Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Saving some for later

Suzi usually tries to "save some for later" on her face, but not tonight. Jordan fed her some rice cereal and while she was still in her high chair I gave her a handful of Gerber Puffs for dessert. She quickly gobbled those up and wanted more, so I put a few more down for her. When she finished I took her out of her high chair to give her some juice and I felt something hard in the front of her clothes, so I looked in her overalls and found about ten hidden puffs! She looked like she was smuggling food out of an all-you-can-eat buffet. She has been waking us up in the middle of the night for the past few days, so maybe she was saving them for a midnight snack!

She is soooo close to real crawling. She can crawl about two paces on her knees and then she flops down and starts inching along again.

I saw The Nanny Diaries and I loved it!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It's 5:00 AM (and I know where my baby is)

I just had a horrible dream that I forgot Suzi in the car overnight. I jumped out of bed to check on her and she is in her crib. See, this is why paranoid moms like me need one of these. We've purchased one and will be installing it on Suzi's car seat before the weather gets hot. It was expensive, but to me it is worth the peace of mind. If I can't have her in my sight, this is the next best thing. The government foolishly forces parents to tuck their babies completely out of sight in the backseat and then wonders why they are being left in cars. (And yes, I have a mirror, it just doesn't work. It is totally eclipsed by the top of the huge car seat!)

While I was up I found this Valentine's giveaway on MomViews. From their home page, it's the first item under "what's new" on the left. All you have to do to enter is comment on the post--but you better hurry! You have to do it by today, the 27th!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Daddy's Baby Tiger

We were watching America's Next Top Model and Suzi said she was feeling fierce and wanted to have a photo shoot. So I said, okay, I'll be the photographer. Here are her best shots:

She loves to accessorize.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cutting up our t-shirts

I know this looks strange, but it's really not. When I was pregnant with Suzi, I decided I'd definitely be going with cloth diapers. We had cats before, and after all that litterbox-scooping and picking up poop out of the floor, I figured it'd be nothing to wash a few baby diapers... right? Well, at first I procrastinated because at birth Suzi was too small for the diaper covers we'd purchased. Then, to tell the truth, I was just scared to death. I once got up the nerve to put a cloth diaper on her when she was a couple of months old, but as luck would have it she pooped that first one and I was scared to wash it, so I threw the whole thing away. (I'm so ashamed.) Luckily it was only a cheap diaper cover and a Chinese prefold, not one of those fancy $18 all-in-one diapers.

When I went to the babywearing group a couple of weeks ago and saw the other moms using cloth diapers with their babies, it made me want to try harder. I had even noticed some of the moms using washable wipes, so I recently asked Julie what she used for wipes and she said cut up t-shirts work fine! So that was our little arts and crafts project for the evening. We were surprised at how many wipes we could make out of just two shirts. She went to bed wearing a cloth diaper but soaked it so we've changed her already--and it wasn't that bad! The t-shirts make soft, luxurious wipes compared to the disposable ones. We'll gradually buy her some better diapers, but right now we're using what we've got.

I have to go feed her now. It's 10:55 (not sure what the timestamp says) but we've had a hard day and she's not wanting to sleep. Wish us luck!

Monday, January 21, 2008

How to catch a baby

I hope you enjoy this video Jordan and I put together. Making little movies of Suzi is a little hobby of ours. When Suzi is sixteen years old, we want her to be able to watch these things and say "Gosh... you guys were weird." This will also give you an idea of where she is in regard to crawling.

The bait we used: Gerber Graduates Puffs. These things will make you slap your mama--just ask Suzi! And speaking of puffs, have y'all heard of the new Puffs Plus with the Scent of Vicks? I have been an adoring fan of Puffs Plus for years, so when I saw these I had to get some. Using these tissues is a lot less sketchy than going around snorting out of your Vicks inhaler, and I don't even know if they make those anymore. I wouldn't give them to small children though; they may sting their little noses.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Quit eatin' them boogers!"

Suzi hasn't been eating boogers (nor has Jordan); I just wanted an interesting title. That is from The Nanny Diaries, which I hope to be watching in a few minutes after Suzi has gone to bed. Other movies I want to see:

The new Sweeney Todd with Johnny Depp
P.S. I Love You (Megan recommended it)
The Golden Compass (is that still in theatres?)

Anybody seen these? Jordan and I want to go to the movies, but whenever we go out all I can think of is my pouty-faced baby girl whom I left because I wanted to and not because of work. Even if she is just over at Grandma and Grandpa's getting spoiled.

