Man....life has been a little hectic in the last two and half months. If I ever thought I was busy before, this motherhood of a (now 9 month old!?!?!!) is a whole new personal high in the busy department. I truly, truly do not know how working moms of multiple children manage without a nanny or a maid.
And honestly, I don't even know where to start....
Work has been insanely busy - and it's good to be involved in an exciting projects - but working 65 hour weeks when you're also trying to keep up and home and with your baby girl makes for one tired, stressed out mama. And one dirty house (though my hubsters has been a champ about helping out). One neglected blog. Many, many neglected friends (whom I'm hoping understand, since most of them are working mommies themselves). More than a handful of neglected relatives (who I hate neglecting the most, after Jim and Madelyn). Dying house plants. A Weight Watchers plan that is just that, a plan, not an action. And a long list of personal to dos. Oh - and a computer that died and has now been replaced (which adds more to the "to do" list....Learn Windows 7, get computer set up). Happily, though, we released the system I've been working on for two years (TWO YEARS!) and thus far (day two) it seems to be working very, very smoothly.
Madelyn....my littlest munchkin. She is growing so quickly I just don't know what to do! It's exciting and makes me sad all in the same breath! She's definately not a tiny baby anymore (though she is tiny...she just had her 9 month appointment - she's in the 25th percentile for height, but only 5th percentile for weight. She is still my long, lean baby. Go figure). She's absolutely her mama's daughter - she is a VERY independent girl. Very. And I applaude that. Unless we're talking about changing clothes or diapers (which is something she hates the most - she does NOT like not being in control of her body). Then...it's not so helpful to have a very indpendent girl.
She's ----->thisclose<------- to standing on her own and walking. Since our family vacation to Idaho in September, when she really started pulling herself to standing in earnest, she's been practicing those skills on the couch - and she can now walk around the entire edge of the coffee table if properly motivated (by toys, not food....which is good in the long run - but completely unlike her mama). She's started on finger foods - and not just puffs. She's moved on to Veggie Bootie (a hit), cheese cubes (a REALLY big hit), sliced fruit (the soft kind, bananas, pears, etc), pasta (not a hit....which just floors me), hamburger (a hit at first and now...not so much). We keep experimenting with things we eat that we can start feeding to her.
She's very talkative - especially when she's doing something she doesn't want to do (like letting her mama change those diapers).
She's completely mobile. No more army crawling for her....she's been full on crawling since September and can scoot around pretty darn fast. She's much rather have us carry her, which I think goes to the independent thing, oddly enough. Down low she can't see what's going on. Up high, she can survey the action and decide what she wants to do next - and then, by golly, we better get her there to do whatever it is she wants to do!
She cuddles her lovies (though she doesn't want to take them with her during the day), she is lost without her binkie (and I'm not ready to deal with that anytime soon....I'm okay with it for the near and far future) and her Daddy is still her absolute favorite thing in the world.
She's sleeping through the night (yeah!), though I'd be lying if I didn't say I wished she would sleep well in bed with me. I'd have her in there every night snuggling away. However, being the every independent girl she is, she actually sleeps better in her crib. In her own room. Far from her mama. The mama who is alone most nights and imagines wicked people breaking into the house and stealing her adorable baby. I really do read too many dramatic stories for my vivid imagination.
She had her first serious cold and fever that turned into an ear infection. It wasn't as bad as some of my friends deal with...but I will say that one feels pretty helpless when they're trying to soothe a sick baby. I don't envy anyone who has a seriously sick child - it has to be absolutely heartrending.
And she's still got the most amazingly beautiful smile I've ever seen. It just lights up my whole world.
Around the house, Jim and I have been trying to prepare for the eventual flooding of the Green River this winter. If you've never been to my house, you might not know that our house is about 500 feet from the Green River, give or take 100 feet. We're holding out hope that it's not going to be bad as the Army Core of Engineers have been been warning it will be and that, at most, we're talking messy streets or sewer back ups. But when major players in the Kent Valley start building flood retaining walls around their businesses, you have to pay attention. So, we've purchased flood insurance, are making plans for what we'll do when word comes we need to evacuate, starting to move our irreplaceables to the upstairs, and knowing we need to clean out the garage (because if the garage floods, but the house doesn't flood, cleaning up icky chemicals would be a hazard - especially with a baby in the house), and thinking about what I'd do if word came in the middle of the night that we had X number of hours to evacuate and Jim wasn't around. Part of me would want to sand bag my little brains out and part of me says Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200. Proceed immediately to in-laws with baby and clothes and formula in tow.
As much as I'd love to do some remodeling and have insurance money help pay for that....the reality of such a clean up effort on such a global (or rather, neighborhood) scale is not something I care to deal with.
And on a sad note...for those of you who've known me longer than others....I finally had to let my little boy go. And it tears me up just saying that. George was my best friend and constant companion for the last 15 years. Not having him around the house at night, when I'm alone has been really, really tough. I'm a fairly independent person myself. Except for at night. I really like some companionship at night or my imagination goes in directions that are not comforting. Not having him great me at the door when I come home is surreal. The entire experience is just surreal. I keep feeling like he's just hiding from me and he'll show up in one of his favorite spots at any time.
But it was time - even if I didn't want to admit it. Even if I wasn't ready and had been left to my own devices would not have taken him in, he was ready. The toughest part was that the week before hand, he was doing great. No messes. No sick kitty. Playing and romping just like his old self...with no idea what was coming. But it did come and it was over quickly, with him in my arms singing his favorite song to him. And my "cats are a pain in the butt and I'm tired of stained carpet" husband was sobbing right along with me.
I've often wondered what I would do when it came time. I've always feelt so guilty that I didn't stay with Cassie in her last minutes...that I couldn't man up and be a good kitty mama. I've felt bad that I didn't have a nice spot to bury her or the money to have her cremated and returned to me. So, I feel better that I could do that for George. I know that he's just an animal, as was Cassie, but they were both my best friends and companions during a time that my life was not so steady and I wasn't as stable as I am now. While I have absolutely amazing friends and a wonderful husband and a fantastic set of parents and sibiling, only George was with me when I was scared as a bugger on a plane to Korea and wondering what I was going to do, only George was with me during my worst breakups and new experiences. Only George remembers what it's like to drive across country in a car with all of your belongings (okay...Dad and Drew were there for that too). George kept vigil during some pretty intense all nighters getting thesis papers ready and craming for the next big test. George was there when I was so broke I had two jobs and no money to do anything but sit and hang out with my cat. So even when I felt like I was all alone, I wasn't. I had George. And now I don't - and I'm not quite sure how to deal with that sometimes. So, while I asked my in-laws if I could bury him on their (flood free) property, I'm just not ready for that. He sits in a little urn on our fireplace (at the suggestion of said "cats are a pain in the butt" husband - who still tears up when we talk about George). It's small enough that most people wouldn't even notice it. But it'll stay there until I can let go all the way.
Not having to deal with a geriatric getting blind and deaf cat is a bit of a relief in some instances (no more kitty litter is nice while I have a crawling baby) and I wouldn't want another cat until we're either done with babies or the next baby (who does not exist yet for the Grandparents reading the blog) is no longer crawling, mostly I just miss my friend. And I hope that some day my daughter is able to talk her Daddy into another kitty. Because going through life without a constant furry friend who loves you no matter what just isn't the same.
The next set of posts are going to be various pictures I've uploaded to our Shutterfly account...because I'm lazy - and the easiest way to post them is to do it via Shutterfly instead of loading directly into this post.
Enjoy the pictures :)