Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Hello there! Paige here! I wanted to tell you about my first Thanksgiving! We went to Nana and Grampa's house in Maine for the day. I had so much fun!

I got dressed up.
Mommy and Paige
Daddy and Paige

I played with Nana, Grampa, and my Uncle Jason

Nana, Grampa, Morgan and Paige
Uncle Jason and Paige

Nana read me my Thanksgiving book that my Godmommy Sue sent me. I love it!

Reading with Nana
Laughing with Nana

I ate good food (I liked the peas but a spit out the pureed Turkey)

Meg and Paige

The next day, I relaxed and then got in a Post-Thanksgiving workout.

fun!
Post-Turkey Day Workout

Thanks for sharing my first Thanksgiving memories with me!
Digesting Thanksgiving

Saturday, November 28, 2009

7 months
Dear Paige,

Today you are 7 months old! I can hardly believe it. You are now closer to being a whole year old and, as usual, I'm clinging to your babyhood with every breath. You're just so precious to us; it's hard not to!
This past month you grew in your two bottom center teeth! One day I saw them breaking through and 2 days later they *poof!* were pretty much all the way grown through. Around that same time, you started crawling around, commando-style, around the living room. You're attracted to the cable box (of course), the heating grates, and the bottoms of the furniture. So, I spend lots of time distracting you toward your toys instead. You love to crash your wooden rings...I stack them up nicely and you make a game of crashing the tower down. Big fun! You've also started giving us kisses before your naps and bedtime. I'll reach over to give you a kiss and a hug and you will reach toward me from Daddy's arms to give me a hug around the neck and an open mouthed watery kiss on my cheek. I about died with happiness when you first did it and feel the same thrill ever since. When I'm alone with you during the day you aren't quite as lovey-dovey. But, it's nice you'll do it when Daddy's around at least.
Here's a picture of you sitting alone without my help. Good for you!
sitting alone
You know, last week I was washing your bottles in the sink and I was sort of sighing from annoyance when I was doing the fifth one. So many parts to wash! And while I was scrubbing I thought back to before we had you in our life and how I would have given ANYTHING to have bottles to wash. I remembered that ache so vividly. I looked down and felt a huge wave of gratitude crash over me. I was jolted back into remembering how lucky I am and how these sweet moments of your babyhood need to be appreciated. Even the little chores like bottle-part washing. I thought about how one day soon enough you will be in school and I'll miss you so much during the day and I will wistfully look back on these sweet times and I'll say that every little chore was so worth it...that I'd do them a million times over again to have this time with you. During this time of thanksgiving, I am realizing that I am just as grateful for the chores in life as they heighten the fun times. Even the most mundane tasks serve to remind me of the special and sweet times I have with you. This is also true for the rest of life; it's important to find joy in the darkest times. The most boring times. The most annoying or frustrating times. The saddest of times. Joy is always there if you look for it and never let go. You are my treasure; please know that my heart beats in you--that I'm with you and loving you always.
Love Always and Forever,
Mama
mom and paige

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

I am so thankful for a good zillion things this Thanksgiving. Thankful and grateful. It all has a lot to do with these two:

