Bras and Africa

Don’t you just love autocorrect? On a regular basis I mistype (well, mis-text) Brad’s name, and my phone autocorrects it to “Bras”. Even better in my opinion: when I mistype my name, it turns into “Africa”. Bras and Africa Ray, what a pair.

Ol’ Bras and I are getting excited to go out to see a movie this weekend  – not just any old movie, THE movie we’ve been dying to see for the last couple years, The Dark Knight Rises. We are both super excited! We don’t go out alone together very much anymore (go figure, right?), but ever since Vivian started a regular bedtime, we do have a lot more time together. It’s nice just to watch a TV show together and snuggle in the evenings. Thank goodness for DVR.

Speaking of evenings, I go to a yoga class in the evening on Monday and Wednesday, so Brad has started doing Vivian’s bathtime and now even bedtime without me. They do the normal routine: bath, jammies, milk, then “goodnight house”. She apparently takes the bottle with no problem at all, and Brad says that she usually goes down without any fuss (which is her norm when I put her to sleep). This is a BIG improvement as nursing used to be an integral part of her “soothe-to-sleep” routine. It’s nice to know that she is becoming less dependent on me, but I have to say, I don’t know what to do with myself on those days. I come home to a quiet house – so weird but wonderful too! Brad’s about to start Tuesday/Thursday evening classes at his gym, so we will basically just rotate bathtime/bedtime responsibilities. It’s really amazing to have such a strong parenting partner. I know that not every dad is so involved, and I count my lucky stars. We both think that getting away and doing something for yourself – especially getting exercise – is so important.

Alright, enough random thoughts; the reason I started writing this post was to share a video. Vivian has a new trick!


Bits and pieces

Just a few random thoughts from me – hope y’all are having a great week!

  • Vivi had her 6 month doctor’s appointment today, which I was dreading. I swear, watching her get shots is some sort of cruel and unusual punishment. I especially hate that they pin her legs down (they bend her knees over the edge of the table, and the nurse presses her body up against Vivi’s legs to hold them still). I asked if I could just hold her while she gets her shots, but the nurse told me that it’s not their policy. No, it’s not worth leaving a pediatrician who I love, but I do wish I had the option to hold Vivian.
  • When she got her last round of shots at her 4 month old appointment, Vivi ended up getting hives about an hour and a half later, and we took our first trip to the ER. The doc wasn’t positive that the reaction was from the shots, but there was a strong possibility that she had an allergic reaction. Because of this, we opted to only give her one shot today instead of the regularly scheduled three shots. Right before she got her shot, however, the nurse came in to tell us that their epi-pen had expired. Epi-pens can be lifesavers – literally – in the case of severe allergic reactions. In the end, we decided to forego all shots today. We rescheduled for mid-July when they will have a new epi-pen on hand.
  • Have you ever found yourself doing something totally ludicrous that seemed reasonable at the time? Pre-sleep training, I can own up to army crawling out of Vivi’s room in the hopes of evading her notice. I also find myself apologizing to the cat when I unknowingly walk up on her using the litter box. It’s just common courtesy, right? Is anyone else crazy like this, or is it just me?
  • Speaking of sleep training, it is still going well here, though I guess I could say we are past the “training” part. More often than not, Vivi now goes down into her crib without any fussing or crying. The key is getting her good and tired but making sure that she’s relaxed before I put her into the crib. If she cries, I usually give her about 10 minutes before I return to her room to soothe her. Sometimes if she’s really upset, I pick her up and rock her for a few minutes. I don’t rock her to sleep – just until she’s relaxed. All in all, I feel like we have the hang of it.
  • This weekend is my 10 year high school reunion. Hard to believe it’s been 10 years… but at the same time, it feels like a lifetime ago. I look back and think just how young I was. At the time, of course, you think you’re all grown up, but I was such a baby then. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, though there is a part of me that wonders how people remember me. I hope I wasn’t a “mean girl”. I don’t think I was, but aren’t we all a little blind to our own flaws?
  • I read the other day that most indoor kitties don’t live more than 15 years, and Trudy is 13 now. It made me so sad – I try not to think about losing Trudy. I got her when she was just a wee little kitten, and I was a freshman in high school. Vivi got her first scratch from Trudy this week (I wasn’t even really sure that it happened… there were no tears!), but I just couldn’t be mad at Trudy. She’s just an old kitty, and she does try so hard to be sweet with Vivian.
  • I spend a lot of time at the house now, and I find myself mentally redecorating. I have some ideas for just about every room. Our master bedroom is probably the worst. I guess we figure that since no one goes in there, why decorate? And yet, even knowing that the bedroom is the least decorated room of the house, I still think I want to start in our living areas. I really want a super skinny sofa table on the wall behind our couch; since our furniture isn’t anchored by the walls, there are no reading lamps in our living room. I need more light! Plus, isn’t lamplight so darn cozy? I’m also noodling the idea of a round white table in our breakfast room. I’d love to find something at a thrift store and rework it. Do y’all know of any great spots for inexpensive furniture?
  • We’ve also been thinking about redoing the floors at the house. The carpet is original to the home, which is 9 years old now. The previous owners took pretty good care of the carpet, but it’s pretty worn in the living room and foyer, and you can tell that it has a low-grade pad underneath. It’s just so flat! I’d love something cushy and soft for Vivi’s little face. The only thing holding me back – besides biting the bullet on the cost – is that I’ve read that new carpets can give off chemical vapors. I’m wondering if it might be worthwhile to wait a year or two when Vivi’s little face isn’t always inches from the floor. Anyone have any experience or knowledge about this?

