Monday, December 9, 2013

Blog Hiatus

Well, if anyone is reading this, you'll see that I haven't been able to update it since... June 2011. A lot has happened since then: Charles and I got married, we had a second kid (beautiful baby boy Leif), I backpacked in the Grand Canyon, and we've had lots of Vermont adventures with Susannah. We're still making slow progress on the house. The house now has a roof, exterior insulation, and just today the super-efficient windows finally arrived (via slow boat from Lithuania, no joke). Life is really good, but very full, and it's apparent that I don't have time to keep up with the blog. But do check over here to see what we're up to: I'm doing slightly better at keeping that updated.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summer in the Mountains

I am determined to have some good adventures with Susannah this summer. In a lot of ways, it will be easier now than in a few years because she is so portable. I can put her in the jogging stroller and take her for a run around the scenic dirt roads by our house, and I can put her on my back and take her hiking.

After a rough spring of heavy rains with lightning, hail, and - no-joke - landslides, we have to take full advantage of every sunny day. So last weekend, I decided to attempt my first real hike with Susannah. We braved black flies and muddy trails to climb up Stowe Pinnacle.

She loved it! She gazed around at the trees on the way up, climbed around on top, and slept the whole way down. So far, all indications are that she likes the great outdoors.


PS. I am selectively emphasizing the positive because it's more fun than writing about how her sleep has deteriorated again. She has been waking up a few times over night and needing to nurse. Everything related to sleep is two steps forward, one step back - if you are lucky.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Spring in Vermont (or, Why Progress on the House is So Slow)

Spring in Vermont comes late. It was a long hard winter. We were pounded with snow over and over again. Then, when the snow melted, our long dirt driveway became impassible. In case you were wondering, it's somewhat inconvenient to have to hike in a quarter mile laden with baby, carseat, and groceries. And then you run the risk of getting stuck in a ditch, like my friend Sarah. That's Charles pulling her car out with the skid steer.

And just when things were starting to look up, we got pounded by thunderstorms and heavy spring rains that caused our road to partially wash out.

But in between, we've managed to go on lots of little adventures and walks:

Christine, Bob, and Cara came to visit, and Cara had so much fun hugging Susannah!

And Susannah is enjoying running around on the lawn and sniffing the flowers.

With her grandma Jacklyn and cousin Julia:


Susannah is doing fun new things almost every day. She now says Mama and Dada pretty consistently, and for a couple of weeks she's been saying her first real word: uh-oh! How fitting.

She's getting really mischievous. She can climb up the stairs now, and as soon as you turn your back, she bolts across the room as fast as she can towards the bathroom (which she is not allowed to enter) and the stove (which she is not allowed to climb). Lately, she's been pulling up our shirts and pinching our skin underneath.

A major new skill, which I hesitate to even write about for fear of jinxing it, is sleeping through the night. After the nightmare of April, we really started working on sleep in May. I gradually started teaching her to fall asleep on her own at night, and also stopped nursing her if she wakes up before 4 am. She has been sleeping from 8:30 or 9 pm until 4 or 5 am pretty consistently for about two weeks. Fingers crossed that the progress continues, but I'm trying not to get too attached. I have learned that everything in parenting is two steps forward and one step back - if you are lucky!

She also has four teeth now, and is eating just about everything, including wheat, dairy (yogurt), and even chicken. She loves to eat rice cakes. They make a lot of crumbs, and sometimes she needs to be vacuumed.

She is getting so grown-up!

Winter Highlights

Here are some cute highlights from the late winter.

Susannah and Grandma Sally:

Susannah meets draft horses:

Susannah eats snow:

Susannah eats beets for the first time:

Susannah tries out her new backpack:

Susannah is not pleased about playing in the snow:

Where Did the Time Go?

It's been almost four months since I last updated! Embarrassing. Let me explain. No, let me sum up:
March: Snow, snow, snow. Mud, mud, mud. Driveway impassible.
April: No sleep. Teething. Sick.
May: Recovering. Thank goodness for spring and sleep.

Yeah. March and April were really hard. If Judith and Rachel hadn't come to help out for 3 weeks, we wouldn't have survived. Susannah started teething a lot and got a cold, and her sleep completely fell apart. I traveled out of town to Washington, DC for two days for work. That was fun and I got to see some spring flowers and catch up with good friends. BUT, while I was enjoying myself, Charles was having a rough go of it. One night he had to sleep on the floor rocking Susannah against his chest because she was so upset. I felt very guilty that I was away while she was having so much trouble. That was rough. J & R helped us hold things together by cooking for us and helping care for Susannah day and night. Thank you, Judith and Rachel!!!

I was also busy arranging child care for Susannah. Our wonderful nanny, Lindsay, had her own baby in early April, so we needed to find a new arrangement starting in May. We've been lucky to find a local mom of a 1.5 year old who wanted to take in another baby, so Susannah's been going to her house three days a week. It's going really well. Susannah loves it and is learning to share her toys. She plays a new game where she hands you a toy over and over again.

Susannah's toy shelf:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mommy Sanity Project

After an extremely busy December and January, I am really working to find balance in our life. We have so much on our plate right now that it's easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious. For a time, I was even experiencing insomnia at night after waking up in the wee hours to feed Susannah.

Things are going much better now. I got an herbal pillow with calming chamomile and lavender to put under my pillow to help with insomnia. I am working on saying no at work and containing my work to 30 hours a week (I am on an 80% schedule but recently have been working 40 hours some weeks because of crazy deadlines). I started meditating and doing a little bit of yoga every day, even if it means waking up earlier in the morning and losing out on sleep.

I'm also trying to get more exercise. It's hard to find time for it because I don't want to be away from Susannah much on the days I'm not working, but it's important. We started going to a parent/kid fitness class on Fridays, and it is so hard! I literally couldn't walk after the first class. I've also been sneaking out occasionally to go cross-country skiing. And this weekend, Hilary and I took the babies and dog to the Green Mountain Club snowshoe festival. Lots of gear required, but what a great day!

Most of all, even when life feels so full and overwhelming, I am so grateful for this amazing gift: