Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Life Lessons

Okay, obviously I have spent way too much time on the computer today! (This is partly because of Little Chub's early birthday present, which I will probably post about tomorrow...)

Today, I have learned at least TWO valuable life lessons:

#1: Don't do things in the heat of the moment.

Don't you hate when you do something really stupid without thinking about it, and later you feel really idiotic because you are slightly more in possession of your faculties? See blog entry below, titled "Is this bad?" What was I thinking? Peter will probably be super embarrassed on account of ME! And I already feel super embarrassed on account of me. Dumb dumb dumb... If I waited just five minutes, I highly doubt I would have sent that email.

#2: Sugar turns kids into monsters.

Well, she was a cute monster anyway. I went shopping yesterday. I was hungry. I bought...(thunder cracks)...a sugary cereal. More sugary than Frosted Mini Wheats, which at least are mostly shredded wheat, even if they have sugar. I bought Reeses Puffs. I couldn't wait for breakfast today so I could have that cereal! Then, since Peter was gone for dinner tonight, I had two bowls of it for dinner too! I was thinking about eating that cereal ALL DAY LONG! At first, Little Chub was eating grapes, while I chomped away at my scrumptious Reeses candy-in-the-form-of-a-cereal. But, she got a hankering for my Reeses, so I gave her a few. Then a few more. Then a few more. And then I accidentally poured about a cup of the cereal on her highchair tray. Oops! The second she saw it all pouring out, she LUNGED forward and grabbed for it, and started shoving handfuls into her mouth. Before this, she had been meticulously grabbing puffs one by one. So, I had to help her out and I had some handfuls too. The sad thing is, after the cereal, she picked up a piece of grape and then made a sour face and spit it back out. Her sucrose filled grape was too sour after having her Reeses candy-in-the-form-of-a-cereal. Now she's done with them, and I think she wants out of her highchair now...

My Moses Complex

So, my biggest fear (with regards to myself) happened today. Someone from church emailed me and asked me to say the opening prayer in Sacrament meeting. This might sound like something small to you, but, I get nervous praying in front of anyone but my husband (and even that has taken some getting used to!). I just don't feel confident about it. Really, I'm not confident SPEAKING in front of people if the words have to come from my own head, at the moment, rather than being written or something. If we wrote prayers down on paper and read them (besides the fact that it would be a canned prayer), I would be much more comfortable. I would still be nervous, but it would be more like other people's nervous, not MY nervous. I CANNOT speak in front of people. My mind goes completely, utterly, 100%, totally, entirely blank. Well, maybe that's not true. I'm probably thinking something like, "What's that loud pounding sound in my ears? Is someone hitting my head with a hammer?"

This is where Moses comes in. You know how the story goes? If not, refer to Exodus 4:10-16. Moses feels incompetent about speaking to the people, the Lord tells him he can do it, but Moses still says he can't, so the Lord gives him Aaron as a spokesman. Besides the spokesman part, I feel like this. I KNOW I should be able to do it. But public speaking is such a fear and weakness for me that I just can't do it! This is what I told the woman who asked me to pray. I apologized, and I feel really bad about it, but it makes me want to ditch church or run away. My heart beats faster just thinking about thinking about it. And you have to give me some credit--we spoke in church in September, and I fully intended to have an outline for my talk and not read the talk. I practiced trying to come up with a few words, just with Peter! and I couldn't. I can't speak from my mind when I'm on the spot! So, for my actual talk, I even wrote out some sentences introducing us to everyone, and when I got up there, I was unable to deviate from what I had written down. I tried to think of something to say, and I couldn't. I read my talk, and it went well, and people said I seemed cool as a cucumber, even though I was nervous.

That makes me think that those nerves are the nerves other people experience. My praying or speaking from my head nerves are a PHOBIA. I was reading a book once, about panic attacks and such, and it said if you fear something enough to radically change your behavior to avoid it, that's a phobia. So I've decided I have a "saying something from your head in public" phobia. And I've been working on it! In the last year, I prayed once in Relief Society, and once in Sunday School. That was REALLY scary! If I have the closing prayer, my heart pounds for the WHOLE meeting. But I'm proud of those steps. My goal is to be able to pray in Sacrament meeting by the time it will be an example to Little Chub. And that scares the HECK out of me. (Can you tell I feel strongly about this, with all these CAPS?)

Yeah, so anyway, I just had the wind taken out of my writing sails by receiving a reply to my email to Peter's head TA about his birthday. He's sorry, but there's nothing he can do because everyone has complicated schedules. They're meeting at 4 (and it makes me wonder if that was the original time, or if he moved it a little). And he says if they work well and fast, they might finish by 6 or 7. And they're having pizza! Peter won't be able to resist eating pizza (he'll be hungry!), and there will be no point in going out to dinner. :o( This makes me cry. Oh well. I knew grad school wasn't going to be bunches of daisies anyway, and it's been much less dog-poopy than I expected it to be. We're blessed that things have worked out so nicely so far as it is. At least he passed the Quals, and he didn't have to put nearly as much time into that as we thought he would!

Sigh. I'm still sad though.

Is This Bad?

So, Peter is TAing this quarter, and all of a sudden early this week, he found out that he has to grade the midterm (with several other TA's) this Friday, which happens to be his birthday. The head TA asked them all to put in their votes for what time to start the grading, with starting times ranging from 12:30-5pm, and the grading taking 3-5 hours. This didn't seem so bad at first--we figured he could vote for 12:30, and maybe a lot of people would also vote for earlier, because, who actually wants to spend all Friday night grading anyway? I also told Peter he should tell the head TA it's his birthday, and maybe he will have pity on him.

Well, unfortunately for us, nobody could agree on a time, so no matter what time the head TA chose, someone was going to get screwed (pardon my strong language). Really unfortunately for us, he chose 5pm, and Peter has a lecture from 2:15-3:45 before that, and a discussion before that... So, birthday plans would be out. Except--here's where my question comes in--I emailed the head TA. (Peter forwarded me the head TA's decision.) This is what I said:


Sorry to email you even though you don't know me. This is Peter Lewis' wife, and he has no idea I'm emailing you, and was too polite to tell you, but Friday is his birthday, and we actually have dinner plans for around 6pm. Is there any way this can be accomodated? I understand if there's nothing you can do, but we've been looking forward to celebrating his birthday.


and signed my name

I really wanted to be more strong about it and say,

"I don't know what you're thinking having a grading session so late at night, ESPECIALLY on a Friday! I know this may be an inconceivable thought to you, but SOME people actually have families! Friday is my husband's birthday, and you better let him out of this or you're going to pay!"