In other news, I’m starting the fifth book of the Song of Fire and Ice series, so there’s a good chance you won’t hear from me again for a few weeks. 🙂 Nothing like a good read, right?

Bits and pieces

So, I’m a horrible blogger. I’ve had downtime in the last week, I promise… I’ve just been using it to read (to the detriment of my blog’s quality and my home’s cleanliness). In other news, I’m on the second book in the Song of Fire and Ice series (otherwise known as the Game of Thrones). I’m totally addicted.

I started yoga a couple of weeks ago. I got a great deal on an unlimited monthly pass at a place about 15 minutes from my house. It’s been a while since I practiced yoga, so I started off slow with some gentle beginner classes, then yesterday I jumped in the deep end and tried a level two class. I’m deliciously sore today!

Overall, it’s been a great couple of weeks. Even when the classes have been a little more relaxed than I would have liked, it was just nice to have an hour to breathe and do something for myself. Also, there’s something to be said for driving to and from class with your music blaring – that always puts me in a good mood! I do listen to music when Vivi is in the car with me, but I of course keep the volume to a non-blaring level. Unfortunately for Vivian, I sing along regardless of the volume.

A big thanks goes out to Brad for sharing the baby-watching load with me. I yoga, he Crossfits… we’re both happy about our respective daily workouts (and Vivi gets some special one-on-one time with Daddy). My goal is to attend classes at least 4 times a week. I did great the first week… and then didn’t attend at all the second week (Brad was out-of-town, then I was recuperating from him being out-of-town… yada yada yada… excuses, excuses). I think I have 3 or 4 weeks of yoga left now. I’ll be so sad when it’s over!

Vivi is doing great. Here’s a few things about her lately:

  • She is still sleeping in her bouncy in the crib at night, so I’m happy about that transition. She usually takes her morning nap in the bouncy, though the last few days, she simply won’t go or stay asleep when I put her down in her room. She’ll sleep for almost two hours in the swing, though, so I often turn to that magical machine when all else fails.
  • I’m still not comfortable with “cry it out”, but I do let Vivi fuss when I know she’s tired. For me, there’s a big difference between fussing and full-on crying. I can deal with fussing because I do think it’s important for a baby to learn how to soothe themselves when they are mildly uncomfortable or upset; however, I can’t stand can’t-breathe-I’m-crying-so-hard screaming. I never let Vivi get to that point. No judgement if you do CIO with your 5 month old – it’s just not for me and Brad right now. Maybe when Vivi’s older?
  • Vivi loves music and singing. Her favorite is “The Way You Look Tonight”. I sing it several times a day. She also loves when Daddy “scats”. Didn’t know Brad was a jazz fan? Me either.
  • This week’s funniest Daddy/Daughter moment: Brad “caterpillaring” across the carpet, i.e. Vivi sits on his chest, and he “crawls” his shoulders across the room. Vivi giggled so hard; she thinks he is hilarious!
  • Peekaboo is a very fun game with a (almost) five month old. I love her big grins.
  • Speaking of grinning, Vivi grins and squeals anytime she catches a glimpse of Trudy. Unbeknownst to Trudy, Vivi has even pet the kitty a few times when she was turned the other direction.
  • We took Vivi to the pool for the first time this weekend. True to form, I had her in every possible sun protection known to man. Sunscreen? Check. Sun hat? Check. Sun glasses? Check. Swim suit with SPF? Check. Swim shirt with SPF? Check. [Sunburns are serious for babies, people! Did you know that one sunburn as a child drastically increases your risk for melanoma later in life? Protect those babies! Okay, off my soapbox… though if you have any questions about sunscreens, I’ve done a lot of research and would be happy to share the knowledge.] Vivi was mostly straight-faced at the pool. No big smiles… a few little ones… but no tears, considering the water was cold and the other kids were loud and splashy!

