Fall

Oct. 25th, 2014 10:45 pm
dancerjodi: (Geek)
I had been lamenting the fact that each traditional fall thing we tried to do didn't work out. I goofed on the schedule of my beloved Garlic and Arts festival in Orange, MA and we missed it. A local festival was lame. We got to one in Concord just as Mina fell asleep in the car, drove a bit for her to nap, and then she woke 1/2 hour before it was closing (not worth the cash). Our daughter had no interest in apple picking.

Last night, we made it to an event at Drumlin Farm. I used to go all the time as a kid, and so it is special to share it with Mina. We ended up getting a MA Audubon membership, and now get the magazine as a result (which is where I found out about this event). It was a nighttime event with walking in the dark, "spooky" (g rated) kid activities and the educational stuff you'd expect from MA Audubon. So cool! Mina was most fascinated by the crow, the corn snake, the meal worms, and touching furs and skulls from various animals. One building had a huge stone fireplace lit inside, and a volunteer dressed as a witch reading "Room on the Broom", a super cute story, in the dark. There was cider and cookies. We did a "haunted" hayride, which was low on the haunted. She jumped when things (high school kids with halloween store and DIY masks) jumped and yelled boo in the cornfield, but then asked "where did they go?" and "I want more scary things".

I think she's our kid, alright! Fall achievement unlocked.

Ho Ho Ho

Dec. 10th, 2013 01:02 pm
dancerjodi: (Geek)
We've had fun doing holiday stuff with Mina, now that she's a bit older and can appreciate it more. She doesn't know what Christmas is about, or what Santa Claus is about, but knows the words, some of the songs and loves the lights. Actually, her Santa knowledge comes purely from Nightmare Before Christmas, but I digress.

Brian took the day off from work yesterday so that we could go to Bass Pro out at Patriot Place (in Foxboro) to do the santa photo. They do it for free (1 free, additional you have to buy) and they decorate this whole section of the store into a cute 'Winter Wonderland' with kid's craft activities. Plus, it is a giant place with a fish and turtle pond and lots of taxidermy, some of it animated. So basically a big fun place for an almost 2 year old. She was really into the decorations, particularly some animatronic elves with their faces covered (one stuck in the snow with his feet out, one under a gift box). Santa though, she said hi, but was confused when I got close to him. She looked quite skeptical. Then when I told her that she was going to sit on his lap and take a picture, and then I put her on his lap she screamed and looked miserable, reaching for me to take her back. I took her off, thanked him and walked away. Now *he* was trying to hold her there and convince her that it was OK, and it would be over quickly and to just relax and take the picture. The family behind us had one happy kid and one screaming kid for their picture. I don't know, I get that it is a 'thing' for some kids to have documented Santa or Easter Bunny cries but really, who is this about? Why force your kid to do it? She usually has no fear and is quite social. I think the lack of personal space and actually sitting on this complete stranger, not on her terms just didn't make sense to her. As it shouldn't, really! I guess, you only learn by trying, right?

She enjoyed her first candy cane (a small one) which cheered her up, and we carried her around the store for a bit and looked at animals, before she was herself again. Then she proceeded to pick up every stuffed animal, lay on every throw pillow, and sit on and 'drive' every ATV on the premesis. Some friends that live nearby came out to meet us and have dinner at the Olive Garden near by. I know I know, but it was right freaking there. And the girl loves noodles! She made a ginormous mess of herself, but for the most part was very good at the meal. She didn't make a ton of noise (until we were in the bathroom changing her before we left) and she ate very well. Even eggplant! Going out to restaurants with her has been more challenging as she asserts herself and never wants to sit still, but she does love the food and the people. We just have to plan it well so that we can accommodate that.

I am having such a blast doing holiday things with my kid. Since the fall Brian and I have picked up things here and there and put them into a box to wrap up for Xmas and/or her birthday, which is mid-January. I'm looking forward to digging into the box with Brian and wrapping everything. Maybe we'll make some real cocoa this Friday night and once she is in bed make a 'date' of it. :)

Thanks!

Dec. 3rd, 2013 10:19 am
dancerjodi: (Geek)
We had a nice Thanksgiving and extended weekend. We host each year, and the group changes depending on whether my brother is celebrating with his wife's family or not (they alternate Xmas and Thanksgiving between the two families). This year my parents, Carlos and my sister and oldest nephew joined us. Her two youngest boys went with their dad to his family in RI.

Food was good and the experience was laughably predictable. We are the national lampoons family. Mina had a lot of fun with everyone. At one point my Dad turned on netflix on our TV and started Ghostbusters playing. Thankfully Mina was napping upstairs in her room at the point where Sigourney Weaver is grabbed in her armchair and terrifyingly is dragged into her kitchen. Hello Dad?! Mina was awake for the ending fight scene and freaking LOVED it! She asked the next day to "see the pink lady [Gozer] talking" and remarked "nice costumes"! She's met ghostbusters and Stay Puft at various conventions before, so she is old hat at this kind of thing.

On Friday we visited the http://www.masshort.org/Festival-of-Trees . Mina fell asleep on the way, so we drove around and let her nap, deciding to pick up our tree at http://www.baconstreetfarm.com/. I can't believe they are celebrating their 75th year in business. As a kid this is where we always got our tree (I lived nearby until age 9). She woke and we had lunch at the http://www.bakeryonthecommon.com/menu.html before going to the Elm Bank Reservation. She loved the huge horses for the carriage ride and had fun looking at trees and meeting santa. Mostly though, she was happy to see some dogs being walked on the property. Our tree was put up and decorated a couple of days later.

