Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cackling Hania

This video is a little late, but that's just how we roll around here....always a little late with good intentions!
It was taken at her 6-month check up on 4/11/08 and she was getting a little antsy so we had to resort to the oldest trick in the book - throwing the child around. She loves to fly! Check out her cackling (you can't even call that a laugh, she's cracking up!).

And then something funny that made ME laugh. For weeks, people, laughing for weeks. When I'm driving along in a foul mood about work, or I'm annoyed that the cat left a present outside the litter box, I think about this and it just makes me laugh.

Note to readers: this is a little crude and not exactly family friendly. Not that the children will "get it" but I had to warn you.

Conversation had with an acquaintance, regarding the doctor's news that Hania might have croup: (turns out she did not, but that is besides the point)

Lady: So how's Hania doing? Is she feeling better?
Missy: Yes, the doctor said she might have croup but we'll just have to see how her cough develops and if it worsens we'll take her back in.
Lady: Oh, the croup. Wow, that's awful. I had it once and man, it really burns so bad when you pee. It's just miserable.
Missy: (insert stunned silence here) Umm....
Lady: But they just give you some medicine and it's no big deal.
Missy: (reaching for something, anything to say when I realized that this acquaintance not only confused croup with the clap, but that she disclosed her personal experience about it.)
Great. Well, uh, gotta run.

Wow. That's all I have to say about that, Enjoy that little snippet of my life in Kentucky!
Wish you were here to share in my many delightful cultural experiences!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Guess who's still here?

Yes, that is a look of perpetual guilt. Maybe she was raised Catholic or something.
K-Doggy Dogg has endeared herself, as usual, just in the nick of time.
Hania now giggles uncontrollably at her and reaches out for her. Dang. No farm for K-Dogg.
Plus, she hasn't eaten any underwear or baby clothes lately. Keira, not Hania.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Letter of gratitude

Dear inventors of the Brights Start Around We Go Activity Center:

Thank you for helping this busy mother to maintain her sanity. If I ever meet you in the flesh, do not be shocked if I throw myself at your feet and declare my undying love. Initially I was again infant incarceration systems, but all standards were out the window by 6 wks of age when I returned to work. My daughter now plays in this center for at least 15 minutes, twice a day. This has allowed me to do the following unthinkable activities:

1. Cook semi-healthy meals that involve more than just the microwave.
2. Prepare homemade baby food, which my daughter thanks you for, with the exception of
steamed green beans, because honestly, who really eats those without some butter and salt?
3. Shave my legs at least twice a week. My husband thanks for you for one as well. He was
beginning to think he married the wolf-man's hot sister.
4. Use the flat iron at least once a week, so that my post-pregnancy frizzy hair frightens small
children only 6 days of the week.
5. Pee.

Thank you also for teaching my daughter the following important things:

1. Various genres of music to shake her groove thang to (ie jazz, classical, hip hop, salsa, and
2. A little ingenuity can go a long way. (Hania was not tall enough to go around using her feet, so
she pulled with her hands from one activity to another).
3. Beginning wake-boarding skills using the little life raft that can be pulled behind the little
plastic boat.

I will recommend your product to anyone and everyone that will listen.
Thanks again,
your new BFF,

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Where's my stunt double?

So this is Hania's latest trick that we've discovered. She loves to pull herself up using your hands. Of course we are thrilled because this is the precursor to walking, but also terrified because, well, it is the precursor to walking! Initially we gave her a significant amount of help, but now she can pull to standing by herself.
We have not started to childproof the house yet. Good thing there is that tax stimulus refund on the way...have you priced some of the items needed to childproof a home? Good gracious.

Notice the self-proclaimed feminist unwittingly using the phrase "good girl" which reinforces society's belief that a girl's self-worth is based on her ability to be docile, non-challenging, and color within the lines at all times. Hopefully Hania will forgive me. Blame it on exhaustion. Note to self: do not subconsciously reinforce stereotypical sexist messages to six month old.

She definitely could use a stunt double.

Other interesting things this week:

* Made a trip to the doctor yesterday because she was pulling on her ear and was extremely
fussy. We received 2 diagnoses: 1) Mommy is an overreactive dumba@# and thought it was
an ear infection, & 2) Hania is teething! She has a sharp little lower front tooth poking
through! In our defense, Hania has been showing signs of teething for 3 months now, so I just
never imagined it was finally breaking through!