thanksgiving

Monday, November 23, 2009

Activities


Hey there!
Hope you all had a great weekend! Ours was splendid as we spent most of it babysitting our 20-month old niece. She was such a sweetie and a bundle of energy! It was amazing to realize Paige will be doing all those things in another year. We even managed to get an impromptu picture of Paige with Santa Claus while getting some shopping done yesterday. There was no line to see Santa and we thought: What the heck? So, we have a great cliche photo of Paige staring at the camera with the classic "deer in the headlights" expression as Santa smiles away. She happened to have on her red and cream deer/winter sweater on so she looked very "holiday." It's her first Christmas, so I felt the need to indulge in the Santa experience; especially when there was no line to suffer in!
I was thinking about all the activities I do to keep Paige occupied during the day ...or the fact that I need to think of more (I wrote about this in an earlier post) for when we don't have Mommy group or errands and I came up with new ideas to add to my arsenal! The activities I've done with my 6-month old have been: looking at books and reading them aloud, playing WITH Paige and her toys, allowing her to play with her toys alone, letting Paige slither all around the living room rug (her version of crawling so far), jumping and playing with the toys on her Jumperoo, going for walks, singing songs/nursery rhymes like Itsy Bitsy Spider and others where I make up arm movements to keep her interested, Baby Einstein DVD watching, time for standing while I hold her waist, time for sitting up while I guard her from falling (LOTS of time doing this lately), time in front of the mirror where I make funny faces and entertain her, trying new foods, going around the house as I point out and name things, and today I've added "Dance Party" where I play Jack Johnson music or other fun music that I dance all around the room while holding her. I swing her left and right and we fly in a circle and I dip her ballroom dance style. It's a great workout for me and fun for her. So, we do that for a bunch of songs.
And I found this fabulous website called KneeBouncers that offers a whole bunch of games for infants to play...they just involve baby sitting in your lap and they hit any old button on the keyboard to make things happen on the screen. There are lots of different "games" that are basically cause and effect since something fun happens when baby hits a key. When I've done all other options, I do this with Paige and she really enjoys seeing the bright colors and cute animations/sounds. Find the website here. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Evening Fun

Evening Playtime
Chris is a great Dad. For a million reasons, but for this particular evening it's for giving her a fun shoulder ride and running all around before Paige's bedtime. She shrieks with glee the whole time which makes my heart do the same.

Shoulder Ride

Friday, November 20, 2009

Nostalgia

Ally's Hat
Hi friends!
I'm watching the last of the leaves fall from the trees outside my window. It's such a dreary and rainy day. The kind where you stay in your sweats all day and wander around the house tending to the small things. I wanted to share a thought with you: I've found that becoming a mother has forced me to look back on my life's happiest moments to relive them in my mind and ponder about how to make Paige's childhood just as happy. Over the past months I have found myself having vivid dreams of the wonderous places I spent summers in my childhood in Maine...swimming and snorkeling in lakes (all day with a quick break to shove a sandwich in my mouth at lunch)...enjoying the sand at the beach and playing in the waves at the ocean...spending special times with family now long passed on....dreaming of my Grandfather's house and each room in it so vividly I can smell it and feel the cold windowpane in my Mom's old bedroom pressed against my little cheek. I wake up from these dreams feeling sad and missing these times and places. Sometimes my heart aches and I shed a tear or two. As most of you know, I've been visiting with a therapist to deal with my post-partem depression and I couldn't help but open up to her about all of these feelings...to discuss my fierce ties to those who are gone and the memories tied to those people and places. You know what she said? That it's normal. That lots of people who've had babies suddenly find themselves evaluating and remembering their own childhoods as they embark on making plans for their own childrens' futures. She also said it's normal to miss (more than usual) all of those people who were once in our lives because we love them and wish they were here to see our children and share in that joy. Well, in a big way, I feel that they are here with me when they want to be and are able to share and see Paige. I just wish I could SEE them sharing it! :) She also mentioned that having a child is a sort of door closing on our own younger lives and we have to mourn the closing of that chapter. At least I can see it all over again through Paige's eyes (a cliche, I know...but still true) and I can recapture the same joy in watching her. Since talking about this issue I've felt so much better and the dreams have started to become lesser, and I feel a strength in moving forward that I hadn't had before. I'm so excited for all the NEW fun times we will all have together and wonder what joyous things are in store. Thanks, as always, for letting me share this little tidbit with you! Be well.
P.S. Here is a photo of Paige in her snazzy knit hat our bloggie friend Allyson made her.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pre-School Musical

I actually saw this today on Sesame Street and I laughed through most of it. I like the Zac Effron-like muppet that comes in almost to the middle of the video. Block Corner VS. Dress-up Corner. The satire on the singing during the dress up corner part is priceless.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Milestone Mania

Not to be confused with the delicious Munchie Mania at Friendly's...
Two videos and two different milestones (for those who can't view the movies: we now have 2 teeth and some wiggle crawling across the room happening!). Sorry about my annoying voice. It's even worse when talking to Paige...it gets even higher and more annoying if that's possible. :)
Little P is 6.5 months now and I can't stop staring at her in wonder. She's such a cool person.
Be well!

