Thursday, August 25

eyes and pearly whites surprise.

IMG_2296 (1024x683)

IMG_2291 (1024x683)

IMG_2292 (1024x683)

IMG_2314 (1024x683)

IMG_2303 (1024x683)

IMG_2304 (1024x683)

a cat-baby.

It's late morning.
Iris is napping. 
I am feeling somewhat naked without a baby attached to me.
The kitty is being obnoxious and wanting my attention, 


I used to dress up my parent's cats in doll clothes when I was little. 
Obviously, not much has changed. 


He purred a lot. 
And stayed put without so much as a wiggle for a good 10 minutes.
I also seem to have very large dimples.


I hope you have enjoyed seeing me in all of my morning glory. 
You may potentially be questioning my status as a functioning adult.
And I don't blame you!

Wednesday, August 24

busy mama pt.2!

IMG_2197 (1024x683)

Busy mama part 2... how many more sequels will there be?? 
I have little to no time or energy to be posting on my dear blog lately. I am babysitting a one-year-old little boy for a friend in the afternoons, trying to keep the house clean and orderly, cooking, taking care of a very needy little baby girl, trying to devote time to my husband and squeezing in crafts for Iris' party. It really doesn't seem like that much when I write it down, but it's hard when everything involves Iris hanging on my legs, whining. I'm sure she's about to have a huge growth spurt because she is nursing fiendishly every 30 minutes. Her teeth are also coming in steadily and slowly, which doesn't help. I confess, I am very worn out from it. 

I am so tired today. Both babies were exhausted and grumpy all afternoon and I haven't even gotten the chance to eat lunch. I enjoyed playing with them a lot, but how do you get kids to take a nap without constantly disturbing each other?? In other news, Iris finally chewed and choked down her first Cheerio - without throwing it up! Her gag reflex has gotten really sensitive to the point of gagging even before food gets in her mouth. We are taking her in for an evaluation next week to see if the nutritionist can give us any help with teaching her how to eat. She is perfectly healthy and happy otherwise - she is obviously thriving on my milk, but we need to advance our role in helping her learn that food isn't the enemy. 

Other than being really busy, things are really great around here as usual. My birthday is in less than a week - I'll be 24 years old! To be honest, I almost forgot my birthday completely. I know Marius has something special planned, as he always does. All I know is I've been warned not to look at our shared amazon account! Hopefully I will be back to posting more regularly soon! 

(Also, if anyone is interested - I have 5 BumGenius for sale in EUC! 
Waiting on a shipment of new Fuzzibunz which I am all too excited about!)

IMG_2213 (1024x683)

wordless wednesday.

IMG_1882 (1024x683)

IMG_1871 (1024x683)

IMG_1874 (1024x683)

IMG_1872 (1024x683)

Monday, August 22

Thursday, August 18

perspective on respect.

Since Iris became mobile, she has slowly grown more adept at getting into things which are age-inappropriate. This has presented a new challenge to me as a parent in respecting my child. I don't believe in permissive parenting, but I do strongly believe that our children should be treated as people - treat them as you would like to be treated. No, I don't mean give your baby some iced-coffee in their sippy or let them watch Aliens on a Friday night. Nor do I mean they should be allowed to play with items which could be dangerous, or other such things. Let's see if I can give a little bit of perspective...

Imagine that you go to the mall this weekend. You wander around, in and out of your favorite stores. While their advertising is as flashy as ever and their windows are adorned with the season's hottest things, everything seems dull, the same as every other time you've visited. Then all of a sudden you spot something new. It could be a new clothing store that you've been dying to see come to your town, a game store or a technology related store. You make a beeline, your heart racing with the excitement of something new and shiny. 

And there it is - the perfect new dress; the newest highly rated game; the fastest and most user friendly new cellphone. You run your fingers over it, smiling to yourself that you've found what you've been hoping for. You're so glad. Then all of a sudden... "That's not for you, give it to me!" A rude salesperson grabs it from your hands, sneering at you, "I don't think this is in your price range."

I imagine that's how Iris perceives things when I, without thinking, grab something from her that I don't want her to have. I certainly wouldn't want someone treating me so rudely or with an abrupt, knee-jerk reaction. "But, a baby can't understand such complex emotions!", you might exclaim. Go ahead, grab whatever your child is playing with right now... see what happens? They start crying. This new thing is so special and great to explore when... bam, it's ripped away. Get your partner or spouse to grab something from you today and see how you, yourself, react.

Let me repeat, I don't mean that kids should play with legitimately dangerous items - please, do grab those scissors! But when they get into your folded laundry, your new roll of toilet paper, drop your cellphone or reach for your unread magazine to shred - be gentle. The world is still so exciting and new to them, and they won't have impulse control until they are over 5 years old. Treat them as the age they are, but respect that they are a person too, no matter how small! If you don't want them playing with something, take a moment to explore the item with them. Show them how it works, how it feels. Then, "this is fun, but not for Iris right now. You can play with this ball!"

