Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

2008 has flown by.  It's hard to believe that twelve months ago I was just getting through the morning sickness and Sadie was just starting to show.  She is now a strapping 28 inches and weighs a whopping 18lbs 7oz.  That puts her in the 98th percentile for height and the 90th percentile for weight.  

Today was Sadie's six month doctors appointment and she was supposed to get another round of immunizations.  I'm much less nervous about the shots now.  In the beginning I was a wreck (although I think Sadie remembers them, because she definitely did not want to be in the doctor's office).  We knew that Sadie had a cold when we went in to see the doctor, but we didn't know that she also had an ear infection.  The ear tugging should have given it away, but she also tugs her ears when she's sleepy and she's been very sleepy lately.  Anyways, it was, in fact, an ear infection.  Now we have to wait two weeks for immunizations.  But there was also good news.  I have to start my good news with a small rant.  

I do not understand the state of California.  I have heard a great many things about the First Five and Healthy Families Programs.  Unfortunately we have not been able to experience those great things for Sadie.  You see, you have to make a certain amount of money to qualify for Healthy Families (which is real health insurance where you can go to the doctor of your choice, instead of Medi-Cal where you pretty much end up at a clinic).  We do not make enough money to qualify.  But it gets worse.  

We went to apply to Medi-Cal.  I was desperate to get Sadie some sort of health coverage.  I filled out all of the Medi-Cal forms back in September and had them turned in before the first week of October.  When I turned them in the girl at the front desk actually complemented me on the fact that all the papers that they needed were there.  We were given a temporary Medi-Cal card when we were rejected by Healthy Families, but our name was misspelled and Sadie's birthday was off by five years.  I went in and told them.  And then when I called to ask a question they didn't recognize our real name and so I told them again.  They put a sticky note on our file.  

December rolled around and we still hadn't heard anything.  I called again.  I was put through to the woman who is supposed to be handling our file.  Voice mail.  Her voice mail instructions were very clear.  She said the leave a message with your phone number and social security number, or Medi-Cal number.  She ended by saying not to call twice, because of the volume of calls she received, that if you left a message that she would, eventually, contact you, either by mail or by phone.  It's been about a month since I left that message and we still haven't heard anything.  Medi-Cal refused our doctor's bill.  Our doctor is trying to bill them again, because apparently Medi-Cal told them that they couldn't even find our file, possibly because the last name and birthday on it are still wrong.  

Now for the good news!  It was a pleasant surprise when we handed our Medi-Cal card over at the pharmacy (Sadie need antibiotics for her ear) and they said that the co-pay was $0.  I almost started jumping up and down.  I didn't ask them if they were sure it was right, because I was afraid they might change their minds.  Hopefully this means that we now have health insurance.  And with the help of Paul's Cal Trans paycheck this month we might actually qualify for Healthy Families!  If that happens I really will be jumping up and down.  

Sadie gobbled up the antibiotics.  It is cherry, vanilla, banana flavored and she looked like a little bird trying to get more food when she tilted her head back to try to get more medicine out of the dropper.  She should be feeling better soon and hopefully this will help her cold too.

We're celebrating New Years on East Coast Time because no one in this house is going to be awake at midnight (unless Sadie's hungry around that time).  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Big Day!

Today was not supposed to be a big day.  Sadie woke up with a stuffy nose and a cough, although she was smiling through it all when I carried her down stairs.  Then our sick horse, Sammy, who was looking a little bit better last night, got even sicker and needed to go to the vet.  Everyone's getting sick around her at once (I think Paul is almost over his cold).  So I canceled my plans to go to town (I was going to leave Sadie with Nani, but when she was eating breakfast she looked so tiny and sniffly that I just couldn't go through with the idea of leaving her, even if it was just for an hour and a half).  

By midmorning Grumpa had brought Sammy back (the vet had claimed that he was better, he wasn't.  He was back at the vet this evening and may be back again tomorrow morning) and Sadie looked to be feeling better (frequent trips into the steamed up bathroom are really great).  My aunt and cousin are visiting from the Bay Area and when the family decided that everyone should go get pizza we decided to go along, although we did bring our own car just in case we needed to leave.  When we got to Round Table Sadie seemed to be doing fine so I carefully cleaned the table with a wipe (there's just no way around the fact that she's going to lick the table when she can reach it) and sat her in a high chair.  She was thrilled to be sitting up like a big girl!  She waved when I walked over from the salad bar and seemed quite pleased with herself.  She's getting so big!

After that the family had planned to go see Marley and Me, while Sadie and I had planned to go home.  She was doing so well though, that we decided to give it a try.  I really didn't think we'd last for very long.  Sadie was entranced by the screen.  She watched the first third or the movie, slept through the second third and then we walked during the last third because she wanted to talk to the people on the screen and we didn't think that the other movie goers would appreciate that.  When the two main characters argued Sadie would make little "mmmmm mmmm mmmm" noises like she was lecturing them (I would quickly pop binky into her mouth because, again, this was something I didn't think the people around us would find as endearing).  She made it through all but the last fifteen minutes of the movie, which was pretty good for her first time in a theater.

Grumpa headed home after the movie to check on Sammy and Sadie and I drove Nani to the store to pick up a few things for New Year's Eve's dinner.  At the store Sadie sat up in the cart like a big girl (another first)!  Because the trip wasn't planned we hadn't brought the seat protector for the cart and when I put my sweater down so Sadie couldn't lick the cart she squealed in anger, but finally settled for touching the bar with her hand. 

And when we got home Sadie had apples for dinner.  She's now had rice cereal, sweet potatoes, peas and apples!   

Since I started writing this blog tonight we had a mini disaster.  Sammy took a turn for the worst and while dad was on the phone with the vet I had to slog out through the mud, which is almost above my barn boots, in the pitch black darkness to roust Sammy out of the barn and get him to walk.  It was to dark to undo the latch on the fence so I had to climb over it (this almost resulted in another accident, because the fence was slippery and it was so dark) while Paul parked the car so we had light.  I could see little animal eyes looking at us in the dark. Sammy finally got up.  Then we walked and walked and walked.  So tomorrow it looks like there will be another vet appointment.  And Sadie has her six month appointment, so we'll have new measurements!  

It's been a busy day.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Duck, Duck...Peekaboo?

The last six months have flown by as Sadie's grown and changed from a newborn into a baby with a strong, budding personality.  Unfortunately when Sadie is fussy time slows to a crawl and minutes start to feel like hours.  Distractions work... kind of... for short amounts of time, but the novelty of a new distraction usually wears off in two to three minutes and then whining turns into crying as Sadie realizes that her nose is still stuffy and her tummy still hurts.  

