Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sometimes a picture says it all.

My friend Jen took some pictures for us awhile back (you may remember seeing them posted in the end of January). Today she sent me this one, and I just adore it. It's such a great candid moment she captured.

This picture is great for so many reasons, but to me the best thing is seeing the uncensored joy on Darrick's face as he looks at Luca and smiles. Those two adore each other, and it really makes me so happy.

Thanks again, Jen, for the priceless pictures!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Making Life's Tough Choices

In this land of plenty, we sometimes reach a crossroads, where we are forced to decide between two equally appealing options.

This happened to Luca today. I would say she's destined for a life of being an excellent compromiser.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Adding a 7th

7th Thing Babies Are Good For:

Making you slow down.

From the beginning, raising Luca has been a test of patience...it has involved a lot of long days and night half-asleep on the couch or recliner feeding her. It has involved late night tests of will as we battle over whether she will last longer in her fight against sleep or I will last longer in my fight to get her to bed. It has involved TONS of rocking and walking and bouncing on a yoga ball, all to calm her or soothe her or entertain her. And while these moments can be stressful, and there are some days (which ocassionally become weeks or longer) where I feel like it will never end and I will never have time to myself again, there are those moments that make it worth every second. They are the moments when your sweet baby crawls over to you, red-eyed and lonely, and pulls at your arm. When you lift her to you, and hold her against your tummy, and she presses her warm cheek to your chest. When the last moments before she falls asleep are filled with soft grunts, warm hair, sweet baby smell, and the feel of her body melting in to yours. When she reaches up, half-sleeping, to touch your face with the softest and most perfect hand, and you cannot believe you MADE such a flawless thing. When she drifts into baby dreamland, which you are convinced is filled with puppies, unicorns, rainbows, and boobies full of milk, and you feel her breathing slow, and yours slows too.

There are a lot of lost and stolen moments involved in motherhood. There are many days when you question how you'll make it past age 3 alive - - - nevermind surviving the tween and teen years. There are days of sheer exhaustion. But there are also moments, such as the moment your child falls asleep, warm and safe and content, in your arms, when you're SO damn thankful to have this little person here to slow you down. Since Luca was born, I've had many days where I've made myself be still and quiet and calm and, instead of rushing her to her crib when she gets sleepy, I've languished with her in my arms, breathing in her sweet baby smell. And I would not trade those moments for a damn thing.

Friday, February 22, 2008

6 Things

This post is inspired by a blog entry on the 'Pump Room' blog, which I found quite clever. The author of that blog did '13 Reasons Babies Make Lousy Roommates'...and it was SO true! So, in the same vein, here are my '6 Things' lists:

6 Things People Say When You're Pregnant:
1. "Get your rest now, because you won't get ANY once baby is born!". Believe me, people, if you could 'bank' sleep like you can sick days, I would have. This is not possible. Therefore, the rationale that sleeping a lot while pregnant will somehow mitigate the newborn sleep deprivation is insane.
2. "Heartburn means your baby will have a lot of hair." Um, ok.
3. "You're starting to get that pregnancy waddle!" People! This is not a compliment! It's rude! A woman being pregnant does not make this suddenly ok!
4. "How much weight have you gained?" Are these people for real? Where were they in sex ed when the teacher went over the whole 'Pregnant women are hormonal so it's best not to fuck with them?' section?
5. "My sister/cousin/hairdresser/brother's ex-girlfriend's aunt had a baby and her labor was awful and painful and she almost lost the baby and ever since then she pees when she sneezes and her stretch marks are...blah blah blah." Again...hormonal women should not be subjected to such a high level of idiocy. NO ONE wants to hear your horror stories while 8.5 months pregnant and facing down the barrel of the labor and delivery gun. Keep it to yourself.
6. "After you have the baby, come back in!" This one was said to me by a woman at Hi Health....5 days after Luca was born. Yeah. That was FABULOUS to hear. Remember the pregnancy hormones I mentioned earlier? Well, they are 45,000 times worse right after the baby is born.

6 Things Babies Are Good For:
1. Inspiring people to open doors for you and offer to help you with everything from pumping your gas to loading your groceries.
2. Making complete strangers smile.
3. Reminding you how amazing women are. Sure, men can pee standing up, but WE GROW HUMANS. Beat that, men!
4. Snuggles.
5. A built in excuse for being late, leaving early, or just not being able to make it.
6. Love, love, and more love and laughter. Nothing reminds you how simple the pleasures of life can be like a baby splashing in the tub and laughing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How cute is she?!?!?

These pictures are of my friend Lindsey's kid. I am posting this without her ok, but Emma is too dang cute not to share pictures of. And, seriously, the HAPPIEST kid you will ever meet. She's always got a beautiful smile (courtesy of her mom..and shared by her beautiful older sister Lauren). Enjoy! I hope seeing her smile brightens your day like it brightens mine!

And, PS, that is her awesome dad Jeff pulling her along on the suitcase. Gotta give credit to good dads like him!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Love and Lords

The weather in Arizona has been beautiful lately, so we're really trying to take advantage of it before summer hits and we're sequestered indoors.