Which would you prefer - "do you need any help? Well sure, I can put that away for you!" Or, "that's not for sale."


My new cloth baby wipes came, hooray! 
Don't ask me why I haven't been using them all along.
It makes no sense to me either.

New Dunkin Donuts Dark Roast coffee is smooth and delicious!

A sneek peek at Iris' birthday decorations in the works!

Cute baby hugging my face.

We watched a bit of Sesame Street - Iris loves it when they count!
I really needed to start working on some of her birthday decorations and Sesame Street will distract her from me for short periods of time. I am hand-making all of the decor and really enjoying it!

Lately, she's been nursing around every 30 minutes due to teething
 or a growth spurt, I'm not sure.
She apparently enjoys being able to see Big Bird while nursing.

Today, we were picked up by a friend and joined another girlfriend at her new house. She is finally moving in to a new house after a tornado destroyed her rental back in April. So happy she's finally at the end of this stressful time, as her hubby is also deployed! I'll hopefully be watching her cute, year old son next week as she unpacks.

On the way back home, we stopped at Krispy Kreme for my very first time! 
I ate three donuts in one sitting.
And I am in love. 
This weekend we are taking a trip to Ikea! Marius also has some sort of super-secret surprise planned for this long weekend... I can't want to find out what it is!

Wednesday, August 17

busy mama.

Lately, I've been feeling as though I have a lot on my plate in addition to the usual cleaning, cooking and child-rearing. It's also "that time of the month" for me, which after childbirth now comes with special new effects! Being too active or standing for too long makes the area around my pubic bone very sore, as though I just gave birth again yesterday. In fact, the whole front area of my pelvic bones get sore as though I've been beaten and it requires motrin and rest. From what I can tell, this is somewhat normal due to hormonal changes, but still really annoying. I blame it on my uterus for making its grand appearance after Iris, see: why we're only having one child.

I've been having trouble falling asleep (never mind staying asleep) and getting my mind to be still. Marius and I have been doing a lot of discussing and planning for his impending deployment and all the things we need to get settled before he goes. He leaves a month from now for six months. I have been planning Iris' early first birthday party and am doing all sorts of DIY projects for it which I haven't even really started yet! I should really get started on that today - lots of painting, designing, crafting and cooking to do!

Anyway, here's another new adorable video of Iris playing with the Kitty. He went to the vet for vaccinations last Sunday, so we bought him some new toys to make up for the experience. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, August 16

the love noise.

This is the sound Iris makes for the people and things that she loves.
I think she kind of sounds like a kitty meowing...
It melts my heart when she presses her little face against mine and coos like this!

Saturday, August 13

a letter to my kitty.

Dear Meow-Meow,

During my pregnancy, I was insistent on the fact that the new baby wouldn't take your place. And she hasn't, but we have a different relationship now than we used to. Your personality has changed since Iris entered the equation -  you're more easily startled, more desperate for attention and yet more independent. You used to spend your days sleeping in the living room next to me on the couch, but now prefer the cat-tower in the other room. I used to give you love at every opportunity, and I still do but those opportunities are less now. 

You used to lay on your back in our laps during meal times, something most people would frown upon but you were that important to us. You often got little bits of scrambled egg or licks of syrup and butter as you basked in our constant attention. Marius used to pick you up cradle you in his arms - one of your favorite things in the world. We played with you with ribbons and feathered balls. These things don't happen much anymore, which makes me feel very sad.

I was brought up instilled with a deep love for animals, and you were my baby before Iris. We still call you The First Baby, but you have to beg for our attention. After Iris was born, you took to biting our ankles for attention and earned the nickname Piranha Cat. You have lately started to slam the kitchen cupboard doors in the evening to get me to come over and play with you. It's inexcusable to me that things have gotten to this point. When you slam the cupboard I tend to curse and become irritated with your behavior. But I know deep down you don't do it to be annoying, you do it because you want us to spend time with you, like we do with Iris during the day.

When we took you home with us over 2 years ago, we taught you that you are part of our family. Lately, I think you are feeling very left out, bored and even a little bit depressed. You have a wonderful personality; sweet and affectionate, social and playful. I miss spending quality time with you and I want to make more of an effort to make you snuggly and happy. 

I think you're the best kitty in the world and I am going to do my best to show you that from now on.

Love, Me

IMG_1849 (1024x683)

Friday, August 12

fearing for my baby.

I mentioned in this post about how Iris scared the hell out of us. Well, it all began a few days into our trip to RI. A few little reddish bumps started appearing on her arms. Marius has a long history of serious allergies, and I have grown to have them as well, so we decided that it was most likely a little allergic reaction to dog dander or something else she'd never been around previously.

