"What Matters To Moms"

Cate’s been taking a few steps on her own here and there over the past few days. I have yet to be able to capture it on video, because even if I have the camera on me, by the time I turn it on and hit “record,” she’s already stopped. I have been able to get a couple of snapshots of her walking while pushing her car in front of her, though.

walking girl
“Outta my way, coming through!”

She’s a little speed demon with the car, but when she walks by herself, she goes verrrry slow, with her arms out for balance. I think Shannon nailed it when she said that babies look kind of drunk when they first start to walk. The more Cate does it, the more I’m realizing that she looks an awful lot like me after I’ve been in the French Quarter for a couple of hours. (Hee!) Anyway, it’s really cute, and I hope to be able to get a video of it soon.

Speaking of videos, here’s a little rant about something that’s been bugging me. I get Parenting magazine every month. Somebody got a me a subscription when I was pregnant, I can’t remember who. One person gave me Parenting, and someone else gave me Parents. Both magazines are basically bathroom material that I toss in the recycle bin as soon as I’ve finished reading them.

Parenting magazine in particular drives me insane because their tagline on every cover is “What Matters to Moms.” Um, sorry? But isn’t the magazine called Parenting, and not Mothering? So dads don’t count as parents? Or maybe dads have better things to do with their time than read crap magazines that are mostly designed to make you feel like you’re doing everything wrong? (It’s a good technique, really. They strip down your self-confidence so that you think you need the “experts” in the magazine, who tell you to do the things that you already knew, if you only listened to your instincts.)

Anyway, they do these polls online every month and then post the results in the following month’s magazine. The most recent issue published the discussion on “Is it ok for parents to upload a video of their child on YouTube?” And you know, a whopping 63 percent of people said no, you shouldn’t post videos of your kids online. It seems that most people are under the impression that if you put a video of your kid online, you’re asking for them to be kidnapped and molested. WTF??

So, let’s see. There’s a blurry video of my kid on the Internet, with no indication of what city or state I live in, and that’s going to give a pedophile just the info they need to hunt her down and abduct her? How on earth do you make that mental leap? Is it just that people are ignorant as to how YouTube works, or do they really live in that much fear?

Most of the moms I know in the blogging world post both pictures and videos of their kids online all the time without thinking twice about it, so the fact that the vast majority of the moms in this poll came out against it kind of shocked me. Do any of y’all ever worry about this stuff? Because it honestly never crossed my mind. I mean, I don’t put naked pictures or videos of Cate online (although there is a few seconds of bare tush in the middle of this one), mostly because I don’t want her to be embarassed about it when she’s older. And yeah, I do realize there are perverts out there who look for that stuff, but really, the paranoia factor is waaaay down on my list of concerns.

Honestly, I find the whole polling thing in general irritating. It seems as if they’re trying to pick a fight between various groups of mothers. Like we don’t already have enough of that in the world: the stay-at-home versus the working moms, the breast-feeders versus the bottle feeders, etc. It’s just setting up additional conflict where none really needs to exist.

Oh, and hey, if you click over to check out the poll results, be sure to note next month’s topic: Should a woman be able to use fertility treatments to get pregnant if she already has kids? (Shannon, I’d really love it if you wrote in to rip them a new one on that issue.)

Ok, enough of that. Look, a cute picture of a baby with a totally inappropriate pop song title spelled out next to her head!

the youngest Justin Timberlake fan ever
“Me likey the Justin Timberlake!”

first steps

Cate’s pediatrician told me that the average age for most kids to start walking is around 15 months. So I took that nugget of information and stored it away, but honestly, I was starting to get just a teeny-tiny bit worried about Cate’s lack of interest in walking. I knew she was fine, my only concern was because most of the babies I know in real life started walking before their first birthday.

The thing is, she can stand up without holding onto anything for ages. And she can even do her little bouncy dance while standing up, so she obviously has the balance issue down pat. She just wouldn’t move her feet forward, and oh my lord, if we tried to hold her arms and help her walk, she would freak out. She has a little ride-on car, which she won’t ride on, but lately she’s been walking while pushing it in front of her. So, you know, that’s progress, right?

