Saturday, May 31, 2008

All the Chocolate You Can Lick

On the way to dinner tonight, I passed our old house and slowed down to check out how it looks. The New Owners had two cars on the driveway, which probably means that they still have so many boxes in the garage that they can't park inside yet. Not surprising since we can only park one car inside ourselves so far.

The plants look healthy and so does the paint that we had done. I never noticed that we had a bay window in the living room. I can be spectacularly unobservant at times, but did we really live there for so many years without me remembering it? I look closer. Whew, I'm not a complete idiot - it's new. The New Owners changed out the window since they moved in. I'm glad they're taking good care of the house and improving it.

It was a delightful dinner with blogging moms (and dad), meeting some new folks and getting excited for the BlogHer conference. The "Lady M" logo has been finished, so I'm looking forward to getting my blog updated and ordering pretty business cards to share with other attendees.

My moms group sent this delicious fruit and chocolate bouquet in honor of Buster's birth. His older brother did his best to lick all the reachable chocolate. Ladies - thank you so much! It's been a fabulous three years, celebrating, commiserating, and learning so much with you.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Search Terms of the Little Dude

Q-ster has gotten pretty good at expressing what he wants, but there are times when it takes a bit of interpretation to figure it out. SwingDaddy and I do our best to keep each other in the loop when we find a Q-favorite.

SwingDaddy: If he starts talking about a "dog cake," we found a YouTube video where a pastry chef decorates a cake to look like a labradoodle. It's pretty impressive.

Me: If he asks to see the "fish boy," there's a song in High School Musical 2 where a prince is enchanted into a fish. It's a difficult to spell (probably made-up) Hawaiian song title, so look up the CD in Amazon first, and cut and paste "Humuhumunukunukuapua'A" into YouTube.

Modern parenting – it's all about banding together to share the right search terms.

P.S. I just looked up Humuhumunukunukuapua'A, and not only is it a real word, it's the unofficial Hawaiian state fish. We learn something every day!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Straight Through to Vegas

It's that time of year – time for So You Think You Can Dance, the best talent competition on TV!

The first weeks are best viewed in recorded form, so that one can fast-forward through the sad, deluded cases where people clearly incapable of meeting a professional standard embarrass themselves further with statements about their own prowess. Last week's tighty-whitey underwear guy and tonight's mentally absent "actress/financial advisor" come to mind.

I love seeing the truly amazing movers who are also smart and motivated. This evening's episode featured a street dancer who has been taking jazz and contemporary classes to broaden his base. Why don't more contestants do that? I was thrilled to see him get approved for the next round.

Oddly, even though there was an hour focused on their Salt Lake City auditions, the focus was hip hop and contemporary. You'd think there would be a flood of spectacular ballroom dancers, since Brigham Young University has some of the best ballroom programs nationwide.

Speaking of ballroom, I was thrilled that Kristi Yamaguchi won Dancing with the Stars. I've been a fan of her skating for years. Yes, there were a lot of skills she brought to the contest, but it wasn't a foregone conclusion that she'd win just because she was a skater. Not all of them have the kind of timing and musical rhythm that you need for ballroom, or even for all kinds of skating music.

The parents of Kristi's partner, Mark Ballas, must be pretty interesting. They also raised Julianne Hough (champion of seasons 4 & 5) and Derek Hough - three top notch dancers who are also innovative choreographers. It reminds me of Buddy Schwimmer's success through his progeny on So You Think You Can Dance – his son Benji won season two, niece Heidi was a finalist, and daughter Lacey was a finalist on season three. I partnered Buddy for a set of West Coast Swing classes a few years ago. Very uh, unusual and talented guy. Ask me about it sometime.

Is anyone else following dance on TV this summer?

