Thursday, December 30, 2010


I've done this the last couple years, so why buck tradition?  Here's last year's.  Wow, the last two years have been busy with major life events!

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

I gave birth.  I abandoned my burgeoning public service career to become a stay at home mom.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn't make any resolutions last year, but I set some goals:

1. Bring a healthy baby into this world - done
2. Get back in shape after the baby is born - not done, I'm totally out of shape right now
3. Figure out the best work situation for me & my family - done
4. Build a stronger marriage - definitely done!

This year I'm feeling lazy about goals & resolutions.  I know I should make some, but... meh.  As long as I keep myself and the baby alive, we'll call it good.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My friend S in Hawaii gave birth to a sweet little boy.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully no.

5. What countries did you visit?

We traveled to the mainland U.S.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

Mmmmmm.... sleep.  And a size 6 b'hind again.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Avery's birthday, April 24, obvs.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Giving birth unmedicated.  Close runner up: successfully breastfeeding exclusively.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I can't really say this is a failure since I didn't even try, but not losing all the weight I wanted to after giving birth.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yes, I think we can count giving birth/postpartum recovery in here (AWFUL) as well as the three times I got sick in the last two months.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A stroller.  More on that soon.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My mom's, hands down.  She carried me through postpartum.  Also Adam's, for so many reasons, but let's just say I'm the lucky one in our relationship.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Uhhhh, I dunno.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent. Fo' sho'.  Y'all, it's 'spensive to live in Hawaii.

15. What did you get really excited about?

The Little Elf Princess!

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

Probably Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner, but I was five months preggo last year.
– richer or poorer? Technically poorer, since I quit my job and literally cut our income in half.  But, you know, richer too in the non-material sense (duh).

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Sleep.  And take videos of Avery.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


20. How did you spend Christmas?

In Las Vegas at my folks house, with my sister and brother-in-law and Adam and Avery.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?

Duh... totally, completely, hopelessly.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

TV?  What's that?

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


24. What was the best book you read?

The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Raffi on Pandora, hahaha.

26. What did you want and get?

A beautiful, healthy baby. (DUH).

27. What did you want and not get?

A baby that's a great sleeper!

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I only saw one film this year - Adam and I got to go see Harry Potter the day before yesterday.  And I was beginning to think I would never see a film in a theater again!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 30 - egads!  Is that right?  I was seven months preggo.  I think Adam took me to the Polynesian Cultural Center??  And we saw the show there.  Or no, wait... maybe we went to a luau? I can't really remember.  I was kind of preoccupied with the impending birth.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?


31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

Pajamas, mostly. 

32. What kept you sane?

Adam and my mom.  La Leche League.  My new mom friend S.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?


34. What political issue stirred you the most?


35. Who did you miss?

Adam while I was on the mainland.  My mom when she left us.

36. Who was the best new person you met?


37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

This too shall pass.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Everything's different
My head in the clouds

I hit this corner
With my foot on the gas
I started sliding, I lose it
Everything's different just like that

"So Damn Lucky" by Dave Matthews

Monday, December 27, 2010

Santa came to our house!

 As you can see, Santa visited our house and left some toys for the little one... and for the big ones.  We had a wonderful Christmas, and all of us were truly spoiled, especially the little elf.
 Here she is on Christmas morning, discovering her new toys.  The early morning was all about Avery, watching her play with her toys.  Then we ate our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of monkey bread.  YUM!  After breakfast, Avery took a nap and the big people opened most of our gifts while she was sleeping.

 Avery kept going back and forth trying to play with multiple toys at once.  I think she was a little overstimulated!
 Gift opening in progress!
 Avery got a Christmas story from her Grammie and Papa Seiler, as well as a sweet rocking horse that's waiting in Hawaii for her!
 Ahhh, the best part - playing with the boxes and wrapping paper!
 I love the look on her face - she's thinking, what the heck?!
 And the aftermath!  I'm playing with my new toy - an iPhone (thanks Mom and Dad!!).  My sister and her husband were joking that I was from "olden times" since I didn't even have a "smart phone" before and I apparently revealed my ignorance by making some dumb comments about what the iPhone can/can't do.  Ah well.  I still use and love my PC too.