Being sick does mean lots of long naps (that was actually the first sign that she was sick) but in the time in between those naps Sadie wants to play, or at least be entertained.  She doesn't want to be held because she wants to be playing, but she definitely doesn't want to be put down either.  We've had to be creative.  And we've come up with a new game.  Paul named it... Duck, Duck...Peekaboo.  It's not really a cross between Duck, Duck, Goose and Peekaboo, but when Paul saw it for the first time that was what he thought of and Sadie and I stole the name.  It goes like this:

The Baby sits on someone's lap (usually Nani or Daddy or Grumpa's) and the other person (me) stands across the room holding the pink bouncy ball with their back turned.  The ball holder jumps up in the air and twists around.  I end facing the baby, and pretend to throw the ball.  This is apparently one of the funniest things in the entire world to Sadie.  This can be repeated as many times as the jumper wants (although you will start to get tired).  This is the "duck" part of the "duck, duck, goose" portion of the game.  The "goose" part is when the ball holder springs around, just like all the other times, but shouts "peekaboo."  The baby will actually fall off the baby holder's lap if they aren't holding on tight enough.  Every single time you add the word "peekaboo" she jumps.  

After about ten minutes of playing Duck, Duck...Peekaboo Sadie's laughter will start to get a little quieter.  This is because she's exhausted from all the laughing and jumping.  She usually passes out within a few minutes of playing the game.  Duck, Duck...Peekaboo makes ten minutes feel like ten minutes instead of an hour and a half.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

One Sick Baby...

It's easy to tell when Sadie's feeling sick.  She's a cheerful baby and while she does have fussy moments, she's very easy to distract.  Sadie woke up this morning sniffling and rubbing her eyes.  She had been up, eating, a lot last night, but that's not totally unusual (unfortunately).  Things deteriorated quickly.  We usually have a little play time on the floor before we have rice cereal, but today the very idea of being put down on the floor brought tears to her eyes.  The thought of being put in her high chair brought on another meltdown.  

As of this morning I can recognize another one of Sadie's cries.  It is the sick cry and it may be the saddest sound that I have ever heard.  It's very similar to her "ouch" cry, but it's smaller and at times almost sounds like a kitten meowing.  We heard it a lot today.

By the end of breakfast I had given up on the idea of making it to church.  Paul was working chain control and the idea of driving over the hill in the stormy weather with a sick baby, much less getting her into church and through a service, was pretty much impossible.  We decided to watch it on tv (and getting through that with the sick baby was nearly impossible).  

Throughout the day there were little bright spots where Sadie felt better.  She would insist on being put down on the ground because she thought that she wanted to play with her toys, but then she would realize that she still felt sick and the sad little meowing cry would start again.  So today will be a short blog.  I have a sick baby to take care of!  

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Baby Milestones

It's hard to believe that 2008 is almost over!  It seems like just yesterday it was December 2007 and I felt huge (but had no idea what huge really was...that wasn't until late spring...) and was just starting to get over extreme morning sickness.  There have been a lot of changes in the past year.  And there have been important (and less important, but very cute) milestones.  Here are a few that come to mind.
1)  Sadie was born!  (Redding, June)
2) We go to our first store.  And it is Tractor Supply Store... (Redding, June)
3) Our first barbeque. (Dunsmuir, CA, June)
4) Our first vacation/ family reunion (Bandon, OR, August)
5) Sadie starts shocking everyone by saying "hi."  Particularly when a cat walks into the room. (September)
6) Sadie rolls over (June) and then forgets how to roll over (thank goodness) for another few months.
7) Sadie gets too big for her first bassinet (July) and then her next bassinet (mine) (September) and then another bassinet (October) and finally moves into her big crib (and decides that she misses her bassinet).  
8) Sadie starts lunging at every piece of food that comes within a two foot radius of her and trying to shove it into her mouth.  She toughs it out another two weeks until the doctor okays rice cereal and surprises herself by not starving to death.  (October)
9) Sadie's first Thanksgiving!
10) Sweet Potatoes!!! (December)
11) Sadie realizes that she can travel across the room if she rolls onto her stomach and then her back and then her stomach, ect.  For the first few days she can only roll to her left, so she rolls until she gets to something blocking her path and cries to be picked up and put across the room so she can do it again.  (December)
12) Sadie's first Christmas!
13)  Peas.  Yuck.  Peas. (December 25th)
14)  Sadie shocks us by saying "no!" when asked if she's playing with her toes (the answer to that question these days is always yes.  Toes are her "new thumbs."
15) Peas!  Yay!  Peas.  (Sadie decides she likes peas.  December 26th)

Another picture of Christmas morning!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Pinching and Breakfast

Sadie's personality has really started to develop (or at least show through now that she's more coordinated).  She seems to have very strong opinions (especially about food) and a bit of a stubborn streak.  Here's how it started this morning.  In an effort to get some sleep I had broken down at about midnight last night and let Sadie get into the big bed.  After getting up every two hours for the past six months I have become more willing to cave in and let her get in bed, instead of spending all night getting up and feeding her before putting her back down in her crib.  The fact that Paul works from 11-7 every night means there's tons of room in the bed and she's big enough now that I don't worry about rolling over her.

At 4am Sadie decided it was morning.  And then she woke up again at 5am.  At 6 she decided it was definitely time for Mommy to get up.  I found myself being kicked into wakefulness.  I popped Binkie into her mouth and tried to convince her to go back to sleep one last time.  I really, really wanted to make it all the way to 6:45, our normal wake-up time.  After a few minutes of the normal hitting and kicking Mommy and repeatedly saying the word "poof," which is what she says when she wants to get out of bed, she relaxed and was still.  I held my breath hoping she had fallen asleep.  Less than a minute later I felt a hard little pinch on my arm.  

It was time to get up.  Within an hour we had our second "incident" of the day.

Nani was feeding Sadie her breakfast so that I could shower before we left for Redding.  I had used water to make her rice cereal, instead of the usual milk, because I was in a hurry and didn't have time to get the milk ready.  I had forgotten my brush down stairs and when I came down to get it I heard laughter in the dining room.  Nani was cleaning a clump of cereal off the floor and Paul was eating breakfast.  

Nani said that after tasting the cereal Sadie had made little gagging faces and frowned.  Sadie then hit the cereal bowl so hard that she had knocked it out of her grasp and onto the floor.  Sadie then looked quite pleased with herself and ate the rest of her breakfast (which I remade, taking the time to use milk) without complaint.  

For the remainder of the day Sadie was in a cheerful mood.  She zipped around Redding talking to everyone everywhere we went.  She gets a little bit fussy when the people she's talking to ignore her (everyone's supposed to look when she talks!), but other than that she had a great day (that is, after the initial pinching and bowl throwing, this morning).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!

