Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cardiff camping

I have been waiting and waiting to take chiquita to the ocean, however, unlike the San Diego of my childhood memory (and Arizona mind), the weather isn't always bright and sunny. Winter has been holding on and a lot of days are gloomy with a "marine layer" that doesn't seem to recede. But, spring is peeking it's head, and beach days are here again.

One of our favorite beach spots is the San Elijo Campground in Cardiff. We have friends that will set up camp for days, and lucky for us we're always welcome to hang out.

Chiquita's first beach trip wasn't the warmest, but it was filled with good friends, a great sunset and the yummiest carne asada tater tots from Bull Taco!

I think she liked it.
All bundled.

Dad is rockin the SoCal uniform aka hoodie and a hat.
Who needs a sunset when there are yummy fingers to be had?
With Auntie Bells (we need a smaller version of that hat!)
In her froggy hat. So adorbs.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chiquita's got mad skills

It's month three and chickadee is all about discovery. Everyday she seems more bright eyed and aware. People seem fairly impressed with her development. Add up her hair, big blue eyes and activity and the general consensus is that she's more toddler than baby.
 From the get-go she was super eager. The hospital pediatrician was surprised to see her lifting her neck and pushing her feet against the bassinet at a day old. I dunno, for me she's just my baby, I'm in no rush for her to grow up.
That said, I'm still delighted when she learns something new.

The big new thing this month is her hands. Not only have they hit her radar, but they're tasty! This is awesome for us cause chiquita does not like her pacifier. We have binkys of every shape and size, but she is not a fan. In the beginning she only wanted to pacify on a nipple, then she graduated to nipples and mommy/daddy fingers, and now she's had the glorious revelation of her own fists. It's kinda slobbery, but she is so very entertained by it.

Not only are her hands tasty, they are also useful. All those toys that hover above her head or at her side can now be grabbed!

 Her newest accomplishment is freedom from tummy time. She's never liked the belly down position and now she can flip away from it! This was so much fun that we did it all day!

Oh chica - I am so excited to watch you grow!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dead Baby Diary

A friend from high school just lost her baby. Its kinda absurd to say "lost". Our babies aren't a set of keys that we've happened to have misplaced. I know where Mia is. She's on the bookshelf in a little cardboard box that I haven't been able to open yet. She's not lost, she's dead. Her ashes deserve an urn or box or freedom on the wind, but because I am a coward, she sits there. I don't know if it's the finality of it, but it's a step that I haven't been able to take yet. A step that some people think I should have taken long ago, somehow I need to get over it and move on. I have moved on, my baby died, I mourned her, and I live life in joy, not huddled weeping in the corner. But I will never get over it. I knew her. For months I could feel her movements. I knew she was shy and liked to cuddle up into me. I did my best to keep her safe and imagined a life for her. I held her and loved her, and miss her.

People tell me that I should be grateful that there were two. Even though my child died I should be happy that I have a baby here with me. I adore Ripley, I love her with every cell and I am so grateful for her, but explain to me me how one person can replace another? Not to get all Sophie's Choice, but if you have kids, which one would you miss less? Would you get over the death of one child just because you have others?

Part of me thinks its harder because there were two. Mia died, but in her twin I know what she would look like now. Their personalities were always different, but they were such little mirrors of each other. I am so happy that Ripley is growing so well and fast for two reasons: 1- because it means that she's healthy and well, 2- I saw and felt what she would look like dead. The bigger she gets the less she looks like her dead sister. It's morbid, I know, but that's death for ya.

Mia's death illuminated how many people I know who have gone through this. From their empathy and solace I know that I have joined a large community of mourners. My heart goes out to every member of the Dead Baby Club, may our memories remain strong and vibrant.

Monday, March 19, 2012


I love when my girl is nursing and she pauses to smile. Happiness.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Leeloo meets my lovely Sara D.

(Photography note: It's terribly difficult to shoot a squirmy baby sans flash in low light with a small digital camera.)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

3 months!

Three months old: awesome! I am totally digging this mama thing.

