Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sitting up!

Jonathan learned to sit up today. Yesterday he couldn't do it without help, and today he can.

It is so satisfying to see him do something that I've been working on teaching him. We've been actively practicing the whole sitting up idea for the past week...and now he can do it! I suppose he would have learned it on his own eventually, but I do feel a sense of accomplishment in his new skill.

It helps me see the value in sitting on the floor for hours playing with him. Because playing is his work, and practicing things like sitting up and rolling over and holding his head and torso up when he's on his tummy are all important skills that he wouldn't learn (or at least not in the same way) if I wasn't there working with him.

And I love it that I get to be the one to discover his new talents. Not a babysitter, not a day care worker, but ME. :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I take it back

I do know how he did it. :)

He rolls to his back, then grabs his feet, pulls them up as far as possible, and rolls over to his side. Then when he stretches back out again, it's at a 90 or so degree angle from where he used to be. He can turn himself in circles this way.

Clever, isn't he?

I would also like to report that Jonathan just entertained himself perfectly happily for 25 minutes.
Big, big, big smiles. :)


I put Jonathan down in his play area this morning, on his tummy with a bunch of toys at hand. He was quite happy, so I turned away to get a few things done. A few minutes later, I looked back down at him - and he was on his back, with his head where his feet had been! I can't quite figure out how he did that.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Jonathan has discovered repeated motions. It is so cool to watch - he holds his teething fish in both fists and very deliberately pulls it in and out of his mouth. I think he likes how it feels against his gums. He's done this for three days, now, so I'm pretty sure it's not just a fluke. Watching baby minds develop is the most incredible thing!

Speaking of developing, I don't think I've mentioned here that Jonathan is also starting the beginnings of crawling. And sitting up. And standing while holding on to the sofa.

And I meant to write more about all that, but he just woke up crying, so I think I'd better go. :)

Friday, September 23, 2005

Comment verification

Sorry guys, but I'm getting comment spam and it's annoying. So please just bear with me and type in the verification word, ok?

I love getting comments, so don't stop. :)


Hat tip to Amber for finding this one...I think it's funny.

Your CD collection is almost as big as your ego,
and you can most likely play an instrument or
three. You're a real hit at parties, but you're
SO above karaoke.
What people love: You're instant entertainment.
Unless you play the obo.
What people hate: Your tendency to sing louder than
the radio and compare everything to a freaking

What Kind of Elitist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Last night was Jonathan's first rain storm, and what a storm! Lightening, thunder, pouring rain (for awhile, at least!) The thunder was a little scary for him - he jumped whenever there was a particularly loud clap - but Gabe and I were so pleased about the storm that I think he decided it must be ok. We took him outside with a towel around him and danced and twirled in circles.

I love the rain, and I hope that Jonathan grows to love it too. Some of my absolutely best memories of being a kid are of being outside in the rain, sailing boats in the ditch - and coming inside for hot chocolate or "grog" (chicken broth).

For that matter, some of my best memories of being a teenager are of the rain, too. Like the time that Jenn, Laura, and I had spent the whole day at the kitchen table, working on physics homework, and after dinner it started raining. We were all a bit crazy from too much physics, and we ran outside in our bare feet and raced around the neighborhood, splashing in puddles and getting completely soaked.

Someday I want to live in a place where it rains more often. :)

If only every day could be like this...

Jonathan and I get up. He's happy and smiling and fun to be around, which makes getting up much more pleasant. We go outside to enjoy the fresh air and sprinkles left over from last night's storm.

I put him in the swing in the kitchen with me and make breakfast. Hot chocolate and muffins, because it's the first rain of the year. Hurray!

Jonathan and I play on the floor. He "reads" his books (upside down) and I read to him. We play with rattles and practice sitting up and rolling over.

It's ten minutes early for his feeding, but he's fussy, so I think its time for his breakfast. I put in a Star Trek episode and treat myself to some "brain candy" while nursing him.

Jonathan is finished nursing and wants to be burped. I put him on my shoulder and pat his back. Amazingly, after he burps he is content to stay there with his thumb in his mouth.

I think that he may have fallen asleep on my shoulder, so I transfer him to his crib. Oops, wide open eyes. I hand him his blanket and run away, hoping he'll find his thumb. I know he's sleepy, and it is time for his nap anyway.

Jonathan is asleep. I can't believe how easy that was. Cuddles, then into his crib "drowsy, but awake" like all the doctors and books say.

