Monday, August 30, 2010

Harriet at Seven Weeks

Highlights from Week Seven:

  • officially growing out of newborn-sized clothes
  • trying to walk
  • reciting the Gettysburg Address
  • sleeping through most of the State Fair
  • attending her church baby shower
  • relaxing in the bath
  • keeping Mommy and Daddy highly amused
  • grabbing blankets/pants/taggies/diapers and putting them on her face
  • staring and smiling

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday Randomness

Eesh.  Harriet was not in the mood for sleeping last night.  Maybe it was the extensive nappage of the afternoon, or maybe her tummy was bothering her (hence the projectile puking of earlier in the evening).  Whatever the cause, she didn't want to sleep soundly for more than 30 minutes.  Then, instead of nursing and going back to sleep, she decided to kick and claw about and make life rather uncomfortable.  Usually I really enjoy co-sleeping with the muchkin, but last night my nerves were so fried that I would have gladly put her in her bassinet...if she would have not melted into a puddle of sadness.  It's on nights like this that I wish Steve were at home.  Just the moral support of another adult in bed would have been tremendously helpful.

(However, I am so very glad that Steve has a job in the first place, but also has a job that allows us to have insurance and be able to put a considerable amount of money into savings.  When we pack off to St. Louis and are able to set up shop without getting into debt, I know that we will look back and appreciate what God provided through BD.)

I finished two books this week.  Count 'em: two.  The first was Timeline by Michael Critchon, which Steve got off of Paperback Book Swap a few weeks ago.  Overall it was a fun and fast read which didn't require a lot of brain power - and the brain power parts could be skimmed without it being detrimental to understanding the story.  I like the premise of time travel, especially to the middle ages.  However, there was a lot of unnecessary language that I didn't care for (more graphic than Lord Peter by a long shot) and Critchon also had a tendency to stick sensational themes in the story in a rather awkward way.  Okay, so maybe folks back in the middle ages didn't give a flying fart in space about morals, but I think that he could have incorporated that aspect of the period into his story in a less...well, awkward...way.  Due to the story being set during the Hundred Years War there was a lot of battle-related gore that I rather skimmed over.  All that said, Critchon's writing style was engaging and intelligent and I kept coming back for more.  The tone was fast-paced and movie-esque.  I probably wouldn't read it again, but I wouldn't call it a complete waste of time.  (I did laugh at Critchon's attempt to attach one of his female characters back to reality when, after chapters and chapters describing her intensely daring escapes from various heartless villains, the epilogue depicts her as being seven months pregnant and unable to move.  Ahem, if this gal can swing from beams, climb up castle walls, and engage in hand to hand combat, I think she could probably have more gumption during pregnancy. Maybe.)

The second book was The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr Laura Schlessinger, loaned to me by my wonderful fellow-married-woman sister, Clara.  I usually despise self-help marriage books, primarily because of the inundation of pop psychology and the tendency to provide easy fix-it solutions which ultimately put me into a sort of mental bondage ("if I'm doing all of [insert wifely duties here], why can't he get his rear end in gear?").  The Proper Care was surprisingly useful and refreshing and was a timely read after a year of marriage (and the many associated changes to every day life).  Basically, the author is taking the Biblical principles of respecting and loving your husband, but applying them practically in a secular setting.  It was good to read something that wasn't over spiritualized, even though I know that the principles really do spring from a spiritual source.  As I read I kept thinking, "Wow, this describes me."  And that wasn't always a good thing.  The good thing, though, was that I was convicted about the need to change, had some practical ways to go about doing so, and didn't feel guilty for "messing up."  The funny thing was that Steve picked up the book, glanced at a paragraph and started laughing.  "So is this stuff about guys really true?" I asked.  "Of course it's true," he said.  Anyway, it's recommended reading.

Jacob and I have been watching episodes of Cake Boss when he comes over in the evenings.  It makes me want to really learn how to decorate cakes well...or at least cupcakes well.  I should have known that watching this stuff before bed causes me to have cake decorating dreams.  Those aren't always pretty.

