Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I believe it was just coincidence that I caught this pose of possessiveness. She was simply transferring the teething ring from one hand to another. But it's a cute glimpse of moods to come. Scroll down to the next post to see her in a thoughtful mood.

a reflective pose

Know any good photo contests? David got creative here with his new camera (Nikon D-50) and I love this one! E has begun noticing herself in the mirror over the last few weeks, but she still apparently prefers to use the mirror to look at a smiling maniac adult (i.e., me).

Sunday, June 25, 2006


This weekend was supposed to be for some intensive child-proofing of the house, but other things keep interfering with my intentions (like going to a movie, meeting a friend, watching "24", eating, sleeping, laundry, and simple procrastination!). Just now I was trying to clear off the "dining" table, so that some of the things we used to keep on the floor could be put there. Things to file/save and mail to process (mostly bills and donation requests) are the biggest clutterers. I also don't have a place for photographs, which of course are now taking over the house!

Emma's play area (i.e. the middle of the living room floor) is safe, for now. She's trying to pull up on everything and she's starting to look up for things to grab. Her new toy box blocks her in. I turn it on its side. She crawls into it and clambers among the toys, banging and gnawing. The main area of the kitchen will be safe once I find a new higher place for the cats' dining station. And Emma's room is in okay shape, just need to keep her little fingers away from the base of the glider rocker. And I feel like I need to vacuum every hour!

Friday, June 23, 2006


This picture David took yesterday kind of shows E demonstrating her new "pulling up" skills. She practices them every chance she gets. I was saying to David last night, I can't remember ever having the motivation to do something that takes such intense and all-consuming effort - over and over again! You can see how hard it is for her: all her limbs tremble, and she pitches wildly, falls and cries. But she can't wait to try again.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

action shot

This is David's favorite picture from a bunch he took last Tuesday 13th (so, age 7 months). He's getting a new camera today and keeping Emma, so I'm hoping there will be lots of new photos as he tries out the camera.

Last night we saw E pull up for the first time. I took pictures with my film camera, but you know the drill there. We don't have much around here that's easy for her to pull up on. If it's the right height, there's nothing to grab hold of (e.g. an ottoman), and if there's something to hold on to, it's too easy to turn over (e.g. a laundry basket). So E pulled up on a very low footstool (that came from my grandparents' house) and when she reached "standing" she was bending over because it was too short. But the success was in holding on while getting her legs under her and straightening them. Like always, she was delighted with herself!

She had her first bruise this week too. Neither the sitter or I know what caused it, but it's not bad. On her forehead. Another will surely develop soon because she bonked her head on the kitchen floor yesterday and it really made her cry. The sitter says she falls over a lot at her house (hardwood floors), when she tries to combine crawling and walking. The first of many bumps and bruises. She's crawling fast now, too. Be alert, mom & dad!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

second cup of tea

I think I need a second cup of tea this morning. I deserve it, for dreaming stupid tedious dreams about work - and not the fun part of work. My work is normally fun, these days. I posted a link over in the sidebar to one of the two projects I spend my time on. For that research project I'm currently doing three main tasks - looking up the different ways that countries measure diversity in terms of "race", reading and summarizing interviews from France and Brazil, and setting up a new round of interviews and surveys in France (through an external person we found to work with us over there). For the other project I work on, I'm supervising a business school intern from Senegal and researching information that will help global leaders (who manage people in several different countries) be better leaders. Aside from those two projects I've been writing a summary of the history of research at CCL. My co-author is based in Singapore and that's been interesting (I knew her here before she moved there). The time difference is easy to remember - they are 12 hours ahead.

Last night as I tried to relax and ward off mastitis with alternating hot and cold compresses, I read a few essays in the book Mommy Wars. It's about women's experiences/choices with the work-life balance thing and child-rearing. So far I haven't read a single story that I'd like to replicate! But I tell you what: I'm grateful for the women who led the way for me and my generation. My parents, both of them, set great examples of combining career, grad school, and family - without (apparently) driving themselves crazy or making us feel deprived. It's acceptable now in many organizations for women to request private space for pumping milk for their babies, and for parents to leave work early for the school play - things like that. I feel for the women whose "choices" don't feel so good: the ones whose breast pumps drown the sound of their crying on business trips, the ones who feel like they're losing IQ points by pushing a swing and talking baby talk all day every day, and the ones who suffer from constant partial attention problems by trying to work at home while watching the kids. (The Mommy Wars writers do a vivid and entertaining job of describing such situations.) And here's a research nugget for you. My boss and a colleague did research that found that having "multiple roles" outside your job (i.e., wearing several "hats" like Parent, Volunteer, etc.) actually improves your effectiveness as a leader. At least that was true for women. I think they were going to do another study to see if the same is true for men. One of the Mommy Wars writers wrote a poignant sentence about how the only place she really felt like herself was in the car on her 90 minute commute, "bareheaded between my two hats, neither here nor there".

