Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Careful, she's heavy

Ada and I trek over to the public library on Tuesdays for story time. Over the last several months we've made a few friends. Today one of those friends turned 1, so we joined them over at the park for a birthday celebration.

It was pouring rain and we were in a ramada that the family had reserved. Ada, of course, kept running away while I tried to eat my cake. Fortunately, there were many baby fans there and they helped corral her so I could eat a bit.

I kept hearing people warn each other, "She's heavy, careful."

When I pick up our little friends at the library, it's like lifting stuffed animals. Ada's like lifting a sack of bowling balls that is trying to get away. My arms should look better...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Saturday Morning with Jeffrey

In preparation for our flight to NC, I bought Ada a set of infant headphones. Not, noise muffling ones like a responsible parent, but baby-sized headphones so she and I can listen to music together on the plane and maybe watch a little Sesame Street if things get a bit rocky in the "sitting in the lap" department.

I wasn't sure if she'd like them.

This morning she and Jeffrey listened to The Basketball Jones podcast together.

They seem to push her cheek pudge forward and make her look weird. Cute, but weird.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Note to My Friends or How My Brain Isn't Working

Yesterday Ada and I went over to a friend's house for a play date and I was chatting with the adult part of the duo about how her plans had fallen through. She and her husband had made reservations to spend a night away from their little one at a local resort, grandparents were coming to stay and she was super excited about it.

The plans fell through because, like it often does, the childcare element unraveled. I made some jokes about putting surgeries on hold and my normal snark, but what didn't happen is what I'm sad about: I didn't offer to help when I could have.

It took me more than 8 hours to come up with, "I could totally stay the night with your kid so you can get away on this looked-forward-to evening! I'm available and able bodied! Jeffrey and Ada don't care!"

In the pre-Ada days, I would have been listening to the story of scheduling issues of my friend and would have been thinking the whole time, "How can I help this situation?" I would also have been making up jokes about surgery scheduling -- apparently that part of my brain is still working.

Now, with Ada, I am listening and talking, but what is really going on is I'm paying attention to her and her surroundings to make sure both stay in one piece.

When were are in our own house, this isn't an issue. I know every rustle of paper, every creak of every cabinet, and thunks of objects by heart and can determine safety levels without thinking about it. It allows me to work without disabling distraction and the only reason I have difficulty talking on the phone sometimes is because my voice wakes Ada up and she needs her beauty rest or she's a bit more beastly.

But out and about? Everything is a potential problem: from cigarette butts on the park ground to the nice man's wireless mouse he's using on his laptop at Starbucks.

My line is that Ada is sort of like a feral wolf child. People always snicker at that, but it's true. I have very limited control over her as she is highly mobile and physically adept but doesn't have the emotional and mental capacity to handle a lot of direction, discipline, or problem solving. (She also doesn't have language and would eat raw meat if you let her.) This all basically equates to her running towards, say, a carefully curated shelf of breakable ob jets d' art while I verbally try to deter her, give up, and run after her, only intercepting at the last possible moment saying, "Ada, STOP! No! Look at my pretty bracelet!" and her figuring out that I'm stopping her, the screaming starts, and then "Oh hey! That IS a pretty bracelet!"

Which is why, if you see me out on the town, and you tell me something about your life, you might get a random text the next day offering to help solve your problem you were telling me about (and I'll understand that it wasn't why you were telling me the story, but I'm a problem solver by nature and will try anyhow.)

I'll also be wearing some pretty bracelets.

Because I'm ready, willing, and able -- it's just going to take a few hours since I was using most of my mental energy keeping a wary eyeball out to keep life, limb, and breakable objects safe from Ada.

As she gets older, more mature, and has more understanding of the world around her and the expectations those situations carry with them, it will get easier for me to use the rest of my thoughts for others -- like I owe this mom at storytime an apology because I realized later on in the day that my comments about seeing her out the other night with her kid sounded critical because ... I forgot to add the part of the sentence where I say, "I would have done the same thing with Ada."*

In the interim, I'm going to keep taking Ada and I into these situations so she can learn and so that we can have fun (we're having fun dammit!), and someday, the light will click back on and I can stop being a complete asshole and I'll think, "How can I be a friend? How can I help?"

*Not really, but I should have said it. It was totally silly for her to have that kid out that late.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


This morning, I took the dogs down and they were sniffing this. Ew.

Tarantula, PhD and his assistant, Dave.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ada isn't in this post...

My new table is the subject of this post. Because this is my blog, not Ada's. Back off, kid!

Some of you may know this, but I've hated our table since I first started hanging out with Jeffrey. And yet, we've had it forever. My mom is the most excited about the new table because she doesn't have to hear about how much I hate the old table. Now if I could just source some new bedside tables, she and I will never have to talk furniture again! Right...

The old table was just too small, never a color I liked, even when I painted it and just didn't seem to improve. I do have respect for it -- it has been moved many times, had many a project created on it, I have glued flowers to it, unglued the flowers, and used it as a ladder ... it has never failed me. And yet, like one of those people you befriend and they are nice but you still always think, I don't have any friends... I didn't like this table.

I also didn't like spending money on furniture/not having any money to spend on furniture. The tables I DID like were kind of pricey. Big farm tables seem to run in the $1k+ pack.

Until I was on craigslist the other day and BAM! A table! One I thought I liked! $75! And he brought it over to our house in his pickup truck.

Can you do better? I think not.


Old table hanging around in the background like a needy neighbor. Check out my bun! There's a sock in there.


So big, it doesn't fit in the frame! Seven feet long! Jeffrey can actually get BOTH of his elbows on the table now. We can also keep food and knives away from little grabby hands. Because even when Ada isn't in the blog, she's never far from a sharp object.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A year ago ...

