Archive for February, 2009

8 months.

dear jude.

i’m not quite sure how it possible that you are already 8 months old, but here you are. mama h & i ask ourselves daily, “where did our tiny baby go?” and then we look at you and realize that you must have eaten her. i don’t mean to give you a size complex, but guess what? you’re still really a whole lot bigger than all the other babies. at your last doctor appointment, you weighed 26 lbs 15 oz (with clothes on, thank you), and the other day, when we measured your height while you were standing (more on that in a moment), you were 29 inches tall. all you need to do is grow 13 more inches, my love, and you’ll be tall enough to ride just about any roller coaster.

yes. so. standing. you do that now. your fingers are grapple hooks and we are cliffs. you climb. you clamber. and you stand, triumphant. sometimes you let go of what or whomever you’re holding onto, and there is a brief, wiley coyote kind of suspended moment, when you are on your own: you are a free-stander. your pupils dilate, we hold our breath, and then you plop yourself down onto your very padded behind, at which point you crawl.

crawling. you do a lot of that now. you’re still working out your methods, and mostly move like a car with one oblong tire, but you are faster and faster every day. the pets are on high alert, and both your moms feel more like spotters than parents. i suppose we’re actually just growing into our parenting roles. you are danger baby: fearless. we’ll be spotting you for years to come. now is the time to start shopping for helmets and kneepads, i think.

the other milestone this month is the semblance of a nighttime routine. it goes a little like this: i come home from work at about 7:30, and you squawk with joy. you soon begin to rub your eyes with the sleepiness, and so we head upstairs for bathtime, which is, incidentally, your favorite time of day. after your bath, you have a little naked baby crawling time before loudly protesting about having to wear pajamas. i can usually distract you with a plastic shapey thing. you prefer the blue circle.

soon, i swaddle you (though, as of about 2 days ago, you began making it known that you are so totally over the swaddle), and we turn on the waterfall album. (the sound of constant falling water has a profound effect on you, jude. you go absolutely limp when you hear it.) it’s just you and me and the waterfalls in a darkened room, and i nurse you to sleep. i hum a little sometimes, or kiss your perfect head. i tell you it’s my favorite time of day, and that you are my beloved. when you’re asleep, i lay you in your crib, and slip out of your room.

i then pour myself a drink.

basically, that ideal setup lasted 13 days. on the fourteenth day, you began to teethe hardcore again. and to put it mildly, your sleep schedule went to shit. we still snuggle, still nurse, still listen to intoxicating waterfalls. however, when i lay you in your crib, you wail angrily. we repeat the process over and over again, and most nights you fall asleep after an hour or so. and anywhere from 1 to 4 hours later, mama h is roused from slumber to crawl into bed with you in your room for the remainder of the night. because once you wake up, my darling angel, you will not go back to sleep in your crib, and who has the coherence to “sleep train” you at 3 am? not us. so, you two sleep together for a few hours, and i’m told you wake up every hour demanding milk. or tylenol. usually, you are both back in bed with me by 6 am, and you nurse until i wake up to get ready for work.

i know things could be a lot worse, but jude? my love? will you work toward sleeping through the night again someday soon? i know your teeth are hurting a whole lot, and snuggling makes it better, so i’m being patient here. but if you could work on cutting them already, that would be great. thanks. i’m glad we had this talk.

i love you,

only the ball is not moving.
my heart.

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meme a la dooce.

play along!

What are your middle names?

How long have you been together?
just over 5.5 years.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
a minute, maybe.

Who asked whom out?
i think it was technically me, as i’m the one who asked, after our first weekend together, “so, does this mean you’re my girlfriend now?”

How old are each of you?
me: 30
she: 31

Whose siblings do you see the most?
my sister e lives in dallas, and so we see her every few months. we see my other 2 sisters less frequently.  h’s brother lives in tiny, tx, and when he’s not taking care of cows, we say hello when we visit her mum.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
this deserves a blogpost of its own, but definitely the balance of “us the couple” and “us the parents”. and then there’s the pesky little issue called “finances”.   ugh.  yeah.  that.

Did you go to the same school?
negative.  i went to malone college and belmont university for my BA, and she went to texas a&m and university of tx for hers.  i spent a semester at st edwards working on a masters, and she did her masters at tx state.  i did get rejected from the tx state writing program, though.

Are you from the same home town?
that would also be a no.  i’m from erie, pa, and h is from tiny, tx.

Who is smarter?
we argue about this.  but this is my meme, so i get to tell the truth: h.  she is a renaissance woman, and i think it’s hott.

Who is the most sensitive?
probably me.  my chin quivers more, anyway.  

