Tuesday, July 29, 2008

2nd Quarterly Love note to Lucia

Hello my little monkey! Happy 6 Months! I call you "monkey" now because you grab, move and discover like a curious George and, sometimes, it gets you into trouble where you end up in tears. But Hey! that's Okay... its all part of learning...

May marked the end of Mommy's school year and by then we were really in the habit of taking long walks everyday after I got home from work! Until, one morning I left to go on a hike with Liam, Mae and Aunt Melissa when I fell down and hurt my legs! I got stitches in one knee and sprained my other foot! So that was the end of that for awhile. We are just starting to brave the steamy hot and humid summer air of Iowa for a few walks a week. You sit quietly. I never know what you're doing because you sit up looking out on the world while I fret to make sure the sun isn't beating down on your little eyes and bald head.

I had my first night of worry with you the night after you received your four month vaccinations. You spiked a fever that night and looked like you were feeling miserable. I stayed up with a lump in my throat while you slept it off and nursed like a good baby. It didn't take long for you to heal and before I knew it you started flipping and rolling over during tummy time! You couldn't crawl where you wanted to go but you got there with your new "rolling" technique. You were so dead set on becoming increasingly independent that you even started grabbing your pacifier with your hand and putting it in your mouth. You are so savvy with that Binky now that you pull it out, switch hands with it, chew on the handle, then turn it around to suck on it all by yourself.

I noticed you were just all smiles all the time and you really recognized people (esp. Grandma Obert) in May. You would strain your neck to see those you love and even today you do everything in your power to get their attention.You also finally go to meet your Aunt Kim. You took to her instantaneously. You love her drawling southern accent and sweet smiles. She was very happy to meet you too! Since then the two of you have gotten to visit a few more times.

The biggest May event was your 2nd cousin's, Liz, wedding. Daddy, you and I packed up with Grandma and Grandpa Obert and headed off to Cincinnati, Ohio! It was your first long car ride and you had Mommy and Daddy to keep you company the whole way there and back. You met all your extended Wuenneman and Obert family! Everyone thought you were a sweet baby and you even got a few moments with your Great Aunt Marsha who lives in California and to dance with Daddy and Mommy before falling asleep in your car seat. We covered you with a blanket from your Aunt Marsha and hid you under the table in attempt to ward off some of the loud music while we enjoyed the rest of the evening. We stayed at your Great Uncle Bernie's in his camping RV. That was perfect because G-ma and G-pa Obert just pulled theirs right up behind it and we had our own little Corral! We woke up as early as we wanted and sat outside drinking coffee that G-pa Ob. had made in their RV! Uncle Bernie also made a famous Wuennemann breakfast complete with Goetta and Biscuits 'n' Gravy. Soon, baby you will be old enough to enjoy a Wuennamann breakfast too!

This trip was also an opportunity for you to meet your Great Grandmother! She held you while we took a four generation of women portrait. You are the only daughter of mine (so far) and I am the only daughter of your Grandma Obert who is the only daughter of your Great Grandma- pretty special! Your Great Grandma is one of a set of triplets (three girls). That means somewhere in there it runs in the family so "Watch out!".

You really turned into a summer party animal when June kicked in. You are so playful. You started sticking tongue out at Daddy to get a rise out of him. Today, you figured out that if you stick your tongue out at people and it makes them laugh. You have since expanded your attention seeking behavior to blowing raspberries (which I dutifully mop up your spit from), clicking your tongue and blowing an occasional kiss.

I suppose you picked up that people needed a little cheering up that month because in June our dear hometown of Iowa City was plagued with flooding. You're Grandma Olson lives in Cedar Rapids and they seemed to get the worst of it. So we all buckled down. Your neighbor friend Randy went sandbagging. Daddy spent extra time trying to get to work on I80. You and I holed up again just like the storms of February and weathered it until things improved. As soon as the highways reopened you and I packed up and headed for Cedar Falls to lift a small amount of burden from our city's resources.