My 20th highschool reunion was that night, and I went with an old, good friend that I am still close with. Awkward! The class officers planned a swanky (expensive) dinner dance at the Westin Waltham. I bought my ticket as did Melanie, and then a month or so later the 'Rebel Reunion' invites went out via Facebook. It was a free shindig at a local bar with free apps and a cake. Melanie and I ended up doing both: dinner and socializing at the hotel and then hitting the bar for chatting for a couple of hours. My friends were mostly at the bar, and I did have the most fun connecting there. It was nice also having a couple of old guy friends compliment me on my aging (or apparently lack of it). My old long-term high school boyfriend was there, and I haven't seen him since before I was pregnant with Mina. It was nice to catch up. I can appreciate how the organizers were upset about the alternate event. At the same time, they didn't solicit any feedback before planning such a swanky/expensive/exclusive affair. You can't make everyone happy in a class of 400+ kids. They did request feedback from the folks *at the reunion*, so they will plan the next one in 5 years at a bar, with a similar pricetag. I think they should also take feedback from the folks that didn't go to the hotel, but whatever. After dinner things proceeded to get cliquish, just like high school. Kind of to be expected. I was one that had some core friends groups, mostly the outsiders. Also doing theater/dance stuff though, I did meet and become friendly with a lot of the 'popular' kids. Kind of like in my professional life, I can communicate with lots of different groups. I did spend a good amount of time chatting with an old classmate who now lives in Lexington (over near Nepenthe and Cannongirl actually) and we are going to make some plans at some point).

We had appointments at http://www.yelp.com/biz/dhr-stylists-cambridge on Saturday, and planned to use a giftcard we won at http://www.wagamama.us/ for lunch. We discovered the heat in my car wasn't working (!) and planned to get it fixed Monday (turns out I needed a flush and new thermostat, thankfully only a $220 repair). We were around the house in the afternoon, and decorated the tree. Mina is having a lot of fun taking off and putting back ornaments, and she keeps taking off lights and holding the bulbs up to her eyes.

We had a nice mix of social and time at home, which was just amazing. I'm hoping to have a mostly-chill holiday season. We'll see if we can accomplish that! :)
dancerjodi: (Geek)
Brian and I took last week off of work for a small trip to the White Mountains in NH, a few kid-free days, and some good family time before the Labor Day weekend.

This was our first trip away with Mina since she's crawled out of her crib, so the Pack n Play was no longer a good option for us. We had purchased the Aerobed kid's mattress, and it worked out great for us! It inflates quickly, and has raised sides to prevent the kid from rolling out in their sleep. We brought child proofing things with us to the cabin (cabinet locks, outlet plugs) and rearranged the furniture to try and make it as Mina-proof as possible. Her bed was next to ours, and for the most part we were comfy letting her roam, mostly. We alternated putting her to bed at night so one of us could get some time either on our front cabin porch or visiting a few cabins down with my parents. We spent a bit of time one night sharing our front porch together, making some rootbeer floats.

We did a mix of what usually is included with a White Mountains trip. On the way up we all needed a break around the Lakes Region, so we stopped in Tilton for lunch and then did some outlet shopping, mostly to give Mina some car-free time before strapping her in for the last hour or so leg of the drive. They had a nice little playground for her to move in, lots of little pay 'rides' for her to sit in (those things you feed quarters into and that go for a few minutes that you'll see outside of Toys R Us or some supermarkets or department stores. Mostly, she had fun running around inside of the air-conditioned stores, and coloring at the Old Navy kid's coloring table. We bought her some spooky Halloween shirts and a fleece bat hat. Oh yes, it is that glorious time of year now, isn't it?!

We checked into the Profile Motel/Cabins in Lincoln and my parents and Krista and Sean were already there. After some time to unpack/freshen up, we went to the Common Man Lincoln for dinner. Yum, yum. The bartender gave Mina a free pineapple juice. Free cheese and white chocolate. You can't argue with that. It was our biggest/fanciest meal of the trip.

Sunday was Dad's birthday and my brother, sister and their crew drove up to meet us for a small hike and picnic. After breakfast and walking/hanging aorund the Pemi in Woodstock we met up with the rest of the family at the Cabins and then checked out the Old Man Memorial. My family 'adopted' a brick with our name on last year as a 60th birthday gift to our Dad. From there we drove a tiny bit south and did a small hike at The Basin, having a picnic lunch on the rocks. The toddlers were getting cranky and needing some naps, so we returned to the cabin for birthday cookies and candles and gift giving for Dad. That afternoon we drove out to Littleton with my parents to give Mina time to nap in the car (she did not), and walking/shopping. The Italian restaurant they wanted to go to there was closed on Sundays (doh), so we got back into the truck and had Chinese food at a place near Loon that my Dad wanted to go to. It was much better than the last (crappy) time we went there. Yay!

Monday was our Storyland day. We went back and forth on whether we should go or not, given how young Mina was. We decided to give it a try, since we were excited to show it to her and Brian has never gone before. She did enjoy her time, but right now, it isn't the park for her. She loved the Tea Cups ride, but hated sitting and riding on slow things (boats, pumpkin carriage). She hated the lines. She could care less about Cinderella (doesn't know the princesses and as long as we can, we are trying to keep it that way). She didn't care too much about climbing into the little buildings. She loved the freaking creepy animatronic eyed creatures (Humpty Dumpty, Talking Treehouse). She loved any chance she had to color (putting her name on little leaves to hang on a tree near the entryway, a huge white-board wall where the old ball-pit used to be). Basically, she liked climing/moving and coloring. And live animals. And would have liked fast rides like the tea cups, if we didn't need to wait in any lines. She is your typical, overactive, moving toddler. We know this, but it was a good lesson for us to see in action compared to some other less active kids. A coworker of Brian's daugher is similar in age to Mina but loves just sitting and watching shows, riding on boats, that kind of thing. That just isn't our kid. But she is content to sit/play in water, or to interract with people or 'living' animatronic things. Good to know. I still think I want to try Santa's Villiage with her in the fall - we will be there with my family for Mom's birthday in November. I think the company of her cousins and seeing reindeer would make her happy.

