We started the evening at De Tapas Restaurant in North Dallas. I had not been there before so I was excited to try a new place and eat yummy tapas. We ordered several dishes sharing it around the table and, like sushi, when the plate was emptied we shouted for more until everyone was pretty much done. Cheeses, olives, potato cakes, asparagus, beef skewers, fried squid- lots of good food! We moved on to Pete's Dueling Piano Bar in Addison. I still can't help but compare it to Kyle's Piano Bar in Lubbock. Anyway, we had lots of fun there despite not having a table.

I thought for a long time whether to stay at Citabra's overnight. There were so many pros and cons either way but I ultimately decided to go home. My one main reason was that I really wanted to sleep in my own bed next to Rusty and wake up to him and Josh. And not have to drive for 30 minutes to do that. I'm glad I did make it home. Rusty got up for Josh every time he cried last night (which was apparently 6 times). I was able to stay in bed sleeping until around 9:30 when my internal clock went off.

Today is sunny and dry (well, dry in the air at least) so I suspect I'll be out doing something in the nicer weather as soon as Josh is awake from his morning nap.

JC came to visit Thursday night. She spent the night with us sleeping in the computer room. I'm always a little worried Josh will wake people sleeping in the room next to his but I guess she slept fine through it all.

Friday was action packed. We started the day taking JC to her hotel where she joined friends for the South Plains Leather Fest. Josh napped in the car on the way there and half way to the moms group. We had a yoga instructor visit the group. She was ok, but I prefer my own yoga lady. She's more holistic and seems a bit more confident. Although this lady did have a few moves that were new to me. After moms group, we headed home where Josh enjoyed a nice 2.5 hour long nap. He needed it after all the playing at the moms group! I was able to catch some Zzz's too. :) That evening the three of us went to Melissa & Adam's for dinner. They made a delicious meal for us: salmon with cheese tortellini, steamed asparagus and a caramel German chocolate toffee topped cake. Whew! It was all very yummy! I gave a few pieces of salmon to Josh to go with his squash, Brussels sprouts and apples. He seemed to enjoy the fish. We all played with the babies on the floor afterwards until Josh started rubbing his eyes and clearly ready for bed. We dressed him in pajamas, packed everything and headed home. He woke up twice last night. Once around 1am and again around 6:30am.

I was up early this morning at around 7:15am. Joshua was trying to pull himself to standing in his crib from laying on his tummy. That didn't work at all and frustrated him. I decided since he was up early (it felt earlier because the house was dark from rain and I was still reeling from a dream I wanted to finish) we would go to the grocery store. Somehow we managed to eat everything in the last week. There was a bottle of lime juice, half a garlic clove and a bag of baby carrots in our crisper. That's it! And various other foods around the kitchen all needing something we didn't have in order to make it a meal item. Josh made friends with a 9 year-old girl at the store. Every time we passed near her and her dad, Josh would smile at her and bounce in his seat. She thought it was pretty neat to have a baby interested in her and waved at him.

Tonight I am off-duty a a mom starting at 5pm. I am going to Samantha Profitt's first bachelorette party (she may have another closer to her wedding date). Dinner and bar hopping sounds like way more fun than diaper changes and entertaining a 9 month-old. I'll have to stop at the coffee shop for a cappuccino on the way if I want to make it much past midnight. If I have the opportunity to crash at someone else's place, I might do that. The idea of getting more than six hours of uninterrupted sleep is extremely tempting. Since breastfeeding has become a comfort tactic for pre-dawn crying, there's nothing Rusty can't do without me. I'll let you know how that scheme goes- and if it happens!

Oh the screaming! Joshua is learning to fake his crying in order to get our attention. No, we're not neglecting him. If he doesn't get his way (being held or someone to let him stand for example) he breaks into a screaming match- which eventually stresses me out. My fuse was short by the afternoon. Weighing in a nearly 22 lbs. holding him all day wears out my back. And my arm.

Now that he's asleep, I can relax with my Chunky Monkey ice-cream. Ah... that's the stuff!

We've pretty much decided driving to Boulder, CO for a short vacation is equally stressful and costly as flying. We weighed a lot of factors: cost of travel to get there, cost of travel once there, time, convenience, limitations to the stuff we'll need to take, etc. While flying is relatively inexpensive (currently under $300) the cost of a car rental and chore of schlepping around a car seat for Josh makes flying seem real unattractive. The idea right now is to drive straight to Boulder during the night. We expect the trip to take about 12 hours or so. So if we left at 8pm, we'd be getting there in time for the sunrise. Going straight over night gives us more time in Boulder but of course will take a day for the driver to catch up on sleep. I originally thought to stop in Lubbock on the way there or back and stay the night at my mom's house then continue the next evening. Essentially breaking the travel up for easier recovery afterwards. The drawback to that is the amount of time that leaves for us to spend out of town. I'm sure we'll have a solid plan by late March.

Rusty has tomorrow off of work- yay! I plan to drag him to the Moms Group to meet some of the other moms and see Joshua's baby playmates. Several moms have wondered where Josh gets his blue eyes. Now they'll see where the exuberant smile and blue eyes come from!

