Saturday, October 30, 2010

Real Update

I haven't updated much this week because the three of us have all been sick, which means Mony and I have been going to bed early but getting no sleep because she wakes up every 30-60 minutes. It's just colds and sore throats, but it has been pretty miserable for all of us. Joe had it first (and probably the worst) but we're all starting to recover.

This has been a pretty cool week. Sometimes Ramona grows and learns so gradually that I can't even notice, but sometimes it's almost like someone turned a dial up on her IQ all the sudden. Such was the case this week. All the sudden she became much more interested in books. She will sit and watch me read her stories over and over again. She also has started trying to give me kisses. (At least I hope that's what she's doing.) She gets right in my face and kind of sucks on my cheek for a couple seconds and then smiles at me. It's very endearing and disgusting. But as sloppy as the kisses are, I love getting them.

She also has been saying bye bye better. She still doesn't say it consistently, but she says it at some point when one of us is leaving for work most days. It's also changed from her saying "Da da" for bye bye to "Dye dye" which is closer.

I also feel that I should point out that Joe has been saying no and it has been working. I also want everyone to know that Joe and I talked about his lax discipline technique prior to me posting about it, so it's not like I'm passive aggressively shaming Joe on the internet instead of talking to him or anything. I posted about it because it was something that was going on in our lives. But I am glad that he's been making an effort at it and I've definitely noticed a difference.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cuddle Baby

Ramona fell asleep on her hand during her nap today and left that big hand print on her face. I thought it was pretty cute.

She was also clingy after her nap, which is pretty unusual for her. She is usually an adventure baby and would rather be crawling around than sitting on my lap. But she woke up and I fed her some baby food and then she crawled up on my lap and just laid her head on my chest and cuddled. I'm not sure if it's because we spent the whole last week together surrounded by other people and she just wanted some mommy time or if she was feeling a little under the weather from her shots yesterday, but it was nice. I read her some stories and she kept looking from the book to my lips. She's been much more focused on people talking lately. I think it shows that she's gaining interest in communicating verbally. She's also been making the same noises consistently and mimicking us more often.

The doctor's visit yesterday went well. She's 32 inches tall and 20 pounds, 8 ounces, which is above 95th percentile on height and 50th percentile on weight. She's been consistently in those percentiles since birth, so that looked pretty normal. We unfortunately had the same doctor as last time instead of Dr. Hilal. I'm not a big fan because she doesn't seem to really listen to what we have to say or give us advice or even give us much of an opportunity to discuss Ramona. She just gave us a handout about one year olds and looked her over and that was it. She got three shots of vaccinations and a flu shot, so she was not a happy camper when we left. She got over it pretty quickly, though, and did really well. I was cranky because my insurance didn't cover her visit or vaccinations (only the flu shot) which seems stupid to me. I guess she had reached her max on preventative care for the year, but it seems dumb to me that my crummy insurance wouldn't cover all her standard baby check ups and state recommended vaccination schedule. I mean, she's never been sick and she's only done the typical well baby visits. But my insurance annoys me on a regular basis, so I will digress on that issue. I will say that the doctor's office didn't mention this to me until we were there for the appointment which wasn't a huge deal, but it would have been nice if they brought it up earlier seeing as how I made this appointment three months ago. But the receptionist is super nice and I had plenty of money on me, so I don't hold it against her.

Anyway, I had a great time cuddling with Ramona for the night. We also went for a walk and played on the swings. Story time is fun because Ramona is developing favorites. She really likes her dinosaur and animal books. Today I noticed she gets really upset when I read Where's Spot? It's a lift the flap book where each page asks where he is (for example "Is he under the bed?" then you lift a flap under the bed and it reveals an animal that says, "No!" until the last page where we actually find Spot in a basket.) Before I thought it was just coincidental that she was getting cranky whenever we read that one, but now I think it makes her upset because there are so many animals saying no and she cries when I tell her no. I thought that was kind of cute and funny.

