Archive for March, 2006

The Little Girl

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

Julie has been working on the concept of names and labels for people lately. It’s very cute to watch the process and see what statements she’s come up with over the last month or so. As she works through ideas and concepts, she usually repeats things over and over till they’ve really sunk into her head.

First, she figured out that “Daddy’s name is Joe-Joe.” Um, well, that’s what Mama calls Daddy sometimes. Daddy’s name is Joe. So then, Julie would holler up the stairs “Joe! Joe! Where are you?” In a tone of voice that sounds just like mine, only it sounds more like she’s saying “D’oh! D’oh!” because her J sounds aren’t very clear yet.

Then, we had a conversation about Mama’s name. Only, despite Joe and I using Mama as my label whenever we talk to her or around the house, she’s picked up Mommy as my label from school or wherever (strangers on the street? Sesame Street? who knows.) So next it was “Mommy’s name is Shelly.” mmm-hmmm. That’s right, sweetie.

Last week, she started telling me that “Julie’s name is Emily” over and over. Until I figured out that she thinks Julie is her label – just like Mommy has another name and Daddy has another name, she should have another name too. So she tried to give herself one. Emily. Emily is the name of a character in one of her books, and perhaps coincidentally, Emily in the book looks a lot like Julie. So I tried to explain to her that Julie’s name is Julie, and that she is Mommy’s daughter and Daddy’s daughter and Sophie’s sister.

Then, in the last couple of days, she has started narrating her actions in the third person. She had already been talking herself through her day basically since she started talking. She’ll describe to me or whomever is listening, or even just to herself, what she’s doing. Only now she says something like “The little girl is wearing a pink shirt” So what if she’s really wearing is nothing but her pink tutu – she’s imagining that it’s a pink shirt at the moment. or “The little girl is making cookies” And, yeah, she’s really playing with her Duplo blocks, but she has a vivid imagination. It’s just another experiment in labels and names, I know, but it is so damned cute to watch and listen to what she comes up with next.

I promise, there will be more pictures soon. I’m working on writing up a knitting pattern at the moment and it’s taking up the few free moments at the computer I get.

Luck of the Irish?

Monday, March 20th, 2006

I made my once-a-year corned beef and cabbage dinner last night since I had forgotten to pull the meat out of the freezer to thaw in time for Friday. I thought it turned out well, and Julie ate it up, and Joe did his usual “I’m eating it quietly without complaint but you know I secretly hate this meal” routine. For whatever reason, he seems to tolerate it better when I chop it all up, reheat it in the skillet and call it hash. Maybe it sounds more manly? I don’t know.

I start to wonder each year this time – am I the only person on the planet who actually enjoys eating corned beef, potatoes, cabbage and carrots?

For what it’s worth, I used the crock pot for the meat and potatoes, then steamed the carrots and cabbage at the last minute in a skillet with some of the broth from the meat.

I think I’ve used my crock pot the most I ever have or will this week. I also made a bean soup and a barbecued beef roast. It didn’t happen that way on purpose, I was just using up ingredients I had on hand and that is what I came up with.

Pants again!

Friday, March 17th, 2006

Good news in the pants department. Yesterday I was at the mall again with the girls – I’ve been taking Julie to play in the soft play area at Eden Prairie Center and after play time and lunch were taken care of, I took a swing through a store that I don’t normally visit. It was full of pushy, middle-aged saleswomen who were WAY too friendly with Julie and way too into the baby. If I hadn’t already been put off by the woman saying stupid things to Julie about her “juice” (no, it’s a sippy cup full of water, but thanks for bringing up juice to my kid, who gets it only as a rare treat!) I sure was annoyed by her later asking me where my kids came from.

Whoa. I just gave her the blank stare-down. I’ve gotten weird questions like that before – people see the asian faces and assume they’re adopted. Whatever. I don’t care what goes on inside their ignorant little heads, it’s when they spew their stupidity at me and my girls that I get so irritated I just literally don’t know what to say. I mean, I *need* to stay cool so that Julie and Sophie don’t pick up on my emotion and feel like something is wrong with *them* when friendly strangers start asking stupid questions. After a few seconds of freezer-burn, the woman said “oh – they’re yours?” mmm-hmmm. She tried to back-pedal with comments on how beautiful they are, explaining that there’s a korean-adoptee parent group that meets in the mall and she just assumed. blah blah blah. THEN! Then she had the nerve to ask me what nationality my kids are. I really must come up with and memorize some casually pert response to these occasional idiots. um, American?

