Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More Project 365

Em has grown to be much more cuddly when she's awake. She'll give us unprompted hugs and will want to snuggle more before we put her down for the night. And instead of immediately waking up when we take her out of her car seat, she's started to rest her head on our shoulders and continue to slumber.

Day 21

Friday we met up with Alyssa, Jenny and the Bean for lunch and shopping. Em sported this lovely dress that Alyssa gave her for her birthday. Super cute! I wish it came in my size!
Day 22

Saturday Em and I had lunch with a bunch of my friends, one of whom brought her gorgeous little boy, F. He's a few months younger than Em, so he mostly sat there quietly and smiled, while Em ran around like a terror, getting into EVERYTHING. I trailed her most of the time, but at one point she ran into the kitchen and came back out with a sandwich from the garbage! This garbage was in a cabinet, by the way. My girl is FAST, and apparently hungry -- even after her own lunch and half of mine. I noticed the trail of panini on my friend's carpet and knew exactly what happened.

Anyhow, Em and F did humor me by sitting close together long enough for me to snap some pics.

"You think you're getting your chair back, F?"
"Oh, yeah?!?!"

"Ok, but only because you have nice eyes and fun hair."
"Nice eyes!"

"Mom! Don't embarrass me in front of my date!"
Day 23

The next day we went to my in-laws', where Grandpa read Em a used Richard Scary picture book that Grandma bought from a nearby library. We all laughed as he pointed out the tagging by "Smiley," a local gang member who had also decided to pencil in male genitalia throughout the book. "That's a dentist....and he's putting *something* in his patient's mouth....what in the?!?"

Day 24

Day 25's photo features Em with her stuff-around-her-neck trick. It's a flower headband I bought for her last year, but she loves to wear it like a collar.
Day 25

Day 26 is a post-bathtime/pre-bedtime photo. Yes, those are her FEET.
Day 26

Lastly, here's a photo from tonight's dinner. Em was probably thinking, "Why are you taking pics during this meltdown?!?! Seriously!"
Day 27

"Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind, which are delivered down from generation to generation as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn." - Joseph Addison

Monday, January 25, 2010

Say "cheeeeese"

The weekend was a cheese-bread-meat-carb extravaganza.

I would've taken pictures of our fancy spreads had I not been chasing my toddler around for hours and hours, and if I'd really paid attention to all the awesome photography advice I've been given and figured out how to put it to good use on some food shots.

If you're food-photo-phobic, too, and you're in the LA area, consider this upcoming workshop on how to get the best shots of your tasty meals.

You'll get to taste the new Winter menu of Chef Todd Allison while local food bloggers (aka food photo experts) walk you through taking pretty pics of his culinary creations at the Checkers Downtown. The food alone is probably worth the $45 workshop fee!

Point & Shoot and DSLRs alike are welcome!

The event is Saturday, Feb. 6, from 12:30 - 3 p.m.

Find out more info and register here.

"Always keep learning. It keeps you young." - Patty Berg

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Days 16-20


"Bedtime? I'm outta here!"
Day 17

Day 18's photo technically was in my previous post. Sigh...

But here's another from later that day.
Chillin' with Daddy

Em can do this wacky tongue-twisting thing, illustrated below. Also, notice the shirt. I'm not sure if I bought it or if someone gave it to me. (If you did, remind me! And we'll blame it on mommy brain!) Brent said her ensemble looked like she was on her way to capoeria practice.
Day 19

Lastly, we have today's photo. She likes to put things under her chin, like Brent's watch, my headbands, whatever, and walk around our condo. It's just one of her many silly toddler traits.
Day 20

"One of the 24 similarities between women and fish: They're both attracted to shiny objects. You never read my blog, do you?" - Barney, How I Met Your Mother

Monday, January 18, 2010

The worst kind of milestone

As Brent is still funemployed and my work schedule is fairly flexible, we take turns sleeping in on alternate days. (Sleeping in for me means I'm up by 8:30.) This morning was my turn to get up with Em. We did our usual routine of changing her diaper, giving her some milk and breakfast. Then I realized she was dirty, so I took her back into her room, set her on her changing table.

