Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Incident Report

Lydia had a rough day at daycare. She slept for two twenty-minute periods, and that is it. Plus she has diaper rash. Plus she was playing at their little kitchen and lost her balance and tipped over and hit her head, marking the first of what I'm sure will be many bumps and bruises. She has a little horizontal-line-shaped mark right in the middle of her forehead just above her eyebrows. Poor little thing crashed on the way home and got so tired that she had a hard time falling asleep. She was accompanied by an "Incident Report" about her kitchen collision, which included documentation of her treatment following the fall: "T.L.C."

On a side note, if anyone has recommendations for treating diaper rash, I'd appreciate it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I promised my grandmothers, who are both avid readers of our blog, that I would do a post about leaving comments. When you promise your grandparents you are going to do something, you do it. Before I do that, I must give a shout-out to my grandparents who are all over 80 and ALL check the blog regularly. Not too many people can say they have grandparents hip enough to email, let alone check blogs. I am also friends with both of my grandmothers on facebook!

So commenting. At the bottom of each post, there is text that reads 1 Comment, or 0 Comments, or 2 or 3 or 4. Click on that and enter what you want to say in the box that is labeled "Post a Comment". Then click on the drop-down menu below that says "Comment As". If you're not familiar with commenting, the easiest will be to choose Name/URL. Enter your name in the box and if you have a website, enter the address into the URL box. If you don't, leave it blank. Then click "Post Comment."

Please don't hesitate to comment! I love to know who is reading! I was always really hesitant to comment on blogs until I had my own. I actually read my friend Jessica's blog for at least two months before I told her, because I didn't want her to think I was a creepy snooper. I would enjoy hearing from you!


Recently, I have been doing a lot of reflection on effort. 

Let me restart more honestly. Lately, I have been swallowing a lot of frustration regarding the desire to be recognized. This is really hard for me to admit. I have this desire for people to understand how hard Robin and I are trying. How hard Robin is trying on getting this "other" house out of our hands while working to maintain his mental health in the midst of a very frustrating work situation. How hard we are working to raise a child across the country from both of our families and so many of our close friends. How hard I am working to maintain my self while being a really good mom and the effort required to blend those two roles. We are trying really hard.

I was talking with one of my coworkers about how nice she looks every day, and she said, "I am just trying this year." I responded with some self-deprecation I should have avoided and said, "I feel like I look like crap every day," and she said, "Maybe you just need to try harder." I know she meant nothing by this, and I really enjoy her, but I failed to maintain my calm and wigged out a teeny bit: "I am trying! I have an infant, and I have make-up on!" Blame it on the lack of sleep (because yes, even when your baby sleeps "well," that still involves getting up at 5:45 to prepare for a really exhausting day). 

Fast-forward to today. I got up and went to an 8:15 yoga class. It was my second practice this week, and one of those came at the expense of putting Lydia to bed, one of my favorite things because as Robin has taken over as her more primary care-giver during the week, Lydia still clearly prefers me to put her down to sleep. What can I say? Robin can do many things, but he can't lactate. Two ninety-minute work-outs in a week is pretty good for having a six-month-old, if I do say so myself. As I'm congratulating myself for making it through a challenging class, for getting to yoga twice this week, for fitting comfortably into the pair of jeans that I set as my post-partum weight loss goal, the instructor, who I consider a good friend, said, "You need to get here more often!" She's right. I do. But it was really challenging not to feel hurt for the lack of recognition not only in how well I did in class but the effort that it took to get there: getting up at 7:30 on a Saturday after waking up at 5:45 to feed Lydia (she went back to sleep and I left her snuggled in bed with Robin), nursing her again before I left, shoving yogurt into my mouth on the way so I wouldn't starve in class, not to mention that I am still fighting off a cold. 

My mom always tells me not to have expectations. Yoga is all about dropping expectations. Cheering for Gopher Football has DEFINITELY taught me not to have expectations. 

To make a long story short, I have thrown myself some pity parties recently. It is really hard to not want credit, but I am working to shift my focus from expecting, wanting, and hoping for this recognition to understanding that a lot of people don't understand and just being happy with the knowledge of the effort we're putting forth. I know how hard we are working, and I am really proud of my little family. I think we're doing pretty good, and if there's anything to send resentment running, it's this little stinker. How cute is she?

