October 2012

Yup, UPS lost the rug. My dad’s theory is that the rug was so large that it doesn’t “fit” in their usual storage areas or in their normal trucks, so some UPS employee put it elsewhere temporarily, and no now one knows where that is. Mr. W called the rug company and told them about the situation, and they immediately said they’d investigate the issue with UPS themselves, and if they don’t get a satisfactory response from UPS in the next day, they’d refund our money. Mr. W said he’d really rather get another rug. Today, the rug company emailed that they haven’t gotten anywhere with UPS and will be cutting and sending another rug for us on Monday, via a different shipper. If this drags on any longer, Allie isn’t going to need a rug to break her falls. She’s flying through stages so quickly. She’s so fast she’s *almost* running now, and much more coordinated. But don’t tell that to the bruise on her knee.

Last Saturday, we thought we’d take Allie to a petting zoo in San Clemente that’s doing a pumpkin patch thing for Halloween. It isn’t big or fancy, and it smells like the ponies, zedonks, chickens, rabbits, etc. that it houses, but it was crowded with kids and Allie had fun. Pumpkins were super-cheap at $4 each, but Mr. W didn’t want to carry a giant pumpkin around with him all day. Too bad; Allie would’ve probably enjoyed eating mashed pumpkin for the next 4 months. The patch was western-themed, so there was lots of hay, a “ball pit” to jump around in with hard kernels of corn in lieu of plastic balls, a fenced-in train that goes in a small circle, old western town facade and a cardboard maze for the tiny tots.

Scary Halloween Allie Cat!

Save a horse, ride a…

…bale of hay? Allie: “Okay, you guys, stop messing with me.”

Fake fall foliage, pumpkins in 88-degree sunshine…yup, must be October in Southern California.

Allie is a chameleon.

Or a pumpkin saleswoman. Allie: “Pumpkins! Get your big, fresh pumpkins right here, $4 each!”

Allie: “You KNOW you want one of these for a jack-o-lantern. That’s why God invented Halloween.”

Allie: “If you buy a pumpkin from me, I’ll do a happy wiggle-wiggle dance for you.”

Allie: “Look at this one with the cool twisty stem. What a swell jack-o-lantern he’d make! Get a second one for a Jill-o-lantern.”

See, isn’t that worth $4 bucks? 😀

Allie taught me something that day about perspectives. There’s our way of seeing things, and then there’s a child’s way. Sometimes when a child leads us somewhere…

…it looks like there’s no purpose. She’s looking at nothing, we think, so we lose interest and move on.
Meanwhile, she’s still faithfully holding her post.

But if we give her time, we will see what she sees.

Look, a new friend!

Sometimes you have to look where others aren’t looking…

…have faith in a change of direction, even if it’s kind of uncomfortable at first…

…to look where others overlook…

…in order to find…

…that when you follow your heart…

…that there’s treasure everywhere.

When you find that treasure, you run to it…

…and you grab it and celebrate the wonders of life. Especially if the treasure is mommy’s and daddy’s bag of fresh bakery cookies.

May you live like a child this Halloween…but be as careful as a grownup. 🙂

The giant carpet rug was scheduled to be delivered on Tuesday. It was highly anticipated and Mr. W even tentatively booked his son to come over and help him move our downstairs furniture, so that he could lay down the carpet rug and expand Allie’s play area downstairs. (Toddlers on travertine makes him nervous.) I’ve always preferred carpeting over hard floors, because it’s warmer and I can sit on the ground and there’s more noise-absorption, so I was looking forward to Carpet Day, too.

Tuesday came and went. No carpet rug. Mr. W grouchily refreshed the UPS shipping info page a gazillion times into the night on Tuesday, but the status is perpetually stuck at telling us anticipated delivery is Tuesday by the end of the day.

Mr. W finally called UPS, requested a trace, and they called us back this morning (at 5:30 a.m. sharp). They’re not sure WHAT happened to the carpet rug since its entry scan into a Southern California sorting facility last Friday. They’re going to start doing a search for the shipment’s whereabouts. Basically, they lost it.

How do you lose a 120-pound, 21 foot by 12 foot package?! Even if they rolled it up so that it’s the shortest dimension possible, it’d still be 12 feet long.

