Monday, June 30, 2008

Escaping the Heat

Temperatures reached a record high here on Sunday. And it was seriously HOT. Too hot, in fact, for my sweet NHV to nap in her room - even with the ceiling fan and a standing fan kicking it on high. It was like 88 degrees on the second floor ... crazy! The front two bedrooms take a beating in the late afternoon sun - despite blinds and curtains closed and ceiling fans on high ... it was still just too unbearably hot. If you're asking yourself, "Why didn't they just turn on the air conditioning?" You obviously don't live in the NW. We don't have AC; most homes in the area don't have central air ... can you imagine? As a girl from the Midwest, it seems a bit nutty to me! So it's not typical to have AC and it is rather expensive to have central air installed after your house is built - an expense that we would only really benefit from a few days out of the year - an expense that really doesn't make sense in the long run .... therefore no air conditioning and a temperature of 88 degrees inside our house, and in the short run, it's HOT.
What do you do when your baby can't take a nap in your OVEN of a house? Head for the hammock. Positioned in the shade. Where the slightest of breezes was blowing. You can tell from Natalie's rosy cheeks, it was still warm but it was bearable and she slept for about an hour, a much needed snooze!

Summer Snoozin'
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Isn't this a precious photo? I love the way she's curled up next to her daddy ... with her little booty sticking out ... her hand on his belly ... soothie abandoned on his chest ... and her lovey nearby.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Babies in Bumkin Bibs

My latest prize, the Bumkin Bib I won from Droolicious, arrived in the mail today! Not only do I love getting mail but I especially love getting a big envelope with a gift or, in this case, prize inside ... so exciting! (Don't know what I'm talking about? Click here.)

To make my day even better, I got to witness this little scene ... the one pictured right up there under the alliterative title. Benjamin and Natalie enjoyed yet another (their last of this trip) meal sitting side-by-side. Both wearing Bumkin bibs ... and not much else. We had just returned from a late afternoon swim at our neighborhood pool. With hungry babies on our hands, we quickly stripped them down and put on a dry diaper before fastening a Bumkin around their necks and spooning sweet potatoes into their eager mouths.

NHV is wearing the new Pink Paisley print - the one we just received in the mail. Benjamin is wearing the Red Farm print, a gift from Natalie. Oh, and on their trays ... Veggie Booty ... a new favorite for both of them. They love it so much, we have to hide it until the end of the meal!

Hottest Day of the Year and a Campfire

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What's up with those rocks? My friend Tammy recently asked this question in reference to a ring of rocks prominently displayed in my backyard. Rocks that my husband - very deliberately - put there. "It's our fire pit," I responded ... not necessarily with a tone of pride in my voice because, well, it does kind of look more like a really nice campfire ring than a fire pit ... but I know it will serve its purpose ... to provide a fire on which I can roast marshmallows for S'MORES!

And today, on the hottest day of the year - near 90 degrees - and on the last night of our friends' visit here to the NW, we had a campfire, and roasted marshmallows, and made S'MORES! It seems my friend, Laurie, shares my love for the graham cracker, Hershey's chocolate, perfectly roasted marshmallow treat that is a s'more ... yummy! I have been wanting a s'more since my visit to Colorado (and my friend Missy, who happens to have a delightful - and actual - fire pit on her patio) earlier this month, and finally I got one ... better make that two :) Woo hoo!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Visitors to the NW