To be fair to him, he had no idea it was Peter's birthday on Friday, and he probably has no idea that Peter has a pregnant (and therefore emotional) wife and a baby. Even so, it probably wouldn't be fair to everyone else to think about us when making schedules anyway. But, I'm hoping something will come of it. Maybe he'll let him go early.

I don't mind when Peter is gone a lot. The part I hate the most is when he always has to be gone at night. Which happened last night, and is happening tonight. Hopefully not tomorrow night! Mostly, I want to at least be able to celebrate his birthday with the dinner plans we have (thank goodness it's not a reservation!). Birthdays are really important to me!

Anyway, what do you think?

Little Chub Cheers for the Wildcats!

Watch Little Chub cheer!

Please let me know if this does not work for you.

Food, 1/30/07

Looking bad for yesterday. Not necessarily A LOT, but just not so healthy-ish.

Bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats (can you tell this is all I have left?)

A handful of tortilla chips

Peanut butter granola bar

Pasta with broccoli, chicken, alfredo sauce, and cheese (ummm...I couldn't stop eating this, and neither could Little Chub! I had to make a quick dinner so Peter could go to school to study)

~40 oz (dang it!)

I'm IT.

Oh no! I was tagged! Thanks a lot Real. The funny thing is that I don't actually have any friends to tag... It's true. I really am that much of a loser. But it's okay. I'm fine with that. I read on the meme rules that I can just answer the meme questions without tagging anyone. So, here goes:

Rules for the meme:
1. Find the nearest book to you.
2. Name the book and author.
3. Turn to page 123.
4. Go to the fifth sentence on the page.
5. Copy out the next 3 sentences and post to your blog.
6. Tag three other people.

The nearest book to me was Freedom's Landing by Anne McCaffrey, which is not a co23inc2idence (thank Little Chub3 for the numerical insertions) because I actually just started this book this morning. So, Real (what does Real mean for you anyway?), I will be very upset if these sentences give away very important information!!

"It wasn't easy to do, given the sort of indestructible fabric it was. Kris had to stop: her wrist ached and was next to useless. But hauling folks to the top of the crates with the help of a rope would be a lot easier."

Looks like you're in luck! I have no idea what it's talking about there...

My Kind of Blog

You Are a Life Blogger!

Your blog is the story of your life - a living diary.
If it happens, you blog it. And make it as entertaining as possible.

I'm pretty sure I already told you all that this was my kind of blog anyway... Yes. My purpose for writing a blog is to write down things that happen in my life, or things, ideas, people, etc. that I encounter in my life, a huge part of which is Little Chub (who, incidentally, just opened a diaper that I neglected to throw away and which is now stinking up the entire living room--NASTY!).

I have dreams of writing things that are so interesting that people who stumble upon it will actually stay for more than 5 seconds, but the reality of it is that only people who know me will actually find most of it interesting. Oh well. It's also nice to write down whatever I feel like sometimes. Blogging is a great opportunity to get on your soap box and have it not matter what you say.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Our Favorite Board Books

A friend/neighbor of ours has some board books by Sandra Boynton that are the most hilarious books! They are simultaneously interesting to Little Chub and entertaining for me. My personal favorite: Blue Hat, Green Hat. Little Chub's favorite: Fuzzy, Fuzzy, Fuzzy. We received a gift certificate to for Christmas from a relative, so we used part of it to get Little Chub some Sandra Boynton books, which arrived today. We love them!

And speaking of favorite books, Little Chub got a book from her cousin for Christmas called I Love You Through and Through, and this is her absolute favorite book EVER. Some of her other favorites are Jamberry and First Words. For Little Chub, forget the really sweet ones like Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny--she's not quite old enough to appreciate those yet. Especially The Runaway Bunny! The second we open that one up, she picks it up and tosses it over her shoulder. (Not with attitude, more like with boredom.) But, if we choose books she likes, we can entertain her for quite a while. Sometimes she even grabs her books herself and sits on the floor flipping the pages and "reads" to herself in a really cute sing-songy voice that completely cutes me out!

Food, 1/29/07

Bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats

Homemade macaroni and cheese
(This was really small egg noodles and a sauce with cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, and a little alfredo sauce, with garlic powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. It was really good. The parmesan cheese really made it something yummy and unique.)

Spinach artichoke parmesan sauce/dip, some with Italian toast crackery things, and some with rice.

Tortilla chips, a few tablespoons of cottage cheese

64 ounces!! YAY!!

An Inconvenient Truth

Stanford played this movie last night, and some friends invited us to go see it with them. We'd already seen it, but since we almost never do anything social, we decided to go. We really like hanging out with the people we know here, but since everyone has kids, and all of the kids are on different schedules, it gets kinda crazy. (For example, their little boy, who is a few months older than Little Chub, just went to bed, around 7pm, for the night. No crying or fussing or anything!) So, their son went to bed and Little Chub came with us to the movie. We were a little nervous about this, but, we don't have any easy picks for babysitters yet because the people we want to eventually babysit exchange with had their baby only a month ago. Definitely not time to toss Little Chub on them!!

Anyway, I think this movie, although a little dry, is a very important movie for everyone to see. I know there are still people out there who don't believe that global warming is even real, based on faulty criticism it received years ago. The sad (and yes, inconvenient) truth is that the reality of global warming is not in dispute right now. So, even though there is a lot I could say about that, I think Al Gore does a better job of it. I'm not a "global warmist" (nice word, huh?) anyway, I'm a linguist, which is what makes me feel like I can make up words like global warmist. *snort snort*

Anyway, see the movie. Even if you don't agree, or it doesn't interest you. Everybody, in this country especially, has a responsibility to try to DO something about this, and you can start by watching this movie, and paying attention the the suggestions they put in during the ending credits. I know there are tons of things I can change that could start to make tiny dents in our CO2 output. If everyone made these changes, think where we would be!

And, if you have some legitimate issues with the movie, post them on my comments. I'd really love to see if anyone who disagrees actually has a leg to stand on.

By the way, Little Chub did pretty well at the movie. We had to take her out a few times, and stand with her quite a bit, but only because she was making some noises that the average movie watcher probably gets annoyed at, and we didn't really feel like making any enemies...


