Liana: 100 Days!

Sunday (January 31) was Liana’s 100 Day day! I owe my second child just as much kindergarten pre-homework as my first, so here are her 100 Day pictures:


I’m a happy baby!


I can be adorable even if I’m not smiling.

Proof that she looks at faces.

Proof that I look at faces. And they make me smile.

This is exhausting.

This is exhausting. Goodnight.

And now, just for kicks, here are the sisters, side by side (same 100 chart!):

Indeed, a baby born on the first day of kindergarten would look approximately like this on the 100th day.




So, Talia had a lengthy 100 day post because I’d been too sleep-deprived to post monthly updates. Liana, on the other hand, sleeps, so you already know what’s going on with her. Therefore, judge my devotion to this second child not by the length of this post but rather by the fact that it exists at all given that the first child is now a monster toddler (by her own admission, more or less…pretending to be a monster is a favorite game of hers).

Accomplishments (abbreviated)

Longest sleep: 13 hours!!!! Daycare wiped her out last week. She’s regained the ability to wake in the middle of the night this week.

Everything else is pretty much the same as it was in the 3 Month post.


Song: “Part of That World” from the Little Mermaid. I sing it to her on the way to daycare every day, making it her favorite because I say so.

BookBunny’s Noisy Book, because it’s the only book with words that we’ve managed to read her more than once. Maybe that’s not entirely true…we read Shapes somewhat regularly, but it’s not so much a story as it is a list of shapes.

Toys: Hmm. Footy Giraffe? The lamb Talia gave her when she was born? Anything we dangle in front of her face?

Parental Adjustments

Parenting is still hard, but we’ve got some routines nowadays, so 2 kids haven’t totally destroyed us yet. Here are some things.

  • Breastfeeding is still okay. Liana doesn’t really complain much when she’s hungry, so I feed her more on a schedule than on demand, maybe every 3 hours during the day these days? That’s what they do at daycare anyway…4oz ever 3 hours. She’s gaining a million ounces a month.
  • As previously mentioned, Liana is a sleep expert. We haven’t started sleep training yet, but given that she already sleeps through the night, I’m not terribly worried about it. Watch me regret those words in a month…
  • We’ve been on our own without mother-in-law help for a few days now, and we’ve actually been eating dinner (and some lunches) from the grocery store (or freezer)! I was going to give us a pass this week on eating out while we adjusted to life on our own, but that hasn’t been necessary.
  • I started back at work on January 25th. That was hard. I’ve got the routine down now, but I do miss the baby. And I barely get to see Talia because I leave with Liana right as Talia is waking up. That’s temporary…eventually they’ll be on similar schedules, but I miss her, too.

Okay, it’s bed time for Mommy. Sleep while the baby sleeps. Indeed. Bye.

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Liana Ruth: Month 3

My little newborn is now a great big baby, having passed the three month mark last weekend. I can barely cradle her with one arm anymore! I don’t really know how it happened…based on her milk bottle consumption, she doesn’t eat any more than Talia ever did. I suspect she might take after the Dover side of the family…I’ve got some tall relatives.

The Picture

Liana 2 Month-51

The month of hand-chewing

[More pictures at the end.]


I don’t have doctor stats for this month because there wasn’t a well-check, but we think she’s around 14lbs based on our imprecise baby-weighing measures.

Things We Should Remember

Sleeping patterns: Although inconsistent, Liana started sleeping through the night this month. Technically, I think that means more than five hours, but she made it to eight or nine hours a couple of times. Near the end of the month, she established a pattern of sleeping long and soundly for her first shift and then verrrry restlessly for another hour or two. That compelled me to finalllllly figure out how to side-nurse, a feat I never accomplished with Talia. Liana figured it out, and that let the two of us sleep in until 10 or 11am for a few days!

On the difficult side, Liana finally started fussing in the evenings, so we often had to earn her long sleeps with a few hours of rocking, bouncing, and nursing. She also finally became more sensitive to nearby noise, so we’ve been whispering a lot more while she sleeps.