Date Night on the Cheap

Last night, a coworker and his partner very generously offered to take Lydia for an evening so that Robin and I could have a date night. It has been awhile since we were able to do this, and we really enjoyed our night out!! 

We opted to do a low-budget version and ended up at the Trailer Park and Eatery on South Congress. For those not familiar with Austin, the Trailer Park Eatery is a lot where there are lots of foods served out of, well, trailers. Since we were there last, they have added The Mighty Cone, which was earth-shatteringly good news to me. Why? Because they serve the Hot and Crunchy Chicken Cone, a food that I have always looked forward to eating at Austin City Limits. At ACL, all of the foods and beverages are made locally, and several high-end restaurants return to earth and make low-budget versions of what they serve. Hudson's on the Bend, a very swanky restaurant in the Hill Country has always served the Hot and Crunchy Cones, and now they have opened the year-round stand, The Mighty Cone. Truth be told, when Robin and I decided not to do ACL this year, the thing that I was first disappointed about was not having the opportunity to down several Hot and Crunchy Chicken Cones. Problem solved! Let's just say that anyone who comes and visits us will be escorted to The Mighty Cone, and I will be doing frequent quality-assurance checks.

We then wandered and browsed the shops on South Congress, went to Moonshine for drinks and dessert, and made a final stop at BookPeople to buy Lydia a book. (We settled on Scuffy the Tugboat.) We loved our time together and were so thankful to have had the opportunity! Thanks!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Call Me Crazy

I have spent a lot of time this week thinking about irrational fears. I have many fears that I know are over-the-top and borderline irrational. I know this about myself. Parenthood brings this out like none other.

When I was pregnant, I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. When I got to the point when Lydia could have been born and survive, I constantly looked up survival statistics to comfort myself, because I was convinced she would deliver early. When they heard a fetal arrhythmia, I googled and webmd-ed like mad, sure that she would be in the 2% that had resulting complications. 

Now Lydia is here, and she is healthy as a horse, but I still can't kick the habit of developing these irrational fears. Our doctor always tells us that Lydia is healthy and wonderful, and I still manage to convince myself otherwise.

Recently, I have come to believe that Lydia will never get teeth. I have no reason for this. When I told her pediatrician this, prefacing it with my knowledge that the fear was irrational, she assured me that they give babies until 18 months to cut teeth and only then x-ray to make sure they are there. 

I fear that Lydia will continue growing so fast that she will outgrow all diapers and we will have to buy her Depends. Dr. Bell reminded me that they make diapers for all sizes, and we will most likely not need Depends. 

Finally, I am now obsessing about Lydia's head. She has a big head. Even after Dr. Bell said that there are many things that would need to happen before she would worry, I am now worried about Lydia's head, not for cosmetic reasons, but because big heads can indicate hydrocephalus. I know that nearly every one of my cousins had a big head. When I asked Marie (Robin's mom) about Robin, Dale (his dad) responded in the background, "Robin was a head." Lydia has been hitting her developmental milestones ahead of time and has no symptoms of hydrocephalus other than the big head. Of course, I am still obsessing.

I must kick the habit.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fancy Pants

Lydia was not pleased when I told her that she would have to take off the necklace because it was not age appropriate. She said that Rachel Zoe told her it was boho chic.

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, September 18, 2009

Six Month Wellness Check

Weight: 22 lbs. 1 oz. (Waaaaaayyyyy off the charts.)
Head: 18 3/8 in. (Waaaaaaayyyyy off the charts.) 
Height: 27 1/2 in. (95th percentile)

Yes, Lydia is a bruiser. My students call her "Beasty." The appointment was pretty uneventful, though we did talk about her weight and big head. We are going to hold off on attempts to self-regulate with solids (most books say to feed a baby until they show they're full) and just give her 2 ozs. of cereal or veggies a meal. We will give her more if she is showing signs of being hungry, but if she is content after 2 ozs., we will stop. 

Lydia's head is also really big, but we're all fairly confident that she takes after her father and his noggin. (Head size can indicate a couple of things, but before they would even consider anything problematic, our doctor would check to make sure that 1.) the baby is hitting all of her milestones, which Lydia is and 2.) big heads don't just run in the family which they do. Dr. Bell wasn't worried, so we aren't either.

