Monday, May 15, 2017

More milestones

Cat has been able to sit unassisted for maybe 5 seconds for a while now. Today she seemed to have some kind of muscular/vestibular leap and can suddenly sit for a couple of minutes at a time. After a few false starts she also seems to be learning how to sort of flop/roll to one side when she gets tired rather than flinging herself backwards and conking her head on the floor. (We have carpeted floors and live in the second storey of our building so it's not a hard conk, but it still displeasures her highness.)


Meanwhile, I have a pic of Tad from 6/18/14 where he was sitting up independently. (This one is from a week or two later because I like the similarity.) I had the idea that he was more like 8-9 months before he was sitting well but apparently I misremembered! So he would have been 6 months, 4 weeks, and 1 day; whereas Cat is currently 6 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days. It's a bit creepy how well they are hitting milestones together.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

So it begins

This morning I was idly rubbing Cat's gum (I do this regularly both to check for teeth and to soothe her poor aching gums with a little counterpressure) and had quite the surprise when I felt something sharp poking through! I know better than to think that this signals the end of fussiness, though, since she has 19 more baby teeth to go.

According to historical records, Tad got his first tooth on 6/10/14, when he was 6 months and 3 weeks old. Cat is currently 6 months, 3 weeks, and 1 day old, so tracking pretty close with big brother! And her first tooth is also the bottom right incisor!

I want to do more posts about random little milestones like this because I love being able to look back and see when Tad did things like crawling and getting teeth and sitting up. Most of these things get posted on Facebook (much easier to do from my phone!) so maybe I'll do a monthly compilation of Facebook updates or something.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The moment

In therapy lately I've been joking about "cherishing the moment" and how old ladies in the grocery store will tell me "They grow up so fast!" and my initial reaction is "THANK GOD."

*****

When Tad was a baby we had a lot of breastfeeding issues and I found the whole thing incredibly stressful and upsetting so one of the ways I coped was by being very selective with the kind of pictures I took. There are no pictures of him nursing as a newborn because I didn't want to capture a memory of using a nipple shield. There are no pictures of Scott feeding him a bottle because I didn't want to capture that memory either.

Nowadays, I see people post nursing pics with a nipple shield or an SNS or what have you and it looks totally beautiful to me and I wish I had some pictures too, because that wasn't a neat and tidy moment but it was our moment; the only one we're ever going to have.

*****

Today I was downloading a bunch of pictures onto my computer so I could delete them off my phone because I'm running out of memory and it's really tedious to go in and delete a picture every time I want to take one. Among the ones downloaded and deleted were pics of Tad's third birthday. There aren't actually very many pics and I remember exactly why: Because he was going through a phase of near-constantly blowing raspberries and I didn't want to post pics of him with his tongue sticking out because it's...not neat, I guess. Because I expend more mental energy than I probably ought wondering what his stimming and his other unusual behaviors look like to the wide world.

But just as there is no alternate universe in which Tad doesn't exist, there is no alternate universe in which he is not autistic. The moments where he is looking away from the camera or making weird noises or flapping his hands are not neat and tidy and socially acceptable, but they are the only moments we have.

*****

And just like that I think I might have learned how to cherish.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Recipe: Telephone chicken

So called because this is my adaptation of my mom's adaptation of a recipe that came from one of my aunts, so whether or not it bears any resemblance to the original is entirely uncertain.

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup acid (I believe the original had balsamic vinegar; I've used red wine vinegar or just plain red wine--basically whatever I have on hand)
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1 pinch red pepper flakes

Can be baked at 400* for 30-35 minutes or grilled or whatever your little heart desires.

Serve with side dishes or not; I'm not the boss of you.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Snacks

This is the world's lamest post, but I think anybody who reads my blog is used to that. :p I'm writing this down because Scott keeps asking why we have no tortillas and wandering over to Kroger to buy some.

