This weekend we stayed pretty low key and close to home. We were busy last weekend and this coming weekend we are going to NY for 2 weeks and that will be a frantic and fun pace so this past weekend we just chilled at home. Some of the need for R&R was because I got a high fever on Friday and Niamh was under the weather too with a cold. We skipped our normal Friday stuff and just sat like lumps on the sofa. We both felt better the next morning and Niamh played dress up (among other things)peacefully all day. The novel part of the play was that she decided to play by herself, got her stuff on alone, and decided to dance to her music box on her own. She pulled Lars into the game but I was really happy about her desire and ability to play on her own. Someday we might not have to entertain her all the time. Really over the past few weeks she has grown into more and more solo and pretend play. The first big one was her ‘rescuing animals’ that were really just blocks in a shape sorter. She narrated her game to herself and although it sora sounded like a Dora episode it amused her for 15 min or more using a toy for its not specified purpose.
So our only other serious outing was to costo with the new double stroller and everyone liked it. Monday shopping for Lars’s birthday I used it again and I figured out a way to rig a shopping basked (the small one) to it so I could do actual shopping alone. This is the best behaved Niamh has been in a store in ages, maybe its the novelty or maybe it is because she can stare in at Zoe but she likes to just stay sitting. Zoe also likes the face time and cried when there was a wall, made by a big package of tissues, between she and Niamh and was happy again once we put it in the big cart. The stroller is pretty easy to push and steer and takes up about the same amount of space in the car as a biggish single stroller. It also folds one handed very well so this will be good for the airport on Saturday. I am pleased with the purchase.
This week has passed fast; Monday Zoe and I shopped in the mid morning and procured a good amount of nice presents for Lars at the mall in the time frame between feeding and feeding. She was remarkably on schedual all day and it was awesome. All three of us shopped for the one gift I could not find at the mall and unfortunately either her cold or the change in routine made Niamh a very petulant child. She dissolved into fits (that I recorded for some future blackmale) because I was wearing one of her hair clips, this was a mortal offence in Niamh land. I didn’t give in but Zoe was none too calm herself so I couldn’t really man handle Niamh all that well so she was put to bed in a clean diaper but thats all we got done… no teeth, no lotion, no pj’s… I didn’t feel great about this but I had to show her who was in charge. The next morning she still asked for the clip but said it was her turn but she asked nicely and I gave it to her.
The next morning I was up and dressing her because it was Lars’s birthday and I was able to give him an extra few hours of sleep. The rest of the birthday was busy for me since I had a dr apt and I had to stop by work to fax some stuff. I also baked a cake and we had some nice time together and when we collected Niamh we did presents then dinner at Famous Daves. The end of the day was tv and then Lars played online while I got to bed. The day just flew.
Today was virtually wasted on a dumb Kurby demo. They promised to clean the stairs and 2 rooms and while the demo lady was very nice and the machine was cool it was not something I would ever really use enough to validate the price and she didn’t even clean the stairs! The areas she did clean really don’t look significantly cleaner then before and she left the demo filters that show how much dirt was extracted all over the house (gross!). This also took 2 hours…. that threw Zoe totally off her game and me off mine and most of the rest of the day she would not let me put her down. Obviously not alot got done today. On the positive side we may be coming out of fuss your face off time because while she still wanted to be in contact with one of us all evening she was sleeping rather then screaming – I call that progress!
Tomorrow will be jam packed too – I need to start packing for NY, go to work again to drop off paperwork, and get ready for the Tool concert. Hopefully between tomorrow and Friday I get the packing done. For the record, no princess dresses will be packed.
This is the first real improvement project completely finished.
The hardware is from Ikea and there are 5 panels that we can slide into many various formations depending on sunlight etc. It is a little hard to see but the center panel on the first picture is a sheer, the idea for the center panel is to have that be changeable per season. I took a while sewing the panels because I did each one at least twice to since I was experimenting with different methods. In the end the obvious and simple answer was right – just hem the sides of the fabric. Lining them looked strange because they ‘pillowed’ so unless I wanted to quilt on top of them I had to go with unlined. Next project is curtains for the kitchen….
We also purchased a sit-n-stand stroller, the maiden trip is today after naptime, pictures to follow
Zoe can now coooooo. She made cute cooie (cooy?) noises today during her bath, she was even kinda conversational. Zoe also smiles, I just can’t catch it in a picture, and, she can hold up her big melon very well. I think it may be time for the bumbo soon.