Eating habits: Nothing much changed since last month. Liana continued to eat a lot during the day and less at night. I started pumping after feeding her after her long sleep, often getting 4-5oz, so we’ve built up a decent stockpile of frozen milk.

New discoveries: I THINK she figured out that she can bat at her hanging toys and rock her chair by kicking.


  • Sleeping through the night.
  • Breaking out of her swaddle sack…I suspect next month might be the last of swaddling.
  • Lots more social smiling, especially after eating.
  • Enduring tummy time without freaking out…much appreciated by all involved.
  • Chewing her hands. For most of the month, she WANTED to chew her hands, but she couldn’t help but punch herself in the face while trying.

The Parent Stuff

  • Recovery: I FINALLY felt mostly normal again, even enough to go “jogging” a couple of times with Liana in my jogging stroller. I won’t say I enjoyed it, but I did it.
  • Date nights! Because Jonathan’s mom came back to help out for a few weeks after the holidays, Jonathan and I escaped the house for a couple of dinners alone. Having a few hours alone together, with or without dinner, is still a coveted treat right now.
  • Being healthy: Jonathan and I joined a year-long weight-loss/healthy living challenge that seems to have provided the right amount of motivation to at least eat a bunch of vegetables. Maybe I’ll post more about it elsewhere (I know, I always say that), but the challenge is designed in such a way as to encourage forming good habits instead of unsustainable dieting. Besides meeting our first goal, one of my prouder accomplishments was finding a sweet potato recipe that Jonathan actually liked! See the “smoky sweet potato” recipe here. It’s delicious.
  • “Cooking” with Talia: As part of this drive to be healthy, we took Talia to the farmers’ market to pick out some vegetables (dino kale and rainbow carrots), and we let her use a table knife to cut up some soft fruits for fruit salads. I was especially pleased  with our “chopping” party…we actually did something (however small) productive and cohesive as a family. If we’re going to maintain a household of any sort, I think we’ll have to figure out more of these kinds of activities.

Runner-Up Pictures

This might be a better picture, but it lacks the parrot.

This might be a better picture, but it lacks the parrot.

This might be the current Best Picture Ever, but it also lacks the parrot.

This might be the current Best Picture Ever, but it also lacks the parrot.

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Liana Ruth: Month 2 (only a month late…)

Month 2 = November 23 – December 22

I’m playing catch-up on the past two months of baby life. In an unforeseen turn of events, starting daycare this week is yielding a “natural” bedtime for Liana of 7:00 (which we weren’t expecting for another month or two), and she sleeps like a log. Not a baby, a log. So, I seem to have more time in the evenings now than I did while on maternity leave. True, I spend most of that time washing bottles and pump parts and spit-up stains, but tonight I might be forgetting something I’m supposed to do, so I have time to do this.

The Picture

Liana 2 Month-26

Ho ho ho…from tropical parrot-land…


  • Weight: 12lbs !!! Talia was only 10 lbs at this age.
  • Length: 23.5″

Things We Should Remember

  • Sleeping patterns: Starting to have longer sleep periods at night (3-4 hour chunks instead of 1.5-2), but we can’t predict whether the long sleep will be early or late. That means it’s impossible for me and Jonathan to take turns sleeping through the long sleep. During the day, she sometimes sleeps without her swaddle sack, but the difference in wakefulness is noticeable enough that we still swaddle her most of the time.
  • Eating habits: Longer sleep at night means more eating during the day. Thus, we couldn’t always count on 3 hours between feedings, which made it harder to schedule things. I started pumping at 5 weeks a few times a week at night just so we could give Liana her first bottle before the 6 week “deadline”. She took the bottle well, and it didn’t ruin nursing forever. She drinks 4 oz. at each feeding.
  • New discoveries: Liana seemed to enjoy lying on her back on her play mat and cooing at things hanging above her, thereby indicating that she can focus on things hanging above her.
  • Accomplishments: Smiling socially, cooing at toys, holding her head up longer, growing a ton, riding calmly in the car, and waiting calmly in line for 4 hours to get Franklin BBQ. Overall, being calm.

