Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mobile moments

I really need to start carrying my point-and-shoot camera. So please bear with my grainy mobile phone pics, but they're just too cute not to share.

This is an older pic, but still one of my favs. Em cuddles with this little monkey in her crib sometimes. Brent came out of the nursery giggling during one of her naps when he found her like this:
Monkey slumber

Em can sit up on her own now, although not enough for us to leave her unattended as she still topples over now and then. She is good enough to try out a restaurant high chair, which we did this weekend. Here she is, buckled into my high chair/shopping cart cover, sitting like a champ!

We like to imagine what Em will look like when she FINALLY gets some hair. A glimpse into the future? Our own little Suri Cruise, perhaps?
Mommy donates hair

I think Em is realizing what a big, big world in which she's found herself. Her new trick is bracing herself, which has translated into what we like to think are HUGS as she pulls her body tightly into ours and wraps her pudgy little arms around us! You can ask her for a hug, and there's a good possibility she'll give you one on cue! Love it, love it, love it! In addition to bracing herself via hugs, she likes to hold on tight to her changing table pad and her car seat. Evidence below.
Bracing herself

Holding tight

Hold on, baby girl. Mommy and Daddy are gonna take ya for a wild ride.

"Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them."
- The Little Prince

Monday, April 27, 2009

Take the Next Exit...

If you missed it the first time, now's your chance to gobble up a piece of Cat's photography goodness. Or if you've got some photo skills and want to kick it up a notch, check out the Level 2 class.

I credit Cat for helping me learn how to take so many super cute pictures of Em to share with all of you. I'll be attending the Level 2 class. Come join in the fun!

And don't forget the Nanette-ified discount!

Time to reserve your spot in this incredible class, led by award-winning family photographer, Cat Krantz Benner, co-owner of the Next Exit Photography Studio in West Los Angeles.

“How to Take Good Pikchas of Your Kids and Other People, Level 1.”
In this two-hour intro class, you will learn simple secrets for:
• Taking great pictures with your SLR
• When to use a flash
• Composition
• Using F-stops, shutter speeds, ISO, and all that mumbo jumbo
• Shooting into the sun?
• Using night settings

May 13 or 14, 2009 7:30-9:30pm

“How to Take Good Pikchas of Your Kids and Other People, Level 2.”
In this two-hour beginner-intermediate class, you will learn tips and tricks for:
• The right place and the right time to shoot
• Turning off the flash (for good!)
• Reviewing F-stop, shutter speed, ISO, white balance theory
• Shutter Mode vs. Aperture Mode vs. Manual
• Creative concepts for integrating fashion and photojournalism into your family photography
• How to Shoot, Look, Adjust, Repeat (aka chimping)

May 20, 2009 7:30-9:30pm

Prepare to capture great memories of your family this summer season for just $129.
Mention "Nanette’s Blog," and pay just $99!

Next Exit Photography
Email our studio manager Nicole to register! Space is limited.
nicole @ nextexitphotography.com

"I never smile if I can help it. Showing one's teeth is a submission signal in primates. When someone smiles at me, all I see is a chimpanzee begging for its life." - Dwight, The Office

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Marching for Maddie

Saturday we popped out of bed around 5:45.

"Wait, Mom. WHY are we up this early?"
You woke me up HOW early?

We were up that early to join Heather, Mike and about 75 of their friends in Maddie's honor at the March of Dimes' March for Babies.

Team Maddie meets up.
Team Maddie

After gathering, we headed over to the opening ceremonies, where we listened to Heather and Mike tell Maddie's story to the March of Babies' walkers.
Heather and Mike

Daddy and Em watching the opening remarks

The opening remarks ended and we headed over to the starting line, along with the other 10,000 walkers.
The starting line

Em was already pooped.
Em naps before the march

But she still showed her support for Maddie.
Em's stroller sign

Brent, Em and I were so honored to be a part of Team Maddie.
Brent and Em

And thank you to those of you who supported Team Maddie through thoughts, prayers and donations.

"That's the best thing about walking, the journey itself. It doesn't matter much whether you get where you're going or not. You'll get there anyway. Every good hike brings you eventually back home."
- Edward Abbey

Friday, April 17, 2009

Solid as a rock

Happy 1,006th post to me! This was my 1,000th post, but I didn't realize it at the time.

This morning was Em's first attempt at solids! Well, it's what the experts call "solids" when really they're just slightly thickened liquids.

Since I've given Em so many of her meals, I gave Brent first crack at this one.

Not much made it into her mouth, but she seemed into it.

Getting ready for her first meal, sporting the awesome Hello Kitty bib that Jenn bought.
Getting ready

Learning what a spoon is.

Admittedly, we did get a lot of this look.

But overall, not so bad!
Not so bad!

This week is rice cereal. Next week is oatmeal. Then we're onto veggies and fruits!

Awww, Em's turning into a big girl.

