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Monday, December 22, 2008

xmas with the Lowes

Nana and Gumpa visit for xmas

Grandma Lowe (Nana) and Ron (Gumpa) came to town this past weekend to celebrate Xmas with Fay (and Fay's parents). We had a really great time and the feeling of xmas was enhanced by an enormous dumping of snow on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday we ventured out into the early snow to take Fay up to the Toys R Us in Times Square. Fay was amazed by the falling snow all around her (either that or her eyes were frozen open). And she loved Times Square. She kept pointing and grunting at all the lights. She liked Toys R Us a bit too...mostly the lighting fixtures and shiny things.


On Friday night the adults went out to dinner at Cookshop which was AMAZING. We all had nothing but good things to say about the food and the atmosphere was really festive for xmas. Fay spent the night sleeping. (at least until 4-5 am)

Actually, we attempted to switch Fay from two naps to one nap this weekend. On Friday Fay did not want to take her afternoon nap so we were able to put her to bed early (6pm) and she slept through to almost 6am. Since she was well rested with 12 hours of sleep, we were able to keep her up to 10am (normally she would take the first nap at 8am). She took a 2 hour nap and then stayed up until 6pm on Saturday night.

Everything seemed successful on Saturday and Sunday with the one nap schedule, but then last night I put her down at 6:45, hoping to move her back to a 7pm-7am routine and instead she woke up at 4am briefly and then 5am. She was exhausted but wouldn't sleep any longer, so today was a two nap day. We'll either fall back to the two nap routine now or alternate between one nap and two on different days. I read that this is a difficult transition.

I really just fear she will be crying out in the night and waking up at 5am when we are on vacation next week. So anything I can do to figure out her ideal sleeping schedule, I will do. Tonight I moved her bedtime back to 6:30.

...back to the weekend -- On Saturday we had brunch and opened presents at our apt. We got the tiniest little xmas tree for the occasion. It fits in a pot on the coffee table.

On Saturday afternoon we took a dare and attended a local theater's "act-a-long". This is where a small group of friends get together to draw acting parts to Its a Wonderful Life. Then they spontaneously put on a show with minimal props and no practice. We don't know the group really well -- we are patrons and friends of the theater while the majority of the gatherers were actors of the theater. So we didn't choose to take a part, but it was pretty fun to watch. I've actually never seen the movie, so it was a little challenging to follow along, but I managed to get the gist of it. The plot wasn't terribly complicated.

And that was it. Ryan and I took advantage of our out-of-towner-babysitters and went out to a movie on Saturday night. And then we said our goodbyes.

Now Ryan and I are preparing for our xmas trip to Jamaica. We leave on Dec 25th. We have booked a reservation at an all inclusive family resort in Runaway Bay. And the clincher that made us choose this particular resort is the inclusion of a "vacation nanny". I can't wait to see how that pans out. If I can actually read a book during the week I am on vacation I will have to give a big tip to our vacation nanny.

I also can't wait to see if Fay has warmed up to the idea of swimming and running her toes through the sand. She wasn't too keen on either last summer.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

5AM wake up

Fay has been waking up at 5am now for a couple weeks. 5am is just a *little* too early for mommy. The sun is not up, the world is quiet as little babies should be. Anything after 6am is acceptable. She's done this before, but in the past she has been cranky and it was fairly easy to feed her some milk and put her back to sleep. This time she is bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to start her day.

So after a couple attempts to change her bedtime to encourage a later wake up (the books say to move her bedtime earlier as she may be getting overtired and not sleeping well), we have started thinking that she may be transitioning from two naps to one.

Its hard for me to believe because she takes her naps pretty well, one at 8am and one at 2pm. Yesterday and today I'm trying to move her afternoon nap to 1:30 to see if she will get more tired with a longer afternoon. I also want to move her early nap later to see if it will soon become just one afternoon nap.

I'm a little hesitent to try moving the morning nap for a couple of reasons. 1) When you get up at 5AM, you are DREAMING of a little extra sleep by 8am, or at least a little down time while Fay sleeps. 2) With the holidays upon us, it would be nice to have a consistent schedule and not be messing around and experimenting with naptimes. My mom and Ron are in town this weekend, so I don't want to mess up our time together.

Guess I'll keep you posted. She just woke up from a very brief nap which started at 1:30. So hopefully she will be tired enough to sleep a full night tonight and push past the 5 am wakeup.

I would've tried it today but we were out last night

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

crazy growth spurt

Well, I can't imagine once Fay is a teenager and eating me out of house and home because I feel like thats what she is doing this week. Which is a bit of a surprise since last week I wrote a post called "hunger strike"

At first I thought it was the menu, but two days in a row Fay has left me scrounging for food in my to-go bag while eating lunch in the playroom.

She's had plenty of peanut butter before but never had a PB&J until this past Monday. Boy did she LOVE that sandwich. It was just adorable to see her taking bites off the sandwich. She didn't even mind the crust. And on Tuesday she ate an entire turkey/cream cheese sandwich along with other things.

She feels noticibly heavier and all of a sudden I'm noticing her clothes shrinking up. Luckily old navy is having a sale for the holidays and FREE shipping. Nice.

Monday, December 15, 2008


FDNY rescues Santa

Yesterday Fay and I and a couple other mom/babe pairs went to the annual "Santa Rescue" at the Firehouse museum in West Soho. The firemen pluck Santa off the roof of the firehouse and bring him down safely using the fire truck crane.

There was a big crowd of parents and kids watching the rescue and then we all headed inside the firehouse for some music and treats.

I had so much fun at this little event, mostly because Fay thouroughly enjoyed herself. She loved the music and all the kids running around. The only thing she didn't really like was Santa. I was hoping for a memorable photo of Fay's first encounter with Santa, and I think she really came through for me.

naughty or nice?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Food update

which one of these don't belong

Last week was a tough week as far as feeding Fay went. But we also managed to hit a fun milestone as well -- Fay feeding herself with a spoon.

This came about through another little mommy/Fay fight. We were over at our friend Marci's apt (Marci has twin girls and lives in our building so its SUPER easy to visit one another especially when its cold out). I brought one of Fay's favorites for dinner since she hadn't really eaten well for 2-3 days. I offered her black beans mixed with banana and steamed carrots. She used to love carrots but now she will have nothing to do with them.

We went back and forth three times between her screaming at me in refusal and getting down to play. I tried feeding her with a spoon, I tried putting the beans/banana on a plate so she could grab it, I tried using my hands to offer it. Each time she would scream at me, arch her back and make her gesture that she was done eating and wanted to get down ( She has two "signs" now. She shakes her head for NO, and shakes her arm a special way for "all done").

Finally, I fed myself from Fay's spoon and she became interested. Actually I think she was just hungry and finally giving in. But also, she grabbed the spoon from me and stuck it in her mouth. So we continued with me putting food on the spoon and handing it to her and she bringing the food on the spoon to her mouth. Cool!

And she's been eating pretty well since. I'm not sure if I had a breakthrough with mommy not giving in to Fay's toddler wants, or if it was a combination of a lot of things -- like wanting to use the spoon, changing tastes....AND perhaps teething. During one of her many screams last week I finally saw the molar we've been waiting for. There is a little molar peeking through her gums, way in the back.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

hunger strike

I guess I've been waiting for the moment when mealtime would get *really* difficult with Fay. In my mind I've gone back and forth between thinking she's a pretty good eater and thinking she's stubborn and fickle about what she eats. This week has been particularly hard. She has started to reject the food that she has liked in the past.

Some of her favorites since the beginning of solids and finger foods are steamed carrots, peas, turkey with cream cheese sandwich bites. Also she loves chicken with rice and veggies. This week she has not wanted ANY of those. I've gone back and forth between offering pureed versions of these foods and hand held, and she is still not interested.

Yesterday she didn't eat anything but breakfast (french toast) and milk all day. She refused chicken and apples and any veges.

I'm not all together sure if she is changing her tastes and digging her heals in or if she is just too distracted by all there is to learn that she doesn't really want to eat at all unless its just DIVINE food.

Also, I definitely think her appetite has decreased.

Today we had a *pretty* successful meal for lunch. I made her quiche with broccoli. She ate it, which made me VERY happy since it has eggs and cheese for protein along with veges. But she really only had about 6 bites before she was done. She wanted to stop eating and play, but then later she wanted one more bite and several more ounces of milk. Milk is to Fay as crack is to some people.

So I'm not wailing in desperation just yet. I still have an in with eggs and bananas I think. Two days ago she loved my spinach, banana, cheerio, milk mixture.

And I bet I could mix just about anything with yogurt and get it in her mouth ( and keep it in her mouth, more importantly).