Time to get ready for work....

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

light sleeper

E has become a fairly light sleeper, so I don't go in her room to look at her as much as I used to. :( But I've heard her this morning so I know she's alive. This morning when the alarm rang it rescued me from bad horror-movie dreams about children killing and being killed. The only actual scene I remember now is one where a mother shot her three children as a test - if they lived through it, they were truly good. Only one baby fooled her by surviving the attack but being evil - I could see it in her eyes. The good baby who survived wouldn't go to the mother anymore, he preferred me (smart kid). The third child, a toddler, simply died. One good thing about such dreams is they make it seem like a wonderful blessing to get up and get out of bed!

We had a good weekend. David's first Fathers' Day involved a trip to see my parents and have them babysit while we went to a matinee of the movie Cars. Enjoyed it very much, despite having to try to tune out the children next to us who were obviously not ready for movies ("it's dark in here" "I want to go home" "I want some M&M's"). The first skill Emma will need before I take her to a real movie is to be able to whisper! We had dinner after with my folks and my sister's family. Then when we got back home David went out to see another movie with a friend.

Last night David's parents were in town and took us out to eat. E grabbed everything she could reach from her high chair and stared for a long time at a man eating a burger by himself in the corner booth. A hyper little girl (about 6) came bouncing over to us and before I could blink she had kissed Emma on the cheek, picked up one of her toys and commented on it, and **zap!** she was gone.

Grandma Mickey noticed last night that the second tooth has broken through. E was fussy yesterday morning but it didn't occur to me that that might be what was happening. We also noticed that she's started leaving red marks on the base of her thumb, where her teeth scrape when she sucks it.

Well, I've been taking my time here and I should get a move on. The sweetie pie woke up twice last night so she's having a lie-in. Maybe I can sneak in a shower before she wakes.

Friday, June 16, 2006

David's blue-blue eyes

in certain light, she looks like a redhead

Thursday, June 15, 2006

two more firsts

Last night E and I went to dinner with some of my work colleagues. It was the first time she sat in a high chair. She did fine, just a little wobbly. She flirted with a friendly white-haired woman at a nearby table, and when the woman waved at her Emma waved back. She spread her fingers and twisted her wrist side to side. I'd seen her barely twitch her wrist once before, a couple weeks ago when someone waved at her, but it wasn't enough to be sure she knew what she was doing. So I counted this as her first wave. She was also really trying hard to get the woman's attention later - making louder noises, and focusing her widest smile toward the woman, as if she was beaming a signal that could make the woman look up!

bringing the world in

While nursing Emma just now I listened to a little bit of BBC World Service radio (via WFDD). It was the program "Outlook". They were interviewing a British woman who worked in Ethiopia during the worst part of the famine in the 1980s. She described how awful she felt about all the people she couldn't help at the Red Cross camp, all the ones they had to turn away. The presenter got an Ethiopian man on the phone who had been a 5 year old boy at the camp when this woman was there, and he tried to make the woman feel better. He had received the food, could stop begging on the streets with his brother, and went on to be able to go to school and eventually university. Now he's back in the same city teaching high school history. It was a nice 10 minutes of humanity to listen to while I nursed my chubby-cheeked baby who has everything she needs. These events happened around the time I was finishing high school. I add BBC World Service radio to my list of Things I Love.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

kewpie doll

if you don't know what a kewpie doll looks like, go here... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kewpie_doll_(toy))

hold in the light

An acquaintance had a stillbirth this weekend. Someone else I know of was in process of adopting a baby who died at age 7 months (Emmaleora's age). Please "hold in the light" these and all the mothers and couples who have lost babies.

Monday, June 12, 2006

photo posting problem

I canceled a photo upload because the file was too big and taking too long, now spiteful Blogger is not letting me post any photos! Hopefully this is a fluke and it will work later.

