Friday, July 30, 2010

Sweet Pea



We don't call Kasen any nickname other than Kase.  Why?  Lack of originality.... maybe...  But for me it makes me think of  the Simpson episodes (I was a kid of the 90's) where Bart would call the bar with funny names.  I don't know if Justin Case was ever one of those names, but Karl says it so much I believe it was one.  So, when the sleep deprivation gets bad - we make each other laugh be referring to her as "You know, Justin KASEN".  No, it isn't very funny - but it works for us.

However, if Kasen had parents who gave their kid sweet nicknames, it would be "sweet pea".  Kasen's Nana (Karl's mom) sent her this adorable onsie.  It is super soft and cute as can be right?  Why sweet pea you ask?  See below.  Kasen's Grandma (my mom) bought her this pajama before she was born.  She has worn it a lot. My mom gave it to me laughing... I think I know who I got my sense of humor from...

The hat (which has an embroidered leaf on it) says "Sweet Pea" - as if the leaves on the hat and the bag wasn't enough of a tip off.  I will be sad when she outgrows this one.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back in the saddle

My goal was to post something every day. I have learned (in my "old" age) to make goals manageable. So here is today's post:

Looks like my anxieties are showing dividends... we are so proud :)


Disclaimers:

1.  Karl took this with his phone camera in a badly lit room.  Kasen is not this pink normally ;)
2.  She always looks this morose.  I promise if she was upset - you'd know it!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Motherhood Indignity #456: Baby Brain

A friend and I were just talking (ok texting, but what is a busy mom to do?) about how motherhood is sometimes a string of indignities.  The first one that came to my mind was my lack of time to shower.  The indignity was specifically having to leave your house without a shower so frequently.  Before baby, not showering was a choice... even a badge of honor for a FUN night previous.  Now there is no choice and too few FUN nights, so motherhood indignity #1 was born.

Even the term "baby brain" makes me ill.  Before having said "baby", I would have said it didn't exist.  I have now realized the term is a misnomer.  It is not like my brain is not the whip-smart (IMHO) brain from my pre-baby days, it just has MORE to remember.

Case in point?  I ran out to a store an hour ago.  It was a quick trip between naps.  Kasen is refusing to go to sleep if she misses her "I am sleepy, lady" window.  This makes her just a joy to be around, so she has trained me to stick close to home (Loss of Schedule Control - another indignity).  I digress.  In my rush to get to the store quickly (to have more time before public baby meltdown), I walked out without my wallet.  OF COURSE I DID - I had diaper changing supplies, baby bjorn, toys, change of clothes, car seat, list of store items and a BABY.  Turns out moms just have more stuff to think of then the rest of us.  When I got to the counter to pay (yes, I got all the way to the counter), I realized the mistake.  The teenager at the cash register looked at me like I was a moron - I mean who forgets their wallet when headed to a store?

I am now back home and Kasen is sleeping.  If I'm lucky the teenager will not be there by the time I make it back.  Guess bad TV is on my to do plan.....

Your gift for listening to my complaints? A cute picture of Kasen:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Uncle Matt


Karl's brother, Matt, visited us during a business trip a week ago.  This was him meeting his neice.  They both look so happy for 7am.  Much to my dismay, Kasen seems to have the Picard Morning-Person gene.  Even Sterling is getting up earlier (my only "sleeping in" ally).  Do you see the fuzzy arms in the picture?  My child was vibrating with delight.... at 7 in the morning

Anyway, it was so wonderful he could drop by.  Work sent him across the country (from Virginia) last minute to give some important training.  He worked all weekend, but luckily wasn't flying out until Monday morning, so he took a ferry over and stayed Sunday night.  Kasen was asleep when he arrived, but they met the next morning.  Matt even fed her breakfast before he left.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Day at the Races

Karl and I are trying to put some importance on "date night" and we don't get true date nights often.  So when Jeanette invited us to Emerald Downs for her birthday and Becca offered to watch Kasen, we knew a "date night" had materialized.  The fact that it wasn't at night - details, details... 