On our last day we spent some more time in the rocks along the Pemi, and headed home. Brian and I had fun doing both practical and splurge stuff while Mina was in School Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday we went to a farm for animals/blueberry picking. We purchased apples/cider/cider donuts and will probably return later this fall. Mina realized that all of these blueberries were just growing on the bush and yelled "Dude!", like Brian does all of the time. So cute.

We spent some time working on closets over the weekend, and covered Mina with lotion for various rashes. More on this on separate posts.

Back to the grind, which is nice in a way. You know you have a good life when the break is nice, but you are happy to get back to the normal.

Summer 2013 Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/sets/72157634327139960/

Fall 2013 Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/sets/72157635358352751/

Weekend

Mar. 6th, 2013 10:57 am
dancerjodi: (Geek)
It is Wednesday and I'm posting a weekend update. Time flies and all of that. I thought it did before I had a kid, but it is so much more faster now.

We took a walk on Saturday to our library and checked out the children's room. Wow! They had a nice open area for parents to sit on a long bench seat with room for the kids to play with a toy kitchen and food, puppets, small see-saw and then of course tons of puppets, books and such. And, a bathroom in the area with a changing table. I took Mina in to clean her up and Brian got the tour from one of the librarians. They are having a free 3 week music/dance activity that I'll be taking her to.

Our timing getting out of the house was later than I had hoped, so it put her at nap time as we were leaving the library. That paired with running around with kids there and she was pooped! She was out in the stroller within 2 minutes of leaving. We strolled home and stopped at our local thrift store and comic store along the way. After taking an inventory of her clothing that morning we found that she didn't have a lot of options in the next size up. She is starting to outgrow the 18 mo clothing (yes, she is 13 months), so we picked up a bunch of things from Global Thrift in the 24 mos/2T/3T range. Each one was around $2 a piece, which you really cannot beat! I love the hunt for this kind of thing.

We ran some errands in the afternoon and had dinner at PF Changs - our first time ordering something off the kid's menu for Mina. Normally I think it is unnecessary (you get such big portion sizes that Brian and I will just share with her) but her food reactions in her skin have been so odd lately, that we wanted something kind of plain but still not the regular chicken fingers and fries bent. Thankfully they were cheap: we ordered a $2 chicken and rice dish and another $2 veggie dish that she loved, with leftovers to spare.

Lately I feel like we are hemmoraging money, between buying food and clothing for this girl, despite trying to be low cost but high quality about it. We've gone through lazy periods where we just ordered dinner or went out, and have way outspent our "weekend" budgets over the last couple of months. We do great sometimes, not so great others. I really want to challenge myself to be better about this!

In other hemmoraging money news, our flights are booked for San Francisco for April. Brian's ticket will be reimbursed, and our hotel will be paid for by his company for part of the time. As will our rental car. This is both exciting and terrifying: first time flying with Mina!

She continues to just be a joy: running around, talking more, playing more. She is a social and active kid, so I can see the terrible toddler challenges just around the corner. I've been reading the Dr. Sear's Discipline book (picked up at the library) for some tips on how to deal with this before it explodes, because winter is surely coming. The Happiest Toddler DVD is waiting for me now at the library to pick up. I may try and snag a copy there of the Toddler Whipserer. I'm not a must do it by the book kind of person, but all of these experts were very helpful to us in the earlier baby days.

Work is work. Dance is dance. Right now, we just try and get through our days. :) We had a fun celebration of Gram's birthday (complete with looking at old photos and home movies). We need to take more lengthy home movies so that we can share more than 2 minute youtube clips with our kids decades from now!

Praline

Jan. 18th, 2013 07:21 am
dancerjodi: (Default)

I found Praline in her cage, gone from this world this morning. She joined our family in 2001, so she had a good, long bunny life. She loved to give "Eskimo kisses" to us, and would hump Batty's head in a sign of dominance. Much love to you cutie bun. :/

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

dancerjodi: (Geek)
As of 12:24 PM this afternoon, our daughter will be a year old. Just crazy!

I made her a Waldorf Birthday Crown, using a pattern from http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1590304713/soul01-20 . It has an elastic in the back so it will grow with her. She seemed skeptical about it today, preferring to play and eat it rather than leave it on her head.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/8389761116/in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/8389760132/in/photostream

Brian picked up some mini muffins at BJs last night to bring to school with her to share with everyone. We've been gradually doing party prep (we are having a small family party for her on Sunday). I have had way too much fun with this! I've enjoyed taking my time, searching for things that were low cost, more sustainable and more meaningful for us all compared to your regular party supply stuff.

Unrelated, I've had fun finally building a photo gallery in our hallway http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/8389749460/in/photostream . I've wanted to do this for a long time and had a stack of old frames in the attic for this purpose. To get me started, Brian bought me a frame set for Xmas. Then I found some at the local thrift store on Moody Street for $2 per frame. And we picked some more up at Ikea. I think now I'm just going to keep my eyes open when we are at thrift stores for good wall-hanging frames to add to the collection.

I have dance class tonight, and Mina being a year old won't really know that today is any different from tomorrow, so we're going to go out for dinner with her to celebrate just the three of us then. Where is a good place to go where we can have the wait staff sing to her? :) Brian would like our choice to fulfil that requirement.

One of these days we want to get her to Rainforest Cafe, but by the time we got there tomorrow after work it would be CRAZY. We are going to save that for another day, maybe early on a Saturday afternoon or something.
dancerjodi: (Geek)
Lately I've been trying to be more present in my life, with my family, in my home. I've been trying to spend less money and enjoy what is right in front of me. A resolution for the new year? Maybe.

