Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's Always a Festival, Isn't It?

On Saturday afternoon Joel helped me in the kitchen (by taking on the making and baking of this zucchini bread) while Hannah napped and Eric headed off to play football.  When we had the kitchen clean and the baby awake, we hopped in the car and drove south with the intention of catching the tail end of Eric's game and then kidnapping him to walk around Federal Hill for a bit, but we only made it as far as Mount Vernon because that's when we got stuck in Book Festival traffic and decided to park rather than be patient.

There was a kids tent set up with crazy balloons, lots of books, and this person dressed up like a pig in a red dresss ("It's Olivia!!" squealed a little girl standing nearby when I said "Look Hannah! A big pig in a red dress!").  Hannah loved Olivia. She just stared and stared and stared and snuck in a couple of touches when she thought Olivia wasn't looking.

(Joel took this one with his phone which clearly takes way better pics than my phone.)

The kid's area also had a number of activity booths including this one with crayons. Hannah LOVES little chairs and stools and tables so when we walked by this one, she beelined for the stool, sat herself down, and started coloring on the closest piece of paper.

"Look Hannah! It's a big red dog!" (I know, I know, it's Clifford.)

On Sunday after the nap she chose not to take despite being in her crib for over an hour, we drove south again, but this time we exited city limits and made our way to the Renaissance Festival. I sat in the back with Hannah and snapped this picture of her after she had stuffed her cheeks full of every last frozen blueberry in the little to-go container and smeared the remains all over her face.

These bells were tied on a string that was tied to two trees...We jingled them a bit.

(I think Eric might have taken this one...)

Watching the jousting tournament.
 So, I had it in my head that I was going to climb the "expert route" at the Renn Fest this year and win the $20 prize.  I had a friend who'd brought her climbing shoes a couple years ago and was allowed to use them, so I brought mine. The last time I'd tried the expert route, I was barefoot. I also wasn't as strong as I am now, so I was pretty cocky going in and had cleared a space in my wallet for my free 20 dollar bill that I was certain would be there before the end of the day. However, this year they didn't allow climbing shoes. They would have allowed Vibrams, but I didn't bring my Vibrams, so I had to go it barefoot again. My confidence waned significantly. I suggested Joel go first so I could watch and get his beta when done.

Joel came down and graciously accepted his $20, and I started to panic. After watching him and reading the route, I knew I couldn't do it. Maybe with a proper warm up and shoes, but not cold and barefoot.  But there was no turning back so I took off my Chacos, tied in, chalked up, and started up the wall.
 No dice. I got stuck in this spot right here, unable to grab that loopy hold with my right hand no matter how many times I tried to lock off and lunge.  Sigh.  Next year I'm bringing my Vibrams AND my guns (as in tickets to the gun show, not the dangerous metal objects), and I am coming home with $20!

After my failure, I suggested we go see the elephants, and I contemplated spending the rest of my money on an elephant ride for me and Hannah, but decided to just stand there at the wooden fence and stare at them from ground level instead. Hannah was content to do so, even though most of the time you could only see their tail end from where we stood.

I was supposed to be taking the BODYPUMP instructor certification training this weekend, but I waited too long to sign up and then ran into technical difficulties when I did and after a bunch of back and forth with the reps from Les Mills, I missed the deadline for sign up and then had to go through even more back and forth in an attempt to get into the class.  I started emailing them the same day that registration closed to see if I could still get in which was a week before training started but they didn't get back to me until the day before training to tell me I was in. By then I'd just given up and wasn't ready for it at all so I spent the afternoon stressing out about whether or not I wanted to spend the rest of the day stressfully trying to pull everything together so I could go. Joel, worried that I'd regret not doing it, tried to convince me to go and suggested I think of it as a weekend away, some much needed "me" time that included exercise.  That got me thinking..."Me" time, huh?? Welllll, although I really like BODYPUMP and definitely want to become a fitness instructor, if I'm going to get a weekend away and some ME time, I can think of other ways I'd like to spend it.  So I decided that when Hannah weans, me and my mom (and maybe my aunt and cousin too) are going to take a girl trip to a spa. I'm going to totally wipe this plate clean, and then I'll think about heaping something else onto it.  Bad metaphor, I know, but it's all I've got.