I feel tremendously blessed to have shared my pregnancy and motherhood journey with my wonderful friend, Laurie. We delivered our babies just 12 days apart, decorated our nurseries with the same art project, both decided to breastfeed exclusively, compared gift registries, shared things that worked, ... basically supported and encouraged and helped each other in anyway we could.
Laurie gives the best insight (she's so clear-minded) and makes me laugh (sometimes 'til it hurts). We met and taught together in VA. She's the most amazing teaching partner you'd ever hope to have on your team. And I had the honor of being one of her bridesmaids; she's married to this funny - borderline goofy - man who seems absolutely perfect for her. But she now lives in TX ... which means that ...
Up until about a week ago, we had been separated by a couple thousand miles - with only phone conversations and emails through which to share the ups, downs, goods, bads, and daily happenings of our lives. Now, she and her goofy hubby and her adorable, sweet son, DBT, are HERE in the NW for a nice, long visit!
It has been so good to spend time with Laurie again and to be mommies together - doing all the everyday stuff ... feeding, changing, putting down for naps, ... I've been trying to forget it's just a visit and instead been imagining that she lives here ... oh, how I would love for us to live closer ... for our babies to grow up playing together ... for our families to celebrate birthdays and what-not ...
While that isn't a reality, I am so glad for the time we shared during this visit and the memories we made. The absolute best part ... seeing my little NHV and her umm ... not-quite-as-little DBT together.
Taking the babies for walks to Starbucks and the park and hiking in the backpacks. The weather has been beautiful, and the babies have been so accommodating of our somewhat crazy schedule. I can't even think of any major meltdowns - despite missed naps and meals on the go. Now, that's impressive!
Giving our babies their first coed bath ... so cute! There's just something about two naked, happy babies splashing in the tub ... besides the photos make for great embarrassment potential in a decade or so!
Watching the babies during their morning playtime. It is entirely too precious the way Benjamin reaches out to touch Natalie. And he seems to take her pterodactyl screams in stride - she is so loud!
Feeding the babies in side-by-side high chairs. (How do moms of twins do it?) Benjamin is a calm and methodical eater; picking up just a piece or two at a time and savoring the flavors. Natalie is an enthusiastic and messy eater; shoveling the pieces into her mouth and often missing.

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Yes, it's been a good visit, and I will be really sad to see them leave ...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Father's Day Handprint

This falls under the "better late than never" category. Ten days after Father's Day, we finally found the time to do our handprint craft, a little activity I am hoping becomes a yearly tradition ... if it actually gets done on Father's Day in the future, even better!

I've seen this idea before with a poem about leaving fingerprints on furniture and walls ... I am sure you know the one. But Natalie isn't even walking yet, so she's not really leaving prints all over the house - such a literal interpretation, I know. But I love the idea of capturing her handprint as a way of watching her grow. Inspired by that familiar poem and in the spirit of Father's Day, I thought we could turn this into a tradition, something that Natalie could do every year with her daddy.

Our version of the handprint poem/craft involves an 8 x 8 scrapbook given to us as a gift when NHV was born. I put some stickers and such on the first few pages - just to get us started - thinking that Natalie can "design" the pages as she gets a little older. And I wrote a little explanation on the first page. I also picked up some non-toxic black paint made by Crayola. But I let Chad and Natalie figure out the rest, while I took pictures. Each year we will add Natalie's handprint and a photo of her and daddy making the print.

As you can see in the photos, before even getting out the paint, we decided this was an activity best done with a semi-naked baby. The paint claims to be washable, but, really, why risk it when NHV looks so adorable in only a diaper? It was also quickly decided that the high chair was the best place for our little artist. It only took three attempts, and we had our "perfect" handprint.

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I can't wait to continue this tradition next year. To see Natalie - a year older - interacting with her daddy and making an even bigger handprint!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dining Al Fresco

It's officially summer here in the NW, and this week's weather has proven to be well-worth the very long and dreary wait! Thanks to the much-improved, I'd say delightful, weather (and relatively bug-free) conditions, we've been able to eat dinner outside ... on the patio under our green and white striped umbrella with Natalie's high chair pulled up alongside the table. This simple joy really struck me tonight, and I just had to take a few pictures ...

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On the menu: barbecued pork chops, cheesy noodles, and a delicious salad

I'm a Winner ... times three!