Jeanette's husband planned a great day - including a barn tour with our friend Will.  Will is majorly into race horses and seems completely at ease with them (the picture is Will and one of his horses).  I have to say horses have always made me uneasy.  They all appear to be quietly waiting for something - an animal take-over perhaps?  But these horses were pretty cool and seem to be living the high life.
I forgot to bring my nice camera (although nice to not be lugging around anything for once), so I was stuck with my phone.  Our friend Bill (a photographer) was with us.  I lamented my lack of a good camera and how with the conditions getting anything usable with my phone would be impossible.  Then Bill said - fxCamera.  This android app is awesome.  Using the Polaroid effect - all pictures look ok.


Here we are on our barn tour. The day was fantastic. We have not seen hot sun in quite awhile in Seattle.  I got burned.  Of Course.  We did some betting.  It just reinforced my opinion of gambling.  My luck in games of chance is too bad to put any really money down.  $2 a bet, ooookkkk.  Yeah. 

Not suprisingly, we lost all my bets, but Karl eventually won. 

Still, a fun day at the track and who can argue with the view?

Priceless

2 Tickets to Emerald Downs: $14
Parking: $7
Betting on the "ponies": $12
A friend who will watch your teething child?  PRICELESS

Thanks Becca!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

"Karl, babies need things!"

We live in Seattle.  For everyone that lives here, we know why acquiring stuff is a problem - houses are small in the city.  Honestly, we have a good sized house, but it isn't baby stuff big.  When we lived in Virgina we had 2 rooms we never used - we didn't heat them in the winter.  Not in Seattle.  Which leads to a problem.  Our favorite "game" right now is - where can we find room?  We had to play recently when I pulled the guest bed out of Kasen's room.  Karl won by finding space in the basement (his "man couch" was a casualty of this victory).  Before we had Kase, we visited a friend in the suburbs and I was jealous of their Bounce House Room.  Yes, a room with just a small, blow-up, bounce house.  I can already see it:

Therapist: "Let's talk about your childhood"
Kasen: "It was loving, but it wasn't like I had a Bounce House room"
Therapist: "Ahhhhh....now we are getting somewhere..."

Every time I come home with something new, Karl and I have the same discussion - "Do we need _____?"  I respond with my standard - "it's for Kasen.  Babies need things."  Conversation done, game on.  We acquired a Fisher Price Aquarium from my sister-in-law.  She said my niece had liked it and it was originally a gift from my aunt.  I took it home, attached it to the crib.  It is now called "baby crack" in the Pickerbocker household.  Note - Kasen was upset before I turned the toy on....

video

Does this count as TV?  What if we go somewhere without one?  New mom guilt begins......

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Couches in bathrooms rule!

It is becoming a constant theme with me that being a mom has changed my life

Other Moms can STOP laughing at the obviousness of this statement.

Kasen went to her first Sounders game last week. I'll make the story short. It was horrible (picture was taken during few moments she slept). However, we went again last Sunday and had a blast. She spent most of the first game crying, but the second game was awesome. Karl had done some walking with her the first time and found a whole new area in Seattle's Quest field - the box level. So when she started crying at the last game, I took her up. I think you are supposed to have a ticket for the "club level", but a baby is an instant "free pass". I swear I need to start going to more concerts. I think people might let me walk straight back stage with Kasen!

Anyway, I enjoyed the game in quiet comfort. I found a place I could see the field and Kasen slept in the baby bjorn. I met a nice couple from Ireland (also with a little one) AND saw Kasey Keller walk through - twice! They even had nice family bathrooms for changing diapers. The best part? No one was miserable - my new life goal.


We even stopped by a our friend Bryan's house and had beers & snacks. I think I will get to keep the good stuff from my life pre-Kasen with a few adjustments. The picture is Kasen with our newly married friends, Steve and Jenny. They were nice enough to hold her the whole time she was awake.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Baby = Living Tamagotchi?

When I was in college, one of the toy crazes was Tamagotchi pets. If you aren't around my age feel free to click here for the Wikipedia description. If you are my age, you remember these key chains. They had buttons on them to feed, clean, play and put your pet to sleep. Honestly, I never had one (nor understood them), but I did "Tamagotchi-sit" for friends. You see if you stopped hitting the buttons, your pet would get "sick" (again not having the toy, I may be describing it slightly inaccurately). The point? If your pet got "sick" enough, it would die. Some toy huh? "Here honey, keep hitting the buttons or your toy pet will DIE." For those of you that think this seems a stupid fad? Remember this was before cell phones, Ipods & DVD players. I had friends that would wake up in the middle of the night to push the buttons.