Monday morning, 4:15

Emma woke me up and then went back to sleep, but it was too close to the alarm time for me to. I have a lot on my mind to write about. One thing is to report happy news from my friend Jeni. She and her husband welcomed their baby boy on Wednesday or Thursday, just a little early, and on pretext of delivering the manual for the car seat I gave them, I got to go meet the little cutie on Saturday. He weighs 7 lbs something and is 21 inches long. I had forgotten how little and light that is. Emma seemed like a solid giant when I got home! Jeni's parents and some friends were visiting too, and the proud grandma generously offered to let me hold the baby. I couldn't focus on his face at chest level, like I used to hold E, so I lowered him to my lap. Time to make that post-40 optometrist appointment. I was nostalgic about that special time in the hospital (which is pretty much a blur now), about the sweet little squeaks a newborn makes, about the feelings of being stunned with happiness and pride, etc. I had a pang of serious envy when Jeni mentioned holding the baby after he was born, before he was cleaned or weighed or anything. But that was just the way things had to be for me (I had a c-section before the hospital put in a deliberate mom-and-baby post-op recovery room).

David came home from Fayetteville on Friday, where he was painting bricks and spray painting them with graffitti for the show "Fame". He said he had to paint so much graffitti, layer upon layer of it, for it to show up to the audience, that he started to run out of things to say. One thing was "I missed my baby crawling because I was here, dammit" and then he started painting whatever he heard people say around him, like, "Karen, you have a call on line 7."

We've been renting episodes of the tv show "24" on dvd and we're hooked. I stay up late too often because I want to watch one more 40 minute episode to see what happens, but as you know if you've ever seen the show, you're never satisfied - even if one thing is resolved, there will be 10 new suspenseful developments. I didn't get enough sleep over the weekend, because of this addiction.

Well, time to move on here and start getting things ready for a Monday. Oh, wait, you say, you haven't given me any Emma News! Or pictures! That's what I come to your blog for. Okay, here's one picture. News is that we had to break out the Baby Orajel this weekend, and that she's eating baby food twice a day (more or less). She eats with gusto now, no longer preferring to grab at the spoon. She leans so far forward with her mouth open that she's almost face down - you have to push her head back up a little in order to keep the spoon horizontal.

Thanks for reading, and have a good day!

Sunday, June 11, 2006


I've been trying for about 2 hours to get E to take a nap, but I give up. She "cheats" by sleeping while nursing, then wakes up when I move her.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Granny's new digs

Granny Annie in her new apartment at Sunrise.
Granny Annie and Emma at my parents' house.


Emma's first tooth came through on Thursday, one of the lower ones. There's a bump next to it for the second tooth. There was less drama about this than I expected, but I know there are many more teeth to come!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

gimme that camera

Another of Marie's pictures.

Emma is still practicing crawling - a few steps here and there. About half the time she goes backwards.

Last night I felt a tooth!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

good sleeper

A picture from a couple of weeks ago (age 6 1/2 months). I cut the feet of these favorite pajamas when they got too tight!

I love it when I wake up in the morning and don't remember a thing since I got in bed the night before - a sleep with no interruptions.

Monday, June 05, 2006

it's a whole new world

You were so tired tonight, sweetie, that you don't yet know the power of the secret you discovered just before bedtime.... All you were focusing on was getting closer to my hands, and getting your hands and mouth on my bracelet, but your body was discovering coordinated power fueled by intent. You learned how to crawl.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

what to do today

Remember what I said about "plans"? I'm still learning. An awful migraine hit me Friday night, with so much nausea that I couldn't keep down the prescription painkiller I have for occasional migraines. It reminded me of my own special brand of hangovers that I used to get, back in the old days. There's something about my stomach, that throwing up once or twice isn't good enough. It insists on repeating the process every 20-60 minutes for about 12 hours, just to make sure! Luckily most of this happened while Emma was sound asleep overnight (I've never been SO grateful for a good sleeper!). She tested me when she woke up, with three poopy diapers, and I scored about 66% on that test.... The whole day Saturday I felt wiped out, as sleepy as I used to be back in November and December when I was sleeping about 1 out of every 3 hours. David has gone to Fayetteville to work for a week, so I was on my own, but we coped. Did a lot of lying on the floor. Fell asleep every time I nursed her, with my head falling forward. One time I woke up to her gleefully pulling my hair. I had intended to do a bunch of sorely-needed housework yesterday, but oh well.

Today I feel great! A new lease on life. Emma is just waking up from a 40 minute nap, during which I've typed here, scanned in some pictures, put some things away, worked on the laundry. Still so much more to do, so I'm going to leave you now. Here are some more trying to crawl pictures from the week before Memorial Day.

Friday, June 02, 2006

first trip to the park

Today was fun and she didn't get sunburned. We went to Triad Park and met up with some of my CCL friends and their kids. Marie took these pictures with her digital camera. I'll have about 20 similar ones when I get the film developed!