Friday, December 24, 2010

Baking Baby

Christmas baking is literally a treat, most of the time. I like to cook and to bake so I am usually up for a challenge.This year I attempted to make truffles. Sigh. I started trying to make them 4 days ago, just to see how it would go. It did not go well. I had several recipes from my favorite Food Network stars and started out with the simplest. The center part of the truffle called from condensed milk and cocoa. That's it. It was suppose to stiffen up enough in the frig for a couple of hours and it never happened. I tossed it. Then I tried a more traditional center with white chocolate, a bit of vanilla and heavy cream. I put it in the frig to solidify and sure enough after an entire day, nothing. I checked my frig and it was fine. So I put it in the freezer...success! I molded the balls and put them on a cookie sheet back in the freezer. If this seems a bit  of a hassle so far you have no idea because the yummy hard chocolate outside what just as difficult to pull off. I melt chocolate on my gas stove and my centers got melty. I melted chocolate and as I put centers in the bucket they melted too. It was a juggling act. After 4 days of truffle making, I came out with about 20. I appreciate that classic I Love Lucy moment at the candy factory even more.

I also made holiday rice krispie treats, cookies, sugar free banana bread, sugar free brownies, mixed nuts chocolate bark, and a pumpkin cheesecake! It turns out that baking with an infant takes twice as long. A few tips, hide the timer in a drawer because when it goes off it will wake the napping baby. The drawer helps subdue the sound. Be sure to carve out a part of the kitchen even a counter for a baby station because she is going to want to hang out. And as all things baby are concerned, be flexible because as soon as that pie needs to be out of the oven is the very moment your baby has a pooplosion the size of Guatemala!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

No Biggie

Parents are prepared to do just about anything for their babies. Before you even sign up for the parental gig you assume the responsibility of changing diapers and cleaning spit up is part of the job description but the truth of parenthood is that it's much much more. You find yourself in situations that you just didn't think would come up, you could refer to the previous pooplosion entires but I am here to reveal that it does get a bit more convoluted and kinda gross than just the poo.

Last week as I took off Lydia's diaper to put her in the tub, she peed all over me. I didn't even flinch. It was as if I had been peed on millions of times. I couldn't walk away with her in the tub to get cleaned up for obvious reasons, so as she got clean while the pee drip all over me and onto the kitchen floor. Eh. No biggie.

I noticed that she had some excessive ear wax and if you know me well you may know the Floyd story. Poor Floyd was a classmate of mine when I was in elementary school. My 5th grade year I broke my leg in several places and was in a full leg cast for most of the year. Every morning my mom would drop me off with a wheelchair and Floyd would help her get me out of the car and into the chair. Every morning I would see poor Floyd's ear wax overflowing out of his ear. I mean the yellowness was seeping out. 23 years later, I have to clean my ears every day. If you can imagine, I can't allow my child to be Floyd and I can't stick a Q-tip in her little ear so when I see a little yellow coming out, I wipe it away with my finger. Often I have to wipe on whatever is my shirt or pants. Eh. No biggie.

As most babies...actually most humans Lydia produces boogers. That blue thing that sucks things out is rather frightening because you feel like you may suck their little brains right out even though you don't. In truth I can't seem to get it in there far enough to suck on the boogers I see without fear so I use my nails. It's harder than you may think to get a wiggly 3 month old to let you get their boogers so they won't be the kid with boogers. So I pick her nose for her. Eh. No biggie.

Of course there is the spit up down the cleavage. No biggie. I quickly leave aisles at Target because her farts are so awful that no ones believes it would be a cute baby making that stink so I avoid eye contact and take the heat of the stink. The whispers are heard, but no biggie. I have licked her binki when it has fallen in dirt and we didn't any other way to clean it. Little dirt never hurt anyone, no biggie.

At the end of the day, there is nothing that I wouldn't do for her and even the most passive of parents report being capable of tearing someone from limb to limb if necessary to protect or make their child's life better/safer. The smile from Lydia makes everything not that big of a deal.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Family Recap and Update

Lydia turned 3 months two days ago! Every parent in the planet has told me to treasure every second because time really flies.That is absolutely true. Every day is a whole new adventure of wonderful discoveries for our little girl. She laughs spontaneous and keeps attempting to crawl away. She holds her head up strongly and enjoys a good zerbert!

In the last couple of months, I have learned how to nurse just about any where with the help of the hooter hider. Lydia has learned to love the bath tub when it is completely filled and she can kick around her feet. Tights are a little girl's essential during cold months. On Santa's list is an exersaucer and a couple learning toys that make music that she can grow into. There are some socks that are slightly better than others but socks are easier once I realized her feet are bigger than those tiny things. She has successfully transitioned into her crib even if she sneaks into our bed around 5 AM , she falls asleep in her bed and stays there for almost 6-7 hours every night. It's really amazing! (Thank you all for all of your advice!) Lydia is aware of her toys and grabs at them! So we have daily play time.