PS, thanks to all my lovely supporters and readers out there who have sent along the kindest of words. Sometimes I wonder if blogging is worth it or matters and you've shown me that it really does! Thanks for letting me share with you; it's an honor.




Monday, November 16, 2009

Crappy People

I got the most ridiculous comment in my "My Middle Finger" post the other day here on this blog. Lovely "Anonymous" added these helpful words:

"Yet you refused to breast feed? go figure."

Talk about having NOTHING to do with what I'd said. But, I'd like to take a minute to add people like you to my FUCK YOU list. I can do that, since this is MY BLOG.

LET ME BE CLEAR: I LOVE BREASTFEEDERS. Well, not literally ALL I guess. I love many of my friends and family who breastfed. And I love the ones that didn't or couldn't. This post is not about the benefits of either decision.

This post is about crappy and jerky people who assume the wrong things and then try to put you down for your own supposed personal choices anyway.

To anonymous and all who say shitty things like that: You know NOTHING about my health or my medical history. You have NO IDEA. To say I refused to breastfeed when you don't know even half the story is uneducated at best. What is worse is that you try and hurt me and insinuate something about my character. SCREW YOU. And the next time you want to say words like that to someone about breastfeeding please think about this: Perhaps they've had a mastectomy and couldn't? Perhaps they are battling cancer and couldn't? Perhaps they had a horrible accident and couldn't? Perhaps they simply weren't producing milk? Perhaps it's NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Art and Mothering

paint desk
Hi friends!

Thanks for your patience with my little rant the other day. I had just HAD it with all the negative crap out there eating away at our childrens' lives. I understand why schools have had to pull activities, foods, etc. out of the systems...because of lawsuits, red tape, politics, etc. While I believe in our right to sue, I do NOT believe in abusing that right and ruining things for everyone when it is frivolous. Anyway, I'm moving on now. I'm reading "Reader's Digest" (filled with heartwarming stories, exciting news with happy endings, and funny jokes and anecdotes...a more positive news source compared to many others and it reminds me the world still has many happy things going on). Onto the next!
Since Paige was born, my art life has taken a huge backseat. Baby comes first, obviously. As time has gone by I've been itching to be creative again. If you read this blog frequently then you know that I've been taking a watercolor painting class to get me out of the house once per week so that I can focus on something that I enjoy and relax. It's been so great! I have so much fun and really have learned a lot. I've only got 2 classes left which leaves me wondering what I'll take next. Perhaps sewing? Anyhoo, I decided to incorporate painting into my life a bit more; but how to do that with a now semi-crawling baby? I need to be nearby to keep a watch on Little P whenever she is awake. So, we took one of my office desks and put it in the family room at a window overlooking the conservation land behind our house. I can see Paige's play area to my right as I work and I have the wonderful natural light coming in through the window. It's been a great solution to incorporating my time for painting with being with Paige. Why should the two be separate? Why go into a different space and treat my creative life as a separate one from my daughter? I love that I can dabble at my work here and there while she's around and I just feel happier in general. I like that she can watch me do something I enjoy and know that she can be a part of it too if she wants. Of course, the majority of my time will still be spent playing with her, teaching her, and tending to her needs; but it is nice to know that I can include my own needs into the day and I now have a place to do it!
Here's a painting I did on my own here at my desk...without the guidance of the teacher. It is of an old converted barn in Maine...from a photo I took one summer. The computer isn't normally going to be at the desk, but the photo I was using to paint from was on my flickr site and I was too lazy to print it out. Then, of course I had to check facebook! :)
Damn you addictive Facebook! Damn you! :)
converted barn

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Middle Finger

(warning: this following post is filled with profanity and can offend. Proceed with caution!)


