Saturday, December 29, 2007

My new ModMum baby sling!

A few days ago I received the ModMum sling I won from the MomViews.net Scavenger Bloghunt Party! There were so many fabulous prizes that if you took the time to participate you were more than likely going to win something. (I bet you're really kicking yourself now for not entering.) Here I am enjoying the sling with Suzi:

These are the things I love about the sling, which is the Taylor sling in case you want to know:

1) Unique pattern and high-quality fabric. The sling is soft, and the cute dot pattern reverses to green on the other side. If you can only afford one sling, this one is perfect because it matches most any outfit! All their nine styles of slings are reversible, and the two layers of fabric make it extra supportive--a high priority for a sling which is holding my precious daughter!

2) Generous pouch to allow for front riders. Suzi (7 months) is still a front rider and when I put her on my hip she straightens her legs and tries to escape. I'm hoping this is just a phase. The sling I used before, while fabulous, was not as deep as this sling and she grew until her legs wouldn't fit. The ModMum sling is deeper, not just bigger; it's roomy enough for Suzi and still snug enough in the shoulder for me.

3) Best of all, I can breastfeed her in this! Woo-hoo! I used to enjoy breastfeeding Suzi in her other sling, but she grew large enough her head couldn't lay back into the sling. I know you can breastfeed an older baby in the hip position, but she isn't ready for that yet. This sling is deep enough to accommodate her whole body, which saves a lot of tears and screaming (Suzi, not me!) in the grocery store when she gets hungry. Please see picture below of me discreetly breastfeeding her at a birthday party. (The blanket is there because I had a brain cramp and forgot to wear my Bella Band.)


Since I am a Southern Belle and we are big on thank-you notes, here's my virtual one:

Dear MomViews and ModMum,

Thank you so much for this awesome sling! We love it. I already had some slings and couldn't afford to buy another one even though Suzi needed a different one to meet her needs. We're so happy to have this one from ModMum. I've always thought a baby sling is the ultimate baby present because you're not just giving a fashion statement... You're giving a new mommy the gift of closeness with her child. As she carries her baby close to her heart, she is forming the cornerstone of their future relationship. There's a lot of love in those slings.

Love,
Jenny and Suzi Harmon

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Suzi's First Christmas

video

I'm finally posting a video of Suzi's first Christmas. The first part is Suzi playing the keyboard Christmas Eve at my mom's, and the second is her getting into her stocking from Santa. Mama Susie, Grandma and Grandpa came over to watch Suzi receive her first Christmas morning gifts. As you may have predicted, she cared more about the paper; she especially enjoyed paper of the tissue variety, but there were a few gifts she liked. Her favorite was the amazing Learn-Around Playground. Jordan and I played with it for 15 minutes while she was still asleep! It has three balls you push down a chute and it tells you what color the ball was. (We were pretty impressed until we noticed the balls were different sizes.) She also loves these maracas (a la Peanut Butter Jelly Time) and we ordered her a tambourine to match. Aiden can come over and they can start a band!

We now have so many toys for Suzi that we're going to put some of them away and cycle them in later. That way they'll be new to her! (P.S. That works for dogs and cats too!)

My next post will be about the ModMum baby sling I won from the MomViews.net Holiday Scavenger hunt! (Remember how I told you to enter?)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Yay for Christmas!

Jordan and I are home from work until after Christmas! We spent today doing laundry/cleaning and also went to our storage unit. We brought back the stable for our nativity scene and I set it up. Here's Suzi getting her first good look at it. It'll still be a year or two before she starts rearranging the people with her gummy little baby fingers. I can't wait!


I wasn't planning to bake much for Christmas because I'm trying to lose a little of my Suzi weight and certainly don't want a bunch of cookies lying around. However, my mom gave me this apron as an early Christmas gift. It's a special apron: she made it for my Grandmama Ivey (dad's mom), who used it for years and when she died it went back to my mom. She died when I was in third grade and it was the hardest loss I've ever experienced. I plan to make low-fat cookies or something in the apron tomorrow, but it makes me happy just to put it on and I wanted to be sure I got to use it this Christmas, so here I am, stirring my healthy microwave meal. (Please notice how clean the kitchen is in the background.) Tomorrow there will be cookies.

I can't actually diet yet because I'm still breastfeeding, but I've decided to stop eating so much junk food. I'm not sure how an 8-pound baby managed to put, well, way more than that on me, but she did. I still have about 15 Suzi pounds to lose because I just haven't gotten serious about it yet. It's been a week or two since I decided to lay off the junk food, and already I'm sliding right into jeans that were recently too small. Yay!