But she is definitely changing her eating habits and I just feel I have to be careful not to let her slide down the chicken nugget, mac & cheese, apple juice hole.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

sick babies

Sometimes I think the neighborhood mommies (including myself) are in denial about the current health state of their babies. Its sorta an unwritten rule that if your baby is sick you should not bring him/her to a baby gathering for fear passing on the germs to other babies.

But sometimes the urge to get out of the house with the baby is so strong, that you just cannot bear to quarantine the baby along with your sanity. So you go out, and you minimize the belief that your child is sick.

A couple days ago a mom friend of mine told a group that her baby had thrown up over thanksgiving. It was a one time occurence and the doc did not find anything wrong, so she figured it was bad milk or bad food that brought it on.

Then, two days later another mom had stories of a vomiting kiddo. This baby threw up two nights in a row, but was fine and seemingly healthy all day long.

I spent time with both these kids, being careful not to let Fay suck on shared toys. But ALAS! Fay woke up last night vomiting, and then again this morning.

So we have a baby flu on our hands. Also one mom has fallen ill as well. (Cross my fingers that I don't get the flu a second time this season).

In hindsight its seems pretty clear that these babies are all passing the vomit bug to one another. But I find it so funny that even something as extreme as food spewing from the mouth of babes would not make us think that our babies were sick. As we sit together sharing parenting tips and lamenting loss of sleep, we tell each other..."it must be something he ate"

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kansas Thanksgiving

great grandpa and grandpa hang with Fay

We've just returned from our trip to Kansas for Thanksgiving. This trip was the end of an era because it will be the last thanksgiving we spend in Paola Kansas. Ryan and his family have been eating turkey dinner in Paola for over 36 years (Ryan's entire life) at his grandparents house. But now the house will be sold and Ryan's grandparents are living in a retirement home. So we will have to find another venue.

very busy

This of course was Fay's very first visit to Paola, so it seemed like the beginning of an era to us. Fay has such a WONDERFUL time playing with her best bud Sparky (I can't believe we don't have any photos of Spark!), and her favorite cousin Sam. It seems within minutes of arriving at the house, Sam was playing cards with Fay and it was her new favorite activity.

Andy explains the antenna?

Grandma and Grandpa Janssen were kind enough to take Fay off mommy's hands (literally), several times throughout the weekend. This was no small feat as Fay has taken to being very opinionated about what she does or rather DOES NOT want. She seems to have learned her own form of baby sign language which is frantically shaking her head side to side when she DOES NOT want something. This works for feeding time, holding time, changing time, when someone tries to touch her...pretty much everything. And it seems the affirmative is just a blank stare. Perhaps we can get her to nod her head in the future.

Fay got to visit with her great grandma Jane and Grandpa Bud several times throughout the trip. We visited them at their new home and also Bud came for dinners at the house. Its pretty amazing to see 4 generations in one room.

And we looked through a ton of old photos of Jane's and Bud's. There were several of Ryan at the exact age of Fay (13 months). Boy if they aren't spitting images of one another. The stick straight hair is a match, as are the quizzical expressions.

Photo of Ryan at exact same age

We had what we are calling Fay's "first steps" at the Paola house. Granted Fay has stood on her own, and she has taken some wobbly steps between her mom and dad after much prompting and pushing. :) BUT, on Friday evening Fay stood at the coffee table and I asked her to walk to me. She turned her little body, let go of the table, stablized herself, AND took TWO steps towards me. The fact that she let go and did not immediately sink to crawling position was a big deal. There was much cheering and hand clapping and a proud look on Fay's face.

The flights overall, OK. The trip to Paola was difficult. The flight was at 11:20 in the morning which meant we left the house before Fay's 1st nap (she takes two). Fay was too excited to sleep in the airport or on the plane, so we didn't get any naps in all day except for about 20 min in the car when we arrived. So the flight was really taxing -- Fay was cranky and mom was out of ideas. But surpringly she was a good girl when we arrived in Kansas and had fun meeting everyone. The flight back was a bit better as Fay slept in her daddy's arms for at least an hour. I actually read a book on the flight home, which seemed like such a luxury.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

burst of activity

Fay's play activity seems to have changed a bunch recently. Its so fun to watch her play. I think she has mostly discovered *containers*. She likes to put things inside and take them out. She's been playing with her shape sorter by putting the shapes in (through the large opening, not through the matching slots) and taking them out.

And yesterday she played with the nesting cups that she has played with soooo many times. Only this time she was having fun putting the small ones inside the larger ones. She didn't always get it right; she tried to put the bigger one in the smaller one. But she worked it out eventually.

I caught a video of her playing with kleenex. She luuuuuves to pull the kleenex out of the kleenex box of course. But after pulling about about 15, she decided to play with the kleenex and her toybox. Its pretty darn cute.

Last weekend we took part in our annual "Friends Thanksgiving". Usually we go out of town and rent a house with 4 couple friends and their kids. But this year we stayed in town because one of our dear friends has been diagnosed with brain cancer. He's deteriorated pretty rapidly in the past couple months, so we decided a while a go that it would be best to stay in town so we could all enjoy his company as well as each others.

It was a great day full of kids and cooking. Fun yet stressful as usual. It was really fun to see the kids one year older and how they interact with one another. Fay was hanging a lot with mommy though she did hang with the kids for a few brief moments. She was having too much fun to take her afternoon nap, so that made the early evening a bit difficult. But overall she was a trooper and even went to sleep in another baby's crib (Beck's).

Tomorrow we leave for thanksgiving in Kansas. We are really looking forward to Fay meeting her great aunts and uncles, and her great grandma and grandpa. Fingers crossed that the plane travel will go well. With Fay's new found interest in containers, I think if I bring a box and some items to fill it, it may just keep Fay entertained on the plane.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

telling first word?

OK, I'm not going to certify today as Fay's "first word" day. But I SWEAR I heard her say a word this afternoon...

We walked to the changing table. I was telling Fay that I was going to take off her diaper so she could take a bath. As soon as I set her on the changing I was about to say something like "lets get this diaper off..." Fay interrupted me and said


Now, Fay has been babbling a lot. She does ma ma ma, and ba ba ba, and da da da. But I've never heard her use the N sound. And yet, it was as clear as day.


I'm afraid if that was really her first word, I've got trouble ahead.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

one handed assisted walking

Fay has been using my hands to help her walk for over 3 months now. When it started, I thought...."she'll we walking any day now!" I remember in August when we left her with Grandma Sandy for 4 days, I was afraid she would walk for the first time when I wasn't there to see it.

Fay, however, had a much different schedule in mind. This week I finally got her to walk with ONE of my hands. I've tried it several times in the past and she would either get mad and scream at me, or just let go and start crawling instead. She's gotten so good at practically running while holding my two hands that its quite a difference to walk with just one. She has to sloooooow down and be careful.

But she has now accepted the one handed walking challenge and she's quite good at it. It looks almost as difficult as walking on her own, so now I'm convinced she'll be walking within a couple weeks. I'm sure I'm right this time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

intrusive comments -- flashback

ok, since I can see my readers like the couple of posts about the intrusive neighbor comments, I HAVE to tell you about the one from 2 weeks ago. And this one doesn't involve a baby or cold weather.

I am returning from the laundry room with a full bag of clean clothes. The bag is pretty big and heavy, but I am not having trouble carrying it nor am I grunting or making strained facial expressions. I approach the elevator to go back up just as a man come out of it.

Man: You know, the dry cleaners down the block does laundry.
Me: (cocking my head like a confused dog) Yes....?
Man: Well, I mean, I think it might be worth the time.
Me: (what the?...) ...I don't mind...doing the laundry.

OK, so here why I'm slightly perplexed. Did he really mean it was worth the time? Because in some ways it saves time to do the laundry myself. I don't have to wait 8 hours to get it back from the drop-off laundry. Perhaps he just assumes that everyone hates to do laundry and there is no benefit to doing it yourself. Its not *just* about saving money, though that is a big factor. Its also about control. I can separate the laundry as I choose. I can take some things out of the washer and NOT put them in the dryer. Not everyone wants to haphazardly throw their laundry into one big machine and one big dryer.

Also, does he think I am the only person living in NYC to NOT know about drop-off laundry services? They only have them on EVERY block because usually you don't have laundry in your building. I consider it a perk of owning my own apartment to have laundry machines that I can use 24 hours a day. Even if they are not in my apartment but on the ground floor or my building.

Jeez!. Who makes comments like that? He doesn't even know my name let alone my laundry situation.

snow flakes

This morning I went for my morning run. Fay has been accompanying me on these runs for about 2 months now. But this morning I decided it was too cold for baby and left her to play with daddy.

Good thing. I saw snow flakes. Imagine the comments I would have gotten!

Monday, November 17, 2008

intrusive comments -- take two

Later that day...

