Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New mommy skillz

Sure, there were things I knew I would learn once I had a baby. Things like how to change a diaper, how to give a bath, how to swaddle, etc. And I'm happy to say that I've mastered all those skills. But I didn't know I'd need some other skills just to survive. Some very absurd things that I'm happy I now know how to do.

1. I can now sleep sitting up, while holding a child in my arms. Now, you're going to tell me that the books and experts say not to do that because you could drop your baby. Well, I don't know a single mom who hasn't done this. And now I do it pretty much every day. Jack still likes napping in my arms so while he naps, I fall asleep. Sitting up. My neck doesn't feel great but a cat nap during the day is nice.

2. I can go to the bathroom while holding a sleeping baby. Don't get me wrong, I haven't done this in a while, but when the little guy was a newborn, it seemed essential. Looking back, I don't know why in the heck I didn't put him down, but it didn't seem like an option. No matter, because I mastered the art of going to the bathroom while holding child. I know what you're thinking... I too expect my Mother of the Year award any day now.

3. I can effectively transfer a sleeping baby from my arms to a crib and then tip toe away. Man, this one took a little while to master. Or maybe Jack's just getting to be a better sleeper. But so so many nights I would make sure he was fast asleep, bouncing him for up to 30 minutes. Then I'd creep to the crib, gingerly lay him down, and BAM. He was wide awake and crying. Are you kidding me?! But now I'm an expert. (Most of the time).

4. I can tune out crying babies. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't ignore Jack's cries. (Usually). But prior to giving birth, I was so aware of a crying baby in a restaurant or public place. Isn't that just a grating sound? And then I had a newborn and of course I jumped at any cry. Now I barely hear a crying baby in a mall. And when Jack's bored in his jumperoo and starts to cry, I look at my sandwich and think, well, I can finish this.

5. Maybe most importantly, I can now dispense my favorite frozen yogurt with one hand. This was tricky. I love frozen yogurt. And I love this place down the street that is self-serve. So I pack up the kid in the car, drive there, and then what? I'm not hauling a stroller in for a 2 minute expedition. And putting on the Baby Bjorn seems like such a pain. So I just carry him in and then juggle the cup in one hand and dispense the yogurt in the other. I thought I had it down and was making it look easy but last week another mom asked me if I needed help. What? Did she think I was actually risking dropping my kid for some peanut butter chocolate frozen yogurt? Oh. Well.... I wasn't!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

LA Ladies Who Blog

Last week I was lucky enough to get to attend a cocktail party for "LA Ladies Who Blog". Of course, the party was for "real" bloggers with thousands and thousands of readers but I snuck on the guest list because I knew the host. Oh yeah, she's my sister. Most of the woman write about fashion or cooking or lifestyle so there weren't many mommy bloggers. Which I guess was good news because that meant Jack was the hit of the party. The photo above and all of the photos in this post were taken by one of the amazing photographers at the party. (Here's his website). It turns out that Jack is pretty photogenic. I mean, with those cheeks, how could you not be?

We had a great time at the party and my sister did a fantastic job of hosting all the ladies. Here she is next to her garden which happens to be overflowing with great tasting vegetables.

She also put together a gift bag that we got to take home with amazing free goodies. Companies reached out to her and wanted to donate their stuff to all of these blogging ladies so she happily obliged. I certainly won't detail every single goodie but I have to say that I loved this popcorn if you ever want to send any as a gift. And I'm not generally a fan of baklava (a Turkish dessert pastry) but this was the best baklava I've ever had in my entire life. The butterscotch flavor was to die for.

You can read more about the party over at my sister's site. And, of course, a few more pictures of Jack.

p.s. Isn't Jack's shirt awesome?

Monday, August 29, 2011

His Father's Son

This weekend was all about daddy and son time. The husband had his annual fantasy football draft and he was excited that Jack could be his team's co-manager. He even had special apparel for the big day. Might not make sense to most people, but "krautrock" means a lot to John and it's part of his team name.

To kick the weekend off, we were lucky enough to have a special guest fly in just for the draft. Our friend Ken was here for the weekend from Austin and Jack took quite a liking to him.

It might be because Ken has his own one year-old son at home, but the little guy felt pretty comfortable with him. Or maybe he was pretty stoked about the gift that he brought. Another special shirt to wear on the big day with his daddy's team logo.

Here's Jack checking out the 10 strange people on his couch yelling about football. As well as the giant draft board in the background.

Here's a couple of blurry photos of the boys making one of their picks.