Thought for the day: I know when I eat a cupcake it's going "straight to my thighs," but I didn't realize if I didn't eat the cupcake it would come straight off my thighs! It's like magic!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Excellent day for sewing

Today I did a lot of sewing, mostly on little Christmas gifts. My mom taught me how and eventually I'll post pictures and tell more about them, but not now. There are people getting them for Christmas who may be reading. I also worked on Suzi's quilt. The quilt has been a long and sometimes tedious process but I've enjoyed it, except for mitering the corners on the binding. The fabric is so thick in the corners that I'm having trouble getting it folded in correctly, and I'm not even sure I'm doing that right! The book I'm using simply said "fold the fabric in to make mitered corners." (Wow, thanks a bunch!) So if anybody has tips for me, I'd love to hear them. The corner I've already attempted to finish wouldn't fold into a 90 degree angle, so it came out puckered and won't lay flat. If I do the others and they end up better, I'll probably rip that one out and do it over. I always keep a seam ripper handy because I have to use it every 15 minutes! Hopefully Suzi won't hold uneven corners against me as this is my first real quilt. I'm hoping to finish it in a couple of days and I'll post pictures then!

Here are our latest pictures of Suzi. She's sporting her adorable BabyLegs in red and white stripes, which I think are my favorites so far. She has about ten pairs but these are perfect for Christmas! She went to our local Hallmark store with her grandparents wearing these and one of the ladies told her she looked like an ornament! Ha ha! She kind of does.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Anniversary!!!

Three years ago today, Jordan and I got married! It doesn't seem like it's been that long, but then again it seems like I've known him forever. No long blog tonight, just a picture...


I love you Jordy!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Daddy teaches Suzi to play ball

video

Suzi received this Taggie Ball as a gift when she was too little to appreciate it, but I knew she'd play with it one day! Thanks Aunt Laura and Uncle Calvin! She loves it! This video is a bit jumpy but it was taken with our digital camera, not the camcorder.

Jordan was happy she wanted to play this game with him because she's taken to saying "mamamamama" when she's upset and rarely says dada. (I wonder if she thinks mama means milk.) She's got a cold right now, probably thanks to the sudden drop in temperature over the weekend. Her nose is snotty and that makes it super hard to feed her because she can't breathe and suck at the same time! Poor little thing. I hope she's better in time for Christmas.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Don't puke on my leg and tell me it's raining

Wow, we had a busy weekend. We had my friend's rehearsal dinner Friday night, which Suzi slept all the way through, thank goodness. I don't think she even knows we went anywhere. Then Saturday morning we had rehearsal for the Christmas Cantata at church because Jordan, Suzi and I were the holy family. There wasn't much for us to do and Suzi was getting irritated, so I gave her a few Gerber Graduates banana puffs. This was great until one slipped back into her throat and made her gag and she threw them all up on my leg. It was so nasty.

We figured they had costumes for us in the closet at church, but when we went to look for them all they had was two ill-fitting, smelly old choir robes from the 70's and a couple pieces of fabric to tie onto our heads. This didn't suit our fancy because I've never been Mary, ever, and I wanted it to seem as real as possible. So Jordan and Suzi and I got some fabric and made new costumes with a lot of help from my mom. (We had no idea what we were doing.) I learned a lot about following a pattern, something I was scared to death of before. This was before we had to leave to buy me something to wear to my friend's wedding reception which was that same evening. Then we came back and finished the costumes after the reception. Here's how they turned out:

I'm grinning like an idiot because my mom jumped up from the pew in the middle of "Silent Night," ran to the front of the church and took our picture, with the flash I might add, and it surprised me. We're going to dress back up and pose for a better picture later. It may even be our Christmas card next year. Baby Jesus was a bit high-spirited after having to wait quietly in the vestibule for 20 minutes, but she did her best and I was proud of her. You see the little lamb to my left in the background? That's Suzi's boyfriend, Aiden. He was so cute and I noticed his mommy had shiny eyes while she was watching this.

I enjoyed being Mary although it wasn't perfect. It made me think about what the real Mary must have gone through, and now I'm thinking I want to go rent the Nativity movie that came out last Christmas and watch it. I wanted to see it last year but didn't get a chance.

The good news is we made the costumes one-size-fits-most, so all future Marys and Josephs will have nice costumes to wear at PPC. No more smelly choir robes.

Gosh I'm so excited about Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cleaning night!

