Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Video Update

For those of you that don't get to hang out with this little cheerio monster every day. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Life's Wonderfully Complicated Little Dance

The dance continues at a faster pace than ever...some days I feel I just can't keep up!  One day you are celebrating a plus sign on a pee stick, & the next thing you know there is a tiny mouthful of words shouting at you & little arms & legs going from 0 to 100 in 60 seconds. Then BAM! it hits you, your little girl is going to grow up & there really is nothing you can do to stop it.  OK, so I remember a time when Scarlett was this fascinating creature that basically just slept, ate, cried & pooped & people kept telling me it goes by so fast, but I didn't believe them because it felt like time was almost standing still.   As she picks up her tempo, it seems time does as well, in a number of ways.
Do you remember when you were a young child, how a year seemed to take for ever? Well my hubby once put it all into perspective for me.  When you are 5, a year is only 1/5 of your life, so relatively, it is a pretty large portion of the life that you have lived, & therefor feels much slower in comparison to when you are 10, 15, or 25, because the older you get the smaller fraction a year becomes of your life (1/10, 1/15, or 1/25, etc) so it feels like it is going by a lot faster, relative to the rest of your life.  I hadn't thought about it before this was explained t to me (& partly ashamed that I didn't think of it myself), but it makes total sense, the concept fascinated me.  However, I had never considered the effect it would have on me when it comes to my child's life.
I remember, for some reason, time slowing down significantly for me about a month before I got pregnant.  I found it to be a strange sensation, whether it was because work was slow & I wasn't super busy (I'm always busy, just sometimes less busy) or some other phenomenon, I hadn't felt time slow down so much in a long long time.  Pregnancy dragged out, & I was never once surprised I was already 6 or 8 or almost 10 months along (that I can recall) because it didn't feel at all that it flew by - especially the first few months, although a blur.  Scarlett came along, those first few days at home seemed like a year in themselves, but still although she was changing so much every day, it didn't really hit me until she was about 6 months.  At the turn of the New Year, I said to Rodd, "That was a long year." It seemed forever ago that we vacationed in Mexico (probably because I knew deep down that it would be our last vacation in a while).
However, as Scarlett gets older, time has begun to accelerate again.  The busier she gets, the busier I get, the busier everything around me gets, & I can honestly say that life has resumed it's turbo pace, that I remember prior to 2010.  Perhaps this is partially due to an automatic rhythm that we have together created, tuning in to one another's needs through our very communication, making a new melody (for every relationship a new melody is created, based on each person's rhythm).  As each day becomes a smaller fraction of her life, I experience the acceleration with her. Together we keep each other up to pace.  For her, I imagine it still feels quite slow, but I experience the accumulation of my ever-decreasing fraction along with hers, so the pace of my beat is picking up significantly.
The more dance partners you let into your step, the more complicated your melody gets, & it becomes a real challenge to keep the beat.  But at the same time life becomes far more interesting & rewarding. 
So you think to yourself, this could be a very depressing way to look at life.  Well, to me I don't see it that way, it is simply an observation, but more so an invitation to challenge time - to beat the beat.  To take a moment when life feels like it is travelling at warp zone speeds, & slow it down to a calmer beat.  To get down to a child's level & take life in from her perspective, in larger fractions & smaller steps.  To ignore all life's pressing expectations for a while & focus on what is most important, the beauty that surrounds us, & life's gifts. To me, this is so important - but often forgotten in the daily boogie we get swept up in - it is such values that I want to teach my daughter to keep.  And I can only thank her for bringing them back to my attention.
So in summary: In life's jive sometimes you move to the beat you are given, other times you must take the lead, but it is important that, once in a while, you let your partner lead, if you want to experience life at whole.  
Today I leave you with the following video, this song is fitting, since it makes me & Scarlett both want to dance every time it plays.  I love the message & the simplicity of it. So shake your booty boys & girls to Beauty in the World, by Macy Gray.  Enjoy!


Friday, June 3, 2011

The Independent Dependent Stage

The 9 months mark is here, & we are just barely getting into the swing of things, I've come to the realization that Scarlett is no longer a little baby.  To me 9 months feels like almost a year - only 3 months to go.  Yesterday I think she realized it too, as she discovered a new game...let's see how far I can crawl before mommy comes & gets me.  Panting with excitement, she exaggerates her movements, slapping each hand on the floor as if it will make her go faster.  Every few strides, she stops, peeks over her shoulder to see if anyone is following her & grins.  Then off she goes again, heading towards the next room.