Merry Christmas!

Sadie's first Christmas was amazing!  We went a little overboard with the whole gift thing for the baby.  I think it was because we kept seeing little toys over the course of the year and buying them little by little and then completely forgetting about what we had stashed away in the closet.  It was a kind of ridiculous! 

We went to Mass on Christmas Eve in the middle of a snow storm.  Sadie was okay at first, but by the end she had started to let us know that we were out past bed time and that she was ready for her bath (she gets really fussy when we deviate from the routine).  She did amuse herself by playing peekaboo with a statue of Mary during the service.  Getting there was alright but getting home was a scary.  The highway was covered with snow on Oregon Mountain and they wouldn't have let us through if we hadn't borrowed my parents car for the trip.  

Grumpa had to work on Christmas, from 7am to 7pm on chain control.  Sadie woke early and was bouncing off the walls.  She could tell that today is a special day.  When we got down stairs we put her on a blanket next to the tree and she started grabbing packages and wrestling with them.  At one point she was rolling around on her back holding onto her toes.  I asked her if she was playing with her toes and in a perfectly clear voice she said "no."  Paul was videotaping the entire thing and we replayed it about 50 time and she actually said it!  We couldn't figure out where she learned the word, because she really is very good and it's not a word we say very often to her (I did say it the other day when she tried to touch the stove).  Then when we were watching the "Your Baby Can Read" DVD before her nap I figured it out.  It showed the word "no" and said "No.  Can you say No?" (apparently the answer to that question is "yes").  

She sat on Paul's lap while the presents were unwrapped and had a little bit of a meltdown about her new toys being placed next to her old toys.  She really seemed very concerned that it looked different in her little play area.  She even refused to kiss her new doll.  She fussed and finally fell asleep and while she slept I straightened up the toy area.  When she woke up she played with the red barn that Nani and Grumpa had given her, moving the little chicken back and forth and peering through the windows.  

After that we tried peas (we've found a food that she actually doesn't want to eat.  And it is peas.) and rice cereal.  Now Daddy is about to go off to work for the night and we are going to sleep.  

Good Night!

Sadie playing with her toes 
(about to say the word "no" when asked if she's playing with her toes).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Growing, Growing, Growing

I have to take back what I said earlier about Sadie's growth spurts.  I thought that they were slowing down.  She's been wearing 12-18 month clothes for over a month now and in our world wearing the same size for an entire month means she's not growing quite as fast.  This morning however, I had a hard time figuring out exactly what Sadie was going to wear.  First I tried Sadie's "Baby's First Christmas" Outfit.  She wore this outfit one time, just after Thanksgiving, but I really wanted to save it for closer to Christmas.  When I saw it in the drawer this morning I thought that I should put her in it so that she would wear it more than just a couple of times.  After all, we do so much baby wash that there will definitely be a load done before Christmas in two days.  

The outfit was a twelve month size, because apparently the clothing people think that if a baby is bigger than the twelve month size, it's probably not their first Christmas.  If I'd had the option I would have bought an eighteen month size just to be safe, but when I picked it out two months ago I picked the outfit that looked like it was the biggest of the twelve month options, that is, of the outfits that had the words "Baby's First Christmas" printed across the front.  

This morning we were getting ready to go into town for dentist's appointments and Nani was helping get Sadie ready.  I'd picked out the outfit and was rushing around the house getting the diaper bag ready, when Nani said that she needed a different outfit.  I poked my head into the room and asked why.  She said that she had been able to squeeze the top over Sadie's head (with the two snaps unsnapped) but that the arms wouldn't go down over her shoulders.  She said that she thought the matching reindeer pants might still fit if I could find a shirt that would work with them.  I found a plain white shirt and brought it downstairs.  It was twelve months and looked too small.  We don't actually know if it would have fit though, because we couldn't squeeze her into the reindeer pants.  After looking at several twelve month outfits I opted for a sweatshirt and sweatpants, along with an eighteen month onsie.  

I think Sadie must have grown overnight.  While she has been wearing eighteen month outfits more and more the twelve month outfits still fit until today!  I'm blaming the Sweet Potatoes.  She started the Sweet Potatoes earlier this week and now she's officially gone up another size.  Yup, it's definitely the Sweet Potatoes.  

Monday, December 22, 2008

Different Cries

Before Sadie was born I had read about parents learning to decipher their baby's various cries.  Through June and most of July we listened to a tiny little squawking wail that gradually got louder as summer faded into autumn.  That little wail started to turn into a real cry with actual tears by the start of September.  Now Sadie's different cries have become very distinct.  There are definitely different cries that can be read to determine exactly what's the matter.  Here are a few of them: 

Sadie's best cry is her "hungry cry."  It doesn't really sound like any baby cry that I've ever heard. She eats a lot, and because she's developed her own little schedule of snack, breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack, bedtime, snack, snack, snack, wake up (that's life these days) I don't think she actually ever gets to the point where she's really hungry.  But she knows the schedule and she knows when she's going to get fed and so, when she starts to anticipate being fed, she immediately launches into her Hungry Cry.  The Hungry Cry is half frantic staccato crying and half little tiny coughs.  It's really hard to take her seriously when she does this cry and I think it may make feeding a little bit slower because I'm usually laughing.

Her newest cry is the "I'm Not Getting My Way Cry".  This cry sounds like the typical baby cry, with her mouth wide open (and possibly tears).  During this type of cry the baby turns bright red.  When Nani hears this cry in the other room she usually sprints over to see what's the matter, because it sounds like someone has been seriously injured.  However, it usually has to do with a toy that is out of reach.  Sometimes it occurs when she's frustrated because she's not as mobile as she would like to be and she hasn't been able to scoot across the room to grab the cat or play with her favorite rattle, Bug.  If someone is especially slow during the Hungry Cry things can deteriorate in about two minutes into the I'm Not Getting My Way Cry.  

Then there's the "Sleepy Cry."  When Sadie's sleepy she doesn't really cry.  She does have a non-stop whine, that goes on and on and on until she finally actually drifts off to sleep.  This is the most annoying of the cries.  It happens when she's overtired from insisting that she's not tired and trying her best not to take her nap (because she doesn't want to miss anything and she's pretty sure that we have huge parties in the house the second that she closes her eyes).  With a little bit of food the sleepy cry should always end in a nap.

