The Power of Memories

I like to think I have a decent memory, regardless of how much evidence exists to the contrary. Since Liliana arrived, however, I’ve realized that I had forgotten many of the fun things I had learned when I was young.

Sure, I’d remembered Weeble Wobbles and cardboard boxes. I’d remembered various toys my brother (along with other small children) had broken. I’d remembered how I loved the water wings that the kid from the other apartment had let me borrow so I could go swimming in the pool of the apartment complex, although when I think back now, I realize his parents were probably the ones that let us borrow them.

I had forgotten some things though too. About a month ago, I was giving Liliana a bath and remembered a washcloth trick that my mother had taught me. I had worked so hard when I was little to learn how to do it, but I hadn’t tried it in many years.

Luckily, I could still manage it, even with Liliana’s itty bitty washcloths. Here’s what you do:

1. Wet the cloth.

2. Make a fist.

3. Lay the cloth over the fist and slowly lower your hand underwater, making sure the edges touch the water first.

4. Using your other hand to make sure the edges of the washcloth remain lower than the rest of it, gather the edges together while removing your fist. The result should be a balloon of air.

5. Don’t let go of the edges, but move the cloth bubble underwater. It should hold the air as long as it remains under the water and doesn’t bump anything.

6. Squeeze it and watch thousands of little bubbles rocket through the cloth to the surface!

 

I felt so cool when I showed Liliana this trick, and she thought it was neat. Unfortunately for my ego, the rubber duck won the contest for her attention because she could eat it.

A similar thing happened today when I remembered the wonders of those doorstops that are built into the wall. I showed her how it made a fun sound if you stretched the spring and let go. I used to play with that thing for what seemed like hours: Boing! Boing! Boing! 

She didn’t seem quite as interested at first, so I thought she might still be too young to really appreciate it.

I just found out I was wrong.

What have I done?

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Meet Liliana

This is Liliana.


She enjoys such activities as reading literature classics (specifically La Oruga Muy Hambrienta,) screaming as loudly as she can (to demonstrate either her enthusiasm or distaste,) playing with our partotlet and rabbits, and devouring all things that could possibly prove delicious. She also loves having her belly gotten, and her favorite word is a constant stream of Muhmuhmuhmuhmuh. 

This is Liliana’s trike.


It is officially her new favorite thing in the history of ever. She had been very jealous of the big kids and their bikes, but our awesome neighbors gave her this. She practiced in the living room for about a day, and then was very eager to explore the neighborhood and show off her skills. She loves meeting new friends.

This is Liliana’s magic mirror. 

    

It is supposed to be a toy in front of which she can sit and wave her magic rattle and make it talk to her. She used to do that, but now she uses it to stand.

What a little rebel.

Sleep

3:51 am

I love sleep. I promise. What’s awesome is that usually sleep loves me too. Not trying to brag or anything, but Matthew once timed how long it took me to fall asleep, and he came up with 7 seconds.

I love my baby more than sleep.

Since she was about a month old, people have been asking me if she was sleeping through the night yet. Of course, at a month old, she was not. As the months passed, I had gradually accepted the fact that she seems to have inherited an unusually high metabolism, and will pretty much always accept a meal. Now before all of you tell me I’m starving the poor child, I promise I feed her several meals a day, with snacks, plus breastmilk. She still wakes up at night.

This is actually just fine with me. Someday she will sleep all night, but I really don’t care if that happens before she is a year old or not. I’ve just accepted the fact that sleep and I won’t be hanging out much.

So I was very surprised when she slept over 7 hours without waking up to eat. I woke up a few minutes ago and was terrified that something had happened to her. I tiptoed down the hall and gently nudged her bedroom door open just enough to get inside.

Crrrrreeeeeaaaak….

I cringed. If everything was ok, I definitely did not want to wake her. I peeked through her crib bars, but she didn’t stir. I listened, but I couldn’t hear anything, so I crept into the room.

She was sprawled out like a sweet little cherub statue – the kind found in water fountains, standing on one leg. Her right arm held her wubbanub in her mouth like a trumpet.


(Image courtesy of lassco.co.uk)

Thankfully, she was breathing.

I went back to bed, but sleep was on strike protesting irregular hours, so I stared at the ceiling for a little while, just being thankful Liliana was fine.

4:38 am

She woke up.

How to Eat Grass (by Liliana)

As any baby who has never eaten grass knows, it is a scrumptious treat enjoyed only by those clever enough to subvert their Mommy’s or Daddy’s attempts to stop them, or the lucky spoiled babies whose parents love them more than mine do. For the poor souls whose parents do not love them enough to give them grass, I have devised a guide based on personal experience on how to obtain this delicacy.

Step One: Make Mommy take you outside. The best way to do this is to throw yourself towards the window or door while she is holding you. Don’t worry, she won’t let you fall no matter what you do because it is her job to hold onto you.

Step Two: Make Mommy set you down. I do this by completely letting go of Mommy and trying to slide down her leg. Make sure she sets you in the fluffy green stuff. That is the delicious part of outside.

Step Three: Pat the grass. Do this for a few minutes so that Mommy is not worried about you eating it. It feels nice anyways.