Last night she took a couple of steps sideways – which I guess makes sense, since she “cruises” sideways all the time holding onto the coffee table or the sofa. That was pretty cool. Then later, I was sitting on the floor and she took two steps backwards so she could plop herself down in my lap. That was cool too.

Then tonight, we were hanging out in the living room watching “The Riches” [aside: OMG, I cannot tell you how happy I am that show is back on. Love it, love it, love it!], and Cate was making a mess of her snack rather than eating it. (Bad lazy parent that I am, letting her eat in the living room so I don’t have to peel myself away from the TV.) Suddenly, she let go of the coffee table and took about 5 or 6 steps forward. We thought for a second that maybe she didn’t even realize what she had done, but then she started to laugh, so obviously she did. She didn’t even fall down, she just stopped walking and stood there bouncing in place and laughing at herself.

Later when we were upstairs, she was standing up at her toy chest, and I grabbed her xylophone and moved it just out of reach. She took a couple of steps again so that she could reach it. Whaddya know, I think we might’ve just hit a major milestone. Yay!

more house-selling stuff

We have a contractor working in our kitchen as I type this. Yes, he works on Sunday – this is his side gig, not his main day job. But the tile backsplash in our kitchen (which I’ve always hated) is gone, and it’s now been re-sheetrock’ed, or re-drywall’ed, or whatever that stuff is that, um, you know… makes walls exist.

Point is, it’s lovely. And as soon as he’s finished with the walls, we can get our new kitchen counters installed. (The counters have a built-in backsplash, hence the need to take down the old tile stuff before the new ones could go in.) I suppose there wasn’t really anything wrong with the tile that we had before – my brother-in-law did it, and it looked quite nice – I just didn’t like the color scheme. It had maroon and hunter green tiles, and it reminded me of my dorm freshman year of college when my roommate and I intentionally decorated our room with those exact colors. Very early 90’s.

So after all of this is done, we just have a couple of projects left, and our house is going to be ready to go on the market. I can’t believe it. I have a feeling that it’s going to be April, though, because one of the projects is to get new kitchen cabinet doors, and apparently those take 3-4 weeks to arrive. (Btw, the reason we need new cabinet doors is because I painted our old ones and they look like crap. I’m not good at painting walls, I don’t know why on earth I ever thought I could paint an uneven surface. Lesson learned, I’ll never try that again.)

I’m doing pretty well at sticking to my goal of packing two boxes a day, so I won’t get too overwhelmed when it comes time to actually move. It serves a dual purpose, since it’s also helping to de-clutter the house so it’ll look nicer when we’re trying sell it. Yesterday, Kris came over to raid my CD collection so she could load a whole bunch of my stuff onto her iPod. I’m going to see her next week at our book club, so she can give them back to me, and I can box them up and be done with them.

It’s weird, I’m not that nervous about getting the house ready to sell, or the actual moving process. I mean, sure, that’s on the radar, but my primary source of stress is how long it’s going to take us to find someone to buy this place. We could be out of here in May, or it could be sometime in 2009, and we have no way of predicting when it will happen. My obsessive need to plan isn’t coping too well with that one. So I’m just telling everyone I know to pray (or hope, wish, meditate, send happy thoughts, whatever) that we get a buyer sooner rather than later. If any of y’all want to help me out with that, it’d be much appreciated.

more pics and videos (as usual)

This is going to be short because Cate is (finally!) asleep, and I’m right behind her. But first, I got all of the pictures from our trip to Raleigh online here.

My favorite picture of Cate and Elizabeth

Seriously, how cute are those two girls? Couldn’t you just bite both of them?

Also, earlier tonight I filmed a very quick video of Cate (about 1 minute long).


We learned at Christmas that she loves musical greeting cards, so my parents send her musical cards for pretty much every occasion. This latest one is for Easter, and it plays “Disco Duck” (naturally). Her little boogie cracks me up every time.

