Tuesday, April 29, 2008


On our trip to Tilden a couple of weeks ago, Adriana had a great time playing peek-a-boo around a tree with my friend Jeff.

It seems like they are having much more fun than when she first met him a year ago:

I'm guessing any future babies will be super-colicky to make up for this easy one

I don't know how parents of colicky infants manage. Last night, about an hour after I put Adriana to bed, she woke up crying, which is totally normal. I normally snuggle and nurse her for a few minutes and she goes right back to sleep. I don't know what it is about that one-hour mark, but this has been going on for probably six months now--it's probably the most predictable thing about her sleep. But she's had a little bit of a cold since the end of last week, and last night she couldn't nurse for more than a second or two because she was too congested to breathe through her nose. I tried keeping her upright for a while, hoping that would help the congestion so she would get to where she could breathe well enough to nurse, but, angry that she was awake and that I wasn't nursing her, she cried and screamed, making the congestion worse. Brian and I contemplated whether something else could be wrong, came up with nothing, and I finally just sat in the armchair, held her close and waited.

Thirty minutes after she had originally woken up, she was asleep again. Thirty minutes of inconsolable crying left me feeling so helpless. How do parents whose babies cry for hours every night ever manage?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Nature walk: Tilden Regional Park

Who knew there was more to Tilden than the merry-go-round and steam train? On Saturday, Brian, Adriana and I headed up to Berkeley for a walk with Jeff, and did a six-mile loop through Tilden, that didn't take us by either one. Not that I have any objections to the merry-go-round or the train--in fact, I'll be quite happy when Adriana is old enough to appreciate them--but last month we went with friends to Vasona Park, where she was underwhelmed by the train and frightened by the bell that rang at the start of the carousel ride (and thus spent the entire ride nursing), so I was more than happy to let those things wait. We did stop in at the Little Farm. I'm not sure Adriana really appreciated it, but the rest of us did.

We did pretty much exactly the hike suggested by Bay Area Hiker. It was a nice walk, with pretty views of the canyons and then, at the end, wonderful path with a view of the Golden Gate in one direction and Mt. Diablo in the other.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nature walk: Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve

Last month when Brian's family was in town, we took them to the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve for a nature walk and picnic. It was a beautiful, perfect day.

Brian studied the map a bit afterwards and was interested in exploring one of the other trails, so we decided to go back two weeks later. And though dark, drizzly days have their own kind of beauty, Adriana is not a fan of wind in her face, a fact of which she chose to remind us every time there was a gust of wind by screaming and bursting into tears. Half a mile into the walk we opted to turn back.

But this past weekend it was spectacularly sunny and 80 degrees (and not humid!), so we decided to try once more. We did a six-mile walk this time, taking the Ancient Oaks trail to the Mindego trail. The Mindego trail eventually comes out on a fire road, and we opted not to do that last mile as it was not shaded and we were nearly out of water, but Brian's curiosity about the trail was satisfied.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

15 months

Last Saturday, Adriana said her first word, declaring "dog" in a loud, staccato voice as she looked at a photo of a dog in a book. We stared at her and glanced at one another. Then she did it again and grinned at us. Now we spend all of our free time trying to get her to say it again. Or to say dad or mama.

"Da da da da da," Adriana babbled on Thursday night, smiling at us.

"Aw, are you saying 'dad?'" Brian asked.

"Um, I think she's just making noises right now, love," I told him. Did I really believe that, or was I just offended that she was saying "dad" instead of "mama?"

"Doesn't matter, I just melted."

"Psssst, kid, now's the time to ask for a pony," I stage whispered to the baby, who started to giggle maniacally, as if she understood.

