Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Order! Order!

One of these days, I hope that we can find a way to translate baby talk into English. I am fairly certain that Emma has a perfectly good reason for pulling every possible object off the bed, out of drawers, from the shelves and onto the floor. I'm convinced of this because she's very sincerely telling me something. If only I knew what it was and why it was so important.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Emma Fights Domestic Abuse

It's good to know that if I'm ever attacked, Emma can at least sound the alarm. We found this out today when I bit off a little more than I could chew. It happens often, actually. See, Meng is very (very) ticklish. And I like to tickle him, because I'm not nearly as ticklish as he is. The problem (the thing I always forget before starting these things) is that Meng is stronger than me. In fact, he can somehow hold both of my hands with just one of his so he can use the other one to tickle me in my one true vulnerable spot.

But I guess all Emma sees is a man holding down a screaming, pleading woman. At first she just watched. Then I slid off the couch, and Emma started to cry. Ever since then, Emma gets upset whenever Daddy tickles Mommy. It's nice because she doesn't cry when I tickle Meng, and he just doesn't have the heart to make her cry.

Needless to say, this is a development I shall be taking advantage of in the near future.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Big Day for Emma Bean

Emma has been a busy critter since we've been here. At the moment she is standing in her crib, talking to her reflection in the window, showing it her new toy, a maraca, which I will talk about later. There are all sorts of new drawers and cupboards to explore, new outlets to try and eat, and new chairs to knock over... on herself.

I heard a noise and when I looked, it was like a crime scene. There was Emma, sprawled out on all fours, on top of her a toppled chair. It knocked the wind right out of her, and if she hadn't started crying instantly, I would have been panicking. She was obviously fine, with a few scrapes on her face and a bruise that went away in a few hours. I think she just scared herself more than anything. After a good 10 minutes of crying, she was fine.

In other news, she took a step! It was a teeny-tiny step, but a step non the less. Actually, I should say steps. This started about three days ago but we weren't sure if it was just a fluke or not. Then this morning, quite deliberately, she tried to walk toward me. She got about two steps in before she tripped over her own toes, but the intent was there. My (ever knowledgeable, med-student) husband predicts she will be seriously walking by 11 months.

(Emma dropped her maraca out of the crib. In an attempt to get it back, she also dropped her blanket. She is satisfied that this method will not work, and has returned to talking to her reflection)

Incidentally, she really is talking to her reflection. Yesterday she picked up "Hi!" Today it has gotten some serious usage and she is enthusiastically greeting every inanimate object she encounters. As for people, she is usually too busy showing off how cute she is to say it right away, but if they stick around for a minute or two she might decide to say it. She is also saying "Baba," which is Chinese for "daddy." Not bad for 9 1/2 months!

About that toy. Somehow in all the packing, we forgot to pack sufficient toys. Emma went for almost three days with nothing but a chewy butterfly, a book and two stuffed animals. So we went shopping. We picked up Eric Carle's Mister Seahorse and A House for Hermit Crab, and then at a tourist-trap store we found this maraca. We had a plethora of colors and styles to choose from, so we went with the cheapest, unpainted, plastic version in blue. Apparently it's the best toy we've ever gotten her. She plays with it constantly and you know what? For a noise-making toy it's pretty unoffensive. I really don't think we're going to get sick of it. As a $2.99 purchase it was totally worth it.

So that's my little list of updates for today. Feel free to comment on what you want to hear more about. I know I've been a little slack but there's just so much going on, sometimes it's difficult to pin down exactly what I should talk about. Toodles for now!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Altitude Sickness

As I mentioned in the previous post, we are in Colorado. Mountain Village, Colorado, to be exact. It's over the mountain from Telluride. We take the gondola to get there. Nifty, huh?

I want to be clear that the purpose of this portion of the post is to cause envy in the reader. Having established this, I shall continue with a description of our lodgings. We are staying in the "smallest" of the Mountain Lodge's suites. I put "smallest" in quotes because it has a foyer, living room and full kitchen. There are two closets in the foyer, one of which I imagine is designed for ski gear, but Emma's stroller fits into it nicely even when unfolded. There is also a full mirror which Emma has discovered is always there for her full enjoyment.

The kitchen has a stainless steel refrigerator, and came supplied with all the cutlery, pots and pans, dishes and silverware Suzy Homemaker could ask for. The only thing that is really missing is an oven, which I definitely miss every time I have the urge to make sauerkraut, but I am on a diet after all so who needs all that salt. There is a breakfast table between the kitchen and the living room.

The living room has a leather couch and armchair that sit across the room from the large screen TV which is mounted over the fireplace. There are also french doors that open out to our balcony with a view of the snow-peaked mountains. The fireplace is what separates the bedroom from the rest of the suite. It has a king size bed, another TV, and a grid from the fireplace in case we get cold. There are large windows with a view of, you guessed it, snow-peaked mountains.

The bathroom is another story in itself. I've never seen a bathtub so deep. It is contoured so that you have arm rests and a headrest if you let the water come up to your shoulders, and on the left there is a little button you push to make the jets come on.

Other details include the tile in the bathroom, kitchen and foyer, which are of stone. All the curtains are this amazing blackout curtain that really does succeed in "blacking out" the light if we want to go to bed early, which we have been doing. And did I mention the view?

So those are the things that are supposed to stir sinful envy within you. Now here is the thing that is going to bring you to reality: altitude sickness.