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
um.  we don’t anymore, but we used to frequent opal divines.  ah, the good old days.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
hmm.  i think erie is farther than chicago, so erie! 

Who has the craziest exes?
h, hands down.  i’ve never dated a lying insomniac who is obsessed with joining the military.

Who has the worst temper?

i’m thinking it’s me.  i’m primarily laid back, but i’m i’m also a bottler, and when i erupt, i punch walls…never people.

Who does the cooking?
h.  always.  cooking causes me great anxiety.

Who is the neat-freak?
h goes crazy faster when things are a mess.   

Who is more stubborn?
sweet lord, me.   

Who hogs the bed?

Who wakes up earlier?
me.  usually.  even on days off.  

Where was your first date?
it began at the nashville airport, where i picked up this visiting stranger i’d fallen in love with already.  

Who is more jealous?
i think we’re equally not jealous.

How long did it take to get serious?
it was always serious.  we took a whole lot of risks with our hearts from the first day.  it has always been one of those “i know you’re the one” relationships.

Who eats more?
probably me.  but i also burn more calories, what with this ice cream i lactate.

Who does the laundry?
i am not averse to the laundry-doing, but our schedule currently dictates h doing most of the chores.

Who’s better with the computer?
me, but neither of us are evil geniuses when it comes to teh computerz.

Who drives when you are together?
me.  unless i’m:

a. drunk
b: tired
c:  drunk and tired 

in the immortal words of dooce: “Feel free to answer some or all of the same questions about your significant other in the comments, or leave a link to your website if you prefer answering there.”

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shits and giggles.

i feel ovulationy.  i happen to have a drawer full of ovulation tests (which i was going to send to tiff back in the day…until she didn’t need them anymore!), so i just peed into a cup.  one line.  and the place where the 2nd line should be?  whiter than the rest of the stick.  apparently, i am doing the opposite of ovulating today.  does this mean i am now collecting eggs in my little basket, instead of releasing them into the world?  

/no, not ttc.  
//yes, we’re discussing kid 2.0
///but no, no babies today.

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last tuesday.  jury duty day.  i wasn’t picked, and so had a whole day off with my fambly.  out of nowhere that night came a bright red storm squall on the radar, moving fast from the west. with anticipation not unlike an imminent firework show,  we turned off the lights and faced out the open westward bedroom windows.  i knelt, and rested my face on the sill, breathing wet air. and with one whip of wind, the temperature dropped 20 degrees.  the clothes line spun in windblown circles and hallelujah, it began to rain. i slid shut the window as thick sheets of rain and hail pelted the pane.  i held my jude in one arm, and curled my free one around my h’s waist.  welcome to your first big storm, ever, i told my daughter.  she struggled to get down onto the floor, the bed, anywhere with a flat surface for crawling.  h and i kissed, grateful for the momentary relief of a relentless drought.

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yeah, i know i’ve been MIA around here. and sweet lord, i’ve really wanted to be present. but right now i hear a baby crying in the monitor, and my finger is sticky from the teething stuff i just applied to her raw gums. so here’s a video. our whole world is now flipping upside down.

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h uses a great descriptor for the emotional state i was in when i wrote my last post: overwrought.

after i posted, i promptly fell asleep, and if i remember correctly, i slept for a long time. soon after, the weekend arrived.

and what a lovely weekend it was. the judelet was in an ace mood, and so we enjoyed many fambly adventures. por ejemplo:

on saturday, we went to the library downtown, where i happily found thick, yummy books that i probably won’t find time to read before going online to renew them. and jude found a large expanse of a rug for crawling, sprawled out in the children’s section. she spent a good half hour in her happy place. see?

[note: i do not know the person in the background, though she was very friendly, albeit a little overwhelmed by the bigness of my daughter.]

(by the way, the leg-out, arm-in-the-air pose is known in our home as the dangerbaby pose, as jude most always attempts a poorly executed move of physicality seconds after taking on the position.)

after spending the whole night sleeping in her bed on friday, jude spent all saturday night in bed with us. and though i was stiffer than stiff yesterday from sleeping in one position, i loved having a night of snuggling.

our sunday was spent mostly outdoors. h wore jude in the ergo as we took all 4 dogs out for a long walk down the dirt road near our house. flanked by pasture on either side, the dirt road is the dogs’ favorite place ever, as they run and run and run until they’re ready to collapse, and then they swim in a manmade pond. if they’re lucky, they get to chase a duck or two.

here’s a photo (taken last year) the blissed out canines:
a tale of four dogs.

after the long dog walk, we took jude to a playground with actual swings. she loved it. see?

and there you have it, a portrait of a perfect weekend, wherein balance was restored in my over-feeling heart, and i exhaled deeply.

(i also filmed my daughter eating bananas.)

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