We're honestly just happy to hear her babbling, as she's never done a great deal of that. Even if she's not talking, she certainly understands a lot. When I say that it's time to feed the cat, she goes into the kitchen and points to the container where the cat's food is kept. She pulls open my dresser drawers and looks to me, waiting for me to ask her to close them, which she then does. If I ask her if she wants to go outside, she runs to the door. A few days ago I misplaced my glasses, and wandered around the house searching for them, repeatedly signing "glasses" and asking Adriana if she knew where mama's glasses were (I was worried that I'd left them within her reach and she'd taken them--not that she would give them back because I was asking). Now whenever she sees me without my glasses (which had fallen behind my dresser), she makes the sign, and then goes to my dresser to point to where they are. I was interested that she learned the sign when I wasn't actually showing her the glasses, since I wasn't sure she would know what I was talking about, but I guess all the times I've requested "Please don't grab mama's glasses" have made an impression. And she manages to communicate fairly well with her sign language. We know when she wants to eat or nurse or get out of her sweater or listen to music. Our favorite new sign is the one she makes now to request a diaper change. Sometimes she doesn't really need a diaper change: she just sees the cat through the baby gate that is on the door to the room where the changing table is and is trying to get us to take her in there. Other times she signs just before she actually needs the change, which we keep thinking holds some sort of promise, although she seems young to be thinking about potty training.

Adriana's favorite thing is to be read to. I am careful not to leave picture books on our nightstands. That's important if I want to eat breakfast and get ready in the morning without constantly reading to her, because as soon as she sees one of her favorite books (these days those are Where the Wild Things Are, The Paper Bag Princess, Pat the Bunny, and some animal books I picked up at the zoo just before she was born) we must sit and read them over and over. And I'm fine with that...after 8 AM. The weather has been beautiful lately, so we've been sitting out on our balcony to read while while we share a sandwich for lunch most days. Any neighbors who are home during the day are probably getting tired of those same books over and over, but I can't think of a nicer way to eat lunch.

She's usually a little shy around strangers, but she can be an incredible ham when she's in a place where she's comfortable. We were doing some dancing around at our yoga class yesterday, and Adriana didn't want to be held as the younger babies were, so she joined in the dancing on her own. She knew everyone was looking at her and laughing, so she danced more, grinning and waving her arms.

She still isn't eating a huge range of foods, but she is eating a fair amount and it's all healthy (well, with the exception of garlic fries at baseball games), so I can't really complain. Most nights she sleeps pretty well. She always wakes up at least once, but I don't mind that--I kind of like bringing her into our bed to nurse and snuggle. Sometimes I expect her to already be in her bed and there is a moment of groggy panic when I hear her cry and can't find her in our bed. The other night I reached for her to my right, found she wasn't there, and turned over to move her from between Brian and me, and discovered she wasn't there, either. I was lifting up the blankets, terrified she was smothering somewhere before I realized that she had just slept for five hours in her own bed and was now standing up in it, looking at me frantically searching for her while she cried to be picked up. And then I lifted her out of her bed and and she rested her head on my shoulder and stopped crying, just like that.

A few months ago, a friend whose baby is less than two months older said of her little girl, "She's not really a baby anymore; she's such a little girl now." And I was surprised by that, because Abigail and Adriana are nearly the same age, and of course Adriana is still a baby. But now as I look at her studying the rosemary on the balcony or looking at a book by herself, I know exactly what Becca meant. It makes me appreciate the time that we spend curled up nursing in the armchair or playing in the bathtub, when Adriana seems very much the baby, even more.

At the ballgame

Picnicking on Russian Ridge

Hiking with dad

Ready for lunch and stories on the balcony

Making the windchimes make music

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Recent conversations with Brian

While we listen to the music on this post from Rachel's blog:

Me: I actually like organ music. One time Cyndi and I were at Temple Square, and--

Brian: Let me guess. You didn't get drunk and have sex with anybody?


Out of nowhere as he is doing dishes:

Brian: You know, I really love proof by induction.



As I read his cousin's Facebook profile:

Me: Rachael likes your music and my music. She likes Jack Johnson and Simon and Garfunkel, and she likes Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli. Okay, basically she likes everything except country.

Brian: Oh, I'm sure if you asked her, she'd say all kinds of nice things about Shania Twain. California Jews love Shania Twain.

Me: (giggles)

Brian: I should feed you pizza and wine more often. You laugh at more of my jokes.

Me: Feed me pizza and wine? I made the pizza and opened the bottle of wine. And did the dishes afterward.

Brian: Wanna make out?