- cheese sticks and fruit

- block cheese and crackers

- yogurt smoothies

- peanut butter sandwiches

- quesadillas

We eat 2-3 snacks a day (WE LIKE FOOD OKAY) and probably go through about 4 pounds of cheese per week. (And that's not counting the parmesan we go through due to a certain 3-foot-tall person who likes to eat it straight out of the can.) I have been thinking about getting a Costco membership because we'd save a bundle on eating free samples as snacks and buying giant sacks of cheese sticks on the cheap.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Lemon-butter pasta

Kinda loosely inspired by this recipe

1 box pasta
~4 cups water
1 stick butter
1-2 tbsp minced garlic
1-2 tbsp parsley
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
2-3 cans tuna

Put pasta and water in a large skillet and cook covered for about 8 minutes
Add other ingredients. If the pasta starts to look dried out (because, say, you were distracted by your small children) add the water from one of the tuna cans. Otherwise drain before you add. 

Eat it all.

(This recipe was rated positively even by the 3-year-old who NEVER eats fish so it must be pretty good!)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February Photo Dump

This is going to be 100% trivial stuff and not at all new to anybody who's friends with me on Facebook, but I want to pound out another post in the next hour and a half so I can keep up the blistering 3 posts a month pace. :p


Tad's solicitude for Cat's welfare continues to be absolutely precious. A few weeks ago we were getting ready to go out as a family and I told Scott to get the baby strapped into her bucket seat and then bring her out while I took Tad out to the van and got him strapped in. But Tad refused to go. "Hold da beebee!" he insisted, and when I didn't take the hint he led me over to her carseat and put my hand on the handle.

This is right after she rolled from
back to tummy for the first time.
Cat also absolutely adores her brother and smiles pretty much whenever she sees him. She finds it especially hilarious when he is running around and jumping wildly. I suppose this is good, considering he rarely does anything else.


Tad's new thing is trying to do housework. A week or two ago he actually collected all the dirty clothes from around the bedroom and put them in the hamper, announcing, "I clean up laundry!" 

It's less helpful when he takes all the clean dishes out of the dishwasher and throws them in the sink (especially since I usually have dirty pots and pans and such soaking in there). I have no idea why he thinks that's the right way to do things but he is quite insistent that clean dishes do NOT go in the drawers. So I've just resigned myself to having to rewash a bunch of dishes whenever I hear him blithely announce, "I clean up mess! I put in sink!"


I'm running out of both cute stories and energy now, so how about we just dump some more photos and call it a day?




Babies are technically classified
as a liquid.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

The things we forget

Inspired by Sheila's latest post:

Cat is SUCH a smiley, happy baby. But that doesn't mean the first few months weren't HARD. So I thought I'd document a little bit in bullet point form.

- She was MUCH more alert than Tad (probably because of being born at 39 weeks versus 37), which was great for feeding and weight gain but not great when she decided to be awake for sometimes up to 2 hours in the middle of the night. Seriously, big baby eyes staring at everything gets less cute somewhere between 2 and 4 a.m. I watched a lot of late-night Netflix to cope.

- For the first month (until we put her on Zantac) she would gag and wail almost every feeding.

- She has a weak suck (she's getting her tongue and lip ties fixed on Tuesday!) and for a few weeks (5? 6? I already don't remember) I would have to get up and go to the recliner every time she woke up hungry in the night, which was rough even when she went to sleep again immediately.

- If she got overtired I would have to bounce her on the yoga ball. Nothing else worked. (This still sometimes happens, but not 2-3 times a day.)

- She went through an AWFUL colicky phase from maybe 4-8 weeks. And she'd start the nightly wailing right after Tad went to bed, so we'd end up only getting maybe 6 hours of broken sleep before he'd wake up again. Those were LONG days and many nights I sat bouncing and bouncing a wailing baby while repeating over and over that fussiness peaks from 6-8 weeks.

- She used to hate her car seat and wail the entire time anytime we drove anywhere, which made the long days even longer since it was too cold (and I was too weak, for a long time) to go anywhere on foot and Tad got incredibly bored being cooped up.