I hate to jinx myself, but I just have to say, "I'm a winner!" And since it's happened three times now - and since good things happen in threes - I figure I'm safe because my lucky streak is probably over anyhow ... so here's a quick chronicle of my recent WINS along with a little homage-paying to those who made them (all three of them) possible:

First, back in May, I won two tickets to John Gottman's lecture, Making Marriage Work. Not that my marriage is in any trouble, but the chance to win showed up in my inbox, and I figured why not? I entered the ParentMap newsletter drawing on a whim, and I won! That's right, I won a prize worth about $50; tickets were $25 in advance, and I got two tickets - one for me and one for hubby. We secured a babysitter, and off we went ... to be somewhat bored out of our minds. Nothing personal against JG, but the information, while interesting and perhaps even helpful, was delivered with a lack of pizzazz. After much yawning, we did manage to savage the evening with dessert at a local restaurant - we didn't win it, but it was delicious nonetheless.

Second, I won three pair of Baby Legs, the perfect number for gifting to my favorite triplets! So, how did I win? Well, it all started with a celebration of the first birthday kind at Baby Loves Disco. BLD is awesome; it is "an afternoon dance party featuring real music spun and mixed by real djs blending classic disco tunes From the 70s, & 80s guaranteed to get those little booties moving and grooving." BLD "transforms the hippest night clubs into child proof discos." Anyway, our buddy Henry and his mommy invited us, and the ticket included a free pair of Baby Legs, one of my favorite baby products - functional and super cute! If I remember correctly, Baby Legs, a Seattle-based, mom-owned company, was celebrating an anniversary ... by giving away their product ... so cool! Amongst all the darling patterns, I choose Marzipan, a funky striped pattern - that's Natalie modeling them in the photo. That pair was given to me ... the other three I won by entering a drawing on my way out the door. I signed my name and email to a tiny slip of paper and tossed it in a giant fishbowl, never to give it another thought ... until I got an email telling me I won. All I had to do was send them my address and choose three pair of Baby Legs - from among the 14 categories and the hundreds of design options - no easy feat, I tell you!

Third, and most recently (I got the email just today), I won a Bumkin Bib from this terribly fun and addictive blog Droolicious, part of babble, the magazine a community for a new generation of parents. Honestly, I can't even remember how I stumbled upon this site, but I did, and I read a review of Bumkin bibs - a product we already own and LOVE. At the end of the review was mention of a bib giveaway. All I had to do was send an email telling how many loads of laundry I do to be entered to win, and I was selected at random as the ... winner. Even as a type there's a super cute paisley SuperBib on its way to our house.

Fun, fun, fun!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things: Belly Button Book

I just put NHV down for her morning nap - wondering how much longer she'll continue to give me that little slice of 60 minute heaven? Before heading off to Snoozeville, we snuggled in the glider and read the Belly Button Book, one of our favorites!

Given to us by someone who knows my almost obsessive love of the button, my friend, Natalie's auntie, Missy, this book - one of Sandra Boynton's many delightful tales - has provided hours of entertainment! It features a tiny, oh-so-cute hippopotamus, refers to belly buttons as "belly b's," and includes several illustrations of hippos -baring their belly buttons - in bikinis ... seriously, what's not to love?

And it's inspired me to move beyond the "Where is your nose?" game and give "Where's your belly button?" a try :) I can just picture Natalie lifting up her shirt, exposing her tiny tummy, sticking her finger right in her belly button, and smiling with accomplishment ...

Blessings Times Three, Part 2

Speaking of a three to one ratio - three babies and one mommy ... I would be completely remiss (and I'm already a little late) if I didn't mention and CONGRATULATE my dear, wonderful friend Debbie who brought home her TRIPLETS just about one week ago. I am sure she would echo my sister's sentiment ... and she has three NEWBORNS ... now that's impressive!
How AMAZING is this photo?
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All three babies - with the cutest names: Morgan, Landon, and Hayden (I think that's the order in the photo.) - are healthy and growing bigger and stronger everyday. I can't wait to meet them!