Right when I was thinking that, Eric called to ask if I wanted to go to the Khaki Ball (a Navy event for the Chiefs) the next night because he was standing in front of the dude selling tickets at that very moment.  I explained that I was still trying to decide whether or not to do the training and that if I did, I wouldn't be able to go to the ball, and he got annoyed with all my wishy-washing and politely suggested I skip the training and go to the ball.  So I did.

We had to be in our seats by 7:00 which meant leaving the house a little after 6:00 which meant not nursing Hannah and putting her to bed.  AHHHH!!!!  It would have been the same thing if I'd done the training (training was 12-9 on Friday) so I decided to go with it, let Joel put her to bed and just see how it goes. I'd pumped plenty of milk and since Joel had been with us for the past two weeks and had changed her diapers, bathed her, and put her down for a nap, I figured if anyone was going to do it successfully, it'd probably be him.  And he did.  She wouldn't take either a bottle or a sippy cup (just kept slapping them away), and she wouldn't let him read her a story (slapped the books away too).  She wouldn't even let him turn on the constellation ladybug, but she went to sleep, and she did it before 8:00 too. Totally miraculous.  And also a bit liberating.....

Monday, September 27, 2010

Forgot About These Pics...

I was downloading pics from this weekend when it occurred to me that I never posted the ones I took last weekend.  My dad and Sondra came down on Sunday with the intent of taking Hannah to the toy store to pick out a belated birthday present.  Our favorite toy store is aMuse in Fells Point, and the fact that it's in Fells makes it even more fun. The owner asked Hannah's age and then suggested these cool plastic toys with magnets. I pointed out this Cloud b Twilight Constellation Night, Night, Lady Bug that I've had my eye on for over a year. I'd have bought it myself sooner but in the summer months Hannah was asleep before the sun went down and awake after it came up.  After a brief discussion, they decided to go the typical grandparent route and spoil Hannah by buying both.  Both ended up being big hits: she plays with her magnets in the tub, and the constellation ladybug seems to calm her down faster at bedtime.

Walking around Fells Point with Pappy.
Back in Hampden out in front of the house.
While trying to put batteries in the ladybug, we stripped the prongs on the tops of the screw and were then unable to pull the screws out.  (The screw driver was the wrong size and really sharp.) I called the store and after checking her shelf and finding it lacking any other ladybugs, the owner called the other location and had them set one aside for me.  I'm so glad we stripped those screws because that other location is ten times as awesome as the Fells Point one, and I never would have known. It's HUGE and has so many cool toys....Hannah loved it. I took some phone pics of her playing.

One by one, Hannah gathered up every baby doll she saw and put it in this crib.
The next day, I got on Craig's List in search of a new used dresser for Hannah since hers was severely broken and Eric had "fixed" it more times than I can remember.  Joel decided to take a look for himself.  I grabbed some tools while he removed the drawers.  Hannah crawled into the dresser cavity and helped. It's fixed now!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hannah Takes Gymnastics

Last week was Hannah's first gymnastics/toddler tumbling class. I contemplated not taking her since she'd had the fever that weekend, but she seemed fine Monday morning so we went. This was probably a bad idea, and as a result, she was clingier than usual and a bit shy/overwhelmed, but with some support from Uncle Joel who got to come with us, she eventually warmed up and ended up having a lot of fun. Later on I worried that we'd infected the other kids but they were all there again yesterday so I guess not! Whew!

Classes are at Hoppin Tots Children's Gym.  Back when I was a nanny, I took the boys to classes there and loved it. It was one of those things I made a mental note of for when I had kids of my own.

This next part might be boring in which case, scroll right to the pictures, but for anyone interested in what class entails, keep reading for a description that is, as usual, unnecessarily lengthy and verbose (you know me).