So since we couldn’t move furniture and lay down carpet yesterday as anticipated, Mr. W and I instead went and bought a new Prius to replace the old Prius that he’s apparently run down into the ground. He did say he like the Prius so much that he wasn’t going to get another car until he runs it into the ground. Of course, with his signature driving style, even the dealership that did his oil change last weekend was surprised at the state his engine is in. The guy in maintenance said something like, “I have never seen a Prius engine this run down like this.” Another maintenance guy who’d inspected the car after the “check engine” light came on said that there was no oil left in the engine, and that we were lucky the engine didn’t blow up or catch fire. =P
So hello, new family car. Hello, ice blue Prius V. You’re pretty and way, way too techie for me with the techie package that Mr. W wanted. (This car even parks itself, you need only select parallel parking or parking space parking.)
My only actual beef with this car so far is that it appears the baby’s carseat can’t be anchored in the back center seat. Anchors are only available on the side seats. Even with that info in the manual, we have yet to find the actual anchors, and we tried yesterday. What kinda makes up for it, tho is that the back seats have a tilt, just like front seats, so it gives my leggy girl more leg room in the rear-facing carseats that she has to be crammed into until she’s 2.

Months, that is. Things are going well. Her ankles are looking much better. The skin still looks like the thin shiny skin of scar tissue, but no more redness (well, maybe a little pink), blistering, or swelling. I continue to apply the tea tree oil antiseptic lotion twice a day, which bottle Allie loves to take from me and shake. Most things that aren’t toys (paper advertisements, manuals, shoes, ziploc bags, ointment tubes…) make her happy and since she still complains when we put her on her back for diaper or clothing changes, I’m happy to hand her whatever brings that big open-mouthed smile to her face.

Thanks to an app I have, I know that on this day last year, I had my first Braxton-Hicks contraction. I was out on a walk and it took my breath away. I didn’t know then, of course, that we were exactly a month away from meeting Allie out in the world. I thought I was about 2 weeks away. I had really been hoping for a slightly early delivery, since she was getting big in there and I didn’t want labor to be too difficult. Well, she was 2 days late, she was big, but everything was wonderful. (We’ll just smear past the next few months of my head going to hormonal imbalance hell.)

She’s a pretty good walker these days, unless she isn’t paying attention and trips over an unflat surface, my feet, her feet, a toy, etc. She’s just starting to trot, and it looks like running’s around the corner. Because of this, Mr. W expects her to be a lot more accident-prone (altho she seems to be pretty careful generally) and has ordered a 21-foot by 12-foot carpet rug so that we can turn pretty much the ENTIRE downstairs area, and not just the living room area, into her play area. That rug is to be delivered sometime today. According to tracking information online, the “package” is 120 pounds. Yikes.

Allie still eats well, still no food reactions, altho I’m hesitant to try avocado again. That may have to be one of those things she tries when she’s a kid and I offer it from my plate.

She loves to watch (slightly) older children play. At parks, she could watch a soccer game for as long as we let her. Yesterday, she watched the neighbor’s kids play four-square with a kick ball. She’d point excitedly and say, “Bah!” (ball). She’d wave her little arms up and down, yelling “Haa!” (hi) and “Aaay!” (hey). She’d walk right up into their game and try to join them if we don’t run over and snatch her up. There’s something beautiful about how she just smiles excitedly and goes over to greet a kid, reaching out to him/her with a big smile and a “Haa!” It’s as if rejection has never occurred to her. (Well, who would reject this little face?)


For the most part, other kids are delighted to see her and would talk to her or just smile right back at her as she walks up and smiles up at them. Well, except for that stupid kid in the video and this one kid last weekend:

So far, she hasn’t yet realized that she could refuse something. There are things she dislikes now, such as brushing her teeth. Mr. W would hold her up on her bathroom counter, we’d tell her, “Aaaahhhh!” as I bring the toothbrush up, and she’d whimper and complain, but she would do it with her mouth open and a big sad frown, sometimes fussing her way through it, but always reopening her mouth as needed. When she sees holes anywhere, the finger automatically goes in, and this is problematic if the hole is, as it occasionally has been, an electrical outlet socket. We tell her a stern, “No!” and she’ll pause, look at us, complain, but stop anyway. She’ll walk away fussing, shaking her head, with a frustrated look on her face, but she’ll do as she’s told. It’s the same when we make her not put rocks, leaves, grass, envelopes, flowers in her mouth. She’s not happy about it, but she accepts it. I guess it’s wishful thinking that she’ll always stay that way. =P

I’m starting to enjoy the lack of hair thing. Her peach fuzz is getting longer, but it still doesn’t require much more than a pat-down. No brushing, no barrettes, no bows, no tangles. I’m not taking that for granted. I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune if she’s ready to start school and still only has peach fuzz on her little head.

