Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008

This year was epic. In many ways, the hardest year I've experienced. There were a lot of ups and downs, a ton of hard work, an inordinate amount of stress... but, of course, it was also the best year in many, many ways. Well, one way in particular:

We started the year with a lot of stress, excitement and anticipation -- about our home projects, our jobs, and about becoming new parents. We ended the year by cooking a big pot of chili and a vat of mac and cheese in that new kitchen, and watching our happy, healthy and active baby chase after a bottle of champagne (unopened). We've come full circle. Here's to 2009!


I keep walking around with the weight cards we used to fill out for Kai when she was a baby -- and realized that I am going to lose it one of these days. so, I want to record those weights before I lose them forever.

Date Pounds Ounces
4/17/2008 3 1
5/28/2008 5 2
7/30/2008 10 5
8/6/2008 10 10.1
8/19/2008 11 9.8
8/21/2008 11 10.5
8/27/2008 12 4.6
9/2/2008 12 6.8
9/9/2008 13 2
9/16/2008 13 4.6
9/23/2008 13 8.2
9/27/2008 13 13
10/2/2008 14 2
10/8/2008 14 4.6
10/15/2008 14 11.4
11/18/2008 16 4
12/4/2008 16 11.8

So -- there they are! Preserved for all time. Check that off my ever growing to do list.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top Ten

Top Ten Reasons Bring Your Daughter to Work Day Was Not Intended for 8-Month Olds:

10. Listening to bababababababababa and legal research are mutually exclusive activities.

9. The "laptop" you bought the baby keeps repeating "let's go home"... making you wonder whether your child is a genius and has figured out how to communicate with you through the new plastic piece of crap that you bought in hopes of keeping your own laptop in one piece.

8. Your participation in a conference call amounts to "yeah" "yeah" "yeah" while trying to distract the baby from the power cords, until one of the other callers says, "that is as long as Angie agrees with my definition of time period." Busted.

7. Spit up and work clothes do not mix.

6. Spit up and your colleagues' work clothes mix even less well.

5. Spit up and legal briefs and other original documents mix the least well.

4. You spend your day researching whether poinsettia leaves are poisonous rather than doing your actual work (after the baby got hold of the poinsettia plant and began munching on it when you turned your back for two minutes)... bonus: not poisonous!

3. There is no good place to bathe the baby at work after she manages to grab hold of the poopy diaper that you just removed from her body and smear it all over her legs and hands.

2. No judge will accept "my baby ate my research" as a valid reason for missing a deadline, no matter how true it is.

1. You're going to have to make up the hours anyway because no one really thinks you're doing any work when you have your 8-month old at the office with you.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Places to Go, Things to See

I've written about how Kailey is a very calm, happy and generally easy baby. She rarely cries, preferring instead to grumble a bit when she is upset, elevating it to a sort of half-cry if her grumbles go ignored. Every once in awhile she breaks into this sobbing cry, as if to say "why. aren't. you. listening. to. me." But, she's pretty good at communicating her needs for someone who is non-verbal (although, the babbliest, loudest non-verbal person I have ever met), and also tends to reserve her grumbles for things that can be addressed: hunger, diaper changes, being held, or being put down. But, the fact that Kailey is good natured does not mean she is not a bit exhausting. Kai is a mover. Or a squirmer. A wiggle worm. She seems to be constantly in a hurry to get somewhere... and, if possible, she would like that somewhere to be wherever we would least like her to go.

I remember when I was pregnant at one of my doctor's appointments the doc was trying to listen to Kai's heart and she was squirming around and kicking so much that we couldn't get a read on her. The doctor said, "I've always wondered if the really squirmy ones stay that way as children, but I always forget to follow up with parents and find out." Well, doc, in our case the answer is a resounding YES.

As soon as we put Kailey down on her back, she attempts to flip over -- this has made changing her a bit challenging. It's more like a wrestling match. A wrestling match with a kitten. You put Kai on the changing table and she twwwiisssttsss her body to try to roll over, and we try to pin her down and get the diaper off, but as soon as we put a hand on her chest to try to prevent the roll she grabs onto our arm with both of her arms and does this bear hug/kitten attack maneuver complete with biting and growling. Changing her has become a two person job.

Kai's constant movement has also resulted in her slowing in her weight gain. She has been hovering just over 17 pounds for awhile now. She was 17.5 for awhile, but her recent cold resulted in some weight loss.

