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Monday, February 23, 2009

back to work again

So I've decided to seek some part-time work. I've had so much fun staying home with Fay, but I've been feeling its time to go back to work for several reasons. The best reason is that I've started craving having a personal life away from Fay. Funny I should call that a personal life. Perhaps individual life would be a better phrase. Regardless, sometimes I feel like it would do both of us some good if I had some interests outside of the home. Secondly, Fay has definitely matured since I quit my job and decided to stay home and her play has changed to be more independent. So I find myself with more time during the day to check my email or bake a new pastry. And I think it might be interesting to me to spend some of that time actually building something or learning something. Thirdly, it would *definitely* be nice to get some more cash in the bank. Living on one salary hasn't been a hardship, but it has required us to budget more strictly. I've got my eye on a small summer vacation/long weekend to Fire Island this coming summer and that is not going to happen if I don't add a little income to the family pot.

I was a little concerned that in the current economic climate it might be hard to find a job and even harder to find a part-time job. But I have managed to find something, through a friend. And I think it will be interesting work. I am going into the office tomorrow to learn all the details. But I've already specified that I would like to work 3 days a week. I am hoping, 3 days working, 4 days with Fay a week will be ideal.

I'm a little nervous for the "back-to-work" transition. The first time I had to do it, after maternity leave, it was difficult and quite emotional. Granted, I was pumping milk from day one back on the job. So there were a lot of uncomfortable, unfamiliar, hormonal issues with that. One thing that calms my nerves this time is the fact that it is contract work. I imagine this project will probably last about 6 months. So, if after 6 months, I am missing Fay terribly again, perhaps I can take another leave of absence. Also, I believe there may be a chance that I can do some work from home. I'm not sure that will be ideal, since its hard to work with Fay around, but it is a nice option in case I need it.

Now I just have to find some child care....again!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

advanced communication

Fay added a sign to her communication wallet yesterday. I haven't really tried to teach her many signs. Sometimes its just inconvenient (I don't have my hands free to sign) and sometimes its just laziness. It really takes results for you to want to teach more signs, but by then it may be time for her to talk anyway! But about 2-3 months ago, I noticed one of Fay's friends doing the "more" sign and I thought that was a pretty useful sign. Its a somewhat abstract concept, so its not as easy for Fay to express by her usual means "uh, and point". So I've been signing it on and off, usually while we are eating. If she wants more milk I'll do the more sign (pinching your fingers and thumbs together and tapping them together again and again) before fetching the milk.

SO! Yesterday I was giving Fay a kind of airplane ride by lying on my back and perching her on my knees above me. After I did it once I asked her if she wanted more (just verbally -- I didn't do the sign). She looked at her hands and started clapping them. But then she looked at them more intently and changed the open palm clap into a pinched finger clap. So amazing to see her figure it out!!

So we did airplane rides and more signs for a long time because we were both having a lot of fun with that. :)

The coolest thing is that I've mostly, if not exclusively, used the sign during mealtimes. So for her to transfer that concept into another activity is really cool. Sometimes I don't know if she understands the meaning of a word or sign the same way I mean it. Like when she uses the "all done" sign to mean pick me up. I think she has misunderstood the meaning. But this was a clear case of, not only understanding the meaning of "more", but knowing that it applies to more than just food.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Crossing feet

Feet crossed

One of the cutest little quirks that I love about Fay is she likes to cross her feet when she is eating in her high chair. So I wanted to post a photo of this for all to see. I could probably start a photo collage with daily examples of this. She does it almost every time.

Also, lest my readers think it is all daisies and sunshine over here at Fay's house, I have a story that may tarnish Fay's angelic image.

She was quite cranky last night after only have 1.5 hour nap in the afternoon (so much for smooth transition). So I was giving her a bath during which she became quite cranky and insisted on being pulled out. I won't name names, but someone decided to come into the bathroom and start pouring water on Fay's head which she did not like one bit.

So I pulled Fay out and stood her next to me on the bathroom floor. She immediately decided to start peeing on my leg. I felt something wet and thought she was dripping on me, but no it was a nice strong stream of pee. Why she couldn't do this in the nice warm bath, I don't know.

Monday, February 16, 2009

--> one nap

The books I've read about sleep training and what to expect on napping have said that the transition from two naps to one can be quite difficult. It outlines tons of tactics (make the morning nap later...skip the second nap all together....earlier bedtime...). And it says that each baby is different and will handle this transition differently. But the overall message I got is that the baby will be out of sorts and tired until she gets on the correct new schedule, which takes some trial and error and just takes time to adjust.

So far (knock on wood) Fay's transition has been pretty smooth. The most difficult thing about it is that I don't know from day to day what time she will nap. Sometimes she wants two naps, sometimes she doesn't want her morning nap, and sometimes she'll nap for 3 hours in the morning and not want an afternoon nap. The reason I say this is smooth is because Fay hasn't been terribly cranky and she still averages 2-3 hours of naps a day. I don't have many activities that we MUST attend at a specific time, so its ok if her naps are all over the time. All I desire is SOME nap time, so I can get a little time to myself for house chores and for sanity time (re: computer time!)