Wouldn't it be nice if it could be like that every time? :)

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Mommy burnout

Disclaimer: this is not a happy happy joy joy post. If you prefer to keep the illusion that mommies love every minute of their every day, please stop reading.

That said, I’ve been having a rough few days lately. To be fair, yesterday was good, but most of my week was tough. And the thing is that I really didn’t have any particular reason for them to have been bad days. Jonathan was fussy in the afternoons – but he’s always fussy in the afternoons. I didn’t get as much accomplished as I wanted to – but there’s nothing new about that. But for some reason I’d come to the end of my day and just be so sick of everything. I didn’t want to sing one more song, I didn’t want to make the rest of dinner, I certainly didn’t want to wash the dishes, and I didn’t want to carry Jonathan around for one single minute longer.

To make matters worse, the fact that I felt like that also made me feel very, very guilty.

I work so hard to be a good mom (good wife/good person)…to balance housework with playing with Jonathan, to stay involved with my friends but invest enough time in Gabe, to remember to talk to God throughout the day, to create a happy, restful home for our family. But I feel like I just run out of energy to do it. How can I be a good wife when I’m so exhausted at the end of the day that all I want to do is pass off my child to another set of arms and go read a novel? How can I be a good mom when all I want to do is cry because Jonathan is crying and I can’t make him stop? How can I be a good friend when my entire life revolves around this tiny little person and my days are consumed with details that said friends cannot understand?

All my best convictions, resolutions, and attempts at being the kind of person and mom and wife that I want to be, seem to be biting the dust.

End unhappy post.

Today was a good day. Maybe tomorrow will be a good day too. :)


Yesterday morning I gave Jonathan some peaches for breakfast. He'd "tasted" my peach before (sucking on it a bit) but this was the first time I'd actually fed him a quantifiable amount.

In the hour or so afterward, he was quite fussy...but he's been intermitantly fussy often lately, so I just put him in the stroller and off we went. He calmed down, but about an hour and fifteen minutes after breakfast he suddenly wailed (and I mean wailed!) I ran around to look at him, and his face was all red and blotchy and his eyes looked sort of swollen. It was really scary, because I was 30 minutes away from home at this point, and I didn't know what I should do. He calmed down really quickly, though, and fifteen minutes later his face looked normal again.

So now I'm not sure what to think. Peaches were the only thing I can think to pin it on...but it would be kind of weird to be allergic to peaches, wouldn't it? I mean, that's one of the most basic "starter" foods for babies. Also, why would it take 75 minutes to show up as a rash? I thought an allergic reaction would be more immediate.

In any case, I think I've decided to just wait on the solid foods for awhile yet. I don't really think he needs them, even if he does think he wants them. Plus I want him to keep nursing, and since he's already starting to act uninterested, I doubt that solids right now are a great idea. I don't want him to decide that all he wants are solids!

Comments, thoughts, etc. would be appreciated, particularly if you've successfully fed a baby. :)

Update on the accident

This time it is just good news. :)

The other insurance company is accepting 100% liability. This is wonderful, wonderful news, since it makes my life twenty-five million times easier. They are paying for our car to be fixed (i.e. we don't have to pay our deductible!) and for a rental car, and on top of that they're sending us a check to cover "doctor's visits if you need them, otherwise it's just for your inconvenience." I'm not complaining! ;)

I did go to the doctor on Thursday (met our new doctor - he's quite nice) and had my suspicions confirmed that yes, indeed, the neck pain was minor and I shouldn't have any further trouble from the accident.

And can I just say again that I am SO glad that Jonathan and Brigid were not in the car, even if the accident was "minor."

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Good news and bad news

The good news is: Gabe and I are convinced that God wants to give us a new car.

The bad news is: He's giving it to us piece by piece.

I was just in the fourth (we think, anyway, we may have missed one or two in our count) car accident we've had this year. This one happened because an unlicensed teenager decided to turn left across my lane right in front of me. Previous accidents included having an SUV back up into my door, being rear-ended at a stoplight, and being the unfortunate recipient of the result of someone running a very red light.

Because of these accidents, our driver side door, rear bumper, back passenger side panel, and now our front bumper and hood have all had to be replaced. It's amazing how nice our car looks every time it comes back from the shop. Still, I can think of other ways I'd rather get a new car!