Now it's off to bed.  It's almost nine o'clock and if we're going to have three feedings and  be up by 6:45 it's just about time to go to sleep.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Six Months: Rolling, Sweet Potatoes and Bribes

Today Sadie is six-months old!  I can't believe how quickly the past six months have passed, despite the sleep deprivation.  She's getting bigger and bigger everyday, although I think the growth spurts might be slowing down a little bit.  She's wearing 18-month old outfits more and more and her twelve month outfits are starting to get a little bit too tight.  At least she's been wearing this size for a couple of weeks and hasn't grown out of it yet!

We went to Redding yesterday to get the tires and oil in the car changed and Paul dropped Sadie and I off at the mall.  That may have been a mistake (and it certainly felt like a mistake after about 20 minutes).  I guess I didn't realize that I haven't been to a mall on a Saturday in several years, much less on the Saturday before Christmas.  It was absolutely insane.  I did find myself saying at least ten times to strangers who asked, that Sadie is six months old.  The response every single time was.  "She's a big girl."

The trip started out with a meltdown in the the bathroom.  In the last few months Sadie's greatest fear in life has become the automatic flushing toilets in public restrooms.  I don't know how the fear can be specific to auto-flush toilets, but it is.  After making it through a few stores (and getting a call from Paul saying that he would be longer than he originally expected) I broke down and bought Sadie her first bribe.  She was about to start her second melt-down of the day in Old Navy.  I couldn't pick her up easily with the stroller, shopping bags and diaper bag (when I took her out of the stroller it would flip over because of the bags) and I picked up a giant fluffy bunny to try and distract her.  She glared.  I made the bunny hop around in front of her.  Her lip started to tremble.  I put the bunny down and picked up a cat that, frankly, I never would have picked out on my own.  She started giggling hysterically and grabbed the cat, hugging him while biting his nose.  

By the time we made it to the front of the line to pay (at which point I had to take the cat away from her so they could scan it and take the security thing off, causing another meltdown) we had caused a traffic jam of little old ladies in Christmas sweaters.  The cat did keep her quiet and happy for the entire rest of the trip and once we got to the car she passed out immediately, exhausted.

The biggest milestone of the week has been starting "real" food.  Other than milk Sadie has only had rice cereal to eat.  Last night we started our week of trying out sweet potatoes.  I don't know what I expected to happen when I fed her sweet potatoes, because she tries to eat absolutely everything that's near her.  I guess I just thought getting her to eat food would be difficult, because all the books have advice on getting your baby to eat food.  They also indicate that it takes about ten tries before your baby will enjoy a new food (definitely not true in this case).

Sadie is a "good eater."  She made a few little faces at first, but she ate half a jar of sweet potatoes without making a fuss and then wolfed down an entire bowl of rice cereal (I'm going to have to ask the doctor next week exactly how much she should be eating).  

Now it's time to go supervise the rolling across the living room floor.  Our new favorite thing is rolling from one side of the room to the other and then crying to be picked up and turned the other way because she can only roll to her left!

Friday, December 19, 2008

We're Mobile! (and our first ouchie!)

Sadie is officially mobile.  Or, at least, she's getting there.  Sadie's growing mobility has accelerated in the last few days and the hours (or 10 minute periods) of putting her on the ground so she can play with her toys and amuse herself appear to be over (I always supervised her, but I knew she wasn't going anywhere from the middle of her quilt.  Supervision is now going to involve being on the blanket itself).  

Yesterday Sadie made a huge discovery.  It came in two parts.  First she realized that she could control rolling from her front onto her back.  She's been doing this for a while, but not consistently and I don't think she actually knew that she had any control over it.  A short while later she realized that if she rolled onto her stomach and then onto her back and then onto her stomach again she could travel across the blanket.  This realization was quickly followed by our first almost accident when Sadie traveled about five feet across a quilt and was stopped just short of smacking into the bottom of the coffee table in an attempt to get to a 20-year old Rudolph doll that walks and sings Christmas carols.

Today we had our first actual accident, which makes me want to wrap Sadie in bubble wrap before I put her down on the ground and will also likely kick of rounds of baby proofing all around the house.  After being placed on her quilt in the middle of the living room, Sadie played happily with her little music playing sea horse.  I was on the couch about four feet away and Nani had just walked back into the room from the kitchen.  I saw her start to roll, but she was headed towards a pile of blankets and I figured that a pile of blankets couldn't do any real damage.  It wasn't high enough to fall over and I was only a few feet away, making sure she was safe.  With an acrobatic little twist roll, however, she changed course at the last moment and before I could stand up she had smacked head first into the TV stand.  

She's a tough little thing and she had been scooped up with a little red mark forming on her forehead before her lip started to tremble.  I knew that crawling was going to present dangers, but rolling had seemed relatively harmless (no longer).  I have visions of baby gates and outlet covers.  Today is definitely going to be a day of baby proofing.  

I now have visions of a big bruise in the middle of Sadie's forehead for all the pictures on Christmas morning!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Expensive Tastes

So far in my life I have yet to have had the opportunity to acquire expensive tastes.  In some ways this has been a source of pride (maybe it's a country thing).  The most expensive purse that I have ever owned came from Bath and Body Works, and that was probably because it had body spray and lotion inside when it was purchased.  I'd rather eat hamburgers or pizza or barbequed tri-tip than go to an expensive restaurant and order something that I can barely pronounce (Paul had a hard time selling calamari when we first started dating and it took him two and a half years to get me to go out to sushi with him).  Despite Allison, Kehli and Michelle's best efforts at Saint Mary's I am still virtually clueless when it comes to all thing fashionable.  Living in our tiny town hasn't helped.  When I looked at at the local library the most frequently searched items were camouflage clothing for hunting.  Being "dressed up" in Trinity County usually involves clean jeans.  

Sadie, however, seems to have more expensive tastes.  

Two days ago Grumpa (that's really what Sadie calls him) walked in the house with a broken watch.  He had been up on the Great Grandpa and Grandma's roof in the middle of a snow storm, doing something with the satellite dish.  On his way back down the ladder his watch got caught on something and ripped off the band, breaking the little pins inside the metal band.  After finding out at the watch kiosk that the watch couldn't be fixed without sending it back to Fossil, we walked over to Macy's (where the watch was purchased) to see if they were having any of the great holiday sales we've all been hearing so much about on the news.   They weren't.  In fact all of the jewelry in the store appeared to be full price.  