The Parent Stuff

  • Recovery: I still didn’t feel optimally healthy. At my 8-week follow-up appointment, I still had significant pelvic joint pain. The doctor said that wasn’t unheard of and that I should do pilates or walk or something. So I walked, and that hurt more.
  • Taking care of two kids: This was the first month that we were on our own, Jonathan’s mom having gone home. As a result, we basically each owned a kid. Jonathan chauffeured Talia to school every day and handled her bed time routine. I did all Liana stuff until after Talia was in bed. Then we’d transition to our alternating sleep routine. On weekends, Jonathan took Talia to parks or out tricycling, but because I was watching Liana, my weekend days felt very similar to my weekdays. We successfully went to a restaurant as a foursome, and no one screamed.
  • Watching TV: This might have been the month when the Second Child Syndrome set in. In particular, whereas we had a strict rule that Newborn Talia would never see the light of a tv screen while she was awake, Newborn Liana has now been exposed to at least 8 series. Granted, I wasn’t showing them TO her…I was just watching them while I rocked her to sleep seven times a day. Within the span of a one month (starting this month and ending soon after New Years), I watched the following series in their entirety:
    • Master of None
    • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
    • Grace and Frankie
    • Agents of Shield
    • Transparent
    • Bojack Horseman (including the Christmas special!)
    • Man in the High Castle
    • Making a Murderer
    • All of these were worth watching except Grace and Frankie. Nevertheless, I’ll probably watch the next season when it comes out.
  • Jonathan’s birthday: Despite juggling two little kids, we were able to celebrate Jonathan’s birthday a little. Just a little. Some people came to play games, we ate ice cream, and I managed to cover all the Liana night shifts for a solid night without crumbling (thanks to TV!). As a gift, I copped out and promised 35 days of undesirable chores (taking out the trash and cleaning the litter box). As of this writing, those 35 days have technically expired, but I didn’t realize that until now.

Runner-Up Pictures

Liana 2 Month-27

There’s a smile of sorts…

Liana 2 Month-22

Indeed, a right jolly old elf! Now, if we could only get her to look at the camera at the same time. Maybe next month…

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2015 Status: Complete

I’ve been trying to figure out how to summarize last year so that I can move on to other things, so I’m borrowing (well, stealing) this idea from Laura. Chronology is a lot easier than assigning meaning to anything :)

Here are one or two memories from each month of 2015!

January: As with most years, I started with a renewed “commitment” to “exercise” that mainly involved walking on a treadmill every day slowly enough to read at the same time. I’m not sure that lasted more than a month, but I finished the following books:

  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: Keep only the things that bring you joy, and you’ll truly be able to have a place for everything…because you’ll have so few things. I’ve been working toward that idea ever since.
  • Being Mortal: About balancing the lives that medicine enables with the lives that patients actually want. A really good read.
  • You Can Buy Happiness (And It’s Cheap!): How someone simplified her life and ended up in a tiny house. Not as affecting as the other two books.

February:  We found out we were having a baby! Jonathan made us steaks to celebrate (because I asked him “would you make me a steak if I told you I was pregnant?” And he said yes. So I told him I was pregnant). We didn’t tell Talia until we told the rest of the world a few months later. I also started working significant overtime to develop a hefty training series for work. Despite the extra hours, it was kind of invigorating to be working on a project like that.

March: I maintained my time-and-a-half work schedule throughout the month, and I generally felt blah because of the pregnancy. Ergo, no more walking-and-reading or really much of anything other than work.

April: I finally delivered the 2-week training series and returned to a normal work schedule, so the second half of the month was a lot less stressful. We found out we were having a girl at 12 weeks because her due date was immediately after I would turn 35, so I qualified for early testing. Advanced maternal age FTW! 

May: I don’t actually know what happened in May, so I had to look in my daily sentence journal. Seems that, inspired by that magic cleaning book, we had a garage sale. I’m borderline addicted to having garage sales…I always swear that each will be the last, but this was our fourth. And last. Jonathan and I then spent many evenings playing Paperback, a word-building game that works just dandy with two players. We have a vested interest in finding in-home entertainment like this for the next several years.

