Merry Christmas Eve

I have been in a cookie frenzy the last few days, so I haven’t been online much.  We’ve had two Christmas celebrations already and we’re headed down the track for 3 – 5 more. I’m losing count!  Everything is a whirl.

It’s fun having a baby around for Christmas. And this last week, she’s really made a whole lot of changes. Actually, TODAY (technically yesterday) she made a ton of changes. At baby story time, she grabbed a book page and was reaching for a picture on the page. She can grab for cloth, but she’ll still only hold onto toys nearby instead of reaching for them. But she did latch onto a rattle and shook it, stared at it, tried to eat it and then laughed at it.  She’s started shrieking, squealing and making belly laughs. She can anticipate the “punchline” of a song, like the POP in pop goes the weasel — and if you sing it to her two or three times, she’s start laughing before you get to “pop!”  This was all just today. I don’t think she was doing any of this stuff yesterday. It’s like a switch flipped in her brain and suddenly all of this new stuff started popping out. It’s amazing. I feel like she gave me a gift.



I am such a clueless newbie

One thing that I have trouble getting used to as a new mom is that I don’t have much time to really sit down and study something to learn it. There are so many things about blogging that I don’t understand and don’t have time to learn. Right now, I’m wanting to add some widgets to my site. But on the widget sites, they offer up the html code for you to cut and paste. When I try to add widgets here, the boxes seem to only accept a web address — no code. I am sure there is some easy way to put in all the widgets I want and I just can’t figure it out.

I also got a BlogHer account and I really want to get to know how to use that so I can get good tips and get more traffic for this site. I am just so insanely clueless and I can only work in a few minutes between feedings and naps to spend learning.

Baby Story Time!

Unfortunately, I accidentally left the camera in the car and could not get pictures (that would have been adorable!) of Genie’s first story time. So I’ll have to go back next week and have another “first story time”. Which is totally fine. In a few years, nobody will even know that her first story time pictures are all “fakes” because they are actually the second time. To spice things up, I will post some generic story time pictures to get things exciting and colorful on this site.

Basically, we had a meet and greet at the door,   and a “Hello” song, which I’m told they sing every week. Then we alternated finger-plays, lap bouncing and reading from a story book.  Then we sang the “Goodbye” song and then — the group leader pulled out all these cool toys that the kids got to play with.

  • Genie was too little to do any of the finger plays. She’s just starting to uncurl her fists and all she can do on her own accord is stick her hand in her mouth. So during the finger plays, she sat on my lap and watched my fingers do the routines.
  • She WAS big enough to appreciate the bounces. She got really into them. Not only did she bounce, but she stood up (with help, of course) on the standing and dancing parts.  She enjoyed the “toss in the air” parts. (Don’t worry. We just lifted the babies up. No actually baby throwing occurred.)  She not only laughed whenever I raised her hands in the air, she actually did it on her own when the story teller did it once.  I was totally amazed. I had no idea how much she pays attention to things and underestimated how aware of things she is.
  • The story times were funny. She loved being talked to and she liked staring at the book. But she gets more into staring at the printed words than the pictures. It’s still a month or so before her eyes can really see more details in images. Her eyes are very sharp, but she’s mostly into contrasts.  I picked up a few books with simple pictures to see if I could spark her interest in looking at something other than the text.
  • Play time was just too much! The library had big fancy toys you’d never be able to have in your h0use.  Genie spent most of her time with this giant foam brick covered with leather. There were various little toys sewn into it, but she was too little to get into those. She spent most of her time leaning on the brick and staring at the other kids. I loved it. She could really sit up on her own  by leaning forward and grabbing onto the brick. There were also some cute leather rattle toys. She would hold the smallest ones if I held them in front of her. Most of the time, she just dropped them after a few seconds, but she did manage to shake the smallest one around.  She looked so fascinated by it. I don’t think she quite gets that she was the one making the toy move. She seemed dumbfounded that there was this toy right next to her head moving around.

