Julia has been tentatively walking for a couple of weeks now, and I finally managed to get a little video of her taking some steps.  You’ll have to ignore the toys on the floor, the laundry on the coffee table, and the Dawson’s Creek on the television.  Side note – it’s intensely weird, watching something I LOVED and people I thought were HOT when I was 15.  They really only think about sex in the craziest of ways.

Anyway!  Baby steps!!

That little girl is 10 months old today, y’all!  With Hazel’s foray into preschool, I have a little more time to focus on Julia.  Amos and I were thinking that we had Hazel using a spoon a little younger than this, so I got started with Julia last week.  She caught on pretty fast – my girls love to eat, and I guess she figured the more ways she knows how to get food in her face the better.

I watched Hazel walk around her new preschool classroom.  The lights were dimmed, Ella Fitzgerald crooned to the kids sleeping on their cots, and my sweet girl walked her fingers over the wooden toy kitchen, itching to play but understanding the need to be quiet.  I kept talking to her teacher, Miss Elisa, about the most mundane things.  “So she’s already had lunch (it’s 1:30, everyone’s had lunch), and she normally naps still, but she probably won’t here.  You can give her a book, though, and she’ll be quiet.  Or just tell her to sit down if she’s walking around too much.  And Amos will be here at 5:30 to pick her up.”  This is all information she knows already, that anyone with a kid could infer – of course she’s had lunch, of course she’s not going to nap in all the excitement, but I have to keep telling this woman about her because I’m leaving my daughter with her, and she’s going to take care of her all day.  Julia and I went home, where she promptly fell into an exhausted sleep, and I wondered around the house without turning on the lights, very very quiet in the semi-darkness from the rain.

I never planned to stay at home.  I barely planned to even have children; I married Amos, and suddenly I wanted a baby, and a month later my body started making one.  I never changed a diaper until I changed Hazel’s.  I had never wanted to hold a baby, smell a baby, watch a baby until I had her.  When I’m here all the time, in the solitude that only moving far away from everyone you know can bring to a stay-at-home parent, I inwardly scream.  I want a nanny, I want them to go somewhere else for at least part of the day, I tell Amos after their bedtime.  It’s not fair, I’m 28 and I have no job and I am taking 20 years to finish this degree, and I just want to go to the bathroom without an audience.  I want to change, alone.  I want to sit down and not speak to anyone for a minute.  I want to watch Grey’s Anatomy reruns without someone asking me about the boring doctor show.

I could have done all of that today, and I didn’t.  I ran copies of the articles I have to read for school this week, and then I tried to read them while making a special dinner for my big girl.  I roasted the chicken perfectly, overcooked the green beans and burned the sweet potato fries on one side, and the chocolate chip cookies I made are all flat and crispy from a too-hot oven.  But it didn’t matter, because she was thrilled to lick the mixing bowl.  She was happy to tell me about her school and hear me tell her about my school.  And she’s in there right now, playing with Julia and making her say “uh-oh,” and I have to trust that we are making the best decisions for her and for us.  So she’s in preschool, an affordable, private preschool, and I won’t see her learning about what it’s like to venture out on her own.

All Hallow’s Eve

Or whatever!

In the middle of all this goofy are we moving, okay when, okay we still don’t really know exactly, we don’t have a house there yet business, the holiday season began.  And yeah, I think Halloween marks the beginning of three super fun holidays (Thanksgiving gets points for being smooshed in between two cooler holidays), culminating in CHRISTMAS!  I love Christmas, people.  Anyway, I would have just skipped this holiday except I have a three-year-old and a new baby in need of a 1st Halloween costume, and so we did it up, Confer style.

Typical family portrait, and typical Confer costumes.  Hazel’s was particularly fun this year, I think.  Since she’s old enough to really express herself, I thought it would be fun to let her design her costume.  She came up with this idea, which is a pink monster with white polka dots and two sets of ears (one big girl, one mouse).  The bow, though, is because we’re growing her bangs out.

Julia was a muscle man!!  She kept eating and eating on that belt.  I thought she might find her little chest hairs, but nope – just the belt.  I took the girls trick or treating at the shops yesterday, then we picked up Amos from work.  Instead of going door-to-door after that, we opted to take Hazel to Glace for an ice cream treat and next door to the Apple store for a treat (a keychain) and to play on the ipad (her favorite thing).  I was hoping Hazel would choose flavors that are seasonal and kind of Halloweeny, but I don’t know why.  Sometimes I have these really domestic thoughts, like I’m going to switch out all our bathroom and bedroom decor for all matchy seasonal ones and everyone will take Christmas photos wearing matching red and white sweaters with deer knitted into them.  I don’t know where they come from – leftover HCGC reserves? – but I was having one MAJOR last night.  I was all, “what flavors do you want?  Roasted pumpkin, banana, maybe squash, even rum raisin?”  And she looked right at the server and said “I want that blue cheese one and the spicy chocolate.”  When she says stuff like that, it snaps me right out of those weird SkyMall fantasies and back into our real world, the one where she orders blue cheese and spicy chocolate and eats them together.

