Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Got This!

We interrupt this segue into our first vacation with late breaking news: eating solid food!
Well, sort of....

During our week in Arizona, Zoey turned 6-months old. And let me tell you, from the second she went to bed as a 5-month old then woke up a 6-month old, it was like night and day (ok, some of that may have had to do with the ExerSaucer I broke down and bought for her because I could tell she was missing her's at home). From the moment she woke up, she was cheerful, constantly smiling, and emitting the most beautiful belly laughs you've ever heard; and it hasn't let up since. It's almost as if she decided she's going to be a grown-up now.

Exhibit A:

We had tried giving her baby oatmeal when she was between 4 and 5 months old, but she had zero interest in the spoon, clamping her mouth shut when we'd tried to feed her. Jacob and I thought she just needed some guidance, so there we sat with our mouths agape hoping she'd follow suit. She did, not quite understanding why, and most of the oatmeal wound up on her chin. But looking back on the many bottles of formula with oatmeal she didn't finish, and looking at her wholeheartedly enjoying her baby food, perhaps she just didn't like oatmeal. It's ok, that's how most of us feel about oatmeal - eating it simply because we're supposed to. So, about a month after starting oatmeal, we stopped (it made her pretty gassy, anyway).

I was a little hesitant to start solid food last Sunday simply because we got back from vacation very late the night before so her schedule was completely out of whack. But she woke up around 9:30am and ate around 10am so it didn't take long to at least feel like we were back on track.

I was also hesitant to start because Jacob wasn't at home. I figured we'd need 2 hands to feed her, and 2 hands to take pictures; somehow I managed both but I still wish he'd been there. He was picking up Louis and Durbin from their vacation with their other grandparents. From what I understand, they were AMAZING, so much so that barely-tolerant-of-dogs-and-their-hair Grandma spoiled them by putting blanket on the sofas and allowing them to get cozy. We were, of course, happy to have them back - home isn't quite the same without muddy dog-prints everywhere and incessant crying - but I was glad they weren't there for our first foray into solid food, either; entirely too much to handle because I know their noses would be going crazy.

We don't have a highchair yet - something we'll need rather shortly - so I plopped her in her Bumbo on the table (de-clench, there was 110% parental supervision) and wrapped one of her new bibs around her neck, which ended up covering most of her body. Does that mean she stayed relatively clean? Nope. But somehow food got everywhere BUT her bib. Even before we started, she was a little confused, but ultimately pleased.

And off we went with Ella's Kitchen organic baby food!

In case anyone was wondering, it looks and smells exactly how you'd imagine it coming out the other end. Between formula and baby food, I'm surprised we're not accused of child abuse. But she loved it and that's what matters.

Our pediatrician instructed us to start introducing one new thing a week, and to start with vegetables so it's not the uphill battle to get her into eating greens as it possibly could be. So we started with broccoli, pears, and peas.

It took a couple of tries, and even prying her mouth open with the spoon once, but she was into it pretty quickly, advancing to feeding herself after only a few tries.
So much so that she began to bend down towards the bowl.
But I'd load a spoonfull, she'd grab the handle and put it in her mouth, like she knew exactly what went where and when.
I fed her this way until she didn't want anymore.......
And/or we had made too much of a mess to where it didn't resemble mealtime anymore.
It's a bit hard to tell from this picture but, like I mentioned before, the only thing that remained clean was the bib. She had broccoli, pears, and peas on her legs, the Bumbo, both hands, cheek, chin, lips, eyebrow, eyelashes, and the table. I hosed her off, she sucked down a 7oz bottle, then played while I called everyone I could think of to regale them with stories of my genius baby.
We tried solid foods - the same broccoli, pears, and peas - the next evening but she wasn't as into it. For starters, it wasn't her mealtime so she wasn't particularly hungry; just more interested in playing that doing anything constructive (not that playing isn't constructive). And Daddy was sitting next to her eating his dinner, which she was way more interested in, so that complicated things as well.

He eventually moved into the other room, but Zoey wasn't fooled. I've found that the most difficult part of parenting so far is remembering she's isn't a dog; I can't change her focus and expect what she was consumed with only moment before to be gone. She's my little Sponge Baby. So we called it a day when everything - including the bib - was goopy.

What super-interesting concoction should we have next week??

(P.S. I've told the solid-food story quite a few times already and get an interestingly similar response each time: "that will be a fun poop!" Like I've been enjoying them all so far. On the plus, though, Aunt Rachael is subjected to most poopy diapers and since she went down this road 3 years ago, nothing fazes her. Even still, as her mother, I welcome all poopy diapers. As my mother always told me, if you love 'em, they don't stink.)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

First Flight!

