The forecast calls for rain but we hardly got five drops today. Just as well- I was able to run around town with Josh for a couple hours. Today's project was finding a facility for Lee's wedding reception. I checked out the ArtCentre of Plano first. Although it has a lovely, modern feel with quality wood floors great for dancing, they have strict timing. They allow a maximum of five hours from set up to clean up for a reception. Last time I helped set up for a wedding reception, it took two hours with a cast of volunteers doing everything from stacking dishes on the tables to setting up centerpieces to setting out guest gifts on the tables. If it takes an hour to set up and an hour to clean up, that only leaves 3 hours for the reception. To me that seems rushed. Perhaps the staff can be bribed to let them stay longer. The other place I looked at hardly needs mention as it didn't fit several of the requirements they are looking for. BUT they did serve up some very tasty quiche.

I think I can see two more teeth coming through on Josh's bottom gum. I'll try to get a better look tomorrow when he cries- which he does frequently these days from either bumping into something or frustration from not being able to do something. Tomorrow is supposed to definitely rain (the weather man swears it this time) so I'll take the rugrat to the Gallery to play. He loves the play areas at the mall and it's free entertainment.

Rusty's been on a business trip since Tuesday morning, returning tomorrow afternoon. As usual, I get stir crazy being alone. It's not so bad in the day because it's like every other day. But in the evenings, my routine plays off of Rusty's. And I look forward to his companionship. Luckily it was a short trip and he gets back early in the day.

Serving up finger foods is working well with Josh. I cut up some mango into small bite-size chunks, which he likes. I also offer him small cubes of cheese and pieces of toast. The last few meals went so well with him self-feeding that I think I'll invest in buying green beans, broccoli, and/or carrots to cook and slice. He still likes yogurt so I'll keep that in his breakfast but let the other meals be finger foods. I haven't figured out what to do with the pureed stuff in the freezer. The fruits can be thawed and mixed with rum for a cocktail while some of the veggies can be cooked into soups, stuffed meat, or something. I'm afraid my at batch of chicken will be useless though. I mixed canteloupe with chicken (which is great when mixed in with carrots or sweet potatoes for baby food, but I doubt there's any recipe in the world that calls for canteloupe and chicken. oh well.

There was supposed to be a group of moms meet at a Starbucks as part of a Meetup.com group. Alas, nobody showed up. Two other people RSVP'd Yes and three RSVP'd Maybe. Luckily Rusty joined me in case this happened. We drank our caffeinated concoctions then headed across the street to let Josh play at a park. There was gravel on the ground instead of the squishy foam or cork. He had fun playing with the tiny rocks but it wasn't conducive for cruising or crawling around.

Last night I went with Matt Peck to crash Tommy's party. Actually we didn't crash it, but we weren't really invited either. Rusty got an invite but I think Tommy forgot me or assumed we'd both get the message. Matt didn't get the invite because of past issues that may be slowly dissipating. I'm encouraging the guys to get over their past and make up. It's none of my business if they're ever pals, I just want to play disc golf and mah-jong, and both of them know how to play these well. My motivation for world peace is solely for selfish purposes!

The obsession over the upcoming trip to Colorado has begun. I'm already planning when we'll be on the road, where we'll stay in Lubbock, what time we'll try to meet up with people while there, where Josh will sleep at Laura's (don't have that figured out yet), what foods I'll need to bring, etc. I think my obsessiveness is due in part from my neurosis and in part as the CEO of Joshua. My job is to make traveling with baby as smooth and painless and possible- which means a good deal of thought and preparation is required.

Oh who am I kidding? I am totally neurotic!

Josh is learning to go down from standing. He figured out one technique and has been practicing it all day. He'll pull up to stand, cruise for a moment then go down. I guess we're programmed to learned through repetition starting at infancy. He's also fussy today for some reason. Not sure if he's teething (doesn't appear to be), gassy, frustrated at something... who knows. He slept well last night but napped funny. He went down for a short morning nap at 9:20, which is over an hour earlier than normal then took a short nap this afternoon. Lastly about Joshie, he's been a picky eater the last few days. He usually loves carrots, squash and meat or sweet potatoes, but the last few meals he's taken 3-4 bites then refused the rest. He'll snack on cheese an toast like nobody's business and he really enjoys yogurt. I'm wondering if he's ready for self-feeding finger foods already. This weekend I'll try green beans and something else chopped into cubes.

