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A Letter To Stella: Nine Months Old

  • Posted on January 20, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Dear Stella,

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You are nine months old–nine whole months. For nine months, you grew inside me, and for nine months, you have grown outside me. And now, each passing day is one more day on the right side of this delicate equation. Everyday I watch you become more like a little girl, and less like the baby who tapped danced in my belly and refused to come out, even with some coaxing. I still remember what it felt like, your somersaults and jabs inside my belly, and I sometimes miss it. I enjoyed everyday of my pregnancy with you, in awe of what my body was capable of.

And now, nine whole months later, everyday you amaze me with your absolute brilliance and moxie–and so it seems you have grown into your name, as I knew you would.

At nine months, you’ve been crawling for over a month, and now that you’re pulling yourself up on furniture and creeping around, I think you’ll be walking in no time.

You’ve got the smallest little nub of a tooth on your bottom gum, but nothing more–my little toothless wonder, I call you.

Your hair is turning blond, your eyes are a light blue-grey, you weigh 17 pounds, 13 ounces and measure 28 inches long.

You say Dada and Baba and Lala and Guh and sometimes Mama, but only if I’m lucky.

You fed yourself corn puffs for the first time last week, a huge accomplishment, and a skill that requires fine hand-eye coordination–though you often miss your mouth, or can’t figure out how to get the puff from your palm to your mouth.

You love to bang on things–I can give you a wooden spoon and a bowl and you’re the happiest little baby.

You are already a social butterfly–you make friends wherever you go. You stare at strangers until they make eye contact with you, then you smile and flirt. You can make any stranger smile–your smile is contagious, and you get so many compliments that I just have to nod and smile and say thank you, yes, I like her too.

You give me kisses when I ask, and you also kiss your stuffed animals and your own reflection in the mirror.

Your favorite books are “Moo Ba La La La” and “Hello Bee, Hello Me”, and I read them to you everyday.

I know how quickly nine months will turn into nineteen months, and then nine years, and then nineteen years. But in the meantime, I love watching you discover the world, and discover yourself, and I can’t wait to see the little girl you will become.

When I was pregnant, I thought  the bond I felt with you as you grew inside me was the strongest feeling I was capable of. Now I know. Now I know.

I love you.

Yours always,

Mommy

Gallery of Firsts, Part One

  • Posted on December 8, 2008 at 11:03 pm

Because I am too busy and too tired to write anything even remotely interesting, I present to you: a Gallery of Stella’s Firsts, Part One:

As you can see, Stella has been a busy little girl. Next on the agenda: growing teeth, saying mama, and high fives.

Stella’s Woodland Wonderland

  • Posted on October 26, 2008 at 8:44 pm

I am in love with blik.  That’s right–blik.

In our neverending effort to make Stella the coolest kid on the block, the envy of all other babies and the all-around happy-go-luckiest girl there ever was, we decorated the walls of her play area in the living room.

I decided that the walls were too drab–just plain old green. She needed visual stimulation. So I googled “wall decals” and the first thing that came up was blik.

They have just about the coolest decals I have ever seen. I know, I know, when you think of decals, you think of the little stickers that your dad put on your big wheel tires on Christmas morning. Not those kind of decals.

I decided on the “wee gallery woodland” theme.

How can you not be jealous of this?

Stellas Woodland Wonderland

Stella's Woodland Wonderland

Just look at the little hedgehog! and the mushrooms! and the owl!

I want to get decals for every room in the house. Seriously.  Maybe I’ll get some purple trees for the guest room, and some giant robots for the rec room, and a fancy chandelier for the dining room.

They even have decals based on the artwork from the latest album of a band I like called Of Montreal. Love it love it love it.

(Blik did not pay me to write this, swear to god.)

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.

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.

New Look, and a Video

  • Posted on August 10, 2008 at 10:02 pm

I’ve redone the blog–let me know what you think of the new look.

I promise to post something real soon. I’ve been busy! In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this little gem:

Stella Is A Punk Rocker

  • Posted on July 22, 2008 at 10:11 pm

Look at how punk rock my baby is:

Stella Is A Punk Rocker

Stella Is A Punk Rocker

The Time When I Fell Down The Stairs

  • Posted on July 21, 2008 at 9:32 am

I fell down the stairs yesterday.  My foot just slipped out from under me on the first step, like falling on black ice on a sidewalk in the winter. I landed right on my ass, and then bumped HARD down the next two stairs. I felt a searing pain in my tail bone and midway up my back. The wind completely knocked out of my lungs, all I could do was groan in agony. It reminded me of a time when I was young and fell on a roller skating rink. I couldn’t even talk, it hurt so bad.

I was also carrying the baby.

