Wednesday, December 26, 2007

From the bottom of my heart


I know it's been awhile since I've last posted, but I've been quite busy lately. Busy spending countless hours cleaning, baking, cooking, cleaning, entertaining a 10 month old, cleaning, planning, and preparing Keeley for her crazy relatives (not you, of course). And, all that work? Was 100% worth it.

I had what had to be one of the best Christmas' ever. All because of my wonderful family. I couldn't have dreamed of a better first Christmas for Keeley. And that's saying a lot because I am ALWAYS imagining events in my head to be these perfect, wonderful things before they happen and they never quite turn out the way I imagined. But this Christmas was even better than I imagined.




I want to thank everyone who came over at the crack of dawn to be with us. It meant so much for us to have you here to celebrate such an important moment in our lives. It was amazing to have everyone together. The house was filled with family, presents, and happiness.


It was a lot of work to get it all together, but I am so glad we were all able to celebrate together. All because of Keeley. This was the first year we have all celebrated together. I know it was hard on everyone to change their traditions and move thier family schedules around. And I am appreciative and thankful for the efforts everyone put forth to make this happen. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful, loving family.

Keeley was wonderful all day. We actually were able to put her down for both naps. She opened presents in the morning (actually playing with most of them before we took them away and put another present in front of her to open), took a nap, woke up and opened more presents. Our home is merely storage for Keeley's things now.

I am just so glad we were all able to get together and have a good time. It means a lot to me that our home is comfortable to be in. It was nice that people felt comfortable to nap on our couches, put the casserole that wasn't cooking in the microwave, and just hang out and have a good time. When Keeley grows up I want to be the house that all the kids hang out at. I hope to create an atmosphere that encourages that.

Mostly, I want to thank everyone that came over for Keeley's first Christmas Morning Pajama Party. Luckily, I was busy enough while everyone was here to keep the tears in check, but after most everyone left and it was just me and Keeley for a while, a few slipped out. I am so happy my daughter is loved by so many. Thank you for making this Christmas so memorable and perfect. I love you.

Friday, December 7, 2007

It ain't a credit card ad

Cute, fuzzy Christmas dress: $40


Snazzy, no-slip hair bow: $3


Stride Rite Shoes (in extra, extra wide): $42


Family package of photos: $27


First time with Santa:
Um, priceless?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Month Nine was soooooo fine


Dearest Keeley,

This week you turned 10 months old. Ten months. Ten. You have officially been outside my cozy womb for longer than you were inside it. Ten. Double digits. You will never be in single-digit months again. (Sniff, sniff.) You will, however, be in double digits until you are, like, 8 or 9. Right? My math might be a bit off. Anyhoo, this has been a wonderful, wonderful month. Well, except for the part where you fell off our bed. That was bad. But you were okay and the rest of the month was just mah-velous.



We are finally on somewhat of a routine. I can pretty much predict what times things will probably happen during the day. I can tell other people what times to do things when you stay with them. I spent so long worrying whether you should be on a routine or not and here we've happily found ourselves in one without any sort of pressuring or crying or bribery. Of course, just when I think I might have things down, you like to mix it up. Apparently, you think it's much fun to keep me on my toes.

You have been napping well (thank goodness) and playing hard. You love crawling all over the house, seeing what there is to get into. You get excited whenever you find the Baby Bjorn. I think you try to figure out how to put it on. You love getting in it and going for a walk with Buddy. You kick your feet and laugh and laugh. I love it. It will be sad when you’re to big for it. (Which won’t be too long at the rate you’re going.)

There are so many things you love to do. You love playing peekaboo - both hiding yourself and when other people hide. You love it when people chase you around. You crawl as fast as you can then suddenly stop, sit, and look back like, "you there yet?" and then you get right back to crawling. You LOVE it when someone, anyone says, "I'm gonna get you." Love it. You practically start laughing the moment you hear it. You try as hard as you can to get away and laugh, laugh, laugh when you're caught. Oh, and not just a laugh, a squealing type of laugh that's part scream, part laugh. Kind of like a cross between a hyena and a screech owl. A sound truly unique to you.