June: Jonathan and I took a kid-less trip to Toronto to coincide with a scrum training that he was giving. We visited the CT Tower, Casa Loma (North America’s only castle! From the same time period as Downton Abbey (sort of)!), and Niagara Falls. When we got home, we were inspired by the Ryckmans to start searching for a different house, an idea we’d floated but dropped earlier in the year.

July: We all drove to New Orleans for the 4th of July. There, we took Talia to the zoo (somehow, we only go to that zoo during the summers when I’m pregnant). For the rest of the month, we spent our weekends going to open houses to no avail. However, I stumbled across a house with the loveliest floorplan in Leander, arranged to see it (we hadn’t hired a realtor yet), and learned that we could build one of our own in Pflugerville. Not that Pflugerville was our dream destination, but it was significantly cheaper than Leander, and the drive is a little more fluid.

August: We signed the contract to start building that new house in Pflugerville and then spent all our free time trying to pick out finishes for it (counter tops, backsplashes, floors, etc.). I should print out all the spreadsheets we created…they’d make a riveting scrapbook. We also took Talia to see Greg in the Austin Summer Musical for Children, her first experience going to a “show”. Having volunteered several times to sell tickets and other paraphernalia at that event before having kids, it was neat to be bona fide audience members for once. Last, the 23rd was my fifth NI-versary at work, at which point I officially had been a tech writer longer than I had been a teacher. Weird.

September: Over Labor Day, the three of us drove to Cache, Oklahoma, to visit James and Kristen. We probably got food poisoning at the Cracker Barrel we ate at along the way. In Cache, we drove up to the top of Mt. Scott, ate pears off of James’s mystery fruit tree, and played early ’80’s Candy Land, which is far superior to modern-day Candy Land (which I’d sold at our April garage sale). I was also increasingly uncomfortably pregnant, so I think Jonathan took over bath/bedtime duties with Talia during this month.

October: Forevermore the busiest month of the year. We had another final garage sale on the 10th, Talia’s 3rd birthday party at Kiddie Acres on the 11th, my birthday on the 22nd, a new baby on the 23rd, and Halloween on the 31st (no party for us this year, but Talia went trick-or-treating as Oscar the Grouch). I won a trainer award at work, which was a nice way to wrap up a busy year before maternity leave. Baby-wise, Liana proved to be a very calm, predictable newborn with nursing superpowers, so we got off to a smooth start, even getting to sleep 2 hours at a time.

November: Jonathan’s mom stayed with us right up until Thanksgiving to help with Talia and Liana. That gave me a chance to complete some odd projects like baby books and sleeping. My friend Chad came to visit, and we stood in line for Franklin BBQ with the baby. For Thanksgiving, we stayed here and had dinner by ourselves, ordering food from Whole Foods. That food tasted pretty “whole”, i.e. not salty and overly healthy.

December: I kept busy with Christmas stuff throughout most of the month: making cards, writing letters, decorating, not baking. Meanwhile, Jonathan installed a new cooktop and microwave to finish stainless-steelifying the kitchen to improve resale value. That was a lengthy battle that he won just in time for Christmas. We hosted three Christmases at our house: the Mendezes, the Dovers, and Santa. Talia had lots of fun. Liana may have slept for five hours once. The rest of us are still waiting for our long winter’s nap.

And, since I know everyone’s on the edge of their seats, here’s our Christmas ornament for 2015:

Liana's handprint

Liana’s handprint

Yeah, that probably wasn’t a surprise, but here are some fun facts for posterity:

  • Talia helped make the dough.
  • I was going to paint it white like Talia’s, but then I realized I’d sold the white paint at a garage sale because it wasn’t bringing me joy.
  • The lack of hanger in this picture betrays that I didn’t finish this in time to actually hang on the tree.
  • In addition to this ornament, we also got a lacquered maple leaf on our trip to Toronto because we decided that ornaments might be a fun souvenir to start collecting from our vacations. Vacation ornaments won’t displace our “ornament of the year”, but they do increase the story-telling power of the tree. I actually kiiiind of started this last year with a buffalo ornament from our trip to Woolaroc on Talia’s second birthday, but this is the second year that I misplaced it before decorating the tree.