She loves little dogs now. She got to pet one a couple of weekends ago, a well-behaved shih-tzu-looking lap dog, and she was gentle and never closed her hand on the hair, never pulled. So now she can spot a dog half a block away and say, “DAW!,” point, and beeline toward it. That’s when I have to kill my back leaning over her to brace her around the waist, cuz that’s when she’s so focused on the Daw (and sometimes balloons [“bbbbloo! bbbloo!” with a vibrating “B” that I can’t do], which the other day she also spotted half a block away raced toward, as racingly as a toddler can manage) that she will trip over anything. The good thing is that she doesn’t cry unless she bangs her head on something in a fall, which rarely happens, and has never happened outdoors to my knowledge.

Oh, I think she’s also starting to wean herself. Nursings are now about 6 minutes or less a side in her hungry mornings, and 3-4 minutes a side in the middle of the day. At night, she dozes as she nurses, so that may go longer, but there’s been a few times now when she’s decided she’s done with nursing and still wide awake, so I’d put her to bed in her crib wide awake, and just let her settle down on her own. Sometimes it’s a nerve-wracking 45 minutes, and I think the best she’s done was 10 minutes, but so far it’s always been before 8pm. The most helpful thing Mr. W has ever said to me about that is, “She’s fine! She’s never NOT slept at night.” That being true, I remind myself of that every time she’s up kicking around and bear wrestling instead of being able to be put down asleep.

I’m still undecided about Halloween. Since it’s on Wednesday this year, I don’t think we’d have time to participate between coming home from work, feeding her dinner, and putting her down to bed by 7p. So I didn’t get her a costume. Well, she has two Halloween-themed outfits, one of which she wore on Saturday.

Allie: “You’re getting sleepy…verrrrry sleeeeeepy…When you awake, you will put on my shoes and take me out for breakfast.”

It worked! Mr. W took us to…wow, I can not for the life of me right now remember WHERE we went to breakfast, but I know we had! Maybe I was under Allie’s spell, too.

She likes soft furry textures. She loves her pink “A” blanket that Jordan got her (she has to nap with it daily), my Footsie UC bears, the fluffy lambwool rug, her fleece PJ fabrics, the big fuzzy bear that she still sleeps on in her crib. She will stop in her tracks when she comes across one of these things, and either pull it up to her cheek and lean her head on it with a big smile, or she’ll squat on the ground and lay her cheek onto it if it were on the floor. Doing this to the Footsie stuffed bear and to her fleece PJs is how she bonked her head on the bottom shelf of her low bookshelf once, and the travertine floor the other day when she pulled the new PJs out of the bag onto the floor. Yes, each of those led to a brief cry, seconds-long. I laughed involuntarily both times, so I’m glad she was unhurt.

Here’s a 30-second video clip my parents took when they visited on Saturday. They brought bubble necklaces to amuse Allie with. I think it’s funny how in the end, you can tell my mom (behind the camera) panicked.

I read a touching story contributed for Sylvia Browne’s book “All Pets Go To Heaven” about a big blonde labrador retriever named Chance who had passed, and how he’d pulled strings from the Other Side to bring his grieving owners to another dog like him to take his place in their home. It was a fascinating story, but my favorite part of the anecdote is a poem from the submitter of the story.

“I am attaching a poem that I wrote; for about a week each morning I would wake up, and I had more and more of this poem in my head. Well, I think Chance sent it to me to write; in fact, I know he did. Thanks to Sylvia and reading her books for so long, I have no doubt that Chance is home, with us, and waiting for us to join him when our time comes.
I’m Still Here
Your heart has been heavy since that day —
The day you thought I went away.
I haven’t left you I never would —
You just can’t see me, though I wish that you could.
It might ease the pain that you feel in your heart —
The pain that you’ve felt since you’ve believed us to part.
Try and think of it this way, it might help you see —
That I am right there with you and always will be.

Remember the times we were in the yard,
You could not always see me yet I hadn’t gone far.

That’s how it is now when you look for my face —
I’m still right beside you filling my place.

I find it to be so very sad,
That seeing and believing seem to go hand in hand,
The love and the loyalty, the warmth that I gave,
You felt them, did not see them, but you believed just the same.

