Monday, October 15, 2012

Factory Shutdown

I finally shut the factory down; I don't even feel badly about all of the workers I had to layoff. 

I had originally planned on breastfeeding for six months but Chelsea wasn't keen on taking a bottle from me (she would take it from other people, mind you) so I had to go a bit longer. I guess I can't blame her, why transfer the goods into a bottle when the source is readily available? 

It turns out, I breastfed 2,865 times, give or a take a few...but who's counting? (I wasn't really counting but the feeding app I used on my phone was.)

Done! Now Chelsea gets a bottle and so goes her mom.

Chelsea is just starting to crawl by using her upper body exclusively.
Andy calls it the night of the living dead crawl.

Friday, August 31, 2012


Andy watched Chelsea while I went to the office. I'm not sans Chelsea very often...if ever, actually! I hit the sidewalk and just couldn't help myself, I just ran - no, I sprinted - from my house to the bus stop. No stroller, no diaper bag, no nothing - just me. Could that be the first time I've run since last year? Maybe. It felt amazing! I'm springy! I'm fast! 

I balanced on the curb at the bus stop like I was on a balance beam...2 weeks after the Olympics, you know I've been dying to do that. I walked past a man smoking a cigarette and didn't feel the need to dodge him, knowing my lungs aren't fresh and new - they've seen the inside of plenty smoky pubs. 

Think it's time for an occasional babysitter? Yeah.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I Have a Six Month Old

Six months – it's a good age. When you smile at a 6 month old, they smile back. They really seem to get it and that can be very rewarding.

Six months seems to be one of those milestone ages when you suddenly get privileges and access to things you didn’t previously have. Chelsea is now eating solid foods, she's threatening to crawl, rolling like a log and getting teeth. There seems to be a new development every week now!

And me? Well, I have a lot less hair, zero muscle tone and a low, low tolerance for alcohol – but Little C is more than worth it. Like Chelsea, I am making progress too and am slowly starting to return to normalcy as I begin weaning. I figure [re]building muscle tone can be a mommy and me activity!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Cheers to Digital Baby Booties

I started reproducing this really awesome wine painting Andy and I spotted in Paso Robles two years ago. Call it nesting, call it tying up loose ends, but I wanted – no, I needed – to finish it before Chelsea arrived. I joked that this process was my version of knitting baby booties. This is your mom, Chels, she likes wine and she works on the computer a lot.

After a few rounds of proofing, the final product just arrived from the printer and we are really happy with it. While it doesn't keep her tootsies warm, Chelsea loves the colours and she shouldn't be outgrowing it anytime soon.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Baby is 537 Weeks Old

Before becoming a mom I really didn’t understand why parents would report the age of their child in weeks. Anything over 4 weeks put my lack of fast-thinking math skills to the test. What is this unit of measure, anyway? Why did I suddenly need a perfect SAT score to have a simple conversation? So to avoid counting on my fingers or pulling out a calculator, I just stopped asking.

Ah, ha! I get it now. New developments unfold weekly and when you have benchmarks of fun stuff like – at about 16 weeks, your baby may begin giggling – tracking the weeks makes way more sense.

While baby's development may be happening at warp speed, the early days of parenthood move like molasses.  Since life has suddenly become a series of short naps, counting months might as well be like counting decades. You're really living in the moment because sleep deprivation keeps you from remembering much else.

As a courtesy to non-parents, I've decided to report Chelsea’s age in months. Surprisingly, I’m not having much success with this time-stamping technique. Even the most unsuspecting people seem to have a handle on tracking infant age in weeks. For example, here’s a conversation I had with a teenage boy behind the counter at Chipotle:
Burrito boy: “How old is your baby?”
Me: “3½ months.”
Burrito boy: “Oh, so like, 14 weeks?”
Me: “Uh...yeah.”

I can assure you, I never knew this stuff when I was swirling yogurt behind the counter at TCBY.

Here's Chelsea at 19 weeks...or 4½ months, whichever you prefer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Many Backpacks

I love the idea of baby carriers. For centuries, moms all of the world have been carrying their babies in all sorts of contraptions in order to multitask, and ultimately, bond with their babes. As a new mom trying to find her way, it just feels like the right thing to do.

On the first warm day, I broke out my Baby Bjorn for its maiden voyage. As I tried to manipulate the Bjorn's many buckles and straps, I found myself thinking I’m not doing this right, I’ll have to go to REI to have them fit me properly. Clearly, my heart still lives at REI but since they lack a "little layette" department, I’m going to have to shift my loyalties for a few years. I'll have to go to Buy Buy Baby or Isis for help (I’ll try to find a salesperson who looks like they know how to wield a carabiner for good measure).

With my Bjorn fit to the best of my abilities, Chelsea and I made our way to the market. On our walk, I started thinking about the many packs I’ve lugged on my back through the years and noticed a pattern – some pretty significant events in my life are often accompanied by my trusty friend, the backpack. 

Headed out to backpack through Europe . . . this was an obvious selection to illustrate my point. In my internal frame pack on my back: everything from a winter parka for snowboarding in the Alps to a swimsuit to sunbathe on the Greek islands. Note, this pack was adjusted to fit my body at REI. In my daypack on my chest: Eurail Pass, journal, camera, Bono's address.

On my back: a small, Swiss man named Georges – he was pivotal to a soft landing after we jumped out of this plane. (I know, I know, Dad - why would I jump out of a perfectly good plane? ;) )

In Andy's daypack: the ring he used to propose to me moments before this photo was taken. Note, that green daypack was the first gift I ever gave to Andy.

In my daypack on Kilimanjaro: 4 Nalgenes of water, camera, rain gear, trekking poles (+ Lizzigator).

In my Bjorn: the most precious cargo.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Don't Fetch!

Here's a shout-out to our very good – and somewhat newly neglected – dog. He's been a great companion since Chelsea came home from the hospital; always at my feet and ready for a scratch behind the ear but never demanding.

If you know Miles, you know he's crazy about retrieving balls – after all, it's just plain instinct for the fuzzy guy. The ball in the photo below is called the O-Ball, it is a great infant toy that Chelsea seems to like . . . and so does Miles. Every time we bring it out for Chelsea I wonder how long the O-Ball can maintain its baby-toy status until having to surrender it to dog-toy status.

This morning, I watched closely as Miles cuddled up to Chelsea while she was playing with her O-Ball in her Bumbo seat. Miles' ears perked up as Chelsea flung the ball to the ground. I calmly told him, "That's not yours," he sighed and rested his head back on the ground. Looks like we'll be able to keep the O-Ball in the baby toy box for awhile longer. Good boy, Miles!

(above) Miles never met a ball he didn't like
(bottom) Chelsea tries on a few different looks - left: presidential speech, right: mafioso lean-back