Molars

Currently on day (or night?) 3 of molar-watch 2015, take two. The stubborn little bottom molar appeared to be making significant progress based on the visual available during the 11am scream yesterday morning. No sightings have been attempted since that point. Also, for those who question the usefulness of amber teething necklaces, we can no longer keep Darwin’s on (she yanks it off and immediately shoves it in her mouth), this is by far the least pleasant erupting tooth yet. Epic drool for the first time and the worst three nights and days of sleep since the 4th trimester. Case in point: I am currently acting as a baby bed.

A year – give or take

I got a notification today that this marks the first anniversary of my leap into the land of WordPress. For those of you who have followed us from the beginning, you know that we originally had a blog over on Weebly, but due to user-friendly/android app reasons we migrated over here rather quickly.

I’m not sure what to say about blogging other than noting the surprise I feel at having stuck with it this long. I’m great at starting things and terrible at follow through. It probably has to do with the vested interest I have in all of your (my followers and followees) lives. I’ve been sitting here for days thinking warm, spacey newborn thoughts in the direction of Alicia and Kate over at Ladylove and Babydust, feeling elation when I learn that Declan had another good nap, or a pit in my stomach when I see the words “Urgent Care” in the title of Pot and Lid’s latest post.

It is your stories and your interest in mine that keep me coming back, so thank you all, I wouldn’t have made it this far without you.

Friday

I love Friday. The way our current schedule works, I am with Darwin all day on Fridays. Some days we while away at home, others we have little adventures, like walking to the local park. Today we woke up at 6:55 (well, Darwin woke me up) and Leah made coffee and smoothies for breakfast.

We took her to work then popped over to my parent’s house. They’re in Maine visiting family and friends and we’re taking care of their little dog Roo, cat Olivia, and the gardens. My parents gave excellent vegetable gardens in very small spaces. We have purchased no vegetables and only bananas for produce over the last two weeks.

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After taking care of things there we headed home. Often Darwin will fall asleep in the car if we had home around 9, but today it was no dice. We got home, had a snack, played build-the-tower/knock-down-the-tower, until Darwin started getting blinky. She fell right asleep for her morning nap, way early (rarely does she sleep before 11 if she doesn’t fall asleep in the car). Of course, it was the morning the minister from our church was going to come play with her while I finally got to do some yard work. Luckily she came prepared and helped me weed a bed for about 10 minutes before Darwin woke up and they went off on a walk together and I spent over an hour pulling weeds and spreading bark mulch in a bed that had weeds taller than my head. It was so satisfying.

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Gardening is one of those things that calms me down and centers me when I’m feeling frayed around the edges. It was so wonderful to focus on something other than toy towers or cleaning the house. I am so appreciative of folks who love my kid and want to spend an hour or two with her every once in a while.

After gardening we had lunch and more play time, and suddenly Darwin was rubbing her eyes, an hour early for her afternoon nap. Guys. She went to sleep in about 20 minutes and slept for 90 minutes without needing any kind of coaxing. I read a chapter in a book that I’ve been wanting to read. I played with the dog (quietly). I decompressed.

We picked up Leah from work at 4:30 and took care of my parent’s animals again. Home, dinner, baby to sleep, and now Shrek and knitting/blogging. It’s been a good day.

Eleven months

I’ve been thinking about what to write about for my last monthly update before Darwin is a full calendar year old all day. It has been a very long week at our house, so this will be a short update. Of course, twelve months will be epic so don’t be too sad. I don’t have stats this month because she will no longer hold still on the scale, but I’m guessing we’re up to 23 lbs based on the ache in my back!

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Looking thrilled in her new backpack

Darwin’s most interesting achievement this month was pointing. She now points at everything. Each object in her baby colors book gets a point. Mamas are pointed at, kitties, Scout the dog, and often the pointing is followed by happy noises that suggest to me the pointee meets with Darwin’s approval. Points for Darwin!

