Saturday, March 27, 2010

Autopilot ...

Friday, March 19, 2010

9 Months Old

Nine fly-by-the-set-of-our-pants months that have gone way too fast. Even though I feel like I have consciously tried to slow time down just a bit: I have inhaled her after a bath and thought, "I could never get enough of her sweetness", I have stared while she sleeps, I have marveled, made funny faces, kissed the tips of her tiny curled toes and made very effort to appreciate any given random moment we have together - it is still not enough. The past nine months are like watching water seep through my clenched fingers. No matter how hard I try to hold on a moment longer I am powerless to make it last. But then the next phase comes and with that I am head-over-heels, no-holds-barred, one-hundred-percent in love all over again and grasping to experience this new moment for all it's worth.


I love this kid so much. I think I am finally beginning to really understand what it means to be a mother. I wish my mom was alive so I could tell her this. 

Here are Ada's 9 month "stats":

Age: Exactly 9 months.
Weight: 21 lbs 8 oz. and 28.5 inches
Size (diapers, onesies, etc.): Size 3 diapers and 12 month old clothes (some 9 mos still fit and some 12 mos.  are already too small)
Eyes: A perfect meld of mine and Tim's- deep blue rim on the outside , like mine. Green is the majority of the iris with tiny brushstrokes of brown around the pupil, just like Tim's
Hair: It's coming....the bald spot is less prominent.
Sleeping: Fewer naps and very recently has started to wake and wonder where we are in the night. This is a hard phase.
Milestones: In position. Ready...Set...Crawl!
Words/sounds: She is still in the pterodactyl phase. We understand that babies who are exposed to multiple languages are slower to start towards talking but once they get going there is no stopping them.
What we are looking forward to: Crawling, finger foods, talking, walking...O my God!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

MRI & dinner

Tonight I took one for the team. I agreed to go into a 3T magnet and have my brain imaged. For One Hour. For my husbands research.

Yes, I am a good wife.

In truth, I don't mind it. I fell asleep in there just as I have any other time I offered images of my brain for research. When else can I grab one whole hour of time to just lay there and let my mind wander? When it's a diagnostic scan? Nah - I sit and twiddle and fidget and fret. No contrast tonight but Tim was able to get a look at my pituitary - tumor looks about the same. That's good news, right?

We decided to keep dinner light.  I started on dinner while Tim ran Ada's bath. I turned around after filling the cat food dish and saw this scene - the picture isn't cropped or staged or anything. Promise. Shouldn't dinner be this stunning every night before it even hits your plate? I love it when I feel like I am nourishing my body - not just eating.


March 16, 2010 marked the day 11 years ago when Tim and I went on our first date.

I remember so many details of our first date. He picked my up in this dark aqua blue mini pick-up truck he was borrowing from his Dad at the time. We went to Pura Vida for dinner. I can even picture where in the restaurant we sat. We went to see It's a Beautiful Life. Then he dropped me off at the big house and asked if he could see me again. It was romantic and fun and wonderful...

Our celebrations of these milestones are calm and family oriented these days! When I got done with work I met Tim and Ada down at our favorite African restaurant Massawa. We entertained Ada, talked about our days, and then got around to reminiscing. It's been a crazy ride! Adventure. Love. Heartache. Learning. Excitement. What if, on that night, a stranger had come to the table and told us that 11 years from right then that we would be married, living in San Francisco, doing the work we are, and loving our infant daughter - what would we have said? Could we, would we have been able to believe it? Not that we're doing something so unusual or special... it's just that life is so good.