Fay is bundled in her winter coat. She had knee high socks on, red sweat pants. Mommy MAY have been a little underdressed. AND I was carrying Fay in the Ergo sling carrier (which adds extra warmth from mommy/baby combined body warmth).

Old man (with a capital O) coming into apt building: Its too cold for babies.

Me: Soooo, she can't go outside all day?
Old Man: Nope, its too cold out there for babies.
Me: Wow, sure will be hard to be confined to our apartment all day.

OK, I should not have been snide. He was just looking out for us I'm sure.

Oh and it was FORTY FIVE DEGREES outside. What happens when it gets even colder. Am I supposed to stock up and retire to the fallout shelter NOW?

intrusive comments -- a weekly occurance

I may have to start a second blog dedicated to all the intrusive comments I get in my building elevator. Mostly these comments are triggered by the fact that I have a baby with me.

Yesterday I went jogging in 50 degree weather ( windy too ) with Fay in the jogging stroller. It was about noon on a Sunday. I was wearing a short sleeved t-shirt and long pants. Fay was wearing a turtle neck, winter coat, long pants, socks and a blanket over her legs. For part of the run she was wearing a hat, until she yanked it off.

When I returned to the apt a woman who was heading out helped me with the door and then stopped to comment:

Woman: Thats all you're wearing? Isn't it cold out there?
Me: I was running, you get hot when you run.
Woman: (motioning to Fay) Was she running too?
Me: (trying not to show annoyance on my face) She was riding with me. But she's wearing a lot more clothing.

Thats the second time someone has moved from commenting on my skimpy running clothing to commenting on Fay's clothes when she is dressed completely appropriately. Its like they project my running outfit onto Fay's little body.

Wouldn't that be awesome, if I dressed Fay in a little Nike running outfit to match whatever I am wearing? Maybe I could give her little headphones and a pedometer too.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

the dress!

sun dress

I've recently expanded my craft repertoire to include sewing. I took a class last month on basic sewing; we completed a wrap dress over three classes. The class made me feel fairly confident because the wrap dress was pretty easy. I just need to improve the quality and consistency of my stitches. But that simply takes practice. SO, I attempted to make a little dress for Fay and I've just completed it!

It was hard to get a photo of Fay standing up in the dress, since she is not walking yet...

modeling the new dress

It fits pretty well, I have to take the shoulder straps up a little. And I may wait to do that until xmas time. I made this dress as a summer dress because we are going to Jamaica in December. So I don't know if she'll grow a little before then.

On other news, we have Fay's one year old shots this afternoon. I think it includes the flu shot, so that is probably a good thing. I'm still amazed that she did not catch it from her parents when we had it several weeks ago.

Today is our last "Toddler Yoga" class at the Educational Alliance (community organization). We've been going every Thursday for about 8 weeks. Fay only moderately likes the class content, but she enjoys being around the other babies and being in a matted room. But this means we will not have a scheduled class for a couple months. It seems most groups startup the baby classes again in January after the holidays.

I'm wondering how winter will go -- whether Fay and I will feel cooped up in the apt. But I'm optimistic. Our co-op has a playroom that I've joined for the year. Its a room in our building on the main floor filled with toys and more importantly -- other children.

Also, I have a decent size network of stay at home moms that frequently want to get together in our living rooms to let the kids play with new toys and get out of their own house. Our number of "playdates" have definitely picked up over the past couple of weeks as it has gotten colder and rainy.

And, lest I forget, the holidays are practically upon us! Next weekend is Friends Thanksgiving (we get together with friends and cook a bird), and the following is real Thanksgiving. We will travel to Kansas to see Ryan's family. Fay will meet her Great Great Grandma and Grandpa Shaver for the first time! Not to mention some aunts and uncles that I think are eager to see our little baby Ryan (she is still a spitting image of Ryan as a baby I think).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


little animals, vegetable, devil and detective

I'm a little late getting my Halloween post up with photos of Fay in her costume. Of course Sandy and/or Andy never fail to remind me when I've been remiss in my blogging duties! I shouldn't make fun though, because its nice to know that there are people eager to read Fay's baby blog.

Last Friday was Halloween. I spent Thursday preparing Fay's costume. I didn't have to make it but I did have to do some alterations and I had to dye some tights. I didn't search long and hard, but I kinda assumed that it would be difficult to find black baby tights. So I used some white tights and dyed them black. Fay was to be a pumpkin! Last year Grandma Sandy gave us a huge pumpkin costume when Fay was just a week old. It was made in a sleep sack style, so all I had to do for this year was cut out some legs and sew up the edges!

Daddy invited us to his office during the day because he and his staff usually dress up for Halloween. Fay was being a bit of a pill for the entire visit. She didn't want to be held by anyone but mommy, and she didn't want to eat her lunch but she was clearly starving. So it was not much fun for anyone.

first trick or treat!

However, things changed dramatically that evening. We met up with our neighborhood friends and babies and brought Fay to the co-op kiddie parade. Afterwards we did some very brief trick-or-treating (at ONE apartment) and then went to a friends house to gather with the kids. Fay is normally a little skittish when it comes to homes or environments that is she not familiar with...

if I could just reach....

But she LUUUVed being at Ella's house. She went right over to the toy stack and started digging in. It was really fun to watch and also quite a relief from holding her much of the day.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

one year molars

It seems Fay is right on time with the arrival of her one year molars. She's been teething for about two weeks now. At first I thought she had a wicked cold. We were on our way to a friend's baby's first bday party two weeks ago and Fay had the rosiest cheeks I've ever seen. Also snot seemed to be pouring out of her nose. I questioned even going to the party because I didn't want to get the other babies sick. But then the social butterfly in me took over and I just couldn't miss the party. I'm sure Fay would agree with the choice if she had any words.

But now I'm certain she never had a cold, she's just been teething for two weeks. When it finally dawned on me Fay was busy sticking a soft stuffed toy waaaaay to the back of her mouth and chomping/sucking on it for 15 minutes. Her eating habits have been somewhat erratic too. Sometimes at lunch time shes just not hungry for anything. And she has a little cough a night which I think is from the drool draining down her throat.

I think she's about done...the symptoms are letting up. She's sleeping through the night again without any wake ups (except for some cute little coughs occasionally). But I have yet to see the molars. Maybe I'll have to do a little inspecting tomorrow.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fay's Birthday Party


We had Fay's birthday party on Saturday. I believe Fay had an AWESOME time. Sometimes she gets skittish around other babies or adults and needs her mom to hold her and create a little safety zone. But she seemed quite comfortable being at home with all the visitors. She was playing and smiling and crawling around. She also LUUUUVVVVED the mini-pumpkin pies. I think she had three. Whipped cream wasn't bad either.

she's havin a good day

We were indoors due to rain. Ryan and I were concerned that it would get too crowded and overwhelming with all the adults and kiddos in our living room. But I think it turned out to be quite comfortable. There were people on the balcony - which helped with the extra space. And there were a handful of friends that couldn't make it because they were out of town or had other engagements. So I think the number of people was perfect. We had about 24 adults and 13 kids.

We had a great weekend with the Grandmas too. On Friday we all went to the Essex Market cafe to get yelled at and harassed by the servers. They are known for being a bit surly, but I felt like they wanted to throw down at one point. They were miffed at us because we came in with a party of four but then ran into our neighborhood friend Dia and turned into a party of 5. Plus, I immediately split my plate with Dia because it was too much for me. The server came over and said we broke their only two rules: 1) you cannot have a party larger than four and 2) everyone has to order something. So Dia got a menu and looked it over. When the server came back to take her order he just about exploded when she asked for it TO-GO. He thought that was not at all rule compliant.

Ryan and I got to go out BOTH nights this weekend. On Friday we went to a Broadway show with the grandmas and on Saturday the grandmas babysat while we went out for a nice dinner.

The whole weekend was quite a success and now I am enjoying having a Fay nap time where I neither have to knit nor cook. In preparation for the party I knitted about 20 finger puppets to give as favors. I was in crunch mode by the end trying to make enough. But I think they went over well. I'll have to dig up a photo of them -- I think my mom took one.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy ONE YEAR Birthday Fay!

birthday morning

I can hardly believe its been a whole year since Fay pushed her way out of my body. All day I've been thinking about the Birth day and all of the past year. I went through all of my photos of Fay from last year because I am making a photo album to put out for her birthday party on Saturday. And it was so fun to see the changes in her face and development. The first week photos are just amazing. You can see a little bit of Fay's face in this squishy new born face.