And here are the boys and Ken fooling around and having fun.

Jack did really great even though it was a long day with lots of strangers invading his house. He was appropriately adorable and I can't wait to see him watch football this season with his dad. And, by the looks of it, he's out to win his fantasy league.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Today Jack is...27 weeks old.

I have to say yet again, this age is so cool. It's such a joy being home with Jack. He can stay awake for more hours during the day, loves to laugh, and enjoys doing stuff. It's been great.

Our adventures in eating continued this week. I finally started making my own baby food and, guess what? Jack hates it. Of course. This kid. I should have known. I spent all this money on organic fruit and veggies and, so far, he hasn't liked any of it. He ate some of my banana plum concoction but hated my homemade applesauce as well as the sweet potatoes. I've yet to try to give him the mango pear puree but we'll see. He likes the store bought stuff. I guess his mom likes processed junk food so I shouldn't be surprised. He likes peaches and squash and sweet potatoes and doesn't seem to like apples. But he adores his cereal. He cries if I don't spoon it into his mouth fast enough. It's ridiculous. Also, he insists on eating with his arms like this. Every time. Bizarre.

He's working on his sitting and he can almost sit up unassisted. He's pretty good, I just have to keep my arms nearby so he doesn't fall over. Here he is after a few seconds of sitting and then, "whoa!"...time to topple.

With these new sitting skills, Jack likes to sit with us and just hang. He'll listen as I read him a book, or watch as daddy types on his computer. I love these pictures.

Jack's been getting better at falling asleep in other places (besides my arms). If he's exhausted, he'll pass out in the Bjorn or the stroller.

Jack's been babbling a lot and playing with different pitches and sounds. Sure, a lot of time he sounds like a pterodactyl but that's okay. He's learning.

Okay, now more pics from the week!

Early morning relaxing in bed

Still loving his bath time

Loving his jumperoo from Grammy

Beating the 109 degree heat in the pool

and because you can't see too many laughing videos...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Five for Friday: Regrettable Fashion Choices

My top 5 regrettable fashion choices:
(please note almost all of these crimes were committed from about 1990 to 1993)

5. Embroidered vests (see above)

4. Hypercolor t-shirts

3. Spin-Art shirts

2. Plastic circular shirt pulls

1. Teased bangs
I'll spare you and not post my 7th grade yearbook picture.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I can't believe I'm this person

So yesterday I took a tour of a preschool. Yeah, you heard me, a preschool. You may remember from earlier posts (like all of them) that my son is only 6 months old. And therefore has years to go before he will enter such a school. How in the world did this happen? I feel like I'm in a bad reality show about snobby families in Manhattan.

What happened was that I had heard about this particular preschool in our neighborhood. I'm on a local mom's message board and some of the moms were asking for recommendations for preschools and everyone said this one school was the best but that it had a two year wait list. And to quote one mom "I should have got on the waiting list when my son was in utero." Therefore, I become one of those insane parents who is talking about preschool years in advance. Ugh. I really never thought that would happen but I guess in a town like Los Angeles I shouldn't be surprised.

So I took the tour. I really didn't know what to look for as I didn't know what kind of school would be best for Jack when he's three because, well, he's barely a person right now. So I just looked at all the classrooms, pitied the poor teachers trying to wrangle 20 insane 3 year olds, and enjoyed Jack cooing and kicking in his Baby Bjorn as he delighted in all the toddlers and little kids. The things I do for this kid....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blog Hop: 25 Things About Me

So one of the blogs I read was doing a Blog Hop so I thought I'd join in the fun. Besides, aren't you dying to know 25 random facts about me? Probably not. Unless you are the one reader tired of seeing cute pics of Jack. Anyways, here you go...