She’s a fast learner.

Dudes, I completely forgot to post about this in the crazy no-sleeping-ness that was Amos’s week in Seattle (hence the drought on my blog, here – I was too tired to type or, honestly, find my kids amusing).  Julia is growing SO quickly and has reached a couple of major milestones!!  She can sit up unassisted, though a bit wobbly, for a while and she has mastered a scootery pre-crawl.  Let me tell you, that kid MOVES when she wants something.  I love it; when I’m trying to cook dinner without killing anyone in our teeny tiny kitchen, I put some of her toys all over the living room floor and watch her scoot around collecting them.  I took this little video this morning, about 2 minutes ago, on my camera because I can’t find the cable for our actual video camera, which now has about 30 minutes of our kids being awesome stashed on the tape.

Here’s another photo of Julia at the art walk on Sunday.  See that expression?  That sucking on her lower lip, slightly amused at life expression?  Hazel did that ALL THE TIME when she was a baby, and it’s no less adorable on Jules.

 

Pitter-Patter

I'll just get right to it – Hazel took her first steps yesterday!!  In an AT&T store, which just makes me feel like a big yuppie dork.  Amos and I went to Syracuse yesterday to replace our pretty old, battery-not-working, scratched-up cell phones with iphones.  Amos has a student who works there, and he was nice enough to cut us a deal, so we went all the way out there in a flurry yesterday afternoon.  The flurry part was my fault.  I just wanted to get it over with, plus we needed to go to the mall out there anyway (actually, turns out we didn't, but we didn't know that until we got there). While in AT&T, Hazel and I had a lot of time on our hands, so I took her out of the stroller & let her practice walking.  She just seemed like she wanted to run away from me, and since I had not had any garlic, beans, vinegary products that day, I thought she might be ready to try  walking on her own.  And she did!  She walked back and forth between the two of us.  She walks really fast, all leaned forward, and laughs the whole time.  Luckily this happened yesterday, because she's cutting another new tooth (#5 is completely out now) and was acting like someone coming off methadone.


Needless to say I did not get a photo, or video.  But we will soon, I'm sure.  For now, you can just take this photo as evidence that she was indeed alive yesterday.  (Oh, and we flipped her car seat around yesterday too, which I think she liked.)

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Bye-bye.

Hazel said her first word yesterday:  bye-bye!


She and I were leaving the apartment for our standing lunchtime picnic date, and she waved and said bye-bye to our living room.  I was the only one who heard it, and she's not really said it since, but it was clear as a bell.  So exciting!!!

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Baby Milestones

Hazel is growing up so fast y'all.  It is just ridiculous!  She is 11 weeks old tomorrow.  It seems like she's been here forever and not at all, all at the same time.  She can hold up her head fantastically now, even pushing herself up on her arms when she's on her stomach.  She's wearing 6 month sized pants because she's so tall, and all her NB sized stuff is just crazy looking on her, if it even still fits on her.  She sleeps all night, smiles all the time, and is getting really vocal with cooing and squealing.  She also splashes in the tub!!  Adorable.


Today we tried out the umbrella stroller for the first time.  That's the one, for you kids without kids, that is small and lightweight versus those montrosities with cupholders and shelves you see people wheeling around the mall.  We had to wait until she was able to hold up her head very well, and since today I was bored inside and she was fussy if I set her down, we tried it out by walking to the library.  I had that kid so bundled up it was hilarious.  She had on a long-sleeved onesie, thick double-lined pants, socks, boots, a knit sweater, and a knit hat, plus she was covered with a chenille blanket.  She was set, lol!  But it was flurrying (is that a word?) when we were out, so I wanted to make sure she was warm.  Hazel seemed to love the weather, or at least not mind, because she was quiet the whole time, even all through the library.  She fell asleep on the way back, though.

And here's a bonus photo from the weekend.  This is just what Amos does, I guess, with the baby when he thinks I'm not looking.  

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She Smiled!

Yesterday she smiled for the first time ❤

I had some suspicions of smiles before, but this was definitely different.  I was playing with her around 9 am, wiggling her nose with my finger, and suddenly she grinned at me!  She did it three separate times, even doing a repeat performance later that night for Amos.  I haven't managed to snap a photo…yet.  Rest assured it'll be up on here like white on rice when I do!

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She Moved!!

I was sitting here, uploading some photos, and I am about 90% sure I felt her move.  I have heard people describe the sensation as butterflies, fluttery, or bubbles, and I definitely felt like someone was blowing bubbles inside my stomach.  It's kind of higher up than I thought it would be, which is interesting.  I have suspected movement in the past week or so, but this was different and more noticeable than anything before.  Finally!  <3<3

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