We had dinner at our neighborhood Mexican Restaurant on Friday night, after a particularly stressful work week. I love seeing how Mina makes friends with nearby diners. She is so good at restaurants - we are so lucky! She'll eat whatever we put in front of her. Maybe these things won't continue, but for now, we are enjoying it. On Saturday morning after having breakfast we took a hike in our neighborhood along the Charles Riverwalk. Brian carries the brunt of the work for these, with Mina on his back in our Kelty backpack. I'd like to get strong enough to handle it that way (at this juncture, I'd prefer her in my Lillebaby carrier on my chest). We trudged through the snow along the river, stopping to see ducks and geese and neighborhood dogs along the way. It is such a joy to live so close to such a quiet slice of nature in the city. On the way home we stopped in the Italian store on Newton Street for some lunch subs and homemade pasta and sauce for dinner. Brian had to work for a good chunk of the day in the office, so Miss M and I spent the afternoon together, braving the crowds in Burlington for some supplies and Joanne Fabrics and a latte (for both of us) in the cafe in a nearby supermarket.

Sewing for her has reinvigorated my interest in it. My time is surely limited, but I finished an apron for her birthday gift, and a little birthday crown (inspired by Amanda Soule) http://soulemama.typepad.com/soulemama/2007/03/a_little_about_.html. I've had a lot of fun, and little nephew Mason's birthday is also coming up, so time-willing I'd like to make him some things. I also picked up some supplies for Mina's birthday party. It is an intimate shindig with immediate family and some close special 'friend family' folks. I cannot WAIT to try the cupcakes we've ordered for it. I'm having a lot of fun trying to plan something special but something that also doesn't break the bank or kill a lot of trees in the process.

Mina started in the new 'bigger kid' group at http://www.cobblestones4families.com/ yesterday. She's the youngest in the group but given her extreme mobility they thought it best for her to be in there. It is just amazing to hear the kids in there and see them so vocal! A picture of things to come. She moves as well as all of the older kids, but you can definitely see how she is not as far developmentally along verbally or socially. I am so happy that we have this resource nearby and would love to share it with everyone. We have all been so happy to be a part of the Cobblestones family.

This is the first full work week in a while. I'm trying to stay motivated and engaged. Lots to work on! The dance studio is also back in full swing this week. Getting the body moving again after holiday breaks is always - interesting.
dancerjodi: (Geek)
The thing that I think that has been the hardest for me as a parent, is dealing with trial and error when it comes to issues of Mina's health or comfort.

I know that the body isn't always so much of a predictable science.  I know from my own experience, that it takes paying attention, trying things out, observation and time sometimes to get an answer.  I still don't have answers to some of the strange ailments I've had in life.  You heal and move on.

But doing this with my child while she is crying in pain (or sleep deprived, or starving) - it is something I hate more than anything I've ever hated before.  Her current issue is a common one, rashy bum.  Why it happened, we can only guess (or try and remove the possible irritants and wait and see).  How to heal it, we can only try different methods and ointments and wait and see.  In the meantime, our muffin is a sad baby.  It kills me.  I work with doctors, and I know that a diaper rash is a common ailment that most often just needs time and at-home remedies.  I don't want to be that guy, calling the doctor every hour, asking them to fix my kid for something that is so common (and relatively, simple). At the same time I just want to scream at the world to fix it for her, and make it better already!

I cannot fathom how parents deal with these feelings in their children that have much more serious battles to face.  My heart goes out to them.  I know that we gotta keep our cool for the kid's sake.  As Brian and I tried to change and console a rashy, oozing, screaming child last night I could hear the tears in his voice.  It is so hard to try and be tough when you are just dying inside, seeing them in so much discomfort.  And this was just for a stupid diaper rash.

In this holiday season I am thankful for our health and comfort, for our friends and family, for a good job and the means to help provide for all of this.  I am excited to be a part of this club - the doing the best you can, figuring it out as you go along, so much in love it hurts parenting club.  It is so overwhelming sometimes.

Much love to you and yours this season, and wishing you peace from whatever ails you.

Weekend

Dec. 11th, 2012 12:08 pm
dancerjodi: (Geek)
As usual we had a fun weekend.  The holiday season is so much more magical when you are sharing it with a child.  It is amazing!

There was no hurdy gurdy guy at my Mom's holiday party on Friday! He retired! Still, food and all was nice.  They got a gift for each kid there (and there was probably around 50 of them, a big investment).  It was nice to catch up with my Mom and let her show off Mina.  She crawled and walked all over the place.

On Saturday we went out to Allie's http://www.craftyyankee.com/id27.html annual holiday sale at her home in Wellesley.  We received a set of mugs from her from her son and our good friend Rob for our wedding in 1999, and since then have gone out to the sale for some cookies, cider and small purchases.  We bought a mug for Mina, a juice glass for her (for now it holds her toothbrush inside of our bathroom cabinet) and an ornament for our tree.  It was great to see her and introduce her to our daughter.  Last year, we didn't make it as I was in the throws of late-pregnancy and battling super adema (trying to keep my feet up as much as possible) and weird rashes.

We had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen nearby (the girl continues to eat whatever we put in front of her - this time arugula and sun-dried tomatoes were new for her) and headed out for a first birthday party that 501st friends were hosting for their son Riley.  There were a ton of people and toys, and Mina jumped right into the thick of it, despite her recent, sort-of separation anxiety.  The girl definitely has a social personality.  After a few hours we headed home to meet up with DW and A for dinner at Paisanos.  More food experimentation was had.  She mushed rice into refried beans to make them easier to pick up, very smart! We gave her a teeny bit of our dessert which she was very excited about too.  It was nice to catch up and have some grownup visit time once Mina went to bed.

We were going to a holiday party at L&S's house on Sunday night, so we stuck around the house during the day and Brian got some armor made (he usually spends a few hours working on prop and costume stuff on Sunday night).  It was another busy party atmosphere and our girl continued to move all over the place being super social with people.  I think she climbed their stairs to the second floor (with Mom or Dad behind her just in case) about 5 or so times.