Anyway, I pushed past the sales hoarde and headed to the sales rack where I found a pair of tailored jeans in the size below the size I’ve recently been wearing. The week after I gave birth, I tried on a pair in this lower size, and could zip them up only by squishing my jiggly belly mass above the waistline in a most disgusting manner. Once I’ve tried on a size and found that it doesn’t fit, it is really scary trying it on again. How disappointing to walk into a dressing room with a size you hope/think will fit only to walk out and search for the next size up. Well, I gathered up my nerve, grabbed the pants and asked one of the annoying saleswomen to open the handicapped dressing room, the only one large enough to fit my fat ass and the two-seater stroller. Lo and behold, the pants fit! Plus they have a waistline just at my belly button, insuring that they won’t go sliding down my butt like every other pair of pants I own at the moment.

Today I tried the pants on again at home, found that they still fit, and decided to wear them around the house for a while with the tags on to make sure I wouldn’t have surprise plumber butt issues again. The tags are coming off, baby – these pants fit. Now what to do with the Old Navy jeans I bought last week in the larger size? The ones that I tried to wear today but which absolutely won’t stay up? I have no idea. I’m just happy that I have a pair that work.

The only sad thing is that I also bought a very expensive t-shirt on impulse the other day. On further reflection and trying it on again at home, it needs to go back to the store. I may just get a second chance to deal with that saleswoman. I hope I can come up with something better to say this time.

Time in a Bottle

Monday, March 13th, 2006

It’s already been more than a month since Sophie was born. I have done my best to savour each moment with her, to find time to just sit and stare at her, to enjoy our whole family in its new form as well. We’ve all adjusted much better than I expected. Two kids is do-able. This moment right now is one of the happiest times in my life. I feel so lucky to have to beautiful, sweet girls and a husband who loves us all.

Let’s look at some pictures, shall we?

I love this picture of Sophie because it looks like she is laughing. She’s only a month old, so she hasn’t even given us one of those real smiles that you know is because she’s happy to see you, but she does make the cutest smiling faces sometimes. She’s putting on weight and already looks quite different from when she was born. She’s going to have a chunky little baby-body just like Julie did, and I’m looking forward to that stage almost as much as I’m enjoying the tiny-baby stage. Tiny-baby stage doesn’t last very long in our family since both girls were born at well over 8 pounds and Sophie has pretty much outgrown some of her 0-3 month outfits.

She is very good at holding her head up and it is so cute sometimes to see her turn it back and forth looking at something up on the wall or out the window in fascination. She’s still a great sleeper, although we’re getting longer periods of happy-awake-baby time. I think she’s gotten a little less fussy since I cut out dairy, so I’m sticking with the diet at least for now.

Sophie’s little umbilicus finally healed thoroughly enough that I felt safe giving her a real bath. She needed it! Her hair was getting pretty greasy, and she had started growing cheese in the little crevices around her neck. She seemed to enjoy the warm water and didn’t cry at all until it was time to get her out and dry her off. I was taking a bath of my own the other night and she started fussing in Joe’s arms, so I had him bring her in to the tub with me. I don’t know if it was the bath or maybe she had just tired herself out, but once we got her dressed and wrapped up afterwards, she fell asleep and was out until morning.

Sophie continues to be a champion eater, and now that all our latch issues are straightened out, we’ve tried giving her a couple of feedings from the bottle. She sucks it right down, no problem! Julie even got in on the action. You can barely see it in this picture, but Joe has Sophie on the Boppy pillow while he’s feeding her. I thought that was so cute, I didn’t bother explaining to him that the point of the Boppy is to raise the baby up to breast level to make *breastfeeding* easier.