As of right now, I feel pretty good. I'm trying to be optimistic, and maybe the emotional roller coaster I've been riding (one that goes below ground level but never rises up more than, say, 10 feet) is a good sign that the pregnancy is continuing on normally. For a large part of Saturday and Monday I was depressed and pretty much resigned to the fact that I was going to miscarry. Then, everytime I feel normal and there is no spotting, I feel like I've been unreasonable. I know that certain parts of my body already act pregnant. This was particularly obvious as we were walking on campus last night (quite quickly!). I kind of felt like I was waddling already, even though there is absolutely no lump to be seen! The pelvic bones that normally spread later (at least later in pregnancy #1), have already been hurting me all night long, and they were also bothering me a little while we were walking. It's weird to FEEL pregnant, and have it not have anything to do with a big belly! And since I still FEEL pregnant, I'm currently feeling optimistic, even though that weird pain still comes and goes. Some thoughts about that are/were: ectopic pregnancy (pretty sure not), blood clot (symptoms aren't right), corpus luteum cyst (I have no way of knowing myself), or something totally normal that I haven't experienced that is a little stronger than what other people normally feel but is not dangerous in anyway (this would be nice). Another cool thing is that last night, I'm pretty sure I could feel my uterus a little bit. It's so little compared to a very pregnant one, but it has to be bigger than normal, since I felt it. I can't normally feel it. So if I'm right and that was my pregnant uterus, that's another good reason to rule out an ectopic pregnancy.

And thanks Bonnie and Andrya! I love knowing I have support like you guys!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Still Worried...

Ever since the spotting Saturday morning I've had worse than expected lower abdominal pain (in the same place I felt labor pains). It is kind of off and on, but worst when I walk. At times it has been bad enough that I kind of walk funny.

Today, when I woke up, I had very very light brown mucus, which leaves me worried still/again.

The sad thing is, I don't even have a midwife yet, so I'm really not sure what to do. It seems pointless to make an appointment if I'm just going to miscarry, but smart to make one to find out what's really going on. Since I want my pre-natal care at the birth center in San Francisco, which is 35-40 minutes away, it makes things even more confusing because getting there can be a pain.

AHHH! I just don't know what to do. I also don't have health insurance yet.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

good night, and good luck.

We watched this movie last night, and really enjoyed it. We particularly enjoy watching movies that portray events from history that we probably don't want repeated. This one deals with McCarthyism, and it really kind of makes you sick, how such a thing could have even happened. The thing that I think is cool about this movie is that anywhere that Senator McCarthy shows up is real video of the things he said. If you haven't seen this movie, I highly recommend it.

Random fact: Senator Joseph McCarthy has the same birthday as me. Blech!!

Food, 1/28/07

Bowl of Frosted Miniwheats

Chips w/ cheese, sour cream, Louisiana Hot Sauce
2/3 piece of chocolate cake w/ chocolate frosting

A couple of chips

2 fried egg sandwiches with cheese, cream cheese, Louisiana Hot Sauce
~15 grapes

47 oz

Food, 1/27/07

Bowl of rice crispies w/ banana

Burrito (like the night before)

3 pieces of pizza (at our neighborhood bowling party)

Dinner (kind of):
Crackers w/ cream cheese

~40 oz, plus ~10 oz of lemonade/sprite

Still stinking at the water...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Food, 1/26/07

1 1/2 packets of oatmeal

Chips and Salsa

Chips and Salsa

Andrya's yummy green bean recipe
2 medium sized beef burritos w/ cheese, sour cream, salsa, a few pinto beans and homemade tortillas
1 1/2 pieces of chocolate cake w/ chocolate frosting
(the missionaries were over for dinner)

~50 oz
I went to the store yesterday and bought some Propel and some Dasani flavored water to see if that would help me drink more water, without giving me very many extra calories at all. It helps, but we can't really afford to have me get lots and lots of it, so it can only be for times when I just don't feel like having normal water....

So, yeah. I still need to work on the water.


I had some light spotting this morning when I went potty...I know it could just be cervical irritation, but I am still worried. I guess we'll just have to be patient and wait and see...I hate the worry that accompanies pregnancy!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Little Chub Goes to the Library

We stopped by the library today to pick up an exercise DVD and a few books. They have a whole little kids section (as I'm sure most public libraries do), but this area has a big colorful mat on the floor, a basket full of board books, and a lot of stuffed animals. Before today, I can't remember Little Chub ever coming in contact with any significant sized stuffed animals, but today at the library there was a big stuffed monkey that was a little bit bigger than she is. I kept lifting it's arm and letting it fall back down, and Little Chub just BURST into laughter! She thought it was the greatest thing ever. She crawled over to the monkey, and was very tentative about touching it--she would put her hand out and touch it, then pull it back really quickly. I'm pretty sure she thought it was alive! :o) She babbled and laughed at it a lot, and a little boy (probably about 3 yrs old) was just sitting and watching her and smiling and laughing, and then he brought her some more stuffed animals from around the room and was hugging her and trying to play with her a lot. It was so cute! Of course while we were there I also read her some books and she crawled around and banged the board book basket around and stuff, which is her kind of fun.

Today at the library was great, so I've decided that everytime we go to the library, we should make a stop into the kids section and play around a little bit. I also realized while we were there that stuffed animals CAN be good for something! Maybe we'll get her one for her birthday...?

Food, 1/25/07

Bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats w/banana

Lunchmeat cream cheese cheddar cheese sandwich
~25 grapes

4 chunks of pineapple

Vietnamese restaurant--rice, chicken, peanut sauce
A few oz of a broth soup (normally hate soup, but LOVED this)
Tiny lettuce, cucumber, tomato salad

Post Dinner:
Hot Cocoa w/ scoop of low fat Cool Whip
3 Pepperidge Farm Entertainment Cookies

~30 ounces (way oops!)

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Peter passed his Quals! This means we get to stay at Stanford AND he doesn't have to take any extra courses either! He was basically the cutoff for passing--anyone who did worse than him didn't pass and anyone who did better did pass. We're very happy, excited, and grateful, and to celebrate, we went out to a really yummy Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Vi Hoa and had really filling meals that ended up costing $21.62 including the tip. Yeah buddy!

Little Chub's Post-birth Hospital Visit

I figured that since I don't have this written down anywhere, I better get it down so we remember more of the little details when we think back on it in the future...