As I don't work on Mondays, I took her to her play group and we met Brian for lunch afterwards at http://www.fiorellasexpress.com/.  I want to say that this was the place we went in high school for lunch over a field trip where a group of Drama Club/Stage and Body Movemement students were going into Boston for something at The Wang or the Huntington Theater (the students took over the restaurant, as the owner's son was in the group).  Said son I think, is the owner now, and took our order.  Good stuff! We went there so that we could check out http://yumbunnies.com/ a few doors down.  We ordered cupcakes for Mina's first birthday party.  It will be a small/intimate gathering, basically our immediate family and a couple of our closest friends (who are basically family).  I can't belive we are already at that time.  After dropping Brian off at the office Miss M and I drove over to Target (I let her sleep in the car for a while in the parking lot and read my newest book) and then picked up some groceries/holiday stuff.  We headed home to make dinner, meet up with Brian and then I headed out to meet an old coworker/friend for my own dinner.  Getting out sans baby is nice, but I always miss her.

I cannot believe we are almost in mid. December.  Time flies and all of that.  Work holiday things are this week.

Tonight

Dec. 7th, 2012 10:08 am
dancerjodi: (Geek)
I'm taking Mina to my Mom's company holiday party. Where there is a FREAKING HURDY GURDY MAN! I can't wait. I can't wait to see Mina's reaction to a monkey dancing like Elvis, but I think I'm more excited to see it myself.

Was there ever a better reason to leave work early on a Friday? I don't think so.

Tomorrow we're going to an in-home holiday pottery sale at a friend's Mom's house. We've been going for years, and it would be neat to introduce her to Mina, get some cider and cookies and maybe buy something to put away for Mina. After that we're heading to a friend's son's first birthday party. It's in Peabody, so why the hell shouldn't we stop by Putnam Pantry for some homemade candy canes or ice cream sundaes?! And then we're having dinner with DW and A and just general hanging out.

On Sunday I'm hoping we can hook up with some close friends for brunch and we'll stick around the house before going to L and S's annual holiday shindig, this year in their new place. What a fun, packed weekend. It is a good thing that Miss Thing likes to sleep in the car; strategically timing things for napping.

Weekend

Dec. 4th, 2012 09:55 am
dancerjodi: (Default)
We had a good weekend. We got together with Tember on Saturday for brunch at http://www.victoriasdiner.com/. So good, and we had a nice spot in the back room next to their Xmas tree. Also, a parking lot! We lucked out and got a spot in there. After brunch we spent some time wandering around the Pru/Copley mall and looking at decorations. It was the best snow ever, pretty but not sticking on the roads. Brian had to be home around 1:30 to head to NH for a Holiday parade troop with the 501st, so we dropped him off and headed out Natick-ways for lunch at http://www.zaftigs.com/ in the old Joan and Ed's space and some shopping in the same plaza. After a bottle and some tea at Starbucks, we headed back into the city to drop Tember. Miss Mina and I had a nice dinner and some playtime before bed. I missed Brian, but it was fun having a girl's day.

On Sunday after breakfast at home I took Mina out to meet an old friend/coworker from THP in Woburn. She had a blast with her two boys, age 4 and 2. We came home for lunch with Brian (after he got some build time in the morning) and did our grocery shopping and picked up our CSA share. Having some productive time at home and dinner in before Mina's bed was great. Brian and I were in the mood for a movie, so we finally watched Where the Wild Things Are. He bought it for me for Xmas last year on Blu-Ray but we never managed to watch it (who knew that time over maternity leave would be so crazy and filled with active baby care, heh). I have to say, it was pretty but I didn't like it. I had remembered folks saying it was sad. It was an interesting interpretation. I think I watched it with different eyes now as I'm a parent than if I saw it when it first opened. It raised a lot of feelings and discussion with the two of us now as parents, and for Brian who was a pretty solitary kid himself. He is really appreciating now the impact this had on his life (or how it could have been different, as Mina though an only child is often surrounded by people, and is a very social creature).

Yesterday we had a lot of time visiting with my Dad. He has a job in the area and has a key to get in if he needs to kill time during the day. We had breakfast with him, and then he went off to meet with his customers. We played during the morning and Mina had a 40 minute nap, and woke for a bottle before going to her playgroup at http://www.cobblestones4families.com/. After the group we had lunch with my Dad and hung out with him until he left to pick up Mom from work. Mina seems to be finally experiencing separation anxiety. She is a bit nervous about "strangers" at first, even if they are people she knows well and sees often (like my Dad, or like our friend Sean). She gets timid and comes over to hug us. After a bit she opens up and is OK with this new person. By the end of my Dad's visit they were snuggling on the couch. Can you handle this?! http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/8242736768/in/photostream/
dancerjodi: (Geek)
My time nursing Mina is done.

I have been nursing her 2x a day for quite a while (once in the morning, once at night - either right after work or right before bed). Lately she hasn't been too interested in it. She is an active, engaged kid and the last thing she wants is a boob in her face when there are exciting things going on around her.

For a long time we've called my breastfeeding her a "boobie snack" ala Scoobie Doo. Quantity wise, the milk she's been getting from me at these times though still liquid gold (human milk goes for something like $5 an ounce or something) and filled with nutrients and snuggle time, she's been getting less and less of it. Your body makes less of it if your child is demanding less of it. We are after all, efficient machines! She would eat for shorter and shorter times, or sometimes she'd not be interested at all. Something clicked for me this week. With the rare times where she is kind of emotionally needy (super tired, too much stimulation and needs just to tune out, or sad and hurting due to teething) it was *me* putting this nursing on her. Sure, sometimes she'd want to do it, but it seemed more because there was a boob in her face and less because she wanted to do it. She sought it out on Monday, but really, I think that a bottle or just snuggling quiet with her would have sufficed to calm her.