I really wish Fay could know that its her birthday! I kept telling her but I don't think she quite got it. :) So, instead, I just made sure we did all the things Fay would want to do. We ate her favorite foods: french toast with berries, chicken and rice with veggies, eggs and spinach. Yum!

first present

We started off the morning opening a present from Great Aunt Karen. The paper and ribbon was especially fun. And the sweater was sooooo cute. I had a hard time getting a good photo of the front -- it has a reindeer with little bells that hang off the sweater. I should mention that Fay had some particularly good bed head for her birthday. I guess that means she got a good night sleep.

birthday sweater

After nap and lunch we went to the Seward playroom and played with baby Maurice and all the marvelous toys. Fay had a grand grand time in the playroom. She was very independent and did a lot of exploring on her own.

After the 2nd nap we did some laundry (oops! thats not fun on a birthday). We did the laundry because we had received some new/used sleepwear for Fay that I wanted to wash first. So, Fay did get some good stuff out of the deal -- she got new jammies to wear on the first night of her second year.

end of a great bday!

Daddy came home early from work, so Fay had a great time playing with him before bed.

Overall a great great birthday. There was no cake, but we will have a party on Saturday with some pumpkin pie. Since this is mommy's favorite, I'm sure Fay will like it too. :)

Fay's Grandma Sandy comes to town tonight and her Grandma Jan comes tomorrow. On Saturday we will throw a little party for our friends and Fay's baby friends.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Communication breakthrough

So Fay and I had a memorable moment last week. Fay LUVS to climb on the playground structures. She can't walk yet, so its the perfect thing for her to crawl up on her hands an knees. She gets up high, and she clearly has a sense of accomplishment and independence. I've been trying to teach Fay how to descend the stairs "feet first". So she either has to turn around and go back the way she came, or she has to sit on her butt and put her feet on the stairs. The front way is really for things like the slide. I don't think it would work for stairs at this point.

Well, I've been teaching this to her for over 2 weeks. At first she got annoyed that I wasn't helping her down by picking her up or giving her my fingers for balance. Then, she tolerated me turning her body around and putting her feet on the lower stair. BUT, last week, on Tuesday I believe, she turned around all on her own and backed down a stair!

Not only is this exciting because descending stairs correctly is a really good thing ( I don't have to worry about heights quite as much, not to mention Fay sitting on the couch), but its also proof that she understands me when I try to teach her things.

Obviously she has learned other things from me, but this one was really the first things I repeatedly, diligently tried to teach her and.....saw results!

Some of the other things I'm repeatedly, diligently, trying to teach her but have seen not much progress.....

1. Say Dada, or Daddy
2. Clap her hands
3. High Five ( She may or may not do this, she does like to raise her hand when I raise mine)
4. Wave bye, bye.

Then there are the things that she learned by herself....

1. She pushes her arms through the sleeves once I get a new shirt over her head.
2. Pulls up on my legs and rubs her mouth back and forth on my leg to indicate hunger or thirst (like rooting).
3. Raises one hand and does a Miss America type wave when she wants someone's attention from across the room

I should mention her recent progress towards walking. Right now Fay is an excellent furniture cruiser. She can walk her way from one piece of furniture to the next. Although she would much prefer to use mommy's fingers to help her walk around the room.
Last week she started consistently letting go of the furniture with both hands and standing in place. At first it seemed as if she forgot to hold on and just didn't fall, until realizing the she was standing at which time she would gingerly lower herself to the ground. But now I think she is more comfortable with the idea of standing, and intentionally lets go. For instances, if she's holding a toy and wants to hold it with both hands while standing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fay's new hat

reluctant model

It got really chilly last week and Fay doesn't have a winter hat yet this season, so I decided I would knit her one. It took me a lot longer than I expected. Normally hats knit up pretty quickly because they are knit in the round and are never really that complicated. Well, the thing that complicated Fay's hat is that its circumference is fairly small. Too small for circular needles, so I had to knit it using 4 double pointed needles. The reason that takes longer is you have to continuously, TEDIOUSLY transfer the yarn from needle to needle as you knit around each row. ugh.

hat in progress finished toddler hat

So I think it took me over a week of evening knitting. I finished it last night. It turned out beautifully, though it is a little big. Thats ok, better too big than too small. She can grow into it and I can roll it over until then.

Fay doesn't quite love it yet, as you can see from the photo. But I'm sure she'll cherish it some day! :)

Friday, October 10, 2008


We went to the doctor yesterday to check out Fay's rash. I took a photo of it, but it was really hard to capture. Its a blotchy redness all over her trunk. Its not raised/bumpy. Its just red.

Fay's pediatrician is across the street from our apt. Convenience was a big part of our selection. :) Unfortunately, yesterday was Yum Kippur and our doctor was not working. Nor would she be working until Sunday. So I had to go to the alternate doctor which was way up on 23rd street (two buses away).

The doctor was very nice. I read his card while I was waiting and saw that he got his license in 2004, so he was rather young. Its funny when the doctors start becoming younger than yourself. As you grow up, doctors are such a figure of authority and respect. And then they get younger and younger relative to yourself. But then this is Fay's doctor, so he is much older than her!

Fay was none too happy to be examined...poked, prodded, undressed. But the verdict was a good one. The doctor said she does not have a fever or ear infection. The rash is probably just from a virus and she should recover on her own in a couple days.

Ryan and I think that perhaps she got a mini version of our flu, since she had that flu shot a couple months ago.

This morning she is sleeping a TON. She woke up at 6 to nurse a little and went right back to sleep and is STILL asleep at 8:30. Thats over 13 hours. Hopefully the rest will help her get rid of the rash.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


A couple of unwelcome personality traits have crept into Fay's daily demeanor over the past week or two.

First she has become a bit of a clingy mama's girl. And she does not like it when strangers (or friends!) say hi to her. She likes to cry at people when they say hello. This the elevator, in the stroller, at the playground. Wherever!

Also she's been waking up SUPER CRANKY. She'll look excited for me to pick her up but then when I do, she'll fuss and cry and arch her back!

The first clingy behavior, I've been attributing to her age. I've read that kids can be wary of strangers, and attached to mama during this age. Plus some of my mom friends with babies of similar age have said their kids are doing some of the same.

I wasn't sure what was up with the crankiness until yesterday Fay would eat almost nothing that I put before her. Now I'm starting to think she is going through some painful teething. She woke up a couple nights ago almost inconsolable for about 30 min. I gave her some Tylenol, which hopefully helped because she finally went back to sleep.

I just read that clingy behavior can sometimes be attributed to teething as well. Thats funny. And my hunch is that they just occur around the same age, because I can't think of why the two would be behaviorally related.

Now Fay has a rash on her trunk. Not a raised rash, so its not from drool. But I wonder if it is a heat rash, if she has a fever. I'm thinking of dashing over to the doctor when she wakes up just to see if its nothing to worry about. Hopefully she'll say, thats from teething!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

cooking for baby

mmm french toast with berries

I've been experimenting with different foods and recipes for Fay. Fay is not necessarily a picky eater, but she does know what she likes. And she has a preference towards feeding herself instead of being spoon fed. This makes things difficult since it introduces different shapes and textures which Fay may not like or be familiar with even if she likes the taste. For example, she loves the taste of pureed green beans. But she will not eat a whole steamed green bean. I've only tried twice, so they are not out of the question ( I read somewhere you have to try foods 20 times or so before a baby/toddler will like them)

I love this website called weelicious. She has a ton of recipes and ideas for baby and toddler food. Some are as easy as berry topping on french toast. And some seem a little exotic like "Cur-wee".

my attempt at "cur-wee"

I've tried the french toast idea and Fay looooooved it (see photo above!). I think it is her new favorite breakfast. I also tried the baked apple for breakfast, which is now a weekly staple. I use it on my running days...Fay and I go out jogging for a 1/2 hour while the apple bakes and Voila! When we return breakfast is served.

Today I tried the Cur-wee recipe

I was so excited to try this on Fay because it seems like perfect finger food. And the sauce is not spicy, its just a nice unique flavor.

Well, the verdict is in and Fay hated it. She took a couple bites, spit them out, and then just cried when I approached her with a handful or bowlful of cur-wee. Ahhhh, Sigh. I will try it on her again tonight. But I'm not optimistic that it will be a winner today.

Its so hard to try new things on your baby/toddler because if you go through any effort and they hate it, you really aren't rewarded for the effort or the imagination. I could have just steamed up some carrots and Fay would've had a much lovelier lunch (through her eyes). But I'll keep trying. I want to get a long list of foods that she likes so I have a thick baby idea/recipe box to turn to.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The flu strikes at Fay's home

Its Sunday night. Ryan is asleep, but before drifting off he named this weekend "the worst weekend ever".

On Thursday night I had what I thought was the beginning symptoms of a cold. I had a sore throat. So on Friday I took some zinc medicine which is supposed to reduce the symptoms of a cold. It seemed to work fairly well. I was feeling ok as Ryan and I headed out to a play on Friday night. But I started to feel extremely tired and congested 1/2 way through the play and we ended up leaving early. We grabbed some food and by the time I got home my stomach was feeling ill. I started to think I had food poisoning *on top* of getting a cold. What luck!