~
I'm excited to join Silicon Valley Moms Blog! Click over to see my very first post: From Disaster to Disaster Relief.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Snot Factory is Closed

At least that's what I'm hoping. The household is mostly recovered from Plague Week, which was distinctly unfun with the coughs, fevers, and days when it seemed that my nostril was connected to an unseen vat of mucus. It's a new responsibility to have three noses to keep clean (fortunately, SwingDaddy takes care of his own and shares duties on two), but the unusually long illness was not punctuated with any trips to the ER, so we'll be grateful for that.

While clearing out a bunch of kiddie catalogs (you know the type, One Step Ahead, Sensational Beginnings, all sorts of education toys and wacky safety equipment), I found the perfect tool for last week.

Is the old bulb snot sucker not aggressive enough for you? Try Nasal Clear, the home aspirator, batteries sold separately.

Want to check if little Sally has a real reason to complain about earache? Buy your own otoscope.

Here's a really scary looking product. It's an anti-thumbsucking device that makes me think of those big cones they attach around the necks of pets to keep them from licking their wounds. I'm really curious if they've ever sold one.

This swimsuit with built-in floatation units worries SwingDaddy. It looks like a suicide bomber's vest in bright blue.

And to end on a cheerful note, I want one of these wooden stools to help me climb into our tall bed.
Should I get it emblazoned with "Lady M" or "Mommy?" It might be best to leave it blank so I can pass it down to one of the boys when I grow tall enough to not need it. One can dream.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

And On the Eighth Day, He Rested

The little dude took a nap today. Hallelujah!

It's non sequitur day.

Indiana Jones IV: Worth the twenty-year wait.

We slipped out to the theater for the first time since last summer's Harry Potter flick, while SwingDaddy's mom and stepdad kept an eye on the kids. Without giving away any plot points, I'll just say that Harrison Ford can still rock a fight and deliver archeological exposition with vigor. My favorite moment wasn't the usual swashbuckling - it was the goofy, loving expression on his face when Indy first sees Marion Ravenwood again.

It's also particularly cool that Marion adventures in rugged clothes and boots just like Indy, instead of screaming for help in rickety high heels.

~
Re-usable cloth shopping bags:

Usually, the problem is forgetting to bring them into the store and getting stuck bringing home more wasteful plastic bags. Not this week. Now that we're mostly using cloth, I've used up the backlog (typed "baglog" by accident first, quite apropos), especially the Target bags, which are large enough to line our wastebaskets.

No problem, I thought. I had to make a run for diapers and such anyway, so I'd bring home the purchases in a bag that I could use for the garbage. Except that I forgot and automatically used my cloth bag! Habits, habits.

~
Q-ster gives guidance:

I patted Buster, saying, "Let's get a burp, little guy, and then you can eat some more."

"Mama," says Q-ster, very gently and solemnly, like he's going to share some difficult news with me. "Mama, he doesn't talk."

~
After a huge dinner, I'm wondering how much food I can chalk up to nursing calories. I've promised myself that I won't step on the scale until my six-week postpartum checkup. The reckoning is coming.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

In Praise of the Laundry Room

I once imagined myself living in New York City – not permanently, mind you, since I know that I'm a suburban girl at heart, but for a year or two. I'd rent a tidy walk-up flat with just enough room for some all-black clothes, hit the theater every night, and enjoy art and shopping.

I have lost that dream. It's beyond me now.

Why? That clever little flat would have no laundry room.

The laundry room has become center to my existence. The micro dude generates about 4000 pieces of teeny tiny dirty clothing every day, so how could I make it through the day without my own laundry room? I jest, but serious kudos to you NYC and apartment types who juggle babies and out-of-apartment laundry. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably resort to keeping the children naked in the bathtub.

~
In the interest of equal time, I don't pretend to live in some kind of House Beautiful Perfecto, in spite of happy features I've written about. We have plenty of things to sort out, like how to keep the lawn green, the dryer vent clear, and here's a good one – why do all the lights turn off at 12:15am? Maybe it's just a sign that it's time to go to bed.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Napaholics Anonymous

Any minute now, I expect to hear a young voice say, "My name is Q-ster and I haven't had a nap in five days." Dude, you need that nap. You're happier when you nap. We're ALL happier when you nap.

