Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu Hysteria

So, apparently, there may be a case or two of swine flu in our area. In fact, the child who may be sick lives and attends school in a neighboring town that we visit often. The hysteria among my friends is palpable. Just watching the news or surfing Facebook is enough to make me never want to leave our house again. But, we are trying not to be alarmed, as suggested, right now. We are, however, going to limit our outings with Sweet Pea as much as possible.

I'm trying to think of fun things we can do in the house or in the general vicinity that will keep both Hadley and I occupied-- and most importantly, that will keep me from going stir-crazy. So far, I've got nothing. We usually go to the park and library, for neighborhood walks, to lunch with friends, and to a playgroup to occupy some time, but I'm going to try to cut out the playgroup and library for the time being. That doesn't leave a whole lot for us to do. I'll keep you posted on my sanity!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Favorite Days: First Trip to the Zoo

This last weekend, we packed up the stroller and sunscreen and made our way to the local zoo. We had been planning to take Hadley to the zoo all spring and were just waiting on the perfect, warm weekend to do so. This weekend, we finally had both good weather and the time to devote to a full day at the zoo. It was great-- warm, breezy, and pretty. I think Hadley had a good time, but I say "think" because we didn't get a huge reaction from her. She seemed a lot more interested in the crowds of people than she did the animals. In fact, she seemed more intent on the ground and trees in most exhibits than she did the animals. I'm thinking this will get better as she gets a little older.

Hadley did really well, though, given that she had absolutely no idea what was going on. She did a lot of this, which is a relatively new trick for her...

She also ended up sleeping for some of our trip. We did manage to see lots of animals before she fell asleep, though. We saw lions and tigers and bears... but, Hadley's favorite had to be the elephants. She really seemed to notice them since they are so huge and were so close to us. She also liked the polar bears. They put on a great show, swimming and playing with a ball. Who wouldn't like that?

At the end of the day, we were hot, exhausted, and ready to go home. But, I am so glad we went. I grew up taking trips to this zoo and every time I return, I am reminded of my childhood and all of those great-- and extremely hot-- family and school trips. I want Hadley to have the same types of memories, and with the season passes we just bought, we're well on our way!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dancing, Dancing, Dancing

Does anyone read It's Gwyneth Paltrow's newsletter and while I don't ordinarily read it, I found a link to one of her fitness posts while perusing a popular celebrity site. In the post, GP provides a link to a cardio dance number created by trainer Tracy Anderson. According to GP, you just learn the dance number and when you have free time, turn on some music and dance away the pounds. I'm always looking for ways to work out at home because I never have time to go to a gym anymore. My Wii Fit fits the bill quite nicely, but even then, I don't always have the time or room to pull out the Fit Board.

So, I thought this dance thing might work nicely-- and I was so right! I learned the little number in about 10 minutes and have been doing it non-stop ever since. It's easy and I can do it to any music-- whether it's Hadley's Baby Einstein cd's or a dance mix. Or, sometimes, I dance to no music at all and just count out the steps cheerleading style. That's really amusing to watch, I'm sure. But, the great thing is that I need very little room to do this workout, I can do it while Hadley is playing and still keep an eye on her, and I get a great workout doing it. Much more so even than with the Wii Fit aerobics. Check it out if you are looking for an easy way to work out around the baby's schedule.

Spit Up Clean Up

Okay, speaking of being a clean freak, I don't know what to do about the spit up. Hadley is constantly on her tummy. I can't keep her off of it. And the pressure on her tummy causes her to spit up. I put big quilts down on the floor to cushion her play area (since we have hardwood floors under the rugs), and I am constantly washing them to clean up the inevitable spit up. Today, she managed to spit up on the rug, her blanket, and her boppy all in the span of about 20 seconds. The kid is talented.

Do all babies do this? Is there just no alternative to the constant spit up? I've tried putting her in her exersaucer immediately after meals to let her food settle some, but the pressure of the tray on her tummy causes spit up, too. And, she won't tolerate being held until her food settles. She squirms and squirms to get down and play. I'm telling you-- this kid is active. Or, maybe I should say ACTIVE.