We returned just in time for you to attend your first birthday Party! You met all of Liam's friends and family. Birthday party's are exhausting, however, and you soon decided you had enough and I tried soothing you from all the excitement. I have since noticed that you are easily swept away with excitement making you hyper and fussy. You value and need your quiet time. While you are able to sleep with the television going and people talking you are so much happier when your day is broken up by calm quiet times.

When you wake up - IT IS TIME TO MOVE. In June you whipped through all the stages of crawling. At first you were scooting your self around with your feet. Then you would do this move that I called your "Kneeling Triangle" Yoga pose. Where you would be on all fours and lift your arm up and then turn your head to look up at your hand. Little did I know that was in preparation for the use of your arms. One day after doing "Triangle" you set that arm down on the ground then put the other one in front of it and you were crawling!

You crawled your way right into July. I didn't know that babies could crawl before they could sit up but you did. Not to worry, though. Because you sat up soon enough this month. And as if all that wasn't enough- you have already started pulling yourself up to standing. Then just today you took your first self-supported steps in your pack 'n' play. I'm beginning to think you're moving much too quickly on these milestones. Nonetheless, you are focused, determined, and single minded when you have set a goal. Looking at you when you are moving around on the floor, I can tell that you love to work on things and are very motivated. You get that from your Daddy. You do like to take breaks and when you do it is usually spent sucking on your own toes. Something I marvel at this display of awesome flexibility that you are exercising so well at the moment!

It was this month of July that you also began eating your solids- rice cereal, squash, tastes of what ever mommy will share (like ice cream, Popsicles, Gelato, yogurt, mashed potatoes), and we are on sweet potatoes at the moment. I meant to do a week of oatmeal but I forgot and started in on the potatoes. You are also doing so well drinking from a sippy cup and you can even suck water from a straw after a little reacquainting yourself with the mechanism each time. I was surprised and impressed as I watched you close your little lips around that straw and suck in the water. How do you figure these things out so quickly?

Mommy and Daddy really whooped it up for Fourth of July this year. I guess we were just ready and excited to show off our beautiful girl and happy home to friends and neighbors. It was lots of fun and you spent time with Grandmas and Grandpas. They came to watch you come down the street in the "Shamrock Drive Fourth of July Bike and Stroller Parade." Grandma Obert pointed out that next year someone should explain the difference between a parade and a race because those kiddos lapped us and zoomed by as we "strolled" down the street.

You also had your first profession portrait taken at JCPenny. You were SUCH a good girl and smiled and tried to tolerate all the over stimulation and being rushed. Mommy also got a fever and stomach flu that day so it was extra tough on us. While Mommy has suffered from all her ailments you have managed to stay healthy. Other than your clogged tear duct, gas and allergies, you remain a strong and hardy little bugger.

We don't cuddle like we did your first three months. You even sleep in your crib now without a blink of an eyelash from you! It was time and I think we both sleep sounder because of it. You were just to "mobile" to stay in the co-sleeper anymore. Your temperament, personality, curiosity, and sense of humor is really starting to bloom. I'm just happy to be along for the ride and enjoy watching you develop.

While it was harder on Mommy and Daddy's pocketbooks I'm glad I was able to spend this time with you this summer. I might have missed all these milestones you accomplished this month. Maybe that's why you blew through them so quickly so that I wouldn't miss them before my return to work next month. Anyway, I loved seeing it and I love you. We have more readjustments ahead of us with teething, going back to work, and running after a baby who is 8 months old and walking around getting into things. Although, part of me knows it's going to be hard and exhausting another part of me can't wait!

You are a very special sweet girl. My sweet Lucia.

Your Mommy (through thick and thin)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Today's reason why Lucia is growing up too fast...