I walk with you now like I walked with you then —
My pain is now gone and I lead once again.
My eyes always following you wherever you roam —
Making sure you’re okay and you’re never alone.

Our time was too short yet for me it goes on —
I won’t ever leave you, I’ll never be gone.
I live in your heart as you live in mine —
An enduring love that continues to shine.

The day will come and together we’ll be
And you’ll say take me home boy, and once again I will lead.

Until that day comes don’t think that I’ve gone —
I’m here right beside you, and my love it lives on.

I think it’s an old Cherokee saying (I could be wrong about the source, I just don’t remember) that goes, “There is no death — there is merely a change of worlds.” It’s an interesting point that the poem (or, Chance himself) brings up; we teach our babies object permanence as one of the earliest lessons. We play peek-a-boo, we play “Where’s Baby/Mommy/Daddy?”, so that the baby knows that just because it can’t see a person or object doesn’t mean the person/object is gone. And yet, that’s all we believe as adults. For many people, if we can’t see it, we have a really hard time believing it exists. But there is so much more than meets the eye. (And now I have the Transformers theme song in my head.)

I’ve been closely following Flip Flop Girl’s food allergy mystery involving her toddler, Sienna. Sienna’s about 5 months older than Allie, and has eczema flare-ups and other skin reactions to various foods, and Flip Flop Girl, along with their team of pediatricians, have been trying to isolate the specific food items that are causing the reactions. Good thing her 3-year-old son Kyden has been logging all this stuff down in his blog! 🙂 I’m learning a lot.

Yesterday evening, Mr. W and I took Allie to Claim Jumper restaurant for dinner, and while I always bring her containers of homemade babyfood with us to restaurants, she’s starting to eat some tablefoods, so when I saw the big bowl of mashed up hard-boiled egg at the salad bar, I thought, Hmm. I was holding off introduction of egg, as previous AAP recommendation is that egg white is allergenic so to avoid egg altogether for the first 10 months (I think), then only introduce egg yolk, and then after the first year, egg white as well. But Allie’s pediatrician had said that AAP recently changed their guidelines and introduction of the two together is now okay. Allie doesn’t seem to have had reactions to foods so far, and I know that college roommie Diana has started feeding her baby (2 weeks younger than Allie) hard-boiled egg yolk, so I thought I’d give it a try.
But I’d learned some stuff from Kyden’s blog.
So first, I rubbed a piece of rubbery hard-boiled egg white on Allie’s forearm. She was sitting in the high chair, self-feeding on some baby puffs, and she stopped what she was doing after I rubbed the egg on her, looked at me with the oddest concerned look on her face, sucking in her lower lip so that her mouth formed a straight line. She looked at her arm where traces of yellow egg yolk powder could be seen. Then she looked at me again. “What the heck did you do that for?” she seemed to think at me. Then she looked at her arm again.
There was no reaction whatsoever on her skin, so I put a few clumps of yellow yolk on her baby spoon and offered to her. She opened her mouth trustingly. There was no expression change as she seemed to mash the yolk on her tongue. I offered her the sippy cup, she sipped, pointed at me, grunted, “Uggh!” So I fed her some more yolk. She ate it as if she were eating any of her food. When we were out of egg yolk, she went back to her puffs. And nothing happened. So I guess she’s not allergic to eggs.

But she does seem to be reacting to SOMEthing. Pretty much since her first weeks out in the world, her ankle wrinkles have been red with occasional patches of dryness on it. The pediatrician said it was just dry because her foot’s always flexed, it’s not eczema or anything. He said to just put Aquaphor on it twice a day, as with her then-bumpy section on her neck rolls. The tiny bumps (it looked like heat reaction) on her neck rolls went away, and then her neck rolls went away altogether, and I’ve stopped using Aquaphor on her neck. However, the ankle thing stuck around. She doesn’t seem bothered by it, and when I touch it to apply the Aquaphor, she doesn’t draw her feet back or seem to think it’s itchy, and a second pediatrician said it was just dry skin, so I haven’t been concerned with it. I kept hoping she’d outgrow it once she started not flexing her foot, but she didn’t. And then 2 nights ago, the spots got ANGRY.

What the heck is that? Both ankles are red and patchy in blotches, and her left ankle actually grew stuff that looked like tiny blisters.

