September 2006

I've got things to say...

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...but no time to say it. Things have been hectic lately, to the point where I've been pretty miserable to be around. (Don't believe me? Ask Pat or my friends.) A couple nights this week, all I could do was feebly ask Pat for a glass of wine and rest my head on the table during "dinner." I say "dinner" because food made from the freezer is not what I constitute as an actual meal.

Anyway, I have a few quick-like-a-bunny updates:

  • When I heard this news I actually squealed.

  • We had a ridiculously good time this past weekend at Jane and Food Mike's wedding. It had everything going for it: a lovely outdoor ceremony, good weather, good food, good music, and a sparkling and wonderful couple. We met some fantastic people that, unfortunately, live on the left coast or we'd probably be best friends. Anyway, it was the kind of wedding that makes you want to send the bride and groom a thank you for inviting you to.

  • This weekend we have another wedding to attend. It's one of Pat's high school friends, Sara, and our favorite brit, Darren's wedding. (Is "brit" acceptable?) It should be good times.

  • Greta had two appointments this week and she's the picture of good health. The specialist saw her to check out her hip again and she still has a clean bill of health with that. He wants to see her again when she starts walking but she should be good to go. Her pediatrician saw her for her six-month check up this week as well. Her stats are as follows:
    • Weight - 17 lbs 14 oz (75th percentile)
    • Height - 28 1/4 in (over 100th percentile - she's literally off the charts)
    • Head Circumference - she still has a very small head, but it's packed with brains

  • Our best friend in Rochester, Chris "Cimicraphead" Cimicata, moved to Boston. I'm jealous and mad and sad.

I think this is the fastest update I've ever written. Peace out!

Happy Friday.

Happy weekend.


2006-09-20 20:47:24

File under: greta

Greta is finally starting to get some hair! Granted, it's coming in a little wonky, but beggers can't be choosers. Woot!

In other news, Greta sat up for me, unassisted, for the first time today.


Happy 6 months to Greta Olive!

File under: greta

So far, Greta has celebrated by sleeping in a little, drooling a lot, and playing with her mammy and pappy.




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I just bought Greta's Halloween costume today, and I'm so excited. JUST. YOU. WAIT.


2006-09-13 20:39:57

File under: greta

I apologize for the lack of updates recently. I am working on a little bit of a project right now. I'm keeping the details to myself for now, until I have a better idea of whether it is going to bomb or not. It has been taking most of my (ha) free time. I don't have much free time, so that's a slight problem in and of itself. I'm not usually big on "projects," per se, so we'll see how it goes. Anyway, bear with me. Pat is keeping pretty busy himself. He recently started working on his masters in IT (at RIT, of course). We (meaning me, probably) will do our best to keep up with the updates.

So, that's the gist on us. Greta has made all sorts of changes since I last posted an update on her. She has been rolling over for a good month and a half or two months now. The first time I saw it, I screamed. I just wasn't expecting it, and it was much quicker than I expected. Anyway, she's a crazy rolling-over fool. It's quite cute.

Action shot of Master G rolling over.

Greta has also been eating solids for about two months now. At first, it didn't go so well. The first 10 times or so, I don't think she actually ingested any food. The last month, she has made a lot of progress. We moved on from rice cereal to some veggies and fruits. I decided I wanted to try to make most of Greta's food, and try to feed her mostly organic cereal, fruits, and veggies. I did some research and got all jazzed up about it. We now have a freezer totally stocked with puréed squash, sweet potatoes, carrots (Greta HATES carrots), apples, bananas, pears, and, as of tonight, peas! Greta, no surprise, is a great eater, and I find it very fulfilling to be the one making her food. Feeding G is now my second favorite time of day, after bath time.

Messy baby with her foot on the "table." I've got to teach this gal some manners.

