!

Saturday, April 30, 2011


My husband has been hard at work on a project for the past few months, and it launched on Kickstarter last week. So far they've reached 20% of their goal with three weeks left- hooray!  If you've ever had a thing for Legos or Bucky Balls or sculpture, or you know what Arduino means then you'd probably like this product. Check it out here.

They've been mentioned on a few blogs, including Design Mom and Ponoko. And the host from Discovery Channel's Time Warp is going to make a sculpture out of Blocklets - cool!  It will be auctioned off, along with other sculptures made by local artists, at the Maker Faire in June to benefit the Red Cross.

There are lots of ways to support this project. You can share the link on facebook, do whatever it is people do with Twitter, tell your friends the old-fashioned way by talking to them, or pledge on Kickstarter and receive some Blocklets kits. You could also pledge $1, which will go towards the sculptures being auctioned to charity. (This is very much appreciated because a high number of backers, even at the dollar level, increases the project's popularity on the site and leads to more views.) It's all linked up to an Amazon account, so if you have one you just need to click twice to pledge. (This is dangerously easy, as I've been busy supporting other fantastic projects now.)

Oh, and coffee/tea drinkers - there's this ridiculously successful Kickstarter project that is currently 3000% funded. It has one day left if you are interested. Gabe created a video where he makes the Coffee Joulies out of Blocklets. He did it it one take, and you should be very proud of me that I was there and did not laugh during filming :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

5 months old

Here are some pictures taken the day Annabel turned 5 months old, which also happened to be Easter. I love how she is super fancy in dress and headband with a big scrape on her nose. Gabe and I both agree this is fitting for her, but it's hard to articulate why. Perhaps as she grows older we'll look back and see how this image reflects her personality. 

I unfortunately forgot the camera card during Annabel's first encounter with sea water. She cried for a few seconds, then watched Conan playing in the ocean, decided it was fun too and laughed. Then her butt got wet and it was no fun anymore. 

Love you sweet girl... can't believe it's been almost half a year since we first saw that beautiful face!

Friday, April 22, 2011

my two eyed purple potato eater

Annabel had her first taste of non-cereal foods. I chose purple sweet potato because it was a good texture, healthy and I'd never had it before either. (It's good!) I did not foresee the mess, nor how it would make my daughter look like she had facial hair and a black eye.

At the end of the little meal Daddy came home and took this video. She was ravenous the whole time but Daddy stole her attention. She loves loves loves when he comes home. Her mama does too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

return of the bubbles

Annabel took a hiatus from blowing bubbles, but as of yesterday they're back. Here she is in her go crib trying to tell me something:

And this afternoon I brought the ipod in to record a typical wake-up scene and she was talking and blowing bubbles. Cracks me up.

And I know I'm taking a lot of videos but I figure it's so easy to forget the everyday moments that I'll appreciate it somewhere down the road.

spatial skills

Annabel seems so aware of where things are around her - it's so amazing the changes that happen in just a few months. She also seems very adept at manipulating objects too. She can grasp whatever she wants, spin it around, change it to another hand...and is very focused while doing so.  My husband noticed this too and even set up a baby version of pin the tail on the donkey (spin her around and see if she remembers where the toy is without looking).  I think we've collected enough data at this point to celebrate the fact that she has inherited her spatial skills from her daddy. Her super smart engineering daddy, who can make or fix anything and quickly becomes expert in engineering or architecture software without any training.  Versus her mama, who bumps into things at least once a day, has not yet successfully refilled the salt shaker without a mess, had to call her husband to find out how the 3-part ice cream maker goes together, and who gets vertigo when the carpet pattern changes beneath her feet. Gabe has joked that her spatial abilities seem on par with mine. Very funny, and maybe true.

Today I put her in the swing while I made a quick lunch and then I heard this awful noise. She was playing with the mobile, which she can now evidently reach:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

play pen

My husband and I thought we came up with a way to not lose our minds solution to those long stretches of hours when Annabel just will not sleep. Thinking perhaps because she misses us, we set up our Go Crib in the living room. There she would have space to play and perhaps settle herself to sleep. It also temporarily solves the problem of her rolling off blankets and into tables while we're going pee.

Here's Miss Annabel's response. We're hoping she warms up to it.


My baby is napping! I put her down at 1 and it is now 2:36. I don't remember the last time she napped so long during the day. I checked on her and found this:

I took the picture, she stirred, and I crouched down behind the crib in 1/4 second flat. Then of course I felt ridiculous. But no way am I going to be the reason for her waking up. No way. I actually got to have a real lunch today. 

This also poses the question of bumpers.. I took them out of the crib but then she'd put all her limbs in the slats and then try to roll around. I inserted the bumper and now she smooshes her face on them, so that I'm in there checking on her every five minutes. 

