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.

Accomplishments

  • 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.

Goals

  • 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

Explanation

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

Disclaimer

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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On My Own: Day 1 Goals

Our month of being spoiled came to an end last Wednesday when Jonathan’s mom returned to New Orleans and he and I were left to fend for ourselves against the two children. Fortunately, Jonathan was available for the next four days thanks to Thanksgiving, and our little family of four had a lovely time. Today, alas, Jonathan is back at work, Talia is back at daycare, and I am on my own with the baby for the first official time. The calm, predictable, 95% compliant baby. I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll survive.

Without structure to my day, there’s a 90% chance I’ll curl up with the baby on the couch and watch whatever marathon HGTV is showing, so I thought it wise to plan a few goals for the day. As I explained to Liana, there are four types of things one might want to accomplish in a day:

  • Urgent Goals – Things that must happen today. I don’t have a hypothetical example, as I’ve unfortunately learned that procrastination works in 97% of circumstances.
  • Maintenance Goals – Things that help you continue a relatively organized life, such as washing burp rags so that we don’t have to use someone’s sleeve.
  • Progress Goals – Things that help you move forward with something you care about doing, such as packing one out of the five hundred eventual boxes needed to move this house in March.
  • Stretch Goals – Things that might not get done today but fill the “what should I do with myself” gap if baby happens to sleep for an extra two hours for reasons beyond my understanding.

So, here are my goals for today, as recited to Liana so as to work toward HER daily goal of hearing 20,000 words. She really needs a Fitbit that counts words. And a mommy who likes to talk  more. Anyway, goals:

Urgent Goals

  1. Visit Baskin Robbins to get German Chocolate Cake ice cream one last time for the year. It’s the last day of the month, people. Alas, there’s a 78% chance that they’re already out of this flavor…somehow, their Flavor of the Month rarely lasts an entire month. We must maintain hope.

Maintenance Goals

  1. Check burp cloth and diaper rag status. Do laundry as indicated.
  2. Plan lunches for the week and buy groceries as necessary. Today’s lunch is covered by Urgent Goal #1.
  3. Wash pump parts.
  4. Order extra set of pump parts to allow greater laziness when washing pump parts.

Progress Goals

  1. Finish decorating Christmas tree and hiding leftover decorations from cats and/or Talia. Unclear which is the greater threat.

Stretch Goals

  1. Think about planning dinners for the week. Some kind souls are covering dinner tonight and tomorrow night, and regarding the rest of the week, I’m not burnt out on Masala Wok yet.
  2.  Buy annual fancy ornament set for tree.
  3. Work on some project on Project Backlog.
  4. Create Project Backlog.

That’s it. I’ve bored Liana to sleep, so now I can work on one of these.

Look, mom...no swaddle!

Look, mom…no swaddle!

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Liana Ruth: Birthday #0

Nothing like the birth of a child to bring one back to the blogosphere. What else are you going to do while rocking a baby to sleep at 1am?

This is Liana’s birth story.

Disclaimers:

  • Most of the pictures are NOT duplicates from facebook, so this isn’t completely redundant.
  • That said, it IS long. Feel free to just skim the pictures.

Getting Ready

Dating back to a nasty bout of fibroids 10 years, ago, the plan had always been to deliver Liana via scheduled c-section at 39 weeks. Depending on who you talk to, 39 weeks was either October 22 (according to my doctor) or October 24 (according to me, the sonogram guy, and my ovulation calendar). To avoid sharing birthdays, my doctor let me nix October 22, but October 24 wasn’t an option because they don’t schedule c-sections on Saturdays. So, 12:00pm, October 23 it was.

I never felt any contractions nor dilated much, so it was totally reasonable for me to work until Wednesday, October 21 (especially considering that my scheduled delivery date was still a week early). I took my birthday off to fulfill my delivery tradition of getting one last haircut. And to eat ice cream.

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39 weeks pregnant, with pregnancy haircut

Tales from Pre-Op

Having gone through this once before, I was much less nervous about the two hours preceding surgery. The pre-op summary is that you spend two hours hooked up to monitors, answering questions about your health history, meeting part of your surgical team, and getting your IV installed.