I have video of Vivi at the pool, but like all the other videos on my camcorder, I have to first upload them to the computer… then edit them… and snooooooze… there’s not enough time in the day. Hopefully, I’ll get around to it soon. The key is taking the videos, right? There’s always time for the rest later.

Bedtime – have a great Wednesday!

Bits and Pieces

Hi everyone! Hope you’re having a good week so far. Just a few bits and pieces from me…

  • We had a couple trees removed from our yard last week. One tree in the corner of our back yard was 100% dead. I was so worried that it died because of oak wilt and that all of my oaks were on death row. Luckily the deceased turned out to be an Arizona Ash, not an oak at all. The tree guy said it probably died because of the drought – I gave an audible sigh of relief! We also removed about 60% of a live tree that was rubbing up against our house. There was a big squirrel nest in that tree, and I can’t help wondering about the water cooler gossip in the squrirel neighborhood after it was removed.

“Did you hear? … McNutterson’s house just DISAPPEARED last week!”

  •  Vivian had her four month appointment on Thursday. For the most  part, it went really well. Her head circumferance and height are both in the 75th percentile, and her weight is in the 50th percentile.
  • I asked a lot of questions (surprise, surprise) at the appointment. When the doctor asked how she was sleeping, I sheepishly told him that she still sleeps in a bouncy in our room. To my shock and delight, he told me that his daughter also slept in a bouncy chair until 5 months! I couldn’t believe it. In my mind, I sort of pictured doctors’ kids as super-babies who don’t have problems like not wanting to sleep in a crib. I have to admit it made me feel better to know that even doctors resort to letting their babies sleep in non-cribs in order to get better shut-eye. He recommended that I move the bouncy into her crib for a few days or weeks to help her get acclimated to sleeping in her own room. Once she is comfortable in her room, remove the bouncy and let her start sleeping directly in the crib. I talked to Brad about it, and we agreed that we’ll try it. We are going to start this Friday night.
  • Vivi is rolling over like crazy now! She can do it so quickly. No more Vivi hanging out in the middle of the bed while I brush my teeth, I guess. She still rolls from back to tummy (no tummy to back yet but I think it’s coming soon). Vivi is also raising her knees quite a bit and trying to scoot forward. It’s really cute… until she gets frustrated that she’s not going anywhere (and even that’s pretty cute too).
  • I’m thinking about buying a high chair soon, though I don’t think I’ll start solids this month. A lot of the research I’ve read recommends waiting until 6 months to start solids for breastfed babies. I’m not sure I’ll wait that long… I’m just sort of playing it by ear and will start it when it feels right.
  • Since I spend so much more time at home now, I find myself making a never-ending list of projects… weed the front flower bed, fix the kitchen light, paint the guest room nightstands, etc. Sadly, there’s only enough time to make the list, not actually time to do any of the things on the list.
  • One of my friends told me that her mom regretted spending so much time cleaning/housekeeping as a stay-at-home mom and that if she could do it over again, she would have stopped and played with the kids more often. When I start to get overwhelmed by cleaning to-dos, I stop and ask myself: why did you quit your outside-of-the-home job? To keep house? Or to give one-on-one love and attention to Vivian? That always helps me to ignore the pile of laundry and just focus on playing and talking to Vivi. Sure, I don’t get much done, but I figure I’ll never regret having a dirty house.

Speaking of, I can hear Little Miss talking in the other room – naptime is over!