Step Four: Pick a piece of clover and study it intently. Do not, I repeat, do NOT, put it in your mouth yet. Mommy is waiting to see what you will do with it and will instantly foil your plan if you attempt to eat it at this moment.

Step Five: When Mommy looks away, close your hand around the clover so she cannot see it. This is important so that she does not realize it is still in your possession.

Step Six: Pretend to eat your hand while carefully maneuvering the clover into your mouth. If you do this with enough care, she will not notice. Unfortunately, my Mommy saw right through this attempt, so I had to try something else. If Step Six does not work, please continue. Otherwise, good job.

Troubleshooting:

The “Mmm” Method:

This is the direct approach. The key here is to be persuasive. Pick a clover, look Mommy right in the eyes and say “Mmm!” while moving the clover to your mouth. If you can convince her you know it is delicious, she is sure to let you eat it.

 

The Misdirection Approach:

Stare off into the distance like you see something fascinating. While Mommy tries to find what you are studying, use the hand she is not holding to grab some clover and bring it to your mouth.

 

The Daddy Strategy:

Stare at home until Mommy calls Daddy outside to play too. Show him that Mommy is mean and won’t let  you eat grass. If he loves you enough, he will let you eat it and Mommy will get in trouble for being a party pooper.

 

Some babies have suggested crying, but I have had little success with that. Usually my Mommy assumes I am hungry or need a diaper change when I cry, so she picks me up and takes me away from the grass. This is directly contrary to our objective, so I do not suggest this tactic.

 

Congratulations! You have now savored your first real food. Wasn’t it so much better than the pea/spinach/apple/mango stuff they make you eat?

 

 

*Disclaimer: None of these methods actually worked for me, but they all sound good in theory. I am certain that my experience was a fluke and if you follow this guide, you should have no trouble obtaining your first taste of grass.

Just a Spoonful of…

Liliana is by no means a picky eater. She’ll try any food happily, and she’ll like most of them.

Every now and then, though, there is a food that she decides she doesn’t really fancy.

Turkey is one of those foods. The last time I tried to give her turkey was a couple of weeks ago and she fought it more than she has fought any other food. She shoved away the spoon, turned her head, pressed her lips together and leaned as far away from me as she possibly could. Granted, it did smell a little funny, but it tasted fine (I swear). I tried mixing it with sweet peas, but she still wouldn’t have anything to do with it.

So I gave up for a while, but today I had an idea. What if I tried adding seasoning to it? After all, I like food better with seasoning, so she probably would too. I don’t have very many spices right now because we are still moving them into this kitchen, but I do have a few.

Any guesses what I added?

I’ll give you a hint: it was not a spoonful of sugar.

It was a sprinkle of chili powder. I mixed it up with the turkey very well and set her in her high chair. I took a spoon and said, “Liliana, you want some?” with a great big smile on my face.

She smiled back and opened her mouth.

In went the spoon.

She closed her mouth, considered it, then looked at me for my reaction.

“Mmmm,” I said with a smile.

She smiled again and wiggled in anticipation of the next bite. She ended up eating all of it, and then some butternut squash afterwards.

I was reminded of three lessons today: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again,” and “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Or, in this case, a sprinkling of chili powder helps the turkey to not induce gagging.

Products of Procrastination

When my daughter, Liliana, woke up from her nap this morning, she didn’t cry. I heard her babbling to herself from the breakfast table downstairs, so I went upstairs to grab her. I made sure to make a lot of noise so she knew I was coming, but I crawled so she wouldn’t see me. I got right next to her, then sprang up with a smile. Of course, she thought that was wonderful and rewarded me with a huge, toothless grin. I scooped her up, telling her we were going to go get Daddy.

I should have known better, honestly.

The bottom half of our staircase has a cutaway wall on one side, allowing the living room to be seen. My husband was on the couch, working on something on his computer. I told Liliana, “Shh,” and I held her so she could peek around the corner and see him from the stairs.

She can be patient when she wants to be, and she was very quiet. It took about twenty seconds for him to look up at her, and when he did, her whole face lit up. I pulled her back around the corner, waited a few seconds, then let her peek again. She smiled, I pulled her back, then let her see again. This time, Daddy had moved. Now he was right next to the wall under her, and it took her a few seconds to find him. I pulled her back, but now Daddy was coming to find her. She smiled when she saw him come to the bottom of the stairs, excited for the inevitable chase.

My husband froze, wide-eyed.

“Kalyn…” he said.

I had no idea what could be wrong.

“Don’t move,” he told me slowly.

“Look at the back of her diaper.”

I did, and I saw why he was so horrified. There was a goopy mess of poop dangling out of the top of her diaper! She didn’t care at all. In fact, she didn’t seem to even notice.

I did care. “Ahh!” I said, startled, “Hurry and grab a wipe!”

I tried to hold her in a way would keep the mess inside the diaper (more or less) while Matthew ran around grabbing a diaper and wipes. In the end, we managed to only get poop on two wipes and her changing table pad.

I should have changed her diaper right when she woke up, like I normally do, but instead I opted to play a bit first. It’s easy to put things off when there is no immediate threat of disaster, and even easier when the alternative is fun. However, as I saw today, procrastination only leads to a big pile of poop and a rush to clean it up.