Something To Do - Meet the Machines

On April 25, you can take your children to "Meet the Machines." Budrovich Excavating is hosting an event where your kids can check out various contruction machinery. Click here for more info on the event. Sounds kinda cute, especially if you have a boy or a child who is just interested in big machines!


Salary of a SAHM




For Eric's mom's birthday, we hauled in the grandkids to The Picture People for some fun photos. The 19 year-old college student was less-than-thrilled to be out of bed pre-noon on a Saturday, at that. The 15 year-old spritely pom pom one with all the practice of keeping a perfectly poised frozen grin did just that. The 10 year-old boy; well, he was a hard one to wrangle. Doesn't want to smile or sit still or do anything on command. He definitely marches to the beat of his own drum. Greta? Well, she was just so stinkin' thrilled to be in public and out of the house.

These are Greta's cousins from Eric's side of the family. She sees them more than my side of the family, just because they live in the same town as we do. It's so cute seeing them gush over her. She just eats it up!

My family is a bit more sprawled out, location-wise. Greta has gotten to spend time with one of her cousins, who lives locally. She has met her Florida cousin twice, but Greta has not yet met her Chicago cousins, and I know she is saving lots of kisses and grins and giggles for them!


Eight Months Old

Dear Greta,

I'm a little late in writing your most recent monthly letter, and for that, I apologize. Happy 8 months and 11 days, little one. We've been busy!

Just yesterday morning, your daddy asked me, "What do you do all day?" Good question. I used to think I'd stay home with you, and my house would be perfectly cleaned and in order, every thing would be labeled and put away and I would be in organizational blissdom. Oh, was I ever disillusioned. You keep me busy.

On any given day, you wake up and you eat, and we change your diaper, and then we play. You generally wake up in a great mood, full of big toothless smiles and plentiful wet raspberries. Nursing has gotten more and more challenging, for lack of a better term, just because you like to check out everything around you all the while hiking your little foot up near your head the entire time you're eating. Diaper changes are challenging, and that's the perfect term for them, because you like to wiggle and wriggle and roll over and grab whatever item is nearest.

Playtime has gotten more fun, as you've grown much more inquisitive and have gained mobility. You're not quite crawling yet, but the wheels in your little head are spinning, and we're just counting down the days until you figure it all out. You liked to jump in your jumparoo, but you also enjoy quiet time in your exersaucer/activity center contraption. All toys still go directly in your mouth regardless of size, but you've also started showing interest in touching and feeling things.

Your palate has expanded tremendously in the past month. Your favorite foods are anything sweet, particularly prunes, apples and bananas. You make an "mmmm" sound when you enjoy something such as these foods. And when you don't like something, you blow raspberries and shake your head no. Your least favorite foods are peas and avocados. You're not yet feeding yourself finger foods, but you sure do enjoy practicing by sticking your spoon in your mouth.

You're a very serious baby, and as sweet as you are, you're not too much into cuddling. Why waste time with snuggling when there are so many other things to investigate! You study faces intently, and you've started grabbing at my glasses, jewelry, hair, nose, etc. Anything you can get your hands on, you want it.

You continue to grow into a wonderful little girl, with the exception of "the sleep strike of February 2009 to present", which started mid-month February. Prior to this time, you had blessed us by sleeping 10+ hours a night. But a month ago, you decided that continuous sleep was overrated and you now wake up a couple times a night. We haven't decided if the disruptive sleep is because you're teething or if it's the result of a growth spurt. No teeth have yet sprouted, and you're not busting out of your clothing from growing too big. I know, though, that this will pass. As much as I love my sleep, the quiet middle-of-the-night moments (and sometimes not so quiet moments) are irreplaceable and precious and are sure to one day leave me yearning for more of them. I know it won't be like this forever.

I'm keeping this letter short and sweet, free of flowery stories. I still love you and think you're the most amazing thing that has ever happened in my life. Right now, I need to go get some sleep so I'm ready for our 3 a.m. milk party. See you then.