Want to learn more about motherhood to the third degree? Get on over to The Growing Cunninghams. Her website is an absolute delight; her posts are detailed and honest, her tone is bursting with happiness, and the photos are guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cooking with Aunt D

Being an aunt is one of my favorite roles in life! To my siblings' kiddos, I am - and always will be - Aunt D. I decided to shorten my name from Dana to D for totally selfish reasons. Because I wanted my nuggets to be able to say my name as early (and easily) as possible. Oh, I also shortened "nieces and nephews" to "nuggets;" for ease but also just because like the sound of it. And I am the proud aunt of 8 nuggets - four on each side. But this is a little story about time I spent with just one of those nuggets, my niece Kaylee.
During my recent visit home - to my hometown that is - I had the opportunity to spend an entire afternoon with my little Kaylee Bug. Those few hours were a wonderful and exciting glimpse at the fun I have in store as the mommy of a little girl.
The plan was to make two lasagnas, one for Kaylee's family - my attempt at nourishing parents of a newborn, my sister had given birth to her third just 5 days before - and one for my dad (to share with me and my mom) because he loves my lasagna.
First, we had to go to the grocery store to buy all the ingredients. Now, keep in mind I've never actually taken a 6 year old to the grocery store by myself. Leaving the house, I realized Kaylee was carrying a purse; how very grown-up of her, especially considering that I was carrying my keys, wallet, and cell phone (sans diaper bag) - I looked like a fumbling moron while she looked totally put together - Hello Kitty bag and all!
Before we even pulled out of the driveway, a mini-makeover was needed. Kaylee proceeded to pull out one accessory after another from her ever-so-handy purse, and we got to work bedazzling ourselves with rings, hair bows, and bracelets. I referred to it as our "pling," the plastic version of bling. Once inside the store, I quickly learned the memory power of a young mind. Thankfully I had recited our ingredient list to Kaylee because I left the list at home, and there's little to no chance of me being able to remember anything these days. But she remembered everything we needed. Of course, she also negotiated a little something - not on the list - for herself. An item that started - in her head - as a princess dress, got scaled back to a toy, and finally settled on a journal (in the school supply aisle) ... as she realized the grocery store lacks the selection she was hoping for.
Back at Grammy's house, Kaylee kept me company - asking lots of very good questions - while I put together the sauce and boiled noodles. And then we constructed both meals layer-by-layer and side-by-side. She even handled the ooey-gooeyness of the ricotta cheese like a seasoned chef.
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The end results were two delicious pans of lasagna, a mess Grammy was kind enough to clean up while Kaylee and I stole away to read books together, very fond memories, and an anticipation of the not-so-distant future when my little Natalie will be a purse-carrying, pling-wearing, list-remembering, lasagna-making six year old!

Blessings Times Three

My younger sister, Laura, recently became a mommy ... for the third time ... brave (or crazy) soul that she is, and I couldn't be happier for her because she is so darn happy! She has a 6 year old daughter, who is sweet, creative, and inquisitive. Her first son, Jase, is 19 months old - full of energy, smiles (big ear-to-ear ones), and the almost constant gibberish we refer to as Jasenese. And her second son, Greyson, was born May 28; from what I've witnessed - through photos and during my recent visit - he seems like a fairly easy-going baby, and he is cute beyond belief, in my biased, Aunt D opinion :)

So three kiddos under one roof - a feat my mom accomplished quite successfully plus one, but still I am in awe of the idea of three ... my one has given me a run for my money on more than one occasion. Anyway, I called her earlier today to chat about an gift for my parents' upcoming anniversary, and she answered the phone. She quickly answered my question, and then informed me that she was in the middle of putting Jase down for a nap while Greyson was crying the background - a scene I could easily picture in my mind. In this version, Laura was totally calm and collected. In the version starring me, I would be a frazzled mess, and I sure as heck wouldn't have answered the phone :) These thoughts left a smile on my face and an admiration in my heart; I am so proud (and a little envious) of the person my sister is ... Just to further prove that point, in an email message to follow-up our earlier conversation, she apologized for being so brief on the phone with this explanation ...

My hands are full and so is my heart and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Isn't that a beautiful statement? I love you, Laura Helen, and all three of your nuggets, too!

Father's Day

"I never knew how much I loved your father
until I saw how much he loved you."