Dangit - now that I think about it, I should have asked a flight attendant or someone for one of those My First Flight badges and/or certificates. I remember being on a plane back to Florida from Billings and a baby named Chyna - no, I'm not kidding - was the recipient of such an item. Oh, well, we took plenty of pictures to commemorate.

Understandably, Jacob and I were very nervous to travel such a distance with our baby. We fret enough over just taking her to the grocery store. But we each were assigned jobs - mine to never lose my death-grip on the stroller; his to never let go of the boarding passes and ID's. He wasn't so good at his job. :-)

But, like everything else so far, Zoey led us through the experience. She was fussy at the appropriate times, and usually just vocalizing what all us adult travelers were feeling: "let's get this f@#$ckin' show on the road!" When you would normally think a baby would bust out the screaming - at take-off and landing - she didn't; those were the times she felt the most relaxed.
 Her very first take-off in her very first plane. One of those 2-seater things. If she'd start to feel uncomfortable - for any reason - she'd shove her thumb in her mouth and suck away. The only times it didn't really work were in the beginning, as the plane was boarding. With it hot and stuffy in the plane before take-of, she was the fist the vocalize how uncomfortable things were getting. But for how much I've heard people complain about crabby, crying babies on airplanes, everyone was extremely helpful, understanding, and nice. We didn't encounter anyone who wasn't willing to switch us seats, let us cut in line, or smile at our wailing child, and even comment on what a good baby she was. But I'd like to think that if anyone were annoyed, it would disappear as soon as they saw her; and it usually did. We received a few comments of the "oh, that was you making all of that fuss!" variety.
The first time Jacob flew since he was 9 years old was to Florida to pick me up. He gets pretty nervous with each flight we take - as do we all - but I know he ends up liking the actual experience. He's lucked out with the window seat (and a semi-claustrophobic wife who doesn't like the window seat) every time, and even if I wanted to look out the window at any point in the flight, I couldn't; his head takes up the entire frame. Now he got to show Zoey the cool parts of flying.
She was the epitome of perfect baby on the first flight. As soon as she was the slightest bit uncomfortable, in would go her thumb. It was only about an hour flight (as were they all), but she fell asleep shortly after take-off.
And stayed asleep for a good portion of the flight.

She woke up slightly before we started to descend into Denver. But she just chewed on her foot while calmly sitting in Daddy's lap.
I like how I take up most of the picture. I apologized to Jacob but he said he really liked the picture, so I kept it.

We got a lot of comments on our new teeth! :-D
Jacob making a bottle on the go. In reality, we had almost 3 hours to spend in Denver. If I ever have a layover in Denver longer than an hour, my BFF's, Jessica and Liz, will often come to DIA to spend it with me. Yeah, I'm as surprised as anyone that I lucked out with such awesome friends. But, ultimately, it wouldn't have worked out so well. For starters, Liz is currently swamped with med school. Jessica is always a busy bee with her art and various creative enterprises. And we would have had to go back through security, something I was SO glad we only had to do in the smallest of international airports. But we'll be going to Denver a lot this summer so we'll have a lot of opportunities to see all of our friends.
Some very precious cargo. She took an hour-plus nap in DIA, really helping her get through the rest of the day. She still screamed the entire flight from Phoenix to Tucson, however. We - as well as the other passengers - were very glad it was only a 20-minute flight. No kidding.
The ridiculously expensive Oscar the Grouch puppet we just had to buy for her at DIA because she grinned from ear-to-ear when we presented it to her because we're totally sucker new parents like that.
Having a little playtime before boarding the Denver to Phoenix flight.
She was such a spectacular baby, she even let Daddy have a Crown and Coke in the Smokers Lounge and Mommy have a real kicker of a bloody mary! Hey, it's our vacation too! :-)

*Ultimately, this first flight led to our first vacation as a family. Those pictures will be forthcoming in a shake of Zoey's tushy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

And So Begins the Musical Toys.....

I went to the store after work tonight for the usual weekly necessities: formula, diapers, Mountain Dew, etc. I lucked out and found some adorable rompers and sundresses for this weekends' trip to Arizona to visit Grandma and Grandpa, and some other clothing odds and ends since she requires new clothes every few months (that's what I tell myself. But, really, who can resist the fantastic little outfits?). I guess I was made to have a baby - I get to shop for a new wardrobe every 3 months!