When Little Chub was born, she didn't know how to nurse. At the birth center, and for the next couple of days a few different nurses tried to help us get a good latch, with no sucesss. She was born on a Sunday, and by Tuesday nobody was really too concerned quite yet because they assumed she would get it soon and then everything would be fine, and that was what her little fat stores were for that she was born with, anyway. My milk came in on Wednesday in the evening and I was engorged and hard as a rock. This didn't help matters, but the way things were going, it didn't seem to hurt either because she was nowhere near being able to latch on and eat. The
Birth Center was keeping in touch with me regularly, seeing how she was doing, and every time she seemed to get slightly better at latching on, I would relay the good news to the nurses, which relieved them. Since I was a first-time breastfeeding mom, I had no idea quite how little she was actually getting, and that NONE of her "latches" were really sufficient to get her anything. At the same time, I had very sore and cracked nipples that made the constant attempts at feeding quite miserable, and I spent a large amount of time crying, from the pain and from the frustration. This continued for a few more days.

Little Chub had pooped meconium several times for the first three days (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday), but by the time Sunday came around, she hadn't pooped for 5 straight days and we were getting really worried. I spent some time on the internet and reading my baby book, and both mentioned that babies should be pooping more frequently than that, and that it could be a sign that she wasn't getting enough to eat. This was not too surprising, but I was still hopeful that she was getting enough food, since she was still peeing a lot. What we didn't realize was that since her pee was dark yellow, it was a clear sign of dehydration. Don't ask me why we didn't catch on to that. We were focusing more on the number of pee diapers than the color or amount.

The birth center nurses had given me the number for the lactation consultants at TMC if I had any more questions or concerns, or needed any more help (thinking that things were going pretty well by then because of my false hope and my naivete). Since it had been 5 days since Little Chub had pooped, we were already concerned, but by mid-day on Sunday, when she was a week old, we got really concerned. Little Chub, who had been an incredibly active arm and leg swinging baby this whole time, was being incredibly lethargic. She spent most of the day sleeping, and was almost impossible to wake up, and even when she was awake, she would barely move. In fact, freaked out would probably be the more appropriate phrase to use about how we felt. She seemed like she could die. (I don't know how far away that was, but that was how I felt.) We called and left a message with the lactation consultant, then I took a shower, and she called back shortly after I got out. She sounded optimistic about the pee, concerned about the not pooping, and very worried about the lethargy. She advised us to call our pediatrician right away. Peter called the pediatrician, and his assistant advised us to take her straight to the emergency room, where they could see what the problem was, and see if maybe she was constipated, or what. So we packed a diaper bag and headed straight for Tucson Medical Center's ER, thinking we would be able to make it to dinner at my sister's house within a couple of hours.

When we got there, it was about a half hour or so until we made it into seeing the nurses. They took her temperature-- it was way too low, they drew blood--her glucose levels were horrible, she was dehydrated, so they gave her an IV and filled her full of fluids. Unfortunately, her IV became dislodged from the vein somewhere in there and they ended up filling her arm with water instead of her blood. Her right arm puffed up to about three times its normal size. I believe this was after they first injected water into her arm and she let out the most blood-curdling scream I have ever heard from a baby in my life. They were having a really hard time drawing enough blood to get real labs done (the previous ones had been from a little stick), and one of the nurses was intent on drawing blood from the veins in her head. The doctor advised me to try to breastfeed her, which I tried a few times and, of course, it didn't work. They gave us a bottle of pedialyte to feed her, which she also wouldn't drink.

The pediatric ward of the hospital was full of little kids with RSV, so they didn't want to send Little Chub over there. Instead, they called the NICU, which had a little side room empty that they said she could come up to in a couple of hours. They told us this would be a good thing, since the nurses there were accustomed to drawing blood from little tiny veins, so they would be able to do a good job with her. She was weighed in the NICU, after being pumped full of fluids, and she came out weighing 6 lbs 1 oz. We determined from that that she had dropped below 6 lbs, even though she was born at 7 lbs 3 oz. Our poor little baby was incredibly thin, and her little veins were visible all over her body right under the skin.

Up in the NICU, the first nurse we had was very friendly and made us feel better and more comfortable, which was nice. Little Chub had to spend all of her time warming up in a little baby bin in that room, and we were allowed to sleep in one of their Family Rooms. Little Chub was fed formula several times a day. The next day (Monday) they had a lactation consultant come to try and help me out. Over the next 3 days we had two different lactation consultants working with us, and both were surprised at how Little Chub didn't seem to be interested in the breast at all. We knew she could suck properly because she would latch on to our fingers, but when it came to the breast, she wouldn't even try. It turns out, we were in a kind of vicious cycle where she wasn't getting milk, so my supply dropped, and since my supply dropped, she was getting no reward for any effort she put in. The lactation consultants showed me the pump room, which it turns out the nurses should have shown me ages before. I used a breast pump in the pump room, and we fed Little Chub the milk that I pumped, out of a bottle. I also continued to try breastfeeding her for every feeding. Sometimes it would seem like she got a good latch for a few minutes, but most of the time it was just frustrating. One of the times while we were sleeping, a new nurse came on shift and burst into our door telling me I needed to feed the baby now and chastising me for waiting so long. At this point, Little Chub was being allowed to sleep in her little bin in our room with us, which was something at least. So, I got Little Chub up, and was preparing to nurse her, but was first just holding her a little bit, and bouncing her up and down a little bit, because that seemed to be one of her favorite things. The nurse came back into the room and said, in the rudest tone you can imagine, "What are you doing? Why are you bouncing her?" I said, "She likes being bounced," which was about as much as I could manage because I was so angry with this nurse and her attitude toward us. Just thinking about it now makes my blood boil and I have to take deep breaths to calm myself so I don't explode. So, I set myself up with pillows to nurse Little Chub, and this nurse stood in the doorway until Little Chub was set up nursing with her sad pitiful little latch. The whole time we were in the hospital, we felt like we had no rights, and like we were animals in a zoo, with no agency, and no privacy. While some of the nurses were quite friendly, some were downright rude, and others were lackadaisical. Most hospital staff treated us as if we were incompetent parents and stupid people, and even the nice nurses touted their knowledge of babies and didn't trust our efforts to fill Little Chub with as much food (formula) as she would eat at each feeding.

The one good thing about being in the hospital was that since I was a breastfeeding mom, I got a $6 meal ticket for every meal to use in the cafeteria, and this was plenty to feed both me and Peter. The sad thing about this was that I could still barely walk, so getting there was torture, until we figured out that Peter was allowed to wheel me in a wheelchair. This whole time I was still in a lot of pain from the large amount of swelling from the birth, and sitting was extremely painful, as was standing, but I had no options, and none of the nurses seemed to even think this might be an issue (I kniw my swelling was much worse than normal, but I thought they should at least realize I was in pain).