You can arrive up to 15 minutes early and play in the free play area (where they have a huge trampoline that Hannah loves).  At class time, you assemble in a room off the main room for Circle Time. There are bean bags to play with while everyone gets settled, then there's music that we do a dance to.  We do the same dance/song for a couple weeks to give the kids a chance to learn it, and then they'll switch it up on us.  Then we do a song/poem that has some physical movement. Right now it's a song about fall leaves sang to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle.  The teacher passes out little paper leaves on popsicle sticks to all the kids and encourages them to follow her in doing movements that match the lyrics. (That stays the same for a couple of weeks too.) After that we learn the theme of the day (Blue's Clues the first week, Mother Goose this one) and are told to look for evidence of this theme throughout class. I'm not sure what the point of the theme is, but am guessing it's more relevant for older kids who are able to look for little blue paw prints while they're out rolling around on the mats.  Then we learn the skill of the day.  In the first class, there were two skills: log rolls and jumping.  Yesterday the skill was forward rolls.  Hannah refused to do the log rolls the first week but she did let the teacher help her do a forward roll yesterday. (We were given a schedule of themes and skills so we can incorporate those skills into our playtime with Hannah both before and after class.)

After practicing the skill of the day in the circle room, we move to the outer room where a new obstacle course is set up every week.  The obstacle course encourages munchkins to climb up, over, through, and back down. There are sections of the course set up to work on the skill for the day, there's a balance beam (Hannah's not too interested in that), and there's a really cool bridge that is a big hit with all the kids and the only way I got her out of my arms in the first class.

Parents are encouraged to help their munchkis through the course at least three times, and then we move into the free play room where the kids run around and do whatever they want. There's a giant foam mattress thing, tons of mats and soft squishy things, uneven bars, and the big trampoline I mentioned earlier. The teacher will bring out a game for the day for those kids who are interested (it was basketball the first week and giant foam blocks yesterday).  (Hannah checked out each briefly but then quickly returned to the trampoline.)  When that game is cleaned up, the teacher blows some bubbles and the kids run around popping them (except Hannah who stays on the trampoline). After bubbles the teacher breaks out the parachute.  First the kids run around on top while the parents shake it to let air bubbles in, then the kids run around below while we lift it up and let it fall around them over and over again.  Hannah showed no interest in this the first week but ran around beneath it like crazy yesterday.  After parachute play we all sit in a circle and sing the "skinna-ma-rinky-dinky-dink, skinna-ma-rinky-do, I love you" song, get stamps on feet and and hands, and then say goodbye.  Most of this program is exactly the same as when I used to take the boys I babysat so it's interesting to be experiencing it again with my own little munchkin.

The other cool thing about Hoppin Tots is that they have two free play periods a week (Wednesday evening and Friday afternoon) where you can bring your kid to run around and expend some energy. It's free to anyone registered in the current session but it's got a cap on how many can come so you have to sign up ahead of time.  For any kids not currently signed up, it's only $10.  I'd like to recruit some mom friends to come with me some Friday afternoon. Anyone interested????

Alright, my lengthy play-by-play of gymnastics class is complete.  Time for pics!!  I haven't busted out the big, fancy-pants camera yet because I'm afraid the other moms will think I'm a nut job, but I did sneak out my phone and snap a few (really starting to like having a camera in my phone...).  They're grainy and blurry, but they're probably easier on your eyes than the previous 17 paragraphs of me blabbing on and on and on....

Hannah staring at a kid on the trampoline, probably willing him to get off it so she can have it to herself.
Climbing through the donut hole mat thingy...
Running around the giant foam mat thingy (this pic is from yesterday--the others are from last week).
The trampoline is in a darker part of the room and with all the bouncing that goes on, it's impossible for me to get an even semi-worthy picture on my phone.  I'll come clean about my mamarazzi tendencies in a future class so I can get some decent shots to share.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Now It's a Virus

After the development of a couple more symptoms including extreme and unprecedented crying/shrieking and a splotchy rash on her belly and back, we seem to finally have an answer as to what's going on: a stomach virus.

