February 18, 2002

Last night we had a bath with the California Baby "Overtired and Cranky" bubble bath Uncle Stuart and Aunt Misha bought for Cyd. We have a bath together in the big tub now, with James taking care of drying and dressing for bed afterward. Cyd usually has a good time in the bath, and enjoys splashing with her feet, but last night she figured out that she could splash with her arms and her feet at the same time! Before long, she was moving both arms and both legs like a little frog, making a big splash every time. She seemed very proud of herself.

This morning, as I was getting ready for work and Cyd was still asleep in bed, I heard her giggling like she was being tickled. I went into the bedroom, and she was fast asleep, giggling. Then she stopped, still fast asleep. It was so cute! What could she have been dreaming about?

February 19, 2002

Last evening the three of us went out to dinner at a place called "Old Salt City Jail," which is a kind of theme restaurant based on ol' time jail decor. Cyd had her first carrot stick. We picked out some carrot sticks that were too big for her to choke on, and she just gnawed away happily. I don't imagine she got much actual carrot, but I think she enjoyed the sweet carrot juice.

We bought her a squishy book of animal shapes, which she really likes. She can take the animal shapes out of the book. She also has a couple of new teething toys, but nothing beats the yellow and black squishy fish for teething fun. Every night we brush her two teeth and her little gums. She loves to get her teeth brushed. Maybe we can get a picture of her getting her teeth brushed!

February 20, 2002

Cyd has been to visit with Aunt Yvonne and the cousins three days this week! She grins when I ask her if she saw her cousin Brixon. Brixon is about 14 months old, and seems to really like Cyd, too. Brixon can do many "baby signs," and I think cousin Liza has been trying to teach Cyd some signs, too. She had a bit of a crabby evening yesterday, probably because she didn't nap much. In general, she is not interested in sleeping during the day. Thank goodness she usually sleeps 12 hours at night!

February 21, 2002

Last night we put Cyd in her "MegaSaucer" while we ate dinner. Through almost the entire meal, she stood in her saucer watching us closely and working her jaw up and down in imitation of us eating. It was hilarious! I guess she's interested in solid food, alright. We have been giving her tastes of some fruits and vegetables, but are still counting on breast milk for her calories. We have only a couple of weeks left here in Salt Lake, and very little time while here to shop for healthy food; when we get home, we can start giving her more variety of "big people food". I'll feel better giving her organic produce from our local market.

This morning was another early morning for Cyd. She was wide awake at 7:30, cooing to herself and playing with her hands. I leaned over her for a few minutes to talk to her before I went to work, and she put both hands on my cheeks and patted them, smiling and squealing. I left her in bed when I went to work, hopeful that she would go back to sleep, since she normally sleeps until 10:30 or 11:00, giving James time to get showered and have a few minutes to himself.

February 22, 2002

Slept until 10:30 AM!

February 23, 2002

Cyd had her first taste of avocado yesterday. I wouldn't say she was terribly enthusiastic, but it was just a little bit, and she did eventually swallow it after making a puzzled face and squashing it around with her tongue for a while.

We are busy collecting up Olympics souvenirs for Cyd, so that she can look at them when she is a bit older. Hopefully, after the Games are over and most of the visitors have gone, I can get her a little Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics fleecy one-piece for cheap.

April 1, 2002

Well, it was Easter yesterday, and I dressed Cyd up in some of my old baby clothes and took pictures of her. James frowned a little on my playing dress up on her, but Cyd honestly seemed to enjoy it. She fingered the hems of the little dresses and grinned wildly at herself in the mirror. Of course, she ALWAYS grins wildly at herself in the mirror, so this could be me projecting. At any rate, she was very cute.

Once I had stopped dressing her up, we went for a walk with Cyd in her back carrier. She likes the part of the ride where she gets hoisted up on my back. I say, "Ali- oop!" and up she goes. From her perch up there she can see everyone we pass, and she grins at anybody who catches her eye. People say to me wherever I go, "She is so happy! Is she ALWAYS like this?" The truth is she is mostly like that, mostly happy all the time.

Food experimentation continues apace. She has had mango, pear, avocado, carrot, banana, yogurt, some grains of rice, and teething biscuit. So far the avocado and pear seem to be the favorites, although she is game for almost anything. The charm of the teething biscuit seemed mainly to be in spreading it around as thinly and as messily as possible.

Still only two teeth on the bottom, and still no efforts toward crawling. Our apartment is not very conducive to crawling, since the hardwood floors are pretty rough and she does not like to spend time on her tummy. But she does like to put weight on her legs and "walk" a little with us holding her hands. Both James and I think we have heard her say "hi," but the results cannot be reproduced in a controlled environment, so maybe we were mistaken. Still, she has no trouble communicating with her dolphin-like vocabulary of squeals and squeaks.