Mornings are tough when we are trying to get up, showered, breakfasted and boob the baby before work. Evenings are tough when we are trying to get dinner, bath, things done, me off to dance class on Tuesday and Thursdays and then boobing the baby (yes, "boob" and "boobing" have become verbs in our home). She slept over at my sister's house last Saturday and so she didn't boob that night or morning. My right side was super swollen Sunday morning having not been emptied (and I didn't pump - as my supply has been less and the frequency of feedings less, it has not been necessary to pump when I am away from her), so I fed her around noon or so when we got home for a bit (she didn't want it for too long, but it took some pressure off me). Since then I've been trying to do the 2x a day thing, but most often she just isn't interested after a couple of minutes.

All along I wanted to nurse until it just didn't feel right anymore. I had so many issues early on that I've posted about here. I still have scars on my nipples from the early cracking/bleeding/infection I had (who knew that I'd have a bad reaction to the lanolin stuff that everyone tells you to slather on) and I wonder if they will ever not be visible. I'm a bit more droopy, a bit more stretch marky. But I knew that breastfeeding wasn't about pretty breasts (that's what foundation garments are for, right?!).

I gave - literally - of my self for my daughter to have the best stuff available while it worked for us to do so. Starting to wean earlier this summer just killed me. I was really happy to not have to pump at work anymore though (and it made our Star Wars Celebration trip easier, less pumping required for me). It was such a relief to drop those sessions. Despite trying all the right things, talking to the right people, throwing a lot of money at the problem between different nursing pillows, a stool for my feet, tea and supplements, meditation, all the right 'stuff' with me for pumping, different sized flanges and paying out of pocket to see a lactation consultant (oh, and renting a hospital grade pump), I STILL had such issues letting down to the pump. When I was exclusively nursing, I'd have no issue feeding her and producing on the weekends. She'd eat at will and be satisfied. Pumping, I was always killing myself to keep up with her bottles at daycare. Of course, they tend to drink more in the bottle than at the boob (something about all the fat being mixed together in the bottle - think unhomogenized milk), where the super heavy fat naturally in the boob's hindmilk tells the baby that they are done on that side and they stop drinking). But I digess.

I still cannot adequately express what an amazing, primal connection this whole experience has been. When right after she was born and she was placed on my chest still covered in goo, and she went rooting around and just latched on like a champ while my husband, my mom and I all sobbed over what had just taken place in that room. In those early days where she was so tired she would fall asleep nursing, and so she was pretty much eating all freaking day long to get adequate nutrition (remember when our girl was underweight?!). On those horrible nights of teething when the only thing that would calm her was to be on my boob, in our bed. When she would scream at the Pedi after immunizations, and putting her on the boob would calm her there. Feeling her teeny body on my lap or looking at her all peacefully passed out due to a milk coma on the Boppy or curled into the nook of my lap/belly in bed, nursing while half asleep. It has just been amazing. I'm a snuggly person, and sometimes the experience was too intense for me.

I knew I could not nurse her forever. I wasn't setting out to meet X months or years. I figured, we would all know when it was time to move on. And so it is.

I am finally, truly OK with this. Not needing to worry about nursing her before and after work will be a small lift. Wearing underwire bras again will be nice. I took a decongestant today for the first time in forever, as even the ones safe for their impact on breast milk can still have a decreasing effect on your supply!

Seeing her grow and become less a baby and more a little person, and seeing her have no interest in this anymore. It is both exciting and sad.

For all of the work, pain, exhaustion and see-sawing emotions, I am so glad I gave this a chance and stuck it out as long as I did. Just amazing! I will look back on the photos of her nursing and listen to the little iphone sound clip of her doing it probably well into her adult years. My little boob monster.
dancerjodi: (Default)
I had a great time for my first Mother's Day. Brian actually gave me a new charm for my Pandora bracelet a week or so ago as a gift (two heart beads that go together, one side says "Mother" and the other "Daughter" - it's called "Piece of my Heart"). I just keep thinking of Janis Joplin.

We hosted a brunch and the fam came over (minus my sister who was home sick). I made a baked apple french toast for the first time which was SO GOOD but had so much sugar, so I want to mess with the recipe. Afterwards we walked down to the Steampunk City and did the free stuff. Mina seemed most amused by laying in the grass on the Waltham common and looking up in the trees.

She is getting so much better with eating - more efficient and generally less fussy. I've had enough for her (though we still do the formula at night). Her sleeping is getting better during the day. She gets super fussy when she needs to nap, and if we can set up a good situation for her then, she'll just sleep. She's had a harder time at night though. The cold she's had is going away, and in this "productive" phase her poor head is all stuffy at night. She's fine during the day. She's been clingy and snuggly at night during this period. Poor thing.

We had fun at our Cobblestones play group yesterday. She made her first art project with me for her dad (fingerpainting with her feet, flowers). The daycare actually made me a Mother's Day card with footprints on it. These masterpieces are now hanging at our respective offices.

I love this little monkey like crazy.

She's moving her arms like mad now. Laughing audibly. So close to rolling from back to front and almost sitting (with assistance from us or the Bumbo she can do it). The OT at Cobblestones said that she's quite strong for this age.
dancerjodi: (Default)
The subject is what Brian said, as he installed our car seat base (Graco Snugride 30) into my back seat. Andrew and Heather so graciously passed their's to us (not expired and never in a car accident). The hospital bag is being packed and just needs a couple more items until I put it in the trunk until whenever we'll need it. I can't believe that we are at this stage of the journey.

Putting my feet up has helped a good deal with my swelling. I just need to keep the momentum of this. Work days are the hardest, since I go a huge chunk of time with my feet under my desk. Having a couple of long holiday weekends in a row has been very helpful in this way. I only have 2 more work weeks to go anyway. Nuts.

