July 25, 2006

Sunday morning waking up momma.

From our new toy (the camera, not Olivia). Sound is a little off, but O's new meowing skills are impressive nonetheless.

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July 18, 2006

Here's me on Saturday running the rapid known as the Alien Boof on the Upper Ocoee. Last time I was in a kayak was 5 years ago, but I did surprisingly well. There were no major mishaps. It was a beautiful day. We ran the upper and lower sections, which is equal to about 5 hours on the river. The price I paid for playing all day Saturday while Paige was home with O was missing O's first steps.

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July 15, 2006

Our house has been invaded by a delicious, delirious despot. Olivia is throwing tantrums pretty regularly these days, MAJOR tantrums. Is this a phase that she is in at 15 months, or have we already made some serious parenting mistakes? Maybe spending too much time blogging and reading blogs?

The issue is not so much when we take things away from her that she shouldn't have; she is still pretty easily distracted when that happens. Meltdowns happen more often when she wants to do something that we won't let her do, or we don't pick her up quickly enough, or don't keep the Melba Taost coming. She's going through such a ma...

OK, right in the middle of me forming a thought about how many changes Olivia is going through right now, how much she is learning and developing, she got up and walked right towards me!! She's a fantastic walker...the best I have ever seen!

Happy early Birthday to me!!


July 14, 2006

Whoooaaahhh! If you were here earlier and it was suggested to you that you "See My Tabblo" (pardon me?) not once, not twice, but ten times, please forgive. When I was trying to get the thing to upload to the blog, it kept telling me that it wasn't possible at that time and that I should try again later, and I kept hitting the button OK now it's later style. Apparently each time I did so, the Tabblooooo was preparing to post itself and just not telling me. I have removed nine of them; please enjoy just the one.


O in Spring

July 12, 2006

O is no longer breastfeeding. She had only been nursing in the mornings and at bedtime for awhile, and then only at bedtime. In preparation for the New York trip, we cut out the bedtime boobie. She hasn't indicated that she's really noticed; she hasn't asked to nurse or been out of sorts at bedtime. Though she is really into giving me "zerberts" on my stomach right now and there have been a couple of times when I thought she might be heading north, but she doesn't seem to be missing it. It was probably harder on me. I was hoping to be able to nurse her for a year and then that year sailed right by. She wasn't always easy to nurse (pinching, occasionally biting, nursing off and on all night), but I enjoyed it all the same - the closeness, the ease, the Magic Which Fixes the Fussy, all the good health benefits (though I have been reading all of these articles that have been coming out lately about all the nasty stuff that is filtering into breast milk - completely freaks me out).

In the last few weeks, it has been relatively easy to put her down for the night and I have really enjoyed that time with her. We would kiss Daddy and then go around her room, closing the shades and telling the world good-night. We turned on her fan and picked out a book, which most of the time she didn't really want to have read to her as she would be tired and ready for sleep. I would nurse her and stroke her hair or arm as she drifted off, then put her into bed and watch her turn over and settle herself. I loved having the opportunity to see her like that, relaxed and tucked safely into her bed. After all that we have been through with the (not) sleeping, it was especially sweet to have those moments together each night.

It's amazing how quickly children can get into and out of a routine. We have already got a new bedtime thing going, and while it doesn't work quite as well as what we were doing before, it is awfully sweet. Where she would have nursed, O lets me sing to her now. She cuddles back against me and I warble all off-key and everything, Que Sera Sera. Do you know the song? I don't really love all the words - "Will I be pretty? Will I be rich?" - but my mom sang it to me when I was a girl and I loved it. My mom isn't the best singer, but I never got tired of hearing her. The first time O sat still and let me sing to her, I was amazed and felt like I needed to be very gentle to as not to scare the fragile moment away. I've sung to her every night since.

Que Sera, Sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que Sera, Sera


July 09, 2006

So New York was about as fine as fine can be.

Most importantly, Olivia, who stayed here with my mom, had a great time. She slept well, ate like a champ, and played hard - she even learned some things. (She didn't take her first step, but did apparently do a lot of bootie shaking.) There was a lot of pre-trip discussion over whether or not O was going to accompany us to the city - we finally resolved that it would be better for her to stay with her grandmother. I felt good about the decision when I left town, but I was worried about her sleep and adjustment. If it had not gone well, I would have felt like the biggest heel and would have been as miserable as I have ever been for the four days I was away. I'm so glad that she enjoyed herself and it all worked out well. It was good for me and Marc to have some time together.