One last thing about ornaments. Talia took an interest in them this year, so as she handled each one, I told her where it came from, who made it, why we have it, etc. There were commemorations of adventures that Jonathan and I had had, baby’s first ornaments, and handmade trinkets from multiple generations. Suddenly, and without careful planning, the Christmas tree had become the device for an oral tradition that I’d always kind of hoped it would be. And so, as we continue building our own traditions for the holiday season, I’m pleased that Christmas can be a time of remembering and sharing the people and stories that have shaped our lives.

Now, on to 2016!

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Talia Project: Finished!

I’m apparently a sucker for Shutterfly discounts. Twice in the past month I’ve ended up with an offer for a “free” photo book, twice I’ve thought “I should quickly whip something together to take advantage of this”, twice I’ve spent 2-3 days of precious nap breaks “quickly” making something, and twice that “free” something has cost me at least $20. And I don’t even like Shutterfly, which makes me feel disloyal to Adoramapix.

That said, I’m really excited about the little book I made Talia for Christmas. Behold, the Talia’s Family book:

Remember, this was just "whipped together"...

I was pleased with the variety of “personality” I found in my family picture stash.

Each inside spread followed this same pattern. There is one spread for each person on the cover. And the cats.

There is one spread like this for each person on the cover. And the cats…they just didn’t make the cut for the cover.

I think this book is perhaps a perfect combination of Talia’s interests at the moment. She’s rather obsessed with both the concept of family members as well as the specific names of all her family members. She asks me and Jonathan multiple times a day “What’s your mommy’s name? What’s your daddy’s name? What’s your mommy’s and daddy’s name?” On top of that, she also likes asking what letter a word starts with. She can identify a few capital letters in print…specifically those that begin some of our names. Sooo, I’d like to think that this is a meaningful way for her to start searching for those letters in a context that she understands. I’m not at all pushing her to read right now…just responding to her cues :)

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Piano Ad and Days 5-7 Status

As previously mentioned sort of, we’re selling some things prior to moving in a few months. A nearly-antique grand piano is one of those things…perhaps you know someone who might be interested:

Beautiful 1920’s Knabe Grand Piano (Craigslist ad)

I hand-scrubbed each of those keys.

I hand-scrubbed each of those keys.

I inherited this piano from my uncle, who was a talented musician. I’ve enjoyed it for over ten years, first at my mom’s house and then in our current house. In fact, one of the criteria when selecting our current house was a space for this piano, and we knocked down a wall to create one. However, time has proven that I am not a talented musician (or at least not a devoted one who can justify maintaining and storing 2.5 pianos in her house), work has shown me that life is a battle of priorities, and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has taught me that it’s okay to say goodbye to things after they have fulfilled their purpose in your life. So, thank you, piano, for enriching our lives, and may you find a worthy new home.


In other news…status!

It took 3 days, but I accomplished my goals for last Friday. Goal debt doesn’t affect my credit score, right?


  • Spiffied the piano up a bit, took some pictures, and posted my Craigslist ad. Turns out that cleaning piano keys isn’t the smartest idea while the baby is sleeping.
  • Packed not one, not two, but more than two boxes!
  • Went to doctor and got clearance to stop worrying about aches and pains. Everything will go away eventually. In fact, I can do whatever I want to do, so I walked around with Liana quite a bit yesterday. Now I’m sorer, so “whatever I want to do” = nothing at the moment.
  • Ate all the food I’d made last week! Me:1, Leftovers: 0.
  • Watched all of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt while putting Liana to sleep. Netflix better not run out of original serieses before Liana learns to sleep through the night.


  • Pack more boxes, or perhaps make box-packing schedule.
  • Take donation items to Goodwill.
  • Sell cds from turn of the century.
  • Make one of Talia’s Christmas presents? Heads-up: This might take more than one day.
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Days 3 and 4 Status Report


  • Totally snagged my own scrummaster, got photos taken, finished Christmas card, and placed my order!
    • This picture of Talia showing off her use of adult toe socks as leggings did not make the cut.