Speaking of saying no, I think I'm going to have to be the mean parent. Joe is already starting with his excuses on disciplining. Today he told me that she doesn't listen when he says no. Lame, Joe! You have to make her listen. She didn't magically figure out that I mean no when I say it. I had to work at it. He also says she doesn't listen to him when he says her name, but I don't know how true that is. She is really good at responding to me when I use her name. If I yell Ramona when she's crawled in the other room she'll come back. I also can get responses based on my inflection. When I say it my warning voice, she'll usually stop doing something (I use this mostly at bath time when she stands up in the tub.) I usually use that to give her a chance to stop doing something peacefully before I start in with "No!" which invariably ends with her crying. (Honestly, you'd think "No!" is always accompanied with a horrific beating instead of a stern look by the way she cries about it.) I've yet to see Joe give an effective no, and even though Joe says it's because she doesn't listen, I think it's because he is a big softie. Well, guess what? I don't like making her cry either, but discipline is part of parenting, so get on board and quit making me the meanie!

Trip Home

The visit home was quick and exhausting. I had a great time seeing everyone and getting to see Ramona's reaction to visiting so many new people, but I felt completely overwhelmed pretty much the whole trip.

The flight there went really well. Ramona slept when we were actually on the plane, and entertained herself by crawling around and working on her walking while we were waiting in the airports. People were incredibly nice and helpful when they saw me traveling with a baby. The trip definitely restored my faith that there is an inherent goodness in humanity. I think I've lost a lot of that since we've been living out in hermit-like conditions and most of my interaction with society is via the internet, where people seem to enjoy being huge jerks all the time.

Even though the flights there went well, I got very little sleep and felt like I never got quite caught back up during the entire trip. But, it's ok because I didn't have anything too responsible to do while we were there, so I was at least fairly relaxed while I was tired. Saturday was pretty much hanging out with my parents and I got to meet Erin's boyfriend. Sunday, my aunt and cousin and her daughter came to visit and we hung out, ate Marco's (Mony's first cheesy bread!) and went shopping. I also ate dinner with Ramona and Joe's parents and one of his brothers and there was a chocolate cake she got to enjoy which was quite the mess. Joe's mom said she left a chocolate ring around the tub from her post cake bath. Monday, my grandma and Sam came up to visit. She cross-stitched a really pretty blanket for Ramona with people in various traditional outfits from different countries. It was gorgeous and probably took a ton of work. We all went out to dinner and my sister Kathleen and her fiance Mitch went to dinner with us as well. After dinner we got to go see the house Mitch bought earlier this year which Kathleen had been telling me about forever and I got to meet Kathleen's dogs for the first time. Ramona got a real kick out of the dogs. She really enjoyed watching them run all over.

Tuesday I took Ramona to the park in Oak Harbor. We played on swings and checked out the new upgrades they'd made since the last time I was there. I realized I probably haven't been there in like eight years, which made me feel old. But it brought back some fun memories of sledding on the hill and playing on the equipment over the years. It's weird to see my kid play at the same park I played at as a kid. I think the fall always makes me feel nostalgic, but it was intensified by observing my own child living my childhood memories in front of me. Tuesday night we spent at Joe's parents, and Wednesday Mony spent the day playing with Joe's mom while I did my interview. It went really well and I'm supposed to know what's going on with that by the end of next week (which is going to make it one loooooong week.)

The flights home were really long and terrible. Ramona wouldn't sleep on the first one, but the flight was not full and we had two empty seats by us, so I don't think we bothered other people all that much. Luckily, she didn't want to walk around, but she was not especially amused by my tricks either, and spent a good chunk of time crying, so I couldn't wait for us to land. In typical frustrating child fashion, she fell asleep as the plane was landing. Then she woke up to play during the layover. She had so much fun walking and crawling around Dallas airport. And she is getting fast. I had quite a time catching her because she would walk over to a row of seats and then crawl under them and then get up and walk to the next ones. Needless to say, I was busy during that layover. She did alright on the second flight. She slept, but she kept waking up and fussing. I was very happy when we finally landed and got back to the car (and I even remembered where we parked!) I also managed to get to the hotel we were staying in without taking a wrong exit or making a single mistake, which is pretty miraculous for me. I have never been so happy to see a bed. I was exhausted when we got to the room. Ramona and I were both DONE and cranky. We got to sleep pretty quickly and were in much better spirits the next day- aka the big number one birthday.