Meal time has taken on a new degree of difficulty: you want to feed yourself. You’re actually pretty good at it. You know to dip the spoon into the bowl and bring it to your mouth. Of course, you like to stick your fingers in there along with the spoon so that makes it a bit messy. You’re really very excited about the whole event. I love how proud you seem of yourself whenever you do something new.




So far, you’ve met very few foods you don’t like. You eat pretty much any fruit and vegetable put in front of you. Also included in the fave food list are: Cheerios, yogurt, and anything you can pick up yourself. Cottage cheese and lumpy things aren’t your first choice. And you make that known. Loudly. With facial expressions. If you eat something with cottage cheese you make this gagging noise and stick your cottage cheese coated tongue out like, "Get this vile stuff OUT of my mouth."

Speaking of, you are developing quite the temper. If something isn’t to your liking - you let us know. Loudly. With facial expressions. If you are doing something and you don’t want to be picked up you slump over and go limp. I don’t know how you know, but it is almost impossible to pick you up that way. If we walk out of the room for a second you wail and cry. You have this high-pitched wail/scream thing that you’ll do if you’re even the tiniest bit upset about something. Usually you get over it pretty fast though, so that’s good. I have a feeling that there are some rough times ahead.

I still love going to get you when you wake up in the morning or from a nap. You are just so happy. You are practically jumping in your crib. When you see me you crawl from one side to the other as fast as you can. Usually you fall on your face a couple times because your limbs can’t keep up with your excitement. It's one of my favorite times of the day. And I find myself thinking this to myself more and more. "This is one of my favorite parts of the day." It only took me ten months to get used to this, but now? Now, it's wonderful. Whatever the possibly temper-filled future holds, I'll gladly face it with you.

Love you,
Mommy






Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Do you ever..

...get on the Internet for a very specific purpose and, 2 hours later, try to remember what you got on the Internet to do BECAUSE YOU STILL HAVEN'T DONE IT?

Well, I do.

Now what was I on here for????

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Gimme three steps

No, make that five steps. Five steps that Keeley took last night on her own. Apparently, the bottle is a strong motivator since that's what she was heading for.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Steppin' out

Well, Keeley has taken her first wobbly, unsteady, trembly steps this week. She was playing with me and she saw her big, fluffy dog and must have been inspired to attack it because she just took off toward it. She must have taken at least three steps before she fell on top off it, rolled off it, bonked her head on the floor, and started crying. Needless to say, it was time for a nap. But those steps were amazing.

After Donald got home we sat across from each other and Keeley would "walk" between the two of us; first lunging for one of us and then the other. Each and every time she would laugh. She loved it.

I know it's all the rage these days to be all, "We're not encouraging [insert baby name here] to walk yet" but, um, WHATEVER. How can you not be excited about such an important milestone? I know it'll be more work and blah, blah, blah, but I'm excited, dammit! What part of a baby's life isn't more work? It just goes with the territory. It's a baby, not a cat. Sheesh, when we leave for the weekend I just throw a bunch of cat food outside and make sure the cat's not in the house. The baby? Not so much. So, anyway, we're excited about the walking and, yes, yes we do encourage her to walk. She is our child. We are so proud of her and we will continue to encourage her to grow. Even if we're totally uncool.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's in her blood



We took Keeley to Gainesville for the first time this weekend. What a perfect weekend for us to make the trip. Gorgeous weather and a big win. What could be better? She was a true tailgater (I would write tail-gator there, but that would be way too cheesey).
We hung out with my parents before the game at their tailgate spot and then Donald and I went to the game. Keeley stayed with my mom - Mimi. Apparently, Keeley really wanted to go to the game with us because she wasn't in a good mood after everyone left. Of course, after we got back to the game someone woke up and was ready to celebrate. So, being the responsible parents we are, we got her up and let her hang out with us - at 10pm. She was all snuggled up with Donald under a blanket and was happy to sit there for a while.