These photos are taken the morning after, when the ankles are much better, but the blisters are still present. Simultaneously, she got a rare case of diaper rash. So the 2 nights her ankles were worst, were the same nights we saw a widespread diaper rash. She still didn’t react much to contact with the affected areas; we applied Desitin to the diaper rash, and Aquaphor to the ankles. Anytime she seems to have a flare-up of something (which we normally discover when we change her as we prepare to put her down to bed for the night), it clears by up morning, altho it may recur by the next evening. Such was the case this time, but the only new thing in her diet was string beans, and I can’t imagine a reaction to that. Nevertheless, I eliminated string beans the 2nd day, and the issues were still there, so I reintroduced string beans.

What I also did was buy some tea tree oil antiseptic lotion at a local organic food grocery store, and applied that to her ankles. Now all the redness is gone, and the ankles have gone back to just patchy dryness where the skin looks almost like post-burn or post-scab skin, and the blisters have dried up. We’ve asked Missy to apply a protective organic butt balm to Allie during diaper changes, and we’ve continued use of Desitin, and the diaper rash has not recurred.

The baby stuff is pretty puzzling. If anyone knows or suspects what the ankle stuff is, I welcome suggestions.

Meanwhile, here’s Allie being held by my dad last weekend, spotting a plane overhead.

Today is Day 4 with the new nanny, Missy. She seems more independent and confident than Jayne, and handles Allie well. Allie appears to love her. She’s able and has been doing everything with Allie that is a part of Allie’s routine, only the timing was off the first 2 days and Allie was taking her second nap pretty late, so I’ve had to make her bedtimes later to balance between her routine sleepy time when she’s rubbing her eyes and her being yet physically not tired enough to go down easily. Turned out Missy didn’t read the notes I’d left for her about Allie’s routine. When she did on Wednesday (yesterday), the day was picture-perfect and Allie was in a great mood, not hungry nor overtired.

I’d been offered 3 days off last week, the first 3 days of Jayne’s absence, and took it. Allie and I got to hang out, she got half of her flu shot (half-dose for babies on first shot, then the second half-dose 30+ days later), I nursed exclusively didn’t have to pump/wash pump parts or bottles for 5 days straight. It was nice, except for Friday, when the stepdaughter wanted to go out for lunch together when Allie and I were planning to get some fall jackets for her, so it was a rushed lunch out with the errand. I gave the stepdaughter time to walk around with Allie while I finished my lunch, and when we were making our way back to the car, suddenly Allie threw up all over her new jacket and my arm. In looking at the splatter of vomit on the ground, most of which were the last course of pears she’d just eaten for dessert, I pointed to a bright red and green area and said, “She ate flowers?” The stepdaughter leaned down, looked at the intact petals and leaves, and said, “Oh! I didn’t even know she did that!” Yeah, you have to watch the kid when you watch the kid these days. Allie was fine, though. The worst that came out of that is that she lost her pears. She didn’t throw up her first two courses of chicken with spinach, or her beets.

Things have been going pretty well, so when my supervisor offered me this week and next week off last-minute (I’d been on the wait list), I declined. It’s a good thing to let Allie get used to a new nanny, in case Jayne is unavailable again for whatever reason. Jayne had always wanted her friend Missy to be her “backup” in the rare times she may be sick or unable to start her car or something, and Missy lives 5 minutes from us, and has always expressed a willingness and interest in at least part-time or as-needed care of Allie. Plus, the more who love Allie, the better; it keeps her flexible and secure in the knowledge that her world is full of people she could love and trust. The stranger-danger lessons can come when she’s just a TOUCH older. 🙂

Jayne comes back next Thursday. I hope things stay as uneventful as they have been. I know Jayne’s been in contact with Missy, checking on Allie, and she’s probably still terrified that Allie’s not gonna remember her or want her when she comes back. She said she’s already mentally prepared herself not to take rejection personally. It may take Allie a minute to warm back up, but I don’t expect there to be any issues. I had been told not to take it personally if Allie wants the nanny over me sometimes since her daytime caretaker spends more awake time with her, but that hasn’t happened, either. She’s always ecstatic and excited when we come home, giving a little gasp and stopping whatever she’s doing to clammer over to the edge of the gate, looking out toward the garage entrance to the house when she hears the garage door and house door open (according to Jayne, and I’ve seen this myself when Mr. W comes home if I’m with her already), then giving us a big smile and reaching her arms out to us.