I'm at a loss... or maybe this is just another aspect of baby-dom that I need to get used to. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Definition of a neat-nick: Somebody that is obsessive about cleanliness. Source: the Urban Dictionary.

For all you English majors out there, yes, I just cited to the Urban Dictionary. Because I can.

Have I mentioned that I am a bit of a clean freak? I might have forgotten to mention that in my attempt not to scare off the two of you who are reading this. But, I am going to come clean (pun intended) and lay all my cards on the table. I am such a neat freak. I don't like clutter, I don't like dust, I don't like dirty dishes in the sink, I don't even like for the mail to sit on the kitchen counter for more than ten minutes after we bring it in the house. I know. It's a bad, bad thing, but I'm cursed with it.

Lately, with the Sweet Pea on the move, my house and specifically, my living room, is less and less neat and more and more about the toys. The TOYS! They are everywhere. When Hadley is playing, she manages to scatter toys for miles. I find them under furniture, in adjoining rooms, and sometimes in her clothes.

And the toys you see in the above picture are only a tiny fraction of the TOYS that are lurking in just about every nook and cranny of our house. For some reason, I keep picking them up like that is going to help. I organize them and store them in cute wicker baskets, put them in neat driftwood bowls that are sitting on my modern coffee table, and even hide them in the drawers of my mid-century credenza. But, they just keep reappearing on my living room floor. It's like they come to life at night and organize a march on my living room. Because never fail, by the end of each day, my living room floor is covered, seriously, in TOYS.

I'm hoping that one day soon, we can re-purpose our library, dining room, or guest room, all of which are rarely used, into a permanent play room for Hadley. Then, I can re-take my living room from the toys. Until then, I'll just relish the delight they bring Hadley and try not to cringe when I realize I haven't seen my rug in weeks. That small act, my friends, is huge for a neat freak. The things we'll do for those smiles.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not...

Sometimes I wonder if Hadley knows I'm her mommy or if she just sees me as a source for food and frustration. Most of yesterday, I was pretty sure she just wanted me to go away. She was unhappy and whiny, and I'm just going to blame teething again, even if I don't yet see a tooth. Really, there is nothing else that could be wrong with the kid, but I'd like to see at least the slightest sliver of a tooth just so I have some confirmation that that is what has turned my sweet, laughing, adorable child into a moaning monster. I tried everything, too, including Orajel, teething rings, toys, a Baby Einstein movie, books, and nothing was working. So, I made the executive decision that we would lounge in my bed and watch TLC all afternoon while we waited for Daddy to get home. That was better.

At about 5:00, I dragged us out of bed, sat Hadley in her high chair at the kitchen table, and started dinner. Oh, and I was making a bottle, loading the dishwasher, and getting Hadley's veggies ready to go at the same time. This is typically how I operate. If I am not doing fifty things at once, I'm not being productive. But yesterday, I just didn't have my act together.

On my way across the kitchen to drop some potatoes into the just-boiling pot of water, I slipped on a few drops of water and fell flat-out on the floor. It was one of those slow-motion falls where you see yourself falling for like five minutes and you flounder about trying to catch yourself before you hit the floor. I watched the potatoes fly out of my hands in a giant arc and land in the pot of water, splashing water all over the counter. Totally embarrassing. And, as if that wasn't enough, at the exact moment I hit the floor, Hadley let out a screech and started bawling crying. So, here I am lying on the floor with a throbbing knee with water all over my clothes and Hadley screaming in the background. It was one of those moments where I just wanted to push pause and lay there until I could start the day over.

Since I couldn't seem to will that to happen, I leaned around the cabinets from the floor and tried to reassure Hadley that I was a-okay and that a bottle was still forthcoming. More wailing ensued. I then pried myself off the floor and hobbled over to her, feeling every bit of my 32 years. And just as soon as I leaned in to kiss Hadley and comfort her, she smiled at me. A big, beaming, tear-stained smile. I think she was actually worried about me.