While we were in the hospital, my sisters brought us some stuff, since we had brought nothing with us, which was very nice. We also left the hospital for about an hour a couple of times and went home and napped, since Little Chub had to just sit there in that little bin. We spent a large amount of time in her little side room, since the Family Rooms were used for breastfeeding mothers during the day, so her liitle side room was where she had to be all day. Little Chub was seeming to be recovered by Tuesday morning, but she was not allowed to leave until her glucose levels were normal, even though we asked to leave. So, we had to stay Tuesday night, too. Tuesday night, I couldn't really fall asleep from a pretty annoying discomfort that made me feel like my bra was too tight. By about 4:30 in the morning, the pain was unbearable and Peter and I left the NICU for the ER. None of the nurses in the NICU had any ideas, and we called one of the birth center midwives, who happened to be sleeping at the hospital. Her thought was a gallbladder attack, but that turned out to be the other side from the pain I was having. We had to wait over an hour to get into the ER, and by the time I was admitted, the pain was gone. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being childbirth, this pain was an 8 or 9. We were very worried. Once I was in, they drew blood, and gave me an IV, and I had to sit on a stupid hospital bed for hours. Peter and I were both dead tired, and they took forever to come to me, I guess since I wasn't in pain anymore. They found nothing wrong with me, even after giving me a CT scan, and discharged me around 10. We went straight back to the NICU, where we were also going to be allowed to take Little Chub home finally!

On our way home, we listened to our phone messages and Bonnie had left a message of one of the oldies that has Little Chub's name in it, which really brightened our day even more. We were so happy to be taking her home from the hospital! The funny thing is that the day we left the NICU was her due date, since she was born 10 days early.

Once we got home, the breastfeeding trials were not over, but we at least knew what was going on, so she was always healthy. We supplemented with formula in her bottles, and tried breastfeeding (always before the formula). Finally, I decided she was not improving while using the bottle, so I ditched the bottle, and any formula she got fed to her through a little supplemental feeding tube that we attached to our fingers (since she would still latch on to our fingers) that the lactation consultants had given us. We even managed to ditch the formula entirely and feed her only pumped breastmilk from the tube. Once we ditched the bottle, it wasn't too long before she started being able to latch on better to the breast, and finally, when she was probably about three weeks old, she was entirely breastfed. Unfortunately, we still had trouble getting a good latch for quite some time, but by the time she was about 5 weeks old, I felt that she had a pretty good latch and was doing a good job breastfeeding. Then a few weeks after that, we were able to switch from the football hold to the more typical breastfeeding position, and we've never looked back since! Little Chub still breastfeeds several times a day now, and loves her milk!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


So, I've decided that one of my methods of appetite control will be to publish everything I eat on this blog. Oy! If I'm embarrassed to write it down, I probably shouldn't have eaten it, right? So, here goes.

Today I ate:

Bowl of rice crispies with a banana

Cream cheese & chicken lunchmeat sandwich (I know, I know, they say not to have cold cuts while pregnant--more on that later)

~20 grapes
1 spoonful of applesauce

Another snack:
3/4 package of Ritz and 2 table crackers (oops!)

1.5 small oranges
a pork rib breaded and fried in olive oil
~1/2 cup rice with a small amount of cheddar and parmesan cheeses and ~.5 Tbsp of olive oil (and spices)

Before bed (for my pillies):
~10 oz Cocoa Energizing Soy Protein (see if you'd like to know more about this)
along with my vitamins (see link above)

Could be worse, but I think I probably should have gone without the crackers. That's the only one I felt guilty for eating at the time, too.

I don't think I had enough water today either. Actually, I know I didn't. So, I need to report on my daily water as well. Today, I think I had about...thinking...40 oz of water. That's at least 24 oz shy. I better pick up the pace with that. And from now on, I'll probably take my pillies in the morning...

Little Chub's Current Sleeping

So, the first night after we decided to bring Little Chub back into our bed with us, I nursed her to sleep, and waited until I knew she was deeply asleep and then I moved her onto her crib mattress on the floor, which was right next to our bed. That night, she only woke up to nurse twice! The first time, I nursed her in our bed then transferred her back down, and the second time I just kept her in our bed until it was time to wake up. That was a really great night! She even rolled off of her crib mattress onto the floor and didn't wake up! She sleeps SOOOO much better when she isn't right next to me, but she does better with a lot of space... The next day, she was back to her normal happy self! YAY!

The next three nights she slept in our bed the whole time because she never fell asleep deeply enough for us to move her before we wanted to fall asleep ourselves. These nights, she woke up on average about 5 times. Could be worse, but still enough to start to wear on me a little. I think because of how she needs so much space to sleep, we either need to put a twin bed on the floor right next to our bed, at the same level so I can nurse her on it and then roll back over to my own bed, or I need to put her to sleep in the guest bed and then just go nurse her back to sleep when she wakes up in the night. My guess is that she would wake up less if she was sleeping on that big bed all by herself.

So, it's still not ideal, but at least we know that we're not crying it out!

The problem is, if I have to travel back and forth between rooms, I might get more tired, and for the other plan, we don't actually have a twin bed yet! But, since we are expecting #2, the twin bed is inevitable anyway. Now if I can just manage to convince Peter to care enough to get it! It's realy annoying for us, since we don't have a truck or anything, so getting any furniture that isn't brand new delivered from the store is a big pain in the bootie. Maybe tonight I'll experiment with the guest bed...

As much as it might seem so, I'm really, honestly not a fickle person!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Pregnancy & Weight Gain

When I was pregnant with Little Chub, I gained an exorbitant 60 pounds! After she was born, I looked FAT. I noticed at the end of my pregnancy that I looked "just fine" in my pictures at 22 weeks, but the pictures by the end looked so bad that I didn't show them to anybody because it was embarrassing. I had gained a steady amount of weight, it was just more than twice what I should have gained (since I was a bit overweight to start with). Since then, I've managed to come down to 10 pounds less than I weighed before I got pregnant with Little Chub, and I am DETERMINED not to gain so much weight this time around! I'm planning on exercising much more frequently, and eating much less AND much healthier.