Highlights:

  • IV woes: With Talia, getting my IV inserted was the worst part of my entire surgical experience, so for Liana, I came prepared with a doctor-endorsed request for a lidocaine numbing shot. The nurse pushed back a little, claiming that two shots are objectively worse than one. I prevailed, though…only to be faced with not one, not two, but THREE IV attempts (two on my left hand, one on my right). I got lidocaine shots for the first two tries, but they switched to their IV expert for the third attempt, and I guess the request got lost in the switch. So, the IV hurt yet again, and I cried. I can now confidently attest that the lidocaine shot IS worthwhile. Get it.
  • Contractions: The monitors showed that I was having some contractions, but I really didn’t feel them. So, who knows how long I’d been having them out in the wild.

 

Jonathan looked better in pre-op garb than I did.

Jonathan looked better in pre-op garb than I did.

Surgery

Another 5 star experience, thanks to the great Dr. Collins. Here’s how an (uneventful) c-section works, recorded for posterity:

  1. Enter OR: You get to actually walk into the operating room with your delivery nurse and meet a bunch of other OR people.
    1. One such person was named Sarah, making it difficult to know when anyone was talking to me (they usually weren’t).
    2. My delivery nurse was a little crazy. I don’t know what she did from a medical perspective, but she took a lot of pictures for us.
  2. Get numb: You get a spinal injection that numbs the lower half of your body. I think there’s a big needle involved.
    1. It’s funny that I dreaded the IV more than the spinal injection. The latter didn’t bother me too much for Talia, so because I didn’t let myself think about it (and, by all means, avoided seeing the needle), I was fine.
    2. I didn’t experience the “shakes” that people sometimes get. And, unlike last time, I retained enough strength to talk in my normal voice throughout the surgery.
  3. Get prepped:  Medical people hang a drape between your chest and abdomen. You stretch your arms out straight to the side because there’s not really anywhere else to put them but also because that’s what they make you do. Someone pinches you in various places to see if you’re actually numb. You’re actually numb.
    1. Interestingly, during this time, the doctor people talked with each other (not me) about a “family friendly” drape that some people are starting to use for c-sections. It’s clear, so it lets you see the baby’s birth while maintaining the sterile field. These doctors were pretty skeptical about it, saying things like “I routinely do these things, and *I* wouldn’t be able to watch. I know what all the sounds mean, and I wouldn’t want to think about it.” After hearing that, I tried to avoid hearing any sounds from the surgery.

      Doctor people

      Here are the doctor people, doing their doctor thing. It’s weird to have a picture of this…credit goes to the crazy delivery nurse.

    2. At this point, the anesthesiologist became my best friend. I thought the delivery nurse was supposed to be my best friend, but she was running around taking pictures, so the anesthesiologist told me everything that was happening. It was kind of weird, though, because he was sitting behind my head, so I couldn’t see him. Thus, his voice had a sort of meditative, omnipresent quality to it.
  4. Rejoin partner: They let your partner join you once everything is set up.

    How cute. It’s almost like neither of us is in the middle of open abdominal surgery! Again, weird.

  5. Enjoy surgery: Surgery begins.
    1. I didn’t feel much.
    2. The doctors talked about their weekend plans (going to the F1 races for the first time!). This is their day job, and they have day-job conversations just like you do. You just aren’t cutting people open while you have yours.
    3. I successfully avoided hearing most sounds.
  6. Meet baby: After maybe 15 minutes, they tell you to expect some intense pressure, and they pull the baby out!
    1. For me, the pressure wasn’t as intense as forewarned.
    2. Upon pulling her out, the doctor said that Liana was “feisty”.
    3. There were a lot of gooey pictures, but I’ll spare you those. Here are the less-gooey images.

      Presenting: Liana! 7 lbs, 3.6 oz. 19″ long. Also presenting: Daddy! Daddy got to watch all the first measurements.

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      He also got to photograph all the first measurements.

      He captured details like the inking of the feet. And a lot of baby screaming. As the doctor said, Liana was indeed feisty.

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      First family shot! You can see that Liana is still screaming.

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      And, for good measure, here’s most of the cast of this entire production. The lady in glasses is my doctor. The lady in purple is the other Sarah. The rest of us are us. Or we. Really, this is no time for grammar.

