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.


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