So I'm really not a coupon person, but I found out about some really good coupons from Qdoba and since we eat there every. single. week after church, I thought I would be a frugal wifey-poo and get them.  How can you beat a free entree with a drink purchase?  I went through the hoopla of creating my own wonderful online entree-blah-blah, arrived at the page to print the coupon only printed 1/2 of the coupon.  Something is wrong with the size of the image verses the size of the printer page.  Phooey.  I guess I'll try again and see if I can get more of a coupon.  If so, we may just be able to get our next Qdoba meal for next to nothing!

I've got bread that needs to get in the oven.  Bye for now.

Qdoba coupons

Monday, August 23, 2010

Harriet at Six Weeks

Harriet wasn't too excited when I attempted her weekly photo shoot yesterday:

In fact, she got downright angry:

But thankfully, each day is a new one, so we tried again this morning with much happier results:

Today was Harriet's six week check up and she did marvelously.  Can I get into proud mother mode and say that she gained 3.5 lbs in six weeks?  Woo-hoo!  Now she's a chunky monkey at 9lbs 9 oz.  (It makes all of the midnight feedings worth it.)  Harriet's latest tricks are liking her bath, staying awake for all of church (pleasantly, I might add), growing out of her newborn-sized clothes, and wearing cloth diapers like a pro.  She isn't too fond of the bouncy chair since she likes to sit upright as much as possible in her Boppy pillow throne. And she definitely likes to have her parents around, which makes it hard to part company even for an afternoon nap.  This is where the Sleepy Wrap is an absolute God-send.  And I mean that.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bunco and baking

Last night I hosted Bunco for the first (and quite possibly the last) time.  Everyone was such a great sport about cramming into my teeny-weeny house and putting up with my booby-trap of a dining room table.  (Yes, if you move it from its carefully propped position against the wall, the back leg will completely fall off.  It is a pretty junky table from an auction, but we still need to fix it and reduce the risk of injury, loss of dinner, or a collapsed Axis and Allies game.)  I made fajitas with all of the trimmings, which has to be one of my favourite large-group recipes of all time.  It worked really swell to chop up all of the chicken and vegetables whilst Harriet was happy, stick them in the fridge, and then throw them in the cast iron skillet closer to the time of the party.  I found a bunch of neat frames and filled them with Bunco pictures (thanks to Alissa and Clara!) for the prizes.  Harriet did a better job at this Bunco than at last month's gathering.  This probably has to do with a) she is a whole month older, b) she was in her own house, and c) Steve kindly took her on a jog around the block so I could finish preparing which resulted in Fresh Air and a Nap.  We had a lot of good laughs, jolly conversation, lots of Buncos (what was it...five in one round?) and only a few misunderstandings about what roll we were on (that would be me happily rolling sixes instead of fives).  All in all, I think that it was a pretty happening time.

Harriet and I are baking today.  It feels good to redeem the day since after Steve got home from work this morning, we all ended crawling back into bed and I fell asleep until 9:45am.  After cleaning up Harriet's explosive diaper (I had just as much on me as she had in the diaper) and getting ready for the day, I put the babster in the Sleepy Wrap and away we went.  There are currently two dozen cupcakes ready to be frosted and a loaf of Honey Oat Wheat Bread rising on the counter.  You can find the recipe for the bread here at Thoughts and Whatnots. (And if you want to read an upbeat, albeit realistic blog, I would highly recommend subscribing.  I always have fun reading Leanna's posts.)

This is the second order of cupcakes that I have decorated for requests made at the Westside Bakery.  I think that decorated cupcakes are pretty much amazing and I have experimented with decorating some for myself.  I love looking at books like Hello, Cupcake and the cupcake recipes on Martha Stewart.  I tried the Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes for Bunco last night and they were loverly.  But the thought of doing it for others is a little scary for Perfectionist Me.  I mean, there are so many variables with oobs and gloobs and messes up all of the time.  However, I agreed to do an order of 150-200 cupcakes and two cupcake bouquets for a birthday party last week and I was shocked at how well everything turned out.  Now some of the folks who attended the birthday party have ordered two dozen brightly frosted cupcakes for this afternoon.  I think it would be neat to be able to make a little extra money on the side doing cupcakes, so we'll see where this goes.