It's gotten cold here this week. By cold I mean under 50 degrees. Today was 48 with wind. Too cold to stroll or to a park and barely warm enough to get out. If it weren't for Josh's early nap, I probably would have stayed in all day. Instead I went to lunch with Rusty. We had sandwiches from Bakers Bros. Going out to eat with a baby takes careful second thought. First criteria: high chair. Then there's all the secondary stuff like stuff for the tike to munch on, large enough bathroom for a diaper change, customers who probably don't mind a few squeals. Tomorrow is moms group. If he goes down early for a nap again and wake up early again, I'll take him to the mall to play for a little bit.

What a weekend! Went to Kansas Friday night with Joshua. It took 6 hours to get to McPherson. We started late leaving at 8:40 and got to the hotel at 2:35. Unfortunately it took me nearly 3 hours to get Josh back to sleep. He was so excited about his new surroundings that he needed Holsts' The Planets from the hotel clock-radio to finally fall asleep. My mom watched Josh in her room from 8am until about 9:30 giving me a chance to sleep a bit longer and get ready.

At 10am, the family was all gathered at the funeral home for Bonnie's viewing and funeral service. I did not want to look in the casket. Josh was great during the service. I got him to fall asleep on my shoulder for a "short" 30 minute nap. At home 30 minutes is hardly any time for a nap, but when you're holding 20+ pounds of baby, 30 minutes is long enough! We drove to Canton, KS for the burial. I was busy pacifying Josh so I wasn't able to really pay attention to the prayers. The family stopped at the town's cafe diner for lunch. It was the second time the whole family was together- all five children, their spouses and a generous helping of grand-(and greatgrand-)children.

Originally I planned to stay in town visiting with people until the evening. But my mom was leaving at check out (3pm) and everyone else was headed home somewhere in Kansas. I hit the road at 3:30pm hoping Josh would sleep for a while. He slept for nearly 3 hours! I made it almost to Oklahoma City before he woke up and needed a bottle. Mom meet me at a gas station/rest stop while Josh had his bottle and played a bit. She wanted to sleep in Oklahoma City then resume driving to Lubbock the next morning. It takes her about 8-9 hours to drive from Lubbock to McPherson. We hung out in Okla. City for a few hours (checking into a hotel, eating dinner, letting Josh play a bit) before I headed back for Dallas. I got home at 1am this morning. Josh was so tired he didn't even wake up when I transferred him to the crib. Rusty was generous enough to watch Joshua this morning while I slept in. Aaaaaaah!

So what did I learn? Hotel rooms are relatively baby-safe compared to most people's houses. Also, traveling in the day is ok for short trips under 3 hours. Over that, travel at night! Oh yeah, it rained the entire time! From Denton to McPherson, all day Saturday and all the way home, it rained. Driving in rain makes for an entirely exhausting trip.

Funny side note. I tried to feed Josh Gerber jar food while away on the trip. He hated it! I offered him a cheese/broccoli/carrot for lunch and a chicken & vegetable for dinner. I got three bites of the cheese stuff and four of the chicken. I guess I'm stuck making homemade food!

Joshua got another cold this week. I think it started Wednesday night because he woke up a lot and was cranky before bed. By early morning Thursday, I could hear his stuffy nose and knew he was not feeling well. I gave him a little infant Motrin to take the edge off his fever and aches (which bought me a couple more hours of sleep) then cared for him gently all day. We went to my eye appointment and stopped by SAMCO in the afternoon. He slept in the car on the way there and back. He seemed ok by mid-afternoon but by nighttime he was really not well. He had a slight fever, watery eyes, runny nose, a dazed look, general crankiness. He didn't sleep well last night either. Rusty & I took turns soothing him probably a dozen times. By 5:15am or so he was agitated and couldn't get back to sleep so I rocked him for a bit. Having his head propped up on my shoulder helped his nose drain so he could get back to sleep. I laid down on the couch with him resting on my chest instead of putting him back in the crib. We slept for nearly two hours like that.