We celebrated Valentine's Day in style (note the sarcasm) by taking Luca out to a newish brewery in downtown Chandler. It's called San Tan Brewery, and the food was good. Darrick assured me the beer was as well. However, the best part of our visit was when the owner of the place (a British guy - -MEREDYTH when you come visit we're going there so you can make him fall in love with you) came over to talk to us. We were sitting outside on the patio, and he was standing nearby drinking a dark beer. Darrick asked how it was, not knowing he was the owner. He replied that it was bloody fantastic, then brought Darrick a free taste. Then he sat and talked to us for awhile. Turns out, he was the brewmaster at Four Peaks (you ASU alumni will know that place) for over 10 years, and decided to start his own brewery up. Pretty freaking cool. Oh, and highlight #2 was that they played Dead Kennedies as we were on the way out.

I bought Luca a special outfit for her first Valentine's Day, but like a crazy first-time mom, I wanted to wash it before she wore it. So I DID wash it...and then forgot to put it in the dryer. The result was that I had to throw that sucker in the dryer the morning of so she could wear it. Darrick didn't get it. He kept saying "Can't we just get something out of her closet for her to wear?". Men just do NOT understand the importance of a onesie with hearts and red pants with butt ruffles on Valentine's Day.

We have a three day weekend for President's Day, so on Saturday we took Luca to the Rennaisance Festival. The weather was perfect, and she really seemed to enjoy being outdoors and looking at all the people. Her daddy enjoyed beer and turkey legs. A good time was had by all.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Attack of the Killer Pit Bull

I've been warned. I've been cautioned. I've been downright scolded.

"Pit bulls are mean."
"Don't give a pit bull meat...she'll get a taste for blood!"
"Watch out for that locking jaw!"
"Them's fightin' dogs!"
"I would never have a pit bull around MY kid."
"One day, she'll turn on you."

I never believed my dogs could be mean or hurt anyone. I had no fear of having them in the house with my baby. I should have listened. I should have known better.

Warning: The following evidence that pit bulls truly ARE as bad as everyone told me may be too much for some people to handle. If this is the case for you, avert your eyes.

Here you see Miss Piggy trying to smother Luca.

And here Luca is crying out to be saved. Can you see the abject HORROR in her eyes?!?!?

Miss Piggy going in for the kill once again.

Attack! Attack! A BRUTAL ear-licking!

Luca tests fate.

Here you see where people were right: Ruby IS, indeed, turning on Luca.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I admit it: I am sad.

My horse is out of the race, so to speak. And, no, I do not mean this douchebag:

By the way, I cannot claim the resurgence of 'douchebag' as an adjective. I owe that to the sexy genius that is Jon Stewart:


Anyhow, my 'horse' was John Edwards. Also known as the only candidate actually willing to SAY that America has :::shock!::: poverty and needs to address it!

Alas, he stepped down. I hope he'll be revived as a VP candidate, but I'm not sure it'll happen. Until then, I bid good-bye to the only Johnny in the race worth mentioning. Keep on keepin' on, John E.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Luca is 9 months old!

Today Luca turned 9 months. Poor kid has been dealing with a bad cold for over a week now, so she wasn't in much of a mood to celebrate, but we DID go out to Italian in her honor.

She's still creeping around like a wild woman, and seems to have decided that crawling is for the birds.

Her legs are very strong, so she loves to army-crawl over to us and reach her hands out, and when we grab them she contorts her body and pulls to standing. She also pulls herself up on the exercauser.

She has also discovered the joys of grabbing the spoon from us while we feed her, which often results in pureed fruits and veggies all over her face and the highchair.

And, she has truly found her voice recently.

She repeats sounds like 'mama', 'dada', and 'baba', but also has repeated sounds like 'yeah' and 'puh'. It's pretty dang cute. Even cuter is when you sing a song to her and she 'sings' along.

She continues to be the most amused by the dogs, especially when we are telling them 'no'. I have a feeling she won't be so amused by 'no' when it is directed at her.

We fall more and more in love with her every day. We're always being stopped by people when we're out so they can comment on her beautiful eyes and sweet smile. Even cuter is that she can be in a BAD mood, but the second someone calls her pretty, she smiles. I swear she knows what it means!

We also took Luca on her first trip to the voting booth for the Presidential primaries.

It's been a great 9 months!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Best described as eclectic.

Sometimes people talk about decorating styles, and I just blink and nod, never sure the difference between 'postmodern' and 'modern' and 'ugly but trendy'. I often see things I can appreciate as beautiful but cannot imagine having in my home. I think part of it is the curse of the Arizona track home. Really, off-white stucco and a red tile roof on the outside sort of limits how you can style the inside.

When we bought our house, it had saltillo tile. I admit, I was not sure what to do with this. My first reaction was that I was stuck with southwestern style, which I tend to abbhor. And then I considered doing some cobalt blues, which would offset the tile but still not be our taste.

And then something happened...we started to uncover things we loved which were not any one color or style or trend. My mom brought us a tapestry from San Diego, one of those Peruvian style multi-colored pastoral scenes. And then we uncovered some old linen wall hangings ay my Great Aunt's home, collected in the 60s and 70s when she and her husband owned a travel agency. These things found places on our walls, but still we were trapped in no-style land.

And then, Luca started crawling and the need for a nice area rug arose. It was then that we discovered our tastes leaned toward the eclectic. We didn't want oriental, nor modern, nor florals. We couldn't decide on one color or pattern. Nothing struck us as, well, US. That is, until we found the rug we ended up getting...a patchwork style semi-oriental with reds, greens, blues, tans, whites....it was perfect.

Anyhow, it was then that I discovered we DO have a decorating style....best described as eclectic. And so, in the spirit of that, I've been looking online for home decorations I love, even if it's more for ideas than anything else. So here it is: my eclectic mess of things I love. Enjoy.


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