Well, that or she was worried about who was going to fix her next bottle if I was hurt. But, either way, I'll take any smile I can get. It made the day so much better!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend Rain

We woke up Sunday morning to a loud thunderstorm and pouring rain. The bedroom was dark and the bed was snuggly and warm. There's nothing like that feeling of security and warmth when you're tucked into bed and the world is crashing down outside. Rain was so not what I had planned for Sunday morning, though. I had flowers and herbs to plant, I needed to weed our flower beds, and we needed to repair a window frame. But, boy was I happy to see that rain. It was like a hall pass for the adults. As soon as I realized my morning chores were being washed out by rain, I almost jumped for joy. Then I realized it was much smarter to stay in my nice, warm bed. Just the thought of free time and potentially more sleep was exhilarating. That's what happens when you live with a tiny terror who relentlessly wakes you up at odd hours.

We put Hadley in bed with us and snoozed, snuggled, and watched cartoons until the rain slowed down. Then, Sean made pancakes. Lots and lots of paper-thin, crepe-like pancakes. The rest of the weekend was pretty lazy, too. It rained off and on with the sun coming out just long enough to taunt us. We managed to venture out for a family lunch and to run a few errands, but with all of that yucky weather, we spent most of the weekend holed up inside. We watched old movies, spent lots of time playing on the floor with Hadley, and generally just lazed about. Oh, and I might have taken some pictures of Hadley for fun. She loved it, though. She always does.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spaghetti Night Revisited

I have tomatoes coming out of my ears right now. As of this morning, I had a dozen tomatoes in the fridge and no idea as to what to do with them. Apparently, I have amnesia while shopping and just keep buying tomatoes despite the fact that we haven't eaten a fraction of what we already have. And we don't usually eat a lot of tomatoes. We make salsas, salads, and sandwiches with them, but we certainly don't polish off enough to need a bushel at a time. So, I started thinking about what I could do with them. In my free time this afternoon-- ha ha-- I searched around online for some dinner ideas and finally stumbled upon a recipe called "Mediterranean Pasta with Fire Roasted Tomatoes." Actually, it's more of an advertisement than a recipe, but the overall method and idea sounded great.

Essentially, this dish requires that you roast about 2 pounds of tomatoes that have been drizzled with a garlic and herb-infused olive oil. Then, when the tomatoes are nice and brown and soft, you crush half of them with a little more olive oil and mix that and the remaining tomatoes with spaghetti or fettuccine. Sounds delish, right? It was!

It was light, simple, flavorful, and so easy to make. I roasted the tomatoes and boiled the pasta while I fed Hadley. Then, we whipped up a quick salad, and dinner was ready. I adore quick and easy weeknight meals, and there's nothing like family spaghetti night. Only, this was nothing like the spaghetti and marinara of my childhood. It's a grown-up version with a kick. And it will probably be making an appearance at our house again next week.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Hadley, the child who has refused to eat green vegetables, just polished off an entire serving of green beans! I don't know what got into her, but she ate the entire thing, never spit a bit out, and even "mmmmmm," "mmmmmmhhh'ed" through the whole meal. This, after we have spent the last three months struggling to get her to eat anything green. All with very little success. Think gagging and looks of repulsion. Before today, the only thing that worked was a mixed vegetable dinner that probably tasted so little like green beans that she didn't know she was eating them. Ah, the joys of tricking a baby.

And now, she seems to love green beans. Maybe we're past the worst of our picky phase? Or, maybe she's just messing with me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

First Bloom

We have a large, wooden trellis just outside our kitchen window that I always thought needed something-- something green. Finally, last summer, after living in our house for two years, I planted a blooming vine (I cannot for the life of me remember the name now) under the trellis and willed it to survive the summer. It tried. It bloomed a couple of times but by the end of the summer, it was looking a little puny. I was sure it wouldn't come back this year.

But I was wrong. It surprised me by making a comeback a couple of weeks ago. And despite the uncharacteristically cold weather of the past week, its first bloom opened this morning. The flower is an absolutley gorgeous shade of purple and provides just the pick-me-up I need every time I walk into our kitchen. I might have to plant this little guy outside every window of our house. If I can remember its name.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lou Lou, My Love

Apparently, Kartell released a scaled down, child-sized version of the iconic Philippe Starck Louis Ghost Chair, called Lou Lou, in 2008. How I missed this until reading Elle Decor this month, I have no idea. I imagine it might have something to do with the pint-sized terror who has taken over my house since last September, but that's just a guess. (Hadley isn't really a terror, by the way, except when she is tired. And then, look out!)

