Tuesday, July 31, 2007

River News: Month Four

Dear Pookerton,

As I write this, you are asleep upstairs and I wait with bated breath to see how the rest of your day goes--whether I will be soothing an unbelievably fussy baby or if I will have my normal happy guy around. See, we're just back from your four month check up and based on your last reaction to shots, I'm scared as all get out. Five hours of nonstop screaming doesn't sound like a good time for either of us (though your father faces this possibility MUCH too nonchalantly as he is at work and will not have to deal with an apoplectic baby).


Here I am a couple hours later and yes, you had a big crying jag, but you also had a nap. Your little thighs are tender where the shots went in, you're a bit warm, and you hurt somewhere inside, but you're nowhere near as inconsolable as last time. It's a sign of how much you've changed in the past month--your ability to express what you need is so much more developed, as is your comprehension of people and objects around you. This time, distractions like kisses from mommy and playing with your image in the mirror help to sooth you a little.

As the day goes on, I hope this trend continues, because it would be a shame to welcome your fifth month of life with pain and crying.

What a month! Here are just a few of the major developmental leaps you've made:
  • First (assisted) steps--one minute you could just barely pick up your feet and the next you were scooting around the kitchen
  • Rolling from your back to your stomach without help
  • Putting objects (not just fist holding object) into mouth
  • Pulling knees under you (closer to crawling position)
  • Sitting up with little assistance
  • Coos, goos, and GIGGLES!
  • Responding to tickling, zerberts, and being held upside down with smiles and laughs
  • Taking an interest in EVERYTHING--spoons, cats, phones, plants--if you see it you want to put it in your mouth

All of these changes make me see your rapidly approaching mobility, and it scares the hell out of me. Already, you try to leap out of my arms to reach for anything of interest, you squirm away during diaper changes, and you fling yourself forward whenever you can get a good footing--always heedless your destination or the possibility of a safe landing.

Luckily, I'm there to catch you. Yet I worry about the moment I'm too slow or too far away. Baby books with ominous warnings to never ever walk away from a baby on the changing table--no, don't even take your hand off the kid!--come rushing to mind. In my mind's eye, I see you pulling yourself up on precariously balanced furniture, drooling into outlets, poking forks into your eyes. Is this my future? To constantly be rescuing you from yourself?

Ah, well. That time is not far off, but it's not here yet. And I am really enjoying where you are right now.

Let me tell you the two things I hear most often from strangers:

"Wow. Is he always this happy/well-behaved/friendly?"

"He's only four months old?! He's so big/strong/alert!"

Yes, you have a beautiful temperament. You smile readily at anyone who smiles at you and will play with anyone who shows an interest. You aren't the least clingy to your parents, and seem to enjoy a variety of faces.

At the same time, you are very intuitive, and can tell when someone is uncomfortable holding you. You sense their unease and immediately want out of their arms.

And as for your size, yes you are a big big boy. We discovered today that you are in the 90th percentile for height and weight. That means you are bigger than 90% of the boys your age. Do you have similarly heightened muscle tone? I suspect yes. Your ability to stand and take steps is pretty advanced for your age (from what I gather from other mothers).

So you're friendly and big and strong. It's silly to find pride in these things at your age, but I can't help it--I'm your mother. I love you, and everything I see in you confirms that you're the most beautiful, amazing boy in the world. Do you think I'm biased?

This month has been good for your father and I, particularly since we've started working out some better sleep arrangements. You are no longer waking up every two hours during the night, and it is entirely the result of your father and I switching sides of the bed. I don't know if it's because your dad is a heavier sleeper than me (and doesn't wake at every one of your squirms and wiggles) or because you can't smell me, but you now go for four hours between feedings. This has helped me retain my sanity in ways you can't even imagine, and your dad no longer has to fear me going nuts and attacking him with a spork in the middle of the night.

Just between you and me, I might do that just for fun (but don't tell him that).

I love you my amazing little boy. Don't grow up too fast!


Monday, July 30, 2007


Thom was playing with the Mac's Photo Booth program this weekend and this is what he produced:

I think "conehead baby" is my favorite.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

my life in photos

My great friend Melissa came to visit last weekend and we had such a nice relaxing time. I was a pretty poor host--we didn't do too much but hang around the house and take some walks--but Mel said that's just what she wanted, so I'm not beating myself up.

She was snapping photos all weekend (such a nice change from me being behind the camera), and she took some really great ones of me and River.

Thank you Mel! We had a great time with you! Come back anytime (and bring Ryan with you).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

pic fix

Some fun ones we've taken in the last two days...

Baby torture or awesome good time? You decide.

Arrrgggghhh! I'm a sleepy pirate!

You could almost imagine him standing on his own...

But what you'd miss is the detail of this shirt that makes it totally inappropriate. Rock on, little man.

He may not be able to stand on his own, but he can sit! And play with blocks! And drool!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

he must run on batteries

I don't know if it's because of teething pain, his need to nurse to sleep, or his fear of the clowns (see below), but River has decided that he can't sleep more than two hours at a time and certainly no later than 6am.

We're going bonkers with sleep deprivation. I must laugh about it or I'd go crazy and start doing things like eating only white foods or shaving the cats.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

oh. my. god.

Update: I'm having trouble getting the video to load on here. My youtube site seems to be working, so try here until I can figure out the problem.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

our new toy

This weekend Thom bought a jogging stroller so that we can get rid of some of our "baby fat" (somehow he accumulated as much pregnancy weight as me). We've done a few runs (okay, jogs, broken up by some very determined walking), and I'm very happy with the new purchase.

