Thursday, February 26, 2009

We finally caught a few smiles from Maggie on camera. Isn't she cute?

Today was a big day... my first full day in the office while Maggie stayed with my mom. I couldn't help myself from shedding a few tears as I said goodbye. I know that's sappy but I guess it just felt so strange with us parting ways. We've never spent more than hour apart before today!

Once I was at my desk, I started to feel better about the day. It might sound strange but I really do love being in the office. I have great co-workers and I'm proud of the work we do. Graham and I also met up for lunch which was fun (although a bit strange to be together without Maggie). Throughout the day I started to get a sense of how Graham must feel all week... you can't help but miss her.

As far as the breast feeding goes, it was wonderful to nurse after being separated all day. Maybe that's all I needed? A quick break to remind me how precious this time is.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This is a pretty common scene when we have company around... Maggie's little feet sticking out from my nursing cover.

I don't know what's going on with me this past week. I think I've just spiraled into a funk now that I have so many requirements from work, on top of caring for Maggie. My schedule has been going something like: wake up, nurse, start working, nurse, work some more, nurse, work some more... there's very little time for much else. Oddly, things don't seem to be going as well with the breast feeding, either. For some reason, I'm feeling sore all over again and I'm having a hard time enjoying the process. Maybe it's psychological? Now that it feels more like work than a chance to connect with our new baby (like it did in the beginning)? I still want to breast feed because I believe it's something positive I can give to her... I just hope I can get over this hump and turn it into something that's also positive for me.

I've heard about a breast feeding support group that meets in Annapolis twice a month. That could be an answer, but - to be honest - nothing sounds more horrifying to me than sitting around with a bunch of women, discussing lactation. I just don't think that's for me.

I'm sorry that this post is so whiny... the funk should pass soon.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Not sure how she worked herself into this pose. Somehow I think she's comfortable.

We had our annual Chocolate and Liqeuer Party last night and Jason and Jesse took so many wonderful photos. These are two of my favorites of Maggie in her party dress (care of Anne).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Maggie and I got into a car accident today. It wasn't much... we were rear-ended after breaking to avoid another car turning in front of us. We were going slow enough that no one was hurt but it still succeeded in scaring the living daylights out of me. It's amazing how quickly and suddenly things can happen. Afterward, I called Graham in (unnecessary) hysterics. So much so that he left work early to be with us. All is well now. Just a messy bumper to deal with.

One of our favorite boutiques in DC, Proper Topper, had a huge sale which brought their children's clothing from "astronomical" to "somewhat affordable". Graham decided to pick up a few things for Maggie, including this velvet jacket and peter pan collar blouse. Is it weird to be buying things that she can't wear for five years?

If you're visiting this blog (and thank you, if you are) you're probably here to see pictures and videos of Maggie... not news about our shopping adventures. Sorry about that. It's been a very difficult week for both of us. Graham has a major deadline at work which has forced him to spend extended hours at the office and I've been working from home until I start my part-time schedule. I had no idea how difficult it would be to balance work and Maggie at the same time. I feel like I can't really focus on either thing, so I'm doing a poor job at both. My office isn't getting the best from me and, poor Maggie, has to sit neglected in her bouncy chair! I take breaks to feed and change her but it makes me feel guilty, not having the time to cuddle and tickle and sing.

My parents get home from their vacation next week (thank goodness... I miss them!) which means my mom will soon be ready to take-on babysitting, three days a week. I'll be in the office those three days and then the rest of my time can be devoted to Maggie. Can't wait for that!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

She's smiling more and more these days.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Over the weekend I stole an hour or so to finish this little romper for Maggie. It has been sitting – unfinished – in her bedroom for months and I'm so glad to finally see it complete. 

It's a Butterick pattern (4965). The fabric came from a skirt that I purchased, years ago, in a Kansas City thrift store and the buttons are from my grandmother's collection. A while back I had a set of Meghansville tags made by a woman I found through Etsy and (for once) I remembered to stitch one in.

Hopefully this will be just the right size during the coming summer months.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

This afternoon, Katie, Taylor, Graham, and I went to Jen and Joe's apartment in Capitol Hill for coffee then set off for Eastern Market. Jen and Joe did their weekly shopping and the rest of us picked up groceries for a Valentine's Day meal. Graham strapped on the Baby Bjorn for the first time (outside of the house) and Maggie promptly fell asleep, nuzzled into his chest, as we wandered the narrow stalls.

On the menu: steamed mussels, broccoli rabe with raisins and pine nuts, and "bistecca alla Fiorentina" (a beautiful rib eye steak over arugula and roasted red peppers).

Friday, February 13, 2009

Maggie finally got to meet her Uncle Taylor and Aunt Katie. These are a few pics from when they first held her after coming home from the airport. So far, they've spent lots of time snuggling up and getting to know their niece which has been so fun for me to see. Graham and I love to share her... especially with family that she'll get to know and love as the years go by.