The next day we took her on her first visit to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field and showed her all the important sights. Donald was full of, "This is where your Uncle Jeremy..." and "This is where we used to sit and they weren't good seats, but your Uncle Trey thought they were the best seats in the world" and "This is where Unlce Hani..." (Insert any number of college gameday stories in the ...)




It was so much fun telling her all the great college stories. Especially since we couldn't possibly bore her AND we didn't even have to edit out the inapproprite parts!






We walked all over and around the stadium. Many a photo-op was taken advantage of. All in all, we had a great day and Keeley got her first dose of Gainesville Greatness.




Thursday, November 22, 2007

The first Thanksgiving

Well, we survived our first Thanksgiving as official hosts. And it was good. I really enjoyed myself. I was worried that I would be frantically cleaning and cooking up and rushing all over the place and just totally not taking any time to enjoy the day. But I didn't. I did as much as possible before hand and everyone that came brought food. Grammy Lu and Papa practically brought a Thanksgiving dinner themselves. Of course, I was up until 2am the night before cleaning, but it was worth it. We had 10 people, which was nice because it wasn't too many to prepare for and we could handle seating that number. Plus, everyone that came had already seen our house a mess, so if I didn't get it all cleaned up it wasn't too big a deal. It was a perfect first Thanksgiving.

I used our fancy stuff and set the table and everything. Of course, like everything that is me, the fancy crystal and china was set on a table with 2 resin chairs. That's just how I roll. Likewise, I was dressed in black pants, a nice brown top and slippers. (My feet HURT, people.)





I think Keeley enjoyed herself as well. Of course, she had quite the audience, which she loves. She also had her own little Thanksgiving dinner. She had turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and ham. She ate it all. Food and people - the perfect day.

As I was busy cooking and cleaning the day before the big event while Keeley was visiting Grammy, I couldn't help but wonder what mothers did in the past. I know that women were expected to do so much more house-wise in those days. What with the cooking and cleaning and such. What did they do with the babies? Sheesh, my grandmother and Donald's grandmother both had 5 kids. It's hard for me to be in the kitchen more than minutes some days before Keeley decided she does NOT want to be in the kitchen ANY LONGER thankyouverymuch, mom. What did they do in The Olden Days when the babies were all over the place and wanting to be picked up and just fussy all over? Nowadays, we just pick up the babies and to hell with the cooking and cleaning and whatnot. Well, at least that's what I do. But no one is on my case about dinner being on the table and the house being perfectly picked up and the ironing done. Ha - that would be funny. I mean this is how Donald irons his clothes. Seriously.

Anyhoo, I truly enjoyed myself today and I'm glad we hosted Thanksgiving. I can't wait until next year. Of course, I need a serious break now. We're all cleaned up and I'm exhausted.



I think I will have a glass of wine in my fancy glass and look at the sale papers for tomorrow.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

And the Bad Parent of the Year Award goes to...

Me.

I debated over posting this because, well, it's just more evidence of how bad of a parent I am. But I just decided to be completely honest:

Keeley fell off the bed this morning. Off the end of the bed. Head first. That's a little over three feet. Three feet. And I was right there. I watched it happen.

Thank goodness she is okay.

We were snuggling in the bed with her morning bottle and, after she finishes, she crawls on Donald and I and looks for Buddy and plays in the bed a bit. Well, this morning Donald went to work early and Buddy was outside so it was just Keeley and I in the bed. Things were going as normal and we were playing in the bed. She crawled down towards the end of the bed and was playing with the comforter which was thrown over the end of the bed. She started crawling up on the footboard and I started to go down there to make sure she didn't fall off the bed. Before I got there she started jumping like she does and she jumped right over the end of the bed. I saw her go right over. And there was nothing I could do.

I'll admit I wasn't moving as fast as I should have. I really didn't think she would go over the end. Of course, I knew it was a possibility, but I just didn't think it would happen. And it did. And I should have been there. It's my JOB. The whole point of my job is to keep her safe. I feel absolutely awful. I mean, I know things happen and in a few weeks all will be back to normal and I might not think about it so much, but right now it's still fresh. I can still see her go over the end of the bed and hear her cry. It breaks my heart.

