Am I Blue?

Thanks to Oz. I’d say I need to work on the “sense irritation” part:

you are deepskyblue

Your dominant hues are cyan and blue. You like people and enjoy making friends. You’re conservative and like to make sure things make sense before you step into them, especially in relationships. You are curious but respected for your opinions by people who you sometimes wouldn’t even suspect.

Your saturation level is very high – you are all about getting things done. The world may think you work too hard but you have a lot to show for it, and it keeps you going. You shouldn’t be afraid to lead people, because if you’re doing it, it’ll be done right.

Your outlook on life is very bright. You are sunny and optimistic about life and others find it very encouraging, but remember to tone it down if you sense irritation.

the html color quiz

Thoughts on Five Months

In my last update, at three months, I talked about how time doesn’t fly. That is still the case. We’ve enjoyed our time with Ainsley immensely.

I’ve been told that this is a “fun age,” and that is true! Ainsley has been a complete joy in the last eight weeks. She smiles and giggles a lot (watch the video of her with Daddy for a sample). When she’s presented with a new toy, I can see her furrow her brow and try to figure out how to make it make noise.

Smiles for Mommy!Bath time is no longer just to wash. She smiles each time the cup of water comes close, and studies the stream of water as it splashes her hands or chest. She holds her cup (my old Campbell’s cup)and bangs it against the tub. She has floating little piggies that she likes to splash with her feet.

Bedtime has shifted to an earlier time and she continues to sleep all night. She now goes to bed between 7:30 and 8:00PM, all happiness and smiles. She kicks her feet happily, finds her thumb, and goes to sleep without a peep. She sometimes will awaken and fuss in the night but never for more than 30 seconds, then falls back to peaceful sleep.

dsc_0045.JPGI still awaken her at 5:00AM to feed her and it doesn’t always feel terribly early. Her routine had been to fuss dreadfully until I started feeding her, then drowsily eat for about 20 minutes. I would be barely awake myself, head dropped forward with my eyes shut while I held her close. She was asleep by the end and still asleep when I put her back in her bed. One morning, and I’m guessing this was two months ago, I was leaned forward with my eyes closed, and I felt a gentle touch. Her tiny hand was reaching up and touching my chin. Her eyes still closed, she touched my cheek, chin, mouth, and nose, all with the softest little fingers I’ve ever felt. It was a symbolic reaching out: it was like she said, Mommy, I’m here, for the first time. She wasn’t just staring at us anymore and her personality is growing.

Since that morning, I look forward to 5:00AM more. She still touches my face nearly every morning. She pats my hand gently while I change her diaper. When I put her back in her crib, more often than not, she’s awake and holds my cheeks while I kiss her and say goodbye.

Tasty ToesAinsley rattles anything that will make noise and she’s moving around a lot too. We’re having a hard time teaching her to sit without support because she’d rather stand! She tries to walk, too, but it ends up looking like a little hula dance and she only moves one foot forward. She’s been looking at her feet for weeks and I saw her stick her toes in her mouth- by herself- for the first time the other night. Carlton has his camera so we even captured a first on film. Since then, those feet are in her mouth a lot! She wakes up from naps with a bare foot and a sock in her hand. She turns pages in her books while we read and often is looking at me, not the book, and listening to my voice.

She hasn’t had a weight check in nearly six weeks. I still obsess about her weight too much. She started life losing too much weight and it’s been a battle for me ever since then. However, she’s outgrowing her clothes and she’s obviously doing some very good brain development. She eats on a very predictable (but flexible) 4-hour schedule and doesn’t spit up nearly as much. Her digestive system is maturing nicely, I suppose.

An aside to any new mothers or mothers-to-be: please, please try to nurse your baby. I neither enjoyed it nor found it easy for several months. Some days were a battle with my body; sometimes I didn’t produce enough; sometimes I produced too much. It was very difficult for me but has ended up being very rewarding. It only takes one good article about the positive benefits of milk to help keep you on the track to success. And if you simply can’t keep going, know that every day you nursed your baby was a huge benefit to his/her immune system.

Mommy, why all the hats?I’m excited to watch her grow and to help her along in her journey. We’ve learned her rythms and we know what each cry means. Carlton and I work together on parenting and on giving each other alone time and, most importantly, on spending time together as a couple. Our relationship is much stronger than ever. We were always a great match but the difficulties and joys of parenthood have amplified our strengths. We trade putting her to bed because we both enjoy it. And, when she’s asleep, we are usually spending time together and we have wonderful conversations about nothing and everything.

We still have our troubles. I’m patient with Ainsley, but my fuse for Carlton is much shorter than it used to be. I’m sleeping better, but not perfectly. I still have an ear open for any sounds from her room. I think maybe I should sleep somewhere else one night a week and let Carlton listen. The week moves by so quickly that sometimes I forget to relax and enjoy anything.

Thanksgiving Day 2007I had thought I would mention how I don’t do much that’s interesting any more. However, as I’m reading this post, I’m realizing that I am actually quite busy. I spend lots and lots of time with my dear daughter. I love it!

I’m becoming different. I’ve joined the cult of parenthood. I love seeing babies on television. I am both more mellow and more intense. And I’m in love with my guy and my girl. To quote Frema, I don’t know how I ever lived without these two people.

24 to Go

aeb-knh_before_walk_01-05-08.jpgWell, my weight seems a little stuck. Even though feeding Ainsley burns about 500 calories per day, I’ve plateaued at 24 pounds above my goal weight. I gained two pounds, if you’re keeping track. My diet is (mostly) healthful. What else can I do? I know, sawgrass diet pills and laser cellulite reduction!