This morning I realized that at this time last year, I was having a tough month. Ada was not even a month old and we were packing up the house and preparing to move to Prescott, the landlady was parading prospective tenants in and out every day. Jeffrey was winding down his clerkship and getting ready to start his career at a firm. I was a mom and getting back to my job as well and overall I remember feeling pretty damn stressed out. Thank goodness for those new mommy good feelings, because I would have probably been a wreck otherwise. Way to go, Ada!

Can I just say, I am soooooo looking forward to not moving to a new city, no one changing jobs, and for the first time in a long time having some stability? Actually knowing how much time, money, and what kind of weather to expect is kind of amazing. Sure, there will be ups and downs, but the spikes on the graph are going to be much less dramatic.

I still think of the year in terms of the school calendar and this coming year is going to be great! We baked up a terrific little friend in Ada -- healthy, busy, interesting, and fun. Jeffrey is happy at his firm and despite how he feels sometimes, he's doing a great job. He's playing basketball and golf. The Chipotle finally opened! Happiness.

Now we can just settle in. I'm still a bit worn out. I need a year of rest!

I'm trying to navigate my own life here in Prescott. I like it here. A lot of the things I really valued having before aren't really available in Prescott the way they were available in Tucson and Phoenix: riding, shopping, walk-in nail salons and friends that also enjoy those things ... but I'm working on it. One year at a time!

Ada on 7-13-2011
Ada on 7-12-2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Giving the baby a bath

I don't know why she needed her dog ears to give her baby a bath ... but she did. She put them on and got to work. I just want to munch this kid!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Granite Creek Winery Outing

Our friends, Missy and Jeremiah, invited us on an outing to the Granite Creek Winery in Chino Valley. Rounding out the group was Sophie's family.

The winery property is set up for casual days on the grounds. They had a guitar duo playing on a stage surrounded by tables for relaxing in the shade and sipping wine. The back of the property near the vines had a grassy area that was perfect for letting kids run around and watching the peacock displays.

Ada, who was cautious but not fearful of the peacocks, found them pretty interesting. Sophie, older and smarter, liked them but would keep her distance a bit. Penelope didn't have much of a reaction ... she was too busy making another tooth. That kid is a champion tooth maker!

This was the main male peacock. He was putting on quite a show for the dusky ladies lingering in the evergreens behind us.

A beautiful day to hang out at a winery.

I took a picture of this guy because he made me laugh. Needs a few more plumes to really get to peacockin'.

Ada, always the independent guest, enjoyed the grass and open spaces.

Notice how she's not paying any attention to the giant peacock in front of her.

Investigating. Later on in the day, she'd just run right up to him, get about two feet away from his beakage, and yell.

Kate, a wary Sophie, and the peacock.

Kate, a wary but camera-facing Sophie, and The Peacock.

The Peacock in full display.

This lady and her friends had been at the winery for a few hours, judging by the empties on the table. She enjoyed stealing our children to shield her from the p'cock (I'm tired of typing that word).

Headed to check the vines.

Jeffrey and Ada with Damon and Sophie.

Running together

Sophie found a cat to visit with. I think they said its name was Simon. Notice that Simon is gigantic.

But also a sweetie. Sophie is a big fan of cats since she has her own "Ba" at home.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ada's Birthday Celebration

Ada turned 1 this past Friday two weeks ago (it's been busy here!) and grandparents Gautreaux were in attendance.
I'm afraid all of you looking for smashed cake pictures will be disappointed. Ada is a pretty tidy eater and also she didn't like the cupcake that much. She is a bit messy with pudding...

Side Bar: The cupcake story
I had bought a box mix to make Ada her birthday cupcakes. The evening before her birthday, I set about making them. I had left the butter out overnight so it would be properly soft, I had cute cupcake papers, and I was ready! I followed the directions perfectly. And yet, when we pulled the cupcakes out of the oven, they hadn't properly poofed. They were flat. I'd had a similar problem with a butter-based box mix before, but I had assumed it was because of operator error. Now I know, still likely operator error, but time to just give up.

So then it was decided to attempt making cupcakes from scratch, since it was now 5:30 p.m. and the good bakery in town was closed for the night. I had the stuff! flour, butter, eggs, vanilla, sugar ... except that upon peeking into the sugar box, it became quickly evident that the ants had taken it over. Ant-y sugar is not going to cut it for First Birthday Cupcakes. Jeffrey's mom, Shirley, headed out to the convenience store around the block. They had flour, but no sugar. Fortunately, Big Lots across the way had some so she didn't have to hike up to the Walmart.

In the end, the cupcakes turned out fine. Ada didn't really like them and honestly, they weren't the best, but they foofed up appropriately and didn't contain ants. That's all we ask for it this house.

Here's a picture of the failcakes and the ant-y sugar in the trash.

Back the main story ...

We started out the day by going to the doctor. We were allowed a special birthday dispensation to put off her shots until the next week. Ada walked herself down the corridors, past the nurses station, and into the exam room. The nurses were quite impressed.

She weighed a million pounds, is tall, and her head is normal shaped ... maybe a little on the larger size. The real stats are over here.

Our friends, the Dieners, invited us to a picnic on the square that night and so we commandeered it for Ada's birthday. We also invited Missy and Penelope. Then some random children invited themselves over. It was pretty fun! Ada wasn't super excited about the birthday aspect, but we knew that was going to be the case. She loved the attention and the music on the square, so it was a great first birthday overall!
Lily having had enough of the festivities already.

On the square

Dancing to the band

What is this thing on my cupcake?

The band ... they weren't that good.

Ada and some kid

Whaddya want? It's my birthday!