I must admit it, seeing my husband nurturing, teaching, and just plain loving our daughter brings a smile to my heart. He is so good with her - sure he forgets to change her diaper when he gets up with her on Saturday mornings, but hey, he gets up with her on Saturday mornings while I sleep in - delightful! And during those morning playtimes, he gives our Natalie his full attention and some pretty creative ways of playing - leave it to the mind of an engineer to test things like the number of stacked cups that will still slide down the ramp.

Despite his quiet nature, he holds the best conversations with Natalie ... mostly just mimicking her sounds and showing her how to vibrate her lips with pitch changes ... but she "chats" with him very enthusiastically.

And I know our baby girl is going to see amazing places thanks to her daddy and his love for the great outdoors. She's already accompanied us on more than a handful of hikes, and Chad has big plans for next school year when I go back to work and the two of them will spend every Monday together - on some wonderful outdoor adventure.

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To celebrate Father's Day, we established a few traditions a hike, a handprint, and a hammock.

Hike: We hiked a trail to Poo-Poo Point; I know the name is ridiculous, but it's really a great hike with an amazing view of Mount Rainier and a front row seat for watching paragliders take off - a paraglider wears a parachutes (obviously) but jumps off the side of a mountain rather than out of a plane ... crazy, huh? I think I'd like to try it. Anyway, most of the photos in the collage were taken during our Father's Day hike - a tradition we hope to continue every year, weather permitting :) Okay, so I got curious and googled Poo-Poo Point ... "the point got its name from logging signals using a whistle that made a "poo poo" sound." Funny, 'cause Chad and I say it got its name from the many paragliders who've pooed their pants during take-off ... either is a viable option!

Handprint: So I have this great idea that each year - on Father's Day - we will do a little craft - a stamp of Natalie's handprint in an 8 x 8 scrapbook. Each year will have it's own page with the handprint and list of hand-related accomplishments from the past year ... something like, this year my hands learned to hold a sippy cup, crawl all around, and touch the whiskers on my daddy's face. Of course, I can't post any photos of this "great idea" because it hasn't happened yet; we ran out of time on Father's Day ... but I am hoping it gets done tonight!

Hammock: We've had this hammock for many, many years ... like since we lived in Florida some 10 years ago. But we haven't hung it. Don't ask me why. It's one of those, "why didn't we do this sooner?" kind of things. And Chad christened it with a good nap as part of his Father's Day celebration :)

We ended our day with a yummy meal at a local Mexican restaurant and a quick trip to the park. What more could a first-time daddy ask for?

Oh, and our gift to Chad is somewhat selfish. We got him a few guitar lessons so he can serenade his girls and be a big hit at birthday parties and what-not :) I know there's musical talent there, if only he would learn a few chords!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Milestone: First Tooth

Just want to make it known officially; I hinted at this in an earlier post. Natalie, just shy of turning 11 months old, got her first tooth! It's the bottom, front, left ... does that make sense? It isn't much to see just yet, but I can definitely feel it. Thankfully, she hasn't bitten me 'cause that little thing is sharp!

The process actually started last week while we were in Colorado visiting my friend Missy and her son Emmett. Big E, as I like to call him, just turned 5 months old, weighs almost as much as Natalie, and is just the sweetest little guy! The fact that Emmett started teething at the exact same time, leads me to believe that perhaps teething is contagious! I would liken it to the synchronizing of womanly cycles ... I swear there were times when me and all three of my college roommates would get our visits from Aunt Flo at the same time. Now, I am thinking the Tooth Fairy works the same way :)

Okay, that was a tangent, but what do you expect from me? Anyhoo, Natalie got her first tooth, and it wasn't too bad. After round one of "shard of bone forcing its way through your gums," I swear by the Highland Teething tablets.
One down (or up in this case) and like 30 more to go!?

Mom's Night Out

Occasionally (hubby may disagree with this particular word choice) I treat myself to an MNO ... that's Mom's Night Out for those of you who don't get out much ;) And tonight was one of those nights ... an MNO of the Bunko variety. Back to those of you who don't get out much, Bunko is a game played with dice. A very simple game that would be complicated to explain blog-style but is super easy to learn when you're sitting at the table with three dice and a glass of wine in front of you. You'll just have to trust me or google it if you're feeling the need for an education.