Hope your Christmas was as good as ours!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Eight months of Avery

Dear Avery,

Today you are eight months old!  At eight months you are such a joy and a delight.  I sometimes wish I could freeze you at this age forever, so you will always be my sweet little baby.  You are such a doll.  You love to give kisses, and you reach for me now when you want a cuddle or to eat.  You love to pull up on things.  Standing on your own - holding onto something, of course - is your new favorite discovery.  You especially like it when someone will get on the floor and play with you.  You are also crawling all over the place now.  If anything interesting catches your eye, you make a beeline for it.  And you can say mama and dada.  Tomorrow will be your first Christmas.  I can't wait to see what Santa brings you!  I let him know some things I thought you would like and I think there will be lots of fun toys under the tree for you!  We love you so much!!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First visit with Santa

We took Avery to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus for the first time!  They flew in from the North Pole on Monday and we headed over to visit.  I was expecting her to burst into tears as soon as we sat her on his lap, but she did pretty well ... that is until one of the elf-helpers tickled her with this feather duster thing and you should have seen the look on her face.  It was like, "what the HECK."  And then she stuck her lip out and cried.  Oh well, at least we got this picture of her before that happened!  Even though she looks slightly bewildered, it's still pretty cute.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happening lately

I'm finally getting over my third (THIRD) cold in the last two months. This one was all in my chest - coughing & sore throat. To be honest, it was an easier cold than the first one that was all in my sinuses because I could actually breathe. But still not fun. I lost my voice for a few days too. Dr. Google says breastfeeding does not reduce your immunity, but I guess being awakened 4-10+ times per night for eight months straight does take its toll. I seriously never get sick. And now three times in the span of six weeks... ugh. I hope I can stay healthy for a while now.

Speaking of Avery sleeping... she slept six straight hours without a peep last night. It was a miracle. I have been putting her down in my parents' room and last night she went down at nine, woke briefly at 10 and then slept until FOUR A.M.!!! I hope this trend continues. We've now graduated to putting her down in her own bed to start the night. I'm hoping she'll go longer and longer in there until she's in there on her own all night. I started this the last time I was here by putting her down in my parents' room (mom brings her to me when she wakes up) and she was sleeping a couple of four hour chunks. But then when we got back home it all kind of went out the window and she went back to waking every 1-3 hours and coming into our bed usually before midnight. Is it something about their room? Or her room at home? Who knows. Getting her into her crib to start the night has been something of a reprieve for me. I can go back downstairs and have a cup of tea and talk to my husband for a little while before going to bed. Then I can usually sleep on my own for an hour or two. It makes a big difference in how rested and refreshed I feel, just getting those few hours of personal space. Of course, I'm always a little bit happy inside when she wakes up and I get to snuggle her up next to me in bed!
We survived another trans-Pacific flight and Avery did really great. I was lucky enough to have an A/B seat all to myself. We sat next to an Australian family on their way to Utah to go skiing. They had five kids!! And from what I could tell they were all under the age of 10. The little five year old girl noticed Avery towards the end of the flight and said in her adorable Australian accent, "Mommy! Can I talk to the baby?!" And then, "Mommy! She looks like a dolly!" Haha, it was cute. By the end of the flight, all the children were crowded around my seat talking to Avery and showing her toys.

We've been having fun with Yaya getting ready for Christmas. We've been shopping, wrapping, decorating and planning meals. It's nice to be in chilly weather again, though I have no winter clothes that fit me at the moment. The last time I was in cold weather clothes I was wearing a size 6 and now I'm in a 10/12. (Ok, mostly a 12.) Avery didn't have any cold weather clothes either and had to get some new warm outfits. Sadly her chubby baby thighs are no longer on display all the time!

Avery is crawling all over the place now and pulling up on everything. She has to be supervised constantly. I turn my back for one second and she falls and starts crying. Or is getting into something she shouldn't. She is learning new things every day. She learned how to put blocks into this little bin that's covered with felt so you can't see what's inside, and to take them out again. She is also babbling now too. It started out with ba-ba-ba (still a favorite) and then ma-ma-ma, which has now been replaced by da-da-da. It's so cute - she wakes up first thing in the morning and looks over at me and says da-da. I wonder what consonant she will figure out next?

Adam is joining us soon, along with my sister and her husband. It's the first time my whole family will be together for Christmas since my sister and I were in college!

I guess that's about all the news I have. What's going on with you?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Start 'em young

Helping mommy do her workout.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Little moments

Sometimes I wish I had a camera in my eye or something that I could just record whatever I see. There are so many moments with a baby - facial expressions, sounds, cuteness in general - that I want to capture and remember forever. But by the time you have the camera fired up, the moment has usually passed. It's hard to capture the best stuff with a point and shoot, especially now that movement has commenced in earnest!

Play time with her hair in a Pebbles 'do. That little smile...
Bath time. Avery loves to splash in the water. I love her round naked tum-tum and bum-bum :) And bundling her up in her duck towel afterward, even though she pees on me half the time. I wrap her up in a little ball and say, I got the bay-beee! Cleeeean bay-beee!