"Happy is said to be the family which can eat onions together. They are, for the time being, separate, from the world, and have a harmony of aspiration." - Charles Dudley Warner

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Maddie's memorial

I still can't put into words the emotions from yesterday's beautiful services for Maddie.

So instead I'll point you to Casey's post. Read with tissue in hand.

"Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit." - Bernard Williams

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fighting tooth and nail

It's been a rough 24 hours. Em is teething. And it's hurting both of us. For the first time in her 6 months, she cried actual wet tears. Writhing in pain while I tried to console her with hugs, little tears rolled out the corners of her little eyes. I could have cried, too. What I would give to take away her pain.

I think her bottom two teeth are coming out at once. The sad part is that she's not actual cutting them yet. Her gums are just starting to swell there.

Last night she was up at least 8 times. Yes, EIGHT. And that's with a steady dose of infant tylenold and teething tablets. I was in such a haze all day today, thankful I didn't have to work. She was a bit happier during the day, but things have already started out rough tonight. (From what I read, babies seem to be less bothered with teething during the day because they're too distracted to notice the pain.) Tonight we're trying infant motrin along with the teething tablets. And lots of prayers to the teething gods.

Wednesday was our 3-year wedding anniversary. Yay, us! Brent sent me beautiful flowers at work, which coincidentally arrived as I was crying over the loss of little Maddie. Tonight we were going to go on our first solo date (at this point we've only gone out sans Em on dates with friends) to celebrate, but Brent is sick. So, sick husband + grumpy baby = no date night for us.

We have no plans for Easter tomorrow. It's one of my most memorable holidays growing up, so we'll be sure to make a bigger deal of it for Em starting next year. Brent says Em is going to be mad at me for eating all the Easter treats that were sent home with her from daycare. For now this may be her extent of Easter celebration:
Honey bunny

Obviously teething is nothing compared to what others are going through. You may have noticed that my blogger background is purple. That's in honor of little Maddie. We'll also be wearing purple to her services on Tuesday.

You can read the article that the LA Times just did about Maddie and the amazing support the Spohrs have received from friends and strangers across the internet. Please consider contributing to the Paypal account I mentioned in a previous post. Beyond the high price tag of a funeral, they'll also be faced with no income as they mourn Maddie's loss. Heather was a stay-at-home mom, and Mike is an independent contractor who won't be paid for the time he's not working.

Even $1 can make a big difference.

"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."- John Wesley

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I’ve fallen sad inside and I need a place to hide

The amazingly beautiful Maddie, the daughter of our friends Heather and Mike, passed away yesterday. She was only 17 months old.

Just this Saturday we enjoyed Maddie's contagious smile and her expressive face at the 1st birthday party for Clara, the daughter of our mutual pal Cat.

I plunked our hefty Em down next to Maddie on the blanket to enjoy the children's musical act. Mike half-joked that Em could roll over and crush tiny Maddie. We watched as Heather guided Maddie through the motions to accompany the songs, and I saw Heather's face light up as she watched Maddie's reactions to the entertainers. Maddie beamed from ear to ear, as always.

I'm stunned that that was just a few days ago, and now...

I know I'm not the only one trying to wrap my brain around what happened. The blogosphere and Twitterverse are rallying behind this beautiful family, and it's amazing to see.

If you have been touched by their story, you can show your support in a few different ways.

- You can donate to a Paypal account to help with expenses. "Send Money" to formaddie@hotmomreviews.com. Approximately $1,700 has been raised thus far.

- You can donate to March of Dimes in Maddie's name for the upcoming March for Babies.

- You can add a March of Dimes widget to your blog, Facebook, MySpace, etc.

- You can do a tribute blog post and add it here.

And for you Southern California folks, you can join a growing group of folks who will walk in Maddie's honor at the March for Babies on April 25. It's a 3-mile walk. Brent, Em and I will be there. If you want details on where and when the group will meet, email undomesticdiva at gmail dot com to get added to the list.

If nothing else, please keep them all in your thoughts. No parent should ever have to bury their child.

"Can I stay here with you till the day breaks? How happy it would make me to see your face when I awake." - Can I Stay, Ray LaMontagne

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Happy 1/2 birthday!

Em turned 6 months old today!

6 months

Our sweet girl...
Just one look

...growing so fast...
Close up

...and more lovable by the day.
Nom nom nom

"May you live every day of your life." - Jonathon Swift

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Em's plea

Em here. I'm sorry my mommy isn't blogging as much as she used to.
1 forgive mommy

She's spending all her free time STARING at me while cooing about my big eyes and how pretty I am!
2 all she wants to do is stare

I know, I know. She's kinda nuts. You're preaching to the choir, folks.
3 i know she's mom is nuts

But she says she's going to start blogging more soon, perhaps about stuff that's not even about ME!
4 but shell be better soon

So can you please forgive her for her absence?
5 so please forgive her

6 please2

7 thanks

"If you want to be creative, stay in part a child, with the creativity and invention that characterizes children before they are deformed by adult society." - Jean Piaget