April 7, 2002

Last week Cyd went back to see her regular pediatrician, Dr. Philipa Gordon. Dr. Gordon was pleased to see her, and said, "I worry when my patients are out of town." Cyd now weighs 17.5 lbs and is 27 inches tall, which puts her in the 67% for weight and the 95% for height -- "a nice steady growth curve," said Dr. Gordon. She got a couple more shots, had the little bump in her ear examined, and we were on our way. The doctor says the mild rash she has all over is is eccema, so she will need a little lotion to clear it up. Also, Dr. Gordon pointed out that the little raspberry-shaped birth mark on her tummy is fading.

We've added a couple of new foods to her list, like sweet potato and baby cereal. The cereal was added for iron. In fact, Dr. Gordon suggested giving her an iron supplement, despite the fact that she is still nursing and I am still taking my fabulous prenatal vitamins. I will have to do a little research to see if I think this advice is sound. I am very pleased that she is still nursing at 7 months, since I apparently decided to wean myself at 6 months. We have had almost no problems with biting -- just a few nips once in a great while. When she bites I say, "ouch!" and end the nursing session immediately, which seems to get the message across. I am still pumping at work, which is a chore, believe me. I seem to be getting less and less milk at work everyday, which has me a bit worried.

This weekend we went to Go Fish, a second-hand baby clothes store, and picked up some very cute clothes for Cyd. Today she went to day care wearing a new salmon-pink Baby Gap hooded sweatshirt. We got some new clothes for warmer weather, too. Meanwhile, it's April and we're still layering on the fleece!

The big exciting new skill this weekend was clapping! Cyd learned to clap her hands together and can actually make a good clapping sound. She had been so impressed when we claped for her, and now she can do it on her own. We had clapping, clapping all weekend long, for every occasion. Changed diaper? Clapping! Funny dance? Clapping! Also this weekend we had brunch with Shawn, Laura & Quinn (16 months old), and gave Quinn a pair of frog-feet slippers we bought for him in Salt Lake. Quinn is walking everywhere and exploring new modes of dancing -- very cute.

April 10, 2002

Yesterday after work we took Cyd to Carroll Park to swing. Carroll Park has "baby swings" that are like little rubber buckets with 4 leg holes (for facing either direction). I had put Cyd in these a couple of weeks ago, and she was pretty much indifferent, but lately she is getting a huge kick out of swinging. James sat down on the damp rubber play surface so that she would swing right up close to his face and giggle her little head off. We then walked to Faan (a restaurant) to grab some take out for dinner, ran into Lol on her way home, and then stayed in the rest of the evening.

Cyd is working on her "L" and "M" sounds. The "L" sounds are pretty funny, since she hasn't got any top front teeth to press her tongue against and she just ends up sticking her tongue out rigidly ("llll-ehh"). She's had "B" sounds down for a while, but not "D" yet. I think this is why Chinese dads are "Ba Ba" instead of "Da Da," because it's so much easier for little babies to say. Cyd says "Mmmmm-ah!" but I don't think she's referring to me, just making "M" sounds.

Claping is still very fun. Yesterday when James picked her up from Sunflower, she claped all the way home!

April 14, 2002

Well, my theory about the "Ba Ba" sounds is all washed up, because this weekend Cyd started saying "Da da da dad da"! I guess this is her first word!

April 16, 2002

This morning it was so warm, Cyd got to wear one of the new sun dresses we bought at Go Fish a couple of weekends ago. She was show-stoppingly cute with her purple and green sun dress with matching pamper pants and green sun hat. Strangers were keeling over on the sidewalk in fits of adoration as we walked to Sunflower, because Cyd was clapping and kicking her feet and singing as we went along.

At Sunflower, we put her into a play yard with her little friend Michael who's her same age. They sat facing each other actually playing! One of the other mothers pulled out a disposable camera and started taking pictures. Michael looked like he was in absolute heaven, and kept giving her his toys.

Oh, and it looks as if we are finally going to see a third tooth, the top middle-left one. You can see the white shadow of it under her gum.

April 17, 2002

Yesterday was actually hot outside, and Cyd came home with some painful diaper rash. She also felt very warm, maybe slightly feverish, but I couldn't tell if it was from the weather or something else. Since she was cheerful anyway, we gave her a frozen ice cube of pureed honeydew, which she sucked through the safety feeder, and sat out on the brownstone stoop talking to Lol and watching everyone go by. By bedtime Cyd was still feeling very warm and was a little fussy and restless all night, so none of us got much sleep. She was in a giggly mood again this morning, though. Hopefully tonight will be a bit more restful!