The weather is turning cold again. We're having a 40° drop in temperature. Today was 81° with warm wind blasting from the south. I went on a walk in the park yesterday with a few moms and again today on my own. Today I took the long route (2.5 mi.) while Josh slept in the stroller. It took him forever to fall asleep but luckily I had a wind-up music box and cloth for him to lay his head on. (If he leans his head to the side of the stroller his head gets sore because there's no padding on the sides.) Once he was asleep and not screaming at me to carry him, I got a good work out. I knew the weather was going to change so I made sure to maximize my opportunity to wear sandals, get sun and connect with what little nature there is around us.

Joshua is beginning to cruise along the sofas, coffee table, ottoman, his play wall and whatever else will support him. He's commando crawling across the room, especially if he sees something he's gotta have like the remote control or a magazine. He'll still get on his hands and knees and rock, but still doesn't know what to do next. He's getting about pulling up to standing. We lack things for him to grab on to for practicing on pulling up to standing so he uses me (my arms, legs, lap, shirt...) or waits for me to hold his hands. More and more I'm holding his hands up even with his shoulder height and letting him do all the work, instead of pulling him all the way up. I also walk him across the house for exercise.

This week was exciting for one of my best friends too: Matt Musselman is engaged! I am so excited for him and his fiance. I'm also excited that we have an excuse to go to Vancouver again next year. :) This year is chuck full of weddings and engagements. One couple is pregnant and shot gunning a wedding, one couple is marrying in May, another in November, Matt's in May of 2007. That's four weddings in a little over a year! Suddenly I don't feel like the odd couple that's hitched. Hopefully no one dies any time soon.

Last note. After agonizing over the ethics and sure folly of such an act, we decided to sucker ourselves into a promotion for a free plasma TV, which turns out to be for a Samsung 42" plasma. Rusty found the ad for the promotion online. We both read the terms & conditions and tossed the idea around for a couple weeks. This week I took the plunge and entered us into the promotion. To qualify, you have to sign up for a number of their sponsors, test their products/services, and remain a member/customer for 16 weeks. I'm not sure yet if it's really worth it. Rusty seems to think it is. He's been wanting a nifty big plasma screen for a while. We figured getting some spam, spending a few hundred bucks on crap and signing up for a temporary credit card or two would be better than paying a couple thousand dollars on a new TV. Since I started the whole mess, I've felt so dirty. The feeling of knowing someone went through your dresser. Or watched you in the bathroom. I've been so conditioned not to click on banner ads, not to sign up for new credit cards, not to click on promotions on the web that after having done it over and over as part of the promotion, I just felt used. That night, after I finished their "survey" I kept tossing in my sleep replaying the hours spent filling out forms for samples of stuff, memberships for weight-loss, credit card applications. I have a bad feeling we're either going to be ripped off or we won't actually receive the TV.

Ah peace! Josh is asleep, Rusty is asleep, I'm not. :)

Today Josh learned 'bah'. It wasn't a clear ba-ba-ba. It was more like a jumble of mmmm and wwah to be something like mbah-mbah-wbah-wmmm-mmmm-mmmm-(he still hums)-mbah-bah-bah-mbah... Finally we have consonants! He's learned 'k' and 'b' and 'm' and 'w' and 'y'. I'm trying to teach him that our cats are kee-kaas. Why bother with details at this point? When he masters that I'll pronounce it better. So far he occasionally makes 'k' sounds when he sees our cats. Sometimes the 'k' sounds a bit like static, but close enough.

Josh is getting better at mobility. He's doing a combination of commando crawl and rolling to get somewhere. He'll get on hands and knees and rock but the doesn't know what to do next. I'm sure he'll figure it out in no time. Meanwhile I'll be baby proofing the living room a bit more. We're mostly done. Electrical wires are fastened to the wall, plants have moved, cat food has moved, electrical outlets are plugged. Once he learns crawling I'll install the cabinet locks.

Rusty annoyed me this evening. I carried my annoyance on my shoulders for nearly half an hour, then he asked what was bothering me. I said guess. And he guessed wrong four times. I had a bit of trivial information about Samuel L. Jackson that I shared: "Did you know [he] is worth $6 billion?" I thought I had the number wrong and corrected myself after looking on the-numbers.com, although the media is calling him the "six billion dollar man". Rusty didn't believe he was worth that much. I told him to look it up for himself. A silly trivial fact became a heated discussion about whether it was net worth or gross. Worth that much or paid that much. Estimated or real. What I wanted to hear from him was "oh, that's interesting" or "hmmm, I didn't know that" or "really, that much?" I wanted the satisfaction of sharing new information. Instead he wanted to challenge what I said. I explained why this was frustrating me. He wanted more information than just a quick trivial fact. He wanted to know what the number meant- net, gross, worth, etc. Suppose I was off by a billion. Rather than challenging me on this irrelevant fact without having any basis for his doubt, he'd be better off just saying- "wow, that's a lot". Because we're both only-childs we totally suck at arguments.