I wish there was some way of capturing the essence of a moment. Sometimes it's not just an image, but an emotion, a smell, the warmth of her little body snuggled up next to me, or when she looks up at me from her perch in the Ergo. This is the good stuff. I wish I could bottle it for later on. I know I won't remember all those little moments - they are already melting into one big luscious blur of babyness.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Merry and Bright

 We put up our tree last weekend!  I resisted the idea since I'm headed home soon and it kind of seemed pointless, but Adam convinced me and I'm glad we did.  It's all Christmas-y in here!
 Avery likes it.  She is definitely crawling now, but she hasn't figured out that she can locomote wherever she wants now.  She will crawl towards something she really wants - like me or the power cord to my computer - but she doesn't just crawl all over the place when you set her down yet.  So the tree is safe haha.  For the moment.  She will probably figure it out right when we get to Yaya's house where there is LOTS of stuff to get into and the tree will have presents under it.
 It's Christmas inside, but it's still 85 degrees outside.  Well, I guess I can't complain.  I do kind of miss chilly weather though and I never thought I'd say that.  Maybe because the warm weather makes people think they need to overcompensate, everyone in our neighborhood goes all out decorating their houses, including giant inflatable yard ornaments, elaborate scenes, and lights to shame Clark Griswold.  It's going to be so fun next year when Avery is almost two and can get excited about it all.  This year will be cute, but I suspect Avery will be more interested in the wrapping paper than anything!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Seven months of Avery!

I'm a week and a half overdue with this. November was a rough month for me! I was sick TWICE, after never getting sick for literally years. I started the month off with a wicked cold that took about two weeks to clear fully, then a week later I came down with some kind of violent gastrointestinal bug that had me throwing up (eeeeyuck). Luckily I was well enough by Thanksgiving to go to our friends' house for turkey dinner, although I think I must be the only person in America who didn't gain weight on Thanksgiving! My stomach just was not up to gluttony, alas.

Enough about me, let's talk about Avery! She turned seven months old the day before Thanksgiving! Her seventh month was all about figuring out this crawling thing. She is still not totally proficient, but just this morning she moved forward halfway across the room to get to me! She's almost 7.5 months old, so she didn't really accomplish that last month, but she was really close!

Last week in church she was actually climbing up the back of the pew. I told Adam, it's time to drop the crib! I walked in a few days ago to get her from her nap to find her on her knees trying to pull up on the crib. I've seen her actually do it when I was there, so I know she can. She likes to pull up on other stuff too, though she hasn't really gotten to the dangerous point yet of pulling up on tv stand, coffee table, etc -just hasn't occurred to her yet I think.

We sort of started solids. It's not really going that well. She just doesn't seem that into it. If I try to feed her purees, she just gags on them. I was enterprising and made some baby food, but I've mostly thrown it away - she just doesn't want to eat food. We've tried a lot of different things - avocado, banana, sweet potato, beef, chicken, mixed veggies, apples & strawberries... I've had the most success with avocado, and only if I feed it to her with my fingers!I'm going to be nursing her until she goes to grade school... god I hope I'm kidding LOL. 

Here she is eating her first food - egg yolk.  She mostly just smeared it all over herself and the high chair.  Not sure any really went down her throat.  I'm going to have to start therapy just to deal with the mess of feeding a baby - it takes 20 minutes to try getting her to eat and then another 30 of cleaning up after it.  I'm going to be spending my whole day feeding/cleaning.  It gives me hives to think about it!
Still cute as ever.

On the move.

Avery just learned how to do "wah-wah's" a week ago.  She moves a toy or her fist around her mouth and goes "aaaaaaaaaaa" so it makes a wah-wah-wah sound.  She also figured out how to go "ba-ba-ba-ba-ba" and "ma-ma-ma-ma-ma".

Just a little more than a week until we're going to be headed back to the mainland to spend Christmas with Yaya and Poppy.  Adam is working a new job now, which means he doesn't have to work nights anymore and he gets holidays off.

Gotta end this.  She just woke up from her (20 minute) nap and I can hear her going, "a-ma-ma-ma-ma" on the monitor -cuuuuute.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


My maternal grandmother at 8 months or so.
Avery at six months.

I see a strong resemblance, don't you?!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Six Months of Avery: Month by Month Edition!

Just born!
One week
One month
Two months
Three months
Four months
Five months
Six months!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Little discussed fact of motherhood

FYI, when you get sick and you have a nursing baby?  You still have to take care of the baby!  Unless you can get your husband to take time off work to help your sick, pathetic self out (hahahaha).  Ahhhh, I remember the good old days when I would get sick and spend the whole day shuffling around in old sweats, drinking tea, watching movies, napping, taking tons of cold medicine and nyquil at night and sleeping for twelve hours.  No more!  Now in spite of feeling like I've been dragged behind a truck on the highway, I have to spend the day carrying the baby around, entertaining her, changing diapers, nursing, nursing, trying not to sneeze on her, trying not to cough and wake her up while I'm getting her down for her nap.  Oh, and still getting up at night!   AND, if that's not enough, you can't even take the really good cold medicines because decongestants can lower your milk supply.  There is no relief! 