So, anyway, Bunko is an organized game for adults, particularly moms - but our group includes dads. It's less competitive, slightly more sophisticated, but almost as much fun as say flip-cup or beer pong. While Bunko may seem lame to some, there's still alcohol involved, so it's all good :) More importantly, there's no skill required in Bunko just roll and hope for the best. And tonight my hoping paid off. I won 14 out of 20 games, and tied with one other mommy, and she happens to be one of the coolest mommies I know ... and her 10 month old son is ADORABLE - yes, all capital letters adorable - and I would be totally fine with Natalie marrying him someday. Wow, I digress. Oh, and I should also mention that my total score would've beaten hers if it weren't for my "friend" who cursed me with the dreaded Snake Eyes ... I hope you can sleep at night, Ashley! Regardless, my wins earned me a prize, and prizes are always fun. After claiming my prize, something funny happened ...

At the end of the evening, I made a trip to the ladies room. Don't worry this isn't a story of the TMI kind; it's funny - really, stick with me. Living here in the land of "green" the bathroom didn't have a light switch - such an archaic device could result in the light being left on even when the bathroom is not occupied - no, instead there was a sensor that "sensed" my arrival in said bathroom and the lights and fan (not that I needed it, thank you very much) turned on. So I sat and proceeded to empty my wine-laden bladder - which shouldn't have been too full because I was DD tonight. Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle ... ummm, suddenly it got very dark and very quiet (except for the tinkling). There I was sitting in the pitch black wondering, "What the hell?" Okay, my smart blog readers, I know you've already got this figured out, but it seriously took me a minute to wrap my brain around this situation. That sensor must be set for like one minute - encouraging speedy urination, more frequent trips to the potty, or a big mess - because an exaggerated wave of my arm later, the lights and fan were restored. And I was left with what I think is an amusing story for my blog ... delightful! Except now you may be visualizing me on the toilet, and I am not sure how I feel about that ...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Are you teething?

Just read a very funny post by my friend Debby at Sanity ~ No Longer an Option. I can't actually commiserate with her hate for the extra hours of sunlight this time of year. Because as I commented on her site, here in the NW, we take whatever sunshine we can get, whenever we can get it!

But I can relate to just how taxing full-time motherhood can be, especially while mothering a first-time teether. I had no idea Natalie could be, would be so ... about a mile past cranky and a good step or two past fussy ... once this teething phenomenon started. I mean, it's gotta hurt - having a shard of bone straining its way through swollen gums. The amount of drool alone indicates the changes happen in her little mouth. I totally get that, but her constant cough-like, whining cry is wearing on my last nerve. Like nails on a chalkboard, I tell ya!

Anyway, I hear what you're saying, Debby; after a very long day - in the company of one very fussy baby - I was counting - not the minutes but - the seconds until daddy got home to take this Crankasaurus Rex off my hands. Something about that last hour - after spending about 10 hours soothing, cajoling, entertaining, distracting, ... I am just done ... stick a fork in me, you know?!
I called out my hubby's creative song writing/singing in a previous post, so I think it's only fair that I admit to my own silly attempts. Just this evening I "composed" and sang this little catchy tune .... from the end of my rope!

Where is daddy? Where is daddy?
Hurry home. Hurry home.

Mommy's had enough.
Can't stand all this fussing.

Cranky pants. Cranky pants.

To the tune of Frere Jacques (Are you sleeping?)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Going the Distance

So we're back in the NW after traveling some 3,500 air miles ... but that's not the distance I am talking about ... however, you can expect more travel adventure recounts in another post.

What I am hoping to describe here are two impressive (and consecutive) feats of sleep by one beyond adorable almost 11 month old. Allow me to set the stage, as the past few days have been anything but typical.