Oh, there are some bizarre and cute things Greta has been doing in the last couple months as well. For a while, when she'd nurse, she would wind her free arm all the way back and then slap me in the upper chest. As she would slap my chest, she would grab my shirt and bra and snap it. She would do this over and over and over, approximately every 10 seconds. It was quite annoying, and it kind of infuriated me. Lucky for all of us, that phase passed within a few weeks. One thing I've always done with Greta is, when I hold her, I kind of massage her shoulder. The last couple weeks, she has started returning the favor. She seems really into texture right now, and she kind of kneads your shoulder now when you hold her. I find it to be a nice consolation prize to having an ouchy back from holding her so much. Oh, and Greta and Maynard seem to have an interesting relationship these days. Greta is ultra fascinated by Maynard, and Maynard is quite tolerant of Greta. There have been a couple occasions where Greta got a handful of Maynard fur, and Maynard just chilled like it was no big deal. One time, in particular, I left the room for maybe 15 seconds, and when I came back, Greta had a fist full of fur and fat from Maynard’s belly region. I flipped out when I saw it, and I literally went into a cold sweat. I thought Maynard was going to destroy Greta, but M just sat there calmly until I got Greta off of her. Whew. I need to be more careful about that… I kind of thought Maynard would go kick Ruby's ass after that happened, but she didn't. Apparently, we've neglected Maynard so much in the last six months that she'll take whatever attention she can get. Oh, and, last but not least, Greta always seems to poop during dinner. Like, right in there in her high chair (well, in her diaper, but still). It's quite odd. I say, "No pooping at the dinner table," but she doesn't listen to me.

¡Maynardo, tiene cuidado!

So, that's the Greta update, and the brief update on Pat and me. Sorry it's not too exciting. We have a few fun weekends coming up (two weddings and respective bachelor and bachelorette parties), so we should have some good content after that.

What's new with you all?


You know you're a mom when...

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You hear a classical song, and you can picture what's going on in the Baby Einstein DVD during that song.



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I get to go to Greta's day care tonight for parent-teacher conferences. Well, that's not what they're calling it, but it's what Pat and I keep calling it. I feel so mature.

Hopefully Greta will get a good review. I have a feeling she's their favorite anyway. I went in to visit with Greta at lunch yesterday, and at one point, every single kid in her class was crying except for her. Whoa. Who knew Greta was so low maintenance? Well, she wasn't low maintenance the last few nights when it took us over two hours to get her to go to bed. I'm gonna have to have a little talk with her to tell her to save it for the people we pay to take care of her!


Worry and Guilt (and the Other Joys of Parenthood)

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So, I was recently asked to contribute something for my company's newsletter. I had to consider a varied and fairly large (potentially 700+) audience. The thought of the CEO reading my story kind of makes me want to puke, but the chances of that actually happening are probably fairly slim. (I mean, of him reading it - not me puking). I sucked up a little at the end, just in case. Anyway, here's what I wrote. It's long, but if you get all the way to the bottom, you win a prize.

For those of you who don't know, I'm the proud mother of a five-month-old girl named Greta.
The time Greta has been in my life has been the most fulfilling and happiest, but this story wouldn't
be very interesting if I just talked about all of the warm, fuzzy aspects of parenting. For this reason,
I'm going to discuss some of the other aspects of parenting by saying that this has also been the most worrisome
and guilt-riddled time I've ever experienced.

The second I found out my husband and I were having a baby, I was elated. Moments later, I started worrying,
hoping the pregnancy would go well. Then, I actually had to sit down when my unborn child's first year flashed
through my mind, followed by the formative years up through the college years; the weight of these thoughts
almost knocked me down. Sure, I'm a worrier by nature, so I'm used to worrying about all sorts of things, but up
until this day, those worries always translated to, "How does this affect me?"

I'm happy to report that the pregnancy went very well, and even the dreaded labor went about as well as I could
have hoped for. But what kind of story would this be if I didn't have a complaint about the day my daughter was born?
Greta was born on March 17th, St. Patrick's Day. Neat, right? Wrong! This birthday brought on a whole new set of worries.
Well, one big one, really: our daughter's 21st birthday (every birthday, technically) will be shared with the biggest
drinking holiday of the year. Not that you get to pick your baby's birth date, typically, but my husband and I were
really voting for her to be born on March 18th. For very parental reasons, we hoped our daughter's 21st birthday's
festivities would consist of hanging out with hung-over friends that wanted nothing more than to play a few wholesome
rounds of cards and maybe see a movie. Instead, Greta's birthday will, no doubt, consist of bar-hopping and drinking
copious amounts of green beer. Well, maybe by the time Greta is 21, the drinking age will have been upped to 30.
A mother can dream, can't she?