April 22, 2002

I took Friday off so that Cyd and I could go to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens to look at the cherry blossoms. It was an absolutely perfect day, and the trees were spectacular. We sat for a while in the Japanese Garden Viewing Pavilion looking at the ducks and geese and turtles. Cyd enjoyed the ducks and geese. There were other parents with babies there; it was very peaceful and lovely.

Cyd is still growing fast, and now is pushing the limits of her 6-12 month clothes. We stopped by some of our favorite Park Slope baby clothes stores after visiting the Gardens, and found that one of them was going out of business. They were selling everything at 40-60% off, so we picked up some bigger summer clothes for her. One of her little friends at Sunflower is a girl just about a year older than Cyd, and her mother told me we can have some of her summer clothes from last year. Thank goodness for friends and hand-me-downs! None of the baby clothes are ever worn out, because the kids outgrow them first.

At the recommendation of several other parents, we bought her some leather booties this weekend, too. They are meant to be soft enough to not hinder her foot growth, but tough enough to let her practice standing and walking outside. One of the local shoe store owners told me that she is still too little for shoes, and explained that if you put shoes on babies too young, they lose sensitivity in their feet, which is not helpful for learning to walk! I was grateful for his honesty, since he does not sell the little leather booties. He said, "come back in 2 months or so."

The booties are white with yellow ducks on them, which caught the attention of several other children in the playground this weekend. Apparently ducks are very popular with the just-over-one set. One little girl called Laila took quite a shine to Cyd and showed her how to use all the playground equipment on Sunday. Laila is about 20 months old, very cute. Her father was saying that she was in a bad mood, but after a little swinging with Cyd, she perked right up. She also sat in my lap with Cyd for a little while, really cozied up to me. Her dad was a little embarrassed, and kept saying, "Laila, you're pushing Cyd out of her mommy's lap!" but it was very cute, and of course I didn't mind. Laila and Cyd went down the slide together, and I was surprised to see Cyd bouncing up and down on her little tushie trying to get moving down the slide. That girl has almost no fear!

Saturday morning Cyd and I went to parent-baby yoga at one of the local places for the first time. There were about 13 parents with babies there, including two women from my prenatal yoga class! It's great to see the little babies I remember as lumps in their mothers' tummys. Last summer we were all sweating, stretching and squatting like hens in our prenatal class, and this summer we are trying to do yoga with one eye open to watch the babies. What a riot! At the yoga class I got to witness Cyd handle a property-rights conflict with a much bigger and more mobile baby boy. The little guy walked up to her and grabbed the toy she was playing with, but she hung on and squawked at him in protest. He was MUCH bigger than her, though, and he pushed at her chest with one arm while pulling the toy with the other, and eventually prized it free. Cyd did not cry, just gave him another angry squawk, picked up another nearby toy, and waved it in his face as if to say, "I don't care, I'll get another one!" Of course I was tempted to intervene, but clearly it was not necessary.

We hit several stoop sales this weekend and picked up the toy xylophone-piano you can see in the pictures. She seemed to enjoy this, but is still working out how to hit the keys one at a time. We are trying to limit noise-making toys to the percussive variety, i.e. no electronic bingy-bongies, just natural noise-makers. These are easier on our ears, and they give her more control over the sounds produced. One nice woman in a coffee shop gave her a book with horrid electronic songs played by a chip buried in the book. It was quite nice of her, and I tried to pay her for the book, which was one of a number she was selling on a sidewalk stand in front of the coffee shop. She would not take the money, and spent a lot of time "talking" to Cyd and even held her at one point. On the way home I donated the book to the toy box kept by one of the local restaurants to amuse patrons' children.

Cyd has her third tooth through, the top just-left-of-center. It was causing her some discomfort this weekend, enough to wake her up a few times. James discovered she can stand by herself, holding onto the edge of her crib. She cannot pull up to stand, yet, but I guess we had better be moving that crib mattress down. Also, this weekend she showed her first inklings of separation anxiety when our neighbor Tina held her for a minute. She looked concerned and reached back to me. And when I dropped her off at Sunflower this morning, she seemed to anticipate my leaving and started to whimper a bit. I hope she does not go into full-blown separation anxiety, because it will be heart breaking to leave her at day care if she cries when I leave.

We made more home-made baby food this weekend: mango (her favorite), and zucchini. She has not tried the zucchini yet, though I froze 10 cubes of it in the ice cube tray. I expect this baby food making to get more challenging when she is ready for meats, because we don't cook meat for ourselves at home.

May 1, 2002

Thrush! Cyd has thrush. Those nasty yeasties have invaded my baby's cheeks and gums. We got some nystatin at the pharmacy to treat her (and me) four times a day. What is it with yeast, anyway? Why can't they be content to make us bread and beer and not bother us beyond that? The white patches are unattractive, but they don't appear to be too uncomfortable for her, except for last night when we fed her some banana; the bananas were slightly green, and the acidic content seemed to bother her when it hadn't before. So we'll stick with low acid content foods for a few days.

