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Six Freaking Months!

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Not a silly child at all.

Lillian is six months old! How the hell did that happen? Seriously.

She is so stinking cute. It hurts our brains, the cute. She’s in love with the dogs. I mean in looooooooooove with them. Persephone is not so sure about this. Loki is pretty into it. Pictures below.

She is very mobile, and we fear crawling is going to happen soon. She scoots backwards, rocks on her hands and knees, launches forward, and rolls every which way.

Giggling. Holy crap this kid giggles a lot. She snorts, shrieks, cackles, raspberries, and laughs. She cracks us up.

She’s been doing this kind of conversational thing that is awesome. David thinks she’s singing. It’s in about the same vocal range as the songs I sing to her.

We saw her new pediatrician today and are oh so much happier. She’s very relaxed and friendly and much more interested in what we have to say, much less lectury. Lillian is holding in the same percentile she has been which is fine. It’s wild, though, how much variation there is in babies. She’s easily the smallest in our playgroup by age, but also one of the most advanced in physical milestones. Meantime, it looks like she’s going to be in 3-6 month clothes for several more months barring a big growth spurt. Thank God for hand me downs!

We’re still trying to re-figure out the sleep thing. She’s gotten very hard to put down at night. I don’t mind one or two night feedings if she needs them, but I do wish getting her down for the first block was easier. I read some of Dr. Sears book on sleep tonight and tomorrow we’re going to try putting her to bed extra early and see what happens.

She’s really into the food these days. I’ve gone from rice cereal, to oatmeal, to oatmeal mixed with fruits and veggies. She’s had banana, pears (roasted with cinnamon stick, yes I’m an annoying food snob) and butternut squash. She’s pretty into it. Next up are avocado, mango, and sweet potato. Then I might try peas and some chicken. We shall see. It’s fun to cook for Lillian, though I’m still cooking everything for myself too. Soy is pretty much off the table which means not eating out much at all. But we may try to ease dairy back into the picture to see what’s happening with that.

Mostly, she’s a pretty delightful kid. David and I are totally smitten with her.

Lillian and Loki

Loki gives kisses

Lillian and Loki

Lillian examines Loki.

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There might be something cuter out there, but I haven't found it yet.

Brunch at the Braymen's

Okay, that's pretty cute too.

Photo 52

Digging In

The nursery is well underway now. The painting is done, and the carpet has been pulled up. Once the carpet is installed, we can start moving furniture back in, which means I can start putting away clothes and organizing stuff. Yay!

The child is more and more active. She had taken a break from kicking my bladder until yesterday. Ow ow ow. Let’s just say she’s much stronger now. She also likes to kick anything that’s touching my stomach. David, my hands, the dogs. Round ligament pain comes and goes, often in the same day. Yoga keeps me going – I go at least 3 times a week now, more if I can fit it in. It keeps my back from shutting down and helps me relax (and strengthen the muscles I’m going to need for labor, yikes).  It’s not as intense as Vinyasa, say, but it’s still a decent way to exercise. My hands and feet are more swollen. Some of my shoes are tight, and I may have to temporarily say goodbye to my wedding ring :( I’ve been sleeping more, though EVERYONE likes to tell me that will end soon. Luckily I’m an insomniac by nature (so is David), so army napping is normal for me. I feel bad for new parents who are used to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Speaking of weddings, our 2nd anniversary is on Weds. We’re keeping it pretty low key this year. Paying for medical bills, dental work, a room re-do, and a new fridge does not leave much room for extravagant gifts. I’m actually enjoying the idea of a low-key holiday season as we will probably not have another one of those for a looooong time.

I forgot to mention one other stressor in my list of stressors from the last post – I failed my initial glucose screen and had to go back for the 3 hour test. So far I’ve had a decent experience with the doctors and nurses at ADC but the administrative staff and the lab kind of suck. Getting stuck 4 times in three hours and drinking a bottle of sugar syrup at 7am on an empty stomach is no fun to begin with. But nurses who can’t be bothered to keep track of when you’re supposed to get tested, and a bathroom that looked like it belonged in a gas station did not enhance my mood. On the plus side, I passed with flying colors. Yay! A word to the wise – if your doctor says you only need to fast for 4 hours before your initial screen, fast for at least 8. I turned out to be only slightly over the cut off point on my initial screen. If I’d fasted over night I probably would have been fine.

I can’t believe I’m going to be 28 weeks on Thursday. This means I could easily only have 10 weeks left. Yikes!

I don’t know why I find this hilarious.

Go here:
http://www.lutralutra.co.uk/squirrelizer/

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You can never have too much pink

Zilker in June

Oh wait. Maybe you can.

Wednesday Photo

This is why I like having a bounce flash for indoor pictures:

New toy! D40!

Little black and white dogs can be difficult to photograph – they dark eyes on dark fur is hard to distinguish. But I use a small bounce flash and voila! Fabulously illuminated eyes, and high-saturation colors. Plus he is possibly the cutest dog ever, so that helps.