This appointment was the first time Lydia was fussy at the doctor, but that was most likely because the appointment coincided with nap time. She didn't seem to have much trouble with her shots, either. Not too much to report!

Photo on her six month birthday, dressed stylishly by her Auntie Brittany!

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Apple Juice

Lydia celebrated her six-month birthday with some apple juice. Yum!

No Place Like Home

There are few things that make me miss Minnesota like the fall. While we in Austin are celebrating highs in the 80s and 90s (a nice break from triple digits), I know that in Minnesota, the leaves are starting to turn, the air is getting wonderfully cool, and people are enjoying apples from local orchards, things made with pumpkin and squash, and soups and stews. These things always leave me aching to be back in the Midwest.

Last night, the Gophers played their first home game in their new stadium. It was the first time the Gophers have played on the campus that I love so dearly in over thirty years; when we were in college, we walked downtown to watch them play in the Metrodome, a stadium they shared with the Vikings and the Twins. The only games we watched outside were the ones we traveled to in Madison and Iowa City. As seniors, we wore t-shirts that read, "Where's Our On-Campus Stadium?" It's been a long time coming, and it is open.

The Gophers are not an easy team to cheer for, but Minnesota fans have been waiting for this. The stadium was sold out, and from photos and video footage I've seen, everywhere was a sea of maroon and gold. My dad called me from the pre-game festivities, and I could hear the marching band playing the Minnesota rouser in the background, and after the Gophers beat Air Force under the sky instead of a dome, the television coverage included the band playing "Hail, Minnesota," Robin's and my alma mater's school song.

Despite the amazing friends we have in Austin, last night, there was no place I would have rather been than Minneapolis.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Seriously. That's the fabric's name.

-- Post From My iPhone

Out on a Date

A handful of things have made life with Lydia a lot easier these past few months. She can now ride in a shopping cart, which makes trips to the store easier for us and more exciting for her. She loves to look around and observe. We also have started putting her into the highchairs at restaurants. Here are some photos from our family Labor Day date at Hyde Park Bar and Grill. Lydia had a craving from banana cream pie and french fries. And by Lydia, I mean me.


Lydia during naptime... how cute is this?!?!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Strong, Brave Girl

One of my administrators at Lanier always tells baby girls that they are smart and pretty. She has a daughter that is almost a year older than Lydia, and she observed that everybody told her how pretty she was. In an effort to teach her early on that looks are not a little girl's only attribute, she introduced the "smart" comment. I tried to do this for a bit, but it felt really contrived. I tell all babies how cute and pretty they are. I do feel there is merit to this idea, though, and there are certain things I want Lydia to believe about herself from the get-go, so every night when I put Lydia down in her crib, I leave her with these words:

"Mommy loves you, and you're a brave, strong girl."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


On Saturday, Lydia will be six months old. I really can't believe it. For some reason, I feel like this milestone makes us legitimate parents--like we've been pretending and hoping for the best until now.

According to the books, here is what six months means:

--Lydia can wear sunscreen.

--She can sleep with a "lovie"--a small blanket or stuffed animal.

--She can eat solids.

--We can begin sleep training.

--Lydia can drink juice.

According to Life with Lydia:

--We started solids almost two months ago.

--We started sleep training almost two months ago.

--She started sleeping with a little blanket (about 18 inches square) a couple weeks ago when we de-pacifiered her for nighttime sleep. (She was starting to wake up and not be able to go back to sleep without the pacifier.)

This leaves sunscreen and juice. Strange the things we ended up doing "by the book."

There are so many things for us that make six months meaningful. We are halfway to the year mark, which means we have six more months to enjoy Lydia as an infant before she moves into the world of toddlers. She becomes more amazing every day, and both Robin and I are continuously finding ourselves more infatuated with her. She's incredible.

For me, six months is significant because when I was pregnant, I told myself that I would not allow myself to stop breastfeeding without feeling guilty at six months. Now at six months, things are going really well, and I don't have much desire to stop at the moment. Certain things about breast feeding annoy me--lugging a pump around, having to schedule meetings at work around pumping time, bras that open like barnyard doors, that sort of thing--but as of now, the positives outweigh the negatives. I know what my hope is as far as the amount of time I want to go with nursing, and I have shared it with my nursing confidants, but I have officially reached my initial goal, and I am taking a moment to congratulate myself for that.

