Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hurray - it's Saturday!

The weekend is here and this is how I intend to spend every second of Ivy's wakeful time:

holding her close and kissing her every time she turns her face my way.

The week went very well and I only experienced one morning of exhaustion.  Getting up at 5:15 isn't as dreadful as I feared and my days are now much longer and richer.  

This weekend will be a fun one.  My cousins are in town and I'm looking forward to introducing Ivy to these people who mean so much to me.  Kevin is going to take Ivy swimming in the wading pool at their hotel while my cousins and I drink a few glasses of Riesling and stay away from barbed wire fences.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Daddy in the House!

So I've been taking care of Ivy for two days now while Shawn is at work, and I think I'm getting the hang of it. Shawn has established good routines for Ivy, and I'm doing my best to keep everything moving along smoothly. Not that Ivy and I don't have our own special dad-and-daughter fun.

Every morning at breakfast I read her the autobiography of A. Little Monkey. Ivy especially likes this page:

Why, you might ask? Because later on she gets to re-enact this particular event!

I think she enjoys hanging upside down. . . don't you?

We're doing fine, I think -- if we continue the conceit of the little lamb, I suppose I'm the Papa Ram. But with an active little lamb like Ivy, there's no time to be gathering wool! Ouch, ok, that hurt. I hope I can get into the swing of this blog business; I'm a bit nervous following in Shawn's creative footsteps!

But for now, peace out from Dad and Ives!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sweet professions

When I grow up I want to be a:

First I'll hone my skills by playing pat-a-cake over & over with my Aunt Kersten:

Then my cousin and I will buy matching outfits and we'll devour cookbooks until we find the world's most perfect cupcake recipes:

But, until then, I'm going to spend lots of time hanging out in river town bakeries with my Grandma

and Grandpa.

(And I'll observe how an expert baker makes the magic happen by spending lots of time crawling around with my cousins on our grandma's spotless kitchen floor.)

And, speaking of professions and what we want to be when we grow up, I returned to work today after a 12-week family leave. The last few weeks have been difficult for me. I was quite sick in mid-February (which accounts for the lack of brilliant posts this month) and last week I grew sad every time I thought of all the special moments I would miss throughout the day when my family leave came to an end. But today was truly wonderful and the most difficult part of the day was walking out the door at 7:00 this morning. I've missed my friends at work, all of whom have been fiercely supportive of us over the past 9 months, and today they welcomed me back to the office with a lovely surprise breakfast of homemade quiches, muffins, sweet breads and fruit. I accomplished so much today and this long break has allowed me to step back and view my routines in a new light and change those that are ineffective or no longer working for me. I've returned to the office with a renewed sense of purpose and vigor and I'm looking forward to working on some special projects in the weeks ahead. Heartfelt thanks to all my working mom friends and to my loving mom & sister for letting me cry on their shoulders and for sharing their strength and wisdom.

Kevin is now on family leave for the next several weeks and knowing that the Loves of my life are spending their days together makes my heart swell. I returned home shortly before Ivy woke up from her afternoon nap and Kevin and I sat down with cups of tea and talked about our days before Ivy awoke - being home when she woke up and getting her out of her crib this afternoon was glorious. She smiled at and reached for me and I held her in my arms and inhaled her sweet baby sleepiness. I know that I'll be exhausted from time to time and I know that there will be days when I feel like I'm an unwilling participant in a juggling act, but I needed today to show me that I will be able to balance both parts of my life.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Presidents' Day!

In honor of Presidents' Day let's all don powdered wigs and gossip about Grover Cleveland for one whole day.  Disney's Hall of Presidents, here we come!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Baby's gotta dance

Ivy loves music AND dancing.  She and Kevin have a daddy-daughter dance party every night after her dinner while I rest my weary bones on the soft cushions of the couch after sitting on the floor and crawling after an 11-month-old all day long (and I can't imagine a better way to spend the day).  Here's a little video of the dance partners interpreting the Muppets' Mahna-Mahna:

Who wants to join Ivy for the next 6-years-old & under dance party?  Cousins Adalia and Finnian - wanna dance the circle two step at the Concordia Ballroom in LaCrosse?  A jig with Baby Gus or free-form Modern with Madeline and Rowan right here in Madison?  How about a polka with our friends Emme & Evan, Moo & Sam and Baby Theo in the Pacific Northwest?  We could try the Virginia Reel with Asa in Raleigh.  Or should we boogie on down the cookie aisle with Kai in Corning?

(Collie and others - I know what you're thinking: nobody puts Baby in a corner)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Baby Zhivago

o.k. - I'll come clean and admit that I've never actually watched Dr. Zhivago in its entirety or finished the book.  I've attempted to sit down and watch the film.  I've had the best intentions.  But there's something about the orchestral score, the sweeping scenes of the Russian steppes and the images of Julie Christie in a fox fur hat riding in a horse-drawn sleigh that just lulls me right to sleep.  And, hey, since the movie is, like, an entire afternoon long that's one awesome nap. . .  But I just read the Wikipedia entry about Dr. Zhivago and feel totally caught up on the story.

I think that Ivy looks so contemplative in these photos from the past weekend.  the weather finally warmed up into the mid-30s and I granted Kevin his wish and allowed him to take Ivy outside to sit in the snow.  Ivy loves watching our big girl neighbors come home from kindergarten each day, so when she saw them outside making snow-people on Saturday she got very excited and wanted to watch them.  We bundled her up and took her outside, where she immediately got very shy - but she was a good sport and allowed us to prop her up in the snow for a few photos.  Here she is with one of the girls who she's loved to watch since the 2nd day that she came home to Madison (twin sister was playing behind us):