Em is typically squirmy on her changing table, so we try to distract her with some sort of toy. Her latest obsession is a toy eggplant from her play kitchen. She's inexplicably enamored with it, which is fine by us. This morning it had fallen on the floor, and as I bent over to pick it up, I kept one hand on Em. Our little girl is super fast, and in the blink of an eye she turned and lunged off the table.

Onto the floor.

Onto her face.

I saw it with my own two horrified mommy eyes.

I've never seen anything so heartbreaking. I thought I knew what Mommy Guilt felt like before this morning. I was WRONG.

She started wailing, which was music to my ears as I've heard that an unresponsive child after a fall like that is a bad, bad sign. Also, nothing seemed broken as she clutched onto me and I screamed for Brent. He shot out of bed. I handed Em to him, and I looked her over. It was then I noticed the blood pooling just inside her drooly bottom lip. Brent handed her back to me, disappeared into our bedroom and came out dressed, noting, "We're taking her to the ER to see if she needs stitches."

In my Mommy World, my kidlet's first ER visit shouldn't have happened until she was at least 20.

Brent quickly comforted me, his sobbing wife who allowed our beautiful baby girl to take such an awful tumble. He assured me that it was ok, that Em would be fine.

He changed her dirty diaper and we headed out. By the time we got her into the car, Em was no longer crying. She played with her gloworm while I dabbed her bloody lip.

We arrived at the nearby ER, thankful there were no other patients there. We checked in and a nurse brought us in to take Em's vitals. I imagine this is a common toddler phenomenon, but Em hates being messed with. Looking in her ears, her eyes, her mouth, taking her temperature, cutting her finger and toenails? She hates it ALL. So she was not happy to arrive at the ER to have a blood pressure thing wrapped around her big toe, nor did she like having her temp taken under her arm.

From there we moved to an exam room, where things moved fairly quickly. A nurse and doc checked Em out, examining her from head to toe with the nature of her fall in mind. Then the doc said Em was going to need a stitch or two in her bottom lip.

As Em is a squirmy toddler, they gave us two options before the procedure. The first was for her to remain laying on my chest, facing out, where I'd help hold her arms down. The other option was to have her restrained via a papoose/swaddle-type set-up with sheets from the neck down. As much as it pained us to go with the latter, the staff advised us that that would likely be the easiest -- and fastest -- for everyone.

So they quickly secured her, numbed her lip and stitched her up. They alternated asking what Em's favorite songs were (for us to sing and soothe her) and assuring Em's sobbing mama that Em wasn't in pain. While it seemed like an eternity from start to finish, it really was no more than a minute. One of the nurses, a parent himself, tried to comfort me with his declaration that as much as parents try to prevent these things, sometimes gravity wins out.

Em was exhausted by the time we left. Not only was she worn out from the accident and her own wailing, but it was past her morning nap time. I sat in the back of our car and sang silly songs to keep her awake until we got home. She smiled while losing the fight against her weighted eyelids, and Brent and I couldn't help but laugh.

She was asleep on Brent's shoulder long before we placed her in her crib. The rest of the day was filled with lots of tv, lots of clear liquids and soft foods, some dancing and giggles from Em, and lots of apologies from me.

Mommy is so sorry she broke you, Em.

Day 18

Now would be the opportune time to learn to say, "I'd like a pony."

"The central struggle of parenthood is to let our hopes for our children outweigh our fears." - Ellen Goodman

Friday, January 15, 2010

Project 365 continues!

Days 11-15

Bath time
Day 11

Sleepy girl (Almost forgot to take a pick that day. Oops.)
Day 12

Rosie the Riveter. Aunt Jemima. Or a member of the Bloods. Your pick.
Day 13

Bright light
Day 14

Under the weather today. She has a runny nose, and then a fever brought on from her vaccines this morning. Poor little gal.
Day 15

"Energy is eternal delight." - William Blake

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Team Over!

Didn't realize I was in violation of BlogHer's contest guidelines, so I had to move the contest post to my newly-created review/contest area of the blog.

So you can still enter, but the post has been moved here.