The next morning I woke up with Fay at 6am and started nursing her (I'm still nursing mornings and nights). Well about two suckles in I started to wretch. Let me tell you. That is a horrible feeling to have your baby in your arms and have your stomach turn against you...totally out of control. I was afraid I would loose it all over my nursing couch. So I ran Fay into our bedroom and laid her with Ryan, then ran out to the porcelain god.

So Ryan took care of Fay all morning, until I peeked out around 10am. I was starting to think this might be the flu because my body started to ache and I was alternating between feeling super hot and having the chills. I think I was out of bed for about a half hour before I had to go back. My limbs aaaaaached!

I was able to get a little food down at about 4pm and stay out of bed for a while. Fay and I caught up on some missed time but I was afraid of getting her sick so I didn't want to get too close. I was pretty weak and could barely hold her for more than a couple minutes.

I kept thinking, I am sooo glad this happened on a weekend. I don't know how I could have cared for Fay if I'd been sick while Ryan was at work. I haven't had a flu like this since I was a little kid.

I went to bed at 8pm on Saturday night with some pain medication in my belly for the wicked headache that rounded off the flu symptoms.

I slept really well and got a full 10 hours of sleep....EXCEPT....for the times I was awakened by Ryan getting up to worship his own porcelain god.

So, Sunday was Ryan's flu day. We were quite the pair. I can only hope that Fay's flu day is not tomorrow, nor any day this week. But I was reminded by a mother in the neighborhood that a flu shot is part of the 9 month shots. So hopefully she is somewhat covered.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fay turns 11 months

Well, the big birthday is one month from today. However, I thought I'd mark this minor eleven month milestone with a little video. I think this video will embarrass Fay for many years to come. We'd like to thank Grandpa Lowe for the dancing music...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

beck turns one (the photos have it)

Just a few things to say about Beck's first birthday and his party we attended yesterday.

Beck was adorable and walking around the party like a big boy. He also showed off his talking ability. I heard "mama!" several times.

beck turns one!

Fay reminised about the musical table her grammy had in Nebraska, and tried out her new smile. She's been doing this thing now with her face when she smiles. She scrunches up her nose and forehead and opens her mouth to bear her teeth. Its pretty cute. I was wondering where she got it from when I caught her dad doing the same type of expression TO fay yesterday. Hmmm.

Fay's new smile

Lastly, take a look at this picture of Ryan attending Beck's birthday party. There were tons of kids running around from ages 1-4. Ryan was standing in the kitchen at one point, beer in hand, looking out across the kid filled room. A mom came over to him and said somewhat in jest "we've decided you look too creepy to be at a child's birthday party." Judge for yourself....

would you believe he's at a child's party?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

new kicks

Fay's kicks

Fay seems like she is on the cusp of walking. Of course I've been saying that for a month so it could be days or it could be weeks before she really walks. She continues to use my fingers to stabilize herself as she "walks" around the living room, the playground, just about anywhere. My favorite is when she is seated on the floor and decides to crawl over to me, pull up on my jeans, take my fingers for balance and then "walk" back to where she was originally seated and continue to play. I'm not sure if she has had a change of mind, or if she is getting me to come over and play with her. Either way, its precious.

Last Wednesday Ryan came home from work and was playing in the living room with Fay when he witnessed her stand up by herself from a seated position. I was in the kitchen so I did not see the act, though I saw her standing there afterward.

So, due to her progress and the weather turning cooler, I decided to go to a neighborhood kiddie shoe store to look for some good first steps shoes. I ended up spending way too much on a pair of little pink sneakers for Fay. I guess I'm a sucker for baby shoes. Luckily I was able to escape without purchasing any tights because I LOOOOVE the way tights highlight a babies chubby little thighs.

Fay tried the sneakers out on the playground and she handles herself well in them. They are a tad big (to grow into) but she "walks" in them fine.

When I got them home and photographed them for this blog entry, it dawned on me that they look an awful lot like another pair of sneakers in the house.

mom and baby kicks

Jeez. Does this mean we are going to have to start wearing matching outfits? Kinda scary considering the length of Fay's dresses.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Nebraska Vacation (part 4 of 4)


After spending 4 days away from our baby girl. Ryan and I were finally reunited with her at Dismal River Golf Course back in Nebraska. We had planned to meet up with Fay's OTHER grandparents and cousins(!!) for a weekend at Dismal Golf Resort. And the Janssens planned to drive Fay from Kearney to Dismal for our little reunion.

Dismal River is in the middle of the Sandhills so it is quite a hike to get to from Avon Colorado ( 7 hour drive). And there is not much around it except for prairies and cows.

We arrived about 15 minutes before Fay. I could barely wait to see her car coming up the long dirt road. When she finally arrived she was having quite a miserable car ride (not in love with the car seat) and she emerged, crying, from the car. Of course I thought being in mommy's arms would immediately calm her. But she was a little confused at first to see me and daddy, so it probably only added to the emotional outburst she was having. But she calmed down quickly enough, and clung to me, which made me pretty happy to have her in my arms at last.

Ryan and I spend 2 days at Dismal, visiting with my family, golfing and touring a ranch. On Saturday, all the non-golfers (re: women ) toured a nearby ranch. We rode horses, met some cows, visited with the chickens and learned a little about what goes on on a ranch. At one point we were on a truck surrounded by mooing cows and Fay's eyes looked like the might pop out of her head in awe.

Fay rides a horse!

The other highlight of course was getting Fay up on a horse. I was a little wary, but the ranch owner said she used to put her baby on her back when she had to do some work on the ranch while riding a horse. I guess I'm a little citified!

It was really great to see Fay interact with her cousins. They all wanted to play with her and she loves seeing what the big girls do. We spend a lot of time with a little toy table that makes music when you press the buttons. Fay would dance a little while holding onto the table and her cousins would sing a long with the alphabet song.

And that just about ends the vacation. Ryan and I drove back to the Janssens on Sunday afternoon before flying out on Monday. Fay got to see Sparky one last time, which she loved. And I swear Fay was an entirely different baby on the plane ride home. She seemed more energetic, even more curious and simply could not sit still. Needless to say she received a lot of stimulation on the Nebraska vacation and I think she definitely matured a bit (if you can use the term mature for a baby!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nebraska Vacation (part 3 of 4)

Now its getting a bit late to be writing about our vacation, so I'll have to whip out a few posts. After our hiking/camping trip we drove a couple hours west to the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch resort at Avon Colorado. Boy did we deserve that spa-hotel after the torturous hiking trip. We had reserved a room on the club level of the hotel which means we essentially had an extended living room outside of our hotel room. The floor provides you with open access to liquor and wine as well as 5 food "presentations" per day. So they don't offer you a full meal, per say, but really you could probably eat enough to get by. We certainly were able to satisfy our breakfast needs with the fresh fruit, oatmeal and coffee that was set out. This is truely the way to go. Its so nice to feel like you are not just trapped in your hotel room. There were few enough people at any given time that it was always comfortable to lounge out in the club floor living room.

Upon arrival, I booked a pedicure and Ryan got a massage. Good way to start the luxury portion of our vacation! Then we had dinner at the hotel at their beautiful restaurant.

The next day we lounged by the pool/hot tub, played some tennis and finished the day by watching Obama's acceptance speech in the hotel bar/cafe. All in all it was a wonderful way to relax after hiking. Not to mention, relaxing without a baby. It was the first time since Fay's birth that I was allowed to sleep as late as I wished. Of course I slept until the late hour of 8am or so. My body couldn't really adjust to non-baby time that easily.

I would definitely return to this hotel though. In the winter it would probably be packed to the gills -- because it even has a ski lift right out the back door.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

sleep habits

Boy did I pick the right time to stay home for a while with Fay. Not only is she SUPER fun at this age, she is sleeping really well and consistently.

Its so nice to plan a day around a known sleep schedule. Fay wakes up around 6am. We usually play indoors and eat breakfast for the morning period. Although, I have started running in the morning with Fay too. So after a bit of boob (still doing the boob in mornings and evenings!), we head out, 3x a week for a jog along the east river. Fay seems to enjoy it except for a brief stint on the return trip where the sun is right in her eyes. The stroller shade can't block it out!

Then Fay naps between 8am and 10am fairly consistently.

Then we have the long period of the day. I usually put Fay down for a nap around 2:30. So we have around 4 hours to go out and do something fun. So far I've done some playdates with the neighborhoods moms I met during maternity leave. But I've also been doing some research on available resources in the city. Today we are going to check out a place in brooklyn that is offering a free sing-a-long: The Moxie Spot. I hope the trek isn't too long and that its worth it for the music. Fay loves a little music.