Today Jordan, Suzi and I had an all-day pajama party. I got excited when I looked out the window and saw snow, but then I realized it was about 40 degrees so it had no chance of sticking. Below are (probably) our last snow pictures of the year. It was a beautiful 15 minutes, was it not? Despite my marshmallowey appearance in that coat, I am losing weight! I won't say how much I weigh (yet), but I have lost a couple of pounds since Christmas! Still working on my Suzi weight, but soon I will be back where I was before I got pregnant.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Suzi's first snow!

It's snowing! Jordan is so excited. Here he is with Suzi, who is wearing her pink ski jacket from Miss Beth. She's a little young to play in the snow this year, but we may take her for a walk in it. It snowed last year around this time and Jordan and I went for a walk with Suzi in utero. Actually, we'd probably go for a walk right now if Suzi wasn't in bed asleep. This is also our house's first snow. That's right, this time last year our house was just a twinkle in the builder's eye. It's so hard to believe!

The snow is not such a great thing for Jennie G's. One of our ladies has already gone on a mission trip, and Vicky and I are both probably staying home tomorrow, so the two girls who may still be going tomorrow are going to be busy! (Sorry you guys.)

I was watching American Idol with Jordan but I got tired of it. Fingernail boy grossed me out. I was enjoying a drink when he pulled out his bag of nail peelings. Yuck. Last night was worse; watching people's dreams get smashed to bits before their eyes is not what I'd call a good time. No matter how bad their singing is.

Now for a snow picture of our house:

And maybe one more...

My mom got this picture of Suzi doing a push-up. She can do at least three now, and not girly ones either! I can't even do one so I'm pretty impressed! I don't know why she does this--it seems like it'd be easier to just crawl. Maybe she's training to join the Army?

I'm going now to cuddle with Jordy. Good night!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Gloworm in the belly

Tonight I worked on my Belly Girl project some more. After finishing the first one I discovered fusible web, which keeps the fabric from fraying and makes a neater job. I traced and cut out a bunch of these on the way to Columbia this weekend, so they're ready to sew on. The idea also came to me to put an ultrasound picture in the belly. This one is of Suzi when I was about 10 weeks pregnant. It was amazing--we didn't expect to see much this early, but she was jumping around, playing peekaboo and waving. We called her our little gloworm because with her legs curled up that's exactly what she looked like!

Anyway, now I just need to figure out what to do with these. (Let me know if you think of anything.) I want to put one on a bag but first I have to learn to make bags. I also thought about making pregnancy heat packs because I frequently required heat packs when I was pregnant. I don't want to use rice, though--does anyone know where I could get some flax seeds? I have a flax seed heat pack I bought at Impressions (Jennie G's sister store) and I love it! It has a combination of smelly herbs in it and is very relaxing. Rice is okay but it seems to overpower any other scent you might use.

I'm going to go hang out with Jordan now! Good night!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Do you need a cup? Yes, you do. (Hint: No strings attached!)

I'll explain about the cup in a minute (that discussion is for girls only).

I also wanted to go over my new project. I'm a little proud of it. This afternoon I was telling Jordan I felt like making something creative, and he said "you should make a quilt with a pregnant belly on it." I thought this was a great idea, so I started drawing it up and went through several drafts before I realized a pregnant belly is nothing without some boobs and a neck and face, etc. I drew and erased and drew until I had her about right. I can barely draw at all, and I'm terrible at drawing out of my head so I used a Facebook picture of Melissa's belly as a starting point. I hope she doesn't mind! My tendency is to jump headfirst into a huge project, but I stopped myself and decided to make a small pillow first. Pictured below is what is going to be my pilot pillow as soon as I stuff it.

It's a little rough around the edges (literally) but I'm happy with it for a first try. I want to do more Belly Girls in white on black, but I don't want them all to be pillows. This will be a ton easier on my mom's Viking.

As a sidenote, I went to the fabric store tonight and the cutting lady was so rude! I laid the fabric on the table and she didn't say hi or kiss my foot or anything, just scowled at me, and then when I didn't say anything she barked "How much do you want?" This rudeness has happened to me many times, and it's always the fabric-only stores (not Wal-Mart, for instance). Does anybody know what I'm talking about? The funny thing is these rude women can be award-winning butt-kissers when an expert quilter walks in. They only seem to hate people who haven't taken twenty sewing classes.

Now, if you are a guy please look at the following cute picture of Suzi and then be on your way. The rest of this post does not concern you (it's about periods).