  7. Dismiss baby and finish surgeryAt some point, the baby goes to the nursery to get some shots and stuff. You get sewn up.
    1. During pre-op, my delivery nurse suggested that I skype with Jonathan during this time to see what was going on in the nursery. I stared at her blankly. She said “Come on guys, it’s 2015!” I held my blank-faced ground on this…as much as I was excited about seeing the baby, I didn’t really think that screaming baby sounds would make a calming soundtrack for the end of the surgery.
    2. I took a nap instead.
  8. Recover: Doctors move you to a recovery bed and wheel you off to the recovery room. Partner and baby meet you in recovery room where you get to try to feed the baby.
    1. Jonathan and Liana nearly beat us to the recovery room, so they had to stall while I got reattached to some monitors and leg cuffs and stuff.
    2. Liana had a very strong rooting reflex, so she latched on to nurse with barely any help from me or the nurse.
    3. She nursed for a long time. I fended off a nurse and bath time to avoid interrupting her…after Talia’s breastfeeding ordeal, I wanted to protect Liana’s experience as much as possible.

Meeting the Family

We made it out of recovery to our postpartum room by 3:30 that afternoon, so Liana got to meet several people the same day.

Liana first week-22

Meeting Gramps

Meet Abby

And Abby

There’s Daddy again

Mommy’s still here, too!

And here’s Big Sister Talia, posing for the Best Picture Ever.

Hospital Stay

We camped out in room 225 from October 23-26. It’s all a bit of a blur. There were good nurses, crazy nurses, adequate hospital food, much appreciated snack deliveries, tearful nursing sessions, and an eventual peace with sending the baby to the nursery between feedings so that we could sleep. Jonathan took care of me and all non-nursing baby chores. Chay and Arturo took care of Talia and the cats.

Going Home

We were discharged around 2pm on Monday, October 26, having spent 3 nights in the hospital. Unlike Talia, Liana maintained enough body weight to avoid an extra night’s stay, though the pediatrician told us to be on the lookout for jaundice.

Mommy holding baby on the way out of the hospital

Mommy holding baby on the way out of the hospital

Liana, buckled into the RAV4

Liana, buckled into the RAV4

Liana, deposited on our front doorstep as though the stork just delivered her.

Liana, deposited on our front doorstep as though the stork just delivered her.

Daily Life with Liana

Liana does the normal newborn things: eat, sleep, poop, and stare at walls. We settled into a manageable routine within the first day at home that yields some decent sleep at night, even if it comes in 2 hour intervals. Somehow, 2 hour intervals are infinitely better than the 1 hour intervals we had with Talia…Jonathan and I are actually happy people during the day!

Liana first week-67

Chompy McChomper takes eating very seriously. This is her serious face.

Liana first week-59

Tummy time is hard work.

First sibling play time: joint tummy time

First sibling play time. Liana makes Talia look so big!

Conclusion

Compared to our experience with Talia, Liana’s “birth story” was a breeze. Without all the breastfeeding interventions and associated woes, I can actually see why one might like a newborn. Unlike before, there’s time to stare at her and admire who she is and how far she will travel in the next days, months, and years. And to dress her in silly hats.

Froggy princess

Froggy princess

Return of the strawberry hat

I imagine I’m also more pensive about the experience now because I don’t currently anticipate having another child, so this is my only chance to learn from what I know and then savor the result as much as possible. I know it’s silly to try to plan your life too much, but nonetheless, I feel like I’ve arrived where I’ve always been going. Happy birthday, Liana, and welcome to the family.

The Mendezes

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Progress, One Ornament at a Time

It’s January, which means I’ll start blogging again for a month or two before I don’t anymore. For now I’ll skip the lengthy post-analysis of how Operation Projects went awry last year, chalking it up to Reasonable Reasons. I did accomplish a couple of major goals that I never wrote about, but I’ll save those for another time.

Instead, I wanted to ascribe cosmic meaning to our Christmas tree.

Our Christmas Tree: The Origin Story

Once upon a time, it was 2007, and Jonathan and I got to decorate our first Christmas tree together. I love Christmas trees very much, and I’ve come to view tree-trimming as an art form. Alas, without much media to work with in 2007, the branches of our oversized fake tree far outnumbered the ornaments:
christmas 2007

Also, I think the bottom third had been ravaged by cats?

Growth Strategy

Instead of going to Hobby Lobby and filling our cart with pantookas and bamboozlers in one go, we devised a multi-year strategy for filling that tree. Each year, I pick out one set of four “fancy” balls and possibly one “ambiance” ornament (e.g. a garland or a box of pine cones to spread throughout the tree). Then, Jonathan and I pick out one single ornament together, commemorating another year together while testing our ability to agree on anything.