I meant to write a long, nosy story on my blog tonight, but instead I had three cups of coffee and cleaned for about five hours. The house looks great though--I even vacuumed, so if anyone wants to come over now would be a great time! The house has to look awesome for Christmas morning, because my parents and my grandma are going to come see Baby Suzi open her gifts from Santa. I do want my grandma to be impressed.

I also have a cute picture. My mom sent it to me, and she said it was Suzi "singing to Santa." This Santa, by the way, is the one from Polar Express and he has the bell in one hand and if you squeeze the other hand he says "remember--the spirit of Christmas lies in your heart." Suzi loves him!

Next time I may talk about why women shouldn't share breast pumps, an issue that's been bothering me lately. We'll see. Good night!

Monday, December 10, 2007

My favorite pictures of Suzi

Suzi recently turned 6 months old and I decided to look back through pictures and pick out my favorites. These past 6 months have been the happiest of my life, and here are a few highlights.In our new, almost-finished house with an almost-finished baby in my belly




Meeting her boyfriend, Aiden. Yep, he was pretty excited.


Making fun of how Daddy sleeps




First football game. Nana and Papa were happy :-)


We love our beautiful daughter!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is...


Becoming an elf and having your picture taken with your baby elf and Santa. I had such a good time I may quit working at Jennie G's and see if Jordan and Suzi want to move to the North Pole. This was at the Lights Before Christmas at AnMed Health in the Women's and Children's Hospital. You can't see it in the picture but I'm wearing tights (one leg is green, the other red) and curly toed shoes with bells on the tips. I loved the costume except the tights were too short because I guess I'm kind of big for an elf. I dressed Suzi as a baby elf and she had a hat too but I thought it might make her cry if I put it on her; she wasn't in that great of a mood anyway. It was amazing how many children were there, and it was so much fun watching them get excited over Santa. I got to answer their questions about elves, such as "Why can't we see the tops of your ears?" and "Are you going back to the North Pole with Santa tonight?"

Being there reminded me of something I read in one of my favorite books, Thomas Kincade's Come Let Us Adore Him which features his beautiful Christmas paintings and reflections about the season. A lot of people think the Santa (material) part of Christmas is sinful, but he says:

Each of the Christmas events we may be tempted to think of as worldly and wrong, in the light of Christ, point to a purpose much greater. They are the physical, tangible realities we celebrate each year that help our hearts understand the deeper, spiritual truths those traditions represent. When I was a child, I saw Christmas only through the eyes of a child. It was my joy to play with my toys and with my friends on the day when all the world seemed right. As a parent, now, I get a glimpse of the joy our Heavenly Father feels when He gives good gifts to His children.
(pp 10-11)

Suzi won't understand the idea of a gift this Christmas and probably not next year either, but when she finally does, I can't wait to tuck her into bed on Christmas Eve and hear her asking "Is it Christmas yet?" every half hour from midnight on. I remember lying in bed under my multicolored hearts comforter with butterflies in my stomach, completely unable to sleep. Would I get the Little Miss Makeup I'd asked Santa for? Games? Candy? What else? It's this first love of Christmas that over the years grows into an understanding of God's gift and a spiritual appreciation of what Christmas means.

...On that note, let's go watch The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and have some hot chocolate.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Suzi's Christmas Pictures


We went to visit Jordan's parents over the weekend and got Suzi's picture made at the best photography place, The Picture People. I love them because they take your pictures, let you look at them about an hour later, then have the ones you picked out all printed and ready to go in 30 minutes or so. The photographers are good with babies too. Suzi was in a bad mood but you can't really tell, can you? I don't blame her because we had her all dressed up in tights, new Robeez shoes, bloomers, and a dress. Not to mention a bow in her hair. Then we changed her outfit and took some more pictures--I'd have been irritable too! I don't want to brag but she looked so darn adorable that strangers were stopping to look at her through the window.