      This picture of Talia showing off her use of adult toe socks as leggings did NOT make the cut.

  • Completed and executed on “Christmas research” to surprise Jonathan and Talia:
    • One quarter of our outdoor light stash. I think this is all that's going up this year.

      One quarter of our outdoor light stash. I think this is all that’s going up this year.

      My trusty supervisor. I wore her for the foliage lights, but my back didn't like the extra weight when bending for the stake lights.

      My supervisor, demanding attention. I wore her for the foliage lights, but my back didn’t like the extra weight when bending for the stake lights.

      You might wonder why hanging Christmas lights required “research”. Mainly, it had been a few years since we put up lights (pre-Talia, in fact), so I couldn’t even tell you where the lights were, let alone if they worked.

  • Finished 1 Month page in baby book as well as corresponding blog post.
  • Visited new house:
    • Masonry in progress

      Masonry in progress

  • Made my HEB lasagna meal deal for dinner. It’s the first time Talia cleaned her plate this month.
  • Watched all of Master of None during futile attempts to put Liana to sleep.  Irrationally thrilled that a whole episode and perhaps the entire season hinged on the fig tree analogy from The Bell Jar. I don’t always allude to literature, but when I do, I prefer the fig tree analogy.

Day 5 Goals

  • Attend 6-week follow-up appointment and ask doctor complete list of hypochondriac questions.
  • Clean piano and post ad (does anyone want to buy a grand piano?)
  • Pack a box?
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Liana Ruth: 1 Month Old

Disclaimer: Liana turned 1 month old on November 23, but today is December 2. I started writing this BEFORE November 23, yet it still took me over a week to publish it. Anyway, the point is, the timeframe of this post ends on November 23, not today.

One newborn month down, two more to go! Not that I’m counting. Because, surprisingly, I’m not. That said, I’m looking forward to exploiting Liana’s new superpower during Month 2, eating at untimed intervals! This means that there’s a 2% chance that we’ll get to sleep more than 2.5 hours at a time because we no longer have to wake her up to eat every 3 hours!

One Month Old!

One Month Old!

[More pictures near the end]

According to her baby book, here are the Things We Should Remember:

  • Sleeping patterns: Liana sleeps reliably for 1.5-2 hours between feedings, and sometimes we have to wake her up.
  • Eating habits: She nurses well, upwards of 8 times a day. Although this has gone much more swimmingly than with Talia, it should be noted that nursing is still difficult sometimes…sometimes it still hurts, sometimes I get worried that she’s not eating enough, etc. The big mental difference for me, though, is that I’ve learned that most problems pass and/or mutate into a different problem within a day or two. Nothing feels as doomful as it did with Talia.
  • New discoveries: Not sure what to expect a newborn to discover within her first month. I wrote “Faces?” in the baby book.
  • Accomplishments: Lifting her head, using a pacifier, and requiring 9 new burp cloths to keep pace with spit up.

The Parent Stuff

It occurs to me that, as a record of an era, a baby book misses half the story: that of us parents. This isn’t exactly an exercise in narcissism; rather, since Talia was born, I’ve felt a little like I’m reliving my own childhood, just through my parents’ eyes. I already had my own memories of reading books, sleeping in a big girl bed, and even meeting a new sibling, but now I’m reliving those same scenes from the other side. The shift in perspective helps me understand now why my dad might not have wanted to play Candy Land fifty times a day (but was happy enough to play three) or why he might have needed to “rest his eyes” sometimes in the evening. I know why my mom recorded a dozen audio cassettes of babies sleeping that surely no one but her would really want to listen to. Among other things, parenting is a balance of your own health and needs with absorbing the fleeting magic of each stage in your kids’ lives.