In lieu of Josh's cold, which is better today, we decided to give away our tickets to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Cameo pounced on the offer. Although we probably could have left him with the in-laws and enjoyed a date, I was worried he'd be extra fussy being sick. He was fine this evening but I think being home helped him feel better too.

I don't send chain mail to people I care about. Unless they are the type of person that might like getting it. And I usually ignore the chain emails I get. You can spot those a mile away. Subject lines filled with [FW:[FW:Fw:[Fw:FW:FW:]]]... Yeah, you know those messages. I guess blogs are the new medium to pass along these chains. I read Matt's and thought, how novel, then dismissed it. Then I got tagged by Tommy. Damn you Tommy wherever you are! In the spirit of letting my friends and a few of you others in on my boring life, here's my list of Fours:

Four jobs I've had
1. restaurant waitress/hostess/cocktail pusher
2. marketing and PR
3. fashion model
4. bank formation partnership

Four movies I can watch over and over
1. Fight Club
2. Elizabeth
3. Snatch
4. O Brother Where Art Thou

Four TV shows I love(d) to watch
1. Scrubs
2. Project Runway (2nd season)
3. Myth Busters
4. Oprah

Four places I've been on vacation
1. London
2. Hawaii
3. Vancouver
4. Spain (while "working" as a model)

Four favorite dishes
1. sushi
2. grilled salmon
3. Penne Rustica from Macaroni Grill
4. steak from Ruth Chris

Four websites I visit daily (er, weekly)
1. wholesomebabyfood.com
2. ringofsaturn.com (email)
3. Google
4. nbc5i.com/weather

Four places I'd rather be
1. on vacation
2. on a beach
3. on a stage
4. on a roller coaster

Four people I'm tagging
I'm not! Ha! You got lucky! :-)

Not a good week for making baby food. I doubled a recipe that called for rice, carrots, peas and turkey. But there was too much rice. It looked more like fried rice without the egg than baby food. Instead, I threw together Josh's favorite standby: peas & apples. On the other hand, I did make one recipe that again wasn't Josh's favorite, but I really liked it. I would be willing to do it again next to a breakfast item like French toast or waffles. Check it out:

Apple Raisin Compote

  • Heat 3 tablespoons of fresh orange juice in a saucepan.
  • Add 2 eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 15g (0.5oz) of washed raisins, halved
  • Cinnamon to taste (optional)

Cook gently for about 10 minutes until soft, adding a little water if necessary. Puree or mash to desired consistency. Best served warm.

I skipped out on Moms Group last week to run errands and take care of a few things around the house. It feels like I haven't gone in weeks. This week has been busy and so much has changed with Josh since the last time we went. In two weeks he's moving around more, less cranky in general, fussier at meal time, more talkative, more curl in his hair... and he has a new freckle!! It's on his left arm. Those who know me well understand my obsession of these details. Love it!

The house is 85% baby proofed. We decided to leave the computer room alone and just put up a gate to keep him out. There are a few more cabinets unsecured, a couple drawers he can open, a porcelain swan to move, cat toys to put away, a shower curtain to rehang- but the really dangerous stuff is taken care of. On a side note, Josh is going through the throwing-stuff-on-the-floor-is-fun phase. To accommodate this, I placed toys and baby-safe books on the bookshelf in his room. Occasionally he cruises his way from the window sill along the dresser to the book case to find lots of things to play with and toss on the floor. Another baby proofing change this week, I moved his diaper changing pad to the floor instead of being on the dresser. Though it's a bit of an inconvenience to change him on the floor, it's a heck of a lot safer and he can't rip the wall border off. I can't wait for him to move into pull-ups! I hope those are easier, especially since he hates being held down. I also lowered his crib to the lowest setting. He can still pull up to standing and now there's no way he want fall out. :)