I can’t wait for her to be big enough to enjoy things like traveling, but at the same time, I’m loving this age and don’t really want it to pass that quickly.

When I watch Allie nap in the day or sleep at night through the babycams (there are 2 in her room), I often see orbs of light zoom around from one end of the frame to the other. I’ve thought about them being reflections of light or dust, but as for light, the orbs are there even at night when there’s no car driving by outside to cast light and her room’s dark, and as far as floating dust, they go way faster than any current in her room (judging by the lazy movement of a very air-sensitive Flensted mobile, “Elephant Party,” a gift from Dardy, hanging from the ceiling within view of one of the cameras), and they often change direction very suddenly. I’ve seen dust float by a camera and it does not move like these orbs.

I’d like to believe that we have physical ways of capturing the presence of spiritual beings, like light orbs on camera, but refracted light on a lens can give a similar image in still photography, so I don’t quite know the difference visually.

But it’s nice to think that while my little girl sleeps, angels protect her and keep her company.

Monday was Columbus Day, and hubby and I had the day off. We still had Jayne come over (altho giving her a late start in the morning) since she’s loathe to lose an Allie day when she was going to be gone for 2 weeks visiting her parents in New York. It was a great opportunity to re-meet the guy I married.

Soon after we left the house, I realized I’d left my wallet in the diaper bag from the day before. I felt bad all day as Mr. W would have to pay for everything. This becomes important later in a different way.

The weather was warm very early in the day, so hubby and I went to the Lake to try out a first for us — stand-up paddle-boarding! I didn’t think it’d be very hard since I’d done stand-up kayaking already, to the demise of my first smart phone. However, a lot of things change with pregnancy, they say, especially things like balance. Thankfully, neither Mr. W nor I fell off the board. It took a few minutes to get used to how to hold the paddle and switch it from side-to-side, and I tested the limitations of the board’s rocky-ness early on so I know it could lean left and right pretty far without actually flipping over, so I was comfortable. Mr. W confessed he was less comfortable, and that almost the entire time we were boarding, he’d felt he had to make constant weight distribution adjustments to maintain stability. I guess it helps to have a lower center of gravity. As for ease of movement, I’d put it somewhere between pedalboating and kayaking. The paddling wasn’t as futile as the stupid foot pedals in the paddleboat, where you think you’re gonna die of exposure stranded out there in the middle of the lake pedaling like mad and getting nowhere (except when a lifeguard boat or a kayak goes by and the wave pushes you a little), but it wasn’t as swift as kayaking, either. It was, however, more easily maneuverable than the kayak, possibly because it has less momentum and pretty much when you turn your hips, the big board turns with you. When we were done with that, it was 10:30a and time for me to pump, so I did that for the first time in the car with the double-electric pump running on a battery pack. Worked out pretty well.

I would’ve loved to post a picture of me on the paddleboard, but altho we pulled in 15 minutes before our time was up, Mr. W refused to run to the lockerroom for the camera while I waited in the water. =P

After the Lake, Mr. W and I headed out to a couples massage. It was nice and relaxing, and a little painful, as my muscles are pretty messed up with all the new leaning-forward positions I’ve had to hold after having a baby.

Then, we grabbed some super-juice blends (carrot, beet, spinach, parsley and garlic for me; carrot, apple, beat & ginger for him) and some kale chips for a pre-lunch on our way to Laguna Beach for a late lunch. At a friend’s recommendation for a great view, we ate at The Deck right on the sand.
my drink
We got there just before happy hour so we were able to indulge in the relatively inexpensive seafood happy hour menu, but Mr. W was the only one that had alcoholic drinks, since the timing was such that I was missing out on the 2nd pumping, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to do it later in the car. The photo above is my Arnold Palmer. This is important for later, as well. (Do you see what’s coming?) The martinis the place served were HUGE; the only thing missing from Mr. W’s martini glass was a fish swimming around in there. At one point, MR. W asked me, “Can you drive?” As I didn’t think he was mocking my Asian roots, I assumed he wanted another alcoholic indulgence and I told him that was fine, and he ordered another giant martini.