With Little Chub, I let pregnancy be an excuse for being lazy and for eating whatever and whenever I pleased, which was not so good. On top of it, I didn't drink enough water, and my edema at the end of pregnancy was so bad that they ordered hypertension blood tests just to make sure I didn't have pre-eclampsia, since my blood pressure was always just fine. My feet were SO puffy that I didn't really even fit into the bigger sized shoes I bought when I first started getting puffy! It was a pretty bad ordeal. Also by the end of pregnancy, I could barely squeeze into a lot of my maternity clothes (that were huge when I got them), and I completely outgrew some of the others.

This time around, I have unrealistic hopes of not having to use maternity clothes until I'm 5 or 6 months along, and of actually liking the way I look all through the pregnancy. I want to post pictures on this blog regularly, as a kind of monitoring system for how I'm doing. If I'm embarrassed to put it up, something needs to change!


Pregnancy symptoms I experienced before today:

Minor heartburn (about a week ago, two nights in a row)
Headaches (for the last week and a half)
Lower Backache (for the last 3-4 days)
*Constipation (last week or so)
*Unusually tired early in the evening (last two days)
*Breathlessness (last 3-4 days)
*Slight dizziness/lightheadedness (last 3-4 days)
Emotional/grouchy (last week and a half)
Sore boobs (last week or so)
Mild cramping (last week or so)

I think that's everything. This is part of the reason why I wonder about the dates. It's possible that some of these would have happened anyway, and since I was trying to pay attention (I'm ALWAYS thinking preggie thoughts!), I noticed them. The starred ones are the ones that really clued me in. The others could have just been signs of PMS, except the heartburn, which I mentioned to Peter at the time as a possible sign of pregnancy, but it's always possible that I just happened to get heartburn from something.


Wow! How exciting! We found out today that we're expecting #2! We already have a name picked out if it's a girl...we have the next several girl names picked out. We have no clue what the name will be if it's a boy. We have one boy's name picked out (Elliott), but that name is too similar to Eleanor for them to be named like that, one after the other. The ironic thing is that we came across a name we really liked a week or two ago, while doing family history--Elias. I was so excited until I realized that it wasn't any better than Elliott as far as the "El" thing is concerned. Some our other favorite names: Evelyn, Emma, Elise. I don't want to DO that to my kids! So, we will have to become like every other couple and scour the baby name books and lists until we find something we both go for, that does NOT start with E. Of course, if this baby is a girl, we're fine. Her name will be Alexandra. We used to have a middle name for her (Hasana), but we've decided to nix that. So, if we're having a girl, we at least get the excitement of choosing a middle name.

So, B-Chester gets to have C-Chester! By the time this baby is born, B-Chester (aka Little Chub) will be ~19 months old. It's pretty much exactly what I always thought I wanted. After she was born, I revised my desire from about 18 months to anywhere from 18 months to 2 1/2 years. This gap works great for us!

We've already announced, since I'm the kind of person that would prefer to have everyone know, and would prefer the support if a miscarriage were to happen.

Even though I just tested positive today, my best guess is that I'm somwhere around 5 weeks along. If I had a 28 day cycle, today would be 6 weeks 2 days. We really have no idea. Our main clue is that I had a negative pregnancy test on Thursday, January 11 (cycle day 33). I started getting crampy, having the munchies, my face broke out, and I became really grumpy around Saturday or Sunday, January 6 or 7, which I mistook for finally getting real PMS (thinking maybe I was becoming fertile again, with my normal PMS symptoms and a closer to 28 day cycle). I'm thinking maybe that was after implantation happened? But implantation can happen in a pretty broad range of days after ovulation, so it's only a little clue. Not to mention, I'm not really sure if I have the dates right for those false PMS symptoms. Then of course, there's our window of "no possible conception", which occurred on our Christmas vacation from Dec 23-Jan 1. It's very possible that ovulation occurred on that trip, and pregnancy from some happy long-lived sperm... I've had a gut feeling that I was pregnant for at least a week. Anyway, there are so many factors that I think we are really going to have to rely on an ultrasound to date this pregnancy... But we'll see. I'm excited!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Soon to Sleep

So, in a few minutes off we will all go, back to co-sleeping on our little queen sized bed. As of right now, we're not sure if we're going to try moving her to her crib once she's asleep, in hopes that she'll stay asleep all night, or if we'll get a twin sized bed to put on the floor and move our mattress to the floor also, or what. I think we'll probably end up trying the crib a few times, just to see, but right now it seems that Little Chub has very negative associations with the crib. :o(

Aside from this, our schedule changes will probably be the biggest change. Actually, all things considered, the schedule will be the biggest change. We have NO schedule right now. We've decided that we're going to wake up, eat, and go to bed at consistent times (with maybe 30 minute leeway in either direction for any given day), as well as try to give Little Chub consistent nap times too. This will be a whole new way of living for us, and will probably require a lot of sacrifice, but if it works, it will totally be worth it!

The sad thing is, we were really stupid about our timing with this whole thing anyway. Little Chub's new tooth has been cutting through for the last couple of days!

Poor Little Chub! She even has a hoarse voice from all the crying!

Back to the Drawingboard

Yesterday's nap was a disaster. Little Chub cried for an hour, so I took her out and we skipped that nap. Up to this point, all of my information on how to use this method had come from the internet. I decided I didn't like how much I didn't know, and Little Chub and I went to the library to check out Richard Ferber's book on children and sleep issues. I had read a lot of people's opinions that the "Ferber method" was harsh and cruel, and I had also read a LOT of people's opinions who said that he was unjustly criticized and they were so grateful to him for the help his book gave them. This is the method we used the first night, and what I thought I was using for the nap. It turns out that the page I was reading doubled the time that you can keep your baby crying in their crib for a nap, from 30 minutes to an hour. That's a big difference for a crying baby! That was the difference between Little Chub being sad and being hysterical. For her nap later that day, I nursed her to sleep in the bed like normal. She didn't seem to be treating naps the same as bedtime, so we figured it probably didn't matter much.

Then there was last night. We did our bedtime routine and put her to bed at a time that we knew she was tired. She cried for a little over an hour before she finally fell asleep. After we knew she was asleep, we kept hearing her wake up and cry for a few seconds before resettling and falling back asleep. This happened several times within a half hour, so I started to suspect that something was wrong. I asked Peter to go check on her, in case her foot was stuck or something, thinking maybe she was inhibited in her movement somehow by something, which would keep waking her up. He went into her room to find her sleeping standing up against the side of the crib with her face toward the door!!! How horridly sad! He laid her down and patted her for a few seconds and she fell asleep. About an hour and a half later, she woke up again, and he went in to try to comfort her, and she was so distraught that he ended up rubbing her for just a few moments until she fell asleep again. That was the last we heard from her until 8:10 this morning. That is the longest she has ever slept in her life! But, it doesn't end here.