Julie likes to check Sophie out sometimes. It’s really cute – sometimes she’ll look around and ask “Where’s Sophie?” if she doesn’t see her right away. When she’s napping, I’ll leave Sophie in her car seat in the next room sometimes so that Julie’s stomping and loud talking don’t startle her awake. Notice the cute little hat and blanket? I’m writing up the pattern for that hat right now and plan to teach a class on it this summer. It’s a fun little thing to knit. I haven’t been getting a whole lot of knitting done lately – seems like whenever I have two hands free, they’re needed for folding laundry, cooking dinner, or some other necessary task. I have been sneaking in a few minutes here and there, though.

We had Julie’s second cousin Katelyn over for the day on Saturday while her parents were at work. They generally play pretty well together, although there were some power struggles over who could hoarde the most stuffed animals at one time. You can see Julie’s got an armload in this picture. By the end of the afternoon, everyone was tired and there was a little biting incident over some stuffed toy. Julie was trying to grab something from Katelyn, and ended up getting bit. That’s two-year-olds for you, I guess.


Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

I have a problem with pants. My new post-partum body apparently has a problem with holding pants up. I have never in my life had this problem before, but every pair of pants that I can fit over my giant thighs and hips absolutely refuses to stay up near my waist. It’s bizarre.

I mean, it’s no fun when you’re wearing clothes several sizes larger than your normal pre-pregnancy size, but I’ve been dealing with that aspect of the whole thing quite well. Size is just a number. I’m working on losing the weight, and I know it will come off. Today I even got the new double-stroller out and the girls and I walked over to Julie’s ECFE class instead of driving the 4 blocks. And I’ve been staying away from all things chocolate. That’s five pounds right there!

But – I don’t want to go out and spend a fortune on clothes in this giant size. I’m hoping to be down to the next slightly-less-giant size in just a few weeks at most. A dear friend went thrift-store shopping for me a couple of weeks ago and bought two pairs of pants to tide me over, I have one pair of maternity pants that still fit, and I splurged on two more pairs of pants from Old Navy. But every single pair – well, they fall off. I even managed to try on the last two in the store (Julie and Sophie in tow) and did not see this problem coming. As soon as I got that new pair of jeans on at home, they magically started slipping down my hips.

I just need this potbelly to go away or at least shrink enough so that I have a discernable waist again. At least, I’m hoping that’s what my problem is. Sad that I’m hoping my problem is just being hopelessly fat, but the alternative is that all new pants being made are just cut so low that I will never again be able to expect pants to stay up anywhere near my waist.

So if you see me…try to ignore the plumber butt.


Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

I can’t believe it’s been almost a week since I updated…I’ve been busy holding the baby, I guess. But I have a little happy treat to share. Some pictures of what we’ve been up to while I was away.

Sophie likes the pacifier. I’ll probably be hating it in a couple years when she likes it too much and doesn’t want to give it up, but for now, it’s really nice.

Awake and serious. But it’s SO adorable when she just lays there and stares up into your eyes. There’s a big stack of thank you notes and announcements to be written and sent out behind her on the desk. That’s what I’ve been working on instead of blogging here.

Snuggling with Daddy. I get up first some mornings so I can squeeze in a shower before he goes to work. Otherwise, it’s a crap shoot if and when I’ll work one in depending on when she falls alseep in her car seat.

See those lime-green sheets? I got them on sale after Christmas for $10 and they’re really cozy flannel. They totally clash with our duvet cover and our room, but it’s nice to have an extra set when someone barfs, pees or poos in the bed in the middle of the night.

Julie has not been ignored during this adore-Sophie-fest. She has been shying away from the camera when I have it out, and this morning finally agreed to get her picture taken with a big cheeseball grin.

Look at that tiny little nekkid baby. Chicken legs, teeny feet, bushy early-morning hair. She’s already starting to fill out and weighed 9 lbs 2 oz at the doctor this morning. I took her in to make sure that the cold she caught from the rest of us is still really a cold, and that the rattling sound she makes sometimes is just snot in her head and not her chest. She’s fine, of course.

For comparison, this one is Julie at about the same age. They definitely look similar, but have their own little faces and expressions. I still stand by my assessment – Julie looks more like me and Sophie is a daddy’s girl.