Here are two photos from a few weeks ago, when we were at the aquarium in Galveston with my sisters. There are more on my flickr site.
This week Larry is in Boston, sitting through all-day meetings for a week. That doesn't sound too fun, but they try to make up for it by going out in the evenings and having fun. We've been amusing outselves by playing with our spankin' new cell phones, which can send text messages (I know, welcome to the current century) and photos and videos. So, Larry, along with various family members, has been receiving a 30 second video (or two or three) of Eva every day this week. I'm sure the novelty will wear off, but it is fun to do, and maybe that means he'll miss her a little bit less. Larry sent a photo of himself this afternoon, and I showed Eva and she smiled and waved, and then right after I set the phone down, she started saying "papa".
Eva is making a big effort to double her total number of teeth all this week. She'll have to produce an 8th tooth to hit that mark, and I hope she doesn't, but an impressive effort nontheless. She came up with three molars this week. I guess she decided to skip the four other front teeth she doesn't yet have. I could tell she's been teething for a few weeks, but I didn't expect all these molars. I'm babbling in circles, I'm so impressed. Wait, could I be speechless? .... (Nah.) I guess she's not done yet, because she has woken up 5 times in the 90 minutes she's been asleep, and that's after a dose of ibuprofen. (Why is she always teething when Larry is travelling?)
Today she stacked some wooden disks onto a peg. She hadn't done that before, but I showed her and she immediately did it with ease. So, I think yet again, it's not that she just now figured out how, but more like she's saying "oh, that's what you wanted me to do? why didn't you just say so?" I swear, sometimes I wonder what I do all day that I haven't taught her this stuff yet. Sometimes I really feel bad about this. Apparently I'm slow to catch on to the concept that now that she's not a baby, it's no longer sufficient to keep her content and fed, I have to teach her things, too. Not like I'm trying to teach her French by age 2 and playing classical music all the time to make her smarter, but shouldn't I occasionally show her how to, for example, stack a damn block? I worry that I'm just lazy, that I'd rather take a break when she's content. Then again, I'm not too worried, really, because I suspect this is just yet another thing for me to beat myself up about as a mom that doesn't really matter much in the long run. So, steady on, I guess...
first event, eva finally did it. due to her interest in (okay, i'll call it an obsession with) the phone, she finally managed to call 911. once i noticed her playing with the phone, i hung it up, and within 15 seconds there was a call back. i had that feeling.... and sure enough. here, we'll do this like they do on news stories and crime reenactments:
911 operator: "is this kristy and*****-ewi**?"
kristy and*****-ewi**: (knowing telemarketers never get her name right) "yes..."
911: "this is mike with austin 911. we just received a call from your residence. is everything okay, ma'am?"
kae: "oh no! i am so sorry, that was my daughter."
911: "so everything is okay?"
kae: "oh, yes, everything's fine, she was just playing with the phone. you know, i was worried this would happen someday."
911: "yes, we could hear her laughing in the background [she had been screeching, actually], so i figured that might be the case. but everything is okay? you're fine?"
kae: "yeah, we're totally fine. but again, i'm really sorry."
911: "it's okay, just keep that phone away from her in the future, please."
kae: "i definitely will. okay, bye."
i think we get one free pass. but now i really have to keep the phones up high.
number two, she scratched herself on a bit of pokey wire (which is assisting in holding up the "entertainment center"), and as a result, she had her very first non-medical-proceedure-related bloodshed. symbolic, sad to us, but she of course barely seemed to notice. it didn't even require a band-aid(tm) brand adhesive bandage.
number three in our banner week of "it could have been worse" events, we had to call poison control! (but notice that this smart mama ordered and put a poison control magnet on the fridge many months ago, so chalk one up on my column before you immediately erase it when you hear the rest of this story!) eva was pushing around her cart of blocks, and i was laying on the floor playing with her and listening to NPR. i remember feeling sleepy and thinking that the room was babyproofed, and that i'd *hear* her if she got into anything if i just closed my eyes for a minute (yeah right, the silence is how you know they're into something!). next thing i know (seven minutes later), larry is saying my name (apparently he said it four times and had to repeatedly kick my foot before i woke up, so i was soundly asleep -- nice touch, huh?), and he's holding eva surrounded by shreads of plant leaves all over the floor. so yes, she ate some of the plant (or at least pieces were fished out of her mouth), and after some internet research, we determined that "croton" (who knew?) is indeed poisonous, and incidentally, so is pretty much every other plant in my house. so i had a really helpful, consise conversation with poison control, who said i should just feed her a bit to settle her stomach and "give them a holler back" if she vomited more than three times. hurray, poison control! hopefully they're not in contact with austin 911, or i'm going to get reported to some less friendly state agency.
there you have it. i guess these things come in threes. and these are all basically non-events, but like i said, they sound much worse on paper.
i took this photo last weekend in college station, a sweet moment between a little girl and her dad. we had such a lovely time, and this photo sort of sums it up for me.
