Making the grandmas happy.

We returned last night from a very successful trip home. Tim and Hilary got married, we got to see some snow from the warmth and comfort of our car, and we made two grandmas very, very happy.


Of course, it turns out that making grandmas happy isn’t all that hard to do — all you need is a pudgy, smiling baby.

(Or even just a pudgy, non-smiling baby: it seems that the wedding hubbub was so exciting that Camilla forgot to smile for a while.)

Although I was initially supposed to take the wedding photos, a professional volunteered and I got to happily fade into the background and just enjoy myself. As a result, I didn’t end up with many photos at all…I don’t even have a pic of the lovely bride and groom. :(

It was impossible not to snap a few pictures of the grandmas, however, since they snatched up the baby as often as they could.

And it’s a good thing I took these when I did, because that cute little red dress and tights got covered in what my sister calls a “poo-nami” before the wedding even started, ushering in the classic parenting scenario where the frantic mother has twenty minutes to drive back to the hotel to find outfit B.

Showing grandma our flying skills.

Note to self: make sure to pack TWO cute dresses to any special occasion.

Grandma Marston.

As a daughter and daughter-in-law, I’m not sure what I could have done to make these two wonderful women happier than to give them a grandbaby.

A very happy grandma.

I know that they love me whatever I do, but throughout our trip I saw them bend over backward to express their joy in Camilla.

From rental cars to meals to hotel rooms to early morning babywatching sessions, we were just so blessed by our mothers.

(And fathers, of course….let’s not forget them!)

The Gibbs family.

I still can’t get over the way that one little baby can make everything better.

The wakey baby.

I took these photos yesterday morning when baby Camilla was wide awake and husband (as you can see) was not. I remember some pics like these of me and my dad in our old family albums, which leads me to believe that this is a pretty iconic image.

Baby = wide awake and ready to play.
Parent = longing for just another 20 (or 40 or 60) minutes of sleep.

The classic awake baby and snoozing parent.

Our baby, as it turns out, is the classic early riser. If she had her way, the day would — and occasionally does — begin at 4:30 am. One of my jobs lately has been learning to coax her into sleeping until, say, 6:00 or 6:30.

Like any other speedbump along the path of parenthood, our emotions toward this aspect of our baby’s character have ranged from denial to bleary-eyed acceptance.

Okay, more than acceptance: morning is Camilla’s happiest time and it would be a shame to waste those smiles and giggles.

So we play in the covers,

and show off our bendiness,
and have daddy kiss our feet.

Kiss it, daddy!

And then mom puts away the camera and we have to get out of bed.

These might be the last photos for a while since we’re going to be busy with our friend visiting from Idaho (welcome, Tom!) and getting ready to fly to Seattle at the end of the week for my brother’s wedding. Lots of exciting stuff. Camilla is much happier now than the last time we flew (she was only four weeks old), so I’m thinking that this is going to be a really fun trip.

Plus, we get to see our much-missed family, who is eagerly waiting to shower a certain baby with love and kisses. Can you blame them?


I thought we had passed hurricane season but I guess I was wrong: it doesn’t look like a particularly bad one, but Hurricane Ida is sort of heading our way.  On the plus side, schools are closed for the next three days so husband gets to run around collecting bottled water and crackers and such while I play with the babe. And then if the power does go out we can have a little no-computer, no-tv family time.

Actually, it might not be so terrible after all as long as the roof stays put.

Right, Camilla?

P.S. Thanks for all the kind words about our diapering situation. It is kind of embarrassing to try and fail, especially since cloth diapers are so popular with our demographic (and for good reasons). But I’m just going to be grateful that there’s an option out there that meets our family’s needs and move on. Happy baby, happy mama.

Holding our head up.

Things have been pretty busy here recently. I”m continuing to look for the right balance between baby, housework, cooking, and other projects.  This week I tried to squeeze in some sewing with mixed results…when will I learn that I can’t accomplish everything I did before the baby came? Or even, like, 1/4?

My life, however, is not nearly as exciting as that of a certain baby. She has recently gone from this…

Learning to like her tummy.

To this!

And she's up!

Okay, that doesn’t look particularly exciting. But what you can’t see is the rolling over that preceded this little maneuver. Camilla has been able to roll over for weeks, but she suddenly gained a lot of enthusiasm for it. As in, whenever I lay her down on her back she instantly starts trying to roll herself over. This is followed by raising her head and looking around, which is eventually followed by getting tired and wailing for mom to rescue her. And then mom magically appears and puts her on her back, but a baby doesn’t want to be on her back anymore so she rolls over. Which is followed by….you get the idea.

While she prefers to be rescued from her own success, Camilla can also roll from front to back, which means that she now has mobility. The first time I left the room and found her in a different location when I came back was strange: I felt simultanteously empowered for her and panicked in that I can’t wait any longer to start some serious babyproofing. I can actually foresee crawling in the not-too-distant future. Aaaaahhhhh!

(She gets that worried frown whenever she holds her head up — I guess it takes a lot of concentration.)

There’s one other big change in our lives that I”m going mention since I went public about it before: we are no longer cloth diaperers. I’m kind of ashamed to admit it, but not everything works for everybody and I thought there might be another reader out there who has arrved at the same conclusion and needs some solidarity. For our family, it came down to the following list of pros and cons.

Things I liked about cloth diapers:
— They’re reusable and I didn’t feel like I was creating a lot of trash.
— They didn’t smell like chemicals.
— They ketp the poo in  lot better than disposables.
— I got a feeling of ecological and faintly moral superiority when I told other people we use cloth diapers (this alone is probably enough reason to quit).

Things I didn’t like about cloth diapers:
— I spent an awful lot of time doing laundry. In our apartment, every trip to the washer and dryer involves wrenching open our lousy sliding glass back door with two hands, opening a padlock, and working in a ridiculously hot little storage room. And the more time I spend doing laundry, the more apt I am to look at husband when he comes home with a and-what-has-he-done-around-here-today kind of attitude. This is not that great for our relationship, obviously.
— All that laundry is pretty energy inefficient (I dread our next electric bill). This would be mitigated if I could line dry the diapers, but due to our lease and apartment setup this isn’t possible for us. My cloth diapers took 70 minutes in the dryer on high to get dry. 70 min x every other day + regular laundry = a lot of electricity.
— While clean diapers smell great, dirty ones don’t. ‘(Nuff said.)
— Husband didn’t like cloth diapering the baby, which meant that she would sometimes mysteriously end up in disposables when he changed her. This was irrationally annoying to me since I was doing all that laundry so she wouldn’t be in disposables and was another source of relationship stress.
— Camilla didn’t like them. This was the clincher for me, really. During changing time she would smile and laugh and kick happily, but as soon as I fastened the diaper she started to fuss about 90% of the time. I experimented with all sorts of different folds and covers with the same result: she doesn’t like feeling thick around her middle, and she especially doesn’t like to feel wet. Being wetter also meant that she got a small, persistant rash that I couldn’t get to go away without using cream, which hurts the absorbency of your diapers.

In the end, husband asked if we could stop and I agreed. A cloth-diapering friend happily received our stash and I’m looking for other ways to reduce our budget. I feel less cool and hipster, but I honestly think that the baby is happier and that’s worth a little chagrin on my part. A happy baby, of course, it where’s at.