1. My first cassette tape was Madonna's "Like a Virgin".
2. I always, always, put my left contact lens in first and I don't think I could do it any other way.
3. I have watched the miniseries "North and South" about 50 times. This adds up to A LOT of hours of television.
4. The sound of nails being clipped makes me cringe. I have to go to the farthest end of the house to get away from the sound.
5. I can't leave Target without spending $75.
6. I have obviously cried at the end of "Beaches" and "Dead Man Walking", but I have also cried during "Freaky Friday" (La Lohan version) and "Father of the Bride".
7. Sometimes I do judge a book by it's cover. Forgive me.
8. In middle school I wore hideous floral denim shorts over longer spandex shorts with lace on the bottom. But so did everyone else.
9. I snuck into a 1998 World Series game in San Diego. Amazing what a little face paint and a Padres shirt can do.
10. I still have my wisdom teeth and I think my dentist is lying to me when he says I have to take them out "or else".
11. In high school I was paid to do calligraphy and personalize things. I guess my handwriting is okay.
12. I have slept on the streets of Downtown Los Angeles and in the bushes in south central LA. all in the name of ‘Oscar’.
13. I still get excited when I see famous people even though I've worked on movies and live in LA.
14. I love massages. Like a lot. If I was rich I'd get one every week.
15. I get air-sick. And car-sick. And sea-sick. I am not that fun to travel with obviously.
16. I wish I were 5'6" instead of 5'8".
17. I record "Saturday Night Live" every weekend with the hope that ONE of the sketches might be funny. They never are.
18. I've lived in a studio apartment with two other people.
19. I've only eaten in a sit-down restaurant by myself once and I will never do it again.
20. I can't stand carrots and celery. Or beer. Gross.
21. If they made a movie of my life I'd want Elisabeth Shue to play me. Circa 1984.
22. I hate eating meat on the bone. In fact, I don't really do it.
23. I hate New Year's Eve because you're "supposed" to have all this crazy fun and it's always a let-down.
24. I'm a Sagittarius which I think means I should like clubbing and sororities more.
25. Because of Oprah's hard-hitting episode, I fear I am wearing the wrong bra size.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How Google went from my worst enemy to my best friend

When I was pregnant, google was not my friend. I searched every symptom, every possibility, every test result. And guess what happens when you search millions and millions of websites? You're bound to get some negative results. Some sad, sad stories about pregnancies and newborns that were tragic and heartbreaking. When I came across one of these sites, it would depress and upset me for days. So about half way through my pregnancy, John forbid me from googling all that stuff. So a lot of baby sites were off limits but I could still read Go Fug Yourself...because apparently celebrity fashion tragedies weren't as depressing.

But now six months after giving birth, google is my friend. Now, in an odd way, it always makes me feel better, rather than worse. Why? Because of the auto-complete or suggestion feature. When I start typing something in google, it suggests what it thinks I'm looking for. Without exception, every time I've googled something that's worrying me about Jack, there it is on the suggestions. And if it's a suggestion, then I must not be crazy. There must be other people going through the same thing. Jack's poop can't possibly smell like popcorn...or maybe it can! There it is on the google suggestion list! (I don't know about that vinegar suggestion....) Jack hit 4 months and his sleep habits went down the drain. "4 month sleep regression" is a number 1 hit on google suggestions. You name it and google can lead me to a group of people going through the same thing. Jack has cradle cap, he's waking up up every hour, his poop is bright grass green, he's losing weight, he's got a mysterious rash... it's all on there. And it's all so so damn reassuring.

Monday, August 22, 2011

John on: "Staying at home with Jack"

On Saturday I took off to spend the day with my friend Leigh in what was the longest amount of time away from Jack ever. I was gone 8 to 5 and, while I missed him terribly, it was nice to put on earrings and a shirt that wasn't stained with spit up or dry crusted pea puree. I also got to listen to my own music for the long drive (no lullabies) and got to eat a lunch with two hands. I never really worried about how the boy was doing though because I know he loves his daddy. Still, to be a fly on the wall for John's first "stay at home dad" experience....

On a daily basis, I leave Lisa and Jack standing in the doorway, waving goodbye. Saturday, it was Lisa driving away from me and the boy.

Probably my first day as father and son tearing up the town together should have been more momentous. Throwing rocks at cars from the freeway overpass, teaching him to hold a chaw in his lip, betting the superfecta at Hollywood Park, something along those lines. But knowing Jack’s aversion to change I went with keeping it simple and playing to my strengths.

Music is my go-to move usually. I played him a record. He watches it spin. I let him pound on the piano. He’s not a big believer in having a tonal center yet. I put him in his crib and let him kick while I strummed my gee-tar, seen here:

I’m hoping extending his tongue means he likes what he hears.

This got him through to his first nap. Our goal is to keep him down longer than 30 minutes. He woke up at 30 minutes, and when I tried to get him back down, the kid actually laughed in my face. He’s lucky I love him.