Friday, October 22, 2010

For Fun

Here's the post I wrote on my old blog ten days after Ramona was born...

So, as everyone knows, Ramona was born last Wednesday. She was late enough that the doctor wanted to induce me, but Ramona is tricky and decided to come out by herself. We were supposed to go to the hospital at 8am so I could start the induction process. Instead, I woke up at 4am with contractions. I figured we'd just go to the hospital as planned and I played on the internet through the contractions and woke up Joe at 5:00 as we had planned so we could leave for the hospital at 5:30 and get there around 8. When we got to the hospital, they were having some meeting, so we ended up sitting in the waiting room for like an hour, and finally got admitted. The nurse looked at the paperwork the doctor had sent to me and checked to see if I was dilated and I was at 4cm, so she called the doctor to see what he wanted her to do since I was already in labor.

I was hooked up to an IV that had saline and pitocin and antibiotics and she broke my water. Joe and I did some crossword puzzles and his parents showed up about an hour later. An hour or so after that, Joe's dad went and picked up my mom at the airport. We all hung out, and my contractions started getting really bad. Our parents went somewhere, the nurse checked again and said I was around 6cm. Not longer after that they got more intense and I got an epidural when I was at 8cm. (Which means I was in transition, so I could have just waited it out. But I don't really regret getting the epidural because it allowed me to do the next part.) After I got the epidural I was almost immediately at 10cm, which is maximum stretch. The epidural was really light, so I could still move and feel my legs and vaginal area and the urge to push, but not feel the pain in my stomach, so it was nice. I pushed a couple times to practice with the nurse and the doctor came in to see how things were going. The nurse said it would probably be a little while because my pushes kind of sucked, and the doctor asked if he had enough time to go do a couple of scheduled c sections he had. She asked if I could not push, because it would give the baby a chance to slide down to the end on her own, and then I could just push her out when the doctor was back.

So, the doctor went to do his c sections and I tried not to push. which was really hard. Ramona was all the way down and ready to be pushed out, so the nurse went to get the doctor. He showed up a few minutes later, and I pushed through three more contractions and finally I could feel her right on the edge and knew if I pushed just a little harder she would be out, so I did and she pretty much rocketed out all at once. The handed her to the NICU people, who had come because there was meconium when they broke my water. The doctor and nurse started pushing on my stomach and I delivered the placenta a couple of minutes later which felt super gross. Since my epidural was so light, the doctor gave me a shot in my butt to numb the area so he could do stitches. It took almost a half hour of stitching to get it done, and in that time the nurses got Ramona cleaned up and measured and wrapped up so Joe could hold her while they finished getting me cleaned up. After the doctor was done sewing, he congratulated me and Joe and we took turns holding the baby for a half hour or so and then Joe and Ramona went up to the baby nursery and the nurse put in a catheter and cleaned me up a little and let me take a nap for a half hour and then she took me up to the recovery room where Joe and my parents were waiting for me. They brought Ramona in and our parents took turns holding her. Then they left and Joe stayed the night in the hospital to help me with the baby, which I really needed because I was so sore and still attached to an IV.

I finally got the IV out and the next morning our parents came. We got all our paperwork done and got to leave around noon. My mom stayed with us for a week to help out, which was great because I was still really sore and tired and Ramona wasn't very good at breastfeeding the first couple of days so I needed help getting her to latch on and my mom had good advice. Now Ramona is a champ at breastfeeding and can find Joe's nipple through his shirt when she's hungry. (She still hasn't figured out he can't feed her.) Things are good, and we are having fun.

Sorry this is long and rambling, but I don't really care enough to edit this.


