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worry wart.

So I get these e-mails from babycenter, and it has always been rather annoying (no matter what I do, I can’t get the e-mails for her adjusted age, and so I always feel despondent when I read about what Ramona “should” be doing–and yet I still read them). And the other day it was all about how 8 month old babies should be crawling and getting bruises and blah blah blah and I am sitting there thinking “the Ramona baby can’t even sit up yet”. And then I click the link about When I should start to be concerned and this pops up:


Warning Signs:
Check Here
7 to 9 months
  • at 7 months, has poor head control when pulled to a sitting position
  • at 7 months, is unable to get objects into his mouth
  • at 7 months, is not reaching for objects
  • by 7 months, doesn’t bear some weight on his legs
  • by 8 months, can’t sit independently

So yeah, it’s a warning sign. Now, Ramona officially turned 8 months old 3 days ago, and her adjusted age is really somewhere around the 6 month mark, so I was going to give myself a good week or two before I let my brain go to the place of “something is wrong with my baby”. And then this happened today:

smiles, sunshine, and sitting.

In other news, we have made it 8 months. I feel like I deserve some sort of award, or certificate or a donut named after me for this accomplishment.

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morning star

i have been rather scattered, and hence–no blogging.

i am starting to realize that working “one day a week” really diminishes the amount of hours i spend planning curriculum, grading, and otherwise preparing for my classes (case in point: for my upcoming summer course i am required to observe at least 2-3 classes and meet with a mentor several times and take a course on the specific computer system . . . etcetera!). this cloud of i-should-be-doings follows me around like a low-grade fever. i am a little bit irritable as a result.

so, i need to be more honest about that. i need more time to work on my work.

for the past couple of months i have let housework slide, as it seemed like the least pressing concern. however, i have been spending a lot of time inside my apartment lately (thanks to a baby and a rainy pacific northwest spring–seriously, it was not sunny 31 out of 31 days in March) and i have taken to describing the place as a grubby hellhole. so i have been doing some cleaning.

i had a stereotypical breakdown the other day, letting all my frustrations get the best of me. krispin was home and the baby was napping and i flew out the door in a huff (in sweatpants, natch), keys in hand, nowhere as a destination. i cried in the car, pounding my fists on the steering wheel and singing along to the innocence mission and i went to home depot and let myself get talked into buying the expensive kind of paint (and a nice paintbrush–they [the men who worked at home depot who seemed slightly traumatized by my red-and-blotchy cry face] assured me it would last 7 years and i am at a point in my life where i need to get over my reliance on cheap and disposable) and then i went home and painted an old dresser and a bookshelf a lovely shade of light teal and rearranged some furniture.

as a game, read back over that paragraph and see how many stereotypes about moms you can spot!

yeah, i know. news flash:  i am emotional and frumpy and i took some pride in making my “space” more welcoming.

in other news, ramona is almost 8 months, and can be very charming when she wants to be. she still has no interest in sitting up, but she thinks spastic dogs and sneezes and yams and oatmeal are the best things in life (oh, and reading books. and pulling off her socks and chewing on them). and then there are days like today: lots of screaming, little sleeping. well, she can’t always be perfect.

coming up: a guest post by the baby daddy! seriously, krispin made some remarks about wanting to write about what kind of mom i was behind the scenes–you know, the kind of mom who, when the baby throws a toy on the floor picks it up and puts it in the diaper bag only to fish it out 5 minutes later and stick it back in the baby’s hands. 5 minutes in a diaper bag=germ disinfectant, right? actually, krispin, i just wait until whoever saw the toy land on the floor is a good distance away and then i pull it out again. yeah, i just stole your bad-mom-story thunder!!!!!!!!

Clean Eating

So I skipped a couple of weeks worth of cleaning (Project:Simplify) because either they didn’t apply to me or I was uninspired (paper clutter? organizing Ramona’s stuff again?). But this week was awesome: tackling the pantry. Ok, well technically the pantry and the fridge, but I didn’t want to do the latter. So I didn’t.

But back to the pantry!

Here is the before picture:

here is the after:

Doesn’t it look pretty? Since Krispin got diagnosed with all sorts of awful things last fall (high blood pressure/cholesterol) I got freaked out thinking we were headed for early (food induced) deaths like many Americans. So we changed our eating habits quite a bit. And started exercising. And it really is amazing what a difference that makes.