Our big outing was to the Do-It Center where I Bjorned him as I knew I’d need two hands and a non-yelling kid to root through the screws and bolts section of the store. I immediately got smiles upon entering, all from the ladies. It is certainly obvious in a hardware store the different perspective men and women have of a baby. Women smile and swoon. Men grunt and move on. I turned the corner to head down the main aisle, an elderly woman spotted us from what felt like half a klick away, and said, “Can I see your baby?” (I hope my reaction didn’t come across as appalled or put off, because she followed with “I won’t get too close, I promise.” Maybe I have the same naturally pissed off face that my wife carries.) And as she approached, another woman came from the other side with a hello and smile for Jack. They were a mother-daughter tandem, who were about to become a grandmother and great-grandmother for the first time in December. In addition to cooing at Jack, they wanted an up-close look at the Bjorn. We left it at “Get one for your daughter” and “congratulations.” A sweet, nice moment.

Countered by a male sales clerk smirking at me as I left them: “Don’t you wish you had one of those when you were single? Total chick magnet, right?” Yes, a great way to pick up expecting grandmas. Like I said, the male/female perspectives have their differences.

In the bolts/nuts/screws aisle, Jack was incredibly excited, kicking and cooing away. My dad is happy to know that the hardware store appealed to his grandson. Of course, so does getting his own foot into his mouth.

By the time we left, and took a walk down the street to the bank and back, Jack was getting close to his second nap. The plan was to get him home and put him down. The plan didn’t make it out of the parking lot. I looked back once and he was rubbing his eyes. I looked back a second time and he was out cold:

He went down so fast, that I fought a serious instinct to pull the car over to make sure he was breathing. Then I did something I never thought I’d do: Travel two towns over to go through a Starbucks drive-thru to delay having to try to move the kid from his car seat still slumbering. (This is where I checked to make sure he was still breathing. I held out for a 15 minute car ride.) I relied on Starbucks having the least efficient drive-thru service in America to extend his nap as long as possible. I was not disappointed. However, I was inevitably disappointed by my inability to move the kid from car seat into the nursery without waking him up. Again, he laughed in my face. But the laughter did reconfirm the whole breathing thing, so that worked out.

I don’t know how long blog-posts are supposed to be, but I’m more verbose and do far more self-editing than my wife (*understatement of the decade), so I’ll just end it saying, generally, it was a bump-free day. Downright enjoyable. He allowed me to get a tri-tip sandwich at the Handy Market. I got to even sit and eat half of it before he started airing his grievances. Very thoughtful boy. Lisa sends me pics and video during my workdays so I don’t feel like I’m missing anything, so I tried to return the favor for her. Here are the remaining highlights I texted/emailed her throughout the day:

Waking up from his long nap of the day. Dazed, confused, and questioning who the hell I am and why I'm not mommy.

He's becoming more and more comfortable with his instinct to rip the glasses from my head. This is him eyeing them up towards the end of our day. Or looking lovingly at me. One of the two.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Today Jack is...26 weeks old.

Well, our little guy is half a year old. I really have to say this seems like the best age. He is just adorable. He's still not mobile so I don't have the headache and worry of chasing him around, but he's old enough where he has a personality and can interact with me. I can make him giggle and he'll roll around on his play mat with me. He is spellbound when I read him a book and he still lights up when I sing him a song. Best of all, when I hold him on my hip, he seems to wrap his arms around my neck. So awesome. I'm trying to enjoy every second.

His favorite "toy" for the past few weeks has been his bright blue silicone teething ring.

He has lots of rings made out of different things but there's something about this material that he loves. And so much better than the actual toys he owns.

He's also been busy testing his vocal chords. He gets in moods where he likes to make sounds for hours. It can be adorable when we're home alone. Not so adorable when I'm in a quiet indoor space trying to have a conversation with an adult.

This week we were lucky enough to hang with a few of our friends who are also members of the new parents club. We all had babies within six months of each other and man, what a difference a year makes.

The solid foods are still going pretty well. He absolutely loves the multi-grain cereal (who doesn't love empty carbs?!) but is more lukewarm to green beans, peas, and carrots. He definitely didn't enjoy the banana I mashed up but maybe he just didn't like the consistency. He made his displeasure apparent.

Of course, all this real food has seriously changed his diapers. I know I already mentioned the smell. But, seriously, it's like death. Though the journey to the heinous dirty diaper is fairly amusing. I know posting these pics makes me a bad mom (just add it to the list along with feeding him store-bought food and letting him cry) but they are just too funny.

I mean, I was cracking up when I took these. That face combined with grunting? Hysterical.

Alright, enough talk. Here are more pics from the week!

Playing his first game of cards

Popping his collar...he's cool even in his sleep

Someone is SUPER excited about the start of the NFL pre-season

"What in the world are these things?!"

He still naps on my lap. But he's really cute so it's okay.

"I did it! I got my foot in my mouth!"