Friday, October 15, 2010

So Ready

Well, I haven't written much this week because I'm SO excited about not being here that I can't think about anything else. Plans thus far (and Mom, they've changed! They changed my interview date to Wednesday.)

Saturday- Mom picks us up, hang out with family
Sunday- shop with mom (possibly sister(s)) while Ramona plays with Joe's parents. Have dinner and birthday cake at Joe's parents house.
Monday- hang out with family
Tuesday- hang out with family most of the day, spend the night at Joe's parents house
Wednesday- interview, hang out in Toledo until it's time to go to the airport (Joe's mom said she will take us to the airport. Joe said she will probably just drop me off and keep Mony.)

It's going to be a pretty quick visit. But I really need it. I'm SOOO done with this place. Nina, if you have time Tuesday night or Wednesday before 4pm and would like to meet up, let me know. I think that's pretty much my only not really accounted for part of the trip that I will be in Toledo for. Joe's mom said I can use her car if you want to meet up somewhere.

That's it. Funny things that happened this week I would write more about- Mony figured out she can drink bath water and is learning to play patty cake. Sad things I would write more about- Mony has been having some tummy troubles and has been sleeping extra crappy. But I don't have to write it, because soon you will get to live it!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Walking Again

This is the other video I did. I think she walks better and I am less shaky with the video, but my commentary is annoying. (And really, did I have to laugh at her falling over?)


I have some footage of the fish walking! I'm waiting for the upload to finish on youtube so I can post it. I actually took two videos and will probably upload both eventually, but I'm anxious to get at least one up. I also have video of Ramona clapping, but I might wait and get something better on that.

I tricked her into performing on camera by taking her to the playground with the video camera. She isn't very good at walking on the grass, but she refuses to crawl properly on it. She will either bear crawl or walk. So, I figured if I set her down a couple of feet away from me and her stroller, there was a good chance I could catch her walking attempts.

Now, this walking isn't all that great (even her standing skills look suspect here) but she's a lot better when she's on the carpet at home. She isn't used to the texture of grass or the uneven ground. This video is only the second day she's ever attempted walking on grass, so I think it's pretty good. Right now at home, she's really good at standing and passable at walking for a few steps (although she still goes to crawling any time she wants speed or distance.)

She hasn't attempted walking in shoes yet. She actually really needs shoes right now. I think I'm going to have to go shoe/sock shopping when we're in Toledo because I don't have anything here right now that fits her. I do have some shoes on-line that I really want to buy, but I have to wait until they get her size in again.

I'll post the video here when it finally comes up. Notice how cute her dress is- birthday present from Granny Jan! (I'm trying to teach Ramona to call my mom Granny Jan because it will drive my mom crazy to be called "Granny". Please feel free to encourage this as much as possible!) She got her birthday presents from my parents early since they sent them with their presents for my birthday. She's little enough that I didn't think it was a big deal to give them to her early, and it was laundry day anyway, so we might as well just wash the new clothes. There were a bunch of books and outfits. The outfits are super cute! I'm absolutely in love with the pajamas she got. And the dresses are really pretty. She seems most impressed by the book about animals that has textured pictures. She pets the puppy a lot.

Oh boy, it appears I've rambled on long enough that the video has uploaded. Haha, I love her "I meant to do that!" moment where she pretends to grab some grass and then picks up her sippy cup only to immediately throw it back down.

Also, the weird open and closing of her mouth is what we refer to as "Pac-Manning" and she does it whenever she's teething. In this video she has some sound effects going with it. Usually she just does it silently.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Flying with Mony

So, I'm very excited for this trip home next week, but I'm a bit nervous as well. I scheduled the flights to be at night so she will hopefully sleep through most of it and nurse if she's not sleeping. Either way, she shouldn't be a crazy wiggle worm. The trip there is really late, so she should sleep no problem. I'm more worried about me being cranky because I'll be so tired. The trip home is earlier. I'm afraid she won't quite be tired during that one. I'm hoping she does well. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

I'm also nervous about flying without Joe. Not like I've never flown alone, but I've never flown with a baby and no one else to help. I'm just thinking of having to lug around the diaper bag, purse, carry on and Ramona, trying to take off my shoes and jacket while holding onto the fish so I can go through security, and not having anyone to hold her so I can go to the bathroom, so I'll have to take her into the stall with me. Blech. What if I have to pee on the plane? There's no room in a plane bathroom!