But on the way into Macy's we had a little accident.  Sadie, who was apparently rather full from her last meal, spit up curdled milk all over my red sweater.  Lately Sadie hasn't been spitting up as much and so, at my own peril, I had neglected to bring a second shirt.  With the help of a burp pad and a receiving blanket the mess was reduced to a series of rather large wet marks across my neck, shoulder and right arm.  As we walked through the perfume section on the way out of the store I picked up a bottle of perfume (it ended up being Coco Chanel) and sprayed the affected area.  The bottle was almost empty and I didn't think it was spraying.  In an overzealous moment I pressed the pump four times (thinking that the first three hadn't worked).  It had.  The stink of sour milk was replaced by the overpowering scent of Coco Chanel.  The description of the perfume follows:

"The beautiful fruity bouquet of the top notes includes peach and tangerine accompanied with the spicy sharpness of coriander.  The heart is composed of delicate baroque flowers such as rose and jasmine, surrounded by the sweet fragrance of orange, mimosa and sweet and spicy nuance of clove."  (I had to look this up online because I would have just said that it smelled, really, really strongly).

To Sadie it smelled like dinner.  Sadie has sensitive skin that tends to get hives when anything like fabric softener or perfume touches it.  I had sprayed my right side with the intention of smelling better and carrying her on my left side.  She had other plans.  She attacked, pushing herself backwards and then throwing herself to the left (my right) and grabbing on to the right side of my sweater with both hands.  

I would like to note that she is shockingly strong for her age (although probably not for her size).  She spent the rest of the shopping trip using every bit of energy to get to the perfume sprayed side of my sweater.  When she was near it she would become frenzied, trying to figure out where the smell was coming from so she could eat it.  This was not good news for my sweater.

When I was little I liked Malibu Musk, with its little bottle complete with the earphones and sunglasses.  From the very beginning (the $54,000 c-section) Sadie has been expensive.  And I have a feeling that she's going to stay that way.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Shopping with Sadie

I have finally finished my Christmas shopping (I think).  It took longer than I thought it would, mostly because shopping with Sadie is kind of exhausting.  When we go into stores Sadie is carried in one of two ways: in the baby bjorn or in the little pink jeep stroller.  She isn't quite steady enough to sit in the shopping cart yet.  When placed in the little pink stroller, Sadie is quite a sight.  She immediately grabs her toes, leans back and blows raspberries at every single person that we come across.  When she's in the baby bjorn she keeps her arms raised straight out to the sides and squeals non-stop.  Every time we walk by another shopper she squeals.  Today Sadie added cooing and babbling to the squeals and we actually started drawing little crowds of people who would come over to talk to her.  In Costco we stopped traffic (we weren't quite as popular as the mini brownie bites).  There were a few other memorable shopping moments today.

1) In Chipotle I put Sadie in one of the high chairs to see if she was big enough (and had enough control) to sit in it.  I put her little blanket around her sides and back for added stability.  She was next to Nani who had been holding her.  She spent most of the meal trying to convince us that she was starving to death and NEEDED a bite of burrito, although she had just eaten about half an hour earlier.  She also tried to convince anyone who walked by the table that we were starving her.  When Nani took a bite of her burrito and looked away for a split second she leaned forward and started licking the table.  Apparently we are not ready for the high chair just yet.  

2) Every time we go to Redding we stop by the memory care facility that my grandmother lives in.  It really cheers everyone up there to see a baby and she seems to have a calming effect on some of the residents.  However I think that she frightened her Great Grandma a bit when Hoho (that's our name for her) gave Sadie her finger to hold and Sadie gripped it as hard as she could and lunged forward in an attempt to get the finger into her mouth.  Today Hoho was a little more cautious when she held the baby's hand.  (I also couldn't stop laughing when one of the workers walked by and heard Nani tell Hoho that Sadie is going to be six-months old this Sunday.  He stopped, looked at the baby in surprise and said "she certainly is a good size, isn't she?"  Yes.  Yes she is.)

3) Sadie's new car seat leaves very little room in the front passenger seat, so I volunteered to sit up there for the first part of the trip.  When we got to Target, Nani put her in her stroller while I ran into the ladies room.  When I came out and found Grumpa pushing Sadie around the store she looked shocked to see me.  She really hadn't realized that I was there.  For the rest of our trip through Target she kept craning her head to look straight up to make sure I was still there (I should point out that I've only been away from her twice since she was born six-months ago, neither time for more than an hour!  But she definitely seemed to think that I'd disappeared and that I was going to disappear again.).  

So that was our day in Redding in a nut shell.  Sadie was so exhausted from all the socializing that she passed out in her car seat and slept all the way home.  I didn't even have to sing rubber ducky twenty-times!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Your Baby Can Read

I don't usually get sucked in to buying products from infomercials.  On the few occasions when I've been sleep deprived with a fussy baby who sleeps when I'm holding her but screams when I put her down (that was really just the first month) I managed to keep myself from buying anything by leaving my wallet in my purse by the door (all the way across the house).  In fact I don't remember ever buying something after seeing it on TV before I saw the "Your Baby Can Read" half hour ad.  It happened two months ago when the baby was asleep in my arms and I was looking for something entertaining to watch until she woke up.  There was nothing worth watching on the satellite.  So I clicked on the Your Baby Can Read half hour paid advertisement.  
The ad shows babies reading.  Lots of babies.  Babies that are barely walking.  An eighteen month old says "hippopotamus."  And all of the babies are fascinated by the program.  They really seem to love it.

I was skeptical.  I resisted ordering.  After all, my wallet was all the way across the room.  A few days later I saw the same ad.  The next time it was on I got Paul to come in and watch it with me.  He thought it looked like a good idea, and the ad said it was only $14.95 (it is not only $14.95, it's more like $14.95 for shipping and handling if you decide not to keep it!).  But by then I had been brainwashed by watching Dr. Titzer talk about the groundbreaking research that had gone into creating Your Baby Can Read.  We were sold.

It took a while to get here and when I popped in the DVD and tried to get a four month old Sadie to watch it she was less than impressed.  The baby that tries to crane her head to watch TV from across the room, turned away when I actually set her in front of it.  I tried the second day and the same thing happened.  On day #3 she watched about ten minutes of it without fussing.  By the end of the second week it was one of her favorite things to do.

I don't know yet if she's actually learning to read, but she loves listening to the songs and watching the animals.  And sometimes when it says "wave" she waves.  

Yesterday Sadie sat against the couch and watched the DVD on her own (ok, I was sitting inches away making sure she didn't tip over).  She was so intent on watching I had to take pictures.  This was the result.

Sadie and Her Book

Sadie's exersaucer has a little three-page plastic book on it.  When she first started playing in her exersaucer she was more interested in the lights and sounds that the buttons on the front make and in a particular little pink and purple butterfly that she tries to eat on a daily basis.  She's also endlessly fascinated with the little plastic balls on the front (how she can throw them over and over again and then fuss for them and watch Mommy get up, walk across the room and hand them back to her to throw again).  

However, in the last week she has become obsessed with the little book.  She will now sit and open and close the book the entire time she's in the exersaucer.  