Cyd is also starting to demonstrate some of the developmental characteristics of your typical 8-month-old, in that she is getting quite expressive about her wants and needs. Not that she wasn't expressive before, but now she's VERY INSISTENT! Also, she's getting so squirmy it's a challenge to hang onto her, and she's very strong. A lot of this squirming seems to be directionless, as if she's just exercising -- squirm this way, squirm that way, bob up and down, twist head, giggle, stick out tongue, and so on.

May 6, 2002

Last night Cyd slept all night in her crib by herself. Recently we've been putting her to bed in her crib, but then she would wake up hungry and I would bring her to bed to nurse about 3:00 AM. You would think I would be happy, but to be honest I feel kind of bitter-sweet about it. On the one hand, James and I am happy to have the bed to ourselves, but on the other hand, I missed cuddling with her this morning. Also, this event brings up the spectre of the inevitable, namely the day she will be happy to sleep not only in her own bed, or her own room, but in her own house or even a state or a country away from me. I try to keep in mind that children are not our possessions, but are on loan from God for purposes of loving and safekeeping. Of course the other problem was that I woke up at 3:00 AM anyway, engorged, and had to pump.

This weekend Cyd's Uncle Stuart, James's brother, was in town for a books convention, and he was over for a couple of evenings. Cyd and Stuart really seemed to enjoy each other, which was cool.

We also went to a local street fair this weekend and Cyd got her first balloon, which she played with by pulling it down by its string and then letting it go to the end of its tether. It was very cute, and I was pleased to see that she did not attempt for very long to chew on it.

We are starting to experiment with self-feeding foods, but with considerable trepidation, as I am terrified of her choking. In fact, this weekend we gave her some soft bread to chew on, and she enjoyed it, but she did, in fact, choke a little and I had to fish the piece out with a finger. And then after that she spit up a lot more than usual, so we backed off the bread and will stick to the safely of the mesh-bag safety feeder for a little while.

May 14, 2002

Poor Cyd has a pretty bad cold that all the other daycare kids also have or are just getting over. This is her first illness with a cough, and also her first illness involving a fever that we felt had to be treated with some infant Tylenol. She has a runny, snotty nose and a rattley cough, and we are keeping a close eye on her. As if that were not enough, she also has teeth plowing through on top; all four of her upper middles are trying to come down at the same time. I have to say, at 3:00 AM this morning, I was glad for that baby Tylenol. She had been tossing and sleeping very fitfully, but after the acetaminophen kicked in and brought down her fever, she slept soundly and woke up cheerful.

Actually, I have been astounded at her good humor even through all this discomfort (thrush, cold, teething, yeasty diaper rash). She squirms and rubs her eyes and chews her feet and nurses fretfully, but she is still always ready to smile and clap and laugh. It's amazing, really, but seems to be part of her basic personality. I hope this resiliancy serves her well her whole life. Of course we would love her just as much if she were cranky and fussy, but she's not.

On the food front, she is enjoying self-feeding some plain, organic rice cakes, and so far no choking on these. I had no idea how sticky a single plain rice cake could be once you spread it's melting pellets thinly over every surface within reach.

May 29, 2002

Last weekend we went to Storm King with Cyd's Grandpa John and our friend Lol. It's supposed to be about an hour's drive north of Manhattan, but it took us 3 hours to get there. It was Cyd's first trip in her new bigger car seat (for babies larger than 20 lbs, 27 inches), and she HATED the car ride. I mean, she hated it. She cried and struggled against the restraints, and got car sick and threw up all over the car Lol was "sitting" for some friends. I felt so bad for her. We stopped 3 times to get a break from the screaming and to clean up. As soon as she was out of the car seat, she was completely cheerful and fine. We sat for a few minutes at a golf driving range just watching people hit balls and savoring the quiet.

The carrier you see in the pictures is comfy for me, and as you can see, she can sleep in it. Another thing I like about it that sets it apart from the Kelty and Gerry offerings is that her legs are at a more natural "sitting" angle, and so her circulation to her feet is not cut off. The whole thing, baby plus pack plus carrier is about 30 lbs, though! For trips around the block, we still use the sling or the Bjorn.

The sun, rain and wind shade is also a nice feature. I hate to put sun block on her, because she will just eat it anyway. So I try to keep her in the shade and/or covered with hats. I also bought a UV protection beach suit from Campmor for the beach or whatever else this summer.