Life with two is getting a little more normal. I finally have a fair routine for the day and although staying at home is just a temporary thing I’m getting pretty used to it. The house is actually getting cleaner and more organized then it has been in ages and I’m ontop of most of the errands and misc things that need doing. Nothing gets done fast but if I plan right I actually get many things done in a day. I feel like I am conducting a complicated symphony of things with all sorts of random variables but I’m getting more on top of things and I even manage to check into work now and then to make sure my e-mail box isn’t at capacity. I even managed to get the upstairs curtains 90% completed, all they need is a little tweaking with hardware arrangement and I’ll be ready to do before and after pictures. Step two is the kitchen set but they are a far easier design.
Today we went out to the local farmers market/park fare and it was underwhelming but still fun. We let Niamh go in the bouncy castle and it was a big fail…. She was the only kid in there and she had no idea what to do and just stood there and looked at us. She really isn’t that good a jumper yet and so they just let her out after an awkward two minutes. She did much better on the huge inflatable slide… it was pretty tall but she is a very good climber and loves sliding so she did it a few times before tiring out. The cool thing was that the slide guy let us on for free since the bouncy castle was so unsuccessful. We scored a good deal on some Tupperware and fresh baked bread (unrelated purchases) and then we decamped to dairy queen since Niamh wanted a hot dog and Lars and I both wanted a dose of hardcore air-conditioning. It was frigid in there and felt very nice but poor Zoe had to be bundled under my sweater. Bedtime was only missed by 30min so that was a major success really since we had a nice outing and a decent bedtime.
Last weekend was Fathers day and I got Lars a card that actually said ‘Happy Fathers day, I hope your day doesn’t stink’. No point in setting high expectations… The day was nice really, the weather was gorgeous but warm and we had a leisurely morning followed by some time at the Franconia park and then an impromptu BBQ with Niamh’s BF’s family. I know it seems like we are always at Franconia park but it is just a cool place to visit. It is reasonably close, free, and very kid friendly. The art is ever changing and sturdy enough to be kid proof and most of the art is on the fun side so it is engaging. I’m also addicted to the backlit ‘black box’ pictures; I just think they are so pretty I can’t help taking 20 more every time we go. There were at least 6 new pieces on display since mother’s day and we didn’t even get to see the whole park since a pair of 2 year olds only have a limited span of good behavior and since half the point is to tire them out by running around they were beat by then end of the trip. Niamh didn’t even make a peep after bed and I don’t think she even moved a muscle.
Going backwards one day we had a good Saturday too. The first half of the day we (and by we I don’t actually mean me…) jack hammered out the patio that has cracked and settled badly – the friends who poured it in the first place were nice enough to come and take it away and will repour it soon. Hopefully this time it stays pretty – the last one was one of their fist efforts. I hear Lars even got some time with the jackhammer but I didn’t witness it myself, I think the coolness of tools balanced out the manual labor aspect of the job and made him a happy camper. We all (and I’m included in this we) had a great big steak lunch and through careful planning and some luck both Niamh and Zoe napped at the same time from 12-2 so we all could enjoy the meal. Lars is getting very expert at grilling, enough practice and cooking shows has improved his skills a lot and the steaks were done perfectly. After naps we needed to exercise the child so we headed out to the huge park we went to on memorial day. It is a little bit in the middle of nowhere and there is a $6 fee to park, or, a $25 season pass, so the location and this relatively minor fee discourages hoards of people and those that are there are usually very attentive to their kids and are very nice. Unfortunately this is not true of all parks, we have demoted one of the cooler parks in the area because it is very close to the ‘bad’ section of Forest Lake and every time we go there is either a flock of unsupervised kids, or, very very bad parenting, and there is a lot of evidence that it is a hangout at night so sometimes the park is in sad shape. … Maybe someday I’ll make a local park guide, I certainly have my opinions! Anyway, we called Niamh’s BF’s mom as we were heading out the door to see if they wanted to join us and they met us there and the kids had fun and we all stayed out way too late but it was a fun evening.
This week I have no particular plans, just a regular at home week. I have a list of things to do, hopefully they get done but if not, none of them are super time sensitive. I’m living life at the speed of newborn and it isn’t that bad a speed.