Here’s our catalog of ornaments as of 2014:

Year Ornament
2007

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Partridges in a pear tree? Not really, but a tentative couple’s pair of ornaments that were still separable enough should the partridges decide on separate trees.

2008

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A pair of bells. From here on out, I think all the ornaments aren’t very separable.

2009

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Two cardinals, commemorating our first Christmas together in Oklahoma where there were several cardinals in the backyard. Nevermind that this ornament shows two male cardinals.

2010

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Two gingerbread people riding a rolling pin with a measuring cup hanging upside down from the bottom? Jonathan believes in his heart that this somehow captures our first year of marriage. I believe it captures the ornament selection the day before Christmas at Target.

2011

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Two reindeer lovers, purchased from an ornament cart at Lakeline Mall. This was, unbeknownst to others, our “we just decided to have a baby” ornament.

2012

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2-month-old Talia’s handprint. This was our “we just had a baby” ornament. I actually didn’t finish making this until Christmas 2013 (when we gave a few away as gifts), but it’s definitely Talia’s handprint from December 2012.

2013

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A swan. At Thanksgiving, we saw swans at City Park in New Orleans. Ergo, we got a swan ornament.

2014

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Backpack ornament, commemorating our Major Life Accomplishment of hiking to Kalalau Valley.

Results

So, here’s the same tree after 8 years of accumulating ornaments just a few at a time:

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Look at the tree, not the baby! Okay, you can look at the baby too.

Cosmic Meaning, As Promised

When I think about the five million things I might have wanted to accomplish last year but didn’t, our Christmas tree encourages me a bit. Just by taking small but meaningful steps each year, it’s now lots more full of life and memories.

2014 was a hard year, but there were still meaningful steps, and I’m looking forward to taking a few more this year.

 

 

 

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Pumpkin Patch(es)!

Talia hit up 2 pumpkin patches this year. One had a lot of pumpkins but wasn’t very interesting (Central Market). The other had very few pumpkins, but they were spread around lots of interesting scenes (Cross Plants & Produce). I don’t have much else to say, so here are the pictures!
Pumpkin Patch 2014-1

Pumpkin Patch 2014-2

Pumpkin Patch 2014-3

Pumpkin Patch 2014-4

Pumpkin Patch 2014-5

Pumpkin Patch 2014-6

Pumpkin Patch 2014-7

Pumpkin Patch 2014-8

Pumpkin Patch 2014-9

Pumpkin Patch 2014-10

Pumpkin Patch 2014-11

Pumpkin Patch 2014-12

Pumpkin Patch 2014-13

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Talia’s first flight!

Due to family reasons I won’t get into here, Sarah’s been in Oklahoma for the past several weeks, for a total planned stay of a month. Because that’s obviously a long time for me and Talia to be missing her, we planned a visit midway through. And that meant Talia would fly on an airplane for the first time ever (exciting?), and I would be the only parent accompanying her (terrifying!).

Leading up to the trip, I thought about what might make it go well, and what might turn it into a disaster:
Signs of a good trip:

  • Talia loves airplanes. She always points out when she hears them flying overhead
  • Rather than act up in public, Talia tends to more often get shy and clingy. So hopefully no massive disturbance of nearby passengers

Signs of a bad trip:

  • Talia gets really frightened of loud noises (e.g. vacuum cleaner, lawnmower, etc.). Airplane jets are really loud
  • Talia is not generally a very cuddly kid. She prefers more action, running around and such, and thus may get really squirmy on the hour-long flight legs
  • There’s virtually no way to avoid the flight disturbing her nap, and that can make her really cranky

So, how’d it go?
Happy Talia at the airport
Super super well!

Talia was a great flyer. I think she showed brief moments of concern about twice across the four flights, but most of the time she was calm and even happy. We entertained ourselves with SkyMall (loooots of pictures to point out and ask “that?”), and the flights that overlapped her nap meant she rested her head on my shoulder (she doesn’t normally get this cuddly, so that was doubly nice). But making this a nice experience involved some good prep.

