Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sweet as syrup

Brent is nuts, but in a mostly lovable way. I say "mostly" because I thought he was being a little *too* nuts yesterday when we decided to take Em for a walk to a nearby diner for breakfast.

"Oooh," he exclaimed as we were getting ready to go out the door. "I'm going to bring my OWN maple syrup!"

Jigga what?

Ya see, he will only eat "real" maple syrup. None of the fake crap for him. Me? I could care less whether I'm eating the "real" stuff or the fake flavored stuff.

A lot of places only offer the fake stuff, and places that DO have the genuine stuff often charge $1-$2. I understand the need/desire to save some money, but if YOU saw someone pull out their own maple syrup, you'd at least laugh to yourself if not AT them, right?

I thought I'd foil his plans when I reminded him that I had thrown out all our Tupperware because it was mismatched and I wanted to start fresh with a brand new set. Then he looked in my baking drawer and found something perfect for his scheme.

I cringed as he poured syrup into this bad boy.

Off to the diner we went. And I tried not to cringe when he grabbed the syrup, which he had not-so-slyly stashed in the cup holder of our stroller, to pour on his French toast.

During breakfast Brent said to me, "Let's make Em ambidextrous."

"I don't think that's how it works, hon," I told him.

"Too bad. Then she could forge notes easier."

"Wait, why would we WANT her to forge notes?!?"

Then he reminded me of one of the cutest stories ever.

When Brent was 7, he got in trouble and his teacher sent him to the principal's office. Instead of going to the principal's office, telling the principal that he was in trouble, getting the requisite note from the principal for his teacher as proof he had been there, he arrived at the office and asked the secretary for a pen and paper.

He then wrote his own note that said, "Brent has come to see me, Mrs. [teacher]. Assistant principal [name]." He even ASKED the secretary how to spell the assistant principal's name! Obviously the teacher was onto him when he returned to the classroom.

So adorable and precocious, but we won't be telling Em that story until after she graduates high school. "Em, this report card looks an awful lot like YOUR handwriting..."

"Did you forge my name? How dare you. Is this backwards 'S' supposed to be cute? Oh, I'm going to crap double for you tonight." - Stewie Griffin, Family Guy

Thursday, November 27, 2008

ThisThanksgiving I'm thankful for...

- my gorgeous, healthy daughter. (That's a given.)

- the end of the 6-week growth spurt. Last week was crazy-go-nuts. Her marathon crying sessions with no end in sight took quite the toll on both Brent and I, but we knew it couldn't last forever so we powered through. And thankfully we're back to the less fussy Em.

- Em's 6 a.m. feeding, when she's seemingly her most cheerful. Her eyes light up and her smile is HUGE. We'll spend a good 15 minutes just making mommy-baby eyes at each other. Getting up so early doesn't feel so awful when I have that to look forward to.

- Em's tummy, especially when it's full of milk. Also, Em's thighs. And toes. And super soft feet. And fat bracelets. Screw it - everything Em, head to toe.

- 4 1/2 months of maternity leave. Having this precious time together with my daughter means the world to me.

- my wonderful husband, who doesn't bat an eye when I ask him to take on one of the feedings for me so I can get a six-hour block of sleep. My hottie hubby also requests that I take some "me" time each weekend, even if it's just for an hour, so I can recharge a bit.

- my fabulous family, especially my mom and my in-laws. They couldn't be more excited to have Em in their lives.

- finding a daycare for Em that Brent and I are quite comfortable with. We both feel good about leaving her there. It's really close to my office, so I can visit during lunch. There's a great energy about the caregivers and the other kids there. As an added bonus, Em will be immersed in jazz music, Italian and Spanish. Heck, I wish I could spend MY days being taken care of there!

- the internet, which keeps me company when I can't fall back asleep quickly after a 1 a.m. feeding. It also allows me to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving! Oh, and the internet allows me to spread the word that if you happen to have the Game Show Network, my Pyramid episode from 2002, I think, is re-airing tonight at 6 p.m. (Check your local listings.) I didn't realize until late last night, otherwise I would have told you all sooner. My celebrity partners were Dick Clark and Karri Turner.

"So, here's some advice I wish I woulda got when I was your age: Live every week like it's Shark Week." - Tracy Jordan, 30 Rock

Friday, November 21, 2008

Our little cupcake

Brent and I waited toward the very end of my pregnancy to consider maternity pics. We were going to take them with the fabulous Next Exit, but before we could schedule a session, Em decided to make an early arrival.

But we were sure not to wait too long before taking Em for her first pro photo shoot. Although she was being a bit of a diva (aka fussy) during the shoot, Cat and Adi still captured some awesome shots.

And while I still go back and forth about if/how/when I'll post pics of Em on here, I'm going to make an exception to share some of the fabulous teasers that Cat just blogged.

The three of us
(That's the FIRST and ONLY pic we have of the three of us together! We've been neglectful in that area. Tsk, tsk...)

Em and I

Em

Cupcake

Thanks again, Cat and Adi! You rock, as always!

"Young people are in a condition like permanent intoxication, because youth is sweet and they are growing." - Aristotle

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

By the numbers

9 emails to respond to

10 thank-you notes to write

3 phone calls to make

786 blog posts to read in my Google Reader

5 (or more) blog posts to write

Too many errands to count

All of the above is certainly adding up, and I'm not sure how long the "new mom" excuse will be viable.

If anyone gives me any grief, though, I'll just point to:

1 very important baby.

"Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep." - Fran Lebowitz

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

A few of my favorite things

Fleur de Sel Caramel ice cream - When Brent went grocery shopping for the first time post-Em, he brought back this delightful concoction. He and I both enjoy pairings of sweet and savory, especially when the savory is salt. We've gone through a few cartons of this flavor as it certainly doesn't last long in our house.
Cupcake onesies - How cute is this onesie gift set from our pal Nicole? Simply adorable!
cupcakes2 cupcakes

Pumpkin blended drinks from Coffee Bean - It's the most wonderful time of the year, my friend.

Johnson's Bedtime line
- This stuff is designed to help babies sleep better via aromatherapy. It smells so nice and I look forward to putting it on Em. I like to give her mini massages, joking with her to tell me what kind of pressure she prefers, much like when her mommy goes for massages.
Homedics Sound Spa Lullaby Machine - Known on the baby message boards I frequent as "Baby Crack," this white noise machine/wall projector is lovely. Em sleeps in our room, so Brent and I are getting used to falling asleep to the sound of rain or the ocean. (The heartbeat option freaks me out a bit.) When Em starts sleeping in her own room and is old enough to focus on the picture projection, I'm sure that feature will be put to good use.
Monday Mommy Movies - A local movie theater offers special weekly screenings, designed especially for moms and their young children. The lights are kept up and the volume is lower than usual. They have a changing table up front, as well as a special area to park strollers. And if your baby cries, it's perfectly fine! On Monday, CaliGirl, who had her beautiful baby girl ONE DAY BEFORE I HAD EM via a c-section IN THE SAME HOSPITAL as us, joined us for a screening of Role Models. (I thought it was hilarious, though it was hard to tell if the rest of the audience felt the same way. Babies are picky about jokes.) It was so nice to see CaliGirl and the amazingly cute Maya. It was also nice to get out of the house.

Em's weight - I weighed her at yesterday's new moms group. She's 5 1/2 weeks and weighs approximately 10 lbs., 6 ozs, which means she's growing just as she should be! Babies her age should gain about an ounce a day, and she's right on track based on her last weigh-in at the pediatrician's.

"Stop talking" cards
- I don't have these, but I'm sure I could find plenty of uses for them!

"Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels. Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles. Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings. These are a few of my favorite things." - My Favorite Things

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I wanna get with ya and take your picture

It's no secret how much I loved/love our wedding photographers, Cat and Adi of Next Exit Photography. In addition to being super cool peeps, they take AMAZING pictures. (I'd be lying if I told you that I still don't ooooh and ahhh over our wedding pics on a regular basis.)

I, on the other hand, am not so great at taking pictures. When Brent and I got our swanky new camera and lens earlier this year, I tried to search for some local photography classes so I could get a handle on using our camera beyond the "auto" mode, as well as to help me develop a better eye for composition. Not a lot out there, lemme tell ya.

So imagine my delight when my worlds collided and I saw this message from Next Exit's recent newsletter:

Time to reserve your spot in Cat’s class “How to Take Good Pikchas of Your Kids and Other People, Level 1.”

In this 2-hour class, you will learn simple secrets for:

· Taking great pictures with a point-and-shoot or an SLR
· When to flash (other than during college homecoming games)
· Composition
· Using F-stops, shutter speeds, ISO, and all that mumbo jumbo
· Shooting into the sun
· Using night settings

The class will include a homework assignment graded and evaluated by Cat. Two sessions remain:

· November 19, 2008: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
· November 20, 2008: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Prepare to capture great memories this holiday season for just $99. Mention the code “November Newsletter,” and pay just $79!

Oh, yeah. I'm soooo there! Now I can learn to take better pics of Em!

You local wanna be shutterbugs might want to do yourself a favor and sign up for one of Cat's sessions, too. She's an absolute doll and I'm sure a fabulous teacher. Tell her Nanette sent ya!

"Photography's an art. You gotta have the right film, you gotta have the right exposure, and you gotta scream just before they get the food to their mouth." - Gonzo, The Great Muppet Caper

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

31 days later

As Brent and I enjoyed last night's presidential election outcome, I turned to him and said, "Can you believe Em is going to be A MONTH OLD tomorrow?!?" He was just about as shocked as I was.

I go back and forth from thinking that she JUST GOT HERE to feeling like she's been with us forever. She is such a sweet, sweet baby and hard not to fall in love with instantly.

When she's sleeping, she smiles as if she knows something we don't. Perhaps someday she'll let us in on her little secret.

When she's awake, her big, blue/grey eyes just soak up the world around her. (Yup, she has light-ish eyes. They are so freakin' cute although they'll likely darken to brown before she turns one unless the lighter-eyed genes keep hold.)

She makes us laugh with her facial expressions, her movements, her reactions to what we're saying. She can lift her right eyebrow, which is something I can't do but her daddy can. And she does it at the most opportune times, like when we're discussing how funny it is that she can do that.

And although a few of our recent visitors happened to stop by during her cluster feedings, when she cries if she's not eating or sleeping, she's generally a laid back baby. I took her to a New Moms group earlier this week. While 20+ new moms sat around, talking about challenges and asking the lactation consultant leading the group about common obstacles, Em spent the entire class passed out on my chest. The women on either side of me "awww"-ed each time she'd make her little baby noises while lifting her sleepy head to shift positions. Yup, that's our sweet baby girl.

Brent and I spend so much time trying to soak her in. She's already changed and grown so much. We hold her close, shower her with hugs and kisses and constantly remind her that she is so very loved and that we're so excited that she's made us quite a family.

How I spend most of my day

"The smile. Those big, watery red eyes. I don't know how George Bush did it when Colin Powell left." - Michael, The Office

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Solid as Barack

Em reminds you all to get out there and vote today!

Barack the vote