We also posted some funny pictures of Cyd with the water bottle. She can definitely suck water up through the mouthpiece, however, she doesn't have much control over the rate at which she sucks water up, so she ends up with a giant mouthful which, instead of swallowing, just falls onto her front when she opens her mouth. But she LOVES the water bottle so much, she gets quite bent out of shape when we take it away. So far we are avoiding juice in order to stave off sugar addiction for a little while, so as long as she likes water and continues to grow well, I'm more than happy to give her water.

July 1, 2002

This past week has been a developmental bonanza. The week didn't start off very well -- Monday evening she fell and bumped her head pretty hard. This accident was followed by two episodes of vomiting, so in the morning we took her to see the pediatrician "just in case." On Tuesday while at the doctor's office, I noticed for the first time that she was pointing at things and saying, "eeeits," wanting to know what everything was called. I told her many words, some of which she tried to repeat. The only one that was very recognizable was "clock" (koa-ah-k)! Over the course of the week, "eeeits" changed to "dis" accompanied by pointing. She can now play a successful game of "where's mommy's nose" (and eye and mouth).

At a yard sale we bought her a soft-sculpture farm. James taught her to identify most of the animals, and she tried to say "duck." The farm consists of a soft-sculpture barn with doors that close with velcro, an attached silo, and inside are pockets to hold the animals, the farmer, some corn, and a tractor. The animals are each about 2 inches high and their names are embroidered over their pockets in a color to match the stitching on the animals. At another stoop sale we found one of those bead & wire toys that sells for $50 from a catalog. Secondhand toys are the best!

We decided we were not going to find the right stroller at a stoop sale, so we broke down and bought a MacLaren Volo. It really is the best umbrella stroller -- only 8 lbs and it handles nicely.

Cyd is definitely crawling, though not quickly & usually not forward. She gets better traction with her hands than with her knees, so backward she goes. We also worked on self-feeding this weekend. She can feed herself tri-color fussilli, Cheerios, veggie booty, rice cake and melba toast. We also tried to get her to self-feed peas, small diced mango, and tofu, but these were very deliberately banished to the floor. For a while I also let her attempt to feed herself pureed pear with a spoon. She got the idea that you dip the spoon in the food, but kept trying both ends of the spoon. Then she did not understand keeping the spoon level and managed to cover herself entirely in pear. The funniest part of that experiment was when she tried to put Cheerios into the bowl of the spoon -- while holding the spoon perpendicular to the ground. She would hold the spoon's bowl up near her face, place a Cheerio in the spoon's shallow depression, then watch perplexed while the Cheerio fell to the floor.

Last night I was amazed to discover that I could teach her to blow on a penny whistle! I demonstrated the sound and how to blow, then put it in her mouth. At first she naturally sucked on it. So I blew on her cheek and then put the whistle in my mouth while blowing, to show her that it makes a sound. When I put it in her mouth the next time, she blew! She blew it a few times after that, though not very melodically. Ha!

May 11, 2007

Cyd has named her hands and feet. Her left foot is "Samuel," her right foot is "Sally." Her right hand is "Michael," and her left hand is also named "Sally," because her right foot and her left hand are twins.

June 13, 2007

Today Cyd wrote a poem:

Tick tock, there goes the clock
The clock is done,
The oven is done,
It's time for breakfast,
So let's have fun!

Cyd's comments while watching Gene Kelly: "He's very ACTIVE!" He is brave, too. Brave, and VERY ACTIVE!"

Ivy update:

Ivy smiles all the time and loves to "talk." She looks you straight in the eye and says her piece, "Ah, aaaah, gwah, ah-gwah, ooh-bah," and so on. She loves to lie next to Cyd on the bed while I read Cyd bedtime stories, but the other night when Ivy heard a break in the conversation, she started her own monologue, which was so lenthy and loud that James actually had to take her out of the room so that we could finish reading!

Every morning when Ivy gets up she seems bigger. She's over 12 lbs now and wearing size "6 - 9 month" clothes. She acts like a much older baby than she is. Her sleeping is going really, really well! She sleeps from about 8:30 every night to 3:30 or 4:00, nurses for 20 minutes, and goes back to sleep until 7:00 or so. How wonderful!!! I can't believe we are lucky enough to have a baby who sleeps like she does. If she's yawning and fed and dry, we can just put her down in her bassinet and she goes to sleep. You could knock me over with a feather everytime she does that! She is very different from her sister in this way.

June 15, 2007

Me: Cyd, do you remember this sweater that Ivy is wearing? It used to be yours when you were a baby.
Cyd: I remember it in my heart, but not in my mind!