If you aren't familiar with the Louis Ghost Chair, let's just say it's nice- really, really nice. Louis is a polycarbonate riff on the classic Louis XV armchair, and the mix of classic style and modern material is almost shocking. Lou Lou made Elle Decor's list of the Ten Cutest Children's Chairs with the editors commenting that children would love that it is see-through while design-savvy parents will appreciate the style. But, most importantly here, Lou Lou comes in pink.

Lou Lou in pink
Photo from Elle Decor

Left, Lou Lou Ghost Chair, and Right, Louis Ghost Chair
Photo from

I may be in love-- and maybe a little obsessed, too. I may have even gasped the first time I saw Lou Lou. I have always loved Louis, who is sitting regally in my living room right now. This might explain why I absolutely adore his kid sister. Or, it could just be that Lou Lou comes in pink. That would do it, too.

I would love nothing more than to incorporate a pink Lou Lou into Hadley's "big girl" room in a couple of years. In fact, I may design the room around the chair. I am hoping that Hadley appreciates modern design as much as I do. What better way to introduce her to modern design than with her own baby Ghost Chair?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone! Hadley is having a great one...

We hunted for eggs at Hadley's aunt and uncle's house with her cousin, who is three. He was so into finding eggs. Hadley was, too, for about three seconds. She found four whole eggs. And, she tasted every one of them, despite the fact that we found them under flowers and in the grass. Yum. (Don't worry, Mom, I wiped them off first!)

We're on the hunt!

Daddy helped Hadley find an egg!

Hadley also LOVED, and I mean LOVED, her Easter basket this morning. She could not get enough of the plastic eggs. I think I could have left out all the fun stuff and just given her empty plastic eggs and she would have been thrilled. I was so surprised that she paid even the smallest amount of attention to that basket. I figured she would glance at it and then go back to her regular rotation of toys. As you can see, that wasn't the case at all.

She found her egg!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dear Hadley: Month 7

[I am following in the footsteps of many other bloggers with this series, most notably those of Dooce, one of my all-time favorite bloggers. Heather writes a letter to her daughter each month. I love her series and hope I can stay on track for as long as she has. I think Heather is up to 60 months so far.]

Dear Hadley:

For the past seven months, I have documented your existence in detailed emails I wrote and sent to our family and friends. I have persisted with these updates, despite the fact that I was bordering on the obnoxious, for several reasons. One being that I wanted our long-distance family and friends to feel like they were right here with us. But more importantly, I wanted to document each special month for you, so that you could look back one day and read about all of the little things that made us smile, all of the developmental milestones that made us proud, and all of the special things that made our hearts melt. Now that I have a blog, I've decided (and this idea is by no means original) to start writing and posting letters to you telling you about all the fun we are having and all of the new things you are doing. There are so many little things you are doing right now that I just want to bottle and keep with me forever. These letters are hopefully the next best thing. I love the idea of documenting your life for you to read later and hopefully, you will enjoy these letters as much as I enjoy writing them.

This has been a big month, sweet pea. You learned to crawl, you started babbling, you actually started eating green vegetables, you started drinking from a sippy cup, and you learned your first game. I can't get enough of how active you are and how busy you stay. You have so much to do and squeeze into each day that there isn't a spare second for you to waste. You are always talking, bouncing, playing, crawling, and reaching for something, sometimes even in your sleep. It is not uncommon for Daddy and I to check on you at night and find you crawling around in your crib. Kinda funny when it isn't 3:00 a.m. in the morning! You definitely keep us busy, kiddo.

