Hannah taught me a new game today.
It's called Booger or Banana?: What's that in Mommy's hair?
I've actually been quite busy with work lately - both the paying kind, which involves producing coherent, publishable thoughts; and the non-paying, which involves being the human-walker for Hannah. In an effort to apologize for a lack in posting, I'm offering these pictures up as a diversionary tactic ('ll warn you - the amount of pictures is really quite silly):
Hannah loves her garage sale find. She hasn't figured out how to make it move herself, though, much to my back's dismay.
Hannah's "Grandma Yankee"* came to town a few weeks ago. She refuses to smile for a camera, so I had to sneak around and catch what I could.
Caught in the act! The day after she figured it out, I was able to catch Naners in the act of crawling. She's quite the showman.
As you can see, the crawling is only used as a means to getting to furniture and other items to pull up on. See her making her way to the coffee table?
I wasn't going to rain on Tertia's parade, but then I couldn't help myself. Hannah absolutely adores books right now. She has one favorite in particular and she loves nothing more than to crawl into my lap and have me read it to her over and over while she helps turn the pages.
In a testament to her quest for independent mobility, here's Hannah, in the throws of her first miserable cold, creeping around our bedroom:
Saturday was a spectacular day, with the first hint of fall. Hannah and I went to the local pumpkin patch for some photo ops:
Yesterday was even more spectacular, and we went from speghetti straps to sweaters in a matter of days. We decided to enjoy the front lawn for a bit to celebrate:
Here's a self-portrait we decided to title "Mommy needs lipstick".
*That title was given to Todd's mother by him, not me. He also gave my mother the moniker "Grandma Hillbilly". Sweet, I know.
The other day, in an effort to eliminate another baby-hazard from our house, I cleared off our bookshelves and sold off nearly 200 books to our local used book store. The whole effort was sad for me because I love books. I love holding on to them as trophies. I love having overflowing bookshelves that speak to my years of knowledge and the joy of learning.
Because, you see, I used to be brilliant. I used to write amazingly complex, subtle, yet understandable sentences that proved hither-to-unthought concepts about seventeenth-century British poets. I used to write ten-page papers in Spanish. I took classes like Jewish-American Women Writers that counted two other pupils beside myself. Classes whose entire grade rested solely on the validity, creativity, and soundness of one twenty-page paper.
I wanted to keep all those books - the anthologies, the collections, the single works by obscure authors - to revel in the greatness that is now gone. Much in the same way I've held onto the smallest pants I've ever owned, simply to prove one day to someone (likely myself) that I was once that teeny, and that smart.
Because I am no longer. Four pregnancies have taken their toll. And the price they exacted was heavy indeed.
Instead of quick wit, I'm ponderous and mentally clumsy. Instead of deep thought, I contemplate the relative fullness of my diaper genie. And then I ponder the thought behind calling it a diaper genie. Should I rub it and see if it magically empties itself?
After taking stock of my new mental status, I asked my mom about her experiences. Would it ever come back, this former brilliance?
"No," she says. "At least not like it used to be. But there are flashes - brief moments where you feel like you've got it together." She sounds wistful.
So, just for the record, I used to be brilliant. And I once wore a size 2 pair of pants.
But I can't say I want that girl back. Because she didn't have a reason to own a diaper genie. And she wasn't nearly as cool as I.
1. That NBHHY for Cecily.
2. That the colds my family has been hosting for the past five or six days are subsiding, and we're slowly digging our way out from underneath the mountains of snotty tissue.
3. That I married one rockin' sweet husband, who, after witnessing a near meltdown on my part at Hannah's pediatrican visit (complete with the sobbing "I'm sorry, I'm not usually like this - but I'm sick and hormonal..."), decided to send me for a massage that very afternoon and to call my best friends to arrange a mommies-fly-the-coop night out tonight.
"If Momma Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy."
No? What, you're not hick enough to know that one? C'mon! Well, what you haven't heard is the preceeding phrase:
"If Baby Ain't Happy, Then Momma Ain't Happy, and..."
Yesterday when Hannah awoke from a nap and sneezed, a river of snot followed. She's caught whatever hellish cold-bug my husband and I have. It blows. Or rather, I do - my nose at least. Her's I just wipe. A lot.
She's miserable. Feverish. Lathargic. And I can't wait for this all to blow over.
At least she'll nap now. Miserable naps. Ugh.
One day soon I'll quit bitching. Mabye. Send me mentholated prayers.
We now bring you a report, live, from the field:
What can you tell us about your current situation, ma'am?
Well, I'm sick. I caught whatever my husband had and it ain't pretty. And my 9-month-old has been abducted and replaced by a very cranky look-alike. My pediatrician claims that this is normal for all babies her age, but she can't fool me. I know aliens took her. Ain't no one can convince me other wise. She won't sleep. She screams a lot. She won't eat full meals. But then, sometimes she does somthin' cute, like crawl to the table and pull herself up 'n whatnot. Makes it kinda hard to ask the aliens to take her back. Still, though, I don't know how much longer I can hold out.
