Eleven Months

Categories: Cecilia | No Comments

Dear Cecilia,

Three days ago you turned eleven months old. I know every month I start off by saying something about time moving so quickly, but I just can’t help thinking that when I sit down to write your letter. It’s just so amazing – your progress, my progress, and the dramatic changes. Every month has new challenges and new triumphs, and we’re just so consumed by it that we don’t have time to savor it. Celebrating your monthly birthday is always bittersweet.


This month started off with a doozy. I had one of the worst cases of hay fever of my life. Since I’m not taking my daily allergy medicine and cannot take antibiotics because of nursing, it lingered a whopping thirteen days. Your daddy had to take three days off of work to watch you so I could rest. You guys had your first trip out sans momma, and your daddy learned that he can no longer be ignored and unnoticed in public. You’re constantly staring and smiling at strangers, which prompts them to stop and talk to both of you. In the past, he was too grumpy to talk to people he didn’t know, but I suspect that he doesn’t mind as much now since it gives him an opportunity to show you off.pink-shirt

The big happening this month was your first step. It started off with just two or three little shuffles, and you seemed very content with this for a couple weeks. Then suddenly you started trying a few more, and now you can’t happily toddle across the room while holding onto a toy. You’ve fallen a couple times but cried only once. In fact, there have been several times that I thought you should have cried, but you picked yourself up and went on your way. Your determination is remarkable and fascinating to watch. It’s one more thing to add to my list of reasons I’m proud of you.


My favorite day this month was Mother’s day. It was everything a first Mother’s day should be. Daddy let me sleep in. We went for a family walk in the park, and we had frozen yogurt at TCBY. Most importantly, it was my favorite day because I got to spend it with you and daddy. You’re such a blessing, and my life is a million times richer because you’re my daughter.


Trade Off

Categories: Lucy | 2 Comments

I realize it’s the 28th, and it’s time to write Cecilia’s 11 month letter.  I try to put a lot of thought into them, and I need to let it marinate some more.  In the meantime, I have a Lucy story.

This past holiday weekend, we had our backyard fenced in so Lucy wouldn’t run off (and so I could stop screaming about bathroom appliances to the neighborhood).  It was supposed to be finished on Monday, Memorial day, but due to several days of rain and the contractor shooting himself with a nailgun, it wasn’t finished until Tuesday.  Considering the circumstances, I was pretty understanding.  Hell, I was just happy to have a fence.  Lucy, on the other hand, was not.

On Tuesday afternoon, I took her out to our newly encased backyard.  She did her usual bolt from the backdoor to the tree that squirrels like to perch in.  This time, however, she ran right up to the fence, promptly turned around, and looked at me with a “WTF” facial expression.  It’s been three days, and she’s still doing it every time.  In fact, she’s refusing to willingly pee and poop in protest.  You have to yell at her to get her to do the deed.  I think I just traded, “HAIRDRYER” for “GO POTTY!”.

Cecilia LOVES Pickles

Categories: video , Cecilia | 5 Comments

On Goings and Goings On

Categories: Picklings | 3 Comments

I realize things have been pretty quiet around here lately.  Truth be told, I just don’t have anything to say.  I’m so exhausted after chasing a über mobile baby around all day that I just collapse into the sofa and veg out watching TV every night.  Plus I use up all my creative energy trying to entertain Cecilia that I just can’t write.  There are only so many games of peek-a-boo that a person can play before their brain disappears without returning.  Here’s a short list of things that are almost blog worthy.

Our local squirrels (the ones that drive Lucy nuts) have been snacking on my lettuce in the garden.  I started designing some kind of contraption to keep them out, but then I realized that it would cost more to build than to just buy lettuce at the grocery store.  I let Lucy chase them a couple times, but it seemed to make her crazy flare up.  When I googled it, some obscure website suggested sprinkling the plants with coffee grounds.  So far, that’s worked.  The lettuce is flourishing, and the squirrels are nowhere to be found.  Even if they did eat it, it would be worth watching their coffee buzz.

Cecilia is getting much better at eating solid food.  Today she devoured a dill pickle spear at Panera, which means she belongs in my family.  Confessing your love for pickles is sorta like being baptized and delivered into the Baker clan.

Right now I’m trying to find a post-industrial country that doesn’t have their own version of “American Idol” so I can move my family there and claim asylum.  I’m just not into those shows, and while I have no problem with other people watching them, I’m starting to feel isolated because it’s all the rage right now.  Tonight I’m going to a women-only event, and I’m afraid they’ll chase me out with when I don’t know who won AI last night. (Or was it the night before last?)

So that’s all I have to report.  This post is probably full of typos, but Chris fell asleep while rocking the baby so he can’t edit it.  (And I’m definitely not going to wake him.)  I need to get the yogurt out of my hair and bandage my ingrown toenail before my night out.  Mommas gonna have a couple glasses of wine with her gal pals.

Secret Ingredient is…

Categories: cooking | 4 Comments

In an effort to save money, I’ve been using the ingredients that I have on hand to cook dinner. This means cooking my staple items to make the usual go-to recipes. After all, being adventurous and trying something new often means buying new ingredients, and that really starts to add up. However, while cleaning out the pantry, I’ve stumbled upon several unopened packages of unique items that were originally purchased for new recipes (that I’ve since misplaced).