June 18, 2007

Today is Ivy's first day at daycare, "transition time." It's only for 2 hours, so the staff can get to know her a little bit, and so she can get used to them. It's every bit as hard on me as Cyd's first day was. I remember I took Cyd to daycare, walked home crying, took a shower crying, walked back crying -- one hour. Today is the same. My whole body and soul misses that little baby, and of course what has me most upset is that this represents the day one week from now when I will have to drop her there for the entire day and go to work. It physically hurts to think about it. I keep telling myself that I know she will be okay, she will be more than okay. Just like her sister, she will thrive and be happy. It's the same daycare Cyd went to, the same loving and contientious, hard-working director. The staff are sweet and skilled with babies. The place is clean and the other babies are all happy. Ivy will be happy, too. But I am so miserable. I miss my baby, and can't wait for the next 75 minutes to pass so that I can walk back down the hill to pick her up and hold her again.

June 24, 2007

And this was just TODAY. Isn't 5 supposed to herald the "age of reason"?

July 6, 2007

Cyd has learned to whistle! She's been practicing hard. Now she can blow bubblegum bubbles and whistle a tune -- where will she go from here? Also, Ivy has begun to laugh, which is just about the cutest thing possible in this world.

August 21, 2007

Today Ivy started to laugh, giggle and squeal like a maniac! She was almost in hysterics watching Cyd play cards.

August 27, 2007

Cyd has achieved another milestone -- going hand-over-hand all the way across the monkeybars! I got video, just need an opportunity to post it. She found that she could do this while with my mom having "grandma camp" last week, so on Saturday we all braved the disgusting August heat to watch. On her final run-through, she fought bravely to hang on and ended up with a big chunk of skin torn off her hand. Ouch! But of course such gritty determination makes a momma and daddy proud. Her birthday party is coming up this weekend at Kids In Action, and then First Grade (dum-dum-DUM!) starts. Hope it's a good school year.

Ivy seems to think that perhaps her tongue could be used prehensilly, if only she could get the knack. On Saturday we fed her her first solid food, some avacado. The resulting diapers and complaining were enough to convince us to put off further experiments with solid food for a little while, but she liked it well enough while eating it! And last night's bath was quite an experience because she discovered that she can splash the beejezus out of the tub. Splash, splash, SPLASH! Even Cyd complained about the resulting chaos, which is saying something.

September 19, 2007

Another poor showing in the Parenting Olympics today.

Cyd got to bed late, Ivy was up all night, I didn't get up early enough, couldn't pump much milk again, Cyd got up late, Ivy obviously hungry but no milk in the boobies and no time to feed her anyway, Cyd obviously also hungry & weeping, unable to get dressed. Cyd finally dressed in a pair of MY tights (the only black tights we could find) and a dress. Ivy dressed, although no "extra" clean socks to send with her to school as requested. Cyd stumbles to school sipping a yogurt through a straw, her only breakfast. At school Cyd weeps more, refuses to walk up the stairs by herself. At least we got there before the door closed and we get marked "tardy." Leave the stroller, walk her up, walk away with her clinging to the door jamb of her classroom and weeping. Ivy to school -- at least they have rice cereal and enough milk for today (though prob not for tomorrow), and it's getting warmer so no socks won't kill her. Finally get myself on the train, spill coffee all over myself and my bag. Do I stink or is it the person next to me? Many emails on my Blackberry from work -- try to respond to some of them. Deep breathe for the next 40 minutes on the train. Thank GOD I don't have to drive to work.

At work now, am supposed to have a meeting with my boss, but she just got a phone call from her teenage son, and I think my boss is in her office crying, too, now for some reason. I called Cyd's school -- they called up to her classroom, and she's apparently okay. I think I need to go out and buy some clothes -- my skirt is too thin, my bra is showing, my hair is a disaster, AND my left eye is incredibly bloodshot for some reason. Happy Wednesday.

November 26, 2007

I put Ivy down on the kitchen floor this morning while I was tossing all her milk and food into soft coolers for the trip to school. The little bugger scrambled right over to the cat food bowl and popped a piece into her mouth. I fished it out, but she looked quite pleased with herself.

Thanksgiving was a bit of a pathetic affair at our place this year, since James and I were both horribly ill Wednesday through Friday. Basically we managed to mash some potatoes and that's all; we huddled over the bowls of mashed potatoes like refugees. Once we were all feeling better, we had some good times Saturday & Sunday. And I finally put up the Halloween pictures!

Ivy crawls very quickly now. She can pull herself up on almost anything, cruise around a little, and is experimenting with letting go and standing freely. She's still not sleeping for longer than 3 hours at a stretch. We introduced chicken and turnips this week! As usual, she loves everything.

Cyd seems to have grown another inch overnight. Over the summer she refused to wear pants, so we bought no pants! Now she says she's "freezing to death" in dresses and skirts (yes, even with tights -- last week she told me she had frostbite in 45 degree weather), so we've been buying pants. But she's so skinny that most fall down, and she can't stand the kind that have buttons inside the waist to adjust them because the buttons dig into her bony hips and hurt. And all the manufacturers of kids' clothing seem to have decided that they will no longer make draw-string pants with draw-strings all the way around the waist. A-hunt, a-hunt, a-hunting we go for the elusive "real" draw-string pant!

