Happy Half Birthday!

  • Posted on October 16, 2008 at 9:38 pm

Stella is six months old today! It’s hard to believe that much time has gone by, but it’s also hard to remember what life was like before her. She rocks my world.

Sorry for not posting much lately. I’ve been really busy, mostly because of this. I’ve had to, like, communicate.

Stella, or Pookie, as I sometimes call her, has also been busy. She’s growing some teeth. She’s eating rice cereal. Her favorite band is Abba–all day long I hear her say “aaahhhbaaa aaaahhhbbbaaaa.” They must play it at daycare, because I sure as hell don’t listen to Abba. I thought that Mama Mia was ridiculous.

I’m now in the market for a highchair and a lightweight, umbrella stroller. God, babies need a lot of stuff. And we have the WRONG stuff, so now we need NEW stuff.

First time eating rice cereal. Kinda messy.

Work it.

Oh hey, what is this black thing you’re putting in my face? Gimmee Gimmee Gimmee, I need to taste it.

Sitting Is, Like, So Easy

  • Posted on September 28, 2008 at 9:34 pm

Guess who is soooo advanced that she can sit all by herself?

That’s right. Stella. And she makes it look sooooo easy, doesn’t she?

Also, I won a month’s free membership to Gymboree, so we decided to check it out yesterday. It was fun, but I don’t think I need to pay $77 a month to play with my baby. The only thing they have that I don’t is a giant, colorful parachute.

That little doll in the background is actually a real baby. Doesn’t it look like one of those dolls they give you to practice changing diapers and administering CPR at baby care classes?

I think Stella is getting her first tooth–she has been drooling up a storm, sticking her fingers in her mouth constantly, and she was a little irritable tonight. Poor baby.

Bryan and Romana, Sittin’ In a Tree…

  • Posted on September 22, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Bryan and Romana got married on Saturday, and we drove all the way to Cleveland (ROCKS) Ohio to celebrate with them. Stella did surprisingly well in the car–she slept most of the way, and when she wasn’t sleeping, she was playing. Stella Wins the Best Baby Award!

It was so fun to see my family. However, I no longer have the stamina to party all night like the rest of them. Perhaps it’s because Stella gets up between 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. everyday, and I get tired. Perhaps it’s because my body is a machine, producing milk for my baby, and I need my rest. Perhaps it’s just that I’m getting older. But by 10:30 p.m., I was BEAT. When did I get so lame? I guess I have a good excuse.

In other news, Stella has a cough. She’s had it for over a week now, and with my tendancy to overreact, I took her to the doctor last week. The doctor said…she has a cough. It will go away. When I pick her up from daycare, the teachers just give me this pathetic look, like I’m a terrible mother for not curing her or something. They tell me she doesn’t feel good and she’s coughing a lot. But when I get her home, she acts just fine. So I don’t know what to do. Anyone have any suggestions for curing a little baby’s cough? Don’t even think about saying “Robitussen” or “Brandy”.

pretty spinning bride

pretty spinning bride

Me, Stella and Larry

Me, Stella and Larry

Vote for Me

  • Posted on September 1, 2008 at 9:47 pm

I submitted a photo to JPG Magazine for their “delectable” theme. Vote for me so my picture will be printed in the next issue!¬† That’s right, a real magazine!

click here and scroll to the bottom to click on the green box that says “Yeah, it rocks!”

(Actually, you have to register on the website after you click the box in order to vote, because it’s a peer-reviewed magazine–but DO IT! It’s SOOOO worth it. They don’t spam. They publish a nice, respectable magazine with pretty pictures.)

Thanks! I promise I’ll remember you when I’m famous.

I also submitted a picture for the “nighttime” theme.

Vote here!!!

And to my models–I’ll make sure to thank you when I’m famous.

Four Months Old

  • Posted on August 18, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Stella turned four months old on Saturday. Four months! That’s 122 days. 10,540,800 seconds, give or take. I can’t believe how quickly it’s going by. Everyday she amazes me with some new skill she’s mastered (sleeping without being swaddled! eating her toes!) and it’s just been so much fun. I swear, she’ll be doing algebra by her first birthday, she’s just so damn smart.