Yesterday Fay napped from 8am - 11am and then was up till 7pm bedtime. Today she played in her crib from 8:30-9:15 (did not want to sleep), so I got her out and we played until noon. So today is a one nap day for sure. When I went to get her at 9:15 she had done some investigative work in her crib. She had pulled up her sheet and her mattress pad underneath. She's never done that before. I guess she wanted to figure out what they were.

She's been soooo curious lately. Its really fun to watch. She occupies her self for much longer now when playing with the same things she has always played with. I think she is seeing them in a new light.

Oh, Oh, I hear Fay waking up and its only ben 1.5 hours. I would love her to get at least 2 hrs.....

Today I am baking zuchinni bread for the first time. I thought it would be a nice change from the banana bread I usually make, and I read a recipe that was raved about. So far it smells divine in the oven. Must be all that cinnamon it called for.

I'm also making a new shirt for Fay. This one is a totally originally design, so it could be terribly cute or just terrible. I'll post pictures at some point. It is a green t-shirt with knitted sleeves.

Better get ready to go get Fay....

Thursday, February 12, 2009


In motion

I guess we can officially say Fay is walking. She takes many steps on her own, especially at home where she feels safe and can walk short distances between furniture and parents.

I wanted to write a post about Fay's current interests and play. I feel like I haven't documented any in a while and since I'm not exactly keeping up with the baby book, I need to write some down here.

Fay loves to play peek-a-boo. She mostly likes to put her blankey in front of her face and then pull it down to reveal! Fay also loves to play peek-a-boo using the living room coffee table. There are two levels to the table with a space in between, so she will get down on her knees and peek through the middle space until you notice.

Fay's other favorite past time is to put things in and out of containers. This has been happening for a while, but it has advanced. She likes to fit things through spaces and put lids on and off. She also likes to open and close doors. So she is really fascinated with how things operate and fit. She is getting a little better at her shape sorter toy, though she certainly hasn't mastered that yet. Recently she was amazed by how the butter compartment in the fridge opens up and closes down -- rather then the regular open by pulling and close by pushing. We had some good morning time working the butter compartment.

Each night now when Fay goes to sleep we close the blinds, turn on the fan, and then she points towards to bedroom door because she wants to help close the door. Then we will drink a little milk and walk toward the crib. Fay will drop her blankey in the crib and get ready to be lowered in herself. It is such a short "bedtime routine" from what I've read, I think we really got off lucky. I imagine books will eventually be incorporated in bedtime. But for now, she wants to get down to the sleeping business.

I *think* Fay has been saying "mama". She mostly says it in desperation -- when I am attempting to set her down and she still wants to be carried she will say "mamamama". The grandmas thought this was definitely "mama". I was skeptical, but I'm going with it. I also had a discussion with Fay about saying the word "up" and she seems to be responsive. :) One day, I offered her my hand to help her walk and she go so mad instantly, she was beside herself. What she wanted was to be picked up. I told her that she needed to tell me this by saying "up" because otherwise I didn't understand. Now it does seem as if she is trying to say that word when she wants up.

Although! Speaking of "up". Fay seems to have changed the sign language I taught her for "all done" into meaning "pick me up". She waves her little hand when she is done eating in the high chair and I lift her out. Now she also waves her little hand when she is on the floor. So I can only guess it means pick me up, or remove me from this situation. Not quite sure.

Fay still loves squirrels and birds. I swear I caught her saying birdie yesterday as she screamed to the birds from our balcony. But I can't be sure.

And Fay definitely understands many words. She knows what "music" means. When I say music she looks at the stereo and starts to crawl towards it (affirmative, play some music!). She knows the word "blankey". Which we try not to mention if she is not currently obsessing over it. She seems to know water, milk, cracker, raisin, breakfast, lunch, dinner, nap, walk (as in, lets try walking Fay!)

Fay has so many teeth I almost can't count them all. On the bottom she has 7-8 teeth. She has all four in front, two molars, and one eye tooth coming in (possibly two). I tried to get a photo of them, while she was crying but clearly that upset Fay even more. Bad mommy.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Baby free weekend

Fay's grandmas were kind enough to come in for a weekend an babysit so Ryan and I could get away. I planned this weekend last December as a birthday present to Ryan. We had the grandmas come in on Thursday and Ryan and I left on Friday for a 6 hour drive to Vermont. I planned a snowboarding trip to Jay Peak which is 10 miles from the Canadian border. We have snowboarded at other VT spots and been consistently disappointed in the lack of snow and abundance of icy trails. From what I read, Jay Peak was supposed to have better conditions. The only drawback is it is a 6.5 hour drive. But seeing as how we were going to be alone as a couple (sans Fay) in a car for 6 hours with some music, it seemed like a pretty good deal.

