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!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


She's really trying:

It's so funny to see those little froggy legs:

first sick baby visit

I took Annabel to the doctor today since she's had a rash on her tummy & back since Friday. They said it looks like exzema, probably triggered by the change of season and the pollen we have now. I was glad to hear it is most likely not from the pets (that would give her hives). Treatment is hydrocortisone for a week and slathering her in vaseline after bath time. 

In other news, Annabel is frighteningly mobile. We went to a playgroup this morning and she was intently watching the 18-month old buzz around the room. She followed him everywhere, which meant she crawled around in a 360 and even scooted a few feet forward. And before we left I watched her roll across the entire bedroom. Yikes. She also likes to 'talk' to new people, and apparently gets louder until you acknowledge her. How quickly she became this moving, communicative little creature!

Little miss weighed in at 12 lbs, 1 oz. today. She was smaller than the 7 week old and 3 month old at the playgroup!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


i like words. a lot. just thinking of some beloved books produces this rush of warmth in my chest that can only be labeled love. my favorite movie scene ever is the library one in wings of desire. i can kick your ass at scrabble. good puns can make my day (or even bad ones, as in this scene from the kitchen today- me: cumin! this needs cumin. gabe: (as if answering a door) come in!  i remember as a child asking people to give me big sentences so i could diagram them for fun.  i remember only ever getting one word wrong on any spelling test (damn you, dunkin' donuts). i remember the best therapy in adolescence was being curled up with pen in hand.  i've helped dying people get their words onto paper. magic. words are the best magic.

so you can just imagine how much tonight warmed this mama's heart. annabel was fussing and refusing to sleep despite it being after 10:00 and her having been up for hours and hours. i finally got her to nurse and chill out in the rocker. i picked up 'goodnight, moon' which i usually read to her before bed, but had forgotten. in the great green room... my daughter immediately unlatches when hearing the words and turns her head up to me. she smiles as I read on. within a couple pages she is babbling softly along with me as I read, until the book is over. goodnight noises everywhere. Then she sleeps.

she's not a fan of the paparazzi

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011


I've read you shouldn't even try to get babies under three months old on a sleep schedule - they sleep when they need to sleep. (Which for Annabel never seems to have been a whole lot.) But for the past three weeks I've REALLY REALLY been trying to get Annabel sleeping. Like 6 hours a day at least of active trying. Finally, we had 3 days of success. In which she slept 7-8 hours at night, and took 2-3 naps during the day. One night she even slept 12 hours, waking up twice to briefly nurse. I couldn't believe how much less fussy both of us were. The secret seemed to be tummy sleeping (which I wasn't too happy about, but she's an awesome roller) and putting her down for naps much earlier than before. I thought I had found the Big Secret that held the key to us both getting some sleep finally.

That is why the past couple days have been even more frustrating - because I know it doesn't have to be that way.  I'm told by my pediatrician and other mothers that the pattern is sleep, nurse, diaper, play, repeat.  But this is our day:

wake, nurse, diaper, oops, more poopy, another diaper, play, start quieting down, diaper, put her in crib, screaming, fussing, mama soothes/nurses/rocks, put her in crib, screaming fussing, mama soothes, put her in crib, try to get breakfast in the 2 minutes of quiet before she fusses again, mama soothes, leaves bagel on table which some pet then eats, put baby down, clean up kitchen in 6 installments of 2 minutes each before she fusses. at this point she's hungry again, so nursing, diaper, put her on play mat so i can brush my teeth or something. put her in crib, screaming, try everything i know, put her down again, doesn't work - get a shower with her in bouncer hoping sound of water helps. nurse, and put her down. screaming, and i'm nearly in tears. i give up, and just hold her and nurse until she dozes and put her in swing. this has a 40% success rate. if she sleeps it's for 25 minutes and i've done 2 loads of laundry and cleaned the whole house like a magician. i still haven't looked in a mirror.  she wakes and plays, diaper, nurse. start over whole cycle again. daddy comes home at 6:30 and i hand her over, whimpering for help, and make dinner.

She does sleep seemingly involuntarily in the car, and she seems to do better when we go out during the day.. so hopefully as the weather gets better this will overall get better. But I'm tired. Really tired. This video was taken at 4 pm today, and she still hasn't napped, except briefly in the car. She slept an interrupted 6ish hours last night . Yesterday she had 2 naps totaling an hour. The night before that we were up til 5 a.m. The pediatrician said she needs at least 12 hours a day, normal is about 15. Suggestions taken! I'm reading two books on sleep and taking the advice of added routines, taking my pediatrician's advice of having her sleep in a crib, and friends' advice about having quiet time before naps and putting her down earlier. Anything else? (Regarding 'cry it out', I don't pick her up the second she fusses if she's been napping. She almost never settles again though. If she's super overtired sometimes she'll really scream right before she settles. I can tell when this is happening and I'll stay with her and let her go a couple minutes. Most of the time though she just escalates, plus I'm overall not a big fan of this method - I want my baby to feel secure.)

Here's my little no-sleeper.  She's absolutely adorable though, huh?


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