Friday, October 24, 2008

Sound of Silence

Gracie and Jay have taken a trip to Elk River to visit Grandma Patti and I’ve stayed behind to work on my dissertation. For those that don’t know, the labor and delivery of this 200-some page paper has been drawn out and painful. Giving birth to Grace was a snap compared to this task. I need to be disciplined because I know Jay will not be pleased if he comes home to a pug that knows 5 new tricks.

I have been so excited to have this 36 hours alone (well, with pug : ) to focus on my work, but I’m missing my little girl. It's so quiet and calm! Grace has so much going on these days with substantial changes in her mobility, vocality and size. She’s officially crawling. It took a few trial runs, but she’s got it down now. She especially likes to follow Ella’s tail. Good thing the dog’s still quicker than the baby : ) Since I can no longer trust that she’ll stay where I put her down, I take Grace around from room to room with me when I need to get things done. One place she’s come to like a lot is our walk-in closet. I bring her in there when I’m trying to get ready to leave the house in the morning. While I’m figuring out what to wear, Grace rearranges my shoes and sometimes pulls down a shirt or two. It's almost as if she's trying to tell me what I should put on. I never thought about wearing strappy, sparkly high heels with my pink "Got Milk?" sweatshirt. Might just have to give that a try.

Chatting, “singing” and clapping are now common sounds around the house. The clapping is awfully cute, the "singing," not as cute. ("Singing” is what I like to call her shrieks.) Now her chatting, on the other hand, is indeed cute. She's much more expressive these days. She really puts some emotion into her “words.” When she’s upset, I swear I hear some four-letter words in her babbles.

A big change lately is the transition to a bigger car seat. She was starting to look like a giant in the infant seat and seems a lot more comfy in this new one. No more infant seat means that when we go shopping she actually has to sit in the cart like a big girl as you can see in the photo. (Yes, when I went to Kmart last week I was the goofy mom snapping pictures of my daughter in a shopping cart.) She loved grabbing at things as we weaved through racks of clothes.

Speaking of clothes, I keep getting asked what Grace is going to be for Halloween. My answer: “Whatever costume is cheapest when I go shopping next Friday.” I keep looking for clever, easy baby costumes (any suggestions?). We’ll see how ambitious I get. Tune in next week.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Moving Forward – Looking Back

Last weekend we had the chance to get a glimpse of what life was like before baby. We had tickets to a concert in St. Paul and signed up Grandma Patti and Grandpa Dennie to watch Gracie girl overnight. (It took a lot of arm twisting : ) Then Grandma Jane and Grandpa Greg agreed to take Ella for the weekend, so we were totally “kid” free.

The weekend was good for us all. Grandparents had a good time taking care of our girls. And perhaps more importantly we were comfortable with being away. I even fully slept through the night – something I didn’t do at all the first night we spent away from Grace. (The restful sleep might have had something to do with the fact that when we were at the concert I had a few drinks, the first in over a year.)

On the way to pick Grace up we commented on how it seemed like we’d been away from her for much more than 36 hours. When we reunited it was great to see that little smiley face.

The whole family was smiley that weekend, because we just learned we got renters for our house in Apple Valley. Although we’re extremely happy we got renters, there is a bit of sadness about officially leaving the house. The main reason: it’s Gracie’s first home and our first home as a family. To prepare for the renters we needed to redo the nursery which had been custom painted with Snoopy and Woodstock. While we do feel a tinge of sadness, we’ve also come to realize how much (and how quickly) our house in Menomonie has truely become home. The open floor plan really fits how we function as a family.

Speaking of floor plans, Gracie’s exploring ours more fully. She’s so very close to crawling. In fact, the other night I was readjusting her crib mattress and set her on the floor close to me, but not right next to me. I turned my attention to the mattress for a few minutes and turned back and she was tugging on my pant leg. She's always surprising us with her mobility. In fact, I heard her wake up around 2:30 a.m. a few nights ago and turned on the monitor, expecting to see her kicking her legs a bit. Instead, I saw her sitting up, looking around and exploring her new view. (Thus, the lowering of the crib mattress.) As this video shows, she’s much more adept at sitting than crawling at the moment.

We’re excited for her to become more mobile and independent, but are also a bit melancholy and nervous. And it’s only the beginning …