About a week before the trip, I bought Talia a toy airplane and began talking about the trip so she would get excited. I don’t know how much of it sank in, but as soon as we got past security I got her toy out so she could compare it to the real thing:
Airplanes, toy and real
Speaking of security, I don’t think I would have survived this trip if Sarah hadn’t helped by taking a ton of stuff with her when she drove to Oklahoma, meaning I had much less to pack. By bringing the pack-and-play, clothes, toys, and the current car seat (we upgraded her car seat so we could do this, but she was about ready for that anyway), she made it possible for me to travel with just a carry-on and diaper bag!

The next thing to take care of was getting Talia some breakfast. The Austin airport gets major props for having high chairs available (unlike Dallas Love Field), so after purchasing some milk and finding a water fountain, we were all set for a normal, casual breakfast!
Talia airport breakfast
We still had a fair amount of time before boarding, so we hung out by the window. Talia got quite excited when our airplane arrived.
Talia likes our airplane
Once on board, Talia started out her normal shy self, which I figured would last until she freaked out with the engine noise at take-off. But I planned to enjoy the peacefulness while it lasted. Luckily enough, the flight was not full, so the middle seat on my row was empty; that was a handy place to put things, as I quickly learned that having a toddler on one’s lap doesn’t leave room for much else.
Seated on first flight
I did my best to prepare Talia for takeoff: “we’re going to go really fast and it’s going to get very loud, but it’s fun!”. As I’ve already revealed, things worked out great! With a “whee!” from me and a giggle from Talia, we were off! She didn’t care much about looking out the window (even on later flights with a window seat), so it was time to bring out the entertainment. I had the diaper bag filled with toys, books, and snacks, but thanks to the sheer density of pictures in SkyMall, I didn’t need to pull out any of them. We got to the end just as we were about to land. I made sure landing sounded fun by telling her “we’re going to go bumpity-bumpity-bump!”, and when it happened it elicited another giggle.

Layover time! With an hour and a half between flights, I wasn’t sure what kind of entertainment I would find. I stalled for ideas by taking a stroller tour around the airport (small airport), and that exploration yielded the perfect option. We found an area between two (eventual?) gates that had no furniture at all, the perfect place to just run around! The first picture in this post is from the window in that area, where she spent a lot of time pointing out trucks (this was common at other stops/windows as well), but we did chase each other to make use of the space too. Eventually we stopped to eat lunch (this time with Talia on my lap), and with Talia eating slower than usual, we were all set to get on the next flight. This time the flight was so empty that the flight attendant guided us to a seat toward the back where we could have our own row to ourselves. Talia did enjoy the window during and shortly after takeoff, because she could point out all the “truck”s and “person”s she saw.
Talia looks out the airplane window
However, once we were in the air she lost interest, and I encouraged her to try to take some kind of nap. I’m pretty sure she didn’t fall asleep, but she rested her head on my shoulder the whole time (with a few position shifts).

Finally we arrived, which meant getting to see Mommy! Sarah was waiting right outside the one-way security gateway, and while Talia didn’t squeal with excitement, she did right away start asking Mommy to play with her in various ways, including showing her this frog.
Airport frog
A frog, and a lion, near a tree with a slide, in the space between the terminals and baggage claim. Don’t ask me why that’s there, but yay, something to play with :).

We had a really nice time over the weekend with Sarah, but I won’t get into that because I ramble too much already and this post is about air travel. But when our trip’s time was up, Talia was already a pro at the whole flying thing.
Happy Talia waiting for airplane
See? Super confident and happy, just waiting for the plane. We quickly set up camp at our gate, and Talia decided to pass the time taking selfies.
Talia Selfie Collage
I don’t have any pictures of the return flights, but it was much of the same. Some SkyMall on the first flight, supplemented by safety pamphlets and in-flight lunch, and more head resting on the second flight. All in all a quite enjoyable experience (except ergonomically, as the flights left me with a sore neck for a few days). I’d even look forward to it again, except any upcoming flight would certainly involve travelling with all the baggage I was able to avoid this time. Yay for airplanes! Now I leave you with a video of Talia and I taking off.. note how the acceleration pushes her against her Daddy’s chest :).

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2014 Bluebonnet Pictures!

Last weekend, we set out to take Talia’s bluebonnet pictures. We drove up the road to the school with the nice mini-hill where we took last year’s pictures, but alas there were no flowers, so we failed.