Learning to crawl has by far been your biggest accomplishment to date. From the moment you started rolling from your back to your tummy, you have been determined to crawl. You practice constantly and you are doing it! You finally have a technique that works for you. Your crawl really is more like creeping, where you pull and drag yourself along on your belly with your hands, arms, and sometimes, your forehead. I admit, it's pretty entertaining to watch, but you are super fast and so determined to get around that you usually squeal with delight when you reach your destination.

You also surprised me by learning to babble this month. Out of the clear blue, you started saying "dada," "bla bla," and "ba ba" one night and you have been going on and on ever since. And you love to laugh and squeal. As soon as you see one of us, you squeal with delight. You especially do this when Daddy gets home from work. Your happiness at seeing Daddy after a long day is palpable. It's as if you are saying, "You're home, you're home, you're home!!" You then bounce and wave your arms until he picks you up. I love seeing you two together. Your Daddy loves when you say "dada" to him and you make sure to say it A LOT. I'm hoping if I stop trying to feed you the dreaded green peas so much, you might start throwing in a "mama" or two.

And, your laughter. If I could somehow freeze time so that you always laugh and giggle the way you do now, I would in a heartbeat. You are so free with your laughs, and we try to get them out of you as much as possible. Sometimes, just smiling and laughing at you will grant us a big giggle. Other times, the most random things will make you laugh. A few nights ago, Daddy was singing "Shake it Up, Baby" to you at the dinner table and on each "AAAHHHHH," "AAAHHHHH," you would laugh hysterically. Daddy and I were both laughing so hard that we were crying. We have also learned where you are ticklish, and tickles will normally elicit great laughs from you. It's hard not to constantly tickle you just to hear that adorable laugh. We try, though. Really, we do.

There are so many small things I want to remember about this month, too. There are the big, gummy smiles you give me when I smile at you. You have done this since you were a tiny baby and I never want to forget them. I'll need those memories when you are a temperamental teen! There are the weekend mornings when we let you sleep in our bed on a pillow between us. Those mornings are so sweet and lazy, I just want to hold on to them forever. And, watching you play with your toys, I am always amazed at how great you are at working those little hands. You can pick up the smallest things and enjoy trying to see how many things you can hold at once. I loved watching you read a book with your Maggie this month, too. You were so intent on turning the pages and talking that it was hard to tell who was reading the book. You now hold your arms up to me when you want me to hold you and sometimes, when I am holding you, I am lucky enough to get a big neck hug. This month, I taught you your first interactive game. You hide your head on my shoulder until I say, "Where's Hadley? Where's the baby??" You then pop your head up with a big grin and look around for your audience. I love that we have that game.

Lately, when you are sleepy, you put your little fists behind your head, one fist behind each ear. You usually fall asleep like this and then at some point during the night, you roll over and sleep on your face. You prop your face up with your little hands and snooze away. Your Daddy and I worry when you sleep like that, but you love it. Also, when we are feeding you your bottle before bed, you rub your head and play with your hair. Your Daddy does the same thing when he is falling asleep. It's amazing how alike you and your Daddy are already.

I realize each month as you become more and more independent how far we've come since we brought you home on that sunny, Sunday afternoon in September. In just seven short months, you have morphed from a tiny, swaddled baby who quietly chirped and slept all day to a laughing, squealing, playful, busy, little girl, who has completely stolen our hearts. I miss that little bundle that you were, but I'm also loving the fun, active baby you have become. I can't wait to see what the future has in store for us.

I love you, sweet pea.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Favorite Days: A trip to the Botanic Gardens

Some days are magical.

A couple of weeks ago, we spent a leisurely Saturday morning at our town's Botanic Gardens. We couldn't have picked a better day to visit. The weather was nice, the gardens weren't crowded, and the just-blooming cherry trees and daffodils were tranquil and beautiful. It was the best non-planned thing we've done in a long time.

We strolled, we checked out the different gardens, most of which were not yet in bloom, and we strolled some more. It was nice. It gave us the opportunity to slow down for a little while and also the chance to work off the yummy pancake breakfast we had just consumed at a local cafe.