Cyd's reading and writing are taking off! She can read plenty of polysyllabic words, more everyday. AND speaking of eating, Cyd ate leaves (salad) over the weekend, and confessed that they were NOT the most horrible, disgusting thing she had ever eaten. But she still asked me to sprinkle powdered sugar on them next time. November 27, 2007

Cyd is very, very excited about our up coming trip to London. She also wants very much to take the "Chunnel" to Paris during our trip. She knows about some of the "big ticket" tourist spots in Paris: the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and, of course, Madeline and her school mates. We'll have to look into the mechanics and costs. It certainly might be fun! I think she is equally excited by the prospect of staying in a hotel with a pool. I suppose we'd better have some sort of plan for what to visit in London, too, when we're not partying with the family.

Ivy is starting in with the separation anxiety thing. She cries, now, when I leave her at daycare (although she's very excited to see her daycare ladies) and again when James picks her up. Basically, she doesn't like saying "goodbye" to anyone! Who does, right? This phase is tough on parents. You feel horrible every time.

Cyd is so lovey-dovey with Ivy. She goes on and on about how cute she is, how cuddly she is. She hugs her and lugs her and sings to her. She distracts her when she's fussy and brings me things for Ivy when I'm feeding her or changing her. She is such a good big sister, and a good kid.

December 1, 2007

This baby has quite the little chi on her. This evening she crawled over to a board book, held it in front of herself at arm's length, and growled at it so fiercely that she knocked herself over backwards onto the floor. From there (no crying), she got back up, retrieved the book, and gave it another savage growl (without falling this time) and a couple of whacks on the floor for good measure. Look out, world!

I also got some video of her chuckling at bread. Apparently bread is funny. What else is funny? It's a long list: people wearing hats; things appearing and disappearing; people puffing out their cheeks; toys bouncing up and down; the cat; anything her sister does. Lying down is NOT funny. Lying down means crying -- whether to get one's diaper changed, to get a snow suit on, or to go to bed. Lying down = BAD NO FUN!

December 17, 2007

Cyd went to see the Joffery Ballet's performance of "The Nutcracker" with her friend Anglela yesterday. The girls had a great time! Cyd was very impressed by the dancers and the whole event. Today she and Angela will have a good tale to tell at school.

This weekend we also got our Christmas tree and put up decorations. The apartment actually looks really nice. Cyd has declared herself "in charge" of turning on and off the lights -- the first year we have allowed her to plug things into and out of electrical outlets herself. Big step. Ivy has so far not molested the tree too badly, but we'll see how things work out once we put wrapped gifts under there!

Bedtime, and Ivy's hands are chubby and delicate. She grips my thumb in the dark, and I kiss the tips of her little fingers. Cyd had baby hands, too. I held them everyday, many times a day. Nevertheless I was still taken by surprise when I held them one day and realized I was holding the hands of a child, not a baby. Her fingers seemed shockingly long, her palms broad and strong, so suddenly. Now they lengthen even more and begin to resemble a woman's hands, a little bit graceful, only six years old. Now I have never been one of those parents who wishes that her children would stay little forever. I love how everyday is a new triumph for them as they grow. But I want to remember as clearly as I can for the rest of my life how those tiny hands feel, and look, and smell -- wonderful and amazing -- before they grow away.

December 27, 2007

Despite both Ivy and I having coughs we can't seem to shake, we had a really nice Christmas with Grandpa J visiting. Grandpa did a final dice trick, turning the "magic dice" into a giant blue die about 4 inches on a side. He says that this is probably the last of the dice tricks, as certain small people are getting just a little too observant! He immediately then set about to improve his card tricks, so perhaps there will still be some magic to be done next visit.

School is closed this week, so C is spending it at her old pre-school "camp," which is a treat because they take the kids on all kinds of outings. First to the Museum of Natural History, then to see "Alvin & the Chipmonks," and today bowling. C brought her pad and paper so that she can write down her score and report back, her idea.

Ivy is still waking many, many times per night. Last night I would estimate she woke up 15 times between 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM. Too much! She seems to get herself standing up in her crib before she even fully wakes, and then when she finds herself standing, she yells at the top of her lungs. We grown-ups are exhausted all the time these days, still. If anything like her sister, we "only" have 3 more years of this. Give me strength!

I am very much enjoying looking back at the pictures of C from the same age Ivy is now. Honestly, they look almost like the same baby! But they are not the same. Definitely they have very distinct personalities. I hesitate to describe these distinctions for fear of creating self-fulfilling prophecies, so we will just have to watch and see.

