Archive for January, 2012


I know, I know!  But you see, I have such good excuses.  First and foremost, the plague itself has seemingly descended upon our household with its dark cloud of yuckiness.  Only Nellie has emerged unscathed, as G and I have both been Down. For. The. Count.  I suppose that if any one member of our household was going to be the strong, healthy one with a magical impervious plague shield, I’m glad it’s Nellie, but still…


G is still battling some internal plague demons, but I’m pleased to say that I finally feel a little bit better.  It might be the three-hour stretch of sleep Nellie graciously offered me last night.  Or perhaps it is three days of homemade chicken soup.  But whether it’s sleep, soup, or the antibiotics and anti-nausea meds I’ve been chowing soup-side, it’s working.  This morning I finally made it all the way through my venti nonfat no-whip hot chocolate.  And folks, isn’t that really the true test of health?

But there is so much to catch you up on.

Nellie can almost sit up on her own.  She still teeters a bit and eventually falls forward, splayed out like a pancake, but with just a little waist-holding, she’s chilling upright like a big girl. She’s also trying desperately to crawl.  If she has bare feet for traction or something to push off of, she can happily scoot herself forward.  She’s also starting to lift herself up.  From her belly position,  she can lift her chest up off the ground and straighten her arms.  She just doesn’t know what to do once she’s in that position.

A few white spots have appeared on her gums and though she doesn’t seem any worse for wear, she’s happily cramming toys and blankets into her mouth while she sits up.  Of course if there’s a toy actually designed for that (such as a teething toy) or even an appropriate part of a toy (such as on her wubbanub), she has absolutely no desire to chew on it.  But give her a piece of paper or a stuffed animal, and it’s the best tasting thing she’s ever handled.

She is rounding the bend to her next huge milestone, which is eating solid foods.  Her high chair arrived yesterday evening (more on that in a separate post), and I can’t wait to set it up at the table, so she can get used to sitting with us at mealtime.  Right now she sits in a little rocking chair on the table and chews on her toys, so she is already used to being present at mealtime, but not really a part of it.  We’re not launching into peas and carrots just yet — I’m still really committed to 6 months of just breastmilk — but she’s just a week or so away from her first delicious rubber spoonful of mush.  But again, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Perhaps the most important thing to share is just how happy she is.  She seems to be thriving at daycare, and it makes me so happy to see her big grins at the teachers every morning and smiles when we pick her up in the afternoon.  Her center has purchased so many new toys and things for her since she came on, and it’s obvious just how much they care about Nellie’s happiness and wellbeing.  She has her own swinging seat that she plays and naps in (though it seems she is finally starting to take itty bitty cat naps in her crib!), and they’ve tacked up mirrors on some of the walls since she loves looking at herself during tummy time.  There is a whole shelf full of baby toys that have appeared over the past few weeks — stuffed animals that rattle, roll, and talk; cubes with bright numbers; toys that light up and play music.  And any time the weather is nice, they push Nellie back and forth outside in the big red baby buggy.  They’re as genuinely excited as I am about Nellie’s growth, development, and improvements, and that makes it all so much easier.

I don’t have any pics to share in this post.  The camera went to work with G last week and even though it’s back home, it doesn’t seem to have been reunited yet with its charger and memory card.  But I promise that by the end of this weekend, I will have photographic evidence of everything above.  Except the plague — I’m hoping it’s long gone by then.


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Next Steps

I’ve been missing from the blog for a few days.  Strep and stress grabbed me in one helluva chokehold, and I’m only just beginning to get my voice back and to reclaim a modicum of sleep from the cough that has held me hostage for nights now.   I finally feel as though I’m turning a corner and gaining the upper edge on this plague, which is a relief because I’ve got a lot on my taskpad in the next few weeks.

At the beginning of the year I mentioned that my resolution was to keep my priorities in the right order, and that’s definitely true; more specifically, however, my goal was to be happier professionally so that I could be happier at home.  I regret the rollover effect that work can have on home life, and it seemed to me that it was time to modify my path.

On Monday — after four years with my current shop — I gave notice at work, and on February 14 I will start a new job.  After a month of talking about the ‘what ifs’ — what if they make an offer, what if this is my new work home, what if I actually get to do this — it is surreal to make the transition to ‘they did, it is, I do’.  The organization had this position open for more than six months searching for the right candidate, and I knew the moment I heard about it that it was the right job for me.  I get to stay in the foreign policy world I love, but I’ll be more deeply immersed, working closely with experts and scholars.  I get to work with an amazing group of hard-working, dedicated colleagues at one of the most well-regarded shops in town.  And — the part that I can hardly believe — I’m finally going to be writing.  In fact, my title finally has the word ‘writer’ in it.

When I think about it, I realize it’s the right next step for me and the perfect amalgamation of my professional experiences and my personal interests.

I have G, I have Nellie, and now I finally have the opportunity to write.  2012 has me feeling very content.

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Today my heart is happy and my head is clear.  I took a day off from work and Nellie took a day off from daycare, and we spent the day the way we prefer to spend our days — leisurely, casually, and just maybe at Nordstrom.  It’s already been a great weekend for me, and I’m flying above the clouds right now.  On Monday I’ll start preparing for a new road I’m about to travel, and despite my eagerness and anticipation, I feel very content. Sometimes the stars align and bring with them change at the very perfect time.

But today is about Nellie and me (G is working late, booo), and right now it’s time to pull her out of her exersaucer, give her a bath, and read her as many stories as she’ll let me.

Happy weekend, indeed.

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Wednesdays are not usually so exciting, but they’re exciting when they’re smack dab in the middle of a short week.  So short, in fact, that I had Monday off, I’m taking Friday off, and I’m even cutting a couple hours out of my day tomorrow.  Bliss.  All I have left to get through this week is 730a-1230p in the office.  I’m undecided on whether Nellie and I are spending all Friday together, or whether I’m sending her to daycare for a couple hours so I can actually get some things done… of course, if by get things done I mean go to Nordstrom, then yes, I will have Nellie with me.

Tonight is slammed with work — in large part because it’s such a short week — so there’s not much time to reflect on Nellie’s cuteness, her sudden thirst for milk in a bottle (well, that might be exaggerated, but she’s taking a little), the progress of our bathroom reno, or anything else, but I had to mention one piece of awesomeness (besides the fact that tomorrow is my last day of work this week, which means this is the second piece of awesomeness).

As soon as we discovered Nellie was on her way, I knew I wanted to make all of her food.  And I knew I wanted a Beaba.  Since my birthday aligns with Nellie’s six-month birthday (within a week), I decided it would be the perfect present (since I really never planned to do anything besides breast milk for the first six anyway).  And so, sometime back in…ohhhh, February 2011…I added a Beaba to my birthday list for 2012.  I may have even reminded loving family members a few times throughout the year that this was earmarked for my birthday.  But it worked!  My fabulous new baby food steamer puree-er? arrived today from Mom and Dad with some rubber spoons and some food trays, and I am so excited.

Nellie’s got a few weeks to go — she just got the hang of this bottle thing (kinda) so you better believe we’re not throwing spoons at her right away — but I’m awfully jazzed to start cooking up little veggie blends for the baby girl.  Isn’t it fantastic?!

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