Someone was still hungry, though, so we stopped for a quick picnic in the park. About the time Hadley got hungry, we happened to stumble upon the only garden really in bloom: Daffodil Hill (sounds like a country music hit). There were literally hundreds of daffodils and quite by accident, we realized that they made an amazing backdrop for pictures. Luckily, we had the camera with us and we snapped a few pictures. I was so happy to capture an impromptu family moment on film. Or digital card. Or, you know.

These are the types of days I want to have more of... and the type that I hope Hadley remembers.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Fever

I love spring. The promise of warm weather, longer days, blooming flowers, green trees, and flip flops is in the air. And I especially love shopping for spring clothes. I love the lure of sleeveless tops, t-shirts, and shorts. After a winter of heavy coats and sweaters, lighter clothes are so refreshing.

To prepare for spring, I've been shopping for myself and Sean some but mainly, I have been concentrating on clothes for Hadley. She has almost outgrown every bit of winter clothing she owns and is in dire need of some new clothes. Unfortunately, everything new I have bought is geared to much warmer weather than we are currently having here. Think cute little bubbles, sundresses, and onesies. Not at all appropriate for 45-degree weather. But, who knew it would be 45 degrees in April?

In my shopping frenzy, I stopped by Old Navy a couple of weeks ago and happened upon a major sale where everything baby was $5. I went a little crazy. It was hard to resist. Have you seen those tiny, baby bathing suits and cover ups? And the little rompers and bubbles? And I almost, almost bought a pair of baby flip flop sandals. Then I put them back. And now I am kicking myself.

Here are a few of my finds, which are a great start to Hadley's spring and summer wardrobes. Until it warms up here, we'll just stay in the house. If you missed the $5 sale, check out If you click around on the site, you can find coupons to print, usually for 20% to 30% off one item or sometimes, 20% or 30% off your entire purchase. Score.

1. Printed Bubble One-Pieces for Baby, regularly $12.50. I picked up the Pink Flower and Multi Stripe, but there is also a Green Flower for those who could use a little less pink.

2. Swiss Dot Bubble One-Piece for Baby, regularly $19.50, bright white. I love white on babies and this sweet bubble is perfect with its subtle detailing.

3. Ruffle-Trim Two-Piece Set for Babies, regularly $12.50, pink stripe, of course!

And, just look at those butt ruffles:

4. Printed Bubble One-Pieces for Baby, regularly $12.50, blue mosaic. I think I have a problem. I keep buying bubbles.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Partners in Crime

A few nights ago, I was changing a dirty diaper while Sean cleaned the kitchen. I'm thinking that he got the better end of that bargain. Especially considering the severity of the diaper, which was so bad that we should have evacuated the house and called in a hazmat team for assistance. But being the fearless mama that I am, I handled the situation all on my own. Then, I cleaned up the ruined baby clothes and changing pad and got Hadley comfortable in her crib. I should mention here that I was very careful to raise and lock the rail on her crib since I would be leaving her alone. I'm just amazing like that.

Once I had the diaper situation under control, it was time to take care of my ruined clothing. So, I quickly ran down the hall to sanitize my hands and arms and to change my poop-stained clothes. I don't know if I ever thought I would say that last sentence, much less write it for the interwebs to see. But anyway, I frantically changed clothes, washed up, and ran back down the hall to rescue Hadley from her crib. She's not on the best terms with her crib right now, but that's a story for another day.

At this point, I was so proud of myself for: 1) handling the diaper from Hell, 2) managing to get both baby and me clean and free of poop, 3) managing to do all of this without having to call in Sean for backup. I am always bothering Sean to help me with something, so sometimes I like to see if I can handle really crazy stuff on my own. Then, I like to brag to Sean about how great I am. I'm sure I am a joy to live with.

Well, I was almost back to Hadley's room when Sean came up to me in the hall and said, "Did you just leave Hadley on the floor?" I stood there confused for a minute and then glanced in her room. The railing on Hadley's crib was down and she was lying on the floor, on her tummy, playing with her zebra rug. She was totally unfazed, totally unhurt, and enjoying herself on the floor. Somehow, in my mind, though, Hadley had lowered her crib rail and rolled to the floor. It didn't matter that she appeared unhurt or that physically, there is no possible way she could lower her own crib railing, I still freaked out. I ran to her, scooped her up, and rocked her, all the while wailing, "OH MY GOD! IS SHE OKAY?" I finally looked up to see Sean laughing in the doorway. He thought it would be hilarious to move my baby to the floor and trick me into thinking she had rolled out of her bed. Yep, hilarious.