No, actually, I’ll choose the exercise route. The recent cold snap was unforgiving. I have precious little free time and I do not choose to jog in the ugly cold, unable to take Ainsley due to the temperature. I just stayed home and read books to her.

However, this week has been almost balmy. I couldn’t take the stroller- too rainy. I also thought that holding a 12-pound weight could make the exercise more efficient. So I bundled my little girl into a front pack, zipped my husband’s coat over both of us, grabbed an umbrella and hit the bricks.

She didn’t seem to care one way or the other. She sucked on her toys and was pretty content. She wasn’t looking around much but the umbrella blocked most of her view. Unfortunately, she started to develop some congestion so I had to quickly turn home. She has a deviated tear duct and it’s really important that she not develop congestion or (worse) a cold- it can cause an eye infection for her.

So I had about 10 minutes of exercise. Better than zero, right?

What a Shock

Dear quiz writers, welcome to having a kid.

You Are 70% Burned Out

You are very burned out.
You need a huge break from your responsibilities, starting as soon as possible.
And you need this time to reevaluate what you really want out of your life.
Because you’re working hard and going no where… and that would burn anyone out!

Cabin 2007

cabin_12-23-07.jpgAs usual, the cabin did not disappoint. There were guests in and out, and I sadly missed the guitar concert that started the morning. Listening to my brother play guitar is one of life’s great times for me. I felt especially excited to be there because I’d thought there was no way I could do it because I had a kid. Yet again, Carlton proves he’s dad of the year!

We ate delicious food and treats, many prepared by the host’s mom (my cooking inspiration since high school). There were also decadent fried biscuits and apple butter. These are Nashville mainstays that are required for the cabin-ness to be complete. We watched a bit of the Colts game and talked while the adults were there (I call them the adults but realize that I am technically an adult- but I cannot call them by their first names, so you know what I mean, right). After the adults left, we exchanged some gifts and got down to the business of gaming. Our host had, of course, a new game for all to try. I’m in!

Citadels was an absorbing, fun game. It was very easy to learn the mechanics and we started playing quickly. The only hitch was that the host had to write the character classes on a napkin so we could remember order of play; the game, being card-based, could have had this printed on a master card. It did contain some game mechanics on cards for each player.

With each round, the play changed. First people vied for their favorite characters (not shockingly, there was a spat between LBFH and Ken over who would be King each round. Ah, the Alpha male!). I stupidly played obvious characters, making it easy for other characters to guess who I was and assassinate/rob me. At one point, maybe feeling sorry for me because I kept losing, Thurbrand passed me the card of the character I wanted to play that round. It was very nice, but I definitely realized my game style was obviioouuuus! It became a very good intellectual game, with some things left to chance but others required strategy, bluffing, and knowing your fellow players’ styles.

I noticed with amusement that I, and some of the others, were resisting using Magic-style moves with our cards, such as tapping, even though no such mechanic was needed. It must be in our blood…

It took about 1-2 hours for play, and was taking longer and longer as each round, the players were more savvy and were going through more permutations of next moves and other meta plays. It can be a quick parlor game or a serious battle to the death, depending on the players’ skill, experience, and BAC.

I loved the game so much that I’m buying it. I want to have a little gaming session at my house, just to see old friends and also to play games again. I do miss gaming. The nice thing for me about games like Citadels is the defined end, as opposed to role playing. For me, I tend to fade quickly due to my demanding parenting schedule (Five AM is ugly early). I can play middle-earth-type games, visit with friends, and opt out for an early bedtime without risking my character’s life (I’m looking at you, Athran the Button Pusher).

We had a between-games break before starting a round of Carcasonne, during which LBFH pulled out the guitar and several of us sang along. We caught sight of a gorgeous moonbow that Ken noticed while out on the deck. Sadly, though I was supposed to have one of my brother’s deliciously prepared cabin breakfasts, I had to depart early. Ah, parenthood!

I Am Legend directed by Francis Lawrence

IMDb link

I am becoming spoiled by the IMAX experience. The audio is so incredible and the enormous picture doesn’t hurt. Unfortunately, the fabric sections in my local theater have one flaw on the side of the screen that is noticeable during dark scenes. It’s as distracting as cigarette burns in non-digital films (thanks, LBFH, for making me notice those in every single movie).

I could compare this to a futuristic Cast Away, but it is much broader. Will Smith proves again that he can carry a movie as well as, if not better than, Tom Hanks. Who would have thought the hilarious, skinny kid from Parents Just Don’t Understand would be such a fun actor? Smith’s character, Robert Neville, is a doctor and a military man. He uses his scientific skill and military firepower to navigate a dead New York City. He’s already skilled at living in this world when we meet him, so thankfully we don’t have to be bored while we watch him try to light a fire.

The pharmaceutical industry provides a frighteningly villified virus (I promise we aren’t all bad!!). It kills billions of people and gives a rabies-like reaction in the tiny percent of surviving population; Neville is alone in his immunity. The action provides heart-pounding entertainment with enough thoughtful pauses that I could actually catch my breath. Aside: as a new parent, a few scenes involving the virus’ effect on children were especially heartbreaking.

Despite a few implausible scenes and CGI obviousness, I was mesmerized. This is a thoughtfully done action-adventure film that I’d gladly see again.

[rate 4]