All day today she has cried very easily, and most of the time, we couldn't even tell why. As Peter put it, "Our happy little baby has become everyone else's baby." She cries easily and loudly, and screams. She doesn't trust us. She has separation anxiety to (what seems like) the extreme. We were feeling very dejected today when we went on a little nature walk and she screamed and cried half the time, when she is ALWAYS sooooooo happy in her stroller. Then on the way home in the car, she screamed some more, as badly as though we had just left her in her crib alone. When it came time for her nap, we did her routine, and put her in the crib, this time savvy about the 30 minute idea for napping. Peter checked on her at 10 minutes, then 10 minutes later, while she was screaming worse than ever before, he went up and we officially ended the crying-it-out.

Crying is one thing. Distrust and unhappiness is another. Both are VERY sad. What started off as a really successful attempt to make a change has completely backfired. But we've learned a lot. In the past 24 hours, I've read a significant portion of the book mentioned above, which actually has a LOT of valuable information. Observations I've made by reading the book (that I already knew about, but have convinced me to make REAL changes) are:

#1: Little Chub is a natural night owl.
#2: On top of this, her "schedule" is pushed back to give her a pretty late sleeping phase for any child (even teenagers).
#3: Due to our flexible, everchanging lifstyle, her "schedule" pretty much doesn't exist, which makes it so that her poor little body/brain can't tell if she's supposed to be napping or sleeping for the night sometimes. This is responsible for instances (as mentioned in a previous post) where she takes a nap at 10pm and wakes up ready to play for hours, and can also be responsible for some of her night-waking.

A lot of people, upon seeing that we decided not to continue with the crying it out might believe that we have just given up (and maybe that IS a good way of putting it...), but we could not bear the heartwrenching, depressing pain we felt in witnessing the change of her everyday behavior (which really started yesterday). We KNOW there are better ways to deal with this issue, at least for this child in particular. I know if we had stuck it out, she would be happily going to bed within a week or two, but what about her behavior? That wasn't anything people had mentioned in the things I had read. My baby was HAPPY before, and I intend for her to be happy again, even if it means getting less sleep and changing our daily habits to adhere to a more rigid schedule. Incidentally, even though I got the longest stretches of sleep the past two nights than I've gotten in over a year, today I was more tired than I've been in a very long time because I got less overall sleep.

So, it's back to a happy baby, our previous plans with a little tweaking, and maybe a little bit more frustration. At least I can say I tried it and it didn't work, and the temptation will not be so great to just throw her in the crib. It didn't work for her, for US. We were blessed with a successful first night, and, in reality the second night went pretty well too. It's nice to know that even an omniscient God has the love and generosity to comfort a crying baby, even when the parents are going to quit in the end anyway. Strangely enough, I think we're all going to end up pretty happy in the end because we sure learned a lot from this.

Here's to the constant, teaching trial/blessing/responsibility of parenthood!

Friday, January 19, 2007


Even in the midst of my pleasure and gratitude for how Little Chub slept last night, I still feel little pangs of guilt, not only for making Little Chub cry, but for "ditching" my fellow co-sleepers and switching to the camp of crying-it-out. I feel like a traitor! But, like I said before, I love co-sleeping! It just wasn't working for us anymore. "Why should we believe you?" you ask. I don't really know how to answer that question.

Little Chub was not getting enough sleep, and we were starting to notice this in her everyday behavior. And of course, it was getting really frustrating for us that she was waking up so much and wasn't going to sleep well. The BIGGEST reason that I did the cry-it-out method is that I was getting a shorter and shorter fuse with her, and my patience was wearing thin. I really did NOT like the way I was snapping at her or getting frustrated at her when I wanted to go to bed but she just wanted to play. I want so much to be a good, happy mother, not a grouchy bear. I read so many different things that other people have done. I especially love reading other moms' experiences on I'm trying to be a responsible parent and make decisions more for HER good than for mine.

And all this really is a post to convince myself that I'm not a bad mommy... But I AM happy with this. One night down, who knows how many to go? If it was like this every day, she would probably still be doing better than many other babies. We'll see how today and tonight go...

We Finally Did It

Well, I wasn't sure it would ever really come to this, but, we cried-it-out with Little Chub last night. We set her crib up in the second bedroom, started a bedtime routine, said goodnight and put her in the crib. I was SO CERTAIN she would cry for hours. She cried for 20 minutes. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. We were very blessed in this situation! Peter went in to reassure her at 5 minutes, and then 10 minutes later, and we didn't need to go back in because she fell asleep. And that was that. She woke up 4 or 5 times and cried for anywhere from 5 seconds to 3 minutes, but nothing really awful.

The reason it came to this was not the frequent night waking, but the playing in the bed at bedtime. I have been working on getting her onto a nice reasonable schedule for naps and bedtime, but it has not worked at all! Yesterday, I took her up to bed to nurse her to sleep around 10pm (which is earlier than she normally goes to bed, but I had worked with the napping to make sure she was tired and would be able to go to sleep for the night). Everytime she was asleep and I tried to unlatch and sneak away, she cried and woke up and really wouldn't let me go. This happened for 40 minutes until she unlatched and sat up and started whispering happily and playing (which is how she wakes up for the morning, or from good naps). I came downstairs with Little Chub and Peter and I decided that she was going in the crib that night. Waking up for a nap at 10:40 is ridiculous for an 11 month old baby!

So, it wasn't until 12:30 that we actually put her in the crib for the night. At 8:15 this morning, I heard her awake in her crib, so I went in, took her out and nursed her until she looked sleepy, then I put her back in the crib. She cried for less than 5 minutes, and is still asleep right now, at 9:30.