She decided to pull her self up to standing in her pack 'n' play then she walked back and forth in it. She supported her weight while she walked by holding on the the edge as you see here. *Sigh*

The Indiana Jones Star Wars connection
Yesterday, my neighbor Cindy and I went downtown to look through the "Rummage on the Ramp" sale. We went too early as the sale didn't start until 5pm. So we walked downtown. I introduced her to Gelato at our downtown cafe called "Cappanna." I had a small with blood orange and Frutti Di Bosco and Cindy had Mango and Peach Lemonade. Yum... Lucia loved it too!
So we still had hours to kill before the sale started so I asked if she had ever seen the "sloth made out of cow tails"? Its an Iowa City tradition to go see our sloth. She said she hadn't. So we all headed over there.
The Natural History museum was open so I showed her our impressive sloth and then we walked the rest of exhibits. While waiting for the elevator to go upstairs to the mammal exhibit my eye caught some "Indiana Jones" toys in a display window. Lo an behold there was a whole display about interesting facts about the Indiana Jones movie. The one that I like the most was that in Raiders of the Lost Ark if you look closely enough you can see R2D2 and C3PO in the hieroglyphs (see above photo). There were other interesting facts too. Did you know that the bar in the beginning of Temple of Doom is called "Club Obi-Wan"? Find more facts like these at this site. Oh, and the toys were cool, too. Some Natural History/ Archeology student must have had a lot of fun due to the new Indiana Jones movie release.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Quick Fire Blog Game

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.EVERYBODY PLAY! I want to see what memories are out there!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Baby class reunion

Lucia got to meet babies her own age today at our baby class reunion. It consisted of couples from our education class in January reuniting to share our stories with each other and a new class of pregnant couples. Lucia was the squirmiest baby and the only girl in the bunch. She was all arms and tried to touch everyone she could get her hands on!

It was really fun because we were the only "born on the due date" and "non-drug intervention" story there and well... No one had a birth like ours. There was a story of a late pre-term (baby born 5 weeks early) baby. One couple gave birth 4 days late. We all were excited to tell our stories and be on "our" side of the discussion panel. It was nice not being pregnant and having birth over and done. The baby class that we visited didn't have hardly ANY questions.

One couple was very environmentally conscious and wanted to know about cloth diapers. "Er... those are hard." I know a mommy who tried "G- Diapers" but I think even she resorted to the old reliable Pampers.

Anyway, its good to be home with daddy on a rare day off and just relax on this muggy sunny day in Iowa.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Lucia is going through the headbanging dog phase.

Food Smart Ass

To be cheeky I looked up "Tater Tot Casserole" on epicurious.com.
It said "What did you mean?"
then I looked up "Tater Tot".

It gave me a recipe for "Homestyle 'Tater Tot' and Truffles".

Hmmmm.... Tatertots for the rich and famous.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