And apparently, Hadley thought this was great fun, too. She was smiling right along with Daddy. She, of course, had no idea what was going on or that her Daddy was in a HUGE amount of trouble and would be sleeping outside for the conceivable future. I'm sure this is only the beginning of a lifetime of practical jokes to be played on me by those two. And, while I look forward to watching my daughter's relationship with Sean grow, I'm truly worried about what they will come up with next. I don't know how much more my heart can take.

And, don't worry. Sean is now allowed back in the house. It's supposed to snow tonight.

Hadley playing on her zebra rug.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bedtime Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Sean put Hadley to bed last night and when I stopped in to see how they were doing, he advised me that he was telling Hadley a "Star Wars" bedtime story. He then proceeded with his tale of Luke Skywalker's quest to find Obi Wan Kanobi with his friends, C-3P0 and R2D2. Sean even had voices for each character in the story.

This may sound like an odd choice for a bedtime story for an infant and for a girl no less, but I love that Sean is introducing Hadley to something he loves. Have I mentioned that he's a computer-nerd engineer? Well, he is and besides loving computers, tech gadgets, and sci fi books, he has always loved the Star Wars movies. It's truly heartwarming to see Sean interacting with our tiny baby, especially when they are engrossed in a game or story. And Hadley eats it up. She is a daddy's girl already and is never happier than when Daddy is home and playing a new game with her.

And when they get to laughing together, there is no better sound in the world.

For the Love of Peas

Meal times with Hadley have in a word been frustrating lately. And I mean FRUSTRATING, as in I want to pull my hair out by the time the meal is over. I'm sure it is normal for babies to like certain foods and dislike others as they are testing and experimenting with solid foods for the first time. But, seriously, this kid is killing me. We have been introducing solid foods for the last three months and have really found only a handful of things Hadley will eat. Green beans and green peas have been the biggest offenders, eliciting such delightful responses as gagging and shuddering. Lovely. And just recently, Hadley developed this adorable new diva behavior of refusing to open her mouth to eat until she has "tested" what is being offered. She expects you to smear a little on her lips for her to taste before she will begin the meal. Then, if the food passes muster, we can proceed. If it doesn't, forget about her opening her mouth for more. Hadley sits in utter silence with her lips pressed together as if defying you to try to feed her. I admit that I have resorted to trickery on occasion to get her to eat. And, sometimes, I feel the slightest bit guilty about this. Others, I'm just happy that I got something in her stomach besides fruit and sweet potatoes.

That's my diva. Where Hadley genetically got her pickiness, I have my suspicions, but it definitely was not from me or my hubby. We're both willing to eat anything and as children, we were equally open-minded about food. But, we may have solved our problems-- with food, that is. There are still more problems out there, believe me.

When we started solid foods, I naturally gravitated to the Gerber brand (we buy the organic offerings) since that is the overwhelmingly-stocked brand at most stores. Plus, I was just more familiar with it than with any other baby food. And, overall, it has been very kind to us. But for some reason, Hadley just doesn't dig the vegetables made by Gerber. So, in a fit of desperation, I picked up some Earth's Best veggies one day. And lo and behold, she ate them. We have tried three flavors so far and each one has been met with overwhelming "mmmmm's" and "ahhhh's." A success! Her favorites so far are Corn and Butternut Squash, Winter Squash, and Summer Vegetable Dinner. The Summer Vegetable Dinner is a true winner since it contains most of the veggies Hadley previously refused to eat, including carrots, green beans, and even zucchini and garbonzo beans. I could not be happier to finally get some veggies into that diva's tummy! And, there are a ton of other "gourmet meals," dinners, vegetables, and seasonal favorites we can try. I'm sold.

If you are struggling with diva behavior of your own, let me know what you did to get your little one to eat. I'll take all the tips I can get.

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