We've decided to make her bedtime gradually earlier and earlier until she is going to bed at a "normal" time, to avoid having her cry a lot when she is not really tired enough to sleep. Right now, we are very grateful that things worked out so nicely! I'm so grateful for prayer. I know that this was made easier for her as an answer to prayer. He wants what is best for her just like we do! (That is not to say that He doesn't want it for the children it doesn't work so easily for, but that this was a direct answer that we were blessed with for whatever reason.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007


I LOVE co-sleeping. Especially for the first 6 months, co-sleeping was the very best sleeping configuration I could have imagined for my little family. When Little Chub was first born, she couldn't nurse well enough to nurse in the side lying until she was about 5 weeks old. Until then, I had to nurse her in the football hold to even get a latch, so, needless to say, every time she woke up, it was a struggle to get her fed, and I felt like a zombie for weeks (as I'm sure all new mothers do anyway). Once she could nurse lying down, I felt like a new woman! Even though she woke up a few times a night, I was still getting plenty of rest because I never had to waken entirely. She was even regularly going 6 hour stretches without waking up for over a month, until she was about four months old and we moved here to Stanford for grad school. I didn't really notice it as a sudden change, but before we moved, she was sleeping for 6 hours, would wake up once to nurse, then would sleep again for another 4 hours! Then shortly after we moved, she was waking up 3-4 times per night. That 3-4 times per night gradually increased until it reached an apex of more than 20 times a night once! That was ridiculous! But what could I do?

After that, I learned to try to keep the room temperature a bit more steady, and to try to dress her in the appropriate pajamas for the temperature, and I also realized that I needed to work with the fact that she HATES having blankets on. (She also hates having socks, shoes, tights, and long sleeves on.) So, from that point she started waking up less (than 20 times), but until a couple of weeks ago, on a totally normal night she would wake up about 8 times. Sometimes it would be more, sometimes less. One night, Peter hurt his rib, and he couldn't lie flat in bed and had to spend the night in the recliner. Little Chub and I got our queen bed all to ourselves, and she only woke up twice that night! I was so rested after that--it felt great! We decided that after our vacation for Christmas we were going to do something about her sleeping situation because it was no longer working.

When we got back, we slept in the normal configuration for a few nights, and three nights in a row, even though she was tired, she played on the bed and used her parents as a jungle gym. We tried to sleep even though she was awake, but eventually she decided she was tired and cried a lot until I nursed her to sleep. At this point, we were VERY tempted to try the cry it out method, and I have to say, if the crib had been set up properly, I would have stuck her in it and let her cry. But then I would have most likely given up and nursed her and the whole thing would have been pointless. So, I did some reading on the internet, and some other parents who had been in my situation with similar aged babies had successfully night-weaned their babies, which helped them sleep better at night. That sounded like a good idea to me, so one night I pulled out the guest bed and Little Chub and I slept there for the night so I could comfort her when she cried and try to get her back to sleep without nursing, AND she would have plenty of space like she seems to need.

At first, this seemed to be working okay. I got her to fall asleep without nursing, which was actually a really big accomplishment, and also got her back to sleep the first time she woke up. The second time she woke up was a nightmare! She cried for over an hour!! I rocked her, sang to her, patted her, talked to her soothingly, and she only fell asleep once I got out of bed and rocked her on my shoulder, and only because she was so tired of crying. She woke up about 5 minutes after I put her back in bed. At this point, I couldn't bear to see her cry like that all over again, and I am CONVINCED that she would have. So, I nursed her back to sleep before she even got to the noisemaking stage of waking up, and she slept through until the morning (probably another three hours). All in all, she only woke up three times, but the nightweaning thing was a big failure in my book. From that point, I decided that she and I would sleep in a different bed from Peter, and maybe this would train her to sleep better and longer, and eventually (hopefully sooner rather than later) I can leave her in her own bed, and come back when she needs me, and this will hopefully lead to her sleeping through the night on her own.

So, that's our current "solution". That other bed might turn into the crib, with me going to her in the night like other moms do for newborn babies. But honestly, I have NO IDEA what I'm really doing, and it's not for a shortage of reading my options.

So, what's going to work? Will I be able to stick to my plan? Will I be co-sleeping with 5 babies in a decade? Who knows, but I sure hope we find a good solution soon! Peter is starting to get lonely at night!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A New Tooth!

Little Chub has an eenty weentsy itsy bitsy corner of her 7th tooth poking out. It's her lower right lateral incisor. Go here if you'd like to see which one that is... :o) Maybe after this one (these two?) she'll sleep better. I can only hope.


So, I've been thinking over and over again about how I might actually put some things on this blog that I think about all the time. I read Birthsongs all the time, and I LOVE it! I go off on long diatribes in my head all the time (not to say that the Birthsongs entries are diatribes!), and I thought it would be fun to actually write them down some of the time. Soooo...maybe I'll put some up one of these days. For now, Little Chub is awake and playing in bed, even though I just put her to sleep!! What is she doing???

Monday, January 15, 2007

So Much Cuteness!

I know, I know. It's been about three weeks since I wrote on here last. Didn't I mention before that I'm horribly inconsistent about writing? I was a bad journal writer, a bad letter writer to Peter on his mission, and, I'm a bad blog writer. This should be my (somewhat tardy) New year's Resolution--write in my journal/blog more consistently!

Little Chub has made a few big strides since my last entry. She has a few words now, including "Daddy", "Hi", "Yay!", and "Doggy", and she understands a lot more than this. She seems to be thinning out a little bit (although we may be imagining this), and she eats like a pig now! About one week ago she suddenly decided, over a lunch of homemade Tikka Masala and naan that she loves food! Now, if she sees us eating anything without her, she crawls over to us and whines and complains and moves herself until we suddenly realize that she wants some food. It's taking us awhile to become accustomed to the idea of feeding her all the time.

Some of the cutest things she has started doing in the last few weeks are dancing, clapping, and singing to herself as she plays. She is so cute when she sits playing with a toy by herself and she moves a toy back and forth and makes little sing-song sounds in conjunction with the movement that convinces me that she is playing pretend with herself. And Peter just came out of the kitchen with a glass of orange juice for me, and noticed that Little Chub had just climbed on top of her little toy chest (only about 10 inches tall), and was sitting there singing to herself. How adorable!

If we tell her "No" (which is happening much more frequently these days with no more frequent results than before), she smiles at us and mimics our shaking our heads at her. Today, she was grabbing the lamp and shaking it with all her might because she loves to see the top moving around in such big circles. I said, "No. Nope! N-O spells no." (The first no firm, the rest too happy.) She looked at me, shook her head like me, then switched to nodding her head up and down, as if to tell me, yes, this is what I can and should be doing! Holy cow! Does she actually understand what she just did? Or was that a major coincidence? This is the question we find ourselves asking over and over again these days as she develops more and more. And man how we are loving this!