When I'm not worrying about the drinking habits of my daughter, who just recently started eating solids
(to put things in perspective), there is plenty more to worry about. Has Greta eaten enough? Has Greta eaten
too much? Is Greta cold? Is Greta hot? Are Greta's pants too tight? Are Greta's fingernails too long? Is Greta's
head going to take a normal shape or will she have to wear a hat to the prom? While there are bigger things to worry
about in the grand scheme of things, these have all been valid concerns of mine in the last five months on multiple occasions.
Why? Because I'm a mom.

At this point, you've probably had your fill of my unfounded worries. The only thing that rivals my worrisome nature
is my issues with guilt. The guilt, oh, the guilt! It really started when I came back to work and put Greta in day care.
Before that time, I hadn't been away from her for more than an hour or two, and, all of a sudden, I was
going to be away from her for 40 hours a week! While I felt kind of bad I wouldn't be in her life as much as I
had been previously, I honestly felt like Greta would be getting excellent care and a wonderful life experience in day care.
I mean, the folks at her day care teach the infants sign language! That's something that wouldn't have even occurred
to my husband and me to teach her. Not only that, but Greta gets exposure to germs, and all sorts of fun stuff like that,
at day care. While my husband and I realize a certain amount of exposure to germs is good, we have trouble being the ones
to make that happen. We still can't seem to bring ourselves to simply wipe the pacifier or toy that has fallen
onto the ground off on our jeans and stick it back in her mouth. Day care, on the other hand, is like a little
germ festival, and we can respect that. We realize that they should
be taking care of our kid rather than cleaning, and that's a good thing!

The truth is that I feel the most guilt, at this point, because I actually want to come to work every day and drop her
off at day care. Sure, there are certain days she's being so cute in the morning I wish I could stay home with her. There
have been quite a few mornings she's been fussy, though, and I feel what can only be described as relief that I can
go to work and be with adults for awhile. The guilt subsides when I remind myself that I'll be a better parent when we are
reunited at the end of the day, and that time apart makes our time together that much more special.

One other thing that helps the guilt subside is my newest hobby: scanning the news for stories about parents that I'm
clearly doing a better job than. I know this sounds odd, but hear me out. There was a recent local story that involved a
woman who allegedly stole some items from a store, then tried to run down a store security guard, and finally lead
police on a chase, ending with her crashing into three vehicles. That's pretty bad, right? But the dénouement is that her
two children were in her car while this was occurring! This makes me feel like a stellar mom. Don't get the impression that
I'm keeping the bar low or that I'm taking motherhood lightly. I just like to remind myself that I'm doing a
great job (if I do say so myself), and when you can add a little levity to things, it can't be all bad.

Worry and guilt aside, things are going wonderfully with the newest addition to our family. While I am biased, I feel
like [insert company name here] is the best place I could work while being a new mother. There is an amazing community of new and seasoned
parents to compare notes with and get advice from. There is simply a wealth of parental wisdom from my coworkers here.
And the money I've saved by buying previously enjoyed baby paraphernalia from Pnews alone is a huge perk! So, hey, if you ever
want to "talk babies" with me, I'm always game. Meantime, happy parenting.

And your prize is this picture of Greta and me. Hopefully you don't feel like you got the booby prize on Let's Make a Deal.


Hide your daughters!

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Introducing, Benjamin Hunter Larned!

Congratuations to Courtney and Andrew on the birth of their beautiful baby boy on August 31st. (Yes, this is long overdue.)

Mom, dad, and baby are doing very well. We just can't wait to meet the little tyke.

Cutey McNewbaby

Benjamin saying, "What happen?"