Aside from non-nappage, things were healthier today for everyone except for SwingDaddy, so fingers crossed for tomorrow. I took Q-ster to his very first dentist appointment, where miraculously, he was perfectly behaved. We'd studied his "Trip to the Dentist" book the previous day and re-read it in the waiting room. Amusingly, we were reviewing the first page in the waiting room ("You'll sit in the waiting room until they call your name.") just as they called his name.

Both the dentist and hygienist were very patient, with friendly explanations, no sudden movements, and warnings before noises. Q-ster was somewhat intimidated by the large chair, so I sat down and he sat in my lap for the whole appointment. I felt better about the whole thing too, since I could hug him for reassurance (his or mine, not sure which).

Afterwards, we went to Jamba Juice to celebrate, and the other patrons laughed when I gave him the big cup while I took the small one. What can I say? The little dude likes his liquids. We both finished our portions and were satisfied.


In other updates, I had my first really successful experience with the baby sling! I was pretty awkward getting Buster into it (oops, leg dangling out, let's try that again . . .), but I persevered and got a good 40 minutes of him comfortably snuggled against me while I moved laundry and did other light chores with two hands. It's going to take more practice to get him situated quickly, but I can see that this is going to work and be worth the effort.

Now I just need to work on that pump again.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dangers of a Classical Education

Pestilence has visited our house. Various coughs, sniffles, fevers, and general grumpiness have circulated, and now we seem to be mostly recovering. Or at least I hope we are.

I was reminded of the perils of having a literary education when my fever came back in the afternoon and my immediate reaction was “I have consumption!” even though that would be impossible, not to mention highly inconvenient.

Even Nanny J caught the bug and went home early, so SwingDaddy spent a lot of time today coaxing the sniffly (but cheerful and highly active) Q-ster to use the potty, take a nap, and all those activites that interfere with having fun. Thank heavens SwingDaddy’s mom and stepdad are here this week to take care of us. Hopefully, tomorrow will bring better health to everyone.

~

This morning while we played with puzzles, Q-ster asked me to wipe his nose by announcing, “I have a booger!” After setting the baby down, I obliged and went to the kitchen to wash my hands. I could hear Buster began to fuss and cry, so I hustled back to the playroom, just in time to see Q-ster gently jostling the baby’s feet, chanting, “Mama’s coming, Mama’s coming.”

He returned to his toy as I sat down. “That was very nice to soothe your little brother.”

“Mama comes back,” he said absently, moving puzzle pieces.

That’s right. We’ve tried to teach him that even though we sometimes have to go away for a while, we’ll be back for him. I'm glad he absorbed that, even though he's already developed the teenager trait of selective hearing. I enjoyed that moment of peace in advance of the coming time when the boys will be fighting over the last slice of pizza.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Woven by Fairies

Using silk and gold dust, apparently.

This is a section of the itemized hospital bill from Buster's delivery.

And the associated prices.

$70 for diapers for a day and a half. Wow, it must be good to be Proctor and Gamble!

Update from yesterday: My pump is a Medela Pump In Style. More practice coming up.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lady M vs the Pump: Round One

The last time I used the breast pump was three years ago, over one very long night in a Seattle hotel room with no visible results. I sat there until dawn, too engorged to sleep, struggling with the pump and reading CNN.com on my laptop for distraction. In desperation, I learned to hand express the next day at the office in a convenient disabled-usage bathroom stall that included a sink behind closed doors.

Let's just say that the whole experience was somewhat traumatizing, and I was relieved to fly home at the end of the day and feed Q-ster.

As I've said before, I'm determined to get the hang of pumping this time around. This morning, Buster slept late and I was pretty full, so it was time to face the music. Here's how it went:

8:20am Pull out the pump case

8:25am Read instructions, assemble all pieces

8:30am Try pump, feel no suction

8:35am Disassemble pump components, re-read instructions, reassemble

8:40am Try pumping again without success

8:45am Hand express to get things started. Start collecting actual, visible milk!