I'd like to take a moment to rant. To shout out a hearty "FUCK YOU!!!" to the media and their constant scare tactics that are driving all of us crazy. I can't turn on the F-ing news without hearing about some sort of dangerous food item that could harm my health...and it's usually something healthy like broccoli or tomatoes or chicken, etc. I'm surprised I'm not dead yet. How are we not ALL DEAD??? I understand that there are some foods that are contaminated sometimes...e-coli, salmonella, etc. can be a risk. But to do a whole news story on how salmonella MAY be on your chicken and to study how the spray from the chicken gets on your counters as you wash it in the sink is going too far. Do I, or do I not wash the f-ing chicken???? First, I'm supposed to wash it, but now it's BE CAREFUL! The spray from the chicken get's all around the kitchen when you wash it! SEE? Here's a UV light to show how it's all over your clean kitchen. It's on your TOASTER! It's on YOUR HANDS!!! It's ON YOUR OVEN! It's on all the KNIVES YOU JUST CLEANED! AAAGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!! (insert my twitching eye here).
Don't eat tomatoes! You'll get E-coli. Don't eat spinach! You may die. Don't eat peanuts! They have salmonella, and if you eat one in a public place you may kill someone on the other side of a large room. What do we eat? NOTHING, that's what. We drink water and maybe a gluten-free, organic, all natural, wheat free crust of bread. But WATCH OUT! It may give you too many empty calories, causing you to gain weight and get DIABETES and die shortly thereafter.
Here are a few news articles on food alone:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-11-20-salmonella-chicken_x.htm
(the hell of chicken)

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,215257,00.html
(creepy spinach)

http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSN1037615120080610
(tomatoes and the atrocity of food in general)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/16/peanut-butter-probe-expan_n_158689.html
(death-peanuts)

Anyway, I think you know what I mean. But you know what sent me over the edge. RIGHT OVER THE EDGE???!!!! The recent story about how the milk industry is pushing chocolate milk in public schools so that children continue to get the benefits of milk (rather than choosing sodas or sugary juices, etc.). I am happy about this and see no big deal. But then, of course, I put on the news and saw this and find that people are AGAINST it, saying schools shouldn't serve it because they don't need the added sugar and it's contributing to obesity. You know what? FUCK YOU TOO!!! Here is my middle finger so you can do what you will with it!!! How about you let your kid play outside once in a while? Maybe, oh...say....RUN AROUND???? Perhaps it's the fear instilled in you from the media claiming that a kidnapping rapist is waiting in your front bushes just chomping at the bit to take you by surprise? (as an aside, I freakin' lock my door when I'm IN THE HOUSE because of this....and my town has pretty much NO crime). Perhaps you want your kids to run around, and schools should encourage this. But, don't forget the EXTREME DANGER of dodgeball, tag, and other fun kids activities...someone COULD GET HURT!!!! Screw you, schools! Stop banning everything!!!! Many schools have even removed their playground equipment because it COULD pose a threat. So, the kids get to mill around with their fingers up their noses (WATCH OUT! SWINE FLU!!!!!) waiting for recess to end because they can't play tag, there's no playground to play on, and there's NO TOUCHING (someone could get hurt!!!!) And many parents are outraged that the kids' feelings get hurt when teams are picked...nobody picks their kid. Well, you know what? How about the teacher/gym teacher create the teams in advance so nobody is made to feel like crap? Just a thought (one that my Mother in Law who was a teacher came up with) I'm sure there are plenty of other solutions too...before totally demanding that the school ban team activities altogether. It seems to me that the greatest general media suggestion is to: Lock your children in a cage (they should be safe there, if you keep it out of your salmonella laden kitchen!), feed them water and organic bird seed (since most other food can kill them at some point), let them out to run in a giant hamster ball (although, the plastic may have BPA in it, so WATCH OUT!!!) and send them to bed after hours of homework while listening to classical music.
I guess the point of my rant is this: Children need to be allowed to be kids. They need a little fun in their lives. The media is always suggesting we SUCK the fun out of the very marrow of childhood. But, children DO need boundaries, limits, and rules. They need parents. When Paige is old enough, I will make sure she plays out in the yard. That she climbs trees. That she runs around and learns about healthy competition through sport. That if she gets hurt, to get over it and learn from it. To learn to be vigilant about putting herself in dangerous situations and be leery of strangers. To learn to resolve conflict. To eat a damned cupcake at a birthday party and know that it's ok.To drink chocolate milk with abandon and give a hearty sigh when she finishes a cup. If I need to be there to monitor things, than so be it. I will take time out, go outside, and make sure she stays safe. I will not plunk her in front of the TV every day because it is easy (but you know what? I WILL SOMETIMES!! TV shows are FUN! And they can learn from them if they are appropriate!). To ride a bike around and know about traffic safety and manners) and yes, to wear the damned helmet. That she learns about manners in general...to eat properly in a restaurant, to say please and thank you, and to care about others. To try new foods and new things and ENJOY the life she's been given (and know that, yes, too much of a good thing can be bad for you). Because, on my death bed I'm not going to look back and say THANK GOD I didn't drink that one chocolate milk at lunchtime when I was ten!
Phew! Thank you. Over and out.
-Megan Cassidy Carty
http://meandwee.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Freedom isn't free