The trip was fantastic. The drive was beautiful and relaxing. We listened to tons of music and chatted and slept. The only bump in the road trip was Ryan receiving a speeding ticken ONE MILE away from our VT exit off the highway. He was going well over 80 mph for the last couple hours of the trip and we literally had 5 minutes left before exiting the highway to the more rural roads. The VT police officer seemed very apologetic as he handed us our $200+ speeding ticket. Unbelievable.

Our lodging proved to be quaint but comfortable. Our room was the tiniest I've seen. There was just enough room for a queen bed, tv and upright chair. There was no closet, no desk....we did have a bathroom though, fortunately. The lodge chose to allocate more room to the common areas of the building, which I'd say was the right decision. They had a beautiful bar/restaurant with a fireplace and and cozy atmosphere. Ryan and I spent both evenings drinking and eating near the fire.

The snowboarding on Saturday was pretty good. I don't know if it was really worth the extra 2-3 hour drive, but it was perfectly fine for our first trip boarding in 3 years. The weather was fantastic (warm 30s!) and there was more snow than ice. The trail was pretty small, so there wouldn't be much variety after a day or so. But again, it was fine for our one day boarding vacation.

Fay seemed to have a fantastic time at home with the grandmas. The reports included that she did not want to eat her (favorite) egg quiche that her mom had left for her. Rather, she wanted to fill up on blueberries and banana bread. I think there may have been a tad bit of grandmotherly spoiling going on, which was nice to hear. Fay has such a hard life with the likes of me, that she deserves a little pampering. ;)

And the grandmas seemed to enjoy NYC with Fay. They went out to brunch and walked around the neighborhood. And there were tails of an attempted bath with a crying Fay. I guess she missed me after all.

Ryan and I got big smiles from Fay once we returned. It was really fun to get away, I definitely missed my little girl. But I think we should do that more often. It really helps the sanity to have moments of adulthood that last longer then a 3 hour evening.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fully weened

Before the Jamaica vacation I was still nursing Fay mornings and nights with cow's milk during the day. I really didn't think there was much milk coming from my body anymore as the udders had returned to their pre-pregnancy size. But both Fay and I really enjoyed the close time together.

Sometime during the Jamaica vacation I started giving her the bottle in the morning. I think it was because she was not eating hardly any solid food (prefering a milk only diet). So I started pumping her full of formula in the morning to make sure she was getting some nutrients.

When we got home, I was still nursing Fay in the evenings, but I decided to stop that as well because it seems like the right time, and Ryan and I also have a weekend away coming up.

Ryan helped out by putting Fay down for almost two weeks in a row, so that she might forget about the mommy milk. At about day 4 Ryan said Fay started looking to his chest for a little love, but was sadly turned away. He said he could understand why it was necessary for him to put her to sleep during this transition. The look she gave him when asking for a little boobie love was hard to turn down.

Last Thursday I put Fay down for the first time with a bottle in the evening. It went really well and has been fine since. She had officially gotten over the mommy milk. Though she doesn't show a tremendous amount of interest in her evening bottle. She is generally so tired that she wants to quickly go to bed after a couple tastes.

A girlfriend asked me how *I* was doing after the weening. I believe I am supposed to feel a bit depressed because of the loss of an important experience as well as some hormonal changes due to no more breast feeding. I have generally felt fine. Thought today for the first time I feel as if I could cry at the drop of a hat. Not sure if that is from the weening or if its just things that are going on around me (various stresses, or tensions). Guess we will never know.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Feeling better

The Rain Forest at the Central Park Zoo

Well, we are all feeling a little better now. I think Fay is totally healthy again. She is eating like a starved animal, so I think she has her appetite back.

I managed to catch the stomach bug on Friday night. I thought it was food poisoning at first because it came on right after dinner out. But I was tired all weekend and had the big D. I'm still not through the woods, but its easier for me to just limit my food and I feel better. A little tired, but at least not nausiated.

Fay was a little stir crazy this weekend so we took her to the Central Park Zoo. It was freezing! on Saturday but they have a Rain Forest area of the zoo that is steamy warm. There are tons of amazing tropical birds to hear and see along with a handful of critters like snakes, frogs and bats.

As you can imagine Fay just loved the birds. She kept pointing them out to us and grunting and had a very concerned look on her face. I think it was actually a look of amazement.

On Sunday we had beautiful weather, so we actually got to go to the playground for the first time in a long time. Fay can walk pretty well, but doesn't choose to most of the time, so the park was a lot of up and down and whining for mom to pick her up. Lately I've been *encouraging* Fay to walk on her own and Fay's been crying for me to pick her up. Then we usually end up in the middle, with me holding her hand which is really where we started in the first place. I think she's got my number.