She is funny to watch -- she flips over and then locks onto some object and gets this sparkle in her eyes as she prepares to go after it. She likes power cords, laptops, Oscar's bowls and toys, the animals... pretty much whatever she isn't allowed to have. Once she has a lock on her desired object, she pushes her knees up under her and lunges forward with a great big grunt/growl. It's quite a production. Luckily, it's a fairly slow production and we have time to let her take a few lunges before pulling her back to safely. However, she is not easily deterred. The other day, we were in the kitchen and Eric was cooking while I watched Kai. She was squirming to be put down, so I put her on the floor and she made a bee line (or a snail's line... just doesn't have the same ring, does it?) for Oscar's bowl. When she got within a couple of inches, I pushed her back a foot. Undeterred, she went for the bowl again and when she got close, I pushed her back again. We did this over and over and over again. I think she went for the bowl 20 times, grumbling a bit more each time and then finally breaking into a cry, at which point I ended the game.

Then there was yesterday, when she decided she wanted the power cord that was on the couch and spent a good 10 minutes trying to crawl up the couch... which she couldn't figure out how to do, but oh did she try. I'm telling you, this child is determined.

It's fun watching her go after things with such gusto - but it's also exhausting to have to constantly go after her or try to find something safer to distract her with. Tonight she was crawling after the alarm clock for the whole time I was trying to put her to bed. I would flip her over on her back and lay down next to her, she'd eat a little and then flip over and head for the clock. I'd pull her back. She'd squirm away. She would roll onto her side and then turn in a circle. I'd put her back next to me. She'd flip again and try to get away as quickly as possible. We did this for 15 minutes and then, finally, I flipped her back and she just fell asleep, exhausted.

I better get to sleep. There's more exploring to be had tomorrow.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Kailey had a lot of firsts last week when we went to Portland for a week and did the rounds. She took her first plane ride. On the way to Portland, she did pretty well. She woke up as we took off and gazed out the window, fussed a bit, and then slept the rest of the time. Easy peasy! Observe:

But, the way home was another matter all together. That's because during the course of our week, Kailey got her first cold. Poor, baby!! I don't have any pictures of the flight home, which she spent howling and writhing about. She refused to nurse - which was a first for her as well. Instead, she just cried the whole time as we profusely apologized to all of the people sitting around us. Of course it had to be a completely packed flight!!

She also took her first trip to Timberline Lodge -- which has been a December tradition for us the last five years or so (we go with Amy, Dave and the twins). We don't usually ski (much to Eric's dismay) -- we just hang about the lodge, enjoy the fires (especially when we have a fireplace room like this year), and have fun in the outdoor hot tub and pool -- there's nothing quite like swimming in the snow! A few pics:

While we were at Timberline Lodge, Kai spiked a fever of 102 (her first fever) and has had a croup-like cough the last few days. We took her to the doctor on Sunday, and they gave her an inhaler (there's this little contraption that we put over her nose and mouth that allows her to use the inhaler). It helped her sleep a bit the first night, but she is still feeling pretty crappy, and last night was pretty rough. I was back at the doctor today - they gave her an inhaler with a steroid in it this time. I haven't tried it yet. I'm hoping that she just gets better without having to use it tonight.

Despite her cold, I think Kailey enjoyed her travels. She experienced her first snow - lots and lots of snow. I lived in Oregon from the time I was 7 until I was 18, and in those 11 years we never got the amount of snow that we got during this visit (and there has been a lot more since we left). It snowed three feet while we were at Timberline and the genius people at the rental car company rented us a chains for our car that didn't fit! So, that was a fun little moment of panic. Sick baby, three feet of snow, no chains! Ack! But, luckily, Timberline sells chains and we got back down the mountain (and the rental car company reimbursed us for the chains we had to buy).

Kailey also met her first poodle and sheltie - both of whom she found to be hysterical. She loves animals so much. Any fuzzy little creature is sure to make Kailey smile and, often times, break into a full on belly laugh. It's adorable. Here she is with my dad and Shadow:

It was Kai's first time at her grandma and grandpa's as well as her grammy's house, and her first time meeting some of her cousins. You would think that after such a week, she'd be a bit of a mess -- especially with her cold. But, Kailey is such a laid back, happy baby. Even in the last few days when she has been sick, she hardly ever cries. Mostly, she just cuddles a lot more than usual and sleeps a bit more than usual. Her eyes look so sad, though... I'll be glad when this stupid cold is behind us. But, all in all, it was a jammed packed and fun week of firsts.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Deja Vu