Turning book pages is another fun achievement. Darwin will crawl over to her shelf in the living room that is filled with her books and toys, pull herself to standing (her books are in the second shelf), select a book, slide it off the shelf, sit down (albeit gracelessly), and proceed to ‘read’ every page. Often the book is upside down, but that is not a deterrent. This can go on for upwards of 20 minutes.
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The fact that Darwin will focus on books for such lengthy periods of time provides me with much needed breaks, since naps now suck. Seriously, there is no sugar coating this one. Some days she’ll sleep for an hour twice, more often it’s either one hour or two 40 minute naps. And bedtime remains a fight. This may be the result of the first molar. It popped through yesterday. 13 to 18 months my left foot. Well, we’re up to 9 teeth now, each tooth having shown up 2 to 4 months ahead of schedule. At least she wasn’t born with teeth, right? I’m still very hopeful that this means naps will be better. Of course, there are three more molars in there, lurking. Waiting to cause more strife.

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Chomp chomp chomp.

Overall though, our 11 month old is a delight. She has become incredibly snuggly, loves to blow raspberries, and has found her belly laugh at last. Happy 11 months little Darwin.

10 things you now know about me

Thanks to TheChronicalsofaNonBellyMama for tagging me on this one. I haven’t done one of these before, but it looks like fun!

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The rules are as follows:

  • Link back to the blogger who nominated you and answer their 10 questions
  • Add the badge to your post
  • Write your own 10 questions and tag 10 bloggers to do the same.

Question 1: What is your biggest fear?

This one’s easy. Anyone who knows me very well and rides in a car with me probably knows it because I mention it regularly. My biggest fear is hitting someone (particularly a child) with my car. I distinctly remember when I was 17 years old sitting in my car at a red light at the top of a hill and realizing how much power I held simply by keeping my foot on the break. It was terrifying. All the moreso now that I have a child of my own. It is a healthy fear though, in that it doesn’t stop me from driving, but does make me a very careful driver.

Question 2: What was your favorite toy growing up?

This one is a little harder. I had plenty of toys growing up, from baby dolls to trains, but nothing that really sticks out now (goes to show what’s important in the long-run, eh?) So a little cheat, perhaps, but my favorite “toy” what my best friend’s tree house. It was rickety, dangerous, and WONDERFUL. She lived kitty-corner to me and they had a great big maple tree in their front yard where her dad put up a fantastic swing that went out over the street, really high. Size is all wonky when I’m thinking about 7-year-old me, but I’d say somewhere around 10-15 feet up the tree the trunk split into several main branches and basically a platform (eventually with a railing that was built from parts of a fence that we tore down on our property) sat with a rope ladder up to it. We spent our summers playing in that tree house, riding our bikes, and constructing bows and arrows in the empty lot across the street. It was amazing.

Question 3: If you could have dinner with one person, past or present, who would it be?

Rosalind Franklin.

Question 4: What is your favorite era to have lived in?

The Americas, pre-European settlement by about 1000 years. If I could keep all my vaccinations.

Question 5: What are you thinking about right this second?

The fact that my disgusting dog just caught and ate a fly. I appreciate that the fly is gone, but gross. Also, I have to pee. I’m good at stream of conscience.

Question 6: What’s one of the scariest things you’ve ever done?

I climbed the hunt trail on Mt Katahdin in Maine when I was young, two times I think. There is a point on the trail when it comes out over boulders that you scramble over, right on a cliffs edge, to the point where they have stuck metal hand and foot holds directly into the rock. I remember being too short to reach and needing help and being terrified I would fall. That, or presenting my master’s thesis.

Question 7: What is your first ever memory?

I have a set of memories where I don’t know which one came first. We moved from our first home when I was just shy of four, and so all the memories I have in that house I know happened before I was four. I believe the earliest memory I have is one of chasing a little sparrow, and being absolutely *certain* that if I could just be careful and fast I could catch it. I’m not clear on what I would have done with it if I had caught it, however.

Question 8: Do you think any kind of afterlife exists?

Nope, but I don’t mind being wrong.

Question 9: What is the biggest change you’ve ever made?

Moving from Maine to Indiana to go to undergrad.

Question 10: Have you ever been in a fist fight?

Not in real life, but I have in my dreams. I usually end up finding out in my dream that I don’t know how to throw a punch. It’s very frustrating.