But she's sleeping. Did I mention she is actually taking a legitimate nap in the daytime? 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

belly laughs

are the best thing. ever.


I'm not exactly sure when it goes from 'crawling' to crawling. But in any case, completely gone are the days of putting her down on a blanket or play gym and expecting her to stay there for more than ten seconds. Girl can get from Point A to Point B. She may grunt and be awkward doing it, but she gets there.

a first


I had no intention of starting solids for another month or so, but I bought rice cereal and it lasted two days in the cabinet before I got too curious and just wanted to see her reaction. This is a pretty boring unedited video, just to warn you.

She LOVED it!

I think we’ll take it slow and wait a bit longer for fruits and veggies. I can’t wait to post those pics of a messy baby covered in peas Smile

Groundhog Day

This post was written a few days ago. I wasn't going to post it, but figure I'll record it as part of the mommy process. I'm feeling much better now :) 

I have noticed that for the past few months all my posts are about Annabel. This creature has taken over my life, and it is the best thing ever. My days revolve around feeding her, and trying to get her to sleep, and making her laugh and appreciating how amazing she is. I feel really lucky that I have the chance right now to be home with her. 

There are times, however, when it starts feeling like Groundhog Day. A wonderful day, yes, but the same day, over and over. There are times when I feel I need to shake things up. When I'm tired of hurrying to do laundry, dishes and dinner in the 40 minutes of free time I have a day. Times when I feel motivated to do something creative, productive, and for myself. Energized.

This feeling arises rarely when these certain conditions are met:

1) I have gotten 2-3 good nights of sleep in a row. (Good sleep now equals 7-8 hours interrupted by 1 or 2 feedings.) 
2) I have had a caffeinated latte. 
3) I have had some form of artistic inspiration.

With my caffeine buzz and creative juices flowing and some sleep-earned stamina to back it all up I wait til the baby naps and there it is - FREE TIME. I could do anything. Anything! And that's where the problem begins, because Anything is closely related to Everything and what a burden that is. 

It was in this frame of mind that I vented to my husband last night. It was brief but involved the following things:

1) Kicking a pile of clean laundry across the bedroom floor and cursing that I can't even keep up with the laundry, so why should I attempt something bigger. 
2) Professing envy of those people on the Discovery Channel who are experts in the most miniscule detail of the most obscure bug. They know everything about one thing instead of a tiny bit about a lot. 
3) A rant about how I can't attempt any creative enterprise due to my utter stupidity about anything technical or computer related.
----insert Gabe's suggestion about taking a class in graphic design----
4) A rant about how I can't take any classes because I have a baby attached to my boob every other minute and who is not taking a bottle. 
5) A final rant about what the hell does creative enterprise even mean. Even if I did have time I probably wouldn't make good use of it because I have few good ideas, and even fewer skills. 

And that concluded my self-bashing fit of wallowing. I sighed, defeated, and waited for the reassurance that my wonderfully supportive husband always gives. He looked at me and said: 

I think you need to go get good and drunk. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

another comparison

Annabel seems to have sprouted this past week. I'm not surprised since she's been eating more frequently. Every day she is a bit different. And then when you look at weeks, or months - wow.

Week 2 (in newborn clothes):

Week 21 (in a 6-month dress):

Thursday, April 14, 2011

and she's off.....

Annabel is surprising me every day with how mobile she is becoming. Last night I watched her crawl all around her crib. She sat up 10 seconds on her own. She can roll wherever she needs to go. And then there are things like this... I thought I was just capturing a little video of her being cute and playing...

She is a determined little creature. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

oh, the places you’ll go



Annabel went to her fifth state this past weekend: Massachusetts. I spent 13 years there, and it seemed strange to think my daughter wasn’t born there. We had a full few days there. Annabel met grandparents again:


And met Uncle Aaron and Aunt Chandra for the first time:


And her cousins Bodhi and Jasper:


And then we went to the Cape where she met her great-grandmother. We played Maher trivia and found out that Annabel is her 40th descendent – wow! 


Annabel also saw the ocean for the first time. It was a bit chilly near the water:


We also made a stop to visit my hospice co-workers. I miss them!! I miss that work, too. Annabel met our friends Jason & Ricky and Elia & Sarah while she hung out at a Scottish restaurant. She saw her first kilt and watched us eat our first Scotch eggs. Annabel was so excited to see everyone she pooped right up her back and both mama and daddy had to change her – definitely a two person job.

Annabel really enjoyed this toy at Grandmom Anne’s house, and the rug too (she kept eating it).

We said goodbye to Grandpa Phil – his plane left when ours did but he flew all the way to Bucharest. We wish him well and hope he only runs in to friendly vampires.

Annabel was a bit fussier on the plane ride home, and she peed all over while Gabe was changing her in that tiny bathroom.

Bye bye Beantown… We all had a great time and can’t wait to see everyone again!


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