Thank you to those of you today who said nice things to me and shared stories of how your children fell off the bed or rolled out of your arms as you tripped and how those kids are just fine today. It really helped me feel a little better. Really. I am hoping this will just be another story I will share with Keeley when she has a new baby.

All in all, she's okay. I've called the doctor and I know what to look for and, so far, I haven't seen any of the warning signs that something might be wrong. She has a knot on her head and she was a little fussy after it happened. But I would be worried if she wasn't fussy after that happened. I am going to check on her every 2 hours tonight to watch her breathing and just to make sure all is okay. Speaking of, it's about that time and I wouldn't want to win Bad Parent of the Year twice in a row.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It's Not Just Bananas Anymore

Keeley now claps for green beans, oatmeal, and applesauce. Vegetable Beef gets a few claps now and then, too, but it's no bananas.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Busy


I am exhausted. You know, I think of my day and I know other people think, "Man, what does she do all day? Just at home with a baby? That must be great." Hell, I think it, too. What DO I do all day? Somehow at the end of the day I'm exhausted and I feel like I've been playing Beat the Clock all day, just rushing around getting this done and that done. But then I think, "Wasn't I laying around while the baby took a nap? I so should have been folding those clothes." And at the end of the day when there's still piles of folded laundry on the couch, dirty dishes in the sink, and a kitchen floor that HAS to be mopped I think, "Wow. I should have done this earlier in the day." But when? It's only when I think of the things I actually DID that I realize I've accomplished something during the day. I DID make three meals for Keeley, a meal for dinner, and feed the animals. I DID think ahead (for once) and brown the hamburger for tomorrow night. I DID clean up after each of those meals. I DID fold the laundry (that is still on the couch). I DID make sure we were home for Keeley to take her naps and eat her meals. I DID unload the dishwasher. I DID make it to the gym to work out. I DID go to the grocery store. I DID clean out the track of the sliding glass doors. I DID take a shower. I even made time to go over to a friend's house for Girl's Night. And, most importantly, I have loved, played, and cared for my baby girl. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. I love my job.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Snapshots (Well, Video) Of Our Day

First of all, I'd like to note that I DO know that Keeley does not match in these videos, but we had quite the doo-doo disaster earlier in the day, which involved the disposal of yet another onesie. (Lucky for you, no video of THAT experience.) AND I know that she has on a Halloween onesie and yes, it is November. But I would like it noted that no, I do not dress her in white shoes after Labor Day. Sheesh, I wasn't raised in a barn or anything.


video

We got this toy from friends of ours with older kids who didn't need it anymore. After the complete wash, bleach, rinse cycle, it was ready for Keeley. This is the first morning she used it and I'd say she's figured out the main idea.

video

I think we might have a future One-Hit Wonder on our hands. Perhaps she, too, will destroy an MTV set thereby frightening Janeane Garofalo, et al -- but I hope not.

video

Apparently, the best lunch ever. She would clap her hands after every bite of banana. I guess it is worthy of applause after Vegetable Turkey.

Not surprisingly, the battery in the camera died. But that was our day until lunch.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Month Eight? Where did it go?










Dear Keeley,

This month has held many ups and downs. Both you and I are fitting into our roles as baby and mama quite nicely now. Of course, you got your first cold this month. Wow. It made me appreciate the happy, content baby you usually are. You wanted to be held, but then you didn’t want to be held. You wanted to eat, but not THAT CEREAL. Or those sweet potatoes that were entirely too chunky for your sensitive palate. Honestly though, I felt so bad for you. I could tell you didn’t feel well. You could hardly breathe at times – no wonder it was hard to sleep. We finally wised up to use the humidifier in your room. You were like, “DUH, PARENTS.” I even took you to the doctor – though I was pretty sure it was just a cold. But, as a first time mom, I’m allowed to be extra cautious, right? You were fine. And, since people were using them to put their babies to sleep instead of for the correct reason, infant cold medicines were pulled from the shelves. Perfect timing. There was so little I could do for you to help you feel better. I did hold you as much as you wanted to be held. Although, you are usually much too busy to be held for too long.