Zoe had decided her fussy time is from 8pm until 11pm. There is variance, tonight started at 7 and ended at 10:30, but it is not a fun 3 hours in the day. I keep telling myself that this three hours is better then many 3 hour chunks she could choose like 3-6am or really anything midnight to 7am and technically 3 hours of suck when both of us are home is probably the best time for her to fuss her face off (lucky it is a cute face). Tonight we revisited the projectile vomit category of fun and she managed to get my shirt, shorts and sock and then I handed her to Lars who got his bare chest (its warm here today), foot, floor, and a corner of our nice clean sheets. After that she got a bath, new nightgown, and new swaddle sack. Within a few minutes she was declaring hunger again… I suppose when the result of eating for 2 hours more or less straight is on the floor or your parents one might feel hungry. Thankfully this feeding went well and she dropped off to a contented sleep at 10:30. I can’t pretend that I did anything right to make this happen since she seems to go to sleep at 10:30 or 11 anyway – it is all about making the time between 7 and 11 as ok as possible.
I complain but really she is very good and almost on a schedule. At the grand old age of one month she likes her 2-3 hour cycles where she eats for 10-20m then observes the world for the balance of the hour, maybe staying alert for an extra 30 min. Then she starts to yawn and if cuddled up promptly and deposited in a bed she will sleep for 1-2 hours. If I miss a sleepy sign she starts fussing and its slightly harder to get her to sleep but still the only thing she will want. I’m doing my best to resist feeding her again at the end of the ‘cycle’ when she fusses because she truly is not hungry and she makes it easy by not eating for more then 30 seconds proving she isn’t hungry and we can move on to the sleep solution. Newborns may be a constant cycle but at least that cycle is composed of limited options. As I told Miss Math (who had her baby on June 5th!) we can’t really use the word ‘usually’ in reference to our newborns, they have not been around long enough for any of their activities to really be statically significant.
This past weekend was nicely busy. We went over to a friends house for a little social gathering where her husband cooked a lovely meal on a huge impressive smoker/grill in the poring rain and we admired his in home brewery. I have pictures of the brewery but not of the grilling in the rain… Sunday we went to Ikea and then the mall where Niamh got to ride her first big ride, the Dora ferries wheel. We completely missed bedtime but she was very well behaved and so was Zoe and she crashed the second her head hit the pillow. Monday was my first whole day alone – Lars goes to work with some of his team and then directly to work out after so I was solo from 8am to 8:30pm. It went well, I cleaned and did some work, and talked to my parents and then Miss Math and then another SCA friend later in the day so I didn’t have any time to be lonely. I also acted like a real mom and went to the post office, the bank, and the grocery store. Zoe had a hunger attack that resulted in pitiful wails in the store and atleast 5 people gave me the ‘hang in there’ look or comment and I thought I looked so calm. I sat in the car and fed her in the parking lot while surfing on my i-Phone. That phone is the best thing ever, I can read or play or look stuff up one handed while feeding or rocking Zoe. My poor laptop is feeling neglected since the i-Phone has usurped half of what I used the laptop for. I still need the laptop for blogging and e-mail responding and posting more then one picture at a time but the i-Phone is great because I have an ever going scrabble game with my dad and sister and I can read one handed.
Today (yesterday) I was supposed to be networked into a work all day conference but, it didn’t work…. My company is great at what we actually do, but, semi suck at the communication technology so I should not have been surprised but I was still disappointed to miss all the speakers. I wasted my morning fuming about it and devised a plan to get a web cam and bring it to work and get one of my coworkers to hook it up and point it at the screen and then I could view via yahoo. I executed step one of getting the camera and bringing it to work but once I saw the super secret agenda it was apparent that everything meaningful was already over and the afternoon was all about stuff I really know or don’t care about. Had I known the agenda (that I had asked for a dozen times!) I could have actually been there for the morning since Zoe is pretty easy going in the morning but that’s life, I’m over it. On the positive side I got to show off a smiley baby to all my coworkers including those from the far north office I never see and our China office was also in attendance so it was cool to see them too. Now I have an extra web cam but I wanted a second anyway so when I’m in NY Lars can have one here and we can visit. The afternoon today was not really productive, other then feeding and diapering – I took a half mile walk, weeded the garden for about 20 seconds, and then took a nap when Zoe napped. Tomorrow a friend is coming over with her little girl in the later afternoon and hopefully she can help me adjust the nursing dresses I was given that are a bit on the large side but perfectly savable with some sewing and lucky me, I can sew!
If you don’t hear from me soon, you can imagine that I’m diapering, feeding, burping, gazing at the adorable face, kissing bellies, snuggling, reading bedtime stories and doing laundry.