I think she just discovered that she can travel from room to room at a faster than ever speed, realizing a new Independence.  As long as I am watching or following her (& not sitting down) the game continues. The minute I sit or lay on the couch, she comes motoring back & insists I pick her up, burying her head into my shoulder, grinning away.  This is a fun stage, but simultaneously exhausting (for me, not so much for her). I suppose that explains why I've been so tired lately.  That & the new "good morning!" routine introduced this week.

In one way this independent dependence can be a good thing.  If she chooses, Scarlett can entertain herself for longer periods of time (with constant supervision required....it also happens to be a clumsy stage as well).  Yesterday I managed to get ALL the dishes done, while she kept busy pulling herself up on the fridge, then the stove, then the cupboards - door goes open, door goes closed, door goes open, door goes closed.  At that point I really did appreciate this in dependant dependant stage.

Then there are 'those days' when the squirt cannot get enough of her mom, particularly when she is feeling under the weather.  Sure I love that she loves me, but some days personal space is not even an option, & although it can get overwhelming after a while, you have to go with it.  Finally, after a 12 hour shift, "Daddy" comes home, also tired, & I am probably more excited than anyone to hand her off, but as soon as he picks her up & I make the slightest notion of leaving the room, she gets upset & reaches out to me.  Then her dad gets upset.  & so we are all upset. Depending on how stubborn I feel that day, I either leave the room or take her back.

One of the best lessons I've learned since motherhood has taken over my life, is to lower my expectations of getting any sort of work done when I am with Scarlett.  Some days things get done, but if they don't I work really hard not to get frustrated, & this has taken a huge load off my shoulders.  Still trying to work it out, I have had to lessen my workload (obviously) & make my clients understand that their pictures may take a bit longer to process.  I have to become much more disciplined during the delegated work time so that I can take a load off for the times I need to focus on raising my daughter minus the stress of what I haven't got done.  This is a process in development.

Maybe this sounds like a lot of complaining, but I must say each month she becomes more fun, fascinating & funny (& challenging) than the one previous.  There have been easier phases in the last 9 months, but I wouldn't choose to go back to any of them.  But I must give her credit, the kid has been pretty darn good to us.  Let me explain: she may be a little busier than most, but I'm sure we've had fewer sleepless nights than the average young family (the kid can sleep), no problems with food or drink (the kid can eat), & no full blown freak outs in public (that I can remember), overall, Scarlett is a pretty happy & healthy child.  In fact, there are rainy days that I don't even notice, because Scarlett brightens up the room.  So....I suppose this would be a good time to confess to my followers that I've been known to exaggerate some of her tendencies in the past, but in my defence, it makes for a much more interesting read.  So, you're welcome.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Scarlett's Play Date

I babysat Scarlett's friend Ella while her parents played ball.  Since this day, we've been working on Scarlett's social skills...
It started off with some sharing.  Very nice, girls.

Everyone was pretty happy about the playdate.

So I thought I would try to get some pictures on the couch....

....maybe not.

Scarlett doesn't go in her exersaucer very much anymore, but seemed to desperately want to now that Ella was in it, so she yelled at her. 

And then apparently tried to 'dump' Ella out of the exersaucer. Poor Ella, she did not deserve this.

She was also very protective over her toys.  When Ella would play with one (that Scarlett normally has no interest in), Scarlett would try to take it away. This made Ella cry.

Speaking of crying...
Ella started to get tired & wanted to be held. Scarlett did not like seeing her mom with another baby!  Needless to say the result was not pretty.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

B is for...