Raleigh Recap

We just got back from what feels like a whirlwind trip to North Carolina, and we’re all completely exhausted. We had such a great time, I don’t even know where to start. It’s so pretty there, and Dave really liked it too, so it looks like we’re all on board with the idea of moving there. Yay! So now all we need to do is finish the work on our house and (this is the tricky part) actually sell the damn place, and we’ll be on our way.

It was so much fun to get to visit with Cat and Tony, and it was an absolute riot watching Cate interact with e-baby. She surprisingly didn’t freak out at e-baby’s signs of affection; maybe because she’s a girl, maybe because Cate instinctively knew she was family, who knows. But it was totally easy, and Cate had a great time playing with her little cousin. It’s going to be so much fun watching them grow up together, I cannot wait.

Other weekend stuff:
* Househunting was great because we found some neighborhoods that we really liked, and Tony’s realtor friend was fantastic. Of course, most likely nothing that we saw this weekend will still be on the market when it’s time for us to move, but at least we have a pretty good idea of where we’re going to want to focus when we start searching for real.

* We got to have dinner with two of my friends from college, which was awesome. I don’t see or talk to them nearly enough, so I always forget how much I just adore them and how much fun they are until I see them again. But it was great, and I look forward to living closer to them so we can hang out more often.

* Oh, the southern food. Fried okra, hush puppies, yum. And did you know that there are Chick-Fil-A’s in North Carolina? And there aren’t any on the west coast? We didn’t have the chance to stop at one, so poor Dave has yet to experience the joy and wonder that is Chick-Fil-A. He was all, “Is it like KFC?” Oh, sweetie, it’s just so much better, you have no idea.

* The flights sucked, as it always does when you spend more than six hours on an airplane. But thankfully, none of the flights were nearly as bad as I was anticipating. Which is not surprising, since my anxiety level was pretty much focused on the absolute worst case scenario. Cate did amazingly well, and several passengers commented on what a good baby she was. In case you were wondering, this is my highly imaginative technique: pack tons of snacks, a variety of small toys, a portable DVD player for cartoons, and when all else fails, a half-dose of children’s Benadryl won’t hurt. There you have it.

raleigh trip

We’re leaving for our trip to Raleigh tomorrow, and I’m experiencing a combination of excitement and dread right now.

The excitement is because I know that getting to spend time with Cat, Tony & e-baby is going to be so much fun. Also, Dave and I finally get to check out the area and make sure it’s really where we want to live. We’re spending most of Saturday with a realtor, and I’m really looking forward to that.

The dread: I’m not a good flyer to begin with, and flying with a 13 month-old makes it about a hundred times more stressful. Also, this trip means that the reality of moving is starting to sink in, along with all the details that go with it. Finishing the home improvements, listing the house on the market, praying for a buyer, packing, dealing with the million little details that are involved in any move and oh my lord I need to go lie down.

Other factors on my Stress List:
1. Making sure that everything is packed. When we went to Mississippi for Christmas, I packed Dave’s stuff for him, and I think I’ll probably do that again this trip. He tends to pack about 20 minutes before we need to leave for the airport, and I cannot begin to tell you how much that drives me crazy. I like to have everything packed the night before. Since I’m already packing for both me and Cate, what’s one more person?
2. I’m trying to get the house clean, because we’re going to have a friend stopping by to check on the cats while we’re gone, and you know I can’t have people in my house when it’s messy.
3. A dozen other tiny things on my to-do list that, trust me, y’all don’t really care about.

Earlier this week, Cate woke herself up coughing. I heard her on the baby monitor and panicked. She cannot, CANNOT get sick right before we have to fly 3,000 miles across the U.S. But last night I noticed just the faintest bit of white on her gums where her top two teeth are starting to break through, so I think that’s the reason for the coughing. Or at least I hope so.

Everybody cross your fingers that we have a totally dull, uneventful flight tomorrow.