Then we drove to the field next to Sonic where I’d spotted/verified bluebonnets, and we “succeeded”:

Bluebonnets 2014-1
Bluebonnets 2014-4
Bluebonnets 2014-6
But these bluebonnets weren’t that big, so I wanted something better. I spent a fair amount of time planning where we might drive out into the Hill Country to find some amazing hills covered in blankets of flowers, but it’s maddening trying to make “Hill Country” more specific when reading search results for “good places to find bluebonnets”. Thankfully, within the last hour before we were set to leave, I discovered a) that bluebonnets weren’t actually flourishing in the Hill Country yet (Austin/Houston got a head start), and b) that there was a nice field by building 5 of Dell’s campus in Round Rock (thanks, Mary!). So this time, we succeeded:

Bluebonnets 2014-9
Bluebonnets 2014-15
Bluebonnets 2014-16
Bluebonnets 2014-17
Bluebonnets 2014-20
Bluebonnets 2014-28
As you can see, these are not only bigger, but incredibly more dense. Aside from being more pretty, the denseness had a super-extra benefit for me as the photographer. Since they basically buried Talia, she wasn’t running around the field like crazy with me having to chase her!

We’ll see what next year’s blossom brings!


Sarah’s Additions

Jonathan took too many good pictures, so I thought these deserved honorable mentions.
First, a flashback to Bluebonnets 2013:

I like bluebonnets. I picked one even though Mommy told me not to. Now I'm a fugitive.

I like bluebonnets. I picked one even though Mommy told me not to. Now I’m a fugitive.

Now, Bluebonnets 2014!

Bluebonnets 2014-5

One million teeth!

There's a storm rolling in.

There’s a storm rolling in.  Or not. I don’t really have a caption for this one.

This is my nominee for Family Picture 2014. Talia was almost smiling.

This is my nominee for Family Picture 2014. Talia was almost smiling.

This is my nominee for Chipmunk Picture 2014. Adorable.

And this is my nominee for Chipmunk Picture 2014. It runs in the family.

the end.

 

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Why didn’t they ever make “Baby’s Quest”?

A baby’s life, formatted as a 90’s PC adventure game…

Look Floor. “You see two books and the fifty small pieces of paper that you just threw everywhere.”

Take Book. “You pick up the book, looking forward to a quiet evening of reading by the fireplace.”

Drop Book. “You put down the book, realizing that your pack was too heavy.”

Take Toy Lipstick. “You pick up the toy lipstick, wondering what you could possibly use this for. It must be in the game for some reason, though.”

Touch Cat. “The cat feels soft.”

Touch Cat. “The cat feels soft.”

Touch Cat. “The cat feels soft.”

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Use Toy Lipstick with Cat. “Nothing happens.”

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Use Toy Lipstick with Forehead. “Nothing happens.”

Taste Toy Lipstick. “The toy lipstick tastes like all your other toys.”

Use Toy Lipstick with Cat’s Water Bowl. “Mommy picks you up and says ‘No! That’s dirty!'”

Use Toy Lipstick with Cat’s Water Bowl. “Mommy picks you up and puts you in Baby Jail while she makes dinner.”

Use Toy Lipstick with Cell Bars. “Nothing happens.”

Save Game. “Thanks for playing Baby Quest. Come back soon!”

 

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Some Baby Stuff

I’ve been bad about posting baby stuff, so here’s some baby stuff.

Exhibit A: Getting Dressed

March 9: Talia found a new use for laundry: wearing it. Only 1-3 more years, and she might be successful.

NOTE: This video is the longest on the page (~3 minutes). There’s some impressive baby logic near the end, if you like that kind of thing.

 

Exhibit B: Reading

March 22: Talia loves board books. Currently, she won’t sit still long enough for us to read a complete story to her except at bedtime, but she will read a story to US. I like how her latest baby language sounds like “blah blah blah”.

 

Exhibit C: Calling Daddy

Also March 22: Every weekend day, Jonathan and I take separate morning shifts with the baby so that we can each get an extra hour or two of sleep. Rather than dragging the baby upstairs to get the sleeping person, we usually call each other. Talia likes to participate:

 

Exhibit D: Mommy Needs a Thumbnail

March 3: Mommy took some pictures.

Balancing

Talia likes to stand up on her push-car.

Winter smiles

Talia likes to smile.

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