She is just fine–I think she thought it was a fun ride that I invented, just like the “bounce on mommy’s knee” game. Except this time, it was bounce in mommy’s arms while she gets the shit kicked out of her back and butt.

I have always wondered what would happen if I did fall or slip holding her, and now I know-I instinctively protect her above all else. My super mommy powers prevent her from any harm. It was instinct–do not let go, do not let go, do not let go. I still feel so guilty though, for having come so close.

I was just talking to Amy about this subject, because she has a bad knee that sometimes goes out on her, and she just tumbles to the ground. I told Amy that  if she was carrying a baby while it happened,  I thought her body would instinctively protect the baby.

So, I am grateful that it was ME holding her when I fell, and not someone else holding her and falling–I can’t say for certain that everyone has the instinct to protect a baby in their arms at all costs.

I have to admit that I did get nervous when she was just a newborn when certain other people would hold her. Those not used to holding babies, or clumsy people. It is awful to admit, but it’s true. If you’re reading this and you held my baby when she was a newborn, then the answer is YES, I was hovering over you because I was nervous. Because I was trying to protect her should you have stumbled or dropped her. Maybe this is a normal feeling for new moms?

As soon as he heard me groaning, Larry came running. He took the baby from me, and I sat on the stairs, unable to really move yet. SO. MUCH. PAIN. Fighting back tears and losing the battle. The impact jolted my spine badly. BADLY. I made it down to the couch and immediately took four ibuprofen.

I could walk and move my arms, legs, fingers and toes. I had no numbness anywhere. JUST PAIN. When I had back labor during childbirth, I had never felt anything like it before. Well, THIS FELT LIKE BACK LABOR. FUCK.

When Larry asked if I wanted to go to the hospital, I said no. More because I am scared of what they will say. What if they tell me I can’t hold Stella? What if I need surgery? What if I broke something or slipped a disk? What if the pain is PERMANENT? It’s better that I just grit my teeth and deal with the pain and not know. Not the best way to deal with it, I know. I don’t need any lectures.

Today the pain is better. It still hurts though. I will not go to the doctor unless it gets worse. I can hold my baby, and that is all that matters.

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

  • Posted on July 3, 2008 at 11:37 am

I think that Stella LOOKS LIKE A GIRL. She’s not one of those androgynous babies that could go either way. And practically every day I dress her in girly outfits. She looks like a cute blob of pink. Oozing girlishness. She has a pink pacifier. She wears pink socks. She has her name, STELLA, pimped out in stickers on her stroller. So why do people ask me if it’s a boy or a girl? Do people really dress second-born boys in frilly pink dresses and stick pink pacifiers in their mouths? Is it not completely obvious that she’s a girl?

My old self would say that people are just being polite, and don’t want to offend me and say the wrong thing. (”Oh, your little boy has such broad shoulders, he’s going to make a great football player, and with those giant feet, he’ll be a fast runner too!”) But having heard every sort of rude, intrusive comment when I was pregnant, I now know that people are NOT that polite. (”Your nose is so huge! You look like a lush!” “You’re about to pop!”)

Swim Suit Model

Avoiding The Paparazzi When You Have The World’s Cutest Baby

  • Posted on July 2, 2008 at 11:44 am

We’ve managed to avoid the kidnappers thus far. But, we’ve found that there’s another downside to having the world’s cutest baby–the Paparazzi. The cameras. The fans. They follow us everywhere.

On Monday, Stella and I ate lunch at the Dominion Deli at Arlington Boulevard and Gallows Road with seven fabulous mommy and baby friends (which is always a sight-eight women, eight babies, eight strollers, and several gratuitous flashes of breasts as we feed our babies. I try to tip the servers well). We sat in the corner of the patio and managed to avoid the paparazzi all through lunch, although this was probably because I had Stella in a sling and no one could see her face. When I put her in her stroller and put her sunglasses over her eyes, it was ALL OVER. CUTENESS OVERLOAD. BRING ON THE PAPS.

We walked to the Starbucks for an after-lunch grande Lite Mocha Mint Frappuccino with chocolate whipped cream. The paparazzi, made up of three women, spotted us. They followed us to our car. They oohed and aahhhed over Stella, saying things like:

“Oh My GAWD she is the CUTEST BABY EVER!”

“I didn’t know they made sunglasses for babies!”

“Are you on maternity leave?”

“That sure is a nice car seat!”

and my favorite…”CAN I TAKE HER PICTURE?”

The youngest woman pulls out her fancy blackberry/camera phone/MP3/GPS/whatever and takes a picture of Stella. Because she is the cutest freaking thing she’s ever seen. Oh well, at least she asked.

Stella with Sunglasses