Latest Addictions

Best Cookies Ever
Baking
– I’ve been tearing through the Cooking Light playbook of muffins and scones. This, this, and this one are highly recommended.

WordPress – This, my updated blog is a wordpress blog, and I updated my DiaMind Blog and also added one to my new website. They are highly customizable and ever so much more robust than my old hosted sites.

Funny StuffFU Penguin and FailBlog make my brain hurt from the funny.

Up – Go see this movie. If you are a dog person, really go see this movie.

Saturday Photo

Kind of a funky angle, but I think it works with Persphone’s pained look.

Persephone & Loki

Brave Sir Robin, no longer

Loki has come along tremendously in the last few months. When we left for Hawaii in December, I was terrified of leaving him alone with a stranger (Bill, our house/dogsitter is possibly the most dog-friendly person EVER). Loki had never gotten comfortable with anyone besides David and myself. Sure enough, he didn’t come out from under the bed and make friends with Bill until 5 days into our trip. (Yes, I called almost every day. Yes, I know I was on my honeymoon. I’m just crazy that way.) Eventually he decided that Bill was okay, but he would hop up with him on the couch at night to sleep and shiver for the first ten minutes. That’s m’boy.

But after we got back, he seemed to have made some steps forward. He tolerated my parents’ presence in the house for several days, and was more outgoing with visitors. We decided it was time for him to have a companion, and got Persephone. Backsliding commenced.

Loki seemed terribly hurt whenever we gave Persephone affection, and was more twitchy than ever. Lots of shaking, and when we had to correct Persephone for being a crazy terrier puppy, he was more traumatized than she was. So we hired a trainer.
At the same time I started reading Caesar Milan’s book and watching his tv show. Blending the lessons from our trainer with Caesar’s dog psychology approach, we realized that part of Loki’s fearfulness was our over-nurturing behavior and lack of strong leadership. It took a while to change our habits, but we took his philosophy to heart and instituted stronger boundaries and rules, and more exercise for both of the dogs.

Today, Loki is almost a different creature. When we left town for our reception, we had a new dogsitter. I called after we got to California, dreading that Loki was cowering under the bed again. Brett said he’d taken about ten minutes to warm up. Both dogs slept with him every night. Loki has made friends with our trainer (dubbed FoodMan), is downright affectionate with my friend Emily, and totally loves playing with other dogs.

The clincher was this weekend. Usually I put off taking Loki to Petsmart for a nail trim because of the total carnage that ensues. He refuses to walk, barfs in the car, and struggles madly. It takes two groomers to clip his nails. This weekend there was no car barfing, I didn’t have to carry him through the store, and the groomer practically berated me for warning him that Loki would struggle. He was a total lamb. David and I were both amazed. He didn’t even sulk afterwards!

I used to think that you could love the trauma out of pets (and people), but really, that makes little sense. A toddler needs strong, clear boundaries to be healthy and safe, and so do dogs. If you don’t dwell on their issues, neither do they. Go figure!

Weddingstravaganza, Part the Second

We spent Friday through Monday in Santa Barbara doing the wedding thing all over again. My parents threw us a couple of great parties. They hosted a rehearsal dinner at the house, which my brother Shaun cooked a stupendous Ethiopian Feast for, and a luncheon at the Harbor Restaurant which is right down on the water. David’s parents came out with us and got to enjoy a trip to the Botanic Gardens, The St. Barbara Mission (very historical), a whale watching trip, and a winery. David and I also went to the SB Zoo and took some cool pictures.

I went to the Botanic Gardens, and my friend Roxanna took me for a Bachelorette Breakfast and spa treatment. David and I ate some awesome food while we were there as well, we had a great Mexican dinner on Friday, I grabbed my favorite peanut butter banana smoothie from Blenders on Saturday, when we also enjoyed Shaun’s feast, and we had some amazing sushi on Monday. So enjoy the photo tour below, lots more pictures on my Flickr page if you want to see more.

Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens:
The view
California State Flower
Ethiopian Feast:
Festivities in progress:

Iron Chef Shaun

Amber inspects the fish centerpieces for the reception:

Reception Day
Serenaded by Kaleo, longtime friend of Shaun and a native of Hawaii:
The amazing cake baked by my mom:

Last day, trip to the Zoo:
A final sushi lunch before the airport


Latest Addictions

Torchy’s Tacos – The best tacos in town, pretty much. While it’s hard to beat Taco Deli’s Jess Special for breakfast taco goodness, Torcy’s Dirty Sanchez may just have done it. Don’t know what the hell I’m talking about? Go try it yourself.

My new camera – I have no idea what most of the buttons on this monster do, but it shure takes purty pitchers.

Terriers – I can’t help it, I love my crazy dogs. You might have figured that out already. Ahem.

Steve Madden Shoes – Got two new pairs for Weddingstravaganza, and now I want MORE.

Relaxation – Well-deserved or not, I’ve been taking a much needed break from pretty much everything. My psyche thanks me.