The book apparently has rules that Sadie has made up, and appears to understand perfectly.  From what I've been able to figure out the rules go something like this.  

1.  NO ONE other than Sadie is allowed to touch the book.  
(If I, or anyone else touch the book, a complete temper tantrum ensues.)
2.  NO ONE is allowed near the book.
(We might 'accidently' touch it.  Wandering too close to the book or acting like you're going to touch it can result in a temper tantrum.)
3.  The book is to remain closed at all times, when not in use.
(I tested this one out by opening the book before I put her in the saucer when she wasn't looking.  If the book is open she will immediately pull herself all the way around the exersaucer to close it.)
4.  The pages of the book can be turned or chewed on.  

I think there may be other rules to playing with the book, but I'm not allowed near enough to it to figure them out.  I do know that Sadie loves her book and that she is very protective of it.  I think we're discovering a little bit of a stubborn streak (that she seems to get from both sides.  A double dose of stubborn!).  

Right now we're in the middle of a snow storm (it's actually a break right now before the second storm hits) and we're about to go out to see and touch our first real snow.  Daddy's working his first shift as chain control for CalTrans (between night shifts at his other job).  There's enough snow for chain control!  It's so exciting!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Our Own Little Flirt

Paul would like to believe that Sadie is shy. However the more time we spend outside the house, the more all evidence points to the contrary. I think that the idea that she's shy comes from her obsession with trying to draw every single person she meets into a rousing game of peekaboo. When she meets a new person she smiles, turns away, and hides her face against my shoulder. This lasts for about five seconds. She then snaps her head back around and smiles before hiding her face again. By the second time she snaps back around to look she's usually laughing hysterically. She plays peekaboo pretty much all day long. She's coordinated enough now to pull a blanket or towel up over her face and then fling it back down (which is also always followed by hysterical laughter. Life is pretty funny these days).

Yesterday we went to the Trinity Holiday Tournament in Weaverville, where Grumpa is working as an All Tournament Judge. The high school gym at THS was filled with screaming high school students and parents. I knew before we got to the game that Sadie would have one of two reactions. She would either be completely overwhelmed and try to fall asleep (her usual reaction to being overwhelmed), or she would be bouncing off the walls squealing. The moment we walked through the doors her eyes lit up. She loved it.

I put her in her baby bjorn and stood, so she could see over the judges table to the court below. She squealed and screamed in delight when the crowd yelled and also had bouts of laughing hysterically for no particular reason. She smiled at every person whose eye she could catch. And then she saw a family coming up the stairs and walking towards us. A mom with three little boys sat down on a bleacher about five feet away from us. The boys looked to be about 6, 4, and 2. They were all blonde with cheeks that were rosy from the cold and the four year old noticed Sadie right away and waved happily to her.

Sadie went crazy. She squealed and smiled and kicked her feet happily. The four year old hugged his mom and looked a little bit frightened. Sadie spent the rest of the game glancing over at the boys and smiling and watching the basketball game and squealing at appropriate times, while the little boy peered around his mom to watch Sadie. Everyone around us was amused by her antics.

I definitely don't think Sadie is going to be shy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Eating out with a Baby: Pet Peeves

Eating out in public with a baby is stressful (although from what I've seen eating out with a toddler is even more stressful).  I put a lot of effort into making sure that things go smoothly with Sadie before we set foot in a restaurant.  I make sure she's been fed and burped and changed and if she's about to fall asleep when we pull into the parking lot at a restaurant, we circle the block one more time (the Prius and the plummeting price of gas does help in that area).  If she's not about to fall asleep I take her out of her car seat and she sits on my lap and plays with the spoon or her toys.  When she's really fussy I take her outside, but that's only happened a handful of times and all of those times were in the first month and a half of her life.  All of these little efforts together make most of our meals pretty pleasant.  

Except when the problem isn't Sadie.  A lot of restaurants seem to have a policy of placing all of the little kids in the restaurants in the same section.  Logically I understand this.  In practice, however, it works less perfectly.  One recent experience unfolded in this way:

We walk into a family, kid-oriented restaurant and they place us in a side room.  In the room is another baby, who is sleeping in her car seat and a well behaved toddler.  At another table they place a family with a little boy who is about three-years old.  He's with his father, mother and grandparents and the LOOK like normal people.  

Things go downhill fast.  First the little boy starts yelling at the waiter.  His parents laugh.  Charming.  He then gets up and starts racing around the room yelling.  Sadie is now awake.  I fume silently and try to keep her happy.  She was at the beginning of her nap so she's a little bit cranky.  On the other side of the room, sitting against a wall, is an elderly couple.  The little boy runs up to the woman, who doesn't appear to know him and punches her in the arm.  She looks shocked.  The parents, are laughing and talking and don't appear to notice.  He then runs over to the blinds and starts hitting them.  His father finally gets up, laughing, and picks him up.  Sitting back down at the table the father begins to tell a story about giving the little boy sips of his beer.  

Most parents aren't this obnoxious (or terrible) so maybe this one shouldn't even be included under my general "uninterested parents in restaurants" complaint.  A more common story is an older baby who comes in when Sadie is asleep and starts to cry.  I can sympathize with crying when the parents actually act and try in some way to comfort the baby (tip: usually if you pick the baby up he or she will stop crying).  In these cases however, the parents ignore the baby, letting it cry and talking loudly, over the crying.  One woman even unfolded her paper, put it between herself and her screaming eighteen month old who was reaching for her and read for the duration of our suddenly shortened meal.  

These people are the reason that we're put in the back room in the first place!  Restaurants, even family restaurants, don't want a crying baby in the main part of the dining area and so they put everyone together, setting off a chain reaction.  Within ten minutes every baby in the place can be crying, making a very unpleasant baby dining section.  And that is incredibly frustrating (and I tend to be frustrated at both the parents and the restaurant itself).  

And that is my Parents Pet Peeve Rant for the Week.  

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Baby Might be a Redneck...

Sadie loves going shopping with us.  She loved to stare at all the colors and lights when she was tiny and her eyesight wasn't great yet, and now she loves to sit up in her Pink Jeep Big-Girl-Stroller, kick her feet and squeal (or blow raspberries depending on her mood) at every person she sees (and I mean literally every single person).  She also likes to go fast down the aisles and gets a little bit antsy when we stop to look at something or try to put something in the cart.  