But I have faith we'll be fine and I'll feel like a champion mom after we make it through it. I'm looking forward to seeing family and Ramona getting to play peek a boo and show off her walking skills and hopefully getting to see some of my friends' babies so she can have some baby buddies. I'm also looking forward to seeing fall. We obviously don't have fall here, and even though we had real winter in Arizona, we didn't really have fall/spring because all the trees were coniferous. Without the leaves changing colors, it doesn't really feel like fall.

Anyway, one week and one day to get through before we hop on the plane. Yay! (I would put a picture of Ramona clapping here if I had a good one. She always claps when I say yay now.)

Oh, and one unrelated note- Mony got teeth eleven and twelve today. They aren't all the way through though, so I figure we have about a week left of teething before they're completely out. I'm predicting she should be about done with this round of teething when we get to Ohio.


Here I am, 27 years old. The day wasn't especially remarkable, but I'm a little old for it to be, aren't I? As Don told Peggy, "You're twenty... something years old! Get over birthdays!" But I did get a few treats.

First, the picture above shows Ramona and I eating the pancake and bacon birthday breakfast Joe made for me this morning. It also shows that we really need a new couch. Then we had french onion soup for lunch. Then, I got a card from my Grandma Marilyn and Sam, and I got a creme brulee cookbook and all the stuff I need to make them from Joe. I'm super looking forward to giving it a shot this weekend. I heart me some creme brulee.

A few weeks ago, my cousin Brook told me that her in-laws would be passing through Death Valley. They ended up being in town on my birthday. Since Joe was working, I didn't really have anything else going on except hanging out with Mony, so I met up with them and their friends that they were traveling with. I'm really glad I did, because they were really nice and it was great to see some people be excited about meeting Ramona.

The other exciting news today was finding out that I was able to take some time off of work to go visit home. I'm very excited about being in Ohio October 16-20. I can't wait to see you all!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Above and Beyond Create custom animated gifs at!

The fish and I have a new schedule we've been following the past couple of weeks since it cooled down in the evenings. I get home from work around 5:15 and I talk to Joe until he leaves at 5:30. Then Mony and I have our dinner and play with toys. Then we go for a walk that ends at the park, where Ramona plays on the swings for a little while and then we roll around on the grass.

Saturday when we got to the rolling on the grass part Ramona went over to her stroller and was playing with it. I laid there looking at it and realized how easy it was to turn the top part so it could be an outward facing stroller. Up until that point I'd still had it in a reclined, mommy-facing view. I'd noticed she'd been looking out the sides more and more and less at me during walks, but I had been too lazy to find the instructions to make it face outward. Sitting there and realizing how easy it was, I made the change right there. She was absolutely beaming the entire way home. She loves looking out at the world. We went on the longest walk she's ever stayed awake for today and she was happy the whole time because she got to look out.

Oh my gosh, doesn't she look big? Crazy! Tonight, she surprised me by enjoying the grass and crawling all over. Up until then, she'd been nervous about the grass. Since she was being adventurous I took her over to the play equipment to see how she'd react to stairs since she'd never seen any before. As show at the beginning of this post, she figure them out right away.

When she reached the top she was confused about what to do. There was nowhere left to go.

Luckily some big girls (maybe 9?) showed up. I was curious how Ramona would react since she doesn't see other kids very often. She was delighted! She smiled as soon as she saw them (which is her reaction to all strangers. She's such a ham.) Then she started clapping when they climbed up the stairs to where we were. She saw them go down the slide and you could see the wheels turning in her head. "Oh yes, of course, we go this way!" She started crawling down the slide. I caught her before she went too far. I picked her up and we went down the slide with her on my lap. She liked it! Fun times. My big girl.