Actually, the hardest part has been not being able to kiss and snuzzle the baby!  I don't want her to get my cold.  She's not showing any symptoms yet so hopefully she got enough immunity from my milk that she won't.

I can't even remember the last time I had a cold.  I guess I got really run down with the traveling and the not sleeping for months on end.  And who knows where I got it?  The plane?  The clinic when I went to take Avery to her 6 month appointment?  (She's still in the 50th percentile, and weighs almost 16 lbs.)  I'm feeling better today.  Still not *great* but at least I'm on the upswing.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Six months of Avery

Avery turned six months old last Sunday. This last month has been the best one so far! She is so much fun now that she is turning into a little person. Avery's sixth month was all about her learning how to maneuver her body in the world. It started with her getting better at manipulating toys - passing them from hand to hand, accurately getting them in her mouth, and banging them on the floor or table. She mastered rolling over both ways, and is now sitting up all by herself without too much wobbling over. And her latest trick is popping up on her hands and knees and rocking back and forth. Crawling is surely not far off.

This has been a big month for Avery because we have been on the road all month long, and we're still at Yaya and Poppy's house in Las Vegas.  We started our trip here and made a gradual journey down to Florida for my sister's wedding last weekend.  I had originally planned to go straight back to Hawaii with Adam, but decided at the last minute to break up that long, grueling trip with another stop in Las Vegas.  It's been an exhausting month for Mama and I'm very road-weary, but Avery has weathered the traveling like a pro.  She's now been on 8 plane rides, including layovers, with another two before we're home.  We visited cousins in Washington DC and saw my friend E while we were there.  And we met all sorts of relatives at my sister's wedding including Avery's Great Grandmother and her Great-Great Grandmother, who is 99 years old! 
Sleep is still our biggest challenge!  Avery is still often waking every hour or more all night long and it's slowly draining me to the point where I feel seriously depressed at times.  Sometimes I feel so drained I don't feel able to cope with her during the day!  I keep feeling like I need to Do Something about the situation, but I'm really not sure what... I'm too sleep deprived to think clearly and objectively about it.  I'm hesitant to try anything new that might result in me getting even less sleep than I already am.  I have tried a few times to take her out of her swaddle, and to put her down in a crib and not in my bed, but it has always resulted in hours of frustration on my part. 

Last night was a mini-breakthrough in that she slept unswaddled all night long for the very first time.  She surprised me with how well she did, although I don't think it decreased her night waking as I hoped it would.  And I got even less sleep because she was sprawled out in the middle of the bed and I was hugging the edge, trying to get comfortable, wanting to toss and turn, but trying to stay still so as not to make any noise.  Not to mention my brain was on alert monitoring her all night.  And she was moving around more, of course, and I hear every little sound she makes and my brain turns on - what's she doing?

I'm torn about moving her to her crib.  On the one hand, I know she really needs a separate sleeping space because she disrupts my sleep too much when she is right next to me (and honestly, I probably disrupt her sleep to some extent too).  Part of me thinks (hopes) that if/when she is in her crib, she will sleep longer stretches.  On the other hand, there are many good reasons to keep her in my bed, the biggest being that I don't have to get up and work on getting her back to sleep in her crib.  I can just plug her in and let her fall asleep nursing, which she often does in a matter of minutes.  Easy!  BUT, if I only had to get up once or maybe twice, it would be worth it?  Maybe?  Rather than be awakened hourly all night?  Also, when she's in bed with me she doesn't have to wake all the way up to get my attention.  She never has to cry in the night.  She is happy and well rested, even if I'm not.  And part of me thinks I should just stick it out and wait for her to reach the developmental point of sleeping longer on her own.  I have thought about sidecarring our crib, but luckily she does nap regularly in her crib and I am loathe to mess with that.  Buy another crib?

Parenting is so hard!  And I haven't even gotten to the *really* hard decisions! 

She is such a happy baby.  Aside from the sleep issue, I have nothing to complain about.  She is our little angel, always smiling and laughing.  She will smile at the air when she wakes up in the morning - she is just happy to be alive.  We are so blessed and I fall in love with her more every day.

In cousin Henry's jumperoo - we are definitely getting one of those - she LOVED it.  She was squealing with excitement.
Playing on our bed at our beach house in Florida.  Such a happy girl.
In the exersaucer on the balcony at the beach house.  She also loved the exersaucer - we might have to have one of each.  Anything that entertains the baby and gives Mama 15 minutes to make a sammich is a Good Thing - nay, a Necessary Thing.
With her Daddy in the beach house.
Now that's a cute baby.

Yaya taught her to drink water from a cup!  She loves it, it's so funny.