There is one store, however, that is clearly her favorite.  When we walk through the doors she starts to squeal and blow raspberries simultaneously, and continues to do so until she's back in  the car strapped into her car seat.  It also happens to be the first store that we ever took her to (although she was so tiny that I sat in the car with her instead of going inside) and that in itself just might put her in the "Redneck" category (if living in Junction City doesn't do that all on it's own- a quick side note- if you're actually from Junction City there's even a different accent than the normal, Northern California accent.  People here pronounce the word "creek" "crik."  And that's just the beginning.  It's almost like an accent that came out here with the miners during the Gold Rush in 1849 and then survived in the back hills, completely unchanged right up to the present time.)  But I digress.  Back to the point.

Sadie's favorite store is the Tractor Supply Store.  

And I have no idea why this is.  She wasn't born when they had little live baby chicks in spring, so that can't be it (baby chicks are the reason PV Ranch and home was my favorite store when I was little).  The store isn't particularly colorful or noisy.  It doesn't have Santa and elves like the mall.  But she loves it.  She even has ear-splitting conversations with the cashiers every time we checkout.  

They do have tiny ATV's and little pink cowboy boots and hundreds of John Deer Tractor toys.  The ATV's are actually Sadie's size and really run (they have a pink one with a purple seat).  I haven't decided yet whether they're funny or scary.  I'm leaning towards scary (the idea of an 18-month old on an ATV is kind of scary!).  

For whatever reason Sadie loves it.  I think she might be taking after Grandpa.

She might be a little Redneck!  

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Bath Tub: Part 2

After the last bathtub fiasco I thought I had an idea that would soften the transition to the big tub.  I thought that trying out Sadie's little bathtub in the big jacuzzi tub, might make her more comfortable in the big jacuzzi tub later on without the baby bath tub.  So for a second time I got everything all set up for the baby to take a bath.  Except that this time I also filled the jacuzzi tub around the bath tub and put on my bathing suit.  The next step was to actually put the baby in the tub.  It went something like this.

Step #1:  I line the rubber ducky collection up on a small ledge that's at baby level.  There are six ducks and a small green frog.  I hope that they will provide a distraction in the event of a meltdown.
Step #2:  I get in the big tub and sit down next to the baby tub.  I place Sadie in the baby tub.
Step #3: Sadie gives me a look that says that she KNOWS that something is different and that she's not altogether sure that she likes it.
Step #4: Sadie's lip starts to quiver.  I recognize the pre-meltdown expression.  If she starts to actually cry it's all over.  There's no coming back from a meltdown once she decides that she DOESN'T WANT TO BE IN THE BATH!!!
Step #5:  I start to sing The Rubber Ducky Song in my most cheerful voice.  I plaster the happiest expression on the planet across my face.  If she thinks I look worried (about the upcoming meltdown) it's all over.
Step #6:  She starts to smile.  Thirty-four seconds later however, she remembers that she doesn't like this bathtub, that it's not at all the same as her other bathtub and that she's terrified.  
Step #7:  I remove the squirming baby from the bath before she starts to scream.  

At least it's a step in the right direction!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Raspberries and Coughs

This morning was a feast day so Sadie and I went to Mass in Redding.  We left super early and made it to the 8:30 Mass, which just happened to be the children's Mass.  Sadie was in her baby bjorn and was in a particularly good (hyper might be more accurate) mood, which made me more than a little nervous.  There are two things that are important to know about Sadie's good moods. 

1)  Sadie coughs when she is in a good mood and she feels that she should be the center of attention.  If she feels that she isn't getting enough attention she will cough and cough and cough until she has EVERYONE'S attention.

2)  When she has all the attention that she feels that she deserves, she blows raspberries.  These raspberries are frequently pretty messy as she doesn't have great drool control.  They're also a good way to secure the attention of everyone around her.

Sadie was sitting pretty quietly when it was only grown ups in the room.  I wasn't actually sure that it was a children's mass until the first class (who looked to be kindergardeners and first graders) filed in.  It didn't help that the school uniforms are red, which happens to be the color that makes Sadie laugh hysterically (you should have seen her during the Republican National Convention).  The raspberries started immediately.  She blew non-stop raspberries until about a minute after the class was seated a few rows in front of us. This was repeated with the second and third grade classes, and with a small group of preschoolers.  

I don't think Sadie had ever seen that many "big kids" in one place and she was thrilled.  It may have been the most fun she had ever had in her entire life (or it may have tied with peekaboo, which is currently her favorite game in the entire world).  I was pleasantly surprised when Mass started and Sadie calmed down.  She sat quietly right up until the very end when a three year old, four rows in front of us revealed a little doll in a pink onsie.  She was tossing the doll into the air.  With about a minute left in the service Sadie started to squeal.  They were just tiny squeals, with intermittent coughs and raspberries, but it was pretty cute (it would have stressed me out if it had happened earlier on though).  

So here's to what was most likely, the best morning in Sadie's whole, entire life.  

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Big Scary Bath Tub: Part One

Since Sadie was about a week and a half old she has loved her baths.  The first few involved screaming and crying, but by her fourth bath she was smiling and happy and now it's one of her favorite parts of the day because we always sing "Rubber Ducky" before, during and after bath time (and Rubber Ducky is the one song that always makes her smile).  

We got one of those cute little bathtubs with the super helpful hammocks that adjusts as the baby grows, but even with the hammock Sadie, with her rather, we'll just say "healthy" size, barely fits.  She's so tall that her feet hang over the end although she's not quite steady enough to sit up without the hammock.  

So the other day I had an idea that seemed brilliant at the time.  I put on my bathing suit and took her in my parents big jacuzzi bathtub.  I'd got the water just right before hand, not too deep and not too hot and had her little towel and rubber ducky right by the tub.  

You have to understand that Sadie's gone in swimming pools before and she's never made a fuss at all.  She usually holds onto me really tightly, but when we've gone swimming she's seemed to enjoy herself.  Apparently I didn't realize exactly how frightening the bath tub could be.

Within ten seconds of touching the bath water Sadie started to whimper.  I adjusted her and made sure she felt secure, but the whimper quickly turned into a sob and then an all out blood curdling scream.  She seemed pretty certain that I was going to leave her in the bathtub by herself.  I lifted her out of the water so only her feet were touching, and she started to kick her feet (and continued screaming at the top of her lungs).  

I'm not giving up on the big bathtub idea, which I think she will someday really enjoy, but we are taking baby steps.  Next time we'll try it with her little bath and the whole troop of rubber duckies.  And hopefully things will go better!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sippy Cups and Sadie's Budding Personality

One of the first signs of Sadie's budding personality came about a month ago when Paul walked into the room and asked me to sign a paper.  He handed me the pen (which was one of the pink, breast cancer pens that they were handing out on breast cancer awareness day) and as I attempted to write my name, Sadie attempted to grab the pen out of my hand.  After a few tries I shifted her away from the pen and said "Sadie, please don't touch that.  Mommy's trying to sign something."  I didn't really expect her to understand what I was saying, but her reaction was pretty interesting.  