I described taking care of a baby to my sister-in-law once... "It is like a living Tamagotchi toy. I spend all day doing the same tasks... feed, feed, feed, diaper, diaper, diaper, rock, rock, rock....". She (mom to my 3 yr old niece) loved the analogy. She completely agreed newborns were like that - a lot of effort without much return on their part. She promised me it would change once Kase could smile. She was right.

Kasen is smiling all the time now and turning into a real, live, mini-human. Below is a video of her at a month old. She wasn't smiling for real yet, but she always had these great "sleep smiles". I now realize most babies have them, a smile that happens just as they fall asleep. Sadly for Kase, she also turned into the Exorcist. Not the green puke or the head spinning, but DEFINITELY the eyes rolling back. As an update, she now closes her eyes before going to sleep. We are so proud.

Kasen - I promise I will never show this video to any future boyfriends..... even the ones with tattoos....








From Kasen Videos


BTW - if you can't see this video, leave me a comment (or send me an . I can email you and maybe get it fixed.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Can a baby have friends?

I am a member of a PEPS group. PEPS is an organization dedicated to supporting parents - especially new parents in the first year of their child's' life (click here to learn more). Basically if you are a parent in Seattle, you have heard of PEPS. If you are a new mom in Seattle, you are joining PEPS. Reason? You hear about so many people that had awesome experiences, you figure you can't NOT at least try it. I admit I was hesitant at first. I have never been one of those people with a million close friends. The idea of being in a group of 11 women and finding true friends seemed unlikely to me.
But I love the idea of Kasen having friends her age. Friends she has know since before she has memories. Friends in the neighborhood. Friends where you can go to their house in the evening for a bedtime story in your pajamas. Well, we only knew one person who was due around Kasen (our friends Adam and Rachel - the picture shows Kasen and Sam meeting for this first time - she was smitten, he unimpressed).

After 8 weeks, I am convinced. Get 11 new moms in a room and they will find some common ground. Maybe that common ground will revolve around the color of their child's poo or the current state of their nap schedule - but common group it is. Below is a picture of all the PEPS babies. They are all so cute. I mean come on - babies are cute (if you aren't really a baby person, substitute puppies in the picture - SEE cute right?). Kasen is the one in the dotted brown pants in the bottom of the picture. She is checking out her friend Bennett. In fact, she may be pulling the "YYYAAAWWNNN" arm maneuver. She is nothing if not smooth.

Did you notice the cutie in the lime green shirt? Yes the adorable Buddha baby yawning with arms raised? That is a sushi t-shirt.... on a baby.... I mean when you think it couldn't get better... BAM!! Sushi baby t-shirt. Anyone still feel bad for mom's with boys? Talk to this kid's mom. Boys clothes are just as cute - although admittedly harder to locate. Just looking at this picture makes me smile. I hope Kasen gets to grow up with these kids. I think my baby has friends.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Who knew I could care about thumb sucking?

Kasen is really starting to get the hang of her hands. She is grabbing toys and putting them in her mouth. Until recently, I never knew what a big accomplishment that was for a baby (or how excited I would get by such seemingly small changes). Now that she can move her hands more reliably - she can suck her thumb. Mom's everywhere know why this is great (sorry all those that think thumb sucking is the worst habit ever). A THUMB never falls on the floor of a bathroom, a THUMB never gets lost and a THUMB can never be out of reach in the middle of the night. If I believed in intelligent design, I would use thumbs as my evidence. Wait... nope evolution still wins... thumbs are advantageous to survival - quiet babies are MUCH easier to take care of.... :)

The last 3 months of development has seen Kasen go from: "What are these fleshy UFOs that keep appearing?"; to "I think those fleshy UFOs are ATTACHED!"; to "I think I can get these things to get stuff to my mouth" (a goal babies care A LOT about). She is still a little slow to open her hands, so sometimes her "grab" just punches things further away... I get frustrated for her, but she just keeps working at it. That must be the Karl genes. I mean look how happy she looks that she managed to get that thumb in her mouth!