On the drive home, I wanted to turn right after the beach street and go on local streets home. Altho this way was more direct, it was potentially more time-consuming because of all the traffic signals we’d have to go through for 8 miles or so. Mr. W strongly suggested (insisted) that I take the toll road. It made me uncomfortable, but I finally did as I was told. And you know that little voice that is usually right when it makes you feel uneasy about doing something? I got pulled over for speeding. AND I didn’t have my wallet and hence no driver’s license. The motorcycle cop walked over to Mr. W’s side, and I’m sure when he leaned down, greeting me politely from the passenger side window, he could smell the alcohol. “Hello, license and registration, please.” Mr. W was already pulling out his ID and was explaining sheepishly that I’d left my wallet at home because I hadn’t intended to drive, but we had just been at Laguna Beach and he’d had a few drinks, so he asked me to drive instead. The CHP officer leaned in and asked me, “Have you had anything to drink, ma’am?” We both simultaneously said no as I explained that that was why I was driving. (Thank gawd, I didn’t decide to just “try” one cocktail, so that I could completely honestly say I had not had a drink.) He asked me whether I knew how fast I was driving. I hesitated, and then admitted I wasn’t totally sure. He said, “Eighty-one. Sixty-five zone.” Okay, and I knew that if I’d let Mr. W drive instead, he would’ve been pulled over for going 100 in a 65 zone while under the influence. I apologized to the CHP, said I didn’t realize I was going that speed as I wasn’t familiar with the feel of a car that isn’t mine. He said he understood, but one indicator that I was going to fast is that I’m passing everyone else on the freeway. I knew I was very suddenly passing cars shortly before I was pulled over, but I’m pretty sure it’s because the people who travel that stretch daily KNOW the motorcyle cop always hides right there around the curve of the road, out of sight until it’s too late. I told the cop he’s right, and that I’d pay better attention. He tapped Mr. W’s ID and said, “You’re good. Drive carefully.” And walked back to his motorcyle. Whew. (I’m glad I didn’t have to flash my engorged boobs.) (I kid, I kid…about the flashing, that is.)

And that nicely wrapped up my Monday with a big red bow.

I’m at home right now in the first of 3 days off this week to spend with Allie. Jayne left for New York last nite. For next week and half of the following week, Jayne’s friend Missy will be here to care for Allie in Jayne’s place. That’s right, our nanny found us a relief nanny, AND “trained” her, too! Allie seems to love Missy so much and so quickly that Jayne’s jealous. It may be weird and cute, but I’m happy so many people love Allie.

Allie’s napping right now, and I have beets baking to puree later on. Earlier after we played for a bit indoors, we went for a 40 minute walk around the neighborhood, during which she hummed along with her musical toy and pointed at crows and random things. Putting her down for naps and even bedtimes are psychologically easier on me, now, because she basically does it all herself. I go thru a small short nap routine (putting her fuzzy blanket in the crib, turning on the air purifier, closing the bathroom door), and then she’s already pulling toward the crib. I put her in, she rubs her cheek on her blanket, smiles at me, I whisper a nite-nite to her and walk out as she smiles at me. She takes however much time she needs to settle down (usually 10-20 mins in the AM nap, up to 30 in the PM nap, so I get her in the crib in plenty of time), and she naps for a little over an hour in the AM, between 1-2 hrs in the PM. At bedtime, she rarely falls asleep nursing and stays asleep for the crib transfer anymore, so I lay her gently in her crib and leave to let her settle down, which she does quietly, sometimes bear-wrestling for awhile, but she does.

I think why it was so nerve-wracking before, was because she didn’t have the ability to help herself sleep or stay asleep or go back to sleep, so I had to bridge that gap, but there was only so much I could do. I had to hold her and gently sway back and forth until she’s comfortable enough to fall asleep against me, then transfer her to the crib, praying that if she wakes up a little, that it’s not so wide awake that she’ll be up wailing as soon as she hits the mattress, necessitating me to pick her up and try to soothe her again. If she woke up due to noise or whatever back then, she was unable to soothe herself back to sleep, so the nap was over and I’d just have an overtired kid on my hands until the next nap. Same thing with bedtime. Now that she’s older and has had plenty of practice between then and now self-soothing and getting used to the more common sounds, she doesn’t wake up, or will just sick her thumb if necessary, close her eyes or flop in a different position, and go back to sleep. Since she bridges her own gap between awake and sleep, all I have to do is get her to her crib at the appropriate times.

