"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes-and ships-and sealing-wax-
Of cabbages-and kings-
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings."

- The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carrol
(From Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


What a day.


Typical morning craziness. Out the door by 7.30. Drop the kiddo at daycare by 8. Check in with work by 8.15. Back-to-back meetings from 9am - 2pm. Crazy catchup afterward with a flurry of emails. Network crash. Shit. Can't do web programming that I need to do with no internet. Reassess to-do list and plan for the next day. 4pm, time to go get the kiddo. Walk to parking lot. Admire museum en route. Drive to daycare. No parking available in drop-off lanes. Shit. Circle around the block. No parking available. Shit, shit. Circle around the block. Park. Finally. Check in with security. Answer the old, grumpy security guy's questions ("Do you work for the State?" "No, I sort of work for the city." "Sort of? Either you do or you don't"...ugh...seriously, I have to explain this now?). Get my security badge, walk through metal detector, collect car keys, spy the kiddo playing perfectly happily on her own. Ahh. "Abbey?" [insert squeals of delight from my daughter]. Smile. Get the daily report from her teachers. No afternoon nap. Shit. Oh, well. Collect her things. Back to the car. Strap her in. Let the crying begin. Get in the car, drive away. Traffic. Child crying, "sshhh, sshhhh, sshhhhit this isn't working." Traffic. More crying. More traffic. Crying becomes red faced screaming. Nothing helps. Turn up NPR. Try to tune out. Impossible. Traffic, traffic, traffic. Shit, shit, shitty shit. 35 minutes pass. Finally pull into driveway. Screaming ends. Ahh. Grab work bag, baby bag, lunch bag, and baby. Enter the house. Where is the husband? "Hello? A little help here? Hello?" Upstairs to the bedroom. Locate husband. Give frazzeled update. Plop kiddo on the floor to play. Change out of work clothes. Go to kitchen to make bottle. Notice puddle of dog pee on hardwood floor. Shit. "Dante!" Clean up mess [insert muttering here]. Hear solid thud from ceiling above. Loud baby cries. Shit. "Is she okay?" "She's fine." More cries. Wailing. Rush upstairs with baby bottle. "What happened?" "She was crawling and crashed." Grab baby and soothe. Move to nursery, get ready for baby's bath. Crying, crying, crying. And then...bathtime. Ahhh. Happy baby. Assess the day with the hubs. Marriage banter here. Typical check-in. Baby rubs eyes. Time to get out. Into the nursery. Sing bunny foo foo. Into pajamas. Calm, soothe. Bottle. Snuggle. Sing songs. Head nuzzle. Kiss on the cheek. Rock in the chair.

And then.

A kiss.

My first kiss from my daughter.

Big, sloppy, poorly placed, and uncoordinated.

Absolutely perfect.

Tears form (mine this time).

A kiss really does make everything better.

Kiddo off to bed...sleep...mommy off for some well-deserved "me-time". Cocktails will be involved.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nine Months In - Nine Months Out

Dear Abigail,

Congratulations, my sweet baby girl! You are nine months old. It took nine months to bake you, and with nine months on the outside under your belt, you are definitely ready to take on the world. You have reached so many milestones just this month alone. First daycare. First cold. You wave hello and goodbye. If we say, "bounce," you bounce (and it's adorable!), you have two teeth, you understand the word, "no." In fact, you shake your head, "no." And the biggest one of all - the one that actually made me cry because I was so happy to watch it - in real time - while it was happening - AND we caught it on camera...you CRAWLED! Finally!

My gosh we love you. Such a busy bee. Such a smart girl.

As for me - now that I've had 18 months to get my head around this whole mommy thing, I think I've finally found my groove. It's funny how all of a sudden things kind of just gel. A few weeks down the road, they blow up again. You collect all the pieces and fashion them together, but nothing fits quite the same as before, but with a little of this and a little of that, voila, you've pieced it back together. Then it blows up again. Rinse, repeat. Until finally, if you just take a step back and look, it's almost like you've made something new from something old and it's even better than before. A beautiful mosaic. A work of art. It's like they say, when you look at a Monet up close, it's kind of a mess. You have to step back to really appreciate it.

Abigail Marie Weygandt, 9 months.
So, Abbey, I guess what I'm trying to say here is, "go get 'em." Plaster on that beautiful, silly little grin of yours, and just go for it. Grow and flourish and always know that no matter what, your Mom is proud of you, your Mom is there for you, and even if it looks like a mess when you're in the middle of it, it's a masterpiece in the making.

I love you,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nanny's Last Day

Today was our nanny's last day.

I am sad.

Suck it up and get over already, right? I know. It's not like we didn't have six weeks to prepare for this day. The events leading up to today didn't quite go down as I planned. Plans changed. The nanny got another gig, so there were extra days that she needed off for training, resulting in landing Abbey in daycare for some extra days this month. Probably a good thing in the end. But it still all feels...bad.

The feeling is vaguely familiar. As I was shuffling around in the kitchen, slouched and sighing this evening, I recalled where I felt this feeling. It's a break up feeling. It's that feeling that you got when you discovered that your ex met someone new. That they've moved on. Sure, on some level you're happy for them. But not really. Because even though you can't have them, you don't want anyone else to, either. Territorial. So, while our (former) nanny told me about her new job prospects, I nodded and smiled and offered an encouraging word, while on the inside I was cringing.