Here is what four months looks like.

Then:

Now:

That’s right–13 pounds, 4 ounces of cuddle.

The Other Eighth Wonder of the World

  • Posted on July 26, 2008 at 8:38 pm

My brother Brandon and his girlfriend Amanda are spending the summer in Peru, where they are living in a hut atop a mountain and saving the lives of hundreds of Peruvian llama farmers (or something equally noble and selfless. I’m not even sure if they have running water or heat or STARBUCKS.) The other day, they posted fabulous pictures and a blog post about their trip to Machu Picchu, “the eighth wonder of the world”.

In homage to them, Larry, Stella and I ALSO went to Machu Picchu. Here is our story, told in photos.

Larry consults the PRESHUS iPhone for a map. Adventurous hat? Check.

The Preshus iPhone shows us the way to Machu Picchu.

Father and Daughter scan the horizon before embarking on the great adventure.

Larry’s hands grip the steering wheel as we drive through the wilderness. Knuckles white. Gaining altitude, losing breath.

A local boy, selling his wares on the streets near Machu Picchu. Could only afford a simple sign on cardboard, drawn with a marker.

The roads and signs here are confusing. We could barely decipher the signs pointing the way.

Another sign. On the right track. Bailey X Roads=Bailey’s Crossroads? Si?

A local wearing long white robes.

We saw the vestiges from a great civilization looming in front of us. Also, they drive like crazy people here. We narrowly avoided several collisions.

More locals, hanging out in front of a gas station. I guess they have nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon?

A family crossing a 5-lane highway IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET. Not at the crosswalk. Apparently, they needed to get to the entrance ramp?!? (Note the young child. Is this any lesson to teach your children? Why do people do this?)

More locals, hanging out at the Seven-Eleven. Again with the nothing to do.

The road to Machu Picchu. So quaint.

BEHOLD, THE GREAT MACHU PICCHU.

A tour guide? A local? An Incan? I don’t know.

Who knew that Machu Picchu was so close to the middle east? You can get kabobs here.

Larry and Stella approach the door.

The grand hall, honoring many great nations and lost civilizations.

Ooooh, classy. Leather menus.

Ancient Peruvian snack of half-popped popcorn.

Ancient Peruvian appetizer of shrimp, fish and squid ceviche with a pile of onions.

The adventurous Larry, without his adventurous hat, takes a bite of the ceviche.

An egg on top of a steak, plus three starches. Starchy McStarcherson. (Who knew that Peruvians can make delicious rice?)

Peruvian Fried Chicken. Close relative of the Peruvian Char-grilled Rotisserie Chicken, which is popular in Northern Virginia, Peru, and Larry’s belly.

Stella, hiding behind her toy Ken. All the starches scared her, I guess.

A shrine to Machu Picchu…with Buddha? Please explain. How did Buddha end up in an ancient Incan civilization? Does this have something to do with Pangea and sled dogs?

What a view.

Thank you, come again. (look at those ta-tas!)

One last shot as we drove away. The other eighth wonder of the world. Machu Picchu.



Baby’s First Oceanfront Penthouse Condo

  • Posted on June 6, 2008 at 2:59 pm

We took the baby on her first beach vacation last week to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My parents rented a fabulous oceanfront penthouse condo and generously invited their kids, significant others and grandkids to come along on vacation with them.

Some highlights from the trip: Bramanda temporarily renouncing their vegetarian ways in order to eat seafood, so they could fully experience the ocean and all its bounties; countless hours playing Mario Kart on Nintendo Wii, in spite of the fact that we were only several yards from the beach; watching the baby smile and laugh over and over and over when Grandpa said “where’s your mama?” (we call it “Stellavision” because it’s so entertaining to just sit and watch her); climbing Jockey’s Ridge again, but this time taking the shortcut; relaxing on the beach with a good book, the sound of the ocean in the background, and a salty breeze on my face; Eric’s complete lack of knowledge on sunscreen, and the fact that you have to rub it around after spraying, or you end up with blotches of white and red skin; and watching the fishing boats come in at Oregon Inlet.