It's certainly been eventful the last few months. We have visited family. Gone on several little trips all over the state including Leesburg, Gainesville, Ocala, Sarasota and Miami. We have learned to be a family on the go. We have weeded out her infant clothes and many of her 3-6 month ones and put in the 6 month wardrobe. We have learned to make small spaces work.

I have milk stored and ready to be unfrozen. A few weeks from now I will return to work and need to learn how to pump during the school day but more importantly cope with the separation. Luckily my folks will be taking care of her at our house and I have the best job ever. I am hoping the transition is as smooth as can be expected.

We have been asked to be the Holy Family for Christmas Eve service at church, so we are excited to make our theatrical debut as a family. Surely Lydia will meditatively lay in her manger in front of the congregation during communion.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ho! Ho! Toy Discrimination

Playing Santa is certainly a new fun twist to the holidays. Lydia will be about 3 1/2 months by Christmas and has already started her letter to Santa. Kidding of course, but we are trying to be sensible first time parents knowing that we can't buy everything on the planet for a baby that won't be quite able to play with things yet. Nevertheless, we have some things hidden in the closet (which should be a safe place since she can't even roll over yet.) We are looking at some toys that she can grow into, mostly those marked 6 months and up since no one around here is getting any younger, which leads me to discuss the plethora of catalogs that arrive at the house and are a real treat to look through. I have no idea how every toy making company on the planet has been notified of our precious little package arriving but they must have a summit with a pretty powerpoint of sucker new moms and dads. Let the record show that we have not purchased anything via catalog for our baby girl just yet mostly because some of the items are ridiculously expensive and she is a tiny baby and doesn't know how to grab things intentionally yet so it seems a bit premature. As I browsed I saw a culturally sensitive choice of dolls.

Now, I appreciate the concept that little children should have dolls that look like them. It is important for kids to be able to identify and then participate in imaginative play. But, if you notice these dolls are only diverse by name not by look, with the exception of the black baby there is virtually no difference in these baby dolls. Perhaps this catalog was progressive enough to have an agenda in mind thus attempting to claim there are no true differences among us; all people are the same at heart. For some reason, I am willing to guess that they are not that culturally evolved rather ignorant enough to the believe that dolls with the exact features with the slight change in color is enough to represent the richness of cultural identity. The only comforting is the "latino" baby looking at the camera saying, "Really?"

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I had a dream last night that I was driving in a sedan with Bkay, someone I don't remember and Lydia in the car. I was speeding frantically down the street, swerving, completely pulling a speed racer on crack. I went down a narrow road with an endless lane of parked white four door cars. I was going so fast that I hit a side mirror of a parked car. I wanted to keep going but Bkay saw that a state trooper saw me hit the car. So I immediately pulled into the median and the three of us ran towards a cathedral. While in the Gothic religious temple I was running through it as if I was trying to find something but it was designed like a labyrinth, I couldn't find a way out. Suddenly I came to a giant window and saw my car in the median and remembered that Lydia was in there. I sense of panic overwhelmed me and I started to sprint through the church. I was crawling under pews, hoping on the organ pipes and shimming by choir robes. I heard footsteps and was scared so I climbed into the ceiling was slithering on stain glass when I saw a friar that looked like he was from the Byzantine era. He was pacing and muttering something. As I got closer I could begin to hear him and in a far distance I could see the car and I didn't know what to do...the panic was suffocating. I couldn't get to Lydia. I couldn't get passed the friar. I couldn't move. Argh! I woke up.

I might be getting worked up about going back to work.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Florida Mom

A cold front has swept threw our tropical peninsula which means that we have to bundle up. As a natural born Floridian I do things like wear socks with sandals and tank-tops under sweaters. Part of the reason is that most places as soon as the temperature drops under 75 the heat gets kicked on so you never know when you need to wrap that sweater around your butt or slip off the socks to let your feet breathe.

As most hot or mild climate places during the supposed winter there is the art of light layers because most of us don't own massive coats that will provide the majority of the required warmth. My Florida born infant is in a similar situation. My mom who in 90 degree weather says to bundle her up was over yesterday and she suggested that I should put light tight layer close to Lydia's body. I agreed basic layering principle is start with something light but close to the skin, so I put on a light long sleeve onesie. Then I put on her cute long sleeve onesie from Gap that looks like her shirt is untucked but still is a body suit. In between those I put on tights because I didn't want them to slide off, some jeans, shoes and a sweater. My little bundle of joy was bundled up alright, so much that she couldn't really move. Her arms were doing that number like kids in movies from Michigan (insert any other cold state here) where they can't put there arms down. They just run with their arms sticking straight out.

Well, I tried to put Lydia in her carseat but poor thing couldn't bend the right way and started crying. I went through the list ...Hungry? No. Wet? No. Sleepy? No. What could possibly be wrong I wondered!? I picked her up and took her into my room and laid her on the bed. I started peeling off the layers until she was smiling and wiggling around. I might have over done it.