Breaking up really is hard to do.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Standard Routine

I am a creature of habit. For better or worse. I like my routine. I find routines comforting. I like having a structure in place - it needn't be an intricate or detailed structure. Room to ebb and flow - to grow, or not - is important in any structure. But here's the thing. Sometimes - for a person who usually embraces change, and gets restless in life - I get a little bent out of shape when my personal routine is disturbed.

It's been disturbed.

I am a bit perturbed by the disruption.

I had just really nailed my new morning get to work routine with the new job. Get up, let the dogs out, pee, feed the dogs, make coffee, bring the hubs a cup, fetch the baby, feed the baby, take a shower, get dressed, figure out what the heck to do with my hair that day, feed the baby breakfast, eat my own breakfast, welcome the Nanny, give her the update, kiss the baby bye bye, out the door, and off to work. Arrive at desk by 8.30 am.

It worked. It was great. I had it down.

Suddenly, things have changed. We add daycare to the mix. We add the fact that Abbey now has opinions to the mix. We add the fact that Abbey is no longer willing to entertain herself in a bouncy seat in the bathroom while I shower into the mix. Plus getting another being fed, dressed, sunscreened, lunch and bottles packed, clean diaper, and out the door with me into the mix.

I don't like this mix much. It tastes a little bit bitter.

I hear that a person's child is often a reflection of the parent. If my routine-ness is any indication, then I have to say it's true. Abbey, too, seems to have her own schedule. A schedule that doesn't really gel with mine very well. And we're both having a difficult time adapting to one another these days. While she used to wake, eat, play, eat some more, play, then nap for two hours, she now has to schlep off to "school", usually falling asleep when we're 10-15 minutes away from arriving, and then waking with a wail and an eye rub, not to nap again for several hours. Because Abbey doesn't like napping at daycare so much. At home, she naps like a pro - usually 3 hours total a day stretched between three naps. At daycare today, she napped a total of 30 minutes. Same with bottles...at home, she's taking about 12-18 oz in bottles during the day. Today at daycare, she took 5. They tried. I believe them when they tell me they tried. But her routine has been disrupted, and none of this is "normal".


Knowing her routine, and knowing how flustered I become when my routine is disrupted, I have a terrible foreboding about where this is heading.

So, how do we adapt to this new reality? How do I get out the door to work - on time - with a well-fed, dressed, clean and relatively happy 9-month-old? How do I impress on her daycare providers that she really does need to nap more even though I understand she doesn't seem very sleepy? That she really does need to eat more during the day? That I'm not really an anal retentive, micromanaging Mom from hell? And how do I ease Abbey to a new way of doing things when she seems to be cut from the same cloth as me, and truly, I'm not so crazy about it all, either.

It's always this way isn't it? Just when you think you have it figured out...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Super Palate

My husband claims to have a super palate. Also known as a "super taster". A person who experiences heightened sensations from food and beverages, being extra sensitive to bitter tastes, textures, carbonation and spice. Super tasters tend to avoid foods like spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts. (Note the trend there with green vegetables.) I mock my husband about this if not daily, then at least weekly. He uses his super palate as justification for what I consider picky eating. At which point, he loves to bust out the story about when he was a kid and his parents forced him to eat Brussels sprouts, and he refused, refused, refused, until finally...giving in...he proceeded to vomit. Everywhere. And it was the last time anyone has ever forced him to eat anything.

I, on the other hand, am more egalitarian in my approach to food. I'll try anything. Some of my favorite foods also happen to be some of the same foods that my husband finds absolutely appalling. Like mushrooms. And seafood. Recently, while picking Blue crabs (which I very much enjoy), the hubs turned green and had to leave the table.

I find this interesting because it's one of the areas where Scott and I are so very different from one another. I mean, there are plenty of foods (Buffalo wings, steak, mashed potatoes, Thanksgiving dinner) that we both LOVE. But there are so many other tasty morsels that I adore that he flat out refuses.

Here's the thing about the super palate. Allegedly, it's genetic. I definitely have the same taste in food as my Dad. We make excellent dining companions. My Mom seems to be the pickier eater in our family. I remember a time when she refused to eat eggs. Who doesn't eat eggs?!

When Abbey first started eating solid foods and fell head over heels for strained peas (of all things), I thought, "Ah-ha! She has MY taste in food." Unfortunately, that love affair was brief. As soon as she discovered sweeter tastes - like apples, pears, mangoes, it was bye bye peas. On the other hand, she can't stand meat. Any kind of meat makes her gag. That, however, may not be so telling because, really, pureed meat makes me gag, too.

As we approach Abbey's nine month milestone, I have decided to do my best to forgo the jarred baby food (although jarred baby food, and the baby food pouches, have come a loooonng way, I understand), and make my own. So far, I've concocted a favorite stand-by, pureed sweet potato. But have also made a nice nectarine puree, a sweet-pea, pear and mint combo (that sounds downright spa-like, if I do say so myself) and have the ingredients to try several other gourmet concoctions like a tomato-carrot stew; butternut squash and banana; blueberry sauce for baby yogurt; and other various sundry. I'm hoping the fresh tastes and textures will make an impression. This is my first experimentation in the whole nature vs. nurture arena, and we'll just have to see if the super palate wins.