Also this month, you got three more teeth. At one time. Yes, three. Yes, at one time. Once again, a reason for some fussiness. You now have eight teeth. Eight. I’m pretty sure that’s a lot for your age. Your father and I like to say you’re advanced, dentally. You like to use your teeth to chew on everything. The sides of your crib are all chewed up. That’s because you wake up and entertain yourself in your crib before you call out or start babbling and mama doesn’t know you’re awake yet. Love it. You just wake up and play and entertain yourself. Even when you do start making noises, it’s just to babble and talk to yourself. You just play and play, happy as a little clam. Then, when someone comes to get you? You’re even happier. You are just the best.

You have really mastered the art of using your thumb and index finger to pick up bits of food – and other things you find. (The Official Baby Instruction Books call that “the pincer grasp”.) One of your favorite things to do is feed yourself. Cheerios, pieces of banana, beans, macaroni, lint – all good things to you. You are still such a wonderful eater. You eat almost everything. I’ve been giving you chunkier foods and you aren’t too thrilled about it, but you eat it. I discovered how to make chicken and rice and since your father and I like it, I’ve thrown some in the food processor and gave some to you. You even spent a lunch time picking it up with your fingers, feeding it to yourself. Obviously, a family favorite.

You are such an interesting being. I love to watch you play. You get so interested in so many different things. Whenever I make the penguin toy sing “Ice Ice Baby” you start to bounce and clap your hands. How cute is that? I also think you’ve been saying “dada”. Not positive on that one, but you do say it and look right at him. So I’m inclined to think you know what you’re saying, but then you don’t do it all the time so who knows? I also think you say “mama”, but it’s when I’ve left you by yourself (just for a second – sheesh, mama needs to go to the potty!) and you stand at the safety gate and cry, “mama, mama.” At least that’s what it sounds like to me. AND I think (yes, I think) you say “ki” for kitty. Whenever you look for kitty, you go “ki, ki, ki” and I truly think you’re trying to say “kitty”.

Oh my, we’ve done so much – and I haven’t even talked about how you’ve started to give kisses. Big, open-mouth, wet, droobly kisses. And that’s one of my favorite things you do. Of course, you have to be in the right mood – but that goes without saying. Anyone who knows you knows that you do NOT do anything you’re not in the mood for. Seriously. Wherever do you get that from?

Love you, Mommy

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Goodbye Month Seven


Dear Keeley,

You have been so busy this month, I need a nap. You learned how to sit up from any position. You were so excited to do this, you practiced in your sleep… Well, I use the term “sleep” loosely. There were a few long nights.

You also learned to crawl! It was absolutely amazing to watch you go from rolling around everywhere to leaning forward to rocking back and forth on your hands and knees to, finally, crawling. Your dad and I were so excited. You picked it up in a matter of days. One day you were slowly crawling a couple feet and the next day you were shooting across the room towards the light socket. (Maybe I should get those protector things in there sometime soon…) Buddy and Gourdy are in serious trouble. The past few mornings you’ve raced across the floor to see Gourdy through the sliding glass door. You get so excited. You have this cute way of breathing when you get excited about something. It’s almost as if you’re panting like a dog. I love it. And, boy, if you want something, you are going to get it, dammit. Determination is your motto. You already know how to climb up the step at your Grammy’s house and the taller one at your Nana’s house. No problem, you say.

You are so interested in everything. You get up in the morning ready to go. You usually play in your crib for at least half an hour before I go get you. (This is great for me; keep it up. Mommy doesn’t wake up so quickly…) When you’re playing in the living room, you like to take all of your toys out of the basket. You look at each one and then put it down and move on to the next. One of your favorite things to do is jump in your Jumperoo. You are a MANIAC in that thing. Daddy had to fix it so you wouldn’t hurt your knees. You jump and jump and jump and jump and…well, you get the picture.

Another favorite of yours is playing peek-a-boo. Mimi started playing this with you months ago and now you just can’t get enough. We put a washcloth over our face and say, “Where’s Keeley?” You rip the thing off your face and we say, “There she is!” You laugh and smile and squeal.