Maybe I have one last feed in me.....maybe.  But then that's it.  I think everyone is happier because of it.
When I talk to other moms who have recently weaned their baby off the boob, they talk of mixed emotions, happy to be done, but sad too.  I don't really relate to them much, all I feel is the happy part.  Sure I bonded with her sometimes during the feeding.  I also got the crap beat out of me by her spontaneous arm swings & sharp little nails.  I won't even get into the nibbling (thank goodness for no teeth!). But I suspect most of those moms that miss it didn't have to go through the same thing I did.  When I think about it, I question whether I would do it again (but probably would).
They call it thrush.  Personally, I don't think that is a harsh enough word for it.  I know that others who've experienced this to the extent I did will understand.  And although I am finally done with it, it still weighs on me when I think of it.
It's true, I am one of the not so lucky ones to have this chronic case of systemic yeast infections.  Most of the time it's not a big deal, a little irritating, but nothing the odd pill, cream or even pro biotic yogurt couldn't fix.  Then the baby came along & suddenly I had sores where I never thought possible.  After some serious doctoring, a few nights of purple madness, & more than a handful of renewed prescriptions, I managed to get it under control - at least to the point where I was no longer walking around the house bra-less (even shirtless at times) saying "My boobs hurt!"  So for the remaining months as a nursing mother, I dealt with the much less severe, but quite annoying infection, symptoms showing up in waves.  Finally when Scarlett turned 7 months, I put my previous expectations aside & decided I had had enough, Scarlett was ready for independence (so was I).
I think Scarlett had decided she was ready too.  Less interested in mom milk (& a little frustrated in the lack of it) & more interested in what was happening around her, feeding became a bit more of a chore, followed by a temper tantrum (not me, the baby) & efforts to convince the child that she was finished her feed. Since the switch, Scarlett has grown length ways & sideways, is sleeping through the night, is so very happy & has learned to feed herself (I am pretty sure she preferred the bottle the first time we introduced it at 8 weeks).  Just the thought of Rodd getting up in the middle of the night or early in the morning to feed the baby has freed me.  Now just to convince him somehow...
Nature may look down on the fact that I don't miss the boob feeding, but I'm convinced I make up for it in other ways.  Scarlett doesn't let me off that easy.  I am her number one.  Sometimes I wonder if there is a magnetic force between us when in the same room.  No matter how many times I pick her up, & put her down on the other side of the room, she always finds her way back to me.  Followed by an attempt to climb my legs, looking up at me with her big blue eyes & saying "Mom." Maybe it is her way of letting me know that she misses it a little.  Maybe this closeness is a way of compensating for the breast-feeding, making it so easier to wean to the bottle.  Maybe it has nothing to do with it.  But I know my space will never be just my space, & I'm OK with that.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mom's The Word

For months, Rodd & I have been competing to be Scarlett's first word, bombarding the poor child with "Mom"s or "Dad"s.  Being the competitive spirit that I am (not to mention the one that spends the most time & energy with Scarlett) you can imagine my excitement when Scarlett's first word was "Mom." Rodd was on the night shift, so other than reinforcing this accomplishment, I wasn't sure what else to do about it.  Rodd was not around to gloat to. I had nobody to celebrate with (well that's not true, Scarlett is clearly somebody, & the dog counts too, but I'm not convinced they totally understood).  So I took a video & sent it to friends & family, & spent the evening throwing frequent glances towards the computer screen to see if anyone had responded (ahh, technology can be so lonely sometimes).  Scarlett continued to recite her new word, in her smug little Scarlett way, while her mom continued to encourage it. 

At the time, however, I did not consider the baggage that comes along with this situation, namely, the separation anxiety.  Looking back, it all makes obvious sense, but I hadn't previously made this association.  In moderation, I suppose neither the separation anxiety, nor the thrill of her first word would be as taxing/exciting, but Scarlett chooses to do nothing in moderation, taking each to the extreme, making a bittersweet event out of it.  With this newfound skill, "Mom" literally becomes the word...Mom becomes who she calls out to from her crib.  Mom becomes the one she calls to when she's hungry.  Mom becomes the cry when I leave the room.  Just when you think Mom cannot be  anymore in demand, Mom becomes a word. The word.

Although I don't always want to be in such high demand, I must admit that sometimes it is nice to be wanted, the only one that can calm her when she bumps her head. Plus, I get to hang on to the fact that I am Scarlett's first word, that's pretty special...well, for the moment. 

But then "Mom" starts to take on a new meaning, in fact a number of new meanings.  Suddenly "Mom" becomes food she eats, the toys she plays with, her dad, even the dog.  Now I don't feel so special anymore.  Since then she has expanded her vocablulary to "Amma" (Grandma), "Puh" (Puppy), & "Ba-ba" (Da-da), to the point that "Mom" has become just about obsolete - old news. What next?  No more tears when I leave the room?  