Ok, now down to seriousness. Jessica was in the car with me at the time, and she's pregnant. She's probably ok, but the nurse hot-line said that she should get an ultrasound within the next 24 hours, just to be sure. It would be great if you readers could pray that she can get scheduled for one without any hassle, and pray that her little "squirt" is still healthy and happy inside her.

I'd also appreciate prayer that all the issues of insurance would work out may be a bit complicated due to the fact that the other driver was unlicensed and thus uninsured. Plus, I have to figure out how insurance works for medical stuff like Jessica's ultrasound. I've never done that before.

Praise God that Jonathan and Brigid were not in the car with us, that we were only going 25-30 mph (instead of the 45 speed limit), and that the police were able to get there to help us quickly and well. It could have been so much worse.

The girl who hit us is sure getting a life lesson right now. The officer couldn't cite her for hitting us, since no one stopped to be a witness...but he cited her for driving without a license, which includes impounding her (parents') car. I would not want to be her right now.

And I devoutly hope that I am a better parent to Jonathan than her parents have been to her. Because they let her drive the car...she was out doing an errand for them. And on top of that, when she called her dad on her cell phone, he asked to talk to me, and tried to wheedle me into not calling the police. No wonder kids now don't know how to be responsible. Their parents never make them be responsible!!

Sigh. What a night.

Tomorrow I have to drive the car about 10 miles to a mechanic for an insurance appraisal. Could you pray that I'll be safe on that trip, and that I won't be too scared of driving? Accidents like this really shake me up for awhile.

Thanks, friends.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Food and sleep

Jonathan had his first "official" solid food tonight at dinner. I've let him taste things before, just sucking on them, but this was his first smashed up solids to actually swallow. He likes green beans a lot. In fact, he cried when it was gone. :)

He also likes the taste of peaches - I let him suck on mine today at lunch. In retrospect, I suppose I shouldn't have let him try two things in one day, but I don't think the peaches really counted, since he didn't get more than a few drops of juice. In any case, I'm pleased that he's so happy about trying new foods. So far there are no "tastes" that he hasn't liked.

As for sleep - it's a mixed bag. Last night he went for 8 hours without eating, which was fantastic. I'm attempting to keep him on a 4 hour feeding schedule, skipping the midnight-thirty one. So far it seems to be working well...I like the new predictability and he seems to get hungry right on time. On the other hand, he's still waking up quite a few times in the early part of the night, for no discernable reason. Last night Gabe and I lay in our bed wondering "should we pick him up or let him cry? How about going over just to pat him? will that help the situation or just make it worse? What about a pacifier? etc. etc. etc." There are as many theories as there are parents, it seems, and so it's really hard for me to know what the best thing is to do for Jonathan. Last night we went with letting him whimper until it became a full cry, and then patted him until he found his thumb again. That seemed to work...once back asleep he slept the rest of the night (until his 4:30am feeding.) I guess we'll go with that for a few weeks and see if it works. I do think its having some effect, since a few days ago patting him didn't help at all, and now it does.

Well, my darling son is crying unconsolably, so I think I'll go help Gabe figure out what's wrong. :)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Updates, and night-time sleeping

Jonathan is giggling more and more. I love it.

Tummy time has ceased to be the cue for baby meltdown. The other day I let Jonathan play on his tummy, propped up so he could look out the window into the back yard, and he was perfectly happy until he happened to roll over onto his back. Then he cried. :)

We’ve started working more aggressively on night-time sleep issues. Jonathan had been sleeping with us, but he had started waking up every two hours or so and wanting to nurse. At 17lbs, this was ridiculous. So now we’re putting him down in his crib, and when he cries in the night I get up and pat his back and give him his pacifier and (most of the time) he’ll go back to sleep for another few hours. I hope that in a few weeks he’ll figure out that he doesn’t need to wake up at all except for the one mid-night feeding. I do still think he legitimately needs one feeding during the night, since he goes to bed at around 8 or 9pm and doesn’t actually get up until 7am or so.

I’m also working on setting up a nighttime routine…something along the lines of changing his diaper, nursing him, then rocking him in a modified cradle hold and singing a certain song until he’s asleep or almost asleep, then putting him in his crib. I think that just maybe he’s starting to get the idea, since when I see him starting to be sleepy during the day I use the same cradle hold and song to put him down for naps and they seem to be going pretty smoothly so far…we’ll see.