Tangent Alert: can I just say that since January I have lost 12 pounds? That is a huge deal for me, and I have worked my you-know-what off for each measly pound. And Krispin? He has lost over 30.

We have done the exact same thing.

Except I work out more than he does.

Boy metabolism makes me want to scream.

Tangent End.

A huge step in getting us healthier is simply not buying packaged snack/dessert type foods. No more triscuits or little debbies or any of those delicious Americana-type snackerals that I love. Way less meat (too expensive). Lots of brown rice, whole grain pasta, lentils, black beans, veggies veggies veggies. We feel great, we look pretty, our pantry looks pretty.

Plus, when you don’t have a bunch of boxes in your pantry, it looks like this:

Pretty jars full of real food!

All of this dovetails nicely with our plan of feeding Ramona only the good things that God makes. We should prolly do the same thing for ourselves.

teenage politics.

The Ramona baby and I had an adventure this weekend.

We went to Seattle! By ourselves! (well, sans dad. Grammi and Auntie Lindsay went with us, and were fabulous).

Here are the highlights:

Ramona finally starting to show her teeth when she smiles.

Ramona crying when shown this video.

Ramona being back to her shrieking, babbling self.

Ramona kicking her legs for joy at the wonders of Pike Place Market (she especially liked the flowers).

Ramona getting to hang out with various second cousins and great aunts and uncles and being adored.

The lowlights (is that a word?):

Ramona having the poop blowout of the century not 30 minutes into our journey (on her clothes, the carseat–everywhere!).

Ramona being awake and ready to play from 12-2am. and at 5am. and at 7am.

And that’s it, really. So the trip really did skew to the good. In non-baby related news me and Lindsay got to go see a reunion show by MxPx, which was a surreal trip down memory lane. I was expecting a bunch of aging hipsters in carefully disgruntled American Apparel attire reliving their punk youths, but instead everyone pretty much looked like I did when I was 16–lot’s of band t-shirts, terrible tattoos, pseudo rockabilly hairstyles.

The band itself was great, and they played the album “Life in General” in its entirety, and the sister and I sang along to every word.

It really was like no time had changed at all . . . except that it had. There was a delicious baby waiting at home for me. I didn’t have a desperate crush on the bass player. I didn’t find solidarity be screaming along to lyrics about time being the enemy.

Instead, I just felt a wave of relief that I wasn’t 16 anymore. That the years of Big Emotions (it seems to happen around ages 2-3 and again at 13-16) are over, that I did grow up and have already experienced a wide range of people and places and have a lot more to do.

I am glad I am a grown up.

teef

oh my gosh ramona has two teeth now, which came out of nowhere.

just like my emotions surrounding said teeth.

you guys, i actually got all misty about it! and thought (and said aloud) “she is never going to have a perfectly gummy smile anymore!” and i was sad, really. my baby is growing up.

and then krispin looked at me like i was crazy and reminded me about how i always talk about how excited i am for ramona to be a toddler.

it’s true, i am crazy. but i did not expect the emotions about the milestones. that doesn’t seem like my thing at all, kind of how i never felt any crazy baby urges or biological clocks ticking away or an overwhelming sense of purpose and fulfillment whilst up to my arms in baby poo. but two tiny (and razor sharp) teeth have me all blubbery.

poor krispin. he is on this crazy train for good.

My Empire of Dirt

Ok, I am jumping on a bandwagon here.

The bandwagon of simplifying my life.

Sometimes it feels like all I do is organize and clean all the stuff I have. Even though we have a tiny apartment, even though we have a tiny budget, even though we don’t like to buy things that aren’t secondhand–it seems like our place is bursting with superfluous stuff.

So, time to edit our lives.

This site laid down a gauntlet for the next 5 weeks, and I am gonna go for it. This week? The closet. Taking a good, hard look at what you wear (those 10 things you always reach for) and getting rid of the rest. This was rather hard for me to do, as I find myself in that strange place of “I just had a baby 7 months ago”, where I am fatter than usual but not fat enough for the fat clothes. I know, right?

But beyond that, I need to assess why I feel like holding on to ripped bridesmaid dresses and ill-fitting sweaters. And I can’t find a single good reason. So, out they go.