Last weekend, we had a big first birthday party for Eva, with about 35 guests (including many of her superfriends) and a big ol' cake, of course. It was really fun, and I'm not entirely sure what Eva thought, but I was really touched that so many people came to help us celebrate. It was a really tangible sign of how many people we have in our lives that love this little girl and are here to support us when we need it -- and that doesn't even count all the people who live farther away. Anyway, it was fun if a little crazy. Example: I forgot to let Eva eat any of her cake (after I forgot that we should sing happy birthday before I started dismantling it!), so she had a slice of cake the next day. However, during this, her first opportunity to have refined sugar, she never did consent to even the tiniest speck of it entering her mouth, as you can see in this series of cake "eating" photos (don't view as a slide show if you want the captions).
I spent a lot of time the week prior to Eva's birthday thinking about what I was doing "a year ago, right now...". A year ago, I was was at the hospital in Austin with Larry and my midwife pre-registering for my scheduled c-section (it took me three tries and lots of crying before I could check the little "c-section" box on the form). A year ago, I had just spoken with the doctor in Dallas and was packing to head up there that afternoon -- we threw the car seat in the back of the car on a whim, good thing. A year ago, I was having an external version attempt and then waiting around for the epidural to wear off, while denying my early labor signs despite the look on my doctor's (and Larry's) face. A year ago, my water broke as we were pulling up to Taco Bell, and I made Larry run in and get me food while I was on the phone, informing the doctor's office that they needed to page Dr. Graham even though it was her night off, because "no, you see, I'm that breech woman up from Austin". A year ago, we were working to get labor started. A year ago, I was in transition (but didn't know it) and pacing back and forth in my labor room, clutching the "short list" of boy names yelling at Larry that we had to have a name now! A year ago, as I scooted over onto the operating table (as I was in the OR just in case), right in the middle of a contraction because there was no time to waste, I noticed that maybe I should be scared -- but then was too distracted to bother. A year ago, I was concentrating on the most important momen of my life, when Eva's body was out and I needed that one last push to really count so that her head would emerge and she could take that first breath. A year ago, I held my baby in my arms and Larry and I exchanged that kind of look that says everything in an instant. I spent that last week recounting these moments while doing the usual daily routine, changing diapers or chopping vegetables or nursing Eva, and that juxtaposition between those moments of incredible transition a year ago and the tasks of someone firmly established in motherhood today... it made these memories all the more powerful. What a difference a year makes.
I love you, Eva. Happy Birthday.
i keep saying to people, i've fallen in love with her all over again. this keeps happening, i just can't get over how much i love this girl, and just when you think it's too much, there's more. and now she's one. how different my life is now than it was 367 days ago. it's almost like i thought i was a whole person but it turns out i wasn't. or that part of me was just waiting for her to arrive so we could learn all these things from each other. i don't know, it's all just been so emotional this week for me. more on that later, and about her party, but first the report.