Hannah woke up at like 2:30 a.m. on Monday night/Tuesday morning so I changed her diaper (she's been pooping at night ever since this diarrhea came about) and put her back to bed with not a lot of fussing, but then she woke up again at 4:00ish and could not be calmed.  I comforted her at first, then left her to cry thinking she'd grow tired after 5 or 10 minutes like she usually does, but she didn't. She just got louder and louder.  Eric went from 5:00-5:30, and when it was clear that that wasn't helping, I went in and laid down with her.  She passed out on the boob until about 6:20 then sat straight up and started screaming again. It was really weird, worrisome, and also a little annoying because by this point, fatigue was really starting to set in and I don't do well without sleep.   At breakfast Joel pointed out the little red dots on her belly and asked what they were. There were little raised pimpley-looking things all over her belly, and her back was red and splotchy like an ink blot. I had dropped off her stool sample the day before so I was a bit hesitant to call the doc thinking I'd have my answer in a couple more days and in the meantime they'd probably tell me nothing helpful ("Make sure she's staying hydrated....Give her Tylenol...Blah, blah, blah, and duh).  But then she woke up from her morning nap screaming that crazy scream again.  Again I laid down with her to nurse her and after about 20 minutes of snoozing and nursing, she sat straight up AGAIN and started screaming like she was in pain while big tears rolled down her face.  

So I called the pediatrician. I was like, "Look, I'm not a hypochondriac, I never once called in with a medical concern for the whole first year of Hannah's life, and in general, I operate under the belief that 'everything's gonna be all right,' but I'm telling you, there is something wrong with my child." I took her in to see the nurse practitioner and told her she's had diarrhea for weeks, had a fever this weekend, and is now screaming randomly as if in pain. She's also still listless and clingy at times (TOTALLY unlike Hannah). I'd temporarily forgotten about the rash but no worries because the nurse's first question was "Is there a rash?" She looked at it and said it was a virile rash and not to worry because the rash meant the end of the infection.  She said she's performed countless stool samples this summer on kids with this stomach virus that usually starts with a fever then turns into a month of diarrhea. It's weird that we got the fever toward the end, but it's otherwise normal. There is no treatment, just Tylenol to make her comfortable if she seems very uncomfortable.

My guess is that although the vaccines didn't cause it, they probably lowered her immune system while her system worked on fighting them off and then made her susceptible to this other virus. Where she picked up the virus is beyond me, maybe the daycare at the gym??  Anyway, it's nice to have a reason, but I'll feel a lot better when she feels better.  She's got big bags under her eyes, and her complexion is all paleish/greenish--she just LOOKS sick. It's terrible. I hate it.  I tried to take a picture of her looking all sickly, but the camera made her look normal, hid the bags AND the rash and the discoloration. I wish it would do that good of a clean up job when I'm the one in the frame.

We got a little antsy this afternoon after our mid morning nap (we are temporarily off schedule and just laying her down whenever we think she needs to sleep--oh, and I say "our" because Hannah and I were up from 3:00-4:30 last night and then Eric's alarm went off at 5:00 so I napped when she did today) and took what ended up being a looooooong walk around the neighborhood. We scooted west first to Roosevelt Park to show Joel the pool and the skate park and all the renovations being done, then we ambled through the streets on the other side of that park since Eric had never been over there, then we walked along Falls Road and I remembered this cool, hidden little patio deck thing that overlooked the Jones Falls so that became our destination. A sign that I don't remember being there the last time I visited many years ago said that it was the James Rouse Memorial something-or-another at Round Falls.  It's no state park or anything and is not nearly as nice as it looks in the pictures, but, well, it's kind of like finding a dollar in the gutter: you don't expect it to be there and it's not enough to really write home about (or blog about....) but it's still a good find.

Joel took this family shot.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Toilet Bowl Races

Hampdenfest kicked off this year with toilet bowl races, and it was pretty awesome.  So, it's set up like box car racing, but the chariot had to have a toilet bowl on it.  Check it out:

Uncle Joel managed to get off the boat and after 12 hours and three flights, made it to Baltimore.  Woohoooo!!! Unfortunately, he's only here because of migraines, so that sucks, but still, we love having him. 