The afternoon nap lasts from 2:30 to approximately 4:30. After that nap I either take her to Seward Park to see some friends and relax on the lawn. Or we'll go to the park to swing or chase pigeons (Fay's FAVORITE activity). Or we might stay home and eat/bathe and relax before bed at 7pm.

I'm on week two of project stay-at-home-mom. And I'm really enjoying the time with Fay.

(Don't worry, I still have to finish the posts on the Nebraska vacation. But I wanted to write this post as I was thinking about it.)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Nebraska Vacation (part 2 of 4)

[Insert photo here as soon as our mac is fixed which has our iPhone hiking photos]

After spending 3 days with Ryan's folks, Ryan and I headed off to Colorado for some hiking and camping. It was a 5 hour drive to our campsite 45 minutes outside of Denver. Ryan had prepared us well for our hike. We were to be doing a bit of wilderness hiking and camping so we needed to be pretty self-sufficient. We wouldn't even have potable water available necessarily, so we needed to account for everything. Ryan bought a camping stove and water filter in preparation for the trip, but we had to hold off on buying the gas until we were in NE because obviously we couldn't bring that on the plane. When we finally made it to Denver we thought we would stop at a town to buy some gas and groceries before hitting our initial campsite. Turns out, every town west of Denver on the highway is tiny. We kept thinking we would hit "the" big town near our campsite but we never did. Finally we arrived in Grant, our campsite town, which literally consists of a General Store and a Motel. I asked if there was a restaurant in town and the woman at the General Store said she would really like it if they did have one. It would be better for the Motel business.

Turn out the General Store did not have the gas we needed, nor did several neighboring towns so we had to do without. We bought a couple candle like "emergency" fuel thingies and loaded up on the minimal amount of food necessary.

We attempted to start a fire at our initial campsite but that was a no go because it started to rain and apparently the wood was already previously soaked. So to begin our big hiking/camping trip, we ate at a nearby bar.

The next day we set out on our hike to Abyss Lake: Abyss Lake Trail

The hike is described as a "strenuous one day hike". Ryan and I, being seasoned Patagonia hikers thought this would be no problem for us. We planned to hike it in one day and camp at Lake Abyss. We were wrong. So very wrong. The trail kicked my ass about 1/2 way in. I started getting really exhausted after brief stretches. It was basically all uphill on the 2nd half and I completely forgot that I am pretty sensitive to elevation sickness. In the past I've gotten uncomfortably "sick" at Breckenridge which is around 9000 feet. For the Abyss hike, we started around 9400 feet and went to 12,600 feet. Ryan started getting affected about the last hour of the hike. He was short on breath and said that normally trivial tasks seems exhausting -- like moving around rocks to secure the tent.

The hike was 7 hours in length. We originally thought we'd do it in 5 max. By the time we got the the lake I was so miserable all I could do was climb into the tent. I had a headache and my fingers were numbing at the tips. I was also nauseated. Ryan didn't feel terrific either but he took care of me. He went on ahead to put up the tent -- fearful of nightfall. And he cooked our little Chunky Soup cans over the gas candles. (Thanks for those!). Neither of us really felt like eating, but we chowed down in the tent, in our sleeping bags. After dinner we both crashed. It was probably 7 o'clock. I think I slept a little out of pure exhaustion. But not long into the night I was tossing and turning and could not sleep. My muscles ached. Its hard to describe what I was feeling -- every time I tried to bend my knees and turn on my side, I got this extremely uncomfortable feeling. So I had lie on my back and keep my arms and legs straight out. Finally after hours of torture, I whispered to Ryan, "Are you awake?". He was experiencing his own version of torture -- he felt like he was suffocating. He said it felt like someone had a pillow over his head.

Ryan got the idea to open up the tent rain tarp completely, so more air could circulate. That did something good. We were both able to sleep after that. But when we woke up at dawn, my first words were. "Forget breakfast, lets get the hell out of here." All I could think about is the further we got from that campsite, the more oxygen there would be in the air. Unfortunately, I had a headache most of the hike down. But fortunately, the hike was DOWN the entire way! :)

On a positive note, the trail was BEAUTIFUL. As the difficulty of the hike surpassed our expectations, so did the beauty. I've never hiked in Colorado before and I really didn't know how breathtaking it could be. We saw natural waterfalls, several beaver dams, beaver gnawed trees (cute!) and tons of mountain-scapes and babbling brooks. I don't think I would do that particular trail again for the altitude problems, but I will return to Colorado.

Next up....a much deserved Ritz Carlton Spa mini-vacation.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nebraska Vacation (part 1 of 4)

Grandma and Grandpa

We have just returned from a family vacation in Nebraska and Colorado. We had so much fun, I don't think I can condense the story into one post, so I'll split it into 4 parts. This suits the vacation which was also divided into four parts. Unfortunately I don't have photos from the trip because Ryan and I forgot to bring our camera. So I'll have to beg and borrow photos from my family to post here.

We started our vacation with a trip to Kearney Nebraska to visit Ryan's parents. Kearney is a little difficult to get to, making our travel day a FULL travel day. We left our apt at 5:30 in the morning and arrived at the Janssen's at around 4pm after two flights and a 3 hour car ride. Fay was wonderful on the flights, sleeping and flirting with all the passengers the entire time.

I should mention that I was dreading the trip a little because this would be the first time I was to leave Fay and go off with Ryan for our own mini-vacation. But upon arriving at the Janssens some of my fears subsided; there were soooo many toys and curiosities for Fay to investigate that she barely needed mom anymore.

AND I can't forget to mention Sparky: Fay's new BFF. Sparky is Sandy's little Yorkie. He was super excited to meet Fay. He licked her face about a million times and Fay was super excited to meet Sparky. We thought they would be fast friends. And they were for the most part. Although after a few hair tugs by Fay, Sparky was a little careful on how close he let the little child monster get. Mostly they played "tease-the-baby" where Sparky would run around from the kitchen to the living room to the kitchen and Fay would attempt to chase him while crawling or (assisted) walking.

We spent 3 days at the Janssens where Ryan golfed with his dad and Fay, Sandy and I played. We visited the petting zoo where Fay was in AWE of the chickens and geese. We played on the endless lawn and with all the new toys. The best toy was the little "pull-up" table where Fay could press buttons to make music. We found out Fay has a little rhythm in her -- she would bounce up and down to dance when the music started playing.

Next up, Ryan and Jess desert Fay to go hiking in Colorado....

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Big changes

last days of mandy

Last days of Mandy....

I feel like I haven't written in a looooog time. I've been consumed, physically and emotionally with finding a new nanny. I was mostly using craigslist which I think was my number one mistake. I found Mandy there the first time around so I thought if I looked hard enough and interviewd enough people that I'd find Mandy #2. But I just keep finding mismatches.

I was getting really stressed out about it last weekend. I think it was the I-only-have-two-weeks-left-to-find-a-nanny stress point. And I started psychoanalysing myself....

"Maybe I can't find a nanny because I don't want a nanny!"

"Maybe I don't think anyone is capable of taking care of my little Fay!"

So I considered the possibility of staying with Fay myself. I have thought about it before. And I tend to come to the same conclusion. I don't want to be a stay-at-home-mom full time. I like having a job outside the home. But I also really miss Fay and when I go to a job that I don't really love, I question my priorities. So I think the problem lies in finding a job that I love -- or at least that I love more than the current job.

So after having a long discussion with Ryan, I quit my job last week.

I plan to take a little time to be with Fay. (Maybe even *be there* when she walks for the first time!) And look for a job in the meantime. I worry that this is the right decision. But I guess I can't question it too much or I'll go crazy. Hopefully it will all work out ok.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Seeking Nanny...Again!

baby in a box

The big sad news around our house is that we are loosing our nanny, Mandy. We LOVE Mandy. We also hate searching for a new nanny. Its tough to find a person that you trust to care for your baby. I've been searching now for about a week and there are plenty of qualified, good people out there that could care for Fay just fine. But I want the really exceptional one that I feel comfortable inviting into my home.

I'm not sure how I did it the first time, perhaps it was just luck. But when Mandy comes each morning at 8am sharp, I consistently end up talking to her about Fay, or about other things until I'm running out the door, almost late for work. We love to ouu and ahh over Fay. We laugh about her when she's grumpy and stubborn (silly baby! you're not in charge!), and we get excited about her little accomplishments and changes. Mandy has declared that she would like to have Fay walking by the time she leaves at the end of August. I doubt this will happen since Fay will only be 10 months but she is well on her way. Did I mention that Fay is pulling up on furniture and walking while holding on (for dear life and balance) to my fingers? Much of this is due to Mandy's encouragement I have no doubt.

So now I'm on the hunt. I have 3 weeks to go before Ryan and I leave for a Nebraska vacation and have to return to a home minus the Manders (as we like to call her). Cross your fingers for me.

