Sunday, February 28, 2010


Holy shit!  Juniper has done a bunch of developmental growing and my daily journaling skills shit the bucket this last week and a half.  (Sorry about all the shitting--actually, she's been doing some of that, too.)

But Juniper isn't the only one surprising this household with growth.  I've sworn for the past two years that I would start onions in February, dammit, but for some reason it never happens and I start them in March or April along with everything else and I end up transplanting these pencil-lead thin little hairs out to my garden and the whole thing just seems ridiculous.

This year, I started early by golly.  But in my desperate, goal-attaining attempt to plant earlier in February, rather than later, I planted on the wrong day.  At least, that is, according to my Planting by the Moon calendar.  (And if you don't believe in moon-cycle planting, get this: last year I planted a bunch of tomato seeds one day, then a second planting of the SAME SEEDS just three days later.  My first planting did awesome.  My second planting, which was not on a good moon-planting day, did jack.  I mean, they germinated, grew 2 measly sets of leaves and just stayed like that, two inches tall, for months.)  So, I am happy to report that despite having planted onions one day off from the correct moon-day, they germinated in less than a week and are sprightly and way too thick.

J bug's growth may seem more subtle than onions, but to me every little change is so huge and amazing--it's hard to even imagine how much crazy stuff is going on in that little head of hers.  What do they say?  Adults use, like, ten percent of our brain capacity or something?  Just think how stressed out us adults would feel if we were cutting teeth and learning to sit and learning to grab things and learning to pass objects from one hand to the other and if practically everything we touched was so brand new and overwhelming we just couldn't take it anymore and had to go right back to sucking our fists.  Just think.  

:: The first signs of teething.  


  :: Learning to sit.  

:: Well, almost.  

 :: Grabbing and tugging on dad's beard.  Too bad, he shaved it off this morning.  

:: Oh, and she's no longer satisfied just watching me make cookies; she has to participate.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

birthdays, hot springs, big toes and more

Two days ago I was in the midst of electro-shock therapy on my lower back when the physical therapist got off the phone and said, Um, I think you're husband is having some's a good thing you couldn't hear her crying, you'd a sprung a leak.  We have yet to get j bug to accept breastmilk from a bottle and sometimes wonder: why bother at this point anyway?  Well, if I'd a known my electro-shock therapy was going to get cut short by a hungry monkey, I would have stayed on top of that bottle regimen.   

Regardless, my back is so much better, thank you.  J bug had her 4-month check up and second set of shots last week.  She took the 3-needles-in-the-thigh better this time, serenading us with what we've coined her "vaccination cry" for just a couple of minutes.  And, she still weighs in at the really fat growth percentile--a whopping fifteen and a half pounds (my back could have told us that).  But, she's still not napping outside of the stroller, car seat and against my body.  Ideas, anyone?  

::  It's when she has the eyebrows-raised, cross-eyed look that she most resembles me.  

::  So the day after my back started feeling better, we decided to jump in the truck for a 4 hour drive to our nephew's first birthday party.  It was actually a huge party for a one-year old.  We got to talk to other parents of young babies (they don't exist in our own town) and watch our nephew mow down his first cupcake.  Really, don't you wish you could remember the first time you ate cake with frosting?  

::  Of course, we had to stop at a hot springs on the way home.  It was j bug's second soak and man does it put her into a relaxed trance.  

::  Yes, those are blue swim trunks: hand-me-downs from the birthday boy.  We love hand-me-downs.  Even if it means putting your girl in blue swim trunks.  

:: Our last bit of unbearably exciting news for the week: Juniper not only found her feet and her toes, but now enjoys nothing less than to suck on them with reckless abandon.  

Thursday, February 18, 2010

99 bottles

The other day, I tried to steal myself away for a back-relaxing bath (yes, it's still all locked up), but j bug didn't want to sleep.  Sooooo, I plopped her in a bouncy chair next to the bathtub while I soaked in a hot, hot bath.  But nothing good lasts forever and j bug got fussy.  I resorted to singing, just to buy myself a few more minutes, which brings me to a problem that is becoming increasingly apparent.