Let's talk about the Diva Cup. You know that fantastic feeling you get when you don't have your period for over a year because you were pregnant and then breastfeeding? I had that once. Sadly, although I am still breastfeeding, it recently came to an end and I was not ready to go back to tampons and pads. I will not enumerate their many faults; you know them already. I have seen the future and this is it: the Diva Cup. Here's a picture of one because I know you need a visual.

The cup fits in the vagina but stays very low compared to a tampon. (And no, it doesn't feel like it's going to fall out.) It's as easy to get in and out as a tampon, and I think it actually made my period a day shorter because it doesn't block the flow, it just catches it. I'm overwhelmed by the good things about this product, so I'm going to list my favorites:

1) Never buy another box of tampons! One Diva Cup is all you'll need for an indefinite length of time. We're talking years.

2) More comfortable than tampons! I don't know if the company promises this, but I swear I felt better when I used this. I won't go into details.

3) Think of all the tampons and pads you won't be sending to landfills. This may be an unusual way to reduce your daily impact (or monthly impact, as the case may be), but every little bit helps. What if every woman had a Diva Cup?

4) Reduce your purse and bathroom clutter. This little cup barely takes up any space!

5) 12-hour coverage! This is my favorite! You can leave the cup in for up to 12 hours, while tampons are only good for 8. (You may need to do it more often on your heavy day.)

If you're thinking of getting one of these, go to the Diva Cup site. The price ($35) may seem high but you'll save this back after just a few months. I found mine from an eBay retailer for about $25 (brand new and sealed, of course!) The cup does take some getting used to, but I did it in one cycle so it can't be that hard! (Half the battle is getting over the idea that for something to go into your vagina it has to have a string attached.)

We are going to Columbia tomorrow so I'd better go to bed! Good night!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tragedy in Pelzer and PPD

This story has had me depressed all day. An 18-year-old mother from Pelzer killed her daughter by stepping on her (accidentally or otherwise). The little girl was six months old, a month younger than Suzi, so to me it's personal.

The comments left underneath the article mostly consist of pleas for divine retribution (and earthly retribution) against Danielle Bowen. One person thinks "somebody should beat the hell out of her," but she is undoubtedly already beating the hell out of herself. She had spoken to a family member about depression, but (if this was indeed child abuse) evidently didn't get the help she needed. A lot of people unintentionally brush new moms aside when they come forward with concerns about depression, saying things like "oh, honey, it's just the baby blues!"

When I was still pregnant, I remember standing in Jennie G's talking to Vicky and saying, "I don't see what you'd have to be depressed about; shouldn't having a new baby be the happiest time in your life?" She just shook her head in a you'll-find-out sort of way, and I did find out. We closed on our house May 31, the same day we left the hospital, and had to move out of an old rented house and into our beautiful new house during my first postpartum month. One night right before we moved in, Jordan and I went to tape around the walls in Suzi's room to prepare it for the lavender paint we'd chosen. For some reason when I saw the dark, empty house I imagined myself there alone with Suzi and was terrified. We had two things we'd dreamed of for years: a precious baby and a perfect little house that was ours and all I could do was sit there and cry. I tried to explain it to Jordan but didn't want him to think I'd gone crazy. I loved Suzi so much and was scared to death that something would happen to her. I'd heard stories about women with postpartum psychosis killing their children, or distracted parents leaving their babies in sweltering cars to die, and wondered if those things could happen to me. Every day there was a heartbreaking new story on the news to reinforce my fears. I tried to tell myself this would not happen to our family, but that's hard to do when you're alone in a house all day with nothing but your thoughts and a baby. I talked to my mom and Jordan but neither of them seemed to think it was a very big deal.

The first thing that helped me was Brooke Shields' book, Down Came the Rain. I had Jordan run into the bookstore and buy it for me because I was too embarrassed to get it myself, and then I read it in private. Brooke Shields is such a beautiful woman. While other celebrities were living their closeted lives, she took her most painful and intimate memories and put them in a book for the world to read so new mothers might not have to suffer the way she did. I can't imagine the courage it must have taken. I had been hesitant to mention my feelings to the doctor, but her story encouraged me to do it. Finally I went for my six-week appointment with the OBGYN and told him I'd been constantly anxious and didn't like Jordan to leave for work in the morning because I'd be left alone with my baby. He prescribed something which helped for a few months and now I am fine without it.