January 3, 2008

Everyone is well again, thank goodness! But trying to get Ivy to sleep is trying. Very trying. We are tired. Very tired. Too tired to construct inventive sentences. Thank goodness neither of us has to drive to work. I wanted to revive my 6:00 AM running & walking routine, but that means getting her to sleep in her crib during that hour, and it doesn't look promising.

Over the New Year's holiday weekend, Cyd and I went skating almost everyday. Cyd is better than ever with her skating, and started practicing fancy moves like crossing over on turns!

I've eaten all the gingerbread off the tree, and "Mulchfest" is right around the corner. But Santa had a little difficulty getting Santa's act together this year, and holiday boxes have yet to be mailed. How does everyone feel about the Valentine's marmoset? You know, the little weasel who delivers presents to good girls and boys sometime in February? Eh? Eh?

January 7, 2008

It's the first full week of work and school since before the Christmas holidays, and thankfully Mother Nature saw fit to warm us all up a little. People on the sidewalk sure look a lot more cheerful, like they've thawed.

Ivy at drop-off was such a busy little bee that I had trouble getting her attention to tell her "good-bye." She's had some spots of separation anxiety, normal for 9 months, but at "school" there is so much for her to do. Her teachers put her down on the carpet and zip-zip-zip! Off she goes to tackle the toys.

In my continued effort to get back to an exercise routine, this morning I resorted to putting her into her stroller at 5:00 AM and rocking her back to sleep. This did work, although I hate to think I will have to do this everyday! Surely, surely, someday soon she can be convinced to spend the entire night in her crib. At any rate, I was able to go out walking with my friend and see the sun come up, which was lovely.

Cyd and I went skating again this weekend, and she continues to get better and better. We "un-decorated" the apartment and took the tree to the chipper Sunday morning. Much of Sunday was spent doing experiments from a kids' science book: balloon rocket ship, spinning rainbow color wheel, tornado in a bottle, toy parachute made with plastic bag and string. Cyd's front tooth is flopping around in her mouth, and she keeps asking me to wiggle it, which is oddly disconcerting.

January 10, 2008

Well, the front tooth is gone, and the Tooth Fairy has duly produced the four "gold" dollar coins hidden away for this eventuality. Let the lisping begin. Cyd is actually kind of proud of her lisp and experimenting with all the words she can't say now. I think she hams it up a bit.

J suspects, and I think he's right, that Cyd believes the streets of London are lined with castles and everyone dresses like a Disney princess. Should we be preparing her for the, uh, less glamorous reality? Or not?

Cute Ivy story from this morning: she was on my hip in her sling, and I was pushing the stroller with all the bags in it. Ivy grabbed the left handle of the stroller while I pushed with my right. She was sooooo pleased with herself and clearly thought she was pushing the stroller along with me! So funny. She "pushed" that stroller all the way to school. What a big girl!

January 25, 2008

More dinner table conversation from Cyd:

Cyd: Lemme tell you something. I think I am starting to get an English accent.
James: Really? Why do you say that?
Cyd: Well... because my grandpa is English, and some of the words I say sound kinda different from other people.
Me: Honey, you have a Brooklyn accent. Only people from Brooklyn start conversations with, "Lemme tell you something."

Ivy, for her part, ate two large pieces of cucumber maki for dinner last night! She had a great time dismantling them before devouring them.

January 28, 2008

This weekend Ivy took two little steps without holding onto anything! She was "cruising" down the radiator cover and just kept going, two independent steps to the CD cabinet! I can't believe she's "almost" walking.

February 19, 2008

Wee Ivy got her first injury this weekend. She was holding onto the radiator in the bedroom, which I thought was off and which I know was cool, when suddenly she cried and pulled her hand away. The valve was slightly open, and the hot water gushed in and burned her palm! She has some blisters and was miserable for several hours. We kept her hand in a sandwich bag filled with cool water for a while and felt like BAD parents. It's the only radiator in the apartment that doesn't have a cover.

This past weekend was a three-day with the President's Day holiday. Cyd went ice skating with one set of friends, went to a "basketball" birthday party (I played!), and had a "play date" with another friend wherein they went to see the Hannah Montana movie. We also lucked across a really nice and fancy wool rug that someone was inexplicably throwing away. It was very heavy, but we lugged it home and rolled it out in the kids' room and gave it a good vacuuming with a HEPA vac. I told Cyd it was the kind of rug that is very expensive if you buy it new. She was suitably impressed, as it is in nearly-new condition.

The other front tooth was missing when she woke up this morning, and no sign of it anywhere. Cyd was morose for a while until we hatched a plan to write the tooth fairy a note to put under her pillow in place of the tooth, in hopes that it will serve in kind. So no more dental stops or biting into apples for "Thyd" for a while, poor girl!

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