Currently the list includes:

  • Star Anise
  • Juniper Berries
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Chili Sauce
  • Spring Roll Paper

My goal over the next month is to use these items. Anyone have any ideas or experience with them?

Better Than Baby Einstein

Categories: Cecilia , Lucy | 4 Comments

Though we haven’t seen it, Chris and I have a sneaking suspicion that Cecilia is cutting her second tooth.  In the wee hours of the morning, she kept us him up for hours screaming as he tried to rock her back to sleep.  Even though my loving husband lets me sleep through most of night awakenings, I have a hard time getting good sleep because I’m worried about Cecilia and because I feel super guilty.  (To be honest, it’s mostly the guilt.  I know she’s in good hands.)  Needless to say, this combined with the illness that will not die caused me to get very piss-poor sleep.  (I’m too tired to be eloquent, bite me.  Oh, who am I kidding? I’m never classy.)

I was really hopeful that Cecilia would take a long nap today and that maybe, just maybe, I could join her.  Unfortunately, those aspirations were quelled by the sound of a chainsaw.  Our local electric co-op decided to TODAY would be the best day to do it’s bi-annual tree trimming, which included our large maple trees in the front yard.   As I’ve previously explained, Lucy barks at strangers who knock on our door.  You can only imagine what she did when a truck load of power tool wielding men worked in our yard.  Chaos followed.

Eventually, she settled down, and she and Cecilia took position at the screen door.  Both were fascinated by our new friends.  After a few minutes, the trimmers realized they had an audience and started to laugh.  This caused Cecilia to laugh.  Then hilarity ensued and made up for the lost nap.


Motherhood 2009

Categories: mommyhood | 1 Comment


On my first Mother’s day, I’d like to share some of the things that I’ve learned about motherhood since Cecilia arrived:

  • Promptly after bringing your baby home, your dog suddenly becomes a dog and no longer your first born.
  • Dandelions are no longer weeds when you see the pure joy they bring your child.
  • Sounds effects will become part of your daily vocabulary, and you will find yourself making them when you’re completely alone and in the presence of strangers.
  • Once you have a child, mortality becomes very real. Also, the “What if’s” become unbelievably scary.
  • Mother’s feel a great sense of accomplishment - when your child takes her first steps, when strangers compliment her, when you pull a gigantic booger out of her tiny little nose with a bulb suction, etc.
  • Until you become a parent, you cannot fully comprehend what it meant to pray a prayer of thanksgiving. The same goes with a prayer of protection.
  • You start to notice when people drive way too fast in your neighborhood, especially that guy who lives down the street and drives a white Mitsubishi Eclipses.
  • Getting covered in slobbery open mouth kisses by a toothless, slightly bald person is the best feeling in the world.

What does motherhood mean to you?


Categories: Photography | No Comments

Chris gave me a new lens and a remote for Mother’s Day.  (Yes, I’m posting this on Mother’s Day eve.  He’s not very good at waiting or keeping secrets.)  After almost three years of blogging, it looks like my mug might show up a little more often.



Categories: home , green living | 3 Comments

I know I’m always preaching going green and using earth-friendly methods.  However, I do believe that there is a time and place for conventional ways.  For example, last spring I battled a small army of black ants that were trying to invade my home.  In addition to the usual storing and covering of food, I drew chalk lines, dusted my window sills with pepper, and sprayed my counters with vinegar.  We still had a few ants, but I managed to keep them at bay.  This spring, when the ants returned, I tried the same methods, but they didn’t have the same results. I even tried tracking them to their nest in order to pour boiling water on it, but it didn’t work.  Ants seemed to be sneaking their way into every room of the house.  When I found ants crawling across Cecilia’s changing table several days in a row, I knew it was time to take action.  You can mess with my raisins, but you better not mess with my baby.

I invested in several anti-ant remedies - stakes, sprays, traps.  I even mixed borax with pancake syrup.  The repellents worked, but they seemed to pick up and move somewhere else nearby.  Frustrated, I started to track their path again when I noticed that they were flocking towards the grill cover yesterday.  I thought they had found a source of food, and I thought that would be a good place to spray.  Little did I know that grill cover had become their new home.

Despite suffering from a miserable case of hay fever, fiery hatred for the ants started to bubble inside of me as I grabbed a bottle of bug killer.  I sprayed and sprayed, but every time I unfolded more of the cover, I found more ants.  When the first bottle ran out, I grabbed a second bottle.  When that was empty, I grabbed a can of Raid for hornets that was originally purchased to kill a nest of carpenter bees in our carport.  (They’re still there, but I weighed the risk.  Outdoor bees with no stingers vs. ants that bite and enter my house.)  After all was said and done, my arm was sore from holding down the triggers on the bottles, and there was carnage all around.  It was like a Arthropod Hiroshima.

I won’t lie; it felt good.  I won the battle.  Though there were a few survivors, I killed thousands upon thousands of them.  I made no exceptions.  All ants were fair game.  All that the remaining ants could do was run away.  That is until I pulled out an old bottle of Windex with ammonia.

Warning - These pictures give me the heebee-geebees, and I was there.  





Light at the End of the Tunnel

Categories: Picklings | 3 Comments

I’m sick, ridiculously sick, with hay fever and spring allergies.  It may be my drug induced stupor, but doesn’t this lamp look like ovaries and a uterus?