Her AM nap used to be 1.5 – 2 hours, but it’s been closer to an hour these days, and one day she skipped her PM nap. Since that’s not the nap that’s supposed to disappear (the AM nap is), I looked it up. So turns out that the AM nap is supposed to decrease and start to disappear between 10-12 months (i.e., now), but if the PM nap starts to disappear, it’s because the AM nap is too long. To protect the PM nap, which is to stay until she’s past toddlerhood, she’s to take no more than a 90-minute AM nap. The way to do that is to wake her between 60-90 mins at her 9am nap, and/or put her to bed a bit earlier at night so she’s better rested in the mornings and less dependent on the AM nap to catch up. I don’t really want her to go to bed that much earlier as she typically in her crib by 7pm these days, but maybe I’ll move it up 10 mins or so on days when she’s had more active time before bed, or woke up earlier from her 1pm nap.

I feel most of the depression waning away, now. (Ha, as I typed that, the gardeners showed up and started blasting their noisy mowers, leaf blowers and weed whackers outside her room, but seeing that she’s already been sleeping 1:05 hrs, if this wakes her up it’ll save me the trouble of having to wake her so that she’ll hit her PM nap on time.) Things are easier on me as they go from my control to Allie’s own control. There’s less pressure on me to figure out what to do to help her out, and feeling like a failure if I can’t get the result. Pretty much all I’m responsible for in the day-to-day these days where Allie’s concerned is that she gets to nap when she needs it (9am & 1pm), and she eats well, and she’s safe.

Allie’s interest in milk is waning, and I didn’t pump at 5am for the first time on Saturday and Sunday, so my milk supply just from that has dipped dramatically. I hope the 8 gallon baggies in the freezer is enough to get her through her first year until we can switch her to cow’s milk, but I’m not too stressed about it, especially since she nurses just fine, still. She’s down to drinking 14.5 oz in bottles at home a day when I’m not here, and I’ve been pumping/storing 9 oz a day or less, but she nurses for all her milk intake when I’m here on weekends, and she still gets her daily morning and bedtime milk from nursing. I think my stockpile is fine even if I stop the 5am pumpings altogether, which I think I’ll do since I’ve been only getting 2.5 oz from that anyway after I’d stopped this past weekend, which is hardly worth the early risetime and the milk-storage and washing pump parts, etc.

Huh. This kid is still sleeping through the gardening noise, at 1:22 into her nap.

My parents came over on Sunday to visit Allie (they sometimes remember to say they’re visiting us, too, but we know better), and we went to a park to let Allie frolick in her new Skidders shoes (which are like half-sock and half-shoe, so Allie walks better in them than hard-soled shoes, and doesn’t slip around on hard floors like she does in just socks). So Allie frolicked, and frolicked, and we let her frolick barefoot on the grass so that she could connect with nature (and dog pee), and then she saw a boy sitting by himself in the grass. So she frolicked over to him, smiling at him, greeting him, flirting…and he just IGNORED HER. I told her, “Don’t worry about it, Allie, he’ll regret this in about 10 years.” My mom took the video, and I posted it on the social networking site. The following conversation ensued on comments.

Dwaine: That little girl is so beautiful. I can’t believe how well she’s walking already!
Me: See, spoken like a guy with taste, unlike that stupid kid sitting on the ground in the video.
Dwaine: LOL
Me: Of course, if he did show some friendliness toward Allie, I’d probably call him a cradle-robbing pedophile, push him over, then grab my baby and run.
College Roommie Diana: boys are stupid at that age…and at many other ages thereafter.
Me: damn good point, Diana.
Dwaine: We’re trying…
Diana: haha. i don’t mean to generalize- “SOME boys are stupid at that age…and at many other ages thereafter.
Dwaine: Too late. My feelings are hurt.
Me: Diana means just the boys we’ve dated are stupid. You were smart enough not to date either one of us.
Dwaine: Very diplomatic Cindy. 😛
Me: I’m trying…
Diana: i just watched the video-that’s hilarious. the boy is not even cute.
Dwaine: In about 15 yrs he realize what he did and send Allie Cat a friend request…but it’ll be too late. That’s how guys learn…
Me: Allie: Who’s Pedro Gonzalez? I just got a friend request from him. He LOOKS kinda familiar…oh, wait a minute. *clicking on Cindy’s FB* *looking at old videos* I KNEW IT! *clicking DECLINE on Friend Request*
Dwaine: …poor Pedro…
Me: hey, what goes around, comes around.

(I didn’t copy/paste the other random comments on the video itself, like how big Allie’s getting, wow she’s walking, etc)

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