This time around, I didn’t get attacked by a single dolphin or bird like last time we went to the Outer Banks and I was gruesomely attacked by an angry gang of killer dolphins high on crystal meth, and then a gang of evil rabid birds¬† flocked around me and tried to peck my eyes out. To be fair, though, I did not go in the ocean this time. It was too cold, and babies and oceans don’t mix. I also didn’t make eye contact with any birds.

You may think that taking a 6-week old on vacation would be a silly, stupid idea, but it was pretty easy. In fact, maybe it was easier than staying at home. We had a Grandma that wanted to hold Stella, change her diaper, give her baths, and even feed her (which is kind of hard since she is on a breastmilk-only diet–and breast pumps aren’t exactly soft and cuddly like a newborn baby, so bottle feedings are rare. I’d rather just feed her and not pump and then feed.) We also had a Grandpa that just wanted to play with the baby (”what do you mean she’s asleep? Wake her up so I can play with her!”). And with Uncle Eric and Auncle Bramanda, and we had a whole village. Remember? It takes a village.

I have pretty much gotten over any issues I had with breastfeeding in public, because a) I’ve learned to be more discreet, so I don’t have to whip my breasts out and flash the whole world each time the baby is hungry; and b) I’ve decided that I don’t care. If someone is going to stare, I’ll just stare right back. This worked well all week, and I fed her in restaurants, coffee shops and benches. The only time it didn’t work was when she was over hungry, tired and crabby at a restaurant on our last night. I was sitting on a wall, facing the restaurant, she was fussily eating and having a hard time staying focused, and I just felt like I was one of those big stuffed animals at Chuck-E-Cheese, putting on a show for all the families eating dinner there. People were staring, it was just bad. And the food was mediocre, and the floor was sticky, and the baby had a diaper blowout, and the bathroom was too tiny and gross to change her diaper in, all of which only added to my discomfort and irritation.

Ah, I wish I could be on vacation again.

The happy family on vacation

Grandma, Grandpa and Stella

I just think this photo is funny–what the heck is he doing?

Jockey\'s Ridge

At Jockey’s Ridge. These poor suckers didn’t know about the shortcut:

The Shortcut

One Month Birthday

  • Posted on May 17, 2008 at 9:16 pm

Stella turned one month old yesterday. We celebrated by going to dim sum at Mark’s Duck House today–it was our first trip to a restaurant as a family. Stella was an angel and slept the whole time in her car seat. We even made a trip to Target after lunch. It was a very successful outing.

My feelings for her are just so overwhelming. I can’t believe that this amazing little girl is my own, that Larry and I made her, and she is so perfect and beautiful and the smartest, most advanced baby on earth. I think she’ll be walking and talking in weeks. She’s already started smiling–isn’t one month incredibly early to start smiling? I told you she is advanced. Maybe it’s because she had a whole extra week to grow inside me, so she’s actually one month and one week old.

She also makes a great model–I discovered that she likes to look at dark colors, especially my dark digital SLR. Here are few of my favorites from her one-month photo shoot:

My Favorite Picture

Baby Chair

Baby Foot

First Trip to Mark's Duck House

First Trip to Mark’s Duck House for dim sum

3 Weeks Old

  • Posted on May 7, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Stella is three weeks old today–my oh my how the time flies. In just one week, she’ll be a month old! Before I know it, she’ll be getting her driver’s license.

We attempted a little photo shoot today to mark the occasion:

Two Weeks Old

  • Posted on April 30, 2008 at 10:04 am

Stella is two weeks old today! We just got back from her two-week check up, and the doctor said she’s doing “great.” He noted that she is very strong, and that she is eating like a champ–she’s gained a pound in about 10 days. It is pretty obvious that she’s eating well–she’s getting a little chubby chin and rolls on her tiny little arms. She’s been hitting up the 24-hour BK Buffet.
Baby Cheek