We had a nice New Year's weekend, with some productivity, some friends and some relaxation. I'm hoping to get out and see family next weekend if things still haven't started up with labor (since they are all an hour away now). It is definitely odd that we're in Waltham and that they are all within a 15 minute drive of each other in Southern, NH. We're the city folks and they are the country folks. There have been such changes in our lives over the last few years.

I took some of the holiday decorations down today and they are on the dining room table, waiting to make their way to the attic. The tree, our front hallway banister and front porch are all that's left to disassemble, but I like enjoying the lights so for now I'm content to be lazy. I just want them all put away before we have our baby.

We went to Trader Joe's today to pick up groceries and some frozen/easy things to stockpile for post delivery. We had bulk-cooked a lot already (turkey soup, chili, a couple of shephard's pies, beef stew) and have added to that pile lasagna, veggie burgers, burritos, pizzas and some things I'm forgetting. Having Sharma's convenience store right across the street could not be more helpful (he even delivers now), and then there is always Pea Pod and take out. It isn't like we will never leave the house again, but I like setting things up so that we don't need to in those first few weeks unless we want to.

Folks have asked us about future plans: when will we troop next, what is Brian's next prop project, when will I go back to the dance studio, will we take the baby to Star Wars Celebration, etc. We're both content to just figure it out later as we adapt to our new life. It's funny to see people's insistence that we plan things now now now. This pregnancy has made me less of a control freak about my own life (which was necessary). It is interesting to see our relaxed method make *other people* somewhat uncomfortable. :)

Considering the edema in my legs, weird autoimmune reaction rash on my extremities, recent return of sinus craziness (rhinitis of pregnancy) and increasing difficulty to get my big belly and butt off of the loveseat (where I hang out to keep my feet up and sleep) I am feeling a lot better than I expected to at this point. I'm ready to be through with this experience, but also not ready enough to have my acupuncturist start moving things along for me (as of 38 weeks aka this coming Wednesday, she said it would be appropriate to do that so I desired). I'm trying to just relish the quiet time before things are turned upside down. So apropos that we are doing this right as the new year begins!
dancerjodi: (Default)
It is always so strange each year, with all of the preparation and anticipation how quickly the Christmas holiday comes and goes.

I've made a great effort to keep my feet up above my heart since last Thursday's prenatal appointment, and it really is making a big difference in my comfort. Brian has been a huge help through this whole process, and has taken over doing the things I normally would around the house so that I can stay off of my feet. The guy who didn't want to change a litterbox, would rather order takeout and would continue to wear the same t-shirt over doing laundry has been busy. It really does seem to be my body's way of preparing us for what is coming after this baby is on the outside.

We have exchanged our own gifts over the last few years on Christmas Eve morning/afternoon, before going up to my Sister's house for the family sleepover. We have a difficult time getting gifts for each other, because he gets what he wants when he wants it as a rule, and there don't tend to be a lot of things that I want for myself. I got him some nerdy Hallmark ornaments early this year before they sold out, a Sharktopus shirt from Her Universe (the only men's shirt they sell), some iPhone friendly gloves, a photo calendar (I do this each year), some Starbucks credit and some foodie things. Also, a little girls pleather biker jacket from Gwen Stefani's Target line (for us to put away until our baby is big enough to wear it, and match her Dad).

Brian went with a whole 'pamper Jodi' theme this year, complete with a sweet card with a sappy note for me about how it has been a tough year for me, and that he wanted me to try and relax and enjoy myself with this time I'm going to have at home with our new baby. He got me some bath products, a bunch of books, some iTunes credit and a stack of DVDs. There is a general 'lots of time spent in the house' vibe going for it, which was just perfect.

We've decided to stay in on New Year's Eve in favor of me keeping my feet up. We'll get dinner somewhere or order takeout, and watch something on the TV and ring in the New Year with our cats and our bunnies and our baby to be. A friend is having a New Year's Day brunch, so I'll be excited to get out and be social in a lower-key situation (also, a place where I can get myself comfortable and put my feet up if need be).

Nesting, indeed (literally), as I'm spending most of my time smooshed on the loveseat with a mountain of pillows (Brian has affectionately named "Mt. Doom"). Lord of the Rings Blu-Ray may perhaps be a good NYE distraction? :)

Have a great week folks, and a happy new year!
dancerjodi: (Default)

I spent a good chunk of time with my feet above my heart and with Brian waiting on me Friday night and early Saturday. The leg swelling went down a lot!

Brian went for a 'pampering Jodi' gift theme this year: all things to try and make the adjustment to being a new mom a bit easier. He is always so thoughtful.

We headed to my sister's for the annual Xmas Eve sleepover. I could not get comfortable, and the leg swelling came back. I was told by Brian that until this baby is here, I should have my feet up as much as possible. Makes sense, but it will be tough. :/

Back home to lounge! Rash is healing where it started but popping up elsewhere. Can't wait for Derm appt on Tuesday!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Weekend

Dec. 6th, 2011 10:03 am
dancerjodi: (Default)
I started a post on my phone and never sent it, and then totally forgot about it!

We stayed in on Friday, having a busy weekend we needed a quiet night. After dinner at http://www.marcellinorist.com/ we stayed in to watch Rent on Blu-Ray. The restaurant was eh - mediocre food and bad service (we had never tried it before but had a Groupon). There are many other good local options for Italian food in our hood, so noted.

On Saturday I headed up to NH to help with my sister-in-law's baby shower. I have some fuzzy phone pics here http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/sets/72157628305608433/with/6450410471/. I was in charge of "games" and we did a few, including decorating onesies. I found this awesome stuff that works like double-sided tape but for fabric: no ironing or painting required! Folks seemed to have fun with it and I was left with some plain onesies at the end to decorate for myself. Brian painted a purple and pink Dalek on one last night - whee! After the shower I visited a friend's Tree-Trimming party briefly, got some Chinese Take-Out and watched White Christmas. Brian made it home from his day (he marched with the 501st in a Holiday Parade in Manchester, NH) toward the end of the movie.