Happy Veteran's Day! I'd like to use this post to honor all our servicemen and servicewomen who have put their lives on the line to protect us and our freedoms. I think about them and that fact every day and am always so appreciative. Thanks, Dad, for your service and to all my other amazing family members and friends who've served or continue to serve. The picture above shows the U.S.S. Canberra...the ship my Grampa had served on in World War II. It was torpedoed during the war off the coast of Formosa and was towed to safety after much drama and loss to say the least!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My favorite sound


This video shows my favorite sound in action. Magic! Paige had just had a bath and her Dad was about to put on her jammies. He can't resist blowing raspberries in her armpits to make her laugh. It never fails! You can see a little scrape on Paige's forehead...sigh...I feel so bad! I was adjusting her straps in her high chair and she lunged her head forward unexpectedly and it hit my thumbnail just so. It gave her a little scrape with which she cried and I felt soooooo horrible. I know it was an accident but nobody wants to see their baby cry from something they did, right? It's healing nicely already thank goodness!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A passing day

Pumpkin Bib

Hi friends!

Thanks for all your ideas for baby activities! Today we sang some new nursery rhymes and we went to the mall for a while to walk around. Lots of lights and music kept Paige very entertained. She's been enjoying looking at her books.
Reading is fun
I'll keep working on trying to get out and about each day... one commenter mentioned the days can be like the movie "Groundhog Day" if not careful. It's so true! It's my job to make it interesting and exciting and that's just hard at this point. I know it will improve once she can sit on her own, etc. Especially when she starts walking! I'll make sure to really enjoy things as they are now! Now that Halloween is over (the picture shows her in a fun Jack-O-Lantern bib her Godmommy sent her) we are thinking of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'd love to get my shopping done ASAP in order to avoid holiday time crunch stress. We'll see if I can follow through! Paige decided to wear her cousin's sweater she borrowed to get into the spirit of things.

Is it Christmas yet?

Be well and we'll be back in this space soon!
P.S. You can see how my second watercolor painting from class turned out here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Strollin'

Fall stroll
Fall road
Hi there!
Paige wanted to show you a few of the images we took from our walk today. There is finally a "bite" to the air and the peak foliage is over.
This morning we were playing and playing and she began fussing and fussing. sigh. I feel like each day is starting to be the same thing over and over. She must think so too. How many exciting things can you do with a 6 month old? I'm running out of tricks up my sleeve I guess. That's why I decided we needed to go for a nice long walk around our side of town. The sights kept us both entertained and now we're ready to face the rest of the day refreshed. Any other mamas care to comment on the little activities they do with their babes? (Paige spends a lot of time in her Jumperoo, then she spends time on the blanket rolling around the floor and grabbing at her toys, then maybe we'll read a short book and look at the pictures and we'll walk around the house looking at all the things as she learns about what they are. Lately she's been practicing sitting up alone and standing up while I hold her hands. Sometimes I'll sing Itsy Bitsy Spider while doing all the hand motions...which she loves. I'm now out of ideas!)

P.S. Paige went to her 6 month checkup the other day and she now weighs 17lbs and 12 oz...she is 28.75 inches tall. Still a tall lady!

Berries
New england life
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