* The Schmonsees grandparents came for a weekend visit. We had a nice time just hanging out,
which gave me time to organize her closet and Johnny studied for his final next week.

* Spring has sprung around Kentucky! We planted tulips, daffodils and grape hyacinths about 2 years ago, and they have come up beautifully every year since. LOVE LOVE LOVE bulbs! So much payoff for very little initial work.

Happy Happy Spring!!!

Is it "Da-da"?

Look what Hania started doing last night...

Allright, we need some help from our "readers" (all 5 of you!)
Is this sweet child saying "Da-da"? We sure would like to think it is, but since this is our first round of parenting, we might be overzealous!

She has been moving her jaw like this for the past week and suddenly this just came out! She is playing in her round-and-round (well, that's what we call it) in our bathroom while I ransack my cabinets to prepare for the church yard sale. She just started saying it, and I yelled for Johnny to come see his child prodigy.

So funny that she sounds exasperated! Johnny says that is because she is used to hearing Mommy refer to Daddy in that tone. I have no idea what he is taking about. I am a patient and kind individual that only speaks in loving tones to my family. Ha!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Six Month Photos

Hania on the morning of her Six Month Birthday....April 11, 2008.

My mom used to wake me up by saying "It's time to start your happy day!!!" in a really loud, cheerful voice. I am not a morning person. This phrase still haunts me. Apparently Hania is, though, because this is how she wakes up every, single day. With a genuinely happy smile on her sweet little face! I might smile too, if I had slept for 9 hours and someone monitored my comfort using a video camera.

Below is Hania at the doctor's office, before her 6 month shots. She took them like a trooper and the office staff is great, but it still breaks your heart to see the real tears streaming down her face!

Daddy, why are you tickling me?

Some people say their infants are fussy or sleep all day after shots, but Hania was ready to play.
She has picked Crusoe as "her kitty". It is obvious that she focuses on him when he walks by, and reaches out to grab him, opening and closing her hands. He is the only one of our four cats (yeah, you read that right, we have a mini-zoo here. We might require a permit, but who's counting?) that would lay next to her when she was very little, and wasn't scared. She also has a "kitty voice" that is soft and gentle, as opposed to her her usual form of communication, which is screaming or screeching! Crusoe camped out in her laundry hamper and she thought it was hilarious. They played through the mesh bag for quite a while.

Anyone up for a tennis match?

Maybe this is why these two bonded... perhaps Hania's bottles remind him of his kittenhood. He and his brother Big-Tony-the-kitty-mob-boss (to be said with a Joisey accent, as in "fuhgeddaboutit!") were rescued from a foster home in October 2006. Crusoe was so pitiful and had to be bottle fed for several weeks. The foster mother was just planning to let nature take it's course and let coyotes eat them, but I couldn't let that happen. I also know that foster mom is a little nutso. As in, gave me a beautiful study Bible as a gift and then told me that I needed it more than anyone she'd ever met. REALLY? Apparently she doesn't get out much, because I'm pretty tame these days. Even better, she told the foster kids I was a whore b/c I wore eyeliner. LOVE. MY. JOB. The rewards are endless, I tell ya! Don't you know that I wore liquid eyeliner every time I went to their house after that? AND lip gloss for good measure, to show her who's boss! What a rebel.
I have a million funny foster care stories, but I won't relate them all at once because you would laugh so darn hard that you'd spit your coffee/soda/milk out of your nose. And I wouldn't want to be responsible for that. It is not modeling good behavior for your children.
Now I'm getting a little fired up thinking about this nasty lady, so I'm going to look at the cute picture of little bottle-fed kitty and count to ten! Pet owners have a decreased risk of heart disease, did you know that? If this is true, then Johnny and I should be so calm that we're CAT-atonic! Get it? Funny girl for late on a Thursday night!


Friday, April 11, 2008

About 6 months ago right now...

I looked like this! Hania's 6 month birthday is today at 11:34 am! It feels like she has been with us for much longer that just 6 months.

My water broke sometime after 2am when I managed to finally lay down to rest. I distinctly recall feeling my water break (no mistaking that feeling!) and lapsing into my typical procrastination/denial mode and thinking: "dang, I'm really not ready to deliver her yet because I still haven't finished that client's assessment, and my cute hoodie isn't finished drying yet, and I don't want my parents/in-laws to see how dirty the carpets are." Wow.