How to Frustrate Me

If I ask you to change the baby's diaper, I'm probably asking you because it needs to be changed. After all, I have been with her ALL day and know when she was last changed.

So, naturally, I get a bit aggravated, when I say to Eric, "Why don't you change Greta's diaper?"

And he responds, "Does it need to be changed?"

Do you think I am just suggesting it because I like to hear myself talk?

Feeling Guilty...

for forgetting to wipe my mouth of the chocolate batter that I sampled while making cupcakes, and then accidentally wiping it on the baby's head while I held her, trying to soothe her cries.


Stuff White People Like

A funny web site: Stuff White People Like


Free $25 Target Gift Card (and a Great Web site, too!)

Have you ever checked out the blog, STL Mommy? Anyone who knows me knows I'm a whore for coupons and deals, so this web site lights my fire. Right now, she's doing a fun give-away -- a free $25 Target gift card. Who can't use one of those?!


Chunky Monkey

Last night, Greta received her last injections of Synagis. Before each injection, the nurses weigh her to determine the proper dosage of the injection. I'm excited to report that Miss Greta weighs 17 pounds! Grow, Greta, grow!!!

So Freeing, Fresh Air

Well, we did it -- we survived Greta's first public outing. Today we ventured to the zoo. The 80-degree weather was too tempting to resist. Greta soaked up every bit of it. The sights and sounds of all the new people and voices. The animals, of course. The little children riding the carousel. The fresh air. She seemed to really enjoy herself, if her wide eyes and lack of interest in napping were any indication. Since being cooped up all winter, Greta seems to especially appreciate any break from the norm, especially when it involves people other than her mama. She just no longer finds me entertaining. I don't blame her.

I never realized what a fiasco it is to get myself and another human being out of the house. I woke up in the morning at 5 a.m., and from that point on, I played out the morning's schedule in my mind. When would she eat, when would she nap, when would I shower? I made list after list in my mind. What to pack, when to leave home, how to dodge highway 40 construction, what's the most efficient way to get to the zoo. I wanted to be prepared.

Since we rarely leave the house, I don't keep a diaper bag packed and ready-to-go. So, as Greta napped, I quickly showered and then ran around the house half-naked, gathering necessities. Diapers, check. Wipes, check. Blanket, teething toy, check check. Soy bars, bottled water, cell phone, wallet, camera -- all packed.

As I was leaving the house, I realized, I had just a few dollars in cash in my wallet. (Hello, parking money?? What if we needed a snack?)
And I didn't have sunscreen.
Or a hat to protect her face.

And then I got nervous about breastfeeding in public. After all, I've really only nursed in the comforts of my own home where no one cares whether I'm discreet when whipping out my boob.

I was running late, and so I worried about meeting my friend late and her possibly being mad. And what if I couldn't find a parking spot and what if I couldn't find my friend and her children once inside the zoo, and and and. What if. That was how my mind's frazzled thoughts played out.

Please remind yourself, I've NEVER done this before. This was our first "field trip."

As soon as I got Greta strapped in the stroller, I started to feel some relief and gain a little confidence. I could do this. We headed into the zoo, found our friends, and I finally felt I could relax and let it all go. All the stress and the worry and the anxiety of wondering if I was capable of being a mom OUTSIDE the four walls of my house.

Turns out, I am perfectly capable of doing the public mom thing. Maybe I wasn't perfect at it, maybe I should have been more discreet when nursing, and maybe I should have put the brake on the stroller so it wouldn't have rolled down the hill (Note, Greta was not in the stroller at the time!), and maybe I talked incessantly (I'm a little rusty in the realm of adult conversation). Maybe next time I'll bring sunscreen for Greta's never-seen-the-sun porcelain skin and won't have to borrow. Maybe next time, I'll reassure myself that I survived the time before, and by golly, I'll get through it again.


Another Reason I'm Glad I Breastfeed

According to a recent study, breastfeeding reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE5214KG20090302?feedType=RSS&feedName=healthNews.