Jaded Optimist

Mothering, making, and generally blathering on

Back in the Saddle September 29, 2008

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 9:29 pm











That’s right—I went running today. Well, it was really more of a “run-walk” (run for 1 minute, walk for 4 minutes, repeat). To be completely honest, it was more of a “rhythmic spastic loping-walk”. The last interval I even eked out a 2:15 running length, since I was crossing paths with another runner and didn’t want to look totally lame.

My intrepid companion was with me, now that she is almost 6 months which is the official jogging stroller age (and has had the ped’s OK for two months). As is her style, she slept for the last five minutes or so and woke up when we entered the garage.

I am, ah, let’s go with a little sore tonight. Pitiful. But something had to be done about the remaining pregnancy pudge—20 minutes a day of pilates/weight-lifting wasn’t doing it, and stopping eating Junior Mints was out of the question. So running it was.

I haven’t run in almost a year—since the day before C’s 4th birthday party, when I was about 16 weeks pregnant with M and had a fair amount of unexpected bleeding. An ultrasound on C’s birthday confirmed that the edge of the placenta was bleeding (a subchorionic hemorrhage) and it might heal itself, or it might lead to a miscarriage. They didn’t know. And it wasn’t clear that anything could be done. But when I asked if I had to stop running (I ran until 32 weeks with C) the doctor said (I am paraphrasing here): “We don’t have any evidence that running will make it worse, or that rest will make it better. But if you kept running and something happened, you would always blame yourself.” Well, I stopped running, and it did heal, and now M is almost six months old and I am out of shape.

Someday, I really hope I have the time and wherewithal to train for another marathon. For now, I am hoping to do more than 7 minutes of total running time on my “run” on Wednesday.


Moving on Up September 25, 2008

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 9:25 pm

Guess who has been joining us at the dinner table in her new high chair? I hated C’s plastic high chair with a vengeance (she constantly slid down in it and food got into all these tiny crevices…ewwww) so we have put together a fancy wooden one for M. She has been very grabby in my lap at mealtimes, so now she can sit with us but be grabbing her own stuff. Still a few more weeks until she hits the six month mark and is ready for solids! She does love her stuffed carrot though, as you can see from the very damp end in the picture.











She is sitting a lot although will still fall over without much warning. I managed to get another big smile too—sorry for the bad shot, I have to focus the camera and then move my head around to get her to smile at me, so the smiling shots are always a little off!











Caught her sitting in a sunbeam the other day—check out these blue eyes!











Sadly, poor M already has her second cold in three weeks. I do not know what the deal is—C was in camp all summer, and M never got sick. C starts school, and apparently all the germy kids are in her class because it is like she and M are in the Olympic nose running competition.


The Ultimate White Person Day

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 9:11 pm

When I was in Portland we went to Powell’s books and I found a book called Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions. This book is absolutely hilarious even as I find it depressing to realize how many of my opinions/interests/values are completely cliche.

The author maintains a blog, which apparently was first (the book expands on the entries and has several not on the blog).

Yesterday, I went about a normal day and thought I would list it here, with links showing exactly how I am an embarrassingly standard white person.

Left the house with M in my Toyota Prius, wearing a Horny Toad fleece, listening to KEXP and then NPR. Drove to IKEA for some playroom furniture, a lemon reamer,  and canisters to hold bulk good groceries (oatmeal, quinoa, etc). Drove to Whole Foods, ate some sushi for lunch and then stocked up on organic, local, and sustainably farmed foods. Drove home, unloaded the car, went to C’s preschool (where she learns yoga, Spanish, and Chinese) to pick her up, and then we went out for coffee (well, me—she has milk) and then to the farmer’s market for more local produce. Drove home. Brought in the recycling container. Picked up our new Netflix movies from the mail, washed my water bottle, and logged onto Facebook on our Mac laptop. Ate my vegetarian dinner with a glass of wine. Knit on my sweater.