If you already commented on this post, don't worry - you're still entered!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gimme five

I'm enjoying my Project 365 -- taking a photo of Em every day for a year -- but I'm thinking that waiting to post them every five days could make for very long posts. You'll see what I mean below.

Day 6 - This was an evening photo, hence the use of flash. I'm still playing around with how to get the best indoor pics.
Day 6

Day 7 - Lots of great photos from this day. Started with a trip to the Nom Nom Truck, which I've mentioned before here.
Running to the Nom Nom Truck


We took our lunch to a nearby park...

...where Em lurked in the shadows...

...and played in the sand.

Aaannnndddd listened to rocks. What the?


I think she really just enjoyed the way the cold rocks felt against her cheek.

Day 8 - We took Em to a mall play area, where she mostly sat and watched in awe as the bigger kids whizzed by her. I was having some shutter speed/lighting issues, so I only got one decent photo.
Day 8

Day 9 - That morning Brent got Em up from her first nap while I retrieved a load of her laundry. I came back in to find Em roaming our condo like this:
Day 9

(The hand down the diaper didn't start until I started to snap a pic.)

Here's a close-up of the post-it.
Post-it: close-up

Duly noted, Em. Duly noted.

Day 10 - That brings us to today. I started off by admiring Em's peaches-n-cream complexion and red hair. We still don't know what gene pool that came from.
Day 10

She managed to spend the rest of the day bangin' herself up. She got a little scrape when she fell and bumped our coffee table, and then scraped her knee TWICE while at the park with Daddy. Apparently she didn't cry until the second fall.

"An old Apache storyteller reminds us: 'The plants, rocks, fire, water, all are alive. They watch us and see our needs. They see when we have nothing to protect us, and it is then that they reveal themselves and speak to us.'" - Joseph Campbell

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

My 2010 to-do list

I don't have resolutions this year.

I have a to-do list.

It's stuff I want NEED to get done. Some of the list includes fairly simple tasks. Some of the items are going to require daily motivation and perseverance, but I'm confident that my list is realistic.

- Schedule solo date nights with Brent
- Find a babysitter for the above date nights
- Explore more of LA with Em
- Travel somewhere fun with Em and Brent - a REAL vacation
- Take more "me" time, particularly for pampering
- Prepare our will - long overdue
- Pull together our disaster preparedness kit - also long overdue

- Cook something from a recipe once a week
- Get healthy. Lose a BUNCH of weight. Won't go into specific numbers here, but it's A LOT.
- Successfully complete the Couch to 5K running program
- Cut back, and hopefully cut out, soda

- Continue getting results, and make the next three months of my contract rock
- Make the results of all my hard work evident

- Blog more. I'm also going to allow anonymous comments again, but I reserve the right to turn them off if spammers or trolls rear their ugly heads
- Comment more on others' blogs
- Manage my Google Reader better and keep up with more of the blogs I follow
- Limit my use of emoticons. I rely on smilies way too much.

- Start carrying my point-and-shoot with me all the time
- Read my camera manual and revisit all the awesome photography advice I've received so I can take better pics
- Make sure Em's modeling agent always has up-to-date pics of Em
- Keep at least one memory card for our camera empty at all times
- Keep plenty of space on our Flip (video) cam available
- Project 365 - A lot of folks take a stab at this by taking a photo every day for an entire year. I'm trying it this year, with Em as my subject. Maybe I'll post them in batches of five? They'll also be in a set on Flickr, if you're a friend of mine there.

Here are days 1-5.
Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

"The deal is that this is my last hurrah, cause I made a New Year's resolution that I'm not going to drink anymore. During the week." - Meredith, The Office

Friday, January 01, 2010

Super Em

2009 was a rough year, but we're confident that 2010 will be much better.

How do we know?

Well, we have Super Em, after all!

Don't let her hard (yet squishy) superhero exterior fool you...
Cold, superhero stare

She has a big, happy heart. She makes us happy a billion times over.
Super Em at the door

2010 is going to kick 2009's ass. We'll help Em harness her super-toddler powers to make sure of it.
Watching over the city

"Deep down you may still be that same great kid you used to be. But it's not who you are underneath, it's what you do that defines you." - Rachel Dawes, Batman