I post all this not to complain but so that if we ever have another baby I can remind myself that it does get better, that Cat was not *always* a smiley cheerful baby.

For that matter, in a few weeks or months I might want to remind myself that we've survived Cat's going through cranky phases before. I certainly hope that her current easygoing disposition is a sign of her true personality emerging and not just a fluke, but that remains to be seen!

In the meantime, I will enjoy the cute smiley moments

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Seven Quick Takes: Mom of two edition

1.

The butterfly is shrinking steadily
Cat is three months old now. She smiles ALL THE TIME, laughs often, and rolls from belly to back occasionally. At her 3-month appointment the pediatrician commented on how cheerful she is and also what excellent head/trunk control she has--apparently it's so good that it prompted him to ask whether she was sitting up yet. (She's definitely not.)

At her appointment she weighed 12 lbs 3 oz and was 24 inches long, which puts her 5 oz heavier and half an inch longer than Tad was at the same age. It's particularly impressive since she was 8 oz lighter and an inch shorter at birth. (Tad basically didn't grow the first month of his life. He really hit his stride around 5-6 months so I expect pretty soon she'll cross back to the other side of his growth curve.)

2.
Double nap trap
For the first few months, Tad didn't take much notice of Cat. If she was in his way, he'd push her aside much as he might push aside a book I was reading or laundry I was folding. Basically he seemed to think she was a sort of doll to which I was strangely devoted.

In the last few weeks it seems to have clicked for him that she's people, though. He tries to rescue her from naps and from her car seat (telling me "Hold da beebee!" sternly) and when she's in his way he tries to convince me to put her down in a safe place before he reclaims his rightful spot on my lap. A little while ago he told her, "You wan get down, beebee," gently set her on the floor, patted her on the head, and commanded her to "Be carepul!" before leaving her to her own devices so he could cuddle me.

(Whenever he says "Be carepul!" or "I sorry!" apropos of nothing immediately obvious I always jump to attention, like, "Are you thinking of doing something you need to be sorry for?")

3.
Out of batteries
The weirdest thing about Cat: Sometimes, when she has a dry diaper and a full belly and is in a generally good mood, I will set her down for a minute to pull Tad off the top of the fridge or whatever and when I come back she has FALLEN ASLEEP.

I always look at her like, "Are you malfunctioning? Do we need to change your batteries or something?"

It's nice, though, because Tad is still a sleepless wonder and basically GO GO GOES about 14 hours a day. I'm exhausted enough without the baby engaging in similar antics.

4. 

Truth
When he's not sleeping (WHICH IS OFTEN) Tad's new thing is pulling up my shirt and kneading or pinching my belly. Just because it's kind of doughy doesn't mean you're supposed to knead it, kiddo.

The other day I got so annoyed by it that I snapped at him to do LITERALLY ANYTHING except touch me. He promptly wandered off...and got some sharp scissors off the top of the fridge.

He is something else.

5. 

Multitasking
He does have his cute moments, though. For example, whenever there's a prospect of anything particularly exciting happening*, he delightedly announces, "Hey Ferb! I know what gon do day!" ("Hey, Ferb! I know what we're going to do today!"--one of the catchphrases from Phineas and Ferb, which is still by far his favorite show.)

*Fortunately he has not yet built any roller coasters or traveled to Mars or the like. (That I know of.) Phineas-and-Ferb-worthy activities apparently include standing on the kitchen counter to rearrange all the mugs in the cabinet and going for a walk with me and his baby sister.

6. 

Mine's the blue one
At the advice of his occupational therapist, I've been trying to get in the habit of doing some seated work with Tad on a regular basis. (This is supposed to give him an opportunity to practice things like eye contact, joint attention, and following directions.) Yesterday we started off building a puzzle. Then when I gave him a big bead and a shoelace and then demonstrated threading the bead on the lace, he copied me! And then I drew a circle on a piece of paper and he copied that too! So I am riding a high right now.