I am so tired. The problem is that my muscles are used to getting more oxygen than they are right now, so I'm very sore. That is why I'm updating my blog this late. Emma hasn't been too effected by the difference in atmosphere. She did get over her bout of sickness (thank you, Jesus) and she's eating normal food again.

The only problem Emma is having is with her bed. Apparently it's uncomfortable because for the past two nights she has woken up sobbing, and it's not like her to be afraid of unfamiliar places. So she's sleeping in our bed. She's taking up about half of it, actually. Meng and I are on either side of the bed and she is smack dab in the middle, lying sideways, stretched out as far as she can be. I've tried moving her. She just ends up back the way she was. We are going to have to find a different arrangement because I'm constantly worried I'm going to roll over on her, and quite frankly, she is stunting any sexual activity that could be possible in this altitude.

But enough about her. I'm here to moan and complain. My muscles hurt. And my head hurts. I can hardly walk 300 yards without worrying that my heart is going to jump out of my mouth. Also my nose is bleeding. It started with just trace amounts and it's gradually becoming more and more. I'm tired often. And I can't eat big meals! Who knew you needed oxygen to digest big meals?

With the way my heart is pumping all the time, and the little that I'm eating, I had better lose 10 pounds while I'm here.

So besides all that, we're having a blast. Frequent trips to the hot tub have been in order, along with gentle shuttle rides and drinking lots and lots of water. Tomorrow we plan to stay in and read, and the day after hopefully hit a hiking trail. Goodnight, world. Here's to heavy sleep due to oxygen deprivation!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Journal Entry. #1

I am currently taking a writing class. For it, I'm supposed to journal every day. This is my life blog, and the class is Writing Non-Fiction, so a lot of me is going to come out of it. I thought I'd post a bit when I think it's interesting. Incidentally, we're in Colorado for vacation and it's amazing, but we're all suffering from altitude sickness. We hope to be over it tomorrow or the next day. I'll try and post a few pictures soon.


Tonight I sat in the mountain lodge’s hot tub and watched snow-peaked mountains transform from silhouettes in the twilight to glistening phantoms in the dark. My husband and daughter had left not long before, leaving me completely alone. There were no other guests in the pool. There was no lifeguard either. I looked through open doors to the lodge bar. Even the bartender had disappeared. My fanciful mind thought of James Bond and I glanced about the pool to be sure there were no sharks. Again I settled into my view, listening to the sounds of the mountain. I could hear no one.

The music from the bar abruptly stopped, and the thought occurred to me. Was this the hour of ghosts? The pool lights came on with a loud click and hum. The underwater glow made my skin an eerie, translucent green. Was I a ghost?

Water cascaded out of my swimsuit as I jumped out of the hot tub and I was pleased to note that I did not see my own body left behind, and that I left wet footprints as I walked. But ghosts could sometimes move things. I searched for someone—anyone—as I dried off my body. I needed someone to see me, to say good evening or hello, to recognize my existence without horror.

The walk to my building was lonely. An owl hooted in the distance as I approached the door, as if questioning my occupancy. I waited an eternity, or was it only three minutes, for my husband to let me in. Had he forgotten me? What if he couldn’t see me? What if he knew I was dead and in sorrow had shut himself in the room?

But then he appeared. A smile and warm kiss greeted me, and his gentle arm guided me back to our room where our beautiful baby girl was sleeping. If I am dead, then we are all ghosts. And if we are to haunt any place, what more blissful a place than this? The mountains and pure sky shall solace our parting.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Rant.

I'm really tired of this "trick your kids to eat their vegetables" policy that's been developing among parents. This is how you get them to eat their vegetables: Cook the vegetables. Serve the vegetables. Now everyone, eat the vegetables. You could even *gasp* make more than one kind of vegetable at dinner and let them choose which one they want to eat.

The "this product has vegetables but your kids will never know" market is just angrifying. When a baby is going from milk to strained foods, they don't usually like anything the first time they try it. Same when they go to solid foods. Always try again, model good behavior, and for heaven's sake, stop letting them make demands at every meal! Of course they're always going to want chicken nuggets. If they wanted to play with a butcher knife, would you let them? Of course not!

We often do things that our children don't like because we know what's best. Keep them informed. Tell them their body needs important building blocks that only vegetables have. Use Lego's as an analogy, if you want to. But stop Stop STOP believing that you can't control what your child eats.

I might be an extremist, but I am the kind of person who would not hesitate to serve refused vegetables for the next meal. Quite frankly, I'm the mom, and you will eat what I put on the table.

Please know that I understand that there are some things that a person just will not like. I don't like mushrooms. But I'll eat them if I have to. Because. It's. What's. Being. Served. The food industry is supporting poor behavior in children. DOWN WITH ANARCHY!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sick Baby and the Diaper Rash of the Century

Emma is ill. We're not sure if she ate something that didn't agree with her, or if it's just a stomach flue, but it has caused quite violent diarrhea. Luckily, we already had an unopened bottle of Pedialite, and she's stayed quite hydrated. She is currently taking a nap on the floor.

The constant diaper changing caused a cherry-red diaper rash. It happens, I guess, due to all the moisture. So we're putting A+D on it. For my college friend readers, A+D is the same stuff you put on a new tattoo to keep it from drying out. It's helping a lot. The cherry-red has died down to a lovely rock-star pink. Also she no longer wails inconsolably for 10 minutes after each diaper change.

That interfered of course with all sorts of life-necessities, such as laundry, homework and cleaning.

To labor!