Big changes: no more tummy aches! She is still a stinky gassy girl, but she doesn't wail with pain each time. OK docs, I'll give you this one, you were right with the whole "it gets better around 3 months" thing. Yeah, yeah ;) But I think it wasn't really Colic. People have told crazy horror stories about babies crying for hours on end. She never did that. Her gas pain would interrupt hr sleep, or hurt her momentarily, but she was easily soothed. Even with just that I had a seriously lack of sleep. So for all the Colic parents out there - I wish you quick relief!

Good stuff:
- She still loves her bouncer, mobile and gym.
- Smiling and baby talk are all the rage.
- She adores her sling and likes to walk around while facing outwards.
- Our night routine is solid. We wake up a couple of times to change the diaper and nurse, and we don't have to turn lights on or leave bed to do it!
- She's growing like a weed, which means cloth diapers finally fit well!

- She doesn't really like the car.  Often times she's cranky for most of the trip.
- She doesn't like her stroller. This one is new (since my cousin just gifted us her old jogger), but so far she complains as soon as she's in it (or shortly thereafter).
- She sleeps very lightly unless a) in someone's arms, b) laying next to me. Which means I have little free time (and I am becoming a very good one handed typist!)
- I am still working on my milk supply. I am now trying tea and lactation cookies. Bottom line: I need to pump more.
- She's still very much a mama's girl.

Big scaries:
- I didn't latch the car seat correctly and she toppled sideways in the backseat. I felt terrible! Mama guilt is starting early.
- Her oldest brother tripped while holding her and scared the bejeezus outta all of us. Luckily neither was hurt (but we called the doc just in case).

All in all I'd say month number three went well! I can see how people get wrapped up in this baby business!

She's discovered her hands.
With one of our best friends.

Watching daddy cook.

Meeting new friends.

So big and happy!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Rio Rico

If Tucson is a whirlwind, Rio Rico is the calm eye. Every time I visit the desert I spend a couple days down south at my dad's house. He lives up on a hill in a small town. When there we just sit and talk and eat, and if the weather is nice, enjoy the porch and sit and talk and eat some more :) It's a lovely break from the visiting madness.
Leeloo liked Rio Rico, especially since it was closer to our normal schedule, no car seats, just cuddles. The only draw back was that it was especially windy. Like her mama, chiquita is allergic to the desert. Luckily I brought The NoseFrida with us. When I first heard about the NoseFrida (or snotsucker as I call it), I was kinda queasy. Essentially its a syringe attached to a tube that allows you to literally suck the snot out of your child's nose (with a filter that prevents it from going anywhere near your mouth). After Rio Rico, I was sold. When chiquita couldn't breathe, I would use the snotsucker and be amazed at how much mucous would come out. After a few moments her nose would be clear and she could breathe again. It was kinda awesome. So, despite the gross-out factor, I hands down support this product as a must have. Yay snotsucker!

Morning coffee.

Making funny faces with nana.

Loving the time with her grandparents.

Showing her Tia how much she loves her bouncer.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Waffles, yum.

Tucson trips are usually a whirlwind for me. I spend most days rushing from one place another, trying to visit as many people as possible. Unfortunately that usually means long days with short visits all over town. This tactic has (somewhat) worked in the past, but add a 3 month old who dislikes the car seat to that mix and you've got trouble. Being all new-mama like I was up for the challenge. Luckily for me my mom saw through my delusions and offered an easy solution. An open house. This way, friends and family could come see me, all at once, no driving or rushing necessary!

My moms second great idea was to hire her friend Jon Lehman to be in charge of the food. Jon, who is a masseuse, makes the best waffles I have ever had. I mean yum plus yum (then add some yum for good measure). You think this would be enough, but no, he also added fresh berries, whip cream, bacon and savory omelets to the mix. It was good to know that if people couldn't make it, we'd be well fed for days!

Wonderfully people did make it. The house was a buzz between 10 and 2. It was a little overwhelming to try to talk to everyone, but it was so lovely introduce the little one to the people I love. She cooed and flirted and was passed and kissed and cuddled. Somehow I need to figure out how to move my village from Tucson to San Diego, I have a feeling parenting would be heaps easier if they were all closer.

Meeting her great Aunt and Uncle.

Early birds get the first waffles!

She was worn out even before the party started!

With Stephanie.

Roxy liked the bouncer - I knew I lugged it on the plane for something!

Maya liked the decorations - Mexican chickens are fun!

Everyone wanted Roxy's polka-dot tights.