All that is to say that, if I’m going to capture the Kid Magic stuff (which “eats 8 times a day” surely represents…surely…), I should also document the Parent Life stuff. The Kid Magic is for me. The Parent Life is for the kids…in 35 years…

  • Recovery: I’ve been focused on healing from my c-section and trying not to feel guilty for letting Chay and Jonathan do so much work. During my first week home, I read a timely article about how strange it is that American culture dotes on and coddles pregnant women but then expects a new mom to bounce right back to her regular self ASAP after the baby is born. That’s not how it works. In my post-c-section case, I was on heavy painkillers the first two weeks, lesser painkillers the next two weeks, and still sore in a number of places throughout. Unlike with my first pregnancy, my pelvic joints still ache a month later, making me reluctant to move around as much as I might like. Therefore, I’m SO grateful to have a husband and family that appreciate these realities even though maternity leave makes it seem like I should have time to transform into Super Mom. That time is maybe enough to transform into Shadow of Former Self.
  • Doing non-baby things: During Liana’s naps, I’ve worked on several projects: baby books for both girls, a photo book of our Kalalau Trail hike last year, packing for the move in a few months, and sleeping. Honestly, though, I’m going a bit stir crazy. Not being able to drive or go upstairs severely limited my options, so I’m looking forward to expanding my agenda next month. Jonathan, for his part, was able to return to work within the second week. He’s made it out of the house for a couple of social things, and he’s spent a fair amount of his limited free time processing and editing photos.
  • Pros and cons of knowing what we’re doing: In a weird contradiction of expectations, having an easy newborn and a more rehearsed approach to sharing childcare duties seems to create a bit of isolation between Jonathan and me. On weekends, we’re each unofficially in charge of a single child, which often leads Jonathan out of the house with Talia while I watch Liana. Overnight, we have separate shifts with the baby to allow the other person to get good rest in the silence of the guest room, away from the goat noises of our sweetly sleeping newborn. These strategies make things a lot more manageable but at the expense of the shared “fight-for-our-sanity” struggles we endured with newborn Talia.
  • Typical evenings: That said, we have a good hour of evening time most nights for eating dinner together and watching taped Stephen Colbert and John Oliver shows.
  • Looking forward to things: THAT said, I’m looking forward to the 1.5 weeks of vacation that Jonathan has to spend in December during Month 2 :)

The Runner-Up Pictures

Here are a few other pictures from Liana’s 1-Month Photoshoot.

Liana 1 Month-11

Yawning newborns are cute because they put their whole body into it.

This is a more accurate portrayal of the photoshoot. Most of the pictures are from a split-second after I removed my hand.

This is a more accurate portrayal of the photoshoot. Most of the pictures are from a split-second after I removed my hand.

If you wait too long, she slunk down into the newborn blog that you might expect.

If you wait too long, she slinks down into the newborn blob that you might expect. With the pictures we took, we could make a great stop-motion video of her slowly blobbulating and then tumbling over.

A Note about the Parrot

Sadly, we aren’t taking Liana’s picture with the Talia Tree because of our pending move in the spring. Sunny G.G. Parrot is our replacement. It’s a nice replacement…my uncle Greg won it for me at Worlds of Fun circa 1995, and it’s clearly held up well for a carnival prize (unlike Teddy, a small bear my dad won for me circa 1983. I still have Teddy, but he’s kind of disgusting).

A sidenote: I took several months to name the parrot (foreshadowing my difficulty with naming babies, I guess), but it’s full name is Sunny Greg Gerferbu Parrot. Sunny seemed like a nice parrot name, Greg is surely an obvious choice, Gerferbu was a codeword of some sort among me and my neighborhood friends, and Parrot is what you might call a parrot.

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On My Own: Day 2 Status Report

Okay, it seems inevitable that my goal updates will devolve into status reports, so I’m accepting this fate now. Unlike status reports for work, though, I do not feel bad about spending more words documenting excuses than actual accomplishments.

That thing about Liana sleeping so well and being so predictable…yeah, not so much. She slept in 20 minute spurts yesterday (instead of 2 hour spurts), so doing things was a bit harder. Then she was up all night for no reason, but then she slept all morning. So I slept all morning. Which is why I have fewer goals for today.