Oh, my big girl. I can't believe she'll be a year in less than three weeks. Today Joe made a joke about me taking the camera with me every time the fish and I go anywhere. But I defended myself because I need the pictures. She's growing so fast. It's already hard to remember her being a newborn. It's hard to remember the time before she could crawl. Like all people, she is who she is right now. The memories fade, but the pictures are constant reminders. I looked at old pictures today and couldn't believe how little she was. How chubby her cheeks were. They're still chubby, but her face is starting to make the transfer from baby to toddler. It's happening so gradually that I don't notice unless I look at older pictures. And that, my friends, is the reason I need all the pictures. I need the little tugs on my heartstrings that come when I look at those old pictures. The memories of who she was and who I was and who we were rush back so quickly with one glance.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Being Lame

I've been being lame this week and not posting. Last week I was gone and didn't post much, this week I'm just dumb. I've been in a crazy mood swing way this week. I have been eating like it's my job. I don't know why. But I have been in the mood to stuff my face pretty much every day. And one day I'll be really excited about life and my plans and other days I just don't want to get out of bed. One day I wish I was a stay at home mom and will treasure every second through Mony, the next day I'll turn on Nick Jr and try to speed through to bed time by the force of sheer will. One day I'm sure that I need to make a change now to be happy because life is short and we only get one shot at it, and the next day I don't have the energy to make breakfast.

I also have only showered once this week, which, as this chart indicates is really good or really bad.
When I'm depressed I just want to sleep all the time, so I sleep instead of showering. When I'm super happy I just want to have fun and GO! and don't have time to shower. I would say I've been on the low end of the spectrum lately. I have been running low on optimism lately. I need to recharge somehow.

On a totally unrelated note, can you believe it's OCTOBER? Jeez, this year has flown. I'll be 27 on Wednesday. How am I getting so old? I think this getting old thing is part of the dissatisfaction reaching such heights. I keep thinking "You get one life and you're wasting literally years of it unhappily wasting away in a desert? Hello! Get out of here." But then I get all panicky and think "You need to keep your job that you don't like because you need money because you have a kid and you're a grown-up. Suck it up! Life sucks and then you die, duh, you know that!" It doesn't help that I keep getting job interviews that go nowhere. It sucks away any and all confidence I have. Apparently my personality is so terrible that a piece of paper boringly describing my professional experiences makes people want to hire me more than actually talking to me. And I hate doing interviews, so I basically keep doing something I can't stand for no reason because nothing ever comes of it. I hate the questions they ask. They're always so irrelevant to the job. My most hated question is, "Why do you think you're the best person for the job?" or its variant, "Why should I hire you?" What am I supposed to say to this? I think I'm too logical. I mean, to be honest, I seriously doubt I'm the best person in the entire world for the job. There is most likely someone else who could probably do it better out there. And I can't even really say that I'm the best person that even applied for it since I have no idea who else applied. So I prefer the second question. But even then, I never know what to say. I'm an excellent employee? Every job I've ever had has had a manager say I'm one of their best employees? I enjoy having a job I can take pride in? I am quick learner and love to figure out new things? I really want to move away and it would be really nice of you to make that happen?

Sorry, I know I'm being a whiner. I'm just so ready for something new. The thing is, I wouldn't mind settling down for real, in a place I'm happy at. I want a job that I intend to keep for years and a house that I can make a home. It makes living in this limbo even more uncomfortable for me.

The fish has ten teeth now. The teething is going obnoxiously, thanks for asking. She is sleeping terribly, but isn't too bad during the day. She's just extra clingy and very screechy/squealy. The other two molars feel like they're ready to pop through pretty quickly, so hopefully we'll get through this one quickly. I kind of like how she gets all four corresponding teeth right at the same time so we can get through it really fast, but that really fast two or three weeks of teething are super intense.

We don't have any real plans for the weekend. Joe is working, so we'll probably do family park/swimming stuff in the morning and Mommy and Mony walks, adventures, and pictures in the evening. Yay for weekends!