eva's just over 19 lbs and some number of inches tall (i admit it, we were just at the doctor on wednesday but i can't remember... but does anyone really care about the inches, really?), and so is 25th %ile in weight and height. she loves to say "hi", which is pretty much her only word now, and will say hi to us, the dog, photos, and when given the opportunity, interesting people on the TV. she has an affinity for soft blankets or pillows on the floor, and will crawl over and snuggle the side of her face in them and she just looks so blissful when she does that. she'll point out her nose, belly, and feet when asked, but likes even more to point out mama's nose and mama's belly. she cannot be convinced to eat fruit (which perplexes me because how can anyone not like fruit, i would eat nothing but if i could). she does about 25 signs, and uses them pretty much constantly, as in "hey, a ball, hey over there, a bird, and a tree, um milk please, hi dog, oooh, a flower, i hear music, hey did already i tell you about the ball?" she is really into books (it helps that she has the dexterity to open them and turn pages herself now), and *loves* "mr. brown can moo, can you" by dr. seuss. she'll request it by saying "boo boo boo!" because of the line "boom boom boom mr. brown makes thunder". we all have this book memorized, the first of many i'm sure. she loves to swim and be tossed around by her papa, and has just started trying out some mini-tantrums when you take away the phone or shut the patio door without letting her out, but (so far) i just find it amusing. she can finally drink out of a sippy cup unassisted and can use a straw (which is the only way she'll eat/drink yogurt, it's slimy like fruit). she's often too distracted to nurse to sleep, so we've started back up with some occasional bouncing, which was practically all we did for the first six months of her life, and she's a bit heavier now. she's really a fan of music, and will point it out when she hears something she likes. i like that she now appreciates music other than her kid stuff, but she still gets most excited (signing, bopping up and down to the beat, squealing) when she hears the "hello song" from her music class. and lately she gets so excited in the car, looking at trees or cars, i think, that she'll laugh like crazy and throw her head back and forth, waving her hands frantically. hard to describe, but i so rarely have my video camera out while driving along. and she is so snuggly, especially when she is tired or in bed at night. i can just lay there and stare at her for what seems like forever, and my book sits unread on the nightstand...
this photo is from a month ago, we were heading off to swim at the park next door when larry spied our cuteness from upstairs and came down to take a photo. she loves her wagon.
Larry gets home from Spain tonight, I'm so excited to see him again. 11 (and a half!) days is a long time... I'm curious to see what Eva's reaction will be. Whenever I mention Papa, she seems to look around for him. I wonder if she's old enough to miss him.
So, Lora and Julie were here for about two weeks, and I wish they could have stayed even longer. It was so much fun having them here, and we did a lot of fun things, but the best part was just seeing them with Eva. The hadn't seen her since she was far less ... interactive, and it was fun watching Eva get to know them. They came up with all sorts of games together that I've never thought of, and Eva learned so much in those two weeks of having the constant attention of multiple adults (versus entertaining herself while I do some quick housework, for example). It's also nice to share what your life is like with the people you love who are far away, because it it makes them seem not so distant.
We went to Galveston for three days while they were here, and Julie kept apologizing for making it rain (it rained on her wedding, her honeymoon, and I forget what else, but she has a knack for it). We had fun even in the rain (why not get in the pool, you're wet anyway!), and there was a beautiful evening when it cleared up long enough for us to have a fantastic couple of hours at the beach. It couldn't have been more perfect: not too hot, beautiful pre-sunset glow, and virtually no one else around. Eva splashed around in the waves and could hardly contain her excitement. I learned that at the beach, crawling baby + thumb sucker = sand eater, so we kept her in the shallow water rather than on the sand to minimize that, but I'm sure a little sand ingestion never hurt anyone. Larry had to work quite a bit due to some emergencies/deadlines, but he was there for this evening, the best part of an all-around fun trip.
I can't fully explain how much I enjoy watching the important people in my life really get to know my daughter. I was so glad to have my sisters here, and now it's only 29 days until we go to Alaska to see Grandma and Grandpa! That's going to be so wonderful...
Here are two of the beach photos, but there is a whole set on my flickr page.
the past five days, however, have been another story. eva has a stomach virus, and has been more sick than she's probably ever been. lora was here for the first half day of it (and offered to stay, but there were no flights because it's a holiday weekend), and larry has been in spain for 9 days, so i've been on my own. under normal circumstances, when home alone for a week with eva, i busy myself with activities with friends, but we're on quarrantine and thus have been stuck at home (i did venture out today, but hadn't wanted to risk it before what with all the nastiness coming out of her at unpredictable times). i'll spare you the details, but i've been doing a couple loads of icky laundry every day and we're using up diapers like they're about to expire. oh, and then last night she started acutely teething (as opposed to the general kind they seem to do roughly until they're 2). her hand will shoot up to her mouth and she'll squeal, it's so sad. in fact, i think she first officially said "mama" to me for sure during one of these moments, like she was beseeching me to make it stop. how sad is that? the motrin seemed to help, and it's not as bad today.
i'm sleepy and need to rest up for another exciting day tomorrow, but i wanted to share this: exactly one year ago today, i spent the entire day curled up with larry on the futon crying, trying to come to terms with the fact that i was going to have to have a c-section. he had downloaded the whole first season of "lost", so we watched that on the computer, all 20-some episodes back-to-back over two days to keep my mind distracted. i sort of feel nauseated just remembeirng it. the next day, though, is when i heard about a certain doctor in dallas...
eva's awake, off i go.