Every pregnant woman, new mother, and anyone who knows one should read Down Came the Rain. And if a new mother ever comes to you and says she's depressed, don't just tell her it's the baby blues. You are not a doctor. Hand her a phone and make her call her OBGYN, who may refer her to a psychiatrist or psychologist if necessary. It may not be serious, but there is too much at stake to wait and find out.

It's so tempting to judge a mother like Danielle Bowen, but you never know what she has been through. We need to pray for the whole family, who are enduring extraordinary pain, and especially pray for Danielle. When I was a child and people used to hurt my feelings, my mom told me not to worry because "God would take care of them." He'll take care of this too.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

John Edwards in Clemson!

Yesterday we found out John Edwards was coming to speak at the Military Heritage Plaza at Clemson University, and I wanted to go. My mom drove me and Suzi up to Tillman where Jordan works and dropped us off, then parked and met us outside. He's my favorite candidate and was in 2004 also. He related to the crowd of mostly college students well, and my favorite thing he said was we need to "believe the son of a mill worker can become the President of the United States of America!"

Here are my pictures of him. My mom got a better one, which is on this post of her blog. She didn't even want to go (squeezing through a noisy throng of college students isn't her cup of tea), but when John Edwards came within just a few feet of her and she heard his speech she got into it. She's proud of that picture too. Then on the way back to the van she had her first Red Bull, given to her by the Red Bull ladies who drive the car. (Adventurous, right? It reminds me of the time she refused to go see Harry Potter with us because it was "too late" but then she changed her mind when my brother Paul cut her to the quick by calling her a Muggle. She ended up having fun!) Please notice the guys in the tree, who probably have some of the best seats. Kind of reminds me of Zaccheus.

And here's Suzi loving on her lovey I made to match her quilt. She doesn't even mind that I scorched a little of the fleece with the iron. What a sweet girl.

Monday, January 7, 2008

We've got balls!

I'm talking about these balls, of course:

My mom taught me to make them today! My ankle is still healing so I've been sitting around a lot, and that's really conducive to sewing. I also finished Suzi's quilt, so now I can mess around with other projects! Here's a list of things on my to-sew list:

ruffly skirt for Suzi
mei-tai, podegi, or wrap carrier for Suzi
doll for Suzi
edgy flame-print fleece blankie for Suzi
more balls (for Suzi)

Gee... I guess I know why I only recently took up sewing! Here are two pictures of the quilt. I fell in love with the tumbling bunnies motif, which is why I started this project.
It's a tie quilt and I did finally get the corners mitered, but you'll notice I'm not showing them off in a picture. That's because they're nothing to write home about.

I wrapped SuSu up in the quilt to feed her before she went to bed. The funny thing about this picture is, with my hair in a ponytail like that, it's reminiscent of pictures of me "mothering" dolls as a child. I guess I am living my dream!

I've been meaning to write about this too for a while. For three years Jordan and I have had some beautiful china and crystal, but until recently we had nowhere to put it. For Christmas, Jordan's parents gave us this awesome antique china cabinet! They didn't shrink from the challenge of wrapping it either, although they did leave it in a closet for us to find rather than hauling it into the living room.

And finally, a picture of a cute sleeping baby. That's a mouse puppet she's got a grip on (we call her Molly Mouse). We were playing with her in the bed and she just sort of passed out! A rare and special event for a child who normally fights sleep.

P.S. My mom finally broke down and got a blog today! Now you can read what she's been doing too. It's called Knotted Apronstrings.

Friday, January 4, 2008

So I had a bad day...

I got off to a good start. I had an 8:00 retail meeting at work, and I was in the car ready to go by 7:30 EXCEPT I had to run back in and get my breastpump supplies. On the way back out I was getting a little excited about my day so I sort of ran to get in the van. (Weird, I know, but Megan says she knows what I'm talking about.) I was just a couple of feet away from the van when I twisted my ankle and almost fell on the ground. It hurt but this has happened to me several times before and it's never amounted to anything, so I got in and started driving to work. About halfway there I decided to call Jordan and see about going to Urgent Care to get it x-rayed because it hurt a lot when I put on the brakes (it was my right foot). He met me at the hospital since I was headed there anyway.

They did x-rays and it's not broken but only sprained. The nurse did the ace bandage/splint thing and Jordan took the day off to help me with Suzi. I'm now the proud owner of a lovely pair of crutches which I'll be using for a week. The stupidest thing is I was fine until I ran back for the breastpump parts, and after I sprained my ankle I didn't make it to work so I didn't even need them!