Can you tell us more about your alien abductor?
Surely. She's just over 18 lbs. and 28 inches long. She's real purty to look at, 'cept when she's screamin' like I said before.
Do you expect any reinforcements sometime soon?
No, not really. The situation is lookin' pretty grim. My husband has to go to work, and our family is too far flung. We won't be seein' the likes of them for more than a week. S'pose I just have to dig in myself.
Dig in, indeed. Back to you in the newsroom, Connie.
Yesterday, even in the midst of all our sleep-deprived yuckiness, Hannah put two and two together and learned how to crawl. The feat was accomplished around four in the afternoon, and by evening's end she had mastered it enough to get around her nursery and make beelines for the obviously not kid-friendly items (i.e. the trash can, electrical outlets, curtains, and a mobile that was lying on the floor after she pulled it down the other day).
And again, despite the utter lack of any nap longer than 30 minutes, I was overwhelmed with pride and joy. As I watched her chase the cat in slow motion from one corner to another with wobbly glee, I cried. It is everything I ever hoped for over the last four years. I have a beautiful, strong, healthy, independent baby girl and she is crawling - making her way in the world. Crabby or not, it was a wonderful, astonishing day.
Perhpas Jo said it best yesterday (damn her for her remarkably lucid, well-worded thoughts so soon after giving birth!):
"I think you'll be happier when you can get moving yourself. And that is what will happen, soon and forever; I will spend the rest of my life watching you move away from me. It's okay, that's what I signed up for; it's worth it to get to know you."
As for the crabbiness, a brush against her ear this morning sent her into sobs and sent us both to the after-hours clinic to check it out. Nothing. Perfectly clear ears and no other obvious signs of illness. She could be teething. Or it could be a minor virus that's just making her feel punky. Or it could be all of her milestones. The doctor recommended letting her fuss it out - including learning to sit down on her own. He suggests just checking on her and telling her reassuring things every so often, but no other extraordinary measures. I'm fine with that so long as I know she's okay.
Of course, tomorrow is her 9-month birthday and her checkup, so I'll get to hear my own doctor's take on all of this, too. That, and I'll get to shell out another $20. But it was worth it for some peace of mind tonight. Man, she's good at the ear fake-outs!
"We've replaced this couples regular daughter with the new, fussy, no-nap-taking one. Let's see if they notice..."
OH. MY. GOD. What is up with my kid? She will not go to sleep, for naps or regular bedtime, despite all of our normal sleep-training efforts - and even some that are no-nos, like nursing, rocking, and taking walks. She's so freakin' sleep deprived it's criminal. She's crabby and her eyelids might fall off for all the rubbing she's been doing.
I'm at a loss. Is this because she can stand up now and thinks she should always be doing something? Sometimes I think its another ear infection, but she's faked me out on that one a number of times. There's no fever, and even at her most tired, she smiles and tries to play with the cat every time she walks past, so I don't think there's an actual illness.
Help! What do I do?
Let me tell you about the things that are annoying me today:
One of our local newscasters keeps referring to the bird flu as the "Evian" flu, instead of the avian flu. I'm pretty sure half the city has stopped buying bottled water for fear of dying. The fact that she has repeated the mispronunciation over several days time leads me to believe that the producers and writers at her station are equally dense and uninformed.
The same local news channel picked up a nation AP story about the Pakistan earthquake in which the reporter used the term "reachable" - as in, "many regions of Pakistan are only reachable by air".
As an audience, are we really so stupid as to force reporters to avoid the best-fitting term; in this case, "accessible"? I thought that someone who was inclined to watch the mid-day news in lieu of soap operas would likely be familiar with the word. Or if not, would be able to use the context clues in the sentence to deduce what it meant.
Even so, if you're going to eliminate "toughies" like accessible from your reporting, at least use the sentence construction that makes the most sense. While I'm not a fan of the passive voice, "many regions can only be reached by air" at least lends an air of education to the phrase.
"Reachable" is actually a word, unfortunately. But can we all agree to refrain from using it? At least in public? 'Kay, thanks.
And finally, in news unrelated to grammar, my daughter has learned to stand in her crib. While I find this amazing and cute and lovely, I am chagrined that she has not learned how to sit. This leads to an amazing amount of false-start naps, as I enter her room to find her screaming in frustration over her inability to sit down, dammitall, how can you leave me here to suffer, mom?!!!
Thank you all for the comments on my blog's new digs. But Andreah is due the credit, not me. Can you believe she turned out THREE designs for me to choose from in a matter of hours?! That's one creative sumbitch.
She was kind enough to leave my second favorite design in hiding as a template. I'll bring it out one day when I'm feeling bored with this one. Or maybe I'll have a contest and let you guys decide which is best.
The only downside is all the pressure I feel to have a real, continually updated blog now. I can't get away with all the sloppy, fly-by-night posts if I have an actual design! It implies competence. Dammit.