It was a night for love, apparently. Ada made a new friend. His name is Lars and he is two years old and he is an awesome pretend dinosaur! He was awe struck by Ada after she shared her Tigger with him. He ran around the front of the restaurant saying, "more Ada! more Ada!" When it was finally time to go Lars gave Ada a kiss and Ada stroked his face. Then they hugged and Lars went home. 
The days have only gotten better. Ada got an Easter package in the mail from Uncle Pat & Aunt Stephanie: a cute onesie with peas on it, this great blueberry sleeper, and some touch-and-feel books. She is loving the books! Check out my little smiley blueberry: 

Another great surprise was that Roger brought in fresh eggs from his hens. I haven't had fresh eggs since in that old house in Indiana with Heather. That was 15 years ago! We used to go to the next door neighbors house, open the screened door to the porch, and leave a dollar in the refrigerator in exchange for a dozen farm-fresh eggs. The great simplicity of won't find that in the heart of a city but I will take my unexpected surprise of eggs from a friend. Nothing beats breakfast for dinner! Delicious :-) Look how cute they are nestled in the little too-big spaces of a commercial egg carton:

Today is all about Ada and I being together and all of the healing that comes from plain, simple rest. Watching Ada sleep is pure therapy. She is my very own heart.  The sleeping baby...


Saturday, March 13, 2010

A normal weekend. What a beautiful thing.

 Ahhh! Another great weekend with the family. I'll save the best for last.

My list of things-to-do is so uncontrolled right now that I don't even have a concise list. At the top of my list since last week was to organize my list. I still haven't tackled it. Give me a long list - now that I can handle. But an incomplete list that is spread over numerous pieces of paper and, gasp, my memory? You have just defined my personal hell!! At this point it's taken on a life of it's own and quite frankly I'm afraid of it. This weekend, some of the projects that have been nagging at me to finish can now be check-marked as done. It's so satisfying!

On Friday, Ada and I went out in the pouring rain to go to IKEA to look for a toy storage solution. After Christmas we needed it. Badly. I didn't want to spend a ton of money because the reality is that it will get colored on and stained and used the way that furniture does in a kids room. So here's what we came up with. It's neutral in case we are lucky enough to have a second baby - and what if that baby is a boy? Besides, when she's older, Ada and I can attack these plastic bins with paint pens and not feel a bit bad about it.

Even though it was still dreadfully cold, rainy, and windy on Friday evening Ada and I ventured out again to see Courtnay and Steven with their new baby, Cole. So sweet and handsome! I had forgotten just how tiny newborns are. It doesn't seem possible to have forgotten Ada at that size when it wasn't even 9 months ago. With those baby noises , deliberately blinking eyes, the tiny feet with the curled toes and curvy legs and little hands waving with fingers spread wide. Newborns babies are delicious! I can't believe it took so long for me to connect with babies.

I didn't get any pictures because I was busy keeping Ada occupied. She was really excited and wanted to just keep screaming! On the walk there random strangers were cracking up at her because there she was all bundled up in her stroller just screaming away. It's what she does when she's excited and happy. Anyway, Cole went home today. Hopefully I'll have some time tomorrow so I can go visit and take them all that food I made for them!


Saturday morning it was a beautiful day. Beautiful! Clear, brisk and only a bit windy (even in our neighborhood, which is really saying something). Tim was S2 so we couldn't take the car and I couldn't leave him alone with Ada - basically, these call days translate into family time staying close to home. We got Ada loaded up in the stroller and went down to Boulange de Cole for a coffee. Ada was super sweet. She just loves being with us - how cool is that?

With steaming coffee in hand to warm us from the inside out we carried on to the hardware store, the bookstore, the kid's store (fleece Zutano booties are a necessity in our home), and the art supply store. I love it that we can walk to all of the essentials within our neighborhood. Ada got a board book called Clap Your Hands! You know, "if you're happy and you know it..." She loves it! We sang through it three times once we got home and she bounced while doing the mouth-wide-open-silent-laugh that is so familiar from her. She is starting to do things if you tell her - bounce, clap, stomp your foot. So cute!