  • Made lunch out of my groceries despite the strong temptation to eat the rest of the chili that Jess brought on Monday. Score one for follow-through. Now I have beans and rice to eat for lunch the rest of the week.
  • Vacuumed and took out the trash. Now that I’ve been doing it for two days, housekeeping is even less fun than I’d remembered.
  • Started designing Christmas card and gathering addresses. Alas, I’m missing a picture that I need to finish the card, so now I’m blocked. Where’s a scrummaster with a DSLR when you need one…
  • Got more than 5000 fitbit steps for the first time since Liana was born. I need a more interesting destination than Walgreens. The optimal destination probably wouldn’t sell ice cream because it’s too tempting to buy ice cream when within a store that sells ice cream.


  • Marry a DSLR-toting scrummaster and finish the Christmas card.
  • Fill in Liana’s one-month section of baby book a week late.
  • Find box to pack. I think I see one over there.
  • Christmas research.
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On My Own: Day 1 Results + Day 2 Goals


This is a follow-up to my Day 1 Goals post.


I have little hope that I’ll write goals and/or results every day forevermore, but it’s fun for now.

Day 1: I did everything!

Liana slept all day, so I got a million things done. In fact, I’m writing this only because she’s still sleeping. So, apart from working on backlog projects (or a backlog), I did most everything I intended to do. Some highlights…

  • Regarding German Chocolate Cake ice cream, I’ve gotten the sneaking suspicion over the years that German Chocolate Cake isn’t the world’s favorite flavor. Thus, Baskin Robbins had plenty left for me to eat. Form of: shake! It fueled my grocery-shopping trip…
  • Regarding lunch planning, I actually did this as I was completing Urgent Goal #1 because Baskin Robbins is in the same shopping center as HEB. So, I “planned” lunches this week by wandering around HEB. Too bad I left my Fitbit at home to charge…when you’re tracking steps, it’s really exciting to realize you forgot the bananas. Going back to the produce section is like 500 extra steps!
  • While lunch planning, I simultaneously dinner planned. I call my strategy “HEB Meal Deals”.
  • Clean burp cloths and diaper rags are in the dryer, dry. Of course, I guess this begs the question of “what does complete mean?” Does “in the dryer” count? Yes. Totally acceptable to live out of the dryer.
  • Not only did I finish decorating the tree, but I had enough time to go buy the annual fancy ornaments…that is, if you count shatter-proof owls as “fancy”.
    • Fancy owls

      Fancy owls

  • The only thing I failed at in my list was buying extra pump parts. Turns out that my new pump, the Spectra S2, doesn’t have easily replaceable pump parts. They cost $50. I’m really not sure how an extra set will save me THAT much time since I’m pumping only once a day, so I’m going to save my $50 for more ice cream and Christmas ornaments.

So, it was a good day.

Day 2 Plans

I don’t really know why I partitioned goals into categories for Day 1. It’s helpful to recognize that different kinds of goals exist, the cateogories allow me to prioritize appropriately, and I imagine that the maintenance category will eventually become some kind of routine or schedule…so maybe I do know why. Nevermind.

Urgent Goals

  1. Take out trash. As long as it’s not too heavy. Because I have three more days to ride my “healing from c-section” activity restrictions, which include not carrying 20 lb. bags of trash.

Maintenance Goals

I really do feel silly writing down things that normal people do on a regular basis without needing to explicitly commit to doing them. If/when something becomes more routine, I’ll stop adding it to this list. Like that burp cloth/diaper rag thing.

  1. Prepare the lunch food I bought on Monday. My plan is to make food for the rest of the week’s lunches all at once. That plan, like most plans, works only if I do it. That’s often where my plans fail.
  2. Vacuum. The living room is strewn with glitter and fake pine needles from the tree. I do think this adds a bit of holiday ambiance to the carpet, but the pine needles hurt sometimes.

Progress Goals

  1. Design Christmas cards? Is this really going to be the year that we send Christmas cards? It’s within the realm of possibility…

Stretch Goals

  1. Pack a box.
  2. Project backlog something something.
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