And that is on a day where I wasn’t even trying. Pitiful.


Random September 18, 2008

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 10:36 pm

If you need to contact me, please be aware that something has gone wrong with my normal Yahoo! mail account, and I can only log in infrequently, like a random 20 minutes every other day or so. So…for now, email me at my other address, which is [samename]@hotmail.com.

At the farmer’s market yesterday, a woman leaned into the stroller and said “What a lovely baby boy you have there!” “Oh,” says me, “thank you, it is a girl.” “Oh, yes, yes, now that I look at her full on I can tell. She looks just like you!” Um. Thanks. My kid looks like a boy…just like me??

One of C’s friends was picking grape tomatoes at our house on Saturday and was worried about a scratch that was on one of them. C piped up “Don’t worry, that is just how organic fruits and vegetables are.” Who says they don’t listen, right?

Caught on film…that wonderful smile of M’s that I keep going on about:


Top 10 Reasons the Baby has Stopped Sleeping

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 10:25 pm

10. Read earlier post, didn’t want mommy to keep bragging so shamelessly.

9. Overheard discussion of what a terrible sleeper C was, didn’t want to make her feel bad.

8. Who can sleep with the disastrous economy, disastrous weather, disastrous war, and the suddenly, irrationally possible chance of four more years of disaster if McCain is elected [M says: please vote for Obama!]

7. Sleeping is for the weak. I can sleep when I am old, like say 3.

6. Picture this: mommy completing 20 minutes of nursing and rocking, laying me totally asleep in the bed, ever so silently creeping out of the room, starting an activity, hearing me fuss and then wail after just twenty or so minutes, coming in to find me completely awake, trying and failing to re-rock or pat me back to sleep, giving in and getting me up, and then a few minutes later seeing me vigorously rub my eyes. The look on her face gets me every time! Plus the language I have been learning as a result—very interesting, and totally worth the sleep deprivation. 

5. 16 hours with a cranky, tired mommy is still so much better than 9 hours with a happy well rested mommy.

4. Twice mommy has snuck out of the house, leaving me with daddy after I go down for a nap. Not gonna be letting that happen again!

3. The ever popular teething excuse [although in this case it is When Harry Met Sally style teething; to wit: “I’m gonna get teeth” “when?” “Someday [sob]”]

2. The hour between 3am and 4am is radically under appreciated; I am doing my bit to introduce it to mommy.

And the number 1 reason the baby is not sleeping… As a public service, it just isn’t right to deprive the world of this smiling mug for too long…


Recap, as promised September 9, 2008

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 10:21 pm

First day of school, full of personality (and sass?), with a new haircut, new dress, new shoes (of her own choosing, as if you couldn’t tell—sparkle tennis shoes??) but last year’s backpack:











Bounty from the garden—many, many grape tomatoes, a handful of blueberries, all amazingly sweet and delicious. The larger tomato plant is a bit dicey, it is propped up by chairs right now, and tomatoes keep falling off it before ripening. No good picture of that one right now.











Also, our resident child laborer in nightgown, windbreaker, hat, and rain boots (not visible) ready for the harvest. The overseer did most of the actual picking however.











Our girl C was not a big ride fan last year. At the Fair, would only go on rides that went around (carousel for example), nothing that went up. And at Disneyland, was terrified the first day on a kiddie roller coaster and was gun shy about *any* rides after that. This year? Wanted to go on every single ride at the fair, and pretty much did. Would demand tickets—and then take off for the ride on her own! The giant slide was her favorite though, and she went on with each adult, even doing a little dance afterwards. She even went on a kiddie roller coaster with G, although he reports that she said “I am not afraid” a few more times than strictly necessary. We were so, so proud of C…until she threw a tantrum on the way out because she wanted a Dora blow up toy. I guess she is just 4 3/4 after all.


















Her uncle and her daddy each won her a prize, and she loved them equally.











Uncle D with the girls.