Bits and Pieces

This week at the Ray’s…

  • We bought a new digital SLR camera (for you non-photogs, that’s the fancy-smancy one) and a new laptop – thank you, bonus! I’m looking forward to taking lots of (hopefully) higher quality photos (what, my cell phone photos aren’t doing it for you?) and editing them with Photoshop (also new to me).
  • I’m actually typing up this post on my new Dell XPS laptop. It’s all sassy with its aluminum plating and whatnot. I named it the Silver Bullet. Our white all-in-one desktop is named Whitey. In hindsight, it’s surprising that I was allowed to name our baby.
  • Brad unpacked the camera tonight, and it was so fun watching him play with it and get excited about taking pictures. Surprise, surprise – police work isn’t really a creative outlet, so I think both Brad and I are going to enjoy our new Canon. It’s going to be even more fun to learn about photography together.
  • We are thinking of taking Vivi out tomorrow afternoon if it’s sunny to get some photos in the Texas wildflowers. Gratuitous bluebonnet shot in our future? You bet.
  • In other news, I like using parentheticals. Brad says I overuse them. I say, not possible (…okay, it’s totally possible. See the first bullet.) I also used to say the word “parenthetical” all the time in my marcom job. It’s a nice word… rolls off the tongue… but sadly also immediately makes you sound pretentious. I’m curious to see if Dell speak is going to start to leave my vocabulary (“it is what it is”, “putting out a fire”, “churn”, I could go on and on…). I have a feeling that I’ll be speaking Dell for years to come.
  • Vivian is such a joy! Every morning I wake up to her chatting away, and when I peek over the edge of the bed to see her little face, she just breaks into the biggest grin and wiggles all over the place out of sheer happiness. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to that?
  • In related news, I’m trying to steel up the guts to move her from her bouncy chair – where she currently sleeps – to her crib in her own room. Honestly, I’m dreading it, mostly because I have really grown to love having her in our bedroom! I may do a post on this in a day or two. Stay tuned.
  • A couple of weeks back, Vivian started rolling over, usually several times a day, from her back to her tummy. In the last week or so, it seems like she has forgotten how to do it. My mom said it’s normal. Anyone have any words of advice about milestones-amnesia? I’m going to work on increasing her tummy time.
  • In case you missed it, here’s a video I posted yesterday of Vivian’s first few days.
  • Every day I feel like the difficulties of having a newborn fade a bit more. At first, I was changing 14 diapers and breastfeeding for 3 hours a day. Now it’s more like 9 diapers and 1 hour of breastfeeding a day. Plus, now Vivian is playing with toys and really interacting with her surroundings. I think it’s just going to get more and more fun. No, it won’t ever be easy, but I do feel much more relaxed as a mom than I did even a month ago.

Happy Friday. It’s Friday the 13th – watch out for black cats! They’re sneaky, y’all.

Bits and Pieces

Nothing much to report here – just a few bits and pieces for y’all.

  • With a slip of the finger, Vivi can easily become Bobo while typing or texting. Oddly enough, I once nicknamed Brad “Bobo the Clown” in college. That lasted for about an hour before he got seriously annoyed. I have no recollection of why I nicknamed him this or why I thought it was funny at the time.
  • Is it just me, or are clowns incredible frightening? In fact, I don’t like anything in a costume. I get very uncomfortable around Easter bunnies, mascots, and even cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse.
  • My baby doesn’t nap – well, not as you might expect. She typically takes three to four 30 minute cat-naps a day. I would complain about not getting anything done, but who wants to do chores anyway?
  • Also not complaining because she has been sleeping 6-9 hours straight a night for over a month. I didn’t want to say this out loud for fear of jinxing myself, but how awesome is that kid? Not only that – in the last two weeks, she has started tacking on another 2-3 hours to the “big sleep” after a short waking.
  • What’s my baby-sleeping secret? Heck if I know. I did absolutely nothing to cultivate this sleep miracle other than keep it loud and bright in the house during the day and keep it quiet and dim at night. That child’s just a natural sleeper – she comes from good sleeping stock.
  • March is a month of important weddings for me. My sister got married last weekend, and my best friend is getting married two weeks from now. I love weddings; I’m a sucker for romance.
  • I loaned my copy of The Hunger Games to someone… but I don’t remember who.  Bueller? . . . Bueller?
  • I started a new book last night (couldn’t sleep again… obviously Vivi didn’t get my sleep genes) called The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. I’m only about 50 pages in but I think it’s promising. I’ll keep the updates coming.
  • I’m a book hoarder. I usually buy one new book for every three unread books I have at home.
  • I never got around to finishing up Vivi’s nursery – decorating-wise, I mean. Being the obnoxious planner that I am, it was very unlike me to be so chill during my pregnancy. I did the important things – washed the linens and clothes, packed the hospital bag, bought diapers – but hanging pictures on the wall never seemed urgent. Slowly but surely I am getting the room together with the help of my friend Haley. We’ve started a fabric hoop art project – I hope to finish it soon and will post pictures.
  • Do you know your love language (see: The Five Love Languages)? I’ve read the book, and I know that other people show and need love in ways different than me… yet I am still hurt or befuddled when a gesture of love doesn’t work out as I intended.
  • We have five (yes, five) laundry baskets in our house… two in the master bedroom closet (gentles and everything else), two in the laundry room (towels/wet items and really dirty/smelly work-out clothes), and Vivi’s special Dreft hamper in her closet. I know in my heart of hearts that it’s insane to have this many hampers. I know it! But for each hamper in the house, I can tack on at least 2 extra days of not needing to do laundry… it’s my least favorite chore.

Hope you all had a great weekend – enjoy your Sunday! I’ll be doing laundry . . .