She's only 8 months old, & already I feel like she's growing up too fast.  I have the feeling that I'm in this for a long haul.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Careful What You Wish For...

Back in my naive Wonder Belly ways, I recall thinking it would be a good thing if my offspring would inherit my hubby's athletic ability & my determination...now, however, this combination does not seem like such a good idea.  Sometimes I think "too bad this disposition couldn't skip the baby stage & show up later in life when it doesn't require constant supervision from mom."
Today, while at our Fit for 2 class, Scarlett pulled herself up to standing, using the nearest step-up - a new skill she has figured out in the last week & is practicing quite religiously.  Due to a slippery floor, she went into a wide stance, while turning (looking to see who was watching) & taking one hand off the step.  She then proceeded to take her other hand off her support & I (now standing behind her in case she fell) stood frozen, not sure what to do.  What seemed like a minute, but in reality was only about 1/2 a second, Scarlett stood on her own.  This made me very uneasy.  It made her very proud.  This, I fear, will be her next goal. That & climbing.
So why, besides the obvious, does Scarlett's mobile abilities make me nervous?  Of course, the maternal desire to protect my baby from getting hurt is there, but this is something that I knew I would go through, as all mom do I presume.  Perhaps I am worrying for nothing, but the fact that she is able to do so much so early that triggers an alarm...too young to understand the concept of "No" & to learn from the past & be more careful (I cannot count on 2 hands how many times she has conked her head on the floor).  I have a vision of her getting into anything she can get her hands on, & having little tools to teach her right from wrong. With no sign of understanding the consequence, she gets right back to what she was attempting to do the last time she hurt herself.  I'm pretty sure there is a little mischief in there waiting to get out, waiting to explode the minute she takes her first step...& she'll probably be running before she is walking!  
Along with her mission to emphasize the concept "growing up to fast," I am seeing another personality trait develop.  Scarlett seems to have no concept of what she is, or rather 'should' be able to do.  I often see her trying to figure out how to stand while in the middle of the room, nothing around her to pull up on.  Despite many attempts & intense concentration, she continues to try.  I see her doing the same thing when it comes to crawling on her knees or feet as opposed to her belly, which doesn't get her anywhere very fast right now, but it's as if she knows that one day it will get her to point B faster, so she must practice in order to perfect it.  And then there is the climbing.  I'm not sure where she thinks she is going, in fact I am not sure she knows...she just keeps lifting that leg, hoping that something will appear beneath it taking her to the next level. This is the determination that has led to this premature Independence at 7 & 1/2 months old.
And although I hold to these reservations, I can't help but admire her naive confidence. Her sense that she can do anything, without any preconceived expectations of what she can or cannot do (screw the developmental charts!).  And although I realize this will make my job as a supervising parent & caring mother more difficult, I secretly hope that she doesn't lose this sense of self.  I hope that it remains with her when she grows up & has big dreams, that she approaches life similarly to the way she does now, without allowing anyone or anything to get in her way of reaching for the stars.  

In the meantime, I guess I must devote what little spare time I once had to making sure she has something soft to land on.  This must be one of those many sacrifices parents make for their children.
And so, we enter the next phase...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wonder Baby Performs

Remember all that talk about Wonder Baby before she was even Wonder Baby?  Could this have led to some form of a self-fullfilling prophecy?  And so I ask myself...what have I done?

When I referred to my future offspring as "Wonder Baby" I definitely did not think she would have super natural abilities, in fact I didn't really expect anything more than a perfectly average child.  So when Scarlett arrived we were quite proud of her perfect score on the apgar.  She continued to impress us with the premature achievements that followed.....her unusually loud first cry - before she was even fully delivered, her early wide-eyed ability to track us across the room,  & her superstar ability to roll over at just 4 weeks, to name a few.  I had no choice but to tell people that she didn't get the memo about what she was (not) supposed to be able to do.

Scarlett continues to surprise us, with her athletic skills - not unheard of, but she manages to conquer most of the developmental benchmarks by a minimum of a month, followed by a glance around the room to see who's watching.  In fact, when in public, I often have to repress my pride & refrain from encouraging Scarlett to perform.  After all, we don't want other babes her age to feel that they are lagging behind.  It's hard work being a Wonder Baby's mom. 