I think Uncle D had a good visit. On Friday we went out to lunch and ran some errands and he was 1) carded for his margarita and 2) referred to by the cashier at Fred Meyer as “[my] husband or boy toy”. Ick. My *brother*! He did take a picture of me with the girls though, and I don’t have many of those. Still don’t have many flattering ones, but that might be more my fault than his. Sigh.


Prepare yourself…five month old extreme cuteness September 8, 2008

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 10:43 pm

Last week was pretty busy—last day of work, first day of school, saying goodbye to houseguests Keiki the cat and owner C, welcoming my brother and his girlfriend for a visit, first gymnastics class, birth center picnic, and Puyallup Fair. Phew. Luckily, for both you and my hard drive, I didn’t take pictures of all those events. In any case, further recap will have to wait for a future post, as today we have another entry in our M’s monthly birthday post series.











That’s right, M is five months old today. No idea about weight or height, is still in her 3-6 month clothes for the most part though (some of the pants and footed outfits might be getting a bit short in the legs though). Other than that…

1. She is the smiliest baby EVER. Sadly, she mostly smiles for people, not cameras, so I can’t really prove this right now. But really—she is free and easy with the huge, happiness-inducing, full face smile.

2. If placed in a seated position, she can stay there for a bit. Rolls consistently from front to back, has not yet made it from back to front. Pushes up easily when tummy down. Can hold head up for surprising amount of time when laid on her back. Shows no signs of crawling or anything crazy like that.

3. Is getting pretty adept at hand manipulation. Loves to play with her grabbing and clutching toys, particularly those that can easily be sucked on. Has a tendency to constantly be grabbing her feet (see middle picture above), often sucking on those as well. Will also grab glasses, noses, clothing, hair, etc. of people holding her, and unsuspecting older sisters.

4. Has chubby, rosy little cheeks. Is developing a neck rash which seems to be drool + heat related. Has the vestiges of a birthmark on one eyelid, and another mark spread across the bottom of her head in the back. Working the bald spot, with a line of super long hair below it, and the cowlick combover. Eyes still shockingly blue.








5. Sleeping has improved recently due to G’s insight. During a heat wave, I had stopped swaddling M at night, and the first night she slept the same number of hours so I figured all was well. But over the next few weeks, her sleep was degraded, and I thought we were dealing with the dreaded four month sleep regression (note: it is possible to freak yourself out by lurking on parenting message boards too much). But G said…why not swaddle her again? Did it—and woohoo! back to sleeping until 5 or 6 am! Swaddled her today for a nap…and it was two hours!!!! Still figuring out the nap schedule, but things are overall on a good track I think. Goes to bed between 6 and 7, and if she isn’t in bed…watch out! (see below).

6. M is pretty mellow and easy going—loves to smile at people, doesn’t even cry or complain as C is pulling on her toes or laying on top of her. But she does have one non-negotiable—must be in bed at bedtime NOT in the car. If in the car, she will not sleep (as she will for say, naptime) but will instead cry the most heart piercing, saddest cry ever. For up to 40 minutes. This trait was most recently shown on our return trip from the Fair, where she fell asleep in the stroller but woke up to cry for the ride home. C was able to sleep through it but I think it shaved a few years off my life expectancy.

7. Is not spitting up as much (knock wood)—although whenever I get my hopes up that it is done for good, she puts me in my place with a chair and/or clothing soaking episode.

8. Has very kicky legs that can seemingly kick for hours, until they are corralled by her hands and stilled with her mouth.

9. Is liking baths, being worn facing out, some songs that we sing, pointy stuffed toys such as the goose above (which was also a favorite of C’s) and a stuffed carrot. Watches me eat, and I am hoping will be a better (easier) eater than C.

10. Has started giving what I think of as hugs, where she clutches my neck very tightly. Love this.


















11. Lights up for her big sister and puts up with a lot of “love”. Perhaps due to their shared interest in her toes (see second picture)? But big sis had better watch out…see pic four.