I also kind of want to start this now so get a little clarity about the preschool question. With his delays I can't really stick with my plan to just let him frolic around aimlessly until he's mandatory kindergarten age (in 2019) but the idea of shipping him off to 5-days-a-week public preschool doesn't appeal either. If I can manage a bit of homeschooling, then we solve both those problems!

7.

Cheeky
I thought I had a seventh take, but apparently not. Here's a baby in a hairbow instead.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Immediate book meme

Meme created by the Darwins, with additions by Simcha Fisher

What book are you reading now?

Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. We actually have some money now thanks to a timely change in circumstances (I am being vague here because a certain person to whom I am married likes to keep his internet presence...absent) and Scott thinks Dave Ramsey is hilarious so I periodically refresh myself on his ideas as a way to rope my darling spouse into budgeting.

(We took Financial Peace University last year and since then have had running jokes along the lines of, "But if you took that and put it in a mutual fund...")

What book did you just finish?

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. This was recommended to us by Tad and Cat's godmother. (They've got the same one because we're lazy.) READ THIS NOW so we can weep together over the fact that there is no sequel.

What book do you plan to read next?

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. Melanie keeps mentioning others of her books on Facebook so I want to revisit Cruel Beauty and then read the rest.

This assumes I can make it to the library before my reserve gets sent back, which is by no means guaranteed.

What book do you keep meaning to finish?

Oh goodness, I don't know. Given the new baby, any book I started more than a few days ago will have been forgotten completely. My memory is terrible these days.

What book do you keep meaning to start?

Any kind of book. I miss the days when I considered myself a reader. Now I am lucky to finish a book or two per month. I would make some kind of resolution to read more but again, new baby, plus a three-year-old who likes to snatch books out of my hands and throw them just out of reach so that I have to disturb the nursing/sleeping baby in order to get them back.

What is your current reading trend?

Those click-bait articles on Facebook. You know, 21 Signs That Your Minor Ailment Is Actually Cancer and the like. It's terrible, but I do spend an awful lot of time scrolling aimlessly on my phone while the baby nurses/sleeps.

What are you reading out loud?

We're usually alternating between The Mitten by Jan Brett and But No Elephants by Jerry Smath. If Tad is particularly fussy at bedtime I will whip through some Sandra Boynton instead.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mattering

In therapy lately one of the topics that keeps coming up is that I'm trying to learn how to treat myself as somebody who deserves to take up space (and not in the physical sense--though I could certainly write a blog post about being an obese woman who isn't on a diet. I'm not going to, but I could.)

I've figured out, over the years, that it doesn't work to shrink myself down to an automaton who gets things done efficiently and perfectly and who only ever asks for help in the form of delegation--to act like I don't need a teammate to help me brainstorm solutions, and I definitely don't need a friend or a lover looking out for my vague and squishy feelings.

Because of course I do. I need space for thoughts and feelings and imperfections and all the messy spilling-over bits that make me human.

It's not really a resolution  (New Year's or otherwise) because right now there's too much else going on to say that I'm going to exercise daily or get weekly alone time or whatever.

But it is possible to acknowledge, in big and small ways, that I matter. To throw a wrench in the machine that only runs if I never stop running it. To remember that being depressed and worn out and all that is a negative and not a necessity.

Today's small acknowledgement: Publishing a blog post that seems terribly rough drafty and imprecise. :p

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Metablogging

Jamie of Light and Momentary posted the other day about blogging like it's 2005.

I didn't blog at all in 2005 but back when this blog first started (in 2007) I certainly blogged a lot more than I do now. It was horrifyingly stupid drivel for the most part, but what does one expect of 18-year-olds?

Anyway, I would like to get back in the habit of posting more than once a month, even if it's just the horrifyingly stupid drivel of a 27-year-old. :p Plus I feel mom guilt that Cat hasn't had nearly as many obsessive documentary posts as her older brother. (She rolled over for the first time last week, little prodigy.)

So here we go.