(Photo at top is courtesy of Manders. One of the many creative playtimes with Fay -- put her in a diaper box!)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

First work week without THE PUMP

Last weekend I had the spa day on Friday which forced me not to feed Fay for 7 hours straight with the boob. We had been planning on starting weening soon because we have a vacation at the end of August where we will be apart from Fay for 4 days (eek!). So I thought I might as well continue weening last Saturday and see how it goes.

Surprisingly it went pretty well. I fed Fay from the boob when she first woke up and any time she asked until her first nap. Then every feeding after that I gave her either formula or mama milk from the bottle. She would nuzzle into my chest to ask for it and I would just redirect her to the bottle.

Then I fed her for her bedtime feeding from the boob. When it was finally time, I was DYING to give her the boob. Not that I was in pain or engorged, but I just missed it all day long. I really do like the fact that I can give her something no one else can.

On Monday I left for work without my pumping supplies for the first time in 4.5 months. Wow, lots of pumping that was. Now I go through my work day and I don't have to schedule it in. I was always watching the clock to make sure I didn't miss my pumping window. The only part I did enjoy about pumping at work was having a 15 minute break to sit and think about Fay. That was kind of calming and nice.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy birthday Mommy!

Yesterday was my birthday. My 36th birthday to be exact. And my first birthday as a mom. It was also a Friday which is one of my new weekend days ever since going back to work at 4 days a week.

So I was pretty excited to not work on my birthday, spend the day with Fay, and go out to a special dinner with Ryan in the evening. But when I went to get Fay at 5:55am there was a little greeting card in her crib with the word "Mommy" scribbled on the envelope in what appeared to be crayon.

After nurisng Fay we opened the card together and it told me that Daddy was sending me away to a special place for my birthday and that Fay would miss me.

I was put into a cab at 9:30 and sent to an address in Chinatown. I arrived and discovered the address housed a day spa. I then proceeded to have 7.5 HOURS OF TREATMENTS. Geez! It didn't seem that long when I was doing them all. Heres the run down. I got 1) A full body scrubbing/cleansing. 2) Green Salad while waiting for 3) Facial. 4) Ham and Egg sandwich while waiting for 5) 2 hr massage. 6)Snack of dried fruit, nuts and RITZ CRACKERS! (my favorite) while waiting for 7)Pedicure and Manicure.

It was 4:30 before I looked at the clock and rushed out of the spa, my boobs a yearning for some nursing. (I asked Ryan if I should bring the pump on my surprise outing since I'm still nursing Fay and he thought I should be back by 3pm. That seemed long, but doable)

I have to describe one of the treatments which was the most foreign to me. I've gotten plenty of massages and pedicures. I've even had one or two facials. But I've never had a full body scrubdown like I received immediately upon arriving at the spa.

Normally when you enter a massage room, the masseuse asks you to disrobe as they leave the room for privacy. I had no idea what treatment I was receiving upon arriving, but I knew something was up when the woman giving me the treatment asked me to disrobe and step into an oval tub while she stood there waiting. I have no modesty issues, but it was different enough to point out.

I stepped into a bath of flower petals and lemons. The woman squeezed the lemons into the water and then bathed me. She took a washcloth to my arms, legs, chest and back. It was pretty nice. The bath was relatively brief and next she led me to a table and instructed me to lie face down. The table felt like a thin water bed; I was lying on some kind of gel filled padding. The woman began to slather some kind of exfoliating soap/gel over my entire body piece by piece.

After a solid 30-40 minutes of scrub down, she took a break and was shuffling around the room preparing something. My eyes had a towel over them so it was all unknown to me. I assumed she would be cleaning me again in the oval bath because I had gotten pretty covered in the soap/gel.

I started feeling some mist on my left side and I thought to myself "geez, its been so professional and well done so far. I'm surprised she is accidentally splashing me while she's preparing my bath. Of course she wasn't "accidentally" splashing me. She was starting up this LONG horizontal pole of 5 shower heads. She moved the shower heads back and forth above my body and rinsed me off, all the while massaging me a bit.

I started thinking...."wow, I wonder if anyone in this world wakes up to a treatment like this. Some rich royalty somewhere has a woman spend an hour and a half in a dark room cleaning them before their day begins." I doubt it.

So that was the start to my birthday. Which has now been renamed my-best-birthday-ever. After a full day of treatment, I went home to play with my baby girl and then Ryan took me out for a yummy dinner and some music. We saw 2 African Jazz groups at Joe's Pub and they were amazing.

Now I'm just a little worried about what I can possibly do for his birthday. But I have until December.

Friday, July 11, 2008

4th of July on Fire Island

my little wet froggy

For the 4th of July holiday, we spent the long weekend on Fire Island with friends and babies. We rented a house and invited 3 couples to go in on it with us. In total there were 8 adults, 2 babies and one toddler. It was an exhaustingly fun weekend.

Fire Island is a favorite weekend getaway for Ryan and I ever since we got a 1/4 share of a house last summer. We spent 5 weekends in the Kismet area of Fire Island last summer and grew to love the campy feeling of the island, the short commute, the sparse beaches and the friendly people.

There are no cars allowed on the island, so there are also no "roads" on the island. The streets consist of sidewalks for walking and biking. Lots of biking. You often hear the "tink, tink" sound of a bike as it is approaching you from behind. You also hear this sound when a bike is approaching an intersetion of sidewalks, as if it is a car winding up a curvy mountain pass and cannot see the approaching cars around the bend.

This past weekend we shared the house with our long time friends Joe,Vanessa (with Joseph - 2yrs), Liz (with new boyfriend Lester), and our new neighborhood friends Dia, Josh (with Maurice -- 10 months).

I don't need to recount many events of the weekend activities. The days seemed to run the same. The moms were up at the crack of dawn with little ones. Sometimes the dad's arose early for coffee hankerings. Then there was time spent on the beach, walking throughout the island, much time in the kitchen and then the evenings after the babies went down.

It seemed that each day belonged to one of the babies for the purposes of disrupting the other babies' sleep. The first night we were there, Maurice cried and cried and cried, thus preventing Joseph from going to bed much before 11pm. The second night Fay was up at 3:30, staring and screaming at her parents like a caged animal from her porta-crib. Finally I nursed her back to sleep. The third night, Joseph refused to go to sleep and he sat up with the parents while we played two rounds of celebrity (charades with a twist). I think Joseph watched 3 or 4 rounds of his favorite Sesame Street episode that night. But Joseph was kind enough not to keep the other babies awake -- just himself.

I must note, for my own humor as I read this post in the future, that Joe gave the most ridiculous clue during our game of celebrity. Celebrity is like charades, but during the first round you can actually speak to describe the clue. The clue is always a well-known person (celebrity). Joe's clue was Gary Gnu (a puppet from the 70's children's show, The great Space coaster). Instead of referencing the tv show. Joe decided to describe the first name "Gary" by referring to a favorite hero of his. He said "The first name of the inventor of Dungeons and Dragons". To which his team replied..."what?!". Of course, no normal person knows who that inventor may be. And we did not win that round.

crawling to daddy 1 crawling to daddy 2 gotcha! morning

For Fay readers, I will tell you that she crawled A LOT this weekend and interacted really well with the other kids. She showed much interest in Joseph the 2yr old. He would run around and she would try to catch up to him as her belly dragged across the floor in her pseudo crawl. Any day now she'll get that belly off the floor. She looks like she's just about there.

Also, Fay hates the beach. After about an hour on the beach, she would get cranky, even before naptime, and as soon as we left, she would cheer up. Also, one day, I was holding her hands and helping her "walk" on the beach. She "walked" directly towards the path which would exit her from the beach. Smart cookie. Knows what she wants.

my new favorite photo

Sunday, June 29, 2008

sarah's wedding

all brows

One of our good friends, Sarah, got married this past weekend in Deerfield Mass. Sarah lived in NY when I first moved here. And although she moved to DC shortly thereafter (Surprisingly I think I only knew her for a year or two in NY), we've always stayed in contact. I love Sarah for her humor, her energy and spunk, and her warmth.

Ryan and I drove up to Deerfield on Saturday morning. Its about a 3.5 hour drive. I wasn't sure how Fay would handle the drive -- we haven't been on a road trip since xmas when she was 2 months barely aware of her surroundings. I took the precaution of packing some of her favorite foods (carrots, cheerios, teething biscuit, milk), and I bought two new toys for the road.

Guess what! Fay hates being confined to the carseat. She was fine for the first hour of the trip, when she was.....*sleeping*. But when she woke up, she wanted out of that seat and now. It didn't help that mommy and daddy were WAAAAAAY up in the front seat while Fay was facing backwards in the back seat. She cried for what had to be 45 minutes, while I tried to give her milk, carresses, toys, songs, everything. Finally we pulled over to give her some boob and hold her for a while.