But with her sitting up pretty much all the time, and being aware of everything, I also knew it was time for some more interactive toys. She loves her Move 'n Crawl Ball, and the thing that spins around while teaching her about the ocean, but she's been very keen lately on smacking her hands against things; i.e. toys, arms, legs, mom, dad, dogs, car seat, the list goes on. So I got her this crib-to-floor piano, animal thing; there was no catchy name.

I don't dare put it in her crib, though; she is way to interested, way to smart, and way too aware. For a good month in the beginning I'd find her wide awake at 2am playing with her musical lamb. She has never found those things soothing. So all of her toys are at the foot of her crib, besides her Winnie the Pooh mobile that never moves.

She was very interested in this piano and played with it for quite awhile. Mommy did good. :-)

 I swear, it's creepy sometimes how much she can remind me of my dad.....
 Gettin' a little tired but still enjoying our toy.

 She's a freaking genius. My mom is always amazed at how I can pick up a cell phone or sit down at a computer and know exactly what I'm doing. I feel exactly the same way with Zoey when she sits down to a new toy and knows exactly what to do with all of the gadgets. I even turned it upside down so she could reach the animals better and she tried to turn it right side up.
 Daddy showing her how to use her toy. Admittedly, she already had been playing with it solo for quite a bit. Jacob probably just wanted to see what was so fun about it. Turns out, a lot.
 Ok, Daddy, now let me show you how to do it.

 Miss Rosy Cheeks wasn't feeling so great tonight. Her mouth was obviously bothering her and she was overtired. But she still had an amazing time playing with her toy.

Shortly after, it was time to get ready for bed. As you saw, she was very red-cheeked. And shortly after she fell asleep I found her quite stuffy. A third tooth is on the way!! Just in time to start solid foods next week!! Bring on the bibs! For Mom, Dad, and Baby......

Monday, March 14, 2011

An Ode

From an outside perspective - shit, even from my own sometimes! - it appears Jacob and I moved through the stages of our relationship pretty quickly.

When we first "met." Before, the last time we had seen each other was in 4th grade. This was taken the weekend in Denver when we saw each other for the first time in 16 years. It was the closest thing to love at first sight I could ever experience (it was more like complete-nervous-break-down-is-over-and-is-replaced-by-extreme-comfort-at first sight).

Most of the time our ESPN is pretty impenetrable, often saying what the other is thinking, doing things at the same time, or just knowing something. But there are times when I learn something knew and actually find it shocking that I didn't know it know it before; and vice versa. It's difficult for a person like me, someone who needs to have all of their ducks in a row, as my mom likes to say, to not get frustrated with the things I don't know. I know he feels the same, along with the slight insecurity that the new things we learn about each other we may not necessarily like or enjoy. The bottom line: Jacob and I have a very normal relationship and we need to remember that. And throughout things that I may not like, I can't take for granted how lucky I am that he is my husband and Zoey's father.

No, nothing in particular happened to result in my epiphany, for lack of a better word. But Jacob did spoil me this weekend, in that female porn type of way (reference to that always-circulated e-mail depicting female porn as burly men doing house chores).

We are always busy, and regardless of how "progressive" I claim to be, I'm no feminist (especially after idiots like Sarah Palin started using the phrase ad nauseam to describe the throngs of fucktards who are nothing more than her groupies). I do the house work, and I enjoy it. I like the feeling of accomplishment when the laundry is done, the house is clean, or food is cooked because that is something I did for my family, to make sure we have clean clothes and meals for the week.

But before you go throwing up in your mouth, let me be clear that this is in addition to things I do at work, anything I do to help others or the community, before or after a heated political discussion with George Washington University's most coiffed Political Management graduate, Daryl, or even just finishing my book club book before the meeting.

Me and my book club ladies at my first meeting November 2010. Now we all have babies so we alternate houses where we hold our meetings. One girl is in charge of supplying all the wine.

Jacob is probably the most helpful person I have ever come across. Even if he's been busy all day he'll sometimes feel he isn't helping enough. And even though I can be a real bitch, I try to keep any martyrdom to a minimum. But Saturday morning I must have looked like I was ready to chew someones face off.

I'm like the quintessential housewife on the weekends - jump out of bed (I've probably been up for an hour already anyway), get and change baby, feed baby, commence with housework in between playtime, nap time, and random moments when I feel like sitting and staring into space. This was how my last Saturday started.

I usually wake up in the morning with oodles of ambition that ends up deteriorating by 2pm. On Saturday my ambition drove me to the backyard that, gross as it is I'll be the first to admit, hadn't been cleaned up since I got too pregnant to bend over and stay that way without getting dizzy or peeing all over myself. I spent a good 2 hours out there, filling 3 garbage bags full of dog poop and peed-on dog toys, most of which were still pretty frozen to the ground. I could have waited until the sun had been up longer but the more solidified the poop, the better. When I went inside, Jacob was on his 2nd load of laundry, had Zoey changed and in her 3rd outfit for the morning, and was sweeping the kitchen floor.