On a different subject, tonight I learned to make Christmas wreaths. I made one for a friend, one for my mom and one for us. Ours is on the front door and it looks ten times better than the small jingle bell wreath we had out before. I'm trying to learn to make more things and so far I can make wreaths and quilts. My quilt isn't quite finished though, because I still have to do the binding. It's for Suzi's Christmas so I really need to hurry. (Pictures of quilt to follow.) The next thing I'd like to learn to make is a cute sexy apron. You know, a June Cleaver apron but with a bit more oomph. Probably red, but maybe pink, in a stripe or polka dot print with a ruffle. If I had one of these aprons I could go in the kitchen and make chocolate chip cookies or chocolate pie (the two things I'm good at). I could even try something new and even if I screwed it up at least I'd look cute doing it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mommy's smashed toe

The other night I was trying to wrap gifts in our little bedroom/office/junk room. I started to walk past the bed and didn't see the hidden wet erase board leaning against it and pretty much smashed my toe on it. (My second toe, not the big one.) It was so painful. My DH Jordan came running because I was screaming and when I sat down and looked I realized I had broken the nail all the way down and it was bleeding--you know, one of those. Jordan was trying to help me but I was so angry because it was his stupid wet erase board that did it, so I started yelling at him about the clutter and said a lot of ugly things I didn't mean, like that I wish all our stuff in the storage unit would be destroyed in a natural disaster. I was sobbing over my toe, and my mascara ran and I looked and sounded like a scary witch! Luckily Baby Suzi was downstairs and didn't hear all this because she would've thought Mommy was crazy.

You may have heard of Flylady. She helps women (and sometimes men) get their houses into order "one babystep at a time." (Look her up here.) It really does bring you peace to have a clean house. I had been doing great on Flylady's system for a couple of months but fell off the wagon when we tried to clean our cluttery storage unit and I got overwhelmed. I unintentionally violated one of her rules: Don't take out more than you can put back in one hour. It's a shame my poor innocent toenail had to die for me to realize I need to start FLYing again. So, Flylady, here's another one for you: Clutter is DANGEROUS! My husband helped me last night and we jumped back in where we were. I'm going to keep my sink shined from now on and try to remember to do my 27 fling boogie every day.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Here comes Santa Claus


Jordan and I did a little shopping yesterday. It was my first time shopping on Black Friday. We dropped the baby off at Grandma's around 4 and went to Central Wal-Mart. It was unsettling to say the least and I'm not sure I'll be going back next year. People camped out for hours in front of the wrapped-up pallet of what they wanted, and if someone else came up at 4:55 trying to get a closer look they gave them an icy glare and blocked the way with an empty shopping cart. Jordan was waiting by the DVD's in the back (where most of them men were), and I was in the front near the clothes and stuff. I'd rather be standing in line with men because while men can usually keep these things in perspective, women will just trample each other beneath a sheer veil of fakey smiles and 'excuse me's.'

We did manage to get our hands on a few good deals. We ended up with about 10 DVD's that cost practically nothing, and I got a lavender Wal-Mart jacket which I will wear proudly. Then we got Suzi a Gobble & Go Hippo which is a walking toy that doubles as a ride-on. It also eats the blocks you throw down in front of it. I got her some Disney princess pajamas that are 12m but she can grow into them, and also some Legos which she may get for her birthday in May because they're too old for her now but were a good deal. We didn't go anywhere else because (our wallet and) I just couldn't take the stress. It is ugly out there.

This morning while we were hanging out in bed, Jordan and I asked Suzi what she wanted for Christmas (just in case it was something we hadn't already bought). It sounded like she said "gwoo an a boonga," but she's too young for glue and it turns out boonga is a strange arcade game that involves poking unsuspecting victims in the butt (http://www.tokyomango.com/tokyo_mango/2007/01/boonga.html). Anyway, I think she will be pleasantly surprised, if not overwhelmed, at the vast array of toys we've selected for her. So add to the list:

Learn-Around Playground by Leapfrog
Pink Chatter Phone
Gobble & Go Hippo
Disney Princess pj's
Piggy bath towel

We're DONE shopping now. Really.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Baby's First Christmas, and I'm learning to sew


Jordan and I (well, honestly it's been mostly me) have been busy playing Santa for the first time. Here's the current Christmas list of what Santa is bringing Suzi so far:








Gloworm doll
Betty Butterfly rocking toy
2 maracas from Babystyle
Flori toy from Babystyle
Photo mobile
Downtime sleepy hat (sooo cute)

This is only what we've bought so far and doesn't include whatever the Grandsantas may get for her. The worst part is, we haven't even made it to Thanksgiving yet. I have several more toys on hold at Jennie G's and Black Friday isn't for another 2 days! Somebody needs to lock up my Mastercard and throw away the key! The kid's favorite activity is chewing on dishcloths, plastic links, and her own toes, so she doesn't even care much about toys. I never meant to turn her into a material girl, but there are just too many cute things out there to buy! I blame this on the fact that I work in Jennie G's and every day must pass by dozens of irresistible high-quality baby items. Not only that, but I like to stay abreast of the changing baby trends, so I read four or five different mommy blogs where I often find new things for Jennie G's (and for Suzi).

