Monday, June 29, 2009

6 Months

All smiles!

Last week Violet passed the 6-month mark. She has been here with us for a whole half of a year now and we are closer to her first birthday than to her birth.

Naked baby

She doesn't sit up on her own or crawl yet, but she is an expert at rolling, scooting, and otherwise propelling herself around. It amuses me to notice how far across the room she can get without really crawling at all. She seems like she might have the makings of a really active type of baby; she is so busy and mobile and enterprising in making her way across the floor.

Wide eyes

She is full of smiles these days, although I seem much more likely to catch her in photographs either in a serious baby mood or making a comical face involving her tongue. Some of my very favorite smiles come after she wakes up. She almost always naps in her crib these days, and after she rouses I hear her quietly protest and squawk a bit. When I go in there and reach down to lift her up out of her crib, her face breaks open with a huge, toothless grin, a smile full of joy at being loved and held and with us again.


She has grown really interested in her hands and how she can use them, eager to grab and play with spoons, toys, placemats, necklaces, hair, and anything else she can get her chubby fingers entwined in. Sometimes when I pick her up, she will reach her little plump arms up around my neck and hold on a bit, giving me a delicious embrace of baby fat and bright, dark eyes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Culinary Cubism

We started solids with Violet about 10 days ago. So far, she is not very interested in it AT ALL, which so easily frustrates me if I don't concentrate on not allowing it to. She is quite taken with the spoons, but the food? Not so much. She never opens her mouth to take any of it and makes sad faces if I ever manage to slip a bite in while she is smiling or otherwise open-mouthed. We've tried avocado, sweet potato, peaches, and oatmeal but none of it seems to appeal to her so far. Violet has gotten very grabby at the dinner table and I had interpreted that as interest in our food, but perhaps she is just grabby because babies her age grab everything. Grabby grabby grab-- hair, necklaces, and whatever that foreign stuff is on our dinner plates that we seem so interested in. After giving a try with the baby food, I must reconsider my earlier position and re-categorize her as SUPREMELY UNINTERESTED. Now I am debating with myself what to do, with my two main alternatives being 1) continuing to try to feed her every day but working really hard not to get frustrated and pushy with it or 2) give her a break and not worry about it for another few weeks. We have her 6-month check-up next week and I am a little anxious about the pediatrician giving me trouble about the situation, since I know from the literature I've seen around their office they encourage starting at 4 months and the like.

I really love food. I love grocery shopping, I love reading cookbooks, I love doing the actual cooking, and needless to say, I love to eat. With both Grace and Violet, I have felt excited about them starting solids because it involves me cooking and pureeing and making beautiful rows of ice cube trays filled with bright colors. Now if only either one of them had actually liked it... Grace hasn't ever been a big eater, although I can't remember exactly how those first weeks went. I do remember that she ate puree for a while but quit baby food entirely before 9 months, refusing to eat anything that she could not feed herself, and I remember thinking in shock, "What?! She only ate baby food for 10 weeks?" And then I had all this puree in the freezer that I had to figure out something to do with. (Smoothies, muffins, sauces, etc, in case you find yourself faced with a similar conundrum...)

I sometimes am AMAZED how much time I spend thinking about food. I think I have already blogged that I am officially trying to lose weight, and it turns out (prepare yourself; this may come as a shock) that self-discipline is hard. I know, who would have thought? I have quit baking altogether (unless we have company or a special occasion or something) and am trying to limit the pasta and refined carb-y stuff. I have been joking with myself that I am currently on the CSA diet because our CSA this year is giving us a TON of food that we are barely able to keep up with. We had a full share of our CSA in Connecticut but we managed to eat it all every week, freezing just a bit here and there for later in the year. A full share at our current CSA is turning out to be a bit more and we are swimming in summer squash and potatoes and cucumbers and turnips. Oh, the turnips... I hesitate to say anything bad about a CSA because I am such a fan of them and think you should all GO JOIN ONE, but I am overwhelmed with the need to moan about all the turnips. I think I may have had turnips once in my whole life prior to this and we are now eating them twice a week. It's, well, a lot. Very low in calories (I did not realize how low-calorie until just now, but wow...) which is good in its own way for my current efforts, but still, I will not be sad when turnip season draws to a close. Because that means tomato season will not be far behind. Mmmm...

Drowning in tomatoes!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Busy busy busy

Whew, what a week... This has been such a busy busy busy week for us that I have felt like we are whirling in every direction with nary a moment to rest and rejuvenate and be quiet at home. I am such a homebody; I think sometimes that days when I get to stay at home and putter about with my babies and do some sewing and clash pots together in the kitchen make me happier than the ones when I am out and about. Of course, one cannot always stay at home and never see people. Or at least, one should not. So this week we were the most social version of ourselves and went with various toddler friends to the science museum, the pool, the splash park, and somewhere else that I cannot currently remember. On Tuesday we had people come and do a day's worth of work on our creaky 1953 home to make it more energy efficient in the face of summer's onslaught. We now have 12" of insulation in our attic (instead of 3") and weatherstripping and caulked windows and repaired AC ducts and all sorts of other things. I think I can tell a difference, but it will of course make the most difference in the electricity bills.