Another goal of our little neighborhood shopping trip was to get some supplies so I could get a couple little projects buttoned up.  Today I reupholstered the dining room chairs. Yup. I did. There is a store in the Haight that specializes in oilcloth. Who knew there was a need, right? Well, it just made sense given our current stage in family life. The tan fake suede was getting so dirty - especially the one that Ada's high chair sits on. So I just covered it up. I can always pull it off and replace it with something else later. This stuff so reminds me of the table cloths at the picnic family reunions in Michigan. So I decided to go campy all the way. I mean, really dive in.Check her out - lovin' the oilcloth (note Daddy's protective outstretched hand on the left there)!

And to end the night? Some dancing with Daddy. Oh. My. God. Slay me. Can you see the love in those eyes? She just thinks that Tim is The Best.

Now for the news I was saving. Are you ready for this?? Behold:

I'm half kidding. She can't figure out what to do once she gets in this position. It's a matter of days now though and she will be all over the place. Wouldn't it be cool if she started to crawl when Grandma Judy got here but before Daddy left for his trip?

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I look forward to Wednesday nights with an excitement that practically equals Christmas Eve when I was 7 years old. It marks the start of my weekend and my three days with Ada. Thursday mornings are the best part: fresh from sleep, Ada is ready to snuggle, talk, and play. I love it.
Today started off like any other Thursday. Tim brought me coffee in bed because he is the very best husband. He knows how much this small gesture means to me: it is a true way of saying "I love you." Then he brought me a bottle of formula. Finally came my sweet, warm, wiggly baby daughter. She settled into my left arm and in my half-asleep haze I gave her the first bottle of the day. God help me - I hope I can always conjure the memory of the sound of her soft hum as she drinks her bottle. Music to my ears.

We played in the bed for a while. At the moment, she loves it have her feet played with - especially if you clap them like hands. Hysterical!! Why are baby feet so damn cute?

Then I decided that she doesn't spend enough time in the tutu I got for her on my shopping trip with Callie. Nor does she get to wear her crown from Grandma Judy nearly enough. I get the feeling that when she's a bit older I'll hardly be able to get it off her head!

She was occupied with chewing on the crown more than wearing it. It's OK. Everything goes in her mouth these days. Then Daddy came in - Joy! I love how my little girl loves her Daddy! And I love the way my man loves his little girl. Some of the sweetest moments of my memory are from the two of them together.

Later in the afternoon she was playing on the floor in her room. I came in to find her scooted around and raiding her bookshelf! No big surprise that she would make a direct dash for her books given the giant nerds that Tim and I are. The apple does not fall far from the tree and all... This was a good motivator to use the gift certificates I still had from my birthday in August and Christmas. She should have 9 new books here in the next week or two. I'm so excited!! I love reading and hope to pass this love of reading and learning on to my girl. Here is the scene I happened upon:

The night ended  with Uncle Colin and Aunt Maiken coming to town for dinner. I met them at Kezar for dinner after I had a shower - my first opportunity of the day. See, last Saturday Ada decided that she couldn't stand to have me out of her sight. It's OK to go to work as Alicia does her nanny magic and completely distracts Ada. The moment she hears my voice or sees me? It's all over. It's not enough to be in the room or even sitting next to her. No - physical contact must be made at all times. That's why I was delighted that this happened tonight. But then, my little love seems to have a special connection to her Uncle Chud. You should have seen them at the baptism. Cosmic, really!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Marge

My grandmother was admitted to the hospital about a month after my mom died. Congestive heart failure.
I called this morning to check in on her. My aunt called me later - the nurse is going to talk to the doctor about hospice for my grandma. She is sick and she is dying.

My grandmother practically raised me. I was with her before school, after school, and all day long in the summer. I love my Marge. I adore her. I want to squeeze her when I am near her just for being who she is. I have her smile, I think. And she, like my mother, is my historian. When Ada was born there were 4 generations of women in her family. We are now down to three. We may soon be down to two - just me and Ada. That's half of our history. I am sad for myself but I am sad too for my sweet, sweet little baby girl.