KTO's Jigsaw puzzle
Well, the best way to describe this is that I am a puzzle piece in my Iowa City world which is part of the bigger jigsaw puzzle... Life. I fit in that world in a certain way and I'm connected to the other parts of my life in a certain way. When parts of that puzzle change shape the whole puzzle shifts. Somehow, despite a few hurt feelings here or there, it always comes back together.
Enough of the Jigsaw analogy. How do people remain close through their thirties, anyway? Do people look back on their thirties like I look back on my early twenties and think, "If only I knew then what I know now,"? I'm learning another new place amongst life- the circus tent. Although, I don't feel different inside on the outside I know my place and appearance in the world is vastly different. I feel a struggle knowing where I stand or how to keep the people I love close to me when I'm feeling like I'm faltering and flailing for my place in the world and lets face it have been for some time. Becoming a parent feels like a magnifying glass on all my flaws. I find it difficult answering the hard fact questions about who you were and how that person agrees with your ideas for who you are and the person you want to become.
Friendships are important and I am lucky enough to have friends dating back for many decades. I don't wish to lose any of you ;).
So my point is I've been reading in efforts to keep a certain patience, straightforwardness and understanding to what I've been feeling. I found this article somewhat comforting and wanted to post a link to it.
Anyway, to all of you- While we are all busy parents now and have less time to ourselves- I still want you all to know that you are always in my thoughts and I love you. There... I said it. Now, don't over analyze.
Since Mom and Dad refuse to post anything I guess I will have to. Josie, their new Rat Terrier mixed breed dog, got her mences this morning! I cut a hole in one of Lucia's diapers and stuck it on her and it fell off.
The funny part is that Mom just took her to the vet yesterday and he pointed out a scar and told her that she was already spayed. Mom called again today and the vet said, "Opps."
So mom and I headed to the Petco and picked her up some more diapers made specifically for doggies. She has already slipped out of that and is sleeping on top of their leather couch where mom also happens to be taking a nap. She is probably bleeding all over it.
For the sake of not humiliating poor Josie I won't post a picture of her but I can't help laughing! Mom said, "Why didn't you tell me?"
I said (speaking for Josie), "Well, mom, what more can I do? I was bitchy all last week!"
wat wat waaaaaaaa...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Full Bloom
Our bulbs have grown and peaked. Although this first year we have only one bloom per plant, I can get over how beautiful these plants are! I'm especially proud of the calla Lilly.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Keeping things light...
I was going to get this book for Pop-o but it's out of stock.

Get well soon.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Here is one for those of you who just need more than a still shot of Lucia eating her first meal.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Gooey baby eating
Lucia is a proud member of the solid food eaters club today. Her high chair came in the mail and I figured today is as good a time as any! She loved it and grabbed the spoon in order to try shoving more in her mouth. It was as if I was starving the poor thing and she was crying, "FINALLY!"

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The uncookable Fried Chicken

Today is testament that I still don't know how to make Fried Chicken. Therefore, I must not take after my Grandma Obert that much because I heard that she knew how to make a mean batch of home style fried chicken. I believe that fried chicken depends more on the process to be good and depends less on ingredients.
The last time I made it I just took the chicken pieces and coated them with flour, salt and pepper and fried them in "very hot" vegetable oil. It was as, like my friend Sara B. experienced today, a bloody disgusting mess.
Today I was slightly more prepared. I soaked my hind quarters in buttermilk mixed with chili sauce last night. Sometime this morning I breaded them with a mixture of corn meal, corn starch, ww flour, and white flour. I thought, "Couldn't hurt, mix it all in." My neighbors let me borrow their gas fryer. I set it up in the driveway with all my accoutrement. I had also borrowed a very high tech thermometer that kept a very accurate reading of the temperature of the oil. I bought peanut oil and heated it up to 370 degrees. Lucia and my neighbor friend looked out the window at me as I started putting in the chicken 3 pieces at a time and rolled them around in there until they were golden brown and dripped them dry and set them on a system of paper towels that I had made up on cookie sheets. Men who live on my street strolled over to my driveway with cans of beer in their hands to survey the spectacle. You need to have a few men standing around watching the show when you are working on a project like this one. You have equipment, food and the outdoors... BAM! Before you know what happened you have 3 guys standing over you. I finished feeling confident that I had at last made an excellent batch of fried chicken. That is... until I bit into one.
It was RAW! I swore at it for about five minutes then ran over to the neighbors with Lucia on my hip to convey my bad news. So as soon as she had a minute we started the whole process over again. Lucia with the neighbor and me with my fryer, chicken and neighbor men. They walked up to me, "Hey, what happened? OH, what you gotta do is..." The chicken got another shade darker. We brought it in. We cut into it... STILL PINK!
So I have it in the oven... Hours later. Its probably going to taste like dry shit. I have another 15 pounds of chicken in the refrigerator that is bound for the grill tomorrow. I boiled it today. Its resting with a nice coating of Old Bay and olive oil on it.
Damn Hind Quarters. Now I know why they are 69 cents a pound. They are impossible to cook!