IMG_2189 (1024x683)

The next day, there were more bumps, somewhat clustered together and slightly more irritated looking. We started to feel a little bit concerned, but we knew how prone infants are to rashes and she wasn't showing any other symptoms or signs of discomfort. By the end of the third day, there were yellowing patches on her arms that formed into blisters within an hour. My heart felt as though it was in my throat and I was choking on fear. 

I won't post pictures but know that it looked absolutely horrible. I was at the point of tears about it but by the time it looked severe, all the urgent care places in the area were closed. We decided it was in our best interest to wait until we got home the next day to take her to the doctor. She seemed absolutely fine otherwise - we suspected infant eczema which can look pretty nasty or even chicken pox, as Marius had it pretty badly as a child. We drove to the clinic immediately after getting off the plane in North Carolina. I was so scared, not soothed by her happy giggles or playing; my baby had never been sick before.

IMG_2186 (1024x683)

The doctor diagnosed a skin infection from an unknown cause. It could have been from a bug bite, something she caught from a person or a place, or anything really. Her immune system was probably down from lack of sleep and from all the new things going on around her. She is now on antibiotics and a steroid ointment. A week later, it has cleared up but has left some scarring. Hopefully it will clear up in time. I'm just grateful she was never in any sort of pain or discomfort from it.

IMG_2187 (1024x683)

I never understood the sadness, fear or pure terror that a child can strike into the heart of their parents until I became a parent myself. If for some reason I can't see Iris and I hear her start to cry in pain, everything else in my brain shuts off and I get tunnel vision. I move faster than I ever though possible until I've reached her and she's in my arms. Marius and I call it "Mommy Mode" - it's the purely primal and instinctual protective mode that there is no ignoring. 

When her arms were looking really bad, I had a pit of fear in my stomach like I'd never felt before. My worry for her health is hugely more overwhelming than for my own. I would do anything for her; it's a pretty intense experience to say the least. The only thing I can think to compare it to are the near-death experiences I've had in my life. I hope future illnesses are few and far between as she grows up. 

What is the scariest thing you've gone though as a parent? What other experiences of intense fear have you dealt with?

Thursday, August 11

my babe, with the eyes of a seal.

IMG_2135 (1024x683)

IMG_2137 (1024x683)

IMG_2151 (1024x683)

IMG_2152 (1024x683)

my babe, with the eyes of a seal
inky orbs
from the dark deep
tenderness, wild curiosity -
brimming with

Wednesday, August 10

ten months.

IMG_2135 (1024x683)2

My sweet little baby is ten months old today. The last month has brought so many new and exciting things. Iris has learned to clap her hands and to wave bye-bye! She stands herself up gracefully, even using a wall to brace herself. She regularly walks around while holding onto the furniture and in the last few days, she has started standing unassisted. Well, until she realizes she's not holding on to anything, gets unnerved and carefully lowers herself to the floor.

She stands herself up to dance to all sorts of music. She knows where "on top" of her head is and even "on top" of Mama's or Dada's head! She holds objects out to show us, and has started giving them to us to look at. We respond "thank you very much!" and she beams. She knows that standing up in the bath means bath-time is over. We watch the water go down the drain as she sits in my lap, wrapped in a towel.

Reading is still one of her favorite activities. During the day, she will often pick up a book and hold it out to me, beckoning me to read. She sits in my lap, leaning against my arm. Sometimes the pictures excite her so much she will slap her hand to them with an exclamation of surprise. When we say "the end!" she yells sharply in protest.

She has finally sprouted more hair and has about 6 teeth now, with more coming in! She has had little tastes of rice pudding, peaches, lemonade and yogurt - all were met with a cold reception. She still nurses voraciously while laying, sitting, leaning, standing and climbing! She mimics actions like blowing raspberries and has started feeding us (I found this out when I gave her a french fry to explore, knowing she wouldn't eat it herself.) She says Mama and Dada very clearly, she claps while I sing "Patty Cake" and to music! She has taken to whining for me and fake-crying to get my attention, it's pretty cute! She will sometimes whine most pathetically as she crawls towards me, which usually means she wants milk or cuddles.

This morning, she started learning the concept of "sneaking." I sternly say her name when she starts doing something she knows she's not supposed to (like heading over to play with Daddy's computer) and she stops, sits and turns to look at me. I redirect her to to her toys and she plays until she thinks I'm not looking. Then she slo-o-owly inches over to the computer, watching to see if I notice! 

Literally every day is something new. Last night, she started licking things - the first choice item was the bottom of my sandal - delicious! Even as I wrote this she put a wooden block inside her Daddy's slipper, tipped it down towards the toe and thus discovered "inside". I can hardly believe how fast she is growing up.