She looked straight at me before glancing at the pen and then back at my face.  After that she looked a third time at the pen and then raised her little hand and gave it a good smack.  Paul started laughing hysterically and Sadie looked quite pleased with herself.  

Lately Sadie's personality is seen most clearly when she has her sippy cup (or the baby toothbrush with yellow duckies on it that we picked up the other day at Longs).  We got Sadie a sippy cup because of her obsession with cups whenever we were at restaurants.  We tried a few times and she's really pretty good at drinking out of a grown up cup.  The doctor said she could have an ounce of water at a time so we thought we'd give a no-spill sippie cup a try.  

It was love at first sight.  Sadie adores her sippie cup.  She only gets to play with it a couple times a day and then not for very long.  If she had it her way I think that it would never leave her hand and that it would probably sleep in her crib with her.  Removing the sippie cup from her little hands has become a daily challenge.  Sadie holds on to the sippie cup with a baby death grip.  If I'm going to get it away from her without a meltdown I have to have something to trade and even then there's a good chance that there's going to be a fuss when the little pink cup leaves her hands.  

She would like me to trade the sippie cup for one of her two other favorite toys, a baby spoon or her baby toothbrush, but after watching her nearly poke herself in the eye a number of times with both of them I've been trying softer substitutes.  Unfortunately apparently, toys that are deemed "safe" by mom, just aren't as fun.  

So Sadie is already developing a strong, stubborn little personality.  And that's without relating the "Rubber Ducky Toothbrush Incident" that took place a few days ago in Longs when I tried to reclaim her new toothbrush so that the checker could scan it so we could pay for it.  The meltdown tantrum that followed was quite dramatic.

Sadie is definitely becoming her own little person. 

Friday, December 5, 2008

Down to Earth People

A few weeks ago Sadie and I went to the Bay Area with her Dad, Paul, and went on a walk while he was at school.  I realized right away that I've gotten really used to living in the country during the last few years, because everything seemed really loud.  We were walking down a busy street in Sunnyvale and cars zipped by us every few seconds.  Sadie was in her little pink stroller and I think she was a little overwhelmed by all the noise.  Her response, as usual, was to fall asleep.  

Apparently seeing a sleeping baby being pushed down the street by her mom made a lot of people really happy.  Now my question is, how would you react to that happy "look there's a baby" feeling.  Would you smile to yourself and maybe wave?  Or would you honk your horn, like an idiot, scaring the baby half to death?  

During our one hour round trip walk, three people opted for the later choice.  They would see us, slow, possibly even wave and then honk two or three times, in a friendly way.  Unfortunately babies really don't see a large vehicle with a blaring horn coming at them as a happy thing.  This really does nothing for my "I hate the Bay Area, these people are idiots" attitude.

Sadie and I had never really gone on a long walk on a busy (relatively anyway) road in Trinity County, so I couldn't definitely say that it would be different.  When we walk around here it's on a dirt road, although once and a while cars on the other side of the river do wave.  Yesterday while Paul was getting his hair cut at the barber Sadie and I started to walk down the side of Main Street (which also happens to be a freeway) to the bank, which was our next stop.  It was afternoon and there were a lot of drivers out on the road, including several big log trucks headed to Redding.  

The log trucks were headed towards us, downhill, and I winced when I saw the first one coming.  He had his jake break on (which they aren't supposed to do in town), which makes a loud vibrating sound.  About a hundred yards in front of us however, he must haven noticed the baby, because he released the break and coasted until he was a good distance past us.  

People are pretty down to earth around here and while the area is pretty redneck people are polite and have common sense.  And that's why I want to live here and raise Sadie here for as long as we can manage it.  Unfortunately with the lack of employment opportunities, I'm not sure how long that will be.  Hopefully it will last until Paul is ready to start his PhD and we'll be on to another adventure.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Cats in the House are Living in Fear

Our five month old baby can't say "mama" or "dada" yet, but the moment one of our four cats walk into the room she lights up and squeaks "hi."  While she's been saying "hi" for over two months, it still comes as a shock (I think that's why she does it.  She realized she gets quite a reaction and loves the attention) every time I hear her say an actual word.

Sadie can't crawl yet, but the cat's in our house are already very aware of her presence and her blossoming mobility.  Last month Sadie started noticing the cats when they walked through the room.  She could track them from the moment they walked into the hallway and her interest has only grown during the last few weeks.  

From watching the cats she graduated to cooing at them and trying to coax them over to her.  Unfortunately she hasn't gotten the whole "gentle" idea down and I have to watch her very carefully to make sure she doesn't grab them with both hands and try to pull them in for a kiss.  I don't want to take Sadie in for stitches if our sixteen year old orange tabby losses it when Sadie tried to "cuddle" her.  Pumpkin has been known to attack without provocation so I imagine it's only a matter of time... but for now she tolerates the baby rather well and didn't bat an eye when Sadie rolled over and grabbed her paw the other day.  

My other concern has to do with Sadie's aim when petting the cats.  If she isn't grabbing them by the whiskers she's reaching for their bums (I'm saying bums because it sounds a bit nicer than anything else I could come up with, and I don't mean there tails when I say "bums").  Sadie's been pretty consistent when reaching towards this area and while I should be proud of the hand-eye coordination this shows, keeping her from making actual hand to bum contact is now one of my main concerns (motherhood is just full of surprises).  I imagine this will make an amusing story when she's a teenager, and for now I have managed to avoid any actual contact.  But as I mentioned earlier she is becoming more and more mobile so that even with the best supervision in the world it is probably only a matter of time before one of our cats is surprised by being groped (yuck).  

Hopefully it isn't Pumpkin. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ambitions and Starting a Blog with a Five Month Old

Starting a blog about being a mom, or really any blog at all, seems a little bit ambitious right now.  Sadie is a little over five months old (although she's wearing 12-18 month clothes and weighs about twenty lbs) and is keeping me pretty busy.  Any time when she doesn't need my attention should probably be spent sleeping... but I've discovered I'm not really great at sleeping during the day, even when I've been up all night, and staring up at the ceiling is just plain frustrating. 

Then again, when Sadie starts crawling in the next few weeks (she's really really close already and is already scooting backwards on her stomach) I will probably never have time to log on to check my email, much less collect my scattered thoughts.  But I'm going to give it a try.  Who knows.  She loves her exersaucer and that usually gives me a half hour of peace (if not quiet) every day (I love the exersaucer too!)  And maybe I can get in the habit of writing every day again, although at this point I'm probably getting a little bit ahead of myself if I actually say that out loud.  But, maybe I can....