To combat my fierce desire to buy things, I decided to put my psychology degree to a little use and redirect myself. I buy new things because I'm bored and want something new and exciting. I also find that I'm drawn to bright colors, and one mustn't underestimate the effect colors can have on mood. So I decided to take up a new hobby, which my mom is helping me with: sewing. It's perfect, because the fabric comes in any color you could want, and my mom has a big stash of fabric that she lets me raid for free! I already have a sewing machine which is brand new (because in the 8 or 9 years I've had it it's almost never been used), so this is turning out to be a very affordable venture indeed. I've had a good time hanging out with my mom too! I'm about halfway done making a quilt for Suzi and I made her a lovey to match it the other day. I'm also making her a tutu, which doesn't really require any sewing but does require pretty colors. I recommend sewing/quilting as a hobby because when you finish a project you feel a sense of accomplishment rather than a sense of I-can't-believe-I-spent-my-whole-paycheck. I'll be sewing a lot of people things for Christmas. They may not be (um, probably won't be) perfect, but the more practice I get the closer I'll get to achieving that domestic goddess status I've been longing for these past three years. Now I just need to learn how to cook.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sad day for football

So Clemson lost tonight. Maybe it was because it was past the tiny cheerleader's (Suzi's) bedtime so she wasn't able to stay up and cheer them to victory. As a matter of fact, neither was Daddy. I took a nap and Jordan took some NyQuil at halftime (we both haven't been feeling well after catching a lovely cold from Suzi). I woke up in the last quarter and Boston College had scored more points while I was asleep. I looked over and Jordan was laid out in the recliner with his eyes shut which is weird for during a football game, especially this one. So I yelled for him to wake up and we watched the end of the game. Then we had to listen to the stupid after-game remarks such as, "Wow, this really is Death Valley tonight, and not for the visitors, but for Clemson!" They pay them to come up with that crap.

The sad thing is that half my family (i.e., the male half) is going to be in a pissy mood over this for the next month, and of course they'll want to discuss it. At least we'll be able to claim ignorance because we slept through most of it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It's a tiger... It's a cow... It's a butterfly!


October 31st, 2007 was Suzi's first Halloween (our first Halloween with a baby), and we had a great time. My husband and I selected two costumes for Suzi: a tiger and a cow. We chose the tiger because we're Clemson people, and I added bows so we wouldn't have to deal with the old "aww, isn't HE precious."

Then the cow we got because it was such a good deal and just SO darn cute. Still, it didn't have enough flair so we decided to make her a Chick-Fil-A cow (my favorite fast-food place).

Halloween is over now, but I was reading The Daily Stroll and found this awesome website where they were having a HUGE sale. It's babystyle.com, and if you click on outlet sale you will almost certainly find something you have to have for an indecently low price. I found the costume I REALLY wanted Suzi to have for Halloween but couldn't find/afford, and for less than $10! So, I know Halloween is over but I figured, why not make her a Christmas butterfly or a Baby New Year butterfly? The pictures will still be awesome! (They have other costumes too: a lion, rooster, caterpillar, and dragonfly.)




Saturday, November 3, 2007

That name is taken

I'm the kind of person who enjoys being different. I don't want anyone to have the same idea, same name, same anything as me. Before I named my daughter I combed through top name lists from the past ten years or so and made damn sure I didn't go anywhere near one of those. My name is Jenny, and I spent a sadly substantial part of my formal education trying to figure out if the teacher was talking to me or one of the other Jennies. (Thanks, Mom.) My husband and I chose the name Suzi for our daughter (short for Suzanne), because it is unique and, while it may sound old-fashioned and quirky, we feel she can carry it off.

Naming my blog was therefore a challenge. I wanted it to be baby-related because I will mostly write about my daughter, so the first thing I tried was "The Thinking Chair." At our house, the thinking chair refers to my daughter's bouncy seat or swing when she is using it to facilitate a bowel movement. (When trying to poop, she looks like she is thinking real hard.) This name was taken. It irks me when I can't seem to come up with an original thought.

I named the blog Babyfingers because they are my favorite. There is nothing like having your baby reach her sweet little spitty fingers up and touch your face, or wrap them around your thumb. Those little fingers will grow to do important things, but right now they are usually stuck in her mouth or curled up beside her head as she sleeps. They remind me of why I went through the pain of childbirth. And after all that, it's lucky the name wasn't taken.