One thing you do not like AT ALL is when I leave the room EVEN FOR A MINUTE. I remember not too long ago, you would play happily by yourself on the floor. I would leave you there and go to the bathroom or throw the laundry in or fix a sandwich and I would go back and there you were IN THE EXACT SAME PLACE. Now, even if I could leave, you would immediately head for the aforementioned light sockets or something else I have yet to childproof.

You are still eating like a champ. Or should I say eating like a Brown. You enjoy everything we give you. You love, love, LOVE Cheerios. You’ve just figured out how to grab them and get them to your mouth. Well, you sometimes get them to your mouth. But that doesn’t stop you from excitedly grabbing them each and every time and shoving them towards your mouth.

I still love going to get you from a nap. Now you’re usually standing up, holding on to the side and smiling away. It’s the sweetest thing ever. You are so happy. And that makes me happy. I think my favorite thing in the world is hearing you laugh. I wish I could bottle it. Just today we were playing and you were smiling so big, I could see your two top teeth and I think it was the cutest thing in the whole world. I am so amazed by you. You are the love of my life and I can’t wait to see what Month Eight has to offer.
Love,
Mommy

Friday, March 23, 2007

To Sleep, Per Chance to... Wait. Who's Sleeping?!?

Yesterday there was no sleeping. Keeley woke up at 8:30 and was up until 4:45 when I finally coerced her to take a nap. I had to promise her that she could stay up as late as she wanted, but... HA!

I never realized how important her naps are -- for me! Luckily, we went over to Donald's Nana's (too many possessives?) house and she was able to entertain Keeley for a while. I didn't have to make ALL of the googly faces. I bought her a mirror (Keeley, not Donald's Nana) so she could make googly faces at herself. You know, cut out the middle man here. We'll see how that goes. Sounds like a good idea, right?

Luckily right now she is sleeping. She also took a nap this morning. (I told her it was either take a nap or fold the laundry.)



Smart girl. I have taught her well. Of course I chose sleep as well. Where's the laundry going to go anyway? Maybe I will see how high I can stack the laundry before it tumbles onto the floor and has to be washed again (because of all the pet hair on the floor - more cleaning to do). New game -- Laundry Jenga.

So with the naps today I am feeling like less of a parental failure. I'm not sure why I have to worry about every little thing so much. I wish I could be one of those laid-back parents who just know their kids will turn out fine. Any advice on how to get there? I'm sure a good start would be a few glasses of wine...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Really?

So I thought I'd start a blog. I'm wondering if this will be a good way to entertain myself during these days at home or just a huge waste of time. You know, because I would like as many things to distract me from housework as possible. I am not cut out for that crap! I'm already doing at least one load of laundry a day. A DAY. That is a dramatic increase of my previous average -- one load whenever I run out of underwear. (I have a pretty good amount of underwear.)

This baby goes through so much laundry. And her stuff is tiny. What gives? Mostly it's the washcloths we have to use to wipe her booty. Because she has a sensitive booty. No wipes for that tushy! I've already bought extra washcloths at Target just so I won't have to wash the washcloths once a day. I can make it every other day. Then, of course, there are the lap pads she manages to pee or poop on at least 5 times a day. Anyway, I'm sure you get the point.

Right now my major dilemma is what on earth do I do to entertain a 6 week old? I mean I can only make googly faces for, oh about 15-20 minutes, and then what? I can't believe I was worried before when she slept so much and wasn't up! Ah, those were the good old days... Now she's up after feedings and looking at me like, "now what?" Of course, I'm looking at her like, "now what?" So you can see there's a problem. Any ideas? She hangs out in her swing sometimes and then there's the googly faces - but we know how long that lasts... She doesn't really enjoy sitting in the bouncy seat watching me do things. (Really? You're not enjoying watching me make a sandwich, baby? I can't understand why.)

I would appreciate any suggestions you may have.
We've already played Baby Photo Shoot. (She's a natural, don't you think?)