And now, for your Friday afternoon pleasure, something which may only be funny to me. In the course of looking for pictures for my birthday post, I found whole albums of pictures from the two years I lived in that apartment with that set of 3 other girls. I found these two pictures there:

These pictures are totally posed. Laura didn't really play the piano, and I don't really sing. What I would like to point out, however, is that we are wearing different clothes. This means that we thought it would be a good idea to set up this silly posed shot on two different occasions. We were such goofs. Happy, nerdy, silly college-girl goofs.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Not Feeling the Least Bit Itchy

Today Rob and I have been married for 7 years.  Although it is not as awesome as the best wedding video ever on record, the slideshow we made of our wedding pictures was recently rediscovered in our grand video-editing efforts of this spring and summer.

It makes me SO HAPPY to watch this and remember that perfect, beautiful day.  And all the beautiful days that have followed it.

Thanks/apologies to my friend Kim (who recently celebrated her 7th anniversary with James), from whom I stole the post title.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Some serious thunderstorms came through north Texas the night of my birthday, and in the early morning hours Thursday we heard a HUGE crack of thunder that put the rest of the thunder we'd been hearing to shame. Immediately afterward, our fans started to slow their rotation and the refrigerator stopped humming as our power was out. Good and OUT. Much to my chagrin, it is still out about 35 hours later and I am longing, yearning for electricity at our house.

I actually didn't mind it at first. It was raining all Thursday morning and we had the windows open listening to the steady drum of the warm summer rain. The house was so quiet without the AC or anything else running, and we read lots of books and ate the softening ice cream at lunch. Around 2pm, I started to tire of it, however. The rained stopped and the weather turned warm and muggy. I started to run out of things to do that didn't involve electricity, after writing birthday thank-you notes and reading a billion books and breaking out the snap press to repair some diapers. At 3pm, I switched Violet from cloth to disposable diapers as my diaper pail was full and there was no sign of being able to do laundry anytime soon. And then come dinnertime, I was totally over my zen accepting attitude and was grumpy and hot and annoyed, desperate to do laundry and run the dishwasher and check my email and twitter something.

Today is MUCH hotter than yesterday so we've escaped our house to my parents'. I call over there every few hours to see if the power has come back on as I sit here cool and comfortable and imagine my stash of breastmilk and baby puree defrosting in our freezer. They are saying this is one of the very worst bout of power outages in recent years and that they plan to have all the power back on for everyone by the END OF THE WEEKEND. Please please please don't let us be one of the last ones to get our power back...

Meanwhile Abbey is at our vet recovering from the doggie version of a mastectomy. We found a lump on her a week ago and it has turned out to be a mammary gland cancer. It's her 2nd cancer in the past year (the other one was a mast cell skin cancer) which leaves us feeling anxious and sad for her. She's doing well after her surgery so hopefully all is well and we will enjoy her for a long, long time. Preferably with electricity.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Tomorrow is my birthday and it will be my 31st!  Here is my 1st birthday, when my mom made me a sweet little doll and I ate a birthday banana with a candle in it:

And my 11th birthday, when I had just finished my first year of being homeschooled and enjoyed wearing very large glasses and even larger bows:

And I couldn't find a picture of my actual 21st birthday, but here is one from right around then:

There is Kool-Aid in those wine glasses and we are all holding pretzels.  No, really.  This is me (on the left) and my roommates from my last 2 years of college, and the summer I turned 21 between my junior and senior years we all stayed in College Station to take summer classes or do research in a lab or whatever. One of my roommates turned 21 a couple of weeks after me and I have a bunch of pictures of her 21st birthday (complete with the cake I baked her) but none of my own.  Several weeks before this picture was taken, I had postponed my upcoming wedding (to someone other than Rob) from the following Christmas to the next summer and I would call off my engagement altogether a few months after this picture was taken.  My fiance was, I think, a little hurt that I chose to stay in College Station that summer rather than return to Fort Worth where he and my parents lived, and probably rightfully so.  That summer my roommates and I watched Casablanca and the original Solaris in Russian and went to Bible study at our church and I baked a lot of pies for our consumption.  I worked in a laser optics lab in the physics department and joined the campus improv comedy troupe. We thought it was really funny (well, I still do) to take carefully composed pictures with props, preferably on black and white film.  Gosh, I was happy then (aside from the whole relationship thing).  Really, exuberantly, goofily happy.

And today on the brink of my 31st birthday I find myself again very happy with my life.  Tomorrow I am going to go to lunch with my parents and Grace and Violet at a really delicious Thai place and then I will go get a pedicure while the girls stay at my parents' house.  Rob will be working late-ish so we will do a combined birthday-anniversary celebration this coming weekend where I believe we will break open a bottle of red wine (I choose not to put Kool-Aid in my wine glasses anymore) and try to do pizza outside on the grill.  Hooray for birthdays!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

5 months, 2 girls, 1 outfit

5 months old
Grace at 5 months

Violet at 5 months
Violet at 5 months

Wow, they really do look different, don't they?  I can't help but ponder how much they'll favor each other as they grow bigger and Violet emerges from the delicious baby fat stage into some stage where we can actually get a better idea of her facial features.

Getting out the sweet baby girl clothes that Grace wore and using them again with Violet has been such a pleasure.   Because of when their birthdays are and the differences in seasons between Connecticut and Texas, I haven't really NEEDED to buy or sew much of anything for Violet up until now.  (Not that this stopped me from buying and/or sewing a few new things along the way...)  I think it has finally happened, though; Grace wore this particular outfit (along with a whole bunch of other warm weather clothes in that size) until the end of summer in Connecticut and I can only barely snap it over Violet's cloth-diapered booty today at the beginning of June.  She's going to need new clothes for the months of hot weather ahead of us, and depending on how exactly her growth moves forward, she might not wear the big pile of 6-12 month winter clothes at all.  Oh well, girls love new clothes, right?