As of last week, breastfeeding officially ended. He was more ready to end it than I was. In the last two weeks of breastfeeding, he would get fussy when he had to lay down or be still. He didn't want to be held for a feeding- he wanted to crawl on the floor, walk around the furniture or be carried across the house. He just lost interest. He'd latch on for a moment then turn away and start babbling or trying to roll off the Boppy. So I moved the rocking chair out of his room (yay! I won't impale my feet on it any more!) and packed the Boppy with other items to store in the attic. Although I wished I could have continued breastfeeding for the whole first year (I thought this before he was born and even several months after) I'm glad that he got what he needed from me for as long as he wanted it. That's the best scenario I could ask for.

Although our little pumpkin head is wonderfully adorable and probably could be in ads or the cover of a magazine, I have not taken him to an agency. The thought has crossed my mind but no such action has happened yet. Read on.

Today was the 9 month check-up.

  • Weight is 50th percentile at 20.7 pounds
  • Length is 95th percentile at 30.25"
  • Head circumference is 45th percentile 17.75"
He's normal and healthy by all standards! The pediatrician recommended we keep places that are off-limits (like the bathroom) behind closed doors or have a gate. He also recommended keeping a close on him while he cruises the room because often babies will take their first steps when no one is looking. On the acquired skills survey, he aced everything from problem solving to communications to mobility to motor movements. He's got four teeth with two more just barely popping through on the top center. No shots today. He gets his next round of immunizations at 12 months, 15 months and 18 months. That made today's appointment quick, easy and cheaper!

We went to a play date at Preethi's apartment today. Josh had a great time playing with new toys and socializing with other babies. He and Vincent had a good time shaking the ladybug ExerSauser (AKA the Play-de-Bug) and cruising along the sofa. Other banies there anged from about 5 months to nearly a year old. The moms were good company too. :)

Our little guy is learning and growing so much! He's crawling every chance he has. No more rolling around to get places. He's also pulling up on anything he can reach: crib rail, couch, chairs, coffee tables, book case, my leg, empty boxes, anything that will support his weight and give some lift. Tomorrow I plan to lower his crib to the lowest setting. Although I'm proud of his accomplishment to go from hands and knees to standing in his crib, I don't want him to fall over the edge. Rusty doubts he would fall out but enough other people seem to think he definitely would in enough time that I'm more inclined to go with the masses on this one. Now that he's crawling, we also need to finish baby proofing. Cabinets are a new fascination. He doesn't go in them- yet- but likes to open and close doors and pull out whatever he can reach or knock over with one hand. Rusty is looking at adhesive cabinet locks as opposed to the screw in type. That's his project.

Josh is still a good eater. Today he had a few bites of nectarine with cereal for breakfast, Brussels sprouts with sweet potatoes for lunch, cheese and veggie puffs for a snack, and chicken in sweet potatoes for dinner. I need to make more food for him. I ran out of fruits and yogurt this week and had to run to the store to cover tomorrow's breakfast. I like Horizon Baby Yogurt better than Yo Baby. Horizon is thicker making it less likely to fall off the spoon on the way to the mouth. We tried cottage cheese last week. He didn't like it. At all. Luckily I didn't buy much. I'll stick with cheddar and yogurt for now and try cottage cheese again later on.

We're planning a road trip to Colorado next month. We narrowed our dates to mid-April for a week. Due to high demands of an excessive workload, Rusty has been working weekends and evenings and his team did not get the green light for additional personnel. Thus management is compensating the extra work time as extra vacation time. So far Rusty's collected about 4 weeks of vacation time. At this rate, we'll be able to make that trip to Portland again and possibly Colorado for Christmas. woot and yay!!

Last, I took Joshua to the mall to play in the indoor play area. He had a blast for about 30 minutes (the he got hungry and fussy). He loved watching the other kids running and jumping everywhere. The "stuff" was all cushiony and just about the right height for him to walk along. Several other malls have the same play area with different themes (I think the Gallery has a hamburger lunch). Now that Josh has some mobility, this is another means of free entertainment. And if you know me, you know I like free!

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