Anyway, we had a blast. Those of you with babies should get yourself to a story hour at your local library as soon as you can. As much fun as you can imagine it to be, it’s even better.

I hate shopping

I feel like I have a damaged second X chromosome. I thought all women loved to shop — especially for shoes and clothes. But I can’t stand it. I hate trying stuff on. I hate crowds.  I hate spending money.

I can’t think of anything good about shopping for clothes, except that you have new clothes at the end of it. I’m not a huge fan of new clothes, though. So that’s little incentive. However, since my weight has rapidly fluctuated during and after pregnancy, I have almost nothing to wear. For serious.  Up until last week, when my husband begged me to buy jeans for the first time in over 20 years, I had maybe 2 pairs of pants that actually fit and looked somewhat decent.

So, a VERY generous relative has given me a wonderful gift of some special gift cards for Nordstrom that expire at the end of the week. So I HAVE to go out shopping today.  I thank her not only for the gift certificates, but I also thank her for giving me ones soon to expire because it forces me not to procrastinate.

I was going to just buy Christmas gifts for the family or baby clothes for Genie Houdini (not her real name), my almost 3 month old daughter. However my husband BEGGED me to get myself new clothes because he can’t stand my wardrobe. That’s a pretty sorry state. He’s as tightwad as me and cares about clothes almost as little as I do.  So here I goTo alleviate my hatred of shopping, I put some pre-planning into things. This way, I won’t just wander into Nordstrom and flail about.

  • FIRST, I googled “wardrobe staples” so I knew what I should be looking for. I found The Chic Fashionista : Wardrobe Essentials lthe to be the best for my needs.  I didn’t have to examine my wardrobe to see what was missing. I assumed that it was ALL missing.
  • Then I went to the Nordstrom site and started looking at my most needed items. I loved the setup of their site. I could look up clothes, add the sizes and colors I wanted. Then I could check and see if they were in one of the nearest two stores. If they were in stock, I added it to a wishlist.  Now I can just print out the list of what I want with all the sizes, colors and even the special numeric code so that someone can quickly help me find what I’m looking for.
  • If what I want doesn’t look good on me or fit as well, then I can browse, but my list will help me keep in mind what I’m looking for so I don’t panic and just go buy a ton of baby clothes. Maybe I’ll even be brave enough to force a clerk to help me out.
  • I put a lot more on my list than I can afford to buy, and then I prioritized what I needed. This offers a lot of options for me. I will go to what I need first, rather than what’s the closest. I REALLY need a dress coat, but I slightly need stud earrings. I don’t want to spend up on the earrings because they are closer to the door than the coats.  If  nothing on my list or in that department works out, I can go to the next most needed item. I can only remember a few things at a time, so I won’t end up wandering around hopelessly lost if I don’t find a good coat.

Here is what is on my list:

Dress Winter Coat — I need this. I have a ratty old parka and a dress coat that I can’t zip up. Not good enough. All the coats on my list are machine washable. I am a slob and have a baby, so this is vital to my plan. I have 4 on the list

Dress winter boots — I can never find a pair I both like and fits well. So I’m not holding my breath. I have 2 on the list.

2 Button down sweaters. I’m breastfeeding, so I need button downs. Other shirts and sweaters just cause problems. There are 7 on my list.

2 Button down oxfords — There are only 2 on my list, and they are nice and well tailored. I’m hoping not to go this far down on the list, because this is stuff I could get at Target much cheaper and very similar. I only put ones on this list that I thought looked so nice that they were noticeably too fine  to get at a cheaper place.

Stud diamond (or diamond-like) earrings. I really need to get jewelry.  But this is something I hate shopping for even more than clothing. So it’s on the list.

Bangle bracelet. Probably won’t get this because while I need more jewelry, I hate wearing bracelets. I’d get one for special occasions.

I am hoping that with this gift certificate this plan, my mother-in-law donating babysitting time, some bottles full of breast milk and some sweet talking to get me to go out in the cold will lead me on my first step to a better dressed lady.