Friday, August 29, 2008

four months

it is seriously hard for me to believe that kieran is already four months old. the last month has been dominated by change--i feel like we almost have a whole new baby every day. and lord, it's fun seeing him learn and develop and gain control of himself! he smiles all the time. he loves it when people talk to him. he laughs big deep belly laughs at his father and at me when we play with him. he's already 100% BOY. he's constantly on the move--watching things, trying to figure stuff out. he works at this most of his waking hours.

we had his 4-month doctor's appointment this past tuesday, where we got to get all the stats and brag about all his physical prowess. we answered what felt like 1000 questions, and we got a green light to start feeding him solid foods. he's doing great--doing all the things a baby his age should be doing, chubbing up properly, and generally thriving. things i mostly knew, but it's still reassuring to get the official word on it. what's not fun are the shots. they made him tired and feverish and cranky, not like our happy little man at all. and man--that's so hard to watch when there's nothing you can do for him. it makes me feel so helpless, as i know all parents do when their little ones are feeling so hot. glad it's over for a couple of months.

anyway--new this month are: deep belly laughing (he almost cackles with glee), "walking" with some help, rolling from front to back and subsequently across the room, opening his fists and exploring objects with his fingers spread wide (spirit fingers!), responding to speech with sounds of his own--he's been making sounds for a long time, but this month, they have become both responsive and more directed--i say something, he says something back, etc., tracking our food with his eyes and trying to get it with his hands--the kid is definitely ready to eat! putting his feet in his mouth, adding some consonants to those long strings of vowels.

he new dislikes: not being able to get to something he wants quickly enough, getting stuck by the arms of his playmat or the legs of the coffee table

new likes: the exersaucer!!! the crinkly wings of his bug toy (or anything else crinkly), putting anything and everything in his mouth, being picked up by his hands and feet (we only do this over the pillowtop mattress on our bed), playing with daddy is his FAVORITE right now!

visitors from out of town this month: aunt meredith, uncle jeff

right now, he's just so much fun to watch. don't get me wrong--i love playing with him, and so do the hippie and jennifer. but he's just fun to see figuring things out. often in the evening, i put him in the exersaucer, and just sit on the floor beside him while he spins the little barrel of beads, pulls on the animals attached to the exersaucer, and crinkles the wings of his bug. he looks SO serious figuring it all out, and then when he notices you looking at him, the brightest, most heart-melting smile breaks across his face. so awesome. :)

as usual, current pictures are here. the one above is a bit blurry i know, but i love the look of glee on his face. :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

roly poly

yesterday morning i laid the critter down on his play mat and went into the kitchen to make tea and grab some cereal so i could have my breakfast while he had his. i came back to find him half way across the room, tangled in the legs of the coffee table and fussing to be set free. he may not be crawling, but he's surely on the move! time to babyproof...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

on motherhood

i am still getting used to the idea that i am someone's mother. there are days when i can't believe it. there are other days when it's all i want to be. there are days when i am silently missing having time for myself. it's more of a roller coaster than anything i have ever experienced in my whole life. and i knew it would be. but after these first few months, here is what stands out to me about it all. in summary...

1) nothing anyone tells you will prepare you to be a mother. also. you have your own opinions on how it should be done, and they will not agree 100% with anyone else's opinions about it. people are glad to tell you what THEY think, but in the end, you will do what you know in your gut is the right thing for you and for your family. and you silently wish for everyone to shut up. and sometimes you feel judged. but then your kid smiles at you and at everyone else, and you feel proud, and you think--i'm not sucking so bad at this.

2) i have never been so close to panic so often as i have the past four months. i am afraid for kieran every minute of every day that i let myself be. at least once every night, i have to mentally tamp down the panic attack that threatens to totally obliterate me. what if i suck? what if he dies in his sleep? what if he chokes? what if he wrecks a car or drives drunk or is the target of an attack or a serial killer or a disease? it's a whirling mass of fear that i carry in my gut with me now. i am sure i will have this until the day i die. most of the time i can wrangle that mess onto the back burner, but some days...whew...

3) breastfeeding is a full time job for two months. anyone who tells you otherwise hasn't done it. it sucks and it's all consuming and you are nailed down under that baby for what feels like every minute of every hour of every day. but it's so sweet and awesome, too. after those first two months, it gets a boatload easier, but it's still hard sometimes, especially when you have to work. there is a special place in hell for the inventor of the breast pump to which i hook myself three times a day. i feel like a cow, and i hate it, but i keep it up because i want the precious milk for my baby. that stuff is liquid gold, especially when you are a shitty producer like i am.

4) being a mother who works outside the home sucks. i am envious of mothers who get to be at home with their children. i am envious of my nanny for getting so many of the good hours with the critter. i would give anything for his care to be MY care, even though i know he's getting awesome care from her, too. i miss him. and i want to make a good home for him, which feels almost impossible to do from the office chair. the worst days are the slow ones when i don't have enough to do--that just makes me feel like i am wasting my time. speaking of...