8:46am Think to self that most of milk is probably from the hand expression

8:50am RESCUED! Baby wakes up and demands to be fed immediately.

8:51am 'Reluctantly' set pump aside and pick up Buster, the cutest little natural breast pump ever

Stay tuned for Round 2.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

We Have Spawned

This is so pathetically geeky, but here goes anyway. Once upon a time, I did a lot of work in Unix and coveted this fabulous baby outfit at ThinkGeek.com, long before I was even sure I wanted kids.

Q-ster isn't quite facing the camera, but can you read it? It says CHILD PROCESS.

The day after we found out the little dude-to-be was a boy, I hustled to the website to place an order and discovered they were out of stock for all blue onesies. I was so disappointed. The smallest size was 4T, but I ordered it anyway. Today, he is big enough to wear it! A geeky moment four years in the making.

Because my blood pressure is going to rise if I retell any of the recent stories involving whining, refusing to use the potty, arguing about pajamas, or jumping on the bed, here's one more goofy anecdote instead.

Yesterday, I was changing into a summer skirt, in preparation for taking Q-ster to the library. "Is that a short?" he asked.

"It's a skirt," I replied.

"Beautiful!"

I beamed back at him. He paused thoughtfully and said, "I go dancing with you?"

The little dude remembered that long ago, when SwingDaddy and I actually went out, I wore skirts for dancing. I'd be happy to go dancing with you, sweetie.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

(Re)Introducing Q-ster and Buster

The day that I wrote the very first post for this blog, Q turned one year old. I had hundreds of days to see his personality develop, along with accompanying nicknames, like QT (cutie), which I chose as his nom-de-blog. It's been harder to figure out what to call the micro dude, now that he's graduated from being Swimmy. At this point, he mostly eats, poops, and sleeps, which doesn't lend itself to descriptors other than Squeaky, which is how he sounds when slurping his breakfast.

The micro dude turned one month old yesterday and it's high time that he had a bloggy name for himself. Without other inspiration emerging through the sleepy haze, I'm going to call him what SwingDaddy's been using over at his blog.

Please welcome Buster, the micro dude. Much loved by the whole family and his big brother, re-dubbed Q-ster.


It's hard to believe that a whole month has gone by. I was feeling frustrated that I've barely tackled any of the issues around the house (kitchen is not re-organized, office paperwork is a mess, dryer is still not full working, piano is not tuned, etc), but I received a nice adjustment of attitude at the doctor's office today.

Buster was 6 pounds 7 ounces at birth. Today, he weighted in at 9 pounds 2 ounces! It's amazing how much babies grow in the first months.

So I should really think of the primary completed item on my to-do list as:

1. Feed baby

That's a lot of mama's milk, dude.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Netflix Queue Grows Longer

Love this guy.

Please, please let Movie 4 not suck.

Is Cate Blanchett just always gorgeous or what?
I'll even forgive that her son was born one day before the micro dude and she already looks like that! Of course, it helps to have a custom couture gown, stylist, hairdresser, and makeup artist.

This guy will forever be my ideal James Bond.

I found the Broadway version of Mamma Mia entertaining, if nonsensical in plot, and figured that I'd catch the film version on Netflix at some point. Then I saw the casting. Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth! I'm so there.

See some location photos here.

Are there any films you're dying to see and for which you're willing to shell out bucks for a babysitter (if applicable)?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

All Gone, and All to Come

The very last one broke today.

Q has clung to his one remaining pacifier (that he called "pup") for four months, and we've told him that it was the last one. He would solemnly repeat back to us, "Last pup. No more after this one."

Tonight, he accidentally dropped it into the toilet and wanted to wash it off, but SwingDaddy pointed out the various cracks and explained that the pup was broken now (whew). Q's immediate response was to ask, "Can I open the present?"

