I don't know if any other first-time moms can relate, but it's hard to know exactly what your kid needs/wants. Especially when they can't speak or do sign language yet-- it all kind of come out in whine. The other night I was trying to keep him happy and I got a flash of genius-- why not build a fort? Mac and I talk about how nostalgic forts make us and how we can't wait till Luke's at that stage. Well I took his baby gym and converted it into a fort. Luke was entertained for about 10-15 minutes, which was all I needed to tide us over until Daddy came home. I feel bad that Mac wasn't there for the very important milestone, but I'm sure there will be many many more forts to come. Along the same lines Luke and I went down to the Sacramento Library to meet up with our Attachment Parenting playgroup. It was the first time we were able to go and I hope we can make lots more of the get-togethers. They're a wonderful group of supportive, non-judgmental mommies that share a lot of the same ideas that I have. It was really fun and Luke loves checking out older kids and seeing new places and people. We were back on the road in time to make it to Roseville to meet Daddy (ok, Mac) for lunch, which really brightened up his day. Then we visited Nana's house for a little fun and while Luke napped I was able to help Emily with her math homework. I LOVE math tutoring. She's working on comparing decimals to fractions and my favorite part of Math tutoring is helping the student break down the problem in to more managable steps and really understand the core concepts of the problem, not just guess at approaches and answers. By the end of the day Luke was plenty tuckered out. That's what I like to see: an entertained, happy, no-more-energy-to-whine baby. Even if he does have more chins than most.
Laundry day again! Luke sat and watched me fold and I delegated matching the socks to him. He didn't really get the concept, but he sure liked hugging them and trying to get them in his mouth! Kinda defeats the purpose of cleaning your socks, but sure is cute. Speaking of putting things in his mouth, Luke is seriously excited about video games. I try to make sure he's not in front of a screen ever, but somehow I think he must know what's going on because during tummy time he always ends up staring at the video game equipment instead of the nice toys I have laid out in front of him. It's alright with me if he likes guitar hero, but I hope he doesn't fall too in love with video games.
Luke is going to be a good little helper. Today he woke up prematurely from a nap and I explained to him that he'd just have to keep me company as I cleaned. Admittedly I was a little frustrated, as chores are faster with no baby strapped to you. Then as I began to clean I remembered that soon enough (11 years to be exact) he'll be like his Uncle Peter and less inclined to snuggle you for an hour straight or do chores with you. He's "helped" lots before, and I think he really enjoys being my buddy. Some things are easier to do than others with him in the sling. Some chores Luke has helped with are dishes, vacuuming, dusting, bathroom sinks and mirror, laundry and tidying up.
Later today I was feeling very cooped up so we went to the mall. I actually don't like malls very much and I think I only average about 5-6 trips a year. Luke was very entertained by all of the sights and sounds. Just as I was heading out to the car I looked around for my phone, only to realize it was gone. I dug in all of my pockets and every corner of the diaper bag, but it was nowhere to be found. Resigned to never seeing my phone again, I drove home and contemplated replacing it with either one of the cheapo cells I have at home or plunking down a bunch of money for a new one. Honestly, I almost cried about it and just before Mac came home I determined that I was going to be in a good mood no matter what, because he deserves to come home to a Happy Diana once in a while, and it was about time for Happy Diana to show her face. I greeted him at the door with a smile and it went like this:
Diana: Guess what? Mac: You lost your phone. Diana: How did you know? Mac: Your mom called me. The mall called her because someone turned in your phone.
The morals of the story are 1) If you choose to be in a good mood, the cell phone gods will smile on you and 2) There are still plenty of honest people 3) Don't have a phone worth stealing and honest people are more apt to turn your hunk of junk into the lost and found.
Saturday consisted of some boring errands and chilling at home, but Sunday was pretty fun. My Mom, Peter and Emily joined us for Stake Conference. After stake conference we had lunch and games with neighbors Josh, Holly and baby Abby plus Mac's cousin, Sam, and Sam's girlfriend Jamie. Holly made some delicious chicken that I'm stealing the recipe for, and then we played Hoopla and Scotland Yard. Hoopla is a Cranium brand game that is soooo much fun. It's a lot like Cranium, but it's cooperative instead of competitive which is good for those of us that tend to get overly-competitive (um, who could that be?). Scotland Yard is a fun detective game where you use logic to chase down "Mr. X" by using London's transportation system. I loved it as a kid and still get such a thrill to make a strategy and get the bad guy. I just can't wait till it's my turn to be Mr. X and totally sneak all over London and avoid capture.
For dinner we went to my parent's house, as we usually do. As we got dinner on Mac, Peter and Emily were working on a puzzle. Mac is so fun to do puzzles with because he has such an eye for it. He'll take one look at the puzzle, one look at the box and grab the right piece within seconds. This is one of the reasons why he is appreciated by his mother-in-law.
Emily had been playing with her stuffed kitty and I found it really adorable that she was doing things with the cat that I had shown her I do with Luke. I like to do "cross crawling" with him (it's a motion exercise that helps stimulate the brain), massages, and sign to him. She is so perceptive of different things that I do, and if I ever explain something developmental about infants, she is sure to retain it and bring it up in conversation later.
My parent's home teachers also brought over some eggs because their chickens had been hyper-producing this week. It made me a little sad that I'm not yet at the point in my life where I can have a garden and chickens, but it sure is fun to see multi-colored eggs that are farm-fresh.
Here are some more random pictures from the weekend. We like to throw Luke in the sling when we go out in public, or on a walk. When we get home he likes to unwind by gnawing on a book or two.