This pic is around 3am after I'd showered, attempted to use the flat iron between contractions, and painted my toenails. Because that's the important stuff, right?

I'll spare you the details of the delivery, but here is little Hania at around 1 minute old:

Again, the denial kicked in when I saw them lay her momentarily on my stomach, and I thought: "That cannot be MY big, red-headed baby!" Nevermind that silly umbilical cord attached, I just wasn't quite sure she was ours! (For some reason, my mind painted a vision of her as a dark haired baby, and the doctor's assured me that she would be quite small according to their measurements.) Johnny just kept saying "oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh". I don't think he was referring to my newly painted toenails, either.

A team of nurses whisked her away to do more thorough suctioning because she had swallowed some fluid during her trip down the birthing water slide. Thankfully I couldn't see them sticking a long tube down into her throat repeatedly, but Johnny did. And it really freaked him out for obvious reasons. She was just fine after a couple of minutes, and then they handed her to us and then we were....alone. With a baby. Our baby. That we have to feed and change and protect and educate and teach to read and ride a bike and give amazing life experiences to. Holy CRAP!
And she's going to want to go to Mardi Gras and South Padre for spring break someday!
No no no!

Do we look shell shocked? That's because we were. And still are. But we're getting the hang of it and have enjoyed so many wonderful moments with little Hania. Happy 6 Month Birthday little girl!
We'll post an official 6 month photo later today!

Salt & Pepa

Can you handle this cuteness? If in doubt, you might want to stop scrolling down about now, because it is pretty darn cute... My mom got matching outfits for Hania and Arial (aka Salt & Pepa OR Ebony & Ivory) and we did an impromptu photo shoot. Yes, we are supposed to be working. But Monique and I get more done on a bad day than most folks do all week... I'm just saying.

Future AKA's. If you don't know why this is funny to say Hania is a future AKA, then you have not lived in Atlanta.

These shots say it all: Hania is just observing everything casually, staring into the camera (poor child probably thinks something is amiss if a day goes by WITHOUT a camera in her face) and Arial is into EVERYTHING! Looking around, checking things out, nothing gets by this little girl!

Only 2 months apart! Hania is a bit of a chunk, and Arial is very petite. Both wearing their new shoes. Thanks to Monique for trying to corral two wild things! I told her she looked like a natural holding two babies, so when was the 2nd one on the way. Then she cussed me out. Just kidding! She's a lady, so she just rolled her eyes. (: But she was possibly cussing me out in her mind.

I cannot believe how long it has been since the last entry. Slacking, I tell ya! Actually not. Life is just going full speed ahead, as usual. I'll try to hit the high points:

* Returned home from our trip to Texarkana and still trying to get caught up on housework/laundry/organizing. It is not humanly possible. Johnny is giving everything he has and so am I. Disaster imminent. Must teach cats to scoop their own litter boxes. Teaching Hania to do her laundry is on the weekend to-do list. She really hasn't been pulling her weight around here lately. All 16 lbs, 1 oz.

* Seriously considering taking Keira to live on a farm with one of our foster families. This is a heart breaking decision to make, but we are trying to weigh if she would be happier living without a fence and with 12 kids to pay her endless attention. Even if the kids are hellions. But she could always just eat them if they get too wild. But that would require me to do more "critical incident" paperwork, as well as add "eaten by dog" to the checklist of common incidents.
* Started my new position, which is really the same position but double the caseload and 2 more offices to oversee, plus at least one day per week of travel. Still bringing Hania 4 days per week.

* Mucho job drama....this section has been edited to protect the not-so-innocent, and because you never know who is reading! I know I will look back on this years later and laugh...right? RIGHT? (:

Hania is making so much progress lately! A quick rundown: can hold her own 4 oz bottle; happily eats baby food (peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, green beans); reaches out towards the kitties and dog attempting to grab their fur, fascinated by textures (ie fringe on the pillow, scratchy carpet, running water); sleeps in her big-girl crib upstairs with the monitor on at night; developed a hacking cough a week ago that might have been croup; loves to stomp her feet and jump while watching herself in the mirror; loves to play the "piano" on her exersaucer; sits up by herself and is developing a good sense of balance.

I think that about covers it! Will try to resume more frequent posts!!!


For the moment, my blog has turned into a gratitude journal!

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