I feel like Robin and I have done pretty well during the past six months in our adventures in child-rearing, so as we approach this big milestone, I'm giving all three of us pats on the back.


Lydia officially has her first cold. She is producing more mucus than I have ever seen in my life, and her cheeks are all rosy. She is in pretty good spirits, but she is not sleeping quite as well (waking up after 8.5-9 hrs. instead of 10-11--I know, poor me), and she's having a hard time nursing as effectively because she can't breathe through her nose. We have her crib mattress elevated under her head and purchased a cool mist humidifier--vaporizer--something-or-other. Everyone said this would happen with daycare, but I was in denial. Let's hope she gets better soon!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lydia's New Favorites

Sitting up in her crib and watching her mobile...

Her stacking cups...

Her blocks...

The Gophers! (Obviously.)

Rub a Dub Dub

We have graduated to baths in the big tub. Lydia outgrew the tub we had been using, and we now bathe her in the big tub. She's finally figuring out that bath toys can be played with!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Laid Up

I did not do a good job of posting this week, especially since I had two days with after-school commitments that kept me away from home even more than my new out-of-home work schedule does. As I'm sure most people understand, I wanted to spend every minute I could with Lydia. I spent much of my time away looking forward to the three-day weekend, and now here it is, and Lydia and I are sick.

Lydia has been sniffling and coughing all week. Originally, we blamed the runny nose on my decision to test the waters when it came to yellow curry from Titaya's (the culprit in the Curry Catastrophe of 2009), but when it lagged for a few more days, we realized Lydia had her first cold. Whether she passed it on to me or I caught it from one of my students, I seem to have been hit with the bug even harder than she has been. She's a little fussy but still wants to play. I just want to sleep under a blanket, which is not so much of an option with an infant around the house--plus, even though I'm under the weather, I don't want to miss this precious weekend time with Lydia.

Some brief things that I will try to supplement later with photos or video...

Lydia... sitting up quite well and likes to be surrounded with her toys. Her newest fascination is her stacking cups. responding to her name... some of the time.

...rides in her style in her new big-girl carseat, a Britax Roundabout 50.


...loves knocking over the towers her mommy and daddy build with her blocks!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Not Enough

I'm a big fan of cake--the food, not the 90s band. (The band reminds me of a high school boyfriend who was very condescending and ultimately not very nice.) The saying that one "can't have their cake and eat it, too" completely confuses me. I always eat my cake. and I don't see this as unreasonable.

When it comes to working outside the home, I want my cake and I want to eat it, too--obviously. Before I went back to work, I didn't understand why baby care books needed to point out that it is not a good idea to keep your baby up later so that you can get time with them after getting home from work. I assumed this was a given and couldn't figure out why anyone would consider doing such a thing.

Then I went back to work. On a good day, I get about 3.5 waking hours with Lydia before and after school. It's just not enough. I know myself well enough to know that I am not cut out to be a stay-at-home mother. Too much of my self-identity is caught up in my role as a teacher. I am proud of what I do at school, and I think I'm pretty good at it. But 3.5 hours is not enough.

I have become about as time-effective and organized at school as I have ever been. Those that have seen my desk in the past would be amazed at what it looks like now. I will take a picture just to document the fact that my classroom is actually picked up. My grades are caught up, and my copies are made for the week. When the bell rings at 4:20, I am out 20 minutes later, something I used to scoff at. I used to be the teacher that judged other teachers who left before 5. Now, I resent anything that keeps me after work at all. Tomorrow night is Parents' Night at school, and I have a meeting on Thursday evening to prepare for having an Intern in my classroom. That means out of the 7 hrs. I get between Wednesday and Thursday with Lydia, 4 are taken away.

I am so jealous of the time Robin gets with Lydia on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I know he is jealous of my busy work days. At the same time, when I was home full time, I would get frustrated and lonely. Now, I miss Lydia. I have to keep myself from sneaking into her room at night after she is sleeping and picking her up and cuddling her, because that would mess up her sleep. I need to print out photos of her and put them all over the house and my desk. Something.