I had more to say but one-handed typing is a little rough.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Harriet at Five Weeks, new routine, MOPS

I over at Clara's house the other afternoon and picked up the book How to Photograph Your Baby.  What was intended to be a quick glance turned into reading the whole thing in one sitting (it's supposedly designed for new parents to be able to read and grasp quickly...that's a good thing!).  I don't have the photographer's eye, like so many people in my family do, but I don't want Harriet's life or any of our future children's lives to go undocumented.  This book was great because it provided three super simple techniques for improving skills at photographing babies and children: find a good light source, get close, and take lots of pictures.  Hey, even I can do that.

And so I did.  Harriet is really chill and happy right when she wakes up in the morning, so I knew that would be a good time to practice.  Last Friday morning (her five-week birthday) I propped her up in the Bobby pillow in front of a window (she loves windows) and started taking lots of pictures.  Here are six that turned out fairly well.

While I will never be a Clara, I'm glad to realize that I really can take half-way decent pictures, and I don't have to be afraid to get the camera out.

I really don't like being without a routine.  With Steve's nutty shift and having a little squirt to take care of, my tendency is to give up entirely on any semblance of a routine because I'm afraid that it will be too hard or it won't work.  This hearkens back to my high school days of Rigid Routine or Die.  However, when I don't have a plan, I am less productive and consequently less satisfied with how my days go along.  Then came the still, small voice (which sounded surprisingly like my mother's): "Be flexible."  I can have a routine which can be flexed in order to meet the needs of the little and big people in my life.  What do I want to get done in the morning?  The afternoon?  What things are necessary and what activities can slide if need be?  I really do believe that my top priority, after my relationship with Christ, is to keep Steve and Harriet happy (which usually equals Full of Food) and to keep the house clean.  It's my job.  I also believe that it's important for me to take the time to get ready for the day...whenever the "day" ends up starting.  So, working around what I know to be Harriet's general napping pattern and Steve's daytime sleeping, I think that I have a bit of a plan down now that will make my days go more smoothly and make me a happier gal.

Mom is the coordinator of MOPS this year and I've been recruited as to fulfill the roles of Hospitality and Publicity.  We had our first real live Steering Committee meeting yesterday afternoon and I think it's going to be a fun couple of months.  It's weird to actually be in MOPS after spending so many years babysitting for the meetings and observing my mom's involvement.  Sometimes I wonder, Is this really me with this baby?

Okay, gotta keep on rolling....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Harriet at One Month (and other things)

Harriet has spent the last week or so receiving distinguished guests from the Rodgers side of the fambly beginning with Jen on August 1, and now Grami Cami and Grumpy (?) on this past Sunday.  Having visitors has justifiably lowered blogging on my priority list.  That and the realization that I could use this blog an outlet for my blarggie-blarggie days and I really don't want to start doing that.  (Not that relatives and blarggie days are related [quite the contrary], but I think that new-mom tiredness has taken over my body and I have a much harder time being cheerful when thinking of things to write).

Enough unnecessary explanation of the lack of posts.  You don't care about that, anyway, because you want to see Harriet, right?  Of course right.

Don't you just want to eat her up?

Harriet likes the Sleepy Wrap, smiling at her favourite people, and being constantly on the move (remind me to sit still more often when I'm pregnant with #2, okay?).  She is bald on the top of her head but has quite the monastic fringe everywhere else.  She has three chins and very kissable cheeks and long gripping toes.  Oh, we love her!

I'm starting to think that after a week of experimentation, Harriet is still too small for her cloth diapers...or more specifically her plastic pants.  Her legs are getting chubbier but they still are too small to fill up the necessary space and prevent major leakage/blowouts.  Consequently, I am doing about three times my usual amount of laundry, thanks to the many diapers and soiled outfits.  I want to use cloth diapers, but we may just need to wait a bit longer.

It's been a busy morning for the little lady: breakfast, two huge poopy diapers, a subsequent bath, time in the bouncy chair, a few chapters from Frog and Toad, various Dvorak pieces, and now a nap.  I must take advantage of said nappage.