5) what i lack is time. time with the baby, time with the hippie, time to clean the house, time to plant a bush in the yard, time to paint my toenails, time to read, time to knit, time to organize ANYTHING, or put together the stuff i bought at ikea a month ago or finish any of the 1000 half-done projects i have all over the house. i know that this will get better, but sometimes it wears very thin. and i know everyone goes through this same thing. i can't seem to find a balance between being a good mother, a good partner, and a whole woman unto myself--i KNOW all three are important. i am working on this, and i think i will be working on it for along time to come. i need a new "normal." and i'm just not quite there yet.

and yet...

all of that--and more than that--all of the things that threaten to crush and overwhelm...and's just amazing. there are no words sufficient to the task of describing what it's like to wake up with this little creature by my side. to watch him developing and learning and soaking up this huge new world he's in. there are no words for the love you feel or the gladness with which you shoulder the responsibility for him. there are no words for the joy his laugh can bring. and the fact that he looks to me with utter trust for his love and support and care--well, that's overwhelming, too. i feel like every cliche. he is worth it all.

Monday, August 11, 2008

beer from god

beer from god
THK and i packed up the kid and went to tyler's last night, and this is a picture of the lovely beer i had there. the beer's from the folks at unibroue, a gorgeous strong red ale called maudite. the picture's from my brand new iPhone, and i think it came out pretty damned well for a phone pic. yay for a new toy!

a post with no pictures... which i will tell you that i am knitting, and LOVING knitting, and not having time to take pictures of the knitting. BUT. this is marathon knitting. i have a deadline. and the knitting is a surprise for someone who MAY read this blog, so i can't go showing it off yet. i'll throw some pictures onto ravelry as soon as there's something to actually show--right now i have a long, pink strip, so it's not that interesting anyway. what's awesome though is that i am knitting!!! lord, how i've missed it...

Friday, August 08, 2008



this guy was sitting on my car antenna, perfectly aligned with my car. he looks a bit creepy in macro, but man--i LOVE his wings. click on the picture to see him in greater detail--he's best viewed large.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

three months

three months old

last thursday, kieran turned three months old. time is totally flying over here, and i swear, he gets more fun every single day. he's met all his grandparents but one, and they all love him. he's a hit at parties, and enjoys spending his weekdays in the company of his wonderful nanny, jennifer. he sleeps between 8 and 9 hours at night pretty consistenly with 3 or 4 naps during the day. very predictable. mostly. (of course, now that i said that, he's going to stay up all night tonight!) he smiles at everyone and is friendly and engaging. he babbles and coos and "talks" to us all the time. he cries when he's hungry or tired or needs a hug or a change of scene. otherwise, he's happy all the time.

the critter's physical development is a little scary. he has kind of unreal upper body strength for a three-month-old baby. he can pull himself slowly across the floor toward a thing he wants to get. he's able to roll over from front to back at will, and then he gets stuck on his back like a little turtle. he's THIS CLOSE to rolling back, but he still doesn't quite get that he need to tuck his little arm in to roll over. and boy--does it make him MAD! he likes to be UP and SEE and LOOK at everything! twice now, he's gone from being kind of propped into a sitting position to sitting on his own with his hands on the floor in front of him. he likes to "stand", putting most of his weight on his feet and holding onto our fingers. i fear the kid's going to be walking by 8 months. SCARY!

mostly i just can't believe how lucky we are. i pray every day this luck holds out and that he keeps on trucking in such a great fashion. he's really an awesome baby, if i do say so myself. :)

no, i am not biased at all...why do you ask?

kieran likes: looking at the cats, grabbing soft things and putting them in his mouth, shaking rattles, eating!, his daddy's voice, snuggling into my neck, music, mirrors, reading books with me (he stares at the words and tries to turn pages), bathtime

kieran dislikes: when i am not quick enough at latching him on, being tired, not being able to get to a toy he wants, being in a dirty diaper, wearing socks

we call him: the baby, kieran grey, the critter (when speaking about him), critter critter (when speaking to him), that handsome devil, the kraken, little man, buddy (his daddy calls him that)

Friday, August 01, 2008

tea merchant 101

tea merchant 101

beehouse teapots

cup of masala chai

honey and accoutrements

me and my tea
while we were in pennsylvania last week, we went to a lovely tea shop in duncansville called tea merchant 101. from what i gather, the owner, joseph doyle mixes his own teas and does this mainly as a hobby. he teaches classes on tea, the history of tea, etc. thus the name, tea 101. i can't say enough about how wonderful the shop was. it was small enought o feel intimate, but large enough to hold 101 varieties of tea. there was a good mix of white, black, and green teas as well as rooibos and herbal blends. he had the biggest selection of beehouse teapots i have ever seen, and plenty of other accoutrements as well--honey, jams, tea pots, bags for loose teas, etc. all beautifully presented and obviously selected with care. the owner was friendly and helpful and delighted to see us. the hippie and i went a bit nuts and bought a gajillion types of tea, as well as a tea pot.

while we were there, a huge storm rolled in right as the baby decided it was time to eat, so we stayed for a cup of tea and possibly the best coconut macarron i have ever had. the hippie had a lovely scone, and his mom had a fabulous little snickerdoodle. we all tried different teas so that we could taste them all. the service, tea, and food was all just great.

the whole experience was delicious--there were only two small details i would change if i could. 1) i firmly believe that a tea shop or any place that serves tea should have milk. little plastic things of half-n-half just don't cut it for me. and 2) i would like some type of cream and jam with my scone rather than just honey. for the full experience, i really think you need some devon double or clotted cream.

bottom line though--this place is a wonderful hidden treasure! if you are ever in the area, i would HIGHLY recommend stopping in for a stress relieving visit and a wonderful, fragrant cup of tea! also, joe will ship tea anywhere, and if you are a fan, i recommend both his english and scottish breakfast blends--some of the best i have ever had.

some other reviews at
more pictures here.