So while thumb sucking is disparaged by some, I think it might be OK for us. It funny how much can make you feel guilty as a mom. While I try to be a duck when it comes to mom when it comes to outside influences on how I feel I am performing as a mom [as in the guilt rolls right off], everyone has their Achilles heel. I must admit - tummy time has been my weakness. As with thumb sucking, who knew I would care about OR even use the phrase "tummy time".

Right now, I admit I am obsessed by tummy time (I can't explain it).
I mean I signed up for Gymboree specifically to get more confident about tummy time (see Kasen with her "classmates"). Of course I mean ME getting more confident. I think it is hilarious I am so focused on it, I mean really, I imagine Kase will crawl/walk/run even if she never loves tummy time. It just seems like the first thing (of what will probably be a long list) I feel guilty about. As if my child's love or loathing of tummy time is based solely on my efforts.

Kasen has already shown she can decide what she likes without me. See her digging on the "Gymbo" clown? Yeah, GYMBO - gotta love that branding! Her fascination with this Gymboree clown bugs me. See, she has already found something to love that I hate. Teenage years should be fun.

So here is Kasen doing some tummy time - notice she has found her thumb and she sucked it the entire time she was on her tummy (10 minutes!!! - my PEPS friends will totally understand my excitement). The funny part is at this moment I was thinking: "does tummy time count if she isn't moving around?" Yeah, some duck I am. What was Kase thinking? My guess? My thumb is good, yuuuuuummmmmm.....

Wow, was that a long post. They sure won't all be this long (or their frequency will fall dramatically), but it felt good to get out. My high school English teacher would be so proud...

Monday, July 5, 2010

3 Months Old

Kasen turned 3 months old on Saturday. We celebrated by taking some pictures of her with the nice camera. This is one of my favorites:

Kasen started doing the teething drooling last month, but she is now chewing on anything she can get her hands on... including, well, her hands. This pose is pretty much how we see her 90% of the time she is awake. It also makes a super attractive slurping sound.

The outfit (including polka dot socks not pictured) was a gift from our friends Damon & Amy. They are both marine scientists and the outfit did not disappoint. See the super cute whale - yup - also on the onsie underneath. With all our crappy cold weather, we haven't really broken out the dresses. So for the month birthday picture I went for the cute. I hear summer is coming this week - so I see bare legs in this kids future! Hooray - more Moby the pink whale.

Smiling is coming more frequently now. She isn't really laughing yet, but she finds constant amusement in her day. She finds diaper changes particularly hilarious. In photos she can tend to look a little morose, so here is my proof she is a smiler. I will hold onto this in case I have to have it printed for display during her teen years.



Below is more the type of picture I was getting (I think both small picarbockers are saying "what is Mom doing" with their gazes). Karl and I are in trouble when they can conspire against us. Sterling may just be waiting for Kase to get her opposable thumbs figured out and then he will organize the coup.


Sterling and Kasen are definitely enjoying each other these days. It brings a smile to my face every time. Sterling is 8yrs old now and I can't even imagine Kasen might not have memories of him one day. Guess I'll just keep taking lots of pictures. Sterling likes it when she sits on the floor - much easier access that way. Someone told us that kids with pets have fewer allergies due to all the exposure to dirt/allergens/etc. If Sterling has his way, Kasen will be the healthiest kid on the planet.

Note: there were no babies harmed in the creation of this picture. Sterling stopped short of devouring her cheeks - he nicely saves them for us. The dog has much more restraint than Karl or I.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Thanks Grandma!

My mom left last week after taking care of Kase for 6 weeks. It was really wonderful having her here when I went back to work for the last few weeks of the school year.

Kasen got to take lots of long walks and enjoy playing with Grandma. We all had so much fun, we didn't really get any pictures. The only picture we took was this one when mom first arrived. We took it to show off the pants from my mom's friend Judy. Since it was a nice picture, I thought I would post it anyway.

So thanks for putting up with us and Kasen's teething. We couldn't have done it without you!