My questions for the next batch:

  1. How old were you the first time you fell in love?
  2. Cats or dogs?
  3. What is your favorite book or author?
  4. If you had the time to study anything in depth, what would it be?
  5. What is your favorite season and why?
  6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  7. Have you ever traveled abroad from whatever your country of origin is?
  8. Do you play a musical instrument?
  9. What is your favorite way to spend a weekend?
  10. Are you a planner or a doer?

And I nominate…

Taking our family from 3 to 4

My Kid Doesn’t Poop Rainbows

Making Gaybies in the Land of Zion

Hatched by Two Chicks

Two Geek Moms

Creating Space

Pot and Lid Make Kid

B’s and Babies

The Doss Family Journey

Project Tiny Human

Gratitude (tbc)

I’ve been writing on this post for a while, so I figure I may as well put out there what I have so far.

Health. No one in my family currently has a terminal disease. Health issues here and there, some concern about an older family member, but overall we’re a pretty healthy bunch. In particular, Leah, Darwin, and I are all currently healthy. Leah’s shoulder surgery is past us and her recovery has been stellar.

Basic necessities. We do not worry about where we are going to sleep at night, nor do we worry about where our next meal is going to come from. I am so grateful that we have not only access to these basic necessities, but a community of support that holds us up when they are harder to come by easily (like after a baby is born or shoulder surgery).

Family. My parents live in town. My daughter knows them and spends Tuesday mornings with her grandma. The gratitude here is both that my parents are helpful, and that I can watch them building a relationship with my kid. Also there is the relationship that we have to each other as I have become a parent. That has been a really neat experience. My wife also fits into this grateful category. She actually fits into many of them, but most clearly here. I am so grateful for the last 12 years spent with her (12 in September, that is). Que suerte.

Baseball. Darwin loves baseball. Seriously. We have gone to 4 or 5 games with her this year and she stays awake and alert from beginning to end. Well, okay, sometimes by the end she’s a little droopy, but she makes it through the whole game.

Transportation. Yes, our car has problems. But we do have access to a way to fix it and keep eating. Mostly. Currently I’m grateful for the fact that I actually got a second opinion. Know what? The “leaking” head gasket is barely leaking. To the point where our second opinion said it would never be something he would recommend doing at this point. We have about 15,000 miles to go before we need to replace our timing belt for regular service so we’ll have it done at the same time. Needless to say I won’t be going back to the original shop to have it done.

Work. I have a job through next June. Leah has employment through September and will be teaching classes during the school year to cover her tuition and provide a small stipend. I also have had the brilliant idea to start my own editing business. I’m a nerd. I love language. When I have been asked to be a peer reviewer for articles in my field I go through and edit them first or I can’t move forward. It’s a sickness. I might as well make some money off of it…

Animals. Our dog, Scout, and our four cats, Uke, Petey, Mouse, and Marigold are great. They still love us in spite of bringing a baby into the house. Petey and Scout love Darwin. Darwin’s first word was “kitteh”. She also says “dog” now, and identifies dogs when we’re out and about, and in books and photos. There’s also nothing like a puppy snuggle to make me feel a little better about the world.

Birthdays

It is August, and in our family that means the beginning of birthday season. Today I turned 32 years old. This is the first year where I have actually felt my age in a long time. Not in a bad way, but because of the reality that having a child forced me to mature a lot in a short time. Being the sole source of sustenance for a whole other person for 6 months will do that to you I suppose.

I have a less than happy association with my birthday since becoming an adult (I spent my 21st birthday alone, and that was one of my better birthdays), although this year started out with a very snuggly baby and birthday pancakes, and Leah’s gift to me was tickets to a Dar Williams concert in October, so things are looking up.

This year I birthed an amazing daughter, became a mama, learned how to balance work and nursing (mostly), reinvented my community (or rather, it was reinvented around me with having a baby), became an Aunt again,  supported my wife through shoulder surgery and recovery, found so much love and support to get through the year. I’d say it’s been a good year overall.

Next year already includes my wife starting a phd program and my job ending in June due to funding (not unexpected) so some kind of new work.  Bring it.

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