Today I ran across a blog post that pretty much helped me feel some relief about my parenting practices. It is here and it is hilarious. If you are a mom that ever wonders if you've already screwed up your kid for life at the tender age of three and a half months because you did or did not do something, just read the quiz and laugh and remember that everyone feels like a terrible parent sometimes, and if you care enough to Google "good mom quiz" then you just might be a good mom.
Arg. Little darling Luke is up every hour AT LEAST at night lately, and sometimes it's really hard for me to get back to bed. After his two am feeding I laid in bed for an hour before getting back up. First I re-read my baby sleep books and I came up with another sleep plan, because the one we're on is not working. I've borrowed ideas from both "No-cry sleep solution" and "12 hours of sleep by 12 weeks old" to come up with my own sleep plan that HAS to work like a charm. It just has to.
Anyway, after that project I still didn't feel tired so I went to decorate the spare room, because it's time that it becomes Luke's bedroom. Here's how it turned out:
When he woke up, he seemed to like it, and I do too. For the next two weeks while we impliment our new sleep plan I may be un-bloggable, cranky, and un-lovable, but I hope to be back in full force as soon as possible as soon as I'm getting at least 6 hours of sleep. Until then...
An oxymoron, I know, but I'm borrowing from Rachel Ray's "MYOTO (make your own take out)" saying. I love trying those recipes and sometimes they turn out. Tonight was one of those nights. I had one of those "what about bob" dinners where I couldn't help but saying "yum" about a million times. The recipe came from a baby magazine, of all places, and here it is:
package Fettuccine noodles 1/2 cup peanut butter 1/2 cup ginger vinaigrette (I substituted hoisin sauce, cause that's what I had on hand, it was awesome) 1/2 cup reserved pasta water package shredded carrots package snow peas
All you do is cook the pasta, and add the vegetables 2 minutes before the pasta is done. Reserve the liquid before you drain and mix it with the peanut butter and vinaigrette or hoisin sauce. Toss the pasta and veggies with the hoisin/peanut butter sauce and you're done. All in all it took about 15 minutes. Not too shabby.
One day after "Mother Goose on the Loose"(aka story time) at the library , I checked out a baby knit pattern book. I was trying to make those mary jane baby booties, but I got so frustrated that I forgot about them for a while and wanted to use the yarn for another, less frustrating project. So I knit a 4 inch square to check my gauge (this is needed so you know how many stitches and rows you get per inch) and found a pattern that matched my gauge. Sorry if that doesn't make any sense to non-knitters! The one pattern that would work was a garter stitch cardigan that I was hoping would look gender neutral in white. I had soooo much fun with this project and learned several new skills including a new cast-on technique, buttonholes, and picking up stitches. I think my increases turned out pretty well too (man, I am such a knitting nerd). My only regrets are that it does NOT look very gender neutral, and I think that garter stitch is too textural for a delicate baby knit. The fact that I knit it from very cheap yarn is a plus and minus: I didn't waste much money on this as it was mostly for practice, but it isn't very soft and snugly. For my next project I think I'll try the mary jane booties again, or do the cutest dress from the book. That is if my magenta pink yarn matches the gauge of the pattern! I LOVE this picture of Luke. I think with this look he's trying to tell me that this sweater is far too girly, not his favorite item of clothing and I'm not to dress him in it ever, ever again. He was a pretty good sport being my model, but I'll have to find a different model if I ever finish that dress and mary jane booties.
This week was pretty uneventful, but here's a quick re-cap:
Luke has started to really figure out his hands and hold things (and inevitably try to put them in his mouth). This includes stuffed animals, boxes, parents' fingers and a basketball.
My mail key had been lost for about a month and I finally went to the office and got another one made. Turns out we missed several parties, but thankfully we pay most all our bills online. I really need to figure out how to opt out of all the junk mail we get. Mac is getting a head start on teaching Luke how to read...
My mom went out of town and we volunteered to take care of the family's dogs, Merlin and Lucy. Unfortunately both days it was pretty rainy and as luck would have it, every time I would try to take them for a walk it would either start to rain, or Luke would need a nap (see below). They got very very short walks. I also learned that you can tire them out pretty well by throwing the ball around with them in the garage.
One night I decided to take Luke to Peter's basketball practice because he seems to like watching the action when I've taken him to games before. Plus I love watching my Dad and Peter in action. Peter had two main complaints with the practice: one, my dad makes him run more laps than the other kids, and two, it's embarrassing when I cheer for him. My response to those complaints are that he acts up a little more than the other kids, and I only cheer for him when he makes a bunch of shots in a row-- nothing but net. He says that it's not that hard to do, but I can't help but be proud of my little bro. I should also note that it is one of the funniest things to see my dad scrimmage with his team. They play 3 on 5 or 3 on 4 with 2 coaches and 1 or two players on one team and the other team of just players. My dad doesn't know how to take it easy on 11-12 year olds. I guess pretty soon they'll be having to take it easy on him.
(I'm aware that I'm a terrible photographer, but these are the only ones that remotely turned out)
Anyone that knows me really well can attest to the fact that I like to go to bed early and wake up early. This was only reinforced by Luke's sleep schedule. I took the saying "sleep when your baby sleeps" as more of a commandment than nice advice. He goes to sleep between 9 and 10 religiously- and so do I (and I like to eat dinner early, too. so send me to a retirement home). Last night he would NOT sleep. He was awake from about 6 to midnight, which for him is really weird. Luckily I have the best husband in the world, who stayed up with him when I couldn't. I should note that I forcibly converted Mac to the "early to bed" club. He used to be normal and go to bed between 12 and 2. This morning he was so tired last night that he couldn't even stand up at one point. I guess as new parents we're always mildly sleep deprived, so one bad night pushes up over the edge. So here's to my husband: he does so many things for me and he's an incredible guy, and this is just one of the many instances where he takes one for the team. I love you babe!