Hannah woke up with her very first fever on Saturday morning so she spent lots of time snuggling.  We had a hard time getting an accurate read on her temperature no matter where we took it (forehead, armpit, mouth, rectum), but it seemed to fluctuate between 100 and 102.  I did some research and decided to let the fever play itself out as long as it didn't get above 102 or last more than 2 days.  I nursed her on demand and allowed her to nap on the boob as much as she wanted thinking that rest and fluids, especially mama milk, were her best bets to recovery.  By last night she was still really hot to the touch, and I was getting worried so I laid her down in a cool bath and trickled water over her for as long as she could handle it.  Fortunately, she was much better this morning.  She still has the diarrhea that she got soon after her 1-year vaccines so I took a stool sample in to the pediatrician today...She's been a mess since those vaccines, from the blistery sores to the yeast (that's what the second rash turned out to be) to the diarrhea to the fever...I know, I know, it's a coincidence, right?  I'm sure it is, but it's hard not to wonder if it's all related...Hannah got through the first 12-1/2 years of her life with 0 diaper rashes and 0 sicknesses (though she did have that 1 case of yeast), then she gets her first live vaccines and we've got issue after issue after issue...Am I being paranoid???

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fall Fashion Show

Fall kicked in late Wednesday evening after a few days in the 90s.  This morning it was only in the 60s when we woke up so I had to dress Hannah in cool weather clothes for the first time.  (Last fall/winter I kept her in those footed pajama-type outfits because they seemed so warm and comfy.) She ended up looking like such a big girl that I felt obliged to go a teeny bit mamarazzi. While snapping, I had a momentary flash forward to what her first day of school might be like....Crazy how fast it all happens.

(The tie-dye socks and vegetable onesie are much loved gifts from Jessica; the hoodie and pants are hand-me-downs maybe from Libby?? Not sure...)

We walked Hannah to the elementary school around the corner this past weekend to play on the jungle gym. It's not set up for babies, and there are no swings, but it's still fun and is way closer than the other two playgrounds.  She commandeered this big wheel from a gal who was waaaaaay big to be riding it, but was kind enough to share for a bit. Hannah threw quite the fit when the gal wanted it back. Looks like there will be a big wheel in Hannah's future! (The phone in this Blackerry is really coming in handy.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How I Stopped Being a Flake (For Now Anyway)

Yesterday morning it took me an hour to get a diaper on Hannah.  She clung to me like a baby monkey as soon as she realized I was about to lay her on the changing table, and then, before her butt even hit the table, she had flipped herself onto her stomach, thrown her legs over the edge, and was on the floor faster than I could process what was happening.  (I never really let go of her so no, she didn't hurt herself in the giant jump down.)  At first I was sympathetic. I figured that the crazy sores (which are healing) and rash (which is new and covers her whole butt and looks terrible) are painful and so she obviously doesn't want me coming near it and slathering pounds of goo all over it and then trapping it inside the moistness of a diaper. So I laid off and contemplated staying home so she could continue to run around diaper free.  But here's the thing: I NEEDED to get out of the house.  The reality of being a stay-at-home-mom really hit home this week.  Eric went back to work last week, and this week, I decided to let Hannah go down to one nap a day.  This means that I now have to have on my mom face ALL MORNING LONG.  This is quite an adjustment to make.  Two naps (two breaks) was really working for me.  We had stayed home all day on Tuesday and it was mind numbing and also stressful because I couldn't get anything done. I tried to take a few minutes on the computer to look up some dinner recipes she while played independently but nope. The second I flipped open my computer Hannah was right there beside me banging on the keyboard, making windows open and close, freaking out the caps lock button, and wreaking havoc all over my little on-screen world.  I closed the lap top, hid it, and sat down on the floor with her for a bit. The clocked moved slower than it's moved in a really long time, and I flashed back to rainy days as a nanny, hanging out in the basement for hours on end while the older child, who has the world's longest attention span, sat contently and quietly in a box that he was pretending was a canoe and I desperately thought up ways to entertain myself without being a bad nanny. "Ummm...I'll be right back, I'm just going to unload the dishwasher."