But don't worry, there's good news! My mom Julie, a breast cancer survivor, has now been cancer-free for five years! This is a great way to start the new year and we are so happy for her.

And these pictures were taken by my mom today. My daughter... she's so talented!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A day full of babies!

Today Suzi and I went to a NINO babywearing meeting at the library where we met other moms and their babies. She was the littlest and couldn't really keep up with the other kids but had a good time anyway. It was really a meeting for babywearing but there was a lot of other conversation going on which included discipline, baby stuff, cloth diapering, etc. It was especially nice to find a group of mothers who feel the same way about discipline as I always have, and I learned a lot!

Later, my friend from high school (actually back to fifth grade) emailed me to say she was in town and to see if we could get our babies together for a little while. We were friends on Facebook and realized last fall that we were both pregnant and due on the exact same day, May 21st! Weird, right? We later found out we were both having girls. Then we picked the name Suzanne and Casie picked the name Liliana. And Suzanne is from the Hebrew name "Shoshana" which means Lily! I was so jealous when Casie had Lili one day late and Suzi didn't arrive until eight days later! Eight days feels like an eternity when you're 41 weeks pregnant! But now, at seven months old, here they are playing together:

And a couple more pictures for your viewing pleasure:

"Mommy, please! I'm nakey under this piggy towel!"

She really loves those maracas.

And I saved the best for last...
Credit for this one goes to Suzi's Grandma (Julie)!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Christmas sewing

Now that Christmas is over I can talk about what I made. Here they are:

I made these Christmas ornaments for Mama Susie (top left), Jordan and me (top right), and Jordan's parents (bottom). I also made one for Jordan as we decided to make each other gifts rather than blow a bunch of money, but that one is not pictured. (You should see the ornament he made me--it's adorable. He made it out of golf tees, extra strong molding putty, and red pipe cleaners. It's a snowflake with our logo on it: JWH^2. But he already packed it away in the attic and I don't have the heart to ask him to dig it out.) Anyway, my mom (Julie) taught me to make these quilted ornaments. They were easy to do, but when you're done you have a personalized gift; they are big on thought, not cost. Besides, cross-stitched ornaments in little round wooden frames are so 1970's.

These only take a few minutes to make. I printed the pictures on special fabric you can run through the printer. The best part is picking out what fabric would look nice with the photo and then you just log cabin around the picture however you'd prefer. The rest is pretty self-explanatory; just finish it as a pillow and sew the ribbon into the top. My mom once made one of these for each of her 25 or so kindergarteners. She's an ambitious little thing.

On a sadder note, my quilt for Suzi was not finished in time for Christmas. I plan to work on it soon, before I start any more projects. All I have to do is blindstitch the binding on the back and miter the corners, which is tough. I might get a chance to work on it tomorrow though since it's my day off. Suzi and I are going to a babywearing meeting with Megan and then I'm shopping for thread with my mom. I want to get this quilt finished soon!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Let's make a pie (with a heart in the middle) / End of December in pictures

Suzi and I were bored Sunday afternoon so we decided to make a pie with a heart in the middle, just like in the movie Waitress. Daddy took pictures and helped us with the oven. (So for those of you who are worried, I don't lean over the oven with my baby!) We made chocolate fudge pie and I tried to draw the heart in it but that didn't work, so we used Hershey's dark chocolate syrup before we put it in the oven. I put Suzi in my reversible hotsling and we went to work. The pie turned out okay but it's better with regular, unhealthy margarine and we used Smart Balance.

Suzi is getting used to the hip position and the best sling for this position is the reversible hotsling. It doesn't stretch at all so it holds her firmly in place. It's hard to get much done when she's riding in front, so I'm glad she's coming around.

I think it turned out kind of pretty. This is my favorite kind of pie and my mom got the recipe from a cooking show (Nancy Welch?) in the 70's. One of about ten things I know how to make.

"Take me to bed you guys--I'm so sleepy I can't sit up!" I thought this was cute.

Aiden was flirting with Suzi at his birthday party. He just turned 1!

Grandpa and Suzi on Christmas Eve. I wish I knew how to make it not blurry but I actually don't know much about photography. (And they wouldn't be still, not both at the same time.)

That's it for now. Last night Brittany, Megan, Dave and (Suzi's boyfriend) Aiden came over for New Year's. We played with the babies, watched the sad bowl game, and sang karaoke. It was fun, but we were slack on the picture taking and don't have a thing to show. However, somewhere there is a video of Jordan singing "That's Amore" as a duet with Dave. It was precious.

Happy New Year!