Maggie and Jen at her mother's birthday dinner.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My brother, Jim, sent me such a great email today:

I'm glad to hear that Maggie is doing well. I checked her blog today - she's so cute! The color video was fun. Right now in studio we are actually designing toys, so color of course has been incredibly important to our discussions. We looked at Frederich Froebel's teaching methods for kindergartners, which i've attached to this e-mail in a pdf – unfortunately they are black and white scans. Froebel (as you may already know) presents a series of 'gifts' to a child that develop essential ideas of color, form, opposition, balance, etc. - and his first gift is similar to your chair video. It is a set of soft spheres enveloped in bright, primary colored yarn and attached to a string and loop for the finger. There's even a set of moves for the parent/teacher to do with the ball to teach the child color and the characteristics of a sphere! It's actually really cool stuff. The time period in which this method was being used in Europe was the same time that the creators of cubism, neoplacticism, and de stijl were all in kindergarten – the theory is that they learned to abstract their representations through Froebel’s gifts (though of course there is the argument for genius in all of their cases). Anyways, I hope you like this stuff, and maybe it will give you ideas for new toys as Maggie grows!

The PDF is a forty page document (so I can't share it all, here) but these images are a sampling. I'm happy to forward the file to anyone who is interested. Can't wait to dive into it, myself!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

We usually put Maggie to bed in this funny little wrap that velcros, so she's nice and cozy through the night. When I get her up in the morning and un-do the velcro, her arms immediately shoot straight over her head and she proceeds to stretch for a good two minutes. I decided this was too cute not to share.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sometimes I can't believe how much these two look alike. I can't exactly pinpoint which features match, but I can't look at Maggie without seeing Graham. So far, the only thing I see of myself is the blue eyes. Hoping those stick around!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Graham and I have been working on this video together to help Maggie learn colors. It's painful for me to watch because I have to listen to the sound of my own voice (ack!) but I do like the idea of the voice being familiar to her and Graham refused to do it.

We have no idea if what we've created is an effective way to learn, but the repetition of colors and the challenge of identifying them within objects seemed logical to us. To make, we downloaded the images from a stock photo website called Shutterstock. My office has a subscription to the site for unlimited downloads and I sought their permission to use it for this project. After gathering the images we liked (5 for each color) we arranged them in Photoshop and cropped them to the correct format. We also made the solid color slides and exported everything as JPGs. Those individual JPGs were then brought into a program called iMovie. (This comes standard on Macs.) It didn't take long to import the images and then record my narration into the sequence.

We played the movie back for Maggie and I'm happy to report that she was pretty mesmerized by it. Color is something that I'm sure we will teach through books and everyday exploration but I really think having these large, backlit images projected on the television will be a fun way to learn. We're already brainstorming for the next videos (shapes, letters, and numbers) and what we think might be the most effective way to display those.

We've never seen any of the Baby Einstein type videos, so it's likely that the movies we are creating already exist. Oh well. We're having fun making them on our own.

The weather was beautiful today. Almost 70 degrees and bright and sunny. We decided to give Maggie some fresh air and walked up to the little playground in our development to swing for a bit and walk the grounds with her. It was hard to gauge her reaction to it. She didn't quite smile but she certainly wasn't unhappy. Mostly I think she was trying to deal with the sun in her eyes.

When we first bought our little place in the burbs, we viewed it as temporary. A less than ideal place to live until we could afford the city. Those plans were shelved when the housing market went south but neither of us really regret that, now. Staying put gave us the physical space and financial freedom to start thinking about a family. Now that Maggie's here, I still daydream about impromptu visits to museums and I definitely pine for good restaurants but our place has its perks, too. This playground is an example of that. It's wonderful to have such a peaceful space just steps from our front door. 

Friday, February 6, 2009

The rag doll is complete! I was digging through my box of fabrics and when I came across my grandmother's collection of handkerchiefs I quickly realized that they had just the right look I was going for with just the right amount of fabric. I settled on a simple green one with her name embroidered in the corner, folded it in half, and wrapped it around the doll. She needed a top, so I cut some panels from some spare yellow fabric and stitched up the sleeveless jacket. After tying on the belt and painting on the face with fabric markers, she's ready for the world.

For obvious reasons, her name is Mildred.

Saying hi.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Post-bottle with dad.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Maggie and I took a little outing into the city today. We visited my office so my co-workers could meet her and they could talk to me about the projects that they need me for. It really sunk in how soon my maternity leave will be over and how much we have to figure out before we're ready to be apart.

The biggest thing is the breast feeding. Over the weekend we did a trial run with pumped milk and a bottle (hence the pic). She did great and had no hesitation drinking from it but I couldn't believe how much she sucked down. 4 ounces! That may not seem like much but that scares the crap out of me when it comes to pumping. That's a whole lot of milk to express and store on top of our regular feedings. I know that formula is an option (and I'm not opposed to it) but I would really like it if we could make things work with breast milk.

I'd also really like to nail down an eating and sleeping schedule. We've just been flying by the seat of our pants for the past month but I know that some order is called for. Especially when we start dropping her off with my mom for the day.

Kathy? Kim? Sarah? Help!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Graham's boss, Barbara, bought Maggie the most adorable swimsuit and coverup. It's obviously not the right season (or fit) yet but we couldn't resist trying to get a few photos of her in it when Graham's parents were in town.

It didn't go too well.