Joshua pulled up to standing in his crib this evening! It was quite amazing to see it happen for the first time. Actually, I was second to see it- Rusty was first. He was entertaining Josh in his crib while I was getting his bath water ready. From across the rooms I hear "Aah! Sarah come here! He's doing it!" I assumed he meant that Josh was pooping since he didn't do that today and it seems to catch us off guard sometimes. I thought we'd have a mess, especially if Rusty had taken off the diaper in preparation for the bath... but no. Rusty sat Josh back down and he demonstrated his new trick. From sitting, he grabbed the crib rail, drooled on it and licked it while pulling, positioned his legs and up he went! This means we'll be lowering the crib again to the lowest position. The last thing I need is a baby falling out of bed. Luckily he doesn't know how to go from laying down to sitting, but I doubt this stop his efforts to stand if he put his little mind to it.

In other baby news, I've seen Josh rocking on his hands and knees more and more on the floor. Near the door. With a roar. This I swore. (sorry, couldn't resist the rhyming) Anyway- yes, he's really trying to get around. When going for something he doesn't quite pull himself along commando style but he does stretch and push with his legs. It's not as effective as crawling would be, but it's effort. He definitely sees a need for mobility and will probably figure it out soon enough.

Joshua stirs in his sleep at somewhat regular times: 11pm, 1am, 3am, 5am and awake around 7:30am. Most nights he'll sleep through one of the above times without waking, but the time varies. Two nights ago he stirred at 11:15pm then nothing until 3:30am. Yesterday night he woke several times around midnight but not once at 5am. All these times vary by about 30 minutes plus or minus, but for the most part he's predictable. For now. Last night he was wailing at 3:30am. I inserted the pacifier, rocked him for a minute, tried to soothe him a little- none of this worked. He wasn't crying like he was hungry, he was just wailing. That dull cry that pauses for a moment then resumes. Sometimes I imagine I have a button under my pillow that then pressed by me laying on it initiates a signal to him to start crying. I gave up trying last night at 3:30am and just shut his door, shut our door, turned down the monitor and just let him wail. After about 20-30 minutes he finally fell back to sleep. As did I. I didn't hear a peep again until 7:30am when he was awake with the sun.

Joshua has started to rock on his hands and knees on the floor! He's also amazed us by pulling up to standing using Rusty's arm and legs. It's only a matter of time before he figures out how to move forward on his hands and knees.

Went to the Flying Saucer last night. Matty turned 30. Tommy's 30 in March. Then it's me in September. Most of Matt's well wishes were from those who are on the other side of 30 swearing it's better. To me, 30 is not the end of the world but I'm not sure if I'm ready to let go of the frivolous crazy 20's.

Two teeth are coming in through Joshua's top gums. Funny thing is, they aren't the ones we expected to see next. Our pediatrician said typically the bottom front come in, then the top front, then the two on the side of the top ones then two on the side of the bottom ones. Essentially starting from the center and working outward. It kind of kept in on us too. The last two teeth came with fits of pain, crying, night wakings, all kinds of drama. These don't seem to bother him nearly as much.

This week's food adventure is zucchini. It's a bit runny if steamed and not strained. I find myself scooping 1/2 teaspoons of excess water out before feeding him. I added beef to it too, which he doesn't seem to mind. Next time I'll puree it a little longer and strain it before storing.

I hosted a play date at my house this week. Seven moms and their babies showed up. I made a vegetable pasta lunch with salad before they came over. Putting that together was a bit stressful because I almost ran out of time. I had a shower, vegetable chopping and sautéing, a waking baby and general cleanup of the kitchen all within an hour and a half. But I finished in the nick of time and everything went very well. About 2 hours into it Joshua got cranky, as if he was sleepy. He was fussy and rubbing his eyes. Other moms were packing to leave around this time so it worked out- except Josh did nap until 2 hours later! I think he was either feeling over stimulated or tired but not sleepy. Instead of pushing a nap on him after everyone left, I strolled him around the neighborhood. That seemed to calm him a bit and energized him for another hour of play.

We went to a small Super Bowl gathering at Tommy's house yesterday. We took Josh after I got Tommy's approval- ya know, in case it would have killed the groove or something. Good thing we did. Only a hand full of people showed up and Joshua had the love sac all to himself! He loved the sac! He got so much attention and rolled around in/on the sac so much, he fell asleep on the way home during half-time. That posed a bit of a challenge to me. I wasn't sure what to do with a baby asleep at 7:30pm. He didn't have his dinner solids or last bottle yet. He wasn't in pajamas. He didn't have a fresh diaper. And when I took him out of the car, he stayed asleep on my shoulder so I just laid him in his crib with his jacket on and everything. He woke up 2 hours later around 9:30p. Rusty & I sprang into action changing his diaper, getting him into sleepwear and feeding him a bottle. Whew! He went to sleep and stayed asleep until early morning when he was restless and hungry- the usual. In all, it worked out. I guess he just needed the extra sleep!



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