On Monday evening Natalie and I left Colorado (and our dear friends Missy, Joe, and Emmett) to return home to Seattle. Due to severe weather - ridiculously high winds to be more specific - our flight that was scheduled to depart at 7:55 pm didn't even board until 8:55. I knew I was already pushing my luck by traveling so close (actually after) bedtime, but the relatively cheap fare prevailed against my mommy instincts. A decision which came back to bite me in the proverbial arse when I found myself entertaining an overtired 10 month old - who desperately wanted to crawl on the nasty airport carpet - for an hour and a half longer than planned. Nothing fun about that. By the time we did get on the plane - thankfully the gate agent was nice enough to block a seat for Natalie and her infant carrier - NHV had crossed over into the dreaded "third wind." She had caught her second wind after napping in the car on the way to the airport, crashed again right about the time we should've taken off, and then reached that "slap happy" stage just as we got seated on the plane. She babbled - happily and loudly during the passenger briefing and Captain's announcements - and laughed - I swear everything I did was hilarious to her. Until finally, about an hour after take-off, she fell asleep.

My weary traveler continued to sleep through the remainder of a very turbulent flight, including an extra 45 minutes of "holding" until the winds died down enough for us to land. And she continued to catch those zzzz's during deplaning; even as I carried all 20 pounds of her in the infant carrier plus an overstuffed backpack down the narrowest of aisles. I pushed the stroller with her in the infant carrier all the way through the Sea-Tac airport, on several different elevators to baggage claim, where the convey belt did its little parade of suitcases until I spotted our humongous hot pink bag, and out to Arrivals where Chad was waiting in the Volvo ... Natalie didn't make a peep, didn't stir even a little. I had to check to make sure she was still breathing! We loaded her in the car - still in her infant seat - and drove the 30 minutes home. I carried her upstairs and put her in her crib. All without her waking up. She slept right on through until about 4:00 am when I fed her and laid her back down for another two hours of sleep.

The following day, Tuesday, yesterday ... I was scheduled to spend the day at the school where I'll teach next year. So after a morning of much needed daddy-daughter bonding, Natalie spent the afternoon at her friend Sahara's house; her mom Deann watched Natalie while I met with my teaching partners. Unfortunately for Deann, Natalie refused to take a nap, so by the time I got there at 4:00, she was an exhausted, cranky mess (so sorry, Deann). Back home and after a quick feeding, she fell right to sleep, and then woke up at 6:00 pm. I was quite pleased with her hour and a half afternoon snooze, but when I went in to get her I could tell she was still hella grumpy :( She signed milk and I fed her again only to have her fall back to sleep within just a few minutes. Apparently, Natalie missed her bed while we were gone because that late afternoon nap turned into an all night event.

Without dinner, without the bath she definitely needed, still wearing her clothes from the day, without our usual stories and lullabies ... she slept for more than 12 hours - from 4:30 pm until 5:20 am and then back down until 6:30 am. I thought I was putting her down for a much needed nap not to bed for the night. I must've gone upstairs to check on her a dozen times; each time she looked so comfortable, so peaceful.

Clearly, our little NHV had a sleep debt to pay, and as Chad likes to say, "She went the distance."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Back in the NW

After 10 days of traveling, visiting, and sleeping in someone else's bed ... ummmm, not with someone else, just in a bed that doesn't belong to me :) ... we are back in the NW, back home. And, for the most part, it's good to be home.

We enjoyed some warm, sunny, although somewhat breezy, weather while visiting family and friends in IL and CO ... only to return to some seriously crappy - flight delaying - weather here in the NW ... and it's making me grumpy :(

I have much to blog about and TONS of pics ... but not tonight; my mood just isn't very blog-ish ... but tomorrow looks promising ... 'cause I'm heading for bed at 8:20 pm ... woo hoo!

Oh, and from the Live Traffic Feed, I know some of you have been checking on me, and I am sorry to disappoint for the past 10 days ... more slack-alacking, huh, Debby? But hoping to get my ginormous hot pink suitcase and a few thoughts unpacked so I can get back to some blogging asap :)
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