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!
Posted by Picasa

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!


Related Posts with Thumbnails