Lets play pass around the baby :)

If chiquita is ever missing, I'll look here first.

Her Uncle Chocolate Thunder.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tucson Day 4

Fourth desert day and my mom was finally freed from jury duty! That meant that she stocked up on cuddles and I trailed with the camera.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Tucson: Day 3

Tucson in the Spring is a strange place. One day it can be in the nineties and a few days later there will be snow. It may sound like an exaggeration, but I kid you not. On our third desert day it was windy and chilly. So I bundled the little one up.

Her warm outfit complete with boots and jeans :)

On our third day in town we ventured out on our own and went to visit my office. I've been working for the same company since 2005. When I met D and decided to run away to San Diego my boss was great enough to suggest that I continue to work remotely. It's been wonderful - not only because I get to work from home, but because I get to still work with people who are more my friends than anything.

Chickadee got to visit with them and I got in my puppy time. The office has four dogs around most days, six on others. Chance - my favorite, was rescued right after I started working. He is one of the sweetest golden retrievers ever and I miss spending my days with him. Even though he was perplexed by the little one we got some good cuddles in before we headed out to lunch.

Lunch was fairly straightforward, but I mention it for two reasons. One: I had the best salad ever (butter lettuce, french feta, dried cranberries and pistachios - I eat it twice a week now). Two: chica slept, in her car seat, for the whole time. In her car seat. Her car seat that she complains (loudly) about almost every time we use it. Seriously - you would think she had been drugged. My friends thought she was the best baby ever, she's good baby, but usually a bit more of a handful. She had them fooled and me amazed (and has yet to ever want to be in her car seat that long again). Yet another way of her keeping me on my toes.

Sleeping Beauty.

I didn't get a picture of the salad, but the bday desert was yummy too!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tucson: Day 2

A good thing about flying across only one time zone - no jet lag.

On our second day in Tucson we got to hang with one of my favorite aunties. My mom was still on jury duty, so to start our day we met her for lunch. Chiquita may not like the car seat very much, but in her sling she tags along fairly well.  She chilled in the K'tan and stared at all the patrons while I had enchiladas - yum. After that we returned my mom to the dungeons of civic duty and the three of us headed to the mall.

Malls and I share very little love. The only time I really like them is during the holidays when they smell like baked goods and you can people watch for days. However, this was a necessary trip, because my feet hurt. Pregnancy made my feet grow two whole sizes. Post delivery they've shrunk a bit, but not all the way back to my size 7. Now I only have a couple of pairs of shoes that (kinda) fit me- flip flops, and a pair of $12 ballet flats that make my feet hurt. After the airport I realized I really needed a proper pair. This meant going into a physical store to try stuff on, no online way out of it.

Going to the mall also gave us the perfect opportunity to try out the stroller that my cousins gifted us. When we were expecting twins we bought a simple double snap-and-go for the girlies. It was an easy solution for the overwhelming task of finding the right stroller. When things went south, a couple of the ladies from the twin group were sweet enough to take the snap-and-go away. Since then it hasn't been in my heart to shop for a single stroller. So this used one that was lonely in storage, was a blessing.

Chiquita did well on her first excursion. I wouldn't say she loves the stroller, maybe she doesn't even like it, but she tolerated it for quite some time when it was in motion. And when it stopped, she was easily accessed to feed her the bottle. If my auntie hadn't been there it would have been far more challenging, but since she could entertain while I shopped, it worked out.  Within a couple of stores I found comfy shoes in my new size (only one size up from my original size).
The score: canvas Toms. They make my feet smile.

Post mall I was scheduled for a hair appointment. Each time I visit Tucson I make it a point to visit Gypsy (A Hair Salon). Jaci is one of my favorite people and she has been cutting/dyeing/shaving/styling my hair for years. With chiquita at the casa with my folks I got a chance to sit and get a non-rushed cut. One thing they don't tell you about motherhood is that everything you do for yourself gets pushed into fast-forward mode. I spend my free moments speeding through things like showering/eating/dressing/anything. So, to get a couple of hours when I wasn't distracted by chiquita's happiness and general well-being was quite a break.

See all that hair? You think I would have a buzz-cut after. Nope. Jaci rocks my socks.

By the time I got home everyone was ready to crash. Except chickadee - she beat 'em to it.

All asleep.