Grandma N had sent a package for him to claim after throwing away the last pup. Q trotted over to the shelf where it had been sitting for months and eagerly unwrapped a stuffed puppy. He hugged it and crawled into bed. When we kissed him goodnight, I told him how I'm proud of him, such a big boy. No more pacifiers, making progress on the potty training, sharing time with his little brother.

He's shyly asked to hold the baby twice now, and each time I've set them carefully together on the sofa, helping him hold the micro dude steady. It's wild to think of them as the boys, someday rampaging around the house, growing tweens who will eat through our refrigerator, teens who will wheedle for driving privileges, future men who will make life choices with what preparation we can give them.

Before I get too sentimental about this, I will remind myself that there are likely to be some rough nights ahead while the little dude gets used to soothing himself back to sleep without his beloved pup. With any luck, I'll already be awake feeding his little brother.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Does Anyone Have a Spare Tagline?

The very generic title that has topped my blog for the last two years has been serviceable, but I've longed for something with a little more something. Lady O wrote me a gift certificate for a blog banner (we did a lot of homemade gift certificates last Christmas, since we were both heavily pregnant and not excited to run around the mall), and the fabulous Secret Agent Josephine is designing something brilliant.

Along with the new design comes the question: Should I have a tagline?

A good tagline tells the reader a little about the content and attitude of the blog. A few examples:
Mayberry Mom: Raising Opie and his sister in the most wholesome town in America
The Bloggess: Like Mother Teresa, only better
A Mommy Story: Fairy tales are overrated
Her Bad Mother: Bad is the new good.
Mom-101: I don't know what I'm doing either

For the life of me, I can't come up with a tag that adds a succinct descriptor or is at the very least, funny.

Lady M: Writing whatever I feel like.
Lady M: Posting cute pictures when I'm too tired to write
Lady M: Dropping the "Nupboard" from my url because that was a temporary thing explained here.

If you have a suitable tagline for me, please, please share! If I use it, I will send you chocolate.

Photo: Totally unrelated to the post, but I promised to show my mom how the new cushions on the front hall bench look.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bubblicious


A new hand-held bubble machine. As Q puts it, "Life is good!"

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy To Be a Lifer

It's never been clearer to me than the last three weeks that I am not a Big Event Blogger. I don't recap and detail the huge, impactful things in my life. I am a small happenings blogger. I tell you about the silly song that my son invented while we were signing the escrow paperwork, or the television show we watched while waiting in the labor & delivery ward.

Each evening, I plan to write about how the micro dude arrived in this world, and instead, I prattle about some other little story. Until today, when I hit upon another Event, one that must be addressed: Mother's Day, or more accurately, what it means to commit to motherhood and parenthood.

As a new mom, I remember young, single friends watching the bustle surrounding the care of a child and them asking if I was ever off duty as a mom. I assured them "Yes, the baby takes naps."

Later, with a better understanding of how all-encompassing and perspective-changing becoming a mother is, I would joke "Yes, in eighteen years, when he leaves the house."

Now I realize that I was wrong both times. You're never off duty.

Thirty-plus years later, my mom and dad still arrive on my doorstep, bearing wisdom and hot meals, abundant patience and listening ears, and enough love for us all. And it's fabulous. I want to give that same love to my children.

Thanks, Mom. Thanks, Dad. Much love to SwingDaddy's parents and all our family and friends who have sent their good wishes and support as we settle into our life as a family of four.

Happy Mother's Day.

P.S. The pictures are two sides of the same bouquet, to better show off the amazing roses that are sprouting all over our garden. We can't walk outside without tripping over a few.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Today Show, Mommybloggers, and Early Experiences with the Press

Perhaps it's optimistic to call the reporter from the small local paper "the press," but the rest of this story is true. As a high school senior, a buddy and I had been awarded National Merit Scholarships, and we were duly photographed and "interviewed" for the Community Journal. We answered questions about what we were studying at present, where we planned to attend college, how we enjoyed our extra-curricular activities, and that sort of nonsense. When you're seventeen, getting to appear in any kind of paper, even a family newsletter with a circulation of twelve, is pretty cool.