Back aching, I sat on the couch, folded laundry, and tried to catch up on the months of DOOL (Days of Our Lives) that I've missed. Meanwhile, Jacob swept and mopped the floor, changed Zoey, and put her down for her first nap. And it continued throughout most of the weekend.

As Jacob was transferring the clothes from the washer to the dryer with Zoey twisting on his hip, and I stood there in the kitchen picking my ass, I said, "Gosh, thank you for doing all of this." He said - rather, grunted - "It's all good, baby. You shouldn't have to do it all the time; you need a break once in awhile."

P.S. He has since cut his hair. Zoey was on his shoulders
and spit up all over his hair so into the bathroom with clippers we went! Zoey joined us in the bathroom so as not to be scared by Daddy and his new hair; or lack thereof.

So thanks to the world's greatest husband that I can call my very own, I had a pretty relaxing weekend. Because it stresses me out when I don't have anything to do (probably from years of making sure the list Dad posted on the 'fridge each day during summer was finished), I wasn't a complete sloth throughout the weekend.

After gathering poop, I helped Jacob with the laundry, did the dishes, played with Miss Zo, watched episodes of DOOL up until March 2nd, discovered this years' motley crew of American Idol finalists, made a very yummy dinner with a recipe I found while looking for something else (lemon dijon chicken), washed those dishes, went to the gym with my friend and fellow book-clubber, Mer, went baby-stuff shopping, and spent every minute in between knowing that no matter what has happened, or what may happen, my life could have gone so incredibly differently; and I thank whoever is on His reclineable cloud in the sky that it didn't. (Although I could still end up as the leader of the free-world)

**After you've finished heaving into the nearest receptacle, you may be thinking, "hey! Where are the stories and fantastic pictures of Zoey?!" Well, she would exist if my husband weren't so wonderful**

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our Teeth!!

FINALLY I got a picture of her teeth! Well, ok, Jacob did...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Just Hangin' Around. PUN! :-)

So, yes, this blog really should be advertised as the All About Zoey blog, but she is the light of our lives at the moment, and takes up the majority of our time, energy, focus, and - lest we forget - money.

She can sit up by herself the majority of the time, but she still can't pull herself into a sitting position, obviously, without us grabbing her hands and helping her. And although she can sit and play, and even look up at Jacob and I without toppling over, when she's getting tired she hunches over. Clearly, I took these pictures when it was getting close to nap-time.
Her Vtech Move and Crawl Ball. She is entertained by it, but eventually she seems just as annoyed by it as her parents. Sometimes Jacob and I will find ourselves grooving to Roll, Roll, Roll the Ball as we're cooking in the kitchen.
Zoey reaching her boredom threshold. I should mention that in most every picture of Zoey on the floor, a black leg will appear somewhere in the frame.
And down we go! And we spit up a little on the way down. Luckily Louis won't let her out of his sight so he was there to handle things when they got sticky. PUN!

And off she goes in search of something else to play with, preferably something she's not allowed to play with. I now understand why "no" is a word a lot of children know and say without really understanding the meaning - it's all they hear from 6-months on.

I really believe Zoey views sitting as some right of passage she must go through in order to make it to standing. She is very discontent with her horizontal world.

Well, she is also a lot bigger from just a few seconds ago so Jacob and I decided to once again bust out the Johnny Jump-Up. We did it last night, but with all of us dragging from the busy day, she didn't spend as much time playing as she might have. I'm excited for the weekend so she can move and groove in there as long as she wants! And although it was short-lived, there wasn't a moment when she wasn't enjoying herself!

I apologize for the pictures being blurry - she was bouncing like crazy!!

Well, I guess in that case, I'm not sorry. :-)

P.S. We're very excited to visit Grandma and Grandpa next weekend where they have double doors!

I'm sure you're probably thinking, blurry pictures just don't cut it!

So here's a video! (It's a little dark so Jacob used the flashlight function on his phone. It turned out better than the others but still frustrating when you're trying to capture the cutest little girl in the world).

We anticipate a busy weekend as Jacob has to get fitted for a tux for his best friend's wedding in June, he'll most likely want to work on his Civic, and I'll start preparing for our trip to see Grandma and Grandpa; I need a good 4-hours to plan/get shit together for merely a day trip so I'm giving myself a week to prepare for our big journey. I still don't think it's enough time.

Have a great weekend!!