Marc is officially a PA and I am so proud of him I could explode into a million pieces. I did in fact go to pieces at his graduation. He was awarded the Peer Award by his class - pardon me while I quote - "The Graduating Student Who Most Exemplifies the Qualities of the Consummate Physician Assistant." I burst into tears. Pretty awesome, right? He's working on his CV and getting ready for the boards, working with a recruiter to find a job. Onward.

OK, can I just say how much I love New York? I miss so much about living in the city. The walking, looking, listening, not so much the smelling. God, it stank. And the weather was beautiful, nice and cool, so I know that the smell factor was probably hovering somewhere around 4 and could have been much worse, but I had forgotten the stench. We saw some old friends, made a couple of new ones (Hi, Dan and Katie!), saw Donald's new place in Harlem, had some good meals and drinks with Courtney (who was sweet enough to put us up!) and did a lot of walking around. I noticed every child who crossed my path and fantasized about what kinds of things O would be doing if we still lived in Brooklyn. Museums, music, green markets...asthma, growing up too fast, proximity to 2.3 million pervs and lunatics.

One thing that I have always loved about New York is the fact that one is privy to so much life out and about. You see what people are wearing and how they behave, you hear what they think and plan...people on their way to work and people dressed for church, people fighting and crying and laughing and making out. I come back to Chattanooga and I realize that most of what I see of people here is them in their cars, and god knows, I hate how people act in their cars. Don't get me wrong, not everything that I have seen in New York has been good or uplifting or interesting. In the past, I have seen some really bad behavior from people on the streets; mean, ugly, cruel things and some of it has been directed at children and has really shaken me. But now that I am a mother, I have real trouble watching the way that some people treat their kids. I know that bad or abusive or indifferent parents are everywhere, but it seems that a lot of them ended up sitting next to me on some train. It's hard for me to stomach.

This really isn't where I was orginally headed with this love letter to NYC, but here we are. I do miss it and I'm glad that I at least got back once this year. I guess we can be like old lovers who remain friends...we have both moved on, but we share wonderful memories and will always have a tender spot in our hearts for each other.


July 04, 2006

Off to NYC tomorrow. When O and I moved away a year ago this month, we intended to visit often while Marc was staying to finish school. The decision to leave was made so quickly when we fully grasped that life in the city with a baby was not going to be affordable for us; I was still recovering from O's birth and had so much to do to get ready...I didn't really get to say proper goodbye's or do many of the things in the city that I wanted to before leaving. But that was OK because we would be back...at least that was the plan. Instead, Marc did all the visiting and we didn't make it back to the city once.

Now Marc is graduating. We are reunited in TN, we gave up our apartment in Brooklyn, and his time at LIU is drawing to a close. So back I go to try to squeeze in all the hello's and goodbye's that I can in three days.

By the way, Happy Independence Day, of a sort. I heard the Declaration of Independence read this morning on NPR. It really stopped me cold. I had to go re-read it after. Might I suggest you do so also?


July 02, 2006

Alish, this one's for you!

OK, I'm doing it. No more goofing off. I don't know what my problem is. Some kind of technophobia. I have had nice cameras since I graduated from high school (way back in nineteen dickedy doo.) I take lots of pictures. I love to do so. Yet, I do nothing with the pictures I take. When Katy and I lived together, I had so many undeveloped rolls of film that she got a slew of them developed for me one time as a birthday present.

It's some kind of defect in what passes for my creativity. I want to do something creative with my pictures, like scrapbook or something, I don't know. I want to keep them chronologically organized until I figure out whatwhich ones I want to frame. It's easier to keep the pictures saved on my camera (or rolls of film back in the day) than to have stacks and stacks of photos laying about. OK, how about just putting them in an album, or emailing some recent shots? Well, yes, that would be nice, but I can't just start with today's pictures, I need to go back and start at the beginning of...time...in order to keep everything in order (must keep everything...) So I have all these awesome pictures and no one gets to enjoy them. Folks who don't see Olivia often, they might like a recent photo. I have a million of them...on my camera.

But no more! I have started organizing Olivia photos and I will not stop until I have emptied the memory card on the camera and can start anew. I have ordered copies of pictures through February and will do March and April tonight. I don't really know how to do anything else with the photos I have posted here, like move them to the left or move text around them, but damnit, I'm not waiting for Marc to come home and show me. They're here, good enough.

These are from February, maybe, so O. has changed a bit. But these are so cute and I have such good memories of this day, so I thought it a good place to start.

(Hmm, I had four photos on here - one of Olivia kissing my head - but I don't know where the others got off to. Stay tuned.)
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