The article appeared a week later. It was mighty short, considering we'd talked for an hour, but reasonably accurate. However, there was one single quote from me, and it referred to the University I would attend. "They have a beautiful parking structure, " the article reported I said. A beautiful parking structure. Uh-huh.

While the reporter had been getting settled, my friend and I had been chatting about campus visits, and one particular topic was that of whether freshmen were allowed to bring cars to campus. He was considering UCLA, where parking permits were so rare that they were issued by lottery. I responded that I had just returned from the University, where there didn't seem to be any issues with getting a permit (back then), and I'd even seen a few empty parking structures.

Somehow, that small talk, prior to the interview even beginning, became the sole quote of the day. There wasn't even a blandly generic quote about being excited to win the scholarship, or whether we liked or hated our classes. Instead, they wrote something completely irrelevant to the topic.

That, ladies and gentlemen, was my first experience with the press.

Obviously a small paper is vastly different from a nationally broadcast morning television show, but one would assume that the Today show would have higher standards for relevance. There's been a lot of talk in Blogsylvania (thanks for the new name, Jenny!) about yesterday's segment with Jill Asher of Silicon Valley Moms Blog, Mir, and Kristen and the following interview that Kathie Lee Gifford conducted with Dooce.

Others have said it better – an opportunity was lost for the show to actually report something, to explain the value of online communities instead of just repeat a tired line about "hey, there's this thing here called technology." And yes, I thought it was pretty funny that Kathie Lee, the queen of Too Much Information about her children on the air, questioned Dooce about her daughter's privacy.

The segment could definitely have been better, but overall, I thought it was fine. The women all came across as really smart and on top of life. When you provide material for someone else's story, they take what quotes and snippets that they want, so it's already great that the Today show didn't end up being about parking structures.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Now We Are Hip Hop Stars

We love us some YouTube. Q's latest dance obsession is JabbaWockeez, the winners of a TV contest that we never saw – "America's Best Dance Crew." This show must have had some pretty amazing contestants, because these guys are great. Choreography, synchrony, sheer physical skills – they've got it all.

In imitation of their signature masks and gloves, Q dons the firefighter gear that he got for his birthday.




Hitting a pose.



A bit of cool motion.




Still working on those headspins.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Still Breathing

I've joined the endless ranks of parents who have crept into their children's rooms, leaned over the bassinet, and listened carefully to see if the baby is breathing. Paranoid a little? At least I didn't hold a mirror under his nose (hey naughty people, it's to see if his breath fogs the mirror, not to offer a line of coke).

This is new to me, since Q was such a noisy sleeper that we nicknamed him Darth Baby.

I think I've jinxed myself by writing that and now he's happily making gurgling noises instead of sleeping the way everyone else (read I) would prefer.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Finally, I'm "In"

I read Entertainment Weekly on a regular basis. Although I don't watch much TV and miss most movies, I still read about the behind-the-scenes drama, actor interviews, and coming attractions. I don't know how many other people out there prefer to read their TV, but I'm one of them.

EW has a tiny feature called the Shaw Report that gives the latest on What's In, What's Out, and What's So Five Minutes Ago. For example, perhaps Jimmy Choo flip flops are In, pink Prada totes are Out, and Tiffany hairbands are Five Minutes Ago. (I'm not implying that any of those things are true. If you recognize the song lyrics that I just mangled, you probably don't know what's In either, except for the 12-and-under set.)