I've already lost a few pounds, River gets to see the world head-on, and I seem to have more energy during the day.

Now if they only made a stroller that got rid of teething pain...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Thursday, July 05, 2007

pic fix

Hello all. Here are some pictures from the past week for the grandmas and aunties out there.

Pudgy little smile

Garage sale duds

Silliest outfit ever!

Happy 4th, everyone!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Duchess Crazypants

I've been planning a garage sale since last fall when I cleaned the house in preparation for the Pookerton's arrival, but weather, then physical limitations, delayed it indefinitely. Finally, this weekend I made the big push, and we scrambled to make signs and post them, get the goods organized and priced, and entice local wackos into our yard.

And check.

The first wave of people who show up right at our start time are a bunch of book dealers. They paw through boxes and boxes of old college texts, sci-fi, thriller, and travel books looking for rare and valuable finds. A couple of them have book guides and internet-ready cell phones to check the books' worth. At $.25 a book, they get some great deals.

We have our share of neighborhood folks out on walks, yard sale junkies, and antique hunters (sorry, no lost Renoirs or Ming Vases in our collection). But by far the most interesting, frustrating, and hilarious "customer" is this old Indian woman who speaks almost no English (or that is her shtick, anyway--she is either cunningly hiding her communication skills or she is truly mentally handicapped).

The first time she stops by (or Round 1 as Crystal likes to refer to it), she wanders around the driveway looking around for a while. I smile and say, "Hi," and she nods back. Finally, she gestures to a metal cooking bowl marked at $.50. She points to the price tag and I say, "It's fifty cents."

She nods and picks up the bowl as if to leave. So I once again try to clarify, "That bowl is fifty cents ma'am."

Again she nods and makes to leave.

Here's where I realize this isn't going to be a simple transaction. I pull out two quarters from my pocket and show them to her, saying, "See. You give me fifty cents. Two quarters." So she holds out her hand to take the money and the bowl, smiling all the time as though this is how she gets things everyday.

"No, no. YOU give ME fifty cents and you can take the bowl."

"Yes. Fifty. I take."

"Do you have any money?"

"Yes. I take."

"I'm not going to give you fifty cents to take my bowl. You get some money and you can have it."

As this goes on and on like a Laurel and Hardy routine, louder and louder, the people around us struggle to hold in their laughter. Finally the woman wanders off--without the bowl--still smiling.

I turn to my husband and friends and everyone bursts into gales of laughter. A customer comes up to Kevin with a few books and says, "So you give me a dollar and I'll take these books."

More laughter.

Round 2 occurs while I'm inside with River, putting him down for a nap. This time Thom gets to deal with her. We have a nice soup set with serving dish, plates, and bowls priced at $10. Apparently, Thom is so eager to get rid of her that he breaks up the set and sells the plates to her for $1. I was upset when I heard the set was broken up, completely reducing its value, but I couldn't stay mad when I found out who bought it.

Round 3 comes about an hour later when the woman (or Duchess Crazypants, as I refer to her) comes back for the rest of the soup set. I cringe as I see her walking up. Crystal is occupied with another customer and Thom is taking care of River. Try as I might, I can't find anyone else to deal with her. As I avoid making eye contact she walks back to where our "staging area" is--paper and markers for signs, our personal item, a place to sit, etc. She picks up a plastic bag and comes back to where the goods are.

She walks straight up to the soup set she had previously broken up and points to it.

We had reduced the price so I told her, "Three dollars."

She holds out her hand. In it, four quarters. Laurel and Hardy here we come...

"Nope. Three dollars."

"Yes. Yes." All smiles. Quarters in hand.

"No, see it used to be TEN dollars, but we've reduced it to THREE." My hands gesture wildly.

"Yes." Big smile, two more quarters appear.

"No. There's no way I'm selling this for a dollar fifty. It's three dollars and that's it."




"NO! You're crazy. It's three dollars and that's it."

The Duchess concedes. At the end of this exchange, Crystal notices that the plastic bag she's holding is weighted. So she says, "Excuse me," and reaches into the bag, finding a pair of my scissors.

"Hey! You can't have those." And she takes them out. The crazy old bat was trying to steal my scissors!

Undaunted, the Duchess wanders over to the purple area rug I've had since college. We should refer to this as The Rug, so hotly debated it has been. See, Thom hates The Rug and has been trying to get rid of it since I moved in with him. I don't see what's so bad about it--it's a perfectly fine rug and has served me well. Well, I finally gave into him when we got a new rug for River's room, and I had priced it at $5.

She motions to The Rug, holds out her $1.50 and I say, "Fine. Take the rug."

I take the money out of her hand. Inwardly, I smile because I think she'll leave. Outwardly, Thom smiles because he thinks The Rug is gone. Turns out we're both wrong.

She wanders back to the kitchen section.

On no. She's not leaving. Why isn't she leaving?!

She picks up a $.10 tin and motions to her bag.

"You want the tin? Fine." Just leave.

She doesn't stop there. She picks up a $1 steamer from Crystal's table and starts to put it in her bag.

"No, no, no," Crystal says, "You can't have that."

Crystal has to take it out of her hand. Finally, the Duchess leaves.

Round 4 happens while I'm gone, once again. Apparently her husband feels the same way about The Rug as Thom does, because she returns carrying it, saying, "Husband. No. Husband. No."

Thom grudgingly takes The Rug, so sad to see it return, and gives her her money back. By the end of the day I just thank my lucky stars she doesn't return.