"So what's the problem?" you think.  Well yes, I must admit that we are quite proud of this genetic code we managed to compose, but hear me this, with Wonder Baby abilities comes Wonder Baby personality, & I am starting to see a precocious little rebel develop.  I wonder to myself (but suspect the contrary) "Are temper tantrums normal for all 4 month olds?" & "Do all 6 month olds smile every time mom says 'no', or when mom is coughing from choking?" (seriously) Every once in a while she shoots me a look that I should be getting from a 3, 6 or 13 year old, & I get scared. 

And then there is this spell she seems to have on us.  Suddenly the world revolves around her.  If we are doing something that isn't in the best interest of Wonder Baby, we feel this gut wrenching guilt.  If she cries we run to her.  If she is doing something she shouldn't, we just can't get mad when she gives that infectious smile.  I'm pretty sure the hex is twice as bad for her dad.  If this is what she is capable of in her first 6 months, what is she going to grow capable of as she gets bigger & stronger.  I think I have every right to be scared.

However, for every superhero, there is a weakness, right?  It is quite obvious to me what Scarlett's 'kryptonite' is (although her appearing attention deficit symptoms come in close second): separation from her mom.  Only really developing now, it is making my life a lot more complicated.  Not aloud to leave, I now have another full time job, & feel the world is at stake if I am not in the same room as Scarlett.  (On the other hand, I seem to be the only one with a certain 'special power' over my child, I feel I must use this carefully & wisely).  Will she ever overcome this? Or is my life completely & drastically altered for the rest of time?  Probably a little of both.  

I must go help save the world now.  So, until we meet again...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Going Green - and pink, and blue, and yellow...

Recently I've been inspired to switch to cloth diapers.  I cannot really say one thing in particular led me in this direction, but a number of things, such as: conversations with a couple of my friends who use them or plan on using them, the occasional comment from my husband about considering the cloth, a conversation with my mother-in-law on environment & our impact - all got me questioning why I am not doing what I can to reduce waste.  So I made the decision.  I was going to switch to cloth.  Better for the environment, cheaper in the long run (I think) & better for my baby.  I got quite excited about the whole situation but could not fathom why, as I knew this was going to be more laundry, stinkier situations & a bit of an adjustment.  Only the other day did it dawn on me that I will be setting an example for my little girl as she grows up, & this, to me, feels like a good start.   

Upon initial research efforts, I was overwhelmed.  So much information out there & how to know what is valid, who is right, & what will work best for me.  After exhausting myself on forums, websites, emails & such, I finally chose 3 companies to start with, companies that seemed to have goof reviews but sold their diapers for less than half the price of the 'big brands' do.  I realize the potential hazard of this situation, but am counting on the reviews I have read & going with it.  Not much a risk-taker myself, this is about the greatest extent of a chance I will take (for some reason purchasing used diapers from people I do not know scares me so & I cannot make decisions on impulse, so I decided to bypass this option).

When I finally chose a couple companies to order from (all Canadian, which makes me feel warm & fuzzy inside) I started to have a bit of fun.  I got to pick different colors, materials & patterns.  And the thought of receiving snail mail thrilled me (I conveniently placed my orders on 3 consecutive days & as a result received packages 3 days in a row, what a week!) I've developed a distaste for the overwhelmingness of technology lately which I am pretty sure amplified this feeling...but that is a rant for another blog at another time.

Once they all arrived I dumped them into the wash & followed what I thought were the right instructions...later to read (on the Internet of course) that some cloth diapers are not supposed to be washed together & need to washed several times to strip the oils & ensure they repel efficiently.  Then read that this doesn't apply for all diapers.  I am quite confused.

So yesterday I decided to make the plunge & started dressing my baby in these soft, colorful diapers, expecting all would go well.  After putting the pretty diaper on her, it appeared that she would be going up a size in clothes as long as she is wearing these, as they are quite a bit bulkier than the disposables.  The first one leaked (number one) through all the fabric (in the diapers defence - my way of convincing myself that I did not spend $200 on crappy diapers - I probably should have changed her earlier) the second leaked (number two) out of a number of corners (in the diapers defence, this was quite an explosive event) & Scarlett resorted back to disposables for the rest of the night out of respect to Scarlett's tush & my in-laws who were baby-sitting for a couple hours.  Not quite ready to get rid of the disposables (& will probably keep them for emergencies, travel & stuff) but I am determined to get this right.  Today is a new (hopefully leak-free) day.  In the event of any leaks maybe I can pray to the cloth Gods for a little help?
Leakage or no leakage, Scarlett seems sold on the cloth.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Top Ten Wonders...Answered

Looking back to the early days of the Wonder Belly Blog, I thought I would reflect on my top ten wonders from before Scarlett was born.

Top Ten Wonders (and Answers):

10: How will Willow (Wonder Dog) react to dropping in the ranks to a new family member?
It seems inevitable that the dog moves from the centre of attention to outside the circle when a baby comes into the picture. At first Willow wasn't really sure what to think about this newest addition, but definitely took interest.  He would be the first to jump if Scarlett started to cry, & if she kept crying he would come back as if to ask you to make it stop.  If it still didn't stop he would ask outside (do you blame him?)  More recently Scarlett has taken a particular interest in him & I noticed his path is often detoured to avoid her grabby hands on his way by.  As far as no longer getting the attention he used to, Willow has taken it pretty hard.  Whenever we try to talk to, videotape, take a picture of, play with, or do anything with Scarlett, Willow is always wedging his way between us & the baby.  He is constantly bringing his toy to Rodd, then me, then the baby in hopes that somebody - anybody - will play with him.  You would think with time, he would get used to it, but 5 months later, he still feels resented  just as much as ever.  When not attempting to divert your attention to him, he can often be found pouting under the table, a desperate whine coming from under his breath.

9:  Do we have everything we need for the first week or so?
Little did I know that the generosity of people in our lives would lead to not having to leave the house for 2 months after Scarlett was born.  We came home to a care package from our east neighbor & a set of "daddy doodie" & "mom's off doodie" aprons from our west neighbor (as well as balloons & banners) with everything we need to take care of our babe & more.  The gifts kept coming, even past Christmas.  Scarlett is equipped with a wardrobe to last her for her first year.  As I suspected the media makes us think we need way more than we do to survive.  

8:  How long before I send Rodd back to work?
Funny that I wondered this, it must have been an on-going argument between the two of us.  Rodd initially thought he would go back in December, but I think between the nursing frustrations & falling in love at first sight of his daughter, he was pretty easily persuaded to stay on paternity leave until after the New Year.  I was grateful, as he would have otherwise had to work nights on Christmas Eve, Day, & Boxing Day - good thing, I definitely needed him to help show off the kid to all our family.  Having him home with me was a blessing, & I soon realized how much it helped when he did go back to work on January 10th.

7:  How big will Wonder Baby be (more concerning, how big will his/her head be?)
Scarlett was born 7lbs 2oz.  That's smaller than average.  So why was it so hard to get her out of 'there'?  Turns out her head was, according to the nurse "a decent size for a girl of my build."  That explains why I pushed for an hour (during which the nurse kept saying "this much further!" showing me the same distance between her fore finger & thumb each time).  Meanwhile the nurse kept turning down my epidural - which initially only worked on one side anyway - from 6, eventually to 2 & I started to regain feeling below the waist. Regardless, it hurt.  A lot.

6:  Will Wonder Baby be an easy baby?
Turns out Wonder Baby is a pretty easy baby.  Don't get me wrong, she has moments, & a temperment.  But overall, no colick, & generally pretty happy unless hungry, tired or wet.  We feel pretty lucky & are even considering a second.

5:  How labour will go for me?
I should have just asked my mom.  She knew.  It went pretty much exactly as she told me - the same way it went for her.  In fact when I phoned her in the morning she told me she wouldn't be surprised if I had her by 5pm.  She wasn't too far off.  Apparently it went fast, although it didn't feel like it at the time.  Cramps started at 4am, contractions around 8am, we went to the hospital around 2pm, epidural at 5 pm & baby at 6:35pm.

4:  Who/what Wonder Baby will look like?
She looks like Scarlett.  There is definitely resemblance, but I am surprised, for some reason, how much of her dad is in her at times.  There is no doubt that she inherited the dominant round Thorson squishy head (that one was a given) & it looks like her hair is turning red, as mine was as a child.  Rodd's blue eyes & his animated expressions.  On the scale Scarlett is perfectly average (with a slightly oversized head, still) - not freakishly tall...yet.

3:  Wonder Baby's gender.
All girl.  More girly than her mother.  She has a high voice & squeals when she laughs.  Between you, me & the keyboard, I have to admit that she does look good in pink.  But I dress her in browns & reds sometimes just to make sure she isn't always all girly.