And without further ado, here are the pictures:

Our closet, before:

Ramona’s wardrobe (one of 2, I might add. plus she has a closet. that girl is swimming in clothes) before:

Our closet, after (please note the leopard print snuggie, which made the judicious cut):

the after

Ramona’s wardrobe, after:

Ooh, that felt good. And don’t worry, I didn’t throw anything away. My mom recently started a clothing closet for low-income individuals in Parkrose, which is where all of our surplus will be going (check it out here). The only thing I can’t figure out what to do with are certain, oh how do you say, unmentionables, that a certain husband bought for a certain wife that are hilariously garish. I really don’t think we should donate those.

All in all, it feels good to be actively relinquishing the hold of materialism. The desire for more is the type of sickness that creeps up on me slowly, and is hard to put out for good. Short of moving to south Sudan (which would actually be awesome), I have to prepare myself to fight the soul-crushing tide of advertisements and billboards. And it really is a fight, and one we all should take rather seriously, as our spending habits are responsible for many of the wars and other atrocities (sex trafficking, sweatshops). Oh but look at me, rambling on again. Let’s move on to what you really came here for:

A picture of a cute baby! Ok, having stood on my stool and judged the world, I actually bought something for the Ramona baby the other day. At babyGAP. I am obviously a sinner in need of redemption. But here’s the thing: they were selling discounted sunglasses, the kind that make you look like a grandma from the 1970s, no matter how old you really are. I couldn’t resist the empire on this one, folks. But it turns out the joke was on me, for the Ramona baby didn’t look like the hipster child I envisioned but was instead the spitting image of Elton John. And with that, I will leave you:

tiny dancer.

cry baby

 

now, i will probably regret putting this out for the internet to read, but i honestly think only my mom and a couple other crazies read this blog anyways. but be warned: judgemental issue coming up.

ramona got her first cold last week and we were all miserable. while teaching my friday night class i almost passed out from exhaustion. literally. i narrowly missed the whiteboard. my body loves sleep, what can i say.

after the initial terribleness of her sickness (in which she couldn’t sleep unless being rocked upright by one of us) it became clear that there was not a whole lot we could do to comfort her. she didn’t want to be held, rocked, suck on a pacifier, swaddled, jiggled–nothing helped her. so, in one of those moments of desperation we had an epiphany. or just an accident really. krispin put her down in her crib and went to make a bottle, and when he came back she was sound asleep.

huh.

since then we have let her cry herself to sleep and haven’t looked back since.

well, not really. i mean, the first part is true. in mom-land, the cry-it-out method (CIO) is a contentious subject. i had had people on both sides tell me what works best and i should try doing it RIGHT NOW and all that jazz. but really, i didn’t feel psychologically ready. and i didn’t want to hurt my baby. and i don’t mind soothing her to sleep. and i have a bit of ptsd when it comes to crying (hellooooooo, 3 months of colic), so i go into panic mode and just want to make it stop as soon as possible. so CIO wasn’t an option for me.

but then the sickness and the sleep deprivation and the baby who suddenly wasn’t soothed by me. so we tried it, the evil method, and it was just like everybody said: 10-15 minutes for the first 2 nights, 5 on the 3rd, 1 min last night. and ohmylanta, that baby now sleeps from 6:30pm-5:30am, eats a bunch, and then goes back to bed until 8:30. i am not holding my breath, but 3 nights in a row like this and i feel like a million bucks. or at least i don’t feel like passing out any time soon.

all this goes to say you have to do what’s right by you and yours. oh, and you should read this book.

i will say that i realized yesterday that i no longer get to rock my baby to sleep, which is sad (it is scream city if i even try). but i am trying to make lemonade out of the proverbial lemons. here are a few other examples:

new sleep schedule of going to bed at 6:30? instead of viewing it as another crushing example of how we can’t have a social life, i am going to choose to view this as a time to read books, work on subversive cross-stitching, and hang out with the hubs.

price of gasoline so high and naps being a vital part project-happy-well-rested-baby? instead of feeling trapped at my apartment/se neighborhood, i am viewing it as a chance to hang out with my neighbors more (intentional community, right?) and walking is good for the soul. or at least the muffin top.

ok, so i only have 2 examples. but i am trying.

oh, and stay tuned for friday, when i am going to post pictures of me cleaning out my closet. i know, right? i can’t wait either!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!