We were up early on Sunday to head to the fair at the Dilboy sponsored by http://comicazi.com/. Our role there was to mingle and recruit, and we touched base with a good deal of folks, both those in 'the scene' (for future events) and some potential members.

What a fun but tiring weekend! Next weekend will be much of the same, where my own baby shower is happening, a friend's holiday open-house, the Dicken's Victorian Faire and Raks Nativity. I am quite enjoying my chill Friday nights in the house. :)

Other photos from the weekend:
-Cute nephews like cupcakes http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/6450424171/in/photostream
-A Dianoga Hat from the Comi-Cazi fair http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/6453239873/in/photostream

Random

Nov. 8th, 2011 10:42 am
dancerjodi: (Default)
We toured the Maternity areas of Newton Wellesley Hospital last night. Swanky! Since I work for a hospital organization and have meetings in either of our two hospitals often, being in this kind of setting isn't anything odd to me. What is odd is how NWH doesn't have the "hospital smell", and how bright/new/fancy it all is. Folks at my employer would tell you it is due to demographics, being owned by Partners and the $ that comes from that. Anyway, it was neat to see what our 'home away from home' will be like for a few days in January.

I have a lot of bulk-cooking do to over the next few months. Having ready-made food from the freezer that's wholesome and homemade is a wonderful thing. I'm sure we will also utilize take-out, Sharma's across the street and Peapod quite often in the early parenting weeks.

As it turns out we are hosting Thanksgiving after all. Originally that was not the plan, so we hadn't ordered a turkey from our CSA. Low and behold, they haven't had a lot of losses this year (they over-buy the babies so that they are secure that they can provide everyone a bird that ordered one). Despite not preordering, we will be able to buy a turkey from the same place we've been doing that for years. I love cooking and hosting. This year we'll also have the NEW MUPPET MOVIE to enjoy!

Dance class and glee tonight! I'm getting bigger and more awkward and more swollen as time goes on (couldn't wear my wedding rings this morning, so now it has officially moved to my fingers). It is worst first thing in the morning which is odd - bad when I'm still laying in bed (and gets better later in the day). Heat related? Our second floor is warmer than our first given our steam heat/single thermostat system. I'll miss another ballet class on Thursday (this time for a CPR class - last week for a doctor's appointment). I am curious to see if I will be able to dance to full term, but if I have to give up a bit earlier I feel proud that I've come this far at least.

Our plan tomorrow is to finish the paining that has to be done in the short term (trim around our front door and the ceiling in the baby's room). Once that bit is done we can actually set up the room and get ourselves a crib. We're hoping to pick up our carseats this weekend, meaning we'll have the necessities we need for birth. Whoot!

Weekends

Nov. 6th, 2011 07:26 am
dancerjodi: (Default)
My plan to cook a CSA ham steak on Friday night was botched by finding it bad in our fridge. It hadn't been out of the freezer long, but apparently there was a hole in the bag somewhere, and the air didn't treat it well. We walked over to Paisano's (love their chicken enchilada verde) and then chilled in the house for the night, catching up on recorded shows. Recharging just that one night makes such a huge difference.

I'm never able to sleep very late on the weekends between getting up to pee, our cat Mal wanting attention and having to be up so early during the week. Our cats have been more demanding during the night lately, and I joke with Brian that they are trying to get us ready for the baby. I got a lot of puttering around the house done and after breakfast we picked up our CSA share. We were back home for a couple of hours and I mixed up my first pizelle dough of the season to solidify in the fridge (it makes all of the difference) before we headed into Harvard Square. Brian's haircut appointment was at 2:00, so we had lunch at Wagamamma first and wandered a bit before heading to DHR. We had another few hours at home before heading out to a 40th birthday party in Lowell. I had time to get the cookies made for said party, assemble an egg strata to sit in the fridge until this morning's baking, and cook up some sausage to also go with breakfast (easier to reheat in the AM than deal with cooking everything). The party was a lot of fun - a surprise for our friend in his hood, mostly comprised of folks in our Star Wars groups. Dancing at parties does get more difficult as I get bigger but I'm holding my own. I had a lot of energy through the night and what mostly is frustrating is that the center part of my body just doesn't - move - anymore, and disrupts how I would usually grove on the dance floor. There wasn't a DJ but equipment to plug MP3 players into. We all had fun playing DJ, and ended the night with The Dropkicks for the birthday boy. I was SO BEAT when we got home. I wish I tired gradually, but such is not the case with my body. I'm all go go go go CRASH! This worries me a bit with how I will handle labor, so I really need to try and pace myself. But I digress.

It is Mom's birthday so I'm hosting the breakfast today. I love how we do things in my family: pot luck of sorts. I have the eggs and meat handled and have the coffee and tea, brother and his wifey are bringing some fruit, sister and her crew are bringing some kind of bread/rolls, and the parents are bringing juices. We've figured out that if we turn our dining room table diagonally we can stick a square card table on the end and we have *just* enough seating for everyone, spilling into our living room a bit. I'm not sure how this will go as the family gets larger. It is nice having this problem. I remember how sad, small and quiet things were when we stopped attending holiday gatherings at grandparents and aunts+uncles houses. Not having all the cousins running around and all of the yelling and talking over each other was just - odd. Now *we* are the aunts and uncles and grandparents and our kids are the cousins running around. I'm so glad our babe will have family close in age to grow up around. I see the day that there is a separate "kid's table", either in our living room or kitchen or den to accommodate the crew. This is how life works sometimes; it is strange to be on this side of it when it feels like only yesterday I was mourning being one of the cousins in the buzz.

I get sentimental this time of year as things get colder, we turn inwards and gather more for the holidays. It is even amplified this year as we prepare to grow our own household with our own child. So scary and so strange and so awesome at the same time. And she's not even here yet . . .

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