So when Wednesday rolled around I was determined to start the schedule I'd planned out last week. Wednesday was story time at the library.  Since that doesn't start until 10:30, I figured we could head to Target first.  At 9:00 I took her upstairs with the intent of diapering and clothing her and getting the heck out of dodge for a couple of hours.  At 9:15, I was rethinking my stance. Maybe she was really that uncomfortable that we should just stay home and diaper free for another day....Pondering....Thinking...Considering...No. Nope. We. Are. Getting. Out. Of. The. House. So I tried again. And again.  And again. The same scenario unfolded a couple more times.  I returned to reconsidering my stance.  What would Super Mom do??  Ahhh, screw it. Who cares. This time I made up my very indecisive mind: we were leaving the house. I'm the mom, and I said so.  I get to say stuff like that now that I'm a mom. I get to make up the rules, and although I try to make them with her best interests in mind, that does not mean I lay down and let her determine the day.

It took me an hour to come to that decision, and my waffling is probably why it took an hour to get the diaper on her.  At 10:00, I snuck the diaper on her while she was walking around.  Yes, I thought to try that sooner, but it didn't work earlier. At 10:00 it worked.  Unfortunately, my ability to gob on pounds of gooey-ness were severely inhibited by our lateral diapering stance so she had to go dry.  It didn't seem to bother her, not even after a giant dookie in the toothpaste aisle.  I rushed her off to the bathroom to change her immediately, and she laid there still and serene and peaceful...

Her wild woman wriggling has cropped up repeatedly since then, but now that I realize that she's not in THAT much pain and now that I know what to expect, I catch her right after her initial flip and flip her back to her back. I'm getting faster. She's realizing I mean business.  She's persistent, but so am I. Patience.  I wasn't born with it, but I'm learning. Diapers are now being changed again in under an hour.  But mostly I just let her run around naked peeing and pooping on everything in the hopes that the air will dry out the rashes and sores. This has amped up the potty training but with no significant progress except that I think that Hannah is starting to understand the action of peeing and the word "pee" in conjunction with it.  She will sit on the potty, but not for long and not at all if she has to pee. I've gotten better at determining when she needs to go, and I sit her down accordingly, but those are the times she's pretty quick to get back up.  Apparently, she prefers to pee while standing.

So, we're working through round 2 of the wiley, wriggling, diaper changing phase, and since we already laid the ground work the first time around, it's easier going this time around.  I wish I could say the same thing about round 2 of sucky sleep, but success has been slower there.  The good news is that I learned (both through reading and through the pediatrician) that the little chimichangas go through developmental surges on their birthday and half-birthday; knowing that has made this last month less frustrating.

Part of the problem is always my indecisiveness. It takes me a very, very long time to make up my mind about something. I like to research it thoroughly, hear testimonials, maybe make a few test runs.  When I do commit, it's on and good luck getting me to change my mind. But until I've decided, I'm flaky and wishy-washy and just plain annoying. I couldn't decide what to do about her sleep. Everything I read said that 15-18 months is the magic number for giving up the morning nap.  I heard mixed testimonials, plenty of friends have taken their baby down to one nap a day way before this magic window.  And as for the test runs, well, Hannah managed, but she didn't thrive.  I could tell she was sleepy and having a hard time getting through an entire day with just one nap, especially if the one nap ended up not being good.  I also read that in the transition period, their one nap a day will be earlier than a regular afternoon nap because they won't be able to make it all the way to 1:00 and that this period will be frustrating and lengthy...Taking into consideration that babies in the 12-15 month age range need about 14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period and that my baby has been consistently sleeping 11-1/2 to 12 hours a night (though she's been waking up once or twice most nights this past month), she really only needs a 2 hour nap.  Since there have been some days recently where she slept till almost 8:00 a.m., and there is no way I'm getting her to take a morning nap when she sleeps that late, I decided that we are now in the transition phase in which she will take only one nap, but that nap will be midday rather than afternoon.  Nap time is at 12:00, and  the cool thing about that (now on day 3 of this schedule) is that when I lay her down right at 12:00, she pretty much goes right to sleep. I just lay her down and walk out. She screams but not for any more than a minute.

It's still not really enough sleep. She hits a big lull around 3:30 every day, getting fussy and rubbing her eyes. I end up sitting down with her in a quiet spot and nursing her.  After about a half hour she has enough energy to make it to bedtime, but barely.  Which brings me to weaning: that's not happening.  She actually started nursing MORE than before for a while there, and I let her because she had diarrhea and a terrible rash and her sleep was irregular so I felt like she needed it. Also, since I couldn't decide on her sleep schedule, her nursing schedule was out of whack too, and there are only so many problems I can solve in any given moment.  Now that I've got a sleep schedule figured out, I'm working on figuring out a new nursing schedule and work toward weaning.