I'm usually firmly in the Out category, with the occasional Five Minutes Ago, and sometimes I don't even understand what they're talking about. Today, however, I am proud to note that I fit the In category:

(In case you can't read the last line, Out = Flat Bellies, and In = Postpartum Chic)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Perhaps We'll Try Again Tomorrow

Sometimes, asking the opinion of others is the best way to figure out what one really wants. I asked y'all what you thought of the different baby pouch fabrics, and I was thrilled with the one most of you chose, which means it must have been the one I liked best too.

The baby pouch arrived a few days ago (thank you to SwingDaddy's mom and stepdad!) and looks absolutely gorgeous. Why am I posting the generic website image again instead of showing a photo of the cute micro dude peeking out? It's a long story.

The Rockin' Baby Pouch brochure has many safety warnings, including the following:

Never cook while wearing baby in the Pouch.
Pouch is not to be used while participating in any sports.
Be careful going through doorways and around corners.

Fair enough. I didn't fancy trying to operate a BBQ or play tackle football soon anyway. It also says, "Starting with a fed and rested baby makes this easier when you're first learning."

Figuring that was good advice, I fed and burped the micro dude, then had SwingDaddy help me insert him into the pouch. He (the baby, not SwingDaddy) prompted barfed all over himself, miraculously not getting a speck on the pouch fabric. We gingerly extracted him, and I changed his clothes.

Just as I snapped the last snap, he spat up again and required another outfit. I held him for a while, just in case, and he proceeded to spit up just a little more. After I got him into the fourth clean sleeper, I decided it was not an auspicious day for the sling. As some lady said, tomorrow is another day.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Baby, Baby


From my vast experience and perspective of being a two-time parent for a total of nineteen days, here's my contribution to the virtual baby shower being held by Better than a Playdate in honor of Mrs. Chicken (fellow contributor to The Full Mommy), Chicky Chicky Baby (whom I gladly met last summer at BlogHer) and Her Bad Mother (one of my earliest, most fabulous blog heroes).

My advice about how to be prepared for the second child:
Get Help.

Ask for help. Accept help. Lots of helping hands are a good thing. Neighbors, friends, family, anyone who likes to hold a baby or play tag with a toddler.

SwingDaddy and I have been blessed with four eager grandparents taking shifts and two more on their way later this month, and our whole family is much happier for it.

If I were more coherent, I would write an inspiring passage about what it means to me when I see my children surrounded by love. Instead, please just pretend that you read something poignant, and I'll go feed the micro dude (again).

Best wishes to our lovely ladies and their second children!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Scrapbooking Flunk-out

I think it was Erma Bombeck who said that her oldest child was the center of hundreds of photos, with every "first" documented in the baby book, while later children had their birth and graduation photos on the same roll of film. Hardly anyone uses film anymore, but I still worry about the sentiment. Will the micro dude get neglected?

In the scrapbook department, it shouldn't be too hard to keep up, since I only managed to get seven pages done for Q. Yep, a total of seven pages for the child's entire lifespan. While I was intrigued by Kristen and Liz's Cool Mom Picks presentation on Pixtorie, the service that makes the whole darn scrapbook for you, I think I'll be satisfied if I manage just to print out our latest pictures and get them into a labeled box.

Let's take a look at my one and only scrapbook, just for kicks:

Page 1: Birth announcement. Haven't had those printed up yet, but we'll definitely have them made.

Page 2: Photos of the nursery. Um, I have one photo of the nursery, but we don't have the window valence or sealife mobile installed yet, so more photos will have to wait.

Page 3: Photos of the baby shower and preggo state. No baby shower this time, but we do have a nice shot of Q "hugging" his in-utero brother.

Page 4: Footprints and bassinet card from the hospital, first day photo. Got all of those.

Page 5: Pictures with all grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Still working on that, but it took several months to collect them last time.

Page 6: Casual family images. No problem. We've got better cameras now, and I'm in the habit of capturing photos daily.

Page 7: This is where it all went wrong. Halloween picture and Christmas picture on the same page.

Pages 8 – 30: Blank. I decided that blogging was the way to go instead.

If any of you are avid scrappers, I have some extra pages I can share.