This time last year I had just finished my first trimester of pregnancy and Eric and I were busy planning our kitchen remodel. We were steeped in layouts (which we did using IKEA design software). We probably had 150 different designs. It didn't really feel like we were ever going to get started and I couldn't really envision how it was that we were going to get from our computer layouts to an actual brand new kitchen. Just like I couldn't really envision having an actual living, breathing child in just a few short months (shorter than anyone expected, as things turned out). Fast forward 12 months and we have both of those things and have started all over again. Well, sans the pregnancy (noooo... we are not having another child!) I mean we're starting in on the remodeling again! Only this time it's the bedroom and the bathroom. Both the bedroom and the bathroom were part of the kitchen remodel, as you may recall, but we staged it in such a way as to give ourselves time between rooms. Indefinite amounts of time, really. I suppose we could just leave some of the carpet torn up in the bedroom, the closet half-finished (there's no shelving) and the walls mis-matched and unpainted in part. Or, we could leave the bathroom at it's current size and never knock down the wall in the bathroom that presently leads to an empty crawlspace. See, when we did the kitchen, we actually made it SMALLER and, at present, there is an 18" crawlspace (fully walled over at the moment) between the bathroom and the kitchen. All we have to do it knock down that wall in the bathroom and - presto - our bathroom is a foot and a half larger (larger, but with exposed pipes and no floor and no sheetrock... we have to put all that in, of course. And take out the shower. And install a tub. And move the sink and the toilet. OK... it's not exactly a presto thing. I wish.) But, you really can't tell that we have unused space at the moment - so, I suppose, we could live with the bathroom as it is (and forego the precious 18 inches!! Our house doesn't really have 18 inches to spare!!) But, as you may have gathered, we aren't exactly the sorts to sit back and wait.

No, now that we have gotten more on top of the whole working parent thing, it seems we're diving into the next set of projects. I've known it was time for phase 2 for awhile -- ever since the reappearance of the house plans and home renovation books coupled with the sound of the tape measure after 8 PM (when Kai and I crawl into bed, and Eric begins his job as house renovator extraordinaire).

After Kailey was born, we agreed to just get the kitchen done, as quickly as possible (without compromising quality, of course) and then take some time to settle into parenthood and the new juggle. And we did that. We scrambled during the NICU weeks to get ready for Kai's homecoming, and then we took a month at home together, and we've each had time at home with Kai by ourselves. For the last eight months, we have managed to keep atop of our jobs while taking turns as the primary caregiver of Kai. We've been practicing coordinating our schedules around childcare duties. At the moment, since I have been the one working FT and Eric has been at home, it's supposed to be that I take Wednesdays off to be home with Kai and, on that day, Eric goes to work to stay on top of as much of his work as is possible in only one day a week. But, in reality, the actual day that I'm home and that Eric is in the office seems to change every week. The thing is, Eric and I have been together a loonnnggg time and we've never really had to coordinate our schedules much - we've both been used to working whenever we want and whenever is necessary. Sure, we've had some issues around carpooling (because for many of those years, we've only had one car and so had to coordinate a bit to get go and from work), but there was always public transportation (if absolutely necessary... I am not exactly a fan of public transportation!) and, also, there was just the fact that Eric and I both have jobs that never really end -- so, we were both almost always willing to just stay late while the other person finished whatever needed finishing. But now, we have definite start and stop times as well as days at home. So, it's been an adjustment to look at our schedules the week before and realize, "oh, hey! I'm in LA on Wednesday this week - so I need you home with Kai." The first few times this happened, Eric was likely to reply, "ummm... I scheduled three meetings that day because I thought it was my day at work." But, we're getting better at coordinating and we're also good at being flexible and switching things around when necessary.

So come January - we start yet another chapter. Kai will be with Penny and Doug three days a week. We'll be coordinating our schedules on the other two days and also in the mornings and evenings to drop Kai off and pick her up. And, we'll be digging back into our remodeling. We ordered new bedroom furniture this weekend and it arrives January 17th -- which means we have a closet to finish, a room to paint, carpet to install and old furniture to sell in the next month. Onwards home renovators!

Monday, December 1, 2008

On the Move

Kailey has been spinning in circles for a few weeks now, but has not been able to get any forward momentum and, as a result, we have not done much about child-proofing anything, figuring we had plenty of time. Sure, she could spin -- but, what does spinning really accomplish? And then, today, she realized she could lurch. Some call it the commando crawl. Kai's is a version of lurching, grasping, grunting, rolling, twirling, spinning, more lurching -- all of which is to say, she has gained forward momentum and I fear it is only going to get faster and more efficient from here. Observe:

We're off to Target to buy all variety of things for child-proofing. More later.