The really cool thing about this new schedule is that selfishly, it fits my life too. With Eric back at work now, I can't just go gallivanting off to the gym while she takes her morning nap.  If I'm going to the gym, she's gotta come with. Also, I signed her up for a gymnastics/toddler tumbling class on Monday mornings. I was worried about how that was going to work out if she needed a nap.  All problems are solved.  I've got activities planned for every morning of the week to get us out of the house for a couple of hours. On Mondays we'll do gymnastics. Tuesdays I'll take her swimming at the indoor pool. Wednesdays are story time at the library. Thursdays and Fridays are mama gym days because I like those 9:30 classes, and she loves the daycare at the gym anyway.

I don't do well in a state of spontaneous limbo so I'm hugely relieved to be returning to a schedule and a routine, especially one that is so balanced and ensures that both Hannah and I are getting what we need: exercise, stimulation, and socialization.  Funny how my needs are so similar to hers...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Nature Hiking It

We took Hannah up to Oregon Ridge yesterday after her non-nap to check out the turtles at the Nature Center and hike around the trails. I was bummed that I forgot my camera, but then I remembered that I've recently joined the ranks of people who have cameras in their cell phones.  How convenient!  Hannah rode in the backpack for about a half mile or so and then insisted on getting down and walking for herself which was just fine with us since a slow pace gave Eric time to look for animal holes in the tree, and it worked for me since it meant I could focus on my surroundings rather than on dancing around like a crazed monkey trying to keep her entertained and seated (she usually likes the backpack but wasn't into it yesterday).

She played at this tree stump for a while, alternating between lapping it and pulling off loose pieces from the surface and pitching them to the ground.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Last of this Summer's First Thursdays

We made it to the very last First Thursday of the season, well, to the first part of it anyway.  We had to leave before the headliner to make sure we got Hannah to bed on time.  She slept for two hours that afternoon so I had plenty of time to whip up some picnic dishes: beet salad,wheatberry salad, speckled butter bean and leek burgers, and some cantaloupe.  Those bean burgers were way better than any other bean burger I've ever made which was a happy surprise.

I love this first picture.  Don't worry, the beer can is empty.

Laura Mae took this super cute shot of the banana.

The only bottle Hannah ever drank from...

MC and John were there too with a friend, Richard Smith, who's a photographer and took this pic of Hannah.

What a fun way to kick off a 4-day weekend!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Getting Agricultural on Your A....

Before I go all 4-H on ya, a rash update: I took Hannah to the doc this morning, and although there are still no ideas for WHY she has the rash that blistered, we've got remedies and should start seeing improvements.  The doc prescribed a topical antibiotic to apply twice a day and also--brace yourself for the weirdness--Maalox.  Yes, the antacid. We use a cotton ball to apply it throughout the day.  We're also supposed to use this powder that has zinc in it that stars with an S or C or something and comes in a pink bottle...I showed Eric the gob-on routine tonight and he joked about how we were making quite a mess in her diaper before she even had a chance too.  He's right--it's a mess--but hopefully it'll start to improve and HOPEFULLY I can go back to sleeping through the night because this whole business of being woken up twice a night at random irregular times is really starting to have a negative effect on my daily demeanor.

My cousin, Kim, and her hubby, Jason, came to visit on Sunday.  After some yummy waffles (we found a waffle maker at Target for $5.99 the other week--SCORE!), we went to the Maryland State Fair. Not wanting to lose our waffles, we skipped all the rides and headed straight for the ag area. ANIMALS! Yay!!  To avoid insulting your intelligence, I'll skip the photo captions.

After the fair we came back to the house and watched Date Night (the movie) while Hannah napped then we made pizzas and then we went to Fells Point for ice cream! Super fun times!!  Hannah got quite attached to Jason throughout the day and managed to postpone her bath time by about 10 minutes because she was so cute snuggling with him that I couldn't bear to pull her away.