I don't know any nursery lullabies.  Not a damned one.  (Okay, except for rock-a-bye baby because I recently read the lyrics in a parenting magazine--and, it's short.)  I mean, I know the chorus and sometimes the first verse, but that's all.  I used to joke that people should be required to pass a test and get a license before becoming parents.  But if it were anything like the US citizenship test, I would fail--badly.  Surely I would be required to sing the full lyrics of Hush Little Baby.

What, I'm sure, would NOT be on such test is 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, which is what I sang to j bug while relaxing in the bath.  Do they make a "Nursery Rhymes for Dummies" book?  Put it on my Christmas list (make that Easter).  

:: Yes, she's on the counter.  Yes, she's playing with a plastic bag.  And yes, those are kitchen knives hanging to the right.  But hey, at least I wasn't singing 99 bottles of beer....

:: For Valentine's, the man was still out of town and working at the kitchen counter is one of the few activities that doesn't wreak havoc on my back.  Who can go a holiday without grandma's sugar cookies?  (For the record, we did donate half to the community garden bake sale.)  

:: My Valentine girl.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

mothering hits the floor

The other morning, I bent down to let J bug pet Osa and when I stood back up....  It's not that I "threw out" my back, more like I injected it with quick-crete which cemented in the time it took me to walk from the bedroom to the living room.  So yes, my back is all locked up and stiff and frozen and this happened on the morning my hubby was leaving to work out of town for a few days.  Shit.

He didn't leave until the following morning, after stacking three days worth of firewood in the living room, rubbing Tiger Balm into my back, and suspiciously buying my assurances that we would be fine.  Really, I'm fine.  I just can't bend over...but I can do everything else!

That afternoon, my doctor's nurse gave me these wise instructions: take ibuprofen three times a day, use a heating pad and, try not to lug your baby around.

Okaaaaaaaay.  (Maybe having children in your twenties does has its perks.)  But for me, these last few days have fostered a new style of parenting: carpet-mama.  I lay on the floor, flat on my back on my respective heating pad and J bug lies next to me and, somehow, we play.

:: For a while now, J bug's favorite toy has been her hands.  Sometimes, she reaches for a bona fide, made-in-china, plastic toy, but gets distracted by the sight of her own hands and grabs them instead, quietly mesmerized by the depth and complexity of ten fingers. 

:: Her second favorite toy?  That's right...

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Our weather, that is.  This week it got cold enough to give us a rare hoarfrost.

Then warm enough to walk, for the first time ever, without the stroller's WeatherShield.  

I'm not complaining or anything, just noticing.  My man is envious of the snow they're getting back east.  Ours is pathetic: just enough for a smooth, quiet ski; but just barely.  

:: We've been noticing how CHUBBY her face is getting!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

one last rewind

One last rewind here.  (Will Juniper's generation even know what "rewind" means? Crazy.  Is there an instruction manual for raising children in the Digital Age?  Will someone write that, please?)

Aside from eating hot food (...and a few other things), there isn't much we've given up since welcoming j bug into our lives.  Mostly, it's just a matter of figuring out how do we do this now?  Lucky for me, I have sister-in-law with an extra 8 months of mamahood under her belt.  And so, two weeks ago, I was able to accomplish what all new, red-blooded American mothers strive for in these early months: I went ice-fishing.

That would be Juniper all cozied up in the stroller.  The green puffy child would be her elder cousin in his mother's arms.  

:: Juniper slept the entire time...except the one time I had a bite on my line; she woke up crying.  I missed the fish, caught the baby.   

:: J bug's cousin got to be spun around on the slick ice.  Too bad we don't remember anything at that age; looks like a fun memory.

:: The babies were mellow all afternoon.  It would have been a great day to catch a ton of fish but alas, we were skunked.