Does anyone out there have great ideas for getting a 5 month old to sleep through the night? Just please don’t be like the physician’s assistant last week, who told me to put him down in his crib while awake, and certainly don’t give him a pacifier or nurse or rock him to sleep. I have a sneaking suspicion that she doesn’t have children. :)


I am very pleased with the results of my day today: Gabe and I found and ordered a new desk for me. This is an amazing desk that will solve all of my organizational woes. Really. I just know it. It has drawers, and a place for the computer tower, and a pull-out shelf for the keyboard, and it is about five feet wide. I’m looking forward to moving all of my piles (currently scattered between three different areas and in various states of disarray) into one nice neat place and closing the drawers so that I can’t see it anymore. My one fear is that once it is out of sight, it will also be out of mind, and then I will forget to pay the bills, return the library books, find out why our property taxes are three times what we expected, and balance the checkbook.

Maybe out of sight, out of mind wouldn’t be such a bad thing. :)

I haven’t been blogging recently because I had one big thing to blog about, and I didn’t have my mind wrapped around it sufficiently to write it well. But I think that maybe I’m ready to write it out now, so here it goes.

The job that I was going to have this fall – the perfect job that let me teach for only three hours a week and had on-site child care included – is not as perfect as it was supposed to be. I showed up for my first day of work, only to be told that they were very very sorry, but child care would not be available after all because their insurance didn’t cover children under age 4 ½. I would need to find alternative care, and since they were so sorry, they would give me a $3 day stipend to offset the expense for the first two months.

$3 would cover about 1/5 of the actual cost of outside babysitting.

But I really wanted this job, so I tried to find babysitting. Only, no one was available. Of the ten people I asked, not one could do it. So I went back to Julie (my boss) and told her that I was terribly sorry, but I wouldn’t be able to teach for them because I simply couldn’t find childcare.

I expected her to be a bit frustrated at this news…after all, no one wants to find out one week into the school year that a teacher can’t stay. What I didn’t expect was for her to tell me that, actually, I could bring Jonathan to the site childcare – they just wouldn’t tell anyone.


The result of this was that I dug a little deeper, being quite uncomfortable with the situation, and discovered that not only would leaving Jonathan there be illegal due to lack of insurance, but the entire operation was illegal. The caretaker is not licensed (very nice woman, but not licensed), and the room is about 7 or 8 feet square and packed with as many as 8+ children.

I should have looked into the situation before I took the job. But because the job was for a California state charter school, I made the stupid mistake of thinking that they would be in compliance with California state law.

So I resigned. Julie was so upset she wouldn’t even talk to me on my last day. She had wanted me to give a month’s notice, which I couldn’t do because I didn’t have anyone to watch Jonathan. She told me that I was putting her in a “terrible position” and generally made me feel guilty and awful about the whole thing. Only, I really don’t think it was my fault. If childcare is offered as part of the package of a job, then legally licensed and insured childcare should actually be available. And if you are told on the first day of the job that actually, it isn’t, then I think resigning is justified. Anyway I don’t know what else I could have done.

I’m terribly disappointed about it all. Even in just the two weeks that I was there, I had already started loving my students. They were such bright, interested, excited 7th graders! And I feel a bit like God let me just taste something very sweet and then said “sorry, you can’t actually eat it.” Part of my head doesn’t believe God works like that, but it does feel that way.

On the other hand, last week (my last week teaching for them) Jonathan displayed some very clear signs of separation anxiety when I left him with babysitters. So maybe it’s better that I stay at home with him anyway. In a way, it’s nice to know that I’m needed…that Jessica or Libby just isn’t the same as Mommy. And the other day I was holding him and looked down at him and just felt an overwhelming sense that I’d made the right decision – no job was more important than Jonathan’s safety and happiness. After all, that’s why I stayed home in the first place.

But it’s hard to think that you can have both things you love, and then find out that you have to give one up…and it’s twice as hard when it happens the second time. I guess that’s why I’m so disappointed this time: I had already gone through the “giving up” process with Calvary, and I thought that the Gorman job was sort of a consolation gift, only to have to give it up as well.


But since this is the way it’s going to be, I’ve decided to work very hard at being the best Emily I can be in the situation God’s put me in. So I’m working on being a loving and fun mom, and taking good care of the body God’s given me, and keeping a clean and happy home for myself and for Gabe to come home to, and being a caring and encouraging person to those around me and to friends who are far away. And I actually sat down and wrote out specific goals to work toward in each of those areas.

Someday I want to teach again, and work towards being the best teacher I can be. But for now I think I just need to work on being a good woman.