Once we got back on the road, I stayed in the back seat with her, and she was a little happier but not much. Finally she fell asleep about 20 minutes before we arrived at the hotel.


Fay was able to attend the wedding, which was beautiful. The wedding took place in Sarah's mother's back yard. Her father passed away last year and it had been his wish that Sarah marry in their yard and orchard that he had nurtured. The ceremony was near the house overlooking the orchard and the reception was down the hill by the orchard. We plucked some raspberries off the vine immediately following the wedding. Not to say that the provided snacks weren't tasty.

all dressed up for a wedding

After the wedding we met our nanny, Mandy at our hotel to ditch Fay. Mandy is originally from Boston so we gave her Friday off to go home for the weekend and she agreed to make the 2 hr hike to Deerfield to sit with Fay. Such a nice treat to have someone Fay knows and loves to stay with her in the unfamiliar surroundings of a hotel. Then Ryan and I drove back to enjoy the reception. We had a great time and met some really nice people. Ryan and I thoughtfully examined the people we were seated with at the reception and determined we were at the.... friends-of-sarahs-that-don't-live-near-her-and-

If she reads this, she'll have to let me know if we were right. :)

This morning, after a brief (freezing!) dip in the hotel pool, we got to see Sarah and her family again for brunch at the orchard. Then Ryan, Fay and I took off for another road trip (yay!) towards home. Luckily, Fay fared MUCH better this time. Mommy sat in the back seat with her, while Fay lunched and napped and played and was generally in a good mood.

Overall, it was a great weekend. It was fun to get away from home and spend time in a beautiful part of the East Coast. It was great to see Sarah, whom I haven't seen in a couple years and finally meet her (now) husband.

Ryan took some really lovely pics of Fay and me. And I tried to return the favor (must learn how to take a photo!). Take a look at the Flickr set....
Click here for Sarah Howard Wedding Photo Set

Friday, June 27, 2008

weight check

BTW, Fay, Ryan and I visited the pediatrician last Sunday. She had asked us to come in for an 8 month check up just to check on Fay's weight. She'd been leaning out a bit, going from the 75th to 50th to 25th percentile in weight. So on her 8 month bday she weighed in at 17.25 lbs. I'm not sure what percentile that is, but she basically gained 2.25 lbs in 1.5 months. I'd say she's no waif.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fay is "crawling" aka scooting

On Thursday I got a text message from Mandy telling me that Fay was crawling. We'd been working on her all week because she was just on the cusp. And the breakthrough came on Thursday afternoon. Bummer that I wasn't home for it, but Mandy caught some great video, and we've been having fun today with her new skill.

So I have two new videos for you. You can see for yourself how Fay gets around. She's not full fledged dangerous at this point; she only scoots for objects she really wants that are somewhat nearby. I'm sure she will advance to mad curious crawling baby shortly.

Mandy entices Fay to crawl with her red sneakers.

Fay goes for the remote

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rooftop pool

can we go now?!

I signed Mandy and Fay up for "splash on the roof" class at our local kid/parenting center. When I emailed for details, I was told to hurry up and fax my application because there was a lot of interest in the class and it might fill up quickly.

Mandy and Fay went to the class last Thursday afternoon. We (Mandy and I) were both excited because for a long time Fay has been too young for many of the classes in the neighborhood. Some start at crawling, others start at 9 months. But this one did not have an age prerequisite. I was excited enough that at about 30 minutes past the start of the class time I texted Mandy and asked how it was going...

Her reply: "No one else was there and the water was too cold but we gave it a short try."

Oh noooo! :( Apparently, Mandy and Fay walked out on to the roof only to woman (the facilitator), a large kiddie pool, and a lot of cold water and floating toys. Mandy said the woman kept on trying to entice Fay to play with the toys. And poor little Fay.....well you can see it by the pictures. She knew just how bad the situation was.

On the up side, Mandy and Fay can switch to the other time-slot. I guess everyone (all those interested parties) signed up for the Wed morning splash class instead.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

summer is here


Not all of Fay's photos can be fashion shots.

We've been going through a bit of a heatwave over the past week. Normally Ryan and I pride ourselves on not running the A/C until absolutely necessary. Well, it may have been necessary even under normal circumstances this week...but with a new baby around, we didn't really hesitate. So we've had the A/Cs going for the past several days while Fay sits home with Mandy. Of course there have been the normal power outages that NYC suffers when the heat rises. I found myself concerned about my frozen milk (mama's milk). What happens if we loose electricity and I have to throw out months worth of pumping! With the hate of pump that I harbor, that may just make me tear up a bit.

But no such problem. We did loose water last night for a brief period. I'm not really sure why. I headed off to be at 11:00 with a small pit stop in the bathroom, only to discover that the toilet wouldn't flush. Eek! I just hoped that Ryan wouldn't wake in the middle of the night to an unwanted discovery. (he did :) )

Tomorrow, Mandy will take Fay to the first in a series of "splash on the roof" classes at Edgies. Edgies is the neighborhood parenting center I went to when I was on leave and met a bunch of great moms. I think Fay's new class will consist of some kind of kiddie pool with other babies and moms/nannies on the roof. I'll keep ya posted.

The other fun tidbit from this past week is Ryan and I planned and booked our winter vacation. We really wanted to go on a beach vacation because it seemed the easiest thing to do with a toddler. And we thought an "all-inclusive" family friendly resort would probably be the most enjoyable and hassle free. WELL, after several hours of research Ryan stumbbled upon a vacation package that seems a little too good to be true. We are booked at an all-inclusive family resort in Jamaica, that includes, get this, a "vacation-nanny". The resort will provide you with a vacation nanny every day of your stay. She will be the same woman each day, and if you want to use her services after hours, you pay a small hourly rate. SO, if we want to lounge by the pool with a little extra supervision...or get a massage..or whatever, we can have a little nanny help. I think we'll probably use her the most at night, so we can enjoy a nice dinner out. But it will certainly help in the "vacation" part of things to know we can use her during the day too.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday playgroups

All facing forward!

I'm sure I've mentioned that every Friday a handful of moms in my neighborhood get together with our babies to socialize.

At this point there is no denying that the socializing is primarily for the moms, but we also like to see how our babies interact as they continue to get older and a bit more social themselves. I met most of these moms when I was on maternity leave and they were as well. Now some of us have returned to work, but quite a few of us managed to get Fridays off so we can continue these Friday get togethers.

This last Friday one of the moms had her camera and she attempted to get a good photo of all the babies in attendance. She snapped a series of photos all within a matter of seconds. And they are really great to view as a set. I suggest you use the slideshow link and cycle through them at a quick clip to see the action move from frame to frame.

Nicely, Fay is front and center so we can see all her movements clearly. :) The last photo is a keeper -- Eleanor looks like a movie star and Fay looks like a drunk movie star.

Playgroup Set: click here!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Grandma, uncle and the Yankees

going to a yankee game!

I can't decide which is my favorite photo from the weekend. The one of Fay alone in her little yankee cheerleading outfit. Or the one with Fay, Andy, and Ryan's gigantic smile at the yankee game. Fay must be doing something right because her Daddy NEVER smiles for photos like that. Usually he makes a little smirk or worse, opens hie mouth in a way that makes you NOT want to take the photo.

Happy Daddy

We had a very fun weekend with Sandy and Andy in town for Memorial Day. We started out on Friday night with a dinner show at the Loews Regency Hotel featuring Bebe Neuwirth. The show was great, and the venue was neat - a very small intimate space centered around a piano on a stage.

On Saturday we all piled on the subway and took the long hike up to the Bronx for the yankee game. Fay's first yankee game. Fay enjoyed it thoroughly as her daddy got her special ground floor tickets. We were just off of right field and we could see Johnny Damon pacing.

i'll just suck on this cap

Sunday was more relaxing with brunch and a long walk to the park. Then today, Memorial Day, we reved it up again with a trip to the Belmont Race Track. This morning Sandy and Andy left for the airport and Ryan, Fay and I headed out for our annual trip to the races. We picnicked on pastrami and strained carrots. And Fay had her first teether biscuit.

Actually, as far as firsts go, Fay was gnawing on a lot of larger items this weekend -- an apple, a pair and the biscuit. She has these two lower teeth that she is dying to use. And she likes to grab at what we are eating if she is near the dinner table. So we tried handing her a little fruit and she really enjoyed it. I think she likes to do a little more mimicing than she has in the past. Wants to do some big girl things!

Speaking of big girls, we lowered Fay's crib platform tonight. She's been pushing her little torso up so that she can see over the bars when she cries out in the morning. So I thought it was time to sink the platform down to a safer level. No sense in waiting for her to prop herself up on the railing before lowering it. :)