2:  Will Wonder Baby be healthy?
I'm pretty sure they don't come any healthier.  I'm quite proud of the fact (I may have mentioned this once or twice) that she scored a perfect 10 on both apgars, as well as an 8 out of 8 on the biophysical ultrasounds in the 1st 5 minutes.  With the exception of thrush (probably her mom's fault), reoccurring blocked tear ducts, a couple common colds & a reaction to laundry detergent, she's been thriving as a strong, bright & healthy little baby.  

1:  When will Wonder Baby decide to join the rest of us?
September 3, 2010.  Almost one week after her projected due date (according to the first ultrasound), however I initially thought her due date was September 4th, so I guess I was closer to right in the first place.  One more reason to listen to maternal instinct. Still it made a long week, especially accompanied by a very bad cold.  The doctor wanted to induce me on the 2nd, because of the long weekend, but I convinced him to bump it to the 6th (the monday), I didn't have to get induced in the end, thank goodness for that.  By the 3rd my cold was almost gone...but I tell you, it hurt to cough.  A lot.

So I thought that upon the arrival of Wonder Baby, the wonders would seize....however they only multiplied.  I realize how simple life was at one point, & although raising a 5 month old is still pretty basic, I realize the simplicity of a child is about to get a lot more complicated.  On the verge of mobility, I have the feeling the wonders (& their answers) have only just begun.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Just a few videos of Scarlett being Scarlett.  Enjoy! 
(Warning: the quality of these videos have been sacrificed out of convenience of the iphone at hand & inconvenience of the 'real' video camera which was out of reach at the time of recording)

Reading out loud.

Helping with the baking...or is she? (take note of her expression at the end)

Practicing her bird calls for when dad takes her hunting?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

With Child

Where to begin...
So it's been a while.  During the Wonder Belly days, I remember time almost standing still at times. Normally when the New Year approaches I wonder to myself where the year went, & every year seems like it flew by quicker than the last.  But at the dawn of 2011, I reflected back on the previous year & thought to myself, "that took forever, what a long year."
Just when you think you could get used to this casual pace, time sneaks up on you. Suddenly life grabs you by the strings & you are learning the 7 step dance, while trying to find a harmonious balance between life, family & work.  This is how life is since Scarlett came along.
But its not such a bad thing, being busy all the time.  I've always needed something happening & if it it wasn't I would make something happen.  I suppose the challenge of keeping up is what keeps me in the game.  Sometimes I lag behind & really have to pick my priorities (ie. baby & work), accepting that everything cannot always get done.  This was an adjustment.  As a result, you, my faithful readers, have been neglected, but anyone that's anyone knows that these stages can mess with your plans & you just have to go with it.
So here we are, almost 5 months in & having a blast.  Sure there are 'days,' but in all honesty I often think to myself "I didn't realize it would be this easy."  Oblivious & naive in the beginning, I later realize, that I've had it pretty easy & was only doing half the work most new moms have had to do.  First of all, Rodd, the loving & supportive husband that he is, took 4 months of parental leave to help out, & I was working again by November.  Although I could not go out for long, I had the (planned) freedom to get out & do what I do.  Additionally, we got along pretty nicely the whole time he was home, aside from the ocassional harmless bantering.  Second, Scarlett, the thoughful child that she is, has taken it pretty easy on us.  Sleeping her first 11 hour night at just 3 months, she got over her 'gassy' phase early & goes 5 or 6 hours some days between feedings.  She's quite entertaining & luckily thinks so herself most days.  Just when you think it cannot get any more fun, she comes up with a strange new quirk that just makes your day.  We can't help but brag, I guess that is what parents are supposed to do?  
It's been fun, but I refuse to be tricked by her sweet & innocent almost-five-month-oldness.  As she starts to show signs of what's to come, I hope that she stays the way she is for a while longer...we are getting a sneak preview of temper tantrums, manipulation & strong will...but that is another post for another day.  In the meantime I am arming myself by getting out more, with child, & doing anything productive to prevent cabin fever during the frigid winter months.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Our Year in Pictures

So it's been a while, but I've made it a New Year's Resolution (which I very much intend to keep) to blog more often.  In the meantime please enjoy this little picture show in celebration of the coming of 2011.  Enjoy!